Friends of Science Newsletter September 2018

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September 2018



No.  59

The PDF version of this newsletter is here.

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


Hello everyone!   Here we are, already at the end of September.   Summer seems to have come and gone a lot faster than usual.   The smoke from all the B.C. wildfires definitely made being outside in Calgary and most of Alberta a health challenge.   So much so that on August 30th, Calgary reached 450 hours of smoke this year thus gaining the dubious honour of smashing  the previous yearly record of 315 hours set in 2017.  I hope you were able to still enjoy the few clean air days we had this summer.

I am happy to report that Friends of Science was invited to attend the Porto Climate Conference at the beginning of September in Portugal.   The conference on Basic Science of a Changing Climate: How Processes in the Sun, Atmosphere and Ocean Affect Weather and Climate  was attended by leading scientists in meteorology, oceanography, mathematics, geophysics, geology, engineering, chemistry and geography.   The conference was opened by the Dean of the Faculty of Letters of Porto University who stated there was a broad consensus that freedom of research is the absolute necessary basis for the progress of science.   The presentations and discussions concentrated on four aspects:

  1. Changes in Climate and Weather
  2. CO2, Climate Sensitivity and Greenhouse Effects
  3. Forcing Functions in Climate Change
  4. Observational Facts, Interpretations and Geoethics.

We sent our Communications Manager, Michelle Stirling as our roving reporter and she brought back a treasure trove of information.   For starters you can see some of her short (2 to 5 min) interviews on our YouTube channel along with all the other recent videos.   Friends of Science were well received in Porto and we hope our networking with the international community will elevate our name and enhance the scope of resources and global scientific perspectives.

Our blog contributors have also been very busy with 21 new postings since the last newsletter.   You can find our latest report Carbon Kleptomania  wherein we compiled a number of Robert Lyman 's works on the topic of carbon taxes, to rebut the carbon dividend  proposal of Canadians for Clean Prosperity.   And of course you can keep up with our latest videos and posts through our Facebook page.  

Note that the organization Suits and Boots  is running a Kill Bill C-69  campaign.   You may want to participate.

Now onto a completely different topic which has nothing to do with science.   A few weeks ago I read in American Thinker that our favourite social networking sites have been censoring voices on the internet that disagree with leftist beliefs.   The article describes Google as having implemented a manipulation algorithm that places links to leftist political sites at the top of the results page, and pushes links to conservative sites beyond the first hundred links.   My first reaction was: that 's interesting but how true could that be?   Are they really targeting any opinions that dissent from the left?   So like any good scientist I decided to experiment; I googled CO2 and CLIMATE together and found the results to be the usual links to alarmist sites or sites repeating alarmist propaganda.   The reason for my search choice was that CO2 occurs eleven times on our home page and CLIMATE occurs forty one times.   I then went to the next page and found no link to any of our material, and onto the next page and so on.   Suffice it to say that in 428 results presented by Google not one was to a FoS site.   I then tried to specifically search for CLIMATE CHANGE  which occurs sixteen times on our home page.   Again Google did not provide a link to any FoS material in 313 results.   Google has become so entrenched in our lexicon that it is synonymous with "look up".   Everyone I know says "have you googled it" rather than have you searched the internet .   Having become a key part of our lives by quickly providing us with answers to our daily questions, why would we doubt the integrity of any search?   This is where things become very dark grey; it turns out that these corporations whose services we rely on for information have decided to stymie anyone that provides sceptical, or realistic, views on climate.

One more test I tried was to use the same keywords in the YouTube search bar.   Keep in mind that we have 223 active videos on our YouTube channel; eight of these have had more than 10,000 views each.   The first search term yielded only one video from 2016 at position 434 in 600 results and the CLIMATE CHANGE  search yielded another 600 results with no hits.   I 'll let you be the judge if this is proof that we are being censored.

