The Wobbly Climate Change House of Cards

It seems every week a new development further weakens the shaky foundation of the climate alarmists. We certainly had more of the same this week. How many more nails must be pounded into this coffin before it is buried for good?

The big event this week was the revelation about leaked emails from the University of East Anglia which have further undermined the credibility of the alarmists. It seems that hackers have accessed the UEA Climate Research Unit’s computer system, and leaked all sorts of damaging emails to the public.

These emails reveal what seems to be a cover-up about actual climate conditions. It appears that research data may have been massaged and manipulated. These internal email exchanges contain references to a “trick” that would “hide the decline” of global temperatures, and include instructions to “delete” contrary data.

For example, one of the emails said this: “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) amd [sic] from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”

One investigative journalist, James Delingpole, who is calling this “Climategate,” says the worst revelations from these emails have to do with the deliberate concealing of contrary evidence, and seeking to hijack the debate: “And, perhaps most reprehensibly, a long series of communications discussing how best to squeeze dissenting scientists out of the peer review process. How, in other words, to create a scientific climate in which anyone who disagrees with (anthropogenic global warming) can be written off as a crank, whose views do not have a scrap of authority.”

His article features many damning quotes from these emails. If they are all legitimate – and it seems that they are – then we here have further proof of what climate sceptics have long charged: the evidence is just not there for Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW), and there are concentrated attempts to derail true public debate, and paint any dissenters as crackpots.

Two other recent articles are worth drawing attention to here in this regard. In today’s Australian the former British Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nigel Lawson, has an important piece urging us to hope for a speedy demise to the upcoming Copenhagen Summit. He highlights the shortcomings of emissions targets:

“Even if the Kyoto 5 per cent cut is achieved, it will be only because the developed world has effectively outsourced a large part of its emissions to those countries, such as China and India, without Kyoto constraints. Not only is 50 per cent [the Copenhagen target] rather more severe than 5 per cent, but (except in the unlikely event of world industry migrating to Mars) a global target removes the escape route of outsourcing emissions. Moreover, there is a strong moral argument too. The reason we use carbon-based energy is simply that it is far and away the cheapest source of energy, and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.

“Switching to much more expensive energy may be acceptable for us in the developed world. But in the developing world there are still tens of millions of people suffering from acute poverty, and from the consequences of such poverty, in the shape of preventable disease, malnutrition and premature death. So for the developing world the overriding priority has to be the fastest feasible rate of economic development, which means, inter alia, using the cheapest available form of energy: carbon-based energy.”

He also speaks to the Climategate affair: “Last week an apparent hacker obtained access to their computers and published in the blogosphere part of their internal email traffic. And the CRU has conceded that at least some of the published emails are genuine. Astonishingly, what appears, at least at first blush, to have emerged is that (a) the scientists have been manipulating the raw temperature figures to show a relentlessly rising global warming trend; (b) they have consistently refused outsiders access to the raw data; (c) the scientists have been trying to avoid freedom of information requests; and (d) they have been discussing ways to prevent papers by dissenting scientists being published in learned journals.

“There may be a perfectly innocent explanation. But what is clear is that the integrity of the scientific evidence on which not merely the British government, but other countries, too, through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, claim to base far-reaching and hugely expensive policy decisions, has been called into question. And the reputation of British science has been seriously tarnished. A high-level independent inquiry must be set up without delay.”

Another important article, by Walter Starck, one of Australia’s most senior and experienced marine biologists, is also worth citing. He too comments on Climategate: “Suffice it to say that along with the usual pettiness common to academia, the foul stench of scientific corruption has been released. This includes evidence of misleading selection and manipulation of data, the withholding and even destruction of data to prevent independent examination, as well as conspiracy to denigrate conflicting research and prevent its acceptance for publication.

“In addition to the damming correspondence, a significant volume of scientific information was also released and is now being examined. Stand by for evidence of even greater malfeasance to emerge. If nothing else, what has already been revealed makes it clear that, regardless of whatever may be the real nature of AGW, the scientific proof for it is highly uncertain and conflicted. It is also clear that many of its leading proponents have been knowingly complicit in an ongoing scientific fraud the likes of which has never before been perpetrated. At his next public apology session the PM should feel a duty to add frightened children, coastal property owners, farmers, graziers, fishermen and climate sceptics to his list of those wronged.”

