An amusing email from a Warmist

The following scornful email was sent to Benny Peiser by retired palaeoclimatologist William Ruddiman []. I append to it Benny Peiser's reply. The thing that strikes one about the email is that he quite correctly notes a slight long term warming trend since the little ice age but fails to address the two principal points at issue: Whether or not mankind is the cause of the observed warming and whether the warming is great enough to be cause for alarm. The fact that the graphs of temperature change that you normally see are scaled in tenths of one degree probably tells you all you need to know about the latter question

Ruddiman is however an outlier among Warmists. He claims that the invention of farming 8,000 years ago caused global warming! Back to the jungles!

I am sorry to see your stream of posts about 'global cooling' coming to an end, no doubt because of the inconvenient rebound of global temperature in 2009. I had really been enjoying watching your global-coolers embarrass themselves. To mainstream scientists like me, the reasoning behind their arguments fall far below that of the average 7-year-old. If your readers doubt this, ask them to find the nearest available 7-year-old, show him or her a plot of global temperature for the last 100-150 years, and ask 6 questions:

1. Did the overall temperature trend in the last 125 years go down or up?
2. Were there times when the upward trend leveled out or went down?
3. Afterward, did temperatures warm to levels even higher than before?
4. Do the last 5 or so years show a small cooling trend?
5. Does this recent cooling trend differ in any obvious way from the earlier ones?
6. Do you think the upward warming trend is likely to resume in the future? (see below)

The answers to the first 5 questions are obvious: up, yes, yes, yes, and no. So question 6 is the key. It requires the child to look at the record of past temperature changes, think about the lessons learned (a tiny bit!, but more than your global coolers), and draw a simple conclusion.

So-- how did your nearest available 7-year-old respond? I doubt that he/she would find the recent cooling different in any obvious way from the range of several previous ones. If so, this 7-year-old judged that the long-term warming trend will resume and will likely reach even higher levels (as it seems to have begun to do in 2009). And if so, your nearest available child understands natural climatic variability far better than you.

Benny Peiser replies:

One of the problems with true believers is that they tend to misrepresent the actual position one takes. My own stance is well known and has been reported repeatedly on CCNet and other media outlets: "It is quite possible that global temperatures might start rising again in the foreseeable future. Admittedly, no one knows exactly if and when this will happen – and if, whether the renewed warming trend will be pronounced, moderate or insignificant. In all likelihood, we will not know for the next twenty or thirty years who will be right or wrong - the climate sceptics or the alarmists. Nevertheless, as long as the global warming standstill continues, more or less, and as long as the political deadlock between the West and the rest of the world lingers, international climate politics will remain firmly on ice."

Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here

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