'First, the non-climatic effects of carbon dioxide are dominant over the climatic effects and are overwhelmingly beneficial. Second, the climatic effects observed in the real world are much less damaging than the effects predicted by the climate models, and have also been frequently beneficial.'

Freeman Dyson,

in Foreword to http://www.thegwpf.org/content/uploads/2015/10/benefits1.pdf

Friday, 21 December 2012

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my readers!

I have not been able to keep up a regular flow of posts here, and I want to apologise for that to any regular readers.  But I hope that the links I provide to more active, and more important, sites (on the right hand side of this screen) will be convenient.  I also hope that some of the posts already made will still be of value for a bit longer, and that also the reference 'pages' I provide will prove helpful from time to time.

I have been building up notes for a series of posts I plan to make next month on the ongoing targeting of children to create activists driven by climate alarm, or to get to their parents to help sustain that alarm.  While the scientific case for such alarm continues to be exposed more widely as being a weak one, and while more politicians seem to making tentative first steps away from domination by environmentalism, there is in the background so to speak, a relentless pushing of alarm or some version of responsibility for doing something about it on to school children.  I suppose that will take decades to reverse and to repair some of the harm caused, and so a delayed posting on a very minor blog will not make a noticeable difference to that.

I am signing off now for Christmas.  I do not have any religious faith, but I do admire the Christian religion for its high ideals, and its open compassion and generosity to all.  I am quite content that they have taken over the pagan festival of this time of year - their music, their sentiments, their actions all enhance it as far as I have found.  Merry Christmas!

Next post some time early in January.  A good deal of progress was made in 2012 on pushing against the promotion of belief in CAGW.  That alarmism is still the 'establishment' view, but surely there are signs that this particular 'tide in the affairs of man' is on the turn.  The 'catastrophism' at least may be being tempered.  Let us hope so.  Happy New Year!
  
Note added 26 December 2012.  Here is a timely illustration of Christian compassion applied to all those who have harmed the world for decades past and no doubt decades to come with their irresponsible and sometimes ugly scaremongering over carbon dioxide:
'However vicious and cruel the true-believers in the global-warming fantasy have been to those few of us who have dared publicly to question their credo that has now been so thoroughly discredited by events, we should make sure that the rat-hole we dig for their escape from their lavish folly is as commodious as possible.'  Christopher Monckton

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/25/bethlehem-and-the-rat-hole-problem/

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

The BBC - just another brick in the wall of trace gas alarmism

On the Bishop Hill blog today, Don Kieller provides this powerful indictment of the BBC's complicity in climate campaigning in a letter he has just sent to his MP and to the BBC Trust:
 [I have added all the text enlargement, the italics and the emboldening for presentation purposes here]:

I am writing to you about a serious concern regarding the BBC’s reporting of climate change science and associated issues

From the detail emerging in the aftermath of Mr. Tony Newbery’s F.O.I case (EA/2009/0118) it is absolutely clear that the BBC is in breach of its Charter, which requires it to be impartial.  Furthermore it knowingly and wilfully breached its Charter in this regard and has since tried to hide this fact from the Public and license fee payers, at the Publics’ expense.

In June, 2007, the BBC Trust published a report entitled “From Seesaw to Wagon Wheel: Safeguarding impartiality in the 21st Century”. That report, which is fully endorsed by the BBC Trust, contains the following statement (page 40):

“The BBC has held a high‐level seminar with some of the best scientific experts, and has come to the view that the weight of evidence no longer justifies equal space being given to the opponents of the consensus."

This statement forms the basis for the BBC’s decision to breach its Charter and abandon impartiality on the subject of climate change and instead provide a highly biased and alarmist presentation of the science of climate change, without any attempt at counterbalancing argument, let alone “equal space”.  Since then attempts have been made, via FOI requests, to find out the identities of the so-called “best scientific experts” who attended the “high level seminar” which thereby provided the justification for the BBC to abandon its principle of impartiality in this area. To my best knowledge, the BBC has not abandoned its impartiality in this way, even in wartime.

Tony Newbery, a pensioner, clearly felt the same way and has gone through a long series of FOI requests and processes, culminating, earlier this month, in a tribunal at the Central London Civil Justice Centre (case no. EA/2009/0118). The FOI request was for the identities of the “best scientific experts” who attended the seminar. In order to conceal this information, the BBC fielded a team of 6 lawyers, including barristers, at an estimated cost of £40,000 per day, to prevent the list of names from being published. Whilst they were successful, it was a pyrric victory, as it transpires that this information, that the BBC had tried so hard to conceal, had been in the Public domain for some time.

So who were these “best scientific experts”?

It turns out to be a motley collection of climate alarmists, activists, environmental advocates and those with vested financial interests:

Blake Lee-Harwood, Head of Campaigns, Greenpeace
Andrew Dlugolecki, Insurance industry consultant
Trevor Evans, US Embassy
Colin Challen MP, Chair, All Party Group on Climate Change
Anuradha Vittachi, Director, Oneworld.net
Andrew Simms, Policy Director, New Economics Foundation
Claire Foster, Church of England
Saleemul Huq, IIED
Poshendra Satyal Pravat, Open University
Li Moxuan, Climate campaigner, Greenpeace China
Tadesse Dadi, Tearfund Ethiopia
Iain Wright, CO2 Project Manager, BP International
Ashok Sinha, Stop Climate Chaos
Andy Atkins, Advocacy Director, Tearfund
Matthew Farrow, CBI
Rafael Hidalgo, TV/multimedia producer
Cheryl Campbell, Executive Director, Television for the Environment
Kevin McCullough, Director, Npower Renewables
Richard D North, Institute of Economic Affairs
Steve Widdicombe, Plymouth Marine Labs
Joe Smith, The Open University
Mark Galloway, Director, IBT
Anita Neville, E3G
Eleni Andreadis, Harvard University
Jos Wheatley, Global Environment Assets Team, DFID
Tessa Tennant, Chair, AsRia.

Not one of these could be described as “scientific”, let alone an expert.

The remainder:

Robert May, Oxford University and Imperial College London
Mike Hulme, Director, Tyndall Centre, UEA
Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, Niels Bohr Institute, Copenhagen
Michael Bravo, Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge

are scientists, but were misleadingly described in court by Helen Boaden (of Jimmy Saville infamy), as “scientists with contrasting views”. In fact all are unashamedly alarmist. Pointedly, not one of these scientists deals with attribution science, or the atmospheric physics of global warming. 

So where are the real experts? Scientists from the Met Office, or the Hadley Centre, one of the foremost climate research centres in the world? Where are the names of Dr.Chris Landsea, World expert on hurricanes, or Dr. Nils‐Axel Mörner, World authority on sea level rises? Or Professors Richard Lindzen, or Murry Salby, World experts on atmospheric physics? Why are there no experts from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia?

