Saturday, 2 February 2013



...which could not be posted within the Comment facility provided by this site format which is powered by blogger, because it is too large.  No wonder you couldn't post yours either, Eric!  One lives and learns...

From: Eric Ferguson []
Sent: 25 January 2013 20:36
To: Salzburg Global Seminar Session 454
Subject: We need to buy insurance, not discuss MUSINGS

Dear Mike,

Here is my reply.  I wanted to post it on your blog, but could not discover how to publish it.  If you can, please put it on the blog.

Kind regards,

Eric Ferguson

Dr. Eric T. Ferguson,
Consultant for Energy and Development

Take a look at that first diagram.  It claims to show temperature changes from 2500 BCE to the present.  Where were those thermometers accurate to within one degree F?  How were they calibrated, how used?
Where were these observations recorded?  Asking those questions is enough; that whole graph is not science, but an urban myth, a belief not based on quantitative evidence, a fabrication. 

Serious studies of historical temperatures have been made.  They have been published, and are reviewed in the IPCC reports.  They do not contradict any of the current climate models.

The "Greenhouse gas" mechanism is proved by the fact that we live (without it the average world temperature would be below freezing). 
The increased greenhouse effect due to higher atmospheric CO2 concentration is also proved.  There is of course uncertainty in the estimated temperature rise.

When faced with uncertain risks, what does a wise person do?  He takes out insurance.  He pays a daily "fee" to reduce his possible losses if things go wrong.  Things can go slightly wrong, or badly wrong.  Insurance is most needed against the "badly wrong".

For the climate risk of uncertain magnitude, we must consider the unfavourable outcomes (high end of the warming estimates) and ask ourselves if we want insurance?  The answer is undoubtedly yes.  Is it affordable?  Again yes, and even astonishingly cheap.  Studies show that eliminating over 90% of fossil fuels by 2050 will only cost a "fee" of a few percent of world product, if we start soon.

We need to stop basing discussions on urban myths.  The science is clear.  There is a high likelihood of moderate to severe warming.  If someone wants to deny that and believe unreliable or arbitrary data, any number of scientists can convincingly refute his conclusions, but he still won't believe them. It’s just not worth wasting time and effort on that.

We can and must legitimately discuss what  insurance  we need to buy, and what it will cost.  What will a  worst or not quite worst case  scenario look like?  What will insurance cost?   Those are worthy

Now let’s get to work, seriously.

My reply sent:  Thu 31/01/2013 17:57

Dear Eric,

thank you very much for writing to me since you failed to post your comment on my blogsite directly, which I am surprised to hear about.  Since over three years of having my blogsite and some 11,000+ visitors [from 60 countries] during that time, yours is the first mention of such an event.  Those who wanted to comment (very rare, surprisingly to me) are shown on their respective blogsites, some others just wrote to me directly; the great majority, of course, remain unknown, uninterested, bored or simply may have pressed the ‘delete’ button. I’ll never know.

Be that as it may, I welcome the chance of a reply to your comments as such an exchange of views among us might lead to other comments worth hearing about.  There is no limit to my ignorance which I am only too keen to reduce. 

Here is my response to your reply to my ‘musings’ in this Snippets & Questions #2 blog:


“I am getting bored. The globe can be getting warmer or colder, but the idea that the human contribution from burning carbon fuels has anything to do with it is not only IMHO the biggest political and intellectual fraud ever – but so says the IPCC itself:*  The ongoing discussion pro and con is becoming akin to the scholastic argument as to how many angels can dance on the head of a needle. Which is, of course, exactly what is intended [in order] to achieve worldwide disorientation away from the actual IPCC aims of monetary and energy policies – and bringing a whole, if not all, of science into disrepute. Even the UK Royal Society has become Lysenkoist.”
* further quotes by Maurice Strong are at

This and the ensuing discussion are still on that quoted blogsite. Nothing has changed my mind since – which I’m quite capable of doing if there were someone who would show me convincing reasons for it.

Before I comment further, let me make clear that I have no doubt about climate changes with their millennia of known history, nor do I doubt that CO2, methane, but above all water vapour, may have a certain warming effect on the atmosphere.

