Global warming (idea)
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The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
Our beliefs and prejudices influence the interpretations of natural phenomena. In order to minimize those bias when developing a theory, it has been established the scientific method, by means of which we construct a reliable, consistent and non-arbitrary representation of the world. (1)
For instance, it has been observed an apparent rising rate of the earth's temperature in the last 100 years when compared with any else interval during the previous 10 centuries. Such pattern of warming -justified by both external forcing and human activity, over which allegedly rigorous statistical analyses have been applied- has issued a theory of climate change.
Having said that, the theory of 'recent' global warming is based on a widespread consensus among climate scientists, and implies the following conditions: it is real, dangerous and anthropogenic in nature.
But if such consensus depends on a deliberate suppression of alternative hypotheses by means of either eliminating the non-fitting data or applying inaccurate statistics, it could be a fraudulent one, and consequently the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) theory might transform into the AGW myth.
In accordance with several reports -published by The New York Times and other media no long ago- the aforementioned myth could have been deliciously revealed when a hacker broke into the computers at the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit and released a lot of Mbs comprising confidential files through the internet. Those documents were exchanged by some of the main scientists that had been vigorously supporting the AGW theory.
In one of the emails appeared a Dr. Jones's discussion about a scientific method of overlaying data of temperature declines with repetitive information of higher temperatures:
From: Phil Jones To: ray bradley ,mann@, mhughes@ Subject: Diagram for WMO Statement Date: Tue, 16 Nov 1999 13:31:15 +0000 Cc: k.briffa@,t.osborn@
As seemingly the average global temperatures appeared to have stopped rising ten years ago, those scientists were in a panic to find statistical data to substantiate their AGW theories.
This scientific scandal had certain relevance, at least if one takes into account the widespread media’s coverage of this Climategate(5). For example, an editorial in Washington Times stated '...Academics who have purposely hidden data, destroyed information and doctored their results have committed scientific fraud. Most important, however, these revelations of fudged science should have a cooling effect on global-warming hysteria and the panicked policies that are being pushed forward to address the unproven theory.'(3)
Happily a committee of experts recommended by the Royal Society saw no up–to–date evidence of any deliberate 'scientific malpractice in any of the work of the Climatic Research Unit and had it been there we believe that it was likely that we would have detected it. Rather we found a small group of dedicated if slightly disorganized researchers who were ill-prepared for being the focus of public attention. As with many small research groups their internal procedures were rather informal.' (4)
The light has almost shown up through that prank so we can now stay free from turmoil about our glaciers disintegrating and causing tidal waves, and South Americans losing their water supplies. Thank goodness.
(1) Bright WE. An Introduction to Scientific Research (McGraw-Hill, 1952).
(2) Telegraph.co.uk http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100017393/climategate-the-final-nail-in-the-coffin-of-anthropogenic-global-warming/
(3) Washingtontimes.com http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/nov/24/hiding-evidence-of-global-cooling/
(4)The New York Times http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/14/east-anglias-climate-lessons/
The University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit has been criticized not only for withholding information but also for the poor statistics used, although -if better- they might not have produced significantly different results. In the above w/u we have exposed the conclusions of two out three reviews from an international panel set up by the University in consultation with the Royal Society in order to asses the integrity of the investigation carried out, the findings of the third one having not yet been published.