Matt Ridley, in The Globe and Mail, 31 Dec 1993.

Global warming, too, has shot its bolt, now that the scientific consensus has settled down on about a degree of temperature increase over a century-that is, little more than has taken place in the past century.

Actually, the scientific consensus at the time, as summarised by the IPCC was for an increase about three times that.  We can compare how the IPCC and Ridley’s projection fared over the next two decades:

FAR_Projection_1024_med

(Graph modified from Skeptical Science)

Given how wrong his prediction was so far, Ridley reconsidered his beliefs.  Ha ha, just kidding.  Ridley still believes exactly the same thing. And being spectacularly wrong doesn’t stop a pundit from being published. Here is Ridley in the Wall Street Journal and reprinted in The Australian.

Given what we know now, there is almost no way that the feared large temperature rise is going to happen. Mr. Lewis comments: “Taking the IPCC scenario that assumes a doubling of CO2, plus the equivalent of another 30% rise from other greenhouse gases by 2100, we are likely to experience a further rise of no more than 1°C.”

It’s clear that Ridley’s approach to this issue is profoundly unscientific.  He ignores twenty years of warming and all the other evidence that has accumulated during that period.  The only evidence that counts for Ridley is that which supports his belief that warming will be trivial.

His approach also leads him to misrepresent scientific research.  For example, he cites as supportive of his belief, a paper by Michael Schlesinger, who responds that Ridley

is just plain wrong about future warming. Our research shows that global warming will exceed 2C, defined as dangerous climate change, by the middle of this century.

Ridley also confuses water vapour with clouds and is unable or unwilling to make a correction.

Update: Ridley responds.

Comments

  1. #1 Monty
    January 13, 2013

    Hi Tim
    And have you seen the latest over at WUWT….a video ‘debate’between a rather clueless Al Gore-trained presenter and James Taylor who works for Heartland. Taylor’s presentation is slick, but completely full of misunderstandings, outright falsehoods, misdirection and wrong assertions. He’s slick though, and Mr Bellamy doesn’t stand a chance.

  2. #2 Arno Arrak
    Dix Hills, New York
    January 13, 2013

    That fanciful red line in your temperature graph is a complete phantasy and bears no relationship to reality. Satellite temperature measurements show that from 1979 to 1997 global mean temperature stayed the same and the only thing that happened were the ups and downs of El Ninos and La Binas, parts of the ENSO oscillation. That was followed by the 1998 super El Nino, the warmest peak recorded instrumentally. It brought so much warm water across the ocean that it created a global step warming. In four years temperature rose by a third of a degree Celsius and stopped. There has been no warming at all since then and there was none before it back to 1979. This leaves no time at all for greenhouse warming during the last 33 years because it is impossible for the greenhouse to create any step warming. You will find all this in my book “What Warming?” that includes all satellite data and explains everything.

  3. #3 Vince Whirlwind
    January 13, 2013

    Woo! Matt Ridley – wrong!? Stop the presses!

  4. #4 sense
    January 13, 2013

    “Matt Ridley, in The Globe and Mail, 31 Dec 1993.”

    Matt never wrote for the Globe and Mail, about anything.

  5. #5 Gavin
    January 14, 2013

    The full article since I can’t find it accessibly online:

    The Globe and Mail (Canada), December 31, 1993 Friday

    THE WORLD IN 1994 IDEAS ENVIRONMENT
    The Next Eco-Scare: Some environmental crises are genuine; others are carefully exploited fundraising bonanzas

    By MATT RIDLEY
    The Economist
    Like sharks, environmentalists must move forward or die. Without a constant supply of new incidents, new buzzwords and, above all, new threats, they cannot keep scaring people into sending the money that pays their salaries. For this reason alone, 1994 will produce a fresh crop of environmental scares. Not all will be bogus, but judging by the recent track record of the greens, many will.

    The environmental movement has become increasingly driven by the push of marketing, rather than the pull of public outrage. When that happens to organizations, priorities change. For example, scientists at one of the biggest wildlife charities were firmly against arguing for an ivory-trade ban in 1989; they thought it would be bad for elephants. But their
    marketing people saw rival organizations, which had endorsed a ban, reaping large rewards from direct-mail campaigns. It was not long before the charity was urging an end to the ivory trade.

    This takeover by marketing types is having an insidious effect. In the past, environmentalists were essentially reactive. It took an external event to trigger their campaigns: the Yom Kippur War led to the oil crisis, the hot American summer of 1988 made the greenhouse effect newsworthy. But that is not the way things work in the public relations world. Does Madonna just record a song and wait to see how popular it gets? Does Steven Spielberg make a film about dinosaurs and hope it sells? No, they hype their products, whether they are good or bad. And so, soon, will environmentalists.

    If you were to design the next environmental threat, what you would come up with would be a scare that is invisible (like radiation), global (like the greenhouse effect), irreversible (like rain forest destruction), cancer-causing (like dioxin) and singles out furry animals (like a Canadian seal-clubber). To sharpen your marketing skills, invent the next threat out of these building blocks.

    All over the world, as you read this, groups of environmental fundraisers are trying to think up next year’s top-selling Cassandra album. They remember the great hits of the 1980s: acid rain, Chernobyl, global warming, the ozone layer, Exxon Valdez, the ivory ban. Each was a fundraising bonanza. The 1990s have been less kind to them. When the Braer oil tanker went aground on Shetland in January, 1993, it was a bonanza for the newspapers: Environmental groups rushed to place advertisements featuring photographs of oil-soaked birds-photographs that had been kept on file for exactly this eventuality ever since the Persian Gulf War. The
    Braer was, however, more of a disaster for the environmental movement than for the shags of Shetland (let alone the Socotra cormorants of the Arabian Gulf whose pictures adorned the advertisements). The oil quickly dispersed in heavy gales and did minimal damage.

    As a consequence, oil spills have lost some of their power to extract funds from people’s pockets. Global warming, too, has shot its bolt, now that the scientific consensus has settled down on about a degree of temperature increase over a century-that is, little more than has taken place in the past century.

    Biodiversity has some mileage left in it, because the rain forests are shrinking as fast as ever and nobody has come up with any good ideas of what to do about it, except form committees at the United Nations. Various follow-ups to the Rio convention of 1992 will take place in 1994, providing some opportunities for tugging heartstrings about the plight of Indians, three-toed sloths and esoteric fungi. But even Sting, a pop star, has wearied a little of the cynicism of the Indians he bought land for (they sold it to loggers).

