I Prefer My Cod in Batter, Thanks Very Much

August 15, 2015

Whenever I find myself choosing my next meal I always like to look out for the sign that says “healthy option.” In this age of variety and abundance it can often be hugely difficult making up your mind as to what to eat next. “Healthy option” makes things so much easier. It tells me: “Avoid like the plague.”

Good news, then, for takeaway customers in Rochdale, Greater Manchester. No fewer than six local fish and chip shops have taken on board the advice of their local council’s Healthier Choices Manager and introduced special, non-greasy, low-fat menu options. So now when customers find themselves torn between the battered sausage, the chicken nuggets and the “rock salmon” at least they can be sure of what they don’t want: that insipid-looking fillet of steamed cod on a bed of salad, with so few chips they barely even qualify as a garnish.

“It’s too early to say if steamed fish will be a hit,” says an article on the council’s website. And I’ll bet when they know the answer they won’t tell us. That’s because this well-meaning scheme is doomed to flop like a wet kipper. Of course it is. No one in their right mind goes to a takeaway as part of a calorie controlled diet. You do it when you fancy a treat.

And the reason it’s a treat is precisely because that food is so deliciously greasy. As the late Clarissa Dickson-Wright, the generously girthed cook from TV’s Two Fat Ladies, once explained to me, fry-ups, sizzling bacon, battered fish, and so on will always taste nicer than the “healthy option” because fat is a great carrier of flavour.

Clarissa (who was as big an expert on the science of food as she was on cooking and eating it) remained, to the end, a great defender of butter, cream and full-fat milk. She claimed they were much better for you than most of the supposedly healthy, low-fat alternatives. And it turns out she was right. Recent studies have shown that it’s the “trans-fats” in artificial health products like margarine that are the killer, not natural animal fats you find in butter.

What’s more, the evidence increasingly suggests, that it’s sugar not fat which is most responsible for our supposed obesity epidemic. So by trying to stop customers eating fried fish in Rochdale, the council is barking up the wrong tree. It’s the cafes pushing sweet cakes and doughnuts they should be investigating.

If, that is, you believe it’s a council’s job to be lecturing takeaways shops, cafes and the like what should and shouldn’t be on the menu. Which personally, I don’t. Surely, if you’re forking out hundreds of pounds every year for your council tax, it ought to be things you actually want and need like regular dustbin collection, not for the services of some nannyish, finger-wagging lecturer treating you like a small child who refuses to eat his Brussels sprouts.

When I read that Rochdale Council employed a Healthier Choices Manager, I assumed at first it was a joke. But no: the job exists and it’s currently held by someone called Clare McNicol. Well I’m sure she’s a nice, caring, well-meaning person and she’s clearly very persuasive to have got all those chippies to participate in this ludicrous scheme. Really, though. Oughtn’t the council to have more urgent priorities than creating such busybodying non-jobs?

For example, three years ago, Rochdale was at the centre of an ugly, grooming gang scandal when a group of Pakistanis were jailed for 30 ‘horrific’ counts of child rape. With its limited budget, wouldn’t the council be better off beefing its apparently lacklustre Children’s Services Department, rather than trying to decide the local fish and chip shop menu? Isn’t the safety of vulnerable girls maybe a bit more important than the danger that someone, somewhere might put on a few more inches as a result of too many ill-advised takeaways?

Councils are always telling us how underfunded they are, how they’re expected to do more and more with less and less money. But I suspect that this is at least partly a problem of their own making. If they stuck to the basics – schools, street-cleaning, lighting and so on – and cut out all the dispensable luxuries like recycling awareness, sustainability, lesbian outreach, diet fascism, and so on, then I’m sure they’d find it much easier to live within their means. I expect most council taxpayers would be a lot happier too.

My fear, though, is that councils, especially those in inner-city Labour strongholds like Rochdale, really aren’t so interested in the dull but essential bread-and-butter stuff. (Let alone in confronting issues like the growth of intolerant Islamism). Rather they see it as their holy mission to mould the whole world in their progressive image. Hence, that multitude of different coloured bags you’re expected to sort your rubbish into, each week: they want to teach you that recycling as an act of religious devotion.

Hence too those healthy eating menus. They don’t want you to see food as a source of fun or sensual pleasure. They want you to see it as they do – worthy, tofu-eating, vegan types as most of them probably are – as a source of guilt, self-hatred and neurosis.

Never mind the fact that cod – or haddock, come to that – is really quite disgusting when steamed and that it desperately needs the improving influence of a nice, crispy layer of beer batter, a side order of thick chips swimming in vinegar, and a squeeze each of tomato ketchup and tartare sauce to make it palatable. Enjoying the stuff was never the point. These people don’t just want you to be healthy and thin. They want you, above all, to be miserable.

From the Express

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Labour’s Hypocrisy on Immigration Is Breathtaking

EVERY time I pop to the shops, I’m reminded that the Britain of my childhood has gone for ever.

These days I’m as likely to hear Bulgarian, Polish or Romanian as English. And while I have no objections to any of these no doubt decent, hard-working, law-abiding people individually, I cannot help but feel the country I grew up in is no longer my own.The burgeoning popularity of Ukip suggests that I’m not alone. But until recently it wasn’t something you could admit in public without being called “racist”. This was one of the Labour party’s most successful and dangerous achievements in the wake of Enoch Powell’s 1968 Rivers of Blood speech.For four decades, Labour created a climate in which even to question the idea that mass immigration, “multiculturalism” and “diversity” were an unmitigated good was tantamount to being a member of the National Front.Typical of this was Labour’s response during the 2005 general election campaign to a speech by the then Conservative leader Michael Howard in which he said: “It’s not racist to talk about immigration. It’s not racist to criticise the system.

It’s not racist to want to limit the numbers. It’s just plain common sense.” According to Labour spokesman Peter Hain these were “scurrilous, Rightwing, ugly tactics”.

But will Hain, I wonder, condemn the comments by a senior politician earlier this week that “It isn’t racist to be worried about immigration or to call for immigration reform”?

Somehow I’m guessing not. Though the words sound remarkably similar to Howard’s the MP speaking them this time was none other than Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper. As breathtaking hypocrisy goes, this takes some beating.

Not only does it breach Labour leader Ed Miliband’s pledge last week that: “What we will never do is try to out-Ukip Ukip” but it is also an outrageous attempt to duck responsibility for a crisis which is of Labour’s making.

The increase in immigration since the late 1990s was significantly influenced by the government

House of Lords

Between the 1997 arrival of Labour’s Tony Blair as prime minister and the departure in 2010 of Labour’s Gordon Brown, immigration in Britain soared by 45 per cent – from around 327,000 immigrants per annum to 596,000.And those are just the ones officially recorded by the Office For National Statistics.Once you add illegal immigrants that figure may double to more than one million a year.

“The increase in immigration since the late 1990s was significantly influenced by the government’s Managed Migration policies.”

That’s a quote from a 2008 House of Lords economic affairs select committee telling us something that Labour is now very reluctant to admit: that the 2.3 million migrants added to the UK population between 2000 and 2009 didn’t arrive here as a result of some forgivable border control oversight.

They came as a direct consequence of Labour policy. We know this because of a Labour whistleblower called Andrew Neather – a former speechwriter to Tony Blair, as well as Labour home secretaries David Blunkett and Jack Straw – who later became a newspaper columnist.

In one of his articles he revealed that Labour’s wholehearted embrace of mass immigration had a “driving political purpose” – to “make the UK truly multicultural”.

Read the rest at The Express

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Wind Farm Fanatics Are Bankrupting Us With Their Hot Air | James Delingpole

February 20, 2012

THIS week the chairman of the National Trust finally admitted what the rest of us have known for some time: wind farms are the ugliest, most stupid, environmentally damaging, expensive, wasteful and utterly pointless monstrosities ever to deface the British landscape.

Not that Sir Simon Jenkins put it quite so bluntly. But from the chairman of a conservation organisation with four million members, 28,500 acres and 700 miles of coastline this was still pretty powerful and damning stuff.

(to read more, click here)

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One thought on “Wind Farm Fanatics Are Bankrupting Us With Their Hot Air”

  1. Anonymous says:21st February 2012 at 4:58 pmI would like to hear of any info on DIM YEO, MP, fake conservative of his parish, and his links to this idiotic “technology.”

Comments are closed.

The curious rise of bottled water | James Delingpole

August 18, 2011

It is virtually free out of a tap and yet millions of us pay a fortune for it every day. The bottled water industry is a phenomenon with public bodies and private citizens alike content to part with good money to buy it and vast quantities of it being shipped all around the world…

(to read more, click here)

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Who Would Spend So Much on a Loaf? The NHS, of Course

July 21, 2011

HAVE you heard about the amazing bread the NHS hands out on prescription to gluten allergy sufferers in Wales?

Gluten free: But this bread is very expensive whichever way you slice it.

It’s made of fairy-dust-sprinkled hypoallergenic wheat harvested by pixies at dawn, hand-ground by hedge-fund managers and then baked to perfection by Parisian masterchefs in ovens made of pure gold!

Well that’s one explanation for the £984,185 the NHS in Wales (where prescriptions are free) blew last year buying 47,684 gluten-free loaves at £20.64 a pop when, in a supermarket, you can get them for a 10th of the price. The other is more prosaic…

(to read more, click here)

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2 thoughts on “Who would spend so much on a loaf? The NHS, of course.”

  1. JimmyGiro says:21st July 2011 at 8:51 amLet them eat cake, oat, rice, and potato.

    If gluten is the problem for those individuals, as it is for about 5% of the Irish gene pool, then it’s time for those ‘sufferers’ to revert back to the diet of their ancestors, whose wheat avoidance led to their celiac condition in the first place. And since it is an ancestral left over, they cannot, or should not, claim it as a birth right to eat the foods of other tribes, or as in this instance, the expensive simulation of ‘other’ food.

  2. L Anderson says:21st July 2011 at 6:22 pmJames Delingpole is wrong.
    Please see below.

    Welsh Health Minister Lesley Griffiths said:

    “This claim is inaccurate. The actual cost for the single loaf of gluten-free bread in question is around £2.82, not the £ 32 claimed. The £32 cost quoted is for an average prescription on which several loaves are ordered at a time.

    “If a GP determines a patient requires these products, they should be prescribed to maintain their health. It is wrong to question the judgement and professionalism of health professionals – who have best interests at heart in determining what is prescribed. It is important to note that the loaves ordered from pharmacies are often not of the type routinely available in supermarkets.”

    Loaf of bread
    Over the last 12 months there were 27 prescriptions issued for the gluten free bread quoted as costing £32 per loaf. On the 27 prescriptions, the total amount of the bread prescribed was 123,600 grams. Each loaf is 400 grams. Therefore, 309 loaves were prescribed for £ 871.36 ie £2.82 per 400 gram loaf…


No surprise that the BBC has been caught out in a lie


has had to apologise after being caught out telling porkie pies in one of its Panorama documentaries.

Though it claimed to show genuine footage of exploited Indian child labourers sweating for a pittance to make cheap fashion for Primark, these scenes had in fact been staged.

