OK, some news related to the issue of climate variability. (It may be a better term than "climate change" because "climate change" already includes some sort of answer including a revolutionary "change" and is therefore biased.)
Michael Crichton's thriller State of Fear may be a book of non-fiction after all. Do you remember the eco-terrorist organization NERF that took over the region? The organization based on the lies about the global climate that was promoting their interests using the mafia techniques? So this NERF already have their own blog in the real world, and their goal is nothing less than to "change the way how journalism discusses questions of the global climate". Given the fact that the ratio of the catastrophic sensational newspapers articles to the reasonable science-based articles about the global climate is roughly 5:1 already today, and NERF clearly wants to increase this ratio further, we're not far from Crichton's novel. The website I talk about is
Among its nine authors we find William Connolley, my friend ;-) from Wikipedia who is kind of twisting all wikipages about the global climate, as well as Michael Mann a Ray Bradley, two of the co-authors of the largerly abandoned paper about the "hockey stick graph" which was based on a rather poor manipulation with the tools of statistics.
Hans von Storch has recently shown in Science that the hockey stick graphs underestimated the fluctuations of temperature in the past at least by a factor of two. Incidentally, the same von Storch with L. Barring recently also showed that the storminess in Scandinavia has been amazingly constant, contradicting some previous weird theories of the global warming alarmists.
Let's return to Connolley, Mann, Bradley, and their six friends. That's a very interesting company. And I think that their website is not encouraging a serious scientific debate. They describe their new blog as
- "a commentary site on climate science by working climate scientists for the interested public and journalists. ... The discussion here is restricted to scientific topics and will not get involved in any political or economic implications of the science."
Of course that this description itself is another lie. The whole web is a collection of incredibly clearly politically twisted statements for which science is just an unimportant hostage, which are intended to brainwash the readers, especially the naive ones. Moreover, they only accept the comments that flatter them - all comments submitted under their articles are filtered before they appear - it's a "1984" approach to the problem. Let me list the recent titles of their articles, to show how "non-political" they are, and add a short abstract of mine:
- A welcoming Nature - It is difficult for us to write a scientifically sound article, but it is much easier to convince our friends in Nature to publish an un-reviewed advertisement of our brainwashing blog :-)
- Just what is this Consensus anyway? - Everyone agrees with evething we say, and if she does not, we will erase her and destroy her
- Fox News gets it wrong - Fox quoted a person who said that we don't understand global climate well enough, but it is unfair because Fox should have quoted the whole life of that person and the person also said that it is dangerous for people to do anything because it could destroy the world
- Statistical analysis of consensus - We are getting overwhelmingly effective in destroying the articles that whose results we don't like, and if we make one little step of progress, we will be able to codify our viewpoint in the constitution
- Michael Crichton's state of confusion I,II: return of the science - Crichton is wrong, and perhaps an alien described by Carl Sagan - and the reason why he's wrong is that there is consensus, and we can eliminate everyone who is wrong
- Climate change disinformation - Every article we don't like can be linked to oil, and because oil is dirty, we will always be able to humiliate everyone who disagrees with us. A few examples of recent articles in the newspapers follow
- Welcome to RealClimate - Global climate is a field in which everyone feels that he has something to say. But we're really better than an average crackpot because there is consensus between 9 of us that we're better
- Weren't the temperatures warmer during the Medieval Warm Period? - It's a myth, myth, myth. Did you hear? A myth. Forget about all papers that describe MWP, and believe us because we have a consensus. Read our crappy papers and avoid all other papers that show why ours are crappy, which is the only path for a true believer
- But we do know that it was warmer 6000 years ago, don't we? - It's also a myth. In this case, we don't have even crappy papers that would indicate it's a myth, but don't forget that we have a consensus that we're better than others :-)
- Will you finally shut up and agree that 100.00% of people agree with all of this global warming theory? There are 9 of us plus a lot of powerful friends and we will beat you up if you disagree.
OK, I added the last entry for the sake of clarity, ;-) but at least I always tell you if there is any twist in my postings. They will not tell you anything like that. They know very well that the Arctic region is warming, and Antarctica is cooling, and therefore there must be at least 3 times as many articles about Arctic than those about Antarctic. Just look at the ratio of these two apparently symmetric and equally important places on Earth in their blog! This itself is enough to calculate how unbalanced scientists they are.
They will keep on repeating their lies about the "scientific consensus" until everyone will agree, following the famous dictum due to Goebbels that a lie repeated 100 times becomes the truth. They will never tell you that the influential Russian Academy of Sciences identified the "science" behind the Kyoto protocol as "scientifically unfounded nonsense". Well, Putin's advisor Illarionov compared Kyoto to fascism, as you can see in the same article, but it is a different story.
Instead, these people will keep on telling you that 100 percent of the comments that appear on their web - and in journals that are being controlled by similar policies - advocate the global warming theory.
