... then there was the calm before the storm ...

‘Catastrophic’ is the word of the day. The Great Dividing Range runs for much of the length of the Eastern coastline of Australia. Here in the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, the mountains are more like the front door steps of that Range. On the coastal side is where most people live and this area receives more rain, generally speaking, than the inner land mass.

Drought has much of the country in its grip and, for many on both sides of that Divide, the drought has lasted seven years – that number reminds me of the ancient granaries of Egypt which could hold seven years of grain with which to feed the people in just such difficult times.

Went searching and found the following by a Marc Green. It’s succinct and answers the issue of how one would store seven years worth of grain.

“Granaries definitely played a role as others have said. However, the grain did not need to last 7 years, it only had to tide over Egypt for that time. Famine means insufficient food was growing, not that there was no food grown.


Bumper years 1-3 were saved.

People ate stored grain from years 1-3 during years 4-7, eating the oldest grain first. Years 4-7 were stored during this time.

Years 8-11, people ate the stored grain from 4-7, storing the reduced crop from years 8-11.

Years 12-14, people ate a mix of the stored crop from 8-11 and the current crop.

Year 15, famine over.”

This doesn’t happen in a world of ‘just in time’ deliveries.

Yesterday was the day to be very aware of bush fire dangers. Catastrophic conditions prevail and still do. A combination of drought and strong winds along with utterly dry undergrowth is why the catastrophic condition is declared. The news carries little else …. a bit like Brexit for the British. It’s all encompassing and feelings are running more than high with hysteria – a strong word to use but appropriate – colouring the language being used in Parliament.

‘Climate change.’ That phrase is used with a finality that allows for no questioning – you either ‘get it’ or you don’t and if you do then a cascade of immediate changes are required and anyone who stands in the way of such righteous indignation is a ‘Denier’ and an idiot.

I looked again for the ‘97% of all climate scientists agree ….’ study by John Cook, University of Queensland, so I could see what questions were asked and did so to no avail. I did find researchers who’d done better and who’d gone to the trouble of emailing a sample of those who took part in this ‘report’ and found that they weren’t pleased to see their work misrepresented.

Anyway … the following is an extract from an article by Joseph Bast and Roy Spencer and which indicates the poverty of thought which has gone into such reports.

“ ……  Another widely cited source for the consensus view is a 2009 article in "Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union" by Maggie Kendall Zimmerman, a student at the University of Illinois, and her master's thesis adviser Peter Doran. It reported the results of a two-question online survey of selected scientists. Mr. Doran and Ms. Zimmerman claimed "97 percent of climate scientists agree" that global temperatures have risen and that humans are a significant contributing factor.

The survey's questions don't reveal much of interest. Most scientists who are skeptical of catastrophic global warming nevertheless would answer "yes" to both questions. The survey was silent on whether the human impact is large enough to constitute a problem. Nor did it include solar scientists, space scientists, cosmologists, physicists, meteorologists or astronomers, who are the scientists most likely to be aware of natural causes of climate change.

The "97 percent" figure in the Zimmerman/Doran survey represents the views of only 79 respondents who listed climate science as an area of expertise and said they published more than half of their recent peer-reviewed papers on climate change. Seventy-nine scientists—of the 3,146 who responded to the survey—does not a consensus make.

In 2010, William R. Love Anderegg, then a student at Stanford University, used Google Scholar to identify the views of the most prolific writers on climate change. His findings were published in Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences. Mr. Love Anderegg found that 97% to 98% of the 200 most prolific writers on climate change believe "anthropogenic greenhouse gases have been responsible for 'most' of the 'unequivocal' warming." There was no mention of how dangerous this climate change might be; and, of course, 200 researchers out of the thousands who have contributed to the climate science debate is not evidence of consensus.

In 2013, John Cook, an Australia-based blogger, and some of his friends reviewed abstracts of peer-reviewed papers published from 1991 to 2011. Mr. Cook reported that 97% of those who stated a position explicitly or implicitly suggest that human activity is responsible for some warming. His findings were published in Environmental Research Letters.

