Tags: global | warming

Global Warming Far From Decided

Monday, 17 Mar 2008 08:58 AM

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“Hypocrisy is the essence of snobbery, but all snobbery is about the problem of belonging.”

— Alexander Theroux

I have been harshly criticized for suggesting the debate over conflicting theories of global warming has yet to be concluded. It is fascinating that a diverse collection of academic and scientific ‘experts’ collect the same empirical data and conclude two diametrically opposed results. It is an absurd reality that one side in the debate arbitrarily would presume to declare victory to silence a dissenting view. It defies reason the presumptive opinion could get away with such hubris…yet they have.

The latest underreported bad news for disciples of the Gospel according to Al Gore is that reports by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are “flawed and cannot be supported” (http://washingtontimes.com/article/20080314/COMMENTARY/702895001).

The Washington Times reports a panel of statisticians, chaired by Edward J. Wegman of George Mason University, found significant problems with the methods of analysis used by the researchers and with the IPCC's peer review process.

"IPCC reports have predicted average world temperatures will increase dramatically, leading to the spread of tropical diseases, severe drought, the rapid melting of the world's glaciers and ice caps, and rising sea levels." However, according to The Times, "several assessments of the IPCC's work have shown the techniques and methods used to derive its climate predictions are fundamentally flawed." In other words, "garbage in, garbage out."

Somerset Maugham once observed, “Hypocrisy is the most difficult and nerve-racking vice that any man can pursue; it needs an unceasing vigilance and a rare detachment of spirit. It cannot, like adultery or gluttony, be practiced at spare moments; it is a whole-time job.” Defending the indefensible flawed conclusions of the global warming alarmists is indeed a full time gig. These are the sycophants who flat out refuse to be confused with any and all facts that contradict their preconceived opinions and prejudices.

Reportedly, the researchers who created the Gore model used “the wrong time scale to establish the mean temperature to compare with recorded temperatures of the last century.” Because the mean temperature was low, the recent temperature rise seemed unusual and dramatic. This error, the Times explained, “was not discovered in part because statisticians were never consulted.” Ahhhh . . . don’t confuse us with things that contradict our preconceived opinions and prejudices.

On top of that annoying statistical whoops, the community of specialists in ancient climates from which the peer reviewers were drawn was way small and many of them were linked to the original authors — “no less than 43 paleoclimatologists had previously co-authored papers with the lead researcher.”

Researchers have developed 140 principles that can be applied to a broad range of disciplines, including science, sociology, economics, and politics.

A recent National Center for Policy Analysis study used these principles to audit the climate forecasts in the Fourth Assessment Report. Apparently, the IPCC clearly violated 60 of the 127 principles (47 percent) relevant in assessing the IPCC predictions. So much for unbiased clear science.

According to the Washington Times, “it could only be clearly established that the IPCC followed 17 of the more than 127 forecasting principles critical to making sound predictions.” That’s about 13 percent . . . kinda makes you go hmmmmmmm?

A blatantly violated principle was, Make sure forecasts are independent of politics. Hell-o?!?! The IPCC documents are inculcated with politics. It was not accident that the lead scientists were all selected by “Legislators, policy-makers and/or diplomatic appointees.”

To add insult to injury, the final draft of the IPCC work was co-written with political appointees and required their approval prior to release. Stalin would be proud of such abuse of power under the color of authority.

A senior fellow with the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas (a nonpartisan, nonprofit), H. Sterling Burnett, says the IPCC recommendations are flawed and violate general forecasting principles. "Sadly, Mr. Green and Mr. Armstrong found no evidence that the IPCC was even aware of the vast literature on scientific forecasting methods, much less applied the principles."

Meanwhile, the National Climatic Data Center is reporting the “Coolest Winter Since 2001 for U.S., Globe” (http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2008/20080313_coolest.html).

* In the contiguous United States, the average winter temperature was 33.2°F (0.6°C), which was 0.2°F (0.1°C) above the 20th century average — yet still ranks as the coolest since 2001. It was the 54th coolest winter since national records began in 1895.

The IPCC published its Fourth Assessment Report in 2007 predicting global warming will lead to widespread epic catastrophe if not mitigated, however, they failed to provide the most basic requirement for effective climate policy: accurate temperature statistics.

The prospect that legislation and funding could result from flawed data collected through sloppy research should concern anyone (regardless of what side of the global climate debate one endorses).

As a longtime observer of this issue it becomes increasingly clear that the players seem less concerned with the accuracy of scientific conclusions and more concerned with protecting political, ego, and financial territorial imperatives.

As for this writer, I still don’t know what I don’t know . . .

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