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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Blinded, not by Science, but by Ideology

I almost don’t know where to begin. I mean Al Gore (and the IPCC) won a Nobel Prize “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge” about it. Al Gore also won an Oscar for his film on it. The U.S. House passed a 1,200 page bill which was predicated upon it. We’ve been hearing about how it has been settled for decades and anyone who thinks otherwise is a “denier” on the same level as a “flat-earther.”

“It,” of course, is anthropogenic (man-made) global warming (AGW) and with the “Climategate” revelations, AGW enthusiasts have been excited to talk about anything but “it.” In case you’ve been on a two-week vacation searching for polar bears among the melting arctic ice, “Climategate” is a reference to the discovery that the Climate Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia in Britain has been manipulating the data regarding the temperature of the earth along with shamefully and devotedly seeking to suppress any information they didn’t like.

There are now investigations and calls for investigations into the highly questionable science, and the unscrupulous scientists, behind Climategate. There are even calls (by two Academy Award members) for Al Gore’s Oscar to be rescinded. Phil Jones, head of the University of East Anglia's CRU, has resigned his position. Michael Mann, designer of the famous "hockey stick" graph, is under investigation by Pennsylvania State University.

However, with liberals in control of the U.S. Congress, the White House, and the mainstream media (MSM), one would hardly know there is a scandal about. Barbara Boxer, who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, is more concerned with the (perhaps) illegal access of the CRU data than with the data itself. (We don’t yet know if this was an outside hacker or an inside whistle-blower.)

Yet Boxer enthusiastically held hearings in 2008 so that an EPA “whistle-blower,” who accused the Bush administration of failing to address greenhouse gas emissions appropriately, could be heard. In 1985, then Congresswoman Boxer introduced the Military Whistleblower Protection Act which became law in 1988. The law has since been amended multiple times (see here) to extend protections to military whistleblowers. You get the idea: Boxer is usually a whistleblower’s champion.

Comedy Central has reported on Climategate, but the MSM hasn’t. As of December 3 (Thursday), according to the Business and Media Institute, “An examination of morning and evening news programs on ABC, CBS and NBC since Nov. 20 yielded zero mentions of the scandal, even in the Nov. 25 reports about Obama going to Copenhagen to discuss the need for emissions reductions.” (NBC finally reported on Climategate on Friday evening, December 4.)

Having claimed to have collected the most complete data on the Earth's temperature for the last 50 years, the CRU has been a leading organization in the study of global climate science. Its conclusions, which are almost exclusively in support of AGW, have been used by the U.N.’s IPCC, as well as countless media outlets, in reporting on the impending doom looming as a result of AGW.  In other words, the CRU is “too big to ignore” when it comes to a scandal of this size and scope.

Soon after Climategate broke, the CRU also revealed that most all of its raw temperature data, upon which its AGW predictions are based, had been deleted. This means that no one is able to check the CRU’s calculations when it comes to global temperature measurements and predictions.

This is a gross violation of the scientific method. As even Wikipedia notes, “Another basic expectation [of the scientific method] is to document, archive and share all data and methodology so they are available for careful scrutiny by other scientists, thereby allowing other researchers the opportunity to verify results by attempting to reproduce them. This practice, called full disclosure, also allows statistical measures of the reliability of these data to be established.”

On March 9 of this year, Obama lifted the ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. He also stated that he was furthermore issuing “a Presidential Memorandum directing the head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to develop a strategy for restoring scientific integrity to government decision-making to ensure that in this new administration, we base our public policies on the soundest science; that we appoint scientific advisors based on their credentials and experience, not their politics or ideology.”

This latter statement was, of course, a criticism of the Bush administration. However, with a climate bill having already passed the U.S. House that, according to the Wall Street Journal, “will reach into almost every corner of the U.S. economy,” and which will also severely threaten our civil liberties, America literally cannot afford to have the Obama administration turn a blind eye to the real science of climate change.

Copyright 2009, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

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