Saturday, 17 March 2018


This article looks at the latest disappointing figures for purchasing electric vehicles and concludes that the change is unlikely to be anywhere near complete by 2040. The public are not stupid and are quite capable of seeing the obvious drawbacks of electric vehicles. 

Friday, 16 March 2018


This piece looks at an example of "groupthink" in action. Paul Homewood analyses a letter to the Telegraph criticising Christopher Bookers article on the subject of groupthink in climate science.

Thursday, 15 March 2018


On global warming and America's exit from the UN's Paris Climate Accord, replacing Rex Tillerson with Mike Pompeo is "definitely an upgrade."

That's how American Energy Alliance President Tom Pyle described the swap in a report by Michael Bastasch posted at

Although he knew better, Tillerson continually played lip service to the global warming campaign.  This harkens back to his time as CEO of Exxon Mobil.  Global warming pressure groups began demonizing Exxon early on.  They continue to spin conspiracy theories blaming the collapse of the warming narrative on America's largest oil and gas company.  Exxon threw in the towel long ago.

The truth is that the warming narrative is collapsing under the weight of its own bogus predictions.  The truth is also that while free enterprise may be the most efficient and productive way to organize societies known to man, that doesn't mean that businesses are necessarily courageous.  On the contrary, many businesses are so focused on developing and delivering goods and services, that they will go along to get along with any powerful group capable of doing them harm.

We suspect that Rex Tillerson is well aware of the flaws in the warming narrative, but long ago decided he does not want the heat that comes with speaking up.

Mike Pompeo, on the other hand, opposed President Obama signing onto the Paris Climate Accord and supports the President's decision to extricate America from it.

State Department bureaucrats hoping to outlast the President, or do an end run around him to keep America in Paris, just lost a great deal of ground.

That's good news for those of us who care about sound science and constructive energy policies.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018


The following is from SEPP:

Source of Heat – Atmospheric Methane?

In her blog, Climate Etc. Judith Curry takes up the issue of Question 8, in the District Judge’s proposed tutorial: “What are the main sources of heat that account for the incremental rise in temperature on Earth?” (See yesterday's post on the Californian court case)

Curry’s post was prompted by a response made to the questions by Andrew Dessler, of Texas A & M university.  In his response, Dessler posted a graph that was blurry, thus the source could not be clearly identified. However, it is similar to Figure SPM.5 found on page 14 of the Summary for Policymakers chapter, of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5, 3013) of the IPCC. The figure is titled “Radiative forcing by emissions and drivers.”

Atmospheric greenhouse gases are not sources of heat. They absorb some of the infrared energy emitted by the earth to space, thereby slowing the nighttime cooling of regions of the globe. However, one can understand the confusion of the judge. 

In its graph, the IPCC ranks the main drivers of radiative forcing as CO2, CH4 (methane), Halocarbons and N2O (nitrous oxide), all identified as anthropogenic, human caused. It rates the level of confidence: Very High for CO2 and N2O, and High for CH4 and Halocarbons. The positive driver influence of each of these compounds is greater than the calculated negative driver from changes in land use, and far greater than the calculated positive changes in solar irradiance. 

According to the graph, all the main drivers are well mixed in the atmosphere. This “well mixed” assumption is a major issue.

Further, the graph breaks down the influence of CH4 into four resulting atmospheric drivers, CO2, H2O, O3, and CH4. After being broken down into the four components, the graph shows the remaining CH4 has a strong positive influence. The text states: 

“Emissions of CH4 alone have caused an RF of 0.97 [0.74 to 1.20] W m−2 (see Figure SPM.5). This is much larger than the concentration-based estimate of 0.48 [0.38 to 0.58] W m−2 (unchanged from AR4). This difference in estimates is caused by concentration changes in ozone and stratospheric water vapour due to CH4 emissions and other emissions indirectly affecting CH4. {8.3, 8.5}”

Herein is a major issue. At ground level what starts as CH4 changes, in part, to CO2 and H2O and O3 as it goes higher in the atmosphere. An important point, often overlooked, is that the amount of CH4 at any height in the atmosphere never gets above the amount of H2O. 

Early in his professional career, SEPP Chairman Tom Sheahen was with a team measuring the absorbing ability of various greenhouse gases at the US Bureau of Standards (now the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)). They confirmed what had been known for almost a century and in handbooks since the 1920s:

• Greenhouse gases absorb infrared energy given off by the earth in specific wavelengths.  

• The most abundant greenhouse gas, water vapor, absorbs virtually all the energy that methane is capable of absorbing. 

• And, because of the shape of the spectrum of thermal radiation that the earth emits, it is further known that adding methane to the atmosphere does not increase energy absorption of the atmosphere, because there is hardly any energy of the appropriate wave length which methane can absorb. 

