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Daily Archives: November 27, 2009


Climaquiddick – It Doesn’t Take A Scientist …

As I wander the blogs and the net reading about the scandal that has gripped the “science” around the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia I continue to see defenses of the so-called “settled science” of AGW pushed by that group that center on the implication that those calling their data into question either aren’t smart enough or qualified enough (or both) to make the determination that the CRU’s data is wrong.

I’ll admit, up front, to both charges.  I’ll also tell you that it isn’t necessary to be either as smart as some scientists or as qualified in their field to question their science.  Why?  Because as a schoolboy I was taught what the “scientific method” is and how vitally important that method is to the credibility of science.  For those of you needing a refresher, have a look:

science_method

As you can see, there is a very important box outlined in blue among all the other boxes in the flow chart.  The words “Reproduce (by others)” refers to other scientists, just as qualified as those who’ve produced the hypothesis, testing and attempting to reproduce the results that the original scientists claim.  It is one of, if not the most critical step in validating a hypothesis and turning it into a “scientific theory”.  It is that independent reproduction of the same results using the methods and data of the original scientists that provides scientific rigor and credibility necessary for it to go from hypothesis to theory.

That is the step that has been consistently missing in the AGW controversy.  Other scientists have, for years, been asking for and been refused the original data on which the CRU based its hypothesis of man-made global warming.  We see pundits defending the science claiming the emails don’t prove AGW to be a fraud.  Maybe, maybe not – but what they do show is a consistent effort to avoid providing the data requested to others who would like to test it.  That alone should raise a sea of red flags to any real scientist.  The last thing those who are sure of their hypothesis and their science should be doing is actively trying to keep the data which underpins their hypothesis from being tested as demanded by the scientific method.

Another reason to be skeptical without having to be an atmospheric scientist has to do with other findings which have found to be wanting.  Mann’s “hockey stick” turned into a hockey puck when the data was examined.  We’ve seen cherry-picked tree ring data used to claim massive warming when, in fact, the complete data set showed nothing of the sort.  And then there’s the undisputed fact that the earth has been cooling over the last 10 years in the face of predictions by this same group that it would be warming.

All of that (and more) is certainly enough for any layman to find the science involved less than acceptable and demand in very detailed look at its core methods and data. And that’s especially true since it is the basis of a world-wide attempt by governments to institute massive and economy killing restrictions on CO2 and other emissions which, if skeptics are correct, are completely useless and would be of marginal value at the very best.

There is a very simple solution to this mess – to those that are under fire and under scrutiny: show your work. That’s it – put it out there. Doing so is at the very center of the scientific method to which all real scientists supposedly adhere. Let other scientists poke and prod both your methods and data. If it is as solid and “settled” as claimed, it shouldn’t take long to verify that. And if it is correct then even we non-scientific skeptics will have to admit there is a problem. We may still disagree on the solution, but at least the claim of “settled science” will finally have some validity as the warming hypothesis will move into the realm of scientific theory.

All of that said, my guess is that will never happen – reading the emails tells me there is a real desire to avoid that. And that makes me suspicious of the “science”. In fact, it tells me quite a bit about the “science” of the hypothesis involved without having to know any of the scientific details. Given that, you certainly don’t have to be an atmospheric scientist or a genius to be skeptical.  In fact, you have more reason than ever to remain so.

~McQ


Interesting Health Care Poll Numbers

It appears as the public becomes more aware of what Congress is planning with this health care monstrosity they’re calling reform, the more reason they find to like the present system.

Forty-nine percent (49%) of voters nationwide now rate the U.S. health care system as good or excellent. That marks a steady increase from 44% at the beginning of October, 35% in May and 29% a year-and-a-half ago.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 27% now say the U.S. health care system is poor.

It is interesting to note that confidence in the system has improved as the debate over health care reform has moved to center stage. The latest polling shows that only 38% favor the health care legislation currently working its way through Congress.

It also shows a marked decrease in those favoring the legislation – not that such polling will stop the Democrats from continuing to ram something through. Even Howard Dean finds the current legislation troubling and declares it does nothing to control costs – one of the supposed central tenets of reform.

I’ve been saying for months that the Democrats are going to pass something called “health care reform”. They have too. Otherwise Obama’s domestic legislative agenda will be declared a failure and, ultimately, his presidency. Now I’m not so sure, given the fact that the legislation is under fire from all sides, that passage of “something” is necessarily assured.  Meanwhile the latest atrocity in a government run health care system to ponder.

Time to turn up the heat and pressure to drop this awful mess. It is nothing more than a government power grab based in generational theft that does nothing to make health care better. To quote Nancy Reagan, it’s time to “just say no”.

~McQ