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House of Commons Finds No Evidence of Tampering In Climate E-mails 650

Posted by timothy
from the this-won't-change-your-mind dept.
dwguenther writes "The first of several British investigations into the e-mails leaked from one of the world's leading climate research centers has largely vindicated the scientists involved. The House of Commons' Science and Technology Committee said Wednesday that they'd seen no evidence to support charges that the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit ... had tampered with data or perverted the peer review process to exaggerate the threat of global warming." According to the article, the head of committee which produced the report "said the lawmakers had been in a rush to publish something before Britain's next national election, which is widely expected in just over a month's time"; two further inquiries are to examine the issue more closely. The "e-mails appeared to show scientists berating skeptics in sometimes intensely personal attacks, discussing ways to shield their data from public records laws, and discussing ways to keep skeptics' research out of peer-reviewed journals," but the committee concluded that East Anglia researcher Phil Jones was not part of a conspiracy to hide evidence that weakens the case for global warming.
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House of Commons Finds No Evidence of Tampering In Climate E-mails

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @02:35PM (#31691928)

    The appalling quality of the software used to model the situation (not flagging errors, but carrying on regardless) makes any conclusion pretty much worth less than the paper on which it is written

  • Very Strange (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @02:37PM (#31691976)

    That is strange.

    Phil Jones admitted it.

  • quid pro quo (Score:4, Interesting)

    by roc97007 (608802) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @02:43PM (#31692066) Journal

    I heard about this yesterday and it seems like a deal was struck. Phil Jones steps down, and the house of commons declines to charge him. We'll never know, of course.

  • Re:Don't worry (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jav1231 (539129) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @02:45PM (#31692094)
    RTFA, it does find that they had a keen interest in stonewalling critics. So much for peer review, taking some criticism, and I dunno integrity?

    Truth should be easy to defend. There's not much scientific integrity if you have to stifle descent.

    Also FTFA: "Lawmakers stressed that their report — which was written after only a single day of oral testimony — did not cover all the issues and would not be as in-depth as the two other inquiries into the e-mail scandal that are still pending."

    As Winston Wolfe said: "Let's not start sucking each other's dicks just yet, Gentlemen."
  • by Mindcontrolled (1388007) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @02:46PM (#31692128)
    While I agree that cooling would in all likelihood have more negative results, I can't agree that global warming is a globally positive effect. First, I believe the science to be accurate enough from what I do understand of it. While higher CO2 and temperatures might lead to higher crop yields in some regions, it might also lead to major shifts in rainfall patterns, either drying out current crop growing regions or drowning them, which can also cause mass starvations and migrations. And that is just one effect I can think of. Loss of usefulness of coastal regions which provide food for millions, disturbance of ocean acidity and thereby the whole oceanic ecosystem and the possibility of runaway feedback loops like the dissolution of methane clathrates are other possible problems.

    The rational response to the possibility of severe consequences like those would be to focus our research on those consequences and on possibilities to adapt to them. The CO2 reduction goals that are talked about at the moment are probably illusionary. The easily reachable fossil fuels are gonna be burned - if not by the West, then by China or by industrializing third world countries. The goal has to be preparing for possible consequences.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @02:48PM (#31692162)
    So a whole day of "investigation" is enough to convince you that something which was called "global cooling caused by fossil fuels" just 36 years ago is real?
  • by aztracker1 (702135) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @03:04PM (#31692446) Homepage
    Being prepared to adapt is a lot different than trying to adjust the climate of the world as a whole, while letting some countries continue as they have and holding others to economically crushing scrutiny. I'd rather see research, or hell even funding for moving large quantities of water across the country, similar to the power grid, but for water. Also, since solar power can be utilized to separate the Hydrogen in water, it can be a relatively safe power storage medium. The key is being able to mobilize the water resources to areas with more sunlight, such a system could be adapted, if widely distributed enough to account for many shifts in climate throughout the country (or continents for that matter). It could help farming and agriculture as well. Planning for varying future results is quite a bit different than beating the rhythm drums and praying.
  • Re:Vindication (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jtorkbob (885054) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @03:06PM (#31692474) Homepage

    Why would I apologize? Not that I'm a basher, more of a civilized critic. This report, while it doesn't implicate him in a "conspiracy", also readily admits that he's been treating people with my point of view as mere obstructions to his mission. My impression of Mr. Jones is that he believes firmly that something must be done about CO2 and the problems that come with it, all for very good reasons.

    I also suspect that he knows that the normalization of the data would not hold up to scrutiny, but in his view there is too much at stake to risk the public airing of that laundry. His heart is in the right place, but I happen to believe quite firmly that the growing apathy regarding climate change is a perfect example of why we can't put all our environmental eggs in one basket. Why can't we just focus more on particulate emissions, groundwater contamination, and dozens of other issues which have clearly visible impacts on the biological world?

  • Re:Don't worry (Score:2, Interesting)

    by phoenix321 (734987) * on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @03:10PM (#31692524)

    I'm glad we get back to real, actual science on this issue. With potentially falsifiable claims, experiments, theoretical, provable predictions and the possibility for all peers to independently verify each experiment, statistical analysis and data collection effort.

    Not like in bogey-science, where opposing views are heretics, underlying data is top-secret, claims are even theoretically falsifiable only after waiting at least 30 years, all anecdotal evidence in favor is significant and all anecdotal evidence to the contrary is just coincidence.

    Which would be a shame to bet billions of Dollars on, to reduce 30% of the countrie's share of about 10% of emissions of a molecule that has a 0.001% share in the entire atmosphere and of which only 10% is human-made at all.

    And while we're in science-land, we probably can explain how heavier-than-air molecules are supposedly floating in the upper levels of the atmosphere for extended amounts of time while preventing the oh-so-precious heat loss of our planet. I'm not even talking about how 0.001% of all air molecules could stop a significant fraction of all infrared radiation or how these molecules supposedly always reflect their absorbed energies back towards the Earth instead of reflecting them in all random directions including sideways or deflected into space, despite rolling around in what is a perfect Brownian motion. Just tell us how molecules that are quite a bit heavier than air manage to stay up in the stratosphere for long enough to have any substantial and lasting effect. I'm very interested in hearing this since that would revolutionize air travel when we can lift airships with cheap and abundant CO2 instead of pesky H2 or expensive He.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @03:20PM (#31692700)
    Tell that to the bottom line of my business. When freon was declared a culprit, the expenses of my business nearly quadrupled and I had to shut down because I couldn't afford to keep up anymore. I shut down and went to work for someone else and my income was more than cut in half. No economic harm here, you idiot!
  • You mean this data? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @03:27PM (#31692822)

    Decide for yourself!
    http://www.heartland.org/books/PDFs/SurfaceStations.pdf [heartland.org]

    Major report by Anthony Watts on junk surface stations
    "Executive Summary: Global warming is one of the most serious issues of our times. Some experts claim the rise in temperature during the past century was "unprecedented" and proof that immediate action to reduce human greenhouse gas emissions must begin. Other experts say the warming was very modest and the case for action has yet to be made.

    The reliability of data used to document temperature trends is of great importance in this debate. We can't know for sure if global warming is a problem if we can't trust the data.

    The official record of temperatures in the continental United States comes from a network of 1,221 climate-monitoring stations overseen by the National Weather Service, a department of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Until now, no one had ever conducted a comprehensive review of the quality of the measurement environment of those stations.

    During the past few years I recruited a team of more than 650 volunteers to visually inspect and photographically document more than 860 of these temperature stations. We were shocked by what we found.

    We found stations located next to the exhaust fans of air conditioning units, surrounded by asphalt parking lots and roads, on blistering-hot rooftops, and near sidewalks and buildings that absorb and radiate heat. We found 68 stations located at wastewater treatment plants, where the process of waste digestion causes temperatures to be higher than in surrounding areas.

    In fact, we found that 89 percent of the stations - nearly 9 of every 10 - fail to meet the National Weather Service's own siting requirements that stations must be 30 meters (about 100 feet) or more away from an artificial heating or radiating/reflecting heat source.

    In other words, 9 of every 10 stations are likely reporting higher or rising temperatures because they are badly sited.

    It gets worse. We observed that changes in the technology of temperature stations over time also has caused them to report a false warming trend. We found major gaps in the data record that were filled in with data from nearby sites, a practice that propagates and compounds errors. We found that adjustments to the data by both NOAA and another government agency, NASA, cause recent temperatures to look even higher.

    The conclusion is inescapable: The U.S. temperature record is unreliable.

    The errors in the record exceed by a wide margin the purported rise in temperature of 0.7 C (about 1.2 F) during the twentieth century. Consequently, this record should not be cited as evidence of any trend in temperature that may have occurred across the U.S. during the past century. Since the U.S. record is thought to be "the best in the world," it follows that the global database is likely similarly compromised and unreliable.

