This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.
First they say there's a positive feedback mechanism with the CO2. Then whenever you get cooling (which you wouldn't expect if positive feedback has really been kicked off) they find some other thig which THIS TIME has caused the mechanism to not quite work. Plainly every circumstance may be dealt with in this way. There's a carbon cycle which we don't really understand, several solar cycles, ditto, particulate release and behaviour ditto, clouds, albedo change, so on and so on. All interacting. What hubris to suppose you can take an observed result for a year or three and explain what is happening. Or do I mean chutzpah.
We don't even have to ability to measure all those things, much less explain them.
I think O'Neill was simply demonstrating that spiked can be open to criticism and will not suppress alternative views (the original interview was his work afterall.)
Unlike the warmers who seem to be intent on suppression.
O'Neill has published a subsequent article as a form of response.
As for Singh - the paragraph you picked out also stood out for me when I read it a couple of days ago and simply shrieks of hypocrisy when connected to the other statements about the use of science in Durkin's film (which I have not seen so cannot comment at all.)
I suspect that Durkin and Gore (also not seen) have both presented dodgy theories to a greater or lesser extent. In that none of them can be proven they have to be dodgy by implication. To criticise one side whilst not criticising the other seems to expose a lack of journalistic rigour.
Around the blogs there are a number of people, mostly American it seems, who want to raise a form of class complaint about the Durkin film (which they have either not seen or have seen on the internet) through Ofcom.
The basis of the complaint, as far as I can tell, would be the unprovability of a number of the claims made.
Quite what right they have to make a complaint I have no idea but they are clearly in a lather about it. In some ways I hope they succeed - they would provide a model for a similar complaint about Gore's more questionable claims. (By which I mean his entire movie if my interpretation of reports I have read is correct.)
The science is not well handled in the Durkin film, it's hard to fit real science in a film for a general audience in a limited time. Some of it was badly presented. The point of the film is the scare, and the suppression of heresy. The science Durkin presents doesn't need to be entirely right, just a plausible response to Gore et al. For the AGW people to nitpick the science and ignore the real point is typical of their stance.
Maybe 'very focused' would also describe it.
Or Narrow Minded, Tunnel Vision or the like.
The lack of breadth of knowledge and awareness that I fear (but cannot prove) has seeped into aspects of science (and scientists) as well as other areas in the last decade or three is slightly worrying if projected forward.
Specialism is important for understanding and broadening human knowledge but dangerous for application without a full view of the related factors. Generalism can also be dangerous if it thinks of itself as especially skilled.
Regarding the quote from the Simon Singh article:
"For example, Durkin’s documentary argued that the fall in global temperatures during the mid-twentieth century is incompatible with the hypothesis that global warming is caused by industrial carbon emissions. In fact, there is no inconsistency, because industrial emissions of sulphate pollutants during this same period reflected sunlight and had a greater cooling effect than the warming carbon emissions. Mainstream science explains how the reduction of sulphate pollutants in recent decades, coupled with increased carbon emissions, has resulted in unfettered global warming, so everything makes sense. "
It's pretty easy to debunk the above. First we need some information about the "sulphate aerosols" which supposedly provide the cooling effect. The document on this link http://www.p2pays.org/ref/13/12113.pdf indicates that 90% of the world's sulphur emissions are from the northern hemisphere and that 80% of these are from man-made sources. In the case of the southern hemisphere only a quarter of sulphur emissions are from man-made sources. The sulphate aerosols only have a short residence time (up to a few weeks) in the atmosphere, so they don't travel far and the emissions released in a given hemisphere will tend to stay in the same hemisphere. (The document gives 1994 figures, the substantial industrial growth of China in the last 10 years may have resulted in the 90% figure being somewhat higher.)
So if sulphate aerosols provide a cooling effect, and 90% of them are resident in the northern hemisphere, the northern hemisphere should not warm up as much as the southern hemisphere in a global warming scenario.
Now the global warming average temperature change rate trends for the northern and southern hemispheres from satellite measurements are +0.199 deg C per decade for the northern hemisphere and +0.057 deg C per decade for the southern hemisphere (using figures from the "Still waiting for greenhouse" website). So the hemisphere temperature change trends are the opposite of what would be expected if cooling effects of sulphate aerosols are significant.
The follow up bit in spiked is interesting:
These surface temperature graphs show the point a bit better:
The southern hemisphere has greater cooling in the 1940 to 1975 period than the northern hemisphere, even though it has hardly any sulphate aerosols in its atmosphere in comparison with the northern hemisphere.