Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It has been a challenging year for
Global Warming/Climate Change

Commentary by James H. Shott

The recent epidemic of snow, ice and cold temperatures has given rise to lots of joking about global warming, such as, “How’s that global warming working out for you?” and “we have 10 inches of global warming on the ground.” The Associated Press noted on Saturday, “Forget red and blue - color America white. There was snow on the ground in 49 states Friday. Hawaii was the holdout.”

The story went on to quote David Robinson, head of the Global Snow Lab at Rutgers University, that on Friday morning “67.1 percent of the U.S. had snow on the ground, with the average depth a healthy 8 inches. Normally, about 40 or 50 percent of the U.S. has snow cover this time of year.”

Everyone who has ever looked into it knows that the Earth goes through alternate cycles of warming and cooling that last thousands of years, and shorter cycles of warming and cooling within the longer cycles.

The global warming/climate change advocates (warmists) believe human activity since the onset of the Industrial Age is producing rising global temperatures. Skeptics point to other reasons for the increase, such as normal cyclical change and changes in Sun activity, among other reasons, and note that for the last several years there has actually been a cooling trend.

Warmists, however, behave as if the question is finally and unquestionably resolved, claiming there is a “consensus” and saying that it is “settled science.”

GreenFacts.org’s glossary says this about consensus: “The Scientific Consensus represents the position generally agreed upon at a given time by most scientists specialized in a given field. Scientific Consensus does NOT mean that:
• all scientist[s] are unanimous: disagreements may occur and can be necessary for science to progress,
• the position is definitive: the consensus can evolve with the results from further research and contrary opinions.
Therefore, Scientific Consensus is NOT a synonym of ‘Certain Truth.’"

NASA’s Home Page informs us that: “It may surprise many people that science -- the de facto source of dependable knowledge about the natural world -- cannot deliver an unqualified, unanimous answer about something as important as climate change.”

The idea that consensus does not equal certain truth – indeed, that in science certain truth does not exist because of the possibility of new information being discovered – is a major feature of the scientific method.

The University of Rochchester Physics Department defines the scientific method as “the process by which scientists, collectively and over time, endeavor to construct an accurate (that is, reliable, consistent and non-arbitrary) representation of the world.

Recognizing that personal and cultural beliefs influence both our perceptions and our interpretations of natural phenomena, we aim through the use of standard procedures and criteria to minimize those influences when developing a theory. As a famous scientist once said, ‘Smart people (like smart lawyers) can come up with very good explanations for mistaken points of view.’ … It is often said in science that theories can never be proved, only disproved. There is always the possibility that a new observation or a new experiment will conflict with a long-standing theory. "

The certainty with which warmists dismiss skeptical views of their pet theory seems to run counter to the spirit of scientific investigation.

Worse, warmists’ attitude toward and treatment of skeptics are clearly non-scientific. They include ridicule, intimidation of skeptical colleagues, personal destruction and calls for legal prosecution, all because they disagree on a scientific theory.

Worse, yet, is that in an effort to perpetuate their alarmist scenarios, some warmists have resorted to deceit and outright fraud at Penn State University and England’s University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit (CRU).

The UK Telegraph reports that “perhaps the most damaging revelations … are those concerning the way Warmist scientists may variously have manipulated or suppressed evidence in order to support their cause.”

A hacker broke into computers at the CRU, releasing 61 megabytes of confidential emails and documents onto the Internet. Knowing what these documents and emails contain, it is clear why the CRU scientists are upset that their duplicity has become public, a scandal some believe could be the greatest in modern science. These documents and emails involve some of the most prominent scientists advocating anthropogenic global warming theory and suggest conspiracy, collusion in exaggerating warming data, possibly illegal destruction of embarrassing information, organized resistance to disclosure, efforts to squeeze dissenting scientists out of the peer review process, manipulation of data, and private admissions of flaws in their public claims.

We can justifiably ask, “If man’s activities truly cause the Earth to warm, why do they need to deceive the public?” What do they fear from being honest?

As the science of global warming crumbles, the reaction of warmists to the revelations is interesting. The scientists say these revelations are a petty issue, while the policymakers go merrily on as if man-caused warming is settled science and everything is just hunky-dory.

All of this supports the idea that “saving the Earth from humans” is more about an ideology turned into a religion than about a real threat to the environment.

1 comment:

  1. AWG is a religion, no doubt about it.

    We have regular "Global Warming Updates" on Common Cents...