Monday, January 21, 2013
Another "scientist" who thinks that truth is detemined by majority vote
Amusing that he admits global warming to be the ruling paradigm. He should read Thomas Kuhn on paradigm shifts. Given the recent admissions by the British Met office and others, we may right now be at the beginning of a paradigm shift.
But to address his article in more detail: I found the same in my research career in psychology. There was an almost universal view that conservatives were maladjusted. When I presented evidence undermining that view, a very high standard of proof -- far higher than normal -- was required of me for my articles to get published. Fortunately, as a born academic, I could do that and 200+ of my papers were eventually published in the academic journals.
But I might as well have not bothered. My papers were ignored. Despite meeting higher quality standards, they had no impact on opinion in the discipline. So the huge bias towards Green/Left beliefs that we see in the climate literature was previously very well-known to me from my research career in psychology. It is the ruling paradigm that determines what gets published and what gets noticed. It takes a huge "hit on the head" to budge that and for many no budge is possible. They just have to die out
As the geochemist James Lawrence Powell notes, opinion polls in the US show a large number of people believe that scientists “substantially disagree about human-caused global warming”. So Powell, who was appointed by Ronald Reagan to the US National Board for Science and Technology, set out to examine the evidence.
“If there is disagreement among scientists, based not on opinion but on hard evidence, it will be found in the peer-reviewed literature,” he writes, because this is the “gold standard” of scientific research. So he trawled through the Web of Science searching for scientific articles with the keywords “global warming” or “global climate change”.
Going way back to January 1st, 1991, and right up to date, Powell’s search turned up a total of 13,950 articles. Of these, just 24 – 0.17 per cent or one in 581 – clearly rejected global warming or endorsed a cause other than carbon dioxide emissions for the observed warming of 0.8 degrees since the beginning of the industrial era.
“To be classified as rejecting, an article had to clearly and explicitly state that the theory of global warming is false or, as happened in a few cases, that some other process better explains the observed warming,” Powell says, adding that he did not classify as “rejecting” articles that merely claimed to have found small discrepancies.
“Of one thing we can be certain: had any of these articles presented the magic bullet that falsifies human-caused global warming, that article would be on its way to becoming one of the most-cited in the history of science,” he wrote. Indeed it would be absolutely sensational, however unlikely it is to happen.
“Global warming deniers often claim that bias prevents them from publishing in peer-reviewed journals. But 24 articles in 18 different journals . . . expose that claim as false. Articles rejecting global warming can be published, but those that have been have earned little support or notice, even from other deniers,” according to Powell.
The 24 “denial” articles have been cited by others a total of 113 times over the nearly 21-year period, for an average of close to five citations each – compared to an average of about 19 citations for articles answering to “global warming”. Four of the “rejecting” articles have never been cited while another four have 10 or more.
He notes that the 13,950 articles he found had a total of 33,690 individual authors, with the top 10 (in descending order) coming from the US, Britain, China, Germany, Japan, Canada, Australia, France, Spain and the Netherlands. A similarly broad range would also be reflected in the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
“Only one conclusion is possible: within science, global warming denial has virtually no influence. Its influence is instead on a misguided media, politicians all-too-willing to deny science for their own gain, and a gullible public”, writes Powell, the author of The Inquisition of Climate Science, an illuminating book published in 2011.
“Scientists do not disagree about human-caused global warming. It is the ruling paradigm of climate science, in the same way that plate tectonics is the ruling paradigm of geology. We know that continents move. We know that the earth is warming and that human emissions of greenhouse gases are the primary cause.”
"There is no such thing as right and wrong" -- except when it comes to climate change?
I long ago documented the strange phenomenon where Leftists deny any objective morality and then immediately hop into very moralistic discourse against things they disapprove of. And so it still goes today, as we see documented below. Conservatives however DO believe in morality so can reasonably condemn the gross immorality of Warmists
People have been saying for years that climate change is a moral issue, that fighting global warming is an ethical imperative. In both the first and last paragraph of this essay/book excerpt posted on the National Public Radio (US) website in 2006, Al Gore declares:
"…global warming is not just about science and…it is not just a political issue. It is really a moral issue. …this crisis is not really about politics at all. It is a moral and spiritual challenge."
Four years later here he is telling students at Duke University:
"Make no mistake, this is not just a political issue, not just a market issue, not just a national security issue, not just a jobs issue. It is a moral issue."
Writer Willis Eschenbach also sees the climate campaign as a moral issue. But his sense of morality resonates with me because it takes into account poor people – whom environmentalists like to pretend don’t really exist.
The greens have been very clear. Climate change is due to too much CO2. Therefore energy use, which produces CO2, must be slashed. Therefore prices should rise sharply to discourage people from using energy.
No other serious analysis has been advanced by the big green machine. That’s the basic climate change argument. The problem is that this amounts to a war against the poor.
As Eschenbach points out, the consequences of this sort of thinking are disastrous for a large percentage of the world’s population. Over-privileged academics and bureaucrats might not notice if their home heating bill doubles – or if it costs twice as much to fill up their car. Many of these people might well consider the extra cost worth it.
Yes, there’d be less spending money in their pockets, they say, but surely the sacrifice would be worth it to save the planet. While being interviewed by a unionized employee of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation last this summer, I was told pretty much that. But here’s how Eschenbach explains matters:
"The difference between rich and poor, between developed and developing, is the availability of inexpensive energy. …The poorer you are, the larger a percentage of your budget goes to energy-intensive things like transportation and heat and electricity. If you double the price of energy, everyone is poorer, but the poor take it the hardest. Causing an increase in energy prices for any reason is the most regressive tax imaginable.
…I find it both reprehensible and incomprehensible when those of us who are in the 1% of the global 1%, like President Obama and Secretary [Stephen] Chu, blithely talk of doubling the price of gasoline and sending the cost of electricity skyrocketing as though there were no negative results from that, as though it wouldn’t cause widespread suffering, as though cheap energy weren’t the best friend of the poor. What Chu and Obama propose are crazy plans, they are ivory-tower schemes of people who are totally out of touch with the realities faced by the poor of the world, whether inside the US or out."
This is what I call placing the anti-climate change crusade in a moral context. Eschenbach’s conclusion is one that makes eminent sense to me:
"…I’m sorry, but I am totally unwilling to trade inexpensive energy today, which is the real actual salvation of the poor today, for some imagined possible slight reduction in the temperature fifty years from now. That is one of the worst trades that I can imagine, exchanging current suffering for a promise of a slight reduction in temperatures in the year 2050."
More HERE (See the original for links)
An empirical examination of human agency in climate change
If most of the temperature changes prior to 1945 were largely natural, then there is great difficulty in determining how much of the temperature change post-1945 is natural and how much might be driven by increasing carbon dioxide. This raises the question of what the natural variation in temperature might be.
To answer this question, we turn to the Vostok ice core record over the past 9000 years. The core was sampled every metre of depth, which represented ~20 years of accumulation in the upper layers and ~50 years in the lower levels. The temperature was estimated from differences in the oxygen isotope ratios. While a point measurement such as this cannot give a good measure of the average global temperature, it is a reasonable measure of changes in global temperature, and it is primarily temperature changes that are of interest.
The data are shown in Figure 4. There has been a slight cooling over the past 9 millennia, as shown by the least-squares line. The data were therefore detrended before further analysis – the mean temperature at any one date was added to the reported relative temperature. The detrended temperatures were what is known as “normally distributed”, i.e. there was nothing abnormal or skewed about them. Then the rate of change between each detrended temperature and the temperature approximately 100±20 years earlier was calculated and expressed as a rate per century. The results were also normally distributed, with a standard deviation of 0.94oC per century.
Figure 4. Relative temperatures over the past 9000 years.
Thus there is about a 2:1 chance that the temperature may vary by up to 1oC per century from natural causes, but only about a 1 in 10 chance that it will vary by more than 1.9oC naturally. Between 1900 and 2000 it varied by about 0.9oC, which is, therefore, within the range of natural variation. And that, in simple terms, is why there is scepticism about the thesis that carbon dioxide is causing global warming – there is no clear signal of any such warming effect.
