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Learning from America’s Ken Ring moment

Peter Griffin is the head of the Royal Society's Science Media Centre, home of Sciblogs, among other resources. This article is syndicated from Sciblogs.

The furore over John Campbell’s interview with earthquake predictor Ken Ring this week really exposed a strong anti-science vein running through New Zealand that even we here at Sciblogs, seasoned from hand to hand combat with the anti-vaccination lobby, homeopaths and evolution deniers were surprised at.

As one commenter on Sciblogs put it, Ken Ring’s predictions and his methods have a “pleasant intuitiveness” to them that makes them sound plausible and offer comfort in the face of hard science, often explained in complex, unemotional or even arrogant terms by scientists.

America's quake prediction panic attack
Well, this week’s turn of events reminded me of a 20 year-old Science article I was sent in the wake of September’s earthquake (hat tip to Lynley Hood) that paints some striking similarities between Ken Ring and another earthquake predictor who has long since passed, Dr Iben Browning.

Dr Browning was a self-taught climatologist with a Ph.D in zoology who in late 1989 predicted the serious likelihood of a major earthquake striking the Mississippi Valley during the first week of December 1990.

The media jumped on the prediction and widely publicised them. Why? According to Science:

Browning’s successful scare was based on classic ingredients: a predictor with apparently solid credentials, a prediction method that sounds scientific, and unsupported claims of previous prediction successes.

Does all of that have a familiar ring to it?

According to Browning, who at the time was a business consultant in Albuquerque, the subtle bulging of Earth caused by the gravitational pull of the sun and moon – was  to peak on 3 December 1990 which meant there was a 50 percent probability of a magnitude 6.5 to 7.5 earthquake sometime between December 1 and December 5. Browning identified the New Madrid fault as the likely break point.

As the day approached, Midwesterners were in consternation and on the day itself, schools and factories closed and “…groups such as the Red Cross wasted precious funds in their efforts to calm the public”. The period passed with no earthquake on the New Madrid fault, people sheepishly drove back into town.

Why were numerous media outlets so eager to promote this bogus earthquake prediction? The answer has many parallels with the seismic situation we find ourselves faced with in New Zealand.

Throughout the 1980s, the authorities in the Midwest of the US had been warning the population about the risk of earthquakes, pointing out that the New Madrid fault beneath them had produced three of the country’s most devastating earthquakes in 1811 – 1812. While there have been few serious earthquakes on the fault ever since, the risk remains – a lot of research is underway in the New Madrid Fault Region to learn more about the state of the fault as a high magnitude earthquake in the region is expected to result in massive damage and significant loss of life.

Like those Midwesterners, many of us live in close proximity to a major fault line – in my case, its the Wellington Fault cutting a path through the city half a kilometre from my office. For those in the South Island, it is the Alpine Fault that traditionally has had them worried. There has also been a recent, fairly destructive quake in the form of the September 4 7.1M event – on a previously unknown fault. In October 1989, weeks just prior to Dr Brown making his prediction, there was a large quake in northern California (Loma Prieta) killing 63 people in the San Francisco Bay Area.

So you have a: an area of the country riddled with faults that scientists says could rupture and cause massive earthquakes b: a recent high magnitude quake that has put earthquakes squarely in the public consciousness and c: a guy who comes along and says he can predict when and where the next one will happen.

Throw on top of that the fact that scientists actually  have been, over the years, checking out the possibility that tidal forces can trigger earthquakes, and the lack of credible scientists loudly proclaiming Iben Browning a quack, and you have the perfect conditions for Dr Brown’s theory to take hold.

There was also something else seemingly compelling – Dr. Browning was reported as having predicted that earthquake that struck the Bay Area. The San Francisco Chronicle reported:

He missed by just 6 hours hitting the Oct. 17 San Francisco quake on the nose and by only 5 minutes in an update a week before the disaster.

However, when December 1990 had passed with no quake on the New Madrid fault, scientists went back and looked more closely at his predictions.

Reported Science:

His claim to have predicted Loma Prieta was baseless, a video and a transcript of two of his talks showed that he had not even mentioned California – he had predicted nothing more than vague geologic unrest around the world. And his claimed 5-year-long record of prediction success was no better than chance.

You may have read fellow Sciblogger David Winter’s piece Ken Ring can’t predict earthquakes either which looks in detail at Ken Ring’s “prediction” of the Feb. 22 quake in Canterbury and whether it stacks up.

It all came crashing down for Dr Browning in 1991, according to Science when it was revealed that one of his biggest supporters, geophysicist Dr David Stewart revealed that be believed “psychic phenomenon is [sic] a fact”.

Again, some parallels with Ken Ring author of Pawmistry: How to Read Your Cat’s Paws. More on that and Ken Ring’s lack of formal scientific qualifications at Silly Beliefs.

Scientists did a lot of soul-searching in the wake of the Ibsen Browning debacle in 1990. They were criticised for not getting on the front foot and debunking Dr Browning sooner in the piece, before the media frenzy had whipped up hysteria. One scientist quoted in the Science piece explains the approach that is often taken by the scientific community in such cases:

The hope is that if we don’t respond, people will forget it and it will go away. If we do respond it gives the prediction a certain amount of credibility.

Scientists responded strongly this week to debunk Ken Ring’s claims as an earthquake predictor. Maybe they should have done that sooner, but I have seen the reluctance outlined above in operation here too and for good reason – look what happened on Campbell Live.

In the end the parallels between the shonky earthquake predictor who terrified the US Midwest in 1990 and Ken Ring currently putting a ring around March 20 on his calendar are incredibly strong. The question asked by US scientists back then was why hadn’t they learned their lesson about pseudoscientific earthquake predictions.

After all, there had been at least three of them in the 1970s that had attracted widespread publicity – surely the scientific community wouldn’t let a fourth gather steam? Well it did and the rest is history… and there’s a lot we could learn from that history when faced with earthquake predictions of this nature in our own country.

More by Peter Griffin

Comments and questions
108

Again..a good read!
Cant help thinking though that it is a shame we dont have these very same scientific folk getting equally excited over the climate / carbon nonsense...or is that a step too far because it involves big $$ ?

Yes , the NZ sceptics society has been inconspicuous on the Climastrology disease.
What's the story Matt McGlone? Your former students seek a pronouncement , preferably ex cathedra; I suggest ex a pub in Reefton( if there is still one there).

Peter,

Your blog is really hard to read. Maybe it is worthwhile to get someone to do a grammar and punctuation check.

Don't get me wrong, I like the content, but having to re-read sections to glean the meaning is is tedious, especially when all it takes is a couple of well-placed commas!

I agree with Anonymous.

I second all of that.

All earthquake scientists must be pretty worried about their jobs now...

Has anybody sat down with the data and dates of large earthquakes and noted the moon cycle at either full moon or new moon? If these natural gravitational pull from the sun and the moon can create king tides when in line, what effect does that have on the rest of the earth? wasn't Boxing Day Indonesian earthquake at one of these combined gravitational pull phases? How many more are there?

Peter

Glad to finally hear a respected scientist acknowledge the gap between scientists and the general public whom are technically their paymasters and clients. But you have only gone part way and i don't think you fully comprehend just how much the mistrust and respect of the science fraternity, there is in the community.

Scientists treat the public with disdain and are viewed by the public in line with investment bankers and bankers post the Global Credit Crunch.

Ken Ring has gained his respect by firstly having the balls to make predictions - even wrong predictions are acceptable to most of the public. At last he makes predictions or provides valuable information in our language He also has over a long period of time been a more effective weather forecaster to the farming and fishing community than the Met service ( once again the Met Service - another Government department is so PC it has been cloned into an entity with no vision )
So when Ken Ring started earthquake predictions based off the alignment of the Moon we all believe him - it sounds logical - much more logical than the clap trap you and your scientific community speak.

Secondly Ken Ring does not cost us a cent for his predictions so he owes us nothing - if we read his predictions and he is wrong we can hardly have a go at him.

Scientists however are paid to do their job - normally by the taxpayer via the Government but also very much funded by grants form big bad corporates with conflicts and vested interests to the results your science finds. It is common knowledge that many scientific experiments or research undertaken has been the result of pressure from corporate sponsors on predetermined projects. So you can see why we , the general public, have minimal respect for the ethics, morals and professionalism of the scientific community.

The recent events in Christchurch around the earthquakes has only reinforced how scientists add minimal value to " the now ". They add little value to what might happen tomorrow or next month. All we hear is highly paid scientists telling us what we already know or believe. The scientists review the event and then tell us they thought that this would happen - hardly mind blowing intelligence or foresight.

So when scientists have a go at someone like Ken Ring they are setting themselves up for a hiding to nothing.

And your article whilst progress just reinforces to me how far removed your sector is from the public who you serve.
there is a saying that maybe ' your heads are so far up where the sun don't shine that you can't see reality from the shit that you are speaking and breathing.