    Radioactivity? Not unless there’s another Chernobyl. The ozone layer? The public is bored. Electric fields causing cancer? Worth a try, but the studies keep coming up blank (try cellular phones instead). What about reviving the fads of the 1970s for predicting shortages of oil, food, water and raw materials? It will not wash; the elementary lessons of supply, demand and price substitution were too well taught by the 1980s.

    One human ailment that is getting steadily worse is allergy. The evidence that allergies are diseases of the modern, technological world is now impressive (farmers and Victorian heroines rarely get allergies; only modern townspeople), and the deduction that they are somehow caused by air pollution is natural. If a scientist in 1994 can prove a link between, say, air pollution and allergies, then he or she can be sure of igniting a good campaign drawing attention to the “collapse of the human immune system.”

    The other threat to raise will be genetic engineering. Suppose a genetically engineered virus designed to attack rabbits or aphids were to escape from a laboratory and start killing dolphins or cats; the leaflet writes itself long before the virus actually escapes. “This laboratory is creating cancer-causing viruses that could condemn one of nature’s most intelligent creatures to a lingering extinction, upset the fragile ecological balance of the biosphere and mutate into a deadly human plague. Don’t let it happen. Xed Jabong, lead guitarist of The Radical Sheep, urges you to help us act now.” You have been warned.

    Matt Ridley is former science editor and U.S. editor of The Economist, and is the author of The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature.

  6. #6 Matt Ridley
    January 14, 2013

    I was puzzled about this since I never wrote for the Globe and Mail in the 1990s, but now I understand that they must have bought the article from The Economist’s book “The Year in 1993″.

    Strange that you did not contact me before publishing this, for a comment. That’s what a proper journalist would have done.

    I was right that genetic engineering was the next big scare, by the way, though it took a few more years to ramp up.

    So you are objecting to one line in a long article about something else? That was the best “wrong” prediction you could find? And I am still saying the same as I was 20 years ago? Is that a crime? In the intervening years I became a lot less sceptical about global warming by the way, persuaded by the Vostok ice core and the hockey stick graph. Reversing the order of events in the Vostok ice core (temperature changes before CO2) and finding out from climateaudit.org how badly wrong the hockey stick graph was and how reluctant its authors were to admit their mistakes played a big part in making me re-examine sceptically all the rest of the evidence for rapid global warming. I remain somebody who is wholly convinced that man-made warming by CO2 is real and full, but that the positive feedbacks necessary to make it dangerous (or more dangerous than using renewable energy to make poverty and rain forest destruction worse) are empirically unconvincing.

    According to the satellites there’s been about 0.2C of warming since the early 1990s, so we are still on track for that “about one degree” to be right, I’d say. If mine was a failed prediction, how about all the failed model predictions in the IPCC reports? See here https://twitter.com/BigJoeBastardi/status/290587137341001728/photo/1

    When will you write about those failed precictions?

    Now, how about actually discussing the substance of my WSJ article on the possibility of low climate sensitivity? Note the weasel word of Schlesinger’s: “future”. So Lewis was right that Schlesinger’s current calculations of climate sensitivity have a low mode.

    As for your graph, what an extraordinary example of cherry picking start dates!! I’ve seen some cherry-picking at sceptic sites too, but nothing this bad.

    Best wishes.

    Matt Ridley

    PS — as you work your way through the archive of my writings, do let me know of what you find. I’m bound to have got some things wrong: I’m human after all.

  7. #7 Vince Whirlwind
    January 14, 2013

    Ridley relies on crank blogs like ClimateAudit and Jo Bastardi. And admits it.
    Ever thought of getting science from scientists? That’s what a proper journalist would do.

  8. #8 Lotharsson
    January 14, 2013

    Matt, you’ve made the usual swathe of false and unsubstantiated claims in that comment. None of them stand up to scientific scrutiny. I find it surprising that you don’t seem to have contacted the large number of scientists who disagree to check that your understanding is correct. That’s what a proper journalist would have done.

    In the mean time, let’s just look at one thing you found persuasive:

    Reversing the order of events in the Vostok ice core (temperature changes before CO2)…

    Matt, if we strike a match the resulting combustion from the match generates heat. I take it you’d agree?

    So we have combustion precedes heat.

    If I heat a match, what happens? (You can try this at home if you’re careful.) Would you actually publish a claim that heating a match CANNOT lead to combustion and still more heat BECAUSE you already know that combustion leads to heat?

    Striking the match is the Vostok ice core. It demonstrates that rising temperatures cause rising CO2 as a feedback.

    Heating the match is pumping anthropogenic greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. It demonstrates that driving CO2 into the atmosphere causes more warming – which then causes still more CO2 and still more warming, just like the Vostok ice core demonstrates.

    And yes, that is precisely one of those positive feedbacks you’re a bit … “skeptical” about. You’re also sitting on a planet that’s 30+ degrees C warmer than it would be without the greenhouse gas effect – which, when coupled with pretty simple calculations about how much of that is due to non-feedback greenhouse gas forcing is about as pervasive a demonstration as one could imagine that the positive feedbacks in the system are quite large.

  9. #9 Wow
    January 14, 2013

    “There has been no warming at all since then and there was none before it back to 1979.”

    Gosh.

    That takes a HELL of a lot of blindness.

  10. #10 Wow
    January 14, 2013

    Moreover, since most of the warming in the interglacial is AFTER CO2 is expelled from the oceans, it proves that CO2 causes warming.

    All the vostock cores show is that there needs to be a mechanism for increasing CO2 first.

    Burning fossil fuels would do it.

    You DO know what combusting a hydrocarbon in an oxygen-rich atmosphere will do, don’t you?

  11. #11 bill
    January 14, 2013

    finding out from climateaudit.org how badly wrong the hockey stick graph was and how reluctant its authors were to admit their mistakes played a big part in making me re-examine sceptically all the rest of the evidence for rapid global warming

    Oh dear.

    Matt Ridley, are you aware if anyone else has managed to replicate any ‘hockeystick’ graphs since that time? If your sources of information are McIntyre and Bastardi then it’s understandable that you may not be.

  12. #12 Wow
    January 14, 2013

    Heck, if Matt is so fired up about poor statistical analysis, he should have been more selective over who he listened to:

    http://www.pnas.org/content/106/6/E11.full

  13. #13 lord_sidcup
    January 14, 2013

    Note the weasel word of Schlesinger’s: “future”.

    Huh? I fail to see what is weasely about the remainder of quote:

    Our research shows that global warming will exceed 2C, defined as dangerous climate change, by the middle of this century.

    Ridley is being, typically, highly selective.

  14. #14 guthrie
    January 14, 2013

    I note that Ridely demonstrates the problems associated with journalism these days (see also the Leveson report) and expects that you’d contact him first rather than eviscerate his bletherings.

    I note too that there has been both a temperature increase since the 1990′s, and, more importantly, increasing oceanic acidity and increased oceanic heat content, the latter proving just how much extra heat is being retained.

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/comment-on-ocean-heat-content-world-ocean-heat-content-and-thermosteric-sea-level-change-0-2000-1955-2010-by-levitus-et-al-2012/

    I note too that asserting that the satellites show only 0.2 degrees warming since the early 1990′s is cherry picking of the worst kind, rather like an investment banker agruing for his bonus. The important point is the trend; and the satellite results are obviously not going to agree with the ground results, but the ground results are the ones the IPCC et al are talking about in their graphs.

  15. #15 lord_sidcup
    January 14, 2013

    Now, how about actually discussing the substance of my WSJ article on the possibility of low climate sensitivity?

    I am SO looking forward to Gavin Schmidt’s promised third post on climate sensitivity.

  16. #16 Wow
    January 14, 2013

    “discussing the substance of my WSJ article on the possibility of low climate sensitivity?”

    Since there was no substance to the possibility given in the article, what would there be to discuss?

    If I posted an article about how Jimmy Saville has been joe jobbed because he obviously wouldn’t be that mean to kids, would I expect people to argue about “substance” in that claim? Or would I get what it would deserve: ridiculed for being completely empty of suitable facts proving the conclusion?

    But Matt doesn’t want to have to find facts. “It’s possible, innit?” is all he wants and he wants others to do the homework that precludes the possibility.

    Hell, it’s more possible the climate sensitvity is over 4C per doubling than under 2C.

  17. #17 Vince Whirlwind
    January 14, 2013

    Maybe nobody wants to discuss the “substance” of your article for the same reason your article failed to balance your many paragraphs extolling “retired financier” Mr Lewis’s fringe opinion with a similar number of paragraphs for each and every one of the professional scientists whose studies disagree with him?

    What has Mr Lewis got that it trumps the many dozens of far more reputable scientists who say the opposite?

    Would it be that his amateur opinions appeal to your preconceived notions? notions that apparently remain unevolved despite the passage of 21 years since you first evinced your now debunked disbelief in global warming?

  18. #18 Nick Barnes
    January 14, 2013

    The green line on your graph doesn’t appear to have a gradient of 1C/century. Does it?

  19. #19 Doug McNeall
    January 14, 2013

    I might be missing something here, but shouldn’t the green line and the blue line start from (approximately) the same place at the time of prediction? I’m assuming that the IPCC line starts from some sort of climate average – then the Ridley predcition should do that too.

    Otherwise, this is just the same wheeze of choosing a convenient starting point to make your opponent’s prediction look bad, as we have seen elsewhere.

  20. #20 Tim Lambert
    January 14, 2013

    Nick, It’s 1/3 of the slope of the FAR curve, which curves up to 3 degrees of warming by 2100.

  21. #21 Tim Lambert
    January 14, 2013

    Matt, you write:

    Note the weasel word of Schlesinger’s: “future”. So Lewis was right that Schlesinger’s current calculations of climate sensitivity have a low mode.

    But climate sensitivity is about how much warming to expect in the future. Schlesinger says that even the low climate sensitivity he gets results in more than two degrees by the middle of this century. His research does not support your clam that there would only be one degree of warming this century.

  22. #22 Jeff Harvey
    January 14, 2013

    Matt Ridley writes, “As for your graph, what an extraordinary example of cherry picking start dates!! I’ve seen some cherry-picking at sceptic sites too, but nothing this bad”

    Matt, since when are you of all people qualified to write about ‘cherry picking”? You wrote a glowing view of Bjorn Lomborg’s abominable book (TSE) which is a cherry pickers bible. I’ve reviewed it several times and I have never in my scientific career read such a fantasy tale of wishful thinking and cherry picking.

  23. #23 Vince Whirlwind
    January 14, 2013

    Doug, not sure I agree with you – Ridley chose his starting point. How would you adjust that, and why?

  24. #24 Ron Broberg
    January 14, 2013

    Ridley: According to the satellites there’s been about 0.2C of warming since the early 1990s

    Half true.

    Per UAH there has been about .35C lower tropospheric warming since 1993 (ols trend) and per RSS there has been about .21C lt warming since 1993 (ols trend).

    Since the beginning of the sat record, 1979,

  25. #25 Ron Broberg
    January 14, 2013

    … oops, premature post, continuing … since 1979, the lower troposphere trends are lower than that, but Tim addresses this in his follow-on post.

  26. #26 guthrie
    January 15, 2013

    Not having a copy of the FAR on my computer, I can’t check, but surely it’s temperature projections etc are based on ground temperatures, not lowe troposphere satellite ones, so using satellite temps to claim the temp has risen a certain amount when the original temp measurements etc are of ground level, is a bit disingenous.

    So if we look at Giss and take the 5 year running mean, then from around 1993 we’re looking at a 0.3 degree rise, which as far as I can see doesn’t even include the effect of 2010,11 and 12 in it or allow for the individual starting year of 1993 being a lot lower than the 5 year average.
    Using just the 1993 to 2009-ish gives you more like 0.4 degrees C of warming.

  27. #27 Wow
    January 15, 2013

    Since the stratosphere will cool as part of the fingerprint of AGW the satellite data will see a lower trend in any case.

    And you’re right: the IPCC temperature reports are surface temps, not upper air.

  28. #28 Doug McNeall
    January 15, 2013

    Vince, Tim –

    It isn’t clear to me how the green line was drawn on. Is it a projection of ‘around 1 degree per century, from 1993′? Then to be compared correctly with the IPCC prediction, it should start from the climatological mean (perhaps 10 years at least) around 1993, not from the individual year (which just happened to be cool in this data set).

    At the moment, you are just exaggerating the difference between the projections, by using a different start point.
    That is just the mistake used in the diagram in this silly editorial in the WSJ:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203646004577213244084429540.html

    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t agree with Ridley’s assessment of climate sensitivity, but we need to be fair (and seen to be fair) when debunking bad science.

    I’d be happy to be corrected, but I haven’t received a satisfactory answer yet.

  29. #29 Lotharsson
    January 15, 2013

    Doug, seems like a fair point to me. I’m wondering if there should also be a small increase in gradient at 1999, or a couple of years later if it’s defined as occurring “N years after start of projection”.

  30. #30 Wow
    January 15, 2013

    Doug, the prediction was that the temps would go up at 1deg from 1993.

    So the green line does.

    The IPCC use the climate mean.

    Matt doesn’t.

    The IPCC say “We have no statistically significant warming in 15 years”.

    Matt says “It’s cooling because we have a temperature lower than 1998″.

