Tuesday, June 12, 2007

the global warming deniers; part 1


The debate on global warming is over.

The world's scientific community is unanimous.

Global warming is real and it is man-made.

The only debate left is over whether or not mankind has the will to do what is necessary to save the planet.

Anyone who disagrees with all of the above is a "denier," just like those who deny the Holocaust, and they are evil.

That just about sums up what passes for intelligent discourse today concerning global warming. Those who "have faith" and "believe" in global warming represent the "saved" and those who "deny" the beliefs of this new pagan religion are evil and beyond redemption.

Well, not so fast my friends! Lawrence Solomon of The Nation Post has put together the best series of articles I have ever seen about the so-called "deniers," and the reasons behind the disbelief in the science fiction of global warming. It is essential reading for all who have a sincere desire to find the truth. By definition, that would exclude liberaliars, but then, I never claimed that my blog was "inclusive."

Part 1 of the series deals with a man named Edward Wegman. Dr. Wegman is a professor at the Center for Computational Statistics at George Mason University, chair of the National Academy of Sciences' Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics, and board member of the American Statistical Association. There aren't many statisticians in the world today who possess credentials superior to Dr. Wegman's. From the article:

Edward Wegman received his Ph.D. degree in mathematical statistics from the University of Iowa. In 1978, he went to the Office of Naval Research, where he headed the Mathematical Sciences Division with responsibility Navy-wide for basic research programs. He coined the phrase computational statistics, and developed a high-profile research area around this concept, which focused on techniques and methodologies that could not be achieved without the capabilities of modern computing resources and led to a revolution in contemporary statistical graphics. Dr. Wegman was the original program director of the basic research program in Ultra High Speed Computing at the Strategic Defense Initiative's Innovative Science and Technology Office. He has served as editor or associate editor of numerous prestigious journals and has published more than 160 papers and eight books.

Dr. Wegman's major contribution to the debunking of the global warming myth was his work in discrediting the infamous "hockey stick" study, which was the invention of Michael Mann. Mr. Mann's study concluded "that the temperature increases that we have been experiencing are 'likely to have been the largest of any century during the past 1,000 years' and that the '1990s was the warmest decade and 1998 the warmest year' of the millennium. You may have also heard of Mann's hockey-stick shaped graph, which showed relatively stable temperatures over most of the last millennium (the hockey stick's long handle), followed by a sharp increase (the hockey stick's blade) this century."

You can read Dr. Wegman's article for yourself, but I will sum up his analysis of the hockey stick theory for you here. Dr. Wegman concluded that Mann's findings were scientifically unprovable, and, as such, were invalid. Specifically:

"Our committee believes that the assessments that the decade of the 1990s was the hottest decade in a millennium and that 1998 was the hottest year in a millennium cannot be supported," Wegman stated, adding that "The paucity of data in the more remote past makes the hottest-in-a-millennium claims essentially unverifiable." When Wegman corrected Mann's statistical mistakes, the hockey stick disappeared.

Wegman found that Mann made a basic error that "may be easily overlooked by someone not trained in statistical methodology. We note that there is no evidence that Dr. Mann or any of the other authors in paleoclimate studies have had significant interactions with mainstream statisticians." Instead, this small group of climate scientists were working on their own, largely in isolation, and without the academic scrutiny needed to ferret out false assumptions.

Worse, the problem also applied more generally, to the broader climate-change and meteorological community, which also relied on statistical techniques in their studies. "[I]f statistical methods are being used, then statisticians ought to be funded partners engaged in the research to insure as best we possibly can that the best quality science is being done," Wegman recommended, noting that "there are a host of fundamental statistical questions that beg answers in understanding climate dynamics."

In other words, Wegman believes that much of the climate science that has been done should be taken with a grain of salt -- although the studies may have been peer reviewed, the reviewers were often unqualified in statistics. Past studies, he believes, should be reassessed by competent statisticians and in future, the climate science world should do better at incorporating statistical know-how.

The next time you hear one of the "brainiacs" of the Global Warming Travelin' Salvation Show make the claim that science is unanimous and that the debate is over, think back to this article. The debate is not over. There are still so very many liberal lies left to be exposed on the topic of climate change.


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