Thursday, 11 October 2007

An Inconvenient Truth ruled inconveniently untruthful

The inconvenient truth about An Inconvenient Truth is that when subject to rigid evidentiary scrutiny it is shown to be the inaccurate and deliberately misleading drivel that it really is.

Now that more and more work is being done using empirical techniques to analyse the data supporting the global warming argument the inconvenient truth about the accuracy of that data is coming to light.
A High Court judge today ruled that An Inconvenient Truth can be distributed to every school in the country but only if it comes with a note explaining nine scientific errors in Al Gore’s Oscar-winning film.

The Government had pledged to send thousands of copies of the film to schools across the country, but a Kent father challenged that policy saying it would “brainwash” children.

A judge was asked to adjudicate between Stewart Dimmock and the Department of Children, Schools and Families. Mr Justice Burton ruled that the film could be sent to schools, but only if it was accompanied by new guidlines to balance the former US vice-president’s “one-sided” views

The judge said some of the errors were made in “the context of alarmism and exaggeration” in order to support Mr Gore’s thesis on global warming.

He said that while the film was dramatic and highly professional, it formed part the ex-politician’s global crusade on climate change and not all the claims were supported by the current mainstream scientific consensus.

He went on to list those errors:

Error one

Al Gore: A sea-level rise of up to 20 feet would be caused by melting of either West Antarctica or Greenland “in the near future”.

The judge’s finding: “This is distinctly alarmist and part of Mr Gore’s ”wake-up call“. It was common ground that if Greenland melted it would release this amount of water - “but only after, and over, millennia.”
Not only would the whole of Greenland need to melt but it would need to reverse its inconvenient current trend of adding ice mass.
Error two

Gore: Low-lying inhabited Pacific atolls are already “being inundated because of anthropogenic global warming.”

Judge: There was no evidence of any evacuation having yet happened.
What? Not even in poor, old Tuvalu?
Error three

Gore: The documentary described global warming potentially “shutting down the Ocean Conveyor” - the process by which the Gulf Stream is carried over the North Atlantic to western Europe.

Judge: According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), it was “very unlikely” it would be shut down, though it might slow down.
None of the climate models end up with a result in which the "ocean conveyor" is shut down even when massive quantities of CO2 are input into them.
Error four

Gore: He asserted - by ridiculing the opposite view - that two graphs, one plotting a rise in C02 and the other the rise in temperature over a period of 650,000 years, showed “an exact fit”.

Judge: Although there was general scientific agreement that there was a connection, “the two graphs do not establish what Mr Gore asserts”.
That's because in the graphs that Gore shows CO2 lags temperature increase. That's because temperature increase leads to oceans warming, which leads to oceans releasing CO2 they've stored.
Error five

Gore: The disappearance of snow on Mt Kilimanjaro was expressly attributable to global warming.

Judge: This “specifically impressed” David Miliband, the Environment Secretary, but the scientific consensus was that it cannot be established that the recession of snows on Mt Kilimanjaro is mainly attributable to human-induced climate change.
The disappearance of snow on Mt Kilimanjaro has been going on for as long as people have been looking at the thing. Given the temperature at the top never goes above freezing it's a tad hard to blame warming for the loss of snow. The real reason it's been lost is due to land use changes around the mountain, which have led to less moisture in the air causing a similar effect to when you put a tray of ice cubes in the freezer and come back a month later to find an empty tray.
Error six

Gore: The drying up of Lake Chad was used in the film as a prime example of a catastrophic result of global warming, said the judge.

Judge: “It is generally accepted that the evidence remains insufficient to establish such an attribution. It is apparently considered to be far more likely to result from other factors, such as population increase and over-grazing, and regional climate variability.”
Lake Chad is extremely shallow and subject to a variety of factors that affect its size. The primary problem has been over-demand by the local population and, from the late 1960s on, a series of massive droughts that have failed to replenish it.
Error seven

Gore: Hurricane Katrina and the consequent devastation in New Orleans to global warming.

Judge: There is “insufficient evidence to show that”.
There are no credible hurricane specialists who make a link between climate change and Hurricane Katrina.
Error eight

Gore: Referred to a new scientific study showing that, for the first time, polar bears were being found that had actually drowned “swimming long distances - up to 60 miles - to find the ice”.

Judge: “The only scientific study that either side before me can find is one which indicates that four polar bears have recently been found drowned because of a storm." That was not to say there might not in future be drowning-related deaths of bears if the trend of regression of pack ice continued - “but it plainly does not support Mr Gore’s description”.
Polar bear populations are at record levels. More warmth means more food means more bears. Warmth good for life on earth. Cold bad. Cold kills.
Error nine

Gore: Coral reefs all over the world were bleaching because of global warming and other factors.

Judge: The IPCC had reported that, if temperatures were to rise by 1-3 degrees centigrade, there would be increased coral bleaching and mortality, unless the coral could adapt. But separating the impacts of stresses due to climate change from other stresses, such as over-fishing, and pollution was difficult.
When Saddam Hussein released huge amounts of oil that affected the coral reefs off Iraq it was expected that they'd be killed forever. As it turned out they were back to normal within about 10 years showing they're much more resilient than people think though you'd expect them to be to have survived the colder and warmer climates of the past.

So there you have it. Jack Lacton 9 - Al Gore 0.

When subject to analysis the 'facts' of An Inconvenient Truth are found to be wanting. However, to the biased BBC that's not a problem.
BBC environment analyst Roger Harrabin said the ruling would be "embarrassing for Mr Gore" but would not affect the government, which said it is happy that the judge did not dismiss the film's mainstream argument.

But, he added, this controversy could encourage the public to think there was scientific doubt about the facts of climate change.
Oh, dear! Imagine the public drawing that conclusion when the most iconic documentary and advocate of climate change has been shown to be little more than a serial fabricator and truth distorter.
Children's Minister Kevin Brennan had earlier said: "It is important to be clear that the central arguments put forward in An Inconvenient Truth, that climate change is mainly caused by man-made emissions of greenhouse gases and will have serious adverse consequences, are supported by the vast weight of scientific opinion.

