Saturday, July 07, 2007

Al Gore's Scientific Consensus Collapses

The science in “An Inconvenient Truth” was always shakey, and has now crumbled. The vaunted “hockey stick” graph of proxy global temperatures has been exposed as a crude attempt to give man-made global warming credibility by falsifying and erasing the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age out of the climate record of the past thousand years.

However, a Harvard study of over 240 climate studies concluded that the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age were world wide phenomena, and that temperatures a thousand years ago were higher than today.

Al omitted mentioning that global temperature only increased a net of 0.5º C (0.9º F) in the 155 year-period, 1850-2005, that thermometers have been used to consistently and, for the most part, accurately record surface temperatures.

Also not mentioned is that the greatest increase was not in recent years, but in the 35-year period from 1910 to 1945, when the global temperature rose 0.6 º C. Then fell from 1940 to 1975 as CO2 levels in the atmosphere increased rapidly.

Very interesting. CO2 goes up, temperature goes down. I don’t remember Gore saying that was the way man-caused global warming works.

Gore’s panicked depictions of glacier retreat as a new phenomenon can’t stand up to documented observations that glaciers have been retreating world wide since 1850, the end of the Little Ice Age.

Similarly, the retreating “snows of Kilimanjaro” are nothing new. The Kilimanjaro glaciers have been retreating since the end of the last Ice Age 11,000 years ago, and the current phase of rapid retreat started in the late 1800’s, and greatest loss of ice mass occurred by 1953. In fact, scientists have found that sublimation (in the case of ice, going from a solid state to a vapor without melting), not heat, has caused the loss of glacier ice on Kilimanjaro.

Al Gore depicted flooded streets in New York and London by 2100 caused by rapid melting of the Greenland ice cap resulting in a 20-foot rise in sea levels. Even the UN IPCC scientists must have choked when they heard his prediction, because even they only forecast sea levels rising four to 30 inches in the next century. Since sea levels rose seven inches in the past century, and roughly the same each century for the last 8,000 years (sea levels have risen over 400 feet since the end of the last Ice Age), Al’s outrageous prediction, totally unsupported by science, will leave him with 18 or 19 feet in his mouth.

However, despite the carnage inflicted on his “science,” Al always has his “scientific consensus” supporting man-caused global warming to fall back on, doesn’t he?

Remember he mentioned in his slide show that a study that analysed 928 abstracts from a database created by using the keywords "climate change” showed unanimous scientific consensus on the anthropogenic causes of recent global warming?

However, the study cited by Al Gore could not be replicated using the information in the original study. In fact, the author of the original study then admitted that she actually used the keywords “global climate change,” which resulted in over 10,000 recent studies of climate change being omitted from her study.

Among studies she omitted were countless research papers that showed that global temperatures were similar or even higher during the Holocene Climate Optimum and the Medieval Warm Period (when atmospheric CO2 levels were much lower than today); that solar variability is a key driver of recent climate change; and that climate modelling is highly uncertain.

Then the researcher, using the original study’s flawed database, had results from the analysis that contradicted its author’s conclusions and essentially falsified it.

Al, there was nothing remotely approaching “unanimous scientific consensus on the anthropogenic causes of recent global warming.”

I’m sure you will rush to review this new information – which has been available for over two years now – and change your erroneous presentation about “unanimous scientific consensus,” won’t you?

The history of scientific consensus is a rather poor one -- for example, it was once a scientific consensus in many lands at many times that the earth was flat. This website compiles passages that demonstrate that the Bible, considered by early Christians (and ones of a more recent vintage, too) to be the inspired and unerring word of God, taught of a flat Earth. Since the Bible guided both learned and unlearned Christians, their scientific consensus could be no other than that the Earth was flat during the early years of Christianity. To say different was heresy.

The scholarly Chinese, inventors of such marvels as paper, gunpowder, kites, compasses, seismographs, wheel barrows, chess, brandy, and whiskey, believed in a flat Earth until the seventeenth century AD.

Indians believed a flat Earth was supported variously by a thousand-headed snake, or on the back of a tortoise, until the tenth century AD.

Other famous debacles include the "ether" of the universe, the medical benefits of bleeding a patient, and the natural justness of slavery. Furthermore, almost every great scientific revolution started out as a minority opinion, and often had to fight the consensus before it became widely accepted.

Because Galileo taught that the Earth orbited the Sun, he was tried by the Inquisition and forced to recant his theories, publication of any of his works was banned, and he was first imprisoned, and then spent the last nine years of his life in house arrest.

Before Charles Darwin published On The Origin Of Species, and for a period thereafter, scientific consensus supported Creationism.

Darwinism implied that because natural selection was apparently no longer working on "civilized" people it was possible for "inferior" strains of people (who would normally be filtered out of the gene pool) to overwhelm the "superior" strains, and corrective measures would have to be undertaken — the foundation of eugenics, which achieved scientific consensus (and was supported by prominent people, including Alexander Graham Bell, George Bernard Shaw, Winston Churchill and Adolf Hitler) from its inception in 1865 until the 1930’s when it was incorporated into the racial policies of Nazi Germany.

With such a track record, I’m not surprised that Al Gore, in his messianic zeal to save mankind from itself, lays claim to having a scientific consensus that man is responsible for the sin of global warming.

Truly, Al Gore is on a mission to lead his faithful, the religious Left, in a belief system based on faith, not science.

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