Fixing the Global Warming Establishment with New Lipstick

A review of the IPCC process is a huge missed opportunity

When a woman consistently messes up her relationships, her therapist doesn’t just tell her to wear a new dress and change her lipstick before her next date; s/he asks her to do some real soul searching. But a new dress-and-lipstick combo is pretty much what an agency charged with reviewing the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Control’s (IPCC) procedures in the wake of the GlacierGate mess recently recommended.

Both the detractors and supporters of the IPCC—the U.N. body that serves as the Vatican of climate change—are billing the Inter Academy Council’s recommendations as “fundamental” change. And some of its recommendations might indeed make a difference if the IPCC ever implements them—a big “if.” But fundamental change would require creating incentives for the IPCC to question its own conclusions—do constant soul searching, as it were—something that other scientific disciplines do as a matter of course. Nothing in the review’s recommendations does that.

The global warming establishment found itself in hot water last year when leaked e-mails suggested that leading climatologists had massaged data, interfered with the peer review process and engaged in other shenanigans to exaggerate the observed warming. A subsequent whitewash exonerated the scientists involved but further scrutiny debunked other alarmist claims in the IPCC’s last assessment report. For example, the IPCC had predicted that the entire 500,000 square km Himalayan glacier range would disappear by 2035. Multiple analyses, including one by the Yale Climate Media Forum—no denialist outfit—found the claim to be perfectly accurate except for two problems. One, the approximate area covered by the glaciers is just 33,000—not 500,000—square km as the IPCC stated. And two, the paper from which the IPCC lifted this claim had predicted the shrinkage would occur by 2350, not 2035! (The Yale analysis is well worth a full read.)

The IPCC withdrew this claim—dismissing it as one mistake in a voluminous report that didn’t affect its overall conclusions. But the bigger problem is not with what the IPCC says but what it doesn’t. Even before GlacierGate, many external reviewers had bitterly complained that lead authors of the report’s various chapters solicit their opinion only to ignore it in the final summary if it contradicts their conclusions—creating an impression of a faux scientific consensus. Ross McKitrick, the University of Guelph-Ontario economist who debunked Penn State climatologist Michael Mann’s infamous “hockey stick” graph, has copiously documented this behavior. Take tree ring-based climate reconstructions in the third IPCC report. McKitrick notes that Mann, a lead author, had available to him two studies besides his own presenting hemispheric temperature histories dating back to the Medieval Era. One of them did not support his claim that the 1990s were the hottest decade in the millennium. So what did Mann do? Simply delete all mention of it. The same trick was pulled in the latest report, McKitrick says. Indur Goklany, a policy analyst in the Department of Interior, has documented similar sleights of hand when it comes to predictions of food and water shortages due to global warming.

To its credit, the IAC review, headed by former Princeton University president Harold Shapiro, takes a serious stab at addressing these problems. It acknowledges that giving lead authors the final say in accepting critiques of their work is like having Enron certify its own books. (O.K. It didn’t quite put it that way, but the point is that there is a fundamental conflict of interest here). It recommended letting editors—not authors—be the final arbiters of which comments to keep or throw out as academic journals do. And when substantial disagreement persists between reviewers and authors, it should be documented in an appendix, the academy emphasized. This is something that is already required by the current IPCC rules but roundly ignored. Even more commendably, the IAC recognized the incestuous group-think involved in producing the IPCC reports and recommended that more scientists from outside the climate change establishment be inducted in various stages of the report-writing process.

But then the academy’s review takes a leap into Banal Land. It recommends that IPCC chairs serve no more than one six-year term, a thinly veiled dig at the current chair, Rajendra Pachauri, now on his second term. Pachauri is a pompous, arrogant man (with an awful haircut) who brooks no disagreement with the global warming orthodoxy and deserves to go. He dismissed concerns that the IPCC’s Himalayan glacier claim might be in error as “school boy science.” However, there is no reason why a one-term chair would inherently be any better than a multiple-term chair.

