Two more books, on an important union, and on climate change

This essay is a discussion about two books, widely different in their story. Each was given to me by its author, a friend. They are both excellent accounts, and I recommend them to readers. The first, by Dr John O’Brien, is about a trade union, the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU). O’Brien is an academic who was also an office-bearer in the NTEU. The second is about climate change, and was written by a geologist, Dr Howard Brady, who has some distinctions which flowed from his work, notably about the past climate history of Antarctica.

O’Brien’s book, National Tertiary Education Union. A Most Unlikely Union, is at its heart an account of the birth and first couple of decades of the union. There was no NTEU when I was a young academic. I was a member of the local staff association, and it was affiliated with the Federation of Australian University Staff Associations (FAUSA). As a young professor at Macquarie in the early 1970s I thought I ought to be active in the staff association, and found myself elected as Vice-President. Almost at once I had to deal with a difficult matter. In one part of the university a woman academic, of a certain age, discovered that those more senior to her were acting to have her moved into retirement. She had no wish to do this at all. It was claimed that she was a poor teacher. She said that was news to her. I had to go and discuss the issue with the vice-chancellor, a nice man, who plainly thought I must be out of my mind representing her, me a professor and the head of another discipline. He was not encouraging. I went back to the executive and suggested that we get a lot of student testimonials to the woman’s teaching ability. That was easier said than done, but we got a few, and we sent a message around to all staff saying what was being proposed, without mentioning names or disciplines. In the end, after some agitation, she kept her place, and left the university when she reached retiring age. I had no help from her faculty thereafter, whatever it was that I was suggesting. People in universities have long memories.

None of this would be any surprise to John O’Brien. Nor would he have been surprised at one of the  sequels. At an end-of-year drinks in Sydney I chanced to be telling this story to Ken Buckley, a civil libertarian and coincidentally one of the founders of the staff association at Sydney University. He gave me some useful advice. ‘Don, three in four of those whom we take up the cudgels for are more or less dodgy. But you have to do your best for them. Otherwise, the place would be a shambles.’ Eric Fry, who taught me history at UNE, wrote a thesis in unions in Victoria in the 19th century. He showed that in some places it was the bosses who set up the union. If you had a thousand workers, you needed to have a small group to talk to. At the University of Canberra I had a thousand staff. If there hadn’t been a union I would have set about organising one.

John O’Brien was one of the thousand at UC. He was a strong unionist with persistence and patience, and a somewhat acerbic sense of humour. Those qualities shine through his book. In retrospect that the NTEU came to exist at all was, to understate it, rather surprising. There were so many previous groups, and not simply those in higher education, so many different goals, so many warring personalities. I knew a few of the leading ones quite well, and appreciated O’Brien’s tact and restraint in writing about what happened. The NTEU was pushed into life by the reform agenda of John Dawkins in the late 1980s, the ramifications of which almost demanded a single and powerful national union. Twenty-five years later, it is as though it has always been there. O’Brien’s book comes with references, a list of the leading actors and a decent index. If unions interest you, this book is an absorbing read. Oh, and while academics may see the NTEU as a great big octopus-like national union, O’Brien shows that it is fact quite small, though it seems to be most effective within the ACTU.

An absorbing read is also a good description of Howard Brady’s Mirrors and Mazes. A guide through the climate change debate. Sceptics about the approaching doom from global warming will find much of Brady’s book familiar. Indeed, much of its message is in my Perspective of Climate Change on this website. But it took me several years to be able to set it all down, for I am not a laboratory scientist. Brady, however, is, and he has more than a hundred references to back up his much richer take on the debate. The mirrors, I presume, are those than confuse the seeker after truth as he or she goes through the maze of the debate. Wherever you go you’ll find confident statements by apparently sensible scientists that can hardly be more than speculation. Yet they are put forward by the media as statements of complete truth. I hardly bother with them any more. There is a religious sound to them, and I am reminded of the ‘end of the world’ sketch in Beyond the Fringe. The last few moments of the sketch go like this:

Jon: Shall we compose ourselves, then?
Peter : Good plan, Brother Pithy. Prepare for the End of the World! Fifteen seconds…
Alan : Have we got the tinned food?
Dudley : Yes.
Peter : Ten seconds…
Jon : And the tin-opener?
Dudley : Yes.
Peter : Five – four – three – two – one – Zero!
Omnes : (Chanting) Now is the end – Perish The World!
A pause.

Peter :It was GMT, wasn’t it?
Jon : Yes.
Peter : Well, it’s not quite the conflagration I’d been banking on. Never mind, lads, same time tomorrow… we must get a winner one day.

Brady has a fascinating penultimate chapter where he lists the latest IPCC Report’s Summary for Policy Makers in 2014. He lists the claims therein, and gives them a score as to their accuracy. He starts with a number of statements that he says are true or probably true, but they turn out to apply to all or most previous warming periods. Then come a larger number of statements which he scores as either ‘Speculation’ or simply ‘False’. Some were clear to me when I was writing about that IPCC report some time ago, but Brady’s nailing of these statements is precise and destructive.

How many readers, I wonder, will recall this statement: Multiple lines of evidence indicate a strong, consistent, almost linear relationship between cumulative carbon dioxide levels and projected global temperature levels to the year 2100…

I do, for one, and the opening words reappear again and again in the statements of ‘climate experts’ both before and after the Fifth Report. I’m pretty sure Michael Mann used the phrase ‘multiple lines of evidence’ earlier still, after Steve McIntyre had disembowelled the hockey-stick paper. The multiple lines turned out to be chaps quoting other chaps quoting themselves back, or using similar if not identical methodologies. This is what Brady has to say.

False. There has not been a linear relationship between carbon dioxide and temperature levels since 1860, as there have been 70 years of pauses in slightly over 150 years. Therefore, there is not a linear relationship at all.

Here’s another: There is high confidence from many studies showing negative rather than positive climate impacts on crop yields…

Brady: False. There has been a greening of the globe in many areas due to higher carbon dioxide levels and, in general, world-wide agricultural production per unit area has soared due to improved technology.

There are pages of this, and the wonder is that no one in Parliament or the media has pointed to the sheer discrepancy between what is claimed in the SPM and what is actually the case.

Like many others, Brady calls at the end for the restructuring of the IPCC. He wonders also how this awful travesty, in which science has become the plaything of the environmental movement and politicians keen to win power, will affect the public respect for science that was so pronounced half a century ago. Already there is an unease throughout the academic world about peer review, the unreproducibility of experiments and the fatuity of much published research. Climate science is not necessarily the cause of this unease, but it is perhaps the best example of it.

