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« ABC of bias | Main | Questions and non-rebuttals »
Saturday
Dec222012

Ridley response to Romm

This is a guest post by Matt Ridley.

Joe Romm of ThinkProgress described my Wall Street Journal op-ed as:

riddled with basic math and science errors

Yet he fails to find a single basic math or science error in my piece.

He says I :

can’t do simple math

and then fails to produce a single example of my failing to do simple math.

He says I apparently don’t know the difference between water vapor and clouds. He produces no evidence for this absurd claim, which is wrong. Water vapor is a gas; clouds are droplets of liquid water that condense from water vapor. I do know the difference.

He quotes a scientist as saying

it is very clear water vapor…is an amplifying effect. It is a very strong warmer for the climate.

I agree. My piece states:

water vapor itself is a greenhouse gas.

So there is no confusion there. At least not on my part.

However, I do discuss the possibility that clouds, formed from water vapor, either amplify or damp warming – and nobody at this stage knows which. This is the point that my physicist informant was making: the consequence of increased temperatures and water vapor in the atmosphere may be changes in clouds that have a cooling effect. You will find few who disagree with this. As the IPCC AR4 said:

Cloud feedbacks remain the largest source of uncertainty.

Joe Romm disagrees with this consensus, saying

The net radiative feedback due to all cloud types is likely positive.

He gives no backing for this dogmatic conclusion. By contrast, Professor Judith Curry of Georgia Tech says:

The key point is this.  The cloud forcing values are derived from climate models; we have already seen that climate models have some fundamental problems in how clouds are treated (e.g. aerosol-cloud interactions, moist thermodynamics).  So, climate model derived values of cloud forcing should be taken with a grain of salt.  Empirically based determinations of cloud forcing are needed.  At AGU, I spoke with a scientist that has completed such a study, with the paper almost ready for submission.  Punchline:  negative cloud feedback.

Joe Romm quotes Robert Kaufman as saying

I know of no evidence that would suggest that the temperature effect of sulfur emissions are small.

My piece never claimed that aerosols arising from sulfur emissions had a small effect, however as Nic Lewis points out, in the draft AR5 report,

Table 8.7 shows that the best estimate for total aerosol RF (RFari+aci) has fallen from −1.2 W/m² to −0.7 W/m² since AR4, largely due to a reduction in RFaci, the uncertainty band for which has also been hugely reduced. It gives a higher figure, −0.9 W/m², for AFari+aci. However, −0.9 W/m² is not what the observations indicate: it is a composite of observational, GCM-simulation/aerosol model derived, and inverse estimates.”

With regard to the rate of ocean heat absorption, which I wrote was fairly modest, Joe Romm quotes Kevin Trenberth as writing:

On the contrary there is now very good evidence that a lot of heat is going into the deep ocean in unprecedented ways…

and then provides a link to an article citing a study estimating the Earth's current heat absorption as 0.5 W/m². So what "fairly modest" figure does Nic Lewis use? Actually slightly higher: 0.52 W/m²!

Romm then says:

Ridley apparently doesn’t have the first clue what the climate sensitivity means

This is not true. I define sensitivity clearly as the temperature change for a doubling of CO2. I am not talking about the Transient Climate Response, which relates to temperature change only over a 70 year period. There is no confusion at my end.

Romm then says that

Schlesinger notes that an aggressive program of carbon mitigation can limit warming to 2°C and avoid the worst impacts

and that

“It is worth pointing out that there is a healthy debate about Schlesinger’s low estimate”.

So maybe there is some confusion at Romm’s end about what Schlesinger concludes. This is what his paper says (in "Causes of the Global Warming Observed since the 19th Century" in Atmospheric and Climate Science 2012) –

"Additionally, our estimates of climate sensitivity using our SCM and the four instrumental temperature records range from about 1.5°C to 2.0°C. These are on the low end of the estimates in the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report. So, while we find that most of the observed warming is due to human emissions of LLGHGs, future warming based on these estimations will grow more slowly compared to that under the IPCC’s “likely” range of climate sensitivity, from 2.0°C to 4.5°C."

Many other recent papers have come to similar conclusions: For example, Schmittner et al. in Science Dec. 11, 2011 URL:

Combining extensive sea and land surface temperature reconstructions from the Last Glacial Maximum with climate model simulations, we estimate a lower median (2.3 K) and reduced uncertainty (1.7 to 2.6 K as the 66% probability range, which can be widened using alternate assumptions or data subsets). Assuming that paleoclimatic constraints apply to the future, as predicted by our model, these results imply a lower probability of imminent extreme climatic change than previously thought.

Meanwhile for transient climate response, similar low estimates are also now being made. See for example Gillett et al.'s 2012 article "Improved constraints on 21st-century warming derived using 160 years of temperature observations" in Geophysical Research Letters:

Our analysis also leads to a relatively low and tightly-constrained estimate of Transient Climate Response of 1.3–1.8°C, and relatively low projections of 21st-century warming under the Representative Concentration Pathways.

Or Padilla et al.'s 2011 article  "Probabilistic estimated of transient climate sensitivity subject to uncertainty in forcing and natural variability" in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Association at URL::

For uncertainty assumptions best supported by global surface temperature data up to the present time, this paper finds a most likely present-day estimate of the transient climate sensitivity to be 1.6 K, with 90% confidence the response will fall between 1.3 and 2.6 K, and it is estimated that this interval may be 45% smaller by the year 2030. The authors calculate that emissions levels equivalent to forcing of less than 475 ppmv CO2 concentration are needed to ensure that the transient temperature response will not exceed 2 K with 95% confidence.

Mr Romm seems confused about methane outgassing feedbacks, arguing that even if climate sensitivity is low, these may dominate. Suffice to say that in this he has drifted a long way from the consensus.

Mr Romm seems determined to rule out even the possibility of low climate sensitivity in the teeth of strong evidence. I can see why he wishes to do so, his job depending on there being a dangerous future. I do not understand where he gets his certainty.

Finally, Mr Romm throws the term “anti-science” at me, again with no evidence. I cited peer reviewed papers and made the scientific argument that the latest data be considered in estimating sensitivity. That is pro science. What is anti-science is to make false accusations and try to shut down legitimate debate. Hard working people all over the world are now risking their lives as well as their wallets for the consequences of current climate policy (see Indur Goklany’s paper “Could biofuel policies increase death and disease in developing countries?”). They have a right to ask that those who determine the science behind such policies are open-minded. On the evidence of MrRomm’s astonishing outburst, my doubts about this are growing.

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Reader Comments (110)

On the contrary there is now very good evidence that a lot of heat is going into the deep ocean in unprecedented ways…


The missing heat syndrome again, we can't see any evidence but as the real life evidence is that there is no warming it must be hidden where we have no measurements.

Dec 22, 2012 at 11:51 AM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

A clear and reasonable rebuttal.
Mr Romm seems to have 'comprehension' issues as he not only fails to understand your WSJ article but also misses the conclusion of the paper he sites. Poor lad.

Dec 22, 2012 at 12:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterG.Watkins

It's a standard tactic in a variety of 'intellectual' fields to dispute that which is known (or indeed not known either way) in order to get one to consume resources (e.g., time in this case) to simply defend a stance. Time that might otherwise be diverted to genuinely expose an opponent.

It also diverts attention.

A well established way of doing things.

I think you are an .....'ist' of some sort......

See? Easy.

Dec 22, 2012 at 12:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterjones

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the difference between a calm rational optimist and an angry dogmatic pessimist.

Dec 22, 2012 at 12:16 PM | Unregistered CommentersHx

Head-against-brick-wall stuff, I fear. Just how can one reason with the unreasonable - mostly, I despair, but I guess one has to keep trying: once again Joe Romm clearly demonstrated to be utterly wrong on virtually everything he writes, but logic is ignored by these dangerous idiots.

Dec 22, 2012 at 12:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan E

I think that Tim Worstall would sum Joe Romm up with one word and I would not disagree

Dec 22, 2012 at 12:36 PM | Unregistered CommenterDolphinhead

Why didn't Joe Romm sign up to be an expert reviewer for AR5? He could have pointed out where the report is being "too conservative", providing links to Skeptical Science.

Dec 22, 2012 at 12:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterMostlyHarmless

it is very clear water vapor…is an amplifying effect. It is a very strong warmer for the climate.

I disagree with Romm (and Ridley) on this, as empirical experimental and meteorological evidence suggests the opposite:

Water Vapor Feedback - Is it positive or negative?

Does this make me a dragon slayer?

Dec 22, 2012 at 12:42 PM | Registered Commenterlapogus

Romm is a 'hack' in all he does its that simply .

Dec 22, 2012 at 12:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

A Fisking to rank with the best.