• Finally, it is also known that these results were repeated in multiple laboratories in multiple countries.

As Sheahen writes: “Water gradually "freezes out" towards the top of the troposphere, but above that altitude in the stratosphere, the oxidation of CH4 assures that there will be more H2O than CH4 at every altitude.  CH4 starts off around 1.8 ppm and never increases. H2O starts out at ground level about 20,000 ppm and declines to about 4 ppm in the stratosphere.  Meanwhile, CO2 is about 400 ppm at every altitude, unchanged by anything water is doing (such as forming clouds).”

Of the greenhouse gases, water vapor has the broadest capability of absorbing energy across the infrared spectrum. For some wavelengths, it absorbs all the energy. However, CH4, remains below a level where it is a significant participant in the greenhouse effect. 

Further, the 1979 Charney Report published by the National Academy of Science speculated that the modest increase in greenhouse effect from CO2 would be amplified by an increase in atmospheric water vapor, strongly increasing the greenhouse effect. The report had no hard evidence supporting this speculation. The estimates in the Charney Report have been retained by the IPCC, but there is no discussion of an increase in greenhouse effect from water vapor in AR-5. The discussion in AR-5 of methane produces no “source of heat.”

Tuesday, 13 March 2018


The following article is from the Science and Environment Policy Project (SEPP)

 Various municipalities in California are suing oil companies under common law public nuisance claims for damages they say occur from carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. The case has gone to the US District Court for the Northern District of California. (In the US Federal Court system, a District Court is below the Court of Appeals and it is where most cases start if they are on the federal level.) The presiding judge, William Alsup, made an unusual and unexpected demand. He ruled that both sides prepare a tutorial for him:

“The Court invites counsel to conduct a two-part tutorial on the subject of global warming and climate change:  

“(1) The first part will trace the history of scientific study of climate change, beginning with scientific inquiry into the formation and melting of the ice ages, periods of historical cooling and warming, smog, ozone, nuclear winter, volcanoes, and global warming. Each side will have sixty minutes. A horizontal timeline of major advances (and setbacks) would be welcomed.  

“(2) The second part will set forth the best science now available on global warming, glacier melt, sea rise, and coastal flooding. Each side will again have another sixty minutes.”

Specifically, the court ruled: 

“For the tutorial on MARCH 21, please include the following subjects: 

“1. What caused the various ice ages (including the “little ice age” and prolonged cool periods) and what caused the ice to melt? When they melted, by how much did sea level rise? 

“2. What is the molecular difference by which CO2 absorbs infrared radiation but oxygen and nitrogen do not? 

“3. What is the mechanism by which infrared radiation trapped by CO2 in the atmosphere is turned into heat and finds its way back to sea level? 

“4. Does CO2 in the atmosphere reflect any sunlight back into space such that the reflected sunlight never penetrates the atmosphere in the first place? 

“5. Apart from CO2, what happens to the collective heat from tail pipe exhausts, engine radiators, and all other heat from combustion of fossil fuels? How, if at all, does this collective heat contribute to warming of the atmosphere? 

“6. In grade school, many of us were taught that humans exhale CO2 but plants absorb CO2 and return oxygen to the air (keeping the carbon for fiber). Is this still valid? If so, why hasn’t plant life turned the higher levels of CO2 back into oxygen? Given the increase in human population on Earth (four billion), is human respiration a contributing factor to the buildup of CO2? 

“7. What are the main sources of CO2 that account for the incremental buildup of CO2 in the atmosphere? 

“8. What are the main sources of heat that account for the incremental rise in temperature on Earth?”

“9. Please bring to the tutorial a copy of the full GCC presentation referred to in Paragraph 67 of the Oakland complaint as well as the full GCSCT memo referred to in Paragraph 68.”

Paragraph 67 & 68 of the Oakland complaint refer to internal Global Climate Science Communications including Exxon, Chevron and the American Petroleum Institute.:

Paragraphs 69 and 70 of the Oakland complaint state: 

69. Over at least the last nineteen years, Exxon in particular has paid researchers and front groups to create uncertainties about basic climate change science and used denialist groups to attack well-respected scientists. These were calculated business decisions by Exxon to undermine climate change science and bolster production of fossil fuels. 

70. Between 1998 and 2014, Exxon paid millions of dollars to organizations to promote disinformation on global warming. During the early- to mid-1990s, Exxon directed some of this funding to Dr. Fred Seitz, Dr. Fred Singer, and/or Seitz and Singer's Science and Environmental Policy Project ("SEPP") in order to launch repeated attacks on mainstream climate science and IPCC conclusions, even as Exxon scientists participated in the IPCC. Seitz, Singer and SEPP had previously been paid by the tobacco industry to create doubt in the public mind about the hazards of smoking. Seitz and Singer were not climate scientists. [Boldface added.]

Unfortunately, the late Roger Cohen, who studied the issue for Exxon and was skeptical as the harmful influence of CO2, can no longer help Exxon counter the expected barrage of bureaucratic science similar to what accompanied the EPA’s Endangerment Finding. 

SEPP is exploring if, as a party possibly slandered in the City of Oakland complaint, can it file an amicus (friend in court) brief in the case. If so, such a brief would probably focus on the standards of evidence: Direct or Indirect; Physical or Bureaucratic.

The greenhouse effect occurs in the atmosphere and based on comprehensive atmospheric data, the atmosphere is warming very modestly. Once natural influences such as the El Niño Southern Oscillation and volcanoes are removed, any warming trend in the entire atmospheric record is extremely modest, if existing at all. This is direct evidence. The IPCC and its followers such as the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) use surface temperatures which are incomplete and include many other human and natural influences. They use indirect evidence –is the admittedly flawed surface temperature record "hearsay"?

Physical evidence is hard data showing CO2 is the primary cause of global warming. Increasing emissions, changing climate, etc. are not physical evidence of cause. Bureaucratic evidence includes global climate models that fail basic testing, and group think such as organizations that fail to address the key issue in their reports, etc. The key issue is: do carbon dioxide emissions cause dire warming of the atmosphere? SEPP’s answer is no, and CO2 emissions are beneficial to humanity and the environment. 


Monday, 12 March 2018


Here's an interesting debate between scientists with opposing views on a number of the key issues, including ocean acidification and reliance on wind and solar energy. 

Sunday, 11 March 2018


This piece is further evidence of compliant media organisations pushing the climate change meme without any attempt at robust examination of the evidence. This kind of programme is just a kind of soft propaganda which leaves thinking people feeling conned.

Saturday, 10 March 2018


This article gives the details of California's situation and how it is very reliant on natural gas because of the increase in renewables. Without the gas backup they would have suffered frequent blackouts. Something that green activists are reluctant to admit.

Friday, 9 March 2018


This piece explains why claims that fossil fuel companies will have to leave their fuel reserves in the ground are a fantasy in the imagination of green activists. 

Thursday, 8 March 2018


This report looks at the vast waste of money as a result of the government's climate change act. It s the scandal that no one mentions which is going on slowly in the background pushing up energy prices and hence the cost of practically everything else. At just 3 pages this report is an easy read and makes a powerful point succinctly.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018


This article gives the details of what the Russians were up to - trying to undermine USA energy policy by appealing to green activists. Oh what a tangled web of deceit.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018


This piece looks at one more example of why we cannot trust the surface temperature record. Thank goodness we now have satellite measurements to give us a comparison.

Monday, 5 March 2018


European Ministers Sound Like Trump, Demand Big Changes To Paris Agreement
Climate Home, 26 February 2018

EU foreign ministers have set a collision course with China in a statement calling for the same rules to bind all countries under the Paris climate deal.

In a 9-page statement on climate diplomacy objectives, released at the conclusion of a council meeting on Monday, ministers stressed the need for more action. The window to hold global warming to 2C, the upper temperature limit agreed in Paris, was “fast closing”, they warned.

UN talks this year on implementing the Paris Agreement must create “a universal regime with rules applicable to all”, the statement said.

China and allies are calling for a two-tier rulebook, with less stringent reporting requirements for developing countries. It is one of the key issues for negotiators to thrash out by a December 2018 deadline.

Sunday, 4 March 2018


Here is a good summary from Paul Homewood's excellent blog. What it tells us is that despite the hype things are not likely to be dramatically different in 2040 as opposed to now.

What is also worth looking at is the world's fossil fuel reserves which although adequate for the present are far from infinite. Let's hope that scientists come up with a workable fusion reactor in the next 30 years, or at least something better than unreliable renewables.

Here's another article that claims our fuel reserves will last much longer.

Saturday, 3 March 2018


This Daily Mail Article is just one of many asking who is responsible for the fiasco of gas shortages in the wake of the recent cold spell. Although you might think it was like Siberia, the truth is that this is what we might expect at some stage in any winter in the UK. Interesting though the linked article is it does not mention the "elephant" of the million of cubic feet of shale gas that are sitting right below us just waiting t be extracted, if only we would allow the companies to get on with it.

Friday, 2 March 2018


Yet more bad publicity about the government's roll out of so-called smart meters in The Mail. How could they get the cost of this so wrong? Quite easily, actually. What this does bring to mind is - why should we trust any government figures on large projects, or their information on climate change, come to that. 