So what to do?   How will we be able to function if our googling  always strays left?   I decided that I need to find a search engine that truly delivers balanced results with proper relevance to the search words I input.   I embarked on testing: Ask, Bing, Duckduckgo, Gigablast, Quant, Yahoo and Yandex which are all search engines I found on Wikipedia.   I am disheartened to report that after testing all these search engines with CO2 CLIMATE, four engines only found one same 2015 PDF report on our main site but it was always deeply buried many pages past any of the first few results pages.   With CLIMATE CHANGE  as a search item only Bing found one thing on our sites, our myth page, but it was on page 14 of dozens of pages.   So all available search engines cannot find any of FoS 's material.   BTW you get very different results if you add FRIENDS to the above searches.

Imagine anyone wanting to fact check what they hear about climate change.   Their first go to is their favourite internet search tool; how can they know that it is lying to them and only giving them biased responses?   These corporations are social engineering everyone 's thoughts by creating the impression that the whole world is only full of the ideas they want us to hear.  What these companies are saying to those of us promoting realistic views on climate, which happen to disagree with left leaning alarmist beliefs, is: feel free to post your material, we 'll give you the illusion that you are getting your message out but secretly we are making you disappear.   We are in very dangerous times.   This is happening on all platforms to everyone with a different opinion from the left.

In case you still wonder if this is truly happening I refer you to this article on which presents that this censorship by internet tech giants mirrors a plan concocted by a coalition of George Soros-funded progressive groups to take back power in Washington.   The 2017 DEMOCRACY MATTERS document they are using is an Orwellian plan that lays out the strategy to take over the internet to silence any left dissenting voice including anyone that disagrees with the alarmists ' climate dogma.

In closing I appeal to you for your help in getting the word out that we still exist.   Also, if any of you know how to fix the fact that we have vanished from social media search engines, please contact us to help us come back into the light.

                                                                                                      Andrew Bonvicini, P.Geoph.
                                                                                                    President, Friends of Science



The Paris Agreement Meeting in Bangkok

As reported in the June newsletter, last May delegates in Bonn reached an impasse in trying to agree on a single negotiating text to implement the Paris Agreement (the rulebook ) in time for COP24 next December in Katowice.  As a result they added an extra week of talks in Bangkok, September 4 to 9.  The Bangkok session began with Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, warning that governments are not on track to meet the 2 °C goal of the Paris Agreement.

The official list of participants in Bangkok included 1,671 people from 178 states, 140 observer organizations and 16 media outlets.  Australia sent 18 delegates, Canada 13, the EU 17 (in addition to those from individual EU states), and the US 18.  Poland, the host of COP24, had 36 delegates.

Carbon Brief appears to have the most comprehensive summary of what transpired in Bangkok, which it grouped into six topics:



Setting the rules

The Bangkok meeting concluded with a 307-page informal note  published at the end of the talks by the UNFCCC Secretariat.  This note lacks the hoped-for clarity as a basis for smooth negotiations at COP24.  Therefore, the two co-chairs have been tasked with turning this note into something called a reflections note  containing legal language and identifying possible compromises before COP24.

Paris pledges

These pledges, called Nationally-Determined Contributions (NDCs), are supposed to cover only emissions reductions, but there was disagreement whether they should also include adaption, climate finance and loss and damage.   The most significant dispute was over whether NDCs should be common to all countries, or split into differentiated versions for developed and developing countries (as pushed by China and its allies).  The Umbrella Group (including the US, Canada and Australia) and the EU blocked the two-tier approach.


Negotiators developed a 75-page negotiating tool  that attempts to streamline the options and refine country proposals.  Again, there was disagreement over what will be common to everyone and what will be differentiated between developed and developing countries.


(See below).

Carbon markets

This is a minor issue as it is a legacy of the Kyoto Protocol (to allow projects in developing countries to earn emissions credits which are then sold to developed ones) and is a voluntary mechanism under the Paris Agreement.

Looking ahead

COP24 will be the next (and final?) opportunity to complete details of the Paris rulebook.  There are a lot of complex technical (and political) issues for countries to decide.  One key event before COP24 will be the release on October 8 of the IPCC 's special report on the impacts of 1.5 °C of global warming.

