AL Gore Fake News: Global Warming Edition?
Fake news has become part of the daily lexicon due to efforts of once respected news outlets such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN to destroy the candidacy and now the presidency of Donald Trump. Fake news is produced with the singular goal of advancing a political agenda – the agenda of the left.
Fake news has also permeated another cause near and dear to the left: climate change, formerly known as global warming.
The Daily Mail reported on a high-level whistleblower at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) revealing fake news from the government agency. Specifically, NOAA "[r]ushed to publish a landmark paper that exaggerated global warming and was timed to influence the historic Paris Agreement on climate change."
Why the NOAA publication? U.N. scientists in 2013 noted a "pause" in global warming since 1998, confounding Al Gore, Prince Charles, Barack Obama, Leo DiCaprio, and others riding the global warming bandwagon. This pause was problematic in that it threw the entire man-made global warming proposition back to the drawing board. Why was there such a pause? Industrial activity hadn't slowed. CO2 emissions were as robust as ever. The U.S. still hadn't joined the Kyoto treaty. Why would there be a pause?
The idea of a "pause" goes against the central premise of the climate change movement – that the planet is warming, that the warming is due to human activity, and that the warming can be stopped or reversed only by government intervention in terms of taxes and regulation.
The pause was reported in 2013: "[s]ince 1998, there has been an unexplained 'standstill' in the heating of the Earth's atmosphere." Not the "true planetary emergency" that Al Gore warned about in 2006.
When real scientists encounter contradictory data, they look at their original assumptions and hypothesis. That's the scientific method. Instead, the climate scientists changed how the data was collected, using a new method that would confirm their preconceived notions. Rather than collecting sea surface temperatures from buoys, they used ship-based temperature readings, which tend to be warmer, as the ship naturally warms the water around it. As the whistleblower put it, "they had good data from buoys. And they threw it out and 'corrected' it by using the bad data from ships."
It's much like a dieter not liking the reading from his bathroom scale. Why not buy a new scale that reads five pounds lighter? Voilà: the diet is working, and the pounds are coming off. That is precisely what the climate scientists did to disprove the pause.
Not only that, but the NOAA scientists failed to preserve their actual work. A key element of good scientific research is preserving the data in the event that the results need to be verified. Another group of scientists should be able to reproduce the research by following the initial study methodology and arrive at similar results. If not, then someone is wrong. Without the original data, we are left with a leap of faith that the NOAA scientists correctly recorded and analyzed the data.
If climate scientists were beyond reproach and the implications of this recent study were insignificant, we might give them a pass over their data destruction. But as with Hillary Clinton and her emails, past behavior underscores the need for more, not less scrutiny.
Remember the "Climategate" scandal in 2009? Leaked emails (sound familiar?) from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit showed scientists fudging data to fit a predetermined outcome and subverting the peer review process, preventing publication of papers contradicting the preferred doctrine of man-made global warming. It's much like what NOAA is doing now.
What a shame that science and scientists have been corrupted, substituting thoughtful inquiry for rigged data and fake results. This might explain why 91 percent of Americans aren't worried about global warming. Or vehement Democrat opposition to Trump's EPA nominee, Scott Pruitt.
Is global warming real? Maybe. If so, where are the models that predict and prove it? This should not be a matter of models rigged, after the fact, to conform to preconceived notions.
Is the climate changing? Of course it is. It always has and always will. The question is whether humans influence the change in a significant or negligible way.
Good science is the only way to answer these questions. Current NOAA fiddling with the data and Climategate from a few years ago demonstrate that proper science is being stepped on and that these questions are not being addressed or answered in an honest or transparent way. Replacing science is raw politics, where the results are predetermined regardless of the actual facts.
Brian C Joondeph, M.D., MPS is a Denver-based physician and writer. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.