As readers doubtless realize, I’ve been a bit inactive on the blog during the past week and will be inactive for a few more days.

The Prospectors and Developers Association Convention is a big deal in the world mineral exploration business. I’ll be going to it this week. It’s in Toronto every year around this time and started yesterday. Hundreds of exploration companies are in town, with presentations from all over the world. Yesterday, I chatted with a company with a gold prospect in Yakutia (Indigirka River), a district that we know from tree ring proxies.

I’ve been doing some mining business in the past few weeks and it’s taken time. I’ll likely do more this year for a variety of obvious reasons. One gold project, one zinc project. While gold mines are not exactly ground zero of climate change controversy, the Associated Press has observed in this connection that mining companies produce carbon dioxide. This characteristic of mining companies doesn’t seem particularly unique since even climate change research institutions produce carbon dioxide, but the AP seemed to think that it was worth reporting. Mining companies also produce the various materials that are required to transition to things like electric cars, solar panels, windmills, etc. (Some companies were promoting rare earth deposits, saying that every windmill uses a lot of rare earth in the windmill rotor.)

I’m also making a presentation on Climategate on Wednesday at Trinity College, University of Toronto. I’m speaking for about 20 minutes and having trouble deciding what to cover in 20 minutes.


  1. Sean Peake
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 11:57 AM | Permalink

    Oh yes, the Prospectors convention. I used to go to that in the early ’80s when I was a broker. It was sort of like the Klondike 85 years earlier but without the sidearms… as far as I could tell anyway.

  2. Joe Crawford
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 12:08 PM | Permalink

    Have fun at the convention… We’ll try not to start too many food fights while you’re gone.

  3. Thomas Black
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 12:27 PM | Permalink

    Climategate, the IPCC AR4 and the scientific consensus.

    The consensus includes a huge list of scientific organizations that support the conclusions of the IPCC, yet the IPCC used the corrupt CRU data, used non peer reviewed articles in their assessment report, lied about the Himalayan glacier melt date, and exaggerated the implications of AGW.

    Did anyone actually read this report before signing off on it, or was it a given, no matter what the report contained. Did the paid agents of the state merely follow the orders of their political masters? Surely someone in those hundreds of thousands members, would have read the report and noticed the errors, lies and exaggerations and spoken out on it.

    It challenges the integrity of these organizations, either through sloppy work, silencing any outspoken member, or collusion.

    • Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 12:29 PM | Permalink

      Er, wrong thread for this surely?

      • Jimchip
        Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 5:55 PM | Permalink

        Re: Richard Drake (Mar 8 12:29),

        I’m thinking not wrong for the thread. Topics for consideration for Steve’s ‘talk’ but not pursuing all of the issues mentioned. Things to think about.

  4. Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 12:38 PM | Permalink

    The release of the report on Climategate from the Select Committee on Science and Technology will be an event we in the UK hope is worth discussing on CA. Can’t work out how long that is likely to take based on the limited precedent. Did Phil Willis indicate at the hearing?

    Wishing you a great time time at the conference and of course prosperous involvement in the minerals business this year.

    • Geoff Sherrington
      Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 12:49 AM | Permalink

      I did not hear Phil Willis set a date for the Report. Rather, I got the feeling – which was anly a feeling – that he might wait for the Russell report, which was going to be Spring or later if they expanded their scope to do things like engage a statistician. There was also some written material to be prepared and sent to the Willis committee.

  5. Val Wolfson
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 12:39 PM | Permalink

    What to cover in 20 minutes… Ask your audience – if Bin Laden and Hugo Chavez in AGW camp, what does it tell about AGW in general? Isn’t it by itself enough to drop the subject?

  6. geo
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 12:45 PM | Permalink

    20 minutes? Wow, that’s rough. Cherry picking and the texas sharpshooter, perhaps. Those are pretty easy for a general audience to understand.

    • Al Gored
      Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 1:31 AM | Permalink

      Bre-X and the IPCC. There are some great parallels between salting a “mine” and this fiasco. Or comparisons between this ‘green rush’ and a gold rush.

      • Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 4:28 AM | Permalink

        I’ve been thinking Bre-X too. Local problem that became a global one. You’re ideally placed to talk of the differences too – the IPCC and climate science difficulties being a lot more entrenched. You can’t remotely tell everything so the aim should be to entice ’em into some serious study of their own. The adventure of it. All the best with it.

  7. JohnB
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 12:45 PM | Permalink

    “Some companies were promoting rare earth deposits, saying that every windmill uses a lot of rare earth in the windmill rotor.”

    PBS had a segment on rare earth and windmills but I can’t seem to find it. What I recall from it was that windmills required the rare earth for their magnets. China produces 50% of the rare earth currently but it requires 2 tons of strip mining from the site PBS reported from in order to make just the magnets for one windmill.

    It was an eye opener for me.

    • DeWitt Payne
      Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 1:33 PM | Permalink

      Re: JohnB (Mar 8 12:45),

      What I recall from it was that windmills required the rare earth for their magnets.

      That’s true if the generator in the wind turbine is a permanent magnet generator. No rare earth containing magnets (iron, neodymium and boron is, I believe, the combination of elements being used in Chinese generator magnets) are required if the generator is a three-phase inductive generator. There are advantages and disadvantages for both. This reference probably has more than you would ever want to know about motors, generators and their applications to wind turbines.

    • Bob McDonald
      Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 4:26 PM | Permalink

      Everyone needs a Thneed.

    • Doug Badgero
      Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 7:11 PM | Permalink

      I think rare earths are more an issue for hybrids, e.g. batteries. Rare earths are used to make permanent magnets for windmills, but I think most windmills use electromagnets to create the field. This also allows you to control output voltage.

    • Bruce of Newcastle
      Posted Mar 10, 2010 at 1:17 AM | Permalink

      There is a lot of misunderstanding about REE. They are not rare. It is the supply/demand and processing economics which drive the market.

      For example a forgotten fact is that the Olympic Dam Cu/Au/U ore contains about 1% REE. Current mine capacity is about 10Mt/a, so that means 100,000kt/a of REE are being thrown away into the tails dam.

      If that company recovered the REE the world prices would fall very significantly.

      The orebody size is about 8Bt. So that means roughly 80 million tonnes of REE sitting there. Admittedly Olympic Dam runs most to the light REE’s, but 80M tonnes is a lot of magnets.

      PS Steve, have fun! I only got to a Canadian mining & met conference once in 25 yrs of R&D metallurgy, but the conference was ‘way ahead of what we Aussies can manage.

  8. S. Geiger
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 12:59 PM | Permalink

    Rare earths also big requirement for hybrid vehicles, IIRC. I think I heard where Toyota was investing in some mining prospects in Vietnam.

  9. Gary
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 1:10 PM | Permalink

    For your twenty-minute talk you might address what it means to be a climate “skeptic” these days. Make distinctions between questioning scientific practices, political opposition, “alarmism”, doubt, and “denialism.” You surely can’t get technical so describing the landscape will have to do. Then take a question or two. A lecture by Naomi Oreskes that I heard last week leave the audience with the impression that “climate skeptics” are just a nest of unreconstructed Cold Warriors who need something to do after losing their nefarious plot to hide evidence about the harmfulness of smoking.

  10. tty
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 1:14 PM | Permalink

    The rare earth angle on windmills is indeed rather interesting. Windmill generators must be small and light for obvious reasons, which means strong permanent magnets, which means rare earths.

