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« AR5 hearings | Main | More Briffa vs Ridley »
Monday
Jan272014

Walport's reverse thinking

Hidden behind the Times paywall, I gather that Sir Mark Walport is being rude:

Climate sceptics should stop attacking the science of global warming and have a “grown-up” debate, the Government’s most senior scientist has said.

Sir Mark Walport accused climate sceptics of questioning the scientific evidence in order to dodge the more challenging question of what to do about it.

OK, so let me get this right. The world hasn't warmed for 17 years or so. Climate scientists can only hypothesise as to the reasons why. We can't detect any significant changes in the surface temperature record. The evidence about climate sensitivity is that it's much lower than we had been led to believe (but the IPCC obfuscated the issue).

And Sir Mark thinks we are wrong to discuss the science?!

What does this tell you about our chief scientific adviser?

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Reader Comments (159)

That the appliance of science is not what Chief Scientific Advisers are hired for?

Jan 27, 2014 at 10:46 AM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

"have a “grown-up” debate"

Bring it on. Let us have a public debate.

The problem with Mark Walport and the Climate Alarmists is that they are too cowardly to have a public debate!

Jan 27, 2014 at 10:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

At least he didn't say the debate is over. I mean, that is progress in this place down the rabbit-hole we've reached in the western world on this issue. And despite the bluster I think Sir Mark knows the science isn't as solid as it was once cracked up to be - and that's partly why there is the debate. But I can't say I read more than a couple of paragraphs. :)

Jan 27, 2014 at 10:50 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

It takes courage to reject the favoured hypothesis and sadly the Chief Alarmist Advisor appears to be lacking in that trait.

Jan 27, 2014 at 10:53 AM | Unregistered CommenterFarleyR

The man is clearly unfit for the job. Perhaps that is why the government hired him.

Jan 27, 2014 at 11:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

@Bishop

That;s an invitation to be snipped!

Jan 27, 2014 at 11:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Jones

Plainly, by a 'grown-up' debate he means sceptics should simply agree with him.

Jan 27, 2014 at 11:06 AM | Unregistered Commenteragouts

I wonder if Dame Julia Slingo - The Met Office's Chief Scientist, has told Sir Mark yet, that the 'pause' might last 30 years?

#innocentface

http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1s02pna

Julia Slingo
“…it’s a great presentation about 15 years being irrelevant, but I think, some of us might say if you look at the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and it’s timescale that it appears to work, it could be 30 years, and therefore I think, you know, we are still not out of the woods yet on this one. …

If you do think it’s internal variability, and you say we do think the Pacific Decadal Oscillation is a key component of this, and it’s now in it’s particular phase, but was previously in the opposite phase, could you not therefore explain the accelerated warming of the 80s and 90s as being driven by the other phase of natural variability?” - Julia Slingo - Q/A session

audio 44min 50s royalsociety.org/marotzke.mp3

responding to Prof Jochen Marotzke of the German Max Planck Institute of Meteorology

http://royalsociety.org/events/2013/climatescience-next-steps/

Jan 27, 2014 at 11:07 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

It is possible to challenge some of the science (especially the failure of the models) and express views on what should be done about it (especially the failure of wind power to provide affordable power and significantly cut emissions). I spend more time on the latter than the former.


Matt Ridley

Jan 27, 2014 at 11:08 AM | Unregistered CommenterMatt Ridley

Let's change a few words and see what we get......

"Walport accused sceptics of questioning the scientific evidence for the existence of the MALEVOLENT SPAGHETTI MONSTER in order to dodge the more challenging question of what to do about it."

Now why might Walport want to focus on what to do about his imaginary problem, rather than whether the problem exists in the first place?

Cretin.

