By Bradley Harrington
NOTE: This is the first of two columns discussing the validity of man-induced climate change. You can find the second column here: “Hot Air Hooliganism, Part II.”
“Being intelligent is not a felony. But most societies evaluate it as at least a misdemeanor.” — Robert Heinlein, “Time Enough for Love,” 1973 —
If you ever want to find out just how wedded people are to their pet propositions, regardless of facts or data, go ahead and challenge one of their pre-conceived convictions — and then observe the reaction.
And since, today, the most all-encompassing — and costly — conjecture of all scientific history is the mythological creed of man-induced “climate change,” I knew that when I gave that sacred cow a good, swift kick, all Hell was going to break loose.
Too bad for the defenders of this dogma, though, that everything they’ve bloviated about is nothing more than balderdash. And while I certainly don’t have the space and time to thoroughly discuss all of it, let’s at least examine a bit of it.
Regarding my presentation of the satellite data that proves the Earth hasn’t warmed in nearly 20 years, as well as the “Petition Project” that demonstrates that the scientific community is anything but a “consensus” regarding these topics, one reader opined:
“You cannot cite www.climatedepot.com as a credible source as a counter to hundreds of actual scientific studies … Similarly, the “petition project” is a sham project whereby ‘experts’ sign a petition though their criteria for being designated an expert is merely having an undergrad college degree in a ‘relevant’ field … Citing two sham websites (as your only sources) eliminates any credibility you would have had.” (“CowboyHumphrey,” “Online comments,” Sep. 8).
But observe that Mr. “CowboyHumphrey” makes no attempt to actually challenge the RSS data — he merely attacks one of the websites on which it was posted as not being a “credible source.” Hmmm … Whatever happened to the Good Ole Days when people actually tried refuting the evidence? That would certainly be “scientific,” would it not? As we shall see, though, a respect for facts and data do not seem to be a value for these Hot Air Hooligans.
As for the Petition Project: All of the science classifications included ARE “relevant” to the “climate change” debate. After all, if you want to go around spewing to the world that your computer model predicts impending doom, what’s wrong with a computer scientist having something to say about the way you programmed your computer?
Or, if you’re blustering about the impact of carbon dioxide on the troposphere, what’s wrong with getting an atmospheric scientist’s take on the matter?
But another online commentator has a decidedly different opinion, where he also challenges the validity of the statements of those 31,487 scientists:
“That figure is skewed that its not climate scientist but anyone could sign it. also when they say that 97percent of scientists agree they mean so should say 97 percent of scientific articles published support climate change.” [sic] (“Wesley Scott Frain,” “Online comments,” Sep. 8.)
Really, Mr. “Frain”? That “97 percent consensus” swill you trot out is as bogus as it gets. Here’s the two main sources for how that figure was conjured up:
■ “We compiled a database of 1,372 climate researchers based on authorship of scientific assessment reports and membership on multisignatory statements about anthropogenic climate change.” (W.R.L. Anderegg, “Expert credibility in climate change,” “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,” www.pnas.org, Jul. 6, 2010.)
Next, Mr. Anderegg established a criterion that “a researcher must have authored a minimum of 20 climate publications to be considered a climate researcher, thus reducing the database to 908 researchers.” Then — and only then — he “discovered” that “97 percent of self-identified actively publishing climate scientists agree with the tenets of [anthropogenic climate change].”
So: “97 percent of scientists agree”… UNLESS you’ve only written 19 or less papers. Which proves nothing … Except that “scientists” in desperate need of government funding grants can produce a whole lot of swill.
And if those facts aren’t enough to blow this “97 percent” twaddle into the (allegedly warming) troposphere, try this methodology on for size:
■ “In [analyzing] 11,944 climate abstracts from 1991-2011 matching the topics ‘global climate change’ or ‘global warming,’ we find that 66.4 percent of abstracts expressed no position on AGW [Anthropogenic Global Warming], 32.6 percent endorsed AGW, 0.7 percent rejected AGW and 0.3 percent were uncertain about the cause of global warming.” John Cook, “Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature,” “Environmental Research Letters,” www.iopscience.org, May 15, 2013.)
And, now, the kicker: “Among abstracts expressing a position on (anthropogenic global warming), 97.1 percent endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming.”
But… Two-thirds of those papers expressed no position at all! So, when the Hot Air Hooligans holler about the “cherry-picking of data,” I guess it’s pretty clear where they got that idea.
THIS, Dear Reader, is what is considered “scientific research” in our “modern” era. “Stacking the deck” would be a more honest description.
Bradley Harrington is a computer technician and a writer who lives in Cheyenne. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
NOTE: This column was originally published in the “Wyoming Tribune Eagle” on September 15, 2016. Here is this column’s original downloadable PDF file.
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