date: Tue, 27 Mar 2007 17:40:14 +0100
from: Tommy Wils <tommywilsatXYZxyzIL.COM>
subject: Re: [ITRDBFOR] should we, as a discipline, respond to Climate Audit
I think that we (as a discipline) are facing 2 problems: the ignoring
(McIntyre c.s.) and the panicking (Guardian, etc.) sides. I think we face
the problem of uncertainty, which can be used by everybody in the way they
want. The balance from the perspective of our discipline is that there is
evidence that human-induced global warming is going on. However there is
- We cannot stop carbon emissions at once. We would induce a global civil
war far worse than global warming itself.
- Reducing carbon emissions from just the climate change point of view is
living in a non-real world: there is more. Fossil fuels are getting scarcer
and thus more expensive. If we do not start changing our energy regime NOW,
we will run into economical problems from shortage of fuels next
tosuspected global warming.
- Replacing fossil fuels by agriculturally produced oils will endanger food
security in the world, we have to search for real alternatives.
- Cars driving on electricity will save the cities from pollution.
- Politicians like Al Gore are abusing the fear for global warming to get
into power (while having a huge carbon footprint himself), as Bush abused
the fear for muslim terrorism to attack Iraq and Afghanistan. Fear is far
more dangerous than the fact itself!
- American and European need for oil leads to imperialism and subsequent
resistence (terrorism as they call it). Changing this dependence is crucial
for world peace.
- Climate is a naturally varying system: what would we do if global warming
was natural? It would be still as dangerous...
- The UK raised taxes on flights, e.g. �20 of additional tax on a flight to
Australia, pure nonense. The only effect it has is that people are being
robbed by the government and hence the stability of the democracy is
threatened. Nobody will cancel a �1200 flight for �20.
- etc. etc.
I think we have to try to get the balance, the nuance into the discussion,
even though it is not our specialism - the problem is that it is nobody's
specialism and so we live in a fragmented world flying from one extreme to
the other. If you reply to McIntyre in a scientific way you will only
increase this fragmentation. For society, it is the bigger picture that
counts, not just what David said, but also the bigger bigger picture of
which I have given some examples. Statistically we simply cannot defend
global warming, therefore it is going on too short and it is too complex,
but if we wait we are too late. I think actually that the tendency of
scientists to insist that global warming is real and dangerous to convince
stubborn governments is the primary cause of existence of such radicals like
McIntyre. We must admit our uncertainties, but also paint the bigger bigger
(It is like going on fieldwork to Ethiopia. You don't argue well the chances
that I get yellow fever are relatively small, I don't do a vaccination. But
you also don't argue I am going to spend �10.000 on medical preparations to
protect yourself from everything. The chances that global warming is real
are high enough to act accordingly, but too low to panick and ruin the world
from the causes of anti-global-warming measures)
On 3/27/07, David M. Lawrence <daveatXYZxyzzo.com> wrote:
> McIntyre's work is a conclusion in search of evidence to support it:
> that all the proxy evidence for warmer temperatures in recent decades are
> statistical artifacts. (From what I've seen, it seems the only proxy
> studies he is statistically satisfied with are those that don't show such
> All of us know that once we embark upon ANY statistical work, we accept
> possibility of error. We try to control the sources and acknowledge the
> uncertainty in our work, and then get to work rather than wallow in
> methodological angst.
> As with evolution, certain types of studies have limitations that in any
> individual study could prove problematic for the conclusions we draw from
> it. But when many independent lines of evidence, employing many different
> types of data and methodologies, point toward the same conclusion, it's
> to reach any but that specific conclusion.
> McIntyre ignores the convergence of evidence regarding the link between
> greenhouse gases and climate change. He by undermining individual studies
> while studiously ignoring the big picture that renders his criticisms
> I don't know whether or not it is worth engaging him on ground of his own
> choosing. Remember what happened to Bonnie Prince Charlie at Culloden?
> P.S. for Rob: Don't ask me about the signalman strike!
> David M. Lawrence | Home: (804) 559-9786
> 7471 Brook Way Court | Fax: (804) 559-9787
> Mechanicsville, VA 23111 | Email: daveatXYZxyzzo.com
> USA | http: http://fuzzo.com
> "We have met the enemy and he is us." -- Pogo
> "No trespassing
> 4/17 of a haiku" -- Richard Brautigan
> -----Original Message-----
> From: ITRDB Dendrochronology Forum [mailto: ITRDBFOR@LISTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU]
> Behalf Of Rob Wilson
> Sent: Tuesday, March 27, 2007 7:39 AM
> To: ITRDBFORatXYZxyzTSERV.ARIZONA.EDU
> Subject: [ITRDBFOR] should we, as a discipline, respond to Climate Audit
> Dear All,
> I am not sure if you are aware of the Blog ClimateAudit by Steve McIntyre:
> Dendrochronology (mainly dendroclimatology) is often criticised as a
> discipline for a variety of reasons.
> Against advice from many of my dendro friends/colleagues, I often delve
> this world to try and defend dendro practises and correct misinformation.
> is a thankless task and, to be frank, I doubt I make much difference as
> of my criticisms of McIntyre get turned around and transformed into fairly
> aggressive attacks on my own work. See latest posts from just this past
> So - should I (we) ignore this Blog?
> Personally, I cannot do this. Although some of the criticisms and
> are valid, some of it is simply wrong and misinformed, and in my mind, it
> dangerous to let such things go.
> Some of the criticism comes simply from misinformed individuals who may
> have access to relevant basic literature and I was wondering if it would
> worth while putting a simple web page together with links to relevant PDFs
> with regards to sampling strategies, data processing, calibration and
> verification methodologies etc. Some links to some case study examples
> also be a good idea, although that may lead to an 'audit' of these studies
> on the CA Blog.
> Overall, this is a matter of outreach. I believe that tree-rings are one
> the most powerful palaeo proxies available. However, we cannot allow the
> discipline to be muddied by a few 'loud' individuals who's motives may be
> comments and suggestions welcome
> best regards
> Dr. Rob Wilson
> School of GeoSciences,
> Grant Institute,
> Edinburgh University,
> West Mains Road,
> Edinburgh EH9 3JW,
> Scotland, U.K.
> Tel: +44 131 650 8524
> Home Page: http://www.geos.ed.ac.uk/people/person.html?indv=930
> ".....I have wondered about trees.
> They are sensitive to light, to moisture, to wind, to pressure.
> Sensitivity implies sensation. Might a man feel into the soul of a tree
> for these sensations? If a tree were capable of awareness, this faculty
> might prove useful. "
> "The Miracle Workers" by Jack Vance
Tommy H.G . Wils M.Sc.
Postgraduate Researcher and Demonstrator
School of the Environment and Society, Department of Geography, University
of Wales Swansea
Singleton Park, SWANSEA SA2 8PP, United Kingdom
Telephone: +441792513065, Fax: +441792295955, E-mail: tommywilsatXYZxyzil.com