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Saturday 6 October 2012

The Register Picks And Chooses

The number of self-appointed experts on climate change continues to grow, and nowhere is this more evident at The Register, the logical outcome of a tendency that anyone working in IT already knows about: the industry is home to an awful lot of people who believe that, since they have mastered that subject, this automatically makes them a leading expert in all other subjects.

Don't even think about mentioning these in The Register

And for Register contributor Lewis Page, that expertise is such that he can not only quote authoritatively from a scientific study, but also dismiss its author’s findings whenever they do not accord with his view of the world. Page has reported that a new study shows sea level rise due to climate change will not be as bad as “alarmists” say, but the numbers are within the IPCC range.

That same IPCC is categorised as “alarmist” (this routine smear is deployed against any individual or organisation whose stance does not find favour with the antis, in order to make them look eccentric). Moreover, the conclusion of the research asserts that more than a metre of sea level rise is effectively already “locked in” due to previous generation of greenhouse gases.

On top of that, although the sea level rise by 2100 may not look much, there are tens of millions of people around the globe who live in areas that would be significantly inundated by such a rise. Page gets round serious discussion of this by asserting that sea levels rise and fall every day, which neatly avoids the fact that the high mark is what counts, and that this, too, will rise.

But it is when Page has selected all the information from the study, led by Prof Philippe Hulbrechts, that he switches tack and dismisses everything that Hulbrechts suggests as measures to mitigate sea level rise, probably because that advice is to significantly curtail the amount of greenhouse gas emissions. Hulbrechts calls this “the only realistic option”. Page doesn’t like this one bit.

With the greatest possible respect to Professor Huybrechts, while only a fool would fail to listen to his advice in his specialist subject - that is, how much sea level rise will there be assuming various global warming scenarios - his advice on what should be done about it (in which he is well out of his area of expertise) makes very little sense” he asserts, and then goes completely gaga.

By the year 3000 ... provided we don't somehow permanently strangle the global economy (for instance by making energy hugely more expensive ...) it's safe to say that nobody will have noticed the costs of a few metres of sea level rise. It's more than likely that new construction materials or floating cities or flying cars or some other development will have made sea-level rises largely irrelevant” he observes.

Have your cake, eat it and more. Because being in IT makes you an expert.

1 comment:

SimonB said...

The astonishing thing is that these odious people seem to think that fossil fuel prices won't rise. I do sometimes wonder what motivates them. It seems to be simply tribal, so that if Lefties don't like something then they will. The worst of it is the undeserved attention they get.