Vincent Chang's Blog

Vincent Chang male Former Senior Tech Writer

Vincent has written enough about tech to know that he doesn't know enough about tech. But that's not keeping him from going jargon-heavy about processors and mobos. After all, "you can't stop the signal".

Folks, Climate Change is for Real

Before you read any further, I'll have to say that IANAS (I Am Not A Scientist), so my entire knowledge of climate change rests entirely on what's reported by the media.

It was with a sinking feeling that I heard about Climategate, a 'scandal' surrounding the leak of more than 1000 emails and other documents from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia last November. Coming before the Copenhagen climate conference, the emails were seized upon by climate change sceptics that there was something rotten in the state of East Anglia. Some in the media couldn't resist such a controversy and as this roundup shows, took the opportunity to decry the scientists involved and by extension, undermine the science.

No doubt, there will be awkward shrugs from these pundits now that a third independent investigation has exonerated the scientists of 'fudging the data' to prove that climate change is real. It's not all good for those involved however, since the investigation found the scientists guilty of a lack of openness and transparency. In short, by being uncooperative and stonewalling its critics, these scientists have scored an own goal by creating the impression that they had something to hide.

Especially when the leaked emails cast a damaging and unflattering light on their behavior and added fuel for sceptics. Even after this recent investigation, most sceptics will treat this as a whitewash and will remain so until the end of the world.

Moving away from the scientists and their lamentable conduct, the science has survived unscathed; there's no debate about that part. The question is, "what should we do about it?" While governments have been failing to agree on the proper course to take, what can we do as individuals?

Well for a start, the more energy we conserve, the less fossil fuels we need to burn. And if preserving the environment is too altruistic for you, how does lower electricity bills sound? Simple things like turning off the light if you're stepping out of the room, even for a minute, helps to save a tiny bit of electricity. Or turning off your mains and not relying on the standby mode. Or choosing more power efficient gadgets. These are small changes in your everyday behavior.

So, the next time you're feeling too warm, perhaps the fan is good enough, skip the air-con. Or turn the temperatures up in the office. I'm wearing a jacket now in my freezing office even as I'm typing this, which is such a big waste of electricity. A small thing goes a long way.

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You are so shy about responding, how disappointing.

More fodder for climate change alarmist:

Children Aren’t Going to Know What Snow Is’: A Global Warming Classic Flashback
By Doug Powers • December 20, 2010 11:22 AM **Written by Doug Powers

Ed Driscoll features this gem of a global warming story from March of 2000 that appeared in The Independent:
Among the horrors the “settled science” declared imminent was the disappearance of snow:

Global warming, the heating of the atmosphere by increased amounts of industrial gases, is now accepted as a reality by the international community. Average temperatures in Britain were nearly 0.6°C higher in the Nineties than in 1960-90, and it is estimated that they will increase by 0.2C every decade over the coming century. Eight of the 10 hottest years on record occurred in the Nineties.

However, the warming is so far manifesting itself more in winters which are less cold than in much hotter summers. According to Dr David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”.

“Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.
* * * * *
Ask any Singporean freezing at Heathrow or some other European airport after their flight home has been canceled due to snow storms.

Perhaps children in SG may not know what snow is like, but trust me, children in the UK, France, Germany and northern United States can tell SG kids all about this white stuff!


Vincent, sad that you are still ignoring more discussion on this topic.

Well here is more data to consider.


Climate-change alarmists have warned for years that rising temperatures they associate with higher levels of CO2 would radically reduce the Amazonian rainforests as water got more scarce. The argument was that the heat would reduce the rainfall, which would eventually turn the rainforests into savannahs or even dust bowls and seriously impact oxygen and climate patterns for the entire world. Now a new study, reported by the Guardian — hardly a bastion of skepticism on AGW claims — says both predictions are entirely incorrect (via QandO):
According to a study of ancient rainforests, trees may be hardier than previously thought. Carlos Jaramillo, a scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI), examined pollen from ancient plants trapped in rocks in Colombia and Venezuela. “There are many climactic models today suggesting that … if the temperature increases in the tropics by a couple of degrees, most of the forest is going to be extinct,” he said. “What we found was the opposite to what we were expecting: we didn’t find any extinction event [in plants] associated with the increase in temperature, we didn’t find that the precipitation decreased.”
In a study published today in Science, Jaramillo and his team studied pollen grains and other biological indicators of plant life embedded in rocks formed around 56m years ago, during an abrupt period of warming called the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum. CO2 levels had doubled in 10,000 years and the world was warmer by 3C-5C for 200,000 years.
Contrary to expectations, he found that forests bloomed with diversity. New species of plants, including those from the passionflower and chocolate families, evolved quicker as others became extinct. The study also shows moisture levels did not decrease significantly during the warm period. “It was totally unexpected,” Jaramillo said of the findings.
When water became more scarce, the plants started becoming more efficient at its use. The changes in temperature not only didn’t kill off the trees, it led to an explosion of diversity, which once again poses the question of whether anyone actually understands these systems enough to reach a conclusion on what exactly the optimal temperature is for the planet. These findings seem to suggest that our period may be a little on the cool side for natural diversity and agricultural production.
Or, more accurately, that the AGW science is mainly conjectural in the first place. The lack of certainty in the speculative horror stories spun by the IPCC and its already-busted myths, combined with the utter failure of AGW models to accurately predict any outcomes, should already have had most people skeptical of the entire exercise. Now we find out that 200,000 years of climate 5C warmer than this period not only didn’t turn the Earth into a barren desert but instead led to adaptations, strength, and an explosion of diversity, setting the stage for the expansion of humans on the planet.
The study’s authors conclude that warming presents little threat to the rainforest, and instead advises activists to focus on fighting deforestation instead. That is, at least, a legitimate threat to the existence of the rainforests, and an issue with a lot more credibility than the Chicken Little scenarios that hysterical AGW activists keep spinning.

