There are many skeletons in the Cemetery of Bad Science. Some are familiar like Alchemy and Eugenics, while others are less well-known, like Lysenko’s genetic theories and the Linear No-Threshold theory of toxicity. All had promoters who were driven by demons unbecoming a scientist like greed, ambition, and politics. Too often, scientists are motivated by more than an intense curiosity about the natural world. Such is certainly the case with Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming, which we here report as deceased.
The Global Warming Monster had a good run, 29 years in all. That is typical for Bad Science. It usually takes several decades for proponents to give up on a bad idea, or retire, or die; even longer if they are part of the Establishment and can easily crush opponents who dare to disagree. The Global Warming Monster grew out of a PhD thesis by James Hansen, when he was studying astrophysics at the University of Iowa under the well-known Professor James Van Allen. Hansen studied the atmosphere of Venus and realized that the extreme temperatures on Venus could be attributed in part to a runaway ‘Greenhouse Effect’ caused by its nearly pure carbon dioxide atmosphere.
Fast forward to 1988 and we see him applying the same reasoning to our planet in testimony before Congress. Never mind that Venus and Earth have little in common except for their terrestrial nature. Venus gets twice the incoming solar radiation and lacks the oceans and water vapor cooling cycle we have on Earth. Furthermore, its atmosphere is 90 times as heavy as ours.
Thus was born the monster that was to have many heads but a small brain, from James Hansen to Al Gore, from Michael Mann to President Obama and even former Secretary of State John Kerry. But they have all fallen from prominence now, such that the monster has no head. Does that mean it is dead? Heavens NO! This monster can grow a new head whenever it wants.
Any new head will certainly not be in the likeness of President Trump. He has repeatedly said that he wants nothing to do with it. Can we therefore presume that he will not feed it? I hope he will not. The monster is rather like a vampire, sucking the blood out of its victims (taxpayers). If Trump slashes the billions of Federal dollars that have been going to keep this monster happy, it will surely weaken it.
Does that mean we can bury it? Not so fast. A weakened monster is still dangerous, perhaps more so. It will wail and carry on about the planet dying if it is not fed. Some may feel sorry for the scientists going hungry or having to flip burgers at McDonald’s to make ends meet when their Federal checks no longer arrive.
With the monster already weakened from collapsing scientific arguments and new revelations about cheating at the agencies charged with keeping, not cooking, climate records, one might conclude that the monster has no chance of long term survival.
All of this should, in a rational world, consign this monster to the cemetery. But it is certainly still alive in Democratic Party political circles. What will it take to keep the coffin nailed shut?
I think that the legend of Count Dracula provides the answer. Someone has to drive a stake through the monster’s heart. And the heart of this monster is the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It has been central to the monster’s attempts to dominate our lives by regulating fossil fuels. The Big Lie promoted under President Obama was their ‘Endangerment Finding’ that carbon dioxide is a pollutant damaging our climate. That is total rubbish. CO2 is the gas of life, not of climate.
The hero who is driving a stake through the monster’s heart is the newly confirmed EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. Pruitt is a skillful attorney who knows what needs to be done: follow the law! That may seem anticlimactic, but it is exactly what is necessary. President Obama went around Congress to try to regulate something that he had no authority to regulate.
Worse still, Obama and his scientific slaves scammed the science with climate models that seem impressive but do not work. Pruitt said in his first interview after being sworn in by US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito that the EPA will be guided by empirical data NOT models. Said another way, Pruitt will insist that the EPA follow real science not real imagination or real politics. That should drive a stake through the monster’s heart and keep it from rising from the dead at the stroke of midnight.
Pruitt may also address some of the other monsters that periodically try to come to life again, such as the Linear No Threshold model of toxicity. That is still a favorite ploy of the regulatory crowd within the Democratic Party. If there is no threshold below which poisons become unimportant, then they can regulate them whenever it becomes convenient for their politics. Never mind that the originator of that theory Hermann Joseph Muller knew it was wrong and yet lied to the King of Sweden as he accepted his Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1946.
Others in this Cemetery of Bad Science periodically stir, too. Rachel Carson’s attacks on relatively benign DDT are buried here. The DDT ban that followed caused the deaths of tens of millions from a resurgence of malaria. ‘Acid Rain’ is buried here after scientists discovered lakes just as acidic far removed from power plants. The Freon-Ozone Hole theory is buried here after we found that the Ozone Hole was unaffected by a ban of Freon-12. And Carl Sagan’s Nuclear Winter is also here after we discovered that he had carefully chosen the scenario that would give him the results he wanted. More reasonable scenarios produced a Nuclear Spring, Summer, or Fall.
Global Warming Hysteria and its ‘Bad Science’ relatives are doomed under the Trump Administration. Scott Pruitt is the man designated to drive stakes through every one of these monsters that have so tormented Western Civilization for decades. That may well doom Democrats too, unless they finally wake up and embrace competent science. Tall tales are not science, unless backed by robust empirical evidence. Albert Einstein knew that and patiently waited decades for the evidence confirming his Theory of Relativity.
Gordon J. Fulks lives in Corbett and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He holds a doctorate in physics from the University of Chicago’s Laboratory for Astrophysics and Space Research and has no conflicts of interest on this subject.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Northwest Connection.)