Why is there so much preoccupation with atmospheric CO2 concentrations and reducing anthropogenic CO2 emissions when it is well documented in the peer-reviewed scientific literature that the CO2 contribution to the overall greenhouse effect is so weak that it can be easily supplanted by small changes in clouds and water vapor, or natural climate-changing constituents?


Saturday, 3 March 2012

Church of CO2 Alarm tenets challenged in a university - junior priests and a missionary are startled by this

I try not to get spread too thin here, but this one is hard to ignore (hat-tip: Greenie Watch).  It is, I think, revealing of the narrow-minded, ill-informed yet animated attitudes that have led to the production of so much execrable material on climate aimed at schoolchildren.  The people responsible for it are just the kind that I hope will change their minds soon if this dreadful corruption of the young is to stop.

You have to put yourself in their place to understand their inner turmoil.  They are believers.  They have been brought up in the faith.  They learned about the threat of the evil deniers, paid by evil corporations to spread lies and deceptions - mostly to stupid, gullible people, or to other wicked people.   That's simple and clear enough, and would have been reinforced all but daily in the media, and within their circles of chosen ones.  Imagine their horror then to come across a professor in a university delivering an entire lecture course which undermined the Revelations of Gore and the Holy Insights of Hansen.  Surely, of all sheltered, solidly socialist places, a university should be a safe haven from such non-conformist views?  You can see they would be upset and puzzled.

Four junior priests of the faith took it upon themselves to study videos of the offending lectures, and then put together a 96 page document to capture the horror of them, and add some attempts of their own to refute the heresies.    Hearing of this report, the missionary agreed to do a telephone interview with the heretic himself, and thereby no doubt display both her courage and willingness to deal with such people in the name of the cause.  Perhaps she might show him the error of his ways, or at the very least publicise more awfulness to bring shivers of horror to her own small band of followers.   But, goshdarnit, it turned out that the heretic was polite and rational and well-informed and not at all obviously unhinged or evil.  Listen to the call, or read the transcript, and see how her faith is tested, and how she sometimes remembers her catechisms about Consensus, Deniers, Big Oil, Heartland, Catastrophe, and suchlike.  Yet these potent words, words that produce automatic cheers of agreement amongst the faithful and deep declarations of solidarity with the cause, were brushed aside or even challenged to good effect!  But although she stumbled, and failed in her hopes for this call, she made the best of a bad job and reported next of nothing of it.  Why expose her converts and hangers-on to what she had to endure?  No,she concentrated on the report of the junior priests instead.  A report which even now, the bad guys are having some fun with.  It seems it is a foolish piece of work, one which will bring nought but shame and embarassment to the new church.

I hope, but experience tells me it is a forlorn one, to have time to return to this myself.  In the meantime, and that may be for a long time, here is the inestimable Watts at work on it: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/03/fake-moral-outrage-translated-to-smear-media-upset-that-students-can-choose-to-take-an-elective-course-on-climate-change-at-carleton/#more-58227

Here is some of what he has written:  [note Goldenberg is the missionary in my scribbles above, and Mr Harris is the heretic]

'Contrary to Goldenberg’s statement that the review of the Earth Sciences course was “an expert audit”, Mr. Harris in his telephone interview (from the transcript linked above) explained to her that it was conducted by two biologists and a writer, none of whom apparently have significant expertise in Earth Sciences or Climate Science.
According to Mr. Harris, contrary to assertions in the Guardian piece, the 2011 version of the ERTH2402 course was well supported by peer reviewed science literature and was in no way extreme. It merely concluded that we are a long way from understanding the science well enough to be able to make reliable forecasts about future climate. Harris says the course was completely nonpartisan politically and avoided any sort of commercial endorsement.
Goldenberg wrote in her Guardian article:
“A team of scientists, who reviewed the videotapes of Mr. Harris’s lectures provided by the university, found 142 false, biased and misleading claims”.
Mr. Harris advises me that he will release an appropriate response to those claims when he has thoroughly reviewed the CASS “audit” report. However, as of this writing, no problems have yet been raised by Carleton in the course material as taught in 2011. It appears that Carelton University itself has no issue with the course material, only the CASS group and the media seem to have issues.
Suzanne Goldenberg’s Guardian piece condemning ERTH2402 is itself riddled with logical fallacies, misrepresentations, omissions, and errors, some of which were described in a letter to the editor sent by Mr. Harris to The Guardian early on February 29. So far, The Guardian has not responded or published the necessary corrections in either their Letters to the Editor or “Corrections and clarifications” sections.
If they don’t, and I’m predicting they won’t, I’ll carry the letter from Mr. Harris here as a separate post.'

Note added 9 March 2012That promised post has been posted today.  Strong stuff for WUWT:

Editiorial: The Guardian doesn’t give a damn about accurate reporting nor its own editorial code

1 comment:

  1. These "scientists" link to a BLOG (Skeptical Science, where else?) a total of 38 times to support many their assertions. One of the "142 false, biased and misleading claims” is effectively that CO2 is "plant food". The "four horsemen of the coming apocalypse" say ".... the argument that it is plant food (as one American senator once remarked) is somewhat misleading".

    This surely must be a new definition of the word misleading I wasn't aware of.

    The thing is full of nonsense, and several citations don't support what they claim or infer they do. Don't they think anyone will check? A classic mistake of the morally superior is to underestimate their opponents.

    One could paraphrase several paragraphs as "CO2 is a pollutant because the EPA says it is, and we know it's nasty stuff" - pathetic.