Monday, August 10, 2009

Politicized Science of Global Warming Take II

. . . The public must be able to trust the science and scientific process informing public policy decisions. Political officials should not suppress or alter scientific or technological findings and conclusions. If scientific and technological information is developed and used by the Federal Government, it should ordinarily be made available to the public. To the extent permitted by law, there should be transparency in the preparation, identification, and use of scientific and technological information in policymaking. . . .

President Barack Obama, Memorandum, Subject: Scientific Integrity, 9 March 2009


Who could not agree wholly with Obama's stated position. But when it comes to global warming, the entire history of the movement is replete with brazen examples of scientists misrepresenting data and refusing to release the methodology used to arrive at their conclusions. It is a tale of corrupted and politicized science that has now taken a turn for the worse with scientists and major government organizations removing raw climate data from the public realm.

Physicist and Prof. Frank Tipler writes in PJM, discussing the dire state of science in the arena of global warming. This from Prof. Tipler:

The chief British Climate Research Unit (CRU) at Hadley has begun to eliminate the daily temperature records from its public websites.

Yes — the daily high in London is now a state secret!

Actually, this disappearance of temperature records has been going on for some time — not only in Britain, but also in the United States. Why would American and British climate “scientists” not want outside scientists to see the raw data upon which their predictions of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) are based?

Why would Bernie Madoff not want outside accountants to see his day-to-day “earnings” data? . . .

Prof. Tipler demonstrates how the AGW crowd use "corrections" to data to create a perception of warming where the raw data shows little to none to exist. You can find his graphs here. As Tipler further opines:

[A] linear fit to the data would show a slight upward trend. Or one could model the data by a flat line from 1979 to 1998, followed by a huge jump up in 1998, followed by a straight-line decrease since 1998. The very fact that there are equally plausible alternative ways to model the raw data — most alternatives being inconsistent with global warming — is another reason why those climatologists who believe in AGW want to perform a disappearing act on the raw data.

And indeed, deception has been at the heart of the global warming hysteria since its inception. The whole global warming carnard got its greatest push about ten years ago from what is now one of the most thoroughly discredited hoaxes in the history of science - Mann's hockey stick graph.

The importance of this graph was discussed by Dr. Richard North in a short discussion of his book, "Scared To Death." This from Dr. North:

One of the greatest problems Gore and his allies faced at this time was the mass of evidence showing that in past times, such as the Mediaeval Warming, global temperature had been even higher than they were in the late 20th century, long before CO2 levels had started to rise. Even the first two IPCC reports had included a graph conceding this point, But In 1998 came the answer they were looking for – a completely new temperature chart, devised by another obscure young American physicist, Michael Mann. This became known as the "hockey stick" because it showed historic temperatures running in an almost flat line over the past 1,000 years, only suddenly flicking up at the end to temperatures never recorded before.

Mann's hockey stick was just what the IPCC wanted. When its 2001 report came out it was given pride of place at the top of page 1, and prominently repeated four more times. The Mediaeval Warming, the Little Ice Age, the 20th century Little Cooling when CO2 had already been rising, all had simply been wiped from the record.

The Mann hockey stick graph was a hoax on par with Barnum's Feejee Mermaid. Dr. Tipler discusses how the hoax was finally made clear:

Steve McIntyre is not a professional climatologist at all, but a mining engineer who spends most of his career doing “due diligence” for mining claims. If you are thinking of investing in a mine, you want to be sure that the mine has not been salted with fake ore and you want to know that the mine has been independently checked to make sure the amount of real ore the mine promoters claim is there is actually there. McIntyre was such an independent mine checker.

Having some time on his hands a few years ago, McIntyre decided it would be fun to check a graph that was the smoking gun of AGW evidence — the infamous hockey stick graph first published in Nature, the leading British science journal. The hockey stick was supposedly a plot of Earth’s temperature over the past few centuries. The temperature vs. time graph was essentially flat until the twentieth century, where it shot up rapidly. The curve resembled a hockey stick, hence the name.

McIntyre requested the raw data and the algorithm used to analyze the data from the lead author and was surprised when this request was refused. The public release of this sort of information is required by law if one is selling a mine, but secrecy is allowed if one is selling a plan to take over the U.S. economy.

