I want to tell you a story. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin…
Once upon a time there was a big, shiny, expensive computer system upon which programmes were run. The programmes were written by very clever scientists to create projections of what things might be like in the future. They called these projections ‘models’.
Some places had got very dry over the years so the very clever people wrote a programme to see what the models said was going to happen. After the very clever scientists entered all the information and parameters they thought were important, they ran the models. When the models came back they suggested that unlike in the past, the rain would no longer make anything outside wet.
Now, because the models were developed by a small group of some clever very scientists in very big universities who had been given a lot of public money to carry out research, they were accepted as actual fact by politicians who said there was a big problem that only they could solve. Being part of the establishment, the media wrote lots of stories about this endorsing what the politicians said and telling people things would have to change.
Because of what the computer models had suggested, the government decided that everyone must install complex and expensive systems to use water from a brand new source to irrigate grass, trees, flowers, crops and bushes because lots of places were drier and the rain won’t make anything wet in future. So with other governments around the world they made lots of new laws and created big plans and spent billions and billions of pounds, dollars, euros, roubles and yen to convince people of the need for this expensive change to watering things.
They also gave lots of peoples’ money to a lot of new campaign groups and businesses to go into schools and companies to tell them to had to change the way everything is watered. It also gives lots more money to other scientists to start from what the small group of very clever scientists has already decided and find more reasons to agree with them and arrive at the same conclusion.
But all this seemed strange to a lot of people who thought there was still lots of rain and it was still making everything outside wet. A lot of people were not convinced and they were called sceptics and they started to point out problems with the claims from the very clever scientists. The governments were very angry because they were making lots of deals to spend money on big corporations they were friends with to develop solutions that everyone would have to use, making owners and shareholders very rich while ordinary people were left with less money. The media wrote lots of nasty things about the sceptical people and because the media was so clever and always right about everything they called those people ‘deniers’.
Not all very clever scientists agreed with each other. Some of them became sceptical and started to examines in detail the real world observation of what happens when it rains. Amazingly, when they looked outside and examined lots of data records, they found that not everything was drying up after all and the rain was still making things outside very wet and therefore the basis for everyone installing the government mandated water systems was flawed.
The sceptical scientists wrote a paper about this, and it was examined and tested by other very clever scientists in their discipline in a process called peer-review, before being accepted and published by a journal called ‘Remote Sensing’. Those people who were not convinced by the need for watering change pointed at the paper as evidence that not everything was as the government and their very clever scientists made it seem. They argued that the small group of clever scientists supported by the government might be getting things wrong and government should wait for more evidence before taking such sweeping, expensive and draconian action.
The media largely said nothing about the paper because after spending so long saying rain wasn’t making things outside wet anymore they don’t want to be proved wrong. And besides, some of their pension plans depended on money made from investments in the new watering processes being made by the government’s corporate friends.
A little while later, the editor of the paper-publishing journal ‘Remote Sensing’ said he didn’t agree with the paper because of all those very clever scientists who believed rain wasn’t make things wet anymore because their computer models had been saying so for a long time now. So the editor resigned in protest and the media attempted to discredit the sceptical scientists, citing that one of them once had to alter a previous paper many years previously, and that he is in some way odd because he is a committed Christian.
The media agreed with another very clever scientist who said that the paper must by defintion be flawed until it satisfied all of the observations, agrees with physical theory, and fit the computer models. He said this even though computer models are only as good as the data put into them by humans who are nowhere close to understanding all the complex relationships that causes nature to do what it does. Although common sense and science in years gone by would have it that real world observation is the only reliable measure of any changes in nature and has the capacity to invalidate computer models, this very clever scientist and his friends had turned science on its head by claiming computer models have the capacity to invalidate observed reality.
It would have all been very confusing if one of the very clever scientists had not been caught out saying that even if they had to redefine what scientific peer-review is, they would somehow close down any views from sceptical scientists, even though doing so would utterly corrupt science and the correct way of furthering it. But after putting complete faith in computer models and using them as the basis for lots of incredible projections that have never become reality, he had to put his own interests before his duty to science.
And for the ordinary people, nothing changed. The governments continued to press ahead with their financially ruinous plans. The media continued to exaggerate every story that fitted their narrative while refusing to cover any story that contradicted them. The computer models continued to churn out projections that did not reflect observed reality.
The real story is carried in the words of the sceptical scientist, Dr Roy Spencer on the excellent Watts Up With That? blog. The media hatchet job is most prevalent in the Guardian and on its broadcast arm, the BBC. Dr Spencer goes on to explain the findings in layman’s terms on his own website. In response to the resignation of Wolfgang Wagner, Dr Roger Pielke Snr puts the politicisation of science into context. And the ludicrous position on observations having to fit in with computer models as advanced by Dr Pete Gleick, and Dr Phil Jones’ comment about keeping sceptical papers out of the public domain, are both covered by Indur Goklany on WUWT.
What we are seeing is anti-science. We are experiencing pseudo science that aims not to question or challenge, but to reinforce the validity of a body of opinion that is yet to make the jump from theory to fact. It is being done to fit a political agenda. It is a corruption of science and the latest example of why people should be sceptical of the claims made about climate change and its causes and effects
In closing, one comment left on Watts Up With That? sums up the situation superbly and deserves to be repeated widely to help others understand what really is going on:
This is all part of the same pattern that has characterized the warmists’ approach to climate “science” since the last century. They come up with models and use these to produce predictions which are then baptized as sovereign truth. In real science, they would have been required to demonstrate the predictive validity of their models before their predictions would be granted any confidence – and when observations contradicted predictions, they would have been expected to revise their models instead of beating the data until it fit the model outputs. Instead, thanks to Algore, Hansen, left-wing politicians looking for regulatory and legislative mechanisms to control the polity and extract more tax dollars, and a compliant left-leaning media hungry for “imminent disaster” headlines, the burden of proof has been shifted to those who challenge the modellers instead of being left where it belongs: with the modellers who still have not demonstrated the validity of their models. I simply cannot believe we are still discussing a theory that, 20 years after it went mainstream, has yet to produce a single scrap of confirmatory empirical evidence.
The extent to which the AGW true believers have warped the scientific method to serve their pecuniary and political ends is simply breathtaking. Climate science represents the greatest perversion of the scientific method since the Enlightenment. It is phlogiston, phrenology and Lysenkoism all rolled up into one big, fat, corrupt boil desperately in need of lancing.