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The Highest Authority in Science is the Data

Posted By Joanne Nova On April 26, 2012 @ 2:10 am In Global Warming,Logic & Reason,Science Communication | Comments Disabled

Joint Post David Evans and Jo Nova

Rajendra Pachauri, IPCC, Climate religion, Wind power

“97 percent of climate experts say man-made global warming is a major threat

The correct response: “So? The satellites, ocean buoys, and weather balloons disagree.”

The alarmists may have “experts”, but the skeptics have the data.

How do you find the truth about some disputed point in science? You find the most authoritative source of information.  The vital thing that makes science different to a religion is that there are no “Gods” of science. There is no expert who is infallible. The highest authority in science is the measurements and observations. Here is the hierarchy of authority in climate science:

  1. Data (empirical evidence)
  2. Climate scientists
  3. Other scientists
  4. Lay people.

For most of the last few centuries, science has been supreme over politics for settling the truth in matters pertaining to the physical world—empirical evidence beats anyone’s say-so.

But the modern political approach is to ignore that top level. To most warmists and the public who “believe in climate change” (as they so misleading say), the hierarchy is:

  1. Climate scientists
  2. Other scientists
  3. Lay people.

The  way the climate scam works is for the like-minded western bureaucracies to be the only employers or funders of climate scientists—which eliminates most of the competition that would otherwise keep them scrupulously honest. While peer review (like the IPCC process) is treated as equivalent to the bible, it’s more like a report of a committee meeting (one that dissenters were not invited to). The government climate scientists use the peer review process to block criticism or alternative theories from being officially heard—as they were caught doing in the Climategate scandal.  The mainstream media go to the climate scientists as their ultimate source of authority, and propagate their opinions to the public. Very neat.

It is a loophole in the modern world. The process is called “science”, but works like a religion.  The media repeat what the experts say,  but are silent about much of the data, how it is collected, and what it means. The public wrongly assumes the conclusions were audited or checked by competing scientists and that journalists asked the scientists hard penetrating questions. It all gains the veneer of rigorous analysis. The public don’t complain when they are asked to pay for it all. An excellent con.

The warmist’s view is more like the hierarchy  in the days of the Pope v. Galileo, which, on pain of death by government, was:

  1. The Pope
  2. Papal scientists and theologians
  3. Lay people.

Of course, with the printing press and the subsequent reformation and enlightenment emerged the familiar hierarchy that brought great technological strides for mankind:

  1. Data (empirical evidence)
  2. Scientists
  3. Lay people.

But now the regulating class, the bureaucrats and the mainstream media, have lopped off that vital top layer and inserted their own layer of bought-and-paid-for scientists instead.

The way the climate change debate will eventually be resolved is that the traditional primacy of data will be re-asserted, if only because by the middle of the century people will have noticed that it isn’t several degrees warmer.

“It is a loophole in the modern world. The process is called “science”, but works like a religion.”

In the meantime, the mainstream media should be reminded that there is a higher authority than the government climate scientists—the data. If the investigative “journalists” were doing some investigating, they would go over the heads of the government climate scientists to the data itself. But the mainstream media have ignored the data to date, only showing the limited selection as interpreted and presented by the climate scientists, without questioning its source or the means by which it was obtained, or noting that it conflicts with the data that comes straight from the instruments.

Here is some relevant, high-quality data from our best instruments and impeccable sources showing that the climate models have failed all their major predictions. Publicly available too. Yet the mainstream media have not shown any of this data, ever, anywhere (as far as we know).

(That could be about to change in a small way. Joanne and I have minor roles on a reality tv show about climate where we insisted on showing some data on the Australian ABC.)

Example: Air temperature, aka “the temperature”. There are three sources of air temperature data: (1) UAH (satellite), (2) RSS (satellite), and (3) the records derived from the network of official land thermometers—GISS, NCDC, and HadCrut (over 90% of their raw data inputs are the same, they just process them in slightly different ways to arrive at slightly different results from each other).

The first two agree, say the warmest year was 1998, and that the warming trend stopped around 2000. The third source is quite different—it suggests  the warmest year was 2006 or 2010 (depending on who processes it) and the warming trend is continuing. But the land thermometers are obviously corrupt—for example, most of them are in artificially warming locations such as at airports, near air conditioning outlets, at sewage farms, or in urban areas where they get increasing heat from increased fuel use in buildings and cars and from all that concrete etc. Check out some photos for see for yourself.

Any temperature record that uses corrupted data is highly suspect, no matter how much the climate scientists process the raw data on their computers after the fact. (Did you know that they are still changing the temperature record for the 1970s, 30 years later, and always in the direction of making recent warming seem worse?)

But the climate scientists usually only present to the public the land thermometer records that include the corrupt land thermometers—and not even the raw data, but the data after they have very extensively adjusted and processed it. On the other hand, the satellites circle the earth 24/7, measuring the air temperature above broad swathes of land and ocean, covering all of the globe except near the poles, and are unbiased. Satellite measurements started in 1979; early problems with calibration have long since been resolved to everyone’s satisfaction.

The mainstream media, using the climate scientists as their highest authority, almost always present only the land thermometer records and ignore the satellite data. For this they are culpable, because data is the highest authority—they should be showing the satellite data and investigating problems with land thermometers. It’s not as if we public are too dumb to understand that a thermometer bathing in the hot air from an air conditioner outlet is not measuring global warming.

Most media organizations are private, so they are under no obligation to show material relevant to both sides of major national policies. However  the government media organizations like the BBC, CBC and Australian ABC have charters requiring them to tell the truth and pretty much the whole truth—but their excuse is always that they say whatever the government climate scientists say, because, according to their political view of the world, the climate scientists are the “highest” authority.

Which gets us back to the critical issue of hierarchy of authority. At the moment it is as if the world is run by postmodern arts graduates who use government money and muscle to persuade people to overthrow that hard-won victory of the enlightenment, that data trumps everything else.

So when someone tells you that you should “believe in climate change” because “97% of climate scientists say”, just send them to this article.

 

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