    This report presents actual photos of more than 100 temperature stations in the U.S., many of them demonstrating vividly the siting issues we found to be rampant in the network. Photographs of all 865 stations that have been surveyed so far can be found at www.surfacestations.org, where station photos can be browsed by state or searched for by name." "Is the U.S. Temperature Record Reliable?" h/t Roger Pielke Sr.

  • CRU and Madoff (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Jerry (6400) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @03:35PM (#31692972)

    I was amazed when a CNN reporter asked Al Gore about the CRU emails. Gore said they were "old news" because they are "10 years old". When I checked my copy of the emails I found the most recent was just 5 days before they were released:
    From: "Thorne, Peter (Climate Research)"
    To: "Phil Jones"

    Subject: Letter draft
    Date: Thu, 12 Nov 2009 14:17:44

    So much for Gore's "analysis" of the emails.

    I have been struggling to reduce Climategate to something easier for folks to comprehend, and to help them realize the media's duplicity in the whole Climategate affair.

    A few weeks ago I was watching a PBS show recounting the Bernie Madoff pyramid scheme. The parallels are amazing. Then it hit me...

    CRU is to science as Madoff is to investing.

    What catalyzed that thought was an interview on CNN where an AGW scientist proffered the reason why, despite the revelations in the FOIA files, the science was still good: "Who could keep a conspiracy like that going for so long among so many scientists?", she replied.

    Madoff worked his scheme for over 40 years. That's how long. The CRU scheme has been running for almost 20 years. Madoff's 19th floor office in the Lipstick building, where he conducted his marketing campaign and gave tours for the curious, could be compared to the IPCC. He bogus trading statements were created on the 17th floor, which would be the CRU. We learned in the "HARRY_README.TXT" file that since 1990 the temperature proxies had been "synthetic", "homogenized" so much that they bore little resemblance to the raw data, which the emails say had actually been thrown away so they couldn't be used later to discredit their work, and Harry documented many examples of how that was done. Only a fool or a conspirator would accept the the "trick" and "hide the decline" as anything less than what it was, scientific fraud. Why would so many conspire in the AGW fraud? Madoff PAID influential investment firms to funnel investors into his scheme. The UN and various government agencies around the world PAID scientists to generate what the emails called "deliverables", which were published in climate journals which didn't require data archiving. So, what were other scientists "peer reviewing" when they didn't have access to the data on which the published research was based? To avoid that question peer review committees were stuffed with other scientists also paid to generate "deliverables".

    The IPCC wanted these "deliverables" to "prove" that CO2 generated by the First World was THE cause of claimed temperature rises. With that "fact" the UN could then call for justice and demand redistributing the "right to burn Carbon", in the form of "Carbon Credits" to the poorer nations so their standards of living could rise, while the First World's dropped, and everyone would become equal Carbon consumers somewhere in a happy middle. Classic Marxist dialectical materialism, which may explain why the left wing of the media was only too happy to play their part in publishing the "alarming news".

    In 2002 a talented statistician reverse engineered the market performance of Madoff's hedge funds. After four hours of analysis he uncovered eight facts which proved that Madoff's hedge fund was a pyramid scheme. He wrote up his finding and sent it to the SEC, which would the equivalent to climate journals. The SEC sat on the information for years and did nothing. Similarly, the climate journals refused to publish McIntyre's and McKitrick's analysis of Briffa's hockey stick report. Then, five years later, another person reverse engineered the Madoff hedge fund performance history and established twenty one points demonstrating that Madoff's market performance was bogus, and sent it to the SEC. It took the SEC a couple years and a visit to the 19th floor for the SEC to issue a report clearing Madoff of any misconduct.

    Then the market crashed. In hearings before Congress the SEC refused to comment because "the matter is under investigation". Cong

  • by GooberToo (74388) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @03:42PM (#31693060)

    I fall into an odd category. I believe GW exists. I don't believe there is evidence which supports man is the sole cause. Personally, I'm extremely perplexed by those who don't believe in GW, but I digress. According to the people who actually develop advanced climate computer simulations, their own models are flawed and still need lots of continued research, development, and new data. Every year, as new data comes out, they are forced to further adjust their entire models; which seemingly don't even correlate over decades, let alone centuries.

