AGW Basics of What’s Wrong

UPDATE: 18 DEC 2009

While not the basics, there is a nice list of 100 things here:

With “Climategate” we must also add that the “scientists” involved have indulged in subornation of the Peer Review process and have used “fudge factors” in generating the data series that most of the “peer reviewed science” rests upon. They created global warmer where there was none. Basically, at this point, we don’t know which parts of the “science” done before has any value or truth in it, if any.

And finally, NOAA via the National Climatic Data Center or NCDC has “cooked the books” in the GHCN data set that is used by just about everyone from the Japanese (whom, I suspect, will be really peeved at the “loss of face” NCDC has handed to them…) to the NCDC GHCN “adjusted” set and GIStemp. Also, HadCRUT (from UEA / CRU ) in the leaked Climategate email state their data are substantially identical with GHCN.

So basically, all the major temperature series agree because they are built on the same “cooked books”:

I would summarise ‘the basics’ as:

1) The raw data is defective. There are many pages on WUWT about various thermometer errors (placement, urban heat island, changed paint type leading to higher readings, etc.) that bias the data to the high side.

2) The raw data is missing. There are several variations here, too. Stations come and go. Sometimes large numbers (when the USSR collapsed a very large percentage of total thermometers just went away, many in Siberia. At the same time the recorded temperature average went up…)

3) The raw data is from too short a period. We are looking at a system with at least 1500 year cycles in it (Google “Bond Event wiki” for details). To do that and not be fooled by a cyclical slope needs about 3000 years data. For satellite data we have 30 years or so. For land based thermometers, a couple of hundred. That couple of hundred just happens to start at the bottom of a cold period known as the Little Ice Age and is rising due to a normal cycle. It was warmer in the past (several times in history, more times demonstrable by archaeology like the ice man from under a glacier…) and No Bad Thing happened.

4) Sometimes the raw data is just made up. GISS, it seems, can fill in the arctic temperatures with guesses via computer. ANY US land station can have missing readings ‘estimated’ by the person filling in the form if they want. (Missed a day? Just make it up…).

5) Once the data are collected, they are subject to strange and wondrous changes and manipulations. The exact methods are more or less secret. The changes are conducted by people who often have their entire self worth and career vested in ‘global warming’. The results often seem disjoint from observed reality. (I have a particular gripe with the GISS method that involves adjusting past temperatures down based on present temperatures. I’d rather that my history didn’t keep changing under my feet, but I’m old fashioned that way.) Where there are details on the adjustment available, they can often be shown to be bogus. (Removal of urban heat island effect by reference to ‘nearby’ ‘rural’ thermometers that are in fact hundreds of miles away in different microclimates and sometimes in large urban area.)

6) Based on this flakey data, folks build castles in the sky. They do this with computer models. (I’m a ‘computer guy’ by trade and managed a Cray supercomputer site that did modeling for plastic flow so this one galls me.) The models are ‘not very good’ to put it charitably. The don’t match reality. Their predictions are regularly shown to be bogus. When you do get a little look at how they work, it is not convincing. They leave out major, perhaps even dominant, features of climate. (Cloud formation of all sorts, cosmic rays that lead to cloud formation, variation in the sun, many most or all of the various ocean oscillations and heat transfer anomalies ENSO, AMO, etc.) Oh, and we have a specific admission by at least one of the modelers that they deliberately made the model run fast for more dramatic effect. That 50 year doom? Even their model would say it’s 150 years away if not run on ‘juice’. We have public quotes from ‘scientists’ in the field saying they need to punch up the results to create stronger public responses…

7. Many of the assumptions and science in the models are based on errors of assumption. I can only list a couple of examples here (too many…). It is assumed that CO2 causes warming. All the archeological data show CO2 follows heating by 800 years. How does cause follow effect? All sorts of positive feedbacks are assumed, but negative ones are ignored (cloud cooling anyone?)

8. They simply can not model what they do not know. ANY computer model can only tell you things in the domain of your present understanding. If your understanding is broken, so is your model. They “know” that CO2 is causal (despite the data) and that is what they model, ergo what they find. The truth is that we really don’t know how weather and climate work completely, so any ‘model’ can at best be used to show places to do more research, not to make policy. They don’t predict, they inform of our ignorance.

