The right reasons for mistrusting science
Sam J Wong

I am a hard-liner where the term science is concerned. The study of observational fields of meteorology, climate, and even astronomy are not what I consider a science. There are aspects that look scientific, but there are no controlled experiments at the scale of observation.

Do note that I am in good company. Nobel laureates such as Richard Feynman have expressed similar ideas.

Yes these are studies that are important, worthy of continued research, and generally a good idea. But they do not follow the scientific method using controlled experiments. We do not have a spare earth to test these ideas at the scale required to prove how this or that feature changes the outcome. We only have statistical models which use data sets that are necessarily incomplete.

So we will never have the same degree of certainty that a real science such as chemistry, physics, or biology will have in the study of climate. Calling it a science to attempt conveying the certainty of other sciences seems quite dishonest to me.

That said, I won’t deny the statistics and the models. There is evidence that the average global temperature is rising. I have doubts about the alarmist talk of high rates of rise, but yes, the earth is probably warming.

Next, the discussion immediately turns to a contention that this must all be anthropogenic and we must do something about it. Now we’re in the territory of politics and policy. On the first part, I agree, some of this change must be anthropogenic because after all, we live on this planet. But whether this trend can be reversed by removing ALL fossil fuel burning is irrelevant. It is being burnt. It is an economical source of energy. And all the regulations and treaties won’t stop that from happening until there is a viable replacement for that energy source.

I’m sorry ladies and gentlemen, the reality is we can’t stop. However, we can design better sources of energy storage, energy generation (with nuclear power) and energy harvesting (solar, wind, geothermal, etc.).

But it must be said: Climate studies do not have the degree of certainty that real science has. It is not a science. We can make policy and people can respectfully disagree. The talk of it being heresy to deny “science” by people who themselves don’t understand the issue all that well is why so many have begun to doubt this kind of talk.

And now you have a psychologist who attempts to figure out why “there are so many doubters.” You have a foregone conclusion and you have already made up your minds, and you seek to convert others to your religion.

I’m sorry, I can’t go there.

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