Even more ridiculously, the academy concluded that IPCC’s sloppiness could be better handled if it had a permanent executive committee, something it currently lacks, a suggestion that Pachauri—surprise, surprise!—whole-heartedly embraced. But the idea that another layer of bureaucracy will solve the panel’s problems is absurd. Equally absurd is the academy’s suggestion that the IPCC enhance its “media-relations capacity” in order to communicate better with “audiences beyond scientists and governments”—as if its real problem is getting its message out given the legions of compliant journalists who happily regurgitate its line for free.

But none of the academy’s suggestions—good or bad—address the IPCC’s fundamental problem: It has every incentive—financial and otherwise—to buttress the global warming orthodoxy and none to challenge it. In every other discipline, scientists earn fame and fortune if they successfully debunk its reigning theories. They are feted at conferences, cited more often, offered more jobs. In climate science, by contrast, debunkers invite an onslaught by the entire global warming juggernaut that can leave their academic reputation in ruins. Debunkers get branded as deniers. And as this Australian blogger points out, they get investigated by Desmog, Exxon Secrets, or Sourcewatch, websites dedicated to exposing any connection the researcher might have with the fossil fuel industry—no matter how old or tenuous.

So how could the problem be fixed? First and foremost, IPCC’s Working Groups 2 and 3, neither one of which has the slightest thing to do with science, ought to be disbanded. Group 2 speculates about the larger impact of global warming and Group 3 offers mitigation options to policy makers, all of which inevitably pushes the panel toward advocacy, something the IAC said it shouldn’t do. In their stead, Working Group 1 that deals with the scientific issues ought to be expanded to include departments dedicated to exploring the full range of possible explanations for the observed warming beyond human emissions such as natural variability or sun spot activity—all of which have become anathema to the global warming establishment.

The case for anthropogenic warming might indeed become airtight one day. But in order to get there, it has to withstand constant attempts at falsification.  That’s what fundamental change would require. Anything less is purely cosmetic.

Shikha Dalmia is a senior analyst at Reason Foundation and a columnist at Forbes. This column originally appeared at Forbes.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    OK, who wants to defend a beard like that? Anyone? I'm all for freedom of facial hair, BUT...

  • Tony||

    Sigh.... Guilty until proven innocent. Then, still guilty until every last idiot denier is satisfied, which will be never. The libertarian way, I guess.

  • ||

    The libertarian way (DRINK!) is to let you continue to show up here and post your drivel, you stupid little nothing.

  • Tony||

    Any movement that expresses anti-intellectual or anti-science attitudes should die a cold death. You guys can get a lot of traction with your bullshit economics since that's just pseudoscience. But you can't win this debate because you are wrong and science is right. It really damages your credibility as a movement and I wonder why you don't just give it up.

  • ||

    Little more than Max with a case of logorrhea.

  • sarcasmic||

    You and your ilk are the first to dismiss any criticism of AGW doctrine by claiming that it must be funded by Big Oil.
    You will claim that the criticism is biased because of the source of the funding.

    However you do not make the same considerations regarding the IPCC.
    That group and its scientists receive funding from political entities interested in controlling human behavior, and from makers of "green technology" who stand to make tons of dough off government subsidies and regulations designed to cripple their fossil fuel competitors.

    Not that I am surprised by leftist having double standards.
    I expect it.

  • Tony||

    Sorry, I don't buy "teach the controversy" bullshit from creationists and I don't buy it from you.

    If you're really concerned about appearances of impropriety stemming from donations, then you need to at least acknowledge the millions of dollars spent by Big Oil to keep the denier industry going.

    But you are blind to that for some reason, and think deniers are just being scientifically rigorous. That's the same con sold by intelligent design proponents, and it's equally bullshit.

  • sarcasmic||

    Are you denying that AGW scientists receive their funding from governments eager to pass new laws and from corporations eager for subsidies and restrictions on their competitors?

