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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Bad Research, Worse Reporting on Global Warming

By Dennis Byrne

In trying to prove that the Bush administration is throttling research into global warming, the Union of Concerned Scientists rolled out some breathtakingly bad science.

The group unveiled a supposedly scientific survey of more than 1,600 federal climate scientists as evidence that the administration was engaged in "wide-ranging political interference in research related to global warming."

"The new evidence shows that political interference in climate science is no longer a series of isolated incidents but a system-wide epidemic," Dr. Francesca Grifo, Director of the UCS Scientific Integrity Program, said in a press release. "Tailoring scientific fact for political purposes has become a problem across many federal science agencies."

Grifo obviously doesn't' appreciate the irony when he trots out a poll that is so flawed that it is manifest evidence of exaggeration, incompetence or dishonesty on his group's part.

You don't have to be a social scientist to understand that the survey was deceptive, for example, when it lumped into the same category scientists who said they actually experienced the alleged tampering and scientists who simply "perceived" that it happened to someone else. For example, the group's press release said "Forty-three percent of respondents reported they had perceived or personally experienced changes or edits during review of their work that changed the meaning of their scientific findings." But turn to the study's appendix, and you'll find that only 15 percent of the respondents said that they had actually experienced such interference.

Read more at RealClearPolitics


Nick said...

I read your opinion piece on and thought it fantastic. Personally, I do not believe all the hype about global warming, though my true goal is for an open and fair discussion/debate about the issue for the American public to see. The most troubling thing about the global warming hysteria is that it is egged on (and even created in part) by the media, not science. Thanks for writing about this.

LT Aron Foster, USN said...

First, thank you for your article. The global warming hysteria that the environmentalists are pushing is one of the biggest threats to America today because it feeds on a mixture of good intentions and ignorance, both of which we have in ample supply.

Your article brings up some excellent points about the skewed report by UCSUSA, and I think anyone with a background in statistics or a skeptical eye could write more on this political attack disguised as science.

UCSUSA provides a copy of the report on their webpage, and includes the entire survey as an appendix. I encourage anyone interested in the global warming debate to read the report. I was surprised at how much subtle Bush-bashing they fit into one scientific paper. What's worse, most of the discussion on political interference could very well be talking about pressure from the left to inflate the global warming problem: it's never specified, only inferred that the pressure is to silence global warming advocates.

The report is, at best, useful like internet polls. At its worst, it is a lie propped up as gospel by global warming nuts and Bush haters alike.

Global warming consensus? Wasn't there a consensus on the DDT ban, which inarguably causes over a million malaria deaths each year?

ptbyb said...

Kudos. I'm trying to get in touch with one Ms. Charlton at AP who in a recent Global Warming rant stated the following. "The world is hotter now than it has been in thousands of years - perhaps more." Trying to refute this demonstrably false statement is one thing but getting in touch with AP is another. They clearly don't want to hear it.

Anonymous said...

Many years ago people argued that the world was indeed flat even after the evidence clearly showed otherwise probably for a some political motive I'm sure. However the issue of global warming is settled science and inteligent people would not continue to argue against it, instead people should be trying to do something about it. We are leaving our children a legacy of problems that will effect the very existance of all living creatures on this planet, from cancer to extinction. Stop this nonsence please!!!