More media misinformation on climate change


10:45 am - February 17th 2010

by Sunny Hundal    


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1. On 14th Feb the Mail on Sunday published a story titled Climategate U-turn as scientist at centre of row admits: There has been no global warming since 1995

Typically of the Daily Mail and its coverage on the issue: it was a distortion. Real Climate points out:

What Jones actually said is that, while the globe has nominally warmed since 1995, it is difficult to establish the statistical significance of that warming given the short nature of the time interval (1995-present) involved. The warming trend consequently doesn’t quite achieve statistical significance. But it is extremely difficult to establish a statistically significant trend over a time interval as short as 15 years–a point we have made countless times at RealClimate.

In fact it hugely distorts what Phil Jones said. More on the Daily Mail’s farcical reporting on climate change exposed here.

2. A few weeks ago the Sunday Times published a report titled ‘UN climate panel shamed by bogus rainforest claim‘ by its science and environment editor Jonathan Leake.

Then, last week the Sunday Times was forced to publish a letter stating:

WWF cannot speak for other institutions that have used our report, but we, and indeed leading scientists in the field, firmly stand by its conclusion that “up to 40% of the Brazilian forest is extremely sensitive to small reductions in the amount of rainfall”. The primary source for this statement is Fire in the Amazon, a 1999 overview by the respected Amazon Environmental Research Institute that states: “Probably 30-40% of the forests of the Brazilian Amazon are sensitive to small reductions in the amount of rainfall.”

This is fully supported by peer-reviewed literature. Contrary to the headline’s suggestion, it is not a “bogus” claim.

Curiously, that letter was not used to correct its original story either.

The Sunday Times’ reporting has been dubbed by many science bloggers as ‘Leake-gate’.
One says:

The Sunday Times article is simply untrue. It is lazy, sloppy journalism at best, deliberate misinformation at worst. It has been taken up triumphantly by the denialist world and reported widely and uncritically by other newspapers. I hope the paper is ashamed of what it has achieved, but I fear it will be rejoicing at the attention it has gained.

In fact this blog is closely following Jonathan Leake’s terrible journalism.

3. On the so-called Amazon-gate, manufactured by the Sunday Times, there’s also this:

The roots of the story are in two blog pieces by North, in which he first claims that the IPCC assertions attributed to the WWF report are not actually in that report. Since this claim was immediately shown to be false, North then argued that the WWF report’s basis for their statement (a 1999 Nature article by Nepstad et al.) dealt only with the effects of logging and fire –not drought– on Amazonian forests. To these various claims Nepstad has now responded, noting that the IPCC statement is in fact correct.

The only issue is that the IPCC cited the WWF report rather than the underlying peer-reviewed papers by Nepstad et al. These studies actually provide the basis for the IPCC’s estimate on Amazonian sensitivity to drought. Investigations of the correspondence between Leake, scientists, and a BBC reporter (see here and here and here) show that Leake ignored or misrepresented explanatory information given to him by Nepstad and another expert, Simon Lewis, and published his incorrect story anyway. This “issue” is thus completely without merit.

Oh dear…

4. After that apparent ‘Glacier-gate’, here is the Telegraph’s Geoffrey Lean: It’s official – glaciers will disappear within decades, after all. At least Lean is still good on the issue.

Wait, can you hear it? Can you hear the sound of climate conspiracy nuts writing about that report? No, me neither. How surprising.

5. And then there’s this: It’s been hotter than ever in the Himalayas, would you believe?

“The impact of global warming gas accelerated glacial shrinkage and the melting glaciers have swollen Tibet’s lakes” said Zheng Guoguang, the head of China’s Meterological Administration said in Lhasa last spring. “If the warming continues, millions of people in western China would face floods in the short term and drought in the long run”. And the Central Tibetan Administration released a report at the Copenhagen climate summit saying: “Tibet is in trouble, as climate change is now happening faster than in many areas, with multiple impacts on human livelihoods, rangeland degradation, desertification, loss of glaciers and more”

No no comrades! Don’t you know it’s a conspiracy? Put your tin-foil hats on! The Daily Mail and the Sunday Times are telling us global warming doesn’t exist so it must be true!

The sooner the press run out of money and die, the better for democracy really. And Jonathan Leake especially has a case to answer: Leakegate: the case for fraud

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


The sooner the press run out of money and die, the better for democracy really.

The authentic voice of the left. Tony Benn was saying much the same in the 70s.

He also happened to be correct then. Is anybody really going to seriously argue that our political system would not be enhanced by the disappearance of dishonest, sensationalist and innacurate reporting?

Is anybody really going to seriously argue that our political system would not be enhanced by the disappearance of dishonest, sensationalist and innacurate reporting?

I’ll stick my neck out and say that the disappearance of a free and independent media would not be a good thing for our democracy. Controversial stuff here I know.

4. John Meredith

The trouble is even if you phrase it as ‘there has been statistically significant global warming since 1995’ (which isn’t really very didfferent from saying ‘there has been no warming’, is it?) people are still going to be surprised and are likely to ask why not given that lal the models predict that there should have been. Most people are under the impression that the climate has been warming in a statistically significant degree ion the last fifteen years, so much in fact that we are likely to face disaster and starvation unless we stop it. I was also under the impression that commentators on here had been insisting that there had been a statistically significant warming trend in the last 15 years.

Anyone unconcerned with warming in the Himalayas has obviously never smelt a sweaty Yeti.

‘What Jones actually said is that, while the globe has nominally warmed since 1995, it is difficult to establish the statistical significance of that warming given the short nature of the time interval (1995-present) involved. The warming trend consequently doesn’t quite achieve statistical significance. But it is extremely difficult to establish a statistically significant trend over a time interval as short as 15 years–a point we have made countless times at RealClimate.’

This isn’t just a problem with climate change skeptics: I doubt if 90% of people know what ‘statistical significance’ means. Statistics can be counter-intuitive.

“free and independent media ”

You mean centralised corporate media operating within strict libel laws and financial constraints. Ones that have a business model that ignores the abuses of power comitted by those wealthy enough to hire schillings whilst concentrating on churnalism provided by PR companies and having an editorial agenda that picks on those unable to afford the services of said legal and PR firms.

If only the media was free and independent.

Jones inability to archive records properly mean he would fail a QA inspection by British Standards . If the data is important enough to write a paper on it, then it is important enough to archive. Climate has always changed, what we need to quantify is the impact caused by man made carbon dioxide emissions.

6 – You’re right. Obviously far better for the press to die entirely than for an imperfect press to exist.

Tim J – Straw man.

