[LINK] the weather makers
Alan L Tyree
alan at austlii.edu.au
Tue Apr 10 07:11:17 EST 2007
On Mon, 09 Apr 2007 17:49:56 +1000
Richard Chirgwin <rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au> wrote:
> Alan L Tyree wrote:
> > On Mon, 09 Apr 2007 16:23:41 +1000
> > Richard Chirgwin <rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au> wrote:
> >> Alan L Tyree wrote:
> >>>> Actually, the number of available causes of a change in
> >>>> temperature are not so great as to be completely bewildering.
> >>>>> If they did know how to apportion this, and what caused the
> >>>>> natural component, then they could explain the history of
> >>>>> climate change. They can't.
> >>>> That's not quite so, either. There exist quite a number of models
> >>>> for discussion of past events. What scientists avoid is trying to
> >>>> make an absolute statement about something like "what happened
> >>>> 100,000 years ago", because they are quite aware that anybody can
> >>>> claim to have "predicted the past".
> >>> These models are purporting to predict 50 to 100 years ahead. It
> >>> surely is fair to ask that they be validated with data from 1900.
> >>> I don't think it is "dishonest" to ask this, nor do I think that
> >>> it is BS science. Nor am in the pay of (think-tanks | big
> >>> business | creationists | any other bogey man).
> >> Alan;
> >> Validation is not possible. This is a genuine weak point of the
> >> science: the only way to validate any scientific theory is to test
> >> predictions - but all predictions involve the future.
> > Of course, and hence the famous quote that "Prophesy is very
> > difficult, particularly as regards the future."
> > But a form of "validation" certainly requires "predicting" the past
> > to give some confidence in the models. My confidence in the models
> > would be greatly increased if they were shown to "predict" the 20th
> > century. Doesn't need to be entirely accurate, of course, but it
> > should at least be able to identify the high points.
> >> In the media, calls for "validation" of climate science are part of
> >> the political project of delay: it is no coincidence that when I
> >> Google "validation of climate models", the IPA pops up in the first
> >> page of results. "We can't act without proof" is 1.01 of the think
> >> tank (and has been deployed before; fortunately, CFC observations
> >> and predictions happened on a political rather than generational
> >> timescale, and action outran the resistance movement).
> Tomorrow? Yes. 20 years? I doubt it would be catastrophic, for
> various reasons:
Yes, I agree with this. I was carried away by my own rhetoric, an
occupational hazard I'm afraid :-).
Noticed two items in this morning's SMH. One a "calculation" that coal
reserves will be depleted within 20 years. This surprised me since I
thought that we were talking much longer horizons.
Second was Prof Bruce Thom's Op Ed piece on adapting to climate change.
And note that he talked about a 50 year time frame - something so
seductive about that 50 year figure!
> 1) 20 years is more than sufficient for a natural attrition of
> 2) 20 years is more than sufficient for orderly transition of
> 3) Current solar, wind, and geothermal technologies have sufficient
> demand for personnel to replace lost employment (more than enough; as
> I also remarked in the previous e-mail, each of these requires
> significantly more people per petajoule than coal).
> 4) 20 years is a long timespan for technical development of the
> replacements, towards making them cost-competitive with coal.
> 5) An immediate decision within Australia ("We will produce all
> electricity from non-coal sources in 20 years") would *not* destroy
> "30,000 coal industry jobs". It would not necessarily destroy one
> coal industry job; because overwhelmingly most of our coal is
> exported. What it *would* do is provide a huge impetus to investment
> and technological development in the renewable sector - which would
> be of huge value when the rest of the world wanted our renewable
> experience more than it wanted our coal.
> 6) Those 30,000 jobs are doomed *already*.
> An aside about the "independent science" that's being suppressed (not
> one of your notes, Alan, but something that nagged at me). I grabbed
> a list of climate change sceptics from Sourcewatch, verified it
> against some think-tank sites (who endorsed the same sceptics as
> Sourcewatch denounced), and grabbed down some CVs.
> The result is interesting. Of 32 sceptics, leaving out 6 whose
> backgrounds could not be verified in a hurry:
> - only 12 have directly relevant qualifications (that is, advanced
> degrees in climate science, geology, etc). The rest are a smattering
> of soft sciences (mostly economists) or inappropriate qualifications
> (an electrical engineer, for eg).
> - Of the 12 whose qualifications are relevant, 10 are either directly
> employed by industry or think tanks, or are indirectly funded by
> industry or think tanks.
> The "independent" camp is just two - that is, two high-profile
> climate change sceptics out of 32 who are both (a) independent and
> (b) appropriately qualified. One of these two, while saying he has
> never received funding, has worked as an advisor to Friends of
> Science, which has received oil industry funding.
> Richard Chirgwin
> Link mailing list
> Link at mailman.anu.edu.au
Alan L Tyree http://www2.austlii.edu.au/~alan
Tel: +61 2 4782 2670 Mobile: +61 427 486 206
Fax: +61 2 4782 7092 FWD: 615662
More information about the Link