Michael Buerk what a berk

Michael Buerk enters the fray on the climate debate showing just how conservative and ill-informed you have to be to make it as a newsreader. My two cents worth is :

It's a bit rich for a BBC newsreader to spout "I don’t want the media to make up my mind up for me." Where does Buerk get "... the issues beyond doubt and the steps to be taken beyond dispute" from ? Mr Buerk posits that there probably are answers to all his quibbles and if he researched properly he would find that is so. On the whole Buerk is ruminating on tedious canards.

One statement in particular indicates that Buerk's polemic is biased towards misinforming the public "I would like to hear a clash of informed opinion about what would actually be better if it got warmer as well as worse." The trouble with that is whilst it would get better for a small few , the aggregate effect on humanity would be negative. There is no informed opinion that disputes that ergo Mr Buerk's desire to hear such a clash of opinions is on the face of it misleading.

Another completely unsupportable claim from Monty

Once again Andrew Montford brilliantly demonstrates why his narrative cannot be trusted . Montford scrambles a post by contrarian activist (and WGII author) Richard Tol over the IPCC nexus with national FOI laws.  Tol isn't actually reporting anything new, but Montford headlines it   "IPCC declares itself above the law" and thus another contrarian canard is born. It is however easily debunked. If the IPCC declares something there must by definition be a declaration. However Monty ignores requests to point us to the IPCC declaration he refers to. Come on now Monty, you're making it up as you go along.

Ivor Ichikowitz Not a very nice man

Despite never being elected to public office Ivor Ichikowitz boasts that he is part of the inner circle of the President of South Africa. Indeed he flew the President to both Azerbaijan and the U.S. in his private Boeing 727 piloted by a mercenary. So what did they talk about on their travels? We can only guess but it wasn't  world peace since Ichikowitz is an arms dealer and he's also known as 'a peddler of influence' .

Unlike most arms dealers Ichikowitz does give a fuck about what you think about him because he hired Bell Pottinger here in the UK to give his reputation a whitewash, that's the mob who've been caught red handed rewriting wikipedia entries on behalf of their corporate clients (not to mention pitching for the child labour business of the Uzbeki Cotton Industry).

Ichikowitz: Not just an arms dealer and warmonger but a sock puppeteer too

Last week blogger Tim Ireland exposed a number of fake wikipedia accounts run from computers registered to the disgraced PR firm. One of those 'Biggleswiki' contributed to the now deleted WP entries for Ichikowitz and his company Paramount Group.

So on the one hand Ichikowitz pays professionals to astroturf his public profile, cravenly removing any criticism from his wikipedia entry.  And on the other hand he's schmoozing with politicians at the very top of the decision making process to sell his weapons to kill people.  Ivor Ichikowitz is playing both ends against the middle.

Mankind is yet to invent a more inefficient method of making collective decisions than warfare. And because of people like Ivor Ichikowitz we can see why warfare is still so widely used.

Laframboise's reviews on Amazon falsely inflated

The new IPCC bashing tome by Donna Laframboise continues to garner positive reviews on Amazon, perhaps because she has implored her followers to do so.   Alas some of Donna's shills have taken her bleating "These reviews really do matter" to heart and left multiple reviews. Naughty.

Amazon.co.uk say "We only allow each customer to write one review of each product set."

Update: The above just looks at Amazon .co.uk But theres also the Amazon.com site in the U.S. Foxgoose has managed to post five star reviews on both (October 16, 2011on the US site  14 Oct 2011 on the UK site)  Martin A from Normandy posts a third five star review on the US site October 19, 2011 .

Update 20:21 pm : Andrew Montford's Hockey Stick Illusion has also seen it's positive reviews inflated by multiple postings on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk MPHELPS posts five star reviews January 25, 2010 on the US site and 24 Jan 2010 on the UK site.

Climategate 2.0 Has Potholer nailed it ?

Three cheers for Potholer for putting his thoughts into words lickety split on Climategate 2.0

Now, I'd like to ask my advocates positioned as skeptics friends if Potholer is right or wrong @ 7:20 "But although conspiracy theorists get very excited when they see a doubt or an uncertainty expressed in the emails - and take this as a sign that these must be secret - no instance has been cited of an uncertainty that hasn't already been openly discussed by these researchers in publicly available scientific journals." ?

Parlez Vous Climate *Skeptic* ?

Mazzer writes "In far too many cases IPCC experts were not chosen on their scientific credentials but on their ideological affiliations and their association with the WWF or Greenpeace." I've asked Mazzer to cite just one case, to give me a single shred of evidence that IPCC contributors were recruited on the basis he claims. Mazzer responds "I can never prove that experts were selected on their ideological qualifications any more than you can prove they were not." So Mazzer interprets my request for evidence as a demand for proof and issues his own counter demand. Such is the standard of rhetoric.

So where is Mazzer getting his ideas from?

Mazzer is responding to my one star review for Donna Laframboise's new book. Laframboise provides plenty of innuendo for Mazzer to frame his view but no actual evidence. In Chapter 21 she writes "One day the IPCC may come to be seen as a textbook case of how badly things can go wrong when political amateurs are recruited and manipulated by UN-grade political operatives." Did you notice the caveat "one day the the IPCC may come to be seen as..." ? It enables Laframboise to employ conjecture to say anything she likes. Here she is doing the same thing to Australia.

At 1:57 Andrew Bolt asks a leading question, suggesting that IPCC contributors are chosen on the basis that they agree with the scientific consensus. Laframboise's response is peppered with "one suspects" "perhaps" and "it's not clear". Having read her book I have to say there is only one correct and honest answer that Laframboise could have given and that is to admit she has no actual evidence IPCC contributors were recruited on the basis of affiliations to Greenpeace , WWF or on agreement to the scientific consensus. I've tweeted Donna Laframboise to ask she support her claims with evidence . Perhaps I'm asking too much, she hasn't corrected the factual errors in Chapter 3 yet. So please, advocates positioned as skeptics and apologists for Donna Laframboise; where is the evidence in her book supporting what she is saying about selection of IPCC contributors ?

Book Review: The Delinquent Teenager

Have reviewed "The Delinquent Teenager" byDonna Laframboise, after approval by Amazon this should be posted on  Amazon.co.uk too. It gets one star.

Shoddy research or a deliberate attempt to mislead

The first of many misleading claims are the two words ”IPCC EXPOSÉ” found on the front cover of "The Delinquent Teenager" . Nothing is being exposed here, this is basically a write up of Ms Laframboise's blog which the reader can get online for free.

