Thursday, 28 January 2010

The White Flag is waving...

...from the green camp, and I feel a little like my father, who as a lowly member (LAC2) of RAF ground crew in North Africa in WW2, was proud to have "done his bit." It is now becoming very clear to many sceptics and greens alike that the full time whistle on the AGW scare has been blown by the statement from the UK Government’s chief scientific adviser John Beddington that “I don’t think it’s healthy to dismiss proper scepticism...Science grows and improves in the light of criticism. There is a fundamental uncertainty about climate change prediction that can’t be changed.” It is now also very clear that green credibility is in tatters and that the whole "global warming" scam has been motivated by political ideology and greed, not science. I am totally confident that further revelations re the IPCC will reinforce those facts.
However, in light of Beddington's statement above, I visited the warmist blog Hot Topic and had a very interesting exchange with its co-author, journalist Bryan Walker. I am reproducing the exchange here in full, for the sake of posterity...

Mikh January 27, 2010 at 3:06 pm
From today’s London Times, reporting on the UK Government’s chief scientific adviser John Beddington…
“Professor Beddington said that climate scientists should be less hostile to sceptics who questioned man-made global warming. He condemned scientists who refused to publish the data underpinning their reports.He said that public confidence in climate science would be improved if there were more openness about its uncertainties, even if that meant admitting that sceptics had been right on some hotly-disputed issues.He said: “I don’t think it’s healthy to dismiss proper scepticism. Science grows and improves in the light of criticism. There is a fundamental uncertainty about climate change prediction that can’t be changed.”
You may like to drop the terms denialist, flat earther and your other intolerant insults now Bryan and Gareth… I mean, if it’s good enough for the UK’s chief science adviser to admit that the science isn’t settled, and the sceptics may have a point or two to make, do you think a little more manners and a little less intolerance might be called for ?

Bryan Walker January 27, 2010 at 4:13 pm
Mikh, may I suggest you have a look at the Guardian’s
report of what Beddington has to say. The Times on Line report is heavily slanted and buttressed with extremely doubtful statements about sea ice, sea level rise and global temperatures. I have no problems with what Beddington is saying as reported in the Guardian. None of the work I read written by scientists is light on caveats. Uncertainties abound and are recognised and often emphasised. His comments are extremely general, and I would have thought unnecessary. I don’t think it’s healthy to dismiss proper scepticism either, but I haven’t come across examples of that happpening. If you come up with a body of scientific work which demonstrates that my alarm at climate change is quite unnecessary I’ll be greatly relieved and happily drop the term denialist.

mikh January 27, 2010 at 4:32 pm
So the Guardian Bryan, presents an accurate account of Beddington’s sentiments, while the Times is “heavily slanted and buttressed…” That “slanting and buttressing” couldn’t happen on the objective pages of the idealogically sound Guardian of course, could it ?
So… even the Guardian swallows the dead rat, and reports Beddington’s key points…”There is a fundamental uncertainty about climate change prediction that can’t be changed…All of these predictions have to be caveated by saying, ‘There’s a level of uncertainty about that’.”
Someone who put that statement forward to you a week or two ago would have been dismissed by you, and the more intemperate Gareth, as a denialist, flat earther and/or crank, and I see you still use the word crank in your most recent post. At the very least Bryan, you could offer your polite, unabusive critics the courtesy of acknowledging their very valid sceptical viewpoint, and perhaps use your derogatory terms such as denialist, flat earther and crank with a little more reservation.

Bryan Walker January 27, 2010 at 5:02 pm
Mikh, I can’t recall ever dismissing anyone for saying there’s a level of uncertainty about climate change prediction. I do use the term denialist for those who deny the science on grounds which lack scientific backing, and make no apology for that. You’ll have to ask Gareth about crank – it’s not a word I use.
mikh January 27, 2010 at 5:06 pm
…well, do you agree now, that the science of global warming/climate change is characterised by a level of “fundamental uncertainty…that can’t be changed…” ?

