Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Trio on Goofball Wormening

I have been keeping what little track of the expanding scandal that is the Hadley Climate Research Unit's hacked e-mails as I can over the holidays and into this week. The American Thinker has had several good articles on that scandal over the last several days. First up is James Lewis, writing yesterday, in a piece entitled Obama and the CRUddites of Britain. Likening the CRU to the 18th century Luddites, who tried to destroy the most advanced technology at the time, he takes a whack at the CRUddites. But the juicy parts are where Lewis brings Algore, Phil Jones, Michael Mann, James Hansen, the BBC, the Guardian the Times, the Daily Mail and Obama himself under the lens, then backs off and lets the sun do the sizzling. The most remarkable has been Obama. Why would he decide to go to Copenhagen after the scandal broke, and he could see that the jig was up? According to Lewis, it is because he has ties to the folks in Chicago who stand to make billions of dollars from Cap 'n Tax. But this is sheer lunacy, and he has to know that he is committing political suicide, or does he? Go read the whole thing, though, for the fantastic number of ways Lewis uses to describe "fraudulent."

All that aside, Peter Landesman has an article explaining why the climate models are fundamentally flawed, and it has to do with the Mathematics of Global Warming. Anyone who has ever watched the television show "Numbers" no doubt has an exaggerated view of what can be done with mathematics. What isn't shown, or is glossed over, is the simplifying assumptions that have to be made to solve many of the problems in the time necessary to catch the miscreant du jour. It's all very entertaining television, and I like it because it puts mathematics in a starring role instead of the usual brute force types. But as you will see in Landesman's piece, there really are mathematical problems that are beyond our ability to solve, and forecasting global climate is one. When I first read about climate models predicting that our world would heat up, my first reaction was to ask what they had used to verify that the models worked? I asked how they explained previous warming when no one was about, much less driving SUVs? I was told that I was asking the wrong questions (and of course that the sciences was settled, and I should just sit down and shut up.) I never learned what were the "right" questions, so I continued to ask. Turns out, I was asking the right questions.

Then there is Bruce Walker's The Ghost of Lysenko to remind us all of what happens when ideology is used to determine evidence, rather than letting the evidence inform our ideology. Just go read the whole thing. It isn't that long.

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