August 30, 2010
Hell Gets Mildly Slushy
Hades didn't exactly freeze over; but in addition to the permafrost at the ninth circle, the rest of the infernal realm has become sort of Margarita-like (or Slurpee-like, for teetotalers -- subglobal winter?) For an independent review panel, the "InterAcademy Council," which is associated with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has actually suggested that future IPCC reports should be (a) more transparent about their own conflicts of interest and how they may drive the IPCC's alarmist conclusions, and -- wait for it -- (b) more open to alternative points of view:
The scientists involved in producing the periodic United Nations reports on climate change need to be more open to alternative views and more transparent about their own possible conflicts of interest, an independent review panel said Monday.
Those were among numerous recommendations made by the panel appointed last March to assess how a few glaring errors -- including a prediction that the Himalayan glaciers would disappear by 2035 -- made it into the last such United Nations report, released in 2007.
The revelations about the errors contributed to the already highly charged debate about the science of climate change and gave added ammunition to critics doubting assessments that the earth is warming. Coming on the heels of the unauthorized release of e-mails written by some of the leading climate change researchers, which led critics to claim they were manipulating data, the mistakes contributed to what surveys showed were an erosion in public confidence in the science of climate change.
Be still my fluttering heart. (Well, not too still.)
It's a good beginning, but still only a beginning; we'll see whether the empire-builders at IPCC seize upon this report as their opportunity to hoist the entire project back onto the rails of scientific reason -- or their challenge to flam-flam their way to a mere pretence of reform, like the politicians they are.
In any event, it's remarkable that the InterAcademy Council even feels compelled to pay lip service to "alternative views" and the IPCC scientists' "own possible conflicts of interest," and perhaps even more remarkable that the New York Times, of all media venues, feels compelled to report it. The Times, they are indeed a changin'.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, August 30, 2010, at the time of 3:04 PM
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The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh
A couple of comments deleted at the commenter's own request, due to having been posted at the wrong place. Neither contained anything untoward or inappropriate, just inavertently off-topic.
The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh at August 31, 2010 12:02 AM
The following hissed in response by: snochasr
Actually, "considering alternative points of view" isn't science, it's politics. The biggest problem with CAGW "theory" is that it starts at the conclusion and works backwards to the facts. Much of the good research in the IPCC report STARTS with the assumption that the earth is getting warmer, discovers that this would be "bad," somehow, and then predicts that further warming will make matters worse. From all of these studies, the politicians then conclude that, mirabile dictu, humankind is CAUSING this unacceptable state of affairs.
The whole "science" needs to start over, and prove each of the causative links (and relative contributions) between human CO2 and total CO2, between total CO2 and local temperature, and between local temperature and global temperature. Only when those things are firmly established, significant and well-quantified should they attempt to predict what will happen, under various scenarios of human CO2, 100 years hence. The current "theory" is little better than idle speculation.
And then we have to wait at least ten years to see if the factual evidence begins to support the theory. So far the "testing" phase has proven a complete bust of the theory/myth.
The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh
Actually, "considering alternative points of view" isn't science, it's politics.
I'm pretty sure the InterAcademy Council meant by this, "considering alternative models, other than the original hypothesis, that might explain the data set equally well or better." That most assuredly is an essential component of science.
The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh at August 31, 2010 11:18 AM
The following hissed in response by: Dick E
Maybe so, but another essential component of science is using language with a reasonable degree of precision.
The actual quote from the Executive Summary (page 17) of the report is, “The Committee also recommends that Lead Authors document that they have considered the full range of thoughtful views, even if these views do not appear in the assessment report.”
Is that statement scientific or political?
I think snochaser has a point.
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