'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

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all people of goodwill everywhere

Of the three major religions to emerge from the Middle East, Christianity seems to be the most impressive for its compassion, gentleness, and generosity towards non-followers (such as myself) as well as to its faithful. It has also inspired far more great works of art and music than any other religion anywhere as far as I know (which is not very far, but I share my limited view nevertheless). J S Bach produced a fair few of them. Here is an exquisite rendition of his 'Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring' by the Norwegian singer often referred to there simply as Sissel, assisted by a young choir and orchestra:

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

CO2 Driven Climate Panic in Jeopardy: a prospect of it being disgraced even further by observation of ice variation

WUWT has what I think is an informative and important presentation by Jim Steele.

Very much in the tradition of Hubert Lamb, he makes a plea for much better understanding of natural variation of climate as a pre-condition for being able to assess our impact on it.

He makes a plausible case that the next 10 to 20 years could be decisive in assessing the strength of human impact (via CO2 in particular) and natural variation on glacier and icecap variation.

Another reason to postpone panic over our CO2 emissions.  Unfortunately, we have had panic already, and a great deal of consequent suffering and damage to societies around the world, and indeed to the environment thanks to the headlong rush into bio-fuels and wind-turbines.  The damage to children who grew up over the last 20 years or so of intense scaremongering directed at them, and an associated promotion of contempt for industrial progress, may be the biggest harm of all.  But who can tell?  How could this be measured?  How might that damage, however extensive, be repaired?

Jim Steele notes that 'the public remains ill-informed and fearful about the causes of retreating ice'.  He presents evidence for solar, and oceanic influences being the dominant sources of variation over the past several thousands of years.

Screenshot from video
He notes the 'failed climatic interpretations' of glacier retreats on Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, and Glacier National Park in the United States. Neither of them correlate with rising CO2 levels, and both can be explained by other sources of variation.  It is worth noting that 'failed climatic interpretations' would make a good sub-title for the propaganda movie 'An Inconvenient Truth' which was foisted upon schools by a government in the UK and has been widely shown in schools elsewhere as well.

Jim Steele concludes the substance of his presentation with these words:

'With the recent decline in solar flux, and the shift to cool phases of ocean oscillations, natural climate change suggests that although glacier retreat and sea level rise will likely continue for the next few decades, the rates of sea level rise and glacier retreats will slow down.

The next decade will provide the natural experiment to test the validity of competing hypotheses.
Are changes in the Earth's ice driven by natural, or by CO2-driven climate change?

I'm betting on natural climate change.'

Jim Steele's website is here: http://landscapesandcycles.net/

It is of particular interest for this blog that as well as being a director of a field centre for nature studies, Jim Steele has decades of high school teaching experience in San Francisco.  See: http://www.sfsu.edu/~sierra/Instructor_JimSteele.html

Thursday, 4 December 2014

President Obama's Last Resort? A New Propaganda Push on Children and Climate.

US News
Allie Bidwell writes at US News: 

'Perhaps unable to convince older Americans of the severity of global warming, President Barack Obama is hoping to have better luck with the next generation by turning to the classroom.

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy on Wednesday announced it will launch a new initiative aimed at climate education and literacy that will distribute science-based information – in line with the administration's position on the issue – to students, teachers and the broader public.
Educators, government officials, philanthropic leaders and those from the private sector will participate in a roundtable discussion at the White House Wednesday. The participants will focus on how to spread more resources to teachers and increase professional development and training related to climate change for educators, federal employees and informal educators, such as those working in national parks, museums, aquariums or botanic gardens. '
This is not good news.  After blundering big-time in both domestic and foreign policy issues, and with only 2 years of shelf-life left as president, Obama will have noticed that his legacy is going to be a very unflattering one.  He may now be betting on there still being lots of momentum left in the climate scaremongering movement.  He may well be right.  But, to borrow a phrase, will no one think of the children?

PS There was an announcement back on October from the OSTP*, giving a two-week window for inputs: 'Do the activities of your school, institution, organization, or company align with the call to action to enhance climate education and literacy? Send your ideas, commitments, summaries of your work in this area, or even photos of you, your students, and colleagues working to enhance climate literacy to ClimateEd@ostp.gov by November 7. 
Your input is critical to building an educated, next-generation American workforce that grasps the climate-change challenge and is equipped to seek and implement solutions. '  I dread to think what the campaigners sent them, or had already sent them since two weeks looks like a nominal gesture of 'public consultation'.  

*OSTPCongress established the Office of Science and Technology Policy in 1976 with a broad mandate to advise the President and others within the Executive Office of the President on the effects of science and technology on domestic and international affairs. The 1976 Act also authorizes OSTP to lead interagency efforts to develop and implement sound science and technology policies and budgets, and to work with the private sector, state and local governments, the science and higher education communities, and other nations toward this end.