Saturday, April 13, 2013

Economist Begins to Reasses Position on Global Warming

      The Economist backed away from its past alarmist position, saying that “If climate scientists were credit-rating agencies, climate sensitivity would be on negative watch.” The high-end estimates of warming coming from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is unlikely if not far-fetched.
      Temperatures have not risen over the past 15 years, making a mockery of the computer programs that showed temperatures rising in lockstep with carbon dioxide.
      The Economist points to various reputable scientific bodies that have far less scary projections than the IPCC and it is clearly troubled by the failure of the computer models to match reality. Possibly the last decade of no warming has been an anomaly, and that warming will soon resume. Or it might be that the 1990s, when temperatures were rising fast, was the anomalous period.  The Economist states, "we might have all got worked up over what amounted to nothing more than a temporary hot spell."
      The Economist joins a small group of prestigious colleagues who have long been skeptical of warnings of doom, among them writers and editors at the Wall Street Journal in the U.S., the Telegraph in the U.K., Der Spiegel in Germany, the Australian in Australia and the National Post in Canada. The Economist cannot easily be dismissed and no journalist wants to be in the embarrassing position of being the last to know.
      For those without a scientific grounding who feel they must rely on authority, here is what needs to be known:
  1. All of the scary global warming scenarios are based on computer models. 
  2. None of the models work.
  3. There is and has been no scientific consensus.
     The claimed scientific consensus routinely repeated is based on 2500 scientists have endorsed the IPCC’s findings. It stems from a misunderstanding. The 2500 scientists associated with the IPCC were not endorsers, they were peer reviewers (contact the Secretariat of the IPCC to confirm)
      Also, scientific consensus was a widely reported survey that showed 97% of scientists believe in global warming. That number came from an online survey of 10,257 earth scientists conducted by two researchers who for various reasons decided to disqualify all but 77 of the 3146 who responded. The 77 accepted had unknown qualifications – a PhD or even a Master’s degree was not required for inclusion in the survey. Of those 77, 75 thought humans contributed to climate change; the ratio 75 over 77 yields the 97% figure. 
      A change in thinking among journalists would them into the mainstream of society – journalists today are among the few groups that overwhelmingly subscribe to the view that global warming is both manmade and represents a major danger. 
      According to a Pew report released earlier this month, among Americans global warming ranks last among 21 public policy priorities that the government should deal with. European polls show similar results.

For more on this change in perspective at the Economist click here.

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