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Anthropogenic Global Warming- Your thoughts please
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I should have said without warming coinciding with the current c02 levels as had been wrongly predicted. There has been no warming for over a decade and the ice core data shows that the warming typically would be leading the rise in C02, that is obviously not happening either.
Overall there appears to be nothing out of the ordinary with the current global trend in climate. Though the c02 levels have been rising steadily the climate seems to keep trudging on its usual path as it has since the beginning of time...
Cheers,
Jon
 
Location: Wellington County, Ontario Canada | Registered: February 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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"Computer models" have been part of my engineering and scientific 'toolbox' since the days when we communicated to them by punching holes in cards. In most cases the models were used to predict and plan. Examples include where and how to extract mineral resources or how to design and site buildings to run on renewable energy in cold climates. The common factor in every case involved testing and tweaking the model until it accurately fit real historical data. Could it find existing deposits; did predicted energy use agree with heating and power records in existing buildings?

Many climate models appear to have missed that essential 'test and tweak' calibration phase, before they were used to bolster alarmist predictions of imminent dire unprecedented warming. Only a few models a decade ago predicted the significant slowing in the rate of warming we've seen since the late 90s. Any who disagreed with alarmist warming were labeled as 'junk science', and 'deniers'.

Before we can have confidence in their predictions, climate models must accurately model historic climates and accurately predict temperatures at least a few years ahead.



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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See for yourself. Go to www.weatherspark.com
Enter your location and go to 'Dashboard' display.
The graphs show current, historical, and predicted conditions plotted against historical long term averages for that date. One can easily see if the current or predicted conditions are abnormal.
In the toolbar at the the top of the frame, Click on 'More' then click on Global Warming.
The map shows your location and can zoom from only your location to the entire globe of valid stations.
See how your location and region [or anywhere else] compares with the long term rate in °C per century in their database of about 3000 stations around the globe.



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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New paper finds another mechanism by which the Sun controls climate
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com...013GL058670/abstract

A paper published recently in Geophysical Research Letters finds that solar activity modulates the natural ocean oscillations the Pacific Decadal Oscillation [PDO] and the North Atlantic Oscillation [NAO]. These ocean oscillations, in turn, have large scale effects upon global climate.

The authors find when the PDO is in phase with the 11 year sunspot cycle, the pattern of sea level pressures and surface temperatures shift in comparison to when they are out of phase. The authors also find the NAO is amplified when it is in phase with the sunspot cycle.

These effects may represent another solar amplification mechanism by which tiny 0.1% changes in solar activity can be amplified to large scale effects upon climate.

Interactions between externally-forced climate signals from sunspot peaks and the internally-generated Pacific Decadal and North Atlantic Oscillations
Harry van Loon, Gerald A. Meehl

Abstract

When the PDO [Pacific Decadal Oscillation] is in phase with the 11 year sunspot cycle there are positive SLP [sea level pressure] anomalies in the Gulf of Alaska, nearly no anomalous zonal SLP gradient across the equatorial Pacific, and a mix of small positive and negative SST [sea surface temperature] anomalies there. When the two indices are out of phase, positive SLP anomalies extend farther south in the Gulf of Alaska and west into eastern Russia, with a strengthened anomalous zonal equatorial Pacific SLP gradient and larger magnitude and more extensive negative SST anomalies along the equatorial Pacific. In the North Atlantic, when the NAO [North Atlantic Oscillation] is in phase with the sunspot peaks, there is an intensified positive NAO SLP pattern. When the NAO is out of phase with the peaks, there is the opposite pattern (negative NAO). The relationships are physically consistent with previously identified processes and mechanisms, and point the way to further research.



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Simple Proof AGW is False
http://climatephysics.com/simple-proof-agw-is-false/
by Howard C. Hayden, Professor Emeritus of Physics, UConn, October 27, 2009

It has been often said that the “science is settled” on the issue of CO2 and climate. Let me put this claim to rest with a simple one-letter proof that it is false.

The letter is “s”, the one that changes model into models. If the science were settled, there would be precisely one model, and it would be in agreement with measurements.

Alternatively, one may ask which one of the twenty-some models settled the science so that all the rest could be discarded along with the research funds that have kept those models alive.

We can take this further. Not a single climate model predicted the current cooling phase. If the science were settled, the model (singular) would have predicted it.

Let me next address the horror story that we are approaching (or have passed) a “tipping point.” Anybody who has worked with amplifiers knows about tipping points. The output “goes to the rail.” Not only that, but it stays there. That’s the official worry coming from the likes of James Hansen and Al Gore.

But therein lies the proof that we are nowhere near a tipping point.

The earth, it seems, has seen times when the CO2 concentration was up to 8,000 ppm, and that did not lead to a tipping point. If it did, we would not be here talking about it.

In fact, seen on the long scale, the CO2 concentration in the present cycle of glacials (ca. 200 ppm) and interglacials (ca. 300-400 ppm) is lower than it has been for the last 300 million years.

Global-warming alarmists tell us that the rising CO2 concentration is (A) anthropogenic and (B) leading to global warming.

(A) CO2 concentration has risen and fallen in the past with no help from mankind. The present rise began in the 1700s, long before humans could have made a meaningful contribution.

Alarmists have failed to ask, let alone answer, what the CO2 level would be today if we had never burned any fuels. They simply assume that it would be the “pre-industrial” value.

The solubility of CO2 in water decreases as water warms, and increases as water cools. The warming of the earth since the Little Ice Age has thus caused the oceans to emit CO2 into the atmosphere.

(B) The first principle of causality is that the cause has to come before the effect. The historical record shows that climate changes precede CO2 changes. How, then, can one conclude that CO2 is responsible for the current warming?

Nobody doubts that CO2 has some greenhouse effect, and nobody doubts that CO2 concentration is increasing. But what would we have to fear if CO2 and temperature actually increased?

A warmer world is a better world. Look at weather-related death rates in winter and in summer, and the case is overwhelming that warmer is better.
The higher the CO2 levels, the more vibrant is the biosphere, as numerous experiments in greenhouses have shown. But a quick trip to the museum can make that case in spades. Those huge dinosaurs could not exist anywhere on the earth today because the land is not productive enough. CO2 is plant food, pure and simple.
CO2 is not pollution by any reasonable definition.
A warmer world begets more precipitation.
All computer models predict a smaller temperature gradient between the poles and the equator. Necessarily, this would mean fewer and less violent storms.
The melting point of ice is 0 ºC in Antarctica, just as it is everywhere else. The highest recorded temperature at the South Pole is -14 ºC, and the lowest is -117 ºC. How, pray, will a putative few degrees of warming melt all the ice and inundate Florida, as is claimed by the warming alarmists?

Consider the change in vocabulary that has occurred.

The term global warming has given way to the term climate change, because the former is not supported by the data. The latter term, climate change, admits of all kinds of illogical attributions. If it warms up, that’s climate change. If it cools down, ditto. Any change whatsoever can be said by alarmists to be proof of climate change.