Much more HERE
Government Scientist Gets Fired for Telling the Truth
Something’s amiss at the Department of Interior. Eight government scientists were recently fired or reassigned after voicing concerns to their superiors about faulty environmental science used for policy decisions. Which begs the question, “Are some government agencies manipulating science to advance political agendas?”
Fictional book authors operate in a convenient world, unconstrained by facts and experiences of the real world. The antithesis of works of fiction are scientific findings solely based on provable facts and experience. For agenda-driven environmental science, facts can sometime prove inconvenient. It’s far easier to advance an agenda with agreeable science, even if that means creating science fiction or fictional science. Fictional science thus becomes the pseudo-reality of environmentalist’s absolutism and any science that disagrees with their predetermined conclusions of man-made harm to the environment is ignored or distorted. Now we learn that in some government agencies, scientists who question the veracity and validity of scientific evidence used to formulate environmental regulations and policies are shunned, kept quiet, and purged.
The purpose of fictional environmental science is to sway public opinion through what amounts to propaganda. Intransigent purveyors of “green” propaganda know their greatest enemy is truth. One of the most famous propaganda experts was Germany’s Joseph Goebbels, who taught that if a lie is repeated often enough it will eventually be accepted as truth. Goebbels also knew that truth has to be suppressed if it contradicts the objectives of the propaganda. Goebbels wrote, “It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
Over the past three decades, government has unleashed an unprecedented wave of environmental rules and regulations that affect nearly every aspect of American life, and for the most part the public has tolerated it. Public embrace of environmental propaganda and fear mongering about the apocalyptic consequences of mankind’s abuse of the planet have elevated environmentalism to a status above national security. The public is now more likely to give up rights and freedoms for the cause of saving the planet than for security reasons.
Rural America has long been a target of environmentalists. Government agencies such as the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and the DOI (Department of Interior) have been hijacked by extreme elements of environmentalism and rural America is feeling the heat. When environmental protocol is pitted against the welfare of a rural community, these agencies almost exclusively side with the environmental cause, and adverse consequences to the human element are considered last, if at all.
The Department of Interior refers to itself as the nation's landlord. It controls almost 30% of the nation's 2.27 billion acres of land and its natural resources, and as a regulatory agency, it creates policies to govern how public land and these resources are used. Under the leadership of Secretary Ken Salazar the agency has engaged in an aggressive crusade to obstruct and undermine the use of natural resources, restrict human access to public lands, and increase its influence over private property. Decisions made by the agency are presumed to be based on sound scientific analysis, but often times policy is driving the science, rather than science driving environmental policy. This has led to harmful decisions and a violation of the public trust.
A case in point is the story of DOI science adviser and scientific integrity officer, Dr. Paul Houser, who found out that by simply doing his job can be hazardous to one’s career. Dr. Houser is an expert in hydrology who was hired by DOI’s Bureau of Reclamation to evaluate scientific data used in the department’s decision making process. He was assigned several Western State projects including a scheme to remove four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River in Northern California—the largest dam removal project in U.S. history. When a summary of science posted on the web to support DOI’s claim for removal of the dams omitted several crucial factors from expert panel reports, Dr. Houser brought his concerns to his superiors. He was repeatedly told to refrain from sharing his concerns through electronic communication, which could be subject to Freedom of Information Act discovery.
Dr. Houser learned firsthand that policy was driving the science, rather than the other way around, when he was told by his superiors at DOI, “Secretary Salazar wants to remove those dams. So your actions here aren’t helpful.”
According to the DOI the premise for Klamath River dams removal is to restore Coho salmon spawning habitat above the dams. However, official DOI documents reveal scientific concerns that dam removal may, in fact, result in species decline based on millions of tons of toxic sediment build up behind the dams that will make its way to the ocean. Water temperature increases without the dams could also negatively impact the salmon. These studies were ignored. Concerns about the human toll and impact to local Klamath Basin communities were also brushed aside. Those most interested in the well-being of the environment they live and work in, were given a backseat to special interests thousands of miles away.
