Endorsed? Even the supposed blog experts on Climate Change can’t find an error.
The Guardian Blog has posted John Cook’s thoughts on the new skeptical iPhone App – Our Climate.
Has he found errors, lies, or critical omissions? Read it yourself. No, hardly, and “as if”. Instead he’s found “cherry-picking”, confusion (his), and strawmen.
Really, this is a great endorsement — after all, Cook runs the ambush site SkepticalScience.com. If Cook can’t find an error, or name the peer reviewed paper with evidence for catastrophic positive feedback, who can?
SkepticalScience.com is a parody of skepticism. It is “skeptical of the skeptics”, which is all very well, but it accepts everything offered up by Authorities as if it is the Word of God. “NOAA can do no wrong” (and was that NOAA or Noah?)
All of the points held up by Cook are weak “whatever” issues: things that are hardly a flaw. He’s noticed that the disorganized mass of real skeptics sometimes disagree with each other, golly gee, which proves we think for ourselves and don’t answer to a higher bureaucracy. John Cook — who so wants to be seen as skeptical – instead is anything but, and conforms strictly to the text-book litany as written by the IPCC.
The best that he can come up with that if he misinterprets the first point of the skeptics, it conflicts with his misinterpretation of the second. Shucks.
The number 1 tip on the Our Climate app are graphs of wild swings in temperature, showing how often the climate changes. Skeptics don’t suggest that climate scientist aren’t aware of this (as Cook claims). We know they are, and we also know they know they can’t model any of it. This is the killer point. Somehow we are supposed to believe the climate models have it all figured out, but they can’t hindcast model the last 1,000 years or the last 10,000? To resolve this awkward failure, those who believe in the Big Scare didn’t revamp the models, instead they revamped the data. They went to great lengths to nullify the medieval warm period. CO2 was low back in those days, but the world was warmer and no one really knows why. Hence we also don’t know if that same factor is making us warm now.
Cook of course, doesn’t quote directly. This is a classic modus operandi for unskeptical scientist. If they quote directly, they can’t impute things, like “sceptics citing this fact as if it’s never occurred to climate scientists”, which we don’t say, but Cook says, thus creating a strawman. Why would he bother stringing out this kind of weak speculative stuff if he actually had something real to attack?
He makes preposterous claims that skeptics cherry-pick, focus on small picture, never on the big picture; except the graphs the skeptics use cover the last 30 years, the last 1,000 years, the last 10,000 years, the last 500 million years. There’s no period we won’t talk about — unlike the AGW crowd, for whom a trend is between 10 and 50 years (to get the last warming period 1975 – 2001 in) and who don’t want to talk about the little ice age or medieval warm period. Unskeptical scientists think “long term” means 100 years and repeat graphs from 1880 -2010 ad nauseum. They weren’t exactly producing billboards with graphs of the last 500 million years.
The bottom line
So this is all that’s left of the alarming case? The medieval warm period did exist, the hockey stick graph was busted, the Vostok Ice cores turned out to be back to front with carbon following temperatures up and down, and all that’s left in the Big Scare’s wishing well, are events millions of years ago which don’t have the resolution to see what came first and don’t correlate well in any case. After all these studies of proxy after proxy we’re supposed to believe that there’s no definitive evidence that carbon drives temperatures strongly on any time period, but it’s all OK really, because the sun was weaker back then, and coincidentally it’s been getting stronger at just the right rate to compensate for the fall in carbon from 5000 ppm down to under 500ppm now. Just so convenient eh?
The number 2 point is that study after study shows the feedbacks are negative. That means carbon warms the world, but clouds and humidity and other stuff change to let out more heat and reduce the effect. Cook rules this out… wait for it, not with peer reviewed references, but because it disagrees with his interpretation of skeptic point one.
Is that there positive feedback in the graph, or negative?
The wild variations in temperature in the ice cores show that our climate is at the beck and call of enormous forces, orbital changes, ocean currents, volcanoes, and solar activity (of many varieties, not just total solar irradiance). When continental plates shift, the world’s climate can swing into a different pattern altogether. Despite these massive forces at work, the Earth’s climate has varied a mere 10 degrees or so in a half billion years (as best as we can tell). What is that stabilizing force? The feedbacks. If they were strongly positive, as the IPCC has staked its existence on, the Earth’s climate could never have been that stable.
If you think 10 degree swings are not that “stable”, think of Venus at 450 odd degrees, and Mars at -60. Earth averages 10 to 22 or so. Nice.
What’s the big difference with our neighbours? For one, we have oceans, and thus evaporative coolers that run all day, every day over the tropics.
Paul Ostergaard the creator of the App writes yesterday:
Apple have now put the Our Climate App on the Front Page of the US iTunes App Store, featuring Our Climate amongst the 40 “New and Noteworthy” Apps across ALL App categories (i.e. not just the weather category as they did last week). There are more than 230,000 Apps in the App store – Only 40 Apps are featured in this front page category at any time, so this is a singular achievement and opportunity for our story to be heard.
Our Climate is now the Number 1 Weather App in Four Five iTunes App Stores:
1. Hong Kong
Also number 2 in:
Number 3 in:
And fourth in:
PS: Just in case anyone is wondering, yes there is an App already for the Unskeptical Scientists, and it has been converted to the other competing smart phone providers. Paul says thanks to popular demand, he’s now working on ways to spread Our Climate to Android, and Blackberry.