Monday, April 10, 2006

Putting climate change into perspective

Bob Carter, a geologist at James Cook University, Queensland, who is engaged in paleoclimate research, says There IS a problem with global warming... it stopped in 1998. (UK Telegraph, April 9, 2006)

In the article, Carter looks at the temperature curve for the last six million years, at the data from recent years, and at the difficulties in presenting scientific information in a political and cultural climate that rewards people who jump on the global warming bandwagon.

hat tip: Rush Limbaugh


Anonymous said...

Yes, you should put it in perspective. Check out this critique of the article.

Kathryn Judson said...

Dear Anonymous,
I've read both articles now, and I think the one you linked to had some points worth considering, but didn't seem read to Prof. Carter's very closely. For one thing, Carter doesn't focus on the eight years of stasis trumpeted by the headline writer. He just uses it as a lead-in, and then shoves off from it. He uses it as a hook, in other words, not as the primary data upon which he builds his argument. For that he looks back further, including the actual fluctuations since humans started getting industrial -- which is, he indicates, why he's not on the global warming bandwagon. The data he's looking at just doesn't support it, in his view.

Carter makes a point of promoting responsibly reducing pollution and improving energy efficiency -- he just prefers the AP6 approach, which vets its science more carefully, over the Kyoto approach.

I'm leaving your comment and link so my readers may judge for themselves, but my take on this is that your writer misread Carter's article, and then disagreed with the misread version instead of Carter's op-ed piece. I'd rather your Tom had said something along the lines of "Carter and I both look at what's happened since industrialization, and here's where I disagree with his assessment and why." Instead Tom seems to be trying to claim that Carter didn't take a look at that time frame, when clearly he did. Chastising someone for 'avoiding the real issues' by misrepresenting what he said strikes me as an odd way to make a point.

Carter was undoubtedly being a bit provoking, which I'm sorry for, but I think he has a right to explain where he's coming from and why.