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Climate Hustle

2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #8B

Posted on 21 February 2015 by John Hartz

A look behind the headlines on China’s coal trends

Armond Cohen at Clean Air Task Force has provided helpful context in the face of recent headlines and a Greenpeace analysis focused on what appears to be the first drop in Chinese coal use in a century.

A Look Behind the Headlines on China’s Coal Trends by Andrew Revkin, Dot Earth, New York Times, Feb 18, 2015

A melting Arctic and weird weather: the plot thickens

Everyone loves to talk about the weather, and this winter Mother Nature has served up a feast to chew on. Few parts of the US have been spared her wrath.

Severe drought and abnormally warm conditions continue in the west, with the first-ever rain-free January in San Francisco; bitter cold hangs tough over the upper Midwest and Northeast; and New England is being buried by a seemingly endless string of snowy nor’easters.

Yes, droughts, cold and snowstorms have happened before, but the persistence of this pattern over North America is starting to raise eyebrows. Is climate change at work here?

A melting Arctic and weird weather: the plot thickens, Dr. Jennifer Francis, The Conversation US Pilot, Feb 18, 2015

California water becomes scarce and energy hungry

In drought-stricken California, ensuring water flows from faucets is nearly as much about energy as it is about the water’s source.

Water needs more than gravity to flow from its sources, often hundreds of miles away. It is pumped through aqueducts and pipelines from mountain sources, reservoirs and the Colorado River, often far from Los Angeles, San Diego, the San Francisco Bay Area and the Central Valley, where most of the water is consumed.

With California in the throes of one of the worst droughts of the past century, researchers say slashing the energy requirements of supplying water to cities and farmers will become critical as long-term droughts become a greater possibility.

That is severe drought’s dirty secret: As surface water sources dry up, groundwater becomes the resource of choice, requiring more electricity to pump it out of the ground than it takes to transport surface water, possibly threatening the state’s renewable energy goals. 

California Water Becomes Scarce and Energy Hungry by Bobby Magill, Climate Central, Feb 18, 2015

Canadian mounties' secret memo casts doubt on climate change threat

The US security establishment views climate change as real and a dangerous threat to national security. But Canada takes a very different view, according to a secret intelligence memo prepared by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)..

The memo, stamped “Canadian eyes only”, repeatedly casts doubt on the causes of climate change – the burning of fossil fuels – and its potential threat.

The 44-page intelligence assessment of Canada’s environmental protest movement was prepared for the government of Stephen Harper, who is expected to roll out new anti-terror legislation.

In the memo, obtained by Greenpeace and seen by the Guardian, the RCMP repeatedly departs from the conclusions of an overwhelming majority of scientists – and the majority of elected leaders in the international arena – that climate change is a growing threat to global security.

Canadian mounties' secret memo casts doubt on climate change threat by Suzanne Goldenberg, Guardian, Feb 18, 2015

Catholics fast for Lent in support of Pope Francis’ call for Climate Action

Today marks Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent for Catholics. The 40-day period leading up to Easter is a time when Catholics fast, and many try to give up something as a way to deepen their faith. This Lenten season, the Global Catholic Climate Movement, which formed in January, officially announced today the Lenten Fast for Climate Justice.

The goal is to “raise awareness on climate change” and to challenge Catholics to confront what Pope Francis has called “a globalization of indifference,” according to the National Catholic Reporter (NCR). “The essential message is reduce our carbon footprint and increase our spiritual footprint,”Jacqui Rémond, director of Catholic Earthcare Australia, told NCR.

So far, Catholics from 44 countries have signed up for the climate justice fast. Global Catholic Climate Movement hopes that the faithful’s unified front on climate will “spur world leaders to work out a binding agreement” to avoid the worst effects of climate change. The organizers are not asking anyone to fast for all 40 days. Instead they are asking each country to fast for one day. In keeping with church tradition, they are asking all Catholics to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Catholics fast for Lent in support of Pope Francis’ call for Climate Action by Cole Mellino, EcoWatch, Feb 18, 2015

Despite frigid conditions in the East, U.S. seeing more record warmth this winter

The U.S. is experiencing one of the most unusual winters in years, with a pronounced and enduring bubble of warm, high pressure over the West, and blast after blast of frigid Arctic air and heavy snow in the eastern two-thirds of the country. The warmth is breaking all-time records, while the cold is rivaling some of the coldest weather in more than two decades.

