Why the response to Cumbrian weather is infinitely more valuable than one climate change deal

Two news items from the BBC’s six o’clock bulletin struck me
yesterday. For while they were both to do with climate, the first felt utterly false because of the words, whereas the second was suffused with truth via the images. Whatever particular readers may feel about my past spent in advertising (and for myself, I’m proud of it -so there) this is my home turf.

Staring back down to ground zero from somewhere near the top of the
evolutionary tree, it’s fairly obvious that we had eyes when we came out of
the sea millions of years ago, but we’ve had languages for reception by the
aural taxi doors for, at the very most, 40,000. As any social or commercial
researcher of opinion will tell you, the eyes have it: watch behaviour
carefully, and treat anything said with extreme caution.

The first news item (it was, of course, the lead) concerned the Climate
Change Agreement in Paris. There was the announcement that the
negotiations had “succeeded”. The crowd went wild. John Kerry said this was a moment when “we’ve all shown we can be smart”. The UK Climate Secretary said it was a significant moment. An Australian bloke with rising sentence-ends said it was an incredibly significant moment. David Cameron sent a message to say we had done our duty to future generations. President Obama also tweeted to say it was huge, without specifying what the Big Thing was. And Ban Ki Moon said a number of things, but his message was obscured by the inconsiderate way in which his speechwriters had given him endless l’s and r’s with which to
struggle.

But behind the high-fives and hype, I found myself noting two points: first, the question of how harmful (if it all) CO2 might be in the production of global temperature increases was not being addressed; and second, an awful lot of this so-called agreement was not obligatory….it was voluntary. There will be no police of any kind to monitor the former, and I do not doubt that people at all levels of government everywhere will fudge the latter.

Perhaps a suitable analogy might be an 18th century alchemist demanding
that all apothecaries everywhere must reduce their phlogiston production by 1.5%. I don’t know: I’m very happy for people to reduce CO2 as an insurance policy just in case unproven science turns out to be right….but I’m profoundly unhappy with the way in which contrarian opinion is ignored. In the absence of any real certainty, the Warmist fraternity falls back on the very high percentage of climatologists who agree with them. But as my JWT mate Vic from many years ago used to say, “Eat shit…five trillion flies can’t be wrong”.

Even as a fan of the BBC – purely on the basis that the obvious Turdcock alternative would remove what little civilisation we have left – I find it galling the way Auntie’s climate clones flatly refuse to even consider the possibility that these vainglorious scientists are wrong. Every anchor and science journalist refers to climate change and CO2 as the main cause as a done deal.

The second item up concerned the floods in the north west of England. And yes, I know this is weather not climate, but weather is a symptom of climate: I’ve never bought into the idea that the two are mutually exclusive, because it would be like saying that baseball isn’t sport. Climate, weather, whatever – the events in Cumbria and the surrounding area are to do with real human behaviour, not global 24/7 news stations’ bollocks-riddled rhetoric.

What we were shown was the anguish of broken businesses and individual
suffering being alleviated by mutualist communal values. This time – instead of near-pornographic news coverage of wringing hands and personal tragedy, we saw the positive reactions of local charities and neighbours adding up to at first rescue, and then the welcome return of optimism based on something more than remote, half-baked belief.

More than any other single event of the year 2015, this signalled for me the natural triumph of the caring community over the hypocrisy of unnatural pretensions of a global nature. Rather than being “All talk, no action”, it was anonymously effective. So the next time I drivel on about being a communitarian mutualist, think of the comparison I’m offering with globalist falsehood. If the descriptor makes me sound like Sloggy the tree-hugging fart recycler, well then that’s hard luck: the truth is there for all to see if they’d only step off the treadmill for a second….central government in league with neoliberal globalist claptrap simply cannot hold a light to the idea of smaller, entrepreneurial communities – at least, not for a fundamentally tribalist species like ours.

Last night here there was a weather front coming straight off the Russian steppes. The crystal clarity of the stars and the silent echo of sub-freezing air didn’t entirely compensate for the temperature being -5°C. My mum used to say, during winter, “It’s bitter out there”. The French call it ‘hard cold’. However one describes it, this level of winter kills those without
shelter. If the best we can do at this stage of our evolution is tell those without shelter to get on their bikes, or write cruelly puerile drivel for smug, callous tabloids, then it’s a very poor show.

And yes, Katie Hopkins, I’m talking about you. Silly tart.

