World Energy Blog

Data or Dogma

12/10/2015 11:47:54 AM

This week is an interesting week for Climate Change enthusiasts around the world.  We have the meeting in Paris, where an agreement on a Climate Tax scenario is being hammered out among nations and a Senate hearing in the US where the science is being discussed from the other side.

The President of the United States, appearing in Paris, has stated that the climate changing is as big a crisis as Middle East terrorism and the time to act is now.  He seems very willing to commit the developed nations to giving money to the less developed nations under some flag.

The Pope himself has suggested that if an agreement isn’t reached he will intervene to “encourage” the nations of the world to move forward.

We have a new report out showing that China, the world’s largest emitter of CO2, may not be all that interested in controlling CO2.  They have a huge population that needs a growing economy and carbon restrictions are not going to help.  Additionally it is increasingly obvious that pollution is much bigger problem in China than Climate Change.

Back here in the States, Senator Ted Cruz is bringing up discrepancies in the data.  He sites data from satellites and advanced weather buoys to show that a global warming pause is in effect.  The Senator is not alone; Senator Inhofe has also brought up the data discrepancies and has even gone so far as to request the EPA’s data, a request that has been summarily denied.

While some question whether Senator Cruz is doing this for political gain, the question of Dogma vs. Data is a good one.  One of the things about the “science” that has always troubled me is when “the science is settled”, and “98% of scientists agree”, and “There is no room for debate” are the statements made from the side promoting a solution to Climate Change, no one seems to question the results.  If the scientific community has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that that we as humans are causing Global Climate Change, why is it still called a theory?

Over the last few years we have seen several questions raised, and stifled without really addressing the issue.  The questions surrounding data, funding, and models and their validity really shouldn’t be swept under the rug.  If anything, the email scandal at the University of North Umberland should show us that the scientists working on this have a vested interest in the outcome.

Senator Cruz is asking about the data and the data does seem to contradict the current “consensus”.  Several others have countered that the “pause” has been debunked.  However, the pause was debunked by altering the data set to match the older less reliable data.  That doesn’t seem like a good solution to me, but it seems to have baffled the rest of the Climate Science team into agreement.  What is being suggested now is that based on "data" that seems to be altered to fit the outcome, we are going to dramatically change how the world economy works. Thats ok if it gets better, but that isn't the picture being painted and certainly the American people are not buying it.

During Cruz’s hearing John Christy suggested setting aside five to 10 percent of federal climate research funding for a “Red Team” like the CIA section tasked with outside-the-box analyses that challenge the status quo. This Red Team would “produce an assessment that expresses legitimate, alternative hypotheses” for climate change.  While this sounds like a good idea, it could also be a flawed approach.  What this team really should be doing is challenging the “theory” to see if it can be proven wrong.  That really should be the role of any “Red” team.

One of the very real problems in all of this is funding.  Al Gore has made a personal fortune by crying wolf about Climate Change, oh wait, that was Global Warming.  However, he is not the only one profiting from this and standing to profit even more.  At least with Al Gore’s profits, they were made in the private sector.  What we are suggesting now is a massive transfer of wealth.  We are also suggesting that some countries are allowed to develop and others are not.  Perhaps if the models had not predicted such drastic impacts to the planet on such a short time frame others would be more willing to invest in this latest scheme.  Remember Islands were supposed to have disappeared, major storms were going to wipe us out, and the polar ice caps were going to disappear. 

Perhaps the scientific community really does need a “Red Team” or groups of “Red Teams” to establish some credibility on this issue.  That would also spread the wealth around, challenge the theory, and might allow for someone to finally prove the “data” is correct… or perhaps that we have once again got it wrong.  At least this would allow people to say, "hey they tested the theory and found it to be sound".  

If we don’t we risk being caught in the “flat earth” mentality of scientists in the days of Christopher Columbus.  Had he not believed in an alternative our history would be dramatically different.