Reply To: Sceptics on global warming a baby-boomer, yuppie thing etc

Martin W

Just come across a bizarre letter to the editor of the Freelance Star, by a doyenne of the global warming skeptics, Patrick Michaels.


Can the news [about global warming] really be this bad?

– and then answers with a truly lunatic piece of logic:

Every time some “new” information is added to a weather forecast, it should have an equal chance of making it warmer or colder. In global warming, which is really just a super-long-range forecast, every new finding should also have an equal chance of making it warmer or cooler, or “worse than we thought” or “not as bad as we thought.”

Michaels writes a lengthy missive based on this – which he does not substantiate, and seems as crazy as saying (for instance) that in considering whether the earth is round or flat, or smoking does or does not cause cancer, the chances of the answer being one of these choices is 50%.

Thus, in noting that:

I counted 115 articles in the last 13 months–52 in Science and 63 in Nature. Twenty-three were in the “neutral/can’t classify” bin. In the remaining two categories, nine were in the “better” class, meaning things wouldn’t be as bad as previously thought, and 83 were in the “worse” box.

– Michaels is able to say this must be a result of bias. It couldn’t be that global warming is indeed serious (for by his reasoning, if it was, half the papers would say it wasn’t).

But, perhaps his audience is simply idiots, keen for even the flakiest of pseudo-science to buttress their notions. And, of course, could please his backers in the energy industry.

You can see this at:
No, Virginia, the sky is not falling Warming to debate Are we responsible for the planet’s changing climate?

Post edited by: Martin, at: 2006/12/03 15:04