January 3, 2010

Global Warming Proponents: Not So Much Adhering to the Scientific Method as Choosing from an Evidence Buffet

Monique Chartier

What better time than the end of a snowy January day eleven years and counting into a global cooling trend to examine the latest global warming panic mongering?

Global alarm over climate change and its effects has risen manifold after the 2007 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Since then, many of the 2,500-odd IPCC scientists have found climate change is progressing faster than the worst-case scenario they had predicted.

In point of fact, the "global alarm" may pertain more to the lack of political will that led to the conclusion of COP15 without (thank heavens) substantive commitments and the corresponding perceived need among proponents of the theory to ratchet up the rhetoric yet another notch.

In any event, the case for "climate change ... progressing faster than the worst-case scenario they had predicted" is a compilation of facts that are incomplete or irrelevant. Interestingly, for example, an increase in the number of extreme hot and cold temperature events is cited, as well as an increase in the heavy-osity of snow and rain falls. Setting aside the question of pertinence (how is this evidence of global warming?), the authors are to be commended for making this assertion with a straight face on the basis of only 150 years of records, thereby dismissing outright climate patterns from the preceding four and a half billion years. In point of fact, dismissal of the entirety of Earth's climate history is a major component - and a fatal weakness - of the theory of AGW.

Most notably, however, this latest list demonstrates the hallmark of the theory of AGW: exquisite selectivity. The promotion of the theory has turned away from science and now, more than anything, resembles a visit to a Chinese buffet: "I'll take one of those, and two of those. No, Miss, don't bother refilling that one. Ooo, these look good! Eww, what's that?! Keep it off my theory ... er, plate!"

Such an approach, of course, eschews the scientific method. Some significant facts carefully disregarded by AGW proponents:

3.) "No Rise of Airborne Fraction of Carbon Dioxide in Past 150 Years, New Research Finds"

From Thursday's Science Daily.

To assess whether the airborne fraction is indeed increasing, Wolfgang Knorr of the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol reanalyzed available atmospheric carbon dioxide and emissions data since 1850 and considers the uncertainties in the data.

In contradiction to some recent studies, he finds that the airborne fraction of carbon dioxide has not increased either during the past 150 years or during the most recent five decades.

As John Loughlin dryly observed when he sent me this item,

... looks like Cap & Trade must already be working (even though it hasn't passed the Senate)

Indeed, it's worked for all 150 years that it hasn't been in effect.

2.) The tainted global warming data of ClimateGate is not a localized phenomenon.

It turns out that ClimateGate - the wholesale mix-n-matching of massaged data followed by the shocking revelation that the raw data itself was destroyed in the 1980's - is not limited to the University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit but extends to Russian data utilized by the Hadley Center for Climate Change at the British Meteorological Office in Devon, England. Courtesy James Delingpole at the Telegraph.

Analysts say Russian meteorological stations cover most of the country’s territory, and that the Hadley Center had used data submitted by only 25% of such stations in its reports. Over 40% of Russian territory was not included in global-temperature calculations for some other reasons, rather than the lack of meteorological stations and observations.

The data of stations located in areas not listed in the Hadley Climate Research Unit Temperature UK (HadCRUT) survey often does not show any substantial warming in the late 20th century and the early 21st century.

So to prove that the planet is warming, "scientists" combed through the data, picked out those stations that showed a warming trend (and it appears that many of those readings were tainted by the location of instruments) and discarded those readings that showed a level or cooling trend. "Cherry-picking" may not be a strong enough term for such data-handling.

1.) The meagerness of man's contribution to greenhouse gases.

At 6% of total greenhouse gases generated (with Mother Nature, at 94%, picking up the slack), the entire proposition that man could have a role in the warming that may or may not actually be occurring becomes quizzical. Proponents of the theory, however, skip lightly over this fact and call for man to stop using fossil fuels - now! now! it's almost too late! In the absence of anything remotely like a realistic alternate fuel supply, however, this translates into a command to give up all quality of life advances of the last three hundred years: heat, electricity, transportation; most food, most employment, most merchantilism; a command, in short, to dive off a cliff for a completely unsubstantiated reason.

Let me whole-heartedly echo Chris Mooney's call for scientists to speak up. Let the scientists come forth. Let there be an end to the finicky selecting of data and a return to the scientific method.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

The sheer ignornace of your posts on this topic reaches greater depths with each attempt. When it comes to matters of complex science, I have found that it makes sense to defer to the opinions of scientists. You, however, talk radio star that you are, boldly go where you have no absolutely no expertise whatsoever. Frankly, you don't have the slightest idea of what you are talking about. Your inane question about the relevance of increased intensity of rainfalls to AGW could have been answered with a 30 second google search.

Is it your position that AGW is a world-wide conspiracy reaching across every habitable continent among thousands and thousands of scientists across many fields?

Can you name one national or international scientific organization that is a AGW skeptic? Just name one Monique. Just one. (Here's a hint, don't go looking for support for your ignorance from the national science academies of the US, Germany, France, UK, Australia, Brazil, Belgium, China, Italy, India, Sweden, South Africa, ... you get my drift.)

Are there holes in the AGW theory? Yes. Is Monique capable of even a remotely nuanced or balanced discussion of them. Not a chance. Of course, who expects to find intellectual discourse on the right anymore? Drill, baby, drill!

Posted by: Pragmatist at January 3, 2010 11:55 PM

pragmatist - how many of those 2500 scientists would like a do-over after the disclosures of the (to put it charitably) sloppy work at East Anglia? Scientific consensus, such as it is, relies on good work and transparency. Once a scientist makes an assertion, she needs to make a full disclosure of the raw data and means and methods that are the basis for her theoretical assertion. That didn't happen at CRU - or GFSC either. Can you name a single other instance of publicly funded legitimate science that affects public policy where it requires a FOI request to obtain data? And even then that data was subjected to spoliation according to the e-mails leaked by the CRU whistleblower and by admission of the CRU researchers themselves.

Here's a paper by two German physicists further undermining the shaky foundations of AGW theory.


I'd suggest you skip to Section 5 - the conclusions. Although they lay it on pretty thick - I don't really care that the Stephan-Boltzmann constant is locally normed based on sun-Earth conditions and would be different on another star/planet system, it works for us - the fundamental assertion they make is that AGW 'theory' as constituted violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics - see assertion 6. Sounds dry doesn't it? Its as close as a scientist comes to claiming that AGW theory is worthless. Perpetual motion machines violate the Second Law.

A related thermodynamic claim is that the radiosity PDE equation as loosely approximated by AGW researchers wrongly assumes an infinitely thick earth atmosphere. The NASA researcher, Ferenc Miskolczi, who made this assertion and then corrected calculations left NASA - not necessarily by his own choice. Did he get it right? I don't know, but I do know that the earth's atmosphere isn't infinitely thick. And he claims his approach explains what happens on Mars as well - when the initial conditions and constants are appropriately adjusted. Why is this important? Because that big yellow thing in the sky drives our climate and although anthropogenic inputs may play a role, they are a second order effect compared to solar thermal radiation. The radiosity equation describes how the sun's radiant energy is absorbed/transmitted/reflected/reradiated and in solver form can be extended to include conduction and convection mass transport. Get that wrong about the biggest climate contributor and the rest is a hack.

I look forward to your putting in a good word for Lysenko.

Posted by: chuckR at January 4, 2010 7:30 AM

The physicists whose paper I referenced make a specific perpetual motion machine claim for AGW theory as their assertion 7 based in part on assertion 6.

Also, its GSFC, not GFSC.

Posted by: chuckR at January 4, 2010 7:44 AM

Pragmatist to Copernicus: "Can you name one national or international scientific organization that does not believe the Earth is the center of the universe?"

Proof by consensus in the face of documented evidence, including confessions by the perpetrators, that the original work was fraudulent is an accepted technique of scientific method only among the Left.

Pragmatist, if you google Maurice Strong you will find the political, Marxist origins of the global warming cult. The whole thing is a disinformation conspiracy larger and more brilliant than anything the KGB did. You have been duped. Perhaps the vehemence of your language comes from embarrassment at having been made a fool by your trusted leaders.

Posted by: BobN at January 4, 2010 8:44 AM

Pragmaticist seems to have difficulty remembering even recent history, that is necessary to maintain a sufficiently skeptical view.

To attempt to deride things as "conspiracies" is to ignore human nature. Certain ideas seem to sweep across societies, without being conspiracies.

Here are a few. In the 70's there was "The Comng Ice Age". That one got plenty of play, but never got the legs of AGW. In the 80's and early 90's, there were the "500,000 missing children". That one had a lot of legs and no one stopped to ask even quasiscientific questions. An obvious question was "If there were 50,000 men killed in Viet Nam, and everyone of a certain age knows one, why is it that there are 10 times that many missing children and no one knows of one?". It would seem likely that everyone would know of 10. Eventually it was exposed as a hoax, but the MSM never really chose to dig into it. It just sort of went away.

And, of course, "Y2K". Surely most people can remember the scramble for safety when the computers failed to acknowledge the new century and left the world in shambles.

The best for last, the "Housing Bubble". How was it that Americans became convinced that housing prices would go up and up, without limit? There was certainly a "consensus" that supported this view. The banks fell in line, the government fell in line. What has happened to the "consensus"?

Posted by: Warrington Faust at January 4, 2010 9:29 AM

psst, Warrington

I got a lead on some great bargains in tulip bulbs....

