There was supposed to be a meeting a few weeks back in D.C., sponsored by NORA, the New England Fuel Institute and Petroleum Marketers Association of America that would address, among other topics, various greenhouse gas issues relative to the industry. It had to be rescheduled because of the major snowstorms that brought D.C. to a halt.
It is somewhat ironic that a huge snowstorm would shut down such a meeting, and that similar snowstorms marred the recent Copenhagen conference on climate change. However, as man-made global warming supporters now enthusiastically point out, you can’t draw real conclusions from isolated weather incidents. That new line of thought from those individuals and groups is itself ironic, since the same supporters have used such events – from Hurricane Katrina, to a local hot spell, to even these snowstorms (arguing that global warming was actually responsible for the extra snow) – when it has suited their goals.
The reality is you do have to look at longer trends and not specific weather events. And on that front Professor Phil Jones, the director of the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (until he stepped down in the wake of “Climategate”), has admitted that the “irrefutable” climate trend data has some serious issues.
During a February interview with the BBC, this central supporter of man-made, or anthropogenic, global warming, finally conceded the following:
1. There has been no statistically significant warming since 1995.
2. There are warm periods in the past, the Medieval for example – that cannot be related to human activity.
3. As a scientist he lacks organizational skills, and that his record keeping is ”not as good as it should be.” He may very well have lost important data and cannot keep track of other data.
While <i>The New York Times</i> and to a lesser extent the <i>Washington Post</i> continue (almost alone these days) the idea that the science is otherwise still decided, Jones’ statements cannot be dismissed out of hand as being minor or unimportant. Jones has literally become a giant in the field. His work (which itself is showing serious flaws) underscores AGW policy from the United Nations to the EPA. You could perhaps dismiss Jones and the handful of other figures more directly tainted in recent months by the scientific scandals over climate change data, except for how often their work underpins to some degree much of the remaining “science” on the issue. A comparable event in magnitude to Jones’ statements would be Al Gore making such statements, except that with Jones you are not talking about the celebrity face of AGW, but the scientific backbone.
We have several follow-up corrections from the SourceBook Issue:
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