August 10, 2007
Twisting Science to Fit the Global Warming TemplateBy James Lewis
The global warming crowd does not take kindly to being contradicted, either by critics or data. Of course, critics can be defamed and data can be skewed. But unless the critics can be silenced, they can fight back and expose phony data. When it begins to look like predictions of doom are not turning out sufficiently catastrophic, a full Orwell is called for. The media mobilize their templates to completely re-cast the information.
This process was fully in evidence yesterday when the global news service Reuters spun a report in Science magazine (which has been quietly starting to warn its readership that maybe it would be prudent to come in a bit from the end of the global warming limb) as if it confirmed the seriousness of global warning, when in fact the report contained devastating information of flaws in the doomsters methodology and warned that the disaster has been postponed.
That's the Reuters headline on an article in this week's Science magazine. But the Science article itself is an artful retreat from previous, over-confident global warming predictions.
Here's the Reuters story
Here is Science magazine's own summary:
Notice that the editors of Science repeat the global warming party line, but emphasize the news: Climate modelers are finally "scrambling to factor in" natural variation. That's funny. You would have thought that model-builders would have done that ages ago. You mean they were only doing greenhouse predictions, and ignoring all the rest?
That's the message a lot of scientific readers will get out of this backhanded admission.
For example, write the editors,
Eeeek! Maybe it's not true at all???
Phew!! Saved by the end of the sentence!
Now notice what Reuters "news" agency does with this story. According to Science, the big news is that climate modelers are finally, finally factoring in huge natural climate variations. By announcing that big news, they are also admitting that climate modelers have previously ignored nature.
OK. So what's the big new modeling prediction? A graph on the same page (746) of the magazine shows real fluctuations in measured temperatures that average to zero until 1998. Then there's a big peak around 1998, which allows the modelers to claim there was a net rise in temperature in the 90s. However, that peak was due to faulty measurements and has been corrected just days ago, thanks to the work of global warming critics. The faux "peak" is followed by a trough immediately afterward, in 2000. What makes the trend look upward as a whole is the predicted future temperatures. Those are the ones we haven't seen yet.
In otherwise, data that doesn't exist.
Let's push a little further. The editors begin their Letters section with two interesting headline letters. One is a retraction of an ancient climate event, by the original author who made the claim. The next piece is called The Dangers of Advocacy in Science, by Robert A. Gitzen of the University of Missouri. The out-take from that letter is the following, printed separately in large-sized font: "WOULD ANYONE DISAGREE that publishing overly liberal conclusions is poor science...?"
By publishing and headlining Gitzen's letter is Science once again hinting that all is not well on the global warming front?
What most people don't know is that real science is a giant debating society, filled with skeptics. It is only mature science that is stable and agreed-upon. But mature science comes only after centuries of cumulative evidence, and constant, heated debate. It took 20 centuries after the planets were observed in the night sky, before Newton and Copernicus settled the nature of the solar system. Einstein's Relativity Theory happened three centuries afterwards, and even in his own lifetime, part of Einstein's universe was overthrown by Quantum Mechanics, which Einstein fought all his life. (He was wrong on that).
Climate science is a new kid on the block. It's woefully immature, as shown by the admission in this week's ScienceMag that current climate models have only now attempted to account for natural variation. But how can we tell how much of the observed variation is due to "man-caused global warming" if we don't know how much is due to natural variation? We can't.
This is still very immature science. It's only Reuters and its ideological ilk who feel sure they know the answers. And they aren't interested in real science.
James Lewis blogs at http://www.dangeroustimes.wordpress.com/