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12/8/2009
WHAT’S SO HARD TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT CLIMATEGATE? EVERYTHING

We humans like things nice and simple. If we have to expend any more than minimal brain power to understand something, we get all cranky and upset. This is especially true if something that we thought we understood goes against our preconceived notions of the truth once we internalize more information.

I envy the technically inclined. They seem to be able to grasp difficult concepts with an ease that escapes me. And I’m not talking about those who might be educated in the sciences or other technical fields. It is much more basic than that. There are some people who are simply better at understanding complexities than the rest of us. It probably has something to do with the way their minds are organized.

No doubt in 10,000 years, their DNA will have survived while mine and the other technically challenged humans will see our DNA go the way of the Neanderthals. Such is the relentless logic of evolution that favors the problem solvers, the adapters.

I bring this up because the more I read about Climategate, the less informed I become. I have to really work at understanding even the basics of what people like Mark Sheppard, Charlie Martin, and this fellow at Watts Up With That blog Willis Eschenbach seem to understand intuitively.

All three of these gentlemen are telling me that Climategate contains revelations so profound that they call into question a quarter century of scientific observations and theory about climate change. I have no reason to doubt their anaylses or conclusions. That’s because I barely have a clue of what they are writing about.

Distilling basics from this trio of very smart, accomplished people is difficult. But what I can gather is that something is very wrong with the temperature data, not just for CRU, but for the entire knowledge base on which the very idea of rising temperatures above what would normally be expected rests.

If true, this would be a flabbergasting turn of events. The theory of global warming rests on the observation that rising levels of CO2 corresponds directly with rising temperatures. The inference to be drawn from the data is that the rise in CO2 is the result of industrialized economies spewing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Correlation in both sets of data is necessary for the the theory to hold water. If you remove the rise in temperatures from the equation, all you have is increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere and a theory that eventually, this will lead to a warmer planet. But without that temperature data showing a rise, it would be impossible to construct a viable model of how fast and how much warming would take place. It would be pure speculation if a climatologist tried to model future temperatures if what the record showed were normal fluctuations that could be accounted for by other indices (lack of solar activity, “Little Ice Age” warming, etc.).

So this is what has me flummoxed. Are the leaked documents from CRU a closing of the coffin for the AGW theory? This from Eschenbach would seem to make a strong case for it:

People keep saying “Yes, the Climategate scientists behaved badly. But that doesn’t mean the data is bad. That doesn’t mean the earth is not warming.”

Let me start with the second objection first. The earth has generally been warming since the Little Ice Age, around 1650. There is general agreement that the earth has warmed since then. See e.g. Akasofu . Climategate doesn’t affect that.

The second question, the integrity of the data, is different. People say “Yes, they destroyed emails, and hid from Freedom of information Acts, and messed with proxies, and fought to keep other scientists’ papers out of the journals … but that doesn’t affect the data, the data is still good.” Which sounds reasonable.

There are three main global temperature datasets. One is at the CRU, Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, where we’ve been trying to get access to the raw numbers. One is at NOAA/GHCN, the Global Historical Climate Network. The final one is at NASA/GISS, the Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The three groups take raw data, and they “homogenize” it to remove things like when a station was moved to a warmer location and there’s a 2C jump in the temperature. The three global temperature records are usually called CRU, GISS, and GHCN. Both GISS and CRU, however, get almost all of their raw data from GHCN. All three produce very similar global historical temperature records from the raw data.

OK - this I understand. But after examining a recent controversy in Australia where the raw data was, in fact, released for the temperature stations, what Eschenbach finds, is that those “homogenized” adjustments appear to be…biased in favor of warming:

YIKES! Before getting homogenized, temperatures in Darwin were falling at 0.7 Celcius per century … but after the homogenization, they were warming at 1.2 Celcius per century. And the adjustment that they made was over two degrees per century … when those guys “adjust”, they don’t mess around. And the adjustment is an odd shape, with the adjustment first going stepwise, then climbing roughly to stop at 2.4C.

Of course, that led me to look at exactly how the GHCN “adjusts” the temperature data.

[...]

They pick five neighboring stations, and average them. Then they compare the average to the station in question. If it looks wonky compared to the average of the reference five, they check any historical records for changes, and if necessary, they homogenize the poor data mercilessly. I have some problems with what they do to homogenize it, but that’s how they identify the inhomogeneous stations.

OK … but given the scarcity of stations in Australia, I wondered how they would find five “neighboring stations” in 1941 …

So I looked it up. The nearest station that covers the year 1941 is 500 km away from Darwin. Not only is it 500 km away, it is the only station within 750 km of Darwin that covers the 1941 time period. (It’s also a pub, Daly Waters Pub to be exact, but hey, it’s Australia, good on ya.) So there simply aren’t five stations to make a “reference series” out of to check the 1936-1941 drop at Darwin.

Yikes, indeed. Half a world away from CRU and we apparently have a similar situation where the scientists solve their “problem” with falling temps by simply massaging the data until it says what they want it to say.

But the thought gnaws at me; am I missing something here? Surely the way they massaged the data has some scientific basis, right?

Yikes again, double yikes! What on earth justifies that adjustment? How can they do that? We have five different records covering Darwin from 1941 on. They all agree almost exactly. Why adjust them at all? They’ve just added a huge artificial totally imaginary trend to the last half of the raw data! Now it looks like the IPCC diagram in Figure 1, all right … but a six degree per century trend? And in the shape of a regular stepped pyramid climbing to heaven? What’s up with that?

Those, dear friends, are the clumsy fingerprints of someone messing with the data Egyptian style … they are indisputable evidence that the “homogenized” data has been changed to fit someone’s preconceptions about whether the earth is warming.

If this, as we are told, is “how science is done in the real world,” lemme outa here.

But is it?

In reaching its conclusion, the climate panel relied only partly on temperature data like that collected by the scientists at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, whose circulated e-mail correspondence set off the current uproar. It also considered a wide range of data from other sources, including measurements showing the retreat of glaciers in mountain ranges around the world, changes in the length and character of the seasons, heating of the oceans and marked retreats of sea ice in the Arctic.

Since 1979, satellites have provided another check on surface temperature measurements. Strong disagreements about how to interpret the satellite data were largely resolved after the Bush administration began a review in which competing research groups worked out some of their differences.

Science is about probability, not certainty. And the persisting uncertainties in climate science leave room for argument. What is a realistic estimate of how much temperatures will rise? How severe will the effects be? Are there tipping points beyond which the changes are uncontrollable?

Even climate scientists disagree on many of these questions. But skeptics have been critical of the data assembled to show that warming is occurring and the analytic methods that climate scientists use, including mathematical models used to demonstrate a human cause for warming and project future trends.

This is where my personal conundrum ensues. There are literally dozens of studies showing that glaciers are retreating. And yet when one study comes out showing the opposite, the global warming deniers latch on to it with the fervency of a recent convert to a religion. Arctic ice is another measurement that features a host of studies showing it is shrinking and getting thinner while far fewer observations reveals the opposite.

They can’t all be frauds. They can’t all be hiding data, cooking the books, just for grant money. They can’t all be far left commies out to set up a one world government. Many of these observations must be accepted based on the idea that there is widespread agreement across several scientific disciplines that these observations reflect the facts. And if that’s true, then global warming as a theory has not been “debunked” but rather called into question - something the Al Gores of the world don’t want to do but which science, with its infinite capacity to be skeptical, must do if the scientific process itself is to remain a viable part of our civilization.

My point is that you have to look at the big picture. Picking and choosing which scientific evidence you wish to acknowledge is simply not acceptable. The raw temperature data looks flawed to me but what do I know? There are at least two instances of scientists massaging data to achieve a desired result. Does that destroy the entire theory of AGW?

What it should do is knock some sense into the fools who are gathering in Copenhagen. If this were truly about saving the planet, there would be no talk of requiring the kinds of draconian, economy destroying measures being contemplated by world leaders. But global warming is now out of the scientist’s hands and is in the political realm. And since politics is ultimately about control, government action to curb emissions will be the order of the day.

There will never be “certainty” about global warming. The question I have is, after we are finished pulverizing industrialized civilization and the climate doesn’t warm, where do we go to get our money back?

By: Rick Moran at 11:42 am
28 Responses to “WHAT’S SO HARD TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT CLIMATEGATE? EVERYTHING”
  1. 1
    jackson1234 Said:
    12:02 pm 

    Sharp piece. I am an agnostic who is about to become an atheist on this subject without the creds to be on one side or the other. In other words, I am just like the minions who accept AGW except I know my limitations. They don’t realize it or perhaps could care less since a certain messianic, religious fervor is evident among many AGW zealots.

    Yesterday I read an initial analysis of one of the leaked graphs. It was an attempt to dumb down the subject and make sense of it, but it was tedious to say the least. The conclusion was that the model was so fraught with error as to be useless. Nonetheless, this graph informs a lot of the common research. It is this type of information, along with what I admit is a gut reaction to some AGW advocates’ blatant chicanery, that has started to make me more doubtful than neutral.

