Warming, or Hot Air?

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Warming, or Hot Air?


22 Dec 08 - William Katz at http://urgentagenda.com/ recently asked Frank Tipler, the distinguished mathematical physicist at Tulane University, for his view of the global-warming controversy, and he was kind enough to send this thoughtful reply.  Here are sin excerpts:. 

“As regards global warming, my view is essentially the same as yours: Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is a scam, with no basis in science.

(1) I am particularly annoyed by the claims that the "the debate is over," because this was exactly the claim originally made against the Copernican theory of the Solar System.

(2)  It is obvious that anthropogenic global warming is not science at all, because a scientific theory makes non-obvious predictions which are then compared with observations that the average person can check for himself.  As we both know from our own observations, AGW theory has spectacularly failed to do this.  The theory has predicted steadily increasing global temperatures, and this has been refuted by experience.  NOW the global warmers claim that the Earth will enter a cooling period. In other words, whether the ice caps melt, or expand --- whatever happens --- the AGW theorists claim it confirms their theory.  A perfect example of a pseudo-science like astrology.

(3) In contrast, the alternative theory, that the increase and decrease of the Earth's average temperature in the near term follows the sunspot number, agrees (roughly) with observation.  And the observations were predicted before they occurred.  This is good science.

(4) I emphasized in point (2) that the average person has to be able to check the observations.  I emphasize this because I no longer trust "scientists" to report observations correctly.  I think the data is adjusted to confirm, as far as possible, AGW.  We've seen many recent cases where the data was cooked in climate studies.  In one case, Hanson and company claimed that October 2008 was the warmest October on record.  Watts looked at the data, and discovered that Hanson and company had used September's temperatures for Russia rather than October's.  I'm not surprised to learn that September is hotter than October in the Northern hemisphere.  

When I first starting teaching astronomy at Tulane in the early 1980's, I would show sunspots to my students by pointing a small $25 reflecting telescope at the Sun, and focusing the Sun's image on the wall of the classroom.  Sunspots were obviously in the image on the wall.  I can't do this experiment today, because there are no sunspots.

(5) Another shocking thing about the AGW theory is that it is generating a loss of true scientific knowledge. The great astronomer William Herschel, the discoverer of the planet Uranus, observed in the early 1800's that warm weather was correlated with sunspot number.  Herschel noticed that warmer weather meant better crops, and thus fewer sunspots meant higher grain prices.  The AGW people are trying to do a disappearing act on these observations. Some are trying to deny the existence of the Maunder Minimum.   

(6) AGW supporters are also bringing back the Inquisition, where the power of the state is used to silence one's scientific opponents.  The case of  Bjorn Lomborg is illustrative.  Lomborg is a tenured professor of mathematics in Denmark.  Shortly after his book, "The Skeptical Environmentalist," was published by Cambridge University Press, Lomborg was charged and convicted (later reversed) of scientific fraud for being critical of the "consensus" view on AGW and other environmental questions.  Had the conviction been upheld, Lomborg would have been fired.  

I find it very disturbing that part of the Danish Inquisition's case against Lomborg was written by John Holdren, Obama's new science advisor. Holdren has recently written that people like Lomborg are "dangerous."  I think it is people like Holdren who are dangerous, because they are willing to use state power to silence their scientific opponents.

(7) I agree with Dick Lindzen that the AGW nonsense is generated by government funding of science.  If a guy agrees with AGW, then he can get a government contract. If he is a skeptic, then no contract.  

See (8), and entire commentary, at:
Thanks to Hans Schreuder for this link





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