    Now, up to the 80’s rare earths were mined in a number of places on a smallish scale, but then the rich chinese deposits essentially killed all other producers. Now the chinese are planning to cut exports and reserve supplies for their domestic industry.
    This means that either new mines must be opened up pretty quickly, or things like windmills and hybrid cars will only be built in China.

    • Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 8:50 PM | Permalink

      I would think a lot of gold, and of course copper, would be needed for the hundreds of miles of wire and contacts for a single turbine.

    • Bruce
      Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 2:20 AM | Permalink

      Permanent magnets definitely use rare earths. Superconductors, which can be used in windmills for magnets, usually need rare earths, depending on “recipe” or type.

  11. geo
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 1:34 PM | Permalink

    A recent highly secret investigative report found that even Gavin Schmidt produces C02 roughly 12 times per minute! An even more explosive finding was that when he gets really agitated about “deniers” he produces C02 *even more rapidly*!

  12. Stacey
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 1:34 PM | Permalink


    For 20 minutes your presentation should be like a mini-skirt, short enough to be interesting but long enough to cover the subject?

    If at the start of the industrial revolution the same lobby group that promotes dangerous AGW held sway, where would we be now? No steam engines,petrol engines, aircraft proper medical care, the list is endless?

  13. Dr Iain McQueen
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 1:50 PM | Permalink

    Is the title “Climategate” a given? That narrows it a bit, not much.
    Have you said who audience might be? Is it open to public?

  14. mpaul
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 1:58 PM | Permalink

    “I’m also making a presentation on Climategate on Wednesday at Trinity College, University of Toronto. I’m speaking for about 20 minutes and having trouble deciding what to cover in 20 minutes.”

    It seems to be that the central topic is the need for openness and reproducibility in climate science. This finally seems to be the point that people now ‘get’. The Parliamentary Inquiry was clearly going down this path. Yamal, CRUTem and the hockey stick are examples of the problems associated with pal-reviewed science.

    The topic of Open Science is one that I think people can be informed and persuaded by in 20 minutes.

    I think Ross made one of the best arguments I’ve seen for this:

    “I have often used the analogy of national Consumer Price Indexes to illustrate the ridiculous situation of the “Global Temperature” data. Each country has large professional staffs at their Stat agencies working on the monthly CPI using international protocols, using transparent methods, with independent academics looking over their shoulders weighing the various aggregation methodologies (e.g. Paasche, Laspeyres, Fisher, Tornqvist etc index number formulae), and with historical archiving rules that allow backward revisions periodically if needed.

    It’s by no means perfect, but it’s a far cry from the f**king gong show we’re seeing here. The reason CPI data, GDP data, etc. are handled professionally is that a range of policies (such as money supply control, pension indexing, intergovernmental transfers) etc depend on the numbers; also some labour contracts include CPI-based escalator clauses. In other words the numbers matter.

    By contrast the Global Temperature numbers are coming from a bunch of disorganized academics chipping away at it periodically in their spare time. GISS numbers are handled (on Gavin’s admission) by a single half-time staffer, and the CRU says they’re stumped trying to find their original files back into the 70s and 80s, as well as the agreements under which they obtained the data and which to this day they invoke to prevent independent scrutiny.”

  15. geronimo
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 2:08 PM | Permalink

    If I were going to talk about Climategate in twenty minutes I’d focus on lack of transparency and how it will/has impaired the scientific process.

  16. Jimchip
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 2:09 PM | Permalink

    Steve, first off, I tried to find a social event for you, like “Santa Claus Village”, from the Finland rejection. meh, since PDAC is at Toronto…

    Secondly, one tip, re: “I’m also making a presentation on Climategate on Wednesday at Trinity College” I suggest a reworking of your recent submission to the “Enquiry”. All the work on that issue is done, you can give a reference to the whole thing but it might just be that a 20 min. talk at Trinity is meant to be about what you’ve been up to lately. Leave the enquiry notions out of it but it is on your mind. Or, a talk about your predictions for the future of the World (not).

    OT, As far as climate auditing is concerned,

    Thirdly, I want to ask rhetorical questions in this comment:
    Where does all my lithium for my batteeries come from?
    Where do various rare earth metals play a role in modern society?
    Where do we get our minerals that we need to replace our ‘fossil fuels’?

    • Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 8:56 PM | Permalink

      I think most of the world’s lithium comes from a single place in Venezuela.

    • Geoff Sherrington
      Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 2:07 AM | Permalink

      The large existing mines and resources for materials like lithium, niobium, rare earths etc are easy to search in the Net. Lithium is related to sodium in the periodic table and there are lithium-rich brine lakes, some in the USA. Rare Earths are not all that rare, there are reserves in the huge mine at Olympic Dam in South Australia, which will be mined for many decades for its copper, gold and uranium. Niobium is dominated from Araxa in Brazil.

      As a general rule, when major new uses for specific metals/minerals arise, exploration technology is adjusted and optimised and more often than not there are significant new discoveries in the next 10-20 year timespan. (This innovatory capacity of mankind was underestimated by the Club of Rome and contributed to its forecasting failure. n.b. for other types of forecasting.)

      • ianl8888
        Posted Mar 10, 2010 at 1:50 AM | Permalink

        The situation is that to replace just Loy Yang power station (not even the other three in LaTrobe) requires 250,000 of these windmills – enough to make a full carpet across the entire of Victoria 🙂 … and then we need the wind to behave 100% of the time

        A geologist’s work is never done 🙂

        • Parx
          Posted Mar 10, 2010 at 7:25 AM | Permalink

          I don’t know anything about the number of wind turbines required to replace the stations outright in Victoria, but one statistic repeated to me by a senior manager in the electricity marketing business, was that in order to simply ‘keep up’ with the growing base load requirement as comfortable society becomes more comfortable, an additional wind turbine would need to come online EVERY DAY just to take up the slack, and that’s nothing compared to peak demand. Scary stuff for those looking for an alternative.

    • Bruce of Newcastle
      Posted Mar 10, 2010 at 1:30 AM | Permalink

      A new lithium operation is just starting in Australia, called Mt Cattlin.

      The Sons of Gwalia mine has also been producing for many years. Both are spodumene producers (plus coltan, which used to be the primary product until the lithium boom). The other main sources are the South American salt lakes.

      Not sure you need minerals to replace fossil fuels. The only two which count would be uranium and thorium (which are contained in minerals). The U price has been going up with the increase in nuclear interest (and exhaustion of Russian MOX stockpiles). Thorium as a nuclear fuel is only used in India (apart from the famous Eagle Scout backyard experiment 🙂 ). There is more interest in thorium reactors with the rising U price, but this is more fantasy than reality as the cost of U is only a tiny fraction of the electricity price from nuclear power stations. There’s a vast supply of thorium available from mineral sand mining, at present it is thrown away.

  17. Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 2:11 PM | Permalink

    Given just 20 minutes, what about the need to include independent statistical experts in many areas of climate science? I was struck for example by this phrase in The Observer yesterday, talking about an interesting scholarly dispute about soil CO2 deposits and emissions:

    Scientists have now proposed that a special study group, with an independent statistical expert, should examine why the reports differ and which result is more likely to be correct.

