Why don't we put Climate Scientists in Charge of the Country?

Portrait of President George Washington.

Portrait of President George Washington. By Gilbert Stuartlink, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=591229

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

President Obama recently gave a speech, in which he seemed to suggest that politicians should subordinate their decisions to the opinions of scientists. My question – why don’t we cut out the middleman, and put the scientists directly in charge?

But when our leaders express a disdain for facts, when they’re not held accountable for repeating falsehoods and just making stuff up, while actual experts are dismissed as elitists, then we’ve got a problem. (Applause.)

You know, it’s interesting that if we get sick, we actually want to make sure the doctors have gone to medical school, they know what they’re talking about. (Applause.) If we get on a plane, we say we really want a pilot to be able to pilot the plane. (Laughter.) And yet, in our public lives, we certainly think, “I don’t want somebody who’s done it before.” (Laughter and applause.) The rejection of facts, the rejection of reason and science — that is the path to decline. It calls to mind the words of Carl Sagan, who graduated high school here in New Jersey — (applause) — he said: “We can judge our progress by the courage of our questions and the depths of our answers, our willingness to embrace what is true rather than what feels good.”

The debate around climate change is a perfect example of this. Now, I recognize it doesn’t feel like the planet is warmer right now. (Laughter.) I understand. There was hail when I landed in Newark. (Laughter.) (The wind starts blowing hard.) (Laughter.) But think about the climate change issue. Every day, there are officials in high office with responsibilities who mock the overwhelming consensus of the world’s scientists that human activities and the release of carbon dioxide and methane and other substances are altering our climate in profound and dangerous ways.

A while back, you may have seen a United States senator trotted out a snowball during a floor speech in the middle of winter as “proof” that the world was not warming. (Laughter.) I mean, listen, climate change is not something subject to political spin. There is evidence. There are facts. We can see it happening right now. (Applause.) If we don’t act, if we don’t follow through on the progress we made in Paris, the progress we’ve been making here at home, your generation will feel the brunt of this catastrophe.

So it’s up to you to insist upon and shape an informed debate. Imagine if Benjamin Franklin had seen that senator with the snowball, what he would think. Imagine if your 5th grade science teacher had seen that. (Laughter.) He’d get a D. (Laughter.) And he’s a senator! (Laughter.)

Look, I’m not suggesting that cold analysis and hard data are ultimately more important in life than passion, or faith, or love, or loyalty. I am suggesting that those highest expressions of our humanity can only flourish when our economy functions well, and proposed budgets add up, and our environment is protected. And to accomplish those things, to make collective decisions on behalf of a common good, we have to use our heads. We have to agree that facts and evidence matter. And we got to hold our leaders and ourselves accountable to know what the heck they’re talking about. (Applause.)

Read more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/05/15/remarks-president-commencement-address-rutgers-state-university-new

The reason we don’t put scientists in charge, is because it doesn’t work. As history shows, scientists are as susceptible to group think and pressure as any other group of people.

Someone has to watch the watchers.

Very few politicians or other authority figures who have been entrusted with absolute power, have used it well. One politician who stands out, for the honourable discharge of his duty, was the Roman General Cincinnatus.

Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus (519–430 BC) was a Roman aristocrat and statesman whose service as consul in 460 BC and dictator in 458 BC and 439 BC made him a model of civic virtue.[1]

Cincinnatus was regarded by the Romans, especially the aristocratic patrician class, as one of the heroes of early Rome and as a model of Roman virtue and simplicity.[2] He was a persistent opponent of the plebeians.[2] When his son, Caeso Quinctius, was convicted and condemned to death, Cincinnatus was forced to live in humble circumstances, working on his own small farm, until an invasion caused him to be called to serve Rome as dictator, an office which he resigned two weeks later, after completing his task of defeating the rival tribes of the Aequians, Sabines, and Volscians.

His immediate resignation of his near-absolute authority with the end of the crisis has often been cited as an example of outstanding leadership, service to the greater good, civic virtue, lack of personal ambition, and modesty. As a result, he has inspired a number of organizations and other entities, many of which are named in his honour.

Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucius_Quinctius_Cincinnatus

George Washington was frequently compared by his contemporaries to General Cincinnatus – throughout the turbulence of the War of Independence, and serving two terms as President, he maintained his humility, and never developed a pathological love of power, a disregard for political boundaries, which is all too evident in many of today’s politicians.

George Washington wrote the following, in response to be asked to serve a third term as President.

