Guest post by Michael Lewis, Ph.D.
The current issue of the elitist “science” journal, Science, contains an article in its “Perspectives” section (not in the “Research” section): Earth’s hot past could be prologue to future climate | UCAR. Here’s a video from that page:
Author Jeffrey Kiehl, of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), speculates on relationships between CO2 levels and average global surface temperature 30 million to 100 million years ago, and currently observed CO2 levels. To no one ‘s surprise, Kiehl assumes, without evidence, that atmospheric CO2 drives global average surface temperatures, and includes this bias in climate models, projecting an increase of atmospheric CO2 to 1,000 ppm by the end of the 21st Century, with temperatures soaring tens of degrees above the 20th Century average (whatever that means).
Since Science requires membership or hefty fees to access their publications, the average interested person cannot access the original article to verify the conclusions described in the “Perspectives” article.
However, it is clear from the tone of the article on the NCAR web site that this is ideologically driven publication, not scientific research. “If we don’t start seriously working toward a reduction of carbon emissions, we are putting our planet on a trajectory that the human species has never experienced,” says Kiehl. Thus government funded research is used to advance a political agenda.
The research cited in the article was funded by the National Science Foundation, which has a large Climate Change and Paleoclimate program. Researchers shopping for grant opportunities can go to the NSF web site and browse through the many funding programs, find one that fits and submit an application, or, as usually happens, many of them.
There’s nothing wrong with funding your favorite research with government grants. However, when that funding is used as a basis for political propaganda, such as advocating for political responses to climate change, a significant line has been crossed by the researcher, his or her employers and the funding agency itself. The researcher becomes a pawn in the interplay of government agencies, private research firms and economic interests, the science suffers from distorted interpretation and the public ends up with little or no understanding of the reality of the world around them.
Science must be conducted in the confines of the ivory tower, then released, naked and uninterpreted, into the clear light of day.