Monday, 14 September 2015

Cairns Post Letter from the Wingnuts #30: A record low? I think it is.

During a caffeine break at work this morning I took a peek at the Cairns Post and came to the Letters to the Editor page. Contrary to what you may expect, it's not the first page to which I turn. Anyway, a new wingnut had decided to pop up, and apparently decided to make up for lost time by packing a remarkable amount of being wrong in one letter. Phil McLuskey of Brinsmead wrote:
Does the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) put out two reports?
Actually, it puts out quite a few reports. The most recent major release was the Fifth Assessment Report. You know already he's going to make a mess of it, don't you?
The one I read almost two years ago clearly stated that the confidence of anthropogenic carbon dioxide causing global warming was 5 per cent.
Ahem... Bullshit! The IPCC did not say 5 per cent. The figure was 95%. NINETY five per cent! And that was the confidence that we cause most of it, not just some. Does Mr McLuskey really think that the IPCC would be in existence if they thought it was only 5% likely that we cause climate change? Dear sweet FSM, the Editor really should step in for mistakes like that.

My number one piece of advice for wingnuts writing to the editor would have to be "Don't trust your memory. It is almost certainly tainted." We saw this with Viv from Earlville's claim about the BOM the week before last, and here we see it again. Actually, perhaps my first piece of advice would simply be "Don't".

I'm sure that, contrary to his claim, Mr McLuskey never read the IPCC Report (I'll admit, I haven't either. It's huge.). I'm sure he never even glanced at the Summary for Policymakers. I'm even sure he never read an article about it in a science magazine. He's going by vague memories of news reports, or possibly just discussion of those news reports by Alan Jones or other loons, and those memories fail him.
What this means is that the IPCC do not think that carbon dioxide has much effect on global mean temperature at all.
Again, this is utter bollocks. The IPCC said "It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in GHG concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together. The best estimate of the human-induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period."

That last sentence is important. The IPCC's best estimate is that pretty much all of the recent warming is anthropogenic. ALL of it.
Plus, not one of the dire predictions made by climate alarmists have come true.
That's because the dire predictions are still predictions, most out to the year 2100 or so. We don't expect dire consequences yet. We are seeing what we expect to see from global warming. Temperatures are trending up, ice mass is trending down, species distribution is moving up to higher altitudes and toward the poles, sea level is rising, etc, etc, etc.

Most of the claims of dire predictions that have proven false are either misrepresentations of what was said (Tim Flannery being the most common target here in Australia) or based on popular media headlines rather than the science.
Plus, even though we have been pumping out ever more CO2 we have less effect than solar activity.
Um, no. This is Skeptical Science's #2 most used climate myth. As they say, "Over the last 35 years the sun has shown a slight cooling trend. However global temperatures have been increasing. Since the sun and climate are going in opposite directions scientists conclude the sun cannot be the cause of recent global warming."
Plus, we know that global warming of 3 degrees would be of huge benefit to humans
Actually we know 3 degrees of warming would be bad for humanity, particularly for the poor. Gee, I wonder what a good source of information on that subject would be... Perhaps the IPCC AR5 that Mr McLuskey claims to have read. It covers it in detail.
It would also mean a drastic reduction in burning fossil fuels for heat.
Oh, for heaven's sake. Okay, yes, global warming will make it easier for some to stay warm. Does he not realise that it will also make it harder for some to stay cool? Which does he spend more on, heating or air conditioning? How does he like the idea of a summer in Cairns 3 degrees warmer than now? Does he fancy working as a labourer outdoors in those conditions?
So, the good news is, all those people panicking about the future need not worry about the climate.
I believe this is called assuming the intra-posterior cranial position and claiming to smell roses.
There are far more destructive forces that we are worrying about.
Yes, there are other destructive forces and we should work toward alleviating those too. Climate change is, however, a major problem we need to address. This is not just because of its direct effects, but also its amplifying effect on other problems. There is, for example, increasing evidence that climate change played a role in the drought that was one of the factors that contributed to the Syrian crisis.

So, to summarise Mr McLuskey's arguments:
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