Writing in the Australian, Christopher Pearson likens mainstream climate science to creationism
When Charles Darwin unveiled the theory of evolution, the world at once divided into rationalists and creationists. The theory that man-made greenhouse gas is causing potentially catastrophic climate change is another great divider. On one side are the sceptics, who want compelling evidence. On the other are the true believers.
Now there are some interesting parallels in the debates about evolution and global warming, but they don’t go the way Pearson insinuates. In both cases, the domination of the mainstream view in the scientific literature is so overwhelming that in the rare case that a creationist paper or a global warming skeptic paper is published, serious questions are raised about the peer review of that paper.
Next Pearson calls for the sacking of Ian Campbell, the Environment Minister, because:
after a few months in the portfolio, he said he had reviewed the evidence and accepted, as paraphrased in a report in this newspaper, “the greenhouse theory that emissions such as carbon dioxide from industry were the cause of global warming”.
Clearly a job requrement for the Environment Minister in Australia must be the ability to reject global warming no matter how compelling the evidence is.
But what, you might ask, is wrong with the evidence in the IPCC report? Pearson tells us:
One of the alternative explanations is that the main cause has been volcanic activity, much of it submarine and hard to detect.
Submarine volcanoes are causing global warming? This isn’t possible, since the total heat flow coming from the interior of the earth is much too small to cause significant warming. Where did Pearson get his “alternative explanation” from? The only source I could find was the same “Iceagenow” web site that David Bellamy got his false statistics about glaciers from. As George Monbiot put it:
Iceagenow was constructed by a man called Robert W Felix to promote his self-published book about “the coming ice age”. It claims that sea levels are falling, not rising; that the Asian tsunami was caused by the “ice age cycle”; and that “underwater volcanic activity – not human activity – is heating the seas”.
Is Felix a climatologist, a volcanologist or an oceanographer? Er, none of the above. His biography describes him as a “former architect”. His website is so bonkers that I thought at first it was a spoof. Sadly, he appears to believe what he says.
Felix doesn’t haven’t any actual data or measurements to support his theory that volcanoes are warming the ocean. He just lists news stories about undersea volcanoes and asserts that they must be contributing a tremendous amount of heat, but without any actual numbers. Apparently Pearson finds this more compelling than the IPCC reports with all their silly facts and numbers.
Pearson then goes on to quote William Kinimonth:
“It seems to me rather odd that so many scientists are embracing this one-dimensional, flat-earth theory without looking at how climate really works.”
Kininmonth was wrong — the IPCC report relies on three-dimensional, not one-dimensional climate models. Even Pearson could have discovered this if he had spent a few minutes on the Internet.
And this 2004 post from John Quiggin about another Pearson piece on DDT demonstrates that Pearson is a repeat offender:
Not only is almost everything in the article either false or grossly misleading, but it’s a fourth-hand recycling of points that have been flogged to death in the blogosphere.
Thanks to Jack Strocchi for the tip.