The author has been described by News Ltd as an "iconoclast", "Svengali", a pollie's "economist muse", and "pungently accurate". Fairfax says he is a "Renaissance man" and "one of Australia’s most respected analysts." Stephen Koukoulas concludes that he is "85% right", and "would make a great Opposition leader." Terry McCrann claims the author thinks "‘nuance’ is a trendy village in the south of France", but can be "scintillating" when he thinks "clearly". The ACTU reckons he’s "an enigma wrapped in a Bloomberg terminal, wrapped in some apparently well-honed abs."

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Professor Sinclair Davidson responds to Robertson's climate change claims

I think Sinclair's email to me is self-explanatory. In addition to being a professor of economics at RMIT, Sinclair is one of the nation's best, and most even-handed, bloggers (noting that the notion of 'balanced blogs' is normally oxymoronic). I actually have a question for Sinclair: are we not talking at cross-purposes here? Breusch/Vahid acknowledge that there has been no structural change in recent--eg, since the 1990s--temperature growth rates. But they do seem to suggest that temperatures have been rising over the last 100 years and, perhaps more interestingly, at a growing rate over the last 30-50 years (see charts below). Anyway, here is what Sinclair has to say:

Hi Chris

I don't know if you want to be a blog conduit for conversations, but you do seem to do it well. So here goes. Rory Robertson has pointed you to a paper by Trevor Breusch and Farshid Vahid. I don't know Vahid, but Breusch is a well-known highly respected econometrician and a good guy too. I haven't read the latest version of their paper, but I did read the version they wrote two years ago for the first Garnaut Report. My impression then was that they had designed the test to fudge whether any change in trend had occurred in the last ten years or so. Maybe they did, maybe they didn't. But I would like to draw your attention - and your readers - to the work of Professor Terrence Mills of Loughborough University. He has literally written the book on time-series econometrics. He has also written, at least, 3 papers on temperature time-series data. One of the conclusions that he draws is "At the very least, proponents of continuing global warming and climate change would perhaps be wise not to make the recent warming trend in recorded temperatures a central plank in their argument."

Regards, Sinc\