Climategate: Shameless Science
Without a blush of shame, this week's Science magazine just ran an article called "Contributions of stratospheric water vapor to decadal changes in the rate of Global Warming." After wiping off the unnecessary words we're left with: "Global Warming would be here -- except for that damned water vapor." It's the "woulda coulda shoulda" of the True Believers.
Al Gore's Ptolemaic epicycles are being rolled onto the scientific stage, to be piled higher and deeper until they fit the curve of real temperatures -- a nearly flat line with a little bit of jitter. You could just turn it into a single equation: T = 70°F on an average day, for the average weather station around the world.
But ... if you've been betting your whole career on planetary doom, you might try adding enough stratospheric water vapor to your predicted (but never observed) global warming, and yes, then your computer model can still explain why global warming ain't happening.
Personally, I'd go for the flat line. It's a lot simpler.
Oh, global warming is so 2009. Last year they told us it was already happening. Run for your lives, kids! It was "settled science." Rational skeptics were "deniers" and James Hansen wanted them all in jail for "crimes against humanity." Obama promised with that great messianic reverb on his woofers to "stop the seas from ri-ising!" 'Cause ... 'cause the polar bears were dying! Vanuatu was slipping under the ocean! And it's all your fault! And we need the money! (That's nine trillion dollars, according to Lord Nicholas Stern, the British economist who gave us the official price tag.)
Alas, now they're telling us that Warmageddon has been postponed. Dr. Phil Jones testified that no warming has been observed for 15 years. But hellfire and brimstone are still a'comin'! You jest wait, Jed!
I sometimes wonder if Al Gore was scared as a young child by an Elmer Gantry revival meeting back in rural Tennessee. Maybe his Dad, Al Gore Sr., took little Al along for a little politickin' at the tent meetin', and he learned all about Hell and damnation from the preacher.
Early childhood trauma from too many raucous Tennessee revival meetings -- it might explain a lot, including Al Jr.'s endless, fervent preaching about things he knows nothing about. This man can't handle open-minded questions. He's just like Elmer Gantry. Talk about rock-solid fundamentalism.
Dr. Roy Spencer has been one of the gutsy climate scientists pointing to water vapor as a temperature-modulating gas for a long, long time. It's not a secret. Hot water vapor is what makes steam locomotives run, after all, and that choo-choo sound comes from letting off steam pressure, just like Mother Earth must somehow do to maintain reasonable temperature constancy over millions of years. The Earth can pump that steam into the atmosphere, and get a little convection cooling into the bargain. All that H2O has to be a big factor in the Earth's heat budget. But not in the Gospel according to Al. There's a lot more money in carbon than in water vapor.
The striking fact about Earth's temperature is its stability over geological stretches of time, without any sudden ups and downs. The Earth has seen Ice Ages -- but they never reached the equator. It's seen volcanic explosions, asteroid impacts, changes in the Earth's tilt toward the sun. The Earth may have seen big variations in sun spots and cosmic radiation.
And yet, over the 200 million years of mammalian evolution the temperature hasn't changed enough to kill the mammals. Mammals could not survive fast, cataclysmic temperature shifts of ten, twenty, thirty degrees. Instead, temperature changes have been slow enough and small enough to allow for migration and adaptation. Extinctions happen, but enough species survive to carry on the same basic DNA, proteins, cells, and organ systems over hundreds of millions of years. That is amazing. The most basic fact of biology is its stability over geological stretches of time. Life is not fragile, contrary to all the propaganda. Earth isn't fragile. Life and the planet are amazingly robust. Think of it: hundreds of millions of years of essential stability.
Chances are that the Earth has many self-regulating feedback loops to keep things this stable. We have this convenient exchange with the plants -- we breathe out what they breathe in, and vice versa. That leads to rock-solid stability, not wild swings in the necessary conditions of life. Catastrophic scenarios are more Planet Hollywood than Planet Earth. Al Gore may look ready to burst, but the planet will survive.
The Earth hasn't blown up since animals and plants came into balance a billion years ago, give or take. But why not? Well, why don't your brains boil over on a hot day in June? Because your body has a lot of self-regulating mechanisms that make for stability even in the face of moderate changes. You sweat more on a hot day, and your dog breathes faster with his tongue out. You can stay in the shade and drink more water. Self-regulation is the story of life. It keeps us alive: the same blood pressure, same temp, same O2 and CO2. Think of it as the Mother Gaia hypothesis of the earth. Moms are also designed to survive.
The real catastrophe of global warming is the human disaster: the deep rot in the sciences that's been going on for decades by now, aided by corrupt politicians. Still, climate modelers are still fiddling with their models even if they have to bet on outgassing from the other end of the digestive tract. Is global flatulence the next eco-scare? The EPA can tax and regulate any physiological function, just like the medieval Church. Some day this will all sound really funny, but first we have to drive the crooks and the frauds out of science. Consider how close they came to stealing those nine trillion dollars. There's no way it could have been "sloppy record keeping," as Dr. Phil Jones tried to tell the British Parliament.
"Pardon me for breathing" used to be a bad joke. Now exhaling CO2 has become a serious source of tax revenue. The carbon exchange market is said to be worth $200 to $300 billion dollars. When will that bubble burst, and will Obama's good buds at the Chicago Carbon Exchange blame him if it does? That's big money back in Chi Town. Maybe Obama should skip Chicago and retire to Hawaii instead?
"Real climate scientists" are easy to tell from the fakes, because they look at real evidence and don't throw their raw data away. They also don't pretend to know the climate a hundred years hence to the nearest degree. They are skeptical about grossly oversimplified computer models. Real climate scientists have nothing in common with climate videogamers -- but Science magazine is deliberately fuzzing up the difference. That is shameful.
In 1992, when professional doomsayer Paul Ehrlich wangled a ten year appointment for Donald Kennedy to be editor in chief of Science magazine, the planetary doomsters had reached the height of their power. Now Donald Kennedy has resigned. If Science wants to save its last shred of credibility it would be far better off keeping completely quiet on global warming. That's what their lawyers would advise them.
Science magazine is still trying to whistle past the biggest scientific graveyard in history. Nine trillion dollars can buy a lot of scientists, apparently. But the jig is up. The more they try to prop up this fraud, the more careers will be ruined.