    You are particularly right here:

    “What it should do is knock some sense into the fools who are gathering in Copenhagen. If this were truly about saving the planet, there would be no talk of requiring the kinds of draconian, economy destroying measures being contemplated by world leaders. But global warming is now out of the scientist’s hands and is in the political realm. And since politics is ultimately about control, government action to curb emissions will be the order of the day.”

    It seems–note, True Believers, seems–some of the more prominent AGW researchers have been driven by the desire to obtain results to justify policy decisions. At a minimum that isn’t science as we know it.

    Against this backdrop, Copenhagen is a total farce.

  2. 2
    Tano Said:
    1:41 pm 

    “I have no reason to doubt their anaylses or conclusions. That’s because I barely have a clue of what they are writing about. ”

    So are you saying that believing them is the default position? It should be the opposite. You should see no reason to believe their analyses or conclusions if you haven’t a clue…

  3. 3
    Allen Said:
    2:12 pm 

    Climatology is relatively new science that is poorly understood by many people at this point. The first thing you need to do is separate the physically measured data from the inferred data.

    For example, ice mass, ice extent, trapped gases in ice cores all contain physically measurable quantities that contain valuable climate information. for example the Vostok Ice Core data contains deuterated water which gives us a picture of the climate going back 400,000 years. It’s a intellectually and mathematically rigorous process. Note, that we don’t have to attribute the changes to anything at this point to see it, and all of it would be considered good rigorous science.

    Next we have the inferred type of data, specifically global average temperature anomaly. In this case the base data would be the temperature readings themselves. From that, various mathematical schemes can be used to arrive at that quantity. This is where the problems are. As the 2001 IPCC report stated it’s a “signal in the noise” problem. The temperature data itself is so noisy it’s quite difficult to suss out the signal of the temperature anomaly. It also requires making a number of assumptions. Now if you then take this quantity and correlate some of the other physical data from above you’ve pulled all of the assumptions made into the previous data sets, where they did not previously exist.

    In other words, you have attributed all events to global warming, based on the mathematically derived anomaly. It is very likely that one could see the same physical effects without any warming whatsoever. The climate is a complex non-linear dynamic system so not only are a large number of changes possible due to other forces, they are likely.

  4. 4
    Chris Said:
    4:03 pm 

    I’m an engineer, so I’m not in any field related to the climate, but I do know science. I’m a skeptic (I don’t know if global warming is real or not). I’m mainly a skeptic because many of the science practices are just a disgrace.

    I know that the hockey stick graph has been debunked. I never read anything about it or who debunked it, but I didn’t need a report to tell me. A rule in science is that you don’t mix data points measured from different tools or sources. There are three different sources of data on the hockey stick graph and the main rise is just more accurate data( since we can more accurately estimate temperatures 50 years ago than 2000 years ago).

    It’s shady stuff like that, which has turned me skeptical.

    But I think belief plays a big role in science. It’s just the way we are wired as humans. We’ll pick out the information, evidence, data, facts, that fit our view of the world.

    I think this can be easily shown by James Hansen. I think this is the guy’s name. He works for NASA anyway and he’s published a lot of studies on global warming.

    He did a study where he measured surface ocean temperatures. When he first published the paper, it actually showed that temperatures were going down (DATA). For his conclusion, he wrote that the ice caps were melting cooling the temperature of water (OPINION to explain data).

    A few years later, he went back over the data and found that some of the measuring devices in the water sank to deep and created cooler temperatures. He scrubbed the data points that were way off and it showed the oceans were in fact getting warmer. He published his work again, showing that this is proof of global warming.

    The issue here isn’t the data points removed. The issue is tha the data points are irrelevant. It didn’t matter to this scientist what the data came out as, it had to prove global warming. And this is where belief comes into play.

    When we hear a sensational headline from a politician or on the news about a study, all we hear is the conclusion of a study. A conclusion is an opinion the scientists holds to explain what he/she thinks is happening.

    This particular example, is something that stood out the most to me, because I find that those that believe in global warming are the ones that tend to use that ocean warming study as “proof”, when it is more of a joke.

    Another thing that annoys me is that you’re going to find studies that support global warming always involve studies of data in the Northern Hemisphere and you’ll find studies that counter global warming always involve studies of data in the Southern Hemisphere.

    Why? It’s really quite simple. I learned about it in like grade school geography class. There is more land in the Northern Hemisphere, which creates more extreme temperatures. The Southern Hemisphere has more water, which moderates temperatures.

