Days of Change

Day 391 – Cherry Picking

November 30, 2009
1 Comment

Environmentalism has been heating up, so to speak, as a topic lately. There is yet another global summit following two realities that put it in some question. First, the economic climate makes it unlikely that any major country will cripple its own economy just so that China and India can reap the benefits of industrialization. Then, there is the release of a series of e-mails that show a pattern of data manipulation in global warming analysis.

Two things have been going on. Global warming data has been sweetened to make it look more plausible while contrary data and experiments have been ignored. This method of determining outcomes is generally called cherry picking. Keep what you want and throw out the rest.

This is the difference between science and engineering. In engineering, the goal is the highest yield. To achieve the highest yield, you perform experiments, find the most relevant factors and determine the best levels to get the highest yield. Science is similar in that a theory is tested through experimentation. There is a predicted result.

The real problem is that while it is accepted practice to filter out irrelevant factors and contradictory conditions, it is too easy to discount significant factors because they are inconvenient. A scientific experiment is basically the same as an engineering experiment and if your yield does not serve the theory, the bias is toward the theory being right and the data being wrong.

Remember, these are studies of man-made global warming. We have to show that the earth is warming (a net increase in stored energy), that it is earth based (no sunspots or solar system effects are the cause) and that the earth centered energy increase is due to human industrialization (one could argue a three-fold increase in the human population in a century produces a significant increase just in body heat).

I’m sure a professional climatologist who is biased toward making money and appearing on TV will argue with me. As soon as they denounce someone like Al Gore, who says the oceans will rise 20 feet in the next 50 years (when even the UN says 2 inches in 100 years) and the earth has geothermal layers millions of degrees under he earth’s surface (5,000 degrees F), I might care what they say.

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