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CLIMATE CHANGE – THE BIGGEST SCAM OF ALL, by Professor Will Alexander January 14, 2009

Posted by honestclimate in Discussions.
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Professor William Alexander

Professor William Alexander

By Professor Will Alexander

Via email, January 14, 2009

Dear all,

The attached memo contains information on the biggest scam yet perpetrated in South Africa. I wish that I could read the minds of the writers. What were they trying to achieve?

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

A New Zealand recipient informed me that the memo was on its way to international websites.

A United Kingdom recipient congratulated me.

A recipient in Washington in the USA in his roundup of new inconvenient studies, noted that it is growing nearly impossible to keep up with the numerous studies and developments in refuting man-made warming fears and the growing number of scientists publicly dissenting. He produced many examples including my comment that climate models are no more intelligent than the dishwasher in the kitchen.

A very interesting response was from a South African recipient who mentioned that there is a new term in the running for the word of the year. It is climate porn. This is the alarming way in which climate change is presented to the public. It has been described as unreliable at best and counterproductive at worst.

An Australian recipient informed me that the UK publication Energy and the Environment has produced a double volume of papers Volume 20 – Number 1+2 – 2009, on natural drivers of weather and climate which is now in press. The emphasis is on the role of solar activity. It is very relevant to my attached memo.

Memo 02/09

Climate change – South Africa’s biggest scam

Wednesday 14 January 2009

Urgency and importance.

I am fully aware of my professional responsibilities when compiling this set of memos. The world is in an economic recession equivalent to that of the early 1930s. Damage to national economies, rising unemployment and increasing poverty are some of the consequences.

Against this background, the climate change issue is dividing nations. There are east-west tensions (developed versus developing nations), and north-south tensions (rich versus poor nations). Attempts to unify nations on the climate change issue started to disintegrate in Bali in December 2007. The disintegration increased further at Poznan (Poland) last month.

There is another threat. Based on my detailed analyses, I have reported that there is a very real possibility of imminent, widespread droughts equivalent to those of the 1930s. To support this prediction <click here for Professor Alexander’s Global Drought paper>, there is a rising concern that the delayed onset of sunspot activity could herald dramatic changes in the world’s climate. As far as I know, nobody else has linked these two possibilities. The last time that it happened it led to the outbreak of World War II.

In my view, the struggles to persuade nations to adopt economically damaging emissions control measures have gone too far. There is a very real possibility that international pressures could lead to trade conflicts, which could deteriorate further. As we all know, it only takes a single minor incident to trigger international conflicts.

Please treat this series of memos very seriously. I have documentary support for all my statements. I am more than willing to appear before a multi-disciplinary body appointed to investigate the matter.



How can you tell if a document on climate change contains the truth; the whole truth; and nothing but the truth?


The answer is easy. Ask the writer if he supports the establishment of a multi-disciplinary commission of enquiry on climate change that includes members in the applied and engineering sciences. If so, would he be prepared to submit the document to the commission?

In the unlikely event that he agrees, ask him why he and his colleagues have not recommended the establishment of such a commission themselves, bearing in mind the great national importance of the subject.

On many occasions I have requested (pleaded!) with those on the other side of the fence that we get together and try to sort out our differences. On each occasion I have been unsuccessful.

This has forced me to come out into the open and expose the machinations of the climate alarmists over the years. I get no pleasure from writing these accounts.

In this memo I describe the most glaring example of all. It refers to the position in the South Western Cape where a conference on climate change will be held later this month. In these days of rapid Internet communications, I trust that this memo will end up in the hands of at least some of the delegates.

In fairness I should disclose my experience in legal matters. I have served as court assessor, arbitrator, and expert witness in a number of national and international disputes.

Assessment of the effects of climate change in the Western Cape.

The report of 15 scientists titled A status quo, vulnerability and adaptation assessment of the physical and socio-economic effects of climate change in the Western Cape CSIR Report No. ENV-S-C 2005-073 is a good example of their machinations.

