Wednesday, 14 March 2007

10 Questions for Climate Fascists

1. When did the debate end? We have been told for some years now that the "debate is over". When did this happen? Who determined it? If the "debate is over" then why are serious scientists arguing against CO2 as the cause of climate change? Are they ALL in the pocket of Big Oil?

2. How is the science settled? Leaving aside the arguments about the cause of global warming, if "the science is settled" then why are the predictions from the IPCC's First Assessment Report different to the Second Assessment report different to the Third Assessment Report and different to the Fourth Assessment Report?

3. How do you explain this? The following graph plots temperature anomaly against CO2 Concentration and Sunspot Cycle Length. How do you explain the remarkable correlation with sunspots and why do you believe that CO2 is the main determinant of climate change?
4. What the heck has happened to the Hockey stick? The IPCC Third Assessment Report introduced the world to the iconic Hockey Stick graph, which was used to underpin the arguments that 1) man made CO2 was the main factor in climate change since the start of the Industrial Revolution; and 2) the consequences of not addressing CO2 would be a huge rise in temperature of up to 5.8 degrees Celsius? Given all of the hype surrounding the Hockey Stick and the vigorous defence of its accuracy in spite of undeniable evidence of its statistical impossibility, why is it not prominent in the recently released Fourth Assessment Report?

5. Why believe climate models? Climate models have an appalling predictive record and could only model 20th century climate by applying more modifications than a Swiss Army Knife has gadgets, an exercise in back-fitting that would cause any first year statistician to throw their hands up in disgust. Climate models don't factor in the effect of the sun, which seems a bit of an oversight given the graph above, or the greatest greenhouse gas, water vapour. Given that the two most major determinants of climate are missing from the models why do you believe their predictions?

6. Why is symbolism more important than effectiveness? The Kyoto Protocol has been shown by both sides of the debate to be an initiative that would make no discernible difference to our climate (around 0.1 degrees Celsius by 2050) and cost trillions of dollars. Those in favour of it claim that it is a 'symbolic first step' while the other side rejects its lack of effectiveness. Australia is leading the world in the development of clean coal technologies that, when exported to China and India, will make more difference than ten Kyoto Protocols. Why is symbolism more important than effectiveness?

7. Why the IPCC censorship? The IPCC reports are the result of a large number of scientists providing input with each section being overseen by a lead author. Many scientists have claimed that their work was ignored because it disagreed with the basic tenets being promoted by the IPCC. If the "science is settled" then why does the IPCC have to actively censor contributing scientists?

8. Why are all the predictions of only doom and gloom? From inundation of our coastal cities to increasing drought, famine and pestilence on a Biblical scale why are all of the predictions about a rise in temperature always bad when it's clear that life on earth has historically thrived when the climate has been warmer than today?

9. What caused the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age?
The MWP (~850-1250) was a period of higher than average temperatures. It is no coincidence that life on the planet thrived at this time. Greenland and Iceland were settled, the Arctic sea ice retreated and they even grew wine grapes in England. The LIA (~1350-1850) was a period of especially cold temperatures and it is no coincidence that life on earth had a particularly difficult time. In the winter of 1780, New Yorkers could walk from Manhattan to Staten Island across a frozen New York Harbour. In England the river Thames froze over giving the opportunity for people to hold ice fairs. In the Netherlands rivers and canals also froze over allowing skating and frost fairs to be held. Al Gore's documentary clearly shows that there's a relationship between temperature and CO2 with the implication that the latter causes the former. If CO2 is the main determinant of climate then where did it come from to cause the MWP and where did it go to cause the LIA?

10. Why the hooey about sinking islands? It strikes me as suspicious that all of the so-called evidence for rising seas comes from places so out of the way that the average person has no way of verifying the claims. Such is the case with Tuvalu which, it is claimed, is the canary in the global warming coal mine. However, to geologists the whole notion is absurd. Tuvalu sits on the crest of two tectonic plates and has been rising and falling throughout its history. After selling their .tv Internet domain name for $40 million the small population has clearly worked out that they can scam more money from rich nations by jumping on the global warming bandwagon. In PNG it's the Takuu Islands and in India it's the Sunderbans. All are affected by tectonic activity. Why the hooey about sinking islands?


Anonymous said...

Excellent Summary Jack. Thanks!

Darren said...

Obviously the Global Warming Police will be knocking at your door soon.