Good to know you've never gone through any sort of unexpected trauma of any sort. Why? Because if you did,you'll be seeking answers from anywhere, to comfort you. You do know how science works right? You do know that the scientific community has looked into the moon and it's links with earthquakes and there is little to no correlation? If you are willing to pick out scientific flaws (which scientific community does anyway, it's called the peer review process), why won't you pick out all of Ken Ring's flaws? Also there's a fallacy that all science is corporate sponsored which is wrong. You are so naive to think that Ken Ring doesn't have an agenda? The pseudo-science and conpriracy theory industry in NZ is worth hundred of millions of dollars a year in NZ and it worth several billion worldwide. You do the math. Also GNS has logged these earthquake and told you at the September quake that there would be a 6 coming, not only that, years ago in a Christchurch liquefaction info sheet released by the Christchurch City Council, a mag 6 would likely appear in the foothills of Christchurch if it were to occur. the epicentre was in the Heathcote Valley, right on the foothills of the Port Hills. I don't see you jumping up and down about that. The info sheet also very accurately displays the liquefaction risk in Christchurch. The info sheet was published in 2003. link: http://www.ecan.govt.nz/publications/General/solid-facts-christchurch-liquefaction.pdf . Here is Dr Mark Quigley's website, in which he debunks Ken Ring throughly. Dr Mark Quigley is the University of Canterbury geologist you have seen on TV. http://www.drquigs.com
Remember jsut because you don't ahve access to the information and/or access to it in a way you can understand, does not mean it doesn't exist. We all want bite sized easy to understand answers, but as with life,it's not always that simple. By the way, I am in Christchurch, was there for both large quakes. I'm glad the people in Christchurch understand science thus why the lecture theatre were packed beyond capacity when Dr Mark Quigley gave his leatures on the first quake.

BLOODY BEAUTIFUL MATE !

I dont much hold with Kens predictions have had his book this year and it is seldom right in my area. Could have predicted it better myself
unconvinced

wether Ken is right of wrong doesnt make a lot of diferance. what anoys me is that we (the tax payers) have been paying these supossed expert billions of dollars for years to study these things for years and all they can tell us is that if there is a fault we might have an earth quake some time in the future. Even I could tell you that for nothing. If there hasent been an earth quake there before they dont even seem to know there is a fault there .As in Christcurch

The debacle wasn't about Ken Rings theories. It was about the way John Campbell treated Ken on camera I thought.

The Campbell Live article said that GNS knew of 2 large quakes the day before the quake, and put it online. (before Ken Ring was on). Should GNS not have put out a loud warning? (Or would that be scaremongering?)

The CL article implies that "nobody can predict earthquakes" while at the same time showing that both Ken Ring and GNS have indeed made predictions, the latter of 2 earthquakes between 21 February and 20 March "by chance" put online 21 February.

With over 1,000 aftershocks in Christchurch since the first earthquake on 04/09/2010, even if there was an "accurate prediction on 22/02/2011" by either one of them, most Cantabrians would probably ignore it....

The real furore was about the treatment of Ken Ring by John Campbell.

Excellent article Peter, although from the comments some people still don't get it. Ken Ring is a nutter. End of story.

There is a place where logic bites its own tail and at that place science betrays itself as like another form of religion - given more faith that it deserves. There is more we don't know about the world than we know, knowing in itself being a subjective enterprise.

There are some who generate real results of tangible value to ordinary people in the hallowed halls of academia but mostly the halls are filled with fragile overblown egos, full of hot air, blathering rubbish in the hopes of justifying their salaries.

Jumped up in the idea of the superiority of their intelligence, they work ridiculous hours (which apportions to crap pay), often display garish status symbols (fancy cars, etc), and toil madly to produce journal articles or pieces of research which might generate a glancing sound bite at best (but more often no public response), with perhaps less readers of their works than a poster of a comment here, and smugly imagine they have enshrined themselves in some meaningful form of immortal greatness by having published.

The rather unpalatable truth is that they are just as insignificant as the next person and while they might consider themselves intelligent they do not live 'smart' as their ego leads them into self-exploitation.

To those of you ranting on about the hot air that science produces and the billions of dollars wasted on scientists salaries, take a look around the room you are in right now... See the carpet ? synthetic or wool it is the result of tireless scientific research in to polymers and genetics (depending on the fibre). Are you reading this on a computer ? Quantum mechanics and electrons, which you don't have a clue about probably. Cell Phone ? Tirelss research by hot-air blowers into electronics, radio waves and more quantum mechanics. Been to the doctor recently ? Where should I begin ? A massive worldwide multi billion dollar effort in medicine has produces stunning results over the last century. In every single area of our lives the fruits of science are everywhere. You science illiterate idiots wouldn't have the foggiest what science really is and how it works, yet you are prepared to slag it and the people that work in the field at the drop of a hat. Start reading some basic science text books and get yourself informed. Science is the antithesis of religion. It is based on repeatable observations and has nothing to do with belief.

"Quantum mechanics and electrons, which you don't have a clue about probably. "

And you clearly have a Doctorate in arrogance or perhaps were you simply born that way?
Either way, it's a trait commonly found in scientists of the lesser kind but rarely found in pioneers of science.

Science also invented the car and which kills more people than any war... science invents antibiotics which expose the body to other diseases... science invents the nuclear bomb which will kill millions... science invents GM plants which breaks down the bodily functions... which proves to me that the real dopes are these university educated idiots with degrees that stick their noses up thinking that their bodies are of a higher quality than us ordinary people. But you scientists will be cleaned off the earth one day real soon and good riddance to you.

How many of these practical outputs came from Government scientists?

How many of these practical outputs came from Government scientists?

Ken Ring is a charlatan, and as an engineer who has to talk to people about earthquakes I am grateful for the work Sci blogs has done exposing this guy. A shame John Campbell wasn't more professional at skewering him in front of a wider audience.

Unfortunately the general public are not highly educated when it comes to science, perhaps particularly so in New Zealand where there is an anti-intellectual streak.

What we need is more people in the media with a good grounding in science to explain this in a way Joe Public can grasp, rather than just have pretty faces who can gleefully report in front of a collapsed building and sensationalize a story.

But I do understand the frustrations of the general public trying to process the recent events, and understand the inability of science (i.e. Geology) to predict earthquakes.

It is an observational science only, with a very limited ability to observe what exists below the ground surface. Because of this lack of knowledge it provides little to no value in terms of predictive capability and more importantly an ability to make decisions about our lives.

Engineers on the other hand have to take this incomplete information and make meaningful decisions about an appropriate way to design buildings and infrastructure to perform successfully in earthquakes, which may not occur in the design life of the structure or may be bigger than estimated and required by building codes.

The focus switches squarely on the end-users safety but also keeping in mind what is affordable. It's a trade-off and decisions must be made. Geologists by contrast have the luxury of never making such decisions.

So yes, perhaps their funding should be more directed to research engineers. Which can be justified rationally for reducing our exposure to earthquake hazards in New Zealand, rather than telling us what just happened.

As someone who has observed the performance of structures in Christchurch and Lyttleton following recent earthquakes, I think we can be very pleased at the overall excellent performance of buildings given the earthquake shaking was far more intense than we design for. The bigger question is actually perhaps why so few buildings failed. The loss of old unreinforced masonry structures is sad from a historic point of view, but in the long run a blessing for our future safety. Many lessons will be learned from this, and hopefully fewer and fewer deaths and lower costs will result from earthquakes of such intensity in years to come.

So while there is a perception of heightened risk due to earthquakes right now, in the future our buildings in Christchurch will be as a whole more able to protect us (as the old poor performing buildings are gone), so our vulnerability will be significantly reduced. At least we will be working hard towards this goal - I can guarantee that.

good comments

"Science is the antithesis of religion. It is based on repeatable observations and has nothing to do with belief."

If that was all science was based on fair enough but science has one ingredient common also to religion - human nature.

Both fields have quested after immortality, for instance.

Science is full of theories and egos to back them.

it is well known in the astrological community that our moon has a huge effect on the earths tectonic plates. so one could assume that it would also play a role in earthquakes. scientists are pathetic, lets not forget that they are notorious at disregarding ideas and hypothesis until there technological capabilities are able to test what people like ken ring say. heed not the scientist as they only regurgitate others dictations.

It is quite obvious really

Science and scientists have a huge PR problem - no one understands what they do and no one like the arrogance of scientists who add no more value to society than anyone else. The rubbish collector probably adds more value at the moment - because his role is transparent and he is only paid what is fair for the work that he achieves and the outcomes.

The problem with scientists is they have no outcomes or in most cases no milestones.

I work in an advisory role and see first hand the Government grants/funding that science receives. Firstly they never deliver what they say they will deliver - NEVER. When they are at the halfway stage of their funding round - say it is for 3 years - they start new projects that are added on to the original project so that there funding now runs for a further 3 years and so on and so on.

But what is worse - when they genuinely know that there project has failed and has no merit, instead of stopping the project and handing the money back to the Government ( taxpayer ), they deliberately continue using the funding until the end of the funding round - despite knowing there is no chance of success

So not only are scientists arrogant - they have no ethics, morals and are totally dishonest.

