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Recommended Reading (click the text)

Grand dream loses sheen in glare of daylight - Michael Finnegan and Gale Holland in the Los Angeles Times

An official employed by a group of colleges was prepared to spend $1 billion on renewable energy projects - even though power costs these colleges less than $8 million a year. [backup link]

Florida insurers rely on dubioius storm model - Paige St. John in the Sarasota Herald Tribune

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change bases its predictions on climate models and expert opinion. When insurance companies tried that approach consumers were hit with $82 billion in premium increases - but the predicted hurricanes didn't materialize. [backup link]

Another triumph for the greens - Jonathan V Last in The Weekly Standard

Is your dishwasher not working as well as it used to? Blame environmentalists - who have a bad habit of converting reasonable concern into unreasonable demands. The results are often unintended, unexpected, and far-reaching.

Denying the Catastrophe: The Science of the Climate Skeptic's Position - Warren Meyer in Forbes

The author of the ClimateSkeptic.com blog explains that the we're-all-gonna-die global warming hypothesis rests on a two-part theory. The first part - that CO2 emissions cause minor warming - is generally accepted by all parties. It's the second part that skeptics dispute - the belief that modest warming will be amplified by positive feedbacks and will then turn disastrous. This depends on the highly contested "notion that the Earthís climate (unlike nearly every other natural system) is dominated by positive feedbacks."

Kyoto Fraud Revealed - Walter Russell Mead in the American Interest

A scathing denunciation, from a liberal point-of-view, of the sort of Green thinking that insisted the Kyoto Protocol made sense. This peice also gives the media a proper dressing down: "It is extremely rare for 95 US senators to be right about anything; it is not, unfortunately, rare for environmentalists to come up with grotesquely bad policy ideas. Worse, it is routine for the media to give those grotesquely dumb ideas uncritical support. For twenty years, the mainstream media has...largely repeated green propaganda as straight news."

Digging Up the Roots of the IPCC - Tony Gilland, witing at Spiked-Online.com

This writer notes that the "IPCC, an unelected body, holds an unprecedented influence on the lives of everyone on the planet - and any attempt to question this body's legitimacy or actions is shouted down as 'denial' of the scientific facts." A thought-provoking essay which argues that there are political and cultural reasons why climate science seems to have leapt from "rudimentary findings to catclysmic worst-case scenarios."

The Greening of Godzilla - Walter Russell Mead in the American Interest

A brilliant essay that accuses environmentalists of embracing many of the principles they've historically opposed. "When it comes to climate change, the environmental movement has gotten itself on the wrong side of doubt. It has become the voice of the establishment, of the tenured, of the technocrats. ...The political, cultural, business and scientific establishments stand firmly behind global warming today...They tell us itís a sin to question the consensus, the sign of bad moral character to doubt."

What the Earth Knows - Robert B. Laughlin in the American Scholar

A Nobel laureate argues that "Any serious conversation about the planetís climate" needs to incorporate an appreciation of the Earth's vast geological history. "Climate change," he says, "is a matter of geologic time, something that the earth routinely does on its own without asking anyoneís permission or explaining itself." The middle section of this essay is a little tough going, but the beginning and end are excellent.

Global Warming Advocacy Science: a Cross Examination - an 82-page PDF by Jason Scott Johnston, University of Pennsylvania Law School

"[M]y cross examination has...revealed that on virtually every major issue in climate change science, the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's assessment reports] and other summarizing work by leading climate establishment scientists have adopted various rhetorical strategies that seem to systematically conceal or minimize what appear to be fundamental scientific uncertainties or even disagreements. The bulk of this paper proceeds by cataloguing, and illustrating with concrete climate science examples, the various rhetorical techniques employed by the IPCC and other climate change scientist/advocates in an attempt to bolster their position, and to minimize or ignore conflicting scientific evidence."

When to Doubt a Scientific 'Consensus' - Jay Richards in The American

An excellent discussion which argues that a consensus is not the same as evidence, and points out that "with really well-established scientific theories, you never hear about consensus. No one talks about the consensus that the planets orbit the sun, that the hydrogen molecule is lighter than the oxygen molecule...when youíve got decisive scientific evidence on your side, you argue the evidence. When youíve got great arguments, you make the arguments. When you donít have decisive evidence or great arguments, you claim consensus."

It's Always the End of the World As We Know It - a New York Times opinion piece by Denis Dutton

End of the world scenarios - and a belief that humanity will be punished by the gods, Mother Nature, or by our own technological inventions - are ancient ideas that continue to have a powerful grip on our imaginations. This article adds some much-needed historical context to the discussion of impending climate catastrophe.

