Researchers who reviewed global-warming "forecasting" have found that procedures followed by the United Nations' chief climate cluckers violated 81 percent of 89 relevant forecasting principles.A few caveats before we begin. J. Scott Armstrong is not a climate scientist. He's a professor of marketing at the Wharton School of Business but was not speaking as a representative of the that school.
Along with other experts who have peeked behind the curtain of climate change, these researchers have come to a common conclusion: The alarm over man-made global warming is an anti-scientific political movement.
In a presentation to Congress, J. Scott Armstrong of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania -- whose own work in forecasting methods is internationally known -- said the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has failed to demonstrate the "predictive validity" of its procedures.
More specifically, it was a presentation to the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology:
On Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology will hold a hearing to examine processes used to generate key climate change science and information used to inform policy development and decision-making.The rhetorical exercise of the hearing starts with this:
Since the dawn of science, man has tried to describe and measure the natural world. Through an iterative process of data collection, formulation of hypotheses, and testing and refining these hypotheses, a knowledge base of information is built that yield theories and allow for predictive models to be built that describe them. Experiments are conducted to test these hypotheses, theories and models. As new observations are incorporated throughout the process, the theories must be able to assimilate these new data or change to accommodate new facts. Confidence in a theory grows only if it is able to survive a rigorous testing process, it is supported by multiple and independent lines of evidence, and competing explanations can be ruled out. The American Physical Society statement on ethics and values states that: “The success and credibility of science are anchored in the willingness of scientists to:
1. Expose their ideas and results to independent testing and replication by others. This requires the open exchange of data, procedures and materials.
2. Abandon or modify previously accepted conclusions when confronted with more complete or reliable experimental or observational evidence.
Adherence to these principles provides a mechanism for self-correction that is the foundation of the credibility of science.By undermining the confidence in the process, this anti-science science committee is looking to undermine the science of climate change itself.
This is where Scott Armstrong comes in. From the abstract from his testimony:
The validity of the manmade global warming alarm requires the support of scientific forecasts of (1) a substantive long-term rise in global mean temperatures in the absence of regulations, (2) serious net harmful effects due to global warming, and (3) cost-effective regulations that would produce net beneficial effects versus alternatives such as doing nothing.I am not sure that that last support (the one about cost-effective regulations) is necessary for the science to be right, but I'm no professor of marketing at a business school so I'm obviously no expert in the science of climate change.
Without scientific forecasts for all three aspects of the alarm, there is no scientific basis to enact regulations. In effect, it is a three-legged stool. Despite repeated appeals to global warming alarmists, we have been unable to find scientific forecasts for any of the three legs.
In any event, it's interesting that the committee would use the scientific criteria laid out by the American Physical Society as part of a plan to undermine climate change while ignoring that society's own statement on the matter:
Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes.You'd think that if Armstrong's critiques (which have been around for years) were so inescapably correct the APS statement from 2007 would be amended by now. In fact there was a commentary on the statement released a year ago (April, 2010). It begins like this:
The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring.
If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.
There is a substantial body of peer reviewed scientific research to support the technical aspects of the 2007 APS statement.So I am guessing the APS doesn't agree with Armstrong. I am guessing that they think they're right and, if asked, they'd think Armstrong was wrong.
On the one hand you have a whole buncha scientists who, as a society, have released a statement saying that climate change is "incontrovertible." On the other there's a marketing professor says otherwise.
Who would you trust for the correct answer? I'd trust the scientists to know the science.
And we all know that Scaife's braintrust don't.