It now crystal clear why the BBC went to such great lengths and expense to withhold the names of those attending. They are not the “best scientific experts” but rather a group overwhelmingly comprised of environmental activists and NGO’s, with no scientific training, whatsoever, or those with a vested interest, often financial, in keeping climate change alarmism firmly in the Public eye.

In conclusion I put it to the BBC Trust that:

1. The BBC and, by endorsing the report, the BBC Trust, have lied to the public that they organised and/or attended a seminar at BBC Television Centre involving the “best scientific experts” on climate change.
2. That its change of policy to no longer be impartial on the subject of climate change was not based on scientific evidence, or the views of the “best scientific experts”, but in fact was as a result of listening to the views, advice and lobbying from inappropriate and biased individuals, groups and organisations including Greenpeace, Tearfund, US Embassy, BP, IIED, IBT, AsRia, E3G etc.
3. That the BBC and the BBC Trust are in breach of the charter and acting unlawfully. The following quotations are taken from the website http://www.bbc.co.uk/editorialguidelines/page/guidelines-editorial-values-editorial-values/ :

1.2.1 Trust
Trust is the foundation of the BBC: we are independent, impartial and honest. We are committed to achieving the highest standards of due accuracy and impartiality and strive to avoid knowingly and materially misleading our audiences.

1.2.2 Truth and Accuracy
We seek to establish the truth of what has happened and are committed to achieving due accuracy in all our output. Accuracy is not simply a matter of getting facts right; when necessary, we will weigh relevant facts and information to get at the truth. Our output, as appropriate to its subject and nature, will be well sourced, based on sound evidence, thoroughly tested and presented in clear, precise language. We will strive to be honest and open about what we don't know and avoid unfounded speculation.
1.2.3 Impartiality
Impartiality lies at the core of the BBC's commitment to its audiences. We will apply due impartiality to all our subject matter and will reflect a breadth and diversity of opinion across our output as a whole, over an appropriate period, so that no significant strand of thought is knowingly unreflected or under-represented. We will be fair and open-minded when examining evidence and weighing material facts.

1.2.4 Editorial Integrity and Independence
The BBC is independent of outside interests and arrangements that could undermine our editorial integrity. Our audiences should be confident that our decisions are not influenced by outside interests, political or commercial pressures, or any personal interests. 


Each and every one of these guidelines has been knowingly breached.

This is a scandal that is, in its own way, more disturbing than the one over the Jimmy Savile affair, as it has implications for the whole population. Interestingly the key players in this scandal, George Entwistle, Helen Boaden, Peter Rippon and Steve Mitchell, are also key players in the Savile affair. However whilst the Savile scandal is being looked into by a series of inquiries, this has been ignored.

I look forward to hearing from you in due course on this matter. Please also be advised that I have sent a copy of this letter to the Director of the BBC Trust.
Nov 21, 2012 at 12:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Keiller 

The BBC produces a lot of educational materials, and may even have deliberately injected climate perspectives into children's etnertainment programmes, and may well be seen as an authoritative source, along with such as the Royal Society and the IPCC, on matters to do with climate change.  Teachers should be on their guard about the outputs of each and every one of them on climate.

For more background.
A recent newspaper article on this topic has been published in the Daily Telegraph by Christopher Booker, and Andrew Orlowski has written a detailed overview in The Register.

Note added 3 December 2012: Further analysis of the supine behaviour of the BBC on climate, with chapter and verse on how they surrendered their souls to a handful of eco-activists:  http://biased-bbc.com/2012/12/carbon-footprints-and-dr-joe-smiths-fingerprints.html

Note added 7 December 2012.  An updated essay around this BBC seminar called 'The Propaganda Bureau' is available at Bishop Hill .  A few posts earlier, Don Keiller shares some correspondence with his MP on the topic of the BBC breaching its charter over climate matters.

Friday, 16 November 2012

A 28Gate Climate Crusader Coaching Children for The Cause.

One of the many somewhat curious choices of participant in the infamous climate-alarm lobbying seminar held by the BBC in January 2006 is 'Eleni Andreadis, Harvard University'.  She has since helped launch a programme aimed at turning children into political activists, driven presumably at least in part by her being seized with fear about the future thanks to rising CO2 levels. 

I had noticed that an executive from Children’s BBC was amongst those revealed by 28Gate  (Anne Gilchrist, Executive Editor Indies & Events, CBBC), and I wondered if she had been taken in by the crusaders.  I don’t know if she was or not – a study of the subsequent programmes would be required.  I hoped that someone might have the resources to do that one day soon, and gave the list no more thought.

But then my attention was drawn yesterday (hat-tip M) to some further research by Maurizio Morabito which led him to this extract from a Linked-In entry by Andreadis :

 Experience
  • Member of the Board SANI SA January 2008 – Present (4 years 11 months)
  • Founder/Director Planet Agents January 2008 – Present (4 years 11 months)
Education
  • Harvard University Masters in Public Policy, Environmental Policy, Government Strategy, Media 2004 – 2006
  • University of Bath BSc in Management, Business 1996 – 2000”

SANI is a company which owns or at least runs a luxury hotel resort, and very impressive it looks to be.  Too expensive for me I suspect, but it sure looks like they are doing a grand job there, and that it would be a very pleasant place to visit.

PlanetAgents, however, is another kettle of fish altogether.

In a comment on Maurizio’s recent post linked to above, ‘geoffchambers’ (who has his own blog here) notes that:

Planet Agents’ site is in Greek, but there’s a PDF in English with a Mission Statement:

To empower children aged 7-12 to take action on environmental issues.
To revolutionize the role children play in the environmental movement, empowering
them to become a real force for change in their home, school and community.
To achieve this by…
• By enabling children to harness their power in bringing about positive environmental action.
By making saving the planet a game and social activity, offering kids the chance to take on the role of Planet Agents and undertake fun “Top Secret Missions” to green their home, school and wider community.
• By getting kids to educate and motivate their parents to change their behavior on ten key planet environmental threats.”
[I have added the bold and italics]
Planet Agents http://www.planetagents.org/
I have looked at the Planet Agents site using machine translations by Google .

It is all wrapped up in the honey of protecting the planet, and doing congenial things like having a vegetable garden, with talk of ‘freshness and humor’ in their approach.  But it is all so politicised.  The children are to take on the adults via 'missions' and to organise themselves to ‘get changes in their immediate environment’, e.g.

'Each individual mission supported by appropriate educational material to propose practical solutions to environmental management issues, such as a vegetable garden at the school, eliminating plastic in the school canteen or composting at home, where children enrich and apply. Apart from its training, each mission encourages children to take their future into their own hands, to propose their own solutions, as well as to communicate what they have learned to the rest of the school.'

