An Evening With James Delingpole

Today’s LibertyGibbert thread comes to you from Sydney, Australia’s largest city, where this evening I had the great pleasure of listening to James Delingpole, climate warrior and God-Emperor of the blogosphere, speaking live to a packed house.

James is clearly enjoying his tour of Australia; when he said on his blog the other day, that he was planning to take Tony Abbott’s job (James interviewed him yesterday), I thought he was half-joking. Having now heard him speak, I’d estimate he was about one-sixteenth joking. If that.

He has spoken thus far in Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne, and tonight’s audience in the Sydney Masonic Centre (moved from a smaller venue after it sold out within twenty-four hours—I understand the Sydney Opera House was already booked out) was, he said, the largest yet. I would guess there were about three hundred people all up. Among the faces present were a who’s who of Australia’s conservative academia and press. Clearly, James’ reputation has preceded him.

James in person has a spare, ascetic, almost (dare I say it) Gandhi-like presence (an effect offset somewhat by the business suit he wore instead of a loincloth). His voice, animated and well amplified, resonated through the amphitheatre. Disdaining notes, he spoke extemporaneously for about half an hour; the Royal Society, the ABC and Fairfax media, Mark Lynas, George Monbiot, Julia Gillard, David Cameron, the UN, Maurice Strong and Agenda 21—James took aim at them all. And devastatingly so, too; he had the audience alternately roaring with laughter, booing as at a bad pantomime villain, or silenced into rapt attention. His recounting of the ingrown-toenail analogy (reprised from his opinion piece in this morning’s Sydney Daily Telegraph) drove the point home with unarguable finality. And for his Australian audience, he gave an uncensored version of his familiar parable of “dog shit yoghurt”, which brought the house down.

Afterwards, he called for questions from the audience. And while clearly preaching overwhelmingly to the converted, there were a few of the usual suspects wanting to get in their dig. One of the sillier questions came from a man who seemed to fancy himself the house pedant, who wanted to know what evidence James was relying on in his claim that the Coalition’s direct action policy on Climate Change would be detrimental to the economy, albeit less so than Labor’s Carbon Tax. A rather tedious banana-peel of a question, really. Restated, he was essentially asking James, what observational evidence do you have on which to judge a policy that has not yet been implemented? A question, in other words, that contradicts itself. While James himself swept this rather persistent individual aside, noting simply that a tax on carbon dioxide, however disguised, cannot be in any way beneficial to a free market and the efficient production of goods and services, the next questioner, a bright young economist, pointed out that the modelling thus far used to support such measures is founded on some rather extraordinary assumptions, such as an OECD-wide acceptance of emissions trading in the next few years.

Then there was the heckler in the gallery, whose appearance and tone suggested he had been lubricating his vocal chords beforehand in the Crown Hotel in Elizabeth Street just round the corner. Yer a bloody disgrace! was about the most considered remark he was capable of summoning, and (following James’ advice, quoted from Daniel Hannan, of always delivering your very best speech) proceeded to repeat it, over and over, until he was persuaded to subside.

I even got to meet James afterwards for a few words, and assured him his presentation had been a raging success, the hecklers being merely the icing on the cake. He signed my copy of his latest work Killing The Earth To Save It which no doubt, once he becomes Prime Minister of Australia, will be worth a small fortune.

Blinded by the light

And so, having willingly thrown myself under it and survived, the God-Emperor’s juggernaut rolls on. Next stop as I understand it, is Queensland, newly liberated from socialism in the greatest electoral landslide seen in that state for a century. I don’t doubt that he will receive as resounding a reception up there as he has here in Sydney tonight (I actually noticed on the IPA’s website that a new Queensland date has been added, in Noosa).

If he can be dragged away from the beach, that is. British readers, don’t expect him back home any time soon.

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48 Responses to An Evening With James Delingpole

  1. Dr. Dave says:


    Just as I suspected, you’re pretty big ol’ boy. Nice touch wearing the Cowboys shirt. It pleases me that you had a good time. Too bad you couldn’t employ your former bouncer skills on the heckler.

  2. Good review Ozboy! More strength to your elbow.

  3. Doug says:

    Hey that’s the back of my head on the right in the first photo – navy coat and dark hair!
    Good review mate.

  4. Kitler says:

    Never heard of the guy James who?

  5. Luton Ian says:

    So that’s what he looks like!

  6. Amanda says:

    Hey hey hey! Is it unserious of me to cherish first in my comment the photo of James and Ozboy, noting the enormous ecstatic grin on James’s face and also the impressive Wellingtonia-like girth of the man from Down Under? ‘Wouldn’t like to meet YOU in a dark alley’, I’d have to say — or then again, perhaps I would. Giggle. Let’s face it: the man has the biggest chest in Australia. Would you consider an all-expenses-paid trip to the Gulf Coast to be Santa Claus next December? It would be excellent value for money: six children on your lap per photograph. At $15 bucks per head. I’ll take the tickets.

    Right. On a less … personal note, may I say that I am glad that Oz could find the time to get to Sydney for this occasion. I know nothing about Sydney except that a) it has that marvellous opera building, b) my grandparents liked it best of all the Australian cities they visited on their round-the-world tour, and c) I’d like to see it myself one day. I can now add d): it has a susbstantial group of sensible non-watermelon residents.

  7. Kitler says:

    Ozboy resembles my ex brother in law to a T. JD resembles my very nervous old chemistry teacher. Also not many people know this but Ozboy is only 4’11” in real life.

  8. Kitler says:

    For some reason this comes to mind….

  9. izen says:

    Just to throw a bit of carping in the jolly-fest….
    JD’s talk and tour is brought to your by of the coal and mining industry – purveyors of CO2 since the 1850s!
    Not to surprising they would sponsor a talk claiming their pollutants were not as harmful as the vast majority of the scientific findings claim…..

    Gees, I’m sorry to rain on your parade Izen, but if James really is in the pay of Big Oil and his mates, and he learns this fact from you, he’s gonna be pretty mad. Because someone else has been cashing all his pay cheques.

    The tour is to promote the sales of James’ new book, and the way I saw it selling in Sydney, there shouldn’t be too many financial woes left after he returns home. Bufo at DT has told us it’s tracking pretty high on Amazon as well.

    FYI, the actual speaking venues have been arranged for James at this end by a couple of conservative think tanks, who have recouped their costs by charging a small admission fee. And while it’s true that some of these organizations are sponsored by oil companies (among many other corporate sectors, as well as private donors), it’s a helluva stretch to go from there to saying “JD’s talk and tour is brought to you by the coal and mining industry!” Actually, it’s brought to you by James.

    Or do you have any actual evidence to support your allegation? Oz

  10. meltemian says:
    James? On the Beach? In the Sun???
    Don’t let him get too tanned or we won’t recognise him, we’re more used to this image.
    (i see what you mean about Ghandi though)

  11. meltemian says:

    I’ll be off-line for a week now, we’re off to the UK for our daughter’s wedding.
    Hope the weather improves!

  12. Kitler says:

    Izen they have been mining coal since Medieval times using drift mines and bell shaped pits.

  13. yaosxx says:

    Thanks for the writeup Ozboy! Oh, and you look like a f**king giant in the picture! I’m sure JD was grateful for the added protection! 🙂

  14. msher says:

    Congrats.ozboy, James boasted on his blog about meeting the “great Ozboy.” I would post it but disqus ate it up.

    G’day Msher. I’ve noticed Disqus has been very unkind to you lately, and IMHO totally undeservedly so (no-one has explained precisely how you have violated their Terms and Conditions). Let me repeat my earlier offer, that you’re welcome to park any of those posts here and link back to them – Oz

  15. benfrommo says:

    If you do take Amanda up on the offer to visit the Gulf Coast here in the states, make sure that you let me know as well lol.

    Having moved here to sunny Florida It would be a shame to miss a visit.

  16. This funding ‘argument’ that Izen brings up is going from bad to worse. Is it a sign of absolute desperation? I was accused of it myself recently by ‘the human’, and with some degree of ‘certainty’. She almost managed to convince me, she was so certain….. Is this debate now over?….(Except for the shouting.)

  17. izen says:

    @- Fenbeagle
    “This funding ‘argument’ that Izen brings up is going from bad to worse. Is it a sign of absolute desperation? ”

    Not desperation, retaliation!
    And jealousy.
    There are very few mainstream scientists who can get funding to give public talks. While there is a small amount of ‘green’ funding for public PR, it is rather dwarfed by the ‘think tanks’ who fund the JDs, the Bob Carters, Fred Singers, Moncktons…. Etc.

    To be accurate it isn’t all fossil fuel money, the IPA is funded by other corporate interests keen to block government regulation. This goes to motive. The green movements may be egregiously mistaken, or dogmatically in error, but their intentions are to inform. When industry funds think tanks that then fund this sort of public promotion of ideas they are laundering the industrial contributions, made not from any motive to inform, but from a wish to obstruct policy by denying science.

    Izen, Izen: do you have even the slightest idea how wrong you are? I’ll leave others to provide copious references – Oz

  18. izen says:

    I await with interest the copious references to the ‘Green’ PR campaign financed by corperate monies laundered through ‘think tanks’!

    Or perhaps you think there are links to science refuting the AGW theory….
    Actually recently both WUWT and Judith Curry’s place have been running posts defending the basic physics of the ‘Greenhouse’ effect and trying to squash the so-called dragon slayers who try to deny the basic warming effect of increasing CO2.
    I suspect that parts of the denialsphere are recognising the disadvantages of association with the lunatic fringe….

    Government-funded promotion of CAGW outspends privately-funded sceptical think tanks to the tune of 3,500 to 1. You can’t play vos quoque with this one.

    And we’re still waiting for you to produce evidence to support your allegation against James – Oz

  19. Nice read Oz, almost as enjoyable as your evening obviously was. Keep up the good work. CSM.

  20. msher says:


    Thanks. I might do that. But I think those really long posts bore and irritate people. Those two posts, which were one monstrously long post broken into 2 parts, were the posts I most care about since I started on the DT blogs. I think I finally have a handle on what the leaders of the Western countries are doing and why. Tthis round was the first time writing it all out – I work out my thoughts by writing them, so it isn’t quite perfected or polished but I think I am on the right path. On the other hand I know of 2 things I can’t explain and need explanation. So I hoped I could get some real critiques. I didn’t. I think, rather, just annoyance at taking up so much space. If you want an article on “”Why Western leaders in recent decades feel they are the world’s savior as they screw their electorates,” this would be the article. Then maybe people would pick it apart or fill in the blanks. The reason I care so much is that I am 100% sure that our leaders aren’t just stupid, ignorant or incompetent. They know exactly what their policies will do to our countries and they mean for the disastrous results to happen. It’s time to stop thinking about them as stupid, ignorant or incompetent and realize that they mean for the results they are acheiving. If you believe that, you take different actions than if you think they are just stupid, ignorant or incompetent. You don’t, for example, waste loads of energy trying to show them that wind power is ineffective. They already know, and that’s exactly why they want it. That’s a very conspiracy theory and hard to believe theory, but I think I can support it. That’s why I care about my very long post and do care that it gets read.

    I said James boasted of meeting you, but I couldn’t find his post. You’ve probably seen it, but in case you haven’t, I came across it.

