Friday, November 20th 2009, 6:44 PM EST
How the IPCC's sponsor, the UNEP, and key IPCC individuals have misled Governments into supporting the notion of manmade warming
Despite the low level of understanding of most of these forcing agents in their 2001 and 2007 reports, the IPCC wants us to believe that climate models are accurate. Also, take no notice of any claims that models accurately replicate past climate because, in its simplest terms, excess in the modelling of one factor might compensate for a deficit in another factor. Accurate output is no guarantee that all factors are accurately modelled.
"We don't know what else could be causing warming so we will assume that it's human activity". I don't know if Houghton expressed a view in these or similar words but people associated with the early days of the IPCC certainly did. Surely it's no surprise at all that the causes couldn't be identified when in 2007 there's still a shortfall in scientific knowledge.
Perhaps the answer to Houghton's position lies in the word "faith". Houghton has a strong religious streak and has referred to mankind as the "stewards" who are to look after the Earth "as God wants it looked after"19. He made a similar statement in 2001 at St Edmunds College in 200120 when he also emphatically declared that human activity was the cause of warming, cited the "precautionary principle" (to which we shall return shortly) and said that "polluters" should "pay for the damage of their pollution". That last point is remarkable for a scientist who should know that carbon dioxide not a pollutant but is essential for life on Earth.
For the first time that I can recall, I am forced to conclude that Houghton is a scientist driven more by belief and religious conviction than by evidence. How can it be otherwise when he is so adamant that human activity has a significant influence on climate and yet the scientific evidence to support that claim is appallingly weak? Correlations are not evidence of a cause, nor are the output from inaccurate climate models or the opinions of people who work with those models, but all the so-called evidence that the IPCC report of 2007 presented.
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