Carol Platt Liebau: Inconvenient <i>Facts</i>

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Inconvenient Facts

MIT professor Richard S. Lindzen observes that there is no "consensus" on globl warming (as Al Gore and much of the press -- for example, the AP and NBC -- have).

Scientists have always insisted that their work represents the triumph of reason over facts. This doesn't look like it. And it's worth wondering whether their failure to discuss the challenges to global warming theory may not undermine the credibility of the scientific community down the road -- just like the hysterical insistence, later disproved, that we were ending a global cooling phase back in the '70's.

4 Comments:

Blogger Dittohead said...

Lindzen does acknowledge that thousands of scientists from 120 countries have agreed, through the extraordinarily rigorous International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) process, that human activity is driving global warming. He also acknowledges that this consensus was recently confirmed by a report prepared for Congress by the National Academy of Scientists.

Ross Gelbspan reported in 1995 that Lindzen "charges oil and coal interests $2,500 a day for his consulting services; his 1991 trip to testify before a Senate committee was paid for by Western Fuels, and a speech he wrote, entitled 'Global Warming: the Origin and Nature of Alleged Scientific Consensus,' was underwritten by OPEC." ("The Heat is On: The warming of the world's climate sparks a blaze of denial," Harper's magazine, December 1995.) Lindzen signed the 1995 Leipzig Declaration.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Bachbone said...

As syndicated columnist Deborah Saunders reported, only a small number of the scientists who agreed with the International (sic) (it's actually Intergovernmental) Panel on Climate Change are experts in global warming. And in 2000, the very same IPCC rejected the National Assessment on Climate Change conclusions as being based on flawed methodology. In other words, GIGO. (That suggests the IPCC is at least sometimes not "exraordinarily rigorous" in its work.) The IPCC was set up by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme. Everyone knows there is no politial bias in the United Nations. Riiiiight.

On April, 206, 55+ Friends of Science (FAS) "...accredited experts in climate and related scientific disciplines..." ran radio ads in Alberta, Canada, urging Prime Minister Harper to conduct Canadian studies, because ..."Observational evidence does not support today's computer climate models, so there is little reason to trust model predictions of the future." The National Academy of Scientists (NAS) report uses the same computer models for predicting that the FAS cites as unsuppoted by observational data. The NAS report begins, "Based on assumptions that concentrations of greenhouse gases will accelerate and conservative assumptions about how the climate will react to that, computer models suggest..." Assumptions based on flawed computer models? Terrific science, wot?

Washington Times editor, Wesley Pruden, has noted that the NAS's own report says humans are responsible for much of the warming, and that "...Earth hasn't been this hot in 400 years." Quoting Mr. Pruden, "If the Earth was this hot 400 years ago...then the recent warming could not have been caused by the madness of man's machines..."

Mr. Pruden also reports that global warming's current High Priest, Al Gore, lunched with Times editors and staffers in 1992. He was pushing his pet theories then, too, and when then queried by skeptics, said the theories should be published "...even if we printd stuff that wasn't exactly true it would be OK because the cause was just."

Ross Gelbspan is a vocal critic of "oil and coal interests," "conservative politicians," and "scientific skeptics" who disagree with the scientists who agree with him. Additionally, Mr. Gelbspan's book, The Heat Is On, says, on its jacket, that he is a "Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist," when, in fact, he was never awarded a Pulitzer. His involvment was as editor for Boston Globe staff writers who were awarded.

In short, there is plenty of disagreement with predicting the future based on faulty assumptions and data when the liklihood of rain next Tuesday can't be accurately predicted.

9:01 PM  
Blogger Dittohead said...

Attempted betting on global warming, 2004-2005

The November 10, 2004 online version of Reason magazine reported that Lindzen is "willing to take bets that global average temperatures in 20 years will in fact be lower than they are now." Climatologist James Annan, who has offered multiple bets that global temperatures will increase, contacted Lindzen to arrange a bet. Annan offered to pay 2:1 odds in Lindzen's favor if temperatures declined, but said that Lindzen would only accept a bet if the payout was 50:1 or better in his favor. No bet occurred.

10:31 PM  
Blogger eLarson said...

Betting? Good grief.

The temperature of this planet has been lower and it has been higher over the BILLIONS of years of geologic-scale time.

What makes any of the "thousands of scientists" mentioned above believe that the temperature right now is normal? Or the one 10 years ago, or 20?

3:00 PM  

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