Thursday, August 14, 2014

Sack Australia's biggest laughing stock, Maurice Newman! His denier wackiness is resurrected at WUWT

Sou | 7:17 PM Go to the first of 95 comments. Add a comment

This year, April, May and June were each the hottest April (tied), May and June on record according to NOAA. You'd not credit it if you believed the nonsense from science deniers.

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 cold luke warm bath. Or spend as much time as you can in shopping malls or the public library if there are any nearby. Not conducive to getting any work done. (Nor recommended if bushfires are heading your way.)


  1. Chart says 'David Archer prediction'.

    And 'Australia's biggest laughing stock'? With Abbott, Abetz, Brandis, Hockey, Pyne and Hunt in contention? That's a big call!...

    1. Yeah, I guess so, Bill. How about "Australia's biggest laughing stock today".

      Some of the people you mentioned are strong contenders, but IMO others sit a fair way behind. Eg Joe Hockey makes gigantic gaffes and is still wet behind the ears but he's not in the same league as Maurice Newman. Greg Hunt isn't in the same league either. Tony Abbott isn't what I'd call a laughing stock. I place him in a different category altogether. An inept leader and a potentially dangerous politician if he could get more of his retrograde policies through parliament.

    2. Oh, and thanks, bill. I've replaced the "oops" chart. David Archibald is no David Archer.

  2. The Nick Stokes quote is most telling: that would make Newman extraordinarily stupid even by the standards of climate change deniers.

  3. The "year without a summer" was caused by the Tambora eruption in 1815. It didn't happen because of the Dalton Minimum.

    1. I'm reliably informed (the Daily Mail) that it was in fact caused by the smoke rising from the field of Waterloo.

    2. I have no idea why you said that. Care to explain?

  4. One thing that's clear is just how insulated this gang of mates is from normal society. They make the most jaw-dropping of statements and then, as stunned silence descends on the room, ask "What?" in actual bafflement.

    (The story about Abbott's daughter and the grant could have legs even if The Australian and Fairfax try to bury it. It's often not the big issues that do for a government but a little thing that snowballs.)

  5. Any interest in http://joannenova.com.au/2014/08/how-the-media-distort-the-news-lesson-1-lies-by-omission/

    1. That depressingly hilarious.
      If the world does indeed move into a cooling period, its citizens are ill-prepared.
      Yes, what if? Let's prepare ourselves for every possible eventuality, however unlikely, apart from the one that evidence suggests is most likely to actually happen.

    2. and what if the atmosphere all turned to custard suddenly, what then? WHAT THEN????

    3. Actually, aren't we prepared for that one? The great custard scare of the 1980s?

    4. Who's Maurice Newman to tell us one climate's worse than another, eh? A lot of people would like things a bit cooler.

  6. Oh, FFS. I can't believe that Watts was even stupid enough to publish this crap. The LHC stuff up is hilarious. Though, I do have to say, that if you look at the AGE/SMH comments there wasn't one person (as at 5PM AEST when I last looked) who spotted this whis is a rather sad indictment of those commentators.


  7. Take a look at gridwatch for UK
    Note how the power drops by 10GW approx. every summer. Add air conditioners to the summer and there will not be this reduction.
    It is very possible to live cold (Houses and clothing are easy and cheap to insulate). I would defy anyone to live in hot without consuming power for cooling.

  8. It looks to me like the "stuff up" was misidentifying CERN’s Proton Synchrotron accelerator as the LHC...


    1. Leaping from that experiment in a cloud chamber to claims about actual cloud formation is the real stuff-up, along with paying no attention to actual cosmic rays and actual clouds. The gibberings of an ignoramus.

    2. Cugel, the paper compares their results to actual clouds. They find the results in the lab don't explain low-level clouds, and promise future research -- which is the paper from the same group that Sou cited.

      In other words, they published an interesting negative result.

    3. From the CERN press release: "The CLOUD results show that a few kilometres up in the atmosphere sulphuric acid and water vapour can rapidly form clusters, and that cosmic rays enhance the formation rate by up to ten-fold or more."

      I'm struggling to see how that's a negative result.

