Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Just two stories on "Climategate"

Much as I hate that expression "Climategate", I am forced to use it as it has become the normal way of referring to the ever growing scandal to do with those dubious scientific practices that have tried to impose the fear of eternal hell fire man-made global warming climate change on us.

I have left it to others in the blogosphere, particularly to the boss over on EUReferendum to deal with the story as it unfolds but I cannot resist posting two links to articles from the other side of the Pond.

The first one is by Bret Stephens in the Wall Street Journal: "Climategate: Follow the Money". And why not? After all, we hear a great deal from the warmists about all the sceptics (who are as bad as Holocaust deniers) getting large sums of money from companies that provide us all with fuel to stay warm in the winter, not to mention petrol for travelling around, especially for hundreds if not thousands of climate change beneficiaries to fly to Copenhagen.

Why not have a look at who has been funding the CRU in East Anglia
Consider the case of Phil Jones, the director of the CRU and the man at the heart of climategate. According to one of the documents hacked from his center, between 2000 and 2006 Mr. Jones was the recipient (or co-recipient) of some $19 million worth of research grants, a sixfold increase over what he'd been awarded in the 1990s.

Why did the money pour in so quickly? Because the climate alarm kept ringing so loudly: The louder the alarm, the greater the sums. And who better to ring it than people like Mr. Jones, one of its likeliest beneficiaries?

Thus, the European Commission's most recent appropriation for climate research comes to nearly $3 billion, and that's not counting funds from the EU's member governments. In the U.S., the House intends to spend $1.3 billion on NASA's climate efforts, $400 million on NOAA's, and another $300 million for the National Science Foundation. The states also have a piece of the action, with California—apparently not feeling bankrupt enough—devoting $600 million to their own climate initiative. In Australia, alarmists have their own Department of Climate Change at their funding disposal.

And all this is only a fraction of the $94 billion that HSBC Bank estimates has been spent globally this year on what it calls "green stimulus"—largely ethanol and other alternative energy schemes—of the kind from which Al Gore and his partners at Kleiner Perkins hope to profit handsomely.
This dwarfs ExxonMobil's donation last year of
$7 million to a grab-bag of public policy institutes, including the Aspen Institute, the Asia Society and Transparency International. It also gave a combined $125,000 to the Heritage Institute and the National Center for Policy Analysis, two conservative think tanks that have offered dissenting views on what until recently was called—without irony—the climate change "consensus".
Let us not forget that all that money donated to people who produced dubious evidence in order to pile more taxes and regulations on the rest of us came from the taxpayer without as much as a by-your-leave.

The other story is hilariously funny and concerns those glaciers in the Himalayas that are due to disappear in the next 25 years. Except that they are not. Setting aside the fact that there is still a great deal of research to be done about those glaciers, there is also the unfortunate point that a really slapdash error was made when information was taken from a scientific paper as Charlie Martin explains on Pajamas Media.
IPCC chair Rajendra Pachauri reacted angrily citing the IPCC 2007 climate change reports which asserted that the (Himalayan) glaciers are receding faster than in any other part of the world and if the present rate (of melting) continues, the likelihood of them disappearing by the year 2035 and perhaps even sooner is very high if the earth keeps warming at the current rate. …

[Where] did this number 2035 (the year when glaciers could vanish) come from? According to Prof Graham Cogley (Trent University, Ontario), a short article on the future of glaciers by a Russian scientist (Kotlyakov, V.M., 1996, The future of glaciers under the expected climate warming, 61-66, in Kotlyakov, V.M., ed., 1996, Variations of Snow and Ice in the Past and at Present on a Global and Regional Scale, Technical Documents in Hydrology, 1. UNESCO, Paris (IHP-IV Project H-4.1). 78p estimates 2350 as the year for disappearance of glaciers, but the IPCC authors misread 2350 as 2035 in the Official IPCC documents, WGII 2007 p. 493!
That's very reassuring. We are relying on people who cannot even proof-read their own supposedly scientific papers. It is, though, a little worse than that.

