Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Rest of Us

When you're assessing existential threats to Western civilization, the last thing you want is a bunch of well-informed people muddying the waters. Anne Jolis understands this very well, and so she thanks her lucky stars for "climate laymen," who are a lot like climatologists, except that they know a lot less and tell you only what you want to hear.

[C]ampaigners against climate change could do worse than take a look at the work of Stephen McIntyre, who has emerged as one of the climate change gang's Most Dangerous Apostates. The reason for this distinction? He checked the facts.
In laymen's terms, this means he pointed out that much of the case for AGW rested on data from 12 Siberian trees, which Keith Briffa painstakingly chose from all other trees in the world in order to present the illusion of a warming planet. McIntyre, by contrast, looked at 34 trees, which makes him roughly three times more reliable than Briffa.

Briffa disagrees, of course. But given that McIntyre has demolished his credibility once and for all, why would anyone take his rebuttal seriously?
Mr. Briffa denounces Mr. McIntyre's work as "demonstrably biased" because it uses "a narrower area and range of sample sites." He says he and his colleagues have now built a new chronology using still more data. Here, as in similar graphs by other researchers, the spike soars once again. Mr. McIntyre's "work has little implication for our published work or any other work that uses it," Mr. Briffa concludes.

He and his colleagues may well ignore Mr. McIntyre, but the rest of us shouldn't.
Well, sure. That's just common sense. Especially since McIntyre's blog contains "more than 7,000 posts," which clearly demonstrates his dedication and love of Truth.

Jolis says that she "asked 10 climatologists what they thought was the most reliable method of predicting climate, and got nearly as many answers."

The problem is, it's impossible to draw reliable conclusions from the responses of 10 climatologists; she should've asked 34. (Besides, which methods experts prefer is probably less important than how many of those methods are currently predicting warming.)

In the course of Jolis' research, Rob Wilson of the University of St. Andrews's School of Geography and Geosciences asks her an impertinent question: "[C]an the nuances of methodological developments be communicated to the laymen — and would they want to know?"

Jolis responds:
Maybe not, but letting people feel duped by hyperbole is proving even more harmful to the warmers' cause.
Translation: Laymen may not understand climatology, or want to, and they may be unwilling to defer to people who do...but the real problem is the alarmism of climatologists, as defined by the world's foremost practitioners of blog science. If the warmers would knock off the hyperbole and focus on the benefits of sunnier weather to Greenland's agricultural sector, there'd be much less need for all this fussin' and fightin'.

Be sure to tune in next week, when Ms. Jolis defies the Dental-Industrial Complex by getting her teeth steam-cleaned at Jiffy Lube. Dentists may well find this unwise, but the rest of us shouldn't.

(Photo via Twilight Earth.)

1 comment:

Jazzbumpa said...

Yeah, I heard or read - or maybe I got it by osmosis - that somewhere in Australia, there is a region that is now suitable for farming that never has been before - all due to global warming.

So, please, yes, let us accentuate the positive.

And thank you Phila for providing this valuable public service message.

JzB the occasionally too warm trombonist