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AGW takes a big hit

April 4, 2010 2 comments

It’s not secret that I’m not a Alarmist. I do think the Earth is warming, but mainly due to natural forces. Man is contributing, but we don’t know with any real certainty how much compared to natural forces.

The AGW took a big big hit this last week. You wouldn’t know about it watching the US Media. They have instituted their own version Earth Hour on any type of coverage that might damage the AGW cult.

Over in Germany, which has to deal with the effects of Climate legislation already, they aren’t taking the US approach, they are actually reporting and it doesn’t look good for the AGW warmists.

Der Spiegel’s peice first talks about Phil Jones, if you don’t know who he is by know you probably won’t ever care anyway.

Life has become “awful” for Phil Jones. Just a few months ago, he was a man with an enviable reputation: the head of the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, an expert in his field and the father of an alarming global temperature curve that apparently showed how the Earth was heating up as a result of anthropogenic global warming.

Those days are now gone.

His days are now shaped by investigative commissions at the university and in the British Parliament. He sits on his chair at the hearings, looking miserable, sometimes even trembling. The Internet is full of derisive remarks about him, as well as insults and death threats. “We know where you live,” his detractors taunt.

Jones is finished: emotionally, physically and professionally. He has contemplated suicide several times recently, and he says that one of the only things that have kept him from doing it is the desire to watch his five-year-old granddaughter grow up.

Don’t cry for him Argentina, he did it all to himself. It was all completely voluntary, and he has to face the consequences for his actions. Although, any death threats are just plain dumb. We don’t need any martyrs for the AGW cause, it’s too religious already.

“I am 100 percent confident that the climate has warmed,” Jones says imploringly. “I did not manipulate or fabricate any data.”

His problem is that the public doesn’t trust him anymore. Since unknown hackers secretly copied 1,073 private emails between members of his research team and published them on the Internet, his credibility has been destroyed — and so has that of an entire profession that had based much of its work on his research until now.

I’m “confident that the climate has warmed” as well. But that isn’t the AGW debate. The Debate has and always has been centered on Man’s involvement. Also at stake is how much of the research was based on the East Anglia data set. I cannot stress enough, that garbage in equal garbage out, especially in science. When your basing your research off of a faulty base, everything built on that base (East Anglia’s and NASA’s data sets) are going to be off as well. They are all using a faulty assumption. I don’t know how to stress that enough.

The Climategate affair is grist for the mills of skeptics, who have gained growing support for their cause, particularly in English-speaking countries. What began with hacked emails in the United Kingdom has mushroomed into a crisis affecting an entire scientific discipline. At its center is an elite and highly influential scientific group, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Since then (Nobel), the IPCC has experienced a dramatic fall from grace. Less than three years after this triumph, more and more mistakes, evidence of sloppy work and exaggerations in the current IPCC report are appearing. They include Jones’ disputed temperature curve, the prediction that all Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035 — which was the result of a simple transposition of numbers — and the supposed increase in natural disasters, for which no source was given.

Very sloppy work, based on unscientific reports and new articles. Remember that glacier assurtion was based on a noted environmentalist’s very biased article for an environmental group. While I don’t think that automatically presumes they are fudging anything or that their conclusions are false (That’s something only Warmists do.), it does mean that it should have been subject to more scrutiny. Especially to get in the IPCC report, that every Government uses to justify complex and imense legislation controling energy, which effect everyone on the planet.

No other branch of science is as politically charged. A religious war is raging between alarmists and skeptics, and it threatens to consume levelheaded climatologists. But it is a critical conflict, because it revolves around something as massive as the total restructuring of industrial society, a venture that will cost trillions of euros. Powerful economic interests and unshakeable fundamental beliefs come into play.

Meanwhile, there are growing concerns in Berlin that German citizens could become less willing to pay for costly efforts to protect the climate. A poll conducted on behalf of SPIEGEL already signals a dramatic shift in public opinion and suggests that Germans are losing their fear of climate change. The strong majority of 58 percent who said they feared global warming about three years ago has declined to a minority of 42 percent.

The Germans are quite right, that the debate is political and fought with religious zeal. Those two things should be enough for anyone to think twice before passing any sort of legislation. The Germans are also, thinking twice about their own efforts to battle Climate Change. Remember Germany is the Leader in the battle of Climate Change. They have a huge stake in it. If they are starting to doubt the validity of AGW, the world needs to notice.

