Adjusting the facts to fit the theory
...Howard Curnow
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This piece appeared in the Methodist Recorder, 27 Nov 15, and is republished here by permission of the editor and Howard Curnow.

In reply to Jon Cape's comments on my letter (MR, 6 Nov):

First, the belief that the "overwhelming majority" or 97 per cent of climate scientists "agree that climate change has a human cause and is serious" has little real evidence to support it. The 97 per cent figure came from a piece of rather unscientific research which has been much criticised for both its methodology and its conclusions. I doubt anyone knows what the majority of climate scientists think; and, in any case, something is not established as true by counting how many people believe it.

Second, it is true that, over millions of years, the evidence suggests a strong connection between greenhouse gas concentratiion and climate change- but the evidence is not that carbon dioxide causes global warming, but rather that global warming precedes rising levels of carbon dioxide by some hundreds of years.

Third, I repeat that considering the way in which temperatures have changed during the last 100 years (and they have changed very little over the last 18 or so) means that the relationship between carbon dioxide levels and global temperatures cannot be a simple linear one - and to say that it would be after allowing for non-human factors is equivalent to saying "Let's adjust the facts to fit the theory!" - a most unscientific approach.

Yes, it could be said that this is a question about risk management,; but risk management requires risk assessments and I (with many others, including reputable climate scientists) think many risks (of flood, drought, storm, and tempest, etc) have been overstated; while the risks associated with too great a reliance on sun and wind (and the demonising of fossil fuels) are being ignored.



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