Arnold Williams (notebuyer) wrote,
Arnold Williams
notebuyer

Montreal and the Kyoto protocol

Gavin Schmidt, of the Goddard Institute, is widely quoted in favor of the protocol. Sadly, even within the scope of his presumed expertise, he doesn't seem to know what is going on:

"There are some things that are absolutely incontrovertible ...: that greenhouse gases are increasing, that they are increasing because of human activity, that the planet is actually getting warmer and that some part of that warming is due to greenhouse gases."

Let's take just the surface level here:

1. Greenhouse gases are increasing. Does this mean that we should increase the production of the things which absorb them, or explore alternative means of producing the same results, or reduce our consumption of what has produced them thus far?

2. That they are increasing because of human activity. I already know you don't know how to account for Mount Pinatubo, which erupted in the early 90's. What makes me more confident that you understand the nonhuman sources of carbon dioxides and particulates (on which your models are wildly deficient) now?

3. That the planet is actually getting warmer. Depends on the statistic you choose. There are serious measurement problems with the sample that you are using to understand local temperatures now, much less what they might have been as few as twenty years ago.

From a scientific perspective, therefore, he's talking out of his hat. It only gets worse when someone says, "There is a consensus of scientists supporting him" -- because that is first, not how to do science, and second, there is a much larger consensus who think there are serious problems with the science he advances, if we have to count bodies to establish truth. Finally, global warming is the least serious of the major policy problems the globe faces now: why should we spend money there, given that the protocol's drastic cuts are expected to produce only a miniscule measured effect in their own terms?
Tags: statistics
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