I think that sometime fairly soon I’m going to dust off the little prototype climate simulation model I wrote a few years back. But instead of just using a square metre on the Earth’s equator, I’m going to do the whole of the Earth’s surface. And I’m going to have an atmosphere. And clouds. And, who knows, maybe even winds blowing this way and that.
Last time I tried, I got a bit stuck trying to model the atmosphere, and ended up going in circles playing photon football. So I’ve been gradually sketching out a new approach.
Part of the reason for this is that, despite fewer and fewer people believing it, the AGW scam never seems to go away. It seems to remain government policy everywhere, despite the collapse in credibility.
The other part of it is that I just like building computer simulation models of things. It’s probably an addiction. Much like smoking cigarettes. Or drinking tea. Or anything else.
I’m interested in how people come to be be sceptical about global warming. I know how I started. I was watching Jon Snow on Channel 4 news back in early 2007, and he was saying that “global warming was happening”, and “humans were to blame”, and “the debate is over”. And with that, any belief in it all that I might have had suddenly evaporated. It was like flipping a light switch. One moment I was agnostic, and a second or two later I’d become a sceptic, and have remained one ever since. Because in real science the debate is never over.
And a few days ago on WUWT, an engineer named Jonathan Abbott wrote a piece about how he became a climate sceptic, and asked if any of the readers had similar experiences. And he got about 600 responses (including my own). They make fascinating reading. They ranged from
I watched an interview with the Hockeystick Mann and thought to myself, “what an unpleasant, conceited, self opinionated arsehole”. That was that.
to engineers like the author who had, after initial belief, had very gradually changed their minds.
Engineers can’t afford to take other people’s word for it, cut corners or massage the data. Otherwise buildings, bridges and entire cities would collapse. Where’s the accountability in climate science?
Then ClimateGate 1.0 came about, and I was convinced. There were actually a very small number of people shamelessly manipulating the media, the peer-review process, and most of all, the data, to make us believe it was all real. That, above all, convinced me it was not.
Jonathan Abbott was rather amazed at the response, and wrote:
I feel like I just stood up at an AA meeting.
And it was indeed rather like that (not that I’ve ever been to one of them). It was a long series of personal confessions. And they were all different. I’ve spent hours today reading them.
And I was thinking, as I usually do, that the tobacco scare is structurally the same as the AGW scare, and also a lot older. It provided the template. Which one or two commenters also drew attention to:
just pointing out that the second hand smoke scare is based on so called science that’s equally as shabby as climate science
At which point Anthony Watts, who runs WUWT, and both of whose parents were smokers who died of lung cancer, angrily stepped in with his only comment:
Enough of the tobacco talk, all further comments snipped.
It’s a premier climate sceptic blog, but WUWT will never be tobacco sceptic, I fear.