    If you acknowledge that that is true, then isn't their work just as suspect as something from Exon's basement?

  • Tony||

    No I don't buy that at all. Most science is funded by governments. That's not evidence of anything. The science that can't be trusted is the stuff that's funded by industries, especially if they have a profit interest in the outcome of research.

    And governments are hardly clamoring to pass climate legislation. It's the scientists begging governments to act. Governments are, as usual, loath to upset the status quo, and are under heavy pressure from polluting industry not to.

    As I've said a thousand times, to think that the world's governments and the world's science bodies are involved in a giant conspiracy is patently absurd. You can't even articulate what they're after. We know what the oil and coal industries want.

  • ||

    "No I don't buy that at all. Most science is funded by governments."

    And the entity most likely to gain the most power and influence if the AGW cultists get their way is? Here is a hint Tony: big government.

  • sarcasmic||

    The science that can't be trusted is the stuff that's funded by industries, especially if they have a profit interest in the outcome of research.

    So then what about the funding from the "green technology" industry?

    Will then not profit if their industry is subsidized by tax dollars and if their fossil fuel competition is crippled with new regulations?

  • Tony||

    sarcasmic do you really think the green tech industry has more influence over policy than oil and coal? Really?

    Get some perspective. Oil and coal have been propped up by governments for decades, not least because they've been allowed to pollute our common atmosphere for free (but there are plenty of real subsidies too).

    All you're doing is free hackwork for those industries. Yes the evil green tech cabal, how will the most profitable industry in the history of the earth ever compete!

  • ||

    "sarcasmic do you really think the green tech industry has more influence over policy than oil and coal? Really?"

    Not sarcasmic, but the fact that governments, especially ours, are giving them tens of billions of tax payer dollar with very little to show for it, while ignoring real and viable solutions to our ever growing energy demands I add, should answer that question outright for you. Ever hear of GE? They survive as a company by milking the tax payer for this useless cgreen stuff.

  • sarcasmic||

    Tony, all I'm asking is that you apply the same standards to both sides of the issue.

    It's called honesty.

    Try it sometime.

  • ||

    "No I don't buy that at all. Most science is funded by governments. That's not evidence of anything. "

    LMAO!!!!!! Talk about denial....

  • Pip||

    Why the fuck don't you leave then? Why do you even come here? We all think you're an idiot. Maybe you just dig on abuse.

  • sarcasmic||

    We all think know you're an idiot.

    FTFY

  • DesigNate||

    We're his porn.

  • Hooha||

    It's as amusing as it is disturbing watching you dodge black-and-white facts. Science is on our side here, and we have the lions' share of the hard evidence in this argument. Every pathetic falsehood spun by Gores' Green Army has been systematically dismantled, despite the PR shitstorm that legit scientists had to brave to do it.

    You've already lost this fight, so please; continue to defend AGW - it's like listening to a rebel that refuses to acknowledge that he never had a cause. Terribly entertaining.

  • Tony||

    You really don't know what you're talking about. Have you ever read a reliable source on this subject in your entire life (like from actual scientists)? Or is everything you think you know filtered through various crackpot right-wing websites?

  • Tony||

    Never mind that Greenland was once green, which predated any industrialization anywhere on the entire planet...

  • ||

    As I recall from history classes Greenland was not "green", it was just a misleading name given to attract gullible colonists. However, Tony, have you ever considered ACD, Anthropogenic Continental Drift. I understand a union of concerned scientists have already determined continental drift is caused by capitalism and capitalists. The accumulation of money bags around capitalist's desks is definitely causing a crustal imbalance leading to the swarm of earthquakes and tsunamis we have been seeing. Income redistribution and big government are the cure, so this is something you can get behind right away.

  • Rep. Hank Johnson||

    Guam is going to tip over! I told you, but you wouldn't believe me!

  • Jorj X. McKie||

    I take exception to that, since I am most definitely pro-science. What you seem to forget is that without skepticism both science and intellectualism can quickly go astray.