    The IPCC statement is about mean temperatures. Matts is about spot temperatures.

    IPCC get labasted for saying stuff that people think is made up (Two data sets from NASA).

    Matt gets lauded for “telling the truth”.

    Hardly fair, is it.

  31. #31 Tim Lambert
    January 15, 2013

    Doug, the IPCC projections specify the baseline, Ridley did not, So we have to figure out whether he meant relative to 1993 temps or to 1993 adjusted to remove the effect of Pinatubo. Since Ridley described removing the effect of Pinatubo as a sleight of hand I figured he must have meant relative to 1993 temps. Ridley’s prediction is still too low under the alternative interpretation.

  32. #32 Doug McNeall
    January 15, 2013

    Hi Tim, thanks for your response. I’m not sure I’m convinced about the graph here, but I see you’ve addressed some of my concerns in the next post. Also: blimey you’re up late.

    In the same vein, you could ignore the baseline issue, and look at the evaluation of the IPCC prediction at the end point. You’d be going “wow, that’s brilliant, almost perfect”, followed in 6 months by “It’s rubbish, miles off”.

    I think to be fair, you’d either have to smooth enough to remove the effects of interannual variability (including volcanoes!) completely, or expand both predictions to include the uncertainty due to interannual variability. Either one is likely to reduce the difference between the Ridley prediction and the IPCC one considerably.

    I only bring this up because I get fed up of people shouting about how global warming has stopped, based on short timeseries.

  33. #33 GSW
    January 15, 2013

    @Tim,

    Agree with Doug, if you have a point to make, you should make it as reasonable as possible (It makes it look as though you are working to an agenda otherwise). Blue and Green line forecasts should have the same start point; starting one at the “trough” and the other near the “peak” does not make for a meaningful comparison. To the extent that Ridley was making a forecast, it’s unlikely he was taking into account a short tem (~2yrs?) “dip” in global temps due to volcanic activity , more the long term “neutral” century scale, trend.

    Also Nick Barnes comment, eyeballing the graph, you’ve plotted a trend of ~0.5C/Centiury rather than 1C/century that Ridley actually referred to (you’ve done this for effect I would imagine)

    Tim, be interested in seeing the graph re-plotted on a more like for like (fair) basis, also extending it thru to 2012 rather than the anomalously warm 2010 El Nino year.

    If you’re that confident of “the science”, why would you not?
    ;)

  34. #34 chek
    January 15, 2013

    “If you’re that confident of “the science”, why would you not?”

    Because it starts in 1993 when Ridley made his “prediction”, and a tenth of a degree here or there doesn’t undermine how incorrect he was.
    Moron.

  35. #35 Vince Whirlwind
    January 15, 2013

    If Ridley had been concerned that what he wrote may have been misinterpreted, then he could have provided more and better information than the glib “do-nothing” throwaway line he did.

    As it is, he obviously disagrees with the way experts present this kind of data, so it would be a greater misinterpretation to consider his prediction in the light of methods he lambasts.

    Ridley chose the start. He didn’t say anything about any decadal average or any other baseline, he specifically chose 1993, and that’s where the green line starts.

    Whether the gradient is correct is another story.
    “1 degree by 2100″ cannot possibly be interpreted as “0.1 degree per decade”, unless you are a complete ignoramus.

  36. #36 Wow
    January 15, 2013

    “if you have a point to make, you should make it as reasonable as possible”

    Funny.

    You never demand that of any of the deniers.

    Anyone would think you were partisan :O

  37. #37 Humpty Dumpty
    USA
    January 16, 2013

    Just thought you’d like to know that Ridley has shredded
    your brainless argument, complete with graphs showing
    the preposterous prediction errors of IPCC’s past
    looks into a non-existent future. Sorry about the recent one and a half decades of no global warming. Get real folks, no
    one believes AGW these days, with the apparent exception
    of remote areas like Australia.

  38. #38 Vince Whirlwind
    January 16, 2013

    GSW makes me laugh:

    Tim, be interested in seeing the graph re-plotted on a more like for like (fair) basis, also extending it thru to 2012 rather than the anomalously warm 2010 El Nino year.

    Translation: “There’s been no warming since 2010″.

    They’ll never give up, will they….

  39. #39 Jon Jermey
    Blaxland
    January 16, 2013

    Ridley has responded to this at WattsUpWithThat, including the charts that he was unable to include in his response here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/15/matt-ridley-responds-to-tim-lamberts-war-deltoid/

  40. #40 chameleon
    January 16, 2013

    I agree with Doug,
    He was very polite about it.
    By your own definition at the SLR thread Tim, you have been ‘unscrupulous’ here and have deliberately ‘visually’ presented the data to accentuate your own argument.
    Doug is correct that you need to have a common start point between IPCC projections and your ‘interpretation’ of Matt Ridley’s 1993 comment otherwise you have behaved the same as those you criticised as ‘unscrupulous’ at your SLR thread.
    You have created an artificial break in the data.
    It is no better than the people who you keep complaining about.
    Have also noticed that Matt Ridley has put up his own post here re this post:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/15/matt-ridley-responds-to-tim-lamberts-war-deltoid/#more-77576
    Be careful deltoids, this was NOT written by Watts, it was written by RIDLEY as a direct result of this post.
    And if you disagree with RIDLEY (which is of course your right) please take it up with him and forget spraying vitriol all over this comment.
    I’m not defending Ridley, I am agreeing with Doug re the visual presentation above.

  41. #41 Lotharsson
    January 16, 2013

    … you’ve plotted a trend of ~0.5C/Centiury rather than 1C/century that Ridley actually referred to…

    I see you commented before reading the rest…oh, wait, you read the bits that you thought supported you, and NOT the highlighted comment that explained the basis for the slope of the green curve.

    Well, at least we can assume in future that your other comments are also uninformed…

  42. #42 Vince Whirlwind
    January 16, 2013

    Chameleon, you realise that Watts has no expertise in any kind of science, is a rank amateur who conducts no scientific research, and runs a crank blog with which he has assisted in the proliferation of many lies and much misinformation as he is in the pay of the Heartlan Institute, whose purpose is to provide misinformation and confusion on the topic of climate change.

    WHy on earth would somebody with such a meagre understanding of science go to such a place for information when you couold go to excellent, accurate and informative sites such as
    BoM
    CSIRO
    NOAA

  43. #43 Lotharsson
    January 16, 2013

    So Ridley chickened out of defending himself here and ran to the nice safe environment at WUWT where moderators act as sock puppets and many people who try to point out the flaws in the articles get summarily banned?

