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Monday, May 24, 2010

The Warming Phoenix Rises From the Ashes

The argument for doing something about climate change is, in my opinion largely based on "appeal to authority". In other words, if climate scientists say something is so, then it must be so.

That's why Climategate was so damaging to the warmenist cause. The credibility and therefore the authority of the main IPCC scientists was called into question. Without that credibility, the warmenists main argument was damaged and public support for doing something disintegrated.

The National Research Council was funded by Congress to study climate change and has now produced 3 reports totalling over 800 pages. I've scanned the first 100 pages and it looks to be nearly a complete regurgitation of the IPCC's last report (AR4), except that at the end of many sections the primary conclusion was that new bureaucracies and scientific organizations should be created to continue studying climate change.

How clever! Since the IPCC's credibility was damaged, why not take more or less the same material and have some scientists with reputation intact spout the same old alarmist stuff. Now the warmenists can appeal to authority again and march forward to world domination or whatever their goal is.

The credibility of the IPCC is dead - long live the credibility of the National Research Council!


Jeff Shattuck said...

I have to confess, global warming concerns me, but I also have to confess that I think its causes are more natural than man made and there is nothing we can do about it. Sadly, if this is true, I worry that we'll take a more casual approach to other kinds of pollution. Meanwhile, congress will write reports and Obama will orate.

Bret said...


We're in pretty solid agreement and what you say echoes Bjorn Lomborg in "The Skeptical Environmentalist". I've actually done a fair amount of research into the climate thing (I'm an engineer/math nerd/computer geek/scientist kind of guy) and I've actually read dozens of the scientific "peer reviewed" articles at this point. I wrote a
post last October on my findings from a scientific/economic/political/religious perspective in case you're curious.

Harry Eagar said...

Objecting to the NRC as 'appeal to authority' is kind of circular. That's what it is supposed to be.

It's reports often contradict street belief, as when it declared that seat belts on school buses would not enhance safety.

The problem is, in this case, almost all the research has been based on a one-directional assumption (that molecular gases are the most important component of climate), and practically none has been on the assumption that, for example, orbital variation is a/the primary driver.

The NRC reviews what's there to review.

It would be more productive, in my opinion, if the question being asked were: What sets off ice ages?

The answer, conceivably, would be, nothing any more.

As Edwards Deming used to say, you have to have a theory. If you don't have a theory, how do you know when you're wrong?

In this case, they have a theory but it isn't closely linked to observations.

Bret said...

I'm not objecting to NRC's authority. If anything, I'm objecting to the use of NRC's authority by warmenists.

Did they really review the science (and economics), or did they just accept the findings of all peer-reviewed articles?

Harry Eagar said...

They just review the research reports. That's their remit.

They would not, for example, ask the question: Is it possible to model climate?, although that is a damn fine question.

Not all climate science is junk science. I have no problem with, for example, examining sediments for clues to past climate. It is the integration of all the reports that's junk. Nobody knows how to do it.

Bret said...

I agree with that.

Anonymous said...

I just watched a video (Google The Obama Deception) that states there is no actual Global Warming....goes on to say it is all based on the sun and sun spots. The video is over 35 minutes long but believe me..I am glad I watched it. Opened my eyes for sure. Gave answers for so much of what is going on now....why and what is to come if believed.