  • Tony||

    Intelligent designers think they are being scientifically rigorous too.

    As the saying goes, keep an open mind, but not so open your brain falls out.

  • Pip||

    Awesome non sequitur, dude!

  • Tony?||

    What about the science behind the concept of eco-gulags, Tony?

  • ||

    So you have finally found the definitive evidence? Why not just post a link to it rather than suggest everyone who opposes AGW is "anti-science".

    I am pro-science. Scientific theory (which is what AGW is at best) is not scientific fact. In fact, the biggest most important part of the scientific method is rigorous testing and this include the harshest of challenges from other scientists. On the other hand, Anti-science is calling people who challenge your THEORY names and dismissing their claims without testing them, because you believe they are shills for "big oil". If you are right, then you should be able to prove the "deniers" wrong.

    Just because you really really really believe in AGW, doesn't make it so. Ask yourself why you are afraid to challenge your own science. Do you want it to be true or do you just like how it feels to be the only one trying to save the Earth. Self righteousness, like any mental state, can become an addiction. Your mind creates a chemical dependency by constantly reinforcing your own ego's self righteous reinforcement mechanism and then when the neural patterns that support this chemical dependency are presented with conflicting patterns (information) they reassert themselves and build a justification pattern to maintain this chemical factory. Once you know what is happening to you, you can break the cycle.

    Please take a moment to allow challenges through to a place where they are seriously considered and maybe we wont have to spend all sorts of time and money trying to fix a problem you have perpetuated in your own mind.

  • ||

    The AGW believers are a cult. To them the "stoopid" is with those that continue to point out that what's been going on, a scam of epic proportions and then a circle jerk to cover for the scammers once they were exposed as fraudsters, is an affront to real science. This is faith on their part. No matter how damning the evidence that they have been lied to, they will not budge. After all, AGW is the key to socialist world government utopia or some such nonsense.

  • Tony||

    So the worldwide scientific community is a mere cult? What does that make you idiots?

  • Wegie||

    "worldwide scientific community"? What bullshit most scientists don't believe that crap. Certainly not the honest, good ones.

  • ||

    "So the worldwide scientific community is a mere cult? What does that make you idiots?"

    Tony, I have degree in engineering, I know science and the scientific process, I now write software for a living. And I assure you that, based on the real facts about how the AGW cult has gone about creating their “scientific consensus”, that what they have been doing isn't science of any kind. In fact it is anti-science. Any real scientist, or person that places value in the scientific process, should be ashamed to go along with this kind of scam.

    Besides, we should immediately suspect any movement predicting an apocalypse if we do not give them the power to control our energy consumption, and thus our lives, redistribute wealth, and ignore any and real viable technological solutions, while the elite in charge have a consumption footprint of a small city, like the AGW cultist want to, of not being based on anything honest or credible.

  • Tony||

    I have degree in engineering

    Hahahaha. I thought we were talking about scientists?

    Sorry, I've known too many engineers who were creationist idiots to take that credential as evidence of your authority on this matter.

  • ||

    "Sorry, I've known too many engineers who were creationist idiots to take that credential as evidence of your authority on this matter."

    And I know way too many people, without a clue about science or the scientific process, that believe just like you do Tony that they can dismiss those that won't echo their moronic beliefs by infering stupidty on their part. I remind you that some of the greatest science came from those that were very religious but did not let that get in their way of producing good science. Ever hear of Newton?

    I am also willing to bet that you are far more likely to take seriously the ramblings of someone with no scientific knowledge or discipline, no matter what evidence to prove they are saying what they do because they stand to gain from convincing people to go along with this lunacy, if they but parrot what you want to hear. Methinks your problem isn’t with the messenger, so much as it is with the message.

    And speaking of religion. If you actually really valued science and the scientific process, you would harbor serious doubts about the claims these people make after the evidence that they manipulated data, models, and the review process to push their pap. Your continued faith in them after such revelations far surpass any stupidity you wish to attribute to those that believe in a divine hand. In fact, it smack of that religious fervor you are so ready to use to denigrate the opinions of engineers with. I also bet that if I had pointed out I had an engineering background but believed in this tripe, that you would have lauded me for seeing the light, huh?

  • Chad||

    they can dismiss those that won't echo their moronic beliefs by infering stupidty on their part

    There is no need for us to infer anything. You wear it on your shirt sleeve for all to see.

    Virtually every last drop of evidence lies on our side. You guys have nothing that stands up to the barest scrutiny, and just babble about conspiracy theories, repeat repeatedly debunked scientific theories.

  • ||

    I am curious, please let me know which rebuttals to AGW, specifically, you think are bunk. Do you even know what they are? If you did, you would have cited them and then proven them wrong by now.

    But you can ignore this post if you like cause I am not a friend of AGW and therefore this post is not worthy of a reply.

    Try me.

  • ||

    Why do you take such marginal science hook-line-and-sinker Tony? From the perspective of quality control on data, processes, and cohesion of effort, the GCM and its various flavors are a disaster. Do you disagree with that statement? Why?

  • Chad||

    "marginal science" = tens of thousands of journal papers, agreement by 97% of relevant experts, and the opinion of every major scientific organizaiton on earth.

    Pray tell, what ISN'T marginal if this is?

  • ||

    ""marginal science" = tens of thousands of journal papers, agreement by 97% of relevant experts, and the opinion of every major scientific organizaiton on earth."

    By this, you mean the IPCC. Please find me a scientist outside the IPCC that is a climatologist, not a fucking weatherman, because weather is not climate.

    The IPCC is a circle jerk. Everybody in the circle has a vested interested in cumming to the same conclusion.

  • Chad||

    No, by this I mean:

    "Statements by dissenting organizations

    With the release of the revised statement[93] by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists in 2007, no remaining scientific body of national or international standing is known to reject the basic findings of human influence on recent climate change"

    You can see all the agreeing organizations here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/S.....ate_change

    I just whooped your pathetic butt hundreds to zero. Bow down before me.

    Thanks for playing,

    Chad

  • Tony||

    Doesn't matter. Deniers are idiots. Period.

  • Bill||

    One can agree that there is warming, that CO2 from human industry is responsible for a good fraction of it, and still disagree with many of the wild speculations of what may happen over the next 200 years. The IPCC report has error bars in it, they just get lost in the shuffle. And we can definitely disagree with what policy prescription is called for. And I am technically able to evaluate it since I am a trained research scientist in the physical sciences.

    As far as creationism, there was one interesting idea called "irreducible complexity" but several proposed examples turned out to not be irreducible after all. So scientifically, they don't have a leg to stand on. Creationism is by its nature dependent on a supernatural explanation so is not science. The arguments against AGW and the worst-case scenarios and which govt. policies to pursue are NOT based on supernatural explanations but on questions of interpretation, extrapolation, and data analysis.

  • Gray Ghost||

    One can agree that there is warming, that CO2 from human industry is responsible for a good fraction of it, and still disagree with many of the wild speculations of what may happen over the next 200 years.

    Exactly. Very well said.

  • Chad||

    You are free to "disagree", but if you disagree only in one direction, and refuse to acknowledge that uncertainty cuts both ways, then you are simply wearing partisan blinders.

    What happens if things are WORSE than expected? This surely isn't implausible, as almost all new data the last few years has been worse than predicted earlier.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Chad, you yourself are "disagree[ing] only in one direction".

    Fucking hypocrite.

  • Chad||

    Wrong. It is certainly plausible, though unlikely, that AGW will not be a problem. It is about equally likely that it will be catastrophic, and most likely just be somewhere between bad and worse.

    I play the odds. You pretend that a single unlikely outcome is the truth, because that best fits your political leanings. Ergo, you are a political hack.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    ...said the guy who insists there is only one possible outcome...

