The oldest method of fraud is the classic merchant’s trick of “putting finger to the scale,” in days before pre-packaging. Buy a pound of grain? Watch the seller’s hands, make sure they’re clear of the measurement device . . .
Some climate scientists might have been engaging in similar rigging of measurement, in this case of the sea’s much-prophesied rise, as FoxNews.com reports:
The University of Colorado’s Sea Level Research Group decided in May to add 0.3 millimeters — or about the thickness of a fingernail — every year to its actual measurements of sea levels, sparking criticism from experts who called it an attempt to exaggerate the effects of global warming.
So, instead of putting a finger on the scales, they’ve put a fingernail’s worth of bias to the data.
The scientists say they have to offset for other factors in the land-sea ratios, and, for all I know, they are correct. But in the context of the “global warming” debate it doesn’t look so good, especially when what we hear from climate change alarmists includes scant talk of complex, offsetting factors. Indeed, in that light, the repeated fingernail addition looks like a piling onto the data, to make the evidence match the prophecy.
Ideally, scientists would not ever dumb down their opinions — or skew their forecasts — to the point where we become suspicious of every complexity they add to their models.
But, as we have learned, we don’t live in an ideal world.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.