The Problem With What 97% of Scientists Know
Fudging the Data
The Herd Instinct
Humans are herd beasts. It's just the way we are. We all want to be accepted and included by the group. Isolation is over-rated.
We also love to fight among ourselves, especially about politics and religion. Throw in a little "science" and everything goes to hell in a handbasket. I was involved in a discussion on a forum for, of all things, banjo players. Someone pointed out that solar panel power stations were frying a lot of wild birds and it was off to the global warming races. The bitter religious debate between Martin Luther and Archbishop Eck at the Diet of Worms was a more polite affair that what transpired between this bunch of banjo pickers.
It's interesting what a lot of passion the issue of anthropomorphic (human-caused) global warming stirs up. The whole thing boils down to this.....
- One side believes we have messed up the Earth and can fix it.
Another side believes we have messed up the Earth and we can't fix it because we're all a bunch of selfish pigs and sinners.
- One side believes the threat of human-caused global warming is a sufficiently good excuse for our leaders to get tough and create a utopia by passing laws, meddling with the economy, and restricting human freedom significantly, forcing privation and regimentation upon the masses.
- Another side believes our leaders have no right and that it's useless anyway to abrogate our liberties and rights in the name of saving the planet. Sounds like an excuse to do what despots have always done - collect power to themselves over others.
- One side believes only Man can save the planet.
- Another side believes only God can save mankind. The planet is going to be pretty much toast anyway because evil men are self-destructive and they will be left behind to their own devices when we go.
- One side believes it makes sense to force a collectivist society upon mankind because the Earth is threatened. It believes along with Karl Marx that the proletariat, if forced to work together for the common good, will spontaneously become good people. The environmentalist advocacy coalition believes that Marx's methods will save the Earth.
- Another side believes that personal liberty as outlined in the Bill of Rights is the best way to save the human race from the threat of evil humans who seek to destroy the Earth if they cannot rule over it.
- One side believes the Earth is the only home we've got.
- Another side believes this world is not our home, we're just a' passin' through.
- One side looks forward to a Utopia on Earth created by men.
- Another side looks forward to a New Earth untainted by evil.
Notice that I never said there were only two sides to the issue. The rhetoric either way, however, has a distinctly religious tone, even from the "scientific" side that rejects the entire notion of a Creator God.
In the movie, Serenity, Captain Malcolm Reynolds makes this speech after his crew find a planet where an experiment by government smart people to collectively reduce aggression in the planet's inhabitants has gone very very wrong.
Capt. Reynolds says, " Sure as I know anything, I know this - they will try again. Maybe on another world, maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, ten? They'll swing back to the belief that they can make people... better. And I do not hold to that. So no more runnin'. I aim to misbehave."
I believe people (and corporations) should clean up our own messes. I believe we should not pollute if possible and looking after the planet and all that. What I do not believe is that hedging men and women about with laws and restrictions, limiting freedom, shifting power into the hands of powerful people, who promise to protect us from ourselves, is the best way to wind up with a nice, clean pleasant planet to live on.
Captain Tom (I am a captain. I have a boat........a canoe actually).
Poorly Sited Weather Stations
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The Trouble with Scientific Paradigms
I just don't trust the folk that are pushing the climate change agenda. We've only had truly accurate measuring tools for the past few decades. That's not long enough to accurately capture trends. What has come before is often crude and unreliable data or simply educated guesses. Recently NOAA, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, shut down more than 600 weather stations they'd been using to provide the data that supposedly "proves" the earth is warming dramatically.
Trouble is those temperature and weather measurements provide by those stations may have been a bit high. Most of the stations were located in heat sinks because cities and buildings had grown up around the stations over the years. Stations once located in open fields are now surrounded by parking lots, concrete, steel and glass buildings reflecting light onto the stations. One station had been blissfully recording vast heat increases ever since someone installed a large commercial heat pump right next to the decades old weather station. You can see the problem with the station at the left in Marysville California.
Those defending anthropomorphic global warming will tell you that 97% of scientists say human beings are causing global climate change. The trouble with that research is that the data pool was scientists who attended a global conference on climate change. If you'd polled an 1895 conference on Newtonian Physics about whether or not space-time was relative, you'd likely have got similar numbers. Despite Big Science's checkered history where new ideas at variance with the generally accepted paradigm is concerned (a lot of physicists thought Einstein was a crank), the folk who want to plan our lives for us are supremely confident about that 97% statistic.
Big Climate Science is hedging it's bets nowadays by calling global warming, gobal climate change. The global warming alarmists like to tell you that scientists are a self-regulating bunch and that science progresses in a progressive linear fashion, always responding immediately to new data.
Unfortunately, what they believe just ain't so.
For instance, it wasn't scientists who forced the shut down of all those poorly sited NOAA weather stations. Instead, it was gifted amateurs and science watchdogs, who ran around taking incriminating pictures of the badly sited stations. They posted the pictures on the Internet and eventually shamed NOAA into investigating the matter. So much for scientific self-regulation.
I recommend Thomas Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions. It's a brilliant treatise on the problem of scientific peer pressure and how peer pressure and the peer review process itself inhibits the increase in scientific knowledge. Kuhn posits that, save when there is a big leap forward, science is often more about protecting what everybody with a Ph.D. knows than it is about following up data that doesn't fit the model. That's why everybody in the 60s and 70s were predicting an Ice Age was coming right up until so much data came in that contradicted the idea that suddenly, almost overnight, everybody was on board the global warming bandwagon. What's fun is that there has been a big attempt to adjust the data to show that back in the 60s and 70s "everybody" believed the Earth was warming. It's all very Orwellian.
Now, because the newest data coming in these days is so out of sync with the prevailing theory, I suspect that another paradigm shift in climate science's generally accepted view is imminent. The name change is telling.
In the meantime - I aim to misbehave while there's still time before our insect overlords turn the inhabited parts of the Earth into one big Mogadishu suburb in the name of "saving the planet."
© by Tom King
TED Talk on Kuhn and Scientific Paradigms
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