  • ||

    Another well designed argument that totally dismantles the deniers. Well done, I am sure your professor of "hemp arts 101" would be proud of your skills as a liberal cliche.

  • ||

    here here!

  • Wegie||

    Why do you say idiot denier....you little cocksucker? You can't be so stupid as to believe AGW.

  • ||

    I swear to God, I saw a man-bear-pig out by the picnic table in my backyard!

  • ||

    The global warming establishment needs to be fixed like stray dogs and cats are fixed.

  • Wegie||

    In 2000 this country didn't have a chance. Al Gore Vs. George Bush. Talk about lose-lose!

  • ||

    Sorry, but if you want to turn the world economy into command and control from the U.N. [at least for Western Nations], you have some of those involved admitting that there are other "social" reasons for pursuing this course and you have many individuals and companies pursuing this purely for profit, I'd say, yes, you need a pretty damn well air tight case before you shut down the world economy and turn what's left over to the folks at the U.N.

  • Chad||

    I am so turned on right now.

  • Ron L||

    Tony|9.17.10 @ 11:24AM|#
    "The science that can't be trusted is the stuff that's funded by industries, especially if they have a profit interest in the outcome of research."

    Care to tell us how how people, oh, get treated for cancer? High blood pressure?

  • Juice||

    In every other discipline, scientists earn fame and fortune if they successfully debunk its reigning theories. They are feted at conferences, cited more often, offered more jobs.

    The key word here is successfully. Success in this regard not only involves sound and thorough science, but also convincing a lot of people. Sometimes this doesn't happen for a long time.

    It took until the Karlsruhe Conference in 1860 for chemists to accept the notion that an equal volume of gases as constant pressure contained the same number of molecules, a hypothesis put forth by Avogadro in 1811. Final acceptance of this led to the development of accurate periodic tables an an explosion of understanding of chemistry. Why did this happen? Because all the big names of the time discounted and denied it.

  • Richard Nous||

    It took 40 years for Piltdown man to be proven a fraud.

  • Juice||

    Oh, by the way. Anyone who does not accept the greenhouse effect is just missing the boat entirely. Increasing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere increases the amount of infrared radiation retained within it. There's no denying this.

    The questions are:

    by how much?

    what are the feedbacks?

    what are the effects of all the various feedbacks?

    how does the combination of increased CO2 and all the feedbacks (have they all been identified and characterized?) affect climate (local and global)?

    These questions have been worked out to a certain degree.

    My main problem with the "current consensus" (especially the political consensus) is that there is expressed a level of certainty that does not exist. That level of certainty is then used to concoct doomsday scenarios trying to scare everyone so that the fear can be used for compliance. But, hey, there's gold in them thar hills, so they go for it.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    +1

  • Chad||

    Doubling CO2 leads to a 1C temp increase directly and a 3C increase with feedbacks (primarily ice-albedo, water vapor, and other GHGs such as methane), over the short term. It might be closer to 4C in the long term. This is confirmed by both paleoclimate data and models. Since we are well on the way to increasing our CO2 levels 3-4 times, this would imply something around a 5C increase in the short term (this century), probably a bit more on a longer time frame (a few hundred years). Of course, there is uncertainty in this, but most of it is on the "it could be a lot worse" side. There is little chance that a doubling of CO2 would result in less than a 2C increase.

    Why can't you guys grasp that uncertainty cuts both ways, and actually HARMS your argument? The few percent chance that this is all much ado about nothing does not offset the few percent chance that we are about to unleash an apocalypse.

  • ||

    "Doubling CO2 leads to a 1C temp increase directly and a 3C increase with feedbacks (primarily ice-albedo, water vapor, and other GHGs such as methane), over the short term. It might be closer to 4C in the long term."

    So says my Playstation 3.

