A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Glimmerings of sanity in the Donner und Blitzen world of 'global warming' hype.....

Here, for your Sunday 'edification' (as my father would intone), is a suite of encouraging reports, all bringing a little sanity to bear on Global Warming Inc.:

(a) The full text of Michael Crichton's testimony to the US Senate: 'Testimony of Michael Crichton before the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works' (September 28, 2005):
"...But if independent verification is the heart of science, what should policymakers do with research that is unverifiable? For example, the UN Third Assessment Report defines general circulation climate models as unverifiable. If that's true, are their predictions of any use to policymakers?

I would argue they are not. Senator Boxer has said we need more science fact. I agree-but a prediction is never a fact. In any case, if policymakers decide to weight their decisions in favor of verified research, that will provoke an effort by climate scientists to demonstrate their concerns using objectively verifiable research. I think we will all be better for it..."

(b) A video released by researchers at the University of Calgary (downloadable in 5 separate parts): 'Climate catastrophe cancelled: what you're not being told about the science of climate change':
"Carleton University Professor Tim Patterson (Paleoclimatologist) explains the crucial importance of properly evaluating the merit of Canada's climate change plans: 'It is no exaggeration to say that in the eight years since the Kyoto Protocol was introduced there has been a revolution in climate science. If, back in the mid-nineties, we knew what we know today about climate, Kyoto would not exist because we would have concluded it was not necessary.'

...Contrary to claims that the science of climate change has been settled, the causes of the past century’s modest warming is highly contested in the climate science community. The climate experts presenting in the video demonstrate that science is quickly diverging away from the hypothesis that the human release of greenhouse gases, specifically carbon dioxide, is having a significant impact on global climate. 'There is absolutely no convincing scientific evidence that human-produced greenhouse gases are driving global climate change', stated climatologist, Dr. Tim Ball..."

(c) An excellent Editorial in USA Today (September 25): 'Global warming activists turn storms into spin':
"... Science doesn't support a link between global warming and recent hurricane activity, notes Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center. Katrina and Rita are part of a natural cycle. The increase in number and intensity of storms since 1995 is hardly unprecedented, says William Gray, a leading hurricane expert based at Colorado State University. He points out that two major hurricanes hit the Gulf Coast only six weeks apart in 1915, mimicking the doubly whammy of Katrina and Rita.

• If global warming were to blame for recent storms, there should have been more typhoons in the Pacific and Indian oceans since 1995, Gray says. Instead, there has been a slight decrease — at the same time China and India have increased their industrial output and emissions of greenhouse gases.

• The impact of hurricanes might seem more severe because of the intensity of news coverage and because more people are living in hurricane alley. That means more property damage and more loss of life.

The current cycle of more and deadlier storms could last 15 to 20 more years, notes the National Hurricane Center. It's worth researching whether global warming is affecting the frequency and intensity of those storms, but there's certainly no proof at the moment..."

And there have been lots more like this in the last few weeks.

Moreover, am I detecting, in the UK at least, that the impact of climate-change scare stories - even left-adrift polar bears in the Arctic - is beginning to decline a tad? There seems to be a growing sense among a lot of sensible folk that, in the modern rap, "stuff just happens".

Philip, enjoying a fairy ring that has just appeared on the lawn. Pity it leaves a hole in the grass. Ah well! Stuff happens. Coffee in that golden Autumn sunshine - and with the fairies at the bottom of the garden. Conan Doyles all round.

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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