Monday, 4 February 2019

Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past

From the Independent. Almost 20 years ago. Their famous and now censored article. It seems they got tired of people taking the piss out of them. They pulled it off their website. The wayback machine still has it.

Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past

By Charles Onians
Monday, 20 March 2000

Britain's winter ends tomorrow with further indications of a striking environmental change: snow is starting to disappear from our lives.

Sledges, snowmen, snowballs and the excitement of waking to find that the stuff has settled outside are all a rapidly diminishing part of Britain's culture, as warmer winters - which scientists are attributing to global climate change - produce not only fewer white Christmases, but fewer white Januaries and Februaries.

The first two months of 2000 were virtually free of significant snowfall in much of lowland Britain, and December brought only moderate snowfall in the South-east. It is the continuation of a trend that has been increasingly visible in the past 15 years: in the south of England, for instance, from 1970 to 1995 snow and sleet fell for an average of 3.7 days, while from 1988 to 1995 the average was 0.7 days. London's last substantial snowfall was in February 1991.

Global warming, the heating of the atmosphere by increased amounts of industrial gases, is now accepted as a reality by the international community. Average temperatures in Britain were nearly 0.6°C higher in the Nineties than in 1960-90, and it is estimated that they will increase by 0.2C every decade over the coming century. Eight of the 10 hottest years on record occurred in the Nineties.

However, the warming is so far manifesting itself more in winters which are less cold than in much hotter summers. According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snowfall will become "a very rare and exciting event".

"Children just aren't going to know what snow is," he said.

The effects of snow-free winter in Britain are already becoming apparent. This year, for the first time ever, Hamleys, Britain's biggest toyshop, had no sledges on display in its Regent Street store. "It was a bit of a first," a spokesperson said.

Fen skating, once a popular sport on the fields of East Anglia, now takes place on indoor artificial rinks. Malcolm Robinson, of the Fenland Indoor Speed Skating Club in Peterborough, says they have not skated outside since 1997. "As a boy, I can remember being on ice most winters. Now it's few and far between," he said.

Michael Jeacock, a Cambridgeshire local historian, added that a generation was growing up "without experiencing one of the greatest joys and privileges of living in this part of the world - open-air skating".

Warmer winters have significant environmental and economic implications, and a wide range of research indicates that pests and plant diseases, usually killed back by sharp frosts, are likely to flourish. But very little research has been done on the cultural implications of climate change - into the possibility, for example, that our notion of Christmas might have to shift.

Professor Jarich Oosten, an anthropologist at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, says that even if we no longer see snow, it will remain culturally important.

"We don't really have wolves in Europe any more, but they are still an important part of our culture and everyone knows what they look like," he said.

David Parker, at the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research in Berkshire, says ultimately, British children could have only virtual experience of snow. Via the internet, they might wonder at polar scenes - or eventually "feel" virtual cold.

Heavy snow will return occasionally, says Dr Viner, but when it does we will be unprepared. "We're really going to get caught out. Snow will probably cause chaos in 20 years time," he said.

The chances are certainly now stacked against the sortof heavy snowfall in cities that inspired Impressionist painters, such as Sisley, and the 19th century poet laureate Robert Bridges, who wrote in "London Snow" of it, "stealthily and perpetually settling and loosely lying".

Not any more, it seems.

Saturday, 26 January 2019

Man-Made Climate Change Refuted.

The, so-called, climate consensus say people cause climate change. This self-styled consensus say that 90% of modern climate change is caused by humanity. Mainly by burning, carbon-based, fossil fuels to make carbon dioxide gas which remains in the atmosphere for centuries (according to them). That this carbon dioxide, a so-called greenhouse gas, warms the atmosphere by 'trapping heat', slowing the release of infrared energy to space; which they call the greenhouse gas effect, GHGE. According to their theory and model, an imbalance in radiation in and out of the earth causes climate change. The climate consensus say earth absorbs more radiation than it emits.

There is a universal consensus on the main mechanism for earth's warming (it is the sun); and the main mechanism for earth's cooling (loss of outgoing longwave radiation, OLR, to space). When the balance is in favour of the sun (more sun in than OLR out) earth warms. When the balance is the other way - more OLR out than sun in - earth cools.

Recent research shows since 1985 there has, indeed, been a radiative imbalance; but the imbalance is in exactly the wrong direction for the climate consensus. Research shows earth cooling, not warming. There is an imbalance between earth's energy in (due to solar warming) and energy out, due to OLR. OLR has increased in the last 33 years. This means earth is cooling.

I suppose I haven't actually refuted 'man-made climate change'. I refuted climate warming due to more CO2 in the atmosphere.


  1. Decadal Changes of Earth’s Outgoing Longwave Radiation, by Steven Dewitte and Nicolas Clerbaux. 25 Sept 2018. Remote Sensing 2018, 10(10), 1539;
  2. The residence time of carbon dioxide in earth's atmosphere is no greater than 9 years. Not centuries as the climate consensus tell us.
  3. OLR: outgoing longwave radiation

Monday, 21 January 2019

Why we love Entropy, and the Second Law of Thermodynamics

-- Scientific Laws, Theories, Models and Hypotheses.

This is a comment on Bruce Parker's chapter in 'This Idea Must Die', entitled 'Entropy'. When Bruce Parker says that the Second Law of Thermodynamics "seemed to be an assumption rather than a law", he is being either ignorant or disingenuous. It's a Law because it is always observed.

A Scientific Law is different, in quality, from all 3 others (Theories, Models and Hypotheses) in my subtitle. A Law is a codification of what is observed in the real world. Often expressed as a simple relationship between entities. As such we do not relegate Laws because they are 'not useful', or prevent the development of meta theories such as 'Theory of Everything', or 'Theory of The Universe'. Even a useless law is still a law. If we can formulate an experiment, we may disprove a law by showing a counter example. Such a counter example must be observable and reproducible. If Parker has an experiment which can disprove the 2nd Law, then let him do it. I await his proposal and results; probably until the end of time. It's not the case that experiments can't be devised. More the case that the results of such always confirm the 2nd Law! That's how it became a Law. It was induced from real world observations. How very inconvenient for those with a grudge against reality. Parker's explanation of how the 2nd Law came about is disingenuous. It's wasn't just a finding in Physics. It's universal in Chemistry too. His essay weaves a web of prejudice and innuendo. Is the 2nd Law holding physics back? I don't think so. Scientific Laws ground physics in the real world; a very necessary counter to the speculation which often dominates the formulation of scientific Models and Hypotheses; hence what people believe should be Theories.

So why do we love it? Because it's how the world works. That's the only world we have. It's the one we love.


  1. Book: 'This Idea Must Die', 2015, edited by John Brockman
  2. I can't generally recommend the book above. It has too many weak essays. Recommended for critical thinkers. Not recommended for naive thinkers.

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Book review: The Dynamic Greenhouse Effect and the Climate Averaging Paradox

Dr Roy Clark explains earth's energy fluxes and climate from first principles. He concludes that the fundamental climate consensus model/equations of Manabe & Wetherall, 1968, which are behind the global warming and climate change scares, are both wrong and too simplistic. Clark entirely rejects the idea of a climate in equilibrium, and/or an earth energy balance. This book concentrates on atmospheric effects (warming and cooling) and the greenhouse gas effect. It is not a complete climate book. For example: it doesn't touch on Paleoclimatology, Milankovitch cycles, Little Ice Age, Solar cycles, etc. Clark goes into detail for the climate science he touches on. He uses maths extensively to reach his conclusions but does not give a mathematical approach in the book. Rather a description of what the climate physics implies. So one gets a very readable, comprehensive book; with an outline of a sophisticated alternative to "climate consensus" models. He includes 52 references and 89 diagrams.

In addition to the book, there are two more long articles freely available by Roy Clark

Monday, 31 December 2018

'Climate Change' is an obsession or 'ideology'

Living in Harmony.

We often seek deep patterns in thought to explain ideas. For example eco-modernists see modern environmentalism as a prescription and ideal for humanity to live in harmony with nature. This harmonic notion is behind the organic farming fad. It animates enviro oppossition to scientific agriculture, finely-tuned genetic techniques to improve crops, and even fish-farming. It explains enviro worship of primitive lifestyles and beliefs of Wiccan, hunter-gatherers, and off-grid drop-outs. Harmonic obsessions help explain their fervour for renewable energy and land-intensive energy systems such as solar, wind and bio-energy systems. Eco-modernists believe that by leaving harmonic obsessions behind they've liberated environmentalism from its worst excesses.

Stasis and Equilibrium

It's a shame self-styled eco-modernists stopped their analysis at harmonic fixation. There is an even more pervasive 'idée fixe' ruling the thoughts of the modern enviro and climate intelligentsia: an obsession with equilibria. The common idea uniting many so-called Left and Environmental ideas is a notion that equilibria are desirable states to aim for. That anything which isn't aiming for equilibrium is pathological. These imaginary pathologies, falling short of the ideals, include: Capitalism, climate change, fossil fuel use, ...

