All errors should be reported to

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Answer: Provide proof

Stuart Shapiro wrote a column in the Hill: "What can tobacco teach us about climate change policy?"

He teaches public policy at Rutgers, not an actual science although he does have a B.S. from Case Tech. In his piece he forwards the long discredited notion that there is a scientific consensus that mankind's use of carbon-based fuels is killing the planet.

His piece unwittingly undermines the case for that contention.

Stuart Shapiro wrote: "As we know now, the scientific evidence on the relationship between tobacco and lung cancer is incontrovertible. In the years since 1966, many restrictions on tobacco use have been promulgated, through legislation, regulation and litigation. Now we have another issue where the scientific consensus is nearly universal but the political consensus (supported by a few modern Dr. Rappaports) is clearly not. The eventual outcome (taxation of fossil fuels, restrictions on their use but never an outright ban) is likely to resemble current policies on tobacco (taxation, restrictions on use, a ban on advertising). But how long will it take for the politics of climate change to catch up with the science of climate change?"

So they provided scientific evidence and that convinced the public.

Stuart Shapiro admitted his crowd has no proof of global warming:
In some way, tobacco was an easier issue politically than climate change. With tobacco, the job of scientists was to convince people that smoking was harming themselves, not other people (at least until secondhand smoke became an issue). As more and more people had loved ones suffer through lung cancer after a lifetime of smoking, people became convinced of the relationship. With climate change, the victims are members of future generations or people who live near the rising oceans. Furthermore, climate change is plagued by what is known as the "tragedy of the commons" problem. If the United States curbs its emissions on its own, it will not be enough to stop global warming. Only if other countries do the same, will the greenhouse effect be slowed.
Fortunately, science has a way of winning out in the long run, when scientists largely agree as they do on these issues. Data already show that a clear majority of people are concerned about climate change, although they are not yet willing to pay for it. Unlike tobacco, whose impacts were felt at the individual level, the willingness to pay for restrictions on fossil fuel use may require another more major hurricane on the Eastern Seaboard or droughts in the West that extend for decades rather than years in order to change.
In other words, you need actual proof that what scientists say is true.

Because scientists do get it wrong. Often. I am not just talking about phlogiston, phrenology and other past dead ends in man's quest for knowledge. I am talking about geocentricism, which had proof and was the consensus for 2,000 years. It was wrong.

Digging a foot of snow from the sidewalk and driveway this morning convinced me forecasts of the end of snow were premature. The historic low in tornadoes and hurricanes also does not convince me the scientists are wrong. Again.



  1. " has a way of winning out in the long run, when scientists largely agree as they do on these issues. Data already show that a clear majority of people are concerned about climate change..." A wise man...actually a number of wise men have pointed out that science is not consensus.

    Let me raise the bar on the "scientific community". Provide proof without using doctored data. Modern 'science' building lies on lies in the name of the political agenda.

  2. And release the raw data, which the climate change people like Michael Mann refuse to do, so other scientists can check your models.

  3. Lying to us is proof they are wrong.

  4. Anyone who argues that "consensus" (real or imagined) is just as good as evidence either doesn't know the scientific method, or a hoaxer trying to pull a fast one. Science is done by experimentation and observation, not by polls.

    But then, global warming is a crackpot religion, not science. Keep in mind that just a few decades ago the alarmists were shrieking about man-made global cooling. Then it mysteriously transformed into global warming before settling into the unfalsifiable "climate change" theory the media likes to claim is beyond question.

  5. I wonder when the AGW fanatics will admit there has been zero appreciable warming for the last 20 years. Or that you could melt every g-damn ounce of Arctic sea ice and it won't raise global sea level one millimeter.

    Try a little experiment for your AGW true believer friends. Put an ice cube in a graduated cylinder with room temperature water and mark the water level. Cover to prevent evaporation. Let it sit long enough to melt the ice cube. See if the level has changed.

    The only store of ice that can physically have any effect whatsoever on sea level is above-water glacier ice and land based ice shelves. The volume of sea ice is already included in sea level.

    As measured by satellite radar altimeters, since 1996 Gloabl Mean Sea Level rise has been about 3.3 mm/yr or 0.15 inches per year. If you live near the ocean and can't get out of the way of that you need to be drowned and removed from the gene pool anyway.