89 Comments

  • Doug Hurst says:

    Agree all Don’s comments wrt Howard Brady’s excellent book. It is thoroughly researched, concise and written in a simple, convincing and entertaining way. As Don says, it’s a pity our political masters don’t read and inwardly digest it, and other books of similar quality. By doing so they could not only save tax payers a fortune by cancelling pointless projects, but could also help reverse today’s serious drift away from facts-based science.

  • Nga says:

    Claim: Multiple lines of evidence indicate a strong, consistent, almost linear relationship between cumulative carbon dioxide levels and projected global temperature levels to the year 2100

    Howard Brady’s verdict:

    “False. There has not been a linear relationship between carbon dioxide and temperature levels since 1860, as there have been 70 years of pauses in slightly over 150 years. Therefore, there is not a linear relationship at all.”

    If you look at the SPM AR5 emission and temp graphs, Brady is clearly being disingenuous. Also note how he says “there is not a linear relationship at all” when SPM AR5 only claimed an ” almost linear relationship”.

    The relationship is continuing, as per Tamino’s graphs showing temp trend here, which you can compare with emission graphs: https://tamino.wordpress.com/2016/12/05/climate-denial-from-david-rose -the-gift-that-keeps-on-giving/#more-9064

    The denialists, like Jo Nova, are now frantically baking conspiracy theories to explain how the data isn’t real. ( As an aside, when Jo Nova’s prediction of hyperinflation didn’t come to pass, she claimed the government was part of a conspiracy to tamper with the CPI)

    Brady — snip — his second claim. Of course, those of us with long memories know Brady has form …

    • Ross Handsaker says:

      I notice Grant Foster (Tamino) has drawn a straight line in the RSS graph of land only temperature anomalies from 1980 through to 2016 and this shows a continuing warming trend. May I suggest that if we draw a graph with your height each year, starting at birth through to your current age and draw a line from beginning to end, it will show you continue to grow taller!

      • Nga says:

        Ross H:

        Grant Foster (Tamino) writes books on statistics. Do you understand stats? Can you explain, in statistical terms, what error Tamino made? Obviously not. I recall the old poor old timer, Aert Driessen, telling us that CO2 couldn’t possibly cause warming because “CO2 comprises only 400 ppm (0.04%) of atmosphere!”. * Snip —

        * see here: http://donaitkin.com/there-are-two-debates-about-climate-change/

      • dlb says:

        Sorry Ross, according to Tamino your height has increased since you were seventeen. The reason you think it has paused is pure autocorrelation of measurements 🙂

    • Doug Hurst says:

      I don’t know you, Nga, but I do know Howard and I know quite a bit about the climate debate. So far, in numerous discussions with him and having read his book, I have found him to be very well informed, in a scientific and general sense, and completely logical in his conclusions.

      He is also well mannered and happy to conduct debate in a civil and reasoned way – something I suggest you try in the future as your behaviour very tiresome for those of us interested only in the debate and who appreciate the opportunity Don’ blog provides to do so..

      • Nga says:

        Doug

        Where is the evidence that Don wants a “civil and reasoned” debate? Right from the outset, Don uses pejorative terms like “climate botherer” and “alarmist” to describe anyone who disagrees with him. Don happily engages in ad hominem abuse of mainstream scientists, for example Michael Mann (who, in the denialist universe, fulfills the role of Emmanuel Goldstein) and invokes conspiracy theories when the facts don’t suit, for instance Don’s claim the the AEMO doctored its report on the SA Blackout on behalf of big wind.

        I also note how yourself and Don appear unfazed by the stream of abusive comments made by Don’s fanbois, like Bryan Roberts, Neville and Spangled Drongo.

        I’m glad you think Howard Brady is a jolly nice chap but that does not exonerate him from the charge of writing a crook book.

  • JimboR says:

    “The multiple lines turned out to be chaps quoting other chaps quoting themselves back, or using similar if not identical methodologies.”

    The pot really is calling the kettle black there. Don, Howard Brady struggles with this stuff almost as much as you do.

    https://www.crikey.com.au/2011/07/27/csiro-says-sea-level-claims-from- oz-expert-are-dead-in-the-water/

    • Nga says:

      Yep, Howard Brady is 75 or 76 years old, a former Catholic priest, hasn’t published anything ever on climate science in science literature and his one claim to fame is that he made a right turkey of himself on climate change.

      And chaps with chaps and chicks with chaps and chicks who look like chaps reminds me of the Nova-Aitkin-Watts-Monckton-Spencer dragon slayer Austrian hyperinflation “Shame and Scandal” family on the other side of town: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaNet22vHiQ

      • spangled drongo says:

        That’s the way, enge luv, get out the meat cleaver and give him a right good seein’ to. Anyone that was a former Catholic priest couldn’t possibly understand climate could they?

        Your “science” is breath taking.

        Brady is perfectly right when he talks about SLR:

        “Climate change researcher Howard Brady, at Macquarie University, said yesterday the recent research meant sea levels rises accepted by the CSIRO were “already dead in the water as having no sound basis in probability”‘.

        CSIRO’s SLR “expurts” Church and White, use adjusted satellite altimetry for their well known SLR “data” and that has proved itself to be well wide of the mark unless all other data is similarly “adjusted”.

        In a tectonically stable part of the world like Sydney’s Fort Denison there has been virtually no SLR for the last century.

        In Brisbane’s Moreton Bay [also tectonically very stable] king tides are lower [certainly no higher] now than they were 70 years ago.

        If SLR is happening, no one on the east coast of Australia has ever been able to physically demonstrate where and by how much.

        Whereas I know many people in the small ship repair business who would kill for some SLR as well as others who have been in the sea front infrastructure business all their lives who simply say there is nothing happening.

        But until we are capable of doing a thorough geodetic audit of the world’s tide gauges, alarmists can make all the wild claims they like and always find some “science” to back them up.

        But just go easy on the meat cleaver.

        Especially with us old blokes.

      • Alan Gould says:

        That’s the spirit, NGA,
        Straight to the ad hominem; the spiteful kid in the playground, there’s always one.

      • JimboR says:

        “Yep, Howard Brady is 75 or 76 years old, a former Catholic priest”

        My favourite high school physics teacher was (is) a Catholic priest. Once you got over the fact that your physics teacher was a guy in a frock, you discovered he was an excellent teacher. Brady lost all credibility with his contribution to that sea level spat. CSIRO and Phil Watson from the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage were doing real science, complete with all its contradictory data. Brady’s spurious claims simply demonstrated he was completely out of his league…. hmm… where have I seen that before from a retired academic?

        • Nga says:

          JimboR, I don’t really care about the priest part but I thought I’d throw it in to watch the ensuing frenzy! I’m a dedicated atheist but my husband and I give money every month to a Catholic charity in Viet Nam because we know they do great work. At the end of the day, it is deeds that count.

      • PeterD says:

        Hullo Nga,

        Tongue in cheek, perhaps, you introduce age/religious constraints to contaminate Howard Brady’s capacity to contribute to scientific discussion around climate change. In this way, his book is glibly dismissed but the links between contemporary Catholic thinking on climate change have arisen in earlier postings on this site.

        Present Catholic views on climate change focus on the “right of the environment” and a moral exhortation for countries to stop abusing it. In an address to the UN General Assembly in September 2015, the Pope referred to “a selfish and boundless thirst for power and material prosperity” that causes untold suffering for the poor who “are cast off by society.” He also urged action on drug trafficking, armed conflict, terrorism, education, inequality, and corruption.

        Some might consider this a tad rich, coming from a church which has harboured untold sexual abuse in its ranks, opposed contraception in countries where there is poverty and over-population, is unable to implement transparent international accounting practices within its medieval structures, adopts hierarchical and sexist practices which are antithetical to the gospel values it proclaims.

        The punchline in the song you refer to comes from the mother who encourages her son because “Your daddy ain’t your daddy, but your daddy don’t know.”

        So what then might one expect Howard Brady to argue about papal exhortations on climate change? To hear the punchline, go to:

         https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1ZT2Yfnifs

  • JimboR says:

    And while it’s true that Howard Brady can’t be held responsible for inaccurate titles awarded to him by The Australian, Macquarie University’s responses are worth a read too:

    http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s3282940.htm

    • Ross says:

      Great links, NGA and JimboR.
      Pretty much lays out how the whole ‘skeptik’ web blog, circle jerk, operates.
      Cheers.

    • Ross says:

      Actually Jimbos posts were great. Sorry Nga. A little abstract for me.

    • dlb says:

      Media Watch — Professor Lesley Hughes, Head of Department of Biological Science, Macquarie University, 28th July, 2011
      “My colleagues and I were concerned to see Dr Brady referred to as “a climate change researcher at Macquarie University” in The Australian’s article, as he is a retired palaeontologist.”

      A bit rich from Hughes who is not a climate scientist but an ecologist, and an outspoken councillor of the “Australian Climate Council”
      And we mustn’t forget Tim Flannery, also a palaeontologist, Climate Council Head and authority on all things climate.

      Oh the hypocrisy!

    • JimboR says:

      Well I think the salient point there is “at Macquarie University”. What Brady chooses to research in the privacy of his own bedroom, or even at his local beaches on the south coast, is entirely his business. But one thing for sure is he’s not “a climate change researcher at Macquarie University”. You’d hope Macquarie University would be the final arbiter on the truthfulness of that statement, but their attempts to correct The Australian’s article were ignored, conclusion: get your news from a more reliable source.

      Brady did bring the story to The Australian’s attention, and I guess we’ll never know for sure how he actually introduced himself, but given The Australian’s track record, I’m more than happy to give Brady the benefit of the doubt on this one. I’m sure he’d much rather be debating his amateur analysis of linear relationships and sea level rises than whether or not he’s a climate researcher at Macquarie University. No doubt Don would feel equally exposed if The Australian started quoting his musings on the topic and attributing them to Don Aitkin, climate researcher at Canberra University.

  • Neville says:

    Well it seems the kiddies never learn. The very latest SL studies confirm what Brady said was the case. The latest 2016 Dutch study shows that the globe’s coastal land area has increased over the last 30 years. So no SLR to be found in this study at all and certainly no impact from increases in co2 emissions either.
    I have heaps of recent PR studies that also disprove bogus dangerous SL claims.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/08/30/earths-surface-gaining-coastal- land-area-despite-sea-level-rise/

    Even the NOAA tide gauge records show no difference in today’s trends for global SLR than we’ve seen over the previous 100 years. And as I’ve shown before ( from their ABC) SLs around OZ were 1.5 metres higher just 4,000 years ago. Here’s the data showing Sydney trend is now just 0.65 mm a year and Brisbane just 0.09mm a year. IOW ZIP.

    https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_global_station.htm  ?stnid=680-140

    • Ross says:

      Really Neville…”heaps of stuff!”
      Recycled from wattsupwiththat via Brietbart? Or does it get lower?

      • Neville says:

        Ross, Anthony Watts provides a direct link to the study. Can’t you read? You seem to have the comprehension skills of Obama’s top science adviser . Later I might link to Pielke jnr’s put down of Holdren’s stupid response to his ( Pielke’s) accurate report to the US senate inquiry.
        Laughable but true.

    • Nga says:

      Nev,

      As always, you are being deceptive. Sea Level Rise varies from place to place. You’ve cherry picked a NOAA record to hoodwink us into thinking the rate of change is stable but here is what NOAA actually says:

      “The pace of global sea level rise almost doubled from 1.7 mm/year throughout most of the twentieth century to 3.2 mm/year since 1993.” https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-ch ange-global-sea-level

      Donchyts et al. 2016, which is Watts cites in your first link, tells us coastal and is currently increasing. But as you’ve already been told, that is countries like China and Dubai are throwing tens of billions of dollars into massive earthwork projects. Only an idiot would call that good news.

      Meanwhile Miami, Florida, much of which is built on reclaimed land, is sinking back into the goo …. www. rsmas.miami. edu/blog/ 2014/10/03/sea-level-rise-in-miami/

      • Neville says:

        Nga you are wrong AGAIN. Most of the recent GLOBAL SLR studies show at most about 1.5mm to 2 mm a year. That’s about 6 to 8 inches per century. ZIP difference to the previous 100 years. Many other studies show a lot less like these studies and my previous links .And yes some land areas are sinking but that has got nothing to do with SLR.

        http://www.co2science.org/articles/V19/jan/a23.php

        http://www.co2science.org/articles/V17/dec/a9.php

        • Nga says:

          Neville:

          “Nga you are wrong AGAIN. Most of the recent GLOBAL SLR studies show at most about 1.5mm to 2 mm a year. “

          Your links do not validate your claim. One of your links pertains only to India and another is a revision based on a newly proposed alternate method of assessing SLR. It is obviously poor form to jump on a new or newish paper with a “proposed alternate method of assessing X” as being somehow definitive. It is, however, a common denialist tactic.

          Instead of engaging in a mature way with the science, all you do is go to one of half a dozen or so denier websites, pick up a link and drop it here, often with great slabs of text. It might take at most two minutes of your time. Even a dog could be trained to do that. You show no evidence of having engaged with or understood the scientific debate. Before focussing on the climate change debate, I often debated vaccine denialists and GMO denialists. You AGW denialists are so similar to them you can only be separated with a crowbar.

