YESTERDAY (7/17/08) WAS A "WTF" DAY
Yasser Arafat is truly in hell ...

Global Warming: The right way to challenge scientific findings ...

UPDATE (07-21-08) ON PEER REVIEW ...

It seems that both sides of the debate have gotten their "knickers in a twist" over the Monckton affair. Some because of the science, some because of the editor's gall to allow the article to be published and others because of the "peer review" issue. Truth-be-told, a number of papers put forth by prominent climatological scientists were presented without peer review. It is my personal opinion that peer review is what happens after the paper is published, not before. To illustrate the problematical nature of pre-publication peer reviews, I would like to present a quote from the editor of one of the world's most prestigeous medical journal, The Lancet.

“The mistake, of course, is to have thought that peer review was any more than a crude means of discovering the acceptability — not the validity — of a new finding. Editors and scientists alike insist on the pivotal importance of peer review. We portray peer review to the public as a quasi-sacred process that helps to make science our most objective truth teller. But we know that the system of peer review is biased, unjust, unaccountable, incomplete, easily fixed, often insulting, usually ignorant, occasionally foolish, and frequently wrong.” - Richard Horton, editor of The Lancet

To paraphrase Charlie Sheen's character in Wall Street: "Debate is Good, Debate Clarifies ..."

UPDATE (07-19-08) APS CHALLENGED BY MONCKTON OVER COMMENTS

In reaction to the APS assertion that Monckton's work was not peer-reviewed and that its conclusions ran counter to the prevailing consensus of work on global climate change, Monckton has demanded satisfaction ... in the interests of encouraging further scientific debate on the issue of global weather change, we are publishing Lord Monckton's letter to the APS.

19 July 2008

The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley
Carie, Rannoch, PH17 2QJ, UK
monckton@mail.com

Arthur Bienenstock, Esq., Ph.D.,
President, American Physical Society,
Wallenberg Hall,
450 Serra Mall, Bldg 160,
Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA 94305.
By email to artieb@slac.stanford.edu

Dear Dr. Bienenstock,

Physics and Society

The editors of Physics and Society, a newsletter of the American Physical Society, invited me to submit a paper for their July 2008 edition explaining why I considered that the warming that might be expected from anthropogenic enrichment of the atmosphere with carbon dioxide might be significantly less than the IPCC imagines.

I very much appreciated this courteous offer, and submitted a paper. The commissioning editor referred it to his colleague, who subjected it to a thorough and competent scientific review. I was delighted to accede to all of the reviewer’s requests for revision (see the attached reconciliation sheet). Most revisions were intended to clarify for physicists who were not climatologists the method by which the IPCC evaluates climate sensitivity - a method which the IPCC does not itself clearly or fully explain. The paper was duly published, immediately after a paper by other authors setting out the IPCC’s viewpoint. Some days later, however, without my knowledge or consent, the following appeared, in red, above the text of my paper as published on the website of Physics and Society:

“The following article has not undergone any scientific peer review. Its conclusions are in disagreement with the overwhelming opinion of the world scientific community. The Council of the American Physical Society disagrees with this article’s conclusions.”

This seems discourteous. I had been invited to submit the paper; I had submitted it; an eminent Professor of Physics had then scientifically reviewed it in meticulous detail; I had revised it at all points requested, and in the manner requested; the editors had accepted and published the reviewed and revised draft (some 3000 words longer than the original) and I had expended considerable labor, without having been offered or having requested any honorarium.

Please either remove the offending red-flag text at once or let me have the name and qualifications of the member of the Council or advisor to it who considered my paper before the Council ordered the offending text to be posted above my paper; a copy of this rapporteur’s findings and ratio decidendi; the date of the Council meeting at which the findings were presented; a copy of the minutes of the discussion; and a copy of the text of the Council’s decision, together with the names of those present at the meeting. If the Council has not scientifically evaluated or formally considered my paper, may I ask with what credible scientific justification, and on whose authority, the offending text asserts primo, that the paper had not been scientifically reviewed when it had; secundo, that its conclusions disagree with what is said (on no evidence) to be the “overwhelming opinion of the world scientific community”; and, tertio, that “The Council of the American Physical Society disagrees with this article’s conclusions”? Which of my conclusions does the Council disagree with, and on what scientific grounds (if any)?

Having regard to the circumstances, surely the Council owes me an apology?

Yours truly,
THE VISCOUNT MONCKTON OF BRENCHLEY

Original Blog Entry ...

The well-respected  American Physical Society is starting to show signs of internal turmoil which will lead to more enlightened discussions of the science of global warming.

On one hand, the APS appears to be supporting the concept of global warming as promoted by the United Nations …

“The American Physical Society reaffirms the following position on climate change, adopted by its governing body, the APS Council, on November 18, 2007: ‘Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate.’"

