I Love Neil deGrasse Tyson, but He is Wrong

 

I love Neil deGrasse Tyson. He has done so much to make science interesting and understandable. He is wise and humble. His love for science is infectious. However, I think he is wrong when he talks about the denial of science, especially when it is about climate change.

I agree with him when he says we need to become scientifically literate and that is something I have endeavoured to do over the last few years. I have come to be better understanding of what science is, and how it works. I am not a scientist, but I do have a brain and believe I have come to some intelligent conclusions. Not only that, I am open minded enough to listen to alternative ideas. I want to know the truth, even if it means that someday, someone can prove the CO2 is a problem. But as of today, I am not convinced.

I started this journey because I wanted to prove to someone that Global Warming was real. Yes, there was a time that I believed in it. After all, the scientists were saying so, and who was I to disagree? What I found out was there are many knowledgeable people who questioned the hypotheses. I also found out that in the science world, this is what is supposed to happen. People are not supposed to be put down because they had different ideas. If their ideas were unsound, science will figure it out in the end, if given the chance to do so.

I don’t claim to know or understand everything, but what I learned was enough to make me question the status quo on the subject Anthropological Catastrophic Climate Change (ACCC). I also learned that questioning is good. If you don’t ask questions, you will not learn anything thing.

Neil talks about people denying science. I would like him to explain to me, just who is denying science and what they are denying about science. From my studies, they don’t deny that the climate is changing, that it is a bit warmer then is was 100 years ago, or that mankind has had something to do with it. They just question by how much and if it is a real problem, and what percent of it is our fault. This is a question that even Bill Nye could not answer.

What about real denial, like the denial of medieval warm period, which happened approximately between 1000 to 1250 when temperatures were higher then today, and people prospered because of longer growing seasons, and Vikings lived on Greenland (which they can’t today because it just too cold)? What about the denial of the little ice age that lasted from about 1300 to 1870, when plagues and famine were rampant, and people died by the millions? Could it be that the warming we have been experiencing over the last 100 years might have been the planet still coming out of the ice age? Science is all about considering all angles of a topic, all the possibilities.

Neil talks about how someone makes a premise or hypothesis and then others look at it, and do experiments to confirm validity. Scientists are supposed to do their utmost to disprove a theory. If it can’t be disproven, then it should be considered as possibility true. But even when that happens, new evidence can materialize that could change the picture yet again. That is why science is never settled.

How can one do real world experiments when it needs to be done on the real world — that is, the entire planet. Consider how big the planet is. How will it ever to fit in a lab? And while CO2 has been proven to cause some warming, what experiment can prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that when you factor in all of the variables involved in influencing the climate, such as clouds, the sun, wind, and the ocean — to name only a few — that CO2 is the main reason for the warming? How can we be sure that we even know of all the variables that affect the climate? Can we be sure that there are no other variables involved that we are not even aware of yet? You know, the stuff that we don’t know that we don’t know. All I suggest is that there are too many variables, to many unanswered questions to say that we know enough about why the world is warming and what it really means, and therefore cannot be pinned totally on CO2 as the starting point. If it cannot be proven, then any of the additional arguments are irrelevant.

So how can we trust the the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) who’s sole purpose is to prove that CO2 is the only cause of ACCC and does not even consider looking at other possible causes? Why does the IPCC not even consider the 100s of papers – peer reviewed and published in excellent journals — which do not support ACCC? Is it because these papers might contradict their premise and purpose which is to prove that CO2 is the cause?

Since whole world experiments are somewhat impossible, scientists rely on models that give projections. But if they cannot fully understand all of the possible factors that effect climate, how can we rely on models. They give some ideas of what might happen, but they can’t really tell what will happen for sure. They are only guesses, possibilities, not guarantees. For example, over the past 30 years, many of the climate models predicted that snow would be a thing of the past by now. Well, here in Ottawa, we had snow this winter, and lots of it. It has been a long cold winter. This neither proves or disproves ACCC, but points to the fact that the models are not reliable.

