Priming the skeptics

A Phoenix businessman provides a great overview of the global warming arguments

Warren Meyer at Coyote Blog provides A Skeptic's Primer for "An Inconvenient Truth" and it is a great one. Here is what I think is the core argument.

So is Mann right?  Well, a couple of things to note.  First, its instructive to observe how eagerly the climate community threw out its old consensus based on years of research in favor of Mann's study.  It’s unusual for a healthy scientific community to throw out their old consensus on the basis of one study, especially when no one had replicated its findings independently. Which no one has ever been able to do, since Mann has refused to share his models or methodology details.  In fact, it took a US Congressional subpoena to get any of his underlying models into the public domain.  This behavior by a scientist would normally engender ENORMOUS skepticism in the community -- normally, I mean, except for in climate science, where mountaintop revelation without 3rd party repeatability is OK as long as it supports a dire man-made climate catastrophe model. In short, climate change advocates wanted the study to be true, because it was such a powerful image to show the public.

Despite Mann's reticence to allow anyone to check his work, skeptics still began to emerge.    Take that big temperature bulge in the Middle Ages shown in the previous concensus view.  This bulge was annoying to climate interventionists, because it showed that large variations in temperature on a global scale can be natural and not necessarily the fault of modern man. But Mann made this whole medieval bulge go away.  How?  Well, one of the early revelations about Mann's work is that all the data before 1450 or so comes from studying the tree rings of one single tree.  Yes, that's one tree (1).  Using the evidence of this one tree, Mann flattened the temperature over the 500 year period from 1000-1500 and made the Medieval warm period just go poof.  Wow!

The bigger criticism of Mann has come from statisticians.  Two Canadian statisticians began questioning Mann's methodology, arguing that his statistical approach was incorrect.  They demonstrated that Mann's statistical approach was biased towards creating hockey sticks, and they showed how the Mann model could be applied to random noise and produce a hockey stick.   The climate change establishment did not take this criticism well, and tried their hardest to rip these two guys up.  In fact, you might have believed that the two had been molesting little boys or declaring the world is flat rather than just questioning another scientist's statistical methodology. 

I keep telling people I want debate. I think science is at it's best when it replaces old theories with new ones that work better. But that is not what I am seeing with global warming. There is no other reputable field where this kind of sloppy science and evangelizing would be praised.

And that certainly raises questions about how reputable the human caused global warming theory is.

If it is a theory, then fine, put it on the table, subject it to testing and arguments, and let's see where it stands.

If it is an article of faith, like I and others have argued, then let's rip the trappings of science from it and quit trying to pretend it is something it is not.

If it is political agenda, then it needs to be exposed.

We can't judge accurately which the global warming theory is because of the one thing we do not have, open and free debate on the subject. You can't just dismiss the critics, you have to deal with their arguments.

Then we can get to the truth.

— NeoWayland

Posted: Fri - July 21, 2006 at 07:26 PM  Tag

 ◊  ◊   ◊  ◊ 

Random selections from NeoWayland's library

Pagan Vigil "Because LIBERTY demands more than just black or white"
© 2005 - 2009 All Rights Reserved