Though it's good of Matt to treat a credibility-free propagandist like Romm seriously enough to bother.

Dec 22, 2012 at 12:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhil D

It's a mystery why anyone takes Romm seriously. But I'm curious about Trenberth's claim that "a lot of heat is going into the deep ocean in unprecedented ways…". Is this the elusive 'missing heat' he's alluding to? And does he mean it's being transported by some heat transfer mechanism other than convection and conduction that has hitherto remained undiscovered?

Dec 22, 2012 at 1:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaveS

Can anyone explain how a cooler object, say, the earth's atmosphere, can cause net warming of a warmer object, say, the earth's surface?

That is the nub of Mr Alberto Miatello's case, in which he utterly refutes the existence of a greenhouse effect, claiming instead that the atmosphere cools the surface via the water cycle. He also calculates that global temperature should increase if atmospheric CO2 increases, but by a very minor amount for a 10-fold CO2 increase.

Worth a read, at least.

http://principia-scientific.org/publications/PSI_Miatello_Refutation_GHE.pdf

Dec 22, 2012 at 1:05 PM | Unregistered Commentertherealviffer

lapogus
You have misunderstood what Matt Ridley is saying. He says that water vapour is a greenhouse gas, but that it is unknown whether it acts as a positive or a negative feedback. The sign of the feedback depends, in particular, on whether (on a suitably weighted global basis) the level of water vapour in the mid/upper troposphere goes up when the surface temperature increases.

Dec 22, 2012 at 1:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterNic Lewis

Romm dines out on academic credentials strewn like confetti by climate cultists' Mutual Admiration Society. His self-evident special pleading here is indicative not of any open-minded, rational inquiry but of an anti-rational --even delusive-- mindset incapable of assessing objective evidence on the merits.

Beyond caricature, this infantile regressive trope betokens a profound psychological debility common to all historical catastrophists. Our favorite example is not the late, unlamented Mayan Apocalypse but Will James' depiction of the 16th Century Anabaptists of Munster, an early Reformation peasant revolt that did not end well.

Within this decade Romm in company with Briffa, Hansen, Jones, Mann, Trenberth and others of their peculating Green Gang ilk will likely find themselves figuratively hung from cages lashed to scientific steeples, and good riddance to 'em.

Dec 22, 2012 at 1:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Blake

Thank you Matt Ridley and Nic Lewis. It is important to point out every error which the alarmists make. Eventually, and I hope that is while I am still alive, the truth will percolate through the impermeable membrane wrapped around most legacy media.

Dec 22, 2012 at 1:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon B

Nic Lewis

'He says that water vapour is a greenhouse gas, but that it is unknown whether it acts as a positive or a negative feedback.'

and extending the discussion a bit there are those like Willis Eschenbach who postulate, and show evidence, that feedback is not constant - it can change its sign!!!!!! Imagine that.

The confirmation bias in me sees that as a major reason why we are able to blog 4.5 billion years into the planet earth experiment v1.00

Dec 22, 2012 at 2:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterDolphinhead

Alarmist pessimists do tend to follow that trend of being sad, angry fellows with the inability to just 'get over it,'

Dec 22, 2012 at 2:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterBeesaman

Ridley should name his anonymous scientist.

Dec 22, 2012 at 2:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterbigcitylib

@bcl

Why should he? Even if the paper never appears, that has no bearing on any enduring uncertainty that there is any positive feedback.

Also, learn to read. He wasn't making the claim, he was quoting Judith Curry. Trot off and ask her.

Dec 22, 2012 at 2:38 PM | Unregistered Commentermrsean2k

No. Ridley writes:

"And then, as one Nobel Prize-winning physicist with a senior role in combating climate change admitted to me the other day: “We don’t even know the sign” of water vapor’s effect—in other words, whether it speeds up or slows down a warming of the atmosphere."

And of course a paper that doesn't exist has no effect on any relevant debate, no matter who didn't write it. Curry should also reveal HER anonymous scientist.

Dec 22, 2012 at 2:49 PM | Unregistered Commenterbigcitylib

I am reminded of Scott Mandia who wrote letters to Statefarm Insurance 'persuading' them to withdraw funding for the Heartland Institute. (bigcity cracks knuckles, rubs hands together and gets on the keyboard)

Dec 22, 2012 at 2:50 PM | Registered Commentershub

'Frantic orthodoxy is never rooted in faith but in doubt. It is when we are unsure that we are doubly sure'.

