I probably shouldn’t for the sake of my blood pressure, but I do keep taps on what people on the other side of the debate are saying, especially the more vocal ones. I use it to keep myself appraised of any contrary evidence and queues me on possible cases where a critical look at evidence might be needed.
But I have to say this, most of the time what is being put out by the “sceptics” is severely lacking. Errors and misrepresentation galore, a lot of it being unintentional as climatology is a difficult subject. But often it has its root in what, to me, looks like intentional misdirection and butchering of the science.
And the latest butchering was promoted in a post on the blog Watts Up With That, a website that has a reputation of misdirection and scientific errors:
On the website they posted a short excerpt of a Telegraph column written by Christopher Booker. In it Booker tries to cast doubt on the BCC Horizon episode Science Under Attack. Where Sir Paul Nurse examines why science appears to be under attack, specifically Global Warming.
Considering the limited time in a Horizon episode it’s simplistic and leaves out a considerable amount of detail and information. But it does give a very good representation on what currently is going on with climate change and the debate surrounding it. Of course, Booker doesn’t see it that way.
And he starts of great with some nice rethoric that tries to cast doubt on the people involved. However a claim in the second paragraph truly rubbed me the wrong way:
Even the weather has turned against them, showing that all the computer models based on the assumption that rising CO2 means rising temperatures have got it wrong.
I’ve said it before and I’m going to say it again: Weather is not climate.
He’s trying to cast doubt on global warming as we’ve had a very cold period with a lot of snow in certain regions in the northern hemisphere. But the thing is that heavy snow fall, depending on the circumstances, can be consistent with global warming. And even in a warming world, cold spells still happen, despite any underlying climate trend. I’ve talked about this very phenomenon in great detail:
And Booker’s attempts at casting doubt on the Horizon episode continues:
The formula the BBC uses in its forlorn attempts to counterattack has been familiar ever since its 2008 series Climate Wars. First, a presenter with some scientific credentials comes on, apparently to look impartially at the evidence. Supporters of the cause are allowed to put their case without challenge. Hours of film of climate-change “deniers” are cherrypicked for soundbites that can be shown, out of context, to make them look ridiculous. The presenter can then conclude that the “deniers” are a tiny handful of eccentrics standing out against an overwhelming scientific “consensus”.
Now what he’s referring to is the following clip from the horizon episode:
Delingpole actually says that he hasn’t got the time or the expertise to read the scientific literature on climate change and global warming. That’s not cherrypicking, that’s showing an underlying problem with this critic. It shows candidly that he doesn’t have the knowledge and expertise to critique anything on climate change. Not to mention that it is true that it is just a minority that’s sceptical about global warming.
But the most damning part in the whole column was when Booker criticized Paul Nurse, an expert in cell biology, for commenting on climate change.
The fact that someone is an expert in one particular field – even if he is President of the Royal Society – gives him little more authority to pronounce on issues with which he is unfamiliar than a man holding forth in a pub.
Considering booker is a journalist, and has no scientific training whatsoever, would by his own logic have absolutely no right to comment on, or criticise, the science behind Global Warming.
These are the arguments used by the self proclaimed “sceptics”. Often people with no real training or in-depth knowledge on the subject. Yet they are paraded around with glee as the “sceptics” who disprove, or give valid criticism, on Global Warming.