    Not the least of which, and extremely interesting to me, science has proved magnetic pole reversal is a real phenomenon here on Earth. More recent research, which was until fairly recently unknown, indicates as the poles continue to migrate away from their axial locations, the Earth's magnetosphere will continue to weaken. This is a historical fact that such things have repeatedly happened in the past. As the magnetosphere weakens, much more radiation reaches the Earth's surface. While its known it poses a risk to both life and artificial satellites, I've not heard of any research which attempts to correlate huge increases of radiation and significantly weakened magnetosphere protection with climate research. Oddly enough, I have repeatedly heard astrophysicists who claim only minor solar output changes can drastically affect climate change. In this case, seemingly, solar output need not change since the levels received are increasing because of a naturally occurring decrease in Earth's protection.

    Since the weakening of the magnetosphere and its inverse increase of radiation seems to mirror that of climate change, to which man is attributed, it seems to shout loudly that those who claim man is behind GW, are woefully ignorant. Especially since I'm not aware of any such research. And ultimately, that's the real problem. The more we learn, the more we learn we don't know or understand. We are constantly finding significant and new, first order variables which drive our climate. And yet while we know we don't understand how lots of lots of things work which directly drive our climate, people are more than willing to shout from the rooftop the sky is falling when in fact, we know we don't really know. Lastly, for every new first order variable discovered, all previous climate models are completely invalidated. And while we know for a fact the models have been completely invalidates at least three times, I've not heard any mumblings of such from the very people who directly benefit from continued grants.

    To me, this stinks to high heaven of some seriously bad pseudo-science. And not surprisingly, we're hearing more and more of exactly that. So while I'm not saying man isn't behind GW, I'm saying anyone who attempts to authoritatively state man is behind it, likely is up for more grant money; or ignorantly parroting accordingly. For all I know, man may be behind, but the science doesn't really provide that answer; at least not yet. To date, all research seems to indicate, we really don't have a fucking clue.

  • by ultranova (717540) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @03:52PM (#31693220)

    There are no easy answers.

    Of course, that's an easy answer in itself and therefore wrong :^).

    The more complete answer would be that easy and simple answers are abstractions. "All politicians are liars" is a rule of thumb; there are exceptions, but if you can't or won't invest the time and effort to examine the issue in more depth, going by that simple soundbite is going to make you right more often than wrong. Even more importantly, it's going to make you right when it matters; you won't fall a victim to propaganda as easily if you remember it can't be trusted.

  • by Alexandra Erenhart (880036) <saiyanprincess@g ... SD.com minus bsd> on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @03:54PM (#31693248) Homepage
    You talk about the "unused" lands in all those countries like if they were completely empty, waiting to be farmed in leu of higher temperatures. But what you usually find there are forests, whole ecosystems, glaciars, and other types of natural features. So you wanna raze them all to the ground and make them farm? why don't just start now razing our natural resources for land? Let's start with the Amazonas! oh wait....
  • by Moryath (553296) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @03:58PM (#31693308)

    The problem with "cap and trade" is that it is set up to be another corrupt program in the vein of the pre-NAFTA "licenses to sell peanuts" in the US, which made it so a host of white farmers (whose families had owned all the available licenses since the original program had been established) made $$$ selling theirs domestically, while newcoming white/latino/african-american farmers made... well... "peanuts" being forced to sell theirs to Canada, Mexico, or overseas instead in the globally competitive market.

  • by mschuyler (197441) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:15PM (#31693536) Homepage Journal

    I'm one of those people who downloaded the 40MB foia.zip file. I've read the emails. I've read the HARRYREADME file, and I've looked at the code examples. I get the impression from reading the comments here that most people have not actually done that. Oh, they'll say "The data proves" but they haven't actually LOOKED at the data. I would have thought that slashdot readers, being the objective technically-minded people they say they are, would have wanted to tear into that code and take a look.

    What you will find is really fascinating. It's not very good. Climate scientists, on the whole, aren't really very good programmers; and they are not good statisticians. Why should they be? You can't be expert in everything. So you have a situation where Michael Mann, for example, rather than use the statistical manipulation suite "R" instead used Fortran, sometimes. When you read through poor "Harry's" lament you find a kind of frustration only a programmer could feel. Missing data, bad data, programs that throw an error, don't tell you, and keep on going. Missing data sets for entire countries.

