The UnAustralian

Friday, May 30, 2003
And Around We Go Again...

Sylvain Galineau has written another post on the Castles/Henderson/Ken/Sylvain debate. It's basically a pap piece for the converted, with all of the usual accusations of "intellectual bullying", gross hypocrisy (accuses me of taking statements out of context, despite Sylvain having earlier done this on a large scale), misleading statements (such as "the IPCC models assume that developing countries' GDPs will converge with developed countries' over the next century" - untrue, only certain scenarios assume this), unwarranted assumptions (such as claiming that I haven't read the Castles/Henderson critique - I have, and have also linked to it on my blog) and so on - pretty much run of the mill stuff for anybody used to debating creationists and their ilk.

However, there are some interesting points in it which should be addressed...

I know that Castles first put his arguments into the public domain, because he cc'ed his letter to the IPCC to various journalists. This in itself isn't a bad thing. There is nothing wrong with presenting your arguments in public. There is, when you use technical arguments in misleading ways.

My quote from Castles, was told to me by a supporter of their work. Unfortunately, the Australian Libertarian site doesn't support deep linking, if anybody wants to check it, they can go here and work their way back through the archives until they discover the story by 24601. It's in the comment section by a guy called Sam, who I debated.

As for Sylvain quote being taken out of context, it isn't. GDP does not drive emissions. They are related, but that's a very different kettle of fish. Sylvain's explanation of the relationship between gdp and emissions is cute, given that I earlier explained it to him. Similar to when I mentioned the very large range of projected CO2 emissions, and then Sylvain jumped on that theme (despite having read and dismissed the SRES).

Sylvain also repeats the Castles argument that because gdp in $US gives large differences between rich and poor countries, convergence must mean huge third world growth rates. Had Sylvain taking the time to examine the these growth rates, he would have found the range of growth rates is consistent with historically observed rates.

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