Dear Miranda Devine: the tabloid press is killing children by discouraging vaccination, not climate scientists

The claims made by the opinion writers of Murdoch’s News Limited about climate change normally follow a predictable script: there has been a “pause in warming”; climate change is a hoax; it was slightly chilly this morning, ergo climate change is not real.

Barely a day goes by without these myths being repeated within the pages of The Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph and The Australian or the blogs of News Limited journalists.

However there are times when the conservative culture warriors of News Limited not merely get the science wrong, but create an entire parallel universe of facts.

Case in point, a recent article by Miranda Devine of Sydney’s Daily Telegraph.

In it she claims climate scientists are directly responsible for parents refusing to vaccinate their children:

ONE of the consequences of the bastardisation of climate science has been the damage to the credibility of science across the board. 

the general public has watched scientists being co-opted by the climate industry, as money and perks flow to those who toe the alarmist line. 

Having been frightened by the doomsday predictions that drove political action when Australia was gripped by drought, people then saw that the warnings were bogus and pushed by green authoritarians…. 

Which of course means people have stopped vaccinating their children:

In Vaucluse and Mosman, among the very people who drank most heartily of the climate Kool-Aid, are parents who reject the evidence that vaccination saves lives. They prefer to believe hocus pocus claims that immunisation against once-lethal childhood diseases leads to autism or brain damage. 

And they are so selfish that they don’t think they have any responsibility to contribute to the “herd immunity” that keeps the whole community safe. 

So now, when we had all but eradicated scourges like measles and whooping cough, they are making a comeback. 

By all means we should do as the Australian Medical Association suggests, and ban unvaccinated children from attending school. 

But we should also sheet blame for the rise of irrational beliefs where it belongs, to those who corrupted science for ideological purposes. 

If I understand correctly, Miranda’s logic runs like this:

Preposition A: Scientists claim the planet is warming due to increased greenhouse gases released through are industrial activity. 

Preposition B: Scientists also claim vaccination is safe and will prevent the spread of diseases. 

Conclusion: Therefore people do not trust science and have stopped vaccinating their children. 

However, the people of Mosman and Vaucluse accept the science of climate change. Would that not make them more predisposed to accept science’s claims about vaccination? Has any climate scientist cast doubt on the effectiveness of vaccination? Did I miss that story?

Help me out guys, but I’m struggling with Ms. Devine’s tour-de-force of reasoning?

Looking at the first and second prepositions, one has to ask how she make the astonishing leap to the conclusion “climate scientists stopped parents vaccinating their children”?

Look I get it – climate scepticism is waning. Indeed, it is pretty much a spent force. Thus the claims of sceptics are getting more and more ridiculous as they desperately try to garner attention.

Of course her claims having nothing to do with reality.

How sections of the population came to fear a link between the Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism is actually well documented. Indeed, it is a text-book example of zealous anti-science activists and a partisan media undermining the public’s confidence in science. 

For those not familiar the history of the MMR controversy it is worth revisiting. Just over a decade ago, a researcher by the name of Andrew Wakefield published a study claiming a link between autism and the MMR vaccine in the Lancet. However it turned out Wakefield faked his results. Since then his research has been retracted and he lost his medical license.

It was the conservative tabloid press in the United Kingdom, in particular The Daily Mail and not climate scientists, that spread the lie that a “link” between MMR and autism existed.

As Fiona Godlee, editor of the British Medical Journal wrote of the whole sorry saga:

“The original paper has received so much media attention, with such potential to damage public health, that it is hard to find a parallel in the history of medical science. Many other medical frauds have been exposed but usually more quickly after publication and on less important health issues.”

As evidence see this:

And this:

And this:

Following these and other articles, the rate of vaccination fell in the UK and across the developed world. This of course lead to an increase in diseases such as measles. Children died. Their deaths were preventable.

So Ms. Devine, can we really hold climate scientists responsible for a drop in vaccination?

What we actually have is the spectacle of a tabloid press casting doubt on science, championing the claims of cranks and misinforming the public.

Sound familiar?

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279 thoughts on “Dear Miranda Devine: the tabloid press is killing children by discouraging vaccination, not climate scientists

  1. BBD says: April 25, 2013 at 8:53 am
    You are indulging in a display of false equivalence worthy of a CC denier.

    bullshit

    In terms of reactor safety:
    1960 ≠ 2013
    Chernobyl ≠ Gen III/Gen III+
    Gen II ≠ Gen III/Gen III+

    it only takes one nuke to create disaster to tens of thousands of people,
    and of course you also omitted waste disposal

    Nuclear is the only proven, scalable low carbon power generation technology we have.

    bullshit, scroll up, reviosly answered

    The credible projections on the table suggest that if we go hard at it, we might get ~30% world electricity generation from renewables by around 2050, plus ~30% from nuclear.

    whose `credible` predictions.? nuke-lobby.? or renew`s.?

    The rest will still be from fossil fuels, mainly coal.

    Strident anti-nuclear rhetoric simply moves us further away from a future where coal has been displaced

    What, like europes off-shore wind-farms.?
    And will we just ignore that some States in Australia have Legislated by popular demand to be Nuke-Free.
    We can also ignore the residents of Spain, and `Shoreham` that won`t have Nukeis too.

    from 60% global electricity generation to one where it has only been displaced from 30%.

    Let`s ignore Las Vegas too.

    Be careful what you agitate for. We all have to share the planet with you.

    let`s just pretend `Fossil` and `Nuke` are the `only` choices.

  2. [...] 2013/04/23: WtD: Dear Miranda Devine: the tabloid press is killing children by discouraging vaccinat… [...]

  3. Eric Worrall says:

    More on scientific best practice / breach of trust.

    Here is an email in which a climate scientist discusses the need to avoid software code falling into the wrong hands, to avoid admitting an error.

    Like I said, like Phil Jones said in parliament, code and data should be freely available.

    Climategate Email 1092167224.txt

    http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php?file=1092167224.txt

    Dear Phil and Gabi, I’ve attached a cleaned-up and commented version of the matlab code that I wrote for doing the Mann and Jones (2003) composites. … best to clean up the code … in case they want to test it, etc. Please feel free to use this code for your own internal purposes, but don’t pass it along where it may get into the hands of the wrong people. In the process of trying to clean it up, I realized I had something a bit odd … It looks like I had two similarly named series floating around in the code, and used perhaps the less preferable one ….

    • Nick says:

      I did this knowing that Phil and I are going to have to respond to crap criticisms from the idiots… said Mann…. Boy he’s right about idiots! One just posted this stolen email. Crap criticisms about code that works but doesn’t look ‘elegant’ enough.

      Explain your choices. Why did you exclude important contextual details from that email? No significant change to the recon, using the ‘perhaps less preferable’ series..

    • Nine time loser flogging the dead horse of his crap app. Sad.

    • Dr No says:

      Yawn.
      Is that all you have?
      Wake me up when you have some facts.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Non disclosure of code can be used to conceal mistakes. In this case it started as an inadvertent mistake, but became intellectual fraud, once the mistake was discovered.

        You defend this, or think it unimportant, yet you call yourself a scientist. You disgust me.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Explain your choices. Why did you exclude important contextual details from that email? No significant change to the recon, using the ‘perhaps less preferable’ series..

      So in your view its a valid part of the scientific method to conceal mistakes, to avoid criticism from people you don’t like? The fact that some of the critics might be idiots makes it all OK?

      As for you John, all I can say is – what a denier you are.

      I provide clear evidence of poor scientific practice being used to conceal mistakes, and all you can say is “9 times loser”.

      I wonder if you would have felt the same way if the email was written by Heartland, and was a discussion between “deniers” about concealing mistakes.

      • BBD says:

        Point to the flaw in radiative physics. Then you might have an argument.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        The flaw is not with radiative physics, the flaw is with the assumption that natural CO2 forcing will be amplified by water vapour.

        The key prediction of this assumption is the (missing) equatorial tropospheric hotspot.

        As anyone who lives in tropical or subtropical regions could tell you, water vapour doesn’t build up indefinitely – it forms clouds and thunderstorms. Storms are very efficiently at removing heat from the lower troposphere, by transporting it to the upper troposphere, above the bulk of the greenhouse blanket, where it can radiate into space.

        Alarmist assumptions are flawed, because they didn’t notice their greenhouse blanket is full of holes.

      • Nick says:

        Clouds are not water vapor,they are water droplets or ice. CO2 is well mixed through the atmosphere,more extensively than water,and is hugely important at high layers. It is increasing in presence and will do so for a while. Warmer air holds more water vapor regardless of clouds suite of characteristics.

        The hot spot is not missing –that is a dogma of the church of Nova–,it is confirmed in short term observation,and likely to be in long term given known issues with current measuring devices. Water vapor is known to have net increased by direct observation.

        Your greenhouse blanket is more holes than content.

        You selectively cited that Mann email,ignoring the fact that the result of the error was trivial,he cautioned Hegerl to keep it in mind when using the data set and he suggested a note to GRL and a link to the new code…these are hardly attempts to ‘conceal mistakes’.

      • BBD says:

        Eric Worrall

        The flaw is not with radiative physics, the flaw is with the assumption that natural CO2 forcing will be amplified by water vapour.

        It’s *all* radiative physics, Eric. The RF from water vapour is already a substantial contributor to the terrestrial greenhouse. As is CO2, which as a non-condensing GHG provides the underpinning that maintains tropospheric T at modern values and keeps the fraction of WV at modern levels. You cannot disentangle the two.

        Increase tropospheric T (eg by increasing RF from CO2 and other GHGs) and the tropospheric fraction of WV will increase. It cannot do otherwise. The hydrological cycle will speed up, certainly, but at any given time there will be more WV in the warmer troposphere. This is fairly basic stuff. See Lacis et al. (2010).

        You have been badly misinformed on this point. Where are you getting this nonsense from?

      • BBD says:

        On terminology:

        Atmospheric physicists not “alarmists”.

        Atmospheric physics not “assumptions”.

        Be more disciplined in your use of language and your errors will not self-perpetuate so readily.

      • zoot says:

        Where are you getting this nonsense from?

        Erric worships at the feet of the Reverend Watts, in fact he’s probably a member of the Watts Tabernacle choir. At the very least he avidly sings from their hymn book. Erric is a true believer.
        Mere facts will never shift a faith based position like Erric’s.

      • BBD says:

        zoot

        Eric does seem to be prolific in inverse proportion to his grasp of the facts. Still, one can but lay it out, with pertinent questions.

        Now it is established that Eric is mistaken to claim that WV feedback to CO2 forcing somehow exists outside the realm of radiative physics, I am waiting for Eric to point to the flaw in the radiative physics.

        When intellectual honesty compels him to review the topic thoroughly, he will discover that no flaw exists. Then he will either have to accept that he has no case and take up another, more productive hobby, or he will have to acknowledge that he has been tricked by liars into inadvertently spreading misinformation.

        At this point, Eric should become extremely angry, as anyone would, on discovering that they had been tricked by liars into spreading misinformation.
        ;-)

        • debunker says:

          I think you are being a tad optimistic in relying on Eric’s intellectual honesty. He has none. We have established this over & over again.

      • zoot says:

        It’s worth repeating that Erric’s outpourings are an expression of faith.
        Something as insubstantial as reality will not change his mind. He knows (beyond understanding) that he is right.
        Shame about his daughter, she’s going to wear the results of his intransigence.

        • debunker says:

          Indeed Zoot. Eric claims to be trying to create a better world for his daughter, but relies for his information on a ‘meteorologist’ who failed to graduate, a sometime minerals prospecter cum statistician, and a Physics Nobel prize winner who freely admits not knowing much about climate science. That, and sundry bloggers such as Nova, who really doesn’t know much about anything, whilst rejecting the overwhelming opinion of the scientists who know most about it.

          Go figure….

      • zoot says:

        Erric just quotes those loons in an attempt to provide some verisimilitude for his gut feeling, which is what really drives him.

        It’s probably indigestion.

    • Debunker says:

      Of course, Eric knows all about scientific best practice. He complains about proxy temperature data and actual temperature data being on the same chart, even when clearly labelled, but when Watts draws a horizontal line through some clearly ascending temperatures to produce a phony flat trendline, not a murmur. In fact, he defends it.

      H Y P O C R I T E

  4. BBD says:

    730reportland

    You are indulging in a display of false equivalence worthy of a CC denier.

    In terms of reactor safety:

    1960 ≠ 2013

    Chernobyl ≠ Gen III/Gen III+

    Gen II ≠ Gen III/Gen III+

    Nuclear is the only proven, scalable low carbon power generation technology we have. The credible projections on the table suggest that if we go hard at it, we might get ~30% world electricity generation from renewables by around 2050, plus ~30% from nuclear.

    The rest will still be from fossil fuels, mainly coal.

    Strident anti-nuclear rhetoric simply moves us further away from a future where coal has been displaced from 60% global electricity generation to one where it has only been displaced from 30%.

    Be careful what you agitate for. We all have to share the planet with you.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      I agree. Watts wants a nuclear future. Most “deniers” are techno-optimists, and would like to see more nuclear power.

      I don’t understand why you guys are so pig headed that you spurn the one opportunity to make meaningful cuts in CO2 emissions in the near term.

      FFS, all you have to do is stop taxing carbon, and help us make it easier and cheaper to build next generation nuclear plants – passive safe plants, which don’t need the multiple redundant safety features of current pressurised water plants.

      Can’t you even get that right?

      • Nick says:

        Techno-optimists,but techno-pessimists on renewables,and pig f88king ignorant about physics and the biosphere. IOW working backwards from fear.

        That makes them ill-informed.

        Please hand back the coal subsidies on your way out.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        It doesn’t matter if you think we are wrong or irrational. We can and will continue to block you, unless you meet our requirements.

        Make your choice – compromise or failure.

      • Nick says:

        I know you are wrong and irrational…you’ve laid out your ‘methodology’ over the last few months.

        You know better than institutional science and a centuries work because Eugenics!

        Climate science is dismissable because you can’t follow it, and emails!

        Market idealism is more important than noting the reality.

        Climate change is not much of a problem because it changes ‘all the time’!

        If it is we will anyway be saved by technology,but only the one I approve of!

        Renewables are failing because they are succeeding!

        ‘Skeptics’ dictate terms! deal themselves out of the discussion,having avoided the opportunity to inform themselves.

        There will be a series of compromises,and you will be compromising as well. They may well sum to a failure. You are simplistic

  5. BBD says:

    Upthread, Eric Worrall said this:

    You can’t ignore us – because we can and will stop you from implementing solutions you favour, unless our conditions are satisfied.

    We don’t believe there is a problem – so it is you who has to come to us. I don’t like coal, but I don’t fear it the way you do.

    See it as blackmail, with the future viability of the ecosystem at stake, if you will – but work with us, or watch our deadlock destroy your world.

    Your choice.

    This shouldn’t be forgotten:

    “We don’t believe there is a problem”

    “unless our conditions are satisfied”

    “Watch our deadlock destroy your world”.

  6. As an asthmatic, I regularly update my flu immunisation. Given the supporting evidence for the efficacy of vaccines, I think anyone who doesn’t protect themselves and their kids with vaccines is nuts.

    So when it comes to your own direct safety and health, you just don`t have the testicular fortitude to deny the science.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Unlike predictions of multi metre sea level rises and climate catastrophe, which still only exist in dodgy computer models, there is actual evidence that asthma is exacerbated by pollution – you know, observation, evidence, the old kind of science.

  7. I’ll continue to promote nuclear power and debunk the claims of the anti-nuclear lobby, just like I’ve done for years.