10. Luis Enrique

[digression: let’s all pause for a moment, and quietly pray this biofuel news is as good as it’s being made out to be]

Sunny,

“No no comrades! Don’t you know it’s a conspiracy? Put your tin-foil hats on! The Daily Mail and the Sunday Times are telling us global warming doesn’t exist so it must be true!”

I think you overegg the pudding yet again. I don’t think that too many people dispute that the climate is changing and neither do The Sunday Times nor The Daily Mail suggest that it isn’t happening.

What is an issue is that the exponential uninterupted warming anticipated by the computer models hasn’t occured, as was widely predicted by the same people who’se record keeping and editing of the information has been found to be wanting (to be generous to Phil Jones).

PS: Friendly word of advise – I suggest you don’t use words such as ‘comrades’ unless you want to appear naive or as myopic as the people you criticize.

9 – not at all. Read what Sunny says: “The sooner the press run out of money and die, the better for democracy really.” And that’s just nonsense.

If you’re arguing that a better quality of journalism with higher standards would be a good thing for democracy then I whole-heartedly agree. And while we’re at it, I’d quite like a pony.

What is an issue is that the exponential uninterupted warming anticipated by the computer models hasn’t occured

Just kill me now. There is not one single model anywhere that has ever predicted “exponential uninterupted warming”. That’s just fucking stupid. You might as well have said “What is an issue is that the leprechaun invasion anticipated by the computer models hasn’t occured”.

The trouble is even if you phrase it as ‘there has been statistically significant global warming since 1995? (which isn’t really very didfferent from saying ‘there has been no warming’, is it?) people are still going to be surprised and are likely to ask why not given that lal the models predict that there should have been.

It’s not the same thing at all. There is a warming trend of 0.12C per decade over the last 15 years (using HADCRUT data – GISS shows a greater trend) but there is (statistically) a slightly more than 5% chance of it being due to random variations in the data so it doesn’t quite qualify as statistically significant (I’m not a statistician so this could probably be explained better). This is because 15 years is a relatively short time to establish a trend for surface temperatures so you would not neccessarily expect a statistically significant trend over this period. However, Jones also pointed out that over the last 35 years there has been a warming trend of 0.16C per decade which IS statistically significant. But of course the Mail did not mention this.
The whole Mail article is a complete mishmash of factual innacuracies, misprepresentations and logical fallacies. It’s one of the worst things I’ve ever read, even by the Mail’s recent standards.

Dunc,

Please enlighten me. What were the computer climate model predictions for 1995 till now?

(And please spare us the ‘Your investments may go down as well as up’ caveats – because they were never mentioned as the issue was promoted through the media / schools etc etc)

Thank you.

And please spare us the ‘Your investments may go down as well as up’ caveats – because they were never mentioned as the issue was promoted through the media

Then that’s the fault of the media (or rather, your choice of media). Weather still exists, and inter-annual variability is at least an order of magnitude greater that the underlying year-on-year forcing. It’s not my fault if you get your understanding of climate modelling from the backs of cereal packets and the Daily Mail.

You can find a reasonable indication of the range of model predictions here: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/12/updates-to-model-data-comparisons/ . Notice that they involve neither monotonic nor exponential warming. Further, even a rudimentary understanding of the climate system leads to the conclusion that “exponential” warming is physically impossible.

Demonstration that temperature in the relevant data series has been in the expected range since 2000, based on the temperature history from 1975 to 2000 of those temperature series. This fits in 100% with what the computer models would be expecting. See http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/12/07/riddle-me-this/

The computer models would never produce exponential warming when the co2 driver pushes warming only logarithmically. The worse you’ll get is a linear increase in tempertures if co2 increases exponentially which it is not doing. So Tamino’s plots of where temperatures where before 2000 and where you would expect them to be afterwards is on the money.

Re: 6

Funnily enough, our libel laws as currently interpreted by Mr. Justice Eady could quite readily be used by the WWF against the Times. The word ‘bogus’ is, after all, the basis of the libel case against Simon Singh.

Also worth looking at: What the IPCC Models Really Say.

Trouble is with all of this, when the climate is shifting, dramatically in some cases and causing havoc, we will be too busy surviving to tell the sceptics ‘I told you so’ or they will quietly slope off muttering it will all be over soon…

Dunc and Oxford Kevin,

I conceed exponential was the wrong word to use and has a meaning far in excess of the word ‘ continued’ which I should have used.

Even so, no point dismissing me as a Daily Mail reading primate because for the past few years I have been exposed to an unremitting campaign of climate change “information” predicting the worse end of the forecasts as probabilities.

I haven’t heard the UEA or the IPPC saying to governments that they need to exercise caution in reading the range of forecasts, far from it – and you could be certain that had any of them given such advice sceptical people would have made great capital from it. So one can’t dismiss this as media hype.

PS: The only thing you find on the back of cereal packets these days is digestive advice about how to fart less so as not to breakdown the ozone layer.

22. Golden Gordon

I’ll stick my neck out and say that the disappearance of a free and independent media would not be a good thing for our democracy. Controversial stuff here I know.
That is the same media controlled by Murdoch, Black, Desmond and ex KGB men.
I agree that I would hate to see the press go but independent.

Re: 20

I think eventually we’ll have to give up arguing with deniers and start stockpiling oil and guns to defend our houses from them.

No guns or oil for me, I’ll be too busy looking after mine and running the to the high ground with a whole heap of Kendal Mint Cake.

25. Golden Gordon

“No no comrades! Don’t you know it’s a conspiracy? Put your tin-foil hats on! The Daily Mail and the Sunday Times are telling us global warming doesn’t exist so it must be true!”

I think you overegg the pudding yet again. I don’t think that too many people dispute that the climate is changing and neither do The Sunday Times nor The Daily Mail suggest that it isn’t happening.

Rumpy , the man who is not a member of the right but on every issue takes a right of centre view
Doesn’t it say global warming is a myth on the headline.

‘PS: Friendly word of advise – I suggest you don’t use words such as ‘comrades’ unless you want to appear naive or as myopic as the people you criticize.’

In fairness, I think Sunny is mocking the way The Mail thinks the Left speak. It’s an ironic reappropriation of stereotypes, like the title of the blog.

Hard-left greenpeace activist and general shouty person Sunny H in “let’s attempt to shout down anyone who doesn’t agree with him” shocker!

*yawn*

It’s you making the journey here to leave a brief, albeit tedious contrary missive that reeks of protesting too much.

Shatterface,

Thank you. You are probably correct. The joys of irony.

Sunny – apologies for presuming you were talking straight.

