SLR: x, y, z

Eli (normally a sensible chap) says: I think a lot of this revolves around the dichotomy between the rise to be observed by date x, the rise committed to (in the sense of there is no way of stopping it) by date y, and the ultimate rise z. There are three different shells and you have to be careful of which one you are turning over. For example, in AIT, Gore is clearly speaking about z.

The distinction is valid. The assertion that Gore is *clearly* speaking about z is nonsense. For several reasons. Most trivial, there is no reason why 5 or 6m would be the ultimate rise. But more importantly, because Gore doesn’t make what he is talking about at all clear. If you’re listening closely, you’ll hear him say “*if* greenland melted; or *if* half Gr and half West Antarctica melted; then…” (which is, once again, not at all the same as ultimate committted rise). And Eli and I were listening carefully; so we heard. But Joe Public wasn’t, and all JP sees is pretty animations of Manhatten getting submerged. And this is deceptive.

[This post titled for all those readers who complain about my crypticosity (?)]


  1. #1 William Connolley

    Eli says (having trouble with commenting here… odd):

    “Not normally one to engage in the fine art of parsing but there is a difference between speaking clearly about z and clearly speaking about z. By the latter I meant that it was clear from the context and the statement that he was speaking about z, not x or y (Do you think we could establish this as a secret code? How could I help?).

    Was Gore clear that this is what he meant. Not in the sense that he brought out the 50 point type to say that this was something that would ultimately happen under the following u, v or w conditions with appropriate caveats and it would take t years. But then again you failed Ms. Rabett’s nude scientist test, it is your nature to caveat.

    To the extent that we hear people claiming there will be a 3 m rise next week, the way that section of the film came across was not a good thing. Was it a misinterpretation, a goal or making a film? Frankly I can’suspect this came up. I wonder if he could comment on this.”

    [Well if z is ultimate committed rise, then no, he wasn't speaking about that, as I said. I still say this was a misrepresentation; and I think you (and a number of other people) are being too kind to him -W]