    That I hope was partly the result of this emphasis in the Select Committee hearings a week ago – but it struck me as encouraging. And nobody in the world is more qualified to talk about this point – not because he’s the foremost statistician but because he’s been the first to ask the right questions in so many different areas.

    • harold
      Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 5:51 PM | Permalink

      Statistical expoerts are necessary, but not sufficient. What everybody wants is research with conclusions that decision makers can hang their hats on with confidence. There are many difficulties with doing this under the best of circumstances. I’ll postulate that since the (theoretically) self correcting nature of the scientific method has lags longer than the decision time frame (based on experiences from other disciplines with similar difficulties), the entire approach is wrongheaded. That is, assuming that peer review will eventually correct all significant errors within the decision time frame is a fundamental error.

      On the other hand, if the topic is specifically Climategate, the topic is essentially how science can break down. This revolves around methods and the people who use them.

      I’ve noted some who dismissed auditing as a useless exercise. On the other hand, a lot of the problems would have been found earlier if agressive auditing were the norm.

      • Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 6:41 PM | Permalink

        Totally agree about the necessary but not sufficient. But how to give some boundary to 20 minutes ?

  18. LearDog
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 2:14 PM | Permalink

    20 minutes? LorD. Want some unsolicited advice from a newb (your target audience?)

    Simple is better I think – enough to whet their appetite to find more info on their own and defend to their friends and family. More of a high level view, perhaps scientifically-grounded talking points.

    For me – it was knocking down the foundations of the ‘problem’:
    – ‘consensus’ – Reasonable scientists starting to come out now (Judith Curry), but advocates (Hansen, Gavin, etc.) still dug in, and attempting to influece through others (IPCC, NAS, AAAS).
    – ‘unprecedented warming’ and nature of flawed PC analysis for Hockey Strick and drive to eliminate MWP (wikipedia / Connelly )
    – is there a problem – really? a) reliability of surface measurements (surfacestations.org) b) ‘anomalous rate’ of warming (ref: Jones BBC interview) and GISS ‘corrections’ to eliminate 30’s-40’s peak and corrections for UHI (actually boosting the rural temperatures?)
    – role of science vs. advocacy (Pielke Jr)

    Its scandalous !

  19. PJB
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 2:49 PM | Permalink

    Speak about trust.

    Remind them how your reputation creates trust that depends on the presentation of facts and factual information that only the truth can reinforce. Once you start to doctor results (Bre-X anyone?) or force studies towards foregone conclusions,(AGW) your reputation will suffer and trust will disappear.
    In this world of monetization of our values, (Value for money is getting rarer each day.) anywhere money is located requires the greatest of care that it’s influence is duly noted and taken into consideration.

    • Dr Iain McQueen
      Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 2:54 PM | Permalink

      Re: PJB (Mar 8 14:49), Re: PJB (Mar 8 14:49), PJ
      Excellent! Trust vital, central. and Steve knows about prospecting and stats just the thing and v. convincing.

  20. Navy Bob
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 2:50 PM | Permalink

    The windmill rare earths may be for the generator rotor, rather than the blade rotor. Many modern generators and motors have permanent magnets in place of the traditional energized electromagnet, where either the rotor or stator (depending on where the torque is applied or taken off) consists of a ring of powerful permanent magnets made of a composite material containing a rare earth element, e.g., neodymium-ferrite-boron, which sometimes has a little selenium tossed in as well.

  21. Chic Bowdrie
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 2:58 PM | Permalink

    Allotting you only 20 minutes is disgraceful. Give them a sermon instead.

  22. Dennis Wingo
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 3:10 PM | Permalink


    I was just at U of T giving a lecture on Technoarcheology Steve, regarding our lunar and Nimbus data sets. Sorry we missed each other.

  23. Dr Iain McQueen
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 3:13 PM | Permalink

    Re: Dr Iain McQueen (Mar 8 14:31), Perhaps the most crucial area of doubt is the CO2 putative mechanism? Even the AGWs have doubts that they have a grip of this.

  24. Dr Iain McQueen
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 3:18 PM | Permalink

    “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive” Walter Scott

  25. Fred
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 3:30 PM | Permalink

    EARTH FIRST ! We’ll mine the other planets later.

    Slogan originally written in Navi on a T-Shirt in some other part of the galaxy.

  26. Hugh Roper
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 3:42 PM | Permalink

    Good luck with both projects.

    I’ve heard some bad things about modern gold mining techniques – how true are they?

    For the 20 minute talk, Willis Eschenbach’s recent (25 Feb) post on WUWT “Judith, I love ya, but you’re way wrong …” makes some eloquent points.

    • Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 9:04 PM | Permalink

      How would he know when you haven’t said what bad things you’ve heard?

    • Geoff Sherrington
      Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 2:45 AM | Permalink

      I’ve heard that gold is the metal of choice for electrical connections in supercomputers that are used for predicting climate. How true is that?

    • WillR
      Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 6:27 AM | Permalink

      Re: Hugh Roper (Mar 8 15:42),

      We use gravity concentration — perhaps it will alter the climate by causing more wobble??? I am sure Steve could work that in.

      • Hugh Roper
        Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 6:52 AM | Permalink

        Thanks Jeff Alberts and WillR for your response. I should have been more specific. What caused me concern when I read about it was the historic use of cyanide heap-leaching at Zortman-Landuski in Montana (Diamond, Collapse, p 40) and proposed use of what I understood to be a similar technique at Baia Mare or Satu Mare (I don’t recall which) in Romania. I have no problem with traditional physical crushing and settling techniques for gold concentration, but it seems to me that on site chemical extraction is another matter and may require careful and independent assessment of potential hazards.

    • Bruce of Newcastle
      Posted Mar 10, 2010 at 1:41 AM | Permalink

      Almost all gold is extracted via cyanidation (using NaCN). Established CIP and CIL procedures are pretty safe, otherwise you’d see the newspaper reports of cyanide deaths. There haven’t been any for a long time. Environmental controls are good at responsible mines – the Romanian tails dam failure excepted.

      One of the biggest issues is that birds want to drink from the process ponds, so often these have to be covered in plastic.

      • EdeF
        Posted Mar 11, 2010 at 9:50 AM | Permalink

        This is the process they use out here in the Mojave Desert to process old gold mining tailings. Lots of permits, environmental review, remediation efforts are required.

  27. pat
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 3:48 PM | Permalink

    for lay people like myself, what brings home the magnitude of the uncertainty is the withholding of all the necessary data, as admitted by Phil Jones, and the possibility some of that data no longer exists. plus the fact Jones admitted those who peer-reviewed him did not ask for the data, if I understood his response at the UK Parliamentary Hearing.

    7 March: UK Tele: Richard Gray: Row over leaked climate emails may undermine reputation of science
    The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and the Royal Statistical Society (RSS) have both issued statements declaring that it is essential that scientific data and evidence compiled by researchers be made publicly available for scrutiny.
    Their comments come after the Institute of Physics said that emails sent by Professor Phil Jones, head of the CRU, had broken “honourable scientific traditions” about disclosing raw data and methods…
    Dr Don Keiller, deputy head of life sciences at Anglia Ruskin University, however, claims that Professor Jones and his colleagues conspired to withhold information in case it was used to criticise them.
    He said: “What these emails reveal is a detailed and systematic conspiracy to prevent other scientists gaining access to CRU data sets. Such obstruction strikes at the very heart of the scientific method, that is the scrutiny and verification of data and results by one’s peers.”
    Professor Darrel Ince, from the department of computer science at the Open University, added: “A number of climate scientists have refused to publish their computer programs; what I want to suggest is that this is both unscientific behaviour and, equally importantly ignores a major problem: that scientific software has got a poor reputation for error.”

    the other eye-opener is the small number of organisations who hold the data and their collaboration. even if you don’t agree with all Lord Monckton says, he says it extremely well and in a manner that gets across to the public.