Predictably, the biggest matter of dispute in Bangkok was about money.  The Paris Agreement strongly urges  developed countries to provide $100 billion/year before 2020 for climate mitigation and adaptation  (pp.16-17).  By 2025 there is to be a new collective quantified goal from a floor of USD 100 billion per year, taking into account the needs and priorities of developing countries  (p.8).  As the talks opened campaigners were asking about the promised money.  During the week of September 4 to 9 it became apparent that discussion on the $100 billion/year funding was being blocked across the board  by a group of rich nations led by the US.  On the closing day of the conference, the head of the NGO ActionAid said that, because of developed countries refusing to agree to clear rules for climate finance, the Paris deal was on the brink  and may collapse.  Let 's hope he 's right.

Canada 's Contribution to Climate Finance

Just before COP21, which produced the Paris Agreement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada is back  and would be providing $C2.65 billion over five years to help developing countries tackle climate change .  It 's unclear from the announcement how much of this amount is supposed to go to the UN 's Green Climate Fund.  According to the GCF 's pledge and contribution tracker, as of last May, Canada had delivered only the equivalent of $US155 million to the GCF.

However, the Government of Canada 's official website for tracking its climate funding, only $C300 million will be going to the GCF, but $C2 billion is being spent to mobilize private sector support .  It 's not clear how much of this money is actually being contributed by the government and how much is expected from private sources.  At the Bangkok talks, the US, EU, Australia and the UK, but not Canada, got blamed for the deadlock over climate finance.  Canadian delegates must have been keeping a low profile during discussions on the money issue.

                                                                                                                            Ian Cameron
                                                                                                                            Director, Friends of Science




Hurricane strengh & ocean temp

There is a popular perception that hurricanes hve been getting more frequent and more severe; however, neither is correct.  The global trend of all hurricanes from 1980 to 2018 is a decline of 2.1 hurricanes per decade.  Damages from US landfalling hurricanes have increased, but this is due to the increasing value of assets constructed in harm 's way.

Zeke Hausfather, a writer at Climate Brief, published a graph of hurricane strength by category versus ocean temperatures, Figure  1.  Assuming that greenhouse emissions will increase ocean temperatures, most people would think the graph proves hurricanes will become more severe.

Figure 1

My climate science newsletter #289 of Sept.  14, 4th  item [LINK] shows that of the 22 major hurricanes striking Texas since 1870, half were when ocean temperatures in the western Gulf of Mexico were below average. Hurricanes don 't care what the ocean temperature is.  How can that be?Surface high altitude temp Gulf Mexico

The strength of hurricanes depends on many factors, but the most important is the temperature difference between the ocean surface and the cloud tops.  (Wind shear, being the horizontal change in wind velocity by altitude, disrupts and weakens hurricanes.)  Figure  2 is a boring graph showing the temperature difference between the ocean temperature and the air temperature in the western Gulf of Mexico at altitudes 8.3  km and 11.5  km altitude.  There is no trend in the temperature difference that powers hurricanes over this 70  year period despite more than 2   °C variation in ocean temperatures.

Figure 2

There is significant spatial variability in ocean temperatures, but much less so in the atmosphere at high altitudes, so a hurricane that moves into a region with higher than normal temperatures will increase in strength.   This resolves that apparent contradiction.  Global warming does not significantly increase hurricane strength but the strongest hurricanes in any year are where ocean temperatures are warmest.

Climate Models ' Tropical Mid-troposphere Warming

An important paper by McKitrick and Christy reports that the climate models have a statistically significant warming bias in the tropical mid-troposphere at 9 to 12  km altitude.   The average trend of 1958 2017 of 102 model runs is 0.33   °C/decade and 0.17   °C/decade in the observations by weather balloons.   See my climate science newsletter #290, 2nd  item, for details.   McKitrick wrote a description of the paper here.   He writes we observe a discrepancy across all runs of all models, taking the form of a warming bias at a sufficiently strong rate as to reject the hypothesis that the models are realistic.    Figure  3 shows a histogram of each model trend minus the weather balloon average.

