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What then is Mathematics?

Kurt Gödel’s Proof of the Existence of God

Anyone who thinks there is a simple answer to that question will be seriously disappointed. What have famous mathematicians said about it?

Mathematics is the art of giving the same name to different things (Henri Poincaré)

Thus mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true (Bertrand Russell)

Is mathematics something ‘out there’ waiting to be discovered, or is it a product of the human mind? Do we discover mathematical laws and relationships in nature, or do we impose mathematical descriptions on nature as a way of making sense of it, and harnessing it? Do we even know what number and arithmetic are? Yes, we all know what five loaves and three fishes are because those numbers have referents, but what of the number ‘three’ apart from its being a word or a symbol – does it exist as an immaterial entity? If so, where?

Questions such as these have interested philosophers and mathematicians for centuries. There are at least three fundamental questions to be addressed, on ontology, epistemology, and truth:

  • What is the nature of mathematical objects?
  • How do we obtain knowledge of them?
  • How do we account for certitude in mathematics?

We could add another question on effectiveness:

  • How do we account for the utility of mathematics in physics?

The various views on these questions correspond to the two camps of the medieval philosophers, the Realists and the Nominalists (or Anti-Realists), though Realism goes back much further to ancient Greece. Essentially, Realists believe that abstract entities or universals exist in their own right independently of the mind that thinks them, whereas Nominalists deny the extra-mental reality of universals and abstract ideas.

Continue reading ‘What then is Mathematics?’

The Du Sautoy Code

Professor Marcus du Sautoy

Marcus du Sautoy, Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science (having succeeded Richard Dawkins in the Chair), is currently presenting a series of TV programmes about mathematics and nature entitled ‘The Code’. Viewers could be forgiven for believing that what he is presenting is a mainstream view of mathematics rather than peddling his own peculiar brand of atheistic metaphysics. Since no appropriate caveats have been employed by the BBC, we feel it necessary to make a few of our own.

Firstly, Du Sautoy’s view that, as the Pythagoreans expressed it, ‘Number is everything’ is of very ancient pedigree; but, nothwithstanding, it is undemonstrable (which should be anathema to a mathematician) and a faith-based religious concept. Secondly, philosophers of mathematics and informed students of mathematics know that there is, to date, no satisfactory understanding of the relationship, if any, between mathematics and reality; to suggest that there is a relationship, and what such a relationship might be, is an act of faith. And thirdly, it is very unfortunate for scientists to be working with mathematics as though mathematics itself is the original reality to which the physical world ‘must’ conform through such things as ‘laws’; science has been hideously corrupted in the last 80 years because of this.

Some Christians might be heartened to see and hear Du Sautoy suggesting that numbers are at the root of all reality, that this is in some way all grist to the mill of Intelligent Design. Not so fast: Du Sautoy is an avowed atheist (who not very wittily gives his religion as ‘Arsenal’) who by his own admission is trying a more ‘softly softly’ approach than Richard ‘The Rottweiler’ Dawkins (whom all can see is a bigoted fanatic) and is not appealing to design, or even apparent design, but to some mysterious entity he calls ‘The Code’. A code at the very least implies information content, but The Code (as a proper noun and with the definite article) suggests something unique and powerful. Thus Du Sautoy:

…underlying everything that surrounds us, from the natural world to the cities we live in, there is a hidden code that explains why things look and behave they way they do.

[This hidden code (‘The Code’)] has the power to unlock the laws that govern the universe.

The Code is the truth of the universe, and its numbers dictate the way the world must be.

So, this hidden code, this entity that Du Sautoy calls ‘The Code’, has total and complete explanatory power, is identical to Absolute Truth, can lead us into All Truth, and is completely deterministic. This is unquestionably a religious position. And it is none other than the old heresy of Pythagoras, the pagan Greek philosopher, re-worked by gnostics, Kabbalists, Freemasons, Rosicrucians, Illuminists, and now, it appears, New Atheists. What a wheeze if they can pull this one off!

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Copernicus and the Lutherans

Luther's room where he engaged in 'table talk' over meals with his students

It never ceases to amaze how scientific myths manage to get recycled ad nauseam. We have all heard the absurd myth that people once believed the earth was flat, but then (since characters are involved) there is the more mischievous myth that the Protestant Reformers, Luther and Calvin, vehemently opposed Copernicus. In truth, you will find nothing in their writings, their letters, their sermons or any other productions where Copernicus is even mentioned. But, amazingly, in textbooks you will find that “Luther attacked Copernicus” (Berman and Evans, Exploring the Cosmos).

I recently read a comment stating that Martin Luther called Copernicus “the fool who will turn the whole science of astronomy upside down” and that Copernicus found it difficult to get his work published by the University at Wittenberg, and that his supporters found it difficult to get or retain jobs there.

You will search in vain within the large corpus of Luther’s works to find the abovementioned quote, or anything like it. If anyone has the candour to give a reference it will finally be traced back to an entry in the Tischreden or ‘table talk’, which contains a lot of highly entertaining but doubtless embellished and spurious material that purports to be things Luther said at the dinner table. These sayings were written down by dinner guests decades later and are practically worthless as a historical source.

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Galileo’s vain ambition

Galileo’s Dialogue concerning the Two Chief World Systems (1632), which argues for the superiority of the heliocentric Copernican over the geocentric Ptolemaic system, is a classic straw man argument. By 1632, astronomers had all but abandoned the Ptolemaic system, which had become untenable in the light of the evidence from telescopes for more than 20 years, which showed, for example, that Mercury and Venus orbited the sun. By that late stage, the majority of astronomers had adopted the geo-heliocentric model, such as that of Tycho Brahe, which had all the planets (other than earth) orbiting the sun, and the sun and the moon in orbit around the earth. Adapted to include a rotating earth, it was indistinguishable from the Copernican system on the basis of empirical observations of our ‘solar system’ from the vantage point of a terrestrial observer.

The Tychonic system was still highly regarded until the end of the seventeenth century when Newton’s discovery of principles of gravitation, and their application to the solar system, caused it to be abandoned as an explanation of reality, though it continues to this day as an elegant method for generating the terrestrial observer’s view of the motions of heavenly bodies in our solar system, for example in planetarium projectors.

So, Galileo was incapable of making a case in favour of Copernican heliocentrism over against the majority view of Tychonic geo-heliocentrism based on observation of the sun, moon and planets, and he could not do so based on physical principles as he rejected the idea of gravitation beyond the earth’s atmosphere and had never bothered to read up on Kepler’s laws of planetary motion, which had been sitting on his bookshelf for over 20 years. He also believed that no practicable terrestrial experiments could establish whether the earth was in motion, for he says in his foreword “all experiments practicable upon the earth are insufficient measures for proving its mobility, since they are indifferently adaptable to an earth in motion or at rest.” Thus he deliberately contrived to make his case using the artifice of a straw man argument, with not even a mention of the then chiefest of the world systems, the Tychonic model.

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Hawking’s Grand Delusion (Part III)

 

[Read Part I and Part II for background]

Stephen Hawking is doubtless a very intelligent man, but in his most recent book The Grand Design (surely a title that is supposed to be ironic) he has shown that even the most intelligent of scientists can write like a fool, and this monograph will become a classic for that very reason. He followed up his inanities in an interview on Larry King Live on September 10, 2010. It is now evident to all (if anyone was hitherto in any doubt) that Hawking’s brilliance is in a very narrow field indeed, apart from which he gropes and stumbles like a drunken man. Early in his book he announces

Philosophy is dead. It has not kept up with modern developments in science, particularly in physics. As a result scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge.

As William Lane Craig has remarked, such a verdict is

not merely condescending, but also…outrageously naïve. The man who claims to have no need of philosophy is the one most apt to be fooled by it.

Indeed, Hawking and his sidekick Mlodinow proceed to show just how ignorant they are of philosophy, theology, the philosophy of science, the history of philosophy, the history of science, and general science itself. In the Larry King Live show Hawking was asked who his hero was, and why, to which he responded:

Galileo, the first modern scientist who realized the importance of observation.

Well, you can have who you like as your hero, of course, but the historical claim about Galileo is utter rot. He couldn’t hold a candle to the likes of Kepler, for one. Galileo was a second-rate scientist in the main, who continued to his dying day to deny gravitational force as constraining bodies to rotate around the sun, clinging to an Aristotelian idea that celestial bodies ‘naturally’ moved in ‘perfect’ circles because they were not acted upon by a centripetal force, and he refused to accept Kepler’s careful observations and tabulated data that planets were subject to gravitational pull and moved in ellipses. He likewise refused to believe that the sun and moon caused the tides, as Kepler showed, because he denied extraterrestrial gravity. Apart from his last work, under house arrest, on mechanics, the myth of Galileo’s supposed greatness is the deliberate invention of atheists, communists and other anti-Christians, who have cunningly warped history since the nineteenth century to promote a ‘conflict thesis’. Mighty interesting that Hawking, who has built his reputation on pushing cosmic gravity into the absurd, without observational corroboration, should have as his hero one who denied extraterrestrial gravity and who often espoused dogma over meticulous observation.

But if philosophy is dead, it is dead only in the mind of Stephen Hawking, where it was delivered stillborn, or smothered at birth. As someone has said, when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. And if ‘scientific’ conjecture is all Hawking has by way of explanation, it does the crudest of jobs, riding roughshod over and mangling all understanding, rationality and logic, so that he ends up making puerile statements unworthy of an intelligent man. Just as, by definition, ‘Intelligent Design’ is not a scientific hypothesis because it deals with causes outside the realm on natural science, likewise a physical explanation cannot be an explanation for a metaphysical problem.

Continue reading ‘Hawking’s Grand Delusion (Part III)’

Hawking’s Grand Delusion (Part II)

Hows, Whys, Wherefores, and Miserable Refuges

Woman teaching geometry, from Adelard's translation of Euclid

[See Part I for introduction]
Adelard of Bath (or Athelhard, AD 1080-1160) is sometimes known as the first English scientist. In his classic work Natural Questions he states:

I will detract nothing from God; for whatever is, is from him and by him; yet not even this is said vaguely and without due care, as we must listen to the very limits of human knowledge: only where this utterly breaks down, should we refer things to God.

In common with Christians down through the ages, Adelard sought natural answers to natural questions as far as such studies could be taken. Natural Questions is a dialogue between Adelard and his nephew in which he asks, ‘Why is there a rainbow in the heavens?’ His nephew replies that it is a sign of God’s promise not to flood the entire earth again. Adelard says

Of course that’s what God said and of course God put the rainbow there, but that doesn’t explain the rainbow. That is an example of a miserable refuge from a real philosophic explanation…I know God did it! But that’s not natural philosophy [i.e. science], that’s theology.

Continue reading ‘Hawking’s Grand Delusion (Part II)’

Hawking’s Grand Delusion (Part I)

Stephen Hawking 'speaks' once again 'ex cathedra'

We consider the 2010 book The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow (screenwriter for Star Trek: the Next Generation), but first we must lay some groundwork. For ease of digestion this post is split into three parts, the first two parts being introductory.

