Monday, January 4, 2010

2009 Reversal

Last year at this time, the global warming crowd where triumphant and they were successfully shouting down any reasoned opposition.  Their hubris had reached the point of declaring the science settled and that thousands of scientists actually agreed with this position.  I thought that a little remarkable at the time since science is instinctually contrarian unless they are selling you on a grant request.  The corollary of that line of thinking suggested that the whole scheme was a grant request rather than actual science.


I expected the so called science was going to be chipped away by the facts and that certainly was happening.  I did not expect the deluge that actually ensued.  The last real bastion of questionable climate science was revealed through the email scandal as something much different than an honest mistake.  It certainly was not science.


In the end, not only is all the published data presently suspect but apparently lots of data has been destroyed.  Now it is not likely quite that ugly once the data is properly reconstructed (if it can) but for the present, you likely have more trustworthy data than these clowns have left us with.


During the year, I also discovered just how persuasively USA weather data had been corrupted by local changes (seventy percent of sites affected) and that various corrective measures had been taken from time to time in such a way as to make trend lines dicey at best.  This was supposed to be the gold standard and it looked more like the lead standard green with age.


The point I am making is that our best data is scary at times, long before someone gets creative.  If you are lucky, you can generate a statistically significant difference between decades.  The truth about that is that you do not need stacks of data to figure that out.  We all know what a warm year looks like.  This winter we have been getting our butts kicked with winter storm after winter storm and we just finished December.  I still hope for an early spring, but this year I mean it.


2009: The year climate change and global warming activists would like to forget

December 31, 10:48 AMClimate Change ExaminerTony Hake

For those who believe the manmade climate change theory, the new year cannot get here fast enough. As 2009 comes to a close, many are faced with the realizations that not only are they losing in the court of public opinion, the ‘consensus’ about anthropogenic global warming is far from solid. The year saw preeminent scientists join the chorus of those saying that other drivers besides man influence the climate, a scandal erupted that shook the very foundation of climate science and a much touted climate summit fell into disarray.

As 2009 dawned, climate change advocates continued to sound the alarm about carbon dioxide’s accumulation in the atmosphere and the warming they believe it causes. With President Barack Obama taking office in January, it was thought their brand of climate science would find a new foothold on which to advance the cause. As Obama prepared to take office, Dr. James Hansen sent the president-elect a letter warning of the dire consequences at hand saying that he had four years to save the world.

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All seemed to be pointing toward a banner year for the advancement of the manmade climate change theory. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that the year prior, 2008, was the eighth warmest on record for the globe. The United States however saw its coldest temperatures in 10 years but that mattered little.

High hopes were soon dashed as many noted scientists and public figures raised their voices in dissent. From meteorologists to geologists to climate scientists, those who don’t agree with the theory refused to be silenced.

John Coleman, founder of the Weather Channel, railed against the manmade climate change theory calling it a hoax and ‘bad science.’ Former astronaut Harrison Schmitt stood tall among doubters saying that global warming was simply a ‘political tool’ and that many scientists had sold out their objectivity. Dr. John Christy of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama continued to be an unbiased dissenter.Princeton’s Dr. William Happer appeared before Congress saying, “what used to be science has turned into a cult.”

Another prominent voice in weather and climate, William (Bill) Gray, Professor Emeritus of Colorado State University, said the American Meteorological Society was being hijacked by alarmists. Other scientific organizations including the American Physical Society (APS) and the American Chemical Society (ACS) saw rifts grow in their membership. It became clear as the year progressed that the so-called scientific ‘consensus’ was anything but.

Even the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) saw its share of controversy. The Obama administration which had promised new transparency was accused of suppressing a report from its own employees that voiced doubt in the manmade climate change theory. Later in the year two of its lawyers released a YouTube video warning that proposed legislation would not accomplish anything.

Advocates that believed man was the dominating force in the climate continued to sound their warnings, often with outrageous claims that sometimes appeared laughable. James Hansen, as usual, was the most prominent of these as he took the final leap from scientist to activist not only in words but in actions as well. Not to be outdone, Dr. James Lovelock famously pronounced that 90% of the world’s population would be culled by 2100 due to climate change. President Obama joined in making false and extreme statements warning of ‘cataclysmic’ storms despite evidence to the contrary that no such thing is occurring.

Former vice president and Nobel Laureate Al Gore was as visible as ever throughout the year. He however continued to make a number of visible gaffes that did more to damage the cause than advance it. He wasforced to pull slides from a presentation he gave that were incorrect, the cover of his new book contained scientific impossibilities and at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen he misspoke on a number of issues.

In Congress, cap and trade legislation aimed at curbing carbon emissions seemed on the fast track but soon fell by the wayside. The Senate and the House of Representatives held many hearings on the topic with the House eventually passing legislation. The upper house however was hesitant to move on the issue for fear of facing a disgruntled electorate not willing to bear any additional financial burden and public opinion polls showing greater doubt. It now appears unlikely the issue will see a vote in the Senate until after the next election cycle.

November brought forth an event that would shake the very foundation of climate science. TheClimategate email scandal broke right before Thanksgiving when thousands of emails from some of the world’s top climate scientists were released on the Internet. The messages were not only embarrassing for those involved but proved to be more damning as they revealed collusion amongst scientists to withhold climate data, foil openness in the debate, silence dissenting opinions and modify data to fit their theories.

The mainstream media ignored the event for days and weeks but the Internet gave the story life and it soon turned into a major controversy. Investigations into the actions of the climate scientists have been launched and new revelations about the actions of those involved continue to be discovered.

Climategate’s effects cast a pall over the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15) in Copenhagen early in December. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had hoped the summit would yield a comprehensive climate change treaty. In the weeks leading up to the event, that seemed doubtful and soon it became an impossibility.

Not a day went by that scientists and politicians weren’t forced to address the email scandal and the doubts it had sewn into the public consciousness. Divisions amongst developed nations and poorer nations soon turned into insurmountable rifts and chasms. Richer nations demanded accountability for all nations while developing nations insisted on billions of dollars in financial aid.

President Barack Obama flew to Copenhagenin the closing days of the summit and many hoped he would be able to salvage the talks. The differences were too large though and theCopenhagen Accord that emerged had many saying it wasn’t worth the paper it was written on.

Arguably 2009 was one of the most eventful since the manmade climate change theory was first put forth. The year started with the science seemingly ‘settled’ and a ‘consensus’ pointing to man being the dominant influence on climate. In 12 short months however, the tide shifted. Scientific evidence to the contrary finally saw the light of day, cracks emerged amongst the so-called consensus and major events rattled the basis of what had been thought to be fact. The year has proven that the debate is not over nor is anything truly settled about anthropogenic global warming.

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