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Matt Ridley: They ridiculed skeptics. The skeptics were right.

Another excellent article by Lord Matt Ridley

UPDATE: Read it in full on Matt’s Blog. (ht Gordon/backslider/harrie/RPS/John)

Argument by ridicule is not just something that happens, it’s the main approach:

“In the old days we would have drowned a witch to stop the floods. These days the Green Party, Greenpeace and Ed Miliband demand we purge the climate sceptics. No insult is too strong for sceptics these days: they are “wilfully ignorant” (Ed Davey), “headless chickens” (the Prince of Wales) or “flat-earthers” (Lord Krebs), with “diplomas in idiocy” (one of my fellow Times columnists).

What can these sceptics have been doing that so annoys the great and the good? They sound worse than terrorists. Actually, sceptics have pretty well all been purged already: look what happened to Johnny Ball and David Bellamy at the BBC. Spot the sceptic on the Climate Change Committee. Find me a sceptic within the Department of (energy and) Climate Change. Frankly, the sceptics are a ragtag bunch of mostly self-funded guerrillas, who have made little difference to policy — let alone caused the floods.

On floods, the skeptics agree with the IPCC:

“Here’s what the IPCC’s latest report actually says: “There continues to be a lack of evidence and thus low confidence regarding the sign of trend in the magnitude and/or frequency of floods on a global scale.”

No, 97% of “climate scientists” don’t agree it will be dangerous warming

“That consensus, by the way, has never said that climate change will necessarily be dangerous. The oft-quoted 97 per cent agreement among scientists refers to the statement that man-made climate change happens, not to future projections. No climate change sceptic that I know “denies” climate change, or even human contributions to it. It’s a lazy and unpleasant slur to say that they do.

The Skeptics were right.

“Sceptics say it is not happening fast enough to threaten more harm than the wasteful and regressive measures intended to combat it. So far they have been right. Over 30 years, global temperature has changed far more slowly than predicted in 95 per cent of the models, and has decelerated, not accelerated. When the sceptic David Whitehouse first pointed out the current 15 to 17-year standstill in global warming (after only 18 to 20 years of warming), he was ridiculed; now the science establishment admits the “pause” but claims to have some post-hoc explanations.

Full article: The sceptics are right. Don’t scapegoat them (Paywalled)

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