    “Yay! I just met the mighty OZBOY!!! http://libertygibbert.wordpres… ”

    Remember I wrote in the article I did last year about how the most dangerous thing to honest voting in the U.S. is the Soros project to elect far left secretaries of state – the state officials who control voing in each state? Here are 2 examples of the power of a secretary of state from the last election.

    1) In a number of states, somehow absentee ballots mysteriously weren’t sent out in time for troops (who tend to vote Republican) to be able to vote, while in those same states, state workers drove ballots to the prisons so inmates (who tend to vote Democratic) could get their ballots in time to vote.

    2) Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, who was way behind in the polls, miraculously retained his seat. His state, Nevada, uses electronic voing machines. They are serviced by public employees under the eye of the secretary of state.

  21. izen says:

    @- Ozboy
    CAGW is a denialist trope, catastrophe is a function of cultural resilience, not climate extremes.

    The ratio of 3500 to 1 for spending on pro vs anti AGW PR would need some evidence before I could take it seriously. I suspect a case of apples and oranges. Are you including the whole of the Earth monitoring satellite programs cost in that?! Off-hand I cannot think of anyone other than Al Gore who does the pro-AGW PR, and it seems unlikely that he has spent over 3000 times as much as the anti-regulators. The imbalance is even greater when it comes to money spent of lobbying governments, only big Pharma probably spends more than the fossil fuel lobby.

    I suppose it is possible that JD is financing this whole promotional tour and public appearances from his own pocket, but its much more likley that this lot are at the very least subsidising his efforts –

    OT, I heard a report here about the Australian speaker resigning… It was used to demonstrate how to get an opinion out of a politician and featured some hapless Aussi politico when asked for his opinion of the matter saying that he had heard that Gillard had made a speach on this subject while overseas, he did not know what she said, but he agreed with it! – very funny. Are the Australian papers fully exploiting the slippery customer, given the slip, slip up, slip-slidin away and all the other groan-puns his name enables ?

    Speaking of calling for evidence, you still haven’t produced any of your own to back up your allegation against James.

    With regards to the Speaker of the House, you may recall I introduced you to him back here. If you go back to that article, you may notice I avoided mentioning the rumours which have been circulating for years down here regarding his private life. That’s because I believe one’s private life is just that, but now the newspapers are full of it, so I may revisit the Slipper issue from the point of view of the implications of his standing aside.

    Larry Pickering, unsurprisingly, has no such reservations – Oz

  22. Kitler says:

    msher I believe you are on the right tracks it is however hard to know what the motivations of our leaders are. Is it just power, control, sex and money? Are they working towards a higher goal of one world government? Or do some very rich and powerful people have the photgraphs hidden some where and they are blackmailed into doing things they normally wouldn’t or just plain bribed to do it. Are they evil I doubt it are they stupid mostly no but they honestly do not care about us that is for certain.

  23. Ozboy says:

    Someone in the Australian media appears to possess a crystal ball:

  24. izen says:

    As far as evidence for JDs sponsership, I have no information on who is paying for what, but given the clear involvement of the IPA there is circumstantial evidence at least that they are facilitating it in some way…

    “circumstantial evidence at least that they are facilitating it in some way”???

    What rot. They are facilitating it: by arranging his speaking venues. And now you admit you have no evidence to support your allegation. Strewth! – Oz

  25. Dr. Dave says:

    I was loathe to enter the fray and counter izen’s ridiculous comments largely because they result in 1,500 word responses replete with drivel like “CAGW is a denialist trope, catastrophe is a function of cultural resilience, not climate extremes.” That statement alone is utterly false. CAGW was (and remains) an absolutely critical meme for the AGW activists. An increase of ≈ 1° C of mean global temperature anomalies by the end of the century is insufficient to inspire any sane individual or government to squander huge amounts of wealth on mitigation efforts to address a non-problem.

    But let’s return to James Delingpole’s adventure in the land of OZ. It’s actually a shame J.D. wasn’t not funded by the “evil coal mining industry.” A noble industry that has provided vital energy to mankind for over 200 years. Why is it that all research or speakers funded by businesses in the private sector are viewed as biased, shameful, bereft of integrity and motivated by a nefarious agenda? Prior to WWII virtually all research and development was performed by the private sector. These businesses are in business to provide goods and services desired by their customers and make a profit so they can remain in business. To this day most research and development is performed by the private sector. But today it seems that in the areas of climate and energy the only reputable and noble researchers and speakers are those funded with government grants – money arbitrarily confiscated from the taxpayers by governments with an overt political agenda. Government funding does not render the researcher or speaker any less vulnerable to corruption and bias than private sector funding.

  26. izen says:

    I concede I have no knowledge of what financial arrangements are involved in JDs book tour.
    I also see no prospect of preventing the asymetric power of wealthy individuals or business entities from promoting their interests. I suspect there is a greater moral hazard in trying to prevent it.

    OK, I’ll insert an in-line observation on the above, before you address Dave’s comment.

    Your last sentence is correct. It is the moral hazard inextricably linked to any totalitarian model of societal organization. Power corrupts, etcetera.

    I have just finished reading Chapter 4 of Killing the Earth to Save It (aka Watermelons), entitled “In the Pay of Big Koch”, in which James deals with your allegation (any many similar ones besides) at length. I won’t provide lengthy quotes, you’ll just have to buy the book, I guess – Oz

    @- Dr Dave
    “Why is it that all research or speakers funded by businesses in the private sector are viewed as biased, shameful, bereft of integrity and motivated by a nefarious agenda?”

    Historical precedent.
    Lead, Asbestos, DDT, CFCs, SOx and of course tobacco. …

    @- “Prior to WWII virtually all research and development was performed by the private sector. … To this day most research and development is performed by the private sector. ”

    I think you require a contrived definition of R&D to justify that claim. Universities probably have a better claim, the basic tenets and equations in common use in physics and chemistry, from Newton to Crick and Watson came out academic institutions. Something that governments have found advantageous to fund since the Enlightenment.

    The Nobels in physics, chemistry and biology up to WWII are not dominated by private research. Even those Nobels associated with industry that still form the base of modern industry show a pattern. The golden age of chemsitry was the few decades after the 1900s when Germany dominated. We have already discussed the predominance of biochemicals first synthsised and described by German chemists in the modern pharmecopiea. {oxytocin?}
    The chemical manufacturing processes developed at that time also dominate. The synthesis of ammonia was a major impact on agriculture. No longer was it dependent on Chilean guano for nitrogen fertiliser

    It was radical and progressive governments that believed in the benefit that could be derived from education and the funding of universities and technical institutes. It also sought collaboration with private concerns, shaping the regulations, taxes and subsidies to promote research. These were governments that believed in the role of public finding and regulation to benefit the nation by promoting science.
    It wasn’t entirely altruistic, the global benefit from fertiliser synthesis was also applicable to military development.

    @- “CAGW was (and remains) an absolutely critical meme for the AGW activists. An increase of ≈ 1° C of mean global temperature anomalies by the end of the century is insufficient to inspire any sane individual or government to squander huge amounts of wealth on mitigation efforts to address a non-problem”

    I am not enthusiastic about re-hashing the whole climate issue, but perhaps this does reveal how we parse the issue differently.
    I see it in two parts.
    1- The science, the best descriptions and explanations we have of the past and present that gives us some insight into what is physically possible, and probable in the future.
    2- The politics, the art of the possible. The way human societies work, and respond to problems is infinitely complex and resistant to rational analysis. {g} But always constrained, by part one, the science of what physically happens.

    The meme of CAGW may be important to those concerned with the politics, the activists on both wings, not so much if you are more interested in the science.

    However if you want some basic data on what has physically happened over the last few decades – the science – that feeds the CAGW activism the key word is kurtosis. As average temperatures have edges upwards each decade the spread or varience of those temperatures has also increased. In the 50s and 60s there were few extremes, temperatures varied within a Gaussian distribution. As each decade has warmed since the variation has spread, the probability of events more than two sigma from the mean is MUCH greater. this is not prediction or modelling, its direct measurement of what has happened as a guide to future behavior. It obviously has implications for adaption if extreme events are of significantly increased occurrence.

    (647 words, and some are yours)

  27. The Ghosts of Kamaoa…..A Beagle production financed by Big Cocks….(I made that last bit up.)

  28. orkneylad says:

    Excellent write-up & nice shades big man.

  29. izen says:

    @- Ozboy
    ” I have just finished reading Chapter 4 of Killing the Earth to Save It (aka Watermelons), entitled “In the Pay of Big Koch”, in which James deals with your allegation (any many similar ones besides) at length. I won’t provide lengthy quotes, you’ll just have to buy the book, I guess – Oz ”

    Against my better judgement ….
    Not sure “deals at length” is a good description, the ‘at length’ bit is right, but the dealing seems to consist of arm-waving and a lot of comparing apples and oranges. The cost of doing real research, or organising famine relief is not a comparable offset to organisations that are purely PR advocacy and lobby groups. 
    When it comes to what each ‘side’ is doing he also avoids the obvious asymmetry. One side is advocating policy choices in the face of a measurable change with the potential for further environmental problems. JD does not agree with some of the policies being advocated. Neither do I. But rather than argue policy the Heartlands of this world are distorting, disparaging and denying the science as a way of avoiding any discussion of policy.

    No point in deep textual analysis of something not all have read, and I would hardly want to encourage more sales! {grin} But so far I am not impressed. I agree with his suspicion of the idealogical dogmatism of GreenPeace/WWF/Friends of the Earth and the corporate bloat they have developed. I also agree with his disdain for ‘post normal science’ – but not his assumption of who, or which side, is practicing it.
    Beyond that… Sigh…
    He proclaims his admiration for the ‘real’ scientists like Lindzen and Roy Spencer with a long and unctuously self-deprciatory story about his inadequacy in the field. Then makes statements both would refute about the uncertainty of the amount of climate change and the significant proportion of warming that has already occurred as a result of rising CO2. Both those scientists accept and acknowledge the reality of the warming and the partial role of CO2 in that. They just both invoke as yet undiscovered physical processes which will somehow negate much more effect from the energy imbalance already detected.
    JD seems prepared to deny aspects of the science that the experts he apparently defers to on his side accept.
    But then consistency and coherence have not been conspicuous, although some of the word play is quite amusing…

    He mistakenly invokes Thomas Kuhn and paradigm shifts at one point, anyone who follows modern thought on scientific epistemology would be aware that Kuhnian  shifts are no longer regarded as an accurate description of how science really works. It complexifies, not replaces theories. Kuhns ideas turned out to be just a passing paradigm….{grin} 
    I’m temped to reinstate my allegation…!

    The Michael Mann book is better !
    I don’t know who is funding his book tour, but here one response from the denierati –

  30. orkneylad says:

    izen – “Kuhnian shifts are no longer regarded as an accurate description of how science really works. It complexifies, not replaces theories.”



    Halton Arp:

    “The Big Bang is already dead! The unheralded “Galileo of the 20th century”, Halton Arp, has proven that the universe is not expanding.”

  31. izen says:

    @- orkneylad
    You might have to explain to me what a crank who thinks quantum effects can be galactic and the continuing nonsense from Svensmark – that paper even got ripped apart at WUWT- have to do with the history and epistemology of science. Neither contribution is going to be anything more than a footnote in the history of the failures.

  32. orkneylad says:

    Yeah right. We have high-redshift quasars photographed in-front of low-redshift galaxies and that makes the publishers of empirical evidence ‘cranky’.

    “The big bang theory is dead, but its zombie still staggers around trying to strangle all opponents. It’s coterie of gatekeepers and guardians can ban dissidents from using the big telescopes, but still the evidence accumulates as enterprising youngsters find better ways to use the smaller ones to confirm the crucial experiment and add further empirical evidence to it.”

    Stick to your Ptolemaic visions of the future, you’re gradually being left behind on a sinking island.
    I suspect that nothing scares you more than Svensmark’s rise.

  33. izen says:

    This may seem of topic, but I think I can link it back to the thread and JD, his book and tour however tendentiously!

    I have been an interested spectator over about a year to a fractionation in the climate sceptic camp. It was never a coherent group, it always had people with different levels of objection to the science and policy, often with mutually contradictory positions. Their one unifying feature was opposition to the single, coherent description and explanation of the climate provided by science.

    Perhaps around a year ago various blogs, most notably WUWT, Judith Curry’s site and Roy Spencer’s forum began setting out the basic science. The fundamentals of climate theory that ARE settled. It met with opposition. When Roy Spencer explained that the GHG effect is real and does warm the surface, the scientific argument is about sensitivity, various posters rejected his established science in favor of their post-normal variety in which nonsense like G&T’s claim that the 2LoT prevents the green house effect abound. Curry had a similar experience with her slaying the dragon slayers series. Watts has trouble keeping the barycentric nutters down….

    The result has been a split. One faction of the sceptics are constraining their scientific arguments to the at least reasonably plausible. Objections are raised to the actual published science and it policy implications rather than denying the legitimacy of the science by claiming all researchers are liars/groupthink zombies, or that some fringe crank ‘theory’ {virial?} will overturn a century of basic physics.

    The thing about an appeal to {scientific} authority is that it is better than an appeal to ignorance. Just as a matter of utility. The science is never settled, but neither is it totally uncertain. There are undoubtedly big problems in cosmology that like the advance of the perihelion of mercury and franhoffer lines in the 1800s hint that there is more to find. Dark matter/energy is an ad hoc solution hiding what is probably a much deeper and complex interaction of quantum and gravity. Anyone seen the Higgs yet…..{grin}

    But whatever new cosmology emerges is not going to replace the settled knowledge we do have. Doubt wont be cast on the heliocentric solar system. Or the cause of spectral bands and Mercury’s orbit. Newtonian gravitation will still be sufficient for 99% of our interaction with the material world.

    So the climate sceptics seem to be dividing into those prepared to stay within the confines of settled science, and argue within the physic about the uncertainty; versus those who reject the legitimacy of ANY scientific conclusion, giving equal weight to any sciencey sounding speculation. I think they are the people engaged in post normal science. When the conventional criteria of authority and credibility in a field are rejected in favour of personal, political or social preference.

    So I think I see a growing polarisation in the active opposition to climate issues at the levels of science and policy. One faction recognise that any credibility they have will be lost by advancing contradictory and easily falsified scientific claims. They have to engage the authority of peer reviewed science on its own grounds to have any legitimacy in the eyes of the vast majority of the scientifically literate.

    The other faction reject establish{ment} science, apparently ascribing to the view that because they may be a grand unification of quantum gravity to solve problems in cosmology the basics of energy transfer in the atmosphere can be ignored. Or that because governments might favour a particular outcome the last fifty years of climate science and any associated fields can be dissmised as a fraud and a hoax perpetrated by thousands of scientists {and hundreds of glaciers} to advance the cause of some new world order/government.
    Post normal nonscience.

    I have only read half the JD book and the references so will hold of guessing which side of this divide JD is taking.
    But reference to peer reviewed science is conspicuous by its virtual absence in the references which does not bode well….

    Sigh… the basic flaw with the “consensus view” is sensitivity, which in the absence of feedbacks would be 1.1°C/CO2 doubling (“settled” science, as far as anything can be). IPCC claims a positive feedback multiple of up to 4 times. Observational data gathered since IPCC AR1 (1990) suggests a negative feedback multiple (that is, a dampening) of about 0.5:

    “Much worse than we thought” – NOT.

    So, we have 20+ years of observational data on which to judge the IPCC’s assumed value of sensitivity (which they have not substantially changed since 1990) The results speak for themselves: prediction falsified. End of story.

    As to other areas of science, you are kind of proving our point when you point out derisively how sceptical scientists disagree over many issues (‘cos they’re like, you know, sceptical), whereas warmists are unanimous(!!!) Science in support of the Party Line. Almost outing yourself as a post-normalist – Oz 😆

  34. Kitler says:

    orkneylad…not every modern scientific theory is a conspiracy you go down that path and everyone may as well pack it up and go home. I shall stick with the big bang theory until disproven to my satisfaction otherwise.

  35. izen says:

    @- Ozboy
    You should have been suspicious of the information you are presenting given the name of its source, junkscience is a good deal less ironic than the original site owner intended. Or did you get it second hand from jonova…

    First, the one bit of ‘truth’ in the claim, the 1990 IPCC report used an early overestimate of sensitivity in the policy summary which this graph purports to come from, taking the transient, or realised as it was called then, rate of warming as about 0.3degC/decade. It is closer to half that. In that sense the first 1990 simulations are refuted.

    The graph you show is derived from page xxii of the policy summary, fig8 –

    Click to access ipcc_far_wg_I_spm.pdf

    As you can see it does not bear much relation to the contrived graphic you copied. It also relates to land surface temperatures while the record junkscience has chosen to graph the original estimates against is the UAH satellite temperature. The record with the least trend, the most corrections and still without publishing its code and data.

