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Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Via CCNet I read an interesting post from TonyN on Harmless Sky. Paraphrasing, it suggests The Royal society is not quite as convinced of catastrophic warming as it is paid to be:

There is no doubt that The Royal Society has a position on climate change, but to what extent is this venerable and distinguished organisation able to express a truly independent and objective opinion on a matter of current public policy?

Here is what the Society say at the head of the main page on their web site dealing with climate:

"International scientific consensus agrees that increasing levels of man-made greenhouse gases are leading to global climate change. Possible consequences of climate change include rising temperatures, changing sea levels, and impacts on global weather. These changes could have serious impacts on the world's organisms and on the lives of millions of people, especially those living in areas vulnerable to extreme natural conditions such as flooding and drought"

At a glance, this appears to be a reiteration of the current orthodoxy, but a more careful reading reveals it is remarkably cautious. There is no reference to conclusive, or even compelling, scientific evidence but only to 'international scientific consensus', it speaks of 'possible consequences' rather inevitable consequences, and suggests that these 'could' be serious rather than predicting certain disaster. There is plenty of wriggle-room here should opinion change.

...very different from what the last president of the Society, Lord May of Oxford, was wont to tell the media. His claims that the science of anthropogenic climate change is as clear as that relating to gravity or evolution made one wonder ...

In the United States, both the American Physical Society and the American Chemical Society have come under pressure from members to review their alarmist and dogmatic public utterances on climate change (See post at WattsUpWithThat ...


Although a charitable body, The Royal Society serves as the Academy of Sciences of the United Kingdom (in which role it receives funding from HM Government).

Government funding comes in the form of Parliamentary Grants-in-aid which, over the last four years (most recent accounts 31st March 2008), has amounted to: £31.7m, £32.9m, £36.6m and £44.9m respectively. So from 2005 to 2008 the government's contributions have increased by about 42%.

The next heading in the accounts is 'Other grants and contributions', which suggests more support from the public sector. For the same period this amounts to: £9.5m, £8.8m, £7.3m and £7.8m. It looks as though, you can add about another £8m (on average) in public funding to the amount received from Parliamentary Grants-in-aid.

Turning to the expenditure side of the accounts, we find that items that are attributable to research funding amount to £29.0m, £30.2m £32.3m and £38.4, an increase of 32% over four years. So the Society's activities as a conduit for government funds directed towards research have also increased at the same time as the Parliamentary Grants-in-aid, but to a lesser extent.

But it is some other items of expenditure that really caught my eye.

2005 Informing scientific policy £0.4m
2006 Independent advice nationally and internationally £1.1m
2007 Influence policymaking with the best scientific advice £1.5m
2008 Influence policymaking with the best scientific advice £2.3m

This area of expenditure has increased by nearly six times.

Although the wording in these entries varies, it is pretty clear that they all cover the same activities, and the latter two entries are quite unambiguous. Moreover they look very much like allocations for lobbying activities directed towards the government, which in turn funds the Society. Why should this be?

Overall, it is apparent that government support for an institution which is, at the same time, a charity, a national academy of science and a channel for public expenditure related to scientific research has grown very considerably during the period when global warming has become a political hot potato...

One last point. During an interview on Radio4's Today programme, the following exchange took place between Evan Davis (the presenter) and Sir Jonathon Porritt, chairman of the Sustainable Development Commission, who is a lifelong environmental activist.

Evan Davis: Does it worry you that somehow the pressure ... . isn't being brought to bear on government [to take action on climate change] and the government isn't making the case loudly enough for actual change to occur.

Sir Jonathon Porritt: Yes it's a funny one this, you sometimes hear minsters saying that they wished the environmental organisations were whipping up more public pressure so they would then be able to respond to that pressure.

Radio4 Today 29th June 2009 about 2mins 25sec in.

This provides a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse of how the business of government is conducted under the present administration. I'm sure that Sir Jonathan saw nothing strange in his admission that the government are happy to use environmental activists to drive policies that they know the public are, at best, lukewarm about. And if our national academy of science lobbies the government alongside the activist groups, then that is even more potent pressure that ministers can react to.


Something Tony is kind enough not to mention is that Mr Robert May (1936-1959), Dr Robert May (1959-1969), Prof. Robert May (1969-1996). Prof. Sir Robert May (1996-2001), Prof. The Rt. Hon. The Lord May of Oxford (2001-) was prior to becoming President of the Royal Society in 2000, the Chief scientific Advisor to the Government, a political appointment whose subsequent holder Sir David King has told "infantile" lies in support of global warming from which he has certainly profited.

On another post on the same site Tony quotes a BBC interview with the chair of a Parliamentary Committee on what makes good science:

"Mr Willis said the government had "a good record" in funding scientific research.

"But it's how you use that science," he added.

