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Climate models are no more intelligent than the dishwasher in the kitchen, claims South African professor Will Alexander January 12, 2009

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Climate models are no more intelligent than the dishwasher in the kitchen, claims South African professor Will Alexander

By the blogowner, honestclimate, January 12, 2009

I would like to share the below memo by Professor Will Alexander, received via email today.

First a quick bio on Professor Alexander:

William J.R. Alexander is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Civil and Biosystems Engineering of the University of Pretoria, and Honorary Fellow of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering.

He was appointed by the Secretary General of the United Nations as a member of the UN Scientific and Technical Committee on Natural Disasters from 1994 to the end of the international decade in 2000.

His interest in climate change commenced in 1993 when climatologists produced alarmist predictions that were contrary to studies by civil engineers extending back to the 1950s. He retired from active teaching in 2000 but continued with research on flood frequency analyses, water resource development and natural disaster mitigation methods.


Professor Will Alexander

Professor Will Alexander

By Professor Will Alexander
Via Email, January 12, 2009

Lies, damned lies and climate change

Dear all,

The climate change issue is rapidly coming to a head in South Africa as well as internationally. South Africa and the world only have 11 months left before irreversible commitments will have to be made.

There is therefore an urgent need for the South African public and the authorities to be informed of the completely false and unscientific basis on which this whole climate change charade rests.

This memo is my first contribution in which I exposed these unpatriotic, unethical and unscientific practices. There are more in the pipeline.

As always, feel free to pass this on to anybody who may be interested.

Memo 01/09

Monday 12 January 2009

These were the two introductory paragraphs of my last memo 44/08 of 2008.

Many thanks for all those emails urging me to continue exposing this whole climate alarmism issue for what it is. In this memo I make one last attempt for this year at least.

As I have shown on many occasions, my actions are driven by the lack of believable evidence and the severe consequences of the proposed mitigation measures on national economies and the welfare of peoples. Now for the first time the alarmists are faced with a situation that requires action and not words. They have painted themselves into a corner. They have refused to come to the table and discuss my earnest, very serious, and solidly based drought warning.

At last they have come out into the open within the range of my artillery. The following short news item was published in the Pretoria News of 10 January.

Focus on climate change at Cape science powwow

Nearly 200 international scientists will meet in Cape Town this month for a dialogue on climate change and to send a strong message to African leaders to support scientific debate.
Delegates to the conference aim to deepen understanding of the interaction between natural and man-induced climate changes.
Martin de Wit, of the African Earth Observer Network, said: “If we want to really be sure in our modelling, we need to know what our influence is.”
Conference organisers say while Africa occupies over a fifth of the Earth’s surface, “a paucity of observational data … constrains global climate change models and African response”.
“This creates a challenge to the African scientific community,” they say.

Let me dissect this intriguing announcement.

1. Nearly 200 international scientists…Who are they? Who finances them? What scientific disciplines do they represent?

2. (Delegates) aim to send a strong message to African leaders to support scientific debate. This is what our Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism said at the Midrand Conference in October 2005. ‘We will not be derailed from our responsibility to act by endless engagement with fringe scientists… we have reached and passed this in the debate about the science of climate change.’ (My emphasis.) It would be a wonderful achievement if the meeting persuades him to change his mind. Does anybody think that this is likely to happen? Will he be invited to open the conference?

3. Delegates to the conference aim to deepen understanding of the interaction between natural and man-induced climate changes. This is a fascinating challenge. Europe is currently experiencing an exceptionally cold winter. Sceptics say that this discredits global warming theory. This is denied by the WMO. It maintains that this exceptionally cold weather is a natural fluctuation. This explanation will pose an insurmountable problem for the 200 scientists. How will they deepen their understanding if they do not know which climatic extremes are natural and which are due to human influences? Expect to see some serious wriggling from them to get out of this insurmountable difficulty.

4. If we want to really be sure in our modelling… Has nobody told them that even their most sophisticated models are fundamentally incapable of producing outputs that realistically capture the numerical properties of the climatic processes? These include changes in the means; the magnitude and nature of the variability about the means; and the nature and magnitude of the serial dependence; as a minimum.

5. … a paucity of observational data… This statement demonstrates the total ignorance of the climate alarmist fraternity. South Africa alone has one of the largest and most comprehensive hydrometeorological databases anywhere. Many hydrological records exceed 80 years in length. Hydrological data are collected at a rate of half a million station-days per year. The rainfall records are even more extensive. This statement is patently and deliberately false.

6. This creates a challenge to the African scientific community. The most important challenge to the scientific community is the truth.
In the light of the aims of the conference it is very important that the reprehensible conduct of the extremists be exposed.

Examples of reprehensible conduct

My wife and I spent the holiday period with our families in Cape Town, Plettenberg Bay and East London. I was not permitted to take my laptop with me so I took a supply of shorthand notebooks instead. I spent every free hour with pen and paper. I neglected visiting friends. (My apologies to friends in Plett.)

I am in the process of compiling a report detailing the reprehensible conduct of a few, unrepresentative climatological and environmental extremists on the issue of climate change. I have documentary support for all the material in the report. It will be of interest to historians studying the machinations of climate alarmists and the imminent collapse of climate alarmism.

The reactions to my report will be very interesting. They dare not ignore it. They will do their best to denigrate me personally. This will be no more effective than a duck’s water off my back.
I still have to fill in the blank spaces. This will take another week or so.

My report will have all the ingredients of a successful novel. These include large scale dishonesty, deception and intrigue. This is not only by politicians but also by many national and international scientists who have little concern for the truth, and even less for the suffering of the poor and disadvantaged people of the world.

Their complex global climate prediction models are no more intelligent than the dishwasher in the kitchen.


These are my carefully considered conclusions. They are based on more than 30 years of diligent studies of one of the most comprehensive hydro-climatological databases in the world. Alarmists claim that this database does not exist.

My conclusions are based on observation theory. It is as old as civilisation itself. This is routinely used by thousands of civil engineers for the design, planning, construction and operation of water supply projects, and structures exposed to the elements. Compare this with abstract process theory used by climatologists. It is not even capable of predicting next month’s climate. Nowhere in the world is process theory used for practical applications.

1. There is no scientifically believable evidence to support the existence of the following subcontinental scale claims for the present and possible future conditions, resulting from the burning of fossil fuels.

2. There has been no serious damage to the natural environment.

3. There has been no widescale loss of plants or animal species.

4. There is no threat to South Africa’s biodiversity.

5. There is no evidence of multi-year increases in floods or droughts.

6. There is no threat to our water supplies that can be attributed to unnatural causes.

7. There is an undeniable multi-year periodicity in hydro-climatological data that is causally related to synchronous solar activity.

8. The variations in the solar activity are related to the acceleration and deceleration of the sun as it progresses through galactic space. This in turn is the consequence of variations of the combined effect of the sun’s orbiting planets.


Scientific and other institutions are understandably reluctant to embarrass the South African authorities in these difficult times. It is nevertheless essential that these matters be brought to the attention of the government authorities, particularly the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism and the Water Research Commission.

It is strongly recommended that the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism should appoint a multi-disciplinary commission to study the issue and make recommendations. This commission should consist of members recommended by the major scientific, engineering, business, manufacturing and mining industries and not nominees by the Department or the scatterbrained climate alarmists.

If the South African authorities continue along the present path of deliberately ignoring the mounting evidence to the contrary, and the imminent, severe regional droughts <click here to read Professor Alexander’s Global Drought paper>, they should be prepared for increased threats to the national economy, and an escalation of poverty, unemployment, and civil unrest in the years ahead.

South Africa can no longer tolerate the unpatriotic, unethical, and unscientific activities of these climatological and environmental extremists. If these extremists choose to continue propagating their alarmist views via the media, I will not hesitate to provide the media with my report. An unfortunate consequence will be the reduction in the public’s trust in scientists in general.

The press announcement did not provide the date or the venue of the conference, or if it will be open to the public. Hopefully my report will be distributed ahead of the conference. This should keep the delegates on the straight and narrow path of honesty and the truth.

Remaining silent is no longer an option.