    26 min: COMPLETE PJTV INTERVIEW Climategate: Al Gore Doubles Down & Lord Monckton Ups The Ante Against Him

  28. Bob McDonald
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 4:23 PM | Permalink

    How about a 20 min infomercial on the Mann-Jones Data Divining Stick…garaunteed to find the data you need.

  29. b_C
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 4:26 PM | Permalink

    20 minutes? Points?

    Extracts from the following:

    All I Ever Needed to Know I Learned From My Dog or in Kindergarten …

    – Share everything.
    – Accidents happen.
    – Play fair.
    – Too much of anything will make you sick.
    – Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
    – Be aware of wonder.
    – Play nicely with others and they’ll play nicely with you.
    – It’s okay to get excited when you see people you like.

  30. anon
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 4:49 PM | Permalink

    Sooooooo… this is how Mann’s gonna wriggle out from under climategate… he’s sending bogus mining data to the squeaky wheel.

    • kim
      Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 5:33 PM | Permalink

      Hah, squeaks from the bull—- wheel.

  31. ianl8888
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 5:13 PM | Permalink

    The annual Kalgoorlie (West Aus) Diggers and Dealers Convention puts PDAC in the shade 🙂

    For those who have posted here and expressed surprise at miners knowing any science – mining is a high-tech enterprise with input and expertise from everywhere, even physics/chemistry/biology/geology. A considerable segment of my current work is estimating potential emissions liability against putative, ill-defined and goalpost-moving legislation (which is not passed as law)

    As far as the raw material input for “high-tech” windmills and other renewabubbles is concerned, geologists love the ironies – we have to find needed deposits through exploration and then help figure out how to mine them economically … worse, Chinese industrial output (a fashionable phrase for pollution) currently holds the keys 🙂

  32. jorgekafkazar
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 5:36 PM | Permalink

    20 minutes?
    (slide #1) 1961, Eisenhower’s “scientific-technological elite” warning,
    (2) overlaying H2O on CO2 absorption spectrum,
    (3) zoom on the small CO2 window not overlapped by H2O.
    (4) 0.038% CO2 in air,
    (5A) Natural CO2 sources
    (5B) Tiny remainder that is human-generated CO2 (~0.0009%?).

    (6) GCM’s are inherently flawed and don’t predict, a scientific failure.

    (7) desperate measures were needed to tease any GW signal out of the climate data.

    (8) hockey stick,
    (9) many requests for data and code,
    (10) stonewalling.

    (11) “A miracle has happened,” the leak and what followed:
    (12) confirmation of suspicions:
    (13) ‘gaming’ the peer review process,
    (14) personal attacks, (15) suppression of dissent,
    (16) ‘hiding the decline,’
    (17) UEA’s “Big Oil” backing,
    (18) false consensus, (19) Trenberth’s travesty

    (20)The fallout: Calls for openness by A, B, C.

    (21) Where things stands now: release of partial data and code; investigation; whitewash.

    (22) What should happen next?

  33. MikeC
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 5:49 PM | Permalink

    20 minutes… thats enough time to make an intro, run to starbucks then get back in time for a close

    • Jimchip
      Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 6:01 PM | Permalink

      Re: MikeC (Mar 8 17:49),

      Hah! But then one would have to assume a transporter beam in order to take the correct samples.

      • MikeC
        Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 9:50 PM | Permalink

        Hey! It’s climate science! You can make up anything you want!

  34. QBeamus
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 5:50 PM | Permalink

    Transparency, sure, but that seems to me a bit too abstract to actually plan a talk with. “Science should be transparent.” Sure. But what has that to do with Climategate? It just begs the question of whether the emails are incriminating or if it’s all just deniers making mountains out of molehills.

    If I were going to boil down what I think is the most important information about Climategate that I’ve gotten from ClimateAudit.org–the stuff that really changes how I see the AGW issue, that I wouldn’t know if I didn’t follow this blog–it would be the story about your efforts to get the information necessary to audit various peer-reviewed papers. My guess is that most people in your audience will not know that story, and I believe it puts the Climategate emails in a completely different perspective. AGW defenders I know are still saying things like “the word ‘trick’ doesn’t necessarily mean deception.” But viewed in context of your efforts to get the data, it looks much different.

    If you’re looking for a theme that might spark interest among open minds, the thing that set off alarm bells more than anything else in my mind has always been the naked hostility the “concensus” crowd has displayed towards disagreement. I’ve watched a lifetime of Nova, Discovery Channel, etc., and usually scientists appear to be having fun debating with others who disagree with them. To be sure, there have been some bitter disagreements among scientists, and “God does not play dice with the universe” isn’t exactly a scientific argument. But among those who might be persuaded, I’d think this might be a persuasive angle. One thing the Climategate emails clearly reveal is that these folk were not taking delight in the open minded pursuit of the truth.

  35. Frank
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 6:42 PM | Permalink

    Since you asked:

    1) MBH98 claims and AR3 publicity
    2) Quick summary of results from auditing this research: off-centered PC1. improperly extended one series back to 1400, not robust to removing bristlecones, correlation coefficient near 0, depends on RE (so can’t claim warmest year or decade), tele-communication hypothesis.
    3) Yamal story.
    4) Response: restrict access to data. PJ to Holland quote.
    5) Brings us to Climategate.
    6) Several infamous climategate quotes. Realclimate explanation. Your explanation.
    7) PSU whitewash.
    8) Schneider quote about telling scary stories.
    9) In IPCC reports “more likely than not” and “likely” are scary stories. Abstracts of science journals usually require “Extremely likely” (>95%)”, or rarely “very likely” (>90%)
    10) What needs to be done?

  36. EdeF
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 7:00 PM | Permalink

    Here is a link to virtual PDAC 2010:


  37. Another Layman Lurker
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 7:35 PM | Permalink

    “Climategate from an Enron Perspective” that you posted in late Feb?

    Also,I recall a comment about being suspicious when hockey stick trends appear in a mining/survey/investment? report.

    • Another Layman Lurker
      Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 12:40 AM | Permalink

      Sorry, I concentrating on your PDAC comments and fell into a pit. Instead:

      Ethics and Standard Practice Inferred from Climategate.

  38. stumpy
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 7:53 PM | Permalink

    Anyone criticising you for work for mining companies is a fool – everyone produces co2, even when we breath for god sakes! It shows you how detached from the real world some people are! Worst of all they think the public are some stupid they will not see the irony of such claims!

    Some want green cars, but dont want mining

    Some dont want to produce co2, but use masses of power to run huge computers

    Some fly around the world in private jets to tell us not to travel

    Some buy beach front condos and tell us the sea will swallow the earth

    Some have high power incandescant spotlights to illuminate the trees on their drive, but want us to use dim energy efficient bulbs full of poison and only use them we are in the room

    Some have large swimming pools and hot tubs but tell us to use water saving toilets, washers and shower heads

    Some tell us to go vegetarian or eat Kangaroo as they sit down to rare steak, scallops and foirgra

    But you cannot work for a gold mine without being a “shrill funded by big oil”!

    If they want to save the world, they should do something first and lead by example, and I dont mean buy a token hybrid for a fifth car they use once that does less MPG than my petrol powered car!

  39. WillR
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 9:15 PM | Permalink

    PDAC? A real challenge — that’s for sure. I’m beat!

    For your talk? The Edward R. Long Paper. Show them the graph on page 8 — tell them to see if they can prove the paper wrong — maybe show the graph on page 9 — the heat island. Page 8 shows fairly stable rural temperatures — small rise over 100 years. Since global warming should be well — global — then what can we say?

    If people want to debate global warming and climate gate — and whether the research was valid — whether they were right to be afraid of scrutiny at CRU — now I had them this paper ask them to read it first — then I will be happy to debate it. The we can discuss whether data was faked, hidden or manipulated or simply whether bad work was done.

  40. Kate7
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 10:24 PM | Permalink

    At http://www.skepticalscience.com/resources.php they are quite proud of themselves for this list. A quick skim of pro/con ratios gives me an idea of the “hottest” topics.

    But the list of arguments is missing several categories.
    -Mann’s refusal to explain his methods
    -Jones’ choices of data from regions in Russia, etc.
    -NOAA GISS CRU data all pointing to Mann/Jones/IPCC which all circle back to NOAA GISS CRU
    -UN IPCC use of sources outside of peer-review

    Then there is the list at http://climateprogress.org/2010/03/02/the-climate-change-debate-is-science-versus-snake-oil/#more-20226

    All the institutions on the FACT side circle back to Hansen/Jones/IPCC. Plug in any of the FACT institutions at Pubmed. There you will find descriptions of the grants these institutions have won just by choosing to study “climate change.” I’ve read these studies involve $75 billion. I think that’s low. Then there is the $100 billion the UN wanted from us (every year, forever, for them to manage without sovereign authority.)

    If I only had twenty minutes, I’d copy several paragraphs like this one onto slides:

    Anthony Watts – “(W)e found that 89 percent of the stations—nearly 9 of every 10—fail to meet the National Weather Service’s own siting requirements that stations must be 30 meters (about 100 feet) or more away from an artificial heating or radiating/reflecting heat source. In other words, 9 of every 10 stations are likely reporting higher or rising temperatures because they are badly sited.” (Pg. 1) The report concludes, “the raw temperature data produced by the USHCN stations are not sufficiently accurate to use in scientific studies or as a basis for public policy decisions.” (Pg. 17)

    Darwin – likewise

    Russia – likewise

  41. Kate7
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 10:29 PM | Permalink

    Very convincing open letter
    Sceptics in Wonderland
    by Christopher Essex
    December 7, 2009
    The Wall Street Journal recently published an article by Daniel Henninger critical of scientists who allowed the culture of Climategate to develop in their professions.
    Christopher Essex, a leading Canadian applied mathematician and award-winning author, has written to Henninger.
    Dear Daniel

    My friend Willie Soon passed on an article from your “Wonder Land” column. It’s very good. It is an angle that I have anticipated for a very long time.

    Wonderland is certainly where I have been trapped for more than twenty years. But it is not nearly as nice as Alice’s version. Thoughts of the inquisition come to mind instead.

    Many of we scientists have been ringing the alarm bells from the beginning on this. We have been telling everyone who would listen about who we were dealing with. We have known all along.

    Climategate is no surprise at all to us. Evidence for this is in my book with Ross McKitrick from 2002, Taken by Storm. It won a $10,000 prize, and is now in a second edition. But few were listening. If my book had a title like Oh, my God, we are all going to die, I am sure that it would have been on the NYT bestseller list at once.

    Even though I understand where you are coming from, I find it rings flat with me to have to face people asking where the scientists were when we were overcoming so many many obstacles to get a rare fair hearing. The scientists have been tied up and gagged in the back room. I hate that. We were there screaming our lungs out all along.

    Damn it all, my friends Ross McKitrick and Steve McIntyre had to have a hearing before US congress to get that ridiculous hockey stick broken! It should have been a simple matter. The thing could hardly hold together under its own weight.

    Ross and I had a whole chapter on the hockey stick in our book, long before that controversy came to light. We used similar techniques to compute the US GDP with tree rings back to the year 1000, and we got a lovely hockey stick.

    I did not want in on the original hockey stick paper, because of my objections to the merits of the underlying physics, but I did comment on the drafts. In the second edition, there is an account of how the thing got broken by Ross and Steve.

    That science needed to get settled in Congress should have got people’s attention right there that there was something seriously wrong.

    Science is alive and well in the individual scientists who are not caught up in gaming the system for bigger grants. I call it small science. Many of them are doing very unfashionable things, and are happy to get no recognition for it.

    That is where you can find the real scientists. That is where the future will be.

    A milestone in this mess can be said to be when John Houghton of the IPCC said it was the IPCC’s job to “orchestrate” the views of science. Everything that has happened flows as an inevitable consequence of that.

    Some important research fields have been “orchestrated” out of existence. Even before Climategate, I have been saying that we have set ourselves back a generation by taking the money from governments with so many strings attached.

    Governments leaders wanted something where they could absolve themselves of the responsibility for making informed decisions. They would have to read science stuff otherwise. They ordered up a kind of unnatural scientist that would tell them precisely what they wanted to hear.

    But they gave the puppeteers clubs to deal with those of us who remained true. And the perps of Climategate are what they got. All of my colleagues have had to endure these bullies and criminals for a very long time.

    You should understand that (real) scientists have had to pay the heaviest price for the creation of these monsters for decades. And they were not created by us.
    Best wishes,

    Christopher Essex is Professor and Associate Chair of the Department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Western Ontario.

  42. Kate7
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 10:33 PM | Permalink

    Convincing UN document:

    According to Richard Tol at http://umbrellog.com/forum3/viewtopic.php?p=95688 the following “Summary for Policy Makers is very selective, up to the point of twisting the chapters’ findings beyond recognition. In case of SAR WG3 Chapter 6, this was done against the will of the authors. The IPCC has learned from that. The selection process for authors is now more careful (awkward people like myself are not welcome) and there is self-selection too (David Pearce withdrew).” Richard Tol

    A Political Issue for 2000—and Beyond

    Click to access epp_102b.pdf

    (In particular refer to page 19/20: ‘Politics Enters into Drafting the IPCC Report.’ Here examples are given of ‘substantial changes … made between the time when the report was approved in Madrid and the time it was printed.The convening lead author, Ben Santer, readily admitted to making these changes.)

  43. Kate7
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 10:38 PM | Permalink

    One of my favorite Berkeley grants from Pubmed:

    (They’ve even got a total on the battle deaths.)

    Warming increases the risk of civil war in Africa.
    Burke MB, Miguel E, Satyanath S, Dykema JA, Lobell DB.
    Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Department of Economics, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley CA 94720.
    Armed conflict within nations has had disastrous humanitarian consequences throughout much of the world. Here we undertake the first comprehensive examination of the potential impact of global climate change on armed conflict in sub-Saharan Africa. We find strong historical linkages between civil war and temperature in Africa, with warmer years leading to significant increases in the likelihood of war. When combined with climate model projections of future temperature trends, this historical response to temperature suggests a roughly 54% increase in armed conflict incidence by 2030, or an additional 393,000 battle deaths if future wars are as deadly as recent wars. Our results suggest an urgent need to reform African governments’ and foreign aid donors’ policies to deal with rising temperatures.