"Nothing in the judge's comments today detract from that."
Clearly, Minister Brennan hasn't actually read the judge's comments.

(Nothing Follows)


Anonymous said...

I'd say you just re-canned the whole bogus arguments against global warming.

Al Gore (and his presentation) is not perfect, nor is anything. Humans are fallible and continue to be. Showing that there's an error (and some of those arguments are definitely questionable) in an argument doesn't make the overall assertion false.

Anonymous said...

A quick question. I have yet to make up my mind on the whole global warming debate. I found your post through your comment left on Tim Lamberts article: An "error" is not the same thing as an error. When refuting an assertation, Mr Lambert gives his source material (if any). Will you provide the source material for your assertations please or is this merely opinion? Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying you are wrong, I'm just curious where your information is coming from. I like to have as much info as possible before coming to a conclusion. Thanks. (And no, my conclusion will not be based solely on either Mr. Lamberts or your views. Just a jumping off point to learn more about the topic.)

Jack Lacton said...


Not being perfect is the whole point! When the "science is settled" and the cost is trillions of dollars then someone needs to be 100% right.

The fact that computer models can't get anything right really should be a sign that your side of the argument is in deep factual doody.

Jack Lacton said...

Undecided in the U.S.

Thanks for dropping by.

If you want to learn about the pro- side then check out

If you want to check out the con- side then check out or both of which sites provide details about the failure of the pro- side to release data and methodology for public scrutiny. Climateaudit is run by Steve McIntyre who gained fame for destroying the validity of the iconic 'hockey stick'. He also recently showed that the US temperature record had been manipulated so that 1998 was the warmest year on record. Once NASA corrected the data 1934 became the warmest.

I have a heap of data on this blog including links to sources showing that the consequences of global warming are either non-existent or massively overstated.

Finally, when it will cost trillions of dollars to implement Kyoto for a net reduction of less than 0.1C by 2050 (that figure is agreed by all sides) then you have to wonder why we're not spending money improving the lives of people who live in desperate poverty. That's why those who support ratifying Kyoto are Moral Idiots.

Anonymous said...

"Al Gore (and his presentation) is not perfect, nor is anything. Humans are fallible and continue to be."


This is, according to Gore, the biggest issue of our time. Don't you think he could check his facts a little?

@author: have you ever been to Their #25 censored story of 2007 is about 'native energy' and how companies are clammoring to get energy projects going on Native American reservations - because in 2005 they changed regulations and now native lands are not subject to federal regulations.

Al Gore's website points you to '' to pay for your carbon credits.


Anonymous said...

If you carefully read, you will find that the judge did not pronounce any verdict on true-or-false status on the nine so-called errors by the claimant.

In stead he pronounced that, because of the political nature of the movie, for a balanced education, kids should be taught there are opposing opinions as well.

Anonymous said...

"when subject to rigid evidentiary scrutiny" - so now a judge gets to decide if there really is such a thing as global warming?

Can't get too many scientists to agree with you, so you have turn to a judge in the UK?

Here's some evidence for you -- Gore has been predicting the climate change we are now seeing for roughly 25 years.

Maybe it was just God whispering in his ear, though.

Jack Lacton said...


"Gore has been predicting the climate change we are now seeing for roughly 25 years"

Hahahahaha. What an amazing thing to say though I guess he takes credit for inventing the Internet so anything's possible.

What climate change are we seeing?

We're not seeing polar bear numbers reduce. We're not seeing Greenland lose ice mass. We're not seeing Antarctica lose ice mass. In fact, both are gaining ice mass. The Arctic has been affected by unusually strong Arctic winds that have blow ice south into warmer waters.

There is NO evidence of climate change.

None. Nil. Nada.

All of the hysteria is about FUTURE 50 and 100 years.

It's unbelievable to me that people think just because there's a hot day or some extra rain then it's automatically proof of climate change.

Then again, truth is hardly in the top 10 list of values of people on the left.

Anonymous said...

"Polar bear populations are at record levels."

Yes, at record LOW levels.

"More warmth means more food means more bears."

Doesn't help when the ice that the polar bears rely on melts. If the polar bear can't hunt it can't eat.

"Cold bad. Cold kills."

Not for polar bears.

Anonymous said...

Everyone seems to have missed the result: the high court judge ruled in favour of The Inconvenient Truth.

Yes, it can be shown in schools. It is broadly accurate. There are nine points of detail which require comments, but that is all.

Jack Lacton said...

The last couple of comments show how little notice that the Climate Faithful have for reality/truth.

The Canadian authority tasked with monitoring polar bear populations has reported their numbers at record HIGH levels.

Polar bears do not rely on ice.

And yes, cold is bad for polar bears because it means there's less food for them. Life has always thrived on earth much better in warmer times.

The judge ruled that An Inconvenient Truth can be showed in schools as long as the accuracy of the nine points is corrected.

Without correcting these nine points it is not allowed to be shown because it's a politically biased documentary.

Ken_L said...

Just in the interests of a balanced report, here's an extract from the judgement in question:

'"The Film advances four main scientific hypotheses, each of which is very well supported by research published in respected, peer-reviewed journals and accords with the latest conclusions of the IPCC:

(1) global average temperatures have been rising significantly over the past half century and are likely to continue to rise ("climate change");

(2) climate change is mainly attributable to man-made emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide ("greenhouse gases");

(3) climate change will, if unchecked, have significant adverse effects on the world and its populations; and

(4) there are measures which individuals and governments can take which will help to reduce climate change or mitigate its effects."

These propositions, Mr Chamberlain submits (and I accept), are supported by a vast quantity of research published in peer-reviewed journals worldwide and by the great majority of the world's climate scientists.'

'AND I ACCEPT' says the judge. I rather think that in the broad scheme of things that makes it Gore 1, Lacton ns (for 'no show').

Jack Lacton said...

Ken L,

You are deliberately muddying the issue, which is that An Inconvenient Truth has been ruled:

(1) to be a political documentary and;
(2) that it contains positions that are not supported by the prevailing science,

which is a non sequitur of the judge's overall statements you refer to.