So no wonder the media, here in the US, isn’t reporting on the Germans about face on AGW.There is just too much money at stake, too many careers on the line, and too much ego.

There are also growing concerns at Germany’s Ministry of Education and Research, which is spending €250 million ($338 million) to support climate science this year. Research Minister Annette Schavan has already summoned German IPCC scientists to attend a “meeting to clarify the situation and improve quality assurance.” Officials at the ministry are horrified over how unprofessionally the IPCC is organized. “The IPCC’s results must be above suspicion, because their impact can cost trillions and have serious political consequences,” says Wilfried Kraus, a senior ministry official.

Reinhard Hüttl, head of the German Research Center for Geosciences in Potsdam near Berlin and the president of the German Academy of Science and Engineering, believes that basic values are now under threat. “Scientists should never be as wedded to their theories that they are no longer capable of refuting them in the light of new findings,” he says.

It is a great article, everyone with an interest in AGW needs to read it. I’m still convinced that 2010, will be the year that AGW is put to rest.

One of the biggest threats to liberty and freedom today is Enviro-Fascism, of the kind that James Lovelock thinks is necessary.

One of the main obstructions to meaningful action is “modern democracy”, he added. “Even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while.”

Physicits slam CRU and AGW

February 27, 2010 18 comments

The Brits seem to be on the cutting edge of Global Warming research, both in the advocating and in the criticism. British Parliament, in reaction to the CRU ClimateGate scandal, has accepted commentary from the scientific community about the implications of the CRU scandal.

Here are the comments from the non-profit Institute of Physics.

The Institute is concerned that, unless the disclosed e-mails are proved to be forgeries or adaptations, worrying implications arise for the integrity of scientific research in this field and for the credibility of the scientific method as practised in this context.

We know they aren’t forgeries or adaptations, Phil Jones has come out and said as much. He, of course, maintains that they are taken out of context, but that still means they are very much real and accurate. As the IOP says, it has created a credibility problem for climate scientists.

The CRU e-mails as published on the internet provide prima facie evidence of determined and co-ordinated refusals to comply with honourable scientific traditions and freedom of information law. The principle that scientists should be willing to expose their ideas and results to independent testing and replication by others, which requires the open exchange of data, procedures and materials, is vital.

Very much what I was saying in my other post on the subject. Without the ability to be falsified, it’s not science, it’s dogma.

The second category relating to proxy reconstructions are the basis for the conclusion that 20th century warming is unprecedented. Published reconstructions may represent only a part of the raw data available and may be sensitive to the choices made and the statistical techniques used. Different choices, omissions or statistical processes may lead to different conclusions. This possibility was evidently the reason behind some of the (rejected) requests for further information.

There is also reason for concern at the intolerance to challenge displayed in the e-mails. This impedes the process of scientific ‘self correction’, which is vital to the integrity of the scientific process as a whole, and not just to the research itself. In that context, those CRU e-mails relating to the peer-review process suggest a need for a review of its adequacy and objectivity as practised in this field and its potential vulnerability to bias or manipulation.

Fundamentally, we consider it should be inappropriate for the verification of the integrity of the scientific process to depend on appeals to Freedom of Information legislation. Nevertheless, the right to such appeals has been shown to be necessary.

There is a reason why there are “lies, damn lies and statistics.” Statistics requires that various assumptions be made when trying to deal with chaotic systems. When those assumptions work, we can have a little faith that the results are accurate. When those assumptions are bad, we can’t be reasonably assured that the results are at all accurate. Climate science is based on lots and lots of assumptions. When science is done right and proper, the bad assumptions are weeded out by the review and falsification process. When the science isn’t done right, they refuse to release the data they used, like CRU did.

As a step towards restoring confidence in the scientific process and to provide greater transparency in future, the editorial boards of scientific journals should work towards setting down requirements for open electronic data archiving by authors, to coincide with publication. Expert input (from journal boards) would be needed to determine the category of data that would be archived. Much ‘raw’ data requires calibration and processing through interpretive codes at various levels.

In other words, make the data available to everyone that wants to see it. It shouldn’t matter if the person is a PH.d. or not. The hording of information is a symptom of totalitarianism and has no place in science at all!

The scope of the UEA review is, not inappropriately, restricted to the allegations of scientific malpractice and evasion of the Freedom of Information Act at the CRU. However, most of the e-mails were exchanged with researchers in a number of other leading institutions involved in the formulation of the IPCC’s conclusions on climate change. In so far as those scientists were complicit in the alleged scientific malpractices, there is need for a wider inquiry into the integrity of the scientific process in this field.

