Monday 19 September 2011

John O'Sullivan: Look Ma, no brain!

This is a guest post by Captain Pithart

John O'Sullivan is the driving force behind the physics-denying group "Slaying the Sky Dragon" (aka Principia Scientific International, chairman: Tim Ball), a group so deeply rooted in denialist Fantasia that even Christopher Monckton denounced their first book as unscientific nonsense.

O'Sullivan may not be the brightest bulb in the climate denialist sideshow, but he sure is well-connected and industrious. According to his LinkedIn entry, in 2010 he "established himself as the world's most popular Internet writer on the greenhouse gas theory of climate change (Google)", with highlights such as "Shock News: Disgraced Climategate Scientist Made Top UN Weatherman" (didn't notice the source was five years old), "Carbon Dioxide Not a Well Mixed Gas and Can’t Cause Global Warming" ("School Children Prove Carbon Dioxide is Heavier than Air"), or "Solar Ovens Prove Greenhouse Gas Theory is cooked" (don't even ask).

O'Sullivan Makes a List

O'Sullivan recently posted a list of "Fifty IPCC Experts Expos[ing] Washington Post Global Warming Lies". In it he proves that he is capable of cutting and pasting up to 50 names and quotes without having to resort to his, or anybody other's brain. Well done, John :)

He lists people that he somehow associates with the IPCC (he does not mention how), combined with quotes that in his mind demonstrate their criticism of the IPCC. Some of them worked on IPCC reports, and are quoted out of context; others are so-called "Expert Reviewers for the IPCC", which means they requested to look at the IPCC report before publication, which anybody interested in it can do. As you need no qualifications for being one, the title is only used by people trying to buy authority they don't have.

IPCC Expert Reviewers

Here are the "Expert Reviewers" on the list (those that use the "title" themselves are daggered):

O'Sullivan missed only one climate contrarian "Expert Reviewer" that I was able to find: Ross McKitrick, Steven McIntyre's economist sidekick. Good work, John :)

So that's fourteen. Most of the other people O'Sullivan lists are promoted as experts on the IPCC mostly because they contributed critical quotes that bolster his world view. I suspect he got many of them from mining Marc Morano's report More Than 1000 International Scientists Dissent Over Man-Made Global Warming Claims. But what about the handful of real IPCC contributors on the list?

The O'Sullitaj Chimera

Lučka Bogataj is an established Slovenian scientist working on climate issues, and contributed to IPCC AR4 Working Group II, "Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability". O'Sullivan quotes her:

Rising levels of airborne carbon dioxide don't cause global temperatures to rise.... temperature changed first and some 700 years later a change in aerial content of carbon dioxide followed.
The second part of this quote was compress-pasted from an earlier O'Sullivan post, where Bogataj said:

A detailed comparison of temperature data and the quantity of carbon dioxide captured in the ice shows, that sometimes it warmed up first and then the concentration of carbon dioxide increased, and sometimes vice versa, but on average the temperature changed first and some 700 years later a change in aerial content of carbon dioxide followed.
Wow, that's true! And forest fires, too, are sometimes from natural causes and sometimes due to arsonists. So it turns out that Dr. Bogataj is right in agreeing with established science.

But what about the first part of the new quote? It's actually a compress-pasted version of O'Sullivan's own words from the old post he started with

Dr. Lucka Kajfež Bogataj left cold clear water between herself and her former UN shipmates by declaring that rising levels of airborne carbon dioxide probably don’t cause global temperatures to rise.
Which is most likely the result of O'Sullivan misunderstanding the real Bogataj quote in the first place. Greenfyre's had some fun with the story back in November 2010.

Watch a video of Lučka Bogataj stating how urgent the climate problem is.

More AGW-convinced IPCC contributors

About the others on the list that were involved in the IPCC reports:

Here's a quote by Andrew A. Lacis of NASA GISS:

The bottom line is that CO2 is absolutely, positively, and without question, the single most important greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. It acts very much like a control knob that determines the overall strength of the Earth’s greenhouse effect. Failure to control atmospheric CO2 is a bad way to run a business, and a surefire ticket to climatic disaster.
The quote run by O'Sullivan is a commentary on an early draft of the report, which was much improved in later revisions.

Mike Hulme issued clarifications after it became clear that his words were misinterpreted and lauded in the denialosphere.

Oliver Frauenfeld is quoted out of context too, as detailed by Deltoid back when Morano used the same quote.

Martin R. Manning was vice-chair of Working Group II. I could not find the source of the quote O'Sullivan attributes to him, and without the context it could just as likely refer to governments watering down scientific findings. Here's Manning talking about the pressing issues that have to be tackled on a warming planet. He also contributed to the 2008 Scientific American article "The Physical Science behind Climate Change", subtitled "Why are climatologists so highly confident that human activities are dangerously warming Earth?".

IPCC contributors really unconvinced of AGW

The list contains two metallurgists that participated in AR4: Philip Lloyd and Tom Tripp. What does a metallurgist know about climate variability? Not necessarily much, it turns out, even when he contributed to IPCC AR4 Working Group III, helping to estimate the greenhouse gas emissions from magnesium production operations.

John Christy is one of the more than 600 scientists that contributed to IPCC AR4 Working Group 1 (the one concerned with the actual physical climate science). In fact, together with his frequent collaborator Roy Spencer and Richard Lindzen (who also once was an IPCC contributor), he forms the trinity of established climate scientists that peddle climate science denial. He also sat on satellite temperature data for a decade (together with Spencer), claiming that the warming from the other scientists' datasets was faulty, until it was found that the error was in their measurements.