    And a fine job you are doing too. Chernobyl

    • Eric Worrall says:

      So what?

      If you believe we face imminent environmental catastrophe, surely 2 – 3 Chernobyls per year would be preferable to eco-suicide by CO2 emissions.

      And you accuse us of being irrational.

  8. Wait. 104? Really?

    All 104 nuclear power reactors now in operation in the United States have a safety problem that cannot be fixed

    Sounds Like, nuke reactors are substandard or dangerous or a future problem? to me.
    not vaccinated either

    • Sounds to me like one ex-regulator says that, which doesn’t necessarily make it true. I think safety issues are important, but would prefer a more diverse set of experts and a more rigorous peer-review process than the complete lack of process applied to Dr. Jaczko’s remarks.

      Seriously, all of them?

  9. It’s unfortunate that so many U.S. nuclear plants operate past their designed lifetimes

    More Pro-Nukie Teabag bullshit.
    Ever hear of `Shoreham`.?

    • Bullshit? You think it’s fortunate that so many U.S. nuclear plants operate past their designed lifetimes because coal out-competes them?

      Never heard of Shoreham before. Seems important that had the “Shoreham Nuclear Power Station gone into operation as planned, it would have prevented the emission of an estimated 3 million tons of carbon dioxide per year.”

  10. Who cares about a few localised disasters

    May you and your`s enjoy your own `localised_disaster` too, as you seem happy for everybody else to suffer one.

    Unfortunately, brain-dead Pro-Nuke Teabags continue to spout nonsense even when the former chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission of america says they have 104 Nuke-plants that are substandard, dangerous or are a future problem in some other way. Too bad you lack so little `actual` knowledge on the bullshit you promote.
    still not vaccinated

    • It’s unfortunate that so many U.S. nuclear plants operate past their designed lifetimes because we haven’t built replacements. I think this is because private investors are wary of the large up-front costs of nuclear compared to coal, so construction requires government subsidies which inevitably involve more red tape than private investors.

      But if coal plants couldn’t use our atmosphere as a free sewer, already affecting millions of asthmatic people…

  11. Fukishima style meltdown really worse than the runaway global warming

    Local residents of the Fukushima area will not be worried about global-warming. They now cannot eat the crops they grow, the fish they catch or live on the land they own. They pay a huge price for corporate greed, incompetence and corruption, as did the folks of Chernobyl, Hinkley, Cordova-Prince William Sound and the Gulf of Mexico.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Who cares about a few localised disasters, which affect maybe a few hundred square miles, when the future of the planet is a stake?

      And you accuse us of being irrational.

  12. occasional Fukishima style meltdown

    or Chenobyl which
    Pro-Nuke Teabags and shills want everybody else to wear the risk, and pay the price when industry stuffs up. In the events of disaster, Event-Horizon, Exxon-Valdez, Chernobyl, Fukushima, PGE(that`s_erin_brokovich_to_the_dopes) the public, the little-guy, the people that had nothing to do with the company nor the disaster, end up losing everything they have worked for, and sometimes their lives, for corporate greed. Many of these are still being fought in court.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      As you work to delay nuclear decarbonisation of the economy, the burden of greenhouse gasses is, if you guys are right, growing to dangerous levels. Who knows when we’ll hit a tipping point? Your intransigence on the issue of nuclear power could end the human race.

      • Who knows when we’ll hit a tipping point?

        Never, according to you and WUWT. Oh, and apparently it’s not a burden. It’s fertilizer, like giving vitamins to a man who’s on fire. Future generations will remember what we do and say.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        I’m simply pointing out the disconnect between what you say and what you believe.

        If the price of preventing catastrophic runaway warming of the planet is a couple of Fukishima disasters every year, surely that is a price worth paying.

      • Good grief, Eric. I’ve repeatedly point out that you’re just assuming what I believe (search this thread for “strawman”). Note that I just said “We have to choose between the possibility of local problems with nuclear, and the near-certainty of global problems with coal.”

      • Eric Worrall says:

        So we’re back to looking at nuclear solutions again, are we?

      • Never stopped, but that’s another great example of assuming.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        We’ve reached an interesting impasse on the nuclear issue though – you seem to be rejecting any solution for reducing CO2 emissions which doesn’t involve punishing taxes on carbon emitters.

      • No, we reached an impasse about your claims, not nuclear power. I’ll continue to promote nuclear power and debunk the claims of the anti-nuclear lobby, just like I’ve done for years.

        Seriously, this is pointless.

  13. ” You haven’t provided a link ”
    Knowledge can also be learned from TV documentary and news services.
    From memory, try France-24, DWTV, or PBS.
    I can`t remember which one I saw it on, hence, l don`t know the `cute` name they give the reactor/site.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Even if you are right, is the occasional Fukishima style meltdown really worse than the runaway global warming leading to the catastrophic collapse of the biosphere?

      Sometimes I really wonder about you guys – do you actually believe in the catastrophes you claim are imminent?

  14. Fukushima would’ve been okay if the pumps hadn’t failed. So let’s make the pumps unnecessary by relying on gravity instead.

    That won`t do any good if the fault-line rips open the New-York Nuke Building and Reactor, and water-way/river it `s located near. More likely to just contaminate water-way/river for extended period, and eventually ocean, and everything in between, including City of New-York and surrounding area.

    • You haven’t provided a link, and googling New-York Nuke Building wasn’t enlightening.

      Speculation can be frightening, but I’m more interested in facts.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      I agree – active safe systems are dangerous.

      The safest system be pebble bed. The pebbles are tough, and difficult to fracture. Even an extreme event which ruptures the reactor core is unlikely to cause dangerous contamination – all you have to do to stop the radiation is scoop up the pebbles. Its not like they would be difficult to find.

  15. Fukushima was a perfect storm of old reactor design, incompetent management, and apocalyptic tsunami.

    Maybe so, but Pro-Nuke Teabags pretending that there is not several very similar situations already set-up and in place to happen is just bullshit. The one that springs to mind is the Nuke Reactor on a fault-line, and within disaster-range of New-York City.

    • Then let’s make sure all vulnerable nuclear plants have large water tanks built above them, such that in the event of a failure the cores can be cooled passively.

      Fukushima would’ve been okay if the pumps hadn’t failed. So let’s make the pumps unnecessary by relying on gravity instead.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        I doubt a water tank would have survived the Earthquake and the Tsunami which washed away the diesel generators.

        But a passive safe system would have been fine.

      • Water tanks could be buried in a nearby hill. Might survive, but it’s just an idea. I’m sure nuclear engineers are way ahead of us.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Yes, read up on “passive safe” systems.

        Some of the ideas are pretty remarkable – such as pebble bed reactors, which don’t need any cooling to avoid melting, and liquid Thorium, which uses a salt plug cooled by a fan to stop the shutdown cycle – remove the power and the molten salt core drains into a holding tank.

  16. I’d like to see cheap, safe nuclear technology

    No such thing.
    Nuke power is the most expensive to build, maintain, fuel and dispose of.
    Safe, watch India. Next Chernobyl or Fukushima is just a question of `when`, not `if`.

    • Nuke power is the most expensive to build, maintain, fuel and dispose of.

      Possibly, but a carbon fee and dividend plan wouldn’t give nuclear any special favors. It will compete on its own merits, and I believe that it has a place in building a brighter future. If fusion/solar/wind/geothermal/wind/osmotic power is cheaper, I’ll be ecstatic.

      Personally, I want to bet the future of civilization on the most diverse set of energy sources possible, to avoid putting all our eggs in one basket.

      Next Chernobyl or Fukushima is just a question of `when`, not `if`.

      Many Chernobyl deaths were caused by the Soviets’ reluctance to distribute iodine tablets. If you dig into the stats on the graph showing coal deaths vastly outnumbering nuclear deaths, you’d note that Chernobyl deaths were included.

      Fukushima was a perfect storm of old reactor design, incompetent management, and apocalyptic tsunami. And yet the death toll is in the single digits. Yes, it’s an expensive accident that also cost large amounts of land and property. But the public seems to fear another Chernobyl which seems unlikely in the age of Twitter.

      We have to choose between the possibility of local problems with nuclear, and the near-certainty of global problems with coal.

      • One of those winds should be tidal. Odd, because that’s what I do 9-5.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        A carbon fee is politically unacceptable to the right – it will never be high enough to make a difference.

        You will have to cut red tape and make nuclear easier to build, to achieve any traction with nuclear power.

      • You will have to cut red tape and make nuclear easier to build, to achieve any traction with nuclear power.

        Governments might be able to subsidize nuclear based on science, but I don’t like subsidies. Do you?

        I doubt investors in the free market would invest in unproven technology (R&D is scary) when they can just build another big rock-burner just like the 1000 before it.

        Unless, of course, coal plants are charged for treating our atmosphere as a free sewer.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        I think you are underestimating interest in Thorium Cycle reactors.

        If the government was to pre-approve construction guidelines which would allow nuclear plant operators to build new multi-gigawatt plants for $200 million, rather than $8 – 10 billion, you’d have a glut of applications.

        At that price, especially if Thorium cycle were used, nuclear power would undercut all other power systems, including coal.

        At a wholesale electricity rate of say 2c / kilowatt hour, such plants would pay for themselves in:-

        200,000,000 / 2c = 10 billion kilowatt hours

        10 billion kilowatt hours / 1,000,000 kilowatts output = 10,000 hours
        = 416 days – just over a year.

        I’m not even counting the cost of Thorium – at around $1000 / kg, its not even a consideration.

        Obviously this calculation is simplistic, and assumes 100% profit margin, but a profit margin of that magnitude would interest the hell out of potential investors.

      • a profit margin of that magnitude would interest the hell out of potential investors.

        The risk of trusting new technology outweighs greed, especially when a trusted money-maker just requires something called “fire”.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Sorry, I meant “a potential profitability of this magnitude”, not “a profit margin of this magnitude”.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        You guys managed some spectacular subsidies for renewables, despite strenuous objections from industry and right wingers.

        Imagine if all that effort and political capital had been put into something useful – such as overcoming fossil fuel opposition to Thorium reactors so cheap they would put them out of business.

      • Yeah, step one is ending subsidies to the fossil fuel industry for their amazing “dig stuff up and burn it” technology.

        Step two isn’t more subsidies. Not even for nuclear. We just need to charge for carbon pollution like we charge for nuclear waste, and investors will flock to Thorium reactor plans.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Charging for carbon is politically unacceptable to the right.

        If you want to build a consensus for action, you have to be sensitive to such issues, even if you personally believe them to be irrational.

  17. Acidification has to be some kind of joke – I can’t believe anyone takes it seriously.

    Of Course, Now the world`s Fishing Industries are in on the `conspiracy` too. Those Damn Oyster, Scallop and Clam Fisherman are in on it too.
    HEEEE-HAWWW

  18. For the moment, suppose the choice is between coal and nuclear.

    Suppose l stay in reality and not limit my choices down to the bullshit two choices you presume. Tidal/Wave, Solar, `other-renews` and wind stay on the table for me.
    Not vaccinated either

    • Eric Worrall says:

      But tidal solar and other renews aren’t on my list.

      So continue your campaign for B*llshit solutions which will never receive the support they need to make a dent in CO2 emissions, or work with us to find a solution which makes everyone happy.

  19. While as a “denier” I don’t believe CO2 emissions are a problem

    Of course it`s an army of Greenie-Goblins dumping tankers of acid into the sea to acidify the world`s oceans.
    HEEEE-HAWWW
    Still not vaccinated

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Acidification has to be some kind of joke – I can’t believe anyone takes it seriously.

      During previous ages, such as the carboniferous and the cretaceous, CO2 levels far higher than todays prevailed for an extended period, without any obvious negative impact on shell building sea life.

      And we also have the evidence of champaign reefs – coral growing happily next to natural volcanic sources of CO2, in water supersaturated with CO2, to a level which will never be achieved in the normal atmosphere no matter how much carbon we burn.

      • Good grief, Eric! Scientists have repeatedly pointed out that the problem is that our CO2 emissions are ten times faster than the rate preceeding the end-Permian extinction. The absolute value is less relevant because life is adaptable, but evolution and migration both have rate limits beyond which extinction is likely.

        It’s ironic that you try to pretend that the paleoclimate is a problem for mainstream science. Haven’t you heard of the PETM? I recommend reading Honisch, et al., “The Geological Record of Ocean Acidification”, Science 335, 1058, 2012.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Nonsense. There have been far more rapid periods of climate change even in geologically recent times, such as the younger dryas, an extreme drop in temperature which may have occurred in months rather than years.

        http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/11/091130112421.htm

        From the description of the scientist who did the research, “It would be like taking Ireland today and moving it up to Svalbard, creating icy conditions in a very short period of time”.

      • There have been far more rapid periods of climate change even in geologically recent times, such as the younger dryas, an extreme drop in LOCAL temperature…

        LOCAL, Eric. LOCAL.

        LOCAL temperature! Not the acidification we were talking about!

        Why do you keep changing the subject?

        Seriously, read Honisch et al.. Note the word “unprecedented”.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Given that many important species are represented in champaign reefs, even an abrupt increase in CO2 will not kill most marine life – at worst it will cause wider distribution of CO2 resistant genes, as the genetic adaptions which allow organisms to survive champagne reef conditions confer a reproductive advantage on the wider population.

      • That’s exactly the same mechanism which made the end-Permian such a swell time to be alive. Since we’re increasing CO2 ten times faster, it’ll be ten times more awesome!

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Good – we’re ending the CO2 drought.

        Commercial greenhouses enhance CO2 levels to around 1000ppm, because of the beneficial effect on plant growth.

        If we want to feed the hungry, we should continue to raise global CO2 levels.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Here’s a little CO2 pron for you – a Johnson CO2 generator.

        http://www.johnsongas.com/industrial/CO2Gen.asp

        Burns natural gas to produce CO2, and discards the heat.

        Positively obscene, don’t you think?

      • Good – we’re ending the CO2 drought. Commercial greenhouses enhance CO2 levels to around 1000ppm, because of the beneficial effect on plant growth. If we want to feed the hungry, we should continue to raise global CO2 levels.

        That didn’t happen during the end-Permian or PETM, because the biosphere isn’t a controlled greenhouse. I just pointed out that increasing CO2 makes actual water droughts more likely. These droughts combine with heatwaves and decreased wintertime insect mortality (away from Arctic sea ice loss) to make wildfires more likely.

        Oh, and rice grows 10% less with every 1°C of night-time warming. Emitting CO2 won’t feed the hungry, it will threaten the food and water security of future generations.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Oh, and rice grows 10% less with every 1°C of night-time warming. Emitting CO2 won’t feed the hungry, it will threaten the food and water security of future generations.

        Then grow something else. Or genetically modify the rice to be tolerant of nighttime heat.

      • Then grow something else. Or genetically modify the rice to be tolerant of nighttime heat.

        You seriously think rice is the only species at risk from something as fundamental as temperature? Do you seriously think we can just conjure a better GMO rice and distribute it across the world while we’re dealing with increased heat waves, droughts, wildfires, stronger storms and relocations from accelerating sea level rise?

        I think future generations might be up to the challenge, but I also think they’ll resent the burden.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        I think future generations might be up to the challenge, but I also think they’ll resent the burden.

        I agree, except about the resentment.

      • Oops, the link to rice yields seems messed up.

      • Sou says:

        “I can’t believe…” = The logical fallacy of incredulity.

        http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Argument_from_incredulity

        I would suggest Eric read the paper by Dunning and Kruger, after he learns how to use Google.

