I watched Murry Salby’s London lecture: it was awful. Salby addresses what he calls the core issue of climate change (0:2:30) “Why is atmospheric CO2 increasing?” The answer is obvious – because of CO2 emissions from fossil fuel burning and land-use changes – but Salby does not like the answer so repeats oft rebutted fallacies in a hopeless attempt to prove the increase is almost all natural.
First he shows that the annual increase in atmospheric CO2 concentrations is correlated to temperature. This is the well-known effect of El Niño which induces global temperature increases, drought over south-east Asia and changes in Pacific Ocean productivity. this relationship explains the year-to-year variability in the increase in atmospheric CO2, not the trend. This is not a novel error.
Salby’s second argument is that the atmospheric life-time of a CO2 molecule is short, less than five years. This is true but irrelevant. What matters is how long a pulse of CO2 stays in the atmosphere, even though the individual molecules may be exchanged between the atmosphere and ocean or vegetation. This crucial difference has been explained many times: Salby is wantonly ignoring facts that refute his mad hypothesis, or hope that his audience is ignorant.
This brings me to the interesting part of the lecture – the first questions from the audience (1:13:57) and its answer. Our favourite Viscount, Christopher Monckton, offers this fulsome praise, demonstrating that he either does not realise or does not care that the lecture was nonsense.
Professor Salby, I think we all want to start by just saying thank you. You are one of a tiny band of immensely courageous genuine scientists who have had their livelihood and their professional career stolen from them, not because their science was bad, but because it was socially inconvenient, politically uncongenial, and financially unprofitable to the governing class. Your bravery with persisting with your research for so many years after this was done to you is commendable. The clarity, breadth and depth of your presentation, which has grown since I last saw it only a year ago, and grown exponentially , is breath-taking, and my question therefore is this: when are you going to publish in a journal that they cannot ignore?
Thank you for your gracious remarks. I am not worthy of them, but thank you nonetheless. The immediate answer to your question is that this material will not be published, until the material from which it is derived is published. That won’t be published until I have recovered my research files and been reinstated in the field.
If Salby really believed that his work proved that CO2 emissions were natural, he would rush to publish, saving the world from unnecessary action to abate climate change, and receive the accolades not only of a lunatic lord but the entire population. A Nobel Prize awaits.
Yet it would seem that Salby prefers to play the martyr to a tiny audience of climate sceptics (perhaps 12) than to submit his research to scrutiny. His conditions for publication are pathetic. He does not need his research files. None of the material Salby presented was based on his own data: the atmospheric CO2 concentration, global temperature and other datasets he used can all be downloaded within an hour. None of the analyses Salby presented were complicated: it should be possible to repeat them within a few days. He also does not need to be reinstated: if his research is valid he would not want for employment at any institute of his choice.
By refusing to publish, does Salby believe he is holding the World to ransom to get his job back or is he too embarrassed to face the reality that his errors are not even novel?