Rosa Compagnucci is a member of the IPCC Working Group II for the Chapter on Latin America, and specialist on the "El Niño" phenomenon. It seems that she thinks the global temperature change is due to changes in solar activity. It turns out it's not.

IPCC lead author John T. Everett (Fisheries, Polar Regions, Oceans and Coastal Zones) thinks the Earth might be cooling. It's not.

Richard Tol was an economic lead author for Working Group II. He is of the Bjørn Lomborg school of thought, that mitigation should only be approached when it's cheap enough.

Christopher Landsea, a contributing author and hurricane expert, says that global warming might not lead to more hurricanes. The science in this area is indeed not very conclusive yet, but it seems that they might not become more frequent, but stronger.

Aynsley Kellow, a contributing author on environmental policy, wants to tackle other greenhouse gasses first.

Harry F. Lins was IPCC co-chair during the first report (1990), and contributed to the second and third. The quote attributed to him by O'Sullivan is not his own words, but at least from the text of a 2009 petition to Barack Obama, organized by the fossil-fueled Cato Institute, which he signed together with a colorful mix of about one hundred others. But that's another story.

No Consensus?

What do we learn from this? Although, like mostly anything, the IPCC has its faults, it managed to produce a pretty solid report on the state of climate science, even when a huge and diverse group of people contributed to it, some of which don't understand all aspects of it, and some of which disagree for different reasons. How many? Considering more than 450 lead authors and more than 800 contributing authors were involved in the 2007 report (with more than 2500 Expert Reviewers), the fraction is somewhere clearly below the 3% of established climate scientists that disagree that global warming is mostly man-made and is going to be a problem. This won't stop people like O'Sullivan from gleefully pasting together lists of make-believe authorities; but it should stop people from listening to the newspaper clipping artists.

John O'Sullivan: Comic relief from the denialosphere

I must admit that I am, in a twisted way, a fan of John O'Sullivan's works; he holds a special place in my denier panorama, never ceasing to entertain with his antics, which he trumpets into the world with a childlike pride the size of a planet.

I just hope that the people that made him the world's most popular Internet writer on the greenhouse gas theory of climate change (Google) did so for the same reasons.

Oh, one more: You might wonder what the "Galileo Movement" is that O'Sullivan tips his hat to in his recent article. Here's their newest contribution to climate science.

Thursday 8 September 2011


Rypke Zeilmaker S. Fred Singer
ik voorspelde hier dat Rypke Zeilmaker nooit zou ingaan op het feit dat Fred Singer niet meer of niet minder dan gelogen heeft over zijn financiële banden met de fossiele brandstoffen-industrie en die voorspelling is uitgekomen .
Dat wetenschappelijk onderzoek gefinancierd wordt is een evidentie en dat, Exxon uitgezonderd, de petroleumindustrie beseft dat onderzoek een wezenlijk onderdeel is van vooruitgang vind ik wel net zo fijn. Dat een onderzoeker gefinancierd wordt betekent uiteraard nog niet automatisch dat die onderzoeker corrupt is. 
Gekeken moet worden –moet ik dit nou echt nog neerpennen- naar wat er met die middelen wordt gedaan. En dan blijkt dat Singer’s werk er vooral uit bestaat wetenschap aan te vallen, in plaats van te zoeken naar vooruitgang.
Het feit dat Singer liegt over zijn financiering is daarbij veelbetekekend. Dat het Zeilmaker geen ene moer kan schelen dat Singer liegt al evenzeer.
Het PCCC publiceerde ondertussen al een antwoord op de belangrijkste fouten in Singer’s presentatie tijdens zijn bezoek aan het KNMI. Een video met de lezing in Brussel kan je hier vinden; Singer heeft zoals verwacht  niets gezegd dat niet allang weerlegd is.
Ondertussen is Wolfgang Wagner, hoofdredacteur van Remote Sensing, opgestapt na de publicatie van Roy Spencer’s ondermaatse laatste worp en worden de resultaten van het interessante CLOUD-experiment op allerhande blogs gestrecht tot iets wat onmogelijk uit het onderzoek valt te concluderen. Business as usual dus.

Sunday 28 August 2011

The one where S. Fred Singer lies about his funding and is NOT coming to Belgium ?

S. Fred Singer Belgium Johnson Masson Debeil SEIIClaes Johnson just announced S. Fred Singer will not be coming to Belgium during his European tour, after Belgian IPCC vice-chairman Jean-Pascal Van Ypersele contacted the organising Société Européenne des Ingénieurs et Industriels with this letter :
.La SEII et l'honnêteté scientifique Monsieur le Secrétaire général,
La SEII soutient-elle implicitement le déni climatique, à la veille du congrès mondial des ingénieurs à Genève consacré aux défis énergétiques (où j'aurai l'honneur de donner une "keynote lecture") ?
L'utilisation du papier à lettres de la SEII par votre administrateur M. Masson pour l'invitation ci-jointe le suggère malheureusement, malgré une phrase hypocrite pour indiquer que la SEII ne "sponsorise" pas l'événement.
Vous devez savoir que MM Fred Singer est une personne dont l'honnêteté scientifique laisse fortement à désirer. Ses activités de désinformation sont financées par les lobbies des combustibles fossiles (voir XXXXXXXXXXXXXX) , et il est scandaleux qu'une telle personne puisse être associée, de près ou de loin, à la SEII et à la Fondation universitaire.
Des collègues éminents m'ont écrit que M. Johnson ne valait pas mieux. Un de ses "textbooks" récents, où il parlait à tort et à travers des changements climatiques, publié par le Royal Institute of Technology (KTH, Suède), a dû être rétracté par ce dernier tellement il contenait d'erreurs.
Merci de me dire très rapidement quelles mesures la SEII compte prendre pour se distancier de cet "événement"? Je serais heureux également de savoir quel est le mandat de ce "think tank" de la SEII sur les changements climatiques que Mr Masson préside (alors que son CV n'est pas disponible sur le site de l'Université d'Antwerpen, et que je n'ai jamais entendu parler de ses compétences en matière de climat).
Cordialement, Prof. Jean-Pascal van Ypersele
In short, Van Yp states Singer’s scientific honesty is lower than one would desire, and Singer gets funded by the fossil-fuel industry.
Singer responds :
  • Why am I not surprised by this disreputable action of this IPCC officer.After all, we know from Climategate emails that these people will go to any length to suppress scientific dissent. Even to libel and to use bald-faced lies.
  • Of course, I am not supported by fossil-fuel industry. That is complete nonsense and invention
  • My Europe visit is paid by the Ettore Majorana Foundation -- to give an invited talk at a climate conference in Erice. I am using the occasion to accept additional invitations to speak (without lecture fees) at the Univ of Hamburg, Imperial College, Univ of Paris - Jussieu, and of course at the KNMI in De Bilt. By happenstance I was also invited to address 100+ engineers in Zurich.
  • Our IPCC colleague van Yp also questions my honesty. Well now -- the IPCC has been using me as a scientific reviewer, I publish regularly in peer-reviewed journals and am an elected Fellow of several scientific societies. So there must be some who disagree with van Yp.
Singer is stating in his reply he’s not being supported by the fossil-fuel industry. Which simply is a lie.
Of course Dutch denialists like’s Rypke Zeilmaker are not pleased with the cancellation. But what they are not mentioning, and probably never will, is Singer’s lie.
Singer’s Astroturf group Science and Environment Policy Project received US$ 10.000 from Exxon in 1998 and 2000.
The +/- 20p NiPCC-report was worth US$ 143.000, through an intermediate source, as the industry isn’t stupid enough any more to fund directly (as they have to publish their funding). And of course this NiPCC report was complete nonsense.
Earlier in his career, when he was still a tobacco lobbyist, Singer received US$ 20.000 for a report trying to manufacture doubt on the relation between passive smoking and cancer. Many more fascinating documents on Singer”s lobby career can be found in the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library. Of course don’t expect the Dutch denialists to ever mention this library. Remember I got banned on De Dagelijkse Standaard when mentioning Labohm lied when telling he didn’t know about Singer’s funding. Getting too close to the source I guess.
Meanwhile, it seems the Singer & Johnson meeting will become a private meeting.

Sunday 17 July 2011

A consensus is not science ? Contrary !

Even though it’s such an easy topic, few things have been so poorly understood by laymen as the role of a consensus in science, leading to phrases like ‘a consensus is not science’.

This statement could not be any further from the truth.

But it takes some understanding of the philosophy of science to understand what is wrong with the statement. Many people seem convinced ‘consensus’ implies scientific proof is lacking. Before dealing with consensus, it’s important to understand what “scientific proof’ actually means. I’ve dealt with this issue in my post Loose thoughts on some frequent fallacies. It’s very important to understand the philosophical travesty the post tries to make clear : a ‘proof’ in the sense of an ’absolute truth until the end of time’ does not exist.

As odd as it may sound, the word proof only reflects the current state of knowledge, we are not able to prove anything. Even for theories we ‘absolutely know for sure’ they are real we don’t have any proof at all. Just assumptions (usually strengthened by conducting experiments). Take for instance the gravitation-theory. It’s merely an unproven theory !
Let’s ask a tricky question : how do you ‘prove’ gravity is not just a theory ? I’ll give you a hint : you can’t. Really, it’s impossible !

Sure, you can write down Newton’s law :
global warming consensus climate science fallacy

Does this law ‘prove’ gravitation ? No !

Sure every experiment you conduct will obey he law, but this doesn’t prove the equation. Not at all. It just doesn’t falsify the theory, that’s all. Conducting the experiment a zillion times does not provide any evidence or ‘proof’ next time the apple will fall from the tree too. After all, one day, who knows, the apple will not fall. The point is : science works with assumptions and predictions, but from a philosophical point of view none of these provide an absolute evidence or ‘proof’.

Nevertheless, no one in their rightful would discard gravitation. Why ? Scientific theories never ever are accepted because they are proven to be right (as we cannot proof them) but because scientists accept them. In other words, because there is a consensus.

Many people fail to understand this. While science accepts the evolution theory, there are people like Erich von Däniken saying extra-terrestrials came to earth and initiated earth’s civilisation. Why isn’t his theory accepted ? After all, we cannot prove aliens did not come to earth ? One reason is there’s a whole lot of positive assumptions supporting the evolution-theory, while there are none for the ET-theory. But as none of them really ‘prove’ anything, the simple reason evolution is accepted is a vast majority of scientists accepts the theory.

Science is –always– based on nothing more than consensus ! People who say a consensus isn’t science don’t understand science.

