Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pardon the Interruption: The Real Character of Global Warming Scientists

This is generally a media blog, and I will generally leave personal political rants off of this stage, but because the global warming debate gets so much screen time, I think it's important to get to know the kind of people who back the international anthropogenic global warming consensus. The keynote speaker at the Northeast Regional Operational Workshop (the meteorology conference I just attended as a part of my professional responsibilities) *infuriated* me when, during his overview of the climate response to Mt. Pinatubo's eruption in 1992, he said, and I quote:

"In 1980, Mt. St. Helens started to rumble and vulcanologists descended on the mountain. They placed hundreds of instruments on the volcano and successfully predicted the coming eruption - they evacuated everyone away and saved thousands of lives. In 1992, Pinatubo started to rumble - the scientists asked the air force manning Clark Airforce Base if they could set up a command post to monitor the eruption, but the U.S. response was "well we can't have all these brown people on our base" and only after significant political pressure was applied did they allow them access to the mountain. They successfully predicted that eruption just in time and cleared the base, saving more lives."

This is just the most outrageous thing I've ever heard in my entire life in this kind of setting. Do you *really* think the reason we didn't allow the scientists onto our base so readily was racially motivated? Might it have had something to do with military security interests?? Especially when you consider the fact that the military has a HIGHER PERCENTAGE OF MINORITY EMPLOYEES THAN ANY OTHER LARGE EMPLOYER IN THE UNITED STATES.

This speaker, before I left in disgust to cool down, also made the dubious claim that the reason we haven't invented CO2 scrubbers for coal-burning plants (the big smokestacks therein) was because the Bush administration didn't fund that research. The best part of this rather gut-wrenching experience was when he defended the IPCC anthropogenic global warming ideas by...hey here's a shock...quoting IPCC reports as consensus and IPCC model simulations as though they were evidence of anything at all. Oh...and very confidently asserting that every serious scientist believed we needed to start fighting the global warming problem. I guess I got my degree from Chuckles University. I told my friend and colleague (because he asked if I was OK and why I'd left) about my personal objection to his blatant politicization of my field and, thankfully, he agreed that many of the things he said were completely over the line. It DISGRACES the higher purpose of scientific advancement when you use your voice to make morally charged accusations about the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect the quality of life you lead that has allowed you to advance as a say nothing of the ridiculous hubris he expressed regarding the global warming debate. In a talk ostensibly about the use of volcanic eruptions as a measure of climate sensitivity (a talk that revealed either that in fact there is no significant inertia in the climate system...that the devastating climate cooling caused by a super-eruption would likely lead to 10-20 years of cooling followed by a very rapid return to normal (a sign that it's unlikely there is unrealized global warming still to come even if we stop all CO2 increases...the very argument used by the IPCC to bolster their climate model simulations which unanimously show the warming trend accelerating in the 21st century...) or that (more likely) the IPCC models *suck* at rendering the climate response to radiative forcing of any magnitude and therefore shouldn't be trusted...and I say more likely because we know that 90+% of all humans alive during the Tambora explosion 74 thousand years ago died as a result of the long-lasting climate impacts and a thousand-year-long ice age ensued! Not a 20 year cooling!)).

I thought I was attending a conference on OPERATIONAL WEATHER FORECASTING...but you can't even be a common weather man and escape the shrillness of the global climate change propaganda or the wreaking liberal elitism of its proponents.

It reveals much about the character of these men that they can so casually and flippantly denigrate the moral fiber of the military. My father has represented the U.S. Navy (granted, not the Air Force, but you're kidding yourself if you don't think they share a similar internal culture) well his entire adult life - even now that he's working as a civilian adviser. Laying the non-factual and quite frankly despicable claim that the military is a racist organization is the same as calling my father a racist, whether you intended that or not. Call my father - and the hundreds of thousands like him who've honorably served this nation - racist without just cause and you're done. I'll never listen to another word you say.

None of you should either. The "science" behind the AGW argument is full of holes and, unlike good scientists, its supporters ignore reasons for skepticism. There was another talk at this same conference about the need for the proper level of skepticism when making a 5-day forecast for a possible winter storm. Good scientists need to understand the uncertainty in any claim they make...the AGW crowd either doesn't get it...or is intentionally ignoring it because in their eyes, the ends justify the means even if it means they stopped being scientists and started being politicians decades ago.

1 comment:

  1. Personally, I think the word "consensus" should be banned from scientific discussions, as it is too often used as a bludgeon to quash potentially fruitful disagreement. There was a scientific "consensus" in Medieval Europe that the Earth was the center of the solar system. At the time, that conclusion seemed eminently reasonable - but it was wrong! It is, as you say, the height of hubris to believe that now - now - we're finally onto the truth and thus never have to question our conclusions ever again (especially when we're dealing with such a young branch of science as climate science). Indeed, I can only conclude that such an attitude is anti-science given that all scientific advances throughout history have had their origins in the work of lone mavericks who challenged "consensus."

    Regarding the speaker's charges against the U.S. military: if our troops are so racist, why, pray tell, are they often present to lend a hand when so-called "brown people" are hit by natural disaster? What of the U.S. military's response to the Indian Ocean tsunami a few years ago?