Guest post by Nick Ford with Peter Condon
The Australian Government has just received a Report1 (The Critical Decade –Climate science, risks and responses) from its recently established Climate Commission, led by Professor Tim Flannery. It was hoped that Flannery and his team might produce a balanced report based on facts, rather than inciting more alarmism on the global warming issue. However, this is not to be, with a glaring example of how ‘science’ is being manipulated for the sake of politics. Some background is needed.
THE GREENHOUSE THEORY
If you accept the Green’s over simplified version of the greenhouse theory, we will always have increasing temperatures whenever carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere increase. Carbon dioxide concentration levels started steadily rising in the late 1700s and continue unabated today. If the theory is valid, this rise should have resulted in a similar steady rise in global temperatures. Sceptics have pointed out that, even though there has been a small underlying warming trend, since 1850 we have spent half the time in cooling periods. This cannot happen if the greenhouse theory is valid.
The Greens unconvincingly countered that this might be technically correct, but since 1970 carbon dioxide has finally “got some traction” and we would not see any more cooling periods while carbon dioxide levels were increasing. So, during the warming period that lasted from 1970-1998, the Greens were confident enough to declare that 100% of global warming was caused by Man. However, the inevitable natural cycle between cooling and warming was about to call the Green’s bluff.
At the time of writing (May 2011), global temperatures have not risen above the 1998 high for 13 years, but the carbon dioxide levels continue to steadily rise. This falsifies the Greens’ interpretation of the greenhouse theory which is the foundation stone on which the whole house of cards of ‘alarming global warming’ is built. As Michael Duffy stated in a 2008 Sydney Morning Herald article2:
“For most of the past seven years, those temperatures have actually been on a plateau. For the past year, there's been a sharp cooling. These are facts, not opinion: the major sources of these figures, such as the Hadley Centre in Britain, agree on what has happened, and you can check for yourself by going to their websites. Sure, interpretations of the significance of this halt in global warming vary greatly, but the facts are clear.”
THE GREENS’ RESPONSE
To maintain the momentum in their global warming campaign, the Greens cannot afford to have the public realise that their greenhouse hypothesis has been falsified which then would undermine the whole campaign. Consequently, they set about trying to minimise or hide the current cooling period and to implement some strategies to deflect those who were aware of the cooling period in the hope that they would not realise the important ramifications of the pause in warming.
At least two of the main scientific organisations providing temperature data to the IPCC were immediately aware of how damaging this hiatus in warming would be for their global warming campaign. In emails stolen from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia, Phil Jones, commenting on the decline in temperatures since 1998, describes the event as “a travesty”. No other word in the thousands of leaked emails could show how wedded to the Green alarmists’ cause these scientists had become. A real scientist might have used the word “surprising” or “unexpected” as their hypothesis was shown to be incorrect. But worse was to come.
Without a blink of an eye the stolen emails revealed how a subordinate of Jones reassured his boss that he could use a ‘trick’ to reduce the decline “in temperatures”. Other emails talk of: “hide the decline”; “don’t pass it along”; “can’t account for the lack of warming”; “leave it to you to delete as appropriate”3. This sorry affair converted what was once regarded as a highly respected scientific establishment to one of a home for ‘junk scientists’.
The Green Movement
By the mid-2000s, the PR and communication experts were advising the Green movement on how to minimise the damage that this cooling period might cause. First the lexicon had to be changed. The Greens were advised to avoid using the term ‘global warming” and instead use ‘climate change’. In this way any climate event, caused by either cooling or warming could be blamed on Man. Subsequent ‘Google” counts of the use of the words ‘global warming’ (dropped sharply) and “climate change” (rose sharply) on the net showed how disciplined the Green movement is in managing its communications with the public.
This of course ignored the fact that their global warming theory could only warm, not cool. Terms were suggested that avoided the word ‘cooling’ and continued to speak of warming. An extreme case was the advice to refer to ‘the cooling period’ as an ‘interrupted warming period’.