The period for a new election of a Citizen, to Administer the Executive government of the United States, being not far distant, and the time actually arrived, when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person, who is to be cloathed with that important trust, it appears to me proper, especially as it may conduce to a more distinct expression of the public voice, that I should now apprise you of the resolution I have formed, to decline being considered among the number of those, out of whom a choice is to be made.

I beg you, at the sametime, to do me the justice to be assured, that this resolution has not been taken, without a strict regard to all the considerations appertaining to the relation, which binds a dutiful Citizen to his country–and that, in withdrawing the tender of service which silence in my Situation might imply, I am influenced by no diminution of zeal for your future interest, no deficiency of grateful respect for your past kindness; but am supported by a full conviction that the step is compatible with both.

Read more: http://gwpapers.virginia.edu/documents_gw/farewell/transcript.html

President Obama asked what Benjamin Franklin would have thought, about people who are unconvinced about the urgency of climate change.

He should have asked what George Washington would have thought, about a President who casually muses about a third term, whose legacy of office will include, in my opinion, a politically unhealthy broadening of executive power, a track record of excessive use of executive authority, all to “solve” a crisis which his political opponents do not agree is an urgent issue.

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157 thoughts on “Why don't we put Climate Scientists in Charge of the Country?

  1. Governments of the past controlled people by religions. Today they are using scientist’s.
    Example: Watch your weather report and see a forecast and how it is revised daily. 3 day and they want to say what’s going to happen in 30 years?

    • Religion, faith, and tradition are separable. Tradition is a generational habit of a class. Faith is a logical domain. Religion is a moral or behavioral philosophy. Secular governments are especially notorious for exploiting religion, using coercion, and redistributing opiates to control and modify individual and class behavior. The 20th and 21st centuries are spectacular testaments to the progressive slopes followed by secular governments under established religions (e.g. pro-choice or selective/opportunistic principles, progressive or generational liberalism) and the death, exploitation, confusion, and depravity normalized by leaders of secular minority power blocs in unprecedented limited frames of reference.

    • But when our leaders express a disdain for facts, when they’re not held accountable for repeating falsehoods and just making stuff up,

      Oh, falsehoods like the 97%. Falsehoods like CO2 being a toxic gas.

      … then we’ve got a problem. (Applause.)

      Pres Obama should start by holding himself accountable for his own falsehoods before bemoaning others.
      As a devout christian he will doubtless be aware of what Jesus said:
      Matthew 7:5 :

      Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.

      • Let’s just start with his incredible ability to twist words to mean other than their intent:
        “We can judge our progress by the courage of our questions and the depths of our answers, our willingness to embrace what is true rather than what feels good.”
        Is it “courage of our questions” to invoke consensus, rather than hard data, as a reason to cease to question? Can the science EVER be “settled” just because more voices shout the same thing? The fact that we go to a doctor when we’re sick, or want a licensed pilot to be the one flying, does NOT mean we’re willing to subordinate our own judgement—what about asking for a second opinion when one doctor says we’ve got a terminal disease (do I need to list an account of malpractice suits here?)? Wouldn’t we question our pilot’s ability if we could smell alcohol on his breath (this last actually happened, and both pilot and co-pilot were grounded, fined, etc., at least once in my own recent memory; google America West Airlines Flight 556)?
        I can’t speak for anyone else, but doesn’t it strike others as shallow to accept an answer that’s based on, “Trust me, I’m an expert?” and isn’t that what the President was asking when he invoked Carl Sagan? Would not that be a shallow answer, nothing more than crowd-sourced hearsay? I can hear Bill Murray from ‘Ghostbusters’ now: “Back off, man. I’m a Scientist.” Oh, and our willingness to “embrace what is true”… Well, to quote a judge of antiquity, “What is ‘Truth'”? And isn’t jumping on the “Climate Change Bad” bandwagon nothing more than doing what feels good after simply nodding like a sun-struck bovine when someone tells you that the sky is falling about ‘climate change’? And that’s somehow NOT simply embracing what feels good?? Just turning off our brains, refusing to think for ourselves, NOT judge on the facts as we see them, NOT thinking critically, and accepting whatever the “experts” say (I can hear the sub-text here: “our betters”… Blind obedience to “authority”. Hmmmm… Isn’t that pretty much chauvinism, by definition? It’s certainly dogmatic. “Yes, you TOO can be a Zombie, just turn your brains off and….”)?
        Who, exactly, is it, that’s “disdaining” facts here? What “facts”?? That climate changes? Anyone who has lived through a couple of sets of seasons knows that. Or am I just a broken machine, and inspite of what my senses tell me, every Spring is identical to the last, every Winter as cold, snow falling on the same days, in the same amounts, and my clock is set by the Thunderstorm that’s certain to occur at exactly 0915 UTC this Friday?
        When NOAA, GISS, et al, can alter their historical records to somehow “improve” the record of the past, and Michael Mann can claim to know what the “global” average temperature was for decades of years past based on a single tree’s rings—one single tree on the entire planet can tell him what the average was, so that he can tell us, lucky lucky us—and “scientists” can conspire to lie and hide data to preserve their own interpretation of the “facts” in order to deliberately manipulate the public’s opinion, flouting the law because, of course, THEY answer to a Higher Purpose, when nearly every new paper on the subject that we read makes claims about warming!warming!warming! based on nothing but computer models—all actual satellite measurements from the real world to the contrary—and when they DO stick to thermometer readings, it’s only to questionable measurements from stations provably subject to land changes that have occurred since the initial siting of the measurement station which have compromised it’s data record, which because they’ve been compromised support the warming theory, yet jettison any readings which do not… Oh, and let’s not forget “infilling”, which is nothing but inserting numbers to support their theories, for what, nearly three quarters of the earth at least, that being the ocean surface area, to say nothing of the interiors of continents (like, oh, Australia, or Antarctica, or North and South America, or Asia, or Most of Europe, for example), for which we have no data, no records, because there ARE no stations to cover all that…
        Just what FACTS is it that I’m supposedly “disdaining”?