    4. MLM, it has not been demonstrated that they are capable of seeding clouds in any significant way that could affect climate, a necessity of the hypothesis.



      lets not turn this into a zombie myth. it's dead.


    5. http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/08/the-cerncloud-results-are-surprisingly-interesting/

    6. My read through of cabc's iopscience papers and john byatt's realclimate link lead me to conclude that the science is far from settled in this area (i.e. it ain't dead when all is said and done). The comments from Jeff Pierce on the realclimate link are particularly interesting.

    7. I don't know what you mean by "settled" or "this area". If you are referring to what influence, if any, cosmic rays may have on cloud formation or nucleation, then it's far from settled, it's the subject of active research.

      If you mean that cosmic rays could be the main cause of global warming, then "no" again. They aren't. The main cause of the current global warming is the huge and rapid rise in atmospheric CO2. That much *is* settled.

    8. Well, apart from the facts that Svensmark has nothing to do with CERN, was never a part of the CLOUD experiment, and the results were clearly published without any problems, I suppose that only stuff up was misidentifying the accelerator...

      Too bad that the experiment that Svensmark was involved with was the SKY experiment which was conducted in Denmark (just down the road from Geneva I hear...) in the institute he is a director of and got published without problems. Hey just an innoncent mistake or a case of complete shoddy and/or dishonest research by Newman.

      Look, the main point is that the Australian didn't even try to do the slightest quality control on the complete crap/lies that Newman was spouting. Sure, the opinions editor may not be up to date on everything but they have other editors (Env editor Lloyd for a start) who could give it the once over and advise on its "quality". They didn't even try.


    9. far from settled? every paper that has looked into this has come to the same conclusion: no, cosmic rays are not behind the warming trend. DEAD.

    10. MLM, you did not Pierce's comment that there has been no trend in GCR's, no? Quite interesting, that, and you maybe should consider what that means for the effect of GCR's on the temperature trend. Hint: you will get the same as Svensmark once did: you need to remove an underlying trendline (which happens to be the trend ascribed to greenhouse gas forcing) to get any correlation between temperature and GCR's.

  9. LOL. So I guess experiments in the lab that happen to support your viewpoint are perfect for making sweeping generalizations, but otherwise we should ignore them and pay attention to reality.

    1. Nothing in the CERN results suggest that minor changes in GCRs are greatly amplified to the extent necessary to cause climate-scale changes. Coupled with the fact that there's no long-term change in GCRs anyway and Svenmark's claims aren't in the least bit supported by the CERN results.

      So what we do ignore are people making up experimental results that aren't actually results of the experiment.

      On the other hand, it appears that the CERN results may bear on the still-interesting problem of cloud nucleation. That's a different question ...

  10. "attention is moving away from the pause to the cooling since 2002"

    Temp trends as per SkS trend calculator for 2002.0 to 2013.5

    GIS - -0.016 ±0.194 °C/decade (2σ)
    NOAA - -0.039 ±0.176 °C/decade (2σ)
    HadCRUT4 - -0.045 ±0.175 °C/decade (2σ)
    RSS - -0.076 ±0.318 °C/decade (2σ)

    I can't imagine why she thinks there's a cooling trend.
    Its just typical of these deniers to think the real world data matters when they should be concentrating on what the models are telling us.

    1. speaking of real world data, temp trends from 2011 to present are almost 0.5 c per decade


    2. seems like the models vastly underestimated the warming!


    3. Yes, I fully agree Anon. An 18yr trend where there's been no statistically significant warming isn't anywhere near long enough to draw any firm conclusions whereas a three year trend that moves in the right direction tells us all we need to know.

      Now let's get back to making fun of those foolish deniers.

    4. Your irony detector is broken.

    5. itsme,

      I can see you are being ironic, but trying to pick a 10 year trend in climate data?

      Compare the trend to the magnitude of the error estimates eg 0.016 compared to 0.194

    6. Harry,

      I wasn't trying to pick a trend or even assert there was a trend. I was merely pointing out that Curry's mention of a cooling between 2002 and mid 2013 wasn't as completely bonkers as Sou suggested.

    7. itsme,

      Suggestion of a cooling trend between 2002-2013 is completely bonkers.

