Holy Skewed Temperature Samples, Batman!

Just because some call it “science” does not make it so:

Eighty-nine percent of official U.S. temperature measurement stations are corrupted by poor site selection that gives false warming signals, according to a new study  by meteorologist Anthony Watts.

According to the federal government’s own siting criteria, the corrupting influences at those stations create a margin of error larger than the entire asserted warming of the twentieth century.

Eighty. Nine. Percent.

For those who don’t understand how embarrassing this is for the entire CO2-is-warming-the-planet theory, let me explain.

There are two key points here: the climate data itself is corrupted, and the climate models that use that data are unproven.

Climate Data is Corrupted

Computer models are the main support for the idea that CO2 warms the planet in the first place. There is no other evidence, to my knowledge, that supports CO2 as a primary driver for warming. These models are pretty much it. In fact, historical ice cores show the opposite, that CO2 is a symptom of warming, not a cause, and that the CO2 buildup lags the warming by about 800 years.

Those computer models, of course, need a bunch of historical data points as input in order to crunch the numbers and make predictions into the future.

Among the data they need, of course, is temperature data. And apparently, 89% of that data is basically garbage.

If the input data is garbage, then it doesn’t matter how great the rest of the modeling software is, the conclusions it presents are garbage too.

Climate Models are Unproven

And as it happens, the computer models used by the IPCC are suspect as well, because they haven’t published the source code so that it can be peer reviewed. Here’s why that is important.

I’ve worked in the software industry for over 25 years, most of that as a software developer. Computers are not magic. They can only do what the code they are running tells them to do. If that code has even minor errors in logic, the results are suspect.

To accept the conclusions of a software model that predicts the future, obviously you have no reality to compare the model’s conclusions with. So you need to have a “code review” by unbiased software developers who did not write that code, in order to check for logic errors, remove potential biases, ask questions like “why are you doing this here”, etc. It has to be examined, line by line, to see exactly what is going on in there, what inputs it is using, what it does with those inputs, the assumptions it makes about the effect of the different inputs, etc.

For all we know, a climate software model that hasn’t had a code review could be reading Ted Williams’ stats from baseball-reference.com and then saying “look, the planet is heating up!”. Who really knows? You can’t. Computer software is inherently secretive unless the source code is accessible to experts who can de-cipher it.

And until that code is available for the experts to examine, the models themselves are little more than a plaything.

What Science Does and Does Not Look Like

Yet, somehow, these playthings have been accepted as proof positive by the IPCC and the various governmental agencies the world over. They are untroubled by the lack of accountability on the part of the climate modelers.

That, my friends, is “advocacy”, not “science”.

So. The temperature samples are flawed, and so are the climate models that use the temperatures samples as input. Which means we have not just one, but two layers of obfuscation hampering our predictive ability regarding climate.

And according to the article above, the margin of error just from the bad sampling methodology alone is greater than the entire asserted warming of the twentieth century. Let that soak in for a second.

We keep hearing about a “scientific consensus” that CO2 is warming the planet. What does all of the above that tell you about the “scientists” who formed that consensus? What does it tell you about the degree of confidence we can have in their conclusions?

Science isn’t about “consensus”. This ain’t American Idol.

Science is about proof, and facts, and using those facts to prove (or disprove) theories. Scientists are supposed to be their own worst critics, and turn every implicit assumption on it’s head, and try to disprove their own theory. The science itself must stand on its own, otherwise, it’s bad science, and deserves to be ignored.

Where is the skepticism, the sharing of ideas, the spirit of pushing knowledge forward for the good of all mankind?

Real scientists do not hide their methods and threaten their questioners. Real scientists welcome examination of their data and methods in a spirit of inquiry and the advancement of mankind.

But in today’s increasingly bizarre world, to question any of this is to risk being considered a lunatic. Supposedly, the sane people are the ones who believe in skewed samples and flawed models. How did that happen? It’s like Pope Benedict and Galileo all over again. As Pope John Paul said about that dark period of scientific history, “This led them unduly to transpose into the realm of the doctrine of the faith, a question which in fact pertained to scientific investigation.” And so it seems to be happening again.

But as I must constantly remind myself, global warming isn’t about science, it’s about politics and using fear to scare us into supporting new taxes on our energy use and lifestyle.

And it is all based on the most ridiculous “science” one could possibly imagine: bad data feeding bad models. Now hand over your money!

I am always open to theories that are logically sensible and supported by evidence. And I invite anybody who disagrees with my points above to both (a) point me to a qualified review of any IPCC climate modeling source code, AND (b) disprove the conclusions of Anthony Watts regarding corrupted temperature samples. Real science requires that *all* of the steps along the way be correct. Every. Step.

Until such time, I’ll be disregarding all talk about warming the planet with CO2.

And I have to say I’m not wild about money-grubbing politicians and “scientists” using advocacy and obfuscation to deceive me into throwing money at them, on the pretense that it will fix a future problem for which there is no reliable supporting evidence.

Sorry, I’m not riding that train. Why would anybody?

  1. Peter Gentala said:

    For years the scientists who did not agree with the CO2 Global Warming Theory repeatedly would say that the “Global Warming” data were flawed, that the data model really only fit 30 years (and not the full historical evidenc), and that the “Global Warming scientists” (yes I put scientist in quotes) hijacked the “science” and pushed everyone else out of the arena, effectively becoming politicians in and of themselves.

    After reading about the data 10 years ago, I came to the conclusion that I need not really concern myself with CO2 global warming, not only because of the skewed data, but because their entire premise did not fit historical evidence (except for their precious 30 years) and those scientists never really gave a good explanation to counter the facts presented against them. I became alarmed only when politicians started to jump on the bandwagon and I realized it would cause much needed resources to be diverted to bunk science instead of important matters at hand.

    Now grant you that I am aligned with some of the end results that the global warming enthusiasts would supposedly produce, as I am all for oil independence for politics’ sake and all for clean air and a sound, healthy environment. On the other hand, hearing incessantly about how the sea level will rise and cover New York and other precious coastal cities (something I actually heard in school 30 years ago that would happen by 2000) , how hurricanes are getting worse (or is it really the population base and business worth in the coastal areas that is rising?), how animals are dying (the polar bear population is actually increasing), how the poorer nations will be made poorer and the richer nations richer (how they come up with that in a predicted wetter earth, and therefore intuitively more fecundous earth, I can’t fathom), and even how Colorado skiing will be affected (won’t there be more snow?) — all of these and many many more “products” of global warming (I laugh many times at what is attributed to global warming that people must think it is some sort of god), lead me to call for action against it.

    I call on every man, woman, and especially the politicians and the young (who seem to invariably fall into cliqueish circles and “agree with everyone else” without really doing the research) to study both sides of the issue. See the flaws in arguments from both sides, and then make up your own decision.

    I, for my part, have found that government is quick to join the bandwagon, not because they are a part of some grand consipiracy, but they see it as a good tool to raise revenue. Lately and sadly, that’s all I believe politicians are able and willing to do. I call on politicians to end the drive to seek more revenue, but rather to do more with what they have, to end the corruption of being bribed to vote for something, and even to end the appearance of such corruption (no more trips to the Bahamas to go to a pharmaceutical convention, etc.). I call upon all citizens of this nation to demand such a change from their representatives, both in local and national governments.

  2. Excellent remarks, and thanks for commenting at length.

    Full agreement here on politicians doing nothing but rubber-stamping tax increases and cutting back-room deals to enrich themselves and the politically connected. I long for the day when “the people” wake up to this fraud, and get really p*ssed about it.