Professor Paul Valdes of Bristol university has been working assiduously for years to induce panic about the climate using models. He’s very unhappy that the level of panic is not high enough. He’s produced a new report that tells us that the problem with existing models is that they are too stable – they don’t show the sort of catastrophe that has happened in the past. The greenie message is loud and clear. We must spend billions more a year on taxing industrial production and end human activity as we know it.

Richard Black, of course, loves his message and seeks to report on it by making it clear that he approves of every syllable, while at the same time, putting two fingers up at sceptics. His way of doing so is ludicrous even by his standards. First he tells us patronisingly that models predict metal fatigue in aircraft. Gosh, what a revelation. Then he says:

In the acrid climate blogosphere there are many commentators who would agree with Professor Valdes’ contention about lack of confidence in computer models.Their conclusion, typically, is that society should not take any steps to mitigate emissions until the projections are surer. Going back to the analogy of aeroplanes, this is tantamount to arguing that it’s fine to get on board any craft unless it’s been shown to be unsafe.

Let’s get this straight. What a BBC so-called science correspondent clearly believes is that because “models” can predict metal fatigue (a relatively simple function of stress and a few other variables), they must also be able to predict climate (a system with so many variables that experts in the field can’t even agree on even where to start in their analysis).
This is a sub-moronic argument that I would blush to feed event to a three year old. Meanwhile, in the real world, genuine scientists are pointing out how complex the climate system actually is. Well worth a read.

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14 Responses to SUB MORONIC

  1. London Calling says:

    There is no proof that the CO2 byproduct of economic activity (“emissions” is a deliberately prejudicial word) is causing catastrophic harm to the climate. But hey lets deindustrialise and cripple our economies just in case. In one leap of logic a simple choice “not getting on board a plane” is equated to the deindustrialisation of the West? May be it looks like that sitting in the Beeb’s office.


  2. My Site (click to edit) says:

    I constantly use Atlantic wave height models, and despite the great scientific knowledge in this area they are still often wildly inaccurate, even for short range forecasts when the storm generating the swell has fully formed.
    To think that a model, whose data is based on alarmist nonsense and left-wing dogma can be in any way accurate is really quite laughable.


  3. matthew rowe says:

    “Going back to the analogy of aeroplanes, this is tantamount to arguing that it’s fine to get on board any craft unless it’s been shown to be unsafe.”
    What a utter load of precautionary zealot  dribble  you may be able to model metal fatigue from engineering data but you cannot predict which part of which plane when and where so the analogy  is crap !!


  4. Natsman says:

    In the words of the wonderful Joe Bastardi – ” I struggle to comprehend why apparently sane people continue to insist that C02 has any bearing on a changing climate, when all the evidence (easily visible to the vast majority of us) clearly shows that this is not the case, and that other factors combine to cause warming or cooling, and that the evidence now before us is the Triple Crown of Cooling”.


  5. cjhartnett says:

    Another indictment of the ecoloons that infest all things scientific in the current “If Stalin had been an aromatherapist” climate…and THAT won`t change as long as the lavender mob who run the media and fund their “research” stay as they are!
    That said, its that first phrase about “working” that stuck. His like don`t work and that`s the trouble!
    I see no independence of mind or willingness to think outside his box( a very comfy coffin to throw coins into!)-so he`s in clover for now.
    Blacks, Harrabins and the like get paid by us all to confirm his “objectivity”.
    Only wish we could put them all over at the UEA so we`d KNOW where all the quacks, bogus bunnies and charlatans were at one and the same time.
    This slice and dice of toxic science going bad will reduce science to the status of economics since 2008-we`re well on the way.
    In a sane world the likes of Robin, Booker et would be in charge,…has Goldacre tackled this one yet…he`s against bad science and the Guardian surely would not want that to go unchallenged would it?


  6. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Screw the science: shut down modern civilization because you never know what could happen.  I mean, the earth was really warm millions of years ago, and other people’s computer models doing something else entirely work quite well.


