Miranda Devine tells her readers what GIGO means:
The outputs are totally dependent on the quality and accuracy of the inputs. At university we had a name for what often happens: GIGO – garbage in garbage out.
And then perfectly illustrates it:
Yet a paper published last week by the Lavoisier Group, Nine Lies about Global Warming, says the real censorship is applied by the scientific establishment to those scientists who express scepticism about the global warming “consensus”.
A retired climate expert and founder of the Antarctic Co-operative Research Centre, Garth Paltridge, says he was threatened by the CSIRO with funding cuts in the 1990s if he expressed his doubts about the extent of the effect of greenhouse emissions.
As for the supposed consensus among scientists about climate change, the Lavoisier report also cites a study (rebutting a more celebrated study) which found that of 1117 learned papers on a scientific database between 1993 and 2003, “only 13 (1 per cent) explicitly endorsed the consensus view”. Almost three times as many (34), “rejected or questioned the view that human activities are the main driving force of ‘the observed warming over the last 50 years’.”
The Lavoisier report, Nine Lies About Global Warming * is the garbage that went in and Devine’s piece is the garbage that came out. First, Paltridge’s story doesn’t add up. Second, the study she mentions is Benny Peiser’s. The nice thing about that study is that you can judge it for yourself. You don’t require any specialized knowledge and you don’t have to take Devine’s or the Lavoisier Group’s or Peiser’s word for it. Peiser sent me the abstracts of the 34 papers that he claims reject or question the consensus. You can read them here and make up your own mind. Or you can save time and read what Peter Norvig (Google’s director of research) says:
Another thing that jumps out at me is that some of these abstracts are difficult to classify, but for others it is completely unfathomable how Peiser could consider them as rejections of the consensus. For example, in #18, Analysis of some direct and indirect methods for estimating root biomass and production of forests at an ecosystem level, the conclusion is that “one root method cannot be stated to be the best and the method of choice will be determined from researcher’s personal preference, experiences, equipment, and/or finances”. That certainly seems to me to be a highly technical article on how to measure roots, with nothing at all to say about the consensus on greenhouse gases. Or consider #24, Regional climate change: Trend analysis of temperature and precipitation series at selected Canadian sites, which explicitly talks about regional climate change and purposely avoids any discussion of global climate change. Because of these obvious errors, I support Science in rejecting Peiser’s letter on the grounds that it is a poorly-executed experiment.
But as sceptics are silenced and consensus is feigned, increasingly confident pronouncements are made in the media and at climate change conferences about imminent catastrophe, without the necessary layer of scepticism or proof. For instance, a story from the Reuters news agency in December claimed that residents of the Pacific island of Tegua in Vanuatu were among the first, “if not the first”, climate change refugees, forced to flee sea level rises caused by global warming.
Yet the Lavoisier report points out that the South Pacific Sea Level and Climate Monitoring Project, funded by AusAID, has found no evidence to support increasingly hysterical claims that islands are being submerged because of rising sea levels caused by global warming. Tegua has had no overall sea level rise in the past 50 years, and there has been a decline in the number of tropical storms in the South Pacific.
The South Pacific Sea Level and Climate Monitoring Project hasn’t been monitoring sea levels at Tegua. Its monitoring station in Vanuatu is in Port Vila and has found:
The sea level trend to date is +6.1 mm/year (as compared to a global average of 1-2 mm/year) but the magnitude of the trend continues to vary widely from month month as the data set grows. Accounting for the geodetic survey results and inverted barometric pressure effect, the trend is +4.8 mm/year. A nearby gauge, with longer records but less precision and datum control, shows a trend of +6.21 mm/year.
The Lavoisier report relates the SPSLCMP finding like this:
The South Pacific Sea Level and Climate Monitoring Project, funded by AusAID and managed by the National Tidal Facility (NTF), has found no evidence of rising sea levels.
GIGO is an apt description of how Devine’s column was produced. A different mechanism is required to explain the Lavoisier report.
* It’s good that Lavoisier is admitting that they are lying about global warming, but their report contains more than nine lies.