August climateballs

Another round-up of some of the latest climate silliness – some stories that are worth commenting on but don’t really merit a full post on their own.

Mr Hulot resigns

The clueless French environment minister, appropriately named Mr Hulot, has resigned, see AFP report and Climate Home. Apparently he announced his resignation live on radio this morning, without having told President Macron first. Hulot seems to think that nuclear power stations cause global warming and is upset that they aren’t being phased out fast enough, something we’ve commented on before. In fact France has lower carbon emissions per capita or per GDP than most of the rest of Europe, largely thanks to their high level of nuclear power. So this, attributed to Hulot, makes no sense at all:

Hulot said his time in office had been “an accumulation of disappointments”, citing France’s failure to move away from nuclear power. He said he felt like he had “a bit of influence but no power”.

He stressed that the transition to a carbon-free world was a “collective responsibility” and that the dominating liberalism model had to be put into question if the world was to move to a green economy.

Kaitlin’s fake news

Kaitlin Naughten is a climate scientist now at the British Antarctic Survey. Hers is a story you may have seen before. She started her climate activist blogging at the age of 16, then moved into the field (this is one of the problems climate science faces — political activists with established views and agendas are attracted into it).

Her latest post is about fake news. Now writing about fake news is always dangerous, and you have to be careful. But this point seems to have escaped Kaitlin. She starts her blog about fake news with the claim that

The UK is stockpiling food and medicine

At the risk of stating the obvious, this is, itself, fake news. The link goes to a Guardian article saying that the government is drawing up plans for stockpiling in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

I posted a comment on Kaitlin’s blog pointing out that her claim was fake news. But unsurprisingly, she didn’t post it or acknowledge or correct the error.

She ends her post with another piece of fake news,

More and more people now understand and accept the science of climate change

Here the link is to Climate change in the American mind. If she had bothered to read beyond the spin from the Yale climate propaganda team and actually look at the results of the survey, she’d have seen that, as we’ve discussed here recently, there’s been virtually no change in public opinion over the last decade.

Unbalanced alarmists

An assorted bunch of climate activists, politicians, people from UEA etc (including Caroline Lucas, George Monbiot, Rupert Read and Mark Maslin) have written a loopy letter to the Guardian. Their suffering from Climate Derangement Syndrome is so severe that they appear to be unable to distinguish between climate change being real and it being catastrophic:

We are no longer willing to lend our credibility to debates over whether or not climate change is real. It is real. We need to act now or the consequences will be catastrophic.

From this non sequitur, they proceed to an outright falsehood:

In the interests of “balance”, the media often feels the need to include those who outright deny the reality of human-triggered climate change.

I wonder who they are referring to here? They don’t say. Usually the target of such authoritarian zealots is Nigel Lawson, who appears on the radio once every year or two (“often”?) leading to shrieks of indignation. But Lawson, as anyone who has looked at his book will know, doesn’t ‘deny the reality of human-triggered climate change’.

They end their letter by declaring that they aren’t going to debate, which inspired Josh’s cartoon shown above.


  1. French media have been their usual opaque selves about the resignation of Monsieur Hulot. All the once and future ecology ministers who have been rushing to the TV studios have simply repeated in various forms that he’s he’s had enough of “swallowing grass snakes” (French for being humiliated)
    He’s got through huge rises in gas, electricity and diesel in the name of making us more energy efficient, and so far the voters haven’t noticed. When they do his position, as most popular member of the government would have been toast, so maybe he thought he’d get out now.

    He’s also got through a law making all exploration for fossil fuel illegal in mainland France. A little noticed IEA report on European energy resources noted that France has more frackable gas than any other West European country – not a bit more, but, like, fifteen times Britain’s resources, or 80% of the total for W Europe. Someone in Macron’s entourage may have noticed this and decided to drop ecological insanity sharpish.


  2. I’ve found an analysis of the reason for Hulot’s resignation in the French equivalent of the Guardian – by a professor of modern history from the Sorbonne, no less:

    “The House is Burning and We’re All Looking at Hulot”

    A Minister of the Environment resigns: pure froth, food for idle commentators? We make ironic comments about the star and his moods. And we miss the essential, this sentence for which Jacques Chirac entered history: “the house is burning, and we’re not noticing”.

    Is it a fire, or a plate tectonics? Man, we finally realize, has become a geological force. The Anthropocene is debated, but it is recorded by the majority of earth and climate scientists: the Holocene ended two centuries ago or fifty years ago, but it ended. It is the man, now, who moves, convulses and transforms, presiding over a global warming which, in the long run, makes the earth, the only planet fit for life within a few billion light-years (and even , it is not certain that there are others), uninhabitable for the living: the species are extinguished by dozens each month, and the economic trend is causing a warming that, in the medium term, could make life impossible for almost all humans.

