Thursday, 26 August 2010

Jim Sillars on climate

Local resident Jim Sillars had a  letter in yesterday's Scotsman prompted by the climate camp protestors in which he identified a flaw in current thinking:

. . . the elevation of doubtful science, that the climate is undergoing profound change due to humankind's activities, to the level of a religious belief, with such belief carrying a licence for self-righteous zealots to impose their views on the rest of us. As well as an economic recession, it appears we are suffering from an intellectual one as well. 
It led to this response (scroll down the link) in today's letters pages:

Jim Sillars (Letters, 25 August) is right to point out that in the debate about "dirty oil" much of the zealotry is based on doubtful science.

On Tuesday night I attended the fascinating Book Festival debate on "Powering the Planet", and the assumption that imminent "dangerous climate change" is the settled consensus of science underpinned many of the arguments. This assumption is a fundamental flaw which underpins much of our public policy, including our "groundbreaking" Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009.

Cllr Cameron Rose
City Chambers


Gordon Wilson said...

Most scientists globally, reputable ones anyway, are of the view that the threat of man made climate change is real and not overestimated. A quick google can tell you this. Its only hard to demonstrate if you dont want to know it.

Cameron Rose said...

Gordon, Thanks for your comment.

The debate is polarised and there are some who would have you believe that it is all neatly sewn up. James Hansen is one such, and the Guardian has usually taken a similar position.

But there are other views and the problem is that some (on both sides) rubbish the other side - as you have done with your inference that anyone who disagrees with Hansen is not a reputable scientist.

There are many top class scientists, eg Prof Richard Lindzen of MIT, who are not happy with the Hansen line.

Even the Guardian's Fred Pearce has moved his position in the last year.

And for the record, I would not say that global warming is not a problem. I just don't know. The uncertainties are very great in what is a fledgling science.

After giving it a lot of time, thought and reading, I have come to the conclusion that a significant proportion of the science which has been used to persuade policy makers that a catastrophe is just round the corner, just does not stand up to scrutiny. (I am referring to the proxy simulations used to infer that recent warming is unprecedented in the last 1000 years - the hockey stick graph.)

I suggest you begin to look at the counter evidence before making up your own mind.

Try the Bishop Hill link on the rhs column of this blog. 'Caspar and the Jesus paper' is particularly interesting.

Best wishes.

Scots Renewables said...

Are there no lengths climate deniers won't go to? A Tory getting into bed with Jim Sillars - now I've seen it all :-)

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