In fact, the Arctic outbreaks outrank 2014's polar vortex cold waves in terms of severity and duration.

The weather pattern across North America, whose proximate cause is a series of fluctuations in high-altitude jet-stream winds, is leading to some bizarre occurrences. 

Despite frigid conditions in the East, U.S. seeing more record warmth this winter by Andrew Freedman, Mashable, Feb 19, 2015

EU introduces new rules to make cooking greener

The sale of energy wasting ovens and cooking hobs will be banned across the European Union after the latest set of rules to make household appliances more efficient takes effect from Friday.

The European Commission said on Wednesday getting rid of inefficient cooking appliances would cut average consumer energy bills by around 50 euros ($57) per year, while the cumulative savings from the rules across the bloc would run into billions.

The policy, known as ecodesign, chimes with the EU goals of reducing fossil fuel imports and greenhouse gas emissions.

EU introduces new rules to make cooking greener, Reuters, Feb 18, 2015

Fox News has no shame: Easily duped wingnuts spout phony science and climate-change lies

There's a new big lie about global temperatures, and you'll never believe which "news" network is talking it up. 

Fox News has no shame: Easily duped wingnuts spout phony science and climate-change lies by Brad Friedman, Brad's Blog, Feb 18, 2015

Global warming is going to hammer New York: New study reveals a future of heat waves, downpours, rising seas

Climate change is coming to New York City.

In fact, it’s already arrived. That’s the alarming news laid out in a comprehensive new report from the New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC), which unites climate scientists, risk-management specialists and other experts from the academic and public sectors to form a hyper-localized analysis of the specific threats facing New York’s five boroughs.

The New York City area has already undergone major changes, the report finds: temperatures are getting hotter, heavy downpours are becoming more frequent and sea levels are rising. And as in the rest of the world, those changes are forecasted to intensify in the coming decades as climate change worsens. 

Global warming is going to hammer New York: New study reveals a future of heat waves, downpours, rising seas by Lindsay Abrams, Slaon, Feb 18, 2015

Making sense of climate science denial

That climate change is real and that we’re causing it is the conclusion scientists have come to based on the evidence. The very same evidence is what makes scientists also very concerned about what the consequences will be if we continue adding greenhouse gasses to our planet’s atmosphere.

If up to 97% of scientists agree on this why is there so much controversy and debate about climate change? Where does this gap between the public and scientists come from? Are there psychological and social drivers that explain this? How can we get around these effects to increase acceptance of well established science? What kind of role has climate science denial played in influencing public perceptions and attitudes towards climate change?

Important questions that the course Making Sense of Climate Science Denial can answer for you:

Making sense of climate science denial by Collin Maessen, Real Sceptic, Feb 21, 2015 

New hopes that tar sands could be banned from Europe

A landmark directive with the potential to ban tar sands oil from Europe has been reprieved, the Guardian has learned.

The EU’s most senior energy official confirmed that the fuel quality directive (FQD) to encourage greener road fuels will not be scrapped at the end of the decade, as had been thought.

Around 15% of Europe’s carbon emissions come from road transport and ambitious plans for cutting emissions from vehicles are expected to form a significant chunk of the bloc’s ‘Energy Union’ proposals next week.

Asked by the Guardian whether that meant the FQD would continue after 2020, the EU’s vice president for energy union, Maroš Šefčovič, said: “My first reaction is yes. We just have to adjust it to all the lessons learned from biofuels, and all the [other] lessons learned from the previous time.”