Jan 27, 2014 at 11:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterAngusPangus

oops broken audio url, in the above - Dame Julia at 44 mins, 50secs

http://downloads.royalsociety.org/events/2013/climatescience-next-steps/marotzke.mp3

Jan 27, 2014 at 11:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

If he wants to come round we can have chat about the ''science'' and its violations of well known laws of physics, the crap energy exchange model used by the IPCC and anything else he wants including the reasons behind the increase in river flooding.

BRING IT ON.

Jan 27, 2014 at 11:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Marshall

It tells you he should be dismissed and replaced by a scientist.

Jan 27, 2014 at 11:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

Fine.

The first point of a serious grown up debate - rather than a purile emotion based one - is to discuss what "it" is that you want us to "do something about".

The evidence avaialble suggests to me it is that ant hill over there in the far distance. I understand you think it is that mountain in the foreground.


OK, let's debate.

Jan 27, 2014 at 11:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

We’re ready for the “grown-up” debate any time you’re interested Sir Mark Walport.

Until there’s an effective method to reduce CO2 the thing we should do about it is nothing, even if CAGW is real.

Jan 27, 2014 at 11:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Mark Walport, climate cop. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIVHNylH1Mk

Jan 27, 2014 at 11:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterAC1

Well here's a challenge to Sir Mark.

Let's have a proper debate along the following lines:

Paleo reconstructions: Michael Mann v Steve McIntyre (or indeed your Grace)

Sea Ice: Eric Steig v Nic Lewis

Sea level: Stefan Rahmstorf v Nils-Axel Morner

GCMs; Susan Solomon v Freeman Dyson

Catastrophes: Joe Romm v Chris Landsea

Alternative energy and economics: Lord Stern v Matt Ridley or Ross McKitrick

Very few rules, other than no personal abuse and no appeals to authority, whether one's own or "the science".

Who's really afraid of a proper debate?

Jan 27, 2014 at 11:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

Our models are wrong and we don't know why. But don't question us.

A scientist would see the contradiction. A closed mind wouldn't with authoritarian tendencies would not.

Jan 27, 2014 at 11:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterChip

Sir Mark doesn't care about the science; he has a well-paid post, with lots of fame and potential elevation to a peer if he toes the establishment line. Why would he want the truth revealed?

Jan 27, 2014 at 11:41 AM | Registered CommenterPhillip Bratby

I have seen graphs of the PDO index with periods of about 30 years mainly positive then a similar one mainly negative. If you add an offset then integrate that (or cusum) you get a picture that resembles the temperature curve. That is, flat periods of 30 years with an increase over the next 30.

So I would conclude, in a simple engineer's way, that PDO is a component. However, there is still the required "offset". Could that be man-made CO2 or is it something else?

Jan 27, 2014 at 11:50 AM | Unregistered Commentergraphicconception

Um, there's even a case that CO2 has a positive externality (on farm productivity), and that farm-land could be taxed to reward plant-food producers.

Jan 27, 2014 at 11:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterAC1

Perfect timing. It'd been some short but, for all that, interminably long interval since a rambling adult innumerate had attempted to lecture me on what I should be thinking.

Thus sated, I can go back to making a living out of turning science into product that members of the public actually choose to spend their money on. Novel, I admit.

Cheers, Mark.

Jan 27, 2014 at 11:53 AM | Unregistered Commenterchippy

- What science can Walport quote for the justification of his choosing the photo and words to accompany his message "Children play on the edge of flood water in the cut-off village of Muchelney in Somerset"
- Give us the publication details for this magic science that links currents weather events to CO2 ?

Jan 27, 2014 at 11:56 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

"I am not going to debate you cried" cry baby Sir Mark Walpole and his gang
, then he ran home and said
"Mummy, those nasty skeptics, they won't ever debate us, they just keep spoiling our game"

Jan 27, 2014 at 12:00 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

I'd be a lot happier if they allowed sceptics to have input into what to do about it. But if the evidence they claim is scientific invariably blames CO2 they'll never get pragmatic solutions.

Jan 27, 2014 at 12:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterTimM

Sounds like a challenge from Walport
WHEN, WHERE & WHICH TV channel do Lindzen, Ridley and the GWPF team turn up to ?
- and if your team don't turn up can we just debate your empty chairs ?

- DramaGreens are documented as always refusing to debate sceptics publicly, but have the front to claim sceptics won't debate.
e.g. When GWPF society suggested the debate the Royal Society refused any debate and eventually allowed a meeting where they told us what they thought, on the condition that what was said was kept secret.

Jan 27, 2014 at 12:05 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Ah @AngusPangus you beat me

sceptics DRAMAGREENS should stop attacking (with propaganda)science of global warming REALITY and have a “grown-up” debate, the Government’s most senior scientist SHOULD SAY.

Sir Mark Walport SHOULD HAVE accused DRAMAGREENS of PLAYING DOWN the scientific evidence in order to dodge the more challenging questionS about the failure of their green fantasy view.

Jan 27, 2014 at 12:08 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

I haven't even found any scientific evidence yet. A lot of gut-feelings, pessimistic opinion and rank-bad logic but no actual evidence that doesn't refute the case for AGW and it's illegitimate offspring. What we need is for these clowns to stop denying that the entirely model-based panic is over.

Jan 27, 2014 at 12:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

It's amazing on a very basic level. Why is the "what to do about it" even effected by the most childish thing a sceptic could possibly say?

The movement of climate policy really has had no impediment - all political parties and most of industry, including fossil fuel concerns, have sanctioned pretty much every scheme dreamt up by the visionaries like Walport. Not a single vote or public intervention has impeded whatever climate policy exists today.

The fact that a guy who is supposedly a smart scientist in a job working for the government bemoans the existence, and holds to blame, a small sector of people who really have had no influence, for the current piss-poor state of energy/climate policy is pretty creepy.

Jan 27, 2014 at 12:15 PM | Registered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

AngusPangus
As a pastafarian, I find your description of the MALEVOLENT SPAGHETTI MONSTER offensive.

Jan 27, 2014 at 12:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndyL

Shut up he explained.
Ring Lardner, The Young Immigrants, 1920

Jan 27, 2014 at 12:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterObeliskToucher

Wherein my comment above I referred to Sir Mark Walport as a "cretin", I most sincerely apologise if I have inadvertently offended AndyL and other Pastafarians and I hereby unreservedly withdraw my offensive remark:

"Malevolent" Spaghetti Monster was, of course my own embellishment and I should, instead, have referred only to His correct title of "Flying" Spaghetti Monster.

Walport is still a cretin.

Jan 27, 2014 at 12:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterAngusPangus

Well I have just emailed him and told him exactly what I think.

http://www.bis.gov.uk/go-science/contact

Perhaps a few more could do the same.
It might not have any immediate results, but it makes you feel better.
I've also started sending emails to the likes of the Met Office challenging their single minded dedication to CAGW.
If more of the public told them just how we feel, it might get the thinking.

Jan 27, 2014 at 12:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Carter

He's not the Government Chief Scientific Adviser, he's a very naughty boy.

Jan 27, 2014 at 12:45 PM | Registered CommenterJonathan Jones

Walport isn't paywalled in the Independent.

Jan 27, 2014 at 12:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterDave

Matt Ridley:

It is possible to challenge some of the science (especially the failure of the models) and express views on what should be done about it (especially the failure of wind power to provide affordable power and significantly cut emissions). I spend more time on the latter than the former.

That is the grown-up approach so Mark Walport should love you!

Jan 27, 2014 at 12:47 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

JJ: Indeed. Walport's Mum is sorely needed around here.

Jan 27, 2014 at 12:49 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Well here's a challenge to Sir Mark.

