2012-06-08 / Columnists

A Rising Tide

Global Warming And Subjective Science
Commentary By Dr. Harold Paez

I was glad to read that science writer Stephen Yaeger took the time to take up my challenge on getting the science of Global Warming right. I read his columns regularly and usually have no issue with the science at all. In his recent column regarding the Global Warming debate, however, our conclusions veer off considerably and it appears that Mr. Yaeger has fallen victim to the atmosphere of intolerance that my original piece was aimed at. While strong in conviction, his arguments are lacking in consistency to say the least. While he initially describes my statements of scientific fact as “... baloney and mythology,” I managed not to get too offended since he concluded his article by stating that he “... had no problem with the science of Dr. Paez’s article ...”. It is ironic that the vacillation of thought evident in Mr. Yaeger’s own lengthy article gives some insight into the shaky foundations that Global Warming proponents base their conclusions on. From the onset, my position has been underpinned by the spirit of scientific inquiry which is a search for truth. Politics becomes almost a distraction in this process and yet Mr. Yaeger seeks, once again, to inject the same into the debate. He attempts to discredit Nobel Prize laureate Dr. Ivar Giaever, a Global Warming detractor, by linking him to conservative think tanks instead of debating the scientist’s contention that the science of global warming itself has become contaminated.

For readers of this column who may not be familiar with the hard science being debated, I am attempting to keep the debate centered and in layman’s terms. I am asking if there is actual unadulterated hard evidence of manmade global warming. Where I disagree vehemently with Mr. Yaeger is the idea that the science is settled and that there “... is not doubt ...” as he puts it. In fact, there is MUCH to doubt in this debate because the primary players, the scientists at the heart of the debate, have by their own admission, compromised themselves. Here are a couple of direct quotes taken from e-mails written by scientists working with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC):

“Indeed, if the non-temperature signal that causes the decline in tree-ring density begins before 1960, then a short 1931-60 period might yield a more biased result than using a longer 1881- 1960 period.” In layman’s terms, the scientist is stating that the actual results gathered in the field do not match his desired results so he will select information that will match better. Another, “You can’t imagine what this has cost me – to actually allow the operator to assign false WMO [World Meteorological Organization] codes!! But what else is there in such situations? Especially when dealing with a ‘Master’ database of dubious provenance ...” In layman’s terms the scientist is admitting that the computer model and data used to predict climate change is inaccurate.And another, “... If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone.” From one of the chief IPCC scientists discussing requests for substantiation of his data set. Doesn’t sound very open to debate does it?

These quotes were obtained using Freedom of Information Act requests and clearly reveal the depth of the institutional “selective science” as Mr. Yaeger likes to call it. His statement that “There has been no rigging of data” is belied by the scientists’ actual statements. Defending their data becomes dangerously naive in retrospect. I urge him to look closely into the actual details of this scandal and realize that what is at the base of their scientific “method” is about as scientific as a tollfree psychic hotline.

Mr. Yaeger states that he is “puzzled” by my statement on cosmic radiation and its influence on the planet’s weather patterns. I will remind him that there are more than enough research papers and articles to substantiate the concept that cosmic radiation which varies in density depending on our solar system’s position as it circles the center of our Milky Way galaxy, has the direct effect of ionizing particles in our atmosphere. Those ionized particles are the origin of water condensation and thus cloud formation with immense influence from the Sun’s magnetic field variations.

Mr. Yaeger also takes time to describe the idea of Mars warming as a sampling error of sorts. Once again, I’ll resort to the IPCC scientists in their own words:

But how do we square the fact that almost every planet in our solar system is simultaneously undergoing temperature change and volatile weather patterns. Does this not suggest that global warming is a natural cycle as a result of the evolving nature of the sun?”

That quote was printed in the UK Times online.

On the issue of a rise of sea levels causing a decrease in the planet’s rotational speed, he misses my point. I never argued that we would have a “drastic” decrease in speed, only a noticeable decrease in speed detectable by our satellite instrumentation. If we have a detectable decrease in speed of rotation due to sea water rise, count me in for some carbon credits because I would indeed start to become concerned.

Finally, getting back to the hurricanes that would be a direct indicator of global warming, Mr. Yaeger selects certain periods of activity (1990-2004, 1975-1989) to substantiate a claim that hurricanes are increasing in number and strength. Meanwhile, a simple look at the global hurricane strength pattern chart for the past four decades reveals an actual DECLINE in Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) both in the Northern hemisphere and globally beginning in 2006. A sharp decline at that!

Debate and inquiry are absolutely necessary for the discovery of scientific truth and I applaud Mr. Yaeger’s efforts to convince me. I suspect, though, that much of the information which he is using to discredit my analysis has been filtered through editors at the NY Times and ABC News rather than an actual objective analysis of the graph patterns, data sets and review of the IPCC scientists’ own admissions. I call that subjective science, so the debate continues.

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