The highest quality climate science

At least they met but why the secrecy. This is by Nigel Lawson in the latest edition of The Spectator:

The long-discussed meeting between a group of climate scientists and Fellows of the Royal Society on the one side, and me and some colleagues from my think-tank, the Global Warming Policy Foundation on the other, has now at last taken place. It was held behind closed doors in a committee room at the House of Lords, the secrecy — no press present — at the insistence of the Royal Society Fellows, an insistence I find puzzling given the clear public interest in the issue of climate change in general and climate change policy in particular.

The origins go back almost a year, to a lecture by the president of the Royal Society, the biologist Sir Paul Nurse. In it he chose to launch a gratuitous personal attack on me, making a number of palpably false allegations. I wrote to him, pointing out his errors, and he replied — somewhat changing his tune — conceding that ‘it is quite legitimate for both of us to talk about climate change policy, but before doing so we need to have access to the highest quality climate science. I am not sure you are receiving the best advice, and I would be very happy to put you in contact with distinguished active climate research scientists if you think that would be useful.’

So now the highest quality climate science has been provided but we don’t know what it was or how Nigel Lawson replied. All I do know is that Lawson has not changed his mind. But again, why the secrecy?

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47 Responses to The highest quality climate science

  1. Ant

    The secrecy helps conceal the lies.

    Nothing we’re told about the Global Warming Racket is the unpoliticised truth, because the instant they start telling the truth is the moment the whole crapola falls apart.

  2. Bruce of Newcastle

    But again, why the secrecy?

    Whenever the IPCC tribe debate climate science with climate sceptics they lose. Same goes on blogs, because the real-world data does not support the IPCC ideology.

    So they either refuse to debate or they cloak the discussion in secrecy so no one can see them faceplant.

  3. Rabz

    it is quite legitimate for both of us to talk about climate change policy, but before doing so we need to have access to the highest quality climate science.

    I’m presuming Nurse then sent Lawson a copy of An Inconvenient Truth, Piltdown Mann’s Hockey Stick and the entire findings of the East Anglia CRU.

  4. Rabz

    … and a whole bunch of prognostications of a certain colourful Perfessor from Oz named Tim Flannery.

  5. Louis Hissink

    but before doing so we need to have access to the highest quality climate science. I am not sure you are receiving the best advice, and I would be very happy to put you in contact with distinguished active climate research scientists if you think that would be useful.’

    The arrogance of arguing from authority!

    The tragedy is these twerps actually seem to believe their own bullshit.

  6. Muphin

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are 95 percent certain that 95 percent of the people are convinced that 95 percent of what we write in our reports borders on the probability that it is 95 percent scientifically implausible, 95 percent of the time.

  7. Paul

    Its a scam of the highest order.

  8. H B Bear

    We can safely assume they weren’t using any stuff from the kool kids at the IPCC.

  9. Biota

    The arrogance of arguing from authority!

    Sir Paul Nurse is a geneticist and on all accounts quite a good one. Which means he knows no more about climate science than any other man on the street. So he has to either apply an enquiring mind to the CAGW issues or put blind faith in the establishment, which he clearly has done.

  10. Louis Hissink

    blind faith in the establishment

    And the Royal Society never accepts anything on ?????????? I wonder if Sir Paul Nurse might be nursing a sore foot from accidentally having had it hammered by his own actions?

  11. HK_Brother

    But again, why the secrecy?


    Because they have something to hide. Its very likely that the data doesn’t fit the narrative they have created. So they must “massage” and “spin” like what was achieved with IPCC and their AR5 press release to the media. Remember the “increased confidence” they had?

    The theory about the Left having a time limit to their activism and ideology proves true. The very moment they lie, exaggerate, manipulate, etc…Is the very moment the counter starts ticking. Why? Because people are waiting if their claims are true or not. (Watch the reaction of the public when their exaggerations don’t play out!)

