Digital Diatribes

A presentation of data on climate and other stuff

The Passing of John A. Eddy

Posted by The Diatribe Guy on June 12, 2009

In a post at Watts Up With That? today, I learned that John A. Eddy has passed away. Please see Anthony’s blog entry here: Watts’ entry on Eddy’s passing.

As I mentioned in a comment there, this has relevance to me in that I was very taken by a coouple early papers that I tracked down, read, and summarized here at Digital Diatribes. Please check them out here:
Eddy #1
Eddy #2

One of the take-aways from that little research I did was not so much the scientific study, but an overall general conclusion. I had quoted it in the second post, and will do so again here:

It would seem that Maunder and Spoerer were right and that most of the rest of us have been wrong. As is often the case in the onrush of modern science, we had too quickly forgotten the past, forgotten the less-than-perfect pedigree of the sunspot cycle and the fact that it too once came as a surprise. We had adopted a kind of solar uniformitarianism, contending that the modern behavior of the sun represented the normal behavior of the sun over a much longer span of time.

John A. Eddy

Even though he’s talking about the sunspot cycle, when I read that, I realized that the “consensus” on climate change in the scientific community is not necessarily a new issue. We are humans, and we tend to gravitate towards groupthink. It takes a special person or persons to question the consensus. Not willy-nilly questioning just to be a pain, mind you. But honest-to-goodness “I don’t think you’re right, and I have valid reasons for that” questioning.

Do not be afraid to question the current scientific consensus. They may just be blogs, but the blogroll to the right provides some excellent resources for understanding valid reasons to question the consensus. And there are scientists out there who have published papers who are questioning it. They get little press, but history will eventually lay all bare. We may never see it ourselves, but that’s OK.

Rest in peace, Mr. Eddy.

3 Responses to “The Passing of John A. Eddy”

  1. Page48 said

    “Do not be afraid to question the current scientific consensus.”

    I did not read anything in depth about AGW until sometime in 2007, shortly before the AR4 became available. In my initial investigations I was met with the TAR from 2001, the centerpiece of which was the Mann “Hockey Stick” graph.” (I was unaware of all the statistical controversy surrounding the graph when I studied it at that time).

    I am not a statistician, but I thought the graph had problems on the basis of what I know about the biology of trees, most notably the role of H2O in general and, more specifically, the role of H2O in photosynthesis (I had problems with many other aspects of the graph, as well, but won’t get into those here). I concluded that there is no way that trees could be accurate proxies even for local temperatures, much less averaged global temps (the concept of locally grown trees teleconnected to averaged global temps is idiotic, IMO).

    My personal observations don’t disprove AGW even in my own mind. But, they do raise questions to me about the whole process of AGW research and the dramatic conclusions of CAGW drawn therefrom.

    Our futures are in jeopardy over what may very well be a non-problem. I hope people will take you at your word and keep questioning. Even those with only a smattering of scientific knowledge bring something to the table and ALL questions deserve answers from the scientists involved.

    Great blog. Thanks.

  2. Mike said

    I often liken global warmers to naive city dwellers who go to the seaside for day and start measuring the position of the sea. At first it appears to be stable so they assume this is “normal”. Then the water starts to creep up the beach, faster and faster until they all come screeming off the beach shouting “their’s a zoo-nami coming and we will all be drowned”.

    Of course the fallacy of the global warming argument is that there is a “normal” global temperature and by creating this fiction of “normality”, it stands to follow that any deviation from this “natural normality” must “unnatural”.

    It is interesting reading archaeological threads these days, because the archaeologists are all too painfully aware that in the past they have talked about massive climate change as being the driver of many human events. E.g. the change to a wetter, colder climate in Britain is thought to be the cause of much of the peat moss in the Highlands and Ireland.

    Of course now that “science” insists that the climate was always been stable, the archaeologists (who ought to be the experts in ancient climate – but somehow now play second fiddle to climate modellers) have started to change what they say to suggest that the climate change that caused a blanket of peat moss to bury a whole archaeological landscapes was not real.

  3. The Diatribe Guy said

    #2 – while anecdotal, this is the kind of thing that I started noticing before I was looking at the data, which led me to take a closer look at it.

    I hadn’t really given the global warming issue much thought, other than to think it a bit strange that humans have the ability to effect such dramatic change on our climate. When I would fly and look down at the ground, it would make me realize how small we all are compared to this big ball called Earth.

    But I didn’t necessarily disbelieve the concept. At the same time, I have always lived in Wisconsin, so I admittedly adopted the somewhat selfish attitude that I didn’t care all that much if we warmed a little. Logically, I never really believed in the global catastrophe scenario and I don’t like sub-zero temps all that much.

    But then I noticed that, despite years of telling me how warm it was getting, I was still cold during the winter. And then I noticed that when it was cold, some scientist would tell me that it was because of gobal warming. SOmething about “extremes.” Then tornados were because of global warming, as were hurricanes, as was less snow, as was more snow, and so on.

    It struck me odd that scientists would behave in such a silly manner, and so I started reading, and became somewhat convinced that the scientific community was trading its soul for funding and acceptance. I came to this conclusion not because I hate science, but because I saw the community take new and conflicting data and apply it antithetically to the scientific process. Data was not used to question the theory and test it. It was manipulated to explain the theory -sometimes in the oddest of ways – and change it.

    I started having some debates on the topic on another board, without really knowing the data myself. While my position was logical, I had nothing to back it up. The people I debated kept citing data. So I went to the data and started looking at it. I was actually surprised by what I found. They were citing this data? It didn’t show what they said it showed.

    So, I started to blog about what I was seeing.

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