Thursday, 1 March 2018


Calls For Shale Action As Beast From East Exposes UK’s Energy Insecurity
Pro Investors, 1 March 2018

Dramatic weather hitting the United Kingdom is providing ammunition for the proponents of the embryonic shale gas industry.

After more than 24 hours of snow and freezing conditions, with most of the country’s kids staying home from school, The National Grid PLC has cautioned that it is running low on gas.

It has sparked calls for the UK to seize the shale opportunity which promises to be a significant domestic source of gas which would reduce the country’s dependence upon foreign imports.

“The UK is worryingly dependent on gas imports and this is forecast to increase to 80% by 2035,” said Ken Cronin, chief executive of industry group UK Onshore Oil and Gas.

Cronin added: “Given that nearly 50% of our electricity is produced by gas and 84% of our homes are heated with it, the need to ensure we have our own homegrown source of gas rather than pursuing this continued over-reliance on imports has today become very evident.

“We believe that the right way forward is to produce British natural gas from shale onshore and we are working hard to achieve this goal.”

Firms such as Cuadrilla, IGas Energy and Third Energy are at the forefront of Britain’s shale gas industry and new projects are lined up for 2018 and 2019, but, progress has been slow – at least partially due to local politics and permitting issues.


This piece looks at the loss of oil production in California due to their government driving up the costs of oil in a futile attempt to control the climate.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018


This piece explains how by passing a camera through bore holes that  the underside of the ice adorned with a glittering layer of flat ice crystals—like a jumble of snowflakes—evidence that in this particular place, sea water is actually freezing onto the base of the ice instead of melting it.

Tuesday, 27 February 2018


This article by the excellent Matt Ridley gives a clear explanation of the reason for the ice ages. Matt is a very good writer and this piece is well worth reading. 

Monday, 26 February 2018


Cheap Energy Forever: Mammoth Cubes Herald Supersized Future For Shale
Bloomberg, 23 February 2018

‘Cube development,’ which taps multiple layers of shale all at once, could accelerate the U.S. shale boom and make the world swim in cheap and abundant energy for much of the next 250 years

In the scrublands of West Texas there’s an oil-drilling operation like few that have come before.

Encana Corp.’s RAB Davidson well pad is so mammoth, the explorer speaks of it in military terms, describing its efforts here as an occupation. More than 1 million pounds of drilling rigs, bulldozers, tanker trucks and other equipment spread out over a dusty 16-acre expanse. As of November, the 19 wells here collectively pumped almost 20,000 barrels of crude per day, according to company reports.

Encana calls this “cube development,” and it may be the supersized future of U.S. fracking, says Gabriel Daoud, a JPMorgan Chase & Co. analyst who visited Davidson last year. The technique is designed to tap the multiple layers of petroleum-soaked rock here in Texas’s Permian shale basin all at once, rather than the one-or-two-well, one-layer-at-a-time approach of the past.

After a years-long land grab by explorers, “the Permian is graduating,” according to Daoud. “Now it’s all about entering manufacturing mode.”

With the new technique, Encana and other companies are pushing beyond the drilling patterns that dominated during the early, exploratory phases of the shale revolution. Now, operators are assembling projects with a dozen or more well bores that touch multiple underground layers of the Permian and other shale plays simultaneously, tapping the entire 3-D “cube” beneath a producer’s acreage.

The shift has been controversial, with some of the biggest names in oil shying away from the approach as too aggressive and expensive. But if proponents are right, the cube could accelerate a drilling boom that’s already helped push U.S. production past an historic 10 million barrels a day, rewriting the rules of global energy markets along the way.

Along with the Davidson pad, Calgary-based Encana has 12- and 14-well operations in Texas as well as a 28-well behemoth in the Montney shale play in Alberta and British Columbia.

Devon Energy Corp. said on Wednesday that it has more than 10 multi-zone projects scheduled for 2018, including the 11-well Boomslang pad in the Permian and the 24-well Showboat project in Oklahoma. Concho Resources Inc., another early champion, debuted its Brass Monkey operation in the Permian last year, with 10 wells that dive underground and then burrow about two miles horizontally.

“We have just started to get into the manufacturing and harvest mode of the shale revolution,” Concho Chief Executive Officer Tim Leach said on a conference call.


This post provides a nice set of rebuttals to  the common alarms raised by those in thrall to the climate change meme as set out below:
    Claim #1: Heat waves are increasing at an alarming rate and heat kills
    Claim #2: Global warming is causing more hurricanes and stronger hurricanes.
    Claim #3: Global warming is causing more and stronger tornadoes
    Claim #4: Global warming is increasing the magnitude and frequency of droughts and floods.
    Claim #5: Global Warming has increased U.S. Wildfires
    Claim #6: Global warming is causing snow to disappear
    Claim #7: Global warming is resulting in rising sea levels as seen in both tide gauge and satellite technology
    Claim #8: Arctic, Antarctic and Greenland ice loss is accelerating due to global warming
    Claim #9: Rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations are causing ocean acidification, which is catastrophically harming marine life
    Claim #10: Carbon pollution is a health hazard
    What a good thing they are all false alarms!

