A former director of the National Hurricane Center called Sunday for an investigation into the “scientific debauchery revealed by ‘Climategate,’” citing the way global warming skeptics have been marginalized by the mainstream media.
The emails not only are troubling because of what they reveal about how some scientists played with data, according to Neil Frank, who directed the National Hurricane Center for over a decade, but for the flawed assumptions they make about the role of CO2’s effects on warming. Frank called for the investigation Sunday in an article in the Houston Chronicle.
Climategate is the scandal that began when hackers penetrated the computers of the Climate Research Unit, or CRU, of the United Kingdom's University of East Anglia, exposing thousands of e-mails and other documents. One of the top climate research centers in the world, CRU has been the source for much of the evidence supporting climate change theory.
But any of the exchanges were between top mainstream climate scientists in Britain and the U.S. in the emails suggested that data that didn’t support the global warming theory was being altered or ignored.
“Among the more troubling revelations were data adjustments enhancing the perception that man is causing global warming through the release of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other atmospheric greenhouse gases,” wrote Frank, who was director of the National Hurricane Center from 1974 to 1987.
“Particularly disturbing was the way the core IPCC scientists (the believers) marginalized the skeptics of the theory that man-made global warming is large and potentially catastrophic,” Frank wrote. “The e-mails document that the attack on the skeptics was twofold. First, the believers gained control of the main climate-profession journals. This allowed them to block publication of papers written by the skeptics and prohibit unfriendly peer review of their own papers. Second, the skeptics were demonized through false labeling and false accusations.”
The science isn’t settled, Frank wrote, despite what “climate alarmists” would lead you to believe. They also attack skeptics by painting them as tools of Big Oil or questioning their qualifications. But they are “numerous and well qualified,” Frank wrote.
“Several years ago two scientists at the University of Oregon became so concerned about the overemphasis on man-made global warming that they put a statement on their Web site and asked for people's endorsement; 32,000 have signed the petition, including more than 9,000 Ph.Ds. More than 700 scientists have endorsed a 231-page Senate minority report that questions man-made global warming. The Heartland Institute has recently sponsored three international meetings for skeptics. More than 800 scientists heard 80 presentations in March,” Frank wrote.
“They endorsed an 881-page document, created by 40 authors with outstanding academic credentials, that challenges the most recent publication by the IPCC. The IPCC panel's report strongly concludes that man is causing global warming through the release of carbon dioxide.”
“Last year 60 German scientists sent a letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel urging her to ‘strongly reconsider’ her position supporting man-made global warming. Sixty scientists in Canada took similar action. Recently, when the American Physical Society published its support for man-made global warming, 200 of its members objected and demanded that the membership be polled to determine the APS' true position.”
The skeptics do agree that the Earth has been warming since the end of a Little Ice Age around 1850. But they question the cause, Frank wrote. Believers think the warming is created by man, but skeptics believe the warming is natural and contributions from man are minimal and certainly not potentially catastrophic.
And skeptics argue that CO2 is not a pollutant but vital for plant life. They cite numerous field experiments that have confirmed that higher levels of CO2 are positive for agricultural productivity. Carbon dioxide is a very minor greenhouse gas, they believe. More than 90 percent of the warming from greenhouse gases is caused by water vapor. If you are going to change the temperature of the globe, it must involve water vapor.
Finally, skeptics believe that climate models are grossly over predicting future warming from rising concentrations of carbon dioxide, Frank wrote. “We are being told that numerical models that cannot make accurate 5- to 10-day forecasts can be simplified and run forward for 100 years with results so reliable you can impose an economic disaster on the U.S. and the world,” he added.
“Climategate reveals how predetermined political agendas shaped science rather than the other way around. It is high time to question the true agenda of the scientists now on the hot seat and to bring skeptics back into the public debate,” he concluded.
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