Blundering into the climate “debate”

No wonder Mitt Romney seemed ineffective in debating the politics of climate change in his campaign for president. His director of domestic-policy, Oren Cass, thinks that “Conservatives should accept the science.”(National Review, March 25, 2013; http://www.nationalreview.com) And only “focus on policy,” he says. But credible people believe the “science” is unacceptable. If we agree with incomplete, flawed, even bogus, “consensus” on this issue we’ve lost it.

Similar reasoning would suggest that we accept the idea that government “stimulus” based on Keynesian economics creates productive jobs—rather to focus on bad policies based on that failed concept. How can one credibly argue a case against an opposing view while accepting a basic tenet supporting it?

Mr. Cass does make a strong case for opposing leftist, federal environmental policies because of their negative impacts on our economy. Yet he believes that skepticism of a “threat of climate change” from carbon emissions is a “serious mistake.” Further, he says: “Unless the scientific community is perpetrating an unprecedented hoax, the existence of such a widespread consensus, indicates at least a significant likelihood of a real danger.” In fact, there is evidence of deception—many people have been fooled by political agenda and pseudo-science.

Cass would run with the environmental pack while rejecting its goals. He repeats several ignorant ideas spread by media. For example, legitimate scientists don’t work by “consensus.” True science is rooted in facts and evidence not groupie agreement. In fact, many climate and physical science researchers, by nature skeptical, have doubts about what causes climate to change. Natural causes are most likely.

Atmospheric science is far from “settled.” Our knowledge of this vast, complex system is rudimentary. Yet some climate scientists have accumulated evidence to suggest that the notion of manmade climate change is an illusion. Unfortunately, this work has been largely ignored. The subject has been so politicized that many scientists have refused to even consider the hypothesis of natural causes—politics rather than science has driven this “debate.” Dr. Roy W. Spencer has written books on the subject.

In his most recent paperback copy, “The Great Global Warming Blunder,” Dr. Spencer, formerly a senior climate scientist with NASA now working at the University of Alabama lays out a compelling case. He and his colleagues have scientific evidence that “strongly suggests the fears of manmade global warming are unfounded.” Serious, unbiased investigations reveal the many reasons for skepticism. First, the source of the manmade warming hypothesis: the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Spencer shows that leaders of this group have perverted scientific investigation. They have failed to test alternative hypotheses that could explain why climate changes. Instead, blamers of Western lifestyles picked only one and “religiously” stick with it. The IPCC’s view largely ignores the role of nature. Yet no published research has ruled out natural causes for most warming, according to Dr. Spencer. He believes it is ignorance to declare that extra C02 in the atmosphere is sufficient to cause it and that deniers of natural causes haven’t looked at the evidence. Other troublesome facts have also eluded them.

IPCC sponsored projections and predictions rely on complex mathematical modeling. Modelers use calculations to theorize what might happen. They can manipulate results arbitrarily by simply adding, subtracting or ignoring data. Scientific researchers work in the real world. They investigate what happens with observations and measurements. But, says Spencer, scientists are as prone to bias as are any of us. He gives qualitative reasons why climate models are wrong.

Spencer believes that models are necessary. They can help determine concepts of how nature works if supported with “actual numbers and known physical laws.” However, in warming sorcery “computerized crystal balls are built and analyzed by wizards who alone are able to interpret their message for us,” writes Dr. Spencer. Magical numbers come out “with some divine power to reveal nature’s secrets.” (And press people lap it up and regurgitate it ad nauseam.)

Spencer had always suspected that climate model interpreters mixed up cause and effect. In this new (2011) book he proves it. He and colleagues argue—with science-based evidence—that “natural, internally generated cloud variability” accounts for most of the climate change we’ve seen—“and will likely see in the future.”

Dr. Spencer chose to take his case “to the people.” He believes that the economic consequences of misdirected government actions based on false assumptions will be damaging, especially to poor people around the globe. To be sure, there will be bad results when governments’ impose more regulations and artificially higher costs on us—to chase away ghostly carbon dioxide. Ironically, without which plants and animals would not be able to live on this planet.

Based on my long experience as a student and practitioner of science, I heartily recommend Spencer’s book. It offers a comprehensive (but not generally known) analysis of the climate “blunder.” Whether politically conservative or progressive, you will be captivated by the author’s compelling scientific writing—opening minds to another more plausible explanation for climate change.

I hope Oren Cass will read this book and apologize to Mitt Romney and conservative readers for falling in with the warmers pushing “consensus” and other false notions—politicizing the “climate debate.”

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About R. E. Smith Jr.

Mr. Smith writes essays and commentary on politics, American history, environment, higher education and culture. He's been published in print media and at blog sites for about 25 years. Smith's formal education includes B.S. and M.S. degrees from the State University of New York and Syracuse University. He has earned a 21-credit hour Certificate in Professional Writing from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington. Training/work experience: NYS Ranger School; U. S. Army, Corp of Engineers; soil scientist and forester with USDA; Assoc. Professor at SUNY; real estate agent; small business owner.
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