Rearranging The Deckchairs

Frank O'Dwyer's blog

An Annie Hall Moment for Bishop Hill

There is a well known scene in Annie Hall where someone in a cinema queue is going on about Marshall McLuhan and Woody Allen produces McLuhan himself to tell the guy that he knows nothing of his work. Woody then turns to the camera and says “Boy, if life were only like this!”. Turns out sometimes it is.

Recently I came across Bishop Hill accusing the IPCC of ‘Charlatanry’, claiming it had misrepresented the paper Bony at al (2006) in IPCC AR4 WG1 in order to downplay boundary layer cloud feedbacks on global warming. When I pointed out that he’d misunderstood the Bony et al paper, and explained why, he just reiterated the same claim.

So I wrote to Sandrine Bony and asked if I was reading the paper correctly. She confirmed that she doesn’t find anything inconsistent between her 2006 review paper and the cloud feedback discussion of the IPCC AR4.

Indeed if you simply read the paper, its conclusions are clearly different and much less certain than those portrayed by Bishop Hill. However it does strike me as odd that a ‘sceptic’, most of whom seem to make a hobby of demanding information from scientists via freedom of information laws, would not think to simply ask.

Anyway now he knows - I wonder if he’ll now retract and apologise for at least that particular smear of the IPCC experts who wrote that section.

More background here.