Thursday, 5 February 2009

Deniers grow desperate

A few days ago someone sent me a link to an article in The Register in which Dr John Theon, ex-NASA scientist, declared that climate change is not man-made. He made a number of curious claims:

  • “The [climate] models do not realistically simulate the climate system because there are many very important sub-grid scale processes that the models either replicate poorly or completely omit.”
  • “Some scientists have manipulated the observed data to justify their model results” without explaining why.”
  • Jim “Hansen was never muzzled even though he violated NASA's official agency position on climate forecasting."

It didn’t take long to throw serious doubt on all this. For instance, a posting on pointed to criticism of many of the supposed facts. In particular the claim that the Bush White House did not attempt to muzzle Jim Hansen is absurd given all the coverage on this. (See, in particular: )

Now it turns out that Theon has been a climate change denier for a few years – which makes me wonder why this has come up now. His views are being promoted by Senator James Inhofe, Republican Senator for Oklahoma. The person most criticized in Theon’s statement is Jim Hansen and Jim Hansen is a leading supporter of energetic action against climate change. Maybe this is an attempt to discredit Hansen and thus to encourage Obama not to take the action needed.

If so it shows how desperate the denial lobby has become. What we have here is opinions from one man that relate largely to a period years after he ceased to work on climate issues. Not exactly compelling.

The body of evidence for man-made global warming, by contrast, is huge. It wouldn't be disturbed by the opinions of a former NASA climate scientist even if he were Mandela, Einstein and Pauling rolled into one!