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Last week I talked on the radio show about the fact that while the Democrats assail Republicans like Rick Perry for being "anti-science" given that they question Darwin or doubt the global warming alarmists, Democrats themselves are dangerously more anti-science. They deny the value of vaccinations, genetically modified food, humanity in the womb, nuclear energy, and the list goes on.
After that commentary, I received this comment from a listener:
You say that the Democrats being anti-science on food is more dangerous than Republicans being anti-science when it comes to climate change. That is dumb. If we keep denying the science of global warming, your children and mine will pay the price. It will be their cities that will be underwater, their homeland that is threatened, their offspring that will have dread diseases. And when they are, I hope you'll be happy about supporting idiot Republicans like Perry.
So it appears that we need to spend a little more time addressing a common misconception that the left intentionally perpetuates. And this is true, by the way, whether we're talking about the twin constants of liberal scientific thought: Darwinism and Man-Caused Global Warming. They hijack the word science and redefine it. They simply label their own scientific interpretations as "science." And the sympathetic mainstream media continues to repeat it and to ingrain this false definition in the public's minds.
So let's speak a little truth, shall we? Jeff Jacoby has an excellent column out right now about this very point:
In truth, global-warming alarmism is not science at all -- not in the way that electromagnetic radiation or the laws of planetary motion or molecular biology is science. Catastrophic climate change is an interpretation of certain scientific data, an interpretation based on theories about the causes and effects of growing concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It is not "denying science" to have doubts about the correctness of that interpretation any more than it is "denying economics" to have doubts about the efficacy of Kenyesian pump-priming.
Bingo! We can look at data about climate and about temperatures from various parts of the globe. And from that data we can extrapolate outward and postulate about various causes. But that is much more about interpretation and worldview (and many times politics) than it is about science. But don't take my word for it:
Ivar Giaever, a 1973 Nobel laureate in physics, resigned this month as a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) to protest the organization's official position that evidence of manmade climate change is "incontrovertible" and cause for alarm.
In an e-mail explaining his resignation, Giaever challenges the view that any scientific assertion is so sacred that it cannot be contested.
"In the APS it is ok to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves," Giaever writes, incredulous, "but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible?"
Nor does Giaever, a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute faculty member, share the society's view that carbon emissions threaten "significant disruptions in the Earth's physical and ecological systems, social systems, security, and human health." In fact, the very concept of a "global" temperature is one he questions:
"The claim (how can you measure the average temperature of the whole earth for a whole year?) is that the temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degrees Kelvin in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me ... that the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this 'warming' period."
So if this is the case, then who is it that is out there vociferously arguing that the "science" is settled? You guessed it:
By now, only ideologues and political propagandists insist that all reputable scientists agree on the human responsibility for climate change. Even within the American Physical Society, the editor of "Physics and Society" (an APS publication) has acknowledged that "there is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree . that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are ... primarily responsible for the global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution."
And that's the honesty I want to see out of those who believe in man-caused global incineration. I don't mind their theory or them having a theory that is different than mine. I don't have an issue with them challenging the position of those of us who believe that any climate change that occurs is far more the result of natural phenomena than it is man's contributions. Let's debate. Let's argue. But enough with the arrogant and false declaration that being skeptical of the alarmists' position is "anti-science."
Such skepticism is not "anti-science." Everything in science is subject to challenge; innumerable facts about the natural world have been discovered only by poking holes in once-prevailing theories. And if that is true generally, how much more so is it true when it comes to something as vast and complex as climate change? Researchers still have no way "to reliably discriminate between manmade warming and natural warming processes," climate scientist Roy Spencer has written. "We cannot put the Earth in a laboratory and carry out experiments on it. There is only one global warming experiment, and we are all participating in it right now."
Someday the workings of climate change may be as well understood as plate tectonics or photosynthesis. Until then, different theories will compete, assumptions will be fought over, and scientific findings will be overstated by people with political or social agendas.
I'd say, "put that in your pipe and smoke it," but doing so would emit far too much carbon.