Nature is the latest living God

I’ll keep this simple, to avoid ecclesiastical clashes. Last thing I want is a fight to break out between science and religion. Oh, wait …

First, a reader, Rob Taylor, said:

So, in denier fairyland, this all balances out, somehow? Let’s see – crippling drought in one place, horrendous floods in another simply shows that all is hunky-dory?

Then I said:

“Who could approve of them, you twit? But this is Mother Nature. This is God’s will. There’s nothing new here – not for thousands of years. This is life. This is how it goes.”

Another reader, Nick, said:

“this is Mother Nature. This is God’s will” – is that really what you believe? I had been conducting these discussions on the assumption everyone accepted that science rather than divine intervention could explain the weather. Please correct me if my assumption is false. Does anyone else here think that any changes in the climate are “Gods will”?

My meaning here was perverted and then Nick hijacked it. However, together they raise an arguable point about our relationship with our surroundings, so let me explain. Rob made out that we can prevent these natural disasters. His mistake was in believing that we have sufficient influence on the weather to ameliorate droughts and floods. It’s a nutty idea and we don’t. Continue Reading →

Renowden has no evidence for CAGW

Jo Nova's take on the lack of evidence for AGW

This is in response (slightly delayed by an Easter break) to the list of “proofs” produced by Gareth Renowden, at Hot Topic, in answer to my request of Sir Peter Gluckman, the PM’s scientific advisor, for evidence of a human cause for anticipated dangerous climate change, more properly referred to as the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) theory.

On 17th April, I wrote:

I would remind Sir Peter that evidence is required to establish the following key factors in the global warming debate — evidence that has not surfaced so far. We have been looking for evidence to show:

1. The existence of a current unprecedented global warming trend.
2. That the greenhouse effect is powerful enough to endanger the environment.
3. A causal link between human activities and dangerously high global temperatures.
4. That climate models have a high level of skill in predicting the climate.
5. A causal link between atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide and global temperatures.
6. A causal link between global warming and the gentle rise in sea level.

In response to this, Gareth claims “there is plenty of evidence to address every one of his points” and presents some attractive and interesting graphics in support. I’ll comment on what he says to each point.

1. The existence of a current unprecedented global warming trend.

GR: “…is [the current warming] unprecedented…? Well, no.” Continue Reading →

Now Gluckman wants evidence too

Sir Peter Gluckman

How quickly the climate debate changes

From the Office of the Prime Minister’s Science Advisory Committee comes an announcement with the heading:

Release of an important report on the relationship between evidence and policy formation

It begins:

One of the key challenges for all governments is how to make the best use of evidence in both policy formation and policy evaluation.

It’s reassuring to hear that the PM’s science advisor is prepared to look for evidence. At least in relation to global warming, it’s not an instinct he’s been noted for. He tells us he’s released a report, Towards better use of evidence in policy formation, and I’d like to read it.

Until I do, I would remind Sir Peter that evidence is required to establish the following key factors in the global warming debate — evidence that has not surfaced so far. Continue Reading →