This is the tip of the iceberg. If scientists as CRU were doing this kind of skulduggery, we might want to look into the assertions of the rest of the “consensus” as well. Personally, I think this isn’t an isolated indecent. There has been malfeasance exposed over at GISS with Dr. James Hansen. How many more high profile and powerful scientists have been doing the same thing?

I don’t want anyone to come away thinking I’m against science. I’m not. I love science. I believe that science can help improve everyone’s lives. It pains me to see science misused and misrepresented. Because of that, I loath Scientism. By Scientism, I mean the misuse of science to further political or religious motives and the appeal to scientific authority.

Scientists are people too. They are subject to the same temptations as anyone in a position of authority, the same lust for recognition, lust for fame and the lust to be “right.” Those are powerful incentives that can and has distorted science since the Enlightenment. We need to acknowledge that and deal with it rationally. Unfortunately, I feel some people are dogmatic about science. Which, to me, is about as unscientific as you can get.

HT/ Hotair

Accurate AGW “Hockey Stick” Graph

February 26, 2010 2 comments

This is hilarious!

The real "Hockey Stick"

HT/ Zombie @ pajamasmedia

You know zombies are taking over the world right?

What’s wrong with the Climate debate – Brad DeLong

February 21, 2010 4 comments

You want to see how not to debate, look no further than DeLong.

Russ Roberts knows as well as I do–as well as anybody who has taken even one semester of statistics does–that “no trend” does not mean the same thing as “no statistically significant trend,” that you are unlikely to find statistical significance when you restrict your attention to a short period because your statistical tests then lack power, and that everyone literate in statistics asked for their point estimate of the warming trend since 1975 would say that it is almost as much as the overall trend since 1860: 0.012C per year as compared to 0.015C per year.

Russ Roberts knows all this. But he hopes to trick some of his readers by hiding it.

Lyingest economist alive…

Now look at the comments. All full of vitriol and hubris. One problem, which I’m quilty of, is linking the Daily Mail instead of the BBC, although the Daily Mail article was up before the BBC interview.

BC: Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming?

Phil Jones: Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level. The positive trend is quite close to the significance level. Achieving statistical significance in scientific terms is much more likely for longer periods, and much less likely for shorter periods…

The quip is over statistical significance. The problem here is data points. 15 years doesn’t give enough data points. You need at least 30 to give even a semblance of statistical relevance. It all depends on when you start.

From CRU:

From CRU: Notice the dates?

Or:

From IPCC report: Notice the dates?

Now the point of this is not to discuss the data, more of the tone. Notice the language DeLong uses, he calls Dr. Roberts the “Lyingest economist alive.” Which is some charge considering the Krugman is still alive, but I digress. (And yes I know I’m being a partial hypocrite here)

And of course notice how Brad hones in to the word “trend” instead of the implications of the small trend. The implications, considering carbon emissions have steadily been going up, don’t look good for the carbon/warming link. Which is what I’ve been trying to say for a long time. There’s been warming, but not a lot of evidence to suggest that it’s all man’s fault. DeLong knows that, that’s why he doesn’t want to discuss that part, so instead he resorts to name calling.

From NOAA: Carbon Emissions

Thankfully Russ took the high road. I highly recommend listening to Russ in action on EconTalk. Listen first then judge for yourself if Dr. Roberts is a “liar.”

I’ll finish by saying, the graphs are from “expert” sources; CRU, IPCC assessment and NOAA. So I hope no one can say I’m cherry picking…although I know that will come up anyway.

Skeptics, Climate Debate Part II

February 18, 2010 1 comment

Appeal to Emotion

As I said at the end of the last post. Ad hominem is a sign of a bad argument. It uses another logical fallacy, the appeal to emotion, to try and discourage dialogue. Climate Change is just another in a long line of political topics that gets bogged down by appeals to emotion.

Appeals to emotion try to play on your heart strings, to use your feelings against you. In the context of the AGW debate, instead of debating the merits of the science or the data involved, proponents of AGW try to ear skeptics down with emotional attacks. I’ve heard multiple times about how “we need to stop climate change for our kids.” The assumption is always that AGW is “proven.” That assumption is made so wildly that proponents don’t even think it deserves any debate at all. Remember the science has already been “settled”. It’s implicit in that statement, also,  that if you are against what ever measure they are arguing for, like cap and trade, other emission cuts, light bulbs, hybrid cars, whatever it is, if your against it then you don’t care about children. Of course they don’t like to be called out on that, so they say your making itall up and your delusional.

