Right Hooks

The Politicized Reality of 'Settled Science'

Thomas Gallatin · Feb. 7, 2017

In 2013, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change acknowledged what some in the climate science community had begun calling a “hiatus” in global warming — that “the rate of warming over the past 15 years … is smaller than the rate calculated since 1951.” This acknowledgement by the IPCC threatened to derail the alarmist narrative of human activity being the primary cause of global warming espoused by many on the Left. And indeed it was, as skeptics of anthropogenic global warming used the IPCC’s admission as further evidence to support their questioning of the politically correct narrative.

Fast forward two years to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) release of a report, known as the “Karl study,” which stated flatly, “There is no discernable (statistical or otherwise) decrease in the rate of warming between the second half of the 20th century and the first 15 years of the 21st century.” The report further asserted that IPCC’s conclusion about a “climate warming hiatus” was “no longer valid.” This report conveniently supported Barack Obama’s climate alarmist agenda and his dubious claims of the science being “settled,” even though at the time there were several government scientists who raised objections over the reliability of the report, claiming the data was cooked.

This prompted Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee to launch an inquiry into the claims of manipulation of climate data and records by officials at NOAA. However, much of the committee’s efforts were frustrated over Obama’s last year in office due to NOAA officials' refusal to comply with records requests even upon the issuance of subpoenas.

Over the weekend, a recently retired top scientist from NOAA, Dr. John Bates, alleged that the Karl study report applied questionable data in order “to discredit the notion of a global warming hiatus and rush[ed] to time the publication of the paper to influence national and international deliberations on climate policy.” Rep. Smith responded to the latest revelation by saying that it “justified” the committee’s investigation into the matter. He added that, under the Trump administration, he trusts they will be able to get to the bottom of the matter.

Politicians are society’s rule-makers. They are in a uniquely high and trusted position ideally intended to fairly serve the best interests of the entire community at large based on Rule of Law. When these elected individuals lust after power rather than serving their fellow countrymen, truth fast becomes a rare commodity. Similarly, when those who are trusted to diligently and objectively investigate and discern the natural realm work instead to corroborate their own prejudices rather than objectively verify the data, they have become no better than a sleazy snake oil salesman. Mix the power-hungry politician with the biased scientist and you have a recipe ripe for corruption, all in service to a damaging, leftist economic agenda. And where there is corruption there are most certainly attempts at obfuscation. Sadly, it’s human nature, and it would appear there is a lot of it going on currently at NOAA.

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