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Sunday, 31 January 2010

Warble gloaming caused by student politics.

Okay, not quite but not a million miles off.
The United Nations' expert panel on climate change based claims about ice disappearing from the world's mountain tops on a student's dissertation and an article in a mountaineering magazine.
...
In its most recent report, it stated that observed reductions in mountain ice in the Andes, Alps and Africa was being caused by global warming, citing two papers as the source of the information.
However, it can be revealed that one of the sources quoted was a feature article published in a popular magazine for climbers which was based on anecdotal evidence from mountaineers about the changes they were witnessing on the mountainsides around them.
The other was a dissertation written by a geography student, studying for the equivalent of a master's degree, at the University of Berne in Switzerland that quoted interviews with mountain guides in the Alps.
To resort to a fairly over used phrase, you couldn't make it up. A fucking magazine? Really? Jesus Christ. And while I wouldn't want to belittle this geography student - for all I know he turned in his work plastered with caveats which were then ignored by the professional warmistas - it's still based on the subjective opinions and recollections of third parties. Science? Isn't someone supposed to be out in the field with a fucking theodolite and a tape measure? Where is the observation data?

This isn't just the ranting of a sceptical layman either:
Professor Richard Tol, one of the [AR4] report's authors who is based at the Economic and Social Research Institute in Dublin, Ireland, said: "These are essentially a collection of anecdotes.
"Why did they do this? It is quite astounding. Although there have probably been no policy decisions made on the basis of this, it is illustrative of how sloppy Working Group Two (the panel of experts within the IPCC responsible for drawing up this section of the report) has been.
"There is no way current climbers and mountain guides can give anecdotal evidence back to the 1900s, so what they claim is complete nonsense."
This is where sceptics and those AGW proponents who haven't abandoned the scientific method and are honest about uncertainty and 'sloppy work' can agree, but there's one point I'd dispute in there. There may have been few or no policy decision made on the basis of this alone but policy decisions fucking well are being made on the basis of the Summary For Policy Makers at the end of IPCC reports, and one of the three major sections of those reports that are being summarised for policy makers is being done, to use Professor Tol's own term, sloppily.
The IPCC report, which is published every six years, is used by government's worldwide to inform policy decisions that affect billions of people.
See, Professor? Now how do you think these policy decisions can be unaffected if the summaries on which they're based are in turn based on a report written by three working groups, one of which you yourself say is sloppy? This is costing us all a fucking shitload of money, you do realise that, don't you?

Now let's look at the sources themselves (my emphasis).
The magazine article, which was written by Mark Bowen, a climber and author of two books on climate change, appeared in Climbing magazine in 2002. It quoted anecdotal evidence from climbers of retreating glaciers and the loss of ice from climbs since the 1970s.
As opposed to a failed politician and author of a couple of books on climate change? Still, the point here is that this guy doesn't hold a neutral view, is not a scientist and was not writing for a scientific. It was a fucking magazine article. Now he's perfectly entitled to say what he likes and to bang out an article full of cherry picked half remembered anecdotes along the lines of 'we don't get t' winters we 'ad when I were a lad' that are completely unverifiable if that's what he wants. Fair enough, and he doesn't sound like he's trying to hide the anecdotal nature of it, but it's NOT FUCKING SCIENCE, okay?
Mr Bowen said: "I am surprised that they have cited an article from a climbing magazine, but there is no reason why anecdotal evidence from climbers should be disregarded as they are spending a great deal of time in places that other people rarely go and so notice the changes."
Actually, Mark, yes there is reason. Did these guys to climb up things or did they go to measure them? Did they make any observations and take equipment to do so? Or is it like someone coming back from the footie and telling his wife that it rained a bit more than last time he went? Anecdotal evidence is subjective, subject to faulty recollection and vulnerable to little tricks such as leading questions when collecting it. Plus...
Experts claim that loss of ice climbs are a poor indicator of a reduction in mountain ice as climbers can knock ice down and damage ice falls with their axes and crampons.
Which also applies to this:
The dissertation paper, written by professional mountain guide and climate change campaigner Dario-Andri Schworer while he was studying for a geography degree, quotes observations from interviews with around 80 mountain guides in the Bernina region of the Swiss Alps.
Oh gosh, another less than neutral writer.* I'd say how astonished I am but it'd be a lie even without the recent revelation that a lot of IPCC reports are based on stuff churned out by WWF and Greenpeace. And remember that for years we've been told that it's all solid, all robust, all reliable and especially all peer reviewed. In fact plenty of AGW proponents are openly dismissive, scornful even, of anything that is not peer reviewed. It's their gold standard, and by extension that of Big Eco as a whole, but in turns out that non-peer reviewed work is just fine when they're using it, even if colleagues from related disciplines contributing to other sections of IPCC reports say it's sloppy.

Do as they say, not as they do. Bastards.


UPDATE: Not that it changes much one way or the other but I notice at Wattsupwiththat that the IPCC's Rajenda Pachauri has written a work of fiction (or another one as the case may be ;-) ) of the 'romance with rumpy-pumpy' genre. I wonder if he knows Alastair Campbell.

* True, I'm less than neutral myself but that's only because of all the shit we've been fed on this over the past three decades. When they come up with a convincing theory - one that accounts for the Medieval Warm Period, the Little Ice Age etc rather than tries to pretend they didn't fucking happen - I'll look at it neutrally, though still with a bit of scepticism since that's actually the way it's supposed to work and, as I said, there's a bit of history.

4 comments:

Mr. Xyz said...

This spoof of climate science may be of interest:

http://climaterealists.com/?id=4960

Angry Exile said...

Thanks. I've put that in my RSS feed.

Mr. Xyz said...

Here's a Youtube playlist with more.


http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=1E3948F7BF3587F8


There are two new ones:

"Frozen Wasteland" by Minnesotans For Global Warming
"Hitler on Climate Change"

and two old ones:

"Hide the Decline" by Minnesotans For Global Warming
"Climategate Glaciergate...: Hitler's Last Straw:

Enjoy!

Xyz

Mr. Xyz said...

Here's a Youtube playlist with more.


http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=1E3948F7BF3587F8


There are two new ones:

"Frozen Wasteland" by Minnesotans For Global Warming
"Hitler on Climate Change"

and two old ones:

"Hide the Decline" by Minnesotans For Global Warming
"Climategate Glaciergate...: Hitler's Last Straw:

Enjoy!

Xyz

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