Friday, October 19, 2018

Donald Trump understands what's important about Climate Science

Trump's interview on 60 minutes was extremely interesting when he was asked about climate change:

I think that his reply was spot on: Scientists also have a political agenda.

I've spent ten years here on this blog posting about what the science actually says (if you're new to this, you can go here for a high level summary).  What I've finally come to realize is that nobody really cares about the science.  Sure, I care, but you know how nerdy I can be.  Very few other people think at all about the science.  They don't want to think about the science.  For most people, this is about politics, and Trump cuts right to the heart of this matter: how much legitimacy do climate scientists have?

I have come to the conclusion that the following hypothetical dialog between us and the typical dirty hippy is the right approach:
Dirty Hippy: You're one of those climate change deniers, aren't you? [Note: this is the most droolingly stupid accusation I can imagine.  As if anyone believes that the climate doesn't change all the time]
Me:  [sneeringly] What do you know about climate science?
Dirty Hippy: The scientists say we're changing the climate.  I believe them.
Me:  Should you?  Are they trustworthy?  Do we have any reasons to think maybe they're not?
Dirty Hippy: Um ....
Me:  Do you remember when their emails got leaked?  Remember the email where they said they did a trick to hide the decline in temperature?
Dirty Hippy: Um ....
Me:  This isn't what I'm saying, it's what they said.  They said they used a trick to hide the decline in the temperature.  You don't know anything about this, but you trust the "Hide The Decline" scientists.  Why do you trust people like this?  Is it that you don't care how crummy the science is as long as it gives you the result you want to see?
Me:  Dude, that's not scientific.  It's scienterrific!  [it's fun to use your best Tony The Tiger voice here]
This short presentation explains how they hid the decline.  It's by Dr. Robert Muller, director of the Berkeley Earth Science Temperature research group.  He's a scientist, and one who thinks that increasing carbon dioxide leads to higher temperatures (i.e. he's not a "climate denier" [rolls eyes]).  But he dissects what the Hide The Decline folks did.

His key conclusion as a scientist?  Now I have a list of people whose papers I won't read.

The kicker?  This crowd is the one that the IPCC relies on for its Assessment Reports - the "scientific consensus".

And at this point you'll notice that I've spent a thousand words saying what Trump said in six.  But hey, if you think this has been wordy, go read my post about what the science actually says!


The Lab Manager said...

My favorite part of that interview:
Trump: "Well, I'm president and your're not!"

Like Megan Kelly, it's too bad she could not slap her after it was done. She was obnoxious.

Jahn said...

Science + Politics = Politics.

LSP said...

I wouldn't mind it so much if they were honest and said that GOV needs more money, like Mars needs women, and a new tax is necessary, a pollution tax.

That'd be honest and I'd oppose it but still, at least it wouldn't be deceitful.

It's the lying mendacity that gets me. Backed up by supposedly objective science to boot, which compounds the sin.

Sermon over.

Borepatch said...

LSP, yeah the dishonesty is pretty bad. But venal government flunkies gonna venal.