Oil companies and St Francis

Stating the obvious is sometimes remarkable. 

John Pfahlert, Executive Officer, Petroleum Exploration and Production Association NZ, wrote in the ODT recently that "... despite the known impacts of climate change, demand for fossil fuels continues to rise elsewhere in the world.

The challenges are therefore immense, but rather than blame the suppliers of fossil fuels for the problem we need to make choices both as individuals and societies which reduce consumption."

This is a huge admission, given his position, and a call to action. He's right, and not just about the terrifying reality of climate change. He's right that we all need to change our behaviour, at every level - political, business, and personal. (For example, oil companies could use their huge resources to research safe energy sources, and the government could promote shared transport instead of building more roads.)

We can use consumer and voter power to help companies and politicians change behaviour, but it must be also be a lived, personal change.

Therefore, it was also heartening and timely to read Anthony Harris' letter to the ODT, imagining that if St Francis were alive today, he would urgently want to protect this planet's species.

In fact many faith-based communities are doing just that - for example by taking the St Francis Pledge to Care for Creation and the Poor.

We are all involved. All our children's futures are threatened by our current behaviour. It's time we all took responsibility, in everything we do.


Nicky Chapman
Faith communities for climate change


IPCC deserters

Rob Fischer asked me to name some of the many scientists associated with the IPCC assessment reports that have defected.  Below is a list of such scientists that have expressed significant disagreement with the IPCC's Anthropogenic Global Warming policy. I have not included the ones that only disagree with the process of creating the reports. Most of the following are included in this Minority Report of The U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and it is worth reading the summaries of their viewpoints. Number one is my favourite:

1. Yury Izrael (RU): former IPCC Vice President, former WMO Vice President; 2. Prof Richard Lindzen (US): Lead author & reviewer; 3. Chris Landsea (US): author & reviewer; 4. Dr Vincent Gray (NZ): expert reviewer; 4. Dr Timothy F Ball (US): Lead author; 5. Dr Kiminori Itoh (JP): author (AR4); 6. Hajo Smit (NL): Dutch IPCC Committee member; 7. Dr Philip Lloyd (SA): co-ordinating lead author; 8. Dr Tom V Segalstad (NO): expert reviewer; 9. Dr Madhan Khandekar (CA): expert reviewer; 10. Dr Richard Courtney (UK): expert reviewer; 11. Dr John T Everett (US): Lead author & reviewer; 12. Dr David Wojick (US): expert reviewer; 13. Dr Hans H J Labohm (NL): reviewer; 14. Dr Lee C Gerhard (US): reviewer; 15. Dr Robert E Davis (US);  contributor; 16. Dr Patric J Michaels (US): reviewer; 17. Dr Rosa Compagnucci (AR): author; 18. Dipl-Engr Peter Dietz (DE): reviewer; 19. Dr Ross McKitrick (CA): expert reviewer; 20. Prof Paul Reiter (FR): contributor.

As well as these IPCC defectors, there are many other prominent climate scientists who have spoken out about the IPCC's Global Warming Project. Professor Mike Hulme (another IPCC defector) says in a peer reviewed paper that - "Claims such as 2,500 of the world’s leading scientists have reached a consensus that human activities are having a significant influence on the climate are disingenuous.  That particular consensus judgement, as are many others in the IPCC reports, is reached by only a few dozen experts in the specific field of detection and attribution studies; other IPCC authors are experts in other fields.". [Abridged]

Please clarify

"many of them have funding that depends on their commitment to the cause and they should be expected to answer survey questions accordingly." Yes, but if they weren't funded to do climate warming research, they'd be funded to do other research ... or be doing something completely different. You make it sound as if they're helpless dependents drawing a benefit. They are not and never will be dependent on climate change funding.

"Many scientists associated with the IPCC assessment reports have defected and now promote honest science." Name "many" Jimmy, name "many" (and given the number of authors, you should be able to name tens, if not hundreds) or stop making these ridiculous unsubstantiated claims.

Put up or shut up


Enough with the misinformation. I challenge you to a public debate. You know where you can contact me about making the arrangements.