You in?

Nothing new under the sun...

Posted by: chuckR at January 4, 2010 9:43 AM

Yes, I do believe in global warming. Heil Hitler!

Posted by: Mike Cappelli at January 4, 2010 9:47 AM

Notice the shrtillness of the abusive personal attack on Monique,who, unlike me,does not herself engage in ad hominen attacks?I the the tempo and nature of these screeds on many subjects,not just global warming,increase as the left's edifice of flasehoods beins to crumble.
I don't know for a fact what the bottom line is on global warning and its causes if it actually is occuring on the scale asserted .that is because I don't have the scientific background to make a meaningful analysis.OTOH it seems like some scientists have been compromised by the allure of desired results to prop up an international political/social movement.
The "green" advocates probably couldn't stand up to an examination of their own lifestyles.Well,maybe a few could,but they are the followers.the people pushing this have big"carbon footprints"to use their own jargon.
Even on a tiny scale it shows.Howie Bart,former talk show host whose gig tanked,was complaining about his huge electric bill for a/c during a heatwave some years back.Well,how about that?A "green" guru of the local airwaves could've just called me and gotten a cure for the high bills.Don't use a/c.I don't have it.Just fans and cross ventilation.Oh yeah,and shade trees.
Don't hardly use the car a/c very much either.Saves gas.Open windows is much "greener",easy,right?
Monique must've touched a nerve.
Back when I wasted my tme posting on Kmareka,any attack on the moveon.org mentality over there elicited instant attacks from "Klaus" or one "Jesse from Cranston"which told me I was doing something right.
It's so esy to tell when you piss off the left.They drop the pretensions of humanism and go right in the gutter.
I myself am real used to the gutter,having spent the better part of my life there, so I say to them "bring it on".
Monique doesn't go asking for it,however.

Posted by: joe bernstein at January 4, 2010 10:18 AM

"Can you name a single other instance of publicly funded legitimate science that affects public policy where it requires a FOI request to obtain data?"

I guess I'll answer that. Sure, there are lots of examples. In fact, the NIH even has a page to facilitate those types of requests for researchers, as does HHS, the FDA, the Navy, etc.

Here's a specific case where FOIA was used to obtain federal drug safety reports for the birth control patch.

Posted by: Russ at January 4, 2010 3:02 PM

What's funniest about Monique's post is claiming that 150 years is not enough data, while herself cherry picking partial data since 1998 to make the counter argument that global temperatures are not rising (for the record NASA cites 2005 as the warmest year on record, followed by 1998, 2002, 2003, and 2004). 1998, of course, being a year with a strong El Nino resulting especially high temperatures. No "exquisite selectivity" on her part in picking that year there, eh?

As to the "fatal weakness" of using 150 years of climate data, Monique neglects to mention borehole data which supports AGW theory going back 500 years. Using "proxy data" we find support across the last 1000 years (note that the paleo record also supports the CO2 connection to warming/cooling).

Let me add that the scientists have been "speak[ing] up", but that's not enough for some folks who prefer flat-earth type denial based on blogger opinions and cherry picked data. Here's a list of a few:

- Academia Brasiliera de Ciências (Bazil)
- Royal Society of Canada
- Chinese Academy of Sciences
- Academié des Sciences (France)
- Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina (Germany)
- Indian National Science Academy
- Accademia dei Lincei (Italy)
- Science Council of Japan
- Russian Academy of Sciences
- Royal Society (United Kingdom)
- National Academy of Sciences (United States of America)
- Australian Academy of Sciences
- Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Sciences and the Arts
- Caribbean Academy of Sciences
- Indonesian Academy of Sciences
- Royal Irish Academy
- Academy of Sciences Malaysia
- Academy Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand
- Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

- NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS)
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) [cited above]
- National Academy of Sciences (NAS)
- State of the Canadian Cryosphere (SOCC)
- Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Royal Society of the United Kingdom (RS)
- American Geophysical Union (AGU)
- American Institute of Physics (AIP)
- National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR)
- American Meteorological Society (AMS)
- Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society (CMOS)

Posted by: Russ at January 4, 2010 3:51 PM

'In fact, the NIH even has a page to facilitate those types of requests for researchers, as does HHS, the FDA, the Navy, etc.'

Touche, Russ. But have the data been spoliated or have FOI filings been evaded, as suggested by the East Anglians and their correspondents in the whistleblown emails? And do any of the examples you mentioned provide a justification for actions - cap'n'trade for example - leading to trillions of dollars of lost wealth globally as well as significant lost freedom, all based on cornerstone work that wouldn't pass muster with the FDA, the Navy, etc?