The fact that there is no clear thinking by the left on what is a very clear issue seems to demonstrate my previous point that truth is not a primary value to the Climate Faithful.

Ken_L said...

Well Jack it seems to me you're boosting the importance of some of the details in the judgement while avoiding the main thrust of it. You're trying to have it both ways, but I suggest you have to either rely on the judgement or reject it in its entirety. It's a bit dodgy just picking out the bits you like and ignoring the rest.

As always I'm at a loss to understand how anyone can still frame AGW as a left/right political issue when people like Rupert Murdoch and Michael Chaney support the need for action. Obviously you can call them misguided but labelling them part of the left is just silly.

Michael Chaney BTW is President of that notorious nest of lefties the Business Council of Australia. Last March he wrote:

'There’s no debate that’s dominated public thinking in recent times like climate change.

Just about every issue associated with the environment is now seen through the prism of greenhouse emissions and the link with our weather patterns.

Given the intensity of the debate, there is significant pressure on governments and policymakers to act in the short term.

No one doubts the need for action.'

I guess you should maybe email him and tell him his last sentence isn't entirely accurate and should read 'No one apart from Jack Lacton doubts the need for action. Oh and Tim Blair.'

Anyway keep the denialist flame burning if it floats your boat but please stop kidding yourself that this is just some flaky project by the left. You'd actually have more credibility if you accepted that you were part of a rapidly diminishing minority. Stick to arguing what you see as the facts and cut out all the snarky partisan nonsense and people might be more inclined to read what you have to say.

Anyways it's been fun to visit ... bye.

Jack Lacton said...


Ken L bags me for ignoring the overall thrust of the judgement.

The overall thrust is that An Inconvenient Truth is a political documentary.

Anonymous said...

Your argument is almost entirely devoid of logic and fails to address any point brought up by any commenter.

For example: A commenter, Ken L, quoted the judges statement about the four main points being supported by prevailing science, a vast body of it. You responded by saying that it was not supported by science... and that it is politically biased. How does that counter the argument? The judge still accepts that his positions are backed by science, which they happen to be.

Are you a scientist? Have you studied climatology professionally, with professional academic tools and resources? Until you have, I don't believe you are qualified, in any sense of the word, to pass judgment on the findings of those who have.

Also, drop the left-right bullshit. Nobody cares. You can hate the left all you want, but if you want to be taken seriously as a commentator, drop the show.

Jack Lacton said...


Unfortunately, like others you are missing the point completely either on purpose or because you're dim.

The case in the UK was not brought before a judge in order for him to test its scientific validity.

It was brought before him because it was a political documentary and due to clear errors that were unsupported by the science including from the IPCC the judge ruled that it was, indeed, a politically biased documentary and in order to be shown in schools it needed to have corrections included.

As for my knowledge of the subject - I would be happy to debate Al Gore on the subject of global warming any place, any time.

Inqy said...

Just exactly where was it ruled that AIT is political commentary? The arguments presented in the case were because of nine statements that weren't entirely explained by Mr. Gore, or just for the fact that there was an OPINION to the contrary. NOT because the judge felt that the statements in question were politically motivated.
It seems to me that all the judge ruled was that these nine points (not "errors") need to be footnoted. Especially when supporting evidence can be cited, even if it wasn't originally presented in the film.

Jack Lacton said...

For stuff sake, Inqy.

The reason that the challenge was made in the first place is because it was in breach of the rules about presenting politically biased information.

Furthermore, there seems to be some mythology that the judge used 'errors' in inverted commas. If he had have done so then he would have invalidated the legal basis for his decision.

Anonymous said...

Jack Lacton 9 - Al Gore 0.

What a monstrous ego you have. It's almost like you think you were the one delivering the judgement, rather than just adding your own horribly inaccurate comments to the words of a non-scientist attempting to rule on the existence of otherwise of scientific consensus.

Jack Lacton said...


1) I am much smarter than Al Gore. Much much smarter.
2) Al Gore's piece is not based on the IPCC 'consensus' - that's what the case is all about!
3) Everything I have written on global warming is accurate and backed up by real science
4) Truth is not a primary value to the left

Anonymous said...

1) I don't think so. Warmth good for life on earth. Cold bad. Cold kills. is spectacularly stupid, for example. Do you know how many people died in the European heatwave of 2003?

2) Al Gore's piece is not based on the IPCC 'consensus' - that's what the case is all about!

The judge said "I have no doubt that Dr Stott, the Defendant's expert, is right when he says that Al Gore's presentation of the causes and likely effects of climate change in the film was broadly accurate.. I suppose you're much smarter than the judge. Much much smarter.

3) Everything I have written on global warming is accurate and backed up by real science.

What, like higher temperatures being good for life on earth?

4) Truth is not a primary value to the left

So is all your ranting actually about science, or do you just take it upon yourself to talk about climate change because you perceive it as a 'left-wing' issue, and you feel obliged to attack left-wing issues because you consider yourself right-wing?

Jack Lacton said...


Are you really so uneducated and generally ignorant?

1) Warmth has always been good for life on earth. It's clear from the fossil record. As to deaths in European heatwaves - what people don't know is that while 30,000 may have died during the heatwave over 200,000 die every year because of cold. Read Bjorn Lomborg on the subject.

2) Yep.

3) See point 1 and do so research for yourself

4) You prove my point

Anonymous said...

On point 2, I suggest that someone of your mighty intellect might find the following paper quite interesting:

As for point 4, I rather think that you prove my point, in fact.

Jack Lacton said...

That's one of my favourite papers! I've posted it here before.

Lacking the meta-cognitive ability to understand one's position in relation to a particular subject is why so many people can believe the scientific drivel that underpins the man-made climate change position.

It's hilarious that someone who points out heatwave related deaths in Europe but doesn't know/understand the number of deaths caused by cold should refer to that paper. Hilarious.

Anonymous said...

So were you born with an innate ability to understand climate science, or did you study it somewhere? I'm curious to know how you developed the metacognitive abilities to assess your own ability to comment on climate science.

Jack Lacton said...


I used to believe the climate science meme that sticking CO2 into the atmosphere was the main/majority cause of global warming. I hadn't looked at the data and it seemed to make sense, especially as the term 'greenhouse' implies a blanketing effect.

