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Stirring rebutal of Jones' attack on Lawson in BBC Report
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An Inspector Calls
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:51 pm    Post subject: Stirring rebutal of Jones' attack on Lawson in BBC Report Reply with quote

Quote:
Nigel Lawson: Listen Up, BBC, The Climate Debate Is Far From Over
Sunday, 16 October 2011 07:56 Nigel Lawson, The Sunday Times .The BBC, in determining its policy towards the coverage of global warming, which is of course not simply a scientific issue but an economic and a political issue, too, ought to shred that section of the Jones review and revert to the impartiality laid down in its charter.

In the second half of July, when most of us were preparing to set off on our summer holidays, the BBC Trust published a lengthy review of the impartiality and accuracy of the corporation’s coverage of science, most of which was taken up with what was described as an “independent assessment” by the geneticist Professor Steve Jones.

A substantial section of Jones’s assessment was, understandably, devoted to the important issue of global warming. Regrettably, that section was characterised chiefly by ignorance and intolerance. I was saddened not only by these general defects but also by an unwarranted attack on me personally. So, to be completely fair, I should quote the section in full.

Claiming that there is no longer any scope for serious debate over global warming, and that the media “face the danger of being trapped into a false balance, into giving equal coverage to the views of a determined but deluded minority and to those of a united but less insistent majority”, Jones complains:

“The impression of active debate is promoted by prominent individuals such as Lord Monckton and Lord Lawson. The BBC still gives space to them to make statements that are not supported by the facts: that (in a February 2011 The Daily Politics show) 95% of the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere comes from natural sources, while in fact human activity has been responsible for a 40% rise in concentration, or (a November 2009 Today programme) that volcanoes produce more gases than do humans (the balance is a hundred times in the opposite direction). For at least three years, the climate change deniers have been marginal to the scientific debate but somehow they continued to find a place on the airwaves.”

The false accusation that I am in the habit of making statements about global warming “that are not supported by the facts” was highly damaging not only to me personally but also to the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), which since its inception in November 2009 has become a respected and reliable source of information relevant to the global warming debate, and of which I am founding chairman.

And not only had I not made either of the statements complained of — leaving aside the question of their veracity; I had not appeared on either of the two programmes. (Nor, for that matter, had Christopher Monckton, whose position on this issue is, incidentally, not the same as mine.) I immediately emailed the chairman of the BBC Trust, Lord Patten, to complain. Receiving no reply, and after consulting the trustees of the GWPF, I instructed my lawyers to demand an apology and retraction.

This the BBC did on the BBC Trust’s website in the following somewhat grudging terms:

“On 8 August 2011, the trust published an updated version of Professor Steve Jones’s independent review of the accuracy and impartiality of the BBC’s science coverage due to an ambiguity [sic] in the section on climate change ... “The trust and Professor Jones now recognise that the passage as originally published could be interpreted as attributing statements made in those two programmes to Lord Lawson or to Lord Monckton. Neither programme specifically [sic] featured Lord Lawson or Lord Monckton and it was not Professor Jones’s intention to suggest that this was the case. Professor Jones has apologised for the lack of clarity in this section of his assessment, which has now been amended [by the removal of my name and that of Lord Monckton].”

But that does not dispose of the matter. The thrust of the Jones review is that in its coverage of global warming the BBC gives too much airtime to dissenters from the conventional wisdom such as me.

The very reverse is the case. Despite the authoritative role of the GWPF, invitations to either me or its excellent director, Dr Benny Peiser, to appear on air on this issue are almost as rare as DODGY’s teeth.

This is not because of any hostility to me personally. I am frequently invited to appear on BBC programmes about the economy, and from time to time I do so. But on global warming the BBC has a clear party line, and anyone who might provide an informed challenge to the party line is not wanted.

Jones’s mindset is revealed by his use of the term “climate change denier” to describe anyone, such as me, who is a dissenter about any aspect of the global warming orthodoxy. It is a term I find particularly disreputable and offensive, as it is clearly intended to group climate change dissenters with Holocaust deniers.

In its letter to my lawyers containing Jones’s grudging apology, the BBC litigation department wrote that “Professor Jones does not, however, resile from the statement ... that your client promotes the impression of active scientific debate on the issue of global warming when in fact there is clear consensus to the contrary”.

In fact, as the name of my think tank makes clear, our concern is primarily in the area of policy: in the light of the facts, to the extent that we know them and understand them, what policy is it rational and proportionate to pursue?

