Kyoto and error
Given that I’ve been posting on both Kyoto and admissions of error I thought it would be interesting to check if any of the leading contrarians on climate change had revised their views in the light of recent evidence. On past form, I wasn’t expecting much.
The leading contrarians and their organizations (SEPP, Marshall Institute, Cato) cut their teeth in the debate over the ozone laye. Most of them are pretty quiet about this issue now. For example, despite extensive searching I couldn’t find a copy of Sallie Baliunas’ widely-cited article Ozone and Global Warming: Are the Problems Real? which is quoted as saying
there is currently no evidence to suggest that man-made chemicals, like CFCs, have significantly eroded the ozone over most of the world…. Rather than supporting federal regulation, scientific evidence leads to the conclusion that regulation is both economically devastating and scientifically irresponsible. Federal regulation…will cost the U.S. economy an estimated $2 trillion in the near term.”
Still, as far as I know, none of them has ever admitted being wrong, and some, like Fred Singer of SEPP are still keeping up the fight.
Anyway, I was particularly interested in Australian contrarian John Daly because, earlier this year, he took the unusual step of making a testable prediction. In this entry he predicted that, with the sunspot cycle turning down and El Nino ending, the climatic extremes of 1998-2002 would be a thing of the past.
Finally, last year in 2002, even before the solar cycle had started its usual decline towards the cooler Solar Minimum, we saw the development of another El Ni–o on top of an already stretched out solar maximum.Ê A Solar Maximum happening concurrently with an El Ni–o, with no cooling volcanic action for the last 10 years, is a potent combination climatically.Ê And the weather has been very active as a direct result of this combination.
But it will pass.Ê These things always do.Ê The solar cycle is now heading down towards its expected solar minimum around 2006, while the current El Ni–o is expected to wane in the next few months, possibly being replaced by its cooling counterpart, La Ni–a.Ê
The greenhouse industry has thrived off Nature’s climatic drama of the last 4 years, using a combination of public hysteria and bent statistics, but the pickings will be leaner in the months and years ahead – until we reach the next El Ni–o or the next solar maximum expected around 2012 (the same year the Kyoto Protocol expires) .
How has this prediction stood up so far? As Daly’s own site shows, the solar cycle has indeed turned down, and the El Nino has passed, (though without a return to La Nina). But, in case you haven’t been reading the news, the weather hasn’t got any cooler..
Of course, Daly will find a way to ignore all this. Rather than engage in fruitless debate, I’ll offer the following prediction. No matter how hot it is in 2006, we won’t see a retraction from Daly.