13 April 2010

Global climate change theory under fire

About 18 months ago I posted my thoughts on the climate change debate. At the time, I was concerned because many of those who believe climate change is largely driven by human action loudly touted that there was a consensus in the scientific community at large on this idea.

I declared this to be an utterly worthless argument at the time, and I still feel that way.

However, things have changed. Today, these climate change proponents are under attack from many angles, and right now, fewer people believe humans are causing the earth to warm than did just a few months ago.

Der Spiegel, a German newspaper of note, recently published a massive recounting of the problems groups like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are dealing with.

Here are a few passages:
In late 2007, the IPCC was even awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with former US Vice President Al Gore.... [but] less than three years after this triumph, more and more mistakes, evidence of sloppy work and exaggerations in the current IPCC report are appearing. They include Jones' disputed temperature curve, the prediction that all Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035 -- which was the result of a simple transposition of numbers -- and the supposed increase in natural disasters, for which no source was given.
There are many more examples of bad science outlined in this article; how are we supposed to trust these individuals at all?
Reinhard Hüttl, head of the German Research Center for Geosciences in Potsdam near Berlin and the president of the German Academy of Science and Engineering, believes that basic values are now under threat. "Scientists should never be as wedded to their theories that they are no longer capable of refuting them in the light of new findings," he says. Scientific research, Hüttl adds, is all about results, not beliefs. Unfortunately, he says, there are more and more scientists who want to be politicians.
An admirable critique of many scientists dealing with the issue of climate change. Any scientist who is so involved with his theory that he is no longer seeking truth, but rather working only to support this theory is no longer a scientist, in my opinion.
The climate historians working with Michael Mann used tree rings as the primary source of their data. The problem with this approach is that large numbers of trees from suitable regions are required if conclusions about past temperatures based on tree growth are to be drawn. "Unfortunately, if we go back more than 500 years, we don't have many reliable trees for our analyses," explains Jan Esper of the University of Mainz in western Germany.

For example, there are many indications that in medieval times, between 900 and 1,300 A.D., when the Vikings raised livestock in Greenland and grape vines were cultivated in Scotland, it was in fact warmer than it is today. This is precisely what Mann denied, with a certainty that irritated even his allies.
The data is incomplete and sketchy. This is something rank amateurs like Michael Crichton and Glenn Beck have pointed out, only to receive ridicule from the scientific community.

The whole article is a pretty long, but I found it to be fairly even-handed in its treatment of the discussion at large. The authors are equally critical of skeptics who use lies and distortion to push their view as they are of proponents who use the same methods.

Again, I'd like to point out that I am not saying humans have no involvement in climate. I am merely pointing out that global weather is too complex, too large and too involved for us to understand completely. Those who shout with certainty that we all need to change our behavior or calamities of Biblical proportion will kill us all... huh. I think I just found another connect between global warming alarmists and religion.

1 comment:

Brooke said...

That they have to keep changing the title of the problem was the indicator to me this isn't that big of a deal. First it was global cooling in elementary school, then global warming in high school, then of course just global climate change so it can do either one of those things and still fall within the realms of a problem. Glad to hear that it's not just under fire completely. :)