The more one studies James Renwick’s desperate letter to the Herald the more frantic appear his attempts to malign by any means, fair or foul, the increasingly confident climate sceptics who question his global warming thesis. For example, he says of Chris de Freitas:
He claims that hysteria is being stirred up against those raising “serious questions” about climate change. What are these serious questions? Can he give an example of the hysteria?
Ethically forlorn RSNZ
Serious questions in a moment, but for hysteria Renwick need only visit Hot Topic. The toxic drivel from this local stronghold of warmists is republished on the Royal Society’s own lickspittle website, SciBlogs, so Renwick can claim ignorance of it to the same extent that he can justify his association with it. When its history is written, the current chapter of the formerly illustrious RSNZ will come to be seen as its most ethically forlorn.
For the RSNZ is engaged wholeheartedly in climate activism while entirely disengaged from scientific reflection and process. These scientists allow Hot Topic daily to pour scorn, ad hominem invective and worse on every visitor with doubts about global warming orthodoxy or who refuses to embrace Gareth Renowden’s religious climate change zeal. The site is an excellent example of the climate hysteria of which Renwick claims ignorance.
Renwick’s own use of the obnoxious, pejorative epithet “climate deniers” to refer to climate sceptics is another example of this hysteria, for a confident, capable scientist would simply answer their doubts with science.
So what are these serious questions? De Freitas already mentioned some of them:
- What is the evidence that there should be a constant climate? For 4.2 billion years, climate has always been getting warmer or colder, wetter or drier, and there has never been runaway warming or cooling.
- What is the evidence that the putative change from rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere due to fossil fuel use would be large or damaging? Output from computer models is not evidence unless model performance has been validated and so far it has not.
- For significant global warming to occur, positive (or destabilising) feedback processes, such as rising water vapour concentration, are required for significant global warming to occur. What is the evidence that they have begun?
- How can you maintain your hypothesis of dangerous anthropogenic global warming (DAGW), despite scientific evidence to date suggesting that negative (stabilising) feedback processes prevail, possibly due to the cooling effect of increased cloudiness from water vapour increase?
- What evidence is there that “climate change” is caused by carbon dioxide from human activities and not natural processes? This must be provided.
- What is the evidence that the influence of increasing human-produced carbon dioxide on global warming is discernible? What is the evidence that warming will be significant?
But there are more:
- For the last 20 years there’s been no significant warming.
- No evidence that atmospheric radiation can warm the ocean.
- No evidence of significant melting of ice sheets or glaciers.
- No evidence that man-made CO2 detectably warms the earth.
- No evidence of increasing hurricanes, storms, droughts or heat waves.
- No evidence of substantial or widespread decrease in ocean alkalinity.
- No evidence of positive feedback in atmospheric water vapour.
No doubt Chris himself has further serious questions, but these are what I can think of.
De Freitas states that there is no evidence to distinguish between “natural” and “human-caused” warming. There is an 86-page chapter on this topic in the last IPCC report, citing over 600 scientific papers on the subject. The conclusion was: “It is extremely likely that human activities caused more than half of the observed increase in Global Mean Surface Temperature from 1951 to 2010.” How can this be characterised as “no evidence”?
It’s not hard, since no evidence is presented. In CLIMATE CHANGE 2013 The Physical Science Basis, Chapter 10 Detection and Attribution of Climate Change: from Global to Regional, p894, there is a revealing description of attribution studies. Here’s what the IPCC says (my emphasis).
FAQ 10.1 | Climate Is Always Changing. How Do We Determine the Causes of Observed Changes?
The causes of observed long-term changes in climate (on time scales longer than a decade) are assessed by determining whether the expected ‘fingerprints’ of different causes of climate change are present in the historical record. These fingerprints are derived from computer model simulations of the different patterns of climate change caused by individual climate forcings. On multi-decade time scales, these forcings include processes such as greenhouse gas increases or changes in solar brightness. By comparing the simulated fingerprint patterns with observed climate changes, we can determine whether observed changes are best explained by those fingerprint patterns, or by natural variability, which occurs without any forcing. The fingerprint of human-caused greenhouse gas increases is clearly apparent in the pattern of observed 20th century climate change. The observed change cannot be otherwise explained by the fingerprints of natural forcings or natural variability simulated by climate models. Attribution studies therefore support the conclusion that ‘it is extremely likely that human activities have caused more than half of the observed increase in global mean surface temperatures from 1951 to 2010.’
They claim a human fingerprint is “clearly apparent” but consider this: the “fingerprints” of a human influence on climate are “derived” from a computer model, and a computer model is constructed from our knowledge of climate processes, which means we create the “fingerprints” it produces of a human influence, which “prove” to us there’s a human influence. Tell me this is not a circular argument, ipso facto, there’s no evidence.
This is not science
As if to prove beyond reasonable doubt that behind this process lies nothing but our own ignorance, we read this amazing confession:
The observed change cannot be otherwise explained
This is beyond revealing. The scientists are saying: “No matter where we look, whether at natural forcings or natural variability, we cannot find an explanation for the apparently unnatural late 20th century global surface temperature increase. Having found no explanation, in our ignorance we make one up.”
To conclude that it must be we wicked humans is not science, it’s policy looking for a pretext.
If it were science
- these scientists would still be looking for an answer; instead they’re shouting at us.
- they would be modest, restrained and happy to hear questions and doubts; instead they insult us.
- they would have developed a single skilful model, because we only need one.
- they would not pretend that the average of a hundred or more incorrect models is somehow the truth.
- they wouldn’t have prepared policy prescriptions before they announced the crisis.
Above all, if it were science, they wouldn’t belong to a political committee called “intergovernmental”.