The authors were Midgley G.F., Chapman R.A., Hewitson B., Johnstone P., De Wit M., Ziervogel G., Mukheiber P., Van Niekerk L., Tadross M., Van Wilgen B.W., Kgope B., Morant P.D., Theron A., Scholes R.J. and Forsyth G.G. Their affiliations (not in the same order) were the South African Biodiversity Institute, CSIR Environmentek, Climate Systems Analysis Group, de Wit Sustainable Options CC, and the Energy Research Centre, University of Cape Town.

To casual readers and political policy makers their report is very professional and well constructed. The contents are very plausible. Unfortunately they are false and misleading. This is the biggest scam inflicted on the South African public.

The report commences with the unsupported claim that climate change will result in the region becoming warmer and drier in future. This alarmist prediction is based on the outputs of complex but uncalibrated and unverified global climate models. This is the first serious mistake. If global temperatures increase, ocean temperatures must increase. Evaporation from the oceans and land surfaces must increase not decrease. What goes up into the atmosphere through evaporation processes must come down again as rainfall. This understanding requires no more than an elementary knowledge of the hydrological cycle.

The authors then attempted to justify their claims of exclusive human causality of their warmer and drier predictions. They followed their usual tactics of ignoring all evidence to the contrary. Instead, they quoted a UK author who maintained that variations in solar activity were too small to influence South Africa’s climate.

How could they sink to these depths of deliberate deception? More than a hundred years ago D.E. Hutchins, a Knysna forester, published his report Cycles of drought and good seasons in South Africa. His studies included analyses of temperature and rainfall data recorded at the Royal Observatory in Cape Town that commenced in 1842, 160 years previously.

The authors also conveniently omitted to comment on the publications by Tyson and others on the multiyear periodicity of South African rainfall. Understandably, they completely ignored my studies and reports.

This is not honest, and it is not science.

Sequence of events

This is the sequence of events. A short while after the publication of the report I was contacted on behalf of a group of farmers in the Oudtshoorn area. They were concerned about the prediction that the indigenous flora would be at risk due to climate change. I obtained a copy of the report and carried out on my own analyses. In February 2006, I distributed my report Climate change in the southern and western Cape. A critical assessment. I was then invited to address a meeting in Oudtshoorn on the subject. A few days before the meeting, I was informed that the meeting had been cancelled in response to pressures from Cape Town. This in itself is evidence that the writers of the report had something to hide.

I subsequently received a written response by Midgley but I do not have his permission to quote from it. It reinforced my views expressed below.

I would more than welcome a public debate with the authors of this report.

The following is from my response of February 2006.

Climate change in the southern and western Cape. A critical assessment

WJR Alexander. February 2006.


This report is in response to an approach by a group of landowners and others who are striving to develop a living landscape consisting of regions where people live in harmony with the environment. They expressed concern that the alarmist publications of a small group of scientists and the reaction of the provincial authorities would have the opposite effect to that intended. Many people have already expressed the view that this is a hopeless cause. They say that most species are about to become extinct as a result of climate change, so why bother.

There is also a growing concern among other researchers in the natural and engineering sciences whose studies directly contradict those of the climate change lobbyists. Their concern is heightened by the deliberate policy of excluding all those who hold different views from participating in policy-making conferences. I am not the only one to have experienced this discrimination.

This response is based on my long professional experience and recent detailed studies.

Unique richness

There are few regions in the world that have a greater diversity of climate and corresponding diversity of flora and fauna than the southern and western regions of South Africa. While there is an obvious need to preserve this unique richness for posterity, there is an equally important need to sustain agricultural and other activities required in a healthy society. Only then will we be in a position to eliminate poverty, malnutrition and disease among our growing population. A balance has therefore to be found between conservation and development.

