Jane Shaw, a senior fellow at Montana’s Political Economy & Research Center, reckons the lack of intellectual integrity in the global warming debate is deeply disturbing. “Global warming is not a crisis,” she says here, “but it may be creating a crisis of intellectual integrity.”
The crisis that concerns me stems from the way that scientists are addressing the issue. Ever since 1988, when James Hansen, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, alerted a congressional committee to global warming, climate change has been a political issue.
Shaw gives plenty of examples herself of the intellectual crisis in science, not least how “scientists who question aspects of the orthodoxy have been silenced or fired,” but also how “methods and standards that have stood the test of time since the Enlightenment have been shunted aside in order to promote a political objective.”
It reminded me too of a recent and rare debate between a warmist and a skeptic, between one William Schlesinger, a heavy-hitting warmist from the Cary Institute of Ecosystems Studies – a chap with credentials and government work right down to his arse -- and John Christy, a noted climate scientist and non-warmist from the University of Alabama at Huntsville who measures climate data by satellite.
Schlesinger, the oaf, begins by saying nearly “all scientists agree” so therefore it’s time to stop discussion and get on with making dramatic changes to curtail CO2 emissions and change our lifestyles. He wasn’t going to further discuss the science, he said, and instead, as Roy Cordato reports at the Master Resource blog, “simply went to a series of slides showing scary scenarios about the future.”
Christy carefully went through data—temperature records, sea level rise, melting ice caps—to show that the alarmist case is exaggerated on all counts. But Schlesinger chose not to rebut despite having plenty of time to do so. He wanted to assume the problem to get to the public policy and the new world that he favors.
If that tactic sounds familiar to NZ ears, it’s because that’s precisely the approach our parliamentary “climate change inquiry” intends to take: To ignore the science, and to plough on instead with the new world of tax and spend and cap they wish to promote, the bastards.
So much for debate. So much for science. And no wonder, as they’ve noted before at the Master Resource blog, “this is why the other side does not really want to debate.”
NB: If you’d like to watch the Christy-Schlesinger “debate” online, you can see it here at the John Locke Foundation blog. It’s fascinating. As someone said of Schlesinger, he’s not even deep enough to be called shallow.
UPDATE 1: “Science writer Gary Robbins asks: ‘Why do people hate Al Gore?’” Tim Blair’s advice: “Keep it below 800 words.”
UPDATE 2: Oh, by the way, how many actual climate scientists you think there are in the IPCC? Roy Cordato has the answer, courtesy of Schlesinger. It’s less than one in five:
UPDATE 3: “Japanese scientists have made a dramatic break with the UN and Western-backed hypothesis of climate change in a new report from its Energy Commission,” reports the UK Register [hat tip No Minister].
During the question and answer session of last week's William Schlesinger/John Christy global warming debate, Schlesinger was asked how many members of United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) were actual climate scientists… His answer was quite telling. First he broadened it to include not just climate scientists but also those who have had "some dealing with the climate." His complete answer was that he thought, "something on the order of 20 percent have had some dealing with climate." In other words, even IPCC worshiper William Schlesinger is now acknowledging that 80 percent of the IPCC membership have had absolutely no dealing with the climate as part of their academic studies.
Any NZ parliamentarians listening?
Japan's boffins: Global warming isn't man-made
Three of the five researchers disagree with the UN's IPCC view that recent warming is primarily the consequence of man-made industrial emissions of greenhouse gases. Remarkably, the subtle and nuanced language typical in such reports has been set aside.
One of the five contributors compares computer climate modelling to ancient astrology. Others castigate the paucity of the US ground temperature data set used to support the hypothesis, and declare that the unambiguous warming trend from the mid-part of the 20th Century has ceased.
The report by Japan Society of Energy and Resources (JSER) is astonishing rebuke to international pressure...
JSER is the academic society representing scientists from the energy and resource fields, and acts as a government advisory panel…
"[The IPCC's] conclusion that from now on atmospheric temperatures are likely to show a continuous, monotonic increase, should be perceived as an unprovable hypothesis," writes Kanya Kusano, Program Director and Group Leader for the Earth Simulator at the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science & Technology (JAMSTEC).
Shunichi Akasofu… uses historical data to challenge the claim that very recent temperatures represent an anomaly:
"We should be cautious, IPCC's theory that atmospheric temperature has risen since 2000 in correspondence with CO2 is nothing but a hypothesis. "
Akasofu calls the post-2000 warming trend hypothetical. His harshest words are reserved for advocates who give conjecture the authority of fact.
"Before anyone noticed, this hypothesis has been substituted for truth... The opinion that great disaster will really happen must be broken."