Chapter 3 introduces three scientists Drs Gray, Reiter and Mörner whom she claims have all been “left out in the cold” all well known skeptics of anthropogenic global warming. Laframboise tells us that Gray has never served on the IPCC and goes on to say and that ‘they are all IPCC outsiders’ . This is untrue. Both Reiter and Mörner have served on the IPCC (Working Group II of the IPCC's fourth assessment report.) Laframboise clearly indicates the opposite. It’s either shoddy research or a deliberate attempt to mislead.

Moreover Dr Reiter serves on an advocacy group which receives no scrutiny from the author whatsoever. Such unequal treatment is the hallmark of Laframboise’s work. In Chapter 6 she asserts a new set of rules all her own “Since activists bring their own agenda to the table, and since agendas and science don't mix, environmentalists need to keep their distance from scientific endeavors.” No support is offered for this arbitrary statement, it’s not a protocol or part of any philosophy of science it’s just Laframboise’s made up rule . Any scientist with any connection to WWF or Greenpeace or Friends of the Earth is in Laframboise’s words “tarnished”. It is a witch hunt in print.

Laframboise labours under the illusion that IPCC scientists can be qualified for the job or not. But unable to point to the necessary qualifications she relies on a vague statement by IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri that IPCC contributors “… are people who are at the top of their profession”. Armed with this Laframboise sets out to find IPCC contributors who in her opinion fall short of that mark. So a geography professor in Holland is criticized for being young , an epidemiologist in London is criticized for not getting her doctorate quick enough and whenever Laframboise spots that the doctoral thesis of one scientist has been supervised by another the innuendo of favouritism is made. It is one grossly contrived gripe.

The arbiter of who should and who shouldn’t serve on the IPCC is none other than Donna Laframboise in this tome. She berates a biology PhD for example because there is ‘little indication’ he has reached the ‘threshold’ of being in the ‘world’s-top-experts’ even though no such threshold is established. “[H]is orientation is overtly activist” huffs Laframboise, yes all scientists are divided into two groups ‘activists’ and people the author tolerates.

Bad science is mixed with partisan political advocacy. Examining the link between human generated carbon dioxide and climate change Laframboise claims“But the truth of the matter is far from clear”. If Laframboise really finds that area of radiative physics far from clear then perhaps she should have thought twice about writing a book about climate change. The heat trapping properties of carbon dioxide can clearly be demonstrated in the laboratory and have been known for over a century. But it’s in the final chapter entitled “Disband the IPCC” which gives the game away. Laframboise is an activist herself and the true purpose of her writing is to undermine her subject.

Put simply Laframboise’s work cannot be trusted. She argues that the IPCC should maintain “a strict boundary between itself and green groups” but never stops to ask if perhaps libertarian think tanks might hold sway over some IPCC contributors. A ‘strict boundary’ it seems is a standard only for environmentalists not for Big Oil or libertarians. This is ironic because all four of the testimonials she draws on with a science background to praise her book have documented links to think tanks denying anthropogenic climate change. Laframboise seems to consider that point outside the scope of her work.

No the real villains of the climate change debate hardly get a mention (and when they do it’s complimentary.) Despite their strong anti-science influence, in particular spreading doubt about climate change , the words ‘George C. Marshall Institute’ or ‘Fraser institute’ never appear in this book. One can only assume that’s because Laframboise doesn’t want you to consider the other side of the equation .

Principally this book is about characterizing an institution. But because of the authors poor grasp of science, political prejudices and basic errors there really is no reason to trust anything written in this book, nor any reason to recommend it at all.

Ross McKitrick a fish out of water

Another IPCC contributor with think tank connections is Ross McKitrick who says "far from being an open network of top experts it has turned itself into a narrow clique of like-minded activists."

I'd like to venture why Professor McKitrick feels that way. McKitrick served on Working Group I which deals with the physical science basis for anthropogenic global warming. McKitrick's field is the dismal science of economics.

McKitrick is far more at home at the Fraser Institute . In 2001 this libertarian think tank published  "Global Warming A Guide to the Science"  an opus which staes "A review of the scientific literature concerning the environmental consequences of increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide ... have produced no deleterious effects upon global climate or temperature." It also tells us  "There is no clear evidence, nor unique attribution, of the global effects of anthropogenic CO2 on climate."  Although this guff was published in 2001 it didn't stop Professor McKitrick from contributing to the IPCC's 2007 report. 

Has the IPCC been infiltrated by right wing think tanks?

Some months ago I started a wiki listing skeptical scientists who have served on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. I found the IPCC welcomes representatives not just from academia but from well known corporate interests too like Boeing Exxon Chevron Shell and 3M so I listed the involvement of some of those too. But why are there so many corporate afilliations for outfits whose product is nothing but advocacy or policy? 

A quick look at the list of contributors to Working Group III contributors to the Fourth Assessment Report reveals some familiar names like Pat Michaels representing his University and the Cato Institute, yes the Cato Institute funded by those famous progressive leftie pinkoe watermelon Koch brothers.

There's also a Lenny Bernstein of L.S. Bernstein & Associates , L.L.C. Who they? Well  L.S. Bernstein & Associates are an environmental consultants employing a staff of approximately one, Lenny has a profile page on the website of the slightly more well known George C. Marshall Institute .

Then there's the representatives from outfits no one has heard of like IPIECA, turns out that's  the 'global oil and gas industry association for environmental and social issues' or Research Triangle Institute who get at least two seats at the table, or the more generically titled think tanks like 'Policy Solutions'.  We don't know who their clients are and what interests they represent at the IPCC.

Whether this amounts to infiltration depends on your definition, and the definition doing the rounds now is posited by Donna Laframboise  in her ludicrous book with egregious errors I have already noted elsewhere on this blog. She has been taken so seriously the WWF have taken the bold step of issuing a press release denying her claims.  So where are the press releases clarifying what the George C. Marshall Institute and the Cato Institute have been up to at the IPCC?

The Fundamental Flaw in Laframboise's new book

Donna Laframboise posits that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has a make up of scientists pre-disposed to accept the consensus. To make her point she focusses on any scientist (out of 2500 plus IPCC scientists) that can be shown to have a link to say Greenpeace or WWF and suggests that makes them an 'activist'.  Fair enough you might say but a scientific analysis would consider the other side of the picture too, and ask if there are skeptical IPCC contributors.  Donna clearly hasn't looked at this question yet her twitter profile states "If we've only listened to one side of a debate, we haven't made an informed decision. Let's be civil & fair-minded." 