A voice in the background heard saying: “Get on with the work little boy” and “keep quiet and get on with job” was provided by the Panorama crew’s driver/translator.

Are any of you surprised by this? I’m not. To me, “BBC twists evidence to make Leftwing propaganda point” is about as shocking and unusual a story as “dog bites postman”, or “children seen eating sweets” or “Pope found worshipping regularly at the Vatican”.

Sure, in theory the BBC is committed by its Charter to neutrality, fairness and balance.

But in reality it is – and long has been – a shamelessly biased mouthpiece for the achingly PC values of the tofu-eating, metropolitan, Guardian-reading classes.

This shamelessness is all too evident in the response of the BBC Trust – the supposedly independent body whose job it is to keep the BBC in line.

(to read more, click here)

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3 thoughts on “No surprise that the BBC has been caught out in a lie”

  1. JimmyGiro says:19th June 2011 at 1:12 pmThe BBC’s computer is riddled with the virus of Marxist-Feminism. It needs to be purged, and rebooted back to the last known good configuration.

    And with its proven track record of false-hood, can Kate Adie’s reports from the ‘front-line’ be believed, since it is possible for the professional microphones to pick-up distant gunfire, as though it were near.

    I wonder if Kate’s camera crew are forbidden to write memoirs?

  2. Terrible But True says:19th June 2011 at 5:58 pmActually… I was prepared to concede that, in the great scheme of things, ‘one summer doth not a summer make’.

    However the unremitting ‘Who, us? We’re perfect because we just are’ posts on the BBC ‘The Editors’ blog has rather got under my skin and I now feel a wee bit more inclined to be less forgiving as the culture at the top pretty much ensures this will continue… in a downwards spiral.

    And the reaction of one of the top table was gobsmacking, complementing the ‘sure it was pants, but other stuff might not have been so it all evens out’ mindset of some very less than market rate talents drawing down hundreds of k a year.

    I can’t imagine the BBC coming over quite so forgiving if one of their pet targets strays from the ethical straight and narrow.

    The Corporation has now become almost synonymous with bare-faced hypocrisy.

  3. right-writes says:19th June 2011 at 7:26 pm@JimmyGiro… I am afraid there was never a “good configuration”… During the lead up to WW2, they adopted the side of the appeasers… They have always taken sides…

    Whether this is right or wrong is irrelevant, it is unbalanced and that is not part of their mandate as the state broadcaster.

    Incidentally, before they became the state broadcaster they were known to be a bit more people centric in that they concentrated on entertaining mainly, news was a brief interval that was delivered anonymously.

Comments are closed.

It’s All Jobs for the Boys

April 22, 2011

Gordon Brown is rumoured to be in the running for the job of head of the International Monetary Fund. It’s ridiculous that political failure should be rewarded with another top job; and the former prime minister is far from being the only example of this trend. . . .

THE sun is shining. The birds are singing. The lovely, long Easter holiday weekend is just a day away. So I’m quite sure the very last image you want planted in your joyous carefree mind right now is a pair of dark sluglike eyebrows, a jowly, pugnacious chin and an eerily familiar voice saying in a deep, dour Scottish accent: “Och, a £270,000 salary and a chance to ruin the global economy just like I ruined the British economy? That’ll suit me very nicely, thank you!”

I’m referring, of course, to our unlamented ex-prime minister Gordon Brown and the truly horrifying rumour that he might be next in line for the job of head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Quite possibly it will come to naught: after all it would be a bit like putting King Herod in charge of childcare or Dracula in charge of the blood bank. Still, the fact that such a grotesquely wrongheaded appointment is considered speaks volumes about the democratic unaccountability which has grown rampant in our dismal era. “All political lives end in failure,” Enoch Powell once famously said. Not any more they don’t.

(to read more, click here)

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59 thoughts on “It’s all jobs for the boys”

  1. Nige Cook says:22nd April 2011 at 7:57 amBrown just about the only person responsible for Britain’s financial mess who hasn’t yet been properly rewarded for bringing Britain to its knees. It doesn’t make sense. The bankers get short-term bonuses for long-term gambling failures, so it follows that Brown must be similarly rewarded for his part in sinking the country into a debt crisis. Just watch Brown’s expertise in explaining why he sold off our gold at its rock bottom market value:


    We’ve got the crème de la crème of top *ankers in this country, and should be proud of our former PM’s unbelievable skills in lying, self-brainwashing, Brezhnev doubletalk, and insulting his own party supporters like Gillian Duffy (behind her back, not to her face).

  2. Stewart Cowan says:23rd April 2011 at 5:58 pmThe only reason I can think of why they would even remotely consider Brown is because he has already proven his worth as a NWO stooge. He will obey orders; rigidly adhere to the globalists’ agenda.
  3. Tom beegdawg007 says:25th April 2011 at 3:08 pmJames, I am an American from Coloradan and I am also a retired engineer and a fan of both you and Christopher Booker. Please continue to fight the good fights.

    Following is something which I think/hope you will find to be of interest.


    What is interesting here is that Google is making money via its investments in “green projects” ONLY because these projects are subsidized with tax dollars. At the end of this, I pose a question which I think you might find wort pursuing!

    But first a quick review of the tax subsidy details. These alternative energy projects all receive enormous tax subsidies which can amount to 50% of the project cost. All of this money comes from both national and local sources and taxes. These projects are also subsidized as a byproduct of the sale of renewable energy which is sold to the local utilities for more than 30cents/ KWH. The regulators than allow the utilities to blend this into their overall electricity mix and use the cost of this “clean energy” to justify what it is that the charge us poor Schmos for power. As a result, by 2020, much of the developed world will be paying 5-10cent more per KWH than would be paid if these “green energy” sources were not being forced upon us. This is going on right now and it will annually increase forever if nothing is done to stop it. The Schmos of the world, for the most part, are completely unaware that the Schmucks are again screwing them.

    Read the article at the URL I provided, you will learn that Googles “number one” goal for its green investments is to obtain a robust Return on its invested Capital. This clearly would not be possible if it were not for the tax subsidies available to these green projects. Now, as I read this article, a question arose in my mind. “Is it possible that Google’s investments in these projects are being structured so that Google is actually buying the tax credits directly from these projects so that these purchased tax credits are used to offset taxes owed on Google profits?” If so, any risk from these investments would be eliminated for Google simply because the money being invested in these projects by Google would have otherwise gone to pay taxes. If this is the case people should at least know that there tax dollars are being used to subsidize Google’s bottom line. And, if Google is doing this, I suspect that it is being done my many other companies. Wouldn’t it be delightful to discover that some high profile Green promoter like Richard Branson was only supportive to these green initiatives because he had discovered a new way to butter his own bread?

  4. Staceey says:26th April 2011 at 8:43 amDear James

    Please note you are needed back.

    At Watts report, Santer is made Fellow of the AGU, Phil Bratby posts climategate emails between Mann and Jones, one year Mann is supporting Jones’s fellowship and next year he asks for the favour to be returned. He also mentions when they next meet they should meet at one of Henry’s exotic locations.

    Great programme about George Martin on the BBC last night, why did they keep panning to windmills.

    I hope all is fine.

  5. Nathaniel Courthope says:30th April 2011 at 7:48 pmI agree with the thrust of this article – Brown and Blair should be eeking out a living on a state pension in a council estate in Glasgow, not swanning around finding more lives to ruin on a grand scale.

    Unfortunately James I think you need to answer a few questions about your own work, in order not to suffer a variation of the same criticism. You announced in ringing tones a couple of years ago that Professor Ian Plimer was going to change the way we think about climate change forever (perhaps he has, by destroying the sceptics, but that’s not what you meant …). You ignored all the criticisms which had already been published in relation to his work. You sneered at George Monbiot for setting conditions for a debate with Plimer.

    And yet what happened in fairly short order was that Plimer was revealed to be a hapless fool who refused to respond to very specific queries about his own work (eg why he misrepresented his own sources, or failed to provide references) which totally undermined his credibility. His performance when he finally did debate Monbiot was painful to watch.

    Meanwhile you’ve gone on to say that you don’t read peer reviewed papers as your opinion on them would be worthless. Why is your opinion on interpretations of interpretations of evidence any better? Surely it would be even less worthy?

    Anyway I leave with one specific set of questions, which you can answer easily:

    1. Do you stand by your review of Plimer’s book?

    2. If not, are there any specific parts of your review which you wish to retract or modify? If so, please itemise these.

  6. Nige Cook says:1st May 2011 at 7:49 am“Unfortunately James I think you need to answer a few questions about your own work, in order not to suffer a variation of the same criticism. … are there any specific parts of your review which you wish to retract or modify? If so, please itemise these.” – Nathaniel Courthope

    James Delingpole was bringing to light some criticisms of AGW scare hype; Professor Ian Plimer thought volcanoes emit vaster amounts of CO2 than that from human activity assumed by the IPCC. Lord Monckton and others suggested solar activity correlated with temperature rises. Feynman said, is distinct from religious belief systems because it is the skepticism in the reliability of expert consensus. This skepticism is required because if you turn the mainstream theory into a dogma, science is finished. Obviously with theories like evolution, science can be finished by too much skepticism of the foundations, too, so you need some censorship of criticisms that amount to fact denial. But what is a fact? It needs more than just a consensus based on a faked hockey stick curve.

    I don’t think that James needs to provide justifications for an enthusiastic book review encouraging people to read evidence which counters billions of dollars of hype. If we have to have any politics in science at all, it should be democratic debate, rather than elitist dictatorship.

    It’s very simple to see what’s happening that’s driving the disaster predictions from IPCC computer models. All IPCC models predict around 3 C of AGW by 2100 (see Fig 7 in my paper http://vixra.org/pdf/1104.0013v1.pdf ). Only 1 C of this is from a direct CO2 greenhouse effect; the other 2 C are positive feedback from water vapour. The 1 C direct rise from CO2 causes more evaporation from the oceans, and the water vapour is very good at absorbing infrared radiation from sunlight, amplifying the total temperature rise to 3 C.

    However, all the IPCC models assume that when this additional absorption of infrared by water vapour occurs (which can only occur in clear skies, not under cloud cover which stops infrared at high altitudes, well above the surface), the warmed moist air doesn’t rise.

    This defies Archimedes’s law of buoyancy. When you heat air, it expands and so its density falls, and it rises. When warm moist rises, it stops after expanding and cooling, creating water droplets which reflect heat away, cooling the surface. Once you correct the IPCC climate models by using the correct negative feedback water vapour data from Dr Roy Spencer’s recent cloud cover feedback research (which shows that temperature rises in the topics increase evaporation, increasing cloud cover, which soom cancels out the initial temperature rise; see Fig 5 in my paper linked above), NOAA’s 1948-2009 humidity records (Fig 1 in my paper linked above), etc., you find that AGW is a complete lie.

    AGW is very much like Marxism. It’s believed to be true for moral and “groupthink” (fashion) reasons, which then leads to “the ends justify the means”-censorship by duped fellow travellers who believe in the utopian message of world peace and tree hugging. They’re certain for moral reasons that AGW is correct.

