Sunday, July 06, 2008

A Very Long Response

This is a very long response to a "skeptic's" critique of the graphs shown on Wikipedia's "Global Warming" page. The comment was this:

I'm curious why the 2,000 year temp chart on this link looks nothing like the the chart on your link.
I'm curious why if you think the computer climate models are correct, they all cannot predict climate from the this past century. A layperson would say that the computer models have been proven wrong.

This is my response:

Laypeople are also capable of thinking logically, if they so choose. A wise layperson would only say that the computer models had been proven wrong if there were numerous accounts of models showing they were wrong. Once science has developed a strong hypothesis or theory, it is standard for those who “debunk” that theory to be asked to show large amounts of evidence, all with strong peer-reviewed support. As for that specific example you showed me, there is no strong peer-reviewed support, and it is only one piece of “evidence.”

Perhaps the reason Wikipedia did not include that graph, is because it was put together by Dr. Craig Loehle, who uses few and questionable citations in his article; and was originally published in a scientific journal called “Energy and the Environment.” Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, one of the many global warming “skeptics” editing the journal, has been quoted as saying, “I am following my political agenda—a bit.” Energy and the Environment has been criticized for its weak peer-review process; Referring to one study: “If it would have been properly reviewed, it would have been rejected on the basis of methodological flaws,” and one article was said to contain "collation errors, unjustifiable truncation or extrapolation of source data, obsolete data, geographical location errors, incorrect calculation of principal components and other quality control defects."

The World Climate Report, the newsletter that republished the article you showed me, is produced by Greening Earth Society. Greening Earth Society was created by the Western Fuels Association, whose tagline is “Coal is where your power begins.” Not hard to imagine the ulterior motives here. In addition, Patrick J. Michaels, climate scientist and editor of the World Climate Report, has received funding from Exxon Mobile and other oil interests, and at least $115,000 from coal and energy interests. Research a climate change “skeptic” and you’ll frequently find energy interests behind them.

Your link also refers to a fixation on the “hocky stick representation of temperature history.” This myth has also been debunked.