In chapter 3 Donna introduces some skeptics William Gray, Paul Reiter and Nils-Axel Mörner "Each of them possesses highly specialized knowledge . Each of them is a seasoned professional with long experience in his field. They are in other words exactly the kind of people you'd expect to find at the heart of  [the IPCC]" 

Donna goes on to say "But they are all IPCC outsiders" .  In the case of Reiter and Nils-Axel Mörner this is simply not true. Nils-Axel Mörner served on Working Group II of the IPCC's fourth assessment report . Paul Reiter served as an expert reviewer on Working Group II of the Fourth Assessment Report. An astonishing omission especially when you consider all three have been active in promoting doubt about anthropogenic global warming outside of the IPCC. Perhaps that would make them 'activists' too in Donna's weltanschauung. A question alas, we will never know the answer to.

*Skeptic* blogger wants less accuracy in Mail's climate output

Now read this sentence carefully and see if you can spot a call for for press censorship to protect climate policies from criticism.
"So if Dacre wants to strengthen the case for continued self-regulation of the UK press, perhaps he should consider how it is currently being undermined by his own newspaper's coverage of climate change and its blatant disregard for the PCC's rules."

Spot it? No, neither did I.  Blogger "Climate Resistance" did though. He was so sure about it he tweeted. When pressed "Climate Resistance" was unable to support his assertion and insisted the call for censorship was implied.  But how did "Climate Resistance" conclude that Bob Ward was implying 'to protect climate policies from criticism' ?  "Climate Resistance"s response sheds no light on that mystery.

The twitterstorm was over the indefatigable Bob Ward's examination of the contradictions in the Daily Mail's stance over climate change and Paul Dacre's efforts to resist any kind of external regulation . Bob's article, which is well worth a read, is a criticism of the Daily Mail's editing . And of course it's an editor's job to cut and hence censor bad reporting. So if Bob's conclusion adds up to a call for censorship and "Climate Resistance" is certain of that , it's also implied that Climate Resistance wants to see less accurate climate reporting in the Daily Mail. I wonder if  "Climate Resistance" knows what a corollary is.

Jeffrey Sachs Speaks Truth to Power

The City of New York wont allow speakers at Occupy Wall Street to use amplifiers so Professor Jeffrey Sachs uses a human microphone.  It is a video that ought to go viral but it's a little long, the human microphone makes it double it's proper spoken length .  So if you can't spare the full fourteen minutes here's my transcription of the good prof's historic speech.

...what they said in the newspaper today. They said Wall Street Bankers , they said you're unsophisticated. You dont look unsophisticated they look pretty foolish. Here's Mr John Paulson, you know who he is, the biggest hedge fund guy, he says we should like him, he says we should be so happy. He says he created one hundred jobs in New York. Let me tell you a story about Mr Paulson. Mr Paulson went to his friends. He went to his friends at Goldman Sachs. He said let's make a derivative so we can cheat some banks, not our banks on Wall Street we'll cheat some German banks. I'll fill up that derivative with junk. And then Goldman Sachs you know how to tell lies, you go sell that junk to a state bank in Germany. So they made this little story and Goldman Sachs sold that junk and Mr Paulson bet against it and the German people lost a lot of money. And John Paulson made $5 billion ! And that's what he wants us to know. And you know what five billion dollars is ? It's 100 000 people earning $50 000 in a year. So John Paulson you created one hundred jobs, your five billion dollars should have created 100 000 jobs! And that's why people walk to your house Mr Paulson, we're not so happy with you. They think you cheated the system. And you know what so did the Securities and Exchange Commission because Goldman Sachs were charged with violating financial laws because of you. And they paid $550 million in fines because they cheated together with you. We don't like the cheats we're pretty sophisticated.

We know what you've done on Wall Street every one of the big banks here Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Bank of America, AIG, you all stole from the American people. You brought this economy to the brink of disaster.

I'll read you another story from the Wall Street Journal. These people are more confused than anybody on this planet.  They want to know what's Occupy Wall Street, they don't understand why we're here. They say why do you go for JP Morgan it's a wonderful bank, what's your problem ? Well let's tell them.

JP Morgan hooked up with a hedge fund , they made a phony derivative, they committed the same financial fraud, they sold junk to the markets, and they ended up paying $153 million this year in fines. Why didn't you mention that Wall Street Journal ? Because your editorials are lies every day. You are propaganda.  Mr Murdoch you tell us lies,  you cheat ...  It's a pack of lies.  They also defend John Paulson. They also say why don't we go out and love the keystone pipeline because Rupert Murdoch and big oil are in bed together. The Keystone Pipeline will bring the world's dirtiest energy from Canada to the Gulf, it will help wreck this planet if it goes through. It will profit David Koch. It's all about money for these reckless billionaires.

We are the 99%.  And they are wrecking this planet. And we want this planet back from David Koch. We don't want pipelines bringing dirty energy to the world. We want Rupert Murdoch to stop destroying countries with this propaganda.  Rupert Murdoch we don't need you. Pack of lies the whole thing. Wall Street Journal, Fox News you're wrecking this country with your lies. That's why we're here on Wall Street. It's not 'cos we're envious. It's not 'cos we think wealth is bad. It's because we think you cheat. It's because you don't follow the law. It's because you don't pay your taxes.  And then you say we have no money in this country to educate our children. We have the money. It's your money in the Cayman Islands.  It's your money in the Swiss bank accounts. And if you don't bring it home we're going to bring it home because this is a country of laws, because this is a democracy . And we are the 99%. We have the votes. You may have the money, but we have the votes.  And you are going to follow the law. We're going to have a decent country again, and we're going to start investing in our children again.  And across America they are hearing this message. And around the world today they are hearing this message. 

This is the beginning of change long overdue. Ronald Reagan put us on a path to disaster thirty years ago. He said cut the taxes to the rich, squeeze the poor, don't educate the children. And every President since him has followed in the same path because the big money pays them , and they sup with the rich and the billionaires. And it's over now.  We need a new direction in this country.  You don't need billions of dollars to get elected in America you just need to reach the people. Barack Obama Stop having dinners with $35 000 a plate! We don't want to see you on Wall Street. We want to see you in Queens and Brooklyn and the Bronx and Harlem where people live. We don't need to see you in the Four Seasons Restaurant, we don't need to see you dining every week with rich people.  We don't need to see the whole White House staffed with Wall Street.