And Scientists are more than happy undertaking predetermined science projects for corporates or science projects sponsored by corporates with huge pressure from the same corporate sponsors.

They are also blurred by some kind of loyalty to corporate sponsors if projects arise with new innovation ( inventors ) and the likely outcome is that the new product could be better and more environmentally friendly that the corporate sponsors products. Universities are the worst at this practice.

Maybe scientists should shy away from criticising Ken Ring and focus on how bad their public profile is and how bad their morals and ethics are.

Especially when we have a Government that is looking at cutting costs within Government and the general public will back cuts to lower level scientific projects and wastage with Government grants.

the arrogance of scientists is at its zenith. their im right your wrong attitude is akin to religion. thankfully the majority of people are now able to accept others ideas without public criticism. you wouldn't hear the government saying that Christians are right and Muslims are wrong in their interpretation of the bible would you. so why do scientists think that their doctrine is the only body of knowledge that is acceptable, OH THAT'S RIGHT THEIR PROFESSION IS INFESTED WITH ARROGANCE.

Ken Ring is doing a great job of separating gullible twits from their money - like Nigerian scam artists, astrologists, lowball share offer specialists etc. I wonder how much much he make from his on-line sales plus almanacs? Should be doing well given some of the hilarious comments from his supporters! Go Ken - take their $$$. They deserve to lose it all.

"But what is worse - when they genuinely know that there project has failed and has no merit, instead of stopping the project and handing the money back to the Government ( taxpayer ), they deliberately continue using the funding until the end of the funding round - despite knowing there is no chance of success

So not only are scientists arrogant - they have no ethics, morals and are totally dishonest."

You are totally correct that this happens. I had worked as a research fellow on such a project under a couple of senior 'names' (such names are good at taking credit for other people's innovations, but FRST is part of the problem there).

I was disgusted at their use of taxpayer money, their disingenuous attitude. I tried to work with Government stakeholders to ensure we were getting value from the research that could aid in practical application. My boss overturned more than half of what should have gone into the research to make way for a pet project of personal interest saying they did not give a flying fig about what the Government thought - yet it was Government funding they were receiving.

I ended up quitting, completely disillusioned. When it was something I could not believe in anymore it was something I could not do.

Part of the Government's problem with funding is that they put too much stock in giving money to 'established' names.

It is often the case that as people progress and become more senior (i.e. get 'names') they run dry of innovation.

So what they have to do is listen to the young and innovative 'no name' up and comers and manipulate them into letting their name head the innovation.

Once stolen ideas are acquired, you either have to work horse the innovator, keeping their self esteem down, to do all the work while you take the credit. Or you get rid off them to keep them silent.

In either case, if you got rid of them or they left after being fed up with how they were treated, what you are left with are senior names who have managed to get funding off the back off a stolen idea but who actually have no idea, nor ability, to bring the project to a successful end.

And so it fails.

The Government needs to put aside its own preoccupation with status if they want to get real results and focus only on the merit of what they see not the 'name'.

At the same token, there is also a lot of Government money thrown around for political appearance sake of 'doing something' - how much money is wasted doing that?

Further, when you enter Govt. and business interests into the academic system (which has been increasingly the case, started under the previous Labour Govt.) then the weaknesses and prejudices in all three of those systems can combine in some very bad ways.

The whole system needs an overhaul.

No wonder scientists or people who work alongside the ( who also feed out of our trough ) are now on the defense.

Best they shut up and crawl back into their shells.
They have no right to have a go at anyone based on their corrupt and illegal business practices.

To add insult to injury we are probably being ripped off the most by foreign academics who were hired to fill posts in New Zealand because our tall poppy syndrome deems that our own people must be inferior.

This being the case, our most splendid minds are likely to go off overseas to be employed where they are actually appreciated.

Our own people aren't inferior - just not very honest

They don't corner that market.

i don't think Ken is much different to any of the snake-oil merchants in the prediction industry whether they're backed by " govt science" or not. Bring me back in the next world as a volcanologist in a nice little office overlooking the Wellington harbour,a couple of hundred grand a year and after 30yrs experience I will be able to safely predict that Ruapehu might erupt again somewhere between tomorrow afternoon and 10 million years time.The magnitude is a little more difficult however. At least Ken is not costing us.

You can pick the science people. The chinese have been predicting earthquakes for thousands of years. I notice also that Amit Dave (India)has also predicted an earthquake on the 2oth March but does not say where. His predictions seem to be close to correct. Funny how those who do this thing for nothing seem to do ok when it comes to predicting the shakes but those who have millions do not seem to be able to do the same. Wonder where the money goes?

You can pick the anti-science people.

They say things like "the chinese have been predicting earthquakes for thousands of years" when the chinese have about as much clue as anyone else (and have had millions of their citizens killed by earthquakes).

The ones who claim to be "21 year old oil rig cordint" (whatever that might be), and who can't spell "newbrighten".

The ones who claim govt-funded geologists can earn $200k+ and work out of snug Wellington office. If only!

That "science invents GM plants which breaks down the bodily functions" when no such link has ever been made.

That scientists have "no ethics, morals and are totally dishonest."

What sort of people are you? Do you really want to be guided by cat astrologers? By snake-oil salesman?

The stupid. It hurts.

Practical science IS what makes the world go round but not the myriad of "experts" keen on media exposure peddling their predictions on natural disasters of the future. Interestingly there are no fault lines shown on the official geological maps of NZ for the Ch-Ch area.There might be on Ken's map though.

Climate Scientist (sic) Pachauri at the IPCC is obviusly anti-science (but then he is only an effing railway engineer)

The rubbish collector does more for public health and prevention each week than most scientists contribute in their lifetimes.

science is a method of enquiry. Philosophy is a method of enquiry. Religion is a method of enquiry. I dont think any of these methods could have predicted the Christchurch earthquake. If anyone says they can, then they are generally looking at a crystal ball.

As the saying goes, being a skeptic requires keeping an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out! For all you anti-science nut-cases out there: Science/scientific method is the only way we have to learn about the natural world. There are NO useful alternative methods (and that means zero, zip, zilch, nada). If you believe in Ken Ring's earthquake predictions, homeopathy, psychics, UFOs, pyramid power, new age BS, and/or any of a thousand other pseudo-scientific nonsense notions, you are a major part of society's problem, and you will never be part of the solution. Educate yourselves and learn what science is all about. If you can't or won't do that, then do the world a big favor and STFU.

The article says Ken Ring has a theory. Real scientists would prove or disprove the theory, not engage in ad homenim attacks. It wasn't that long ago that "real scientists" attacked the person who came up with the theory around tectonic plates, and yet we have the whole area of science which developed from it now investigating earthquakes, of all things.
It seems to me, scientists use the scientific method when it suits thems, and other "other approaches" when convenient.

Lets all wait until the 20 th has passed then we will know who is wrong and who is right.

Lets all wait until the 20 th has passed then we will know who is wrong and who is right.

Scientists have about as much credibility as economists! No wonder people are distrustful of scientists e.g. Y2K bug, Bird Flu pandemic - a conspiracy theorist could not be blamed for suggesting the scientists had major vested interests in making wild claims in the interests of big bucks. And it we consider the accuracy (or lack of) our weather forecasters (who presumably are scientists) then there is a huge credibility issue. So when scientists get up in arms and start attacking someone else (like Ken Ring) it is no wonder people get upset. The lines between 'science' and 'quackery' are not clear to 'Joe Average'.

lets ask Penny Bright her opinion. Fresh from a crushing defeat at Bontany (100 votes ?) she can turn her attention to teh next earthquake. Such a mind should no doubt be able to shed some light on this matter

124 votes to be precise......

excluding postal votes.....

This could be history in the making - no one has ever asked Penny her opinion on anything ! Normally she doesnt have the manners or good judgement to wait to be asked ! (or know better).

Even some very educated people still don't understand the basic "Cause and effect" and "Correlation" principles.

Example: Ice cream sales and Polio, if you don't know the story, Polio cases peak in hot summer months and so do the sales of Ice cream (google for an image of the graph), so some people drew a correlation between ice cream and polio. It turned out that it was just coincidence.

My point is that most people don't research deep enough to see the difference between correlation and coincidence.

Galileo was once also labelled a nut-job for his idea the Earth went around the Sun.

Not about science at all really. Just rudeness and lack of professionalism by the Interviewer.

Scientists used to explain why the critic was wrong, and produce experimental proof of their hypotheses. But too many now revert to ad hominem tactics and appeals to authority. After a while, science loses it's cachet.

They still do. Try re-reading the scientific criticisms of ring.

What a load of crap most of these comments are 'Arrogant scientist'.. Yea ok, scientists are human to.. most science is not going to result in immediate benefit.. That concept as a basis for funding is crap.
Science is a series of methods and philosophies about how to determine what makes things work (earth, materials, life etcetera). Religion is a belief or faith of the unknowable - including the meaning of our existence (why not how). Real faith is not in conflict with real science... except withing our less than perfect minds.