Last night at The Slog: Why Syria affects everything and everyone everywhere

35 thoughts on “Why the response to Cumbrian weather is infinitely more valuable than one climate change deal

  1. Re: ‘the question of how harmful (if it all) CO2 might be in the production of global temperature increases was not being addressed . . ’

    If you seriously wish to inform yourself about this topic rather than just ranting ignorantly on about it I suggest you start with the wikipedia article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_sensitivity and work from that to the technical articles cited. It is 200 years now since this possibility was first raised by Joseph Fourier so you have a lot of catching up to do!

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  2. Carbon credits is a financial scam developed by Goldman Sachs.
    Straightaway it makes me dubious of claims of man made climate change, when they are raking in $millions from the exchange.
    Weather cycles are a normal feature of the global climate over the centuries.

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  3. @Chris Squire
    Have you forgotten the house rules?
    No insults.
    No holier-tha-thou bollocks
    etc
    I have a PhD in atmosphere physics and I do not believe the global warming hyperbole bollocks for the same reasons JW doesn’t.
    So there.
    WAD

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  4. I note all this climate / CO2 issue at same time UK Govt is arguing that EXTRA airport capacity is prime need when (VERY Localised) Air Quality for Quality of life) is being taken to task.
    The % reduction levels of GHG’s / CO2 also seem to be being set to similar levels when for instance UK adds just 1% to global levels which will no doubt still not recognise National / International borders

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  5. The residents of the Lake District have behaved with distinction – as one might imagine.
    However, the Paris Jolly did not think to mention the word ‘CONDOM’ in its final draft. Such a pity.

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  6. I left Keswick a few years ago, but I was there in 2009 and that was bad enough, the river Greta got to within 8 inches of coming over my defensive wall and the tide line was 30 feet down the road. You are right JW the big difference this time is how much communal effort is going in , be it local , be it Islamic groups from Preston , be it the non-local plant hire companies working in Glenridding , who are all providing the plant and working for nothing, very different from the last flood.
    However 3 huge flooding events in a decade would test the faith of a saint and all the enhanced flood schemes seem to have been for naught. The weather pattern in all cases has been the same, rain almost non stop for the previous month, not always heavy , then 24 hours of the deluge , the ground is saturated, the water runs straight off the hills into the rivers into the lakes and flooding through every town till it gets to the sea.

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  7. @RouterAl
    Though not in Cumbria but UK Govt want to build more of these “needed” houses on active flood plains where their own rules in NPPF Tech guidance
    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/6000/2115548.pdf

    say to divert building away from these areas till last resort. All the past importance of Govt action to help with home owners and not being excluded from insurance due to repeat flooding all seems to have gone very quiet amongst everything else for finite resources & ongoing cuts

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  8. One cannot argue that we are heading for the lowest recorded sunspot activity since accurate records began in 1750. (Cycle 24 is already in decline and the last time such a low Max occurred was in 1906). There has been a continual decline in cycles of solar activity since the last great solar maximum peaked in 1956. The last time there was a similar continual decline in sunspots became the Maunder Minimum of the “Little Ice Age”, (70 years from 1645) when Europe and North America experienced much lower-than-average temperatures and the Thames and Danube froze. So I am expecting it to get bloody cold over the rest of my lifetime, not warmer! While I am all for avoiding pollution and smogs, with shorter summer growing seasons for plants……. is reducing the CO2 that crops need to grow quickly before longer winters, really such a great idea?

    The totally depressing thought is that around 2020, when this next solar minimum really starts to hit and temperatures are dropping like a stone, it will be the sanctimonious, ill informed and much mistaken politicians presently having their jolly in Paris, who will be hellbent on taking all the glory and saying that they have ‘Saved the World’.

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  9. From what I’ve read so far – the agreement being fanfared as a fantastic agreement – thankfully does not commit anyone to anything except to agree that everyone agrees with everyone else. No doubt there will be some taxation rises in accordance with standard practice apres meeting but the consensus not to commit to anything before about 2025 is pretty strong.

    This all expenses paid jolly was enjoyed by all in attendance !

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  10. Did anyone else notice the RNLI organiser being interviewed on the Beeb during the flood rescues? He was asked what the government should do to help their rescue efforts. He replied “nothing”; they did not want government interference because they preferred to keep their independence!. The RNLI and the Sallies are the two charities I always give to.