    Basically, time is not on the activist’s side. Especially those activists with scientific qualifications…Posing as some scientific authority. Their arrogant behaviour goes to show they treat science very differently than we do. For us, its an avenue to enquire, exploration, and progress. For them, its like a political tool (a title of undisputed authority), to back their agenda.

  12. Alfonso

    The Royal Society had to be on board before parliament could start bankrupting the UK via wind and solar. Everyone’s girlfriend loves wind and solar.
    Stop wasting your time Nige.

  13. Robert O.

    Most people with a scientific training are skeptical by nature, and when they start to look at the evidence for global warming they find that it is based on computer models, modified data, data from meteorological stations that have been surrounded with buildings and tarmac, extrapolation of data beyond the accuracy of the instruments used, and in some cases pure fabrication.

    Currently there has not been any significant increase in global temperature for the past 15 years or so and yet levels of Carbon Dioxide are increasing linearly to about 400 ppm., that is 0.04% of the atmosphere. So now people are looking for reasons, or excuses, to try and explain this conumdrum, hot spots in the ocean or stratosphere, or whatever. So the hypothesis that Carbon dioxide is causing global warming is basically invalid and should be tossed out like so many other hypotheses have been in the past. But it has passed from the realm of science into politics and vested interest with lots of money at stake.

    The only solution is to have an impartial inquiry to sort out the fact from the hyperbole.

  14. cohenite

    the highest quality climate science

    Oxymoron of the week.

    Maybe John Cook was at the meeting and Lawson is still too bemused to comment properly.

  15. Currently there has not been any significant increase in global temperature for the past 15 years or so and yet levels of Carbon Dioxide are increasing linearly to about 400 ppm., that is 0.04% of the atmosphere.

    Simple, logical extrapolation of these facts indicate that there is a huge amount of noise in the data. When co2 data shows a strongly linear increase, while temperature fluctuates wildly around it, then the only logical conclusion is that there is a lot more going on than co2. It is indisputable without going beyond the realm of science completely. No alternatives are possible other than there being one, or more other factors. Their argument is untenable without addressing the noise. They are the true deniers, ignoring the herd of elephants completely.

  16. manalive

    No doubt they were told ‘the science (of dangerous AGW) is settled’.
    I’ve never been able to discover exactly when the science became settled; when was that eureka moment?
    It can’t have been when Arrhenius did his experiments because the ‘greenhouse effect’ is generally accepted.
    It must have been between the IPCC’s First Assessment Report in 1990 when “the observed increase could be largely due to this natural variability” and the third in 2001 when “new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed over the last 50 years is attributable to human activities” was discovered.
    By now they are even more certain: “It is extremely likely (97% certain) that human influence has been the dominant cause of observed warming since 1950, with the level of confidence having increased since the fourth report“.
    Of course there’s no going back now, we must eagerly look forward to AR6 and so on.
    Maybe its like Zeno’s paradoxes and their certainty never gets to 100%.

  17. Jim Rose

    In Sir Paul Nurse’s Attack on Science on cable, he interviewed James Delingpole.

    After agreeing that science does not proceed on the basis of consensus, Nurse asked Delingpole why he rejected the scientific consensus on global warming but accepted the scientific consensus on cancer?

    Delingpole said he did not accept the analogy, but was otherwise flat-footed.

    I suggest the following:
    1. Medicine proceeds on the basis of double blind trials and other small field experiments. Control and treatment groups are used. Medicine is not perfect as was the case with the misdiagnosis of the causes of stomach ulcers.

    2. The lag between cause and effect are short as would be the case if you rejected emergency treatment after a car accident or cancer treatment.

    3. Medicine tests the efficacy of invasive treatments, weighs side-effects and encourages adaptation and prevention.

    4. The staying power of self-interest in medicine is well-known: much higher rates of surgery when there is fee for service and much lower rates of surgery if the patient is a doctor’s wife. The efforts of the medical profession to suppress new entry to inflate their own incomes are well-known.
    Ken Arrow in the early 1960s famously concluded that virtually all the special features of the medical care industry could “be explained as social adaptations to the existence of uncertainty in the incidence of disease and in the efficacy of treatment.”
    1. physicians may not agree on the medical condition causing the symptoms the patient presents.
    2. even if physicians agree in their diagnoses, they often do not agree on the efficacy of alternative responses — for example, surgery or medical management for lower-back pain.
    3. Third, information on diagnosis and likely consequences of treatment are asymmetrically allocated between providers and patients. The reason patients seek advice and treatment in the first place is that they expect physicians to have vastly superior knowledge about the proper diagnosis and efficacy of treatment.

  18. cohenite

    Jim Rose, that is helpful.

    In a recent debate Roy Spencer had the same false analogy between medicine and AGW science thrown at him by an alarmist; see how he responds.

  19. Tom

    Cohenite, that smug, arrogant religious fanatic claiming to be a “journalist” who had pig ignorant zealotry to call Roy Spencer a “denier” should be taken out and shot. He is a disgrace to his profession. On a difficult subject like climate change, it is a journalist’s job to make his brain hurt understanding the precise technical observations and arguments flowing from them, not to surrender meekly to self-proclaimed “authorities” who are people with the ultimate conflict of interest: if their hypothesis is invalid, they lose their job. If I was a twentysomething, I wonder how I would react to the CAGW hysteria. Because there was no precedent for the possibility that science was being corrupted for a radical political end, I think I would probably have gone along with it for a while. However, unlike today’s J-school grads, I was trained classicly on the job to assume everyone was trying to bullshit me and getting to the truth required a special effort. Today’s J-school grads have bought the bullshit that objective factual truth doesn’t exist, which is terrifying.

  20. cohenite

    That’s right Tom and its not as though Spencer is some mug who came down in the last shower; along with Christy he set up and runs UAH satellite temps. And his work on clouds with Danny Braswell is ground-breaking.

  21. I see the speculations of ex Prof Salby which caused a stir at the Sydney Institute a while ago – to an audience that clearly couldn’t understand the argument (actually, because no one can understand how the argument makes any sense) have been given an outing in England and Europe lately.

    His talks were given a complete and utter smack down at Stoat’s blog earlier this month. Quite a few other climate interested people in comments join in.

    As I always predicted would happen right – Salby has convinced absolutely no one of any significance that he can possibly be right. Because it is incoherent argument.

    Oh – he’s convinced Monckton apparently. That tells us a lot.

    I don’t even know that cohenite is convinced. Who could possibly tell – he’s tried to cling to obvious misinterpretations of his own to do with the carbon cycle before, so who knows.

  22. James in Melbourne

    Steve, anything you say on climate sounds like an 11-year-old boy arguing that Collingwood is the greatest AFL team ever – and being just as open to a contrary argument.

  23. Jim Rose

    thanks cohenite, Sir Paul Nurse believes people should defer to experts.

    His named two consensuses: global warming and GMOs.

    On GMOs in His 2012 Dimbleby lecture is at http://royalsociety.org/uploadedFiles/Royal_Society_Content/people/fellows/2012-02-29-Dimbleby.pdf where he calls for a re-opening the debate about GM crops based on scientific facts and analysis:

    We need to consider what the science has to say about risks and benefits, uncoloured by commercial interests and ideological opinion. It is not acceptable if we deny the world’s poorest access to ways that could help their food security, if that denial is based on fashion and ill-informed opinion rather than good science.

    Many without blinking an eye rejects the science of GMO and hound from the temple anyone who defies any scientific consensus they agree with.

  24. Toiling Mass

    The real proof of Global Change Warming Disruption Climate is hidden in the oceans, don’t ya know.

    According to the models such a proof exists, and it is problematic that no one has been able to find it, but 20% of the models now insist that it is hidden there. All they need is more money and more control over people’s lives.

