Joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth

George Monbiot on Japan:
“You will not be surprised to hear that the events in Japan have changed my view of nuclear power. You will be surprised to hear how they have changed it. As a result of the disaster at Fukushima, I am no longer nuclear-neutral. I now support the technology.

A crappy old plant with inadequate safety features was hit by a monster earthquake and a vast tsunami. The electricity supply failed, knocking out the cooling system. The reactors began to explode and melt down. The disaster exposed a familiar legacy of poor design and corner-cutting. Yet, as far as we know, no one has yet received a lethal dose of radiation.

Some greens have wildly exaggerated the…”

(to read more, click here)

12 thoughts on “Joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth”

  1. Hi James

    When my wife came into my office asking me “who George Monbiot is” I told her about His Looniness and she proceeded to read me the “money quote” about “crappy Nukes” from the WSJ.

    I immediately went to your site and was not disappointed. Maybe there is a God with logic and brains out there! Now if we could get one of the well known greenies from here to quoth a similar mea culpa. I am not counting on Al Gore to see the light.
    JLK

  2. This is great news! Whether a firm believer in CAGW or a skeptic or disbeliever, we have a solution to the common problem of energy security. All of us in the spectrum can put our differences aside and get on with the task of replacing coal and gas and possibly oil with Nuclear generated electricity. The world needs cheap power, essential to raise the poor out of misery.
    I am particularly excited about prospects of Thorium and/or Gen. 4 nuclear power

  3. Hi James,

    I agree that it is good that George Monbiot has got off the fence w.r.t. Nuclear Energy. He thus joins the ranks of such luminaries as James Loelock and Stewart Brand (see this very challenging YouTube video of his 4 environmental heresies [circa July 2009]).

    However, you really need to “change the record” w.r.t. your characiture of global warming as a “new religion” (a la Freeman Dyson) or “climate alarmism” (a la Richard Lindzen)….

    You have suggested elsewhere that there is a large body of british sceptics who question the consensus represented by the IPCC (which you claim has been discredited). However, as usual, your tiresome and unsubstantiated accusations fail to take into account the following:

    40% of the US population think that human activity is changing our climate and/or that any such change is a serious problem;
    Whereas 70% of the UK population think it is.
    However, at least
    75% of scientists think it is.
    More specifically, at least 82% of earth scientists think it is.
    And finally, the equivalent figure is 97% of climate scientists.
    That is what I call a consensus.

    Furthermore, what is the sceptical position?
    The atmosphere may not be warming; but if it is, this is probably due to natural variation; but even if it isn’t, the amount of warming is insignificant; but if it is, the benefits will outweigh the disadvantages; but if they don’t, technology will solve problems as they arise; but if it can’t, we shouldn’t wreck the economy to fix the problem.
    (Adapted from p.257 of “The Rough Guide to Climate Change” (2nd Ed), Robert Henson (2008).
    That is what I call a joke!

    Wikipedia has nailed you guys for what you are when it defines “climate change denial as… organized attempts to downplay, deny or dismiss the scientific consensus on the extent of global warming

    However, as David Aaronovitch observes in his new book Voodoo Histories Conspiracy theories normally improve on reality. Therefore, it is AGW denial – rather than acceptance – that looks like a conspiracy and yes, in the UK, the Institute of Economic Affairs is its biggest corporate proponent. However, with the IEA, the clue to their problem is in their name – they are all economists! It is just a shame they did not shut up and go away when Sir Nicholas Stern pointed out that climate AGW is the greatest market failure in history“(right there on p.1). And before anyone suggests it – that rules out “discounting” future costs as an easy get-out clause…

    Here endeth the lesson.

  4. “The atmosphere may not be warming; but if it is, this is probably due to natural variation; but even if it isn’t, the amount of warming is insignificant; but if it is, the benefits will outweigh the disadvantages; but if they don’t, technology will solve problems as they arise; but if it can’t, we shouldn’t wreck the economy to fix the problem.
    (Adapted from p.257 of “The Rough Guide to Climate Change” (2nd Ed), Robert Henson (2008).

    – Quote above by Martin Lack

    Martin, this is a strawman attack on AGW critics. The climate is always changing, usually at rates faster than at present as proved by the fact that the current rate of rise of sea level is trivial compared to the average since the last ice age was at its peak!

    So your argument must begin by falsifying the record to make natural variations in temperature look unprecedented (the hockey stick curve). AGW theorists invent a falsely stable natural climate history, allowing them to then claim that CO2 injections correlate with their faked temperature rise. This is what James exposed in climategate.