Please leave them alone, Elena.  They have a childhood to enjoy and do not need to share your fears of the future, nor your ambitions to manipulate their parents.  Adults have done a pretty impressive job of improving living standards, improving health, improving the environment, and making use of cost-effective ways of mass-producing electricity.  They will continue to do so, and looking out for the wellbeing of their own and other people’s children will be an important part of it.  Perhaps if people like Elena, no doubt as well-intentioned as anyone could be in wanting to 'protect the planet', would engage more with adults and try to persuade them directly of her concerns it would be better than trying to do so via their children.

Why do they do it?
A pyschotherapist speculated  last year about reasons why people might target children in this way:
'But the deeper question is – why are adults so keen to focus on children? Why concentrate on the weakest, least influential members of society and ask them to act? The answer I think lies in the process psychoanalysis calls projection where unwanted feelings or parts of the self are split off and attributed to somebody else. “I’m not angry/selfish/mean/neglectful – you are/he is/she is/they are.”

Climate change makes most adults working on it feel powerless. We compare the actions we are capable of with the scale of the problem and feel weak. We look at the extent of our influence and feel helpless. We struggle to combat our contrary desires to consume and feel shame. We feel like children. Children – who are actually socially and politically powerless – are an ideal receptacle for the projection of these uncomfortable and unacceptable feelings.


By focusing on the weakest members of society and influencing them, the not-very-powerful adults make themselves feel better at the expense of the absolutely-not-powerful children. By making them act, we prove that we are not as powerless as we feel
.’

Alternative explanations include 'noble cause corruption', or just the plain self-righteousness and arrogance of the zealotMore research into this area of climate alarmism would be very welcome. 

Some other posts relevant to this:
(1) Creating 'little climate activists' in UK schools
(2) Something similar in Canada
http://climatelessons.blogspot.com/2011/03/canadian-climate-campaigners-how-to.html 

(3) Why do they pick on children?  Some thoughts here:  

Thursday, 8 November 2012

Climate campaigning corruptions to exclude from the classroom: greenhouses and '97%'

Misleading ideas and interpretations of published results are well-suited to the promotion of CAGW (catastrophic anthropogenic global warming) in the classroom.

The very term 'greenhouse effect' is an example.  It has been established for more than 100 years that greenhouses do not heat up by 'trapping' infra-red, they heat up because their enclosed structure dramatically reduces mixing with cooler outside air.  But what a godsend the phrase is for alarming anyone who has ever been in a hot greenhouse.

Another example is the use of some variant of the phrase '97% of climate scientists believe in CAGW'.  This is a shoddy statistic.  It was derived from a poorly formulated, poorly conducted, and poorly analysed survey by an MSc student for her thesis, and, were it not for the obvious propaganda value, it would normally never have seen the light of day outside of her department.

The So-Called Greenhouse Effect

In 1909, a distingushed American physicist called R W Wood reported (Phil. Mag. vol 17, p319-320) on his experiments which showed that 'trapping' of infra-red by greenhouse glass was of no consequence as a cause of warming in the greenhouse.  He speculated that infra-red radiation was likely to be of little consequence in heating the atmosphere as well.

The work of Wood has been made widely known through a paper on the history of the greenhouse effect by Jones and Henderson-Sellers (1990).  From their abstract:

'One such misconception is that greenhouse research is a recent phenomenon; another is that glasshouses are warmed by the same mechanism as lies at the heart of the greenhouse effect.'

For a recent confirmation of Woods 1909 experiment see Nahle (2011).  He concludes:

'The greenhouse effect inside greenhouses is due to the blockage of convective heat transfer with the environment and it is not related, neither obeys, to any kind of “trapped” radiation. Therefore, the greenhouse effect does not exist as it is described in many didactic books and articles.

The experiment performed by Prof. Robert W. Wood in 1909 is absolutely valid and systematically repeatable.'


Nevertheless, as revealed for example by 'Tallbloke' very recently, experiments with shining lamps on to upturned glass jars containing thermometers are promoted for classroom demonstrations to convince pupils of the reality of an atmospheric 'greenhouse effect'.  The title of this blogpost by Dr Roy Spencer sums it up nicely:  http://www.drroyspencer.com/2012/10/hey-school-teachers-those-greenhouse-effect-experiments-are-junk/

The So-Called 97% 

The complete absence of convincing evidence of a suitably dramatic effect of man-made CO2 on the climate system has forced propagandists to look elsewhere.  Notably by 'appealing to authority'.  

One device is to pretend that the output of computer models provides that evidence.  They of course merely provide illustrations of the ideas and methods of the programmers, and they do not even model CO2 directly - including it instead by its presumed impact as a 'forcing'. 

Another is to declare that many thousands of scientists producing IPCC reports believe in it, when in fact almost all of them are focused on, and qualified to study, the effects of climate change rather than the causes.  Since climate always changes, such studies could be undertaken for any era in earth's history.  

A third is to assert that '97% of climate scientists' believe in it.   Let me quote from an informative blog post on this published two days ago by Tom Harris, with my bolding and italicising:

' It’s a “fact” asserted by political leaders, media and activists worldwide. Important public policy and corporate decisions are based on it. Researchers and public opinion survey coordinators take it as a given. School children and college and university students are assured it is true.
It is the idea that scientists agree that we are causing climate catastrophe. It is perhaps best summed up by the following statement, one heard often over the past three years:
“97% of climate experts agree that humanity is causing dangerous global warming and other problematic climate change because of our greenhouse gas emissions.”
No poll of experts has actually shown this. There has never been a reputable worldwide survey of climate scientists that has even asked the question. In fact, it has never even been demonstrated that there is any “global scientific consensus about the climate crisis”, as Al Gore continually assures us that there is.'

The post goes on a little later to say:

'Two pieces of evidence are most often cited to support the 97%/consensus argument:
  1. A 2010 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States (PNAS) by Anderegg et al.
  2. A poll conducted in April 2008 by Professor Peter Doran and then-graduate student Margaret R. K. Zimmerman at University of Illinois at Chicago. The survey results were summarized in a paper published in January 2009 in the science journal EOS.
Contrary to popular belief, the Anderegg et al study did not poll any experts at all. Instead, the paper’s authors merely evaluated the publication record of scientists they chose to represent two sides in the global warming debate. This study has been roundly condemned as worse than useless by several authors and, because I was personally involved in assembling some of the lists of experts cited by the researchers and so understand the limitations of those lists, I will explain in a future FCPP blog posting why the Anderegg et al study is not a meaningful indicator of expert opinion about this topic.
The Doran/Zimmerman study, which did poll experts, has also been thoroughly debunked by many writers and so there is little point in repeating their criticisms in this blog posting. However, there are two problems with the study that have received little or no coverage to date. Both of these problems destroy the poll’s credibility as a reliable measure of the stance of climate scientists on the supposed climate crisis.'

Harris quotes some of the comments made by some of the scientists who were asked to complete the survey.  He points out how these raise so many problems with the questions deployed that it is obvious that the survey should have been re-designed.  It was not of course.  It was, after all, 'just' a student project.  One sadly destined to be shouted from the rooftops in support of alarmism.