Re: 25

Actually the Daily Mail questioned global climate change on the basis that half of this country had some snow for a couple of weeks. They seize any opportunity they can to stir up the argument.

The Times has no such intent, it’s just run by people from the old school who think an MA (Oxon) grants the owner a degree of wisdom beyond the grasp of mere scientific method. Ditto the Indy.

Frankly the only thing keeping the Guardian in line is Ben Goldacre. Nobody in the media knows what they’re doing wrong, and as long as they stay within the media they’re unlikely to ever need to learn.

Dunc at 16 – interestingly, if you look at the plots of the actual temperatures for the last 10 years in that chart, the trend seems to be more or less flat.

33. John Meredith

“Trouble is with all of this, when the climate is shifting, dramatically in some cases and causing havoc, we will be too busy surviving to tell the sceptics ‘I told you so’ or they will quietly slope off muttering it will all be over soon…”

You might be right., but yopu must see that it would be a bit easier to persuade sceptics that the climate is going to shift dramatically if it was shifting at all at the moment. The fact that it has not warmed in the last 15 years does give you certain rhetoricl difficulties. I realise that 15 years isn’t much in geological time, but the dramatic warming that preceded this period of stasis was only 35-40 years, wasn’t it?

John,

Are you seriously claiming that it is not warmer now than it was 15 years ago?

I’m not getting into a climate debate with deniers, it is a waste of time, hence way I avoid these threads like the plague.

Human influenced climate change is occurring with already devastating consequences, I’d rather begin taking action to halt that rather than shooting the breeze on an Internets forum.

Re: 32

Sure, if you tilt your head about ten degrees anticlockwise.

#31 – Love it – downloading that one later.

You’ll be downloading this app I assume

Already have it. In fact I could run a aily update on how much disinformation is pumped out by the media every day on the subject but I’ve resisted so far.

And ther hilarious thing is that the climate change Troofers claim they’re doing everything by the science.

The only ‘-gate’ that is clear and certain is ‘Journalismgate’.

Journalists all over are being played for fools by the Denial Propaganda Machine – and some of them are clearly being very flexible with the truth to juice up a story. They’ve learnt how to generate clicks to their stories – feed the mob what they want: confirmation that it’s all a big hoax / land grab by the ‘liberal elites’.

Fortunately, we have blogs like this, Deltoid, Climate Progress, etc. to separate the wheat from the shit.

Thanks, Sunny – keep sticking it to the sociopathic bastards.

40. astateofdenmark

Isn’t it polite to give hattips, whether writing or commenting on a blog?

The wordier version of this blog (and the probable source for some of the responding comments) can be found here:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/02/daily-mangle/

41. John Meredith

“John, Are you seriously claiming that it is not warmer now than it was 15 years ago?”

No, but there is no evidence that it is. No statistically significant evidence anyway.

“Human influenced climate change is occurring with already devastating consequences,”

Even if the first half of that is true, the second part isn’t. There is no clear evidence of any actually occurring harmful effects from climate change.

“If you’re arguing that a better quality of journalism with higher standards would be a good thing for democracy then I whole-heartedly agree.”

In what sense would the continued financial health of news international and associated newspapers encourage the development of a better quality of journalism with higher standards?

Re: 38

the issue there is that the statement “And the hilarious thing is that the climate change Troofers claim they’re doing everything by the science.” can stretch to fit both sides equally, due to science being reduced to ideology by newspapers.

There are armies of incompetent yet influential people on both sides. The fact that half of them are lucky enough to be right doesn’t make me think better of them.

John Meredith:

> …people are still going to be surprised and are likely to ask why not given that lal the models predict that there should have been.

That’s the point. The models do not say that. They do not predict relentless, monotonic year-on-year rises. It’s a noisy system with yearly fluctuation that hides the multi-decadal trend.

Why not learn what the models do say before declaring you know?

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/05/what-the-ipcc-models-really-say/

~~~

rumpypumpy:

> I don’t think that too many people dispute that the climate is changing and neither do The Sunday Times nor The Daily Mail suggest that it isn’t happening.

You should really do just a few seconds searching to see what the blogosphere – and minor MSM – has done with the Times / Daily Fail’s distortion. Condensed version: “The global warming hoax has been exposed!”

~~~

When do these journalists and newspapers get reported to the Press Complaints Commission? How badly can they misinform the public before it is too much?

Re: 41

Well it’s you versus millions of Bangladeshi people. Coin toss, right?

‘Well it’s you versus millions of Bangladeshi people. Coin toss, right?’

Well if they could just move a little bit away from that flood plain, then the periodic catastrophes that happen there could be avoided, climate change or no climate change. Unfortunately, they can’t move because their economy is still too backward to rely on things other than that fertile but flood prone land.

John Meredith:

> There is no clear evidence of any actually occurring harmful effects from climate change.

Your deep ignorance is stunning. The Arctic is melting. Greenland ice sheets are disintegrating. Glaciers all over the planet are vanishing. The ocean is acidifying. Seas are rising. Drought has decimated large parts of the world. Forest fires have dramatically increased in different parts of the planet.

What more evidence do you need?

There’s a good reason people like you are called ‘Denier’.

“Well if they could just move a little bit away from that flood plain, then the periodic catastrophes that happen there could be avoided,”

I know you qualified that comment with a mention of why people live on the flood plain, but don’t you think the mentality of stating people should leave their homes is a bit…..well yugoslavian. What about the maldives and polynesia? should the people there just move? In a world of immigration controls?

John Meredith at 41:

Another post, from back in December, on the Open Mind blog explains ‘statistically significant’ in detail:

http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/12/15/how-long/

It’s more a matter of how far back to go before the likelihood of the results being an accident fall below a certain level. In this case, the level is “1 in 20”. You can actually see that the 1995 date in the question was chosen to get that ‘statistically significant’ qualifier in there. Warming between 1994 and the present is statistically significant, as it is going back a couple of decades before that too. It takes about 15 years’ records to say “the observed warming is not just by chance”.

DavidC,

Come now, the reporting of global warming has been abused by both sides, one side for far longer than the other. If anyone should be reported for investigation it should be the education authorities who sanction junior school teachers to peddle climate doom and gloom to classes of kids.

“Daddy, what are we going to do to stop global warming?”. Makes me want to tell them “It’s camping in Rhyl for you then my sweeties”, but I couldn’t be so cruel.

Part of being a parent is providing for your kids what you were not able to enjoy at their age. So I’ll take the buggers to warm places they immediately forget rather than sit in a bloody caravan playing Cludo + waiting for the rain to stop.

48. You are right. Of course, the big problem IS immigration controls in general. There is plenty of empty space on this globe and there is no reason why Bangladeshis should be crammed up against and in a floodplain when they could live much better lives elsewhere.