          • spangled drongo says:

            “Instead of engaging in a mature way with the science”

            Don’t be so pathetic, enge luv.

            Why don’t you come clean and admit that almost the only way you “engage in a mature way with the science” is by straight out ad hom.

            You don’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to SLR.

            But it IS nice you donate to a catholic charity.

            And try to alibi yourself by telling us about it.

        • Nga says:

          Dear sweet Neville (I’m trying to be nice to keep Don happy):

          I’ve now done some further checking. The first of your two links appears in an obscure and largely unread Saudi Arabian journal and is written by “Parker” and Ollier. Apparently “Parker” is a AGW skeptic who also goes by at least one other name, “Alberto Boretti”. He has no qualifications related to climate science and has spent years shopping his articles around to low ranking journals. In a paper published in 2012, Parker/Boretti listed an AFR journalist who he had never met as a co-author! Parker/Boretti also references “papers” that are in fact nothing more than guest posts that have appeared on WUWT! https://tamino.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/making-up-stuff/

          Neville, when you cited Parker/Boretti’s paper as evidence to “prove” the NOAA is incompetent, did you know that he uses at least two different names and engages in a range of bizarre and deceptive deceptive practices? How should we assess your competence in light of this fresh evidence?

    • NH says:

      The Fort Denison tide gauge is not particularly reliable over the whole of its life. Fort Denison is an island therefore no precise levelling connection was possible. Trigonometric heighting was used instead.
      Precise knowledge of the vertical movement of the tide gauge didn’t exist before GPS was installed 10 years ago. Even that doesn’t really solve the problem. Nobody knows why the gauge was placed on an island.
      Port Kembla acoustic tide gauge shows 3.6mm/year rise since 1992. The gauge is connected to Permanent Marks by precise levelling.

  • dasher says:

    Thanks Don just ordered the book by Brady…looking forward to a summer read.

    cheers

    Dasher

  • Neville says:

    Here are all the models SLR graphs for Antarctica and Greenland from the Royal Society until 2300. These two areas hold 99% of all land based ice on the planet. You’ll note that Antarctica (89%) is negative for SLR for the next 300 years and Greenland holding just 10% of LB ice is positive. If you trust their models this rather stuffs up the theory of dangerous SLR for a very long time.

    http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/roypta/364/1844/1709/F4 .large.jpg

    Also the 2014 Jevreieva et al study found no recent acceleration in global mean SLR at all. In fact the latest trend was slightly lower.

    http://www.co2science.org/articles/V17/N20/C1.php

    • Nga says:

      Neville, you must have a very low IQ. Let me quote from NOAA:

      “Sea level rise at specific locations may be more or less than the global average due to local factors such as land subsidence from natural processes and withdrawal of groundwater and fossil fuels, changes in regional ocean currents, and whether the land is still rebounding from the compressive weight of Ice Age glaciers. “

      http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/sealevel.html

      Do Greenland and Antarctica have glaciers? Do you understand the meaning of the word “rebound”? Do you understand the importance of the other factors cited, like regional ocean currents?

      Neville also says: “Also the 2014 Jevreieva et al study found no recent acceleration in global mean SLR at all. In fact the latest trend was slightly lower.”

      So what? Jevreieva (more commonly spelled Jevrejeva) is an outlier and its method has been critiqued. I can show you outlier papers that say carrots cause cancer (probably because of the beta-carotene). I can show you other ones that tell us tomatoes cause cancer. If you cherry pick papers from the tens of millions that get published every year you can find anything you like. That’s what denialists do. That is what greenies who oppose genetically engineered food crops do. Any clown can play the denialist game.

      ps. Jevrejeva isn’t a denialist. Sux doesn’t it 🙁

      • spangled drongo says:

        ” Any clown can play the denialist game.”

        Instead of playing that silly game as you do, enge luv, try a little science for a change.

        Try making your own observations at highest astronomical tides as I have been doing all my life.

        You will find that in years to come the light will begin to dawn on you.

        You will achieve enormous satisfaction from this knowledge whereas all you have now is a head full of confusion.

        And denial.

        • Ross says:

          As I remember you gave all your ‘life’s work’ to some scientists, Drongo. You observed that the oceans were doing the exact opposite of what even sceptics accept is happening (ie: The worlds sea levels are falling not rising. The accepted science says the opposite)
          Any feedback from those scientists? Have they published anything? How did they explain it? Can I read it somewhere?

  • Peter Kemmis says:

    I just completed a quick as hominem score for the 14 comments so far:
    NGA – 4
    JimboR -1
    Neville – 0.5 + 0.5

    Interesting comparison.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Does Brady discuss satellite data?

    I have read Tony Eggleton’s excellent book – “A Short INtroduction to Climate Change” (Cambridge UP, 2013).

    Eggleton notes that a satellite measured a “distinct decrease in the amount of heat leaving the Earth … The increased greenhouse effect of incresed CO2 over those 36 years is observational fact, not theory” (p56).

    Hos does Brady deal with this element.

      • Chris Warren says:

        This is consistent with the existing satellite data for top of troposphere for north polar region.

        What height does this graph represent? What are the latitudes?

        At lower heights temps rise, at greater heights temps fall.

        At a particular height it may look like there is no reduction of radiation but this is not representative of the system.

    • Ross Handsaker says:

      Book titled, The Inconvenient Skeptic – The Comprehensive Guide to the Earth’s Climate – by John Kehr, copyright 2011, has a different interpretation about outward long-wave radiation (OLR) leaving the top of the atmosphere. The author points out (basic radiation rule) that as the Earth has warmed over the past 30 years the amount of energy escaping to space has also increased. More importantly, Earth has been losing an additional 2 W/m2 of energy to space since 2002 (until date of publication) (page 250). This energy is lost forever.
      Earth’s average temperature fluctuates nearly 4degC each year but more energy is currently being received from the Sun in January yet the the peak average temperature is in July. This is due to the different geography in the northern and southern hemispheres. The monthly fluctuation in OLR matches the the monthly change in the Earth’s average temperature.
      The author covers radiative heat transfer in detail and includes a chapter on the anomalies in the Kiehl, Trenberth Earth’s energy budget.
      Not recommended for people with closed minds!