  5. 5
    still liberal Said:
    4:03 pm 

    I do not pretend to understand the science related to global warming. But common sense can be readily applied in this situation. It is readily apparent that humans can adapt to climate change far more easily that changing the climate will be. The Earth has warmed and cooled repeatedly without man-made greenhouse gases. Changing dependence on fossil fuels seems to be important if for no other reasons than they are a finite resource and petrodollars fuel terrorism.

    It does seem impulsive to begin throwing away the advances of modern civilization because we have caused some damage to the atmosphere. Instead of a jerry-rigged system of buying and selling permission to pollute, a collaborate industrialized nations effort to develop alternative fuel sources seems a better investment of money. Ending the use of fossil fuels as our primary energy source will take a long time. We cannot throw the baby out with the bathwater. This is neither liberal nor conservative. Avoiding stupid, knee jerk decisions is hopefully a universal value.

  6. 6
    Mike Said:
    4:21 pm 

    Rick, I for one really appreciate your attempt to reason this out - a rare thing in this debate.
    This question has been around for a long time. An important journal article is found here at this link I found in Wikipedia (it’s a PDF):

    http://www.globalwarmingart.com/images/1/18/Arrhenius.pdf

    It dates from 1896 and the author Svante Arrhenius was influenced by the thought of John Tyndall and Joseph Fourier. The history of this thinking is detatailed here:

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09340/1018512-109.stm

    So this is a 150 year old scientific problem: How to explain that the earth is warm enough to sustain life when it should be colder based on radiant heat escaping into space. Water vapor is the major insulator but it is a constant so does not explain the climate change we see in history. So it must be the greenhouse gases, even if they are a minor part of the atmosphere. The scary part is how much at risk are we for a drastic climate shift?

    The political question is that our whole human history is within only 10,000 years. We are used to a certain climate. If we go to a climate that hasn’t been around since the dinosaurs how much is that going to affect us economically?

  7. 7
    Foobarista Said:
    4:39 pm 

    For me, warming itself isn’t as interesting as the assertion that CO2 emissions is the main “driver” of warming. It is pretty much not disputed that there was a period of warming from the late 1970s to the early 1990s, with stable temps for about ten years, and some cooling since 2005 or so. CO2 emissions have been on a nice straight trajectory during that time.

    For this grand CO2 “mitigation” strategy to have any meaning (beyond side-effects, some of which I’ll agree are good, but many of which are very bad and hugely expensive), CO2 has to be forcing warming and the CO2 forcing rate has to be predictable to the point of making actionable policies.

    We don’t have an answer on CO2’s forcing “power” in our actual atmosphere, and we most certainly don’t know enough about this forcing rate to make policy - all the reductions are basically numbers pulled out of the butts of various bureaucrats, or based on numbers from sims that can’t pass regression (ie, they can’t “forecast the past”).

    There are even some studies from paleo-climatology which show that CO2 rates rise _after_ warming events, possibly due to warming oceans releasing CO2. Since we just came out of a mini-Ice Age that peaked about 400 years ago, this could be going on as well.

    In other words, I think there’s good reasons for getting off oil and doing other straightforward things to allow us to generate energy without dirty burning of fossil fuels, but let’s dispense with the hysteria and “we’re DOOMED!!!!11!1! if we don’t do this yesterday!” stuff.

  8. 8
    NikFromNYC Said:
    4:59 pm 

    Alarmist Eye Candy:

    http://i49.tinypic.com/2mpg0tz.jpg Magic Tricks Explained

    http://i48.tinypic.com/xfvoyg.jpg Central England Don’t Panic!

    http://i46.tinypic.com/t63qxe.jpg “Value-Added” Data

  9. 9
    angullimala Said:
    5:07 pm 

    So are you saying that believing them is the default position? It should be the opposite. You should see no reason to believe their analyses or conclusions if you haven’t a clue…

    Does this mean I shouldn’t believe what my doctor says since I have no clue about medicine.

  10. 10
    kim_tn Said:
    6:24 pm 

    Good points. I swear, if I hear one more person say, “Look, it’s snowing in December, so much for that global warming thing”, I’m going to scream. Some people prefer to remain blissfully ignorant about basic information so they can just pop off with stupid such as that.

  11. 11
    Liberty60 Said:
    6:27 pm 

    I think the environmental movement made a grave mistake when it presented global warming as the single definitive iussue by which environmental problesm can be viewed.
    Putting aside AGW for a moment; is there any doubt that the ecosystems around the world are under stress and in danger of collapse?
    Whether is is the fisheries of North America, the oceans, the air pollution in China, soil contamination in Russia, all over thw rodl we are destroying the very environment we depend on.
    The second biggest error the environmental movement made was aligning itself with leftist pollitics; this ensured that every issue, no matter how sensible or local, became ensnared in Cold War politics of socialism vs capitalism.

