Archive for November 2013

Russell Brand In Conversation With HuffPost UK’s Mehdi Hasan

If you enjoyed Russell Brand’s Paxman interview, you may enjoy this one.

C(Lie)mate #2 – CO2 & Solar Connection

I have shared a couple of videos with you that demonstrate that the story we are told about human activity causing global warming is yet another lie perpetrated upon us. Here I want to peel that onion a little further.

For me, the key data is this graph:


This graph, based on Vostok ice core records, showing ‘CO2 Concentrations and Temperatures..’ is modified and courtesy of the Marian Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences. It demonstrates a very strong correlation between temperature and CO2 – until the human consumption of fossil fuels began in earnest. From there, it breaks down completely.

But there’s more. As you can see, this data spans about 350,000 years, perhaps a more meaningful timeline to examine when looking at climate change (rather than the distorted 1000 years or so we usually see in this “debate”), and when we look at this timeframe, we see there has been a temperature peak every 100 – 120,000 years, and the current peak appears to be topping out at a lower level than the previous 3 we can see.

How can this be? Why are we not shown this data? Good questions.

In simple terms, we have been sold a piece of distortion yet once more. The rise and fall of the Hockey Stick does an excellent job of explaining how this deceit came to be sold to us, and who picked it apart. Although I encourage you to read the entire article, given the importance of this in our world today, I am sharing a substantial piece of it here:

The first blow against the accepted understanding of climate history came in 1995 when the English climatologist Keith Briffa (based at the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia) published in the journal Nature a study with sensational results. According to his studies of tree rings in the Siberian Polar-Ural, there had never been a Medieval Warm Period and the 20th century suddenly appeared as the warmest of the last 1000 years. The most recent part of this study is known as the Yamal study, because of the name of the region it was done in, and it has recently been discredited – see here.

Briffa’s work boldly proposed that the 20th Century had experienced the warmest climate of the millennium and this claim was now the central battlefield for the scientific argument about CO2 forcing. This of course ignored the Climatic Optimum (see Happy Holocene) between 5000 and 9000 years ago when temperatures were significantly higher than today but most people (and certainly the media and politicians) actually think that 5000 years is a long time ago so there was no need to undermine the Climatic Optimum in order to win wide public support for the CO2 forcing hypothesis. Hottest in the last 1000 years would do.

Briffa’s work had an impact and laid the ground work but the real knock out blow that finally succeeded in eliminating the Medieval Warm Period was a paper published in 1998 in Nature by Mann, Bradley and Hughes entitled, “Global-scale temperature patterns and climate forcing over the past six centuries” (you can download it here). This was the original peer reviewed hockey stick article.

Michael Mann of the Department of Geosciences, University of Massachusetts, who was the primary author of the paper, had in one scientific coup overturned the whole of climate history. Using tree rings as a basis for assessing past temperature changes back to the year 1,000 AD, supplemented by other proxies from more recent centuries, Mann completely redrew climate history, turning the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age into non-events. In the new Hockey Stick diagram the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age have disappeared, to be replaced by a largely benign and slightly cooling linear trend in climate until 1900 AD after which the Mann’s new graph showed the temperature shooting up in the 20th century in an apparently anomalous and accelerating fashion.

In every other science when such a drastic revision of previously accepted knowledge is promulgated, there is considerable debate and initial scepticism, the new theory facing a gauntlet of criticism and intense review. Only if a new idea survives that process does it become broadly accepted by the scientific peer group and the public at large.

This never happened with Mann’s `Hockey Stick’. The coup was total, bloodless, and swift as Mann’s paper was greeted with a chorus of uncritical approval from the increasingly politically committed supporters of the CO2 greenhouse theory. Within the space of only 12 months, the new theory had become entrenched as a new orthodoxy. The ultimate consummation of the new theory came with the release of the draft of the Third Assessment Report of the IPCC in 2000. Based solely on this new paper from a relatively unknown and young scientist the IPCC could now boldly state:

“It is likely that the rate and duration of the warming of the 20th century is larger than any other time during the last 1,000 years. The 1990s are likely to have been the warmest decade of the millennium in the Northern Hemisphere, and 1998 is likely to have been the warmest year.”

Overturning its own previous view in the 1995 report, the IPCC presented the `Hockey Stick’ as the new orthodoxy with hardly an apology or explanation for the abrupt U-turn since its 1995 report. The IPCC could show almost no supporting scientific justification because other than Mann’s Hockey Stick paper, and Briffa’s Siberian tree ring study there was little in the way of research confirming their new line.

The Hockey Stick graph, the new orthodoxy, was blown up to a wall sized display and used as a back drop for the public launch of the 2001 IPCC report.

Within months of the IPCC draft release, the long-awaited draft U.S. `National Assessment’ Overview document featured the `Hockey Stick’ as the first of many climatic graphs and charts in its report, affirming the crucial importance placed in it by the authors and by the active pro CO2 warming campaign at large. This was now not an esoteric theory about the distant past but rather the core foundation upon which the offensive on global warming was being mounted.

Soon the Hockey Stick was everywhere and with it went the new simple and catchy campaigning slogans “its hotter now than the last 1000 years!“, “1998 was the hottest year for a 1000 years!

Not long after the 2001 IPCC report the Government of Canada sent the hockey stick to schools across the country, and its famous conclusion about the 1990s being the warmest decade of the millennium was the opening line of a pamphlet sent to every household in Canada to promote the Kyoto Protocol.

Al Gore’s Oscar winning and hugely popular film “An Inconvenient Truth” was virtually built around the Hockey Stick (although Gore couldn’t resist tweaking it to make it look even more compelling by changing the way the graph data was displayed along the axis so that the temperature trend line it showed looked even steeper and starker).

In the UK the Government announced that the DVD of the “An Inconvenient Truth” would be sent to every school in the country as a teaching aid.

The Hockey Stick seemed to be carrying all before it. Dr Mann was promoted, given a central position in the IPCC and became a star of the media.

And then it all went horribly wrong.

The Fall of the Hockey Stick

In the years immediately after the 2001 IPCC report it seemed as if the sudden adoption of the Hockey Stick model of the earth’s recent climate past had created a new orthodoxy which could not be challenged. Even when some scientists quietly worried that the new theory about the past climate had been adopted way too quickly or were unhappy about the way that satellite temperature readings didn’t seem to fit the Hockey Stick model or they noticed that new individual proxy studies still seemed to keep showing that the Medieval Warm Period was hotter than today, they mostly stayed silent. They didn’t want to be branded as ‘deniers‘ after all.

Then an unlikely hero emerged in the shape of Stephen McIntyre a retired mineralogist from Toronto. McIntyre is not a scientist or an economist but he does know a lot about statistics, maths and data analysis and he is a curious guy. He didn’t start off as a climate sceptic but was just someone interested in the nuts and bolts of these new and apparently exciting ideas about climate change, and he was curious about how the Hockey Stick graph was made and wanted to see if the raw data looked like hockey sticks too. In the Spring of 2003, Stephen McIntyre requested the raw data set used in the Hockey Stick paper from Mann. After some delay Mann arranged provision of a file which he said was the one used in the original 1998 Hockey Stick paper and McIntyre began to look at how Mann had processed all the data from the numerous different proxy studies cited as his source material and how they had been combined to produce the average that was the basis of the famous Hockey Stick shape.

About this time Steve McIntyre linked up with Ross McKitrick a Canadian economist specialising in environmental economics and policy analysis. Together McIntyre and McKitrick began to dig down into the data that Mann had used in his paper and the statistical techniques used to create the single blended average used to make the Hockey Stick. They immediately began to find problems.

Some of these problems just seemed the sort of errors that are caused by sloppy data handling concerning location labels, use of obsolete editions, unexplained truncations of available series, etc. Although such errors should have been spotted in the peer review process and they would adversely affect the quality of Mann’s conclusions they had a relatively small effect on the final results.

But McIntyre and McKitrick found one major error, an error so big that it invalidated the entire conclusion of the whole paper. A whopper of an error.

As we have seen what Mann had done was blend together lots of different proxy studies of the past climate going back a 1000 years and then produced an average of all these studies and a single graph showing the trend. Clearly the validity of the techniques used to blend together and average the different data from the various different studies was absolutely critical as to the validity of the final conclusions reached and the resulting Hockey Stick graph. This sort of blending of data sets is a very common statistical exercise and there are very well established techniques for undertaking such an exercise, these techniques use values that are called ‘principal components’ (if you want to know a lot more about the technical details then download McKitrick’s paper from here). What McIntyre and McKitrick discovered was that Mann had used very unusual principal component values and the effect of the choice of value used had drastically skewed the outcome of the blending and averaging exercise. Effectively what Mann’s odd statistical techniques did was to select data that had any sort of Hockey Stick shape and hugely increase its weight in the averaging process. Using Mann’s technique it meant that any data was almost certain to produce a spurious Hockey Stick shape.

End of quote.

Like many other such pieces of spurious “science,” we see a convenient untruth getting a free ride in the mainstream scientific press (in this case Nature), supported by massive press and political support, whilst the detailed discrediting of the “theory” is given scant regard – or more accurately, outright resistance to it being shared. The accepted position is given so much support and so much is moved into implementation on top of it that the possibility that it is spurious is almost impossible to believe or find. Anybody who opposes the orthodoxy is treated, at best, with derision and scorn.

Unsurprisingly, the source of temperature variations on our planet correlate powerfully with what’s happening on the sun. The sun impacting our climate? Now, that’s a radical thought.

What’s going on?

As Ben of Suspicious Observers says, “They Want to Blame You”. Why would “they” want to do that? Again, it begins with the intention of those who control things on this planet to manipulate us into behaviours that appear to be in our interests, but in fact are in theirs. Carbon tax is an example, and the much broader “Agenda 21”, which seeks to essentially transform life as we know it on the planet. Of course, it’s not exactly presented that way. We wouldn’t want to scare the horses, now, would we?

Once more, until we seriously look at how the context of our lives is created, we cannot begin to make sense of the content. We simply become slaves to “what is so”.

C(Lie)mate #2 – CO2 & Solar Connection is Ben’s latest take on this.

The Wall Street Code (Marije Meerman, VPRO)

This video provides a fascinating insight into where complex trading algorithms have reached and how the insiders are creaming the system illegally.

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