The Register (a British publication focused on the information technology industries) has been notoriously unreliable on climate issues and should not be taken too seriously by default. Also it’s widely known how much damage Steve McIntyre has done to the comity of the whole climate sphere. Nevertheless there are many points which McIntyre makes in a recent article at The Register which are worthy of note:
- Leading climate blogger Steve McIntyre says policy makers are failing to prepare the public for climate change and have become obsessed with “petty acts of virtuous behaviour” instead.
- If you’re a policy maker, you have to take as a base case that India and China are going to increase carbon dioxide emissions, and one of the IPCC base cases of CO2 emissions is going to come to pass. You would be negligent to ignore it – we can hope it will be less severe, and we can hope skeptics are right – but you have to assume that the IPCC advice is accurate. That doesn’t leave a whole lot of [room to] manoeuvre
- McIntyre said the publication of SRREN had followed the “despicable IPCC practice” of issuing an alarmist press release “that had the opportunity to run around the world” six weeks before issuing the report. The press release claimed that 80 per cent of the world’s energy needs could be met by renewable energy by 2050. It transpired that the 80 per cent figure was based on a Greenpeace study, a Greenpeace activist was lead author of the chapter assessing the Greenpeace study, and no due diligence on this scenario had been performed.
- “As a general philosophy, I think any signal should be strong enough to show up using very simple methods,” he said. “Simple methods are all that is required to extract signals. If you have to use methods that are trickier than that – then in the hands of inexperienced or opportunistic scientists you can get results don’t make a whole lot of sense.”
Of course this one is pretty ridiculous:
McIntyre said he thought the reason for the “tremendous acrimony” in the climate blogosphere was a response to this: “Nobody knows what to do.”
McIntyre ought to consider whether certain individuals’ behavior have directly contributed to acrimony, and exactly who might spring to mind first.
(And the hurricane hiatius thing is pretty inexcuseable. Lack of landfalling hurricanes in the US is good news on the disaster management front but not meaningful climatologically.)
On the other hand this:
“You’d be negligent not to take the IPCC as the basis of policy, even if you thought the quality of the work required tremendous improvement. I hope people do a better job.”
is about right and very interesting. (Though I don’t agree with the implication which is pretty much a matter of faith among McIntyre’s followers, that Working Group I in particular has done a bad job.)
h/t Mosher, right after getting me really ticked off