Vindicating climate change skeptics

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The Article

Ever since the UN-based Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change adopted the view, following the 1992 Rio Summit – also known as the Earth Summit – that global warming is caused by the human activity of burning fossil fuel, scientists skeptical of this view have sought to caution governments and the public about the unsettled nature of the science of climate change.

But the voices of skeptics went unheeded as the environmental or ‘green’ agenda-driven science of the IPCC, backed by a host of governments and bought by the media, brought us the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and now the Copenhagen conference with a much more ambitious agenda as a follow-up to the Kyoto treaty.

It is worth recalling that then-U.S. President Bill Clinton and Vice-President Al Gore failed to win the approval of the U.S. Senate for the 1997 treaty. Kyoto was rejected by a bipartisan vote of 95-0.

The recent revelations – now known as Climategate – of how proponents of man-made global warming fudged and manipulated temperature data at the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit in the U.K. to back the IPCC claim confirms the skepticism of many scientists for more than a decade.

Among scientists voicing concerns over the IPCC claim was Freeman Dyson, the eminent physicist and mathematician at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.

Dyson’s voice was a reminder of Galileo’s observation, ‘In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.’

In a lecture given at the American Physical Society meeting in March 1999, Dyson spoke about the science and politics of climate. He noted, ‘that the climate models on which so much effort is expended are unreliable.’

Dyson explained the models ‘use fudge-factors rather than physics’ and, besides ‘the general prevalence of fudge-factors,’ there were other specific defects adding to their unreliability.

One critical defect was the models did not predict the existence of El Nino – ‘a major and important feature of the observed climate’ – and, according to Dyson, ‘any model that fails to predict it is clearly deficient.’

Climategate has revealed, vindicating Dyson’s cautionary note, that climate models at the CRU could not explain, among other things, the Medieval Warm Period (900-1300 AD) and the Little Ice Age that followed until around 1850.

Hence, temperature data were falsified to produce the now discredited hockey stick graph showing stable temperature through the past millennium by erasing the WMP and LIA and then showing a sharp rise in the last century attributed to human activity.

It does not matter, now at Copenhagen and after, how the IPCC with its legion of true believers circle the wagons around the claim of man-made global warming since climategate revelations have falsified the theory.

In other words, climategate confirms there was inconclusive science in the ‘science’ of man-made global warming preached by the priests of environmentalism.

Dyson concluded his 1999 lecture optimistically by indicating that climate science, at some future date with hard work, might acquire the essential tools for understanding and predicting climate.

But until then, he cautioned, ‘don’t believe the numbers just because they come out of a supercomputer.’

Salim Mansur
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