In a way, we have been here before. Lord Kelvin “proved” that the earth could not possibly be as old as the geologists said. He “proved” it using the conservation of energy. What he didn’t know was that nuclear energy, not gravitation, provides the internal heat of the sun and the earth.

Similarly, the global-warming alarmists have “proved” that CO2 causes global warming.

Except when it doesn’t.

To put it fairly but bluntly, the global-warming alarmists have relied on a pathetic version of science in which computer models take precedence over data, and numerical averages of computer outputs are believed to be able to predict the future climate.

It would be a travesty if the EPA were to countenance such nonsense.



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Climate Myth...
CO2 lags temperature

What a load of BS, in the very study your quoting it states that the heating began first, due to the orbit of the earth. Its not a myth but rather appears to be a fact. As is shown in the ice core data going back 800,000 years too. First comes the heat, then comes the C02...
In Shakuns own words in the abstract
quote:
The role and relative importance of CO2 in producing these climate changes remains unclear

I also find it important to point out that he used computer climate models for his paper, this does not rule out all of the information in the paper to me, but it sure raises my skepticism...
This paper does not bring us any closer to knowing whether or not we humans are causing the climate to change, in my opinion. Smile
Cheers,
Jon
 
Location: Wellington County, Ontario Canada | Registered: February 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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quote:
Originally posted by Ronny:
quote:
Originally posted by Jon Heron:
What a load of BS, in the very study your quoting it states that the heating began first, due to the orbit of the earth. Its not a myth but rather appears to be a fact. As is shown in the ice core data going back 800,000 years too. First comes the heat, then comes the C02...
If only the world was as simple as you would like it to be. That is of course the point - the Southern Hemisphere warmed before the CO2 increase, while the Northern Hemisphere warmed after.
In looking for an excuse to reject this research, the denialists manage to miss the entire point of the paper.
If you look closely you will see that the study came to the conclusion that "Overall, about 90% of the global warming occurred after the CO2 increase"
I didn't miss the point at all, I simply pointed out your ridiculous statement that
quote:
Climate Myth...
CO2 lags temperature

is complete BS, the C02 did lag the warming, plain and simple, I think perhaps your missing the point...
I will add that I am not a denialist nor am I looking for excuses to reject any study, I try to look at the information objectively and form my own opinion, thats what skeptical people do...

quote:
The role and relative importance of CO2 in producing these climate changes remains unclear
That does not change the fact that his study shows 'Overall, about 90% of the global warming occurred after the CO2 increase"
Right, nor does it change the fact that the warming came first, in this study and in the study of the 800,000 year record in the ice cores...


quote:
"I also find it important to point out that he used computer climate models for his paper,"
]Why do you think this is important?
You seem to be working under the theory that if you claim that climate modeling is meaningless often enough then computer modeling will actually become meaningless.
How many times do you think it will require someone to deny the validity of computer modeling before computer modeling becomes invalid?
I think its important because climate models are inaccurate and subjective, Fact.
The rest of your statement requires no response as its as ridiculous as your statement stating that C02 lagging heat is a myth...


quote:
This paper does not bring us any closer to knowing whether or not we humans are causing the climate to change, in my opinion. Smile
Ah, your opinion. What was your field of study that helps you form this opinion.
I am an electrician. Since we are off in the weeds here anyways, whats your "field of study"?


Global warming!
What global warming?
I don't see no global warming!!
 
Location: Wellington County, Ontario Canada | Registered: February 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Long before climate policy became fashionable, global energy consumption data shows that from 1965 to 1999 the proportion of carbon-free energy more than doubled to more than 13 percent. Since then, there has been little if any progress in expanding the share of carbon-free energy in the global mix. Despite the rhetoric around the rise of renewable energy, this stagnation suggests how policies employed to accelerate rates of decarbonization of the global economy have been largely ineffective.



The figure above shows the proportion of global energy consumption that comes from carbon-free sources. These sources include nuclear, hydro, solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass. The graph shows that from 1965 to 1999 the proportion of carbon-free energy in global consumption more than doubled to more than 13 percent, coincident with nuclear power increasing by a factor of 100 and hydropower by a factor of 6.

However, since 1999 the proportion of carbon-free energy in the global mix has dropped slightly. In fact, 1999 was the peak year for non-carbon energy. From 1999 to 2012 consumption of nuclear power dropped by 2 percent. While solar has increased its contribution to consumption by a factor of 100 and wind by 25 from 1999 to 2012, these sources remain at about 1 percent of total global energy consumption, and are dwarfed by the resurgence of coal.



Much is often made about the rise of renewable energy, but the data tells a more sobering story. In the ten years that ended in 2012, the world added about 2,500 million metric tonnes of oil equivalent (in layman’s terms, a lot) to its total energy consumption. Of that increase about 14 percent came from non-carbon sources. Compare that to the ten years ending in 2002, during which about 19 percent of the new energy consumption over the previous decade came from non-carbon sources. The figure above shows the proportion of annually added energy consumption that comes from carbon-free and carbon-intensive sources.

The data shows that for several decades the world has seen a halt in progress towards less carbon-intensive energy consumption, at about 13 percent of the total global supply. This stagnation provides further evidence that the policies that have been employed to accelerate rates of decarbonization of the global economy have been largely ineffective. The world was moving faster towards decarbonizing its energy mix long before climate policy became fashionable.
http://thebreakthrough.org/ind...n-energy-stagnation/



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Climate models cannot simulate the observed rate of warming of global land air plus sea surface temperatures during the early warming period (1917-1944), which warmed at about the same rate as the recent warming period (1976-2012). The fact that the models simulate the warming better during the recent warming period does not indicate that manmade greenhouse gases were responsible for the warming—it only indicates the models were tuned to perform better during the recent warming period.



The public should have little confidence in climate models, yet we are bombarded by the mainstream media almost daily with climate model-based conjecture and weather-related fairytales. Climate models have shown little to no ability to reproduce observed rates of warming and cooling of global temperatures over the term of the GISS Land Ocean Temperature Index. The IPCC clearly overstates its confidence in model simulations of the climate variable most commonly used to present the supposition of human-induced global warming (e.g., surface temperature). After several decades of development, models continue to show no skill at establishing that global warming is a response to increasing greenhouse gases.
http://bobtisdale.wordpress.co...n-temperature-index/



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Global Warming Science Boat May Be Trapped For Years In Non-Existent Ice
Posted on December 30, 2013 by stevengoddard

glaciologists aboard the Shokalskiy think the ship might have become inadvertently caught in the formation of a new area of fast ice, which could stay in place for several years.

http://www.theguardian.com/wor...rescue-mission-fails

Antarctic sea ice area is the highest on record for the date, up 20% since the 1970′s.



http://stevengoddard.wordpress...in-non-existent-ice/


Networks Miss 'Climate Change' Irony of Ship Stuck in 10 Feet of Antarctic Ice

By Jeffrey Meyer | December 30, 2013 | 12:55

A Russian research vessel has been stuck in thick ice in the Antarctic since Christmas morning, and predictably the big three networks are enjoying the novelty of such an event. However, despite the obvious news story, ABC, CBS and NBC have all missed one great irony in their reporting.