Holy warming

Replying to AJP:
1. The name "Faith communities for climate change" to me indicates potential for confusion. I suggested that they should be clear about what is science and what is faith.
2.  "No global warming for the last decade" is an oldy, but a goody. The last decade might well be the warmest since the Little Ice Age but that doesn't disprove my claim. I am saying that the warming period 1976 to about 1998 has ended. Since then, temperatures have had no significant warming or cooling trend.
3. Yes; people who are certain are often wrong. To me the evidence for the Global Warming Theory is weak; and the evidence against it is good.
4. "The increase in Carbon Dioxide has made no difference": The rules of physics clearly show that CO2 has an influence on temperature, but the theoretical effect of adding more CO2 to our atmosphere is small because the effect is saturated and because water vapour dominates and overrides the influence of CO2 (and Methane). So the theoretical effect is small and the practical effect is zero, or at least negligible compared to the other influences on global temperature. We have heard the saying- correlation doesn't demonstrate a causal link; in this case not only is there no causal link, but there is also no correlation.
5 & 6. Green-Wash: appeasing political sensitivities and loud-mouth activists is now an important part of doing business in New Zealand and the USA.
7. How do you know that 97% of climate research scientists agree with the AGW theory? Whatever the real number is, many of them have funding that depends on their commitment to the cause and they should be expected to answer survey questions accordingly. Many scientists associated with the IPCC assessment reports have defected and now promote honest science.
8. The purpose of the IPCC is to promote the AGW theory through fear and misinformation. This was useful to the UK government in the 1980s and is still useful to the UN now. [Abridged]


Faith-based science confusion

  • Nicky Chapman did not mention "faith-based science" nor confuse the two.
  • "No global warming for the last decade" is an old argument , often repeated by deniers . Repetition doesn't make it true. A simple search brings up multiple hits to reputable sites  with recent reports indicating the last decade has been the warmest .  
  • To say there is no evidence is - at best - willfully ignorant. There is no certainty .. but that is the nature of science.  Nothing in science is ever 100%. That only occurs in politics and religion ;-)
  • "The increase in Carbon Dioxide has made no difference..." How do you come to this conclusion ?  An increase in one of the Earth's green-house gasses without any effect appears to break a few rules of physics. 
  • Why would John Pfahlert, Executive Officer, Petroleum Exploration and Production Association NZ, say
    "... despite the known impacts of climate change... " if there was no evidence ? 
  • Why would the US Military ( largest in the world ) be making plans for adapting to climate change ?
  • Why would 97% of climate research scientists , from all over the world , agree on the facts indicating Anthropogenic Global Climate Warming ?
  • Why would an international panel ( IPCC )  setup by governments worldwide report consistently that warming is occurring and the effects on human society could be disastrous ? 

The risk of doing something and being wrong about global warming is far less that the risk of doing nothing and being right. And the likelihood of being wrong is getting smaller.  In the end though , even if there was no warming , our current western economic model is unsustainable for the world.  Just translating western consumption figures to China can show that. If it doesn't work for China , then it certainly won't work for India or the rest of the developing world. 

No reason to ignore the facts

JJ, you are ignoring the scientific facts about anthropogenic global change.

Antarctica's land-based ice sheets are decreasing while its sea ice is increasing because the Southern Ocean is warming. This article at skepticalscience.com provides an explanation with links to the peer-reviewed scientific literature on the subject. 

As to ocean heat content, recent analysis of the data indicate significant warming of the deeper ocean. Again, skepticalscience.com provides further explanations and links to the peer-reviewed science here
and here.


Faith-based science

Faith-based science isn't real science, it's religion. Nicky Chapman and his Faith communities for climate change should try not to confuse the two. True believers in man-made global warming have so far had to rely on faith because of the lack of any scientific evidence.

For about the last decade the evidence tells us that there has been no significant increases in sea/air surface temperature and ocean heat content. The increase in Carbon Dioxide has made no difference, unless you believe that it caused the falling Antarctic temperatures and the increase in Antarctic sea-ice.

Believe in God if you want; believe in global warming, even, but please keep it to yourself and don't pretend that your belief is based on science.