The 4th International Conference on Climate Change, hosted by the Heartland Institute is currently ongoing. A number of powerpoints from various presenters are already available, as are some videos. Naturally, I would like to makes some recommendations of the presentations already available. Lindzen had a very interesting presentation about the science, and, largely the sociology of science. I would only note that I am unsure that what he describes as the prosecutor’s fallacy is really that. In fact, I think it is more accurately described as the more fundamental fallacy of Affirming the consequent. Indeed, I would argue that all arguments for dangerous anthropogenic warming stem from logical fallacies whose structure is essentially the same as AtC-and, like all formal fallacies, is essentially a “special case” of the more general erroneous logic of a non sequitor-a conclusion which does not necessarily follow from the premises. Moving on, Harrison Schmitt went over an interesting topic I didn’t expect him to, namely the Constitution and the relevance of it’s limits on the power of the federal government to current climate legislation/regulation proposals. He makes the sure to be controversial statement that the current proposals all over step the limits of the government’s power. For what it’s worth, I think his interpretation is sound. Pat Michaels discussed how science is presently indicated that projections of large future warming are likely erroneous, and the key statement of the EPA about most recent warming being due to greenhouse gases is not supported with the high probability that they say it is. I would also like to talk a little more later about one of his more provocative suggestions-that a peer reviewed journal be started for the purpose of doing an end run around the deliberate attempts to gate-keep the literature (which we’ve talked about before). Chip Knappenberger discussed some work he has been doing to examine whether recent temperature trends are in line with future warming projections, and suggests that the observations are indicating trends which are unlikely if the models are correct. It’s very interesting but I just want to say that some the graphs he shows are very difficult to read due to having WAY too many lines on them-in particular those which look at the distributions of trends for different lengths of time. It might be better to use simpler graphs and quote p-values. Ross McKitrick discussed why he thinks that predictions of climate are currently dependent on unreasonable projections of future emissions, and his continuing work on getting a comment on the Santer et everyone one on the “team” paper claiming that the atmospheric temperature trends in the tropics are consistent with models. I also highly recommend the presentation of David Tuerk, where he comments on how subsidies, both for “green” energy and “dirty” energy are distorting the market, and how environmental advocates and free market supporters should be able to agree on eliminating perverse incentives for “dirty” energy. I completely agree. Which is nice because I was beginning to think I was the only person in the world who wanted to eliminate market distortions in energy. Gabriel Calzada Alvarez does a great job of looking at what “green jobs” programs have meant in the real world-namely much more bad than good. Roy Spencer, who’s power point is not yet available, but video is, discussed his effort to study feedbacks, and the results so far of using the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit data to monitor surface temperature changes as a “check” on the official data like HadCRUT, and examine possible urbanization effects. There are many more presentations not up yet or even still coming up, and I don’t want to leave anyone with the impression that these are the only ones worth reading/watching-far from it, indeed there is great value in listening to all of them, even the ones I don’t necessarily agree with 😉 so you should look at any that get your interest. I am looking forward to Willis Eschenbach’s presentation, for instance, but it is not available yet. I also look forward to David Douglass’ talk. Hopefully this time the powerpoint that eventually appears will match his talk, so this time I don’t have to wait for a reply email that never comes.
Anyway, I’ll stay appraised of the presentations as they become available and will elaborate on them later.