  7. Nathaniel Courthope says:1st May 2011 at 8:52 amBut Plimer’s source for his claim re volcanoes did not actually support him. Therefore, Plimer should have withdrawn the claim or found a new source. Doing neither undermines his credibility. Delingpole should admit that Plimer was not deserving of the hagiography he wrote.

    I am far from 100% convinced on AGW, for a host of reasons. But if properly debated – as you correctly call for – claims lacking proper sources need to be identified as such, and then modified or withdrawn. A number of Plimer’s central claims fall into that category. To maintain his credibility as a journalist, James should admit that Plimer’s book needs caution to say the least, not unqualified praise.

  8. Nige Cook says:1st May 2011 at 9:52 amNathaniel Courthope: James Delingpole wasn’t pretending to be a peer-reviewer (fact checker) for Professor Plimer. He was just a reporter, and people are free to read the claims for themselves. You’d be more justified to ask for a retraction from Dr Phil Jones with respect to his climategate work in merging together bits of data to support the hockey stick curve. See my YouTube video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Un7u2AZnjw

    Dr Jones recognised that temperature station data after 1960 was inconsistent with tree ring temperature proxy data, so he cut and pasted bits of data from different sources to get the perfect hockey stick curve which was required by the WMO, deleting the seams in the data.

    1. Prior to 1960: use tree ring growth proxy. Pretend that tree growth depends on air temperature alone, ignoring effects of cloud cover (sunshine exposure), rainfall, etc.

    2. 1960-1980: use temperature station data. The temperature stations receive some waste heat from expanding cities and industrial areas located upwind, which helps to create a rise linked to population growth, which is easily confused for the supposed CO2 AGW effect.

    3. Post 1980: use satellite data. Satellite sensors can determine surface temperatures from the Planck spectrum emission of the surface, and they can determine mean air temperatures from a range of altitudes utilizing the emission of microwaves by air molecules. They can’t determine surface temperatures under cloud cover, so 100% of the satellite data on surface temperature pertains to clear skies, i.e. it implicitly excludes negative H2O feedback from increasing cloud cover. So it’s a fiddle.

    Sure, the three sets of data above do show global warming. Sure, in cloudless skies CO2 does produce a small amount of global warming (one third of the IPCC predictions, because two thirds of the IPCC predicted global warming is fake positive feedback due to H2O evaporated from oceans). However, 62% of the sky over Earth has cloud cover. So the satellite data is misleading, focussing on surface temperatures on 38%. We’re not interested in the average air temperature over all altitudes determined by microwave emissions, because if the air above you is hot, it rises further from you (buoyancy) and there’s no mechanism for it to warm you. Even if rain falls, the rain droplets pass latent heat on to the air that they are falling through at high altitudes, long before they reach the ground.

    Aside from the lie about H2O positive feedback and the hockey stick curve, the other big lie is the future predicted emission of CO2. How do the IPCC models predict what the future emissions will be, when we’re running out of oil and gas and prices are rising? If there really is a fossil fuel crisis, why bother to impose limits now? The shrinking supply and its effect in pushing up prices at the petrol pumps will push us towards alternatives anyhow. The IPCC predictions of future CO2 outputs are vitally important but non-scientific. They don’t predict the complex natural effects from rising prices curtaining oil demand in the coming decades. They assume a scenario which leads to the scare mongering they want.

    I tried this argument with climatologist Dr William Connolly, a Cambridge mathematician, who simply responded that China has loads of coal reserves. Sure! My point was that the West isn’t burning so much coal, it’s burning oil which is running out. Sure China is the main problem, burning coal. The problem then is to deal with China’s coal, not ban the West from making the most of its dwindling oil resources before they dry up altogether! Connolly, pressed by others in Wikipedia, failed to understand Fig. 4 of Dr Roy Spencer, et al., “Cloud and Radiation Budget Changes Associated with Tropical Intraseasonal Oscillations”, Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 34, 2007, which shows that a 0.4 C ocean temp rise causes an average 2.5 W/m^2 fall in surface solar radiation heating, due to the increased cloud cover. Dr Connolly couldn’t grasp this, probably because Dr Spencer didn’t emphasise its consequences for AGW in that paper (he does so elsewhere, not very effectively).

    You can’t get away from this effect. Warm the earth 1C with CO2, and the oceans will evaporate slightly faster, causing more cloud cover which cuts down the sunlight getting to the surface. Negative feedback. The problem here is that H2O negative feedback – the real stake through the heart of AGW lies – has a very small fan base and few understand the facts.

  9. Nathaniel Courthope says:1st May 2011 at 11:00 amThen James should just have written an article saying “Plimer has made a lot of claims, I have no idea whether any are true or not”. He didn’t. Instead he wrote an article saying that it had exposed the global warming con trick and would change everything, etc etc. Melanie Phillips wrote something similar around the same time. Now that Plimer has been exposed himself as having written nothing more than unscientific bluster, it behoves James and others to admit they were wrong to have endorsed him. Otherwise they are doing a Phil jones themselves.

    Sayimg that Jones was a fool and that there is a load of evidence against AGW is fine, but does not save Plimer. If we are to have a proper debate then we should discount Plimer’s claims until he answers his critics, AND respond to Jones in the same way.

  10. Nige Cook says:1st May 2011 at 1:40 pm“Now that Plimer has been exposed himself as having written nothing more than unscientific bluster, it behoves James and others to admit they were wrong to have endorsed him. Otherwise they are doing a Phil jones themselves. … If we are to have a proper debate then we should discount Plimer’s claims until he answers his critics, AND respond to Jones in the same way.” – Nathaniel Courthope

    Dr Phil Jones is a climate professional, Professor Plimer likewise lays claim to expertise regarding the stuff he wrote a book about. Delingpole is not misrepresenting anything by giving a fair hearing to the evidence from AGW skeptics; if they’re wrong, they’re wrong. Delingpole reminds me of Dr Peter Woit (maths department, Columbia University, NYC) who runs the blog “Not even wrong” dedicated to debunking 10/11 dimensional superstring mythology. Woit was attacked for using a blog and a book (Not even wrong, 2006), and not putting his debunking into string theorist “peer”-reviewed journals (he writes in his book of the anonymous censorship he experienced from string theory “peer”-reviewers).

    Pertinent to this is a recent blog post by Dr Roy Spencer, the best H2O negative-feedback researcher:


    On Recent Criticisms of My Research
    April 2nd, 2011 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

    One of the downsides of going against the supposed “consensus of scientists” on global warming — other than great difficulty in getting your research funded and published — is that you get attacked in the media. In the modern blogging era, this is now easier to do than ever.

    I have received many requests recently to respond to an extended blog critique by Barry Bickmore of my book, The Great Global Warming Blunder. The primary theme of my book was to present evidence that scientists have mixed up cause and effect when diagnosing feedbacks in the climate system, and as a result could have greatly overestimated how sensitive the climate system is to our addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere from fossil fuel burning.

    For those interested, here is our most extensive peer reviewed and published evidence for my claim.

    But for now, instead of responding to blog posts, I am devoting all the time I can spare to responding to peer-reviewed and published criticism of my work. The main one is Andy Dessler’s paper in Science from last fall, which claimed to find positive cloud feedback in the same 10 years of NASA satellite radiative energy balance (CERES) data we have been analyzing.

    In his paper, Dessler dismissed all of the evidence we presented with a single claim: that since (1) the global temperature variations which occurred during the satellite record (2000-2010) were mostly caused by El Nino and La Nina, and (2) no one has ever demonstrated that “clouds cause El Nino”, then there could not be a clouds-causing-temperature-change contamination of his cloud feedback estimate.

    But we now have clear evidence that El Nino and La Nina temperature variations are indeed caused in large measure by changes in clouds, with the cloud changes coming months in advance of the temperature changes.

    And without going into detail, I will say it now appears that this is not the only major problem with Dessler’s diagnosis of positive cloud feedback from the data he presented. Since we will also be submitting this evidence to Science, and they are very picky about the newsworthiness of their articles, I cannot provide any details.

    Of course, if Science refuses to publish it, that is another matter. Dick Lindzen has recently told me Science has been sitting on his critique of Dessler’s paper for months. Science has demonstrated an editorial bias against ’skeptical’ climate papers in recent years, something I hope they will correct…

  11. Nathaniel Courthope says:1st May 2011 at 3:24 pmIt is not giving Plimer a fair hearing by writing a hagiography of his book and lobbing abuse at Monbiot for setting terms to a debate, whilst ignoring any contrary opinion. That is giving him an unfairly advantaged hearing.

    Then, when Plimer falls to pieces by failing to provide answers to very simple questions and acts like a buffoon on television, James just ignores it. The qu’s which Plimer was asked should have taken about five minutes to answer – if he had valid answers to them. The fact is that they revealed his book to be unscientific nonsense.

    Now somewhere out there may be the book that is the great demolition of AGW, but Plimer’s is not it. By endorsing Plimer so uncritically, and failing to publish a retraction when Plimer was discredited, James has greatly harmed his own cause, and shown that it is not just the AGW proponents who are obscuring (and afraid of) proper debate.

  12. Nige Cook says:1st May 2011 at 3:48 pmMonbiot writes badly researched stuff the Guardian, failing to uncover the facts. E.g., take his recent “debunking” of green radiation effects scaremongering nonsense, http://www.monbiot.com/2011/04/04/evidence-meltdown/ , which fails to even touch the surface of problem, which is DNA repair enzymes like P53 repairing broken DNA strands at low dose rates in mammals. All the linear-no-threshold model evidence from the 1957 congressional hearings on fallout infamous Pauli-Teller radiation effects debate in 1958 was based on insects (fruit flies) and plants (maize), which don’t have the DNA repair enzyme systems of longer-lived mammals. All this was proved by the Russells in the Oak Ridge megamouse project of the 1960s, where millions of mice were exposed to different dose rates. No mention of these key facts by Monbiot, whose “research” consists of trying to read and question the useless references provided by anti-nuclear activist Helen Caldicot.
  13. Nige Cook says:1st May 2011 at 3:50 pm(For the radiation facts Monbiot missed, see my post: http://glasstone.blogspot.com/2009/04/radiation-effects-research-foundation.html )
  14. Nathaniel Courthope says:1st May 2011 at 4:40 pmStill doesn’t change my fundamental point, which is that Plimer’s book has no credibility. You haven’t suggested he does. You simply try and adduce evidence that AGW is wrong, or that various of its proponents also lack credibility. Both of those points may be true. Neither exonerates Plimer.

    My point is that if the anti AGW writers want to have a proper debate as they claim, then they need to admit mistakes as and when they are pointed out. Otherwise they are acting like religious zealots, just as they claim the AGW crowd are. Perhaps James will stop by and let us know if he still thinks Plimer’s book is the game changer he said upon its release.