New hopes that tar sands could be banned from Europe by Arthur Neslen, Guardian, Feb 19, 2015

Scientist finds remarkable way to connect people emotionally with climate change

If you’re like me, you wonder how we have yet to take the collective action that we need to address climate change. The signs are everywhere, and yet, as a society, we have failed to take meaningful action. Physicist Robert Davies wondered if it was simply that the public didn’t know the science.

Davies tells Joe Palca of NPR’s All Things Considered that he saw the “broad gap between what science understands about climate change and what the public understands” as a simple “problem of science communication.” So, he began giving lectures around the country about “the looming dangers of climate change and what it meant for sustaining life on this planet.”

What he found, though, is the public actually does understand the problem at least on an intellectual level. “But it was still very difficult to connect with,” Davies says. Palca makes the comparison of “lecturing people about the dangers of smoking and then watching them go out afterwards and light up a cigarette.”

Scientist Finds Remarkable Way to Connect People Emotionally with Climate Change by Colin Mello, EcoWatch, Feb 18, 2015

Solar energy’s new best friend is … the Christian Coalition

The politics of solar power keeps getting more and more interesting.

In Indiana, a fight over net metering — basically, whether people with rooftop solar can return their excess power to the grid and thereby lower their utility bills — has drawn out groups ranging from the state chapter of the NAACP to the conservative TUSK (Tell Utilities Solar won’t be Killed) in favor of the practice.

Arrayed on the other side of the issue, meanwhile, are the Indiana Energy Association, a group of utilities, and Republican Rep. Eric Koch, sponsor of a bill that would potentially change how net metering works in the state. The legislation, in its current form, would let utility companies ask the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to include various “tariffs, rates and charges, and credits” for those customers generating their own energy at home.

Solar energy’s new best friend is … the Christian Coalition by Chris Mooney, Energy & Environment, Washington Post, Feb 20, 2015

Unprecedented California sea lion strandings linked to warmer Pacific

The strandings of a record number of sea lion pups along the California coast this year are linked to a puzzling weather pattern that has warmed their Pacific Ocean habitat and likely impacted fish populations they rely on for food, federal scientists said on Wednesday.

Some 940 stranded sea lions, mostly pups, have been treated by marine mammal centers in California so far this year, according to Justin Viezbicke, West Coast Stranding Coordinator for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

That is well above the 240 strandings typically seen through April, and scientists suspect the emaciated pups are prematurely leaving Southern California sea lion rookeries to seek food on their own after their mothers failed to return swiftly from hunting trips to nurse.

Unprecedented California Sea Lion Strandings Linked To Warmer Pacific by Mary Papenfuss, Reuters/Huffington Post, Feb 18, 2015

World's biggest PR firm calls it quits with American oil lobby – reports

The world’s largest public relations firm is ending its lucrative relationship with America’s powerful oil lobby – after more than a decade and at least $327m in billings.

Circumstances of the divorce between Edelman public relations and the American Petroleum Institute (API) were not immediately clear.

Edelman said it would not comment on the report, and there was no immediate response from API.

But ties between the oil lobby and the PR firm ran deep.

World's biggest PR firm calls it quits with American oil lobby – reports by Suzanne Goldenberg, Guardian, Fb 19, 2015

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Comments 1 to 28:

  1. The hyperlink "Global warming is going to hammer New York: New study reveals a future of heat waves, downpours, rising seas" returns a 404 Not Found.

    I believe the hyperlinks should be going to:

    Global warming is going to hammer New York: New study reveals a future of heat waves, downpours, rising seas
    A new report calls for urgent action to boost New York's resiliency
    Lindsay Abrams, Salon, 2015-02-17


    Also, the ad for Free Course/April 2015/Making sense of climate science denial" ends with the line "ENROL NOW!" I believe that should be "enroll".

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    Moderator Response:

    [TD] Apparently there is some sort of world outside the USA.  I don't really know, because I've always lived in the USA.  Anyhoo, the rumor (not "rumour," damnit) is going 'round that in that hypothetical non-USA geography the word often is spelled "enrol" because, well, Eddie Izzard explained it.

     [JH] Links fixed. Thanks for bringing this glitch to our attention.

    [RH] Shortened link.

