Sunday, September 05, 2010

Global warming or global hysteria?

Is the sky falling? Proponents of global warming apparently would have you believe that there is no question that global warming as caused by human generated pollution is a fact. Proponents of global warming have all their eggs in one basket when they tell you that there is a consensus of scientists that believe pollution causes global warming because what their “consensus” consists of are the views of IPCC whose reputation has been somewhat tarnished recently in the aftermath of their computer network being hacked and embarrassing emails being published. In a recent
report that tends to exonerate IPCC there are criticisms of bias and conflicts of interest regarding the scientists in that organization. While there are those who will tell you all climatologists agree on global warming the fact is that there are reputable climatologists who do not agree with this “consensus.” For example:


"This is horrible," said Pat Michaels, a climate scientist at the Cato Institute in Washington who is mentioned negatively in the emails. "This is what everyone feared. Over the years, it has become increasingly difficult for anyone who does not view global warming as an end-of-the-world issue to publish papers. This isn't questionable practice, this is unethical."

Also this from the same article:

John Christy, a scientist at the University of Alabama at Huntsville attacked in the emails for asking that an IPCC report include dissenting viewpoints, said, "It's disconcerting to realize that legislative actions this nation is preparing to take, and which will cost trillions of dollars, are based upon a view of climate that has not been completely scientifically tested."

Mojib Latif, a climate researcher at Germany's Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences, said he found it hard to believe that climate scientists were trying to squelch dissent. Mr. Latif, who believes in man-made global warming but who has co-authored a paper ascribing current cooling to temporary natural trends, said, "I simply can't believe that there is a kind of mafia that is trying to inhibit critical papers from being published."

Squelching dissent in science is bad science and in view of the attitudes, conflicts of interest, and the questionable practice of approaching a problem with the assumption that a theory is true and then weeding out any information that contradicts that theory causes me to view the IPCC with a great amount of skepticism. I cannot think of anything worse in the realm of science than making the facts fit the theory rather than the other way around. If people cause global warming then the IPCC has done a great disservice with their methodology and if global warming isn’t caused by humans they have also done a great disservice with their crappy science.

And since when is science based on consensus? That is truly a weird brand of science. All we need do then is claim that opinions are facts and so are theories, indeed in this brave new brand of science who needs facts when theories will suffice?

According to Walter Cunningham, a geophysicist and former astronaut:


For a new hypothesis to be accepted by the scientific community, it must be confirmed by considerable evidence and must survive all attempts to disprove it. The hypothesis claiming that human-generated carbon dioxide is a principal driver of the earth's temperature has not satisfied either of these criteria.

AGW alarmists could have made their case quite simply by collecting and making available solid evidence to support their hypothesis, and by defending it in the court of scientific inquiry. Not in the court of public opinion. Instead, they refused to release their data that would permit other scientists to look at the problem and come up with similar results - if possible.

The only thing alarmists are able to cite in support of their simplified hypothesis are mathematical models that they have developed to make their case. The earth's atmosphere is currently impossible to model well, so it is no surprise that their models have been unable to use past data to correctly predict today's temperatures. In any event, models are not data.

When alarmists could produce none of the required confirmation for their hypothesis, scientific principles were put on the back burner in favor of interpretation and opinion. They invented something called "consensus science," switched from "global warming" to "climate change" and appealed to fear with the question, "What if CO2 is responsible and we do nothing?"

The media, in general, have lost some enthusiasm for consensus science. While journalists cannot be expected to understand the science without specialized training, that doesn't keep individual journalists from aggressively pushing AGW and influencing a great many readers.

Right on Mr. Cunningham.


At September 06, 2010 7:39 AM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

Even though I think you're wrong Rob, naturally I hope you're right.

But regardless of the details of how, I worry that one way or the other we'll wipe out the planet via overconsumption, overfishing, deforestation, etc.

At September 06, 2010 8:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What, exactly, is a "climatologist" and how does one gain that label?

See my blog's post on Stephen Hawking for what I think on "climatologists," via analogue.

Climatologists use methodologies. Hence they aren't real scientists, but science-ish-ists. What they do is pretend at science with the proper lingo and empty gesture, in order to advance a politically sought position.

Since climatology isn't an actual science, there isn't any reason to think a "dispute among the climatologists" has any bearing on AGW.

At September 06, 2010 3:47 PM, Blogger rob payne said...


Just to correct a little misrepresentation regarding what I posted which is out of the examples I gave of scientists who disagree with AWG only one was a climatologist so your argument regarding climatologists is beside the point which is the unethical behavior of the IPCC. Obviously it’s the IPCC that is helping to drive AGW and you know what I think of them. I’ve really said all I wanted to say in my post and if people disagree, which I fully expected, cool.

I tend to agree with you about Hawking, it’s like he is the poster boy for the science community, all brain and no body. His recent pronouncement that god wasn’t required for the creation of the universe because gravity would do the trick is a little weird because it doesn’t make any sense. If there was a point where there was no universe then there was no gravity either so how could gravity create the universe if there was no gravity, it’s loopy.


That’s a very reasonable response and like I told Charles I don’t expect you to agree. I just felt that these things ought to be considered. It’s just my opinion and what does it matter what I think anyway? What I think isn’t going to change anything.


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