Thursday, February 21, 2008

Quackidy quack, quack, quack

It looks like a duck. It quacks like a duck. Yip. It's another Poneke post extolling the virtue of climate, cough, scepticism.

I replied in comments. I'm reposting my reply here because Poneke's spam filter appears to be zapping link-rich comments, and reposting here seems like the best way of providing some references to my claims while not getting zapped.

My comment is below but, before I start, I do want to acknowledge one thing: Poneke is a great writer and has an excellent blog (climate lunacy notwithstanding). I wanted to mention this because I only ever comment on Poneke's* climate change stuff here, and that's not a complete representation of the quality of his/her blogging.

==My Comment==

Here we go...

Many eminent scientists continue to be concerned at the media and political hysteria that rages around the climate change issue.
Not true. The vast majority of climate scientists are concerned not by media and political hysteria on climate change but rather the fact that we are failing to take action to prevent it. Can you name me 10 climate scientists (defined as people trained in climatology with peer reviewed papers in respected climate journals) who share the views of Linzden?
One of them is Richard S Lindzen, the Alfred P Sloan Professor of Atmospheric Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
And seeing as Lindzen feels free to speculate on the motives of other climate scientists let us return the favour. From PBS:
Dr. Lindzen has claimed in Newsweek and elsewhere that his funding comes exclusively from government sources, but he does not seem to include speaking fees and other personal compensation in this statement. Ross Gelbspan, who did some of the first reporting on climate skeptics' links to industry, wrote in Harper's Magazine in 1995: "[Lindzen] charges oil and coal interests $2,500 a day for his consulting services; his 1991 trip to testify before a Senate committee was paid for by Western Fuels, and a speech he wrote, entitled 'Global Warming: the Origin and Nature of Alleged Scientific Consensus,' was underwritten by OPEC."

Dr. Lindzen is a member of the Advisory Council of the Annapolis Center for Science Based Public Policy, which has received large amounts of funding from ExxonMobil and smaller amounts from Daimler Chrysler, according to a review Exxon's own financial documents and 990s from Daimler Chrysler's Foundation. Lindzen is a also been a contributor to the Cato Institute, which has taken $90,000 from Exxon since 1998, according to the website and a review Exxon financial documents. He is also a contributor for the George C. Marshall Institute.
You write:
“Climate is always changing,” he writes. “We have had ice ages, and warmer periods when alligators were found in Spitzbergen.
Yes but at present no known natural phenomenon can explain the current change and we know, thanks to basic physics that, cetrus paribas, rising levels of C02 in the atmosphere will lead to higher temperature. And we know that C02 levels are increasing at unprecedented rates at present. And we know, thanks to Carbon Isotope measures, that human actions are causing this rise. So we have very strong reason to believe that the bulk of the current variation is not natural. And, therefore, that we can do something to arrest it.

As for 'gators at the poles, how cute. If Lindzen or anyone thinks that human civilization can survive a transition over the space of a couple of centuries to this sort of climate state without immense suffering they are dreaming.

You then write:
You won’t often read articles by outspoken climate scientists like Professor Lindzen in the daily news media
Not true. As Naomi Oreskes and others have shown, climate change "sceptics" get almost equal coverage in the mainstream media (see how often Lindzen et al get coverage in the WSJ for example). The one place they don't get such equality of coverage is in peer reviewed journals. This is for one simply reason: their science is bunk.

Then you write
I am not someone who would try to claim that the recent unusual cold snap in China, or the one in Greece (it was sno:wing, heavily, in Athens this week) are evidence against global warming, despite the tendency of climate change promoters to say every major storm or drought is proof of their position.
Once again, not true: you actually did something very similar several weeks ago with your ill-informed 'gotcha' post on the Wellington temperature record.

Then you write:
Global warming theory postulates a rise in average temperatures over a century, not a year. But I can’t help noticing the accumulating evidence that average global temperatures have not risen during all of this century, after rising in the decade beforehand, despite the rise in carbon dioxide emissions caused by the greatest economic growth the entire world has ever enjoyed.
Huh? Do you mean over the last hundred years? If so, then temperatures rose significantly over this period of time (careful to look for th right graph here). The did not rise over all of the last 100 years only because of the offsetting forcing of aerosol pollution. Something that is well known.

Still at least you and Reid have found a conspiracy theory you can agree upon. :)

P.S I'm going to repost this comment at my blog, with links. That way those who are interested can check my claims while I avoid the risk that your spam filter nabs the links here.

*Update: Gender specific term modified - thanks George.


George Darroch said...

For some reason I assume/d Poneke was the nom de guerre of a woman...

Thanks for your rebuttal - I'd made a few points (not exactly a link farm, but there were a few) but felt frustrated at the sheer number of inaccuracies in the article cited.

Terence said...

Hi there George,

Thanks for picking up on the gender specific term - my mistake - I'll correct it now.

I'm glad you enjoyed the rebuttal. I share your frustration too. No matter how many times you knock down these arguments (and I've read you doing some good stuff in the Kiwiblog comments boxes) people just keep continuing with the same nonsense.

Poneke's spam filter now seems to be blocking all my comments (and Poneke deleted a comment of mine from another thread). So I guess my time there is over...