  2. In the NY Times today is another good one:

    "Deeper Ties to Corporate Cash for Doubtful Climate Researcher"

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    Moderator Response:

    [JH] The article you cite and others like it were posted after I had frinalized the OP.

  3. OPOF @2, very interesting, but for me it raises a question.  The Smithsonian acknowledges that an ethical breach has occurred, with Willi Soon not disclosing the sources of his funding for published papers, as required by the journals in which he published.  They are talking about behind closed doors disciplinary action.  Surely, however, they have a record of Willi Soon's publication history, and of his funding history.  They, therefore, should have been aware of the situation already and taken disciplinary action already before it became a public embarassment for them.  The only way they could not have that record is if the money was paid directly to Soon himself, rather indirectly through the Smithsonian.  Is that the case?  If so, that represents a situation open to obvious abuse  - as seems to have happened.

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  4. John Hartz,

    I understand that the NY Times article was only posted after you posted your summary. I just thought it was a good one to add to this thread.

    Tom Curtis,

    I am sure that full disclosure would expose a collective incestuous corruption of "certain", not all: elected officials, leaders of industry, global financial leaders, creators of misleading or deceptive reports, employers of the creators of such reports, and media that amplify such reports. That full disclosure is unlikely to happen because that group are collectively well aware of how damaging full public awareness would be to "their interests". Hopefully, the growing number of cases of "seems to have happened" will be enough to change the minds of many people who have been giving that group of trouble-makers the benefit of the doubt they do not deserve.

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    Moderator Response:

    [JH] No problem. Today's Weekly Digest will contain a Breaking News section on this matter. 

  5. @ "fox news has no shame"  Interesting read  but relly no surprise.  Owner - Murdoch, enough said.

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  6. Not exactly news, but there's a new video of a Kevin Anderson lecture at Exeter U on how to have a 50% chance of staying below 2 C: 40% emissions reductions by 2018 from the global wealthy, 70% by 2024, over 90% by 2030. (These numbers are at about minute 28.)

    "Delivering on 2 C"

    If you make much more than about $30,000 a year, you are the global wealthy.

    What is your plan?

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    Moderator Response:

    [JH] To whom is your question addressed?

  7. Tom@3,

    Indeed, Willi Soon was the main contrarian author involved in a famous "pal review" scandal at Climate Research between 1997 and 2003 that led to the resignation of five of the journal's editors, including editor-in-chief Hans von Storch.

    It's strange that after such affair, Smithsonian apparently did not look at Soon's connections but let him publish. The only explanation is they did not know what was going on behind "pal review", or they did not want to know, assuming what happened in Climate Research is irrelevant to Soon's reputation as an author - a generous assumption.

    As for your bold speculation that Soon received money rather indirectly through the Smithsonian, wouldn't the FOI request by Greenpeace have revealed that detail?

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  8. chriskoz @7, in an Australian context, I would be astonished if the contract were between the researcher and the funder rather than between the researcher's institution and the funder.  The former arrangement would leave to much opportunity for dubious practises, and for funding for outcomes rather than quality of research - ie, of buying an convenient scientific opinion.  As it happens, at least one of the contracts was with the Smithonian.  Specifically, the sole document of those obtained by Greenpeace that was by the Times shows a contract between Southern Company Services and the Smithonian, initially signed for the Smithonian by William J Ford (p 19), with an ammendment signed for the Smithonian by Brian Baldwin (p 21).  The contract is explicitly for "... 4 months of [Wili Soon's] salary and benefits, as well as minor costs for salary and benefits for administrative and clerical work specific to this research effort" (p 27).  The costs are itemized on page 28, and show over $37,000 of the initial $60,000 grant, and presumably an equivalent amount of the $60,000 additional grant signed for in the ammendment.  (Presumably Willie Soon benefited at similar rates for the entire $1.2 million contracted from all sources revealed by the FOI request, or by approx $750,000 over a decade from contracts that more or less tell the results that will be obtained before the putative research is conducted, and which lists talks at the Marshall Institute among its "deliverables".