On Monday December 30, all three networks covered the story, but only CBS even used the words “climate change” when discussing the trapped ship. All three failed to point out the irony that this event is an embarrassment for those pushing the liberal “climate change” narrative.

Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/j...ic-ice#ixzz2ozTPok9T



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Ronny:
quote:
Originally posted by Jon Heron:
I didn't miss the point at all, I simply pointed out your ridiculous statement that
quote:
Climate Myth...
CO2 lags temperature

is complete BS, the C02 did lag the warming, plain and simple, I think perhaps your missing the point...
I see, it is a semantics concern you have and not a substance concern.
As the report says, it is true that about 10% of the warming preceded the CO2 increase, and in fact was the initial cause of the CO2 increase.
It has nothing to do with semantics, your statement that C02 lagging the heat was a myth was and is pure BS and has nothing to do with semantics, just a fact that I pointed out.
After this initial small increase in temperature, the CO2 increase helped drive the further 90% temperature increase that happened after the CO2 increase
That is pure speculation on your part, and the author[s] of the study do not share your speculation and specifically state that in the abstract as I pointed out above.


quote:
I will add that I am not a denialist nor am I looking for excuses to reject any study, I try to look at the information objectively and form my own opinion, thats what skeptical people do...
You seem to have the talent to be a denialist.
Whatever that means...




quote:
Right, nor does it change the fact that the warming came first, in this study and in the study of the 800,000 year record in the ice cores...
We all seem to agree that most of the historically warming were initiated by the planets orbit change.
That is not the case with the latest warming trend.
This time the orbit is not the cause of the initial warming.
Who specifically is "we". Do you have any proof to support your claim?


quote:
I think its important because climate models are inaccurate and subjective, Fact.
I hope you will forgive me if, just because you say it is a fact I do not immediately accept it as a fact.
A bit of reliable proof (please, no Galt type nonsense) would be in order.
[COLOR:RED] I have nothing to prove, the subjective nature and sheer amount of varying variables involved in a climate model speak for themselves.
The proof of the accuracy of any particular model falls on the developers and coders who created it and the subsequent testing to prove its accuracy once its complete. Even the accuracy figures given for climate models are only estimates, as they can not be verified.
If you believe that climate models are not subjective and are in fact accurate, then please show me some proof of this...





Global Warming
What global warming?
I don't see no global warming!!
 
Location: Wellington County, Ontario Canada | Registered: February 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Ronny:

(Isn't it interesting that models predicted this, hmmm...)


Yes that would be interesting, what specific model[s] accurately predicted this years temperatures in Australia?
Cheers,
Jon
 
Location: Wellington County, Ontario Canada | Registered: February 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post



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quote:
Originally posted by Ronny:
[i]"Bob Tisdale has an article on WUWT about CMIP5 model outputs for RCP 6.0 for the period 1880 to present. He puts up this chart:



Looks not bad, doesn't it.
When I see it this way I am amazed at how accurate their Climate models are. I do not see how anyone with a minimum amount of intelligence can claim that climate models are unreliable after looking at this graph.
 
Location: Louisiana | Registered: February 17, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Originally posted by Poppy: I do not see how anyone with a minimum amount of intelligence can claim that climate models are unreliable after looking at this graph.
That's true; you apparently do not.

RECENT WARMING PERIOD – 1976 TO 2012

Figure 3 compares the observed and modeled linear trends in global land plus sea surface temperature anomalies for the period of 1976 to 2012. The models have overestimated the warming by about 28%. The divergence between the models and the data in recent years is evident.

Figure 3


That bogus warming prediction was used to justify a whole bunch of poorly researched 'renewables' projects funded by the govt with our tax dollars. The majority have failed or taken the tax grants and moved offshore. Some 'activist' groups, [well funded by tax-exempt NGO foundations] have used this bogus warming prediction to justify programs for widespread re-distribution of wealth.

Bogus begets bogus; Al Gore's very inconvenient truth.



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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It's now the peak of Summer for Antarctica.



Global warming scientists forced to admit defeat... because of too much ice: Stranded Antarctic ship's crew will be rescued by helicopter

Chris Turney, a climate scientist and leader of the expedition, was going to document 'environmental changes' at the pole
In an interview he said he expected melting ice to play a part in expedition
MV Akademik Schokalskiy still stuck among thick ice sheet 1,500 nautical miles south of Hobart, the Tasmanian capital
Called for help at 5am Christmas morning after becoming submerged in ice
Australia's back-up ship, Aurora Australis could not break through

By Mia De Graaf and Hayley O'keeffe

PUBLISHED: 19:42 GMT, 30 December 2013

They went in search evidence of the world’s melting ice caps, but instead a team of climate scientists have been forced to abandon their mission … because the Antarctic ice is thicker than usual at this time of year.

The scientists have been stuck aboard the stricken MV Akademik Schokalskiy since Christmas Day, with repeated sea rescue attempts being abandoned as icebreaking ships failed to reach them.

Now that effort has been ditched, with experts admitting the ice is just too thick. Instead the crew have built an icy helipad, with plans afoot to rescue the 74-strong team by helicopter.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new...s.html#ixzz2p1ja456P



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Called for help at 5am Christmas morning after becoming submerged in ice


Sounds like a sub to me

quote:
EDIT
I had some spare time, so just for fun I checked what the Numbers would look like from 1964 which is the actual beginning of the "New Warming Period" to 2010, a 46 year period.
I can see why he chose to ignore the first 12 years.

It works out something like this:
Model trend= +0.217 deg C/ decade
GISS trend= +0.195 deg C/ decade.

Instead of a 28% "overestimation", it is actually about 5.5%.


here's a data base for temps co2 and models which are downloadable and free to use. watch the source of some of these so called models, check the source since the denier sites build there own with a built in bias to throw them out of whack.

as for this "cooling" bs or no warming since 98. why pick 98? it was the largest el nino in modern times, look at the graph you can see the spike



The effects of el nino and la nina will overshadow the global warming signal but the warming continues on. look at2010 and you can see it's equal to 98 except that was an la nina year when cooler ocean temps prevailed yet it matched 98 for temps (atmospheric). Taking atmospheric temps alone witch represent less than 3% of the heat being added to the system doesn't represent the total heat content being added


21 years off the grid and counting

 
Location: Muskoka, Ont, Can | Registered: March 23, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Illegal aliens cause global warming, study says

Lynchburg, VA - Illegal aliens coming into the US may significantly affect global warming, warns a new study out this week in the journal Scientific Republican.

“We started looking at all of the current models of Carbon flux in the ecosphere and global change, and realized that all of these models had neglected something important.” says John Guerrero, senior scientist in geology department at Liberty University. “We asked: what is the impact of illegal immigration on global climate change?”

Guerrero’s group designed a model to account for the energy consumption and carbon emissions associated with illegal immigration to the US, including transportation-related emissions, emissions of machines used by these immigrants when they work in US factories and corporate farms, and emissions related to other odd-jobs these immigrants work in the US, like construction, painting, etc. The model predicts significant differences in potential outcomes when taking the activities of illegal immigrants into account. “We found that the actions of illegals may account for over 6% of US carbon emissions,” says Guerrero.

