I am glad to be hosting an interview with John O’Sullivan, Hans Schreuder and Derek Alker. John and Hans are key authors in the Slaying the Sky Dragon book and Derek is a closely associated member of the scientific team.
Emma: What are your backgrounds? How did you get interested in this topic?
John: I am a teacher and lecturer by training becoming a part-time professional online science writer around eight years ago. I covered science subjects of interest to general readers and saw, first-hand, how environmentalism was becoming a religion. Over time I befriended experts from around the world (many with PhD’s) in diverse disciplines from meteorology to metallurgy, climate science to Chemistry, plus Physics, Mathematics, Thermodynamics, Astrophysics, Biology, etc.
In November 2009, when the ‘Climategate’ controversy hit the online science community, many of us came together to make a response, purely as concerned citizens. We were shocked that climate data was being systematically rigged by government ‘scientists’. Those thousands of leaked emails proved government researchers were secretly faking temperature data, botching scientific laws and building a fictitious doomsday climate narrative. The emails proved that universities got additional funding if they concocted junk science to fit the needs of policymakers.
Outraged independent scientists all over the world came together to speak out on blogs and message boards. Others like us painstakingly sieved through the dodgy climate data sets, the inter-faculty correspondence and other evidence exposed by the mass of emails.
As unpaid experts outside of government control we wanted to understand why there was a culture, from the very top downwards, of fraud: criminal destruction and alteration of global temperature data. This was happening at key government-sponsored climate institutes such as Britain’s Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia, NASA and NOAA.
It is shocking that many billions of tax dollars has been wasted in dishonestly resurrecting a hypothesis known as the ‘greenhouse gas effect’ discredited and abandoned in the 1950’s which tried to blame human emissions of carbon dioxide for global warming.
Hans: Started my professional life as an analytical chemist and did scientific work in the pharmaceutical, rubber and plastics industries for fifteen years. Following on after that I spent some thirty years in electrical contracting work. My chemical training alerted me to the impossibility of a gas, any gas, warming the earth more than the sun could. When I realised, by around 2006, how strong the “belief” in catastrophic man-made global warming was growing I decided to start my website www.ilovemycarbondioxide.com and a few years later www.tech-know-group.com . Today I have over ten thousand papers, essays and letters open to the public at no charge.
Derek: I have a BA in Geography. Over the course of my employment years I have had several, varied, jobs – none of which are directly related to climate or, indeed “science”. I have, however, always had a deep interest in nature and the sciences. The television programme, “The World About Us” was one that I would frequently watch and it was one such programme in which David Attenborough explained at great length and with great emotion how we were destroying the planet. He was asking the audience to join in a distributed computing climate modelling programme, because supposedly they needed as many people as possible to run the computer climate model so that they could get clusters of results with which they hoped to predict climate changes. So, I joined in with this even though at that time I knew nothing about computers. I asked questions and usually got helpful answers. Then one day, on a BBC forum, I asked a simple question “According to the theory of what is being modelled, when a cloud passes over me I should be warmer because of back radiation, but I feel cooler – why?” I was jumped upon by many of the “names” who had previously been friendly and helpful. I wondered what I had done that was so wrong, so I continued to ask “awkward” questions and the replies became almost abusive! Something was wrong and in order to discover what this may be I set out on a journey that I could never have previously envisaged.
Jodie: John, how have you progressed personally and/or professionally since your interview with RT in 2010?
John: Since that TV interview on RT News our science has really moved forward. We ‘Slayers’ had the successful launch of our book, ‘Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory’ which soon spawned the formation of a new global science association, Principia Scientific International (PSI). Today PSI proudly boast 1,000+ members, many with science PhD’s, helping our cause to protect honest, open science review. As skeptics of man-made global warming we’ve been buoyed by the relentless flow of exciting new discoveries which we help to promote.
For instance, in recent years Henrik Svensmark’s cloud theory experiments at CERN confirmed that cosmic rays significantly impact climate. His work devalues outdated alarmist claims that climate change was mostly about human impacts. The wider scientific community is increasingly recognising new science that shows volcanic activity deep down in our oceans is a constant (previously unaccounted) impact on global temperature. Due to its success PSI now takes up most of my time and it is humbling to have top quality contributors submitting science articles to us for publication. But the biggest honour is having PSI serve as an advisory body to policymakers and we expect more of that kind of engagement in the future.
E: How could the public tell which sets of data are accurate?
J:As stated above, ‘Climategate’ proved that many irreplaceable global temperature data sets from thermometer records were mishandled, abused and destroyed. Even the very best national ground thermometer networks we had from the UK and US were only 150 years old, which is a blink of an eye in historic terms. While almost all the southern hemisphere, and the Polar Regions have no historic thermometer datasets whatsoever. We do have the satellite data that has reliably been measuring ground temperatures since 1979, but again, that is too short a time span to make meaningful assessments about climate change. Pointedly, the unadjusted (cooling) satellite data disagrees with the ‘adjusted’ (warming) ground data manipulated by NASA, NOAA and the UK’s CRU.
H: There is no way at all that the public can tell which data set is accurate, hence the whole climate scare has to be a contrived event.
D: With a natural system as large, complex and dynamic as the earth’s climate system it is impossible to measure any climate metric to any meaningful degree of accuracy. Therefore the public, who in the main are nowhere near as qualified as the people who produce the data, would find it impossible to tell what is accurate and what is not.
J: What is your greatest achievement in this area?
John: Our greatest achievement so far is being the first body of scientists to successfully refute the cornerstone of global warming fears – the so-called greenhouse gas theory. Our emergence shifted the climate debate from a two-way dispute over ‘how much’ warming is due to CO2 into a three-sided debate engaging the nil hypothesis. Using hard evidence we proved that carbon dioxide has only ever been used in science and industry as a cooling gas – carbon dioxide (CO2) is proven to only cool – never warm anything. In short, we have made the debate a fact versus fiction battle: we are champions of applied science (experiments, actual measured data) versus the other two groups (alarmists and the ‘lukewarmists’) who all rely on failed computer models (fed ‘GIGO’ contrived numbers, not physically verified).
In fact, before CFC gases were used in refrigerators CO2 was industry’s preferred refrigeration gas! Also, thanks to our persistence, NASA and the universities still promoting ‘greenhouse gas’ science now admit they rely on a fudged flat-earth, simplistic model of the earth to make their numbers add up. This flawed model is what is taught to undergraduates and to create doomsday scenarios decades into the future. The other false assumption we exposed is there has never been shown any evidence of CO2 gas in the atmosphere causing additional heating from ‘back radiation’, it simply doesn’t exist. Indeed, prominent climate scientists, such as Georgia Tech’s Dr Judith Curry have now disassociated themselves from this myth.
But, crucially, our ground-breaking work has inspired other independent research such as in 2012 at Monterrey, Mexico performed by Nasif Nahle. Professor Nahle demonstrated experimentally in the open atmosphere that CO2 absorbs and re-emits radiation in a tiny fraction of one second. Thus, proving the conjecture of ‘trapped’ heat or ‘delayed’ cooling due to CO2 in the atmosphere is so trivial that it cannot even be a measurable climate mechanism.
E: Do you believe we should abolish homogenization of data? We obviously need to cut out the data which has been skewed due to instrumental changes and systematic errors, so do we need to refine the process rather than abolish it entirely?
John: In terms of the proven faking and/or destruction of climate data mentioned already, trust in climate scientists has been so irreparably damaged that all claims made from homogenized or ‘adjusted’ data are disputed. In future, only when and if ALL the computer codes and raw data are released will sensible independent scientist again begin to trust government-funded researchers.
D: Homogenisation of data is a necessary evil. However, that does not mean it should be used. When data is corrected or invented, which is the purpose of homogenisation, the figures produced are not data. All the data has been skewed, therefore none could actually be cut out. This means that we can neither refine the process, nor abolish it entirely. What we need is a proper record of all the changes and the original data, which all too often, sadly is not the case e.g. a couple of years ago the New Zealand Government had to admit in court that it neither knew, nor had a record of what its original temperature record was.
J: What is your greatest disappointment in this area?
John: Naively, we hoped that the paradigm shift away from the greenhouse gas conjecture would have been over by now. But, with so many reputations, careers, investments, policy decisions, etc. depending on the continuation of CO2 junk science, it may be a few more years till our work is fully done.
H: Not having been able to get just one scientist – who is convinced of the warming by carbon dioxide – to discuss the issues with me. Have tried the Dept. of climate change, the Royal Society, Global Warming Policy Foundation, Science and Public Policy Institute and others that I do not recall now.
