Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Denier Peaks Out?

...during Harper's mini-throne speech? Something that caught my eye in today's Calgary Herald editorial (which is mostly a sigh of relief that Harper has indicated he won't make any real attempts to reign in the Tar Sands out-of-control development):

"Significantly, [Harper] referred to the IPCC's 'projections' rather than its predictions. His choice of wording may well signal an enduring skepticism of the IPCC's gloomy scenario."

What is the difference between a projection and a prediction? Here's one brief definition from a website on Health System Dynamics:

...prediction states a condition of reality at some future point in time while projection states a possible condition of reality at some future point in time based on a set of assumptions. If the assumptions are correct, then the projection will be accurate, otherwise not.

In other words, calling the IPCC's conclusions "projections" rather than "predictions" leaves open the question as to whether the IPCC's "assumptions" (the reality of the GW? its ill-effects?) are correct.

So: coded messages to the true believers indicating that, deep down, Harper still thinks its all bullshit? Maybe the leopard really can't change its spots.


Red Tory said...

Good catch!

Anonymous said...

also from Calgary . .

Wed, February 7, 2007

Simple truth about warming


"I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives."

-- Leo Tolstoy


Clearly, Tolstoy -- the great Russian novelist -- wasn't writing about man-made global warming, since he predated this relatively recent hysteria. Nevertheless, the quote certainly applies to the global warming debate -- or should I say the climate change consensus?

The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) summary released last Friday inflates the language of doom even as it deflates its predictions of temperature and sea level increases from previous reports.

The IPCC Climate Change 2007 report predicts world temperatures will possibly rise 1.8C to 4C (3.25 to 7.2F) from 1990 levels to the year 2100 and that sea levels might rise 28 to 43 cm (11 to 17 inches).

Just six years ago, however, the picture looked much bleaker.

The 2001 IPCC report predicted that from 1990 to 2100 temperatures would rise 1.4C to 5.8C causing sea levels to rise by .09 to .88 metres (3.5 to 34.6 inches or 9 to 88 cm).

In other words, in just six years, predictions about temperature increases have plummeted by one-third and predictions about sea-level increases at the high end have been cut in half!

At that rate, by my calculations, we'll just have to wait for two more reports and the IPCC will be predicting no measurable increases at all!

Incidentally, many climate scientists have been saying just that -- wait until 2025, when it's expected the sun's output may wane, leading to global cooling.

Another measurement has had to be slashed by one-third as well.

In 2001, the UN body said the global net effect of human activities since 1750 has been one of warming with radiative forcing of 2.43 watts per square metre.

Oops. Now they're saying it's 1.6 watts per square metre.

Shouldn't someone at least be blushing? Shouldn't they apologize for getting all of this so wrong?

If a large automobile executive got his predictions wrong by up to 50%, he'd be fired. The IPCC, however, continues to fly around at great cost to the UN and the environment and they stay on board this great gig as long as they continue to tout the party line -- that Earth is going to hell, only it's going to be even hotter.

What's most troubling about all of this is the 21-page, much-hyped summary is not referenced at all.

The science that supposedly backs all of these predictions is nowhere to be found and won't be released until April and May.

This is problematic on many fronts, but as past IPCC reports have shown, the summary is not written by the scientists whose names appear on the cover, it's written by politicians and bureaucrats.

Indeed, some of those scientists after the fact have complained their work has been grossly misrepresented.

In 2001, two scientists complained publicly their work was misrepresented by those who wrote the summary, including MIT physicist Richard Lindzen.

In June 1996, Dr. Frederick Seitz, past-president of the National Academy of Sciences and president emeritus of Rockefeller University, wrote with regard to the 1995 IPCC report: "I have never witnessed a more disturbing corruption of the peer-review process than the events that led to this IPCC report."

He continued: "This report is not what it appears to be -- it is not the version approved by the contributing scientists listed on the title page."

In other words, past IPCC reports have proven to be fraudulent and yet, to paraphrase Tolstoy, they have been woven into the public policy fabric of our lives.

bigcitylib said...

The problem is really it isn't worth spending a whole post refuting a columnist for the sun.

But to put it briefly, given that the best guesstimate available at the moment is that any more than a 2 degree temperature rise is where things really start to go kerflewy, and given that the bottom range of the warming prediction is now 1.8 rather than 1.4 degrees, the risk is in fact greater than outlined a couple of years ago.

The upper end of the range is not so important. Whether its 4 or 5.8, your kids going to be trying to eke a living eating roaches and being hunted by rats in the arctic.

As for Dr. Seitz, I believe he got into some legal difficulties with the NAS for misreprenting his relationship to them while he was making denialist claims. Can't lean much on him.

Anonymous said...

When will Celine detail his plans for his Kyoto carbon tax, Oh, that would be after he gets his majority. Toronto Mayor Moonbat is already salivating at the prospect of host of 'green' taxes. Park those SUVs and a toll gate on the DVP.

Peter Loewen said...

But the report is clearly based on assumptions about carbon consumption. Whether Harper used the words which are more less synonyms for all but the most careful and scientific does nothing to prove or disprove his belief in the problem of global warming. There's nothing there.

Red Butler said...

Great work spotting this slippery language from our Dear Climate Change Denying Leader!!!!

HarperCrite is not fooling Canadians - real mainstream thinking Canadians. We cannot be lied to while our senses tell us what is happening in the world. Sorry Big Brother Harper but I can look out my window and see that the IPCC knows more about the environment than you do, lol!

Peter Loewen said...

Red Butler:

you can sense a four degree average change in weather over 50 years? Can you feel iceshelves melting?

I am not denying these things are happening - they are. I just don't think we can actually feel them. We've just been lucky to have a winter at the warm end of the distribution coincide with a lot of focus on what is a really long term problem.

MgS said...

Harper has never changed his stripes. I have yet to see a single thing from the man that makes me believe that speeches he started making back in the 1990s are not representative of his beliefs.

In fact, his actions tend to reinforce the attitudes those speeches reflected.

bigcitylib said...


We in TO have been having winters at the warm end of the distribution for about 20 years now) as long as I've lived here). When people over 40 lets say tell you it doesn't get as cold as it used to, that is a direct empirical observation.

Also, both projections and predictions are based on assumptions, but (as I understand it) a prediction is based on assumptions whose truth is not in question. That is the difference. So what assumptions does Harper doubt?

Furthermore, Harper is an Economist. It would not be surprising to me if he knew the difference between prediction/projection.

Again, it's the Herald pointed out this bit of semanticst, not me.

Peter Loewen said...


I really just don't think you need to make a semantic argument to doubt Harper on global warming. You could probably cull more convincing evidence. That's all I am saying.

As for old people and weather, it's a fair enough point. But my own profession - which is obsessed with survey research - suggests that people can't even accurately estimate how many times a week they watch the news, let alone the actual weather 20 years ago!

bigcitylib said...


*Cough* *Cough*

40 is NOT old.

Anonymous said...

The 'projections' from the IPCC are a joke. Every time they get worse and worse, except that when the actual data comes it, their projections were nowhere near reality.

The mainstream Canadian you refer to is basically ignorant of anything scientific, and couldn't comprehend much in a typical scientific research paper. So we have all these scientifically ignorant Canadians claiming they 'know' the entire globe is warming because somebody in Toronto thinks winters are warmer now then when they were a kid. Nothing like good empirical, verifiable data! Well, thank God we have people in Toronto at the center of the universe to do all of our data sampling from one location, as far back as maybe 60 years. That's good enough for me! Pass the Kyoto Koo-Aid, grape, is it?

The Rat said...

When people over 40 lets say tell you it doesn't get as cold as it used to, that is a direct empirical observation.

No, that's an anectdote. It's exactly the same as old people talking about walking 10 miles to school, in the snow, uphill, both ways. Memory is faulty.

susansmith said...

The Rat is right, that is anectdotal observation. So a scientist, or inquirer, makes an hypothesis and tries to disprove it. Old timers in Bruce County (snow country) will tell you that snow banks are shrinking year after year. That is true: based on pictures I have seen of the past.

burlivespipe said...

Harpor's original script doctor had put in his favourite 'so-called predictions' before the big Fella struck him down, mopped up the mess and decided he needed to use a more softer, subtler fuzzicator that would slip past most bullet headed reporters, like an us Bobo Fyfe (he of the Maher Arar witchhunt...)... Good catch BCLSB!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Put the tinfoil hat back on. I guess you could read just about anything into whether he used the word prediction or projection.

Do they predict the weather or project it? Do people make economic predictions or projections?

Good work! You've discovered the hidden right wing agenda! You're better than that Da Vinci Code guy! Look, there in my Corn Flakes - more proof of Harper's anti-Kyoto bias!

You so funny!

Anonymous said...

