Nicola and Independence 1634

I have been gently chided for not giving my reactions to the SNP conference, which I attended as a delegate.

Nicola’s major speech was very good. The media universally attempted to characterise it as kicking a new Independence referendum into the long grass. I did not hear it that way at all. I think they are clutching at the straw of her single mention of patience and perseverance, against the fact she used the word “Independent” or “Independence” an extraordinary 31 times in her speech. Of course she wishes to retain flexibility and an element of surprise, but as someone who has studied the matter extremely closely and who distrusts the highly paid SNP professional “elite” on this issue, I was reassured as to Nicola’s intentions.

The members are in extremely good heart and very confident. I was personally much touched by the many scores of individuals who bothered to come up to me and say they followed the blog. The conference agenda was somewhat bland, though fizzing with righteous anger at the effects of austerity on the vulnerable. My major criticism would be that far too high a percentage of total speaking time on the conference floor is given to MP’s, MSP’s and MEP’s. Constituency proposed motions, for example, were too often used as a showcase for the MP/MSP rather than introduced by an ordinary party member.

I dislike the political class now attached to the SNP in just the same way that I distrust the professional political class in every political party. The horrible Alex Bell should be a serious warning of the kind of false hypocrites that a salary will attract “to the cause”. Seeing MPs I knew as just punters campaigning in 2014, now walking proudly before power dressed entourages of paid staff, was a strangely unpleasant experience.

My major concern is that the SNP’s foreign policy and defence teams at Westminster appear to have been entirely captured by the UK establishment and indeed the security services. They have been willing and instant amplifiers of the Tories’ Russophobia.

It appears to me truly remarkable that I was not allowed to hire a room for a fringe meeting on Independence campaigning, but that the “Westminster Foundation for Democracy” – which is an FCO front and 90% FCO and DFID funded – was allowed a room on the fringe to hold this anti-Russian propaganda fest with a Ukrainian MP imported by the FCO.

Furthermore the meeting was co-hosted by the SNP and “Westminster Foundation for Democracy” and featured two SNP MPs.

I took issue with two other senior SNP figures last month over the party’s slavish devotion to what the UK intelligence services tell them.

The problem here is of course that the SNP is accepting a UK-centric vision of the world. This is a fundamental error, a category mistake. Because Russia is in an antagonistic relationship with the UK does not mean Russia should or will have an antagonistic relationship to an Independent Scotland.

Whatever happened in Salisbury, the root cause was spy games between Russia and the UK. Precisely the kind of spy games an independent Scotland must have no part of.

MI6 recruited Sergei Skripal as a traitor to Russia, who for money revealed secrets of his nation to MI6, including identities of agents. That is the root of the Salisbury events, and it is not the sort of thing an Independent Scotland will be doing. If an Independent Scotland is just going to behave like the UK in foreign affairs, carrying on neo-con foreign policy by illegitimate methods, I see no point in Scotland being independent. The Skripal affair, whatever really happened, is part of an entire system which most people in the Yes movement wish to get out of. We do not see the UK’s enemies as our enemies.

But the UK security services are our enemies. Scottish nationalism is defined in security service tasking as a threat to the UK and we are targets of the UK security services. The British government is not going to agree to another Independence referendum and we are going to have to win Independence, like the Catalans, in the teeth of every dirty abuse of British state power.

I would feel very much better if the SNP leaders, like Chris Law and John Nicholson both of whom I count as friends, would sometimes draw a deep breath, forget what they imbibed as Westminster MPs, and remember which side they are on.

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1,634 thoughts on “Nicola and Independence

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  • Republicofscotland

    Scottish farmers haven’t quite been dragged out of the EU by England, yet already they’ve been ripped off of millions of pounds of EU subsidies, I dread to think what they’ll receive post Brexit from Westminster.

    “SCOTTISH FARMERS have lost the battle over their unpaid ‘convergence’ cash, with Defra secretary, Michael Gove, finally admitting that they would not see any of the disputed £160m EU top-up that was awarded to Scotland but allocated elsewhere in the UK by David Cameron’s administration.”

  • Sharp Ears

    Linked in the thread on Craig’s latest post on Twitter.

    ‘Craig Murray
    2 hours ago
    Craig Murray Retweeted Public Reading Rooms
    This is self-evidently true. The CIA operation to use identity politics to cut away Assange’s – and Wikileaks’ – support from the so-called “left”, has been crucial in hobbling the potential of new media to shake the power of the 1% and the grip of the propaganda model.
    [Public Reading Rooms
    Why Julian Assange should be thanked – not smeared – for service to journalism. What he revealed about state duplicity, human rights abuses and corruption goes beyond anything published in world’s “mainstream” media.
    By @markcurtis30
    READ ]

    ‘The Guardian’s petty war on Julian Assange continues
    Alan Rusbridger’s regime never got over the fact that WikiLeaks hadn’t simply handed over the Cablegate files, and so the war continues.
    Guy Rundle Oct 22, 2018

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      Think The Guardian has never gotten over publishing the unredacted Afghan File which resulted in the murders of hacker/.leaker Gareth Williams, German linguist Gudrun Loftus, astrophysicist Steve Rawlings, and Assange’s imprisonment.

  • IsraelOut

    “There seems to be a contingent that is seeking to build a “safehouse” in Edinburgh for Israelis. There has been a lot of going back and forth from the Israeli London embassy and Edinburgh for some reason.

    There was a clique of Tel Aviv trophy wives in Edinburgh recently, seeking to buy up property in central Edinburgh. whether or not they followed through on it i don’t know. But the property market in Edinburgh is insane at the moment, due to Airbnb sucking the life out of Edinburgh now. so they would have had to pay above the going rate to get a decent flat in central Edinburgh……

    Another curious thing is that they move in groups of about 20. They never seem able to move about by themselves. Must be some security procedure that they adhere to when travelling.”

      • Node

        … and also in the I__aeli role in the supply of the drug MDMA (ecstasy).

        🙂 About time they did something good 🙂

    • Tom Welsh

      “Another curious thing is that they move in groups of about 20”.

      Maybe half or more of them are bodyguards – Ziva Davids.

      Incidentally, why buy property? Can’t they just commandeer it under eminent domain, or the well-known ancient Scottish law concerning the security of Israel?

  • Republicofscotland

    According to this, and Turkish intel, MBS spoke to Khashoggi on the phone, whilst he (Khashoggi) was in the embassy in Turkey.

    It’s claimed he (MBS) attempted to persuade Khashoggi to return home to Saudi Arabia, but Khashoggi refused, later Khashoggi was killed in the embassy.

    Its more than two weeks since the brutal murder of Khashoggi in the Saudi embassy in Turkey, yet no real credible explanation has been given by MBS, of why he was killed.

    I suppose Khashoggi’s affiliation with the CIA, and the Muslim Brotherhood, and being a dissident exiled journalist exposing Saudi machinations, are probably the real reasons he was brutally murdered.

    Could MBS be pushed aside so to speak, to take the heat out of this very embarrassing situation? And could Prince Mohammed bin Nayef make come back?

    • N_

      Could MBS be pushed aside(?)

      It’s possible. How to gauge the extent to which a division in Saudi ruling circles caused this event, as against the extent to which this event has exacerbated what would have been a less serious division, is unclear. If the telephone conversation was planned in advance by both Khashoggi and MBS, a neutral venue would have been used, or a CIA one, but not a building under Saudi control. That said, the line that he went there to collect his divorce certificate is obviously rubbish.

      • Paul Barbara

        @ N_ October 22, 2018 at 14:45
        ‘…That said, the line that he went there to collect his divorce certificate is obviously rubbish.’
        Why? We are also told his fiancee was waiting outside the Embassy; makes sense to me.

    • Tom Welsh

      “It’s claimed he (MBS) attempted to persuade Khashoggi to return home…”

      Personally, I find it more likely that the conversation consisted of MbS saying things like, “… and then they’re going to saw your legs off, very slowly… are you listening?”

    • Jo1

      “no real credible explanation….”

      Well, yes, but my interest is in the fact that Turkey continues to make so many claims about what has gone on yet, so far as we know, has failed to back these up with evidence. Given the very specific claims being made why is Turkey being allowed to continue in this obscene game considering the lurid detail being fed to the media?

      All of that said, isn’t it bizarre that Turkey has provided such minute detail – a blow by blow, literally, account almost – yet, for some reason, looked away when the body was disposed of and so is unable to say where it is?

      • Paul Barbara

        @ Jo1 October 22, 2018 at 14:53
        ‘..yet, for some reason, looked away when the body was disposed of and so is unable to say where it is?’
        Surely you don’t think the Turkish authorities follow every car that leaves the Saudi Embassy?

        • Jo1

          Well when it appears the Turkish Authorities are leading us to believe their on-scene eyes and ears were capturing and transmitting everything, I’m assuming that equipment would also have picked up how and when the body left the building.

  • Dave

    I read an article explaining southern England is sinking due to the retreat of the ice age glaziers from across northern Britain that had held the south up and that London is a giant flood plain that’s also sinking, but for now, protected by man made and natural sea defences.

    I speak in layman terms, after considering the matter, and look at elementary facts, such as the minute and, due to natural variations, irrelevant man made emissions of carbon dioxide, which debunks all the rest, (about global warming being man made) promoted by the climate Jehovah’s, as a substitute end of the world is nigh religion, particularly once you consider all the other vested interests involved, e.g. a global scare as a pretext for global governance.

    Nearly all carbon dioxide is trapped in the oceans, the rest is trapped within the earth and plants, with only 0.038% in the atmosphere, and would be beneficial if increased because the plants would grow quicker and bigger, helpful to avert famine and feed a growing population.

    When the sun burns the oceans evaporate releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and when it cools the carbon dioxide falls back into the oceans. Its a natural cycle that means, as you say, increases in carbon dioxide follows rather than causes increase in temperature.

    • Blunderbuss

      Thanks Dave. I’ve been reading one of the links Clark gave us:,_1896

      This is an interesting quote from Thomas Chrowder Chamberlin (1899):

      “An increase, by causing a larger absorption of the sun’s radiant energy, raises the average temperature, while a reduction lowers it. The estimate of Dr. Arrhenius, based upon an elaborate mathematical discussion of the observations of Professor Langley, is that an increase of the carbon dioxide to the amount of two or three times the present content would elevate the average temperature 8° or 9° C. and would bring on a mild climate analogous to that which prevailed in the Middle Tertiary age. On the other hand, a reduction of the quantity of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to an amount ranging from 55 to 62 per cent, of the present content, would reduce the average temperature 4 or 5 C, which would bring on a glaciation comparable to that of the Pleistocene period”.

      When he talks about doubling or tripling the carbon dioxide content, I think he is talking about total carbon dioxide, not just that produced by burning fossil fuels. To achieve doubling, we would have to increase our fossil fuel CO2 production from 4 tonnes per 100 to 100 tonnes per hundred – a 25-fold increase. I doubt if we could do this even if we burned all the fossil fuel in the world.

