Friday, December 4, 2009

A nice historical quote, re: Climategate

"To the ordinary guy, all this is a bunch of gobbledygook. But out of the gobbledygook comes a very clear thing, which is: You can't trust the government, you can't believe what they say and you can't rely on their judgment. And that the implicit infallibility of presidents, which has been an accepted thing in America, is badly hurt by this, because it shows that people do things the president wants to do even though it's wrong. And the president can be wrong."
- H.R. Haldeman, commenting on the Pentagon Papers

Imagine that: The president can be wrong... What can we learn from this?

1. Scientists can be wrong, too.

2. Scientists are not robots - they are human and thus corruptible by the same outside influences as anyone else.

- Steve

A Postscript --- Once again, let me state that this is NOT about Global Warming, per se. There is a distinct difference between the concepts of 'temperatures are rising' and 'the actions of mankind are CAUSING the temperature changes.'

I will not argue against 'climate change'. The planetary climate *is* changing, it has changed, it will likely always be in a state of flux. However, if - repeat, *IF* - there is reproducible and clear evidence that actions by mankind are having a significant measurable effect on climate (yes, it's possible), then we should spend time and resources to increase our understanding of those scientific processes with the goal of determining a process (or processes) representing a suitable course of action. A suspicion of a correlation is not Proof. Counting noses of those who agree with a theory is not Proof. Creating a complex model is not Proof. Not having another explanation is not Proof. AND WE MUST HAVE PROOF.

And then, BEFORE making any changes, we must also have in place the tools and tracking necessary to accurately measure the results of those efforts. IMHO, *all* AGW proposals on the table simply DO NOT meet this reasonable set of criteria. This is primarily because we simply DO NOT have the ability to accurately measure the conditions, let alone measuring the effects of different actions. In short - we just don't KNOW. If we cannot measure the results of existing conditions, how can we know whether or not changing what we as humans *DO* is having the desired effect?

Until we *do* know - with a reasonable level of reproducible test results - to radically alter the entire structure of the world economy to respond to a 'problem' which may not exist (or, more likely, simply be outside the realm of human manipulation and control) is absurd and insane.

This situation has been further complicated by the fact that the raw data from years of measurements has been 'lost' or corrupted beyond usefulness. Finding Answers, to say nothing of continuing legitimate research efforts, may not be possible for DECADES - at least until new (replacement) data can be gathered and properly evaluated, if that is even possible. This is a horrible, horrible travesty.


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