H/t Reinhold Neibuhr.
=============

Dec 22, 2012 at 3:16 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Ooh, sorry, quote from RN, a tip of the hat to Janet.
=================

Dec 22, 2012 at 3:18 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Bigcitylib: "Ridley should name his anonymous scientist."

Perhaps said scientist would prefer to keep his job. We don't exactly live in a world where climate scientists are encouraged to dispute the orthodoxy. Mann and co have seen to that.

Dec 22, 2012 at 3:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterStuck-Record

Back in 2010 I wrote a bit about Romm's non-stop use of the "anti-science" accusation. I compared him to a toddler who calls everyone a poopy-head.

Anti-science claim devoid of meaning

Dec 22, 2012 at 3:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterDonna Laframboise

Unfortunately, people like Joe Romm don't debate. They publish posts that deliberately distort clear meanings and precise statements, after which they pontificate foolishly and then go hide behind the barricades of their websites, which either don't allow comments or censor them if they are heretical to faith-based alarmism.

Dec 22, 2012 at 3:46 PM | Unregistered Commentertheduke

kim -
A similar sentiment: "often wrong but never in doubt".

Dec 22, 2012 at 3:48 PM | Registered CommenterHaroldW

bigcitylib: "And of course a paper that doesn't exist has no effect on any relevant debate, no matter who didn't write it."

Tell it to the IPCC:

http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2012/12/21/cheating-at-the-ipcc.html

Dec 22, 2012 at 3:51 PM | Unregistered Commentertheduke

Matt (if I may address you so, never having met you),

Romm is paid to attack anything and everything that might be seen to deviate from the path.That is his job.That is what he is paid to do.

Now, although I'm not all that familiar with your work, I get the impression that you are just discovering exactly what happens to anybody who dares to examine the obvious flaws in 'the doctrine'.

There has never (until recently) been any 'debate' (as many veterans will attest). Question 'climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2', 'the viability of an energy policy based on wind' or ask just how many died in our recent (UK) cold winters because they couldn't afford fuel. The answer is always the same - you are an anti-science holocaust denier. Flat Earth is where you dine.

On the up-side - more and more of us have had enough of this crap and now spend our free time highlighting just what a bunch of murderous ba$tards (in green velvet gloves) they really are.

I won't welcome you to the club because, as far as I can see, you just call it as you see it. I really don't want you branded as some kind of 'Holocaust Denier' because you wrote the wrong thing. But that's not up to me now is it?

Dec 22, 2012 at 4:00 PM | Unregistered Commenter3x2

Therealviffer : 'Can anyone explain how a cooler object, say, the earth's atmosphere, can cause net warming of a warmer object, say, the earth's surface?'

Oh yes - and how a magnetron manages to heat up things in a microwave oven - obviously impossible: I want my moneu back!

Dec 22, 2012 at 4:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterIan E

This "response" contains one of the most amusing and amazing blunders (or perhaps self-revelations) I have ever seen in the blogosphere. Don't worry, I have screen-captured and commented on it in my original debunking at Climate Progress. It would seem to define the term "anti-science." And the term "oops!"

As for your math errors, the most basic is pointed out in the figure at the top of my post -- your inability to do a simple calculation of total warming this century even with (an unlikely) low sensitivity. If you understand climate sensitivity (which it still does not appear that you do) then you would know that sensitivity does not equal projected warming this century.

That, of course, is precisely why the named author (Schlesinger) of one of the low-sensitivity papers you cite has written to the Wall Street Journal (and various journalists) that “In his article, Mr. Ridley is just plain wrong about future global warming.” So you can keep (mis)citing his paper all you want, but the record has been set straight. You got your math very wrong.

Dec 22, 2012 at 4:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterJoseph Romm

Ian E: 'Oh yes - and how a magnetron manages to heat up things in a microwave oven - obviously impossible: I want my moneu back'.

No. you misunderstand, The warmistas, like Romm, believe that you can wrap a frozen turkey in tinfoil and the reflected radiation will cook the turkey.

Dec 22, 2012 at 4:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterPhilip Foster

Can someone call the Head of Comedy at the BBC?

Having been one of the "scientific experts" present at the 28Gate meetings, he should be able to judge the merits of this argument.