Another strategy to be used to deflect the public from the importance of this cooling period was to refer to the 2000-2010 decade as the warmest on record with an appropriate count of near record annual temperatures (e.g. “the third highest recorded temperature”). This whole description encouraged the assumption that warming was continuing unabated, and deflected any conversation that threatened their theory being falsified. Remember, to falsify the theory, cooling was not necessary, just a cessation of warming.
IPCC 2007 Report
On page 6 in the “Summary for Policymakers” of the IPCC’s 2007 Climate Change report4, there is a figure (SPM.4.) that shows a map of the world with six temperature graphs for different geographical areas overlaid on the map. Below the map there are three larger temperature graphs, reproduced as Figure 1 below. Rather than showing actual temperatures over the period, there is a black line on each graph which represents “decadal averages of observations….for the period 1906-2005(black line) plotted against the centre of the decade”.
By both deliberately using a small temperature range on the vertical axis and using decadal averages, the temperature line ceases at the year 2000 and gives an accurate portrayal of the warming period from 1970-1998, but completely masks the hiatus in warming since 1998. This produces a wonderful visual effect to encourage alarmism about global warming, and deftly deflects the reader from gaining any knowledge about the lack of warming for the nine years between 1998 -2007.
Far too many people think the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) is a scientific body, and foolishly confer the same trust on the IPCC as we would normally give to scientists. Even acknowledging that the IPCC is a political body, you might expect the head of the IPCC, who is not a scientist, to tell the truth.
All four organisations supplying temperature data to the IPCC have recorded that temperatures in the past thirteen years have not risen above the 1998 year high, and all have even begrudgingly admitted that temperatures have at least plateaued if not fallen.
Not to let facts get in the way, the head of the IPCC has been travelling the world giving talks using faked graphs that show that the temperatures have been rising since 1998. In January 2008, the chairman of the IPCC, Rajendra Pachauri, was told by reporters from Britain’s The Guardian that he was using misleading warming statistics. He told them that he “would look into the apparent temperature plateau so far this century”.
This sort of detail is not obscure trivia that a busy person might not be able to remember; it is the crux of the IPCC’s claim of the approaching climate Armageddon. However, being Christian, we could believe that Pachauri had made an innocent error preparing his graph. However, nine months later, a journalist from the Sydney Morning Herald noticed that Pachauri was using similar graphs at a talk in Sydney in October 2008. The intervening period left no excuse for Pachauri to be still using such erroneous information.
“As this was shown on the screen, Pachauri told his large audience: 'We're at a stage where warming is taking place at a much faster rate [than before].5 (Bolding by author)
As partially quoted above, Michael Duffy from the Sydney Morning Herald was shocked and said “Now, this is completely wrong. For most of the past seven years, those temperatures have actually been on a plateau. For the past year, there's been a sharp cooling. These are facts, not opinion: the major sources of these figures, such as the Hadley Centre in Britain, agree on what has happened, and you can check for yourself by going to their websites. Sure, interpretations of the significance of this halt in global warming vary greatly, but the facts are clear.”
"Later that night, on ABC TV's Lateline program, Pachauri claimed that those who disagree with his own views on global warming are 'flat-earthers' who deny 'the overwhelming weight scientific evidence'. But what evidence could be more important than the temperature record, which Pachauri himself had fudged about only a few hours earlier?”5
This deceitful charade of trying to hide reality from the public continues in the recently released Climate Commission Report, titled “The Critical Decade –Climate science, risks and responses.” On page 15 in this report, the IPCC’s 2007 report’s alarming diagram, previously discussed above, has been imported with one important change (See Figure 2 below). The three graphs under the map of the world that catch the attention of the reader have had their horizontal axis label changed from 1900 to 2000 (in the IPCC report) to 1900 to 2010 (in the Climate Commission report).
It does not appear that the temperature line has been changed or updated, but just moved to the right implying that the 2000 temperature point is now the 2010 temperature point. The diagram is sourced as coming from the IPCC report and there is no mention of updating the data in the text of Climate Commission report.
