A Lesson in Good Science for Global Warming Faithful

Rich Trzupek is a veteran environmental consultant and senior advisor to the Heartland Institute. He is the author of the new book Regulators Gone Wild: How the EPA is Ruining American Industry (Encounter Books).

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Consensus and the scientific method are, in fact, incompatible concepts. If consensus ruled science, the sun would still be circling the earth and phlogiston would still cause fires to burn, rather than the oxidation of hydrocarbons. It’s hard to imagine any concept that has been more accepted as absolute truth in modern times than the limiter of the speed of light. So many other parts of Einstein’s general and special theories of relativity have been experimentally proven, often using tests that Einstein himself suggested could be tried when technological progress made them practical. There wasn’t any reason for scientists to even suspect that the speed of light might not be absolute.

But, a good scientist never says “never” and when the surprising results came through, the scientists at CERN checked, re-checked and checked some more. Eventually, they decided they could not disprove what their own eyes were telling them, and the results have startled physicists around the world into rethinking the way things work.

Wouldn’t it be refreshing if left-wing politicians, the environmental left and the mainstream media took a minute to reflect that if something so set in stone as the absoluteness of the speed of light might be overturned, perhaps these claims that the “science is settled” when it comes to global warming are a bit misplaced? Wouldn’t it be nice if all of those people put some effort into understanding the scientific research that tends to refute the alarmists – and there’s plenty of it out there – rather than turning the issue into a show of hands?

Just recently, for example, another CERN study showed that cosmic rays play a more important role in cloud formation than previously thought. Does that mean that the over-blown role of greenhouse gases in the climate system has been disproven once and for all? No. But it does demonstrate, once again, how poorly we actually understand the complex interactions that go into determining planetary climate trends and how we must always keep our minds open to learn more. For, as CERN’s latest research shows, good science is not static – it is never “settled.” Science done right always keeps an open mind and it is only with an open-mind that science can lead the way to new and even more amazing discoveries.

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  • Punkin

    How much did Esso-Koch-Fox pay you to lie like a rug?

    • Larry

      How much did other people pay for the education you didn't get?

    • pagegl

      You didn't take any science courses in school did you?

  • http://www.resonoelusono.com/NaturalBornCitizen.htm Alexander Gofen

    Punkin and his ilk missed an important counter-argument. In fact, the OPERA experiment proves that the global warming does take place, because it was the global warming that caused the thermal expansion of the speed of light, mind you.

    • pagegl

      That thermal expansion made the 'c' less dense, which aided its higher speed.

  • tarleton

    the seudo scientific cult of global warming is the result of the incestious relationship between science and political ideology…..the eco twits desire it to be true as they can declare a climate emergency and dictate to us mere mortals how we should live our lives
    meanwhile , back in the real world , here in the UK we've just had the most miserable summer in 15 years after having a very severe winter ; but who are you going to believe , the climatologists or your own lying eyes ?

  • Jim

    The main cause of global warming is research grants given by the UN to University researchers to prove there is global warming.

  • Brett_McS

    I doubt this result will stand. Particle physics is full of 3 and 4 sigma results (even 5 sigma results) that evaporate upon further research.

    Of course climate science is no where near as settled as particle physics. Not in the same ballpark.

    However, this shouldn't blind us to the fact that there is indeed such a thing as settled science and that consensus is a major part of science – in fact it is essential to scientific progress, as it is the basis for what scientists around the world do every day. Without consensus research could not build on previous results.

    • Bobiscold

      Let us all vote on the speed of light . Maybe we can change it.

  • mrbean

    It has been a standard ploy of the Global Warmers to revile the skeptics as whores of the energy industry, swaddled in munificent grants and with large personal stakes in discrediting AGW. Actually, the precise opposite is true. Billions in funding and research grants sluice into the big climate-modeling enterprises and a vast archipelago of research departments and "institutes of climate change" across academia. It's where the money is. Skepticism, particularly for a young climatologist or atmospheric physicist, can be a career breaker. Those who oppose global warming will habe an appreciation of what Galilieo went through from the Catholic church for daring to endorse the Copernician model of the Universe.

  • Stephen_Brady

    Brett, what if the consensus is wrong? Can the scientific method overcome an incorrect consensus? As the author planly indicated, science is never "settled" … consensus combined with an open mind leads to new "truths".

    The problem is when consensus is not based on science, but on political agendas.

  • tagalog

    It can't be true that scientists have found particles that travel faster than light. The great majority of scientists, a consensus, agree that the speed of light is the speed limit of the universe. The science is settled. Probably these lies are being propounded by Big Hadron.

  • Thomas N. Fleming

    The ability to measure the speed of these particles reliably and consistently is suspect to me, although I know that the scientists know of the importance of this already….But honestly, can that tiny difference be reliably determined?!?! I doubt it, sorry. Did each and every time yield the exact same result? The variance is probably within the difference between observed speeds of the particles and the calculated speed of light. And if there is NO variance, how believeable is that?!?!?!

  • Patrick Henry

    We need a legal wall separating science and the state. We erected a legal wall separating church and state (yes, I know the difference between the Establishment Clause and Jefferson's letter to the Danbury Baptists) because when the two intermingle, they inevitably corrupt each other. So too for government-funded science, which has corrupted the process. Government grants do not represent an uninterested party when that party has an interest in redistributing the wealth under the pretext of saving the planet.
    The premise for man-made global warming is that man's paultry <5% contribution of CO2 has an amplifier effect on temperature increases. The models only assume this to be true. If one were to review ice core samples, no causal relaitonship can be found. The process has been corrupted by government grants and revelations of data manipulation confirm this to be true.

  • NaePeer

    The [anthropogenic] "Climate Change Consensus" is all CON and No SENSUS, To put it more accurately, if less charitably, it is complete Nonsensus. What caused the Pleistocene glaciation to end? Was this a good thing or a bad thing? Everything I know about history tells me that there have been warmer periods and colder in past recorded history. Humankind thrived and advanced in health and learning and culture during the warmer periods. Even if the climate is warming, it's probably more good than bad and in any case it's beyond easy or cost-effective manipulation. CO2 is a minor factor at most – more important to plant growth than to climate.

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