Dec 22, 2012 at 4:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

@ Nic Lewis - with repect, I did not misunderstand what Matt Ridley meant, as I do appreciate the point he is making wrt to water vapour having potential positive and negative feedbacks. But Matt quoted Romm's statement, and then wrote "I agree" which is why I put Ridley's name in parenthesis.

But no worries.

Dec 22, 2012 at 4:40 PM | Registered Commenterlapogus

Therealviffer : 'Can anyone explain how a cooler object, say, the earth's atmosphere, can cause net warming of a warmer object, say, the earth's surface?'

Not sure where you get the 'cooler object' from. Were you hanging around in the Sahara tomorrow afternoon then I'm pretty sure that you would welcome 'earth's surface'. Preferably deep under the 'earth's surface'. Having said that, were you foisted upon the Arctic (with no clothes) then dropping yourself into the Ocean might gain you few minutes of extra life when compared to the -50C atmosphere.

I guess that your basic question might be answered I could be wrong but the post makes sense.

Dec 22, 2012 at 4:44 PM | Unregistered Commenter3x2

...did we just get romm-bombed?

Dec 22, 2012 at 5:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterOtter

lapogus: It is pretty easy to find trivial correlations that prove or disprove the existence of water vapor feedback. For example, the absolute humidity in summer (when it is warmer) is higher than winter (when it is cooler). That observation doesn't prove that higher humidity makes it warmer or cooler; we know that the changing angle of the sun above the horizon is responsible for the changing temperature. Changing temperature is responsible for changing absolute humidity. Complex weather patterns are responsible for local relationships between temperature and humidity. The lack of rainfall and humidity in Riyadh occurs because its climate is dominated by the descending branch of the Hadley circulation, which brings dry air from the upper troposphere and the air is warmed as it is compressed.

The mechanism by which water vapor changes OLR is exactly the same as for CO2. You can be a Dragon Slayer if you want.

Dec 22, 2012 at 5:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank

lapogus
"Nic Lewis - with repect, I did not misunderstand what Matt Ridley meant"
OK, in that case I misunderstood what you were saying. :)

Dec 22, 2012 at 5:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterNic Lewis

Shitty, unformatted post above ... I'll try again ...

Therealviffer : 'Can anyone explain how a cooler object, say, the earth's atmosphere, can cause net warming of a warmer object, say, the earth's surface?'

Not sure where you get the 'cooler object' from. Were you hanging around in the Sahara tomorrow afternoon then I'm pretty sure that you would welcome 'earth's surface'. Preferably deep under the 'earth's surface'. Having said that, were you foisted upon the Arctic (with no clothes) then dropping yourself into the Ocean might gain you few minutes of extra life when compared to the -50C atmosphere.

I guess that your basic question might be answered here but I could be wrong

Dec 22, 2012 at 5:12 PM | Unregistered Commenter3x2

...did we just get romm-bombed?

Aii

I guess he won't be around for Fullers question ... "One-third of all human emissions of CO2 have occurred since 1998 without any visible effect on global average temperatures, which plateaued at that time."

Like Conn [oll(e)y] he just doesn't do questions or debate. Hit and run, check the bank balance. Repeat until nervous breakdown.

Dec 22, 2012 at 5:23 PM | Unregistered Commenter3x2

Notice how Romm comes here to fish for hits for his blog. I recommend no one go there. If he can't post the material here and engage forthrightly, he isn't worth the time. Like most of what he writes, it's probably nonsense anyway.

Dec 22, 2012 at 5:29 PM | Unregistered Commentertheduke

Joe Romm's 'ThinkProgress' seems to fail on both counts.

Dec 22, 2012 at 6:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

"Mr. Ridley is just plain wrong about future global warming"

Isn't that a non-sequitur? He may be wrong, but so may Dr Romm, and I tend to side with those who don't exhibit problems with anger management.. :-)

Dec 22, 2012 at 6:14 PM | Registered Commenterjamesp

At least Romm is consistent. But the tactic of deliberately miss-representing what people say and using that as a basis to libel them gets a bit boring to behold. You just come away from his comments thinking he's an arrogant prick.

Dec 22, 2012 at 6:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Dunford

Well if it was a boxing bout, Matt Ridley won by a knockout inside the first 3 seconds and old 'canvass back Joe' is carried out again.


What drives this bloke, who claims scientific legitimacy at every turn he is able.

Nothing in science is settled Joe and you of all people should know that.

So just what, (and Connolleys + E. Mann's for that matter) - is your angle?