    Now, the essence of science is replicability, correct? If you're going to claim 'cold fusion' you publish your data and your methods and other scientists attempt to replicate your findings, or not. But the climate gate folks have steadfastly refused to release their methods, including their computer code, and the data they did release was not the data they used in their publications. Further, they 'lost' some data altogether.

    Let us turn to the most famous of the emails: "I've just used Mike's Nature trick to hide the decline." Jones says he used the word "trick" to mean a "clever thing to do." Let's look at his "cleverness." What he actually did is meld together the historical record, based on proxies like tree rings, and the more recent instrumental record. On the surface that looks like an okay thing to do, but why did he do it?

    The reason is that the tree ring data showed a warming since the early 1800's, and the instruments showed a warming since 1960 or so. Meld them together and you get warming! Global Warmimng! Yay! But why take out the tree ring data? Did it not continue and show warming into the nineties along with the instruments, thus verifying what these guys were saying?

    No, it did not, thus you have the problem of "divergence" which is a fancy way of saying the tree ring data wasn't cooperating and showed COOLING since 1960! Well, these Climategate guys decided it 'must be something else' so rather than include the tree ring signal, they CUT IT OFF to HIDE THE DECLINE it showed. Thus an 'inconvenient truth' was 'disappeared' in favor of not 'confusing' the issue. They were afraid that if they showed just this one tree-ring line in their spaghetti chart declining, they'd have to explain it.

    And they could not. In fact, the issue of the tree rings not cooperating calls into question using tree-ring data AT ALL. If it's not an accurate 'treemometer' how can you base historical climate on it? This is but one example of dozens and dozens of manipulations done by the Hockey Team as they attempt to salvage their careers and grants. It is simply not true that 'thousands of scientists' have replicated Global Warming. They have not. They have all used the same corrupted data sets in their calculations.

    The Himalayan glaciers are not disappearing. The rain foretss are not turning into grasslands. African crops are not failing. Arctic ice is normal in every respect. There were 2500 polar bears a couple of decades ago and now there are 15,000. The Antarctic has record ice. The Netherlands is not 50% below sea level and the sea levels are not rising any faster than they have since 1800. Hurricanes are not more frequent, nor are tornados. Forty years ago there were 6,000 surface-temperature measuring stations, but only 1,500 by 1990, which coincides with what global warming alarmists say was a record temperature increase. Most of the deleted stations were in colder regions. Geologists for Space

  • Re:Very Strange (Score:4, Interesting)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:19PM (#31693584) Journal

    Buzz! Wrong. We calibrate models on historic data and check if their predictions match the reality.

    Oh, let me guess, while you were reading my post, the entire time you were filled with an insatiable desire to find something wrong. You failed here though, because your statement in no way supports your theory that I am wrong. Calibrating models on historic data is an important check, but it in no way verifies that the model is correct, especially when the historical data available is so small (we can guess what was happening around the world 200 years ago with the temperature, but we don't actually know).

  • by Cyberax (705495) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:32PM (#31693724)

    Ok, I agree mostly.

    Though plants are not really limited by carbon's availability. They are limited by photosynthesis efficiency (which does not depend on CO2 concentration).

    So high CO2 does not directly benefits plants.

  • by Bigjeff5 (1143585) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:55PM (#31693988)

    Not to mention the fact that the air holds 1.4% more water at a 2 degree increase, so you'd see more clouds and more rainfall in the foodbelt. The foodbelt itself would widen, because land further north would be more hospitable to crops.

    It might suck a little for California, but then you'd gain much more California-like land elsewhere. It's very much a net gain.

  • Re:Very Strange (Score:1, Interesting)

    by finarfinjge (612748) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @04:59PM (#31694026)
    Climate science is not the only field that must calculate radiant heat loss in the atmosphere. If you back calculate the required emissivity to obtain the logarithmic increase in heat capture used in the climate models (the F = 5.35 ln [ CO2 ] ) you come up with radiant heat absorption that is not seen in other systems where the radiant heat is absorbed by the atmosphere. It is a fundamental premise in science that the laws apply no matter the system. As such, the climate model for absorption of CO2 should give the same results as other models in other fields that calculate radiant heat absorption in the atmosphere (models that have been used and improved continuously for decades before climate scientists started thinking about things). They do not, hence one must discard the above equation as overestimating the impact of CO2. The climate scientists reinvented the wheel when it came to radiant heat loss in the atmosphere. They got it very close, but there is a divergence. It occurs at about 50 ppm CO2. At about 200 ppm CO2 there will no longer be radiant heat absorption in the atmosphere. That is, at about 200 ppm, the absorption is maximized. I've seen arguments about "it's not a marker, it's a blanket" etc. The levels of CO2 up to 800 ppm atmospheric are within the limits of data for other fields (see Leckner and Hottel for methods). Put simply, there is too much CO2 in the atmosphere already. Adding more will not impact climate. Yes, this is my area of expertise. Most texts on heat transfer provide the method for calculating this. If you are beyond 2nd year physics and math, you will be able to prove this for yourself.
  • Re:Very Strange (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Cyberax (705495) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @05:16PM (#31694260)

    "As such, the climate model for absorption of CO2 should give the same results as other models in other fields that calculate radiant heat absorption in the atmosphere (models that have been used and improved continuously for decades before climate scientists started thinking about things)."

    They do. The basic radiative balance equations are bog standard.

    Also, provide concrete citations.

  • by jc42 (318812) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @05:51PM (#31694654) Homepage Journal

    Seems to me that the common sense approach is to invest heavily in technology to fix the problem, not invest heavily in public relations aimed at extending the problem. That way, we all win no matter what the truth is.

    That's almost true, but there's an important caveat: There's a small population of humans that are profiting from the current economic/industrial activities that are pushing the climate towards warming. Those people generally believe they will lose if the controls on their polluting activities are curtailed. Unfortunately for the rest of us, those people tend to be extremely wealthy, and have the means to fund PR campaigns, bribe legislators, etc., to ensure that their personal short-term economic interests aren't threatened.

    There's a long history showing that our industrial leaders don't, and never have, cared at all for the welfare of their workers. Workers are disposable cogs in the machinery. If their working environment results in poor health and an early death, the industrial leaders historically haven't cared at all, because there has always been a plentiful supply of young, healthy workers looking for jobs.

    This story isn't a scientific issue at all. Scientists tend to react to such things in a manner exemplified by the "cold fusion" story. Their initial reaction was "Well, that's really interesting. Let's start up a bunch of independent studies to replicate the results." Those studies all failed to replicate the results, so scientists just shrugged, and went about their lives studying other things.

    Most scientists have reacted to the kerfuffle over "global warming" pretty much the same way. In this case, of course, the independent studies have all pretty much pointed in the same direction. So the scientific consensus, achieved without much fuss several decades ago, is that the change is real. The remaining questions are in the details, which are slowly being worked out. One of the details, supported by quite a lot of independent studies, is that a fairly large fraction of the warming (perhaps more than 100% ;-), is the result of human activity. But even here, scientists tend to react with "Well, that's interesting" and call for further studies.

    Meanwhile, over in the industrial, economic, and political spheres, the reaction has been rather different. This story is about part of that. And so far, it's been mostly a lot of smoke and PR, with very little in the way of testable facts.

    One things we can be fairly sure, though, is that the pressure and funding for the anti-global warming (AGW? ;-) campaign gets a good deal of support from the small fraction of the population who believe they'll lose if the process is curtailed. And we're talking about people who are threatened with the loss of many millions of dollars of annual bonus money. So we can expect the pseudo-debate to continue indefinitely.

    (And here in New England, we'll continue to hear the running jokes about all the people in New Hampshire and Maine who thing that global warming sounds like a fine idea. I've heard similar jokes in French from the Québecois folks further north. ;-)

  • by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @09:28PM (#31696560)

    So what you're saying then is that we should have a carbon tax?

    Let's be sure we aren't in "Perfect Solution" world where we reject every proposal if it has any flaws. Or reject entire concepts because implementation isn't perfected.

    I'm not for cap and trade. I'm for a carbon tax personally but I'll accept cap and trade over "let's just wait a few more decades and see if the problem doesn't just go away."

  • Scots Verdict (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dausha (546002) on Wednesday March 31, 2010 @10:11PM (#31696880) Homepage

    This is what we call a Scot's Verdict. It's not that the Commons absolved them of wrong doing. It's just "Not proven."

    "The result is the modern perception that the 'not proven' verdict is an acquittal used when the judge or jury does not have enough evidence to convict but is not sufficiently convinced of the defendant's innocence to bring in a "not guilty" verdict. Essentially, the judge or jury is unconvinced that the suspect is innocent, but has insufficient evidence to the contrary."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Not_proven [wikipedia.org]

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