    Thanks for pointing that out, chameleon. Says a lot about Ridley’s case. It would appear that even he doesn’t think he can defend it in an uncontrolled environment where quite a few people know what they are talking about.

  44. #44 Latimer Alder
    UK
    January 16, 2013

    I’d draw your attention to this remark by Ridley (from his WUWT article)

    ‘There ensued a silly little twitter war of words in which Lambert refused me room to reply in a blog post with diagrams – the comments space of his website does not fit diagrams — while a chorus of tweeters heaped abuse on my head.’

    It seems that those who accuse him of ‘chickening out of the debate’ (eg Lotharsson) have it arsebackwards if this is true. Did Lambert really refuse him space here to make his case?

    And we’ll see exactly how ‘uncontrolled’ this environment really is by whether this post from a sceptical viewpoint ever appears

    (Also posted at WUWT)

  45. #45 Glen Michel
    Armidale
    January 16, 2013

    Still no proof of attribution-though logic dictates that man has some effect but in the absence of proven positive feed backs it will not amount to anything regarded as catastrophic. A debate on the issue would be pointless as there is no-one on the warmest side that could handle the pace; let alone convincing science.

  46. #46 Dodgy Geezer
    UK
    January 16, 2013

    Perhaps someone could help me understand this graph?

    As far as I can see, the complaint is that Ridley predicted 1deg warming per century, while the IPCC predicted 3deg. Over 20 years (which is what the graph shows) that would equate to Ridley predicting 0.2deg, while the IPCC predict 0.6deg.

    You show a graph of 1990-2010, with Ridley’s prediction marked as (as far as I can tell) about 0.1deg. But didn’t he predict about 0.2deg?

    The graph also shows the IPCC prediction as 0.3deg. But didn’t they predict 0.6deg?

    Finally, the graph shows the real observed temperature as rising about 0.25deg. As far as I can see, this is much closer to Ridley’s 0.2deg than the IPCC 0.6deg.

    Can someone please tell me if this analysis is wrong, and, if so, why?

  47. #47 Lotharsson
    January 16, 2013

    Over 20 years (which is what the graph shows) that would equate to Ridley predicting 0.2deg, while the IPCC predict 0.6deg.

    The IPCC did not predict the same rate of warming throughout the 100 year period. It starts off slower and gets faster later.

    Finally, the graph shows the real observed temperature as rising about 0.25deg.

    The blue moving average shows about 0.35 C warming, not 0.25.

  48. #48 chameleon
    January 16, 2013

    Vince,
    you realise that RIDLEY wrote the post not Watts?
    You also realise that I said I wasn’t defending Ridley I was agreeing with Doug?
    And Lotharsson?
    Did you read Ridley’s post?
    There is no reasom why you can’t engage with him there as far as I could tell.

  49. #49 Lotharsson
    January 16, 2013

    Chameleon, there’s no reason why Ridley can’t engage here.

    He had a half-hearted attempt here and then chickened out.

  50. #50 Karen
    January 16, 2013

    Congratulations Mr Lambert :)

    Your really hitting the big time now, a post about your sillyness on WUWT, lol

    How about that, great stuff……………

    Reading the comments over there was interesting also, one of the posts mentioned that sooner or later you will wake up to the big scam, also two of your ex-students said that you were a great lecturer but you were prone to prematurely accepting couple of conspiracy theories, CC being one them, they were the only nice posts about you though.

    Once again, a great post and I’m sure that it hasn’t altered my or the views on CC not one iddy biddy little smidgeon :)

  51. #51 guthrie
    January 16, 2013

    Dodgy Geezer – the first problem is simply that Ripley, not being a scientist or expert on the matter, is not making a well founded statement.
    Secondly, the above text clearly states he expected a degree over the next century. Which splits down into 0.1C a decade. But because he’s not an expert and is operating from an erroneous model of reality, as well as presumably not being too sure about it, he’s not specified a rate of warming.
    Whereas the climate scientists have specified rates, you can find them online and in the various reports.

    It’s a bit like me saying “The sun will be setting some time later this afternoon” which is technically correct but not very accurate or precise. (I’m typing this at 12:25pm UK time)

    Lotharson is quite correct, the warming rate in the IPCC is greater later in the century. This information can easily be found online and I urge you to look it up so you can better understand what is being discussed.

  52. #52 bill
    January 16, 2013

    But then again, no amount of mere evidence could alter your views about anything, Karolaus. Smiley.

    (Have you noticed how these discount-store sociopaths always think it’s their natural right to indulge in infantile derision of the blog’s host? The boorish oaf’s conception of ‘freem’)

    And singled out for condemnation by Watts – now, there’s a badge of honour! Well done, Tim.

  53. #53 Wow
    January 16, 2013

    “Your really hitting the big time now, a post about your sillyness on WUWT, lol”

    Given cham’s previous tone trolling

    My first impression still stands.
    Instead of discussing content and the sensible and practical application of real world consequences of damage to coastal infrastructure, most of you here are only interested in arguing for arguments sake over word usage and which scientists know everything and which ones don’t (in your opinions.)

    I take it that she will be decrying Tony for running to insults instead of facts, right?

    Right?

  54. #54 Bernard J.
    January 16, 2013

    Once again, a great post and I’m sure that it hasn’t altered my or the views on CC not one iddy biddy little smidgeon

    No-one ever imagined that anything would.

    What the Flying Spaghetti Monster hasn’t put there no man cant improve on, no matter how much science and pegagogical finesse is applied to the task. Silk purses and sow’s ears, and all that sort of thing.

  55. #55 Bernard J.
    January 16, 2013

    …no man can improve on…

  56. #56 Chris O'Neill
    January 16, 2013

    So Ridley chickened out of defending himself here

    Hardly surprising that Ridley would retreat to cowards’ castle considering what he wrote in his WSJ article which shows that he’s a hard-core denialist who believes a set of self-contradicting claims. e.g. he claims that “the latest observational estimates of the effect of aerosols find that they have much less cooling effect than thought” and “the rate at which the ocean is absorbing greenhouse-gas-induced warming is also now known to be fairly modest” which means virtually all of the GHG forcing must be apparent in the existing warming.

    Trouble is, if all the GHG forcing (without H2O feedback forcing) appeared in atmospheric warming then we would currently have 1 deg C of warming (0.6 C from CO2 and 0.4 C from other GHGs ex H2O). And as I mentioned that completely ignores anything from H2O feedback forcing.

    So his claims are just inconsistent with reality.

    Ridley is plainly a hard-core denialist. He’ll say anything he thinks he can get away with. Don’t expect to get any sense out of him.