"For example, we've got a huge climate change agenda, we've got a huge energy agenda. Where are we using the scientific and engineering advice?

"Unless at the policy stage ministers are urged to ask that basic question, 'Where is the evidence to support our policy and if there isn't, how do we get it?'

"That makes good government."

It seems you get it by paying for it. The Royal Scoiety is the premier scientific society in the world. Its motto 'Nullius in verba', roughly translated as 'Take nobody's word for it', dates back to 1663>. Its members have a duty not merely to their own self respect but to their eminent predecessors, who counted Charles II as their patron but did not let him dictate their opinions, not to let Ed Miliband do so.

It's a p[rediction you numbskull!!!

You can't have evidence of weather in 2050 or 2100 you can only have predictions.

Hence the 'possibilities' which 'could' happen.

You entire argument is hung on a poor understanding of scientific method and expression.
It's lucky you're a borderline nutter and not a serious columnist, otherwise David King would sue you for that libel and would easily, unequivocally win.
Mous by your "thoughts" the imminent appearance of the 4 horsemen of the Apocalypse, rivers of blood, the Great Beast 666 etc is science because it is a prediction & will be until it happens.

John B if you were, in some way, inteligent you would have followed the link & seen that the term "infantile" came from a former editor of Nature, Jeff Harvey not me. Admitedly Harvey was too stupid to check whose words he was disparaging first. That is who he would have to sue.
"Mous by your "thoughts" the imminent appearance of the 4 horsemen of the Apocalypse, rivers of blood, the Great Beast 666 etc is science because it is a prediction & will be until it happens" - NC

even by your standards, that is a ridiculous answer. And again it just shows me that you don't really understand science or it's vocabulary. You have tried to reject my point about scientific predictions by citing totally ridiculous and unrelated mystical predictions. Why?

You are a very poor scientist Neil.
Because it is an example which, by your definition (that it is an unproveable prediction) counts as science. Both Armageddon & catastrophic warming are unfalsifiable prediction & thus, as you would know if you had any knowledge of science at all, are not scientific.

Or perhaps you can name some verifiable evidence which would prove or disprove catastrophic warming (or Armageddon or Ragnarok etc).
"perhaps you can name some verifiable evidence which would prove or disprove catastrophic warming" - NC


A prediction is a model of future behaviour based on the extrapolation of current evidence. And you seem to think there is something poor about these predictions because scientists haven't produced evidence for future events!!! You don't understand the absolute basics of science. You read science fiction comics then strut about calling yourself Professor!

(And your attempt to dismiss scientific predicitions based on current scientific evidence by suggesting they are akin to biblical predictions based on mythology is cringingly weak and embarassing.)
Precisely. A prediction, with no evidential backing isn't science it is Faith. This applies whether the author is wearing a white coat or a white robes.

You are merely repeating yourself while demonstrating, by denying that falsifiability of a theory or prediction is required that you have any idea of what science is.

Incidentally the alarmists theory has indeed been falsified by the lack of upper atmosphere warming. Knowing even a slight amount of what you are talking about you will be able to explain how alarmists get round this :-)
A prediction, with no evidential backing isn't science it is Faith. - NC

Absolutely wrong. A fundametally flawed misunderstanding of scientific processs. Science can predict the next solar eclipse but it cannot prove it. It is not faith, but they have no evidence for when the next eclipse will be. They can only predict it. And their prediction will be proved right on the day the eclipse happens. Then there will be proof.

And if you want to talk about the falsifiability of theories. I'll tell you what is 'evident'. You are conspiracy loon, you see conspiracies everywhere. Your pseudo-scientific claims are just the physical extension of your mental problems. You put forward dozens of very unlikely even impossible theories and refuse to look at the most simple and likely explaination for the evidence that is plastered all over 'A place to stand' viz that you are not capable of rational discussion or thought because you have delusions which prevent it.

Unlike you claims, THAT is a workable theory. It is supported by the evidence, both anecdotal and physical.
Moron. If you really believe it is not possible to prove how the planets & Moon move your knowledge of science stopped with the birth of Newton. If you think the falsifiability of eclipse predictions has not been thoroughly tested your knowledge of science stopped before the Summerian astrologers.

Your theory that I am wrong is, of course, subject to proof or falsibility & any time you, or any of the other mice, feel able to disprove something I will be interested to see it.

Now here is another falsifiable theory - though you are in no way either intelligent or honest you, as the Principle of Mediocrity personified, fully represent the average eco-Nazi, brane, liberal democrat etc passing asinine remarks. That can be falsified by a bunch of inteligent proponents of these positions making inteligent points. Any bets?
Neil're obviously a very witty and smart bloke. You really enjoy humiliating these retarded brane and lib-dem clowns don't you? ROFL! hahahaha

Keep up the good work mate!
I would much prefer to persuade them if that were possible.
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