Why is your Chief of Staff from JP Morgan?
Why is the head of the budget office from Citigroup?
Why is your Chief Economic Advisor a former worker from Goldman Sachs?
Why is it that everyone there is from Wall Street?

We need a White House that represents the country again. You promised us this President Obama. You promised change. We are calling on you today to stop catering to the billionaires stop catering to the millionaires. You don't need a billion dollars for your campaign. Send your political advisors home. Send the people back to Wall Street. Then you'll win re-election. Because then you will have the people with you. They'll remember why they voted for you, and you have to remember why you ran for office.  You ran to change this country, not to have dinner with billionaires.

This country will change when politicians understand how to get the votes in this country. When they speak to us again. Because we have the free media, because you reach people all over this country . We don't need money to do it. Just put it on You Tube and it'll spread. This is the way to do politics in America now. Young people here, you're in the lead, you know how to do this, you don't have to raise money , you just have to show the camera, put it on facebook, get it tweeted, and get it out there. Because this how news spreads in America. You don't have to buy ads on Fox cable phony news. You don't have to advertise in that junk newspaper the Wall Street Journal. People are tired of the lies. Aren't we ?

[Crowd: Yes ! Applause]

#OccupyWallStreet #occupylsx

 UPDATE March 11th 2012 Prof Sachs has been nominated for World bank President - You can support him by signing this petition

Donna on Activists, the IPCC and Vampires (wtf ???)

Canadian advocate positioned as skeptic Donna Laframboise's schtick is to draw attention to the links between IPCC scientists and any group that can be painted as any shade of green which in Donna's weltanschauung makes them "activists".  I'll let Donna explain in her own words what this adds up to :

"Imagine you're an accident victim on the side of the road. You're told not to worry, that the person who is going to wait with you until the ambulance arrives is trained in first aid. What you aren't told is that he is also a vampire and that the blood seeping from your wound will be difficult for him to resist . You have not been warned about the presence of another agenda - one that changes the picture dramatically."

Scary stuff . That's from her new book which boasts glowing testimonials from Matt Ridley, Ross McKitrick, and Richard Tol.  All three have connections to think tanks such as the Global Warming Policy Foundation (all), The Fraser Institute (McKitrick) and  Economic and Social Research Institute (Tol). A point  Donna and her publisher neglect to mention.


Icecap shrinking, but fake doctors blossom in the deny-o-sphere

Last month I blogged about how climate denier Piers Corbyn allows the inflated claim of him being a Doctor despite not actually being a doctor. Well he's not alone . 

Here's Peter Sinclair's  look at Steven Goddard's claims about the shrinking arctic ice.  Goddard's same claims are also regurgitated by Pierrre Gosselin in a blogpost entitled '2011 Record Arctic Ice Melt Not Even Close' . But Gosselin being on the same side of the argument as Goddard is far more charitable to Goddard, so charitable in fact that he has awarded Goddard a Doctorate.

So , depending on who you read “Steven Goddard” is either a pseudonym used by an anonymous climate denialist crank or Steven Goddard is Dr. Steve Goddard.  My research* has determined that Steven Goddard's claims are that he has a Bachelor of Science in Geology and a Masters In Electrical Engineering. So no doctorate then.  On learning of this does Pierre Gosselin rush to correct the errors in his post on the curiously titled No Tricks Zone ? No. Pierre's cryptic response to the news is 'Steve Jobs and Bill Gates aren’t doctors either.' So Gosselin's error remains uncorrected and 'Doctor' Steven Goddard is not complaining about it either. Or to give him his full academic title Mister Steven Goddard .

* Comment and response (October 5th 2011 5:45pm ) in this piece Arctic Ice Continues To Recover : Real Science

Tribute to Lee Camp

The best American comedian since Bill Hicks . He produces three new videos on You Tube every week so it's difficult just keeping up.

'Evil People Have Plans' is a classic.

He explains what Occupy Wall Street is all about.

Don't be put off by the title of this one.

And he's got it in for Starbucks so he cant be all bad

What is Occupy Wall Street About ?

This Occupy Wall Street thing has been going on in New York for some weeks and appears to be gathering steam.   Perhaps we have something to learn from it, we wont know unless we watch the video and find out what it's all about. So what are going to call our British version,  Occupy Lombard Street ? Occupy Bishopsgate ? Occupy Threadneedle Street ? Oh well, talented American comedian Lee Camp seems to know what it's all about.

Is This Man Britain's most dishonest hack ?

Yes it's a crowded field but Telegraph blogger James Delingpole finds the chutzpah to present two conflicting arguments within days of one another.  James suggests corruption in this interview without presenting any actual evidence whatsoever noting (at 4:25) " You can buy a lot of vested interests a lot of businessmen a lot of politicians for that kind of money."

A couple of days later I suggest James sign himself up for George Monbiot's proposed register of interests for Journalists . James declines but blocks my twitter for the trouble . But  over the next couple of days environmentalists (and Monbiot in particular) persistently trouble James's brain cell  " It simply does not occur to them that those on the other side of the argument might actually hold the views they hold sincerely and honestly" James muses in another blogpost on the Daily Telegraph website.

So in the first case money corrupts , in the second case that same notion is "demonstrably untrue" .

Apropos Delingpole back in July he coined the term Polarbeargate in this blogpost about the travails of hard working scientist Dr Charles Monnett. In an article long on speculation and short on facts Delingpole noted that the investigation of Monnett would be "definitely one to watch." He was right about that. Monnett is now back at work, and the investigation floundered when no evidence turned up.  Curiously , James Delingpole has not updated his readers about any of this "definitley one to watch" story.

Psst ... Goldman Sachs Rules the World

Something this man has said has hit a raw nerve and the video has gone viral. It could be  "The big institutions dont buy the rescue plan" or the stuff about the recession being a cancer, but that is just boldly expressing the subtext of a lot of commentary these days.

I suggest it's this "Governments don't rule the world" a view not often expressed on breakfast telly (although its in the subtext of a lot of political analyses) .  As a negative statement though, it doesnt really capture the imagination because it says what isn't - not what is. Rastani followed with the words "Goldman Sachs rules the world" something that is relevant and pertinent.

At this point an honest media would follow up by examining the nexus of merchant bankers and contempary power.Piers Morgan tweeted the question "Is that outrageous BBC trader interviewee Alessio Rastani an infamous hoaxer? Anyone know? "  Of course Morgan has form on spreading financial disinformation - witness the City Slickers scandal.

