The 3,000th Post on This Blog

I started this blog two years ago this month. Climategate broke the very next day…a fortuitous bit of timing.

I dislike the topic of global warming because it has corrupted parts of atmospheric science, the field to which I have devoted my career. I post on the topic out of a sense of obligation because so few of the ‘experts’ in global warming know anything about the atmosphere and how it really works.

Just yesterday, I read a presentation on global warming that I thought was really remarkable. So, for the 3000th posting, I’m going strongly recommend you go over to the BishopHill blog and read this remarkable essay delivered by Dr. Matt Ridley to the Royal Academy in Edinburg Monday evening.  Here are some highlights:

My topic today is scientific heresy. When are scientific heretics right and when are they mad? How do you tell the difference between science and pseudoscience? …

I am now going to plunge into an issue on which almost all the experts are not only confident they can predict the future, but absolutely certain their opponents are pseudoscientists. It is an issue on which I am now a heretic. I think the establishment view is infested with pseudoscience. The issue is climate change. …

So what’s the problem? The problem is that you can accept all the basic tenets of greenhouse physics and still conclude that the threat of a dangerously large warming is so improbable as to be negligible, while the threat of real harm from climate-mitigation policies is already so high as to be worrying, that the cure is proving far worse than the disease is ever likely to be. Or as I put it once, we may be putting a tourniquet round our necks to stop a nosebleed.
I also think the climate debate is a massive distraction from much more urgent environmental problems like invasive species and overfishing.  [I'd add fetid drinking water and malaria -- MS] …

To see confirmation bias in action, you only have to read the climategate emails, documents that have undermined my faith in this country’s scientific institutions. It is bad enough that the emails unambiguously showed scientists plotting to cherry-pick data, subvert peer review, bully editors and evade freedom of information requests. What’s worse, to a science groupie like me, is that so much of the rest of the scientific community seemed OK with that. They essentially shrugged their shoulders and said, yeh, big deal, boys will be boys. …

The alarmists have been handed power over our lives; the heretics have not. Remember Britain’s unilateral climate act is officially expected to cost the hard-pressed UK economy £18.3 billion a year for the next 39 years and achieve an unmeasurably small change in carbon dioxide levels.
At least sceptics do not cover the hills of Scotland with useless, expensive, duke-subsidising wind turbines whose manufacture causes pollution in Inner Mongolia and which kill rare raptors such as this griffon vulture.

Every word is a gem. Please go over to BishopHill and read the whole thing.

Then, come back here to see what the 3,001st posting and beyond have to say.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the first 3,000 posts. Thanks for reading!

2 thoughts on “The 3,000th Post on This Blog

  1. Ridley's Rational Optimist book is my favorite book of 2010. I bought extra copies to give away.


    ps congrats on 3000 posts!