Category Archives: Politics

Climate Disinformation at a Glance

I was mildly surprised when a somewhat “skeptical” interlocutor of my Arctic alter ego linked to “Climate at a Glance” in the course of our alleged “debate”. I was even more surprised to discover that the far end of the suggested link was not NOAA’s familiar overview of the Arctic temperature trend:

but instead a similarly named web site proudly sponsored by the Heartland Institute:

The “Climate at a Glance” home page currently features the Arctic at the top, and it probably won’t surprise you to learn that the linked article is full of half truths and untruths about “Snow White’s” favourite topic? Here are the Heartland Institute’s key Arctic takeaways:

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The Information War with the Fossil Fuel Industry

Here’s a few minutes old Xweet from my now ex Member of the European Parliament, Molly Scott Cato:

Here’s a template for Arctic sea ice trolls, helpfully provided by my very good friend “Snow White”:

Look dumbass. Al Gore says the Arctic is warming at 4 times the speed of the rest of planet, but the data says it’s GETTING COLDER!

[Edit – August 3rd]

By way of a change, which is of course as good as a rest, today let’s take a look at some academic psychology. According to the recently published “The illusory truth effect leads to the spread of misinformation” in the journal “Cognition”:

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China’s Arctic Ambitions

Back in 2013 I sat around a table with the Chinese delegation during lunch at the Economist’s Arctic Summit in Oslo. In the evening there was a reception with the British Ambassador to Norway, where amongst other people I met Kevin Vallely.

Fast forwarding to July 2021, the Chinese icebreaker Xue Long 2 (which translates to Snow Dragon 2) set sail from Shanghai to do some research in the Central Arctic Basin:

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The Strange Tale of The Mail and The Snow Dragon

This article is reposted from, originally published on March 18th 2013, as historical background to a new article on the so called Polar Silk Road.

As I’ve recently been reporting over on the Arctic Sea Ice Forum, I inadvertently found myself having lunch with the Chinese delegation to the Economist’s Arctic Summit in Norway last week. Amongst other things I learned about the voyage of the Chinese research vessel Xue Long (Snow Dragon in English) right across the Arctic Basin last summer:

The summer 2012 voyage of The Snow Dragon, courtesy of the Arctic Portal
The summer 2012 voyage of The Snow Dragon, courtesy of the Arctic Portal

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The 2021 G7 Summit in Cornwall

Our regular reader(s) will no doubt recall the good old days when several times each month an opportunity would present itself to debunk some “skeptical” nonsense from one or more of the usual suspects?

That all changed when Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. He was of course much more amenable to lobbying from fossil fuel interests than Barack Obama, and everything went (comparatively!) quiet.

Now that The Don has sailed off into the proverbial sunset and Joe Biden is top dog all that has changed. A return to the (not so) good old days comes as no surprise, and the porky pies have started coming off the denialospheric production line once again.

There have already been a few contrarian ripples on the surface of the climate science seas, which we may well come to in due course. However a set of substantial waves are now visible on the horizon. The proximate cause is the forthcoming summit of the G7 nations, which as luck would have it is taking place just down the road from the Great White Con winter holiday residence in North Cornwall. Then in November the COP26 conference is being held in Glasgow.

According to the G7 UK web site:

In June, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will welcome fellow G7 leaders to one of the most beautiful parts of the UK: Carbis Bay in Cornwall.

Other parts of the region will also play a key role in the Summit, including neighbouring St Ives, Falmouth and Newquay airport.

With over 400 miles of coastline, Cornwall’s stunning landscape provides a perfect setting for world leaders to come together and discuss how to respond to global challenges like coronavirus and climate change.

Here’s one of my recent pictures of some of that coastline, including part of Cornwall’s industrial heritage and some large waves!

Climate change is top of the G7 agenda along with Covid-19, and you can rest assured that vested interests will not miss any opportunity to promote those interests over the next two months and beyond. By way of example, one of our long standing “usual suspects”, Judith Curry, “tweeted” the following message to her followers on April 17th:

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What Opening Arctic Sea Routes Mean for the UK

The United Kingdom Government has just published details of its Foresight “Future of the sea” project’s investigation into the implications of declining Arctic sea ice. According to the overview:

The Arctic is losing sea ice at a dramatic rate and this decline is expected to continue. This is creating opportunities for shorter global trade links between East Asia and the UK, via the Arctic.

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The House Science Climate Model Show Trial

The show is over, and it went pretty much as Alice F. predicted it would. Lamar Smith has passed his verdict on the morning’s proceedings in strangely untheatrical style:

My own mileage certainly varied from Lamar’s! Here’s a hasty summary of events via the distorting lens of Twitter:

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Should Climate Scientists Boycott Congressional Hearings?

In answer to the question posed in our title for today, retired Rear Admiral David Titley certainly seems to think so. According to his article for the Washington Post‘s “Capital Weather Gang”:

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Professor Peter Wadhams’ Complaint to IPSO

Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University has just written to the UK’s Independent Press Standards Organisation about recent articles that “ha[ve] substantially damaged my reputation for scientific integrity, and I believe that this was the deliberate intention”. Here is the text of his complaint.

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