W.R. Chandler said...


allen said...

1) when the people who are above discussion and compromise discovered the issue.
2) see above
3) explain what?
4) memes are used until their lose their effectiveness. Then they're discarded without comment or explanation.
5) because they tell me what I want to hear
6) because claims to superiority are preferable to demonstrations. Less tiring and fewer surprises.
7) disagreement is a sign of stupidity, insanity or evil. You don't want people like that participating in anything with your name on it, do you?
8) because stampeding people in itself is gratifying but it also serves to surpress all the tedious debate that attends the process of democracy.
9) see what I mean?
10) An assumption of superiority generally requires a low standard of evidence.

COPioneer said...

Jack, here in the states, even the Sports Illustrated cover story was about how Global Warming was changing sports...I promptly canceled my subscription.

Jack Lacton said...

Allen - good work!

Copioneer - I saw that SI cover and was quite shocked. It shows how much the lies have penetrated when a bunch of people at SI can sit around a table and approve rubbish like that.

Anonymous said...

On the 2nd page of this PDF there is a graph showing the deviation of temperatures from long term averages between 1960-2000. Also, the graph is detailed with explination on what happened with the temperatures, if you want to read more on the subject.

Anonymous said...

All of your questions were answered quite well on this blog.

Jack Lacton said...

No, Leighton, they were not well answered at Desmogblog. They were poorly answered by simply regurgitating the party line. I left a response to their answers ages ago.

Anonymous said...

Those aren't answers.
1: Unfortunately, it has become a political rather than a scientific issues. Most AGW'ers nowadays have switched off their brains and chant the "IPCC" mantra like Christians do the Bible(Islam/Koran, etc). One of the few exceptions is RealClimate. Unfortunately they have long ago made up their minds and refuse to consider contrary information.
2: Yea, and every report lessens the effects, increases the panic and still fails to address serious counter clains (or even mention some of them). AS for it being "settled": Consider that the models can't predict a damn thing, the effect of cloud cover is largely unknown, the effect of aerosols is largely unknown, etc. Consider that the IPCC says that anthropogenic forcing is anywhere from .5 to 2.5. Yea, 90% certain of their 400% error margin.
3: It really depends on how you look at the trend. The 90's were actually on par with the 80's with the 2000's showing a decline with the short-term averages. On longer averages the 90's were on par or higher than the 80's. Long term, the 2000's are just now falling below the 80's. Funny how the AGW's can rely on 800 year lags and backwards-in-time forcing but a slight deviation on a near perfect direct correlation is blasphemy.
4: Looks at the *grey* area on the chart. This is the error margin. i.e. Paleoclimactic records have a huge error margins. Then add in the fact that Mann won't turn over the data nor the computer code used to create his graph. The IPCC presents this graph as "fact". If you take the time, open the IPCC Summary for Policymakers and go to page 6. Note that this report is released in 2007. Note the graphs they show *end* at 2000. Now compare their methane graph to this one:
Now tell us why we should believe their hockey stick any more than their other misleading and fraudulent information? Al Gore present the graph as well. No surprise there. He shows the Larsen B ice shelf calving into the ocean: Impossible event! Big AGW news! No one seems to mention the fracking undersea volcano (recently active) that was found by a team who went to "investigate" the cause of the collapse but couldn't make it to the collapse are due to the thickness of the ice. No one seems to be interested in going back and doing a little more research on that volcano either. "Convenient Truth"
5: Look at pg. 7 of that IPCC document. Even if you believe their charts, their models (and I'm sure they are showing the BEST runs here) can't even match historical data. They show anomaly differences up to at lease .5. That the amount of the entire temperature rise for the entire century!
6: "It's true that Kyoto is hopelessly inadequate". He answered this one already. Why not focus on the real problems such as, but not limited to, what about not allowing the coal plants to spew radiation, mercury and a bunch of other crap in to the atmosphere that we *know* are bad for people and the environment? Of course, most people, AGW or anti would probably have like to have been dependent on nuclear power in 2007 anyway. But the same fanatics long ago ruined that possibility. Just imagine how it could have been: Few coal plants, inexpensive, clean energy. The middle eastern sultans would be huddling in a 1200 square foot home s barely able to fend off their peasants, let alone fund radical terrorists, instead of having multiple zillion-acre palaces zipping around in personal jets. Don't make me pay for this BS, make the environmentalists and Detroit pay for it.
7: Hmmm, so releasing the summary in feburary and then releasing the actual reports in april and may. The IPCC policy states that the subsequent reports should be modified to match the summary.
8: If we aren't able to tell what temperature (or sea levels, or anything else) will be in the future, exactly how can well tell what the cost/impact/benefits/detriments will be? Doesn't seem to matter to the media as they are already proclaiming that AGW is making children sick in Australia.
8: The quantum physics regarding the interaction of various frequencies of light with the various GHG's in pretty much 100%. Unfortunately that interaction is a small part of a many faceted dynamic/chaotic system. Every day more facts come out that point to a less significant role of co2 in that system. Unfortunately the UN has convinced most people to stop listening and to treat contrary evidence on the same level as psychic powers and witchcraft.
9: At first the LIA and MWP period were denies existence altogether. Then their existence was begrudgingly admitted: but only as a "local" phenomenon. Now evidence shows that it was quite global. Showing that a) there's still a lot to learn and b) the science is far from "settled"
10: There's no exidence that sea levels are changing any different from the "natural" rate (whatever the hell that is).

Jack Lacton said...

Joe Cool. Legend!

Thanks for taking the time to respond so comprehensively.

I have no doubt that when the Scientific Method is used in the study of climate that things will progress. Can you imagine where we'd be now in our knowledge if things had been done properly way back when this whole hooha started?

Anonymous said...

A few weeks ago I started researching the topic of AGW (I'm glad someone came up with AGW) I haven't found much on the skeptic side of the equation that I found convincing. I'm not an environmentalist but so far I'm convinced that society should take measures to reduce CO2. I'll respond to your 10 questions and see where it takes us.

Response to main post:

1. It is apparent the debate about the science isn't completely over. What percentage of scientists with relevant expertise actually oppose the majority? There will always be dissenting views on any complex question. How much of the scientific community has to believe the same thing before one concludes the debate is over?

2) The science should continually be re-examined. It does seem apparent to me that some elements of the theory of AGW have no changed through the 4 reports. What has changed is intensity of the change and the project consequences.

3) This graph does seem to be cherry picking data. If it continued to the end of 2006 the sunspot/temp lines wouldn't be in sync so much. Granted Al Gore's CO2/temperature graph in his slide show is also flawed. He doesn't explain how temperature change preceded CO2 increase.

4) It is true that the famous hockey stick graph is not in the latest IPCC summary. The lack of a graph in a report isn't compelling evidence. If the skeptics can produce evidence that concludes the earth warmed in the past as fast as it is now that would be something. I'm not saying it isn't out there, but I haven't seen it.

5) What evidence do you have that the most recent climate models don't factor in the sun or water vapour?

6) Kyoto by itself isn't going to do much. Getting it ratified was a chore for many governments. If the end goal is go reduce CO2 emissions to 20% of what they are today you have to start somewhere.

7)Who are the many scientists?

8) I've seen lots of predictions of good things like a longer growing season in Canada and reduced heating costs.

9) From what I've read is that things like solar output (and continental drift further in past) kicked started the warming and resulting increase in C02 pushed the warming further along. A drop in solar activity caused the LIA. C02 can be the main determinant of climate change without being the initial cause or the only factor.

10) It seems obvious that people will have more than one reason for trumpeting concern about AGW. That doesn't mean AGW is false, just that people are taking advantage of it.

As I have dug one level deeper than your average media report I've found that the science behind this is fraught with immense complexity. Most, but not all, qualified scientists are sure that AGW is a reality. They aren't how sure much of the trends we observe are caused by human activity. Given the complexity of the situation I can understand this. Predicting climate is a far cry from a controlled experiment in a lab. On an issue as complex as this there will always be dissenting voices.

I don't think the science has to be 100% settled before governments and individuals act. Say there is only an 80% chance humans are the primary factor in global warming. I think it would be reckless not to act. In 2057 I don't want to have to explain to the residents of some poor village in a flood plain that there was a 15% chance cosmic rays were reducing cloud cover and causing a temporary warning and we pretty much banked on that. We thought you might get flooded out but we weren't sure so we just decided to wait things out.

We would be so much farther ahead if we just turned off the coal plants and replaced them with renewables or nukes if you have to. We would have so many other benefits like reduction in smog and better air quality. Switching out oil is tougher but there are a lot of side benefits to that, especially on the geopolitical side of things.

