Thursday, January 17, 2013

Climate Change...and Ultrarunning

Over at Bad Astronomy, another great piece by Phil Plait.  He makes me excited about the heavens, and the broader scope of Nature.

And he's a scientist.  Meaning that he believes in the scientific process, the documentation of results, the writing of peer reviewed articles to expand the common body of knowledge.

Did you catch the term peer-reviewed?  That simply means that before an article can be published in a scientific journal, it must first be reviewed by a number of other scientists who know that field.  That guards against the publication of articles, frankly, that are full o' crap.

So...back to Phil.  The blog posted cited above contains this cool graphic:

See, the premise is simple:

If global warming isn’t real and there’s an actual scientific debate about it, that should be reflected in the scientific journals.

He [another scientist, Lawrence Powell] looked up how many peer-reviewed scientific papers were published in professional journals about global warming, and compared the ones supporting the idea that we’re heating up compared to those that don’t.
The results above speak for themselves.  Phil's conclusion:
So let this be clear: There is no scientific controversy over this. Climate change denial is purely, 100 percent made-up political and corporate-sponsored crap. When the loudest voices are fossil-fuel funded think tanks, when they don’t publish in journals but instead write error-laden op-eds in partisan venues, when they have to manipulate the data to support their point, then what they’re doing isn’t science.
It’s nonsense. And worse, it’s dangerous nonsense. Because they’re fiddling with the data while the world burns.

Oh, and the link to Ultrarunning?  We who spend significant time in the backcountry are well attuned to the pulse of nature.  We should be leading the fight for addressing the issue of human-caused climate change.  Because it sure seems to be a word that will never escape the lips of the "leaders" of this country.


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