  57. #57 MattE
    USA
    January 16, 2013

    Where in the world did the chart at the top of this graph come from? “Skeptical Science?” They say it’s based on the IPCC FAR. However, this graph is in disagreement with what others say the IPCC predicted. For example here:
    http://cstpr.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/climate_change/001319verification_of_ipcc.html

    This only goes to 2006-7 with temps, but shows the FAR far overpredicting temps.

  58. #58 Ian Forrester
    January 16, 2013

    Guthrie said:

    the first problem is simply that Ripley, not being a scientist or expert on the matter

    It is easy to confuse “Ridley” with “Ripley” since “Believe it or not” applies equally to both of them. They both deal in confusing the average person so that what they say or produce has just a touch of legitimacy when in fact it is junk. In Ridley’s case his junk science applies to climate change, banking and GMOs.

    It is doubtful whether he can be called a scientist since he has never been an active participant in actually doing science. He does have a PhD in zoology. His thesis is entitled “The Mating System of the Pheasant”. Not sure how relevant that is to discussing radiation physics.

    He also claimed:

    I didn’t much enjoy physics, and I’m not very good at mathematics.

    This could be one of the few honest statements he has ever made.

    See here for details:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1200669/

  59. #59 Vince Whirlwind
    January 16, 2013

    I think that’s a non-argument, Ian – I wasn’t aware there had ever been any accusation of being a scientist levelled at Ridley.

  60. #60 Latimer Alder
    January 16, 2013

    Some of you may have heard fo a guy called George Monbiot – a cheerleader for the CAGW theory often writing in The Guardian..

    He too has a degree in zoology from Oxford. But whereas Monbiot stopped his education at first degree level, Ridley continued to gain a DPhil. (doctorate).

    No doubt you are all equally keen to denounce Monbiot as not a scientist as well?

  61. #61 Vince Whirlwind
    January 16, 2013

    Yes, the entire theory of global warming rests on our belief that George Monbiot is a scientist because he contradicts what all the other scientists have to say.

    No?

    Thanks for playing, Latimer.

  62. #62 chek
    January 16, 2013

    “No doubt you are all equally keen to denounce Monbiot as not a scientist as well?”

    No need to – Monbiot defers to scientists actually working in the field and reports with references, whereas Ridley doesn’t and is yet another D-K denier talking out of his depth and his arse..

  63. #63 Latimer Alder
    January 16, 2013

    Thanks for the replies.

    I take it that you are not keen to denounce Monbiot as ‘not a scientist’ then.

    And though I have been reading his stuff for some years I hadn’t associated a detailed reference list at the end of his polemics as being a staple of his work

    Perhaps you see a different edition of the Guardian than I do? I know they plan to bring one out in Australia, where I imagine GM’s support for nuclear power will prove somewhat controversial among the ‘green’ fraternity.

    But at least he’ll perhaps give references in support of his views ;-)

  64. #64 bill
    January 16, 2013

    First: DYObloodyR.

    Second – Duh!

  65. #65 bill
    January 16, 2013

    Now, will Ridley run away to Anthony’s to tell on Dana at SkS?

  66. #66 chek
    January 16, 2013

    “Perhaps you see a different edition of the Guardian than I do?”

    No, I read the common or garden UK online version, in the UK..

    “And though I have been reading carelessly skimming his stuff for some years ..”

    Corrected that as it more satisfactorily explains your somehow missing the footnote to every article “A fully referenced version of this article can be found at monbiot.com”

    But then deniers always prefer their own myths to the real world.

  67. #67 frankis
    January 16, 2013

    Hello Latimer. I think you’ll find that Monbiot references his pieces quite comprehensively but on his website http://www.monbiot.com , not at the end of his Guardian pages. That’s presumably a Guardian choice not Monbiot’s. Cheers.

  68. #68 Vince Whirlwind
    January 16, 2013

    Latimer, which views of Monbiot’s are novel or controversial enough for him to need to demonstrate his authority on the subject?
    As far as I’ve ever seen, apart from his mistake at believing the garbage on McIntyre’s crank site once, for which he later apologised, all he has ever done is report the facts, as brought to us by the relevant authorities.

    Ridley on the other hand, makes assertions that are completely at odds with the facts and is unable to demonstrate any authority in the subject matter.
    His spectacular failure at running a bank was a demonstration of his analytical handicap.

  69. #69 guthrie
    January 16, 2013

    Ahh, Latimer – he references his works on his website, which contains probably all that he has written the last decade or more. With references.
    At least, with the references, you can find out where he gets his information or ideas from. With Ridley, whom I aught to apologise to for mispelling his name, you can’t tell where he gets his ideas from because all he does is grandstand in places where you can’t ask him questions.

  70. #70 bill
    January 16, 2013

    frankis – IIRC it is the Guardian’s decision; I recall Monbiot complaining about it in the past.

    But, as chek has pointed out, there’s a reference to the (comprehensive) references at the bottom of each piece, and if you google ‘monbiot’ the first hit – astonishingly! – is Monbiot.com. Who’d'a’thunkit?

    It’s difficult not to form the impression that Deniers are people who never make even the most rudimentary effort to search for disconfirming evidence…

  71. #71 Vince Whirlwind
    January 17, 2013

    Bill, you couldn’t be informed AND a denier – it just wouldn’t work.

    Plus, there must be a law somewhere saying that all screeds pushing denialism must be peppered with easily-checkable non-facts, because it seems to be the invariable rule with everything these people scribble.

  72. #72 Latimer Alder
    January 17, 2013

    OK – now I get it.

    You qualify for being a ‘scientist’ by publishing something in newspaper, but putting the references somewhere else.

    BTW I just checked my copy of Ridley’s book ‘The Origins of Virtue’. On this basis It must be very very scientific because it list 254 references in the ‘Sources and Notes’ bit at the back.

    And Montford’s excellent work ‘The Hockey Stick Illusion’ must be even more scientific still with 270!

    Sadly my own successful Masters thesis in Atmospheric Chemistry only listed 23. But the examiners seemed to think that it was scientific enough to give me the title anyway.

  73. #73 chameleon
    January 17, 2013

    Oh deary me Lotharsson,
    You refuse to learn!
    Which part of ‘it is a pointless exercise to argue academic semantics’ did you not get?
    By using your own style of argument I can now say that you are in fact equally too chicken to go there.
    You forget that little epigram about pots and kettles.
    So now we have a conundrum don’t we?
    Lotharsson and Ridley are both chickens!
    cluck cluck cluck!!!!!
    And of course none of that has ANY RELEVANCE WHATSOEVER to the actual disagreement that has developed here.
    I also noticed your feeble attempt to warn Tim that his graph above COMMITS EXACTLY THE SAME ERROR that he complains about in other visual graphical presentations.
    Do you think the above graph would make it through peer review and get published in a respected science journal Lotharsson?
    Will we now proceed into a semantic argument about degrees of chickenness and the statistical significance of chickenness and what that implies via several ‘nuances’ and a little dose of ‘ritual intellectual humiliation’ about either my psychological deficiencies or Ridley’s in the world according to Lotharsson?

