Wednesday, January 28, 2009

NASA Scientist: Global Warming a load of hooey

James Hanson is the NASA scientist best known for setting off the whole global warming bit that goes something like ZOMG we're all gonna dieeee!!!!1!!. I have some posts that talk about him, along with the rest of the man-is-causing-global-warming crowd.

Well, it seems like I'm not the only one who think he's an overblown, grandstanding windbag. His boss does, too:
Dr John Theon, who supervised James Hansen - the activist-scientist who helped give the manmade global warming hypothesis centre prominent media attention - repents at length in a published letter. Theon wrote to the Minority Office at the Environment and Public Works Committee on January 15, 2009, and excerpts were published by skeptic Senator Inhofe's office here last night.
Thank you, Senator Inhofe.

This report is simply stunning in its bluntness.

“My own belief concerning anthropogenic climate change is that the models do not realistically simulate the climate system because there are many very important sub-grid scale processes that the models either replicate poorly or completely omit. Furthermore, some scientists have manipulated the observed data to justify their model results. In doing so, they neither explain what they have modified in the observations, nor explain how they did it.

"They have resisted making their work transparent so that it can be replicated independently by other scientists. This is clearly contrary to how science should be done. Thus there is no rational justification for using climate model forecasts to determine public policy.”

Now this is still in the nicey-nicey scientific discussion form. What is says translated into plain English is that the models don't model the climate system, the data has been jimmied, and the scientists are blowing smoke to hide what they're up to. Strong stuff.

Usually you'll get a bureaucratic gloss that requires you to read between the lines to get to the I think he's a lying SOB part. Not here. Seems Hanson's claims that the NASA higher-ups tried to shut him up lack some transparency, too:
“Hansen was never muzzled even though he violated NASA's official agency position on climate forecasting (i.e., we did not know enough to forecast climate change or mankind's effect on it). Hansen thus embarrassed NASA by coming out with his claims of global warming in 1988 in his testimony before Congress."
Make that an overblown, grandstanding, lying windbag. Remember, Hanson was the one who said Global Warming deniers should be jailed.

Look, I can be wrong on all this man-made-global-warming stuff. I do think I have solid reasons for skepticism, though. But I need reproduceable, transparent data, not shouts of "denier!!!11!One!"

I don't rant very often here, but Hanson looks to me to be perverting the scientific process for cheap personal benefit, and that's just wrong. If the world listened to him, million of people would be hurt, and that's even more wrong. And he's trying to win the argument by cheating, which is more than a little annoying. We deserve better.


Anonymous said...

This is exactly why people like us are looking at this as the nutty Gaia worshipping religion that it is.

It will all blow over eventually. Hopefully are elected leaders won't do irreparable damage in the mean time.

Unknown said...

I don't consider myself militant about man-made global warming, however, I do think that man-caused damage to the planet, such as deforestation and air/water polution, are real and serious issues. I think one of the reasons why we come to blows with the "man-made global warming is real and everyone who says otherwise is a heretic" bunch is that they believe that if one doesn't accept global warming, that one automatically believes everything is dandy.

Borepatch said...

Shoothouse, that's an excellent point. There are indeed real (and very well documented) problems - deforestation is a good example.

All the talk about carbon tax and cap/trade is defocussing everyone off of these. It's all well and good to say "why not do both" but reality is that we need to choose what is more important.

I think that this is Bjorn Lomborg's point - if you were to spend the better part of a trillion dollars on an economic problem, would it be this one? More importantly, if you say that the point is to save lives and improve quality of life, isn't something like, say, malaria control more important? If not, they what is the goal, and why aren't lives more important?

At that point, the discussion typically degrades into shouting ...

NotClauswitz said...

Science-frauds not skeptics should be jailed, and fraudulently awarded Nobel Prizes revoked - and Pulitzer prizes too for that matter (Duranty).

Borepatch said...

Dirtcrashr, I think that a good public mocking can be as effective as jail, pour encourager les autres.

Repeated application may be required in the case of high-profile scientists, and particularly Nobel lauriates.