Honest, competent scientists should have no reason to close out opportunities for open discussion regarding claims that appear to be disproven by readily verifiable observations.
Let’s also add to this that responsible researchers and their professional organizations should not quietly stand by when they witness recognized misrepresentations of factual data and conclusions, whether these are directly attributed to them or not.
I will briefly highlight three representative examples:
Revisiting Exaggerated Climate Model Predictions:
The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) finally got at least one thing right on page 774 of their 2001 "Third Assessment Report": "In research and modeling of the climate, we should be aware that we are dealing with a chaotic, nonlinear coupled system, and that long-term predictions of future climate states is not possible."
IPCC confirmed the inaccuracy of climate models in their 2014 "Fifth Synthesis Report" which admits that: " . . . 111 out of 114 realisations [sic] show a GMST [global mean surface temperature] trend over 1998-2012 that is higher than the [trend in observed temperatures even after accounting for statistical uncertainty in the observed trend]."
So in other words, IPCC tells us that while 97 percent of their computer models exaggerate warming, we should nevertheless trust them as a basis for influencing trillions of dollars of energy policy decisions.
Game Over for the Broken Hockey Stick Debacle:
One of the loudest, shrillest voices of protest against science scrutiny is emanating from Climategate scandal star Dr. Michael Mann, the author of a cobbled-together and thoroughly debunked "hockey stick" graph first used by the IPCC and Al Gore to gin up climate Armageddon alarm.
Mann’s alarmist chart projections have since disappeared into the murky pseudoscientific mists along with last sightings of Sasquatch. Yet before we all forget, let’s retrace those Big Foot tracks to investigate why competent scientists who knew better — including informed members of his own hockey team — remained silent.
A March 20 article co-authored by Mann and Bob Ward in The Guardian equated a planned White House panel to investigate any such matter as Stalinist repression.
Nevertheless, even Mann’s hockey stick paper co-author Raymond Bradley observed in an email that he could no longer defend such incompetence.
Regarding another paper jointly published by Mann and colleague Phil Jones at the University of East Anglia, Bradley wrote, "I’m sure you will agree — the Mann/Jones GRL [Geophysical Research Letters] paper was truly pathetic and should never have been published. I don’t want to be associated with that 2,000 year construction."
Writing to Jones, Peter Thorne of the U.K. Met Office advised caution, saying:
"Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a wealth of others. This is just downright dangerous.”
Phil Jones had also written an e-mail stating, “Basic problem is that all models are wrong – not got enough middle and low level clouds. . . . what he [Zwiers] has done comes to a different conclusion than Caspar and Gene! I reckon this can be saved by careful wording.”
Or as Jonathan Overpeck, a coordinating lead IPCC report author, suggested, "The trick may be to decide on the main message and use that to guid[e] what’s included and what is left out.”
Busting Bogus Scary Settled Science Consensus Claims:
All purportedly competent "climate scientists" and/or their professional organizations purporting to endorse the existence of any legitimate survey of their peers indicating dire climate crisis consensus views should be made responsible to elaborate any such evidence.
Let’s begin, for example, with the origins and merit of a grossly-misleading, endlessly-reported, and politically-weaponized claim that "98 percent of all scientists believe in global warming." The misleading ruse was based entirely upon responses of 77 cherry-picked people out of about 3,000 who responded to an anything-but-scientific two-question American Geophysical Union online survey.
The first question asked, "When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?"
Few would be expected to dispute this . . . the planet began thawing out of the "little ice age" in the middle 19th century, predating the Industrial Revolution. (That was the coldest period since the last real Ice Age ended roughly 12,000 years ago.)
The second question asked, "Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?"
Eighty-two percent of all respondents answered "Yes" to the second question, which like the first, most people I know would also have agreed with. It’s impossible to imagine that human activities — including land use and global greening attributed to CO2 emissions — don’t have at least some potential warming (and also cooling) influences.
Conscientious professionals and public representatives have nothing to fear regarding full disclosure of facts and conditions underlying enormously costly and socially consequential climate and energy policy decisions.
Any consensus among true scientists should openly welcome White House plans to convene a NSC review panel headed by Princeton emeritus professor Dr. Will Happer to do exactly that.
Larry Bell is an endowed professor of space architecture at the University of Houston where he founded the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) and the graduate program in space architecture. He is the author of several books, including "Reinventing Ourselves: How Technology is Rapidly and Radically Transforming Humanity" (2019), "Thinking Whole: Rejecting Half-Witted Left & Right Brain Limitations" (2018), "Reflections on Oceans and Puddles: One Hundred Reasons to be Enthusiastic, Grateful and Hopeful” (2017), "Cosmic Musings: Contemplating Life Beyond Self" (2016), and "Scared Witless: Prophets and Profits of Climate Doom" (2015). He is currently working on a new book with Buzz Aldrin, "Beyond Footprints and Flagpoles." To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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