Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Arguments from (spurious) authority

There's light posting this week as I'm quite occupied - and out of town for a few days.

In the meantime here is the text of a letter from me in the Scotsman today.  It responds to a letter yesterday which deserved a reply.
The context for recent public policy decisions on energy is the fear of dangerous human-caused climate change, as Tom Ballantine points out.
It is a fear which cannot be substantiated by his appeals to authority. The paper he cites, ­Expert Credibility in Climate Change, was compiled by a ­partisan group of activist scientists whose definition of ­climate sceptics and climate ­experts lacks credibility.
It is more a propaganda piece of which Mr Ballantine is happy to take advantage.
Nor has his other source of ­authority, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), given any reason to be regarded as a ­sufficient authority on which to base public policy.
In one case its claim that Himalayan glaciers would likely melt by 2035 was challenged by observers. The IPCC chairman accused the observers of “voodoo science” in an unfortunate demonisation tactic. The IPCC claim was shown to be wildly unfounded and its chairman diminished.
Another example is global warming. We can now go back 15 to 17 years before seeing any statistically significant rise in global mean temperature. That contrasts with IPCC reports which led policymakers to ­expect a dangerous rise.
So it is not just the economics of wind which calls into question our energy policy. Empirical observational science is to date contradicting the model-dominated, doom-laden predictions of the IPCC.
There never was a consensus of expert opinion. There are plenty of brilliant scientists who have never bought into imminent, human-caused, dangerous climate change.
(Cllr) Cameron Rose
City Chambers
Edinburgh

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's been 28 years now of science agreeing it "COULD" be a crisis and while science will say an asteroid hit is real, they won't say a their own climate crisis is as real and inevitable as an asteroid hit is. Not one IPCC warning says it "WILL" happen only could and might and.......
*Occupywallstreet does not even mention CO2 in its list of demands because of the bank-funded and corporate run carbon trading stock markets ruled by corporations.

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