UPDATE: 9:50AM 2/28 Professor Kelly responds in comments. It seems the Times saw fit to remove an important portion of his first paragraph. I’ve highlighted the missing text in red. Gobsmacking that they couldn’t handle this one sentence but left the rest untouched – Anthony
M J Kelly Submitted on 2012/02/28 at 9:13 am
If I told you that the first sentence of my letter was edited, your readers might be mollified.
Andrew Motion (report, Feb 23) is correct to castigate climate change deniers, as the climate has always been changing, but he is profoundly mistaken in linking all those who oppose the current climate science orthodoxy into one group.
This is a rather strong condemnation of the state of affairs in Climate Science. Professor Michael J. Kelly of the University of Cambridge Department of Engineering has written a scathing letter to The Times about rightfully criticizing “deniers” and lumping everyone else who questions climate science conclusions into that same meme. Most people I know of agree that CO2 has some impact, but the magnitude and feedbacks are the real issues of debate. Ben Pile has this to say in his summary of the Fakegate:
The myth of the climate change denier exists in the heads of environmentalists, and seems to prevent them entering into conversation with anyone that dares to criticise environmentalism. The crusade of ‘communicating’ climate change is not a project that involves an exchange of views. To criticise environmentalism is to ‘deny The Science’, no matter how incoherent the environmentalist’s grasp of science or how lacking his or her sense of proportion.
Kelly, in his letter to the times, says what we’ve been saying for a long time; the models and the effects have been grossly oversold, and real-world observations don’t match the sales brochure. He writes:
Sir, Andrew Motion (report, Feb 23) is correct to castigate climate change deniers, but he is profoundly mistaken in linking all those who oppose the current climate science orthodoxy into one group. The interpretation of the observational science has been consistently over-egged to produce alarm. All real-world data over the past 20 years has shown the climate models to be exaggerating the likely impacts — if the models cannot account for the near term, why should I trust them in the long term?
I am most worried by the billions of pounds being misinvested and lost as a consequence. Look out to sea at the end of 2015 and see how many windmills are not turning and you will get my point: there are already 14,000 abandoned windmills onshore in the US. Premature technology deployment is thoroughly bad engineering, and my taxes are subsidising it against my will and professional judgment.
Professor Michael Kelly
Prince Philip Professor of Technology, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge
major hat tip to Bishop Hill