However, being the data rational guy I am (confirmed on numerous occasions by psychometric testing) and having been a sciences student in school and uni (though my career is in IT) I started looking at the data underpinning the argument.

I became increasingly disturbed by the statistical 'proofs' provided by various climate scientists and, coming from the family of a senior diplomat who attended the United Nations sessions multiple times, I was very suspicious of the motives of the UN and its IPCC.

I had already formed the opinion that the argument was overstated when Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick exposed the Hockey Stick for being the fraud it is. As it happens, I work with statistics regularly so was fairly up to speed with the basis of their argument.

Working in IT (and being a programmer, as well) I started looking at the accuracy of the models that were being used to predict future climate. What I discovered was shocking. Not only had no climate model been accurate at predicting past climate but their creators seemed to think that it was OK to tweak the models to fit the historical record. If you understand anything about statistics then you will know what a no-no this is. If someone suggested that you should bet the future of the world's economy on financial models that had never been accurate in the past then you'd think they were nuts. For some reason this logic doesn't apply to climate models. The reason is that it's fundamentally a political issue and has nothing to do with science.

My argument is less that we shouldn't be sticking crap into the atmosphere than with the fact that the effects have been hyped beyond any semblence of reality. It is profoundly immoral to spend trillions of dollars implementing Kyoto, for example, to save less than 0.1C temperature rise than address health and water quality issues in Africa.

Anonymous said...

I used to believe the climate science meme that sticking CO2 into the atmosphere was the main/majority cause of global warming - so what exactly don't you believe? That CO2 is a greenhouse gas? That a lot more of it is in the atmosphere now than 150 years ago? That increasing the concentration of greenhouse gases will lead to a warming effect? How do you think one can increase the global concentration of a greenhouse gas by 30% without it affecting global temperatures?

Not only had no climate model been accurate at predicting past climate - nonsense. Have you actually read any of the extensive literature about modelling past changes in climate? How about the many papers comparing what was predicted by models following the eruption of Mt Pinatubo to what actually happened?

exposed the Hockey Stick for being the fraud it is - fraud, as in a deliberate deception? Please, what would the motivation be for this? And how come you place all your trust in two people who aren't climate scientists? Is it because you'll believe anyone who says global warming isn't really happening?

It is profoundly immoral to spend trillions of dollars implementing Kyoto...than address health and water quality issues in Africa - a) where do you get the figure of 'trillions' from? b) do you also oppose the spending of hundreds of billions on the occupation of Iraq, money which could also be better spent addressing health and water quality issues in Africa?

Jack Lacton said...


You sound like a reasonable person but you really aren't very well read on this subject.

1. CO2 is a greenhouse gas. There's more in the atmosphere now than 150 years ago. It represents about 3% of all greenhouse gasses. Mankind's contribution represents about 3% of the 3%. Note that 150 years ago is the end of the Little Ice Age and when the earth started warming naturally. The Climate Faithful like to use low points like that as their comparison point. CO2 lags temperature rise due to it being released as the main carbon sink, the ocean, warms up. I believe that man made CO2 has a very minor warming impact.

2. I see your 'nonsense' and raise you reality. I am well versed on the subject of climate models. Critically, they get major factors such as precipitation massively wrong, which must lead to an over estimation of future temperature. Furthermore - if the 'science is settled' then why does the IPCC have 17 climate models and not just one? And why are their predictions over 700% different from bottom to top. And why do no two agree? And why is taking the average of models that have never been right somehow going to produce accurate figures?

3. The Hockey Stick is a deliberate fraud. When the whole global warming hooey dies down people will write books comparing its creators to Lysenko and Hwang.

4. The trillions of dollars figure (estimated at 20 trillion) is widely accepted by all sides of the argument. Some believe ratifying Kyoto is money well spent. To save 0.1C I have to disagree.

Anonymous said...

I think you are labouring under some misconceptions.

1. 3% by volume or mass? In either case it's quite irrelevant. What matters, of course, is not the quantity but how much of an effect it has. CO2 accounts for 10-25% of the total greenhouse effect, which keeps the earth about 30C hotter than it would otherwise be. So, you can see it accounts for about 3-7.5C of warming.

3% from mankind? So, when the 1850 concentration was 280ppm, and the concentration is now 380ppm, and it's going up by almost 2ppm annually, that's 3% is it? I think you need a new calculator.

Ah yes, end of the Little Ice Age. As you might now, there's a lot of evidence that lower solar activity coincided with colder global temperatures during what we call the Little Ice Age. Are you aware that solar output has been declining since 1985, but temperatures have kept on rising? Why is that, do you think?

2. a) models may not agree exactly. Why should they? They don't all work in the same way. But all the currently used climate models reproduce past climate well, and predict substantial warming for the future, even if they disagree on the exact magnitude. What physics are they not including in the models that you know of? Why would including it mean that global warming is not happening?

3) Yes, you said that already. What I asked was, what's the motivation for this deliberate deception? Why would 99% of the world's climate scientists be engaging in a systematic effort to deceive?

4) a) Again, where is this figure from? Are you aware that the GDP of the whole world is about 50 trillion USD? Who has suggested spending 40% of mankind's entire economic output on mitigating climate change?

b) Who says that a 0.1C reduction in global temperature is the aim, or the expected effect, of ratifying the Kyoto protocal?

c) As I said before, given your concern about health and clean water in Africa, are you also opposed to the spending of billions of dollars on the occupation of Iraq, when that money would make a colossal difference if spent on health and water in Africa?

Jack Lacton said...

1) The point is that the rise from 280 to 380 is not due to mankind. We don't understand how the whole carbon sink cycle works. The relationship since 1850 between solar activity and temperature is about 80%. The relationship between CO2 and temperature is about 20%. Why did temperatures decline from 1940-75 when CO2 levels were increasing? The recent reports show CO2 increasing even more quickly than previously thought but temperatures declining since 1998.

2) If the "science is settled" then they absolutely should. These are the things that we're relying on to commit trillions of dollars.

