Salinger claims warming but can’t feel the heat

A man with his head in the sand

The Waikato Times today carries an interview with Dr Jim Salinger by Jeff Neems.

The heading is Salinger doesn’t feel critics’ heat. Which probably explains why he doesn’t reply to the criticism.

I think there is something to be said to Dr Salinger. He gets away with some elasticisation of the facts. Do you think we’ve attacked Salinger personally and not on facts? I don’t. We’ve directed our criticism squarely at his PhD thesis and some things he has said. We have deliberately not attacked Jimmy himself.

Do you think Salinger is being a mite hypocritical? First he says:

Science is about facts, not beliefs. I like to look at the facts and see what they say – if people want to attack me as a person, that has nothing to do with my science. It doesn’t worry me.

Then he attacks the Coalition on personal grounds through their alleged connection with big oil. I myself have no connection with the oil industry; I suppose that’s why my cheque from them is overdue. I don’t know anyone with ties to oil, though I guess some in the Coalition are, or have been, connected with the oil industry, but so what?

Some scientists are connected with Greenpeace; does that make their statements on global warming automatically suspect?

Everybody who drives a car is “connected” with the oil industry, even those in the Green Party or environmental organisations, because they buy petrol.

This is a stupid criticism which is way off the mark. Salinger is spouting inanities.

Do you notice he says NZ warmed until 1955? What happened since then? He alleges warming in the last ten years, although the UAH satellite record shows a little cooling, and he also alleges recent ocean warming, although, as almost everybody else except the Royal Society knows, the ARGO project shows definite cooling since 2003.

One of the Coalition scientists was intrigued by Salinger’s comment:

… the theory was developed well more than 100 yrs ago.

He comments: “I assume this is a reference to Arrhenius — as if that is the only consideration. I have noted before the reliance that NIWA folk place on this little scientific gem as if it contains the truth of the world.” Of course, all that Arrhenius shows is the greenhouse effect. He doesn’t prove we’re creating dangerous warming.

Salinger gives a misleading impression of the peer review process. The CRU emails show that authors weren’t asked for their data or computer code, so what they did could not have been checked properly. That’s why so many people are concerned about the credibility of the scientific process.

His most cogent argument: “if you double your greenhouse gases, temperatures go up.” Big deal, but what are the figures, Jim? Do they justify your question (and strong implication): “will the planet be fit for survival by humans as a species?”

You should justify these alarming remarks.

“His New Zealand climate PhD was published in 1981. He “never imagined that 30 years later” it would be grabbing headlines.”

Hmm, yes… for all the wrong reasons!

Yes, I think there’s a bit to say.

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