      • Dave

        Yes, Clark is very clever but prone to long and exhausting posts that, for some reason, miss elementary points, as illustrated by his posts on Craig’s 9/11 thread, which Clarke got closed down (can still be web searched), with hostile point scoring and hyped offence if criticised.

        • Clark

          Craig instructed moderators to close the 9/11 thread.

          On the 9/11 thread, Dave recommended a book by Victor Thorn; here’s an excerpt:

          “By diverting attention away from Israel, and more importantly, J+daism itself, Jones and his ilk contribute to the cover-up. Their silence becomes outright complicity. Further, compromised 9-11 truth groups only link to and promote other like-minded sites that participate in their Israeli protection racket. All other genuine truth-tellers are undeniably ignored, marginalized, attacked and mocked” [my emphasis]

          Thorn is a Holocaust denier. Dave used the expression “J+wish lightning” to describe the collapse of the Twin Towers. The phrase is anti-Semitic slang for insurance fraud by arson.

          Blunderbuss and Bayard, I think you should understand what type of person you are encouraging here. Dave claims that his objection to the global warming “conspiracy” is that its objective is the proliferation of nuclear weapons, which seems highly unrealistic to me:

          However, I suspect that Dave reveals little of his thoughts, and that his real objection is to nuclear science and technology in total:

      • Clark

        “When he talks about doubling or tripling the carbon dioxide content, I think he is talking about total carbon dioxide, not just that produced by burning fossil fuels. To achieve doubling, we would have to increase our fossil fuel CO2 production from 4 tonnes per 100 to 100 tonnes per hundred – a 25-fold increase”

        Completely and utterly WRONG. Human activity has already increased the CO2 concentration from ~280 parts per million (PPM) before the Industrial Revolution to over 400 PPM at present. It was 310 PPM in 1956:

        That is an increase of nearly 43%.

        Natural processes fail to remove all of the ~4% excess added by human activity, causing the concentration to rise year on year. This is why a comparatively small addition by human activity is so highly significant – it’s cumulative.

        • Clark

          Adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere starts trapping more solar energy immediately, but due to the heat capacity of materials it takes time for the temperature to rise. If industrial activity ceased entirely right now, the greenhouse gas concentration would begin to fall, but the temperature would continue to rise, for at least two decades I think.

          The danger is that there are various potential positive feedback processes. For instance, there are vast deposits of methyl hydrates on parts of the sea floor. These are kept solid by the high water pressure and low temperature, but if the temperature rises they could vaporise – into vast quantities of methane, a potent greenhouse gas:

          And that’s just one potential positive feedback effect. So even if we stop releasing greenhouse gases right now, runaway global warming could still ensue. And the longer we wait and the more greenhouse gases we release, the higher the probability becomes.

          You may call this alarmist. I say the purpose of an alarm is to avoid danger.

          • Dave Lawton

            Adding greenhouse gases

            What is meant by greenhouse effect?  What`s it got to do with a greenhouse? I don`t get it.

          • Clark

            Gases with small molecules like O2 and N2 are transparent to light / heat radiation of both high and low frequencies. With increasing molecule size eg. H2O, CO2, CH4, gases absorb the lower frequencies and therefore heat themselves up.

            Because the Sun is very hot, its light and heat radiation is a mix of high and low frequencies. When light from the Sun encounters Earth’s atmosphere, the high frequencies pass straight through, hit Earth’s surface and get absorbed, heating it up. Because it’s heated, the surface re-radiates, but as the surface is less hot than the Sun the radiation includes only lower frequencies.

            But large molecule gases absorb those lower frequencies and consequently heat themselves up.

            So to summarise, high frequency radiation can get in and heat Earth’s surface. It’s re-radiated as lower frequencies that can’t get out because of H2O, CO2, CH4 etc. So these larger-molecule gases act like a greenhouse, trapping extra heat near the surface.

        • Dave

          So you are claiming the entire increase in carbon dioxide since the industrial revolution is due to man made emissions.

          • Clark

            Essentially yes. It certainly looks that way from that graph.

            Burning industrial quantities of fossil fuels is a new phenomena on Earth, and new phenomena can have global effects; look up “the oxygen catastrophe”.

          • Dave

            This proves the point that you use your intelligence to prove your theory, even if it means ignoring common sense by saying ALL the increase in carbon dioxide is man made. You know that’s rubbish, because you know carbon dioxide is naturally occurring and variable.

          • Clark

            Dave, I’m wondering if you’re incapable of following a discussion, or just trying to deceive other readers – there probably aren’t many. Since you’ve mangled it, I suppose I’d best summarise it again.

            Human activities contribute about 4% of the total emissions of CO2. Before humans started burning lots of fossil carbon ie. before the industrial revolution, emissions of CO2 were balanced by natural absorption. The extra CO2 from human activity has disturbed that balance. Plants take up some of the extra, but not all. The remainder accumulates in the atmosphere, increasing the concentration and thereby accumulating heat.

            So yes, the entire increase in concentration is due to human activity disturbing the balance.

            I suppose I’d best spell it out for you – that doesn’t mean all the CO2 in the atmosphere is from burning fossil fuels. And I didn’t need to use my intelligence and it isn’t even my theory, because it’s just the mainstream scientific position.

            You keep saying that CO2 concentration is “variable”, but until the industrial revolution it hadn’t exceeded 300PPM for 800,000 years. And it had NEVER increased as fast as it is now, not by a long way.

          • Dave

            You say 4% of emissions are man made. 4% is small, but 4% of what. Well if carbon dioxide is 0.038% of the atmosphere then 4% is 0.00152% of the atmosphere, but, naturally occurring and variable carbon dioxide from erupting volcanoes can contribute more.

          • Clark

            “4% is small, but 4% of what”

            About 4% of total CO2 emissions, including natural ones, as I’ve said repeatedly.

            “carbon dioxide is 0.038% of the atmosphere”

            This is false; you seem to be using the value from around 2005. CO2 concentration has continued to rise and is now nearer 0.041%:


            “naturally occurring and variable carbon dioxide from erupting volcanoes can contribute more”

            This too is false. Volcanic contributions are around an eightieth of anthropogenic emissions at most:


          • Dave

            The contribution of volcanoes is impossible to quantity, as most are under the oceans, but its reasonable to conclude, even those on land are significant.

          • Clark

            Well it doesn’t matter which graph of measured CO2 concentrations you look at, they all show large a steady increase, with smaller daily and annual fluctuations superimposed upon them:


            CO2 concentration is rising rapidly, whereas before the industrial revolution it was steady for thousands of years. We don’t see sudden lumps in the curve corresponding to large volcanic contributions. We do see an accelerating increase that matches the acceleration of contributions from industrial activity.

            We also see a drop in ocean pH, ie. acidification (or drop in alkalinity cos’ you’ll probably want to argue the toss) caused by excessive atmospheric CO2 dissolving in seawater. This threatens the base of the food chain. OUR food chain.

            Really Dave, you seem to be grasping at absolutely anything. The scientific case is clear, and well established, and you have provided zero evidence of the vast conspiracy you postulate.

          • Clark

            Dave, you’ve been wrong on so many things – eg. that the concentration of CO2 is too low to affect climate (contradicted in the 1800s), that water doesn’t expand unless it’s in a boiler (contradicted in standard engineering textbooks), that volcanic CO2 emissions are greater than industrial emissions (contradicted by the measurements)…

            But all these errors would contradict AGW if they were true. That’s not a coincidence. Maybe it’s time you considered the possibility that you’ve been misled by dodgy websites that have an agenda.

            You’ve only considered conspiracy in one direction, and in doing so you’re second-guessing. It’s pretty obvious that companies wishing to prevent restrictions on CO2 would deploy PR deceptions, and there’s lots of evidence that they have, and still do. By accepting their word you’re corrupting your knowledge of all of science.

      • Clark

        Dave gets everything wrong. He keeps quoting the CO2 concentration as 380 PPM, but he hasn’t checked it for a while, it’s 407 PPM. Here’s the CO2 record for the last 800,000 years:

        Look carefully, because that vertical black line on the right isn’t the axis of the graph; on that scale, CO2 is rising so rapidly that the line looks vertical! There’s nothing like the current rise on the graph; human activity has pushed Earth’s climate into completely uncharted territory.

        • Dave

          Clark says “Dave gets everything wrong” in response to Bayard’s post saying southern England is rising not falling. And yet Bayard’s link clearly shows southern England is falling, so reasonable to conclude Bayard’s post was an experiment to show up Clark’s intemperate nature compared to my polite response to assist debate and Clark dutifully obliged. Well Done Bayard.

      • Dave

        My main point was the weight of the glaziers that once existed across northern Britain kept the south up and as they retreated the south began to sink and the link you provide confirms this.

        • Bayard

          It does indeed. I must have been looking at the screen from the wrong angle. In any case, it beats me how anybody thinks that the level of something that is in constant movement like the sea can be measured to the nearest millimetre, or even the nearest inch.

          • Clark

            There are lots of different ways.

            C’mon, every kid has stood on a beach watching the waves, trying to work out if the tide is coming in, steady or going out. And after a while you can tell. That’s just a kid looking at waves on a beach. Tide tables have existed for centuries; they predict the height of the tides months in advance. And if they keep having to be revised upwards, at a majority of places all over the world, global sea level must be rising.

            Then there’s geodesy.

    • Ian

      this is so scientifically illiterate it is laughable. Anonymous man on internet lectures us from bar stool about his ‘research’ which avoids the absolute wealth of easily available facts and evidence. Really, you think it is all so simple to debunk thousands upon thousands of scientists who have spent their lives gathering data and evidence, refining the theories all the time as more evidence grows daily to confirm their claims. A few sentences with some poorly understood claims, and everything is ok, it’s all a big conspiracy. Sure, have another drink and spare us this drivel.

        • Clark

          You, Blunderbuss, seem almost entirely ignorant of the mainstream view. You criticise it without having assessed it, and consequently, you misrepresent it and propagate fallacies about it.

          The things you claim the mainstream view ignores have in fact been intensively studied. You are promoting misinformation, and since I have alerted you to this, you are doing so wilfully.

          • Clark

            No, I have never had a scientific job. I dropped out of a physics degree after my first year, partly because 80% of the graduates were getting jobs with companies that contribute to design and manufacture of armaments. I have worked in theatre and entertainments, doing sound, lighting, recording etc., and I repair things a lot.

          • Clark

            And if there are billions in grants being given out for “promoting this elementary scam”, can I have some please? Because it’s borderline that I’ll have enough money for fuel to get into work next week.

            Actually, I only started looking into global warming a few weeks ago, when Craig posted “Time to End Cheap Flights”. But it turns out that the case is pretty simple, or would be had the fossil-fuel climate denial industry not strewn bullshit across the entire field, enthusiastically assisted by our ever helpful mainstream media and assorted characters in the blogsphere.

            What isn’t simple is how the climate will respond to forcing by greenhouse gas emissions, and this is where the much maligned computer models come in. The fact is, we can model all we like but we just can’t know; there might be critical effects that no one has guessed, and we don’t have enough planets to experiment upon to get a statistically significant sample.

            Sorry I get prickly. I love knowledge and progress. I was adopted and have never knowingly met a genetic relative, so my attachment is to humanity as a whole, and I’d hate to see us blow all our progress by over-producing an apparently innocuous substance like CO2 – what a stupid end that would be.

          • Blunderbuss


            Well, you have achieved something – you have persuaded me to do more research. However, I’m just one insignificant person. The real challenge is everybody else. Most people take the line “I’d love to save the planet, but only if I don’t have to change my lifestyle” and the msm encourage this by pretending it’s possible.

            Are you in Britain? The British government talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk because of the cost. It did have quite an extensive railway electrification programme but then cut it back when it realized how much it was going to cost. Then there’s the third runway at Heathrow airport – shouldn’t we be cutting back on air travel rather than expanding it? On road vehicles, the picture is mixed:


            but my impression is that electric cars are not at all popular because people are worried about the battery running down at an inconvenient moment. There are electric car charging points at the park & ride sites around Oxford but I’ve never seen one in use.

            There’s still a lot of work to do.

          • Clark

            We need the government to act.

            Battery cars could be viable, if the government will legislate to standardise battery packs, so you can visit a fuel station (they’ll still get called “petrol stations”), drop out your nearly expended battery, pop in a new one and off you go. If we leave it to the market, the companies will make all their fittings incompatible to enforce “customer lock-in”, just like they did with mobile phone chargers until the EU (inadequately) legislated against it.

            Big vehicles pose more of a problem; batteries just don’t have the energy density for trucks and coaches, let alone combine harvesters and aircraft. We need to synthesize liquid fuel, using carbon captured from atmospheric CO2 – which implies massive infrastructure investment. The lack of alternative for liquid fuel is what drives continual Western attacks on the Middle East, especially as liquid fuel is essential for militarism.

          • Clark

            And yes, I’m in the UK; near Chelmsford in Essex. Just up the road from University of East Anglia, for the conspiracy theorists, though I’ve never visited the place. The uni I dropped out of was Queen Mary College, London.

          • Blunderbuss


            “We need to synthesize liquid fuel, using carbon captured from atmospheric CO2 – which implies massive infrastructure investment. The lack of alternative for liquid fuel is what drives continual Western attacks on the Middle East, especially as liquid fuel is essential for militarism”.

            I also think we could make better use of existing wind turbines. I’m told that, at times of low demand, owners are paid NOT to generate electricity.


            It would be better to use the surplus electricity to produce hydrogen (for vehicles) by electrolysis.

          • Radar O'Reilly

            I spent many happy years in ChelmPsford (for some reason it has an unwritten ‘p’ in the middle, as pronounced),
            . . .at the Mid Essex Technical College

            QMC is a great place to drop out of

            Batteries, well, we are at the brink of a (forced) energy/societal revolution – literally UNBELIEVABLE quantities micro-pollutants (benzene, diesel & probably stratified-injection petrol dust) in city centres, micro-pollutants (plastic?, roundupTM) in food. Toxicology still being assessed, but they are likely deadly, or at best co-factors in mass disease.

            Not that many governments or supra-government trading zone administrations have fully grokked the revolution that is underway, apart from perhaps the Chinese.

   (3 MB pdf)

            this is a sort of ‘how to do it’ that China has implemented as an emergency, forcing ALL manufacturers to offer EV or heavy duties were to be applied in 2019, and introducing wide local & national plans in all areas.

            China IS revolting, it’s a color revolution of the right type, a GREEN , but more importantly life-restoring one, as inevitably our western societies must revolt, except we haven’t noticed yet.

            temporary solution: PV on everything that can take it, wind where there aren’t people, mixed other sources as needed for stability, national & regional super-batteries for price-stability, new governments that can tell & negotiate arses from elbows. EV bicycles? EV shared fleets in cities?

          • Blunderbuss


            “Battery cars could be viable, if the government will legislate to standardise battery packs, so you can visit a fuel station (they’ll still get called “petrol stations”), drop out your nearly expended battery, pop in a new one and off you go”.

            I remember reading an old book (probably published around 1900 when petrol and electric were competing to be the chosen technology) and the idea of battery exchange stations was being floated then. However, the reliability of petrol engines improved and (apart from milk floats) electric vehicles dropped out of the race.

            Battery exchange has the additional advantage that you hire the battery, rather than buying it so, at least in theory, the car owner doesn’t have to buy or maintain the battery.

          • Radar O'Reilly

            @Bb, yes, pluggable batteries becoming cyclic in a way

            decades after the decline in local candlestickmakers – charging stations were set-up

            [Old radio batteries US/NPR 2015]

            random whimsy from the ‘net Until the mid ’20’s, battery powered sets were your only option. These sets often used an “A” battery for the filament, one (or more) “B” batteries to supply the various plate voltages necessary, and one or more “C” batteries for the grid bias voltage.

            By the late ’20’s, the AC operated radio came along; but, there were still many areas where electric power lines were not available. I live in Mississippi and I’m told that there were rural areas of my state that did not have electricity until the early ’50’s. It is for these reasons that “farm” battery operated radios continued to be made well into the ’50’s.

            People took the lead-acid batteries into the local town to be charged, every so often.

            Problem of today, typified by Kia’s new EV choice at purchase of either a 64kWh lithium-polymer battery pack built-in (280 miles?) or a 39.2 kWh Li-Po (180 miles?), is that the battery charging takes around one hour from a 100kW fast charger.

            having realistically tested chargers at work, the newest swiss multi-mode fast charger melted the lab infrastructure, the Tesla-S test car was magnificent, but my infrastructure couldnt cope. I know of no city, town or village who has an electric infrastructure that can cope with even a minority of the current traffic plugging 100kW things in during the day, or at night. the city centre cabling cannot take it. It needs PV on everything, and rather a lot of planning, which I cannot yet see any real evidence of.

            just another opinion

            Oh and norway uses EV ferries, with 3 battery packs – one ‘A’ on ship – and one at each docking port ‘B’, ‘C’, slowly charging. When the ship docks at ‘B’ there’s (virtually) an enormous bang as its ‘A’ battery is charged within a short time from the slowly charged ‘B’, same happens ‘C’ to ‘A’ when the ship drops the cars of at the other side of the fijord.

          • Blunderbuss

            @Radar 18:04

            Quite a lot of history there.

            Battery exchange, rather than fast charging, would solve the problem of melting infrastructure. How much does the battery for an electric car weigh? Would you need a fork-lift truck to exchange it?

            For buses, one could use trailer-mounted batteries and exchange trailers, but I don’t think this would become popular for cars.

          • Clark

            Blunderbuss, sorry; long reply coming up, but it does cover quite a few subjects; your few simple points raise a mound of complexity.

            Firstly, referring to your earlier, 09:44 comment, the lifestyle question is a bit more complicated than it first appears. In any kind of market economy, cutting back on fuel usage reduces local demand causing the price to drop. This makes that fuel more attractive to poorer populations, so they end up using it instead. Since four fifths of the global population are poorer than us in the UK, personal and even national conservation doesn’t reduce global CO2 emissions; all fossil fuel extracted still gets burned. Only governments can legislate to prevent extraction; instead they subsidise it! George Monbiot is rubbish on foreign policy but this article on energy is worth reading:


            Next, yes, the spot price of electricity does go negative sometimes, when wind turbines are generating more electricity than demand. The UK now has more wind generation than nuclear, and the wind capacity was built in about a third of the time as the nuclear capacity. The trouble is that the wind doesn’t blow all the time. Here’s the Gridwatch site:


            Most of it is self explanatory. The maximum of each gauge is that source’s installed capacity. Installed wind capacity is actually nearer 16GW rather than the ~13GW shown. That’s because small installations aren’t metered, but subtract from local demand. CCGT is “Combined Cycle Gas Turbine”, the modern, more efficient way of generating from gas; Blair’s baby for “leading Europe” in reducing CO2 emissions, and now a liability due to the declining North Sea gas fields and the UK’s corporately trashed long-term gas storage facility at Rough; thank you, Centrica. The ITCs are the four undersea electricity interconnectors; these can read positive or negative since power can flow either way. “Pumped” is hydro-electric pumped storage. OCGT is “Open Cycle Gas Turbine”, old-fashioned gas generation.

            Radar O’Reilly has highlighted some of the problems with battery vehicles. But also note that batteries are only energy storage, not a source. Battery vehicles can produce as just much or even more CO2 than combustion engines, depending on how the electricity to charge them was generated. The same goes for hydrogen. There are no natural reserves of hydrogen, so it has to be synthesized, for instance by electrolysis. But that requires a power source, which may emit CO2.

            The trouble with hydrogen is how to store it; it takes quite a bit of pressure to liquefy it, and ruptured storage cylinders are likely to explode. I have read that the best way to store hydrogen is to bond it to a long chain of carbon atoms thus making it into a liquid; ie. synthesize hydrocarbon liquid fuel.

            Regarding your link; the vehicle manufacturers are aiming to phase out combustion engine cars faster than governments are. They have a better idea of what is happening, because their future business model depends upon it. The cheap, easily available petroleum has mostly gone. “Unconventional oil” is far more expensive to produce. But trucks and combine harvesters etc. are still a far bigger challenge for battery technology than are (comparatively) little domestic cars; a combine harvester can burn forty litres of diesel per hour. And what about warfare? Seize the enemy’s power stations (while preventing enemy sabotage) to charge up our tanks, or try to shuttle and parachute enough fresh batteries from the homeland? I’m not saying that I think warfare is essential, but it’s the government writing our energy policy and we know how they think. From these perspectives, it is highly wasteful to burn diminishing supplies of liquid hydrocarbons in millions of domestic cars that could happily run on batteries.

            And this is where what I know gives way to what I need to learn, so next I shall compose a comment for Radar O’Reilly, some of which will be relevant to your comments as well.

          • Clark

            Radar O’Reilly, thanks for your reply. I’m very tired right now and I should get off to bed, so I probably can’t think of all the things I was going to ask. Thanks for the China EV PDF; I won’t attempt to read it tonight.

            Yes, China is very interesting these days. Have you heard of their project to develop clean nuclear power? I’ve been interested in molten salt nuclear reactors (MSRs) for a while now. The Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor seems to look particularly promising, though a friend I greatly respect assures me it’s just a propaganda ruse for the pro-nuke lobby. The idea is to keep U238 out of the fuel cycle, and instead transmute thorium up to U233. U233 has a high probability of fissioning. The little that doesn’t transmutes up to U235, which also has a high probability of fissioning. With no U238 to transmute upwards, hardly any transuranic waste is generated. Five minute intro:


            35 minutes of more detail, including the Chinese initiative:


            Have you been following LENR development at all?

            How do the energy densities of various batteries compare with those of liquid fuels?

            Is there a liquid fuel that would burn cleanly in combustion engines? Is nitrogen in the air always going to be a problem?

          • Blunderbuss

            @Clark 21:55

            “The trouble with hydrogen is how to store it; it takes quite a bit of pressure to liquefy it, and ruptured storage cylinders are likely to explode”.

            Reading Buses now runs a lot of its buses on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and there haven’t been any explosions yet. I assume the same could be done with Hydrogen.

            We haven’t mentioned carbon offsetting. The msm like to say “It’s perfectly OK to keep on flying – just buy some carbon offsets”. I’m very suspicious of carbon offsetting. I’m not saying it’s always a scam but I think it presents enormous opportunities for scamming. How can you know that the trees you are buying will actually be planted and will grow to maturity?

          • Clark

            Blunderbuss, you’re the chemist, so you’re best placed to tell us the pressures. Compressed natural gas is half way to what I suggested; hydrogen bonded to as little carbon as you can get away with. Methane is the best at this; all four of each carbon atom’s bonds occupied by a hydrogen atom; 4:1. Next best is C2H6 giving us 3:1, then C3H8 and so on.

            Yes, swappable battery packs would allow slower charging. This would move some of the needed grid capacity out of cities and onto the sides of motorways. In areas of high vehicle density it’s not going to make much difference, because charging each battery more slowly doesn’t decrease the overall, averaged demand.

            To answer your earlier question, I’d guess a car needs about a 100 kilogramme battery. Here’s my guestimate method; cars typically have a 40 to 80 litre fuel tank. Petroleum fuel is just under 1kg per litre, but energy density of batteries is not as good.

            On that guess, 25kg swappable battery modules seems about right.

          • Radar O'Reilly

            I really like to see open & honest debates and analysis about the complicated way that things are at present.

            All good ideas are welcome, innovative nuke-plant, Carlo Rubbia’s laser TU transmogrifier even.
            Plug-in batteries might work, [the Tesla-S storage was massive tho’, expensive, sold as part of the car – a nice structural element under the passenger floor. these Li-Po’s work best/live longest between 40-80% charge, hence why Musk limits the full discharge of the batts, unless one of the potential natural disasters appear – then he can temporarily allow a fuller charge/discharge almost by text message] if you own the batt then you care a lot about the history & future. Hydrogen does leak out of anything! Acetylene is stored dissolved in carbon disulfide, so someone might solve H2 – there have been deaths as metallic (palladium?) H2 interstitial crystalline storage systems have sometimes gone bang.

            its worth thinking very laterally about AGW & GW & IPCC & the (near) future. a happy win-win has just been discovered on UK fresh water reservoirs. Some damp places are testing floating PV arrays; PV works most efficiently when cool; UK reservoirs are cool; it stops quite a bit of solar-driven evaporation – not that important in UK, but Gaza or South Africa could be critical. The reservoirs have a wide flat surface, not always built upon. near to cities – where else can you cover that big area with poly-crystalline silicon arrays or w.h.y? Once all inner-city buildings & car-parks are covered with PV, where the demand will be, then where else has the needed area for the revolution?

            Well, the unexpected benefit that has just been noticed, is that British PV water covered reservoirs are inhibiting algal growth, this was becoming a major nuisance with the slightly higher modern GW temperature evolution – some algae are toxic, some bloom – now it looks like a mad/innovative idea is working well in our British specific niche, with benefits. More UK efficient, helpful, out-of-the-way energy production will support the transport revolution, with less (alleged) poisonous thermal engine dust, and hopefully trend closer to a lower rise in climate warming.

            Can’t we get/pay a billion quid to Jose Mourinho(sp?) or some real manager to run the UK, as efficiently as a top FC, and manage the real problems?

            have a good weekend

          • Clark

            Radar – “its worth thinking very laterally”

            That reminded me of a crazy idea I hadn’t recalled for decades. Could trees be genetically engineered to incorporate a piezoelectric effect or something so as they sway in the wind they generate electricity? Might be easier just to go the biomass route. What about the grass clippings from all the lawns?

            PV on reservoirs – that’s clever.

          • Clark

            I’ve looked up electric cars, and typical battery weight is worse than I thought; about half a tonne. Lugging all that extra weight around will be bad for energy efficiency. With the current energy mix in the UK, electric cars would result in more CO2 emissions, not less.

      • Dave

        Its reasonable to conclude, but not necessarily true, the glaziers across northern Britain held the south of England up and now their gone southern England is sinking. Bayard’s clever wording appeared critical, hence you & co, rushed in to denounce me, without looking at the link provided by Bayard, which clearly shows southern England sinking. I’m more generous than Clark, I don’t think you’re always wrong.

        • Clark

          Dave, it’s not about you! Global warming is a potential crisis for everyone, and millions of non-human species. Please cheer up, dude. As I said, I’m sorry I get abrasive. I’m fed up with the disinfo on such vital matters. And I do get annoyed with the likes of Victor Thorn, because blaming the Jcws simply won’t help. We’re all in the shit together.

          • Dave

            I am by nature easy going and consider the glass half full rather than half empty, but I too get angry at the lies and think I look at things objectively and get satisfaction at working out the truth. My objection to the scam has identified a range of interests involved but as “left-wing” Piers Corbyn says “its about the science”.

            He means although some dutifully argue on the basis of it being a left or right wing issue, he just thinks we need to look at the science and feels obliged to say to say its “junk science”, even though as someone from the left, he’s denounced for being part of a “right-wing” agenda.

            I am a mix of right, left and centre, but just see the humbug when so-called environmentalists are prepared to cover the country with unless wind turbines to save the planet, when all they are doing is ruining areas of natural beauty with climate change follies.

          • Dave

            Christopher Bollyn’s “solving 9/11” does explain the Who’s Who of 9/11 and Victor Thorn thinks you need to look at religion itself for answers. Its a legitimate area of enquiry, particularly when some writers have blamed Christianity for the holocaust.

          • Clark

            Dave, I don’t know what to make of Piers Corbyn. I very much doubt that he’s part of the paid global warming denial propaganda – of which there is a lot. I’ve tried looking at his website but its a mess; just a multitude of claims all over the place with no structured argument about them.

            I hope you’ve been able to follow the logic in the way I’ve countered the anti-AGW claims that you have presented. Science isn’t claim versus claim, decided by who has the most authority. It is about logic and reasoning. The low concentration of CO2 really is irrelevant, for the reasons myself, and earlier SA, have presented (“99.96% of people aren’t shoplifters”). That anthropogenic emissions are only 4% of natural emissions really is irrelevant, because if plants could absorb the excess, the concentration wouldn’t keep rising. That CO2 is essential to plant life really is irrelevant, if too much of it borks the climate, just as too much oxygen would set everything on fire.

            Those counter-arguments seem logically watertight to me, so I think you should be suspicious of the sources you got them from; they must have encountered these responses, yet they continue to promote their claims. Many such organisations really do have an ulterior motive; they’re funded by corporations that rely on emitting a lot of greenhouse gases:



            It is tiresome for me to have to counter this stuff. The anti-AGW claims, though superficially plausible, have no real substance, so they shouldn’t really gain traction. But we’re not taught critical thinking at school, and the media, both mainstream and alternative, nearly always present authority-versus-authority rather than data and logical reasoning.

            But there is a highly readable, humorous and informative book that introduces many tools for thinking critically; Bad Science by Ben Goldacre. I’ve been recommending it for months, but people won’t read it, presumably because they think it must be a very pro-Establishment book. Actually it is entirely the opposite. It is absolutely scathing towards the mainstream media, and the way it has undermined people’s ability to think, and it returns those stolen tools to readers’ minds. It lays bare the conspiracy within the drug companies. It doesn’t merely say “these companies lie in order to make money”; it dissects the deception in intimate detail so you’ll be prepared for future deceptions. And it’s a great laugh at the same time.

          • Clark

            Dave, do you know how to assess scientific claims? It’s isn’t just “he says, she says…”

            I’ve examined various anti-AGW claims with you, and they have fallen – those claims’ cases are closed; not because I say so, but because logic dictates.

            So, (1) did Piers Corbyn propose any of those demolished claims? And (2) did he present any further claims?

            Do you understand why the analysis of global warming is dealt with by separating it into two issues – “radiative forcing” and “climate sensitivity”?

          • Dave

            Piers showed in straight forward layman’s terms, how the Sun influences the gulf stream as the main influence on climate. The Sun is a million times bigger than earth and has burned for millions of years and expected to burn for millions more, and everything, is beyond human imagination really.

            Thus to believe mankind can determine climate, is based on the same human vanity, based on us being God’s special creation, that led the early church to believe the Sun revolved around Earth. You escaped a religious creed, but retain the same religious view that humans play a central role in the scheme of things, hence why you believe its possible for humans to determine climate.

          • Blunderbuss

            @Clark 23:15

            As I understand it, Piers Corbyn’s theory is about solar magnetic storms, their effect on cosmic rays, and the effect of cosmic rays on cloud formation.

            Although it’s hardly ever mentioned, water vapour is the most important of the greenhouse gases. According to Wikipedia, the contributions of the top four greenhouse gases are:

            * Water vapour and clouds, 36-72%
            * Carbon dioxide, 9-26%
            * Methane, 4-9%
            * Ozone, 3-7%


            Whether the water is present in the form of vapour or droplets (clouds) affects water’s contribution to the greenhouse effect. Cosmic rays encourage the formation of water droplets and this reduces water’s contribution.
            Solar magnetic storms deflect cosmic rays away from the earth. This reduces cloud formation and increases water’s contribution. I can’t vouch for the accuracy of this but it is my understanding of Piers Corbyn’s theory.

            Wikipedia has something about it at:


          • Bayard

            “if too much of it borks the climate,”

            Yes and that’s the $60M “if”. My view in AGW is not that the climate isn’t changing, because it is, always will and always has done, nor yet that the level of CO2 is not also changing, but that the latter causes the former, for which I have yet to see a convincing physical explanation. It is also entirely possible that the former causes the latter, for which I have seen a convincing explanation.

            I don’t have a dog in this fight. I am not funded by any fossil fuel lobby, indeed, it should be entirely obvious to anyone, even of the meanest intelligence, that the supply of fossil fuels must be finite and therefore they should be used as sparingly as possible. I just don’t see that the explanation of how excess CO2 causes the Earth to warm up actally ties up with basic physics.

            The AGW cause is not helped by data which ignores the fact that the rise of industrialism coincided with the reversion of the Earth’s temperature to the mean from what was a cold period. The fact that the climate was much warmer in the pre-industrial period is seldom mentioned and never explained. Try Googling “global warming graph”. I did and there were 25 graphs, none of which had data before 1850 before one that had earlier data, and that only went back to 1790. Yet we know it was warmer a thousand years before. The Vikings founded viable colonies on Greenland, the northwest passage was free of ice, the Romans grew grapes outside York. It is the startling lack of any attempt to address this point that casts doubt on the integrity of the entire cause.

          • Clark

            Blunderbuss, I asked Dave an important question. For some reason, all the conspiracy theorists are ignoring it. The analysis of climate change has been divided into two topics; radiative forcing, and climate sensitivity.

            CO2 produces radiative forcing. This is because it’s an external influence upon the climate; humans increase its supply in excess of its natural sinks, causing the concentration to rise. This ensures that more solar radiative energy will be retained near Earth’s surface as heat. No getting away from it.

            Water vapour is involved in climate sensitivity, because the concentration of water vapour is affected by temperature. It’s a complex, nonlinear relationship making it very difficult to predict, and is one of the reasons for the computer models.

            The AGW denial industry has played all sorts of tricks conflating the two, and you’ve fallen for it. You keep looking exactly where the fossil fuel industry has suggested you look.

            As you said earlier, the problem is everyone else; you’ve fallen for it, as have millions of others. And many of you are voters, and some are policy makers. And that was the point of manufacturing doubt; to delay action and preserve profits while CO2 concentration went through the roof.

            Amazingly, they’ve managed to convince you that it’s all a conspiracy by the IPCC. Sorry, just how much science do you regularly question this way? Do you assign the laws of aerodynamics to a conspiracy by the Civil Aviation Authority? Do you attribute the epidemiology of cholera to a conspiracy by the water authorities? Do you think gas regulations are a conspiracy? Do you suspect that electrical wiring standards a conspiracy to sell plastic insulation materials? Of course you don’t! None of those have ever occurred to you! So why climate change especially? Do you, personally pay any carbon tax? No! The companies that funded promotion of the conspiracy theory do! And you, Dave and Bayard are proof that it works.

          • Clark

            Bayard, 20:24:

            “My view in AGW is not that the climate isn’t changing, because it is, always will and always has done, nor yet that the level of CO2 is not also changing, but that the latter causes the former, for which I have yet to see a convincing physical explanation

            You’re joking, right? The radiative properties of CO2 and CH4 MEASURED IN THE 1800s!!!

          • Blunderbuss

            @Clark 23:06

            Actually, water vapour was the main thing that caused me to start questioning the AGW theory. I started asking pro-AGW people, many years ago, why they hardly ever mentioned the most important greenhouse gas, water vapour. Initially, they said “we assume the contribution from water vapour is constant, so we ignore it”. Later, they changed their story to the one you’ve just given – i.e. that water vapour compounds the effect of carbon dioxide. The fact that they hadn’t thought of this in the first place caused me to doubt their expertise.

          • Bayard

            “You’re joking, right? The radiative properties of CO2 and CH4 MEASURED IN THE 1800s!!!”

            I am not questioning the radiative properties of CO2 and CH4, but the explanation as to how those radiative properties cause global warming. It seems that the IPCC has had second thoughts about this too, as the handy little infographic they produced at the start of the whole shebang is now nowhere to be found on the internet. Perhaps you could dig me up a copy.

            In any case, I said I was not convinced. Do you really think you are going to convince me by shouting at me?

          • Bayard

            To answer you intemperate post point by point:
            “Amazingly, they’ve managed to convince you that it’s all a conspiracy by the IPCC.”

            No, I used to believe in AGW, until I started thinking about the physics behind it. That, plus the unadressed points I mentioned above made me start to realise that something wasn’t right.

            “Sorry, just how much science do you regularly question this way?”

            Very little, because very little science has laymen getting all evangelical about it on the internet.

            “Do you assign the laws of aerodynamics to a conspiracy by the Civil Aviation Authority? Do you attribute the epidemiology of cholera to a conspiracy by the water authorities? Do you think gas regulations are a conspiracy? Do you suspect that electrical wiring standards a conspiracy to sell plastic insulation materials? Of course you don’t! None of those have ever occurred to you! So why climate change especially?”

            See my point above.

            “Do you, personally pay any carbon tax? No! The companies that funded promotion of the conspiracy theory do!”

            I am sure that I don’t have to remind you that renewable energy is a multi-billion dollar business worldwide, one that is very much propped up by government subsidies, which government subsidies depend on the public feeling that these industries are worth subsidising. Now if that isn’t an incentive for the industry to get people out there preaching the gospel, sorry, selling the idea, I don’t know what is. Please note, before you once again give me both barrels from the hip, I only said there was an incentive, not that it actually happens, but if you innuendo me, I can innuendo you right back.

            “And you, Dave and Bayard are proof that it works.”

            In which case you are then proof that the propaganda put out by Big Green works.

          • Clark

            Bayard, October 25, 21:24

            “In any case, I said I was not convinced. Do you really think you are going to convince me by shouting at me?”

            If you disagree with the radiative theory, state your disagreement. DON’T pretend it doesn’t exist, and I won’t get exasperated.

            “Very little, because very little science has laymen getting all evangelical about it on the internet”

            Yes well it is only the future of the whole planet; just a trifling matter.

            Actually, those other subjects I mentioned don’t have massive corporate lobby groups trying to, and succeeding in confusing swathes of people about the science. You say you “don’t have a dog in this fight”. Funny that, because you treat the subject in an entirely unbalanced way. You haven’t addressed a single one of the transparent fallacies that Dave has presented, not Blunderbuss’s incredible blooper about needing to increase CO2 by a factor of 25. No. you only pick holes in one direction, and they’re not even holes. And you’ve obviously been following closer than me ‘cos I’ve no idea what infographic you’re on about.

            Right. So what’s your problem with the radiative theory? Is it that you don’t understand it? I did black body radiation in school physics. I didn’t do the radiative properties of gases, but now that I know them, applied to the background of black body radiation, it’s obvious that greenhouse gases will trap extra heat.

          • Dave

            Clark @ 14.15
            I didn’t answer you particular questions because I don’t understand the subject referred to and aren’t really interested in spending time researching the matter, as I would need to do, before giving a reply, because although its a legitimate subject to study, its irrelevant to whether AGW is man made.

            Irrelevant, because man made emissions are a fraction of naturally occurring and variable carbon dioxide and because carbon dioxide itself is only a minor influence, if that, on climate compared to the many other factors involved.

            To be honest, and I don’t know how you do it, but I find your posts, however worthy in parts, a mountain of waffle built on sand. You are very clever, but I agree with an earlier comment, that you use your intelligence to look for ways, as a believer, to prove a religious, dressed up as science, end of the world is nigh theory, rather than apply some common sense accept its not going to end anytime soon, and even if it was, it wouldn’t be due to man made AGW.

            You would be on stronger ground warning of a nuclear holocaust, but in doing so, you would need to drop the man made AGW nonsense, as its used as the cover story to promote nuclear proliferation, under the guise of saving the planet.

          • Clark

            Dave, I asked you:

            So, (1) did Piers Corbyn propose any of those demolished claims? And (2) did he present any further claims?

            – Do you understand why the analysis of global warming is dealt with by separating it into two issues – “radiative forcing” and “climate sensitivity”?

            and you replied:

            “I don’t understand the subject referred to and aren’t really interested in spending time researching the matter”

            Right, so you wear your ignorance like a medal of honour. You choose Piers Corbyn as an authority yet accuse those who accept the broad scientific consensus of using their “intelligence to look for ways, as a believer, to prove a religious, dressed up as science, end of the world is nigh theory”.

            You also come out with this:

            “man made emissions are a fraction of naturally occurring and variable carbon dioxide and because carbon dioxide itself is only a minor influence, if that, on climate”

            These are misinformation. You “don’t understand the subject referred to and aren’t really interested in spending time researching the matter”, yet you continue to promote misinformation. You are therefore what is called a “useful idiot” for the polluters’ PR campaign. You should feel very proud, promoting confusion and ignorance which endangers future generations and their quality of life, for the sake of big corporations’ short-term profits.

          • Clark

            And Dave, nuclear weapons are not proliferating. Warhead numbers have better than halved, I think, since the end of the Cold War. North Korea achieved a successful H-bomb test, and then announced they would halt their development programme.

            The US followed by Russia hold by far the largest stockpiles of nuclear weapons. The main objective of non-proliferation endeavours is to prevent states without nukes from developing or acquiring them. The best way to achieve that would be for Western powers to stop threatening lesser states. Take Libya as the prime example. The UK under Blair persuaded Gaddafi to abandon Libya’s nuclear weapons programme. Under Cameron, Libya was devastated. The lesson to other states was “nukes can protect you; promises will not be honoured”.
            – – – – – – – –
            So is your theory that vast numbers of scientists, over 90% of the entire scientific community, are maintaining a highly elaborate deception about global warming, in order to promote nuclear proliferation?

          • Clark

            There are also the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Atmospheric Test Ban Treaty, and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Nukes have been successfully reduced far better than greenhouse gas emissions have.

          • Clark

            Dave, one matter where I agree; greenhouse gas emissions are only part of the problem. A major part, but another major problem is environmental degradation and desertification. Allan Savory’s ideas are controversial, but he does point out how increasing areas of once productive land are becoming desert:


            His ideas seem to be surrounded by a genuine scientific controversy:



            I don’t know to what extent Savory’s approach is right, but I agree that desertification needs to be reversed as a matter of urgency.

          • Dave

            Yes I thought my honest comment would get your response, but once you conclude 2 + 2 = 4, because its elementary, it becomes a diversion too far, to digress about others things, as if they made a difference, particularly as you admit to not being convinced about them yourself.

            You draw attention to other minor issues, but hype them as if they made a difference, except they remain minor and nothing compared to the influence of the Sun.

          • Clark

            And you accuse me of “waffle”?

            Climatologists do consider the effects of solar variation, so stop pretending otherwise.

          • Clark

            I thought you said you were “easy going”? I link a video I happened to see because I thought you might find it interesting, and you respond by insinuating I have some sinister intent?

            “Oh I believe you because you are purer than me”.

            Happy now?

          • Dave

            Once you consider the Sun, its impossible to conclude, something else determines climate. And that is the point, the official view, despite not believing it themselves, is that man made emissions of carbon dioxide determine climate.

            As I’ve said, a range of interests promote the scam, including a nuclear lobby, which you dismiss, except the government has announced plans to renew Trident, which constitutes nuclear proliferation, if only by Britain.

          • Clark

            “Once you consider the Sun, its impossible to conclude, something else determines climate”

            Well that seems a little odd, since the Moon is just the same distance from Sol as Earth is, yet the surface temperatures are wildly different. Most humbly, could it not be atmosphere making the difference, oh Wise One? Have not other planets been studied?