Of course, I would never want to force people to move. I just think they should have the opportunity to do so (or at least to produce enough wealth that they can put up proper flood defences where they already live).

Dunc @16

Am I to be convinced that models work by the IPCC model, which was produced c. 2005 and therefore will be pretty accurate for the period 1980-2010 unless those making at are total fools; by a model where there are no predictions since 2003 and which has no date for the model given (plus which is not global – it is sea temprature only); and by a 1988 model where two of three possibilities (as I remember the ones people focussed upon as evidence of possible global warming) are clearly inaccurate and the third and lowest prediction is still slightly above the actual record?

Basically, the ‘model’ people think about is the Hockey Stick, and especially Al Gore’s version of it, which is clearly inaccurate at present (not proven wrong, although the coding did that) as it predicted accelerating tempratures. Other models may be correct, but they are not as apocalyptic or as well known.

“It’s camping in Rhyl for you then my sweeties”, but I couldn’t be so cruel. ”

Well yes, anyone who sends their kids to Rhyl should probably be reported to social services.

But there are still loads of places to send your kids for a good british holiday. Purely sticking to North Wales – you have snowdonia. [/uk tourist board]

@ 35

“I’m not getting into a climate debate with deniers, it is a waste of time, hence way I avoid these threads like the plague.”

Its your fifth comment actually, and you are now retreating becasue you have no answers; no point of debate, just vague mantra’s that you scream out with the same mindless zealism as the rest of your vague mantra’s.

55. astateofdenmark

53

A long weekend in Snowdonia can be very nice. Still, can’t be skiing in the Alps, despite the exorbitant cost. The missus insists on a week of sun in the summer, which means the med. Probably Egypt this year, I don’t get much say, but I’ll escape for a day or two to the valley of the kings. Not to mention the Easter trip to Krakow and Auschwitz. Reading about these places just isn’t the same.

Or I could go camping in Cornwall. Hmm.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill @35. But there’s nothing much YOU can do to make any difference. What action are you going to take? Turn your central heating down a few degrees? I know that if everybody did the same thing it might be a start, but those ”Act on CO2” ads on TV just ended up getting on my wick.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCJotacAmo4

Duc @ 13 You might as well have said “What is an issue is that the leprechaun invasion anticipated by the computer models hasn’t occured”.

Well, has it?

Watchman:

Basically, the ‘model’ people think about is the Hockey Stick and especially Al Gore’s version of it, which is clearly inaccurate at present (not proven wrong, although the coding did that) as it predicted accelerating tempratures.

As I have attempted to explain to you before, the hockey stick is neither (a) a model (in the sense we’re talking about upthread) nor (b) predictive. It is a climate reconstruction.

There was a time when I thought you were interested in genuinely exploring the science and debating in good faith. I now strongly suspect I was incorrect.

Watchman

The accuracy of the hockey stick and the accuracy of climate models are completely different issues.
The hockey stick is our best estimate of what happened in the past (not perfect but still the best we’ve got), it doesn’t make predictions of future temperatures.

andrew,

As I’ve said before, it has been used to do so by the media if not scientists. And it is not our best example of what happened in the past, as it would produce the same shape with any random data. Never mind the cherry picking of data by the authors.

Re: 60

I think we’d need a source demonstrating that randomly generated data would produce the same effect. Otherwise any ‘warmist’ in their right mind would simply dismiss such a statement.

Cherry picking is a pretty serious accusation too, so I wouldn’t throw it around unless you have a non-discredited authority for that.

Dunc @ 58

It is a climate reconstruction.

Yes it is, but it used computer modelling to fill in the massive gaps in the data (the whole of the Southern Hemisphere for example) and then extrapolated from there.

The point is that using computer models to make predictions from the kind of incomplete and, frankly, dodgy data that is available from the past regarding the history of the planet’s temperature is likely to give results that are next to meaningless.

Even where you have much more certain scienctific data, for example in immunology, computer modelling is fraught with danger. I don’t remember any of them predicting the handful of deaths that have resulted from swine flu, for example. They all predicted many thousands of deaths which is why we wasted many millions of pounds on vaccine that will now be rotting in some warehouse..

And it is why your quip about leprechaun invasions above, however intentioned, is apposite.

Gwyn,

Steve McIntyre proved red noise produces a hockey stick using the Mann algorithm. Go to climateaudit.org and do a search if you want the full saga (it’s quite interesting).

Cherry picking. Well, thats what I call the exclusion of samples that do not produce desired results (see the Yumal Peninsula treerings data for example or the use of Strip-Bark Bristlecone Pines). Yes, it is a serious accusation. As to non-discredited, could you show me where Steve McIntyre’s discrediting of the Yumal series has been shown to be wrong, and I believe the IPCC refuses to use Stip-Bark Bristlecones as a proxy now. I didn’t state the cherry picking was deliberate, as in research it is natural to gravitate towards data sets that seem to support your ideas (this is what peer review is meant to guard against as much as anything). It was probably part of a poorly-conducted scientific process (albeit I cannot say I would not have done the same).

@ 60

Mann’s hockey stick always gets a mention but there are other hockey sticks that broadly support his conclusions. See John Cook’s website:

http://www.skepticalscience.com/broken-hockey-stick.htm

I’ve seen the claim about generating a hockey stick from random data thoroughly debunked somewhere, but can’t remember the source. I will get back if I can find it.

Yes it is, but it used computer modelling to fill in the massive gaps in the data (the whole of the Southern Hemisphere for example) and then extrapolated from there.

Simply not true I’m afraid – at least in the sense of “modelling” refering to GCMs, which is what we were talking about and why I qualified the statement with “in the sense we’re talking about upthread”. Anything involving math is a model in the widest sense of the term.

The point is that using computer models to make predictions from the kind of incomplete and, frankly, dodgy data that is available from the past regarding the history of the planet’s temperature is likely to give results that are next to meaningless.

It’s just as well that that’s not anything like how predictive models are actually built then, isn’t it? They are not based on projecting trends forward, but on the known rules of physics relating to the climate system (radiative transfer, convection, fliud dynamics, etc, etc)

As I’ve said before, this is like arguing anatomy with someone who doesn’t know their arse from their elbow. You lack even the most basic grasp of the most elementary facets of the science. You are so mindbogglingly ignorant that you literally couldn’t possibly be any more ignorant. Everything you think you know is dramatically and obviously wrong.

I don’t remember any of them predicting the handful of deaths that have resulted from swine flu, for example.

