There's battle lines being drawn.
Nobody's right if everybody's wrong.
Young people speaking their minds
getting so much resistance from behind

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The trouble with tribbles

So, there's a whole bunch of hullabaloo about the stolen emails from East Anglia University. And it's be portrayed as the "see, we were right, all this data is bogus, the models aren't to be trusted, and global warming is a hoax" smoking gun.


So now all those glaciers we've been hiding can come back (which is good, I need the closet space). We don't have to keep taking heat guns to the Arctic Ice Sheet to keep it in retreat (man, that'll be good because it's damn cold up there and there's polar bears everywhere). We don't need to worry about a shelf of ice that might slough off Greenland and disrupt the salinity of the Atlantic Ocean which might disturb the Gulf Stream (but hey, new real estate opportunities in Greenland!). We can stop dynamiting the Ross Ice-shelf to calve the huge icebergs ('cause, you know, dynamite is dangerous). And we can stop running radiant heating throughout the permafrost to melt it all and release the loverly methane that was trapped in the soil (because, you know, radiant heating is damn expensive, and if you puncture one of those pipes with a staple, it'll ruin your whole day). All those South Pacific Island Nation whiners can just STFU about their islands disappearing into the sea (and shut down those bilge pumps that keep upping the local sea levels where they have to move villages farther inland). And we can stop injecting CO2 into the oceans making them more acidic (and that's good, because that was also damn expensive and the pumps were real noisy at night).

And look, temperatures have cooled the past three years. Hurrah! It's all over! Heck, this might be a trend that leads us to a new ice age. You know, like Newsweek reported back in 75. Because it looked like that back then when you only look at 5 years of data and something like four sample points (can't find the original article, which I once had).

And it's so good to hear that we don't think scientists should be concerned about money and grant funding (you know, like people have been warning about for three decades now). I'm sure research scientists would also agree that the whole "publish or perish" model of research and university tenure is just hokum that should be dumped in the waste bin. They also shouldn't worry about the fact that the media and general public often get things wrong and have the attention span of gnats on coke (the Columbian kind, not the Atlanta kind). And when we throw barbs at them, they should be all noble in their white citadels and not worry about it. Plus I'm sure all those computer scientists who right custom code will be overjoyed at the knowledge that they only have to program it correctly, cleanly, and with great accuracy on the first attempt. And if they don't, by all means they should start over from scratch (think of the billable hours!). Oh, and hey, with all the money we'll save from funding this bogus research, we can research the important things like proving this Darwin guy was wrong and covering up all the data he found to prove God exists and the Earth is only 6000 years old.

Oh, and scientists should always keep every piece of data they ever collected just in case someone without credentials would want to examine it. Because nobody would ever throw out raw data or camera footage. You know, like how we store all that NASA data on our moon landings (probably the greatest human achievement ever).

Good to know all that. And glad we don't need to do anything about dumping all those gases into our atmosphere at the rate of a few tons per second. Cause a little acid rain never hurt anybody. After all, man can't affect the world. Like causing extinctions, the aforementioned acid rain, speed up the rotation of the Earth by damning the rivers and holding more water at higher latitudes, over fish ocean areas until they become deserts underwater, reduce to deserts what were once the lush cradles of civilization, expand the Sahara and Mongolian Deserts, light up the night side of earth to be seen in orbit, fill a wide swath of the pacific north of Hawaii with enough junk to make it a hazard to shipping (and wildlife), deplete the ozone layer, cover SE Asia in smoke so thick to be a breathing hazard from burning forests to make arable land, or dump enough pollution in rivers that they could actually catch fire. Nah, the Earth is simply too big for all of us humans, which, BTW, are now so numerous that the current living ones outnumber all who have died in recorded history, to have any effect on it.

Ah. I can sleep well now. And tomorrow I can go out and see the forest that stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mississippi River so thickly that a squirrel could travel the whole distance and never touch the ground. Because I live in the middle of that place.


Anonymous said...

Not that you're angry at them or anything...

So, even though there's a lot of good science supporting global warning, it's nice to know we can discard that all in the blink of an eye, because we want to.

You know, I can lie about eating a twinkie, but the weight I gain is going to be the same, whether I believe a twinkie has calories or not...


Steve Buchheit said...

Catherine, nope, not at all. And yeah, that's the basic gist of things. The other side gets to point and say, "see, it's all bogus and they hid things."

Not like we don't have other copies of the data sets at NASA, NOAA, and five or six other research centers that show exactly the same thing. In this case, because of the "controversy" there are plenty of scientists cross checking, rerunning, and verifying data and conclusions (I say in this case, because, like the whole "science tied to competitive research grants" problem, there's also the problem that for most experiments, nobody is verifying the results by repeating the experiments - in this case, however, there is multiple redundancy).