It seems every week a new development further weakens the shaky foundation of the climate alarmists. We certainly had more of the same this week. How many more nails must be pounded into this coffin before it is buried for good?
The big event this week was the revelation about leaked emails from the University of East Anglia which have further undermined the credibility of the alarmists. It seems that hackers have accessed the UEA Climate Research Unit’s computer system, and leaked all sorts of damaging emails to the public.
These emails reveal what seems to be a cover-up about actual climate conditions. It appears that research data may have been massaged and manipulated. These internal email exchanges contain references to a “trick” that would “hide the decline” of global temperatures, and include instructions to “delete” contrary data.
For example, one of the emails said this: “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd [sic] from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.”
One investigative journalist, James Delingpole, who is calling this “Climategate,” says the worst revelations from these emails have to do with the deliberate concealing of contrary evidence, and seeking to hijack the debate: “And, perhaps most reprehensibly, a long series of communications discussing how best to squeeze dissenting scientists out of the peer review process. How, in other words, to create a scientific climate in which anyone who disagrees with (anthropogenic global warming) can be written off as a crank, whose views do not have a scrap of authority.”
His article features many damning quotes from these emails. If they are all legitimate – and it seems that they are – then we here have further proof of what climate sceptics have long charged: the evidence is just not there for Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW), and there are concentrated attempts to derail true public debate, and paint any dissenters as crackpots.
Two other recent articles are worth drawing attention to here in this regard. In today’s Australian the former British Chancellor of the Exchequer, Nigel Lawson, has an important piece urging us to hope for a speedy demise to the upcoming Copenhagen Summit. He highlights the shortcomings of emissions targets:
“Even if the Kyoto 5 per cent cut is achieved, it will be only because the developed world has effectively outsourced a large part of its emissions to those countries, such as China and India, without Kyoto constraints. Not only is 50 per cent [the Copenhagen target] rather more severe than 5 per cent, but (except in the unlikely event of world industry migrating to Mars) a global target removes the escape route of outsourcing emissions. Moreover, there is a strong moral argument too. The reason we use carbon-based energy is simply that it is far and away the cheapest source of energy, and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.
“Switching to much more expensive energy may be acceptable for us in the developed world. But in the developing world there are still tens of millions of people suffering from acute poverty, and from the consequences of such poverty, in the shape of preventable disease, malnutrition and premature death. So for the developing world the overriding priority has to be the fastest feasible rate of economic development, which means, inter alia, using the cheapest available form of energy: carbon-based energy.”
He also speaks to the Climategate affair: “Last week an apparent hacker obtained access to their computers and published in the blogosphere part of their internal email traffic. And the CRU has conceded that at least some of the published emails are genuine. Astonishingly, what appears, at least at first blush, to have emerged is that (a) the scientists have been manipulating the raw temperature figures to show a relentlessly rising global warming trend; (b) they have consistently refused outsiders access to the raw data; (c) the scientists have been trying to avoid freedom of information requests; and (d) they have been discussing ways to prevent papers by dissenting scientists being published in learned journals.
“There may be a perfectly innocent explanation. But what is clear is that the integrity of the scientific evidence on which not merely the British government, but other countries, too, through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, claim to base far-reaching and hugely expensive policy decisions, has been called into question. And the reputation of British science has been seriously tarnished. A high-level independent inquiry must be set up without delay.”
Another important article, by Walter Starck, one of Australia’s most senior and experienced marine biologists, is also worth citing. He too comments on Climategate: “Suffice it to say that along with the usual pettiness common to academia, the foul stench of scientific corruption has been released. This includes evidence of misleading selection and manipulation of data, the withholding and even destruction of data to prevent independent examination, as well as conspiracy to denigrate conflicting research and prevent its acceptance for publication.
“In addition to the damming correspondence, a significant volume of scientific information was also released and is now being examined. Stand by for evidence of even greater malfeasance to emerge. If nothing else, what has already been revealed makes it clear that, regardless of whatever may be the real nature of AGW, the scientific proof for it is highly uncertain and conflicted. It is also clear that many of its leading proponents have been knowingly complicit in an ongoing scientific fraud the likes of which has never before been perpetrated. At his next public apology session the PM should feel a duty to add frightened children, coastal property owners, farmers, graziers, fishermen and climate sceptics to his list of those wronged.”
Quite right. And he offers us some hard truth about science and climate modelling: “None of this stuff is based on any measurable change in world climate trends. Both temperature and sea level rises have, in fact, decreased over the past few years. The average global temperature is within a fraction of a degree of where it was a century ago. The rate of sea level rise is around 1.7 mm per year, which is also very close to what it was a century ago. A 2° rise in Barrier Reef water temperatures would bring them up to about the same as in the Coral Triangle area which straddles the equator to our north and is where corals flourish at their highest level of diversity anywhere on the planet.
“All of these prophesies are supposedly based on projections from models; but, output from models are not real world data. They are simply estimates reflecting the opinions of the modellers. This is especially so with the kind of complex interactive models used in climate studies. These are not based on rigid verified formulas and precisely quantified input variables. They can take any form, as simple or as complex as the modeller chooses, and many inputs are only uncertain estimates. Such models typically require a great deal of tedious adjustment in order to produce outcomes which are both plausible and acceptable to the modellers. Within the limits of plausibility and uncertainty, such adjustments can result in a very broad range of outcomes.
“Those presented to the public are simply what the modellers deem to be appropriate ones. They represent an opinion or educated guess by the modellers, nothing more. That most modelled outcomes are similar is unsurprising. Outcomes that are too different from most others will be criticised and have to be defended. All of them embody numerous uncertainties and cannot be strongly justified. Amidst such uncertainty and vulnerability most modellers choose to not stray too far from the middle of the herd.”
Consider also funding issues and academic research: We have “an academic/research system which produces volumes of certified experts in things about which little is actually known and most of what we think we know is wrong. Along with a fictitious expertise, the products of the degree mills are indoctrinated with a politically correct eco-salvationist ethos. However, there is rarely any formal training at all in the philosophy and ethics of science. Although their degree indicates they are Doctors of Philosophy, their training is that of a technician, not a philosopher. Their only prospect of employment is a position either funded or required by government. It may be noted that a position is not the same as a job. The latter requires some level of output, the former only involves occupancy of a space.
“In addition, the atmosphere of academic research in the environmental area has come to be dominated by competitive bidding for government funding wherein the currency of the bids is the degree of purported threat. The more serious and urgent a threat, the more likely is funding approval. Research funded to investigate a problem never finds there really isn’t one or that it’s only trivial or temporary. Good news about the environment is unwelcome and suspect. If it can’t be explained away, good news is simply shelved. Publication of such would be unlikely to get past peer review anyway and, if somehow it did, it would only subject the author to denigration. Too many right thinking colleagues would be sure from everything they understand about the world that it just couldn’t be true.”
His article is worth reading in full, as are all the articles I provide links for below. What we seem to have here is another passing week, with yet more crumbling of the edifice of the climate merchants of doom.