Quite right. And he offers us some hard truth about science and climate modelling: “None of this stuff is based on any measurable change in world climate trends. Both temperature and sea level rises have, in fact, decreased over the past few years. The average global temperature is within a fraction of a degree of where it was a century ago. The rate of sea level rise is around 1.7 mm per year, which is also very close to what it was a century ago. A 2° rise in Barrier Reef water temperatures would bring them up to about the same as in the Coral Triangle area which straddles the equator to our north and is where corals flourish at their highest level of diversity anywhere on the planet.

“All of these prophesies are supposedly based on projections from models; but, output from models are not real world data. They are simply estimates reflecting the opinions of the modellers. This is especially so with the kind of complex interactive models used in climate studies. These are not based on rigid verified formulas and precisely quantified input variables. They can take any form, as simple or as complex as the modeller chooses, and many inputs are only uncertain estimates. Such models typically require a great deal of tedious adjustment in order to produce outcomes which are both plausible and acceptable to the modellers. Within the limits of plausibility and uncertainty, such adjustments can result in a very broad range of outcomes.

“Those presented to the public are simply what the modellers deem to be appropriate ones. They represent an opinion or educated guess by the modellers, nothing more. That most modelled outcomes are similar is unsurprising. Outcomes that are too different from most others will be criticised and have to be defended. All of them embody numerous uncertainties and cannot be strongly justified. Amidst such uncertainty and vulnerability most modellers choose to not stray too far from the middle of the herd.”

Consider also funding issues and academic research: We have “an academic/research system which produces volumes of certified experts in things about which little is actually known and most of what we think we know is wrong. Along with a fictitious expertise, the products of the degree mills are indoctrinated with a politically correct eco-salvationist ethos. However, there is rarely any formal training at all in the philosophy and ethics of science. Although their degree indicates they are Doctors of Philosophy, their training is that of a technician, not a philosopher. Their only prospect of employment is a position either funded or required by government. It may be noted that a position is not the same as a job. The latter requires some level of output, the former only involves occupancy of a space.

“In addition, the atmosphere of academic research in the environmental area has come to be dominated by competitive bidding for government funding wherein the currency of the bids is the degree of purported threat. The more serious and urgent a threat, the more likely is funding approval. Research funded to investigate a problem never finds there really isn’t one or that it’s only trivial or temporary. Good news about the environment is unwelcome and suspect. If it can’t be explained away, good news is simply shelved. Publication of such would be unlikely to get past peer review anyway and, if somehow it did, it would only subject the author to denigration. Too many right thinking colleagues would be sure from everything they understand about the world that it just couldn’t be true.”

His article is worth reading in full, as are all the articles I provide links for below. What we seem to have here is another passing week, with yet more crumbling of the edifice of the climate merchants of doom.

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1229740/Hackers-expose-global-warming-Claims-leaked-emails-reveal-research-centre-massaged-temperature-data.html
blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100017393/climategate-the-final-nail-in-the-coffin-of-anthropogenic-global-warming/
www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/copenhagen-deserves-to-fail/story-e6frg6zo-1225802514603
www.quadrant.org.au/blogs/doomed-planet/2009/11/six-degrees-and-rising

[1595 words]

34 Replies to “The Wobbly Climate Change House of Cards”

  1. And yet in spite of all this, the federal opposition appears set to vote for Rudd’s economy destroying ETS! If there were ever anything the opposition should be opposing it’s an unjustifiable massive new tax on everything.

    Ewan McDonald.

  2. Hi Bill,

    The real danger is not with climate change, it is with inept governments. We are seeing one running at full throttle at the moment. Chairman Rudd or Wong for that matter still have not explained in any logical sense how an ETS will effect the weather here in Aus. They continually claim it will fix our problems. How?? The exposure of these emails is intriguing. I will be following it closely.

    Ben Green

  3. Hi Bill … as you know, I have been skeptical of the case for AGW since pretty much day 1 … but I would like to make a few points, all of which should confirm my skeptical status:

    (1) if already skeptical about climate change, I recommend staying skeptical … and if ‘you’ are not skeptical, best move to that position soon.
    (2) not withstanding this skepticism, I think it is worth pointing out that just because some of the key arguments in favour of AGW have just had the rug pulled out from under them, this does NOT mean that AGW is falsified; it only means that there is less (or perhaps demonstrably insufficient) evidence to make the case.
    (3) since AGW is not falsified by the email revelations (and other even more stunning things, such as the comments left in the source code of the applications that were leaked), it is still possible that AGW might some day be demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt.
    (4) since AGW is neither proven nor falsified, we ought not to be reeingineering the global economy to try to stop something that may not be happening, or may not be able to be stopped, or may not be enough of an issue to be worth stopping
    (5) perhaps governments ought to consider putting money away for a rainy day, instead of spending it recklessly on futile stimulus payments … and then IF (and only IF) we get significant climate change, spend what has been saved to mitigate the impacts.

