Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, had an op-ed in Monday's New York Times in which he called anyone who's skeptical of man-made global warming a "traitor to the Earth."

Now, I don't have a PhD in Economics (although I do have one in another field), nor do I have a Nobel Prize, but that accusation seems a bit over the top. Perhaps it's just another example of the growing societal acrimony frequently discussed on Minyanville.

I'd like to take a look at the evidence for global warming resulting from increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere: The argument is that more infrared radiation released by the Earth is captured given the higher concentration of CO2 in the air, thereby warming the planet. However, if you're looking for scientifically rigorous experiments linking CO2 to increased temperatures, I have bad news for you: It doesn't exist.

What we have are computer models showing that increased CO2 levels will lead to catastrophic increases in global temperatures; an increase of as little as 10 degrees Fahrenheit will cause a lot of ice will melt, the sea level to rise, and Newfoundland to resemble Bermuda.

But that's the model talking.

Can any model accurately capture the complexities of the Earth's atmosphere? There are certainly many sophisticated ones out there. Happily, most of them use actual physical experiments to verify their underlying assumptions. However, until the "Flux Capacitor" from Back to the Future gets built, any climate model will need decades to verify its assumptions using real data.

Climate simply refers to one day of weather after another. Global-warming true believers, let me ask you the following question: Do you view weather forecast projections for 2 weeks from today with the same certainty that you do a computer model that purports to predict the weather 100 years from now? If not, why not? After all, they're both based on computer models.

If your neighbor told you he were getting a tent for his daughter's wedding reception 2 weeks from now, and you told him not to bother, because a computer model predicted sunny weather, do you think he'd take you seriously?

The key to good science -- not good politics -- is understanding the scientific method. Richard Feynmann, the Nobel Prize-winning physicist, put it this way: "It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is; it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong."

Since we can't look 50 years into the future, let's go back and look at the actual climate forecasts from 6 to 7 years ago, and compare the global temperature forecasts to the actual observed temperatures.

Here's some science that no one with a vested political or financial interest in climate change would want you to know: The warmest year since 1934 was 1998, at the height of the strongest El Nino on record. The gold standard for CO2 measurement is taken at Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii. In 1998, the observatory recorded 366 parts per million (ppm) of CO2 in the atmosphere; it steadily rose to 386 ppm in 2008. In the meantime, the earth has cooled.

If we go back to climate models from, say, 2002, what did they predict during the past 7 years as CO2 was steadily rising?
7 years global cooling
© unknown

As you can see, the IPCC models -- the ones blessed by the UN -- predicted that global temperatures would be steadily warming, but instead they've been cooling. Let's recall what Feynmann said: If the data don't agree with the theory, the theory's wrong -- regardless of a widespread public desire to blame Exxon, or Chevron, or Hummers for global warming.

The observed temperature data don't match what the model predicts. In physics (my field), we'd look at both the experiment and the data to see whether there was something wrong with the experiment's design, or whether the data were right and the theory wrong. Either way, we'd step back and reevaluate everything.

What we certainly wouldn't do is cram 300 pages of amendments through Congress at 3:00 a.m. and force a vote the next day.

To quote Professor Krugman's article:
"Sometimes even the most authoritative analyses get things wrong. And if dissenting opinion makers and politicians based their dissent on hard work and hard thinking -- if they had carefully studied the issue, consulted with experts and concluded that the overwhelming scientific consensus was misguided -- they could at least claim to be acting responsibly."
Authoritative analyses: a phrase that sums up the problem better than I ever could have. Not scientific analyses, not peer-reviewed, not unbiased -- but authoritative. Sounds kind of like Iran, North Korea, or Al Gore to me.

"If they had carefully studied the issue, consulted with experts, and concluded that the overwhelming scientific consensus was misguided -- they could at least claim to be acting responsibly," Krugman says. I don't even have to be snide about this quote. had an article this past weekend about an EPA scientist who wrote a 98-page report warning against making hasty "decisions based on a scientific hypothesis that does not appear to explain most of the available data." The report was quashed by an EPA official who wrote in an email to a staff researcher on March 17: "The administrator and the administration has decided to move forward ... and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision."

To give you another example, the first woman to receive a PhD in meteorology was Joanne Simpson. Last year, she wrote a telling article, in which she said: "Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor receive any funding, I can speak quite frankly," suggesting that she may have felt obliged to keep quiet on those of her views that were at odd with her funders'.

I'm not surprised that Professor Krugman has never heard of any of the highly qualified researchers who are skeptical of man-made global warming, because they're typically either quashed, ignored by the mainstream media, or threatened by the ruin of their professional careers. Dr Simpson's first line is classic.

There are way too many myths out there about global warming that never get fact-checked. Krugman thinks that Arctic ice is decreasing at terrifying rates. And yet, ice coverage through June is just about average for the past 8 years. Also, the average Arctic temperature is holding near 32° F, the latest date in the year it's been that cold in 50 years of record keeping. That's terrifying?

Back in March, 2007, Al Gore told Congress that "the science is settled." Don't do any more research, don't question my judgment, "The science is settled." The person who probably heard that first was Galileo Galilei: "The science is settled. The Sun revolves around the Earth, not vice versa. You're hereby sentenced to house arrest until you recant your heretical views." Poor Galileo, the man Albert Einstein called "the father of modern science," spent the rest of his life under house arrest.

There's no doubt the science isn't settled. The data's not fitting the model. With the Earth cooling, what was the real reason for cramming the Cap & Tax Bill (its actual name) through the House? Hopefully, some "cooler" heads will start looking at both sides of the story, and will come up with an energy bill that doesn't include caps on CO2 -- which, it's beginning to seem, may have nothing to do with global warming.

Traitors, betraying the planet? Paul, let me give you a little advice. You got Cap & Tax through the House. It's summer -- chill. Lighten up a bit and check out You might discover that there are some quality traitors at work out there.