Solutions have to be sought in the first instance by impartial, multidisciplinary, scientific studies. The results have to be reduced and summarised in a form that is readily understandable by the public as well as the political decision makers. There is a fundamental difference between theoretical papers published in scientific journals and a report addressed to decision makers and the public. In the latter case the scientists are expected to present both the benefits as well as the consequences of climate change in an impartial manner.

Researchers are also required to develop practical adaptation and amelioration strategies. These require not only sound scientific knowledge, but also an advanced knowledge of the sociological and economic aspects. These have to be in sufficient detail to allow decision makers to make informed decisions.

It is most unfortunate that the recent, comprehensive report by fifteen authors from seven different institutions: A status quo, vulnerability and adaptation assessment of the physical and socio-economic effects of climate change in the Western Cape, (Midgley et al 2005), does not meet these basic requirements.

Essentials of the global warming issue

The following is a terse summary of the global warming issue.

Water, not temperature determines the habitability of our planet. Human habitation will be found all the way from the heat of equatorial Africa to the sub-zero temperatures of continental areas of Canada and Russia. No humans can survive in waterless deserts – whether hot or cold.

The essence of the concerns related to global warming is that undesirable emissions of so-called greenhouse gasses, principally carbon dioxide (CO2), from power stations, coal-consuming industries, aircraft and motor vehicles, creates a blanket effect in the atmosphere that raises global air temperatures. Observable consequences of increases in global temperatures are the melting of the Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets and terrestrial glaciers.

The principal postulated (i.e. as yet unproven) consequences of global warming are changes in rainfall (e.g. droughts), river flow (e.g. floods), and air temperature. These in turn may pose threats to agriculture, water supplies and the natural environment. Beneficial consequences are largely ignored in the South African literature.

The postulated remedy is to reduce dependence on carbon fuels, which in turn will increase the cost of electricity and transport. These will result in a decrease in national and individual prosperity. The consequences will be an increase in poverty with accompanying increase in malnutrition and disease. There will be consequent threats to economic and political stability.

Note: The effectiveness of the proposed control measures remains unproven. It is very difficult to visualise how the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in South Africa can prevent the postulated environmental consequences. This aspect is not addressed in the publications referenced below.

The essence of an independent analysis is the quantification of the threats in numerical terms. Simple non-numerical statements such as the infamous ‘precautionary principle’ are not sufficient in an issue of this magnitude and national importance.

This immediately identifies a major shortcoming in the whole climate change issue. The principal postulated consequences of global warming relate to rainfall, river flow and temperature. These are readily measureable and quantifiable. The absence of arguments based on data from the official SAWS and DWAF databanks, would, in my opinion, not survive the rigorous examination of an independent commission of enquiry.

Here is a simple question. The seriousness of the consequences of global warming is at the very heart of the climate change issue. We are repeatedly told that the past decade was the warmest for the past thousand years or more. Why then is there no evidence of the consequences of this global warming in South African published data? Why do the climate change lobbyists have to rely on abstract theory instead of being able to produce solid and incontestable evidence that these undesirable consequences are already taking place? The answer is very simple. There are no observable changes for the simple reason that they do not exist.

The whole global warming theory is no more than an untested and unproven hypothesis. This is not just my view but is that of all internationally recognised experts in the field of water resources with whom I have consulted.

[This was followed by seven pages of my detailed analyses that refuted their claims. I then continued.]

Interpretation of the facts

This very simple analysis showed that except for the three districts (1, 2 and 3) along the west coast, and the single district (12) on the south coast, all other districts in the western and southern Cape, including those in which the fynbos and large areas of the succulent Karoo are located, exhibited consistent increases in rainfall during the period of record.

The SAWS weather station at Cape Agulhas at the southernmost tip of the African continent also recorded an increase in temperature during this period. Furthermore, it is reasonable to assume that CO2 has also increased. If all three of these principal elements that affect plant growth have increased for the past 65 years, what is the basis for the NBI authors’ alarmist predictions? Furthermore, if the rainfall analysis shows that there has been a sustained increase in rainfall during the past 65 years, and that this increase will continue as long as global warming continues, what weight should be placed on the allegation that:

In less than 100 years, the research indicates that thousands of plant species may well be extinct starting with a massive reduction in the distribution of fynbos and succulent Karoo biomes. (DEAT 5 May 2005.)

