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Global COOLING?!?

2009-07-09 02:18:59.155048+00 by meuon 6 comments

According to what might be a scanned copy of the mysterious NCEE Report - There is global cooling going on rather than warming. WTF?!?

"Proposed NCEE Comments on Draft Technical Support Document for Endangerment Analysis for Greehouse Gas Emissions under the Clear Air Act" is a 90+ page PDF that I got emailed that is supposed authentic, and that people have been fired for it and contradicting the "global warming" meme.

[ related topics: Global Warming ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2009-07-09 15:14:11.794604+00 by: petronius [edit history]

Sounds like the Report From Iron Mountain. Or is it?

#Comment Re: made: 2009-07-09 15:30:34.20935+00 by: JT

I saw this last week on NY Times, it appears to be the same pdf linked at the bottom of the article.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-07-09 18:35:40.656192+00 by: Dan Lyke

So I'm reading the executive summary of the New York Times one, I haven't tried to compare to these other ones, but the number of typos and goofs in the document ("...current downtrend to 100 years with a particularly rapid decline in 1907-8(sic)...") and the lack of specificity on places that should have specificity ("...a new 2009 paper finds that...", without a cite, ) aren't making it easy for find this document credible.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-07-10 07:05:46.531937+00 by: meuon

Like I said; Supposedly. Only a real non-federally funded climatologist might be able to tell you how valid all of the stuff in that is. I certainly can't. It was sure interesting and edumacational.

Is there such a thing? (as a non-federally funded climatologist)

#Comment Re: made: 2009-07-10 13:20:47.215701+00 by: Larry Burton

The paper had the appearance of a writing project that had gone through a first draft. I can see how a paper that brings down a lot of heat on the authors might remain in this state.

#Comment Re: made: 2009-07-10 16:06:07.697365+00 by: ebradway

At the USGS, we have an internal review system for all publications. The purpose isn't to enforce a particular "meme", but rather to leverage the fact that the most qualified people to review the science behind USGS publications work for the USGS. The same goes for the EPA. And if I, say, sent a questionable draft to the NYT, I'd probably get fired too.

But the USGS (and probably the EPA) is still reeling from the Bush Administration, in which executive policy needed to be considered as more important that scientific accuracy. Realize that the Oval Office has considerably higher turnover than most of the rest of the government. That is, is slow to change attitudes and personalities of those that fill desks throughout the bureaucracy. The authors, you may have noted, have been at the EPA since the Reagan era. That's pretty typical.

Bush had a specifically science-hostile position and threatened to privatize ALL government science positions. The reviewers of this paper had likely survived as a government scientist at the EPA through the Bush Administration - which means they learned to toe the line - not take risks - and definitely not risk a pension over scientific quibbles.

As for the credibility, the document reads like it was written by a couple PhDs at the EPA. It's an very early draft and links together ideas from recent papers. They may have a point or two - but don't think that the climate scientists, regardless of their funding, aren't looking for the same things.

None of the people I know who participated in the IPCC want climate change (global warming) to be real. Nothing would make them happier than to find substantial holes in the theory.

BTW, I know the dollar amounts that seem to be spent on Federally-funded science seems like alot of money - but very little of it actually gets to the scientists. At the University of Colorado (a Research One university), the University skims a little more than 50% of all research grant money as indirects (overhead). That money is used to maintain infrastructure and cover budget losses. Last year, only 7% of the CU-Boulder budget came from the State of Colorado budget. The rest was all covered by tuition and indirects from science grants.

Most of the rest of the grant money goes to fund graduate students - who get paid about $15K/year before taxes to do the grunt work of science (i.e., tramping around Greenland measuring moulins,I spent two years writing C++ for $15K/year).

What's missing from that equation is these graduate students take classes or have to register for "dissertation hours" (I take 5 a semester). Dissertation Hours are supposed to be spent doing your own research or writing your dissertation. But if you're a funded grad student (making $15K/year before taxes), you are required to take at least five hours a semester. The university charges full tuition for these "dissertation hours" against the grant money. So typically, for every $1 a grad student sees for doing science, the university takes $1 in tuition and $2 in "indirects".

If the actual research wants to fully participate in the scientific field work, they have to buy the time from the university. That is, reimburse the university out of the grant for their salary for the time they aren't working. Of course, that's after the indirects, so the university gets 2X the money for research buyouts.

The current system for funding research is less than optimal. But, like big banks, the University system is "too big to fail."