Intelligent Design and the limits of science

To start with, here’s an old chestnut: is ‘Intelligent Design’ a scientific hypothesis? Well, it is a hypothesis, and a most intelligent hypothesis, held by the brightest of minds for thousands of years, that something with the appearance of design (which even atheists admit) is actually designed. Whether or not it is true, it cannot be denied except by the most churlish that the inference is a reasonable one. However, if we deliberately limit the term ‘scientific’ to natural science, wherein scientific hypotheses have natural explanations exclusively in terms of natural phenomena from within the natural world itself – a closed system where there is no external causation, or where at the very least external causation is beyond the scope of scientific explanation – then according to this definition intelligent design cannot be a scientific hypothesis.

But so what? All this means is that science is deliberately limited in explanation, and deliberately so limited by definition. Primary causation is not only outside but also incomprehensible to scientific enquiry, so primary causation, even if true, cannot offer a ‘scientific’ explanation. Without access to the designer’s original plan, as it were, where could the hypothesis of intelligent design take us from a ‘scientific’ perspective? It has no explanatory power, no predictive capability, no falsifiability within the self-defined and self-limiting ‘scientific’ realm. As an example, if I tell you in all truth that the jet engine was designed by Frank Whittle, what does that fact tell you about the jet engine other than that it was designed by Frank Whittle?

Continue reading ‘Hawking’s Grand Delusion (Part I)’

Synthetic Cells and the Demiurge

There was quite a splash in the media in May concerning Craig Venter’s claims to have made a synthetic cell.

However, the media have not elucidated exactly what this ‘synthetic’ means, and Venter himself, in a blaze of self-promotion, used blatantly misleading language. He spoke of his ‘creation’ as “the first self-replicating species we’ve had on the planet whose parent is a computer”, and of its genome having been synthesized “by a machine” entirely from “four bottles of chemicals” and its being “booted up” in a host organism.

Arthur Caplan, Professor of Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania was impressed and thought this one of the most important scientific achievements ever:

All…deeply entrenched metaphysical views are cast into doubt by the demonstration that life can be created from non-living parts, albeit those harvested from a cell. Venter’s achievement would seem to extinguish the argument that life requires a special force or power to exist. In my view, this makes it one of the most important scientific achievements in the history of mankind.

And Julian Savulescu, professor of practical ethics at Oxford University, would like to nominate Venter as the Demiurge:

Venter is creaking open the most profound door in humanity’s history, potentially peeking into its destiny. He is not merely copying life artificially…or modifying it radically by genetic engineering. He is going towards the role of a god: creating artificial life that could never have existed naturally.

As we will see, these ethicists have clearly misunderstood what Venter has achieved. More sane soundings have come from those who are expert in bioengineering, for example Jim Collins, Professor of biomedical engineering, Boston University:

Relax — media reports hyping this as a significant, alarming step forward in the creation of artificial forms of life can be discounted. The work reported by Venter and his colleagues is an important advance in our ability to re-engineer organisms; it does not represent the making of new life from scratch. The microorganism reported by the Venter team is synthetic in the sense that its DNA is synthesized, not in that a new life form has been created. Its genome is a stitched-together copy of the DNA of an organism that exists in nature, with a few small tweaks thrown in…Frankly, scientists do not know enough about biology to create life…Although some of us in synthetic biology may have delusions of grandeur, our goals are much more modest.

We will investigate what Venter has done, but we must be clear that although what he has done was technologically advanced, it amounts to no more than tinkering with existing life.

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The Atheist Delusion

There has been a torrent of books by the so-called New Atheists in recent years, diatribes from the pens of biologist Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion, 2006), journalist Christopher Hitchens (God Is Not Great, 2007), writer Sam Harris (The End of Faith, 2004) and their ilk. Whatever their expertise in their specialisms, they have arrogantly marched forth into the fields of their own incompetence, and thereby done us all a great favour in showing that the New Atheism spawns intellectual pygmies of the philosophy of religion. As philosopher David B. Hart has remarked,

A truly profound atheist is someone who has taken the trouble to understand, in its most sophisticated forms, the belief he or she rejects, and to understand the consequences of that rejection. Among the New Atheists, there is no one of whom this can be said, and the movement as a whole has yet to produce a single book or essay that is anything more than an insipidly doctrinaire and appallingly ignorant diatribe.

Their writings have drawn back the curtain to reveal the clanking machinery, the hollowness and the intellectual bankruptcy of the New Atheism. For this we are forever grateful, and when their other ideas have been discarded and relegated to footnotes, historians will surely point to their feet of clay displayed by their poor judgment, their bias, nastiness, ignorance and inability to structure logical argument in their writings on religion. As Hart confirms:

The best that we can now hope for [from New Atheists] are arguments pursued at only the most vulgar of intellectual levels, couched in an infantile and carpingly pompous tone, and lacking all but the meagerest traces of historical erudition or syllogistic rigour: Richard Dawkins triumphantly adducing “philosophical” arguments that a college freshman midway through his first logic course could dismantle in a trice…

The author of The Selfish Gene and The Blind Watchmaker can never again be taken seriously as a clear thinker: he has well and truly shot his bolt and missed his target.

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UN IPCC: Rotting from the Head down

 

(Apologies to Stahler)

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is stinking like a dead fish, rotting from the head down. In what has been dubbed ‘Glaciergate’, the IPCC has been exposed as conspiring to present a tissue of lies about the melting of glaciers in the Himalayas, claiming with greater than 90% confidence that they would disappear by 2035 or sooner. There was never any scientific basis whatsoever for such claims, and the ‘source’ quoted was WWF, an avowed advocacy group. Both the IPCC and WWF have recently admitted that the claims were false, long after these claims have become embedded in countless papers, books and presentations and caused alarmism about the fate of hundreds of millions of people who rely on the rivers that run from the Himalayas. But the damage this has done goes very deep: not only were the claims in the IPCC Fourth Assessment report (AR4) based on lies, but the lies have for years been peddled by the head of the IPCC himself, who sought to belittle those who drew attention to the problem.

This post deals briefly with the extraordinarily arrogant, unprofessional and dishonest nature of Rajendra K Pachauri, Chairman of the IPCC, but goes on to show in detail that the UN and the scientific community were well aware from 2004, as demonstrated in a work by a Himalayan expert, which was described in 2006 by the editor of the peer-reviewed Himalayan Journal of Sciences (HJS) as “probably the single most influential monograph ever published on Himalayan environmental issues”, and from an article that appeared in the HJS in 2005, that the claim of the disappearance of the Himalayan glaciers by 2035 or within 40 years was a lie propagated by advocacy groups and vested interests, and yet the IPCC deliberately incorporated the lie into the AR4 report in 2007. We show how the falsehood was embroidered stage by stage by advocacy groups, politicians and bent ‘scientists’ to appear as one of the most outrageous scientific claims in modern times.

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Climate Change and the Death of Science

Heretic

[Note: the following was written on October 31 and updated November 3, before the ‘Climategate’ CRU email scandal broke, and it is all the more pertinent in the light of those disclosures. The CRU emails show how science has been perverted into a political movement, and how scientists conspired to serve a ‘post-normal’ agenda where truth is trampled – exactly as the proponents of ‘post-normal’ science had anticipated. With the association between ‘post-normal’ science developed by Ravetz and its application in climate science by Hulme now widely exposed by this present post, Ravetz and Hulme jointly authored an article, published by the BBC on December 1, entitled ‘Show Your Working’: What ‘ClimateGate’ means in which they sought to promote post-normal science further by capitalizing on the public disgust at the corruption of ‘normal’ science. This is cynical because normal science was corrupted by covertly introducing post-normal activities in the first place.]

What has become of science? We thought that science was about the pursuit of truth. Then we became perplexed at how quickly scientists have prostituted themselves in the service of political agendas. We have seen the unedifying spectacle of scientists refusing to share their data, fiddling their results, and resorting to ad hominem attacks on those who have exposed their work to be fraudulent. We have seen the Royal Society becoming a shamelessly crude advocacy society. We have seen President Obama choosing notorious climate alarmists and liars to be his personal advisors. We have seen the peer review process and journal editors colluding to prevent publication of results that do not serve the politically-correct agenda, and scientists refusing to consider results that demolish their pet theories. What is going on here?

What is going on is that science is no longer what we thought it was. It is now a tool in the hands of socialists, and the smart money is flowing into the pockets of ‘scientists’ who will serve their agenda. Follow the money. Whilst traditional physics and chemistry departments are closing in British universities, and there is a shortage of science teachers, there is an abundance of cash being poured into departments that will serve socialist ends, and no shortage of acolytes desirous to use this as a route to power. Once there was modern science, which was hard work; now we have postmodern science, where the quest for real, absolute truth is outdated, and ‘science’ is a wax nose that can be twisted in any direction to underpin the latest lying narrative in the pursuit of power. Except they didn’t call it ‘postmodern’ science because then we might smell a rat. They called it PNS (post-normal science) and hoped we wouldn’t notice. It was thus named and explicated by Silvio O. Funtowicz and philosopher Jerome R. Ravetz, who in 1991 wrote the paper A New Scientific Methodology for Global Environmental Issues, followed in 1992 by The good, the true and the postmodern, and in 1993 by Science for the post-normal age, where they promoted the idea that

…a new type of science – ‘post-normal’ – is emerging…in contrast to traditional problem-solving strategies, including core science, applied science, and professional consultancy…Post-normal science can provide a path to the democratization of science, and also a response to the current tendencies to post-modernity.

The ‘response’ wasn’t to be a reaction against postmodernism, but an embracing of it, and going beyond it. And it has sinister ramifications.

We had already been warned about Ravetz in the 1987 work Changing Boundaries of the Political, which stated

From the perspective of Anglo-American liberalism it seems easy enough to…point out that the old predictions of the British Marxist J.D. Bernal about the triumph of basic research under socialism have proved hopelessly wrong, and that the demands of J.R. Ravetz of the University of Leeds that science be made instrumental and moral will destroy the enterprise whatever its short-term benefits.

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Eco-Imperialism – every Environmentalist’s Dream

Ecofascism

How do you like the government agency that makes official climate predictions, and pushes industry and local government to act on “climate change” to be headed up by a green alarmist and activist? It’s well known that in the USA the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies is headed up by the climate alarmist and activist James Hansen, who encourages criminal misdemeanours in USA and criminal damage in UK. But what of the UK? The situation is even worse. The UK Meteorological Office, whose Hadley Centre runs the IPCC scientific assessment (“Working Group 1”), is now a department of the UK Ministry of Defence. And its Chairman is none other than Robert Napier, a green activist and alarmist with tentacles into some of the world’s most powerful drivers of climate alarmism and social control.

Not only is he the chairman of the Met office, but Napier is Chairman of the Green Fiscal Commission, seeking to impose massive green taxation; he is Director of the Carbon Disclosure Project, which has built the largest database on corporate ‘carbon footprints’ as a basis for discrimination against those who don’t go along with the eco agenda; he is Chairman of the trustees of the World Centre of Monitoring of Conservation, which is bankrolled by the UN Environment Programme to push and ensure compliance with the Green agenda; and he is Chairman of the Homes and Communities Agency, which is seeking to grab land for ecotowns and determining compliance of housing to stringent Green standards. Other recent positions he has held include Chief Executive of WWF-UK, a vast malthusian political pressure group seeking to grab land and stop development around the world; a Director of The Climate Group, a huge international pressure group for the climate change agenda, which also manages the IIGCC, of which the BBC Pension Trust is a member; and a Director of the Alliance of Religions and Conservation, a secular body seeking to infuse ‘Green’ values into all the major religions, and to designate land as ‘sacred’ to prohibit development, and galvanize religions as a powerful advocacy group for the eco agenda.

