Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Climategate 2.0

I've always been very suspicious of the claim that there is scientific consensus about global warming being caused by human activity.  Those making the claim have become increasingly shrill in declaring it, which made me even more suspicious.  In addition, there was far too much blatant lying and misrepresentation over the years.  Underlying all of that, however, there are serious scientists working earnestly on the topic, which is good.  But the fact of the matter is that there is not a scientific consensus.  There might be a significant majority of scientists (however that group is defined) who believe it, but that's far from the same thing.

I have looked into some of the research and have not been terribly impressed.  I'm no expert on the science of it all, but the computer models of climate look an awful lot like computer models of the economy.  I have a great deal of mistrust in the economic models, which are constructed by serious and earnest researchers, which makes me equally distrustful of climate models. The economy is just too complex to be modeled very well, and economists really don't know that much about how the economy works.  My sense is that climate scientists know even less about how climate works than economists know how the economy works.

All of these doubts were just suspicions and gut feelings, so I have never really expressed views about it.  I was hoping, rather naively I realize, that serious science might win out in the end, whichever way it went.  But there is mounting evidence that there isn't all that much serious science going on.  You might recall that a trove of embarrassing emails were release a couple of years ago that revealed some of the shamelessness of some climate scientists.  Well, a new trove has been released and, although the process has just begun, there appears to have been even more shameful behavior.  Here are two articles reporting some early findings (here and here)