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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Who's Anti-Science Now?

In 1989, the Berlin Wall fell, signalling the end of the Soviet Empire.  At least that's how it was reported.  Like a football game, victory should never be openly declared until time has expired.  But by the time The Wall fell, the West, led by America had already taken a knee to run out the clock.  In truth, the end of the Soviet Empire was assured early in Ronald Reagan's second term.  When President Reagan introduced his Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) program, the Soviets had their collectivist legs knocked out from under them.  They had used up all their resources in defending the body blows Reagan's defense buildup had caused and were in no shape to withstand this new futuristic StarWars weapons system with its space-based Lasers.  StarWars' offensive potential (in the Soviets' minds) was a knock-out blow.

A similar knock-out blow may have been delivered against Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) recently.  But it may be years before most will learn anything of it.  In 1996, two Danish scientists hypothesized that the sun and cosmic rays promote the formation of cloud formation at the molecular level.  If true, it would show that changes in cloud formation (and thus climate temperatures) were directly correlated to changes in the the amount of cosmic rays entering the atmosphere, which is controlled by the sun's magnetic field.

The day after presenting their hypothesis at a scientific conference in Britain, the chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), denounced their theory and sought to discredit them.  An attendee from the conference, spoke of their theory in a lecture at CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) one of the world’s largest centres for scientific research involving 60 countries and 8,000 scientists at more than 600 universities and national laboratories.  CERN is the organization that invented the World Wide Web, that built the multi-billion dollar Large Hadron Collider, and that has now built a clean stainless steel chamber that precisely recreated the Earth’s atmosphere. 

A CERN scientist, Jasper Kirby, saw the importance of the theory and developed an experiment that would create a cloud chamber.  In 1998, Kirby told the scientific press, "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.”   Some in the scientific community were put off by the thought that such an experiment would take place and pressured CERN to withdraw support for Kirby.  It took nearly a decade to be able to move forward with the project and several years to build it.

The research was published with little fanfare this week in the prestigious journal Nature.  In Kirby's cloud chamber, 63 CERN scientists from 17 European and American institutes have done what global warming doomsayers said could never be done — demonstrate that cosmic rays promote the formation of molecules that in Earth’s atmosphere can grow and seed clouds, the cloudier and thus cooler it will be. Because the sun’s magnetic field controls how many cosmic rays reach Earth’s atmosphere (the stronger the sun’s magnetic field, the more it shields Earth from incoming cosmic rays), it follows that the sun has a large controlling effect on the Earth's temperature apart from its natural radiant effect.

This data will be very unpopular with those scientists whose livelihood relies on AGW for funding.  Many of these same scientists have decried the unscientific masses who deny the existence of AGW today.  Will they now step up and accept the science?  Or was their stance not really about science in the first place?

This is hard science with data originating at one of the premier scientific institutions on earth.  Of course it's too early to declare victory for common sense and good science.  But several year from now, we will see that while the IPCC began to unravel under it's own doctored science in 2010, it was when Kirby's research was released in August 2011 that the clock began to run out on the AGW scaremongers.

How odd is it that Reagan's threat of rays from space ended the Soviet threat, while cosmic rays from deep space may be the end of AGW?  Who knew science had such a wonderful sense of irony?

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