I have been following the Global Warming/Climate Change debate for some time and I am frustrated. I am frustrated with the beating that science and free speech are taking.
I watched a TED.com presentation by Al Gore last night and I was deeply disappointed. I saw little science and reason, and a great deal of anecdotal evidence and emotional appeal. Sometimes I wondered what the examples even had to do with global warming.
I regard science as the best philosophy we have. Give me atheism, reason and logic over anything. However, like all philosophies, its adherents are human and subject to all of humanity’s frailties. We have humans who are trying to meet their physiological needs, their safety needs, their belonging needs, their esteem needs, their self-actualization needs and their transcendence needs as scientists. They have to pay their mortgage and 80% will surrender their ideals and objectivity to make that payment. The consequent cost in principle, human life, best practices, material, land and time are enormous.
Because of this human frailty, I am skeptical about every scientific claim. The latest “discovery” that makes the one minute daily news bite does not influence me, because I know there has most likely been an error in the hypothesis, observation, method, data, apparatus or events. I also know that a vested interest was paying for that research.
Another thing I am aware of is naturalist philosophy is as flawed as capitalist philosophy. Naturalists tend to spend their time promoting pastoral myth. Capitalists tend to spend their time promoting progress myth. Both have time and again proven themselves out to lunch. And scientists are in both camps.
In saying all of these things I have been accused of “slander” by both sides. And it has led me to the conclusion that I am attacking the correct problem. The problem isn’t Global Warming or Climate Change, the problem is bad science. Climatology is as complex as artificial intelligence and genetics, and the evidence that the climatologists on both sides provide is far from convincing. The samples are not global and the margin for error is too great.
So as a skeptic I say. “Please, give me better evidence” and less myth.