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Beatup of the century

January 18th, 2010

If you thought the East Anglia email hack was overblown, how about today’s Oz. Frontpage lead[1] is a story that’s been rattling round the blogs for at least a couple of months, without attracting any real interest. The story is that the 2007 IPCC report quotes a poorly sourced estimate that most Himalayan glaciers could be gone by 2035. This is a bit worse than the evidence suggests. Himalayan glaciers have lost about 20 per cent of their area in about 40 years, and have also become more fragmented. That’s bad, but not quite as bad as the IPCC report, based on a speculative forecast suggests.

So, there is a mistake on one page of a 3000 page report. That’s unfortunate but scarcely surprising. But, if you want real silliness about glaciers, you have to go to the other side of the road and look at this (widely repeated) howler from David Bellamy, derived originally from Fred Singer. The Oz ran Bellamy’s (totally false) claim of persecution for his devotion to the delusionist cause (he was washed up long before he changed sides), but did not AFAIK cover this embarrassing episode,

Every new talking point that emerges from the delusionist camp gives further emphasis to the fact that these are people who have sacrificed both their own intellectual integrity and the future of the planet in the pursuit of a tribal vendetta.

Update Commenter James notes that, with much less apparent fanfare, the Oz published a report derived from Associated Press that concluded that there was nothing in the hacked East Anglia emails that undermined the mainstream consensus on global warming.

fn1. At least in the edition I saw. It’s almost invisible on the website now.

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  1. nanks
    January 27th, 2010 at 10:31 | #1

    @John Coochey
    John, I understand you aren’t beating your wife at the moment

  2. Freelander
    January 27th, 2010 at 13:01 | #2

    @John Coochey

    Another wingnut crawls out of the woodwork….

  3. Ben
    January 29th, 2010 at 11:01 | #3

    This is highly hilarious hypocrisy.

    If AGW is a threat to mankind then it can be proven with appropriate scientific rigor and with no need for obfuscation or intrigue. If this is the case and you are concerned about it then why are you not FURIOUS with these guys for dropping the ball so hard. You are doing their freakin PR for them when you should be baying for their blood for endangering the planet with their hamfisted approach. How much do these guys need to stuff up before you start to realize that their closed culture and hostility to any criticism is ruining any chance of global action taking place?

    Do you know why Copenhagen was a bust? Because none of these world leaders seriously believe that there is a problem. They think that in a decade the data will start to show how out of whack the modelling is with reality. Frankly this is because climate modelling is not a smoking gun. There is no hypothesis that is reproducible in the lab and that means it cannot be treated as hard science. No smoking gun equals a ton of skepticism. If there is a problem then the fact that these guys are fudging figures and snarling at any criticism is making it more of an uphill battle than it needs to be.

    Honestly if you are calling people names who don’t agree with you: denialists, contrarians, etc. then you need to GROW UP.

  4. nanks
    January 29th, 2010 at 11:24 | #4

    @Ben
    i am deeply touched by your concern

  5. January 29th, 2010 at 11:41 | #5

    @Ben
    “How much do these guys need to stuff up before you start to realize that their closed culture and hostility to any criticism is ruining any chance of global action taking place?”

    Oh, please. As if global action was imminent before the CRU email debacle!

    I’m disgusted at these scientists’ petty and meanspirited behaviour, and they’ve damaged their own cause, but let’s not pretend the non-agreers* would be any closer to agreeing if it hadn’t happened.

    * – Since you don’t like the usual terms.

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