Tuesday 12 July 2011

Tales from Bizarro World

This is a guest post by Captain Pithart

I report to you on a strange finding that seems to indicate deep cracks in the very fabric of time and logic, which accidentally manifested themselves in several recent posts on the climate "skeptic" blogosphere.

It all began at the time of the Great Oil Crisis, when in 1973 little rascal Stefan Rahmstorf, then 13 years old, drove his future colleague Jan Veizer out of Germany, as chronicled in the testimony of Horst-Joachim Lüdecke, press secretary of the German climate "skeptic" group EIKE, in a December 2010 non-public letter to German television channel ZDF:
Rahmstorf ist der politische Savonarola der deutschen Klimaszene und hat seinen Kollegen Jan Veizer, der im Gegensatz zu ihm mit echten Forschungspreisen überhäuft wurde und inzwischen Weltruhm erlangt hat, durch unappetitliche Anwürfe, unterstützt von deutschen Kolegen gleicher Couleur, aus dem Lande getrieben. Veizer lehrt und forscht heute an der kanadischen Universität in Ottawa als "Distinguished Professor". Insbesondere diese Aktion von Rahmstorf zeigt Parallelen mit den Aktivitäten der "deutschen Physik" im dritten Reich auf, die unsere besten jüdischen Köpfe außer Landes trieb.
Rahmstorf is the political Savonarola of the German climate scene and has driven his colleague Jan Veizer, who as opposed to him was showered with real research awards, out of the country using unsavory slander, supported by German coleagues of the same ilk. Veizer now teaches and researches at the Canadian University of Ottawa as "Distinguished Professor". Especially this action by Rahmstorf shows parallels to the Deutsche Physik of the Third Reich, which drove our best Jewish heads out of the country.
Fast forward to June 10, 2011. Members of the Green Party of Germany hold a meeting at the Bundestag, where a colorful mix of citizens listened to talks by Stefan Rahmstorf (now at the Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung), Dieter Plehwe (LobbyControl) and Tim Nuthall (European Climate Foundation). One of the listeners, Dr. (in dentistry) Michael Kanno of Berlin, succeeded in writing a protocol about the session, which was proudly published by EIKE on July 11. It is a mostly helpful summary, showing the event through the eyes of people that think Big Government is trying to rob them of their hard-earned money by hoaxing them into a scientifically unfounded panic about climate change, which has always occurred, and will always occur, caused by fluctuations in the intensity of our dear mother the Sun, and who are we to be so arrogant to think we could change the climate — but I digress. Ah right, the mind-twisting part of the Kanno protocol, where he summarizes Rahmstorf's talking points:
EIKE arbeite mit argumentativen Tricks. Man wolle Laien für dumm verkaufen. Herr Lüdecke erinnere ihn mit der „deutschen Physik“ an das Dritte Reich.
[According to Rahmstorf] EIKE works with reasoning tricks, trying to fool laypeople. Mr. Lüdecke reminds him with the "Deutsche Physik" of the Third Reich.
This is where it gets interesting. Your humble chronicler happened to be present at what he thought was the same meeting. What I witnessed was a slide by Rahmstorf titled "Nazivergleiche gehören wohl dazu..." ("Nazi comparisons seem to be part of the etiquette..."), followed by this quote:
EIKE-Pressesprecher H.J. Lüdecke in einem Schreiben an das ZDF im Dez. 2010:

»Rahmstorf ist der politische Savonarola der deutschen Klimaszene ... diese Aktion von Rahmstorf zeigt Parallelen mit den Aktivitäten der "Deutschen Physik" im Dritten Reich auf.«
Horst-Joachim Lüdecke EIKE Stefan Rahmstorf Jan Veizer Kanno
Fans of DC Comics and/or Seinfeld may or may not be familiar with Bizarro World, where according to Wikipedia »Bizarro No. 1 [is appointed] to investigate a crime, "Because you are stupider than the entire Bizarro police force put together"«, and people not entirely unlike us, but behaving diametrically opposed to us, inhabit a cubeiform planet called "Htrae". At this point your humble investigator needs to mention that when he scanned the personae present at said meeting, a name tag with an unusual name caught his attention for the fraction of a second (note: image is for illustration purposes only). I did not give it any importance and soon forgot all about it, until EIKE press secretary Horst-Joachim Lüdecke wrote these strange lines below "Michael Kanno"'s meeting summary:
Zur unappetitlichen Anmerkung, in welcher Rahmstorf mich (Lüdecke) mit der "deutschen Physik" des Dritten Reichs in Verbindung bringen will, erlaube ich mir die Anmerkung, dass es in meiner Familie Opfer der Naziherrschaft gab. Rahmstorfs Nazi-Keule als Argument in wissenschaftlichen Auseinandersetzungen ist, vorsichtig ausgedrückt, befremdlich.
On the unsavory remark, with which Rahmstorf tries to connect me (Lüdecke) with the "Deutsche Physik" of the Third Reich, I want to remark that there were victims of Nazi rule in my family. Rahmstorf's Nazi cudgel as an argument in scientific debates is, cautiously expressed, odd.
This in turn led North American Pierre Gosselin, who's now located in Northern Germany and writes about the impending Global Cooling on his blog NoTricksZone to write a post titled »Rahmstorf Compares Skeptics' Science To "Aryan Physics Of The Third Reich"«:
Because Lüdecke and EIKE scientists have challenged AGW science, especially Rahmstorf’s alarmist, outlier sea level claims, they are now being labelled as “Aryan physicists”.
There was only one possible explanation for all of this: By some weird coincidence, probably due to cosmic rays, Leachim Onnak and Michael Kanno switched dimensions without noticing, at least on one occasion between June 10 and July 11. This resulted in the summary about Nafetš Frotsmahr's talk ending up in our dimension, but only after Tsroh-Michaoj Eckedül had a chance to comment on it. This, however, is doubtful as an exhausting explanation, mainly because the author goes to great lengths to specifically brand his comment with "Lüdecke" in-text. This would imply that while Lüdecke is originally from our sister sphere, it is Eckedül that was born here and is now roaming the other dimension, forever failing to warn the Bizarro inhabitants about the danger of Global Warming. It is thus highly likely that we are witnessing dimensional entanglement, where members of Bizarro World live amongst us. This would also neatly explain Gosselin's fear of Global Cooling, which is indeed a huge problem where he seems to come from.