  15. Nige Cook says:1st May 2011 at 6:24 pmIt’s more of an interview of Professor Plimer than a book review, and Plimer’s Heaven And Earth: Global Warming — the Missing Science is more of a criticism of lying dogma than a statement in error:


    8 July 2009

    James Delingpole talks to Professor Ian Plimer, the Australian geologist, whose new book shows that ‘anthropogenic global warming’ is a dangerous, ruinously expensive fiction, a ‘first-world luxury’ with no basis in scientific fact. Shame on the publishers who rejected the book

    Imagine how wonderful the world would be if man-made global warming were just a figment of Al Gore’s imagination. No more ugly wind farms to darken our sunlit uplands. No more whopping electricity bills, artificially inflated by EU-imposed carbon taxes. No longer any need to treat each warm, sunny day as though it were some terrible harbinger of ecological doom. And definitely no need for the $7.4 trillion cap and trade (carbon-trading) bill — the largest tax in American history — which President Obama and his cohorts are so assiduously trying to impose on the US economy.

    Imagine no more, for your fairy godmother is here. His name is Ian Plimer, Professor of Mining Geology at Adelaide University, and he has recently published the landmark book Heaven And Earth, which is going to change forever the way we think about climate change.

    ‘The hypothesis that human activity can create global warming is extraordinary because it is contrary to validated knowledge from solar physics, astronomy, history, archaeology and geology,’ says Plimer, and while his thesis is not new, you’re unlikely to have heard it expressed with quite such vigour, certitude or wide-ranging scientific authority. Where fellow sceptics like Bjorn Lomborg or Lord Lawson of Blaby are prepared cautiously to endorse the International Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) more modest predictions, Plimer will cede no ground whatsoever. Anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory, he argues, is the biggest, most dangerous and ruinously expensive con trick in history. …

    So go on then, Prof. What makes you sure that you’re right and all those scientists out there saying the opposite are wrong? ‘I’m a geologist. We geologists have always recognised that climate changes over time. Where we differ from a lot of people pushing AGW is in our understanding of scale. They’re only interested in the last 150 years. Our time frame is 4,567 million years. So what they’re doing is the equivalent of trying to extrapolate the plot of Casablanca from one tiny bit of the love scene. And you can’t. It doesn’t work.’

    What Heaven And Earth sets out to do is restore a sense of scientific perspective to a debate which has been hijacked by ‘politicians, environmental activists and opportunists’. It points out, for example, that polar ice has been present on earth for less than 20 per cent of geological time; that extinctions of life are normal; that climate changes are cyclical and random; that the CO2 in the atmosphere — to which human activity contributes the tiniest fraction — is only 0.001 per cent of the total CO2 held in the oceans, surface rocks, air, soils and life; that CO2 is not a pollutant but a plant food; that the earth’s warmer periods — such as when the Romans grew grapes and citrus trees as far north as Hadrian’s Wall — were times of wealth and plenty. …

    One of the things that so irks him about modern environmentalism is that it is driven by people who are ‘too wealthy’. ‘When I try explaining “global warming” to people in Iran or Turkey they have no idea what I’m talking about. Their life is about getting through to the next day, finding their next meal. Eco-guilt is a first-world luxury. It’s the new religion for urban populations which have lost their faith in Christianity. The IPCC report is their Bible. Al Gore and Lord Stern are their prophets.’ …

    Reading Plimer’s Heaven And Earth is at once an enlightening and terrifying experience. Enlightening because, after 500 pages of heavily annotated prose (the fruit of five years’ research), you are left in no doubt that man’s contribution to the thing they now call ‘climate change’ was, is and probably always will be negligible. Terrifying, because you cannot but be appalled by how much money has been wasted, how much unnecessary regulation drafted because of a ‘problem’ that doesn’t actually exist.

  16. Nathaniel Courthope says:1st May 2011 at 7:28 pm“you are left in no doubt that man’s contribution to the thing they now call ‘climate change’ was, is and probably always will be negligible. ”

    Except when you spend just a few minutes on google and discover the howling errors in Plimer’s book.

    Whether a review or an interview, surely any journalist would at least mention the fact that Plimer’s book had already been reviewed extremely unfavourably by many eminent scientists – even if you do the usual Delingpole routine and promptly dismiss those with whom you happen to disagree as being part of a global conspiracy. And if you subsequently find that Plimer’s book is a house built on sand, you should publish a follow up post pointing this out, and then saying whether or not Plimer’s destruction has modified your views (and why it has or has not). That’s what a journalist interested in truth would do.

    Plimer’s book makes a number of scientific claims. It references these as per the norm by footnotes. It has since been pointed out to him that a number of his footnotes do not, in fact, support his thesis but are in direct contradiction, eg the claim about volcanic CO2, or the graph which he in fact doesn’t reference. It would be easy for Plimer to provide a reference and to check the ones others have highlighted. He hasn’t, and won’t, because they are severely damaging to his case.

    Either one is interested in proper debate or one is not. If one is, then one assesses evidence as it is presented, and then modifies or abandons one’s views accordingly. Thus, presented with Plimer’s book and nothing else it would have been fair enough for Delingpole to have accepted it and written a positive review. But, presented with the evidence that Plimer can’t substantiate his claims, Delingpole should admit it is a setback to those who doubt AGW and withdraw or at least water down his previous praise. He would certainly expect those in the other “camp” to do the same if one of their positively reviewed books was subsequently destroyed.

  17. Nige Cook says:1st May 2011 at 8:16 pmNathaniel, I read Delingpole’s interview of Professor Plimer’s book and didn’t find Delingpole quoting or discussing the errors about volcanos or anything else! Let’s accept that Plimer’s book is imperfect and his critics have had their say and have not been refuted, what has that got to do with with Delingpole’s article which doesn’t actually mention the errors? Nothing in the world is perfect. It’s not Plimer who has used his imperfect book to foster on the world a multi billion dollar fraud. There are certainly proved facts in Plimer’s book. You’re approach seems to be the strawman one. You point out that something someone writes in a lengthy book is imperfect and then claim that makes the book untrustworthy and tarnishes every journalist who had anything to do with interviewing the author. If this is your point, then you should get a job on a lefty government censorship quango, “advising” people what books not to read, least they pollute their minds with political incorrectness.
  18. Nathaniel Courthope says:1st May 2011 at 8:56 pmThat was my point all along – Delinpole made no mention of any criticism of Plimer’s book at the time, still less made any of his own. Since then Plimer has failed to answer some very simple and very damning points about his book. IF James is interested in the truth, proper debating, scientific inquiry etc, then he should acknowledge that he wrongly endorsed Plimer and that Plimer ahould be discounted from the AGW debate.

    Read all the questions Monbiot posed and then decide if they are nitpicking, or fail to undermine the overall thesis. They are not confined to the volcano point (though that is quite damning of itself given Plimer’s stubborn refusal to address the point).

    Presumably lefty quangos only want lefties, so I’m ruled out. But you have a strange view of scientific debate if you think that asking people to back up what they write constitutes censorship . . .

  19. Nige Cook says:2nd May 2011 at 6:58 amNathaniel: this is a very important point. Someone writes a book summarizing a wide range of arguments, making some errors in the process. Should a reviewer or interviewer home in on a list of petty strawman criticisms, or focus on the main thrust of the book? The list of “criticisms” of Plimer I saw by googling was pathetic, mainly typos due to poor proof reading. Delingpole’s interview explains that Plimer went to a small Aussie bush publisher after rejection by mainstream publishers. So it’s not Plimer’s fault that so many errors went into print – if it had gone to a bigger publishing house with a team of science editors and fact checkers, doubtless they would have corrected the references and other trivial typos. Monbiot is just trying to do a volcano hatchet job on Plimer in his articles, e.g.


    I just hope that H2O negative feedback evidence will get a fair hearing.

  20. Nathaniel Courthope says:2nd May 2011 at 8:12 amOk so now your point is that criticisms of Plimer were just nitpicking and pathetic. Ironically you remind me of the most fervent AGW crowd, who will simply never accept criticism.

    Here’s just one, already foreshadowed: Plimer says volcanoes emit more CO2 than humans. He provides a reference for this claim, to a US institution. It is then revealed that the US reference does not support that claim. Therefore, Plimer needs to show why the US institution was wrong, or provide a different reference, or abandon the claim. He has done none of those, instead he just bangs on about volcanoes without providing any references.

    Is this claim insubstantial? Are the criticisms nitpicking? Is Plimer’s response adequate?

  21. Nige Cook says:2nd May 2011 at 9:45 amNathaniel, everybody makes mistakes, that’s human. As I said, if Plimer hadn’t been censored out and had a chance to publish through the proper channels, his citation error on volcano CO2 emissions would have been corrected. What makes your position so pathetic is that Delingpole didn’t attach any significance to, or even mention in his 8 July 2009 Spectator interview with Plimer, errors. His interest was not in volcanic emissions of CO2. Delingpole wrote, as I already quoted:

    while his thesis is not new, you’re unlikely to have heard it expressed with quite such vigour, certitude or wide-ranging scientific authority. Where fellow sceptics like Bjorn Lomborg or Lord Lawson of Blaby are prepared cautiously to endorse the International Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) more modest predictions, Plimer will cede no ground whatsoever. Anthropogenic global warming (AGW) theory, he argues, is the biggest, most dangerous and ruinously expensive con trick in history. …

    So go on then, Prof. What makes you sure that you’re right and all those scientists out there saying the opposite are wrong? ‘I’m a geologist. We geologists have always recognised that climate changes over time. Where we differ from a lot of people pushing AGW is in our understanding of scale. They’re only interested in the last 150 years. Our time frame is 4,567 million years. So what they’re doing is the equivalent of trying to extrapolate the plot of Casablanca from one tiny bit of the love scene. And you can’t. It doesn’t work.’

    What Heaven And Earth sets out to do is restore a sense of scientific perspective to a debate which has been hijacked by ‘politicians, environmental activists and opportunists’. It points out, for example, that polar ice has been present on earth for less than 20 per cent of geological time; that extinctions of life are normal; that climate changes are cyclical and random; that the CO2 in the atmosphere — to which human activity contributes the tiniest fraction — is only 0.001 per cent of the total CO2 held in the oceans, surface rocks, air, soils and life; that CO2 is not a pollutant but a plant food; that the earth’s warmer periods — such as when the Romans grew grapes and citrus trees as far north as Hadrian’s Wall — were times of wealth and plenty. …

    One of the things that so irks him about modern environmentalism is that it is driven by people who are ‘too wealthy’. ‘When I try explaining “global warming” to people in Iran or Turkey they have no idea what I’m talking about. Their life is about getting through to the next day, finding their next meal. Eco-guilt is a first-world luxury. It’s the new religion for urban populations which have lost their faith in Christianity. The IPCC report is their Bible. Al Gore and Lord Stern are their prophets.’ …

    Reading Plimer’s Heaven And Earth is at once an enlightening and terrifying experience. Enlightening because, after 500 pages of heavily annotated prose (the fruit of five years’ research), you are left in no doubt that man’s contribution to the thing they now call ‘climate change’ was, is and probably always will be negligible. Terrifying, because you cannot but be appalled by how much money has been wasted, how much unnecessary regulation drafted because of a ‘problem’ that doesn’t actually exist.