    But it gets worse. The “greenhouse effect” is fake, as recent research on cloud cover shows. Unlike a greenhouse, where water vapour amplifies warming when CO2 is injected, in the real world without the glass ceiling of the greenhouse, water vapour that absorbs sunshine infrared and heats up is able to buoyantly rise until it meets cool air a few thousand feet up, forming cloud. As research shows, this is the end of the positive feedback theory whereby H2O amplifies CO2 effects on temperature by a factor of 2. Instead, the real bouyant H2O rises to form clouds which increases the earth’s albedo and cools the planet. So it produces negative feedback, which cancels out temperature changes from CO2 increases.

    Sooner or later you’re going to have to confront that this is real, solid physics, backed up by published research (e.g. see the evidence for strong negative feedback from cloud cover during 15 tropical intraseasonal oscillations in Spencer, Braswell, Christy, and Hnilo, “Cloud and Radiation Budget Changes Associated with Tropical Intraseasonal Oscillations,” Geophysical Research Letters, 9 August 2007).

    Please get real. CO2 has only increased from 300 ppm to 388 ppm in the last hundred years. A tiny increase in cloud cover is enough to cancel out the temperature effect, and the mechanism for this increase in cloud cover is simple to grasp: http://www.examiner.com/civil-rights-in-portland/hungarian-physicist-dr-ferenc-miskolczi-proves-co2-emissions-irrelevant-earth-s-climate which includes the sorry tale of NASA censoring the anti-greenhouse mechanism of negative feedback from H2O:

    In 2004 Dr Ferenc Miskolczi published a paper “The greenhouse effect and the spectral decomposition of the clear-sky terrestrial radiation”, in the Quarterly Journal of the Hungarian Meteorological Service (Vol. 108, No. 4, October–December 2004, pp. 209–251).

    The co-author of the article was his boss at NASA (Martin Mlynczak). Mlynczak put his name to the paper but did no work on it. He thought that it was an important paper, but only in a technical way.

    When Miskolczi later informed the group at NASA there that he had more important results, they finally understood the whole story, and tried to withhold Miskolczi’s further material from publication. His boss for example, sat at Ferenc’s computer, logged in with Ferenc`s password, and canceled a recently submitted paper from a high-reputation journal as if Ferenc had withdrawn it himself. That was the reason that Ferenc finally resigned from his ($US 90.000 /year) job.

    I want to make it clear: NASA never falsified or even tried to falsify Ferenc`s results, on the contrary, they fully understand it. They know that it is correct and see how important it is. To make sense of their actions, they probably see a national security issue in it. Perhaps they think that AGW is the only way to stop, or to slow, the coal-based growth of China.

    In my circumstance where I have been dismissed from my Government paid position in Hungary, I think the information vacuum (in Hungary), has the same type of origin. I believe someone is in the background trying to convince the establishment (media, science, politics) that Miskolczi’s results are against our national security interests. First, they tried to frighten me, and then when that did not work, they kicked me out from my job. So now I am turning to the wider internet to publicise Miskolczi`s work, as I know that his results are valid and true. There is no way and no need to hold them back for the world to understand them.

    Tomorrow, for the first time in my life, I am jobless.
    Budapest, 31 Dec, 2009

    Dr Miklos Zagoni

    The thing to note is that the dogma is so hardened that, as Al Gore/Comical Ali said, you can get away with lumping critics of the beloved AGW regime into the category of moonlanding deniers or holocaust deniers. In fact, you have to do this if you are in the AGW religion, because with all your data fake, you have no alternative than to throw mud and try to end the argument before it begins.

    Dr Zagoni’s evidence, is that the NOAA data showing a fall in the the global average absolute humidity diminished by 1 per cent from 1948-2009: “This decrease in absolute humidity has exactly countered all of the warming effect that our CO2 emissions have had since 1948.”

    His argument here is that CO2 increased by 25% over that 61 year period (from 310 to 388 ppm), and so the 1% drop in H2O as water vapour over that period has cancelled it out (H2O in vapour – not cloud cover – form is 30 times stronger as a greenhouse gas than CO2, therefore a 1% drop in H2O is equivalent to a 30% drop in CO2).

    This is a nice clean evidence-based argument, but I don’t like the way Dr Zagoni (and others explaining that H2O is negative feedback cancelling CO2, not positive amplifying it) goes about his media relations. He starts off with a lot of technical modelling, all idealized stuff which is riddled with approximations and things for critics (the pro-AGW lobby) to get hung up on. He should put up the humidity fall graph and work on getting the explanation crystal clear, so even Al Gore could be put on the spot by it. Also, he needs to focus on explaining the simple physics for why the humidity has fallen: the warm humid air rises, making clouds.

    The question is, what will it take to make people wake up and smell the coffee on this one?

  5. @MartinLack My dear chap, you did promise us you were not going to come back. We all know here that you mean well, that you are passionately committed to your cause, but you don’t need to keep telling us. We know.

  6. Nige,

    It seems that when I address my comments to James; you reply. Does this mean that James will reply to this? I doubt it, because the only thing James has recently exposed is that he is no scientist and consequently avoids reading peer-reviewed literature; and prefers instead the continual recirculation of peer-to-peer denialist propaganda. Furthermore, although arguing with denialists (as with all conspiracy theorists) is a Herculean task; like cleaning out the Aegean stables. However, I have a brush in my hand so here goes…

    1. “A Rough Guide to Climate Change” is no “Strawman attack. This is because Robert Henson admits that no single denialist believes all of these things (p.257) but then spends the next 8 pages disproving each proposition in turn.

    2. MBH98 did not make the MWP or the LIA disappear, they (and all other reconstructions using different proxies) merely put those events in their proper perspective; as it is warmer now than it has ever been in human history (even NASA says so).

    3. True – water vapour has flattened the AGW that would otherwise have occurred (just as did atmospheric pollution between 1945 and 1975). But does that mean we should rely on it to solve our problem – absolutely not! Furthermore, water vapour is not the primary cause of the climate change we are now experiencing. In particular – in case you missed it (then or now) – your information on the efficacy of cloud cover is out of date, as this NOAA study from last year clearly demonstrates. Reading your posts is like reading one of my children’s semi-automated school reports and, clearly, you need to update your database of potential response material.

    4. Al Gore said, “Two thousand scientists, in a hundred countries… have produced… a consensus that we… face a string of terrible catastrophes unless we act to prepare ourselves and deal with the underlying causes of global warming.” (09/09/2005). Whereas, James Inhofe said, “With all of the hysteria, all of the fear, all of the phony science, could it be that man-made global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people? It sure sounds like it.”(28/07/2003). Only one of these men can be right, but I know which one I would put my money on – the one backed by 97% of climate scientists, 82% of earth scientists and 75% of all scientists!

    5. As I have said to you before, water vapour is continuously varying in space and time; it always has done and always will. However, at any one time and in any one place it is typically between zero and 3%. Therefore, it is simply intellectually dishonest to ignore the fact that there has been a 40% increase in CO2 levels since 1850, when they were already as high as they had been for 200k years. Furthermore, they are now higher than they have been for tens of millions of years. To continue to argue that this is not likely to cause the Earth’s climate system stress is reckless to say the least.

    I am fully awake and enjoying my coffee, how about you?

  7. Sorry to disappoint you James, but I have been unable to resolve my inability to reply to comments at http://my.telegraph.co.uk/earthyissues/.

    However, if you are saying that alternative views are not welcome here, then clearly, George Monbiot was right (see final paragraph here)! But I am sure you would not want to leave yourself open to that line of criticism, so I will not promise to leave you alone again. Incidentally, I cannot see that you ever responded to this (24/01/2011):

    I am looking forward to seeing tonight’s Horizon programme: I note your denial that you objected to the line of questioning put to you. If so, who is the source of claims that you did object? Furthermore, if Sir Paul Nurse is not intellectually capable of “raping” you, can you please enlighten me as to the scientific credentials that qualify you to make your cynical pronouncements on the subject of climate change?

    Even if the likes of Sir Paul Nurse, and/or David Mackay (see http://withouthotair.com [Part I, chapter 1 on “Motivations” especially]) cannot convince you that anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide are the primary causes of acceleration of the “greenhouse effect” since the Industrial Revolution, would you also argue that the Second Law of Thermodynamics is flawed? Would you indeed deny that the concept of entropy is a myth?

    Even if you cannot bring yourself to acknowledge that the 10 warmest years in the last 200 have all been in the last 3 decades; can you accept that the Earth’s resources and its capacity to accommodate humans are finite? Unfortunately, the Limits to Growth hypothesis of Meadows et al (1972) has been proven correct and, very soon now, we will have to confront some of those limits. The real myth is that perpetual growth is the solution to all our problems. It cannot be the solution to anything; it is our ultimate problem.

    Anyone who denies this is denying the reality of both the Second Law of Thermodynamics and the concept of entropy; and I for one would not dare to stick my neck out that far.

  8. Well most blogs appear to be up and running – except for yours! Is there some sabotage going on…?

  9. Martin Lack,

    1. I wrote that you were making a strawman attack by that contrived quotation,

    2. I wrote that it’s now warmer than ever before, since climate is always varying one way or another and it’s been warming since the minimum in sea levels (120 metres lower than today) 18,000 years ago. I’ve in previous comments commented on the mini ice age, caused by the North Atlantic conveyor e.g. Golf Stream shutting down due to ice shelfs melting and flooding the North Atlantic with bouyant fresh (non salty) water.

    3. The NOAA data from 1948 to now shows the fall in H2O vapour. You write: “Furthermore, water vapour is not the primary cause of the climate change we are now experiencing. In particular – in case you missed it (then or now) – your information on the efficacy of cloud cover is out of date, as this NOAA study from last year clearly demonstrates.”

    You’ve completely misunderstood what Susan Solomon (US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), co-chair of the 2007 IPCC report, said. She said that the increase in H2O in the stratosphere caused 30% of the global warming in the 1990s, and thad thet 10% drop in H2O in the stratosphere since 2000 has had a cooling effect, not a warming effect.

    The Guardian article you linked indirectly to (via a nonsense propaganda blog!), by David Adam on 29 Jan 2010, “Water vapour caused one-third of global warming in 1990s, study reveals”, starts with a photo of a cloud, captioned underneath:

    “A 10% drop in water vapour, 10 miles up has had an effect on global warming over the last 10 years, scientists say.”

    What David Adam and the Guardian editors conveniently fail to highlight in the caption is that the “effect” over tyhe past 10 years was cooling, not warming. In other words, the water effect over the past 10 years DID EXACTLY WHAT I TOLD YOU: IT STOPPED GLOBAL WARMING!!!!

    It’s a classic example of the highly biased Guardian misinforming highly biased people like you into making lying attacks on scientists. The article did go on to eventually state: “A subsequent decline in water vapour after 2000 could explain a recent slowdown in global temperature rise, the scientists add.” Apparently you didn’t read that?http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jan/29/water-vapour-climate-change

    The 10% drop in stratospheric H2O in 2000-2010 is included in the NOAA data I quoted. If you know anything about climate, you’d know there is no water in the stratosphere to speak of: it’s concentrated below the tropopause. So that’s a strawman argument by you, yet again.

    “Reading your posts is like reading one of my children’s semi-automated school reports and, clearly, you need to update your database of potential response material.”

    Martin, you should not start getting personally abusive until you know the facts. Your incompetence to see that even the Guardian article you refer to agrees with what I said (the NOAA data from 1948-2009 showing a fall in total H2O vapour) shows you’re the one with the problems. Maybe you need to stop and think for a change before jumping to conclusions?

    “As I have said to you before, water vapour is continuously varying in space and time; it always has done and always will.”

    We agree here that the total amount of H2O in the atmosphere is not varying: what I’ve been telling you is that the partition of that H2O between vapour and liquid droplet phases has varied. The NOAA data show a fall in vapour by 1% since 1948, with an increase in cloud cover (albedo increasing). As H2O vapour falls, the greenhouse effect due to H2O falls, and it’s 30 times stronger as a greenhouse gas than CO2, so a 1% fall in H2O vapour is like a 30% fall in CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas. As condensed H2O (cloud droplets) increased, it reflected more sunlight away from the earth. So the change in partition cancels out CO2 effects, just as your beloved Guardian stated has occurred in the past decade!

  10. Nige,

    If you had bothered to read my (“nonsense propaganda“) blog artcile, you would have noticed that I accept exactly the points you, nonetheless, felt it was necessary to repeat. However, the NOAA admit the cooling effect of water vapour reduced (but did not cancel out) the warming that occurred. Furthermore, they would NOT agree with you that we therefore need not be concerned about global warming.

    As ever, you are highly selective about which points you choose to agrue and those which you choose to ignore. I would give you, at most, 10 years until you will have to O/D on humble pie.

  11. Martin,

    “As ever, you are highly selective about which points you choose to agrue and those which you choose to ignore.”

    As I stated, Susan Solomon (US NOAA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), co-chair of the 2007 IPCC report said that the increase in H2O in the stratosphere caused 30% of the global warming in the 1990s, and that the 10% drop in H2O in the stratosphere since 2000 has had a cooling effect, not a warming effect.

    The key data that debunks AGW is NOAA’s 1948-2009 curves showing a 1% drop in H2O vapour, equivalent to a 30 x 1% = 30% drop in CO2 greenhouse gas equivalent, which well cancels out the 25% rise in CO2 measured during this period.

    Since it suits you, you ignore this complete set of long-term data, you selectively focus on a subset of it – for the last 10 years – by a Solomon at NOAA who was co-chair of the biased 2007 IPCC report – and then you accuse me of being “selective”!

    I include all the evidence from 1948-2009. You only comment on the last 10 years. So you’re the one being highly selective. The data is in, and you’re disproved. First, there is no non-fiddled evidence for any unnatural global warming. All the data is fiddled. Tree ring growth is a function of cloud cover and rainfall, not merely air temp. Weather stations are affected by nearby city or industry growth, pumping out local heat (not a CO2 effect). Finally, weather satellites can’t see 62% of the surface because it’s under cloud.

    So they just measure the surface Planck spectrum and temperature for a biased sample of 38% of the earth’s area, namely that not under clouds. This biased sample then has to be corrected using flawed procedures. So in fact, you are the one who is being “highly selective”, not me!

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