By Byron Schlomach, Ph.D.
Twenty years ago a biologist showed me a graph from a peer-reviewed scientific journal that showed an alarming increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. Then I noticed the graph's scale was logarithmic and made even small increases look exaggerated. I've been skeptical of the science behind global warming ever since.
Now there's ClimateGate. Somebody hacked the University of East Anglia's e-mail server in England and downloaded e-mails to and from scientists in the Climate Research Unit, perhaps the world's premier climate research center. The messages show scientists engaged in politics over science. One damaging e-mail includes this remark:
"I've just completed Mike's Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (i.e. from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline."
"Mike" is Michael Mann, made famous by the "hockey stick" temperature diagram Al Gore helped popularize. It first appeared in a UN report on global warming and purports to show that earth's recent temperature is the highest in a thousand years, using tree ring data to reconstruct past temperatures. Mann apparently grafted in data from unrelated modern sources to get the desired result when ring data didn't cooperate.
Add to this the recent confession that raw temperature data have long been destroyed. These data are the basis of the two main datasets used by the UN for its policy reports. Now nobody can actually check the methodology of the data that's being used to dictate international policy.
Given the lack of reliable, replicable, scientific evidence of global warming, it calls into question the wisdom behind the Arizona Corporation Commission renewable energy standards that will cost Arizona utility customers billions in the coming years. The Commission should rely on more than questionable science before they strike a multi-billion dollar blow to Arizona's already fragile economy. I've got plenty of raw data to back that up, by the way.
Byron Schlomach, Ph.D., is the director of the Goldwater Institute's Center for Economic Prosperity.
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