Garth goes off the deep end

by Gareth on April 22, 2010

Another week, another load of tripe from Garth George in the Herald. He emerges from his sulphurous lair stirred by stories of volcanoes in Iceland to lend his weight to calls for the suspension of the Emissions Trading Scheme. He makes so many egregious errors that he not only makes himself look foolish, but also calls into question the editorial standards of the Herald. Opinion is opinion (and Garth is entitled to his) but facts are facts, and the nation’s leading newspaper should not allow him to simply invent his own.

Let’s take a closer look…

 

Here’s his opening error:

…more and more evidence is available that gases such as carbon dioxide and methane have absolutely no effect on global temperatures.

What evidence would that be, one wonders, because Garth provides no clue. I haven’t heard of any major revisions in basic physics that would allow greenhouse gases not to warm the planet. I suspect Garth is just making stuff up, interviewing his typewriter (which, for all I know, may be about to win a Nobel prize for rewriting quantum physics).

I suspect that the eruption of Mt Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland shot more gases into the atmosphere in five minutes than New Zealand would in five years.

No need for suspicion. The figures are available, and even Garth could have Googled an answer to his rhetorical question. Leo Hickman at the Guardian has done the digging: Eyjafjallajökull has been emitting somewhere in the range of 150-300,000 tonnes of CO2 per day. New Zealand, on the other hand, emitted 74.7 million tonnes of CO2e in 2008 according to the latest MfE report. Garth could have argued that Eyjafjallajökull’s peak daily emissions were about the same as New Zealand’s, but they were also being more than offset by the cancellation of so many long distance flights.

The increasing scepticism over global warming throughout the world is not surprising after the shocking sub-zero weather which created chaos all over Britain, throughout Europe and in the United States in the depth of their winter.

It was the fourth warmest winter since records began.

There is increasing scepticism here, too, after one of the coldest winters in decades, which started early and finished late, afflicted much of New Zealand.

Wrong. New Zealand’s winter started early, and was quite cold, but it also ended early and August was the warmest in the record.

But the deception continues among the global warming scaremongers.

The chutzpah is breathtaking. A Biblical phrase about logs and eyes springs to mind.

Climate has been in a constant state of flux since God created the heavens and the land and the sea and placed the sun and the moon in their orbits.

When was that, Garth?

And I am persuaded absolutely that it is the sun, not the harmless, essential trace gas carbon dioxide, that drives climate change. So our emissions trading scheme will not just be a colossal waste of time and effort but an unaffordable waste of money.

Garth’s absolute certainty is ridiculously unpersuasive, based as it is on shoddy research and made-up “facts”. The Herald, if it wishes to retain any vestige of credibility in its opinion section, should apologise for foisting such ignorant and ill-informed ramblings on its readers.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

cindybax April 22, 2010 at 3:52 am

someone should submit an Op Ed to the Herald about the benefits of smoking and especially second hand smoke. Could quote the Heartland Institute, Fred Singer, etc.

Be interesting to see what they'd say.

Alan April 22, 2010 at 8:12 pm

How much longer is this imbecilic creationist going to be given a platform to metaphorically evacuate his bowels in an otherwise generally respectable paper?

Carol C April 22, 2010 at 9:19 am

What I think about Mr GG is unprintable!! He's like one of those bores who rave on and on in pubs, nursing one beer for hours. However, just for the record, denialism of global warming and subsequent climate change is not a tenet of Christianity. GG is NOT speaking on behalf of Christians and many devout Christians are very concerned about climate change and its effects on people and the planet.

bill April 22, 2010 at 9:35 pm

Remarkable, though, how many deniers are young Earth creationists, as opposed to what I’d call non-secular humanists…

In fact, many arguments seem to boil down to “God wouldn’t do that to us”! That really is taking faith to the limits!…

George D April 23, 2010 at 2:20 am

Entirely unremarkable, actually!

watching the deniers April 23, 2010 at 9:48 am

Pretty much – the idea that God would give up his sovereignty and care for humanity is a deeply held existential fear of the creationist crowd.

bill April 23, 2010 at 10:46 am

Reminds me of the old joke about the devout person sitting on the roof of their house as the floodwaters rise. 3 time passersby in boats offer to rescue him, three times the believer refuses and expresses every confidence in God's imminent merciful intervention. This doesn't work, and when the newly drowned believer meets his maker in heaven he complains indignantly to God that despite his exemplary faith he'd not been rescued.

'What?' says God, 'I sent you three boats!'

So if we consider that climate science could be readily be schematized as a warning from God…

david winter April 22, 2010 at 9:41 am

Breathtaking. By my back of an envelope calculations Darth is out by a factor of 2 million. That's actually worse than the creationists' estimate of the age of the earth, 6000 years is only 1.3 million times less than 4.5 billion.

My recent post Relative Risk Averse

Carol Stewart April 22, 2010 at 10:01 am

George puts me in mind of the following quote from Max Planck:
"A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and
making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually
die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."

RW1 April 22, 2010 at 8:56 pm

The downside to that is that idiots like George will conveniently die before the full amount of deserved ridicule falls on them. Oh, well…

Doug_Mackie April 22, 2010 at 11:19 am

1) I have little doubt that young earth creationists are disproportionately climate deniers but actually we don’t usually know because, the funny thing is, most know their views are risible and keep quiet about them. Denialism is their way of getting back at Science.

2) As always, the deafening silence from the “scientist” deniers will speak volumes.

watchingthedeniers April 23, 2010 at 6:50 am

I love this wonderfully breathless display of ignorance.

If he doubts CO2 has any effect on the environment, he should perhaps consider the natural greenhouse effect – which is keeps the planet at a comfortable temperature – discovered by science in the late 19th C.

Let's suggest we strip the atmosphere of C02, CH4 etc. completely and see what happens… wait, isn't that the kind of atmosphere the moon has?

tomfarmer April 23, 2010 at 9:24 pm

At mention “sulfurous lairs” – above – I am reminded to cite a newbie which Suzanne Goldenberg has come up with at the Guardian and was recommended by solveclimate.com. The company concerned now does more than pump SF6 to our global atmosphere. A be aware story.. I sense you’ll agree.

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