3) Research dollars. A belief that they're doing something good even if the case is overstated. The same reason that Hwang committed his fraud. Fame and recognition. Regardless of the reason, fraud it is. Especially the Hockey Stick.

4) a) Of course I'm aware of what GDP etc figures are. Simply Google for the cost of Kyoto. It's quite uncontroversial.

b) The science says that, which is why it's referred to as "a symbolic first step"

c) I have no problem with freeing the people of Iraq from the evil of Saddam and fighting the evil of Islam. It's a profoundly moral engagement. I also think there should be more of it including freeing the people of Zimbabwe from their plight.

Jack Lacton said...

4) c) I meant "Islamic extremism", of course...!

Anonymous said...

1) Oh, we're getting into serious denial here then. So, if the ratios of two different types of carbon has a certain value in the atmosphere in 1850, and a certain lower value in fossil fuels, and over the last hundred years the value in the atmosphere has dropped towards the fossil fuel value, what do you think this tells us about where the extra CO2 in the atmosphere is coming from?

2) You obviously don't understand the basic concepts of modelling. In astronomy, for example, there are many different models for calculating the emission you get from stars. Only in the most simple, basic case will they agree exactly. Does that mean that the basic questions about stars are still fundamentally uncertain? Of course it doesn't. If you're an arch-capitalist, as you seem to be, you might like the idea that competition between the various models helps improve them all. And in climate science, they are all telling us that more CO2=higher temperatures. Again, what are they missing out that you know about, and how would that negate the effect of a 30% increase in the concentration of a major greenhouse gas?

3) So essentially all climate science is fraud, and cross-discipline peer review has somehow failed to notice that all climate scientists are pulling a fast one? Wow - your paranoia is quite remarkable. Fraud in science exists, as it does in all fields, but to maintain your position you have to believe that an entire discipline is working together to deceive everyone else. Does that seem plausible?

4a) Come on. Indulge me here. Tell me a name, a reliable source, who is suggesting that Kyoto will require 40% of the entire economic output of humankind to implement.

b) Perhaps you need to read the actual text of the Protocol. It says nothing about 0.1C being its expected effect, or aim.

c) Ah, thought you'd say that. Even though the number of violent deaths in Iraq has rocketed since the war, and even though extremists use the war incredibly effectively as a recruiting tool, you still thing it represents value for money. That's because for you, my friend, none of this is about logic - it's about ideology. But why don't you prove me wrong? Just tell me that you could imagine ever changing your mind about the causes of climate change, and tell me what sort of evidence, from what sort of source, would make you change your mind.

Jack Lacton said...

Well at least we have clarity where we clearly will never have agreement.

1) You don't understand how the world's carbon sink works. It was released from the sink as the world has warmed.

2) You don't understand models. I have programmed stacks of them, as it happens though not for climate. The models are programmed to show increased temperature as CO2 increases. I have a view that if the models allowed for the natural increase in temperature as we came out of the Little Ice Age around 1850 then the effect of CO2 could be calculated. As it is, its effect is seriously overstated.

3) The people who peer-reviewed the fraudulent Hockey Stick were not disinterested parties. They were part of what's referred to as "The Team". Wegman showed the small circle of scientists in his testimony to Congress.

4) a) With the greatest respect you need to change the light bulb in your head, as the current one is down to about 10W. The cost of trillions is on the basis of more than 500B per year for 20+ years.

b) Perhaps you need to do some real research. Even the loons at Greenpeace and the Sierra Club accept that Kyoto is 'a symbolic first step' that will only save 0.1C by 2050.

c) War is war. We fight the enemy where they are. Bush is far more popular than Truman was in his last two years. The Korean conflict claimed 30,000 US lives in just 3 years. History has shown that he was right on the money and he is ranked 5th best President ever. To the chagrin of all his opponents, George W Bush will be shown by history to have taken exactly the right course of action.

Anonymous said...

Looks like it.

1) Which sink are you referring to? Oceans, maybe? You know that the CO2 content of the oceans is going up? If not oceans, then forests? Now, is the amount of forest in the world going up, or down? And how fast? And if, as many climate sceptics are fond of saying, the world is not as hot now as it was in the legendary Medieval Warm Period, then why is the CO2 concentration 30% higher now than it was then? What, if not human activity, has provided the extra CO2?

2) I understand complex computer models very well, using them on a daily basis for my job. If you want to prove the point you're trying to make, you'll need to show me, in the source code for a given climate model, where they throw all the physics away and force temperatures to go up, no matter what.

3) So, to clarify, you really do believe that all climate scientists are part of a grand conspiracy?

4a) Ah, so now at least you have moved away from simple large figures designed to worry the unaware. But I note that the only source of all these figures you're quoting appear to be your own head. Everything I've read about Kyoto suggests an implementation cost of 1% of GDP, more or less, for developed countries, and another from a negligible cost to a several per cent increase in GDP for developing nations.

b) So are you saying that Kyoto is not good enough and we need to take much stronger action to prevent disastrous rises in global temperature that will lead to heavy losses of human life due to natural disasters and famine? I'd agree with that.

c) As I though - no logic, just ideology. To repeat the question (as I keep on having to do), is there any evidence that would actually convince you of the reality and dangers of global warming, or do you hold the position you do simply because you believe it is the position you have to take to accord with your other political views?

Jack Lacton said...

1) We actually do not fully understand the operation of the oceans as a carbon sink. The oceans have clearly been responsible for releasing CO2 over the last 150 years. Recent evidence is that oceans are now starting to cool so capturing CO2 again makes sense.

2) If I had the source code I would be happy to show you. If you do even a modicum of research you'll find that CO2 is a major forcing agent and water vapour a feedback. That's why the models' overestimation of water vapour is so critical, as it makes future predictions too high.

3) I didn't say all climate scientists are part of a conspiracy. That's your leftist projection coming through. I said that the Hockey Stick is a deliberate fraud and I stand by that on the statistical evidence.

4) a) I haven't moved away from anything. I said that it will cost trillions and it will. Stern's estimation of 1% has been shown to be drivel.

b) I'm saying that if there really is a problem then throwing trillions of dollars down the toilet to achieve nothing doesn't seem that smart unless you're part of the feel-good-do-bad left. I have no problem spending an appropriate amount of money researching the effects of CO2, and other, emissions on the atmosphere.

c) I told you many posts back - I used to believe it. When I looked into it more and more I discovered what a blatant lie the whole 'earth is doomed due to man made CO2' position is. Politics has nothing to do with science for me. Unfortunately, the politicisation of this issue is going to cause a serious loss of public confidence in science for decades to come.

Anonymous said...

1) I'm sorry, but you either don't understand or are not aware of the very basics of the situation. 'We' don't understand? You don't understand, clearly. Is there more CO2 in the oceans now than there was 150 years ago, or is there less. You seem to think less. That is simply incorrect. The extra CO2 content cannot have come from the oceans. That is basic and has been shown repeatedly. It is not credible to argue that the opposite is true.

2) So look up the source code. Many groups make theirs available, so you can check it line by line. I'm sure they'll be grateful if you point out any errors.

3) Leftist? Me? What makes you say that? The split in the climate science community between those who accept that anthropogenic global warming is real and significant to those who don't is about 99:1. So either 99% of climate scientists are in on the fraud, or 99% of them are stupid, or there's actually no fraud.

4a) Who has shown Stern's estimate to be drivel? You, or someone with an ounce or two of credibility in the scientific community? Please, give me a name or a paper or any kind of source to back up the numbers you keep on quoting.

b) An appropriate amount has already been spent, and an appropriate amount of research done, on the effects of rapidly rising CO2 concentrations on global climate. The answers are in. More CO2=higher temperature. Now it's time to spend an appropriate amount of money on solving the grave problem we face.

c) You've offered no independent peer-reviewed evidence to back up your assertions that it's all a lie. You simply choose to believe anyone who says that the scientists are wrong. Your position is untenable. The evidence is overwhelmingly against your beliefs, and any rational person, in the face of so many independent strands of evidence pointing in the same direction, would accept them.

Jack Lacton said...


You are quite intellectually dishonest and have failed to answer most of the most fundamental criticisms I've made. You seem to have a view of global warming propounded by the propaganda machine at

Nothing I have presented is false. Nearly everything you have stated is opinion presented as fact.

If you can tell me why we should invest $1 in the output of the 17 climate models that have never been accurate and vary by 700% from bottom to top then perhaps you can move my position.

Anonymous said...

OK, so we move from a reasonably sensible discussion into insults. Fine. Your position is not so much intellectually dishonest, just intellectually bankrupt, if you won't even accept such basic observations as the isotopic ratios showing that the excess CO2 in the atmosphere is coming from fossil fuels, and that CO2 in the ocean is rising so that the excess CO2 is definitely not from oceanic outgassing. Your refusal to accept these basic facts is clearly not because any scientists dispute them - they don't - but because you feel your personal political stance is incompatible with acceptance of anthropogenic global warming.

I've asked several times that you provide references to the source of your preposterous claims about the cost of Kyoto and the source of CO2 in the atmosphere, but you've failed to do so. I wonder why.

Anyway, if you want to concoct some kind of religion in which people who find evidence that mankind is having a major effect on the climate are sinners and people who think it's all a massive conspiracy are saints, then carry on. It's only when you start proselytising that it really bothers me.

Jack Lacton said...

You're right, frustration causes improper language.

It would be nice if you had studied the subject and the accusation of proselytising is simply projection.

The fact that you're not up to date with the cost of Kyoto shows your lack of research.

And I notice that, yet again, you have failed to answer why we would spend even $1 on models that don't work. Read recent posts to see just how bad they are.

Furthermore, you fail to acknowledge that I am a former AGW believer that did some research for myself - not because of politics but because I am data rational and want to understand this stuff - and the evidence fails to support the argument to the extent that we're in a 'planetary crisis' and need to spend trillions of dollas.

Anonymous said...

I've studied the subject, and unlike you it appears I've understood it.

You say the models don't work. I say they do. What an impasse. Maybe we need more than just your blustering assertions to go on - maybe we need either for you to point out where in the code the fudge factor has been slyly hidden, or for you to find someone else who has found this elusive fraudulent bit of the code.

The fact that you won't provide even so much as a link to back up your wild assertions as to the cost of Kyoto is certainly telling.

I do struggle to understand how someone who is on the right track can, by looking at all the available data, can come to the conclusion that it's all wrong and that the scientists are fraudsters. It's not something to be proud of, however you managed it.

And if this is not all political for you, how come you accused me of having a 'leftist projection' purely on the strength of what you know of my views on climate change?

Jack Lacton said...

Let's break this down bit by bit.

You say the models don't work. I say they do.

Do you accept the recent revelation that models incorrectly predict precipitation by a factor of 3 (that is, there is 3 times as much rainfall as predicted)?

Anonymous said...

Help us out here. I'm sure you don't mean that every model is wrong by a factor of three, so tell us which model you mean. And how about a link to the peer-reviewed paper that says this? You seem very very reluctant to provide any links to back up any of your assertions.

Jack Lacton said...

While you're at it, read my current post on the University of Washington study on climate models...

Anonymous said...

OK, so it's clear that you don't fully appreciate that predicting chaotic systems is inherently uncertain, but that that doesn't mean we don't understand the systems. An astronomer can't tell you exactly where a comet will be, 100 years from now, and different ways of estimating where it will be will give you different locations. Does that mean we don't understand how comets move? No weatherman could tell you with any certainty whether it will be raining in London three weeks from now. Does that mean we don't understand how rain works and what factors lead to rainfall? Demanding unrealistic agreement between models and then saying if they don't agree to within 0.0001C then they must all be wrong is just a pure straw man argument.

Anyway, so let's get away from modelling. I'm going to list some basic facts that don't rely on modelling at all - just pure empirical observational evidence. I'd like you to tell me which you disagree with.

1. There is a greenhouse effect on Earth
2. That greenhouse effect keeps the Earth about 35C warmer than it would otherwise be
3. CO2 is an important greenhouse gas because it is transparent at visible wavelengths but not at infrared wavelengths.
4. If all CO2 was removed from the atmosphere, the earth would cool by between 3 and 8C.
5. The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is rising rapidly and has increased by 35% since 1850.
6. Isotopic ratios in atmospheric CO2 show that the excess is unequivocally attributable to human activity
7. All else being equal, more CO2 in the atmosphere will cause global temperatures to rise.