Most of the comments on this thread are stultifyingly ill-informed. Tis true 'the world needs ditch diggers too', but are there really that many people out there with such an anti-science bias? Or are you all too embarrassed to be associated with the moronic hoardes?

So it is OK for fear and trepidation to be instilled in the minds of children with propaganda regarding global warming. Or is it climate change or climate variation?

Not fear. Education, and yes it is ok to do that because global warming is a clear and present danger to our species; supported by tonnes of mutually buttressed EVIDENCE. Scientific evidence is not, repeat not, propaganda.

Glans...stop talking eco-fascist boll#cks and practice what YOU preach....have a gander:

In considering any claim to scientific consensus, it seems appropriate to note the following statement by Dr Benjamin Santer, author of the 2007 IPCC report chapter on the detection of greenhouse warming - NOT A SCEPTIC: to my knowledge.

"It's unfortunate that many people read the media hype before they read the (IPCC report) chapter "on the detection of greenhouse warming." I think the caveats are there. We say quite clearly that few scientists would say that the attribution issue [man-made climate change] was a done deal."
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
The true opinion of some IPCC scientists slipped out in the ‘IPCC Climate Change 2001’ report, Chapter 1; page 97, concluding: “Climate has always varied on all time-scales, so the observed change may be natural."

The credibility of the computer model predictions took a significant hit in June 2007 when Dr. Jim Renwick, a top UN IPCC scientist, admitted that climate models do not account for half the variability in nature and thus are not reliable.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change misled the press and public into believing that thousands of scientists backed its claims on manmade global warming, according to Dr Mike Hulme, a prominent climate scientist and UN-IPCC insider. The actual number of scientists who backed that claim was “only a few dozen experts,” he states in a paper for Progress in Physical Geography.

“Claims such as ‘2,500 of the world’s leading scientists have reached a consensus that human activities are having a significant influence on the climate’ are disingenuous,” the paper states unambiguously, adding that they rendered “the IPCC vulnerable to outside criticism.”
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++=
Relevant Quotes from the House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs - Report on the Economics of Climate Change 2005/6 (this was before the current global temperature stasis was confirmed)

“It is a concern that the IPCC has not always sought to ensure that dissenting voices are given a full hearing. In the view of Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT, current climate models would have predicted a substantially greater increase in the past temperature than has been observed in the past 150 years, perhaps +3 deg C compared to the +0.6 deg C we have witnessed.”

“Testing the validity of climate models is obviously difficult. In so far as the models predict climate change, the predictions can easily be in error and only the passage of time can validate the predictions.”

“The scientific context is one of uncertainty."

“A precautionary approach is called for but precaution cannot be the right option at any cost.”
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
IPCC ADMITTED IN 2001 THAT CLIMATE PREDICTION IS IMPOSSIBLE QUOTE: “In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible.”

'eco-facist'! Wow. Never been called that before.

Quote mining is not my bag. Its obviously yours. No doubt I could find a whole series of quotes refuting each and every single one of yours, but I just can't be arsed. Luckily I have had first hand experience of how the scientific method works, and also how scientists go about working out problems (in this case GW) and how rigourous they are in interpretating what they discover.

Tis true there is much 'up for grabs' regarding GW and some unknowns, but the consequences of doing nothing far outweigh those proposed by recent GW treaties. The fact is AGW DOES have a very strong scientific concensus whether you me or anyone else 'likes' it. So get over it.

“Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”
- Maurice Strong, founder of the UN Environment Programme

“When we’re finished, you’ll wish you had the rights of a tree.”
~ Maurice Strong on the Earth Charter view on human rights

“A massive campaign must be launched to de-develop the United States. De-development means bringing our
economic system into line with the realities of ecology and the world resource situation.”
- Paul Ehrlich, Professor of Population Studies
“The only hope for the world is to make sure there is not another United States. We can’t let other countries have the same number of cars, the amount of industrialization, we have in the US. We have to stop these Third World countries right where they are.”
- Michael Oppenheimer, Environmental Defense Fund

“Global Sustainability requires the deliberate quest of poverty, reduced resource consumption and set levels of mortality control.”
- Professor Maurice King

“We must make this an insecure and inhospitable place for capitalists and their projects. We must reclaim the roads and plowed land, halt dam construction, tear down existing dams, free shackled rivers and return to wilderness millions of acres of presently settled land.”
- David Foreman, co-founder of Earth First!

“Complex technology of any sort is an assault on human dignity. It would be little short of disastrous for us to
discover a source of clean, cheap, abundant energy, because of what we might do with it.”
- Amory Lovins, Rocky Mountain Institute

“The prospect of cheap fusion energy is the worst thing that could happen to the planet.”
- Jeremy Rifkin, Greenhouse Crisis Foundation

“Giving society cheap, abundant energy would be the equivalent of giving an idiot child a machine gun.”
- Prof Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University

“Our insatiable drive to rummage deep beneath the surface of the earth is a willful expansion
of our dysfunctional civilization into Nature.”
- Al Gore, Earth in the Balance

“The big threat to the planet is people: there are too many, doing too well economically and burning too much oil.”
– Sir James Lovelock, BBC Interview

“My three main goals would be to reduce human population to about 100 million worldwide, destroy the industrial infrastructure and see wilderness, with it’s full complement of species, returning throughout the world.”
-Dave Foreman, co-founder of Earth First!

“Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class – involving high meat intake,
use of fossil fuels, appliances, air-conditioning, and suburban housing – are not sustainable.”
- Maurice Strong, Rio Earth Summit

“All these dangers are caused by human intervention and it is only through changed attitudes and
behaviour that they can be overcome. The real enemy, then, is humanity itself.”
- Club of Rome, The First Global Revolution

“Mankind is the most dangerous, destructive, selfish and unethical animal on the earth.”
- Michael Fox, vice-president of The Humane Society

“Humans on the Earth behave in some ways like a pathogenic micro-organism, or like the cells of a tumor.”
- Sir James Lovelock, Healing Gaia

“The Earth has cancer and the cancer is Man.”
- Club of Rome, Mankind at the Turning Point

“A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells, the population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people. We must shift our efforts from the treatment of the symptoms to the cutting out of the cancer. The operation will demand many apparently brutal and heartless decisions.”
- Prof. Paul Ehrlich, The Population Bomb

“A reasonable estimate for an industrialized world society at the present North American material standard of living would be 1 billion. At the more frugal European standard of living, 2 to 3 billion would be possible.”
- United Nations, Global Biodiversity Assessment
“A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.”
- Ted Turner, founder of CNN and major UN donor

“… the resultant ideal sustainable population is hence more than 500 million but less than one billion.”
- Club of Rome, Goals for Mankind

“One America burdens the earth much more than twenty Bangladeshes. This is a terrible thing to say in order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say, but it’s just as bad not to say it.”
- Jacques Cousteau, UNESCO Courier

“I suspect that eradicating small pox was wrong. It played an important part in balancing ecosystems.”
- John Davis, editor of Earth First! Journal

“The extinction of the human species may not only be inevitable but a good thing.”
- Christopher Manes, Earth First!

“Childbearing should be a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license. All potential parents should be required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing.”
- David Brower, first Executive Director of the Sierra Club

“In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill.”
- Club of Rome, The First Global Revolution

“We need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination… So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements and make little mention of any doubts… Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.”
- Stephen Schneider, Stanford Professor of Climatology, lead author of many IPCC reports

“Unless we announce disasters no one will listen.”
- Sir John Houghton, first chairman of IPCC

“It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.”
- Paul Watson, co-founder of Greenpeace

“We’ve got to ride this global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy.”
- Timothy Wirth, President of the UN Foundation

“No matter if the science of global warming is all phony, climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.”
-Christine Stewart, fmr Canadian Minister of the Environment

“The climate crisis is not a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity. It is also our greatest opportunity to lift Global Consciousness to a higher level.”
- Al Gore, accepting the Nobel Peace Prize
“The only way to get our society to truly change is to frighten people
with the possibility of a catastrophe.”
- emeritus professor Daniel Botkin

“We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis.”
- David Rockefeller, Club of Rome executive manager

“Humanity is sitting on a time bomb. If the vast majority of the world’s scientists are right, we have just ten years to avert a major catastrophe that could send out entire planet’s climate system into a tail-spin of epic destruction involving extreme weather, floods, droughts, epidemics and killer heat waves beyond anything we have ever experienced – a catastrophe of our own making.”
- Al Gore, An Inconvenient Truth

“By the end of this century, climate change will reduce the human population to a few breeding pairs surviving near the Arctic.”
- Sir James Lovelock, Revenge of Gaia

“Climate Change will result in a catastrophic, global sea level rise of seven meters. That’s bye-bye most of Bangladesh, Netherlands, Florida and would make London the new Atlantis.”
- Greenpeace International

“Climate change is real. Not only is it real, it’s here, and its effects are giving rise to a frighteningly new global phenomenon – the man-made natural disaster.”
- Barack Obama, US Presidential Candidate

“We are close to a time when all of humankind will envision a global agenda that encompasses a kind of Global Marshall Plan to address the causes of poverty and suffering and environmental destruction all over the earth.”
- Al Gore, Earth in the Balance

“In Nature organic growth proceeds according to a Master Plan, a Blueprint. Such a ‘master plan’ is missing from the process of growth and development of the world system. Now is the time to draw up a master plan for sustainable growth and world development based on global allocation of all resources and a new global economic system. Ten or twenty years from today it will probably be too late.”
- Club of Rome, Mankind at the Turning Point

“The concept of national sovereignty has been immutable, indeed a sacred principle of international relations. It is a principle which will yield only slowly and reluctantly to the new imperatives of global environmental cooperation.”
- UN Commission on Global Governance report

“Democracy is not a panacea. It cannot organize everything and it is unaware of its own limits. These facts must be faced squarely. Sacrilegious though this may sound, democracy is no longer well suited for the tasks ahead. The complexity and the technical nature of many of today’s problems do not always allow elected representatives to make competent decisions at the right time.”
- Club of Rome, The First Global Revolution

“In my view, after fifty years of service in the United National system, I perceive the utmost urgency and absolute necessity for proper Earth government. There is no shadow of a doubt that the present political and economic systems are no longer appropriate and will lead to the end of life evolution on this planet. We must therefore absolutely and urgently look for new ways.”
- Dr. Robert Muller, UN Assistant Secretary General

“Nations are in effect ceding portions of their sovereignty to the international community and beginning to create a new system of international environmental governance as a means of solving otherwise unmanageable crises.”
- Lester Brown, WorldWatch Institute

“A keen and anxious awareness is evolving to suggest that fundamental changes will have to take place in the world order and its power structures, in the distribution of wealth and income.” (from whom to whom?)
- Club of Rome, Mankind at the Turning Point

“Adopting a central organizing principle means embarking on an all-out effort to use every policy and program, every law and institution, to halt the destruction of the environment.”
- Al Gore, Earth in the Balance

“Effective execution of Agenda 21 will require a profound reorientation of all human society, unlike anything the world has ever experienced – a major shift in the priorities of both governments and individuals and an unprecedented redeployment of human and financial resources. This shift will demand that a concern for the environmental consequences of every human action be integrated into individual and collective decision-making at every level.”
- UN Agenda 21

GAIA’S NEO-MALTHUSIANS: SOME DEPOPULATION QUOTES…
________________________________________
“Society has no business to permit degenerates to reproduce their kind”
Theodore Roosevelt

“Malthus has been vindicated; reality is finally catching up with Malthus. The Third World is overpopulated, it’s an economic mess, and there’s no way they could get out of it with this fast-growing population. Our philosophy is: back to the village.”
Dr. Arne Schiotz, World Wildlife Fund Director of Conservation, stated such, ironically, in 1984:

“A total world population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.”
Ted Turner, in an interview with Audubon magazine

“There is a single theme behind all our work–we must reduce population levels. Either governments do it our way, through nice clean methods, or they will get the kinds of mess that we have in El Salvador, or in Iran or in Beirut. Population is a political problem. Once population is out of control, it requires authoritarian government, even fascism, to reduce it….”
“Our program in El Salvador didn’t work. The infrastructure was not there to support it. There were just too goddamned many people…. To really reduce population, quickly, you have to pull all the males into the fighting and you have to kill significant numbers of fertile age females….” “The quickest way to reduce population is through famine, like in Africa, or through disease like the Black Death….”
Thomas Ferguson, State Department Office of Population Affairs

“In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill…. But in designating them as the enemy, we fall into the trap of mistaking symptoms for causes. All these dangers are caused by human intervention and it is only through changed attitudes and behavior that they can be overcome. The real enemy, then, is humanity itself.”
Alexander King, Bertrand Schneider – Founder and Secretary, respectively, The Club of Rome, The First Global Revolution, pgs 104-105, 1991

“A cancer is an uncontrolled multiplication of cells; the population explosion is an uncontrolled multiplication of people…. We must shift our efforts from the treatment of the symptoms to the cutting out of the cancer. The operation will demand many apparently brutal and heartless decisions.”
Stanford Professor ” Paul Ehrlich in The Population Bomb

“In order to stabilize world population, we must eliminate 350,000 people per day. It is a horrible thing to say, but it is just as bad not to say it.”
J. Cousteau, 1991 explorer and UNESCO courier

“I believe that human overpopulation is the fundamental problem on Earth Today” and,
“We humans have become a disease, the Humanpox.”
Dave Foreman, Sierra Club and co founder of Earth First!

“We must speak more clearly about sexuality, contraception, about abortion, about values that control population, because the ecological crisis, in short, is the population crisis. Cut the population by 90% and there aren’t enough people left to do a great deal of ecological damage.”
Mikhail Gorbachev

“Today, America would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order. Tomorrow they will be grateful! This is especially true if they were told that there were an outside threat from beyond, whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will plead to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well-being granted to them by the World Government.”
Dr. Henry Kissinger, Bilderberger Conference, Evians, France, 1991

“The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer.”
Dr. Henry Kissinger New York Times, Oct. 28, 1973

“Depopulation should be the highest priority of foreign policy towards the third world, because the US economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad, especially from less developed countries”.
Dr. Henry Kissinger

“Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac,” and
“The elderly are useless eaters”
Dr. Henry Kissinger

“World population needs to be decreased by 50%”
Dr. Henry Kissinger

“We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order.”
David Rockefeller

“War and famine would not do. Instead, disease offered the most efficient and fastest way to kill the billions that must soon die if the population crisis is to be solved. AIDS is not an efficient killer because it is too slow. My favorite candidate for eliminating 90 percent of the world’s population is airborne Ebola (Ebola Reston), because it is both highly lethal and it kills in days, instead of years. We’ve got airborne diseases with 90 percent mortality in humans. Killing humans. Think about that. You know, the bird flu’s good, too. For everyone who survives, he will have to bury nine”
Dr. Eric Pianka University of Texas evolutionary ecologist and lizard expert, showed solutions for reducing the world’s population to an audience on population control which gave him a standing ovation

“No one will enter the New World Order unless he or she will make a pledge to worship Lucifer. No one will enter the New Age unless he will take a Luciferian Initiation.”
David Spangler, Director of Planetary Initiative, United Nations

“The present vast overpopulation, now far beyond the world carrying capacity, cannot be answered by future reductions in the birth rate due to contraception, sterilization and abortion, but must be met in the present by the reduction of numbers presently existing. This must be done by whatever means necessary.”
Initiative for the United Nations ECO-92 EARTH CHARTER

“In South America, the government of Peru goes door to door pressuring women to be sterilized and they are funded by American tax dollars to do this.”
Mark Earley in The Wrong Kind of Party Christian Post 10/27 2008

“Women in the Netherlands who are deemed by the state to be unfit mothers should be sentenced to take contraception for a prescribed period of two years.”
Marjo Van Dijken (author of the bill in the Netherlands) in the Guardian http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/nov/04/humanrights-women

“Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature”
Anonymously commissioned: Georgia Guidestones Monument, Georgia, USA

“Childbearing should be a punishable crime against society, unless the parents hold a government license. All potential parents should be required to use contraceptive chemicals, the government issuing antidotes to citizens chosen for childbearing.”
David Brower, first Executive Director of the Sierra Club

“The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes.”
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes

“Frankly I had thought that at the time Roe was decided, there was concern about population growth and particularly growth in populations that we don’t want to have too many of.”
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

“The Planetary Regime might be given responsibility for determining the optimum population for the world and for each region and for arbitrating various countries’ shares within their regional limits. Control of population size might remain the responsibility of each government, but the Regime would have some power to enforce the agreed limits.”
Obama’s Science czar John P. Holdren: From a book he helped write ‘Ecoscience’

http://green-agenda.com/globalrevolution.html

http://green-agenda.com/index.html

“The earth is literally our mother, not only because we depend on her for nurture and shelter but even more because the human species has been shaped by her in the womb of evolution. Our salvation depends upon our ability to create a religion of nature.”
- Rene Dubos, board member Planetary Citizens.

The above is not my 'agenda'.

Like most conspiracy theorists, you appear to have too much time on your hands and are desparately confused.

The truth is out there and no amount of misinformation from the hired trolls will alter the fact that over 31,000 genuine American scientific professionals have signed the Oregon Petition and confirmed their dissention from the weak CAGW hypothesis (please check it out on Dr Robinson’s website: http://www.petitionproject.org... )

THE OREGON PETITION – THE TRUTH

31,487 American scientists have signed this petition, including 9,029 with PhDs reject the hypothesis of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming.

http://www.petitionproject.org...

Please note that the Oregon Petition cannot be signed on line. There is a declaration to complete and post. As explained below, the petition can only cover science based professional in the USA due to its limited funding from private individuals (mostly signatories).

