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Last updated on July 24th, 2017 at 11:13 am
In his latest “the sky is falling, and the sky is on fire, and the whole damn sky is full of depleted uranium!” book, environmentaloid extremist Tim Flannery allows that:
Science is about hypotheses, not truths, and no one can absolutely know the future.
Go tell it to Sir John Lawton, pal:
Super-powerful hurricanes now hitting the United States are the “smoking gun” of global warming, one of Britain’s leading scientists believes …
In a series of outspoken comments—a thinly veiled attack on the Bush administration—Sir John hit out at neoconservatives in the US who still deny the reality of climate change.
Referring to the arrival of Hurricane Rita he said: “If this makes the climate loonies in the States realise we’ve got a problem, some good will come out of a truly awful situation.”
Asked what conclusion the Bush administration should draw from two hurricanes of such high intensity hitting the US in quick succession, Sir John said: “If what looks like is going to be a horrible mess causes the extreme sceptics about climate change in the US to reconsider their opinion, that would be an extremely valuable outcome.”
Climate loonies? How impolite. I’m a climate dissident, and I’ll thank you not to crush my dissent.
It would seem that Sir John has misidentified the ‘climate loonies.’ I suggest a glance in a mirror.Posted by JorgXMcKie on 09/25 at 01:45 PM • permalink
It’s not that Sir John – or anyone else with a modicum of knowledge who espouses this theory – is a loonie.
It’s that they’re fucking liars.
They know damn well hurricane severity is cyclical. They’re counting on the ignorance of the general public, so that for once – for the very first time – one of their prophecies about climate change will “come true.”
They’re like a guy with an almanac telling tribemen that he can blot out the sun, then boom! – there’s the eclipse.
Liars. Every one of them.
They had a boffin on from the National Hurricane Center on Face the Nation here in the states today. The “journalist” led off with a question about global warming. Boffin says no, hurricanes are cyclical, in fact we had an unusually low number of hurricanes in the 90’s.
But surely, we’ve never had so many before, the journalist asks.
Sure we have, the boffin answers, pulling up a graph on screen (neat animation that followed his fingertip). In fact, we had way more in one year in the 70’s.
You’d have thought the journalist was learning Santa Claus killed and grilled the Easter Bunny.Posted by richard mcenroe on 09/25 at 04:14 PM • permalink
Have we looked into using depleted uranium to snuff hurricanes?
Or maybe we can build houses and levees out of it, and tell the storm surge to get stuffed…Posted by richard mcenroe on 09/25 at 05:09 PM • permalink
But surely, we’ve never had so many before, the journalist asks. Sure we have, the boffin answers, pulling up a graph on screen (neat animation that followed his fingertip). In fact, we had way more in one year in the 70’s.
Probably 1977, the year of Saturday Night Fever and the emergence of disco. Very bad year.Posted by wronwright on 09/25 at 05:22 PM • permalink
Climate loonies? Does Sir John run the Ministry of Housinj?Posted by andycanuck on 09/25 at 05:31 PM • permalink
I wish a bunch of people would lead a world-wide campaign to discredit the apocalyptic environmentalists. Have they considered Australia, which also did not sign the Kyoto dash for cash, which has had a relatively low Cyclone incidence for the past two decades or so? They harp about drought here and hurricanes there, but they are liars with an agenda, and they need to be stopped.
One reason to be glad we no longer give out knighthoods here in Australia. Notice how much more impressive ‘John McLoon’ sounds when you put ‘Sir’ in front of it. And Richard (#4), I wish I could have seen that well-prepared boffin: it sounds like the ‘journalist’ was even too shocked to suddely shuffle his sheaf of papers and snap-turn to Camera One with “Well, I’m afraid that’s all we have time for…”
- let’s see now. America is being punished for not signing Kyoto.
New Zealand has signed and has not been hit by tropical Cyclones but the icebergs in North queensland have melted away and we have not signed.
The BBC is supporting terrorism and has not been attacked by suicide bombers.
It must be that appeasement works ?
Don’t forget, Bush is also responsible for the global warming on Mars.Posted by Bill Peschel on 09/25 at 07:28 PM • permalink
A link to a story on recent tropical storm research in The Economist magazine. There hasn’t apparently been any increase in the incidence of tropical storms globally and the most severe storms are ot becoming more severe. The problem seems to be a trend to more of the severe type (category 4 & 5). However this trend seems to exist in places with no statistically significant increase in sea temperatures such as the south west Pacific (thats us) as much as the Carribean.
