Thursday, October 27, 2011
Archbishop wants less religion in global warming debate.
George Pell , the Archbishop of Sydney says that less religion and more evidence is required in the global warming debate. The Archbishop has long been a global warming sceptic , not afraid of controversy, and says that "the complacent appeal to scientific consensus is simply one more appeal to authority, quite inappropriate in science or philosophy".
The basic issue is not whether the science is settled but whether the evidence and explanations are adequate in that paradigm.
I fear, too, that many politicians have never investigated the primary evidence.
Much is opaque to non-specialists, but persistent inquiry and study can produce useful clarifications, similar to the nine errors identified by the British High Court in Al Gore's propaganda film, An Inconvenient Truth.
The complacent appeal to scientific consensus is simply one more appeal to authority, quite inappropriate in science or philosophy.
It is not generally realised that in 2001 at least, one of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Third Assessment Report's workinggroups agreed: "In climate research and modelling, we are dealing with a coupled, non-linear, chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible."
Claims of atmospheric warming often appear to conflict and depend upon the period of time under consideration.
► The earth has cooled during the past 10,000 years since the Holocene climate optimum.
► The earth has cooled since 1000 years ago, not yet achieving the temperatures of the Medieval Warm Period.
► The earth has warmed since 400 years ago after the Little Ice Age three centuries ago.
► The earth warmed between 1979 and 1998 and has cooled slightly since 2001.
The following facts are additional reasons for scepticism.
► In many places, most of the 11,700 years since the end of the last ice age were warmer than the present by up to 2C.
► Between 1695 and 1730, the temperature in England rose by 2.2C. That rapid warming, unparalleled since, occurred long before the Industrial Revolution.
► From 1976 to 2001, "the global warming rate was 0.16C per decade", as it was from 1860 to 1880 and again from 1910 to 1940.
My suspicions have been deepened through the years by the climate movement's totalitarian approach to opposing views. Those secure in their explanations do not need to be abusive.
The term "climate change denier", however expedient as an insult or propaganda weapon, with its deliberate overtones of comparison with Holocaust denial, is not a useful description of any significant participant in the discussion. I was not surprised to learn that the IPCC used some of the world's best advertising agencies to generate maximum effect among the public .