Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Forbes' James Taylor: 'Initiation' means 'completion'

Maybe it's beneath my new digs here to go after as easy a target as a Forbes opinion page (and Heartland Institute) writer, but it's not beneath me. I saw the headline in Morano's page "Schneider claimed W. Antarctic ice sheet could melt before year 2000", ignored it for a while and finally clicked through to Forbes "Polar Ice Rapture Misses Its Deadline". Taylor announces:

[Schneider] claimed the west Antarctic ice sheet could melt before the year 2000 and inundate American coastlines with up to 25 feet of sea level rise. Obviously, the west Antarctic ice sheet was not raptured away last century, and New Yorkers can still drive rather than swim to work.

Clicking the provided link, which most denialists probably can't be bothered with, gets one to one Steven Goddard and a recopied old 1979 newspaper article about Steve Schneider predicting warming and ice melt in the next century.

The next hurdle involves actually reading the article. It says that Schneider said regarding the collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet that "its initiation cannot be ruled out as a possibility before the end of this century". To be fair to Taylor, though, the word "initiation" wasn't highlighted at Goddard's link. And of course the WAIS hasn't done so well since the end of that century. A 4+ meter rise by 2100 seems pretty unlikely now, but I doubt it was unreasonable for Schneider in 1979 to think it possible.

I can't give Mr. Taylor a very good grade on his effort - the best denialist nonsense takes far more effort to debunk than it does to construct, but I think it was the reverse in this case. He'll have to step up his game to attract a better class of debunker than myself.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.