    8. But, but...the data shows there was a cooling in that period. Does the data matter?

    9. No itsme, that data does *not* show a cooling trend. The confidence intervals (the +/- bits) in those numbers are *important*. What they tell you is that you *cannot* say - one way or another - that there is *any* trend, warming or cooling, based on that data.

    10. oh, so now we're all concerned about the confidence intervals? Funny you didn't mention them when you said "temp trends from 2011 to present are almost 0.5 c per decade". I guess confidence intervals are only used when they're, um.... useful.

      The point remains. Its not completely bonkers to want to talk about the indications of a cooling trend since 2002.

    11. Completely bonkers? Maybe not, but only if you live in the upside down world of deniersville where hot is cold, up is down and white is black. To the other 97%, it seems at least as bonkers as forgetting so quickly that cabc was poking fun at deniers.

      Meanwhile, the red herring is being dragged into the discussion to avoid the fact that Maurice Newman, who heads up some PM's business advisory group, is calling on David "funny sunny" Archibald who predicts Earth is going to plunge into a catastrophic ice age in the next six years, with a sudden drop in global temp of 2C. That is completely and utterly bonkers.

    12. Well you raised the (red herring) Curry. I was merely observing that her observations were based on the data. Stamp your feet as much as you like, but its was colder in mid 2013 (when she made her comments)than it was in 2002 and the data shows a (statistically insignificant) cooling trend.

      As to Newman, he is referring to Archibald's latest book. Even if he's aware of Archibald's silly 2008 prediction/projection/scenario, there's no indication that he accepts it. He's talking about a potential climate approaching that of the LIA which is far less of a cooling than 2c.

    13. The red herring I referred to was your silliness in making numerous comments trying to argue the dumb denierism that "it's cooling". It's not.

      Judith Curry is just another disinformer. For Maurice to call on her nonsense is as consistent with his denial as him calling on David Archibald.

      I raised Judith's nonsense claim deliberately. I've even written an article about it as you would have seen if you'd followed the links.

      You are acting like just another utter nutter to think that David Archibald is in any way credible when it comes to climate. Only a short while ago he was reiterating his claim of a 2C drop in global surface temperature by around 2020.



      Oh, and there is every indication that Maurice is promoting the "ice age cometh" meme. Even just mentioning David Archibald in the same article as climate shows that. I wouldn't be surprised if they are acquainted and Maurice is doing a promo for David's stupid book.

    14. "I was merely pointing out that Curry's mention of a cooling between 2002 and mid 2013 wasn't as completely bonkers as Sou suggested."

      It *is* bonkers (note that I do not think Curry actually claimed it is cooling). With that broad confidence interval, there's about 40% of the trend values that could be positive, and 60% of the trend values that could be negative.

    15. Oh yeah, it is *completely* bonkers. 40:60??? I know where I'd put my money on that bet.

    16. How about 97 to 3. Where do you stand on those odds? (*Smiles sweetly*)

      You walked into that one.

    17. “No answer!” came the stern reply. :(

    18. There is an extended period that (1) shows there was a probable cooling in the relevant period that was (2) not anticipated. That is worth examining and discussing. Or it is in that part of the world that hasn't closed its mind to any possibility that we don't fully understand the climate.

      But to the science-is-settled brigade, any data that shows the science isn't settled is (1) to be ignored and (2) sthu denier.

      Sou, nowhere did I suggest that I "think that David Archibald is in any way credible when it comes to climate". Indeed I characterised his predictions as "silly". Just because I don't agree with 100% or even 97% of what you say doesn't mean I disagree with everything you say. There are shades of grey you know (50 of them I'm told!).

    19. Bullshit. Look at the data. The planet is certainly not cooling. Try the period 1880 to 2013 and tell me that an ice age cometh. Just because you dress your denial up and claim that you only reject *some* mainstream science and *most* of the data, doesn't mean that your opinion is worth a damn. It's not. I'll take science over denial any day.


      BTW, why did you change your handle?