E: What data would we use instead? If we only rely on raw data couldn’t it be horribly skewed, and therefore worthless?
John: In a perfect world we would only have perfect data. But in our imperfect world scientists, like any group of professionals, have to muddle through and are just as prone to confirmation bias, corruption and incompetence. One of the giants of climate research, Hubert H. Lamb, scientist originally in charge of Britain’s Climatic Research Unit in the 1970’s, recognised that climatology should be about data gathering, not predictions. Lamb admitted we needed many more decades, if not hundreds of years, before enough raw temperature data collected was useful enough to make even basic predictions of global climate.
Notwithstanding that, good scientists are always open to allowing other scientists check their data, their calculations, computer code, etc. to ensure all is above board. Nowadays, that so few unethical scientists get punished is an indictment of the state of the so-called peer review (pal review) system among the ‘prestige’ science journals. The rules of the scientific method, relied upon since the time of Sir Isaac Newton, tells us that scepticism must always be our watchword. ‘Nullius in Verba’ was until recently the noble motto of the once prestigious Royal Society in London. It translates as ‘on the word of no one’. As such, claims based on secret science are inherently unethical and suspicious and should be rejected.
H: Any and all data sets are subject to mis-interpretation and mis-management, so I can’t answer your question.
D: Today, with current technology, knowledge and finance we still cannot measure any climate metric accurately enough – therefore there is no data we could use “instead”. All data is skewed. e.g. “The Urban Heat Island Effect” – when most temperature stations were built they were “out of town”; as towns have grown, the temperature stations have not been moved and so the towns have become nearer to the stations (if not around them). This then affects the data produced. Thus giving global averages skewed by localised effects.
J: What legal or personal repercussions have you faced?
John: Personally, for years I have suffered the most damning libellous attacks via faked evidence posted on web sites and threatening emails. For instance, the ‘Huffington Post’ (July 27, 2012) ran an attack piece painting me as a paedophile barred from teaching and claimed I had pretended to be a lawyer – all complete lies. Then for exposing data fraud by one government climate scientist, Michael ‘hockey stick’ Mann, I suffered retaliation and was added to a multi-million dollar lawsuit in Canada alongside my friend and colleague, Dr Tim Ball. This stressful and expensive case has dragged on for six years and won’t be tried in the Supreme Court of British Columbia until February 2017.
J: Where do you see yourself and PSI in 10 years’ time?
John: Our aim is to become one of the world’s most prominent independent international science associations; to remain untainted by political bias and not beholden to any government(s). If support continues, then I’m happy to serve PSI as overall coordinator for years to come.
H: One can only speculate about the future, so at best I would hope to have helped expose the chicanery by the UN IPCC and all associated organisations, but they are all into each other’s pockets, so I actually hold out no hope to stop them. Am just clear in my own mind that I have given it my best and will continue to do so.
E: My understanding of global warming, and the greenhouse gas effect is: the Earth is absorbing radiation from the Sun, we are giving off IR radiation back out. The IR is absorbed by these ‘greenhouse gases’, once this is re-radiated the majority of it escapes our atmosphere, but some is re-radiated back to Earth. Without thinking any further, with the continuous radiation we receive from the Sun, does this not mean, over time, due to the trapped energy, that we will heat up? Ignoring climate, the greenhouse effect, etc. are you trying to say that certain aspects of physics, such as thermodynamics and Planck’s Law, and not just climate change in-particular, are wrong?
John: All the solar infra-red (IR) radiation received by the earth is re-emitted back to space, none is stored or trapped. The satellites prove this and records going back to 1979 demonstrate that ‘energy in equals energy out.’ What actually occurs within the atmosphere while the IR radiation interacts with atmospheric gases is still unclear because of the remarkable properties of earth’s water cycle which maintains this energy balance. So, this is a big question that needs a detailed and long answer which cannot be easily given in a couple of paragraphs. But in essence, as our book shows, a real conundrum is that (a) climate research is still an infant science and, (b) the vast majority of per se climate scientists are unqualified and recruited ad hoc from the ‘soft’ earth sciences (geographers, etc.).
As the ‘Climategate’ emails showed, invariably the most dominant among these ‘groupthink’ people have a pre-determined agenda. Whatever the evidence might say, some genuinely believe instinctively that humans must be causing ‘catastrophic’ changes to our climate system due to industrialization. However, few if any of these people have any higher level ‘hard’ training in Physics and Chemistry and are thus prone to error and exaggeration. It is they (from their own leaked emails) who have been caught mangling the scientific laws you mention.