The project has fulfilled the expectations of its organizers. In PhD scientist signers alone, the project already includes 15-times more scientists than are seriously involved in the United Nations IPCC process. The very large number of petition signers demonstrates that, if there is a consensus among American scientists, it is in opposition to the human-caused global warming hypothesis rather than in favour of it.

Moreover, the current totals of 31,487 signers, including 9,029 PhDs, are limited only by Petition Project resources. With more funds for printing and postage, these numbers would be much higher. A full breakdown of the fields of the scientific signatories is available on request.

“The earth is literally our mother, not only because we depend on her for nurture and shelter but even more because the human species has been shaped by her in the womb of evolution. Our salvation depends upon our ability to create a religion of nature.”
- Rene Dubos, board member Planetary Citizens.

I LIKE THAT!

These are the nutters that want to kill 90 percent of the earth's populace! They have their own UN chapel (yeah that's secular) containing the 'ark of hope' containing their own version of the 10 commandments...the earth charter. Fascism is Fascism even if it does wear dreadlocks and refuse to shave her pits.

I thought they were all supposed to be Marxists? Hey ho facists, marxists, communists what the hell ay?

t doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.”
- Paul Watson, co-founder of Greenpeace

I believe that Mr Moon wasn't mean to become noticeble or famous by predicting the earthquark. If nothing happen in 20th of March, he would foolish himself. Therefore, I think he just wanted people to be safe and don't want to see many people die again. I would be camping for 3 days, one day before and after, just in case it will happen.........

In response to Glans | Tuesday, March 8, 2011 - 10:56am
_____________________________

I'm a scientist and as you have advised that you 'had first hand experience of how the scientific method works, and also how scientists go about working out problems (in this case GW) and how rigourous they are in interpretating what they discover'...then I know your type.

If you do have the skills, that I have, then you would also know that there is nothing to show that MMGW due to CO2 is more than insignificant.

Remember that correlation does not mean causation, temperature and other data on their own say nothing about their causes, and the output from models depends on how they are configured, so reliance on it creates a circular argument.

However, the warming industry has nothing but the above. In addition, the tropospheric hot spots predicted by the models did not appear, so the hypothesis is busted, anyway.

So far no-one has produced real (empirical) evidence of significant MMGW due to CO2.

The Milankovitch cycle theory of course makes the case that climate change has nothing at all to do with CO2. Milankovitch argues that climate change occurs because of regular and predictable variations in the earths orbit and wobble about its own axis.

Comrade, don't you have some sort of a political rally you need to attend today?

I am not overtly political. As a 'scientist' you should be able to distinguish between science and politics. You mix them at will, which suggests to me like most conspiracy theorists that you are more interested with the political implications of AGW than anything else.

I'm not.

Anyway regarding 'Milankovitch argues that climate change occurs because of regular and predictable variations in the earths orbit and wobble about its own axis. '

Yeah I seem to remember being taught about cyclical climate change (particularly the Quaternary) when I was doing my degree back in 1990-93. Don't won't to burst any bubbles, but GW scientists can and do filter out the noise from cyclical climate variations from the models. Or didn't that occur to you?

The climatology field has not yet developed to the point where it can make reliable predictions about future climate change with enough warning to allow time for useful proactive adaptations. It is therefore ludicrous to give credence to alarmist predictions over the next century.

Around the 17th century we had a cold spell (the Little Ice Age - LIA) when the Thames and other bodies of water froze in cold Winters, allowing ice fairs to be held on them. Such ice fairs have not been possible since the early 19th century. Therefore it is indisputable that there has been a period of warming over the last couple of centuries as we recovered from that cold spell. It is alarmist shroud waving for dubious reasons over the cause of the warming that has caused a panic.

There appears to be a longish cycle of the solar magnetic field that has just peaked. It oscillated through the warmer bronze age, a cooler iron age, the warmer Roman empire, when the Romans brought vineyards to England, the Dark Ages, the Mediaeval Warm Period when there were vineyards in England during Chaucer's time, the Little Ice Age as mentioned above, and now our little warm spurt which according to satellite data has, temporarily at least, ceased.

It had been common knowledge for a couple of years before Al Gore's 'Inconvenient Truth' came out that over geological time periods the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere lagged behind temperature changes, typically by 800 years, so was driven by temperature rather than causing it. His graph was therefore a falsehood. CO2 has never driven climate change, or the Earth would not have cooled as it has after every past warming episode - runaway warming would have occurred instead, a long time ago.

The IPCC computer models did not predict the cessation of the warming trend, which illustrates that something is driving the climate that the models do not know about. In addition, we are once more starting to hear predictions of cooling and maybe a repeat of the Little Ice Age.

Computer models do not produce evidence - they only produce whatever their programmers want them to produce, in what is therefore a circular argument. So far the models have only proved that the computers are working, and that the output outside of their training data sets has been wrong every time, so far.

Temperature and other data do not say anything about their causes. In addition correlation is not the same as causation, so neither settle anything either way

Furthermore, there is no evidence, despite every effort to finesse it, of an increased greenhouse effect in the atmosphere (hot spots in the troposphere) that was predicted by the computer models. The failure to meet a measurable prediction is the death knell of a hypothesis. However, we don't hear much about that from the warming industry.

Meanwhile the case for the AGW hypothesis remains an argumentum ad ignorantium fallacy where it is claimed it must be true because they (the warming industry) allegedly can't think of anything else. This is equivalent to blaming witches for crop failures in the middle ages.

Unfounded fear of man-made global warming, rather than the climate change itself, is the problem.

CO2 is already absorbing almost all of the energy that there is to be had in the relevant bands. Moreover, it does so fairly close to the Earth's surface. The effect is logarithmic so increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere now only has a slight effect. In addition, CO2 and the other trace gases are pretty unimportant as greenhouse gases go. The warming industry has been concentrating on the wrong atmospheric processes. Water vapour and the atmospheric processes associated with it, especially negative feedback from the cooling effect of clouds and thunderstorms, seem to be a more fruitful line of research.

Svensmark, a Danish physicist, has found empirical evidence in support of his hypothesis that a weaker solar magnetic field allows more high energy cosmic particles to reach the lower atmosphere, where they enhance the conditions for low level cloud formation, leading to cooling, and vice versa. This has been covered in the book 'The Chilling Stars' by Svensmark and Calder.

Any calculation of greenhouse warming based on CO2 alone does not come up with an alarming figure. Hence the assumption of positive forcing from water vapour in the models, which is the only thing producing a 'doomsday' scenario. There is no empirical evidence to justify such an assumption.

Furthermore, there is no correlation between temperature and CO2 concentration over geological time-scales (or the 20th century) that supports the contention that CO2 drives climate change. Even if there was, it would not be proof of causation.

In addition, the homogenisation of the surface temperature data was not peer reviewed and there are allegations of the adjustment of data to fit theories rather than the other way round. This is part of Dr Bellamy's, "Fiddling while the Earth doesn't burn." The best example was the hockey stick, which was one of the most spectacular scientific blunders of all time.

There appears to be a roughly 60 year oscillation superimposed on the upward trend in the homogenised surface temperature data, which is explained by the Pacific and Atlantic decadal oscillations. On the last down-swing that ended in the mid 1970s (while CO2 levels continued to rise) we heard portents of doom about an impending ice age. The last upswing that ended over 10 years ago according to satellite readings triggered the current scare about global warming. One thing that stands out is that there is no anthropogenic warming signature due to CO2 in the temperature oscillations since the end of the LIA.

Without real (empirical) evidence of more than an insignificant amount of AGW due to CO2 the warming industry remains dead in the water.

Unheralded in the MSM, solar observers predicted a reduction in the sun's magnetic field about now, which has come to pass as evinced by a paucity of sunspots. In the past the phenomenon has coincided with cooling periods, including the Little Ice Age, as per Svensmark's hypothesis. We could therefore be looking at some real cooling during the next few decades. Perhaps the last few winters are the start of it.

Worse still, the very low sunspot level might be the start of another Maunder Minimum, and a precursor to a repeat of the LIA. There also appear to be additional longer cycles which are linked to ice ages and warm periods.

Incidentally, there may be evidence that the iron age started because a temperature downturn disrupted the flow of tin to the Middle East, forcing metalworkers in Cyprus in particular to seek alternatives to bronze.

The agrarian and industrial revolutions occurred in Britain while the world recovered from the LIA. The industrial revolution was predicated on two things in particular. The first was an increase in access to energy from burning fossil fuels instead of wood and charcoal, and the second was the development and application of scientific and technical knowledge to harness and make use of energy, where steam power in particular was the major enabler, along with technical ingenuity that led to power weaving looms, blast furnaces, and today's computers, for example. One direct outcome is our ability to support a large increase in the world-wide human population, an increase that is directly dependent for its existence on our increased energy consumption and our artful application of it.

Some people are determined to ignore the bigger picture and to link the slight global warming since the 19th century to the industrial revolution, extrapolating a doomsday climate scenario despite a total lack of real evidence that one begot the other in any significant way. In particular they tend to focus on the years between about 1975 and 1995, and to ignore all else, primarily because it doesn't fit their theory. They have built an entire industry on the hypothesis. However, they cannot find empirical evidence to support their increasingly threadbare theoretical conjecture.

