Somebody needs to let the city father and mother of Cambridge know that they may be planning to turn their town upside down for nothing. And the next time you hear some mainline denomination or NCC bureaucracy prat on about the need to save the planet (what with God being asleep at the wheel and all), let them in on a little secret: one of the most important measures by which the anthropocentric climate change hysteria has been whipped up may well be completely bogus. According to the Times of London:

The United Nations climate panel faces a new challenge with scientists casting doubt on its claim that global temperatures are rising inexorably because of human pollution.

In its last assessment the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said the evidence that the world was warming was “unequivocal”.

It warned that greenhouse gases had already heated the world by 0.7C and that there could be 5C-6C more warming by 2100, with devastating impacts on humanity and wildlife. However, new research, including work by British scientists, is casting doubt on such claims. Some even suggest the world may not be warming much at all.

Oh, that old line, you might say. Just the moral equivalent of Holocaust deniers acting up again. Well, not really:

“The temperature records cannot be relied on as indicators of global change,” said John Christy, professor of atmospheric science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, a former lead author on the IPCC. [Emphasis added.]

The doubts of Christy and a number of other researchers focus on the thousands of weather stations around the world, which have been used to collect temperature data over the past 150 years.

These stations, they believe, have been seriously compromised by factors such as urbanisation, changes in land use and, in many cases, being moved from site to site.

“The story is the same for each one,” he said. “The popular data sets show a lot of warming but the apparent temperature rise was actually caused by local factors affecting the weather stations, such as land development.”

I’m sure you’ve noticed the phenomena of temperatures taken at a region’s airport or a downtown location differing by several degrees from those of the rest of the region (we see that around here with figures from Reagan National all the time). Others have noticed some peculiarities in where some temperature stations have been located:

Such warnings are supported by a study of US weather stations co-written by Anthony Watts, an American meteorologist and climate change sceptic.

His study, which has not been peer reviewed, is illustrated with photographs of weather stations in locations where their readings are distorted by heat-generating equipment.

Some are next to air- conditioning units or are on waste treatment plants. One of the most infamous shows a weather station next to a waste incinerator.

Watts has also found examples overseas, such as the weather station at Rome airport, which catches the hot exhaust fumes emitted by taxiing jets.

In Britain, a weather station at Manchester airport was built when the surrounding land was mainly fields but is now surrounded by heat-generating buildings.

My point is not, “see, there hasn’t been any global warming!”, or even that there’s no truth at all to the idea that human activity has an impact on the climate. It’s that much of the data upon which support for those theories is based is of questionable accuracy, or in some instances relevance. That being the case, we are not even remotely close to the point where the Religion of Green™ should become the established faith of Cambridge, Massachusetts, the United States, or anywhere else.

(Via Hot Air.)

PS–Couldn’t leave this without mentioning that the guy at the center of Climategate has now acknowledged a reality that many continue to deny, according to the Daily Mail:

The academic at the centre of the ‘Climategate’ affair, whose raw data is crucial to the theory of climate change, has admitted that he has trouble ‘keeping track’ of the information.

Professor Jones also conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now – suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon.

And he said that for the past 15 years there has been no ‘statistically significant’ warming.