We see it in both climate policy prescriptions and analyses. Analyses increasingly blame nearly all "climate change" on more atmospheric carbon dioxide! Not just recent change, but past change hundreds of thousands and millions of years ago. We know for sure that a lot of past climate change is due to Milankovitch cycles combined with continental drift. For example: the changes resulting in the current Ice Age which now dominates our climate. Once they started down the path of blaming carbon dioxide, climate scientists forgot the science and, instead became anti-carbon evangelists. I think Mann, Hayhoe, ... and their acolytes show these symptoms. They can't talk about climate without demonizing carbon dioxide.

Climate policy seems to actually believe that climate change can be stopped. That we can, and should, 'go back to' a mythic, perfect climate associated with 280ppm (or is that 350ppm?) CO2. Surprisingly this is never really stated. It is assumed that we all desire this imaginary, perfect, past climate state - whether, or not, it ever existed! Seeking utopias is not a first for humanity. But harking back to an assumed utopia is a bit crazy?

Why do we dream up impossible ideals to aspire to?

Fear of resource depletion and losing balance became tied to a dreams of renewable energy, sustainable and 'circular economies. Our fears need alternative ideas to aspire to and counter negativity. That's part of our nature. Fear alone cripples us. Environmentalists created counter-narratives such as 'climate optimism' to rally around and diffuse their fears of resource depletion, over-population, Capitalism and environmental pollution. These optimistic narratives are invariably templated from equilibria. For example: 'climate optimism' promoted renewables where and when-ever. Not, at first, as a non-CO2 energy technology, but purely for its own sake. Germany's Energiewende was a perfect example of that. Done at vast expense, Energiewende had nothing much to do with reducing CO2 emissions in electricity generation. None of the major politicians promoting it gave emissions reductions more than a passing footnote. So don't be surprised it did nothing much to reduce Germany's carbon footprint.

Saturday, 29 December 2018

Equilibrium-obsession syndrome

The main “intellectual fallacy” dominating climate alarmist’s ideas is the notion of a natural equilibria. It assumes our current climate is in equilibrium. That any climate change must be bad and man-made (upsets the equilibrium). That energy systems should be some variation of imaginary perpetual motion machines (they call it “renewable”, and say it makes “free” energy). The climate scare rename from "global warming" to: “climate change” was because it's the “change” that really scares. These people are afraid to stray from an imaginary stasis of equilibria. It’s an ideal or template they think all things should be in thrall to. They are not so much environmentalists, more “equilibrilists”. We see it in their neo-Malthusian economic suggestions too. It perfectly explains their hostility to none-CO2 emitting nuclear power as well. Many such people are called environmentalists, and may use that term for themselves. But anyone who prefers wind-turbines and solar farms to nature has travelled very far away from loving their environment.

I medicalized it by post-pending "syndrome" because it's become a pervasive pathological condition. These ideas are genuinely harmful to our fellows.


  1. Unfortunately, for me, the term “equilibrist” is already in use and it means a circus performer who keeps things in balance during performance.
    equilibrilist seems to be some kind of TMed product.
  2. “intellectual fallacy” = a wrong system of thought which dominates thinking. Examples: Marxism, Freudism, neo-Malthusianism. It’s basic precepts are taken for granted. It cannot be seen, by its believers, as a fallacy. It’s understood as “how the world works”. In this case as “how the world should work
  3. When I talk of neo-Malthusianism I refer to a general limits obsession in economics. To sustainable economics, scarcity thinking, and other systems which relegate human welfare behind equilibria concerns.

Monday, 24 December 2018

Scientific Consensus.

171 ya: Dr Ignaz Semmelweis makes hand-washing mandatory for obstetricians at Vienna General Hospital. The incidence of puerperal fever, a mass murderer of mothers, drops by 90% overnight, vindicating Semmelweis’ hunch that iatrogenic contagion is to blame. His students soon replicate this miracle in maternity wards throughout the Austro-Hungarian Empire and publish their results in the scientific press.

153 ya: Almost two decades have passed since the empirical confirmation of Semmelweis’ ideas, but mainstream pathology perseverates in ignoring them, sticking to the ancient and evidence-free consensus on miasmas, ’humoral imbalance’ and leeching. Semmelweis himself has been vilified and hounded from his job by the medical establishment, to whom the very suggestion that their hands might be vectors of disease was an affront, coming as it did from a Jew with a low h-index. Unemployed, angry and deeply depressed by the needless deaths of thousands of women a year, Semmelweis is committed to an insane asylum. The guards welcome him with a savage beating. His injuries fail to heal and within a fortnight, at the age of 47, he has died of blood poisoning.

by Brad Keyes (part reblog from)