    Of course there are errors like the occasional mixed up reference, in such a book. It’s dishonest of you to keep claiming that Delingpole is relying on the trivial errors in Plimer’s book, when the fact is, everything Delingpole singles out for discussion with Plimer is hard fact. The errors are irrelevant, strawman arguments. In any case, Monbiot is just going on about a difference between USGS data and Plimer. There’s no proof that USGS assumptions on CO2 output from a volcano is true. The scientific question is: how accurate is the USGS data anyway? Is it just a back-of-the-envelope guesswork assumption which has become “accepted wisdom” or is there any hard evidence that the USGS actually knows exactly how much CO2 is emitted from a volcano? Obviously, every volcano is different, since it depends at least in part on the amount of carbonate rock being reduced in the volcano of interest. The whole basis of Monbiot’s analysis of scientific claims is to try to determine who is the best “authority”, when science is about facts. It doesn’t matter what the consensus says, if it’s all based on guesswork to begin with. The correct question to ask is not whether two authorities disagree and which has the biggest consensus (fan club) and is most “fashionable”, but which is being funded to issue politically correct lies to the public. AGW has all the authority of mainstream bandwaggons like epicycles, phlogiston, caloric, aether, Piltdown Man, superstring theory, the unobserved Higgs boson, etc., etc.

    Sure, Plimer hasn’t had the billion dollars a year that NASA alone spends on AWG. Sure, gets a publisher living in the outback who has three kids and can’t afford curtains let alone expert proof-readers, sure he therefore makes errors. So what? What about the climategate errors and coverups? This isn’t a symmetrical situation to that of Professor Plimer: Dr Phil Jones has been working with funding on this stuff since the 1970s. Plimer hasn’t been in the same situation. Can’t you see how absurd your position is?

  22. Nathaniel Courthope says:2nd May 2011 at 11:31 amI will let readers judge the absurdity if they’re interested – a few minutes on google will bring up other uncorrected errors in Plimer’s work.

    Of course I would allow errors in Plimer’s work – but the key thing is that he refuses to admit them when they’re pointed out. On the volcano point your argument is a joke. If the aource is inaccurate Plimer should not have cited it!!

    For the umpteenth time – other people making errors does not get Plimer off the hook. It might well be that AGW is hogwash AND that Plimer’s book is unscientific junk. So to say “what about the climate gate errors” – well, NOT about climate gate. I am asking about Plimer and his errors.

    Here is a simple question even you can answer. Are Monbiot’s questions 8 and 9 “typos”?

    Should Plimer have answered them? If not, why not? What do you think the answers are?

  23. Nige Cook says:2nd May 2011 at 11:47 amNathaniel, have you measured the CO2 output from a volcanic eruption?
  24. Nathaniel Courthope says:2nd May 2011 at 1:42 pmHas Plimer? He is the one who made a claim about it, and gave a reference. On further investigation it turned out the reference did not say what Plimer said it did. Therefore, he needs to withdraw the claim or provide a new source (either evidence of original research or reference of someone else’s). Failing that his credibility is undermined.

    I repeat. The claim may be true. But failing proper evidence, there is no reason to accept it. You would say the same of anyone else making a scientific assertion. Why should Plimer be different just because you are anxious for him to be right?

  25. Nige Cook says:2nd May 2011 at 2:00 pmPlimer misattributed his references, but contrary to critics, it turns out that his key point about CFCs from volcanos was right all along! I refer you to geologist Timothy Casey:


    The Awful Truth about Plimer, Volcanoes, and CFCs

    As it turns out, Plimer was dead right about the production of CFCs by volcanic processes. He may have misattributed this to the wrong source, but he was still dead right. What about Mt Pinatubo you may ask? Bureau et al. (2000) determined that the eruption of Mt Pinatubo released between 15 and 25 kilotons of Bromine, which in the form of bromocarbons as observed in other locations (eg. Schwandner et al. 2004), and in the presence of large quantities of HCL and HF, would undergo a substitution reaction to produce sufficient CFCs to have a prolonged effect. The impact of this was observed in the wake of the Pinatubo Eruption with substantial increases in ClO and in particular the substantial increase in the ozone destroying forms of chlorine as a product of Pinatubo’s emissions (Wilson et al., 1993). Aiuppa et al. (2005) determined that ongoing passive emissions from Mount Pinatubo alone include 700 tons of bromine and 10 tons of iodine annually. As halocarbons, it is inevitable that these recombine with more reactive halogens found in abundant volcanogenic acids such as HCl and HF to form CFCs, HI, and HBr.


    In spite of numerous erroneous academic assertions, CFCs are naturally occurring chemicals and are a significant component of active volcanism. Volcanic CFCs are emitted in the presence of compounds that raise the residence time of volcanic halogens in addition to intensifying their ozone damaging effect. This would suggest that volcanoes have had a significant impact on the ozone layer. Furthermore, when someone like Plimer appears to misquote one source, it is likely that it is the source that is misattributed and that underpinning can be found elsewhere for the assertion. It is just a matter of looking.

  26. Nathaniel Courthope says:2nd May 2011 at 2:24 pmAt long last, that is what I have been asking for all along. As I have said throughout, Plimer may be right and his critics wrong. But without proper references, his claims have no credibility.I take it you finally agree with me on that?

    If so, then let us have the answers to the balance of Monbiot’s “nitpicking” questions. As you think they’re trivial this should not take long, though Plimer himself will have to answer qu 8.

  27. Nige Cook says:2nd May 2011 at 2:39 pmI completely disagree that all new claims in science be unoriginal, and must rely on references to other people. Alfred Wegener’s continental drift claim is a classic example in geology. He was right, but was snubbed during his lifetime. In quantum field theory, Ernst Stueckelberg suffered the same fate with regards to renormalization, being ignored.

    when someone like Plimer appears to misquote one source, it is likely that it is the source that is misattributed and that underpinning can be found elsewhere for the assertion. It is just a matter of looking.


    This conclusion is too narrow because genuinely new results can’t be found in the past literature. Sometimes you have to “look” in nature, not a library!

  28. Nige Cook says:2nd May 2011 at 2:50 pm(The very word “research” sums up the problems since academia and science merged around 1850, which is groupthink politics. The bedrock assumption is that you’re not searching, but that you’re digging up, extending and checking somebody else’s published work. This works fine for team activities like party politics, where consensus is paramount, but it breaks down frequently in science, since nature often turns out to consist of unfashionable or politically incorrect facts!)
  29. Nathaniel Courthope says:2nd May 2011 at 3:39 pmThat’s not what I said at all. Either one presents original research – empirical data, with hypotheses, tests, conclusions etc; or one makes a claim based on someone else’s research, in which case one has to give a proper reference for the source.

    The criticism about Plimer and the volcanoes was that he did neither. He did not offer his own data. He quoted the US institution. But that institution did not say what he said it did. Neither did some of the other sources he quoted in support of other claims. That was what needed correcting – either by way of original data in substitution for the reference, a new reference from someone else, or a retraction of the claim. I cannot see how anyone interested in science would disagree with those requirements.

  30. Nige Cook says:2nd May 2011 at 3:58 pm“Either one presents original research – empirical data, with hypotheses, tests, conclusions etc; or one makes a claim based on someone else’s research, in which case one has to give a proper reference for the source. … I cannot see how anyone interested in science would disagree with those requirements.” – Nathaniel Courthope

    If Delingpole was interested in the volcanic stuff in the content packed book, he would have specifically asked Plimer something about it during the interview. I’m afraid the simple answer is that Delingpole couldn’t care less about volcanic pollution, and was concerned with the major portion of the book, the climategate stuff, and the history of the temperature record. Monbiot’s attempts to pick out trivial with incorrect references in a smear campaign against anyone who raises genuine criticisms of AGW lies, are as I said, strawman attacks which look pathetic. The fact is, AGW consists of a conspiracy of self-serving, pseudo-scientific liars who resent genuine debate and can only attack trivia. They don’t know what science is all about.

    “Science is the organized skepticism in the reliability of expert opinion.” – Richard Feynman (quoted by Lee Smolin, The Trouble with Physics, Houghton Mifflin, NY, 2006, p.

  31. Nathaniel Courthope says:2nd May 2011 at 5:21 pmReferences are not trivial. Nor are the other myriad criticisms which have been made of Plimer’s book.

    You are, yet again, missing the point entirely. I shall make one last attempt to explain it.


    Or to put it another way: AGW can be wrong, and Plimer can be a charlatan. The two are not mutually inconsistent.

    IF the likes of Delingpole and Plimer are to convince everyone that AGW is wrong, it behoves them to observe and maintain rigorous scientific standards – particularly as their thesis is partly founded on the failure of AGW proponents (eg the East Anglian buffoons) to do the same.

    Why on earth can’t you accept this?

    The stupidest conspiracy ever to gain currency is the one which says the Moon landings were faked. They weren’t. But it would not help anyone trying to defend the Moon landings to rely on a book which contained poor references and basic errors.

    So too the Kennedy assassination. I believe Oswald acted alone and the conspiracy theories are all hot air. But I wouldn’t cite a book saying Oswald acted alone if it was riddled with incorrect dates and other references.

    If Delingpole was interested in proving one thing or another regarding AGW he wouldn’t just latch on immediately and uncritically to a book which happens to say what he wants to say. As I said, once it came to light that Plimer was unable to defend most of the criticisms levelled against him, Delingpole should have admitted his encomium wasn’t justified.

    If Monbiot’s criticisms are straw man and pathetic why couldn’t Plimer answer them? He kept promising to answer them and consistently failed to do so. As they all pertained to particular parts of his book it would have been easy to do so. We can only conclude he didn’t like the answers.

    Again, if you possibly can, point out why my insistence on properly verified research (original data or proper attribution) is in any way inconsistent with proper debate. In fact it is you – continually throwing up irrelevant points about AGW conspiracies – who fails to observe the normal bounds of scientific debate. For the umpteenth time IT MIGHT WELL BE TRUE THAT AGW IS A CROCK, BUT PLIMER HASN’T DONE THAT!!!!!!!!! All well and good if others have proved his points independently – though I notice a distinct lack of answers to the majority of Monbiot’s questions, and none at all from Plimer personally – but as it stands James Delingpole should publish a follow-up piece on Plimer’s book explaining if it is still deserving of the uncritical praise he heaped upon it originally. (The then editor of the Spectator, incidentally, seemed to wash his hands of it).

    Please answer without irrelevant rants about conspiracies, pious quotes from Feynam (someone I greatly admire, incidentally, and who would never have allowed any of his opponents to offer shoddy references like Plimer’s), personal abuse, or anything else that is irrelevant to the straightforward questions I have asked. (Notice I have never said what my own views are on AGW – you guessed completely wrongly as to what they might be …)

  32. Nathaniel Courthope says:2nd May 2011 at 5:23 pmOne more time: Are Monbiot’s questions 8 & 9 just picking up “typos” that are “straw” attacks and “pathetic”?

    If so, why?

    If not, why not?