  20. April 23, 2013 at 11:47 pm
    ” persuade other bloggers concerned about CO2 to do a joint post demanding nuclear ”
    +
    ” overcome opposition to his nuclear plans. ”

    +

    Watching the Deniers says: April 24, 2013 at 12:13 am
    This is the debate/discussion worth having: how will we power the energy grid of the future and reduce CO2/fossil fuel dependancy. Germany is worth looking at as a case study.

    The Pro-Nukie Teabags don`t really offer a `solution`, only a delay that the next generation will have to deal with. A `fire` or `fry-pan` choice. Germany is trying to get out of both `Fossil` and `Nukie` power generation. But the one`s to watch on Nukies is India. There is some worry, or maybe a lot of worry about safety across the board of issues regarding India`s Nuke Reactors, about 20 l think.

    • For the moment, suppose the choice is between coal and nuclear. With coal, the next generation will have to deal with gigatons of CO2 waste spewed into the atmosphere at a rate ten times faster than before the end-Permian extinction. With nuclear, the next generation will have ~1000 times less waste to store or recycle. Note that while CO2 emissions are associated with mass extinction events, natural nuclear reactors like Oklo aren’t.

      You might want to watch Sir Bob Watson’s talk from last year’s AGU, where he says that nuclear power will have to be a part of the solution. Or consider watching Richard Alley’s “Earth: The Operators’ Manual” which says the same thing.

      Nuclear fission is a stepping stone to fusion, solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, and osmotic power. Please don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        I agree – irrational fear of nuclear power is preventing us from adopting cleaner, less polluting forms of energy production.

        While as a “denier” I don’t believe CO2 emissions are a problem, I and other asthmatics suffer daily from the pollution and exhaust fumes produced by fossil fuel combustion.

        Nuclear power is the fastest, most economically effective way to decarbonise society (something you want), and clean the air (something I want) – whats not to like?

      • Coal deaths already vastly outnumber nuclear deaths because of the lung ailments Eric mentioned. Without considering climate change.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Agreed – coal is a nasty fuel.

        The only justification for keeping it is it is cheap – and the consequences of poverty can be more deadly even than coal.

        I’d like to see cheap, safe nuclear technology, such as Thorium cycle reactors, displace coal for economic reasons. I’ve presented arguments why I think this is possible.

        All that is required is the will to remove the political obstacles to adoption of the nuclear solution to our problems.

  21. April 24, 2013 at 11:31 pm
    What we dispute is claims of imminent catastrophe – that evidence suggested an imminent dramatic change in current trends, unless we curb CO2 emissions.

    That`s right, those projects in Venice, London and Japan are underway because the whole population of those effected areas are `delusional` and are just `imagining` the water is there. Of course it`s not C02, that`s a `conspiracy` too, created by all those qualified and experienced ocean-scientists who have armed polar-bears with blow-torches to melt melt whole damn Arctic.
    Mrs Worrell didn`t vaccinate her children against stupidity

  22. April 24, 2013 at 12:47 am
    Based on observation, current SLR trends, inhabitants of seaside properties won’t even notice SLR. A few inches in a century is not going to light anyone’s fire. Its only if SLR accelerates to produce a rise of several metres that there will be a problem – and this simply hasn’t happened yet.

    On that basis Let`s Ignore,
    1. Sea Level Rise of 17cm proven in Australia (since_settlement)
    on east and west coast.
    2. Venice Sea-Wall being built to fend off Adriatic Sea.
    3. Tuvalu and other islands flooding.
    4. Islands off Bangladesh already under water.
    5. Japan is building sea walls to protect towns and cities.
    6. Areas around London flood from Thames rise.
    The Teabag Theory and `Denial` just doesn`t pass muster.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Noone is denying the climate changes, and that sea level rises and falls (though this is complicated by the fact the land rises and falls as well).

      A property I used to live in in the UK, the land title extended to part of the tidal riverbed, because the original title was granted in the 1200s, when the sea level was around a metre lower than today.

      What we dispute is claims of imminent catastrophe – that evidence suggested an imminent dramatic change in current trends, unless we curb CO2 emissions.

      Given the string of failed predictions, such as Hansen’s failed 1980s prediction of global warming trends, there is growing evidence alarmists have gotten their sums wrong.

      We’re starting to see some sanity in the debate, for example there are a growing number of mainstream papers suggesting climate sensitivities of 1-2c / doubling of CO2, well below the IPCC mean sensitivity of 3c / doubling, and far less dangerous than previous wild calculations (e.g. Trenberth’s suggested sensitivity 4 – 6c / doubling, etc).

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/04/22/climate_sensitivity_down_down/

      • Mike also bet $10,000 (+ the future of civilization) that a few models of the Charney sensitivity were more important than all the paleoclimate estimates of the actual Earth sensitivity.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        As the unexpected 300 kiloton meteor explosion over Russia a few months ago showed, there are consequences to making the wrong choices about expenditure of precious resources.

        http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/blogs/earthmatters/2013/02/15/meteorite-blazes-over-the-urals/

        Thankfully that time noone was killed, though there were injuries from flying glass, as the explosion burst windows. We might not be so lucky next time.

        The East Mediterranean Event, a 27 kiloton meteor explosion over the Mediterranean in 2002, occurred at a time of heightened tension between India and Pakistan. If the meteor had struck a few hours earlier, it could have been mistaken for a first strike, and triggered an atomic war.

        The Tunguska meteor exploded over a sparsely inhabited area of Siberia in 1908, with an estimated force of 10 – 15 Megatons. If a similar explosion occurred today over an American or Russian city, it might well be mistaken for a nuclear attack, with dire consequences for the world.

        If you truly believe you are under attack from nuclear weapons, you don’t have time for a prolonged investigation – the primary strategic objective of a nuclear first strike against a nuclear power is to disable their ability to strike back. So you have to make a decision very quickly, without access to the full facts, or risk having that decision taken away from you. Imagine if multiple meteors struck at once – how likely is it the wrong decision would be made?

        And of course far larger meteor explosions have occurred – for example, the dinosaur killer, which struck 50 million years ago, threw so much material into the stratosphere it blocked the sunlight for a prolonged period, which led to a major extinction event. Obviously we are extremely unlikely to see such an event in our lifetimes, but the consequences could be the extinction of the human race (though as intelligent omnivores, we would have a better chance than some species).

        The total budget allocated to mapping and evaluating the threat from meteors? Around $5 million. Total.

        If a fraction of the billions which have been wasted combating the imaginary problems of climate change had been spent on meteor defences, or if a real effort was made to map the threat, we might be better prepared against a real threat to civilisation.

      • Incidentally, the list I made (including “change the subject again and again”) wasn’t intended as a checklist for you to complete. Quite the opposite, in fact…

        Again, Earth system sensitivity is more important than Charney sensitivity.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        How long do you think current emission levels will continue?

        If lefty alarmists dropped their obsession with controversial (and in my opinion ineffectual) renewables, and joined forces with Watts and other skeptics who support nuclear power, there is a real chance we would both get what we want within a few years.

        But even without this, we shall rapidly run short of fossil fuels we can frack, or methane hydrates we can mine. In 50 to 100 years at most, advances in solar power, energy storage, and nuclear energy.

        So even if you are right, an equilibrium which takes thousands of years to manifest simply won’t happen – the excess CO2 forcing will be eliminated in a few centuries if it turns out to be an issue, either through natural increases to plant growth, genetically engineered plants, ocean fertilisation, or mechanical absorption from the air driven by cheap solar power.

        And if necessary, large quantities of high albedo plastic could be distributed across wilderness areas of the Earth, or released into the upper atmosphere, to reduce insolation.

        The crisis you fear simply wont happen.

      • Dr No says:

        You still don’t get it.
        Firstly, it is nonsensical to claim that, because you don’t happen to “believe” the existence of higher sensitivities that papers favouring lower sensitivities represent more “sanity”. That is purely simple-minded “cheering” from the side-lines.

        Secondly, science is not a debate.
        The existence of papers favouring lowered sensitivities are simply more contributions to the state of knowledge. They are not offered up as opinions, but statements of findings which you or I (more likely I) can reproduce using the same data and methodologies. This means that all the reputable (i.e. peer-reviewed) publshed work on climate change to date should stand the test of time – irrespective of the final outcomes.

        Unless, of course, you still believe that we scientists are deliberately fudging the results. That is your problem – not ours.

      • Sou says:

        Oh, I forgot. Deniers think it’s already 2100, don’t they /s.

        Eric, you have not given any indication that you know what the science says or who “claims” what. You deny that global warming is happening (it isn’t just Dr Hansen who is sounding the warning, you know), while the evidence is all around you.

        I know, it’s all because you know someone who “read it in an email”!

      • Good grief. Why do you keep changing the subject, Eric?

        How long do you think current emission levels will continue?

        I’ve already explained that we only have a few years to peak emissions, so most of your comment is simply wishful thinking.

        If lefty alarmists dropped their obsession with controversial (and in my opinion ineffectual) renewables, and joined forces with Watts and other skeptics who support nuclear power, there is a real chance we would both get what we want within a few years.

        You’re attacking the scientific community, and repeatedly conflating us with lefty alarmists at the same time that I’ve repeatedly shown that the scientific community supports nuclear power. In fact, support is strongest among physicists like me who are more likely to understand nuclear physics.

        Eric, is this your idea of “reaching out”? Were you also trying to reach out earlier by calling me an ignorant idiot seantist who’s part of a cult trying to bring about a new dark age like the eugenecists, and calling my life’s work (GRACE) junk and garbage?

        Eric, you and Anthony Watts are working so hard to destroy your joint credibility and stain your joint legacy that I wouldn’t join forces with you if you were the last people on Earth.

        And if necessary, large quantities of high albedo plastic could be distributed across wilderness areas of the Earth, or released into the upper atmosphere, to reduce insolation.

        That won’t address ocean acidification. A billion people depend on seafood.

      • Yawn. Let me know when the world starts warming again.

        Why must every day be groundhog day? Eric, I’ve already explained that there’s been no statistically significant change in the rate of warming. I even showed you the results from my own statistical analysis.

        This only took a few dozen lines of code in R. You claim your “main expertise is as a software developer” and continually claim to understand statistical significance better than the overwhelming majority of scientists, so why don’t you calculate this yourself like I did?

        If not, consider using a web interface that calculates statistical significance, like this one from Skeptical Science. WoodForTrees is nice, but doesn’t even try to calculate significance.

        If you explore the SkS trend calculator, you’d learn that there’s been no statistically significant change in the rate of warming. Or, impress us and write some actual code!

      • Eric Worrall says:

        You’ve stated you support nuclear power.

        I’ve stated I support nuclear power.

        Mike has stated he supports nuclear power.

        Watts has stated he supports nuclear power.

        We all might have different reasons, and disagree a bit about CO2, but we have a solution, don’t we?

        Do you think I’m lying about my support for nuclear power? Do you think Watts is lying? Are you lying?

        WTF does it matter if I ruffle a few feathers, if I disagree with you on whether CO2 is an issue, if a way to save the world from CO2 is within your reach?

        You do care about that, don’t you?

      • but we have a solution, don’t we?

        Yes. We can finally stop the fossil fuel industry from treating our atmosphere like a free sewer. Anyone who really believes nuclear power is a viable solution should welcome a level playing field.

        Do you think I’m lying about my support for nuclear power? Do you think Watts is lying? Are you lying?

        I think you and Watts don’t seem to remember what happened yesterday, which means that your promises are worth nothing.

        WTF does it matter if I ruffle a few feathers, if I disagree with you on whether CO2 is an issue, if a way to save the world from CO2 is within your reach?

        Ruffled my feathers? You and Watts have been encouraging your horde of followers to baselessly attack me and my colleagues for years. You’ve spammed humanity with misinformation that’s stained your legacies and threatens the future of our civilization.

        Also, your actual influence is probably much less than your perceived influence, just like your scientific literacy. So you don’t have anything to offer, much less a way to save civilization from CO2.

        That’s why I’d rather join forces with Republicans Art Laffer and Bob Inglis.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        You can’t ignore us – because we can and will stop you from implementing solutions you favour, unless our conditions are satisfied.

        We don’t believe there is a problem – so it is you who has to come to us. I don’t like coal, but I don’t fear it the way you do.

        See it as blackmail, with the future viability of the ecosystem at stake, if you will – but work with us, or watch our deadlock destroy your world.

        Your choice.

      • Thanks for finally being honest.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Tick tick tick DS.

        But I see that introducing a new tax and frittering your time away with fringe Republicans is more important than reducing CO2 emissions.

      • “I see” – doubtful.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        DS, sometimes you have to deal with people who you think are irrational to get things done.

        Happens all the time in the real world.

        I’ve done my best to outline under what circumstances we could accept CO2 reduction.

        Surely achieving results is more important to you than making people you think are irrational see sense.

        After all, reducing an imminent threat to the stability of the global climate and the survival of the human race, by any means available, is the *rational* thing to do.

      • I’ve done my best to outline under what circumstances we could accept CO2 reduction.

        Yes, your comments in this thread make it clear that no matter what happens, you’re just going to keep accusing me and my colleagues of gross incompetence, based on whatever nonsense WUWT happens to publish.

        Surely achieving results is more important to you than making people you think are irrational see sense.

        I’ve already pointed out that I’m actually addressing other people. I’m not naive enough to think that you’re capable of seeing anything.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Approaching some fringe republicans who believe in CAGW is hardly a solution which is going to yield immediate results.

        I’m talking about a solution which should work, regardless of whether I think you are incompetent.

        Is what I think of you really more important than finding a way to convince people like me to reduce CO2?

      • I’m talking about a solution which should work, regardless of whether I think you are incompetent.

        The point is that I think you’re incompetent. You have no idea what would work because you don’t understand the science, read links, or remember anything for more than a few days (at most).

        Is what I think of you really more important than finding a way to convince people like me to reduce CO2?

        Gosh I wish I’d said something like You’ve spammed humanity with misinformation that’s stained your legacies and threatens the future of our civilization.

        Then you might realize that I don’t care what you think, but rather about others think.

        This is pointless. Please have the last word.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        This is the part I find most puzzling about the whole debate.

        Mike is in favour of nuclear.

        Watts is in favour of nuclear.

        You’re in favour of nuclear.

        I’m in favour of nuclear.

        Yet you can’t even stand to have a conversation with me about how the nuclear solution to decarbonising the economy can be made a reality.

        Anything which doesn’t involve a tax on carbon seems utterly unacceptable to you – even though I’ve provided some compelling math to show why the profit motive could make a Thorium powered future a reality, providing politicians were pushed into removing some red tape.

        If you are right about CO2, the children of the future are dying because of your inflexibility.

      • If you are right about CO2, the children of the future are dying because of your inflexibility.

        Yeah, it’s the fault of scientists who are trying to overcome the WUWT misinformation campaign to convince society that we need to find a way to reduce CO2 emissions. Right.

        Seriously, this is pointless.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        I’ve offered a way to reduce CO2, which you are spitting in my face. You’re not even interested in discussing it. If the proposal doesn’t involve punishing carbon emitters with taxes, its unacceptable to you. Vindication and vengeance is more important to you than reducing CO2.

        Don’t worry though, you’re in good company – Phil Jones also expressed the need for vindication at any price.

        http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php?file=1120593115.txt

        As you know, I’m not political. If anything, I would like to see the climate change happen, so the science could be proved right, regardless of the consequences. This isn’t being political, it is being selfish.

        Its not really about reducing CO2 for you, is it?

      • I’ve offered a way to reduce CO2, which you are spitting in my face. You’re not even interested in discussing it.

