“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge.”
—Daniel J. Boorstin

Michael Mann, Author of Debunked Hockey Stick Graph, Presents Lecture on Scientific Ethics

mann wikipedia copyIn a moment of supreme irony, Michael Mann, the climatologist who constructed the now debunked hockey stick graph designed to make the case for global warming, has today delivered a lecture on “professional ethics for climate scientists”, Watts Up With That has reported.

Mann took to the stage alongside colleague Kent Peacock to “suggest that ethical training could be regularly incorporated into graduate curricula in fields such as climate science and geology,” at the American Geophysical Union’s Fall Meeting, currently taking place in San Francisco.

According to the lecture’s blurb on the AGU’s website, this is necessary as “several authors have warned that climate scientists sometimes exhibit a tendency to “err on the side of least drama” in reporting the risks associated with fossil fuel emissions.

Loophole In UN Climate Deal Lets Countries Avoid CO2 Targets

cartoonAnother city; pretty much the same outcome. The great climate change debate has rumbled along from Rio to Kyoto, through Copenhagen and on to Lima, without the breakthrough that campaigners have sought. There was an agreement of sorts in Peru, but nothing that lived up to the billing. --Editorial, The Daily Telegraph, 15 December 2014

Lima is just yet another re-enactment of the three-stage ritual that has become only too familiar over the past 20 years. First, we are treated to months of ludicrously unscientific hype, telling us that the threat of global warming is now worse than ever. Then, they all gather in some agreeable venue, for the “developing” nations – led by China and India – to say they will only play ball if the “developed” world, led by the EU, the US and Japan, pays them $100 billion a year to curb their “carbon emissions”. In days of acrimony and stupefying boredom it emerges that the rich countries aren’t really intending to deliver. Finally, at the eleventh hour – or more likely 4 o’clock in the morning – a “breakthrough” is announced. Everyone has finally agreed on a meaningless document that commits no one to anything. --Christopher Booker, The Sunday Telegraph, 14 December 2014

Still more politicized pseudo-science?

honeybeesWidening efforts to blame neonicotinoid pesticides for honeybee “colony collapse disorder” and other “beepocalypse” problems have taken a fascinating turn.

Insisting that scientific evidence shows a clear link between neonics and honeybee population declines, EU anti-insecticide campaigners persuaded the European Union to impose a two-year ban on using the chemicals. Farm organizations and the Union’s Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Department unsuccessfully opposed the ban, arguing that evidence for a link is not persuasive, and actual field studies in Canada and elsewhere have found little risk to bees from the pesticides.

Then this year’s canola (rapeseed) crop suffered serious losses of 30-50 percent, due to rampaging flea beetles. Over 44,000 acres (18,000 hectares) were declared a total loss. Euro farmers blamed the ban.

Time for the UN to get out of Climate Change

cop20“Climate change negotiators in Lima, Peru, seemed oblivious to the findings of the UN’s ongoing My World survey about what the people of the world really want the agency to focus on,” said Tom Harris, executive director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC). “The seven million people polled so far indicate that, in comparison with issues such as education, health care, jobs, and energy, they care very little about climate change.”

“Perhaps most out of touch with reality is the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon himself who on Wednesday asserted that climate change remains his ‘top priority’," continued Harris.

ICSC chief science advisor, Professor Bob Carter, former Head of the Department of Earth Sciences at James Cook University in Australia explained, “That ‘action taken on climate change’ rates dead last among the 16 priorities the public wants to see action on is not surprising. They understand that the remote possibility of human activity contributing to climate problems decades from now is unimportant in comparison with the very real problems faced by the world’s poor today.

He’s flawed but needs a break

"Hey, gimme a break!""Hey, gimme a break!"WE conservatives have hammered Tony Abbott for weeks. It’s been merciless and now it’s hysterical.

Nothing the Prime Minister does is good enough.

Take last week, after Abbott backflipped on a vow not to donate to a United Nations’ global warming fund.

One conservative Murdoch paper, The Daily Telegraph, demanded Abbott not “appease environmentalists“ and avoid “alienating the core support that saw him elected last year as an opponent of Labor’s carbon tax”. But another conservative Murdoch paper, The Australian, demanded Abbott “place himself in the middle ground on climate change policy” and stop pandering to “the rabid elements of the conservative base”.

Likewise, conservative commentator Janet Albrechtsen insists Treasurer Joe Hockey be sacked, but Piers Akerman insists he stay.

Global warming allegations false

polar-ice-sheet-growthWe’ve all heard that “97 percent of scientists” find “global warming” to be caused by human activity. Neither “percent of scientists” nor “global warming” has valid connotation.

In regard to the 97 percent claim: John Cook, an Australia-based blogger, and some of his friends reviewed abstracts of peer-reviewed papers published from 1991 to 2011, reporting that “97 percent of those who stated a position explicitly or implicitly suggest that human activity is responsible for some warming.”

But last year, David R. Legates of the University of Delaware and three coauthors, found from the same papers: “only 41 papers — 0.3 percent of all 11,944 abstracts or 1.0 percent of the 4,014 expressing an opinion” … had been found to endorse” John Cook’s opinion.

GWPF Welcomes Non-Binding And Toothless UN Climate Deal

cop20Dr Benny Peiser, the director of the Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF), has welcomed the non-binding and toothless UN climate agreement which was adopted in Lima earlier today.

Dr Peiser said:

“The Lima agreement is another acknowledgement of international reality. The deal is further proof, if any was needed, that the developing world will not agree to any legally binding caps, never mind reductions of their CO2 emissions.”

“As seasoned observers predicted, the Lima deal is based on a voluntary basis which allows nations to set their own voluntary CO2 targets and policies without any legally binding caps or international oversight.”

Greenpeace again offends indigenous people

nazca-lines-damageGreenpeace likes to pretend it’s on the side of local people, especially indigenous peoples. But time and again they demonstrate a shocking degree of cultural boorishness.

Now Greenpeace activists have Peruvians up in arms, after trespassing all over treasured Incan cultural sites at Machu Picchu and Nazca, while doing ridiculous publicity stunts to highlight their claim that tiny amounts of plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide are causing “dangerous” planet-wide climate change.

The Times of London’s Ben Webster says a Peruvian prosecutor investigating the incident was angry that the activists had caused “irreparable damage” to a large area of the “Nazca lines,” an ancient monument that UNESCO lists as a World Heritage Site. The “lines” are a series of ancient glyphs in the country’s southern desert region. Hundreds of figures include stylized fish, hummingbirds, lizards, monkeys and spiders. Archeologists believe they were created by the Nacza culture 1360-1615 years ago.

How Shale Oil Is Rebuilding America, Sans Obama

cartoon-obama-energy-plansOwing little to Obama's policies and the EPA's ongoing commitment to cripple fossil-fuel production, the combined efforts of shale producers are singlehandedly sending gasoline prices plummeting, and throwing a wrench into OPEC's ability to manipulate world oil prices. From Businessweek:

The world’s biggest oil companies faced ruin in the summer of 1931. Crude prices had plummeted. Wildcatters were selling oil from the bonanza East Texas field for a nickel a barrel, cheaper than a bowl of chili. On Aug. 17, Governor Ross Sterling declared a state of insurrection in four counties and sent 1,100 National Guard troops to shut down the fields and bring order to the market. A month later the Railroad Commission of Texas handed out strict production quotas.

That heavy-handed intervention in the free market was remarkable enough. Even more remarkable was who pulled it off. The person in charge of shutting down the wildcatters, National Guard Brigadier General Jacob Wolters, was the general counsel of Texas Co., an ancestor of Chevron. And the Texas governor who ordered Wolters in was a past president of Humble Oil and Refining, a forerunner of ExxonMobil. Big Oil played hardball in those days.

Aussie councils reject sea level hysteria

fort denisonFort Denison, an old penal colony in the middle of Sydney Harbour, has one of the oldest tide gauges around, having been located there for 128 years. During this period, the sea level has risen just 6.5 cm, or about two and a half inches.

Despite these trivial sea level rise over the past century and a bit, moonbat councils on the east coast of Australia are still tying up waterfront properties in miles of green tape, justified by predictions of massive sea level rises by climate alarmists, and property values have plummeted as a result:

In mid-2010, the Eurobodalla council, south of Shoalhaven, introduced a unique interim sea level rise policy that shackled more than a quarter of all properties in the shire to restrictive development controls. Predictably, there was an immediate shire-wide decline in property values.

No more Mr Nice Guy

tony abbottTony Abbott keeps trying to win over the Left. The Left keeps kicking him in the teeth, hailing each concessions as a sign of weakness.

And the Liberal base just gets more and more depressed.

This is not a winning strategy - and I do not know how much more forcefully I can put it than I have so far tried.

The latest example:

Money allocated to fund an international climate fund could have been used to fund 40 million Australian GP visits, removed budget cuts for our 8000 poorest families or funded more than 40,000 skin cancer removals.

Rich Nations Get Cold Feet Over $100 Billion Climate Fund Promise

cop20Developed countries do not wish to provide a road map before 2019 for their financial commitments to fight climate change. But at the Lima talks they have demanded that the linked actions of developing countries to reduce emissions be announced and reviewed well before, by 2015 itself. This has led to a logjam on the issue of finance in the negotiations. But, it has also got all the factions within the over-arching G77+China group of 134 developing countries aligned close. --Nitin Sethi, Business Standard, 12 December 2014

Climate negotiators went to Lima in an optimistic atmosphere, but hopes for a strong outcome to the discussions have receded with just one day of talks left. Developing and developed countries continue to disagree on how responsibility to reduce greenhouse gas emissions should be shared. --Peter Teffer, Euobserver, 12 December 2014