A few weeks ago, self-proclaimed “rocket scientist”, Dr David Evans, wrote an Opinion Editorial in The Australian, which was widely circulated across various email distribution lists (I got send the link a couple of times, asking whether what he was saying was valid. I passed them on to these two pieces from Deltoid). But it spawned a life of its own in the non-greenhouse theorist blogosphere, and also drummed up strong support among other Op Ed writers, which have also been thoroughly dissected.
In particular, Dr Evans made some very strong statements about the robustness of climate science, including the claim that there was a missing hotspot in the tropical atmosphere, which therefore invalidated the greenhouse theory (and therefore presumably required the development of a new branch of physics). For instance, Dr Evans said:
If there is no hot spot then an increased greenhouse effect is not the cause of global warming. So we know for sure that carbon emissions are not a significant cause of the global warming. If we had found the greenhouse signature then I would be an alarmist again.
However, Dr Evans must have been unaware that: (1) the hotspot was not a signature of the greenhouse effect – it is a signature of warming from any source, and (2) that the hotspot is not actually missing…
Despite this revelation and other careful countering of his claims, Dr Evans chose to simply ignore these corrections and repeat himself on ABC 891 radio in Adelaide. This led me to a point-by-point explanation, on the same radio show, the next week, describing where Dr Evans was in error. Both interviews are podcast here for audio download.
Surely then, Dr Evans must now, in his words, once again “be an alarmist again instead of a skeptic” (apparently there is no middle ground). No? Unsurprisingly, he deploys the standard non-greenhouse theorist approach of yet again blithely ignoring any refutation and simply repeating the exactly the same arguments again in a third forum. So, yet again, a climate scientist had to patiently refute this.
Perhaps Dr Evans doesn’t understand that whilst everyone is entitled to their own opinion, they are not entitled to their own facts.
Filed under: Sceptics