Jack Lacton said...

The basics are understood.

Your point 6 is in dispute, as it seems that CO2 has a much shorter persistence than previously thought.

You're avoiding the issues again, though. The models are wrong and will never be right, as per the study conducted by the University of Washington in Seattle.

Anonymous said...

OK, so you accept that anthropogenic global warming is real. That's good.

CO2 has a much shorter persistence than previously thought - oh? According to whom? Care to provide a link to a peer-reviewed paper?

As for models, you misunderstand the Roe and Baker paper. You seem to expect models to predict the future to some ridiculous degree of precision. Either you don't understand that predicting the future of a chaotic system is inherently probabilistic and not exact, or you do understand that and you're simply trying to confuse people who don't know that. Now normally the rule is that you should never assume malice when stupidity will suffice, but as you were bragging earlier about how smart you are, then I guess it has to be malice.

Jack Lacton said...

Your argument goes in circles and reads into my statements things I haven't said.

No. AGW is not real.

Yes. The models are a crock.

For thousands of years those wanting to prove the positive need to do so definitively. With GW it seems to have changed to the pro- side putting out arguments and then saying, "Prove me wrong." The onus is on the pro- side to provide better proof than the output of models.

You said that you believe the models are accurate. Do you therefore accept that the new research from the U of W is wrong?

Anonymous said...

Woah! So how did that happen? One moment you are accepting that CO2 is an important greenhouse gas and that there's lots more of it that there used to be, and so temperatures are going to go up (unless there's some other factor at work which would counter the effect, and there isn't). Your only doubt seemed to be some mysterious suggestion that CO2 doesn't stay in the atmosphere as long as previously thought, but you haven't told me where that thought came from, so I assume you just made it up.

So you accepted all the basics, all the empirical evidence that shows that human activity is affecting the climate, and somehow came to the conclusion that human activity is not doing anything. How?

As for models, it does appear that you simply won't accept that predicting incredibly complex systems is inherently not going to give exact answers. This fundamental misunderstanding is really hampering your ability to understand why models don't predict next year's temperature to within 0.001C of each other and to understand their validity.

So models are rubbish, according to you. OK, fine, let's ignore them for now. What evidence is there that something other than rising concentrations of greenhouse gases is causing rising temperatures? How do you increase the concentration of greenhouse gases without getting higher temperatures? And how do you explain the isotopic ratios of CO2 in the atmosphere moving towards the fossil fuel value over the last 150 years, if the extra CO2 hasn't come from burning fossil fuels?

Jack Lacton said...

The question is not whether CO2 has a warming effect, which I think it does - albeit minor.

The question is whether it is the major driver of climate, which all of the evidence points against.

The issue is that since the end of the LIA (which is the planet's low point since the last interglacial) the world has been warming. As CO2 did not drive the temperature increase then something else must have.

Furthermore, most of the 20th century warming occurred before 1950 when CO2 output accelerated, which is why the correlation is so poor and the models have to be back-fitted with external agents such as aerosols.

Please limit your next response to the question of the U of W research on climate model accuracy that you're so studiously avoiding.

Anonymous said...

I won't limit my comment to anything, thanks, particularly when you are yet again neglecting to show that your ideas are grounded in real science. But skip to the end if you want to read about the Roe and Baker paper. In the meanwhile, please, point me to a paper that says that CO2 has less warming effect or a shorter lifetime in the atmosphere than previously thought. Or did you really just make that up?

Please say which evidence points against CO2 being the current major driver of climate change. In past epochs, when CO2 variability was low, it was not a major driver. Now it is. Solar activity is declining. Where is the warming coming from?

So including aerosols in a model is somehow cheating, is it? Did you perhaps not know that aerosols have a massive cooling effect, and that the climate cannot be modelled accurately without them? Do you understand that the climate is influenced by many factors, and so while rising CO2 doesn't always mean rising temperatures, that doesn't mean that CO2 has no warming effect? If CO2 goes up, but solar activity goes down, whether temperatures go up or down depends on the magnitude of the changes in both. But as you agreed earlier, all else being equal, more CO2=higher temperatures. 35% more CO2=significantly higher temperatures. In fact, all else is not equal - solar activity has been going down since 1985. Why isn't that resulting in cooling?

As for the Roe and Baker paper, the reason you're harping on about it is because you've misunderstood it. The word 'uncertainty' does not have the same meaning as the word 'inaccuracy'. Understood? Good. Now, a feature of climate predictions is that when you put in CO2 increasing at the rate it is currently, the probability that this will have a low impact on the climate over the next century is very small indeed, the 'likely' impact covers maybe 2-4.5C, and the probability distribution includes a long tail of low likelihoods of very high impacts. What Roe and Baker did was quantify the shape of this distribution, and found that it was robust even when inputs to the models were extremely precise. The presence of a long tail in the probability distribution means it's impossible to rule out very large changes in the climate.

So that's perhaps a bit technical for someone who apparently expects predicting the future to be an exact analytical science. But to summarise - climate models won't tell you to within 0.001C what the temperature will be in 50 years time - they will give you probabilities. If you were betting on climate change with a good, scientifically-literate bookie, you'd get very very long odds on small temperature rises, but not such long odds on large temperature rises. Now I know that overall, you'll lose less money in gambling if you back the favourite, so I'd stick with betting on 2-4.5C as the likely temperature increase over the next century. If you're betting on 0.1C then you're throwing your money away.

Jack Lacton said...

Man, you really must work for one of the environmental groups or something to come up with such drivel.

The correlation between solar activity and temperature is about 80% so it's not unusual for things to be out of step for a period.

The correlation between CO2 and temperature is about 20% and, as you state, without the assumed effect of aerosols the climate can't be modelled - a massive exercise in back-fitting that wouldn't be accepted in any other field.