And on the other hand, they are apparently disavowing comments made by one of their 49 member groups …

“An article at odds with this statement recently appeared in an online newsletter of the APS Forum on Physics and Society, one of 39 units of APS.  The header of this newsletter carries the statement that ‘Opinions expressed are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the APS or of the Forum.’  This newsletter is not a journal of the APS and it is not peer reviewed.”

The APS national policy …

National Policy: 07.1 CLIMATE CHANGE

(Adopted by Council on November 18, 2007)

“Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes.”

“The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.”

“Because the complexity of the climate makes accurate prediction difficult, the APS urges an enhanced effort to understand the effects of human activity on the Earth’s climate, and to provide the technological options for meeting the climate challenge in the near and longer terms. The APS also urges governments, universities, national laboratories and its membership to support policies and actions that will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.”

Mirroring the position of the United Nations …

Which sums up the positions of the United Nations and others who egotistically assume that man’s puny efforts can have a mitigating effect on a natural phenomenon whose causality and susceptibility to human intervention are unknown. All of the information that is fueling the debate comes from deeply flawed or extremely limited computer models that purport to be accurate as they match certain direct or imputed historical climate data for a limited portion of time. Unfortunately, what is not being discussed is the nature of the forcing adjustments and manipulation of raw data in order to reduce anomalies in the reported results.

Non-controversy: The following statement appeared in the APS’s Forum on Physics & Society

“With this issue of Physics & Society, we kick off a debate concerning one of the main conclusions of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN body which, together with Al Gore, recently won the Nobel Prize for its work concerning climate change research. There is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree with the IPCC conclusion that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are very probably likely to be primarily responsible for the global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution.”

Since the correctness or fallacy of that conclusion has immense implications for public policy and for the future of the biosphere, we thought it appropriate to present a debate within the pages of P&S concerning that conclusion. This editor (JJM) invited several people to contribute articles that were either pro or con.”

“Christopher  Monckton responded with this issue's article that argues against the correctness of the IPCC conclusion, and a pair from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, David Hafemeister and Peter Schwartz, responded with this issue's article in favor of the IPCC conclusion.”

“We, the editors of P&S, invite reasoned rebuttals from the authors as well as further contributions from the physics community. Please contact me [e-mail address removed for security]  if you wish to jump into this fray with comments or articles that are scientific in nature. However, we will not publish articles that are political or polemical in nature. Stick to the science! (JJM)”

This is the way scientific exposition should be done. Congratulations to Jeffrey Marque who is acting as the moderator in this critical debate in his role as the editor of the forum.

There is no doubt that this should be the official policy of the Society: a willingness to examine both sides of the issue and allow a free and open debate among qualified scientists before attempting to politicalize science and disrupt the political, scientific and economic fabric of the United States with their weighty endorsement.

What can YOU do?

Demand that your elected officials refrain from acting like hysterical sheep, creating legislation to solve scientific problems which remain ill-defined and in need to fundamental research.

If legislators are wont to craft legislation, let them craft pollution policies which cannot be simply mitigated by buying pollution credits from a Wall Street carbon credit brokers or vendors such as Al Gore’s organization. I think we can all agree that it is far more important to resolve and eliminate the problems associated with local pollution rather than worrying about mitigating the effects of what pollution is produced in India, China, Russia and the rest of the world.

I, for one, do not want to see a larger government, pay higher taxes and further restrict my lifestyle based on speculative science or the results of an unverifiable computerized weather model. There is much research and argumentation to be done before a true course of public policy can be set.

In the final analysis, science is not performed by consensus or the opinions of politicians and laymen. The process of scientific inquiry is well-defined and there are no shortcuts.

Ignore the whiners, the ravers and those who are simply hysterical shills, Al Gore comes to mind, for their own self-interest ventures to take money out of your pocket and place it in theirs.

-- steve

A reminder from OneCitizenSpeaking.com: a large improvement can result from a small change…

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -- Marcus Aurelius

Reference Links:

DailyTech - Myth of Consensus Explodes: APS Opens Global Warming Debate

A Tutorial on the Basic Physics of Climate Change
By David Hafemeister & Peter Schwartz

Abstract: In this paper, we have used several basic atmospheric–physics models to show that additional carbon dioxide will warm the surface of Earth. We also show that observed solar variations cannot account for observed global temperature increase.

Climate Sensitivity Reconsidered
By Christopher Monckton

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) concluded that anthropogenic CO2 emissions probably caused more than half of the “global warming” of the past 50 years and would cause further rapid warming. However, global mean surface temperature has not risen since 1998 and may have fallen since late 2001. The present analysis suggests that the failure of the IPCC’s models to predict this and many other climatic phenomena arises from defects in its evaluation of the three factors whose product is climate sensitivity:


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"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

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