"The problem is really it isn't worth spending a whole post refuting a columnist for the sun"

BigCityLib, do you normally find ad hominem attacks useful? Or do you usually slander anyone or anything that doesn't align with your views?

"your kids going to be trying to eke a living eating roaches and being hunted by rats in the arctic"

Mmmmm... too true. Especially if the liberals are elected to foist the sham Kyoto on Canada, and destroy our economy with crippling carbon "credits", punitive gas taxes, and the resultant economic loss. In that case, you might find roaches 'n rats a real food substitute, and houses will be feelin' pretty Arctic-like, post-Kyoto, when we can't afford to heat 'em.

Seriously, do any of you really believe in Kyoto, much less that humans are responsible for the majority of so-called climate change? That there is indeed solid "proof" of this?

Not computer models, which prove nothing, but actual scientific proof?

Aren't you just the teensiest bit curious why - if the "science" behind AGW is truly legit, that it requires a non-scientific "consensus" (by many non-climatologist scientist poseurs, a la Suzuki). Aren't you wondering when the "consensus" method replaced the scientific method to justify technical hypotheses?

Not even in passing do you wonder why the AGW crowd relies on bogus data like the "hockey stick curve", statistically and mathematically refuted (and acknowledged by the AGW crowd), yet they still embrace the results?

Would any of you take a weather forecast to heart, a month in advance? Do you finalize your summer vacation plans given predictions in January? Then why would you blindly accept a one hundred year forecast?

Ever wondered why if AGW was truly the bogeyman the eco-maniacs shriek it is, the liberals sat on the commitment for EIGHT YEARS, and did nothing, DESPITE the fact that they had a majority government and could pretty much introduce whatever lamebrain, leftard economic punitive measures as they'd liked on the country without any opposition? Is it maybe even possible that eight years ago the libs knew the effect Kyoto would have on Canada, and once having signed (and proved our "superiority" to the US), they chose to just forget about Kyoto and hoped it would disappear? And maybe this whole greenhouse gas posturing by the liberals is nothing but a cheap publicity stunt to demonize the Conservatives, and the complicit left-leaning media tends to forget the pathetic liberal track record on the topic?

That if the entire WORLD signed on to Kyoto, then the change to the overall global temperature after 100 years would be less than one quarter of a degree? And is this truly worth changing the entire economy of the country, and reducing our standard of living by decades? That Europe's failed Kyoto efforts causing them immediate economic concerns (Kyoto costs may not be "sustainable" to use Citoyen Dion's favourite word), and their targets are less than ours, who live in a colder climate?

Why on earth would you wish to pay $5-$10 per liter of gas and quadruple your heating costs in one of the earth's coldest climates, just to buy carbon credits from China, who will use them to build 565 coal-fired generating stations in the next (2) years? Wouldn't that offset your sacrifice here at home?

And finally, since I'll be pilloried two dozen different ways for this post, does the fact that the AGW idea has taken all the characteristics of some fanatical, evangelistic religion, where "deniers" are discredited, or prevented from speaking their mind or sharing opinion? Does that sound like "science" to you, or zealotry?

Liberals enjoy scoffing at Christians for their faith in scriptures, but liberal self-introspection fades into so much GHG hot air if you ask them about their own blind faith in "scientific consensus", "hockey stick curves", and "Al Gore".

Even the term "climate denier": left-wing lunatics are drawing parallels to Holocaust deniers, and this should truly disgust any rational being with any capacity for independent thinking, to say nothing of insulting the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust.

Oh yeah... inasmuch as tens of $billions would be transferred to/from participants in the global Y2Koto scam, the cash would likely be administed (and presumably to some extent, siphoned) by some branch of the UN; you know, they of the oil-for-food and tsunami relief scandals, the child sex-for-food scandals in the Balkans... I don't suppose this gives you any pause for concern or curiousity into the validity of the gig?

Maybe it's time Canada forgot the media-induced hysteria, and quit panicking over AGW. And for everyone saying "I told you so" with the recent warm December weather (truly not an indicator of climate) as "proof" of AGW, I give you my counter-arguments: the last (2) weeks of sub-zero Toronto weather, and the TWELVE feet of snow in New York State: maybe global warming ain't coming fast enough.

[at gmail d0t c0m]

Anonymous said...

I stand corrected:

The projected effect of the world following Kyoto would actually reduce the global not by 0.25C by the year 2100, as I'd stated, but by 0.04C

My mistake.