The information above clearly illustrates that these alarmist predictions have no substance.

Finally, why did the NBI scientists not carry out the simple analyses described here using the district rainfall data that has been available since the 1970s? The analyses would have taken less than a day to perform, and do not require any numerical expertise other than simple arithmetic. This would have demonstrated the unreliability of global climate models and consequent invalid conclusions in their papers.

Climate change in the Western Cape

With the above in mind, consider the detailed, 155-page report A status quo, vulnerability and adaptation assessment of the physical and socio-economic effects of climate change in the Western Cape prepared by 15 authors from seven institutions in June 2005, (Midgley et al 2005). Under normal circumstances this report should carry heavy weight. Unfortunately a single fundamental issue on which the report is based is demonstrably false and completely undermines the scientific integrity of the report and all the conclusions drawn from it.

The very foundation of the report is that global warming will reduce rainfall over the entire region. This assumption is based entirely on global climate model outputs, whereas a simple analysis of the long records of the many rainfall stations in the region shows that there has been a general increase in rainfall. This was demonstrated above where some districts show substantial increases of up to 68% during the period of record. As global warming is reported to have increased steadily during the past century, it follows that rainfall will continue to increase as long as global temperatures continue to rise.

The following are brief extracts from the introductory section of the report. The emphases are mine. References to a drier future climate are patently false, as future climate in this region will be wetter, not drier.

In this study we have carried out a broad reassessment of the vulnerability of the Western Cape to climate change impacts using a wider range of climate scenarios from more sophisticated climate models

The future climate of the Western Cape is likely to be one that is warmer and drier than at present according to a number of current model predictions.

A future that is warmer and possibly drier, will encompass a range of consequences that will affect the economy, the livelihoods of the people and the ecological integrity of the Western Cape region.

Projections for the Western Cape are for a drying trend from west to east[My analyses demonstrate the opposite. See Fig. 15 above.]

In a warmer and drier future, the competition for fresh water will increase steeply.

The vulnerability of estuaries to warming and drying is particularly acute …

The impact of climate change manifested by a warmer and drier climate is likely to be a progressive impoverishment in species richness …

A drier environment would restrict the spread of alien invasive species …

The combination of increasing water scarcity, and rising temperatures will also regularly affect sectors of the economy that are particularly dependent on ecosystem goods and services, for example agriculture, forestry and fishing.

All that the authors should have done was to spend an afternoon plotting the rainfall data on graph paper and they would have noticed the very clear increase in rainfall in the region. Claims of future water scarcity as a result of global warming have no foundation.

Economic sectors such as insurance, banks (through the underlying secured assets), transport and communication infrastructure and construction may all be affected to some degree by climate change.

Regrettably, this all-inclusive statement illustrates a complete ignorance of how modern society functions.

Linkage with solar activity

Climate variability has been linked to variation in solar activity, i.e. the sunspot cycle, (Houghton et al (2001). However, recent analyses by Foukal et al (2005) have called this hypothesis into question, citing the small variation of solar output (0.8%) that can be attributed to the sunspot cycle and the relatively poor ability of instruments to measure accurately these variations.

In 1889, more than 100 years ago, the Knysna forester D E Hutchins reported as follows in his book Cycles of drought and good seasons in South Africa.

This confirmation comes from the Cape Town Observatory. The returns for thirty years from the Cape Town Observatory show a close correspondence between sun-spots and temperatures, the maximum of temperature lagging a year behind the minimum of sun-spots. (p17).

At Cape Town, the correspondence between the mean rainfall and mean sunspot frequency has long been an established fact. (p25).

