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Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Global Warming Controversy


Two of the world's leading scientific journals have come under fire from researchers for refusing to publish papers which challenge fashionable wisdom over global warming. A British authority on natural catastrophes who disputed whether climatologists really agree that the Earth is getting warmer because of human activity, says his work was rejected by the American publication, Science, on the flimsiest of grounds. A separate team of climate scientists, which was regularly used by Science and the journal Nature to review papers on the progress of global warming, said it was dropped after attempting to publish its own research which raised doubts over the issue. The controversy follows the publication by Science in December of a paper which claimed to have demonstrated complete agreement among climate experts, not only that global warming is a genuine phenomenon, but also that mankind is to blame.
I stand by my belief that global warming is a real phenomenon and that it is probably at least partially human caused. Nonetheless, these allegations are disturbing and, if true, represent a signifigant challenge to us being able to effectively deal with the problem. Global Climate is a very complex system. To effectively combat global warming we need to have a very good understanding of this system and that means doing, as best as is possible, unbiased science. Even papers that have wrong conclusions may be least partially right and have explored areas of climate that others have not. I hope that these allegations are unfounded and that the griping is merely the result of sour grapes over articles that were rejected for legitimate reasons. I fear though, that politics may be perverting science on this issue.
Dr Peiser said the stifling of dissent and preoccupation with doomsday scenarios is bringing climate research into disrepute. "There is a fear that any doubt will be used by politicians to avoid action," he said. "But if political considerations dictate what gets published, it's all over for science."
(via Les Jones)


Blogger Andrew Watkins said...

I saw that, and my read is this: it's so hard to consider any evidence on this issue, because it's become so politically motivated, but especially from global warming de-bunkers, who have become politically necessary for those who don't buy it.

That being said, it's nothing short of foul when the most reputable scientific journals start applying political standards of reporting, rather than empirical.

5/04/2005 03:09:00 PM  
Blogger Dave Justus said...

I think that there is junk science on both sides of this debate.

That makes understanding the subject difficult.

My take is, that the evidence that global warming is happening is rock solid. The evidence that human activity is a componant of this is also quite strong. How large this componant is, whether it is the majority of the cause or only a small portion is, I think, unknown at this time. Equally unknown is how to effectively combat this trend, and what the effects of this warming will be.

5/04/2005 04:06:00 PM  

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