    20. Wow, Sou, get a grip. No-one's saying the planet's been cooling since 1880 - well no-one I know anyway. And nowhere have I said I think an ice age is coming. And I haven't rejected "*most* of the data". Indeed I've been pointing at the data and others have sought to reject it. Just making scatter-gun assertions deriding things I neither said nor think is rather silly, I'm sure you'll agree (when you calm down).

      Curry made very specific observations about very specific data about a very specific period. That's it.

    21. Give it a rest.

      Judith claimed that "attention is moving away from the pause to the cooling since 2002". Except there hasn't been any "cooling since 2002".

      Even just looking at the surface temperature and neglecting the warming oceans and melting ice, 2010 and 2005 were the hottest years on record according to NOAA.


      According to GISTemp, there have been three hotter years since 2002.

      Deniers are weird at the best of times. They don't just deny science, they want to deny their denial.

      Wait for "it's been cooling since 2010".

    22. itsme (and mlm a little bit),

      First of all, the datasets are only looking at the atmosphere and the sea surface temperatures. That ignores most of the heat, with the deeper ocean continuing to warm in that same ten year period.

      Second, enjoy playing around with the Skeptical Science trend calculator:
      Take 2003 to 2014. Suddenly GISTEMP has a positive trend, and so does the HADCRUT4 hybrid (Cowtan&Way's correction for coverage issues). Perhaps most hilariously, UAH has the highest positive trend.
      This shows how extremely sensitive the analysis is for your choice of start and end year, in particular for the short term. So, when MLM puts his money on the "60%" to claim it is cooling by taking 2002-2013, he would have lost money for the 10-year period starting one year later (2003-2014) on several of the datasets. You can actually quite easily find several 10-year periods from 1880-2014 that show a flat or negative trend. The Skeptical Science Escalator shows an example of several overlapping negative/flat trends, where the combined data over the whole period (starting around 1970) is very, very clearly positive (and significantly so).

    23. On a personal level, I'm waiting for the "it's now June and it's been cooling since February in the Southern Hemisphere" and the "it's been cooling since sunset globally".
      Both observations would satisfy and extend the Curry Criteria (registered trademark?) of really, really, no really very specific data about a really, truly really, very specifically specific period.
      That's it, really, meteorologically speaking or, in this case, writing.

    24. It's not 60:40 a cooling trend: when you look back to find a negative central estimate you're almost certain to find one. The confidence intervals one normally calculates don't take into account cherry-picking.

    25. MLM:

      "Oh yeah, it is *completely* bonkers. 40:60??? I know where I'd put my money on that bet."

      Really? Would you put every penny you own on that bet?

      Didn't think so.

      How about 50% of your assets? What is YOUR confidence in this interval?

  11. Hi John Judy
    Earlier today on morning radio, I challenged the PM's controversial top business advisor Maurice Newman to get his facts straight.
    Yesterday Newman released a bizarre, inaccurate statement arguing the world is cooling.
    We cannot tolerate deliberate misinformation from people in such influential positions. Today I called for Newman to meet with a group of Australia’s top climate scientists immediately. Newman's position is untenable if he will not respect scientific expertise and facts.
    It’s time to hold Maurice Newman to account.
    Can you support this important challenge by sending the email below calling for Newman to meet with the nation's top experts?
    Thank you for your support
    Tim Flannery,
    Chief Councillor
    Here's a suggested email that you can add your name and comments to and forward on to Newman's Business Advisory Council:
    Dear Mr Maurice Newman AC,
    Given your position of authority and influence you have a particular responsibility to respect expertise and educate yourself on the facts about climate change.
    Your recent opinions published in the media are contrary to the findings of every major scientific and meteorological body on the planet, and ignore the reality that the Earth is getting hotter.
    The Australian public simply cannot have confidence in your role if you display such little regard for scientific fact.
    I urge you to accept Professor Tim Flannery's offer for the Business Advisory Council to be briefed by a group of our nation's top scientists on climate change and business risk.

  12. Listen Morrie let's cut to the chase and put your money where your mouth is. Let's do away with all this "my dick is bigger than your dick" stuff let's get the second's out of the ring and get the show on the road.

    I want to have a bet with you that you are a wrong and I want to financially prosper from your hopelessness.