    Sunday, 25 February 2018


    This piece looks at the effect of city design on the retention of heat. The UHI effect is real and  this piece is yet more evidence for it. It is something that is not allowed for in the surface temperature record.

    Saturday, 24 February 2018


    This article reveals what is going on in the harsh conditions at sea. Did anyone actually not realise that salt was likely to corrode the metal blades? There is no such thing as "free energy". What we get is expensive intermittent energy, and that is supposed to be progress!

    Friday, 23 February 2018


    That is the conclusion of This short video. You can read a short summary of the report here.

    Thursday, 22 February 2018


    This article looks at data from many places which contradict the narrative of a warming globe. It shows that there are many regions where there is no warming trend at all and in some parts there is actually a cooling trend. Even though CO2 levels appear to be increasing year on year and if we accept that this, by itself, will have a small warming effect, there must be other climatic forces which can overwhelm the CO2 effect in many places. 

    Wednesday, 21 February 2018


    This piece revisits the infamous Paris climate accord and looks at what it didn't achieve. It was the best outcome that was achievable, but that is precisely the problem in that it was meant to be a starting point. Those nations that were set to gain the most from it, or be damaged the least, were only too happy to sign up. The rest were forced to sign as a mark of their homage to the planet. They mostly had little intention of increasing their contribution, or even getting up to it.

    Tuesday, 20 February 2018


    This article puts the spotlight on to Jeremy Corbyn's plans to nationalise the energy sector (as well as others) and also his crazy plans to move over to even more renewables. He obviously has taken no notice of his brother Piers who is an astro-physicist who is a climate sceptic. 

    Monday, 19 February 2018


    This piece in the Mail on Sunday won't have pleased the government who are desperate to get us all on to smart meters. While the scares may be ott it is still enough to put a lot of people off, such is the fear of hacking and data stealing.

    Sunday, 18 February 2018


    This article gives the details. Of course this makes renewable electricity seem even dearer.  For how much longer can governments continue to ignore this fact while voters out up with high cost unreliable renewables?

    Saturday, 17 February 2018


    That is according to this article. What it shows is just how easy it is to use statistics to reach incorrect conclusions. 

    Friday, 16 February 2018


    This article gives the details of the case in which Professor Tim Ball a long standing climate sceptic has finally won his case in which he was being sued by an academic who accused him of libelling him. Prof. Ball had claimed that what he said or wrote was fair comment and that was what the judge finally agreed after seven long years, and no doubt a lot of legal costs. Let's hope his opponent has been forced to pay those costs.

    A much fuller account is here.

    Thursday, 15 February 2018


    Exxon fights back - the company has targeted at least 30 people and organizations, including the attorneys general of New York and Massachusetts, hitting them with suits, threats of suits or demands for sworn depositions. The company claims the lawyers, public officials and environmental activists are “conspiring” against it in a coordinated legal and public relations campaign.

    Wednesday, 14 February 2018


    This piece explains how recent statements from climate change ministers has suggested that there may be a change to the manifesto commitment to stop encouraging onshore wind farms.

    Tuesday, 13 February 2018


    Many in Washington are attempting to establish greenhouse gas policy, namely carbon dioxide (CO2) policy, and related energy policies based on faulty intelligence provided by the US Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) in its National Climate Assessments. The greenhouse gas effect occurs in the atmosphere. To directly measure any changes in climate due to greenhouse gases, we need to measure changes in the atmosphere. Surface-air temperature measurements are a poor proxy, as the strong divergence between surface-air temperature trends and atmospheric trends demonstrates.

    The greenhouse gas effect occurs in the atmosphere. To directly measure any changes in climate due to greenhouse gases, we need to measure changes in the atmosphere. Surface-air temperature measurements are a poor proxy, as the strong divergence between surface-air temperature trends and atmospheric trends demonstrates.

    Before the method of using satellite data to comprehensively calculate atmospheric temperature was announced in 1990, and thoroughly tested shortly thereafter, there was no option but using incomplete, sparse, surface data. Now, there is no excuse for not using the 39-year satellite data record.

    Yet, the USGCRP, and programs with NOAA, and NASA continue to promote false intelligence based on faulty surface data. Worse, they use long-term forecasts from global climate models which are demonstrated to be wrong – they fail in short-term forecasts. Thus, there is no logical reason to assume the models will succeed in long-term forecasts.

