Good Point

Glenn Reynolds, of Instapundit, sums up Matt Ridley’s last Wall Street Journal column nicely: “Science is about evidence, not consensus.

Adaptation

Something that has never impressed me about the global warming crowd is their under appreciation of the human’s ability to adapt — especially to relatively slow changing things like climate.

This shows a lack of depth in thinking about history and even modern day events.  For example, Detroit shrunk quickly as people left it in search of better opportunity.

I saw another example recently on a trip to New Orleans.  Where I live, advertising for local dry basement companies is typical.

The New Orleans equivalent seems to be elevation companies.  These companies will raise your home to keep it dry during floods.

Good Wednesday Reading

1.  Bonus column from Thomas Sowell today, Too Many Apologies.  In it, Sowell explores apologies made to people who are not owed apologies, by people who often don’t need to apologize.

This craze for aimless apologies is part of a general loss of a sense of personal responsibility in our time. We are supposed to feel guilty for what other people did but there are a thousand cop-outs for what we ourselves did to those we did it to.

2. Walter Williams gives us a Global Warming Update.  Professor Williams summarizes the significant evidence that has come to light over the last few months that should be reducing confidence about whether global warming is “settled science.”

3. John Stossel asks Whose Body Is It? Stossel makes some excellent points about how the FDA intervenes on our behalf, even if we disagree with it.

World May Not Be Warming?

You mean “widely accepted warming science” may not be correct? Read this from the Times in London.

A quote from a former leader author on the IPCC regarding temperature monitoring stations:

“The story is the same for each one,” he said. “The popular data sets show a lot of warming but the apparent temperature rise was actually caused by local factors affecting the weather stations, such as land development.”

For example:

One of the most infamous [temperature monitoring stations] shows a weather station next to a waste incinerator.

Some Meterologists Doubt Global Warm

I sent this e-mail this morning to Rick Montgomery, reporter at the Kansas City Star.

I enjoyed your article in the Star today, Climate change splits forecasters. I was disappointed that only a passing mention was made of the Climategate e-mails in your story. If people knew more of the facts around that, they may think the meteorologists featured in your article are onto something.

I would like to respond to two quotes you used in the article.  First, you included this quote from Keith Seitter of American Meteorological Society: “meteorologists tend to underestimate how much work the climate scientists do and care they take.”

What purpose does this serve in the article?  It’s one man’s unsubstantiated opinion and it says nothing about the actual accuracy of the work output from climate scientists. I believe it was inserted to cast suspicion on meteorologists opinions of climatology, but a careful reader should recognized it as irrelevant to the story.  I also wonder if Seitter’s opinion applies to the group of meteorologists who accept global warming or only to those who are skeptical.  That would have been a good follow-up question.

Second, you quoted Kris Wilson, a University of Texas researcher, as saying, “The models used for predicting weather are inherently volatile. The climate models are not like that. They’re inherently stable.”

I’m not sure what purpose this statement served.  I suspect that a reader not experienced with mathematical modeling may think that means that weather models are less accurate than climate models.  I also suspect Wilson did not intend to convey this meaning.  I believe he was stating a fact and that statement was used inappropriately.  If he did intend this statement to convey the comparative accuracy of the weather and climate models, then it is an inaccurate and irresponsible statement from a researcher.  A reader with math modeling experience would correctly interpret the statement as unrelated to your article.

The words volatile and stable say nothing about the accuracy of either type of model.  Wilson’s statement is like saying that the speed of your vehicle goes up and down more often when driving around town and varies less while driving on the highway.  While this is a true statement, it doesn’t there’s anything better or worse with either type of driving, just as Wilson’s statement doesn’t say that there’s anything better or worse with weather or climate modeling.

If you are thinking about ideas for future articles, I would recommend reporting on the Climategate e-mails and presenting the global warming science that is so “widely accepted” to let people judge for themselves.  Hopefully, the world is learning that scientists are people too and they are not immune to political motivations or to being wrong.

Global Warming

As weather forecasters predict more massive snowfall for the east coast, Newt Gingrich pokes, “the weather conditions prove that ‘global warming’ is a hoax” while “activists say that scientists are looking at longer-lasting weather patterns.”

With all due to respect to Mr. Gingrich and the activists,  I thought climate scientists have been telling us for the last two months that global warming is hoax.

I’m still waiting for a world leader to, at the very least, acknowledge that the information that has surfaced about climate scientists over the last couple of months should at least give us pause to consider that perhaps the science is not “settled” and that maybe we should open our minds a bit more and consider alternatives.