Friday, January 08, 2010

The Mikes have the Willies

Eli don't know what it is about the Mikes, but they certainly appear to have the Willies. Rabett Run now houses Mike Powell's take on Willie Soon's OISM front piece. Suffice it to say that Mike don't think much of it. Today Eli ran across a rather longer fisking aka comment, by another Mike, Michael MacCracken, hosted on Climate Science Watch. Now just as there are multiple versions of the various Baliunas, Soon and assoted Robinsons fish wrap, MacCracken provides multiple takedowns. His summary of the JPANDs version which Sallie was too shy to join in on (Little Bunnies, you do remember JPANDS, Journal of the American Physicians, Surgeons and Wingnuts, don't you?)

Expanding on a paper first presented ten years ago, the authors present a summary of climate change science that finds fault with nearly all of the internationally peer-reviewed findings contained in the comprehensive scientific assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In particular, the authors find fault with IPCC’s conclusions relating to human activities being the primary cause of recent global warming, claiming, contrary to significant evidence that they tend to ignore, that the comparatively small influences of natural changes in solar radiation are dominating the influences of the much larger effects of changes in the atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations on the global energy balance. After many scientific misstatements and much criticism of IPCC science, the authors conclude with a section on the environment and energy that argues for construction of 500 additional nuclear reactors to provide the inexpensive energy needed for the US to prosper and to end importation of hydrocarbon fuels (particularly petroleum). Taking this step, along with the beneficial effects of the rising CO2 concentration, will, they argue in complete contrast to the prevailing scientific views, create a “lush environment of plants and animals” that our children can enjoy.
Of course, when Sallie was joined in things were not much better. MacCrackens comments on “Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide” by A. R. Robinson, S. L. Baliunas, W. Soon, and Z. W. Robinson are, perhaps, slightly stronger
This paper is filled with distortions, errors, and one-sided interpretations of the science and blithely presumes that because we have survived to the present, the future will bring no problems as the population rises, energy use rises, atmospheric composition changes, and the earth’s natural systems are seriously and rapidly altered by human activities. While it is true that we do not know all, or maybe even most, answers to questions about the future, the international scientific community has come to the conclusion that virtually all the evidence is pointing in one direction and these authors, ignoring that literature and the international conclusions, pick and select and come to the exact opposite conclusion. Theirs is truly the style of argument of a defense attorney with a very weak case--the first line of defense is that man is not causing any change; their second is that man is certainly not causing an exaggerated set of changes they attribute to the other side; their third is that if changes do occur, all of the impacts will be positive and easy to deal with (but here they leave out whole categories of impacts from consideration); and their fourth line of defense is that even if adverse changes do occur, what is happening is for the long-term greater good of society whether society likes it or not. All of these lines of defense have been considered by the international scientific community in great detail and then their analyses have been reviewed broadly by experts and governments--and all of these supposed lines of defense fail. With unanimity, the cautiously stated summary for consideration by policymakers is that “the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate” and that “the probability is very low that these correspondences could occur by chance as a result of natural internal variability only. The vertical patterns of change are also inconsistent with those expected for solar and volcanic forcing.” These conclusions stand unrefuted by this work.
No disrespect to Mike Powell, but among other things Mike MacCracken was atmospheric and geophysical sciences division leader at Lawrence Livermore, senior scientist at the Office of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, coordinated US review of the IPCC FAR, and president of the International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences (IAMAS). In other words, one of the few persons policy types should go to who wanted to know about climate science. It is true that MacCracken has not taken the vow of pablum required of all lily liver Honest Brokers, and lacks the ability to take fools gladly. That is a feature.

Between the two Mikes you might even be able to educate 30,000 ......... Oh well, hope springs eternal.


pointer said...

Just read through the first part of the Climate Science Watch pdf. To this non-scientist, it's disgraceful to hear that skeptics held a conference to present the Robinson/Soon/Baliunas paper and gave McCracken one day -- that's right, one day -- to prepare a response.

amoeba said...

Prof. Rabett,
I couldn't get this link to work!
Climate Science Watch =

Something has gone wrong!


Steve Bloom said...

Somewhat OT, but I just saw a very pithy RC comment re Lindzen:

"When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail… Maybe Lindzen should visit a bigger hardware store, preferably outside of the tropics."

Being a polite Canadian, the commenter neglects to mention that Lindzen acquired a really big bag of hammers in the late '80s and shows no sign of running short.

EliRabett said...

Where has Eli heard that thing about hammers?

Rattus Norvegicus said...

Yep, Steve, and he's been pounding nails with them to no effect for almost twenty years.

EliRabett said...

Try this link