"System change is now inevitable. Either because we do something about it, or because we will be hit by climate change. '...

"We need to develop economic models that are fit for purpose. The current economic frameworks, the ones that dominate our governments, these frameworks... the current economic frameworks, the neoclassical, the market frameworks, can deal with small changes. It can tell you the difference, if a sock company puts up the price of socks, what the demand for socks will be. It cannot tell you about the sorts of system level changes we are talking about here. We would not use an understanding of laminar flow in fluid dynamics to understand turbulent flow. So why is it we are using marginal economics, small incremental change economics, to understand system level changes?"

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Alternate Universes

New Zealand Climate Scientists Admit To Faking Temperatures: The Actual Temps Show Little Warming Over Last 50 Years

The above cited articles do not show the revision to the temperature record in question.

Witness the massive revision to the record below:

Graph via Gareth Renowden

The definition of chutzpah used to be the fellow who murdered his parents and pled to the court for mercy on the grounds that he was an orphan. But now we have a new definition:
Spokesman for the joint temperature project, Richard Treadgold, Convenor of the CCG, said today: “We congratulate NIWA for producing their review of the NZ temperature record — more than a year after we challenged it — and we think it’s great that NIWA have produced a graph with full details behind it.

“But we note that, after 12 months of futile attempts to persuade the public, misleading answers to questions in the Parliament from ACT and reluctant but gradual capitulation from NIWA, their relentless defence of the old temperature series has simply evaporated. They’ve finally given in, but without our efforts the faulty graph would still be there.”

“The review is lengthy and full of detail, which we applaud, and it will take some time to examine. We won’t comment on scientific aspects of the 7SS until that has been done. However, we have some initial observations.

“Almost all of the 34 adjustments made by Dr Jim Salinger to the 7SS have been abandoned, along with his version of the comparative station methodology.

“NIWA is clearly not prepared to defend the adjustments exposed in Are we feeling warmer yet? But it took a court case to force them into a corner.

“NIWA makes the huge admission that New Zealand has experienced hardly any warming during the last half-century. For all their talk about warming, for all their rushed invention of the “Eleven-Station Series” to prove warming, this new series shows that no warming has occurred here since about 1960. Almost all the warming took place from 1940-60, when the IPCC says that the effect of CO2 concentrations was trivial. Indeed, global temperatures were falling during that period.

“The new temperature record shows no evidence of a connection with global warming. Since that’s the reason this tempest in a teacup has brewed in the first place, it should simmer down now.”

So, admittedly, I am trusting Gareth's graph here. On the other hand, these guys do not seem to be producing, amid all their self-congratulation, a picture of the old and the revised record.

The Republicans and similar parties elsewhere are behaving with regard to sustainability issues in a manner that appears to be insane.

But it is not entirely insane. It is, to a large extent, victimized. The bizarre attitudes are held by people who are the victims of organized bullshit, which although it isn't exactly criminal, it is far more unethical than many forms of criminal activity will ever be.

The whole world is at risk due to these brazen lies. The review of the New Zealand record produced no significant change whatsoever. Whether or not it was a waste of effort is an interesting question. But it's vicious and malign and deeply dishonest to call the result anything but a vindication.


Tom Curtis said...

Renowden's graph is just a direct reproduction of NIWA's graph, found here:

A close look at the graph shows the old series to have been colder in the 18th century and in 1998 and 2005, but warmer in some years in the 70's. That means that while the over all trend is the same, the new data shows a greater warming warming trend since the mid twentieth century than does the old data, contrary to claims of no warming since the 1960's. The difference in warming trends since the mid twentieth century between old and new data is probably not statistically significant.

Gareth said...

Tom's right. I took NIWA's graph and downsized it for the blog, is all. In every other respect MT is right on the money...

frank -- Decoding SwiftHack said...


"The NZ affair would probably also have died a death if it hadn't been picked up by the libertarian ACT Party, who are in NZ’s governing coalition."


"The bizarre attitudes are held by people who are the victims of organized bullshit, which although it isn't exactly criminal, it is far more unethical than many forms of criminal activity will ever be."

I for one don't feel much pity for those poor victimized politicians who spend taxpayers' money on nonsense regurgitation. Sorry, but I just don't.

-- frank

Gareth said...

Nor me, frank, nor me.

Adam said...

Every time I think I think deniers have reached the limit of black-is-white doublethink, they push the edge out another mile.

I would call it a lie, but it is pretty clear they believe it themselves, which is more appalling by far.

As to the clowns who swallow that bullshit and prate about it in the halls of government, damn them, too. They should f***ing well know better.

frank -- Decoding SwiftHack said...

Via Gareth: James Hansen is seriously considering suing the Obama administration and Congress.

As I commented over there:

It's a shame that many climate folks still think of Hansen as 'just another guy to write about', instead of actively helping him out, by providing him with money, manpower, gadgets, tips, etc.

