Monday, June 9, 2014

WSJ Op-Ed: Demonization of climate "skeptics" should raise an alarm for anyone who takes science seriously. Skepticism is the essence of the scientific method

Springtime for Warmists
A Beltway commentator endorses "dictatorial" government.


Last month Rush Limbaugh remarked that the reason for "the re-establishment of climate change and global warming as a new primary impetus of the White House" is that "it offers the president opportunities to be dictatorial."

A defender of the president might counter that "dictatorial" is overwrought. After all, whether or not his proposed regulations are wise, they are based on an act of Congress and an interpretation of that law that has passed muster with the Supreme Court. They won't take effect until members of the public have had the opportunity to make their views known to the Environmental Protection Agency. And Obama will remain in office for only another 2½ years or so, after which his (democratically elected) successors will have the authority to revise the regulations. Congress also retains the authority to change the law.

But National Journal's Lucia Graves takes a different approach. Instead of denying that Obama's actions are dictatorial, she disputes Limbaugh's implicit premise that there's anything wrong with that. Lest you think we exaggerate, her piece is titled "Obama's Thankfully 'Dictatorial' Approach to Climate Change."

According to Graves, Limbaugh "has it precisely backward: The decision to use executive authority is the means, not the ends." And you'll never guess what justifies the means: "It also makes a lot of sense when it comes to global warming given Congress's failure to pass the Waxman-Markey energy bill in 2009, and, for decades before that, to pass any sort of comprehensive climate legislation whatsoever."

Yes, it has come to this. Americans are being urged to submit to "dictatorial" government because democracy is incapable of controlling the weather. "In college classes, climate change is taught as a textbook example of where democracy fails," Graves asserts in the very first sentence of her column.

Well, that settles it. America might have been a noble experiment, but science has proven it a failure. "Science is science," Obama tells the New York Times's Thomas Friedman. "And there is no doubt that if we burned all the fossil fuel that's in the ground right now that the planet's going to get too hot and the consequences could be dire." Friedman asked: "Do you ever want to just go off on the climate deniers in Congress? 'Yeah, absolutely,' the president said with a laugh."

Hardy har har.

There are, to say the least, some problems here. Most important, appeals to scientific authority ought to fall on deaf ears unless the science is conducted honestly, which entails acknowledgment of uncertainty and respect for alternative hypotheses. In this regard, the demonization of "skeptics" should raise an alarm for anyone who takes science seriously. Skepticism is the essence of the scientific method.

Trofim Lysenko

The call for "dictatorial" government in the name of "science" is reminiscent of Trofim Lysenko, described by the Skeptic's Dictionary as "a non-scientific peasant plant-breeder" who endorsed an eccentric evolutionary theory called Lamarckism. Lysenko "found favor with the party leadership in the Soviet Union. . . . It was due to Lysenko's efforts that many real scientists, those who were geneticists or who rejected Lamarckism in favor of natural selection, were sent to the gulags or simply disappeared from the USSR."

A few scholars and commentators have called for "climate deniers" to be jailed, though Graves doesn't go that far.

Meanwhile the Times's Frank Bruni writes that the administration's new carbon regulations "may be too little, too late, according to an assessment last year by John Podesta, now a counselor to President Obama." He adds: "As the title of a book by Al Gore observed, the earth itself is in the balance." Podesta is trained as a lawyer; Gore studied government as an undergraduate. Thus Bruni has dispensed with even the pretense of appealing to scientific authority.

Meanwhile, in a recent column for Bloomberg View, Cass Sunstein, a Harvard legal scholar and sometime Obama adviser, considers this question: "Suppose that an authoritarian government decides to embark on a program of curricular reform, with the explicit goal of indoctrinating the nation's high school students. . . . Will such a government succeed? Or will high school students simply roll their eyes?"

Sunstein looks at a new study of one government that mostly succeeded. "Starting in 2001, China decided to engage in a nationwide reform of its curriculum" aimed at shoring up support for the communist regime. For the most part, it was a success:
The crucial finding from the study is that the new curriculum greatly affected students' thinking. They became more likely to count the Chinese political system as democratic. They displayed a higher level of trust in public officials. They were more skeptical of free markets, and more likely to reject the view that a market economy is preferable to any other economic system. They were more likely to want to extend political influence to groups outside of the Chinese Communist Party.
But in two respects "the curricular reform failed." It didn't make Han Chinese (the majority) any less prejudiced against minorities. And, on the point of today's column:
Students didn't become more favorably disposed toward environmental protection. They were not more likely to give the environment priority over economic growth, and they were not more willing to give up some of their income to protect the environment.

