Monday, December 07, 2009

Back When Global Cooling Was the Rage

Earlier this evening I spent half an hour talking about Copenhagen and Climate Change on the BBC World Service along with the very charming Anna Chen, better known as Labour blogger Madam Miaow, and three other climate change enthusiasts (if that's the right phrase).

At one point I explained that in the 1970s we were taught in school that the planet was on the verge of another ice age and that global cooling was a real threat to the planet. Yet a quarter of a century later we are told the scientists got it wrong then and we are invited to believe that the whole scientific world is united in its belief that global warming is entirely man made. It might be. But it might not be. I still can;t work out how come the earth was far warmer in medieval times than it is today, at a time when the cause cannot possibly have been man made. They were growing grapes in York for God's sake! No scientist has yet explained within my ear shot how that can have happened with no man made input and yet at the same time is 100% sure that the 21st century version of global warming is entirely man's fault.

Charles Crawford is having similar thoughts today.

Back in the mists of time (early 2008) when this blog started and no-one read it, I posted this about Climate Change:

In my Civil Service entrance exams back in 1975 one of the questions asked what UK policy-makers should do as a new Ice Age raced in our direction at an unfeasibly speedy speed.

I forget my answer but remember being exasperated by the silliness of the question:

Draft a short position paper for managing the end of civilisation as we have known it.

(Note: Marks will be deducted for poor presentation, unless the candidate can show that noxious fumes emerging from the new volcanoes in Magdalen College gardens brought about by Global Colding were a contributory factor, in which case the normal appeal procedures will pertain.)

Yes, back in those days the papers were full of alarmist ravings about Global Cooling and all the terrors coming our way from it.

Someone else has remembered those scary days of global cooling, namely Gary Sutton who suggests that scientists just say what the grant-donors want to hear:

In 2002 I stood in a room of the Smithsonian. One entire wall charted the cooling of our globe over the last 60 million years. This was no straight line. The curve had two steep dips followed by leveling. There were no significant warming periods. Smithsonian scientists inscribed it across some 20 feet of plaster, with timelines.

Last year, I went back. That fresco is painted over. The same curve hides behind smoked glass, shrunk to three feet but showing the same cooling trend. Hey, why should the Smithsonian put its tax-free status at risk? If the politicians decide to whip up public fear in a different direction, get with it, oh ye subsidized servants.

He points out the ebb and flow of climate over the past thousand years or so. And gives us this wonderful heresy:

Those sustained temperature swings, all before the evil economic benefits of oil consumption, suggest there are factors at work besides humans...

... the longer term changes are no more compelling, unless you include the ice ages, and then, perhaps, the panic attempts of the 1970s were right.

Is it possible that if we put more CO2 in the air, we'd forestall the next ice age?

Shouldn't we be told?



Chris said...

In 1974 a CIA file investigated global cooling and they claimed the ‘new climatic era’ was going to be bringing famine, starvation, refugee crises, floods, droughts, crop and monsoon failures, and all sorts of extreme weather phenomena. The Sahara would expand. World grain reserves, already at less than a month’s supply, would be depleted. A list of past civilisations brought down by ‘major and minor’ cooling episodes was given, which included the Indus, Hittites, Mycenaean, and the Mali empire of Africa. Any possible benefits to climate change were barely mentioned.
Sound familiar, but one could ask how could two opposites cause the same things?
By the way the opposite of being a sceptic is to be gullible, I know which I would rather be called.

Shinsei said...

I'm sorry to sound slightly irate Iain but it is incredible that you keep posting comments about global warming that are factually incorrect and that you keep posing questions that you claim "no one has ever been able to explain to me" when a couple of minutes on the internet would explain these things simply.

1) There was a mediaeval warm period, no member of the IPCC would deny that, however it was a lot less warm then than the temperature today.

2) Grapes have been grown in Yorkshire ever since the Romans brought grapes to England. There are plenty of vineyards there today. All the documentary evidence though is that the wine made from these grapes in Roman times was pretty dire stuff, as you'd expect from a cool northern climate.

3) I doubt you were ever TAUGHT at school that the world was going to cool rapidly. There was never a serious or consistent enough scientific consensus for global cooling to get into school textbooks or exam syllabuses. However it probably appeared on a couple of Panorama programmes in the mid 70s. The media gave the global cooling thesis far greater prominence than the actual climate scientific community which, even then, were publishing far more research showing evidence of AGW.

4) Even if the world has been hotter in ages past without any man-made influence (which it no doubt has) that doesn't mean that current warming is not caused by human influence. Climate is dependent on numerous factors - solar activity, moon orbits, tectonic plate shifts, tidal movements etc AND man-made CO2 emissions. The issue at the moment is that all these non-man made activities are not significant enough currently to explain present warming conditions.

