Africagate – Worse than Previously Thought
Richard North picks up from our post here and Ben’s guest post on Roger Pielke’s blog, which revealed the spurious claim in IPCC AR4 WGII report, concerning rainfall in Africa. The Times also covers the story.
North searches into the background that we have been able to – hence it was on the to-do list for over a year. Turns out that the ‘original’ research paper (was Agoumi) was, in the words of many an eco-alarmist, “worse than previously thought”.
Therefore, Agoumi’s primary references – which would have qualified as acceptable for the IPCC report – offer a mixed picture from the three countries examined. At worst, we get a 10-50 percent fall in cereal yield, the greater fall occurring only in periods of drought. Alternatively, we see a 5.5-6.8 percent trimmed from what could be a doubling of yields and then, in the third country, rainfall could actually increase – possibly (but not necessarily) improving yields of rain-fed crops.
If reports of things being “worse than previously thought” are themselves, “worse than previously thought”, the implication seems to be that things are better than we previously thought.
Africagate shows how the poor in less industrial countries are used instrumentally for political ends. The emergence of this “gate”, lilke “Glaciergate” should not be used simply to win the political war with those attaching themselves to climate institutions, such as the IPCC. Instead, the collapsing credibility of climate alarmism, and rank, anti-human pessimism should be used to make a positive case for development, in the third world, in the emerging economies, and here in the “developed” West. There needs to be a real discussion about why poverty exists in the world, and how it can be abolished. Sceptics need to replace the climate story with a much, much better one.

Richard North picks up from our post here and Ben’s guest post on Roger Pielke’s blog, which revealed the spurious claim in IPCC AR4 WGII report, concerning rainfall in Africa. The Times also covers the story.

North searches into the background that we have been unable to – hence it was on the to-do list for over a year. Turns out that the ‘original’ research paper (was Agoumi) was, in the words of many an eco-alarmist, “worse than previously thought”.

Therefore, Agoumi’s primary references – which would have qualified as acceptable for the IPCC report – offer a mixed picture from the three countries examined. At worst, we get a 10-50 percent fall in cereal yield, the greater fall occurring only in periods of drought. Alternatively, we see a 5.5-6.8 percent trimmed from what could be a doubling of yields and then, in the third country, rainfall could actually increase – possibly (but not necessarily) improving yields of rain-fed crops.

If reports of things being “worse than previously thought” are themselves, “worse than previously thought”, the implication seems to be that things are better than we previously thought.

Africagate shows how the poor in less industrial countries are used for political ends. The emergence of this “gate”, lilke “Glaciergate” should not be used simply to win the political war with those attaching themselves to climate institutions, such as the IPCC. Instead, the collapsing credibility of climate alarmism, and rank, anti-human pessimism should be used to make a positive case for development, in the third world, in the emerging economies, and here in the “developed” West. There needs to be a real discussion about why poverty exists in the world, and how it can be abolished. Sceptics need to replace the climate story with a much, much better one.

7 Responses to Africagate – Worse than Previously Thought

  • Sunday Express in UK reporting on frontpage that BBC Pension Fund is invested heavily in carbon trading companies leading to bias in news coverage in world’s biggest news organisation promoting belief in global warming.
    Guess that is why they DO NOT LET DR RICHARD A E NORTH on THE BBC
    http://www.express.co.uk/ourpaper/view/2010-02-07
    http://www.dailyexpress.co.uk/posts/view/156703

  • Another tragedy in the portrayal of science. A distortion of the scientific method for political ends. It makes you wonder if there are any honourable scientists left — certainly there don’t seem to be in the arena of climate science.

    I was horrified — and enlightened — by the words of Prof Bob Watson on UK Channel 4 news last week. When challenged to prove that global warming was caused by human activity, he said, “We cannot show that it’s due to any natural variability…. The only way we can explain that temperature increase is due [sic] to human activity.”

    So the whole AGW movement is based on not being able to explain the gap between what’s explicable and the observed increase. Therefore, climate scientists must continue to hide, rubbish and scorn any science which aims to fill that gap. They must also continue to enlarge the gap (“It’s worse than we thought”) so prevent any reasonable explanations from ever closing it.

    But basing the global AGW movement on ignorance is ultimately doomed to failure. Evidence of upper atmosphere water vapour being able to explain 2/3 of global warming over the last 20 years; evidence that UHI explains 1/3 of global warming. How much more do we need to fill that gap than the science which is finally escaping from the censorship of the AGW lobby?

    Let’s hope that science can soon start again to look at real and pressing problems such as malaria and water, and stop wasting time on imaginary ones! Then it may start to regain some credibility and trust.

  • Can we ever trust an estimation of the effects of anything on broad swathes of humanity by the IPCC?

    Or should some sort of rationality take hold? The broad swathes in the himalayan and African cases had no input from locals, but so what?

    Imagine for a second if Mr Pachauri was selling a story to some Manchurians that the Pennines could be a disaster for the Preston and Blackpool area one day and then you may get the idea of the distortion going on here.

  • @Peter Ward: ‘I was horrified — and enlightened — by the words of Prof Bob Watson on UK Channel 4 news last week. When challenged to prove that global warming was caused by human activity, he said, “We cannot show that it’s due to any natural variability…. The only way we can explain that temperature increase is due [sic] to human activity.” ‘

    Well, we cannot show that my cat died of natural causes so Tibby must have been poisoned – and old Mrs McGlumphie is a well-known witch. So it must have been CO2 (sorry, Mrs McGlumphie) wot killed my cat. Case proven m’lud.

  • PS: As the law is settled, it’s time we all moved on…

  • You were doing quite well until arriving at the sentence “There needs to be a real discussion about why poverty exists in the world, and how it can be abolished”. “Abolishing” poverty is a fanciful as abolishing CO2. Poverty in the Third World can be lessened over time and, one day, who knows, lifestyles there may approach those of the West. The only discussion needed is why we are not already encouraging and collaborating with the Third World in trade. Mining, farming and exploiting their natural and human resources to the full – for their own immense benefit and, of course, the benefit of the First World, in regulated, free-market exchange.

  • Googled history of Mali looking for drought evidence. There would appear to be a long term pattern of catastophic droughts. Empires fell, mass starvation occured,
    populations were displaced long before 1850. Such history says AGW either is fake or existed at least 1000 years ago.
    The point is that Human Produced Greenhouse Gases can’t have caused drought before the 20th century and that the pattern appears to be the same then and now. Without a change in drought frequency, persistance or severity HPGG is of no consequence regarding food production in Mali.
    Modern Sahel problem was at least partly caused by Developed World aid in drillind wells to water livestock which denuded the land. Hot air, not CO2.

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