Science Is Turning Back To The Dark Ages

GWPF | 4 March 2016

The Doctored Science Of Global Warming

Man-made global warming theory has been propped up by studies that many scientists have dismissed as methodologically flawed, ideologically bent or even fraudulent. The problem of scientific integrity, however, goes far wider. Psychology, neuroscience, physics and other scientific areas have been convulsed by revelations of dodgy research. Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet, has written bleakly: “The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue.” –Melanie Phillips, The Times, 4 March 2016

1) Melanie Phillips: Science Is Turning Back To The Dark Ages
The Times, 4 March 2016

2) Editorial: The Doctored Science Of Global Warming
The Washington Times, 3 March 2016

3) Britain Abolishes Subsidies For Solar Thermal
The Times, 4 March 2016

4) Green Madness I: High UK Energy Costs Could Force Steel Work Overseas, Boss Warns
The Mirror, 2 March 2016

5) Green Madness II: Households Face Higher Energy Bills To Keep The Lights
The Daily Telegraph, 1 March 2016

6) Green Madness III: European Subsidies to Chinese Industries
Global Warning Policy Forum, 28 February 2016

7) And Finally: Osama Bin Laden, The Environmentalist
National Review Online, 2 March 2016

Whistleblowers within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) complained last year that a major study by agency researcher Thomas Karl, refuting evidence of a pause in global warming, had been rushed to publication. If documents were to emerge suggesting temperature data was doctored to reach an expedient conclusion in the NOAA study, and if White House officials were part of such a scheme, that would be proof that science had been recruited to serve politics. Trust in government would be further eroded. Science must be free from pressure to validate political goals. If findings and measurements are altered to serve a political agenda, the findings are flawed. It’s called fraud, and should be punished. –Editorial, The Washington Times, 3 March 2016

Families who fit solar panels on their roof to heat water will no longer receive subsidies under plans announced by the government. A decision to axe all future support under the Renewable Heat Incentive will remove government subsidies for thermal schemes from next year. The announcement follows cuts to a string of government green energy subsidies. –Robin Pagnamenta, The Times, 4 March 2016

A steel firm is threatening to move key equipment and jobs abroad – blaming Britain’s sky-high energy costs. The owners of Liberty Steel could shift production to India or the US – depriving the UK of up to 3,000 jobs, including a thousand highly-skilled posts in the struggling sector. The Gupta Family Group wants to move equipment from a former steelworks in Kent to its plant in South Wales. But the company warned the current cost of energy and insecurity of supply could delay the project and force it to move the factory overseas. –Ben Glaze, The Mirror, 2 March 2016

Households face paying hundreds of millions of pounds in extra levies on their energy bills, under new plans to ensure Britain has enough power plants to keep the lights on. Amber Rudd, the energy secretary, unveiled plans to overhaul a crucial subsidy scheme that is designed to maintain secure electricity supplies, amid fears it was failing and could leave the UK at risk of blackouts. The “capacity market” scheme is already due to run in winter 2018-19 and 2019-20, when energy firms will be paid almost £1 billion in subsidies each year to guarantee their coal, gas and nuclear power plants will be running. –Emily Gosden, The Daily Telegraph, 1 March 2016

Chinese wind turbine and solar manufacturers are increasingly dominant in the world markets, something that the EU did not fully anticipate when drawing up its policies. Indeed, in 2008, in modeling the impact of the Renewables Directive of 2009 its consultants dismissed as unlikely the “pessimistic export” scenario for Europe’s wind and solar industries. This was questionable at the time, and now appears to be a serious mistake. –John Constable, Global Warning Policy Forum, 28 February 2016

So Osama bin Laden was an environmentalist. In between plotting the mass murder of kaffirs and the destruction of the West, he penned teary-eyed missives about the dangers of “catastrophic climate change.” Coming off like an earnest member of Greenpeace who had read one too many Naomi Klein tracts, he wrote a letter in 2009 calling on Americans to do everything within their power to “save humanity from the harmful gases that threaten its destiny.” There’s nothing mysterious about OBL’s longstanding attraction to the politics of environmentalism, from his 2002 plea to America to sign up to Kyoto to his 2009 call for a “revolution” in eco-attitudes. He seems simply to have recognized that his innate anti-Westernism, his violent agitation with what he viewed as the sins and crimes of modernity, could be expressed through green miserabilism as well as through his main pursuit of Islamo-terrorism. –Brendan O’Neill, National Review Online, 2 March 2016

1) Melanie Phillips: Science Is Turning Back To The Dark Ages
The Times, 4 March 2016

Overplaying the threat to coral reefs is just the latest example of ideology distorting research

According to a new study, scientists’ claims that coral reefs are doomed by ocean acidification are overplayed. An “inherent bias” in scientific journals, says the editor of ICES Journal of Marine Science, has excluded research showing marine creatures are not being damaged.

