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Our ‘level of ignorance’ on global warming

THE high priests of global warming are in a panic these days as their prophecies of doom have proved to be as credible as a the Mayan calendar.

"Research by Ed Hawkins of University of Reading shows surface temperatures since 2005 are already at the low end of the range projections derived from 20 climate models and if they remain flat, they will fall outside the models' range within a few years," the newspaper Australian reported over the weekend.

As always, global warmists blame carbon dioxide.

"Another paper published by leading climate scientist James Hansen, the head of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, says the lower than expected temperature rise between 2000 and the present could be explained by increased emissions from burning coal," the Australian reported.

Hansen is wrong. Al Gore is wrong. The International Panel on Climate Change is wrong.

But what do I know? My degree is in communication. For expert opinion, I turn to people such as physicist Freeman Dyson.

"When I listen to the public debates about climate change, I am impressed by the enormous gaps in our knowledge, the sparseness of our observations and the superficiality of our theories," Dyson wrote in his book, "Many Colored Glass: Reflections on the Place of Life in the Universe."

"Many of the basic processes of planetary ecology are poorly understood. They must be better understood before we can reach an accurate diagnosis of the present condition of our planet.

"When we are trying to take care of a planet, just as when we are taking care of a human patient, diseases must be diagnosed before they can be cured. We need to observe and measure what is going on in the biosphere, rather than relying on computer models."

Then there is climatologist Judith Curry.

"With regards to the IPCC, cognitive biases in the context of an institutionalized consensus-building process have arguably resulted in the consensus becoming increasingly confirmed in a self-reinforcing way, to the detriment of the scientific process," Curry wrote on her blog last fall.

Then there is Nobel-winning physicist Ivar Giaever, who quit the American Physical Society in 2011.

"In the APS, it is OK to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible?" Giaever wrote in an email to Kate Kirby, executive officer of the physics society.

Then there is Mr. Mallory, a high school science teacher whose students included John Christy, professor of atmospheric science and a contributor to several IPCC reports.

"The best advice regarding scientific knowledge, which certainly applies to climate, came to me from Mr. Mallory, my high school physics teacher," Christy wrote in a BBC commentary.

"He proposed that we should always begin our scientific pronouncements with this statement: 'At our present level of ignorance, we think we know. . .' Good advice for the IPCC, and all of us."

The state of denial of global warming believers reminds me of Albert Einstein and the Big Bang theory.

In 1916, his Theory of Relativity seemed to confirm once and for all the Static Universe theory, which held that the universe neither contracts nor expands.

A decade later, Georges Lemaitre, a Roman Catholic priest, astronomer and physicist looked to the heavens, saw an expanding universe and put forth his Big Bang theory.

Einstein met him in 1927 and told him, "Your calculations are correct, but your grasp of physics is abominable."

He's Einstein. That settled that.

Except Edwin Hubble looked to the heavens and he also saw galaxies in motion. Others, too, began doubting the scientific consensus on Einstein's universe.

In January 1933, Lemaitre detailed his theory at a seminar. When the priest was finished, Einstein stood and applauded.

"This is the most beautiful and satisfactory explanation of creation to which I have ever listened," Einstein said.

He later called his support of a static universe his "biggest blunder."

Einstein knew what Mallory knew - and that is that he knew so little. I suggest the followers of global warming follow suit.

Surber's email is


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