The View From 1776
Monday, November 23, 2009
When Fanatical Agendas Obliterate Science
Climate Emails Stoke Debate: Scientists’ Leaked Correspondence Illustrates Bitter Feud over Global Warming (Wall Street Journal, November 23, 2009).
The Wall Street Journal article notes:
Representatives of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a large professional organization, expressed concern that the hacked emails would weaken global resolve to curb greenhouse-gas emissions.
One would expect true scientists to be more concerned with pursuit of the truth than with foreclosing questions about an hypothesis. As it stands, the greenhouse-gas hypothesis is no more than a religious dogma proclaimed from closed chambers. Liberal-progressives treat all questions or challenges to it as heresy.
Once upon a time, scientists believed that the scientific process requires testing hypotheses about the physical world to assess their validity.
All scientific advancement starts with the intuition of an inquirer. That intuition must first be tested by experiments that either support the hypothesis or question its validity. If the hypothesis appears at first to be correct, true scientists publish their findings, along with the experimental data that appears to support those findings. The worldwide scientific community should than be free, first, to attempt to replicate the experiment and its conclusion, then to subject the hypothesis to other experiments and to challenge validity of the hypothesis with other data that appear to contradict it.
The greenhouse-gas hypothesis differs from this scientific pattern in significant, fatal respects. It is fanatical dogmatism, not science.
First, there is no way to subject its conclusions to scientific experiment. Doubters are told to accept blindly the conclusions of self-interested people like Al Gore, who assure us that the often unavailable data support their hypothesis.
Few challenges facing America and the world are more urgent than combating climate change.The science is beyond dispute and the facts are clear. (President-elect Barack Obama, November 18, 2008, in Los Angeles at the opening session of the Global Climate Summit.)
With regard to whether, as President Obama asserts, “...the facts are clear,” proponents of the greenhouse-gas hypothesis have frequently refused to make available the data that they claim support their hypothesis.
Second, major components of the data claimed to support the greenhouse-gas hypothesis - notably the hockey-stick graph purporting to show a sharp upward jump in world temperatures in recent decades - have been revealed as either highly selective use of statistics or outright fraud. Perpetrators of the hockey-stick fraud, we now know from examining their data, deliberately selected only a few of the hundreds of tree ring data samples from their particular location, because the vast bulk of the samples contradicted the hockey-stick fraud. Extensive data from multiple sources reveal that past cyclical periods of global warming started before build-up of CO2, which appears to be a result, not a cause of global warming. Claims that the earth has been warming steadily since 1979, the UN’s selected starting point, are flatly contradicted by observations from weather balloons and from satellites.
Global-warming adherents assert that the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warming Period, both observed and recorded at the time, are fictions. They say that world temperatures were relatively constant at those times and that temperatures have suddenly, within recent decades, soared to literally unprecedented heights. On the one hand, we are told not to believe records of actual temperatures and eye-witness accounts of the advance of glaciers that overran mountain villages. On the other, we are expected to place our unquestioning faith in an unprovable hypothesis that rests entirely upon multiple computer models, which disagree with each other.
Third, all of the horrific predictions of earthly devastation popularized by Al Gore are based entirely upon ad hoc assumptions embodied in computer models. There are at least 20 such models, which contradict each other in important respects. Even the UN now admits that temperatures around the earth have been declining, not continuing to warm, for the past decade.
Moreover, even the most extreme greenhouse-gas fanatics concede that the likely increase in world temperatures from man-made activity, if their predictions ever were to come true, would be inconsequentially small. The spectacle of converts to the religious dogma of global warming, who claim that their intelligence is the answer to controlling the world’s climate, is like a bedbug approaching an elephant with rape on its mind.
Anyone who has labored to construct computer models, from financial spreadsheets to more complex types, has discovered how easy it is to overlook important relationships among data points or to enter incorrect numbers and incorrect relational formulae. If it were possible to project the future from past records, you can be assured that there would be many stock market billionaires. Earth’s climate is akin in complexity to the vast numbers of factors impinging upon stock prices, only more so. If the one is impossible, assuredly the other is even more impossible.
Third, the central organization bruiting the greenhouse-gas warming hypothesis is, not a scientific group, but the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Professor Richard Lindzen, an MIT meteorologist who served on a Federal government panel evaluating the IPCC climate report, wrote that, in the main body of the report representing the views of scientists, “...there is no consensus, unanimous or otherwise, about long-term climate trends and what causes them.”
Why, then, did the mainstream media completely misinterpret the main body of the IPCC report?
Because mainstream media propagandists (sometimes laughably called investigative reporters) read only the report’s Summary for Policymakers. Of it, Professor Lindzen wrote, “It represents a consensus of government representatives ... rather than of scientists. The resulting document has a strong tendency to disguise uncertainty, and conjures up some scary scenarios for which there is no evidence.”
And why would UN government representatives deliberately misrepresent the far from unanimous conclusions of scientists? Because the UN is a proxy for liberal-progressive-socialists’ fervent commitment to a supranational, one-world government.
In sum, the secular religious commitment to the unprovable and contrived dogma of greenhouse-gas global warming is the opposite of science. Its closest modern parallel is the Soviet Union’s show trials of the 1930s to silence public dissenters and promulgation of daily fiction in Pravda.