Friends of Science Newsletter June 2015

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June 2015


No. 46

The PDF version of this newsletter is here.

FoS is dedicated to providing the public with insight into Climate Science 


As your newly appointed President I wish to express my gratitude for the efforts and dedication of prior presidents over the previous 13 years since the formation of the Friends of Science Society. I am humbled to take a position previously occupied by persons of integrity, commitment, and unafraid to be "prophets crying out in the wilderness".

The alarmists, attempting to misuse and abuse science and the scientific method for their own purposes, are acting desperately to maintain their tenuous grip on the voting public. All of their predictions of climate
disaster have proven false. Their myopic focus on man-made atmospheric CO2 at the expense of accounting for all other variables and previous climatic fluctuations is becoming blatantly agenda driven and apparent to all but the generally apathetic of the voting public.

Friends of Science, and its many allies, have won the climate science battle but we have not won the war to communicate the truth to the voting public.

Friends of Science Society goes to the Montreal Grand Prix!

As you may recall, we had quite a kerfuffle last year over our digital billboards with the Ad Standards Council.   We revised our video billboards thanks to our intrepid Itrix video media partners in Montreal who offered us an excellent deal for the Montreal Grand Prix!   The following two versions rotated on screen at the corner of St. Catherine and Drummond during that jet-setting, fossil fuelled long weekend of June 6-9, 2015 where some 500,000 people roamed the club/restaurant area.  

It is an irony that federal, provincial and municipal governments pump millions into this carbonated ' event while at the same time demanding that industry and consumers make drastic climate change emissions reductions.

Montreal billboard  


Friends of Science has had a very eventful and fruitful year so far. We are seeing expanding cracks in the walls of misinformation and political correctness which are a hindrance to communicating our common sense message to the general public. The alarmists are acting in increasingly desperate ways in their efforts to perpetrate their climate change scam on the public.

Looking forward, in order to successfully educate and communicate climate change science to the public I see the following three matters to be priorities;
1.                 An expansion of the number of directors who can share the leadership of our organization,
2.                 The encouragement and organization of volunteers; to leverage the enthusiasm and talents of our members in order to better communicate our message, and
3.                 Establishing dependable and adequate financial resources.

We thank you for your ongoing support and please contact us at any time with your comments.

                                                                                          Warren Blair
                                                                                              President, Friends of Science



Towards Paris 2015 Part 6

Between June 1 and 11, negotiators from member countries of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change met in Bonn for the ninth part of the second session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durham Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP 2-9). The ADP was established at the 2011 climate conference in Durham with a mandate to develop a protocol or legal instrument applicable to all parties of the UNFCCC, to be adopted at the Paris climate conference (COP 21) next December.

Last March the ADP issued a 90-page negotiating text that accommodated every country 's wishes, resulting in a document of 525 contradictory and/or overlapping options. The task of the June meeting was to begin whittling down this document into something that could form the basis for an agreement in Paris. After 11 days of wrangling the negotiators managed to deliver a streamlined and consolidated text of 85 pages containing 417 options. Just before the Bonn talks ended to two ADP co-chairs (from the US and Algeria) promised to deliver a clearer text and present it to all countries for approval by July 24.

The next formal meeting to discuss the text (ADP 2-10) is scheduled for August 31 September 4 in Bonn. According to Agence France Presse the program leading up to Paris also includes ministerial talks (obviously not involving all 195 members of the UNFCCC) in Paris July 21-22 and September 7, together with a final ADP session in Bonn October 19-23. This last session is supposed to deliver what the French Foreign Minister calls a pre-agreement, leaving the Paris conference to add the finishing touches and focus on the contentious points. 

The ostensible goals of any Paris agreement/treaty are twofold: to limit greenhouse gas emissions so as to keep the global average temperature less than 2 °C (or 1.5 °C) above pre-industrial levels; and for developed countries to provide climate finance and technical assistance to developing countries.