    Also, getting shot 36 times center mass will not kill you so long as there is a health pack nearby and even still, you can always re-life, it really sucks that you start at the beginning of the level, but it is better than total death.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Tony, how far does the "consensus" go in support of global warming theories, in your opinion?

    Is it merely that global warming/ climate change exists? Or is it that people are causing 100% of it?

    Is there any agreement on specific numbers/effects/extents?

  • ||

    I can answer that one...no.

  • Chad||

    As one prominent climate scientist said, we are causing somewhere between 80 and 120% of the observed warming.

    I wish you were smart enough to understand what he meant by that.

  • Chad||

    As one prominent climate scientist said, we are causing somewhere between 80 and 120% of the observed warming.

    I wish you were smart enough to understand what he meant by that.

  • DesigNate||

    I wish you were smart enough to understand that that is utter bullshit.

    Seeing as how the earth has been warming for about 50k years, there is no way in hell we are responsible for 100% of the observed warming.

  • Chad||

    So you are saying that it is impossible that the earth would have cooled during the last 150 years without humans?

  • ||

    The Earths climate is caused by the sun, it has little to do with CO2 or any greenhouse gas for that matter.

    The data presented by Al Gore does not show temperatures rising due to "greenhouse gasses" it shows CO2 rising in response to a warming climate. The ice core data presented shows that temperature increase precedes CO2 increase by nearly 600 years. This is an oceanographic event, that can be easily recorded and has been. It is a simple matter of PH balance.

    Further volcanoes emit more CO2 than humans could have ever hoped to emit and yet their CO2 was absorbed by plants and oceans where it was transformed into any number of valuable energies and matters that plants and oceans need.

    Finally, there is the sun to consider. There is considerable evidence that solar cycles have forced higher temperatures, not simply because the sun got hotter, but because added solar winds blew particles that are unfortunately called "cosmic rays" out of the path of the Earth. These particles are leftovers from the big bang and they are important to cloud formation. Cosmic rays seed clouds and clouds increase the Earths albedo thereby reflecting more solar radiation into space, this is why it is colder on cloudy days (in the shade) than on clear days.

    Computer models to date have not been able to model the effects of water vapor (clouds or humidity), but we know clouds have a net cooling effect.

    If you want to pretend that the sun's energy output doesn't fluctuate, then you can go ahead and live in fantasy land. Bottom line, we are in the sun's atmosphere, not the other way around, therefore we are subject to changes in the sun.

  • Chad||

    "The sun"? You mean that thing that is spitting out less light than normal? Indeed, the the thing that is in a deep solar MINIMUM during a record-hot year?

    http://www.skepticalscience.co.....arming.htm

    Your argument is refuted (in both moron's version and adult version) quite clearly here.

    Now, why in the bleeping hell did you believe such an argument in the first place?

    A: Because Rush and Sean told you so, and they are Gods

    or

    B: Because you heard is somewhere else in the conservative spin machine, and since you liked what you heard, you decided to believe it without fact-checking

    Either way, you have issues.

  • DaveB||

    "sarcasmic do you really think the green tech industry has more influence over policy than oil and coal? Really?"

    GE spent nearly $7 million in the fourth quarter of 2009 lobbying the government for green technology.

  • Wegie||

    As usual this turned into a pissing match with an idiot!

  • Tony Rony||

    Why do you guys even argue with Tony? Just ignore him.

  • ||

    Was it ever warmer in the past than it is now?
    Yes.
    How did it get that warm? And than cooler?
    Alarmists have no answer to these questions.

  • Chad||

    You are wrong on one very fundamental point, Shikha, and it betrays your deep misunderstanding of the scientific process: scientists' primary incentive is to get the technically correct answer. Any temptations to exaggerate one's work are dwarfed by the risk of making a mistake, or worse yet, caught making a career-ending fabrication. If global warming were refuted tomorrow by some incredible new data, these scientists would just move on to wherever the grant money would then flow, and would not be personally worse off in any meaningful way. Of course, no such data exists, but that's another story.

