Sunday, 19 August 2007

Junkscience in Global Warming Theory?

Some facts about Global Warming. I see from the news that our new PM wants to increase the "green" tax on air travel. That is what the climate change lobby is about: control and taxation. The IPCC is quite possibly one of the most unscientific scientific bodies in existence. The the article below and you'll see what I mean.

In spite of what some call a national debate on global warming, there really hasn’t been one. There has been name calling, personal attacks, calls for defunding the skeptics, calls for Nuremburg trials, muzzling the critics. This isn’t debate, this is not a discussion, this isn’t consensus, and it isn’t science. It is bullying and thuggery, and reminiscent of remedial behavior classes.

Significantly, as the numbers of scientists grow increasingly appalled with the unscientific bullying and are becoming skeptics themselves, massive re-examination of the entire global warming effort and the purported evidence is taking place. For scientists the findings thus far are worse than imagined. Much of the evidence put forth by the warmers for their theory is either exaggerated, wrong, or being fudged.

* 1. Past president of the National Academy of Science Dr. Fred Seitz noted in the Wall Street Journal 1996 (http://tinyurl.com/2w2ru9), serious problems with the Third Assessment Report (TAR), by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). A second brief IPCC document entitled the Summary for Policy Makers (SPM), did not match what the hundreds of scientists had stated in the TAR. The SPM had misrepresented what the scientists had said without their knowledge or approval.

Dr. Seitz wrote: “This IPCC report, like all others, is held in such high regard largely because it has been peer-reviewed. That is, it has been read, discussed, modified and approved by an international body of experts. These scientists have laid their reputations on the line. But this report is not what it appears to be--it is not the version that was approved by the contributing scientists listed on the title page. In my more than 60 years as a member of the American scientific community, including service as president of both the National Academy of Sciences and the American Physical Society, I have never witnessed a more disturbing corruption of the peer-review process than the events that led to this IPCC report.”

* 2. The issue of the famous” hockeystick” graph was another major blow to the credibility of IPCC and the global alarmists. This chart was included as fact in the TAR and has been shown widely around the nation and in state governments and agencies, such as in the legislature of the State of Washington. The hockeystick term refers to the general shape of the chart of global temperatures over the past 1000 years or so. It had been produced by modifying temperature data and proxies and generating the chart by a computer algorithm. Detailed analyses of the data and the algorithm (http://tinyurl.com/awwva) by Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick demonstrated very improper and unscientific conduct.

For example the chart did not show the well known warmer times of the Medieval Warming Period about 1000 years ago. This was a time when Vikings lived and farmed in Greenland for centuries.

The hockeystick also did not show the Little Ice Age which extended from about 1350 to 1850. The history of those times include snow falling in Paris in July, ice festivals held on 4 feet of ice on the Thames River in London, people walking from Denmark to Sweden across the frozen Baltic, as well as people walking from Manhattan to New Jersey across the frozen New York Harbor (http://tinyurl.com/2sejcb).

The Little Ice Age also included major famines, crop failures, and widespread diseases. So yes, it seems to be warmer now than some past time when it was cooler. Nobody has lately walked from Manhattan to New Jersey. We should all hope that such misery of cooler times would not occur again.

The improper conduct extends to the authors of the chart, editors and peer reviewers at Nature Magazine which published the chart, as well as the peer reviewers, editors, and publishers at the IPCC for publishing the chart in the TAR.

Even worse, the computer algorithm developed by these authors was essentially reverse engineered since the authors were unprofessionally reluctant in sharing it. What McIntyre and McKitrick found was that the algorithm could produce a hockeystick shaped graph from a table of random numbers. No valid temperature data was necessary.

* 3. Recently Steve McIntyre again found errors in the temperature data of NASA facility at the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). See McIntyre’s findings at this website. (http://tinyurl.com/33zkce). It is disappointing to find NASA involved with such poor data management and doing so secretly. In one example at Douglas, AZ, the reported error changed the temperature by 1.75 Deg C (http://tinyurl.com/2a7h6c). This is a huge error in a universe looking for temperature changes of 0.7 deg C per Century.

Some of the consequences of this error were summarized by climatologist Dr. Fred Singer: “A change in climate history data at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies recently occurred which dramatically alters the debate over global warming. Yet, this transpired with no official announcement from GISS head James Hansen, and went unreported until Steve McIntyre of Climate Audit discovered it Wednesday, August 11, 2007.” As with the IPCC problems (above) this drastically undermines the credibility of NASA.

* 4. On December 6, 2006 Dr. David Deming of the University of Oklahoma gave some telling testimony to the US Senate (http://tinyurl.com/yf9q8t). He testified that after writing a research paper in Science, he had received a call from a prominent global warmer stating that “We have to get rid of the Medieval Warming Period”. This amazing question illuminates even more the ethical problems found in this movement and is troubling behavior.

* 5. Those wishing to improve their understanding of the global warming debate must become aware of Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, among others. He is an excellent analyst, with a great command of scientific principles, and was a science advisor to Margaret Thatcher. Lord Monckton recently provided excellent analyses of the concept of “consensus” (http://tinyurl.com/37mzkx).

Consensus is invoked as a justification for some sort of authority in the “debate”. Appealing to authority is not a part of science, as some seem to think. Appealing to the truth, the data, and facts is part of the scientific process. It is a mistake to believe otherwise. As Michael Crichton said “Consensus is not science, and science is not consensus”.

Lord Monckton analyzes the alarmist rhetoric as follows:

"One has only to cut away the alarmist rhetoric and the media distractions, one has only to focus on the central question in the climate-change debate, and at once the fact that there is no scientific consensus about climate change is laid bare. The central question is this: By how much will global temperature increase in response to any foreseeable increase in the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide? On that question, the 'climate-sensitivity question', there is no consensus whatsoever within the scientific community. There is no scientific basis for the current panic."

Brit Hume told us that the appeal to consensus is what people do when they don’t have the facts. This may work when deciding where to build the city library, but it has no place in science. Margaret Thatcher summed this nicely: “To me, consensus seems to be the process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies. So it is something in which no one believes and to which no one objects.”

* 6. Freeman Dyson summarizes the global warming controversy: “My first heresy says that all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated. Here I am opposing the holy brotherhood of climate model experts and the crowd of deluded citizens who believe the numbers predicted by the computer models. Of course, they say, I have no degree in meteorology and I am therefore not qualified to speak. But I have studied the climate models and I know what they can do. The models solve the equations of fluid dynamics, and they do a very good job of describing the fluid motions of the atmosphere and the oceans.

They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests. They do not begin to describe the real world that we live in. The real world is muddy and messy and full of things that we do not yet understand. It is much easier for a scientist to sit in an air-conditioned building and run computer models, than to put on winter clothes and measure what is really happening outside in the swamps and the clouds. That is why the climate model experts end up believing their own models.”

The low quality of the debate displayed by the warmers is notable and extraordinary, suggesting that personal and political agendas are at play, instead of science. This is a destructive way to make national science and energy policy.

Michael R. Fox, Ph.D., a science and energy reporter for Hawaii Reporter and a science analyist for the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii, is retired and now lives in Eastern Washington. He has nearly 40 years experience in the energy field. He has also taught chemistry and energy at the University level. His interest in the communications of science has led to several communications awards, hundreds of speeches, and many appearances on television and talk shows.

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