Global Warming Consensus Gone Up in Flames

bs01261_Kimberley Strassel at the Wall Street Journal has a great piece on the global warming debate and how Al Gore’s much-professed “consensus” has crumbled to ruin.

Her article lists a number of people who are no longer following Al Gore’s herd on the issue of anthropogenic global warming, and also provides some insight into how this fragile “consensus” has been devastated by science over conjecture and hysteria:

In April, the Polish Academy of Sciences published a document challenging man-made global warming. In the Czech Republic, where President Vaclav Klaus remains a leading skeptic, today only 11% of the population believes humans play a role. In France, President Nicolas Sarkozy wants to tap Claude Allegre to lead the country’s new ministry of industry and innovation. Twenty years ago Mr. Allegre was among the first to trill about man-made global warming, but the geochemist has since recanted. New Zealand last year elected a new government, which immediately suspended the country’s weeks-old cap-and-trade program.

The number of skeptics, far from shrinking, is swelling. Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe now counts more than 700 scientists who disagree with the U.N. — 13 times the number who authored the U.N.’s 2007 climate summary for policymakers. Joanne Simpson, the world’s first woman to receive a Ph.D. in meteorology, expressed relief upon her retirement last year that she was finally free to speak “frankly” of her nonbelief. Dr. Kiminori Itoh, a Japanese environmental physical chemist who contributed to a U.N. climate report, dubs man-made warming “the worst scientific scandal in history.” Norway’s Ivar Giaever, Nobel Prize winner for physics, decries it as the “new religion.” A group of 54 noted physicists, led by Princeton’s Will Happer, is demanding the American Physical Society revise its position that the science is settled. (Both Nature and Science magazines have refused to run the physicists’ open letter.)

Proof of concensus or lack thereof is not an indication of the reliability of a given position; after all, the majority has been proved wrong countless times throughout history, and someone has to be the first person to be right about a new conclusion.

But when you have a situation where the more information we have on a given contention, the fewer people buy into that contention, well, that speaks powerfully that the contention was a bad one from the start.

I have long said that the contention that human activity–over more obvious and more powerful natural forces–is having a significant impact on global temperatures just doesn’t pass the smell test.

To put it another way, it seems as if Occam’s Razor has been forgotten in the modern world’s infatuation with wild and exciting ideas. In case you’re not familiar with Occam’s Razor, it is a principle that basically says assumptions should be avoided where ever possible. Or to put it in plain language, of all reasonable explanations for a phenomenon, the simplest is usually the correct one.

Sadly, objective examinations of information and assumptive restraint have been abandoned in today’s world in favor of politically correct agendas which are fueled by protection of reputation and ego.  In other words, instead of behaving like objective investigators, our modern scientific and legislative community behaves like teenagers caught up in herd-instinct pursuit of “the right clothes” or “the right CD” or “the right look.”

I can only hope a sufficient number of the American people wake up to the reality that the theory of AGW stinks…and that they get ticked off enough to wake up a sufficient number of representatives in congress to stop this mad rush to destruction before it’s too late.

8 Responses to “Global Warming Consensus Gone Up in Flames”

  1. Obviously Kimberley Strassel of the WSJ did not review the report by the Polish Academy of Science's very carefully (or at all). Within section nine, word for word, the report states: “There is no doubt that a certain part of the rise of the level of greenhouse gases, specifically CO2, is associated with human activity therefore, steps should be taken to reduce the amount on the basis of the principles of sustainable development, a cease of extensive deforestation, particularly in tropical regions. It is equally important to take up and pursuit appropriate adapting actions that will mitigate the effects of the current warming trend.”

  2. Very selective in your quote, Tim.

    While I would disagree with the implication contained in that paragraph that a significant portion of greenhouse gases come from human activity, and also the implication that said greenhouse gases drive temperature and not the other way around, it is interesting what the other 94% of the report said. Yes, the other 94% (the paragraph you cited comprised 74 words out of a 1197 word report) of the report is a damning indictment of anthropogenic global warming hysteria.

    Points in the reportinclude (excerpted):

    – The climate of the Earth depends on the interaction between the surface and the atmosphere, both of which are heated by solar radiation characterized by a cyclical, variable intensity. The climate is influenced by the Earth's yearly revolution around the Sun, thermics, changes in ocean waters flow, air mass movement, mountain massif position…

    – Permanent change is the fundamental characteristic of the Earth's climate as throughout its entire history, and the changes occur in cycles of varied length – from several thousand to just a few years.

    – Although in the history of the Earth, a considerably warmer climate than today had dominated, there had been repeated occurrences when the Earth experienced massive global cooling which always resulted in vast ice sheets that sometimes even reached the subtropics… must take into account the results of its research of the Earth's geological history – a time when humanity (and the industry) were not on our planet.

    – The Earth is in the another phase of cyclical warming and is near the maximum of its intensively. J

    – The periodic increase in the number of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, sometimes a value even several times larger than at present, has accompanied previous warming even before man inhabited the Earth.

    – Over the past 400 thousand years – even without human intervention – the level of CO2 in the air, based on the Antarctic ice cores, has already been similar 4 times, and even higher than the current value. At the end of the last ice age, within a time of a few hundred years, the average annual temperature changed over the globe several times, in total, it has gone up by almost 10 °C in the northern hemisphere, therefore the changes mentioned above were incomparably more dramatic than the changes reported today.

    – After a warm period in the past millennium, by the end of the thirteenth century, a cold period had begun and it lasted up to the mid-nineteenth century, and then a warm period in which we are living had begun. The phenomenon observed today, in particular the temporary rise of global temperature, are the result of the natural rhythm of climate change.

    – A detailed monitoring of climate parameters has been carried out for slightly over 200 years; it only regards parts of continents, which constitute only 28% of the world. Some of the older measuring stations established – as a result of progressive urbanization, in the peripheries of the cities, are now within them. This factor, among other things, is the reason for the rise of the measured values of temperature.

    – It makes room for politically correct lobbying, especially on the side of business marketing of exceptionally expensive, so called eco-friendly, energy technologies or those offering CO2 storage (sequestration) in exploited deposits. It has little to do with what is objective in nature.

    Not exactly the Al-Gore-Friendly treatise you made it out to be, eh Tim? Maybe it wasn't Kimberley Strassel who failed to review the report carefully…

  3. Whislt I personally agree that global warming is not manmade (it is natural), I have to say this is one of the worst articles I’ve read and I would sympathise with anyone who isn’t convinced by the argument against the global warming hysteria.

    Much as I admire the work that Mr Inhofe has put in to informing the public about the information against manmade global warming, there is no doubt that he is highly partisan and no less to be trusted than Bush on Iraq.

    About the best I can say is that it does highlight the partisan dare I say corrupt actions of some media in refusing to give air to the real evidence against manmade global warming.

    Pity, because there really is a lot of evidence against the theory of manmade global warming – not least the fact it is currently cooling, and that e.g. the UK Met Office has singularly failed to predict global temperatures for the nine years it has attempted this rediculous feat.

  4. You must mean “Polish Academy of Sciences.” You were not careful enough in reviewing the report to get the organization’s name correct.

    “associated with human activity” does not equal “caused by human activity.” Correlation is not causality, though commonly mistaken for it. A cause/effect relationship is difficult to verify.

    But why verify causality when emotionally-charged, specious, and semantically factual statements are more effective in manipulating a crowd into support of a political agenda?

    Note that during the Salem witch trials, a public criticism of the experts was not in the best interest of those who disagreed.

  5. Most of the funding for global warming research comes from the government. If you want more money, you come back with results which favor their point of view. I am a chemist and see the bias everyday. I never trust government statistics, due to their manipulation of the truth. Statistics never lie, and liars always use statistics!

  6. Most of the funding for global warming research comes from the government. If you want more money, you come back with results which favor their point of view. I am a chemist and see the bias everyday. I never trust government statistics, due to their manipulation of the truth. Statistics never lie, and liars always use statistics!