A category 5 cyclone in the Coral Sea did threaten Cairns for a while early this year but curiously barely made the weather news outside Queensland.
Actually, I think I could play this game. Choose something I want to happen but virtually no one else will support. And draw a connection between the nonsupport and something terrible that has happened.
Such as, Ted Kennedy reading a scathing criticism of Judge Roberts scripted by the NOW has caused floods in central Europe. This must stop! Oh the inhumanity.
Oooo, I like this. Ok, another. Yes. Richard McEnroe treating me likely a pfenny a day lackey and trying to assign me to Gaza (as if!) has doubled the cost of filling up the family Hummer. Don’t like it? Blame McEnroe.Posted by wronwright on 09/25 at 08:30 PM • permalink
- #14, yes, a Biologist, just like that other Greenhouse expert Tim Flannery. Amazingly, the BBC have managed to publish a fairly even-handed piece on Greenhouse and hurricanes on their
website.And in unrelated Green-madness news.
Ho hum, this sort of diatribe is becoming boring. Still I suppose really it’s the new religion. Repent ye sinners, confess your sins and past transgressions and follow me! But beware! Any doubter will be branded as a heretic, ex-communicated from the new church and burnt at the stake (whoops I mean frozen at the north pole or what remains of it).
Notice how Flannery “for months tried to fault the new findings” as “by 1975, the first sophisticated computer models were suggesting a doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would lead to an increase in global temperature of about three degrees”. So there we have it. Flannery with all his credentials apparently has been flummoxed by ‘sophisticated computer models’. And those 1975 models must have been hard on the heels of the ice age proponents.
What a joke. As I have said previously, at the heart of these models is some algorithm that says an in increase in atmospheric CO2 leads to an increase atmospheric temperature. Actually there is no measured basis for this type of embedded assumption, and the reason simply is that CO2 is no more than a trace element in the atmosphere. But no matter, the models will always show some alarming increase in temperature at some point of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere (actually apparently the models work on the emissivity of the earth which is proportional to the fourth power of temperature ). And the inbuilt CO2 dependancy is why the same computer models cannot model previous warm periods in the earth’s climate record where there was a low CO2 level.
Ho hum again. So much for Flannery’s earth sciences degree and doctorate in zoology. They obviously haven’t served him well enough to seek out the truth and see through the subterfuge. Notice, also how he condemns anyone who doubts his new religion, casting them aside as unbelievers, philistines beholden to the wicked hand of big business or the oil industry. Sure, for good measure, let’s shoot the messenger. On the other hand, presumably all those scientists on the global warming research dollar gravy train are saints of the highest order!
The only thing though is that this sort of loonie behaviour is becoming more transparent each day. Now I wonder how many copies of his book he will sell. I’ll bet Tony Blair doesn’t buy one because he has now given up on Kyoto. Still presumably Tony needs another circus to please the crowds. Any suggestions?
- That Flannery article is a load of crap.
The Australian Government has not thoroughly investigated the pros and cons of adopting Kyoto? Pulease!!!!!He ignores all the work that ABARE has conducted over the years, including analyses of other countries and the impact on their economies, including the likely benefits of carbon trading etc.
Of course, ABARE is in the pockets of the mining companies, as the hatchet job by our old mate Liz Jackson showed in her pre Media Watch days when ABARE first pointed out the stupidity and ineffectiveness of the Kyoto protocol.
First of all Kyoto won’t make much difference to global greenhouse emissions, as developing counties adopt (and make money from)the polluting industries developed countries are forced to divest.
Nevertheless, for a country like Australia, even though Kyoto doesn’t achieve its goals, it may be worthwhile to sign up for the brownie points, as long as it doesn’t do any harm. Unfortunately, Kyoto has negative consequences for our economy, as an energy exporter, and major producer of greeenhouse polluting indsutries such as Aluminium? Guess we would be stupid to sign up then. Good on you JWH.
In today’s piece, Flannery shows his cards pretty plainly: for him, the really bad thing about nuclear is that power generation is still ‘centralised’ in ‘big power corporations’ (boooo!), while the good thing about wind and solar is that it puts ‘large corporations’ out of business. He must have been drinking the liquid out of his Museum’s specimen jars if he foresees a future in which we have backyard wind power generation. And like all his kind, he has no suggestions as to how wind and solar can generate the kind of wattage needed to run, oh, cities and factories.
And like all his kind, he has no suggestions as to how wind and solar can generate the kind of wattage needed to run, oh, cities and factories.
