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Time for an inquiry into the arguments of deniers of anthropological global warming

An independent inquiry into the "climategate scandal" has found that there was no evidence of deliberate scientific malpractice, meaning that the conclusion that mankind is causing global warming is probably correct.

Now, a similar independent inquiry must be held to investigate the arguments of deniers of anthropological global warming.  There arguments must be scrutinised to see if they are valid, or invalid, or deliberately misleading.

Such an inquiry will provide government decision makers and the general public with a more sound basis with which to base decision making about this very important issue.

The "climategate" scandal involved someone hacking into the computers at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia.  Thousands of emails were downloaded and were used to cast doubt on the science of climate change.  This happened just before the December 2009 United Nations meeting in Copenhagen which was tasked with agreeing on a plan of action to ameliorate anthropological global warming.  That meeting failed.

Lord Oxburgh headed an independent panel which found that the scientists at CRU were dedicated if slightly disorganised researchers who were ill-prepared for being the focus of public attention.  They also found that better statistical methods should have been used to interpret the "messy" data on world temperatures.  But no evidence was found of "deliberate scientific malpractice".  Any exaggeration of the extent of global warming was made by other organisations.

Now let Oxburgh and his independent panel scrutinise the claims of deniers of anthropological climate change.  As I have noted elsewhere, climate scientists have failed to win the hearts and minds of enough political leaders to ensure urgent action.  They have not really tried to rebut the claims of deniers.  Perhaps they would lack credibility, in the eyes of the deniers, for this task.

So an independent inquiry is needed urgently.

The editorial of the New Scientist of 31 July 2010 said that "Yes, questions need to be asked.  Healthy scepticism is vital. ... For all the bleating about being excluded, science is not a closed shop.  If their criticisms of climate science have merit they will be heard."  I disagree most strongly.

I have found that climate scientists (and economists) have very closed minds when conventional wisdom is challenged, especially by someone like me who would be perceived to have no credentials (despite this, I have been able to explain the long drought in Melbourne - a feat which has not been achieved by the dozens of climate scientists working on the problem).

Only an independent public inquiry into the arguments of deniers will suffice.

I am no denier myself.  I have analysed the global temperature data and I'm convinced that increasing concentrations of greenhouse gasses is boosting temperature.  As the sun comes out of its quietist period since 1913 to 1915 I expect the now waning cooling impact of that inactivity to allow temperatures to rise quite quickly.  There are already signs that 2010 will be very hot globally and perhaps be the hottest on record.

There is no more time for procrastination.  


Charlie Nelson
August 2010