SIR – In your special report on the Arctic (“The melting north”, June 16th) you said polar bears are “struggling” and it is “nonsense” that they are thriving. Anything other than a cursory reading of the data shows no such thing.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature estimates, polar bear numbers are at least twice as high as in the 1960s. Of the eight populations said to be decreasing, the official data table and map produced by the Polar Bear Specialist Group shows that two are only “thought” or “believed” to be declining entirely due to hunting; four are in decline only according to computer models, despite some claims by “traditional ecological knowledge” (ie, locals) that they are thriving; one has more than doubled but is now said to be “currently declining” because of crowding; and one showed a real decline that has recently been reversed. Meanwhile, the four populations you described as unknown include the huge Barents Sea population, which has seen dramatic increase in sightings, damage to huts and devastation of barnacle goose colonies on the west coast of Svalbard, all prima facie evidence of “thriving”. There is a strong smell of “policy-based evidence making” here.
Since the 1970s the population of white whales around Svalbard has increased, as have walrus and barnacle geese numbers. Protection from hunting has had, and is likely to have, a much bigger impact on Arctic wildlife than climate trends.
I am writing in response to the recent article (EM 30 June 2012) on Cllr Janette Jenkinson’s call for special training for councillors in order that they may deal more effectively with the huge increase in wind turbine applications.
My advice to councillors would be “oppose oppose oppose”. Wind turbines are a politically driven “quick-fix” for which is there is scant evidence to support their alleged green credentials. Wind energy is unreliable, inefficient and unstorable. Furthermore it is uneconomic without subsidy. Even single installations for farmers qualify for payments from the 15% renewables premium included in everybody’s bills and the maths is simple. For every 5p of electricity they generate they get roughly 10p back in subsidy. They are damaging to the greater environment, the habitats of wildlife, tourism and the health and safety of residents.
In Scotland, wind turbines may not be sited within 500m of residents. In England there is no such separation requirement. In theory it could be at the foot of your garden. The government have indicated that subsidies for wind farms may be phased out and, in a move which clearly signals that they have been found out, wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has dropped plans to build a factory in Scotland.
Thanks for reproducing in your recent post my account of the left’s attacks on our scientists and donors. It’s a story that isn’t getting nearly enough attention in the blogosphere. I’m disappointed, though, that you also reproduced, at length and even endorsed, the lies and distortions written about us by Suzanne Goldenberg. A simple call or email to me or Jim Lakely would have given us a chance to correct her many misstatements.
I won’t ask for a correction or apology, but please understand that …
(a) Concerning ICCC-7, we set a record for the number of cosponsors (60), 12 speakers asked to speak after only 2 withdrew, and the mood was decidedly upbeat. Opponents (including “Forecast the Facts” and Occupy Wall Street) promised to disrupt the conference and failed utterly – fewer than 50 people showed up for their rallies. Those who did show up wore boots on their heads and refused Christopher Monckton’s invitation to debate.
In an unprecedented slap at NASA’s endorsement of global warming science, nearly 50 former astronauts and scientists--including the ex-boss of the Johnson Space Center--claim the agency is on the wrong side of science and must change course or ruin the reputation of the world’s top space agency.
Challenging statements from NASA that man is causing climate change, the former NASA executives demanded in a letter to Administrator Charles Bolden that he and the agency “refrain from including unproven remarks” supporting global warming in the media.
“We feel that NASA’s advocacy of an extreme position, prior to a thorough study of the possible overwhelming impact of natural climate drivers is inappropriate,” they wrote. “At risk is damage to the exemplary reputation of NASA, NASA’s current or former scientists and employees, and even the reputation of science itself.”
The letter was signed by seven Apollo astronauts, a deputy associate administrator, several scientists, and even the deputy director of the space shuttle program.
Following your excellent seminar at the University of Houston on February 6, 2012, I introduced myself, indicated Greenhouse Gas Theory (GHG) is a perpetual motion machine to drive anthropogenic global warming (AGW) violating First & Second Laws of thermodynamics, and emailed you my proof at 'No Virginia.'
“Now let me turn to the deniers. One of their favorite arguments is that the greenhouse effect does not exist at all because it violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics—i.e., one cannot transfer energy from a cold atmosphere to a warmer surface. It is surprising that this simplistic argument is used by physicists, and even by professors who teach thermodynamics. One can show them data of down welling infrared radiation from CO2, water vapor, and clouds, which clearly impinge on the surface. But their minds are closed to any such evidence.”
First, I recognize your expertise at evaluating climate data and UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) conclusions for validity; you are well-known to have proven GHG Theory effects on AGW are greatly exaggerated and not supported by any reliable data. You go further to claim carbon dioxide (CO2) does cause warming, without proof or quantification.
