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Dissembling for Dollars

September 20, 2013

What do you get when you design a horse using a committee?  A camel.  What do you get when you pull in a bunch of politicians and scientists to review a paper that means significant dollars to the community?  This:

A leaked copy of a United Nations report,  compiled by hundreds of scientists, shows politicians in Belgium, Germany,  Hungary and the United States raised concerns about the final draft.

Published next week, it is expected to  address the fact that 1998 was the hottest year on record and world temperatures  have not yet exceeded it, which scientists have so far struggled to  explain.

Germany called for the references to the  slowdown in warming to be deleted, saying looking at a time span of just 10 or  15 years was ‘misleading’ and they should focus on decades or  centuries.

Hungary worried the report would provide  ammunition for deniers of man-made climate change.

Belgium objected to using 1998 as a starting  year for statistics, as it was exceptionally warm and makes the graph look flat  – and suggested using 1999 or 2000 instead to give a more upward-pointing  curve.

Other countries weighed in, go read the whole thing.  Here’s a decent summary of the actual report, by the way:

The report is expected to say the rate of  warming between 1998 and 2012 was about half of the average rate since 1951 –  and put this down to natural variations such as the El Nino and La Nina ocean  cycles and the cooling effects of volcanoes.

So, the world is a complex place, and the temperatures rise and fall, and nobody has a decent idea how to model it.  Check.

Look, I’m sure that what humans do is having an effect on the climate, but I’m also sure that we have no idea on how to measure it on a global scale.  But that’s okay, because we have no idea how to measure the natural effects either, so we’ve got that going for us.  For as conservative as I am, I’m also a pretty strong environmentalist.  I was carrying around reusable bags and using a mug for coffee at work long before the rabid whackos insisted that I do so.  I love the outdoors, and I’d like to see the pragmatic approach to how to protect natural areas.  But that might include logging to pay for it, if you ask me.

I look forward to the sides with an agenda to continue to sound like monkeys while the sides who want to actually figure out what’s really happening sigh in frustration.

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