It is not the obligation of doomscreamers to provide practical solutions to their fevered nightmare scenarios. Their job is to say alarming things, bloviate endlessly about hypothetical computer models (while ignoring the real-world contrary historical record – howdy, Ender), and blithely suggest alternative energy sources of which they know nothing except “It’s better because it’s not burny or glowy.”
He’s a biologist. So the fact that he may be a “leading scientist” is entirely irrelevant to these statements.
That’s like the “Creation scientists.” You find out they’re hydrologists and such. Between Creation Science and the Church of Global Warming, religious pseudo-science and pseudo-religious science are going to merge to bring us back to the days of trepanning to release demons from our skulls.
There is so much wrong with Flannery’s article that a sentence by sentence analysis would be wearisome but the question is how does an idiot who is promoting a book get press exposure like this?
Just one simple error of logic which is independent of his academic discipline. If Australia increases its population by 70,000 a year by immigration how does that increase the world population and thus emissions? Are we getting the immigrants from off-planet? Geez!
1. As aussies are the highest per capita hot air emitters in the world, once they move here they pollute more; or
2. They lived in a kindly green country where everyone walked everywhere and cooked food in solar furnaces, but once they move here they buy a 4wd and trash the nearest sand dune, probably at Lake Mogo, devestating centuries of ancient middens in the process.
How bout this time?
PW – If I talk to lefty greenies all the time I don’t really learn anything. Just because you disagree with me does not necessarily make you wrong. To answer your questions I have to research and learn.
Wand – “What a joke. As I have said previously, at the heart of these models is some algorithm that says an in increase in atmospheric CO2 leads to an increase atmospheric temperature. Actually there is no measured basis for this type of embedded assumption, and the reason simply is that CO2 is no more than a trace element in the atmosphere. “
Actually this is wrong. CO2 even in trace amounts alters the long wave radiation leaving the earth so it is trapped rather than radiatiated into space. This is very basic physics and has been comfirmed experimentally.
- Flannery is a show-biz scientist. It is now more important to him that his pronouncements get air time than that they get favourable peer review.
He joins the one-track futurologist Richard Neville, who, in his appearance this evening on ABC Radio 702 managed to (in one extempore spray) re-state the thoroughly discredited 100,000 casualty figure (Iraq), blame hurricanes on us not signing Kyoto, and draw a link between the Iraq War and recent petrol prices. Oh, and anything bad that’s happening.
All that matters now to these types is that they appear regularly in the media.
“Actually this is wrong. CO2 even in trace amounts alters the long wave radiation leaving the earth so it is trapped rather than radiatiated into space. This is very basic physics and has been comfirmed experimentally.”Bullshit. However, if you have any experimental evidence, bring it on. Now I know you can’t, but I’m sure that won’t stop the likes of you and Flannery.
CO2 even in trace amounts alters the long wave radiation leaving the earth so it is trapped rather than radiatiated into space.
First of all, just what is “long wave radiation”? Heat transfer from the sun comes from solar radiation. Thermal radiationmay be what you are talking about. It certainly isn’t infrared, which has wavelengths between 700 nm and 1 mm. “Long wave”, in my experience, generally refers to radio frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum. Maybe I’m wrong.
Second, “altering” radiation is like transmuting elements, if it is possible at all. As I recall, creating Synthetic elementsinvolves changing the structure of particles at and below the atomic level, such as changing the number of electrons and protons in an atom. This is not easily done outside of a particle accelerator.
The CO2 molecule, which is comprised of multiple atoms and exists as a gas at normal Earth temperatures, is hardly likely is hardly likely to “alter” radiation.
Instead, CO2 simply traps thermal radiation, in a fashion similar to water vapor, from physical properties (conductivity, I believe) which are based on (I think) the molecular structure.
CO2 water vapor (H2O) and CO2 are chemically dissimilar (although with a common element), but have similar, insulative (non-conductive) properties. I don’t know the physical dimensions of these molecules, but I suspect that they are similar.
Now, there’s a lot more water vapor than CO2. Well, how CO2 travels through the biosphere is much different than the hydrological cycle that puts water vapor into the atmosphere. But the insulative (non-conductive) property is what we are looking at here.
Based on that, CO2 is probably less of a influence on global climate than water vapor.
