You are currently browsing the archives for January, 2011.
A milestone has been reached for this website that I would like to share with everyone. The 100th post went up on January 31st, 2011. It is a proud moment for me and while I feel I got off to a rough start, I have certainly learned a lot in the past few months. I am also doing a final edit on the book and will be going the ebook publishing route. I hope to have it out sometime in March. The book is a much more linear discussion about the Earth’s climate than I have found on any website.
While the website started out as a way to get information out about the book, it has truly taken on a life of it’s own. I enjoy covering the news of the day and since I am always crunching numbers and charts, it is an easy way to quickly share the information that I am constantly putting together. It is also helpful to see that so many people read the articles I put together and mostly enjoy them. Here is some of the statistics on the first 4 months of The Inconvenient Skeptic.
The longer I am involved in the global warming debate the more frustrated I am getting with the CRU temperature data. This is the one of the most commonly cited sources of global temperature data, but the numbers just don’t stay put. Each and every month the past monthly temperatures are revised. Since I enter the data into a spreadsheet each month I am constantly seeing the shift in the data. If it was the third significant digit it wouldn’t bother me (very much), but it is much more than that.
One very frustrating and confusing aspect of the global warming debate is the idea’s generally supported by warmists to replace fossil fuel for energy. The focus is on “green” energy like wind, solar and some support for hydroelectric. Certainly the focus is on wind and solar power. The problem is that these are very unreliable sources of energy. Anyone who considers CO2 as the greatest threat to mankind must accept nuclear power. There is no viable alternative. Nothing else even comes close. So it really bothers me when warmists oppose nuclear power. It shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the real world. It is not possible to take global warming seriously from anyone who does not support nuclear power.
I was pretty astonished by an article discussing a series of studies about how to make people more likely to believe in global warming. It seems that they are upset that there are still skeptics and they are trying to correct that problem. The solution is fairly simple. Ask people questions while putting them into an environment that has an elevated temperature. As the article states
“What’s one way to convert climate change skeptics? By making them sweat.”
Since the science doesn’t convince most skeptics, they are looking for other ways to help the poor and misinformed masses understand that global warming is real. The article discusses a study from Berkeley that shows increasing the ambient temperature makes people more likely to believe that global warming is real. The full article is shown below. Since I believe in actually understanding the issue I won’t suggest the reverse by saying that polls on global warming should be conducted in a freezer, but clearly the people at Berkeley believe that global warming should only be discussed with skeptics in a sauna.
The single largest governmental entity involved in the business of Global Warming is the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). The IPCC puts out large reports every 4 years. These are known as AR’s (Assessment Reports). The are numbered in order of release. The next one will be titled AR5 and it is due out in 2011. The last was AR4 and it was released in 2007.
The IPCC has been under lots of scrutiny in the last year for a variety of reasons. Significant mistakes have been found in these reports. All of these mistakes made the threat of climate change more significant than the science stated. Without going into the details of each mistake, the fact that these mistakes always exaggerated the threat of global warming is the single most compelling piece of evidence that there is a problem with the IPCC.
Scientists are usually smart people. Successful ones are especially smart at getting funding. At universities there are two ends of the spectrum when it comes to professors. There are the ones that teach and the ones that do research. Most are somewhere in-between, but the goal of many professors is to only do research. Teaching is for those that don’t get research money.
This is the last article in a series that deals with fraud, bias and the final big problem in research. This last problem goes by the name of “sponsorship bias” or “funding bias.” Both terms are often used and searches will find many discussions about this topic. Research is expensive. To get the people and the equipment to a glacier thousands of miles in the middle of nowhere is expensive. That money comes has to come from somewhere.
Sometimes I come across a story where I find myself taking up an unexpected cause. The battle over the use of ethanol is one, but the damage that climate researchers and biologists studying penguins is a new one to me. I was simply using this story as an example of scientific bias. The basics are [...]
In Part 1 I discussed several cases of intentional and deliberate scientific fraud. In those cases the researchers involved fabricated data to give specific results. That is the top of the pyramid in issues of scientific fraud. They get the most attention, but they are also the rarest problems involved in scientific research, at least I hope that is the case. The second part of the problem is a more subtle problem. It involves the selection of data, avoiding contrary data, or just misinterpreting the data. These examples are not really examples of clear scientific fraud as much as they are of scientific bias.
Major scientific fraud happens. Sometimes the results of fraud do not have tremendous impacts to public health and safety. Sometimes they do. Significant and intentional fraud are the ones that get the most attention, but there are many other problems that arise in research that will also skew the results in the ways that cause preconceived results, even if it is only by not being careful enough.
In the past decade there have been several major instances of scientific fraud. The first one I would like to discuss is the case of Woo Suk Hwang from the Seoul National University. He led a team of researchers in South Korea and the United States that were working on stem cell research.
There have been many statements about the scientific consensus that global warming exists and is caused by the CO2 emissions released by the burning of fossil fuels. The most amusing statement is that most scientists that publish research on climate change, believe in climate change. That would be like saying that most preachers of a particular religion, believe in that religion. Especially since most jobs in the study of climate change, require proven belief in climate change. Of course they are not the only scientifically trained people in the world. What about the engineers, meteorologists and other scientists that deal with the practical side of science and weather on a daily basis. What exactly do they believe when it comes to global warming?