Recent studies by CSIRO show CO2 rising more quickly than expected. If the models are correct then temperature should be rising rapidly. However, it's been in decline since 1998 (with an uptick in 2006 and an expected downtick this year), which leads to two inescapable conclusions.

1) CO2 is not the primary driver of temperature
2) We don't have a very good handle on how the climate system works, as evidenced by the failure of the models

Roe and Baker are quite clear that models cannot be relied upon and that future increases in computing performance won't help.

Anonymous said...

And you must work for a government, or something, to have such a poor understanding of quite basic science.

The correlation between CO2 and temperature is about 20% - this statement is physically meaningless. What are you trying to say? And where, for goodness sake, are you getting these figures from? You haven't given any sources at all for what you're coming out with.

The effects of aerosols are very well understood. Do you know what happened to global temperatures after Pinatubo erupted in 1991, for example? But suddenly you seem to think models would be better if they entirely ignored a major aspect of climate. Somehow, because they can explain the plateau of temperature from 1940-70 rather well (source), you think they are cheating. I wonder why.

You're getting a bit pathetic with your bleating about Roe and Baker. They did not say what you think they said.

So Earth has been cooling since 1998 has it? Funny, then, that the five hottest years of the last 100 have been, in order, 2005, 1998, 2002, 2003 and 2004. Note that 1998 saw a massive El Niño, which elevates global temperatures significantly. In 2005 there was no El Niño. (source).

Quite simply, either you don't understand climate science, even at a very basic level, or you're deliberately mis-representing it.

Jack Lacton said...

So we return to the first premise, which is that the models are wrong.

Aerosols were inserted into the models after it couldn't be shown why the temperature cooled in mid-century. The fact that it correlated very strongly with solar activity seems to be ignored.

Furthermore, if temperature is rising steadily then ALL 10 of the hottest years should be in the 2nd half of the century rather than 5 in the 1st half and 5 in the 2nd.

As I've said, we don't understand how much of the rise in temperature is natural due to the end of the LIA. If we did then we could calculate the effect of GHGs but to do so would be to minimise their impact and demolish the need to impose government-controlled solutions.

Anonymous said...

Have a look at this graph and tell me if it looks like solar activity was behind the 1940-70 departure from the long term warming trend. Maybe you can explain why global temperatures began to drop in 1940 but the sunspot number kept on going up until 1960 when it began to drop.

Which of the five hottest years do you think happened before 1950 then? Here's a list, from NASA data, of the 12 hottest years on record since 1880 (in reverse order): 2000, 1991, 1990, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2003, 2002, 1998, 2005 (source).

I think you have a very primitive view of how the climate works. we don't understand how much of the rise in temperature is natural due to the end of the LIA is a bit like saying we don't know how much of the rise in temperature in spring is natural due to the end of winter. You don't just get a 'natural' rise in temperature out of nowhere - some factor has to change to get the temperature to change. Solar activity, orbital changes, volcanic activity, concentrations of greenhouse gases, these kind of things. To say that the end of the cold period caused the warm period is playschool-level science.

Jack Lacton said...

You've got the data for the hottest years wrong!!!

How can you have missed the changes NASA had to make when Steve McIntyre showed there was an error??

Your last paragraph there makes no sense. Clearly, something drove temperature up after 1850 and it wasn't manmade CO2 so there's a background system we don't understand.

Given you have all the answers then why not trot over to Steven Milloy's and claim the $125,000 he has on offer for proof of manmade global warming? Should be easy for you and your mates.

So far, it hasn't been claimed. Oh. I wonder why?

Anonymous said...

Weird how you're Australian (apparently) but still think the US and the whole world are more or less the same thing. The correction you refer to was made to US temperatures, and if you know some geography you'll know that the world is quite a lot bigger than the US. We're talking about global warming, not US warming, yeah?

Yes, something drove temperatures up after 1850. Have a look at This graph and tell me if rising CO2 concentrations becoming noticeable around about then just might have been a factor.

Yeah, I might just give $15 to someone with a bizarre hatred of the idea of climate change, so that they can at their own discretion decide whether or not climate change is proven. Sounds like a good deal.

So I love the way you keep on completely ignoring data that demolishes your beliefs. You could at least be intellectually honest and say "OK, I didn't know that - I have learnt something". But having claimed that solar forcing was behind the 1940-70 slight cooling, you have no comment at all to make when shown that solar forcing clearly couldn't have caused it. Why not, I wonder?

Jack Lacton said...

Yes, my numbers are for the US. The reason is that the rest of the world's climate stations are profoundly unreliable. You can read about that at

There have been many demolitions of the Lockwood (and related) papers such as

And why wouldn't you spend $15 to make $125K. Even if you get ripped off it's only $15.


Anonymous said...

Assuming that the US temperature is equivalent to the global temperature is profoundly, embarrassingly wrong. appears to be devoted to showing that US temperatures are wrong, not global temperatures.

Ha ha, what a good demolition. Shame the author thinks that the single value of TSI at the minimum of each solar cycle can tell us anything at all about the whole 11 year cycle. Why do you believe random bloggers over results published in the most prestigious journal in science? Is it a) because you don't understand enough science to discriminate between science and bullshit? b) because you're so desperate to disbelieve climate change that if a six year old said that all climate change is nonsense you'd probably quote that as evidence? c) some other reason?

And if you really think that 'prize' is ever going to be paid out, then you're breathtakingly naive.

Anonymous said...

BTW I meant to say in the most prestigious journals in science.

Anonymous said...

There is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that we are emerging from an ice-age. So climate change is occuring, as it has always done and always will in its various cycles. What is more nebulous is the extent to which it is man-made. Well, who cares!? The point that we know that CO2 has the capacity to accelerate climate change should provide suifficient incentive to be more altruistic; but for you self-absorbed folk out there, a REAL incentive should be the opportunities that exist to cut energy bills, increase environmental and eceonomic sustainability, diversify and mitigate the threats to fuel security... and the list goes on! Good reasons to be energy efficient regardless of whether Al Gore gets his facts right or not!

WonderJoust said...

Wow, that added a whole lot of nothing to the original slanted accusations. Way to display your personal lack of intellectual depth and critical thinking skills.

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