So Is The Science Settled?
The recent revelation that many of the scientists who have been such strong proponents of the Anthropomorphic Global Warming allegedly cooked the books and destroyed raw data has cast a dour pall over the issue. With the climate summit in Copenhagen just weeks away, what’s been dubbed “Climategate” should certainly spark some vigorous, and hopefully open, discussion.
What we know is that e-mail servers at Britain’s Climate Research Unit, University of East Anglia were hacked, and hundreds of e-mails were lifted. What some of those e-mails reveal is that the CRU scientists described using “tricks” and discussed deleting e-mails that did not absolutely support the concept of AGW. There was also discussion of blacklisting a scientist that was not on the bandwagon, basically quashing any dissent. But maybe the most surprising thing is that the scientists at CRU apparently destroyed data rather than comply with a FOIA request that would have made raw climate data available to the non-AGW camp.
You have to wonder what there was to hide.
It seems to me that if the science is truly settled about AGW, that it’s a lead-pipe cinch that human activity is causing global warming (which is about 10 years behind the original estimates), then those who claim that the science is settled would be thrilled to turn over the raw data that proves their case.
But instead, it appears that they engaged in a deliberate campaign to try to assure that any potential dissent would be questionable because they don’t have the same raw data from which to work.
The British press has reported extensively on “Climategate”, while the U.S. media coverage I’ve been able to find, outside conservative Op-Ed pieces, has been simply to downplay the incident, apologizing for the CRU scientists, saying the e-mails have been quoted out of context, and to continue to say “the science is settled.” But if actions speak louder than words, it is becoming increasingly obvious that their actions say they are so concerned about dissent and turning public opinion that the only way to be sure their position remains dominant is to destroy some data, manipulate other data so that it fits the conclusion, and discredit dissenters.
And public opinion is changing. A Rassmussen poll indicates that a majority of Americans, 52%, now say that the AGW science is not settled. Only 25% of the survey respondents indicated they think most scientists agree on the topic. A Washington Post poll indicates that the number of people who believe the planet is warming is down to 72%, and does not specify whether they think it is man-made or part of a natural climate cycle. And a Pew poll shows that only 57% of Americans believe there is strong science that supports global warming over the past 30 years. In the Rassmussen poll, 59% of the respondents said it’s at least plausible that some scientists had falsified data or results to support the conclusion. So clearly, public opinion is far from settled on the topic.
One thing that is certain is that there is an enormous amount of money to be granted, and made, in the fields of carbon trading and alternative energy research. It’s unlikely that even the most ivory-towered academic is going to let that cash cow go to slaughter, and some of those who are among the loudest to proclaim that we need to reduce carbon emissions stand to make big piles of money from trading carbon credits.
No conflict of interest there.
Now, I live on a barrier island. My house is all of 8 feet above sea level. I love the ocean and want her to be healthy. Protecting the environment is in everyone’s purview. I fully support the research going on in alternative fuels for airliners, cars, and boats. I think the research into algae that appear to produce a direct replacement for kerosene as a natural byproduct is fascinating. We should be doing it for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which is that it will lead to cleaner air. And if it helps us end our dependence on oil which we have to get from countries that really don’t like us very much, that’s a laudable goal as well. Europe gets much of its electricity from nuclear power, and why we don’t is a travesty.
That word, by the way, was used in one of those leaked e-mails. It is a “travesty” that CRU could not account for the “lack of warming at the moment…” the writer said.
It’s unfortunate that it took a hack of CRU’s computer system to bring all this to light, but to light it has been brought. Some have tried, predictably, to make this about the hack. That part is problematic, as well, but if the data really has been cherry picked and massaged to fit the theory, if the peer-review process has been undermined, and if the raw data has been destroyed, then this is a scandal that should see the full light of day.
Because you know that’s how it would be if it was the other way around.
The UK MET is set to re-release raw data. The head of CRU has temporarily stepped down pending an investigation, and Penn State is also having a look, since one of their professors is part of the e-mail chain.
When one of the e-mails leaked, quoted in The Wall Street Journal, says "I am very sorry to report that the rest of the databases seems to be in nearly as poor a state as Australia was.... Aarrggghhh! There truly is no end in sight.... We can have a proper result, but only by including a load of garbage!”, then it might seem that the science is far from settled.
You know the old saying... garbage in, garbage out.