  74. #74 bill
    January 17, 2013

    Alder, you implied that there weren’t references. There are. Lots of them. And they’re bloody easy to find.

    The rest of your straw man is just asinine. Monbiot doesn’t pretend not to be a journalist rather than a scientist, but he’s conveying the messages of the actually qualified scientific community.

    And it’s their papers and presentations he’s referencing.

    As Vince said:

    Yes, the entire theory of global warming rests on our belief that George Monbiot is a scientist because he contradicts what all the other scientists have to say.

    No?

    Thanks for playing, Latimer.

    I.E: You lost. You’re just too dense to realise it.

  75. #75 chameleon
    January 17, 2013

    Bill,
    That is semantic rubbish!
    I know you like to ARGUE whether it is relevant or not.
    I can see that you are a legend in your own lunch box.
    What do you think Latimer lost?
    An argument about referencing?
    SOOOOOOOO?
    It is totally irrelevant to the point of disagreement here.
    Or maybe:’ YOU’RE JUST TOO DENSE TO REALISE IT?’
    I will ask you the same POINTED and RELEVANT question I asked Lotharsson.
    Do you think the graph at this post would pass peer review and be published in a respected journal?
    and further:
    Why haven’t you pointed out that Tim has created an artificial break in the datum points on this graph?
    Isn’t that ‘unscrupulous’ according to his own defintion at the earlier SLR thread?

  76. #76 Lotharsson
    January 17, 2013

    You refuse to learn!

    Ah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah hah!

    Comedy gold, I tell you!

  77. #77 Lotharsson
    January 17, 2013

    I can now say that you are in fact equally too chicken to go there.

    You could, but you’d be indulging in another misinterpretation. And ignoring (once more) what you’ve already been told about the futility of bringing actual science to WUWT in contradiction of anything that is approvingly posted.

    You’d also be indulging in a fallacy as I’m not defending myself from something written about me at WUWT.

    And I predict you will indulge in another round of dubbing these important distinctions “meaningless semantics” or some such.

    Do you think the above graph would make it through peer review and get published in a respected science journal Lotharsson?

    Quite likely, if it was intended to represent what Ridley was claiming and present an analysis of that claim. (You do realise that scientific work can analyse unscientific claims, right?)

    In order to give Ridley the benefit of the doubt – something he doesn’t extend to the science – I’d prefer it had a kink like the IPCC curve does (but given that it starts later than the IPCC curve, the kink might occur later as well). But that wouldn’t significantly change the analysis of his claim.

  78. #78 Lotharsson
    January 17, 2013

    An argument about referencing?

    You’re too dense – or too fixated – to realise the argument wasn’t ABOUT referencing, although that was one of the supporting observations.

    One key point was about what is scientific journalism and what is not.

    One can be a scientific journalist without being a scientist, providing one correctly reports the scientific findings. Providing references illustrates where one sourced the findings from, which makes it easier to see if they have been correctly reported. But one can find that out via other methods, so referencing is good, but is not necessary to be a scientific journalist – and not fundamental to this argument.

    The other side of the argument is that one can have a science PhD and NOT be a research scientist, and also NOT be scientific journalist if one misreports the scientific findings.

    The other key point was that the scientific findings do NOT rest on what is reported about them, despite an a (perhaps rhetorical) claim to the contrary.

  79. #79 chameleon
    January 17, 2013

    Which ‘his claim’ is that one Lotharsson?
    The one that is visually presented by Tim above?
    I suggest you reread Doug’s comments re the graph above.
    I agreed with Doug.
    You seem to instead want to argue that I am defending Ridley about something.
    I made no defensive comment about Ridley I was commenting on Tim’s visual presentation and unless you need to ‘nuance’ it for me, I believe Doug was basically commenting on same.
    Which leaves you arguing with yourself yet again Lotharsson.
    It was funny to start with but now I’m getting bored.
    Wanna try something else for a change?
    How about paying attention to what I wrote or Doug wrote rather than lecturing me about what you think I think or what you think I meant to think or whatever?
    Doug pointed out (very politely) that Tim has commited the same error as those he complains about in this particular instance.
    I agree, but also pointed to how recently he complained about that same ‘unscrupulous’ behaviour at this very blog at the SLR thread.
    I will now add that this time it is even MORE unscrupulous because at least at the SLR thread the point about datum breaks was clearly outlined for all to see.

  80. #80 chameleon
    January 17, 2013

    ‘The other key point was that the scientific findings do NOT rest on what is reported about them, despite an a (perhaps rhetorical) claim to the contrary.’

    I think I may have used this one already re a JeffH comment.
    It is one of my son’s favourite latest sayings:
    THANKYOU!
    CAPTAIN OBVIOUS!
    or even shorter.
    Like Doh!
    or
    Whodathunk?
    Chuckle
    :-) :-) :-)

  81. #81 bill
    January 17, 2013

    Chebbie, what is it with you and contextual reading?

    Alder shows up with this smug ‘aha!’ –

    No doubt you are all equally keen to denounce Monbiot as not a scientist as well?

    And then expressed skepticism as to Monbiot’s extensive references, that anyone who was actually trying could have found easily.

    Monbiot is certanly a journalist in the Orwell mode, but he reports the facts and the debate as determined by the scientific mainstream. Therefore, while his own credentials are complementary to his work, but he could do just as well without them.

    Whereas Ridley positions himself as an authority in a field in which he has no apparent qualifications and champions minority and fringe notions; therefore his remarkable claims require a remarkable level of evidence to support them, and his own credentials in making them are a legitimate subject of scrutiny.

    You won’t understand this, but it’s worth restating for those that will.

  82. #82 shinsko
    January 17, 2013

    The Australian retracts its “Sea rise not related to global warming…” story. See Crikey’s account here

  83. #83 Lotharsson
    January 17, 2013

    Whodathunk?

    Well, one of the commenters that you appeared to be trying to defend for having thunk it by reframing it as “just an argument about references” seem to have thunk it.

    But I’m sure that’s too nuanced for you to pay attention to.

  84. #84 Lotharsson
    January 17, 2013

    Doh!