As to your list of academies, how many of their members would request a do-over - provided it didn't threaten their careers or grant streams - given the revelations of the past year about the quality of science done by the climatologists? Academy members relied on the integrity and skill of the climatologists and both are recently shown through the CRU leaks to be lacking. Funny you should mention proxy data. Dendrochronology proxy data, for example, was cherry-picked, or as Monique has it, the researchers took what they wanted from the buffet and ignored the rest. You can find many discussions of this, reconstructed from the leaked emails and suppressed data files from CRU.

re: Miskolczi's and Gerlich & Tscheuschner's work. The sun takes our planet from a few degrees above absolute zero to 280K-290K average. The fluctuations causing all the concern, which may be natural or may have an AGW component, are two orders of magnitude smaller. If the climatologists screwed up the mechanism of solar thermal radiation, the major driver of climate, why should anyone believe they have a clue about the fluctuations, either the predictions' magnitude or cause of same?

Posted by: chuckR at January 4, 2010 5:51 PM

I plan on going ice fishing at the first possible opportunity. That does not mean that I don't believe in global warming. What weather events affect us here in New England cannot possibly indicate an overall global climate portrait. One would have to be a simpleton to accept a local snapshot as a comprehensive view.

Posted by: David S at January 4, 2010 5:52 PM

When it comes to matters of complex science, I have found that it makes sense to defer to the opinions of scientists.

Must be easier than thinking for yourself.

What kind of scientists destroy data? What kind of scientists manipulate data? What kind of scientists conspire to manipulate and spin data that doesn't match their desired outcome?

Of course, who expects to find intellectual discourse on the right anymore?

You lose whatever credibility you still had.

One would have to be a simpleton to accept a local snapshot as a comprehensive view.

You'd also have to be a simpleton to believe that 150 years of data out of the billions of years of earth history somehow means we're all going to die if we don't do that the professional hystericals want.

Posted by: EMT at January 4, 2010 11:23 PM

EMT-especially when the professional hystericals won't do it themselves.
I wonder how "green" the RIF refugees participating here are?
Let alone the "big people" like Gore.
This isn't about the environment.It's about world government.That simple.

Posted by: joe bernstein at January 5, 2010 6:45 AM

chuckR, I agree that justification for any specific action is questionable, and I'm no fan market solutions like cap and trade, true of most folks on the left (not to be confused with the inside the Beltway liberals). I'm also no big fan of "go green" type initiatives because they make little difference to a problem this big (although they do raise awareness) and because they clearly lead to sniping from folks like Joe, who point out minor hypocrisies while ignoring the elephant in the room.

As to the idea that the scientific process itself hinders skeptics, one would expect to see evidence of that, for instance in polling data, but polling data shows the scientific community has considerably less disagreement on this than the general public and shows climatologists in near uniform agreement.

Posted by: Russ at January 5, 2010 10:04 AM

Let's see Russ-when a leftist does it,it's a minor hypocrisy,when a right winger does it,it's practically a war crime.
If you add up enough minor hypocrisies as you call them they add up to something,although I can't come to a conclusion about the global warming controversy because it's been so contaminated by politics.
I'm not really sniping-I'm just telling you what I see.No one will ever convince me it's not a front for one worlders and their nefarious plans.

Posted by: joe bernstein at January 5, 2010 11:08 AM

No offense taken, Joe. You make a valid point, but no one seriously thinks the size of Thomas Friedman's house has any impact on global temperature (Projo editors included).

As to nefarious one worlders, they're already here... most folks call them corporations. No surprise to see them trying to cash in.

Posted by: Russ at January 5, 2010 11:34 AM

Russ-you just hit on something-the one world ambitions of corporations and what I call international socialists aren't necessarily mutually exclusive and I see the latter trying to take over the former as a means to an end(GM?Goldman Sachs?GATT,NAFTA,WTO?)-being an ignoramus on economics,I am just spitballing here,but there is something about it all that makes me suspicious(and no-I NEVER listen to Alex Jones,et al).

Posted by: joe bernstein at January 5, 2010 5:00 PM


I think you'll find that the sceptics in related scientific fields are going to be older, tenured and secure in their professions and financial compensation. The politics of global warming outweighs scientific considerations. The drive for power and money arising from orchestrating humankind's response, whether its needed or not, is greater than the quest for scientific accuracy. Opposition to AGW could be a career ender for the young and unfunded.

For this reason, when looking at the list of scientific societies, I'm not at all surprised that individual members are not now pointing out that the emperor has no clothes and trying to reverse the societies' endorsement. They were cozened and they are going to stay that way.

Posted by: chuckR at January 5, 2010 5:32 PM

Drive for power and money? I just don't think that holds water. There are many deep pockets working against any kind of change to the status quo in energy policy (for instance this or this).

Those poor oil corporations would defend themselves against those greedy scientists if only they had the money?

Posted by: Russ at January 6, 2010 2:55 PM