    The upshot is that the Smithonian certainly new about the sources of the funding, presumably read Soon's papers and should have noted failure to list funders as ethically required, yet took no disciplinary actionk, action to get Soon to list his funding sources publicly until it became a news story.  That represents a serious failing of governance by the Smithonian.

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  9. More details about Soon's employer...

    The documents reviewed by Markey’s staff were obtained by Greenpeace, the environmental group, through the Freedom of Information Act. They show a relationship between Dr. Willie Soon, a solar researcher at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and several fossil fuel companies who’ve funded his research on climate change. The Cambridge-based center is a joint project of Harvard University and the Smithsonian Institution, though Soon is employed by the Smithsonian side. The center has previously said that Soon’s views are his alone and not reflective of the institution.

    Senator Markey questions climate studies by Sylvan Lane, Boston Globe, Feb 22, 2015

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  10. Shedding more light on the Soon-Smithsonian-fossil fuel industry relationship...

    David H. Koch's deep philanthropic pockets will benefit dinosaurs.

    The executive vice president of Koch Industries has donated $35 million to the National Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian Institution announced Thursday.

    The gift will go to the 30-year-old dinosaur hall, which museum officials say has long been in need of renovations.

    Koch, a member of the museum’s advisory board, previously gave $15 million to the museum’s David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins. Thursday's gift marks the largest single donation to the Natural History Museum — perhaps because fossils have long piqued Koch's interests.

    “It goes way back,” Koch told the Washington Post. “I went to my first dinosaur hall with my father and twin brother. We went to the American Museum of Natural History, and I was blown away by the dinosaurs.”

    Billionaire David Koch gives $35 million to Natural History Museum by Jamie Wetherbe, Los Angeles Times, May 4, 2012

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  11. Tom,

    I doubt that Soon's supervisors look beyond the amount of the check.  The system functions on trust.  In order for someone to get called out for not claiming conflict of interest an outside group, as in this case, generally must take action.  It is entirely possible that Soon's supervisors have not even read his papers, much less looked at the fine print to see his conflict of interests.

    The question is what happens now that it has been brought to their attention.  It is likely to be a slow response, no matter what the final judgement.  It will also be interesting to see what the journals do.

    If Soon is disciplined you can be sure that the Deniers will claim it is payback for his opinions and not for his leaving off his conflict of interests.

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  12. JH asked: "To whom is your question addressed?"
    wili replies: To all of us.

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  13. Regarding the Soon controversy, I find it a bit incredulous that the Smithsonian PR rep stated that there would not be an investigation into the clause of the contracts that stipulated Dr. Soon provide a pre-published copy of his paper to Southern (his client) for "review and input", since his client did not have the contractual ability to force a change or block publication.  This is a falsehood on its face and reeks of coverup. 

    Since Dr. Soon has an ongoing financial stake in maintaining his client's satisfaction with his work, as any consultant does, the only purpose of providing a pre-published copy is to allow editiorial capacity to fit the economic and political interests of his client.

    There is likely a significant amount of exchange and back and forth with Soon's employers regarding the wording of his scientific papers.  There may even be back and forth regarding the performance of the base research and even material or financial support for even that level of work.

    To not provide, or even investigate these email exchanges shows an incredible amount of complicity to the pseudoscience that is, apparently, the norm at the Harvard-Smithsonian.

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  14. M Sweet @11

    It's not even necessary for Soon to be disciplined.  Breitbart already has a headline, 'NYT SMEARS SCIENTIST WILLIE SOON FOR TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT ‘GLOBAL WARMING’ .  In Denialistan, smear=telling the truth about a 'no global warming' 'expert', while fair comment=lying about a climate scientist.

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    Moderator Response:

    [JH] The Breitbart article has gone viral in the right wing-nut blogosphere. 

