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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.”

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Is the National Academy of Sciences going CRU?

From this Washington Times piece on the NAS.

In private e-mails obtained by The Washington Times, climate scientists at the National Academy of Sciences say they are tired of “being treated like political pawns” and need to fight back in kind. Their strategy includes forming a nonprofit group to organize researchers and use their donations to challenge critics by running a back-page ad in the New York Times.

If their so tired of “being treated like political pawns” now, why weren’t they tired of it back when the science was continuously being touted as “settled?” The notion of settled science is a political notion, not a scientific one. If anything, hopefully, people should have learned that by now.

“Most of our colleagues don’t seem to grasp that we’re not in a gentlepersons’ debate, we’re in a street fight against well-funded, merciless enemies who play by entirely different rules,” Paul R. Ehrlich, a Stanford University researcher, said in one of the e-mails.

This is the same Ehrlich, whom I mentioned in a previous post, that believes in the Malthusian nonsense of a Population Bomb, and wrote a book with the same name. This is the same Ehrlich that lost the famous Ehrlich-Simon bet, that still beguiles the Peak Oil crowd to this day. This is a guy driving the AGW crowd, no wonder they are nuts. Ehrlich is also the mentor of John “Let’s Sterilize the Population to keep it under Control” Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Don’t you feel safer in the hands of the experts?

Now back to the NAS story. In all honesty this is a non issue. This is the kind of e-mails that the CRU apologists try to pin on the ClimateGate e-mails, just an exchange/debate between scientists on what to do. ClimateGate was about scientists playing Gatekeepers with the information going into the journals. It was about scientists openly discussing how to violate Freedom of Information Act laws

These NAS emails are not on par with the CRU, but they do show how absent minded these professors really are. I mean a New York Times ad? Really? Do those “smart” people not realize that the people that are skeptical of AGW are also skeptical of the NYT as well? The NYT has been pushing AGW and Cap and Trade for years. (Yes, that’s the same Revkin mentioned in the ClimateGate emails.) So spending, $50,000 on a back page ad of the Times isn’t going to do much for their cause. Well except maybe it will help them get their op-eds published more often.

Who’s politicizing whom again?

Last month, President Obama announced that he would create a U.S. agency to arbitrate research on climate change.

Oh yeah, it was only Bush that politicized science, my fault. I forgot to refer to rule number 1.

The Rules according to Obama.

  1. Blame Bush
  2. Refer to rule number 1
  3. Don’t ever mention that your doing the same things Bush did.

Back to the NAS story again, I get off track a lot don’t I? The NAS emails are more debate than anything else, because there is dissenting opinion. The CRU e-mails were about silencing dissenting opinion, the NAS one’s are not. BIG DIFFERENCE!!!!

Not all climate scientists agree with forcing a political fight.

“Sounds like this group wants to step up the warfare, continue to circle the wagons, continue to appeal to their own authority, etc.,” said Judith A. Curry, a climate scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology. “Surprising, since these strategies haven’t worked well for them at all so far.”

She said scientists should downplay their catastrophic predictions, which she said are premature, and instead shore up and defend their research. She said scientists and institutions that have been pushing for policy changes “need to push the disconnect button for now,” because it will be difficult to take action until public confidence in the science is restored.

Imagine that. At least someone has some common sense. Just to be sure that the scientists involved with the NAS e-mails are acting on their own, we have this.

“These scientists are elected members of the National Academy of Sciences, but the discussants themselves realized their efforts would require private support since the National Academy of Sciences never considered placing such an ad or creating a nonprofit group concerning these issues,” said William Kearney, chief spokesman for NAS.

Maybe so. Yet, I think we have our own mini-version of a Phil Jones in George Woodwell.

In his e-mail, Mr. Woodwell acknowledged that he is advocating taking “an outlandishly aggressively partisan approach” but said scientists have had their “classical reasonableness” turned against them.

“We are dealing with an opposition that is not going to yield to facts or appeals from people who hold themselves in high regard and think their assertions and data are obvious truths,” he wrote.

So apparently it’s bad when you don’t “yield to facts” from people that hold themselves in high regard? Is he talking about himself or Gore, cause I’m sure both hold themselves in a much higher regard than anyone that disagrees with them. Of course, Woodell must be looking in the mirror when he talks about people who “think their assertions and data are obvious truths.”

One thing for sure, is the fall out, not only political but the fallout in the scientific community over what happened at CRU is far from over. The public trust has been eroded. That’s what happens when you lend yourself to ethical lapses. If the Climate Science community had got their shit in order from the get go, they might have been able to avoid this PR disaster. But they didn’t, they had an agenda and did sloppy science to support that agenda. The chickens are coming home to roost, as the good Rev. Wright would say.

