Maurice Newman is probably Australia's most "senior" deluded denier. I've written about his nonsense before - here and here. I don't expect he's the oldest denier in Australia but he's the highest ranking denier who advised the Australian Government. He's also one of the wackiest deniers. A right ratbag - assuming he actually believes the rubbish that pours out of his mouth. Eric Worrall happily copied some of his idiocy at WUWT (archived here).
I say pours out of his mouth because Maurice is of an age and background that makes me doubt he knows how to use a keyboard. And goodness knows when he last put pen to paper, except to sign his name. He'd be of the era of secretaries of the typist kind, and failing that of dictaphones.
Today Maurice Newman wrote an opinion piece in The Australian. (It's behind a paywall but you can probably get to the article by copying some of the quoted text from below and doing a Google search.) It was, as usual, nonsense from one end to the other. Here is some of what he wrote. He started off with David "funny sunny" Archibald:
WHAT if David Archibald’s book The Twilight of Abundance: Why Life in the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short turns out to be right? What if the past 50 years of peace, cheap energy, abundant food, global economic growth and population explosion have been due to a temporary climate phenomenon?
What if the warmth the world has enjoyed for the past 50 years is the result of solar activity, not man-made CO2?
As a reminder, below is a chart of David Archibald's prediction based variously on five rural weather stations somewhere in the middle of the USA or sometimes on faulty wiggle matching of the temperature in central England. David would probably use the temperature on the moon as a proxy for global surface temperature here on Earth, if he thought it would bolster his weird predictions. David reckons that by 2020, the average global surface temperature will plunge to well below the lowest it has even been since human civilisation. He's plain nuts.
Have cosmic rays addled Maurice Newman's brain?
Maurice Newman is an utter nutter when it comes to global warming, too. And ignorant as well. For example, he wrote:
This mindset sought to bury the results of Danish physicist Henrik Svensmark’s experiments using the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s most powerful particle accelerator. For the first time in controlled conditions, Svensmark’s hypothesis that the sun alters the climate by influencing cosmic ray influx and cloud formation was validated. The head of CERN, which runs the laboratory, obviously afraid of how this heretical conclusion would be received within the global warming establishment, urged caution be used in interpreting the results “in this highly political area of climate change debate”. And the media obliged.
Thing is, Henrik Svensmark never ever did an experiment using the Large Hadron Collider. The only cloud experiments being carried out there are by quite a different group of scientists. And they haven't validated Henrik's cosmic ray hypothesis. They have come up with some interested findings, though it's not about cosmic rays it's about "biogenic vapours emitted by trees" - article here and open access Science paper here.
From cosmic rays to "it's the sun"
Now not only did Maurice Newman fib about the Henrick Svensmark, he misrepresented Mike Lockwood, and he quotes from a newsmedia article about a dumb prediction on Voice of Russia, by Yuri Nagovitsyn (if it's an accurate report). Poor old Maurice can't make up his mind whether "it's the sun" or "it's cosmic rays". He wrote:
For example, Russian scientists at the Pulkovo Observatory are convinced the world is in for a cooling period that will last for 200-250 years. Respected Norwegian solar physicist Pal Brekke warns temperatures may actually fall for the next 50 years. Leading British climate scientist Mike Lockwood, of Reading University, found 24 occasions in the past 10,000 years when the sun was declining as it is now, but could find none where the decline was as fast. He says a return of the Dalton Minimum (1790-1830), which included “the year without summer”, is “more likely than not”. In their book The Neglected Sun , Sebastian Luning and Fritz Varenholt think that temperatures could be two-tenths of a degree Celsius cooler by 2030 because of a predicted anaemic sun. They say it would mean “warming getting postponed far into the future”.Contrary to what Maurice Newman cagily implies, Mike Lockwood is reported in New Scientist as saying that even if there were a Dalton Minimum there won't be anything like a "year without a summer", because of global warming (my bold italics):
But Lockwood says we should not expect a new grand minimum to bring on a new little ice age. Human-induced global warming, he says, is already a more important force in global temperatures than even major solar cycles. Temperatures have risen by 0.85 °C since 1880, with more expected, according to the most recent assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
There may still be noticeable consequences. For instance, long term cold winters in the UK are common when solar activity is low. And less solar activity can slow the jet stream, triggering a suite of interlinked extreme weather events like the Russian heatwave of 2010, and the devastating floods in Pakistan that same year.
The global financial crisis and global warming
As a business leader, was Maurice one of the people who can be blamed for the global financial crisis? Certainly he cannot put the blame for that on climate scientists. Maurice wrote:
If the world does indeed move into a cooling period, its citizens are ill-prepared. After the 2008 financial crisis, most economies are still struggling to recover. Cheap electricity in a colder climate will be critical, yet distorted price signals caused by renewable energy policies are driving out reliable baseload generators. Attracting fresh investment will be difficult, expensive and slow.
First, why would the world's citizens be any less prepared for global cooling than we are for global warming? After all, though we've never experienced cold as cold as David Archibald predicts - or not since civilisation - we've had some cold periods in recorded history. And humans have experienced cold as cold as David's prediction since we evolved. And our species survived. On the other hand, we've never, not since humans evolved (not just since civilisation), had a world as hot as it's going to get in the next few decades.
