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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

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Bishop Hill

And a very feeble one it appears to be too.

The whole global warming debate looks more and more like a scam to me. Given the implications for public policy it is astounding that scientists are refusing to release or archive their data, or are "losing" it, so as to enable prevent others from replicating (or otherwise) their work.

It stinks.

Frank Lee

It's worth quoting from an article by James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal in the April 2007 issue of the American Spectator. He is responding to comments made by Ellen Goodman, the Boston Globe columnist who compared global-warming skeptics to Holocaust deniers. First, he admits that he lacks the know-how to take in all of the scientific evidence. Then he writes:

"Why am I skeptical of the global-warmists’ claims? Because they speak with a certainty that is more reminiscent of religious zeal than of scientific inquiry. Because their demands to cast out all doubt seem antithetical to science, which is founded on doubt. Because the theory of global warming fits too conveniently with their pre-existing political ideologies. (Granted, conservative skeptics are vulnerable to that last criticism too.)

"Above all, because I can’t stand to be bullied. And what is it but an act of bullying to deny that there is any room for honest disagreement, to insist that those of us who are unpersuaded are the equivalent of Holocaust deniers, that we are not merely mistaken but evil?"

Obviously not every scientist would condone Goodman's nitwit accusation. (If anything, skeptics correlate to appeasers in the 1930s, not deniers after the fact.) But it is incumbant on the scientific community to loudly comdemn these sorts of comments; instead, they let them go unrefuted. I fear this will all prove to be very damaging to the general reputation of science.

And what Taranto does not address are the weaknesses in the global-warming case: the fact that most of Antarctica, which should be warming along with the Arctic, has not warmed in the past 50 years; that the troposphere, which should be warming ahead of the earth's surface, lags behind the earth's surface; that a steep warming occurred before 1940 -- that is, before CO2 emissions really kicked in; that once emissions kicked in around 1940, temperatures dropped for three-and-a-half decades. None of these alone or together completely refute the global warming hypothesis, but they raise legitimate concerns that scientists, in a perfect world, would want to address, not silence.

Bishop Hill

Frank

And that's not to mention the paleoclimate reconstruction from tree rings (assumption of linearity appears to be false) and the 800 year lag of temperature behind C02 levels (suggests causality of warmers' case is wrong way round).

Taranto's point about the apparent certainty of the AGW case is well made. It just doesn't ring true.

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