Climate change blues? No worries mate–Bob will see you right!

That is, the Bob who has written, among other things, the worst climate change paper ever published. Another Bob noted on The Science Show:

I looked at one example by Bob Carter, it was published in an Australian economics journal a couple of years ago called Economic Analysis and Policy. And I noted first of all that it had a quote in it, attributed to John Houghton who was a senior member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. It includes a quote in there that John Houghton has never said, he’s never written and never said, yet it is in this paper by Carter. So that was wrong, I knew.

But the more I looked at the paper, almost on every sentence there was a question over its accuracy, and I went through one by one, and in the end I couldn’t write a paper short enough for publication that detailed all the problems, so I just had to identify the most serious. And he goes from making claims about a correlation between temperature and the Sun, he quotes a paper that’s been shown to have used inaccurate data but he forgets to mention that, it’s got dodgy statistics about the impact that carbon dioxide has on temperature, and he actually cites for his calculation a website about fossils of West Virginia. That is not science, that’s just desperately seeking bits of information to back up a theory.

So when I went through I found so many glaring errors in it, it seemed to me that it was probably the worst paper that had ever been published about climate change and it just goes to show that the sceptics if they really want to can usually find a place to get their views out.

The Bob is always good for a quote when Miranda is in scientific mode**.  That’s this Bob. The Bob who attracted the attention of the CSIRO for his misrepresentations.

…‘Professor Bob Carter quotes US Climate Scientist Kevin Trenberth in support of an argument that CSIRO’s ‘climate models are worthless predictive tools’. Trenberth does not question the reality of anthropogenic global warming, or the threat of future warming as predicted by global and regional climate models. All he argues is that the climate models cannot predict exactly how some aspects of regional climate will evolve in the years ahead.’

‘Climate scientists are acutely aware of this and as a result they do not try to forecast the actual climate for a particular day or month or year decades into the future. They do not produce ‘useless regional climate forecasts’ (as Professor Carter alleges) but rather valuable projections of how the climate is likely to trend, as well as assessing uncertainties.’

‘It’s these projections that equip us to prepare for the changes ahead. They give us the opportunity to pre-empt and minimise some of the potential negative impacts of climate change on human communities and the environment, if we act promptly.’

‘CSIRO is at the forefront of producing useful climate projections. We are in the business of informing government, industries and communities about the threat of climate change and its impacts. We are also developing practical and effective adaptation options so that society can better cope with the inevitability of climate change.’

‘There is overwhelming evidence that the planet is warming, that it is very likely that most of the global warming since the mid-20th century is due to human induced increases in greenhouse gases (IPCC). What’s more, we can say with confidence that this warming will accelerate if emissions are allowed to continue unabated.’

‘In the face of such clear and present danger, more than ever we need good scientific practice whereby well-founded criticism and new, more robust analysis is used to revise or reject previous positions.  However, misinformed and misleading debate risks deflecting the community from the vital challenge ahead, which is to mitigate and adapt to climate change.’

It’s really simple, folks. Forget The Royal Society. Don’t struggle with Nature or even Scientific American. Ignore those pesky peak science organisations world wide. All you need is Bob and his buddies in that august scientific journal Quadrant!

And they’ll make you feel better too, especially if you are a major miner or fossil fuel consortium. You too can regard the climate with insouciance! So nice, just like the Old Days!

See also Bob Carter tag on Desmogblog.

I wonder if we’ll be allowed to see Meet the Sceptics (BBC November 2010). It has Watts Up Up In Arms and Lord Monckton looking for his lawyers again. Can’t be all bad, can it?

** Note my previous post:

Now we come to the question of whether recent weather events have been “caused by global warming”. Not so easy. In one sense, we cannot. Not until we can review in around thirty years time where the climate has changed can we look back with any confidence and attribute patterns of weather events to global warming. That is an inconvenient truth.

My objection to Miranda’s article (and the Bob Quote therein) is the false dichotomy between adapting to climate – yes, Queensland has floods and cyclones – and accepting the evidence of anthropogenic global warming. It may well be that the only adaptation available in fifty years time in some parts of Queensland is to leave…

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One thought on “Climate change blues? No worries mate–Bob will see you right!

  1. Full marks to John Quiggin.

    …Every major scientific organization in the world has endorsed the mainstream consensus view of climate changed, shared by the overwhelming majority of climate scientists. Most of those questioning the science lack the knowledge to understand even basic issues like the statistical significance of trends in time series or the fundamentals of the greenhouse effect. Worse, they haven’t bothered to learn.

    Tragically, this vital issue has been ensnared in the pointless and long-running culture wars waged by segments of the political right in Australia and other English-speaking countries. The dangers of climate change, and the need for immediate and effective action to mitigate it, are conflated with the real or imagined faults of greenies, gays, Al Gore and the left in general. The whole debate is conducted in terms of the silly pointscoring and namecalling that characterises the culture wars as a whole…

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