Barry Woods also published more details of this shoddy piece of survey earlier this year.  He provides references to previously published criticisms:

'The Doran paper  has been criticised by many sceptics in the past, where a survey of 10,256 with 3146 respondents was whittled down to 75 out of 77 “expert” ’active climate researchers’ (ACR) to give the 97% figure, based on just two very simplistic (shallow) questions that even the majority of sceptics might agree with. Lawrence Soloman made one of many critiques of the Doran Paper here and offers a very good summary, some other reviews here, here and here.'

Woods also provides criticism and further references on deliberate deceptions using the  Anderegg et al. study. He relays this quote from Paul Matthews which sums that nicely in response to an egregious claim:

'Worse still, he misrepresents the claims of that paper (he implies the 97% believe CO2 will cause major climate change in the coming decades, while Anderegg et al say 97% agree that most of the warming of the 20th C was very likely due to man-made greenhouse gases – two very different statements).'

Let us hope these 'two very different statements' are not confounded in the minds of teachers across the world, nor may they contain the emotive notion that the earth is warming like a greenhouse.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Calming the Climate Curriculum - rejoinders and 'Did you know?'s

There is an organisation called the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow - CFACT.  It is actually optimistic about the possibilities for further progress without buying into the 'climate catastrophe due to man' cult.  How radical is that?  Imagine if that became the dominant leitmotif of curricula in schools!  Imagine the financial crisis facing fear-based fundraisers if cheerfulness and rationality broke out!

CFACT has just published (hat-tip NoTricksZone) a set of brief counter-arguments to some of the kinds of remarks that can trip off the tongues of those still convinced by the case for alarm over CO2.  Some examples:

'CO2 is a greenhouse gas and it has been rising steadily. How can you deny global warming?'

'Haven’t the past few years shown global warming to be worse than we thought?'

'How can you ignore thousands of scientists who say manmade global warming is a serious threat?'

'97% of scientists say manmade climate change is real. How can you go against them?'

'Don’t graphs show that current temperatures are the highest in 1,000 years?'
There are 8 pages in a pdf file of these questions and answers here: http://www.cfact.org/pdf/Climate-Change-Q&A-Truth-File-2012.pdf

When the exams are over, or if the mark schemes are tolerant of dissent, or if the pupils are otherwise not to be judged on their conformance to climate cult dogma, then this document could provide material for many displays for the classroom wall.  These could be used to encourage fact-checking and further investigations by pupils into these or any other remarks or assertions they may have encountered from those who want to scare them, and the rest of us, into thinking and doing what they want us to.

A promising initiative is also underway led by Anthony Watts at WUWT.  He has invited suggestions for 'Did you know X' tidbits that he could use in a forthcming presentations, as he explains:


'The concept is simple and revolves around the question “Did you know?” and climate science.
Here’s how it works.  
Every one of us has some little tidbit of information they learned about climate science that isn’t being told by the MSM and doesn’t fit the narrative. I’m looking for a series of “Did you know?” tidbits to use in an upcoming presentation.  For example:
==============================================================
Did you know?
The infrared response of Carbon Dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere is curved (logarithmic) rather than straight (linear) as is often portrayed in science stories?'

Several hundred suggestions have been made in the comments, and not all of them of course are sensible or plausible.  But presumably in due course, Watts will winnow the wheat from the chaff and may produce something of interest for use in the classroom.

Supplement added shortly after posting 
 A Cambridgeshire councillor has attracted a great deal of very informed support for his sceptical position on CO2 alarmism.  One commenter provided him with a very interesting list of quotes, comments, and apercus from scientists who share that view.  The details are on Nick Clarke's blog here: http://nickclarkeconservative.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/climate-some-comments-from-scientists/

(hat-tip: Climate Science)

These also look like a very rich resource for classroom use. 













Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Tracking sources of climate alarmism in school curricula - Tallbloke on the trail of the lonesome pine

'Tallbloke' has recently published extracts from a document 'from a UK 'science based' agency' obviously intended to provide guidance for school teachers in the UK. In a series of 3 posts, he has highlighted the existence of this document, promised to critically review it, and published several sections.  Here are parts of one of them from his first post:

'Scientific experts from around the world agree that, whatever we do now, significant climate change is now unavoidable.
It will take decades to reduce the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Even then, because natural systems take time to readjust, global warming is a phenomenon that will figure prominently throughout the lives of children presently at school. This assumes that a concerted international effort will help reduce the effects of climate change. Early signs are not encouraging! If we do nothing, timescales will be reduced and the detrimental effects will be magnified. Sea levels may continue rising for centuries.
 ...

Consequences – general
Climate change will seriously disrupt our lives. While, on average, the globe will get warmer and receive more precipitation, individual regions will experience different climatic changes, with different consequences for the local environment. Among the most severe are:
• a faster rise in sea level;
• more heat-waves and droughts, resulting in more and more conflicts over water resources;
• more extreme weather events, producing floods and property destruction;
• a greater potential for heat-related illnesses and deaths, as well as the wider spread of infectious diseases carried by insects and rodents into areas previously free from them.
If climatic trends continue unabated, global warming will threaten our health, cities, farms and forests, beaches and wetlands, and other natural habitats.'

Here is another extract, clearly revealing activism and alarmism in a few sentences:

'Be part of the solution
Clearly, global warming is a grave problem. It will take everyone – governments, industry, communities, and individuals – working together to make a real difference. These are solutions that will help reduce global warming, and you can be a part of them.
But
• ‘Americans are driving more in less-efficient vehicles. Sales of sports utility vehicles and pick-up trucks have been amazingly strong considering the recession, and low pump prices are keeping people on the roads’ – Mike Lucky, analyst for John S Herold Inc, December 2001
• ‘One person flying in an airplane for one hour is responsible for the same greenhouse gas emissions as a typical Bangladeshi in a whole year.’ – Beatrice Schell, European Federation for Transport and Environment, November 2001
• ‘The Greenland ice sheet is likely to be eliminated [within 50 years] unless much more substantial reductions in emissions are made than those envisaged’ – Jonathan Gregory, climatologist at the University of Reading, April 2004, commenting on the fact that, upon melting, the world’s second largest icecap could raise sea levels by seven metres, flooding most coastal regions. Plot this on an OS Map of your nearest coastal area.'

Here is part of another extract from his second post:

' We are learning to …
Understand what climate change is and how it can be prevented.
Phase 1 Overview
Assess the children’s prior knowledge by asking the following questions:
• What is climate change?
• Why is it sometimes called ‘The Greenhouse Effect’/‘Global warming’?
• How can we prevent it?'


 And part of one from his third post:

' Place the two thermometers beneath a sun lamp or in the sun. Wait three minutes for the temperature to adjust, then record it on the paper. Turn the jar upside down and place one of the thermometers inside. Use the stopwatch to measure the temperature on each thermometer every minute for ten minutes. Record the measurements on the paper.
The air around the exposed thermometer is constantly changing, being replaced with cooler air throughout the experiment. The air surrounding the other thermometer, however, is trapped and becomes warmer and warmer. This is similar to what happens on the earth’s surface. The sunlight passes through the atmosphere and warms the earth’s surface. The heat radiating from the surface is trapped by greenhouse gases.'

Tallbloke has suggested readers contribute comments on these posts, and notes that  'the whole thing needs a thorough debunking, which we’ll undertake over a series of posts. When we’ve completed it, with references to scientific papers and the on the record statements of scientists, we’ll deliver this to the agency involved and report their response.'

Good.  If this shoddy material can be stopped in its tracks, that would be something very worthwhile.

Note added 8 November 2012.  A commenter at the Tallbloke site gives a link to the document on an educational site run by the Royal Meteorological Society (http://www.metlink.org/pdf/science_weather/climatechange.pdf).  The document is suspiciously anonymous - no dates, no names of authors on it for example.  I'm hoping it got planted there unofficially and that it will be removed in due course.  Josh has some informative cartoons from a conference held jointly by the RMS yesterday (http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2012/11/8/rmets-communicating-climate-science-cartoon-notes-by-josh.html).

Note added 20 November 2012Even alarmists are embarassed by some of the 'science experiments' used in schools to explain the so-called greenhouse effect: http://climatechangeeducation.org/hands-on/difficulties/heating_greenhouse_gases/ 


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Sunday, 7 October 2012

An Intellectually-Corrupt Climate-Curriculum for Children Would Produce Results Like This

Bishop Hill draws attention to a newspaper article by the seasoned journalist Christopher Booker.  He published this in the Daily Telegraph on 6th October (scroll down in the article to reach it):

"Debunking climate propaganda earns you a 'fail’
Two weeks ago I described one of this year’s A-level General Studies papers which asked candidates to discuss various “source materials” on climate change. Drawn from propaganda documents wholly biased in favour of climate alarmism, these contained a plethora of scientific errors. I suggested that, if any clued-up students tore these “sources” apart as they deserved, they might have been given a “fail”.
Sure enough, an email from the mother of just such a student confirmed my fears. Her son is “an excellent scientist” who got “straight As” on his other science papers, but he is also “very knowledgeable about climate change and very sceptical about man-made global warming”. His questioning of the sources earned an “E”, the lowest possible score. His mother then paid £60 for his paper to be re-marked. It was judged to be “articulate, well-structured” and clearly well-informed, but again he was marked down with “E” for fail.
This young man’s experience speaks volumes about the way the official global-warming religion has so corrupted our education system that it has parted company with proper scientific principles. In his efforts to reform our dysfunctional exam system, Michael Gove should ask for this bizarre episode to be investigated."

The earlier article to which he refers is reproduced in my Climate Curricula page on this website, and it can also be directly reached here - again with a requirement to scroll down to find the relevant paragraphs.

Let us hope that this is investigated further by the relevant minister, Michael Gove, and by any others who could provide chapter and verse on this and possibly other examples of intellectual corruption in our climate curriculum in the UK.  The possibility of moral and political corruption is also present here, since it is clear that fear and anxiety can be generated by alarming tales involving CO2, and furthermore that particular political perspectives and actions are often tagged on.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Not much chance of posting until mid-September

My hopes of getting back to regular posting in July were dashed, as are they for August.  I am now looking to mid-September before getting back into the swing of it.  In the meantime, I am working on climate materials again, and I look forward to adding my tuppence worth to help resist the foolishness, and sometimes inhumanity, that characterises so much of the outpourings in and around the attribution of climate variation to human actions.  I hope that some previous posts and the various 'Pages' and links provided here will prove to be useful and informative for others engaged in the same struggle.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Monckton from the Conference in Rio: scaring children with climate propaganda is child abuse, and parents should not tolerate it.

Scotland, and in particular Edinburgh has accumulated much to be ashamed about in the sorry saga of climate scaremongering of the past 30 years or so.  The University for sustaining alarmism, the Royal Society for its supine conformance to establishment views, and even the town council for giving an award to an intemperate leader of climate alarm.  But on the credit side of the ledger we do have some entries, and one of the most notable of these is the work of Lord Monckton.  His deep study of the subject from the outside, but with mathematical and logical assurance, has been impressive, as has been his willingness to engage in debate and make presentations on what is known, and what is not known or has been deliberately misleading about the causes and extent of climate variation.

The YouTube video below contains a report by Monckton from the UN conference which took place this month in Rio, a conference which seems to have well-reflected the moral and intellectual turpitude of the UN's handling of climate matters in so much as it was a failure on a grand and shaming scale.  His report contains many useful insights into what took place in Rio.  But of most interest for this blog, is when he notes in particular how the young have been exploited to take part in the conference, and addresses the question of children being deliberately scared about climate by teachers in public schools in the States, and how they may also be being taught to regard humanity, and therefore themselves, with loathing.


The report is part of an interview conducted by Alex Jones, who himself refers to young children (in 1st grade, and in kindergarten) in Austin, Texas, being reduced to tears by their teachers around climate and human impact on it.

Monckton urges parents to gather the best evidence they can find on what is actually being taught in their childrens' schools, and to consider, if no reforms are made, taking legal action against any teachers who seem guilty of propagandising children in and around climate.  He notes this is illegal in Britain, and expects that it may well be in the USA as well. 

His advice to parents who suspect their children are being abused by extremist teachers, is to try to get hard evidence on what is actually being taught.  As Monckton notes, 'little children are being taught by left-wing extremists that humans are a poison on the planet and should be wiped out' .  Jones describes such people, such extremists, as the scum of the earth.  Monckton notes that help with investigations into what is being taught in schools may be found in homeschooling organisations.

If parents find hard evidence of mental abuse of their children, and get no progress from the head teacher, then they should go to the police.  He maintains that even if only one or two abusive teachers get imprisoned, then the rest will 'run for cover' and stop their propagandising.

There is certainly a lot of climate material out there for children which is scary, and which denigrates humanity.  There are certainly 'activist teachers', and many who would encourage and facilitate such activism on climate.  There are certainly many reports of fear and anxiety amongst the young.  It would be a salutory thing if someone somewhere could bring all this together and achieve a successful prosecution on a charge of child-abuse.  That would surely help clean up climate curricula and help protect future generations from deliberate scaremongering aimed at producing 'little activists'.  It may even help reduce the damage that has been done to those childen who have already been harmed.
 
