The US House of Representatives Science Committee was not too happy earlier this month with scientists who abandoned scientific methods for detecting climate change. As the chair of committee, Lamar Smith attacked the climatologists for misleading the committee. One commentator even described the hearing “insane”.
Climate change in Australia has divided the country into two groups where scientists, reasons, and evidence stand on the right and “alternative facts” and American politicians stand on the left. What’s more alarming is that President Donald Trump said that global warming is nothing but a hoax carried out by China. His lawyer, Scott Pruitt, who now runs the Environmental Protection Agency in US with him, disputed science by saying that carbon dioxide is not a significant climate change contributor.
These claims have lead scientists come to a possible conclusion that the US is adopting the Soviet Russia’s ideology that reality is not important than ideas. Later this month, scientists will hold two protests: “The Climate March” and “The March for Science” in UK, US and other countries.
Two leading scientists were not happy with Mr. Smith’s attacks on climatologists. Laughing at his suggestion, they explained how climate science experts operate on scientific methods and are motivated by something personal that evidence does not support.
The senior scientist at US National Centre for Atmospheric Research Kevin Trenberth and ETH University’s Professor Reto Knutti in Zürich addressed these statements in an article on the website “The Conservation” and wrote: “Mr. Smith, the president and Pruitt show a woeful ignorance about science and how it works, and in particular about climate science”.
According to Mr. Smith, anyone who believes that he or she can predict climate future is not credible. He further stressed that these types of research should be reproducible so that they can be validated repeatedly.
The scientists defended the practice by reiterating that the models and observed data are reproducible and transparent. The data is public and by running the code on a computer, people will get the same answer. They claimed that past projections have confirmed that model projections made earlier were accurate. However, sometimes they do not predict the future with certainty but the possible outcomes must not be dismissed.
According to the scientists, politicians have compared climate change to a situation where people are given a choice whether to or not to board an airplane that has a crack in its wing.
Even a small probability of failure stops us from doing things. Will you get on board the airplane? In the case of climate change, we do not need hard evidence of the catastrophe before we take certain measures to control the outcome.