  • Neville says:

    Here are two more recent global studies that show very little recent SLR. First 2014 Woppelmann et al that shows a rise of 1.5 mm per year or about 6 inches per century.

    http://www.co2science.org/articles/V17/dec/a9.php

    Even the 2011 Church, White (CSIRO) and others study found just 1.8 to 2 mm a year trend in global SLR. That’s still just 8 inches SLR per 100 years. Still no change in trend when compared to the last 100 years. And no measurable impact from increased co2 emissions at all.

    http://www.co2science.org/articles/V15/N1/C1.php

  • Neville says:

    Another couple of SL studies . First the 2016 Hansen et al study that finds no AGW impact.

    http://www.bioone.org/doi/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-15A-00004.1

    And the 2016 Palanisamy et al study that also finds no AGW signal.

    https://tel.archives-ouvertes.fr/tel-01317607/

  • Alan Gould says:

    Don,
    My thanks for those two book reviews. I shall copy your snippet from the splendid ‘Beyond The Fringe’ Armageddon. One needs it at hand for our alarmist epoch whose pathos is that it feels good to feel bad about yourself and humanity.

  • JimboR says:

    While we’re on the topic of recommended summer reading lists, I recommend:

    “The Earth as a Cradle for Life. The Origin, Evolution and Future of the Environment” by Frank Stacey and Jane Hodgkinson

    He’s a geophysicist and she’s a geologist, and neither are shy about their contrarian views on many scientific topics.

    http://www.worldscientific.com/worldscibooks/10.1142/8807

    • spangled drongo says:

      Jimbo, what’s got into you?

      Next thing you’ll become a sceptic:

      “Misunderstandings about the environment are common, even in the scientific community. They arise in part from the multi-disciplinary nature of the subject and the difficulty in keeping all relevant observations in mind and assessing their validity. These misunderstandings are often consequences of the band-wagon effect: when an idea is reinforced by repeated quotation and becomes difficult to contradict even when it is in obvious conflict with observations.”

    • JimboR says:

      Yes, as I say, neither are shy about their contrarian views, and they both have a resource engineering background (Hodgkinson more than Stacey perhaps). It has quite a lot more meat on the bones than anything you’ll get out of Brady. I highly recommend it.

  • Malcolm says:

    This is fundamentally an argument about cause and effect, and the principles were thrashed out in the 1960s in the debate about smoking causing lung cancer. Bradford Hill’s 1965 paper in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine set out the sort of criteria you need to meet to separate cause-and-effect on the one hand from mere statistical association on the other. Some of us actually lecture to postgraduate students on these principles and have a pretty good understanding of them. When you apply these principles to the relationship between global temperature and a change of carbon dioxide from 0.03% to 0.04% in the atmosphere you don’t even get to first base in establishing a cause-and-effect relationship. For a start you need to exclude other causes of temperature change. We are talking about a fraction of a degree over about a century, and the idea that this is unprecedented in the earth’s history is simply ridiculous. The preindustrial data are grossly inaccurate at this level, and scientists have no idea at all why the earth has swung in and out of ice ages over the millennia. The natural causes of temperature variation are pretty damned potent, but very poorly understood. This remains a hypothesis which is interesting but completely unproven, and unlikely to be proven any time soon.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Many “climate scientists” claim that just before the turn of the present century, the oceans for some unknown reason started gobbling up all the extra warmth (theoretically) generated by rising levels of CO2. And there is some slight evidence of increased heat in the oceans. The latest paleoclimate proxy study (below) is therefore interesting. It found two things:

    “1). Ocean temperature changes over the last 200 years were “below the detection limit”. In other words there has been NO ocean warming at all in our times.

    2). Further back in the last 10,000 years there WERE times of rapid and substantial changes in ocean temperature. In other words, long before that wicked industrialization that Warmists hate, NATURAL changes in ocean temperatures did occur.

    So we have got a doubly whammy: There has been NO recent change in ocean temperature but even if there were, it could be all natural, and, as such, no proof of anything.”

    Rapid variations in deep ocean temperature detected in the Holocene

    Samantha C. Bova et al.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016GL071450/abstract

    Abstract

    The observational record of deep-ocean variability is short, which makes it difficult to attribute the recent rise in deep ocean temperatures to anthropogenic forcing. Here, we test a new proxy – the oxygen isotopic signature of individual benthic foraminifera – to detect rapid (i.e. monthly to decadal) variations in deep ocean temperature and salinity in the sedimentary record. We apply this technique at 1000?m water depth in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific during seven 200-year Holocene intervals. Variability in foraminifer ?18O over the past 200?years is below the detection limit, but ?18O signatures from two mid-Holocene intervals indicate temperature swings >2?°C within 200?years. More vigorous transport between the surface and deep ocean or stronger eddy variability than that observed in the historical record are potential explanations. Distinguishing externally forced climate trends in deep ocean properties from unforced variability should be possible with systematic analysis of suitable deep sea cores.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2016GL071450/abstract

  • David says:

    “False. There has not been a linear relationship between carbon dioxide and temperature levels since 1860, as there have been 70 years of pauses in slightly over 150 years. Therefore, there is not a linear relationship at all.”

    Don I am not sure what you think you are demonstrating. I presume some lame attempt to question the validity of the relationship between CO2 and temperature. Clearly, your understanding of statistical methods is getting worse!

    Just because you can observed, some peaks and troughs in temperatures it does not preclude the possibility of a strong linear relationship between CO2 and temperature.

    And for your benefit, if you want to evaluate the degree to which an explanatory variable (e.g. CO2) can explain the variation in the dependent variable (e.g. temp), it is customary to interpret the R-squared, not report some wistful count of the number of “pauses” you think you can observe in your data.

    To illustrate the absurdity of your number of “pauses” argument I could point to the fact that during the night, the temperature drops and during the day the temperature increases. Should I therefore conclude no linear relationship between CO2 and temperature?

    • Don Aitkin says:

      I’m not the author. Take it up with Brady. Even better buy his book, and write your own review. I’ll publish it here, if it’s any good.

      • Nga says:

        “I’m not the author. Take it up with Brady.”

        Take ownership of your actions, Don. You are the one who is pushing Brady’s musings as if they make some valuable contribution to our understanding of AGW. You also chose to highlight in this post a claim by Brady that is obviously false, as can be seen by comparing the temperature and anthropogenic CO2 trendlines or a cursory eyeballing of the graphs in the AR5 SPM.

        Now that I’ve read more of your blog, I see that whenever someone with a sophisticated understanding of statistics (like John Quiggin) or the science (like Dr Hunter) shows up, you make some excuse and do a runner. That’s one trend that has never paused or fluctuated, not since the very day you decided to foist your wisdom upon the world with this blog.

        “Even better buy his book, and write your own review.”

        Why would any sensible adult waste money buying a book like Brady’s? The available evidence (as previously discussed) suggests he is clueless and there are much more sophisticated and intelligent books written by people who actually work in the field.