  15. jja @13, you say the contract "...stipulated Dr. Soon provide a pre-published copy of his paper to Southern (his client) for "review and input"".  That clause relates to "publicity", and it is not evident that it applies to the scientific papers coming from the research.  It would be interesting, I suppose, to have FOI documents relating to that point.  That is, it is reasonable to ask, but not to prejudge, whether or not Willi Soon provided draft copies of his papers to Southern prior to submission, and whether he amended those papers prior to submission at Southern's request.  Absent specific evidence to that point, however, we must assume that the clause relates to publicity (ie press releases, and talks given by Willi Soon) rather than the peer reviewed research itself.

    Further, it is not justified on this evidence to assume that Soon had his opinion up for sale.  More likely, he had an opinion and found cash from a person who wanted that opinion propogated.  That in itself is an issue.  If funding for science is on a model where expected outcomes of research are the basis of receiving funding, that is likely to bias science by, first, providing a financial motive making it difficult for the scientist to accept results contrary to expectation; and second, by preferentially funding scientists of a particular opinion.

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  16. Tom,

    thanks, at this point I am highly skeptical of the integrity of Harvard-Smithsonian and Dr. Soon.  If they want any maintain any sustained credibility they should release all communication between Dr. Soon and SCS and Exxon over the last 8 years.  If his final report is only produced as a deliverable to the company for a "courtesy" then that is fine, however previous year's asked for mid-term reports (2008)  So I think that the possiblity is there for client intrusion into the process.  After, Dr. Soon is not contractually obligated to maintain a firewall between his work and his client's wishes.

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  17. Full disclosure: I am not, nor have I ever been, nor am I soon to be, Willie Soon. (Just plain old wili.) '-)

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  18. Another take on the recent revelations about Willie Soon...

    Willie Soon, a prominent global warming skeptic, says “no amount of money can influence what I say or do or research or write.” If recently released documents are accurate, he is a liar.

    Contrarian Scientist Who Says Sun is Responsible for Global Warming is Accused of Taking Corporate Cash for Science by Tom Yulsman, Discovery, Feb 21, 2015

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  19. I agree with TC on this.  There is not enough information to prove that Willie Soon is selling his science to fossil fuel companies, as opposed to the fossil fuel companies seeking out someone of the "right" opinion.  He may have strongly held beliefs that align with the fossil fuel industry for a number of reasons — he really likes the sun, he really hates the CO2 crowd, he is politically motivated, he thinks his garden will grow better.

    It also doesn't really help to simply discredit his science simply because it is associated with the FF industry, because that makes it OK (in the minds of the antigovernment black helicopter brigade) to discredit mainstream climate because it is funded by agencies trying to justify their own existence.  Arguments by association are only convincing to those already aligned on either side, and will generally do little to convince those on the fence.

    What we should note is that Soon is just flat out wrong on the science of climate change. There really is no other way to put it, and there is no way to look at the data without realizing it.  The money he receives completely distorts the process of science, keeping alive his groundless ideas in the public sphere like a voodoo doctor animates zombies.  Plus, he is dissembling, breaking conflict of interest disclosure rules common to journals.  That is the truly destructive thing at the core of this debacle.

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  20. I will say that I am appalled that the Smithsonian has Soon on their books.   It's a big ungainly place, for sure, but that august insitution should have standards.  (I was going to say higher standards, but Soon's arguments don't credit that much. ) The idea that thoe standards may be for sale is sickening to me.

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  21. Further on Willie Soon, in his report to Southern, says:

    "The goals of this research project have been completely and successfully executed with the following list of deliverables:"

    Among the "deliverables" listed are:

    1) Temporal derivative of Total Solar Irradiance and anomalous Indian summer
    monsoon: An empirical evidence for a Sun–climate connection
    , which does not acknowledge the funding by Southern, despite the journal requiring that:

    "All authors are requested to disclose any actual or potential conflict of interest including any financial, personal or other relationships with other people or organizations within three years of beginning the submitted work that could inappropriately influence, or be perceived to influence, their work. See also"

    Variation in surface air temperature of China during the 20th century, but I cannot determine from the abstract if the conflict of interest was acknowledged.

