Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Unravelling the myth of the climate change 'consensus'

Viscount Monckton of Brenchley has become somewhat of a lightning rod for the myriad of Climate Brown Shirts that have their noses firmly planted in the public trough by his intelligent and calm questioning of the so-called science behind the climate change industry.

The issue of whether there's a consensus among climate scientists about the consequences of manmade global warming is one that Brown Shirts need to keep pushing in order to fulfil their misanthropic vision for the rest of us.

Of course there's no consensus. Furthermore, in my lifetime I have never seen what is supposedly a scientific issue divide so neatly along political lines.

In this analysis, Monckton demonstrates that the whole basis for the consensus is based on a profoundly shoddy piece of research of the type ironically found all too often within the science of climate change (the debunked Hockey Stick, for example).

Here are some key extracts:
The claim of “consensus” rests almost entirely on an inaccurate and now-outdated single-page comment in the journal Science entitled The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change (Oreskes, 2004). In this less than impressive “head-count” essay, Naomi Oreskes, a historian of science with no qualifications in climatology, defined the “consensus” in a very limited sense, quoting as follows from IPCC (2001) – “Human activities … are modifying the concentration of atmospheric constituents … that absorb or scatter radiant energy. … most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.”

...There is no scientific consensus on how much the world has warmed or will warm; how much of the warming is natural; how much impact greenhouse gases have had or will have on temperature; how sea level, storms, droughts, floods, flora, and fauna will respond to warmer temperature; what mitigative steps – if any – we should take; whether (if at all) such steps would have sufficient (or any) climatic effect; or even whether we should take any steps at all.

...According to Dr. Peiser, fewer than one-third of the papers analyzed by Oreskes either explicitly or implicitly endorsed the “consensus”, contrary to Oreskes’ assertion that the figure was 75%. In addition, 44 abstracts focused on the natural as opposed to anthropogenic causes of climate change, and did not include any direct or indirect link or reference to human actitivies, carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gas emissions, let alone anthropogenic forcing of recent climate change. More than half of the abstracts did not mention anthropogenic climate change at all and could not, therefore, reasonably be held to have commented either way upon the “consensus” as defined by Oreskes.

...Oreskes’ essay is now outdated. Since it was published, more than 8,000 further papers on climate change have been published in the learned journals. In these papers, there is a discernible and accelerating trend away from unanimity even on her limited definition of “consensus”. Schulte (2007: submitted) has brought Oreskes’ essay up to date by examining the 539 abstracts found using her search phrase “global climate change” between 2004 (her search had ended in 2003) and mid-February 2007. Even if Oreskes’ commentary in Science were true, the “consensus” has moved very considerably away from the unanimity she says she found. Dr. Schulte’s results show that about 1.5% of the papers (just 9 out of 539) explicitly endorse the “consensus”, even in the limited sense defined by Oreskes. Though Oreskes found that 75% of the papers she reviewed explicitly or implicitly endorsed the “consensus”, Dr. Schulte’s review of subsequent papers shows that fewer than half now give some degree of endorsement to the “consensus”.

...The outright scaremongers are led by James Hansen, a donor of thousands of dollars to the re-election campaigns of Al Gore and John Kerry. He showed Congress a graph in 1988 that set the trend for wildly-exaggerated projections of future global temperature. The graph presented three scenarios, the most extreme of which had no basis in the scientific literature or in previously-observed trends. Politicians at that time treated the graph with respect because it had been generated by a computer. Yet the model which generated the graph, still in use by Hansen and the UN today, continues to contain “flux adjustments” – i.e. fudge-factors – many times greater than the very small perturbations which the model is supposed to predicting.
And so it goes on. To those that claim a consensus I can only say that if there's no consensus among the 17 climate models used in the UN's calculations then how can there be a consensus in the scientific community about the impact of climate change?

As they say; read the whole thing.


Anonymous said...

Jack, I thought you might be interested to read a comment I posted on a newspaper forum linking to your page:

"Lacton, who writes an excellent blog from Australia, clearly loves and admires America far more than a great number of the looselugnut libs who are blessed to have blue passports. It's read-worthy every single day."

- Krumhorn

Anonymous said...

Interesting read. It fits in the framework of that other article which also replaces the historical context around the GW hysteria.

Jack Lacton said...

Hey, thanks Krumhorn! Funnily enough, I was talking to an Australian of Indian background today who also feels the same way about the US. He was amazed that the whole place is made of immigrants but it has such strong belief in itself (unlike Europe, for example).

I pointed out that when immigrants go the the US it's to become Red, White & Blue.

Exactly, he said.

Large numbers of immigrants that go to Europe do so in order to get hand outs and generally welch off society.

It's a big difference.