More junk from Milloy

Sigh. I really shouldn't fall for this stuff. But its so desperate, its worth pointing out. Ref is http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,192544,00.html (I'll avoid linking it in the hope you don't upgrade their hit count). Milloy sez he is debunking two key myths of climate alarmism, including that the Earth's atmosphere acts like a greenhouse and that reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emission will avert significant temperature change.

The first bit is (just for once) scientifically correct (I should know, I had a 2-month revert war at wikipedia over it). The GHE doesn't keep glasshouses warm. The lie is to pretend that this is climate alarmism. Its just a name. Its wrong, but so what?

Point 2 is equally silly. Milloys evidence? the relationship between CO2 and temperature is logarithmic in nature - that is, as CO2 increases in the atmosphere, it absorbs less and less additional energy to produce correspondingly less and less additional warming. So far, so good. But then... At some point, adding more CO2 to the atmosphere doesn't significantly change atmospheric temperature. Well, no. The logarithmic curve keeps going up. And since (to first order) CO2 releases are exponential, the forcing increase in time is linear.

Milloy continues with more trash a doubling of atmospheric CO2 from pre-Industrial Revolution days (280 parts per million to 560 ppm), might increase global temperature from between 0.5 degrees Centigrade to 1.5 degrees Centigrade - that is, not much - as JA will tell you, climate sensitivity is 3 oC; values below 1.5 can be ruled out observationally.

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So why not comment on that much more interesting BBC programme instead :-)

[Seems to have been done more competently elsewhere :-) -W]

Since y'all are here (Kevin, James and William), what is the relevance of correcting mistaken work by the likes of Milloy here? Just to be devil's advocate (since I've done this sort of thing myself a time or too on my blog):

Milloy's general audience won't find this, so they won't have their mistaken impression corrected. Your regular audience already understands this, and and either agrees with you enthusiastically or thinks you're full of crap, depending on their tribal affiliation.

Or are you writing for Google? (If that's the case, the smart thing to do would be just to link here with minimal comment?)

[Hmmm. I guess the answer is I was hoping some of his people might find it, one day. Or maybe I was just amusing myself. This isn't all written according to some great masterplan, you know... -W]

JF - My answer is I agree with you, which is why I haven't ever written about Milloy. However, I'm not sure about WC, but I have some Limbaugh/Fox News devotees in my extended family and I think some of them check my blog. So if I thought that sort of subversiveness would work, I might consider writing about Milloy in the distant hope that somebody in my family could be set straight.

Talking of sceptics, Melanie Phillips (journalist for the trashy Daily Mail and English graduate) trots out her usual rubbish about climate change. the link is:

www.melaniephillips.com/diary/archives/001668.html

I've emailed her suggesting that if she is so sure about her position, then we should have a public debate about the science. I wonder what her reply will be.

Stephan

By stephan harrison (not verified) on 25 Apr 2006 #permalink

So I totally take back the "devil's advocate" argument I made above. I just needed some Milloy references for use in a discussion on a local science email list, and found three in William's blog.