Instead, he says, many studies have used flawed methods by subjecting such creatures to sudden increases in carbon dioxide that would never happen in real life. No surprises there. The claim that CO2 emissions are acidifying the oceans is a favourite of climate-change alarmists.

Man-made global warming theory has been propped up by studies that many scientists have dismissed as methodologically flawed, ideologically bent or even fraudulent. The problem of scientific integrity, however, goes far wider. Psychology, neuroscience, physics and other scientific areas have been convulsed by revelations of dodgy research.

Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet, has written bleakly: “The case against science is straightforward: much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue.”

One reason is that cash-strapped universities, competing for money and talent, exert huge pressure on academics to publish more and more to meet the box-ticking criteria set by grant-funding bodies. Corners are being cut and mistakes being made.

But whatever happened to peer-review, the supposed kitemark of scientific integrity produced by the collective judgment of other researchers? Well, that seems to have gone south too. In 1998 Fiona Godlee, editor of the British Medical Journal, sent an article containing eight deliberate mistakes to more than 200 of the BMJ’s regular reviewers. Not one picked out all the mistakes. On average, they reported fewer than two; some did not spot any.

The problem lies with research itself. The cornerstone of scientific authority rests on the notion that replicating an experiment will produce the same result. If replication fails, the research is deemed flawed. But failure to replicate is widespread. In 2012, the OECD spent $59 billion on biomedical research, nearly double the 2000 figure. Yet an official at America’s National Institutes of Health has said researchers would find it hard to reproduce at least three-quarters of all published biomedical findings.

A 2005 study by John Ioannidis, an epidemiologist at Stanford University, said the majority of published research findings were probably false. At most, no more than about one in four findings from early-phase clinical trials would be true; epidemiological studies might have only a one in five chance of being true. “Empirical evidence on expert opinion”, he wrote, “shows that it is extremely unreliable”.

Underlying much of this disarray is surely the pressure to conform to an idea, whether political, commercial or ideological. Ideological fads produce financial and professional incentives to conform and punishment for dissent, whether loss of grant-funding or lack of advancement. As Professor Ioannidis observed: “For many current scientific fields, claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias.”  […]

Underlying this loss of scientific bearings is a closed intellectual circle. Scientists pose as secular priests. They alone, they claim, hold the keys to the universe. Those who aren’t scientists merely express uneducated opinion. The resulting absence of openness and transparency is proving the scientists’ undoing. In the words of Richard Horton, “science has taken a turn towards darkness”. But science defines modernity. It is our gold standard of truth and reason. This is the darkness of the West too.

Full post

2) Editorial: The Doctored Science Of Global Warming
The Washington Times, 3 March 2016

Pure science undertaken for science’s own sake is as rare as a rainbow. It’s certainly scarce in Washington, where the quest for knowledge is vulnerable to the bias of politics. Skeptics of President Obama’s climate change agenda say they see new evidence of fraud. If administration officials are colluding with scientists to cook the evidence, such as it might be, to demonstrate that the planet is warming, the skeptics deserve everyone’s thanks.

Whistleblowers within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) complained last year that a major study by agency researcher Thomas Karl, refuting evidence of a pause in global warming, had been rushed to publication. The implication was that the study was coordinated with Obama administration officials to add to the urgency of the president’s climate change agenda in advance of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris. Republicans on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology issued a subpoena of records of NOAA communications dealing with the study.

The inquiry began afresh last month when Rep. Lamar Smith, wrote to NOAA expressing disappointment “with the slow pace and limited scope of the agency’s production [of such records],” which had yielded only 301 pages. Mr. Smith directed officials to broaden their search for relevant documents. He said the committee had received a letter signed by 325 scientists, engineers, economists and other scholars questioning whether the agency had properly peer-reviewed the “quality, objectivity, utility and integrity” of the data used in the Karl study.

Data consist of facts, and facts can be cherry-picked to yield a desired effect. In the NOAA study, researchers found that ocean temperatures measured by ships were warmer than those recorded by buoys anchored in place, and scientists “developed a method to correct the difference between ship and buoy measurements.” Ship’s engines, however, can heat nearby water and produce false readings. By including those values, critics contend, the agency may have effectively erased evidence of the global warming pause.

