Unsettling vision

THE absurd claim that climate science is “settled” has distorted public and policy debates on ­issues related to energy, greenhouse-gas emissions and the ­environment.

The climate is always changing and the crucial scientific problem is predicting the consequences of the very small human influence (around 1 per cent) on such a highly variable system.

This is complicated by our poor understanding of effect of the oceans and the feedback from water vapour and clouds that dramatically mute the response to human and natural influences.

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Finally, the computer modelling of these systems is as much an art as a science and involves too much guesswork and wishful thinking especially in the IPCC’s Summary for Policy Makers. 

Sadly, a public official reading the summary would gain little sense of these deficiencies and this has led to risible and expensive government schemes such as Scotland’s “dash-for-wind”.

(Dr) John Cameron

Howard Place

St Andrews, Fife