"I dislike appeals to authority on principle, but appeals to authority in climate science are especially absurd, given that the authorities are so laughably unauthoritative."


Mark Steyn, http://www.steynonline.com/6547/when-science-is-settled-by-government


Thursday, 15 March 2012

Teaching Point on Climate Data Analysis: for rigour and thoroughness, look to the outsiders, not the ‘authorities’.

Teaching materials, and guidance for teachers, can readily be found which defer to such authorities as the IPCC and the Royal Society and Met Offices and other government agencies around the world.  But, sad to say, none of these are to be trusted these days. 

They have all bitten the apple of political temptation, and the resulting lust for power has deflected them from paying adequate attention to details.  Such as how the hockey stick was constructed (see Montford’s masterpiece, 'The Hockey Stick Illusion', for how this was exposed by climate establishment outsiders as shoddy and indefensible).   The IPCC has also been exposed as an organisation careless of its own integrity (see Laframboise’s jaw-dropper 'The Delinquent Teenager' for chapter and verse).  And Montford has more recently described in a GWPF report the recent descent of the Royal Society from the high ground it might once have had a claim, indeed a responsibility, to occupy.  The UK Met Office has been saddled with an ex-WWF climate zealot as Chairman, and a deference to biased computer models which have made a mockery of its short-term climate predictions, both formal and informal


In New Zealand, amateurs exposed the official temperature records as being so unsatisfactory that no one ‘in authority; would subsequently take responsibility for them.  A recent summary was published on WUWT.

In the States, several commentators are challenging the temperature history adjustments being made by GISS and other agencies.

In Australia, a new report is out which exposes severe quality problems with the official temperature records there.

In each case, the ‘errors’ or the ‘adjustments’, just like the blunders of the IPCC, all happen to favour exaggeration of warming or its effects during the last 100 years or so.  And note that in each of these three cases, my links are to 'outsiders'.

So, teachers, the rug of authority is being pulled from under your feet.  You will fall too when that process speeds up, if you have been conscientiously urging your pupils to trust the IPCC, the Royal Society, the ‘97% of climate scientists’ (another deceptive statistic), and such like.  As Christopher Monckton has recently said in a related context, Never do that again, even for the sake of appeasing authority. In science, whatever you may personally believe or wish to be so, it is the truth and only the truth that matters.'

Now it is clear that the truly conscientious teacher must hold the claims of such bodies within metaphorical tongs for his or her pupils to review and compare with other sources.   It is a sad thing that we have come to this.

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