Wednesday, June 14, 2006
Scientists respond to Gore's warnings of climate catastrophe
Aside, I read this on the IMBD website (Linked above.):
When the lights came up, I made for the door. The entire audience stayed for the credits, but I instantly wanted to be alone. My reactions had been emotional and it was painful stifling my welling elation. Three young girls (sixteen to eighteen, at the most) filed out of the cinema in front of me. One sniffled restraint over her own reaction, as they pushed open the heavy wooden doors and squinted into the light. "I trading my car in tomorrow," she proclaimed.
"Tsssst, come on!" her friend jeered. No doubt, the group's eternal skeptic and future anachronism.
"I don't care what you say. I'm doing it!" she persisted. The skeptic piped down and the three solemnly exited the structure.
I have never had so much optimism for our future, youth, and culture.
Bwahahaha. And lots of children were afraid to swim in lakes and swimming pools in the summer of 1975. Ok, back to the subject at hand. The opinions of scientists who are experts on climate change.
Professor Bob Carter of the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University, in Australia gives what, for many Canadians, is a surprising assessment: "Gore's circumstantial arguments are so weak that they are pathetic. It is simply incredible that they, and his film, are commanding public attention."
But surely Carter is merely part of what most people regard as a tiny cadre of "climate change skeptics" who disagree with the "vast majority of scientists" Gore cites?
No; Carter is one of hundreds of highly qualified non-governmental, non-industry, non-lobby group climate experts who contest the hypothesis that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are causing significant global climate change. "Climate experts" is the operative term here. Why? Because what Gore's "majority of scientists" think is immaterial when only a very small fraction of them actually work in the climate field.
Even among that fraction, many focus their studies on the impacts of climate change; biologists, for example, who study everything from insects to polar bears to poison ivy. "While many are highly skilled researchers, they generally do not have special knowledge about the causes of global climate change," explains former University of Winnipeg climatology professor Dr. Tim Ball. "They usually can tell us only about the effects of changes in the local environment where they conduct their studies."
This is highly valuable knowledge, but doesn't make them climate change cause experts, only climate impact experts.
So we have a smaller fraction.
But it becomes smaller still. Among experts who actually examine the causes of change on a global scale, many concentrate their research on designing and enhancing computer models of hypothetical futures. "These models have been consistently wrong in all their scenarios," asserts Ball. "Since modelers concede computer outputs are not "predictions" but are in fact merely scenarios, they are negligent in letting policy-makers and the public think they are actually making forecasts."
So when AlGore says scientific consensus he really means...whoever calls themselves a scientist no matter their area of expertise.