A false perception was created in our society that there was a defined, legitimate job to do, based on sound science. In fact the carbon dioxide global warming concept had become fixed in people’s minds as a result of relentless propaganda generated by those with a great variety of pre-existing agendas - some legitimate, some less so, for example: energy efficiency, reduced dependence on Middle Eastern oil, dissatisfaction with industrial society (neo-pasteralism), international competition, governmental desires for enhanced revenues (carbon taxes), and bureaucratic desires for enhanced power.

The whole western lifestyle is predicated on burning fuel to produce a lot of energy. Take that energy away and our lifestyle would collapse. Without electricity, for example, everything stops - literally. By claiming that we could be destroying the world by pumping combustion products from burning fossil fuels into the air, anti-west movements can attack us at the roots.

Various anti-west groups that would not normally give each other the time of day banded together in an unprecedented manner behind the CO2 flag, some good, some bad, some, like HRH Prince Charles, well-meaning but mistaken, but all with their own agendas. This has generated political implications.

Once politicians were involved, especially from the left, money followed in huge quantities. This created a 'positive forcing' and blew the whole structure out of all proportion. A lot of people now depend on the AGW industry for their living, creating a vast vested interest. Worse, the EU has bought into the illusion, which is dangerous since it is not subject to democratic control. There are also a lot of ex-communist apparatchiks seeking new ways to power since the USSR collapsed, and who see democracy as a problem, not a solution.

Unfortunately, after a huge campaign over decades, including in the education system, by many organisations with many different agendas (mostly anti-west or anti-industrialisation) there are a large number of brainwashed voters out there who erroneously believe that mankind has some control over these natural climatic changes, and where the voters go, the politicians follow, and they are not all benign beings under democratic control.

It now appears that the cover was recently blown on a covert 'Moriarity' organisation intent on imposing a non-democratic New World Government on the West initially through carbon rationing. It was hidden in the text of the draft Copenhagen treaty document, and is therefore available to read. Similar intentions were revealed in the document published with a restricted circulation for the Bali conference, and it seemed to have carried through to the Cancun beanfeast. Such a mindset would suit ex soviet bloc apparatchiks intent on punishing us for the collapse of their beloved Soviet Union, and, of course, it was attractive to Bottler Brown and his kind, which includes a number of the Libdems.

Reducing energy consumption willy nilly in the short term appears to mean that the size of the world-wide human population that we can support must also reduce. An analogy would be forcing agriculture back to wooden ploughs, thus reducing the food supply, and therefore the number of people that can be fed. If so, then those who talk about short-term carbon saving measures (ie reducing overall energy consumption) are also talking about sentencing people and their children to death in their millions or perhaps even billions, while dismantling western civilisation and wasting trillions of money, all for a negligible impact on the climate. Without real evidence of significant AGW, and since the climate appears to be about to cool anyway, if enacted this could eventually land our beloved leaders into the dock at somewhere like the Hague.

As a final note, if the UK stopped CO2 production tomorrow, then China's increasing CO2 production would cancel out the sacrifice within a year. We would have destroyed our country for nothing.

Other countries are laughing at the west and its AGW illusions all the way to the bank.

Reality is dawning in the corridors of power, and in academia. Face and reputation saving exits are being sought, and taken. We are seeing the beginning of a paradigm shift away from the IPCC alarmism, and towards an approach of adaptation to climate change (if any) rather than the hubris that we can control it.

However, politically it is too soon just to to dump the Zeitgeist of CAGW due to CO2 . That will have to be fed in gently as perceptions gradually change in the electorate as it dawns on them that writing computer programs to produce alarmist output does not affect the climate. So meanwhile we can pretend to blame the Chinese for warming, floods and all the rest of the alarmist stuff, while slowly withdrawing from the nutty renewable energy sources ideas, especially as the odds are that we heading for a cooling phase.

Thats a long post.

I could not be bothered reading it.

What a shame.

Don't worry NZ us Brits are with you...we even have plonkers in our so called 'right-wing' press (apologies for this idiot):

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthcomment/geoffrey-lean/8348829/New-Zealand-earthquake-the-vengeance-of-Mother-Nature.html

Ok Glanzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

How much global warming should you expect if man ratchets CO2 up from 400 ppm to 600 ppm by 2150?

T2-T1 = ln(CO2new/CO2old)*k
T2-T1 = ln(600/400)*k
T2-T1 = .405 * k

So what is k??

We know that during the period 1890 to 2010 CO2 increased from about 280 ppm to 390 ppm. We also know that the earth's temperature went up by 0.7C during this period.

So, for that period, using the same formula to solve for k, k was in the neighborhood of k = 0.7C / ln (390/280) = 0.7/.331 = 2.11.

Therefore, the next 200 ppm of CO2 will, at most, result in global warming of 2.11 X .405 = 0.85C. Note, this only occurrs if we assume that all of the warming since 1890 was do to man's added CO2. Since the earth was rebounding from the LIA during that time, and since half of this warming took place during a period of time when man was not producing significant amounts of CO2 (1890 to 1945) it is likely that half or less of the .7 had anything to do with MM-CO2. If that is the case, than k= about 1, which would mean that another 200 ppm of CO2 might add .4C to global warming.

This is really much ado about nothing!

Taking your assumptions at face value and the fact that you conveniently ignore climatic feedback mechanisms, I agree predicting the AMOUNT of warming is definately up for grabs. Climate scientists do too. Hence the error bars plus or minus when climatologists attempt to predict future climates. Hence the median forecasts of said predictions. Hence the concern.

But this isn't what this is about is it? Its about whether AGW is an observed phenomenen or not, and your statement above agrees that it is.

You can't have it both ways.

Dr. Lee C. Gerhard, UN IPCC expert reviewer, past director and State Geologist with the Kansas Geological Society and a senior scientist emeritus of the University of Kansas.

"I never fully accepted or denied the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) concept until the furor started after [NASA's James] Hansen's wild claims in the late 1980's. I went to the scientific literature to study the basis of the claim, starting at first principles. My studies then led me to believe that the claims were false, they did not correlate with recorded human history."

"Depending on the period in earth's history that is chosen, the climate will either be warming or cooling. Choosing whether earth is warming or cooling is simply a matter of picking end points.”

Given the IPCC is the cause celebre of the IPCC scam...and the above IPCC quote rubbishes said scam....I would posit that this says a lot about the so called 'consensus' (even within the IPCC)!!

"Given the IPCC is the cause celebre of the IPCC scam"

Er. What?

If you're really interested in this stuff why not check it out for yourself rather than regurgitating other peoples pisspoor quote mining?

Glans...don't be so silly. Now go away it's passed your bed time.

ACN announces his intention to use the "condescension" power play.

Whats next?
Lots of extra CAPITALISATION maybe?
Or ending sentences in 'hahaha LOL'?

Glanzzzzzzzzzz why are you such a boring tw#t? All your student union styly hot air surely has to be a net contributor to any C02 issues real, imagined or exaggerated. Snorrrrrrrrrrrrrre.

ACN, Anonymous, Anti-Glans, etc (all the same person but no doubt will deny this obvious fact)

First condescension, now insults. Typical childish behaviour of someone whos just lost an argument badly.

Glans makes a good point. There have been a couple of very long posts and the length makes you pass over them. If you want to make your points better to feed them out slowly in bite sized pieces.

The volcanic eruption in Iceland last year, (since its first spewing of volcanic ash), in just FOUR DAYS, NEGATED EVERY SINGLE EFFORT you have made in the past five years to control CO2 emissions on our planet – all of you.

Of course you know about this evil carbon dioxide that we are trying to suppress – it’s that vital chemical compound that every plant requires to live and grow, and to synthesize into oxygen for us humans, and all animal life.

I know, it's very disheartening to realize that all of the carbon emission savings you have accomplished while suffering the inconvenience and expense of:
Driving Prius hybrids, buying fabric grocery bags, sitting up till midnight to finish your kid's "The Green Revolution" science project, throwing out all of your non-green cleaning supplies, using only two squares of toilet paper, putting a brick in your toilet tank reservoir, selling your SUV and speedboat, vacationing at home instead of abroad, nearly getting hit every day on your bicycle, replacing all of your 50 cents light bulbs with $10.00 light bulbs...

Well, all of those things you have done have all gone down the tubes in just four days.

The volcanic ash emitted into the Earth's atmosphere in just four days by that volcano in Iceland, has totally erased every single effort you have made to reduce the evil beast, carbon.

There are around 200 active volcanoes on the planet spewing out this mixture at any one time - EVERY DAY.

I don't really want to rain on your parade too much, but I should mention that when the volcano, Mt Pinatubo, erupted in the Philippines in 1991, it spewed out more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than the entire human race had emitted in its entire YEARS on earth. Mt Pinatubo was active for over one year – think about it.