Mr. Cook's work was quickly debunked. In Science and Education in August 2013, for example, David R. Legates (a professor of geography at the University of Delaware and former director of its Center for Climatic Research) and three coauthors reviewed the same papers as did Mr. Cook and found "only 41 papers—0.3 percent of all 11,944 abstracts or 1.0 percent of the 4,014 expressing an opinion, and not 97.1 percent—had been found to endorse" the claim that human activity is causing most of the current warming. Elsewhere, climate scientists including Craig Idso, Nicola Scafetta, Nir J. Shaviv and Nils- Axel Morner, whose research questions the alleged consensus, protested that Mr. Cook ignored or misrepresented their work.

Rigorous international surveys conducted by German scientists Dennis Bray and Hans von Storch—most recently published in Environmental Science & Policy in 2010—have found that most climate scientists disagree with the consensus on key issues such as the reliability of climate data and computer models. They do not believe that climate processes such as cloud formation and precipitation are sufficiently understood to predict future climate change.

Surveys of meteorologists repeatedly find a majority oppose the alleged consensus. Only 39.5% of 1,854 American Meteorological Society members who responded to a survey in 2012 said man-made global warming is dangerous.

Finally, the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change—which claims to speak for more than 2,500 scientists—is probably the most frequently cited source for the consensus. Its latest report claims that "human interference with the climate system is occurring, and climate change poses risks for human and natural systems." Yet relatively few have either written on or reviewed research having to do with the key question: How much of the temperature increase and other climate changes observed in the 20th century was caused by man-made greenhouse-gas emissions? The IPCC lists only 41 authors and editors of the relevant chapter of the Fifth Assessment Report addressing "anthropogenic and natural radiative forcing."

Of the various petitions on global warming circulated for signatures by scientists, the one by the Petition Project, a group of physicists and physical chemists based in La Jolla, Calif., has by far the most signatures—more than 31,000 (more than 9,000 with a Ph.D.). It was most recently published in 2009, and most signers were added or reaffirmed since 2007. The petition states that "there is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of . . . carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate."

We could go on, but the larger point is plain. There is no basis for the claim that 97% of scientists believe that man-made climate change is a dangerous problem.”

Mr. Bast is president of the Heartland Institute. Dr. Spencer is a principal research scientist for the University of Alabama in Huntsville and the U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer on NASA's Aqua satellite.

Yesterday there was an ominous quiet here as ‘Catastrophic Fire Conditions’ prevail. The T.V. news shows ‘Walls of flame’ towering over trees as they’re consumed, embers blown thirty kilometres to start spot fires elsewhere and, of course, there’s very little water – many towns are now so depleted that drinking water needs to be trucked in. Houses burn, people die. Who would not find this sobering.

It’s not a time for fury to be expressed for dissenting views on climate change.

There’s a real issue to do with ‘world views’, the largely unspoken understanding that we all have as to why things are the way they are. My education and yours probably included an idea, a concept called Uniformitarianism – what a mouthful! – and this is expressed as:

‘The theory that all geologic phenomena may be explained as the result of existing forces having operated uniformly from the origin of the earth to the present time.’ … or ‘it’s always been like this.’


There’s no evidence for this idea which gained popularity in the years prior to Darwin’s work and which appeared to back up Darwin’s needed evolutionary aeons of time but it’s just a cozy concept whereas Catastrophism is not.


The evidence is there in both folklore and geology to show that the ‘heavens moved’, Mars and Venus battled in the skies and that our ancestors witnessed these events which now come down to us as myth and legend and within the puzzling, enigmatic stick figures hand painted on cave walls. Not so enigmatic if planetary bodies carry electrical charge.


There’s a world described by Velikovsky in both ‘Worlds in Collision’ and ‘Earth in Upheaval’ which is unfamiliar, which isn’t taught in schools. It’s not cozy and Climate Change in terms of shock and awe permeate the pages.


None of this makes me a climate change denier – it’s a label which contains no nuance.