Tuesday, December 05, 2006

In response to Richard Black - BBC "environment" correspondent

The environment correspondent of the BBC - Richard Black - has come out and asked climate change sceptics to lay our cards on the table.

"Climate sceptics" would do society a favour, argues our environment correspondent Richard Black, if they would open their claims to scrutiny that science is biased against them.

Err .... for starters, Richard, our argument is not that science is biased against us - indeed it is very much in our favour - it is that the media, that is people like yourselves, Richard, put forward a one sided view of the climate change debate. For example, the BBC reported on the Stern review BEFORE it was published. It headlined the BBC news the next day and enormous coverage was devoted to it and AGW supporters over the next few weeks..

Last week, Khilyuk and Chillingar published the findings of their study in an article in a peer-reviewed scientific journal and the BBC has completely ignored it. The study was focused on whether human activity was behind climate change and it's findings were unequivocal.

The effects of human activity were negligible, they said.

That is negligible. Not just minor, not just less significant than other factors, but so insignificant that it would be safe to ignore it. The report authors concluded that spending billions upon billions as recommended by Stern and Kyoto would be a catastrophic waste of money.

But the BBC ignored it. Why?

If people like Richard Black - the so called "environment correspondent" - were really interested in the science of climate change this study would have been way up there on their list of things to read. It isn't because they don't want to know.

Black goes on to bemoan that climate change sceptics claim that science has become politicised.

Here, in the Internet prairie, we find comments such as: "Science has become as blatantly biased in the direction of tragedy as television. But, given the way we fund and reward science and scientists, it was inevitable."

Funding is now almost entirely in the hands of governments and governments are political. Hence science has become politicised. No point in denying it - it is the way of the world.

However, when science does produce research that goes against the political consensus - which is all the consensus really ever was - then the science goes ignored by the equally politicised media. The lack of reporting of the Khilyuk and Chillingar study demonstrates that (and there have been many other instances I could have used).

Black is still not satisfied.

Journals are meant to publish the best research irrespective of whether it accepts that the sky is blue, or finds it could really be green. Scientific conferences should showcase the full panoply of thought in a given field; the societal remit of consensus bodies such as the IPCC is to consider all the evidence, not just the convenient bits.

But they don't do they. The IPCC is driven by it's own agenda, not science or any "societal remit" (as if the IPCC has such a thing!). Same with the BBC. You simply aren't interested in science that rocks the boat. When journals do publish evidence based science that goes against your world view you just ignore it. Worse still, you demand higher standards from us "sceptics" than you apply to AGW supporters or the IPCC, Richard.

You ask us to write in, but demand that we provide "evidence". Well, I can do that, Richard, but why don't you ask for some "evidence" of AGW as well? Because there isn't any, Richard. It is all theory based. And theory derived from climate change models which can not be considered even remotely accurate because we simply do not know anywhere near enough to make such predictions. The truth is that there is no evidence that climate change is anthropogenic.

You ask us to demonstrate where consensus bodies ignore "inconvenient findings". Well, how about the way the IPCC ignore the Medieval Warm Period - not important, not warm, not global they say. Yet there is mounting evidence that it is important, was warmer than today and was global - despite the lack of SUVs and coal fired power stations back then. How come this period is ignored by the IPCC, Richard?

I have posted a comment on the BBC site linking the Khilyuk and Chillingar study. I doubt whether it will get past the moderators. I doubt that Richard Black will bother to read it. I doubt that he really has any interest in real environmental science. If he really did then he could do what a journalist is supposed to do and go and find it - it's all out there, Richard. All you need to do is find the will to challenge your preconceptions.

7 comments:

Daily Referendum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daily Referendum said...

The environment is a massive industry. If it is proved that climate change is not down to mankind, then a lot of so-called scientists being paid with our tax money will be out of some very cushy jobs.

Stan said...

I think that has a lot to do with it - the anthropogenic climate change theory provides a lot of opportunities for people to make money. It also gives governments another excuse for raising taxation on the pretence of doing some good.

The best example of that, for me, is emissions trading - between companies and countries.

mightyhor said...

There are two sides to every coin...see this rebuttle to the article in question in the same 'peer reviewed' journal:
http://www.springerlink.com/content/36w570322514n204/offerings/?p=b0926f8d6890480b92de54942fa035d4&pi=0
Scientists researching climate change rarely do so with a vested intest in proving that humans are to blame. To say that their results that are determined by governmental priorities is insulting to these people who are working for the good of all of us.
At the end of the day, the climate is warming, as it has done many times in the past, and this is something that we will have to deal with as a society - whether we are to blame or not...
I agree that many media sources are making money through scaremongering, but Richard Black actually tends to provide a fairly balanced assessment: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4276242.stm

Anonymous said...

How do you sleep at nights? Your site -- not to mention Khilyuk and Chilingar -- are an embarrassment to science and to humanity.

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2006/12/paper_claims_human_co2_emissio.php

Of course the Black/the BBC ignored it: it's junk.
So bored with these disinformation campaigns....

Anonymous said...

how ironic that you would censor the person who last decided to leave a comment - a little bit hypocritcal dont you think!

Tim Naylor said...

What is an environmentalist without a crisis? Unemployed.