For these reasons we ought to consider the Cape Town Observatory rainfall figures as of great importance to ourselves, an importance enhanced by the fact that they go back to the year 1842. For the three cycles comprised in the period 1842 to 1875 the mean annual rainfall at the Royal Observatory, Cape Town, was: –

During Minimum Sunspot years 21.05 inches.

Intermediate 23.59

Maximum 27.95

Given all this information, based on records extending back as far as 1842, why did these fifteen scientists choose to quote an overseas author’s claim that no linkage existed when the linkage was demonstrated by a Knysna forester more than 100 years ago? All that was needed was for one of these authors to study the rainfall and temperature records and possible linkages with sunspot activity. Instead they chose to rely on an overseas author who was obviously ignorant of the well-documented, synchronous linkages that have been reported in South Africa and internationally for more than a century.

What does all this tell us about the reliability of publications by these authors and other climate change lobbyists who hold similar views? It was on this thoroughly unscientific basis that the DEAT minister was persuaded to take drastic action that will inevitably have an adverse effect on the welfare of the people of this country. It also explains why I and others who hold similar views, were deliberately excluded from addressing the Midrand conference, and more recently the function at Kirstenbosch.

The deliberate exclusion of those with different views at public meetings on a topic of national importance is reprehensible. Claiming that this was a decision of the organisers is no excuse. No responsible scientist or organisation should agree to participate in a national conference attended by cabinet ministers and senior government officials where scientists who hold different views are deliberately excluded from participating in these presentations.

Final proof

As I write these notes the rivers are running, dams are filling and the countryside is greener than it has been for decades. This completely negates the unfounded and pessimistic views of the climate change lobbyists. Nevertheless, droughts follow floods as night follows day – a fact that has been known since biblical times.

South Africa will indeed face a crisis in the years ahead as we exhaust our water resources. Conflicts between the need for water to sustain the quality of human life and to sustain the environment will pose serious challenges. Solutions will have to be sought. The policy followed by climate change lobbyists of excluding all those who hold different views on the solution of the problem is not the way to go.


It would be a tragedy if the 149-page report: A status quo, vulnerability and adaptation assessment of the physical and socio-economic effects of climate change in the Western Cape is accepted without question by the national and provincial authorities. There is a very real possibility of a backlash once it becomes obvious that the basis of the report and the proposed costly and intrusive recommendations have no foundation in science or reality, and are unsupported by large sections of the scientific community.

[39 references were provided of which 16 were my publications, none of which were referenced by the writers of the report.]


1. AntonioSosa - April 27, 2009

All of us want a planet with clean air and clean water, vibrant forests, healthy animal populations, and glorious open space. But liberal environmentalists have made the planet worse, while old-fashioned property rights, unpopular hunters, and the innovative engine of capitalism have made it better. Read The Really Inconvenient Truths, a book that Al Gore would rather burn than read. Learn:
* How ethanol, the liberals’ favorite fuel, is destroying the world’s rainforests–and could cause global food shortages
* How Al Gore’s hero Rachel Carson cost the lives of millions of Africans through her efforts to ban DDT
* How the environmentalists have covered up the polluting effects of contraceptive and chemical abortion drugs
* How the Endangered Species Act actually endangers species
* How Gore’s vision of greater state control over the economy has already produced some of the greatest environmental disasters in history

2. δρ Ευάγγελος Κατσιαμπιρτας - May 8, 2009

I have spent 17 years in South Africa dealing mainly with statistical climatology and climate trends. I am still active after I have spent another 15 years in Australia and at the moment in Cyprus. I want to congrdulate Emeritus Professor W J Alexander and join him on its disapoinment as far as many reports by lobists for global warming and especially that this is a man-made cause.
I am with you Prof. . Please email me all of you relevnt articles.
I also want to find an article writen around 1900 in Cape town by a British climatologist who used the ratiation laws in measuring the rainfall amount in mountaneous areas because I did the same work publish in the WB News letter in the decade of 1970 while I was in the then Weather Bureau without having previous knowledge about his work

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