H/T Hotair.com

Skeptics – Nature of Science

February 16, 2010 4 comments

DC Snow Storm

Does the Snow-pocalypse this past week disprove Global Warming?
No
Does the heat wave in Brazil prove GW?
No

The whole Climate Change debate is way off kilter here. The language being used by both sides, and I’m as guilty as anyone, doesn’t do anything to advance the knowledge on what is actually happening.

I see the whole Climate Change/Global Warming/AGW debate a different way.

You have to separate what we are actually debating here. There are two distinct and separate issues going on. The first question that needs to be asked is, is the Earth getting warmer?

I think the answer to that is yes. The earth is getting warmer over the past hundred years. This is natural warming that should be expected by anyone, since we came out of the Little Ice Age in the late 19th century. Obviously, if the Earth were still cooling, we’d still be in the ice age, but to paraphrase Newton’s Third Law; what goes down must come up!

The second question that needs to be asked is; is the warming due to Man, i.e. Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW)?

This is where the debate starts and were it gets tricky. Personally, I say no. The way I see it, is that there isn’t enough evidence to support that claim. Proponents of AGW say otherwise. This is the crux of the debate and the cause of all the confusion.This is also where the skeptics come in.

Nature of Science

Science and the scientific method are tools that can be used to increase our level of knowledge about the world around us and the universe. Like any tool, it has it’s pros and its cons. Also, like any tool, it can be used for good or evil (and no I don’t mean a Sith Lord type of evil).

The nature of Science Method is to be skeptical. The different steps involved, evolved around a certain amount of skepticism in both the hypothesis being tested, methodology used and the results from which we draw our conclusions. We test our hypothesis because we are skeptical that the hypothesis is correct. That seems kind of obvious, but it’s the foundation of the whole methodology being used. If we were to take the hypothesis as true (non-skeptical approach), why should we even test it? It would be much easier to just assume something happens the way we say so and go about our business.

Skepticism

The nature of a scientist is to be skeptical of the answers being given. That is why they try to verify other people’s work. Reproducibility is just another name for testing other people’s hypothesis. Why do you do that? Five points if you said, because your skeptical of their work.

They way we do that in modern science is through a peer review process. The way a peer review should work, is that a scientist submits their; hypothesis, methodology, results and conclusions to another scientist, which doesn’t exactly have to be in the same field but that helps. The peer, then goes through the first scientist’s work for errors. Why does he spend so much time; reviewing, auditing and reproducing the first scientists work? Three points if you say, because he is skeptical of the first. (No more points because you should have guessed the pattern here by now.)

After multiple rounds of peer reviews, the hypothesis sits in a special place. It sits waiting for someone to come along and show that it is wrong.  Why? Yeah I don’t even need to ask that question anymore right?

Take Einstein’s General Relativity for example. When Einstein first proposed his landmark theory in 1915, most of his peers out-and-out rejected him. They didn’t see any evidence to support Einstein’s hypothesis. So in 1919, Sir Eddington observed during a solar eclipse that light was being bent by the gravity of the Sun. It wasn’t until after this observation that any one in the scientific community took Einstein seriously. something we do almost reflexively now. The reason behind that was and always is, skepticism. The scientific community was skeptical of the claims being made by Einstein and want to a way to test Einstein’s hypothesis. What would have happened if the eclipse would have shown no light being bent? Well then, we probably wouldn’t know who that scruffy haired man was right now.

Gravitational Lens

Only a select few hypothesis actually go long enough to become a Theory. Even fewer make it long enough to become a Law. At anytime, hypothesis, theories or laws can be shown to be false.

Well how can you show a law to be wrong? Doesn’t the word law mean that it is in fact been proven true? Well to answer that look no farther that the Biogenetic Law that has been thoroughly dismissed by modern scientist in light of the evidence. At one time though, it was a well established Law that most people in the field subscribed to. What caused it’s demise? Some damn skeptic came along and didn’t think it was quite right and did his own experiments that showed that the biogenetic law of embryo development was rubbish. Damn those skeptics, how dare they increase our knowledge because they don’t trust other scientists word.

One consequence of the scientific method is that everything can be falsified. Einstein said it best with, “”No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.” Karl Popper made the point that a scientific theory is only “scientific” only if it is falsifiable. I don’t want to get into Popperian vs Bayesian, but I think it’s fair to say we live in a Popperian scientific world. In fact my whole rant here is based upon my Popperian notion of science.

I’m going to wait for another post to talk about how the Climate Change debate has moved away from actual Popperian science to the realm of religious fury in part II.