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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Democrats like dogs trying to walk on their hind legs?

Why are the Democrats trying to pass a healthcare bill that meets none of the announced objectives of the White House,  that is opposed by an angry majority of likely voters, that will likely cost them control of the House and maybe even the Senate, and that the country manifestly cannot afford? One is reminded of Dr. Johnson's famous statement about dogs who walk on their hind legs: "One wonders not so much how they do it as why their bother?"

Of course, Democrats bother with this leftist drivel because they have convinced themselves that this is the only moment in years where it may be possible. They selectively look at the polls, normally the ones that are of "adults" and heavily tilted toward Democratic Party weighting (using data now quite obsolete and meaningless). Democratic Members of Congress who are in tough districts and states, no doubt, are more nervous. Maybe their aides are telling them that there is time for voters to forget by November 2010.

It is doubtful that anything will pass in my opinion. The longer the matters are pending, the stronger the public opposition. When folks figure out each new proposal it quickly falls into disrepute.

If anything does pass, look to 2010 to be a campaign based on who has the most credibility in claiming that they will vote to repeal it. Passage might actually make 2010 a mandate on these unpopular measures and be the death knell of the "new Democratic Majority," reminding us of Barnum's you cannot fool all of the people all of the time. 


Monday, December 07, 2009

Why did the CRU try to mask the temperature data?

The fraility of the anthropomorphic climate change theory is illustrated by the very exercise the East Anglia alarmists tried to pull off. Lacking any historical data that shows temperature changes have been caused by elevated greenhouse gas levels, the alarmists are struck with trying to make a weak hypothesis stick: that the warming trend in the last hundred years cannot be explained by other factors, so it must be greenhouse gases.

This hypothesis is about as weak as it gets in science. We do not understand the climate variables well enough to reconstruct past climate changes, let alone explain what is happening now. Several cyclic trends in climate occur with reularity over geological time. These are also affected in major ways by solar cycles, including the notoriously weak solar cycle 24 that we are now experiencing. Various "feed backs" among the many factors involved confound simple linear models.

Lacking any direct evidence that greenhouse gas levels cause any climate impact, the alarmists are left with a negative hypothesis. If we cannot explain recent warming (over a century or more), then it must be from elevated GHGs. Forget the fact that GHG levels have been ten times higher in the past with no climate impact. Forget the fact that we cannot accurately describe climate variables even when we are trying to fit the model to known facts. Forget the fact that climate changes in history take centuries to occur. Forget the fact that most 20th century warming occurred before 1940, before any elevated levels of GHGs due to human activities. Basically make the skeptics prove the negative: show us that it is not human activities that have caused gradual warming since 1850.

Lost in the current controversy over how much, if any, warmer it is getting since the recent peak in the 1930s, is the fact that nothing whatsoever in the alarmists playbook directly associates any of the changes to human activity and/or elevated GHGs.

The real tragedy of the climate scam will be its negative iompact on alternative energy sources, which will be even more necessary with global cooling (which is the projection for the next 15-20 years based on solar cycles).

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Why did it take years for Climategate to get press?

The biggest question for those of us who have been vocal skeptics of the UN process and recommendations is why did it take so many years for anyone in the "legacy press" to pick up on how things worked?

We have seen for years that the governments and foundations that control the research have deliberately sought out alarmist research. For example, glacier studies are typically done on the glaciers that are retreating and not the ones that are advancing (about equal in number); studies on the seasonal ice areas on the poles, ignoring the increased net ice mass in Antarctica for example. There has been a massive thumb on the scales in the academic world that has preordained what the outcome of research was supposed to be.

"Researchers pound the global-warming drum because they know there is politics and, therefore, money behind it. . . I've been critical of global warming and am persona non grata," Dr. William Gray, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Colorado State University, Boulder, Colorado and leading expert of hurricane prediction in an interview for the Denver Rocky Mountain News, November 28, 1999. Richard Lindzen relates a very specific and alarming incident in research funding: " In the winter of 1989 Reginald Newell, a professor of meteorology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, lost National Science Foundation funding for data analyses that were failing to show net warming over the past century. Reviewers suggested that his results were dangerous to humanity," Lindzen, Global Warming: The Origin and Nature of the Alleged Scientific Consensus – Continued, cited at http://www. admissions.carleton.ca/~tpatters/teaching/climatechange/ lindzen/lindzen4.html.

Skeptics have routinely been threatened by the academic and NGO establishment. Even called "traitors." Experts working with the UN panel who did not tow the line were ignored. Chris Landsea, the NOAA hurricane expert, resigned due to the politicization of the UN work in 2005.
His story in his words is quite compelling.

The UN IPCC work has long been misconstrued by the "legacy media" and liberal politicians. The final UN report often quoted is the political document, not the scientific one. The final report always scrubs the scientific ambiguity and opts for the politically expedient. Dr. Richard Lindzen from MIT headed the 2001 NAS Panel and described the IPCC work: “The panel was finally asked to evaluate the work of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, focusing on the Summary for Policymakers, the only part ever read or quoted. The Summary for Policymakers, which is seen as endorsing Kyoto, is commonly presented as the consensus of thousands of the world's foremost climate scientists. Within the confines of professional courtesy, the NAS panel essentially concluded that the IPCC's Summary for Policymakers does not provide suitable guidance for the U.S. government. The full IPCC report is an admirable description of research activities in climate science, but it is not specifically directed at policy. The Summary for Policymakers is, but it is also a very different document. It represents a consensus of government representatives (many of whom are also their nations' Kyoto representatives), rather than of scientists. The resulting document has a strong tendency to disguise uncertainty, and conjures up some scary scenarios for which there is no evidence.” Wall Street Journal , June 11, 2001: quoted at http://www.sepp.org//weekwas/2001/Oct27.htm.

There has been a massive amount of scientific dissent over the years. See past blogs here.
See e.g. U.S. Senate sumary of dissenting scientists here. This is even more striking when you consider the personal risks that skeptics have taken by announcing these views, threatening their tenure, his publication, and their grants.

The key issue is not whether there has been recent warming, which there hasn't since 1998. No cogent view of climate change has ever postulated that decades of greenhouse gas changes would have such nearly immediate geological time effects. The average response to changes in geological history has been 900 years. This unfortunately does not support the UN premise, since the temperatue changes generally precede the greenhouse gas level changes. But the climate "prostitutes" have been willing to use year-to-year trends in temperatue and weather whenever they felt it was useful to their a priori conclusions, while dismissing them when they contradicted the hype.

The scandal last year of NASA having "adjusted data" to show continuing warming after 1998 is not dissimilar to the East Anglia data manipulation (but we do not have the internal emails to create evidence of motive). Cherry-picking data and artificial adjustments are the name of the game in "establishment" climate research. Something so basic as keeping in urban temperatue monitoring stations that have clearly been rendered useless predictor by their changed setting ("urban heat islands") being one of the most widespread dishonesties.

I have long wanted to debate someone on this junk science, but the alarmists have consistently frowned on open dialogues and debates. Some have occurred with very predictable reasons (they lose the audience big time).

I hope that every threat, veiled or open, made to skeptics now sees daylight for what it is. I hope that the selective use of data and manipulation of results gets full play in the public forum. While it is dramatic and well-documented, the East Anglia "climategate" is only the tip of the iceberg. And yes, there is a lot of ice still around!