Thursday, January 10, 2008

Dick's Quacks

Via Tumeke's blog index we discover that one time runner and now Manukau City Councilor Dick Quax has a blog. Good for him. Unfortunately, Dick has been duped by the climate change deniers quacks.

He writes (or more accurately cuts and pastes):

Over 400 prominent scientists from more than two dozen countries recently voiced significant objections to major aspects of the so-called "consensus" on man-made global warming. These scientists, many of whom are current and former participants in the UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), criticized the climate claims made by the UN IPCC and former Vice President Al Gore.

The new report issued by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s office of the GOP Ranking Member details the views of the scientists, the overwhelming majority of whom spoke out in 2007.
Let's set aside for a moment the fact that the report is the product of Republican senator James M Inhofe, a perennial climate change denier who, purely by coincidence, receives rather a lot of money from the oil and gas industry and who once called novelist Michael Crichton to provide expert testimony on climate change to the senate. Even taking this into account, 400 dissenting experts ought to be reason doubt the science.

Um, no.

The report, you see, is the product of the following methodology (or something very similar). One of Inhofe's staffers appears to have simply trawled the internet for dissenting positions on climate change from anyone who might reasonably be called a scientist. Not climate scientist mind you but scientist. This includes social scientists such as economists as well as TV weathermen, and theoretical physicists (one at least who appears utterly batty). There are some bonafide climatologists on the list but they are a small minority. They are also a very small minority in their own profession. There is also our very own Dr Vincent Gray, who is noted as an IPCC expert reviewer. Which sounds pretty impressive. Or it least it would, if it weren't for the fact that anyone can become an expert reviewer of the IPCC reports. You just have to ask. As far as I can tell Gray isn't actually a climatologist either.

So - to summarise - Inhofe has, from the millions of public proclamations made around the globe by our planet's millions of scientists, managed to find 400(!!!) instances of different people casting doubt on the existence of anthropogenic climate change. This sounds like more like an exercise involving Avogadro's number than a serious challenge to any scientific consensus.


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