  25. SteveC

    Yep, I’m happy to get my scientific advice from an octogenarian former Tory politician

    Lord Lawson’s climate-change think tank faces being dismantled or even
    wound down after a formal complaint that it has persistently misled the public prompted the statutory regulator to probe into the group.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/lord-lawsons-climatechange-think-tank-risks-being-dismantled-after-complaint-it-persistently-misled-public-8659314.html

    almost as believable as the Australian No Carbon Tax party, eh cohenite.?

  26. cohenite

    Shut up steve; Salby can look after himself. The salient issue is whether ACO2 is responsible for the entirety of atmospheric increase in CO2. We had this discussion here.

    And Ian Hill’s graph, the last one, is valid despite Bugsy’s comments. There was chatter from you and Bugsy about whether LUC emissions are +ve, -ve or neutral. That wasn’t the important point; the crucial issue is the fact that the atmospheric increase is always more than the retained portion, the AF, of ACO2.

    But go ahead steve, pull something out of your bony arse and I’ll drop back in later and have a giggle.

  27. cohenite

    Another fucking steve, steveC; you’re the one who can count, is that right?

  28. SteveC

    Jim Rose,

    much higher rates of surgery when there is fee for service and much lower rates of surgery if the patient is a doctor’s wife.

    is there actually evidence for that?

  29. SteveC

    yes cohenite, unlike you, apparently.

  30. Tel

    His talks were given a complete and utter smack down at Stoat’s blog earlier this month. Quite a few other climate interested people in comments join in.

    Steve I followed your link, and there’s a correlation graph there, drawn on a rather coarse scale with the small steps being 1500 years. William M. Connolley claims:

    Salby (incorrectly) says the correlation is highest at small positive lag; as you see from his picture, its highest at zero lag.

    Now I welcome anyone to take a look at that graph, and tell me whether it leans a bit to the right. Given that the skeptical claim is that an 800 year lag is the best fit for the data, and this graph has been drawn with 1500 year steps in an effort to obscure the key region, but yet still cannot successfully obscure it… we can see quite clearly the honesty of AGW alarmists on display. Once I’ve seen that I don’t really need to worry about anything else the guy has to say.

    Job’s done as they say.

  31. Jim Rose

    SteveC, doctors would have a better appreciation of the advice they receive on different treatment options than lay people.

  32. cohenite

    Is that it steveC? Weak as piss. I thought you were sniffing around for an argument. Pathetic.

  33. SteveC

    How many votes did you get Anthony? Was it more than the Pirate party, arrr?

  34. cohenite

    Democracy was the winner; the green filth and the alp lost power. Great eh.

  35. Robert O.

    Everybody should agree about climate change since it always has and will continue to change, but the disagreement is whether man is contributing, or not. Earth’s temperature is controlled by the water cycle, ice, water and vapour , and of course, solar input and its distribution. The fact that CO2 levels are increasing in a linear manner and temperatures haven’t increased for 15 years or so, suggests that the influence of CO2, if any, is being drowned out by other factors. We know that solar input varies with various cycles as earth follows an elliptical path and tilts as well and has resulted in ice ages in the past.
    A current theory that cosmic rays cause the formation of cloud nuclei is interesting; when solar flares are very active the cosmic rays are disrupted because of distorted magnetic fields, hence less cloud and more warming, and the converse situation.
    Irrespective of all this a carbon tax will achieve very little if anything at all to global temperatures.

  36. mem

    What I don’t understand is why Sir Nigel has kept stum. Billions of dollars (from tax payers like me) are being diverted from productive industry, health, education, conservation and community infrastructure to keep this green scam alive. Perhaps Sir Nigel should rethink his loyalty. Surely his knighthood comes with an obligation to the greater good.Trade in your knighthood Sir Nigel and blow the whistle.Then you would really be a proper Knight!

  37. Bruce

    mem – Lawson had to agree to non disclosure before the RS would even have a meeting.

    As I said upthread these people refuse to openly debate now because they lose when they do. Which suggests to me they know the game is up.

  38. Tel

    Everybody should agree about climate change since it always has and will continue to change…

    If climate always has and always will change, then what exactly is difference between climate and weather anyway?

  39. cohenite

    If climate always has and always will change, then what exactly is difference between climate and weather anyway?

    Glibly put 17 years according to Santer and originally 30 years according to the IPCC.

    Climate is a pattern which holds true over periods of time, natural variability. Weather is variation within that pattern.

    AGW says the pattern is changing; and the type of weather is becoming more extreme; that is the variability is no longer natural, it’s man-made. We’re Gods it seems.

  40. Incredibly, I see that cohenite links to his own Online Opinion article based on Knorr which Knorr himself thinks makes no sense. (Yes, I emailed him and asked.)

    Too dumb to recognise your own mistakes, cohenite, you really need to stick tolawyering.

  41. egg_

    If climate always has and always will change, then what exactly is difference between climate and weather anyway?

    Climes are related to Latitude; as one moves from the equator, the local weather patterns will differ (more so).
    Climate change (warmer) essentially means e.g. Sydney should become more tropical, more like the Northern climes, i.e. warmer and wetter; Flannery saying hotter and dryer is BS.
    Essentially it’s all BS (CAGW, AGW).

  42. cohenite

    Too dumb to recognise your own mistakes, cohenite

    Sadly true; I keep talking to you.

  43. Bruce

    SfB has an article on his blog about yet another model paper.

    He should know by now that models are only as good as their assumptions. And the modellers ideology.

    Omitted variable bias, Steve, read up on it. Then look at the effects of the Sun, oceans and clouds.

    Steve, there is a reason why climate sceptics win all the debates. After you read these three linked articles and their underlying peer reviewed climate science papers I would be pleased to link the other hundred or so I have at easy convenience.

  44. cohenite

    Bruce, you read sfb’s blog? Sfb has a blog?! This truly is either the age of mediocrity or equality, or perhaps where mediocrity has equality. And I say that with all the requisite irony.

    The vindication of Spencer and his work on clouds continues apace.

  45. Philip Shehan

    There is nothing I can find in Lawson’s piece or yours to justify the claim of secrecy. The lack of press inside the room does not constitute “secrecy”. Nowhere can I find any evidence that Lawson or Frememan Dyson or Richard Lintzen have been prevented from discussing what went on inside the room. Bruce’s claim above they had to agree to non disclosure is simply Bishop Hill’s unwarranted interpretation of what Lawson wrote. The only claim Lawson makes is that the Royal Society fellows required that press not be present during the discussions. Scientists are less used to and probably less comfortable with discussing things in the midst of a media circus than ex politicians turned media commentators. “It was held behind closed doors in a committee room at the House of Lords, the secrecy — no press present — at the insistence of the Royal Society Fellows”

    Lawson has simply not bothered to tell us what the results of the discussion were – and indeed they would have been just the same old arguments put by either side, so why bother, – contenting himself with an evidence free assertions of his own breadth of understanding and the lack of same by the opposition : “Nurse’s team were able to tell me little I did not already know.” and “What was clear, however, was that they had no understanding of, or interest in, the massive human and economic costs involved in the policies they so glibly endorse.”

  46. Bruce

    Philip – Montford said this in his post:

    Nigel Lawson has a brief report on the meeting at the Spectator, revealing little about the content, except for the fact that he is prevented from telling more by a demand for secrecy imposed by the Royal Society fellows themselves.

    Are you saying he his a liar?

    Before you answer, as it happens Christopher Booker in the Telegraph has more:

    The society insisted that the meeting be shrouded in secrecy; not even the names of those present were to be revealed.

    He goes on to describe how the RS was completely pwned by the people Lawson brought along. As usual. Which is why they insisted on confidentiality before the meeting: they may be ideologues but they are not complete idiots.

    By all means keep your head in the sand Philip. All humans have an inalienable right to stupidity if they want.

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