Global Warming Claims and the So-Called Consensus Are Betrayals of the Scientific Method
Crowds marched again for Earth Day. Many were really marching in anger because their candidate lost. Some probably feared what would happen to their benefits when the bloated government bureaucracy is forced to shrink. Others showed the typical march disdain for democracy, which gives them the right to march and protest. Others were deluded into thinking a critical mission they supported to save the planet was threatened.
The book “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds” was a study of crowd psychology by Scottish journalist Charles Mackay, first published in 1841.
It was mentioned by astronomer Carl Sagan, Professor and Director of Cornell University’s Laboratory for Planetary Studies and host of the series “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage.”
Sagan explained the scientific method and encouraged critical and skeptical thinking. He emphasized the importance of recognizing the difference between what is considered valid science and what is in reality pseudoscience.
Sagan, like fellow Cornell physicist/lecturer Richard Feynman, argued that when new ideas are offered for consideration, they should be tested by means of skeptical thinking and should stand up to rigorous questioning. Feynman lectured:
If a theory or proposed law disagrees with experiment (or observation), it’s wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It doesn’t make any difference how beautiful your guess is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are who made the guess, or what your name is… If it disagrees with experiment, it’s wrong. That’s all there is to it.
Sir Karl Popper, an Austrian-British philosopher and professor, is generally regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of science of the 20th century. Popper is known for his rejection of the classical inductivist views on the scientific method, in favor of empirical falsification: A theory in the empirical sciences can never be proven, but it can be falsified, meaning that it can and should be scrutinized by decisive experiments.
See in this chapter of “Historical Perspectives on Climate Change” (2005) by James R. Fleming, Professor of Science, Technology and Society at Colby College, how the scientific method worked in climate change theories all through history.
That held until politicians with globalist viewpoint were searching for a cause that would drive their globalization goals. The Club of Rome was an organization formed in 1968 consisting of current and former heads of state, UN bureaucrats, high-level politicians and government officials, diplomats, scientists, economists and business leaders from around the globe. It raised considerable public attention in 1972 with its report, “The Limits to Growth.” The club states that its mission is “to act as a global catalyst for change through the identification and analysis of the crucial problems facing humanity and the communication of such problems to the most important public and private decision makers as well as to the general public.” In 1991, the club published “The First Global Revolution” in which it decided:
In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming…would fit the bill…It does not matter if this common enemy is “a real one or…one invented for the purpose.
That is when massive investment began into building a case for their cause by funding the UN, global universities, scientists and in government agencies through published work and reports ensuring an alignment around the theory that we are responsible for all bad things that happen and paint them as unprecedented. That investment has exceeded $1 trillion dollars. Meanwhile, instead of engaging and supporting critical thinking and testing of hypothesis, there was a concerted effort to paint anyone not supporting their theory as deniers with not so subtle attempts to liken them to holocaust deniers and those who denied the dangers of cigarettes.
Scientists practicing the scientific method were demonized, stripped where possible of their role in universities and in government agencies. Many have remained silent to keep their position. A few courageous whistleblowers have emerged from the UN, government and universities, but they have been attacked by other scientists and generally ignored by the media, which in many cases are trained in journalism schools that prepare environmental journalists to battle, discredit or deny air-time to any skeptics.
As Ron Arnold wrote in 2015:
You can credit the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ), a 501©(3) tax-exempt organization with more than 1,200 member reporters and academics in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and 27 other countries, with the general decline in journalistic standards among environmental journalists.
SEJ has received 119 grants from 35 notorious anti-development foundations, totaling $9.5 million since 1999. With this financial prompting, the SEJ’s stalwarts, including Andrew Revkin (The New York Times), Seth Borenstein (Associated Press), and Suzanne Goldenberg (The Guardian), have led the decline of climate news into ideological warfare.
To many SEJ writers, it is not possible for them to be biased, because issues have only one side: their own.
Associated Press' Borenstein asserted, "The nature of reporting is to get two sides to an issue. But the nature of science reporting is to get what’s really happening.” SEJ thinks whatever isn’t environmental dogma is a lie, as indicated by its incredible reference webpage "Climate Change: A Guide to the Information and Disinformation.“ SEJ writers also promote "false balance,” the notion that giving opposing views concerning climate change any mention at all is not real balance because skeptics are liars paid to undermine the truth, (which) justifies total censorship…. Some go as far as to recommend violence to achieve environmental goals
With the Obama administration’s Machiavellian collusion, reporters who are more environmentalist than journalist now rule the climate beat.
