This week global warming theory came back into my life. I write in praise of Professor Bengtsson, whose recent remarks as a respected climate scientist have led to more doubts about what is happening in the scientific community. He has stated
“We do not know when to expect a warming of 2 degrees Celsius…. These high values of climate sensitivity (to CO2) , however, are not supported by observations. In other words global warming has not been a serious problem so far if we rely on observations”
I support him not because he comes from my local university of Reading, though Reading is a very well regarded leading university worldwide for its work on climate and weather. I support him because he is speaking out for scientific method to be applied as sanely and sceptically to climate science as to other parts of science.
As I have explained here before, the science of climate change is not “settled” as its leading propagandists like to tell us. No science is ever settled. Science proceeds by theory and models, followed by testing against data with continuous attempts to challenge, improve or overturn these models. Just look at the way human understanding of the sun and planets has evolved. Galileo challenged the settled science of the heavens of his day despite the protests of the academic establishment, Newton improved on it massively, but the twentieth century went far further in altering and adding to the Newtonian consensus.
Professor Bengtsson joined the Advisory Board of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. You would have thought most climate scientists would welcome the addition of a respect member of their profession to the Board of a body which likes to challenge and question the academic consensus. He could have made sure the work of the Foundation took proper note of the academic work its is reviewing and challenging. Instead he had to write a letter of resignation shortly after joining the Board complaining of the McCarthyite pressures exerted on him by the academic world for daring to join such a body at all!
This is not science as it should be conducted. If the scientists are truly confident of their models they should be able to deal with any intellectual challenge from a Policy Foundation without resorting to threats or tantrums. One of the main reasons so many people do not believe the scientists is they keep putting back the date when their model predictions of rising temperatures will come true. Tomorrow I will look at their 50 year weather forecast, and ask why they cannot also do a 10 year one that works.