President Obama’s efforts to “re-engineer” the American energy industry is based on the argument that combustion of fossil fuels endangers the planet, and a rapid transition to renewable power sources is essential. The argument was the basis for the Paris climate change agreement, endorsed by nearly 200 nations. If documents were to emerge suggesting temperature data was doctored to reach an expedient conclusion in the NOAA study, and if White House officials were part of such a scheme, that would be proof that science had been recruited to serve politics. Trust in government would be further eroded.

This would not be the first instance of Obama-era back-channel scheming. Republican members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee issued a report last summer accusing the Environmental Protection Agency of colluding with the Natural Resources Defense Council and other “green” organizations to develop the president’s landmark Clean Power Plan, which will saddle Americans with billions of dollars in higher energy bills for decades to come. EPA officials quietly schemed with environmentalists to write regulations reinforcing their shared climate change agenda. The agency has denied the accusations.

Science must be free from pressure to validate political goals. If findings and measurements are altered to serve a political agenda, the findings are flawed. It’s called fraud, and should be punished.

3) Britain Abolishes Subsidies For Solar Thermal
The Times, 4 March 2016

Robin Pagnamenta

Families who fit solar panels on their roof to heat water will no longer receive subsidies under plans announced by the government.

About 230,000 households in the UK have fitted solar thermal equipment on their homes which directly heats up water for central heating, baths and showers, according to the Solar Trade Association (STA).

However, a decision to axe all future support under the Renewable Heat Incentive will remove government subsidies for thermal schemes from next year.

The announcement follows cuts to a string of government green energy subsidies.

Full story

4) Green Madness I: High UK Energy Costs Could Force Steel Work Overseas, Boss Warns
The Mirror, 2 March 2016

Ben Glaze

A steel firm is threatening to move key equipment and jobs abroad – blaming Britain’s sky-high energy costs.

The owners of Liberty Steel could shift production to India or the US – depriving the UK of up to 3,000 jobs, including a thousand highly-skilled posts in the struggling sector.

The Gupta Family Group wants to move equipment from a former steelworks in Kent to its plant in South Wales. But the company warned the current cost of energy and insecurity of supply could delay the project and force it to move the factory overseas.

Executive chairman Sanjeev Gupta said: “Under the terms of our agreement with the sellers, we need to move the plant from its current location by June.

“Using it to expand Newport is our preferred option, but this is an energy-intensive business so, if the situation regarding future UK energy costs and security of supply doesn’t become clearer by then, we may have to consider moving the equipment outside the country.

“India and USA are alternative options.”

Full story

5) Green Madness II: Households Face Higher Energy Bills To Keep The Lights
The Daily Telegraph, 1 March 2016

Emily Gosden

Households face paying hundreds of millions of pounds in extra levies on their energy bills, under new plans to ensure Britain has enough power plants to keep the lights on.

Amber Rudd, the energy secretary, unveiled plans to overhaul a crucial subsidy scheme that is designed to maintain secure electricity supplies, amid fears it was failing and could leave the UK at risk of blackouts.

The “capacity market” scheme is already due to run in winter 2018-19 and 2019-20, when energy firms will be paid almost £1 billion in subsidies each year to guarantee their coal, gas and nuclear power plants will be running.

The payments will be funded through levies on energy bills, adding about £10 a year to a typical household electricity bill. The changes unveiled on Tuesday are expected to result in significantly higher subsidies being paid to a greater number of power plants in future years.

Full story

6) Green Madness III: European Subsidies to Chinese Industries
Global Warning Policy Forum, 28 February 2016

John Constable

Chinese wind turbine and solar manufacturers are increasingly dominant in the world markets, something that the EU did not fully anticipate when drawing up its policies. Indeed, in 2008, in modeling the impact of the Renewables Directive of 2009 its consultants dismissed as unlikely the “pessimistic export” scenario for Europe’s wind and solar industries. This was questionable at the time, and now appears to be a serious mistake.

In 2009 the European Union published a major study conducted by a consortium of engineering and other consultancies of the macroeconomic effects of the EU’s renewable energy policies: EmployRES: The Impact of Renewable Energy Policy on Economic Growth and Employment in the European Union. The overall message was spun heavily in the summary, itself twenty-seven pages long, and one suspects that the main document was very little read. However, it contained a wealth of information revealing that the policies were only weakly net positive for the EU overall, with some member states, the UK being amongst them, suffering significant net negative impacts in many and not the least probable scenarios.