  33. Nige Cook says:2nd May 2011 at 6:11 pm“If Delingpole was interested in proving one thing or another regarding AGW he wouldn’t just latch on immediately and uncritically to a book which happens to say what he wants to say.” – Nathaniel

    I’ve already pointed out to you that Delingpole didn’t “uncritically” latch on to anything in Plimer’s book that wasn’t factual. He didn’t latch on to Plimer’s volcano emission questions, for example! You’re making an issue out of that, and you haven’t even disproved him. All you keep saying is that a reference was miscited, which is not a hanging offense. It’s a Plimer puts 500 nails into the AGW coffin, and you’re fussing about one or two which you think are rusty.

    I love fact that out of Plimer’s five simple questions to Monbiot on 10 August 2009, http://www.monbiot.com/2009/09/14/correspondence-with-ian-plimer/ , Monbiot failed to answer any of them!

  34. Nathaniel Courthope says:2nd May 2011 at 6:33 pmOthers have – and have pointed out that Plimer’s questions were absurdly wide questions which constituted silly attempts to show that Monbiot isn’t a scientist – which he isn’t, any more than Delingpole.

    Monbiot’s questions, on the other hand, were directed at specific claims which Plimer had made in his book. If his book had been properly researched, then he could have answered them very quickly and easily. The fact that he didn’t says rather a lot.

    Delingpole didn’t mention volcanoes or anything else because he is unqualified to do so. He could, however, have googled some of the reviews by qualified scientists and put some of the questions to Plimer. Or he could at least have acknowledged that some disagreed with Plimer, said why he (Delingpole) thought otherwise, and provided a few links. That would have been elementary journalism I would have thought.

    Just for the record, then, are you saying:

    1. Delingpole’s original article is absolutely fine, and shouldn’t be criticised

    2. Monbiot’s questions were trivial nonsense which in no way undermined Plimer’s book

    3. Plimer won the subsequent tv debate with Monbiot

  35. Nige Cook says:2nd May 2011 at 7:46 pm“Delingpole didn’t mention volcanoes or anything else because he is unqualified to do so.” – Nathaniel Courthope

    Delingpole simply wasn’t interested in speculations over volcano greenhouse emissions, because there were more than enough silver bullets to kill AGW in Plimer’s book without resorting to them. Delingpole wrote in his 8 July 2009 interview with Plimer (the Spectator article) that Plimer’s book states “that polar ice has been present on earth for less than 20 per cent of geological time; that extinctions of life are normal; that climate changes are cyclical and random; that the CO2 in the atmosphere — to which human activity contributes the tiniest fraction — is only 0.001 per cent of the total CO2 held in the oceans, surface rocks, air, soils and life; that CO2 is not a pollutant but a plant food; that the earth’s warmer periods — such as when the Romans grew grapes and citrus trees as far north as Hadrian’s Wall — were times of wealth and plenty.”

    The questions Delingpole asked were not a matter of qualifications in geology or not. It just so happens that he questioned Plimer about those portions of his book which were accurate and fully defended, and not about the speculative stuff which Delingpole was superfluous. Monbiot’s attempts to smear Plimer for getting a reference or two wrong are a waste of time.

    Has Monbiot ever written anything based on trying to understand the physics, rather than formulaic journalist mud slinging? Even where he is right, such as his post last month exposing Helen Caldicot’s anti-nuclear radiation propaganda, he isn’t going about things scientifically. Science isn’t about trying to find a weak point in irrelevant trivia and then doing a hatchet job on someone. It’s about doing the exact opposite: ignoring irrelevancies and searching for hard facts. Science is a positive experience. You search out fact, you don’t do the opposite in an attempt to politically assassinate a scientist. If their work is rubbish, move on. If Plimer was really a faker, you’d have no interest. Instead, you’re trying to simultaneously ignore the strong arguments (summarized in the Delingpole quotation above from Spectator, 8 July 2009), and focus on weak volcano stuff which isn’t the main thrust from Plimer’s case. Delingpole behaved correctly, focussing on the stronger arguments.

    Precisely, I agree with the three points you state:

    1. Delingpole’s original article is absolutely fine, and shouldn’t be criticised

    2. Monbiot’s questions were trivial nonsense which in no way undermined Plimer’s book

    3. Plimer won the subsequent tv debate with Monbiot

    The reason Delingpole’s article was fine was that it ignored the weaker points, which are where Monbiot homed in. The difference between Delingpole’s and Monbiot’s approaches to Plimer are very telling. Delingpole is interested in the stronger facts Plimer has discovered from many years of research, and Delingpole steers clear of the weaker stuff. Monbiot, by contrast, ignores the stronger arguments and just tries to argue with Plimer over the weakest arguments. This difference is the difference between the scientific attitude and the crackpot denialist; Delingpole is behaving scientifically by searching for the strong facts, while Monbiot is behaving as a crackpot denialist by provoking arguments over trivia just to engineer a scene for the Guardian readers.

  36. Nathaniel Courthope says:2nd May 2011 at 8:03 pmMonbiot’s qu’s 1,2,3,4 and 9 relate to Plimer’s statistics on temperature. And you think this is trivial in the context of global warming!

    Incidentally, they are not just errors on Plimer’s part, at least some are outright fabrications!!!

    Whereas speculation about warm periods being times of wealth and plenty is the hard stuff?!?!

    You’ve totally lost the plot. Name each of Monbiot’s questions that you think are trivial and say WHY they are trivial, then that might answer why Plimer totally failed to answer a single one of them, despite saying he was going to. You can watch him failing miserably in the tv debate too.

    Again and again and again you try and dismiss Plimer’s errors with irrelevant tangents.

  37. Nige Cook says:2nd May 2011 at 9:06 pmMonbiot tries to find irrelevant and therefore trivial flaws in the evidence of AGW critics, in this case a busy geology professor. This may be a fine tactic for Guardian journalists throwing dirt at politicians, or even for greasy expensive lawyers trying to fabricate holes into the prosecution case evidence against guilty-as-sin criminals.

    But it fails in science. As Michael Faraday said, in science you’re a success if you have make 999 failures and have 1 success. Science isn’t about the errors you make, but what you get right. The weak evidence doesn’t detract from the strong evidence.

    Quite simply, science isn’t about people and their problems. It’s about facts, not people; defendable facts. You’re not going to disprove fact-based criticisms by throwing mud at the person making criticisms, or because they made a mistake in a couple of the references for their weaker arguments. Whereas in politics and law you do well to search for a weak spot – the Achilles’ heel – in science weak stuff is irrelevant: it’s the strong evidence that counts.

    The first reason why Monbiot’s “questions” are all trivial and irrelevant is because Plimer kills AGW using climategate and the geological record, which shows immense natural variations in CO2 and in temperature. As mentioned before, the final death of AGW probably requires popularization of the H2O positive feedback scam (it’s really a negative feedback, so that increasing cloud cover cancels out CO2 temperature effects and the only long-term climate change from CO2 is a slight increase in cloudiness, not temperature), the basic solid evidence for which I’m summarized in a note here: http://vixra.org/author/Nigel_B_Cook However, climategate and the wide fluctuations in the temperature record have already cast doubt on the AGW myth. People are aware it’s defended by KGB/”World Peace Council”-type hatchet jobs using strawman arguments against critics…

  38. Nathaniel Courthope says:3rd May 2011 at 6:07 amI think this debate has run its course to be honest. We agree AGW should be subjected to scientific debate, but not whether Plimer has conformed wih that requirement. I do not think his errors were trivial. If they were he could have said as much. Instead he kept promising to answer the qu’s and never did, then looked absurd on tv trying to dodge them. He wrote the book. It can’t be that hard for him to answer specific questions about it, if he had researched it properly in the first place. The fact is he took a paper and reversed its findings, and put in graphs that were pure invention. That’s not scientific debate, still less is a refusal to admit the errors and amend his arguments accordingly.

    Science is based on fact. plimer’s shoddy references and invented graphs are te opposite of facts. If they don’t change his arguments why not just admit the errors then show why they are irrelevant to his thesis?

    As for your KGB World Peace Council fantasy, who is in charge? Monty Burns?

  39. Nige Cook says:3rd May 2011 at 6:29 amMonbiot.
  40. James Delingpole says:3rd May 2011 at 11:05 amNige, I just wanted to say thank you for your brilliant performance here and also for sparing me the need to answer Nathaniel’s how-many-drowning-polar-bears-can-dance-on-the-head-of-a-pin? assault on Plimer.
    Nathaniel, all I can say to you is that I hope you’ll read my forthcoming book Watermelons. There’s a chapter in it expressly for you and people like you where I discuss AGW in terms of the Titanic. The ship has sunk yet the owners of the White Star line call a press conference in which dozens of their in-house experts explain in minute technical detail why it is that the ship can’t possibly have gone down because it is unsinkable: the quality of the rivets, the strength of the steel, the bulkheads, etc. And here you are focussing on the rivets and the bulkheads, apparently quite incapable of seeing the bigger picture. Your ship has sunk. Get over it.
  41. Nige Cook says:3rd May 2011 at 12:02 pmThanks James! Former NASA climatologist Dr Roy Spencer has just emailed me back concerning the NOAA 1948-2008 humidity decline data:

    From: Roy Spencer
    To: nigelbryancook
    Sent: Tuesday, May 03, 2011 12:17 PM
    Subject: RE: NOAA data on humidity 1948-2008

    yes, I’m aware of the NOAA data suggesting a decrease in free-tropospheric humiidty. I always thought it was intriguing, and could be evidence that water vapor feedback is negative on long time scales.

    Miskolczi could be correct that the Earth’s greenhouse effect maintains itself in a constant state, but I disagree that he has in any way demonstrated why that would be the case. I have blogged about his theory in the past, which I think many people have misrepresented.

    From: nigelbryancook
    To: DrRoySpencer
    Subject: NOAA data on humidity 1948-2008
    Date: Mon, 2 May 2011 12:54:58 +0100

    Hi Dr Roy Spencer,

    Please see figure 1 in my paper http://vixra.org/abs/1104.0013 showing NOAA data from 1948-2008, which shows that atmospheric CO2 increased by 25% but H2O as vapour decreased by 1%, which cancelled out the CO2 rise (since H2O vapour in the atmosphere is 30 more effective than CO2 as a greenhouse gas, so a 1% fall in CO2 is equivalent to a 30 times larger fall in CO2). Are you aware of this H2O negative feedback NOAA data? …

    Since H2O is a greenhouse gas that’s 30 times stronger than CO2, the 1% fall in total atmospheric column humidity over six decades disproves the “positive feedback” effect (which would require a statistically significant increase in humidity while CO2 increased 25%) and suggests a negative feedback equivalent to a fall of 30% in CO2. So the total greenhouse gas content hasn’t significantly been altered: increased CO2 has just made the atmosphere slightly drier.

    Dr Spencer is right to be critical of errors in Dr Miskolczi’s calculations, but the NOAA humidity data (showing that humidity hasn’t increased in step with H2O positive feedback theory) shouldn’t be hidden in the dusty basement. The NOAA data 1% fall in humidity since 1948 seems equivalent to a 30% fall in greenhouse CO2, approximately cancelling out the temperature effects from 25% rise in real CO2 since 1948. The whole problem the “greenhouse” analogy? Greenhouses aren’t 71% ocean, and the real world doesn’t have a glass ceiling to prevent evaporated water rising and condensing into clouds. Add this long-term negative feedback to Spencer’s research showing short-term negative feedback (cooling due to a cloud cover increase from evaporation following hot spells), and you have a complete refutation of “greenhouse effect” theory.