    So tell me:
    • what is your criteria for validating your position - so we can set the wager?
    • what odds you are prepared to offer? and
    • tell me the limit on the amount of money you're prepared to wager
    that your view of the world will turn out to be the correct one?

  13. Sou, hi,

    This is OT for sure, but in light of all the wrestling we do with AGW deniers here, you might consider adding Science of Doom to your blogroll. He's just cornered one of his persistent deniers with a simple thought experiment:

    A Challenge for Bryan

    I won't spoil anything, but this challenge can be solved using two very simple equations. You can see the RECENT POSTS column there for the solution... and in the comments in the solution post you learn what Bryan's fate was :-)

    1. Oh, that was delightful. And I say that having discussed these matters with Bryan several times over the last few years.

      (Although 'discussed' isn't quite the right term when one party keeps sticking his fingers in his ears and singing "la la la" rather than engaging).

    2. By strange coincidence, I just solved a very similar thought experiment (originally posed by Dr. Roy Spencer to the Sky Dragon Slayers).

      I seem to have had even less success than SoD did with Bryan. (I'd also like to apologize on behalf of Bryans everywhere. We're not all like SoD's Bryan.)

    3. As far as I know the fact that CO2 and other greenhouse gas molecules have that property can only be explained by a quantum mechanical analysis of the vibrational modes and irradiation/radiation of this energy from these vibrational modes from these molecules. They are talking claptrap as O2 and N2 are totally transparent to IR even though they have vibrational modes. Bert

    4. That guy Pekka Pirala is a hoot. Originally I thought that he was a bit of a thorn in the side of SOD (the wacko lawyer with a bent for maths and physics), but when the chips are down in this clash with Bryan, he proves to be just one of the nutty pack of true believers. I should have guessed it from his avatar..... is it for real? :) :) sure fits in nicely with the science of doom.

    5. "I should have guessed it from his avatar..... is it for real?"

      Pure 100% distilled essence of ad hominem. Not one point made in the post about the topic.

    6. As an alumnus of CERN (Geneva, Switzerland) and Argonne National Laboratory, I'd say that Pekka Pirala is for real, and has forgotten more physics than you could ever hope to learn in a million years, Mack. That's if you ever decided to try your hand at a science course. I'm well aware you're dead set against what you'd regard as "fancy lernin' 'n edjukashun" not fitting for a rough diamond - or should I say lump of coal such as your good self. You've probably taken solemn oath to abide by the DK rules of the scientific illiterati.

      But why single him out?

      As AnOilMan said: "It’s nice to see SOD hauling these guys out into the light and demonstrating their lack of understanding.

      I think Anders nailed it when he said “we need a better class of skeptic”;

    7. By the way, Science of Doom isn't a "wacko lawyer". He has a PhD in geochemistry from Columbia University who, among other achievements, teaches science including climate science. He previously worked for ten years with NOAA's GFDL, modeling ocean chemistry.

    8. I know my comments would have been wasted on Mack because he wouldn't have a clue what CERN or Argonne or Columbia are, and would care even less. Mack's not just any old denier, he's one of the 8% Dismissives.

      They will mean something to other readers though.

    9. OK , well thank you Sou for outing Science of Doom. So it is Steven Carson. My apologies to Steven for mistaking him as a lawyer. Still, he's brought it down a little bit on his own head.as I've seen a few queries and speculations as to who Science of Doom could be.
      And Pekka...a very bright Finnish guy. Pity he's got taken in by this piece of crap science called the "greenhouse" effect though.

    10. Wrong again, Mack. I didn't "out" him. He is already known, and has been given awards for his blog. Even though you disdain science and learning, surely it's about time you taught yourself how to use search engines.


    11. "And Pekka...a very bright Finnish guy. Pity he's got taken in by this piece of crap science called the "greenhouse" effect though".

      Here's a thought Mack. As you are somebody who is coming over as being very dim and Pekka Pirala is very bright could it just be that you are wrong and there really is something called a greenhouse effect? The fact that you can't get your brain around it doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.

    12. "... to be just one of the nutty pack of true believers."

      Mack, and you are ...? What? You sound like a "true believer". Certainly not a real skeptic who can make a penetrating point.

      As you never make any point with any legs to it it is very hard to tell what you are. Do you really think that the greenhouse effect is "crap science"? Or do you just say it because you think it is funny to say something silly? If you do think it is "crap" then come up with a good reason why. And by good I mean not a cut-and-paste job from some anti-science website for the gullible.

    13. But its not just Pekka, its every single prestigious scientific body on this planet who have been 'taken in by the greenhouse effect'. So Mack actually thinks he is a better scientist than every leading scientist out there. We are in the presence of a towering intellect. Or a prick.

    14. Hey Mack, maybe you should read that SoD article that I linked to at the top of this sub-thread. In fact, the solution to the thought experiment that SoD posed to Bryan explains exactly why the greenhouse effect *has to be there*. It's not just some artefact of a so-called "piece of crap science".

      Oh, but of course... we've seen you waving around your ignorance on the subject like a badge of honour in a previous post. So why should we expect you to actually read anything for comprehension? You just dismiss the science out of hand anyway because it conflicts with your ideology. Pfft.

    15. Anyone who thinks engaging with Mack isn't a waste of time should browse for comments made eponymously, or by 'sunspot', or by his truly creepy incarnation as 'Karen', at Deltoid.

      We're talking pure troll here. With issues.

      And one of the ones where describing them as 'dumb as a bag of hammers' is an insult to hardware.

    16. OK, fair enough, you guys want to know why this "greenhouse" theory is crap? well here's the first thing....Your quack "greenhouse" theory, which is feed to all the kids starting from about 11 or 12 yrs of age at schools, states that the atmosphere surrounds the Earth like a blanket and stops it freezing to death. In other words, the ATMOSPHERE stops the oceans from becoming one frozen ball. The sheer lunacy of this concept is not registered in young receptive,innocent ears when delivered by the authoritative teacher. What you need is just one kid to stand up in class and say..."excuse me sir, wouldn't the SUN stop the oceans from freezing?' Isn't it the sun stupid?"
      And yes Millicent..."every single prestigious scientific body on this planet has been been taken in" by the "greenhouse" effect. A huge deceptive mistake of monumental proportions in the incoming solar radiation. ..the responsibility of Trenberth, a kiwi, I'm ashamed to say.
      All his looney Earth Energy Budget cartoons depicting your quack
      "greenhouse" theory show an incoming solar radiation of about 340w/sq.m. when in fact, the reality is , it is about 1360 w/sq.m.
      So you clowns need to harden the f. up and get real.

    17. Mack,

      255K or -18°C is the base temperature of the earth at its present distance from the sun (its black body temperature). The GHE adds 33K to this base, giving us 288K or +15°C. This is completely accepted physics. If the GHE did not increase the temperature of the earth to livable conditions, please explain what did. I’ll let Dr. Andrew Lacis of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies educate you about insolation.

      Andrew Lacis: What is it that determines the terrestrial climate and how it changes?

      The input solar energy to the climate system has been accurately measured over several decades. Its annual-mean value is 1360.8 W/m2 with an 11-year sunspot cycle variability by about 1 W/m2 (Kopp and Lean, 2011). This puts the global-mean incident solar energy at 340.2 W/m2. However, what actually defines the SW forcing (for a 0.3 global albedo) is the amount of solar energy that is absorbed by the climate system. This, for the sake of this discussion, we will take as being equal to 240 W/m2.


    18. Cloud point,
      2 points...firstly, that base temperature is some temperature (not real) calculated up by you from an imaginary Earth being regarded as a blackbody radiator. Reality is...the Earth is not a blackbody radiator. It has an absorptivity/emissivity of 0.82 which is a real and careful measurement of the hydrosphere,biosphere,lithosphere and cryosphere. It is not just 1 T.
      Secondly...Andrew Lacis, ( like all the rest) ,says "This puts the global-mean incident solar energy at 340.2 w/sq,m." No it doesn't cloudpoint.
      The 1360w/sq.m is a yearly global average, and is a bulk load which cannot be buggerised round with and divided down. You can't just pick one instant in time and say the Earth casts a shadow , therefore this and that are calculated. The sun shines over your head also at nightime when you deal with this average. Reality is , the 1360w/sq.m IS the incident solar radiation. It should be regarded as non-directional, covering the whole globe at the TOA.

    19. LOL! Not only is Mack a greenhouse denier, he's also a member of the flat earth society.

    20. And the reason every single prestigious scientific body on this planet cannot understand Mack's argument - which is on the level of a twelve year old - is?

    21. Well Marco, The president of the flat earth society, when interviewed, says he believes in AGW. So that puts you in good company.

    22. he he. Yep. Mack's a unidirectional perpetually solar facing flat earther, plus he must sleep through the night since he doesn't know that the sun doesn't shine 24-7. And he must live a long way from the polar regions.

    23. This is so funny. Thanks Mack: a demonstration that climate change deniers have the mentality of a small child is always fun to see. And every single prestigious scientific body on the planet cannot understand your argument because?

      btw: using capitals on IS doesnt make things any more ...erm... ISish. Its still gobshite. So its a flat earth or else the earth is a globe at the centre of the sun (which is a hollow shell). I will phone up the astronomers at once dear.

    24. OK Mack, I have to give it to you. You did not cut-and-paste this from some science denying website. You actually made it up yourself?

      This wouldn't be bad if it was someone's first attempt at testing the theory when they did not quite understand it and they were 10 years old. But you should now go to the next level and actually make an attempt to compare what you are thinking with the theory. And with reality while you are at it.

      BTW the earth IS a blackbody radiator. It is just not a perfect black body radiator. But I expect that was what you meant to say.

      (Wow, those capitalised ISes sure make my point more ISish!)

    25. Keep digging, Mack. Shenton also believes in evolution (gasp!), so there are *two* things he and I have in common about modern science.

      Of course, Shenton went as far as stating that climate change "is at least partially influenced by human industrialisation", which puts him in the same category as Richard Lindzen and Roy Spencer.

      The fact remains that you invoked a flat earth in your attempt to criticize greenhouse theory. That makes Shenton less(!!) fringe than you, which should make any sane person consider whether he really is out of his depth. Not you, apparently...

    26. No flat earth Marco. What part of "...non- directional, covering the whole GLOBE at the TOA" do you not understand?

    27. No point in talking to Mack directly, but I wonder if he's trying to argue that earth is round and the light from the sun bends around the round earth, so no part of earth is ever in darkness. It makes as much (non) sense as any other stab at a Mack-interpretation.

      I wonder how he explains the phases of the moon. Though given he's got rid of the inconvenient night on earth, then getting rid of the entire moon would pose no problem for him.

    28. "What part of "...non- directional, covering the whole GLOBE at the TOA" do you not understand?"

      Well Mack I did not understand "TOA". But I soon remedied that with a search and I now know:

      TOA , a fictional race of beings made by the Lego toy company.

      I guess they could be those climate elves that fix everything in the denialosphere.

      By the way I recommend the idea of searching to you as a good way of asking and answering questions when you want to study a subject.

    29. Don't worry now Sou, you can relax, You've got rid of me for the moment. Thanking you for allowing my comments. With a bit of luck I could stay out of the Hot Whoppery with further comments although I'll confess the Hot Woppings were beginning to grow on me.

    30. Nurse Ratchett is calling for you Mack?

    31. "I guess they could be those climate elves that fix everything in the denialosphere."

      I was beginning to think that that Climate Elves are necessary to Mack's "Theory of Impossibly Uniform Solar Insolation". They might be scooping up buckets of warmyness that are missing the planet and throwing it at the parts of the earth's surface that are not getting enough sunlight.

    32. Mach wrote.
      "Reality is , the 1360w/sq.m IS the incident solar radiation. It should be regarded as non-directional, covering the whole globe at the TOA."

      Your reality is only true if the entire earth was flat. But of course, we all know it isn't.

      To calculate the average solar insolation over the globe at TOA you MUST divide it by 4. This is where the 340W/m2 comes in. To calculate the energy received at the surface, you must then also multiply it by 0.7 as on average about 30% of the energy is reflected. This is the albedo. The end result is 240W/m2

      To remain at equilibrium, the earth must then dump this 240W/m2 into space. Otherwise it would either continue to cool until it was a lump of ice, or continue to heat until it fried.

      The calculation to determine the temperature at 240W/m2 is the Stefan-Boltzmann Law. It gives a temperature of -18C. Of course, if the earth's average temperature was -18C, it would be a giant block of ice. Since the earth is NOT a giant block of ice, something met be raising the temperature. The answer. The greenhouse effect.
      For information check this out.

      Of course, this is just the theory. What about the observations.

      Well, we have these neat things called satellites. They are able to measure the earth's radiance. And what do they observe. Yep, you guessed it. The greenhouse effect.

      You can see it for yourself here.

      But go on. Deny basic math, physics and observations. It sure is fun to watch. You might as well be denying that you have a nose on your face.

      (Is it just me, or do deniers seem to have an uncanny ability to make complete and utter fools of themselves? Are all deniers as stupid, witless and inept as Mack, or is he just a special case?)

    33. Mack (OK, I admit, maybe more meant for those who actually have a clue or actually want to learn), whether you use TOA or the earth's surface makes little difference (the radius increase by much less than a %).

      For those who don't understand what Mack doesns't understand, it is two things:
      1) at any point in time about half of the earth does not receive any sunlight, and
      2) the earth's curvature means that the solar irradation is distributed over a larger area as we go further away from the point that is directly facing the sun. A few pictures to visualize are here:

      For those who enjoy equations, see:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Insolation and look at the section on distribution

      In other words, if the total solar irradiance is x Joules per square meter, the irradiance falling on the earth's surface is not this same x Joules per square meter. At any point in time half the earth gets none, the rest gets an amount depending on the latitude and the time-of-day, and only for a very tiny part of the earth it is x Joules per square meter (I ignore albedo for a moment).

      Or, most simply expressed here:
      "Because the radiation hits the Earth at an angle, and not at all at night, the average global power density is 342 W/m2 at the top of the atmosphere. This is one quarter of 1366 W/m2, since the area of a sphere is four times the area of its circular shadow."

      You can visualize this yourself as follows: take a tennisball and measure its diameter. Cut a piece of thin paper into a square with the sides the same size as this measured diameter. Now wrap the paper onto the tennisball and see how much area it covers. It should be about one quarter. The paper is the incoming energy of the sun per unit area. Et voilà, an explanation why the so-called TSI of around 1366 W/m2 translates to about 342 W/m2 irradiance on the earth.

      Note that this TSI depends on the distance from the sun. So, while in principle all planets have an average distribution that is 1/4 of the incoming TSI, the amount is not the same, because TSI is a function of the distance from the sun (which also means that TSI is not constant over a year, since the distance from the sun is not constant over a year) - we're talking average values here).

    34. Sou, this has to be one of the funniest threads. I have a question - can you put something in the Hot Whoppery without deleting? Specifically, Mack's post that starts with "Cloud point, 2 points" is absolutely hilarious. The idea that the Earth has no night because it's flat or light bends or who knows what...really, this is classic material. You can't make that up! Mack didn't get so out of whack as to have his comments deleted, but that specific comment merits being doubly preserved.

    35. "Is it just me, or do deniers seem to have an uncanny ability to make complete and utter fools of themselves? Are all deniers as stupid..."

      What makes this such a gem is that is way beyond merely stupid. OK, so Mack can't get his head around some basic physics/geometry that is around the 12 year old level: that is most certainly stupid. But what makes this so far out there is that he actually thinks that this trivial crap is misunderstood by every prestigious scientific body on the planet: he thinks he is cleverer than the combined wisdom of the Royal Society, the National Academy of Sciences, etc etc. Thats why I'd say he's really into Nurse Ratched territory.

    36. Mack cannot be as stupid as (s)he pretends to be. This is all a game (s)he's playing, surely?

      We are used to GH deniers, even to CO2 deniers, but geometry deniers???

    37. Mack cannot be as stupid as (s)he pretends to be. This is all a game (s)he's playing, surely?

      Oh yeah, it's a game all right. It's called:

      Climateball™ - The Only Losing Move is Not to Play


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