Barton earns Canadian rebuke

Chris de Freitas

This post could be considered tardy. However Donna Laframboise’s illuminating comments lose nothing with the passage of time. They deserve circulation and Auckland’s possibly best-known sceptical climate scientist deserves her thoughtful and eloquent support.

Four weeks ago, on July 16, the Herald published Chris Barton’s attack on Chris de Freitas’s integrity. The next day I posted a defence of a scientist who has given a lot of help to any number of keen climate amateurs like myself and has the courage to say out loud that things are not scientific if to him they appear in fact to be unscientific.

About a week later the uncompromising Laframboise posted a perceptive analysis of Barton’s attempted “critical thinking”. I encourage you to read the whole thing if you have a few minutes. Continue Reading →

de Freitas on solid ground

what is weather

(h/t Bob D for most of the references)

Journalist Chris Barton has a story in yesterday’s Herald titled The climate dissenter holds his ground. After looking at Barton’s alarmist arguments I’ll stand with Chris de Freitas on the solid ground.

The story begins with the implication (not that the journalist says it this plainly) that, even with the planet battling weather extremes, that is not enough to convince an Auckland climate scientist (Associate Professor Chris de Freitas, at the University of Auckland) of the truth of human-induced global warming. We’re supposed to feel exasperation: “What will it take to get that man to see sense?”

But Barton is dead wrong. For why should “extreme” weather be an indication of man-made global warming? How could we get more extreme weather out of global warming? Continue Reading →

Drop conspiracy talk, just look at your thermometer

The other day in the Herald, Mr Chris Barton took up the topic of global warming in an article headed “Climate debate adrift on rising tide of lunacy“.

With hardly a mention of the subject, Barton gets stuck into those who question the orthodox view of the subject. He tries various techniques to get the opposition to shut up; in fact, he tries everything except actually, well, listening to them.

He gets a bit confused, too. At one point he says, of the “madness” of the climate change debate, “there is a lot of it about”. But later he’s forgotten that and, trying to mis-characterise the strength of the opposition, he says “Like the rest of the world we have a small but very vocal group spreading their stupidity”.

He picks up on a typographical error by a correspondent and makes merry with the new word as though it represents a marvellous new insight. But it’s just old-fashioned stupidity.

This is a professional journalist who ought to support a vigorous debate for the good of the community, but instead he’s thinking up dirty tricks to silence a well-informed, well-meaning opposition. I’m ashamed of him.

If he wants to be taken seriously, he can address these questions: Why are global mean atmospheric temperatures falling as carbon dioxide rises? Why is the heat content of the oceans falling as carbon dioxide rises? What is the evidence that the temperature increases of the late 20th century were caused by carbon dioxide? What is the evidence that increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide will result in dangerously higher temperatures? Is he happy to bring our productive systems into disarray and ruin our lovely environment with noisy, ugly windmills on the basis of climate models that are known to be wrong and without performing any cost-benefit analysis?

If Barton actually observes the climate and its history he will quickly discover for himself why we’re so doubtful that anything dangerous is about to happen. Perhaps then he will hear the shrill voices of alarm as we hear them: as dogs barking and fleas biting but nothing of consequence.

What else can be said to him? I tried this the next day: Continue Reading →