The result of all this dishonest chicanery is the now 13 year cooling period is completely masked, leading the readers to conclude that global warming is continuing unabated at an alarming rate.
Is This a Sceptic Overreaction?
A Green supporter could believe this is an overreaction and say, “The sceptics have found one trivial error - probably a typo - in the whole report full of important details. The sceptics are clutching at straws”. I would disagree for the following reasons.
This diagram is probably the most important diagram in the whole report. If accurate data is displayed in these graphs, the reader will realise that the Greens’ greenhouse theory has been falsified and, consequently, everything based on that theory has been fatally undermined. For instance, the unvalidated climate models used by the IPCC are built around this theory. Consequently, the projections made by the models will be shown to be wrong. All the science in the past two decades using these projections as a start point will also be wrong.
Secondly, much of the support for the Climate Commission report is given because the authors are meant to be the best scientists Australia has, and come from that internationally renowned scientific organisation, the CSIRO. Yet here we have errors being made that would not be tolerated if the authors were first year university students.
First there is the academic ‘sin’ of misusing references. If any first year student had taken a graph from an authoritative source, and then changed it to suit their own argument in an assignment, they would fail the assignment. By referencing the 2007 IPCC report, they are implying that the IPCC created these graphs. They did not! If for some reason they had wished to say, update the graphs, they should have acknowledged the IPCC’s contribution and then clearly described the changes they made to the IPCC graph. They have not done that. Yet these authors are meant to be the best of the best.
Second, and difficult to ‘prove’, is that this was not a simple error, but a deliberate one to hide the plateauing of the temperatures so no-one would realise their greenhouse gas hypothesis had been falsified, yet once again. However, the history of climate scientists around the world repeatedly trying to do this is a good start. Then, why didn’t they just “cut and paste” the IPCC graph and avoid this criticism of what they might say was a simple error. They might have been aware that the IPCC graphs apparently showed year 2000 data and this dated data would not look good in a 2011 report. By changing the dates they might have been lazily trying to avoid such criticism, and might not have been trying to hide the plateauing of the temperatures which would hurt their theory. We will never be certain of what occurred.
However, with all the past scandals of climate scientists trying to hide this hiatus in warming, you would think that any professional scientists would have taken additional care with this graph to avoid similar criticism. They have not done so, and now deserved to be criticised. For those who say “But it is just one error”, I would ask; “Am I being too critical to be suspicious when these “errors” always seem to occur in crucial areas where the Greens are at their most vulnerable?”
Australia, like most of the other countries around the world are making very important decisions to respond to the perceived threat of global warming. Billions of dollars are being spent, yet these decisions are being based on factoids not facts. Worse still, those who believe in the global warming story (the Green Movement, the scientists, the bulk of the media, and most politicians) are going out of their way to deceive the public on this issue as evidenced, yet again, in the Climate Commission’s recent report.
The public deserves a better response.
1. Climate Commission Report, “The Critical Decade – Climate Science, risks and responses”, Canberra May 2011.
2. “Truly inconvenient truths about climate change being ignored”, Michael Duffy, Sydney Morning Herald, 8 November 2008.
3. Covered in detail in Mosher, Stephen, Fuller, Thomas W., “Climategate the Crutape Letters”, 2010, and Sussman, Brian, “Climategate”, WorldNetDaily, Washington, 2010 or “Wishart, Ian, “Air Con: The Seriously Inconvenient Truth About Global Warming” Howling at the Moon Publishing Ltd., North Habour North Shore New Zealand, 2009.
4. IPCC 2007 Report, “Summary for Policymakers”, page 6.
5. “Truly inconvenient truths about climate change being ignored”, Michael Duffy, Sydney Morning Herald, 8 November 2008.
6. Climate Commission Report “The Critical Decade –Climate science, risks and responses.”, Canberra May 2011, page 15.