Added 30 June 2012.
The CFACT site has examples of posters and other images from the Rio conference,  Here is one from which one might well conclude that humans are being seen as a poison on the planet:












Added 10 November 2012
Re Edinburgh University and alarmism.  This video of a recent tv panel discussion of climate includes the participation of a very hot-headed young man who is actually a lecturer at that university: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mf1a94SyNmg&feature=youtu.be

Added 11 November 2012 
Re Edinburgh University and alarmism.  This tv clips sees Edi lecturer David Reay report a child's question asked at one of his climate talks "When will I die?".  Sounds like he is quite impressive, at least to children.
  http://programmes.stv.tv/the-hour/showbiz/celebs-on-the-sofa/103085-superheroes-help-inspire-kids-to-learn-about-the-environment/

Monday, 4 June 2012

Posting here will be lighter than usual in June

Many distractions underway will be taking up most of my limited attention.  Hoping to get back to at least weekly posts by the end of the month.

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Cry Wolf! about climate and watch how the money rolls in. Scare 'em and snare 'em, kids and all.


Charities 'spread scare stories on climate change to boost public donations'

The headline is from an article in The Telegraph way back in 2004.  Well worth reading the article in full, and well worth reading the academic paper it was triggered by.  The problem is still with us in 2012, as evidenced by this post on WUWT.  Anyone wanting to trace how, why, and where scaremongering materials for schoolchildren about climate change have been produced in recent years, will surely want to investigate the deliberate promotion of scare stories by fund-raisers as one contributing factor.

Here is how the Telegraph article begins:

'Environmental charities are exaggerating the threat of climate change in an attempt to raise more money from public donations, according to a report by Oxford University academics.

The charities, including WWF-UK, the world's biggest independent conservation organisation, claim that a quarter of the world's species are facing extinction by 2050.
 
However, the report says that this is a "woeful misrepresentation of the underlying science".
Many species said to be at risk - including the red kite and the Scottish crossbill - are not facing imminent extinction, according to the report by four academics from the biodiversity research group at Oxford's school of geography and the environment.'

Here is how the article ends:

'Dr Richard Ladle, a theoretical ecologist at Oxford University who also contributed to the report, said that most species cited as being in danger of extinction by 2050 "probably won't be".

Dr Ladle said that WWF's response to criticism of the claims was that the ends justified the means.
"Our argument is that we don't think the ends do justify the means because if you are hyping something to that extent, you are going to have the equivalent of 'compassion fatigue' in the charity sector.

"Biodiversity is declining worldwide, but if you keep telling people that we're on the verge of a global disaster, and then the process takes longer than people think it's going to take, we are going to be in trouble and the non-governmental organisations are going to be in trouble in terms of their funding.
"Change in diversity takes a long time. My gut feeling is it will take a lot longer than 2050."

However, a spokesman for WWF-UK insisted that it was unfair to judge fundraising in the same way as academic research. "Climate change is real and it endangers species," he said.  "But you have to simplify issues for appeals. There is no way you can cover all the science. Fundraising appeals are very emotional."

Bryony Worthington, a climate campaigner for Friends of the Earth, said: "The biodiversity research group cannot really claim that it constituted crying wolf, as there is potential for the worst-case scenarios to be realised." '

The moral turpitude of the campaigners is nicely revealed by that last quote: since there is always potential for fire in a crowded theatre, shouting 'Fire!' there is not an unreasonable thing to do - just think of all the lives you might save.  This young woman went on to be a key labourer in the rushed drafting of the UK's Climate Change Act, passed in 2008, a chore for which a grateful government elevated her to the House of Lords as a baroness.  The careless ignorance of that government is illustrated not just by the appalling nonsense of that Act, but also by its drive to scare the public and push climate alarmism into schools through, for example, distributing copies of Al Gore's drama 'An Inconvenient Truth' within which 'truth' is rather hard to find.  Their scary tv ad features in this dismal catalogue of propaganda efforts collated by the Washington Post.

The WWF was once held in high esteem for trying to do good works for wildlife around the world.  Now it is not so regarded by those who have seen the harm it has done through its relentless campaigning around climate.  It became a vehicle for the politically ambitious, providing what are now huge budgets for interfering in the affairs of many countries without being accountable to their electorates.  A recent report in Der Spiegel, highlighted here by Donna Laframboise, suggests that its reputation is about to fall even further or more widely:


Laframboise begins her comments with this:
'A splendid and disturbing investigative feature in Der Spiegel explains why the WWF doesn’t deserve your charitable donations.'


I completely agree.  It has, in my view, done a great deal of harm to society - not least through contributing to the scaring of children - and, incidentally, it has harmed wildlife too according to the Der Spiegel report (quote 'Undermining its own standards seems to be a specialty of the WWF.')

Meanwhile, one of the chief agents of the WWF's fundraising strategy, one Robert Napier, went on to become, in 2006, Chairman of the UK's Met Office.  Why would he do that?  Why would anyone hire him to do it?  What, in others words, were they thinking?  And what, of late, has been happening to the reputation of the Met Office?  Here is a tv clip highlighting their 'lamentable performance' with some vigour on, of all places, the BBC in 2010.  Here is an article in the printed media from 2011.  Extract: 'First it was a national joke. Then its professional failings became a national disaster. Now, the dishonesty of its attempts to fight off a barrage of criticism has become a real national scandal. I am talking yet again of that sad organisation the UK Met Office, as it now defends its bizarre record with claims as embarrassingly absurd as any which can ever have been made by highly-paid government officials.'   Here is a blog post from 2012: 'Met Office forecasting produces another epic failure.'

Meanwhile, in 2009,  a blogger wrote this on the BuyTheTruth site:
'The UK Meteorological Office, whose Hadley Centre runs the IPCC scientific assessment (“Working Group 1”), is now a department of the UK Ministry of Defence [as of 2011, it is no longer there]. And its Chairman is none other than Robert Napier, a green activist and alarmist with tentacles into some of the world’s most powerful drivers of climate alarmism and social control.'  [please see the rest of that post for chapter and verse on this.]


Climate alarmists, and those who can see advantage in such alarm, are embedded in 'the establishment' and in many major 'charities'.  We ought to be dismayed at what this has led to in terms of actions and materials designed to scare the young and recruit them to a political cause, but we no longer need be surprised by it.

To end on a more positive note, here are some words by Richard Lindzen in 2001 (as quoted here):
“The question of where do we go from here is an obvious and important one. From my provincial perspective, an important priority should be given to figuring out how to support and encourage science (and basic science underlying climate in particular) while removing incentives to promote alarmism. The benefits of leaving future generations a better understanding of nature would far outweigh the benefits (if any) of ill thought out attempts to regulate nature in the absence of such understanding.” 

 [Note added 20 October 2012:  The puzzling appointment of Robert Napier as Chairman of the UK's Met Office came to an end in September after six years.  A self-serving reflection on his time there can be found here: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/barometer/people/2012-07/ready-steady.]

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Some Grist for the Millers of a Calmer Curriculum on Climate for Schools

It may seem harsh, but my supposition of what the reasoning process inside the minds of many people who have been successfully convinced by the climate scaremongering of the last 30 years or so is something like this:

'Gosh, the climate is changing.  Gosh, humans have an impact on climate.  Gosh, CO2 is called a greenhouse gas - and greenhouses quickly get very hot and unpleasant.   Gosh, we are releasing huge amounts of CO2.'