This web of organizations over which Napier exercises influence means that Napier is responsible for the generation of climate alarmism, input into the IPCC reports, powerful secular and religious eco advocacy, directing of investments exceeding $55 trillion towards the Green agenda, monitoring of eco compliance, manipulating government fiscal policy towards green taxes, and control of the built environment towards the green agenda. Napier is an eco-imperialist, and for him and his cronies it’s all about total social control for the green agenda – controlling all bases: investment, building, land, religion, government, taxes, propaganda, media, advocacy, monitoring, climate science and data.

Continue reading ‘Eco-Imperialism – every Environmentalist’s Dream’

Filthy Dreamers

If you are the President’s chief scientific advisor then you have a duty to be informed and keep informed, and a duty to refrain from making indisputably false statements. Such responsibility is obviously too much for John Holdren, who has shown himself again as an inveterate liar (see earlier posts All who hate Me love Death and Growth of Crops, Weeds, CO2 and Lies). In a recent interview with New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert, Holdren repeats the litany of ‘evidences’ for anthropogenic global warming, which he must know are patently untrue if he has read any scientific literature over the past few years. Holdren said

We all talk about the acceleration of climate change in its impacts that we’re observing. One sees the incidence of wildfires going up more rapidly than people expected, the incidence of heat waves and droughts going up more rapidly, sea level is rising more rapidly… All of these indicators are moving more rapidly.

Wrong on all counts. It’s simply impossible for Holdren to be honestly mistaken here, because the data in some cases comes from US government agencies. Consider sea level rise. There is not the slightest evidence that “sea level is rising more rapidly”, that this represents an “acceleration of climate change in its impacts”. When Holdren says “One sees…” he cannot mean to ‘foresee’ as a ‘seer’ might do, since his previous statement makes it clear that this is one of the accelerating ‘impacts that we’re observing’. Well, it’s really very easy to determine Holdren’s integrity since we can simply look at the data that ‘we’re observing’. Do records show that sea level rise is accelerating, “rising more rapidly”? Not at all: sea level rise has been pretty steady over the last 100 years, except in the last few years when it has appeared to slow down significantly, even to the extent of appearing to show a declining trend since 2006. Wolfgang Scherer, Director of Australia’s National Tidal Facility correctly states

One definitive statement we can make is that there is no indication based on observations that sea level rise is accelerating.

Continue reading ‘Filthy Dreamers’

CO2 Enrichment and Plant Nutrition

It was noted in previous posts that for crops with C3 photosynthetic pathway the current levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide are limiting to plant growth. Crops are currently starved of CO2 in a similar way to being starved of water, nitrogen, phosphorus, light etc. Current atmospheric levels of CO2 can thus be regarded as a plant stress, which weakens them and makes them inefficient. At higher levels of CO2 this stress is reduced, and the plant copes better with all other types of stress, including heat and cold, atmospheric pollution, root pathogens, as well as shortages of water, minerals etc.

Sylvan Wittwer (Professor emeritus at Michigan State University, who directed the Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station for 20 years and chaired the Board on Agriculture of the National Research Council) has remarked:

There has been and still remains, a great reluctance on the part of many climatologists and ecologists, and especially environmentalists, to accept the concept that the rising level of atmospheric CO2 could be more beneficial than harmful for plant growth, food production, and the overall biosphere…Yet the scientific evidence is overwhelming.

Summary data from 279 published studies is shown below in which plants of all types were grown under paired stress (red) and unstressed (blue) conditions. For resource-limited plants the benefits of increased CO2 are astounding.

ResourceLimited

Wittwer points out that of the hundreds of scientific reports documenting the benefits, Al Gore carefully selected five reports and a personal communication to emphasize possible negative aspects to enhanced CO2 on plants. Gore knew what he was doing, of course – he either deliberately rejected the facts, or gave instructions to researchers for his book only to cherry pick papers that support his alarmist agenda. Again we see him as a lying propagandist.

Continue reading ‘CO2 Enrichment and Plant Nutrition’

Arctic Sea Ice Scam

Ever been had? The Observer of July 26 under the engaging title Revealed: the secret evidence of global warming Bush tried to hide makes the following claims:

Photos from US spy satellites declassified by the Obama White House provide the first graphic images of how the polar ice sheets are retreating in the summer. The effects on the world’s weather, environments and wildlife could be devastating.

Graphic images that reveal the devastating impact of global warming in the Arctic have been released by the US military…The pictures, kept secret by Washington during the presidency of George W Bush, were declassified by the White House last week. President Barack Obama is currently trying to galvanise Congress and the American public to take action to halt catastrophic climate change caused by rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

One particularly striking set of images – selected from the 1,000 photographs released – includes views of the Alaskan port of Barrow. One, taken in July 2006, shows sea ice still nestling close to the shore. A second image shows that by the following July the coastal waters were entirely ice-free.

Here are the images

barrow_640x480
We will show in this post that this is a hideous piece of lies and propaganda. It is very revealing since not only does it show the biased propagandizing of the Guardian/The Observer stable, but also demonstrates the crude and shameless progagandizing of the Obama Administration (which also confirms the case made in the post All who hate Me love Death that Obama was dissembling when he claimed that he wouldn’t interfere with science). We will show in this post, with additional evidence from the air and the ground, that the satellite pictures have been deliberately selectively cropped and chosen for maximum propaganda effect to mislead the public (and politicians, no doubt). It is akin to taking beach photographs of low tide one year and of high tide the following year, and putting them side by side in an argument about sea level rise. Put on the finishing touches about a Bush conspiracy and Obama’s openness and you are home and dry with something the Nazis would have been proud of.

Even the University of Alaska, Fairbanks felt compelled to comment:

Annual break-up of landfast sea ice off the coast of Barrow, Alaska received international media attention in July 2009 after the USGS made available high resolution-satellite imagery that show inter-annual variability in coastal ice conditions…However, unlike suggested by some, comparing summer ice conditions in July 2006 and July 2007 is not sufficient evidence to verify a trend.

In other words, all they show is that one year differs from another and no trend can be inferred. In the nicest possible way, this says that someone is up to no good here by distorting the science. Shame on the US Geological Survey for being prepared to become the mouthpiece of propaganda.

Continue reading ‘Arctic Sea Ice Scam’

Missing Fingerprints

According to the climate models used by the IPCC and other climate alarmists, the mid-troposphere should be rapidly warming if increasing CO2 is a forcing for warming. If this warming does not occur roughly as predicted then the climate models are proved to be worse than useless. The ‘fingerprint’ evidence of anthropogenic warming due to increasing CO2 is predicted to be a pronounced ‘hotspot’ in the troposphere between latitudes 30N and 30S (which comprises exactly half the surface of the earth) at a height of around 10km (cruising altitude for jet planes), see below for expected change during the 20th century from the latest IPCC report. Obviously, if anthropogenic global warming is going to ‘take off’ this century, then this hotspot will be considerably more pronounced in the 21st century. The models used by the IPCC predict warming of the troposphere some 12 km high at the rate of 4-5 degrees per century for this century. This hotspot is absolutely essential if the climate models have any validity at all.

Fingerprint

Other climate models predict the same thing: here are four others (showing effect of doubling of CO2). Note that all predict a pronounced tropospheric ‘hotspot’ 10km up and between the tropics.

FourModels

However, this hotspot has never been found – if it had been, we would certainly have heard about it, shouted from the rooftops by the climate alarmists. This missing fingerprint that they are peculiarly silent about (for obvious reasons) invalidates their models. It shows their models and their whole hypotheses to be trash. Below are the actual measured anomalies, and it is evident that not the slightest hotspot can be found.

AbsentFingerprint

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Growth of Crops, Weeds, CO2 and Lies

The USA has its own Climate Change propaganda. The latest is Obama’s first big scientific report, Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, signed off by Obama’s appointed President’s Science Advisor, John Holdren, the neo-Malthusian who has espoused forcible sterilization and abortion for reducing the US population. As expected, it’s a classic but crude piece of propaganda peppered with images that are designed to scare, but which are unrelated to the matter under consideration – for example pictures of floods from Hurricane Katrina, which has nothing whatsoever to do with climate change, but which was merely the result of a hurricane making landfall directly on New Orleans. The Space and Science Research Center in Florida put out a press release on July 13 with a call for Holdren and NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenko to be removed from office because

These two individuals and other agency heads orchestrated and then signed off on the recently released government report, Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States. This report was a piece of blatant, politically motivated bad science and pure propaganda…

And in a letter to Senator Boxer, the SSRC opine that it is

an international embarrassment of American scientific expertise and is so full of misleading data, false assumptions, and invalid conclusions that it simply cannot be relied upon as a policy making reference.

The report cites 569 references, but how many readers are going to go to the trouble of looking any of them up to discover that they don’t support the position of the text, or have been so selectively quoted that they are relied on to say the opposite to what was meant?

Unscientific

We can’t deal with the whole report, so we will mention one example from the chapter on agriculture (PDF here) as we have been considering the effects of elevated CO2 on plants. This example will demonstrate the lying propaganda, and the disregard and crafty twisting of the evidence; and this example is typical of the whole report, which is a compendium of lies.

The poster boy of the agricultural section of the report is the following image, which also appears on the associated website. The report text states

The most widely used herbicide in the United States, glyphosate (RoundUp®), loses its efficacy on weeds grown at carbon dioxide levels that are projected to occur in the coming decades (see photos below).
Higher concentrations of the chemical and more frequent spraying thus will be needed, increasing economic and environmental costs associated with chemical use.

HerbicideEffectiveness

What this is supposed to show is that as CO2 increases, the effectiveness of a common herbicide decreases. Notice anything strange? The experiment is completely unrepresentative of an agricultural situation since it is evident from the picture that there are no crops present. Well, who sows and grows fields of weeds, and who wastes time and money spraying weeds with herbicide where there are no crops growing? Who cares about weeds where crops aren’t grown? No-one.

Don’t be deceived. What the picture actually shows is that weeds, like all plants, thrive under elevated CO2, can better utilize available resources, and can overcome stresses better (in this case, the application of herbicide, which is an extreme stress). This is expected, and we pointed this out in previous posts (World Food Supplies and Carbon Emissions, and Photosynthesis and CO2 Enrichment). The picture says nothing whatsoever about what would happen to the weeds under herbicide stress when they have to compete for the same resources (water, nutrients, light, CO2 etc) as herbicide-resistant crops growing in the same patch. What we find in the real world (as we will demonstrate below) is that in a competitive environment (which is the only real-world agricultural scenario worth considering) the fertilizing effects of enhanced CO2 on crops far outweigh any slight mitigation of herbicide stress on weeds. The result is that in elevated CO2 environments, crop yield is far higher for a given application of herbicide, or alternatively for a given crop yield the herbicide requirement is considerably reduced. Thus the report is lying, the scientists who compiled it are lying, and they know very well that they are lying. The trouble is, we’re not supposed to be informed well enough to know it. We will now prove it.

