Editor, The Times
Re: Editorial by Keith McNeill, Dec. 26th
You may have noticed that I intentionally avoided your heading, “Global carbon tax would have low risk and high benefit.”
The whole topic is getting very boring, to the point where you are starting to sound like a record player with your needle stuck!
I did see a glimmer of humour in the two paragraphs about Martin Weitzman and the bell curve of probability. I noticed you changed the words from “The tail of the bell” to “At the far end of the curve!”
As for, “One empty chamber out of six isn’t very good odds if you’re going to play Russian roulette” … a long, long, long time ago, my daddy taught me that long guns and handguns are weapons and tools. Never play with them and always treat them as if they are loaded.
In Weitzman’s case, the “one in six chance that things could get very bad indeed”, one empty chamber is just fine when the other five chambers are filled with blanks!
I noticed you said, “Lamberton did attempt to include a couple of facts in his last letter.”
Keith, I’m not a climate scientist. I do deal in absolute truths. I don’t say a certain event is “likely” to happen while another is “improbable”.
You had better email the producers of Wikipedia and tell them to get up to speed. The previous recorded temperature in Antarctica was -89 C. In 2010, that record was broken at -93 C. Three weeks ago, the record was broken again, at -93.4 C.
I had rounded out that number to -93 C.You said that point #2 does “seem to be” correct. No Keith. It “is” correct, and to say, “It is more likely to be a reflection of inadequate sampling rather than a real trend,” is just your tunnel vision kicking in again!
All the titles, positions, and honours that I bestowed upon you were all in humor. (Really, Captain Keith has nothing to do with the army, navy, or air force.)
However, a news item in the Dec. 28 Kamloops Daily News has relieved you of your Captain title! The headline reads, “Ice breaker can’t reach trapped ship”.
A Russian research ship, the MV Akademic Shokalskiy, is trapped in thick Antarctic ice with 74 scientists, tourists, and crew on board. Two ice breakers have tried but failed to reach the ship. A third ice breaker is not expected to reach the area until Dec. 29, six days after the ship got stuck.
This provides ample time for all these climate scientists to calculate what the carbon footprint of the ship and three ice breakers actually is.
But hey, it doesn’t really matter because it’s all in the name of science!
Expeditions like these are carbon neutral. Those ships are powered by moonbeams and rainbows and lots of vodka. So you can see, Captain Keith, you are off the hook. The new captain of “The Ship of Fools” is stuck in the ice in Antarctica.
The Rambling Man