    …that you appeared to be trying to defend for having thunk the opposite

  85. #85 chameleon
    January 17, 2013

    Hint to Lotharsson,
    Bill’s argument with Latimer and/or Alder is an irrelevant distraction.
    I remember reading somewhere that Walter Starck called this type of behaviour an ‘academic pissing contest’.
    A bit crude I know, and not my style, which is why I put those ‘scare quotes’ around it.
    :-) :-) :-)
    Chuckle

  86. #86 Vince Whirlwind
    January 17, 2013

    It’s pretty simple really, Latimer …
    … built a “you lot call Monbiot a scientist” strawman
    … accused Monbiot of not referencing his work

    In both cases Latimer was within minutes proven wrong.

    As for Chameleon’s latest effort to demonstrate her all-round lack of knowledge or education,

    You forget that little epigram about pots and kettles.

    Epigram? What epigram?
    Maybe stick to words you understand the meaning of, in future.

    Start with “yes”, “no”, “and” and work your way up from there.

    And, ideally, do it somewhere else – I’m sure I’m not speaking just for me when I say that watching you flounder around in the mire that is your mental competence is even less enjoyable than watching Kim Beazley and Joe Hockey in a jelly-wrestling competition.

  87. #87 Lotharsson
    January 17, 2013

    Bill’s argument with Latimer and/or Alder is an irrelevant distraction.

    I’ve noticed that an awful lot of what you don’t say yourself is either an irrelevant distraction or “academic semantics” or some such, especially once it becomes obvious to all and sundry that what you’re saying is bogus.

  88. #88 Lotharsson
    January 17, 2013

    Ewwww, Vince! Quick, hand me the mental image scrubber!

  89. #89 Vince Whirlwind
    January 17, 2013

    Joe Hockey would win. Kim’s lost too much weight.

  90. #90 Bernard J.
    January 17, 2013

    Latimer Alder.

    Your comments about Ridley and Monbiot miss the point. As evidence, I tender the example of Girma Orssengo who was given a PhD in a scientific/engineering field by an Australian university. This in spite of the fact t that that person’s operational understanding of science and statistics is less than that of most students who have successfully completed their first semester at university.

    Unfortunately a PhD alone is no guarantee of scientific capacity, although it is correlated with such. Similarly, a lack of a PhD is not an indication of inability in science, but it is an indication of a very likely lack of sufficient understanding to speak as an expert.

    What counts best is the evidence of a person’s claims to withstand professional scrutiny. In this, the consensus climatological/physical science has withstood all denialist propaganda thrown against it, and no denialist science has ever withstood the testing of experts.

    You may beg to differ – in which case I would simply ask you to provide examples that document contradictions to my previous paragraph.

  91. #91 Vince Whirlwind
    January 17, 2013

    A relative of mine has both a PhD *and* a sneering attitude vis-a-vis global warming.

    So I’ve seen it – he’s not an idiot at all, he’s just…..dunno, deluded?

  92. #92 guthrie
    January 17, 2013

    Latimer Alder claims to know some atmospheric chemistry? Wow.

  93. #93 Lotharsson
    January 17, 2013

    The Dunning-Kruger Effect applies to smart people operating out of their sphere of competence – even those with PhDs, and a long history of research success in their field – just as it does to idiots.

    Sometimes more so. Smart people come up with far more plausible incorrect rationalisations.

  94. #94 Latimer Alder
    January 17, 2013

    Dang it

    Now you really really clever guys have got me all confused….

    First I thought we weren’t to read Ridley’s stuff because ‘he isn’t a scientist’ but only a writer (see comment from ‘chek’ above’). But we are allowed to read Monbiot – even though he is as much not a scientist as Ridley..

    But then it seemed that the difference came down to quoting references. As long as you quote references , it is permitted to read it – even of in another format and another place.

    So I went back to Ridley’s discussion at WUWT and I find lots of references. Each graph is attributed to its source. One can follow his logic and its sources.

    So do I conclude correctly that Ridley is now back in the fold of acceptable writers?

    Or is there some other reason he is ‘persona non grata ‘ round here?

    Please do tell me…the many different reasons for why somebody is ‘acceptable’ or ‘not acceptable’ seem to be more complex than the social interactions of a room full of 14 year-old girls.picking who to be best friends with.

    By comparison my little bit of Atmospheric Chemistry – modelling the reaction kinetics of high altitude molecule recombination after UV strike – was pretty straightforward.

  95. #95 Lotharsson
    January 17, 2013

    It seems that those who accuse him of ‘chickening out of the debate’ (eg Lotharsson) have it arsebackwards if this is true.

    I think not.

    …the comments space of his website does not fit diagrams …

    Really? Ridley is a flippin’ journalist and (a) he doesn’t know how to write an argument, and (b) he doesn’t know how to link to an image?

    That’s a pretty desperate excuse.

  96. #96 Lotharsson
    January 17, 2013

    And we’ll see exactly how ‘uncontrolled’ this environment really is by whether this post from a sceptical viewpoint ever appears…

    It’s almost extremely uncontrolled. Certain things in a comment automatically send it to a human moderation queue, but almost all of them end up appearing (in chronological order of posting time, not approval time).

    It seems that it takes about a year for a persistent off-topic troll to be granted their own thread. Only the most egregious offensive comments ever seem to get moderated, that hasn’t happened for a while and even then they merely get disemvowelled.

  97. #97 Lotharsson
    January 17, 2013

    So do I conclude correctly that Ridley is now back in the fold of acceptable writers?

    And predictably you missed the key point – accurately representing the science.

    Ridley does not, as has been amply explained in any number of blog posts analysing his previous efforts.

    It’s good he’s using references now – makes it a lot easier to see where he got his stuff from, how it was treated, what he’s leaving out. If he uses previously debunked claims it saves time rebunking them, etc.

  98. #98 Wow
    January 17, 2013

    “Now you really really clever guys have got me all confused….”

    It’s easy when you are doing it to yourself.

    Try thinking.

    It helps.

    “But we are allowed to read Monbiot – even though he is as much not a scientist as Ridley..”

    We don’t have to know the credentials of a reporter reporting someone else’s facts.

    We DO need to know a reporter’s credentials when they make their own up.

    A reporter reporting on a fire “the biggest ever seen in this area for 20 years according to historians” requires you check the credentials of the historians being used as source, NOT the journalist.

    But if a journalist says “the biggest fire I’ve ever seen here”, you have to know the credentials of the journalist to see how big that means.

  99. #99 Wow
    January 17, 2013

    “That is semantic rubbish!”

    I guess that since you don’t know what words mean, ANYTHING is semantic rubbish to you, if you feel that will allow you to ignore any facts that don’t accord with your internal world.

  100. #100 bill
    January 17, 2013

    We’re really attracting them at the moment, aren’t we?