October 16, 2004

I'm floored

I'll be posting more on this as I absorb the implications, but it appears that one of the great central bits of evidence for man made global warming has been debunked.

So where does that leave global warming theorists? Where does that leave scientific review? You would think that complex statistical evidence would be pored over very carefully when it's going to influence the economic future of the entire world and the price for error is paid in death and destruction. Yet the original paper was published in Nature in 1998 and it's been 5-6 years for the holes in the evidence to be uncovered.

Prior debunkings seem to have simply assumed that there were no errors in calculation, but that the proxies used to create the hockey stick graphs were too weak and were just not picking up reality. The interesting part about this new paper is that it does not argue over whether one set of data is better than another but rather just looks at the source data and finds relatively simple cheats, data transcription errors, biased samples, and other rather mundane errors that should have disqualified the original Mann paper from ever being published.

Since the original Mann paper has been formally challenged, errors have been admitted, data corrected, so this isn't just a couple of crackpots out to stir up trouble. There are real problems here. But where do we go from here on the scientific front and what do we do about the great leap into economic restrictionism to fix an environmental problem that may not actually be there?

Posted by TMLutas at October 16, 2004 02:09 AM