9) The thing they are trying to model, 30 year weather, is chaotic. (That does not mean random, it means that the state jumps all over from trivial input changes.) Chaotic models are, at the present state of the art, worse than guessing (and may always be, the math behind it leads me to think maybe so…) The input data are very flawed.

10) Based on these models saying the world will end Real Soon Now, many other folks run off to show that they ought to get funding for their grant because it is related to this hot topic of global warming. When you look into the ‘thousands and thousands’ of papers endorsing the global warming thesis you find the vast majority are of the form “If we assume that the model run by [foo] is right, this is the bad thing that will happen in MY field.” There are in fact only a few centers doing the modeling (a half dozen?) and their ideas are very inbred. We are really basing world decisions on the work of about a half dozen.

11) Dissent is to be crushed, ruthlessly. Frankly, this is what got me started down the “What the…” trail. I’ve worked in forensics and law enforcement from time to time. Sets off my Madoff Alarm. (Used to be Ponzi…) If you’re so sure you are right, demonstrate (share) your data, models, et. al. and we’ll have a nice debate. No? OK, WHAT ARE YOU HIDING? One of the hallmarks of a shared delusion is the ruthless attack of anything that would threaten the delusion. It just smells of cult. And there are plenty of alternative theories, including the established one of ‘it is natural variation’. The science is not settled and the debate is not over, even if one side is paranoid about being challenged.

12) The major drivers of the process are not scientists, but political bodies with agendas for control and a history of corruption and deception. UN? You want me to trust a UN Political Committee? The IPCC is NOT a bunch of scientists, it’s a bunch of politicians. They consult scientists. They have at times re-written scientists work (without notice). Many scientists have now begun speaking out against the IPCC. See #11 for how they are treated.

13) Mr. Albert Gore. His ‘inconvenient truth’ is a nice propaganda piece. It is decidedly not science. Polar bears are aquatic, they swim hundreds of miles sometimes (one swam from Greenland to Iceland). He shows them drowning… Their numbers are rising, he shows them near extinction. The list goes on. When a politician starts blatantly propagandizing for central power and authority my ‘peace in our time’ buzzer goes off…

14) The ‘cure’. The proposed cure will result in terrible death and poverty. It will misallocate trillions of dollars (that would be much better spent improving other things: education world wide, malaria, cooking stoves in the 3rd world, food supplies, etc.) Mr. Gore and others stand to profit greatly from it (he has a ‘carbon credit’ company from which he buys his own indulgences…) Further, since China and India get a free pass, the only real result is to move most industry there and kill the western democracies. (Hmmm socialist western-hating UN proposing ‘solutions’ that hobble western democracies…) The rate of ‘ramp up’ in coal consumption in China assures that no ‘control’ of CO2 is possible. Why are we ‘curing’ what is not broken with a solution that will not work?

15) The whole ‘tipping point’ thesis is simply and demonstrably false. For most of the history of the planet, CO2 has been much much higher. 10 times or more. We are actually at historic low levels. (Plants respond to CO2 as they do to any nutrient that is lower than their ideal value, up to about a 1000 ppm value. This implies they evolved expecting that much, and that is what the geological record shows.) Why are we trying to reduce CO2 to levels that restrict plant growth? Why are we trying to make the planet colder when that reduces food production? The potential harm here is stupendous. Why have we never ‘tipped’ before?

16) We may be doing exactly the wrong thing at exactly the wrong time. Google “pessimum’. Periodically these cold periods come along in our history. They result in the destruction of social order, starvation, disease, mass migrations. We are about to push in that direction. Why? Google ‘climate optimum’ and you find the Medieval Optimum, the Roman Optimum, etc. We are now in the Modern Optimum. Warm is good, cold is bad. Yet there is more. I can only briefly state that there are reasons to believe that the present optimum may be peaking (or maybe even ending). From the planetary theories of solar output modulation, to the simple calendar correlations, to observed physical oscillations like the PDO flip to a colder direction in the short run; some theory points to cooler. While there is not enough to show causality, there is enough to urge caution in pushing that particular direction really really hard right now.

I’m going to stop now, or this will not be ‘the basics’…

There is more, but you get the idea. It starts to be a bit more technical (Like why does a global average of all those temperatures mean anything? – it doesn’t; and that the temperatures gathered don’t contain enough information for sampling theory and control theory to allow anyone to know what to do even if warming were true and if we could do anything: we have a ‘hot shower’ with 30 years between turning the knobs and changed water temp out. The knobs are not labeled and non-linear. There are several toilets being flushed and dishwashers running. Keep the temperature at exactly the right temperature; and your thermometer is broken.)

I’m sure other folks will have their own ideas as to what are ‘the basics’ but I hope I’ve also shown that even 1/2 of ‘my basics’ are enough to say that we ought not be doing what we, as a country, are about to do…


About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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14 Responses to AGW Basics of What’s Wrong

  1. pyromancer76 says:

    You always help us with the larger picture, Mr. Smith. I think you have the basics just about right and I’m glad you included a little “conspiracy theory” in it, too. The U.N.? Who runs the U.N.? Also, who would like the developed countries to deconstruct?

    My conspiracy theory goes all the way to the current occupant of the White House. There were as many “basics” (problems, flaws, outright fraud) in the last political process as there have been in the scientific process of AGW. As a historian, I have often seen “stupid mistakes” or “blind blunders” as causative of major changes or problems, but too much fits together today for any thinking person not to take a hard look at what is being planned for us. And the amount of money that is being thrown at our deconstruction is (used to be) unimaginable.

    If I were to suggest an addition to your basics, I would probably focus on subversion of the scientific method by funding only that scientific research that supports AGW. This idea seems to affect #6 (based on flakey data — because the funding is not going to the gathering valid data with which valid research can be accomplished) and #11 (dissent is to be crushed — all those “peer-reviewed papers” from the “funded (pseudo)-scientists” make the crushing seem legitimate. And where does that funding come from?

    I look forward to further analysis.

  2. E.M.Smith says:

    @Pyromancer 76:

    It isn’t exactly conspiracy theory, it is more just the recognition that governments and politicians act in their own interests, that those interests run to accumulation of power and authority, and that their “moral compass” is weak or non-existent.

    These are simple observations of fact. It’s how politicians are. Seems to come with the turf. Much of our constitution was designed to limit or thwart these observed natures of people. (Balance between judicial, executive, legislative. Limitation of powers to set list. Bill of Rights. etc.) Much of history is a recording of the effect of these “leanings” (Roman Empire, British Empire, the formation of China, the USSR – both formation and actions once formed, “Peace in Our Time!” and the Nazi machine, the USA “Hegemony” post cold war, the present actions of OPEC, the list goes on…)

    The problem with the UN is that it has very little limitation on what it can do and no effective “countervailing” power from the people at large. It is a creation of the nations of the world and not really accountable to any moral compass. That we look to a UN commission for ANY guidance shows a failure to grasp the key lessons of history… Governments need to be limited, and subject to the oversight of the people, or they often “gang agley”..

  3. Tony Hansen says:

    gang aft agley
    An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain

  4. Tim Curtin says:

    Dear “EM”

    I am hugely appreciative of your latest posting (23 October) on Australia’s BoM’s manipulation of its “approved” reporting stations.

    I had previously much enjoyed your postings at Jennifer Marohasy’s.

    Can I forward your BoM article to Dennis Jensen MP?

    Meantime I am working along similar lines, and if you allow me, I could send you my Excel worksheets showing zero correlations between changes in [CO2] and even Min Mean temps in Tasmania and elsewhere here and in California, Hawaii, Alaska, and UK. I am also working on the much more plausible correlations between changes in Mean temps and Solar Radiation, and have some preliminary results – SR beats the IPCC’s RF by about 100 goals to nil!!

  5. papertiger says:

    Tim is a statistician. He is the guy you want for confirmation of the GHCN files.

    Hey Tim have a look see at EM’s latest post = GHCN – California on the beach, who needs snow .

    Link is up at the top under recent posts.

  6. E.M.Smith says:

    Tim Curtin: I am hugely appreciative of your latest posting (23 October) on Australia’s BoM’s manipulation of its “approved” reporting stations.

    My pleasure to provide it!

    I had previously much enjoyed your postings at Jennifer Marohasy’s.