        You’ve offered so much nonsense over the last few years that I’m drowning in it. I’m still trying to find time to respond to the baseless accusations you made about GRACE, then falsely attributed to JPL scientists like me. I’m doing this in between my research, attempts to explain to the public that your WUWT misinformation is nonsense, and sleep.

        With the boy who cried wolf on one hand and Reagan’s economics advisor on the other, I’m confident that I made the right choice.

        Its not really about reducing CO2 for you, is it?

        I’ve devoted my life to explaining why we need to reduce CO2 in spite of all the nonsense from WUWT. Don’t mistake the fact that I think you’re a troll with few decent ideas and less real-world influence for motivations other than reducing CO2.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Keep tilting at windmills Don Quixote.

        While you’re busy alienating people who agree with you that the future is nuclear power, the CO2 emissions are continuing.

  23. andrew adams says:

    Hi,

    I think I have a comment stuck in moderation?

  24. Hi `Watching` l`m pretty sure l`ve seen the anti-vaccine stance has been promoted by the Limited-News Blog-Loonies some time ago, l just can`t remember which Blog-umnist was spouting it.

    l actually don`t mind Devine encouraging her followers to self-cull as it will raise the intelligence of the country.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      In the UK the MMR nonsense caused quite serious outbreaks of measles and other preventable diseases.

      But the insensitive UK government response was at least partly to blame for the problem.

      The claim was not that giving each vaccine individually would cause autism, the claim was administering them as a single combined injection increased the risk of autism.

      I accept that this assertion has been disproven.

      But the issue could easily have been defused if the UK government offered concerned parents the option of receiving the vaccine as separate, individual vaccines, rather than as a combined MMR injection.

      Instead, their response was to try to bully parents – to insist that the MMR vaccine was the only option, and that parents were irresponsible for not accepting it.

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-132515/New-evidence-shows-MMR-link-autism.html

      Why were they so hamfisted? Why not be at least a little sensitive to concerns, however misguided, and offer the vaccines in a form which did not arouse their concerns? Surely a little flexibility and higher vaccination rates would have been better than risking children’s health, by insisting on a regime which about which parents had concerns, however ill founded.

      I wonder if a private health system would have been so inflexible to their customer’s concerns?

      In fact, I don’t have to wonder – during the MMR scare, I remember hearing that some parents who could afford it, took their children to France, for treatment with individual non combined vaccines. The government banned local private clinics from administering anything other than MMR, so people had to go overseas for relief from their fear.

      • Nick says:

        Government was ‘hamfisted’ [actually wanted to save taxpayers money?]…tabloid media merely dull and stupid.

      • zoot says:

        Why do you link to a Daily Fail story headed “New evidence shows MMR link autism” if you

        … accept that this assertion has been disproven.

        ???

  25. Sou says:

    A ‘conversation’ with Eric Worrall:

    A criminal stole some emails and it’s the fault of climate scientists.
    Deniers make up lies and it’s the fault of climate scientists. Deniers defame, libel, slander, mock, ridicule and make up more lies – and blame their appalling behaviour on the scientists.
    Climate scientists report the science and deniers say “we don’t believe you” and “we didn’t read or understand the science but climate science is a hoax, it said so in an email”
    Climate scientists model climate and deniers say “we don’t understand models but we know we don’t like them” and “climate science is a hoax it said so in an email”
    Climate scientists do the science, see what’s coming and sound the alarm and are told to stay out of the media, out of the limelight, out of politics and shut up.
    Scientists do more science and develop even better models and are told “we don’t understand science and we don’t understand models but we know we don’t like them” and “climate science is a hoax it said so in an email”
    Climate scientists sound the alarm again and deniers call them ‘alarmist’
    More weather disasters, more often, affecting more people – scientists say, well, we did warn you but we’ll explain it all over again. Deniers say “it’s only weather” and “we don’t believe you” and “we read it in an email – climate science is a hoax”
    Scientists write books, do interviews, write blogs in their ‘own time’ and do their research in the other 70-80 hours a week – Deniers say “you won’t engage with the public” and “we read it in a tweet”
    Governments ask for advice from scientists about the science – deniers say scientists should just shut up and do research and stay out of politics.
    Some scientists are so concerned they take a more active role in public. Deniers say “shut up and stay out of politics’. and “we read your tweet and you didn’t mean what you tweeted we know what you mean climate science is a hoax”
    Politicians dilly dally and delay and deniers say “it’s all the fault of scientists” and “we hate taxes” and “we hate government” and “climate science is a hoax dreamed up by the one world government” and “it’s not happening” – and “the scientists should have told us” and “it’s all the fault of scientists” and “hockey sticks” and “greenland” and “it snowed last winter therefore climate science is a hoax”

    I think I’ve got the gist of Eric’s posts so far. Have I missed anything Eric?

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Only the fact that I present evidence to back my claims, while you present garbage rhetoric.

      • Sou says:

        I put in all your “evidence” Eric – “I read it in an email”!

        Don’t see anything else lying around. Was there another ‘email’ that you read that I missed out on?

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Lets consider one of the emails.

        I presented a clear case of climate scientists discussing various subterfuges – how they could maintain the appearance of openness, while subtly messing up the presentation to prevent deniers from being able to replicate their research.

        Only a denier would ignore such evidence.

      • Nick says:

        “I present evidence to back my claims..”.Eric that is a lie. You sometimes cite material that you insist backs your claims,but it is a reach to call it evidence when it contradicts you ,as it often does.

        What evidence? To support the Watts party line on email interpretation,you link to stolen edited emails,but they actually are evidence only of your contriving a suitable spin based on what you think is the back story,and your slavish devotion to Wattsian memes.

        Your “it’s the sun ” theory is backed by reference to Svensmark and GCRs…your evidence only shows that GCRs are one minor path to nucleation. Most papers find no link of any significance to the whole chain of steps between presence of nucleation precursors and water droplets in clouds. And no correlation,in fact anti-correlation between clouds and GCR signal.

        Your other sun paper is Solanki et al 2004 which you use Monckton style: you make a claim not supported by the full text and specifically refuted by the authors.
        Is that evidence?

        The rest of the time you repeat smears such as “if the scientists spent less time avoiding FOI they’d have more time to produce new models” forgetting that the FOI business did not involve modellers at all. That is garbage rhetoric–your garbage– of the first order!

  26. Sou says:

    My mother has the gift of the gab. (She even kissed the Blarney Stone – I couldn’t manage that and I’m thirty years younger). One day her grandchild, when a precocious four year old, said to her – Gran’ma, do you know why we have two ears and only one mouth?

    Eric uses his keyboard to bash out denier memes, never once stopping to use his two eyes and take in facts, or even consider how wrong his denier sources might be. It is tedious to read the same rubbish over and over when it’s obvious Eric doesn’t have a clue what he’s writing about, He’s parroting what’s written on WUWT or some other junk science site, and half the time he gets that screwed up as well.

    Talk about a fake skeptic. (What’s the bet he doesn’t even know how to use Google.)

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Perhaps you could point out some specific issues, rather than just slinging mud.

      • Sou says:

        Ah, the man can take a breath and read after all.

        Cast your eyes up the thread, Eric, and read some more. No – I don’t mean your posts. Read the information others have generously offered you. You never know you might learn one new fact and unlearn one of your ‘factoids’, and that would be a start.

      • Nick says:

        “Perhaps,etc…”…..you are a complete hypocrite,Eric. An amazing performance of resolute oblivia.

      • Nick says:

        Can you point out the work that ‘independent researcher Warwick Hughes’ has done with all the ‘freed’ data,Eric.

        Point to his publication record. Where are his global analyses? His regional work? Where are Hughes letters of reply,technical notes and papers in reply to Jones’ work? Where is the evidence of an interaction between the two in the scientific literature? Where?

        Where is the dividend of Hughes great crusade? Oh wait,Hughes is blogging again about something that reveals he doesn’t understand probabilistic forecasting,or cherry picking snippets,or generally bellyaching to an audience of ten about some BOM irregularity.

      • Sou says:

        Oh, and don’t play the innocent either. You’ve been parroting this same tripe for months if not years and never once bothered to check your facts or give much sign that you’ve even read responses to your nonsense. Let alone checked out for yourself by going to the source, independently of the regurgitated tenth hand disinformation from Morano and Heartland and such like.

        One of the 8% Dismissives on a strange mission to ‘convert’ people who read science to your illuminati (anti-knowledge) faith.

    • Sou says:

      You got it in one, Nick. Same with the Auditor. They are on a crusade to disrupt research for no purpose other than to delay decisions and cast doubt on an entire field of science. Well, tough titties. The science is moving ahead despite their best efforts.

      A few new papers out this past couple of weeks that by rights should have silenced deniers for good. Instead we get the Village Idiot on WUWT saying:

      But the Vikings grew potatoes in Greenland.

      Yeah – I kid you not. He must figure that instead of sailing 850 km or so from Iceland direct to south west Greenland, they took the long route via Peru.

      http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2013/04/pages-2k-arrives-and-barely-whimper.html

      • Eric Worrall says:

        They have succeeded. Kyoto is falling appart, and there is no new binding agreement in sight, just an agreement for more meetings.

        Perhaps if climate scientists hadn’t put so much creativity and energy into finding ways to frustrate FOI requests, they might have had time to develop better models. A substantial part of the Climategate 1 archive is dedicated to discussions to avoid having to reveal details about method and data, or to find clever ways to appear to comply with requests without actually revealing anything useful to someone trying to replicate their work.

        e.g. http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php?file=0838.txt

        My point about the code is still that ‘providing the code’ can be
        interpreted alot of ways. I have thought about this, and imagined if in
        one of my larger and more complex projects, I was asked to provide all
        code. I could do that just by sending the pieces with a summary file
        explaining what each piece was used for. It still theoretically allows
        someone to see how coding was done. And I do think that is a far sight
        easier than providing stuff that can be run, etc. I am suggesting that
        one could do the minimum. Then the point is, one isn’t faced with garish
        headlines about ‘refusal to provide code’. I think it is harder to come
        up with a garish headline about ‘refusal to provide completely documented
        code with appropriate readme files and handholding for running it’.

        Is this the way professional scientists should behave?

        Interestingly the email quoted above includes our old friend Peter Gleick, looking to help Phil Jones frustrate the deniers.

      • Nick says:

        Dismal reply,and again just pure fancy,Eric. You completely overrate the effect of bloggers on this issue. The greatest effect has come from the delegitimisation of government by government itself and at the urging of right-wing power groups and media. Governments have been following your wishes,and retreating from governance,accepting the ‘arguments’ of deregulationists, selling off the public estate and pretending they should be judged by corporate standards.

        When it comes to making complex international agreements, governments in most cases have ceded power to the transnational corporate sector

        Kyoto’s fragility was there from the outset,well before you self-mythologising pseudo-skeptics started fouling the net. Further damage was done to public sentiment by organisations with genuine reach: oil and coal companies,which have inevitably sought to entrench themselves as indispensable community benefactors for the last half century,given the local disruption and pollution there operations always bring. They have put huge cumulative sums into lobbying. They own many of the US’s politicians. The UK is similarly cursed with big business captives at the controls,25 millionaires in cabinet. What does that tell you? They all find that irrational discounting suits them fine…

        No governments have been consistently interested in action,which is why Kyoto and latter meetings are predetermined to achieve little real progress.. Governments are interested in posturing,tinkering at the edges and not arousing the lobbying wrath of corporations. I’ve urged you in the past to learn a bit about the history of conservationism,and its battles with long established corporate perception management in our best of possible worlds. Lobby groups and think-tanks run the show,not bloggers.

        Rupert Murdoch flew in for the IPA’s 70th birthday bash,attended by all the COALition wannabees. If you don’t understand what that means,I despair for your mental competence.

        Oh, and Phil Jones was absolutely right. He knew that those so passionately interested in his work were ideologues set on exploiting FOI to waste time.
        I’m sick of you avoiding real questions….Where is the work to rebut Jones now that all the data is free? Where?

        Jones has co-authored a lot of papers since re-occupying his position. Nine inquiries have found the charges against climate science are without basis…and I don’t regard FOI go-slows and stonewalling as significant…it’s all a beat up for your self-serving spin.

        .

      • Nick says:

        A substantial part of the Climategate 1 archive is dedicated to discussions to avoid having to reveal details about method and data, or to find clever ways to appear to comply with requests…

        ‘Archive’? That’s rich! It’s no archive,it’s a deliberately edited batch of stolen material,selected to harm. Is there no limit to your credulity?

        Eric, the purpose of the collation and editing by our useful idiot FOIA in data mining 15 years of emails was to manufacture the false and offensive narrative that you fools slavishly stick to. Around IPCC duty time many scientists communicate on how to best present their collective knowledge. So we find FOIA has mined a little colourful discussion,and mined some matters dealing with FOI under evolving practices over the decade and a half…the compilation seeks to discredit. It obviously works on the naive. So you have a few names for your whipping boys,and you have your sub-group,palaeoclimate and a few oft-repeated stories and off you go…you have the limited and limiting wallowing trough of Watts and McIntyre…You think you know something about climate science and practice,don’t you? Well,bullshit. You are being manipulated,and seem a willing dupe to boot.

        I’m desperately bored with your nice tidy story,the one you stick to despite evidence. You concede nothing,and utterly ignore explanation and evidence contrary to your brainwashed second hand dribbling. What a good little foot-soldier you are.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        I have presented what is clearly a discussion of how to frustrate attempts by “deniers” to repeat and analyse the details of research performed by alarmists, by hiding or obfuscating the details of the code used, and you can’t see anything wrong with that?

        Who are the deniers now?

      • Nick says:

        No I don’t Eric. So naughty Phil Jones bent the rules! A few liars have their noses out of joint…these are guys who permanently have their noses out of joint,it’s their act. A second-rate one.

        Calm yourself down and think rationally,now the material is out there….where is the ‘skeptic’ science and rebuttal? Where??? Still waiting for Hughes or Doug Keenan to take apart Jones’ old paper on Chinese warming. Still waiting for McI to critique McLean et al….f***ing crickets is what I hear. Still waiting for Watts on surface stations after his past joint efforts destroyed his pet theory.

        Since you have no ethics and no self-awareness whatsoever,I do not take you seriously. When you try promote your ‘tidy story’—actually not yours,but one you peddle dutifully– you make a mockery of your professed concerns about ethical behavior. Your tidy story is built on incompetent interpretations,lies and thieved material. Don’t expect any professional body to take you seriously.

        Jones critics are bad-faith operators,because they have not done a thing with UEA CRUs output despite blowing hard about it. You constantly ignore the realities. Jones did not have agreements to release all of the data. Jones knew technically that many of these requests were vexatious in intent,made in the knowledge that FOI processes could be abused. These guys were posturing,part of the push to damage any science that offended their faiths in God and Mammon. They are still posturing,hiding behind pompous.self-reverential blog names ‘Climate Audit’? ‘Errors in IPCC climate science’? LOL,bloggers with pretentions and no ability to constructively engage with the subject.

        You should not be posting,as for weeks you have brought only the same tired oft-rebutted claims to the discussion. You could spend some time getting some background study done. Learn how to break free of your denial,it’s a waste of your mind.

  27. indigo says:

    So, a priori argumentation from Devine. Climate science is crap and everyone thinks so, therefore everyone thinks all science is crap, therefore no-one wants to vaccinate. Entirely evidence-, even reality-, free thinking, and Eric, no not logic at all.

