Saturday, May 15, 2010

Climate denier

The New Scientist: it's like Glaciergate never happened...

Is there anyone in the world worse than that appalling arse, Johann Hari? Yes, I would rather have a humbled Gordon Brown to tea than this prissy, authoritarian little shit. But, perhaps Hari's awfulness is a post for another time: for this little fewtril, I shall simply use one of Hari's repulsive screeds to introduce a rather more reasonable point of view.
Clegg deserves real credit for these changes – although it will be very hard to get any of this past the parliamentary Conservative party, who are now even more right-wing than before. To pluck just one example: an incredible 91 per cent of them don't believe man-made global warming exists.

Riiiight, Johann: and these people are loons? Perhaps they are sceptics or—horror of horrors!—deniers?

Well, I will take on the mantle of "denier", but only in the same way as Climate Skeptic does.
By the way, as I said in the intro to my last video, I have chosen to embrace the title of denier – with one proviso. Being a denier implies that one is denying some kind of proposition, so I am sure thoughtful people would agree that it is important to be clear on the proposition that is being denied. For example, I always found the term “climate denier” to be hilarious. You mean there are folks who deny there is a climate?

I don’t deny that climate changes – it changes all the time. I don’t deny there is global warming – global temperatures are higher today than they were in 1900, just as they were higher in 1200 AD than they were in 900. I don’t even deny that man is contributing somewhat to the warming, not just from CO2 but from effects like changes in land use. What I deny is the catastrophe — that man’s actions are leading to catastrophic changes in the climate. I believe many scientists have grossly over-estimated the sensitivity of temperatures to CO2 by grossly overestimating the net positive feedback in the climate system. And I think much of the work assigning consequences to even small increases in global temperatures – from tornadoes to hurricanes to lizard extinction – is frankly crap. While I think the first mistake (around sensitivity) is an honest error, some day scientists will look back on the horrendous “science” of the consequences of warming and be ashamed.

Climate Skeptic is referring to the latest issue of The New Scientist—a magazine which shut the hell up about climate change after it realised that one of its own interviews had been used in the IPCC's ARA4. Unfortunately, it seems that, having triggered Glaciergate, the silly sods have picked up the baton of CACC again.
It strikes me that a real scientific magazine that was actually seeking truth would, if it wanted to dedicate a whole issue to the climate debate, actually create a print debate between skeptics and alarmists to educate its readers. If the alarmist case is so obvious, and its readers so smugly superior in their intellect, surely this would be the most powerful possible way to debunk skeptics. Instead, the New Scientist chose, in a phrase I saw the other day and loved, to take a flamethrower to a field of straw men.

The New Scientist: a magazine fit only for those who know stuff all about science.

Nothing really changes, eh?

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