Friday, November 27, 2009

Bogus Science at CRU and Penn State. Letter to Times.

Didn't get published but in view of the naming of names not very surprising.

Sir,Those who attack Lord Lawson, the Times and others for publicising doubts about the case made for anthropogenic CO2 leading to a catastrophic global warming are doing none of us a favour. In science, criticism and peer review are essential. It is now a matter of public record that some of the results, upon which the IPCC relies so heavily, produced by the East Anglian Climate Research Unit ( CRU ) and at least one other institution fall well short of proper scientific standards.
By way of illustration, here are three of the worrying instances that have been revealed. Using growth rings from Siberian trees, Prof. K.Briffa of CRU produced the famous "hockey-stick" graph that showed world temperatures as being essentially constant over a thousand years and then rising rapidly in recent times. It was only when he was forced by a British Journal to reveal the data from which he produced his graph that it was found that he had used a very small and selected sample of trees. When a colleague went back and took a much larger and random sample, the hockey stick shape vanished. These later results were never published. Again, Prof. P. Jones Director of CRU, who was also asked in vain to produce the raw data upon which some of his important opinion forming publications were based, recently announced that due to " storage problems " they had been lost. Finally, another anthropogenic CO2 disaster champion on whom the IPCC depends is Prof. Michael Mann of Penn State University who simply took a graph derived from Finnish lake sedimentology and turned it upside down. The original Finnish results showed a fifteen hundred year temperature record with a medieval rise and a recent fall in temperature. Turned upside down, the embarrassing medieval rise ( how could temperature rise occur without the CO2 of a modern industrial society ? ) becomes a cooling period and the equally displeasing recent temperature fall becomes a lovely hockey-stick rise. This is not serious science, it does need to be exposed and it gravely undermines the position of the IPCC.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Convenient Lie and the East Anglia Climate Research Unit. The Politicization and Commercialization of Bad Global Temperature Research.

According to the IPCC, the majority of scientists beleive that CO2 produced by human activity will drive the earth's temperature up to catastrophic levels. Melting polar ice, sea levels soaring up, draughts and other apocalyptic disasters will displace, starve and drown millions. No, the majority do not agree and no, CO2 is not going to do us in.


The doomsday scenario is based on a small amount of astonishingly bad "research" that gave poor Al Gore and us the iconic hockey stick graph. Here, world temperature, that is depicted as essentially constant over the last thousand years or so, suddenly streaks up in the last fourty. A lot of the hockey stick "science" originates at the University of East Anglia. One leading light there, Phil Jones, refused to provide his raw data for peer review ( A checking by other scientists in your field that the conclusions drawn from measurements are tenable ) saying " I am not handing over 25 years of research data so that someone can prove me wrong." Phil Jones had cobbled together a hockey stick graph from weather station temperature measurements held by his unit. He refused to explain how he got the hockey stick and eventually announced that due to "storage difficulties " all the data had been lost. The dog eat the measurements. Another leading light, Keith Briffa, made a runaway hockey stick graph based on a very small ( 10 ) and selected number of Siberian tree ring growth measurements. If you pick your trees right you can give the temperature versus time graph any shape you want. When a colleague of Briffa's returned and took measurements from a much larger number of trees at random, the hockey stick vanished. These results were never published. Yet another doomsday champion, Michael " Upside Down " Mann, took lake sediment results that showed a medieval warm period and a recent temperature drop and simply turned the graph upside down. Hey presto; no medieval natural warming, lovely contemporary temperature rise. For details of how the hockey stick was carefully deconstructed and shown to be drivel see Climate Catastrophe Cancelled. The importance to the case being made by the IPCC of the hockey graph cannot be overstated. No hockey stick, no case. There is no hockey stick.
There was a warming in the nineties but it was a lot less than the clearly natural medieval warming mentioned above. Since that spike in the nineties, the world temperature has steadied and now declined. Remember last year's snow, the big Chinese freeze? What no one disputes is that since the end of the last Ice Age 10,000 years ago, temperatures with some blips, like when the Thames froze over in the 17th Century, have been steadily rising. As have sea levels. In the long term, of course, the world's temperature has always swung up and down and back again.
Amongst the growing body of reputable scientists who do not take the IPCC seriously, the opinion is that it is the natural activity cycles of the sun that control our warmth or lack thereof. If CO2 generated by humans plays a role it is probably marginal.


The question that needs to be answered is why have so many of the world's power brokers bought into doom by anthropogenic CO2.
From the beginning, the bad science band wagon was driven by the media. Happy times don't sell copy, Hollywood disaster scenarios do. This media frenzy was sustained by the easily harmonised sentiments of a grand alliance of political forces. Drawn to the colours were both those who have always loathed America and capitalism and those who had reasoned concerns about both. How pleasant to be a European champagne socialist or a third world dictator and be able to denounce the West and America in particular as the Great Polluters. How comforting for Al Gore to be able to have a go at the wicked Republicans and their big business associates. But how to explain the adherence of Western leaders like Gordon Brown who is not a dictator nor quite yet a rejected politician ? Here we come back to the nitty gritty that's to say the credence given to the bad science of places like the University of East Anglia. If Gordon Brown's scientific advisers tell him that the hockey stick is real, Gordon is not going to do what his advisers should have done and demand peer review of data. Gordon Brown trusts his advisers and gets swept along.
Ironically, the band wagon was also jumped upon for the very best reasons by the Greens who quite rightly want to preserve fossil fuels and robustly develop renewable energy sources. This enhancing of the Green agenda may turn out to be one of the few positive outcomes of the CO2 scare.
Who else profits? Certainly those who live on low lying land threatened by natural water level rise or land subsidence are, and I would in their place too, demanding compensation from the fossil fuel guzzlers. In fact any part of the world damaged by draught, flooding or natural disaster now has carte blanche to present the bill to the big CO2 producers. Whether they will cough up is another matter. Others happy to go for the ride are those who think they can levy CO2 taxes without shooting their economies in the foot and yes, all the scientists who are getting big fat juicy grants by managing to insert the magic words climate change into their research proposals.
This juggernaut has a lot of weight and momentum. When it crashes, as it will, it's going to be very messy.
The fact is that what Al Gore trumpeted as an Inconvenient Truth has turned out to be a Convenient Lie for a horde of people and interests.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Looking Good; British Muslims For Secular Democracy.

Last Saturday I went to Piccadilly Circus to demonstrate against a demo by the nutters who want to turn Britain into a Sharia Law ruled Islamic Republic. When I got there, I was told that the nutters had cancelled their march on Friday. Milling around Eros with tourists,reporters, cameramen, police and disappointed Union Jack draped members of March for England, I came across a small group of people calling themselves British Muslims For Secular Democracy. It was great to see Muslims out there demonstrating for freedom of expression against the fanaticism of some of their brethren. The government should be giving them their support and Cohesion Kitty dosh.
Also present; Nick Cohen author of "What's Left" and Peter Thatchell of Outrage.