Continue reading ‘Growth of Crops, Weeds, CO2 and Lies’

Death by Eco-Fascism

Our beautiful world is being vandalized by eco-fascists and those with very dangerous motives. This CO2/climate change scam is the propaganda cover for massive social change, and it is utterly shameful that scientists are prepared to prostitute themselves to this new religion.

FirstChurch

As the renowned climatologist R.A. Pielke Sr, (Senior Research Scientist, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado in Boulder, and Professor Emeritus of the Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins) has declared about the scientists behind the latest UK government climate report UKCP09:

The scientists who present the viewpoint of skillful multi-decadal regional predictions to policymakers are deliberately and dishonestly misinforming the public and policymakers.

Why the deliberate disinformation campaign? Digging into a recent study How to get climate policy back on course by the Institute for Science, Innovation and Society at the University of Oxford and the London School of Economics and Political Science’s Mackinder Programme makes chilling reading in the light of 20th century history:

…climate policy has come to serve many other political and social functions beyond its declared formal objective. Thus, undeclared political, religious, ethical and wider lifestyle and social purposes are being fulfilled…

Because climate policy performs so many other sorts of political, religious and psychological work, it has tremendous momentum within it.

…current conventional wisdom [for reducing CO2]…is grounded upon policies that have not worked in the past and which we know never to have been politically feasible except through the application of unacceptable political forces.

So, there are policies that will not achieve their objectives (the presently declared ones that we are supposed to be suckers for) and then there are policies that will achieve their ends through use of totalitarian force. Fascism pretends to allow private ownership, but controls everything to serve statist agendas, and ultimately morphs into a brand of socialism – not for nothing were German fascists known as ‘Nazis’, short for Nationalsozialisten.  Hitler said in 1927, “We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system”, and in 1931 declared, “…every owner should feel himself to be an agent of the State… The Third Reich will always retain the right to control property owners.”

The fascist method is to get the population hooked on the ends (e.g CO2 reductions) and actually lobbying the government to take action, and when the merely unpalatable policies are seen to be largely ineffective, the populace will then accept the unthinkable. Thus in Nazi Germany – get the population to buy in to the aim of Aryan purity, and when it cannot be achieved by mild social engineering, the population will eventually accept mass sterilization, euthanasia, confiscation, war and genocide.

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Climate Robustness

Past behaviour can give very strong indications of just how robust systems are to perturbations and forcings. Applying this to climate, we will take a view on how believable are the UKCP09 projections of warming in the UK over the next 45 years (see the post Met Office Fraudcast). The UKCP09 projections are based on computer modelling. Below are UKCP09 ‘central estimate’ projections for changes in Summer Mean Temperatures (medium emissions scenario) for the UK.

SummerMeanTemp

Note that in Northern Ireland the central estimate is for a rise of 2.1 to 3.0 degrees in Mean Summer Temperature in the 2050s (and up to 4 degrees by the 2080s). Temperatures in Northern Ireland have been recorded for over 200 years, and we have a fairly good record covering the last 160 years, see below.

Credit:Junkscience

Credit:Junkscience

It is clear that summer temperatures in the 1840s and 1850s at the beginning of the record were more consistently warm from year to year and averaged higher maximum temperatures than those over the supposedly sizzling last 20 years – maximum summer temperatures never fell below 18 degrees from 1844-1860. The upper red trace represents the daily maximum temperatures during the day (averaged across June, July and August each year), the lower blue trace represents the minimum temperature (at night), and the central purple trace is the mean of the red and blue traces, this being the Mean Summer Temperature. The straight lines through the traces are the trend lines from the values from 1844 to 2004, 160 years. It will be seen that there is practically no trend in the maximum summer temperatures – on average, summers now are not warmer than they were 160 years ago. There is a slight trend in the minimum temperatures – the nights have been getting a little warmer over the period, and who is going to worry about that? Because of the averaging between the max and min traces, this creates a slight trend also in the Mean Temperature, but it is still an extremely minor effect over the 160 year record. Although there have been periods when the mean temperature has been a little higher (the 1840s and 1850s, for example) there have also been periods when it has been a little lower (e.g. the 1870s to 1920s). A definite period is evident when there was a noticeable short-term cooling trend (1859-1884) yet there is no significant long-term trend when considered over the full 160 years (this accords with the observations in 130-year datasets from other parts of the world as indicated in the post Crops and 130 Years of Climate Records).

Yet the Met Office and Defra are now trying to make us believe that a trend line will suddenly ‘kick up’ and take off as shown in the extended part on the right because of mankind’s carbon emissions. It certainly does look fanciful.

Continue reading ‘Climate Robustness’

Met Office Fraudcast

brainwash

Never confuse ‘scientists forecasting’ with scientific forecasting. Most scientists don’t know the basic principles of scientific forecasting. In Global Warming: Forecasts by Scientists versus Scientific Forecasting (Energy & Environment, Vol. 18, No. 7+8, 2007), Green and Armstrong state

Specifically, we have been unable to find a scientific forecast to support the currently widespread belief in “global warming”…Based on our literature searches, those forecasting long-term climate change have no apparent knowledge of evidence-based forecasting methods…

Thus rather foolishly, the head of the Climate Programme at the Met Office, Dr Vicky Pope,  assured us back in 2007 that now routinely on the Met Office’s computers

Much longer predictions are run, typically…predicting the next 100 to 1,000 years.

Predicting the next 1000 years? Fat chance!

The UK Met Office have recently produced the ‘UK Climate Projections 2009’ (UKCP09) which purports to project ‘how the UK climate may change for the 30-year period from 2070–2099 at a resolution of 25 km’. The Met office are expecting us to believe that they have a good idea what the climate will be like within any 25km x 25km cell over the whole of the UK out to the end of the century. Note the word ‘project’ rather than ‘predict’ or ‘forecast’. Anyone can project anything, and by devising different models there will be different projections. In fact, a projection is essentially meaningless – one can draw a straight line through any trend and call it a ‘projection’. So long as we don’t consider a projection to be a prediction or a forecast, then it is just a bit of speculation (or fun) and no weight should ever be attached to it in terms of planning or risk assessment and mitigation.

But the Met Office and Defra are playing fast and loose with this and are treating the UKCP09 projections as predictions to be used for planning, risk assessment and mitigation by everyone. The Met Office says

It is vital governments, businesses, organisations and individuals understand the challenges ahead and prepare for them now…UK Climate Projections 2009 (UKCP09) is a climate analysis tool, funded by Defra, which features the most comprehensive climate projections ever produced. Projections are broken down to a regional level across the UK and are shown in probabilistic form — illustrating the potential range of changes and the level of confidence in each prediction.

Yes, you read it correctly, it does say prediction, and they are telling you within 90% confidence limits what is going to happen before it happens, over the next 90 years. We’ll show just how unlikely this is in another post shortly. But this is what the renowned climatologist R.A. Pielke Sr, (Senior Research Scientist, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), University of Colorado in Boulder, and Professor Emeritus of the Department of Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University, Fort Collins) has to say about UKCP09:

This study…is clearly a subversion of the scientific method. To state that that climate science is being stretched is quite an understatement. There is absolutely no multi-decadal prediction skill on the spatial scales presented in this study.

The scientists who present the viewpoint of skillful multi-decadal regional predictions to policymakers are deliberately and dishonestly misinforming the public and policymakers. (emphasis original)

What’s more, Mike Hulme, Professor of Climate Change at the University of East Anglia and listed as a reviewer of this report, passes judgment as follows (emphasis added):

Unfortunately predictive skill is unknown for climate at the decade-to-century timescale. Unlike weather forecasts, whose value in informing decision-making can routinely be tested over time by comparison with observed weather patterns, there is currently no such empirical evidence with which to test the skill of climate predictions. Moreover, as knowledge of the climate system and how it responds to greenhouse gases improves, model predictions will change, as will their probability distributions. Because decision-makers lack experience in using climate predictions, there is a risk that they will place too much confidence in the results.

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Photosynthesis and CO2 Enrichment

The benefits of increased atmospheric CO2 on crops are so extensive that a long article or book needs to be written to do justice to the subject and to the results of thousands of research trials. The improvement in photosynthesis efficiency at higher CO2 levels does not tell the whole story, but it is a good place to start, since all plant growth relies on this process.

Photosynthesis is the process by which plants utilize visible light energy (e.g. sunlight) to convert aerial CO2 and water (from roots) into plant matter. This process also requires phosphorus and nitrogen.

There are three photosynthesis ‘pathways’, known as C3, C4 and CAM. CAM is unimportant for food crops, being the method used by cacti, succulents and agaves. Pineapple is the only food crop of any importance to use CAM, so CAM can be neglected for the present purposes. World food security depends on C3 and C4 photosynthesis.

Less than 1% of all plant species in the world use the C4 photosynthesis pathway. Of the 86 plant species that supply most of the world’s food, only five use the C4 photosynthetic pathway, of which only four are of much importance (corn [=maize], sorghum, millet, and sugarcane) yet these four constitute some 20% of all the food crops grown. Because of their high photosynthetic efficiency, the C4 crops corn and sugarcane are favoured for ethanol production by those who want to produce liquid biofuels rather than food, thus increasing food prices and poverty.

Continue reading ‘Photosynthesis and CO2 Enrichment’

Crops and 130 Years of Climate Records

Before we get into detail about plant biology and ecology, let us see what is being said about the effect of CO2 emissions on climate. Specifically, it is said that the earth warmed during the twentieth century. In truth, taking the earth as a whole, including parts of the earth where no-one lives and where crops are not grown (i.e most of the earth), a very small amount of warming occurred, about half a degree overall, none of which can be attributed to CO2 emissions in any robust scientific way – it has all the hallmarks of natural variation. Some parts of the earth cooled and some warmed.

We are told that the effects of future warming, coupled with decreasing rainfall, will cause terrible difficulties for crop production in the tropics and equatorial areas, because many crops in those regions are already on the limits for heat damage, and are already badly stressed due to drought (we will see the evidence in later posts that the best solution for crops that are heat or drought stressed is increased atmospheric CO2). We are told that the likely future scenarios will be worst for countries in the tropics and equatorial zones. Seldom are we told that the same scenarios predict much-needed warmth to northern Canada, northern Europe and Siberia, bringing vast tracts of land into agricultural use, which with the increased atmospheric CO2 will enable greatly increased food production – and that in countries that have the infrastructure, the technology, and the capital to make the best use of it.

But is it true that trends are pointing towards impending catastrophe in sub-Saharan Africa and South Africa? Not at all, if trends from the nineteenth century are anything to go by.