Wikipedia's Climate Doctor - a column by Lawrence Solomon in the National Post

The climategate e-mails revealed that William Connelly, who appointed himself arbiter of all things climate on Wikipedia, is an official member of the RealClimate.org team - a blog run by activist scientists who are notorious for deleting reader comments that dispute their views. This article notes Connelly single-handedly created or re-wrote 5,428 Wikipedia entries, deleted 500 more, and was responsible for having 2,000 other Wikipedia contributors banned.

Global Warming with the Lid Off - a Wall Street Journal editorial

A good intro to some of the more disturbing aspects of "Climategate" - the release of thousands of e-mails and other documents from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) of the UK's East Anglia University by a hacker or whistleblower in late 2009. The CRU is a prominent center for climate study and the e-mails reveal close relationships with many well-known climatologists elsewhere. These documents suggest that, rather than being dispassionate scholars, some of these scientists have morphed into activists who apparently feel exempt from commonplace checks-and-balances such as the need for one's scientific findings to be replicated by independent third parties.

A Skeptical Take on Global Warming - meteorologist Matt Rogers blogging at the Washington Post

As he lists 10 reasons why he feels skepticism is warranted, this writer embeds links directly to his source material. A recurring theme: complex systems are not easily predicted. (The global warming argument is based on what certain experts think will happen in the future.) Observes this writer: "We poor hapless meteorologists learned the chaos theory lesson long ago."

Kyoto Protocol Based on Flawed Statistics - a 12-page PDF of a 2005 Dutch magazine article by Marcel Crok (translated)

An overview of the Michael Mann "hockey stick" controversy. This article notes that Mann and others have been less-than-cooperative about sharing their source data so that their calculations may be verified. The peer-review process failed to spot serious concerns with the iconic hockey stick graph, which was later distributed far and wide by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. "Mann denies any errors and rejects any criticism in strident tones."

Does Global Warming Diminish With Accurate Temperature Measurements? (Part 4) - Thomas Fuller

This author, who believes in global warming, points out that NASA curiously eschews satellite temperature data in favor of (compromised) land-based temperature readings. NASA then uses proprietary software to crunch the numbers - software designed by militant environmental activist James Hansen. While satellite data shows that temperatures have been cooling recently, Hansen's data indicates steady warming.

The Double Standard in Environmental Science - a 7-page PDF of an article by Stanley W. Trimble, soil erosion expert

This author argues that research findings that suggest we're making environmental progress get rejected by prestigious journals, even though they're based on decades of real-world measurements. Yet papers that reach alarming conclusions get published, even when their authors have little expertise and scant data. This article suggests politics have unduly influenced journal publication decisions since at least the early 1980s. When prestigious journals exhibit long term, overt bias, who can society depend on for reliable information?

Does Global Warming Diminish With Accurate Temperature Measurements? (Part 2) - Thomas Fuller

This author believes in global warming. Nevertheless, he notes that there are problems with the way temperatures are measured which, in turn, cast doubt on recent observed trends. "[T]he fact that global warming as measured to date is almost exactly equal to the adjustments performed to the data makes some sensible people queasy..."

A Tale of Two Scientific Consensuses - Ronald Bailey, Reason magazine

While environmentalists insist that the "scientific consensus" on global warming trumps all dissent, these same groups reject the broad scientific consensus that says genetically modified foods are safe. For some people, therefore, "scientific consensus" is merely a convenient talking point in the global warming debate - not a cherished principle on which they consistently base their positions.

Why the EPA Should Have Listened to Alan Carlin on Global Warming - Thomas Fuller

This author believes global warming is a problem. But he points out that the US Environmental Protection Agency is basing 2009 decisions on a report that considered only pre-2006 research. "70% of everything written about [climate models] has been published in the past 5 years."

The Wrong Trousers: Radically Rethinking Climate Policy - a 47-page PDF by Gwyn Prins and Steve Rayner (professors from Oxford University and the London School of Economics)

These writers believe in global warming theory. However, they explain why the Kyoto Protocol is an abject failure and warn that pursuing more Kyoto-style initiatives will do little to help the environment.

[read a
blog post about their paper]

Global Warming: Forecasts by Scientists versus Scientific Forecasts - a 27-page PDF by Kesten C. Green and J. Scott Armstrong (professors from Australia's Monash University and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania)

These writers explain that while a body of research has identified best practices with respect to making forecasts, the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) appears unacquainted with this research. As a result, the methods used by the IPCC to predict future global warming contravene basic forecasting principles.

Science, Belief and Rational Debate - an editorial appearing in the Scientific Alliance Newsletter

A brief overview of the scientific method. Discusses how "scientific consensus" is typically achieved and then modified when new information becomes available. In the case of global warming theory, this editorial alleges that new information is being rejected out-of-hand rather than evaluated seriously. Contains a few typos.