    The outmoded term “natural history” thus resumes its full force. Far from being static, nature, it was discovered in the 17th and 18th centuries, was in motion. The fossils testified, as well as the folds that fascinated geologists: what formidable forces had been needed to lift layers of sediment agglomerated into rocks vertically! The planet had a story. The man was only scratching his surface, at the time, even if the industrial revolution provoked the first reflections on its harmfulness: one burned all the same a lot of wood and coal …

    The universal deployment, via colonization in particular, of the Western technique, allowed the devastation. “Machination”, “calculation”, said Heidegger in the 30s: indeed, it is the Western machine, that of coal and an energy transformation with unequaled performance, which allowed to dig, excavate and, literally, move mountains. “Obsolescence of man,” added Günther Anders, horrified by the atomic bomb, that flash of nothingness that threatened to eradicate everything. More surely than the “bomb”, notes Hicham-Stéphane Afeissa in an exciting book (The End of the World and Humanity), it is global warming that causes this obsolescence. Hannah Arendt was afraid that the bomb made man a factor of mutations themselves uncontrollable by man. The effects of runaway (melting permafrost releases gases that warm themselves, etc.), retroactive loops (the disappearance of the icecap decreases the reflection of solar rays and contributes to warming, etc.) make the mutations of the earth system uncontrollable and properly catastrophic – an endless fall.

    Faced with this, stupidity with a bull’s forehead, the morbid imbecility of Trump’s climateosceptics, tweeting their nihilism with the narcissistic enjoyment of the cynic happy to insult the evidence and the future. They are numerous and powerful. They do not care. Add to it the indifferent, the children of the Affluent Society, who love their car, their shopping centers on Saturday (practical, with their huge car parks), and who warm their houses with the windows open.

    Finally, in France in particular, the benevolent thurifers [look it up] of the “new world”: growth, “liberation of energies”, buses galore, closing of train lines, smothering rurality, megalopolitan concentration … The self-proclaimed apostles of modernity have ideas , recipes and tips from the last century. All that has failed everywhere, they want to apply in France – a country guilty of having good public services, a network of towns, villages and balanced villages, and an exceptional natural and cultural heritage. They say they’re modern, because it’s fashionable. They are simply the last to come, and they are perhaps the last of men. They say they are progressive, while they carry the heavy burden of the most outdated ideas, the most popular. They are the smiling mask of devastation, and they flow over the water, like dead fish.

    Nicolas Hulot did not want to play this comedy. He tried to bend, he lost, he left. The short term of statutory enjoyment, bikers, flashers and ushers, does not interest him…

    [That’s enough French: Ed]


  3. The Guardian letter looks quite significant, in that it’s a lot of (self) important people throwing down the gauntlet and demanding (presumably to media editors) to step up the censorship.

    I note that they say:

    There’s a workable model for covering fringe views – which is to treat them as such. They don’t need to be ridiculed, just expected to challenge the evidence with better evidence, and otherwise ignored.

    Would someone with access to Guardian comments like to say, on behalf of the cliscep gang (and perhaps of others like Paul Homewood, Roger Tallbloke etc.) that we have evidence that the claim in the letter that catastrophe follows inevitably from the existence of man made climate change is not supported by “their” evidence, and that since we are in a position to satisfy their conditions for discussion, we welcome their offer of discussion at the earliest oppportunity?

    It would be hard to refuse our offer, wouldn’t it?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I would like to put forward another example of latest climate silliness. From the Conversation last week – How climate change will affect dairy cows and milk production in the UK – new study. It is about how, in a £4.6 billion industry, average revenue losses from heat stress rise on average from £23m today to £85m by the end of the century.

    Notice, the title (reflected in the article and the PLOS One paper reported on) is not about how climate change could affect the dairy cows and milk production but how climate change will affect these elements. It becomes silly when the assumptions are considered.

    Assumes milk prices are fixed. Have the authors not listened to the news when prices go down? Farmers complaining unfair practices from supermarkets? Prices fluctuate according to supply and demand.
    Assumes 3.5°C of warming from now to the end of the century in the UK. This is about the same as the global temperature rise for the RCP8.5 non-policy scenario. From a climate activist perspective it is silly, as it assumes that the Paris Climate Agreement, the UK Climate Change Act 2008 and all the protests are utterly useless. From the sceptics perspective, the assumption is silly, due to the amount of warming contradicting the historical evidence.
    Assumes generations of farmers do not take action to changing real world conditions. They need experts “scientists” with their models to inform of what they should do.
    Authors reckon that current farmers should take action now for scenarios that even if true will make no significant difference in their working lives. The paper effectively assumes zero discount rate, and does not consider costs of mitigation. One reason for a discount rate is that normal people give greater priority, ceteris paribus, to more immediate concerns than distant ones.

    In the context of the climate alarmist community, it is normal to ignore economics, real world data, thinking people and ignoring other priorities. All for an issue that would have an impact for decades, but might not be the number one priority for many farmers if it happened next year. I cover the points in more detail here.


  5. These are not the silly days or even the dog days of summer.
    This is the age of unreason, and climate obsession is ground zero.
    That silly letter from the French “intellectual” is excellent evidence of just that.


  6. from –

    “Death toll in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria officially raised to 2,975 from 64 – Using a study from a team of independent researchers, officials in Puerto Rico said they’re raising the official death toll from Hurricane Maria to 2,975 from 64.

    Researchers have determined that an estimated 2,975 people died from September 2017 through the end of February 2018. The independent study, from George Washington University’s (GWU) Milken School of Public Health, was commissioned by the Puerto Rican government.”

    not sure what to make of the dramatic increase in deaths, but gets the extreme weather events meme out into the MSM.


  7. Forgot to add this bit –
    “The estimate of 2,975 was determined using a mathematical model based on historical patterns, with adjustments made for age and sex, researchers said. That sum is more than 4,500 percent higher than the original estimate of 64.”

    smart people these researchers, thought about that as a career once:-)


  8. ps – @ Geoff –

    partial quote from translation reads –

    “Faced with this, stupidity with a bull’s forehead, the morbid imbecility of Trump’s climateosceptics, tweeting their nihilism with the narcissistic enjoyment of the cynic happy to insult the evidence and the future. They are numerous and powerful. They do not care. Add to it the indifferent, the children of the Affluent Society, who love their car, their shopping centers on Saturday (practical, with their huge car parks), and who warm their houses with the windows open.”

    Ahh, now I understand, thanks.


  9. The Puerto Rican recasting of the way deaths are counted frm storms strongly indicts the Island’s government for their culture of neglect and corruption.


  10. Hunter,
    The death toll estimate is on “excess” deaths, a rather nebulous term. It is based upon people’s vulnerability and not on the violence of the storm. In Puerto Rico it is due to poverty. In the UK weather-related deaths – nearly all from cold – are related to extreme old age.
    The really “silly” figure is the cost of the storm in Puerto Rico, put at $140 billion. The GDP of the island is only $101 billion. Although the $140 billion is likely the notional replacement cost of the asset damage, the true net economic cost will be considerably less than that.


  11. When and how does a modelled ESTIMATE become an official death toll?
    Will modellers inherit the Earth?


  12. A Christian take on climate change from earlier this month:

    When it comes to climate change, there’s often a disconnect between head and heart. For many Christians today, the prevailing stories of climate change are dominated by impersonal statistics and complex weather patterns. So for many of us, it can feel difficult to see what this stuff has to do with loving our neighbour. Through this brief first-person story, we hope more Christians will gain a clearer picture of the human impact and moral urgency of climate change, which remains one of the most profound injustices in our world today.

    Shorter: Bugger all that science stuff, here’s a cartoon about a little girl feeling sad about things that mostly have nothing to do with climate change. Amen.

    Supporting materials (a brief Bible quiz, two very crude ‘colouring-in pages’, a brief climate change ‘factsheet’) can be downloaded from here:

    ‘Operation Noah is encouraging Christians to use [these supporting materials] during the upcoming Season of Creation.’

    Super! In a very real sense. A very, very real sense.

    (Though what’s the Season of Creation? I’m not very up on Christian euphemisms.)


  13. DFHUNTER (30 Aug 18 at 9:56 pm)

    There was a good article about the Puerto Rico hurricane deaths a few months ago. (Anyone have a reference?) The government started by counting immediate accidental deaths, drownings, trees falling on people etc. GWU looked at the effect of hospitals being weeks without electricity, no fridges to stock vital medicines, no roads for emergency services etc. ands did the arithmetic.

    You might expect the climate crowd to talk up the horrifying figures from GWU, except that what they show is that people die when they’re poor and they lack the basic services which are taken for granted in e.g. Florida. The French Island of St Martin suffered destruction of three quarters of its buildings, while St Bart’s next door just suffered broken windows. (It costs a million or so to buy a property on St Bart’s – Trump has property there. No one lives there except concierges.)


  14. “There’s another “last chance to save the planet” deadline.

    This time, it’s 2035, apparently.

    Is someone keeping a list?”

    No, but I think I’ve got the “algorethm”. The forecast starts out 30 years away and every 10-15 years it’s moved 10-15 years further back.


  15. “Death toll in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria officially raised to 2,975 from 64 –’
    Say, – ‘Hurricane Maria’ or ‘Hurricane Mania?’


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