May 2013 Open thread

Past time for more thread.


  1. #1 VinceWhirlwind
    May 9, 2013

    About time!

    Shall we kicmk off with this one? I might have got it from the last thread – not sure:

    The surface, or top 100 metres, of the ocean is now about 35 per cent more acidic than it was at the start of the Industrial Revolution in the late 18th century, with potentially huge implications for Arctic ecosystems.

    The changing chemical make-up of the seawater threatens to wipe out large numbers of herring, cod and capelin – a small fish largely used as animal feed – as well as plankton and crabs.

    This could affect the livelihoods of indigenous populations that rely on fishing and hunting, for example, the Canadian Inuit, as well as reducing food for birds and larger marine mammals such as walruses.

    But let’s not jump to any conclusions or do anything at all until we have comprehensively tested all the world’s oceans to ensure we are 100% certain that every single cubic metre of sea is indeed acidifying, eh?

    (Can’t remember if that was Brad Keyes’ bit of genius or some other idiot’s).

  2. #2 bill
    May 9, 2013

    Here’s another – the last time earth had 400ppm CO2 concentrations ‘temperatures were 8C higher than today, lush forests covered the tundra and sea levels were up to 40m higher than today.’

  3. #3 Betula
    May 10, 2013

    Vince…@ 1
    Fantastic article. I particularly like the affect of the attention grabbing scary title, which states that “soaring CO2 leaves fish and hunters “gasping for life”. It was heartbreaking for me to imagine all those gasping fish, let alone the gasping hunters that want to kill the gasping fish…

    Of course, upon reading the article, I was a bit relieved to find words and phrases such as “a report suggests”, “potentially”, “This could affect”, “is likely to affect” and “threatens to”…..all which made me realize that the Inuit people and the fishes weren’t actually gasping at this very moment as the title would lead one to believe.

    I was really feeling better when I read “carbon absorption is “not all doom and gloom”, though I have to admit, I was still a little concerned about the certainty of hunters and fish possibly gasping in the sometime future…

    Finally, my title induced fear of gasping fish and hunters fully subsided when I read…. “but the magnitude and direction of change are uncertain”.


  4. #4 Betula
    May 10, 2013
  5. #6 MikeH
    May 10, 2013

    20 minute video here

  6. #7 bill
    May 10, 2013

    An large asteroid hurtling towards earth is currently projected to hit pretty-well bang-on Betty’s house. Of course, there are considerable uncertainties, so there clearly isn’t a problem.

    At all. Raypierre has the mentality captured perfectly over at Eli’s

    Regarding the potential asteroid impact, I wish to point out that anybody proposing to prevent this impact shows the most astounding and unjustified hubris. What, after all, is the “right” amount of asteroid impacts? Do we know that? Would we have been pleased if the Dinosaurs had prevented the K-T Impact which helped make way for the rise of mammals? No! We don’t know the “right” distribution of asteroid impacts any more than we know the “right” temperature the planet should have, so we should just let nature and economics take its sweet course, and not try to understand anything about consequences.

  7. #8 Craig Thomas
    May 10, 2013

    Thanks, Mikeh, the link in the article wasn’t working for me.

  8. #9 Sou
    May 10, 2013

    Steve Goreham is still trying to get someone to buy a book he wrote. He’s using another novel approach. This time it’s “goats eat grass” = “climate scam”.

    Wonder if that will work better than sending free copies to environmental scientists?

  9. #10 Sou
    May 10, 2013

    @Bill – that meteor site looks to be a real treasure as far as paleo work goes. I’m not surprised at their findings. Thing is, humans suffer too much from short-termism. This work might help people get some perspective.

  10. #11 MikeH
    May 10, 2013

    Graham Readfearn points out that Graham Lloyd environment editor for Murdoch’s The Australian newspaper is an embarassment to journalists everywhere.

    The Australian Brings You The Climate Science Denial News From Five Years Ago

  11. #12 Sou
    May 10, 2013

    Watts has exhibited a prime example of Dunning-Kruger in action. He’s telling the scientists who did the work on Lake El’gygytgyn (how is that pronounced?) that they, Science editors and peer reviewers all ‘forgot about’ the Isthmus of Panama!

    He writes: “I think the researcher simply skipped over this important detail is pushing the idea that CO2 was the only issue.”

    The ‘researcher’ who did the work? There are 16 authors of that single paper, and no doubt many others involved.

    And adds: “I’m sure Steve McIntyre will be interested in getting a look at the sediments and the dating methods to see if there are errors there. Lately, it seems that paleo research has made some very broad assumptions, and almost always in the favor of the theory.”

    “almost always in the favor of the theory”! Nah, they should do what Anthony favours – discard physics, chemistry and biology and just make up stuff out of thin air.

    What a nutter!

  12. #13 Sou
    May 10, 2013

    I decided that Tony and Graham were worth lampooning – again in the context of the Lake E research, with a h/t to Lotharsson’s DuKEs :):

  13. #14 chek
    May 10, 2013

    Hang on – isn’t Williwatts’ always in favour of the joke theory that AGW is not/cannot be a problem and the scientists are all in on a big scam of some sort or another?