In other words there is less to worry about than first thought.

Enviro-nitwits keep overplaying humankinds ability to influence this Earth.

On microscales humankind can influence something climate aspects, think of urban heat islands for example, on the macro or global scale a single volcano does more during an eruption to affect the climate than humnas can in many years.

Then there is our Sun to consider.
That is another topic.


It's your right to imagine conspiracy theories and coverups. I'm not advocating carbon trading or emission control as an alternative, though I believe there's nothing wrong with switching to more sustainable forms of energy.

You can disagree with the methods used by govts to push their agendas (and I for one, believe our pragmatic govt is not one to sacrifice economic growth for anything but hard facts), but while we all know that the scientific consensus historically has had its bloopers, it also has a pretty good record.

Finally, whether you are a climate skeptic or not, my point is that by conserving energy when you can, you're only helping yourself with lower electricity bills.


You disappoint me sir. As a technical writer one would hope you would do your due diligence before joining this out of control rush to carbon emission taxes. (digression alert), One can only imagine the effect such a tax would have on SGs economic growth Vincent, can you slow or no growth! (end digression.)

So you are certian the East Anglia report is the last word on Climategate? I would ask you consider the following.

From: and

Independent Inquiry head Sir Alastair Muir Russell is a Scottish career civil servant; the Scottish government is, if anything, even more enthusiastic about global warming than the British government.

But I’m sure a politician would never allow political considerations to cloud his scientific judgment.
His team comprised the following:

Geoffrey Boulton is a Scottish climatologist whose field of study actually appears to be the science of chairing committees — he chairs or is a member of thirteen committees, councils, or royal societies. Oh, and “[h]e leads the Global Change Research Group in the University of Edinburgh, the largest major research group in the University’s School of Geosciences.” But surely he wouldn’t allow his deep professional commitment to global climate change research to bias his findings.

Professor Peter Clarke is a physics professor whose CV includes nothing to do with climate change; but I’m sure he has considered himself a quiet expert in the field, ever since he first read the original report from the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
David Eyton is an engineer with British Petroleum, the Group Head of Research and Technology (R&T). He, too, appears to have no background in climate change research. BP, of course, like every other oil company, is very heavily invested in climate change and expects that some form of carbon-trading commodities market will prove to be a glory hole for the entire industry. Though certainly, Mr. Eyton would never allow himself to be influenced by such crass commercial concerns.

Finally, we have the Jack of All Trades, Professor Jim Norton. He is — well, I suppose I’d better just let Professor Norton tell his own tale (I presume he wrote his own CV):

Aged fifty-seven, Jim Norton is an independent director and policy adviser. He is an external member of the Board of the UK Parliament’s Office of Science & Technology (POST) and council member of the Parliamentary IT Committee (PITCOM). Jim is a Non-Executive Director of F&C Capital & Income Investment Trust plc, where he chairs the Audit & Management Engagement Committee.

He is a Board Member and Trustee of the Foundation for Information Policy Research (FIPR), as well as a member of the ‘Electronic Communications Expert Advisory Panel’ for the Irish Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg). Jim chairs the Steering Group for the Secure Software Development Partnership (SSDP) of the Technology Strategy Board.

He was a founder member of the Cabinet Office Performance & Innovation Unit in 1999, a former Chief Executive of the DTI Radiocommunications Agency (the UK’s radio spectrum manager 1993-1998) and has held senior positions in Cable & Wireless (Marketing Director C&W Europe 1990-1993), Butler-Cox (Director Vendor Consulting Practice 1987-1990), and British Telecom (Senior Manager International Business Development).

Jim is a Visiting Professor of Electronic Engineering at Sheffield University and an Honorary Doctor of Engineering of that University. He is an External Examiner for the IoD Certificate in Company Direction’. Jim is a Chartered IT Professional and Fellow of the British Computer Society (BCS), where he is chair of the ‘Professionalism Board’ and is a Vice President and Trustee. He is a Chartered Engineer, Fellow of the Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET) and is Chairman of the IET IT Sector Panel. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Commerce and Manufactures and of the Institute of Directors. Jim holds the Diploma in Company Direction from the Institute of Directors and is a Chartered Director.

Is really appears that we have people with a vested interest in proving human caused climate change with the task or reviewing themselves for wrong doing.

Is that what now goes for proper peer review?


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