Tim Worstall Shows Us How to Find an “Expert” By Ignoring Reality in Favour of Matt Ridley

Sometimes, someone just hands you a nugget of gold.

As there was no reason for me to rush out of work tonight, waiting on commitments not far from my office, I figured I’d do something I have decided to largely avoid; I searched the web for recent stories on climate change.

It led me to an article in Forbes by Tim Worstall, titled; Maybe Climate Change Just Really Isn’t A Problem After All?

Mr. Worstall opens brilliantly. He states he is genuinely enthusiastic about the science of climate change and okay with all that the scientists tell us and happy with the Stern Review’s conclusions. He just yearns for certainty over climate sensitivity; that’s it.

Effectively, Tim’s on a mission to create a god of gaps. But it gets better.

He refers to another columnist, Matt Ridley, whom has intelligently and simplistically demonstrated that a doubling of CO2 will lead to a warming of about 1.6°C – 1.7°C, based on trends over the industrial revolution thus far.

This is on par with brilliant conclusions that I have previously commented on by Ben Ho, whom largely stated that, because we have manage to deal with climate change so far, we can continue to match its rate of change into the future at low cost.

I’ll save my reader (for once) a lengthy post and just finish with the nugget that made me laugh;

“It’s too early to say that Ridley’s right: but it’s a great time to say that he might be onto a very serious and interesting point. One that we should be investigating a great deal more thoroughly.”

Of course, the climate science community have largely been twiddling their thumbs on the subject of climate sensitivity and a it likely a journalist will be remembered for solving the problem!

I’d like to draw Tim Worstall’s attention to the following graph;

Distributions and ranges for climate sensitivity from different lines of evidence. The circle indicates the most likely value. The thin colored bars indicate very likely value (more than 90% probability). The thicker colored bars indicate likely values (more than 66% probability). Dashed lines indicate no robust constraint on an upper bound. The IPCC likely range (2 to 4.5°C) and most likely value (3°C) are indicated by the vertical grey bar and black line, respectively.

Distributions and ranges for climate sensitivity from different lines of evidence. The circle indicates the most likely value. The thin coloured bars indicate very likely value (more than 90% probability). The thicker coloured bars indicate likely values (more than 66% probability). Dashed lines indicate no robust constraint on an upper bound. The IPCC likely range (2 to 4.5°C) and most likely value (3°C) are indicated by the vertical grey bar and black line, respectively.

As summed up at Skeptical Science here, or, if it suits you better, please refer to the actual scientific paper, Knutti and Hegerl (2008). In essence it shows that very many studies have been carried out by many experts in relevant fields, with at least 2°C+ of warming expected for a doubling of  CO2.

If Worstall really did show the interest in the science that he claims to, I would not have this post to write.

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3 responses to “Tim Worstall Shows Us How to Find an “Expert” By Ignoring Reality in Favour of Matt Ridley

  1. Great post and important to uncover Worstall – but more dangerous is the editorial dept of Forbes that decided to print this garbage. Or most likely sought him out. Servicing their advertiser base.

    Worse than the idiot, are those who make the stage. .

    • Sorry Richard, I just found your comment flagged as spam (I don’t often check the spam box, so I’m not sure if other comments have been directed there). I’m not sure if you have been commenting elsewhere and upset them..?

      I totally agree; it read largely as a “fluffer” only to advertise Ridley’s article in Forbes.

  2. Seeking to replace the ole John Mc – Cain who ran us
    into this ditch a couple of years ago. One variation is the
    game called White Elephant. Three, have some fun while searching.

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