Some BC (Before Climategate) Sources

Once upon a time, I was merely living with my own “gut” feeling that anthropogenic (i.e. caused by humans) climate change (formerly known as “global warming” – until they discovered that the computer models’ predictions didn’t match reality) was probably very much overstated and over-rated.

Knowing that Al Gore isn’t a scientist (nor are most of the “pro-alarmist” media mavens) I paid little attention to the issue. Also knowing that the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) is a child of the UN (an increasingly worthless body if ever there was one), made it relatively easy for me to ignore the gory details.

Don’t get me wrong, I do care about the environment; I dutifully turn off lights and turn down heat in rooms I’m not in – and dutifully separate my recyclables. This may well be offset by the fact that I drive a ’92 Tercel (but it passes AirCare). In the back of my mind, it just didn’t make sense to me that Carbon Dioxide (which is good for plants, trees, grass and all kinds of stuff) could be such a villainous threat to the future of the planet.

So it wasn’t until about seven to ten days BC (Before Climategate) when I stumbled across a response to an article (sorry, didn’t bookmark it) in the National Post pointing to a site called Friends of Science that I began to take the matter somewhat more seriously. What prompted my interest was a page demonstrating the CBC Ombudsman’s appalling responses to complaints about the lack of balance in CBC’s repeated airings of Al Gore’s error-riddled blockbu$ter (which deprecates the meaning of “documentary”).

From there, I began exploring. One of the things that struck me as quite bizarre in some of the blogs I visited was the disrespectful, dismissive and demeaning ad hominem used by many in the (probably defensive?!) alarmist camp. In one of my previous incarnations, I had spent many hours combatting Holocaust denier-drivel in the newsgroup alt.revisionism. The pro-alarmist “debating” tactics were remarkably similar to those of the “revisionist scholars”. So you can well imagine how horrified I was to find myself with feet increasingly firmly planted in the so-called “skeptic” or “denier” camp on this issue! But I digress …

About two weeks AC (After Climategate), a colleague insisted that the alarmists were right … because “thousands of scientists” couldn’t be wrong! But he was open to seeing the other side if I could point him to some “reputable” sites. So, my mouse and I began retracing our steps … and I sent my colleague the following:

Here’s a link to a response to your “thousands of scientists” http://mclean.ch/climate/docs/IPCC_numbers.pdf.

As I see it, the big problem with the theory of anthropogenic climate change (formerly known as global warming), is that the bottom line is an unwavering insistence that CO2 emissions are the major cause – yet there is nothing in the “science” to substantiate this claim. The reality is that climate does change … always has, and always will, and true science is never settled, certainly not without some empirical evidence – which the AGW proponents have definitely not been able to provide via their prized [and proven sloppy and faulty] computer modelling, which by, all accounts I’ve read, they’ve used to make the data fit their theory. And that’s not “science” in my books!

Politics has taken precedence over science with a lot of help from celebrities (who are not scientists) and too many so-called journalists who’ve been remiss in their duty – and I don’t think that’s a good thing!

Much material has been available for sometime – certainly long before Climategate.

Prior to the emergence of the CRU scandal, the frequent resort to the mantra of “the science is settled” made me wonder if perhaps the noble enterprise of science had fallen victim to the post-modernist claptrap that seems to have infected academia in the last 20 years.

In the intervening weeks I’ve learned a lot! Starting with the debunking of the infamous “hockey stick“. and several very under-reported critiques of the IPCC claims and processes; some eye-opening sites well-worth visiting include:

Climate Audit – Site of Steve McIntyre, the bane of alarmists’ existence!

Watts Up With That – “presentation of weather and climate data in a form the public can understand and discuss”

There’s an excellent six part video by MIT prof. of Meteorology Dr. Richard Lindzen (a climate warming realist)

For some heavy-duty science knowledge, you might want to take a look at Climate Change Reconsidered a publication (pricey 800+ page paperback, but also available free as a .pdf download):

The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) is an international panel of nongovernment scientists and scholars who have come together to understand the causes and consequences of climate change. Because it is not a government agency, and because its members are not predisposed to believe climate change is caused by human greenhouse gas emissions, NIPCC is able to offer an independent “second opinion” of the evidence reviewed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

And on a few lighter (and right on the mark) notes … if you haven’t seen/heard “Hide the Decline” it’s a must! And if you enjoy satire, The Secret Life of Climate Researchers is an absolute must read :-)

2 thoughts on “Some BC (Before Climategate) Sources

  1. “Climategate” started out when there appeared on the Internet a collection of e-mails of a group of climatologists who work in the University of East Anglia in England. These documents reveal that some climatologists of international preeminence have manipulated the data of their investigations and have strongly tried to discredit climatologists who are not convinced that the increasing quantities of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere are the cause of global warming.

    It is true that a majority of the scientists who study climatic tendencies in our atmosphere have arrived at the conclusion that the world’s climate is changing, and they have convinced a group of politicians, some of whom are politically powerful, of the truth of their conclusions.

    A minority, however, is skeptical. Some believe that recent data that suggest that the average temperature of the atmosphere is going up can be explained by natural variations in solar radiation and that global warming is a temporary phenomenon. Others believe that the historical evidence indicating that the temperature of the atmosphere is going up at a dangerous rate is simply not reliable.

    Such lacks of agreement are common in the sciences. They are reduced and eventually eliminated with the accumulation of new evidence and of more refined theories or even by completely new ones. Such debates can persist for a period of decades. Academics often throw invective at one another in these debates. But typically this does not mean much.

    But the case of climate change is different. If the evidence indicates that global warming is progressive, is caused principally by our industrial processes, and will probably cause disastrous changes in our atmosphere before the end of the twenty-first century, then we do not have the time to verify precisely if this evidence is reliable. Such a process would be a question of many years of new investigations. And if the alarmist climatologists are right, such a delay would be tragic for all humanity.

    The difficulty is that economic and climatologic systems are very complicated. They are not like celestial mechanics, which involves only the interaction of gravity and centrifugal force, and efforts to construct computerized models to describe these complicated systems simply cannot include all the factors that are influential in the evolution of these complicated systems.

    All this does not necessarily indicate that the alarmist climatologists are not right. But it really means that if global warming is occurring, we cannot know exactly what will be the average temperature of our atmosphere in the year 2100 and what will be the average sea level of the world’s ocean in that year.

    It also means that we cannot be confident that efforts by the industrialized countries to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere will have a significant influence on the evolution of the world’s climate.

    Alas, the reduction of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere would be very costly and would greatly change the lives of all the inhabitants of our planet–with the possibility (perhaps even the probability!) that all these efforts will be completely useless.

    Harleigh Kyson Jr.

    • Thank you for your calm rational overview of this complex issue. The one point I have some question about is:

      It is true that a majority of the scientists who study climatic tendencies in our atmosphere have arrived at the conclusion that the world’s climate is changing…

      As I have noted on this blog, there is clear evidence that some of the alarmist scientists circulated an E-mail drumming up support for their personal views (masquerading as balanced scientific assessment) in an attempt to “influence Kyoto”.

      And from what I’ve read, it seems that the “peer review” process in this particular field does not include any review of the underlying data – presumably because there is an element of trust that the author(s) of a particular paper have conducted their research with honesty and integrity.

      This is a trust betrayed – and it calls into question whether or not the conclusion has been reached by a fully-informed majority.

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