Of course I shouldn't spoil this touchy-feely tree-hugging moment and mention the effect of solar and cosmic activity and the well-recognized 800-year global heating and cooling cycle, which keep happening, despite our completely insignificant efforts to affect climate change.

And I do wish I had a silver lining to this volcanic ash cloud but the fact of the matter is that the bush fire season across the western USA and Australia this year alone will negate your efforts to reduce carbon in our world for the next two to three years. And it happens every year.

Just remember that our government is trying to impose a whopping carbon tax on you on the basis of the bogus “human-caused” climate change scenario.

Isn’t it interesting how they don’t mention “Global Warming” any more, but just “Climate Change” - you know why? It’s because the planet has COOLED by 0.7 degrees in the past century and these global warming so called experts, got caught with their pants down.

And just keep in mind that we might yet have an Emissions Trading Scheme – that whopping new tax – imposed on us, that will achieve absolutely nothing except make us poorer.

It won’t stop any volcanoes from erupting, that’s for sure.

But hey, relax, give the world a hug and have a nice day!

PS: I wonder if Iceland is buying carbon offsets?

Wrong.

Taken as a global yearly average "Human activities release more than 130 times the amount of CO2 emitted by (all the worlds) volcanoes (both land based and undersea)."

Source - US Geological Survey (USGS)

"Experts stressed that the (Icelandic) volcano contributed just a tiny amount – less than a third of one percentage point – of global emissions of greenhouse gases"

Source - http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/apr/21/iceland-volcano-climate-sceptics

Global warming deniers can have their own opinions, but they can't have their own facts.

You had to quote the Guardian ...or as we call it the Grauniad! Next you'll be denying Monbiot's status as a Melon (green on the outside red on the inside)...we call him the Moonbat. You must be one of his eco-trollers. Busted.

*Jesus Christ*. Yeah. Must be.

In respnse to : Anonymous | Tuesday, March 8, 2011 - 10:54pm
_______________________

Ordinarily I'd agree with you. I HATE long mega-posts. But in this instance it is really useful having a comprehensive joined-up argument. I have a few days off work due to business interruption and was blown away that the UN stuff all check out as does the climate bumf. Shocked is not the word.

So many angry people out there. I, for one can predict earthquakes a few days to a few weeks before they happen. Unfortunately, where is the question? I could be anywhere and all of a sudden will feel a jolt. (this means an earthquake over 5 on the richter scale.) Any others under 5 feel like a rolling sensation. Another one was feeling like I had dropped a foot down and this tells me its an underwater one.

The reason some people get angry is that psuedo-science followers and conspiracy theorists are quick to accuse rationalists (like myself) of being close-minded and a little left politically-speaking of Stalin or a little right of Hitler. Or both.

Kelvin Berryman GNS Scientist confirmed during Campbell's disgraceful interview with Ken Ring ' At the very smaller earthquake level the tidal patterns and the PULL OF THE MOON can have an effect' Um does this mean Ken does know what he is talking about. This scientist confirmed to his scientific knowledge that moon movement does cause earthquakes? Listen to the rest of Kelvin's interview. Theodore White Astrologer predicted Japan's earthquake.

He was referring to a very small (<1%) correlation between observed earthquakes events in coastal areas and tides.

I just read this hilarious comment section. Lot's of nutters in force but this Glans person seems off the wall. A quick review of the above clearly demonstrates this person was the first off the chocs with the condescension and insults. Pots and Kettles methinks. For the record I've not posted about this eco troller before.

On a conclusatory note I'd like to congratulate Glans for knocking the hell out of that straw man.

Thanks. I think.

http://www.mtr1377.com.au/index2.php?option=com_newsmanager&task=view&id=8095

The correlation has beem proven, king tides, celestial events and there were major eqs.
never underestimate those who observe and use science but not bound by it, just like ancient indians.

Yes the correlation has been proven. As I undertstand it and as quoted on NBR and elsewhere the correlation is about 1% over randomness. In other words 1 in a hundred land based coastal fault ruptures (only) would be attributable to tidal forces alone. The other 99 would not. Sorry, but this is not a strong correlation.

Trides are just part of the salad.
NBR's top concern i you right.
Think independently.

k.nkn. nm

k.nkn. nm

An influential professor who worked as an assessor for the United Nations IPCC has called for democracy to be replaced with an eco-dictatorship where enslaved masses are ruled over by an “elite warrior leadership” and forced to adhere to a new green religion, in yet another shocking example of how prominent global warming alarmists are revealing themselves as dangerous eco-fascists.

Professor David Shearman, MD, is Emeritus Professor of Medicine, University of Adelaide, and a Visiting Research Fellow at the University’s Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences and Law School. Shearman was an Assessor for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Third Assessment Report and the Fourth Assessment Report.

In his writings, Shearman, who labels humanity a “malignant eco-tumour” and an “ecological cancer,” says that “authoritarianism is the natural state of humanity” and that in order to save the planet from man-made climate change, an “elite warrior leadership” needs to be formed that will “battle for the future of the earth”.

Part of this battle involves replacing traditional religions like Christianity and Islam with a new green religion that would fit better with an authoritarian government.

“It is not impossible that from the green movement and aspects of the new age movement a religious alternative to Christianity and Islam will emerge,” writes Spearman. “And it is not too difficult to imagine what shape this new religion could take. One would require a transcendent God who could punish and reward – because humans seem to need a carrot and a stick.”

Spearman’s “transcendent God” is the God of the state, punishing the enslaved citizen for every eco-infraction under this new green totalitarianism. He openly advocates the contrived manufacturing of a new God and a new religion so that the masses of enslaved citizens under his envisaged eco-autocracy would be to coerced to comply as part of some hideous global brainwashing program. This obviously has its roots in ancient pagan beliefs of barbaric sacrifices being necessary to appease mother earth, which at one stage in history involved mothers killing their own babies for the greater good.

Even more chillingly, Shearman advocates the set up of specialized re-education centers where eco-zombies are trained to become part of a green army of enforcers.

“Chapter 9 will describe in more detail how we might begin the process of constructing such real universities to train the ecowarriors to do battle against the enemies of life. We must accomplish this education with the same dedication used to train its warriors. As in Sparta, these natural elites will be especially trained from childhood to meet the challenging problems of our times,” writes Spearman.

Spearman outlines his vision of a dictatorial global government comprised of the elite ruling over the planet on page 134 of his book, The Climate Change Challenge and the Failure of Democracy.

“Government in the future will be based upon . . . a supreme office of the biosphere. The office will comprise specially trained philosopher/ecologists. These guardians will either rule themselves or advise an authoritarian government of policies based on their ecological training and philosophical sensitivities. These guardians will be specially trained for the task.”

(ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW)

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“Posted on a blog somewhere, such a plan would probably elicit a visit from the anti-terrorist division of the police,” writes Haunting The Library blog. “But the fact that it comes from a professor at a major university, who works for the IPCC and was written at the behest of a serious academic institute, founded by Act of Congress, means that the author need not be afraid. But we should be.”

“I could go on quoting from the book, but I’m sure you’ve already got the gist of what’s being proposed here: Global warming presents such a massive and immediate danger that democracy no longer cuts it, and an authoritarian ecological government of ‘natural elites’ will have to be found to replace it, as well as a new green religion to help provide ‘social glue for the masses’.”

As we have documented, Shearman is not alone in his brazen call for freedom to be abolished and replaced by an authoritarian green tyranny. Indeed, this is a common cause embraced by a multitude of influential climate change activists and scientists.

- Finnish environmentalist guru and global warming alarmist Pentti Linkola has publicly called for climate change deniers to be “re-educated” in eco-gulags and that the vast majority of humans be killed with the rest enslaved and controlled by a green police state, with people forcibly sterilized, cars confiscated and travel restricted to members of the elite. Linkola wants the last 100 years of human progress to be “destroyed”.

- James Lovelock, the creator of the Gaia hypothesis, told the Guardian last year that “democracy must be put on hold” to combat global warming and that “a few people with authority” should be allowed to run the planet.

- This sentiment was echoed by author and environmentalist Keith Farnish, who in a recent book called for acts of sabotage and environmental terrorism in blowing up dams and demolishing cities in order to return the planet to the agrarian age. Prominent NASA global warming alarmist and Al Gore ally Dr. James Hansen endorsed Farnish’s book.

- The current White House science czar John P. Holdren also advocates the most obscenely dictatorial, eco-fascist, and inhumane practices in the name of environmentalism. In his 1977 Ecoscience textbook, Holdren calls for a “planetary regime” to carry out forced abortions and mandatory sterilization procedures, as well as drugging the water supply, in an effort to cull the human surplus.

- Another prominent figure in the climate change debate who exemplifies the violent and death-obsessed belief system of the movement is Dr. Eric R. Pianka, an American biologist based at the University of Texas in Austin. During a speech to the Texas Academy of Science in March 2006, Pianka advocated the need to exterminate 90% of the world’s population through the airborne ebola virus.

...none of the above refutes the scientific concensus of AGW.