Another sign the debate is shifting, and probably in an irreversible way. Like a ratchet, the truth is slowly advancing, but once revealed, there is no going back.
The debate is gaining nuance: instead of scientists and deniers, there the public starts to see the argument is about shades of grey. The real debate has never been about whether greenhouse gases were real, instead it’s about how much global warming will happen. The cheating tactic of pretending the conflict was about something that nearly everyone agrees upon is like a ticking bomb for alarmists. The fuse has been lit. They will pay for their deception eventually.
Maurice Newman, chairman of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council, is following up on his extraordinary front page article in The Australian. He is influential and was Chairman of the ABC, and of the board of the Australian Stock Exchange, and was Chancellor of Macquarie University until 2008.
Maurice Newman in The Australian today:
GIVEN the low-grade attacks on me following my piece “Crowds go cold on climate cost” (The Australian, Dec 31) readers of Fairfax publications and The Guardian may be shocked to hear I believe in climate change. I also accept carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. The trouble is, I cannot reconcile the claims of dangerous human CO2 emissions with the observed record.
Newman is someone from outside science, telling scientists what science is, and he’s right:
The climate consensus of the 70s, like the period since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was established in 1988, was dominated by politics, not science. I was reminded of how deeply political awareness has infected today’s academies when I received an apology from a respected climate scientist who corrected his own public cheap shot at me. He said, “I attempt to be politically even-handed … I try to steer a middle course as a scientist.”
Really? Surely science is not about neutrality? It is about evidence and conclusions which fall where they will. So when an internationally acclaimed climatologist like Roy Spencer from the University of Alabama at Huntsville dispassionately analyses climate models covering 33 years and concludes that both the surface and satellite observations produce linear temperature trends that are below 87 of the 90 models used in the comparison, he does not politically neutralise his findings. They are empirical fact.
Newman talks of the massive turnaround in the renewables subsidies that is currently underway – of how Europe is pulling back. Then puts a fine point on what caused the waste. Sloppy science and sloppy journalism. As I keep saying “The Media Is the Problem”. In Australia Andrew Bolt led the way, then The Australian, now there are tiny hints that some in Fairfax see a crack in the facade.
What we now see is the unravelling of years of shoddy science and sloppy journalism. If it wasn’t for independent Murdoch newspapers around the world, the mainstream media would be almost completely captured by the IPCC establishment. That is certainly true in Australia. For six or seven years we were bullied into accepting that the IPCC’s assessment reports were the climate science bible. Its chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, told us the IPCC relied solely on peer-reviewed literature. Then Murdoch papers alerted us to scientific scandals and Donna Laframboise, in her book The Delinquent Teenager, astonished us with her extraordinary revelation that of 18,000 references in the IPCC’s AR4 report, one-third were not peer reviewed. Some were Greenpeace press releases, others student papers and working papers from a conference. In some chapters, the majority of references were not peer reviewed. Many lead authors were inexperienced, or linked to advocate groups like WWF and Greenpeace. Why are we not surprised?
We’re at the point where all the past cheating tactics (like bullying, namecalling and dodging debates) are starting to backfire badly. Coming sometime is the steep fall of public opinion on “climate change” down over the Continental Shelf of Abject Derision into the Trenches of Urban Mythology.
In the meantime, childish personal attacks on those who point out flaws in IPCC reasoning and advice only increase scepticism. They are no substitute for empirical evidence and are well into diminishing returns. The party’s over.
h/t to Brice Bosnich and Don Aitken. AND Frankly Skeptical in yesterdays thread. Thanks!