Excerpt from a story by statistician William M. Briggs
There are two stories floating around about the state of the earth’s atmosphere. Both are believed true by government-funded scientists and the environmentally minded. The situation is curious because the stories don’t mesh. Yet, as I said, both are believed. Worse, neither is true.
Story number one is that this year will be the hottest ever. And number two is that the reason it is not hot is because “natural variation” has masked or stalled man-caused global warming.
Which is it? Either it’s hotter than ever or it isn’t. If it is, then (it is implied) man-caused global warming has not “paused.” If it isn’t, if man-caused global warming has “paused,” then it is not growing hotter.
There are two things to keep straight: (1) why these divergent contentions are believed, and (2) why they are incompatible and individually false. The first point is easy. Climatology has become a branch of politics. And in politics, particularly in our rambunctious democracy, statements asserted in the name of some political goal are usually believed or at least supported by those who share the goal. It is necessary for global-warming-of-doom to be true in order to attain the government’s goal (of increasing in size and power), so any statement which supports global warming is likely to be touted by government supporters, even mutually incompatible statements.
Scientists — and some very big names indeed — who have made their living on government grants, and who provide arguments in line with the government’s desire that global-warming-of-doom be true, recently wrote a letter to the President and Attorney General asking these officials to criminally prosecute under the RICO Act scientists like myself and organizations that might fund me. Which scientists and organizations? Those, they say, who have “knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change, as a means to forestall America’s response to climate change.”
In other words, arguments put forth by independent scientists and organizations that do not support the government’s line cannot be considered science, but should instead be classified as criminal acts. Incidentally, it has come out that the scientist leading the effort to prosecute the innocent has “paid himself & his wife $1.5 million from gov’t climate grants for part-time work.” Climatology is thus a branch of politics. Quod erat demonstrandum.
I’m no politician and can’t predict what will come of this. But I am a scientist and know good physics from bad. To understand why the claims about the atmosphere mentioned above are false, it is necessary to grasp, at least in broad outline, some rather complicated statistics and physics. Let’s try.
Read the rest of the story here: