It was a rather busy day in the unraveling of the Man-Made Global Warming advocacy movement, with the promise of more unraveling to come.
Perhaps the largest bombshell exploding since the initial revelations of the East Anglia Climate Research Unit e-mails came over the past weekend, when the CRU admitted to trashing all the raw data from which the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports pontificating the presence of anthropogenic global warming came.
You read that correctly. The CRU people, who supplied the data which served to establish the IPCC findings pushing governments around the world to seek to limit carbon dioxide emissions (and their productive economies in the bargain), now say that data is no longer available.
SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.
It means that other academics are not able to check basic calculations said to show a long-term rise in temperature over the past 150 years.
The UEA’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) was forced to reveal the loss following requests for the data under Freedom of Information legislation.
The data were gathered from weather stations around the world and then adjusted to take account of variables in the way they were collected. The revised figures were kept, but the originals — stored on paper and magnetic tape — were dumped to save space when the CRU moved to a new building.
One would have to think that given the enormity of the claims the anthropogenic global warming advocacy movement has been making, that raw data would be essential to proving the validity of their theories. The fact that the raw data is gone and all that remains is the “adjusted,” “revised” or “doctored” figures on the climate which show that the planet is warming just like the CRU and their allies in the AGW movement says it is, seems horribly convenient.
This outrage is beginning to generate a stronger and stronger response from those in the scientific community who have been questioning the AGW advocates for years. Harvard’s Willie Soon shredded the CRU scam artists in a Fox News interview today:
“They are making scientific progress more difficult now,” says Willie Soon, a physicist, astronomer and climate researcher at the solar and stellar physics division of the Harvard University-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. “This is a shameful, dark day for science,” he said in an interview with FoxNews.com.
Soon also suggested that there has been systemic suppression of dissenting opinion among scientists in the climate change community, ranging from social snubs to e-mail stalking and even threats of harm.
Soon’s critique was somewhat mild. MIT meteorology professor Richard Lindzen published a devastating piece in the Wall Street Journal shooting holes through the basic tenets of global warming theory and closing with a simple, yet elegant summation:
What does all this have to do with climate catastrophe? The answer brings us to a scandal that is, in my opinion, considerably greater than that implied in the hacked emails from the Climate Research Unit (though perhaps not as bad as their destruction of raw data): namely the suggestion that the very existence of warming or of the greenhouse effect is tantamount to catastrophe. This is the grossest of “bait and switch” scams. It is only such a scam that lends importance to the machinations in the emails designed to nudge temperatures a few tenths of a degree.
The notion that complex climate “catastrophes” are simply a matter of the response of a single number, GATA, to a single forcing, CO2 (or solar forcing for that matter), represents a gigantic step backward in the science of climate. Many disasters associated with warming are simply normal occurrences whose existence is falsely claimed to be evidence of warming. And all these examples involve phenomena that are dependent on the confluence of many factors.
Our perceptions of nature are similarly dragged back centuries so that the normal occasional occurrences of open water in summer over the North Pole, droughts, floods, hurricanes, sea-level variations, etc. are all taken as omens, portending doom due to our sinful ways (as epitomized by our carbon footprint). All of these phenomena depend on the confluence of multiple factors as well.
Consider the following example. Suppose that I leave a box on the floor, and my wife trips on it, falling against my son, who is carrying a carton of eggs, which then fall and break. Our present approach to emissions would be analogous to deciding that the best way to prevent the breakage of eggs would be to outlaw leaving boxes on the floor. The chief difference is that in the case of atmospheric CO2 and climate catastrophe, the chain of inference is longer and less plausible than in my example.
Lindzen’s point of view is echoed by Patrick Michaels, senior fellow in environmental studies at the Cato Institute, who takes particular issue with the efforts by the AGW advocates to game the peer-review system in pursuit of a faux “consensus” in favor of man-made climate change:
This is pretty serious stuff, because it, and many similar e-mails, paint a picture of IPCC boffins committing science’s capital crime: Trying to game the peer-reviewed literature, which is akin to editing what goes in the Bible.
The critics are having their day, without question. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for the AGW crowd. Phil Jones, the head of the East Anglia CRU and the man at the center of the scandal, is now stepping down from his post pending a university investigation of the CRU’s methods. While that investigation looks to be a relatively friendly one given the grant money Jones has brought into UEA over the years, the simple fact of its occurrence is damning.
Jones isn’t alone, either. Penn State is now undertaking a similar review of Michael Mann, director of its Earth System Science Center and the propagator of the infamous and discredited “hockey stick graph” used by Al Gore. Mann’s prominence in the CRU e-mails has placed him nearly as close to the center of the scandal as Jones, and he appears in over 270 of the CRU e-mails which will now be scrutinized.
The magnitude of the scandal can be seen in some of the media reaction in the business media. As an example, a Monday editorial in Investor’s Business Daily described the CRU cronies as a “criminal conspiracy” and a cabal of “charlatans” who should be “locked up.” That same day, Fox News veteran anchor Brit Hume suggested that the entire global warming advocacy was a fraud.
And for a little added enjoyment, the Atlantic hurricane season ended Monday, and the NOAA report on the 2009 season confirmed that this year offered pathetically few storms. That’s in defiance to the apocalyptic scenarios painted by Al Gore and other climate pimps over the past few years wherein the presence of global warming from man-made sources would inevitably generate more and larger hurricanes.
Or perhaps not.
The political fallout from the scandal is also beginning. In Australia, the Liberal Party (that country’s analog to the GOP) which had bought on to the global warming meme and proposed carbon emissions legislation, has now undergone a revolution in which six MP’s resigned their positions on the front bench over the AGW issue and a new party leader, Tony Abbott, was elected after the party turned out former head Malcolm Turnbull following the latter’s acquiescence to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s punitive cap-and-trade bill. The Liberals then successfully led the fight to kill the legislation, which was formerly seen as a foregone conclusion.
Here in the States, former climate squish Newt Gingrich has grown a spine on the global warming fraud. Gingrich, who had formerly appeared on TV commercials with Nancy Pelosi in advocating green initiatives to fight global warming, issued a communique today calling for Congress to investigate bias in the scientific community on climate change studies and to undergo an open, auditable study of all available weather data in order to ascertain precisely what the history of the planet’s temperature is without politicized, agenda-driven advocacy disguised as science going unchallenged in cooking the books.
Gingrich might be jumping on a bandwagon already on the road, as Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Ok.) has now requested Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearings on Climategate. Inhofe, the ranking Republican member of the committee, fired off a letter to committee chair Barbara Boxer today demanding an inquisition on the subject. It reads pretty well. A sample:
In addition to these issues, the emails could have far-reaching policy implications, affecting everything from (to name a few) cap-and-trade legislation, state and regional climate change programs, the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Proposed Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases Under Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act,” the US Global Change Research Program, global climate models used by federal agencies, the Department of Interior’s coordinated strategy to address climate change impacts, and international climate change negotiations.
Many of these policies and positions will have enormous economic impacts, not least the EPA’s proposed endangerment finding, which, when finalized, will lead to a torrent of new federal regulations that will destroy thousands of jobs and make electricity and gasoline more expensive for consumers and small businesses. The same can be said for cap-and-trade legislation, including the very bill you introduced and reported to the full Senate, as well as the Waxman-Markey bill passed by the House in June.
Inhofe is feeling pretty good these days; he told the Wall Street Journal’s Kim Strassel over last week’s holidays that “Cap And Trade is dead” in the U.S. Senate – which ought to be the least of the consequences of the Climaquiddick scandal.