Thursday, February 16, 2012

A Quick Science Lesson for Pseudo-scientists

An open letter to:  Al Gore, Global Warming BS artist

We’ve all heard that ignorance is bliss.  However, education will never be as expensive as ignorance.  Zip-up your mouth, and take the earplugs out, Al.  At least quit advertising your ignorance.   I know this will be news to you, but scientific conclusions are not determined by a vote of the majority – consensus opinion is misleading.  Experimental procedures carried out to prove a theory (scientific conclusion) must be carefully replicated over and over with the same results before the theory can be accepted as scientific fact.   The agreement of a vast majority means NOTHING until a theory becomes a proven scientific fact.

It is obvious that in spite of the scientific evidence, to the contrary, you believe sunspots have no effect on climate.   Do you also believe man can control the number of sunspots emitted on the Sun?  Should he take control of the movement of the Earth’s tectonic plates, and thereby stop earthquakes?   I suppose you can also explain how you propose to halt violent volcanic eruptions.

Have you ever considered what relationship exists between belief and science?   There is really a big difference – belief is an emotional reaction, while science is always reality.   You continually downgrade any scientist who does not believe in global warming.  I believe in global warming, and I also believe in global cooling; and so do many of my colleagues.  We, as scientists, develop theories and hypotheses.  Afterwards, we set out to prove them.  On the other hand, you determine what answer best suits your belief system and peddle it as the truth.  To make my point, I’ll paraphrase an old timer’s observation back in the early 1800s – truth trumps fiction, but fiction well-served can trump truth.

Al, you obviously do not comprehend the complexities associated with the study of global climate.   You, the self-appointed inventor of the Internet, fail to accept that the acronym – GINGO.   While I accept climate modeling as a very valuable tool, I also realize its limitations.  Whether you accept it or not, climatology is not an exact science, and modeling techniques are very much in their infancy.  Climate and weather modeling makes use of the “chaos theory” wherein the number of variables can be extraordinary.  Importantly, scientists must improve data collection methods, and set stringent controls on the data before the modeling results can be trusted, until then - GINGO.

Sunspot activity does affect the Earth’s climate – the how, what, when and why are being actively researched by REAL scientists.  Whether you believe it or not, a large volcanic eruption throws sulfur dioxide ash high into the stratosphere where it combines with water vapor to form aerosols.  These aerosols alter interactions between the atmosphere and the sun.  Voila, the Earth’s climate patterns are affected, in spite of what you peddle.
REAL scientists study major volcanic eruptions to gain CLUES on what climate shifts and changes can be expected in the aftermath of the eruptions.  Following the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo on the east coast of Luzon in 1991, aerosols were created that blocked heat from the sun in the lower atmosphere.  This action lowered temperatures in the subtropics.  At the same time, temperatures were generally warmer over the Northern Hemisphere.  The Mt. Katmai eruption in Alaska also had a role in climate change- summers had strong cooling over the Northern Hemisphere landmasses, which brought on a decrease in the Asian monsoon circulation.   There is not enough space to continue listing the many instances where volcanoes contributed significantly to climate change.   There is overwhelming evidence that the location and intensity of volcanic eruptions largely determine overall climatic responses.   Historical evidence about violent volcanoes of the past adds to our REAL knowledge about major climate change in ancient time, and what changes might be expected today. 

Pronouncements gushing out of your five million-member “Climate reality Project” organization are suspect at best.   I’ll stick to the REAL sciences, such as geology, geophysics, oceanography, meteorology, archaeology, and anthropology.  Furthermore, don’t forget the physical sciences - chemistry, physics, mathematics, and astronomy.   Stop the hogwash, Al.  Bye, for now!