Really Sciency

Visit my other blog 'Really Sciency' looking at Climate Science and its portrayal, misrepresentation and denial in the media.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Really Sciency Stuff

This blog; Lazarus: Reason from a dead man walking, was started over a year ago and was a vehicle for collecting my comments on a range of forums, and blogs, mainly where I see reason and rationally disappear in an avalanche of nonsense.
Over that time I have posted on irrationally of religion, pseudo-science, astrology, medical quackery and I intend to continue to do so. But most of the posts here are clearly on the denial of Global Warming, Climate Change, and it's related science and research. So it seems that a separate blog specifically looking at it's portrayal, misrepresentation and denial in the media was the way to collect all this in a single place.

So I have started a second blog; Really Sciency. It must be noted that this Blog has more than a passing resemblance to Real Science, the  climate denial and political blog by Steven Goddard, which should not to be confused with any actual real science. I chose to parody it because it is hard to imagine another blog that has strayed so far from reasoned analysis and debate on the science of climate change. The irony and Orwellian nature of it's title sealed the deal.

They say that imitation is the greatest form of flattery so perhaps the author of Real Science will imagine some sort of accolade at the mimicry but if being parodied because you are so far from reality is seen as a good thing then being accused of being in denial is case proven.

Mr Goddard is such a prolific poster that I have no intention of responding to any more than a small fraction of his posts. But a quick look at his content shows that many of the posts are purely political, simple cherry picking and often just immature nonsense in any case.

I intend to initially populate Really Sciency with a few posts related to 'Real Science' that I have previously posted here and then it will be original posts, whether specifically related to something on 'Real Science' or not, but I will mirror all posts across my two blogs for a while so that my few readers can either follow both or migrate to this one if they are only interested in Climate Change. Links between both sites will always be available.

If you do subscribe to this blog or follow it in any way please do so for Really Sciency.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Life after Durban

It was always a certainty that the COP 17 talks in Durban would reach some sort of agreement so that the government representives and other delegates could claim some sort of success. That is how politics works, no one wanted to be seen as failing.

But in reality and as expected the agreement was just an agreement to agree something at an agreed later date - 2020 in this case. Certainly better than nowt, ' But the intervening years could set the world on track for more than 3 °C of global warming'.

So with this the best that seems to be on offer to the world, what, according to the science does a world with 3 °C of warming look like?

For that the book 'Six Degrees' by Mark Lynas seems a fair source. I read this book awhile back and as the title suggests it lays out in chapters what to expect for each degree of warming and references the science to make those conclusions. My copy of this book is on loan so I can't summarise the three degree chapter as I would like but in a Guardian article Mark Lynas summarised it as this;

Three degrees alone would see increasing areas of the planet being rendered essentially uninhabitable by drought and heat. In southern Africa, a huge expanse centred on Botswana could see a remobilisation of old sand dunes, much as is projected to happen earlier in the US west. This would wipe out agriculture and drive tens of millions of climate refugees out of the area. The same situation could also occur in Australia, where most of the continent will now fall outside the belts of regular rainfall.

With extreme weather continuing to bite - hurricanes may increase in power by half a category above today's top-level Category Five - world food supplies will be critically endangered. This could mean hundreds of millions - or even billions - of refugees moving out from areas of famine and drought in the sub-tropics towards the mid-latitudes. In Pakistan, for example, food supplies will crash as the waters of the Indus decline to a trickle because of the melting of the Karakoram glaciers that form the river's source. Conflicts may erupt with neighbouring India over water use from dams on Indus tributaries that cross the border.

In northern Europe and the UK, summer drought will alternate with extreme winter flooding as torrential rainstorms sweep in from the Atlantic - perhaps bringing storm surge flooding to vulnerable low-lying coastlines as sea levels continue to rise. Those areas still able to grow crops and feed themselves, however, may become some of the most valuable real estate on the planet, besieged by millions of climate refugees from the south.

Even though this book is now several years old, it's conclusions of the science at that time are still sound and subsequent research over the interveening years either confirm them of show them to be conservative.

Another source that predicts what a world a few degrees warmer looks is from National Geographic (including a short statement from Mark Lynas) and has no better news.

Welcome to the world of our tomorrows.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Are you scientifically literate?

Take our quiz

I came across this science quiz when I came back from the pub which I found quite challenging. I was very pleased to get a genuine 42 correct which equals 84%. Not sure if that makes me scientifically literate but I'm quite pleased with the result, still I felt I must do better.

Can you do better?


Thursday, 8 December 2011

Good COP Bad Cop

With the latest UN talks on climate change, officially known as COP 17, drawing to a close and with the likelihood of nations agreeing to disagree high, it is somewhat optimistic to describe it as a good COP.

Considering the US and some other countries turned up with little intention of agreeing to anything, with developing countries and developing superpowers looking for as much latitude to emit as possible and the EU Block hardening it’s attitude on committing to anything without others making comparable commitments, even the most optimistic delegate must have expected little progress and they seem assured not to be disappointed - Which probably accounts for the almost nonexistent news coverage of the event in mainstream media compared to other attempts like Copenhagen.

But there are definitely bad Cops. The usual ‘skeptic’ officers have turned up trying to enforce their laws that go against those of physics.

This was all unoriginally pre-empted by the illegal release of some more private emails between climate scientists for the bad cops to pour over and cherry pick and cynically create as much smoke and mirror publicity just before the whole event kicked off. But like the talks themselves, it failed to generate much true media interest – this was just old news.

So the award for the best stunt must go to Lord Monckton, more a Keystone Cop than a bad cop, who decided to drop in by parachute. Other than a publicity monger, I can’t see the significance of parachutes and climate ‘skepticism’ unless he thought such antics would make him look like a super anti-climate hero swooping in on the scene. But in my eyes it is more likely to suggest he is a puppet with others pulling his strings!

It would seem that most people have already forgotten that Moncton at one of his infamous ‘climate science’ lectures, just before Copenhagen when there was genuine optimism that a lasting deal could be struck, claimed to have already seen the treaty the worlds nations were going to sign. At that time he certainly suggested that the Copenhagen treaty would amount to a new world order with dire consequences for all, but he was very vague on the details.

Perhaps he did actually see a leaked copy of the treaty, written even before the worlds nations pretended to negotiate it, but decided not to tell his audience that it would amount to the nations agreeing to agree something at a later date yet to be agreed? With that later date still as far away as ever, perhaps Lord Monckton didn’t think that sounded scary enough for his purposes?

Would Lord Christopher Monckton object to me suggesting what he might do for his next anti-climate science stunt?