    The US government errs in believing it can build prudent policy based on “scientific research” that deliberately uses false intelligence. That the USGCRP boasts on its web site that it follows the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is an insult. The USGCRP ignores its independent mandate to understand both human and natural influences on climate.

    Monday, 12 February 2018


    New evidence proves beyond doubt that many Pacific Islands, such as Tuvalu, are actually growing in area.  In May last year, despite Tuvalu being used as an advertising posterchild for climate change for years, it had not received funding from the Green Climate Fund. In August 2017 UNDP finally promised $38 million. That’s theoretically an extra income equivalent to 20% of their GDP for the next seven years. No wonder these islanders are keen to talk “climate change”.

    Sunday, 11 February 2018


    This piece explains the details.  There are no more easy things to do, no more relatively painless one-off changes in economic structure to induce. The emissions reductions that are occurring are almost entirely in power generation, and driven by policies that increase the cost of electricity and so actually inhibit emissions reductions in those sectors of the economy where electrification is essential, in transport for example. The incoherence of the UK’s climate policies has never been clearer.

    Saturday, 10 February 2018


    This piece gives the details of an interview with Scott Pruitt the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, in which he makes the point.

    Friday, 9 February 2018


    This short video gives an excellent succinct summary of the scientific case for not supporting the hypothesis of dangerous global warming. 

    Thursday, 8 February 2018


    A Climate Of Crisis: America In The Age Of Environmentalism
    History News Network, 4 February 2018

    “Denier!” It has become the epithet of choice among climate change activists to malign those who dissent from the prevailing consensus [says] Patrick Allitt, author of A Climate of Crisis: America in the Age of Environmentalism. The term, inherently political, is almost exclusively limited to two groups of people: Holocaust deniers and climate change skeptics. When used against the latter group, the implication is that questioning the accuracy of a scientific study is like questioning the historical reality that Nazis murdered 6 million Jews. Is the position of a climate change skeptic as meritless as someone who denies a well-documented genocide?

    Patrick Allitt, a professor of environmental history at Emory University, is of the position that the response to climate change has been disproportionate to the scope of the problem. Is he a denier, as his detractors would suggest? No, Allitt insists. He says he believes in the overwhelming array of evidence that shows that the climate is changing and that this has serious implications. Where Allitt departs from the herd is that he does not believe climate change is catastrophic; rather, he believes that the benefits of industrialization outweigh the perceived harms of climate change.

    In A Climate of Crisis Professor Allitt explores the history of American environmentalism since World War II and highlights the progress that the United States has made in solving its environmental issues. As Allitt explains, the “United States is far less severely polluted than it used to be, it uses energy more effectively, and it is actively responding to the new environmental challenges as they arise.” However, according to Allitt, this progress has been attached to a culture of alarmism within in the environmental movement where the problems are amplified and the solutions are simplified.

    Allitt argues that the history of American environmentalism is filled with repeated alarms that later turned out to be false. In the 1960s there was a great alarm that overpopulation would lead to mass famine and death for millions in the developed world, a false alarm according to Allitt. In the 1970s warnings about the exhaustion of oil and other raw materials were echoed by scores of environmentalists, with the claim that by 2000 we would run out of vital resources, which Allitt cites as yet another false alarm. Allitt argues that both of these cases, much like climate change today, were described in catastrophic rhetoric, which was disproportionate to the severity of the issue.

    What could be behind this phenomenon? Allitt believes it is all about votes, noting that “in a democracy it’s important to motivate voters, and using crisis rhetoric is a good way of doing it.” As a historian, Allitt believes it is important to look beyond the rhetoric and to recover a sense of balance and perspective. Unlike the environmental causes of the past, Allitt contends that the hysteria and overreaction characterize our response to climate change and that this can have unintended consequences which may end up burdening the potential victims of climate change, future generations.

    Climate change, as Allitt explains, is unique in that it has no immediate constituency and the beneficiaries of climate change abatement are not easily identified. As such, Allitt is reluctant to commit large resources to the solution of long-term problems, which may or may not benefit a generation that does not yet exist. At a time when hundreds of thousands of people still die prematurely because of remediable problems like contaminated drinking water and smoke inhalation, Allitt argues that governments’ commitment of vast resources to the issue of climate change is misplaced.

    With all that said, Allitt is adamant that he believes climate change is a serious, yet manageable issue that should be addressed. According to Allitt, we are less vulnerable to the impacts of climate change because “we are so much more knowledgeable than we were before and have so many more ways to respond.”

    How should we respond to climate change? Allitt suggests that we should carry on with research connected with reducing greenhouse gas emissions without sacrificing economic growth in the process. Why is economic growth such a central concern? Allitt argues, “the creation of wealth enables societies to respond to severe environmental challenges and that only wealthy societies have active environmental movements.”

