Monday, February 15, 2010

Global Warming, RIP?

Rob at Say Anything beat me to the punch on this one, but I thought I would add a couple words here rather than doubling up on his blog. First, an excerpt from an interview with Dr. Phil Jones, who is at the center of the ClimateGate scandal.

The academic at the centre of the ‘Climategate’ affair, whose raw data is crucial to the theory of climate change, has admitted that he has trouble ‘keeping track’ of the information.

Professor Jones also conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now – suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon.

And he said that for the past 15 years there has been no ‘statistically significant’ warming.
And, from Rob:

Which means theories about human-caused global warming as they stand now cannot possibly be true. Which, in turn, means that all the government power grabs and exorbitant new taxes and regulations justified by the fear of human-caused global warming - regulations from everything on what light bulbs you can buy to what kind of car you can drive to subsidies for biofuels, etc. - are based on an illusion.
I've felt from the beginning that the global warming movement was little more than a power grab and a moneymaking scheme (through kickbacks and taxation) for politicians and a source of guaranteed funding for scientists who were more interested in politics and prestiege than actual science.

I won't go so far as to say that there is no such thing as global warming (the phenomenon obviously exists) or that human industrialization has no effect on climate. Instead I'll say what I've always said: attempting to measure the effect of humans on the climate is a worthy area of study. While I suspect that the Sun is by far the biggest actor on global climate, I'm willing to entertain the idea that humans can change things for the worse.

But any such research needs to be open and rigorous in the best spirit of scientific discovery. There needs to be an honesty in the discussion which to this point has not existed. In science, data is not supposed to be highlighted or thrown away based on a preordained outcome born from political or personal goals.

The global warming movement is what comes of political correctness run amok in the scientific community. It's time to start over, make all data public (at least the stuff that hasn't been "lost"), reexamine the models and rethink the economic impact out-of-control regulation will have on an already-groaning world economy.

In other words, I'm skeptical but I'm willing to be persuaded. Persuade me, but do it the right way.

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