  7. Craig says:

    Richard Black writes:    
    In 1954, two de Havilland Comets broke apart in flight, leading to lives lost and the suspension of service for what was then a state-of-the-art aeroplane.    
    The cause was traced back to metal fatigue, a sudden failure whose underlying cause was the slow weakening of the material caused by repeated cycles of loading.    
    Before and since, scientists have studied metal fatigue, to understand its basic causes and to discover if there are tell-tale signs that signal impending collapse.    
    These studies have intimately involved the use of computer models

    Black uses this example to establish the value of computer models in general.    
    A commenter responds to this:    
    28th June 2011 – 19:31    
    You imply the original problem was found by computer modelling. It was a proper experimental science not science by desk jockeys.    
    A team led by Sir Arnold Hall, director of the Royal Aircraft Establishment at Farnborough, subjected models, full-size aircraft and replicas to the most elaborate and searching tests ever carried out on an airliner.    
    Misleading us by ommission as usual Richard Black.  
    The obituary of Sir Arnold Hall in the ‘Guardian’ seems to support BenVorlich’s point:    
    Hall promptly built Farnborough’s famous “whole pressurised aircraft” test rig, in which the stresses of flight cycles could be simulated rapidly many thousands of times on a complete aircraft. The outcome, clinched by early and massive failure of the test aircraft’s pressurised cabin, explained the catastrophes, provided new knowledge of aluminium alloys under repeated stress, gave new meaning to the concept of “fatigue life”, and revealed the unexpected inadequacy of conventional and hitherto highly trusted methods of stress testing and analysis.    
    Now, Richard Black’s article clearly implies, using the stress testing that followed the crashing of the Comets as his analogy, that computer modeling is the key to predicting climate as much as it was metal fatigue. But it seems that computer modeling wasn’t the key in the very example he uses. If so, is this deliberately misleading or just sloppiness on Black’s part? It wouldn’t be good either way.  
    As David Gregory is in the area, it’s a time-honoured B-BBC blog tradition to ask him for a comment on this sort of thing, as it’s very much his field of expertise. David?


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      It’s false logic, period.  Just because some or even most computer models work in other fields, it doesn’t mean that the Warmist ones aren’t fudged or just plain old wrong.


    • John Horne Tooke says:

      He will not answer – If he disagreed he would have to take issue with one of his comrades  and if he agreed with Black he would be a prat.  Its a no win situation for the blinkered one.


      • My Site (click to edit) says:

        Never say never. Any keen on matters of fact would value the input of any who seem very keen to contribute, usually.

        I have to say that it seemed odd to equate the complexity and nuance of climate to errors in a plane design, and now it transpires that even the analogy is flawed at the most basic level.

        If that is incorrect, it would be interesting to hear how. If not, then what might ensue.


  8. John Horne Tooke says:

    The Earths climate is a chaotic system which is not as easier to simulate as a wing of a Jumbo Jet.

    Black believes what he says, because BBC “journalists” these days are taught activism and not journalism.


  9. My Site (click to edit) says:

    Have to say, on his latest outing, having raised the odd eyebrow myself, reading the comments he’s not really making the case well for the BBC’s credibility in this area.


    • Craig says:

      One of the comments picks up on the caption below one of the pictures that uses the absurd phrase “the carnage of Fukushima”. As Brunnen notes, “That would be the carnage that came with zero casualties?”

      He goes on, “This nonsense has gone on long enough.
      Can anyone tell me where on this site I can complain to the BBC about Richard Black? The BBC is supposed to be politically impartial, not the PR wing of Greenpeace.”

      Whether Richard Black or an anonymous, anti-nuclear BBC Online reporter wrote that caption, it certainly isn’t the result of impartial reporting.


  10. cjhartnett says:

    Wonder if Robin would commission a research study into the global warming implications of continuing our needless production of programmes-both radio and telly, because it would be unfair to take them separately.
    Here at Wessex Uni, I`ve noted that since the BBC was set up, we`ve had an inexorable rise in things we don`t like. Things like wars, penguins needing freezers and -of course-climate changey institutionalised feelings that nanny says aren`t nice at all!
    So Robin-the increase of hot air and raised temperatures with all those hot desks…surely we`d not need those turbines if we could just silence the Beeb.
    Gaia is crying…but who can hear her when they gabble bullshit 24/7.
    Maybe this could be their final Panorama expose?