The Klamath hydroelectric dams provide clean inexpensive energy to thousands of local residents who will be forced to pay much higher premiums if the dams are removed because California has strict new laws for use of renewable energy. The town of Happy Camp sits on the banks of the Klamath River and could be wiped out with seasonal flooding without the dams. Once Coho salmon are introduced into the upper Klamath, farmers and ranchers will be faced with water use restrictions and invasive government regulation of private land. The economic impact will be devastating, property values will depreciate and the agriculture community, often operating on slim profit margins, will be subjected to the fate of the once vibrant logging industry which fell victim to the spotted owl crusades.
Last year, Dr. Houser raised these concerns and was subsequently fired by the DOI. “I put my concerns forward and immediately thereafter I was pushed out of the organization,” he stated. The agency sent a clear message to the rest of their employees and scientists - Salazar’s dam busting agenda cannot be subject to any internal scientific scrutiny. Goebbels would be proud. Truth must be repressed when it contradicts the objective.
Dr. Houser did the right thing. He did his job. His integrity as a scientist was more important than a paycheck. But he remains concerned about his colleagues in DOI, “There are a lot of good scientists that work for the government but they are scared, they are scared that what happened to me might happen to them. This is an issue (about) the honesty and transparency of government and an issue for other scientists in government who want to speak out.” A few weeks ago Dr. Houser settled a wrongful discharge case with the DOI. Terms of his settlement are not public.
Now, seven more DOI scientists working on the Klamath Project have filed a complaint with PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility) claiming they have been reassigned or terminated for disagreement with the integrity of the science used to support dam removal. They have charged DOI’s Bureau of Reclamation’s management with “coercive manipulation, sublimating science to political priorities, censorship, and scientific misconduct.”
The government’s use of fictional science in the Klamath dam removal project should concern every American. Our public servants at DOI are brazenly advancing their own agendas at the expense of the truth and regardless of adverse impacts on the environment, humans, and on rural communities. Environment and human interests are not incompatible. We have to find solutions that work to the benefit of both. That requires agendas be put aside and allow complete science to determine policy.
DOI Secretary Ken Salazar is stepping down in March. His replacement needs to be someone who can be trusted to end the culture of fictional science as a means to advance environmental agendas.
Britain faces global cooling
Britain faces more travel chaos tomorrow after forecasters predicted a fresh blanket of heavy snow over much of the country – and said the big freeze could last for two weeks.
But as some of these pictures show, the bad weather didn’t necessarily mean bad news for everyone, with families across Britain determined to make the most of the snow.
Following Friday’s deluge, much of today’s snow was limited to flurries in the North East of England and the east of Scotland. But the weather heaped misery on more than 10,000 households in South Wales, where residents found themselves with no power this morning.
The M48 Severn Bridge was closed in both directions because of hazardous conditions and the Highways Agency warned drivers to take extra care on all roads across the UK.
Many rail passengers were hit. South West Trains cancelled services between Salisbury and Bristol and Virginia Water and Weybridge, Surrey. Routes from London to Hampshire, Berkshire, Surrey, Dorset, Wiltshire, Somerset and Devon were also affected.
With more snow set to fall tomorrow and overnight into Monday, hundreds of schools could be forced to close.
Forecasters said heavy snowfall of up to 3in (8cm) will hit coastal regions of south-eastern England and London tomorrow, with amber weather warnings issued in Kent and Hertfordshire.
Temperatures will not rise above freezing next week, with Met Office forecaster Robin Thwaytes warning: ‘It looks like it will be a slow thaw, probably taking place this week or the week after.’
Heathrow has already been badly hit by the bad weather and the announcement that 20 per cent of Sunday's flights have been axed will bring further misery to hundreds of passengers who have remained trapped at the airport after spending the night sleeping on the floor.
More than 100 have been cancelled today and some travellers complained that they had spent seven hours sitting on a plane on the tarmac only to be told to return to the terminal. One commentator referred to the vast complex as a 'refugee camp'.
It comes as fears grow that the Arctic conditions may not recede for up to two weeks, leaving the country shivering under a layer of ice and snow in a 'once a decade' big freeze.
Met office forecaster Robin Thwaytes said: 'It looks like it will be a slow thaw, probably next week or the week after.'