  14. #15 Wow
    May 10, 2013

    Yeah, we should just adapt to ELE asteroid strikes!

  15. #16 cRR Kampen
    May 10, 2013

    Well the link from #1 does contain the kind of diplomatic stupidity that feeds #3 –

    But carbon absorption is “not all doom and gloom”, it added.

    The more carbon dioxide the sea absorbs, the less is left in the atmosphere, thereby reducing the impact of global warming.

    The climate revisionist in #3 didn’t pick up on that. Ignorance galore 😀

    So, what now? We can rest assured because the oceans are not dumping their entire CO2 content into the atmosphere? Well that’s a *whew* if there ever was one 🙂

  16. #17 cRR Kampen
    May 10, 2013

    #4, sure: extremes are getting hyper. Naturally you must totally forget about .
    Wanna trade? One in three years like that, the other two devoid of tornadoes entirely? Or do you see that a year like 2011 would need like a quarter century of absolute quite to be compensated?

  17. #18 BBD
    May 10, 2013

    # 12 Sou

    “El-gee-git-gin” with hard “g”s.

  18. #19 BBD
    May 10, 2013

    The warm Pliocene Arctic as evidenced by the El’gygytgyn cores is *very strong* evidence for an Earth System sensitivity greater than the ~3C fast-feedbacks sensitivity.

    Less ice = higher S.

    And to think, given enough time, all that was possible at 400ppmv CO2…

  19. #20 cRR Kampen
    May 10, 2013

    “… an Earth System sensitivity greater than the ~3C fast-feedbacks sensitivity”
    And that definitely means a ‘C’ in front of ‘AGW’. Ain’t seen nothing yet.

  20. #21 BBD
    May 10, 2013

    Brigham-Grette et al. is exactly the kind of paleoclimate study that model-obsessed deniers need to read and think about. Model-obsessed deniers insist that “the models are crap therefore AGW is crap”, whereas the truth is that the models aren’t by any means perfect but the main evidence for the efficacy of CO2 forcing (including its engagement of positive feedbacks from WV on down) is paleoclimate behaviour.

    This cannot be repeated often enough, because the whole “models bad; AGW wrong” meme has been deliberately peddled by the organised denial movement for years.

  21. #22 Lionel A
    May 10, 2013

    Carbon dioxide passes symbolic mark although CO2 Now has yet to record this.

  22. #23 BBD
    May 10, 2013

    Welcome to the Anthropocene.

  23. #24 Anthony David
    May 11, 2013

    Here is an image of a plant damaged by too much CO2. Whenever someone trots out the “CO2 is plant food” line, send them this picture.

  24. #25 bill
    May 11, 2013

    In my experience Deniers are biological ignoramuses almost without exception. They seem to regard the world itself self as a mere cinematic backdrop to their Important Lives,and the Very Important Process of Making Money and Not Letting the Unworthy Get Their Hands on it.

    This even seems to hold for the alleged bucolics.

    Not only that, but they’re arrogant – if not aggressive! – ignoramuses. They’re contemptuous: 1, of the natural world; 2, of the study of the natural world; and 3, of anyone who thinks these are important.

    Maladapted is the word we’re looking for…

    It’s ironic that these synthetics regularly accuse others of being out-of-touch latte-sipping urbanites.

  25. #26 Betula
    May 11, 2013

    Bill @ 7….

    “An large asteroid hurtling towards earth is currently projected to hit pretty-well bang-on Betty’s house. Of course, there are considerable uncertainties, so there clearly isn’t a problem.”

    Great analogy.
    There is the potential worst case scenario that a man made asteroid is heading towards my house, so I should install some CFL bulbs to stop it….

  26. #27 Betula
    May 11, 2013

    Anthony @ 24…

    “Whenever someone trots out the “CO2 is plant food” line, send them this picture.”

  27. #28 Betula
    May 11, 2013

    Bill @ 25…

    “They seem to regard the world itself self as a mere cinematic backdrop to their Important Lives,and the Very Important Process of Making Money and Not Letting the Unworthy Get Their Hands on it”

    Ouch. Sounds like someone needs some cash.

  28. #29 BBD
    May 11, 2013

    Say something intelligent, Betula, or bugger off. Your trolling is tedious.

  29. #30 Wow
    May 11, 2013

    Oh dear, betty, who says that CFLs will stop asteroid strikes?

    Lame squared.

  30. #31 Turboblocke
    May 11, 2013

    Betula, from your CO2 generator link: “Plants must absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) in combination with water, soil nutrients and sunlight to produce the sugars vital for growth. ” and “Just as you adjust the amount of water and fertilizer to meet the changing needs of your plants. you also set the Johnson Generator to produce the desired amount of CO2 for your greenhouse.”
    Do you understand why just increasing CO2 in the global atmosphere will not lead to a universal growth in plant productivity?

  31. #32 GaryB
    May 11, 2013

    Anyone here have any idea why Tamino’s site is all locked up?

  32. #33 chek
    May 11, 2013

    Do you understand why just increasing CO2 in the global atmosphere will not lead to a universal growth in plant productivity?

    The answer is no.

    As Betty freely demonstrates time and time again, he’s too stupid to understand the complexity of plant physiology despite multiple previous stabs at this tired old zombie meme.

