By E. Calvin Beisner, Ph.D., Paul K. Driessen, Esq., Ross McKitrick, Ph.D., and Roy W. Spencer, Ph.D. I’ve never heard of 1 & 2, but given 3 & 4 its not hard to guess what its going to be like. And indeed, it doesn’t disappoint.

Its yet another septic document which would be far better off saying less. Specifically, it wastes its time on the is-GW-anthro attribution question, and the is-there-a-consensus question, when it should be spending its time on the more interesting will-the-effects-be-bad.

So, it starts by quibbling whether the TAR says that current warming is anthro. Since the TAR sez most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and Anthropogenic greenhouse gases are likely to have made a significant and substantial contribution to the warming observed over the second half of the 20th century, possibly larger than the total observed warming, all they succeed in doing in this section is proving that they are happy to twist the truth to their own ends.

Then they move on to demolishing a strawman, that “GW will be catastrophic”, which doesn’t appear to be what anyone is saying, as they quickly admit – the report they are responding to actually says “significant”. James “Skeptic-in-the-true-sense” Annan gets called in to quote that climate sensitivitiy is less than 4.5 oC. They proceed to forget that its an equilibrium value not a an actual one, and forget NH polar and land amplification. But anyway. The remainder of the section is better, since it addresses the but-will-it-be-bad question, which is more interesting since its more open (at least as far as I know). Although they spoil themselves again, on the hurricanes bit, by trying to do too much, when just concentrating on the societal-impacts-are-greater is probably best.

Then the tedious is-there-a-consensus. Well, yes there is, clearly; and the report itself is proof of that. They begin by pointing out that, Kuhn-like, even if there’s a consensus against you doesn’t mean you’re wrong. Quite true, but admits the main point. Then they rely heavily on Peiser‘s rejected work to dispute Oreskes… sigh. Dull.

Well, thats probbaly enough. Read the rest of the report for yourself if you really must :-)

Comments

  1. #1 Carl Christensen
    2006/08/05

    Pretty funny, they’re angry that actual Christians take a serious stewardship role, so they spin it away (with the help of McKitrick of climateaudit). I’d take the Houghton crowd, who seem to actually act as Jesus would, instead of this batch of US faux-Christian rednecks who think bombing the poor in the name of George Bush is a “Christian solution.” Presumably they also espouse their Sister Ann Coulter’s take on “biblical stewardship”:

    “I take the biblical idea. God gave us the earth.
    We have dominion over the plants, the animals, the trees.
    God says, “Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It’s yours.”

    PS — I love that Annan & Hargreaves have a great big box on this screed, strange bedfellows…

  2. #2 Tim Lambert
    2006/08/05

    I had a few comments on that thing back in June.

    [Ha! There's me, up to the minute... -W]

  3. #3 Hank Roberts
    2006/08/06

    Dominion didn’t mean “play God” – it meant stewardship. And I think the religious conservation movement scares the septics.

    Put the promise here made not to humans but to “every living creature of all flesh that is on Earth”
    http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0190-5937%28189005%2910%3A5%3C274%3ATRIG%3E2.0.CO%3B2-D&size=LARGE

    together with these

    http://www.wunderground.com/data/wximagenew/c/carlskou/70.jpg

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/06/images/060619-rainbow-fire_big.jpg

  4. #5 Carl Christensen
    2006/08/07

    it’s funny these faux-Libertarian types like Driessen, Pieser, and I guess McKitrick are in or supporting the right-wing US evangelical movement, Falwell types etc. I mean, Jesus throwing the moneychangers out of the temple wasn’t too Libertarian, he was restraining free trade etc!

  5. #6 Matt McIrvin
    2006/08/07

    Then they move on to demolishing a strawman, that “GW will be catastrophic”, which doesn’t appear to be what anyone is saying, as they quickly admit

    I suppose it depends on what you mean by “catastrophic”, and on who’s doing the saying. There are certainly people in the popular media (Lovelock, for instance, and the people blowing the early climateprediction.net results out of proportion) making wild claims that civilization will be destroyed by GW within the next century or two.

    That said, I do think they’re doing a dishonest bait-and-switch here, confusing “catastrophic” in the sense of a civilization-ending event (not very plausible in the near or medium term) with “catastrophic” in the sense of local and regional disasters wiping out lots of poor people (which is plenty catastrophic enough for me, especially after living through the past couple of years, and seems plausible).

    [OK, clearly there are some way-aout folks who have been sayinf "catastrophic" but such people are generally mocked (Lovelock). Catastrophic is somewhat ill-defined, but I think we're agreed they shouldn't be using it as they do - W]

  6. #7 Hank Roberts
    2006/08/07

    The present rate of extinction alone is already a catastrophe, even before the next generation of people loses the base of the food chain — when plankton can’t sustain aragonite shells, around 2100.

    Anyone here over 50? Remember what a dawn chorus of songbirds sounded like, before the populations crashed? Heard anything like that lately?

    We’re living in a vast library that’s been occupied by a burgeoning crowd of people who don’t know or care how to read and are burning the books.

  7. #8 Dano
    2006/08/07

    Asimov warned us about the context of your post, Hank, in the 1940s with the short story Nightfall; I use the story when I have the telescope out and we’re looking at the multiple star system in Gemini.

    Best,

    D

  8. #9 MrPete
    2006/08/23

    Hank, you just live in the wrong place, or you don’t have enough bird feeders ;)

    My wife’s a naturalist. A few years ago she was inspired to take up birding. Feeders now abound here… and so do the song birds.

    Even so: how many even *appreciate* the birds? Not many in my experience. Messy, noisy, blah blah blah…