5) There are snow drops out in Hyde Park today. I don't remember reading in Tacitus anything similar happening in the first century AD.

R Mutt said...

It is true that there were some predictions of an "imminent ice age" in the 1970's but a very cursory comparison of then and now reveals a huge difference. Today, you have a widespread scientific consensus supported by national academies and all the major scientific institutions solidly behind the warning that the temperature is rising, anthropogenic CO2 is the primary cause and the warming will worsen unless we reduce emissions. On the other hand, in the 1970's, there was a book in the popular press, a few articles in popular magazines, and a small amount of scientific speculation based on the recently discovered glacial cycles and the recent slight cooling trend from air pollution blocking the sunlight. There were no daily headlines. There was no avalanche of scientific articles. There were no United Nations treaties or commissions. No G8 summits on the dangers and possible solutions. No institutional pronouncements.

Quite simply, there is no comparison.

Phil BC said...

Anna's a Labour blogger? News to me, and her I suspect!

Gavin said...

Iain, I very much agree we should be very skeptical about the climate change enthusiasts' argument. But why did you agree to that Government propaganda film on climate change - Act on CO2 - to be broadcast on your blog?

sinosimon said...

has anyone ever seen ed milliband and wallace from wallace and gromit in the same room......?

is it possible he is so exercised by climate change because he knows with
a 3 degree change he will dissolve into a molten pool of plasticene.....which even with the guardian's support may make his bid for the leadership somewhat problematic? I think we should be told.......

j said...

I tried to link the original Forbes article in Facebook and was unable to... I just get this...."Warning: This message contains blocked content Some content in this message has been reported as abusive by Facebook users"...... What do they have to hide?? said...

London Calling - The Clash...
"The Ice Age is Coming"

Man in a Shed said...

@Shinsei - Its well known that the Warmist movement has tried to bury the medieval warming period as its just an inconvenient fact for their purposes. ( As the CRU information leak shows quite clearly ).

Now if you really want to get worried about something then the unexpected low activity of the star we depend on for our lives is something that really should get us worked up.

PS The snowdrops are screwed because winters only just getting started. Maybe they're gullible warmist snowdrops.

trevorsden said...

Shinsei says with all his moral authority that the MWP was less warm than today (a lot less warm!).
is the graph the IPCC used before they deided the MWP was an inconvenient proof and started cherry picking siberian pines to get rid if it.

Sorry to prove you factually incorrect. But the whole point of the Climategate leaks is that they show the effort given to faking away the MWP.

Read the lot if you want but the graph (repeat an IPCC graph) clearly shows the MWP far HIGHER than today.

"Even if the world has been hotter in ages past without any man-made influence ... that doesn't mean that current warming is not caused by human influence. Climate is dependent on numerous factors - ... The issue at the moment is that all these non-man made activities are not significant enough currently to explain present warming conditions."

Poppycock ... there is no proof at all that these other considerations are not greater than CO2 (which has been massively higher in the past) and there is no proof at all that we face some runaway warming (if the earth were susceptible to this we would not be here).

Thanks to reduced solar activity we have been facing static indeed falling temperatures for the last 10 years.

As is clear - if the temperature was far warmer in the past then the temperature rise since 1850 is not in the least abnormal.

iCowboy said...


No matter how many times this old chestnut about an imminent Ice Age in the 1970s is put to rest, along it comes again.

Speaking as a geologist... there was no consensus that the Earth was about to cool.

The best claim you can make is that a minority of scientists proposed that the Earth was likely to head into a period of general cooling which might end up as an ice age (we'll skip the technicality that we're actually still in an ice age).

The work began with Stephen Schneider at NASA Goddard Flight Center and got into the New York Times. A report by the National Academy of Sciences also suggested a 'finite possibility' that the Earth's climate would begin cooling within the next century. The stories got traction for a number of reasons:

At the time some research had been going on into what are called Milankovich Cycles - regular changes in the tilt of the Earth's axis on a geological timescale which appear to be partially related to glaciations. Running the Cycles forward showed that the Earth was heading towards a part of the cycle which would produce greater amounts of cooling.

The then state of knowledge of glaciations was very poor - we had not done any deep drilling of ice cores. There was a general assumption that the warmer interglacials, such as the current Holocene, lasted no more than 10,000 years; and that the previous interglacial had lasted less than 5,000 years. Many geologists felt that we were coming to the end of the Holocene interglacial and the ice sheets were most likely to begin expanding again in the geological near future.