“This number may seem small, but it is definitely something to write home about,” says Arnold Buckthorn, global geochemist at the University of East Virginia. According to the predictions of some current models, a 6% difference in carbon emissions could mean a 0.5 degree difference in global temperatures over the next 50 years. This could even amount to 10 additional years before New York City is under water from rising sea levels.

This study has even attracted the attention of the Heritage Foundation (a think-tank to promote conservative public policies), whose members typically shy away from stating support for connections between humans and global change1.

“People in the scientific communities have said there is growing evidence that Global Warming may be a real phenomenon,” says Guy Baliunez, a senior thinker at the Heritage Foundation. “We here at the Heritage Foundation would not go so far as to say humans are in any way responsible for global change, but we support this particular line of research—we need to get to the root causes of these issues, rather than founding our policy on the baseless suppositions spouted by environmentalists. Illegal immigrants have been responsible for many of the problems plaguing the US economy, and have put a strain on what social services the government still provides—we wouldn’t be surprised if illegal immigration also puts a strain on our environment.”

--T. S. Feldman, Copyright 2006, Ass. Press
 
Location: Louisiana | Registered: February 17, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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"Aliens Cause Global Warming"

A lecture by Michael Crichton
Caltech Michelin Lecture
January 17, 2003

My topic today sounds humorous but unfortunately I am serious. I am going to argue that extraterrestrials lie behind global warming. Or to speak more precisely, I will argue that a belief in extraterrestrials has paved the way, in a progression of steps, to a belief in global warming.

Charting this progression of belief will be my task today.

Let me say at once that I have no desire to discourage anyone from believing in either extraterrestrials or global warming. That would be quite impossible to do. Rather, I want to discuss the history of several widely-publicized beliefs and to point to what I consider an emerging crisis in the whole enterprise of science—namely the increasingly uneasy relationship between hard science and public policy.

I have a special interest in this because of my own upbringing. I was born in the midst of World War II, and passed my formative years at the height of the Cold War. In school drills, I dutifully crawled under my desk in preparation for a nuclear attack.

It was a time of widespread fear and uncertainty, but even as a child I believed that science represented the best and greatest hope for mankind. Even to a child, the contrast was clear between the world of politics—a world of hate and danger, of irrational beliefs and fears, of mass manipulation and disgraceful blots on human history. In contrast, science held different values—international in scope, forging friendships and working relationships across national boundaries and political systems, encouraging a dispassionate habit of thought, and ultimately leading to fresh knowledge and technology that would benefit all mankind. The world might not be a very good place, but science would make it better. And it did. In my lifetime, science has largely fulfilled its promise. Science has been the great intellectual adventure of our age, and a great hope for our troubled and restless world.

But I did not expect science merely to extend lifespan, feed the hungry, cure disease, and shrink the world with jets and cell phones. I also expected science to banish the evils of human thought—prejudice and superstition, irrational beliefs and false fears. I expected science to be, in Carl Sagan's memorable phrase, "a candle in a demon haunted world." And here, I am not so pleased with the impact of science. Rather than serving as a cleansing force, science has in some instances been seduced by the more ancient lures of politics and publicity. Some of the demons that haunt our world in recent years are invented by scientists. The world has not benefited from permitting these demons to escape free.

But let's look at how it came to pass.

Cast your minds back to 1960. John F. Kennedy is president, commercial jet airplanes are just appearing, the biggest university mainframes have 12K of memory. And in Green Bank, West Virginia at the new National Radio Astronomy Observatory, a young astrophysicist named Frank Drake runs a two week project called Ozma, to search for extraterrestrial signals. A signal is received, to great excitement. It turns out to be false, but the excitement remains. In 1960, Drake organizes the first SETI conference, and came up with the now-famous Drake equation:

N = N* fp ne fl fi fc fL

Where N* is the number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy; fp is the fraction with planets; ne is the number of planets per star capable of supporting life; fl is the fraction of planets where life evolves; fi is the fraction where intelligent life evolves; and fc is the fraction that communicates; and fL is the fraction of the planet's life during which the communicating civilizations live.

This serious-looking equation gave SETI a serious footing as a legitimate intellectual inquiry. The problem, of course, is that none of the terms can be known, and most cannot even be estimated. The only way to work the equation is to fill in with guesses. And guesses—just so we're clear—are merely expressions of prejudice. Nor can there be "informed guesses." If you need to state how many planets with life choose to communicate, there is simply no way to make an informed guess. It's simply prejudice.

As a result, the Drake equation can have any value from "billions and billions" to zero. An expression that can mean anything means nothing. Speaking precisely, the Drake equation is literally meaningless, and has nothing to do with science. I take the hard view that science involves the creation of testable hypotheses. The Drake equation cannot be tested and therefore SETI is not science. SETI is unquestionably a religion. Faith is defined as the firm belief in something for which there is no proof. The belief that the Koran is the word of God is a matter of faith. The belief that God created the universe in seven days is a matter of faith. The belief that there are other life forms in the universe is a matter of faith. There is not a single shred of evidence for any other life forms, and in forty years of searching, none has been discovered. There is absolutely no evidentiary reason to maintain this belief. SETI is a religion.

One way to chart the cooling of enthusiasm is to review popular works on the subject. In 1964, at the height of SETI enthusiasm, Walter Sullivan of the NY Times wrote an exciting book about life in the universe entitled WE ARE NOT ALONE. By 1995, when Paul Davis wrote a book on the same subject, he titled it ARE WE ALONE? (Since 1981, there have in fact been four books titled ARE WE ALONE.) More recently we have seen the rise of the so-called "Rare Earth" theory which suggests that we may, in fact, be all alone. Again, there is no evidence either way.

Back in the sixties, SETI had its critics, although not among astrophysicists and astronomers. The biologists and paleontologists were harshest. George Gaylord Simpson of Harvard sneered that SETI was a "study without a subject," and it remains so to the present day.

But scientists in general have been indulgent toward SETI, viewing it either with bemused tolerance, or with indifference. After all, what's the big deal? It's kind of fun. If people want to look, let them. Only a curmudgeon would speak harshly of SETI. It wasn't worth the bother.

And of course it is true that untestable theories may have heuristic value. Of course extraterrestrials are a good way to teach science to kids. But that does not relieve us of the obligation to see the Drake equation clearly for what it is—pure speculation in quasi-scientific trappings.

The fact that the Drake equation was not greeted with screams of outrage—similar to the screams of outrage that greet each Creationist new claim, for example—meant that now there was a crack in the door, a loosening of the definition of what constituted legitimate scientific procedure. And soon enough, pernicious garbage began to squeeze through the cracks.

Now let's jump ahead a decade to the 1970s, and Nuclear Winter.

In 1975, the National Academy of Sciences reported on "Long-Term Worldwide Effects of Multiple Nuclear Weapons Detonations" but the report estimated the effect of dust from nuclear blasts to be relatively minor. In 1979, the Office of Technology Assessment issued a report on "The Effects of Nuclear War" and stated that nuclear war could perhaps produce irreversible adverse consequences on the environment. However, because the scientific processes involved were poorly understood, the report stated it was not possible to estimate the probable magnitude of such damage.

Three years later, in 1982, the Swedish Academy of Sciences commissioned a report entitled "The Atmosphere after a Nuclear War: Twilight at Noon," which attempted to quantify the effect of smoke from burning forests and cities. The authors speculated that there would be so much smoke that a large cloud over the northern hemisphere would reduce incoming sunlight below the level required for photosynthesis, and that this would last for weeks or even longer.

The following year, five scientists including Richard Turco and Carl Sagan published a paper in Science called "Nuclear Winter: Global Consequences of Multiple Nuclear Explosions." This was the so-called TTAPS report, which attempted to quantify more rigorously the atmospheric effects, with the added credibility to be gained from an actual computer model of climate.

At the heart of the TTAPS undertaking was another equation, never specifically expressed, but one that could be paraphrased as follows:

Ds = Wn Ws Wh Tf Tb Pt Pr Pe... etc

(The amount of tropospheric dust=# warheads x size warheads x warhead detonation height x flammability of targets x Target burn duration x Particles entering the Troposphere x Particle reflectivity x Particle endurance ... and so on.)

The similarity to the Drake equation is striking. As with the Drake equation, none of the variables can be determined. None at all. The TTAPS study addressed this problem in part by mapping out different wartime scenarios and assigning numbers to some of the variables, but even so, the remaining variables were—and are—simply unknowable. Nobody knows how much smoke will be generated when cities burn, creating particles of what kind, and for how long. No one knows the effect of local weather conditions on the amount of particles that will be injected into the troposphere. No one knows how long the particles will remain in the troposphere. And so on.

And remember, this is only four years after the OTA study concluded that the underlying scientific processes were so poorly known that no estimates could be reliably made. Nevertheless, the TTAPS study not only made those estimates, but concluded they were catastrophic.

According to Sagan and his coworkers, even a limited 5,000 megaton nuclear exchange would cause a global temperature drop of more than 35 degrees Centigrade, and this change would last for three months. The greatest volcanic eruptions that we know of changed world temperatures somewhere between .5 and 2 degrees Centigrade. Ice ages changed global temperatures by 10 degrees. Here we have an estimated change three times greater than any ice age. One might expect it to be the subject of some dispute.

But Sagan and his coworkers were prepared, for nuclear winter was from the outset the subject of a well-orchestrated media campaign. The first announcement of nuclear winter appeared in an article by Sagan in the Sunday supplement, Parade. The very next day, a highly-publicized, high-profile conference on the long-term consequences of nuclear war was held in Washington, chaired by Carl Sagan and Paul Ehrlich, the most famous and media-savvy scientists of their generation. Sagan appeared on the Johnny Carson show 40 times. Ehrlich was on 25 times. Following the conference, there were press conferences, meetings with congressmen, and so on. The formal papers in Science came months later.

This is not the way science is done, it is the way products are sold.

The real nature of the conference is indicated by these artists' renderings of the the effect of nuclear winter.

I cannot help but quote the caption for figure 5: "Shown here is a tranquil scene in the north woods. A beaver has just completed its dam, two black bears forage for food, a swallow-tailed butterfly flutters in the foreground, a loon swims quietly by, and a kingfisher searches for a tasty fish." Hard science if ever there was.

At the conference in Washington, during the question period, Ehrlich was reminded that after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, scientists were quoted as saying nothing would grow there for 75 years, but in fact melons were growing the next year. So, he was asked, how accurate were these findings now?

Ehrlich answered by saying "I think they are extremely robust. Scientists may have made statements like that, although I cannot imagine what their basis would have been, even with the state of science at that time, but scientists are always making absurd statements, individually, in various places. What we are doing here, however, is presenting a consensus of a very large group of scientists..."

I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had.

Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.

There is no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus. Period.

In addition, let me remind you that the track record of the consensus is nothing to be proud of. Let's review a few cases.

In past centuries, the greatest killer of women was fever following childbirth. One woman in six died of this fever. In 1795, Alexander Gordon of Aberdeen suggested that the fevers were infectious processes, and he was able to cure them. The consensus said no. In 1843, Oliver Wendell Holmes claimed puerperal fever was contagious, and presented compelling evidence. The consensus said no. In 1849, Semmelweiss demonstrated that sanitary techniques virtually eliminated puerperal fever in hospitals under his management. The consensus said he was a Jew, ignored him, and dismissed him from his post. There was in fact no agreement on puerperal fever until the start of the twentieth century. Thus the consensus took one hundred and twenty five years to arrive at the right conclusion despite the efforts of the prominent "skeptics" around the world, skeptics who were demeaned and ignored. And despite the constant ongoing deaths of women.

There is no shortage of other examples. In the 1920s in America, tens of thousands of people, mostly poor, were dying of a disease called pellagra. The consensus of scientists said it was infectious, and what was necessary was to find the "pellagra germ." The US government asked a brilliant young investigator, Dr. Joseph Goldberger, to find the cause. Goldberger concluded that diet was the crucial factor. The consensus remained wedded to the germ theory. Goldberger demonstrated that he could induce the disease through diet. He demonstrated that the disease was not infectious by injecting the blood of a pellagra patient into himself, and his assistant. They and other volunteers swabbed their noses with swabs from pellagra patients, and swallowed capsules containing scabs from pellagra rashes in what were called "Goldberger's filth parties." Nobody contracted pellagra. The consensus continued to disagree with him. There was, in addition, a social factor—southern States disliked the idea of poor diet as the cause, because it meant that social reform was required. They continued to deny it until the 1920s. Result—despite a twentieth century epidemic, the consensus took years to see the light.

Probably every schoolchild notices that South America and Africa seem to fit together rather snugly, and Alfred Wegener proposed, in 1912, that the continents had in fact drifted apart. The consensus sneered at continental drift for fifty years. The theory was most vigorously denied by the great names of geology—until 1961, when it began to seem as if the sea floors were spreading. The result: it took the consensus fifty years to acknowledge what any schoolchild sees.

And shall we go on? The examples can be multiplied endlessly. Jenner and smallpox, Pasteur and germ theory. Saccharine, margarine, repressed memory, fiber and colon cancer, hormone replacement therapy? The list of consensus errors goes on and on.

Finally, I would remind you to notice where the claim of consensus is invoked. Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough. Nobody says the consensus of scientists agrees that E=mc2. Nobody says the consensus is that the sun is 93 million miles away. It would never occur to anyone to speak that way.

But back to our main subject.

What I have been suggesting to you is that nuclear winter was a meaningless formula, tricked out with bad science, for policy ends. It was political from the beginning, promoted in a well-orchestrated media campaign that had to be planned weeks or months in advance.

Further evidence of the political nature of the whole project can be found in the response to criticism. Although Richard Feynman was characteristically blunt, saying, "I really don't think these guys know what they're talking about," other prominent scientists were noticeably reticent. Freeman Dyson was quoted as saying, "It's an absolutely atrocious piece of science, but who wants to be accused of being in favor of nuclear war?" And Victor Weisskopf said, "The science is terrible but—perhaps the psychology is good." The nuclear winter team followed up the publication of such comments with letters to the editors denying that these statements were ever made, though the scientists since then have subsequently confirmed their views.

At the time, there was a concerted desire on the part of lots of people to avoid nuclear war. If nuclear winter looked awful, why investigate too closely? Who wanted to disagree? Only people like Edward Teller, the "father of the H bomb."

Teller said, "While it is generally recognized that details are still uncertain and deserve much more study, Dr. Sagan nevertheless has taken the position that the whole scenario is so robust that there can be little doubt about its main conclusions." Yet for most people, the fact that nuclear winter was a scenario riddled with uncertainties did not seem to be relevant.

I say it is hugely relevant. Once you abandon strict adherence to what science tells us, once you start arranging the truth in a press conference, then anything is possible. In one context, maybe you will get some mobilization against nuclear war. But in another context, you get Lysenkoism. In another, you get Nazi euthanasia. The danger is always there, if you subvert science to political ends.

That is why it is so important for the future of science that the line between what science can say with certainty, and what it cannot, be drawn clearly—and defended.

What happened to Nuclear Winter? As the media glare faded, its robust scenario appeared less persuasive; John Maddox, editor of Nature, repeatedly criticized its claims; within a year, Stephen Schneider, one of the leading figures in the climate model, began to speak of "nuclear autumn." It just didn't have the same ring.

A final media embarrassment came in 1991, when Carl Sagan predicted on Nightline that Kuwaiti oil fires would produce a nuclear winter effect, causing a "year without a summer," and endangering crops around the world. Sagan stressed this outcome was so likely that "it should affect the war plans." None of it happened.

What, then, can we say were the lessons of Nuclear Winter? I believe the lesson was that with a catchy name, a strong policy position and an aggressive media campaign, nobody will dare to criticize the science, and in short order, a terminally weak thesis will be established as fact. After that, any criticism becomes beside the point. The war is already over without a shot being fired. That was the lesson, and we had a textbook application soon afterward, with second-hand smoke.

In 1993, the EPA announced that second-hand smoke was "responsible for approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths each year in nonsmoking adults," and that it "impairs the respiratory health of hundreds of thousands of people." In a 1994 pamphlet the EPA said that the eleven studies it based its decision on were not by themselves conclusive, and that they collectively assigned second-hand smoke a risk factor of 1.19. (For reference, a risk factor below 3.0 is too small for action by the EPA. or for publication in the New England Journal of Medicine, for example.) Furthermore, since there was no statistical association at the 95% confidence limits, the EPA lowered the limit to 90%. They then classified second-hand smoke as a Group A Carcinogen.

This was openly fraudulent science, but it formed the basis for bans on smoking in restaurants, offices, and airports. California banned public smoking in 1995. Soon, no claim was too extreme. By 1998, the Christian Science Monitor was saying that "Second-hand smoke is the nation's third-leading preventable cause of death." The American Cancer Society announced that 53,000 people died each year of second-hand smoke. The evidence for this claim is nonexistent.

In 1998, a Federal judge held that the EPA had acted improperly, had "committed to a conclusion before research had begun", and had "disregarded information and made findings on selective information." The reaction of Carol Browner, head of the EPA was: "We stand by our science ... there's wide agreement. The American people certainly recognize that exposure to second-hand smoke brings ... a whole host of health problems." Again, note how the claim of consensus trumps science. In this case, it isn't even a consensus of scientists that Browner evokes! It's the consensus of the American people.

Meanwhile, ever-larger studies failed to confirm any association. A large, seven-country WHO study in 1998 found no association. Nor have well-controlled subsequent studies, to my knowledge. Yet we now read, for example, that second-hand smoke is a cause of breast cancer. At this point you can say pretty much anything you want about second-hand smoke.

As with nuclear winter, bad science is used to promote what most people would consider good policy. I certainly think it is. I don't want people smoking around me. So who will speak out against banning second-hand smoke? Nobody, and if you do, you'll be branded a shill of RJ Reynolds. A big tobacco flunky. But the truth is that we now have a social policy supported by the grossest of superstitions. And we've given the EPA a bad lesson in how to behave in the future. We've told them that cheating is the way to succeed.

As the twentieth century drew to a close, the connection between hard scientific fact and public policy became increasingly elastic. In part this was possible because of the complacency of the scientific profession; in part because of the lack of good science education among the public; in part, because of the rise of specialized advocacy groups which have been enormously effective in getting publicity and shaping policy; and in great part because of the decline of the media as an independent assessor of fact. The deterioration of the American media is dire loss for our country. When distinguished institutions like the New York Times can no longer differentiate between factual content and editorial opinion, but rather mix both freely on their front page, then who will hold anyone to a higher standard?

And so, in this elastic anything-goes world where science—or non-science—is the handmaiden of questionable public policy, we arrive at last at global warming. It is not my purpose here to rehash the details of this most magnificent of the demons haunting the world. I would just remind you of the now-familiar pattern by which these things are established. Evidentiary uncertainties are glossed over in the unseemly rush for an overarching policy, and for grants to support the policy by delivering findings that are desired by the patron. Next, the isolation of those scientists who won't get with the program, and the characterization of those scientists as outsiders and "skeptics" in quotation marks—suspect individuals with suspect motives, industry flunkies, reactionaries, or simply anti-environmental nutcases. In short order, debate ends, even though prominent scientists are uncomfortable about how things are being done.

When did "skeptic" become a dirty word in science? When did a skeptic require quotation marks around it?

To an outsider, the most significant innovation in the global warming controversy is the overt reliance that is being placed on models. Back in the days of nuclear winter, computer models were invoked to add weight to a conclusion: "These results are derived with the help of a computer model." But now large-scale computer models are seen as generating data in themselves. No longer are models judged by how well they reproduce data from the real world—increasingly, models provide the data. As if they were themselves a reality. And indeed they are, when we are projecting forward. There can be no observational data about the year 2100. There are only model runs.

This fascination with computer models is something I understand very well. Richard Feynmann called it a disease. I fear he is right. Because only if you spend a lot of time looking at a computer screen can you arrive at the complex point where the global warming debate now stands.

Nobody believes a weather prediction twelve hours ahead. Now we're asked to believe a prediction that goes out 100 years into the future? And make financial investments based on that prediction? Has everybody lost their minds?

Stepping back, I have to say the arrogance of the modelmakers is breathtaking. There have been, in every century, scientists who say they know it all. Since climate may be a chaotic system—no one is sure—these predictions are inherently doubtful, to be polite. But more to the point, even if the models get the science spot-on, they can never get the sociology. To predict anything about the world a hundred years from now is simply absurd.

Look: If I was selling stock in a company that I told you would be profitable in 2100, would you buy it? Or would you think the idea was so crazy that it must be a scam?

Let's think back to people in 1900 in, say, New York. If they worried about people in 2000, what would they worry about? Probably: Where would people get enough horses? And what would they do about all the horse****? Horse pollution was bad in 1900, think how much worse it would be a century later, with so many more people riding horses?

But of course, within a few years, nobody rode horses except for sport. And in 2000, France was getting 80% its power from an energy source that was unknown in 1900. Germany, Switzerland, Belgium and Japan were getting more than 30% from this source, unknown in 1900. Remember, people in 1900 didn't know what an atom was. They didn't know its structure. They also didn't know what a radio was, or an airport, or a movie, or a television, or a computer, or a cell phone, or a jet, an antibiotic, a rocket, a satellite, an MRI, ICU, IUD, IBM, IRA, ERA, EEG, EPA, IRS, DOD, PCP, HTML, internet. interferon, instant replay, remote sensing, remote control, speed dialing, gene therapy, gene splicing, genes, spot welding, heat-seeking, bipolar, prozac, leotards, lap dancing, email, tape recorder, CDs, airbags, plastic explosive, plastic, robots, cars, liposuction, transduction, superconduction, dish antennas, step aerobics, smoothies, twelve-step, ultrasound, nylon, rayon, teflon, fiber optics, carpal tunnel, laser surgery, laparoscopy, corneal transplant, kidney transplant, AIDS? None of this would have meant anything to a person in the year 1900. They wouldn't know what you are talking about.

Now. You tell me you can predict the world of 2100. Tell me it's even worth thinking about. Our models just carry the present into the future.

They're bound to be wrong. Everybody who gives a moment's thought knows it.

I remind you that in the lifetime of most scientists now living, we have already had an example of dire predictions set aside by new technology. I refer to the green revolution. In 1960, Paul Ehrlich said, "The battle to feed humanity is over. In the 1970s the world will undergo famines—hundreds of millions of people are going to starve to death." Ten years later, he predicted four billion people would die during the 1980s, including 65 million Americans. The mass starvation that was predicted never occurred, and it now seems it isn't ever going to happen. Nor is the population explosion going to reach the numbers predicted even ten years ago. In 1990, climate modelers anticipated a world population of 11 billion by 2100. Today, some people think the correct number will be 7 billion and falling. But nobody knows for sure.

But it is impossible to ignore how closely the history of global warming fits on the previous template for nuclear winter. Just as the earliest studies of nuclear winter stated that the uncertainties were so great that probabilities could never be known, so, too the first pronouncements on global warming argued strong limits on what could be determined with certainty about climate change. The 1995 IPCC draft report said, "Any claims of positive detection of significant climate change are likely to remain controversial until uncertainties in the total natural variability of the climate system are reduced." It also said, "No study to date has positively attributed all or part of observed climate changes to anthropogenic causes." Those statements were removed, and in their place appeared: "The balance of evidence suggests a discernable human influence on climate."

What is clear, however, is that on this issue, science and policy have become inextricably mixed to the point where it will be difficult, if not impossible, to separate them out. It is possible for an outside observer to ask serious questions about the conduct of investigations into global warming, such as whether we are taking appropriate steps to improve the quality of our observational data records, whether we are systematically obtaining the information that will clarify existing uncertainties, whether we have any organized disinterested mechanism to direct research in this contentious area.

The answer to all these questions is no. We don't.

In trying to think about how these questions can be resolved, it occurs to me that in the progression from SETI to nuclear winter to second-hand smoke to global warming, we have one clear message, and that is that we can expect more and more problems of public policy dealing with technical issues in the future—problems of ever greater seriousness, where people care passionately on all sides.

And at the moment we have no mechanism to get good answers. So I will propose one.

Just as we have established a tradition of double-blinded research to determine drug efficacy, we must institute double-blinded research in other policy areas as well. Certainly the increased use of computer models, such as GCMs, cries out for the separation of those who make the models from those who verify them. The fact is that the present structure of science is entrepreneurial, with individual investigative teams vying for funding from organizations which all too often have a clear stake in the outcome of the research—or appear to, which may be just as bad. This is not healthy for science.

Sooner or later, we must form an independent research institute in this country. It must be funded by industry, by government, and by private philanthropy, both individuals and trusts. The money must be pooled, so that investigators do not know who is paying them. The institute must fund more than one team to do research in a particular area, and the verification of results will be a foregone requirement: teams will know their results will be checked by other groups. In many cases, those who decide how to gather the data will not gather it, and those who gather the data will not analyze it. If we were to address the land temperature records with such rigor, we would be well on our way to an understanding of exactly how much faith we can place in global warming, and therefore what seriousness we must address this.

I believe that as we come to the end of this litany, some of you may be saying, well what is the big deal, really. So we made a few mistakes. So a few scientists have overstated their cases and have egg on their faces. So what.

Well, I'll tell you.

In recent years, much has been said about the post modernist claims about science to the effect that science is just another form of raw power, tricked out in special claims for truth-seeking and objectivity that really have no basis in fact. Science, we are told, is no better than any other undertaking. These ideas anger many scientists, and they anger me. But recent events have made me wonder if they are correct. We can take as an example the scientific reception accorded a Danish statistician, Bjorn Lomborg, who wrote a book called The Skeptical Environmentalist.

The scientific community responded in a way that can only be described as disgraceful. In professional literature, it was complained he had no standing because he was not an earth scientist. His publisher, Cambridge University Press, was attacked with cries that the editor should be fired, and that all right-thinking scientists should shun the press. The past president of the AAAS wondered aloud how Cambridge could have ever "published a book that so clearly could never have passed peer review." (But of course the manuscript did pass peer review by three earth scientists on both sides of the Atlantic, and all recommended publication.) But what are scientists doing attacking a press? Is this the new McCarthyism—coming from scientists?

Worst of all was the behavior of the Scientific American, which seemed intent on proving the post-modernist point that it was all about power, not facts. The Scientific American attacked Lomborg for eleven pages, yet only came up with nine factual errors despite their assertion that the book was "rife with careless mistakes." It was a poor display featuring vicious ad hominem attacks, including comparing him to a Holocust denier. The issue was captioned: "Science defends itself against the Skeptical Environmentalist." Really. Science has to defend itself? Is this what we have come to?

When Lomborg asked for space to rebut his critics, he was given only a page and a half. When he said it wasn't enough, he put the critics' essays on his web page and answered them in detail. Scientific American threatened copyright infringement and made him take the pages down.

Further attacks since have made it clear what is going on. Lomborg is charged with heresy. That's why none of his critics needs to substantiate their attacks in any detail. That's why the facts don't matter. That's why they can attack him in the most vicious personal terms. He's a heretic.

Of course, any scientist can be charged as Galileo was charged. I just never thought I'd see the Scientific American in the role of mother church.

Is this what science has become? I hope not. But it is what it will become, unless there is a concerted effort by leading scientists to aggressively separate science from policy. The late Philip Handler, former president of the National Academy of Sciences, said that "Scientists best serve public policy by living within the ethics of science, not those of politics. If the scientific community will not unfrock the charlatans, the public will not discern the difference—science and the nation will suffer." Personally, I don't worry about the nation. But I do worry about science.