  42. Nathaniel Courthope says:3rd May 2011 at 5:02 pmSo just to confirm James – it’s perfectly alright for Plimer to falsify the Hadley figures, misrepresent Keller and generally give false references because anyone who finds fault with that is just talking about so much irrelevant guff?

    So why on earth didn’t Plimer respond to Monviot’s questions after agreeing that he would?

    And note that nowhere did I give my views on AGW. My point all along is that the Anti AGW movement is harmed, not helped, by the likes of Plimer making claims he is unable to back up with proper references or original data. Equally by the likes of you giving him completely uncritical write-ups.

    If you can’t see that, then you are in with the creation scientists for ignorant zeal – a group which, incidentally, Plimer has correctly criticised in the past, in a much better performance than his underwhelming GW effort.

    As to your abusive remarks, colourful they may be, relevant they are not. All I have asked is why Plimer could not back himself up. You haven’t backed him up either. I wonder why not.

  43. Staceey says:3rd May 2011 at 5:14 pm@Nathanial
    “We agree AGW should be subjected to scientific debate, but not whether Plimer has conformed with that requirement..”

    How arrogant to speak for other people. I dont agree that AGW should be subject to scientific debate because there has been no scientific testing of the hypothesis that AGW will cause dangerous global warming.

    Your inane concentration on Plimer, is the sort of diversionary tactic alarmists use all the time and you need to realise something, just because a lot of people say they have fairies at the bottom of their gardens does not mean its true.

    If you real are interested in learning, I suggest you watch this lecture by Professor Carter, he destroys the hypothesis using the scientific method which you prefer.

    Because of people like you, the conservatives have been able to sneak in a stealth tax. The petrol cartels have increased petrol in the last year by 16p per litre, excepting all the other taxes the government gets, it now gets an extra 4p per litre in vat. The average family are paying approx £200 extra per year and I dread to think how much the average business is paying, which of course all gets past on to Jo muggins.

  44. Nathaniel Courthope says:3rd May 2011 at 5:17 pmCripes I bet Monviot’s thrilled with his role Nige. That being so, why does he keep up his sideline writing for that third rate paper (no I’m not a fan of the Graun either). Can’t he at least get some carbon credits to live off?
  45. Nathaniel Courthope says:3rd May 2011 at 5:25 pmOh for the love of God Staccey you’re even worse.

    I asked a simple question – shouldn’t James modify his praise of Plimer given the latter’s blatant lies/errors, and thereby show he is interested in the facts about AGW rather than just latching onto whichever talking head said what he wanted to hear. His acolyte Nige went off on a rant about either Monbiot being a berk or AGW being wrong irrespective of Plimer’s errors. As I have said all along, none of those points is necesarily inconsistent. But it is important for the integrity of the debate that false claims are identified as such, whether they be inadvertent errors by Plimer, intentional errors by Plimer, or the disgraceful antics of Phil Jones and co. For James to continue endorsing Plimer uncritically (I mean watch Plimer’s hopeless performance on tv with Monbiot – it’s on Youtube) damages his journalistic credentials. It’s a straightforward point, but one which appears beyond Delingpole or Nige to grasp.

  46. Nathaniel Courthope says:3rd May 2011 at 7:24 pmJames I will be happy to read your book, on two conditions: (i) that it contains some fact-based argument in addition to the silly long winded name calling as with your Titanic analogy; and (ii) if there are any errors a la Plimer in there you will have the journalistic integrity to correct them and modify or abandon any of the claims accordingly.

    It’s been quite revealing spending time on this blog. I ask a simple question of James that seems to me entirely appropriate IF he purports to be a journalist with some credibility, namely how he felt his original article on Plimer stood up after Plimer’s capitulation to Monbiot’s straightforward questions. I get a heap of irrelevant stuff about AGW when, as I’ve said till I’m blue in the face, Plimer’s thesis might be right but it is very damaging to the anti AGW crowd if his reasoning is inadequate. It’s like me saying the moon landing was genuine because I was there myself and saw it. The thesis is right (the moon landings were genuine) but the reasoning preposterous. Plimer’s errors are not as absurd you will respond, but they are genuine errors (or at least stand as such until he answers them – as he promised to do but didn’t – and very damaging to his creditability as a scientist.

    I am, for what it’s worth, an agnostic about AGW. But as I try and evaluate the evidence (or interpret the interpretations to borrow a phrase from a certain someone) I am not swayed by rhetoric or abuse – or at least not in the direction intended.

    Staccey it is because of people like Plimer and Delingpole, who act with religious imperviousness to criticism, that the AGW crowd are not getting tested as they should be.

    I am not a scientist, but I do have some knowledge of business, law and politics. And from that I know that the energy taxes, carbon credits and various other measures are not working as well as being economically ruinous. I also know that even if Delingpole and his acolytes converted to AGW, the Chinese, Russians, Indians and Brazillians will not (other than in name only) and so the chances of global emissions reducing are nil, and that’s without taking into account the ever increasing world population, which will also do for emission reduction. But you aren’t going to convenience this government, or the EU, or any successors thereto, by shouting loudly and refusing to admit errors, whilst accusing the other side of not doing or admitting the same.

  47. Nathaniel Courthope says:3rd May 2011 at 7:27 pmAnd, just to be consistent, I confess to the typos above – damn ipad’s predicative text combined with my failing eyesight let me down.
  48. Nige Cook says:4th May 2011 at 9:15 amNathaniel,

    The AGW dogma is a lie because it relies on the assumption of H2O vapour as a positive feedback. Roy Spencer points out (Fig 7 in http://vixra.org/abs/1104.0013 ) that the IPCC models predict CO2 will increase global temperatures ~1 °C by 2100, and that H2O will amplify this to ~3 °C. This is physically incorrect, because such a positive feedback would have caused a runaway greenhouse effect in the past (converting Earth into another Venus): more and more of the ocean would evaporate in such a positive feedback until the air was saturated with moisture (100% humidity).

    Clearly something happens to prevent a runaway greenhouse effect on Earth. Cloud cover increases as the Earth warms slightly, and this cuts down the sunlight energy reaching the surface. You don’t get this effect in a “greenhouse” due to 1) the lack of oceans covering 71% of the surface and 2) the glass ceiling which prevents cloud cover forming inside the greenhouse, like the Earth. The greenhouse is a false model.

    Dr Roy Spencer and others demonstrated this negative feedback from H2O evaporation in the tropics in Fig 4 of their paper “Cloud and Radiation Budget Changes Associated with Tropical Intraseasonal Oscillations”, Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 34, 9 August 2007: increases in air temperature lead to increased cloud cover which reduces solar radiation reaching the surface.

    Spencer’s data for 15 strongest tropical intraseasonal oscillations from 2000-2005 in tropospheric temperature using weather satellites NOAA-15 and NOAA-16, indicates that a 1°C temperature rise will increase cloud cover sufficiently to reduce surface sunlight intensity by 6.5 watts/square metre, while the 1°C temperature rise is only equivalent to a 3.3 watts/square metre increase. Therefore the net effect is negative feedback: the increase in cloud cover has a negative effect on surface sunshine which causes a cooling. If you inject enough CO2 to produce a 1°C temperature rise by itself, the Earth will gain 3.3 watts/square metre from CO2, but the cloud cover accompanying this will reduce the solar radiation on the surface by 6.5 watts/square metre! So the overall effect is fall in surface temperatures.

    If you put this result into the IPCC models which include methane and non-uniformities over the Earth, instead of the CO2 induced temperature rise of ~1 °C by 2100 being amplified to ~3 °C by positive feedback from H2O, you instead get a negative feedback which cuts the total projected temperature rise to under 1 °C.

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have also measured the integrated H2O vapour (not water cloud droplet) column from the surface to the top of the atmosphere from 1948 onwards. This total atmospheric column humidity content has fallen by 1% over 61 years (Fig 1 in my paper). If there was positive feedback from H2O as assumed by the IPCC, then the humidity must have risen, not fallen. Thus negative feedback from H2O.

    Cloud cover (water in small droplets, typically 1 to 50 microns in diameter) acts as a reflector that cools the surface below like a parasol. Increasing water evaporation by the slight surface temperature rise in clear skies due to adding CO2 to the atmosphere will increase cloud cover, because there’s a limit to how much water the air can contain at any altitude, and that limit (100% humidity) obviously exists at the cloud base altitude (the lower the air pressure, the less water vapour the air can hold without condensation of cloud droplets).

    The point is, all of this physics and evidence is being censored out. And there you are, ignoring it and complaining that someone mixed up references about volcanic CO2 emissions! The reality is, we don’t live in a glass ceiling greenhouse with no oceans: the greenhouse effect is damned lie. Put in cloud cover evidence, and it doesn’t exist.

  49. Nathaniel Courthope says:4th May 2011 at 12:25 pmOk yet once more let me explain why I asked about Plimer. Not because I am saying he is the be all and end all of the debate. In fact the direct opposite: he should be discounted from the debate because he has been unable to defend his book against very serious criticisms. All I ever asked for was either an admission on that front or an answer to the questions set of Plimer or an explanation why not.

    Anyone else who had endorsed the book uncritically as Delingpole did would, when further evidence comes to light that the book was not deserving of that praise, publish a retraction or modification. As the record stands Delingpole’s glowing tribute was made and he has ignored Plimer since (maybe that in fact answers my question about Plimer’s standing …) To respond with childish abuse and by dodging the question does not persuade me (as an AGW agnostic) to join the no campaign as it were.

    Once it has been admitted that Plimer’s work is riddled with errors, proper analysis of the science can continue (or start, depending on your view of it so far).

    I await scientific analysis of Nige’s theory; I assume he would wish it to receive some. Then obviously further down the line James will give some interpretations of interpretations of peer reviews of it, for what that’s worth …

  50. Nige Cook says:4th May 2011 at 2:42 pm“Anyone else who had endorsed the book uncritically as Delingpole did would, when further evidence comes to light that the book was not deserving of that praise, publish a retraction or modification.”

    Delingpole endorsed, as you’ve seen, the strongest arguments in Plimer’s book, not the weakest. It was deserving of praise for the reasons Delingpole praised it. The very fact that you focus on trying to refute strong arguments using this pathetic approach just shows how weak your understanding of science is. Negative feedback is a fact shown in the data, not a speculative “theory” of mine that await’s “scientific analysis”.

  51. Nathaniel Courthope says:4th May 2011 at 6:29 pmYour dismissal of the unanswered criticisms of Plimer’s book as unimportant shows how weak your understanding of science is.

    Delingpole focuses only on being told what he wants to hear, and blinds himself to everything else.

  52. Nige Cook says:4th May 2011 at 8:16 pmI think Plimer’s book is full of unanswered scientific criticisms, all of which are ignored by you. Plimer hasn’t conned the taxpayer out of billions. The fact is, the AGW theory doesn’t hold any water. The fact is, NOAA’s data prove that there’s been a fall in air humidity over the past six decades which has cancelled out the effect of CO2. This isn’t a theory, its a fact. Fig 1 in http://vixra.org/abs/1104.0013 shows the empirical data.

