Monbiot tries to re-polarize the debate

In the Guardian, George Monbiot tries to brush aside the Climategate scandal and brush aside the doubts shown about the integrity of science.  Back comes the polarization of camps into the “scientific consensus” v the denialists funded by the oil companies.  He forgets to mention that government funding of alarmist “science” is greater than 100 times that of Exxon/Mobile, nor that being an alarmist gets media attention (no matter how extreme or unfounded), whilst being even moderately against can get you vilified.

My comment was as follows

The climate change e-mails crisis, at the very minimum, shows that there is room for doubt about the most extreme claims made for global warming. Whilst the most general claims about 20th century warming are beyond reasonable doubt, there is a big middle ground between the consensus and those, like Nick Griffin, who claim it is all a hoax. 

Whilst you say there are just the denialists and the scientists, look at the e-mails and you will see that it the competitors that really got the backs up of the Profs at CRU were those who could do most damage. Two of note are:-

 1. Steve McIntyre a professional statistician who has shown that some peer-reviewed articles do not stand up to scrutiny. The scientists did not get endless requests. (see MicIntyre’s account at http://camirror.wordpress.com/2009/12/01/dirty-laundry/) . They were less onerous than a visit by the VAT inspector. To a business with the books in order these people of HMRC are very pleasant, and will point out some honest mistakes (sometimes to business’s advantage). To those that know that there are “issues”, it means working through the night and trying to avoid the inevitable. But FOI requests have less precedential ground rules.

As a result of Mcintyre’s analysis no proper scientist can now say “We are experiencing the warmest temperatures for 10,000 or 2,000,000 years”.  We either do not know, or there are a number of studies to suggest that some areas were warmer 1000, 2000, or 3500 years ago. But there again, McIntyre is but

 2. Richard Lindzen, a Meteorologist Professor of MIT. Long a critic of the “consensus”, his recent paper with Yong-Sang Choi (summary pdf at http://www.drroyspencer.com/Lindzen-and-Choi-GRL-2009.pdf) claims that forecasts of future warming are overstated by a factor of six. Lindzen & Choi, however, only rely on 15 years of satellite date, whereas the consensus relies on more than 20 years of the best climate model forecasting. Furthermore, Lindzen has written articles for a virulently pro-capitalist financial daily of the t’other side o’pond.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: