Thursday, June 21, 2007

Liberals and Global Warming

It was in my college days that I became aware of the calamity that was soon to befall America and the known world. It was the new Ice Age that was to come our way! There was Paul Ehrlich saying that the rise of aerosols was causing the climate to cool in his huge bestseller the "Population Bomb".

Newsweek Magazine on April 28, 1975 article in Newsweek magazine Titled "The Cooling World," it pointed to "ominous signs that the Earth's weather patterns have begun to change" and pointed to "a drop of half a degree [Fahrenheit] in average ground temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere between 1945 and 1968." The article claimed "The evidence in support of these predictions [of global cooling] has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it."

Peter Gwynne the author of this story said in Newsweek, "The evidence in support of these predictions has now begun to accumulate so massively that meteorologists are hard-pressed to keep up with it. In England, farmers have seen their growing season decline by about two weeks since 1950, with a resultant overall loss in grain production estimated at up to 100,000 tons annually. During the same time, the average temperature around the equator has risen by a fraction of a degree – a fraction that in some areas can mean drought and desolation. Last April, in the most devastating outbreak of tornadoes ever recorded, 148 twisters killed more than 300 people and caused half a billion dollars' worth of damage in 13 U.S. states."

Oh really, well, I was certainly taken up with the notion because I remember going to Safeway in Seal Beach California and having to make a hard choice. One that I made for my brothers and sisters who like me were fighting for the cause. I had moved to California after college days in Seattle, and within a year was working at an upscale Newport Beach eatery. It required the highest levels of personal grooming, style and frankly my Right Guard personal deodorant which had been a mainstay since college day. It had to go! Why, well, it was clear from the media that it was aerosols that were bringing the snows quite soon to L.A.. I turned to a roll-on just as New York turned to Hillary. Hoping not to sweat and to cut the stink. The jury is still out on one of those.

So as the blog discussion goes.....Which issue of Newsweek is one to believe the one of 1975 or today's. The rhetoric is vitriolic when it comes to the "reality" of Global Warming in this political climate. In from the cold, comes Edward J. Wegman who the author must disclose is neither a meteorologist or a climatologist. Mr. Wegman is a statistician. He teaches at George Mason and is chair of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Applied and Theoretical Statistics. His forte is numbers and what does the grouping of numbers say to us. The good Doctor has his masters and Phd. and twenty years of teaching in the field. You can check his stature in this little bio.

Dr. Wegman was brought in to review the reports of scientists which included one Michael Mann. It is the same Mann who made some of the largest claims about global warming using statistics from a study of his own which were presented to the US House of Representatives. It began a discussion, albeit one way-most liberals find it difficult having core spiritual beliefs challenged by facts, wherein Wegman identified and analyzed the content of the material used in the statistic of global warming.

Wegman believes that much of the climate science that has been done should be taken with a grain of salt -- although the studies may have been peer reviewed, the reviewers were often unqualified in statistics. Past studies, he believes, should be reassessed by competent statisticians and in future, the climate science world should do better at incorporating statistical know-how.

Lawrence Solomon, National Post
Published: Friday, February 02, 2007

Now before we start attacking Mr. Wegman, the University of Iowa had the misfortune of giving him their Distinguished Alumni Award in 2004 for his achievements in statistics. It is the same Dr. Wegman who coined the phrase computational statistics and developed a high-profile research area around this concept, which focused on techniques and methodologies that could not be achieved without the capabilities of modern computing resources and led to a revolution in contemporary statistical graphics.

Wegman states some clear but concise arguments:

1. Most of these climatologist and meteorologists are not
statisticians and make huge mistakes that are in the purveyance
of the statistical world.

2. If one wants good science then technical statisticians should
be found to handle the massive data that is attempted to be analyzed
centuries of temperature and environmental changes.

3. Bad science comes from bad data and what many in the scientific
community are basing their conclusions on is bad data.

The first and single most argument heard in the non-debate over global warming is that it is a "settled" scientific fact. It is only those who still have their proverbial heads in the ground and perhaps believe that the world is flat or 4,000 years old who could ever disagree with such a massive ecological truth that the world is in turmoil over global warming who might disagree. Mr. Wegman disagrees. He say something simple about data coined during the early years of the computer age.

"Garbage in-Garbage out"

Tough to write off Wegman as a crank or lunatic.......but you must remember if it is talking points one is interested in...the truth does not matter.


Blogger JC said...

The thing about ice age predictions in the 70's is it was cooling from the 50's to the 70's. And it was caused by aerosol pollution. So when the clean air act was introduced, the atmosphere cleaned up and the cooling effect reversed. For some reason, that whole period has become a reason to ignore global warming now.

What the 70's cooling should be is a reminder of how humans can impact the environment but if the people and government take action, it can be fixed. I hope that in 30 years time, we'll look back and think "thank goodness we got off our butts about reducing carbon emissions".

12:11 AM  
Blogger Mark for Cab & Chocolate said...

I enjoyed finishing Michael Crichton's "State of Fear", on my summers reading list for years. You ought to read it ...I did today watching my teenage son learn to "longsnap".

George Will writes of it: One of the good guys in "State of Fear" cites Montaigne's axiom: "Nothing is so firmly believed as that which least is known." Which is why 30 years ago the fashionable panic was about global cooling. The New York Times (Aug. 14, 1975) reported "many signs" that "Earth may be heading for another ice age." Science magazine (Dec. 10, 1976) warned about "extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation." "Continued rapid cooling of the Earth" (Global Ecology, 1971) could herald "a full-blown 10,000-year ice age" (Science, March 1, 1975). The Christian Science Monitor reported (Aug. 27, 1974) that Nebraska's armadillos were retreating south from the cooling.

George Will Dec 23, 2004

More to come on Crichton......good stuff this Doctor from Harvard, you know he wrote ER right??

4:42 PM  

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