In the land of Gray (and pink)

by Gareth on April 23, 2010

homer.jpgI have been asleep at the wheel of the good ship Hot Topic, for it appears that I have missed the latest pearls of wisdom to emanate from that grand old man of New Zealand science, Vincent Gray. Vincent’s latest Envirotruth Newsletter (#244) has been a lead item at Climate Realists, and received headline treatment at Mark Morano’s Climate Depot. Michael Tobis even catches Morano describing Vincent as a “UN IPCC Scientist”, which is somewhat stretching the truth, given that his major input has been diligent proof-reading. So what is Vincent’s great revelation? That climate scientists think the earth’s flat.

He starts with a schematic of the earth’s energy budget, and notes:

The attached graph is in all of the Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change, and it is fundamental to all their activities.

It assumes that the earth can be considered to be flat, that the sun shines all day and all night with equal intensity, and that the temperature of the earth’s surface is constant.

Then he inserts a later version of the diagram, commenting:

The earth is now thoroughly flattened, as if it had been run over by a cosmic steamroller. […] It ought to be obvious. The earth does actually rotate. The sun does not shine at night. The temperature is not constant. Every part of the earth has a different energy input from its output.

Unfortunately for Vincent, climate science has noticed that we’re standing on a planet that’s evolving and revolving at nine hundred miles an hour, that’s orbiting at nineteen miles a second, so it’s reckoned, a sun that is the source of all our power. And that’s reflected in the calculations. But let’s not let that little truth get in the way of a good story. Here’s Vincent’s coup de grace:

The currently promoted greenhouse theory is dead and its consequences have to be removed at once.

And of course that’s good enough for Climate “Realists” and Scaife-funded Morano. Where’s the peer review when you need it most? Deciding not to stand for the UK parliament, it seems. Dr Gray will be 89 next birthday.

[Big hat tip to Michael Tobis who did all the work, via Stoat]

[Caravan (takes me back, way, way back…)]

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Australis April 23, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Well ….. I'm glad this rather impenetrable post was rescued by that very lively 'astro' music. I guess all the mumbling about Climate Realists just provided context.

But there's an interesting point here about the million shortcuts that are needed to come up with a single number as the average global temperature at any point of the clock or the calendar. It's a statistical artifice that bears very little resemblance to the real world, in any absolute sense. I just hope it works as a relative metric – but you have to wonder about that when you consider all the changes in location, method, instrumentation, etc over the decades.

Gareth April 23, 2010 at 8:50 pm

Astro? You're obviously not old enough to recognise good old "progressive" when you hear it.

Nice try to support the old duffer. I suppose you think the earth's flat too?

nommopilot April 24, 2010 at 2:41 am

I'm sure we're all really interested in your alternative methodology?

The truth is that the IPCC reports represent the absolute best mankind can do by way of understanding the climate and our effect on it. I'm sure we'd all love to have more accurate, abundant data to work with (I'm sure climatologists would welcome it much more than you).

the trouble is that we don't have this so we can choose to accept the conclusions of the scientists most qualified to interpret the data we do have (until something better comes along) or we can be "healthily skeptical" and decide that since no data meets our standards we can therefore make no predictions and should therefore just wait and see what happens. You go your way, buddy, and I'll go mine.

bill April 24, 2010 at 9:05 am

And here nommopilot sums up the 'lay warmist' position rather neatly.

I'm always a bit befuddled by the 'but they don't really know for sure!' arguments. My first response is always 'and?' So many of those who won't accept this science ignore – wilfully or otherwise – that there's plenty of other stuff we accept as fact that wouldn't withstand the 'perfection of proof' standards being applied to AGW. Only the other day I heard a scientist saying they don't really understand how light manages to get itself transformed into plant food at the quantum level during photosynthesis – well, there's an opportunity for, what? 'Chlorophyllgate' perhaps?

And 'conservatism' gets turned on its head in the process. What's the conservative position on carrying out a radical experiment on the one atmosphere you possess?

Doug_Mackie April 24, 2010 at 4:10 am

FWIW, MP have their own youtube channel, incl the galaxy song

C3P0 April 24, 2010 at 10:11 am

"Dr Gray will be 89 next birthday." "Nice try to support the old duffer" " that grand old man of New Zealand science"

Gareth, write the rebuttal to what he has said, but don't resort to kicking him for being elderly. It needlessly degrades your article.

Gareth April 24, 2010 at 11:08 am

Would you prefer if it I said his mistake was infantile?

Doug_Mackie April 24, 2010 at 8:51 pm

For the record then, please give your own opinion of Vince's output.

Personally, I see no evidence of a decline in his faculties with age – I have examples of his denialism dating back to 1992 and he has been consistently inept for at least that long. Consistent to the point of monomania – how many comments was it? Truly, Vince is our very own Seitz.

C3P0 April 24, 2010 at 10:06 pm

My opinion?

I haven't read the paper so I haven't formed an opinion. I only have read this post and I accept the points Gareth has made. I have no problem with the scientific points made in this post. I just always respect experience and age and I am not comfortable with a cheap attack on some ones age, any more than if an article made cheap attacks on someones weight, race, height, the way their eyes look (Monckton) etc. Its not needed to get the point across, it just cheapens the debate.

nommopilot April 24, 2010 at 11:24 pm

"I just always respect experience and age and I am not comfortable with a cheap attack on some ones age, any more than if an article made cheap attacks on someones weight, race, height, the way their eyes look (Monckton) etc."

while I agree that a modicum of respect is essential in discussions of this nature, I also think 'duffer' is not so much an "attack" as a characterisation that is in this case valid: "Duffer = a plodding, clumsy, incompetent person". (from dictionary.com).

if your skin is so thin that to you this is an attack, perhaps you should go back to the padded room where there are no sharp objects…

Doug_Mackie April 25, 2010 at 8:40 am

You haven't read anything by Vince? Shame on you. The newsletter is lol. Perhaps this is where we differ: I read the things I slag off.

bill April 25, 2010 at 10:05 am

And here's some more egregious ageism –

I've got to be real blunt; how many old men who have nothing to do with climate science are out there saying it ain't so and getting coverage in the newspaper when they would have no prayer based on anything they're still capable of doing?

Again, this is a quote from Stephen Schneider from the recent AAAS talk. To me it neatly describes several prominent deniers. Now, one could say it was 'fairly unfair', but in the real world of public discourse it barely raises an eyebrow; similarly for Gareth's 'old duffer'. Then there's former Australian PM Bob Hawke's famous description of a monomaniacal pensioner who accosted him in a shopping mall as a 'silly old bugger.'

A certain amount of lampooning your opponents is a normal part of public discourse. And wit. You must find reading Oscar Wilde unbearable, C3PO – page after page of undeserved unkindnesses; God knows why it's still so popular…

Of course, there are limits. In the case of Monckton I personally don't mention the eyes – there's plenty to work with without them, after all – but The Spectator writer's 'Swivel Eyed Maniac' caption was a great, memorable image, because the whole breathless, overwrought 'World Communist Government' that Obama was supposedly about to sign the US on to in Copenhagen thing is, well, barking. 'Potty Peer' is great – my only concern is that it might reinforce the (incorrect) notion he's a member of the house of Lords.

Schneider, incidentally, is 65.

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