Posts filed under ‘environmental sciences’
After several serious posts on climate, I thought it was time for something on climate that — I sincerely hope — proves entirely whimsical.
I remembered seeing something about ice as a teenager while reading the Doctrine and Covenants cover to cover. Sure enough, I found it in what is LDS D&C Section 133 (The Community of Christ version is numbered Section 108). So, if any of you reading this from the “north countries” should observe that the snow doesn’t entirely melt next summer as it usually does, please feel free to draw the appropriate prophetic conclusions. (And don’t buy property too near the shoreline of Salt Lake — Lake Bonneville was much larger.)
Michael Mann, one of the chief protaganists of the climategate scandal, has an op-ed piece in the Washington Post this morning that attempts to obscure the scientific issues in a cloud of misdirection. Sometimes you should just know you’re in trouble and take the 5th.
Earlier this week the UN World Meteorological Organization published a press release that shows the bewildering subtlety of the statistical arguments that climate policy needs to consider. The press release notes that 2009 is on pace to be the 5th warmest year on record (i.e., during the industrial age) and that this decade (2000′s) will have been the warmest decade on record, with the 1990′s the second warmest decade. The press is largely reporting that this data implies global warming is continuing.
Given my recent post on the inconsistency between the professed environmental concerns of the Community of Christ and its responses to environmental issues, and given also my personal experience in giving scientific advice to government agencies, I feel an ethical obligation to comment on something being reported as “climategate”.
In the past few days, either hackers or whistleblowers have posted numerous e-mails on the web which have been obtained from Britain’s most prestigious climatic research center in East Anglia. This is the custodian of one of the most important models and climatic data sets that the international community (and the United States government) is relying upon in its plans for development of a “green economy” and greenhouse emissions regulations.
These e-mails appear to show, at minimum, a scientific establishment at East Anglia that has closed its mind to flaws in its own analyses, errors in its computer models, and to new data that might modify its previous conclusions or lead governments or citizens to support different policy preferences.
That increases the chance for policy errors. And hiding that fact from policy makers and the public opens the door for some of the most important decisions this generation of humans will make to be corrupted. I can’t imagine a more important case of possible scientific misconduct to be investigated.
I noted in the previous thread some doubts about whether my denomination’s response to its perceived calling was quite serious yet. Several environmental items this past week caught my attention in this regard.
Apostle Susan Skoor of the Community of Christ has just published a moving personal testamony about the sacredness of creation. All too recently, while walking along a beach on the Pacific Coast with her husband and sister, a large wave randomly rose up and swept her husband out to sea and to his death.
My least favorite science is biology. It probably has to do with being introduced to it during a school year in which I spent a number of weeks in the hospital with doctors doing things to me to get my juvenile diabetes under control. When I got out, I then had to spend most of the rest of the school year staying after school dissecting various little creatures who had never done anything to me. At that point I half suspected that it was the animals, not the doctors, who had really been on my side.