Appeals to emotion are very powerful. I mean after all how can you be against children? But the problem is that the underlying logic is flawed. It’s not a choice between driving a Hummer and killing off the children. The choice is about, if AGW is real, what do we do about it. Yet, as I’ve said before, the IF hasn’t been settled yet to begin with.

Appeal to Authority

Appeal to authority is real easy to understand. It’s basically an appeal of ignorance against the person your using it against. For example, when the lines “All scientists agree” or “consensus” are used, what they are really trying to tell you is that your just too dumb to understand anything and you better listen to the experts. Nothing more, nothing less. And when you quote or talk about a scientists like John Christie, that is a AGW skeptic, the usual rebuttal, besides him being a hack or paid by big oil, is that there are more scientists that believe in AGW than not, so you better just shut up and go with the majority (“consensus”).

That is not a debate tactic. It’s merely away to try and silence critics and stifle debate.

Appeal to Motive

This is commonly used, you hear it every time someone mentions “Big Oil”. The idea is that skeptics have an agenda and that they have been bought and paid for by the “evil” oil industry. The underlying premise is obviously that oil is evil and anyone against them is good. It appeals to the segment of the population that already hates corporations and oil companies already, meaning environmental groups.

The problem with that line of reasoning is that everyone has a motive. Everyone has an agenda, even the environmental groups. Groups like WWF, Audubon, Greenpeace are known to be hostile to oil, or anything that they see as damaging to the environment. Do you think they would promote any research that would damage their position? Do you think they would pay for a study that would say that it’s all natural and man isn’t at fault?But this is only part of it.

The real story lies in Academia and the IPCC. Climate scientists in academia make a lot of money off AGW research. Funding is through, mainly, government agencies and government have a huge incentive to show AGW. Do you think that they would give money to a scientist that doesn’t give them the results they want to hear? The money goes to the scientists that give the politicians what they want. And they want AGW. Science is just like any other market. If there is a demand to research showing AGW, then by God that’s what the check writers are going to get.

So really appeal to motives are double edge swords. If one side has a motive, the other side does as well. It’s better to debate the data than go by this fallacious argument anyway.

ClimateGate

The real issue with climate gate is groupthink. Groupthink is when a cadre of people, this case climate scientists, get together with a priori biases, and purposely ignore any evidence contrary to their a priori position and try to negate any outside influences. Now what did the CRU do?

They have their hypothesis, AGW, that they pushed even when evidence to the contrary (“Hide the Decline”) suggested that the hypothesis wasn’t correct. They also sued their position of power to strong arm other scientists into going with the flow. Before, Climate Gate broke, there were few scientists that were willing to buck the trend. Now, a few months, there’s a new scientist even IPCC scientists that come out against AGW, not GW by the way, every week it seems. Yes I’m exaggerating a bit. We even have had Dr. Phil Jones, head of the CRU come out saying that there has not been any statistically significant warming in 15 years!

That can’t be said enough times or loudly enough. Now think about CRU in context with the appeal to motive fallacy. If the skeptics are being paid by the oil companies to show that AGW doesn’t exist, then CRU, which gets tons of money from government agencies, can be the poster child for the other team. Remember, government have an inherent interest is increasing their power and AGW give government extraordinary power over their citizens.

Peer Review

The other scandal that came to light in the wake of Climate Gate was the breakdown of the peer review process. It’s been well documented that the CRU tried and succeeded in blocking any papers that conflicted with AGW from getting published. Very few people, even try to argue that didn’t happen, instead trying to argue that the e-mails were out of context, which is absurd on other grounds.

By blocking opposing and skeptical scientists from publication, the journals became echo chambers and not scientific at all. Remember science has to have fallibility, and blocking opposition doesn’t really make falsification all that easy. The tactic was again to silence the opposition and to block open and honest debate.

The break down of the peer review process has a few consequences. For one, it makes the settled science case all the more difficult to swallow. The appeal to authority doesn’t work when the authority are crooks and liars. The second involves the nature of scientific journals itself and that is sourcing or referencing.

Referencing

Being able to reference and source other papers is the mortar that holds science together. All science is based upon an increasing foundation of knowledge framework. We take what learned since the dawn of man and add to that little by little, like building a wall. As knew knowledge is uncovered, it needs to be able to fit into the already established framework. The way we do that is by referencing others work,  building and incorporating those ideas into a new synthesized body of knowledge.