    • Dr Iain McQueen
      Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 9:11 AM | Permalink

      Re: Kate7 (Mar 8 22:38), Kate
      Astounding, almost complete madness, and all on the back of global warming. Psychosis takes many forms!

    • Dr Iain McQueen
      Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 12:29 PM | Permalink

      Re: Kate7 (Mar 8 22:38),
      I find this so bizarre, I am wondering if you have any other amusing examples of how the upcoming students can use climate change to excuse writing papers, or even to get funding! Or indeed any other not neccessarily academic exploits travelling on the back of climate change, but only relevant by the use of a fertile imagination?

      • HaroldW
        Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 11:43 PM | Permalink

        It is very likely (p>90%) that this article will be included in the next IPCC report. It must be science, because they have confidence intervals and everything, right?

        It’s just a matter of time before someone publishes that WW II began during a period of rising temperatures, too.

      • Kate7
        Posted Mar 10, 2010 at 6:24 PM | Permalink

        Just go to Pubmed and type in “rising earth temperature” or “climate change” or “global warming.” You can read all about the grants we are paying for. (I wish they listed how much each grant was for.)

        I asked Berkeley what the funding amount was for that one. They didn’t answer.

      • Chris D
        Posted Mar 11, 2010 at 4:48 PM | Permalink

        Dr. McQueen- see link below- it’s my all-time favorite.


  44. D. Patterson
    Posted Mar 8, 2010 at 11:28 PM | Permalink

    “Is it science or something else: the ethics from a blog’s perspective?”

    “Climate Science: a post-normal or a past-normal reflection of Science?”

    “Peer review and science in the Internet Age: the challenges and the rewards.”

    “What does it mean to be a scientist or an engineer today?”

    “Science and Freedom of Information: Determining the Standards of Performance”

    “Questioning your Peers”

    “Academic Letters of Another Kind: the emerging impact of Climategate upon science and scientists.”

  45. Geoff Sherrington
    Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 2:12 AM | Permalink

    What to talk about at Trinity College? In that short a time I’d deal with the concept of the perfect catastrophe and the precautionary principle with examples from the text of ‘Dr Strangelove’. There are some marvellous quotes that can be applied to climatology with only a little mischief.

    Whatever your topic, may it go well. Geoff.

  46. Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 2:52 AM | Permalink

    Hide the decline

  47. TerryS
    Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 3:48 AM | Permalink

    I’ve been doing some mining business in the past few weeks and it’s taken time.

    Thats the problem with being a well funded skeptic. All that cash from the oil, coal and gas industries has to be laundered through your legitimate business.


  48. Steven Hales
    Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 6:34 AM | Permalink

    20 Minutes? Be humorous above all else.

    • Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 6:43 PM | Permalink

      Indeed. Taken in conjunction with all the other advice, I think I’ve found the ideal role model for Steve:

  49. James Strom
    Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 8:27 AM | Permalink

    Phil Jones recently testified that peer reviewers had never asked him for raw data or codes.

    The leading premise of this web site is that climate “science” had not been audited. Jones’ testimony gives complete vindication to that claim.

    That’s worth mentioning.

  50. Kevin
    Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 9:24 AM | Permalink

    Climate scientists produce CO2 as well.

    In 20 minutes I would point out how bloggers such as yourself have caused science institutions to adjust/revise their findings. To me that is huge in terms of building credibility. Unlike the chapter title The Bloggers Cannot Save Us in Chris Mooney’s book Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens our Future, I believe bloggers are making a significant difference and contribution and just might save climate science from ruin.

  51. Dave L.
    Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 9:31 AM | Permalink

    Regarding your talk about Climategate tomorrow, I also vote for a focused talk on a single issue rather than a paintbrush, and what better single topic to hit upon than “Hide the Decline”.
    1) It has been publicized more than any other single issue, yet it is one that the spin machine has attempted to defuse more than any other facet. Many less informed people are confused about its significance, in particular scientists in other fields.
    2) It also can be accompanied by easily understood graphics to display on the screen.
    3) The Climategate e-mails directly expose it.
    4) It leads into the divergence issue, data manipulation, scientific mischief, violation of scientific methods, rewriting climate history (eliminating the MWP), etc.
    5) Then there is its association with the IPCC and how the latter tried to squelch it, including your experiences.

    In other words, you could present hard evidence and really drive it home to the jury.

  52. Ron Cram
    Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 9:31 AM | Permalink


    Here’s my suggestion:

    CRU emails show:
    Slide 1 – Frontal attack on scientific openness and transparency
    Slide 2 – Certainty replaced by uncertainty
    Slide 3 – Paleoclimate science most badly damaged
    Slide 4 – Hide the decline email by Jones
    Slide 5 – MWP as warm as today email by Briffa
    Slide 6 – Role and importance of paleoclimate science
    Slide 7 – Surface temp record also affected
    Slide 8 – Why should we show you our data?
    Slide 9 – Goal-oriented adj on ocean blip email
    Slide 10 – Lack of warming a travesty email
    Slide 11 – Suppression of peer-reviewed skeptic papers – go to town email
    Slide 12 – Pal review instead of peer-review
    Slide 13 – Russians say their data was manipulated
    Slide 14 – Does the evidence indicate a non-random warming bias in the surface temp record?
    Slide 15 – Even a slight warming bias will dramatically reduce climate sensitivity estimates such as by Schwartz

  53. Kevin
    Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 9:36 AM | Permalink

    May the Schwartz be with you!

  54. Kevin
    Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 9:38 AM | Permalink

    Sorry, I forgot you were into geology…

    May the quartz be with you!

  55. Ron Cram
    Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 9:44 AM | Permalink

    As you can see, I think a paintbrush approach is much better. I think you have to assume your audience does not know much about Climategate. Just talking about one email will mislead people into thinking that one email is the only issue.

    I would advise you give the scandal some context to provide meaning. You can only do that with a paintbrush.

    You might also mention how the scandal affects or should affect the IPCC. Zorita calling for the CRU folks to not be involved in IPCC in the future. The essay by Judith Curry.

    By all means, mention Mosher’s book and Bishop Hills’ book.

    • Tolz
      Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 1:51 PM | Permalink

      I think Judith Curry’s statement at the end of her editorial about her take away from Climategate:

      No one really believes that the “science is settled” or that “the debate is over.” Scientists and others that say this seem to want to advance a particular agenda. There is nothing more detrimental to public trust than such statements.

      …could be highlighted as it is coming from a climate scientist who could be described as being sympathetic to AGW. More and more climate scientists are breaking their silence on the state of the “science”.

      • Ron Cram
        Posted Mar 10, 2010 at 9:20 AM | Permalink

        I agree. That was the quote I had in mind.

  56. R.S.Brown
    Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 11:24 AM | Permalink


    While you were out:

    Club Med on 9 March.

  57. Topm G(ologist)
    Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 11:42 AM | Permalink

    Steve, from a mining geologist:

    My clients include limestone aggregate producers (cement kilns) so are under heavy CO2 scrutiny. A long time ago at a GSA convention I saw a bumper sticker which read:

    “Ban Mining: Let the bastards freeze in the dark”

    I regret not having bought it.