One of the comments (no. 13) on Charlie Martin's piece explains:
As hard as this is to believe, it’s worse than you report. The IPCC quote is in the section about Asia, talking about glaciers in the Himalayas “receding faster than in any other part of the world”. However, the Kotlyakov article is about glaciation in the entire world. The statement about the reduction by 2350 is about the entire world, but notes “Glaciers will survive only in the mountains of inner Alaska, on some Arctic archipelagos, within Patagonian ice sheets, in the Karakoram Mountains, in the Himalayas, in some regions of Tibet and on the highest mountain peaks in the temperature latitudes.”

Not only is the concern off by 200 years, but the Himalayas are where the glaciers will survive.

It gets worse. The IPCC cites a WWF report as the source, but they actually quoted Kotlyakov (except for botching the year) without even crediting Kotlyakov in the references.
Can we take away their Nobel Prize and give it to the person who leaked those e-mails?


  1. The taxpayer money that has been flooding into climate research is all but invisible in discussions of money bringing certain influences. I cannot explain this blindspot. It is massive. Money dished out by Government always comes with strings. It is the same with fake charities getting our money to moan at us via Government for things we have not asked for or demanded.

    Eisenhower's warnings of a "scientific-technological elite" have come true. Scientific endeavour is becoming a nationalised industry. That state interference drives science in the direction the state wants. It is depressing the observational and theoretical curiosities of old and turns science into a production line for arguments in favour of greater state intervention. We can see this with climate science being the justification for hundreds of thousands of 'green' jobs monitoring us, installing subsidised loft lagging, handing out subsidised CFL bulbs.

    How did this happen? Why did we let it happen?

    Some of this I think is a legacy of World War 2. That herculean effort of millions of individuals to defend Britain and beyond is somewhat lost under the Big Government command economy blanket that got us through it. The notion that the Man from the Ministry knows best is still ingrained to an insensible extent.

    For politicians the reasons are clear enough - science provides a justification for intervention, taxation and control. It also allows politicians to act with clear consciences - they no longer have to consider moral arguments or defend personal liberty, a boffin in a lab coat has told them something must be done! They hide behind the precautionary principle saying 'stop what you're doing unless we say it is safe' when it should be 'do as you are doing unless we prove it is unsafe'.

  2. Helen.

    It is even worse than the commenter noted. IPCC quotes the WWF report, but the original report is not quoted in that report either. Instead there is a reference to a 1999 report by the Working Group on Himalayan Glaciology (WGHG) of the International Commission for Snow and Ice (ICSI) where it was (according to WWF) stated: “glaciers in the Himalayas are receding faster than in any other part of the world and, if the present rate continues, the livelihood of them disappearing by the year 2035 is very high”.

    I haven't bothered to look for that last report, but at best the Kotlyakov reference (1996 UNESCO report) is finally found there. (And actually, that report is based on data from a publication by the same author in 1991 (in Russian).

    So at best the IPCC used as a source a tertiary or even quaternary source, and what about that vaunted "peer review"?

    This is no conspiracy, just total incompetence. But what do we expect from the UN?


  3. This just gets better by the day...or is it the hour? I have argued so many times with young 20 something graduates (I didnt even go to university) that global warming is a scam. I was shouted down religously by these youngsters. I am out for a Christmas meal with them in a couple of weeks. After the wine has flowed.....I dont know what I will say :)

  4. Helen, good hostess, I like your Nobel suggestion. That's the way I'll vote.
    Oh. Wait a sec. I don't get to vote.
    Never mind.

  5. I hope you have a very pleasant lunch, thespecialone. :)

    Mikgen, you are right. These people's utter incompetence (can't even stage a decent conspiracy) beggars belief.

  6. It is possible that the IPCC authors did read 2350 correctly, but deciding that as this date was so far away as not to induce sufficient panic, decided (fraudulently) to use 2035.