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Climate Change Bad Science

Ben Goldacre defends Climate Science against the rudeness of sceptics: Copenhagen climate change blah blah – Bad Science

Leaving aside his other arguments, which you can be rude about if you want to be, he repeats this argument:

We’re predisposed to undervalue adverse outcomes which are a long way off in the future, especially if we might be old or dead soon.

Granted we all "undervalue" long term adverse outcomes or apply questionable discount factors, which might be a more neutral way of putting it.
But is there any evidence that old people discount these more than young people?
It is young people who believe they are immortal and drive fast and party hard as they fritter away their money. Old people look both ways, join the RSPB and tinker with their wills as they worry over their grandchildren.
Arguing that old people don't care about climate change because they don't care about the future may be based on facts, but I have never seen a source. It maybe that old people are sceptical because they "have seen it all before". Without a basis for the assertion it is worthless and isn't worthy of his column.

Comments

At 54 i don,t consider myself old but seen it all before rings true .I like the quote from captain terrell in the outlaw josie wales at times like these "DON,T PISS DOWN MY BACK AND TELL ME IT,S RAINING.

"adverse outcomes which are a long way off"

That's why the Warmenists always say we have to ACT NOW or else Catastrophic Climate Change will kick in in a couple of years' time. The problem is that they have been saying this for years and it still hasn't happened. You're the expert here, didn't somebody or other say about ten years ago that CCC would kick in by 2010?

I can't be the only fifty plus person with grandchildren. The consequence of the proposed solutions to global warming are that my grandchildren, and if I get them great grandchildren will live in poverty. I'm sure that all the young people waving banners don't think about that at all. The remaining global warming advocates all appear to be paid (whether by government, BP, or whatever- The IPCC crowd are all in receipt of a salary, the various academics all receive grants, Al Gore has made $100,000,000 in speaking fees, the manufactures of wind farms all get a subsidy, etc. etc.) I think it is those who advocate drastic solutions to global warming who are ignoring costs far in the future.
As to the science itself- the fact that data files showing all the calculations have to be hacked (or requisitioned by congress), the fact that raw data is not systematically and automatically published is sufficient to reject the theory pending its publication. I wonder how many experimental write ups Dr. Goldwater did that omitted both results and calculations and had a sketchy description of the method- since he managed to pass A level I'd guess not many. This being (see para 1) vastly more important than one student's A level result, the standard and rigour demanded of proponents needs to be much higher, not much lower.

"It maybe that old people are sceptical because they "have seen it all before"."

As Prof. Chris Folland says here "Real cold would shock all under 30!"

Oldies have seen it all before. They've seen it colder in the 50s and 60s and seen it warmer in the 20s and 30s. If the cycle continues we're in for colder weather than we have had in recent decades. Winter kills hundreds of thousands of people around the world. Warmer winters (which are one of the things predicted) will mean less deaths. Oldies are rational. That's why Governments don't want people listening to oldies they want people listening to the Man from the Ministry who always knows best, even when he doesn't.

The Oldies may be right about Global Cooling (I'm not that old but I've seen too many scare stories to worry about anything any more - swine flu panic was clearly all a bit of a scam AFAIAC), but the oldies are also hard-core NIMBYs, their ultimate fall-back is "We need agricultural land to grow food in case there's another war". They cheerfully ignore that after the last war, the plan was to build more houses away from city centres (less prone to bombing) and with bigger gardens (so that people could grow more of their own food if need be). So Oldies can also be very short-termist when it suits them.

Gareth don't put words in our mouths. I am 74+ and remember all the things that were sure to happen - communism was to be a big successs, invading Suez was a good idea , Filter tips would stop the smokers cough, groundnut schemes, nationalising steel indstries for the masses , the great leap forward.etc.
It really should be that the young should only be allowed to fight wars and/or procreate and leave the rest to us.


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