The seminal Myles Allen

[This one for James, of course.]

I do so love the word “seminal”, it brings back my public school days. Anyway, Nurture writes: Oxford climatologist Myles Allen and collaborators, who, in April this year, published two seminal papers in Nature…, which were Warming caused by cumulative carbon emissions towards the trillionth tonne and Greenhouse-gas emission targets for limiting global warming to 2 °C. I’d say both are mere headline-grabbers of little scientific novelty and doomed to be rapidly forgotten.

And do you know, as I was driving in this morning, I was thinking to myself ” you know I really ought to try to be nicer and more positive about things”.

Comments

  1. #1 Eli Rabett
    2009/11/02

    It would be a good thing.

    While Eli realizes that you and James have a Myles Allen aversion, still the guy did a pretty good job on the smiling Lomborg

    [*Everyone* has done a good job on Lomborg :-) -W]

  2. #2 Hank Roberts
    2009/11/02

    On the other hand:
    http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSTRE5A10ZP20091102

    “… people in a negative mood were more critical of, and paid more attention to, their surroundings than happier people, who were more likely to believe anything they were told.”

  3. #3 Justin Wood
    2009/11/03

    if I asked nicely — and I am — would anyone explain the problem regarding Mr Allen (from William and James’ perspective)?

    [Myles has kind of cornered the market in writing guff like Nature thinks is seminal, which irritates people doing real work :-). And there was the uniform priors stuff: try http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/search?q=allen -W]

  4. #4 Magnus Westerstrand
    2009/11/03

    Yeah, we want explanations! :) or the next time mail him!

    (Nature promoting itself… does the readers by that?)

  5. #5 crandles
    2009/11/03

    >”of little scientific novelty and doomed to be rapidly forgotten”

    Ahh, but this will make all the difference:

    http://trillionthton.org/index.html

    (Not)

    [Since I was trying to be nice I deliberately refraimed from mentionning that site -W]

  6. #6 BryanLawrence
    2009/11/03

    I’m with Eli on this one … you can disagree all you like with the detail of Myles’ work (and his prognostications, as indeed I do often), but in general he’s doing sound science. And he’s getting the right sort of attention from the public, and as far as the latter goes, the axes of importance in science don’t all point at the Nobel, those kind of papers run along another important axis!

  7. #7 Eli Rabett
    2009/11/03

    If you seriously think everyone has done a good job on Lomborg, you are one sick puppy

  8. #8 James Annan
    2009/11/03

    Since my name has come up, I should clarify that I have no problem with a lot of the work that Myles Allen does, I do think he came badly unstuck in his attempts to redefine probability theory, and it’s a pity that decided to dig his heels in rather than admit his mistakes – but I suspect we all do that more than we should.

  9. #9 Justin Wood
    2009/11/03

    @James, much obliged for that (probability theory issues)

    I would like to know though, is the trillionth tonne assessment inaccurate, in your [collective] view? I hesitate to say this lest I make an idiot of myself, but… well doesn’t this broadly accord with the, ahem, seminal Meinshausen et al paper in Nature in April?

    [Perhaps I should have been clearer. By I’d say both are mere headline-grabbers of little scientific novelty and doomed to be rapidly forgotten. I didn’t mean that they were wrong – quite the opposite. Just uninterestingly correct -W]

    As for trillionthton.org — if it helps to communicate the overarching message that 1. drastic emission cuts are needed yesterday, and 2. the longer we wait the steeper the annual cuts required, what’s wrong with that? The details are no doubt crude approximations, but the ultimate point is clear enough.

    I suppose I don’t quite understand the cynicism directed against others who are all working to avoid catastrophe. Surely the septics do quite enough of that for us all?

  10. #10 Justin Wood
    2009/11/03

    meh, no edit function.

    @WC — cheers for the response, I hadn’t noticed it when I posted #9

  11. #11 crandles
    2009/11/04

    ‘Uninterestingly correct’ and ‘doomed to be forgotten’. Does that mean you think that the bandwagons to set stabilisation levels will continue ignoring the (correct) science that the temperature rise is better constrained by total emissions than by the stabilisation CO2 level? Perhaps because people feel they need to do something (set a level) to create a measurable target? And without a target, progress won’t be made?

    What is your opinion of: The precise stabilisation level can be left until later because what needs to be done in the next couple of decades is the same regardless of which stabilisation level you want to aim for?

  12. #12 Maurizio Morabito
    2009/11/04

    As it happens, Myles Allen is back on the BBC News website.

    The point of being “uninterestingly correct” in Allen’s case might be similar to the reporting of the name and birthplace of the “6th billion baby”, apparently Adnan Nevic from Sarajevo on Oct 12, 1999. Newspapers full of it today, newspapers empty of it tomorrow.

    Baby 6B+1 of course doesn’t make any difference, like carbon tonne 1T+1. Therefore the symbolic goal turns inexhorably into a media gimmick, whilst, in the background, the problem remains there to be tackled. And cynicism starts to increase as babies 6B+3, 6B+4, etc etc come to life without anything actually happening.

    All in all, a waste of time, an accident of having a numeric system based on the number 10. Would the Babylonians have worried for carbon tonne #743,008,370,688 (10,000,000,000 in base 12)?

  13. #13 Steve Bloom
    2009/11/06

    Nice try at an irrelevant smokescreen, Maurizio.

    Re the trillion ton business, it seems clear that it was developed as a paradigm to compete with 350 ppm. While both are imperfect, 350 ppm is better due to the ASAP embedded in the concept. A year ago when the trillion ton concept was being developed it may not have been clear that Hansen would be able to organize the troops in favor of 350 ppm, but now that it is the former should just be allowed to fade into obscurity.

  14. #14 Maurizio Morabito
    2009/11/16

    Steve Bloom – the “smokescreen” of “the trillionth tonne” is not mine…

  15. #15 Earlene21Brewer
    2011/09/16

    All people deserve good life and home loans or commercial loan can make it much better. Just because people’s freedom is based on money.

  16. #16 REYNA28OSBORN
    2011/12/19

    All people deserve wealthy life and loan or just auto loan will make it much better. Just because people’s freedom bases on money state.

  17. #17 KatharineTillman
    2012/02/28

    A lot of specialists argue that loan help a lot of people to live the way they want, just because they can feel free to buy needed things. Furthermore, banks offer college loan for different persons.

  18. #18 Petty28Tami
    2012/03/04

    Begin mastering today opting for the qualified directory submissions services. You will surely get good PR, more more clients and good return of your investment!

  19. #19 WEBSTERKelsey21
    2012/03/05

    This is hard to do lots of stuff one at time! The paper writing service offer to buy essays about this good post* with the pupose to save your valuable time!

  20. #20 Hope28Chang
    2012/03/07

    Opt for famous cheap directory submission service that will offer guarantees about quality of search engine optimization. However, do not select optimization company that provides reduced prices.

  21. #21 CoffeyEdith
    2012/03/16

    Badly composed online essays can destroy your reputation. Though, when you buy an essay paper of high quality, all is good.

  22. #22 CarlaClarke21
    2012/03/19

    A lot of guys should select between buy dissertation service and thesis service to order dissertation international connecting with this good post.

  23. #23 Lizzie24Fuller
    2012/05/20

    This is well known that cash makes people autonomous. But what to do when somebody has no money? The one way is to receive the loan or just commercial loan.

New comments have been temporarily disabled. Please check back soon.