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Dragging the misery out a few years longer

with 32 comments

Ross McKitrick has a good response to the Pembina/Suzuki paper here.

Ross is the type of guy to go after everything, and indeed that is what he does in this editorial – the government, the targets, the models, the ENGOS, and the science. Funny thing is, he is mostly right on all accounts. Indeed, his gives a great overview of why one should be sceptical in looking at all things climate policy.

But, does his argument mean everything is wrong? I think not. He makes an argument for precaution when thinking about climate policy and climate science, but when it comes to climate outcomes that could be really really bad, he prefers skepticism over precaution. Strange because he clearly believes risk and uncertainty dominate climate policy and science, but then implies that a little climate policy insurance is unwarranted.

This position then gives fodder to the Rhino Party Whips of the world, which perhaps says it all. (see comment 23, 8:37 pm). In the end, this all serves to drag the misery out a few years longer.

Written by Dave Sawyer

November 3rd, 2009 at 1:33 pm

32 Responses to 'Dragging the misery out a few years longer'

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  1. McKitrick? Are you kidding?

    McKitrick is the guy who argued that global average temperature can’t exist – that if your kitchen were 21 degrees C and your living room were 19, any discussion of an average temperature in your house is meaningless.

    More famous, of course, is McKitrick’s brilliant economic work arguing its all heat island effects; that almost all global warming is due to economic factors, not physics or atmospheric stuff. Except he doesn’t know the difference between degrees and radians. So his positions on the globe were a factor of 50 off.

    He’s the guy who worked with MacIntyre to `prove’ that the `hockey stick’ was wrong, and exposed his painful lack of understanding of principle component analysis in paper form; by aping what MBH did without understanding any of it, they made a stupid mistake in truncating the PCs where they had no buisness in doing so – but it got them the answer they wanted so they didn’t question it.

    In one of his works he invented his own temperature scale and then uses RMS mean temperatures so differences never go negative. Both these things are meaningless, but it gave him the answer he wanted, so.

    This is a guy who is willing to say absolutely anything, no matter how embarrasingly wrong it is later shown, if it lets him get a cheap point in.

    Jonathan Dursi

    3 Nov 09 at 2:34 pm

  2. Good comment. Thanks. Yes Ross has a certain, ahem, panache. But, his comments on the models used in the Pembina/Suzuki stuff are good. I use the same models regularly, and I no fault with his comments. I just disagree that with the notion that with modeling uncertainty there is no learning.

    Dave Sawyer

    4 Nov 09 at 2:37 pm

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