The Science is Settled

As we all now know, if you want to answer a question scientifically, you take a poll.  That’s the New Scientific Method.  Scientific American magazine took such a poll regarding anthropogenic Gluball Worming (that’s Kim Du Toit’s term, IIRC) and since they didn’t like the results, it would seem Reasoned DiscourseTM has kicked in.  I suppose the New Scientific Method will have to be amended – you take a poll of Open Society socialists only.  Then you’ll get the right results.

This from Hockey Schtick, which has ostensibly maintained a link to the unwanted results.  Take it for what you will.  Do your own investigation.  Myself, I find it hard to believe even though I know the left like the back of my hand and therefore such things should come as no surprise.  I heard of this poll on the Dennis Prager show last week, and figured I should share.

I used to subscribe to Scientific American, until I received the impression that desperate academics were using it merely as a vehicle for getting published.  I got tired of wading through so much evidence of non-inspiration, just to find the few interesting tidbits.  Still I’ll give them credit for being the only place I’d heard of superfluids, pre internet.

To me it’s not terribly important one way or the other.  The left has been crying “Wolf!” for generations now and it has worn thin, and worn out, for me decades ago.  The planet Earth was supposed to run out of oil in the 1980s, and so we were supposed to adopt more socialism.  The “Population Time Bomb” was going to get us by then too, we were told as elementary school students, and so we were supposed to adopt more socialism including forced population controls.  The planet was going to freeze up in a new ice age, we were told back in the 1960s, and then it became Glueball Worming, and now it’s “Climate Change”.  Those are just a few highlights, but this crap has been non-stop for what – about 150 years?  They’ve lost control of the narrative now.  What will happen as a result?

I figure it’ll have to get more down to the point – It’ll have to be plain old threats from the left at some point.  When the spoiled child’s attempts at lying and manipulation fall flat, the all-out tantrums come next.  The best we can do I suppose is ignore them, but when they start breaking things it gets difficult.

8 thoughts on “The Science is Settled

  1. Well, the world was flat at one time… And Pluto was a planet.

    Science keeps evolving. What you thought you knew was true is only true until it is proven otherwise. That means, there are no “truths,” there are only “half truths.” (I forget which philosopher said that, but he was partly right.)

  2. What’s really interesting about that poll is that only 6.2% deny climate change is happening at all. That means 90%+ agree that climate change exists.

    Contrast that to the huge percentage of the Republican Party who insist climate change doesn’t exist at all.

  3. The world was never flat. At one time 90%+ agreed that it was flat but that didn’t make it so.

    The classification of Pluto as a planet was a classification problem and only an issue for people that make definitions and categorize things. There hasn’t been a question about the existence and location of the object for many decades.

    There are some truths which are so well settled they will never be proven otherwise. For example, the earth is essentially round, sexual intercourse can cause pregnancy, and bacteria can cause infections.

    Global warming does not fall into the “well settled” category. That the name has changed to “climate change” is evidence of that. The climate has always been changing–even before man could contribute measurable changes to the atmosphere. If the climate is changing significantly within a few decades it has yet to be proven that human activity is the cause of the change or that the changes are more harmful than beneficial (yes, it will depend on how you measure harm and benefit).

  4. Well, speaking as someone who has taken enough atmospherics, geology, oceanography, chemistry, etc., classes to be certified to teach earth science classes (and any other HS level science class as well, and I have successfully taught almost all of them, too), as well as having a degree in computer science, I’d like to think I have some ability to understand the argument. Very few people will disagree that climate changes – the argument is mostly over how much effect human activity has. Many polls are so badly worded that I’d reply “not changing” simply because it was less inaccurate than the other options offered, even though I KNOW it really is. My official position is:

