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Discussion > Jay Griffiths: "Don't give climate change heretics an easy ride"

Don't give climate change heretics an easy ride

(Climate change heretics rarely have a science background, but editors are still happy to air their views)

Jay Griffiths: guardian.co.uk, Friday 31 August 2012 18.10 BST

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/31/climate-change-heretics-media-easy-ride


"I would propose a system of certification for media articles in which there is a clear issue of social responsibility – a kitemark of quality assurance. It would be awarded by teams of academics, and be given to the article, not the journalist, recognising the facts, not the sometimes spurious credibility of being a "personality". It would be awarded when the article is accurate, using reliable sources and peer reviewed studies. There already exists the Climate Science Rapid Response Team, which answers journalists' questions to help them achieve accuracy. The formality of certification is necessary, though, for the reader to know whether to trust an article. Accuracy must not only be achieved, but be seen to have been achieved."

If Ms Griffiths carried out a quick survey she might find that most 'heretics' actually acknowledge AGW (the physics of the the greenhouse effect) as real. Another survey would show that most qualified climate scientists actually acknowledge that the feedback response that turns climate change predictions from statistical insignificance (1c) to catastrophic or CAGW (>+4c) is highly uncertain and model predictions have not been supported by any empirical evidence (yet).

Some further research might discover that modern climate science concerns were justified on the basis of unusual warming in the late 20th century compared to previous centuries over the last two millenia. The momentum for climate change concerns came from statistical analysis of data. It has been since found that it is better to give statistical data to statisticians rather than climate scientists to discover if the late 20th century is a statistical anomally (it isn't). It is also worth mentioning that there are no climate science 'experts'. Climate covers many academic disciplines - too many for one person to be an expert in all of them. Thus climate scientists have to work to an overall hypothesis and try to fit their own discipline to this.

A little more research would show that the desire to "do something quickly" has led to the normal process of peer review being successfully hi-jacked by a few determined individuals so that the 'uncertainty' that most climate scientists acknowledge was wiped away in IPCC communications. This activity to shutdown dissenting viewpoints was so successful that well meaning scientific bodies have been convinced to back the notion of CAGW without further question. The effort to understand the climate threat has subsequently resulted in large sums of money channeling through these prestigious institutions making them reliant on that cash flow. It is very difficult for them to now consider skeptical arguments. There is no point in appealing to authority when that authority has been unwittingly compromised.

In summary, the problem is not science, climate scientists or 'heretics'. The problem is the influence of activists with personal agendas, the politicisation of science and confirmation bias which has provided critical mass to a bad idea. This means that everyone, including qualified climate scientists, have a right to question the path we are on - especially when that path is going to be so unaffordable that attempting to go down it will severly damage the future prospects of our children.

Aug 31, 2012 at 9:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterChairman Al

There are no such things as "clever models". Models are dumb tools to be interrogated by the clever people who build and use them.

"Complex models" are often no better than simple models for providing solutions and indications.

Apart from the creators of very complex models, very few people have the time, ability or inclination to interrogate or test their validity. This leads to a situation where a great deal of trust is placed into the hands of the modeller. Most modellers are human, with human imperfections and biases.

Complex systems are constantly changing with known and unknown variables. The climate system is chaotic and will remain beyond our capability for a very long time. Backcasting is used to "confirm" the models ability to mimic the past, but essentially this is only confirming the ability of the modeller to retrofit the variables to get the right answer. The inability of models to predict the last 15 years of constant CO2 rises and static temperature confirms this.

Forcing from CO2 is agreed - but this is not what causes catastrophic runaway climate change. The feedback effect does this - we rely on models to predict the feedback effect. Climate models are programmed to produce positive feedback but most natural feedback effects are negative. If NASA's climate models had been simple models with no feedback effect built in they would have more accurately predicted the last 15 years.

The UK met office uses a £30m adaptation of the climate model with the same complexity and spurious feedback mechanisms. The met office has been unable to predict weather accurately since switching to this model. Most observers have commented that it has a significant warming bias. Forecasts of barbeque summers and failure to predict severe winters has cost the economy billions through lack of proper preparations.

Aug 31, 2012 at 10:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterChairman Al

I agree with everything in the above two posts and of course the garbage from the Guardian and Ms Griffiths is simply yet another attempt to shut down debate. In this case though the answer is easy, quite obviously if her case is correct then we need the same checks on every article about everything and a kite mark for every story that is printed. Why should climate be the only one that needs a kite mark?

Posted by Smelly Dung >.<

Aug 31, 2012 at 10:19 PM | Registered CommenterDung