Thursday, 3 October 2013

Have I been Rogered?

It's been on my mind for a few days now, and since Eli raises the subject of Pielkination, I decided to throw my pennyworth into the fray. Strictly not about Jr., who I don't know, though with whom have occasionally exchanged comments, but Sr., who is a chap I am rather fond of.

Of course this runs the risk that I'll be condemned as an RPSr apologist but so what? I don't agree with everything he has said, I'm not even sure if I agree with his politics (insofar as he espouses such), but I'd like to raise a couple of small points which struck. 

The AR5 seems unexpectedly full of Ocean Heat Content. To my mind, this was one of the metrics which had been underutilized previously and which was in part a reason why Roger left the IPCC many years ago. He kept banging on about it during the discussions of the AR4 but nobody wanted to rise to the challenge - not least because it was a little understood phenomenon with very little scientific observation to back any discussion at all. I can't pretend that I understood why he made such a fuss of it, but I did undertand why, at the time, it couldn't be factored in.

Now that OHC is at the forefront - a cynic might say that it has become useful now it helps explain recent short-term temperature change - is it not time to recognise that Roger was right? I'm not convinced about the other side of his argument - an overemphasis on CO2 in the policy guides - but, irrespective of your opinion of his political inclinations, it is important to give due respect to someone who argues outside the box, dares to challenge convention and has the courage to be unfashionable.

I also happen to think that his strongly-held views on deforestation are also highly commendable. This has ceased to be a political issue at the forefront for some time, but it is as big a sustainability and environment issue as ever, and should be further up the political agenda.

Since I don't have to have a political affiliation to have an opinion, I feel I can honestly say that the time has come for some people to admit that, after all, and in spite of some other peculiarities and peccadilloes, Pielke (Sr) has a point...