Mark Latham is puzzled:
Well, Mark, your first mistake is to conceive of science as monolithic on this topic, when in fact many of the leading sceptics are scientists.
Second, you overlook the fact that the Gillard Government’s proposed “action against global warming” will make not the slightest measurable difference to it, making it all pain for no gain.
Third, and more directly to your question, here are just some reasons the public has grown sceptical of warmists:
Tim Flannery, ABC radio’s Landline, February 11, 2007:
WE’RE already seeing the initial impacts and they include a decline in the winter rainfall zone across southern Australia, which is clearly an impact of climate change.
The Sydney Morning Herald, August 30, 2009, Bureau of Meteorology climatologist Bertrand Timbal:
IN the minds of a lot of people, the rainfall we had in the 1950s, 60s and 70s was a benchmark. But we are just not going to have that sort of good rain again as long as the system is warming up.
David Jones, head of climate analysis at the BOM, the SMH, October 6, 2008:
A NOTABLE feature of this drought is the long series of failed autumn rains . . . the chances are that we will not see a return to the wet autumns that were once commonplace . . . This drought is now far beyond our historical experience. It is very difficult to make a case that this is just simply a run of bad luck driven by a natural cycle and that a return to more normal rainfall is inevitable, as some would hope.
“Perth is facing the possibility of a catastrophic failure of the city’s water supply,” says Tim Flannery, director of the South Australian Museum and Australia’s most high-profile scientist and ecologist…
Climate change is working against Sydney. “There’s only two years’ water supply in Warragamba Dam,” says Flannery, “ … If the computer models are right then drought conditions will become permanent in eastern Australia.”…
“Water is going to be in short supply across the eastern states,” says Flannery… The water restrictions now in force in Sydney are never going to be lifted, except after a run of freak conditions, just as Warragamba Dam is never again going to be full unless there is a freak period of high rainfall unlikely to be sustained.
Another reason, from Four Corners in 2008:
MARIAN WILKINSON: If you want to see climate change happening before your eyes, scientists will tell you, go to the ends of the earth, and that is why we are here in the Arctic Circle…
DR TED SCAMBOS, NATIONAL SNOW AND ICE DATA CENTER USA: …There’s a group that makes a very strong case that in 2012 or 13 we’ll have an ice-free Arctic, as soon as that.
Whitehouse points out that climate simulations, like those carried out at the Hadley Climate Research Unit, indeed show periods of stagnation lasting up to a decade. In the models they occur about every 80 years. However, none of the simulations up to now have shown a pause of 15 years. Also the models that run on the super-computers of the Hamburg Climate Research Centre also show such plateau phases.
“The physical causes are still unclear, and our simulations show them occurring at other times. Thus the models are not consistent with the current observations,” admits Jochem Marotzke, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg.
The mystery, Mark, is not that the public doubts the warmist scientists. The mystery is that smart people like you don’t.