And don't tell me it is your pure altruism, because that would be the last thing you could lay claim to. When propounding your mythological ideas, you undoubtedly have caused so much and vast governmental expenditure for such meagre returns for the taxpayer but in doing so, made many previously rich men and bankers fabulously more wealthy.

Joe Romm, advocate of redistribution; of taxpayer 'investments' - to the banks, politicians and corporate giants.

Dec 22, 2012 at 6:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

My attempts to understand this issue have convinced me that the believers in AGW are a religious sect, with its own prophets and holy writ. Temperature records have been systematically "adjusted", computer models have been tweaked and data tortured by the tree ring circus. Contrary evidence is ignored, critics are damned as idiots and scoundrels in league with the Devil (aka Big Oil).

Dec 22, 2012 at 6:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

Interesting that Joe Romm complains that Matt Ridley is using the peer reviewed AR4 but quotes himself from AR5 that hasn't been reviewed as yet. How the times have changed, or perhaps the review process doesn't count, maybe what we have is what it will be, in certain areas.

Doesn't build much confidence in the process, which is what I believed was one of the intentions of the serious scientists! Can't see that there will be any need for the IPCC if there is no review process and only specific papers are allowed according to certain scientists.

Dec 22, 2012 at 6:25 PM | Registered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Joe Romm: @ Dec 22, 2012 at 4:18 PM

As for your math errors, the most basic is pointed out in the figure at the top of my post -- your inability to do a simple calculation of total warming this century even with (an unlikely) low sensitivity. If you understand climate sensitivity (which it still does not appear that you do) then you would know that sensitivity does not equal projected warming this century.

If Joe was going to talk about errors, he could at least have gotten the reference he gives for the provenance of the figure correct.

Instead of "Causes of the Global Warming Observed since the 19th Century" (lead author, Michael J. Ring) from Atmospheric and Climate Sciences, 2012, 2, 401-415 as claimed, the actual reference should be Figure 1(c) from "A Fair Plan to Safeguard Earth’s Climate" (lead author, Michael E. Schlesinger although Michael Ring is a co-author) from Journal of Environmental Protection, 2012, 3, 455-461.

Figure 1(b) shows the CO2 content rising to a a somewhat unrealistic peak of 1900 ppm shortly after the year 2200 before leveling off at about 1750 ppm.

Must have been a slip of the old typing finger, eh Joe?

Dec 22, 2012 at 6:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterRomanM

Maybe save some a trip but I have to say that Romm had in fact referenced the draft AR5 statement for the "The net radiative feedback due to all cloud types is likely positive." statement

So Ridley is wrong when he says:

He gives no backing for this dogmatic conclusion.

I have to admit I like hearing that Romm can pull out a scientist in the classic Annie Hall-Marshall Mcluhan style. With Allen it was fantasy but with Romm it seems he and can get dynamite quotes on demand from "respected" scientists e.g.

In his article, Mr. Ridley is just plain wrong about future global warming.

The fact that the future is dogmatically laid out like this is, I suppose, comforting to hear for some, but for my layman ears it just sounds like classic bumptious climate assholery. Though to be fair I wonder if this Schlesinger guy may have been flustered by pressure from Romm and that explains that particular vacuous crowd pleasing statement?

I mean we know that Romm can have an effect of getting climate scientists to say things for the cause of fire fighting that they later regret, e.g like Ken Caldeira.

I was drawn in by Romm and Al Gore’s assistant into critiquing other parts of the chapter. Rather than acting deliberately, I panicked and commented on things that I now wish I would have been silent on. It was obviously a mistake to let myself get drawn into this, and I learned a quick and hard lesson in public relations.

Dec 22, 2012 at 6:36 PM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

Romm is a physicist turned polemicist who has presumably been profoundly disturbed by the visions in his head of a dreadful future thanks to rising levels of CO2. I don't think previous millennial cultists have ever been dissuaded by rationality - they would have seen persuasive arguments as a mark of the devil for example. But I think onlookers may well be dissuaded. I think the hot-headed Romm has met more than his match with Ridley, whom we sympathetic onlookers can cheer to the rafters with his every measured response, and whom more neutral onlookers can judge in terms of civility and coherence. I furthermore suggest that said onlookers would find more food for thought if they were to Google 'Romm alarmist' and follow through on some of the links, and then try 'Ridley rationalist' and do the same. Three cheers for the internet. If only it had been around in the Middle Ages ...

Dec 22, 2012 at 6:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

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