A little less than twenty-four hours ago, I sent the letter below to Dr. Peter Gleick. While his admitting to what is almost certainly criminal fraud was a start, it is my contention that every day he postpones owning the rest of what has come to be known as Fakegate the more damage he does to the people he was supposedly trying to help. Gleick’s brother, James, wrote Chaos, a book that had profound effect on me as a new college graduate in the late 1980s. I would even go so far as to say that I might never have written my own book on science, had it not been for the Gleick family. There is every possibility that the suppositions in my letter are mistaken. If they are, I don’t believe that writing the letter will have done any harm. As Dr. Gleick has no doubt received volumes of e-mail from strangers, there is every chance that he has not seen my own. There is also every chance that he has seen it, and does not know how to proceed.
Here is what I sent:
Dear Dr. Gleick:
I am an environmentalist. By this, I mean a few things:
Here’s a too-precious open letter from Michael Mann and the RealClimateers to the Heartland Institute.
An Open Letter to the Heartland Institute
As scientists who have had their emails stolen, posted online and grossly misrepresented, we can appreciate the difficulties the Heartland Institute is currently experiencing following the online posting of the organization’s internal documents earlier this week. However, we are greatly disappointed by their content, which indicates the organization is continuing its campaign to discredit mainstream climate science and to undermine the teaching of well-established climate science in the classroom.
We know what it feels like to have private information stolen and posted online via illegal hacking. It happened to climate researchers in 2009 and again in 2011. Personal emails were culled through and taken out of context before they were posted online. In 2009, the Heartland Institute was among the groups that spread false allegations about what these stolen emails said. Despite multiple independent investigations, which demonstrated that allegations against scientists were false, the Heartland Institute continued to attack scientists based on the stolen emails. When more stolen emails were posted online in 2011, the Heartland Institute again pointed to their release and spread false claims about scientists.
So although we can agree that stealing documents and posting them online is not an acceptable practice, we would be remiss if we did not point out that the Heartland Institute has had no qualms about utilizing and distorting emails stolen from scientists.
Washington D.C. - As part of their ongoing investigation into the scientific misconduct within the Obama Administration, Senator David Vitter (R-La.) and Senator James Inhofe, Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, sent a letter today to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar asking him to explain why he consistently ignored serious complaints regarding the scientific integrity of the Director of the National Park Service (NPS) Jon Jarvis, and why these allegations were not addressed during Mr. Jarvis' nomination process.
On three occasions in 2009, as Mr. Jarvis' nomination for this Interior position was being vetted, a distinguished member of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), Dr. Corey Goodman, wrote to Secretary Salazar explaining in detail 21 instances of scientific misconduct by Mr. Jarvis - yet in all three instances, Secretary Salazar failed to respond. In May 2009, however, Secretary Salazar asked Mr. Jarvis to address these 21 counts on his own, but Mr. Jarvis only responded to 7 of them prior to his nomination.
Senator Vitter: "We've seen facts manipulated and science ignored across the administration while they've developed policies with huge negative effects on the economy. We want the public to be aware of the administration's scientific gimmickry, because important policy decisions by the EPA and Interior shouldn't be based on guesswork or manipulated facts - and we want the agencies to be transparent and explain their methods."
I am reproducing this letter with the permission of Professor Brice Bosnich, a retired chemist and a fellow of the Royal Society. He sent it to Paul Nurse on his election as president of the society in 2010. Nurse did not reply.
Dear Professor Nurse
I am a retired professor of chemistry in The University of Chicago. I also am a Fellow of the Royal Society. First, allow me to congratulate you on becoming president of the Society. You are about to live in interesting times, I am sure.
Whereas I am reluctant to intrude on your time, I feel compelled to draw your attention to a very serious matter related to the Royal Society's position on man-made global warming (AGW). Beginning with the presidency of Bob May and continuing during the tenure of Martin Rees the Society has put forward a scientific case for (catastrophic) AGW, has joined with other academies in urging governments to take drastic action to reduce atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and, on occasions, has behaved as if it were a propaganda arm for the alarmist cause, . No one objects to individual Fellows having any view they wish on this matter, political or scientific, but I believe the Society should exercise great care in its public pronouncements. It should, I believe, resist taking overtly political or advocacy positions. Cautious, balanced and informed scientific arguments should be presented, the political implications of which should be left to the politicians.
If one goes to the Royal Society Web site one finds an especially poor, in places inaccurate, case made for catastrophic AGW, . There is also a highly speculative report on ocean acidification by CO2, , which seems to be based on a single paper, , that purports to calculate the change in ocean pH from 1750 to present! A change of 0.1 pH change was calculated! On this basis the report goes on to describe all imaginable catastrophes. At about the same time the Society's web page highlighted a paper about AGW and the shrinking sheep of St Kilda ! Then there was Bob May presenting an AGW lecture with the comprehensively discredited, , “hockey stick” graph as backdrop. I could go on.