    2) Research to date on Forecasting for the Manmade Global Warming Alarm, a report prepared as evidence for testimony to Congress by its principle author (not Soon).  The conflict of interest is not acknowledged.  More importantly IMO, the report contains no reference to "sun", "solar", "tsi", or any term related to solar forcing.  The overt purpose of the funding from Southern was to publish two papers, one on solar influence on temperatures in the United States, and one on solar influences on temperature in China (from the ammendment to the agreement).  The second article under point (1) satisfies the ammended agreement, but the article on the US was never published.  (In his report on that phase of the agreement, he does mention papers on Polar bear populations as "deliverables" that "completely and successfully execute" the agreement.)

    The complete absense of reference to solar forcing, however, shows that the "Research" report was not even tangentially connected to the overt purpose for funding.  It is, however, directly connected to providing a smokescreen for fossil fuel interests.  Apparently Soon understood that that was what Southern was interested in, and was prepared to provide it.  The closer look at the documents means I have changed my mind.  These documents are prima facie evidence that Soon sort funding, and recieved funding not for research, but to provide a voice opposing AGW.

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    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Thank you for digging into this matter further and for letting the evidence determine your position. 

  22. So Tom, 

    What you are saying is that Soon knew what Southern wanted in spirit, research that supported a certain position. The evidence for this is that, when he couldn't give them something that directly matched what he was contracted to do, he put forward some items that he knew would suffice because they challenged the IPCC consensus in some way.  He broke journal COI rules in the process, under some self-delusional or explicitly nefarious guise of objectivity.

    Hmmm.  I agree that passes the smell that it stinks.  Every funding agency I know would mark that as unethical at the least and outright misconduct at the worst.  I'm still not sure his opinion is for sale, in that he once had an opinion and changed it opportunistically to become rich. But that is neither here nor there considering your analysis.

    To find a silver lining...What I find heartening in the whole debacle is how few scientists have betrayed their rationality given how easy it would be to get money with few strings attached.  When people say money corrupts, I hold up the consensus on climate change as an indication otherwise.

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  23. Wili @6 - Since it was my surf camera that recorded the video you link to, my thanks for posting it here! Perhaps I might elucidate the question you pose to us all by quoting my own main takeaway from Kevin Anderson's recent seminar:

    We can't do [2°C] with low carbon supply. We can't make the changes quick enough. You have to do something with our demand for energy, and that is very, very unpopular amongst all of us, all of our colleagues, all the policy makers, so basically the whole world, all the high emitting parts of the world, which is only a small proportion, none of us like this at all, and that's why we don't really like the science.

    By way of example, Prof. Anderson does in actual fact practice what he preaches. He has recently arrived in Iceland following a 3 day sea journay through force 11 winds!

    How many of the other attendees at the "Earth 101" conference in Reykyavik do you suppose can say the same?

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  24. Jim Hunt: Cool! So was it you that had the cough?

    I just don't do hardly any long distant travel any more (except a few longish bikerides, and a hundred mile trip I'll take with my wife as a deal for her to go vegetarian). My daughter and I have gone vegan. I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to reduce my next 10% (at least) from my emissions. Perhaps work on tightening up the house further and arrange to do more gardening. I count activism toward this, but I've taken a temporary break after getting burned out/frustrated.

    I agree that this is the takeaway quote. I said something similar at various sites where I posted your video.

    Thanks for making that recording and for making it available. Did you say that there is a transcript coming?

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  25. Wili @24 - Probably it was me with the cough!

    Thanks should of course also go to Kevin Anderson, Peter Cox and Exeter Uni for permission to use the recording. I'm not aware of a potential transcript, though Kevin's slides are available. See the final paragraph at my link. Any volunteers here for producing a transcript? I'm a bit busy with Booker at present!

    There are rumours that a professional video of the seminar might be on the way, but if so I haven't seen it yet.

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  26. Stephen Baines @22, well summarized.

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  27. RC now has a post on "The Soon Fallacy"

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  28. Something for the next News Roundup?

    Carbon Brief also has an article on this that claims that China's total CO2 emissions also went down about 7%.

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