Furthermore, the study’s positive results relied heavily on the European Union’s members retaining over 40% of the international markets in renewable energy technologies, and, remarkably, while a number of policy scenarios were analysed, the authors chose or were directed only to consider these in relation to “Moderate Exports” and “Optimistic Export” scenarios. The effects of activist, and thus costly renewables policies in the context of the “Pessimistic Export” variable was designated unlikely and simply not considered.

Full post

7) And Finally: Osama Bin Laden, The Environmentalist
National Review Online, 2 March 2016

By Brendan O’Neill

So Osama bin Laden was an environmentalist. In between plotting the mass murder of kaffirs and the destruction of the West, he penned teary-eyed missives about the dangers of “catastrophic climate change.”

Coming off like an earnest member of Greenpeace who had read one too many Naomi Klein tracts, he wrote a letter in 2009 calling on Americans to do everything within their power to “save humanity from the harmful gases that threaten its destiny.”

Released by the Obama administration this week, the letter says mankind is living in “the shadow of catastrophic climate conditions” and we need a “revolution” to make the planet cleaner.

If you read the letter out at the next IPCC gathering, you’d probably get a rousing round of applause. Some people seem freaked out to discover that OBL had green tendencies. How is it possible that this finger-wagging lunatic could have been as one with the West’s own respectable chattering classes on the issue of climate change?

One columnist seems perturbed that bin Laden had what he describes as a more “progressive” take on climate change than the current GOP presidential candidates.

But why the surprise? It makes perfect sense that this anti-Western, anti-modern medieval throwback should have warmed to green thinking. After all, bin Laden’s biggest beef in life was that the modern West was an overly cocky, supremely destructive entity that needed to be taken down a peg or two — which is exactly what environmentalists think, too.

Bin Laden’s 2009 letter, written to coincide with the coming to power of Obama, is not the first time he got moist-eyed about man-made planetary doom. In 2002 he attacked the U.S. for pursuing progress at the expense of poor, sad Mother Earth. “You have destroyed nature with your industrial waste and gases more than any other nation in history,” he hectored, like an agitated hippie.

Hilariously, he lambasted President George W. Bush for “refus[ing] to sign the Kyoto agreement” on climate-reduction targets. There’s something deliciously surreal about a terrorist outlaw who was then running from hideout to hideout lecturing the president of the United States for failing to sign on the dotted line of global treaties.

In 2007 he lectured the foul, greedy West again, claiming that “all of mankind is in danger because of the global warming resulting to a large degree from the emissions of the factories of the major corporations.” He beat Occupy Wall Street to the punch by four years, slamming the “greed and avarice of the major corporations and their representatives.”

Then, in the 2009 letter released this week, he outlined his solution to all this Western wickedness: “The world should put its efforts into attempting to reduce the release of gases.” In a nutshell, join Greenpeace. Take eco-action. Put pressure on corporations.

Bin Laden basically had two feelings about the American people: that they should die or, failing that, become dutiful warriors against climate change. Greens are understandably peeved to discover that OBL was a fellow worrier about climate change. Well, how would you feel if you found out that the 21st century’s worst terrorist shared your moral outlook?

Some try to skirt the severe awkwardness of finding themselves in the same bed as bin Laden by claiming he was being accidentally “progressive.” Indeed, in response to the newly released bin Laden letter, a writer for Fusion magazine has analyzed the Republican presidential candidates’ attitudes toward climate change and found that all of them are “less progressive than Osama bin Laden when it comes to [this] global threat.”

So in worrying about man-made climate change, bin Laden was being decent for a change, more decent than some of America’s own politicians. If 9/11 was a declaration of war on American hubris, then OBL’s later green-leaning statements were a continuation of that war by other means.

This is nonsense, of course. In truth, there’s nothing mysterious about OBL’s longstanding attraction to the politics of environmentalism, from his 2002 plea to America to sign up to Kyoto to his 2009 call for a “revolution” in eco-attitudes. He seems simply to have recognized that his innate anti-Westernism, his violent agitation with what he viewed as the sins and crimes of modernity, could be expressed through green miserabilism as well as through his main pursuit of Islamo-terrorism.

He was a voracious consumer of lefty Western thought — quoting both Noam Chomsky and Robert Fisk and constantly droning on about the evilness of corporations — and it seems that one of the strains of lefty Western thought he liked best was climate-change alarmism, the idea that the West has become so industrially and politically arrogant that it now threatens the whole of mankind.

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