            You have presented precisely zero evidence of any scam, but I will say that I believe you, to avoid further accusations of treating science as my surrogate religion.

          • Clark

            I can only envy the independence of mind that would enable me to recognise the entire physical science community for the dastardly cabal that it is, conspiring to promote nuclear weapons by promoting deliberately misleading properties of CO2, faked in the 1800s. But you have to admire their impressive forward thinking, and their remarkable coherence, as generations of scientists pass and others take up the baton. Truly this must have been coordinated by a mastermind, and we are very lucky to have sages such as Dave to alert us to our blindness.

          • Dave

            The Moon governs the tides. Yes the Moon is hot and cold due to the Sun and has a different climate to earth. So yes other things help determine climate, but without the Sun there would be no liveable climate on earth.

      • Bayard

        “thousands upon thousands of scientists who have spent their lives gathering data and evidence, ”

        Thousands? How many other people have repeated the research done by the Hadley Climate Research Unit? Of are you talking about thousands of computer models, all based on the same data?

        • Clark

          Ian didn’t mention the Hadley Climate Research Unit. I take it they’re another target of the AGW denial industry. You’d know; I can’t be bothered with the multitude of websites obsessed with this single subject.

          Yes thousands have contributed.

          “This is a list of the 620 authors contributing to Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis, which was the 996 page contribution of Working Group I to the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report. Their report describes the causes and climate consequences of global warming.

          – This list is limited to people acknowledged as authors or editors on the report. The additional several hundred reviewers acknowledged in Annex III of the report are not included on this list”

          Those are just contributors to one report! I remind you that science is an integrated whole; countless other fields contribute to or are impacted by climate science.

          Just how many other scientific fields do you believe to be bunk? I refer you to the final paragraph of my comment to Blunderbuss above:

          • Clark

            In the old days cars had gauges on the dashboard. You’d see them vary, but within limits. But if one started changing beyond its usual range and just kept on going, eg. battery voltage rising or oil pressure dropping, well, you know something was wrong, and it was time to stop, before you did irreparable damage.

            But maybe the gauges were just a conspiracy between Smiths Instruments and AA?

          • Blunderbuss

            @Clark 23:26

            I think you might have missed my post on water vapour at 01:16 above.

            I’ve looked at the Wikipedia articles on Radiative Forcing and Climate Sensitivity. I gather that RF is about energy and CS is about temperature. I know some people confuse energy and temperature (because they use the word heat when they mean temperature) but I’m not one of them.

            You say in your 23:06 post: “CO2 produces radiative forcing. This is because it’s an external influence upon the climate”. I’m not sure what you mean by “external”. I’d have said CO2 was internal (to the earth and its atmosphere) and sunlight was external to the earth and its atmosphere.

            I noticed this in:


            “In simple terms, radiative forcing is “…the rate of energy change per unit area of the globe as measured at the top of the atmosphere.”[5] In the context of climate change, the term “forcing” is restricted to changes in the radiation balance of the surface-troposphere system imposed by external factors, with no changes in stratospheric dynamics, no surface and tropospheric feedbacks in operation (i.e., no secondary effects induced because of changes in tropospheric motions or its thermodynamic state), and no dynamically induced changes in the amount and distribution of atmospheric water (vapour, liquid, and solid forms).

            The last sentence is interesting because it seems to go back to the practice (which I have criticized) of ignoring the contribution from water vapour.

          • Blunderbuss

            I’ve just had another look at this:


            Look at the chart: Radiative forcings, IPCC 2007.

            The greenhouse gases in the troposphere are shown as CO2, CH3, N20 and Halocarbons. Ozone is shown in both the troposphere and the stratosphere but water vapour is only shown in the stratosphere, although according to this:


            “The troposphere is the lowest layer of Earth’s atmosphere, and is also where nearly all weather conditions take place. It contains approximately 75% of the atmosphere’s mass and 99% of the total mass of water vapor and aerosols”.

            Why is the large mass of water vapour in the troposphere not shown?

          • Blunderbuss

            This getting ever more confusing. According to this:


            “Radiative forcing or climate forcing is the difference between insolation (sunlight) absorbed by the Earth and energy radiated back to space”.

            However, it seems that the IPCC defines it differently:


            “Radiative forcing is a measure of the influence a factor has in altering the balance of incoming and outgoing energy in the Earth-atmosphere system and is an index of the importance of the factor as a potential climate change mechanism”.

            In other words, Wikipedia defines radiative forcing as the difference between total absorption and radiation while the IPCC defines it as the difference attributable to only one factor, such as carbon dioxide.

            No wonder there is confusion when the same term “Radiative forcing” is being given two different definitions.

          • Blunderbuss

            If I’ve understood it correctly, when the IPCC talks about “Radiative forcing” it actually means “Change in radiative forcing due to anthropogenic effects”. I refer again to:


            The chart is titled “Radiative forcings, IPCC 2007”. (without qualification) but the brown bar on the right reads “Net anthropogenic component”.

            Even so, the chart is misleading in leaving out Tropospheric water vapour. Perhaps, in 2007, the IPCC still believed that the contribution from water vapour remained constant.

            If, as the IPCC now believes, water vapour increases when anthropogenic carbon dioxide increases, then the additional water vapour is anthropogenic and should be included.

          • Bayard

            “Ian didn’t mention the Hadley Climate Research Unit. ”

            Did I say he had. I am surprised you have not heard of them, given that they did the original research on the whole subject.

            “Yes thousands have contributed.”

            I’m sure they have, but that wasn’t my question. How many have done more original research? We are after all talking about scientists here ” who have spent their lives gathering data and evidence, ” not just contributed to a report.

            “Just how many other scientific fields do you believe to be bunk?”

            There’s a lot of rubbish talked in medicine and psychology; I believe you have already referred to that excellent book on the subject, “Bad Science”. If you believe economics to be a science, there’s a load of bollocks in that as well.

          • Bayard

            “And again, you don’t need computer models to work out that increased CO2 etc. will trap more solar radiation; it’s inevitable.”

            but you do have to be convinced that, given the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and the posited mechanism by which it “traps solar radiation”, that it is actually making a difference.

            In any case, how can CO2 trap solar radiation in the atmosphere? The sun is outside the atmosphere. All solar radiation must therefore be entering the atmosphere from outside and heading away from the sun and towards the Earth. The CO2 can stop it, reflect it, scatter it, but it can’t trap it because trapping it means that it is preventing it leaving and it is not leaving, it’s entering.

          • Blunderbuss

            @Bayard 22:05

            The thing about greenhouse gases is that they transmit short-wave radiation and reflect long-wave radiation.

            A lot of the incoming radiation from the sun is short-wave so it passes through the greenhouse gases with little resistance. The outgoing radiation from the earth is mainly long-wave so it is reflected by the greenhouse gases and heats up the atmosphere.

            That’s the theory, as I understand it. How much difference it makes is the thing that the pro- and anti- AGW lobbies argue about. Mostly, both sides are saying the same thing but they argue about how much warming is due to the greenhouse effect and how much is due to other causes, such as the variations in the solar magnetic field favoured by Piers Corbyn.

          • Bayard

            “The thing about greenhouse gases is that they transmit short-wave radiation and reflect long-wave radiation.”

            AIUI, greenhouse gases do not reflect IR radiation, but scatter it. This piece of information was on the long-vanished “handy infographic” from the IPCC that I mentioned earlier. That’s an important diffenrence, because if the radiation is scattered, then only a proportion of it returns to Earth, while if it is reflected, all of it returns.

            In any case, what is also suspicious about the “CO2 is causing global warming” theory is how it is approached. It’s not “the Earth appears to be getting warmer, let’s look into what’s causing it,” it’s “Global temperatures and CO2 levels are both going up, lets see how we can demonstrate how the two are linked”. It’s all trying to prove a theory, not test it. The very saying “the science is settled” demonstrates this in it’s implication that no more testing is required, whereas the Scientific Method says that more testing is always required. History is littered with really eminent scientists who have fallen into the trap of thinking they have discovered the truth and only interested in proving themselves right.

          • Blunderbuss

            @Bayard 08:06

            “The very saying “the science is settled” demonstrates this in it’s implication that no more testing is required, whereas the Scientific Method says that more testing is always required”.

            Quite so. The absolute certainty of the pro-AGW gang (PAG) is one of the things that causes me to doubt their theory. When somebody (e.g. Piers Corbyn) proposes an alternative theory, the PAG give it a brief examination and then declare that they have “disproved” it.

            Another thing we haven’t discussed yet is the data. We never see the raw data – only adjusted data – and both sides adjust the data to support their point of view. This usually takes the form of cherry-picking which period to compare with another period to demonstrate the required result. According to the anti-AGW gang (AAG) global warming stopped several years ago.

            Then there is the much-worshipped “Global average temperature”. With the temperature as low as -40 C at the poles and as high as +40 C at the equator, a global average tells us nothing useful.

            I expect I shall be accused of being “unscientific” but this charge could be laid against both sides. It certainly seems to me that the PAG use a different Scientific Method from the one used by other scientists.

          • Clark

            Blunderbuss, October 25, 02:33:

            You say in your 23:06 post: “CO2 produces radiative forcing. This is because it’s an external influence upon the climate”. I’m not sure what you mean by “external”.

            Sorry, yes. What I mean is that water is an active component in the climate system. It is constantly changing between states – solid ice, liquid water, gaseous vapour, aerosol clouds, mist and fog etc, and suspensions etc. like snow. They all have different effects upon incident solar radiation. They are very much part of the spectrum-of-weather-to-climate system we need to model.

            CO2 far less so. You don’t get clouds of CO2 dry ice reflecting away sunlight. You don’t get continental dry ice sheets. It does dissolve in water a bit, but CO2 does nothing like the dynamic interplay you get with water.

            What CO2 does do is sit there in the atmosphere turning more solar radiation into heat. It forces more heat to be trapped. This adds energy to the climate system – ie. more external energy gets internalised into the climate system. Then climatologists make models and study the fossil record to try to work out what the hell that might cause. And there’s nothing much to go on, because no climate like our current one has ever suddenly acquired 40% extra CO2.

            Look up positive feedback and negative feedback; you’ll be needing these, and they help hugely when thinking about complex systems.

          • Clark

            Blunderbuss, 10:34

            “The very saying “the science is settled” demonstrates this in it’s implication that no more testing is required, whereas the Scientific Method says that more testing is always required”.

            – Quite so. The absolute certainty of the pro-AGW gang (PAG) is one of the things that causes me to doubt their theory.

            Well I understood that it was about greenhouse gases, but I didn’t start really looking until a few weeks ago. And yeah, the mainstream basics are sound.

            But FFS. Climatologists have been warning about this since the ’70s!. They’re saying “if you pass a major tipping point, there’s probably no way back, and humans certainly can’t undo it. Do you really wish to delete the current settings?

