Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Sarah calls upon Obama to cancel Copenhagen trip

Sarah Palin has an excellent piece in the Washington Post today about climategate and what Obama ought to do about Copenhagen.

With the publication of damaging e-mails from a climate research center in Britain, the radical environmental movement appears to face a tipping point. The revelation of appalling actions by so-called climate change experts allows the American public to finally understand the concerns so many of us have articulated on this issue.

"Climate-gate," as the e-mails and other documents from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia have become known, exposes a highly politicized scientific circle -- the same circle whose work underlies efforts at the Copenhagen climate change conference. The agenda-driven policies being pushed in Copenhagen won't change the weather, but they would change our economy for the worse.

The e-mails reveal that leading climate "experts" deliberately destroyed records, manipulated data to "hide the decline" in global temperatures, and tried to silence their critics by preventing them from publishing in peer-reviewed journals. What's more, the documents show that there was no real consensus even within the CRU crowd. Some scientists had strong doubts about the accuracy of estimates of temperatures from centuries ago, estimates used to back claims that more recent temperatures are rising at an alarming rate.

This scandal obviously calls into question the proposals being pushed in Copenhagen. I've always believed that policy should be based on sound science, not politics. As governor of Alaska, I took a stand against politicized science when I sued the federal government over its decision to list the polar bear as an endangered species despite the fact that the polar bear population had more than doubled. I got clobbered for my actions by radical environmentalists nationwide, but I stood by my view that adding a healthy species to the endangered list under the guise of "climate change impacts" was an abuse of the Endangered Species Act. This would have irreversibly hurt both Alaska's economy and the nation's, while also reducing opportunities for responsible development.

Our representatives in Copenhagen should remember that good environmental policymaking is about weighing real-world costs and benefits -- not pursuing a political agenda. That's not to say I deny the reality of some changes in climate -- far from it. I saw the impact of changing weather patterns firsthand while serving as governor of our only Arctic state. I was one of the first governors to create a subcabinet to deal specifically with the issue and to recommend common-sense policies to respond to the coastal erosion, thawing permafrost and retreating sea ice that affect Alaska's communities and infrastructure.

But while we recognize the occurrence of these natural, cyclical environmental trends, we can't say with assurance that man's activities cause weather changes. We can say, however, that any potential benefits of proposed emissions reduction policies are far outweighed by their economic costs. And those costs are real. Unlike the proposals China and India offered prior to Copenhagen -- which actually allow them to increase their emissions -- President Obama's proposal calls for serious cuts in our own long-term carbon emissions. Meeting such targets would require Congress to pass its cap-and-tax plans, which will result in job losses and higher energy costs (as Obama admitted during the campaign). That's not exactly what most Americans are hoping for these days. And as public opposition continues to stall Congress's cap-and-tax legislation, Environmental Protection Agency bureaucrats plan to regulate carbon emissions themselves, doing an end run around the American people.

In fact, we're not the only nation whose people are questioning climate change schemes. In the European Union, energy prices skyrocketed after it began a cap-and-tax program. Meanwhile, Australia's Parliament recently defeated a cap-and-tax bill. Surely other nations will follow suit, particularly as the climate e-mail scandal continues to unfold.

In his inaugural address, President Obama declared his intention to "restore science to its rightful place." But instead of staying home from Copenhagen and sending a message that the United States will not be a party to fraudulent scientific practices, the president has upped the ante. He plans to fly in at the climax of the conference in hopes of sealing a "deal." Whatever deal he gets, it will be no deal for the American people. What Obama really hopes to bring home from Copenhagen is more pressure to pass the Democrats' cap-and-tax proposal. This is a political move. The last thing America needs is misguided legislation that will raise taxes and cost jobs -- particularly when the push for such legislation rests on agenda-driven science.

Without trustworthy science and with so much at stake, Americans should be wary about what comes out of this politicized conference. The president should boycott Copenhagen.

One small correction needs to be made here. Governor Palin makes the assumption that probably 99% of most people make when studying the climategate e-mails in assuming that the "hide the decline" statement is about hiding the decline in earth's temperature which has been occurring since 1998.

This is actually not the case. While the earth is entering a period of global cooling due to solar activity the decline mentioned in the e-mails is something a great deal more damaging to the crumbling edifice of global warming junk science and a great deal more damning to the reputations of the "scientists" involved in the fraud.

Back on Sunday American Thinker published a very informative piece on this subject by Marc Sheppard, let's let him explain:

In fact, the decline Jones so urgently sought to hide was not one of measured temperatures at all, but rather figures infinitely more important to climate alarmists -- those determined by proxy reconstructions. As this scandal has attracted new readers to the subject, I ask climate-savvy readers to indulge me while I briefly explain climate proxies, as they are an essential ingredient of this contemptible conspiracy.

Truth be told, even reasonably reliable instrumental readings are a relatively modern convenience, limiting CRU’s global measured temperature database to a start date somewhere in the mid-19th century. That’s why global temperature charts based on actual readings typically use a base year of 1850, or somewhere thereabout.

And yet, most historical temperature charts, including the one Al Gore preached before in An Inconvenient Truth, go way back to 1000 AD. That’s where proxies come in.

While historical documents (e.g., ship’s logs, diaries, court and church records, tax rolls, and even classic literature) certainly provide a glimpse into past temperature trends, such information is far too limited and generalized to be of any statistical value. So climate scientists have devised means to measure variations in such ubiquitous materials as lake sediments, boreholes, ice cores, and tree rings to evaluate past temperature trends.

They then employ complex computer programs to combine such “proxy” data sampled throughout a region and plot that area’s annual relative changes in temperature hundreds or even thousands of years prior. By then combining the data sets, they believe they can accurately reproduce hemispheric and global temperature trends of the previous millennia.

And while reconstructions -- as past temperature interpretations from proxy data are called -- can differ greatly from one source to another, those generated by the CRU have often been accepted as the de facto temperatures of the past.

This is largely because the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) proclaims them to be.
You need to go read the entire article on AT in order to get a clear understanding of exactly how corrupt the scientific process has become in the area of climate studies but the "executive summary" is this.

When comparing the temperature estimates from proxy data (tree ring measurements) to actual measured temperatures a significant divergence is observed. This divergence is the "decline" which is referred to in the e-mails.

The reason this divergence is so critically important is because prior to 1850 just about all we have to work with in estimating global temperature is proxy data.

If the proxy data can be shown to have no reliable correlation to actual temperature then the estimates of past global temperature on which the global warming alarmists base their claim that the small rise in global temperature witnessed in the 20th century (a rise which stopped in 1998 when global temperatures went into decline) is somehow both unique and caused by human action - and is dangerous enough to justify a massive reduction in the standard of living in the developed nations along with the surrender of any hope that citizens of Third World nations will ever have of elevating themselves out of their misery - are at the very least called into serious question.

Governor Palin can be forgiven for assuming that the "decline" spoken of in the e-mails is the very real decline in global temperature observed since 1998 rather than the divergence of proxy data temperature estimates from real world recorded temperatures.

What cannot be forgiven is the gigantic hoax of human-caused global warming which the scientific community, acting in the service of left-wing politicians, has foisted upon the world.