There are many scientists that do not support the status quo on ACCC. They do research which presents alternative views. They get their papers reviewed and published. The problem is, their voices and views are just not heard, or, if we do hear about them, they are presented as villains and funded by big oil, which is usually not the case. They are accused of denying science. Yet, they are doing exactly what Neil says scientists should do. Why are their efforts any less relevant just because they don’t go along with the status quo?

Doesn’t that sound a little Orwellian, the idea that people with a different point of view are presented as somehow – evil? Take for instance the story of Dr. Judith Curry. While Neil is an intelligent and established scientist in his own right, he is not an actual climate scientist, like Dr. Curry. She has impeccable credentials, including 186 published journal articles and two books. She went along with the status quo on ACCC, believing it to be real and trusting in what she was being told about it. Until she started to really look at the details which made her change her mind.

Bam, she is now an oil funded climate denier. Funny how one minute she has no connections with big oil, and the next minute she is in their pay. I wonder how that happens? How ridiculous, and scary – and easy it is to be trashed for not going with the status quo. Here is what she had to say about why she changed her mind when she spoke at a resent senate hearing.

“Prior to 2010, I felt that supporting the IPCC consensus on human-caused climate change was the responsible thing to do. That all changed for me in November 2009, following the leaked Climategate emails, that illustrated the sausage making and even bullying that went into building the consensus.I came to the growing realization that I had fallen into the trap of groupthink in supporting the IPCC consensus. I began making an independent assessment of topics in climate science that had the most relevance to policy. I concluded that the high confidence of the IPCC’s conclusions was not justified, and that there were substantial uncertainties in our understanding of how the climate system works. I realized that the premature consensus on human-caused climate change was harming scientific progress because of the questions that don’t get asked and the investigations that  aren’t made. We therefore lack the kinds of information to more broadly understand climate variability and societal vulnerabilities.As a result of my analyses that challenge the IPCC consensus, I have been publicly called a serial climate disinformer, anti-science, and a denier by a prominent climate scientist. I’ve been publicly called a denier by a U.S. Senator. My motives have been questioned by a U.S. Congressman in a letter sent to the President of Georgia Tech.”

https://judithcurry.com/2017/03/29/house-science-committee-hearing/

She is a scientist with distinction and integrity. But when she looked at the evidence and decided that things were not what they seemed, she instantly became a villain. How can this behaviour be justified in the name of science?

When the models of the past 30 years don’t work, when the best they can come up with to prove CO2 causes catastrophic global warming is using terms like “likely”, when top scientist, who exemplifies distinction and integrity, is accused of being funded by big oil when they are not, when there are many scientists have peer reviewed papers that have alternative findings, you kind of have to pause and consider, maybe the “deniers” have a point.

You don’t have to agree with me – I won’t vilify you if you don’t. My purpose is not necessarily to change your mind, but to present some reasons why you might at least be willing to consider that if someone like Judith Curry could change her mind because she realized that she was not being told the whole truth, maybe you might consider it as well. And maybe, Neil deGrasse Tyson, as awesome as he is, is mistaken.

If Given the Chance, Science Will Tell the Truth about Climate Change

Although I may sometimes express ideas that are not inline with others, I will not use the term denier, idiot, a mis-informer, or stupid, just because they don’t agree with me. I am the first to say, I could be wrong about what I believe. Besides the fact that it is downright rude, calling people you disagree with names does not make your point of view more valid. Remember that the next time you make a comment in Facebook, a blog or newspaper article.

However, it really doesn’t matter what you or I believe. What does matter is, if allowed to do it’s job and produces evidence instead of conjecture, if it is not hijacked by politics, if done properly, that science will in the end reveal the truth.

One of the things I have learned is that science is about posing an idea or hypothesis. As one scientist said, making a guess about what might be. Then, the next step is to try your best to disprove it. I know that may seem somewhat weird and backward, but in essence, that is what science is about. You try as hard as you can to disprove something, and if you can’t disprove it, then it is most likely true.