    Industrialization is, as Allitt puts it, “the source of salvation to populations throughout the world” and the benefits of it needed to be weighed against its adverse impacts on the environment.

    In Allitt’s view, one of the biggest misconceptions regarding climate change is that it is a recent phenomenon when, as he explains, “climate change has been a fact of life throughout earth’s history, and not just since the Industrial Revolution.” Again, Allitt acknowledges that industrialization contributes to climate change, but emphasizes, “Industrialization is only one of the causes.”

    Are the other causes of climate change a matter of settled science? Allitt does not see climate change through the lens of “settled science” which he suggests is a misnomer.
    Our understanding of climate change has been shaped, in large part, within the last half of the century with studies and experiments from a range of scientific disciplines including meteorology, astronomy, oceanography, and paleo-climatology. As such, Allitt believes that looking at climate change as matter of settled science is actually ahistorical. Allitt explains that science is “constantly developing and changing, with each new generation of scientists contesting the findings of their predecessors, and occasionally starting over by subjecting familiar data to new interpretive paradigms.”

    Back in 1500, the idea that the earth was the center of the universe was also “settled science.” Additionally, Allitt points to the early 1900s when the racial superiority of Anglo-Saxons was settled science,but later generations of scientists challenged that orthodoxy and, eventually rejected it outright. The history of every science shows the same kind of process. Given the dynamism of science, Allitt argues that it would be “extraordinarily anomalous if climate scientists said to one another: All these issues are now settled, and there’s nothing more to be done.”

    Wednesday, 7 February 2018


    Global Temperatures Drop Back To Pre-El Nino Levels
    Michael Bastasch, The Daily Caller, 2 February 2018

    The onset of La Niña in the tropical Pacific Ocean has caused temperatures drop to levels not seen in six years, according to satellite temperature data.

    “Note that La Niña cooling in the tropics has finally penetrated the troposphere, with a -0.12 deg. C departure from average,” wrote atmospheric scientists John Christy and Roy Spencer, who compile satellite data at the University of Alabama, Huntsville.

    Satellite data, which measures Earth’s bulk atmosphere, show temperature anomalies dropped from 0.41 degrees Celsius in December to 0.26 degrees in January. The temperature drop was brought about by a La Niña cooling event in the tropics.

    La Niña is in full swing in 2018, plunging temperatures in the tropics to -0.12 degrees Celsius in January, down from 0.26 degrees the previous month. It’s the third-largest tropical temperature drop on record.

    “The last time the tropics were cooler than this was June, 2012 (-0.15 deg. C),” the scientists wrote.

    “Out of the 470 month satellite record, the 0.38 deg. C one-month drop in January tropical temperatures was tied for the 3rd largest, beaten only by October 1991 (0.51 deg. C drop) and August, 2014 (0.41 deg. C drop),” they wrote.

    La Niña settled in late 2017, with cooler waters reaching from South America, across to eastern Pacific islands. It’s the opposite of El Niño warming events.

    “The last time the Southern Hemisphere was this cool (+0.06 deg. C) was July, 2015 (+0.04 deg. C),” Christy and Spencer wrote.

    “The linear temperature trend of the global average lower tropospheric temperature anomalies from January 1979 through January 2018 remains at +0.13 C/decade,” they wrote.

    Tuesday, 6 February 2018


    This piece explains the evidence for this welcome news. It is very difficult to measure such a small change in such a vast system as the world's oceans. I expect there will always be arguments about it, but it is encouraging that there are serious doubts about the alarming predictions of the doomsayers.

    Monday, 5 February 2018


    This article explains that Exxon has stated that the company believes that policies to combat climate change will have a minimal effect on their business. Apparently some green activist shareholders demanded that the company should let the shareholders know about this, expecting the company to conclude that they would be seriously affected, only to read the very opposite. No doubt they will now complain that the report is wrong and must be re-appraised to reach the conclusion they want. 

    Sunday, 4 February 2018


    This piece looks at the recent profits warning of a company building an offshore wind farm and links it to the recent collapse of Carillion. It seems that they both were involved with wind farms and appear to have under estimated the costs. Wind turbines are expensive to build and expensive to maintain. Thus they do not produce cheap electricity - nor is it reliable. 

    Saturday, 3 February 2018


    Graham Lloyd, The Australian, 1 February 2018

    Marine scientist Peter Ridd has refused to accept a formal censure and gag order from James Cook University and expanded his Federal Court action to defend academic freedoms and free speech.

    James Cook University professor Peter Ridd. Picture: Cameron Laird

    A revised statement of claim alleges JCU trawled through private email conversations in a bid to bolster its misconduct case against him.

    JCU had found Professor Ridd guilty of “serious misconduct”, ­including denigrating a co-worker, denigrating the university, breaching confidentiality, publishing information outside of the university and disregarding his obligations as an employee.

