Contemporary climate trends are part of a normal cyclical pattern reflected in data from the past and not a cause for alarm, a weather scientist and researcher long associated with CU-Boulder told a business leaders' breakfast today. Dr. Richard Keen presented research findings that point to climate-modelers' tendency to bend facts to their theories, when good scientific practice requires the opposite.
At a private briefing for members of the Centennial Institute Business Council, Keen was asked by Institute director John Andrews to discuss four questions in connection with widespread fears about man-made global warming (AGW) and its consequences. 1) What is happening? 2) Why is it happening? 3) What are the policy options in response? 4) What should ultimately be done?
He started by answering the last two questions with "Nothing" and "Nothing," based on his conviction that current warming, if any, is connected minimally or not at all with human causation. He then built the case for that assertion with a detailed PowerPoint presentation, available here: Keen Climate Briefing 091611.ppt (10.42 mb)
A climate catastrophe is NOT happening, insisted Keen - but a serious case of scientific malpractice and media/political exploitation is. As for the "why," he cited psychic and financial motivations of AGW advocates, recalling the gibe that "if you torture the data long enough, they will confess," and closing with a seldom-quoted passage from President Eisenhower's farewell address which predicted (correctly, it now seems) the corrupting effects of federal money upon scientific integrity.
Richard Keen has had a distinguished research career in climatology, meteorology, and astronomy, having published eight books in these fields. He took emeritus status on the University of Colorado faculty this year, after working as a researcher there since 1972 and as an instructor since 1998. His doctorate in climatology and masters in astro-geophysics are from CU. His bachelor’s in astronomy is from Northwestern. He spends part of each year studying the Juneau ice field in Alaska. The global warming scare, Keen likes to say, is “part political science and part science fiction.”