    As is obvious from the original graphs in the IPCC reports, figs 8 and 9 there was no expectation that there would be any significant difference in the warming by 2000. The rate of rise is not projected to be linear but accelerating. Junkscience has graphed the total rate of the original curves as straight lines over its selected 20 year period.

    These are all rather obvious presentational tricks to emphasise any divergence between past predictions and data.
    Fair enough perhaps, but the close correspondence between the actual data and the low estimate does not support a position of rejecting ALL the implications of the science.
    It would also perhaps be a little more honest to use the most recent scientific assessment, rather than the first.

    There is also the matter of the difficulty of deriving or constraining climate sensitivity by looking at the rate of warming against the rate of forcing. That only gives the transient response, not the equilibrium state. That includes longer time scale processes involving ocean thermal inertia and albedo changes from ice loss.

    While the models at that time favoured quite high values for sensitivity the policy summary adopts the ‘new’ lower values of around 2.5degC for a doubling of CO2. So far there has been a rise in CO2 from 280ppm to 390ppm a rise of around 40%. That would imply a rise of one degree C less the delayed rise from the long timescale factors, perhaps around three quarters of the full effect as a transient response. The actual rise over the time period of the CO2 rise is around 0.7degC, or a full degree if you take the BEST estimate of land surface temperatures.
    Hardly data that allows an unequivocal falsification of the AGW theory.

    Why use a known partisan source that is notorious for its biased errors, Lindzen had to apologise for accusing NASA of fraud when using one of its flawed graphs recently.
    you may regard this as another partisan source, but it is a nice review of an even older scientific paper making predictions about the future {present!} climate in 1981, no graphs are harmed, mutated or distorted in the process….
    “To conclude, a projection from 1981 for rising temperatures in a major science journal, at a time that the temperature rise was not yet obvious in the observations, has been found to agree well with the observations since then, underestimating the observed trend by about 30%, and easily beating naive predictions of no-change or a linear continuation of trends. It is also a nice example of a statement based on theory that could be falsified and up to now has withstood the test. The “global warming hypothesis” has been developed according to the principles of sound science.”

    The ‘warmists’ share a common, single, unified view of the science of climate change rather in the way astronomers share a common, single, unified view of the heliocentric solar system. There may be complex uncertainties at the outer fringes, or over past timescales, but there is a basic concensus on the core facts.

    The texas weather guy has a nice take on what the climate is doing using the most reliable data. Try this for a view on what is happening now rather than what we might hope will happen. –

    Then all you are really saying is you are decrying the graph’s sources – the IPCC AR1 and UAH dataset – as junk… not those who quote them.

    You remind me of Keynes’ aphorism: “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?” To which your answer appears to be, “disparage the facts”. In starting from what you know must be the correct conclusions, and working backwards to what must be wrong with the facts, you’re sinking in the quicksand of post-normal science’s inevitable consequences.

    Incidentally, though posted on JoNova’s site, the graph is from a paper by Dr David Evans, who worked with the Australian Greenhouse Office (now the Department of Climate Change) for eight years. He was a convinced warmist – until he realised the facts were against him. So he changed his mind.

    From the same paper – two years before IPCC AR1, James Hansen testified before Congress, quoting his “peer-reviewed” paper of the same year. Let’s see how his own predictions fared against the same reality:

    Hansen proved just as wrong as IPCC AR1

    A huge clue (a whole string of them, actually) as to how Hansen could have gotten it so wrong is contained in the abstract of his own paper:

    We use a three-dimensional climate model, the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) model II with 8° by 10° horizontal resolution, to simulate the global climate effects of time-dependent variations of atmospheric trace gases and aerosols. Horizontal heat transport by the ocean is fixed at values estimated for today’s climate, and the uptake of heat perturbations by the ocean beneath the mixed layer is approximated as vertical diffusion. We make a 100-year control run and perform experiments for three scenarios of atmospheric composition. These experiments begin in 1958 and include measured or estimated changes in atmospheric CO2, CH4 and N2O, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and stratospheric aerosols for the period 1958 to the present…

    I can see a good high-school science assignment right there: “Analyze and identify at least five scientific errors implicit in the extract from the above abstract, in light of the subsequent falsification of the author’s hypothesis”.

    Small wonder that in March this year, a who’s who of former NASA scientists, engineers, flight controllers and astronauts signed this open letter to current NASA chief Charles Bolden imploring him to rein in the GISS and its extravagent claims, which they believe is turning NASA into a laughing stock in the scientific community and ruining its reputation globally.

    Shall we continue? – Oz

  36. izen says:

    @- Ozboy
    “Then all you are really saying is you are decrying the graph’s sources – the IPCC AR1 and UAH dataset – as junk… not those who quote them.”

    No, I’m decrying the use of good data in a misleading way to cast unjustified doubt on early estimates and then claiming that refutes the entire theory.

    @- “Incidentally, though posted on JoNova’s site, the graph is from a paper by Dr David Evans, who worked with the Australian Greenhouse Office ….From the same paper – two years before IPCC AR1, James Hansen testified before Congress, quoting his “peer-reviewed” paper of the same year. Let’s see how his own predictions fared against the same reality:”

    I have the Evans paper, but unlike you I have used the references he gives to go back and look at the original graphs he purports to be using, or adapting, or whatever it is he claims to be doing.
    In the original paper the three scenarios rise by 0.85degC in the extreme case and around 0.5degC for the BaU and reduced emissions cases over the zero st,art point in 1960.
    Evans resets all the model lines to zero in 1990, although in the original they have diverged by then. Then he graphs them from this false zero against the global lower troposphere temp from the source which has the lowest trend since the 90s and the worst record for errors and corrections INSTEAD of land surface temperatures which was the comparison in the original. Search out the original Hansen paper, look at the graphs given in fig2 and fig3, it is clear that the projected warming in 2010 over the the 1960 start date is around 0.5degC depending on scenario. Have a look at the rate of warming since 1960 in land surface temperatures like the GISS or BEST data and allow for the fact that Hansen was using the higher sensitivity figure current then. Doesn’t look like such a bad prediction then, it can even be used to estimate actual sensitivity from the divergence or lower rate of cooling which gives about 2.5degC for a doubling of CO2.