As to the Harris and Mann graph, I remember from school days at least the outline of Climate history since year zero:  Roman warm period (e.g. Roman legions taught the locals how to grow wine in Northumberland), followed by the Dark Ages cold period (e.g. north European tribes broke through Hadrian’s Wall as well as through the Limes, and crossed the Rhine, during their migrations south into Spain and Italy because of failed harvests), followed by the medieval warm period (e.g. why did Greenland become named the ‘green land’ or Nova Scotia named Vinland – wine land), in turn followed by the Little Ice Age (e.g. profusion of Dutch Winter paintings of skating and annual folk fairs on the frozen canals, and also the well-illustrated similar events on the frozen river Thames) and from which our current climate swing is liberating us, hopefully – in spite of rising CO2 levels the world is actually cooling since the last ten (some claim fifty) years, according to thermometers incl. those on satellites.

All these climate changes are too well documented from historic records as to be in any doubt and appear much as the Harris and Mann graph shows. As to the H&M estimated temperatures, they have a web site to explain things, or can be asked directly. I have certainly not come across any source calling H&M fabulists or fraudsters – unlike the Hockey Stick perpetrators and their Lysenkoist followers (amongst which even the venerable title Scientific American could be found when they first supported the Hockey Stick as absolute gospel until forced by evidence to resurrect the corrected version, thus making a bit of an oxymoron of that title).

In the last resort, there is, of course, nothing but trusting what you can see with your own eyes, as anyone can do who has ever been anywhere near Salzburg.  I have given an account of that on my blogsite at
Please read from second picture onwards. 

That visit to see the Hohe Tauern Massif, and reading the only published account quoted, proved several things, to my mind anyway:
  • between app. 900 to 1500CE the Alpine climate was at least as warm if not warner as now:  the Rauris glaziers with their moraine traces, and historic accounts (and the riches provided for the Salzburg Prince-Archbishops),  bear witness,
  • during that period, there cannot have been any manmade CO2 contributions (or sudden absence) which could be claimed to account for the preceding and ensuing climate changes,
  • ergo, there must be other natural sources of climate change far exceeding any greenhouse gases. Note: no rocket science or thermometers needed to reach that conclusion.
  • extended Google (and other) searches were only able to find a single published account which apparently evaded IPCC sponsored censorship by their PR people doing an otherwise fine job at Gleichschaltung – but not necessarily reading the Fueilleton pages of newspapers.
  • short ‘musing’:  why was #454 not shown this first-hand evidence of current global warming available practically on the doorstep?  At that time I was as convinced about AGW and global warming as anyone else, and mentioned my joy of seeing the evidence at first hand to our guide…. da capo.

So, all I’m saying in my blog in relation to climate models is, that for these climate changes, and the others, whether illustrated by Harris and Mann or described elsewhere, there exist no climate models for a world without manmade CO2, i.e. without any anthropogenic global warming (AGW) component (unless you know of any).  Only such climate models could explain, or refute if they could, the H&M climate swings shown in their graph.

And so, yes, there may well be an AGW component to global warming, but compared to the solar input of some 4000 trillion kWh every 24 hours reaching the top of the atmosphere, what might AGW amount to other than a fraction of Wh/day perhaps?  Unless anyone provides all of us with a better figure for the AGW contribution in such strictly comparable terms of measurement, my guess is that AGW influence amounts to about as much as the effect, according to Isaac Newton, of a flea jumping eastward on the equator has in retarding the rotation of the Earth when compared to the effect of natural forces like the gravitational influences of sun and moon and their tidal offspring.

PS: on risk assessment and insurance I recommend looking at (another ‘musing’ I’m afraid)

So much for my return comments.  Happy to learn of any corrective sources which you – or anyone else reading this – could point me to. I only claim to be a still learning pundit (for want of a better word in contradistinction to expert or consultant which I don’t claim to be), and then not in any climate science but in the areas of CleanEnergy and Sustainability.

To illustrate, here is my current study and work program, in a nutshell:
  • The global design problem
  • Its timescale (solutions must be valid for grandchildren’s’ grandchildren)
  • Method  (democracy defined)
  • Aim: Sustainability
All summarized at  

In that respect, I wholly share your closing encouragement –  

Now let’s get to work, seriously!

Kind regards.


Dipl-Ing   L Michael Hohmann  

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