            And yet STILL we get “CO2 can’t do anything because it’s only a very low concentration”, and “CO2 can’t be bad because plants need it” and other absolute tripe. And it’s affecting politics, delaying and watering down action that almost certainly needs to be taken.

          • Bayard

            “Climatologists have been warning about this since the ’70s!.”

            Yes, and creationists have been around since the Bible was written thousands of years ago, but creationism is still bunk. The age of an idea is no guarantee of its veracity.

            “CO2 can’t do anything because it’s only a very low concentration”,

            Straw man. There is no denying that CO2 has some effect, just, given its low concentration, how much of an effect. Remember, we are talking about something with a concentration of 410 ppm being almost solely responsible for all the global warming that has occurred withing the last 150 years.

            Interestingly, the Wikipedia article on Carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere has this to say “Estimates based on reconstructed temperature records suggests that the amount of CO2 during the last 420 million years ago was with ~2000 ppm highest during the Devonian (∼400 Myrs ago) and Triassic (220–200 Myrs ago), with a few maximum estimates ranging up to ∼3,700±1,600 ppm (215 Myrs ago).” in which case you have to ask, how the hell did the concentration get that high without man around to burn fossil fuels?

          • Clark


            The division between “radiative forcing” and “climate sensitivity” is the (pretty good) attempt to distinguish between the system whose behaviour we wish to predict (climate), and influences upon that system which are mostly or completely independent of it and how it is changing.

            The various greenhouse gas concentrations are classed as forcings because higher concentrations will increase retention of solar radiation as heat, no matter how the climate is behaving.

            Water vapour is not classed as a forcing because the behaviours of water, in all its forms, are a complex set of effects, caused by the radiative balance. Those effects are large parts of what climatologists are working to predict, by using computer models, rather than part of what’s already known. So water vapour is not being “ignored”, as the denial literature suggests. It simply appears, appropriately, in the other part of the analysis, namely climate sensitivity.

            Regarding the definitions, the current definition in Wikipedia is pretty similar to the IPCC’s. That Wiki passage seems to be referring to radiative forcing as a whole ie. radiative imbalance, whereas the IPCC’s is more definitive about what constitutes a specific forcing.

            “Average global surface temperature” is obviously a difficult thing to define and can presumably be defined/calculated in numerous different ways. But that does not invalidate it as a measure; you could make the same criticism of “average speed”, but we all know that increased traffic slows travellers’ journeys. On average.

            “Average global surface temperature” almost has to be considered in some form, or you can’t consider global warming at all. You could substitute something like “total thermal energy within specified parts of the planet and its atmosphere”, but average temperature is much easier to think about for most people.

            So long as the “average temperature” definition is reasonable, its absolute value is of little interest. What matters is whether it’s rising, steady or falling. And it’s rising.

          • Clark

            There seems to be a general lack of understanding about radiative theory, and how greenhouse gases cause heat to accumulate in the atmosphere.

            The context here is electromagnetic (EM) radiation, the spectrum of which includes radio waves, microwaves, infra-red, visible light, ultra-violet, X-rays and gamma rays. These are all forms of “light” in the broad sense. They all travel at the speed of light, and their frequency is inversely proportional to their wavelength. They come in minimum-sized units (quanta) called photons. A photon’s energy is proportional to its frequency.

            Any object above absolute zero temperature – ie. everything – emits energy as EM radiation. The higher its temperature, the more EM energy it will emit, but also, the upper limit of the frequencies it produces also rises with temperature. The relevant theory is called “black body radiation”.

            Gases consisting of small molecules, such as O2 and N2, are nearly transparent to the sun’s EM radiation, ie. the radiation passes through them without being decreased. Gases with larger molecules absorb photons of certain frequencies, ie. they stop certain photons, absorbing their energy, thus becoming a bit warmer. But having become warmer, their own EM radiation increases; this will be radiated in all directions, and so could be loosely described as “scattering”. It isn’t really “scattering” because the photons emitted will have different, generally lower frequency / lower energy than the photons that were absorbed.

            EM radiation from the sun impinging upon Earth passes through the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases will stop some of that radiation, becoming heated a bit in the process. But the higher frequencies will pass straight through. This heats the surface, increasing the EM radiation from the surface, but the surface is cooler than that of the sun, so the radiation will be at lower frequencies.

            The EM radiation from the surface begins its outward journey through the atmosphere, but some of it gets absorbed by the greenhouse gases, causing them to heat up.

            This is the process by which solar radiation gets “trapped” near Earth’s surface. It isn’t exactly “trapped”; more sort of waylaid, but such vagaries of language are irrelevant to the outcome, which is that increased greenhouse gas concentrations will increase average surface temperature.

            This had all been thoroughly quantified before anyone ever thought of suggesting a massive conspiracy in the scientific community:


          • Clark

            Bayard, I find it tiresome dealing with your rhetoric. Rhetoric is an entirely inappropriate medium for technical discussions. You probably aren’t aware that you’re doing it, so I’ll point out some examples. You moved Ian’s goalposts onto your own preferred target, the Hadley Climate Research Unit, and then vaguely tried to pretend that you hadn’t, or that if you had, doing so was somehow justified. You flagged up some irrelevant “infographic” as if you’d found a smoking gun. You cited CO2 concentrations from more than 400 million years ago as if this were relevant to avoiding destabilisation of the current climate.

            Meanwhile, you display obvious ignorance of radiative theory. Until you understand temperature and radiation, you lack the competence to express valid opinions about global warming. Since billions of lives and livelihoods depend on this matter, I think you should express less and study more.

            Have you actually read Bad Science? That seems hard to believe, because if you had you’d be less keen on cherry-picking, and you’d know the value of systematic review:


            “Several studies of the consensus have been undertaken. Among the most-cited is a 2013 study of nearly 12,000 abstracts of peer-reviewed papers on climate science published since 1990, of which just over 4,000 papers expressed an opinion on the cause of recent global warming. Of these, 97% agree, explicitly or implicitly, that global warming is happening and is human-caused.

            – This scientific opinion is expressed in synthesis reports [ie. systematic reviews], by scientific bodies of national or international standing, and by surveys of opinion among climate scientists. Individual scientists, universities, and laboratories contribute to the overall scientific opinion via their peer-reviewed publications, and the areas of collective agreement and relative certainty are summarised in these respected reports and surveys”

            It’s remarkable how many of the denial arguments on this thread are summed up here:


            “Some climate change denial groups say that because CO2 is only a trace gas in the atmosphere (roughly 400ppm, or 0.04%) it can only have a minor effect on the climate[Dave]. Scientists have known for over a century that even this small proportion has a significant warming effect, and doubling the proportion leads to a large temperature increase. The scientific consensus, as summarized by the IPCC’s fourth assessment report, the U.S. Geological Survey, and other reports, is that human activity is the leading cause of climate change. The burning of fossil fuels accounts for around 30 billion tons of CO2 each year, which is 130 times the amount produced by volcanoes. Some groups allege that water vapor is a more significant greenhouse gas, and is left out of many climate models [Blunderbuss]. While water vapor is a greenhouse gas, the very short atmospheric lifetime of water vapor (about 10 days) compared that of CO2 (hundreds of years) means that CO2 is the primary driver of increasing temperatures; water vapour acts as a feedback, not a forcing. Water vapor has been incorporated into climate models since their inception in the late 1800s.

            – These groups often point to natural variability, such as sunspots and cosmic rays, to explain the warming trend.[Dave, Bayard] According to these groups, there is natural variability that will abate over time, and human influences have little to do with it. These factors are already taken into account when developing climate models, and the scientific consensus is that they cannot explain the observed warming trend

          • Clark

            Reposted from above:

            Blunderbuss, October 28, at 19:11

            – “Water vapour is not classed as a forcing because the behaviours of water, in all its forms, are a complex set of effects, caused by the radiative balance”.

            – This is my number one objection to the AGW theory. Whenever I raise the issue of water vapour the answer from the AGW lobby is “We can’t talk about that because it’s too complicated”.

            – Is water vapour a greenhouse gas or not? It’s a simple question.
            – – – – – –

            Yes it’s a greenhouse gas, but no it’s not a forcing, because it responds to the increased temperature. And yes its behaviour is highly complex; non-linear.

          • Blunderbuss

            @Clark 19:24

            “Yes it’s a greenhouse gas, but no it’s not a forcing, because it responds to the increased temperature”.

            I don’t understand what you mean by this. Please clarify.

          • Blunderbuss

            I think the reason the pro-AGW lobby doesn’t want to talk about water vapour is that the contribution from water vapour is so large that the contribution from carbon dioxide is small by comparison.

          • Clark

            Blunderbuss, they’re not likely to want to talk to anyone with an attitude like that:


            Of course water vapour is considered by climatologists, and I’m sure it plays crucial roles in most of the matters they discuss. But before you can discuss sensibly with them, you’ll need to be familiar with some of the concepts used when considering complex, self-affecting systems.

            The heat-gathering effects of greenhouse gas concentrations is pretty straightforward; higher concentrations gather more heat. The increase in CO2 concentration is also pretty simple; some small, regular daily and annual fluctuations superimposed upon a continuous increase. And it doesn’t vary hugely from place to place. These are linear relationships; on a graph they can be represented by simple, rather predictable lines; continuous, non-self crossing.

            In absolute contrast, everything about the behaviour of water vapour is convoluted. You can’t even really discuss “water vapour” in its own right because it’s forever suddenly turning into (or forming from) clouds, ice, or liquid water – depending upon the local conditions, which it also alters when it changes. It has effects that affect itself, therefore displaying non-linear relationships. On graphs you’d see lines with gaps or discontinuities, fuzzy zig-zags packed so tight you can’t tell where the line is, lines that double back on themselves or form loops – complexity.

            So you can’t really talk of a “forcing” because humans can’t force it. Even if we pump gigatonnes of water vapour into the atmosphere, it won’t stay as water vapour; it’ll do as it damn well likes under the local conditions. The climate models probably do include water vapour from industrial and agricultural sources, but a parameter that varies as quickly and unpredictably as this is best treated as a dependent variable within a model.

            Forcings are more like inputs to a model, independent of the model’s behaviour, affecting but not affected by the behaviour of the model.

            So that’s inputs and variables, and linear and non-linear relationships. You’ll also need a bit of familiarity with differentiation and integration, and positive feedback and negative feedback. Oh and see my Gravatar? Stability diagrams.

            Blunderbuss, I’d be very careful if I was trying to talk to a climatologist about the behaviour of water vapour. I’d know that I have very little knowledge, and that the climatologist would have much more. I’d know to listen and maybe occasionally seek clarification; that I was the one with far more to learn.

            Accusing them of bamboozling the public as soon as you think you’ve spotted a contradiction is probably not the path to enlightenment.

