Saturday, December 05, 2009

What an A**hole

How often have you been forced to put your head in your hands when watching someone putting forward a shared viewpoint in a totally disastrous way. Just think about how all those who are arguing that we need massive cuts in carbon emissions felt when watching Newsnight tonight. Martha Kearney was chairing a debate between an academic from the University of East Anglia, and a rather loud climate change sceptic from the US.

I suspect most of us started out with an instinctive warmth for the professor. At least he was willing to go public and try to justify what seems unjustifiable. But what an incredibly arrogant and unpleasant advocate he proved to be. After demanding that he should be allowed to justify the 'tweaking' of information uninterrupted, he ended the programme by observing of his quite jovial opponent "What an asshole". As Lord Lawson might say "With enemies like that, who needs friends".


penlan said...

I saw it(and have seen the similar interview with someone called Ward on Sky).I accept academics can come across in public often as "eccentric"but this was seriously disturbing.Those hacked/leaked e-mails were bad enough.Have we all been played for fools?

Glyn Davies said...

Penlan - I do not think we are being played for fools. I think the vasy majority accept the reality of climate change, but do not know the rate of change, the degree to which mankind's activities is causing it or to what extent it is part of a natural cycle. We have read reports of the annual fairs being held on the frozen Thames, and tropical fruit being grown outdoors in Britain. We depend on scientific date to inform our opinions, and when we suspect that the supposed scietific conclusions are driven by 'policy' rather than pure impirical evidence, confidence evaporates - and when spokesmen bluster and try to bully like these two characters, I for one trust the science we've been fed even less.

JPT said...

The frost fairs on the Thames are well reported but what of the Medievil Warm Period 800 - 1300 when temperatures were even higher that today?
Lies, damned lies and statistics!

rumin said...

I can assure everyone that scientists are often belief driven or belong to one camp verses another and will look for evidence (or in the case of global warming groups even hide their raw data and still expect us to believe their opinions).

The fact is: supercomputer simulations for complex natural phenomena are approximations at best and easily manipulated depending on parameters fed into the model.

The whole area of global warming science is now so off-the-chart as to be unbelievable.

The tactics used to stop other scientists gaining access to the raw data used to drive the models speaks for itself. It is shocking, and they still expect us to believe them.

I can't get over the tactics exposed in the emails to stop the release of the raw data. This is just not right and smells to high heaven.

They must allow full access to the raw data.

JB said...


What amazes me is that the cooling this century is dismissed by the fanatics as merely a side effect of the El Ninho La Ninha Pacicic current cycle. If so obvious a variable is not included in the model. We shall see over the next decade whether sunspot activity is similarly treated. Currently there is none. The last time this happened there was a mini ice age lasting some 75 years.

You had a correspondent the other day who cautioned about the accuracy of such mathematical models. I too have done some work using them - although many years ago - and I would agree that if the impact of every single variable is not understood the answers derived are little better than using graph paper.