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  11. I seem to remember global cooling being the major problem 30 years ago. Now the bandwagon is climate change aka global warming. Perhaps the latter has more taxation potential. The more a politician pontificates on a subject, the more I am convinced I am being fed a diet of verbal diarrhea and lies.

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  12. @Chris Squire

    Unless my understanding of the Popperian philosophy of science is faulty (a distinct possibility), it occurs to me that a model that credits CO2 levels as the main driver of climate change cannot be ‘scientific’ in the Popperian sense at all. Popper proposed that the distinguishing feature of a scientific model was that it should make predictions that were, at least in principle, falsifiable. No model could be ‘proved’ correct, it could just be rejected when experimental evidence that contradicted its predictions was found. A model that survived many attempts at such falsification became the dominant theory. Is it possible to falsify the CO2 based climate change hypothesis? Perhaps if someone could create a parallel Earth, identical in every way to our own, but with lower/higher CO2 levels this might suffice.

    All the above is not to say that CO2 levels do not drive climate change, they may well, but to question the scientific basis of such a claim seems shaky. A much better argument for the reduction in fossil fuel use would be that such concentrated energy sources are limited, and that as yet, our modern societies have not found a viable alternative.

    Attacking the motives/intelligence/education of the questioner seems to be a tactic of those that know that their own position is untenable if opened up to proper scrutiny. The vilification of those with genuine questions is a red flag signalling deception.

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  13. While man -made climate change is a dubious science. there is no doubt that pollution of rivers .lakes and seas by the detrius of our Industrial and civic life is a fact.
    What goes un -mentioned and is ignored /suppressed by the MSM,is the tons of radioactive water being discharged into the Pacific from the meltdown of the reactor at Fukishima. Now ongoing for about 2 years. and reaching the shores of the West coast of the USA.
    You can always recognise a Californian , they glow in the dark.!

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  14. And so we must part. i’ve no trust in people who ignore evidence. 97% of the world’s scientists are not colluding in one big lie. They haven’t the time or the resources. It’s a shame though; I’ve enjoyed your angry rhetoric.

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  15. @Elizabeth Newman

    I don’t think many of the scientists are ‘colluding in one big lie’, just that they are pushing a CO2 climate change model harder than the evidence merits. Scientific progress has been in spite of, not as a consequence of what most scientists believe. I was taught many years ago that the way to guarantee that a PhD would not be granted would be to find experimental evidence that contradicted the dominant paradigm. I suspect that this is still the case. The villification of the delightfully eccentric Rupert Sheldrake is an object lesson in what asking awkward questions can do to a scientific career.

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  16. “I was taught many years ago that the way to guarantee that a PhD would not be granted would be to find experimental evidence that contradicted the dominant paradigm.”

    Yep… Toe the line & how dare you be brighter than your teacher. (Insert appropriate descriptor, such as; Parent, Boss, Monarch etc) Love human nature.

    Einstein had it right, get a less than taxing job to pay the rent & do it all yourself. Worse thing you can do is share “Free Thinking”. Others get testy when they fail to understand.

    “Scientific progress has been in spite of, not as a consequence of what most scientists believe.”

    You only have to look at “Plate Tectonics”. You just know it has to be correct… Took a lot of effort to turn the “Oil Tanker” of entrenched belief on that one too.

    Science is good stuff… The tender inflated ego’s of Authoritarian Structures tend to miss that.

    Hang around Elizabeth please…

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  17. We are currently in a very cold period relative to Earth’s average temperature. The ” Little Ice Age” only ended in the mid 1800s and any scientists think that was only prevented from becoming a full ice age by the CO2 that was already in the atmosphere. It would not be surprising if we were in a warming phase at present.

    Unfortunately, I can’t paste a graph on here

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  18. Ted Cruz organised a ‘host some contrarians’ at some Senate committee this week – Judith Curry, Mark Steyn et al had the chance to put their cases. A couple of blowhard Democrats made fools of themselves, but to be fair to Capitol Hill, they have done this more than once in 2015: John Christy of Huntsville, Alabama put in a particularly blistering performance. He is the chap in charge of the 36 year record of satellite-generated global temperature data which most inconveniently doesn’t agree with 100+ computer models since the IPCC and others started spending squillions on developing them. I heartily recommend people listening to him speak – it is an education of what being a reputable scientist is about:

    I have to say my reaction to Paris is this: ‘all delegates must be audited for their carbon guzzling activities, most notably flying around the world gallivanting about ‘global warming’ (which they should no longer be allowed to do as they must take the lead in decarbonising), their homes should not have been built using steel, their homes should be heated entirely with renewable sources (really renewable, not things which require huge energy inputs to allow its creation) etc etc. I’m sure all those 20,000 delegates will be horrified by my strictures, but come on: show some leadership. Sell your car, only travel by public transport, audit your entire life for carbon footprint, have it independently audited by a true climate skeptical forensic accountant etc etc.