  33. #34 Jeff Harvey
    May 11, 2013

    Betual, our tree pruner, thinks that complex adaptive systems function like micro-ecological scale greenhouses.

    We all know the guy has the scientific education of an amoeba, but how many times has this analogy been torn to shreds before~? I have done it at least 10 times on Deltoid, and it bounces off this guy’s head like a rubber ball.

    To be honest, the “C02 is plant food and therefore increased concentrations of this gas will increase primary productivity and thus benefit ecological communities, systems and biomes” argument is so utterly asinine that qualified scientists (that would be me and many thousands of others who work in related fields) don’t take it seriously. The only reason I counter it is because buffoons like Betula and a few other deniers repeat it endlessly and their bombast might sway a few lay readers who stumble on it.

    So here we go again: CO2 is NOT a limiting nutrient for plant growth…. nitrogen and especially phosphorus are. Moreover, some plants will respond positively to increased C02 in the atmosphere but many will not. This will lead to competitive asymmetries amongst different plant groups – mono and dicots and larger vegetation leading to decidedly non-linear dynamics. Moreover, primary productivity is regulated by both bottom-up (plant-mediated) and top-down (consumer-mediated) processes. In this context, we must take a multi-trophic eco-physiological approach to the question, which of course the kindergarten/Dunning-Kruger brigade who consistently dredge up the more C02 = more biomass argument never do because they are intellectually incapable of doing so. In other words, they DO NOT HAVE THE PROFESSIONAL EXPERTISE TO UNDERSTAND COMPLEX NON-LINEAR PROCESSES. This is capitalized because these idiots try and forever to boil down and simplify nature to the lowest common denominator. I never see them discuss changes in plant tolerance and allelochemistry in their arguments, again because they don’t understand it. Nothing about changes in C or N based secondary metabolites, or of their consequences on consumer development, behavior and fitness, and how this will ripple its way through food webs and ecosystems. Nothing about how species-specific responses will lead to the competitive exclusion of the losers; nothing about rates of change, and how plants have evolved over very long time scales to relatively low ambient C02 concentrations, and that fact that the planet achieved the highest species (and genetic) richness in its history under these conditions. Sure, terrestrial plants (and by association, their consumers up the food chain) can adapt over evolutionary time to an increase in C02, but we are not talking about changes in concentrations that normally take tends if not hundreds of thousands of years, we are talking about a couple of centuries.

    What was I saying earlier about the inability of deniers to understand the importance of scale? Karen, Betula, and other deniers are serial offenders. A few days ago Betula suggested that a low season (March-April) tornado tally in the US ‘was a net benefit of global warming’ – of course confusing weather (2 months) and climate (many years of data). The he pastes some crap about a company that produces a C02 machine that can be pumped into a greenhouse – where everything is controlled and the vast majority of biotic constraints are excluded – as a good proxy for the benefits of higher 02 concentrations on plant productivity.

    Has this guy no shame? Clearly not. Give that most everyone here continually expose his nonsense for what it is, expect a bitter (but vacuous of course) from him in response to my post. He’ll go back to a sort piece written by a colleague where I work about my observations of climate change on the borders of biomes on the basis of a winter trek I made across Algonquin Park 15 months ago. But don’t expect him to try and debate me on the science I have discussed here. Its simply because he can’t.

  34. #35 chek
    May 11, 2013

    Great analogy. There is the potential worst case scenario that a man made asteroid is heading towards my house, so I should install some CFL bulbs to stop it….

    Pretty clear as clear can be illustration of how Betty-type morons can’t comprehend the simplest of abstract thinking.

    What do CO2 reducing CFC bulbs have to do with asteroid impacts?
    Fucked if I know, or you, or Betty come to that.

    Now if the deus ex machina had been say, extra-long asteroid-deflecting bamboo poles or an asteroid whacking super conker, that might have been relevant to the analogy.
    However such rudimentary rigorous thinking, or more pertinently the lack thereof, is why Betty’s the constant joke that doesn’t realise that his ham-fisted, knuckle-headed promotion of his ’cause’ has the opposite effect to that intended. Which is why ‘news just in – deniers are stupid’ is no news at all, and never will be.

    Betty will be back in 6 months or so when he thinks we’ve all forgotten.

  35. #36 Jeff Harvey
    May 11, 2013

    … or to put it more bluntly, as BBD said at number 29….

  36. #37 bill
    May 11, 2013

    Yet again the birch has decided not to spare us. So we can’t complain of being spoiled.

    But he certainly doesn’t hold the whip hand…

    Leibig’s Law, BTW.

    All the CO2 in the world won’t help if it’s stopped raining. Or all the rain arrives in a flood.

    But thanks for taking the time to reinforce my observation that Deniers are shallow, money-obsessed, biological ignoramuses. Who don’t understand analogies.

  37. #38 bill
    May 11, 2013

    No idea on Tamino’s. Leave? A paper to finalise? Existential weariness from being stuck too long as a reluctant passenger on the ship of fools?

  38. #39 BBD
    May 11, 2013

    David Rose’s misrepresentation of James Annan might have done some damage.

    Annan, in comments:

    However, I did recently hear something about someone senior and influential presenting it (the original misrepresentation) so as to show me in a negative light, apparently unaware of the circumstances. I haven’t chased this up any further, but scientists rely heavily on their reputation and I don’t get a lot of press coverage, so it’s not entirely insignificant to me if these things happen.

    This is what the “sceptics” do to integrity.

  39. #40 JohnL
    May 12, 2013

    Bill 38
    If I remember correctly, Tamino indicated he had a book to finish.

  40. #41 Bernard J.
    May 12, 2013

    BBD at # 19:

    And to think, given enough time, all that was possible at 400ppmv CO2…

    This single sentence encapsulates two of the most fundamental points/questions of the debate – what is the best estimation of equilibrium climate sensitivity (denialist obfuscation notwithstanding) and what will be the realised integrated trajectory of human-emitted atmospheric carbon dioxide (again, denialist obfuscation notwithstanding)?

    For the former, just about all the intelligent money is on an ECS of great than 3 degrees Celsius – my own best estimate a while back was around 3.4, I think. And given Lionel’s flagging at #22 of the breaking of the 400 ppm mark at a time when emission rates are still accelerating and human action is still at best nominal*, the final trajectory of climate response will push many of the biosphere’s species (including humans) into the ecophysiological badlands.

    Ignorants such as Betula can’t gather their thoughts** around the fact that this is a problem of a duration of centuries and millenia, and that the worst impacts will manifest after the free ride of cheap and easily accessed fossil energy has been exhausted (in both senses of the word), leaving our decendants with a severely compromised capacity to attempt to redress even a small part of the damage that Industrial Society has wrought.

    A couple of years ago I remarked to someone that if we reach 400 ppm and humanity has not initiated a coherent and tangible global response to effect emissions reduction then we can effectively say goodbye to a soft landing for our grandchildren and their grandchildren. It turns out that not only has that eventuated, but that we’re doing our level-best to accelerate in the opposite direction.

    It’s at times like this that I wish (and should perhaps pray) that there actually is a heaven and a hell, because that at least would offer some hope of the guilty receiving their just desserts.

    [* In Australia such action, modest as it is, has been promised to be reversed by the opposition leader Tony Abbott when he wins the federal election in September. Vale any shred of Australian leadership.

    ** I use the term loosely…]

  41. #42 bill
    May 12, 2013

    Thanks JohnL!

    Batty – Potholer has set you a challenge.

    You have to explain why the overwhelming paleo / non-model evidence for AGW is wrong, without resort to conspiracy theories, complaints about models, back-helicopter accounts of the UN and it’s sub-agencies’ activities, or pointing out that Al Gore is rich, or fat.

    While I concede that your intellect may indeed be at least somewhat larger, you have no more chance of doing so than my cat does. Prove me wrong.

  42. #43 Bernard J.
    May 12, 2013

    Bill at #38:

    Existential weariness from being stuck too long as a reluctant passenger on the ship of fools?

    One could not blame Tamino were that the case. I am sure now that humans will only learn this lesson the hard way.

    I arrived at a point a few years ago where I decided to spend less time trying to make silk purses from sows’ ears, and I now devote more energy now to making my local community resilient in a fashion similar to the Transition Town movement. At least in this enterprise I can see some fruits for my labours…

  43. #44 MikeH
    May 12, 2013

    Article on the debate over climate in the US Republican Party.

  44. #45 GaryB
    May 12, 2013

    I was a bit concerned that Tamino had grown so weary of combating nonsense he had given up completely. I learn more from his output than from anywhere else, I’d hate to lose that.

    It’s bad enough Tim seems to have given up.

  45. #46 GaryB
    May 12, 2013

    If we truly are heading for 1000ppm and a mere 400 ppm, as we have now, can produce a 14F increase in Arctic temps, our grandkids and their kids are screwed. The psychopaths we elect and those in control of corporations may not give a damn about our descendants, but the rest of us do, so we need to convince them that it’s in their best interests to mitigate AGW.

    The only way I see that happening is to convince others the threat is real and for them to hit the voting booths and to vote elsewhere with their money.

  46. #47 Jeff Harvey
    May 12, 2013


    Nice posts – I mostly agree with you, although where short term profit is concerned there will be no ‘convincing’ of powerful vested interests. They have to be forced to comply to the long term interests of society, and this can only be done through government intervention in the economy. There’s no other way: banks and corporations have to be regulated. Otherwise the capitalist obsession with unlimited economic growth and expansion will take our ecological life support systems to hell.

    IMHO Derek Jensen lays out the nature of the human predicament pretty well in his books “Endgame – Volumes 1 and 2”. Civilization as currently defined is unsustainable, and relies on violence and theft to perpetuate itself.

  47. #48 chek
    May 12, 2013

    They have to be forced to comply to the long term interests of society, and this can only be done through government intervention in the economy. There’s no other way: banks and corporations have to be regulated.

    Surprisingly enough, that’s much of the gist from the moderate Republican voices speaking in MikeH’s link in #44

    The problem of course, is the global hi-jacking of ‘traditional’ conservativism by a radical Norquistian agenda seeking to ‘drown government in the bathtub’ funded by Koch money and their Tea Party foot soldier stooges and their associated think tanks and foundations who are working for an eventual outcome leaving an unchallenged and unregulated corporate feudal oligarchy that spits in the face of such old-style conservative values as venomously as it does that of social democratic ones.

    It can’t be allowed to happen and won’t happen, but it’ll get messy before it gets better and mass ‘conservative’ voters realise they’ve actually been voting against the wider interests of their own families and communities.

  48. #49 bill
    May 12, 2013

    Completely agree! At his time genuine – small ‘c’ – conservatives have much in common with social democrats – despite the constant claims of antithesis.

    What they particularly share is their major enemy; the civilization wrecking cabal of radical reactionaries – the billionaire psychopaths and their Tea-Partyite, Dunning-Krugerite foot soldiers – as exemplified by the anti-AGW rabble. And the necessity of avoiding the dreadful outcome of this idiot militancy, which threatens to poison all our prosperities.

  49. #50 GaryB
    May 13, 2013

    The GOP is choking on the Tea Party and only a few have recognized their dilemma – hope reelection comes with following the tea party hard-line and the radical religious or give up the Southern Strategy and embrace the changes most Americans want to see.

  50. #51 Bernard J.
    May 13, 2013

    A win for common sense – the Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre has been funded for a further 5 years.

    Fortunately this decision was made before the Coalition gains government in September – it would quite likely have gone the other way had Tony Abbott had a say in the matter…

  51. #52 bill
    May 13, 2013

    Peter Sinclair has a post on the tensions in the GOP over climate change, too.

    It would be a bitter irony indeed if the Republicans were to abandon The Stupid just at the time Australia’s amusingly named ‘Liberal’ Party embraced it as a core strategy.

    Because we have such a long way to go even if the alleged conservatives finally do become real conservatives. It would be extremely fortunate indeed if the lowest-impact policies involving the least tinkering with the economic system actually worked; most likely they won’t, and then the hard choices – and a dreadul likelihood of another cycle of denial and retrogression – begins. We should have started all this more than a decade ago when there was a real chance the easyish strategies would work.

    (Thanks, Idiots!)

    This debate has spectacularly rubbed-in the sad message that a substantial and noisy minority really are idiots who may live in the 21st Century, but their minds are lost in the 14th. They’re always going to present a terrible revisionist temptation to idiot populism for a cynical or equally stupid political class…

  52. #53 Craig Thomas
    St Leonards
    May 13, 2013

    The Australian is giving space to the ever-deluded James Delingpole to advise Tony Abbott on how to be more like a fringe-crank than a statesman.


  53. #54 Craig Thomas
    May 13, 2013

    MEMO to Tony Abbott: if you’re serious about being Australia’s next PM, take up smoking, sink more tinnies and check out a few lap-dancing clubs. In short, don’t make David Cameron your role model, choose Nigel Farage.

    In the recent British local elections, Farage’s UK Independence Party came from nowhere to become Britain’s third most popular party.

    Er, right, so Tony Abbott should be aiming at coming 3rd in this year’s election?

    You *really* are a fucking idiot, aren’t you, Delingpole?

  54. #55 bill
    May 13, 2013

    Australia’s already been there and done UKIP – it gave John Howard the opportunity to move to the far-Right on all the faux-populist issues he wanted to then died a death.

    As usual, the idiots ended up crapped all over economically because they never learn that they’re being used; anyone who’s ‘tough on the ragheads’ is fine by them and, oh dear, WorkChoices – where did that come from?…

    One Nation and Pauline Who?, incidentally.

    (Can also be thought of as a sort of Antipodean Tea-Party that at least wasn’t a bunch of sock-puppets for billionaires. But Good Riddance anyway, eh?)

    Cast your mind back to the 1930s for what else can be done with this demographic…

    Tony ‘Opus Dei’ Abbott getting advice to Ocker-up and go a lap-dancing from an oleaginous Pommy dweeb… says more, if more was needed to be said, about The Oz than anything else…

  55. #56 Lionel A
    May 13, 2013

    …came from nowhere to become Britain’s third most popular party.

    Hum! How long for?

    My guess this was just a protest vote but eventually the electorate could, but probably wont, wake up to the fact that this was just a protest vote for a party working mostly one issue – EU membership. Furthermore, for a party that does not have the interests of most of the electorate at heart being even more right wing than Cameron & Co. The Lib-Dems (s***, I remember when the Liberals and ‘Social Democratic Party were fighting over the scraps) will no longer be trusted by a large section of their voters after siding with the Tories, but then the numbers at the last general election did not favour the alternative. History will show that they should have gone with Labour.

    WRT UKIP I recall being approached by their local candidate before the last General Election giving him my opinion of their spokesperson on climate change, one Christopher Monckton who I described as a pompous prat. I think that message finally filtered through to the brain cell of UKIP.

    Note this from Wiki’ , my emphasis:

    At the 2010 general election he was nominated as the UKIP candidate for the Scottish constituency of Perth and North Perthshire; although a hereditary peer, he was entitled to stand for election for the House of Commons as he is not a member of the House of Lords.