For the first goal, all countries have been invited to submit their Intended Nationally-Determined Contributions. However, according to a new report Energy and Climate Change by the respected, if pro-AGW, Paris-based International Energy Agency (page 12): With INDCs submitted so far, and the planned energy policies in countries that have yet to submit, the world 's estimated remaining carbon budget consistent with a 50% chance of keeping the rise in temperature below 2 °C is consumed by around 2040 eight months later than is projected in the absence of INDCs. 

Regarding the second goal, French President Fran §ois Hollande stated Without any financial commitment, there won't be an agreement in Paris.  This commitment means the $100 billion/year for the UN Green Climate Fund from 2020 onward, but only $10.2 billion has been pledged (one-time only) so far. Last November President Obama promised $3 billion, of which he put $500 million in his FY 2016 budget request, but the US House Appropriations Committee has cut this and other climate-related items (including funding the IPCC) from the appropriations bill.

Since neither goal can be met, expect any deal coming out of Paris to be a weak one, with the shortcomings deferred to COP 22, 23, etc. The only thing likely to stop this unending process is US defunding.

The Pope 's Encyclical

On June 18 the Vatican released the Pope 's anticipated encyclical Laudato Si (Be Praised), On the Care of Our Common Home, with 246 numbered paragraphs. Only four (Nos. 23-26) deal specifically with climate change (though it gets mentioned in passing in Nos. 52, 169-170, 172 and 181.) The encyclical comes down hard (paragraph 171) on carbon trading ( The strategy of buying and selling emissions credits can give rise to a new form of speculation and would not serve to reduce the global emission of polluting gas. ) Other themes include water issues, loss of biodiversity, global inequality, technology, modern anthropocentrism, consumerism, ecology, capitalism and markets, and what should be done to fix all that 's wrong with the modern world.

Activists and the UN celebrated the pope 's call to arms on climate, with Christiana Figueres, head of the UNFCCC, saying that the encyclical provided a powerful impetus to governments to agree a strong pact when they meet in Paris. The Club of Rome, which introduced the idea of Limits to Growth  in the 1970s, welcomed the encyclical, stating, politicians need to do what they are elected to do which means regulate, especially emissions and the finance sector.  Nature, while noting that the encyclical is a faith-based document that views Earth as God 's creation  is nevertheless pleased that the Pope proclaims in no uncertain terms that the climate change now underway is caused by human activity and that the burning of fossil fuels must stop. 

Other reaction is less positive. An editorial in the New York Post points out: It 's the poor who would suffer most if economic progress stops. Longer, healthier lives, more and better food and greatly improved standards of living are all by-products of technology and industrialization. Hundreds of millions of people around the world moved into the middle class in recent decades thanks to capitalism, innovation and global trade.  US Republican politicians, many of them Catholic, shrugged off the Pope 's climate message. John Christy notes that the encyclical calls attention to the wisdom  that all human life is sacred, while asking us to forgo the fundamental means by which human life flourishes today carbon-based energy. The Daily Mail published a new take on the Lord 's Prayer, designed to encapsulate the Holy Father 's green message.

                                                                                              Ian Cameron
                                                                                              Director, Friends of Science



No Tropical Hot Spot

The most consistent and dramatic prediction of the global warming theory as presented in climate models is that the upper troposphere in the tropics should warm much faster than the surface, creating a "hot spot" of enhanced warming at 7 to 13 km altitude.   A team of scientists led by Dr. John Christy at the University of Alabama in Huntsville has recently devised a new method of analysing satellite data that enables a more accurate measure of the hot spot than what was previously possible. Dr. Roy Spencer writes, " Since we now have a tropopause product, we can combine that with our lower stratosphere product in such a way that we pretty well isolate the tropical upper tropospheric layer that is supposed to be warming the fastest."  

The results are shown in this graph.   Dr. Spencer says, "So, what we see is that the models are off [warming too fast] by about a factor of 2 on surface warming, but maybe by a factor of 5 (!) for upper tropospheric warming." The hot spot in the models is caused by increasing water vapour in the upper troposphere. The lack of the hot spot in the data implies that water vapour is not amplifying the small warming effect of CO2. See Dr. Spencer's article here for further information.