    As for Cumbria – I suggest you go and look up climate records for the 1870s Mr Ward – the records for England and Wales show clearly that, by some margin, that decade was wetter than any other before or since in the period 1800 – 2010. This has happened before at the time when human activities did not influence climate. All that has happened is that we had one highly abnormal event – 14 inches in 24hrs is unheard of. But being brutal, that is not abnormal in other parts of the world, so all that has happened is that the geographical location of an extreme rainfall event has been shifted. The Alps, particularly to the southern side of the Hauptkamm, has been remarkably lacking in snowy precipitation this autumn and early winter. That is another ‘abnormal event’ but in the absolutely opposite direction. NE USA is very warm currently, NW Europe is very mild. But the arctic ice is recovering very well indeed – still below long-term averages, but well within the normal statistical range. it’s good to see that there are professional outfits now evaluating arctic sea ice in terms of measurable weather phenomena like the Arctic Oscillation mode and split polar vortices due to SSWs. Given that the major deficit currently compared to long-term averages is in the Barents Sea/Kara Sea to the north of Norway and NW Russia, this is most relevant……

    Thing everyone must think about in this arena is this: ‘how much are we all affected by 24/7 news reporting of climate events nowadays and how many of us were even aware of what was going on 200 miles away 40 years ago, let alone 10,000 miles away?’ The hard data says that hurricane levels are very very low currently and the insurance industry only care about the ones which make landfall in highly populated areas anyway. You can have as many hurricanes as you like as long as they all go up the Western Atlantic away from land and die down before they reach NW Europe…..

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  19. Dear Elizabeth (if you’re still around) – Here’s the real origin of the 97% claim, which has become almost the most reported basis for “belief” in AGW. Perhaps you might then re-examine the extent of the lies/brainwashing we, the public, are being subjected to ………

    “The 97% claim comes from a January, 2009 article by Peter T. Doran about an April, 2008 survey by Margaret R. K. Zimmerman of 10,257 Earth Scientists at academic and government institutions, of whom 3146 responded. The 97% claim is based on the answers to just TWO questions, both of which were so uncontroversial that most other climate change skeptics would answer “yes” to them. Worse yet, 97.5% of those who responded were excluded after their responses were received. Of 3146 responses received, only 79 responses were considered. Plus, to reach the 97% threshold on the 2nd question, Doran excluded two more skeptics, 2 of the 3 respondents (out of 79) who gave “wrong” answers to the first question. 76 of 79 (96.2%) answered “risen” to the first question: “When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?” Two of the 79 apparently answered “remained relatively constant” to the first question, and they were not asked the second question. 75 of the remaining 77 (97.4%) answered “yes” to the second question: “Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?” That means only 75 of 79 (93.7% or 94.9%) answered both “risen” to the first question and “yes” to the second question.

    And that’s in spite of the fact (3146-79) / 3146 = 97.5% of the respondents were excluded after the responses were received.

    Plus, neither of the two questions actually addressed anthropogenic global warming! The first question asked respondents to compare current temperatures to the depths of the Little Ice Age (“pre-1800s”), and asked whether it’s warmer now. Well, of course it is! What’s remarkable is that they didn’t get 100% agreement. 3 of 79 apparently didn’t agree even with that. The second question asks whether any human activities significantly affect global temperatures. That encompasses both GHG-driven warming and particulate/aerosol-driven cooling. It could also be understood to include Urban Heat Island (UHI) effects. Since just about everyone acknowledges at least one of those effects, I would have expected nearly everyone to answer “yes” to this question. Yet 2 of 77 apparently did not.

    Why do you suppose they didn’t ask an actual question about Anthropogenic Global Warming? Why didn’t they ask something like, “Do you believe that emissions of CO2 from human activities, such as burning fossil fuels, are causing dangerous increases in global average temperatures?”
    From:- http://archive.is/6oi3O#selection-207.0-309.118 – which has many other sources/links.