Someone came up with the hypothesis that C02 has caused catastrophic warming of the planet and mankind is responsible. It is not that the hypothesis was bad, it just that instead of allowing science, and scientists, to do their job — test and test until it is proven one way or another — some people have set out to prove that the hypothesis is correct, and anyone who disagrees with them are less then human. And, it has yet to be proven to be true.

From my research, I have come to the conclusion that man-made catastrophic global warming is unsupported by the facts, and there is no solid evidence in it’s favour. Maybe someday it will be otherwise, but presently, I am not convinced.

I came across this article by Michael Crichton which expressed so well what I am trying to say. I would ask that you take a moment and read it. I would like to know what you think. Don’t be thrown off by the title of the article. When you read it you will understand why.

Aliens Cause Global Warming: A Caltech Lecture by Michael Crichton

 

A key point that Michael Crichton makes is that the way we now do science is rife with bias, and if we created an independent body to study science, we would be more productive. As he says:

“The fact is that the present structure of science is entrepreneurial, with individual investigative teams vying for funding from organizations that all too often have a clear stake in the outcome of the research-or appear to, which may be just as bad. This is not healthy for science.

Sooner or later, we must form an independent research institute in this country. It must be funded by industry, by government, and by private philanthropy, both individuals and trusts. The money must be pooled, so that investigators do not know who is paying them. The institute must fund more than one team to do research in a particular area, and the verification of results will be a foregone requirement: teams will know their results will be checked by other groups.”

If there were such an organization that was free to do real science, and while supported by government, business, special interest groups, etc, were not slave to these groups, maybe we could stop wasting time with petty arguments and get some real answers, and solutions, to the many challenges we face.

Global Warming is NOT Causing Extreme Weather

Climate change is a very misleading term. When people hear it, it fills them with dread. While climate change is real, it is also normal, natural, and has happened forever. We have little to do with it.

From the research I have done, I have concluded that the climate is changing all the time. Sometimes it gets hot — even hotter then we are experiencing today. Sometimes it gets really cold, like during the many ice ages. So I do not deny that climate change is real and is happening. I just don’t think that we are responsible for it or that there is much we can do about it, except do our best to adapt.

I realize that there are many people who won’t agree with me, and well, that’s OK. However, I would ask them to show me the evidence to the contrary, because that is what science is about, producing evidence, and asking questions. A lot of what is being thrown around as evidence is nothing more than anecdotal stories. While events like Katrina and Superstorm Sandy are horrific, they do not prove anything when it comes to global warming. Climate — Mother Nature if you will — can be cruel and violent. That is just a fact of life.

It’s important for you to understand that I am not denying that the planet has warmed up. I don’t deny that the climate has changed. These things are not disputed by authentic scientists. And yes, there are many authentic, knowledgeable, relevant and qualified scientists who do not believe global warming is the problem it’s being made out to be. A lot more then the 3%, that is for sure. What is disputed is how much of the small warming we have experienced presents a real threat, and how much can be realistically attributed to humans. Oh yes, we can’t forget to guilt humans for causing it. It is the new original sin.

What about extreme weather? Isn’t that evidence that global warming is real? I find it disturbing when I hear people talk like this. I know they have not looked at the evidence, but are just repeating what they have been told. Everywhere you go, you hear about heat, drought, floods, hurricanes, and so forth. It’s made out to sound like the world is drowning in a super storm of fire. But is it really?

In order for extreme weather to occur, there needs to be an extreme difference in the temperature between the poles and the equator. If the planet were to warm up, the warming would not be even. There would be more warming in the poles, and less in the equator. This means that global warming would actually cause a decrease in extreme weather.

