Thursday, December 22, 2011
Climate realists testify before the Canadian Senate
Excellent presentations by very credible people - Ross McKitrick, Ian Clark, Jan Veizer and Tim Patterson. There was a goofy event during Ian Clark's (U of Ottawa) briefing on CO2 and the paleoclimate record in which he used several graphs which unfortunately were not being displayed. The chair, Senator Angus interrupted Prof Clark (at about the 27 min mark) to explain that the graphs were not being broadcast to TV and web audiences because they were not bilingual. Idiotic but, hey, this is Canada. Happily, this lead to a good discussion by Clark of greenhouse gases and the dishonesty exposed by the Climategate emails.
Professor Patterson hit one of my favourite contentions - that global cooling is a much greater threat than warming, especially to Canada. If we were properly looking out for our own interests we'd be promoting anything that might lead to warming not trying to suppress it.
Senator Paul Massicotte (Liberal) brought up the "concensus" issue. He asked why should he, a non-technical political decision maker, believe the skeptics when the vast majority of scientists including government scientists believe in AGW? Tim Patterson attempted an answer but Massicotte wasn't impressed.
Senator Banks (Liberal) believes that we should be following the precautionary principle. Gaaakk! He laid out four extreme but uncertain scenarios and asked: Where should we place our bet? McKitrick responded that Banks had set up an impossibly difficult decision-making problem and suggested that rather than betting on one of a set of bad options a carbon tax based on global temperature could be set up (McKitrick's T3 Tax).
Senator Richard Neufeld (Conservative) said he agreed with Massicotte. They hear from scientists on one side that it that it's so simple, AGW is happening [probably that's all that they've heard until this session] and from the other side not so or not necessarily so. He said he's not sold either way and asked how many scientists would be "on the same wave length" as the four presenters. "Are there a lot of them? Are they just quiet? Why are they quiet? Because the other side is very loud." [Good point! Thank you Senator!] The chair, Sen Angus, then spoke up to confirm that the committee had heard much, much more from AGW true-believers (not his words) than from skeptics. Good answer from Prof. Veiser starting with a bandwagon analogy and his experience with bandwagon thinking in communist Czekoslovakia. He moved on to the corruption in the UN IPCC process, including suppression of contrary views and intimidation tactics.
Senator Robert Peterson (Liberal) brought up the tipping point ("break point" or catastrophic AGW) scare. Clark said these "break points" are based on speculation about the predictability of how climate will behave. Climate is too complex to reliably predict. He referred to such talk as "alarmist" and "wild speculation" (giving as an example the prediction by the scientific advisor to the British government that "in 100 years the only habitable place on the planet will be Antartica").
More to follow (next post) re idiot Senator Grant Mitchell's disgraceful, insulting remarks (see video at 1hr 50 min mark).