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Climate change prevaricators

Please pardon the long post, but this story is too critical not to give it a seven-minute read.  I’ve been holding off commenting on the outing of the e-mails from the climate change scientists for two reasons.  First, it wasn’t clear initially that the e-mails were authentic.  Some web sites had warned the documents might have been faked.  Not wanting to follow in the steps of Dan Rather, I waited.  Now it turns out they’re legitimate, and the authors are understandably mortified.  Obviously, being smart does not necessarily make one wise.  Everyone should know by now that anything you do on a computer creates a record that can go public.  It has.

Second, it wasn’t initially clear to me what the real significance of the e-mails was.  Anybody can be made to look dishonest by cherrypicking little snippets here and there and piecing together a misleading story.  The most damning part of this release is not the snippets but the overall pattern.  Some forty-odd of these guys had glommed together into a clique and were using it to corrupt not only the data, but the basic process by which scientific facts are established.  They pulled together to discredit legitimate scientists who disagreed with the global warming theory.  It appears they’ve been pulling strings at scientific publications, making sure that the peers chosen to review their work always fellow clique-mates, and they’ve apparently arranged things so that scientists with contrary opinions never get published at all.  When the contrarians objected via the blogosphere, they leveled the accusation that the contrarians mere bloggers and not real scientists because they weren’t published in peer-reviewed journals.  It was all a set-up.  (Creationists, anything sound familiar?)

Those who have been reading global warming hysteria for the past few years have had plenty of good reasons to think something fishy was afoot, if I may be forgiven a metaphor like that.  We thought the polar bears were in danger until we counted them.  There are more bears alive now than ever before. 

We’ve been told data show the globe is warming up by some fractional part of a degree.  Here at AVFTA, I published an article disputing the claimed accuracy of the temperature measurements used to support that assertion.  The indispensable Anthony Watts has been publishing scores of photos of temperature monitoring stations that are situated, to put it mildly, in atrociously bad places (e.g., in parking lots or on rooftops beside air conditioner compressors) or have been maintained to the level of Fred Sanford’s front yard.  Later it became clear the actual data, notwithstanding its quality, reflect a general  cooling of the earth for the past few years, and now we learn that this clique of scientists has been trying to “hide the decline,” as they put it in the most famous of their e-mails.

We’ve been told that carbon dioxide is the culprit in global warming.  Then specialists in infrared energy explained that CO2 captures only a certain portion of the infrared spectrum, and the CO2 that presently exists in the atmosphere has captured virtually 100 percent of that energy.  So, not only is carbon dioxide not responsible for warming (which wasn’t happening anyway), but it wouldn’t change the temperature of the earth even if you released huge amounts of it because there’s no more of that particular form of heat energy available.

We were initially told that the twentieth century is the warmest ever.  But then we learned about the medieval warming period when worldwide temperatures were quite a bit warmer than they are now.  And there’s tree ring evidence which, it turns out, hinged on a suspect interpretation of the rings from a only a handful of trees.  And there’s the failure to account for the unusual behavior of the sun.  And there’s the failure to account for the surprisingly large role of cosmic rays in cloud formation.

We were told the North Pole would be ice free.  It isn’t.  We’ve been told Greenland is losing its ice cover.  It isn’t.  We’ve been told Antarctica was losing ice mass and shown scary picturs of icebergs floating away.  If fact, Antarctic ice mass is increasing.

We were told that warming would make hurricanes be more numerous and fierce.  Al Gore displayed pictures of Katrina and blamed warming for the disaster.  But now we’re verily in a blessed hurricane time-out (thank you, Lord), and for a while it seemed every time Gore made a speech, he had to fight a blizzard at the venue.

The list goes on and on, and the debunking of the climate-related junk science has been gathering momentum.  And the skeptics are not just bloggers from the pajama brigades who, like myself, have a quasi-technical background.  These are first rate scientists with specific, practical knowledge in the relevant fields who have been exposing these things.  After so many errors keep falling in the same direction, reasonable observers couldn’t avoid noticing a pattern.  Nobody wanted to call it an out-and-out conspiracy because that sounded paranoid.

But with the release of the e-mails, “conspiracy” is looking hard to deny.  In my opinion, it’s not the sort of conspiracy wherein scruffy crooks gather round a table with one swinging light over head and plot a specific crime to hold up a Brinks truck.  Rather, it’s the sort of conspiracy that evolves when people slowly begin to confront evidence that doesn’t fit.  So they toss out that data bit, then that one, then another.  They slowly begin to resent the guys bringing these problems to their doors.  They go into denial angstroms at a time.  And without ever meaning to take things so far, those of like mind slowly begin to cooperate with each other to defend their shared view.  Each day the ill grows imperceptibly worse.  Defending a view thickens into opposition to unwelcome data.  As contrary data accumulate, the operation further hardens into a cover-up, which is what we’re dealing with now.  I suspect we’ll look in vain for a clear shining moment when these guys agreed to sustain the lie. 

The problem for these scientists is that it all got so big before the bubble was pricked.  To their own consternation, the hoax enveloped the whole world, and now the leaders of the whole world are poised to quash every sacred liberty of the West to save us from the greatest calamity since the dinosaur extinctions.  Only there’s no calamity.

So the truth is out there.  The authors of the e-mails are disgraced, may lose their positions, could even face criminal charges eventually, and the whole global warming scare has now been shown once and for all to be a scam.

But mark well:  The Copenhagen summit hasn’t yet gone away.  The salient question is whether the ruling class now about to gather in Copenhagen will let it die and shoo their citizens back to normal living.  Here’s the issue:  Energy, far more than even health care, touches absolutely every facet of modern living.  To control the production and use of energy would give them unchallenged command of the economies of the world down to the smallest detail of each individual life. That is the political left’s ring of power sought since the days of Karl Marx, and as Gandalf said, all their minds are bent on having it.  It’s too much to expect them to give up the quest just because the pretext for it has been publicly shown to be a lie.  Let no one think they are that honest.

One Comment

  1. “…maintained to the level of Fred Sanford’s front yard.” A reference after my own heart. 😉

    Posted on 24-Nov-09 at 11:09 am | Permalink

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