Bryan Walker January 27, 2010 at 5:48 pm
Mikh, you’re quoting from the Times account of what Beddington said. I agree that a level of uncertainty has to be part of most climate science predictions. If “fundamental uncertainty” means that the whole basis of climate science is shaky of course I don’t agree. I note the Guardian reported him: “While it was unchallengeable that burning fossil fuels released CO2 that warms the Earth, ‘where you can get challenges is on the speed of change’.” That statement seems OK to me. Will it do for you?

mikh January 27, 2010 at 7:31 pm
Bryan, you are very much mistaken, and I’m afraid, are resorting to evasion. Below are direct quotes from The Guardian, and as you noted above… “I have no problems with what Beddington is saying as reported in the Guardian.”…
“I don’t think it’s healthy to dismiss proper scepticism,” he tells the Times newspaper today. “Science grows and improves in the light of criticism. There is a fundamental uncertainty about climate change prediction that can’t be changed.”
Do you now agree Bryan with Beddington’s statement that…
“There is a fundamental uncertainty about climate change prediction that can’t be changed.” ?

Bryan Walker January 27, 2010 at 8:05 pm
Mikh, oops you caught me out, not in deliberate evasion I assure you, but in an overhasty reading of the Guardian article. The answer to your question is still that it depends what he means by fundamental uncertainty. I presume he is not referring to the finding that burning fossil fuels releases CO2 that warms the Earth, which he explicitly says is unchallengeable. So I’m not sure exactly what he means, and I’m not going to be tied to a declaration the import of which is not clear to me.

mikh January 28, 2010 at 6:36 am
All right Bryan, I won’t labour the point, except to say that Beddington’s statements are a total exoneration of the sceptical position, that has always insisted, (despite vigorous and abusive retorts from people like yourself and Gareth), that the science of AGW ISN’T settled.
In addition, the revelations of IPCC overstatement re glacier melt are a further nod towards those of us who have pointed out similar exaggerations in the past. And that, when taken with clear evidence of scientific mishandling and fudging of data, and now alleged financial impropriety by Pachauri, effectively ends the AGW debate.
A victory I think, for the denialist scum.
Can you hear me Gareth ?

...I note too, this morning, that the wonderful offshoot of ALDaily; ClimateDebateDaily, carries as its lead article Beddington's comments from the London Times, referred to above. I believe I was the first to draw that article to the attention of the site moderator. All in all, a very satisfying day's blogging !


Anonymous said...

Don't forget we still have a "live" ETS here in New Zealand. We are not "winning" until this bastard piece of legislation is gone and we see a return to proper scientific method. I will continue to boycott The Warehouse because of their public support for Greenpeace and any other tosser that provides solace to these commies in disguise. This is a scirmish the battles are still to be fought!

Ayrdale said...

Well, I see it as akin to defeating Nazi Germany while Japan still fought on. When the head science sharang in the UK acknowledges the sceptical position, and IPCC failure, he destroys extremist green credibility. I hope hari-kari is being committed by the lot of them.

Anonymous said...

Good debate with the tree hugging warmist Micky. They are good at avoiding the question and talking around in circles when they are faced with having to admit they are wrong. Of course, I their mind they arent wrong!

Ayrdale said...

They know though, deep down, that the equation has changed forever, and they've lost their self assurance and their credibility.

Anonymous said...

I agree, dear brother, a triumph; and the Germany/Japan analogy is a good one. There are still things to be done. Those of us brought up on Bertrand Russell know that 'belief' is not a scientific posture; true science is based on scepticism, just as it is based on observation and empiricism, and not on 'modelling', useful as that may be. Karl Popper may still be spinning, but his rate of turn in the grave may be reducing as scientists are forced to abandon the pseudo-science of 'climate change'. And what next for the Indian railwayman?

Your loving brother.

acadie1755 said...

Ayrdale said...

What next for the Indian railwayman Sir ? They'll simply pop out for another chapati, and try to avoid terrorist bum blasts.

Anonymous said...

You're too polite.

I love seeing hippies get bashed.

Ayrdale said...

...and the Indian railwayman ? Forgive me for being obtuse. The good Dr will no doubt have salted enough dosh away in Swiss banks to buy the railroad (and the chapati factory.)

Mark Brentano said...

What amazes me is how quickly the whole facade is crumbling. Here in the UK, there was a similar phenomenon. A year ago, anyone mentioning public sector cuts would have been taken out and lynched. Today, they're all trying to wear a more impressive hair shirt than the next guy. Bigger cuts, right now. I think that in a year from now, warmists might be treated like Scientologists; organised and focused, but ultimately full of it. Which means a big win for the likes of yourself, sir.

Ayrdale said...

Thank you Butch. certainly a very good moment...but perhaps a bit early yet to start looking for the next dragon to slay.

Anonymous said...

Interesting comment from Phillip Stott re the importance to the world of the Pacific Rim.

Ayrdale said...

Gotcha already ! I agree great article.