Continue reading ‘Crops and 130 Years of Climate Records’

World Food Supplies and Carbon Emissions

We are constantly hearing reports that a new revolution in agriculture is necessary to feed the world. With hysterical propaganda the media are hectoring us that global warming/climate change is going to make matters worse and reduce crop yields. In the June issue of National Geographic there is a special report entitled The end of plenty: the global food crisis. The article pays homage to the eighteenth century cleric Thomas Malthus as though he were a prophet, such as in his saying that “The power of population is indefinitely greater than the power in the earth to produce subsistence for man”. That was absolute rot in his day, and it’s absolute rot now. There was a ‘power in the earth’ that he knew nothing about – fossil fuels – that supported the greatest increase in subsistence, population and living standards this world has ever known, and can continue to do so even when the fuels are exhausted (as we shall see below). This world is never going to run out of carbon, water, nitrogen, phosphorous, or any other substance needed to grow crops, and when we can no longer get at them easily by using fossil fuels there will be another ‘power in the earth’ called uranium, and from that plutonium, that will enable us to extract them and produce them in the forms we need from all the materials at our disposal.

But such deranged thinking as Malthus committed to writing has been embraced by the neo-Malthusians, who are intent on reducing the population of the world by two thirds by getting the developed world to buy into evil policies such as reduction in fossil fuel use, introducing wasteful carbon capture and storage, embracing hugely inefficient and silly ‘renewable’ energy schemes rather than cheaper modern nuclear power, and use of biofuels, which take land out of food production and massively increase food prices, all in the end causing poverty, starvation and death to those at the bottom of the ladder in the developing world.

But what if we could introduce a supply of nutrient into farming as a by-product of improved lifestyles that would cost nothing, was completely harmless to all life forms, would need no human labour to apply, and would be effective at improving crop yields on all foods crops in every part of the world? This nutrient would improve crop yields by 30-100%, would enable crops to grow in arid soils with poor nutrients and little water, would make crops resistant to frost and heat damage, would enable crops to grow in areas of high salination and high air pollution, would speed up and shorten the growing cycle, would require less light, would allow most of the world’s crops to out-compete native weeds, would reduce the need for pesticide and weedkiller, would reduce soil erosion, would improve nitrogen fixation, and would reduce food prices…would you be interested? Unlike so-called ‘organic farming’, which permanently poisons the soil with copper salts and makes agriculture extremely inefficient, and food more expensive, and so plays into the hands of the Malthusians, this nutrient has massive benefits across the range. This wonderful nutrient is called carbon dioxide, and an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide has all these wonderful beneficial effects without a shadow of a doubt.

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Toxic Seawater Fraud

[Note: some understanding of chemistry (approximately A-Level) is necessary to understand this post, and it will be helpful to read the background in the previous post Ocean Acidification Scam.]

The theory behind the ‘toxic ocean acidification’ scam proceeds like this: as the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere increases, the concentration in the oceans also increases due to dissolution [true – all other things being equal]. CO2 dissolved in water reacts with water to form carbonic acid, making the seas acidic [a half truth – they become very slightly less basic]. This acidity dissolves the shells of marine life causing mass extinction [an utter falsehood].

As a matter of fact, seawater is alkaline and basic. Dissolving the carbon dioxide from all the world’s known fossil fuel reserves would never make the sea acidic. The climate alarmists coined the phrase “ocean acidification” to make it sound alarming, whereas the process is actually what is known as neutralization. The term ‘acidification’ of course sounds more scary than talking about the oceans becoming slightly less basic or a little more neutral.

To put this into perspective, the pH of seawater is, on average, around pH 8.2. Pure water is pH 7.0, and clean rainwater is pH 5.6. What is more, seawater is a highly buffered solution – it can take up a huge amount of dissolved inorganic carbon without significant effect on pH. There is not the slightest possibility that the oceans could approach the neutral pH of pure water even if all the fossil fuel reserves in the world were burned, so all talk of ‘acid’ oceans is utter nonsense. What sort of change are we talking about? Possibly a change of pH of 0.2 units this century, say from 8.2 to 8.0. That would mean by definition that the concentration of the ‘acidic’ H+ ions would still be no more than 10% of their concentration in pure water.

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Ocean Acidification Scam

cid_image002

The evidence is inexorably mounting that the climate alarmists have been taking us all for a ride. It is only be a matter of time before their agenda is exposed as one of the biggest con tricks of all time. Thus they are already scrambling to breathe new life into the CO2 emissions scare. It will become obvious (by the passage of years if nothing else) that increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does not, after all, cause any significant climate change, thus it will be necessary to blame CO2 (and hence man) for some other catastrophic event. So, prepare yourself for the coming “ocean acidification” scam.

The media have already entered the fray with lying narratives that sound like science fiction scripts, warning about the catastrophe of ‘acid oceans’ and ‘toxic seas’. The BBC have churned out headlines such as ‘Marine life faces ‘acid threat”, ‘Acid oceans ‘need urgent action” and ‘Acidic seas fuel extinction fears’. Newspapers such as the Daily Telegraph and the Times have got in on the act with scary headlines such as ‘Mussels face extinction as oceans turn acidic’, ‘Pollution to devastate shellfish by turning seas acidic’ and ‘Acid seas threaten to make British shellfish extinct’. Just recently, it has got all the more strident: the Sunday Times (March 8, 2009) chimes in under the headline The toxic sea:

Each one of us dumps a tonne of carbon dioxide into the oceans every year, turning them into acidified soups — and threatening to destroy most of what lives in them.

And from the Guardian (March 10, 2009) under the headline Carbon emissions creating acidic oceans not seen since dinosaurs:

Human pollution is turning the seas into acid so quickly that the coming decades will recreate conditions not seen on Earth since the time of the dinosaurs…The rapid acidification is caused by the massive amounts of carbon belched out from chimneys and exhausts that dissolve in the ocean…the pH of surface waters, where the CO2 is absorbed from the atmosphere, has fallen about 0.1 units since the industrial revolution, though it will take longer for the acid to reach deeper water.

Note the continual use of the word acid. Yet there is not the slightest possibility that seawater will turn to acid, or even become mildly acidic, so this is drivel. Note also the claim that pH has changed by 0.1 units over the last 200 years: it was not possible a hundred years ago, never mind 200 years ago, to measure pH to the accuracy necessary to support that assertion, so it’s just posturing. Finally, notice that CO2 is branded ‘human pollution’, though CO2 is an entirely natural and absolutely essential nutrient for plant photosynthesis, without which all life on earth would certainly become extinct very quickly.

As an aside, we should note that if lower alkalinity per se were so unfavourable to shellfish as is claimed then we would have no freshwater shellfish and snails – but we do. The freshwater mussel has lived for thousands of years in waters that are genuinely acidic and with highly variable pH, not only seasonally, but geographically. With spring snowmelt and high rainfall, the pH of rivers and lakes can fall to below pH 5, and experiments have shown that mussels can survive this acidity indefinitely without any deleterious effects to their shells. Note: a pH of 5 has 1,000 times as many ‘acidic’ H+ ions per litre as seawater, and 100 times more than pure water. This is not to say that sea creatures can survive in fresh water – they are adapted to a radically different saline environment – the point at issue is that the idea of a small change in ocean pH due to increased dissolved carbon dioxide having a deleterious effect on marine shells of living organisms is not as obvious as the alarmists make out.

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Atheist Mythology

Every belief system has an account of origins, and atheism is no exception. Narratives for atheists include the Big Bang (origin of the universe) and evolution (origin of variety and complexity of living organisms). Instead of man being formed out of the dust of the ground by God, man is formed out of the dust of the ground by evolution. It never ceases to amaze how those who espouse naturalism can poke fun at the Biblical account of origins, and yet be unable to see the ridiculous nature of their own position.

One who has studied a great deal about mythology is Raphael Madu. In his work African Symbols, Proverbs, and Myths: the Hermeneutics of Destiny he refers to earlier work by Earl MacCormac in Metaphor and Myth in Science and Religion, and Madu points out (footnote, page 96):

Because men have traditionally assumed a dichotomy between myth and science, it might be shocking to talk of scientific myths… Scientific explanations are known for being falsifiable and thus temporary, but to forget these qualities of science and assume that they are absolute and final, is to create a myth. The dissimilarity between religious and scientific myths is largely on the level of content. While the former are replete with descriptions of legendary heroes and deities, the latter are filled with mathematical symbols and references.

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Christianity and Science

It is commonly believed that there is a war between modern science and Christianity, but such a view has long been discredited by historians and sociologists. No less a figure than Steven Shapin, Franklin L. Ford Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University, notes that

In the late Victorian period it was common to write about the “warfare between science and religion” and to presume that the two bodies of culture must always have been in conflict. However, it is a very long time since these attitudes have been held by historians of science.

Moreover, Gary Ferngren, a professor of history at Oregon State University, adds that

Although popular images of controversy continue to exemplify the supposed hostility of Christianity to new scientific theories, studies have shown that Christianity has often nurtured and encouraged scientific endeavour.

It is certain that there is a war between Christianity and atheism, but to portray the Christian faith as being at war with science is nonsense, because the Christian faith pursues, embraces and delights in all truth, since it teaches that all truth is from God. Natural science is simply one aspect of the universe of truth: the truth about the natural world, which God created and upholds. Accordingly, there can never be any truth or fact found by natural science that is inimical to the Christian faith. Neither is there, strictly speaking, such a thing as ‘Christian science’ because such a term implies that truth can be institutionalized, whereas truth is universal, and should be universally disseminated and applied.

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Arabic Myths

It was once mistakenly thought that the Arabs invented ‘Arabic’ numerals, including the number ‘0’ (zero), a great improvement over Roman numerals for algebra, another supposed Arabic invention. That’s complete nonsense. For example, Cajori’s A History of Mathematics (Fifth edition, 1991) informs us:

The grandest achievement of the Hindus, and the one which, of all mathematical inventions, has contributed most to the progress of intelligence, is the perfecting of the so-called “Arabic Notation.” That this notation did not originate with the Arabs is now admitted by everyone.

What we call ‘Arabic’ numerals are not the characters that appear in Arabic script. Even the Arabs themselves don’t call these signs Arabic numerals but Western numerals, or Hindu numerals, which was their actual source around 200 BC. By the fifth century AD the Indians were using decimal notation and had developed the use of zero from an earlier concept of it in Babylonian mathematics.

Through the writings of Gerbert D’Aurillac (c.946-1003) these numerals became known in Western ‘Latin’ Europe. In 1202, the mathematician Fibonacci in his Liber Abaci [The Book of the Abacus] describes the notation and calculation method that he learned from his youth thus:

…following my introduction…to the nine digits of the Hindus, the knowledge of the art very much appealed to me before all others…Therefore, embracing more stringently that method of the Hindus [Modus Indorum], and taking stricter pains in its study…I have striven to compose this book. The nine Indian figures are: 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. With these nine figures, and with the sign 0… any number may be written…

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Islam and Science

Scholars always have to come up with some new thing, and currently in vogue is the alleged contribution of Islam to modern science. This myth is based on a historical prejudice against the western Middle Ages (a very old term, originally coined as a term of deprecation) and the so-called ‘Dark Ages’, in order to introduce such terms as Renaissance (from the moribund or dead) and Enlightenment (from the benighted and dark). The use of such value-laden terms is part of the propaganda, or ‘narrative’, as the Postmodernists would have it, but having written off the period from AD 500 to 1500 as one of profound darkness and ignorance, it is embarrassing and inconvenient for historians to find increasing evidence that there were significant scientific and technological advances in Christendom during this period. For those who wish to keep up the pretence of the narrative, it has become necessary to invent an external agent as the source of learning, and as Islam arose during this period it is easiest and most convenient to hitch the wagon to that.

