We are, as you will be aware, supposedly in a post truth, alternative facts era. This is the charge levelled by those who don't like the way that politics has been going recently. In the Trump administration of course they have a point. Trump and his lieutenants do deal in their own special version of the truth and facts.
The increasingly unhinged president tweeted once again at the weekend concerning opinion polls. Yes, opinion polls. We are accustomed to politicians only believing those polls that flatter them but Trump went one further calling them fake news. Hilariously he also criticised media stories saying that there is a power behind the throne, an eminence grise if you will, in the shape of Steve Bannon. Trump attempted to refute this allegation by claiming that he makes all of his own decisions based on 'an accumulation of data.' It's a fantastically Trumpian phrase that isn't it. An accumulation of data. Most people would just say that they had read reports and advice and come to a decision. Trump says it was all based on an accumulation of data. This probably means that he gets someone to dump all the data on his desk, then into the wastepaper basket and he sticks a pin in whatever sheet winds up on top.
It's easy to laugh at Trump and his various ill considered pronouncements. We can all see that his decisions are based more on an accumulation of bigotry and populism than on data.
The problem is though that at the weekend we also learnt that this is how many climate scientists proceed too. They have a predetermined outcome and adjust the data to suit. We have known this for many years but Dr John Bates confirmed it in a devastating expose.
The green meanies had a problem a couple of years ago. The Paris climate change conference was fast approaching and they needed an accumulation of data. Unfortunately the climate was not playing ball. Global warming was not doing what it was supposed to be doing - namely warming. It had paused. As people like me, in addition to many more eminent and expert kept pointing out, if the theory and all of those models were right, then this should not have been happening. The IPCC even admitted this was all terribly embarrassing. The theory said that if you keep pumping in CO2 then there should not just be warming then there should be accelerating warming. But it had stopped increasing at all. Thus the theory must be wrong.
Now in most fields of science, when the evidence fails to bear out the theory then the theory is dumped or at least revised. Not with climate change/global warming though. They are too invested in it. They want it to be true. Not for nothing is it frequently compared to a religion.
So what did they do? If the data doesn't fit then adjust the data. They merged reliable sea buoy data with unreliable data from ships. This was a quite deliberate act designed to make that inconvenient pause disappear. It was an ex pause; it had ceased to be. Except of course it hadn't. But it needed to be airbrushed out of existence in time for Paris.
The end of the pause was widely reported as had been the intention. Credulous politicians duly delivered their idiot deal to tackle climate change and were lauded for doing so, even though their deal amounted to not very much and would not have to be delivered until long after they had left office. But the accumulation of bogus data had worked. It was fake news in action.
Science, needless to say, is not supposed to work this way. A theory is only as good as the evidence it has to support it. If the evidence does not support it then the theory is at best unproven and probably wrong.
When Darwin published his legendary theory of evolution by natural selection he honestly admitted that there were some large question marks over it because scientific understanding was incomplete. In later years the gaps in man's knowledge were filled in and his theory, with a few minor tweaks was demonstrated to be a triumph.
Right now there are new and competing theories about how our moon was formed as we gather new evidence from the moon itself and from the asteroid belt. There are also major embarrassments in cosmology as it cannot currently explain why the universe is expanding and indeed accelerating. Our understanding of physics breaks down in black holes and at the beginning of time after the big bang. But do scientists in these fields get around these issues by faking the data? They do not. They keep looking, they keep theorising; they do their jobs properly.
To be clear, this blog does not dispute that the planet is warming and that man has had some impact on it. What is disputed is that this is especially significant or alarming as has been claimed. The data simply does not exist to back this claim up. In short, the planet is just fine and our attempts to 'tackle climate change' are pointless, ruinously expensive and doomed to failure. The science of climate change has been politicised to an unacceptable level. Yet the likes of Prince Charles want to lecture President Trump about it. How can we steer Trump away from his idiotic belief that vaccines are harmful and cause autism, something for which there is zero evidence, when scientists in the climate field are cheating in this way? What is the point in accumulating evidence if we dump it in the wastepaper basket and come to a pre-determined outcome?