It is increasingly clear as MacKay warned 166 years ago, there is a politically-driven, wrong though popular delusion thanks to the help of complicit media. Earth Day weekend also showed a madness of crowds.
Recall the words of H.L Mencken: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
THE PAUSE THE MEDIA NEVER MENTIONED
Until the last strong El Niño brought its normal spike in global temperatures, there was much ado about what was being called a pause of almost 19 years in global temperature rise. Eventually, even the once-professional societies like AMS had to admit to it and had papers published and many panels at annual meetings discussing why the accelerated warming predicted by climate models and the UN IPCC was not occurring even as global CO2 levels continued to rise.
The first efforts made to address this inconvenient truth were to modify the data sets (surface and some balloon and satellite) to bring the data closer into agreement with the models (instead of rethinking the theory and models as Sagan, Feynman and Popper would argue). Then they got the help from El Niño. Note, however, here in this work, we have shown that “Natural Factors involving solar, volcanic and oceanic activity fully explain the Earth’s tropospheric and surface temperatures. And that CO2 plays no significant role.”
This conflicting data had for several years brought an uncomfortable feeling among many believers, what is called “cognitive dissonance,” but most all were able to shake it off, especially when they have so many colleagues riding the same grant gravy trains that benefit from the failing theory or have business financial potential and/or personal political ideologies that the plans to address the so-called catastrophic anthropogenic global warming fits so nicely into.
A fine work over five decades ago, “When Prophecies Fail,” by Leon Festinger, a social psychologist, helps explain how they can do that and why we may not see a widespread rapid return to sanity on global climate change even as the pause resumes and other evidence mounts that the prevailing greenhouse theories are flawed, global warming has ceased and climate change may be largely due to natural variability.
When disconfirmatory (contrary) evidence is presented, Festinger found one condition that often determined whether the belief is discarded or maintained with new fervor by belief with a strongly held belief. That was whether or not the individual believer has social support. It is unlikely that one isolated believer could withstand strong disconfirming evidence. If, however, the believer is a member of a group of convinced persons who can support one another, you might expect the belief to be maintained and the believers to attempt to proselytize or persuade non-members that the belief is correct even in the face of data suggesting otherwise.
Today there is a huge “social support” group of grant-toting modelers and researchers, agenda-driven or ratings-driven journalists, environmentalists, pseudo-intellectualists, government agencies and corporations that have realized green is their favorite color and see this as a way to keep green paper flowing into their coffers and pockets. We have farmers who are benefiting from the misplaced focus on alternative fuel from crops, traders and major market firms licking their chops at the prospects of big time money from carbon trading, big oil and alternative energy companies that have realized this is the vector to bigger profits, and the politicians and political activists who see it as a way to accomplish ulterior goals about changing society and increasing their powerbase.
In reality, although there is claimed consensus, scientists and the public are not so convinced. It will only be after the public realizes they have been snookered — or like in the UK, they realize the pains for adhering to the green assault on humanity is insufferable (Brexit was largely due to this) — that the situation may turn on them. We can only hope damage done here is not great or irreparable when that day finally comes.
We have all heard the outrageous claims of the green organizations and the prior administration that “global warming is the greatest peril that humanity faces.” Bill Maher’s recent opinion that perhaps sarin gas was not the most dangerous chemical poison, CO2 is, has them sensing a snake oil salesman situation. Someone needs to inform Maher that every exhaled breathe he takes emits 100 times more CO2 as in the air than he inhaled.
The late great Dr. Michael Crichton, author of the Best Seller “State of Fear” on this topic, said:
“Historically, the claim of consensus is the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming the matter is already settled.”
“Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.”
“Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. In science, consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus” (Galileo, Newton, Einstein, etc.).
He concluded: “There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.” We all miss the man and his work.
By the way, in “Has Science Lost its Way?” Dr. Michael Guillen reported that last year Nature, the prestigious international science journal, published a study revealing that “More than 70% of researchers have tried and failed to reproduce another scientist’s experiments, and more than half have failed to reproduce their own experiments.”
The inability to confirm research that was published in highly respected, peer-reviewed journals suggests something is very wrong with how science is being done.
They observed one of the issues was that too many scientists are actually never taught the scientific method.
Before scientists do research they ought to look at the work of Sagan, Feynman and Popper. Bad science leads to bad policies. Bad policies harm good people.
Joe D'Aleo is a Co-Chief Meteorologist at WeatherBELL Analytics with Joe Bastardi. He was a college professor and first Director of Meteorology at The Weather Channel. He is a Fellow of the AMS.