Science is on nobody’s side in the contentious debate about “global warming.” That is because you can find data on either side of the argument to prove or disprove whatever you want, just as the Bible is often used in the same way. Science is agnostic, not a “believer” or a “denier.”
Unfortunately, California Gov. Jerry Brown’s Office of Planning and Research launched a website last week to deny the “global warming deniers.” No sooner than the website was launched than global warming skeptic Anthony Watts found a chart on the governor’s website that contained a “glaring error.” The Office of Planning and Research had to remove the chart.
Here’s a copy of the spiked chart, which also is on Anthony Watts’ website “Watts Up With That?”
In other words, the governor’s Office of Planning and Research put up a chart with temperature data over a 117-year period that only reported the temperature for four months of each year from January to April. Temperatures were reported for only one-third of every year.
Ken Alex of the Office of Planning and Research sent Anthony Watts the following email acknowledging the error and stating that the chart was removed.
“From: Ken Alex
“Date: Monday, August 20, 2012 3:19 PM
“To: ‘Anthony Watts — TV Weather’
“Subject: RE: Your page on climate has a glaring error
“Dear Mr. Watts
“Thanks again for reviewing our ‘Climate Change: Just the Facts’ website. We followed up on the issue that you raised and discovered that, as you pointed out, one of the charts on our website shows only one scenario, while the tool we link to can provide a range of scenarios for data from 1885-2012. Rather than show one data set, we have instead decided to remove this chart and link directly to the resource. We hope people viewing our website will explore this resource to see wealth of climatic data that has been collected.
This is not what should be called “science.” It is an example of cherry picking data to suit your purposes.
Correlation is Not Causation
And as it is often said in statistics, “correlation is not causation.” You can find a linear relationship between, say, the number of gang-related homicides and hot summer nights. But hot summer nights do not “cause” homicides any more than global warming causes gang murders or living next to a freeway with high levels of carbon dioxide causes heart attacks. That is a statistical correlation that confirms your prior belief system that Big Corporations cause deaths. But if freeways caused heart attacks, then why is there a greater incidence of heart attacks in cold weather and in cold climates?
Climate is a more complex natural phenomenon than can be explained by linear charts on either side of the debate. But the governor’s Office of Planning and Research “denier” website is chock full of such charts. As the above email from the Office of Planning and Research states:
“We hope people viewing our website will explore this resource to see wealth of climatic data that has been collected.”
The problem is that there is a mass of equally convincing contrary data that has been collected on global warming “denier” websites.
Science Not On Side of Brown’s Cap & Trade Taxing Machine
Politicians for hundreds of years have been saying, “Science is on my side” of some political debate. Global warming is not only an annual multi-billion-dollar governmental research industry, it has now morphed into the justification for Brown’s huge Cap and Trade taxation machine. Brown wants $1 billion in Cap and Trade pollution taxes to go toward funding his bullet-train project. So he has to assure that science is on his side in the global warming debate.
Medieval kings used the ancient “science” of alchemy to deter invasion by enemy armies. Medieval princes would claim that they had an alchemist who could turn lead into gold that could then be used to buy a mercenary army to fight on their side in a war.
As the governor’s “denier” website states:
“Many (deniers) receive funding for their efforts from industries with a financial interest in ignoring climate change. Oil companies, coal-burning electric utilities, and other companies that make their profits from burning fossil fuels have funded denier organizations and scientists, just as tobacco companies funded people who claimed that second-hand smoke was safe.”
The same statement could be made about global warming scientists working for the government.
But why are so many distinguished global warming scientists retired who have no financial gain from government research grants or employment by petroleum industries? Global warming is not science or anti-science. It is a sociological and political phenomenon that depends on one’s social location and financial gain.
I guess the above case of the erroneous global warming chart could humorously be called a case of “denying the global warming anti-deniers.” But who can understand what a sentence with so many double negatives means? Global warming must have made me do it. Or maybe it was global anti-warming?
(Wayne Lusvardi is a political commentator and writes for CalWatchdog. Originally posted on CalWatchdog.)