Secondly, what has the price of electricity got to do with it all? Renewable energy policies aren't distorting the price signals of electricity any more than fossil fuel policies do. Electricity price distortions have at least as much to do with excessive subsidies and tax breaks on fossil fuel generation and nuclear power. What "reliable base load generators" have been driven out? I'm not aware of any and neither is Maurice from the look of it, given he doesn't list even a single one.
The next paragraph suggests that Maurice's brain has turned to mush. He writes:
Only time will tell, but it is fanciful to believe that it will be business as usual in a colder global climate. A war-weary world’s response to recent events in the Middle East, Russia’s excursion into the Crimea and Ukraine and China’s annexation of air space over Japan’s Senkaku/Daioyu Islands has so far been muted. It is interesting to contemplate how the West would handle the geopolitical and humanitarian challenges brought on by a colder climate’s shorter growing seasons and likely food shortages. Abundance is conducive to peace. However, a scenario where nations are desperately competing for available energy and food will bring unpredictable threats, far more testing than anything we have seen in recent history.It's true that security organisations are concerned about food supply in particular in a warming world with a growing population. But not because they imagine in their wildest dreams that there will be global cooling. The risk is that global warming will slow or even reverse trends in food production. Costs could go through the roof and supply could drop below demand in future decades.
I wonder if Maurice wrote the article himself. He restricts his reading (if he wrote this himself) to denier blogs. He even quotes Judith Curry's disinformation about "attention is moving away from the pause to the cooling since 2002" - which I've written about before. Here's a chart from last year, showing Judith Curry's so-called "cooling", in her denialist world where up is down and white is black:
Maurice tries to look all "edjucated" by finishing up with a quote from Voltaire:
Voltaire was right when he said: “Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy, the mad daughter of a wise mother. These daughters have too long dominated the Earth.” Indeed.That seems to be a quote from a collection of Voltaire's essays, "A Treatise on Toleration and other essays". It's about religion, reason and superstition. I found another quote from that collection:
We must cultivate the fruits of reason, the more willingly since it is now impossible to prevent them from developing.
Maurice wouldn't be such a laughing stock if he stuck to reason and science, instead of fantasising about global cooling.
From the WUWT comments
joelobryan opts for "CO2 is plant food" and says:
August 14, 2014 at 12:12 am
The old paradigm: “CO2 leads to catastrphic warming” points the way to the new paradigm: CO2 is good. It mitigates the cold and feeds the plants.
JJM Gommers rejects the greenhouse effect in favour of astrology (signs) says:
August 14, 2014 at 12:21 am
I expect this winter as a normal one but 2015 is critical, if there will be a small sign of dropping temperatures I will take my precautions which I have in mind. This expected cooling I take for real.
brent offers WUWT deniers a link to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald, mocking Maurice Newman, and says:
August 14, 2014 at 12:28 am
Climate change measures like ‘primitive civilisations offering up sacrifices to appease the gods’, says Maurice Newman
But he fears the “political establishment” is deaf to risks of global cooling because “having made science a religion, it bravely persists with its global warming narrative, ignoring at its peril and ours, the clear warnings being given by Mother Nature”.
Nick Stokes tries to bring WUWT back to the real world and says:
August 14, 2014 at 12:46 am
“If Newman is right…”
Well, that would require that David Archibald is right. I suspect WUWT’s senior scientific adviser would say, don’t bet on it. And you’d think the Oz Gov’t might be cautious after his 2008 submission to Parliament (Summary):
“2008 is the tenth anniversary of the recent peak on global temperature in 1998. The world has been cooling at 0.06 degrees per annum since then. My prediction is that this rate of cooling will accelerate to 0.2 degrees per annum following the month of solar minimum sometime in 2009.”
That would put us now about 1.6°C down since 1998.
Ex-expat Colin says:
August 14, 2014 at 1:26 am
The risk analysis should be in both directions – too hot/too cold. The money is clearly on too hot. I have mentioned the incidence of severe cooling on a number of websites, but it never raises a direct response.
Rarely you may see a comment similar to, ” I’d rather die too hot than freezing”, And thats it? The truth is that preparation for cold, as with common severe weather, is/has been seriously neglected.
Fairly cool/wet (13C) here in the W. England. Think the Bertha turmoil turned UK weather on its head. Prepared? Nope.
Too cold vs too hot for comfort
It seems to me that people who live in cold climates fear cold more than heat. People who are experiencing never-before-seen heat waves recognise the dangers of heat. I've lived through a seriously cold winter in Canada when the temperature dropped to 40 below zero. I can see how cold can be a killer. However, where I live, staying warm in cold weather isn't hard. The temperature rarely drops below minus four or five degrees. Even if the power goes out we can put on an extra jumper and, if needs be, light a fire to boil water for the hot water bottle. When the temperature soars above 45°C for days on end and doesn't drop below 32°C at night, that's when it saps your energy and can be a killer. If the power goes out the only respite is to go down and have a dip in the river or run a