    Of course the climate is changing – it always has, and it always will, as it is a very dynamic system. As the continental plates move about the surface, they alter air and ocean circulation patterns, as do rising and falling mountain ranges. As the suns output varies, things obviously change. When the magnetic poles shift, the change in protection changes cloud formation, which changes things. As the pole wobbles and moves (precession, Milankovitch Cycles, changes due to changing mass distribution from moving tectonic plates, etc) things change. To argue that it’s not changing is to be a young-Earth creationist. The question is: what is the direction and magnitude of change caused by human activities? On that, the science is FAR from settled.
    1) There are major questions about the integrity of the surface temp data record
    2) Climate models generally use greenhouse warming equations derived by Arthur Milne in 1922, which simplified the math by assuming an infinitely thick atmo (boundary conditions can be a bugger to deal with) and consistently give to high a feedback
    3) The hocky-stick graph used by Mann, the IPCC, et all, is crap
    4) Many of the studies that show huge recent warming trends have been shown to have serious data and/or statistical issues
    5) The CO2 warming effect is logarithmic, not linear – double the CO2 means less than double the warming, with a constantly dropping marginal effect
    6) Models showing large future global warming also can’t predict the present using past data, and consistently predict things would be warmer now than is observed
    7) A cause must come before an effect, and while CO2 levels and temps are strongly correlated in the geologic record, its the CO2 levels that follow temp changes, not the other way around! Given water’s ability to disolve gasses changing with temp, this makes sense.
    etc., etc., etc…
    What I am absolutely sure of is that yes, we are affecting the micro-climate of area with human activities (look up “heat island,” for example), but our larger effect on the planet as a whole is very uncertain, and likely fairly small relative to other effects (like the suns output and the sunspot cycle).

    Should we do reasonable things to cut down pollution, such as scrubbing heavy metals from the smoke stacks of coal-fired power plants? Absolutely! Should we do what we can to reduce dependence of foreign oil, for both political and economic reasons? For sure! But reducing CO2 output for it’s own sake, regardless of cost, is catastrophically stupid on so many levels it’s hard to figure where to start explaining it to someone who doesn’t at least sort of understand the concept of cost:benefit ration to start with.

  5. Rolf,

    Excellent post, I couldn’t have said it better myself. You only missed one important detail: the algoreans disagree with your facts.

  6. Wonderful summary, Rolf. And Scientific American, as a magazine, is an oxymoron.

    As you state, Rolf, there are two questions that have to be answered, and one has to be answered first:

    1. Is the earth’s temperature warming?
    2. If the answer to question 1 is “no” or is vague, continue to research until certain. IF the answer to question 1 is “yes”: Does man have anything to do with it?

    If we cannot reliably answer “yes” to 1, then we can’t get to question 2. Too many on the Left begin with question 2, and then look for (or plug) data that supports question 1. That’s silly. It is counter to the basic rules for scientific exploration, and it is just common sense.

    And scientists can’t grasp this concept? Did they all miss the first week of class, when elementary logic and scientific rules were explained?

    But as conservatives, it is imperative that we conserve, in all areas, such as:

    • Conserve the land through responsible land management (and hunters have been shown to be excellent land stewards, instead of groups like the Sierra Club), finding a balance between the pristine and reasomable human use/access.

    • Conserve food (not waste) because foodstuffs are precious, even if they are at times abundant… and that includes recognizing that using corn to make ethanol is wrong-headed (because it is Wasteful, with a capital “W”).

    • Conserve fuel (using only what we need efficiently, but a family of 5+ cannot fit in a Honda Civic, so their use of a larger vehicle is more efficient, rather than their driving two Hondas to the same destination).

    • Conserve energy and use the technological solutions we have now (nuclear, coal, shale), and continue to do R&D for future energy production solutions that don’t require government subsidy to be used/manufactured (hiding the true cost through general taxation).

    • Conserve spending, because all periods of history are not booms. There is bust every now and again.

    Striving to do the above is a Good Thing(TM), but that doesn’t mean we’re all successful at it, all of the time. But it is a nice goal, even if we fail to reach it at times.

    If the Left were as good at conserving as those of us on the Right who have been conservationists (in the manner of the list above) their whole lives, there wouldn’t be much to fuss about.

  7. Conserve the understanding and implementation of the American ideals of liberty, without which all of this discussion is academic, i.e. practically worthless.

  8. Rolf; Very nice. The reply from the ubus of the world will then be; “Oh sure, but you see, we’re smart and so there you have it– We’re right and you’re wrong.”

    I’m getting to the point where I don’t much care who’s right and who’s wrong, other than the fact that I’m generally interested in how things work. I figure that people will adapt and overcome, so long as we have the freedom to do it. If climate gets colder, people in some places will benefit and others will be harmed. Same deal if it gets warmer. Just keep the bloody socialists out of the way and we’re fine.

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