McIntyre managed to get the key data — most of it was available publicly from other sources — but the authors of the hockey stick have not released their algorithm to this day. What McIntyre thinks the algorithm does is give enormous weight to any data set that shows recent global warming, and very little weight to those data sets showing recent global cooling. With such an algorithm, McIntyre was able to generate a hockey stick from random noise. A committee of the National Academy of Sciences and a separate committee organized by the leading U.S. academy of statisticians concluded that indeed the hockey stick was a statistical artifact, not evidence of real world global warming.

Imagine what the outcome would have been if the raw data had been secret. We would still believe in hockey stick climatology. The Medieval Warm Period, which is confirmed by historical records from all over the world but which was not present in the hockey stick, would have gone down the memory hole.

What truly shocked me was the fact that many of the leading scientific organizations — in particular the American Association for the Advance of Science (which publishes the leading U.S. science journal Science) and the National Academy of Science — supported the hockey stick authors’ refusal to make their algorithm public. The leading “science” organizations are now officially opposed to checking “science” that supports the party line.

And thus we have today people who call themselves "scientists" not merely refusing to release their methedology, but major organizations now complicit in removing raw data from the public realm. It is an atrocity.

That said, how have we come to this point? According to Prof. Tipler, the answer is "[g]overnment financing of scientific research caused it." That funding has, over a period of years, resulted in an almost complete shut-out of scientists who question global warming from academia. As Prof. Tipler explains:

"[Government] provide[s] research grants only to those who agree with them. . . These AGW scientists, the only ones with federal grants, are much more likely to get university jobs, since universities are now almost wholly dependent on federal money. These new professors of climatology, mainly true believers in AGW, teach their students to believe in AGW and make sure that only true believers can get grants and thus tenure at universities.

Soon there are none but true believers in the field. . . ."

You can read Prof. Tipler's detailed explanation here. Certainly a recent PEW poll lends credence to Prof. Tipler's opinion. According to that poll, "[m]ajorities of scientists working in academia (60%), for non-profits (55%) and in government (52%) call themselves Democrats, . . ." It should be noted that in that poll, 55% of the scientists self identified as Democrats, with the rest refusing to say, calling themselves independents, or in a shockingly small number - 6% - self identifying as Republicans.

This really is a travesty. But what I find most breathtaking is people calling themselves "scientists" while refusing to release their methedology and, now, complicit in hiding even the raw data. Such people should be stripped of their tenure and accreditation. Perhaps then some of the problems of politicized science that are now so bedeviling us would disappear.


OBloodyHell said...

> This really is a travesty. But what I find most breathtaking is people calling themselves "scientists" while refusing to release their methedology and, now, complicit in hiding even the raw data. Such people should be stripped of their tenure and accreditation. Perhaps then some of the problems of politicized science that are now so bedeviling us would disappear.

They should be taken out behind the lab and horsewhipped.

I'd guarantee you then that the problems of politics-masquerading-as-science would disappear.


limo hire said...

This really travesty.

Dinah Lord said...

Figures never lie, liars figure.

Just sickening. And it's so blatant.

Sigh. Excellent connecting of the dots, GW.

london said...

It is a tale of corrupted and politicized science

Charles said...

Been a month since the Wolf has posted. Hope it's a nice extended vacation, look forward to your return.

Gnostic said...

Many of the problems you highlight are shared by the UK. I enjoy reading your intelligent, insightful blog and hope that you will update soon.

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Dan - Israeli Uncensored News said...

Global warming is a 21st century version of Marxist economic scares of 19th century. Both times, leftists tried to scare the public into submitting to their "solutions". Global warming is just another propaganda device by those who want more of the government control.

Ron Russell said...

I don't know about the weather for the next hundred or so years and doubt that anyone does. I do know one thing, I went squirrel hunting the other day and bagged several of the little critters and noticed their fur was a lot thicker than those I shot last year---meaning it will be a very cold winter. This always holds true. So you expects at S.H.I.T. (Sam Houston Institute of Technology) and you squirrel lovers at P.E.T.A. can just stuff it. First time visitor. Great looking site.