Which is where the global climate argument breaks down—doomsayers point to CO2 as proof that there is global warming/cooling because CO2 and temperature levels have risen. Dissidents (not nay sayers) discount the human produced CO2 influence because the science is not fully there, and that natural CO2 and heat sources have more of an impact. The human impact of CO2 production on global climate remains an extreme event….something that you have not fully grasped.Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 09/26 at 10:08 AM • permalink
Hmmmm….Wand, you were much more eloquent than I was. Bravo!Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 09/26 at 10:12 AM • permalink
Ender, forget all the hypothetical, experimental stuff for just one second, will you? Please address these point:
The Earth has, throughout its history, had long Ice Ages punctuated by shorter warm periods.
This was without the influence of man.
The warm bits have been amenable to civilization, while the cold bits are not.
Why must you fish for man-made causes for global warming, and
What’s the problem with global warming, given that the inevitable next Ice Age would fairly destroy civilization, so anything that might stave it off would be beneficent?
And please, no blather about CO2. Just address these questions.
The_Real_Jeffs – how about you buy a physics primer and read the part on electomagnetic radiation then see how bad your post really is.
Dave s – “forget all the hypothetical, experimental stuff for just one second”
Yes we would not like to descend into science would we
“The Earth has, throughout its history, had long Ice Ages punctuated by shorter warm periods.”
“This was without the influence of man.”
“The warm bits have been amenable to civilization, while the cold bits are not.”
Not entirely correct as there has never been a civilization such as ours using so much of the globes resources.
“Why must you fish for man-made causes for global warming”
Because unlike the other times there is now humans emmitting large amounts of greenhouse gases and chopping down all the trees and polluting the oceans.
“What’s the problem with global warming, given that the inevitable next Ice Age would fairly destroy civilization, so anything that might stave it off would be beneficent?”
The problem is that due to pumping the atmosphere with extra heat the climate change could be very rapid and violent. As was seen in the recent hurricanes our civilization is very vunerable to natural disasters as we are totally dependant on technology and there are a lot of us.
Also billions of people live in low lying areas that rising sea levels from melting icecaps would inundate.
Either an ice age or warm period could be bad. Ice ages usually happened over thousands of years giving time for species, including us, to adapt. The Younger Dryas happened over decades so there is some precedent for rapid climate change. The problem is that warming could produce an ice age if the Atlantic conveyer shuts down.
The problem is that we do not know what the warming will do.
The best and most accessible article I have seen on the subject is Mellanie Phillips “The Global Warming Fraud” it is a little old but still relevant. Hope it helps the discussion.
If I talk to lefty greenies all the time I don’t really learn anything.
You can say that again…Posted by ArtVandelay on 09/26 at 09:32 PM • permalink
The_Real_Jeffs – how about you buy a physics primer and read the part on electomagnetic radiation then see how bad your post really is.
Ender…..if you bothered to click on the “thermal radiation” link, the very first sentence reads:
Thermal radiation, or radiant heat, is electromagnetic radiation from an object that is simply caused by its temperature.
“Radiation“ is a term with many meanings. Electromagnetic radiation is a general category that includes thermal radiation.
I do understand the phenomenon. I don’t need a physics primer. I’m not a genius, but I know more physics than you do. I’ve known that since your first post here.
You spout individual facts mixed with pseudo-facts, and use them to support your opinion as a genuine “scientific” conclusion.
This is a typical approach by people who feel their world is out of control, and they go to extreme lengths to convince themselves (and others) that it can be controlled….no matter how silly their analysis. The extreme examples of this sort of person wear tinfoil hats to stop mind rays from the Hubble Space Telescope. You might want to consider that.Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 09/27 at 01:30 AM • permalink
- The_Real_Jeffs – Perhaps you do then you perhaps would know that ‘long wave radiation’ refers to infra-red as it is a longer wave that light so is called long wave radiation. Also why I mentioned the physics primer is because radiation can be altered as it does when it hits the earth and shifts in frequency when it is re-radiated. This is the radiation that the CO2 traps more of as its concentration increases.
I did make a mistake when I said the CO2 alters the radiation as I should have said the CO2 alters the amount of radiation trapped – a typo.
Again this is not psuedo science as this is solidly based on physics and the behaviour of EM radiation in gases.
I stand corrected on the “long wave”, the definition eluded me. “Infrared” is “long wave”. You confused me with the earlier posts.
You are describing the process by which the earth is heated by enegry from the the sun (solar radiation), and the resulting heat is re-radiated as thermal energy (radiant heat).