    Left a brief note there today on the “walkabout” thread. Luke is still “flinging poo”, but as near as I can tell he flings even when noone is listening. (Hmm if someone is flinging poo in a room by themselves, on whom does the poo fall? ;-)

    Can I forward your BoM article to Dennis Jensen MP?

    You have my permission to use any climate related or GIStemp / GHCN related article here for any purposes that are aimed at derailing the AGW freight train. (In other words: Go for it!)

    Meantime I am working along similar lines, and if you allow me, I could send you my Excel worksheets showing zero correlations between changes in [CO2] and even Min Mean temps in Tasmania and elsewhere here and in California, Hawaii, Alaska, and UK.

    Would love it. Email address is in the “about” box up top.

    I am also working on the much more plausible correlations between changes in Mean temps and Solar Radiation, and have some preliminary results – SR beats the IPCC’s RF by about 100 goals to nil!!

    He shoots He SCOOORRRSSSSS!!!!

    And do take a look at:

    It has given me a bit of a clue what to look at next. In California, the thermometers did not migrate to the equator, they left the mountains. I most likely would not have caught it but for the percentage change being so outrageous. But a look by altitude would have been blatant. So…

    I did a chart on Japan, but the changes in latitude were “odd”. I think for ‘small’ places like Japan, I need to make a similar chart for “by altitude”… Give it about a week with my current workload.

  7. Can anyone suggest:

    a good analysis of the economic/political revolution that would be enacted if the manmade-warming crowd wins their propaganda campaign?

    REPLY: [ I think the degree of ‘revolution’ would vary by country. Texas, for example, could easily become another country… I have relatives there and, well, they like to go all ‘old school’ on this kind of stuff. Point of reference: It is about 1/3 of the USA border to border distance to get from El Paso on the Texas West end over to the Eastern edge. They were ‘not fond’ of the old 55 mph speed limit and basically ignored it. (Montana too, where they had the $5 speeding ticket so as to comply with federal mandates while saying ‘up yours’…). One person talked about crossing Texas at 55 with “It’s not a trip, it’s a career!” and having crossed it a few times, I have to agree. Now you tell folks they can’t buy enough gas to cross their own state and “visit family” when they MAKE most of the gas in the country? Well, it won’t be pretty. But I doubt they would join OPEC. Then again, … Remember, these are folks who fought to the death against a vastly superior army and now brag about it. “Remember the Alamo” and all that. I could easily see them taking “The South” with them and having “Fly over Country” join in. Heck, chop off the Loony Left Coast and the Establishment “Chicago to BosWash” Northeast, you got yoursef a decent country agin’. You got minerals, oil, food, coal … would even have plenty of ports to ship from. I’m not suggesting it, mind you, just trying to think like some folks I’ve met with down there ‘for educational purposes only’. -E.M.Smith ]

  8. VJones: thank you. reading it now…

  9. Out of the hundreds of summaries of why the alarmism of alarmist AGW is nonsense, this is probably the best; great job. Would be good to see an update in light of the ClimateGate emails.

  10. bugs says:

    7. Many of the assumptions and science in the models are based on errors of assumption. I can only list a couple of examples here (too many…). It is assumed that CO2 causes warming. All the archeological data show CO2 follows heating by 800 years. How does cause follow effect? All sorts of positive feedbacks are assumed, but negative ones are ignored (cloud cooling anyone?)

    There is so much wrong with everything you say, it boggles the mind.

    It is not at all assumed that CO2 causes warming, the contribution from CO2 is based on the physical properties of CO2 as a gas in the atmosphere. You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, but I have to admire your ability to write a huge amount about this topic while sounding absolutely convinced you are correct.

    REPLY: [ Lots of invective and insult, not much content. Typical of the AGW team.

    Yes, it is an assumption that CO2 causes warming. The models are not proof, they are assumptions incarnate. The theories are not proof, they are formalized assumptions. It is simply not yet demonstrated that any “CO2 greenhouse effect” exists, but has been demonstrated that a greenhouse works by constraining convection, not by IR blocking. The very notion of “greenhouse effect” as IR blocking has been demonstrated to be false.

    So while you are having a boggled mind, you might want to take just a while to investigate the biases and assumptions that lead you to be so boggled. About 4 years ago, I began investigating AGW as a believer that it was real and for the purpose of finding out more about how it really worked. The more I investigated, the more I found it was a house of cards. The list here is only a summary of “the basics” of what is wrong with the AGW theory. The AGW thesis is fundamentally and thoroughly wrong. It is the conflict between your belief structure and these truths that have left you so boggled.