    Be warned, most of the rest lf the graphs and diagrams in the Evans paper are similarly suspect or just plain deceptive.
    Probably why it is not, and never could be a peer reviewed scientifically credible paper.

    As for the NASA letter… With hundreds of well-known climate scientists and tens of thousands of other scientists publicly declaring their disbelief in the catastrophic forecast…..
    Where are the hundreds of climate scientists declaring their disbelief, or the tens of thousands of other scientists? Do you think they may be invoking the Oregon petition !!!
    NASA would be a laughing stock if it followed the suggestion of these fools, it is regarded as one of the best and most reliable sources of climate data by the vast majority of the scientific community, only the denialist fringe finds its position objectionable, probably because the rality it describes causes them cognitive dissonance.

    Are you sure you want to continue this? If so I suggest using the original peer reviewed papers rather than partisan mashups to avoid the sort of disingenuous nonsense you have responded with so far.

    Oh dear.

    So the men from NASA who put men into space or journeyed there themselves, and upon whom men trusted their very lives with their interpretation of data sets (as opposed to merely risking a research grant), have reached their own conclusions WRT NASA’s own data. As a wide-eyed, open-mouthed six-year-old, I watched on live TV the culmination of their efforts. Blogger Izen has dismissed them all as “fools”. This is a family forum, but I will leave it to my American readers to supply the response this so richly deserves.

    First you assume (incorrectly) that Evans’ comparison of models with reality is derived from the graph on page xxii of the Summary for Policymakers. In fact, if you had bothered to read in full reference #12 in Evans’ paper, he makes it clear it was obtained (my emphasis) from

    Figure 8 and surrounding text, for the business-as-usual scenario (which is what in fact occurred, there being no significant controls or decrease in the rate of increase of emissions to date). “Under the IPCC Business-as-Usual (Scenario A) emissions of greenhouse gases, the average rate of increase of global mean temperature during the next century is estimated to be about 0.3°C per decade (with an uncertainty range of 0.2°C to 0.5°C).”

    And you accuse me of not following references!!!

    I’d say Evans was, if anything, being overly kind in re-setting the three model scenarios to zero at the starting point (though entirely reasonable I suppose, given the source I quoted above) – that is, the year the predictions were published. I would infer he thought the modellers were at least sufficiently cognizant of reality to apprehend that today’s temperatures are, in fact, today’s observed temperatures. To do otherwise (as Evans probably should have done, if only for effect) would be to point out the modellers were wrong, before their predictions even began!

    I’m afraid, Izen, you have succumbed to the warmists’ folly of assuming the models are reality, and that real-world measurements, such as those from the UAH dataset, are a distraction and a nuisance. As are satellite measurements of sea levels, and Argos buoy measurements of ocean temperatures and salinity. It echoes the Trenberth Climategate quote:

    The fact is, we can’t account for the lack of warming and it’s a travesty we can’t.

    Irrespective of how much ink you want to spill, you simply can’t spin or slice away the fact that the model predictions have failed. It’s over. One by one, warmist scientists are admitting it (Mister Gaia himself being merely the latest example). The smarter ones, like Evans, did so early on. Maybe it’s time you did too? Der kreig ist verloren.

    It all reminds me of a story I read recently about Hiroo Onoda, the last soldier undisputedly left fighting World War II, who was found in 1974 on a small island in the Philippines which he had been “defending” since 1944. When finally located by a young Japanese backpacker, he refused to believe the war was over, until his former commanding officer was tracked down, flown to the island and issued a direct order for him to stand down. Today – he turned 90 a few weeks ago – he’s regarded by Japanese (depending on where they stand) as either a folk hero or an embarrassment.

    Who do you think will be the Hiroo Onoda – the last holdout – of Global Warming? My guess is, long after governments everywhere have tossed aside all emissions trading schemes in disgust, after Hansen and his cohorts are deceased, incarcerated, in hiding or claiming they were wrong “but for the right reasons”, there will remain a small, hard-core group of bloggers who refuse to accept the reality of their five senses.

    Maybe I should stop referring on this blog to Global Warming altogether. It only seems to encourage them – Oz

  37. benfrommo says:

    Izen, all I have to say is that after my conversation tonight with my warmist cousin, I am kind of figuring that the lauging stocks are the climate scientists themselves. NASA itself is a laughing stock to normal people. Perhaps I am partly to blame for simply showing how wrong NASA has been about climate change and how the person in charge of GISS says stuff such as “the oceans will boil over” ….

    But in any regard, my warmist cousin and I were laughing our heads off tonight about the demise of dinosaurs from the recent study released.

    Sorry, but even most warmists are starting to doubt most of the stuff that is coming out and are just laughing at NASA and the rest of these scientists. The fact that their work is debunked within hours of being released after pal review just proves how bad this process is.

    In fact, here in Florida, a local radio DJ was laughing about this study too. (This is in Gainesville, FL which is a liberal college town too.)

