The Best Science Problem Ever

The Best Science Problem Ever

John Reid


Science isn’t about finding solutions.

It’s really about finding problems.

I am talking about the taxpayer-funded science that is done in universities and government science agencies. If you are a working research scientist and you happen to solve a long-standing problem, how are you going to justify your funding for the next triennium? On the other hand, if you come up with, or participate in, a good Problem, it can keep you, your students and your institution funded for decades to come.

Climate Change is a wonderful science Problem with a capital “P” because it feeds into Western cultural preconceptions about guilt and redemption, about the fundamental wickedness of humankind and about the ultimate perfectibility of Man and Society. In the West there has always been a breast-beating minority with an exaggerated sense of sin, who wish to change the world before some imagined apocalypse overtakes us all. They tend to take the moral high ground and villify those who would question their baseless beliefs. Nowadays they are called “the Greens”.

Climate Change is the outcome of an unholy alliance between Problem-seeking scientists and Green zealots. Some people are both. Green scientists are the ones who are “saving the planet”. The rest of us are still trying to understand it.

The real beauty of the Climate Change Problem is that it can never be solved while at the same time it provides endless material for breast-beating media pronouncements.

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5 thoughts on “The Best Science Problem Ever”

  1. I would suggest you add one other extraordinarily significant element to paint an even clearer picture. Maybe it’s even worth a separate follow-up post…

    Fact #1: The public holds Science in very high esteem.

    (numerous surveys have shown this)

    Fact #2: The public has no idea what real Science actually is!

    (if any doubt, simply do a man-on-the-street poll, and ask citizens to define “Science”)

    Fact #3: Realizing there is this surprising disconnect, self-serving promoters of a variety of technical matters (AGW, wind energy, ethanol, etc.) have claimed that what they are advocating is firmly based on “sound science”.

    Fact #4: These promoters have hit a home run, as know that —

    a) a science “endorsement” of what they are advocating is an extraordinarily powerful imprimatur,
    b) essentially no one (esp legislators) will actually realize that their Science claims are bogus,
    c) those few who do see and object to the scam are vilified, marginalized, etc.

    Fact #5: To make sure that this disconnect don’t change, they are working to see that our academic system is gradually diluted. Their worst fear is to have graduates who have the ability to do critical thinking — so that is opposed at all costs.

    In a nutshell, this explains why we are where we are today.

  2. I agree totally!
    I urge Garth Paltridge [Aus.Feb. 17-“Climate of Cherry Picking”] and yourself to increase the volume for real science. This is especially important in Tasmania as we can now encourage Government to begin to repair some of the damage done by’ green mystics’ and ‘oxymoronic consensus scientists’.
    Simple folk such as I are entitled to ask:
    Why the difference in the warmest years that have all occurred in the past two decades is so small it is considered statistically insignificant?
    Why did surface temperatures stop rising more than a decade ago, even though green house gas concentrations have continued to rise at an execrated rate?
    How reliable is correlation of anthropogenic CO2 and global warming when major sources such as farting cows, volcanoes, vehicle exhausts etc. are omitted?
    Are there clear delineations between rigorous fact based examination,computer modelling and political science?………
    “whenever we admit one expiation but reject another that agrees equally well with the evidence,it is clear that we fall short in every way of true scientific enquiry and resort instead to myth.”
    Epecuris 360 BC.

  3. As you say, in the West there has always been a breast-beating minority who wish to change the world before the apocalypse and take the moral high ground. Nowadays they are called “the Greens” and the spokespersons of the Greens are the new Priests..

    Our guilt is supposed to be about ruining the planet, and in particular by causing global warming. All the other sins derive from this.

    Our redemption should come from reducing the amount of CO2 in the air, because the Priests believe that its role as a greenhouse gas is causing the alleged global warming. All the other redemption activities are tied to reducing CO2.

    Climate Change (the new term for global warming since the Earth ceased warming) is the outcome of this unholy alliance between Fund-seeking scientists and Green zealots. Green scientists are the ones who are “saving the planet”. Paradoxically the Green scientists claim that the ‘science is settled’, yet still seek enormous funds for further ‘research’.

  4. It worries me that this Western ideology is affecting the rest of the world. My host in Penang told me quite seriously that an island she knew as a child was smaller now because the ocean level was rising. I didn’t contradict her. There are a number of reasons an island would reduce in size – tropical cyclones and normal erosion, combined with adult vs. child perceptions spring to mind. Malaysia is making a great effort to be “green”, while still combating incredible poverty in places. The human cost all around the world must already be immense.

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