    Enjoy the conference

    • deadwood
      Posted Mar 10, 2010 at 1:22 AM | Permalink

      At the Spokane Mining Conference in the 1990’s I picked a pile of bumper stickers with this:

      Earth First – Well Mine the Other Planets Later

  58. MinB
    Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 12:37 PM | Permalink

    As a marketing professional, I would first determine if your audience will primarily be college students or include the general adult population, then tailor your talk accordingly. For students, a natural hook is how blogging broke Climategate. Whatever your topic, don’t forget to end with a specific Call to Action. Personally, I think it would be a great project for statistics students to select specific elements of the models or station data to analyze.

    In general, students are always in need of topics for papers. I would encourage them to contact this blog to discuss ideas and tap into the far reaching intellectual resources here. Good luck!

  59. Harry Eagar
    Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 1:59 PM | Permalink

    What captured my interest when I first read CA was the rigor required of reports in mining prospectuses.

    Since most of your enemies don’t seem to get the significance of that, and the rest of the world has not a clue, you might remind them of the rigor of staking claims in mining v. the apparent laxity of making claims in climatology.

    There’s a topic title: ‘Staking claims v. making claims’

  60. John Mapleback
    Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 3:08 PM | Permalink

    “what to cover in 20 minutes.”

    It won’t take that long. Just concentrate on the central topic – that there is no reliable scientific evidence that CO2 causes global (or any other) temperature variations, period.

    • Dr Iain McQueen
      Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 3:30 PM | Permalink

      Re: John Mapleback (Mar 9 15:08),
      I quite agree that proof of CO2 effect is far from settled, and it is the crucial convergence point of the whole AGW argument.
      But is not directly germaine to Steves’ brief.

  61. David G Anderson
    Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 4:57 PM | Permalink

    Steve I suggest you clarify and dramatize the parallels between the Bre-X promotion and the AGW promotion. Dwell on the need to verify core samples in mining development and the need to audit the “science” behind climate science. The prospectors will get it.

  62. rw
    Posted Mar 9, 2010 at 8:28 PM | Permalink

    i feel like i am watching a gamchanger tonight on TVO Ontario. Steve pakin a very well respected middle of the road interviewer. He is often choosen to moderate canadian political debates because of his fairness.

    Steve is interviewing two very well spoken profs on climate change. Its amazing. These guys are blowing the lid of global warming in a calm and collected manner. I am stunned. It seems like a gamechanger to me..

  63. Bill Hunter
    Posted Mar 10, 2010 at 4:07 AM | Permalink

    How about a piece on science vs advocacy?

    • Posted Mar 10, 2010 at 10:16 AM | Permalink


      Ask and though shalt recieve. TVO 4 part series.

      Climate III: “Political” Science
      The connections between science and politics. Can politics force both those who say “whatever it takes to save the planet” and “ACC is a Trojan horse for government control of the economy” to an accommodation?

      Tonight actually may be more interesting

      The Debate: Climate II: The Media, the Scientists and the Planet
      How well have journalists covered climate change?

      • Political Junkie
        Posted Mar 10, 2010 at 5:24 PM | Permalink

        Let me strongly endorse the testimonials to TVO’s “Agenda” and last night’s program. A podcast is available here.


        I’m also looking forward to tonight’s discussion on press coverage.

        If you haven’t seen Steve Paikin, the moderator, you’re in for a treat. He’s a gem!

        • Kate7
          Posted Mar 10, 2010 at 6:50 PM | Permalink

          Is the Tuesday podcast not available yet? I can’t make it play.

        • Jimchip
          Posted Mar 12, 2010 at 9:29 AM | Permalink

          Re: Political Junkie (Mar 10 17:24),

          I’ve only seen the Hadi Dowlatabadi vs. Richard Lindzen “debate” but I agree that Paikin did a good job. It was a good ~50 min summary with Hadi and Richard agreeing with each other most of the time, so hardly a debate, but the title was something like “Is the debate over?”. NASA didn’t come out looking to well, message-wise.

  64. Ray Girouard
    Posted Mar 10, 2010 at 2:45 PM | Permalink

    This it OT but needs to be addressed. The following is a press release from the InterAcademyCouncil that was posted by Andrew Revkin on DotEarth. As with any of the reviews, it all depends upon the panel’s charge and its membership.

    Date: March 10, 2010



    AMSTERDAM, Netherlands — The InterAcademy Council (IAC), a multinational organization of the world’s science academies, has been requested to conduct an independent review of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) processes and procedures. The study comes at the invitation of the United Nations secretary-general and the chair of the IPCC, and will help guide the processes and procedures of the IPCC’s fifth report and future assessments of climate science.

    The IAC has been asked to establish an ad hoc Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) of experts from relevant fields to conduct the review and to present recommendations on possible revisions of IPCC practices and procedures. In addition, the IEG is asked to recommend measures and actions to strengthen the IPCC’s capacity to respond to future challenges and ensure the ongoing quality of its reports.

    Founded in 2000, the IAC was created to mobilize top scientists and engineers around the world to provide evidence-based advice to international bodies such as the United Nations and World Bank — including preparing expert, peer-reviewed studies upon request. The IAC Board is composed of the presidents of 15 academies of science and equivalent organizations — representing Argentina, Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States, plus the African Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (TWAS) — and representatives of the InterAcademy Panel (IAP) of scientific academies, the International Council of Academies of Engineering and Technological Sciences (CAETS), and the InterAcademy Medical Panel (IAMP) of medical academies. The IAC Secretariat is hosted by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) in Amsterdam. The IAC Board has final approval authority over conducting and publishing IAC studies.

    The IAC is currently led by two co-chairs, Robbert Dijkgraaf, president of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Lu Yongxiang, president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Following IAC board approval of the review, the IAC co-chairs will appoint members of the IEG after a vetting process to assure their expertise, balance of perspectives, and absence of conflicts of interest. They will be volunteers who serve PRO BONO; only their travel and meeting expenses will be paid. Participants in the IEG will not be under obligation to any government, the IPCC, or the United Nations. The IAC and IEG will receive financial support for their work from the United Nations. Because work on the Fifth Assessment of IPCC has already commenced, the IEG has been asked to deliver its findings by Aug. 31, 2010.

    Robbert Dijkgraaf said he was pleased to be representing the world’s scientists and science academies. “The InterAcademy Council,” he said, “is prepared to take on the challenge of this important review of the work and processes of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Our goal will be to assure nations around the world that they will receive sound, definitive scientific advice on which governments and citizens alike can make informed decisions.”

    Lu Yongxiang recalled that when the IPCC was created by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme in 1989, its charge was to provide scientific and comprehensive information about climate change. “With this review,” he said, “the IAC will carefully examine the IPCC’s procedures, processes, and types of products to ensure that climate change issues will be scientifically presented and solid science-based recommendations will be provided in future IPCC assessment reports.”

    “I welcome Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s decision,” said Ralph J. Cicerone, IAC board member and president of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, “to recruit experts from the world’s science community for this independent review of the IPCC, examining both its strengths and any areas where changes may be needed to produce the best possible assessments of climate science.”

    Lord Martin Rees, IAC board member and president of the Royal Society, said, “Climate science is inherently complex, integrating many different disciplines and kinds of data. The IPCC’s role in assessing and expounding the latest scientific findings is getting ever more important. This independent review of its procedures is timely and important, as an aid to ensuring that future reports, which will assess new and updated research, are optimal resources for making sense of climate change and helping policymakers respond to it.”