Maybe they should appoint our Luboš Motl to investigate (he's a string physicist after all), in a kind of cross-dimensional partnership.

Tuesday 28 June 2011

Dutch MP René Leegte’s ignorance-based attack on science

René Leegte klimaatverandering sceptici VVD IPCC global warming
René Leegte
Today the Dutch Member of Parliament for the VVD René Leegte expressed his opinion that the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute should completely loose all of it’s government funding. (sources: one, two – both in Dutch)
His arguments are –ehm- not necessarily as sign of any factual knowledge of climate science :
*20% of KNMI-scientists aren’t independent
Of course this rises a couple of questions : how does Leegte come to the number of 20 % ? Does he have records of all KNMI-employees cataloguing them into ‘independent’ and ‘non-independent’ ? And how come the other 80 % are getting bullied by that 20 % minority ? Are real scientists sissies ? But seriously. If Leegte thinks he has enough evidence to make such an attack, he should be able to support it by proof. Otherwise he should offer his apologies. If not, he should resign. As simple as that.

Some snippets from the articles :
*The KNMI is too closely focusing on the research of the “climate-alarmist” IPCC
*(non-IPCC) research shows temperatures aren’t increasing all that much any more (wrong)
*The atmosphere is too complex to attribute climate change are reduced to one component (CO2). Temperatures do fluctuate and it’n not clear what the role of CO2 is. (source)
Of course climate scientists have never ever reduced the climate change problem to one single component: there’s aerosols, volcanic activity, the sun, etc. As Leegte could’ve known if he would only have made to effort to … actually read the IPCC report.
René Leegte doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about. Which is good enough to be … the VVD-MP specialised in environmental & energy related issues… O dear…

In the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad Leegte 'explains' the KNMI is “biased, because it states man-made CO2 contributes to climate change, thereby influencing the scientific and political process” He adds the legendary words : “KNMI sharing data with IPCC, raises the impression of of partiality, p.ex. in the minds of the PVV or climate skeptics”.

What a twisted logic. As Paul Luttikhuis remarks : if a scientists' conclusion after researching the issue, is that CO2 causes global warming, according to René Leegte that means that scientist is biased and his integrity is gone !

Of course it’s unacceptable politicians try to block scientific research just because they don’t like the outcome. Expecially when they don’t have a clue what they’re actually saying.

More on this sad story (in Dutch) by Bart Verheggen, Paul Luttikhuis and Sargasso

Sunday 12 June 2011

Derk Jan Eppink heeft last van de hitte

Ik heb al eens eerder geblogd over de weinig wetenschappelijke houding van Derk Jan Eppink, Europees parlementslid voor Lijst Dedecker., ten aanzien van het klimaatdebat en dat heeft hij deze week helaas nogmaals bevestigd met deze column in het Nederlandse NRC Handelsblad.
Derk-Jan Eppink Lijst Dedecker klimaatverandering klimaatsceptici
Derk-Jan Eppink
Bart Verheggen heeft een goede post waarin hij de grootste problemen met Eppink’s column aanhaalt. Uiteindelijk komt de column van Eppink er op neer dat hij enkel maar zijn buikgevoel volgt. Wat niet meteen een goede houding is voor een lid van een Europees parlement. Hoewel ik niet niet naïef genoeg ben om te geloven in  Habermas’ ‘ideal speech’ situatie, ben ik wel van oordeel dat je van een parlementslid mag verwachten dat hij er in slaagt een rationeel oordeel te vellen bij het uitstippelen van een beleid.
Ook Ejo Schrama heeft op zijn nieuwe Twitterblog een goede repliek op Eppink’s column.
De mensen die zich afvroegen waarom het op dit blog zo stil was de afgelopen tijd kan ik meedelen dat ik momenteel in het buitenland verblijf en niet meteen tijd op overschot heb.

Tuesday 5 April 2011

De staat van het klimaat 2010

Het Nederlandse Platform Communication on Climate Change (PCCC) heeft vandaag zijn jaarlijkse Staat van het klimaat overhandigd aan staatssecretaris Atsma, een publicatie waarin een overzicht van de relevantste ontwikkelingen op het gebied van klimaat in het afgelopen jaar wordt opgelijst.

Thursday 10 February 2011

Peter Vereecke’s Belfort Group

Belfort group klimaatverandering citizens in action Peter Vereecke
I often wondered why in Holland there are so many climate sceptical groups, while in Belgium there’s no such movement (anyone has an idea?), but finally there’s a Belgian contrarian group too. Or at least sort of.
Climate scepticism often isn’t a result of scientific scientific objections, but merely a result of some sort of paranoid vision towards the government and/or science. The best known example are the libertarian think thanks who are both very vocal, but very unscientific and blinded by their political view.
What you don’t meet often is the blogosphere are sceptics who have a total different paranoid bias,a clear example is the Belgian Belfort Group lead by Peter Vereecke, the former CD&BV Mayor of the village of Evergem. The group’s primary fear is not climate change at all, but the chemtrail conspiracy theory, a theory saying airplanes are deliberately spraying us with chemicals, hidden in their condensation trail. Of course this conspiracy is complete nonsense, but you’d be surprised how internet sites of believers there are.
Other issues often dealt with on such sites are the New World Order, forced vaccinations (p.ex. when you’re sleeping) and of course it’s no surprise those people think global warming is a hoax too, because it’s all about communist illuminati wanting to gain complete control over the world.
o please Vereecke, current CD&V minister Joke Schauvliege, while still being a MP in September 2008 did ask a parliamentary question about chemtrails. The reply of Minister Hilde Crevits was of course predictable, and contained the phrase : “The specialists in my administration do not believe in the danger and existance of chemtrails. Through Google you can surf from one site to another with all kinds of theories that are non-scientific. Every time the same words are being used and one site has even more spectacular explanations than the previous one
Nevertheless, in November 2009, having become the Minister of environment, Schauvliege did meet the Belfort Group in her cabinet, promising to use the Flemish environmental measuring network to look for pollution of heavy metal on places where there are no industrial activities. Maybe Schauvliege, a lawyer, should listen more to the environmental administration and less to conspiricists ?
Meanwhile, the Belfort group started to be interested in global warming after Eric Cornand, an alternative medicine, joined the group. January 31, Peter Vereecke sent around a press release (in Dutch) titled ‘Global Warming ? Sure, and earth is flat’ containing a lot of low brow nonsense :
  • CO2 is pictured as a poisonous gas, while it’s vital for life
Err no it’s not pictured as poisonous. That is to say, of course it is poisonous once you’re dealing with extremely high concentrations, but this is irrelevant for the climate change debate.
  • CO2 is merely 0,0385 % of the atmosphere and 90% of that content is natural
it’s bit strange a group pretending to work on food safety doesn’t know a percentage as such isn’t very meaningful. The well know toxic botulin has an LD50 of 0,005-0,05 µg/kg (or 0.000000005% !) just to say a percentage is meaningless. Above that some 80% of the atmosphere contains the inert N2. Besides, the statement 90% of atmospheric CO2 is natural simply is wrong, the pre industrial level was around 280 ppm, the current level is around 390 ppm, meaning some 28% of the current atmospheric CO2 is man-made.

And clearly Vereecke isn’t aware that you have to look at the wavelenghts of IR-absorbance for the specific gasses.
  • So the big climate conferences (Kyoto, Copenhagen, Cancun) are talking about decreasing 10% of 10% of 0.00385 % in a 10 year period.
Wrong again, on so many levels : the conferences are not just talking about CO2, the conferences are talking about future levels, etc. and i don’t think Vereecke is saying he wants an even bigger decrease in CO2-emissions.
  • All ice-cores show a CO2 lag.
Of course real scientist are well aware of this and by no means it proves CO2 does not cause warming.
  • IPCC isn’t THE world authority on climate change, their reports are nothing but an supposition by a limited group of scientist who wrote a study ordered by politics.
Once again Vereecke is wrong, IPCC summarizes the peer-review literature, you know, the literature where real science is published… If climate sceptics have some deep scientific insight, they shouldn’t be talking on the internet or the local newspaper, but should be writing real scientific literature.
  • The Al Gore movie contains errors and a British judge forbid airing it in schools
Al Gore is politician, and his movie doesn’t have much scientific relevance. Again : science is published in peer review literature. the fact a movie of a politician contains some minor errors doesn’t affect science at all.
  • Climategate : in the East Anglia institute (the most important provider of IPCC data) thousands of emails emerged showing during ten years (!) there was a fraud with data, numbers and statistics
Of course Vereecke is wrong again, the East Anglia temperature series is just one of many, and they all show the same image. Above that Vereecke is clearly not aware every investigation showed there was no scientific fraud at the institute.
  • And finally : do take notice of the real temperatures. for the moment the entire world (especially the northern hemisphere) is showing abnormal low temperatures. How does this rhyme with global warming.
And another misconception by Vereecke. There’s no global cooling in, contrary 2010 was one of the warmest years in the record. earth is bigger than Belgium…
Of course Vereecke ends his piece with what really drives him : his conspiracy ideas. Summarized :
  • Chemtrails are a tool for geo-engineering and controlling earth’s climate. The Nagoya Moratorium proves it is happening.
  • HAARP is not a conspiracy theory because it exists ! ELF-waves are used to influence weather
  • The BP oil-spill caused the gulfstream to slow down.
Maybe it would be wiser if Peter Vereecke would inform himself just a little bit better, instead of shouting “hoax” while only demonstrating his ignorance. I wonder if minister Schauvliege will invite Vereecke again.
The website Poppenkast (entirely in Dutch) has much more to say about the Belfort Group. According to Poppenkast, the Belfort Group has around 1500 members, which may not sound as a lot, but the Flemish region only has around 6 million people, so actually it is a significant number. There are lot of people around who could use a little more critical thinking.
The Belfort Group of course has good contacts with other conspiracists in the low countries, like We are Change Belgium, We Are Change Holland, Argusoog, … The worrying part is the Belfort Group seems to radicalize, and often is in contact with groups flirting with anti-Semitic ideas.

Tuesday 8 February 2011

Quote van de dag

Hajo Smit playboy klimaatverandering wetenschap
als ik een wetenschapper was moest ik me inlaten met alarmistische wetenschappers en publiceren in dezelfde journals en me mengen in het debat met deze andersdenkenden. Aangezien ik al bijna 20 jaar wetenschapper af ben, mag ik doen wat me goed dunkt. Als een sceptische wetenschapper mijn woorden hierboven zou debiteren dan zou ik dat verwerpelijk vinden. Als de uitgever van Playboy zegt dat hij een blad maakt voor mannen die van bloot houden dan is dat prima toch? Nochmaals wij bieden hier voor de wetenschappelijk geïnteresseerde economisch rechts geörienteerde in vrijheid gelovende democratische zich zorgen makend over milieu-alarmisme en graag leuke klimaat-anecdotes voor de borreltafel verzamelende en soms nieuwe feiten en scherpe commentaren wensende lezer een dagelijkse portie varieté. Prima toch?
Hajo Smit legt even uit waar echt voor staat. En het heeft uiteraard niets met wetenschap te maken …

Saturday 22 January 2011

quote van de dag

Hans Labohm quote De Dagelijkse StandaardMoet ik nu alles waarover ik schrijf persoonlijk gaan controleren?
Hans Labohm reageert op De Dagelijkse Standaard, nadat hij bekritiseerd werd omdat hij zomaar kritiekloos een verdraaid en gemanipuleerd bericht van de bijzonder onbetrouwbare bron Marc Morano kopieerde.
Hoewel ik overvallen werd door een lachstuip is het natuurlijk om te huilen. Uiteraard dient iemand die iets schrijft te controleren of wat hij zegt wel juist is. Wie dat niet doet kan zich best zover mogelijk van alles wat met wetenschap te maken heeft weghouden.
Dit soort kritiekloos gekopieer is overigens schering en inslag op het net. De grootste onzin wordt razendsnel verspreid omdat iedereen maar van iedereen kopieert. Mijn insziens een teken dat ons onderwijs tekort schiet en mensen onvoldoende leert zelfstandig kritisch te denken.

Friday 21 January 2011

The 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference

Guestpost by Daniel Fielding of Shades of Green

The 2010 United Nations Climate Change Conference—or COP 16—convened from November 29th to December 10 2010 in Cancun, Mexico. This is the 16th session of the Conference to the Parties of the United Nations framework convention on Climate Change. The major goal of the conference was to develop a methodological framework among nations to address global warming.

CEOs of leading global multinationals highlighted the urgency of constructing a global plan for a low-carbon economy with the purpose of ensuring global health and safety. Many had lower expectations for the COP16 agenda than the Copenhagen conference in 2009; COP 16 underscored the urgency and importance of the corporate commitment to the relationship between climate action and corporate social responsibility. The conference also showcased the significant impact of government accountability and civil society in taking position steps toward eradicating global warming and environmental degradation.

The “Business Action for Climate 2010” event featured keynote speakers President Felipe Calderon of Mexico and Christiana Figures, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Also featured was a panel discussion by influential NGO and corporate industry leaders like Andrew Liveris (Dow Chemical), James E. Rogers (Duke Energy), and José Antonio Fernández (FEMSA).

DOW Chemical Corporation CEO, Andrew Liveris discussed on the panel the importance of building a low-carbon international economy. He addressed economic and political pitfalls and strategies for pursuing a globally clean economy. Liveris commented that a green, carbon-free global economy would never be realized unless there is strong public policy and governmental incentive. Furthermore, he explained how DOW is incepting innovative financing mechanisms and investment opportunities for a green business future. Liveris also went on to mention the importance of efforts being made in third-world nations.

Such efforts include bringing advanced water filtration techniques to developing countries; many of which are currently suffering from water shortages. Specifically, they have worked towards making their reverse-osmosis and other filtration systems industrialized nations have been using for years more affordable and accessible to developing nations

President Calderon’s opening remarks echoed the theme for the conference, "It is possible to have economic growth and at the same time it is possible to fight climate change. It is possible to fight climate change and at the same time it is possible to mitigate climate emissions. The key issue is to find the way towards clean development”. Those individuals who took part in the COP 16 said that the climate talks were a serious and important step forward in the process towards the inception of a clean-energy economy. As the global economy struggles, CEOs like Liveris and Rogers shared in their panel how to build a clean economy for the world as well as using these notions of green energy to fuel international economic recovery. As energy expenditures reduce and retooling manufacturing corporations and distribution processes to utilize cleaner energy technologies.

The outcome of the summit was an agreement, which works to reduce global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius, which is above pre-industrial levels. It also asks that developed countries reduce their greenhouse gas emissions as pledged in the Copenhagen Accord (COP 15), as well as create a plan to keep emissions low permanently. The agreement includes a "Green Climate" fund, projected worth in excess of $100 billion a year by 2020. This money will to assist developing countries in financing emission reductions and adaptation policies.

Saturday 15 January 2011


Michael´s climate blog runs an excellent article (in German though) EIKE-Ein Institut stellt sich vor demonstrating EIKE is nothing but a lobbytool. Recommended literature !
Do notice how the Europäische Institut für Klima und Energie (EIKE) shares its president with CFACT-Europe, has the same postal address as CFACT-Europe and the CFACT-people are exactly the same as the people behind EIKE. It’s one of the clearest examples of astroturfing I know, EIKE is a PR-tool dressed up as science.