          • Blunderbuss

            I think we first need to establish what the chart purports to show. Is it total radiative forcing or is it only the increase in radiative forcing alleged to be due to human activity? If it’s only the increase, then it must be comparing the 2005 level with the level at some earlier, unspecified, date.

            In the absence of an earlier date for comparison, I must assume that it shows total radiative forcing so the absence of any figure for radiative forcing due to tropospheric water vapour completely devalues the chart.

          • Clark

            The reason is right there in the paragraph relevant to the chart:

            “In the context of climate change, the term “forcing” is restricted to changes in the radiation balance of the surface-troposphere system imposed by external factors, with no changes in stratospheric dynamics, no surface and tropospheric feedbacks in operation (i.e., no secondary effects induced because of changes in tropospheric motions or its thermodynamic state), and no dynamically induced changes in the amount and distribution of atmospheric water (vapour, liquid, and solid forms).”

            It does NOT mean that the effects of water upon radiation are ignored. It MERELY means such effects are not classed as “forcings”.

            You’ve probably never written a computer model. I have some minimal experience, and the approach described seems entirely sensible. “Forcings” are like knobs you can adjust to see what effects they have upon the system. You wouldn’t want a “water vapour” knob because it would keep changing its own setting; in fact it would rarely keep still. In fact you’d need billions of “water vapour” or “humidity” knobs; one for each point in the three-dimensional grid representing the atmosphere, and they’d all be continually adjusting themselves up or down.

          • Blunderbuss

            @Clark 21:44

            “Working out that greenhouse gases will gather heat is an absolute doddle”.

            I’m not disputing that greenhouse gases will gather heat.

            “Working out how the climate is likely to respond to that is an absolute nightmare”.

            Exactly, because you are ignoring water vapour.

          • Clark

            Blunderbuss, you can bypass all this by asking a very simple question; “do the climate models work?” Or better; “how accurate are the climate models?”

            Predicting the past

            – So how do we know the models are working? Should we trust the predictions they make for the future? It’s not reasonable to wait for a hundred years to see if the predictions come true, so scientists have come up with a different test: tell the models to predict the past. For example, give the model the observed conditions of the year 1900, run it forward to 2000, and see if the climate it recreates matches up with observations from the real world.

            – This 20th-century run is one of many standard tests to verify that a GCM can accurately mimic the real world. It’s also common to recreate the last ice age, and compare the output to data from ice cores. While GCMs can travel even further back in time – for example, to recreate the climate that dinosaurs experienced – proxy data is so sparse and uncertain that you can’t really test these simulations. In fact, much of the scientific knowledge about pre-Ice Age climates actually comes from models!

            – Climate models aren’t perfect, but they are doing remarkably well. They pass the tests of predicting the past, and go even further. For example, scientists don’t know what causes El Niño, a phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean that affects weather worldwide. There are some hypotheses on what oceanic conditions can lead to an El Niño event, but nobody knows what the actual trigger is. Consequently, there’s no way to program El Niños into a GCM. But they show up anyway – the models spontaneously generate their own El Niños, somehow using the basic principles of fluid dynamics to simulate a phenomenon that remains fundamentally mysterious to us.


          • Clark

            It doen’t make the blindest difference whether I’m “ignoring water vapour”. You’re “ignoring water vapour” right now; I bet you can’t tell me the current humidity in Reykjavik.

            Climate models do NOT “ignore water vapour”, quite the opposite, so stop spreading that lie.

            TRUTH, Justice, Peace.

            Or do you think you have some better scheme?

          • Clark

            Sorry, but this just has to be said. Your proposition:

            “Modelling the climate is proving to be difficult because water vapour has been (deliberately?) left out of the model”

            is just so dumb it’s hard to believe. For a start it’s just plain untrue; much of climate simulation is CFD; Computational Fluid Dynamics. But what on Earth makes you think it would be easy? We can’t even predict the UK’s weather around five days in advance. Predicting the climate has every appearance of being an absolute swine. There are any number of interactive, self-affecting and non-linear processes, positive feedbacks, negative feedbacks with unknown boundaries, and arbitrary detail. Surely you can see that predicting such a complex system is fraught with difficulty and prone to error?

          • Blunderbuss

            @Clark 23:03

            “Surely you can see that predicting such a complex system is fraught with difficulty and prone to error?”

            I entirely agree. That’s why I think the pro-AGW lobby has got it wrong.

          • Clark

            I see no contradiction, because the Wikipedia passage just says that water vapour won’t be called a “forcing”, and the Skepticalscience article doesn’t mention classification of variables into “forcings” or otherwise.

            I think you’ve misunderstood the Wiki passage. Just because some variable isn’t called a “forcing” doesn’t mean it’s left out of the model or isn’t permitted to affect anything. You could post the IPCC’s list of “forcings”. Maybe only global parameters are given the honour, expressible as just a single real number, and not complex things such as an array of many values corresponding to multiple locations.

          • Clark

            Well if you’re worried, see if you can find a systematic review of tests of climate models, as mentioned in the article Predicting the Past above. You might even be able to download and run some of the software yourself, but I guess you’d need to use a grainy resolution to run it on a domestic computer. Or have lots of patience.

          • Clark

            Well if you’re worried, see if you can find a systematic review of tests of climate models, as mentioned in the article Predicting the Past above. You might even be able to download and run some of the software yourself, but I guess you’d need to use a grainy resolution to run it on a domestic computer. Or have lots of patience.

            Oh look, you can get something here:


            On that page they require you to accept their terms and conditions before you can download it from them, but major bits of it are public domain, under open source licenses, or even the GPL, so you should be able to get them elsewhere:


          • glenn_nl

            BB: “I’m not worried and I’m not interested in climate models.”

            If you had any sense, you would be.

          • Clark

            No, Blunderbuss. You’re clearly interested in dismissing them.

            It’s an interesting approach to science. You accept most of it and claim to work in it. But then you seize upon some other field, decide it’s highly suspect and must be wrong, proclaim a load of sins it hasn’t committed, find a graphic on Wikipedia and claim it invalidates the entire field, and then claim you didn’t care about it in the first place.

            None so queer as folks.

          • Blunderbuss

            @glenn_nl 00:49

            I’ve had this discussion many times with many people.

            Whenever I ask about water vapour, the pro-AGW lobby are evasive, so I’m not going to waste any more time on it here.

            Perhaps Dave and Bayard can elicit more information.

          • Clark

            Note the tendency typical of conspiracy theorists to express approval of their team. Blunderbuss claims the deception is in the analysis of water vapour, while for Dave it’s in CO2 concentration, two totally different hypotheses, but they share the same objective of depicting AGW as a conspiracy, so Blunderbuss never corrects Dave.

            I’ve seen this pattern elsewhere.

  • Sharp Ears

    Another rip off of the 99% perpetrated by the 1%.

    Trapped by My Mortgage
    Panorama, earlier tonight on BBC1.

    Hundreds of thousands of homeowners thought they had been saved when the government took over their mortgages during the financial crisis. But ten years on, the former Northern Rock customers are still trapped on high interest rates and now their mortgages have been taken over by an aggressive private equity fund. Reporter Andy Verity meets the families who say they have been sold out by their own government.

    The private equity outfit is American, named Cerberus !! and founded by a Steve Feinberg and William Richter.

    Cerberus Capital Management, L.P. is an American private equity firm, specializing in “distressed investing”. The firm is based in New York City, and run by Steve Feinberg, who co-founded Cerberus in 1992 with William L. Richter, who currently serves as a senior managing director.

    If you cease payments, your home is taken from you. The home owners were led to believe by the government that they were being helped.

    Well named. ‘In Greek mythology, Cerberus, often called the “hound of Hades”, is a multi-headed dog that guards the gates of the Underworld to prevent the dead from leaving.’

    Were they having a laugh?

    • wonky

      Uber-cynic Feinberg also runs mercenary gangster outfit Dyncorp through Cerberus, best known for its extremely profitable organ “harvesting” activities in areas torn apart by wars and natural desasters. Recently he’s been buying up crisis-weakened European banks (actually, those banks are practically GIVEN to him by corrupt atlanticist zioliberalcon arse-kissers like German vice-chancellor Scholz for example..). He is also Trump’s “intelligence” advisor and generally one of the most EVIL blood-thirsty ziobastards alive today..
      But hey, it’s free markets, innit..

      • wonky

        … thinking about it.. maybe looking into connections between Dyncorp and the glorious white helmets would bring about interesting results..

  • Paul Barbara

    ‘US ready to blow another arms control treaty to feed its war economy’:

    ‘..Moscow and Beijing said the anticipated US move will undermine the strategic balance and unleash a new arms race, reminiscent of the Cold War.
    “Mankind is facing full chaos in the nuclear weapon sphere,” Russian Senator Konstantin Kosachev said.
    Another senior Russian lawmaker, Alexei Pushkov, slammed the Trump administration for “pushing the world to another Cuban missile crisis.”
    That standoff in October 1962 saw the US and Soviet Union on the brink of nuclear war. The disaster was averted by President John F. Kennedy and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, who then paved the way for beginning arms controls.
    By undoing the INF, the ABM and possibly START, the United States is returning the world to “ground zero,” said Pushkov.
    That deregulated global situation will inevitably greatly increase the risk of a nuclear war…’

    NATO really are intent on WWIII, ridiculous though it seems to ordinary folk.

  • Sharp Ears

    A succession of retired diplomats on Sky News ref Khashoggi this morninh with their weasel words. …. ‘little will change’…. ‘some rebalancing might take place’…’it is unlikely that sanctions will be applied to Saudi Arabia’…

    Nothing changes. Lord Peter Ricketts.. Sir Peter Westmacott.. et al.

    Ricketts’ Register of Interests. Always the killing machines and the missiles – Adviser to Lockheed Martin. Always the touch of kultur to counter the horror of it -Royal Academy/LSO/Leighton Museum

    Category 1: Directorships
    Non-executive Director, Groupe Engie (French-listed global energy services company)
    Category 2: Remunerated employment, office, profession etc.
    Strategic Adviser, Lockheed Martin UK (global security and aerospace company; Member gives strategic advice to company CEO)
    Presentation to International Advisory Board, Groupe Orange, Paris, 21 June 2018
    Category 7: Overseas visits
    Visit to UAE, 21-23 October 2017, to address the UAE Ministry of Defence Leadership Conference, representing King’s College London; travel, accommodation and fee paid by host
    Visit to Taiwan, 5-7 September 2018, as member of delegation from Royal United Services Institute for discussions with Taiwanese authorities and research institutes; travel and accommodation costs paid by hosts
    Category 10: Non-financial interests (a)
    Chairman and Director, Normandy Memorial Trust Limited and Trustee of associated registered charity
    Category 10: Non-financial interests (c)
    Trustee, Royal Academy Development Trust
    Trustee, Leighton House Museum
    Member, Advisory Council, London Symphony Orchestra

    Westmacott hasn’t reached the Lords, yet.

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