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Kyoto Premise: anthropogenic Green-House Gas emissions & climate change
Something is rotten in the state of scientists (not science), and the "Kyoto Premise on anthropogenic Green-House Gas emissions & climate change" is an excellent example of this. Or has it always been this way, with Kyoto only being the "biggest and baddest" example?...
There are many fantastic scientists and engineers doing fun and brilliant work - certainly beyond whatever I can ever hope to do. And the level of education, access to huge amounts of information and funding, powerful new instrumentation, mathematical and statistical tools, computers, and the internet give scientists far more power to their jobs. Scientists must also "explore" ideas and a great diversity of perspectives and opinions is essential.
I certainly don't think that I am anywhere close to the top level of scientists. Not at all. So how can I (and other scientists) criticize scientists? Actually, this web section is a critique of the "scientific consensus", or "science cult" that seems to infect a majority of the scientific population. "Blowing in the wind" (politically correct winds) is how we seem to behave, rather than using the mental tools scientists and engineers pride themselves for. And that's why I single out scientists as a group, not because they are different in this manner from doctors, lawyers, pipefitters, etc; but because they, MORE than others, should be relatively immune to it. But they may not even be much better than any other group of people.
So what about intensely brilliant scientists, the ones who can reason their way infallibly through complex subjects? What do they say? First of all, I'm not one of them, and based on past controversies in science, most of us can't pick them out reliably (otherwise scientists wouldn't chase "false gods" like the rest of the population). Furthermore, even if scientists are extremely good at one area certainly doesn't guarantee that you will get sensible responses for other areas (markets, politics, religion, whatever). Still, I prefer to believe that there are "super-scientists" who really do think far more rigorously than the vast majority of scientists. Most of the ones that I know and trust who work on climate change aren't "towing the Kyoto line".
This document is being prepared as of mid January 2007.... (soon). Obviously, I'm lacking definitions, background, and content. Hopefully it will be out before the UN-IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, and we can see if I have made a fool of myself, ...to come soon...
Here are some of my documents:
Note that there are MANY books and articles by other scientists and commentators on this theme, an this appears to have been a constant throughout history. Several references are provided below. Probably the best for the whole area of environmentalism was written by Bjorn Lomberg in the Netherlands. He covers Climate Change in one of his chapters. The book by Essex and McKitrick was one of the early books to really lambaste the science of the Kyoto Premise, and McIntyre was instrumental in the rejection of the fraudulent "hockey stick" graph of temperatures over the last thousand years, which was psychologically the most influential illustration used to convince the public about the importance of the Kyoto Premise.
The Financial Post, part of Canada's National Post newwspaper, has been the only major Canadian media source brave enough to chaklenge many of the politically-correct nonsense in this country. Sometimes right, sometimes wrong, but always ready to think critically. So perhaps it is natural that they have posted an awesome series of articles blasting the Kyoto Premise over the last 3 to 6 years. In 2007, Lawrence Solomon has put together a concentrated series on the views of scientists who take apart the Kyoto Premise.
Statistics needed -- The Deniers Part I
Warming is real -- and has benefits -- The Deniers Part II
The hurricane expert who stood up to UN junk science -- The Deniers Part III
Polar scientists on thin ice -- The Deniers Part IV
The original denier: into the cold -- The Deniers Part V
The sun moves climate change -- The Deniers Part VI
Will the sun cool us? -- The Deniers Part VII
The limits of predictability -- The Deniers Part VIII
Look to Mars for the truth on global warming -- The Deniers Part IX
Limited role for C02 -- the Deniers Part X
End the chill -- The Deniers Part XI
Clouded research -- The Deniers Part XII
Allegre's second thoughts -- The Deniers XIII
The heat's in the sun -- The Deniers XIV
Unsettled Science -- The Deniers XV
Bitten by the IPCC -- The Deniers XVI
Little ice age is still within us -- The Deniers XVII
Fighting climate 'fluff' -- The Deniers XVIII
Science, not politics -- The Deniers XIX
Gore's guru disagreed -- The Deniers XX
The ice-core man -- The Deniers XXI
Some restraint in Rome -- The Deniers XXII
Discounting logic -- The Deniers XXIII
Dire forecasts aren't new -- The Deniers XXIV
They call this a consensus? - Part XXV
NASA chief Michael Griffin silenced - Part XXVI
Forget warming - beware the new ice age - Part XXVII
The scientists aren't wearing any clothes!
The pulic has been persistently misled for almost two decades (perhaps more) about climate change, global warming, the principal drivers of climate, and the role of man-made Green-House Gases (GHGs). It's not so much a problem of ideas that don't pan out (that's science!), but the "manufacturing of consensus" (here I'm stealing and perverting one of Noam Chomsky's titles, I think) and the D-cubed misportrayal of certainty, consensus, and the invisibility of tremendous flaws and gaps in theories that really should be profiled.
Science has to be crazy and fun - at least some scientists have to be wandering around in conceptual never-never land in order to find new things, and to break the chains of our current beliefs and knowledge. And people can be right for all of the wrong reasons. So the message here is definitely NOT to somehow clamp down on science, to audit and manage it into irrelevance, or worse, to be another tool for justifying yet another decision, wacko or prescient. The issue is to address our lemming-like desire to jump onto a belief, a cult, a religion of the politically-correct science of the day. Because once huge decisions and actions are misled by science that does not admit its own shortcomings and uncertainties, it then becomes bad science. And policy that seeks to turn science into bad science is bad policy, whether by intent or by a desperation to seek divine or scientific support for what is the necessity of making decisions in the absence of complete or reliable information.
So what's the answer to climate change? I don't know, but if you look at the data, credible analysis, and especially the regular flaws in much of the analysis, it points in many directions, but not particularly strongly in the direction that the Kyotoists are promoting! The Precautionary Principle won't help you here as much as many believe. Few scientists seem to realize that the principle requires us to plan for a plethora of possibilities at a given level of "unknown or unproven" risk - which rapidly escalates into contradictory action plans and an essentially infinite demand on resources. For example, this means preparing for global cooling as well as global warming. Surprise, surprise - and I know the vast majority of scientists don't want to hear that!!! If, like most, you are a beleiver rather than a critical thinker, then your unwavering belief in the Kyoto Prmemise absolves you of the necessity of attention and consciousness being diverted to anything else.
Re-Prioritize, Re-Structure, and Re-Process: Climate Change Science and Policy
It's clear to me that the massive sums put into Climate Change science and policy have produced some wonderful results, and some catastrophically bad results, perhaps best illustrated by the policy side. I still have to put together a string of documents on this issue, but in a sense some general issues are that scientists have to be able to play around to get good results, and that turning science into a means of pushing propaganda and belief systems is a really bad idea. I'm certain that wasn't the stated goal of science and policy leadership, but it has been the result. That in no way resolves the scientists and policy analysts for personal failures to ensure honest, diligent, and competent work before hyping catastrophe scenarios to the public, or more importantly, not to "shut out, shut up, and shut down" other scientists and policy analysts. When analysing the activity of neuron cultures, regular synchronous firing is an indication of dysfunctional behaviour, excessive climate stability is a scary thing (maybe), and "scientific consensus" should be regarded as an oxymoron and a danger signal, especially when that happens with complex systems and new areas of research, and most importantly, when we are dealing with "politically correct" issues.
Canada should dramatically cut the excesses of climate research funding by one-third to one-half as a means of: