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Global cooling forecast, Phil Jones considered suicide

Posted by Richard on February 11, 2010

I don't know that there's any connection between these two bits of news, but they're both from the same Daily Express story, and for some reason the juxtaposition gave me a chuckle:

Professor Michael Beenstock said theories of climate change are wrong.

He warned climatologists have misused statistics, leading them to the mistaken conclusion global warming is ­evidence of the greenhouse effect.

The economics professor from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem said that just because greenhouse gases and temperatures have risen together does not mean they are linked.

He claims that the real cause of ­rising temperatures is the sun, which he says is at its hottest for over 1,000 years but is “beginning to stabilise”.

Professor Beenstock said: “If the sun’s heat continues to remain stable, and if carbon emissions continue to grow with the rate of growth of the world economy, global temperatures will fall by about 0.5C by 2050.”

Citing predictions by climatologists in the 1970s of a new Ice Age, Professor Beenstock said: “I predict that ­climatologists will look equally foolish in the years to come. Indeed, it may be already happening.”

Some of the commenters quickly seized on the fact that Beenstock is an economist, not a climatologist, claimed he was from a "right-wing think tank" (Hebrew University?), and said the Express had no business presenting him as an expert on climate.

I disagree. The "evidence" for global warming consists of statistical output data from complex computer models analyzing statistical input data (carefully chosen and adjusted to "normalize" it — or to arrive at the desired conclusion, depending on whom you believe). An econ professor is typically quite expert in statistics, mathematics, and computer modeling, and is thus quite qualified to comment on the manipulation of data relating to climate change. Certainly more so than the IPCC honcho who is a sociologist, or a flamenco dancer, or something. 

Later in the story, we learn that the fallout from the first ClimateGate scandal (how many have there been now, four?) has taken its toll on the chief perp:

Meanwhile, Professor Phil Jones from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit – the expert at the ­centre of the Climategate scandal – said he had considered suicide and had death threats over leaked emails which appeared to show ­scientists rigging the data.

The story ends with this, apparently presented with a straight face: 

MPs have called on the Government to consider a carbon tax of £100 a ton “or higher” to force down greenhouse gases. But there are fears it could push up fuel and food prices.

Gee, higher fuel and food prices from a carbon tax — ya think? Really?

 

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