Climate debate at the Cambridge Union - a 10 minute summary of the main problems with the standard alarmist polemic

Last week I participated in an interesting debate that was held at the Cambridge Union, the oldest debating club in the world (dating back to 1815. The invite was to be on the side opposing the proposition “This house would rather cool the planet than warm the economy”.

Although I think the phrasing of the question is problematic to begin with, since it assumes that “warming the economy” necessary would cool the climate, I should applaud the Cambridge Union for supporting free speech and allowing people on both side to voice their arguments, especially given how many on the alarmist side refuse to do so, claiming that there is nothing to debate anymore.

Here you will find my 10 minute summary of the main flaws plaguing the alarmist science.

The Sunspots 2.0? Irrelevant. The Sun, still is.

After being asked by 5 independent people about the new sunspot number reconstruction and that it doesn’t show that the sun should have contributed any warming to the 20th century, I decided to write about it here. I have one word to describe it – irrelevant. It is also a good opportunity to write about new results (well, one that saw the light of day a few months ago) showing again that the sun has a large effect on climate. Yet, the world will still continue to ignore it. Am I surprised? No I’m not.

Bill Nye, the not-so-good-science guy

Bill "the science guy" Nye says that I am a denier.
I recently stumbled on a transcript of Bill “the science guy” Nye’s interview on CNN last week. In it, he said that climate skeptics (i.e., people like myself), are at least as bad as people who deny that smoking causes cancer. There are quite a few things he misses, in fact, he got things totally wrong, but I do like the his analogy to smoking and cancer as you’ll see.

Euthanizing Overholt et al.: How bad can a bad paper be?

Last month I visited the U of Washington to give a talk in which I discussed the effects of cosmic rays on climate. At the end of it, not one, but two people independently asked me about Overholt et al., which supposedly ruled out the idea that passages through the galactic spiral arms affect the appearance of glaciations on Earth. I told them that the paper had really stupid mistakes and it should be discarded in the waste bin of history, but given that Overholt et al. is still considered at all, I have no choice but to more openly euthanize it.

A friend has passed away

Nigel Calder's the weather machine movie about the imminent ice age
I just found out that a dear friend had passed away. Nigel Calder was the voice of rationality within a sea of extreme, something which is very much missing in the global warming debate. He didn't accept things for granted, but on the other hand didn't make extreme claims in the opposite direction either. He was simply driven by science (i.e., curiosity). One of his interests was of course that of climate.

Does the global temperature lag CO2? More flaws in the Shakun et al. paper in Nature.

Over the past two weeks, perhaps a dozen people asked me about the recently published paper of Shakun et al. in Nature. It allegedly demonstrates that the global temperature followed CO2 around the warming associated with the last interglacial warming, between 20 to 10 thousand years ago. One even sent the story as a news item on NPR. So, having no other choice, I decided to actually read the paper and find what is it all about. Should I abandon all that I advocated over the past decade?

Causes of Climate Change - Poll Results

Out of curiosity, I opened a few weeks ago a poll asking the visitors of this site, what do they think is the primary cause of global warming. 429 people answered the poll (thanks to all of you!).

The results can be summarized as follows.

First, the visitors of this site have the following background:
Background Fraction (Votes)
Layman 54.9% (232)
General Scientist 41.1% (174)
Climate Scientist 4.0% (17)

On IPCCs exaggerated climate sensitivity and the emperor’s new clothes

A few days ago I had a very pleasant meeting with Andrew Bolt. He was visiting Israel and we met for an hour in my office. During the discussion, I mentioned that the writers of the recent IPCC reports are not very scientific in their conduct and realized that I should write about it here.

What is your expertise, and what is the cause of 20th century climate change?

Laymen, mostly anthropogenic
2% (8 votes)
Laymen, mostly natural
45% (193 votes)
Laymen, nobody knows
7% (31 votes)
General scientist, mostly anthropogenic
1% (6 votes)
General scientist, mostly natural
33% (142 votes)
General scientist, nobody knows
6% (26 votes)
Climate scientist, mostly anthropogenic
0% (0 votes)
Climate scientist, mostly natural
3% (11 votes)
Climate scientist, nobody knows
1% (6 votes)
Have absolutely no idea what to answer
1% (6 votes)
Total votes: 429

The CLOUD is clearing

The CLOUD collaboration from CERN finally had their results published in nature, showing that ionization increases the nucleation rate of condensation nuclei. The results are very beautiful and they demonstrate, yet again, how cosmic rays (which govern the amount of atmospheric ionization) can in principle have an affect on climate.

Expert credibility in climate change?

I recently stumbled upon one of the most meaningless papers I have ever seen. The paper "proves" that the scientists advocating an anthropogenic greenhouse warming (AGW) are statistically more credible than the "unconvinced". Their main goal is to convince people that they should join the AGW bandwagon simply because it is allegedly more credible.

To the hebrew readers of sciencebits לקוראי העברית של סאינס-ביטס

(On the hebrew translation of the "Chilling Stars")

לאור העובדה שלא מעט מקוראי האתר בעברית מתענינים בנושא של השפעת השמש על האקלים, מצאתי לנכון "לפרסם" תרגום לעברית של הספר "chilling stars" של הנריק סוונסמרק ונייג`ל קולדר, שהם ידידי. הספר "הכוכבים המקררים" יצא לאור זה עתה בהוצאת עם עובד.

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