Al Gore Warming
In October one of the main culprits in the global warming hoax published new data that undermines their own theory of global warming. The UK’s MET Office, more formally called the UK's National Weather Service, updated global temperatures for 2012 and the new dataset shows that an “unlikely” event has occurred, according to their own models: Global warming has been halted for 15 years and counting.
While the MET Office accused critics of cherry-picking a starting point and nitpicked about language-for example the Daily Mail reported that the “Met Office report [was] quietly released,” while the Met office whined they just updated the data and there was no “report” at all- they don’t dispute that from 1997 until the halfway mark in 2012 there has been no statistically significant rise in global temperatures.
Data such as this and a better coordinated scientific effort at debunking the “science” behind global warming is poking some serious holes that establishment technocrats would rather normal people like us not know about.
Fortunately however, some honest technocrats have been recruited for seven years in a row in a gathering that seems to be growing some legs in an effort to confront, debunk and demystify global warming.
In May of 2012, the Heartland Institute hosted its biggest ever- and seventh ever-International Conference on Climate Change, known affectionately as ICCC7, which might be a mocking reference to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change known as IPCC. For my money ICCC7 would look a LOT cooler on a t-shirt, pun intended.
A record number of think tanks, concerned policy makers, scientists and citizens got together in Chicago to look at the science behind global warming theories and explain why the science is wrong. ICCC7 also invited 50 UN scientists “who support the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s perspective, but none agreed to attend,” according to the Heartland Institute.
One of the most compelling presentations at ICCC7 was by Stanley Goldberg, a research scientist with the Hurricane Research division with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
He says the link that we have all heard through mainstream media about more violent storms caused by a rise in global temperatures are mostly manipulated by our ability to better “observe” weather globally. In one compelling case he shows how it used to be that between 100 and 75 percent of the observed storms in pre-satellite days made landfall, once satellite technology was available, the percentage of observed storms that made landfall fell to 59 percent. The implication is that since the decrease in storms making landfall accompanies advances in technology and does not represent an increase in the number of storms that make landfall, the only explanation is that through technology our ability to observe storms is better than its has been in the past.
The same can be said about temperature data as well. With temperatures showing a total increase of .75 degrees Celsius to make it “THE WARMEST PLANET EVER IN RECORDED HISTORY!” can we really be sure that it’s not our ability to measure and manipulate data that is not responsible for some of the increase?
Because here’s the reality that none of the scientists tell you: There is no such thing as an average global temperature. It’s a mathematically impossible concept.
“Absolute estimates of global average surface temperature are difficult to compile for several reasons,” says the National Climatic Data Center. “Some regions have few temperature measurement stations (e.g., the Sahara Desert) and interpolation must be made over large, data-sparse regions. In mountainous areas, most observations come from the inhabited valleys, so the effect of elevation on a region’s average temperature must be considered as well. For example, a summer month over an area may be cooler than average, both at a mountain top and in a nearby valley, but the absolute temperatures will be quite different at the two locations.”
In other words, the ability to measure global temperatures is hindered by our ability to observe temperatures. Is it just coincidental that our increased ability to observe temperatures coincides with our observations of a global warming trend?
There is a tendency, says Goldberg, by some of the media, government “and certain scientific circles to attribute almost ANY increase in natural disasters to AGW,” which he jokingly calls “Al Gore Warming.”
“If it’s bad,” he concludes, “it must be AGW!”
But here’s the real rub: None of the so-called solutions put forward by Kyoto, the Cap and Trade crowd and others with the ability to implement solutions attempts, under their own scientific theories of global warming, to reverse the warming trend. For example, if you assume that today renewable energy contributes about zero to energy production and assume that by 2040 renewable energy will contribute an optimistic 20 percent of all energy production, you still get fossil fuel use of about 112 percent of today’s figure, when you include energy demand growth forecasts.
Under global warming theory this does nothing to halt or reverse any warming. All it does is ask American consumers to subsidize the development and use of cheaper fuels in developing nations, while putting the American economy at a disadvantage relative to India, China, Russia and other developing nations.
So here’s to the climate warriors on the right side of science. They don’t have to win. They just have to help us hold out a little longer, and let the climate do the rest.
For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.
Preserving the graphics: Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility. From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site. See here and here
Posted by JR at 5:04 PM