There are clearly defined steps in what’s called ‘The Scientific Method.’
A scientist first develops a theory, then carries out observations and measurements to formulate an hypothesis, which is subject to testing and revision in the light of experimental results, and finally a conclusion can be drawn.
Good science then is objective, rarely if ever completely certain, makes only predictions which can be tested and replicated, and makes all data freely accessible.
The alleged science which asserts that global warming is due to mankind’s industrial activity, especially burning fossil fuels, fails when evaluated by these criteria.
The prediction that emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) will cause catastrophic global warming is completely untestable. Available data show that the earth’s climate has never been static for any length of time and that severe changes have occurred long before we began to emit CO2.
The data used to validate the anthropogenic climate-warming scenario have been shown to be incomplete with strategic omissions.
It may well be that our climate is warming; there are not enough data to determine whether we’re in a minor trend or a major shift. Only change is certain.
One doesn’t often hear the caution, “Garbage In, Garbage Out” – which was apparently necessary in the early days of computers – but something like it should be applied to the computer models on which global-warming forecasts are based.
Even when inherent flaws were exposed, the International Panel on Climate Control continued to warn of impending disaster.
What happened to the integrity of science and scientists? One can guess.
Once models had been made public, the originators had a vested interest in supporting them, since to do otherwise would be an admission of error. It became politically advisable to back warming forecasts, since agencies that award research grants are unlikely to fund studies that challenge accepted wisdom.
Scientists advance their careers by publishing peer-reviewed articles in reputable journals but, in the global-warming debate, the proponents of CO2 as its cause closed ranks and conspired to deny publication to papers which opposed their viewpoint.
Those proponents were abetted by journalists who failed to ask searching questions but instead reported uncritically.
There are two unfortunate consequences to this sorry story. With general public support, governments have embarked on expensive schemes to correct a problem which is really quite trivial.
This has diverted attention from real problems: climate change is inevitable, whether warming or cooling, and we need to think out responses; improved energy efficiency will reduce dependency on oil supplies from unstable or unfriendly countries; how can we use nuclear power safely to buy time to bring geothermal, solar and tidal power into widespread commercial use; it’s important to minimize if not eliminate toxic pollution; and how can poverty be reduced since only fairly affluent communities are able to conserve their environment?
We’re aiming at the wrong target – an expensive mistake.
Dr. Roy Strang writes monthly on the environment for the Peace Arch News.