Former Vice President turned Savior of the Planet Al Gore once declared that “the science is settled.”
Well, maybe not. Here’s what we know — and don’t know.
The temperature on Planet Earth went up, then it stopped going up. Or at least we thought we knew that, until the journal “Science” ran a blockbuster report based on a scientific paper titled: “Possible Artifacts Of Data Biases In The Recent Global Surface Warming Hiatus.”
That study appeared just six months before world leaders signed the Paris agreement on climate change, and it made one dramatic assertion: There never was a “pause” in the temperature rise. In fact, the paper said, the global temperature was rising all during the time many scientists said it was falling or holding steady.
Now, plenty of other scientific data showed that global temperatures stopped rising from 1998-2012. But the paper said that wasn’t the case — the rise was being “hidden” in oceans and seas — and urged immediate action, saying anything short of a major effort to halt the rise would be devastating to Earthlings. And so the world governments acted as one and passed one of the most costly remedies ever devised by man.
But along comes whistleblower Dr. John Bates, who until recently was among the top scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He took issue with the new claim that the world’s bodies of water were actually hiding the massive temperature increase, that oceans and seas had risen dramatically in temperature.
“It turns out that when NOAA compiled what is known as the ‘version 4’ dataset, it took reliable readings from buoys but then ‘adjusted’ them upwards – using readings from seawater intakes on ships that act as weather stations,” the Daily Mail reported on Saturday. “They did this even though readings from the ships have long been known to be too hot.”
Bates said the way the sample waters were collected greatly skewed the findings. And, more, he said that there really has been a pause in rising temperatures, despite what so manyt scientists are saying.
The liberal organs are up in arms. Media Matters published a full-throated (and lengthy) point-by-point rebuttal. The Guardian bashed The Mail as “fake news.” Mashable (yes, Mashable) piled on in a piece titled: “No, U.S. climate scientists didn’t trick the world into adopting the Paris deal.”
Someone who wants to get to the bottom of the whole matter is Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas). As chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, he praises Bates “for courageously stepping forward to tell the truth about NOAA’s senior officials playing fast and loose with the data in order to meet a politically predetermined conclusion.” And look for further investigation by his committee in the coming days.
One thing we can all agree on: We’ve got to protect Earth. But “settled science” says man is the Earth’s greatest enemy? Not so settled. We can’t even decide if our planet got warmer for 14 years or not. So, hardly settled.