        • Bryan Roberts says:

          Perhaps you should run a cursory eyeball over the BOM data for the Pacific Island Sea Level Monitoring Project, and see whether you can pick the rise.

          It is simply childish to assert that books criticising a field can only be written by “people who actually work in the field”. Books by such ‘authorities’ are written by the dozens every year, with no guarantee of their authority, or their sense, let alone their political position. You just choose to denigrate book(s) by people with whose opinions you do not happen to agree, and I am not aware that you are a published and reputable climate scientist. You’re apparently just an economics graduate, who probably isn’t qualified to be commenting on economics, let alone anything else, unless you acknowledge that other people have the same right.

          • Nga says:

            Bryan:

            “It is simply childish to assert that books criticising a field can only be written by “people who actually work in the field”.

            True enough. However we live in the Age of Dunning-Kruger, whereby everyone with an axe to grind and too much spare time on their hands thinks they can master a complex subject after a few consultations with Doctor Google. Amazon (and other outlets) now list thousands of amateurish books on vaccines, GMO, diet, so-called alternative medicine and climate that are utter crud. Folk with chips on their shoulders and causes to push (like our Don) buy them, read them, don’t understand them but recommend them because they satiate their prejudices and confirm their biases.

            The psychology behind of all of this post-modern anti-science New Ageism is absolutely fascinating. I imagine the psychology is not at all dissimilar from the one that led an armed man with conservative/libertarian politics to walk into a pizza joint and start letting off rounds because Doctor Google told him the Illuminati were abusing kiddies in the basement.

        • JimboR says:

          “Take ownership of your actions, Don.”

          Indeed, Don recently devoted an entire essay to quoting someone else’s work. The only original contribution was a bogus claim about modelling masquerading as experiments in the final paragraph. When a commenter took the time to highlight all the flaws in the work, Don berated him for being confused about whose work it was, and suggested he take it up with the author.

          It seems to be how the blogosphere works. It’s an orgy of cross-referenced, cross-quoted, re-paraphrased memes (discredited memes in the case of anti climate science blogs). When it’s all going smoothly you’ll see lots of “I’ve written about this myself”, but once somebody knowledgeable turns up with some facts it all turns to “Take it up with the author”.

          • Nga says:

            JimboR, if you want a good belly laugh, read this thread: http://donaitkin.com/is-sea-level-rise-a-problem/

            An actual scientist with expertise on SLR, Dr Hunter, turns up and points out that the “science” Don is pushing is nonsense. It is clear from the exchange that Don doesn’t understand the science, so Don hastily declines to discuss the scientific points raised by (the busy and extensively published) Dr Hunter because Don (although retired) is “too busy”. A few weeks later, when the coast is clear, Don writes a follow up post in which he says he was right all along! Of course, Don fails to give any reasons (apart from hand waving) and it is obvious that he still knows absolutely nothing about the subject.

          • spangled drongo says:

            As Don rightly says:

            “Surely the right approach is to show where he is wrong, not that he is not someone you respect.”

            That scientists can insult each other over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin when after years of data fiddling they clearly don’t know indicates to the ordinary person that can draw their own conclusions from their own observations of sea levels, the sort of respect this “science” deserves.

            That enge should go to the trouble she does to highlight this sad side of science speaks volumes about her philosophical desperation.

            Why don’t you just tell the truth, enge luv, and say there is considerable argument on SLR that varies between none and a tiny bit and the same with acceleration?

          • JimboR says:

            Thanks Nga, I’d missed that one, and you’re a better person than I am for going that far back in the archives. It’s a great example of what I meant when I said recently that knowledgeable people rarely hang around here. I think that’s a great shame, but I almost wonder whether Don considers it a great relief. I’m still uncertain whether Don is genuinely interested in the truth (as best we can know/predict it) or whether he’s just pushing an agenda. I desperately hope it’s the former, but the evidence keeps piling up for the latter.

            One paragraph from that exchange really stands out for me. It should be mandatory reading for all the “data is uncertain, so let’s just wait and see” skeptics:

            John Hunter: “So – I’m sure you know what needs to be done when you have a range of future possibilities, all of which have some policy implications – you do a risk assessment, based on what you know….. What you most certainly shouldn’t do when faced with prospects of an uncertain future is to suggest ….. that not much will happen and that we don’t need to worry about it – these are the guys who have “no grounds for such certainty”.”

          • Nga says:

            Thanks JimboR,

            I don’t think Don is being disingenuous or wilfully obtuse. As the Nobel prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman points out in Thinking, Slow and Fast and some other texts that are available online, human capacity for self-deception is virtually boundless. It is also a recurrent theme in science that old men who were important in their younger days spend their last couple of decades railing against new ideas and the work of younger scientists. Isaac Newton, for example, spent his latter years nursing grudges, engaging in feuds and delving into the occult and alchemy. More recently, the once great Linus Pauling spent his Golden Years pushing crank health theories and intimidating and abusing scientists who had produced scientific evidence on the existence of quasicrystals, which Pauling thought preposterous. Of course, Linus Pauling was wrong and the man who championed the quasicrystal theory went on to win a Nobel Prize (but not before he was fired from his job and demonised by obstreperous old men in much the same way as Michael Mann is demonised by today’s denialists).

            Of course, Don has never had any standing in science and he clearly lacks even a mastery of high school statistics, which puts him at a huge disadvantage, but in the Age of the Internet, and Professor Google,Don and hordes of other retired gentlemen have convinced themselves that they are in possession of some special insight into practically every field of scientific endeavour and that, of course, all those young scientists and fancy science academies and such like are doing it all wrong! I think this can best be understood as a matter of personal psychology, including the unsettling feeling of irrelevance that many of us experience after retirement. I deal with my own experience by planting trees, it is a pity more don’t do likewise!

          • spangled drongo says:

            Like a broken record, enge can’t let go of the ad hom when it comes to any opinion contrary to her own. Especially if it’s male.

            Let’s see what you can do with this bloke, enge luv:

            Prof Peter Ridd sums up the bed wetting, sandwich board wearing “scientists” whose newly discovered groupthink is spread about as established knowledge:

            http://www.heraldsun.com.au/blogs/andrew-bolt/ridd-on-reef-dont-trust- alarmists/news-story/da65fb7bac61af3677e171dafe072a1f

            Why are rational people sceptical, I wonder?

          • JimboR says:

            “Of course, Don has never had any standing in science and he clearly lacks even a mastery of high school statistics”

            Incredibly, Don used to teach statistics at a tertiary level. Several of us have struggled with that dichotomy and Don’s been unwilling to shed any further light.

        • Bryan Roberts says:

          It’s wonderful how much of this ‘criticism’ gets referred back to unrefereed (and mostly just opinion) articles in ‘The Conversation’, a left-wing echo chamber, if ever there was one.

        • David says:

          “…..make some excuse and do a runner. ”

          You have got that right Nga.

      • PeterD says:

        Hullo Don,

        I’ll draw a tenuous link between the two books you discuss.

        Whether you’re dealing with conflict, tensions and different perceptions about the role of unions or views around climate change, people tend to fall into entrenched positions in my view.

        Conflict between management and employees over salary/conditions etc is being played out with public sector unions in the ACT at the moment. As one who arrived at UC in your final two years as VC, I saw a level of engagement and communication between senior management and the NTEU that was uncommon. In a courteous and strong debate with the NTEU General Secretary at the time, you posed the question of why negotiations always tend to be about advances in salary rather than conditions of employment. The paradigm always seems to be an inexorable, sometimes inflated demand for wage increases, threats of strikes etc rather than on other aspects such as flexible time etc. Many women working in the public sector may place a greater priority on these areas, especially if they have children in childcare etc. The other side of the coin, of course, is how Minister Michalia Cash, for instance, pumps up conditions and salaries for senior executive staff so they can cultivate a more acquiescent work force. Ironically, the PS head salaries sometimes far exceed MPs’ salaries.

        On the second book, Nga says he knows ‘Brady has form’ and in turn another commentator refers to Nga as ‘spiteful’; jimboR uses the pejorative phrase ‘struggles with this stuff. There are of course some positive postings that engage in differences in interpreting the scientific data but generally there are well defined, almost predictable positions, coupled with more heat and less light.

        As one who is almost clueless about science and mathematics, even I am still familiar with the expression that one needs to go back the text etc in literature etc. and strip away the emotional heat. Scientific methodology is much more clearly grounded in the data especially when it is quantitative. The role of groups such as the IPCC will always engender legitimate and contrasting views/criticism etc.

        In Howard Brady’s case it means checking out what he has written:

        His book: http://www.mirrorsandmazes.com.au
        .or
        Complementary or supplementary Tube Talks at: YouTube –Howard T Brady;
        https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIvachS4m3oaxRjnUCp4wig

        Interpretations need to be grounded in the evidence, data, the text(in literature) rather than in crude assaults on people’s reputations, or views.

        • Don Aitkin says:

          Thank you, Peter. I am reminded also that, after the first awful enterprise bargaining round in the early 1990s, I decided that we would simply let the ANU do all the arm-wrestling thereafter. Whatever the outcome, UC would match it. That worked very well. The union people were delighted, and when I pointed out that the consequence had to be a slowdown in recruitment, they were unworried. The people-still-to-be-recruited were not members of the NTEU, but the salary increases would go to members. I thought that a short-sighted position at the time. Now I think it was appropriate. And it saved us all a lot of angst and energy.

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      There may well have been a monotonic rise in CO2 levels, but there is no ‘average’ global temperature against which it could be plotted. Indeed, the whole concept is absurd.

  • margaret says:

    Science and mathematics at Higher Ed level are both awe inspiring and inaccessible to so many of us. If Philosophy was taught in Primary schools ‘knowledge’ could be cracked wide open and the light would illuminate learning in all fields allowing very young minds to think critically and not (as the current education system tends to do) rigidly define their thought processes.
    I had a lecturer at UC when it was CCAE. His name was Pat Brady and the course was Philosophical Perspectives in Education. I still feel an enthusiasm about his tutorials.
    The other fantastic lecturer was at Canberra TAFE – Peter someone. The course was Australian Social Structure. I’ve benefited personally from those rather than anything that might have earned me a huge amount of money but left me without the desire for lifelong learning. It, along with planting trees and ensuring my grandkids love books keeps retirement interesting.
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tippling/2016/11/25/teach-philosophy-to-h eal-our-post-truth-society-says-irish-president/?

  • Neville says:

    The Jevrejeva et al 2008 study of SLR seems to show higher trends during some of the earlier periods. This study looks at SLR from 1700 to 2000. They find the higher trend during the first half of the 20th century 1990 to 1950 and a lower trend for 1950 to 2000. This backs up the Le Clercq et al world glacier study that found that after 1950 there was a slowing of glacier retreat.

    But some of the graphs in the Jevrejeva study seem to show higher trends for SLR in the earlier years ( before 1900) than the later trends for the last 35 years of the 20th century. Yet this isn’t reflected in the summary. Here is their quote about the higher trend up to 1950.

    12] “The fastest sea level rise during the 20th century was
    between 1920–50 and appears to be a combination of
    peaking of the 60–65 years cycle with a period of low
    volcanic activity [Jevrejeva et al., 2006; Church and White,
    2006]. Moreover, estimates of the melting glacier contribution
    to sea level is 4.5 cm for the period 1900–2000 with
    the largest input of 2.5 cm during 1910–1950 [Oerlemans
    et al., 2007], supporting an increasing role of the mass
    component in sea level rise over the thermosteric component,
    and provides an additional explanation of fastest sea
    level rise during the first half”

    But the 2016 study with satellite photos showing an increase in coastal land around the world over the last 30 years must have priority over any of these previous studies. Here is the above 2008 study and check out the graphs showing higher trends in the earlier years.

    http://www.psmsl.org/products/reconstructions/2008GL033611.pdf

  • Nga says:

    We’ve been over this before, Neville. Jevrejeva et al’s anomolous findings are an artifact of a novel methodology that has been roundly and soundly criticised. Even a trained dog can fetch papers with anomalous findings from the tens of millions of papers that now infest the internet. It proves nothing.

    The Donchyts et al. 2016 satellite photos show a net increase in coastal land because of the massive and hugely expensive coastal earthworks undertaken by oil rich Dubai and land-poor China. Spending a few trillion dollars on earthworks to thwart any major sea level rise doesn’t sound very enticing to me. It probably sounds even less enticing to poor countries with extensive low lying coastal areas. In fact, even rich Miami, Florida is currently in a pickle over sea level rise. (And please do not insult our intellects by linking to Dorothy the florist’s latest flooding in Miami article which you’ve no doubt seen on WUWT).

  • Neville says:

    Nga, stop clutching at straws. There was a higher trend in the early 20th century compared to the 1950 to 2000 period that’s supposed to be impacted by much higher co2 emissions. And we see a reduced trend in the world glacier study that agrees with this SL study. You must be joking.

    • Nga says:

      Neville:

      Your assertion does not make it so. Here is an amusing tidbit for you, Don relied on a study by Phil Watson (a study pertaining to several Australian tidal gauges) to cast doubt on an acceleration in global sea level rise when he wrote this article in 2013. Instead of doing any proper research, Don cherry picked the Watson study, which had been widely and breathlessly discussed (and misrepresented according to Watson’s employer) in denialist circles.

