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Climate change ‘scepticism’

There have been more squabbles in the blogosphere recently about the right of climate change ‘sceptics’ to post on sites that are concerned with climate change policy – this stoush at John quiggin’s blog is fairly typical.  In this case comments began with the views of a ‘sceptic’ who reversed the main finding of a study that dealt, among other things, with the fact of decreased environmental absorption of CO2, that he claimed supported his views.  At issue is whether the word ‘sceptics’ is an accurate description or not.  I’ve got to say I am increasingly convinced that, on most occasions, the appropriate word is ‘crank’ rather than ‘sceptic’.  A few weeks ago Tim Lambert posted these YouTube’s on Monckton’s views – they are extraordinary. Take the time to look at them and you will understand why I have become less tolerant of the so-called ‘sceptics’.  An interesting feature of Monckton’sdeluded views are the supreme confidence with which he presents them even when they have been shown to be false.  His logical mistakes suggest inadequate caution in operating in areas where he has no expertise. I am sure some people are taken in by this confidence and by the eloquent flow of words – I guess those who are taken in are not so much cranks as intellectually lazy or gullible. I can understand public gullibility but not the propensity of organisations such as IPA to help fund the promulgation, in Australia, of such clearly misleading views.

It is a significent public policy issue. Large numbers of people who vote on public policy issues that have global environmental importance are being taken in by the views of cranks as well as the gossip of those who are intellectually lazy and gullible.

5 comments to Climate change ‘scepticism’

  • hc said: “In this case comments began with the views of a ‘sceptic’ who reversed the main finding of a study that dealt, among other things, with the fact [sic] of decreased environmental absorption of CO2, that he claimed supported his views”.

    Well, that sceptic cited the findings of Wolfgang Knorr, in GRL 2009, hardly a denialist journal, that there is no evidence for any weakening of the biotic sinks of rising antrhopgenic emissions of CO2. That sceptic also noted that Knorr was a co-author of Friedlingstein et al 2006, repeatedly cited by IPCC AR4 WG1, and is also cited as a lead author in Chap.7 thereof. But JQ thinks Knorr is a fraud or worse.

    How often are you and John Quiggin cited in WG1 2007? Not at all so far as I can see.

    Look, hc, check the Global Carbon Project data that your unmentionable sceptic cited, here we have its summary as of October 2010:

    “Natural land and ocean CO2 sinks removed 57% of all CO2 emitted from human activities during the 1958-2009, each sink in roughly equal proportion. During this period, the size of the natural sinks has grown almost at the same pace as the growth in emissions, although year-to-year variability is large”.

    It does go on to suggest that the sinks might be weakening, but shows no evidence for that. What’s your evidence?

    Here’s mine (from GCP – Le Quere et al 2010);

    Emissions Sinks
    FF&C LUC Atmos. Oceans Land
    2005.5 7.97 1 5.07 2.44 1.46
    2006.5 8.22 1 3.91 2.46 2.86
    2007.5 8.36 0.95 4.54 2.52 2.25
    2008.5 8.51 0.94 3.82 2.34 3.29
    2009.5 8.4 0.88 3.44 2.4 3.44

    Yet your hero JQ said “the [terrestrial] sinks are saturated” – and for challenging that my alter ego was banned (twice).

    Take care: suppressio veri can be an indictable offence, if not under this government, then under the next.

  • hc

    Tim, I moderate your comments automatically and let some through on occasion. I am not however interested in providing an outlet for the views of sock-puppets. Think about it.

  • observa

    “Climate scientists have greatly underestimated the uncertainty of proxy-based reconstructions and hence have been overconfident in their models.”
    So if we find a little bit of hubris and unwarranted certainty among skeptics we’ll all understand and that’s before we move on to the lunar failed policies these true believers have wrought upon us with their prescription.

  • observa

    And which is it Harry?
    Bearing in mind-

    ‘To answer that question, you need to understand whether recent weather trends are extreme by historical standards. The Twentieth Century Reanalysis Project is the latest attempt to find out, using super-computers to generate a dataset of global atmospheric circulation from 1871 to the present.

    As it happens, the project’s initial findings, published last month, show no evidence of an intensifying weather trend. “In the climate models, the extremes get more extreme as we move into a doubled CO2 world in 100 years,” atmospheric scientist Gilbert Compo, one of the researchers on the project, tells me from his office at the University of Colorado, Boulder. “So we were surprised that none of the three major indices of climate variability that we used show a trend of increased circulation going back to 1871.”‘

    reported here-

    So this august UN body can’t face ugly facts and admit that apart from bad weather, starvation may well be due to the true believers and one of their major prescriptive outcomes because some computer modelling and their modellers are more equal than others here folks!

  • observa

    From ‘the dog ate the homework’ to-
    ‘I did not have sex with that woman!
    I merely suggested my mate should and I’d watch from the cupboard and well…you know how mates are?’
    I’ll be fascinated to hear how JQ’s echo chamber spins this one Harry.

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