Tag Archives: Richard Tol

A New eBook for the New Year

As I mentioned yesterday, this site has reached another year in its short life. I think that's a fitting time to announce my new eBook which has just been published: The Climate Wars: A Disgrace to Skepticism.

I want to point out right from the start a lot of people I know won't like this book. Some might dislike it because they dislike my writing. That's fair. I can't say I'm amazing when it comes to prose. What I can say is the larger reason people will dislike it is the point of the eBook:

This book does not attempt to list everything anyone in the Skeptic movement has gotten or done wrong. There are an untold number of errors and misdeeds one could rant about in an attempt to score rhetorical points. That is not the point. The point is the polarization of the global warming debate means none of these problems matter.
There are many people in the global warming debate who do honest and good work. They do not matter. As long as people remain silent and allow bad work and unethical behavior to dominate the public representation of their side of a debate, all anyone will have is the same sort of partisan bickering they could find in any political argument.
That goes for all sides. Whatever the topic, whatever your beliefs. If you want to be taken seriously or accomplish some task, quit thinking about how “they” are the problem. Focus on what is right and what is wrong.
And remember, sometimes you and the things you like might be the ones that are wrong.

It's a simple point. If you say it about Warmists, Skeptics will quickly agree, talking at length about how "noble cause corruption" is, well, corrupting climate science. The question is, will any Skeptics acknowledge the same thing is true for them?

Experience makes me think they won't. Maybe I'll be surprised. And even if not, maybe some people who aren't as polarized when it comes to global warming will find this eBook worth their time.

And as always, if you don't want to spend the $0.99 on this eBook, you're welcome to download a free PDF copy available here.

Bickering and Checking Sources, Part Two

Yesterday's post highlighted a bit of the petty nature of some disputes regarding a recent lecture given by one Matt Ridley. It also took note of how people can get basic facts wrong even though anyone who bothered to check the cited sources would know better. In fact, if one had checked the cited sources, they'd find one didn't even exist.

I thought that would be that. I didn't plan to revisit the topic. However, I recently saw a couple things I couldn't ignore. It started with this tweet on Twitter:

The article it links to is important, but a couple additional tweets will help explain why. First is this response from climate scientist Richard Betts:


This seems great and all, with a climate scientist explaining to a "skeptic" how they were wrong and everyone coming to an agreement. The problem is the climate scientist is wrong. What he says simply is not true. It is also not true when the article I said is important repeats this claim:

The main report was published on the same day as the SPM.

This is from the Met office (to which Betts belongs), the national weather service for the United Kingdoms. It plays an important role in the global warming debate. It's also completely wrong.
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Interesting Update on IPCC Standards

As some of you may know, an article I wrote was published yesterday at DeSmog Blog. If you haven't read it, I highly encourage you to. It gives a brief overview of the history of work on the economics of global warming which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) relied upon for its latest Assessment Report, work by Richard Tol. You may remember that name from previous posts of mine discussing his work, such as his paper claiming the less data we have, the more certain we are of our results.

Tol's work is stupendously bad, but the truly fascinating thing about it is both skeptics and the IPCC use it at the exact same time. Skeptics happily promote Tol's work to claim (some amounts of) global warming will be beneficial, while at the same time, the IPCC has allowed Tol to slip his work into its reports absent any sort of external review for some inexplicable reason. The result is both sides of the global warming debate are arguing from the same, terrible work on this topic.

As fascinating as that is though, the issue I want to talk about in this post is the fact the IPCC allowed Tol to add a bunch of material to its report absent any sort of external review, flagrantly violating its stated principles. I've talked about this a number of times on this site, and I've even attempted to take it up with the IPCC. Today, after half a year of trying to follow up on that, I'm here to report that I've gotten some manner of response.
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Am I a Skeptic?

I've been called a lot of things in my life, most of them not very nice. It usually doesn't bother me. People can call me what they will. It doesn't affect what I am. The problem is sometimes it's necessary to pick a "side" in a conflict. This point was brought to mind recently by Anthony Watts at Watts Up With That when he asked:

Is it time for an “official” climate skeptics organization, one that produces a policy statement, issues press releases, and provides educational guidance?

But I didn't give it much thought. Then I discovered Richard Tol apparently rewrote a couple parts of the latest IPCC report to downplay global warming concerns and promote his own work. The responses I got to pointing that out were disheartening. I tried to shrug it off, but then I got an e-mail from a self-declared skeptic referring to it which said (in part):

It looks like you're right but it's better for us if you don't talk about it.

That was my breaking point. I can accept whatever labels people want to give me, but the idea I should refrain from pointing out abuses of science because of what "side" I'm on is obscene. If that's what it takes to be a skeptic, I don't want to be one.
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Richard Tol, Hiding Data?

People following this blog (assuming there are any) know Richard Tol and I had a disagreement recently. I basically accused him of rewriting the Aggregate Impacts section of the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) to make it favor his own work while excluding important information and other, more modern, work.

They'll also know Tol's response when this issue was first brought up (by Bob Ward) was to tell what was aruably a lie:

In fact, that section was moved from Chapter 19 to Chapter 10. As far as I am aware, Mr Ward did not raise this concern with the IPCC. He was informed no later than 2 April 2014 that the text was moved rather than added.

The reality is the text Bob Ward referred to bears no resemblance to the text Tol claimed was moved. The text was completely rewritten, a fact Tol has since acknowledged. Unfortunately, it appears Tol has made another false claim, one which he refuses to correct or back up. Today I'll discuss that claim and what evidence is available regarding it.
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