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Archive for December, 2009

Be Good At Christmas – Help Save The AGWer

2009/12/24 15 comments

(Love the WWF)

If the consensus disappears then it will be game over for the AGWer.

Act now. Adopt now. Adopt an AGWer. With your continual support we can do more to help the AGWer in its struggle for survival.

ADOPT your AGWer HERE

Order now

Start giving a regular donation today and you’ll receive your adoption pack within the next couple of weeks. It contains an irresistibly fluffy Al Gore doll, skeptic bag, certificate, photos and a greetings card. We’ll also send you three updates through the year, letting you know how your donations are helping. An AGW Skeptical Adoption would make a great present, so why not give the gift that makes a big difference!

Photos of AGWers

Don’t forget you can also keep track of our group of AGWers, with our special online tracker. You will find all the details of this in your adoption pack.

Last minute gift?

No problem! If you are worried the adoption pack might not arrive in time, you will be able to print or email a gift certificate to give on the day.

A continuous struggle…

Reality is causing the Global Warming consensus to melt and what remains is thinner and more treacherous. AGWers need the consensus to hunt so they are having to travel further and further to reach their prey. As the consensus melts the area is also opened up to proper debate and free discussion and scientific exploration adding independent thinking to the many threats the AGWers already face.

Adult AGWer with two members of the public (AGWers-in-the-making)

Did you know…

…AGWers shelter the public from independent thinking in the safety of their “the debate is over” dens when they go hunting for skeptics. But as the consensus melts, these dens are collapsing – leaving the public vulnerable to skepticism and exposed to extreme discussion conditions.

…experts predict that Global Warming consensus could disappear completely in summer by 2011.

AGWer adoption/gift/present pack

Adopt an AGWer today…

…by adopting an AGWer you can help us save the AGWer and its home from the effects of reality and free discussion.

We must act now to try and save the AGWer from extinction.

A “More Likely Than Not” IPCC Mystery

2009/12/23 7 comments

Did the IPCC adhere to its own guidelines, or just twisted them whenever convenient?

(Most of the following text is extracted from a comment earlier today by John DeFayette)

I hope you can help me with an old, nagging questions that I have regarding the IPCC’s AR4.  To be clear, I have read the whole of the WG-I report.  There is absolutely no need to read beyond that, since WG-II and WG-III are mere science fiction once you understand the lack of conclusion in WG-I.

In my opinion the WG-I report document is well written.  For those who can read beyond the summaries the scientific evaluations are mostly honest in their admission of our ignorance regarding our climate. However, the politicians weighed in heavily even with the report’s body, and here is the question:

Who decided, and when was the decision made, to add the uncertainty category “more likely than not” to the uncertainty table (Table 4) in AR4?

Table 4 - Likelihood/Uncertainty

Table 4 - Likelihood/Uncertainty

note 12 and Table 2, mentioned in Table 4

note 12 and Table 2, mentioned in Table 4

The question is fundamental since it turns a perfectly reasonable document into a political club.

Clearly, an honest IPCC panel hammered out a reasonable likelihood scale in July 2005, published as an annex to AR4 in 2007.  Table 4 in the uncertainty guidelines document indicates the terminology “as likely as not” for the probability zone around 50% (from 33% to 66%).  This is perfectly reasonable, since a 50-50 likelihood or thereabouts has the same meaning as a coin toss.  The document further instructs the authors of AR4 to refrain from messing with these terms (note 10).

note 10

note 10

To my dismay, I find the final AR4 littered with a new term, “more likely than not” plopped right there at the 50-yard line where I would expect to find a balanced “as likely as not.”  A short search leads me to Box 1.1 of AR4 Chapter 1 as well as Box TS.1 in the Technical Summary, where I find that the AR4 authors have simply added the new term “…in order to provide a more specific assessment of aspects including attribution and radiative forcing.”

Box 1.1 Likelihood/Uncertainty table

Box 1.1 Likelihood/Uncertainty table

Box TS.1 Likelihood/Uncertainty table

Box TS.1 Likelihood/Uncertainty table

[NOTE BY MAURIZIO: Box 1.1 and Box TS.1 claim that in AR4-WGI-Chapter 2 “the basis on which the authors have determined particular levels of scientific understanding uses a combination of approaches consistent with the uncertainty guidance note as explained in detail in Section 2.9.2 and Table 2.11“.  Neither that Section nor that Table explain anything of the sort.

Box TS.1 reference to Section 2.9.2 and Table 2.11

Box TS.1 reference to Section 2.9.2 and Table 2.11

Section 2.9.2 (part 1)

Section 2.9.2 (part 1)

Section 2.9.2 (part 2)

Section 2.9.2 (part 2)

Section 2.9.2 (part 3)

Section 2.9.2 (part 3)

Table 2.11 (part 1)

Table 2.11 (part 1)

Table 2.11 (part 2)

Table 2.11 (part 2)

Table 2.11 (part 3)

Table 2.11 (part 3)

]

With this wondrous little change the AR4 is no longer a document that must admit that human activity may or may not (we don’t really know) cause an increase in hurricanes, in heavy precipitation events, in heat waves, droughts and more.  Instead it says “more likely than not” in these cases.  Obviously, the original terminology only allowed for a vague “we don’t know” whether the coin will land heads up; it sounds much better to say that the coin is more likely to land heads up than tails up.

[NOTE BY MAURIZIO: Coincidentally, the category “More likely than not” is the only one overlapping with another category, “About as likely as not“. Whoever decided not to follow the IPCC’s own guidelines, forgot to take notice that (>50%) is a subset of (33% to 66%)]

Scanning the two-year-old news I find no references to enraged citizens.  I wonder if it is possible to find the authors who are responsible for this semantic “sleight-of-hand”?

Were AGW Scientists Completely Sidestepped In Copenhagen?

2009/12/22 5 comments

Have to admit, having read an AGW blog about COP-15 I could not avoid committing the sin of wasting time reading the Copenhagen Accord. And yes, there is an interesting and quite telling concept after all. It shows that no scientist, AGW believer or otherwise, has likely participated to the writing of the Accord, or has even been involved in reviewing any of it.

I am referring to a concept that is repeated twice:

(point 1) “recognizing the scientific view that the increase in global temperature should be below 2 degrees Celsius

(point 2) “reduce global emissions so as to hold the increase in global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius

In there, “the increase in global temperature” is referred in absolute terms. A much more scientific, logical and legal thing to write would have been

the increase in global temperature due to anthropogenic interference

To understand the absurdity of the Accord as it stands, imagine the world of 2050, with giant emission reductions already achieved, and powerful models showing that “anthropogenic interference” amounts to +1.7C. Still, if by pure misfortune natural variability sums up to +0.4C, the Copenhagen Accord says we have failed (despite having achieved the wildest dreams of the average 2009 greenie).

Imagine now another world of 2050, with no emission reduction at all and “anthropogenic interference” running at +3C. Still, if by pure stroke of luck natural variability sums up to -0.9C (eg a series of giant volcanic eruptions from 2045 onwards), the Copenhagen Accord says we have succeeded (despite having done nothing at all).

Sadly, all of that shows how silly is the idea that there is something good in the Accord because it has followed the lead of scientists. In truth, the Accord has made the IPCC irrelevant apart than as a confirming body for whatever the USA and China would like to see agreed upon regarding “climate change”.

Australian Whingers?

2009/12/22 1 comment

Come rain or shine

Recent heavy rainfall in parts of Queensland has prompted large numbers of marsupials to flock to the newly green countryside. Further south, however, a long-standing drought has forced authorities to suspend the culling of kangaroos in parts of New South Wales.

COP15: Ed Milliband, Gordon Brown And Some Other “Jokers”

2009/12/21 5 comments

You know something very odd has happened in Copenhagen between Friday and Saturday when Luboš Motl and Plane Stupid’s Joss Garman write more or less the same thing about it. In the meanwhile, RC is silent, Stoat is silent, tamino is silent, Desmogblog has a pathetic “let’s be cheerful” attempt at blaming “politicians”, and Monbiot is entering paranoia territory.

Finally, a consensus has been reached!

100% of the people all over the world agree that 45,000 humans travelled to Denmark and made a lot of fuss for about two weeks, and all we’ve got is a declaration that is not worth a single paragraph of commentary. Give me another UN conference like this and we’ll be back to the League of Nations.

There’s more one should think about and I am sure it will slowly surface in the next few days. One question is who are the losers out of that all, and by that I mean the “jokers” that were presumed to be able to achieve something, proceeded to huff and puff a lot but were then demonstrated able to achieve nothing at all. Among them:

  • Yvo De Boer
  • Rajendra Pachauri and the IPCC
  • Al Gore and (admittedly, in a considerably lesser amount) Jim Hansen
  • Ed Milliband, Gordon Brown and the whole UK government
  • France, Germany and all other EU countries (apart, one suspects, from the Czech Republic)
  • Japan
  • Greenpeace, Avaaz and a list of greenie organizations just too eager to jump on the AGW bandwagon

When push came to shove, the Powers That Be did not care at all about the opinions of those listed above.

I wouldn’t be too harsh with the Maldives, most of the African nations, etc. They do not have much power to do anything at UN level, anyway. Russia has lost a bit, by not being included in the final five signatories, and for the same reason Brazil, India, and (mysteriously) South Africa have gained a little.

But let me say very clearly, as UK taxpayer I find the performance of the Ed Milliband particularly awful, and the absolute unimportance of anything Gordon Brown had to say especially embarrassing. Go, go, Gordon go!!

Please!

ps looks like it’s high time to get US or Chinese citizenship…

So That’s What Obama’s “Audacity of Hope” Is About…

2009/12/18 3 comments

A deal in Copenhagen? Hopefully. A meaningful deal in Copenhagen? Perhaps. Will there be substantive actions in order to stay within the 2C limit? Maybe. Is there going to be a plan to significantly reduce emissions? It’s a promise.

After all, what’s a President that is also the first preventative Nobel Peace Prize winner going to be good at selling? Hope, mostly hope.

Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope!

The real audacity is in pushing oneself forward almost exclusively counting on the fact that hope is the last to die.

And I hope the USA will get out of Afghanistan by 2011.

Suspence About James Randi

2009/12/17 15 comments

The Amazing James Randi has stepped into the AGW debate with a reasonable blog, stating truisms several times:

scientists are just as human as the rest of us, in that they are strongly influenced by the need to be accepted, to kowtow to peer opinion, and to “belong” in the scientific community

a growing number of prominent scientists disagree (on the IPCC consensus)

science does not depend on consensus

History supplies us with many examples where scientists were just plain wrong about certain matters, but ultimately discovered the truth through continued research

as far as humans are concerned, ten times more people die each year from the effects of cold than die from the heat

In my amateur opinion, more attention to disease control, better hygienic conditions for food production and clean water supplies, as well as controlling the filth that we breathe from fossil fuel use, are problems that should distract us from fretting about baking in Global Warming.

A Skeptic that is skeptical about making Global Warming THE defining issue of our times?  Obviously, that’s not something that could be left unpunished. And in fact…there are some slightly ominous remarks by Phil “Jekill” Plait (not the usual reasonable Plait one can find talking about every topic but global warming):

I just talked with Randi about it (and sent him some info on AGW), and he’s posting a followup tonight

Let’s see how things develop.

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