There’s a fair section of the – errm – normally-sane-side-of-the-climate-wars blogosphere that regards RP Jr as the spawn of the devil. Eli weighs in complaining about Nate Silver of 538 getting RP to write for him (Eli has form, dontchaknow). Now I’d be the first to agree that RP has said some silly things
, and some disastrously silly things on trends. But that’s him playing away.
On his home turf, RP is very strong. Because he has a simple message based on good data. As I said in 2011 over SREX, “As usual, Pielke wipes the floor with Romm”; see-also another relevant article from 2009.
So while Eli heavily quotes Ryan Cooper not liking Pielke, what’s painfully absent in Eli’s piece, or in Ryan Cooper’s piece, is the slightest attempt to address what Pielke is saying. Indeed, so deeply do they dislike it that they can’t even bring themselves to link to Disasters Cost More Than Ever — But Not Because of Climate Change. Its not a very exciting piece, if you’ve read that stuff before, because its just the same data all over again. Looks pretty convincing to me, just as it did before.
Kiley Kroh at ThinkProgress also totally fails to engage with what RP is saying, instead relying on his previous errors, as though that somehow affects the validity of what he’s saying now (note that piece quotes Mialambre, pointing out some of RP’s errors with trends, which I mention above). All this stuff has a terrible echo-chamber mentality that I’m more used to seeing from the denialosphere. Daniel Kessler in the HuffPo links to the KK article above, saying Roger Pielke, Jr… posting a blog Tuesday on the site that claims there is no link between the rising costs of climate disasters and extreme weather fueled by climate change.Several noted climate scientists took Silver and Pielke to task for this serious error. But they don’t. KK’s experts aren’t addressing this claim at all. KK’s article is vacuous.
Emily Atkin’s article is better, because it does at least address RP’s article.
Pielke’s piece is deeply misleading… said Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University. “Pielke uses a very misleading normalization procedure that likely serves to remove the very climate change-related damage signal that he claims to not be able to find. Pielke, in this case, continues to use an extremely controversial ‘normalization’ procedure when analyzing these data… That procedure assumes that damages increase with population but it completely ignores technological innovations (sturdier buildings, hurricane-resistant structures, better weather forecasting, etc.) that have served to reduce societal vulnerability, thus likely masking some of the aggravating impacts of climate change.
I don’t really understand that, but I’m presenting it to you for balance. RP presents two pix, one of which is the dollar cost of losses, the other the cost as a proportion of global GDP. How That procedure assumes that damages increase with population is relevant to that is beyond me. If you scroll to the bottom of the article you’ll find RP responding, as you’d expect, with links to his papers on the subject. Oddly enough, those criticising him don’t seem to have any papers on the subject they want linked to (Trenberth has a book review but its paywalled).
[Update: I mistakenly linked to the wrong RP - such a schoolboy howler - but I've struck that out now (and just to be clear, the "disastrously silly" text travels with the idea, not the link, so does not apply to the RP Sr post. I still think its wrong, mind). The episode I meant was this, by JA which links to me, if you want to continue the trawling.]
[Update 2014/03/23: there’s a particularly crap article at the Daily Kos on this: By hiring a climate disinformer, Nate Silver undermines his entire premise of data-driven journalism. Which sez How ironic, then, that with over 97 percent of the 11,944 peer-reviewed studies of “global climate change” or “global warming” between 1991-2011 endorsing the consensus on anthropogenic global warming [blah blah etc...] Silver would hire as one of his science writers the egregious purveyor of disinformation on climate change, Roger Pielke, Jr. This is crap because RP doesn’t dispute the WG I consensus at all. He agrees with it. For example http://blog.chron.com/sciguy/2010/10/interview-roger-pielke-jr-on-why-a-small-tax-is-our-best-hope-in-climate-change-fight/, which begins Roger Pielke Jr., a climate policy analyst, has a new book out called The Climate Fix in which he argues several points: 1) Science has sufficiently made the case that climate change is a significant threat that requires action…. This is part of a pattern: a denial-o-sphere worthy “hate” on RP that ignores facts and is either deliberately, or just ignorantly, misleading.]
[Late update: I was expecting something in reply to the crit of 538 from Pielke; it looks like there won’t be anything. Indeed, in this piece at KK’s Pielke says, errm, “I no longer write for 538. Last month, after 538 showed some reluctance in continuing to publish my work, I called up Mike Wilson, the lead editor there, and told him that it was probably best that we part ways”.
* Some News from RP Jr. AFAIK he hasn’t had much to say about the storm.
* Brian thinks Continuous plagiarism of James Annan needed
* Found incidentally whilst looking for something else: Martin Hoerling defends Pielke in general: “Much more balanced arguments can be found in R. Pielke Jr.’s work that consider changes in society, communities, coastal development, etc.”
* Mike Wallace: Weather and Climate Extreme Events: Teachable Moments
* More on Extreme Weather in a Warming Climate by Andy Revkin
* FiveThirtyEight to Commission Response to Disputed Climate Article
* The Decline of Tornado Devastation (RP, WSJ) and Compare and Contrast from Eli.