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Lomborg: uses irrational name-calling and denies the evidence

The Australian published Bjorn Lomborg: A Rational Take On Warming last week.

It was self-contradictory, baseless name-calling from a formerly sensible writer.


Lomborg and Gore are not so far apart

The only rational response to climate change is to use empirical, observable evidence. Rational people can point to results from 28 million radiosondes, 6000 boreholes, 30 years of satellites, 3000 ARGO ocean diving thermometers, raw data from thousands of surface thermometers, as well 800 peer reviewed references which include studies of corals, caves, pollen grains, ocean floor sediments, ice cores, and diatoms.

Lomborg is happy to call these rational people names, but irrationally doesn’t appear to have read their arguments. His method of quoting scientific studies, which was so successful on other topics, has come unstuck on climate science. He doesn’t realize that the US government poured $79 billion dollars into demonstrating one theory, but next to nothing to research, audit, or question that theory. He’s been tripped up by the skewing effect of monopolistic funding.

Far from being rational or scientific, he accepts the opinions of the Scientific Gods at the IPCC, and ignores the empirical evidence

Far from being rational or scientific, he accepts the opinions of the Scientific Gods at the IPCC, and ignores the empirical evidence. It’s a step back to the stone age. In a rational world — when the evidence disagrees with the opinions — scientists toss out the fake Gods and go with the data.

His ignorance of the scientific side of the debate is one thing, but the hypocritical name-calling is quite something else. He calls it juvenile pie-throwing, but he still uses the word denier, specifically saying the skeptics deny the “ever-mounting evidence”. My challenge to Lomborg is to name one paper we deny. He’s adopted an Orwellian misnomer. The term is designed to denigrate and dehumanize, why does he play that game?

And for those who think the term “alarmist” is name-calling, think again. It’s an adjective and it fits. The so-called deniers don’t deny anything, but an alarmist is someone who wants to alarm us. Can anyone think of a better term for what the IPCC do?

The skeptics of man-made global warming are the largest whistle-blowing group of scientists there has ever been.

Thousands of pro-bono scientists are speaking out and rising up in protest. Lomborg isn’t aware that the scientists he rudely calls deniers include two skeptical Nobel Physics Prize winners, four elite Astronauts, hundreds of eminent scientists, and 9000 PhD’s (no that’s not a misprint). He dismisses them all as “one group of activists”. The irony is that he, the political science graduate has jumped into a the shallow end of a science debate and sided with the name-calling bullies. It’s a parody of common sense.

As for the “ever mounting evidence” — if Lomborg can name the paper that backs up his catastrophic claims, he’ll be the man-of-the-moment for all the IPCC scientists (because they can’t). Bring on the ticker tape parade, and give this man a PhD in climate science! He will have achieved something the fourth assessment report did not.

Lomborg has really thrown down the gauntlet. He thinks there is evidence to support his cause.

For so-called alarmists pointing out what’s wrong with drastic carbon cuts is somehow tantamount to denying the reality of climate change, while so-called deniers lambast anyone who accepts the scientific evidence supporting this “mythical” problem

Not to put too fine a point on it, but Lomborg has fallen for the shell game. He isn’t aware that all the empirical evidence named in the IPCC fourth report supports only one third of the temperature rise that the IPCC “projects”.

All the lab studies show that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and the physics suggests that if it doubles, we might get as much as 1.2 degrees warmer (ask James Hansen, the 1.2 degrees is his figure). The black hole in the climate-science-kitchen is that all the larger projections: the 3.5 degrees, 6 degrees or 12 degree forecasts, all rely on climate models, which are unverified, and indeed known to be wrong. The models amplify the small warming caused by CO2, but virtually all the data from the real world suggests that the feedback mechanisms dampen the direct effects rather than amplifying them. Skeptics merely ask for observable evidence that supports the assumption of long term amplification.

So yes, the sad truth for Lomborg’s notable career, is that the growing number of skeptics are mostly rational luke-warmers who know more about the scientific details than he does. The peer reviewed evidence is pointing at a mere half a degree of warming due to a doubling of CO2, and rationally there are far greater environmental problems we ought to address.

Lomborg not only denies the physical evidence of the climate but he denies the socio-political evidence of corruption that has been uncovered since he produced his book.

Lomborg not only denies the physical evidence of the climate but he denies the socio-political evidence of corruption that has been uncovered since he produced his book. The so-called scientists Lomborg has faith in have been caught blatantly hiding their data, avoiding FOI’s, manipulating the peer review process, and making “adjustments” that they can’t explain. No amount of whitewashing changes the implications of publicly paid workers who use tricks to hide declines. No one needs a PhD to know that placing thermometers close to hot concrete will affect the results.

It would be good to reduce our dependency on oil, and it does make sense to research alternate energies, but denying the evidence and making policy for the wrong reason is a Stygian trap with collateral damage. Let’s reduce our reliance on middle eastern oil, but not spend a cent on stuffing carbon dioxide, the atmospheric fertilizer, back in the ground. If we ignore the evidence, we won’t deal with the endemic disabling problems in our institutions. Our universities have fallen into a decrepit state where they no longer teach logic and reason in most science courses, many journalists think that being activists is the same as “reporting the news”, and the BOM and CSIRO think it’s ok to make “adjustments” which ramp up the temperature trend by 20 – 40%. Worse, they call those “adjustments” neutral, and won’t explain why they made them. There is no official body to audit them and the media refuse to say anything, so they get away with the deception.

And while our research institutes are crippled with monopolistic funded to find a particular crisis, they are not producing the best research, and are not finding the answers that produce long range forecasts to help our farmers, or plan our urban infrastructure. If officials had paid more attention to the 30 year pacific cycles they might have predicted the end of the droughts and the return of the La Nina rainfalls on the East Coast of Australia. Had they done so, we could have used money to teach science properly at schools instead of building unnecessary desalination plants. How much richer our nation would have been.

Lomborg joins the PR campaign of corrupt scientists, big bankers, and big bureaucrats. It’s a shame. We need common sense more than ever, instead, Lomborg is just throwing names and swallowing assumptions.

It’s a strange world when a non-scientist feels confident calling the thousands of scientists who disagree with him banal names, especially so when he describes the name-calling as juvenile.

This article was provided to The Australian last Monday night.

The national broadsheet can find space to print hypocritical name-calling, but this time, not the rational reply?

Image Credit: I’d like to give one, the earliest publication of this that I can find was from Hannes Hólmsteinn Gissurarson

For Tweeting — http://tiny.cc/bky7a

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