    And in any case, the IPCC has actually been very conservative, and by almost all measures, reality is tracking along their worst-case estimates.

  • Richard Nous||

    Any temptations to exaggerate one's work are dwarfed by the risk of making a mistake, or worse yet, caught making a career-ending fabrication.

    http://ftp.tomcity.ru/incoming/free/FOI2009.zip

    Bwahahahahahahaha! Your funny Chad.

  • Richard Nous||

    "In every other discipline, scientists earn fame and fortune if they successfully debunk its reigning theories. They are feted at conferences, cited more often, offered more jobs. In climate science, by contrast, debunkers invite an onslaught by the entire global warming juggernaut that can leave their academic reputation in ruins. Debunkers get branded as deniers."

    Beautiful, simply beautiful, and brilliant, so much so the author of it must be too!

    Perhaps the warmers within the broader scientific community are the ambulance chasers and/or public defenders? of the lawyering profession.

  • Richard Nous||

    For Tony and Chad:

    http://tinyurl.com/yksepuc

  • ||

    The rainforest craves my CO2. Drive less efficient vehicles and consider the expense an investment in the biodiversity of the planet. I am constantly amazed that tree huggers dont understand the fundamentals of botany.

  • DDavis||

    IPCC won't be a scientific endeavor until the major data sets and source codes are open sourced for all to see and argue over. Groups that hide their data and their methods aren't doing science. End of story.

    I believe that human actions have increased CO2 levels, and that this causes warming. And I think we should get serious about doing some science on this, putting real money into whatever planetary monitoring systems are required to allow us to accurately predict temperature trends, which we are currently unable to do.

  • ||

    After the CRU e-mails were released, there was criticism about the fact that they couldn't produce the core data for temperature data sets used in all of these models. The excuses provided by the accused scientists amounted to saying that this data is very old and it was taking up space on old systems so they could not hold onto them for a long time back when they were destroyed, or, you cant expect scientists to be able to hold onto every single bit of data there is just too much data.

    Bullshit! Yes there is a lot of data and that to me is why you would want to hold onto it and copy it down. A lot of data = a lot of work for a lot of people. If I were one of those scientists, I would be constantly backing up my hard earned data. Fuck, I have back-ups of my music that are almost a decade old despite the fact that I have a full backup that is a year old and this is just my music I didn't have to measure tree rings and analyze ice core samples to obtain the songs.

  • DDavis||

    Some of the toughest criticism of the IPCC comes from the statistical community. Beyond problems with the analysis of the data, IPCC's loss of the original data is a staggering blow to environmental science, and shows a profound lack of understanding of statistical data analysis.

    Keeping the original data intact is the overriding scientific concern for historical time series analysis. Sometimes people who don't know what they are doing only keep the "cleaned up" data - after detrending, binning, smoothing, etc. That in itself shows a shocking lack of knowledge, because any tidying up of the data is a lossy, irreversible process.

    But completely losing irreplaceable time series, on a problem which the investigators claim could spell catastrophe for mankind, how are we to describe an act of such utter failure?

    The first thing that comes to mind is the Taliban's dynamiting of the Buddhas of Bamyan. But while that is a cultural tragedy, there weren't a lot of lives in the balance.

    I think it is conservative to say that every year our understanding of global warming is delayed could cost tens of billions of dollars in either wasteful remediation efforts or damages from actual environmental effects.

    Paraphrasing Reagan, the most terrifying words in the english language: We're from the IPCC, and we're here to help.

  • ||

    I think I would have been more convinced if they said "my dog ate it" because at least there is a reasonable excuse in there that doesn't involve total ineptitude.

    I use statistics every day and like you said, without the raw data, you have nothing more than the various interpretations of the data. You can shave a log down to a toothpick with enough rubbing and that is what is going on with this "data".

  • nike shoes UK||

    is good

  • Moncler Outlet||

    thank u

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement