Monbiot – Projection, Denial And Ad Hominen Are Now “Argument”?
Incredible projection on view in an article by George Monbiot today. If you’re not familiar with Monbiot, he’s been a leading supporter of AGW writing for the Guardian. And when Climaquiddick broke, he agreed that there was fire within the smoke and made the point that the damage to the AGW cause from the emails is real.
Today we see him trying mightily to erect a strawman and beat it to death. But he does that after again admitting the problem brought on by the emails but not quite as much as he has in the past. So here is his first of three apparent observations in the wake of the email disclosures:
When you survey the trail of wreckage left by the climate emails crisis, three things become clear. The first is the tendency of those who claim to be the champions of climate science to minimise their importance. Those who have most to lose if the science is wrong have perversely sought to justify the secretive and chummy ethos that some of the emails reveal. If science is not transparent and accountable, it’s not science.
I believe that all supporting data, codes and programmes should be made available as soon as an article is published in a peer-reviewed journal. That anyone should have to lodge a freedom of information request to obtain them is wrong. That the request should be turned down is worse. That a scientist suggests deleting material that might be covered by that request is unjustifiable. Everyone who values the scientific process should demand complete transparency, across all branches of science.
I agree completly with his first observation. It is “not science” (and because it has yet to be reproduced, it’s not a theory either) and since the public is funding it, it should – no must – all be out in the open. And that’s doubly true when the so-called “science” is going to be used to make public policy.
Great. Now we come to the strawman:
The second observation is the tendency of those who don’t give a fig about science to maximise their importance. The denial industry, which has no interest in establishing the truth about global warming, insists that these emails, which concern three or four scientists and just one or two lines of evidence, destroy the entire canon of climate science.
What “canon of climate science?” He admits that the data is unavailable and untested and that those supporting AGW have a tendency to minize the “wreckage”. Then he does exactly that. The person who obviously doesn’t “give a fig about science” is projecting that on those who are skeptical of the “science” – for the very reasons he previously gave. It’s a stunning few paragraphs.
In fact, the skeptics, like all good scientists, actually want to see the science upon which the assertions about climate change are based. You’d think that was the very “canon of science” every person would want to see upheld. His strawman – that skeptics don’t give a fig about the science – is in direct contradiction with the demand of skeptics – let us see the science.
Even if you were to exclude every line of evidence that could possibly be disputed – the proxy records, the computer models, the complex science of clouds and ocean currents – the evidence for man-made global warming would still be unequivocal. You can see it in the measured temperature record, which goes back to 1850; in the shrinkage of glaciers and the thinning of sea ice; in the responses of wild animals and plants and the rapidly changing crop zones.
But it is not unequivocal, as the disclosure of the emails proves. And there is much controversy concerning the cause of the shrinkage of glaciers and whether the amount of sea ice is declining or increasing. Just recently, one of the favorite AGW claims about the melting snow on Mt. Kilimanjaro has been declared not a result of global warming. And since the temperature data has been shown to have been fudged, that portion of it has never moved beyond hypothesis stage to that of a scientific theory via the scientific method.
And then there’s the bothersome fact that science has said that CO2 is a lagging indicator (by 800 years) and is an “effect” of warming, not a cause. Lastly there’s the exclusion of the sun, cosmic rays and solar wind from these supposedly infallible computer models that have been unable to duplicate the past and have been wrong about the present for at least 10 years. And I’m still waiting for someone to tell me what the earth’s optimum global temperature should be.
Monbiot’s final observation has to do with what he calls the denial industry. He classifies anyone who is “paid to say that man-made global warming isn’t happening.” He cites four cases where various entities with vested interests in seeing the status quo maintained have paid to have studies done that support their supposition.
Apparently irony free, Monbiot misses completely how the same effect has been achieved through public funding on the AGW side with grants going to those scientists who essentially support the premise of man-made global warming, and little if any money going to those who don’t.
He concludes by calling those who question the science and the cause stooges:
These people haven’t fooled themselves, but they might have fooled you. Who, among those of you who claim that climate scientists are liars and environmentalists are stooges, has thought it through for yourself?
I for one have done exactly that and continue to be very skeptical of the science and especially of the alarmist “industry”. If what Mr. Monbiot presents here is the best case for his side, then I can only say his case is weak and my skepticism is only deepened by it.