OBAMA: It's 3 A.M. and the phone rings in the White House -- North Korea has just exploded a nuclear weapon after testing a long-range missile!
Obamanomics & Healthcare: Manufactured Misery?

Global Warming: A flaw in the discussion?

During a recent on-line chat (via sequential postings in response to a published article), I was able to discuss the subject of global warming with a knowledgeable fellow truth-seeker; albeit with a different perspective.

And thus I found what I believe a fatal flaw in the global warming discussion. Simply put, many of the proponents and opponents of anthropogenic global warming were both well-read and able to sustain a conversation about the subject, citing the work of their favorite scientists or authors; some cherry-picking the citations, but still being able to argue their position in the absence of specific references. Many held opinions based on their wide reading and the extension of logic to the subject matter.

No, that’s not the flaw. Those are good things. The flaw is that these passionate people are better informed and think more clearly about the subject than the majority of our Congressional representatives – many of which are so busy fundraising, finding deals for their special interest friends and engaging in non-stop campaigning – that they simply accept the idea of carbon cap-and-trade policies without any further thought; other than, of course, how can I spin the matter to my personal, professional and political advantage.

A better answer …

Which leads me to suggest that the present is discussion about implementing social policy based on somewhat settled science may be better discussed and understood by a knowledgeable panel of ordinary citizens rather than a blue-ribbon commission of highly-credentialed scientists and political thought-leaders like former Vice President Gore. 

Massaging the data …

The first thing I learned in school about the business of science was that the ability to review the existing literature and draw conclusions from previous work was often a cost-effective method of being published without resorting to much more than summarizing the prevailing conclusions of the day and adding a catchy academic title. Of course, introducing a little controversy into the process did not hurt. This was the theorist’s intellectual equivalent of the physical scientist who bases his conclusions on an existing experiment and achieving results by moving the dial from 2.3 to 3.5.

The second thing I learned about the business of science was that there were always hot topics and areas of discovery which attracted the majority of attention and funding. Fighting for funding to research some arcane point involving pure science with little or no practical application was extremely difficult. Other than the government, there were few avenues of funding for those without already blossoming career.

And the third thing I learned about the business of science was that it was always painful to challenge the prevailing wisdom or a scientist with better credentials, recognition and reputation. Even though one knows that science is not governed by consensus, to stick one’s neck out was to metaphorically put one’s head into a noose. And as with all science, sometimes, often rarely, you were right – and mostly you were mislead by your native enthusiasm of your own ideas.

Where is global warming’s Kary Mullis? 

Unless you had a mentor like Richard Feynman or Kary Mullis who would rigorously challenge your ideas, but allow you to make mistakes which were intuitively obvious to someone with a different perspective, science was mostly a go-along-to-get-along affair. Scientists who retained their critical thinking skills while maintaining a sense of humanity and sense of humor are uncommonly rare.

We all have in our minds, consciously or unconsciously, some result that we want to achieve. The result will often be based on human emotions and needs – the career recognition that comes with first discovery, the accretion of solid scientific credentials, peer approval, continued employment, funding for one’s projects or merely the opportunity to expose the truth. 

What the world needs now is a Kary Mullis who knows how politics and commerce can adversely affect science and would serve as an honest arbiter of the ongoing debate over global warming. 

“Mullis has said that the never-ending quest for more grants and staying with established dogmas has hurt science. He believes that ‘Science is being practiced by people who are dependent on being paid for what they are going to find out,’ not for what they actually produce.”

Unfortunately, the needs and wants of scientists are widely divergent from those of corrupt or complacent politicians who want to use the mystique and apparent unassailability of “science” and the highly-credentialed “scientist” to sell their particular point of view or project.

Where is global climate change’s Dick Feynman …

What the world needs now is a Dick Feynman who is able to look at the subject of global warming and make trustworthy recommendations. Not a committee and certainly not a consensus.

One need only to consider the opening remarks of Feynman’s Appendix to the Rogers Commission Report on the Space Shuttle Challenger accident. Many on the committee though Feynman a rebel and loose cannon (at least politically) and his Appendix was only added after he threatened to remove his name from the report’s final publication.

It appears that there are enormous differences of opinion as to the probability of a failure with loss of vehicle and of human life. The estimates range from roughly 1 in 100 to 1 in 100,000. The higher figures come from the working engineers, and the very low figures from management. What are the causes and consequences of this lack of agreement? Since 1 part in 100,000 would imply that one could put a Shuttle up each day for 300 years expecting to lose only one, we could properly ask ‘What is the cause of management's fantastic faith in the machinery?’"

Again, I ask where is global climate change’s Dick Feynman?

Biased by self-interest, politics and profits …

I do not trust politicians like Al Gore, scientist/activists like James Hansen or organizations such as the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). Their self-interest agendas are readily apparent and do not instill the type of confidence that would be required for me to promote a public policy which will demonstrably enlarge government, increase taxation and curtail some of our freedoms – with deleterious effects on America’s economy, military and social infrastructure.

Each succeeding Administration and Congress has been increasingly corrupt and more interested in maintaining political power than being representatives of “We the People” and being a honest broker when it comes to public policy. One need only look at the government’s complicity for the current financial crisis and the mismanagement of a so-called recovery attempt to know these people are not to be trusted with our freedom or our money.

Trusting people like Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Christopher Dodd, Barney Frank, Maxine Waters, Chuck Schumer and others to tell the honest truth about global warming and public policy, if they have even taken the time to study the issue, is ridiculous.

If you desire to engage in the debate on global warming, you need to go far beyond the talking points and prevailing wisdom. Do your own research reading and form your own conclusions. Be skeptical of all claims which may deprive you of your freedom and hard-earn money.

Remember the old adage:

“Just because they know something you don’t know, don’t automatically assume that you are wrong and they are right.”

And question:

Do you need this arcane piece of minutia to form an opinion? If you need to know it, learn it; if not, eliminate it as an unwelcome distraction to keep you from seeing the bigger picture.

But, in the final analysis, the best policy is always:  to be well, be safe and take care of yourself and your family first.

Madder then hell …

Why is this democrat smiling?

Capture5-23-2009-8.09.53 PM

Perhaps as a moment of levity or in response to the Republican demand that those voting on the Global Climate Change Bill read it first,  Henry Waxman, Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee has hired a speed reader – making a mockery of the committee’s consideration of this far-reaching piece of legislation that will affect the size of government, the amount of taxes you pay and will reduce your personal freedoms. This is no laughing matter.

See for yourself …

Want to read it yourself, here is the link to H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, to create clean energy jobs, achieve energy independence, reduce global warming pollution and transition to a clean energy economy.  The  932-page bill is available here. Along with the unintended consequences of this bill, it also contains the seeds of the fiscal destruction of the United States and a move towards European-style socialism.

All based on speculative science which is not well-understood by the scientific community and which definitely is not understood by those legislators who have not and will not take the time to read this bill.

Beyond questions of science, this is a shocking abuse of Congressional power and those who engage in legislative shorthand for their pure political and financial self-interest should be thrown out of office for malfeasance.

It appears that this bill is an extension of government power far beyond that granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States and should be vigorously researched and debated before being rammed through Congress and signed by a willing and complicit President.

-- steve


OneCitizenSpeaking: Saying out loud what you may be thinking …

Reference Links:

Dick Feynman|Wikipedia

Kary Mullis|Wikipedia

Thanks to “Ford Driver,” "netdr" and "CommonSenseCEOs" for the inspiration to write this blog entry.

“Nullius in verba”-- take nobody's word for it!
"Acta non verba" -- actions not words

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS