7 (or more) reasons to be (scientifically) skeptical of Anthropogenic Global Warming

Bore Patch blog has an excellent post up: Should You Be a Global Warming Skeptic?. He details the problems with the AGW theory, much of it known even before the revelations of the “Climategate” leak.

Read the whole thing, really, but I especially want to point out this paragraph, which is a pointed response to any argument that “the science is settled”:

I thought there was a consensus that Global Warming is occurring? The “science is settled”, isn’t it?

Actually, there’s never been a consensus. We’ll come back to this later, but the most interesting thing about this argument is that it’s not a scientific argument. Science simply doesn’t care about consensus, it cares about data and reproduceability of results. If your data is solid, and other people can get the same results, it simply doesn’t matter if you run with the crowd or not.

Simply put, if science depended on consensus, we would never get anywhere — as any fundamentally new theory pretty much depends on throwing an old theory out. Reputable scientists in modern times never argue that something is “settled”. I mean gravity isn’t “settled” science for Chrissakes — do you really think that the climate is settled science, when we can’t even predict next week’s weather?

If you’re hearing “the science is settled”, what you’re hearing is politics, not science. It’s smoke and mirrors. It a different way of saying “We have a vested interest in people believing us, so everyone who doesn’t agree with us should just shut their mouths.” Specifically, it’s an Appeal to Popularity fallacy — an attempt to shame critics into silence — and it is shameful coming from people who claim to be scientists. Don’t let them get away with it.

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2 Responses to “7 (or more) reasons to be (scientifically) skeptical of Anthropogenic Global Warming”

  1. Borepatch Says:

    Thanks for the link. I’ve been posting on this topic for over a year – as you point out, this has been well known for a while.

    The most important issue to get out to your friends and relatives who believe in warming is the “adjustments” to the raw temperature data. It looks like most – and maybe all – of the warming is not being seen in the thermometers, but is added once the data is back in the database.

    [Borepatch’s post on adjustments — a good read: http://borepatch.blogspot.com/2009/... — ed.]

  2. Stephen R Says:

    The other thing I’ve pointed out to people is that all the (scant) reporting they’ve been hearing focuses on the emails, when the code itself is far more damning.

    The notes from the poor programmer who was called in to try to make the existing software work is almost hysterical — or would be if the fraud wasn’t so serious. He basically spent three years trying any way he could to get the software to reproduce the desired results from the data given… and he couldn’t do it, short of (as you point out) hard-coding in “adjustments” to the numbers.

    At one point in the code there is an array of numbers which is pretty much an overlay of the 20th century data. And when you realize what it is, it’s crystal clear that what’s happening is that the software is literally subtracting from the 1940s temperatures and adding to the temperatures from the end of the century. Hmmmm…. Now I’m not a fancy climate scientist and all, but I suspect that that might not be proper scientific methodology.

    [edit: Ah, there it is: http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=1447 ]

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