Modeling and Observational Support for Lindzen 's Iris  Hypothesis

Dr. Richard Lindzen presented his "Iris Effect" hypothesis in a paper published in 2001 titled "Does the Earth have an Adaptive Infrared Iris?"   The basic idea is that a warmer surface temperature would cause larger convection cell thunderstorms that rise higher in the atmosphere and precipitate more rainfall, leaving less upper troposphere moisture available to form high altitude tropical cirrus clouds. Air rises in the tropical thunderstorms and subsides in the surrounding dry areas, which increases in area with warming. The cirrus clouds have a net warming effect as they are opaque to longwave radiation. Radiative cooling in the tropics occurs mainly in the dry, subsiding areas, so the combination of less cirrus clouds and greater dry areas constitutes a negative feedback to anthropogenic warming.  

A new paper by Mauritsen and Stevens published in Nature GeoScience here provides modeling and observational support for the "Iris Effect". The paper is discussed by Rud Istvan here and by Dr. Judith Curry here. The new paper notes that there are major discrepancies between model results and observations; no upper troposphere hot spot, too small tropical precipitation, too small tropical cloud fraction and too high climate sensitivity. The paper reports the results of including the "Iris Effect" in a climate model and finds that this brings all four parameters closer to the observations. Istvan say that the results are "highly suggestive that the adaptive iris exists."  

                                                                                              Ken Gregory
                                                                                              Past Director, Friends of Science



Dr. Nir Shaviv Gets Traditional Calgary Welcome Friends of Science Society Members and the Public Get a World-class Science Presentation on Solar Physics

Shaviv cowboy hat  

Counsillor Sean Chu of the City of Calgary presented Dr. Shaviv with the traditional Western welcome of an official white Smithbilt cowboy hat.

 Shaviv event

Despite the short notice, we were pleased the event was sold-out.

On June 2, 2015, Friends of Science Society hosted Israeli astrophysicist Dr. Nir Shaviv at Calgary 's Red and White Club at McMahon Stadium.   The topic of the event was Solar forcing and our understanding of past and future climate change. 

This event was a rather spontaneous replacement for our traditional luncheon, as this year 's planned event was to have featured Donna Laframboise, but was cancelled when the Alberta provincial election was called for the same date.

Dr. Shaviv was just completing his sabbatical year at Princeton 's Institute for Advanced Study as an IBM Einstein Fellow.   We were pleased he could take time from his schedule to speak to our group, and we were very happy that so many people could make it, including a number of members who made a special trip from out of town.

We video-taped the presentation and it will be posted on our website shortly.   In the meantime here are three short clips we taped with Dr. Shaviv by Skype, prior to his arrival. Our purpose with these clips is to reach out to the younger audiences using a space type of theme, and to capitalize on the idea of a transmission and concept from out of this world. ' (Our thanks to Mike Visser of The Director 's Chair video production house for the super graphics!)

Here are three video clips with him:
What about the 97%?  
Does the IPCC include Solar Physics in their reports?  
How does the Sun drive Climate Change?

Though we did not get any media attention while he was in Calgary, we were very pleased that the Financial Post published an op-ed by Dr. Shaviv following his visit.

More of Dr. Shaviv 's work and commentary is available on our website here which includes lists of additional reading material which we received from Dr. Shaviv.

                                                                                              Michelle Stirling
                                                                                              Communications Manager, Friends of Science



To accomplish our goal of educating the broader public and policy makers on the diversity of views on climate change, and the important natural factors, we need financial help from our members. Thank you for your help to date.   This debate matters, you are making a difference.  

Please continue to make donations to Friends of Science.   We can be a voice for your climate change issues and we thank all of you who have given us tips on the misinformation they see in the marketplace.   Donations made directly to Friends of Science will  help us bring in quality guest speakers, expand our media presence and create a platform for informed debate. To make a contribution at; click on DONATE in the upper right of the home page. Alternately, you can mail donations to Friends of Science at the following address:

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