We are, of course, interested in the views of well-qualified scientists. It was for this reason that we recently published The Truth about Greenhouse Gases, a briefing paper by William Happer, an eminent professor of physics at Princeton University. The paper should be read in its entirety, but at one point Professor Happer provides his own summary of the main thrust, in these terms:

“Let me summarise how the key issues appear to me, a working scientist with a better knowledge than most in the physics of climate. CO2 really is a greenhouse gas, and, other things being equal, adding CO2 to the atmosphere by burning coal, oil and natural gas will modestly increase the surface temperature of the Earth ... The combination of a slightly warmer Earth and more CO2 will greatly increase the production of food, wood, fibre and other products by green plants, so the increased CO2 will be good for the planet, and will easily outweigh any negative effects. Supposed calamities like the accelerated rise of sea level, ocean acidification, more extreme climate, tropical diseases near the poles etc are greatly exaggerated.”

I do not know whether Jones regards Happer as “deluded”, still less what qualifications he has to do so; but it is interesting that he essentially torpedoes his own thesis, and implicitly agrees with Happer (although he wholly fails to grasp the significance of this), in one lone sentence of his review:

“Now, there is general agreement that warming is a fact even if there remain uncertainties about how fast, and how much, the temperature might rise [my italics].”

The difference between a slow and gentle warming (Happer puts it at something like 1C over the next 200 years) and a sharp, accelerated warming this century is massive and at the very heart of the lively scientific debate that Jones claims no longer exists. (Last week that debate was intensified by the publication of research suggesting that solar activity might lead to a cooling. Previously such a possibility was discounted by the scientific consensus.) The fact that there has been no recorded global warming at all so far this century adds credibility to the Happer view, but it is of course too soon to be sure. What is sure is that this has a profound bearing on what policies it is rational to pursue.

It is clear that the BBC, in determining its policy towards the coverage of global warming, which is of course not simply a scientific issue but an economic and a political issue, too, ought to shred that section of the Jones review and revert to the impartiality laid down in its charter.

No doubt it is influenced by the fact that all three political parties at present cleave to the conventional wisdom, and that there is thus no problem of achieving party political balance. However, some might reasonably contend that the unanimity of the three main parties makes it all the more important that, in the public interest, adequate airtime is given to informed dissent.



http://www.thegwpf.org/opinion-pros-a-cons/4112-nigel-lawson-listen-up-bbc-the-climate-debate-is-far-from-over.html

I'll wager Jones is regretting any involvement. Bright lad, Nigel Lawson.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lawson has always been a total ******* moron when it comes to this subject.

And you are a troll.
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An Inspector Calls
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

UndercoverElephant wrote:
Lawson has always been a total ******* moron when it comes to this subject.

But perhaps for a more 'reasoned' appraisal . . . :

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/charlesmoore/6706761/Nigel-Lawson-on-climate-change-Saving-the-planet-will-be-the-real-disaster.html
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An Inspector Calls wrote:
UndercoverElephant wrote:
Lawson has always been a total ******* moron when it comes to this subject.

But perhaps for a more 'reasoned' appraisal . . . :

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/charlesmoore/6706761/Nigel-Lawson-on-climate-change-Saving-the-planet-will-be-the-real-disaster.html


Nope, Charles Moore is also total moron.

Quote:

Take the IPCC's predictions of what might happen 50 or 100 years hence. The idea that this can be done with any accuracy, says Lord Lawson, is "inherently absurd". "We have only to ask ourselves whether the Edwardians, even if equipped with the most powerful modern computers, would have been able to foresee the massive economic, political and technological changes that have occurred over the past hundred years," he says.


What you have here is a right-wing journalist defending a right-wing politician's attempt to critique well-established science. There is a long history of politicians and theologians getting into scientific disputes with scientists and, oddly enough, the politicians and theologians ALWAYS end up losing the argument in the long run.

The Edwardians had no way of knowing how science and technology would transform the world. The problem now is not one of not knowing enough about what is happening. We know plenty. The problem is political.

Politicians should stick to politics and leave science to scientists.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 3:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lawson is an economist who believes in continuous economic growth in a finite environment. He is obviously short of a marble or two.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There seems to be a growing club of UndercoverElephant designated morons!

Lawson is not a climate change moron. He is merely appealing for a reasoned response to the perception of climate change. This has nothing whatsoever to do with his economic skills.

