Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Surface stations

I just left this comment at John Graham-Cumming's blog. The Neo-Nazi revisionist bit refers to his use of the term "denier", which is always contemptible. The bit I've bolded is the important point:

Noise and uncertainty simply exist, for scientists and laity alike (comparing Freeman Dyson to a Neo-Nazi revisionist is unworthy of you). Pretending certainty that does not exist is not scientific, though it is the province of the fanatic.

People you call sceptics - a term of approval in a sane world - are not trading in obfuscation, but rather in terms of broad, sweeping issues. Without proxies, we can't reconstruct the historical record. Without a good measured temperature record, we can't calibrate proxies. We do not have a good directly-measured temperature record. This is not some niggly detail.

UPDATE: It looks as though jgc does not want to publish this comment. It's not on his site yet, though a later comment from someone else has appeared. Going out to bat for climate milleniarism does unfortunate things to people.


Chuckles said...

I'm suffering from a slight disconnect here FB, I don't see your comment there or any reference to Dyson?

Just a very strange article that is whingeing about the use of an illustrative photograph by the Times and the Telegraph, and saying that their allusions are unfounded.

It starts by making assertions about the photo and what it appears to show, wanders off into soliloquies about flying, temp, pressure etc, and then disparages the assertions just made?
But, it seems it is all the fault of Anthony Watts , and skeptics in general, because they didn't measure temperatures.

So thats all right then.

Oh, and the science of climate change is settled. Or cannot be defenestrated. Or something.

Peter Risdon said...

No, he seems to have declined to publish the comment. Dyson is a climate sceptic, realist, whatever you like to call it. Using the term "denier", which jgc does in the comments, is therefore equivalent to likening Dyson to a holocaust denier like David Irving. It's contemptible from anyone and profoundly disappointing from jgc who is in most respects thoroughly worth listening to.