Thursday, 10 December 2009

Not Science

Anyone who needs convincing that the scientists are not in charge of the climate change message need only look at the current online advert for the "Act on CO2" campaign. It contains the message:

Yes, you saw it there first. Too much of something by the name of "CO2" is causing climate change.

To a scientist, that is a howling error. Not just a little mistake, but one of those awful, unimaginable, screaming-out-loud-oh-lord-how-did-I-do-that kinds of mistake.

I think we can safely assume then, that the scientists are not involved in the media work.


  1. I don't get it, but then I'm not a scientist. Who gives a stuff about the science anyway, I just want to work out how to make some money out of this 'carbon' market.

  2. The picture does do one thing though. My impression is that the warmist position is a priori. The logic seems to be: we know that CO2 is a so-called "Greenhouse Gas", therefore as the CO2 is going up we can certain that the temperature must also be going up. (Even if it isn't, or it's not clear, or the figures are missing and need inventing or massaging, and scientists who disagree need to be silenced or delcared non-scientists etc.)

  3. Very good!

    I don't get it, but then I'm not a scientist.

    You don't need to be a scientist. I'm sure that we did this in school when I was 11 or 12. I still had to look twice, though!

  4. p.s. In this day and age, I suppose we should be grateful that it wasn't "To much CO² is causing climate change."

  5. I thought that something called CO² was 'plant food', and that if plants didn't take it in, and give out oxygen in return, we'd all have been extremely dead long before now.

    Shows how much I know (sarcasm mode now to 'off').

    Rob Farrington

  6. I am not an expert so I am not qualified to dictate to others. As you are aware, Patently, my view is that the jury is still out.

    I am not going to dwell on whether a gas in itself can cause climate change (as opposed to a process) or whether it should be CH4 that is stated. I am not going to discuss the educational standards of the target audience nor the role or morality of the media. I am not going to ask you to consider the cost of doing nothing in the event that there is climate change. No, I am not going to go down these lines. I am going pick up on Steven_L's point.

    Just as you requested us to do with the old form of light bulbs, however infinitesimal or limited in application the heating effect is, I request you to think of the bigger picture.

    It is very easy to criticise and there may be enormous weaknesses in the evidence, but the 'climate change' has some huge advantageous spin offs that the politicians would be foolish to ignore. It is a way of making citizens curb excessive consumption without resentment, growing forests safeguards wildlife, it encourages a form of citizenship in terms of appreciation, respect and responsibility towards the planet, it makes communities appreciate the importance of water supplies before competing interests result in fighting, it creates industry and jobs in western society, it promotes innovation into sustainable technology and diverts minds from the current financial situation most people find themselves in. You may counter that more hospitals and schools could be built with the financial cost of climate change, but these do not generate wealth and if money stays in an economy, it may eventually reach the financing of hospitals and schools on a more sustainable basis.

    I am not surprised that your political party does not respect your sceptical views but this is for many sound reasons and I applaud all critical thinking but it requires careful expression in the right format. I have noted you have not declared yourself a denier. Climate change is indeed about the control of society. I would concur that information must be being withheld from us but I advocate tou initiate a more pointed* discussion about the wider role of climate change and then perhaps we may accept that all the hullabaloo is, or is not, justified.

    *I respect and understand your decision to revert to being pointed, but I did prefer prickly. ;-)

  7. Some great comments, thank you. YMB - very good, but the comment I truly fear is "Two much CO² is, like, well bad for da urrf, innit".

    Measured, your line of reasoning is probably valid but is founded (I think) on an assumption that there is a ruling class who may know the truth and may withhold it from the people, in the interests of the people. I cannot and will not accept that premise.

  8. No, no, P.

    Our society is far too complex, convoluted and complicated these days for there to be a ruling class as such. This is perhaps why it is necessary for politicians to resort to the climate change mantra, which may or may not be true. I do not subscribe to the theory that 'these men were bred on the playing fields of Eton to lead the country' as has been propounded by my mother and I fear what the marketing chaps at the Conservatives would like reinforce so I believe it.

    It seems that climate change is an area where evidence at this stage is unable categorically confirm it; the evidence appears only to indicate the trend and some would dispute that. However, my concern is that it is far easier for scientists to withhold access to the raw data to only their trusted colleagues, sometimes justified on the spurious grounds that it is too complicated for us to understand, and it is far too easy to simplify the arguments to the public which is the reason for your post.

    The debate is

    (i) whether our trust in scientists is warranted. Imho I have no reason not to trust them, except those concerned with the leaked emails (and as a consequence, those whose findings have relied on the CRU data).

    (ii)to what extent should we (the proletariate) be patronised?

    (iii)and in the bigger picture, do the means justify the ends in order to curb behaviour that ruins our planet?

    So, no ruling class. Just an unclear situation that deserves proper debate, but maybe this discussion would bore and disillusion the majority of people. We live in a democracy and we have to respect each other's views and abilities. Should we agree discretion is the better part of valour?

    Measured by name, measured by nature.

  9. I think I just want my leader to lead, not mislead...

    Science is an open process. Maintaining a convenient fiction is inherently incompatible, whatever the motives involved.

    Do not forget that the leaked emails are not the first scandal in climate science; there was the hockey stick before it - which formed the basis of the original IPCC reports, but has since been thoroughly debunked. Worse, the hockey stick was not the product of East Anglia so suggests a more widely spread misapprehension of scientific principles.

    Either of these two scandals would be enough to discredit most scientific disciplines.

  10. I think I just want my leader to lead, not mislead...

    Brown would argue he is leading and since he does not know better, it would be difficult to prove he is misleading. He also faces global peer pressure. Labour justify too much by the need to lead and not to listen, yet at the same time be cunning in their approach.

    As you point out, the truth will emerge but perhaps the wider issues explain why climate change has survived these scandals. How will you reconcile your views with those of the Conservatives? Should we just rise above this like hot air?