This isn\’t a question for climate scientists matey

That certainly is a legitimate question. In fact, it\’s a question that a number of climate scientists have answered.

The question is based on the fact that a few recent studies have concluded that the sensitivity of the Earth\’s climate to the increased greenhouse effect may be slightly less than previous best estimates, based on the recent slowed surface warming (for a basic primer on climate sensitivity, see my previous entry here). There are reasons to be skeptical of this conclusion, but it\’s certainly a possibility. If true, would that mean governments should pause or slow down their efforts to decarbonize the economy, as Neil asks?

The authors of these studies (e.g. Myles Allen, Piers Forster, and Alexander Otto) all seem to agree, the answer is no.

I don\’t go to economists to ask about hydrological cycles, the role of soil in carbon capture nor even the measurement of temperatures.

Similarly, I don\’t go to those who measure temperatures, study the soil or the water cycle, for information on matters economic.

Whether there is climate change or not is properly a question for climate scientists. What we do about it if there is is an economic question and one best answered by economists. Tol, Nordhaus, Weizman, even Stern, are the people to inform our actions, not the people with slide rules and pocket protectors.

13 thoughts on “This isn\’t a question for climate scientists matey”

  1. Agreed Tim, but he is being even more dishonest than that.

    Those studies don’t say a damn thing about what governments should do, if anything, about AGW, if it is happening. Quite properly too, as you point out. So he completely misrepresents the authors of the studies – people who are probably on the same side as him.

    If he can lie about what his allies say, how much more will he do so about what his enemies say?

    Its just more green misinformation – nothing new there.

  2. Questions about climate change should be open to everyone, not just climate scientists. No government should make such massive decisions without ALL the data for these studies in the public domain, available to everyone.

    If intelligent laymen cannot recreate findings (e.g. The infamous Hockey Stick) then they should be ignored.

  3. You want people to have some expertise before they venture an opinion, Tim? That’s not just the death of the internet, it’s the end of democracy!

  4. “Whether there is climate change or not is properly a question for climate scientists.” No, it isn’t, not once they’ve surrendered any claim to competence and honesty.

  5. Tim, have you ever considered the results of the Selection Effect? How many people do you think choose to go into Climate Science who don’t have a strong and ideological belief in the actuality of AGW? I am less likely to believe a climate scientist on AGW than I am a philosopher, a phycicist or a metereologist.

  6. “…recent slowed surface warming…”

    Translation – “the recent cooling which none of us predicted and none of us can explain”

    Doncha’ just love ’em?

  7. “Whether there is climate change or not is properly a question for climate scientists.”

    I agree in principle, but not in practice. From the IPCC, through the Hockey Stick graph, Climategate et al the scientific integrity of climate science has become so thoroughly tarnished that no-one believes a word they say.

    Until the scientific discipline of climate science restores it’s reputation through scientific rigour I (and many others) will continue to classify their pronouncements along with astrologers and other purveyors of dubious veracity.

  8. Your logic is flawed, by your reasoning you would never ask a statistician about climate, but it is just those who have demolished some pet theories that climate scientists call “settled science”, and they were not even asked.

  9. Would you ask an economist a question about economics?

    Only if you want three different answers.

    Which is about where we are with cap and trade, floor pricing and carbon taxes.

  10. FrankSW,

    I agree. A particular problem with climate science is activist scientists being reluctant to get outside help for the things they aren’t fully up to speed with – computer programming or statistics as examples – and their peers within climate science who are reviewing their papers are likewise.

  11. Gareth
    July 24, 2013 at 10:55 am
    FrankSW,

    I agree. A particular problem with climate science is activist scientists being reluctant to get outside help for the things they aren’t fully up to speed with – computer programming or statistics as examples – and their peers within climate science who are reviewing their papers are likewise.

    And if the do they select the help that will give them the answer the are looking for, which appears to be the case if Climategate is to be believed.

  12. Whether there is warming is only a question for climate scientists if they are scientists the way Kelvin was. If they are scientists the way practitioners of “the science of astrology” are then it isn’t. Since test of a science is that its predictions are correct warming alarmism clearly falls slightly short of astrology.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *