Archive for September 2008
I copy this here because strange things happen to comments on scienceblogs.com. This is a response to this post
Its fascinating Josh, that its not that Sarah Palin is denying that
the Earth’s climate is changing. Simply Gov Palin is making it clear
she does believe that ascribing all or most of the climate change to
mankind’s activities. And she’s far from being alone even in the
Of course, the term “climate change” has been radically redefined to
imply “man-made climate change through the increase of greenhouse
gases, principally carbon dioxide”, and so “climate change denial” or
its variants is simply skepticism over the extent to which recent
climate changes can be ascribed to man-made causes. And of course to
use the term “denier” implies moral depravity rather than skepticism.
So there’s nothing at all in Gov. Palin’s remarks that she needs to
retract, for she, unlike you Josh, does not believe that the climate
change of the last few years is anything out of the ordinary. In that
respect she is solidly with the scientific mainstream and you are very
definitely on the extreme lunatic fringe.
The only reason why this is even controversial is because of the
Mann Hockey Stick – the totem of climate change alarmism – has been
shown to be a shocking fake. What the Hockey Stick did (and like
lemmings, the IPCC followed) was allege that natural climate change in
the last thousand years or so was tiny and benign. And you believed it
What has now been fully shown is that the Hockey Stick is actually
an impression of the growth pattern of a group of bristlecone pines in
Colorado. In trying to justify the extraordinary weight given to these
trees in the reconstruction Michael Mann even claimed that these trees
occupied a “sweet spot” to be able to respond to “the global
temperature field” – a remarkable claim that neither you nor any of
your friends can be bothered to explain how a group of trees on a
mountain side in Colorado can fail to respond to local temperature
change yet can somehow respond to a statistical index called “global
temperature”. There’s probably a group of trees somewhere in the world
which show a growth record similar to the Dow Jones 30 – a spurious
correlation like the Bristlecone Pines of Colorado.
That’s because it is magic. Real voodoo. Not science.
So while you’re trying (and failing) to find a single ice core that
shows carbon dioxide rise PRECEDING temperature rise [they all show the
reverse Josh and by around eight centuries], while you’re finding that
an acknowledged expert on PCA (who incidentally believes in AGW) finds
that the Mann Hockey Stick’s decentered PCA to be simply wrong and the
Stick itself to be the result of “dubious statistics”.
I can criticize Gov Palin on many other issues, for I am no
Republican in the American sense of the word. But on the issue of
climate change she is the one talking sense and not you.
The Mann Hockey Stick and its variants are all instruments of real
climate change denial – the preposterous and false notion that the
large scale climate changes of the past never happened while the
present minor changes in climate are hyped up to ludicrous levels. Just
last week James Hansen testified that the opening of one coal-fired
power station in England would lead to the extinction of 400 species –
an extraordinary claim that you will spend exactly no time on verifying
because hey! Life’s too short.