Let's have a proper debate along the following lines:

Paleo reconstructions: Michael Mann v Steve McIntyre (or indeed your Grace)

Sea Ice: Eric Steig v Nic Lewis

Sea level: Stefan Rahmstorf v Nils-Axel Morner

GCMs; Susan Solomon v Freeman Dyson

Catastrophes: Joe Romm v Chris Landsea

Alternative energy and economics: Lord Stern v Matt Ridley or Ross McKitrick

Very few rules, other than no personal abuse and no appeals to authority, whether one's own or "the science".

Who's really afraid of a proper debate?

Jan 27, 2014 at 11:22 AM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

Great idea. Let's promote it.

Jan 27, 2014 at 12:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

Could that be man-made CO2 or is it something else?

Jan 27, 2014 at 11:50 AM | Unregistered Commentergraphicconception

Or the sun, or random weather patterns, or MJO etc, etc . CO² ??

Jan 27, 2014 at 12:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

It seems very much Sir Mark Walport who doesn't want a 'grown-up' debate.

Can anyone doubt that the stance taken on CO2 emissions is far more political than it is scientific?

Jan 27, 2014 at 1:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

If more of the public told them just how we feel, it might get the thinking.

Jan 27, 2014 at 12:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Carter

They know what we think !! They choose to ignore us. The problem is that their excuses for what is cooling, even to the most uneducated people of the world, are numpty of the first order.

Jan 27, 2014 at 1:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

Sceptics challenged the science on the effects of CO2

Result, 17 years without warming while CO2 rises by 20%.

Clever clog scientists forecast a 0.3C rise over the same period.

Sceptics reliance on renewable energy won't solve the warming problem and will lead to economic problems.

EU all but abandons renewables in a bid to reduce energy costs to industries planning to decamp to foreign climes.

Just what is Walport going to bring to this debate?

Jan 27, 2014 at 1:02 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

I think what we need is a mass debate....

On second thoughts, that might get mis-construed - but a proper debate, certainly...

Jan 27, 2014 at 1:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterSherlock1

Re: Jan 27, 2014 at 12:55 PM | Stephen Richards

Wow - excellent idea, and would be very informative for any following such a debate which is exactly why the establishment would never allow it!

They are desperately trying to avoid any such debate which is why they've been saying for so long that the 'science is settled' despite it being patently obvious to all concerned that that is very far from the case!

Jan 27, 2014 at 1:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

FLOW CHART

1) Convince public CAGW

2) Public acts to cut CO2

3) If CO2 > the past, GOTO 1

4) declare victory over sceptics and CO2

It’s a simple model but the warmists want to delete lines 1 and 3.

Jan 27, 2014 at 1:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Walports shows PROJECTION typical of the Green/left

“There are some people who don’t like the policy implications of climate change and think that the best way to duck the discussion is to deny the science"
.. sorry who is ducking the discussion? Your lot are the cowards who won't come to debates, but rather deny scientific reality by throwing up propaganda whitewash over it..
- Policy implications, your Greendream state will not be realised and you greenbiz and green hedgefund mates won't be raking in the subsidy money..oh and grants might get cut

Jan 27, 2014 at 1:19 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

@Dave OLD ? : 2 Oct 2013 is the date on that Indy article I found Top scientist Sir Mark Walport urges climate change deniers to give in

Sub : "Environment Secretary Owen Paterson played down the dangers of global warming recently"

BTW look what Google threw up : from the Independent (owned by friend to the oil oligarchs)
The climate change sceptics are winning by LIAM DENNIS, 28 May 2013
winner of the most biased chimney photo EVER

Jan 27, 2014 at 1:21 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

In other news, Chris Turney wins a science prize:

http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v7/wn/newsworld.php?id=1009150

Jan 27, 2014 at 1:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul

Walport seems to be even more of a wally than Beddington, and that's saying something!

Jan 27, 2014 at 1:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterMydogsgotnonose

geronimo says: "Just what is Walport going to bring to this debate?" His Mum - and a clean pair of underpants?

Jan 27, 2014 at 1:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterHarry Passfield

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