NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

SHOUTING FIRE

March 25, 2010

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is engaged in many dubious practices in its meta-analysis of academic climate researchers' original data.  Perhaps the most egregious was emphasizing a projection that a group of Himalayan glaciers would melt by the year 2035

The actual projection, made in a 1996 report by a British scientist, was that the glaciers might melt by the year 2350; the date seems to have been transposed in a typological error by an inattentive graduate student.  The IPCC went with the graduate student's error rather than the actual data which were readily available, says Liberty.  Moreover, the IPCC engaged in some cruder tricks.

  • Beginning in the early 1990s, it removed data from weather stations at high elevations, higher latitudes, and rural areas (all likely to report cooler temperatures) in order to gin up a "warming trend" in its published reports.
  • The weakness and sleaziness of these tricks explain why the IPCC and global warming activists shout down skeptical questions with rhetoric about "broad consensus" and "settled science."

The scientific method is a way of discovering observable truths about the world around us.  A scientist's data has to be reproducible; hiding data and discouraging others from questioning it is unethical. 

Yet proponents of anthropogenic global warming and various statist responses have behaved in unscientific ways.  Their commitments to statist agendas trump their commitments to science, says Liberty.

Source: Jim Walsh, "Shouting Fire," Liberty, April 2010.

For text: Liberty Magazine, April 2010.

 

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