Glenn Knight and I are having a disagreement in the comments thread of my last post on so-called global warming (I'm embarrassed to see it's also my most recent post, period - I need to get back in the blogging saddle).
Glenn makes two statements that need addressing:
1. "(That) the evidence shows that there has been such a constant connection between man-made CO2 and global temperature change is not, I think, in much doubt."
2. "But there is no evidence whatever that anyone concocted data, suppressed data, or deliberately distorted data."
I'll deal with the second point first. I accused AGW proponents of "faking" data. I was referring specifically to the temperature "record" that purportedly shows that for the last one thousand years the earth's temperature has consistently risen in direct correlation to the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. Let me concede immediately that I am unable to prove this accusation for reasons that any lawyer or moderately intelligent student of philosophy would find obvious. It is an editorial opinion (like calling a politician a "liar" when he reneges on a campaign promise). I believe it to be true but I could not show that the scientists at East Anglia University, with malign intent, purposely produced temperature data they knew to be "fake". However I stand behind my declaration for the following reasons. They are scientists and as such know they are to adhere to particular standards in their scientific work. The evidence is now overwhelming that they did not adhere to such standards, that they knew they were not adhering to such standards, and that they knew that they should adhere to such standards. Their emails further seem to show that they knew their failure to adhere to such standards would rightly call their work into question and they did knowingly work to prevent others from discovering the shoddiness of their work. It is not proof of fraud to a legal or philosophical certainty but it sure meets the definition of "faked" for editorial purposes.
This takes me to Glenn's first point: "that there has been such a constant connection between man-made CO2 and global temperature change". Uh, no. The scandal of global warming hysteria is that no such connection has in fact been scientifically shown. The temperature data that accurately indicates such a connection does not exist. The data set that purports to show such a connection has apparently been gathered in such a way as to be unreproducible and is therefore, by any reasonable scientific standards, unreliable. Nothing is, or can be, "proved" by unreliable data. No statistical "connection" is, or can be, shown if it is based on values whose provenance is untraceable to any legitimate source. Something is not a science if it is not based on scientific work carried out according to scientific practices. No such rigorous work seems to have been carried out in the question of the thousand-year temperature record upon which AGW belief is based. Therefore any conclusion about possible serious or even catastrophic effects of increased CO2 is not science.