Thursday, November 03, 2011

Matt Ridley on heresy

Very happy to assist in disseminating this excellent talk by Matt Ridley.   One of the most erudite public speakers on environmental issues, Matt is speaking about scientific heresy, which naturally enough leads him to discuss climate.

He states:

  • let me be quite clear. I am not a “denier”. I fully accept that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, the climate has been warming and that man is very likely to be at least partly responsible.
  • So what’s the problem? The problem is that you can accept all the basic tenets of greenhouse physics and still conclude that the threat of a dangerously large warming is so improbable as to be negligible, while the threat of real harm from climate-mitigation policies is already so high as to be worrying, that the cure is proving far worse than the disease is ever likely to be. Or as I put it once, we may be putting a tourniquet round our necks to stop a nosebleed.
  • I’ve looked and looked but I cannot find one piece of data – as opposed to a model – that shows either unprecedented change or change is that is anywhere close to causing real harm.
  • A theory so flexible it can rationalize any outcome is a pseudoscientific theory.
  • So to say there is a consensus about some global warming is true; to say there is a consensus about dangerous global warming is false.
  • We are below even the zero-emission path expected by the IPCC in 1990*
  • Does it matter? Suppose I am right that much of what passes for mainstream climate science is now infested with pseudoscience, buttressed by a bad case of confirmation bias, reliant on wishful thinking, given a free pass by biased reporting and dogmatically intolerant of dissent. So what?
His "so what?" conclusion is that, yes, it does matter a great deal.  Stasism relies upon the perpetuation and indoctrination of conformity.  Politicization of science is conducted to provide the desire for stasist control of society with a sheen of compelling logic and self interest.  The present climate debate is fraudulent in that it less about the integrity of the sconce and more about the manipulation of society for the purposes of elitist social engineering.