Lawson is not, in his response to Jones, criticising the science in the slightest (and neither is Moore). What he's attacking is Jones' absurd view that the climate science on global warming is a done deal - it's all fully established. Further, Jones based his attack on two individuals, Lawson included, on statements that neither of them had made! On that basis it would seem as if Jones were the moron to me, and Lawson has demonstrated that, rather than merely made the assertion without any substantiation.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But interesting that both of you respond with ad hominen rather than the subject.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've read and listened to too much cr*p from Lawson in the past to be bothered to read his present tome. He talked economist's cr*p in the past so why should he be saying anything sensible now?
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An Inspector Calls wrote:
There seems to be a growing club of UndercoverElephant designated morons!


Three at the last count, including you.

Quote:

Lawson is not a climate change moron. He is merely appealing for a reasoned response to the perception of climate change. This has nothing whatsoever to do with his economic skills.


Nope, he's trying to muddy the waters. He's trying to convince people that the science isn't very secure. He is talking bollocks.

Quote:

Lawson is not, in his response to Jones, criticising the science in the slightest (and neither is Moore). What he's attacking is Jones' absurd view that the climate science on global warming is a done deal - it's all fully established.


Which makes him a total twat right up there with the creationists, who attempt exactly the same stunt. In both cases they start with some science they don't like the look of for entirely non-scientific reasons. The cretinists don't like Darwinism because it contradicts their beliefs derived from the Bible. Lawson doesn't like climate science because it gets in the way of his right-wing political agenda. Both groups know they can't actually win the scientific debate against scientists so they try to claim that somehow we just don't know enough to be sure yet - it's "only a theory" and therefore we can ignore it for now. In both cases, what he have is anti-scientific dogma being presented as science.

If Lawson believes what he is saying then he is a total moron. If he doesn't then he's a lying tory DELETED (Ken) Take your pick.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wasn't aware that the creationists (whatever they have to do with the matter) started with any form of science. Lawson's starting point is simply the established science. No doubt you're both convinced by the climate models which are nothing more than conjecture.

Anyway, you're both happy with ad hominem and I wouldn't want to upset your comfy, simple views of the science.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An Inspector Calls wrote:
I wasn't aware that the creationists (whatever they have to do with the matter) started with any form of science.


Neither does Lawson. He starts with his belief in free market economics as the solution to all problems.

Quote:

Lawson's starting point is simply the established science. No doubt you're both convinced by the climate models which are nothing more than conjecture.


Creationist version of the above claim: "Creation Scientists start with the established science. No doubt you are convinced by the models of evolutionary theory which are nothing more than conjecture. Evolution is only a theory."
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Etherington and Lawson? Clutching at straws....Bellamy next?

(sorry for the ad hom - like Ken I've listened to Lawson too often)
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well they're damn good straws, going by what they have to say - but then there's no need for any of you to actually read them before making up your minds
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An Inspector Calls wrote:
Well they're damn good straws, going by what they have to say - but then there's no need for any of you to actually read them before making up your minds


I don't understand, I really don't. You're a smart guy, surely you can read what Etherington and Lawson are writing and see how weak it is? Their positions simply aren't robust. I don't understand how you can fall in line behind them so easily.

I haven't read Etherington but I did read Lawson's book (An Appeal to Reason: A Cool Look at Global Warming) a couple of years ago and I do know a thing or two about climate change science. Lawson book is a sham, it's full of cherry-picking and misrepresentations. Whilst Lawson himself is no scientist, and admits he's not qualified to judge the validity of the arguments - he attempts to do just that! I don't believe he's foolish enough to believe his own analysis to be robust - so I was left feeling he was being disingenuous, just using junk science to push his politics.

How can you stand behind such a man?
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An Inspector Calls
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2011 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well as you haven't read Etherington, why on earth are you including him in your diatribe?

As for Lawson's book, I hear what you're saying, but without any references or substantiation it's quite pointless giving your opinion any credence.

I have read Lawson's book. I know quite a bit about climate science, especially the underlying physics of photon trapping in CO2. I didn't find any of his claims at all unreasonable, and it's for that reason that I consider his opinion worthwhile. I have read criticsms of his book (and Etherington's) in the green press and they seem to lack understanding (probably contrived). This one, on Etherington, is a polished diamond:
http://www.actionforrenewables.org/critique-wind-farm-scam
The section on chapter 5 where Ohm's law and grid distribution is discussed is hilarious.

But the point at hand is Lawson's successful rebuttal of Steve Jones' polemic against him and also Jones' stance that the science of climate change was settled. It would appear that Jones hadn't taken the trouble to even read Lawson on the subject, and makes false attributations. It seems, judging by the comments in this thread, that that's a common failing.
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