Here is an excerpt from a paper called A Warming Arctic Would Not Cause Increased Severe Weather or Temperature Extremes by  Chuck Wiese which discusses this concept:

What is particularly disturbing about FV (2012) is not only is it incorrect and flawed, but it passed peer review. Now, after publication, FV (2012) has been lapped up by media, touted and referenced in their severe weather stories that report on hurricanes, tornadoes, severe thunderstorms, heat, cold, drought and any other weather calamity as “proof” their paper is correct. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The reader needs to understand that anytime we experience severe weather, it is proof that adequate COLD in the high latitudes and Arctic has been generated by the normal radiational cooling process by the earth that creates the adequate potential energy across the latitude lines to cause amplification of the jet stream waves and speeds that pushes this colder air southward to warmer latitudes that then creates the necessary temperature gradients to liberate that energy, creating storms as well as high pressure systems.

If the occurrence of severe weather is increasing worldwide, it is not a sign of a warming earth. It is the opposite of what climate hysteria claims, and an indication of a cooling, not warming earth.

The continued misuse, abuse and general trashing of important principles founded with atmospheric science remains as deplorable as ever by the groups promoting global warming from human CO2 emissions or by these same groups promoting climate hysteria by re-labeling this term “climate change”.

Some people will say, “Of course, there is an increase in extreme weather. Just look at Katrina and Super Storm Sandy!” But this is not evidence of global warming. For all it’s destruction, Katrina was not the worst hurricane to have hit the states. Back in the 50s there was a hurricane that hit Miami that was much worse. But most people don’t even know about it because, for one thing, they didn’t have the news or satellite coverage they do now. But even more telling, there wasn’t the destruction like with Katrina because Miami was not as populated as it is now. In the following video, Bjorn Lomborg talks about this hurricane, and how it compares to Katrina. (By the way,  Lomborg  is a believer of problematic global warming, but he has some very useful things to say. If you haven’t already seen it, you should watch his movie Cool It. It is very thought provoking. Here it is on Youtube.)

New Orleans is below sea level. It has levies to hold back the sea, but because the levies were so poorly built, when Katrina hit, they came a tumbling down. The destruction was tragic. Had they  adapted to living below sea level like the dutch who live a similar situation, New Orleans would not have suffered like they did. Don’t blame that on global warming, blame it on poor planning.

Superstorm Sandy was caused by three storms colliding. That was unfortunate, but global warming had nothing to do with it. The destruction it caused was horrific, made more so because of all of the people who lived in the area. If people want to live by the ocean, they have to do so on the ocean’s terms. That is the risk they take in doing so.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is probably the most recognized authority on human cause global warming. However, even their report states that there is no increase in floods, heat waves, hurricanes etc. So, if the IPCC says this, why are so many people freaking out about extreme weather?

Environmental scientist Roger Pielke, say “It is misleading and just plain incorrect to claim that disasters associated with hurricanes, tornadoes, floods or droughts have increased on climate timescales either in the United States or globally.”

Below is a video of Dr. Pielke discussing seven points outlined in the IPCC report about extreme weather and global warming. This is especially interesting because Dr. Pielke believes in human caused global warming.  Here is a summary of the seven points he makes in the video:

  • It is misleading to say extreme weather increased or to associate the cost of disasters to green house gases
  • Weather related losses have not increased, in fact have decreased 25%. Insurance losses due to catastrophic have not increased.
  • Hurricanes or cyclones have not increased
  • Floods have not increased, in fact they have decreased
  • Tornadoes have not increased, but decreased
  • Droughts have become shorter and less frequent
  • The absolute cost of disaster will increase, not because of global warming, but because there are more people living in at risk areas.

I find it interesting that some of the people in this video are continually trying to say that global warming causes extreme weather, even though Dr. Pielke, who is a scientist and is known to share their belief that global warming is a problem, has to continually correct them by saying global warming does not cause extreme hurricanes, droughts, tornadoes, or floods, according to his research and the findings of the IPCC.

So, if global warming does not cause extreme weather as many would have you believe, it makes you wonder how many other things which are attributed to global warming are equally incorrect. So when you hear people say, “Global warming is causing extreme weather!” you know that according to the IPCC, and many other experts, that just ain’t so.

You don’t have to agree with me, but if you do disagree, please respectively show me true evidence. I am always open to learning.