So we've been thrown this ridiculous 'Yes Men' canard followed by the Telegraph and Mail doorstepping the man to posit an entirely different question , namely is Alessio Rastani 'real' ?  It's a proxy question , asked to stop us asking the more pertinent  is there any truth in the statement  Goldman Sachs rules the world?

Since when has our celebrity obsessed media started asking if someone is 'real'? 

It's worth noting that the BBC have stated that they "can't find any evidence to suggest that the interview with Alessio Rastani was a hoax." But the hoax meme will not die.

Astonishingly people seem to have bought it, with seasoned progressive commentators buying the line that Alessio Rastani is something other than he claims so that we can all go back to sleep and forget we ever heard the words "Governments don't rule the world , Goldman Sachs rules the world" live on telly.

The tricks of No Tricks Zone

You don't have to be a scientist to see that most of the so-called climate skepticism out there is complete bollocks. Step up to the plate Pierre Gosselin in Germany who writes the ironically titled "No Tricks Zone" .

Take this.  Amospheric changes on all 9 planets explains the cause of global warming as "the sun, stupid" . A real skeptic would doubt any conclusion that is so forthright but Pierre expresses no doubts whatsoever and if you don't agree you're stupid.  But what evidence is there that warming on other planets and the Earth share the same cause? Pierre offers none .  He has arrived at his explanation for global warming on the Earth by ... looking at completely different planets. Unfortunately none of those other bodies in the solar system support life, a point that I have made to P but it seems to have gone past him.

A few days later Pierre's headline is  "NOAA Data Shows Slowing Sea Level Rise".  Pierre sorts the results of a selection of coastal stations around the globe into four categories which he calls 'observed most recent rate trend'.  Although he claims six stations show a 'steady drop' three of those (Karachi, Walvis Bay and Tenerife) actually record numerical rises in sea level. So how does Pierre arrive at his 'observed most recent rate trend'?  I ask if it's simply Pierre's opinion of the most recent direction of the line on the graph perhaps. "It was arrived at by looking at the data" is P's cryptic response.  He then suggests "your time would be better spent if you asked [Stefan] Rahmstorf at the PIK how they reached their conclusions of accelerating SLR. "  Quite.

The Ad Hominem attack - Monty's flexible friend

Ad Hominem means against the person. It's very poor form to attack your opponent's character as the implication is that you can't attack his argument.

Andrew Montford complains that this critical appraisal of a recent controversial paper is mostly ad-hom , but he is tantalisingly non-specific.  It seems that his gripe is to note motivations as ad-hominem  insisting "the motivations are irrelevant to the science."  Debatable, since Roy Spencer (the author of the now discredited skeptic paper)  is Chairman of the George C. Marshall Institute a motivation which may conflict with the dispassionate search for truth that should be scientific enquiry.

So, having widened the definition of ad-hominem to include discussion of motivations how long does it take Montford to go back to criticizing his opponents motivations? Not long , the folowing day Monty snipes at scientific journal Nature, and delivers a whole blogpost in which he rants (an unsupported assertion) that 2500 IPCC scientists are "corrupt, so bereft of any integrity."

Would it be bad form to wonder perhaps Andrew Montford's motivations are less than a dispassionate search for truth?

Chris de Freitas not a skeptic

You can't do too much fact-checking.   A profile of Chris de Freitas in the NZHerald prompts me to ask which IPCC reports he contributed to. The Doctor responds with a great deal more,  and takes issue that he is a global warming sceptic.

Hello Hengist
Reviewer’s efforts do not get credited as publications. Rather, their efforts are simply acknowledged. In my case see:

Page 558 of the SAR 1995, WG1
Page 851 of the TAR 2001, WG1

BTW, if you read what I write, you will see that I am not a global warming sceptic. I accept that rising human-caused CO2 from fossil sources could ‘change the climate’. The basic physics is there to support this view. But where is the evidence that the putative change would be large or damaging?

I have looked but I can find no unambiguous empirical evidence (not output from hypothetical models) that atmospheric carbon dioxide above preindustrial levels is a major driver of global climate, or that CO2 above preindustrial levels will be damaging or cause dangerous climate change. The so called ‘human fingerprints on climate change’ can also be attributed to causes or processes other than those related to fossil fuel-caused CO2 increase.

In the 1980s and 1990s I wrote papers warning of the threat of human-caused global warming from CO2 emissions, but had to stop when the data required to prove that view failed to materialise. Now there are several peer reviewed research papers that show negative feedback applies when radiative forcing is increased.

I accept one could reasonably argue that lack of evidence of ‘dangerous global warming’ ahead is not a good enough reason for complacency. But I believe the billions of dollars committed to global warming research and lobbying for global warming action and for Kyoto treaties etc. could be better spent on uncontroversial and very real environmental problems (such as air pollution, poor sanitation, provision of clean water and improved health services) that we know affect hundreds of millions of people.


Chris de Freitas

Bishop Hill largely in the absence of supporting facts

The deny-o-skept-o-sphere's take on the Hackgate scandal has posed a question I'd been meaning to ask for some time:

Which Andrew Montford sidesteps

This is in the context of a cop being arrested as part of the Hackgate police op. But has Monty made up the claim of bribery and corruption , or can he support it?

A question Monty refuses to answer. Instead I recieve a few ad homs from Bishop Hill devotees. This is my personal favourite:

A troll I may be but asking for supporting facts is normal especially when serious allegations of bribery and corruption are made. So is his claim supported or not ? Or did Bishop Hill aka Andrew Montford invent his allegation of bribery of a police officer ? 

In a nutshell this is how climate *skeptic* blogs work. Andrew Montford is not used to being called to support his accusations , his blog followers will deal with the correspondence whilst he moves on to the next attack. It's only a week since this thread but already Monty has made at least one other claim of corruption . To date Bishop Hill has not addressed the question directly posed above . Bishop Hill is a blog that maintains serious allegations against some of the world's top scientists yet if it is not convenient the Bishop Hill blog (and the skept-o-sphere in general) will obfuscate and obscure rather than set the record straight and admit a false accusation has been made.

The strange case of "Doctor" Corbyn

Apparently global warming is nothing to do with mankind. "We know theres no evidence in history for CO2 being a driver for temperature or climate in the real atmosphere we live in."  Thus spake Piers Corbyn who is in no doubt that climate change is dictated by solar activity and the moon.

What is in doubt though is Piers Corbyn's credentials. He is often referred to as a doctor, indeed he is captioned on The Great Global Warming Swindle as Doctor Piers Corbyn. And it's disputed here. So who's right?

The Great Global Warming Swindle. Swindle
In a missive to wikipedia editors Piers writes "Instead of speculating about me and making up things some would do well to ask me or go to source. Degrees are easy to check for example. I have a first class degree in Physics from Imperial College and an MSc In Astrophyics from Queen Mary College for example." So no doctorate.  Why are there numerous references on the web to 'Dr Piers Corbyn' then ? And why doesn't Piers Corbyn correct erroneous citations? In this interview he's introduced as Doctor Corbyn but he makes no effort to correct it.

Odd that Piers Corbyn should express so much certainty in  his climate theory yet tolerate so much uncertainty over his own credentials. I've emailed his office but Piers hasn't replied.

Lord Lawson Class Warrior or Hypocrite

The Global Warming Policy Foundation's anti-windfarm campaign takes a sideswipe at the landed gentry that fail to shout "get oorrff moi laaand" at renewable energy . Under the headline "Aristocrats Cashing In On Britain's Wind Farm Subsidies "  we learn the names of toffs receiving "generous subsidies - that are added to consumer energy bills "

The Global Warming Policy Foundation is led by Lord Lawson of Blaby. Lawson divides his time between his London home and a large 18th century farmhouse in the south of France,  an arrangement which enabled him to pocket more than £16 000 before the expenses scandal broke, he avoided prosecution . The GWPF's Board of Trustees consists of five Lords, one Baroness, a knight of the realm, one Bishop but only one person , plain Henri LePage, bereft of any title whatsoever.

What are Fox Expert's Scientific Qualifications?

There's not much I can add to this excellent little video , but I notice that Fair and Balanced Fox calls on Chris Horner's expert opinion (at about 3 mins in). He has a Juris Doctorate, which sounds fancy but it's a legal qualification. I wonder what his scientific qualifications are.

Dear Dr Horner,
I am a Wikipedia and Sourcewatch editor and was wondering if you could supply me with a little information about yourself that is relevant to our profiles of you.
What are your scientific qualifications? Which Institutions awarded them, when?
I’ve viewed both your Heartland Institute and Competitive Enterprise Institute profile pages and neither of them list any scientific qualifications at all. Your frequent contributions to Fox News on such subjects as global warming would, I suggest, carry more weight if your scientific qualifications could be added to the context of what you have to tell us.
Salutations and thanks in advance,
Hengist McStone

SpongeBob more convincing than Morano

Two shorts from Fair and Balanced Fox News . First, today's final nail in the coffin of AGW is that SpongeBob Squarepants has come out as a warmist. Note that Fox cannot actually point to any errors in SpongeBob's worldview, just 'disputed facts', disputed by Fox that is.

To set the record straight here's Marc Morano, who sadly isn't able to keep his testimony as error free as our underwater imaginary friend . "The global warming theory is in utter collapse " spouts Marc , " you can go from A to Z from the Antarctic to the Arctic ..." Ok Marc's spelling is a little shaky but what about his science?   "They're now saying chinese coal will save us from global warming" attests Marc, in fact what scientists are really saying is that chinese coal is so polluting it will blot out the sun for a while.  Marc goes on...  "scientists are predicting cooling from the sunspot cycle" , yes but that doesn't mitigate carbon based warming.

Oh and Marc, Richard Tol is not a climate scientist like you suggest, his field of learning is the dismal science of economics, oh,  what's the point ?

Hat tip : Bob Ward

Words to climategate made up by Monty


I've long nursed a notion that the climate denial narrative relies on an environment of chinese whispers, that explains how a large and robust scientific consensus is turned into a popular delusion of some pseudoscientific "hoax" or "fraud" or "myth" simply by the shaving of meaning between successive accounts. It's a point I must return to because it works in a temporal dimension too, like our generation teaching the "controversy" of global warming rather than the science.

Anyhow , an Andrew Montford interview spewed forth a couple of dubious claims that need putting to rights and I was putting together a blog post on those points when I realised his entire interview is evidence of the notion above.

Montford has no special experience to relate on this issue, he's simply read the emails himself and tells the reporter what he thinks ofit all. But would the story be any different if the journalist had read the CRU emails himself first hand, and checked the facts ? Getting to the truth is a collegiate exercise. So in the interests of getting to the truth lets put Monty's words under the microscope.

NS: What do you think motivated the Hockey Team to misuse the data, use unconventional statistical methods, etc?

Montford: It is clear that at least some members of the team felt themselves under pressure to produce, in the words of one of the Climategate emails, "a nice tidy story…as regards apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more". On the whole though the shenanigans seem to have been the result of "noble cause corruption" - they sincerely believed that there was a problem that required an urgent solution and that this justified cutting corners.

The question about motivation is somewhat loaded but Montford's answer is a clear misrepresentation. Reference to pressure to produce "a nice tidy story" does indeed appear in one of the emails, but the writer concludes that argument with the caveat that " the reality is not quite so simple". It's in an email from Dr Keith Briffa beginning with the line "Let me say that I don't mind what you put in the policy makers summary if there is a general concensus." But Monty leaves that out.  He also focuses on the four words (out of 848) which conjure up the impression that suits his purposes. Montford is cherry picking his quotes to create a narrative that suits him.

I've pointed this out to Montford but he washes his hands of all responsibility with the reply : Hengist   I was asked what made them do the things they did. I said they were under pressure to do so and quoted the words that showed this to be the case.  1

On closer inspection though we find the words that showed Monty's case weren't quite the same as those in the hacked emails. Dr Briffa used the verb 'to be' but in Montford's account it has been changed to 'to feel', and declined reflexively in the plural.   Montford's words "It is clear that at least some members of the team felt themselves under pressure" is pure sophistry. Briffa's reflection that 'pressure' exists has been turned into a complaint that he (and others) are under pressure.  

But it's Monty's suggestion that this affair is the result of "noble cause corruption" which should set alarm bells ringing, because they do not appear in any of the emails. Bear in mind that this interview was conducted by email , so the inverted commas (signifying the phrase can be found in the hacked emails) are Montfords.  Those words are in fact skeptic commentary, but he presents them as if they are to be found in the original emails, they are not. I've pointed this out to Monty 2  but answer comes there none.

