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