The cat i' the adage

"The growth of knowledge depends entirely on disagreement" Karl Popper (1902 - 1994)

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The Politics of Global Warming

It has been apparent for some time that the evidence for disruptive climate change is being subjected to massive overstatement. Today, the resignation of Chris Landsea from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change makes clear the extent to which facts are being made subservient to a political agenda. Landsea, who has worked on the IPCC since 1995, is an expert in hurricane activity, resigned after Kevin Trenberth, the lead author of the forthcoming IPCC assessment report gave a press conference in which he asserted a connection between global warming and recent severe hurricane activity.

Commonsense and Wonder has Landsea's resignation letter, from which I quote:

I found it a bit perplexing that the participants in the Harvard press conference had come to the conclusion that global warming was impacting hurricane activity today. To my knowledge, none of the participants in that press conference had performed any research on hurricane variability, nor were they reporting on any new work in the field. All previous and current research in the area of hurricane variability has shown no reliable, long-term trend up in the frequency or intensity of tropical cyclones, either in the Atlantic or any other basin. The IPCC assessments in 1995 and 2001 also concluded that there was no global warming signal found in the hurricane record.

Moreover, the evidence is quite strong and supported by the most recent credible studies that any impact in the future from global warming upon hurricane will likely be quite small.

It is beyond me why my colleagues would utilize the media to push an unsupported agenda that recent hurricane activity has been due to global warming. Given Dr. Trenberth’s role as the IPCC’s Lead Author responsible for preparing the text on hurricanes, his public statements so far outside of current scientific understanding led me to concern that it would be very difficult for the IPCC process to proceed objectively with regards to the assessment on hurricane activity. My view is that when people identify themselves as being associated with the IPCC and then make pronouncements far outside current scientific understandings that this will harm the credibility of climate change science and will in the longer term diminish our role in public policy.

I personally cannot in good faith continue to contribute to a process that I view as both being motivated by pre-conceived agendas and being scientifically unsound.

One to cut out and keep for use the next time someone claims that science has shown that man is responsible for bad weather.


At 19 January 2005 at 13:41, Blogger Jorgen said...

And if you want further confirmation, read Crichtons lecture on "consensus science" at Caltech "Aliens Cause Global Warming":

"Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.

There is no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus. Period."

Crichtons novel "State of Fear" also deals very much with these matters and has tons of references to web-sites, articles and books. Three of Crichtons speeches are printed at the end.

At 19 January 2005 at 15:38, Blogger rexie said...

Excellent lecture by Crichton. I can remember being deeply unpersuaded by Carl Sagan on a number of subjects ranging from extraterrestrial intelligence to Nuclear Winter.

For a fairly detailed examination of what is wrong with climatologists use of computer models I recommend John Daly's The "National Assessment" Overview: Politics Disguised as Science. No amount of consensus can make up for the woeful history of fitting to historical data, over-parameterization and scenario selection. I have worked many years in mathematical modelling and can spot junk no matter how eminent and well-paid its producers.


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