    We can have a sensible policy of balancing the long term impacts of industry against the need for commerce, without resorting to pitched battles over climate science that no one but a handful of scientists understands

  12. 12
    ck Said:
    7:18 pm 

    So are you saying that believing them is the default position? It should be the opposite. You should see no reason to believe their analyses or conclusions if you haven’t a clue…

    Does this mean I shouldn’t believe what my doctor says since I have no clue about medicine.

    No, but if the doctor gives you horrible news, you should get a second opinion. These AGW scientist have made it almost impossible to get a second opiniong since they wont share their data, methodology and bully anyone who quesitons them.

  13. 13
    Foobarista Said:
    8:09 pm 

    kim_tn, how about all the hurricanes, tornadoes, and bad hair days ascribed to AGW? The AGW types screwed their own political pooch when they tried to argue that Katrina was some sort of AGW “revenge”.

    Once they did that, they set up a rhetorical way to track AGW: hot=yes, cold=no, and they created an implicit straight-line assumption that each year would be hotter than the last. (It appears from some of the ClimateGate emails that even they were surprised that the earth didn’t cooperate with this assumption, although even if one accepts CO2=AGW, there are other forcers, like the Sun, which vary a lot and cause more moving parts and hinder a pure linear assumption.)

    They tried to slip the noose with the “climate change” dodge, but it didn’t work.

  14. 14
    steve Said:
    8:51 pm 

    Rick

    You drive me crazy. The human senses are fuzzy enough by themselves. The more data elements that are cranked into an equation the more critical accuracy to several decimal points is needed.

    Go back to basic Philosophy and mathematics. First your data collection must be beyond reproach. ( absolutely accurate) or you have just screwed the pooch before you have even begun. Next you give good air-tight reasons why you are not including other data. (Check the recent sunspot count and solar magnetic flux).

    Next purge or explain emotional drivers that may pollute your work. (who benifits?, who gains?)

    After you have completed this and all is in order then submit for really good and thorough, impartial peer review.
    Preferably this should be from qualified scientists who DO NOT share your opinions, wants, and desires.

    A good peer review should be able to legitimatly duplicate the results from the raw data and methods included.

    The Peer review was the worst joke involved. Peer review should feel like your body is being gored by maurading Huns trying to eat your liver out of your living abdomen.

    This is not what happened, what instead happened was a cover up that was a mafia like Chicago organized crime version of clean politics.

    You want the bottom line. The mob wanted a result and the result was delivered

  15. 15
    mannning Said:
    9:40 pm 

    The scary part is that Obama seems to be completely for saving the planet from AGW. It is settled science, apparently, in the White House of 2009, and the power of the Administration is behind doing something big, costly, and centralizing of control.

    They are seemingly not going to let a little CRU setback ruin their plans. The Media, of course, is trying its best to ignore the CRU affair, or, at the least, to play it down and play AGW up.

    Meanwhile, we can stew all we want with the few solid insights and little real data we have available. We are not in control.

  16. 16
    funny man Said:
    9:41 pm 

    Climate science is by it’s very nature different than let’s nuclear physics or microbiology because you can’t just repeat an experiment. So people measure a lot of things and then put it into programs that analyze the trends seen in the measurements. That by itself is not wrong.
    Of course, politics found a way into this rather obscure scientific area and here is where the problems starts because people want to push their agenda. This is also why it is very difficult nowadays to have a rational discussion about this. For example, I would venture to say that a lot of people were turned off by AGW simply because Al Gore was seen championing it. Do politicians have any clue about science? In 99% of members of both parties clearly no. In addition to ignorance one main reason being that a lot of them are lawyers. Now lawyers operate completely different because once you have precedence you have a case even though it could be scientifically proven wrong.
    So who sets the government’s scientific agenda if we agree that politicians don’t. Most scientist don’t do that either because they are happy working away in the office/lab. That is the hour of people with a big ego and an agenda as we now just saw in ‘climategate’. It has a lot to do with hubris, wanting to be a big shot but also real data on the part of that small circle of scientists. Unfortunately, some of the people ‘exposing’ this ‘fraud of the century’ have those same traits on steroids.

    I try to take a cautious position and think that warming is occurring and 6 billion plus people on this Earth probably have some influence on it. Why should that not be the case?

  17. 17
    SShiell Said:
    11:07 pm 

    “I try to take a cautious position and think that warming is occurring and 6 billion plus people on this Earth probably have some influence on it. Why should that not be the case?”

    Because the “fix” for such is to reduce your CO2 output to a per capita level equivilent to the normal person’s output in the year 1785. Take a look around you. You live in a orld dominated by technology and the engine that drives that technology is energy. And the energy that we use today is predominately Carbon based - oil, coal, natural gas, etc. To reduce our carbon footprint to that extreme is the equivilent of turning our energy equation upside down. Imagine 95% of the energy being created today coming from wind, solar, tidal, or geothermal assets. 95% (or thereabouts anyway)

    Sounds great doesn’t it? Except it is a pipe dream. And the push is to get halfway there by te year 2030 and all the way there by 2050. 40 years to virtually eliminate carbon based energy sources from the planet.

    Yes, the planet. Because if we do it and China and India do not - it’s for nothing. China is already the world’s CO2 champion and India will be #2 within the next 5 years. We are way past being the dominate manufacturing giant of years past, as the Chinese and Indians have overtaken us in those areas.

    But that is just an aside. Imagine our economy, struggling to rear itself out of the current recession to regain some level of growth being forced to replace its entire energy component, infrastructure and all, in order to reach these mandated goals.

    And the upshot of all this is that by the IPCC’s own admission, if we take these drastic steps to virtually eliminate our carbon footprint, we will have suceeded in reducing the impending temperature increases by a fraction of a single degree over the next 100 years.

    And all for a theory that is currently having trouble holding it’s own water.

  18. 18
    Portland Guy Said:
    11:19 pm 

    Small thing. Arctic ice did shrink and become thinner… through 2007. In both 2008 and 2009 the ice got thicker and more extensive.

    There are few periods since Greenland was green when the north polar icecap was shrinking and a few when it was growing. It’s a cyclical thing that doesn’t correlate with atmospheric CO2.

  19. 19
    Maggie's Farm Trackbacked With:
    6:27 am 

    Weds. morning links, updated…

    Photo of one of Tiger’s hos friends. We generally avoid tabloid stuff, but we had to make a little room room for the great Tiger. Via Am Thinker:

    … The Tiger Woods that was constructed for corporate consumption was spotless and smooth, an edgeles…

  20. 20
    Ksren Said:
    6:50 am 

    re: (e) above — “Intelligent Design” is the logical answer to the “origin of species” for the obvious reason that the evolutionary process is ORDERED and systematic. It’s NOT chaos which it should be IF there is no “intelligent design.”

    Over the past billion/million (whatever) years, species (and the planet itself) have been evolving into more complex and advanced species and systems. The human body alone is SO “intelligently designed” that the most advanced computers pale by comparison.

    For that matter, WHY does “survival of the fittest” exist in the first place? WHY are species designed — and somehow programed — TO survive and reproduce?

    If “intelligent design” is to be shunned, then evolution occurred through “chaos” and disorder even though ORDER and structure is how we now exist and advance as a species. On it’s face, pure Evolutionary Theory is blatantly ILLOGICAL.

    You can’t get something from nothing. Therefore, SOMETHING existed forever and ever and ever . . .and then it BEGAN to evolve. Again, what caused the evolutionary process, itself, to begin to evolve? IMO, the obvious: we are the product of “Intelligent design.”

    No intelligent design discussions here. No such thing as faith based science.

    The idea that the theory of evolution has not evolved is utter nonsense. I guess you fell asleep in biology class when genetics were discussed. Evolutionary biology is a whole new scientific discipline that uses genetic markers to track the evolution of species.

    Go to a religious board if you want to discuss ID. This is a pseudo-science free site.

    ed.

  21. 21
    Vic Hernandez Said:
    8:43 am 

    Michael Crichton had the mind to understand the compelx intdeed. I’d surmise that many of you have read his thoughts and comments before or since his passing. But here’s a re-read from the late great Michael Crichton who undoubtedly knew what he was talking about. Unlike the Al Gores of today.

    http://www.crichton-official.com/speech-ourenvironmentalfuture.html (2005)
    “In my view, our approach to global warming exemplifies everything that is wrong with our approach to the environment. We are basing our decisions on speculation, not evidence. Proponents are pressing their views with more PR than scientific data. Indeed, we have allowed the whole issue to be politicized — red vs blue, Republican vs Democrat. This is in my view absurd. Data aren’t political. Data are data. Politics leads you in the direction of a belief. Data, if you follow them, lead you to truth.”

    Then again he said:
    http://www.michaelcrichton.net/speech-environmentalismaseligion.html (2003)
    ” I studied anthropology in college, and one of the things I learned was that certain human social structures always reappear. They can’t be eliminated from society. One of those structures is religion. Today it is said we live in a secular society in which many people—the best people, the most enlightened people—do not believe in any religion. But I think that you cannot eliminate religion from the psyche of mankind. If you suppress it in one form, it merely re-emerges in another form. You can not believe in God, but you still have to believe in something that gives meaning to your life, and shapes your sense of the world. Such a belief is religious.

    Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism. Environmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists. Why do I say it’s a religion? Well, just look at the beliefs. If you look carefully, you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.

    There’s an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there’s a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a result of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment. Just as organic food is its communion, that pesticide-free wafer that the right people with the right beliefs, imbibe.

    Eden, the fall of man, the loss of grace, the coming doomsday—…..And so it is, sadly, with environmentalism. Increasingly it seems facts aren’t necessary, because the tenets of environmentalism are all about belief. It’s about whether you are going to be a sinner, or saved. Whether you are going to be one of the people on the side of salvation, or on the side of doom. Whether you are going to be one of us, or one of them.”

    Who would have thought back in 2003 snd 2005 that Michael Crishton was right on!. Now thats a brain that could understand the complex and explain them in common sense terms to stupos like myself.

    RIP Michael Christon.

  22. 22
    funny man Said:
    9:46 am 

    SShiell,
    notice I didn’t talk about the solution. Liberty60 pretty much sums up my thoughts. Your worries do make sense but in my mind that does not mean we shouldn’t work hard on becoming more energy efficient, less dependent on carbon based energy etc. I think you would also agree with that, right?

  23. 23
    TMLutas Said:
    11:27 am 

    Here’s what I hope will be an explanation that a normal nontechnical person could understand. Let me know if I succeed.

    From an economics perspective clean fuels are coming down in price far faster than dirty fuels. Everybody with any observational capability expects that sometime in the near to medium future the two lines are going to cross and at that point, dirty fuels will get pushed out by clean fuels, period. The question is how are we going to manage that transition. For certain very limited cases it is possible today to purchase nameplate capacity of solar power for less money than it would take to purchase the same nameplate capacity using coal. That’s revolutionary even with the long line of caveats that go with it.

    If we have time, the cheapest way to do the transition is to continue using the dirty fuels and as machines and plants wear out, you switch them over, with early retirement pushing up if clean fuels actually get cheaper than dirty fuels. In this scenario, we don’t have to do much political reform, no treaties, no global governance initiatives, the free market pretty much takes care of the problem and governments best assist by goosing the R&D along with targeted investments. The vast majority of climate skeptics favor this approach.

    But if we don’t have time, the whole emergency socialist bit comes into action like a war emergency such as WW II. We have to have a crash program. We have to have vastly enlarged government powers to force the early retirement of machines, of power plants, etc. We have to ban charcoal BBQ and other pursuits that heretofore have been considered innocent private pleasures. “Consensus” scientists overwhelmingly favor this approach.

    If there has been a Medieval Warm Period (MWP) that had global reach and significantly higher temperatures than today, we have time. If there was no MWP or it was just regional or very small, we might very well not have time. That’s the significance of the hockey stick. It scares people into thinking we might not have time and that the fate of the planet depends on quick, emergency action. It’s a scare con with the twist that they might be scaring us about a real problem that is truly “bet the planet” scary.

    The Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) team is committed to scientifically proving that our current temperatures are unprecedented and therefore we might not have time. They are pro-government intervention, the lot of them. They know that they must argue away the historically recognized MWP. They use temperature proxies like tree rings. What ClimateGate does is bring to public consciousness that the proxies in use are not reliable enough to carry the point without cheating.

    We can double check proxies on tree rings from about 1850 or so. That’s 160 years give or take. For about 110 of those years the proxies and the thermometers track pretty well. Then about 1960 they don’t. Nobody knows why. That means that for 50 of the 160 years (31%) of the data we can check, a major proxy has proven unreliable and instead of discarding the proxy and seeing what they can prove with proxies that have not veered off into known unreliability, the CRUTape letters show that they’ve been trying to hide the decline in accuracy. That’s not scientific. It won’t be clear how much this unscientific conduct matters until the data gets thoroughly checked.

    What we need to make sense of this which we don’t have, a list of proxies that have not declined in accuracy, a clear identification of the proxies that have declined and the papers that have become unreliable because of them, and how much of the IPCC’s conclusions depended on those unreliable papers.

