The BBC, the UN, and climate bullying
Grab an umbrella: it's global wetting, now...
The Abbess/Harrabin exchange epitomizes one of the reasons I had given up on following the climate exchange debate. There's very little science in the exchange, it's more a debate (ok, browbeating) over belief systems.
The other frustration with the field was that the two key theories, CO2 (and greenhouse gases) and solar activity (and an interesting link to cosmic rays) _were_ both calling for warming. Over the last year its looking as though the next solar cycle will be weak, some forecasts say the the one after that will be even weaker.
Suddenly the two theories are calling for opposite effects and climatology is interesting again. Evidence is already showing up that says things are changing, the list is growing weekly! There is hope that we might even see rational scientific dialog come to the field. It will take longer for the news media to lose their bias - this exchange really shows the problem.
Other stories show we have a long way to go. Most recently Antarctic sea ice is running a million sq km above average, see http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.365.south.jpg but the news stories talk about a 400 sq km piece of ice shelf on the Antarctic peninsula breaking up. Both stories need to be reported!
Andrew: There was an interesting piece in The Australian today (09Apr08) on just this "Blog Bully's" strident nonsense (report here with the full transcript of the speech here here [PDF]). In it Professor Don Aitkin argues (quite cogently IMHO) that the Global Warming debate has gone from reasoned scientific argument to quasi-religious "authoritative truth" voiced by "scientist-activists" who will brook no counter-argument. Interesting stuff.
It's not all one way traffic, though.
Precautionary Principle Evoked
“Global warming 'dips this year'” is an oxymoron and the BBC should jump on examples of bad English. The article itself reports an assumption of a reversal of a trend but only by reference to the continuing La Nina and is just as dubious as the opposite with the El Niño. It is bad science.
My view about the issue is this: There are those who, from the evidence they see say there is global warming. There are those who do not. Whether there is global warming or not is irrelevant because if we wait for the evidence to be confirmed it will be too late to do anything about it. Therefore we must act now upon the available evidence. Otherwise we may all have to become boat people. Regards
On the other hand...
Visiting a beach the other day the sea level was much higher when leaving than arriving, about 2 metres in 3 hours ! This proves that global warming and rising sea levels are the truth. Some local was spouting rubbish about tides but what would they know not being a proper environmental scientist.
Pretty conclusive I'd say Jon.