It’s important to always keep a skeptical eye half open, Frank M. Carrejo
A small subset of the larger problem is getting all of the attention and we end up with heroes in white hats and villains in black hats.
It’s unnecessary for the sciences to be so politicized and the politification of the sciences runs the risk of losing full objectivity.
There’s no harm in raising questions unless the issues have left the realm of science and moved into another arena, which I think is his point.
Funding has supported greenhouse gas research since at LEAST the early 1990s that I’m aware of. I was there. I had scientist friends that complained back on Usenet.
“Can’t get damn funding unless I rewrite my paper to include “and how it relates to global warming” even when it doesn’t.”
She was studying two types of squirrels in her town. But she did it.
It’s unfortunate that “what is important to study” is influenced by funding and fads but it is.
This doesn’t take away that climate change is real. But appeals to “the way science is done is pure, unlike these rat bastards over here” doesn’t wash. The practice of science is imperfect and there’s no harm in calling out on it from time to time.
Being United with One Wrong Voice is dangerous no matter what side-of-the-fence one is on. Better to readjust the results to take into account the other gases neglected in current models to get a more rounded image of the threat, one that’s still real, still severe, still a problem, but less dramatized.
Then again, it doesn’t matter at this point. Continuing on the present course towards improving CO2 emissions is probably a good thing, unless it results in increasing emissions of the OTHER greenhouse gases in the process. Then we’re just delaying the problem, like switching to “clean burning coal” in the early 80s.
It DID clean up the new york skyline. As a kid, I went from seeing SMOG to actually, one day, seeing the new york skyline for the first time, while riding the bus in New Jersey.
I’m not a denier. I’m also not a scientist. I’m also not a die-hard believer. It’s pragmatic to move forward in our current direction. My belief/skepticism levels don’t matter in the least. Do they?
There’s no reason for them to do so, at any level of being a scientist. Who would support them? Chances of promotion would go to zero. There’s no logical reason for a scientist to even try.
Do I think it’s a great threat? Yes I do. Do I think something needs to be done in a VERY BIG WAY? Yes I do.
So, for pragmatic reasons, I support the fix global warming causes.
But I’m still disappointed in the politics of the sciences. That’s all.
I’m satisfied with the ambiguity and awkwardness of the situation as it stands. I can still support it without being fully convinced with the presentation. It’s practical.
It’s the nature of the beast, Frank. Publish or Perish. Research published within the same environment will always have a slight “taint” to it. Doesn’t make it invalid. Doesn’t make it wrong. I accept it with its tea stains on the paperwork and confirmation biases when they show up.
It’s still “good enough” science.
Global Politics reduced scientific objectivity. That doesn’t mean invalidated. But it reduced it.