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Oh my God!

Published 03rd November 2009 - 27 comments - 2656 views -

No. This is not another post about Al Gore's abandonment of facts for faith or the rise in green fundamentalism. It's even more disturbing, if that were possible. Researchers led by Guido van der Werf, an earth scientist at VU University in Amsterdam, have established that the carbon dioxide emissions said to be caused by the destruction of tropical forests have been significantly overestimated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). What's worse, the erroneous figure "was widely quoted after being highlighted by the Stern review on the economics of the problem. It is repeatedly used by Prince Charles and others as an incentive to push efforts to include forests in carbon trading." Uh, oh.

Could it be that the Copenhagen Summit will end up doing exactly the opposite of what its more ardent proponents expected? Inadvertently, the catalyst of COP15 is encouraging inquiring minds to examine the agenda, question the ideology and expose the "facts" to the harsh light of day. Now that the IPPC and Stern texts are being rumbled, the fallout could lead to a nasty surprise for those who thought that they had the cat in the December bag.

Category: Deforestation, | Tags: facts, fantasy, stern, ipcc, prince charles,



Comments

Frank Schnittger on 04th November 2009:

“The study showed previous assessments exaggerated the rate of tropical deforestation. It also took into account soaring emissions from fossil fuel burning since 2000, which reduces the relative role of deforestation. The scientists say 12% is an estimate, and the figure could be between 6% and 17%, but that the original 20% figure was equally uncertain.”

So the proportion of global warming caused by deforestation may have reduced from 20% to 12% because of the soaring rate of fossil fuel burning!  What’s the big deal here?  Why the conspiratorial tone?  Scientists are continually revising and updating their models as new data and trends emerge.  Thats what Scientists do, and should do.

Peter Sain ley Berry on 05th November 2009:

So what, Eamonn?  You are not suggesting are you that it is now right to cut down forests?

It is worth remembering that the oxygen in every single breath you take has come from a plant somewhere.

It is also worth remembering that the natural flows of carbon into and out of the environment are some 35 times greater than our fossil fuel contribution. The environment is not coping with this extra load - but the danger is that it may soon no longer be able to cope with all the natural load either. If that should happen then we shall all be up the creek! So give the forests (and the oceans) a break!

Jodi Bush on 05th November 2009:

I’m not sure how an fault in calculation amounts to being “rumbled”.

No science has yet proved infallible, not physics, not biology, not chemistry. Yet when mistakes are unearthed in other areas we don’t interpret them as the death of that discipline. Newton made a few errors in calculation as I remember, but rather than spelling the end of phsyics it simply forced scientists in that area to hone their approach.

I suppose it’s not surprising that people want to rip apart the Climate Change debate. After all, who wants to believe that the world might suffer cataclysmic problems if we don’t make fundamental changes to our lives. Better to pretend everything is just fine. That is why people leap onto any error proclaiming “uhuh, they made a mistake, it’s clearly all a pack of lies”.

An error does not however, a fallacy make.

Benno Hansen on 05th November 2009:

BREAKING NEWS!!!

Scientist adjust numbers - SCANDAL

by journalist Demon Fudgegeneral

blah blah blah


Sorry… you guys crack me up today grin

Eamonn Fitzgerald on 05th November 2009:

Peter, no, I am not suggesting that it is now right to cut down forests. I wrote the post to highlight the fact that someone has been checking the numbers and says that they need to be corrected, that’s all. Because the IPCC and Stern figures carry such weight in climate change debates, it’s important that they are subjected to scrutiny and not regarded as infallible sources. After all, decisions with far-reaching consequences may be made based on the two data sets.

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Paul Montariol on 02nd December 2009:

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Boya on 04th March 2010:

The environment is not coping with this extra load - but the danger is that it may soon no longer be able to cope with all the natural load either. If that should happen then we shall all be up the creek!

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Tiara Thompson on 08th March 2010:

Newton made a few errors in calculation as I remember, but rather than spelling the end of phsyics it simply forced scientists in that area to hone their approach.
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Juliam on 08th March 2010:

No science has yet proved infallible, not physics, not biology, not chemistry. Yet when mistakes are unearthed in other areas we don’t interpret them as the death of that discipline.
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Leona Millenium on 15th March 2010:

Could it be that the Copenhagen Summit will end up doing exactly the opposite of what its more ardent proponents expected? Inadvertently, the catalyst of COP15 is encouraging inquiring minds to examine the agenda, question the ideology and expose the “facts” to the harsh light of day.
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Leona Millenium on 16th March 2010:

Inadvertently, the catalyst of COP15 is encouraging inquiring minds to examine the agenda, question the ideology and expose the “facts” to the harsh light of day. Now that the IPPC and Stern texts are being rumbled, the fallout could lead to a nasty surprise for those who thought that they had the cat in the December bag.
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Rowan on 29th March 2010:

The scientists say 12% is an estimate, and the figure could be between 6% and 17%, but that the original 20% figure was equally uncertain. So the proportion of global warming caused by deforestation may have reduced from 20% to 12% because of the soaring rate of fossil fuel burning!
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Cooking Class Tuscany on 03rd April 2010:

Could it be that the Copenhagen Summit will end up doing exactly the opposite of what its more ardent proponents expected? Inadvertently, the catalyst of COP15 is encouraging inquiring minds to examine the agenda, question the ideology and expose the “facts” to the harsh light of day.

Ragnarok on 03rd April 2010:

Could it be that the Copenhagen Summit will end up doing exactly the opposite of what its more ardent proponents expected? Inadvertently, the catalyst of COP15 is encouraging inquiring minds to examine the agenda, question the ideology and expose the “facts” to the harsh light of day.
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