I am not in one of the extreme groups. I am not in the "global warming is going to destroy the earth tomorrow and it is all 100% caused by humans" group and I am not in the "nothing is happening so let us just ignore everything and gas up our SUV" group. But I am annoyed; very annoyed; actually I am getting pissed off.
I am rather annoyed at people who refer to skeptics as "deniers" and I am annoyed at people who use the term "alarmists" to refer to people who hold with the AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) view. I am extremely annoyed at people who publish about what is supposedly one of the greatest threats facing us and then stonewall about the raw data and then after several years say Oh we lost it years ago. I am really pissed about that. And yes I think the raw data sets with all of the metadata does matter because there is always the possibility that any aggregation, combination or correction to one or more data sets may have had mistakes. I would like to see every step documented from each raw data set to the final published data set so that everything is transparent and subject to review. Plus it would be useful for training students. In addition to the data sets we need to have transparency in methods, formulas and parameters. There was a big disruption a few years ago about trying to get the details concerning the famous hockey stick graph. The last I had heard was that some corrections were finally published. Why all the secrecy? At time some people involved in all of this remind me of Gollum from the Lord of the Rings saying "My Precious! O my Precious" as he obsessed about the One True Ring; however instead of a ring some people act as if they are so possessive of their data sets, their formulas, their academic positions and their own sense of superiority that serious scientific inquiry appears to suffer.
One of the big concerns that I have is that there is so much focus on human factors that we are missing other factors. What about CO2 and ocean acidity? What happens if we all switch to wind, nuclear, etc and global warming continues due to other factors such as fluctuations in the sun for example. A while back I happened to read about some under sea volcanic activity in the Artic which melted a lot of Artic ice. It seems to me that losing a lot of Artic ice would have some impact on how much energy is reflected back. What happens if there is a major volcano eruption and we have global cooling? What do we do? Maybe humans should start better understanding exactly how the earth and the rest of the solar systems works. And the first step to that is remember how science works. Maybe we all need to put "transparency" and "openness" on our resolution list for 2010.
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