Thursday, June 15, 2006

Actual scientists slam Gore's Chicken Little enviro-crap

I read this yesterday, but since both Kanaka Girl and Kira forwarded the info to me, I get the feeling that I need to comment on it. :-) Anyway, from the Canucks:
"The Inconvenient Truth" is indeed inconvenient to alarmists
By Tom Harris
Monday, June 12, 2006

"Scientists have an independent obligation to respect and present the truth as they see it," Al Gore sensibly asserts in his film "An Inconvenient Truth", showing at Cumberland 4 Cinemas in Toronto since Jun 2. With that outlook in mind, what do world climate experts actually think about the science of his movie?

Professor Bob Carter of the Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University, in Australia gives what, for many Canadians, is a surprising assessment: "Gore's circumstantial arguments are so weak that they are pathetic. It is simply incredible that they, and his film, are commanding public attention."

But surely Carter is merely part of what most people regard as a tiny cadre of "climate change skeptics" who disagree with the "vast majority of scientists" Gore cites?
"Most people"? "Tiny cadre" of skeptics? Whatever. Anywho, continuing:
No; Carter is one of hundreds of highly qualified non-governmental, non-industry, non-lobby group climate experts who contest the hypothesis that human emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are causing significant global climate change. "Climate experts" is the operative term here. Why? Because what Gore's "majority of scientists" think is immaterial when only a very small fraction of them actually work in the climate field.

Even among that fraction, many focus their studies on the impacts of climate change; biologists, for example, who study everything from insects to polar bears to poison ivy. "While many are highly skilled researchers, they generally do not have special knowledge about the causes of global climate change," explains former University of Winnipeg climatology professor Dr. Tim Ball. "They usually can tell us only about the effects of changes in the local environment where they conduct their studies."
See, the left has been fond of dismissing any anti-global "warming" research as being funded by Big Oil or other boogeymen. Therefore, this analysis must be particularly "inconvenient" in that these scientists aren't government scientists who are dependent upon research grants to sustain their livelihoods (even if it means using tenuous scientific practices to obtain said grants). Nor are the scientists linked to or funded by an industry or lobby group, therefore avoiding the facile dismissal of results as "tainted by their self-interests" if anti-capitalist or grant-dependent scientists are somehow more credible!

So we have a smaller fraction.

But it becomes smaller still. Among experts who actually examine the causes of change on a global scale, many concentrate their research on designing and enhancing computer models of hypothetical futures. "These models have been consistently wrong in all their scenarios," asserts Ball. "Since modelers concede computer outputs are not "predictions" but are in fact merely scenarios, they are negligent in letting policy-makers and the public think they are actually making forecasts."

We should listen most to scientists who use real data to try to understand what nature is actually telling us about the causes and extent of global climate change. In this relatively small community, there is no consensus, despite what Gore and others would suggest.
"Negligent"...or dishonest? And as for "We should listen most to scientists who use real data"? Why, that's just crazy talk! For those of you on the left, that was sarcasm.
Appearing before the Commons Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development last year, Carleton University paleoclimatologist Professor Tim Patterson testified, "There is no meaningful correlation between CO2 levels and Earth's temperature over this [geologic] time frame. In fact, when CO2 levels were over ten times higher than they are now, about 450 million years ago, the planet was in the depths of the absolute coldest period in the last half billion years." Patterson asked the committee, "On the basis of this evidence, how could anyone still believe that the recent relatively small increase in CO2 levels would be the major cause of the past century's modest warming?"
See aforementioned "grant-dependency" and "anti-capitalist" comments for insight.
Patterson concluded his testimony by explaining what his research and "hundreds of other studies" reveal: on all time scales, there is very good correlation between Earth's temperature and natural celestial phenomena such changes in the brightness of the Sun.
A hotter or brighter sun would make things warmer? Who knew?!? I guess that global warming on Mars may not be due to SUV-driving Martians after all, but instead to a brighter sun! For those of you on the, screw it, you know the drill.

You should really read the rest of the article here, since there's not much of it left and it does a great job dispelling the lies (or, if you prefer, "creative truths") of Gore's scaremongering flick. However, I must close with this excerpt:
Carter does not pull his punches about Gore's activism, "The man is an embarrassment to US science and its many fine practitioners, a lot of whom know (but feel unable to state publicly) that his propaganda crusade is mostly based on junk science."
This isn't the first time I've read about how skeptical scientists have been intimidated into silence as a result of pressure by their peers. It's a damned shame when scientists cannot even be trusted to be scientists due to political influence. Science has traditionally been an area impervious to politics because it's very nature depends on knowing or finding what "is" and what "causes". Apparently, not anymore.