So what happens when we find out that what we reference turned out to be lies? The whole wall start to crumble. Now I don’t want to be melodramatic, this doesn’t breakdown everything we know, but just the “consensus” of Climate Research. Think of it like this, we use proxy tree ring data to measure climate in previous eras. So what would happen if a new finding were to show that tree ring data do not correlate with temperature? (They do and I don’t want anyone to think I think something different, this is a rhetorical example.) We’d have to rethink everything we know about past temperatures. We’d have to find a new proxy and start over again.

Now think about what happened with the CRU clan. They used their influence to stop opposing papers to be published. Since there were no opposition papers, the only data other, newer scientists could use to reference were faulty CRU approved papers. So now we have another row of bricks built using rotten mortar.

I think that sums up my thoughts fairly accurately. This is by no means an exhaustive list. I could probably go on and on but I think this is good for now.

So what do you think? Am I reasonable or am I full of it?

Skeptics – AGW Debate

February 18, 2010 3 comments

Skepticism

The whole purpose of the last post was to show that skepticism is an essential part of science. Science has to provide hypothesis that are testable and also falsifiable. This is a source of much confusion and ignorance for most people.

Falsifiability also means that nothing can ever be proven. Now when I say proven, I specifically mean that nothing is 100% certain. There is always an element of uncertainty in everything around us. There is also a high level of ignorance of the world around us. When faced with all that how can you not be skeptical?

Ignorance

Uncertainty means that there is a lot of random chance in the universe. Everywhere from Heisenburg to Black Swans, there is a certain amount of chance. There is something that is very certain, our ignorance. There are many many things about our universe that we just don’t know about. If we knew everything, would we even need scientists? The fact that we have many scientists, and they are legion, almost by definition, means that we still have a lot to learn about what is happening in the Universe.

Now what does that have to do with Climate Change?

Everything!

Proxies

First and foremost, we have incomplete data. Our modern temperature measurements only go back 150 years. When we are talking about a climate system that is on the order of 4.5 billion years, 150 years is like a single grain of sand in the Sahara desert. So how are we supposed to base this recent bout of warming? We need a reference in order to make the claim that; 1. it is unprecedented and 2. caused by man.

To get a reference we use proxies, tree ring data. This is the type of data that is the crux of the ClimateGate scandal. This is the data that Dr. Jones refused to share under FOIA requests.

Turns out that, assuming the proxies accurate and correlative, this recent bout isn’t all that unprecedented. There was the Medieval Warming Period. During that warming period, average surface temperatures were much higher than they are now. This poses an obvious problem for AGW proponents. How can they claim that the recent warming trend was the cause of Post-Industrial Man emission of Carbon?

If the Vikings were farming Greenland back then, and now Greenland is covered in ice, that would mean that sometime in between the temperature got a hell of a lot colder. Are our proxies wrong or are the AGW models wrong?

Models

The second level of ignorance we have to deal with is the fact that we cannot model the complex system that is Climate accurately. In order to have any kind of model that we can work with, a lot of assumptions have to be made. Models have to deal with fluid dynamics problems, thermodynamic issues, and even the effect of Clouds on the Climate system.

I don’t know any scientist that would say we know everything that there is to know about thermodynamics or fluid dynamics. You know how I know that, because we have physicists still studying Thermodynamics and Fluid dynamics that’s why.

The next issue with the models are simplifications. Our computing technology isn’t up to the challenge of making the trillions of complex calculations needed to accurately predict protein folding, do you think he can make the trillions upon trillions of calculations necessary to model cloud movement or anything at all related to Climate? So there has to be simplifications. Who chooses what gets simplified and what doesn’t? What if they choose wrong?

Settled Science

This shows that there is huge amount of uncertainty and ignorance inherent in science, in general, and in Climate Science specifically. With this high level of uncertainty, I just can’t fathom how anyone could make the claim that the “science is settled.” Just from the perspective of our ignorance, that statement is preposterous but add to that the notion of falsifiability, that I talked about in the last post, and you find that it is very hard to “prove” anything. Yet these are the two most common terms used in the AGW debate.

Power Corrupts

You’d think that any intellectually honest scientist would cringe at such a notion of settled science. The Climate Gate emails show us that scientists are not above the same trappings that all people fall, self interest. Self interest manifests itself in the need for grands and funding. It’s in the need for publication and the prestige that comes with having your name on the latest article in the most prestigious journal. All scientists have egos just like everyone else in the world. It seems foolish to think they are above the same kind of scheming and unethical behavior that accompanies any one with power. Believe me the IPCC is all about power.

