Everybody “knows” that when it comes to the “fact” that man is causing Global Warming / Climate Change / Extreme Weather, “the debate is over.” “There is a consensus!” the warmenistas cry, as though facts of science were decided by SMS vote a la American Idol.
Earlier this week there was an interesting public exchange between Greg Holland, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and Christopher Landsea, a NOAA scientist.
While Holland sees a connection between global warming and increased hurricanes, Landsea believes storms only seem to be getting bigger because people are paying closer attention. Big storms that would have gone unnoticed in past decades are now carefully tracked by satellites and airplanes, even if they pose no threat to land.
This exchange, captured by National Public Radio, illustrates how emotional the global warming debate has become for hurricane experts.
“Can you answer the question?” Landsea demanded.
“I’m not going to answer the question because it’s a stupid question,” Holland shot back.
“OK, let’s move on,” a moderator intervened.
Allow me to translate. “I’m not going to answer the question because it’s a stupid question” = “The scientific fact you have mentioned does not jibe with the theory that man is causing global warming which is causing more and more “extreme weather events” such as intense hurricanes. Therefore, I will now stick my fingers in my ears and go ‘la la la la!’”
I think this is a good time to put a plug in for one of my favourite pieces on the politicisation of science, a lecture Michael Crichton gave at the California Institute of Technology back on January 17, 2003: Aliens Cause Global Warming — An historical approach detailing how over the last thirty years scientists have begun to intermingle scientific and political claims. It covers several different cases where science pretty much gets forgotten in all of the hype, as well as cases where “the consensus” was just plain wrong. A good read.