The other day, one of my blog readers asked me how I knew which global climatologists to follow. I tried to first explain something about what I call my ten observations about the nature of science and then provided him with a portion of the framework which conditions my thinking.
My basic thinking is conditioned by, but not limited to, the following observations:
- One, the results of any scientific observation depends on the viewpoint of the observer and any filters through which their observation may pass.
- Two, science is not done by consensus and that one man’s insight can trump all of the establishment’s credentialed experts. In fact, the greater number of immediate experts on a project, the more likely that the results will be “shaded” to fit the group consensus.
- Three, scientific “facts” may be transient and mutable depending on our level of perceived knowledge of the underlying phenomenon.
- Four, given a multiplicity of complex answers to complex questions, the simplest explanation of the phenomenon with the least assumptions and manipulation of the data may be the preferable one.
- Five, mathematical description may introduces artificial artifacts into one’s findings and that these artifacts may suggest a knowledge or precision which does not reflect reality as it is currently known.
- Six, computer models are but an approximation of the phenomena being modeled and because a computer program can produce what appears to be a picture of a shell; it does not mean that all of the characteristics and behavior of a shell lie in the model or that the findings are extensible to the entire universe.
- Seven, statistical results are approximations which are best explained in terms of probability and some estimate of potential error.
- Eight, research findings are likely to correlate highly with the views of the sponsoring institution or the individual project’s sponsor as many research grants are written to secure sponsorship and funding – as well as to secure the right to proceed with one’s scientific work.
- Nine, as researchers become more specialized, they tend to focus on the minutiae of the experiment and overlook the broader implications of a more multi-disciplinary approach.
- Ten, talented amateurs who dedicate prodigious amounts of time, effort and money to pursuing their interest may often produce results equal to or superior to professional researchers. One, because they are not limited by artificial constraints or a slavish devotion to existing wisdom. And two, because they are not under pressure to produce results – which may or may not conform to accepted thinking.
When I review a work, I first ask myself if I am presently capable of understanding the underlying mathematical expressions used to describe the phenomenon being studied and if any of the expressions violate my understanding of physics (as I know it to be at that point in time) or my understanding of the basic concept of the issue being discussed.
As to the “expert in question,” I tend to think about a flowchart protocol.
But when it comes to making public policy, can we trust the experts?
This is an interesting question because it makes two implicit – and false assumptions.
One, it implicitly assumes that public policy is made for the public good – and not for the self-serving interests of corrupt politicians influenced by special interests.
And two, it assumes that “scientists” are free from internal and external pressure as they go about their work. That they will honestly report their findings independently of their conscious or subconscious personal motivation or institutional inclinations.
In the present case, I have seen prominent, credentialed scientists turn into activists. To promote themselves and their work for prestige, power and profit. And to promote their cause even if it means shading the truth or participating in a loosely-coupled confederation of people with similar interests and motivations.
Un-common commonsense …
When it comes to global climate change, both history and common sense will tell you that our climate is variable (sometimes described as being a chaotic system) and that change is constant. That our climate appears to be cyclical with both long-term and short-term patterns that can be detected in past data. And because climate is a chaotic system, perhaps cannot be used to predict future climate actions.
When it comes to global climate change, it appears that the Earth has been hotter, colder, with more atmospheric carbon dioxide and with less carbon dioxide – before man’s industrialization even became an issue. One would expect that a Planet recovering from an ice age would steadily warm until it reached some point only known to nature and then started regressing to an unknown mean.
That it appears that the gross drivers of global climate change are factors over which man has little or no control. We cannot control the Sun’s output, nor our Planet’s position relative to the Sun; nor our Planet’s rotational dynamics, plate tectonics, deep ocean currents or even the greatest of greenhouse gases: water vapor.
We can appreciate that the rise in atmospheric Carbon Dioxide can be explained by the warming of the oceans as we emerge from the ice age. We can observe that the rise in carbon dioxide appears to lag the rise in temperature, making it unlikely that carbon dioxide is a causal or regulating factor.
And we can see that the dire predictions presented to panic the population into allowing politicians to make self-serving public policies which benefit them and their special interest friends are based on flawed computer models, incomplete assumptions, heavily manipulated data – and don’t correspond with observable reality. That is, they show an ever increasing temperature rise which overlooks the reality of a cooling trend that appears we have experienced for the last ten years.
Deception and misdirection …
Of course, those putting forth public policy have now changed the name of the phenomenon from global warming to global climate change – and are in the process of once again changing the moniker to include all eventualities by concentrating not on global warming, global cooling – but simply “impacts from the global climate.”
It is my personal opinion that we have not had an open and honest debate about the phenomenon because many scientists are afraid of the government and the special interests – not so much the oil, coal and energy companies – but those on Wall Street who would profit mightily from the demonization and government control over a single component of our atmosphere: carbon dioxide. Chosen precisely because the control over carbon dioxide is a key to controlling the production, storage and usage of energy – the key to controlling our national economy to benefit the special interests.
Already there are politicians using faux science to limit your freedoms. There is absolutely no evidence that switching to compact florescent lights from incandescent lights translated into any measurable effect on our global climate. In fact, it adds to the risk of mercury pollution in our ecosystem. Who does benefit are the energy producers who will face reduced electricity loads which allows them to forgo the expense of building new infrastructure or the exorbitant costs of replacing or repairing their current infrastructure. This yields larger profit margins, bigger executive bonuses and more campaign contributions to the politicians.
The very politicians that claim they want energy independence and for the last forty years have done little or nothing to make the United States energy independent. Primarily as a result of a progressive socialist/communist campaign against nuclear energy which uses our own environmental laws against us.
Bottom line …
Think what you will – but apply commonsense and some formal or informal method when deciding who to trust in this public policy debate over global climate change. I am not asking you to trust me – but to develop your own opinion based on observable facts and commonsense.
But I am asking you to vote – to remove progressive democrats and progressive republicans which present a clear and present danger to our beloved America. Unless we can elect “honest brokers” to represent “We the People,” it doesn’t matter what the science may reveal – the political reality will be continuing government tyranny. Something that affects you, your family, and coming generations.
Be good stewards of the air, land and water – but don’t let charlatans tell you that selling indulgences to gross polluters using a fiction called cap-and-trade will benefit the planet, humanity or yourself.
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“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
“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