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  20. Thank you John, insightful as always. Scat to your hearts content… It’s where we came from & there’s a lot of it about.

    @Ricoh
    ‘CONDOM’… Indeed. Statistics suggest, we are the most lethal sentients on this Planet, conflict families & friends, in that order, our preferred MO’s. A little space between would seem advisable. Looks like we might have got a little to close already.

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  21. “Staring back down to ground zero from somewhere near the top of the
    evolutionary tree…”

    Staring up I can see a load of people. They seem to be cutting a branch off, wile they sit on it! Hang on it’s OK they seem to be discussing it, I think I heard somebody mention enquiry or moratorium.

    Just hope they miss me, on their way down.

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  22. Christy’s testimony is broken into five distinct climate myths:

    1) Disputing the accuracy of the surface temperature record;
    2) Exaggerating the discrepancy between modeled and observed global warming;
    3) Denying the consensus on human-caused global warming;
    4) Cheer leading fossil fuels as the best thing since sliced bread; and
    5) Denying that climate change is linked to extreme weather.

    We will address the first four myths in this post, while a separate post is devoted to the extreme weather denial of Christy and Co.
    https://www.skepticalscience.com/christy-once-again-misinforms-congress.html

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  23. Just curious guys, but do you think there should be any evaluation to the cognitive model for scientific thought, in light of the expounding of the theories of relativity & quantum mechanics?

    I would be a shame to think we became extinct due the inability to except what we thought inside our head, didn’t match the universe we lived in. You know, a bit like the idea that we don’t really know what light is, we just have a couple of stabs at it with a couple of different models.

    Not to worry, if you get ACC wrong, it won’t be too many generations before it gets irrevocably forgotten. Might be worth moving away from the simplistic antithetical cognitive model of right & wrong. It suits the Ego wonderfully, but if we aren’t here there is nobody to show it too.

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  24. Billy Gruff – did you know there is such a science as quantum biology? Me neither but I did when I got into Qi Gong and discovered the 64 positions of the I Ching match the 64 strands of DNA. That is mind blowing.

    Getting “healthy” is more than losing weight. it alters how you perceive reality. If your soil, then your body, then your mind is functioning well, odd things start to happen to your surroundings……

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  25. What is more mind expanding is that, the energy obtained within the Krebs cycle process, within chloroplasts, in plants could not be explained. The maths always resulted in too low a value. Turns-out they are exploiting quantum processes, & have probably been doing this for the last billion years.

    it’s probably also worth remembering that all our needs as Heterotrophs are provided for, either directly or indirectly by Autotrophs.

    Ohh, and as an aside, plants & animals are chimera at the cellular level, Yes you are your very own committee, so careful what you design.

    I’m not sure I need the distraction of Qi Gong, & the I Ching as been ruined for me by Vivian Stanshaw.

    What concerns me, is not the interplay between acquired information & cognition, Its the processes & structures we apply. It’s the maze of corridors of reductive thought we wonder up & down, akin to Gestalt theory, that need addressing.

    Not only are we blind to the restrictions & limits of the knowledge we have acquired, but most can’t see that to perceive conceptually a theory like relativity, you have to think that way too & having acquired that skill reapply it to your knowledge base!

    Better go & chop some wood.

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  26. I find the whole CO2 debate a disgrace. Decisions are being made to the detriment of the world;

    * diesel was favoured over petrol due to its negligible reduction in CO2 that is harmless but delivering huge increases in NOx and PM,

    * around the world people are being heavily taxed on fossil fuels the net result is instead of using gas and electric to cook etc. trees are being cut down as a free fuel leading to mass deforestation which leads to soil erosion, silting of water ways and ultimately floods,

    * the search for non fossil renewable fuels has lead to increase in bio fuel all EU diesel has 7% bio fuel, this has lead to huge expansion of planting of maize around the world a crop that leads to yet more soil erosion as well as increasing food costs for the poor around the world.

    Deforestation, urbanisation along with poor maintenance and modern agriculture is what is causing the floods and micro climates that become the vicious circle. Floods are ocurring in the main where population levels are unsuitable for the local geography. A serious study needs to be carried out to ascertain how much urbanisation and where the world can take.

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  27. @Alexei thank you for the comprehensive and illuminating reply. It looks like the methodology of this survey was quite different to the petition signed by 31,000 plus US scientist decrying the bad science of Global Warming. I doubt if Elizabeth Newman even cares as far as she is concerned it appears that the science is settled!

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