    On MMR and the role of the media in stoking irrational fear, the Daily Mail is still at it this year, this time with the anti-epilepsy drug sodium valproate, or Epilim. For those who rely on this drug, entirely aware of its risks but understanding the risks of not having it, this is unconscionable reporting.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2272142/Sodium-valproate-Carol-Sarlers-granddaughter-damaged-toxic-medicine.html

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2273042/Epilim-Autism-risk-drug-taken-thousands-mums-epilepsy.html

    • Watching the Deniers says:

      Thanks for the links indigo – grossly misleading reporting and irresponsible. One wonders if the likes of Ms. Devine would denounce the Dialy Mail

    • Eric Worrall says:

      My point is academic reticence about criticising gross misbehaviour by other academics breeds suspicion. Its easy for someone with an anti-science agenda to point to examples of poor academic behaviour, and suggest that they are all like that.

      Trusting the advice of scientists requires some faith in their objectivity (unless you have the personal time and resources to personally repeat their work). If that faith is undermined, then so is the trust.

      • My point is academic reticence about criticising gross misbehaviour by other academics breeds suspicion.

        Anti-vaxxers accuse doctors of the same misbehaviour. Doesn’t make it true.

        If that faith is undermined, then so is the trust.

        That trust is undermined not by doctors’ misbehaviour, but by the baseless accusations of anti-vaxxers. Ditto.

      • Nick says:

        ‘It’s easy for someone with an anti-science agenda to point to examples of poor academic behavior [even if merely strongly and repeatedly alleged] and suggest they are all like that’

        Indeed, Eric 9 times. Do you like the cut of your suit?

        Devine’s defense: I made an objectionable,baseless connection because it was easy’

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Anti-vaxxers accuse doctors of the same misbehaviour. Doesn’t make it true.

        Actually there is quite substantial evidence of poor clinical practice, w/r to trials for new treatments.

        http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/28/us-science-cancer-idUSBRE82R12P20120328

        Vaccines have a long history of overwhelming success – I have confirmed that through my research, and through personal, anecdotal evidence, in the form of my reduced susceptibility to the flu when I keep up to date with my flu shots.

        But given widespread evidence of dubious clinical practice in the medical field, its easy for groups with an anti-scientific agenda to spread fear and doubt.

        Poor adherence to scientific method in other field just helps anti-science groups paint science as a form of fraud.

        That trust is undermined not by doctors’ misbehaviour, but by the baseless accusations of anti-vaxxers. Ditto.

        See the link above – some of the accusations are not baseless. There is substantial evidence of scientific misbehaviour. And not much evidence anyone is doing to hold the perpetrators to account.

      • But given widespread evidence of dubious clinical practice in the medical field, its easy for groups with an anti-scientific agenda to spread fear and doubt.

        Only because some people don’t understand that all science is uncertain. Many medical journals accept any p-value of < 0.05, but four years ago I endorsed “a more stringent limit like ‘p < 0.01' in order to prevent the publication of false positives."

        I should stress once again that I'm not a medical doctor, so my medical opinion is worth less than a grain of salt.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        The problems highlighted in the link I provided seem more related to clinicians “cutting corners”, intentionally or inadvertently fabricating positive results, poor design of clinical trials (no double blind in many cases FFS), than publishing results at an unacceptably low confidence level.

        If the clinical trials were properly conducted, properly structured, fully repeatable, and accurately calculated confidence levels, even if they didn’t hit a particular threshold, I don’t think the described problem would exist. Drug companies would have an accurate idea of what they were dealing with, when they tried to repeat published research.

      • The problems highlighted in the link I provided seem more related to clinicians “cutting corners”,

        As I said, I’m not a medical doctor so I can’t judge whether that news article is an accurate reflection of medical science. It would be irresponsible for me to pretend expertise in this matter.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Senior executives of several leading drug companies complaining about the poor quality of research they review does paint a rather grim picture though, doesn’t it?

        Of course, drug company executives might have their own reason for fabricating such complaints – for example, to cover poor profitability (it wasn’t our fault – we wasted time on peer reviewed research which turned out to be bogus), but the existence of news reports detailing problems, citing credible sources, does add an element of plausibility to anti-science groups pursuing their own agendas.

        The most distressing element of the article I cited was not that widespread carelessness, if not actual fraud, has been uncovered in the medical research community, but that noone seems to be doing anything to address it.

      • It would be irresponsible for me to pretend expertise in this matter.

      • zoot says:

        Actually there is quite substantial evidence of poor clinical practice, w/r to trials for new treatments.

        Comprehension fail. The article is about the irreproducibility of original research which may have led to treatments (which would then have been trialled).

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Comprehension fail. The article is about the irreproducibility of original research which may have led to treatments (which would then have been trialled).

        Fair point – but still a rather shocking failure of research rigour.

    • indigo says:

      Eric, I would offer the distinction between systemic and aberrant behaviour among scientists. There are plenty of examples of aberrant scientists committing fraud in the history of science, maybe even in the history of epidemiology and vaccinations. But the systemic strength of scientific process is validated by the extraordinary success of vaccination programs.

      Same with climate science. The “hide the decline” meme is claim that there is systemic fraud in climate science, (actually, that there is a vast global conspiracy, but hey). I have no doubt that there are aberrant climate scientists making stuff up out there but is there a systemic failure of climate science that is actually coming to false conclusions about global climate? I can’t see it. The evidence base is too broad, the work being done cuts across so many fields.

      The media, on the other hand, Miranda Devine’s blindspot, has leapt upon any aberrant example of scientific practice because it makes a great story, and that is what journalists want. We need to distinguish between the media, science and indeed reality itself.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        I have no doubt that there are aberrant climate scientists making stuff up out there but is there a systemic failure of climate science that is actually coming to false conclusions about global climate? I can’t see it. The evidence base is too broad, the work being done cuts across so many fields.

        Hi Indigo,

        Consider the following New Scientist report of parliamentary questioning of Phil Jones, head of the CRU:-

        http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18599-climategate-scientist-questioned-in-parliament.html

        Questioning concentrated on whether he and his colleagues have shared data and scientific methods sufficiently for their critics to replicate or contest his findings.

        Jones conceded that he did not usually publish raw data from weather stations, which was often covered by confidentiality agreements, nor the computer codes he used to analyse the data. “It hasn’t been standard practice to do that. Maybe it should, but it’s not,” he said.

        Asked whether other climate scientists reviewing his papers ever required such data, he said, “They’ve never asked.” In response to a specific question about why he had failed to grant freelance researcher Warwick Hughes access to data, he said simply, “We had a lot of work and resources tied up in it.”

        Two systemic failures right there. Noone ever asked Phil Jones for details of his method and data, when reviewing his papers, and Phil Jones’ admission that it is not standard practice in climate science to share method and data.

      • Nick says:

        Bullshit Eric!. Just bullshit ..Jones said it had not been standard practice to publish computer codes…he did not say it was not standard practice to share data and methods

        Every f***ing paper has a methods section.

        Data has always been available subject to approaching authors and/or data owners,and at discretion like it or not. Because of perpetual bleating it is now more readily accessible than ever….and climate ‘skeptics’ are now hanging out to dry because they do not,as it turns out,want to do their own work.

        Write your own code if you want to contest an analysis

        The ‘debate’ would be a whole lot more interesting if you would desist from making shit up!!!

      • Eric Worrall says:

        The computer code is part of the method, or should be – even Phil Jones said so.

        As for data sharing:-

        From a link John Harvey Samuel dug up the other day:-

        http://www.salon.com/2013/04/17/whoops_turns_out_debt_doesnt_ruin_economies/

        The reason we are just now getting critical second looks at Reinhart and Rogoff’s findings, when the paper in question came out in 2010, is that the economists just didn’t release their data. Here’s Dean Baker complaining about that fact in 2010. As he wrote: “Mr. Rogoff and Ms. Reinhart have declined to adhere to standard ethics within the economics profession and have refused to share the data on which they base their conclusion with other researchers.”

        Have you ever heard the joke:-

        The President goes to a Mathematician, and asks him “what is the answer to 2 + 2?”

        The Mathematician says “the answer is 4, Mr President”.

        The President then asks a Statistician, “what is the answer to 2 + 2?”.

        The Statistician answers “Mr President, a survey of 1000 school children aged between 6 and 10 indicates the median answer is 4″.

        The President then asks an Economist, “what is the answer to 2 + 2?”.

        The Economist looks around, draws the curtains, and replies “what would you like the answer to be, Mr President?”.?

        FFS your climate heroes don’t even maintain the ethical and scientific standards adhered to by economists. Surely even you can see just a tiny problem with this.

      • indigo says:

        It’s not just climate modelling and temperature data sets. Its oceanography, plant science, entomology, geography and geology, physics and chemistry, Antarctic and Arctic science, etc, etc.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        It’s not just climate modelling and temperature data sets. Its oceanography, plant science, entomology, geography and geology, physics and chemistry, Antarctic and Arctic science, etc, etc.

        Sorry, I’ve just provided an admission of sloppy scientific practice from one of the leaders of the field – the head of the UK Climate Research Unit.

        Do you really think its good enough to just brush it aside?

        Noone is arguing that the world hasn’t warmed since the end of the little ice age, around 1850. But if the very pinnacle of the field, the people entrusted with drawing all this research together, of researching the underlying cause of global warming, is riddled with poor scientific practice, then the conclusions of that research are unreliable.

      • Sou says:

        It’s pretty obvious that Eric doesn’t know what the ‘raw data’ comprised. Jones and others at CRU collected handwritten records going back to the dim distant past from countries all over the world.

        Nor does he have a clue that most of that data is pre-computer days. After computers became more widely available in the mid-80s, CRU still probably had to program using cards. Their work was arduous and painstaking and would have required heaps of space. Once they used the raw data for their research they didn’t need the original records. There would have been no automated imaging back then, nor any document imaging except maybe microfiche – and that wasn’t widely used outside of libraries. And probably as is always the case, less storage space than needed. And it’s not as if there were lots of people to do all the work back then, Even today CRU is hardly a big operation.

        I get the feeling Eric thinks that data is just something that takes up a bit of space on the hard drive of his laptop – and that’s about it. He has no conception of what ‘data’ means in this context. Nor has he any respect for intellectual property, usage rights and responsibilities or the different technologies and lack of same that researchers had at their disposal (or not) back in the day. Nor the vast amount of work that would be needed to dig up data that people like Hughes demanded – going back ten, twenty years or more.

      • Nick says:

        You have trouble with what those economists did? So have I!

        WTF has that got to do with your willful misinterpretation of Jones’ testimony?

        Surely even you can see a tiny problem with that!

        The raw data used by Jones and others to assemble the UEA CRU temp recons is all available and always was subject to agreement with the sovereignties that own it!!! The modified data Jones et al produced is published. The gridding methodology used is available!

        Others have independently produced regional and global temperature products without using Jones code,without needing Jones code and by writing their own code!!! Some have put their own data assembly products onto the net just so you can produce your own recons! Jones work has been challenged by independent work… and it has been verified. The man is long vindicated,yet you’d still use his candour and tabloid bullshit against him in a transparent attempt to smear.

        Your charge that climate scientists collectively do not reach the standards displayed by those two economists is trivially wrong,and non-trivially contemptible!

      • Sou says:

        If Eric tried reading punch cards into his laptop, or was handed a tape from a VAX computer and told to retrieve the data – then he might start to get a feel for the difficulties faced by researchers in data recording, storage and retrieval going back decades.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Climate scientists (including Phil Jones) discussing how to avoid revealing exact details of their code to deniers (M&M), to prevent deniers from replicating their work.

        http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php?file=0838.txt

        My point about the code is still that ‘providing the code’ can be
        interpreted alot of ways. I have thought about this, and imagined if in
        one of my larger and more complex projects, I was asked to provide all
        code. I could do that just by sending the pieces with a summary file
        explaining what each piece was used for. It still theoretically allows
        someone to see how coding was done. And I do think that is a far sight
        easier than providing stuff that can be run, etc. I am suggesting that
        one could do the minimum. Then the point is, one isn’t faced with garish
        headlines about ‘refusal to provide code’. I think it is harder to come
        up with a garish headline about ‘refusal to provide completely documented
        code with appropriate readme files and handholding for running it’.

        Any suggestion they were acting in good faith re replication of their research is BS.

      • Nick says:

        Bullshit,Eric. Jones was unwilling to co-operate because he knew what a bunch of posturing vexatious tossers M & M and W. Hughes are. He also had to deal with the arrogant and wrong Doug Keenan. So he thought of offering them all they need,not what they thought or claimed they needed.

        As ever,you are a patsy for some seriously underperforming motivated rejectionists. McKittrick is a famously uncited religious fanatic whose attempts at downplaying AGW through mathturbatory papers falls short. McIntyre has his schtick–snark and contempt,the fabrication of an air of competence and the delivery of spitballs [a word he likes to use himself,not realising he is projecting]. he also has some serious explaining to do over the Wegman report and the rubbish analysis–which mined for HSs so he could charge Mann with same!!!— he delivered to Wegman,who credulously reproduced it. Wegman is disgraced,gone from his heavyweight stats journal editorship,over plagiarism.

        McIntyre, ever muttering at trivia,has sweet F**K ALL to say about that serious episode.

        The only place these weirdos get a mention is in tiny corners of the blog world.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Jones was unwilling to co-operate because he knew what a bunch of posturing vexatious tossers M & M and W. Hughes are. He also had to deal with the arrogant and wrong Doug Keenan. So he thought of offering them all they need,not what they thought or claimed they needed.

        B*llshit Nick, Jones could have simply given them the code, and a quick note on how to run it, to reproduce his results, rather than engage in a long discussion about how to frustrate efforts to replicate his research by appearing to comply with the request, but deliberately obfuscating the presentation of the code to make it difficult to use or analyse.

        Remember my main expertise is as a software developer. The proposed subterfuge is utterly despicable – instead of simply zipping up a working copy of the code and data, and sending it to any enquirer with their blessing, they discussed how they could mess up the code to make it unusable, to frustrate inquiries while still presenting the appearance of cooperation.

        The fact they thought such a discussion was acceptable and normal makes a mockery of their pretensions of openness. They wanted to run a closed shop, where only members of the club could contribute, to control the narrative. Outsiders were and are unwelcome, and they took deliberate steps to frustrate meaningful engagement, while at the same time attempting clever subterfuge to maintain the appearance of openness.

      • Nick says:

        Why would I give you my code when all you want to do is find something wrong with it?

        Jones had their measure. He shared his code with science workers,collaborators and colleagues,subject to agreements demanded by copyright owners. Why would he give it to strangers with no experience in the field,who had made claims Jones and his colleagues knew to be hand-waving and ill-informed,and who never hesitated to publicise in a negative light any interaction with scientists that did not suit their agenda.

        And the much attacked CRU coding has been found to be fine,with independent groups making recons from the same raw materials. What is it that you don’t understand again? When are you going to acknowledge the existence of support for Jones teams products? When are you going to improve your knowledge of science and AGW?

        For you the constant abuse and snark from pseudo-skeptic blogs,and stupidity repeated in comments, has been normalised… but it’s useless as information,except as a marker of how degraded and far from rationality the ‘skeptic’ hive mind is.

  28. This actually became even more humorous when the Mosman Daily ran with a front page story about how Mosman Council had rejected CSIRO advice on sea-level rise and quoted councillors who argued that climate science was “hysterical” and “over the top”: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/north-shore/mosman-council-rejects-csiro-report-showing-homes-under-threat-of-rising-sea-levels/story-fngr8h9d-1226622664096 Of course they would know because they are much better informed than scientists who spend their loves studying these things! (the photo in the story is brilliant BTW – guy in a suit with his head buried in the sand of the local beach!)

    Anyway I couldn’t resist – so I tweeted Ms Devine pointing out another instance of anti-science from the “Kool-aid” drinking burgers of Mosman – “but I guess that’s OK because it’s climate science?” Her reply was “good on Mosman council for showing common sense & respect for ratepayer property values.”

    Yep that’s what’s it all about – don’t let the end of civilisation get in the way of our property prices!

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Shouldn’t people be allowed to take their own risks with their property investments? Its not like SLR will cause actual threat to people’s lives – its only their money which is potentially threatened. If people want to reject advice from the CSIRO, because they think it is alarmist trash, why shouldn’t they be allowed to do so?

      • Watching the Deniers says:

        Yes and no Eric.

        People are/should be free to take their own risks – I agree. However, as often happens there is a cost to society in terms of resettlement, emergency services and relocation. The same individuals will no doubt expect/demand government provide assistance. It is a complex policy and planning issue, however more than insurance in those coastal regions will become too prohibitive or not even offered. People will move after repeated storm surges and flooding, as the cost to rebuilt becomes prohibitive. The market will sort it out: but it will be a messy, unplanned retreat to higher ground. Think Katrina and Sandy but played out across the globe over a multi-decadal timeframe.

        Of course in the interim those communities demanding defences against SLR (sea walls etc.) a cost once more funded by government, and indirectly tax payers.

        So really, the inaction or denial of these property owners will most likely negatively impact others. No doubt some of these owners will feel aggrieved and launch class actions against councils and state/federal governments for failing to adequately plan or warn them. Again, should they win those law suits the cost will fall on the taxpayer.

        Swiss Re estimates a 10 inch rise in sea level will – most likely – double the probability of flood loses by 2050. Without SLR, damages would be estimated to total >$20bn in the US. With SLR it will more than likely reach $40bn per annum. Think what that will do to business and the US economy.

        http://reneweconomy.com.au/2013/graph-of-the-day-impact-of-sea-level-rise-on-insured-losses-18313

        The total cost of climate related disasters from last year in the US alone is most likely to top $65bn USD:

        http://www.swissre.com/media/news_releases/nr_20121219_sigma_natcat_estimates_2012.html

        The risk is spread across society, not just individuals.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        People are/should be free to take their own risks – I agree. However, as often happens there is a cost to society in terms of resettlement, emergency services and relocation. The same individuals will no doubt expect/demand government provide assistance.

        Then make them sign a piece of paper upfront stating that no assistance will be provided if their properties become uninhabitable thanks to SLR.

        Its not like people who can afford beachfront homes are short of a few quid. As SLR, even if CSIRO predictions are correct, is a very slow disaster, stepping in to prevent people risking their cash as they desire, without any evidence other than computer simulations that there is a problem, seems a little over the top.

      • without any evidence other than computer simulations that there is a problem, seems a little over the top.

        Richard Alley’s talk on sea level rise shows that paleoclimate data (not simulations) are the largest source of concern about sea level rise in the scientific community.

        Short version: we should learn from the past or we’ll just repeat it. Probably faster.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        I’m not denying sea level at various times in the past has been significantly higher than now.

        But dealing with sea level change is nothing new.

        The property I used to live in, in Southampton, the title included part of the riverbed, because it was based on a title issued in the 12th century, when sea levels were significantly lower than today.

        Based on observation, current SLR trends, inhabitants of seaside properties won’t even notice SLR. A few inches in a century is not going to light anyone’s fire. Its only if SLR accelerates to produce a rise of several metres that there will be a problem – and this simply hasn’t happened yet.

      • 13 minutes? Wow, you’re better than me. I have problems watching a 44 minute talk in less than 44 minutes.

        Based on observation, current SLR trends, inhabitants of seaside properties won’t even notice SLR. A few inches in a century is not going to light anyone’s fire. Its only if SLR accelerates to produce a rise of several metres that there will be a problem – and this simply hasn’t happened yet.

        If you ever watch it, please think about the evidence Alley presents. Sea level rise is already accelerating. We can expect ~1m of sea level rise by 2100, possibly more if West Antarctica surprises us.

        Instead of arguing with the overwhelming majority of scientists about science, how about we support a carbon tax that will start a nuclear renaissance to minimize this and other effects of climate change?

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Instead of arguing with the overwhelming majority of scientists about science, how about we support a carbon tax that will start a nuclear renaissance to minimize this and other effects of climate change?

        Not interested, because it is a tax. I believe there are other ways of kickstarting nuclear power, such as reducing red tape.

        Work with me – find solutions which work for both of us. If you want to start the process of nuclear decarbonisation, to end the deadlock, you need to stop wasting time on solutions which myself and many other right wingers find unacceptable.

        And I haven’t noticed anything like 1m SLR so far – so I suggest predictions of 1m SLR are based on models.

      • And I haven’t noticed anything like 1m SLR so far – so I suggest predictions of 1m SLR are based on models.

        Please note that it’s not 2100 yet, and please watch Alley’s talk which explains that scientists are concerned about sea level rise because of paleoclimate data, not models.

      • Nick says:

        Eric hears the word ‘tax’. Derangement ensues. Much ignoring of patient replies as well….

        SLR only potentially threatens [individual] peoples’ money …in terms of the value of their personally held assets. Is that your reasoning? If so that’s nonsense. Community assets are threatened,meaning taxation revenue will be needed to defend or relocate them. Insurance premiums will rise for all [a tax by any rational reasoning] or properties are uninsurable. Affected individuals will indirectly demand community contribution to defending their assets ,as has already been seen at Belongil Spit. Now go and look at what Jersey Shore residents—or those who want to stay– will have to spend to make their continued occupation of their blocks viable in the eyes of the insurers and local government.

        As for SLR being a slow disaster,this simplistic claim flies in the face of physical reality. It’s more like a serious of sudden changes at local scales. JERSEY SHORE,Eric? A storm surge on a high tide over a base of elevated SL will suddenly change a shore profile. Infrastructure functioning one week will be destroyed the next. It happens already…because of the physical reality of the suite of natural processes that govern shorelines. Now add SLR.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Sure, I’ll watch your presentation later.

        Meanwhile, interested in your thoughts on how we can produce a plan for nuclear decarbonisation which satisfies both of us.

        Remember we have very different ideas regarding the externalities of fossil fuels – so solutions such as new taxes, which make things more difficult for fossil fuels, are unlikely to get much traction with right wingers like me.

      • … interested in your thoughts on how we can produce a plan for nuclear decarbonisation which satisfies both of us. Remember we have very different ideas regarding the externalities of fossil fuels – so solutions such as new taxes, which make things more difficult for fossil fuels, are unlikely to get much traction with right wingers like me.

        I don’t see how nuclear power could possibly be competitive with coal plants that can freely spew their waste into our atmosphere. Not unless nuclear plants can spew their waste in the same way, and I can’t support that.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        don’t see how nuclear power could possibly be competitive with coal plants that can freely spew their waste into our atmosphere. Not unless nuclear plants can spew their waste in the same way, and I can’t support that.

        I agree, but this is one of the reasons I like LTFR – the burn is so efficient, there is very little waste to spew, and most of that is very low grade waste – less radioactive than unenriched Uranium.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thorium_fuel_cycle#Fission_product_wastes

        Coal has other toxic wastes to deal with than whatever smoke is emitted – such as horribly toxic fly ash. Its difficult to see how the megatons of toxic solid waste and sludge produced by burning coal could be cheaper to deal with than a few tons of low grade nuclear waste.

      • Coal has other toxic wastes to deal with than whatever smoke is emitted – such as horribly toxic fly ash. Its difficult to see how the megatons of toxic solid waste and sludge produced by burning coal could be cheaper to deal with than a few tons of low grade nuclear waste.

        Actually, fossil fuel CO2 waste alone is measured in gigatons per year, not megatons. And they don’t have to pay for dealing with those gigatons of waste at all. That’s the problem.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        DS, you’re missing the point – I don’t regard CO2 as a pollutant. So I and other right wingers aren’t going to support solutions which charge people for emitting what we see as a harmless industrial byproduct – we see such solutions as deeply unfair and economically damaging.

        If you want bipartisan support, you’re going to need to find a way to look beyond this, to find a way of building on areas of agreement, rather than holding out for a total victory for your POV.

        Remember, in your view, the Earth is dying as we delay. There is no chance of creating a political consensus for reducing emissions in a meaningful way in the next decade, perhaps not for several decades, until (if you are right), we are already in the midst of runaway warming – when it might be too late.

        You have to find a way to convince people like me to act now, if you want to reduce CO2 – by addressing our concerns and sensitivities in a positive way, by building on areas of consensus, rather than your current futile effort to force general acceptance of your POV.

      • DS, you’re missing the point – I don’t regard CO2 as a pollutant. So I and other right wingers aren’t going to support solutions which charge people for emitting what we see as a harmless industrial byproduct – we see such solutions as deeply unfair and economically damaging.

        You’re wrong. CO2 is a pollutant, and vaccines don’t cause autism. Art Laffer (Reagan’s economics advisor) and I don’t think charging for pollution is unfair or economically damaging.

        If you want bipartisan support, you’re going to need to find a way to look beyond this, to find a way of building on areas of agreement, rather than holding out for a total victory for your POV.

        My point of view is mainstream science. It will win eventually, but nature will get the last laugh.

        Remember, in your view, the Earth is dying as we delay.

        These strawman arguments are part of the problem. Last year I said:

        I wish they’d say “saving our civilization” instead of “saving our species.”

        Humans are very adaptable; our species will almost certainly survive. The real question is whether our grandchildren will be aspiring to be doctors and astronauts, or whether they’ll be aspiring to catch an especially juicy insect or jellyfish (which will likely prosper as the climate warms).

        So I’m not even saying our species is at stake, and certainly not the Earth. Just our civilization and our legacies.

      • There is no chance of creating a political consensus for reducing emissions in a meaningful way in the next decade, perhaps not for several decades, until (if you are right), we are already in the midst of runaway warming – when it might be too late.

        Again, these strawman arguments are part of the problem. I’ve repeatedly noted that runaway warming isn’t the mainstream prediction.

        You have to find a way to convince people like me to act now, if you want to reduce CO2 – by addressing our concerns and sensitivities in a positive way, by building on areas of consensus, rather than your current futile effort to force general acceptance of your POV.

        I’m not naive enough to think that you could possibly be convinced to act. I just hope that others will notice how patient I’m being in contrast to your claims that climate inaction is caused by nonsupport for nuclear power.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        I’m not naive enough to think that you could possibly be convinced to act. I just hope that others will notice how patient I’m being in contrast to your claims that climate inaction is caused by nonsupport for nuclear power.

        I’m not suggesting climate inaction is caused by nonsupport for nuclear power.

        I’m suggesting that climate inaction is caused by the unpalatability of the “solutions” you guys favour to people like me, and widespread perceptions of flaws in the science on which demands for action are based.

        You could continue your campaign of trying to whittle away support for our position, but its going to take a while – success will not be achieved for many decades, if ever. Political will for action to reduce CO2 emissions seems to be faltering worldwide. The EU parliament just the other day voted against proposals to prop up the price of carbon by reducing the glut of carbon credits. Japan, Canada and Russia dropped out of Kyoto at Doha. The Keystone pipeline looks like it will go ahead.

        I’ve suggested nuclear power as a possible solution to this confrontation – something which could attract broad based support. Mike and yourself have already said you support nuclear power. The WUWT article I posted shows hardcore “deniers” support nuclear power, though for different reasons.

        Surely its just a matter then of working out the details – working out how to promote nuclear power in a way which overcomes obstacles to its implementation, in a way which both of us find acceptable.

      • Again, I don’t see how nuclear plants could possibly be competitive with coal plants that can freely spew their gigatons of waste into our atmosphere. Any company dumping waste into the street has an advantage over companies that pay for responsible disposal.

        Time for sleep.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Again, I don’t see how nuclear plants could possibly be competitive with coal plants that can freely spew their gigatons of waste into our atmosphere. Any company dumping waste into the street has an advantage over companies that pay for responsible disposal.

        Time for sleep.

        Thanks for the constructive reply.

        You might be right – but I think there is a good chance that, stripped of much of the red tape and multiple redundancy required by active safe systems, passive safe systems could be price competitive, especially if they used the Thorium fuel cycle and passive safe designs.

        The “ash” from Thorium reactors would be kilograms per year, per reactor, of mildly radioactive non actinide waste which could be stored for a century or so in sealed containers in a lockup somewhere, not megatons of toxic fly ash which has to be dumped in some landfill.

        As the boy scout David Hahn demonstrated, with his almost successful attempt to start a nuclear chain reaction in his Mum’s back shed, igniting the nuclear reaction is easy. Its the red tape and safety measures which makes nuclear power expensive.

        The fact nuclear reactors still attract investment, even with the current hideously expensive design, shows there is a lot of commercial interest out there. Cut the red tape and upfront cost, and you would have no trouble attracting investor interest.

      • andrew adams says:

        Eric,

        You say

        Work with me – find solutions which work for both of us.

        Which sounds very nice, but for those of us here who consider CO2 emissions and the consequences for our climate and ultimately our civilisation to be a real and urgent problem the primary consideration has to be whether a solution actually has a chance of addressing the problem in hand in a meaningful way, not whether it is acceptable to a particular constituency. Now of course the increased use of nuclear power will do some way towards achieving our aim and it’s nice that this is one particular issue where there is broad agreement across the political divide, but it will not be a solution in and of itself, it can only be part of a wider package of policy responses. And it is a simple fact that if we only devote our time and effort to pursuing causes which are politically easy to achieve we will not solve the problem we face – making the kind of cuts in CO2 emissions which we consider are necessary will require implementing policies will not be acceptable to you. There is no way round that – you don’t think there is a problem and in any case consider certain poliies politically unacceptable.

        You are using conciliatory sounding language, as if you are seeking some reasonable middle ground but actually this isn’t the case. Firstly because there can’t really be any middle ground on this – either we make a serious, concerted and concentrated attempt to reduce CO2 emissions or we do not. Secondly because what you are proposing isn’t a “middle ground” at all – that would entail both sides adjusting their position and making some concessions to the other, whereas you are simply demanding that we tailor our demands to what you find acceptable.

        I don’t think any of us are under any illusions about the political difficulties involved in achieving meaningful reductions in emissions, particularly in the US, but the notion that politically contentious measures can only be achieved by first reaching some kind of consensus with those who are opposed simply ignores how politics works and flies in the face of history. Governments often pass legislation in the face of fierce opposition from certain sections of the populace. Consensus often follows such actions rather than preceding it, when the dire consequences predicted by those opponents fail to materialise.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      As an asthmatic, I regularly update my flu immunisation. Given the supporting evidence for the efficacy of vaccines, I think anyone who doesn’t protect themselves and their kids with vaccines is nuts.

      • And yet, the anti-vaxxers exist and indirectly harm everyone by reducing herd immunity. Try showing them the supporting evidence for the efficacy of vaccines, and you’ll start to appreciate how dangerous the anti-science movement is.

        The anti-vaxxers aren’t nuts, just scientifically illiterate and unaware of it. So they believe misinformation from crackpot websites instead of listening to the overwhelming majority of scientists and doctors who study vaccines.

        They also tend to develop self-sealing ideologies, so your evidence will likely prompt them to regurgitate the latest anti-vaxxer myth, claim that peer review has been corrupted, or just change the subject again and again. If that doesn’t work, they’ll accuse you of fraud, compare you to eugenicists, or call you a seantist… anything to appease Morton’s demon.

        But they’re not nuts. They just weren’t skeptical enough while reading crackpot websites.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        But they’re not nuts. They just weren’t skeptical enough while reading crackpot websites.

        I wonder if the crackpot websites call people who dispute their nonsense “deniers” of the truth.