Will Alexander


1. Francis Tucker Manns - January 13, 2009

Keeping in mind that windmills are hazardous to birds, be wary of the unintended consequences of believing and contributing to the all-knowing environmental lobby groups.
Water vapour is the most important green house gas followed by methane. The third important greenhouse gas is CO2, and it does not correlate well with global warming or cooling either; in fact, CO2 in the atmosphere trails warming which is clear natural evidence for its well-studied inverse solubility in water: CO2 dissolves in cold water and bubbles out of warm water. The equilibrium in seawater is very high, making seawater a great ‘sink’; CO2 is 34 times more soluble in water than air is soluble in water.
Correlation is not causation to be sure. The causation has been studied, however, and while the radiation from the sun varies only in the fourth decimal place, the magnetism is awesome.
“Using a box of air in a Copenhagen lab, physicists traced the growth of clusters of molecules of the kind that build cloud condensation nuclei. These are specks of sulphuric acid on which cloud droplets form. High-energy particles driven through the laboratory ceiling by exploded stars far away in the Galaxy – the cosmic rays – liberate electrons in the air, which help the molecular clusters to form much faster than climate scientists have modeled in the atmosphere. That may explain the link between cosmic rays, cloudiness and climate change.”
As I understand it, the hypothesis of the Danish National Space Center goes as follows:
Quiet sun → reduced magnetic and thermal flux = reduced solar wind → geomagnetic shield drops → galactic cosmic ray flux → more low-level clouds and more snow → more albedo effect (more heat reflected) → colder climate
Active sun → enhanced magnetic and thermal flux = solar wind → geomagnetic shield response → less low-level clouds → less albedo (less heat reflected) → warmer climate
That is how the bulk of climate change might work, coupled with (modulated by) sunspot peak frequency there are cycles of global warming and cooling like waves in the ocean. When the waves are closely spaced, the planets warm; when the waves are spaced farther apart, the planets cool.
The ultimate cause of the solar magnetic cycle may be cyclicity in the Sun-Jupiter centre of gravity. We await more on that. In addition, although the post 60s warming period is over, it has allowed the principal green house gas, water vapour, to kick in with humidity, clouds, rain and snow depending on where you live to provide the negative feedback that scientists use to explain the existence of complex life on Earth for 550 million years. The planet heats and cools naturally and our gasses are the thermostat.
Check the web site of the Danish National Space Center.

2. JaneW - January 13, 2009

The good professor shouldn’t insult dishwashers😉

3. I R A Darth Aggie - January 13, 2009

At least a dishwasher is deterministic. In my experience, computers, and more importantly, the software, are ***not*** deterministic.

4. CLIMATE CHANGE – THE BIGGEST SCAM OF ALL, by Professor Will Alexander « An Honest Climate Debate - January 14, 2009

[…] received favourable comments on memo 01/09 on lies and damned lies within hours of sending it off. These are some of […]

5. Magnus - January 15, 2009

Francis Tucker Manns. Good comment!

I R A Darth Aggie.

I have studied computer architecture and design at University level, but you don’t have to do that to understand that computers and its software are 100% deterministic. Otherwise nothing would work.

Unpredictable things are the still unknown phenomenons in nature, as well as (if there is anything like that) the free mind.

Models are systems of knowledge, and no model can reveal something that surprice us. Only 30 percent of the climate scientists in Professor Hans von Storch’s and Professor Dennis Brays poll 2003 said that the future climate can be predictid by climate models.


The climate models are basically complex algorithms. But they are limited to a few rules. E g they have not included PDO and AMO, and other for climate important known phenomena, and they are calibrated to — whatever happens — result in an about 3 to 6 degrees temperature increase in 100 years.

They assume that (a) CO2 is the dominant climate force, that (b) climate have positive feedback in which temperature increase is reinforced several times (which is falsified completely in dozens of empirical data from volcanoes, systematical changes in low level clouds etc, where a stabilizing negative feedback appears instead), and that (c) in atmosphere added CO2 is solely from humans (which is also falsified; the change in CO2 increase has covaried perfect with the temperature anomaly, which suggests that Henry’s law controls the CO2 concentration).

There are loads of other errors than ‘a’, ‘b’ and ‘c’ above, e g that the programmed warmth seldom is expected to give positive effects (although it did in the past); that more pretipitation will mostly be bad, winds will increase, although almost all experts and the warmer past say the opposite etc.

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