    If you could just get over the fact you’ve been brainwashed by Monbiot, you could see it for yourself.

  53. Nathaniel Courthope says:4th May 2011 at 8:29 pmHaven’t you read anything i’ve written? I said that I was an agnostic on AGW. If Plimer knew his onions he would have answered the questions. He said he would, pleaded a range of excuses over a period of weeks, then finally went quiet till the tv debate where he ignored every question put to him and rambled on hopelessly.therefore, Plimer does not change my agnosticism into atheism regarding AGW accordingly.
  54. Nige Cook says:4th May 2011 at 8:51 pmMonbiot “questions” of Plimer are irrelevant drivel, a dodge for the AGW bandwaggon to help ignore the main points. “Look, I’ve found a reference out of place in your book, do you admit to deliberate deception?” Of course an Aussie professor like Plimer has no time for such blatant nonsense like AGW and Monbiot.
  55. Nathaniel Courthope says:5th May 2011 at 12:09 pmRubbish. They were not just references out of place, they were the alleged supporting evidence for Plimer’s thesis.

    If they were irrelevant drivel Plimer wouldn’t have agreed to answer then wimped out of it once he saw them – he would have said these are irrelevant and here’s why.

    He had enough time to appear on tv with Monbiot – and looked like a total ass when he did too.

    Even D’Ancona didn’t back up either Delingpole or Plimer – he admitted it was mischevious attention seekign.

  56. Nige Cook says:5th May 2011 at 2:04 pmIt’s fascinating that you’re so obsessed with trivia, you can’t see what everybody else can, including the most highly-rated of the 44 reviewers of Plimer’s book on amazon, none of whom are “misled” by any of the trivia you claim to be Plimer’s central argument! Example:


    Plimer sets out a convincing but self-evidently controversial argument, 6 July 2009

    By Robertomelbourne (Melbourne, Australia)

    This review is from: Heaven And Earth: Global Warming – The Missing Science (Hardcover)

    Ian Plimer has had a distinguished career in academia, presently holding the position of Professor of Mining Geology at the University of Adelaide and Emeritus Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Melbourne, where he was Professor and Head from 1991-2005.

    At almost 500 pages (and 2311 footnotes), Plimer takes the reader through a geological and environmental history of the planet. His recounting of geological history is linked closely to human societal trends, where he makes the close link between climate and the relative successes and failures of human society. He asserts that periods when the climate was “warm” were ultimately positive for societies, with colder periods linked to population declines, wars and, in some cases, extinction of whole civilisations.

    Plimer argues that climate change is not occurring, or at least that any climate change that is occurring is not directly attributable to man. He argues that the climate today is in fact “cooler” than in more recent periods, such as the times when the Roman Empire was emerging and was at its cultural and economic peak.

    Plimer sets out a convincing but self-evidently controversial argument, attacking declarations about carbon pollution and carbon dioxide emissions, the evidence presented in the UN’s IPCC reports and the questionable benefits of emission-trading and carbon reductions systems. His argument centres on climate being far more sophisticated and complex than some have asserted. He argues that looking at atmospheric climate alone, without proper consideration of the entire environmental system, is flawed.

  57. Nathaniel Courthope says:5th May 2011 at 2:44 pmOk we’re in Delingpole’s world of “interpreting interpretations” now. You’ve gone for reviewers on Amazon – not exactly a citadel of higher learning.

    There are countless distinguished scientists who’ve slaughtered Plimer’s book. Here’s a very funny snippet from Professor Michael Ashley in the Australian:

    “I couldn’t help noticing on page120 an almost word-for-word reproduction of the abstract from a well-known loony paper entitled “The Sun is a plasma diffuser that sorts atoms by mass”. This paper argues that the sun isn’t composed of 98 per cent hydrogen and helium, as astronomers have confirmed through a century of observation and theory, but is instead similar in composition to a meteorite.

    It is hard to understate the depth of scientific ignorance that the inclusion of this information demonstrates. It is comparable to a biologist claiming that plants obtain energy from magnetism rather than photosynthesis.”

    There are many others –

    – Professor David Karoly, University of Melbourne’s School of Earth Sciences:

    – Professor Kurt Lambeck, earth scientist and President of the Australian Academy of Science

    – Colin Woodroffe, a coastal geomorphologist at the University of Wollongong,

    – Kurt Lambeck, President of the Australian Academy of Science,

    And so on it goes. You will no doubt dismiss all scientists who disagree with Plimer as either cranks or part of the Monbiot-led World Government conspiracy that you mentioned (presumably – hopefully, though in view of your comments not necessarily – a joke) above.

    You thunder that an “Aussie scientist” (are they better than the other types?) wouldn’t have time for the likes of Monbiot. What about Plimer’s colleagues – also Australian – at his very own university who disagree with him? Do they figure anywhere in your game of scientific top trumps?

    Point is this: say “my scientists are better than your scientists” all you want. Say that their criticisms are whining irrelevant trivial guff (as Plimer always does himself). But wouldn’t it be easier for Plimer just to answer questions about his references and sources? That way, his critics would have no comeback and I would be happy to endorse him as much as you do. As it stands I cannot place any value on his work, and you’ve given me no reason to do so. You have adduced other material to say that climate change is bunk. Fine, assuming they pass muster when examined by appropriately qualified scientists – which, I think we can both agree, rules out the clowns in East Anglia. That’s the sort of thing that agnostics would be swayed by. But not books that get a heap of criticism only for their authors and apologists to scream abuse about. Or books like James’ which, on the preview he’s given us here, contain no facts, argument or references at all, just abuse dressed up as analogies.

  58. James Delingpole says:5th May 2011 at 3:10 pmNathaniel, you’re starting to sound like an obsessive troll. And I do deplore people who come to this site a) hiding behind absurd pseudonyms and b) claiming to be “open-minded” when they’ve clearly long since decided which side of the fence they’re going to sit on. Now kindly bog off: you have delighted us enough.
  59. Nige Cook says:5th May 2011 at 3:25 pmYou’re certainly a time-wasting moron which explains the pseudonym. Science is not about being “open minded” to liars, it’s the opposite. It’s about being closed-minded to lies and fakery, so that facts can emerge. Science is about censoring out non-factual bigoted old belief systems, so that new facts can get a fair hearing.

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What Exactly Has the World Ever Done for Britain?

A FEW years ago I was wandering through a market in Omdurman in the Sudan when I was accosted by an angry old man. “Why did you leave us?” he said. “Things were so much better when you were here.”

We British are so used to being told by foreigners how awful we are that at first I didn’t understand his point. Then slowly it dawned.

Here was an old man who had compared how things were under the enlightened colonial rule of the British with how things were now under a corrupt, warring, Islamist regime. He was under no illusions who had been better at running his country: us.

Yet you’d never sense this truth from David Cameron’s disparaging remarks in Pakistan the other day about Britain’s colonial legacy, nor from the generally demeaning way we are treated on the international stage.

Everywhere you go, everywhere you look Britain is having its nose rubbed in it on an almost daily basis by a viciously ungrateful world. We’ve just given Pakistan £650million for schools (or more likely for IEDs to blow up our troops in Afghanistan).

(to read more, click here)

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4 thoughts on “What exactly has the world ever done for Britain?”

  1. S.T.Beare says:12th April 2011 at 9:20 amIt wasn’t us colonials that forced you to join the EU.
    Also if you have noticed the Commonwealth Countries are major producers of commodities and major consumers of capital,services and manufactured products of all kinds.
    Seemingly an ideal commercial fit for the UK,so why did you join the EU.
    We didn’t vote your politicians in either.
  2. Velocity says:19th April 2011 at 6:18 pmBritains colonial management was most succesful when it was ‘hands off’ such as Hong Kong where they just allowed people to get on and do it.
    A stark contrast to Britains “hands on” management style at home which has been a disaster.
    There is no part of the economy this parasite squid called Westmonster – sorry Westminster – will not stick its jack boots in. The worst examples are public transport (a bankrupt incompetent tragedy), healthcare (a bankrupt incompetent tragedy), energy (a bankrupt incompetent tragedy), education (a bankrupt incompetent tragedy) to name but a few.
    Westmonster now sucks nearly 60% of GDP out of the private sector that creates all the wealth for this 80 year old parasite socialist State to feed off. And since recession hit on 2007 it has doubled spending and debt like a dysfunctional vandal in society while business and consumers have rightly cut back.
    Taxation is increasing under the wet socialists/marxists of the Con-Lib Govt sucking even more out of a fragile bled dry economy while it has done little more than jawbone about cuts (none to daye, 3 years into recession) and moaned and whinged about a paltry £6bn in cuts like some spoilt brat.
    This is a 20 stone pig feeding on the private sector and it bleets about having having a figure dip taken away from its ever open fat obese mouth?
    Blighty is totally f**ked… last man with any sense out, switch the lights off
  3. Nige Cook says:20th April 2011 at 8:30 amVelocity: the real tragedy is that so few stand up to Marxist/socialists/ecofascists. That’s how they sneak their propaganda and lies into Cameron’s mind. What we need, but haven’t got, is a thundering good thrashing to the socialist lies of Marx. You’d have thought that with the bankrupcy of the USSR, the message would be clear, but nobody has has ever given Marx the thrashing he deserves in print. Socialism is hell because it de-motivates society by taking away (or watering down) prizes and punishments. Human nature only does real good – which requires taking risks and overcoming adversity – when there is some compelling prize/punishment to encourage progress. Water down the prizes for success (by excessive taxation) and punishments for failure (by rewarding criminals), and you’ve the perfect recipe for making hell on earth. But there’s another problem as well. Socialism is founded on lying. It lies in order to try to motivate people: scaremongering lies about CO2, nuclear power, weapons, deterrence, radiation, capitalism, etc. It lies by exaggerating dangers, while omitting any balance by glossing over the bigger dangers from alternatives. It ses fashionable groupthink to try to circumvent scientific criticisms by preventing any genuine debate: it labels all critics as evil as Trotsky, and tries to dispose of them quietly using ice axes. It’s just another form of lying political dictatorship, which claims that good social intentions justify lying, that suppression of dissent is necessary to defend the socialist revolution, that dissent is evil by definition, that socialism must be the future of humanity. It’s weird that socialism lives on after the USSR went bankrupt. It’s like the earth centred universe existing side by side with the solar system. When will someone put socialism out of its misery for good? Someone needs to write the definitive epitaph of socialism.
  4. Tom Forrester-Paton says:22nd April 2011 at 9:39 amJames, I have travelled pretty widely. In my experience Johnny Foreigner is far slower to decry the British Empire than might be imagined, and your Sudanese old man has his cohorts in India, Pakistan, the Caribbean (that I know of) and no doubt in other parts of the once-pink world. Sneering at Empire is overwhelmingly a pastime of the post-Christian Pharisees. Like warmism, it’s part of their lifestyle of vague, reflexive expiation, with a bit of simian grooming thrown in, and has no more connection with the real world.

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