Saturday, December 22, 2007

more pointers on how to do "science"-- with respect to global warming...

From the AP's Karl Ritter (hat tip: C-J)...

The head of the U.N. panel on climate change compared him to Hitler. Another leading scientist called him a parasite. A third described his latest book as a "stealth attack" on mankind.

The list of allegations against Bjoern Lomborg, one of the world's leading climate change skeptics, almost reads like an indictment for war crimes.

As Al Gore shows off his Nobel Peace Prize and world policy-makers hammer out a new strategy for saving the planet, climate change contrarians say they have been elbowed out of the debate. They say mainstream scientists have stifled healthy intellectual discourse by demonizing dissenters as oil industry lobbyists or lunatics.

"I really think it reflects entirely on them," said Lomborg, a mild-mannered Danish statistician who says global warming isn't a big threat and that international treaties requiring sharp and immediate cuts in carbon emissions would cost a lot but do little good.

Angry words and table-pounding, he said, only show "that your argument is not that strong."

Climate change experts counter that the contrarians are no longer relevant because the evidence now is overwhelming that man-made warming will have dangerous consequences if left unchecked.

"Their claim that debate is being stifled has the same credibility as members of the Flat Earth Society complaining about the round Earth mafia," said NASA scientist Gavin Schmidt.

Lomborg accepts that the Earth is warming because of man, but says a changing climate, including the threat posed by rising sea levels to small island nations, is a less urgent problem than, for example, AIDS or malnutrition.

It's a view that has infuriated advocates of immediate action by the world's governments.

"What is the difference between Lomborg's view of humanity and Hitler's? You cannot treat people like cattle," Rajendra Pachauri, the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, was quoted as saying in an April 20, 2004 interview with Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.

Pachauri now disavows the comments, telling the AP last week: "I was misquoted. That was taken out of context." But Jyllands-Posten reporter Lars From, who conducted the interview, insisted Pachauri was correctly quoted.

On Feb. 9, Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman wrote that "global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers, though one denies the past and the other denies the present and future."

Some mainstream scientists say that kind of rhetoric is going too far.

"There is never a reason for name calling, and any time someone plays the Hitler card, it's usually an obvious sign of desperation in the debate," said Michael Mann, director of Pennsylvania State University's Earth System Science Center....

I love that line about playing the Nazi card means you have a weak hand...

And then there's Lomborg v. Gore-- or not...

Many of Lomborg's opponents around the world are willing to take him on in debates, but he hasn't been able to go head-to-head with the most prominent climate campaigner of them all — Al Gore....

Lomborg says Gore pulled out of an interview this year with Jyllands-Posten, the Danish paper, when he found out that Lomborg also had been asked to attend.

Another opportunity for a confrontation arose when Lomborg and a panel of climate experts were invited to listen to Gore speak to BBC staff in London.

"The curious thing is that ... because I was there, we could not be in the room when he was giving the talk. So we all had to sit and wait in the green room," Lomborg said.

McGlade, of the EEA, who also was invited to the event, confirmed Lomborg's description of what happened. She added, however, that Gore routinely debates people with opposing views....


At December 23, 2007 at 12:19 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

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