There had been a very mild cooling from the 1940s onward which was believed to have been driven by rapid industrialisation producing smoke, soot and dust and by the cultivation of previously virgin land producing even more dust.

Schneider performed a simulation contrasting the cooling effect of these aerosols against the known warming effect of increased CO2 from fossil fuels. He made a prediction of the future climate if the known trends continued into the future. His 1971 paper suggested the cooling effect was dominant and would tip the Earth towards another glacial.

Schneider quickly realised his numbers for future cooling were not realistic (he had used local concentrations of pollutants on a global scale - there were too many of them), when he dialled the aerosols back to more realistic values in his second simulation, it was clear that the warming effect was dominant.

Since then we've learned a lot. Milankovich Cycles are a good, but not total explanation of glaciations. We now know interglacials last up to about 100,000 years and we're pretty sure (again from the ice evidence) that much of the cooling in the middle part of the 20th Century was caused by an upspike in volcanic activity.

Schneider's paper came in a poorly established field without a large amount of supporting work. It was a good piece of work and he deserves credit for re-running his work with better figures. But he was not the only person researching future climates. Between 1965 and 1979, 44 scientific papers were published that predicted a warming world - and some were pointing to CO2 as the driving force, 20 thought there would be no overall change; just 7 predicted cooling.

There's a review of those papers here:

Am I the only one who thinks Iain's science lessons were regularly punctuated by calls of 'Pay attention Dale!'?

heckmonwyke said...

Yes i remember that scare as well all the experts were trying to think up ways of warming the Earth.Perhaps they found it.

JMB said...

Every time that I hear politicians going on about "all scientists" or "the weight of scientific opinion" I think of Galileo and the Vatican.

Stepney said...


Snowdrops? That's it? Snowdrops?

Do yourself a big old favour and pick up a book on earth history which, and you may have to really concentrate on this one, will tell you that the history of the earth is a history of CONSTANT climate change.

Yep, all 4,600,000,000 years of it - not just a bit of a warming during the mediaeval period (when, contrary to your comments, Europe was significantly warmer than it is now).

What is it with people - all this crap about "the warmest/wettest/most variable since records began"? The records only go back to 1720 for God's sake! (A bit of Maths for you - subtract 370 from 4,600,000,000 and then tell me it's the wettest November "ever").

During the latter parts of the Cretaceous era, temps were 20 degrees higher than today, there were no polar ice caps and the sea was 200m higher than current levels - no doubt caused by all those SUVs and Easyjet flights and coal burning power stations.

Yes, there are a lot of inputs which affect the climate (Climate. n. fyi the average weather conditions taken over a 35 year period - not a wet Wednesday in Cumbria by the way). In fact there's probably about 550 major inputs which affect climate so I won't list them here.

So, if there are so many how come "the consensus" is only concerned about 1 of them - keeping the other 549 as constants? Non-variables. As having no effect whatsoever.

Doesn't that strike you as a bit weird? A bit, how can we put this, compulsive?

Climate changes. It's what climate does. And the reasons for it are so complex to be well beyond our tiny little brains and our computer models and little bits of statistical how's yer father.

And so far no-one has come up with an answer for this question. Given that the history of the earth is one of continual climate change what are we doing trying to maintain a "stable climate'? What's next -stopping the tides?

Snowdrops my arse.

True Belle said...

When I was a little girl , the filthy swirling yellow green killing smogs that were caused by our industrial greatness, brought everything including lungs to a standstill .

The air apparently stank of sulphur, and the River Thames and other so were so polluted, one had to be pumped out if you fell in the water.

The clean up and change of attitude has occurred within a couple of generations.

The air was foul, and domestic fireplaces and industry, steam trains and traffic brought the country to almost a standstill in winter time.

When the old 1-11 jets and 727s and other old jets flew over head, you could smell and feel the sting of the Av fuel as they took off. Can you remember the muck that poured out as old fashioned jets took off?

Whatever excuse is used about climate change I think every one has a right to clean lungs and fresh air. It is only right that all parties at these discussions discuss ways of saving our precious atmosphere.

Shinsei said...

"Read the lot if you want but the graph (repeat an IPCC graph) clearly shows the MWP far HIGHER than today."

If the MWP was so much hotter than today then how come we never hear about olive groves in mediaeval Yorkshire. Or any other evidence of a Mediterranean climate ?

500 years of temperatures significantly hotter than today and yet most indigenuous Brits are pale skinned and hugely susceptible to skin cancer when they move to Australia.

I'd suggest that the current graphs of temperature in the revised IPCC documents, which do show a MWP, tho cooler than today, are the more correct.

Road_Hog said...