    Stephen Frost

  4. Not only that Stephen, but it is also entirely possible (even probable) that an increase in CO2 will turn out to be of environmental and economic benefit. So how embarrassing would it be to discover that instead of wasting $billions to curb CO2 emissions we should rather be encouraging its production!

    Ewan McDonald.

  5. Well, you won’t hear Penny Wong say a peep against AGW – her job depends on it!

    Just yesterday I watched An Inconvenient Truth and The Great Global Warming Swindle back to back. One thing stood out dramatically between the two, and that was simply the credibility of the content. The former relies far too heavily on emotive arguments and non-sequitur logic, and editing techniques designed to encourage people to feel rather than think. The latter relies heavily on scientists giving the case in their own words. If you were simply wanting a dispassionate broad view in roughly 90 minutes, TGGWS won hands down. Interestingly, AIT completely ignores variable solar influences. Pathetic.

    What are we even talking about this for? Carbon is necessary for life! Carbon is invisible! Man-made carbon dioxide emissions form so little of the earth’s atmosphere, this whole scam should’ve been laughed off over a decade ago. But unfortunately, big money is on the line now. If the lie is exposed now, the collective egg-on-the-face may just be too much for some.

    The subtext of this issue is what it says about human nature and pride.

    A nice little re-edit of a professional ad about Copenhagen. The writing at the bottom has been added.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GqCKBIfGLw

    Mark Rabich

  6. Yes Ewan, I agree … historical records of ice cores show that we are probably overdue for an ice age … and if we start slipping in that direction (or even just towards a Maunder Minimum “Little Ice Age” due to lack of solar activity) then we may well regret turning down the CO2 levels.

    Certainly the reliance on computer modelling is a real worry. I’ve worked as a programmer and analyst in IT for more than 20 years now. There’s an old truism:

    GARBAGE IN; GARBAGE OUT

    Its absolutely correct that the computer models will likely reflect any biases of the programmers/analysts that developed the models. If those biases are ill-founded, then the modelling is ill-founded.

    At the end of the day, computers don’t *know* anything about the weather or about climate change; they just know how to crunch the numbers.

    Its the meteorologists and specialists in climate who can truly claim to “know something” about the climate, and being human, they are subject to bias, blind spots, and whatever.

    And that preceding statement applies just as well to skeptics as to believers.

    Stephen Frost

  7. If only Noah had the MSM and the leftards of his day to trumpet the ensuing flood!

    He was a true believer, not a deceiver nor one of the deceived.
    He was concerned with Anthropogenic Global Warning. His emails came direct from God, and we can still check the code to verify the truth. There has been no global flood since Noah’s time, and there never will be.

    Shalom.
    Michael Evans

  8. Well, what do you know? The scam is really cracking, at last. Remember, it was always only about one thing: more money/power for politicians and scientists, and with ordinary people footing the bills. I was always suspicious of the “referreed journals” thing (knowledge grows by challenging, not protecting, the consensus view or view that is self-interested).
    John Thomas, UK

  9. For everyone’s information, there is a discussion taking place today at the Australian National University. The presentation condemns climate change skepticism.
    Check it out at http://www.anu.edu.au/climatechange/content/events/too-hot-to-talk-about-why-is-australia-still-debating-climate-change/
    It is being streamed live online between 12:30 and 2pm today. I believe that there is opportunity for input (whether online or if you turn up). A debate like this needs informed skeptics to respond.
    Thanks for this post Bill, we tend to get so much ideologically fuelled propaganda on this topic rammed down our throats that the average non-scientific citizen is led like a sheep to the slaughter, and the average non-scientific skeptic is viewed with disdain and ridicule (often without an informed response). Very helpful.
    And amen to Stuart Mackay’s comments, we need lives and minds transformed by the gospel.
    Grace & peace
    Isaac Overton, ACT

  10. Ammended comment: I THINK that the presentation condemns climate change skepticism.
    I would presume this to be the case (and the blurb suggests that it may be the case) given the mainstream nature of the event.
    Isaac Overton, ACT

  11. Hi Bill

    I hope this scandal will not only expose climate change for the political instrument it always was, but will also call into question the core tenets of western humanism that allowed the myth to be so readily accepted; viz.

    (a) man’s reason is the measure of all things and hence our most reasonable men, the scientific planners, are those best suited to lead us
    (b) man is not inherently sinful, but only sins when his environment causes him to act unreasonably. Hence our most educated and reasonable men can be trusted implicitly and would never systematically lie or distort data

    Mansel Rogerson

  12. Well, already we can see what the tactic is from the true believers – mockery and damage control:

    This is the kind of conspiracy the deniers need to reveal to show that man-made climate change is a con. The hacked emails are a hard knock, but the science of global warming withstands much more than that.

    http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/at-last-proof-the-science-of-global-warming-is-a-scam-20091124-jga0.html

    Emails stolen from a leading climate research centre have prompted claims its scientists tried to massage unfavourable data and destroy scientific material sought under Freedom of Information. Professor England said the scandal was a diversion:
    ”A few loose email comments by a couple of researchers does not bring down the central science of climate change.”

    http://www.theage.com.au/environment/warming-diagnosis-beyond-worst-case-20091124-jhco.html

    and then also

    “The selective publication of some stolen emails and other papers taken out of context is mischievous and cannot be considered a genuine attempt to engage with this issue in a responsible way.”

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/hot-and-bothered/story-e6frg6z6-1225802504484

    In other words, yes, it’s true, but you can’t let those revelations get in the way of our beliefs, which are so much bigger than facts.
    But perhaps one of the most facetious responses comes from the New York Times:

    The documents appear to have been acquired illegally and contain all manner of private information and statements that were never intended for the public eye, so they won’t be posted here.

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/clay-waters/2009/11/23/ny-times-tackles-damning-global-warming-emails-also-reveals-own-hypocri
    ttp://newsbusters.org/blogs/lachlan-markay/2009/11/24/tale-two-leaks-nyt-bashed-palin-wont-touch-climategate

    Suddenly, they’re all principled!
    Oh, if only this was a joke.

    Terry McCrann’s comments:
    http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,,26391928-3122,00.html
    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/business/terry-mccranns-column/infamy-insanity-inanity/story-e6frfig6-1225803480761

    Glenn Beck’s comments:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBH7FrJVAe4

    Mark Rabich

  13. As history is turned into bunk, so science is turned into fraud. Apologies to Henry Ford.
    Stan Fishley

  14. They “pulled the wool” regarding neo Darwinian evolution, so it wouldn’t be surprising that they would try to do it again……for a buck or two……into the bargain.
    Robert Phillips

  15. Hi Damien,

    I wish these booklets well in helping people to see through the myth of climate change. There is certainly a place for showing how the data interpreted in light of the scientists’ own Old-Earth paradigm even then does not support their conclusions. In reality, however, there is no evidence for climate change because the Old-Earth paradigm is incorrect.

    The Bible tells us (and the physical evidence is more consistent with this view) that the Earth is only thousands of years old, and a catastrophic global flood occurred only 4,500 years ago. Almost everything we measure (tree rings, ice cores etc) date from this period. Trusting models which interpret this data as if it goes back millions of years, and which completely ignore the huge and long-lived disruption to the climate after the catastrophe of the flood is ridiculous.

    This is the reason which should be told to those who have ears to hear.

    Mansel Rogerson

  16. Well I for one look forward to seeing Andrew Bolt next time he gets a spot on ‘insiders’ on ABC sunday mornings. There is a saying about making sure your words are always sweet because you never know when you may have to eat them. No doubt there will be more spin.

    Regarding the fact that the emails were hacked into illegally, there is another saying about from evil good shall come. I am sure that someone will point to where it comes from.

    Interesting times.

    Lawrie McNamara

  17. Mansel

    You don’t have to be an old-earth believer to accept such evidence as the Medieval Warming Period or the Roman Warming Period or The Little Ice Age; these sets of data refute the anthropogenic global warming hypothesis on their own.

    It is very hard for climate alarmists to dismiss the multiple different lines of evidence that establish such warming through the last couple of thousands of years. The simple reason is that there is so much evidence that the earth did in fact go through these climate changes.