That, however, is a perversion of history. It is true that there was development of astronomy, medicine, mathematics and chemistry in the so-called Golden Age of Islam (another loaded descriptor); the question is, what had these to do with Islam, and what did Islam do with such disciplines? The answer is that they had practically nothing to do with Islam, and Islam ultimately destroyed them. The rise and fall of ‘Islamic science’ is closely mirrored by the rise of ‘atheistic science’ in our own day. Atheistic materialism has done a smash-and-grab raid on everything nurtured on Christian foundations, and claims to be the only ‘real’ science, yet is in the process of destroying science, as did Islam. Neither atheism nor Islam have a satisfactory philosophical basis for science, and they develop authority structures against ‘heterodox’ thinkers and practitioners. How Islam destroyed science will be dealt with in a future post.

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All who hate Me love Death

SaveThePlanet

 

President-Elect Obama, having nominated his team of scientific advisers, declared

Because the truth is that promoting science isn’t just about providing resources – it’s about protecting free and open inquiry. It’s about ensuring that facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology. It’s about listening to what our scientists have to say, even when it’s inconvenient – especially when it’s inconvenient. Because the highest purpose of science is the search for knowledge, truth and a greater understanding of the world around us. That will be my goal as President of the United States – and I could not have a better team to guide me in this work.

That sounds great, but so do the words “Hail, master” by which, with a kiss, Judas betrayed Jesus into the hands of murderers. When you are a hardened and cynical politician, the smart move is to state your intentions as the exact opposite of what you’re planning in order to pleasantly surprise and disarm your opponent and put him off guard before you stick the knife in. For all the fancy talk, Obama’s choice amply demonstrates that he was dissembling even as he uttered the words because he nominated team members who are highly prominent in the politicization of science, and who have clearly been chosen because of the political views they hold, rather than the science they can do. Obama has chosen fanatics who will tell him what he craves to hear, rather than what he needs to hear, and if that is “protecting free and open enquiry” where “facts and evidence are never twisted or obscured by politics or ideology” then I’ll eat my hat.

Continue reading ‘All who hate Me love Death’

Greenhouse Nonsense

Last month the Royal Society of Chemistry issued a press release, Downing Street petition demands reversal of catastrophic decline in school science exam standards, about the ‘dumbing down’ of school science exams in the UK:

Armed with the first hard evidence of a catastrophic slippage in school science examinations standards, the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) has launched a Downing Street e-petition calling for urgent intervention to halt the slide.

The RSC report, also being supplied to industrialists and educationalists, raises major concerns over the disappearance from schools science examinations of vital problem-solving, critical thinking and mathematical manipulation.

However, the RSC is hardly free of blame itself. In this post we will demonstrate how the RSC is contributing to muddle-headedness in teaching. For the background, I’m grateful to a friend who works as a lab technician in an English school who brought to my attention that the RSC promotes an experiment in classrooms about the role of CO2 in ‘global warming’; details can be downloaded from the RSC website. Now, it’s one thing to jump on the global warming bandwagon to try to be ‘relevant’ and trendy; it’s quite another to be a party to promoting disinformation and claptrap about physics. The exercise in question relates to the English National Curriculum. Briefly, the trial compares the increase in temperature of a transparent plastic bottle filled with 100% CO2 and illuminated by a heat lamp, with a control bottle filled with atmospheric air under a similar lamp. As the bottle filled with CO2 is seen to warm faster than the control bottle filled with air, the inference to be drawn is that CO2 is contributing to global warming.

Now this is dumbed down science if ever we saw it, and the test is accompanied by teachers’ notes that contain falsehoods about the physics, which the teacher is encouraged to pass on to the class.

Continue reading ‘Greenhouse Nonsense’

Phoney War

The premise that science and Christianity are in conflict is without foundation. Many atheists have a vested interest in promulgating the idea, to the extent that it has become a myth. As with all propaganda, if a falsehood is repeated long enough and often enough it erodes and eventually supplants the truth.

Vocabulary is very useful in propaganda. At school I was correctly taught that the period known as the ‘Dark Ages’ is called thus by historians because there are few extant writings from that period – its history is dark and obscure for us. This is the view of sensible historians, but unscrupulous popularizers, and those with particular axes to grind, would prefer to put it the other way around, that the ages were ‘dark’ because the populace were superstitious and unlearned. By pushing this line, it becomes easier to get acceptance of the word ‘Enlightenment’ to describe the so-called Age of Reason in the eighteenth century, as if light came in and dispelled darkness when ‘reason’ was elevated to the highest authority, displacing divine revelation. But, of course, this ushered in unitarianism, deism, and eventually atheism, which, from a Christian worldview, were wandering in ever-increasing darkness, the blind leading the blind so that both are now fallen in the ditch.

Edward Gibbon, described by the historian Franco Venturi as “The English Giant of the Enlightenment” makes a good examplar of a prejudiced historian in his famous and highly influential work in 6 volumes (1776-88) The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Not only does Gibbon excoriate Christianity for its enfeebling effect on a virile civilization (a theme recapitulated with a good deal less learning and erudition in the nineteenth century by the philosopher and God-hater, Nietzsche) and for supplanting “the great culture that preceded it”, but he also describes the Middle Ages as “the triumph of barbarism”, which is an utter travesty. Gibbon ignorantly writes off the Roman Empire that continued in Byzantium for a thousand years after the western part of the empire was overrun in the fifth century as “a tedious and uniform tale of weakness and misery” which bequeathed nothing to posterity, and his definition that “wars, and the administration of public affairs, are the principal subjects of history” is excessively narrow. To Gibbon’s credit, he did immense research on primary sources, but this simply makes his end product the more blameworthy. As J.C. Stobart pointed out

…this is one of the cases which prove that History is made not so much by heroes or natural forces as by historians.

Continue reading ‘Phoney War’

Sea Level Scam

Mohammed Nashed, the new president of that string of low-lying islands in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives, has declared that he is setting up a sovereign wealth fund in order to purchase a new homeland for the inhabitants in the event of sea level rise caused by man-made ‘global warming’. This will come from a tax on the billions of dollars of tourism that the country enjoys – a ‘climate change levy’ that tourists will be glad to pay for, to atone for having contributed to ‘global warming’ by flying to get there. This is keying into the spin and guilt-manipulation that politicians try to engender in us. Other islands, such as Tuvalu, are seeking compensation directly from governments of the developed world for causing ‘global warming’.

The BBC is in the vanguard of the propaganda machine and guilt manipulation. Consider the following by Nick Bryant, BBC correspondent in the Maldives, under the emotive title Maldives: Paradise soon to be lost

To visit the Maldives is to witness the slow death of a nation. For as well as being blessed with sun-kissed paradise islands and pale, white sands, this tourist haven is cursed with mounting evidence of an environmental catastrophe. To the naked eye, the signs of climate change are almost imperceptible, but government scientists fear the sea level is rising up to 0.9cm a year. Since 80% of its 1,200 islands are no more than 1m above sea level, within 100 years the Maldives could become uninhabitable. The country’s 360,000 citizens would be forced to evacuate. The Maldives’ survival as a sovereign nation is truly at stake…The Maldives can exert moral pressure and press its strong scientific case. But not much more. So come here fast, before it disappears. This is a paradise faced with extinction.

With a plug like that, we wonder whether Bryant is on a retainer from the Maldives Tourism Promotion Board. But let’s deconstruct this a little. Firstly to be a witness to a death, the subject has actually to be dying. As a matter of fact, the Maldives have never been healthier, but, more to the point, the symptoms of this fake death are, as is admitted, ‘imperceptible’. So BBC journalists can now be false witnesses to events that are not taking place, and which are actually imperceptible. Incredible!

Continue reading ‘Sea Level Scam’

Encircling Gloom around Science

Aristotle (384-322 BC) was undoubtedly a genius, but continual feeding off his ideas beyond their ‘sell-by date’ ultimately impeded the development of modern science. The problem was that his works were held in such high esteem that they became an almost unshakeable orthodoxy, defended and imposed by authority. We find that those natural philosophers who stood against authoritarianism before the Reformation were the ones most likely to be making progress in the sciences – but they had to keep their heads down (we will make mention of some of them in future posts). From the Reformation onwards, Protestantism’s rejection of the authority of the Roman church, which had espoused Aristotelianism in the natural sciences, and which, by Aquinas, had infused Aristotelianism into its theology, liberated men to follow where the evidence led them – both in the natural sciences and theology.

Today the scientific world has more or less entrenched itself back into the mode of the bad old days. Those who have the power now exert it to defend the ‘orthodoxy’, to suppress evidence that undermines the orthodoxy, and to punish ‘heretics’ who dare to question the prevailing orthodoxy. The methods used include ridicule and ostracism, of course, and extend to refusal of access to the media, dismissal from post, and denial of resources (monetary and equipment). One can pretty much marginalize a scientist out of existence by dismissing him from his job and denying him the means to function, and the opportunity to publish his results. If anyone denies this is going on, just send a comment to this post, and examples will flow by the dozen.

To exemplify how far modern science has fallen from the reason that gave birth to it and succoured it, one need only go back to before the 1930s. In the late 1920s, science took a false turn and lost its way (as will be demonstrated in future posts), from which it is now racing headlong into an abyss. But until the late 1920s the following, delivered in a public lecture in 1926, was mainstream belief by men of science:

If anyone is able to contemplate the universe in all its magnificence and interlocked beauty and variety, and come to the conclusion that nothing higher than mankind exists in it, I cannot envy him his common sense. The universe is shoutingly full of design, plan, intention, purpose, reason, and what has been called Logos. Without it was not anything made that was made. Not only the heavens, but the earth; not only the flowers, mountains, sunsets, but every pebble, every grain of dust, the beautiful structure of every atom, proclaim the glory of the Being who planned and understands it all.

So spoke the physicist Sir Oliver Lodge, FRS (1851-1940), who closed out his days at the time that science was entering a darkening gloom. Lodge was the pioneer of radio (he was the first to demonstrate sending a message by radio, at Oxford in 1894) and had been awarded the Rumford Medal of the Royal Society in 1898 (so in such illustrious company as the devout Christian physicists Faraday, Maxwell and Stokes etc). He was professor of mathematics and physics at University College, Liverpool, and first principal of the new Birmingham University.

Continue reading ‘Encircling Gloom around Science’

Foundations of Modern Science

In this and future posts we will show that the rise of modern science was entirely reliant on Christian theology. That modern science arose in Western Europe at the zenith of its Christian influence is incontrovertible; but this correlation is insufficient in itself to imply a causal relation (that’s the correlation fallacy highlighted in former posts). We note that wherever flickerings of science have appeared elsewhere (e.g. in Muslim, Chinese, Indian, ancient Greek and Persian cultures) they have never got any traction in the long term, and it was only in Christian societies that science took root and flourished. But this observation, though adding circumstantial evidence, doesn’t get to the heart of why Christian theology is so important for science. In this post we will touch on some of the reasons why Christian theology was necessary for modern science. Future posts will deal with the failure of other religions and worldviews (including atheism) to give birth to or sustain science, and why such worldviews ultimately destroy true science.

