19 July 2010

Compare and contrast

The following are two passages from an interview in Stanford Magazine of the late (died after I wrote this) Biology Professor Stephen Schneider, a leading climate catastrophist. The interview contains many other internal contradictions, but I think the paragraphs I have selected are the most striking.
The primary lasting impact [of the CRU emails scandal, tediously dubbed "Climategate"] will be that it has delayed climate policy by a year or two - which, if the Congress tips away from Democrats, could delay it by eight or more. A number of countries believe that we should all have collective action to protect the commons. But if the biggest polluter in history, the United States, doesn't do anything, [other countries] can use that excuse to do nothing. I do not believe it'll have any long-lasting impact on the credibility of climate science, because it is fundamentally sound. Unfortunately, the likely coming super heat waves and the hurricanes that will take out parts of Miami and Shanghai, for example, will show that, in a politically tangible way. And nobody will remember Climategate 10 years from now.
OK - so in Schneider's expert opinion [umm - may one ask how a biologist qualifies as an expert in climatology?] super heatwaves and devastating hurricanes are a likely result of the brakes put on the climate catastrophist band-wagon by Climategate. Yet later Schneider says:
We know we have a rough 10 percent chance that [the effect of global warming] is going to be not much; a rough 10 percent chance of 'Oh, My God' [the catastrophist scenario]; and everything else in between. Therefore, what you're talking about as a scientist is risk: what can happen multiplied times the odds of it happening. That's an expert judgment. The average person is not really competent to make such a judgment.
How does a ten percent chance become the "likely" outcome? The "average person" is perfectly competent to detect the gross illogicality at the core of Schneider's "expert judgment".

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