-- frank

(word verification: "egosms")

Vinny Burgoo said...

frank-DSH, in your view how much 'money, manpower, gadgets, tips, etc.' could Hansen receive before he ceased being a proper scientist and crossed the line into becoming an advocate? Would that crossing matter? And would it matter where the 'money, manpower, gadgets, tips, etc.' came from?

(Word verification: 'dotte'. I can live with that.)

Vinny Burgoo said...

This is totally OT but totally jaw-dropping, so (I hope) totally OK. The UK's Met Office says that this December's average UK temperature is on-track to be 1.6 deg C below the previous December minimum.


Such a deep, deep plunge would surely be unprecedented in temperate regions?

Something wrong with the records?

(Or with my understanding?)

Michael Tobis said...

Coldest calendar-month in a series of 100 should occur about every 100/12 = 8.3 years.

Compare the amplitude to Moscow in July, 2.5 C above the record.

Consider also that temperature variability is normally higher in winter than in summer in temperate regions.

It's a notable event. I'm not proposing to write it off.

We need to know whether the proposed teleconnection to the melting Arctic is real and how it works.

I'm sitting this winter out in Texas so it's easy for me to say, but so far I don't see anything that unsettles the mainstream climate prognosis on a global scale. But if people in the UK and the northeast US start seeing big snows for a few decades, that isn't going to help make the case for the scale of anthropogenic change.

King of the Road said...

I see that the thread has already gone a bit astray so:

"But if people in the UK and the northeast US start seeing big snows for a few decades, that isn't going to help make the case for the scale of anthropogenic change."

That's seems like an ambiguous comment to me. Do you mean that it would be an indication that the case was flawed? If so, would that not be a good thing?

Or do you mean that the though the case is still as valid as ever, making it has become more difficult?

Michael Tobis said...

Rob, if any particular latitude got consistently cooler in winter all the way around, that would be a big surprise.

But for particular regions to have more severe winters is not excluded, and I could make a case that it is actually to be expected. To my knowledge there is nothing in IPCC about this either way.

The point is that climate is beginning to shift. Cold zones have never been equitably distributed by longitude.

In particular the winter conditions of the north atlantic and arctic surface have changed and this could easily affect matters at a subcontinental scale, especially downwind.

But it's too complicated to emphasize the possibly maybes. And if the UK is in for a couple of decades of Montreal winters, any talk of "global warming" (always the wrong name in my opinion) will be met with some disdain.

frank -- Decoding SwiftHack said...

Vinny Burgoo:

"before he ceased being a proper scientist and crossed the line into becoming an advocate?"

Your questions are based on bullshit talking points and need no answer.

Anyway, I say again: those of us interested in policy based on science (and not on garbage) should actively help out Hansen, and not merely write about him.

Myself, the least I can do is to send Hansen whatever scraps of information which may be useful to him. And that's what I intend to do.

-- frank

Michael Tobis said...

Stoat handles the recent snow events very nicely.

Roger said...

In the absence of the late lamented Steven Goddard, we present a proper critique of the NIWA reanalysis here.

Vinny Burgoo said...

frank-DSH: 'Your questions are based on bullshit talking points and need no answer.'

What's the origin of this 'talking points' put-down? It first appeared on climate blogs about a year ago and quickly became the ultimate mega-weapon, something to which there was (assumed to be) no possible response. Ooooh noo! I've used a talking point, therefore I must be wrong.

Where did it come from? Some TV show? A transmission from Planet Hansen? Planet Obama? A fast-spreading meme like this had to have had a big boost from a big-name proponent or originator. Does anyone know who it might have been?

Michael Tobis said...

Tone it down, guys...

frank -- Decoding SwiftHack said...

Yawn, Vinny Burgoo. What you're saying is essentially this:

'Scientists can't be advocates! It's true! I heard it on the Internet!'

(Actually, I don't know where that meme ("I heard it on the Internet") came from. Perhaps it's part of the Phantom Soviet Mind Control Programme which I've unknowingly participated in? Yeah, that has to be it.)

More seriously, you aren't really thinking for yourself if you don't actually, um, think. And obviously you believe that 'scientists can't be advocates' without thinking whether that's actually true. Because, for me, I see reason whatsoever that scientists (of any field) shouldn't advocate for science-based policy making.

-- frank

Vinny Burgoo said...

frank-DSH, you're missing a 'no' (between the 'see' and 'reason' in your last sentence).

With that in place, you'll have started to answer my questions.

Keep up the good work! Happy new year!

Michael Tobis said...

Frank crosses the line with his reply; I'm not sure why. I think the topic is interesting and I think Vinny is not being especially unreasonable.

His concluding question is relevant, though, so I'll paste it:

Do you think it's wrong for, say, a construction engineer to advocate for bridge building safety standards based on the best available science, instead of on alchemy and voodoo?

This is one of those days when my head is overwhelmed with too many interesting ideas to do them justice. But this is one of them - I may elevate it to a new thread.

byron smith said...

Hadn't heard the line about the orphan in parti/matricide in court before. Made me laugh.

The NIWA/CCG thing also made me laugh, but I'd heard it before and it's more depressing than amusing.