Inconveniencing inconvenient truth

Geophysicist David Deming (an associate professor of arts and sciences at the University of Oklahoma) says that global warming advocates want to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period:

Around 1996, I became aware of how corrupt and ideologically driven current climate research can be. A major researcher working on climate change confided in me that the factual record needed to be altered so people would become alarmed over global warming. He said, "We have to get rid of the Medieval Warm Period."

The Medieval Warm Period was a time of unusually warm weather that began around 1000 A.D. and persisted until a cold period known as the "Little Ice Age" took hold in the 14th and 15th centuries. The warmer climate of the Medieval Warm Period was accompanied by a remarkable flowering of prosperity, knowledge and art in Europe. But the existence of the Medieval Warm Period was an "inconvenient truth" for true believers in global warming. It needed to be erased from history so people could become convinced that present temperatures were truly anomalous. Unfortunately, the prostitution of science to environmental ideology is all too common.

Sen. Inhofe is not only correct in his view on global warming, but courageous to insist on truth, objectivity and sound science. Truth in science doesn't depend on human consensus or political correctness. The fact that the majority of journalists and pundits bray like sheep is meaningless. Galileo, another "social dinosaur," said, "The crowd of fools who know nothing is infinite."

Actually, they do a pretty good job of simply ignoring the Medieval Warm Period, as if it never happened. Here's Brian Carnell:
Not surprisingly, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's climate models simply ignore the Medieval Warm Period. The models simply compare current temperatures to those of the immediately preceding pre-industrial societies. It is almost as if the Medieval Warm Period simply never happened as far as the IPCC is concerned (which makes it a lot easier to claim the current warming trend is completely unprecedented and, therefore, must be due to human-induced changes in the climate.
There's also a serious effort to discredit (or belittle) the Medieval Warm Period, which was accepted until the 1990s. So now the battle over the Medieval Warm Period is being fought largely between skeptics and true believers, as this BBC article on stalagmite data reveals:
the researchers analysing SPA-12 say that the stalagmite's temperature record is corroborated by ice-core records from Greenland and sediment deposits on the sea floor near Bermuda, both of which show evidence for a Medieval Warm Period.

The implications of SPA-12 will stoke up what is already an acrimonious debate between global warming sceptics and the scientific "consensus".

The latter say the hockey stick profile of recent temperature change is now evident from several studies using different raw data and methodologies.

The former argue the present climate is experiencing a natural rebound and that the IPCC should abandon the hockey stick and return to its 1990 position when the existence of the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Warm Period were recognised as more significant climate events.

There's also an exhaustive Harvard study which concluded that the Medieval Warm Period not only existed, but that temperatures of the 20th century are generally cooler:
Smithsonian astronomers Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas, with co-authors Craig Idso and Sherwood Idso (Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change) and David Legates (Center for Climatic Research, University of Delaware), compiled and examined results from more than 240 research papers published by thousands of researchers over the past four decades. Their report, covering a multitude of geophysical and biological climate indicators, provides a detailed look at climate changes that occurred in different regions around the world over the last 1000 years.

"Many true research advances in reconstructing ancient climates have occurred over the past two decades," Soon says, "so we felt it was time to pull together a large sample of recent studies from the last 5-10 years and look for patterns of variability and change. In fact, clear patterns did emerge showing that regions worldwide experienced the highs of the Medieval Warm Period and lows of the Little Ice Age, and that 20th century temperatures are generally cooler than during the medieval warmth."

But scientific opinion is becoming as political as Amazon book reviews.

Global warming skeptics are lucky if they're only considered dangerous morons. The recent trend is to compare "Global Warming Deniers" to Holocaust Deniers, and to advocate Nuremburg trials for them (about as sensible an idea as proposing war crimes tribunals for landlords who allow smoking.)

Whatever the issue, hysteria only heightens my skepticism.

posted by Eric on 10.16.06 at 05:02 PM










Comments

Here's an interesting and apparently objective blog by a meteorologist at Texas A&M.

Science and Politics of Global Climate Change
http://sciencepoliticsclimatechange.blogspot.com/

beloml   ·  October 17, 2006 10:00 AM

I'm beginning to wonder how I'm going raise a properly educated child(ren) in the midst of such politically driven education system as it now stands. When (s)he goes to school am I supposed to have a correction cirriculum when they come home? I just see having a parent teacher meeting where the teacher accuses me of allowing my child to subvert their authority. I'll then be accused of being an unfit parent and have a nice visit from child services. Ah I just can't wait.

Seriously though, taking a look at any media today (Studio 60 being the latest example) the idea that the earth is warming and it's all our fault is so ingrained now, there may be no coming back. Because we all know the rich don't pay their fair share of the taxes.

CTDeLude   ·  October 17, 2006 3:41 PM

This article is perverting science. This Medieval Warm Period, of which there are a couple of in the time of 1000-1400, is nothing compared to the temperature increases we are seeing now. Compared to departures in temperature from 1961-1990 averages in degrees celcius of about +.1 during those warm periods, we are now expiriences changes of up to +.7

The reason this Medieval Warm Period is ignored is because it is insignificant and does not discredit rising temperatures now.

So yes, human activity is increasing temperatures. Global warming isn't a political issue; it is a moral issue concerning whether we are going to come together as a people and preserve a future for our civilization.

Joel   ·  October 29, 2006 5:57 PM

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