    Thus, Monckton’s status WRT The House of Lords could not be clearer and standing for election to the commons Monckton himself could not have been ignorant of that status.

  56. #57 lord_sidcup
    May 13, 2013

    Not the best Daily Mash, but good to see the deniers increasingly becoming objects of ridicule:

  57. #58 BBD
    May 13, 2013
  58. #59 Sou
    May 13, 2013

    WUWT-ers have just discovered a warmist cultists secret.

    HadCRUT has been updated and was put UP in some parts, and by a whole 10,000 millionths of a degree.

    Brad reckons they need to find a way to get the US govt, which as everyone knows, funds the UK Met Office and CRU, to wake up. But not to get the Republicans to do so because everyone will just think they are being anti-science again.

    If you want a change from climate science, click the link:

    PS – loved that Daily Mash piece, m’lord 🙂

  59. #60 Lotharsson
    May 13, 2013

    You *really* are a fucking idiot, aren’t you, Delingpole?


    This has been another edition…oh, wait, that question was rhetorical. Very good. Carry on.

  60. #61 Betula
    May 13, 2013

    When Global Warming Attacks!

  61. #62 Wow
    May 13, 2013

    Is it congenitally impossible for you to say anything when you post, Betty?

  62. #63 Wow
    May 13, 2013

    “”…came from nowhere to become Britain’s third most popular party.”

    Hum! How long for?”

    Almost no time whatsoever.

    Since there’s absolutely no difference between the main two parties in the UK, at least when they are in power (they talk different when in opposition), single-issue voting is the new thing. Greens gained more seats in council than UKIP, for example.

  63. #64 chek
    May 13, 2013

    Before the current moment about UKIP losing elections passes, did anyone see a comedian (or may have been writer Charlie Brooker) riffing last week on some show or other on how the useless Lib-Dems couldn’t manage to beat the BNP vote even after their (the BNP’s) candidate (Lady Dorothy MacBeth Brookes – which does have a ring of the Sir Digby Chicken-Cesar about it to start with) had blacked up for the campaign?

    If I could only remember what to look for, it’s a Youtube classic! Somewhere…

  64. #65 Betula
    May 13, 2013

    Turdblocke @ 31 writes..

    “Betula, from your CO2 generator link: “Plants must absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) in combination with water, soil nutrients and sunlight to produce the sugars vital for growth. ” and “Just as you adjust the amount of water and fertilizer to meet the changing needs of your plants. you also set the Johnson Generator to produce the desired amount of CO2 for your greenhouse.”

    Why Turdo, why? Why would you intentionally leave out this…

    “Plants must absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) in combination with water, soil nutrients and sunlight to produce the sugars vital for growth. A shortage of any of these requirements will retard the growing process. Normally there are approximately 300 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere; when this level is increased to over 1,000 ppm, results are higher production and better plant quality.”

    Oh what a tangled Turd we weave….

  65. #66 Wow
    May 13, 2013

    Why would you intentionally leave out this…

    Because it doesn’t gainsay what turbobloke was saying, betty.

    You need to understand that a quotation will be a part of a greater whole. Quote mining isn’t quoting. No matter how much it is your only avenue of attack.

  66. #67 Jeff Harvey
    May 13, 2013

    “Normally there are approximately 300 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere; when this level is increased to over 1,000 ppm, results are higher production and better plant quality.”

    A few crop plants in greenhouses, you dipstick. Not in the real world.

  67. #68 Jeff Harvey
    May 13, 2013

    Another nail in humanity’s coffin if we don’t mitigate climate change soon. From Nature Climate Change:

  68. #69 Wow
    May 13, 2013

    And isn’t Betty awfully slow.

    How long did it take betty to read her OWN FUCKING LINK and find that “rebuttal”?

  69. #70 Turboblocke
    May 13, 2013

    Betula: good to see that you read your link.
    Do you get the point about “A shortage of any of these requirements will retard the growing process. It means that just increasing CO2 is not enough: you have to provide sufficient amounts of the other factors. Note that appropriate temperature is also a requirement.

    You should also note that plants are not composed solely of sugars.

  70. #71 Lionel A
    May 13, 2013

    Betula & CO2 increase good for plants?

    Argue with this, Weeds grow well in high CO2. Crops? .

    More plant growth does not necessarily mean better food for cellulose and toxin levels can increase with increased intake of mass – maybe not so good for digestion or nutrition.

  71. #72 Nick
    May 13, 2013

    Betula, staring your own stupidity in the face. How does it feel?

  72. #73 JohnL
    May 14, 2013

    Jeff Harvey @ 68, I just read a reference to that paper. You answered any question that I had.

    I’d like to thank you for the many times you’ve posted on the ecological and environmental effects of climate change.
    Your posts have greatly added to my knowledge of the subject.

  73. #74 Craig Thomas
    May 14, 2013

    Crank website “IceAgeNow” has found a NASA report that proves there is no such thing as the greenhouse effect:

  74. #75 Sou
    May 14, 2013

    Craig, I think even WUWT worked out that the paper was about the thermosphere.

    IceAgeNow comes across as a parody website, although the chap who runs it probably think he is serious. How many times has he predicted “this year the ice age will start”? A limitless source of hope for science deniers.

  75. #76 Craig Thomas
    May 14, 2013

    …and for John McLean, PhD(Not), whose “coldest year since 1953” is 2 years overdue now.

  76. #77 Nick
    May 14, 2013

    #74,that was the article that helped Karen recognise her stupidity. The realisation shut her up for all of a week…then the inner idiot triumphed and it was resumption of normal service. A bit like Betula, raising ‘CO2 is plant food’ for the umpteenth time as though for the first. Must be some kind of brain damage.

  77. #78 bill
    May 14, 2013

    Mike Mann interviewed by DN! re the 400ppm milestone.

  78. #79 Lionel A
    May 14, 2013

    Rational Wki nails Robert W Felix.

    Robert W. Felix is a crank extraordinaire promoting his own brand of Earth changes, which acts as a framework that he can shoehorn various other types of crankery into. All of his “theories” revolve around pole shifts and cosmic rays.

    And yes we do appreciate that pole shifts have happened and will happen again and that GCRs are real enough. Those who commonly believe in the crankery of Felix also tend to believe in abiotic oil and other flavours of crank magnetism.

    Anybody here who has read ‘The Hunt for Zero Point’ by Nick Cook would have come across more ‘cold-fusion’ type wizardry with The Hutchison Effect.

  79. #80 bill
    May 14, 2013

    And for all those in Arctic climate change and ice loss denial, The Graun is running a feature for you all week.

  80. #81 lord_sidcup
    May 14, 2013

    Those who live in London or thereabouts will be interested in

    Public Lecture by James Hansen – Itinerant Farming to White House Arrests: a scientist’s view of the climate crisis

    I understand it has been organised at short notice and so getting in might easier than you might usually expect.

  81. #82 Lionel A
    May 14, 2013


    Oh! If only I were fit enough to travel.

  82. #83 Lionel A
    May 14, 2013

    There is a fascinating exchange going on underneath (if you like watching a sensible person such as SkS team member Rob Honeycutt batting up against a brick wall like CHIP [1]) Potholer’s, The evidence for climate change WITHOUT computer models or the IPCC.

    Have a barf bag handy.

    And here is some discussion which includes isotopic ratios of CO2 .

    [1] not cover for Cato’s Knappenberger perchance? Whatever, a good double for our B Keyes it would seem.

  83. #84 BBD
    May 14, 2013

    # 83

    That’s not a fascinating discussion. That’s CHIP either misunderstanding or pretending to misunderstand Rob H. Who is doing a commendable job of keeping his temper.

    CHIP is a prat.

  84. #85 BBD
    May 14, 2013

    But that’s all they’ve got, isn’t it? Prattish behaviour in blog comments.

  85. #86 BBD
    May 14, 2013

    And when you step back, what an utterly ridiculous thing to dig in over. These muppets are actually trying to *deny* that the increase in CO2 ppmv since the industrial revolution is from burning fossil fuels.

    How stupid. How pointless. How obviously dishonest and wrong.

    As I said, they are prats.

  86. #87 Lionel A
    May 14, 2013


    When I used the term ‘fascinating’ I was considering the inanity of CHIP’s chosen argument and how it meshes with our recent Keyes experience. Yes indeed they are prats for it is their future and that of their children and grandchildren at stake. They are prats even if taking fossil fuel lobby hand outs for doing their thing. But, they still need calling out unless they persuade others less clued up and Rob is doing a fine job.

  87. #88 Betula
    May 15, 2013

    Some interesting reading from LiveScience:

    “The researchers suspect that the glacial melting in the Everest region is due to global warming, but they have not yet established a firm connection between the mountains’ changes and climate change”

    The very next sentence:

    “While Everest isn’t the only Himalayan region seeing the effects of climate change, not all of the region’s glaciers are melting”

    So there’s no firm connection with climate change, yet Everest isn’t the only region seeing the effects of climate change? How can it see the effects of something not confirmed?

    Wait, I know the answer: Even though they can’t confirm it, they know Everest is seeing the effects of climate change because “not all of the region’s glaciers are melting”, in fact, some “may even be growing”. Obviously, you can’t get more proof than that….


  88. #89 Wow
    May 15, 2013

    Still incapable of saying what you mean, Betty? That’s because you, like everyone else, know that you can’t actually make any accusation because it isn’t supported, so you just insinuate.

    As if that works…

  89. #90 Nick
    May 15, 2013

    #88,have you ever realised that journalists can be confused,confusing and often without a clue or a proof reader/ editor,Betty? You’re ‘critiquing’ journalism,not glaciology.

  90. #91 bill
    May 15, 2013

    More empty-headed gloating!

    You ever written an article, Batty? I’m going to guess that the answer is no. If you write for a living – and, crucially, to deadlines – sometimes you simply don’t express yourself as clearly as you might.

    As Nick says, you’re critiquing the journalism, not the science.

    The Himalayas are seeing changes brought about by AGW, with overall glacial reduction and attendant dire consequences, but changes in snowfall patterns caused by extra moisture held in the warmer atmosphere, and changes in circulation patterns, complicate matters somewhat.

    Not so much that we need to throw up our hands and proclaim loudly ‘See?; nothing can be known!’; a standard Denier pre-Scientific tactic…

  91. #92 Craig Thomas
    May 15, 2013

    Bill, the Grauniad’s article about Alaska, titled “America’s first climate refugees”, is well worth being sceptical about.

    The people of Newtok live on a river bend and erosion is forcing them to look at moving.
    The article states:

    A study by the US Army Corps of Engineers on the effects of climate change on native Alaskan villages…

    And yet, the referenced study doesn’t appear to mention climate change at all. I haven’t read it in full, but it contains the following:

    In the past, communities
    simply moved away from erosion sites as
    necessary. As communities became tied to the
    land through infrastructure development, it
    became more difficult to move away from erosi
    on sites,

    There is no suggestion the current erosion being experienced is novel, and no indication its extent or severity have increased recently.

    All in all, this article appears to be a classic case of journalistic invention and hyperbole.

  92. #93 Craig Thomas
    May 15, 2013


  93. #94 bill
    May 15, 2013

    Craig, the first piece says ‘in a process moving at unusual speed because of climate change’, which seems reasonable, and it’s notable that this is one of 180 communities facing similar threats. That many Inuit have no idea how to site a village?

    The erosion issue is taken up again in today’s piece, which also yields this interesting quote:

    “Climate change is not just an environmental issue. It is also a social, cultural, and economic issue important to all Alaskans… As a result of this warming, coastal erosion, thawing permafrost, retreating sea ice, record forest fires, and other changes are affecting, and will continue to affect, the lifestyles and livelihoods of Alaskans.”

    A fairly neat summary of the overall situation Alaska faces made by a Famous Alaskan Politician, from 2007.

  94. #95 Craig Thomas
    May 15, 2013

    OK, I’m sure the point about the permafrost is correct, however, the phrase you quote is not referenced to anybody and is therefore uncheckable.

    Add to that the erroneous characterisation of the US Army Corps of Engineers’ study and that studies’ mention of the erosion/relocation process being a familiar event, and I think this is not an article that could be assigned a high level of reliability.

  95. #96 Craig Thomas
    May 15, 2013

    As I quote before, from the Engineers’ report,

    In the past, communities
    simply moved away from erosion sites as
    necessary. As communities became tied to the
    land through infrastructure development, it
    became more difficult to move away from erosi
    on sites,

    The issue is infrastructure development, not climate change.

    I was instantly sceptical when the journalist described the village’s geographical situation – surrounded on three sides by a loop in the river. In an environment that experiences seasons, *especially* including spring thaws, river loops are virtually guaranteed to be highly mobile.

  96. #97 Craig Thomas
    May 15, 2013

    That many Inuit have no idea how to site a village?


    How many Easter Islanders had a clue?

  97. #98 BBD
    May 15, 2013

    # 87 Lionel

    Yes, of course.

  98. #99 BBD
    May 15, 2013

    # 88 Betula

    Bill has it right at # 91. Glaciers are a proxy for precipitation above the snow-line as well as temperature at the snout. So you need to look at the general behaviour of glaciers in a region and globally, rather than focus on specific glaciers – which is why deniers tend to do the latter.

    Here’s the big picture – global spatio-temporal mass balance change 1946-2005 (source: World Glacier Monitoring Serivce report Global Glacier Changes 2009):

    Fig. 5.8 a-f Spatio-temporal overview on glacier mass changes. Spatio-temporal overview on glacier mass changes. The average annual mass balance for nine sectors of the globe are shown for the decades (a) 1946–55, (b) 1956–65, (c) 1966–75, (d) 1976–85, (e) 1986–95, and (f) 1996–2005. Sectors with measurements are coloured according to the mean annual specific mass balance in metre w.e. with positive balances in blue, ice losses up to 0.25 m w.e. in orange and above that in red; sectors without data in grey. Average decadal mass balance values based on less than 100 observations (marked in italics) are less representative for the entire sector. For each decade, the global mean (gm) annual mass balance in m w.e. and the number of observations (no) are indicated. Source: Data from WGMS.

    Here’s global glacier length change 1845 – 2005. Red indicates recession; blue indicates advance.

  99. #100 BBD
    May 15, 2013

    The WGMS has since updated its mass balance survey to 2011:

    Preliminary mass balance values for the observation period 2010/11 have been reported now from more than 100 glaciers worldwide. The mass balance statistics (Table 1) are calculated based on all reported values as well as on the data from the 37 reference glaciers in ten mountain ranges (Table 2) with continuous observation series back to 1980.

    The average mass balance of the glaciers with available long-term observation series around the world continues to be negative, with tentative figures indicating a further thickness reduction of one metre water equivalent (m w.e.) during the hydrological year 2011. The new data continues the global trend in strong ice loss over the past few decades and brings the cumulative average thickness loss of the reference glaciers since 1980 at more than 15 m w.e. (see Figures 1 and 2).

    Fig. 1 Mean annual mass balance of reference glaciers 1980 – 2011.

    Fig. 2 Mean cumulative mass balance of ALL reported glaciers (blue dashed) vs reference glaciers (red) 1980 – 2011

1 2 3 7

New comments have been temporarily disabled. Please check back soon.