What I see on the skeptic side of things is people trying to shoot holes the the prevailing theory. I have yet to see a convincing alternative theory to explain the warming we've experienced since 1975.

Jack Lacton said...

Thanks, Leighton, for taking the time to prepare a half reasonable response.

1) Correct. It is political and the debate is far from over.
2) When the IPCC throws out dendroclimatology then it will be a sign that they're looking at real science.
3) It's not cherrypicking because it's the same going back hundreds of thousands of years, aligning with ice core data with, from memory, 70% certainty against 20% for CO2.
4) The point of the derogation of the hockey stick's importance is that it was what was used to prove the science and that we should spend trillions of dollars on the issue but having had its credibility smashed to pieces by real statisticians the IPCC flip flops to other data.
5) I am very good friends with one of Australia's top advisors on the matter. Google something like 'climate model resolution problems' and see for yourself. I think you'll be really, really shocked at not only what's left out but also the resolution of the models.
6) If CO2 is a problem then starting with something costing trillions of dollars for no statistically measurable effect can only serve to hamper efforts to find a real solution, surely?
7) More shocks in store if you Google that one, as well. Not only that but the quality of scientists that have been used by the IPCC is hardly world class. Because it's a UN thing they have scientists from places like PNG for frigsake.
8) ...and that's because we all do better when it's warmer!
9) That is still in the realm of hypothesis. There is no statistically strong correlation that CO2 forces climate but that's what the models are based on.
10) If you look at every single case of these people claiming they're going to be inundated you'll find that they live on islands that rise and fall all of the time or, in the case of the Arctic, permafrost. The problem is they're held out as proof of AGW when they're really just having a money grab.

Picking 1975 as your base year for warming presents you with a problem. I could pick 1998 and claim that the planet has cooled, which it has due to the huge El Nino that year. It's a cherry picked date. Models need to not only explain the warming since 1975, which they don't without a heap of backfitting, but also the cooling between 1940 and 1975 and the warming before that.

Skeptics certainly agree that the planet is heating up; it would be surprising if it wasn't given the cold period of 1940-75. It's the extent of man's impact that we doubt.

Anonymous said...

I did some searching on the climate models and I didn't find evidence to back up your points. If you could provide links it would be helpful. It is a bit strange to ask other people to do research to find evidence for your points.

Jack Lacton said...


Climate model resolution is completely uncontroversial. I'm surprised you couldn't find anything.

Have a look at the .PPT at and take note of the computing requirement needed vs what's available.

Even the Wikipedia article outlines issues of clouds

CO2 Science has a good summary at - choose from any of the models topics

Anonymous said...

I can't speak with any authority about the necessity of higher resolutions in the climate models. It does appear that the resolution has increased significantly and it hasn't changed the basic conclusion that AGW is real.

Based on what I read it seems as though solar output, clouds and water vapour are included in the the current models.

BBC Article

Jack Lacton said...


Models assume a representation of clouds but do not create, or dissipate, clouds. Furthermore, the relative effect weighting given to different factors is not based on statistically solid science and that's why the models can't predict with any accuracy. Out of the hundreds of parameters in a model you only need one to be a small amount out to create a large overall discrepancy.

The resolution has not improved much at all in the last couple of years. Even bringing it down from 200 sq km to 100 or 10 is not comforting when it needs to be measured in square metres. As was pointed out in the ppt you saw, computing power is currently more than 10,000 times weaker than it needs to be meaning that current models are full of approximations.

Do you want to spend trillions of dollars on these approximations? said...

From a Climate FACT isht. some questions.

1) Water vapour is a the most powerful greenhouse gas.

2) The Science of Climate Prediction is just that. Prediction based on observations of past Phenomena.

3) There is a natural human urge to believe what we want to see (our team will win, its my lucky day etc.)

4) Thats why we have the Scientific method. WE all agree with science when it tells us what we want to hear, or it has no impact. for example.. There were ice ages. we all believe that now, yet no one alive has really witnessed the ice that once covered North America. Vitamine D is good for you.. hey no prob there.

5) if you really think Global Warming is not happening, that its a fascist plot cooked up by enviro spooks, you might want to just calm down and breathe.

6) There are verifiable FACTS.

CO2 is a greenhouse gas. its going up fast.

The ice at the POLES IS getting thinner at a rate that exceeds global climate models. So maybe we are all wrong.

7) jet fuel can't melt High Carbon Steel.

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