The Week That Was: January 4, 2020, Brought to You by www.SEPP.org
By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project
Quote of the Week: “And that is what science is: the result of the discovery that it is worthwhile rechecking by new direct experience, and not necessarily trusting the [human] race[’s] experience from the past. I see it that way.” – Richard Feynman (1966)
Science Is Dynamic, Not Static: As articulated by Richard Feynman, the scientific method is an on-going process of trial and error correction. It is not imposed by any organization or political power. It is a process of evaluating various concepts, ideas, guesses. If the guesses agree with physical evidence, obtained by experiments and / or observations, then they are tentatively accepted. If the guesses do not agree with the physical evidence, then they are changed or discarded. Failure to do so leads to poor science.
Elaborate models always include many assumptions, and computational models produce sets of numerical calculations. For elaborate models, it can be impossible for third parties to evaluate the internal logic, including the validity of the assumptions. Thus, the ability to describe and predict is usually the key for evaluating complex models, such as climate models. For several decades, the US climate models have not been able to correctly describe the atmospheric temperature trends. Thus, there is no logical reason to assume these models can predict changes in trends far into the future. In the formation of government policies, they should be dismissed as having no importance.