EIKE = CFACT libertarian lobby global warming astroturf organization

The Dutch representative for CFACT/EIKE is Hans Labohm, and indeed his posts on De Dagelijkse Standaard often are nothing more than translations of the same articles running on the EIKE-website

Saturday 8 January 2011

Jean-Paul van Soest over EIKE

Op De Dagelijkse Standaard (DDS) schreef Jean-Paul van Soest een comment over EIKE die m.i. een correcte samenvatting vormt en die uitstekend beschrijft hoe nepwetenschappelijke door lobbygroepen opgerichte “instituten” opereren en elkaars mening verspreiden. Ik kopieer het dan ook graag even want dit hoort niet ergens verborgen in een comments sectie te zitten.

(noot : ik heb hier en daar een link toegevoegd)

Beste Hans [Labohm],

Ik vind het wel fascinerend te zien hoe de klimaattwijfelaars langzamerhand hun eigen paralleluniversum hebben gecreëerd. Ik moet zeggen: het zit verdomd goed in elkaar.

Ik heb de indruk dat EIKE helemaal geen instituut is, alleen maar een website waarop de twijfelbeweging zijn posts kan achterlaten. Alleen, door het woord Institut lijkt het natuurlijk meer dan wat het is. In de gidsen en telefoonboeken van Jena, waar het EIKE gevestigd zou moeten zijn, is geen EIKE te vinden. Er is alleen een postbus. Dat bevestigt mijn vermoedens. De oprichter en voorzitter, dr Holger Thuss, woont wel in Jena.

Het CV van Holger Thuss geeft geen reden om aan te nemen dat hij van de klimaatwetenschap veel kaas gegeten heeft. Hij is jurist en modern geschiedkundige. Een (na het voorgaande overbodige) check via Google Scholar laat zien dat hij geen wetenschappelijke publicaties over klimaatverandering op zijn naam heeft staan. De missie van het ‘Institut’ is dan ook geen wetenschappelijke, maar een politieke: “Viele dieser unsinnigen Maßnahmen sind volkswirtschaftlich sehr schädlich und belasten den Bürgen finanziell hoch ohne jeden Grund. Die daraus resultierende finanziell extreme Belastung macht auch vor den sozial Schwachen nicht halt. Sie ist daher vorrangig ein Krieg gegen die Armen und muß daher umgehend beendet werden.” En als motto geldt: “Nicht das Klima ist bedroht, sondern unsere Freiheit!” – een tegenstelling die geen tegenstelling is.

En zie ik daar niet malle Pietje, oftewel ‘Lord’ Christopher Monckton als lid van de Fachbeirat? Wat is de wereld toch klein. En wat grappig, ik zie dat jij ook af en toe een bijdrage aan EIKE levert.

Holger Thuss is tevens een CDU-prominent en als directeur Europa nauw betrokken bij CFACT, Committee for a constructive tomorrow, een ‘denktank’ en lobbygroep die vanuit een sterk libertair perspectief zijn werk doet. Dat mag, maar lobby is nog geen wetenschap, en als wetenschap vermomde lobby is vilein. Enfin, daarover schreef ik eerder n.a.v. Naomi Oreskes’ boek Merchants of Doubt. CFACT wordt – niet onverwacht – goeddeels door de olie- en mijnbouwindustrie gefinancierd.

Ik zie trouwens ook dat je zelf geschreven bijdragen aan CFACT levert, met artikelen die ik ook op DDS zie. Wat is de wereld toch klein, inderdaad.

Zo werkt het dus: een of andere lobby-denktank, vooral gefinancierd door olie en kolen, en vermomd als wetenschappelijk instituut, maakt een artikel of analyse, dat gaat naar andere als instituut vermomde lobbyclubs/denktanks, en af en toe komt er via de blogosfeer, waaronder DDS, ook het een en ander terecht bij de reguliere media die niet de tijd hebben om na te trekken wat de bron van de bron van de bron is. En voor je het weet lijkt het of er een enorme serie instituten en personen het idee ondersteunt dat er geen klimaatverandering is, en dat zo deze er wel is, de mens beslist niet de oorzaak kan zijn.

O ja: dit zijn géén ad hominems, het is alleen een analyse van de achtergronden en geloofwaardigheid van je bron, EIKE. Mijn conclusie: het klinkt als heel wat, , maar het is een libertair-ideologische campagnetool. Maar zoals ik al zei: wel knap in elkaar gezet allemaal. En effectief, want van een krachtig klimaatbeleid is allemaal nog niet zoveel terechtgekomen.

PS: Je kunt via CFACT wel eeuwige roem krijgen, zie ik: prof Frederik Seitz, een van de oer-Merchants of Doubt, staat nog vrolijk en fris genoemd als lid van de Board of Advisors van CFACT, hoewel hij op 2 maart 2008 overleed. Maar misschien ontkent CFACT eenvoudigweg dat de dood bestaat?

Tuesday 4 January 2011

De staat van het klimaat (Marcel Crok) : een gedetailleerde kritiek

Naast de eerste losse bedenkingen van Gerbrand Komen is er nu een gedetailleerdere kritische lezing van De staat van klimaat op Noorderlicht gepubliceerd, geschreven door Elmar Veerman : Klimaatboek kraakt IPCC. Volg zeker ook de links naar de bespreking van de afzonderlijke hoofdstukken : 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Ik voel me nog steeds niet geroepen om 20€ voor het boek neer te tellen.