Monday, November 30, 2009
I couldn't agree more with Tom's post below about Andrew Revkin's damage control. Revkin is not acting like a (old style objective) journalist, but as a defense lawyer for the Global Warming lobby. It is too tiresome to detail the ways in which this is true.
But here is one thing that is interesting. Take a look at those graphs at Revkin's post: the temperatures are declining significantly in the 2000s. I don't remember seeing those in the past. I guess that's what happens when you have been caught with your pants down trying to hide the decline; you can't hide it anymore.
My friend Jonathan Adler points to Revkin's post for support, noting that "there are four 20th century near-surface global average temperature data sets that track each other fairly closely." But for the reasons that Tom (and I previously) points out -- one needs to know whether the same methods have been used for them -- this does not help that much.
Jonathan also mentions that most of the skeptics accept that human activity is contributing to a modest warming. I tend to find such claims unexceptionable, but not all that relevant. If the temperature record were revised, these claims might go away. But even if modest warming claims turn out to be true, that would be a far cry from the bill of goods that the Global Warming alarmists are trying to sell us. Climategate is not about whether some modest warming or no warming is attributable to human causes. It is about whether there is a legitimate scientific basis for the more alarmist consensus.
Update: Also, take a look at Roger Pielke's criticisms about CRU's claims of independence.