    So spend a few years doing things like, oh, porting GIStemp to your own computer, making it run, and reading all the code. Or comparing the GHCN base data to the ‘as modified’ results. Or even just mapping the thermometer deletions to show that they have been selectively deleted from cold places since about 1990 (in GHCN). Then read the CRU emails ( I’m still working through them, but have a searchable archive on my computer) and see the subornation of the peer review process. Then ask yourself just how valuable that “peer review” mantra has been. Your ‘leaders and peers’ have deliberately mislead you, manipulated the data, and suppressed evidence that showed them wrong. You will need to get past them and look for yourself to see the truth.

    I suggest starting with stepping to the window and looking outside. Anywhere in North America and Europe right now ought to give a decent view of more or less normal (though on the cold end of normal) conditions. Snow, lots of it. Cold, lots of it. Hot? Not so much… By now we were supposed to be in all kinds of dire straights from heat problems. Half of the USA under snow in the blizzard of 2009 was not ‘projected’ (or whatever word the AGW folks are using today for predictions they wish to deny are predictions). Steadily dropping temperatures for a decade were not ‘projected’ nor was the dramatic impact of th PDO flip and the solar quiet period.

    So start with looking out the window and becoming grounded in reality. Then step past your faith (and it is faith) in the “peer reviewed literature” since we now know, from their own words, that it is a biased set of writings by “The Team” centered on CRU and filtered and self-reviewed by themselves. (And with the suppression of papers that would show them wrong…) After that, you can begin to see the simple truths in the above list.

    Until then, you will be blinded and boggled by your “CRU Goggles”… -E.M.Smith

  11. David Hillman says:

    Thank you for #8. I am also ‘a computer guy’ and I’ve been trying to explain this to people for, oh I don’t know, about a decade using almost exactly that phrase.

    “You can only model what you know.” Anyone who tells you different probably watches too many SciFi movies or is trying to sell you something. Computers are not magical.

    REPLY: [ You are most welcome. Yeah, I get a chuckle out of folks thinking I, and the machinery I spent a couple of decades fixing, have some magical powers ;-) It is just a large machine that does what you tell it to do. Nothing more. Somehow that is hard for folks not ‘in the business’ to get… -E.M.Smith ]

  12. Brewster says:

    The more that is revealed about the AGW hoax the more we see that it is, while undergirded by belief and well-meaning “useful idiots”, but overall it is becoming more clear yet that there is fraud and a huge amount of mendacious self-interest evident on a massive scale.

    It seems that for the last twenty years or so there has been a determined effort to put the planet on a new course economically, using a tissue of lies. IMHO this is the grandest fraud ever attempted by humans. Pity that the perpetrators will never be punished, while Bernie Madoff dies in prison for a comparatively minuscule crime.

    Gore, Pachauri, and Strong may not succeed to their fondest extent, but they still have become very wealthy men from their lies, and they seem to have no remorse for all the suffering they attempted to foment.

    REPLY: [ A bit strongly worded, but as long as folks understand it is your opinion, and not mine, I’ll let it stay. For all the folks defrauded by Bernie Madoff whose lives and retirement have been destroyed and whole charities put in jepordy of collapse, I think it would be hard to call what he did miniscule. I try not to speak to motivations, since only the individual can know what is happening inside their head. Separating “wrong” from “evil” is not a simple task, and dividing between a criminal fraud and a human failing even harder. So IMHO what Gore has done may have very bad results, but yet he may truly believe he is doing good (especially given his low marks in science classes in school; he could easily be mislead and dazzled by folks with Ph.D.’s saying it is true). So I’m comfortable calling “AGW” as a whole a “fraud”, since it isn’t accusing a person of a criminal intent; but I’m not comfortable making such a charge against a person until there is a court ruling or very clear evidence (such as the CRU emails showing specific acts). Even if AlGore is a “public person” so the threshold for a libel suit is much higher. -E.M.Smith ]

  13. DennisA says:

    Find out more of the social engineering here:

    Global warming – The Social Construction of a Quasi-reality

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