Again, you’re confusing what the science said with what the media reported the science as saying. The science gave a 95% confidence interval ranging from a few dozen up to tens of thousands (IIRC, off the top of my head). The media only reported the upper bound. Solution: read better media.

Paul,

I’ve dealt with this page before. None of the independent studies cited go back beyond the Little Ice Age to the crucial period when the hockey sticks flatten data, whilst the Mann and Amman papers are not independent of the original hockey stick, but use the same flawed data (although they did not say this – it was only found out when they finally archived the information (to be fair to Amman, I think this was on publication in that case)). I’ve yet to see a totally independent hockey stick. Note I don’t dispute the recorded upwards temprature of the later-twentieth century – it is the continuation of the curve that I am not convinced of (temperatures have not risen significantly in the last decade) along with the flattening of the earlier warm peak – so John Cook fails to address the issues with the hockey stick there (in fact, if the proxies had not echoed the temprature record from about 1700, the papers would probably not have been written as the proxies would have been disregarded).

I would like to see the reference to the red noise problem though.

“Steve McIntyre’s discrediting of the Yumal series has been shown to be wrong”

Thermometers and other temperature reconstructions show it to be wrong:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/09/hey-ya-mal/

Constructing a tree ring chronology is highly technical and specialised and requires careful selection of tree rings. Selecting tree rings without regard for the technical aspects will lead to flawed results. That is what McIntyre did and that is why his results are wrong.

“The science gave a 95% confidence interval ranging from a few dozen up to tens of thousands (IIRC, off the top of my head). The media only reported the upper bound. Solution: read better media.”

I’d suggest solution is that science headline their reports with ‘we don’t know’ (which is effectively what a 95% confidence interval ranging from near total social disaster to less concerning than the normal flu means in practical terms), which would give the media a lot less wiggle room. The problem is upper limits are pushed by scientists who want attention and funds as well as media. This does apply to climate change as much as swine flu, or to theoretical physics as far as I know (after all, how far outside the 95% confidence interval was the possibility that the Large Hadron Collidor would destroy the earth? But it was a scientist who said the words that the media reported). Or at the very least state everything in terms of the full range of possibilities within confidence intervals, which are surprisingly easy to understand.

Watchman,

When you refer to Amman do you mean Wahl & Amman (2007)? If so then of course they used the same data as MBH – the whole point was to examine Mann’s methodology and the criticisms made by M&M. And guess what – they vindicate Mann and show that M&M’s criticisms, particularly the one that Mann’s methods would alway produce a hockey stick are unfounded.

Our results show that the MBH climate reconstruction method applied to the original proxy data is not only reproducible, but also proves robust against important simplifications and modifications. The results of this study demonstrate that the primary climatological claim described in MM05a – that the method used by MBH to form PC summaries of climate proxies from data-rich regions results in calibrations that inappropriately weight proxies with a single-bladed hockey stick-like shape in the 20th century – cannot be upheld, and leaves
unchanged the overall MBH result of uniquely high Northern Hemisphere temperatures in the late 20th century (relative to the entire 15th–20th century period).

“media a lot less wiggle room.”

Do you honestly think that would have any effect on the media whatsoever?

What bunch of neo-con lies. I supposed melting polar ice caps, rising ocean levels, and disappearing glaciers aren’t real, either.

What isn’t clear is the exact causes of climate change. For certain, 7 billion people using increasing levels of energy, all of which creates heat in generating it or using it, has to be a contributing cause.

Neither wind, solar, nuclear, or hydroelectric generation can change the basic laws of physics. If you idiots were not so stupid, you’d know that.

“Watchman,

When you refer to Amman do you mean Wahl & Amman (2007)?”

In another 6 months he may understand referencing systems and the importance of them 😉

Paul,

Thanks for this. I’m not convinced though. Same set of graphs as earlier link, with addition of CO2 concentration graph (not evidence for a temperature hockey stick, but evidence for a carbon-driven economy), with same problems. No actual explanation as to why the particular trees were chosen (which therefore underlines the issue: they assert they were carefully selected but I don’t see on what basis). Most importantly, nothing about the algorithim itself being correct (an issue I would like to see debunked if I am to stop being sceptical).

My view of all this is that it is indeed warming, as the studies show, but not as dramatically as the ends of the studies imply (well, it is measurably, but that is not the climate so much as the effect of mankind on the measurements (and perhaps some strange modelling of measuring systems)). But I see no reason to doubt the consensus that it was similiarly warm for much of the early and high medieval periods (European dating system – choose local equivalents), which is what the hockey sticks attempt to show.

Oh, and here are some reconstructions that go back beyond the LIA.

Esper, Cook and Schweingruber (2002)
Moberg et al (2005)
Crowley and Lowery (2002)

rumpypumpy:

> Come now,…

Ah, the condescending introduction.

> …the reporting of global warming has been abused by both sides,

The two are not remotely similar. On one side is the science, the other anti-science, lies, distortion and ignorance.

> …blah blah… kids … [insinuation of scary indoctrination] …blah blah… kids

The similarities with the creationist cabal keeps on flowing.

andrew,

If I recheck data selected (even accidently) to produce a certain result, I bet I will prove it gets that result, because that is why it was selected! I have not seen an independent hockey stick, which is why I am suspicious the data was leading.

And planeshift, I can do the whole thing properly referenced if you want. Harvard referencing is easy enough (although it is a pain to date webpages sometimes). However, where would we put the list of references, unless you want to ask Sunny to adjust the page (and make this more evidence-based than Leftfoot Forward…). But generally I’m just that bit too lazy to bother.

andrew @ 74,

Re my last comment. I don’t have the full references – could you provide these or links? I may have read these, but would like to check. Being sceptical can require a lot of reading you know…

(And LIA is Late Iron Age historically).

Dunc @ 65

As I’ve said before, this is like arguing anatomy with someone who doesn’t know their arse from their elbow. You lack even the most basic grasp of the most elementary facets of the science. You are so mindbogglingly ignorant that you literally couldn’t possibly be any more ignorant. Everything you think you know is dramatically and obviously wrong.

Oh, how I’d love to have such certainty. To be so sure I’m right. But how come the insults only come from one side of this debate?

It is this kind of comment, saying that anyone who doesn’t bow down to your God is damned, that encourages agnostics to take an atheistic stance.

When the tree ring evidence converged from the measurable data (around 1960) it was concluded that this must be due to environmental factors. Of course it would have been quite illogical to suppose that environmental factors could have affected the tree rings prior to that date because that would make the proxy evidence invalid. So to lose the issue the acolytes resorted to graphical scams and it is that kind of shameful behaviour that is unhelpful to debate. If the evidence was so conclusive, if the certainty was so justified, it would not need such ‘tricks’.