    • That is climate not weather. They claim it is different and has patterns that are affected by CO2 but then use methods of deducing normal that were made obsolete in the 1700 by Fourier and are analogous to predicting the height of the 10,000th wave from now using linear projection of the slope of the wave over a short period and ignoring the cyclic element.

    • Maybe President Obama should
      “judge [his] progress by the courage of [my] questions and the depths of our answers, [my] willingness to embrace what is true rather than what feels good.”
      I.e. practice what he is preaching.

  2. This is what Benjamin Franklin said:
    “It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.”

    • “In wine there is wisdom, in beer there is Freedom, in water there is bacteria.”
      ― Benjamin Franklin

      • Lysenko was a pathetic human being. Like many people who came under Stalin’s gaze, he found himself between a rock and a hard place. Think of those people at the bottom of the stairs in the 10:10 video, who know about the button about to be pushed. So he decided to live a little longer by lying about scientific, objective truth. He decided to appease Stalin. Stalin didn’t approve of him for any reason other than he granted the collective farm mandates a faux scientific imprimatur. And Stalin didn’t give a damn about Lysenko’s foolish understanding of genetics. Then, for a while, Lysenko enjoyed the perks of being a favored Communist insider, while Ukrainians died in the millions due to starvation during the holodomor. That will forever be a part of Lysenko’s shameful legacy. But it brings to mind the idea that maybe there are some things worse than dying or being sent to the gulag.

      • The “progressives” will do the choosing – and if you don’t like it, they have a cosy cell waiting for you.

  3. Here are a few things that Benjamin Franklin did say in regards to science and the educated:
    “A learned blockhead is a greater blockhead than an ignorant one”
    ~Benjamin Franklin Poor Richards Almanac 1734~
    “God heals and the doctor takes the fees.”
    ~Poor Richards Almanac 1744~
    “He’s the best physician that knows the worthlessness of the most medicines.”
    ~Poor Richards Almanac 1733~
    “He’s a fool who makes his physician his heir”
    ~Poor Richards Almanac 1733~
    “In New England they once thought blackbirds useless, and mischievous to the corn. They made efforts to destroy them. The consequence was, the blackbirds were diminished; but a kind of worm, which devoured their grass, and which the blackbirds used to feed on, increased prodigiously; then, finding their loss in grass much greater than their saving in corn, they wished again for their blackbirds.”
    ~Letter to Richard Jackson May 5th 1753~
    “In going on with these Experiments, how many pretty systems do we build, which we soon find ourselves oblig’d to destroy!”
    ~Letter to Peter Collinson Aug. 14th 1747~