    Professor Ridd has asked the Federal Court to overturn the university ruling and confirm his right not to be silenced.

    In the revised statement of claim, Professor Ridd has dropped an earlier claim of conflict of interest against JCU vice-chancellor Sandra Harding, but has alleged other senior staff had been biased and had not acted fairly or in good faith.

    Professor Ridd’s Federal Court action is seen as a test of academic freedom and free speech, and has been supported by the Institute of Public Affairs.

    Professor Ridd said he would seek public donations to continue the fight against JCU. He first took court action in November in a bid to stop a JCU disciplinary process against him for comments he made to Sky News presenter Alan Jones.

    The university said by expressing concerns about the quality of some reef science, Professor Ridd had not acted in a “collegiate” manner.

    Professor Ridd told Sky News: “The basic problem is that we can no longer trust the scientific ­organisations like the Australian Institute of Marine Science, even things like the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.”

    He said a lot of the science was not properly checked, tested or replicated and “this is a great shame because we really need to be able to trust our scientific institutions and the fact is I do not think we can any more”.

    A JCU spokesman said the university’s lawyers had invited Professor Ridd to discontinue his proceedings. “(He) has amended his proceedings. His decision to do so is a matter for him,” he said.

    “The university intends to vigorously defend those proceedings (but) as these matters are before the courts, JCU will not comment further.”

    Lawyers for JCU wrote to Professor Ridd on November 28 confirming the university had determined he had engaged in “serious misconduct” and issued him with a “final censure”.

    “The disciplinary process and all information gathered and recorded in relation to the disciplinary process (including the allegations, letters, your client’s responses and the outcome of the disciplinary process) is confidential pursuant to clause 54.1.5 of the university enterprise agreement,” the JCU lawyers said.

    Professor Ridd has subsequently published his concerns about the quality of reef science in a peer-reviewed journal. He said he was determined to speak freely about his treatment “even though it will go against explicit directions by JCU not to”.

    “This is as much a case about free speech as it is about quality of science,” he said.

    Full story

    Please support Peter Ridd’s Legal Action Fund

    His web page with all the details is here:

    Peter Ridd: The Extraordinary Resilience of Great Barrier Reef Corals, and Problems with Policy Science
    Climate Change: The Facts 2017

    The state of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is often used to show that we are facing an imminent crisis from climate change. It is photogenic, the water sparkles blue, the fish and corals are beautiful and delicate, and most who see it, particularly marine biologists, fall in love with it. It is abhorrent to even contemplate that it be destroyed, or damaged, by humanity.

    The claimed imminent peril faced by the GBR has captured the public imagination. When Barack Obama was president of the United States and visited Australia he remarked that he wanted global action on climate change so maybe his daughters had a chance to see the Great Barrier Reef. A visiting architect to my university revealed that his daughter, on discussing the latest reef bleaching event at school, came home depressed that she would probably never be able to see the GBR. A majority of the world’s population seem to have been persuaded that it has no more than a few years left.

    There is no doubt that every decade or so, abnormally high sea water temperature can cause corals to bleach (Marshall and Schuttenberg, 2006). This is when the coral expels the symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae) which live inside the individual coral polyp. The polyps are the animals, generally a few millimeters across, which make the calcium carbonate structure of the coral.

    Thousands or even millions of polyps make up an individual coral. The symbiotic algae live inside the polyp and make energy from sunlight, which it shares with the polyp in exchange for a comfortable environment. However, when the water gets much hotter than normal, something goes wrong with the symbionts and they effectively become poisonous to the polyp. The polyp expels the symbionts and because the symbionts give the polyp its colour, the coral turns white. Without the symbionts, the polyp will run out of energy and will die within a few weeks or months unless it takes on more symbionts which float around naturally in the water surrounding the coral.

    The ghastly white skeletons of bleached coral, and on a massive scale, make graphic and compelling images to demonstrate the perils of climate change. The fact that this only happens when the water gets much hotter than normal makes it a plausible hypothesis that coral bleaching is caused by anthropogenic climate change. It is also often claimed by scientists that mass bleaching has only occurred since the 1970s; that it is a recent phenomenon which did not occur a hundred years ago when the water temperature of the GBR was 0.5o C cooler (Hughes, 2016).

    Despite this apparently plausible hypothesis, I argue in this chapter that there is perhaps no ecosystem on Earth better able to cope with rising temperatures. Irrespective of one’s views about the role of carbon dioxide, I will show that the GBR corals are masters of temperature adaptability, and able to cope with the modest warming that has occurred over the last century – and are also so-far unaffected by ocean acidification. There are, however, issues with how GBR science is reported, and a desperate need for some basic quality assurance.

    Full paper