model obs histogram M&C2018

Unfortunately, the last sentence of McKitrick 's write-up apparently has caused confusion as evidenced by the discussion in the comments to his blog post.   He wrote ...the theoretically-based negative lapse rate feedback response to increasing greenhouse gases in the tropical troposphere, is flawed.    The lapse rate is the decrease in temperature with altitude, which is about 6.5   °C/km.   The lapse rate feedback refers to the change in the lapse rate in response to global warming.   The feedback is negative, meaning if a doubling of CO2 causes an initial 1.1   °C of global warming, before considering any other change, such as a change in water vapour or albedo, the negative lapse rate would reduce the warming to only 0.90   °C in the models.   This has led some people to incorrectly say that the models to observations discrepancy means the models underestimate the surface warming.   The weather balloons and surface temperature trend (0.11   °C/decade) show that the actual lapse rate change was only 27% of that in the models.

Figure 3. model observations °C/decade

The enhanced rate of warming in the mid-troposphere is due to an increase in water vapour at that altitude in the models, which also causes a large positive water vapour feedback which is 2.7 times the negative lapse rate feedback.   As both the lapse rate and water vapour feedbacks are caused by the same thing, they are highly correlated in the models, so they should be considered together.   Fixing the models by fixing the tropical mid-troposphere water vapour would make a 73% reduction in the combined positive water-vapour-lapse-rate feedback so would greatly reduce climate sensitivity to CO2 and reduce the projected surface warming in the models.

                                                                                                                                Ken Gregory, P.Eng
                                                                                                                                Director, Friends of Science



Our Operational funds fuel gauge on the right shows that we have three months of funding available for 2018.  funded months

To preserve our funding we did no major billboard campaigns this year, but worked hard to get our message out through regular op-eds, press releases, our Blog and YouTube videos.   In addition, our talented spokesperson, Michelle Stirling, spoke at conferences, private clubs and other events.

Our annual May event while successful in covering our costs does not make us money.   The intent of this event is to inform rather than be a fund raiser.   We try hard to keep our attendance price at a reasonable and affordable price so many can attend and our message can spread out to more people

The Friends of Science do not represent one industry, or any one political Party.   We are a small group of volunteers with an operational budget that is a fraction of Government 's or NGO budgets that disseminate fear-mongering information about human induced climate change.  Since 2002 we have provided climate science and policy insights to the public and to policy-makers.   Our founders saw climate science as a complex, interdisciplinary issue that was rapidly being reduced to a mantra around carbon dioxide and carbon taxes.  Real problems related to environment and climate change were and continue to be ignored and lost in the rhetoric of Saving the Planet '.  This rhetoric has been devastating industries and the economy, creating needless unemployment.   Companies and businesses have been closing, or going on the auction block.   Our commitment continues to be maintaining free delivery of our information to the public, which can only be made possible through donations of time and money.

While all our Contributors and Directors volunteer time and knowledge, we do have the expense of our sub-contracted computer and website services, our exceptional Communications Manager, and our Contract Administrator, both who dedicate more time than we can possibly compensate.  To maintain this amazing level of expertise, we need to continuously solicit donations.   Every dollar we receive counts and is put towards the task of bringing the latest information to the public.   This is not easy as we are continuously battling deep-pocketed and often foreign-funded activist groups that promote half-truths while creating faulty public policy.   They would love to silence us.  

We are in this together and we need your help.   We appeal to you to please continue to make donations to Friends of Science.   2019 is quickly coming upon us, along with even more forces using methods to stop our messages.   With two elections in 2019 climate change is likely to be a key topic with the most implications as you can well image.   Remember, we are your voice for climate change issues and ask that you keep repeating our messages whenever and wherever you can.  Please also continue to share our materials by email, twitter, and Facebook or in any way you can.  

This debate matters, you are making a difference.  

You can also help us expand our pool of members and donors.   If every person brought us five new people, it would make a huge difference to our ability to get out the message.   Do you have a local Chamber of Commerce or service club?  Invite one of our speakers or ask for one of our presentations and present it yourself (or perhaps do your own version if you feel up to it).  

For us to make sure our voice is heard, we will need much more support - personal, financial, and through your networks of friends and colleagues.   Thank you for your continued support.

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