McKie makes fool of himself
Apr 18, 2010
Bishop Hill in Climate: CA, Climate: Oxburgh, Climate: Sceptics

With George Monbiot backing out of Climategate reporting in disgust, the reins at the Guardian seem to have been handed over to Robin McKie, the science editor, who weighs in today with an amusing piece entitled "Doubt climate change - just don't deny it".

Reading his article, I'm reminded of Matt Ridley's memorable description of people being in "shut-eyed denial" about the problems with climatology and more particularly the IPCC. For example, McKie seems to think that "denialists" have been "largely silent" since Lord Oxburgh's report. Well, I can only assume that he needs to get his hearing checked because McIntyre for one and yours truly for another have barely stopped laughing since Lord Oxburgh's insta-inquiry was released. McIntyre has written four articles and I've done loads. GWPF and SPCC have been pretty vocal too. 

Where has McKie been?

Then he goes on to repeat the absurd canard that CRU was overwhelmed by FoI requests. Can this really be an honest statement of his beliefs? We know that the FoI legislation allows for a charge to be imposed for burdensome requests and, quite properly, UEA did not try to do so because they would have been laughed out of court for trying to charge for pointing 50 requesters to the same webpage. The Information Commissioner has said the level of requests was perfectly reasonable. Even McKie's own colleage, the Monbiot himself, has seen the wider story of the FoI requests.

How can one get to be science editor when apparently incapable of picking up a few simple facts like this?

Having made a fool of himself over simple adminstrative matters, McKie goes on to demonstrate his grasp of the scientific issues:

Jones had been working for decades on the collection of data – from instrument measurements, tree rings (which reveal ancient weather variations) and other sources – that have provided clear evidence that global temperatures are higher now than they have been for several thousand years.

Good grief, even Jones himself doesn't say this. He now appears to be right in with us lukewarmers in saying essentially that we don't know. Here is the man himself in his coming out interview with Roger Harrabin:

There is much debate over whether the Medieval Warm Period was global in extent or not. The MWP is most clearly expressed in parts of North America, the North Atlantic and Europe and parts of Asia. For it to be global in extent the MWP would need to be seen clearly in more records from the tropical regions and the Southern Hemisphere. There are very few palaeoclimatic records for these latter two regions.

Of course, if the MWP was shown to be global in extent and as warm or warmer than today (based on an equivalent coverage over the NH and SH) then obviously the late-20th century warmth would not be unprecedented. On the other hand, if the MWP was global, but was less warm that today, then current warmth would be unprecedented.

We know from the instrumental temperature record that the two hemispheres do not always follow one another. We cannot, therefore, make the assumption that temperatures in the global average will be similar to those in the northern hemisphere.

McKie cannot, or will not, deal with the truth, so let's leave you with his own description people like this:

Hence the term denier, which neatly encapsulates their flat refusal to face facts.


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