In fact I am pretty much persuaded that the world is warming and that our activity is contributing to that. I am less persuaded regarding the scale of the problem and entirely unconvinced that my driving five miles less next week is the solution.

By the way my elbow connects my humerus to my ulna and radius. Where’s your arse?

And I don’t need a computer model, thanks.

Re: 78

It’s that idea of comparing intellectual impatience with religious fundamentalism that makes me think you’re taking things too personally to be worth the effort of writing a careful, thought-out response. Your half-arsed, slanted summary of the flaws in the tree-ring methodology make it sound like you’ve made your mind up already and have no business in a discussion thread.

Just saying, like.

I’d prefer you don’t consider his insults part of the debate, I’d rather not be expected to defend them on his behalf just because I happen to agree with his points!

Also it’s a bit facile (and quite incorrect) to reduce ‘environmental awareness’ to ‘driving less’. We both know there’s more to it than that.

Watchman,

If I recheck data selected (even accidently) to produce a certain result, I bet I will prove it gets that result, because that is why it was selected! I have not seen an independent hockey stick, which is why I am suspicious the data was leading.

The accusations against Mann were not that he cherry-picked data in the way you suggest but about his statistical methodology, including (as you pointed out) the claim that his algorithm would produce a hockey stick regardless of what the data said (in which case he would hardly need to cherry-pick his data). That is what W&A tested – and they found that, given the data he was using, Mann’s results were sound and his methodology was not predetermined to produce a hockey stick. Furthermore they found that M&M’s interpretation of the same data was flawed.

damon:

I think, no matter how small it may be, you must do what you can on an individual/family basis, which I do, beyond that I think you can help to spread awareness and lobby. Feels better to actually do something, no matter how small, than not do anything at all.

Watchman @ 77

Crowley and Lowery (2000). , Ambio, 29: 51-54. Modified as published in Crowley (2000). , Science, 289: 270-277

J. Esper, E.R. Cook, and F.H. Schweingruber (2002). , Science, 295(5563): 2250-2253

(don’t have direct links to these, sorry)

A. Moberg, D.M. Sonechkin, K. Holmgren, N.M. Datsenko and W. Karlén (2005). , Nature, 443: 613-617

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v433/n7026/full/nature03265.html

83. So Much For Subtlety

65. Dunc – “It’s just as well that that’s not anything like how predictive models are actually built then, isn’t it? They are not based on projecting trends forward, but on the known rules of physics relating to the climate system (radiative transfer, convection, fliud dynamics, etc, etc)”

Which is interesting but for the small fact that (1) not all the factors involved are known and (2) we cannot solve any of the major equations that describe the known rules of physics as they apply to the climate system. These systems are non-linear and they have no known solutions. We can approximate them. We approximate them with no real knowledge of the science, we calculate these forward in time to come up with a useless number.

The models are utterly and totally useless. If they produce any credible results at all, it is only because their poor programmers introduce fudge factors and cheat.

84. So Much For Subtlety

80. andrew adams – “The accusations against Mann were not that he cherry-picked data in the way you suggest but about his statistical methodology, including (as you pointed out) the claim that his algorithm would produce a hockey stick regardless of what the data said (in which case he would hardly need to cherry-pick his data). That is what W&A tested – and they found that, given the data he was using, Mann’s results were sound and his methodology was not predetermined to produce a hockey stick. Furthermore they found that M&M’s interpretation of the same data was flawed.”

Except they should have looked to see if he cherry picked his data. He has been told that his data does not show a Hockey Stick if the bristle cone pines are taken out but he does not take them out and continues to claim his data is robust.

Wegman gutted Mann’s work. His results were not sound – and in fact Mann has now taken to referring to the Mediaeval Warm period so it seems he has conceded. The point about his methodology is not that it was intended to produce a hockey stick but that he did not know what he was doing and so flailed around until he got what he liked. There is no credible ground for claiming M&M’s interpretation was flawed that I know of but I would be interested to see one.

85. So Much For Subtlety

71. James Smith João Pessoa, Brazil – “What bunch of neo-con lies. I supposed melting polar ice caps, rising ocean levels, and disappearing glaciers aren’t real, either.”

I love how neo-Con has become a general term of abuse. Sort of like Liberal. No, the polar ice caps are not melting (the Antarctic is growing slightly and the Arctic is recovering quite strongly after a lot of melting in 2007). The oceans are not rising worth a damn. And the glaciers are a more complex story that probably has nothing to do with global warming.

“What isn’t clear is the exact causes of climate change. For certain, 7 billion people using increasing levels of energy, all of which creates heat in generating it or using it, has to be a contributing cause.”

Why? The energy we generate is trivial compared to the energy that hits the planet. Even if you look at all the heat we produce, it is less than hits an area of the Sahara about 10 kilometres by 30 kilometres according to the quick back-of-the-envelope calculation I just did then.

There is no climate change to argue over. We have not seen much heating – well within a standard deviation of the data and the trend is trivial in comparison with the average temperature, well within the noise of the data anyway. We are not heating any faster than we have in the past. As even Jones conceeds. There is just no problem here. Why do you want to believe something with no evidence with such religious fervour?

“Neither wind, solar, nuclear, or hydroelectric generation can change the basic laws of physics. If you idiots were not so stupid, you’d know that.”

I would hope not. But what law of physics do you think they would come close ot changing?

Gwyn @ 79

It’s that idea of comparing intellectual impatience with religious fundamentalism that makes me think you’re taking things too personally to be worth the effort of writing a careful, thought-out response. Your half-arsed, slanted summary of the flaws in the tree-ring methodology make it sound like you’ve made your mind up already and have no business in a discussion thread.

And I asked at 78 how come the insults only come from one side of this debate? Calling something half arsed and slanted doesn’t get us much further forward I’ m afraid Gwyn.

So.

Can you tell me why the tree ring proxy became useless in 1960 but must be considered reliable before that date?

Can you explain why the graph of the tree ring data was stopped in a way that was intended to mislead?

Can you explain why one set of data was substituted for another in the same graph without this being highlighted?

I know this is old ground but if you can’t be bothered with a careful thought out response, why bother posting at all?

Just saying, like.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill – this might sound trollish of me, but I just can’t really be bothered with that kind of kind of ‘activism’.
It puts in my mind an image of an ant colony for some reason.

As individuals, yours or my actions are not going to make a jot of difference to anything …. and there is something about this ‘movement’ that makes me feel reluctant to throw my lot in with it.
And I’m pretty fed up with the ”awareness” stuff by now. Governments and industry have to sort this out, so I’m not going to bother with it.

One thing that I think is important though is the polarisation of debate, and how some people would condem what I have just said – for a number of reasons.
Because its heretical.
Again I have this image of Chinese children during the cultural revolution, denouncing their parents for not being true believers.

It’s a bit like telling leftie liberals that you think there is something a bit naff about this concert. They’ll never get why and presume you must be a rightwinger.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_tHEGo-g3mw

Damon:

It doesn’t sound trollish at all, it sounds like you don’t care, which is of course your right.

This phrase: “As individuals, yours or my actions are not going to make a jot of difference to anything” to me is a dangerous one and one I will not nor cannot agree with that stance on any issue.

Empowerment and change begins with the individual and spreads outwards.

I was talking particularly about climate chage when I said we wouldn’t make a difference to anything DHG. And I care about plenty of stuff, but not the kind of grass roots campaiging that goes on about climate change. Mostly because it’s too complicated for me to understand. I was never any good at science.

Imagine if the SWP said ”you don’t care” because you didn’t rate them as a party worth supporting. You wouldn’t accept that. Even when they showed that they had (collectively) more knowledge than you had as an individual, and said that if you hadn’t read ”History of the Russian Revolution” by Leon Trotsky, then you really knew SFA about left politics…. you might think they were a bit overbearing.

I’m not sure about your last sentence: it sounds like something from a self help book. That does sound a bit rude, but what interests me more than an issue like this one (which as I say, will have to be sorted out by governments and industry), is the toleration that different parts of the liberal/left spectrum can have for voices that dissent on particular issues.
So, for example, I’m not really into the climate change activist agenda, the campaign against Rod Liddle, or the ban on foxhunting. But I’m still a liberal and do care about stuff. That’s OK isn’t it? To diverge from the mainstream from time to time?

Empowerment and change begins with the individual and spreads outwards.

Beautiful, Daniel.

But would you say it spreads out like smoke from the funnel of a steam locomotive, filling the morning sky or is it more like an inkblot?

91. Luis Enrique

DHG,

it’s not very sensible to say you will never agree with the idea “individuals actions are not going to make a jot of difference to anything” because in some contexts that statement will be true and in others false – trying to figure out which is a better basis for determining whether you agree with a statement.

As regards climate change, every little bit doesn’t really count for much.

andrew @ 82,

Thanks for the references. Interesting reading.

Two quick observations. Only Moberg et al (2005) used a proxy that was not tree rings (which it has been established do not record temperature accurately after 1960 and are therefore a questionable proxy for earlier high temperatures). Crowley and Lowery (2000) actually uses Mann’s reconstructions as their base so is not actually independent of the errors therein.

All three reconstructions do however show a clear medieval warm period, not significantly (by my estimation) cooler than the modern high temperatures. And although all three reconstructons show an upwards slope at the end, this is not as steep as the classical media image of the hockey stick (and will hopefully not be nearly so steep now if the proxies work, since the temperature rise over the last ten years has been much lower than the hockey stick predicted). Basically, these are not hockey sticks as they have the medieval warm period and a less pronounced blade. Obviously none disprove global warming, but they do not strongly suggest that we are having particularly exceptional climatic changes either.

Damon:

Okay, that’s cool but in any context I’m not a fan of that phrase/mentality you used, esp. in the serious matter of our planet, which to me feels a pretty important thing to care about but each to their own, that is me. And don’t ask me for permission to divulge from the mainstream,whatever that means, it is not mine to give.

Although it seems you are not alone in not liking my closing comment, pagar had a cheap dig, which is all he can muster at the moment, that’s fine, as the Smiths said: “it’s easy to laugh, it is easy to hate, it takes guts to be gentle and kind.”

Spain’s fifth best anchor man:

Sorry but individual’s actions always make a difference, even if it just to the individual, so I stand by what I said, even if you think it not very sensible, frankly, I don’t care what you think about that.

94. J Alfred Prufrock

@DHG

I think ‘I Know It’s Over’ would be a perfect world-ending soundtrack! 🙂

Indeed it would and here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2e4V3Xh17w quite simply one of the finest songs ever written, a masterpiece.

96. Luis Enrique

DHG

ah I see: you must have written “I will not nor cannot agree with that stance on any issue” in error, because now you write: “individual’s actions always make a difference, even if it just to the individual” i.e. but not necessarily to the atmospheric concentration of Co2. Shall I presume you didn’t read what I linked to #91?

Spain’s 8th best attacking midfielder:

I’m not sure why you’re struggling with this and no I didn’t click on your link because I don’t want to, that is fine by you isn’t it? I’ve put it as clearly as I can, I’m sorry if my lack of enthusiasm for believing that the individual cannot en-act change on a personal level is offensive to you but if you think somehow you are going to convince me otherwise with links and whatnot, I’m afraid not.

Hope the coaching at Barce B is going well.

98. Luis Enrique

of course it’s fine by me: wallow in your own incoherence and ignorance all you like

Oh dear, you really are showing yourself up here LE, because of your refusal to accept my own, perfectly acceptable personal stance, which is that the attitude of: “As individuals, yours or my actions are not going to make a jot of difference to anything” stinks.

Anyway, good luck with the chaps in the B team.

I read it Luis Enrique. It seemed quite convincing.

101. Luis Enrique

DHG

It’s not so much that I won’t accept your “personal stance”, more than I’m not interested in your aesthetic opinions on the matter. From my point of view, certainly in the context of climate change, what matters about the statement “As individuals, yours or my actions are not going to make a jot of difference to anything” is whether it is true or false. #91 I had hoped to persuade you of the merits of this way of looking at the question, but to no avail.

Luis – your paper doesn’t say anything that most environmentalists don’t know already.

Hence the focus now on businesses wasting resources (packaging, using carbon intensive methods) and governments (direction of energy security, policies) etc.

The point about involving people is that once they get involved in a pro-environment lifestyle, they are more likely to take the issue seriously and pressure their govts to do the same.

hope that clarifies.

Aesthetic opinions on the matter? You are making this out to be far bigger thing than it is, in your refusal to drop the matter.

This began because you did not like the fact that I do not approve, in any circumstances, or someone copping out by saying that: “As individuals, yours or my actions are not going to make a jot of difference to anything” and this is esp. relevant to climate change. I have read the piece you linked to, which for me is saying that doing a little bit is just not enough, I agree whole heartedly with this but it doesn’t say that people doing their own little bit are wasting their time all together, it just puts it in perspective in my opinion so that we press on with bigger actions and wholesale change that needs to be taken.

That’s all cool by me but it doesn’t disprove the idea of individuals en-acting change on an individual level can create some kind of change.