The atmosphere acts as both a barrier and blanket to this energy. The blanket is the “insulative” or non-conducting physical properties of the gases that make up the atmosphere. The radiant heat is retained to some degree by that insulation, much as you are kept warm by a blanket.
The key point here is, what provides the insulation? CO2 and H20 (in vapor form) are “green house” gases. They act as a blanket for the planet.
H2O is present in much large quantities than CO2. CO2 would have to have significantly higher insulative property in order to outweigh the influence of H20. Based on the relative amounts (Table 7a-1), and using an “average” of 2% water content in the atmosphere, CO2 would have to be at least 55 times more insulative than H2O just to match the insulation effect.
The molecules are generally similar in shape (remember, insulation is a physical property). The chemical properties of each are not identical, but do contain a common element (oxygen). I couldn’t Google up any relative thermal transmission data for the two, but they are probably not too far apart in this property. I expect that the difference is small enough so as not to over come the difference in quantities.
Therefore, H2O has a bigger impact on global warming.
More to the point, what has not been resolved is the influence of natural heat and CO2 sources that are out of our control. The melting ice caps on Mars do not come from human caused CO2 increases. Is the sun warming up gradually, and we haven’t caught it? What natural sources (like vegetation) of CO2 is an issue?
To show the complications of our climate, water vapor can also block solar energy. Clouds will reflect the sun, reducing the total heat input to Earth. What causes water to evaporate? Heat from the sun. This is probably part of a natural balance cycle that keeps the temperature are a relatively smooth level.
By “relative”, I’m thinking in terms of geologic periods, tens of thousands of years, not the measely 300 years we’ve had some form of industry.
So, once again, your grasping at CO2 and worse case scenario is little more than doomsaying on limited evidence. Yes, it could happen, but no one can really say that the probability is significant. Certainly not to the point that extreme measures are needed.
Doomsaying needs to have facts to back it up, Ender. This I know from personal experience. You don’t have the facts.Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 09/27 at 05:36 AM • permalink
- The_Real_Jeffs – One link to have a look at how it works is this
“ Carbon dioxide and water vapor are strong selective absorbers of terrestrial radiation in our atmosphere. They literally help trap heat in the earth/atmosphere system, in a process called the greenhouse effect.
a. Collectively, carbon dioxide and water absorb most infra-red radiation between 4-8 ½ and 11-100 micrometers. Terrestrial radiation is most readily transmitted through the atmosphere back to outer space in the intervening wavelengths, 8 ½ – 11 micrometers. This narrow range is called the atmospheric window.
b. Carbon dioxide and water vapor, though present in only small quantities in our atmosphere, play an enormous role in the earth’s energy balance. They absorb lots of LW, and much of this gets re-radiated back to the surface. Essentially, energy is being recycled between sky and ground”
You are correct in that water vapour is a strong greenhouse gas however this CO2, and methane are doing a sterling job heating the earth about 33 degrees warmer that what it would be without greenhouse gases present. The extra CO2 is adding extra heating to the Earths atmosphere on top of this. This is Global Warming. You can measure the extra CO2 and you can measure the heating.
And how do you calculate the probability of climate change?? You set up and Earth’s analog in a computer and run some numbers to see what happens. The people that have done this have a bit more of a handle on the probability of climate change happening.
Ice ages usually happened over thousands of years giving time for species, including us, to adapt.
I was under the impression that Ice Ages have rapid onsets – just a few years. I’ll have to look that up. Meanwhile, how will Canada adapt to being under ice?
The problem is that warming could produce an ice age if the Atlantic conveyer shuts down.
Ah, yes, the ol’ “warming causes cooling” thing. Always good for a laugh.
1970’s – we’re gonna freeze.
1990’s – we’re gonna roast.
2000’s – we’re gonna roast, then freeze.
The problem is that we do not know what the warming will do.
Assuming it exists, you want to throw billions at solutions to a problem that you admit to not knowing the nature of.
Dave S – Of course you can – they are called General Circulation Models and are getting more and more accurate as supercomputers get faster and as they are checked against the real Earths atmosphere.
Also you do not know that the warming will NOT do any harm. Most people with the knowledge to judge these things think that it will. Your method will leave us rich however totally unprepared and more vunerable as we have not done anything to prepare.
Hope the money helps.
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One of the hallmarks of the scientific method is the ability to replicate experiments so that the results are consistant.
Perhaps Sir John, in the interests of science, can be persuaded to have the UK pull out of Kyoto. If the UK is subsequently hit with two powerful hurricanes in quick succession, his argument might be persuasive.