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August 30, 2011

This Is How Science Gets Settled

Good piece on CERN's CLOUD experiment, which proved that the sun is primarily responsible for cloud formation. Cosmic rays cause the upper atmosphere to be seeded with cloud-forming molecules.

And the strength of cosmic rays fluctuates. And clouds influence temperature (by reflecting away sunlight that would otherwise warm the earth).

This has been in the news lately, and it's been linked here. I'm linking this article to note... those who so love science tried to get the experiment killed, because they didn't want AGW theory to even have a challenge.

But Mr. Kirkby made the same tactical error that the Danes [who had earlier proposed the theory, and had been punished] had — not realizing how politicized the global warming issue was, he candidly shared his views with the scientific community.

“The theory will probably be able to account for somewhere between a half and the whole of the increase in the Earth’s temperature that we have seen in the last century,” Mr. Kirkby told the scientific press in 1998, explaining that global warming may be part of a natural cycle in the Earth’s temperature.

The global warming establishment sprang into action, pressured the Western governments that control CERN, and almost immediately succeeded in suspending CLOUD. It took Mr. Kirkby almost a decade of negotiation with his superiors, and who knows how many compromises and unspoken commitments, to convince the CERN bureaucracy to allow the project to proceed. And years more to create the cloud chamber and convincingly validate the Danes’ groundbreaking theory.

Yet this spectacular success will be largely unrecognized by the general public for years — this column will be the first that most readers have heard of it — because CERN remains too afraid of offending its government masters to admit its success. Weeks ago, CERN [formally] decided to muzzle Mr. Kirby and other members of his team to avoid “the highly political arena of the climate change debate,” telling them “to present the results clearly but not interpret them” and to downplay the results by “mak[ing] clear that cosmic radiation is only one of many parameters.” The CERN study and press release is written in bureaucratese and the version of Mr. Kirkby’s study that appears in the print edition of Nature censored the most eye-popping graph — only those who know where to look in an online supplement will see the striking potency of cosmic rays in creating the conditions for seeding clouds.

"Science" -- blocking experiments which could undermine a politically-popular, money-making theory.

Thanks to DanF.


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posted by Ace at 08:51 PM

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