OTTAWA – LETTERS – Why is it that when politicians make basic science mistakes in support of the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming, no government agency or university representative corrects them? It is not as if such errors are rare; they are happening all the time.
For example, all climate modellers correctly label their speculations of future temperatures as ‘projections’, meaning that they have no validated forecast skill. Yet law makers instead treat the models as providing forecasts or predictions. Because this misusage is never corrected by those in-the-know, our leaders get away with basing expensive public policy on misinformation.
Another example: carbon dioxide, as an essential factor in photosynthesis and plant growth, is the elixir of life, yet politicians regularly dub it a ‘pollutant’. Similarly, referring to the theoretical global warming problem as a ‘carbon’ issue represents more scientific illiteracy (because it fails to distinguish the element carbon from the molecule carbon dioxide) and deliberately encourages the public to confuse a colourless, odourless, beneficial gas with soot. Again, establishment scientists say little or nothing to correct these fundamental misrepresentations.
It is not just our political leaders who get away with misrepresenting climate science. The fraud is also being committed by scientific organizations and even individual scientists. For when they are not directly massaging data used in their writings—witness the continual ‘corrections’ to government temperature data to show more and more warming—they often report their findings in ways that deceive readers into believing that dangerous global warming exists, or is about to happen. This is simply PR spin used to promote a desired political message while ignoring the limitations of real science. It matters little whether the data cited is accurate or not, for it is the deceptive manner in which the data is used that makes it fraudulent.
The heavily referenced Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change shows clearly that the climate reports of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change use this dishonest style of operation. Similarly, last month’s ‘warmest year on record’ announcements of NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration deceived the public and the press, resulting in erroneous headlines across the world about something we simply do not know.
Describing or presenting data in ways that are intended to mislead is the ultimate betrayal of the scientific method. In fact, massaging results can be even worse than direct fabrication, because skilled practitioners can bolster and present biased arguments based on real facts in ways that require extraordinary intellectual strength and lengthy discussion to rebut, responses that few science journals will allow to be published. Thus climate change research has been politicized to the extent that much of it has become a travesty of proper scientific process.
The main reason that this is not more often openly labelled fraud is the fear of legal and other reprisals against scientist whistle blowers. For those who promote the climate scare have almost unlimited funds and legal advice, not to mention the support of opinion leaders in academia, government, media, and even religious institutions, to pursue and defend their cause and punish anyone who dares disagree.
The role played by climate scientists in propping up what is arguably the most costly scandal of all time should concern everyone. For our countries are in serious trouble if other science-based policy discussions are carried out like this.
Former Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics solar-climate expert Dr. Sallie Baliunas said in a presentation before the Oakland-based non-partisan group, The Independent Institute, “Science is the only successful means we know of to explain nature…But science needs special societal protection, and without that protection, science will just be dialed out and, in its place will be substituted the myths that humans love to create…”
If science is to continue playing a leadership role in modern society, it must be protected from climate researchers who are attempting to frighten the world into rash action by committing what amounts to scientific fraud. Scientists from all disciplines must speak out. The stakes are too high to accept anything less.
Bob Carter is former professor and head of the School of Earth Sciences at James Cook University in Australia. Willie Soon, an astrophysicist and geoscientist, is a leading authority on the relationship between solar phenomena and global climate. Tom Harris is executive director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition (www.climatescienceinternational.org).