American Elephants


Meet Dr. Roy Spencer, Celebrated Climatologist. by The Elephant's Child
November 25, 2009, 7:15 pm
Filed under: Energy, Environment, Freedom, Science/Technology | Tags: , ,

Dr. Roy Spencer is the U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite.  He is also a Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. (Try getting all that on a business card).  They supply the temperatures that we can count on.  He has testified before Congress a number of times, and he is the author of Climate Confusion , a perfectly splendid book that we recommend in the sidebar.

In the book, Dr. Spencer explains in simple terms just how the climate system works and what we know about it and what we don’t know.  No wild claims, a mild voice for a climate skeptic, that much denigrated type of individual, quite a few cartoons, and only a couple of simple graphs — the kind devised for laymen.  It is a good read, and illuminating in the nicest way.

Dr. Spencer has a website where he both talks about the latest global temperature anomaly, but also explains “Global Warming 101.”  He has a great sense of humor as well, as a visit to The Eco Enquirer will show.

Here are a few of his comments on the elitist roots of global warming alarmism:

The hundreds of e-mails being made public after someone hacked into Phil Jones’ Climatic Research Unit (CRU) computer system offer a revealing peek inside the IPCC machine. It will take some time before we know whether any illegal activity has been uncovered (e.g. hiding or destruction of data to avoid Freedom of Information Act inquiries).

Even mainstream journalists, who are usually on board with the latest environmental craze, have commented on this blatant display of hypocrisy. It seems like those participating – possibly the best example being Al Gore — are not even aware of how it looks to the rest of us. (…)

A few of the CRU e-mails suggest that manipulation of climate data in order to reduce the signature of natural climate variations, and to exaggerate the supposed evidence for manmade climate change, is OK with these folks. Apparently, the ends justify the means. (…)

Hopefully, the scientist is more interested in discovering how nature really works, rather than twisting the data to support some other agenda. It took me years to develop the discipline to question every research result I got. It is really easy to be wrong in this business, and very difficult to be right.

Skepticism really is at the core of scientific progress. I’m willing to admit that I could be wrong about all my views on manmade global warming. Can the IPCC scientists admit the same thing?

Year after year, the evidence keeps mounting that most climate research now being funded is for the purpose of supporting the IPCC’s politics, not to find out how nature works. The ‘data spin’ is increasingly difficult to ignore or to explain away as just sloppy science. If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck…

You can find the whole essay here, as well as the guide to Global Warming 101.



Will the Scandal of ClimateGate Change Anything? by The Elephant's Child

Attaching the “gate” syllable to any hint of scandal, is a quick but trite way to say “pay attention, this is a scandal.”  ClimateGate is a big one, but easily misunderstood.  Climate “skeptics” do not claim that there has been no global warming.  They quite agree that over the 20th century the earth warmed by around one degree.

The earth is always warming and cooling.  The argument exists entirely about computer climate models that project a drastic warming in the future.  Skeptics point out that the earth has been cooling since 2003, as the sun has gone quiet with almost no sunspots and there has been no warming at all for at least ten years. Climate models are unreliable, unable to predict today’s climate.

Skeptical scientists point out that  increases in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere follow increases in temperature, and therefore cannot be the cause of global warming.  As the earth has cooled , the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere continues to climb.  But not to worry, CO2 is not a pollutant, only a trace gas.  The much-feared “greenhouse gases” are composed largely of water vapor — clouds, fog, mist.

Scientists are human, and have all the flaws that the rest of us have.  Greed, covetousness, laziness, ambition and a tendency to make mistakes.  Some of the best hypotheses just don’t prove out.  The emails and documents of ClimateGate indicate a fair amount of that, but some fraud and attempts to silence those who disagree as well.  The big deal is what governments and the media have done with the misinformation.

The quantity of things on which governments have rushed to spend trillions  to prevent climate change,  banish carbon dioxide, prevent dangerous rise of the seas,  ban the drilling for carbon-based fossil fuels, tax the economy into poverty with cap-and-trade laws — is almost endless.  The list goes on and on.  I saw a photo yesterday of a Dutch ship spraying sand which the tide would carry in to reinforce the dikes that protect the Netherlands against the rise of the seas predicted by computer climate models. This is costing billions, and the seas won’t rise.

Europe is far deeper into the religion of global warming than we are, but governments believe far more than their people do.  It is hard to tell if government bureaucracies actually believe that climate change is a real problem, or if they just believe in using a ‘crisis’ to gain power and increase taxes.  I think it is safe to assume that our representatives do not go home at night, after a hard day of failing to read the legislation they vote for, to study up on the science  of climate change.

Carol Browner, socialist climate czar, said that “the science is settled.” Nothing to see here — just move along.  She added that she would stick with the “consensus” of the 2,500 (what?) climate scientists on the IPCC.  (Ms. Browner, the UN’s IPCC states clearly on their website that they do not do original science).   And there is no “consensus” in science.  See Scientific Method.

Well, there you have it.  Obama will go to Copenhagen and promise to reduce CO2, which will only happen if the economy falters further.  The EPA and the Department of Energy will  spend vast sums encouraging solar energy, which will produce small amounts of energy only when the sun shines.  They will spend even more on wind energy, which will continue to produce only a miniscule amount of our energy needs when heavily subsidized.  Nothing will change.  The “science is settled,” and “consensus” rules.



The Scientific Method, or How the Scientific World is Supposed to Work! by The Elephant's Child

In the wake of the ClimateGate scandal, it’s worth reviewing the Scientific Method, with a graph borrowed shamelessly from Watts Up With That, Anthony Watts’ splendid website.  As the emails and documents are exposed, the cry from the University of East Anglia’s CRU is about villains stealing documents, taken out-of-context, misunderstood, criminal theft and so on and so on.

Those who have their careers, reputation, prestige and livelihood invested in the concept of dangerous global warming, quickly remind us that all scientists except worthless skeptics confirm that global warming is real and the world is warming, heating up, getting hotter while the rest of us turn the furnace up a little higher and wonder why it was snowing in October.  There is “Consensus” among scientists, you know, “peer-reviewed” scientists: and you must never listen to or read what a scientist who has not been “peer-reviewed” has to say.

Except that isn’t the way science works.  1,000 scientists can have a “consensus” and it doesn’t matter a whit.  What matters is the evidence, and the experiments that support the hypothesis, and the further experiments that also support the hypothesis and so on.

Just something to keep in mind.




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