March 5, 2009

To Tell The Truth

If an honest man is wrong, after demonstrating that he is wrong, he either stops being wrong or he stops being honest.

- Anon

Have you ever made a mistake? Of course you have, we all have -many for most of us. For some people it is easy to admit a mistake once identified, for others it is more difficult. "To ere is human" they say but pride or even arrogance can certainly get in the way of admitting an error, even an innocent one. There are several ways you can deal with a mistake, believe me, I have tried them all.

First and best, as we all know, is to admit it and move on. Second you can deny it and move on, not as good obviously but it is a solution. The other is to lie about it and try to move on. The problem with this approach is that once you lie about a mistake, depending on the mistake, you could spend a great deal of time defending, covering up and even lying to cover up the original lie and mistake. Sort of that "tangled web we weave" theory. We can weave that web so thoroughly that we lose site of the original reality and in our attempt to justify it, as inevitably must happen in order to live with ones self we believe our lie.

Lies, as we all know, come in assorted forms, not necessarily just the telling or representation of a falsehood, but it can also be the neglect to correct a known falsehood, that old lie of omission rather than commission. We can also lie by just ignoring that which does not fit into our new accepted reality, the reality that was caused by our mistake, which we lie about in order to live with our self.

The famous American Geographer T.C. Chamberlain wrote:

"The moment one has offered an original explanation for a phenomenon which seems satisfactory, that moment affection for his intellectual child springs into existence, and as the explanation grows into a definite theory his parental affections cluster about his offspring and it grows more dear to him...As this parental affection takes possession of the mind, there is a rapid passage to the adoption of the theory. There is an unconscious selection and magnifying of phenomena that fall into harmony with the theory and support it, and an unconscious neglect of those that fail of coincidence...

When these biasing tendencies set in, the mind rapidly degenerates into the partiality of paternalism. The search for facts, the observation of phenomena and their interpretation, are all dominated by affection for the favored theory until it appears to its author or its advocate to have been overwhelmingly established. The theory then rapidly rises to the ruling position, and investigation, observation, and interpretation are controlled and directed by it. From an unduly favored child, it readily becomes master, and leads its author whithersoever it will...

When the last stage has been reached, unless the theory happens, perchance, to be the true one, all hope of the best results is gone."

A very good explanation of scientific pride. Make no mistake, a large portion of the scientific world and a majority of the climate science world is now heavily invested "parental affection" of man made global warming belief structure. There is no doubt that the entire climate science community has not only been extensively financed but it's very meaning defined by the global warming theory. Take this comment of one of the most respected climate scientist in the world, the first woman to receive a PhD. Dr. Joanne Simpson:

Since I am no longer affiliated with any organization nor
receiving any funding, I can speak quite frankly
….As a scientist I remain skeptical...The main basis of the claim that man’s release of greenhouse gases is the cause of the warming is based almost entirely upon climate models. We all know the frailty of models concerning the air-surface system."

Consider that quite apart from what she said about climate models, the fact that she was affiliated with an institution , a government institution no less NOAA, that received funding based upon climate change science, restricted her from speaking frankly about her true thoughts about global warming. She is now able to speak frankly about a subject which she is a renowned world expert, but felt constrained from so doing prior to her retirement.

Over and over again prominent scientist retire or get close to retirement from their various institutions or agencies and then they feel comfortable about expressing their true opinions. Here is another example, retired senior NASA atmospheric scientist Dr. John S. Theon had this to say.

"My own belief concerning anthropogenic climate change is that the models do not realistically simulate the climate system because there are many very important sub-grid scale processes that the models either replicate poorly or completely omit. Furthermore, some scientists have manipulated the observed data to justify their model results. In doing so, they neither explain what they have modified in the observations, nor explain how they did it. They have resisted making their work transparent so that it can be replicated independently by other scientists. This is clearly contrary to how science should be done. Thus there is no rational justification for using climate model forecasts to determine public policy."

Granted Dr. Theon has been retired from NASA for many years but the fact that his now so adamantly expressing them is striking. Dr Roy Spencer another former NASA scientist gives a possible explanation, on his web site he writes:

And now my old boss when I was at NASA (as well as James Hansen’s old boss), John Theon, has stated very clearly that he doesn’t believe global warming is manmade…and adding “climate models are useless” for good measure. Even I wouldn’t go quite that far, since I use simple ones in my published research. I remember the old days at NASA, when even John Theon was singing the same tune as most people at NASA were. Manmade global warming was a potentially serious threat, and NASA wanted Congress to fund new satellites to study the problem. It was a team effort to get that accomplished.

Global warming research was a relatively new field back then. Was Theon always skeptical, and just being a team player at the time? I don’t know. It could be that Dr. Theon, after watching 15 years of climate research go by, decided that he was no longer convinced that mankind was at fault for warming.

We all know that government agencies as well as most institutional entities do no willingly cut their own budgets. In fact it is a well know practice to spend every last dime of budgeted money so as not to lose funding the next year and to justify budget increases, it is one of many reasons why governments are so inefficient.

A scientist who is employed by an institution whose funding is directly tied to a particular outcome is wont to find fault in that outcome, particularly when it may jeopardize his/her own career and financial security. As Upton Sinclair once noted"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his job depends on not understanding it."

Lest we think that scientist simply because they are scientist are beyond such mortal sins as manipulation and deceit for prestige and money consider what a current atmospheric scientist recently observed:

“Scientists who want to attract attention to themselves, who want to attract great funding to themselves, have to (find a) way to scare the public . . . and this you can achieve only by making things bigger and more dangerous than they really are.”-Petr Chylek

Not that all scientist in the climate and related fields are unscrupulous or even deceitful, they don't need to be. The belief in the Global Warming mantra is so prevalent that it is just a matter of accepting the dogma and not being a critical or skeptical observer which is the true mission of a scientist. This would be a lie of omission, failure to take due diligence to insure accuracy. As old T.C. so eloquently if pointedly observed "The search for facts, the observation of phenomena and their interpretation, are all dominated by affection for the favored theory until it appears to its author or its advocate to have been overwhelmingly established." Obviously this is not a new phenomena in the scientific community.

Even a casual observation of the science of global warming shows the bias towards predetermined outcomes and the tendency to make "things bigger and more dangerous than they really are."

Dr John Everett on his excellent web site make the following observation:

When reviewing impact assessments, look for bias. Often the authors think only of negative changes. This is not necessarily because of personal agendas (such as to assist animals, clean the air, or reduce the birth rate), but is primarily due to human nature. To guard against having a biased report, one should look for balance. Does the material articulate that things will be different and that there are pluses and minuses? There may well be more of one than another. Sometimes balance is reflected in the amount of text, or graphics made to illustrate impacts and often it is reflected in the number of negative versus positive impacts....

He then goes on to give examples and explain how they are being treated. I'll let the reader decide if the current state of scientific discourse on global warming has given us a balanced or even a fair representation of the risk versus rewards of the affects of global warming.

I fear that the process is so far down the road, that the interest of the scientific community is so vested in maintaining the current dogma, to demonizing opposing views and even stifling contrary research findings, the general public has little chance of receiving a fair airing of the truth.

Worse yet the policies being implemented by governments around the world based on shoddy and sometimes corrupted sciences will inevidably lead to civil unrest once the truth is ultimately exposed, which it ultimately will be. Because one thing we all learn about lies is that they are always ultimately exposed. That is a law of God or nature depending on your belief structure, that has been proven for longer than the denial of the cookie jare theft.

But until then we must take what is fed us from the scientist with a sceptisism that the science community is currently unable or unwilling to impose on itself.

"Basically, the problem is that the research community has gone so far along the path of frightening the life out of the man in the street that to recant publicly even part of the story would massively damage the reputation and political clout of science in general. And so, like corpuscles in the blood, researchers all over the world now rush in overwhelming numbers to repel infection by any idea that threatens the carefully cultivated belief in climatic disaster. "

Garth Paltridge


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