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Professor Will Alexander’s Last Post November 8, 2008

Posted by honestclimate in Discussions.
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Professor Will Alexander’s Last Post

Professor William Alexander

Professor William Alexander

Via E-mail, November 9, 2008

Last Post

Tuesday 11 November 2008. (Post-dated for nostalgic reasons.)

There was a time in my life when my daily routine was governed by bugle calls. The day started with Reveille which reminded us that it was time to crawl out from under our blankets. The next call was to come to the cookhouse for breakfast. There were several other calls during the course of the day. The strident Alarm call got us running to our tents to collect our rifles and fall in on the parade ground. The most nostalgic bugle call was the Last Post, particularly on a quiet night. It was time to crawl under the blankets again.

My Last Post for 2008 has just sounded. I have one unfinished task before I crawl under the blankets.

For 83 years South African climatologists have failed to address this problem.

What is the most important climate-related problem facing South Africa? Obviously it is widespread, severe droughts. What is the most important step that can be taken to reduce the impact of these droughts? Obviously it is the development of an early warning system so that the authorities can start taking steps to minimise the inevitable consequences.

These two linked philosophies are as old as civilisation itself. The most famous example is Joseph’s biblical prophecy of seven good years followed by seven years of famine. Fortunately, there were only two people involved in the process. Joseph who provided the warning, and Pharaoh who had faith in him and issued the necessary instructions.

Today the situation is far more complex. There is no Pharaoh who has the power to issue the instructions. Joseph is surrounded by yapping dogs displaying signs with phrases such as ‘coincidence is not causality’. They imply that no action should be taken until a scientifically solid linkage has been found between an impending drought and its causes.

A strange philosophy exists within the climate alarmist community. If you cannot produce the causes, the phenomenon does not exist. They have powerful and influential allies especially in the environmental sciences. Over the years, the climate change fraternity have done their best to denigrate me and my conclusions. I have responded in kind.

Like Joseph, for the past 30 years I have studied the wealth of observations from a water supply perspective. My motive (as well as that of many other civil engineers in this field) was the development of reliable prediction ability so that others can take the necessary action to minimise the consequences. Together with colleagues, I have developed this ability and published the results.

During the past year I have been very active in trying to persuade professional institutions and others to take heed of our warnings but to no avail. I even submitted a detailed research proposal to the Water Research Commission last July.

This week I made a decision. I’m not prepared to continue acting like some Don Quixote tilting at windmills. Nobody in authority has displayed an interest. The Water Research Commission published a vitriolic article contesting the basis of our prediction. This is the undeniable 21-year periodicity in the hydro-climatic data and its synchronous linkage with variations in solar activity.

My colleague Fred Bailey has produced solid evidence that demonstrates large variations in solar energy received on earth. They are of a magnitude denied in the IPCC’s documents and by its South African followers. I have shown that the orbital motions of the planets described by Fred Bailey are also synchronous with the 21-year periodicity in the hydroclimatic data and sudden climatic reversals. Our conclusions are incontestable as they are based on facts not theories.

I have gone further. Putting everything together, I have issued a warning as serious as that issued by Joseph some 3500 years ago. We have just entered a period where severe, widespread droughts can be expected.<Read paper click here> It comes at a time when our water resources approach the limits of their exploitation. Unemployment, poverty, malnutrition, disease and associated civil disturbances are increasing. We have severe electricity supply problems. Our economy is suffering from the global economic recession. Environmental extremism is flourishing because our scientific and engineering institutions are gutless.

There is little more that I can do. I have withdrawn my research proposal submitted to the Water Research Commission.

My Last Post has sounded. It is now time for me to blow out the candle and pull the blankets over my head. Outside all is quiet. If some bugler sounds the Alarm it will be too late. I feel tremendously sorry for all those who will be adversely affected by the complete lack of interest in our drought warning and the reprehensible actions of the climate and environmental extremists.


I finished writing the above on Saturday afternoon in time to watch the South Africa vs Wales rugby match. Before the start of the match the teams stood to attention while a bugler played the Last Post. Ceremonial wreaths of poppies were laid on the field. In the UK people wear poppies in their lapels in memory of all those who lost their lives in the service of their country during the two world wars.

I have no poppies to wear but I still have memories of those who were less fortunate than I was during the war.

When the droughts occur, I will have no hesitation in exposing the activities of all those who deliberately sought to suppress the dissemination of my research findings and the distribution of my warnings that could have minimised the loss of lives, livelihoods and damage to the national economy.

In the meantime there is little more that I can do.


1. Frank - December 10, 2008

Many South African climate scientists have pursued an understanding of drought pseudo-cycles – you ignore the work of Peter Tyson, Mark Jury, Chris Reason, Richard Washington amongst others, all of whom have explored relationships with atmospheric and ocean drivers such as El Nino and the Indian Ocean Dipole. Perhaps you ignore them because this work undermines your view that the sunspot cycle drives the pseudo-cycles. At the very least this attempt to painty a picture of neglect of this issue by southern African scientists is misleading, at worst it is dangerous. It’s a pity that you do not mention that the “vitriolic article” published in Water Wheel finds no statistical support for the correlation you are suggesting, and the work of Fred Bailey is simply a fantasy. Don’t shoot the messenger, rather address the criticism.

2. honestclimate - December 11, 2008

“It’s a pity that you do not mention that the “vitriolic article” published in Water Wheel finds no statistical support for the correlation you are suggesting, and the work of Fred Bailey is simply a fantasy.”

Well, when the “fantasy” becomes reality, history will judge those harshly who tried to deny honest scientific debate by using such “vitriolic” terms and means to deny those with opposing views to the IPCC.

3. Frank - December 11, 2008

Well it would the good professor who used the term. It’s also interesting to note how dismissive his article was that kicked off the local debate, published in Water SA in 2004 if I remember right. So he may well have been the root of all the vitriol. He has for one thing long ignored the wealth of good atmospheric and climate science done in his own country (note his reference lists crowded with refs to his own work) which denies any sort of honest SCIENTIFIC debate at all. So sorry, this does not cut the mustard.

He also has a particularly misinformed view on the IPCC process, having been gulled by the denialist fraternity who appear not to be aware of its rigour.

Anyway – just my small contribution to some honest debate.

4. honestclimate - December 12, 2008

I had fixed up my post with what I meant re the vitriolic terms thrown at those who dare question the IPCC view. The scientists like Professor Alexander and others who oppose or question the views of the IPCC get treated with complete disdain, which is unfortunate as science is supposed to be about debate not calling those who oppose the IPCC view as flat earthers etc.

The wheels on the IPCC bus are falling off at an alarming rate. They have tried to silence dissenting voices and attack those with opposing views and history will judge these alarmists harshly.

The internet is one area where skeptics cannot be silenced and I will continue to post the fine work of Professor Alexander and the other fine scientists who question the IPCC view.

The skeptics are crying out for debate whilst the alarmists IPCC scientists have DENIED any sort of honest SCIENTIFIC debate.

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