Each one of these insights bar one will be new to most people, since they will not have not studied the climate system, nor even given it much thought.   I included the 'gosh's to reflect this..  This novelty makes them vulnerable to the big conclusion:

'Gosh, we are in big trouble!'

Yet the evidence from climate records, both ancient and modern, does not suggest that the additional CO2 will have a dramatic effect, nor possibly even a readily detectable effect as a driver of climate change.  Furthermore, calmer analysts than the handful most culpable for the acute alarm about CO2 we now have to endure, have argued that the impact on climate (including temperatures) of a further doubling of ambient levels of that gas will range from negligible up to 'quite hard to detect'.

Unfortunately the alarming view has won far greater political and financial support than the calming one, and it may well take many a long year for the educational system to turn its back with contempt and outrage at some of the materials that have been produced for young people.  The seriously misleading movie called 'An Inconvenient Truth' is bad enough, but it has helped trigger a wave of materials no better or even worse than it.

The alarm has been sounded, the fear is widespread, and a great many individuals and organisations now have a vested interest in what it has led to in terms of government and other well-funded initiatives, including educational ones.  So what is to be said to current and former pupils once the tide of alarm has clearly turned?  It will not do merely to declare that some scientists and others were too easily scared by their computers and too willing to abandon their basic adult responsibility of avoiding ill-founded scaremongering.  They shouted fire in our theatre, and it will take a lot of time before many of the audience can relax enough to get back without this extra anxiety to more or even to less important matters, including a basic enjoyment of the great successes of the human play to date.

One approach is to show the relative importance of factors other than CO2.  An article posted on the GWPF site today reports on the work of one Nicola Scafetta, who argues that some 60% of the global warming observed since 1970 can be explained by cycles he has looked for in the system.  From this point of view, the modest warming observed over that period (similar in size and duration to a warming observed earlier in the 20th century and not blamed on CO2) is largely 'natural' and to be expected.  This of course diminishes the presumed importance of CO2 increases over this time, and thereby might help calm things down a bit with regard to that gas.  Note that he presents his work as just a theory, and he is awaiting critical review from his peers.  Just as he should.  I suspect he is not part of a cabal intent on concealment of data and methods, and other manipulations to protect and promote their theory at almost any cost in terms of their integrity as men and as scientists.  I daresay there will be no Climategate revelations to shock us about his groups of coworkers and colleagues.

His method is based on identifying cycles in climate records, and using them to make hindcasts and forecasts, both with some appreciable success according to his account.  He identifies three major mechanisms behind these cycles:

'There are three major mechanisms acting together: gravity, nuclear fusion - luminosity production, magnetism.
1) The planets act on the sun mostly via gravitational tidal forcings that are characterized by the astronomical harmonics in the same way that the tides on the Earth are regulated by lunar/solar gravitational harmonics.
2) The sun is in a state of almost perfect balance between gravitational forces and nuclear fusion luminosity production. This balance is very sensitive to gravitational or luminosity changes.   If, for example, gravitational forces make some additional work (relative to a given average) on the sun, the sun responds by increasing its luminosity production to restore the balance, and vice-versa.  The planetary tides slightly modulate the gravitational work balance inside the sun, and the sun responds by modulating its luminosity production. Because the luminosity production is energetically around 1,000,000 times the gravitational work released into the star, the solar core should work as a great amplifier of the planetary gravitational tidal energy.  Thus, solar luminosity and all dynamical solar processes end up oscillating with a set of frequencies related to the planetary frequencies. This is the theory I propose in my last published paper, just last week.
3) The oscillating sun induces equivalent magnetic oscillations in the heliosphere. Magnetic oscillations have numerous effects: they modulate the incoming cosmic ray flux and modulate other electric currents in the heliosphere, that is, they regulate the space weather which is mostly made of electric phenomena. These phenomena occur together with the luminosity oscillations.
The Earth system is very sensitive to these electric changes because they cause ionization of the upper atmosphere and regulate cloud formation. Thus, the cloud formation will approximately follow the astronomical harmonics and make the albedo oscillate by about 1-3% . An oscillating albedo causes oscillations in the amount of light reaching the surface of the Earth, which is what causes the oscillations observed in the surface temperature.
Of course at the moment not all single physical mechanisms are understood, quantified or modeled.
Point 1 has can be easily quantified
Point 2 has been quantified, at least I made a proposal,  but a full model also needs empirical modeling because solar physics is not so advanced.
Point 3 needs the understanding of how clouds form in details and the relation with cosmic ray etc. that is still under study. The modeling can be empirically done.'

Now it strikes me that these could be diluted and enlarged upon and illustrated in ways which could make it interesting and accessible to high school pupils, and perhaps even pictorially for younger children since even they have been the target of alarmists intent on recruitment for their dubious cause.  We can partially counter their scaremongering with the presentation and enjoyment of broader theories, promoting a proper respect for observations and scientific method, and for the wonderful ability we have of using them to make more sense of things, and to make more and more progress in industry and agriculture.

(hat-tip for GWPF piece linked to above: Tom Nelson)

Friday, 25 May 2012

More Materials on Climate for the Conscientious Teacher

The Australian Carbon Sense Coalition has published a presentation by H. Leighton Steward which could serve as useful illustrated compendium of arguments against alarm about CO2 in the air.  It is 90 pages, mostly graphical, in a pdf.  Hat-tip: Tom Nelson.

Here is a montage I made of a few of the graphics (each one occupies a page to itself in the original):



























I have spotted a few typos so far (I rather crudely corrected one above - see red u for nitrous oxide!), some parts say 'modified' or 'adapted' from source materials,  and some of the information does not have sources given, so some checking would be in order before using it, but overall my impression is hugely favorable.  This looks like a very handy document to have around, and to make use of for projects and illustrations on the classroom wall.  A lot of interesting exercises might follow merely from sharing out a selection of pages and challenging your pupils to check them out to see what further support, or criticism, they can devise or discover from other sources.

The Carbon Coalition encourages widespread use of their materials e.g. from their 'About' page:
'Material on this site is protected by copyright. However we encourage people to copy, print, resend or make links to any article providing the source, including web address, is acknowledged. We would appreciate notification of use.'

They provide more downloadable pdfs here: http://carbon-sense.com/carbon-sense/

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Calming the Climate Curriculum

One contributing factor to the astonishing spread of alarm over CO2 and climate may be that most of us have not given much thought to climate other than complaining about bad winters/summers/storms or recalling sunnier times in our childhoods.

