Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Catching up

Yes, I know, Climategate is not the only issue around either. But I do need to show that I am on top of things (and if you believe that, you'll believe anything). Fortunately, I do not have to write much on the subject as the Boss on EUReferendum has been doing so for days now. No-one can say they have not been kept informed on developments, not if they read EURef.

Still, a few links to articles here and there will not come amiss. Let's start with the most entertaining one: Al Gore being faced with an inconvenient truth again, this time from a scientist, whose words he has been twisting and misquoting. As James Delingpole points out, it is something for the Times to write critically of the Goracle. Maybe the former Vice-President and presidential hopeful ought to have stuck to his plan to avoid the Copenhagen conference. Nobody is having a good time there, apart from Lord Monckton.

On the sane side of the debate, here is an article by Bjorn Lomborg in the Wall Street Journal. Lomborg has been the butt of hysterical attacks by the "scientific consensus" a.k.a. man-made global warming alarmists. Now that the "consensus" is unravelling before our very eyes and much of the basis for it is shown to be of doubtful integrity (something Lomborg's own work does not lack) he may well be spening much of his time with a big smile on his face.

Maybe, then again maybe not, as he is investigating and writing about serious problems that face the population of the poorest countries: malaria, HIV/AIDS, lack of clean water and other suchlike worries with possible global warming coming low down in the list of priorities. Lomborg discusses ways of dealing with real problems and we should all be paying attention. Even if we disagree with his suggested methods, it is worth remembering that this is what we need to be talking about.

Iain Murray and Roger Abbott compare "the obfuscation and arrogance of the implicated scientists to the openness and humility of Albert Einstein". Astonishingly enough, the real scientist and undisputed genius comes out as someone who was much more open in his attitudes to his own and other people's work.

David Bellamy summing up the evidence of the last couple of centuries is entertaining as ever.

And that, for the time being, is enough climategate. I had to show I knew it was happening.


  1. Alas, the Boss makes an arse of himself whenever he goes anywhere near the science of climate change. That Gore does too is no excuse. The Boss would be a far more effective counter to Nobel Prize-winning bluffers and hypocrites if he relied less on obvious duffers like Delingpole. He should stick to politics and policy.

  2. Oh? I was under the impression that a good deal of what that duffer Delingpole has been saying turned out to be correct.

  3. About the science? No, not if he thinks that the scientists are wrong to say that there's a warming trend and that mankind is mostly responsible for it. That some of the science is incompetent and a lot of it overstated doesn't make the big picture wrong.

    I wish I hadn't posted that comment. It was true but (a) I was a bit sneaky posting it here rather than at EURef (but who wants to plop their tiny pearls of wisdom into a thread that spreads over 85 pages?) and (b) I can't demonstrate that it's true without a lot of tedious and time-consuming detail.

    But seeing as I did post it, I might as well add that the Boss's frequent blogs about cold weather undermine his credibility. They show that he lacks even the most elementary understanding of the problem. Weather is not climate.

  4. Yes, Vinny Burgoo, I can see you might not want to get into a serious debate about the subject. Weather is, indeed, not climate and it was not that a couple of years ago when Britain had two relatively dry years and there was widespread hysteria in the media and the "scientific consensus" that we were moving into a period of drought. Since then we have had very wet years, so it was just a blip.

    On the other hand, there are serious scientific discussions about that warming trend and even more serious scientific doubts about it being man-made. It all depends on which scientists we are talking about and what particular data they are producing.

  5. The media getting hysterical about climate change? You astound me!

    (The drought thing is very dodgy. The government has recently issued a report warning that warmer, drier summers will lead to more frequent droughts, which sounds reasonable until you dig into the small print and discover (a) that this is a guess, drought in a climate like ours being almost impossible to model, and (b) that the guess contradicts the record, which from the late 19th century onwards shows a slight upward trend in summer temperatures, a slight downward trend in summer rainfall, but no long-term trend at all in the frequency of droughts. Perhaps summers will one day wobble far enough along the temperature and rainfall trendlines for a drought trend to emerge but at the moment warnings of a drought-stricken future are based on anti-educated guesswork. And that's not the only dodgy drought prediction. Have you heard the one about 30% of the world's land being in extreme drought by the end of the century? It's officially part of the 'scientific consensus' but it's based on a single study by a junior researcher whose boss warned that the study was rudimentary and contained large uncertainties, a warning that was forgotten when the IPCC report was compiled - and so of course is forgotten when professional alarmists use the prediction in their promotional material.)

    Re those discussions, at the very most they might end up discrediting 'consensus' claims about the magnitude and unprecedentedness of recent global temperature trends and cast doubt on the plausibility of modelled future trends. They don't undermine the 'greenhouse effect' theory in any way. (Nor does my grumbling about drought-mongering, above.)