So the appeals to scientific authority fall on deaf ears to me. I know that scientists can be ruthless and self interested. I know they can be petty. I know they will lie to get more funding. I know they will fudge the numbers a little here and a little there if a grant is on the line. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. I don’t have a romanticized illusion of a scientist in a lab coat working to better humanity. The cold hard truth is that many scientists are working hard, to get their name in the paper, to win a Nobel, to get that next grant, to sit on the IPCC, to become the director of the EPA, etc. It’s all about power and prestige.

Ad Hominem

Much of the debate involves ample use of the argumentum ad hominem fallacy. We hear it all the time when someone uses the term “denier.” The use of denier invokes the likes of the Holocaust denier, someone that denies a plain fact in light of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Ad hominem is a pejorative, used to try and discredit a person instead of debating the merits of their argument. By calling a person a denier, the accuser can then justify in their mind that it is okay to not listen to the other person because they wrongly think that the accused is a victim of cognitive bias. Argumentum ad hominem is a sign of a bad argument in my opinion.

To be continued…

Global Warming Sunday: Snowball edition

February 14, 2010 5 comments

I’ve stated before 2010 will be the end of Global Warming hysteria. Although that won’t stop people from wanting to enact laws regulating how people live. Never let a crisis, even ones that you made up, go to waste!

Now we have Dr. Phil Jones, of ClimateGate fame, coming out and admitting that the scientific case for AGW isn’t settled.

Professor Jones also conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now – suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon.

And he said that for the past 15 years there has been no ‘statistically significant’ warming.

He also had this to say about the quality of the data:
Asked about whether he lost track of data, Professor Jones said: ‘There is some truth in that. We do have a trail of where the weather stations have come from but it’s probably not as good as it should be.
John Christy, former lead IPCC author, says that you really can’t trust the temperature measurement from some of those stations anyway.

The doubts of Christy and a number of other researchers focus on the thousands of weather stations around the world, which have been used to collect temperature data over the past 150 years.

These stations, they believe, have been seriously compromised by factors such as urbanisation, changes in land use and, in many cases, being moved from site to site.

Christy has published research papers looking at these effects in three different regions: east Africa, and the American states of California and Alabama.

“The story is the same for each one,” he said. “The popular data sets show a lot of warming but the apparent temperature rise was actually caused by local factors affecting the weather stations, such as land development.”

And another scientists is bashing the IPCC methodology.

The IPCC faces similar criticisms from Ross McKitrick, professor of economics at the University of Guelph, Canada, who was invited by the panel to review its last report.

The experience turned him into a strong critic and he has since published a research paper questioning its methods.

“We concluded, with overwhelming statistical significance, that the IPCC’s climate data are contaminated with surface effects from industrialisation and data quality problems. These add up to a large warming bias,” he said.

It doesn’t look good for the IPCC.

The recent snow fall has done a lot to damage the PR battle over AGW. The fact that there were recorded snow fall in all 50 states on Wednesday, puts a damper on the “the Earth is warming and we are all going to die!” argument. Not that record snow fall disproves AGW, but it doesn’t exactly help it either. Especially when AGW alarmists point to local weather conditions as a sign of AGW, this snow shows that the sword has two edges.

Dana Milbank of MSNBC and WaPo fame actually has a very good article on the matter.

For years, climate-change activists have argued by anecdote to make their case. Gore, in his famous slide shows, ties human-caused global warming to increasing hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, drought and the spread of mosquitoes, pine beetles and disease…

Other environmentalists have undermined the cause with claims bordering on the outlandish; they’ve blamed global warming for shrinking sheep in Scotland, more shark and cougar attacks, genetic changes in squirrels, an increase in kidney stones and even the crash of Air France Flight 447. When climate activists make the dubious claim, as a Canadian environmental group did, that global warming is to blame for the lack of snow at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, then they invite similarly specious conclusions about Washington’s snow — such as the Virginia GOP ad urging people to call two Democratic congressmen “and tell them how much global warming you get this weekend.”

Of course where Dana and I differ is on the “overwhelming” scientific evidence. Dana is most likely referring to the 2007 IPCC assessment. As most of you know, all my posts lately have been about how screwed up and unscientific that assessment really is. If all people, like Milbank, have to go on is the IPCC assessment, then they are about to get a rude awakening.