So the notion that the climate is changing worldwide, which ought to be as banal an observation as you can get since it has never stopped changing over a great range of scales, can yet come as a bit of a jolt.  And when some at least of the folks in white coats tell us we're causing the change, and that it must be for the worst, we get a further jolt.  And then when the unscrupulous or the merely irresponsible spot an opportunity to scare us for their financial and/or political advantage over 'climate change', then the jolts can arrive thick and fast - from the media, from the eco-activists, from the anti-capitalists, from the fundraising NGOs, from the financiers and investors in carbon credits or in the farming of subsidies for renewables, and from the politically ambitious who spotted the bandwagon in good time to help it along or who were merely swept along by it and all the opportunities it has provided.

One result of this headlong, headstrong stampede based as it is on mere supposition that the extra CO2 must have such a powerful directional effect on climate that we should be acutely alarmed by it, is that educators at all levels have been swept along too.

Many seem to be enjoying the chance to be spreading alarm amongst the young, given the explosion of websites, books, and other media aimed at them.  A common approach is to mention greenhouses - well known as hot and uncomfortable places - or cars parked in the sunlight with all windows closes - and assert that CO2 has the same effect on atmospheric temperatures as the glass has.  Not true of course, but truth is not a key concern where supposition suits so many.

A threatened polar bear pictured on an iceflow may be accompanied by text suggesting that switching off lights, driving less often, and using 'renewable energy' more will save it.  It is not true, of course, that they are under undue threat given that their numbers have generally been increasing in recent years

Another picture might show a high wave crashing against a seafront, covering nearby houses in spray, and be accompanied by dire warnings of dramatic rises in sea level underway, even accelerating.  Not true of course, since the slow ongoing rise of sea levels seems to be paying not the slightest attention to rising CO2 levels, and may even be flattening out in recent years as it has over the past thousands of the bigger picture.

But these untruths are helpful when you are making the case that humans are disrupting a fragile nature, heretofore in balance.  And of course, nature is neither fragile overall nor has it ever been 'in balance'.

No matter, we humans must be a bad lot, our inventions, our achievements in engineering and in food production, our tremendous victories over poverty and starvation, and over the vagaries of a variable climate, are to be decried in so far as they produce CO2.  That gas which does not act to raise temperatures like the glass in a greenhouse does, which does not appear to have ever been a driver of climate - in recent years or over millions of years, and whose recent rises coincide with both rising and declining temperatures, and with essentially business as usual as far as other weather or weather-related phenomena such as ice extents are concerned.

The madness over CO2 will surely continue to subside, and as it does, a calmer curriculum on climate will have to be found.  What might it look like?  Here are three items which caught my attention recently and which may be just the sort of thing that could inspire sensible and informative teaching on climate topics.

Item 1.  A simple display to help put CO2 in its proper context as one of many factors influencing climate in interacting ways:
 This diagram is due to Kiminori Itoh who used it in a guest post on the blog Climate Science: Robert Pielke Sr.  Such a diagram is not too complex.  It uses the idea of rivers flowing into each other, with many sources, and more than one outlet - to show more effects than just temperature changes.  CO2 can thus be seen as just one of several contributions, and we can readily imagine there may be many more.  Just as we could imagine a great river system as having innumerable sources or springs.  Feedbacks are not shown, but could be mentioned to appropriate classes by noting, for example, what regional climate changes could lead to more aerosols, or what temperature changes might produce more or less vegetation, or more or less de-gassing of CO2 from the sea.  Contrast the more complex river system with the one above it - which is of course the nearer analogy to the worldview pushed by the leaders of the IPCC.

Item 2.  Many, I'm tempted to say all, of those scientists most agitated by CO2 do not possess much by way of the gravitas associated with great achievement in physics.  Many are more like geographers than scientists in so far as they are documenting and describing and modelling what they believe is taking place rather than deriving results from hard theories which they rigorously test with new data.  There is a video showing an easy-paced talk on climate given in 2010 by a very accomplished physicist, William Happer of Princeton University, reported by Luboš Motl who also provides a summary of the contents.  As Motl notes, it is instructive to listen to the list of achievements of Prof Happer (given by the lady introducing his presentation) and wonder how they might compare with those of physicists on the agitated side of the CO2 debate!









 The video can be downloaded from here: http://digitalassets.lib.berkeley.edu/physicscoll/ucb/video/col.streaming.11-01-10.mov  (I watched it using Quicktime, but to get the soundtrack to work properly when Happer comes on,  I had to mess around a bit.  In the end, I got it to work by adjusting the 'Wave Balance' to the left - a control option which appeared via 'Volume Control' in Windows XP).

Motl is himself a theoretical physicist, a subject about which he blogs as well as on climate.  His views are often expressed quite strongly.  Here is the last paragraph of his above-linked post on this video:
'It's too bad that all the arrogant yet uninformed folks who want to talk about the climate – all these Gores, Hansens, Manns, and similar jerks – can't be forced to learn the basic physics of these physical systems, at least at the level of Prof Happer's talk.'

I commend the presentation because it brings back memories for me of the very high quality of professors I was lucky enough to listen to many decades ago, and who would all, I like to think, have had no truck with the facile and irresponsible alarmism of so many of their counterparts today.  The presentation is calm, the discussion session frank and amiable, and there are no grandiose appeals to authority  nor scaremongering.  It is not perfect - stronger answers would be possible for some of the questions and points made, but it is honest and straightforward.  I think there are videos of Prof Lindzen which convey the same sense and sensibility, and these too could be used to help inspire better materials for schools.

Item 3.  This is a report of a school field trip led by staff from a school in Maryland, USA.  I only saw this today, and am relying on a single report re-published here. (hat-tip Tom Nelson)

The report is on one of the many 'climate alarm' websites (e.g. 'The climate crisis isn’t just some far-off threat: it’s a clear and present danger. Galvanized by this sobering reality, Climate Central has created a unique form of public outreach, informed by our own original research, targeted to local markets, and designed to make Americans feel the power of what’s really happening to the climate. Our goal is not just to inform people, but to inspire them to support the actions needed to keep the crisis from getting worse.) so I hope I am not being misled by it, but I found it encouraging.

The teachers involved do not seem to have set out to scare their pupils, and have also made a point of discussing positive and negative effects of particular changes in climate, or policy options such as oil pipelines.  They also looked at real data, asking 'how do we know?' and 'where is the proof?'  Finally, they were out in the field, not in a laboratory, not in a computer room, not watching a DVD, and doing measurements of their own.  I like to think the teachers will have helped the children feel we are not feeble victims of climate, but rather we can do and have done many things to protect ourselves from its variations.  A sensible level of confidence and optimism about the future would be good results from a calm curriculum on climate.

Note added later on 22nd May: for some recent pictures of more alarming teaching of climate in schools, see: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2012/05/teaching-climate-change.html 
There are those so imbued with the righteousness of their stance that they will do anything they can to get children on board their bandwagon:
That's a schoolteacher in the picture, setting out to scare children about methane. Disgraceful.

(hat-tip: Climate Etc)