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Recent Weather & Climate Change

When it is unseasonably cool, I often post about it and include the global warming tag. For the sake of fairness I suppose I should post something about the heatwave we have been going through. True, it is July. But record high temperatures have been reached in many places, including here in Charlotte.

Clarence Page, an AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming)  believer, wrote about the heat wave in a recent Chicago Tribune piece. He gloats quite a bit, and I really can't blame him. I've done the same thing, and will probably do it again. But I'll show no such charity towards his opening sentence:

Here's a question to the global warming deniers who sarcastically called me a dope during last winter's back-to-back-to-back blizzards on the East Coast: Is it hot enough for you now?

Clarence, I don't think the global warming deniers were being sarcastic when they called you a dope. If they wanted to tell you you were a dope in a sarcastic way, they would have called you "genius" or "brainiac". They really believed you were a dope. That's not to say you are one (although given that lead it might not be an unfair charge.) You need to make sure of what you are saying, Einstein. (Calling you EInstein was sarcasm, BTW.)

Another recent news event that bolstered the AGW  theory are the results of an investigation into the leaked emails from East Anglia Univeristy. The results were mostly exonerative. According to lead investigator  Sir Muir Russell “The honesty and rigour of CRU as scientists are not in doubt ...We have not found any evidence of behaviour that might undermine the IPCC processes and hence call into question the conclusions of the IPCC assessments in this area.”  This statement doesn't pose the challenge to my views that the recent heat wave does. The former is an opinion, the latter is empirical evidence.

From a few news articles I've read, Russell was not completely uncritical of the East Anglia scientists. That's not really damning. In fact, it's to be expected...it would raise even more questions if he had no criticisms. There is a pretty good article about the review at The National Post. Fred Pearce also wrote an interesting piece on it in The Guardian.

While these recent developments have humbled me, they haven't brought me around to the other side. On the other hand, I can't say I'm going to "stick to my guns". Sticking to guns is what got us into this epistemological morass in the first place. Scientists need to be transparent & rigorous, and everyone needs to follow the facts where they lead and not cherry-pick.

I just hope someday we will reach the point that conversations about the weather don't have to turn into political arguments. I'm not holding my breath though.