Sunday, February 15, 2009

Debate with a Climate Change sceptic

Dash RIPROCK III has commented on the David Bellamy piece below. I have replied here, rather than in the comment slot, as they can be overlooked.

Hi Mr Riprock

Thanks you for pasting in your thoughts, which I also find here:

Your comments are in italics:

“The UN IPCC is a political body”

Here’s how they describe themselves:

The IPCC is a scientific intergovernmental body set up by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Its constituency is made of :
· The governments: the IPCC is open to all member countries of WMO and UNEP. Governments of participate in plenary Sessions of the IPCC where main decisions about the IPCC work programme are taken and reports are accepted, adopted and approved. They also participate the review of IPCC Reports.
· The scientists: hundreds of scientists all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC as authors, contributors and reviewers.
· The people: as United Nations body, the IPCC work aims at the promotion of the United Nations human development goals(

“spitting out reports that are designed to support a predetermined political agenda”.

Please back this claim. What is the predetermined political agenda? Are you suggesting that there is a conspiracy on the part of politicians to boost the energy conservation industries. or what?

”As for Al Gore:”
I did not mention Al Gore in the piece, so will not discuss his film here, (Real Climate discusses it here) but I will address your point about the “mediaeval warming period”.

Brain Angliss summarises : “The evidence used by most scientists that believe this claim is anecdotal at best and that while this evidence applies regionally to the area between Greenland and the Ural Mountains, there is not yet enough evidence to support this claim on a hemispherical basis, never mind a global basis”.

This is developed in more detail here. Nielsen, R. 2005, 'Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age Myths',

”He also stated that sea level would rise by 20 feet by the end of the century. Even the UN IPCC (hardly conservative on this issue) estimates only 4 to 36 inches”

“The sea level rise numbers published in the new IPCC report (the Fourth Assessment Report, AR4) have already caused considerable confusion. Many media articles and weblogs suggested there is good news on the sea level issue, with future sea level rise expected to be a lot less compared to the previous IPCC report (the Third Assessment Report, TAR). Some articles reported that IPCC had reduced its sea level projection from 88 cm to 59 cm (35 inches to 23 inches) , some even said it was reduced from 88 cm to 43 cm (17 inches), and there were several other versions as well (see "Broad Irony"). These statements are not correct and the new range up to 59 cm is not the full story.”

There is a full discussion of seal level rise here.

”…claims that for the first time ever, a significant number of polar bears had drowned. First of all, they can swim around fifty miles.”

Arctic sea ice is declining. Therefore polar bears are losing their habitat. Therefore they will die off in proportion to their loss of habitat, except those that manage to adapt to new habitats. Period.

Do not be fooled by reports that Arctic sea ice is extending. There is more room for temporary sea ice to form in winter, precisely because there is now more sea room for this to happen.

"Furthermore, he quotes a quickly debunked paper suggesting there is a 100% consensus among scientists that anthropogenic global warming is real. Here are a few scientists who must have missed the memo:"

Before we pay any attention to these surveys, we need to know that they are validated, that is, that the signatories are all scientists with expertise in atmospheric physics. It is not enough simply to tick the PhD box on the form. I am holding (for reference) an email offering me a PhD; no work needed, just a fee…

Here is the evidence on the consensus.

”It is worth noting that a UK Court ruled that AIT contained many errors and should not be shown in public schools without a warning about the errors”.

I think I can speak for everyone here by saying that UK judges are a law unto themselves, and their judgments, especially in matters of science, are of next to no value at all.

Thanks for commenting, I hope this helps, and good wishes to all in Hooterville.

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