This is why Principia Scientific International, with over 1,000 experts trained in the ‘hard’ sciences (better qualified in thermodynamics and the application of Planck’s Law), is needed to help government researchers sort out the mess they have created. Our research shows that since the 1980’s, when ‘greenhouse gas’ alarm got some traction in the public consciousness, government climate researchers formed a secretive ‘closed shop’ in doing their work. We saw, from analysing the evidence, that a small clique of influential researchers unethically and unlawfully hid/destroyed data. Honest jobbing scientists lower down the chain were compliant in unwittingly going along with tasks supportive of the core concept of man-made (literally!) climate change. The task of understanding earth’s complex system is a multi-generational and Herculean one and no one has anywhere near enough data to form valid conclusions. For climate research to be done properly will need genuine open cooperation with truly independent experts from Physics, Chemistry, Astrophysics, etc. to ensure the outcome is per the spirit of ‘Nullius in Verba’.
H: Many questions in one point, but the most important one to answer is this one: energy that ends up re-radiated back to its emitter cannot make that emitter any warmer than it was – if that was not so, engineers have missed a trick to supply the world with free and unlimited energy. Just a few minutes of thought will confirm what I just wrote. Secondly, yes, there is a deep-rooted mis-understanding about the apparently automatic absorption of any level of energy by any substance, regardless of that substances existing temperature and, crucially, its absorptivity and emissivity characteristics. Only when the substance under radiation is at a lower energy level than the radiation will that energy be absorbed and only then can it cause that substance to gain energy and thus rise in temperature, how much depends on its absorptivity and emissivity characteristics. By the way, the above two points alone are enough to stop climate alarm at the hands of carbon dioxide emissions at a stroke.
D: In order to answer this question it must be understood that firstly, colder cannot heat hotter (i.e. the colder atmosphere back radiating towards the earth’s surface cannot heat the warmer earth’s surface – any vertical temperature profile will show the earth’s surface as the warmest part of the system) and secondly, energy cannot be trapped – it can be stored, it can be delayed, but it cannot be trapped. To view the climate system from a radiation only point of view is misguided at the least. It leads to misunderstanding and misinterpretation. Although it is correct to say that we receive constant radiation from the sun, this cannot be a reason that we will heat up, as energy cannot be trapped. We are not saying that The Second Law of Thermodynamics and Planck’s Law are incorrect – we are saying that they are being misapplied. Specifically, within the climate models, atmospheric and terrestrial radiation are simply added together – the resulting sum determining the intensity of surface radiation. i.e. colder and hotter are added together, but the result is giving the reason for warming as being “colder is heating hotter”. This not only applies to The Second Law of Thermodynamics, but is a misapplication of Planck’s Law, also, as Planck’s law only describes a flow of heat from hotter to cooler – there is no flow from cooler to hotter.
J: What do you aim to achieve with your new book?
John: The last six years has seen us get stronger, our science has increased in validity and robustness. The new book we are working on carries on from where the first book left off. We have new evidence, fresh analysis. With the growth of PSI our authors now have such a depth and breadth of scientific expertise to draw on. The new book due out in 2017 will be more a cohesive narrative, written in a crime ‘whodunit’ format that will be aimed more at laypeople, not just scientists. Our mission now is to impact the mass market, general readership.
H: To help ever more people to see how the wool has been pulled over their eyes.
J: Have you managed to convert any alarmists to your cause?
John: Yes, we routinely get emails from converts thanking us for helping grow understanding about the actual physical and chemical properties of carbon dioxide. Whilst we have an expanding body of successful and respected scientists privately confiding their support for us, those currently employed and dependent on career advancement have asked us not to reveal their identities. As a practicing teacher I go into schools and meet colleagues and share our science and am surprised how receptive they are to our work despite how the school curriculum still promotes alarm about man-made global warming.
H: Hah, I have never even met a proper alarmist. Am quite an anti-social creature these days and do not visit places where the alarmists would hang out, which is probably best for my own well-being. My websites speak for me.
You can visit the PSI webpage here: http://principia-scientific.org/
You can also buy the book here:
UK Edition: amazon.co.uk
US Edition: amazon.co.uk
You can also find my review here.