    Had the CRU crew not tried to “hide the decline” we would have had 4 decades to work around this problem and could have advanced the science in a reliable way much further. Now we’ve got 40 years of backlog, my entire lifetime, to go through and figure out how much still stands when you take out the unreliable stuff.

    All the while if the AGW crowd is right the clock’s ticking and we can’t tell the difference quickly whether these are harmless lies or a massive long term con with horrible consequences. If we bet wrong either way, there’s going to be a body count and massive financial losses.

    This is deadly serious stuff. Bjorn Lomberg with his Copenhagen Consensus work has come up with a great list of all the stuff we’re going to sacrifice, complete with casualty counts, if we overspend on global warming. Al Gore and company have provided us with the other side, including casualty counts.

  24. 24
    Dan Smith Said:
    11:28 am 

    Rick, let me give you a real world example of science bias at work. I’m a primary care physician. Until I refused to continue to see them, several pharmaceutical reps per week would buy lunch for my staff and me and try to persuade me to prescribe their products. They always had scientific studies that purported why their product was better than the competition. None of the studies was false in the sense that they were fabricated, but they couldn’t ALL be true. Science is quite capable of posing questions in such a way or statistically treating data so that the questions they want answered in the affirmative continue to be answered in the affirmative. They are human beings, not gods. I find it easy to accept that the scientists at CRU and allied centers believed in the reality of climate change so that they adjusted raw data to agree with their foregone conclusions. All of us have biases. Show me a doctor, lawyer or candlestick maker who claims to be bias-free and I’ll show you a liar. The real “deniers” in this sorry mess are those who masquerade as totally objective, disinterested scientists. BULLS***!

  25. 25
    Anonymous Said:
    12:43 pm 

    @ck #12
    You wrote “These AGW scientist have made it almost impossible to get a second opiniong since they wont share their data…”

    Have you tried looking around? Here, let me help you http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/11/wheres-the-data/

    You will find links to the data you don’t really want anyway.

  26. 26
    Locomotive Breath Said:
    3:00 pm 

    The question is NOT whether the climate is changing. Everyone agrees that it is. The question is whether it’s happening so fast that it’s due to an influence not previously present - the burning of carbon fuels.

    Ten years ago we were told that temperatures were rising too rapidly for it to be a “natural” process and that models predicted an even faster rise in the future. However, in the past decade, temperatures have NOT done as predicted and have, instead, declined just a bit. The failure of this prediction tells me that the people who made it don’t know what they are talking about.

  27. 27
    saltbus Said:
    2:11 am 

    Welcome aboard Rick. I went looking for the truth of AGW 4 years ago. I was so shocked by what I found. None of the revelations in the emails are new. Briffna’s hiding of the decline had been called the “divergency problem” and was solved by removing the offending recent parts of the graph and welding on the modern temperature numbers. It was never honest but nobody I told this to was interested. After the leaked emails showing the experts chatting amongst themslves about how best to dress this up to reply to that “bozo” Steve McIntyre, a lot more people understand the horror of what was done.
    The orchestrated series of peer reviewed papers “proving” that the medieval warm peroid and the little ice age didn’t exist was inexplicable. I had always known about these things, I had read Lamb’s book on climate change decades ago. The CRU was founded by this man and he was the first director. His graph of the global temperatures for the last millenium was used in the first IPCC report. But it wasn’t scary. We should all be thankful that modern times are not as clod as the Little Ice Age. Crops failed, people starved and died, the recent climate has been wonderful for humans. We feed 6 billion people now, better than we feed 3 billion people 50 years ago. There has been warming and we should rejoice in our luck. CO2 did’t and can’t do it.
    I was always puzzled why data was secret. Or difficult to access. Or not sufficent to work out what was done in the peer reviewed papers. I always assumed that is was science that was being done but since the leak of the emails, we all now know that it was only ever politics.

  28. 28
    Whitehall Said:
    12:52 pm 

    Sit down at a poker game. One guy keeps drawing straight flushes or four-of-a-kind and raking in your chips.

    THEN you discover he is a card cheat and has cards up his sleeve.

    Did he EVER earn your chips? Does he get to keep your money even after discovery?

    Common sense - once a con man, always treat as a con man.

    My revelation was in reading the 2001 IPCC technical report. The politicized summary was not supported by the technical part. The discussion of the various forcing functions put anthropogenic CO2 as a minor one that could be positive or negative. They noted the lack of understanding of how the various forcing fumctions interacted and made no conclusions.

    Subsequent IPCC reports didn’t allow that to happen again.

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