      In a more recent 2016 paper, Watson says:

      “The vast body of contemporary climate change science is largely underpinned by the premise of a measured acceleration from anthropogenic forcings evident in key climate change proxies—greenhouse gas emissions, temperature, and mean sea level. By virtue, over recent years, the issue of whether or not there is a measurable acceleration in global mean sea level has resulted in fierce, widespread professional, social, and political debate. Attempts to measure acceleration in global mean sea level (GMSL) have often used comparatively crude analysis techniques providing little temporal instruction on these key questions. This work proposes improved techniques to measure real-time velocity and acceleration based on five GMSL reconstructions spanning the time frame from 1807 to 2014 with substantially improved temporal resolution. While this analysis highlights key differences between the respective reconstructions, there is now more robust, convincing evidence of recent acceleration in the trend of GMSL.”

      Source: PJ Watson “A new perspective on global mean sea level (GMSL) acceleration”, GRL
      DOI: 10.1002/2016GL069653

      Whether you like it or not, Neville, the preponderance of scientific evidence, including satelite data, tells us that global sea level rise is accelerating. This is the mainstream view within that particular field of scientific endeavour, it is well evidenced by many papers, the papers that suggest otherwise have errors that have been identified and discussed (or are written by scoundrels who are weird, incompetent and/or dishonest like Morner and Parker/Boretti) and the vast bulk of relevant institutions, like the NOAA are in agreement.

      • Bryan Roberts says:

        You still haven’t had a look at the BOM data, have you? Tuvalu is not, and never will be, under water.

      • Bryan Roberts says:

        Since I’m bored, how about a game of ‘what ifs’.

        If I’m wealthy, and forego some proportion of my wealth to ‘protect’ other people’s great grandchildren, what’s in it for me? Or my great grandchildren? Are they going to be treated better? Fat chance.

        If I’m poor, I don’t give a shit anyway. My life won’t improve, nor will that of my great grandchildren.

        Nga, enjoy your delusions. You might find more productive occupations than planting trees.

      • Bryan Roberts says:

        Oh, and I’m teaching university level courses at the age of74.

        You’re planting trees.

        LMAO

      • spangled drongo says:

        “Whether you like it or not, Neville, the preponderance of scientific evidence, including satelite data, tells us that global sea level rise is accelerating. This is the mainstream view within that particular field of scientific endeavour, it is well evidenced by many papers”

        The “satellite data” has errors that exceed the signal.

        This is a graph from IPCC AR5

        https://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2014/01/sea-level.jpg

        This agrees with my own lifetime of highest astronomical tide observations and says that in 1946 SLs were higher than today.

        Would you like to meet me at the Cleveland Lighthouse at the next HAT, enge, and I can show you where the 1946 – 1953 HATs came to in an tectonically stable part of the world?

  • Don Aitkin says:

    On sea-level rise. I also went back to my essay on that subject (one of several), and repeat a sentence from its opening paragraph: ‘I thought six years ago, and still think, that the data just don’t have the accuracy that would support almost any statement about sea levels, other than we have a lot still to learn.’ Anyone who reads the discussion here will find people swapping alternative sources or disagreeing about what a particular article really means. I stick to my doubt expressed above. As in so many aspects of ‘climate change’ we simply don’t have enough good data, over enough time, to be confident about anything to do with trends in seal-level rise. People tend to choose the papers that support their position, whatever it is.

    Yes, John Hunter did a good hatchet job on the Moerner/Parker paper. But one paper does not demolish a lifetime’s work on the part of Moerner. He does cop a lot of flak, partly because he was one of the authorities in the field when he was younger — and he has found no evidence of SLR in the Maldives. If he’s wrong, people need to show how and why, not just ignore him with derision.

    • Nga says:

      Don says:

      If he’s [Nils-Axel Mörner] wrong, people need to show how and why, not just ignore him with derision.

      Folk have already explained why and how Nils-Axel Mörner is wrong. Dr John Hunter gave some examples and offered to explain to you further why Nils-Axel Mörner was wrong but you bailed out of the conversation almost as soon as it begun, citing time pressures. I found that intriguing, given that you must by now have spent well over 1,000 hours on the AGW topic. You had the almost unique gift of a well published and respected researcher turning up to give you some one on one tuition but you chose to cut and run. But before doing so you admitted that your research and knowledge base was shallow and it was abundantly clear that you had not the slightest ability to debate Dr Hunter. Your tone could fairly be described as obsequious: “I am embarrassed and grateful in equal measure that you [Dr Hunter] wrote such a long post. I have not gone into the field in anything like such detail, and I will now have to do so!” You also made the following startling admission: ” I came across Moerner years ago, and assumed that his field work was sound.” OK, you did not have the technical expertise to have so much as a vague clue as to whether Nils-Axel Mörner’s work was sound (meaning the mainstream scienttists had it all wrong) yet you chose to assume he was correct. You demonstrate the same level of reasoning as the forlorn anti-vaxxers I sometimes encounter on Disqus, who frequently champion Andrew Wakefield.

      I also note how your interaction with Dr Hunter invalidated your earlier bravado:

      “The more I read the more unhappy I felt. While global warming was not a field in which I had any competence, years of reading scientific papers and assessing scientists’ requests for money for research had given me some capacity to interrogate argument and inspect data. In any case, there wasn’t much abstruse science in the global warming issue. A bit of radiative physics, a bit of solar physics, a lot of data of various kinds, large GCMs — global circulation models — and a good deal of extrapolation.”

      A short while after Dr Hunter departed you wrote another post in which (to the surprise of no-one) you declared yourself absolutely right but fail to write anything that shows you have any genuine understanding of the science or issues. It was obvious that if Dr Hunter had given you any more of his time you still would not have been able to ” interrogate argument and inspect data” in any meaningful way.

      You also avoided answering Dr Hunter’s question, which was:

      ” I spend some of my time advising policymakers and planners on the vertical height that they should allow for future sea-level rise. From now until 2100, I’d allow around 0.8 metre, based on projections which are generally accepted by climate scientists, and on information about local tides and storm surges (I say “around” and there is a regional component to this, so please don’t quote me as saying that “the height allowance should be 0.8 metres”).
      Now, from you reading of Morner and Parker (2013), and everything else that you have read on the subject, what would you suggest as a height allowance for sea-level rise from now until 2100?”

      I think this little episode tells us much.

  • Don Aitkin says:

    Those interested may enjoy Howard Brady’s YouTube talks, like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTAsfUNDIv8

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