I see the Chicken Little thermomaniacs are in full speed now with the globalcon in Copenhagen.

Seems to me that they're running scared now they've been caught out.

All those nice people in Copenhagen spending our money and polluting the planet.

"Copenhagen climate summit: 1,200 limos, 140 private planes and caviar wedges"

"Ms Jorgensen reckons that between her and her rivals the total number of limos in Copenhagen next week has already broken the 1,200 barrier. The French alone rang up on Thursday and ordered another 42. "We haven't got enough limos in the country to fulfil the demand," she says. "We're having to drive them in hundreds of miles from Germany and Sweden.""

Yeah right, all these fuckers are bothered about the planet, what happened to video conferencing?

Lonely Wonderer said...

In contrast with Melanie Phillips on climate change today in The Spectator, I believe Iain is a much more reasonable sort of person, and will engage in the responses provided by the first commenter and others.

David Gregory said...

Iain. All these points are addressed in the few links I posted on my blog today.
Click through and educate yourself.

maria said...

I was never, ever taught at school in the 1970s that an ice age was on the way. There may have been a few such theories circulating, but it was nothing like the "Global Warming" kerfuffle of the 1980s onwards.

Carl said...

Shinsei, sorry but I'm going to have to Fisk you for your ill-informed comments about Yorkshire vineyards. Typical of the feeble "Science" behind the MMGW myth.

Grapes have NOT been grown in Yorkshire ever since the Romans brought them to Britain. Vine growing died out in northern Britain during the renaissance period (which led to the mini-Ice Age in the 1700s). The most northerly vineyard in England (and indeed the world) until recently (1986) was at Renishaw in Derbyshire.

One was planted near Leeds in 1985, the first in Yorkshire for centuries. It's a struggle to grow them though as this article shows.

I can also confirm that whilst at school in the 1970s I too was taught (yes, TAUGHT) that we were heading towards another ice age.

Still, who needs facts eh?

trevorsden said...

PS, Shinsei this is a the closing comment on a reply ( from the latest WUWT post (which suggests that the 'hack' was a 'leak' BTW)

"Thus, this synopsis and other publications suggest that minute variations in atmospheric CO2 concentrations likely results in an insignificant affect on climate; whereas water vapor likely is the significant factor. Nevertheless, this argument easily could be rectified with an appropriate biodome-type control experiment."

trevorsden said...

A comment on the WUWT link previously posted discloses these email comments about the BBC.
To me they speak volumes

"however, on 12 october u get a chain of emails re hudson’s ‘where’s the global warming’ piece, which are important to read again in the context of bbc’s involvement:

East anglia emails – 1255352257.txt
From: Kevin Trenberth
To: Michael Mann
Subject: Re: BBC U-turn on climate
Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 08:57:37 -0600
Hi all
Well I have my own article on where the heck is global warming? We are asking that here in
Boulder where we have broken records the past two days for the coldest days on record…
The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t….
Michael Mann wrote:
extremely disappointing to see something like this appear on BBC. its particularly odd, since climate is usually Richard Black’s beat at BBC (and he does a great job). from what I can tell, this guy was formerly a weather person at the Met Office.
We may do something about this on RealClimate, but meanwhile it might be appropriate for the Met Office to have a say about this, I might ask Richard Black what’s up here?….
From: “Narasimha D. Rao”
To: “Stephen H Schneider”
Sent: Sunday, October 11, 2009 10:25:53 AM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific
Subject: BBC U-turn on climate
You may be aware of this already. Paul Hudson, BBC’s reporter on climate change, on Friday wrote that there’s been no warming since 1998, and that pacific oscillations will force cooling for the next 20-30 years. It is not outrageously biased in presentation as are other skeptics’ views…
BBC has significant influence on public opinion outside the US.
Do you think this merits an op-ed response in the BBC from a scientist?
Narasimha "

Thats -
"extremely disappointing to see something like this appear on BBC."

Like the truth is extremely disappointing??

The BBC involvement and complicity and dumb ignorance and interest in truth is staggering. Better men than me need to act.

Ben said...

I remember the ice age threat to destroy all civilisation, but in some important ways things were different in the Britain of the 1970s, and we all had rather more pressing things to worry about.

The country was bankrupt. An incompetent Labour government had messed up spectacularly. Public services were failing. There was an oppressive sense that nothing could be done to bring about any improvements.

A very different context from the one we have today ...

trevorsden said...

Wiki (yes I know its only wiki) says - "numerous glacials, or significant advances of continental ice sheets in North America and Europe have occurred at intervals of approximately 40,000 to 100,000 years. These long glacial periods were separated by more temperate and shorter interglacials."

Thats 'shorter interglacials'

Wiki also says
The Earth has been in an interglacial period known as the Holocene for more than 11,000 years. It was conventional wisdom that "the typical interglacial period lasts about 12,000 years," but this has been called into question recently. For example, an article in Nature [28] argues that the current interglacial might be most analogous to a previous interglacial that lasted 28,000 years. Predicted changes in orbital forcing suggest that the next glacial period would begin at least 50,000 years from now.

So we could be either about to go back to a glacial (thats still in and ice age), we might be half way through or a quarter through.

Well I wont be relying on the UEA-CRU to tell me.

I note is postulated (only postulated) that rice growing and deforestation is a possibility for a general warming and resisting a move back to an ice age.
This is man made - not in the sense of driving SUVs but in the very existence of man. Since the US EPA are about to declare CO2 a pollutant and since man breaths the stuff out I presume we will all be rounded up and shot in order to save the planet.

Eugenics anybody?

May I respectfully suggest that no bugger has a blind clue (despite the billions in grants) about what has happened what is happening and what will happen to the earths climate?

I DO say with absolute certainty that some people are making an absolute mint out of 'Copenhagen'.

trevorsden said...

Shinsei -
how did you write that with your head in the sand.

The later graphs - like Manns now notorious 'hockey stick' have been statistically proved to be junk. The whole point of the leaks is that they clearly show they want to hide the decline in the tree ring proxy data after 1960.
They rely on the tree ring proxy data to get rid of the MWP - but if the proxy does not stack up against the known real temp record then it therefore follows that the attempt to abolish the MWP is also junk and ergo sum the present warming since 1850 is not abnormal.

Oh and Shinsei - it was not 'so much hotter than today' in the sense of the difference between here and sub Saharan Africa or tropical Australia. Nor was the time scale suitable to bring in Darwinian evolutionn

Ben said...

The media (attempting to be balanced) and commentators wishing to be contrarian try to suggest that scientific opinion is divided on climate change.

This is not so. There is an overwhelming scientific consensus.

That you can't fully understand the science does not invalidate it. I think you have a choice between either developing the expertise to evaluate the evidence yourself or trusts people with the expertise.

Gareth said...


"1) There was a mediaeval warm period, no member of the IPCC would deny that, however it was a lot less warm then than the temperature today."

I guess you haven't read the CRU emails then where the magnitude of the MWP is discussed, is said to be at least similar temperatures to today or warmer and was actively depressed in the climate reconstructions. Let's not forget the Vikings farmed Greenland. That were not known for their ironic naming of places.

"2) Grapes have been grown in Yorkshire ever since the Romans brought grapes to England. There are plenty of vineyards there today. All the documentary evidence though is that the wine made from these grapes in Roman times was pretty dire stuff, as you'd expect from a cool northern climate."

Grapes grown in Northern England today are grape bred specifically to do okay in cooler climates. That is why you get vineyards in Yorkshire today but, they hadn't been there in a very long time.

"3) I doubt you were ever TAUGHT at school that the world was going to cool rapidly. There was never a serious or consistent enough scientific consensus for global cooling to get into school textbooks or exam syllabuses."

Quite. People were a bit more rational in them days. And they dressed smarter. Wore more hats too.

A lack of consensus wouldn't necessarily stop a school teaching global cooling. It was a media scare at the very least and schools are keen to jump on bandwagons as much as anyone else. So long as it looked credible and proper science could be taught it wouldn't matter.

"4) Even if the world has been hotter in ages past without any man-made influence (which it no doubt has) that doesn't mean that current warming is not caused by human influence. Climate is dependent on numerous factors - solar activity, moon orbits, tectonic plate shifts, tidal movements etc AND man-made CO2 emissions. The issue at the moment is that all these non-man made activities are not significant enough currently to explain present warming conditions."

A half-valid point. Past performance is no guarantee of future performance though I favour any man made warming to be slight, and down to land usage.(Urbanisation, agriculture and irrigation changes surface temperatures, deforestation changes moisture levels.) However, there is no empirical evidence that proves atmospheric CO2 plays any part in dictating temperatures. It would be easy enough to investigate using transparent sealed chambers with varying concentrations of gases in them (and crucially having the same pressure). Stick them somewhere sunny and measure the internal temperatures. Why this has not been done in 30+ years of climate scaremongering I do not know.

CO2 does not act like a blanket. If it did Mars with it's 90+% CO2 atmosphere would be a lot warmer than it is but a very low surface pressure results in a very low surface temperature.

"5) There are snow drops out in Hyde Park today. I don't remember reading in Tacitus anything similar happening in the first century AD."

I'll bet Tacitus never mentioned the urban heat island effect either.

Jimmy said...

Cameron's great them was to detoxify the brand. Nothing was more central to this than flaunting "green" credentials. Of course the windmill on the house, photos with huskies and the car following the bike were laughably superficial but this remained the new brand image. Recently however we've seen the return of euroheadbanging and the immigration dogwhistle. If "vote blue go green" is being chucked as well, what's left of the Cameron project?

Ronald said...


Back in the early 70's at school I was taught that we were all going to freeze. I was also taught that there would be no trees left by 2000 there would be no coal or oil left any remaining water would be too polluted to drink which would not be as bad as it sounds since the poisoned air would already have killed me.

The same teacher told us that if the nasty Americans had exploded a third bomb on Japan the whole country would have split in two and sank beneath the waves.

For a large part of my childhood I thought I would be dead by now.

She should have got a job at the BBC.

jbw said...

Meanwhile Browns travel tax causes problems down under...

The King of Wrong said...

"This is not so. There is an overwhelming scientific consensus."

Science isn't done by consensus.

Look at the raw data: GISS temperatures adjusted upwards to "correct" for urban heat islands by using stations up to 1000km away; Mann/CRU tree proxies thoroughly discredited; and two sets of satellite data which only go back 3 decades and are calibrated from the (faulty) surface temperature records just mentioned. That's it.

The world may well be warming a little, but all of the graphs you've seen of global temperatures are junk.

Any papers based on such a temperature record, while well-intentioned and methodologically-sound, add nothing. Garbage in, garbage out.

javelin said...


I got a geology O level in 1982.

I remember that we were about to enter a "mini-ice-age"

This whole Global Warming thing - smacks of the Film Canadian Bacon. The Cold War is over and the Military need a new cause. The US President is told that the next threat is coming from Canada. ("See Mr President they are all massing on the Border ready to invade")

Co-relation or cause?

The climate goes up and down. Before throwing loads of money at an unproven threat. You may want to look at real threats like land fill sites filling up, running out of cheap oil, pollution, over crowding, unemployment etc, etc.

I'll say it again - Any politican who talks up Carbon will soon be ridiculed. The correct line to take is that Climate will always change, man made warming is unproved, all the data needs to be made public (if you want another grant), we should tackle the current threats.

AndrewSouthLondon said...

Always the "appeal to authority" line. "Everyone agrees its true"
Well we now know of the manufactured consensus - stiffle dissent, push non-compliant journal editors out, replicate the fraudulent models with the same "tricks", say what the political paymasters want to hear, or bye bye your academic career. BBC airbrush you out of the debate. Oppose and be abused as "arseholes" and your papers "garbage" and called in religious tones a "denier"?

But climb on board the warming bandwagon and the world is your lobster. Grants, funding, career, world tour of conferences, the gravy train.

"But everyone agrees" is no longer a proof of anything.

Don't remember too many "anti-communists" under Mao or Stalin do we? A consensus is it? "Everyone agreed"

talwin said...

All this talk of earlier doom and gloom about another ice age prompts me to wonder about that other chestnut, the one about the ozone layer.

I wonder, did we bugger it up as predicted; are we still doing so; or is everything now hunky-dory?

Unsworth said...

@ Shinsei

"5) There are snow drops out in Hyde Park today. I don't remember reading in Tacitus anything similar happening in the first century AD.

What's the Latin name for Hyde Park?

steve said...

i believe climate change exists. it's all down to us humans and we'd be a whole lot better off paying thousands of extra taxes and offsetting our carbon usage in the future, i believe if we do this, we may see some difference in climate within the next 500,000 years.

Cheques payable to Professor Iknowwhichsidemybreadsbutteredon.
East Anglia CRU.

PS any conference invitations welcomed, as long as it's somewhere nice and warm.

BrianB said...

So the true believers on here are trying to discount the 1970s cooling scare as irrelevant - because there was no 'concensus' (there we go with that 'c' word again).

Well, you may convince yourself, but you don't convince me. Have a look at this article from 1975, which contains the same level of doom-laden prophecies that started, and fuelled, the whole 'warming' scare.

It seems like they were just rehearsing their political campaigning tactics in 1975.

They heve now become 'experts' in fabricating scare stories. That is the biggest change in the past 35 years - not the science.

econyonium said...

"I still can;t work out how come the earth was far warmer in medieval times than it is today..."

J'accuse! DENIER!

Clearly Iain you have not been paying attention. Those poor misunderstood people at HadCRu along with Dr Mann in the USA eliminated the Mediaevil Warm Period. Just look at the nice hockey stick graphs they produced.

Gone. Never existed.

Only deniers say it did, including the deniers all those years ago who wrote their contemporary accounts.

Ian said...

@talwin: recent research has shown that the man-made hole in the ozone layer has in fact been protecting the Antarctic ice caps (by altering weather patterns at the south pole). You couldn't make it up.

The sad thing about the climate change argument (on both sides) is all the rank bad science that goes on. Correlation is not causation, pretty much rule number one, yet ignored by researchers all over the shop.

econyonium said...


Do visit

In the 70s a small group of scientists - let's call them the cool consensus - yapped on about global cooling = new ice age. Then as that did not come to pass, a small group of scientists - let's call them the warm consensus, which included some thwarted coolers like Hansen - yapped on about global warming and a new boiling/drowning age.

The difference was in the 70s the Left had Vietnam, CND, nuclear power, Pres. Johnson & Nixon, then Thatcher and Reagan to get stuck into, whereas by the 90s all the hate figures/objects were replaced by new ones, globalisation and warmish.

Politicians of little brain are neither interested in nor capable of solving more immediate problems like ensuring freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, so they want great and mighty causes in order tos ecure at least a page in the history books.

Globwalwarmism is idea for that. Who can deny savers of the World from their place in history?

Warming is not proof of cause.

No science supports the theory that 0.0011% of atmospheric CO2 from fossil fuels is the exclusive cause of global warming, nor CO2 from any source has ever done so.

BUt let not facts get in the way of a good scam.

Victor, NW Kent said...

Shinsei wrote "Climate is dependent on numerous factors - solar activity, moon orbits, tectonic plate shifts, tidal movements etc AND man-made CO2 emissions".

Tectonic plate shifts would have no long-term effect on climate, only short-term on weather.

Chris said...

Ben 12.39am

I took your advice some years before you gave it, and have studied lots of scientific papers on the subject (I must get out more)
I used to believe the hype surrounding this subject but the more I have delved into it the more sceptical I have become, I'll give you one example: Water vapour, the IPCC in their AR4 report say they they have very low understanding of how water interacts in the climate, but it is 95% of the atmosphere i.e. clouds and vapour.
We all know how clouds affect the temperature, if it is cloudy on a summers day it's cooler, or if the sky is clear in winter we get frost and yet the maths that cause it are so complicated it is little understood and not included in the computer models they are using to predict the climate.
The CLOUD experiment experiment at Cern in Switzerland may tell us more about how clouds form, possibly Cosmic rays seeding clouds or just as the temperature rises we get more cloud that then reduces the temperature.
My question is if the IPCC know so little about 95% of the atmosphere how can they be so sure of the affect caused by less than 1% i.e. CO2 and methane.
Some cynics might say it's because they won't get billions in funding to research water vapour.

John said...

The Norse inhabited Greenland from about 960 to at least 1408. Plenty of evidence shows that Greenland was warmer then than now ie the mediaeval warm period as shown by oxygen isotopes.Ice drill cores too.Greenland was fairly mild from about 800 to 1200 AD. Milder than now!
The "little ice age" from 1420 onwards probably helped to kill off the settlement along with other factors.

The sites of Norse burials are now covered in permafrost and therefore basically inaccessible.

Odd in'it?

Yes and the gulf stream alters its course continally over the aeons . It did then and continues to do so.

This AGW stuff reminds me of Reader's Digest "science".

Pop tripe.

johnse18 said...

In the late 1970s I attended a series of postgraduate lectures on Solar and Stellar astrophysics and we were taught the global cooling model.

It simple and plausible to explain in outline.

What will happen if the radiation from the Sun decreases slightly(as has happened e.g. Little Ice Age)?

Well - the earth will cool slightly of course. This will mean the polar ice caps will grow slightly. But since ice is more reflective than water the actual percentage of incident radiation (already lower in absolute terms) that will be absorbed by the earth will decrease slightly. So the ice caps will expand a bit more, leading to a positive feedback situation and before you know it half the earth is covered in ice.

When I say I was taught this I don't mean that it was given to us as established fact and I well remember the professor's health warning:

"There are few branches of the physical science that are even more prone than astronomy to errors of all kinds, incomplete data sets, selection effects, and wild speculation.

Climatology IS one of those few."

John Moss said...

It's not called "Greenland" for nothing!

Constantly Furious said...

And have you seen the sponsors for the Copenhagen crap-festival?

BMW, Volvo, Honda, DHL (with their 350+ aircraft) and Scandinavian Airlines.

Hope the attendees work out where all that horrid co2 is coming from, eh?

Gerry57 said...

They say the earth has warmed by 0.75 degrees C. Yes, I've really noticed it. I've had to change my entire wardrobe. My heating bills have plummetted.

As for rainfall:- a few summers ago it was dry and they told us we had to save water, share baths and they imposed a hosepipe ban. UK's rainfall was dropping due to GW.

Now we have too much rain and floods - this is also due to GW as was the snow last winter and the lack of snow during the previous winter.

I notice every time the BBC News headline is about global warming they show a clip of a hurricane and a flood - probably Katrina. So hurricanes are are a recent phenonema caused by man ?

neil craig said...

4 alarmists & one largely but not entirely sceptical. Gosh the BBC must be more scared of looking simply like eco-fascist propagandists than before.

Kate j Norden said...

Stepney is a legend. Yes our Climate is too complex for even I to understand. Why not concentrate instead on reducing global population, allocating resources more efficiently, improving international relations....

Patrick said...

Yes in the 1970s, I can confirm....

We were definitely taught at school ,as part of o'level geology, that we were DUE ANOTHER ice age around now.

I remember drawing the graphs and writing essays on ice ages, formation of glaciers etc.

One thing about climate. It seems to always be on the change!

javelin said...

Anybody want to get to the root of the climategate fraud. This is an excellent analysis - just done.

In summary. There are three Global datasets (CRU, GISS, and GHCN) used to justify warming temperatures, however they are all based on the same underlying data (GHCN), and this data requires adjusting because of changes to the weather stations and positions of thermometers etc. When you look at the underlying GHCN data in detail every time they make these adjustments they adjust the temperature upwards - without justification. Leading to massive rises in temperatures just after the adjustments. Simple as that.

When the raw data is published every fool on the planet will be left naked in their all together with their hands over their nuts.

Now everybody who wanted carbon taxes raise your hands.

talwin said...

Don't know why any of us, here or in Copenhagen, are bothering.

Isn't the world going to end on 21st december 2010?

Mrs R said...

I remember the 'coming of the ice age too', digging snow in March as well.

Too much to say to include in a comment here, so I've written it down at my own place.

Ronald said...

Floods or not the government is pushing for us all to have water meters fitted (at our expense of course) to reduce water use.

Is this more to do with population growth than lack of rain. The more they increase the population he more of the rain they need to store and transport.

Or does one of our ministers have a link to one of the water monopolies.

jojoko said...

I left school in 1965, and we were taught in our science classes that the earth would be entering another cooling period. They referred to it as an ice age. There was clear consensus. The medieval period was far warmer than now. Weren't grapes being grown in Scotland as well as York? Look at the Vikings in Greenland from the late 900's to 1400. They died out due to a cooling period arriving after a warming period. We have been in a warming period since about the middle of the 17th century. Warming and cooling of the earth has gone in cycles for millenia. The climate inquisitionists would like to stifle scientific discourse, free speech and any comment that does not praise their god.

jojoko said...

Oh, and Shinsei, what does paleness of skin signify when the Inuits have markedly darker skin than the native Britons but live and have lived for much longer than 500 years in a much colder climate?

Nigel said...

The King of Wrong said...

@Nigel: interesting link but a ridiculously flawed proposition.

What about the oyster guy? Well, same question, what about him?

Does his research tell us that oysters are a good proxy for temperature? That temperatures are correlated with CO2 levels? That this is all caused by mankind? Does it do all of this without relying on tainted weather data from CRU or GISS?

If not, why does his opinion on AGW matter?

Nobody, except the tinfoil hat brigade, is claiming there's a global conspiracy. That's a pathetic attempt at a straw man.

Minerva said...

@ Shensei

Re. your comment "The issue at the moment is that all these non-man made activities are not significant enough currently to explain present warming conditions."

What can you possibly mean by this? Are you saying that your knowledge has reached such a pitch of perfect omniscience that you are certain that increased solar activities, Pacific Decadal Oscillation, Milankovitch cycles, and all of the other natural factors are not 'significant' enough to possibly - just possibly - account for the warming? What caused the very warm periods the earth experienced before man even arrived on the scene then?

Also, re. your couple of minutes research to explain AGW - please point me to a credible site that has clear and direct evidence of the link between Co2 emissions and global warming - not models, predictions, photos of polar bears or correlations, but which simply lays out the evidence for the link itself.

adam said...

I just heard about this:

We should be taking action on Dihydrogen Monoxide. It is a far more dangerous greenhouse gas than CO2 - and there is no legislation anywhere to limit the amount that industry and vehicles belch out.

We need to petition the IPCC to take action now, I am sure the scientists there would act on this if they were made aware.

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