Thursday, January 29, 2009
Rational Science versus Sacrificial Politics
by John David Lewis and Paul Saunders
The Obama administration continues to appoint radical environmentalists who want us to commit industrial suicide on behalf of nature. Meanwhile, top-rank scientists continue to renounce claims of a coming climate disaster.
The latest scientist to voice his conclusions is retired senior NASA atmospheric scientist Dr. John S. Theon. As chief of several NASA programs from 1982 to 1994, Theon was responsible for all weather and climate research, and oversaw the work of Dr. James Hansen. Hansen is NASA’s foremost proponent of man-made global warming—and a strong supporter of Al Gore. Hansen has compared coal trains to Nazi death trains, and has lobbied for the prosecution of coal industry executives. Hansen also claims to have been “muzzled” by the Bush administration.
Dr. Theon has repudiated all of this. “I appreciate the opportunity to add my name to those who disagree that global warming is man made,” Theon wrote to the Minority Office at the Environment and Public Works Committee on January 15, 2009.
Hansen was never muzzled even though he violated NASA’s official agency position on climate forecasting (i.e., we did not know enough to forecast climate change or mankind’s effect on it). Hansen thus embarrassed NASA by coming out with his claims of global warming in 1988 in his testimony before Congress.
As regards computer software models—the primary source of support for the claims of global warming advocates—Dr. Theon writes: “Climate models are useless.”
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.
Dr. Theon is in good company. A U.S. Senate Minority Report released in December 2008 names more than 650 international scientists who are dissenting from man-made global warming fears. This is greater than twelve times as many scientists as the 52 who co-authored the UN reports that American bureaucrats continue to cite. These 650 scientists include: Aerospace engineer, physicist, and NASA Administrator (April 13, 2005 to January 20, 2009) Dr. Michael Griffin; Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Joanne Simpson, the first woman to receive a PhD in meteorology; Geophysicist and former astronaut Dr. Phil Chapman; Astronaut/Geologist and Moonwalker Jack Schmitt; Apollo 7 Astronaut and Physicist Walter Cunningham; Chemist and Nuclear Engineer Robert DeFayette (formerly with NASA’s Plum Brook Reactor); Ferenc Miskolczi, an atmospheric physicist and former researcher with NASA’s Ames Research Center; Climatologist Dr. John Christy; Climatologist Dr. Roy W. Spencer; and Atmospheric Scientist Ross Hays of NASA’s Columbia Scientific Balloon Facility.
In summary, while the vast majority of scientists are going in one direction—repudiating claims of a man-made climate disaster—politicians are going the other direction—embracing such claims and shackling industry on those “grounds.” Why? Why, as the scientific case for man-made global warming collapses, are politicians all the more determined to impose draconian controls on industry?
The answer is morality. Politics is directly dependent upon morality. Politicians who follow a morality of sacrifice will impose laws that enforce that “ideal.” Conversely, those who follow a morality of rational self-interest will act to protect our rights—including our rights to productive action.
The observations, analyses, and conclusions of scientists have never deterred those who are committed to the morality of sacrifice. This latest disparity between science and politics is yet another example of this fact.
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