      • You’re wondering if anti-vaxxers are saying that scientists are going through the first stage of grief?

      • Dr No says:

        As an inhabitant of Earth, I regularly try and reduce my environmental impact.. Given the supporting evidence for the threat to the climate from enhanced greenhouse gases, I think anyone who doesn’t believe this is an issue for themselves and their kids is nuts.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        There’s actually a deeper issue.

        For decades academics and politicians were sucked in by the Eugenics pseudoscience crisis, the awful consequences of which are familiar to most people.

        It wasn’t simply a case of scientists keeping their heads down – as the following document shows, a serious amount of effort from trained scientists and leading scientific institutions was sunk into exploring the implications of the Eugenics crisis, even thought the entire edifice was built on junk science.

        http://ia700402.us.archive.org/2/items/decadeofprogress00inte/decadeofprogress00inte.pdf

        The question of course is – how could this have happened? Could it happen again?

        How it happened – there is only one explanation which I can think of which makes sense. Scientists ultimately have to have some degree of trust in the work of other scientists – noone can check everything. As repeated scandals in medical science show, this trust is routinely abused, even in cases where a simple repeat of a clinical trial could falsify the results. There is also a growing issue with repeatability in science – studies of medical papers show the majority of them aren’t repeatable in a meaningful sense. Unrepeatable experiments are difficult to falsify – the original author can always claim that a deviation from their protocol caused the result to differ, if they never explain in detail what their protocol was!

        Could it happen again? I think the answer has to be yes. As long as scientists are able to get away with sloppy non-adherence to scientific method, with concealing, or at the very least not properly describing, data and method, there is room for mistakes to be hidden, or sloppy work to pass review.

        This brings me to climate science. As quotes from Jones and climategate show, there has been a long standing tradition in climate science of not sharing raw data and exact method. All too often scientists who have tried to repeat experiments get brushed off with suggestions they should “do their own research”.

        This is not proof that alarmist climate science is wrong. But it stinks! And given the long track record of scientific malfeasance, whenever strict standards of openness and repeatability are not respected, I’d like to see bad practices cleaned up, bad practices which could be hiding serious errors, either deliberate or inadvertent, before we rely on climate science as the basis of serious decisions about future expenditure of scarce resources.

      • Incidentally, the list I made wan’t intended as a checklist for you to complete. Quite the opposite, in fact…

      • Eric Worrall says:

        As an inhabitant of Earth, I regularly try and reduce my environmental impact.. Given the supporting evidence for the threat to the climate from enhanced greenhouse gases, I think anyone who doesn’t believe this is an issue for themselves and their kids is nuts.

        Then why aren’t you finding ways you can work with us?

        If reducing CO2 emissions is important to you, the only “solution” which is likely to win widespread support, or at least acquiescence, from “deniers” is nuclear power.

        Watts regularly posts supports for nuclear power on his site, e.g. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/12/im-on-al-gores-radar-for-showing-a-path-forward/

        Mike and other bloggers concerned about CO2 emissions could join forces, approach Watts about doing a joint post demanding immediate investment in nuclear decarbonisation.

        Instead you fritter away your time and effort trying to promote solutions we find utterly unacceptable, and oppose at every opportunity.

        I don’t care about CO2 – but I am in favour of nuclear power. So it is puzzling, given that you are concerned about the threat to future generations, that you waste your time trying to promote divisive solutions, when you could be joining forces with your opponents to promote solutions which would offer a rapid route to decarbonisation.

      • Good grief. For months, you’ve been trying to blame climate inaction on supposed non-support for nuclear power. That’s just not true. I’ve strongly supported nuclear power for many years. For example, here’s a link at the top of my first article on climate change where I said “I think we should do something about this matter”:

        http://dumbscientist.com/archives/abrupt-climate-change#nuclear_power

        Links in separate comments to avoid spam filter.

      • My only quibble is the lack of progress on the nuclear power issue, and I suspect that’s because Obama can’t confront the environmentalists in the Democratic party.

        http://dumbscientist.com/archives/abrupt-climate-change#comment-709

      • Even aside from reducing emissions, it seems prudent to wean ourselves off oil before we run out of easily-extracted oil deposits. It’s also bad to be so dependent on corrupt, totalitarian states for our energy. Nuclear fission is our best hope for achieving all these goals in one fell swoop.

        http://dumbscientist.com/archives/abrupt-climate-change#comment-711

      • My hope is that the United States invests heavily in nuclear fission technology, preferably using waste reprocessing and newer designs like pebble bed reactors.

        http://dumbscientist.com/archives/abrupt-climate-change#comment-1743

      • I’d say we have to make small tamper-proof nuclear reactors like SSTAR available to developing nations, but keep the reprocessing and enrichment technologies tightly restricted. Actinide poisoning of the fuel (to make weaponization more difficult than simply starting a clandestine enrichment program) is also probably a good idea.

        http://dumbscientist.com/archives/abrupt-climate-change#comment-1696

      • But we’re talking about the future of the human race here. Let’s choose the safest option, and try to avoid the worst effects by moving from coal power to modern nuclear power. As technology advances, solar, wind, tidal and geothermal power can play an increasing role. We’ve stagnated and become complacent in a world powered by cheap oil; another industrial revolution is long overdue.

        http://dumbscientist.com/archives/abrupt-climate-change#comment-1374

      • I strongly disagree with the Democrats on the nuclear issue. But, oddly, I think Bush’s plan requires more “fine-tuned” government intervention. Without some way to account for the negative externalities of coal (i.e. carbon tax, cap-and-trade, whatever- for brevity’s sake I’ll just call it a carbon tax), nuclear stations would never get built by the “free” market because coal is much cheaper. Thus construction of nuclear plants would have to be subsidized mostly or entirely by the government. On the other hand, a carbon tax would push the “free” market to develop a new generation of nuclear plants purely to chase profits, the most capitalist reason imaginable.

        http://dumbscientist.com/archives/abrupt-climate-change#comment-1661

      • I think the best course of action is to spur a new industrial revolution by enacting John McCain’s plan to build 45 nuclear power plants before 2030.

        http://dumbscientist.com/archives/abrupt-climate-change#comment-1373

      • I think most of the “green” movement is irrational, and one manifestation is that they’ve blocked the advancement of nuclear power for decades. Their myopic naivete kept us dependent on coal, and even today continues to sour public sentiment regarding the best practical solution.

        http://dumbscientist.com/archives/abrupt-climate-change#comment-1421

      • As the people-press survey shows, ~90% of physicists (including me) think we should respond to climate change by building more nuclear power plants.

        http://dumbscientist.com/archives/abrupt-climate-change#comment-1593

      • the current increase in global average temperature as averaged over ~20 years is at least largely due to anthropogenic causes. Personally, I say this is a good reason to go nuclear. Yesterday.

        http://dumbscientist.com/archives/abrupt-climate-change#comment-1627

      • Nuclear power is our best hope of maintaining a prosperous civilization.

        http://dumbscientist.com/archives/abrupt-climate-change#comment-2474

      • Most recently, I wrote an op-ed in the Pasadena Star News that said, in part:

        A revenue-neutral carbon fee and dividend plan like SOCA would help jumpstart a new industrial revolution by harnessing the power of the market to innovate our way out of this mess. Fiscal conservatives should note that the longer we wait, the more invasive regulations we’ll need to retain some semblance of our current standard of living. Many Republicans should also note that SOCA will make nuclear power more competitive because nuclear plants only emit a few percent of the CO2 from equivalent coal plants, even considering mining and enrichment of uranium, containment dome curing and waste recycling.

        http://bryankillett.com/projects/op-ed-jumpstart-a-clean-energy-economy

      • Eric Worrall says:

        My apologies DS – it seems we are closer on some issues than I realised.

        Perhaps you and Mike can persuade other bloggers concerned about CO2 to do a joint post demanding nuclear decarbonisation. I’m happy to help approach some skeptic bloggers – I’m on good terms with a few of them, and they might be able to reach out and persuade some of the others.

        If we make a big enough noise, we might be able to help Obama overcome opposition to his nuclear plans.

        We need a catchy name though – “nuclear day” doesn’t seem right, somehow :-).

        • Watching the Deniers says:

          This is the debate/discussion worth having: how will we power the energy grid of the future and reduce CO2/fossil fuel dependancy. Germany is worth looking at as a case study. I’ll post some links later.

      • Thank you. Exploring the frontiers of knowledge inevitably results in mistakes. I try very hard to admit my numerous mistakes, and respect those with similar integrity. I think that’s the true test of a scientist.

        But I don’t think Obama’s the biggest obstacle to building more nuclear plants. Since nuclear’s low CO2 emissions are a big selling point, I think those who oppose a carbon tax are a bigger obstacle. That’s why I support Republicans Art Laffer and Bob Inglis: they’re our best hope of safeguarding civilization by jumpstarting a nuclear renaissance.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Why beat people with a stick when you can tempt them with a carrot?

        If the chosen nuclear technology is an inherently safe design such as LFTR, reactors won’t need anything like the safety precautions currently employed for pressurised water Uranium reactors – as the video below shows, a LFTR reactor would have survived Fukishima without meltdown or contamination, because LFTR can be made passively safe, unlike current Uranium designs, which require active measures to prevent meltdown (active measures such as diesel powered water pumps, which were destroyed by the Japanese Tsunami).

        Using passively safe LFTR technology, or something similar, such as pebble bed reactors, and by removing the need for expensive redundant safety precautions, nuclear power could be made so cheap, people would abandon fossil fuels for economic reasons.

      • Why beat people with a stick when you can tempt them with a carrot?

        Art Laffer and Bob Inglis explain that they’re providing a carrot to entrepreneurs who could develop these newer types of nuclear plants. Otherwise coal will always be cheaper… until the day we run out, which will be far too late.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Art Laffer and Bob Inglis explain that they’re providing a carrot to entrepreneurs who could develop these newer types of nuclear plants. Otherwise coal will always be cheaper… until the day we run out, which will be far too late.

        Nonsense. Building a nuclear reactor is not difficult – as the story of the radioactive boy scout shows, any idiot can start a nuclear reaction, with minimal resources.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Hahn

        The expense of building a nuclear reactor is the red tape and safety precautions.

        With active safe technology, you need expensive containment domes and other massively redundant precautions. But with passive safe technology, such as LFTR, such precautions are completely unnecessary – the LFTR reactor can never release radioactive contamination, providing the part of the reactor which contains the thorium salt is built to the same safety standard as say an industrial plant which handles toxic chemicals.

        We don’t need more expensive energy – what we need is less red tape, and a focus on solutions which work.

      • The expense of building a nuclear reactor is the red tape and safety precautions…. We don’t need more expensive energy – what we need is less red tape, and a focus on solutions which work.

        Red tape is relative. Nuclear’s problem is that its waste is regulated, while coal gets to treat our atmosphere as a free sewer. Coal isn’t taking personal responsibility, but nuclear is. Any company dumping waste into the street has an advantage over companies that pay for responsible disposal.

        Please note that a revenue-neutral carbon tax would not result in more expensive energy. All citizens get dividends, so even citizens who choose coal will break even. Citizens who choose nuclear/etc. still get the dividend, but their power isn’t taxed so they will actually benefit.

        It’s a carrot.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Its not a carrot, its an unnecessary bureaucratic nonsense. Someone would bear the cost – you can’t employ a bunch of bureaucrats to administer such a system without diverting effort from useful production.

        And you would have to be mad to risk your own money on a false market created by bureaucratic dictat, a market which could be overturned by the stroke of a politician’s pen.

        Simply cutting the red tape, the way China has, convincingly embracing a nuclear future, and making it easy to build cheap passive safe installations, would be far more effective.

      • Its not a carrot, its an unnecessary bureaucratic nonsense. Someone would bear the cost – you can’t employ a bunch of bureaucrats to administer such a system without diverting effort from useful production.

        It’s only unnecessary if you also think it was unnecessary to stop companies from setting rivers on fire.

        And you would have to be mad to risk your own money on a false market created by bureaucratic dictat, a market which could be overturned by the stroke of a politician’s pen.

        In that sense every market is false because all companies are forced to responsibly dispose of their waste. Except, of course, the fossil fuel industry… which is pouring CO2 into the atmosphere at least ten times faster than before the end-Permian extinction.

        You can’t legally litter in the street. Why is it a false market if coal plants have to follow the same rule of personal accountability?

        Simply cutting the red tape, the way China has, convincingly embracing a nuclear future, and making it easy to build cheap passive safe installations, would be far more effective.

        IMHO, a command economy isn’t a good model for the United States.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        DS, I think we’re getting away from the core issue here.

        We obviously have substantial disagreements over the externalities of emitting CO2. I think it is plant fertiliser, you think it is a biosphere threatening pollutant.

        To find common ground w/r to reduction of CO2, we have to find a solution which somehow avoids our areas of disagreement.

        Adding to the cost of emitting a substance I regard as plant fertiliser does not qualify as such a solution.

      • I think it is plant fertiliser, you think it is a biosphere threatening pollutant. To find common ground w/r to reduction of CO2, we have to find a solution which somehow avoids our areas of disagreement. Adding to the cost of emitting a substance I regard as plant fertiliser does not qualify as such a solution.

        Unfortunately, our area of disagreement is reality. Saying that our massive CO2 emissions are just a plant fertilizer is like telling your friend to take vitamins if you see him on fire.

        Vitamins are good for people, but when they’re on fire other concerns dominate.

        Similarly, scientists are concerned about how plants respond to the droughts and wildfires that increased CO2 will exacerbate.

        Luckily, people don’t have to agree with mainstream science to support a carbon tax that would reinvigorate nuclear power.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Luckily, people don’t have to agree with mainstream science to support a carbon tax that would reinvigorate nuclear power.

        You will find that agreement for such a tax doesn’t extend much beyond the group of people who would have supported you anyway.

        You’re going to have to do better, to try harder to find common ground, if you want to achieve a sufficiently broad based consensus to achieve meaningful changes, sometime in the near future.

      • You’re going to have to do better, to try harder to find common ground

        Your conclusion was inevitable from the beginning. What’s not certain is if posterity will decide that your admonition applies to me… or to you.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Your conclusion was inevitable from the beginning. What’s not certain is if posterity will decide that your admonition applies to me… or to you.

        What has this got to do with whether we can find common ground to promote the nuclear decarbonisation of the economy?

        Are you determined to have your confrontation, to be a noble martyr to the cause – or are you genuinely interested in finding a way to reduce carbon emissions?

      • Are you determined to have your confrontation

        Anyone who thinks I’m the one determined to have a confrontation should consider reading this thread from the top again.

        Need… sleep…

      • Eric Worrall says:

        I’m genuinely interested in discovering what might make it possible for us to work together to build a nuclear powered future. Obviously I’m a flyspeck in terms of online presence, but a workable solution and some goodwill could gather momentum, and bring you guys the decarbonisation you want, with bipartisan support – surely something which is at least worth discussing.

      • Berbalang says:

        Eric Worrall: I wonder if the crackpot websites call people who dispute their nonsense “deniers” of the truth.

        Just for the record, I did some checking and they call them “alarmists”.

        http://www.personal.psu.edu/glm7/m637.htm

  29. Watching the Deniers says:

    Eric, the case that the tabloid press mislead the public is pretty strong.

    • roymustard says:

      It’s rock solid. The real crooks here are the hacks who create doubt by misleading unwitting rubes with context free catchphrases like “hide the decline”. Climate science, despite the claims of any ideologically driven fake sceptic, has proven to be remarkably robust.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Included in the Climategate release was some software. The comments in the software make interesting reading, for anyone who wants some context re. “Hide the Decline”.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/25/climategate-hide-the-decline-codified/

      • Nick says:

        Plenty of snippets on buggy code,exasperated comments, and bits on code designed to generate results by excluding parts of files,but no context You may have an opinion on why someone scripted to exclude pre-1400 data for a specific paper,but first look at the paper and its explanations for its choices,eh?