Even if Lucia Graves is right that "dictatorial" government is necessary for the global warmists to prevail, the Chinese experience suggests it may not be sufficient.


  1. Well, of course it was to avoid dictatorial presidential rule that America's Founders instituted the separation of powers.

    As for the Clean Air Act 1970, section 111(d) under which the new rules have been proposed requires that the purpose of adding a new pollutant to the list and promulgating rules to control emissions is to protect the "health and welfare" of the public.

    The courts have decided that connection between a point source emission and health and welfare must be direct and measurable.

    The health and welfare benefits from control of CO2 emissions cannot be shown to be either direct or measurable. Indeed the consensus science claim is that more non-Americans would benefit than Americans, which explains why the Administrator is claiming that the purpose is indirect, through climate control.

    This is a misuse of section 111(d) not because the Administrator has labeled a non-toxic substance as a pollutant, but because the section specifies that the purpose shall be to promote "health and welfare". This the Administrator has not done in a manner that the courts have found complies with the Clean Air Act.

    The Administrator is overreaching the powers delegated to her by Congress.

    1. Interesting, hopefully this will be used to attack this legislation

  2. I am totally appalled that Ph.D's. that have received my Experiment with references to many other scientific reports and experiments that shows that the greenhouse gas effect does not exist, can not understand that CO2 or any other IR absorbing gas (IRag) do not cause the atmosphere to "heat" A simple experiment that can be performed in less than 10 minute shows that the greenhouse gas effect does not exist. . Yet the Cult of AGW and the world of Luke Warm Skeptic like Dr. Judy Curry, Dr. Roy Spencer etc. will not acknowledge that they want to keep receiving government grants or the notoriety of testifying to Congress or the newspaper about a concept that does not exists. Man-made global warming is a political hoax that is making lots of people lots of money and lots of notoriety no mater which side you are on.
    While in college 50 years ago in one of the top three technical colleges in the country I learned two things- 1) A hypotheses has to be proved by many repeatable experiments to make it to the next step- a theory. This has not been done with the Hypotheses of the greenhouse gas effect. Why not??? 2) My Ph.D professor that taught Introduction to quantum physics showed that Based on the Bohr model a gas does not "heat" adjacent molecules when the molecule absorbs IR radiation. I have found a few hundred examples that verify this.
    As "heating" of CO2 in the atmospheres is a primary feature of the supposed GHGE, this alone is enough to nullify the Hypotheses. There is a very large number of true scientists and engineers that know by their training that the greenhouse gas effect does not exist. I'd estimate that there are between 1.5 and 2 million true scientists and engineer or more that doe not believe in the Hoax. The criminals that are the Cult of AGW should be charge with Crimes against humanity.

    Albert Einstein once said, “No amount of experimentation can ever
    prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.” Einstein’s words
    express a foundational principle of science intoned by the logician, Karl
    Popper: Falsifiability. In order to verify a hypothesis there must be a test by
    which it can be proved false. A thousand observations may appear to verify a
    hypothesis, but one critical failure could result in its demise. The history of
    science is littered with such examples.

    Part 1


    It appears that no one has asked the very critical question-Where
    is the credible test/experiment that proves that the Greenhouse gas effect
    exists? There is another important question that has not been asked is
    "Where is the credible experiments that show that reducing the CO2 content
    in the atmosphere will cause a decrease in atmospheric temperature?

    Looking at the great quote from Albert Einstein above- If one
    experiment shows that an important part of the Hypotheses of Greenhouse gas
    effect cannot be proved or is disproved it is very likely that the Hypotheses
    is false from beginning to end.

    Here is an experiment that shows that at least 5 of the features
    of the Hypotheses are false and here is a reference to another experiment that
    shows that another feature is ass backward as presented by the CAGW

    The Greenhouse Effect Explored

    Written by Carl Brehmer | 26 May 2012

    Is “Water Vapor Feedback” Positive or Negative?

    Exploiting the medium of Youtube Carl Brehmer is drawing wider
    attention to a fascinating experiment he performed to test the climatic impacts
    of water in our atmosphere.

    Carl explains, “An essential element of the “greenhouse effect”
    hypothesis is the positive “water vapor feedback” hypothesis. That is, if
    something causes an increase in the temperature this will cause an increase in
    the evaporation of water into water vapor.”

    Another factor that even the meteorologists have not included in
    there pretend thinking is "evaporative cooling that is occurring on at
    least 99.95 % of the earth's surface.

    The Experiment that Failed and can save the World trillions.