Global climate vs. string theory
Consider the following comparison: they're a group of 9 people who are interested in the same field of science - if you wish to call it this way. We have examples like that - the string theorists. The string theorists also used the web, usenet, and blogs to exchange the ideas. But if two groups are doing the same thing, it's not the same thing. In fact, it's drastically different. The String Coffee Table or the SCI.physics.STRINGS newsgroup for that matter are primarily meant to exchange the ideas between the experts - and the future experts, so to say - and the postings are as much skeptical as they are excited. The RealClimate.ORG blog, on the other hand, is only meant to brainwash the laymen, and it only publishes the articles that only promote one, rather naive answer to a rather important question. I am not aware of a single blog or website (or a counterpart of arxiv.org) where the global climate scientists themselves would be exchanging the ideas between one another on a daily basis. These things just don't seem to exist: these guys already "know" the answer to everything, and the only remaining task is to force everyone else to join them and accept their beliefs. Of course that their conclusions are incomparably more shaky than the mathematical conclusions in string theory (I am not talking about the description of the real world, but about the correct deduction of facts from other facts within the theory).
Nature and NERF
Nature has made an advertisement for this propagandistic blog - which I think is very bad if they don't do the same thing for the scientific skeptics in the global warming debate. Nevertheless, Nature at least admitted that it is dangerous to rely on a blog that is not peer-reviewed, especially because they could oversell their opinions. There exist eco-terrorists radical enough that even this suggestion by Nature that the scientific statements should be verified by the community (and peer-reviewed) is "preposterous" - for example a famous blogging eco-terrorist called Chris C. Mooney:
His explanation why it is not necessary to verify scientific statements is that "mainstream climate scientists are getting whupped by the industry". Very interesting approach - but it's not quite original because Lenin and Stalin have been using similar arguments, even though not as radically as Mooney.
All these people may call themselves scientists, but they are much less of a scientist than Michael Crichton simply because they don't obey the basic rules of scientific integrity. They always prefer brainwashing over a careful statistical analysis. The last six years have shown that the paper of Mann et al. was crappy, to say the least, but they will keep on promoting this junk science because this is the way how they are funded, and this is the way how to make their friends in politics stronger. Every time it turns out that the climate is pretty normal, they're getting weaker and their funding goes South.
Congratulations to Bjorn Lomborg
Incidentally, the Time magazine's list of top 100 most influential people in 2004 includes not only George Bush and Edward Witten, but also the Danish "skeptical environmentalist" Bjorn Lomborg. He deserves it a lot. In 2001 he published the book The Skeptical Environmentalist. He was brave enough to challenge some dogmas about the humankind heading towards a disaster. Imagine how bold one must be to say "we're not approaching a catastrophe" today! :-) Even Tony Blair who is kind of intelligent keeps on repeating the highly popular stupidities that the global warming is the most serious problem facing the world today.
Lomborg has collected a lot of numbers, evidence, and calculations involving the global climate, economy, price of food, expected growth of population and the world's GDP, the extent of air pollution in the future, and the estimated effect of the new technologies. He argued that the global warming forecasts are exaggerated, and that the humankind will benefit from the mild increase of the temperature which he believes to have a significant anthropogenic component (I am more open-minded about these statements).
His only problem was that the conclusions did not confirm the prejudices and beliefs of his former friends from Greenpeace and the average climate scientists - the "scientists of the consensus". These average scientists decided to discredit him. One of these scientists whose name happens to be Jeffrey A. Harvey, although he's not a string theorist, took Lomborg to a bizarre Danish institution analogous to the Inquisition - it's called "Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty". The comrades from DCSD published a statement that Lomborg was scientifically dishonest. Lomborg had to wait for more than one year (!) until the Danish government finally spanked the morons from DCSD and announced that DCSD was not competent to make such an accusation. (Well, it's still faster than the trials against Galileo et al. that the Church fixed after a couple of centuries.)
Lomborg is a political scientist by training, but his efficiency with which he can do statistics is amazing. He had immediately corrected all the small errors that others found in his book - while the errors made by Scientific American were never corrected. He was able to argue with hordes of average alarmists. The alarmists produced 10 ad hominem attacks including accusations that he is connected with the industry (which would be the ultimate crime!), 20 statements that Lomborg is not an expert, and 30 statements that he has no friends in the alarmist-controlled journals and they will never publish his texts. Meanwhile, Lomborg produces 40 additional well-documented factual quantitative arguments supporting his points and clarifying the glimpses of ideas found in the insults by his opponents, including the references. The comparison of Lomborg's approach with the non-scientific and inefficient approach of the people who are supposed to be scientists is incredible. It's kind of scary that the international institutions pay 20 simpletons for doing badly the same work that 1 Danish guy could do more properly.