    For MWP there is everything from thriving European economies to increased Plankton survival in the Baltic Sea to boreholes temperatures to tree rings in Pakistan to stalagmites in Sth Africa to increased plant and animal life in China.

    For the believer in AGW to deny all of the above would be to posit a fantastic conspiracy of coincidences. Of course, to accept such evidence would be to also accept tree ring data which stretches back at least 11,000 years. And accepting that data is further problematic because it can be calibrated with ice core data, borehole data, lake sedimentary data etc, which goes back 100,000 years which spells big nightmares for the YEC crowd like yourself.

    Of course, I don’t accept either AGW or YEC so it doesn’t trouble me in the least 🙂

    Damien Spillane

  18. Hi Damien,

    I’m with you entirely in the first part of your response, but your assertion that tree ring, ice core, bore-hole and lake sedimentary data give YECs nightmares is way off.

    Interpreting tree ring data is not as simple as it sounds. Many species can grow more than a single ring per year depending on conditions and trees growing next to each other do not even show the same ring pattern. The oldest age estimates are based on assumptions as to the connection between multiple trees or even fallen branches – not on counting rings from a single tree! The dates one ends up with are largely a product of what one expected to find.
    http://creation.com/tree-ring-dating-dendrochronology

    Also, the only way to get a correspondence between the long-ages supposedly measured by these different data sources is to engage in some selective and creative manipulation – ironically just what has been done with the climate change data. For example:

    “Deborah Meese and colleagues first dated the GISP2 core by ‘annual layers’ down to the 2,800 metre level at 85,000 years BP (before present). However, the date at this level disagreed with the deep-sea cores and the astronomical theory, so the layer between 2,300 and 2,800 metres was ‘remeasured’ to a finer resolution. They found 25,000 more annual layers in that 500-metre interval to arrive at 110,000 years at 2,800 metres, just as expected from the chronology from deep-sea cores!”
    http://aufiles.creation.com/images/pdfs/tj/j19_3/j19_3_51-53.pdf

    Mansel Rogerson

  19. Thanks guys

    But remember that this post is on climate change, not the age of the earth! So let’s save that debate – as important as it may be – for a post dealing with that topic. OK?

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  20. This all smells like Piltdown Man, it took 40 or so years for that hoax to be put to rest, this looks to be going the same way!, lets pray that this AGW will be fully exposed before it is to late.
    Aaron Cavanagh

  21. The real Climate Change going on here has nothing to do with the environment… rather its THE “Changing the Climate of the thoughts and habbits of the global population” in order to inact more control through taxes and penalties through the mass scale peddling of mis-information in order to gain the desired results.

    He who makes the rules controls the game!

    Unfortunately it seems most of our world leaders are content to send their people to the slaughter while being in favor of a mass global realignment of National soveriegnty and Individual rights/fredoms.

    Lets hope people wake up to the full implications of what these rules are before our leaders sign up to play the game!…

    G Batchelor

  22. Before we can even begin to talk about climate ‘change’, we must agree to a specific definition of ‘climate’. Might I respectfully suggest that this in itself is no small undertaking; given the variability inherent in weather patterns as they manifest themselves locally and especially over time. The AGW alarmists have, as did their ancestors before them with the theory of evolution, jumped the gun.
    Dunstan Hartley

  23. I agree with Aaron Cavanagh that the key is, as usual prayer, on all of our parts, that truth and lies will continue to be exposed. I have been in a prayer group where the Lord impressed on us this way of praying, and we soon noticed results. Pick your issue and pray for the light to be shone on that elephant in the lounge room that no one wants to address.

    Rebecca Field

  24. I like Lord Christopher Monckton’s little talk, given at the University of Bethel, Minnesota. The organisation which organised the talk has had their website evapourate, so I guess someone didn’t like it, but you can see a YouTube clip of his talk here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DjnJCRB7xQ

    Lord Monckton (science adviser to Margaret Thatcher) says the effects of signing the Copenhagen treatment are going to be very bad for the USA (so for Australia, as well), including no escape unless unanimous consent is previously obtained from all other signatories, not including China or India, many of whom will be getting money because we are in it.

    The slides he refers to are here:

    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/papers/monckton/temperature_co2_change_scientific_briefing.pdf

    Leon Brooks

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