Scientific Hubris and Global Warming

By Gregory Sloop – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Notwithstanding portrayals in the movies as eccentrics who frantically warn humanity about genetically modified dinosaurs, aliens, and planet-killing asteroids, the popular image of a scientist is probably closer to the humble, bookish Professor, who used his intellect to save the castaways on practically every episode of Gilligan’s Island. The stereotypical scientist is seen as driven by a magnificent call, not some common, base motive. Unquestionably, science progresses unerringly to the truth.

This picture was challenged by the influential twentieth-century philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn, who held that scientific ”truth” is determined not as much by facts as by the consensus of the scientific community. The influence of thought leaders, rewarding of grants, and scorn of dissenters are used to protect mainstream theory. Unfortunately, science only makes genuine progress when the mainstream theory is disproved, what Kuhn called a “paradigm shift.” Data which conflict with the mainstream paradigm are ignored instead of used to develop a better one. Like most people, scientists are ultimately motivated by financial security, career advancement, and the desire for admiration. Thus, nonscientific considerations impact scientific “truth.”

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Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #345

The Week That Was: 2019-01-26,Brought to You by www.SEPP.org

By Ken Haapala, President, Science and Environmental Policy Project

Quote of the Week: “Advances are made by answering questions. Discoveries are made by questioning answers.”— Bernhard Haisch, astrophysicist [H/t William Readdy]

Number of the Week: 250 Million MW short

Observations or Theory? Last week’s TWTW discussed the weather engine, a process illustrated in a graph in the Kiehl and Trenberth’s paper on the “Earth’s Annual Global Mean Energy Budget.” Energy from the sun causes water vapor and evapotranspiration to rise in the atmosphere, then condense into liquid water (or ice) in the upper troposphere giving off latent heat centered about 9 to 11 km (30,000 to 36,000 feet). This was the apparent source of the tropical “hot spot” used by climate modelers and the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its followers. It provided the argument in the 1979 Charney Report that an increase water vapor would dramatically increase the greenhouse gas effect of carbon dioxide (CO2).

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Compulsory Courses for Any Curriculum; The Science Dilemma

By Dr Tim Ball – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Science is pervasive directly and indirectly in every phase of modern life. While the majority are not directly involved in science, they need to understand science and how it works. It is increasingly the underlying control of social, political, and economic decisions made by them or for them. They need to understand how it works, even if they don’t make it work. This knowledge must be a fundamental part of any school curriculum.

Climate skeptics struggle with getting the majority of people to understand the problems with the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) anthropogenic global warming (AGW) story. It was the theme of my presentation at the first Heartland Climate Conference in New York and many articles and presentations since. The problem is much wider because it relates to the lack of scientific abilities among a majority of the population. Based on teaching a science credit for science students for 25 years, giving hundreds of public presentation and involving myself in education at all levels from K-12, to graduate, and post-graduate, plus the transition to the workplace, I believe a fundamental mandatory change in thinking and curricula are required.

I believe abilities are an example of the ongoing nature/nurture argument. People can learn an ability, but can only achieve a high level of competence with an innate ability. For example, most people can learn the mechanics of teaching, but only a few are ‘gifted’ teachers. These concepts are particularly true of certain abilities, such as music, art, languages and mathematics. From my experience, I learned that most people with these gifts struggled with understanding why other people cannot do as they do. Often, they do not even see their ability as unique, and some deride those without their ability. On a larger scale than just mathematics, which philosophically is an art, is the distinction of abilities between those who are comfortable with science and those who are not.

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