Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Global warming deniers:
Where do they get their facts?

The late Sen.Daniel Patrick Moynihan is quoted as saying, "We are all entitled to our own opinions, but not our own facts." As anyone who follows the news these days knows, the second half of Moynihan's statement has long since been repealed. So, it behooves people to check out official sounding footnotes and organizations to see what's actually behind them whenever a claim seems contrary to what one knows to be broadly accepted.

Of course, interpretations of events are often subjective and depend on one's point of view and agenda. But, interpretation of scientific data ought to turn on the long established rules of logic, observation and measurement. Yes, one might interpret the data differently from others, but there is no practice in science that allows you to just make up evidence.

So, when writer George Monbiot read in a letter to the editor from a well-credentialed scientist in a respected scientific journal that the vast majority of glaciers in the world are growing, he decided to check into the sources cited to see what he had somehow missed. Monbiot reports what he found here. (For those who don't know, it has been widely reported in recent years that the vast majority of the world's glaciers are receding, probably because of global warming.)

When you get done reading what Monbiot the gumshoe found, the next question you'll ask is why a respected scientist would make such claims based on what he had to know was fake evidence. I'm looking forward to the next installment on this issue to discover what would motivate this scientist to do such a thing.

(Via Energy Bulletin.)

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