Keep Religion Out of Science!
I am sure you have heard by now that human-caused Global Warming is settled science. The debate is closed. Everybody knows this. All reputable scientists are in agreement. There is nothing to see here. Move along.
What you may not have heard is that the consensus seems to be that the humans aren't causing the globe to heat up. Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) appears to be a theory in decline, as more and more climate data are telling us that the planet has been cooling over the past decade, despite ever-increasing levels of so-called greenhouse gases. In fact, the hottest years (according to NASA) were before 1940, which also happens to be prior to the explosion of CO2-producing industrialization.
If you listen to our politicians, not only is AGW happening, it is accelerating so fast that we NEED TO DO SOMETHING RIGHT NOW BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE AND WE ALL DIE! They are meeting in Copenhagen next month to hammer out an agreement which will dictate how much greenhouse gas each nation will be allowed to produce. "Failure is not an option," we are ominously told. "We must act now." Since the governments of most Western countries are not in charge of industrial production, what this agreement will amount to is a limit on free enterprise and individual liberties, as restrictions will be placed on businesses and individuals rather than on governments.
I might be on board with saving the planet if I thought that AGW was indeed universally-accepted among people who should know. But, apparently, it isn't. Recently, hackers broke into the servers at the influential Climate Research Unit (CRU) at East Anglia, in the UK. They downloaded thousands of documents and e-mails, some of which have revealed not only a clear AGW bias, but also a culture of what in any other line of work would be called corruption. For example, in one e-mail exchange a researcher tells a colleague of a "trick" he employed (given to him by a third researcher who evidently employs it regularly) to hide the fact that temperatures were declining in the period he was studying. In another, he laments the fact that the evidence (quite to his chagrin) points to lower rather than higher temperatures this decade.
But data manipulation and bias are not the only misdeeds exposed by the stolen e-mails. Several exchanges show the scientists telling their colleagues that they have either destroyed or intended to destroy documents and e-mails, in order to thwart their being revealed to the public. See, the UK has a Freedom of Information Act, and people skeptical of AGW had been requesting to see data and communications at the CRU. Conspiring to destroy data protected by the law might land these folks in all sorts of hot water, but it also belies their claims of being impartial investigators, seeking after scientific truth.
"But, Fat Kid," you are probably thinking to yourself, "these scientists at the CRU are well-regarded, world-renowned researchers. After all, they are published in peer-reviewed journals while their detractors aren't." The stolen documents also demonstrate how the CRU scientists systematically black-balled those climate researchers who either disagreed with their theories or were deemed "unpredictable." Since they were peer-reviewers for some scholarly journals, the black-balling efforts included rejecting papers from those outside their clique. They also organized a boycott of the journals that would publish those papers. They went as far as to keep lists of undesirables and sympathetic members of the media, feeding stories and rumors to their friends in the press trying to discredit their enemies. They established a set of rules to shut out others, and based their credibility upon circular reasoning: they are credible because they are published; they are published because they are credible. In this way, they were able to enforce a "consensus."
But surely, a free and skeptical press would ferret out any malfeasance by climate researchers, wouldn't it? Think again. The BBC had the story a full month before the hackers went public, but sat on it. And no major American news organization has picked the story up and run with it. But that may change. As more and more people "in the know" feel empowered to come forward with their own insider knowledge, the press may not have any choice. And this whistleblower phase may already be beginning. New Zealand's CLimate Change Minister is under fire, facing calls to explain why his agency massaged data to show warming that isn't happening.
In retrospect, it should have been obvious years ago that the climate investigators knew that the globe was cooling rather than heating. When the term "Climate Change" was substituted for "Global Warming," warning bells should have started to ring. As evidence of cooling would inevitably become public, the alarmists needed a different tactic. They could not simply say "Oops. Never mind. Our theory was wrong." That would mean losing all their moral authority, research money, and sense of importance. Claiming that increasing carbon dioxide levels correlate directly to higher temperatures is pretty easy to prove or disprove. By making the incredible leap of logic that the rising levels would cause Rapid Climate Change that could result in a lowering of temperatures, the alarmists suddenly had a corner on the climate racket. Hot summer? Blame it on climate change. Cold winter? Climate change. Busy hurricane season? Climate change. No hurricanes? Climate change. It is the gift that keeps giving.
The other clue that AGW was being debunked was the ever-increasing shrillness of those who have a stake in perpetuating fear over AGW. Repeated claims of "There is a consensus" and "It's settled science" were clearly premature. Gravity is settled science. The motion of heavenly bodies is settled science. Oxygen and water mixing with iron to create rust is settled science. Global Warming/Climate Change is anything but settled. Yet, the arm twisting continues. The most hard line of the AGW-ites - those whose blind passion and unrepentant desire to stick their hands in other's pockets would make a televangelist proud - refer to AGW skeptics as "deniers", comparing them to people who deny the Holocaust. It is a truism that the weaker the argument, the louder the person making the argument. It certainly applies here. And that is "settled science."