Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Misrepresentation of Science in the Public Domain

Thursday, November 15, 2012
8:42 P.M.

So, I was thinking a lot about global warming today (like I always do), but I was struck by one thought. When I hear people talk about global warming, there seems to be a debate, even among scientists. Richard Lindzen, Joe Bastardi, and even our own George Taylor (Oregon State Climatologist) are all climate change skeptics or deniers. And in politics, it seems like it's almost a 50-50 debate, with most Democrats believing in climate change and most Republicans not believing it (that's a huge generalization, I know... it's just a trend I have observed).

I was disheartened by this article, where Peter Ferrara, for Forbes Magazine, said that the Earth is actually cooling, but he did something that caught my attention. Peter went to the "International Climate Change Conference," which is sponsored by the Heartland Institute. Check out this quote.

The conference featured serious natural science, contrary to the self-interested political science you hear from government financed global warming alarmists seeking to justify widely expanded regulatory and taxation powers for government bodies, or government body wannabees, such as the United Nations.  See for yourself, as the conference speeches are online.

What you will see are calm, dispassionate presentations by serious, pedigreed scientists discussing and explaining reams of data.  In sharp contrast to these climate realists, the climate alarmists have long admitted that they cannot defend their theory that humans are causing catastrophic global warming in public debate.  With the conference presentations online, let’s see if the alarmists really do have any response.

Well, my first thought was that this guy seems rather egotistical, but I love unbiased science, even if it goes against global warming. I went and checked out the International Climate Change Conference (ICCC), and much to my dismay, on their home page, there was a quote that said "The world’s most prominent think tank promoting skepticism about man-made climate change.” — The Economist, May 26, 2012. This is the kind of stuff I hate because I don't like it when scientific organizations present only one view... that's not science, that's just cherry picking. That's like me saying that trail mix is unhealthy when I'm only cherry picking the M & Ms.

But anyway, I decided to check out some of these videos, because I wanted to see what these scientists thought. I checked out Bob Carter, Ph.D's video entitled "The Misrepresentation of Science in the Public Domain." Trust me, I was anxious to hear this one.

It actually started out well. He talked about the scientific method and Richard Feynman, and made the point that a hypothesis is wrong if it does not agree with the data. I was very happy to hear this! That is absolutely true.

Things started to get a little sketchy though when he pulled out a graphic showing the IPCC's (International Panel on Climate Change, which is the leading scientific organization on climate change, and is, at least to my knowledge, in no way affiliated with the ICCC) predicted temperature vs. the observed temperature. The evidence on the graph was clear. The predicted global temperature was below the IPCC's predictions. He then used this statement to prove that since the data and hypothesis didn't match up, global warming was a flawed theory. It sounds like it makes sense.

But the graph only showed ten years of data. It is well known by all climate scientists that the Earth has not significantly warmed since 2000, both those who believe in global warming and those who don't. His statement about global warming being false just by simply looking at one graph of the global temperature over the past ten years vs. the IPCC's prediction is the biggest oversimplication you could ever make. Just like that trail mix I was talking about. On a positive note, he had solid evidence... the bad part is that he focused on one piece of evidence when there are countless pieces of evidence to be observed.

But it went downhill from there. He cited a statement by the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Australia, which read "The world's climate scientists agree that the world is getting hotter," and he said that this is a completely false statement, and that the world's climate scientists do NOT agree on global warming and that there is a huge debate. He didn't have any evidence to back it up though.

So I did a Google search on the percentage of climate scientists that believe in global warming, and I found a statement  that was backed up with sufficient evidence that, to say the least, disagreed with Carter's statement about the global warming debate among scientists.

I found an article written by James Powell, who is the Executive Director of the National Physical Science Consortium. He, like most other scientists, believes that global warming is real, and serious. He did a study where he looked at peer-reviewed climate articles online and calculated how many of then accepted global warming and how many of them rejected global warming. Of course, there are many shades of grey, but he did his best to put in in accept/reject categories. The methodology he used can be found here.

His scientific findings, as you can see, disagreed with Carter's statement, to say the least. Here's what Powell had to say.

"By my definition, 24 of the 13,950 articles, 0.17% or 1 in 581, clearly reject global warming or endorse a cause other than CO2 emissions for observed warming."

That, my friends, shows Carter's hypocrisy. His "hypothesis" that there is no scientific consensus that global warming is occurring does not match up with the data.

Oh yeah, his "International Climate Change Conference" video has 520 views. My video on Geoduck clamming has 576. It's my turn to be egotistical now. ;)

Bottom line: check your facts before making outlandish statements.



  1. Hahaha thanks Trevor yeah I did it as a project for my Oceanography 200 class spring 2012 for honors credit... it was fun.