An individual can detonate a nuclear device in central London and create plenty of environmental and other such change.

So, I stand by my feelings, also, although I think the article is intended to get people to back and create larger scale change in behaviours, it can also be used by those who cannot be arsed as fuel to do nothing, which is always a pretty damn easy thing to do.

The point about involving people is that once they get involved in a pro-environment lifestyle, they are more likely to take the issue seriously and pressure their govts to do the same.

And if they don’t get involved voluntarily we’ll make their big glossy 4×4’s illegal.

Don’t worry. We’ll get our way.

105. Luis Enrique

Sunny,

I am heartened that chapter (from a wonderful book, available free online) doesn’t say anything that most environmentalists don’t know already.

my impression was, however, that rather than focusing on big issue (replacing energy generation & transmission technology asap, getting carbon taxes or cap & trade raised, R&D, replacing transportation energy sources, subsidizing renewable energy infrastructure in poor countries etc.) lots of environmental activism still focuses on lifestyle and changing the “culture of consumption” despite knowing already, as you inform me, this will achieve close to zero.

You may be right that hectoring (sorry, advocating, urging, inspiring) people about their lifestyles makes them more likely to take the issue seriously and pressure their govts to do the same, on the other hand, it might turn them right off. I’m not sure why you seem so disinterested in that possibility.

hope that clarifies.

Luis – if you search the blog I wrote a few weeks back that the green movement has to focus more on companies and governments. I’ve spoken to other greens then and they’ve said that the focus has been shifting to that for a long time.

I still think people’s effort matters – I recycle all I can – but I accept that in the grander scheme it doesn’t count for that much. But one shouldn’t be hypocritical.

damon – sorry but I don’t buy that argument of yours. Most change over the past centuries has taken through direct action. I get the feeling you were never convinced by the agenda anyway, and have now taken the Spiked line that these people turn off others. Actually – the evidence doesn’t support that. And Spiked has been a big climate denying site for a long time anyway.

I was really not going to post this link, but some of the tactics and arguments of environmentalists have me turning towards the dark side.
I know it’s silly and mocking a very serious issue, but sometimes you’ve got to.
Especially when you get people climbing up on to areoplanes at airports, and up on the roof of the Houses of Parliament.
Those activists are about as silly as Ethan.
http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/issues/C100/

LE:

And your kind of cynicism and negativity will achieve even less, thank goodness.

damon:

In the need to defend my own position I may have gone harder at yours, which is not the case at all.

109. Luis Enrique

DHG,

your powers of deduction aren’t you strong points. I’m enthusiastic environmentalist and optimist, I just don’t think the lifestyle hectoring is productive.

110. Luis Enrique

I wrote a few weeks back that the green movement has to focus more on companies and governments.

splendid; we are in agreement. I must have been reading too many articles in the Guardian and not enough from these other greens who have realised that the lifestyle hectoring deserves less emphasis.

LE:

Man you keep throwing around the insults don’t you? Show me where I supported hectoring, just show me where I said that?

Good grief man.

112. Luis Enrique

DHG I think you are starting to hallucinate, I don’t think the words “DHG” and “hectoring” have even crossed my consciousness in the same sentence until now.

P.S. I’m sorry if you feel insulted by my questioning your powers of deduction; I based it on your deductions about my negativity and cynicism.

Oh no, you just tagged that on at the end after insulting me about powers of deduction and plucked hectoring out of thin air.

You’re showing yourself up here with all this nonsense.

114. Earnest Ernest

“Show me where I supported hectoring, just show me where I said that?”

…oh jesus…(rolls eyes and exits stage left)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-awareness

115. Luis Enrique

oh I see, I wrote hectoring #108 … surely your grasp of the language is strong enough to see that me (implicitly) suggesting you have confused my views on hectoring with negativity and cynicism does not in anyway imply I think you “support hectoring”

Oh great, the multiple identity overlord enters stage right…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sockpuppet_(Internet)

LE:

There is no hectoring in this post or, for me, in the comments, so you pulled that one out of thin air. And still nothing on insulting me just because I don’t confuse your opinion with fact?

117. Luis Enrique

DHG

no, you’ve lost me, as I have explained I have written nothing that accuses you of hectoring, you have got the wrong end of the stick. I’m not sure why you are so affronted by having your powers of deduction disparaged right after you erroneously accused me of cynicism and negativity. Anyway, surely this is getting boring for everyone.

I’ve got a B team to coach. adios.

118. Earnest Ernest

Sunny and DHG, I thank you for being OK about someone having slightly different views on things (me I mean) and not sticking the boot in. I know those spiked people are pretty contrarian, but I find it useful to at least listen to contrary views, and see if there is any merit in any of the stuff they say.

I just looked at their output from yesterday and there is one article that is so relevant to what has been written on this thread. It’s about eco-disputes within couple’s relationships, and has links to two storys that were in The Times and the New York Times on wednesday.

Of course it’s that usual mickey taking style that may be what puts many people off: things like, ”Of course couples have always bickered over the most inane things, and you’d suspect the ones most affected by relationship breakdown are long past that stage where the question ‘Lights on or off?’ had a racier connotation than maintaining a sustainable energy supply. However ……”

At this point in time, rather than the science and the idea of doing my bit, I’m more into the politics of climate change, and I find arguments like in that spiked article useful. It mentions that some people are being turned off by ”the message” (like those Act on CO2 adverts) – and I feel that I am too.

So it’s important for the climate change movement to get their pitch right (as well as being so correct on the science), as they (you) are trying to sell something here. An idea. And a lot of people out there are skeptical.

‘Small impact/big impact’ was being talked about here just yesterday. From that spiked article:
”According to the improbably named Christienne deTournay Birkhahn, executive director of US-based EcoMum Alliance, women often want their boyfriends to pay more attention to the home, while men ‘really want to make a large impact and aren’t interested in a small impact’. So men want to change the world, while women just want to sit around the house all day nagging their hubbies about switching the lights off?”

The EcoMum Alliance? Actually its the EcoMom Alliance and this kind of group (from looking at their website) is where there is always going to be some sniggering and snearing from certain quaters. Because it all looks so middle class.
http://ecomomalliance.ning.com/

I remember this article from the New York Times from feb 2008.
”For ‘EcoMoms,’ Saving Earth Begins at Home ”
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/16/us/16ecomoms.html

I know that this comfortable San Rafael California scene isn’t ”the movement” – but there are echos of this thinking (to my mind) running right through it.

So for me, the issue is, how to deal with these ”deniers” and mickey takers.
http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php/site/article/8203/


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