Oh dear Richard, oh dear

Mr Murphy decides to come back on this climate change issue again.

A number of points pop up.

Worstall (a climate change denier, or so it would appear – like so many of his type)

Err, no. I\’ve been writing on these here internets for over a decade now and there\’s one thing that you\’ll find where my position has been entirely consistent. Climate change is happening, it\’s happening as a result of human activity and the important question is what do we do about it? The position has remained unchanged whether I\’ve been writing for Techcentralstation (which if you are to believe certain stories was funded by Exxon, just as Murphy himself is sometimes funded by the Ford Foundation), the Adam Smith Institute, The Register, the Guardian\’s CiF, this blog, in fact anywhere that I\’ve been writing.

That I actually read the various documents (like the SRES, the Stern Review and so on), that I have different ideas about what we should do about it all, that perhaps I think that adaptation is a better route than mitigation….none of these make me a climate change denier. Just someone who disagrees with a certain strand of bien pensant thinking, that\’s all.

and he demanded an apology from me in a blog

Err, no, I did not demand anything. I said:

Richard, you may apologise to me for accusing me of fantasy if you should so wish.

And the essence of my piece was that, umm, Murphy accused me of fantasy for saying that, well, in his words:

Where’s the evidence of concensus we can grow 11 times, contain CO2 and do this whilst running out of oil?

There is none – it’s your fantasy.

And in his post today we have:

Now I’m not claiming to be an expert on its work, because I’m not. But I can say that its analysis is based on four economic scenarios. These were published in 2000 – the dark ages in these terms – and have not been updated since. These do indeed suggest growth of the scale Worstall quotes.

So, I\’m not fantasising, the IPCC\’s work is indeed based on growth of the levels I described and, well, you may not be all that shocked at this but having conceded the point Murphy still does not apologise. Ho hum.

Now note that this is not the last word on the subject, although Worstall and his colleagues seem to think it is. There was a conference in Copenhagen in April this year that reviewed this data and produced a pretty comprehensive and authoritative update on the reports Wortsall likes.

That report is here. The end result of Richard\’s perusing that paper?

1) Worstall is wrong – his claim cannot be justified

Oh, well, that\’s me done for then, isn\’t it? Or is it?

Well, you see, absolutely none of the work in that report is done on those economic models. None at all. There\’s lots of work on what the implications of them might be, about how ice might melt, sea levels rise, drought happen and so on. But there is no mention at all of changing those economics models of the SRES. Indeed, we get a number of references to footnotes including in the inevitable piece from Lord Stern. And what are the first two footnotes? (They are referenced multiple times, including by Lord Stern):

References
1. IPCC, 2007: Climate Change 2007: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and
III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Core
Writing Team, Pachauri, R.K and Reisinger, A. (eds.)]. IPCC, Geneva, Switzerland, 104 pp.
2. IPCC, 2007: Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working
Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
[Solomon, S., D. Qin, M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis, K.B. Averyt, M. Tignor and H.L. Miller
(eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, 996
pp.

Yes, quite. They are referring to AR4, which as I was pointing out in my original comment upon this matter is based upon the economic models from the SRES of those years ago. The ones which assume that global GDP will grow by between five and eleven times in the years up to 2100 (from the 1990 baseline).

I would thus say that (but of course I would, wouldn\’t I?) that my claim cannot only be justified, it is blindingly obvious that it is true. The scientific consensus is that global GDP will grow between 5 and 11 times in the coming century…..largely because that is the assumption that the scientific consensus on climate change makes at the very beginning of its calculations.

Now it is entirely open to Murphy and indeed anyone else to reject those economic models. But if you do that then you need to reject everything which is built upon those models. Which includes rejecting the IPCC reports, the TAR, AR4, and it includes rejecting the Stern Review and yes, even rejecting the Copenhagen Synthesis Report. If you insist that the major input to a modelling process is glaringly, obviously wrong then you have to, as a matter of simple logic, also insist that the outputs of that modelling process are glaringly, obviously, wrong.

Now, me, I accept the SRES, I accept the IPCC reports: I draw different conclusions to many in what we might do about it all, that is true, but I accept that they\’re the best work we\’ve got so far on what is likely to happen.

Richard apparently rejects the very basis of the whole modelling structure.

So which of us is the climate change denier? The one who accepts the scientific consensus? Or the one who rejects it?

9 thoughts on “Oh dear Richard, oh dear”

  1. “Err, no. I’ve been writing on these here internets for over a decade now and there’s one thing that you’ll find where my position has been entirely consistent. Climate change is happening, it’s happening as a result of human activity…”

    Murphy is simply using the term ‘climate change denier’ to mean ‘someone who disagrees with me on something else and so is a bad person’…

  2. Murphy says he’s not an expert. And there’s me thinking he was an expert in everything, ever. I feel cheated.

  3. Murphy is using “climate change denier” like the Jacobins used “aristocrat”. In 1790s France that accusation was enough to have your head. In 21st Century Britain under the heel of the Guardianistas, its enough to get you accused of a hate crime.

    Just as the Terror in France came to an end, we’ll be rid of the Guardianistas soon enough if we cut off their air supply (ie eliminate state funding of the BBC, GMG, New Labour quangos and fake charities).

  4. (ie eliminate state funding of the BBC, GMG, New Labour quangos and fake charities).

    …which is, sadly, the difficult part. You’re basically talking about the overthrow of the entire ruling class. I’m not objecting to that, just pointing out that actually doing it would be an astonishing turnaround from our current position.

  5. What special expertise does RM claim to have on the global warming issue anyway? I thought his supposed forte was writing on issues to do with tax, tax havens, etc.

    As Obnoxio likes to say, the man is a weapon’s grade cock-end.

  6. Well, he claims to be an accountant. Since it’s an accountant’s fundamental job to benefit his clients at the expense of government- that is, to minimise their tax exposure- while Mr. Murphy writes continuously in favour of maximising tax revenue, one must conclude that he’s either an incompetent accountant or a weapons grade hypocrite.

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