An Experiment That Hints We Are Wrong On Climate Change

Nigel Calder, former editor of New Scientist, lays it out in the Sunday UK Times (h/t Captain Ed)

When politicians and journalists declare that the science of global warming is settled, they show a regrettable ignorance about how science works. We were treated to another dose of it recently when the experts of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued the Summary for Policymakers that puts the political spin on an unfinished scientific dossier on climate change due for publication in a few months’ time. They declared that most of the rise in temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to man-made greenhouse gases.

The small print explains “very likely” as meaning that the experts who made the judgment felt 90% sure about it. Older readers may recall a press conference at Harwell in 1958 when Sir John Cockcroft, Britain’s top nuclear physicist, said he was 90% certain that his lads had achieved controlled nuclear fusion. It turned out that he was wrong. More positively, a 10% uncertainty in any theory is a wide open breach for any latterday Galileo or Einstein to storm through with a better idea. That is how science really works.

I mentioned this back on February 4th, in a post about the scientific method, as well as posts on the release of the report. Glad to know that a layman like myself is correct.

Let me pull out some key phrases from Mr. Calder

  • And while the media usually find mavericks at least entertaining, in this case they often imagine that anyone who doubts the hypothesis of man-made global warming must be in the pay of the oil companies. As a result, some key discoveries in climate research go almost unreported.
  • Enthusiasm for the global-warming scare also ensures that heatwaves make headlines, while contrary symptoms, such as this winter’s billion-dollar loss of Californian crops to unusual frost, are relegated to the business pages. The early arrival of migrant birds in spring provides colourful evidence for a recent warming of the northern lands. But did anyone tell you that in east Antarctica the Adélie penguins and Cape petrels are turning up at their spring nesting sites around nine days later than they did 50 years ago? While sea-ice has diminished in the Arctic since 1978, it has grown by 8% in the Southern Ocean.
  • The best measurements of global air temperatures come from American weather satellites, and they show wobbles but no overall change since 1999.
  • That levelling off is just what is expected by the chief rival hypothesis, which says that the sun drives climate changes more emphatically than greenhouse gases do. After becoming much more active during the 20th century, the sun now stands at a high but roughly level state of activity. Solar physicists warn of possible global cooling, should the sun revert to the lazier mood it was in during the Little Ice Age 300 years ago.

Of course, people will call Mr. Calder all sorts of names. The typical ad hominem attacks that never address the facts, and never show any sort of knowledge of science.

Mr. Calder is not denying global warming, and nor do I. He acknowledges, as I have many, many times, that the Sun has a huge influence on the temperatures around the world, as the latter part of the article states, and I would highly recomment reading it. Liberals are putting their hands over their eyes and saying "la la la la la" to avoid it. It is amazing how they can entirely exclude the Sun, that big shiny ball which provides warmth and light, from their equations.

I agree with Captain Ed in that it is time to look for alternative energy sources appart from oil, as cars, planes, buses, etc, create pollution. Even in Raleigh, we have bad atmosphere days in the summer, complicated by air pollutants, while those in the country side are A-OK. But for the Global Warming As Caused By Man hysterics to push for all the crazy things they push, sans real scientific facts, is absurd. Air pollution from cars is real: global warming caused by cars is not.

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