Modern atheistic science is arrogant that it alone holds the key to real scientific endeavour. We must realize that, in the scale of things, atheists have only been taken seriously in science for less than a century. But that’s long enough to see the fruits of their destruction of science, which they merely snatched from Christianity and could never have developed themselves. To give a historical corollary, Islam also stole the clothes of the more advanced civilizations it subjugated, and some sort of science guttered within Islam for some centuries before they burned it out. Likewise, atheism will extinguish real science, and it will need to be recovered one day from the smouldering ruins by bold Christian scholars.

Rodney Stark, Professor of the Social Sciences, and former Professor of Sociology and Comparative Religion, reminds us that

…the claim of an inevitable and bitter warfare between religion and science has, for more than three centuries, been the primary polemical device used in the atheist attack on faith. From Thomas Hobbes through Carl Sagan and Richard Dawkins, false claims about religion and science have been used as weapons in the battle to “free” the human mind from the “fetters of faith”…

Stark agues that

…there is no inherent conflict between religion and science, but…Christian theology was essential for the rise of science…[T]he leading figures in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries overwhelmingly were devout Christians who believed it their duty to comprehend God’s handiwork. [italics original]

Turning to an assessment of the so-called Enlightenment, Stark notes that it was

…conceived initially as a propaganda ploy by militant atheists and humanists who attempted to claim credit for the rise of science. The falsehood that science required the defeat of religion was proclaimed by such self-appointed cheerleaders as Voltaire, Diderot, and Gibbon, who themselves played no part in the scientific enterprise – a pattern that continues.

Continue reading ‘Foundations of Modern Science’

Alchemy and science

Last night the BBC ran a news item that stated that scientists had ‘proved’ that warming in the polar regions was due to man. Well, considering that scientists have not yet proved anthropogenic global warming to be real, this would prove to be a very interesting find indeed. The findings are published in Nature Geoscience as a letter, Attribution of polar warming to human influence.

Today, the news media are saturated with the hype, from which one would think that something really significant had been discovered. I found over 150 news articles being run from all over the world.

New study another ‘nail’ in debate over warming
Done. Proven. Humans are making the Arctic and Antarctica warm up. Case closed, says an influential group of climate scientists. – Ottawa Citizen

Climate change at the poles IS man-made
Scientists refute sceptics by proving that human activity has left its mark on the Arctic and Antarctic. – The Independent

‘Mankind is responsible for the warming up of the Antarctic, not just mother nature’ scientists say
The first hard evidence that mankind is responsible for the heating up of the Antarctic has been uncovered by Met office scientists. – Daily Mail

It’s Official: People Are Warming the Poles
The verdict is in. Warming near the poles is caused by human activity, according to new research. – Discovery Channel

Man is to blame for Antarctic temperature rise
Scientists say they now have conclusive proof that warming is due to man’s influence mainly through greenhouse gases and ozone depletion. – Daily Telegraph

Humans to blame for polar warming
Evidence has emerged that human activity, not natural phenomena, is directly responsible for heating up the polar ice caps. – New Scientist

Scientific proof that humans are causing polar warming
A new research has provided conclusive proof that human activity is responsible for significant warming in both polar regions. – Indian Express

Humans Guilty Of Melting Ice Caps
It’s official – humans are to blame for melting the ice caps as natural forces are not powerful enough to do it alone, a new experiment has revealed. – Sky News

So what is this amazing ‘conclusive proof’ from this ‘new experiment’? We find that there is no genuine evidence or proof at all. Quite simply, a computer model has had various ‘forcings’ tweaked – certain input variables adjusted – and when selected variabilities of a selected set of natural variations (e.g. in the sun and volcanoes) were entered, the output did not match the observed temperature, but when selected agents such as carbon dioxide, ozone and sulphate aerosols were added at selected amounts (all variations claimed to be due to man – but this is itself disputable), the model gave the ‘correct’ results. Well, what do you know! If you construct a model that is insensitive to natural variations and highly sensitive to man-made variations, it’s no surprise that the man-made variations create the most significant effect, and practically any effect can be said to be anthropogenic (man made). The authors declare:

We compare observed temperatures with simulations from four CMIP3-coupled climate models…To objectively test for the presence of an anthropogenic or natural response in observations of polar temperature, we use a detection and attribution analysis to compare simulated and observed changes. Such methods, first developed to detect anthropogenic influence on global temperature, have more recently been used to detect anthropogenic influence on temperature on continental scales.

But this is junk science. No climate model has in the past been anywhere close to predicting (i.e. arguing from causes to effects) what will happen to temperature as the variables are adjusted, so climate models are, to date, proven to be completely useless as models of reality. And analysis methods might very well have been ‘developed to detect anthropogenic influence on global temperature’, but they have spectacularly failed to be of any use in that for which they were developed used in conjunction with computer models. Therefore, arguing backwards via a flawed model and/or analysis from effect to cause is insanity, and any claim based on climate models that a certain observed phenomenon is caused by a certain ‘forcing’ (in this case man-made) is certainly spurious – be sure of it.

Continue reading ‘Alchemy and science’

A Fortunate Mistake

I return to the issue of the history of climate change ‘science’. The article in the October BBC History magazine by Dr Paul Parsons is a mass distortion of history and science. We gave one example in the post Convenient Lies.

One of the authorities underpinning this article is Spencer Weart, Director of the Center for History of Physics of the American Institute of Physics. It looks as though Parsons has cobbled together most of his article from Weart’s book The Discovery of Global Warming. Weart, for his part, has attracted public funding to the tune of $184,177 for studies in the ‘history’ of climate change. One would expect better value for money, because out of such studies emerges a string of scientists with phoney ideas and methods who are now hailed and adopted by the climate alarmists as visionaries because they ‘predicted’ anthropogenic global warming. One such is Guy Stewart Callendar (1898-1964), the steam engineer and amateur meteorologist.

Even the American Meteorological Society have been sucked into this. In 2006 they published The Callendar Effect with the blurb

This is the untold story of the remarkable scientist who established the carbon dioxide theory of climate change. Guy Stewart Callendar discovered that global warming could be brought about by increases in the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide due to human activities, primarily through burning fossil fuels.

But as meteorologists should know, climate warms and cools dramatically quite independently of man’s activities. At the beginning of the nineteenth century the problem was cooling, leading to serious crop failures, riots, and mass migrations, and, in 1816, the famous ‘Year without a Summer’. We are still, in our present day, recovering from these low temperatures, which caused great hardship and famine.

The view from North America in 1818 makes fascinating reading (fuller details at the bottom of the post):

But what may be considered as coming more home to the present generation is, that on ground where the vine once flourished, even the apple has of late years scarcely ripened. It is now sixteen years since the orchards have afforded a plentiful crop.
We are not however, it seems, alone; for in all the northern parts of our hemisphere the mean annual temperature is on the decline: and…in mountainous parts of Europe the accumulation of ice and snow is very sensibly increasing… From America, too, we learn, that, in consequence of the coldness of the seasons, Indian corn will no longer ripen in New England, and that the farmers have consequently taken to the cultivation of wheat, which has succeeded so well as to render it likely to supersede maize.

Continue reading ‘A Fortunate Mistake’

Global Warning – by Václav Klaus

Yes, Warning. Václav Klaus is president (now in his second term) and former prime minister of the Czech Republic. Born in 1941, he grew up under communist totalitarianism, and well knows the methods used to curtail liberty and freedom of speech. He has written over 20 books, including one on the dangers of ‘environmentalism’, Blue Planet in Green Shackles.

In this long post we let Klaus speak for himself with extracts from the speeches he has given, including at climate change conferences, where he sounds the warning about environmentalism, the new eco-religion. Klaus is one of the few heads of state courageous enough to blow the whistle openly on the environmentalist ideology. He says

I am frustrated by the fact that many people, including some leading politicians who privately express similar views to my own, are publicly silent.

As an economist, he knows the huge danger that this ideology will bring to our economies. It is interesting to note that until a few years ago, whenever the G7 or G8 heads of state met there were huge protests by anarchists, Marxists, and anti-capitalists, who wanted the destruction of our society. Now that mainstream politicians have adopted their agenda, there is no need any more for the protests, because environmentalism will achieve their objectives of wrecking our economies.

Klaus warns

Environmentalism as a metaphysical ideology and as a worldview has absolutely nothing to do with natural sciences or the climate itself. Unfortunately, it has nothing to do with social sciences either.

Environmentalism, not preservation of nature (and of environment), is a leftist ideology…Environmentalism is indeed a vehicle for bringing us socialist government at the global level. Again, my life in communism makes me oversensitive in this respect.

Environmentalism is a movement that intends to change the world radically regardless of the consequences (at the cost of human lives and severe restrictions on individual freedom). It intends to change humankind, human behavior, the structure of society, the system of values — simply everything.

Environmentalism has become a quasi-religion…It is an ideology that shares much in common with Marxism. Climate change is the new recruiting strategy for the anti-capitalist, socialist, communist army. They are both monolithic belief systems designed to suppress human freedom…Propaganda on the false impact of global warming is now being taught by so-called environmentalists to high school students — just as virtues and correct thinking was taught under communism decades ago.

They invoke the image of apocalyptic imminent danger in order to trigger the need in others to have a saviour — a messiah…The constraints of political correctness are tougher than ever. They are being enforced and only one permitted truth is — yet again — imposed on us. Everything else is being denounced.

Continue reading ‘Global Warning – by Václav Klaus’

The Tyranny of the Scientific Consensus

Professor Paul Reiter, in his submission to the House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs, declared

In the age of information, popular knowledge of scientific issues – particularly issues of health and environment – is awash in a tide of misinformation, much of it presented in the “big talk” of professional scientists. Alarmist activists operating in well-funded advocacy groups have a lead role in creating this misinformation. In many cases, they manipulate public perceptions with emotive and fiercely judgmental “scientific” pronouncements, adding a tone of danger and urgency to attract media coverage. Their skill in promoting notions of scientific “fact” sidesteps the complexities of the issues involved, and is a potent influence in education, public opinion and the political process.

In his testimony to the United States Senate he stated

A galling aspect of the debate is that this spurious ‘science’ is endorsed in the public forum by influential panels of ‘experts.’ I refer particularly to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)… [which] publishes a ‘consensus of the world’s top scientists’ on all aspects of climate change…such consensus is the stuff of politics, not of science…A public that is unaware of this is vulnerable to abuse.

The so-called ‘scientific consensus’ is being used to ram through huge measures of political control. We are told that there is a scientific consensus on this or that, when there is no consensus at all. To question the consensus, or whether such a consensus exists, is to be a ‘denier’ or a modern-day heretic, who must be silenced, or at the very least humiliated. Scientists who challenge the ‘consensus’ are being increasingly marginalized, especially in areas where the big money is flowing to support a particular political line – for example, in the climate change area. Those who present evidence contrary to the so-called consensus are called ‘traitors’ ,

…and we need to start treating them like traitors

says Robert F. Kennedy Jr, so there are calls for them to be tried for treason, ‘crimes against humanity’ and genocide. As The Daily Telegraph reported last month of James Hanson, director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies:

Hansen has been for 20 years the world’s leading scientific advocate of global warming (and Al Gore’s closest ally). But in the past year a number of expert US scientists have been conducting a public investigation, through scientific blogs, which raises large question marks over the methods used to arrive at his figures…

Hansen himself is notoriously impatient of any criticism of his methods: earlier this month he appealed to Congress that the leaders of those who question global warming should be put on trial.

Continue reading ‘The Tyranny of the Scientific Consensus’

Carbon Capture

Beware the Miliband brothers. Both are ministers of state in the British government. David Miliband, Foreign Secretary, and formerly Secretary of State for the Environment, stated that ‘climate change’ is a greater threat than terrorism, and that those who deny that man is causing climate change should be denied free speech.

People say there should be a debate about global warming. But I tell you the debate is over; the reckoning has begun…and those who deny it are the flat-earthers of the 21st century.

When we hear that, we know that the issue is no longer one of honest scientific endeavour – it is one of totalitarian control. The Milibands will have been well versed in totalitarian principles, treachery and lies – their father was a notorious Marxist and professor of politics, buried close to Karl Marx in Highgate cemetery, and their grandfather served in the Soviet Red army, a traitor who joined the invading force against his native country, Poland. They both lied to UK immigration officers. A Home Office report of March 8, 1949 states

Miliband, father and son, have so misrepresented the case…we can place no reliance on their statements.

David Miliband’s brother, Ed Miliband, has been granted the ridiculous-sounding portfolio of Energy and Climate Change, and yesterday he legally bound the UK to reduce carbon emissions by 80%. Normally, a government department with a long and cumbersome name is known by its primary business, in this case the Department for Energy, but it has been noticeable that the BBC, an agent very much in the vanguard of promoting liberal political agendas and pseudo-science, has been referring to the government department as the ‘Department of Climate Change’, to the extent that MPs themselves were referring to the minister in the House of Commons yesterday as the ‘Climate Change Minister’. So complete has been the Carbon Capture of our society.

Yesterday, at a meeting of European leaders, when the financial crisis is the worst it has been since the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the ‘Climate Change’ minister committed the government to a highly deleterious policy. In the scale of things, the financial meltdown is only just a little transient difficulty, you see, and politicians must not lose sight of the real issue – climate change. Since the financial ‘fix’ does not seem to be working (which currently affects real lives, real jobs, real property, in real time – not mere hypotheticals), the state postures to appear messianic by making a bold gesture to ‘save the planet’, which will, in fact, make everyone’s lives a great deal worse in the short, medium and long term, and set back the prospects of economic recovery.

Continue reading ‘Carbon Capture’

God cast out

The eminent chemist, Peter Atkins, Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford, Senior Member of the Oxford Secular Society, Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society and outspoken atheist, has the following to say about science and religion,

Religion, it’s just fantasy, basically…and is evil as well.

But Atkins demonstrates that he himself is the fantasist (or else ‘ignorant, stupid or insane’, to use the language of Richard Dawkins against those who do not share his beliefs) by making the laughable declaration:

…there is no reason to suppose that science cannot deal with every aspect of existence

According to Atkins

You clearly can be a scientist and have religious beliefs. But I don’t think you can be a real scientist in the deepest sense of the word…

So what are you then: an unreal scientist, a fake scientist, an imaginary scientist? And an evil fantasist to boot?

Thus, according to Atkins, in the subset of scientists who are ‘real scientists’, none can be theists. Only atheist scientists, like Atkins, are “beacons of rationality, and intellectually honest”. That excludes Robert Boyle, the ‘father of chemistry’ – that discipline of which Atkins is a practitioner – Newton, Hooke, Franklin, Priestley, Dalton, Faraday, Maxwell, Thomson and Einstein, to name a few. Well, if these folk were not real scientists, one should be very happy to be not a real scientist, as it’s very good company to be in.


Robert Merton (Social Theory and Social Structure, 1949) determined that a majority of the founder members of the Royal Society were distinctively Puritan. Certainly, a considerable number of them were Calvinists. It was very largely the Calvinist constituency who brushed away the dead hand of the pagan Aristotle, and gave birth to modern science. They developed the necessary motivation and the methodology, logical and experimental. Modern science would never have got any traction without the Calvinists, and today’s scientists are simply building on the foundations and superstructure that they have inherited from the Christian worldview. Atheist scientists have to sit on God’s lap to be able to reach up to slap him in the face.

Continue reading ‘God cast out’

Why science in Britain is in decline

To read the rantings of fellows of the Royal Society recently, one would certainly think that the institution has been taken over by fools and bigots.

Well, it has. It is no wonder that interest in science is declining rapidly, and that physics and chemistry departments at universities are being wound up – who wants to be in a ship of fools? The issue over Professor Michael Reiss (see the post ‘Disgrace at the Royal Society’) brings the matter into sharp focus. Reiss was not teaching that creationism be taught in the schools (he is an evolutionist), but that if the subject of creation is raised by a student, the teacher should engage the student and bring scientific principles to bear on the matter. One way to put pupils off science forever is to tell them to shut up and sit down if they so much as utter the C-word in class. Richard Dawkins would have them humiliated. Ring any bells? Animal Farm? That student, and many other observers in the class, will likely be lost to science forever, for asking a genuine question.

Let’s make ourselves clear. Reiss wasn’t suggesting that creationism be put on the science syllabus, he was merely suggesting that there are benefits in discussing the topic if a student raises the matter, and the fellows of the Royal Society know that’s the case. Thus Sir Richard Roberts, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize for Medicine:

I think it outrageous that this man is suggesting that creationism should be discussed in a science classroom. It is an incredible idea and I am drafting a letter to other Nobel laureates – which would be sent to the Royal Society – to ask that Reiss be made to stand down.

Well, with friends like this, who needs enemies?

Sir Harry Kroto, winner of the 1996 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, is even more forthright. He argued that Reiss didn’t have the intellectual integrity to teach science because he believed in God. What a daft assertion: there would be no Royal Society, and there would be precious little ‘modern science’, without the Christian worldview. It was Christianity that gave the motivation (the glory of God) and the theological framework (that God is rational, so his creation can be searched rationally; and that time/history is linear, not cyclical) for modern science. I will be dealing with this in some later posts. With atheistic science, the motivation is money, prestige and power (especially power – that involves keeping others out), and the framework is borrowed (without credit) and secularized for convenience. TRUE science turns to dust in the hands of atheists.

Continue reading ‘Why science in Britain is in decline’

Convenient Lies

In true Orwellian fashion, Al Gore’s award-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth is about as close to truth as was Pravda (Russian=truth) under the communist USSR. The documentary is in fact a concatenation of very convenient lies. It is a propaganda piece of historic proportions. In October 2007, the British government was sued in the High Court for encouraging its dissemination and showing in schools. The judge directed that had the government not given an undertaking to the court to put out a guidance note pointing out the manifest errors in the film, the judge would have ruled the government’s action to be a contravention of the law prohibiting the political indoctrination of children.

The BBC, though, is not bound by such a ruling and continues to pump out the untruths that have been so thoroughly discredited. Now climate change propaganda has found its way into history articles. Not content with governments and the media disseminating propaganda to manipulate and control the future, we have to suffer the distortion of the past as well. In this month’s BBC History magazine there is an article about ‘the scientists who predicted climate change’. This is a very topical issue, and could have been a very interesting article had it not come off the rails and become a train wreck in the first few lines.

Continue reading ‘Convenient Lies’

Large Hadron Collider or Loada Hypothetical Codswallop?

Due to a fault, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at Geneva is out of action for some months. The problem was a magnet quench, or more precisely the magnet quench was a result of some deeper underlying problem. A small energy perturbation can cause a tiny region in the field coils to stop superconducting, then the heat generated from ohmic losses due to the very large currents flowing causes massive local heating which, like an avalanche effect, very quickly heats the whole field coil out of the superconducting state. This almost instantly boils off hundreds of kilogrammes of liquid helium. These things occasionally happen with large superconducting magnets, for example in MRI scanners used in hospitals, and they are both expensive in the cost of replacing the helium, and in the downtime associated with getting things up and running again.

So much for this expensive, but fairly trivial and routine setback. I’m much more concerned about the hype generated by physicists to do with the LHC. Obviously, a lot of exaggeration has been used to secure the tremendous funding for this in the first place – possibly as much as 10 billion US dollars equivalent by the time this monster starts giving interesting results. One wonders whether the BBC are simply relaying CERN press releases, or whether they are being spiced up by an over-zealous science editor.

It goes from the sublime to the ridiculous. From their BBC News website they make the following statement about the collisions experiments by the LHC:

Scientists hope it will shed light on fundamental questions in physics.

That’s absolutely fine. Spot on. That’s a statement of fact we can all sign off on. However, the statement

The LHC is built to smash protons together at huge speeds, recreating conditions moments after the Big Bang

is only partially acceptable. Yes, it is built to smash protons together at huge speeds (statement of fact). But No, it cannot be stated as a fact that it will recreate conditions moments after the Big Bang – that’s a statement of belief. Do you see the problem? The ‘Big Bang’ is merely one theory about something that happened a very long time ago. As such, the coming into being of the universe is itself one of the fundamental questions in physics. It is begging the question to state that the LHC will re-create conditions that persisted after the Big Bang when the very existence of a Big Bang is an unproven theory. Every age has its pet theory about origins, and this one will probably look very silly in a hundred years time. Continue reading ‘Large Hadron Collider or Loada Hypothetical Codswallop?’

Disgrace at the Royal Society

Last July, I could hardly believe my ears when I heard the President of the Royal Society, Martin Rees, using the logical fallacy petitio principii, a ‘begging the question’ argument. He, with the Royal Society, was trying to gag and censure a television programme that had taken a position against a so-called consensus position on man-made climate change. The regulator, Ofcom, had pretty much rubbished the Royal Society’s objections, it has to be said, and rightly so as they were drivel. Several thoughts went through my mind – how can the President of the Royal Society be so ignorant as to use an illogical argument? But then I thought – maybe he isn’t so ignorant after all, maybe he’s using this as a rhetorical device to bamboozle the hearers, knowing that few in his audience would pick it up. Appalling, either way, and we’re seeing more and more anti-scientific behaviour from this erstwhile paragon of scientific endeavour, the Royal Society.

The latest disgrace to come from that quarter is the forced departure of Michael Reiss, the Royal Society’s Director of Education. The reason? Reiss, a thorough-going evolutionist, had dared to suggest that objections against evolution should be dealt with in the classroom, if the matter was raised by the students themselves. He said

There is much to be said for allowing students to raise any doubts they have – hardly a revolutionary idea in science teaching – and doing one’s best to have a genuine discussion

Worthy though this is, Reiss has been drummed out by pressure and bullying from prominent atheists such as Richard Dawkins. Reiss, you see, also happens to be an ordained minister, so he should not be permitted to sit in the cathedral of atheism, the Royal Society. Continue reading ‘Disgrace at the Royal Society’


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