Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Global Warming - What I Believe

What I Believe - Global Warming Edition:

  1. I am not a climate scientist, and am dependent on others who are to explain the "nuts and bolts" of the Anthropogenic Global Warming model.

  2. On the AGW front, I have seen and heard a lot of loud demagoguery.

  3. In my opinion, this demagoguery tends to weaken the case rather than strengthen it.

  4. Some aspects of the AGW theory are not in dispute.

  5. Mankind has, through various activities, increased the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere over what it would contain if mankind did not exist.

  6. Mankind continues to engage in activities that increase the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere.

  7. No one disputes that.

  8. One of these activities is breathing.

  9. Many of the others contribute in substantial ways to the health and well being of mankind.

  10. I am willing to stipulate that human activity has raised the atmospheric concentration of CO2 from 280 PPM (Parts per Million, .000000280) to 380 PPM of CO2.

  11. The difference between 280 PPM and 380 PPM of CO2 in the atmosphere does not seem like a particularly huge change in the chemical composition of the atmosphere.

  12. It is not, to a layman, prima facie evidence of impending catastrophe that requires enormous and world-wide economic sacrifice to address.

  13. Despite that, it is conceivable, and a reasonable hypothesis, that the accumulated CO2 in the atmosphere could have some effect on the planetary climate.

  14. As Al Gore showed in his move, An Inconvenient Truth, there does appear to be a relationship between temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentration, given possible reconstructions of both values over the last several million years.

  15. Unfortunately for Al, his chart shows temperature changing before CO2.

  16. That's right - Al Gore's big temperature vs. CO2 graph shows temperature leading and CO2 following.

  17. Look for yourself - temperature goes up and then CO2 goes up, temperature goes down and then CO2 goes down.

  18. That is to say, if there is a causal, and not just correlative, relationship between temperature and atmospheric CO2, it is the opposite of what Gore is claiming.

  19. I once believed that there was fairly compelling evidence that the planet has warmed over the past 150 years.

  20. I now believe that there is some evidence that the planet has warmed over the past 150 years.

  21. The evidence is nowhere near as compelling as it once was.

  22. The evidence of data manipulation and outright fraud in the published records is compelling.

  23. If the data were as compelling as the people at the CRU and other places claim that it is, there would be no need to hide it.

  24. If the "contrarian" position were so weak that it couldn't pass peer review, there would be no need to rig the peer review process.

  25. If the "contrarian" position were so weak that it was indefensible, getting the papers published, criticized and mocked could only help the AGW position.

  26. It is a reasonable hypothesis to suppose that there is a relationship between increased CO2 levels and increased temperature on a global level.

  27. This hypothesis has not been proven to my satisfaction.

  28. I do not believe that the scientific "consensus" is as strong as the warming alarmists would have us believe.

  29. If this hypothesis were proven to my satisfaction, I would then expect realistic scenarios presented for the costs vs. benefits of mitigation and the costs vs. benefits of living on a planet with the increased CO2 levels.

  30. The pro-Kyoto, pro-Copenhagen, AGW alarmists have never, to the best of my knowledge, presented a reasonable, rational cost-benefit analysis.

  31. Many of the people favoring what may objectively be looked at as anti-Western civilization, "spread the wealth to the poor" policies with regards to carbon have a history of favoring anti-Western civilization, "spread the wealth to the poor" policies at other times in history, for other reasons.

  32. Many of the people who are pushing the AGW story the hardest have profited, are profiting, and can be expected to continue profiting from policies and government outlays that are based on their assumptions of short-term climate catastrophe.

  33. Many of the people who are profiting from the climate change storyline are living their lives as if it weren't a problem.

  34. The AGW scientists admit, among themselves, that they cannot account for the past decade-plus of cooling.

  35. I've built complex multi-variable models, based on past data, and used them to predict future data.

  36. If the model doesn't correctly predict the future data, something's wrong with the model.

  37. It could be an algorithmic problem.

  38. It could be a data entry or assumption problem.

  39. It could be a problem of failing to understand and include a vital input, or multiple vital inputs.

  40. If you kludge a model with fixed data-specific adjustments to say what you want it to say every time you get new data, as they did at CRU, you can always make it match.

  41. A model which matches new data based on kludging it after that data is known, has no useful predictive power for future events.

  42. An old computer acronym is GIGO - Garbage In, Garbage Out.

  43. The CRU model was garbage, and it was fed garbage.

  44. I would not gamble a nickel based on the output of the CRU model.

  45. Al Gore, John Kerry and Barack Obama want us to sacrifice our economy and our lifestyle based on it.

It is difficult to believe that engaging in economically destructive activities based on the output of a fudged model using an uncertain and non-reproducible data set is a rational course of action.

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