Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cooling, Warming, Ice Ages, the 1970's, Disco, Nixon, Cedric, Charts, Graphs, etc....

It's time to discuss Global Warming Climate Change.

My friend Cedric Katesby has sent me an assortment of videos intended to annhilate the commonly held view that in the 1970's, there was a widespread fear of another Ice Age.

Click here to see one of our earlier discussions. It goes on forever, and continues underneath various "Does God Cause Hurricanes To Hit New Orleans Because Of Gays And Lesbians" posts for about a year.

The video below features lots of Nixon, Travolta and Disco before getting down to bidness. Essentially, Cedric is concerned that I've had too much fun with the contradictory Time and Newsweek magazine covers like the ones above.

Cedric will correct me if I'm wrong, but I think we're supposed to view the Ice Age cover from the 1970's with extreme skepticism, and approach the "This Is Your Planet On SUV's" cover with the reverence we always hold for peer-reviewed research.

I've carried around a listing of some of the supposedly "neutral" articles in my briefcase for more than a year now, and have made it into the TCU library to look 'em up. Some of it is over my head, and some of it isn't.

Stay tuned.

In the meantime, here is a chart showing estimated mean temperature from the last 5 million years, provided by these folks. (HT, of course, to Wikipedia.) See the uptick 3 to 3.5 million years ago?

Now that is some Climate Change.


Dr Ralph said...

Come on Cedric, give'em hell!

Cedric Katesby said...

Allen, thanks for putting up the video. Apologies for not putting up a comment before now but I didn't realize you'd done something with it.

Cedric will correct me if I'm wrong, but I think we're supposed to view the Ice Age cover from the 1970's with extreme skepticism, and approach the "This Is Your Planet On SUV's" cover with the reverence we always hold for peer-reviewed research.Not quite. The point that I'm trying to make is that the scientific community (as opposed to the media or uninformed public) did not believe that there was a coming Ice Age back in the seventies.

It's a myth.
It's a lie.

Global warming deniers tout this myth to try and discredit the current scientific consensus on global warming.
The thinking goes that

"Them there durned scientists got it wrong before so they've probably got it wrong now. We can afford to ignore them"
I have ALWAYS stressed the importance of getting your science from science sources.
(Glossy magazine headlines are NOT science sources)
If people had done this back in the seventies and looked at the peer-reviewed research at the time then the "70's Ice Age" myth would never have gotten off the ground.

...reverence we always hold for peer-reviewed research.Peer-reviewed research is a necessary (but not sufficient) first step of sorting out actual scientific work from empty hand-waving by charlatans.

When a scientist goes through the peer-review process, they run a gauntlet. They expose themselves to the professional criticism of their peers and put their reputation and the quality of their research on the line.

Coffee table books, media interviews and pseudo-science blogs run by retired weathermen do not cut it.

When somebody makes a controversial scientific claim, the first thing that a layman should ask is..."Where's your peer-reviewed research?"
Ignore the think-tanks. Ignore the talking heads on TV. Ignore the op-eds in your local paper.
Go straight for the peer-review.
Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Go straight for the peer-review.

This will sort out the sheep from the goats very quickly.
The creationists will hem and haw.
The anti-vaccination crowd will suddenly get very shrill and indignant.
The "tobacco is good for you" mob will quietly exit the building.
The 9/11 conspiracy theorists will gnash their teeth in frustration.

The scientific community will, however, present you with enough peer-reviewed research on global warming to sink several battleships.

There really and truly is a scientific consensus on global warming. It’s not a conspiracy.
Take a brief survey of the scientific literature from the seventies on the issue of a coming Ice Age.
Then look at the scientific literature on global warming nowadays.
There is a huge difference that is impossible to ignore.

When global-warming denier sites drag out the “Scientists thought back in the seventies…” crap , they are engaged in deception.
It’s a P.R.A.T.T. point.
Allen, I’m glad that you linked to the AGU. They are a recognized scientific community that does actual research. Read anything you like by them. It’s all good. Like all other scientific communities on the planet, the AGU fully supports the science of global warming.I look forward to the conclusions you will draw when you finish your research. Thanks again.