        Dump this stuff in a heap without the context and it ‘looks pretty bad’.eh? Oh wait, that was the intention….

        Ever consider that those snippets are just a fragment of documentation of processes to improve the functioning of the data base? You would want them to do that,no?

        Re hide the decline: is there any doubting significant climate change in the Arctic and sub-Arctic over the last century? Does it all swing on the choice of construction of a cosmetic graphic in one obscure publication 15 years ago? Sense of proportion….have you got one? Back ground knowledge…have you got any?

    • The same alarmist scare tactics the Daily Mail uses to attack climate science are those they attack medical science. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-171316/MMR–The-Truth.html

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Eric, the case that the tabloid press mislead the public is pretty strong.

      Sure they do, on a number of issues, including climate change. But that door swings both ways.

      http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/snowfalls-are-now-just-a-thing-of-the-past-724017.html

      I think blaming “climate denial” on tabloid exaggerations is to ignore significant problems with academic standards in climate science, problems pointed out by Muller in the interview I cited – for example the lack of transparency, and poor quality of peer review, in a number of cases.

      Scandals like Glaciergate – the AR4 claim that Himalayan glaciers would melt away in 35 years, a claim defended vigorously by Pachauri (he initially accused critics of the claim of “voodoo science”) has done nothing to help rebuild trust in climate science.

      As Muller pointed out, years of exaggerations and false predictions by climate authorities have undermined public trust in climate science.

      Naturally anti-science groups attempt to widen that breach of trust to cover other fields, to further their agenda – for example, anti-evolutionists naturally attempt to use this breach of trust to undermine academic criticism of their dogma.

      That trust is something you need to win back, if you want to achieve a political consensus for action. Because the action alarmists propose is expensive, and would, at least in the short term, lead to significant hardship (higher energy costs, etc).

      • Complete alarmist tosh. Climategate was a non-event – only a nine time loser would still raise it. And Muller is just an angry kid hitting out at all those who were proven right all along. Climate science is certainly of a higher quality than right wing economics science.

      • Dr No says:

        I think blaming “climate alarmism” on tabloid exaggerations is to ignore significant problems with academic standards in denialist science, problems pointed out many times on this site – for example the lack of transparency, and poor quality of peer review, in a number of cases.

        Come to think of it, name a single peer reviewed denialst paper that has not been discredited.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        name a single peer reviewed denialst paper that has not been discredited.

        What is your definition of “discredited”? A critical post on RS?

      • Nick says:

        We went through the Charles Onians article just last week Eric. Stop the goldfish impressions…it was,and remains, tabloid confection. No direct quotes support your take on Viner,but there’s a fool reborn every day.

      • Mcintyre’s multiple mishits are junk science. Weatherboy’s are junk science. Wegman’s is junk science. Jo Nova is just nuts.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Mcintyre’s multiple mishits are junk science. Weatherboy’s are junk science. Wegman’s is junk science. Jo Nova is just nuts.

        How about NOAA science?

        http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/cmb/bams-sotc/climate-assessment-2008-lo-rez.pdf

        p 523

        Near-zero
        and even negative trends are common for intervals of a decade or
        less in the simulations, due to the
        model’s internal climate variability.
        The simulations rule out (at the
        95% level) zero trends for intervals
        of 15 yr or more,
        suggesting that
        an observed absence of warming of
        this duration is needed to create
        a discrepancy with the expected
        present-day warming rate.

      • How about NOAA science?

        You’re just regurgitating WUWT nonsense and falsely attributing it to NOAA.

        WUWT implied that NOAA was referring to the raw trend by “accidentally” ignoring the previous sentence:

        “ENSO-adjusted warming in the three surface temperature datasets over the last 2-25 yr continually lies within the 90% range of all similar-length ENSO-adjusted temperature changes in these simulations (Fig. 2.8b).”

        As I’ve previously explained, the ENSO-adjusted trends are positive and statistically significant over 15 years.

        Describing the current situation as a “pause”, at least in surface temperature, does not seem unreasonable.

        I’ve also told you that NOAA’s statement about the ENSO-adjusted trends can also be applied to the raw surface temperature trends.

        There hasn’t been a statistically significant change in the rate of warming, and there isn’t a statistically significant difference between the modelled and observed trends.

        Describing the current situation as a “pause” is just as unreasonable as describing the current outbreak of carnivorous unicorns.

      • Michael says:

        Eric is just another gullible victim of tabloid nonsense.

        He’s just the AGW version, not the MMR version.

  30. Eric Worrall says:

    The premise behind this argument, is that the academic defence of the sloppy science behind climate alarmism is undermining confidence in anything else academics have to say.

    Consider the words of Richard Muller, regarding the CRU:-

    http://prn.fm/2012/08/01/green-front-dr-richard-muller-080112

    What they did was, I think, shameful. And it was scientific malpractice. If they were licensed scientists, they should have to lose their licence.

    Muller isn’t the only academic saying such things. Public academic turmoil, the exposure of murky scientific practices such as “hiding the decline”, and, worst of all, what looks like academics closing ranks to protect their mates, makes it easier for creationists and other groups with an anti-science agenda to characterise academics as self obsessed liars.

    As for:-

    Look I get it – climate scepticism is waning. Indeed, it is pretty much a spent force. Thus the claims of sceptics are getting more and more ridiculous as they desperately try to garner attention.

    I’d say the jury is out on that one – if anything, political will to implement alarmist policies is faltering. Canada, Japan and Russia dropped out of Kyoto Mk 2, and show no sign of rejoining. The European carbon market looks on the verge of collapse – the European parliament recently chose jobs and economic growth over a higher carbon price, albeit by a narrow margin. And the Californian carbon permit scheme is facing a serious legal challenge – under Californian law, new revenue raising measures require approval by a 2/3 majority of their representatives, approval which the Californian carbon permit scheme has apparently not received.

    So its an open question whether there will actually be any functioning carbon markets for Australia to link up to in a few years, and whether in a few years the political will shall exist for any serious action to reduce CO2 emissions.

    • Eric Worrall says:

      Link to the WUWT transcript of the Green Front interview with Richard Muller – you can hear the recorded version on the link I supplied in the post above.

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/09/a-fascinating-new-interview-with-prof-richard-muller-quote-on-climategate-what-they-did-was-i-think-shameful-and-it-was-scientific-malpractice/

      • zoot says:

        I wondered how long it would take Erric to quote his guru. You must be one of Rev Watts’ most prized disciples Erric.
        Pity it’s barely on topic.

      • Nick says:

        Eric finds a squirrel…then gish-gallops away for the rest of the morning.

        Fact remains that News Limited through incompetence and by design are degrading the ‘national conversation’. Drunks are discouraged from operating machinery,News Ltd journalists should be discouraged from attempting science/society syntheses

        Our host has assembled a very readable and well argued dismissal of the Devine conceit….and Eric squirrels away. Is it that hard for him to say “yes,that is persuasively argued”?

    • Yawn. Muller, yesterday’s man. Twenty years to catch up with the science – and still has to piss on everyone’s chips.

    • Debunker says:

      As usual, Eric has no idea what he is talking about, taking second hand information (yet again), from denier sites instead of looking at the original sources.

      The “hide the decline” meme has nothing to do with global temperatures but refers to tree ring proxies which diverged from actual temperature readings after 1960. A full discussion is here. This divergence problem has been openly discussed since 1995, and there is no secret about. Amazing that even Professor “20 years late” Muller got this wrong too.

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/Mikes-Nature-trick-hide-the-decline.htm

      Read Eric, and comprehend. Maybe that’s too much to ask from a junk science junkie….

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Mike’s nature trick produces a misleading graph – by adding in the real temperatures, the appearance of the divergence problem is minimised. Mike’s nature trick makes the proxies all appear to converge neatly on the real temperature series, it makes the proxy reconstruction look more convincing than it should be.

        http://climateaudit.org/2009/11/20/mike%E2%80%99s-nature-trick/

        The WMO certainly found the fiddled graph useful – they used it in their 1999 state of the climate report.

        As a scientific procedure, hiding the decline is useless – it creates a graph which any scientist conversant with the underlying data would reject as misleading. But I suggest it was useful as a political exercise, and might well have bagged a few scientists who were not completely familiar with the source material.

      • Robert Murphy says:

        Eric, “Mike’s nature trick” has nothing to do with the divergence problem – that was Briffa’s graph Jones was referring to when he spoke of hiding the decline. In the Nature paper, Mann added in the instrumental record from 1902 to 1995 alongside the proxy data, which ended in 1981 (a bit after the divergence problem started to affect a subset of tree ring proxies). They were two separate lines. *Nothing* was hidden. He showed both together.

        The only deception is from those who over and over again continue to lie about what was actually done. That’s what Muller did when he misquoted the email and made up a fake quote, “That’s the words, “let’s use Mike’s trick to hide the decline”. That’s most definitely *not* what the email said : “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.” Jones was actually mistaken – the instrumental data was displayed alongside the proxy data from 1902-1981 when the proxy data ends, not from 1981 onward.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        In the Nature paper, Mann added in the instrumental record from 1902 to 1995 alongside the proxy data, which ended in 1981 (a bit after the divergence problem started to affect a subset of tree ring proxies). They were two separate lines. *Nothing* was hidden. He showed both together.

        A graph with grafted temperature was attributed to Mann in the IPCC in NOAA 2000, and appears in MBH99 (page 761, temperature reconstruction).

        http://www.ltrr.arizona.edu/webhome/aprilc/data/my%20stuff/MBH1999.pdf

        Cruel of other climate scientists to somehow slip dodgy graphs into Mann’s own paper!

      • Cugel says:

        So, Eric, you make no effort to defend what you previously said (and probably knew was erroneous) and bring up a graph by Mann which was fully explained in the accompanying caption. That’s the only reason you know what the graph is yourself (via whichever source fed it to you). Nothing dodgy at all.

        Nothing in any of this – the Nature trick, Mann’s graph, none of it – caused any upset when they were published. Only when this was the only thing the email thieves could find in their haul did it suddenly become promoted all over the Murdoch media and denialist weirdworld as something which had previously been hidden. Which, of course, it hadn’t.

        Those stolen emails turned out to be such a disappointment, didn’t they? Here were the Team, speaking in unguarded moments; surely now would emerge evidence of the conspiracy (which surely must exist). And …. nada. Squat. Not a sausage. Then the second tranche and … no. Now the whole damn lot, and still nothing. Meanwhile most people continue to trust scientists and distrust journalists. MMR conspiracists are (like AGW deniers) a minority who mostly didn’t trust scientists in the first place.

      • Nick says:

        And Eric, what about Devine’s Tabloid Trick ?

        This post is actually incredibly powerful: the anatomy of disinformation is revealed, here an opinion writer has advanced a baseless charge [presented without evidence].and having quite forgotten her own employers dominant role in disseminating junk and ‘teaching the controversy’ where none existed!

        The ugliness has exploded in Devine’s face. Her own sacred fourth estate is the guilty party,not a faux scandal elsewhere.

        Oh but look! Al Gore! Taxes! Mike Mann has no frendz!

    • Debunker says:

      What’s your point? We know the proxies had an issue after 1960. What really counts is the actual measured temperature. We have superior data after that period so don’t need the proxy reconstructions. It would be nice to know why the proxies under-report, that’s all.

      This is just a distraction, like the unfounded criticisms of Marcott et al. Whats wrong with using the most accurate data you have?

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Why embellish the narrative by fiddling some of the graphs? Scientists intimately familiar with the subject, or people like us who have spent some time researching it, are aware of the divergence problem, but people who are less familiar could easily be misled by graphs which tell a nice tidy story rather than the truth.

        The graphs should never have been created – they produced the misleading impression that the proxy series converged on the instrumental record, rather than telling the true story, that a substantial divergence exists in some cases between measured temperatures and proxies.

        We can speculate about the possible answer. For years Mann claimed to be a Nobel Prize recipient, even though this was untrue. So I guess he likes nice tidy stories. Its so much easier to present a nice tidy story, than to have to deal with questions about messy facts, facts which often diverge from the desired narrative.

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/11/02/the-ipcc-weighs-in-on-the-mann-nobel-dilema-and-throws-him-under-the-bus/

      • Nick says:

        You are not a listener Eric. That is a problem for you.

        We CAN speculate on the reasons for divergence in dendro proxies in parts of the world. The people who uncovered the divergence problem publicised the issue. No one gave a damn until a dishonest narrative was constructed in the service of attacking parts of climate changes enormous bases. THAT is the truth!

        Don’t like dendros? I’m not a big fan myself. We can use other proxies. Past glaciations. We can look at the instrumental data,and at observations of change in the High Arctic….

        We don’t even need dendro work to help tell us what is happening. I think dendro work actually muddies the issue–the ‘decline’ is a trivial sub-detail–as it is difficult to suggest that a temperature signal can be simply or even complexly isolated from wood growth. But it is a legitimate line of inquiry,and undeserving of the abuse,invented history and pseudo-criticism hurled its way.

      • Eric Worrall says:

        Actually there is a way to use the dendro signal to chart arctic temperature – but not with tree rings. The Russian scientists employed by Briffa and Mann to take samples at Yamal tried to explain this in an email.

        http://www.ecowho.com/foia.php?file=0907975032.txt

        According to reconsructions most favorable conditions for tree growth
        have been marked during 5000-1700 BC. At that time position of tree
        line was far northward of recent one.

        [Unfortunately, region of our research don't include the whole area
        where trees grew during the Holocene. We can maintain that before 1700
        BC tree line was northward of our research area. We have only 3 dated
        remnants of trees from Yuribey River sampled by our colleagues (70 km
        to the north from recent polar tree line) that grew during 4200-4016
        and 3330-2986 BC.]

        This period is pointed out by low interannual variability of tree
        growth and high trees abundance discontinued, however, by several
        short (50-100 years) unfavorable periods, most significant of them
        dated about 4060-3990 BC. Since about 2800 BC gradual worsening of
        tree growth condition has begun. Significant shift of the polar tree
        line to the south have been fixed between 1700 and 1600 BC. At the
        same time interannual tree growth variability increased appreciably.
        During last 3600 years most of reconstructed indices have been varying
        not so very significant. Tree line has been shifting within 3-5 km
        near recent one. Low abundance of trees has been fixed during
        1410-1250 BC and 500-350 BC. Relatively high number of trees has been
        noted during 750-1450 AD.

        There are no evidences of moving polar timberline to the north during
        last century.

      • Nick says:

        Your email notes the mid-Holocene is the benchmark for tree advance, and conditions on the ground show many sites are responding ,but not all.
        A uniform regional and local tree line response to a global warming would never be theorised by ecologists.

        Meta studies of tree line movement in the northern hemisphere have found that while temperatures have increased at a majority of sites,tree line advance is observed at little over half of them. The reasons for this are that there is species by species diversity in response to temperature rise, and also some areas show no winter temperature change and some show drying. Sites with winter rise and no drying most often show tree line advance. So while CO2 is among other things ‘plant food’ and is bulking up sub-arctic vegetation in general,it is not the limiting factor here…or anywhere BTW.

    • Nick says:

      The premise behind Devine’s reasoning is “I have an opinion column and I intend to write provocative unfounded nonsense for click bait”…Eric,the article above lays out the facts for you. Are you rejecting them in a moment of Devine inspiration?

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