Right Opinion

The March for ... What?

Joe Bastardi · Apr. 21, 2017

The March for Science is tomorrow and no one in their right mind would say they are against it because of its name. First of all, you are standing against the right of people to march for whatever cause they wish. Second, you would be portrayed as someone who is against science.

I am all for science. I think the climate changes. It always has and always will. Yet I have been portrayed as anti-science and a climate change “denier” by many who will be marching for things I certainly believe in.

Just who does not believe in science? It’s a straw man the marchers are marching against.

What is questionable is the way science is being portrayed and used. Here is an example. You have seen this a kajillion times; now it’s a kajillion and one.

This shows no apparent linkage between CO2 and temperature in a time scale that goes back millions of years. So as someone who is acquainted with the scientific method, I am instantly skeptical of the idea that after all this time, there is now a linkage. That does not mean there can’t be, and I am open to that argument and understand it. But as I asked in my last blog, how much linkage is there?

What I am trying to figure out is why there is a march when many of the people in that march have no tolerance for the questioning of their position. While I think it’s noble to be inclusive and diverse, are any “skeptics” included as speakers? Is there diversity of thought? Of course not. Because in spite of what you see in the graphs above and below, they ignore the obvious. The planet has always had temperature swings — larger than this and independent of CO2 — that should make any person searching for the truth skeptical as to how much CO2 contributes.

Questioning of dogma need not apply. That sounds more like religion than science. Being for science means being for discussion. So who is anti-science here? A classic case of “blame your opposition for what you are actually doing.” It is not the skeptic side shutting down debate.

One must be very careful when questioning the motives in academia. There seems to be two opposing forces today in society in general: people who seek to earn their keep, and people who believe they are owed their keep. There is no question that without research — much of it done in our schools, but also government and the private sector — we would not be where we are today. But guess what fuels the economic engine that allows people the grant money, etc., for research?

I have to question motivation. For instance, if man-made global warming is such a done deal, why are we researching it anymore? Actual settled science (freezing and boiling points of water, gravity, the sun is darn hot) is not being researched. So apparently AGW is not settled science. And for a good reason — if it is true this is all man-made, it’s the first time, established by science, in recorded history. Another reason for being skeptical.

But the statement by the former EPA director that the actions have shut down a lot of business in this country and were brakes on the American economic engine really says a lot about what may be behind this. Preventing only .01 Celsius (you can’t even measure that with certainty) over 30 years was not the main reason. Instead, it was being a good example for the rest of the world. When I heard that it was so absurd to me I thought it was meant to sabotage the EPA mission. But no one said boo about it.

Finally, there seems to be a mass denial (there is that nasty word) that the progress of humans, and of course researchers, has been huge in the fossil fuel era.

The assumption that this would not continue makes no sense. In addition, a vibrant economy seems to be a moral and ethical positive. As far as researchers worried about grants being cut, would you rather get 10% of 50 or 15% of 10? Yes, it’s a bit of an exaggeration, though it makes my point. The population curve and the increase in GDP and life expectancy says to me the pie is expanding and many new challenges that need researching are going to continue to challenge people. And science will have to meet that challenge.

I will not be going to the March for Science. I rather doubt I would be welcome and so I would have to go in a disguise for fear of being torn limb from limb from the open tolerant marchers. But as in all questions in science, which involve why, when I look at the march, I am asking why about that.

No one is anti-science, even if a group of people wish to try to convince you of that.


Joe Bastardi is chief forecaster at WeatherBELL Analytics, a meteorological consulting firm, and contributor to The Patriot Post on environmental issues.

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