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“A Scam, With No Basis In Science”

Our friend William Katz has been corresponding with physicist and mathematician Frank Tipler at Urgent Agenda on the subject of global warming. A few excerpts from Professor Tipler’s letter to Katz:

As regards global warming, my view is essentially the same as yours: Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is a scam, with no basis in science.

It is obvious that anthropogenic global warming is not science at all, because a scientific theory makes non-obvious predictions which are then compared with observations that the average person can check for himself. As we both know from our own observations, AGW theory has spectacularly failed to do this. The theory has predicted steadily increasing global temperatures, and this has been refuted by experience. NOW the global warmers claim that the Earth will enter a cooling period. In other words, whether the ice caps melt, or expand — whatever happens — the AGW theorists claim it confirms their theory. A perfect example of a pseudo-science like astrology.

In contrast, the alternative theory, that the increase and decrease of the Earth’s average temperature in the near term follows the sunspot number, agrees (roughly) with observation. And the observations were predicted before they occurred. This is good science.

I no longer trust “scientists” to report observations correctly. I think the data is adjusted to confirm, as far as possible, AGW. We’ve seen many recent cases where the data was cooked in climate studies. In one case, Hanson and company claimed that October 2008 was the warmest October on record. Watts looked at the data, and discovered that Hanson and company had used September’s temperatures for Russia rather than October’s. I’m not surprised to learn that September is hotter than October in the Northern hemisphere.

Another shocking thing about the AGW theory is that it is generating a loss of true scientific knowledge. The great astronomer William Herschel, the discoverer of the planet Uranus, observed in the early 1800′s that warm weather was correlated with sunspot number. Herschel noticed that warmer weather meant better crops, and thus fewer sunspots meant higher grain prices. The AGW people are trying to do a disappearing act on these observations. Some are trying to deny the existence of the Maunder Minimum.

Professor Tipler notes the discreditable role played by Obama’s chief science adviser, the left-wing partisan John Holdren:

AGW supporters are also bringing back the Inquisition, where the power of the state is used to silence one’s scientific opponents. The case of Bjorn Lomborg is illustrative. Lomborg is a tenured professor of mathematics in Denmark. Shortly after his book, “The Skeptical Environmentalist,” was published by Cambridge University Press, Lomborg was charged and convicted (later reversed) of scientific fraud for being critical of the “consensus” view on AGW and other environmental questions. Had the conviction been upheld, Lomborg would have been fired. …

I find it very disturbing that part of the Danish Inquisition’s case against Lomborg was written by John Holdren, Obama’s new science advisor. Holdren has recently written that people like Lomborg are “dangerous.” I think it is people like Holdren who are dangerous, because they are willing to use state power to silence their scientific opponents.

Finally, he points out how toxic the combination of government (which is to say, politics) and science can be:

I agree with Dick Lindzen that the AGW nonsense is generated by government funding of science. If a guy agrees with AGW, then he can get a government contract. If he is a skeptic, then no contract.

This is why I am astounded that people who should know better, like Newt Gingrich, advocate increased government funding for scientific research. We had better science, and a more rapid advance of science, in the early part of the 20th century when there was no centralized government funding for science. Einstein discovered relativity on his own time, while he was employed as a patent clerk. Where are the Einsteins of today? They would never be able to get a university job…

Science is an economic good like everything else, and it is very bad for production of high quality goods for the government to control the means of production. Why can’t Newt Gingrich understand this? Milton Friedman understood it, and advocated cutting off government funding for science.

Provocative stuff, but clearly correct insofar as it relates to global warming. In the Telegraph, Christopher Booker writes, “2008 was the year man-made global warming was disproved.” As usual, though, the politicians are lagging far behind the advance of scientific knowledge.

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