Monday, February 19, 2007

The Stern Review: A Dual Critique (Part I)
One Angry Christian

I received an email From Dr. Bob Carter awhile back. You'll remember that I put up something about him after Nancy Pelosi who created a global warming committee made it obvious that she's interested in diverse debate on the subject of the environment – that is, if diversity encompasses only various views supporting the global warming alarmism spreading like wild fire among hipster leftists and zombie university students. In short, she tried to stifle open debate on the subject.

A hard lefty stifling discussion? Say it aint so!

He sent me a critique of the Stern Review, which is the first review of the topic by an economist. That economist is one Sir Nicholas Stern. I find this highly ironic because for years the environmentalists have used the idea that no one outside of climatologists – and of course ... the environmentalists – is qualified to comment on this subject to silence those who disagree with them.

Obviously this isn't the case if those outside that small circle of so-called experts agree with their so-called science.

The Stern review is the largest and most widely known and discussed report of its kind, and therefore a great representation of the fundamental principles of what constructs a supporting argument for Global Warming, its consequences, and what Environmentalists think we should do about it.

The Paper he sent me is rather long and involved so I'm going to break it down as best as I can, and give you the major points. This is a real eye opener for anyone who has been berated by leftists touting "unbiased peer reviewed reports" on the topic of environmentalism. There seems to be very little information that's unbiased in this debate.

There are a few points you have to keep in mind when reading this critique:

  1. A team of Scientists, Economists, Staticians, and Engineers put this critique together. Their backgrounds range from Paleontology to Climateology to Political Economics to Water Industry management. Whatever claims the left might make about there not being "experts involved" here are complete crap.
  2. As much as "some studies are funded by oil interests", IPCC studies are funded by the UN whose body funds the studies. The body has a direct interest in slow bleeding the US economy, and obviously the UN isn't the most ... credible of sources.
  3. This group isn't the only group calling into question the "science" of global warming. That's probably because of previous "global cooling" hysteria.

Now that we have that out of the way lets get down to business. The critique of the Stern Report makes a rather damning observation right out of the gate:

Sir Nicholas Stern made a revealing comment in his OXONIA lecture of January 2006: “in August or July of last year, [he] had an idea what the greenhouse effect was but wasn’t really sure”. It seems that, starting from a position of little knowledge of the issues, he has swiftly espoused the official view of the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, on whose advice the Review relies heavily.

Emphasis mine obviously. It's absolutely predictable that the guy went from zero knowledge to being hailed as a great environmental mind simply because he agrees with the hard left environmentalist ideology. This gives you a good feel for what kind of "hard vetting" the left does when they're looking for experts and proof of their assertions. Kinda reminds me of the quality of vetting one recently defunct Presidential candidate was doing with his staff.

I'm not going to pretend to be a great scientific mind here, but after reading a few articles about the Stern Review and how the world is going collapse if we don't stop global warming… I found this particular bit absolutely hilarious:

The Review states on page 10 that: “The analysis of climate change requires, by its nature, that we look out over 50, 100, 200 years and more. Any such modeling requires caution and humility, and the results are specific to the model and its assumptions. They should not be endowed with a precision and certainty that is simply impossible to achieve.” Yet in this respect the Review repeatedly fails to heed its own warning.

So basically we have an economist who's new to the environmental discussion who grabs the Global warming alarmist pre-existing mind set and so-called data. He then tells us we should be cautious about making predictions based upon these models, and then goes on... to make those very predictions.

That's kind of like Chicken Little running up and down the street telling people they shouldn't freak out every time they're bumped by some random object, and then of course ... running up and down the street screaming that the sky is falling after having been hit by ... a random object.

The sad thing is that even the IPCC – who isn't known for its accuracy (remember the hockey stick graph?) when it comes to climate science – recognizes the flaw in relying on weather prediction models for long term prediction.

In climate research and modeling, we should recognize that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions.

Emphasis mine again. Yet as the critique notes:

The Stern Review itself fails to take proper account of the profound uncertainties and major gaps in knowledge of climate science, and neither does it address the many continuing debates regarding climate change mechanisms and impact assessments. Like its sources, the Review gives unwarranted credence to model projections over firmly established data and findings.

Emphasis mine. There seems to be little difference in methodology where misleading people is concerned. You just throw out some report based upon whatever data you can find that supports your cause. Make sure it gets to a sympathetic media with enough drones to power your movement, and suddenly everything you say is "true" because enough people buy into it.

It's the group think mentality that the new age movement espouses at its worst: the "if you believe in it, it's real" philosophy. It just kind of makes me want to hurl.

It's interesting that the Report seems to attempt to compensate its lack of real time data with repeated runs of climate models using varying setups. They all have one thing in common though, and apparently, not even the IPCC is so alarmist as this report:

The Review attempts to deal with these uncertainties by comparing thousands of model runs under varying assumptions. The model parameterization chosen takes no account of the possibility that carbon dioxide emissions may have minor or benign effects, and is slanted towards emphasis on larger impacts, feedbacks and damages than even the IPCC has implied to date.

That explains why this report is the most widely discussed and well known. It's even more alarmist than even the UN funded fear machine. The only propaganda outlet with more fear mongering power would likely be ... Hollyweird.

-One Angry Christian


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