Cashing In

March 29th, 2007

Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr.

At least one IPCC lead author appears to be trying to cash in on concern over climate change. With the help of several University of Arizona faculty members, including one prominent IPCC contributor, a company called Climate Appraisal, LLC is selling address specific climate predictions looking out as far as the next 100 years. Call me a skeptic or a cynic but I’m pretty sure that the science of climate change hasn’t advanced to the point of providing such place-specific information. In fact, I’d go so far as to suggest that if such information were credible and available, it’d already be in the IPCC. The path from global consensus to snake oil seems pretty short. I wouldn’t deny anyone the chance to make a buck, but can this be good for the credibility of the IPCC?

6 Responses to “Cashing In”

  1. Brian S. Says:

    I don’t think this critique stands. From my quick review of the sample report at the site, the only localized, climate-prediction related aspect is for a range of potential temperature changes, which is roughly within current scientific capability. Other aspects like a range sea-level changes are derived from global effects.

    Making claims about changing storm frequency or precip levels for a specific site would be a lot harder to do, but they don’t appear to be doing that.

    It also says “Scientist commentary has been excluded in this sample report, but is available with premium report purchase.” I suspect they might add some cautionary language in the commentary.

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  3. Roger Pielke, Jr. Says:

    Brian S.- Thanks, but I doubt it:

    “A computerized service that assesses global warming risks and other environmental threats is now available for any address in the contiguous USA. . . Jonathan Overpeck, lead science adviser for the company and head of Arizona’s Institute for the Study of Planet Earth, says it uses only models that hit “closer to the mark.”"

    I wonder which climate models are most accurate 100 years out at the address level?

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  5. Brian S. Says:

    Another pseudo-trackback:

    “….Other than pushing the envelope somewhat on sea level rise, I see no validity to the critique of Climate Appraisal. The one good thing from reading the critique, though, is that I now think I’ll fork out the $30 to see what results I get at my address.”

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  7. Roger Pielke, Jr. Says:

    Thanks Brian S., caveat emptor!

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  9. David Says:

    Good People, there is no limit to the folly of mankind!Look at television which was greeted as the ultimate educational tool. Look what it is teaching today! To the point, education has been politicized, health care has been politicized, and now they have finally done it to the weather!!!!!! And just to cap it off we now have science by consensus!!!!!

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  11. Michael Jankowski Says:

    Yeah, I need to find out if my current home (that I’ll be selling in a few months) or my next home (which will almost certainly be demolished before 100 yrs are up, by which time I’ll be long dead) could be under water in 100 yrs.

    Many of the services provided with your payment, such as finding out how close you are to Superfund sites, is available for free elsewhere.

    It’s pretty sad that 54 yr-old Pam Moody and her husband couldn’t pull up a simple topo map to identify the impact of the 3, 10, or 20ft sea level rise they were so concerned about over the next 100 yrs.