Tuesday, January 15, 2008


In comments David Farrar has replied to my post on Moore, Minto and himself. He writes:

Oh I didn't advocate property rights alone is the answer. I do advocate that it is a necessary element though as without them no economy has even shown much ability to lift people out of poverty.

Once you have property rights, then there is other stuff to do.
In the broadest possible sense I agree with him, I guess. What I really need to do now is write a full post on what is complicated topic...

Also, In a recent post on climate change, I wrote the following, starting with a quote from a denialist climate quack letter to Ban Ki Moon:
The average rate of warming of 0.1 to 0. 2 degrees Celsius per decade recorded by satellites during the late 20th century falls within known natural rates of warming and cooling over the last 10,000 years.

Which may be true (I haven't double checked) but even so - so what? Once again: we know that we are increasing CO2 in the atmosphere, we know that - everything else being equal - more C02 will mean higher temperatures, and we know that temperatures are increasing in a manner that we can't attribute to any natural phenomenon. Why - given all this - would we need a faster rate of warming than ever observed before to provide us with proof of AGW?
I've just been browsing Gareth Renowden's wonderful website Hot Topic and I read this (written about the same letter):
The current rate of warming is roughly 20 times faster than the last period of rapid climate change, when the world warmed by 5C (on average) over 5,000 years as we emerged from the last ice-age. The current rate of warming is much faster than “natural variability”
So either our letter's writers were spinning utter bullshit or they were disingenuously selecting the one record (satellite data) which might have allowed them to "honestly" make such a claim. Either way there is only one appropriate reply:



Gareth said...

I was wondering how they could possibly justify that claim about warming. I'm using the figures for global average warming, and 0.18C per decade is 20 times faster than the "global" warming out of the last ice age. But I think they might be trying to argue that because some regions (notably Greenland) have warmed & cooled much faster (6C or more in 100 years in the Younger Dryas), that somehow this makes the global situation less worrying. It's dishonest, because local change is not global change.

Hope that helps.

Terence said...

Thanks Gareth,

Yeah - I'm pretty sure that, if pressed, they would come up with some sort of answer along those lines. Either way they are simply being dishonest. The thing I don't get though, is that they must know this, it can't possibly be an genuine misunderstanding. And yet they persist in denying a problem that promises to be a huge threat to all of us (them included). Why???

Anonymous said...

where is the warming now, GISSTEMP, HADCRUT are showing a fall, at worst no warming in the past 3-5 years.

Terence said...

Hi Anon,

Have a read of:

They explain nicely why you are mistaken.