In a totally unrelated item (to CAGW) that arrived in my e-mail today, the subject of Consensus Science raised its ugly hydra head. Personally I get sick and tired of hearing that ‘the science is settled’. I hope former US Vice President AL Gore will have this phrase emblazoned on his tombstone.
The science is settled, Gore told the lawmakers. Carbon-dioxide emissions — from cars, power plants, buildings and other sources — are heating the Earth’s atmosphere.
Gore said that if left unchecked, global warming could lead to a drastic change in the weather, sea levels and other aspects of the environment. And he pointed out that these conclusions are not his, but those of a vast majority of scientists who study the issue.
If this is your belief then allow me to direct you away from my blog today, so you can play with the hydra over at The Science is Still Settled website. I am sorry to see you go! However don’t forget will you that Al Gore (and cronies) were doing all in their collective power, to corner the Carbon Credit Market. As always follow the $$$$$$.
So what is the Consensus Factor in science? Over at Green Facts they have attempted to explain what is meant by this. They write:
The Scientific Consensus represents the position generally agreed upon at a given time by most scientists specialized in a given field. (Note the bolding is theirs not mine)
But they go on to draw it out a little further by telling us:
Scientific Consensus does NOT mean that:
- all scientist are unanimous: disagreements may occur and can be necessary for science to progress,
- the position is definitive: the consensus can evolve with the results from further research and contrary opinions.
Therefore, Scientific Consensus is NOT a synonym of “Certain Truth”.
But when the scientific expertise to judge a scientific position is lacking, the best choice is to rely on the Consensus.
In my not so humble opinion they are simply hedging their bets by saying all DO NOT have to be in agreement for a consensus to be the stated position.
I gagged at the line “the consensus can evolve with the results from further research and contrary opinions” – seriously? I have yet to see this happen in the Climate Change debate. I expect one would call this ‘wishful thinking’ or possibly an out right lie!
I wonder how the scientific expertise can possibly be lacking in the Climate Change arena, when according to an article at CNN: Human-induced global warming is real, according to a recent U.S. survey based on the opinions of 3,146 scientists. (They obviously have scientific expertise).
Could this perhaps have anything to do with the other 31,487 scientists who have signed a petition stating there is ‘no convincing scientific evidence………..’ They too obviously have scientific expertise!
So now we have opposing camps, as it were, in the scientific community with scientific expertise – clearly showing there is no consensus at all about if the global climate is warming due to manmade causes. And if it is warming, by how much it is warming? And if it is warming will this trend continue, or is it transient and will reverse at some future unknown time?
It is without a doubt – sure as eggs are eggs – well known and understood, that our planet has gone through many previous periods of time which were warmer than we now experience, and have been colder than we now register.
Don’t forget also the current hype that CO2 is the element / gas held responsible for this supposed heating of the planet. It too is seriously disputed. And the question has yet to be answered by any credible source, other than by fudged figures used in computer modeling, that by reducing our carbon dioxide emissions, we will see a reduction in the forecasted soaring temperatures and sea level rises in coming years.
Therefore it would be safe to say that I have just posited the fact that we have diametrically opposed Scientific Consensuses.
It was an article from the Alliance for Natural Health that I read today – which had absolutely nothing about AGW in their topic – that urged me to blog about Scientific Consensus. After all, this ‘consensus’ seems to be appearing in all scientific modalities right now, so the message carries well.
Dogma is no stranger to science, despite the fact they should have no place as bedfellows. As more and more governments and world leaders look upon science as the universal guiding principle for human life on planet Earth, it is becoming increasingly warped by dogma, subjectivity and — most recently — corporatism.
(Think green renewable energies and carbon credits when discussing AGW)
Rather than serving as a tool to help us make sense of an extraordinarily complex world, we are now encouraged to rely on it to solve the problems corporate science has itself generated. Boiling it down to a simple analogy: it’s a little like asking the bull to repair the damage in the china shop…
The now deceased, science fiction writer Michael Crichton, who had a long-standing appreciation of the importance of dissenting views within the scientific community, had a particularly interesting take on consensus science. In a speech delivered in 2003 to the California Institute of Technology, he said:
“I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.
Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.
There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.”
Robert Verkerk PhD, Executive and Scientific Director of ANH, wraps up his thoughts today with the following line:
Let’s do what we can to help others wise up to this gross manipulation of the scientific method. That must surely be the starting point to putting things right.
Fraudulent science starts with a pre determined outcome,
and demands recognition by consensus…..
Right or wrong.
A last comment for those who are still confounded by the Consensus of Scientists. Over at WUWT you will find a breakdown of what this actually means. And also comments from some of the scientists whose opinions were shought. It make VERY interesting reading. Thank you Barry Woods – guest writer.