Click to get your own widget

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Catastrophic Warming as Pseudoscience - Matt Ridley's Speech

  Bishop Hill has a speech given by Matt Ridley at the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh which dissects the catastrophic warming scare with beautiful precision and proves, beyond any honest doubt that is is not science but pseudoscience. The first part of the speech defines to difference between science and pseudoscience and I think falls not far short of Richard Feynman's similar speech on Cargo Cult Science. Read the whole thing but here is an excerpt:
[Mann's Hockey Stick] has been utterly debunked by the work of Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick. I urge you to read Andrew Montford’s careful and highly readable book The Hockey Stick Illusion*. Here is not the place to go into detail, but briefly the problem is both mathematical and empirical. The graph relies heavily on some flawed data – strip-bark tree rings from bristlecone pines -- and on a particular method of principal component analysis, called short centering, that heavily weights any hockey-stick shaped sample at the expense of any other sample. When I say heavily – I mean 390 times.
This had a big impact on me. This was the moment somebody told me they had made the crop circle the night before.
For, apart from the hockey stick, there is no evidence that climate is changing dangerously or faster than in the past, when it changed naturally.
It was warmer in the Middle ages* and medieval climate change in Greenland was much faster.
Stalagmites*, tree lines and ice cores all confirm that it was significantly warmer 7000 years ago. Evidence from Greenland suggests that the Arctic ocean was probably ice free for part of the late summer at that time.
Sea level* is rising at the unthreatening rate about a foot per century and decelerating.
Greenland is losing ice at the rate of about 150 gigatonnes a year, which is 0.6% per century.
There has been no significant warming in Antarctica*, with the exception of the peninsula.
Methane* has largely stopped increasing.
Tropical storm* intensity and frequency have gone down, not up, in the last 20 years.
Your probability* of dying as a result of a drought, a flood or a storm is 98% lower globally than it was in the 1920s.
Malaria* has retreated not expanded as the world has warmed.
And so on. I’ve looked and looked but I cannot find one piece of data – as opposed to a model – that shows either unprecedented change or change is that is anywhere close to causing real harm.

Labels: , ,

I see no sense in abusing people of different opinion - that will not change their minds, only their aggression. Whether climate is changing is not in question, but how much, and whether we can make a positive difference. If economics were not being constantly trumped by short sighted politics, it would be considered insane to squander limited resources, because it would be somebody else ( our children and grandchildren )who would then have to deal with the consequencies. As a farmer I have seen greater variability in the climate in the last three years than the previous sixty. Some may wish to put that down to natural variability, but the consequencies are just as harsh for our food supplies.The technology to make our food supplies less weather dependant exist, but deploying them needs large capital investment which ultimately reflects in the price of food.What would you rather have reliable food supplies, at a price, or cheap food with the occasional famine. That is the real debate.Sandy
I think there is a greater chance of him taking me seriously if I am courteous than if I call him a nazi brown shirt - unless he views that as a compliment, though I have my doubts Sandy
"As a farmer I have seen greater variability in the climate in the last three years than the previous sixty."

That is a quite astonishing claim. I certainly have not seen anything remotely similar and we do have weather in towns too. Do you know of anybody taking readings of the weather who has reported the same?

Perhaps you could identify yourself mire clearly than simply as a 70 year old farmer. There is an unfortunate trend among econazis to claim credentials they do not hold and experience they do not have, which makes such confirmation necessary when discussing anything they support.

I assume you will condemn such tactics as readily as I and help by identifying yourself sionce otherwise it will appear to be evidence of econazi dishonesty.

Or you won't.
To back up my claim of greater variability, in 2010 we experienced more than twice the annual snow fall of any previous year in my life - bar none.This year, and for the first time in my life, we are still trying to get our harvest finished, and will likely have to abandon it as being not worth the effort. The practice of agriculture requires more than the occasional flash of sunshine to ripen crops, drain sodden ground, and allow soils to be fit to cultivate. Ironically parts of the UK have been at the other extreme with drought conditions.This too has it's problems with reduced crops and difficulty germinating the next crop. Farmers may have a reputation for moaning, but it is sometimes more than justified
"Do you know of anybody taking readings of the weather who has reported the same?"

That would be no then?

The difficulty of getting the harvest in may be affected by you being, though unidentifiable, we are assured, 70, which makes comparison with the past difficult.

Last year's snow was not generally considered evidence of catastrophic warming.
I don't know anybody locally who is recording weather readings for posterity - however as part of our farm assurance schemes we do record the dates when fields are harvested and I can confidently claim that this is the latest ever, and we are not finished. If you drive on the A9 north of Stirling you will see many fields where the straw has not been baled, and quite a few where the combining has not been completed. I don't claim that this is catatstrophic warming at work or that human activities are to blame, but I cannot help noticing that the weather extremes are greater than any time in my personal experience.When your livelihood depends on it, you are more likely to pay it attention. Me nearing seventy has no bearing on my ability to do a job which with the equipment we have could normally be done in about a week and is usually finished before the end of September. Whether last years snow was evidence of something or nothing is just guesswork whichever stance you take on climate change. No climate model currently available could get anywhere near that degree of precision,
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

British Blogs.