Thank you very much.



 
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"Aliens Cause Global Warming"

A lecture by Michael Crichton
Caltech Michelin Lecture
January 17, 2003

My topic today sounds humorous but unfortunately I am serious. I am going to argue that extraterrestrials lie behind global warming. Or to speak more precisely, I will argue that a belief in extraterrestrials has paved the way, in a progression of steps, to a belief in global warming.

Charting this progression of belief will be my task today.

Let me say at once that I have no desire to discourage anyone from believing in either extraterrestrials or global warming. That would be quite impossible to do. Rather, I want to discuss the history of several widely-publicized beliefs and to point to what I consider an emerging crisis in the whole enterprise of science—namely the increasingly uneasy relationship between hard science and public policy.
...
What is clear, however, is that on this issue, science and policy have become inextricably mixed to the point where it will be difficult, if not impossible, to separate them out. It is possible for an outside observer to ask serious questions about the conduct of investigations into global warming, such as whether we are taking appropriate steps to improve the quality of our observational data records, whether we are systematically obtaining the information that will clarify existing uncertainties, whether we have any organized disinterested mechanism to direct research in this contentious area.

The answer to all these questions is no. We don't.

In trying to think about how these questions can be resolved, it occurs to me that in the progression from SETI to nuclear winter to second-hand smoke to global warming, we have one clear message, and that is that we can expect more and more problems of public policy dealing with technical issues in the future—problems of ever greater seriousness, where people care passionately on all sides.

And at the moment we have no mechanism to get good answers. So I will propose one.

Just as we have established a tradition of double-blinded research to determine drug efficacy, we must institute double-blinded research in other policy areas as well. Certainly the increased use of computer models, such as GCMs, cries out for the separation of those who make the models from those who verify them. The fact is that the present structure of science is entrepreneurial, with individual investigative teams vying for funding from organizations which all too often have a clear stake in the outcome of the research—or appear to, which may be just as bad. This is not healthy for science.

Sooner or later, we must form an independent research institute in this country. It must be funded by industry, by government, and by private philanthropy, both individuals and trusts. The money must be pooled, so that investigators do not know who is paying them. The institute must fund more than one team to do research in a particular area, and the verification of results will be a foregone requirement: teams will know their results will be checked by other groups. In many cases, those who decide how to gather the data will not gather it, and those who gather the data will not analyze it. If we were to address the land temperature records with such rigor, we would be well on our way to an understanding of exactly how much faith we can place in global warming, and therefore what seriousness we must address this.

...

I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you're being had.

Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.

There is no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If it's science, it isn't consensus. Period.

In addition, let me remind you that the track record of the consensus is nothing to be proud of. Let's review a few cases.

In past centuries, the greatest killer of women was fever following childbirth. One woman in six died of this fever. In 1795, Alexander Gordon of Aberdeen suggested that the fevers were infectious processes, and he was able to cure them. The consensus said no. In 1843, Oliver Wendell Holmes claimed puerperal fever was contagious, and presented compelling evidence. The consensus said no. In 1849, Semmelweiss demonstrated that sanitary techniques virtually eliminated puerperal fever in hospitals under his management. The consensus said he was a Jew, ignored him, and dismissed him from his post. There was in fact no agreement on puerperal fever until the start of the twentieth century. Thus the consensus took one hundred and twenty five years to arrive at the right conclusion despite the efforts of the prominent "skeptics" around the world, skeptics who were demeaned and ignored. And despite the constant ongoing deaths of women.

There is no shortage of other examples. In the 1920s in America, tens of thousands of people, mostly poor, were dying of a disease called pellagra. The consensus of scientists said it was infectious, and what was necessary was to find the "pellagra germ." The US government asked a brilliant young investigator, Dr. Joseph Goldberger, to find the cause. Goldberger concluded that diet was the crucial factor. The consensus remained wedded to the germ theory. Goldberger demonstrated that he could induce the disease through diet. He demonstrated that the disease was not infectious by injecting the blood of a pellagra patient into himself, and his assistant. They and other volunteers swabbed their noses with swabs from pellagra patients, and swallowed capsules containing scabs from pellagra rashes in what were called "Goldberger's filth parties." Nobody contracted pellagra. The consensus continued to disagree with him. There was, in addition, a social factor—southern States disliked the idea of poor diet as the cause, because it meant that social reform was required. They continued to deny it until the 1920s. Result—despite a twentieth century epidemic, the consensus took years to see the light.

Probably every schoolchild notices that South America and Africa seem to fit together rather snugly, and Alfred Wegener proposed, in 1912, that the continents had in fact drifted apart. The consensus sneered at continental drift for fifty years. The theory was most vigorously denied by the great names of geology—until 1961, when it began to seem as if the sea floors were spreading. The result: it took the consensus fifty years to acknowledge what any schoolchild sees.

And shall we go on? The examples can be multiplied endlessly. Jenner and smallpox, Pasteur and germ theory. Saccharine, margarine, repressed memory, fiber and colon cancer, hormone replacement therapy? The list of consensus errors goes on and on.

Finally, I would remind you to notice where the claim of consensus is invoked. Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough. Nobody says the consensus of scientists agrees that E=mc2. Nobody says the consensus is that the sun is 93 million miles away. It would never occur to anyone to speak that way.
...

Is this what science has become? I hope not. But it is what it will become, unless there is a concerted effort by leading scientists to aggressively separate science from policy. The late Philip Handler, former president of the National Academy of Sciences, said that "Scientists best serve public policy by living within the ethics of science, not those of politics. If the scientific community will not unfrock the charlatans, the public will not discern the difference—science and the nation will suffer." Personally, I don't worry about the nation. But I do worry about science.

Thank you very much.
https://www.cfa.harvard.edu/~s...er/SPD/crichton.html



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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"...Despite record increases in CO2 concentration, there has been no global warming for almost 13 years, or, by satellite measurements, for more than 17 years, and no warming distinguishable from the combined measurement, coverage, and bias uncertainties for 18 years."


Figure 9. Five projections of global warming, 1990-2050, compared with the linear trends on two observed datasets. IPCC projections are mid-range estimates. The trend (green) on the HadCRUt4 monthly global mean surface temperature anomalies reflects the warming at 0.11 K decade–1 observed since 1950. The trend (dark green) on the RSS satellite data reflects the zero trend that has now persisted for more than 17 years. Both observed trends are extrapolated to 2050.

If anyone ever again tries to tell you The Science Is Settled..., point to Fig. 9 and ask two questions.

First, point to the red zone marked Projections and ask which of the very wide range of official projections The Science has Settled upon.

Secondly, point to the green zone marked Observations and ask why the real climate has so persistently failed to pay any attention to the Settled Science.

Then sit back and listen to the increasingly demoralized and disjointed flannel. As the nonsense runs down, the game is up.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/201...the-ar5-final-draft/



 
Location: coldest N.America | Registered: May 03, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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