1 Comment at Bishop Hill May 4, 2011 at 4:49 PM

2 Comment at Bishop Hill Jun 6, 2011 at 10:41 PM

Skeptic Crichton back from the dead for pseudoscience conference !

Serious scientists are set to ignore the climate skeptic conference hosted by the American Freedom Alliance . Entitled "Big Footprint: Is Green the New Tyranny" skeptic luminaries topping the bill include our ole friends Lord Monckton, Phelim McAleer and Steve Milloy , but what to make of the line up in the California Room (at 1130 on June 12th)  considering the question "Is there an Element of Religiosity to Global Warming Advocacy?" Michael Crichton  author of  "Aliens Cause Global Warming" died in November 2008 and now he's sharing a platform with TVMOB!  Ooooh the irony.

Monty's fib fest

A whopper from Andrew Montford who casually declares 'a finding that "hide the decline" was "misleading" .
Hang on a minute , I thought the enquiry into the CRU hack had cleared climate scientists over dishonestly manipulating data.

To climate geeks the three most contested words in the english language are probably "hide the decline". *Skeptics* tend to say it refers to a decline in temperatures (indeed they even managed to doctor the original email and get it broadcast on the BBC, but that's another tale) , whilst the author of the phrase Dr Phil Jones says it refers to inaccuracies in modern tree ring data. Now Monty is giving us a different definition.

We can check the allegation 1, and the all important finding 2 . There is no 'finding that "hide the decline" was "misleading"'. That statement relies on the temperature graph on a 1999 World Meteorological Organization Report being synonymous with 'hide the decline' . Muir Russell did have a criticism of the graph , and the 'hide the decline' email was clearly about the graph on the WMO Report. We know that because the subject of that email was Subject: Diagram for WMO Statement. But Muir Russell did not say that "hide the decline" was "misleading". Why do climate *skeptics* find this so difficult?

Interpretation is at the heart of the climategate dispute. If Montford can't stop himself playing fast and loose with the wording of the Muir Russell Report could he be misinterpreting the original emails too?

1 Muir Russell Chapter 7 Paragraph 9
2 Muir Russell Chapter 7 Paragraph 26

Is climate skepticism pseudoscience ?

From a *skeptic* blog

"My (admittedly inexpert) understanding of the impact of global warming on hurricanes is that  because the poles are expected to warm the most, the temperature difference between poles and equator will be reduced and there will be less energy to transport between them. In other words there will be fewer, weaker hurricanes."


 " The strongest hurricanes in the present climate may be upstaged by even more intense hurricanes over the next century as the earth's climate is warmed by increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. "

Hmmmm. Skeptics like to remind us that theirs is a dispassionate search for truth and that nobody is right all the time. But if their position is supported by ignorance, as the above statement by Andrew Montford would appear to be , then at what point has it crossed in to the realm of denialism ?

How superinjunctions work

1. Hack discovers nauseating titbit about sleb's sex life

2. Editor considers this newsworthy

3. Vanity obsessed sleb calls in scumsucking lawyers

4. Senile old judge issues superinjunction

5. Speculation takes over, cue twitter

6. Real News is sidelined like the fact that tens of thousands of kids a day are dying simply of hunger.

I've blogged before on this and found it was 13 000 a day. According to this website it's 15 million per year or 41 000 a day. Every day. Still not enough  to get coverage in the news.

This is what Noam Chomsky was on about in 'Manufacturing Consent'. I personally couldn’t give a toss which sleb is sleeping with which sleb . The super injunctions make the media look even more moronic because their story is now they can’t report what I don’t care about. Meanwhile real stuff goes unreported . Good grief.

Consistency with Andrew Montford

How much weight should be placed on a particular type of evidence? For  Andrew Montford the answer depends on whether the evidence is good or bad for your case . 

"The latest bright idea" writes  Montford "from CAGW subscribers is to use opinion polls to measure climate change. I kid you not... " Well Montford may not be kidding but he is certainly being economical with the truth. He is referring to researchers taking evidence from remote villagers in the Darjeeling Hills and suggesting that amounts to 'opinion polls' .  It's Montford's way of ridiculing a scientific study that produces evidence he disagrees with.

Last month, in his write up of the Spectator debate there was no doubt about the most impressive argument "Benny Peiser's talk was the one that intrigued me. He essentially argued that the science is irrelevant - that the public have made their minds up and that they vote out any party that pushes the green line too far."  Doctor Peiser's argument relied solely on opinion polls .  And on that occasion Montford found opinion polls very impressive.

Quotes of the Great

"Science is what you know. Philosophy is what you don't know" BERTRAND RUSSELL

"Man masters nature not by force but by understanding. This is why science has succeeded where magic failed: because it has looked for no spell to cast over nature" JACOB BRONOWSKI

"The scientist is not a person who gives the right answers, he is one who asks the right questions" CLAUDE LEVI-STRAUSS

Science can only ascertain what is, but not what should be, and outside of it's domain value judgments of all kinds remain necessary" ALBERT EINSTEIN

"Science is the disinterested search for the objective truth about the material world" RICHARD DAWKINS

"Four stages of acceptance:
i)this is worthless nonsense,
ii)this is an interesting but perverse point of view,
iii)this is true but quite unimportant,
i) I always said so." J.B.S. HALDANE

"A man ceases to be a beginner in any given science and becomes a master when he has learned that he is going to be a beginner all his life." ROBIN G. COLLINGWOOD

"The climate system is an angry beast and we are poking it with sticks." - WALLY BROECKER

"You are disturbing me, I am picking mushrooms" GREGORI PERELMAN

Benny Peiser hopes this is helpful

Re: seeking supporting evidence or clarification

Dear Mr McStone

Here is some more information for your blog readers. I hope this is helpful:

Only a quarter of Britons believe climate change is one of the most important environmental issues facing the UK today, according to a survey conducted by Ipsos MORI and released to the Ecologist this week.

A poll for this week’s Climate Week found 45% of the younger generation think climate change is man-made but only 26% of people close to retiring age agree. And 56% of women are committed to changing their behaviour to be greener, compared to 44% of men.

The number of British people who are sceptical about climate change is rising, a poll for BBC News suggests. The Populus poll of 1,001 adults found 25% did not think global warming was happening, an increase of 10% since a similar poll was conducted in November. The percentage of respondents who said climate change was a reality had fallen from 83% in November to 75% this month. And only 26% of those asked believed climate change was happening and "now established as largely man-made".

With best regards

Dr Benny Peiser

Director, The Global Warming Policy Foundation

1 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5DB

tel: 020 7930 6856


registered in England, no 6962749

registered with the Charity Commission, no 1131448

This e-mail is confidential to the intended recipient. If you have received it in error, please notify the sender and delete it from your system. Any unauthorised use, disclosure, or copying is not permitted. This e-mail has been checked for viruses, but no liability is accepted for any damage caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.

One for the GWPF's Inbox

From : Hengist McStone
To: Benny Peiser
17/04/2011 19:20
Subject: seeking supporting evidence or clarification

Dear Doctor Peiser,

Thank you for the copy of your script you sent me, which I have posted on my blog .

I don’t feel that any of the points I have put to you have been addressed, so please allow me to be a little more direct. The argument ‘that the public have made their minds up’ has been attributed to you . Do you think that is an accurate précis of your speech at the Royal Geographical Society? If so, please direct me to some evidence which supports the argument that the public have made their minds up.

My concern is that between Mr Montford’s account and your own a misrepresentation of the public’s view may have been made. I am simply seeking supporting evidence or clarification on that point.


Hengist McStone

Doctor Peiser shoots from the script

Benny Peiser responds below. He doesn't take issue with Andrew Montford's précis but the key question remains how is that statement "that the public have made their minds up "  supported? First thoughts: It strikes me as odd that for a man arguing that public concern is waning only offers a copy of his script to an enquiry from a member of the public asking to see support for the claim  "that the public have made their minds up. " If it's a fait accompli how was it accomplished ?

Dear Mr McStone

Thank you for your query. I have attached below my short contribution at the recent Spectator debate.

With best regards

Benny Peiser


The Global Warming Concern Is Over. Time for a Return to Sanity

Benny Peiser

The hype and obsession with global warming is well and truly over. How do we know? Because all the relevant indicators – polls, news coverage, government u-turns and a manifest lack of interest among policy makers – show a steep decline in public concern about climate change.

Public opinion is the crucial factor that determines whether policy makers advance or abandon contentious policies.

Surveys in the United Kingdom and other European nations reveal that the levels of concern about global warming have been falling steadily in recent years. Media coverage of climate change has dropped sharply. And, as I will show, some of the world's leading science institutions have begun to tone down the rhetoric and alarm about climate change.

The public's concern about global warming as a pressing problem is in marked decline not least because of the growing realisation that governments and the international community are ignoring the advice of climate campaigners.

Instead, most policy makers around the world refuse to accept any decisions that are likely to harm national interests and economic competitiveness.

They are assisted in this policy of benign neglect by a public that has largely become habituated to false alarms and is happy to ignore other claims of environmental catastrophe that are today widely disregarded or seen as scare tactics.

Part of the reason for the evident waning of public concern can be attributed to the issue-attention cycle, a concept developed by Anthony Downs in 1972.

According to the by now well established attention-cycle, certain environmental events can trigger public interest and concern. After a while, though, and even if the supposed problem remains unresolved, other issues replace the original concern because the huge costs to 'solve' the problem become apparent while boredom and fatigue set in.

That future impacts of global warming have been exaggerated by some climate scientists is now widely accepted. Even the government's chief scientific advisor, Professor Beddington, has criticised the failure to disclosure the manifest uncertainties in climate predictions about the rate and extent of climate change.

Let me quote Professor Beddington: "I don’t think it’s healthy to dismiss proper scepticism. Science grows and improves in the light of criticism. There is a fundamental uncertainty about climate change prediction that can’t be changed."

I fully agree with Beddington. I also agree with Prof Beddington that uncertainty about aspects of climate science should not be used as an excuse for inaction.

However, what kind of political and economic action is most appropriate and most cost-effective cannot be decided on a whim of some scientists but only after careful economic, social and political considerations.

The Royal Society too has revised and toned down its position on climate change. Its new climate guide is certainly an improvement on their more alarmist 2007 pamphlet which caused an internal rebellion by more than 40 fellows of the Society and triggered a review and subsequent revisions.

The former publication gave the misleading impression that the 'science is settled' - the new guide accepts that important questions remain open and uncertainties unresolved. The Royal Society now also agrees with the GWPF that the warming trend of the 1980s and 90s has come to a halt in the last 10 years.

In their old guide, the Royal Society demanded that governments should take "urgent steps" to cut CO2 emissions "as much and as fast as possible." This political activism has now been replaced by a more sober assessment of the scientific evidence and ongoing climate debates.

Last, but not least, the InterAcademy Council, an umbrella organisation of national science academies, was forced to review the IPCC after a number of scientific scandal had hit the UN-led climate body. The review revealed serious flaws and distortions in the IPCC's reports, its structure and its management.

Harold Shapiro, the IAC chairman, said the IPCC's review on the likely impacts of climate change “contains many statements that were assigned high confidence but for which there is little evidence.”

The Council also criticised the IPCC for over-emphasising the negative impacts of climate change, many of which were “not supported sufficiently in the literature, not put into perspective, or not expressed clearly.” The InterAcademy Council (IAC) has called for fundamental reforms of the IPCC. It recommends that, I quote, "review editors should ensure that genuine controversies are reflected in the report and be satisfied that due consideration was given to properly documented alternative views.”

It also recommends that, quote, "lead authors should explicitly document that a range of scientific viewpoints has been considered, and Coordinating Lead Authors and Review Editors should satisfy themselves that due consideration was given to properly documented alternative views.”

From these and other recommendations is it clear that the IPCC and many of its lead authors have been narrow-minded and have not take into account any other views than the 'mainstream' and that lead authors ignored views that did not tally with their own.

Let me conclude:

The scale and long-term effects of climate change will remain uncertain for decades to come.

Moreover, climate change will be generally gradual. This gradualism means that most people have become used to living with moderate warming, not least because the warming trend of the 1980s and 90s has come to a halt during the last decade.

In all likelihood, we will not know for the next 20 or 30 years who is right or wrong on the scale and impact of global warming. The stalemate in international climate negotiations is likely to become cemented for years to come.

As long as global temperatures remain more or less stable, as long as climate policies and green taxes are a growing political liability and as long as the deadlock between the West and the rest of the world lingers, we should not expect much progress in the heated climate debates.

Unless a significant warming trend re-emerges in the next 10 years, it will be near impossible to revive climate change as a major public concern. I believe we should use this time to restore reason and sanity to a debate that has become far too emotional and doom-laden and all too often depressingly intolerant.