    Amsterdam: John Campbell, IAC Executive Director
    Kloveniersburgwal 29
    1011 JV Amsterdam
    The Netherlands
    E-mail: j.campbell@iac.knaw.nl

    Contact: William Kearney, Director of Media Relations
    U.S. National Academy of Sciences
    E-mail: wkearney@nas.edu
    Phone: +1 202 334 2138

    Web site: http://www.interacademycouncil.net\

    # # #


  65. Political Junkie
    Posted Mar 10, 2010 at 11:46 PM | Permalink

    The second instalment was disappointing. It “featured” a bunch of AGW cheerleader journalists.

    As much as the scientists on the first program told us about uncertainties and unknowns, the journalists had absolute conviction that the world was going to hell in a hanbasket and that we should all panic, NOW!!!!

  66. Michael D Smith
    Posted Mar 12, 2010 at 6:44 AM | Permalink

    You have the demeanor of a distant observer when you speak, a “facts only” kind of guy without any special personal interest in the subject at hand (other than the fact that it seems interesting to you). There is never any “fluff”, it’s only about what can be observed in the data. At least that’s how I see you. So while I agree with many others on skeptical points to talk about, you risk becoming an “advocate” rather than an “observer”. If you can describe all of these points from the same detached position, that’s great. If not, talk only about what YOU discovered and how that process worked. I suppose some background information is required no matter what if the audience is “climate controlled”.

    I think these points are pertinent to a general AGW discussion

    Hockey stick – as is.
    Hockey stick – in perspective http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/noaa_gisp2_icecore_anim_hi-def3.gif
    (No chance current temp is unprecedented – maybe save this one for last)
    Hockey stick – how you broke it
    MWP and LIA – before and after – why did they have to kill it? To sell the hokey stick.
    Hundreds of articles supporting MWP (a good listing on junkscience.com) Scroll through a web page really fast showing 600+ titles (5 seconds)
    1995 assessment before and after – “a consensus of ONE” (Ben Santer).
    What has happened temperature-wise since there was “no discernible human signal” (1995) to present
    How this data went from not significant to >90% certainty (a political, not scientific construct.
    Uncertainty in the temperature data. UHI not accounted for. Up to 60% of measured warming (choose a figure from a paper). NASA and CRU data sets in question.
    Why there SHOULD be new records set on a 300 year positive trend line with random data around it (recovery from LIA)
    A brief discussion of destroyed myths
    .Hockey stick destroyed, with the MWP rightly taking back its property.
    .Sea level rise at a pause (Morner)
    .Himalayas melting
    .Antarctic melting
    .Arctic melting is something new (refer to 18th century quotes describing open water in the arctic)
    .Accelerating rate myth
    .New “gates” discovered every day. We’re running out of gates, save some for the slalom skiers will ya?

    Maybe describe being lucky at first, but the more you dug, the luckier you got.

  67. Michael D Smith
    Posted Mar 12, 2010 at 8:07 AM | Permalink

    I forgot an important piece… How can you learn more? Maybe you could get permission to post a page of links on the university website for further study, a link the students could write down. Or, a stack of hand-outs might be a good idea with what you consider to be reliable sources of studies that might contradict the so-called “consensus”. There are many blogrolls that have places to visit you might feel are important. My personal impression is that the consensus among scientists is clearly on the side of skepticism, while the advertised “consensus” is identifiable to only 60 or 70 scientists (last count I read was 62, but I can’t remember the source).

    I think this is a good overview that links to many places, including here… http://www.greenworldtrust.org.uk/Science/Curious.htm

    Climategate, while interesting, only served to increase awareness of the various issues among the general public, though politicians seem to be unaffected. Explain how this is nothing new, these are problems that have been discussed by skeptics for YEARS. Climategate served to crack open the floodgates. (or flood of gates).

  68. Craig Bear
    Posted Mar 15, 2010 at 5:12 AM | Permalink


    Just wondering if amongst all the amazing things you juggle you saw that article in the West Australian where they said that the Bureau of Meteorology is going to release a yearly pamphlet showing all the BoM Historical data from the 1960s onwards showing the warming in Australia and whether or not you’ll find some time to take a look at it. (I don’t think it’s been released yet, but they already talked about it as being proof that the debate in Australia should end (what debate?… don’t know what tv channels they’ve been watching) and that we all need to accept that the evidence is 90% confidence it’s all our fault. (Paraphrasing)

    Cheers. Keep up the great work.

  69. ian
    Posted Mar 15, 2010 at 9:29 PM | Permalink

    First time on CA. Really folks, a love-in is a love-in, whether it’s this side of the fence or the other.

    “Mine other planets later…” Someone’s idea of long term planning, I suppose – good luck with that.

    Anyways, my conclusion: peashooting is easy, publishing is not.

    I hope to God Steve will write the definitive, peer-reviewed article and end the discussion, so we can move on to … well, to what? Good old prospecting and gold mining, like Steve?

    My tip for twenty minutes? Talk about how a catastrophic loss of biodiversity, and NOT climate change, is the topic people should really be concerned about – yes, take up that topic, Steve, and I’ll really know you for a straight shooter.

  70. Posted Mar 28, 2010 at 2:49 AM | Permalink

    “I’m speaking for about 20 minutes and having trouble deciding what to cover in 20 minutes.”

    Hmmm. Well, you could start with the idea that it doesn’t remotely come close to changing the fact that humans are warming the planet via greenhouse gases regardless of the monstrously large red herring smoke screen you and others tried to make it into (but which most hardly even now remember).

    If that doesn’t fill up the time, you could also discuss how WorldDendro 2010 retracted their invitation for your talk at the conference, in response to the public objections of others who didn’t want you there, given that you have contributed nothing to the field except accusations of incompetence and fraud.

    Those should keep you busy Steve.

    Steve: can you please provide a reference to support your allegation that I’ve accused people in the field of “fraud”?

    • Dave Dardinger
      Posted Mar 28, 2010 at 8:59 AM | Permalink

      Re: Jim Bouldin (Mar 28 02:49),

      Thank you for dropping by and giving us your imput! It’s especially nice that you’re giving us such a striking example of what you believe is Steve’s MO. A case of form following function as it were. As long as you’re here, you might want to browse some of the old threads. There are some interesting ones concerning tree rings, arctic ice, sea level rises, ice core measurements, atmospheric temperatures, UHI measurements, Splenotherms (sp?), attribution studies, etc. We hope for more interaction from you in the future.

      Dave Dardinger (reader of essentially every thread on this site)

    • Posted Mar 28, 2010 at 9:15 PM | Permalink

      Hmm, I haven’t seen a single post from Steve which throws any accusation of fraud. Perhaps you could cite one for us?

      As for incompetence, if there’s no fraud, then incompetence is the only thing left.

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    […] Pdac As readers doubtless realize, I’ve been a bit inactive on the blog during the past week and will be inactive for […] […]

  4. […] re-published and distributed by the ExxonMobil-funded George C. Marshall Institute. McIntyre says he’s more interested in mining these days than climate science, unless it’s about Michael Mann of […]

  5. […] College Presentation, March 2010 I mentioned in March that I was giving a presentation “next Wednesday”on Climategate at Trinity College, […]

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