Thursday, August 18, 2011

Perry and Warming

Governor Perry made a stir yesterday when he made a statement about global warming. Here's what Perry actually said:

I do believe that the issue of global warming has been politicized. I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects. I think we're seeing, almost weekly or daily, scientists are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change. Yes, our climate has changed. They've been changing ever since the earth was formed. But I do not buy into a group of scientists who have in some cases [been] found to be manipulating this information. ...
The initial wire story that I saw skipped the first couple of sentences. This changes the statement.

Of course, the left is up in arms. The real question is if Perry's statement is justifiable?

First, has global warming become politicized? All you have to do is look at Perry's supporters and detractors to prove that statement.

So, has the data been manipulated? That is much harder to answer, mainly because a good portion of the data is is the keeping of global warming evangelists. We know that the raw data from ground sensors is altered to account for urban heat island effect but the exact mechanism for this is a closely guarded secret. We also know that the record for pre-1970 readings has been altered downward. Again, the reason for this is a secret. Part of the ClimateGate emails was a discussion on how to refuse freedom of information requests so that this data could be reviewed.

There are three bodies that monitor global temperature. One of them is NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory which is run by Dr. James Hansen. Hansen is also a leading voice in the debate and a dedicated believer. He once compared coal cars to the Holocaust. His own record on predictions is rather poor. In 2000 he was asked what the climate in New York City would be like in 2010. He predicted that part of the island would be underwater and that high rise buildings would have covered their windows because of the increase in high-speed wind. Given that nothing remotely like this happened, why would anyone believe further predictions? Hansen has also made large sums in speaking fees. I can give other examples but you get the idea.

So, Perry is on firm ground in making this statement.

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