Thursday, April 11, 2013

Scientist Defends Colleague Criticized for Daring to Challenge the Anthropogenic Global Warming Theory

I couldn't have said it better myself.  University of Oklahoma Professor David Deming writes in defense of Dr. [Don] Easterbrook, geology professor emeritus at Western Washington University, who dared to question the anthropogenic global warming orthodoxy.  As I have said before, it is critical that our scientists present their findings honestly and without political slant...and welcome skepticism about those findings.  Yet time and time again skeptics in the scientific community who dare to question the global warming theory are ostracized and ridiculed by colleagues.  That is not what science is about.  Dr. Deming's letter, in full, follows:
Dr. David Deming, University of Oklahoma
I write in rebuttal to the March 31 letter by WWU geology faculty criticizing Dr. Don Easterbrook. I have a Ph.D in geophysics and have published research papers on climate change in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. In 2006 I testified before the US Senate on global warming. Additionally, I am the author of a three-volume history of science.
I have never met Don Easterbrook. I write not so much to defend him as to expose the ignorance exhibited in the letter authored by WWU geology faculty. Their attack on Dr. Easterbrook is the most egregious example of pedantic buffoonery since the Pigeon League conspired against Galileo in the seventeenth century. Skepticism is essential to science. But the goal of the geology faculty at WWU seems to be to suppress critical inquiry and insist on dogmatic adherence to ideology.
The WWU faculty never defined the term “global warming” but described it as “very real,” as if it were possible for something to be more real than real. They claimed that the evidence in support of this “very real” global warming was “overwhelming.” Yet they could not find space in their letter to cite a single specific fact that supports their thesis.
There is significant evidence that would tend to falsify global warming. The mean global air temperature has not risen for the last fifteen years. At the end of March the global extent of sea ice was above the long-term average and higher than it was in March of 1980. Last December, snow cover in the northern hemisphere was at the highest level since record keeping began in 1966. The UK just experienced the coldest March of the last fifty years. There has been no increase in droughts or wildfires. Worldwide hurricane and cyclone activity is near a forty-year low.
One might think that the foregoing facts would raise doubts in scientists interested in pursuing objective truth. But global warming is not so much a scientific theory subject to empirical falsification as it is a political ideology that must be fiercely defended in defiance of every fact to the contrary. In the past few years we have been told that not only hot weather but cold weather is caused by global warming. The blizzards that struck the east coast of the US in 2010 were attributed to global warming. Every weather event–hot, cold, wet or dry–is said to be caused by global warming. The theory that explains everything explains nothing.
Among the gems in the endless litany of nonsense we are subjected to are claims that global warming causes earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. Last year we were warned that global warming would turn us all into hobbits, the mythical creatures from J. R. R. Tolkien’s novels. I am not aware of any member of the WWU geology faculty criticizing these ridiculous claims. Their vehemence seems to be reserved for honest skeptics like Dr. Easterbrook who advance science by asking hard questions.
At the heart of the WWU geology faculty criticisms was the claim that peer review creates objective and reliable knowledge. Nonsense. Peer review produces opinions. Scientists, like other people, have political beliefs, ideological orientations, and personal views that strain their scientific objectivity. One of the most disgusting things to emerge from the 2009 Climategate emails was the revelation of an attempt to subvert the peer-review process by suppressing the publication of work that was scientifically sound but contrary to the reviewer’s personal views.
The infamous phrase “hide the decline” refers to an instance where a global warming alarmist omitted data that contradicted his personal belief that the world was warming. This sort of bias is not limited but pervasive. Neither is science a foolproof method for producing absolute truth. Scientific knowledge is always tentative and subject to revision. The entire history of science is littered with discarded theories once thought to be incontrovertible truths.
The WWU geology faculty letter asserted that technological advances arise from application of the scientific method. They claimed that airplanes were invented by scientists. But the Wright brothers were bicycle mechanics–not scientists. The modern age of personal computing began in a suburban California garage in 1976. The most significant technological advance in human history was the Industrial Revolution in Britain that occurred from 1760 through 1830. When Adam Smith toured factories and inquired as to who had invented the new machinery, the answer was always the same: the common workman. Antibiotics were not discovered through the rigorous application of scientific methodology but serendipitously when Fleming noticed in 1928 that mold suppressed bacterial growth.
Dr. Easterbrook’s contributions have furthered the advance of scientific knowledge and the progress of the human race. It matters not if a multitude of professors oppose him. As Galileo explained, it is “certain that the number of those who reason well in difficult matters is much smaller than the number of those who reason badly….reasoning is like running and not like carrying, and one Arab steed will outrun a hundred jackasses.”
David Deming
Professor of Arts & Sciences
University of Oklahoma


varangianguard said...

Paul, you being very, very naughty. Prof. Deming has an axe to grind himself about this subject. You should have at least mentioned it.

Pete Boggs said...

Climate fraud is thug-ocracy scheming to beat up citizens with falsehoods & take their money.

Here's the latest on climate fraud from Lord Monkton (an expert on the subject, to the extent they exist anywhere):

Unigov said...

The Global Warming (or Climate Change) racket is a naked statist effort to accomplish what old-fashioned Marxism had yet to do - gain complete control over industry and people's everyday lives. The people most certain of, and invested in, Global Warming, are politicians, bureacrats, and other government employees, such as state university scientists. The hard left has gone so far as to recommend arresting people who disagree with their agenda.

Even before recent events, the Global Warming agenda was full of holes:

1) It's predicated on warming being man-made (anthropogenic), in spite of evidence that solar activity is a major factor.
2) The anthropogenic aspect is so important because that means global warming could be corrected through various "controls".
3) Such controls include harsh limits on economic activity, plus a cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions, plus imposition of idiotic contrivances like CFL bulbs and the Toyota Prius. (CFL bulbs contain mercury, and are inferior in every way to LED. A Prius over its lifetime from raw material to eventual scrapyard, uses more energy than a gas-guzzling pickup truck.)
4) Yet all the controls imagined would have an infinitesimal impact on global temperatures, as has been documented universally.
5) The controls therefore have little to do with reducing global warming, and more to do with enriching the political class in the name of wealth transfer.

Recent events such as described in The Economist show that warming stopped about 15 years ago. The leftist's model for global warming can now clearly be seen as the ruse it always was:

For pointing out the BS in the left's agenda, they would call me whatever names are in fashion. Yet I fully support common sense approaches like insulation, higher CAFE standards (long opposed by the damn UAW), and the abandonment of the materialism that defines our society. But to the left, that's not enough, because the left wants to call all the shots. Without a catastrophe to take advantage of, their statist push goes nowhere.

I also think office workers should either (a) telecommute or (b) live close to where they work. But to the left, that's not enough, because the left wants rail transport.

The left doesn't give a sh*t about global warming or tranit options for the poor - they start with "solutions" that advance their cause, then wrap those solutions in feel-good ideals.

draxolotl said...

Oh come on, have you even looked at the scads of very clear data that are out there, or have you just prayed and had God tell you that everything will be all right? At this point, denying anthropogenic climate change is akin to insisting that the Earth is the center of the universe - both positions are unsupportable and obstructive of technological progress, and therefore deserving of ridicule.