The IEA are the Institute for Economic Affairs. The quote on their mainpage shows what they think of themselves The price of economic freedom is eternal vigilance, and as long as the IEA is around, we may be sure that the forces of regulation and state control will have a formidable obstacle in their path. Long may it flourish.
Almost inevitably, this kind of attitude translates into skepticism on global warming. The illogical argument is, roughly, “we’re for economic freedom and low taxes and against government interference. GW, if real, will probably require state intervention to fix it. Therefore, GW must not be real”. Its the same syllogism as David Bellamys position: “GW, if real, might require wind turbines to reduce emissions. I hate wind turbines. Therefore…”. Not that this attitude is unique to the Dark Side. Greenies are fond of “I’d like to reduce cars, waste, env destruction and noise and…; GW, if real, would make reducing these things more likely; therefore…”.
But come, what do they have to say for themselves about GW? Or, what does Russell Lewis have to say on their behalf?
The abstract, commented: “The government claim that global warming is more threatening than terrorism is alarmist and unwarranted. [Since terrorism is not really very dangerous at all, the statement is trivially true] It is also suspect as an excuse for mounting taxes and controls [The syllogism]. It is strikingly similar to the dire predictions of 40 years ago of an imminent ice age [Ah, the obligatory reference to global cooling!] and to other past doom forecasts due to alleged overpopulation, depletion of food and fuel supplies, and chemical pollution. There are serious doubts about the measurements, assumptions and predictions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), with regard to global CO2 growth, temperature and the role of clouds [Dubious, but we’ll read on]. Indeed there is a strong case that the IPCC has overstated the effect of anthropogenic greenhouse gases on the climate and downplayed the influence of natural factors such as variations in solar output, El Niños and volcanic activity [Twaddle, but will be interesting to see your sources]. The empirical evidence used to support the global warming hypothesis has often been misleading, with ‘scare stories’ promoted in the media that are distortions of scientific reality [I have no problem with the idea that the meeja talk nonsense]. The high salience of the climate change issue reflects the fact that many special interests have much to gain from policies designed to reduce emissions through increased government intervention and world energy planning [Sounds plausible].”
Skipping right over the intro (and the obligatory dig at Silent Spring, but you want Deltoid for that) in search of some Science, the first I alight on is Zbignieuw (u?) Jaworowski and his flying CO2 circus. Oh dear, that sets the seal: this isn’t a serious analysis, this is a list of septic talking points for the ill-informed. No one serious believes that the CO2 rise isn’t anthropogenic (if you’re interested in pix, see SPM-1), only the wackos. However, the trick is to remember where the blog postings are that refute this nonsense. In this case, Some are boojums has the answers. The IEA has even fallen for ZJ’s “testifying before congress” which he didn’t.
Next up is the change in range of projections for the next century from 1.4 and 5.8 ºC in the TAR to 1.1 and 6.4 ºC in the AR4. But (sigh) you only have to read the SPM p13 to find “Although these projections are broadly consistent with the span quoted in the TAR (1.4 to 5.8°C), they are not directly comparable…”.
Next is emissions scenarios, which I’m going to skip: that can be left to the economists. After that, the traditional section about “Poor Correlation” between CO2 and temperature rise. The funny bit here is that he says “Another thing: Carbon dioxide increased exponentially from 1800 to 1973” completely forgetting that he was pushing ZJ at the start!. Did no-one bother reviewing this stuff before publishing it? But if you’re interested in this stuff, the wiki page on attribution is OK if not good.
Continuing the sense of fun, the section ironically entitled “Wrong Data” proposes that “In the past fifty years during which most of the greenhouse gases caused by human activities were released, the conventional wisdom is that it has risen by 0.8 ºF (0.4 ºC)”. Since the SPM sez 0.13/decade, thats
0.52 0.65 oC in 50 years, but can you expect Economists to do maths? OK, most of them can but not this one. Then “The IPCC says that most of this is due to humankind, namely 0.5 ºF (0.25 ºC).” Now this is naughty because its an obvious falsehood slipped in: in fact the SPM suggests that natural forcings have been negative since 1950, so human factors have caused even more warming than observed, so to speak. Following on is Urban heat island (he’s clearly ticking all the boxes!). Then he starts sourcing things to State of Fear! Its wonderful stuff.
Well, thats a feast of twaddle so far, but to top it off is the also obligatory misleading statements about the satellite temperature record (including the wonderful assertion that the satellite record is accurate, sadly this is in reference to the version *before* the major corrections applied to it; naturally RSS isn’t mentioned). And even “During the same post-1979 period satellite measurements show that the temperatures in the stratosphere have fallen.” Is he not aware that this is a *prediction* of GW? Probably not – he does appear to be hopeless. But he may just be being misleading.
At that point I got bored. If there is anything sensible in the rest of it that you feel like discussing, do post a comment.