You can make a whole blog (a boring one) simply for the purposes of showing false claims by political activist climate scientists. The claim below is quoted from a Daily Mail article I ran into surfing the internet.
Dr Hawkins said: ‘There is undoubtedly some natural variability on top of the long-term downwards trend caused by the overall warming. This variability has probably contributed somewhat to the post-2000 steep declining trend, although the human-caused component still dominates
The error in his statement is that the human-caused component still dominates.
Anyone with any background in climate change science knows full well (or should) that the human component of observed warming is completely 100% unknown. Currently, it is statistically and mathematically inseparable from natural warming. The only thing we can do to separate human and natural warming is model the contributions mathematically and subtract. Today, climate models have failed by over-predicting warming. Since models have over-predicted warming by so much, all modeled differences between CO2 and natural warming effects are now nonsensical. We don’t have a value.
Dr. Hawkins, who I have no immediate knowledge of, isn’t changing his scientific opinion based on facts though. Unfortunately for science, the non-factual opinion is hardly unique. Bart Verheggan, who’s blog is linked on the right, did a study which I found interesting in that it is similar to John Cook’s recent 97% debacle in that it polled climate scientists to ask their opinion on various global warming questions.
One question was:
What fraction of global warming since the mid-20th century can be attributed to human induced increases in atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations?
– More than 100% (i.e. GHG warming has been partly offset by aerosolcooling)
– Between 76% and 100%
– Between 51% and 76%
– Between 26% and 50%
– Between 0 and 25%
– Less than 0% (i.e. anthropogenic GHG emissions have caused cooling)
– There has been no warming
– Unknown due to lack of knowledge
– I do not know
– Other (please specify)
From Bart’s post:
Consistent with other research, we found that the consensus is strongest for scientists with more relevant expertise and for scientists with more peer-reviewed publications. 90% of respondents with more than 10 climate-related peer-reviewed publications (about half of all respondents), agreed that anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHG) are the dominant driver of recent global warming.
This seems to agree with what we would expect, however there is a problem. The conclusion that human created GHG is THE dominant factor in global warming has absolutely no numerical foundation in the science. One wonders just what makes these scientists so certain! Yes there are papers on the matter of attribution, but those I have read are universally model based. There is nothing wrong with the concept of climate models, except that the ones relied on are now known to be non-functional. They have failed by overestimating global warming….dramatically.
As the models are known to have failed, the scientists in the survey who still claim humans are the primary cause for the very minimal warming we have observed, are acting as activists rather than scientists. The real answer is that we just don’t know. It is possible that these people have committed themselves in the past so strongly to the cause that a change in position is personally something they cannot handle. Being wrong isn’t much fun after all. Being publicly wrong on your field of expertise is worse I suppose. However, I believe that their political activism is more to blame than personal embarrassment over the failure of a climate model likely created by someone else.
Basically, because the question asked here can only be based on subjective opinion and not scientific fact, the questions of this survey are more interesting as a social study of the people involved. I see it as a referendum on the objectivity of the scientists in the field.
In addition, Bart reports that those more published in the field are more likely to claim that warming is primarily human induced. Were it simply a matter of personal embarrassment, wouldn’t a person with 10 publications have as much invested as one with 40? Perhaps not, but we also have knowledge that the field prefers those who advocate for political change and those are the scientists who receive the funding and cushy jobs with lots of research assistants to allow them the time to publish lots of papers. Claims sometimes made that are contrary to this fact are nonsense.
My reading of this aspect of his paper is therefore different. Bart Verheggen shows that the more popular individuals, that he claims have “more relevant expertise”, are more likely to make the claim that humans contribute more than 50% of warming is caused by GHG. A claim that is objectively unscientific.
We have a very big problem in our science when such a large fraction of the group is willing to claim an unscientific position in their field of study for unexplained reasons.
Since their belief is decidedly not evidence based, or they would certainly publish the proof, we can only conclude that it must be a faith. In this case, the group has expressed a non-factual faith that somehow humans must be the primary cause of warming. What drives this faith is not discussed in faith terms, and therefore must be a personal matter for each of them, driven by a wide variety of unseen truths believed but not discussed. Perhaps a group of fuzzy math papers or perhaps some other un-vetted statement they have heard from colleagues has seeded the thought. It is a faith, an unbreakable truth under which physical laws of reality must bend to comply. It is the only explanation for the fact that we regularly see climate observations fly in the face of the conclusions, yet the conclusions stand unaffected.
It is interesting to me that these same people don’t understand capitalism. My wild guess estimate is that 95% of climate scientist experts believe in evolution, yet generally don’t support free market capitalism, when they are actually the same thing. Each one representing a system reacting to conditions of the environment for maximum benefit. There is no such thing as truly free market and the value being optimized in both cases is different. Capitalism optimizing money and evolution optimizes survival but I don’t really understand how people hold polar opposite views on both matters. It seems to me that socialists shouldn’t believe in evolution, and capitalists should. The matter isn’t black and white and people are funny things so the evidence on which people make decisions regarding their core beliefs is beyond my understanding. I’m off topic a bit bit it leaves me wondering.
A link between politics and faith
Still, IPCC scientists in general regularly express the most powerful central government solutions imaginable. Discussions of limitations on environmental property rights, energy generation, transportation, speech of skeptics and even limiting reproduction are common themes in their world. The horrific outcomes of history do not seem to moderate the general beliefs of the community that more central government control of the population, is somehow a solution to human climate problems.
The belief in extraordinarily powerful governmental solutions to environmental concerns is also a faith they hold. It flies in the face of any rational observation of the performance of government, but for some reason it goes hand-in-hand with the same individuals who promote the faith-based form of climate science. It is clear from climategate emails and observations of universities across the country that socialists are the preferred employee for government organizations. The reinforcing effects of the governmental money source on political beliefs in these institutions creates a significant political imbalance in the population of scientists.
This self-sorting of people (climate scientists in this case) who hold generally extreme views of economics and government may lead to a general tendency for faith-based science. A claim could reasonably be made against what are often derogatorily termed religious conservatives, which in general, the climate science group openly despises. There is no governmental incentivized mechanism which funds religious conservatives into a multi-billion dollar global climate change sized industry speaking on a single topic. We could imagine a similar conservative faith-based science being forced upon us in that case as well, but that problem isn’t government funded and therefore is not a serious threat.
Other demonstrably false faith-based claims regularly made by main stream climate scientists:
Skeptics are oil funded;Hurricanes and storms increasing;Polar bears dying out;Economic disaster;Food supply shortages;Drought or excess rain;various green energy solutions;sea ice vanishing; — the list is quite a bit longer than this but you get the idea. These claims are all false.
The problem extends beyond that though. It pervades the field with false papers on historic temperatures taken from proxies, Antarctic warming, sea ice futures, shrinking fish, drought and hurricanes on and on and on… Literally false papers.
The evidence of their unstated faith is extensive. What is also in evidence is that you cannot argue a faith on a rational level. Like a religious argument, you are slamming into their personal defense mechanism which places walls between rational consideration and belief.
The petri dish
While it may seem unreasonable or even derrogatory for me to write the words above, this is not some ad-hominem attack on climate science but is rather my objective view of their bulk behaviors as an outsider. We have discussed before the fact that engineers and scientists in other fields get reasonably quick feedback when their ideas don’t live up to expectations. In climate science, the feedback is over decades of time, and often well exceeds the skyrocketing careers of the individuals making their projections. There is no feedback to the individuals for their product, so the product which looks the best for its purpose, is the product deemed best. It is only after decades that we realize that favored climate models who’s output predicted extreme warming, failed to match observation. Climate scientists aren’t used to being wrong. They don’t have a history of strong negative feedback on which to alter their understanding. Their reaction to this major failure of models has been a combination reticent correction and confused belief in future observations magically (unscientifically) coming into line.
The combination of pressures seems to have bred a generally narcissistic and overconfident group of people who fail to observe that the rest of the technical world is not buying into their global warming doom scenarios. Our failure to buy in is not due to lack of explanation, or technical expertise, or the implied fact that everyone but them has a self-organized but opposite political belief, but is rather due to the lack of scientific foundation these governmental organizations present in their argument. There is simply no evidence that global warming is severe, dangerous or anything but beneficial.
Despite the wide consensus on global warming disaster in climate science, I believe a polling of the technically literate world would result in discovery that the vast majority of the scientifically literate public are highly skeptical of global warming doom.