    So here you say that if NASA embraced scepticism they would be laughing stocks, but I have news for you, NASA is already laughing stocks. The only way they can change this is by going back to the scientific method as asked by the astronauts, engineers and others who asked them to do so. That is all they asked….is that too much to ask to use the scientific method in science?

    So there you go, not only did I produce a pal reviewed article for you, but I showed how warmists in general are already laughing stocks for the most part.

  38. izen says:

    @- benfrommo

    Perhaps we move in different circles, but NASA is still the first port of call for any basic data on the Earth environment. They have the biggest database on various parameters and are generally regarded as the best, and most transparent, with their reconstructions.

    I can see the amusement factor in the dinosaur paper, toilet humour seems to be a human cultural constant. But the result is neither surprising, absurd or new. During much of the sauropods era temperatures and CO2 levels were much higher than the present. Plant growth was significantly more productive and the breakdown of that vegetative productivity would be sequestered in coal seams and oil deposits, or broken down digestively by herbivores and bacteria. That a greater mass of plant material broken down would produce methane emissions comparable to present anthropogenic sources is not particularly outlandish. I suspect its just that the idea that a proportion of this methane is from dinosaur farts rather than bacterial release that makes it notable. That methane was a factor in the forcings maintaining high temperatures during parts of this period is uncontroversial. That the methane came from the higher productivity of plant life is certain. That some of that methane was the end result of dinosaur digestion is unavoidable.
    But laugh away…..

  39. izen says:

    @- Ozboy
    The data you present may quibble with aspects of old model predictions, but it is a gross and inaccurate staement to say it falsifies the models, or has any signficant impact on the underlying theory on which they are based. There is a lot more work to be done before that is a scientifically justifiable claim. Evans is misleading you in making such strong claims from weak data.

    The most you are showing is that early models were a bit flaky and used sensitivity figures that may be too high. But you are also showing that in conformity with the predictions temperatures have continued to rise at around 1.5degC/decade, extreme weather events have become much more frequent, land and sea based ice continues to melt at unprecedented rates.

    If you really think that a significant warming trend is not happening perhaps you could estimate when we might return to the climate of our youth. When will those ‘balmy’ 1960s summer days of yore return….

    “A significant warming trend”???

    Do you mean since the end of the Little Ice Age? Or the commencement of satellite-based global temperature monitoring? Or perhaps since wheat was grown in Greenland? Or vineyards in northern England? Or since the Palaeozoic Era, when global CO2 levels were up to 7,000 ppmv and plant life on earth exploded?

    You’ll have to be a bit more specific – Oz

  40. izen says:

    Meant to put this in the last post…. Notice the coldest year in the last decade was about the same as the warmest year in the sixties.

  41. izen says:

    @- Ozboy
    Specifically, since the end of the last glacial period ~ 7000 years ago.
    That covers the period of the rise of agricultural based human societies.
    It also is a time of distinctly stable climate, human civilisation has developed during a period of very small climate variability. While other paleoclimate periods and timescales may be of interest in revealing the way the climate system works, the recent Holocene, or Anthropocene during which we developed agriculture and city societies is the context within which any change is significant.

    “A distinctly stable climate”????

    Perhaps you’d like to try growing wheat in Greenland today. Or vineyards in Yorkshire. Maybe you’d like to put on your ice skates next winter and go figure-skating on the Thames. Or (my personal favourite) WALK from Melbourne to Hobart, as the Tasmanian Aborigines did, at which point I’ll lead you to the mine site where you can prove to me and everyone else, the fabled Izen Conjecture.

    You’re growing delusional. Go sleep it off – Oz

  42. izen says:

    Stable compared to the Eemian, or the early Eocene.

    There never were vinyards in Yorkshire, even in Roman times, in fact the evidence for wine-making in Britain north of London is conspicuous by its abscence until the last few decades.
    Wheat can be grown in Greenland at present, its just not viable and causes to much soil damage.
    As for the frozen thames and Tasi straights, yes it has been colder, that is what might be expected several millenia after the glacial melt from previous iceage cycles. That is is warming again to Holocene optimum levels is probably significant.

    Okay enough climate stuff for now… (grin)

    A distinct warming trend since the end of the last glacial period, ~7000 years ago?

    Yes, a rhetorical question, and one that sews up the anthropogenic claim neatly.

    “Wheat can be grown in Greenland at present, its just not viable”??

    Winemaking in northern England was only verified in recent decades, therefore this discovery is false???

    Well, at least you’ve demonstrated which one of us is in denial.

    You know, a certain blogger, in a moment of crystal clarity, once told me, “Mother Nature has the first and only vote”. How true. It could also be added that that one vote, once cast, is not subject to appeals, cavilling, or over-riding by computer models. Nature’s opinion trumps the state’s.

    Time for a new thread I think… I’ll get back to you shortly – Oz

  43. Amanda says:

    Re Oz’s comment 8 May to Izen at 9:12: Ha ha ha! I enjoyed that. (Not mocking, mind: that I trust is understood.)

  44. Kitler says:

    Izen firstly the crops most likely grown in Greenland were oats and barley not wheat, wheat can’t tolerate such a short growing season.
    Also please not that there has been an archeological bias in the UK towards the South because heaven forbid anything important happened in the North, so digs have happened in the South and surprise surprise found things there, lack of interest in the North found nothing. It’s beside the point that the major garrisons were at York and along Hadrian’s wall, that a major roman road went through my village from a port at Yarm on the Tees to the wall and my village was shown to be inhabited at least 1800 years ago making pottery vessels for the troops on the wall. As for grapes that’s easy even today you need a sheltered area on three sides facing south not prone to frost a hill is good you can do that today the Victorians figured that one out.

    Blame me and not Izen for the wheat – I brought it up. Wheat, oats, barley or rye, it doesn’t make the point any less valid – Oz

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