  4. I agree that the issue of who should we choose to govern us is the main question these remarks raise. However, it is also interesting to consider the analogies he gives.
    “It’s interesting that if we get sick, we actually want to make sure the doctors have gone to medical school, they know what they’re talking about. If we get on a plane, we say we really want a pilot to be able to pilot the plane.”
    First a general point: analogies from other scientific or engineering disciplines are defective because the balance of theory and evidence, and the degrees of certainty about the validity of different hypotheses or theories, vary across the branches of science.
    Turning to the two cited cases, there are many examples where the “received wisdom” in medicine proved to be wrong and lonely dissenters were ultimately proved right. Saying that we are advised to go with today’s “best medical opinion” when seeking treatment does not mean we want to outlaw any people testing and questioning that opinion.
    In the pilot case, why were checklists introduced? My understanding is that in the early history of aviation it was found that it is too easy for the expert pilot to become overconfident in his snap judgements that everything is working fine. Going through the checklist forces the pilot to test those initial judgements against actual measurements and modify them if found defective.

    • So if we want someone to lead a nation, is it too much to ask that he might have some credentials? Hello, Barak….Barak…Barak? Are you there, mate?

      • What credentials would those be? If there’s an objective list of credentials for leading a nation, I’ve never seen it. Much less a list that everyone would agree on.
        Politics isn’t like flying a jet or building a bridge. There are no mathematically precise laws to apply. Social “science” isn’t science, and never will be.

        • Eustace Cranch writes “If there’s an objective list of credentials for leading a nation, I’ve never seen it.”
          Nor is anyone appointed to lead this nation. The President of the United States is the head of the executive branch and the military. He is supposed to lead various departments of government; not the nation.
          We lead ourselves. This leading is delegated to members of Congress but they are supposed to be our servants. Everyone here that talks about “leading the nation” has subscribed to the idea of leadership, hence followership. I was promoted in the Navy when I started leading combined with a bit less following. One must follow good principles; not persons.

      • Michael 2- hear, hear. The deification of the Presidency, and government in general, depresses me. I get so tired of people referring to the President’s job as “running the country.”

    • In reference to the analogies – when I am sick, first I seek someone that wishes to make me well – he need not have a medical degree. When I fly on a plane, first I seek to find someone that can fly the plane – he need not be a licensed pilot. When I seek someone that knows climate science, first I seek someone aware of their ignorance of climate science, then I know I will at least hear truths. Unfortunately, politicians first seek to listen to themselves as they find themselves ‘experts” on everything, Obama included.

  5. Well if I was a US citizen, I might submit that climate scientists might be better than the current actor.

  6. “Every day, there are officials in high office with responsibilities who mock the overwhelming consensus of the world’s scientists that human activities and the release of carbon dioxide and methane and other substances are altering our climate in profound and dangerous ways”
    There is much agreement on carbon dioxide causing warming, there is much less agreement if it is or will “alert the climate in profound and dangerous ways.”
    Why do people think the climate around 1900 was the ideal?

    • There can never be as you claim ” much agreement on carbon dioxide causing warming,” based on evidence. There can only be agreement on correlation which even then is incredibly poor. Climate has proven to be remarkably stable except given traceable major events. To any engineer this spells out that it is a negative feedback system so that means that CO2 is the result of temperature changes not the cause, assuming any cause and effect relationship.

      • David, your reasoning is faulty. CO2 is clearly the result of emissions (after all, we have emitted more than is actually measured in the atmosphere since it is absorbed in various processes).
        A better conclusion would be that since there is negative feedback, CO2 cannot cause major warming, and certainly not any catastrophic consequences, as these did not occur in ages past. It means that the amplifier is small. If greater than 1, not much greater. This means that any warming due to CO2 should be too weak to cause any significant effects, and certainly nothing worth the astronomical costs associated with CO2 reductions.
        It’s still good news, but we shouldn’t overreach our conclusions

      • Ben of Houston, we may have emitted carbon dioxide, but not to the extent the warming ocean has emitted carbon dioxide, thus David is right, and the carbon dioxide is the result of the warming. Why do you assume that the addition of what man puts in the air is far greater than the planet’s reaction to warming?

    • Actually, there is NO evidence that humans have caused the climate to change.
      Human-caused CO2 may cause a little warming. So little, we can’t even measure it and separate it out from the background noise. But the ole climate may have a feedback that erases even that small amount of warming. Noone knows.
      Bottom line: There is NO evidence humans are causing the climate to change.

    • Richard, there’s no scientific agreement on the role carbon dioxide plays in determining the Earth’s climate, solely because there is no scientific evidence one way or the other. It’s the continuing illusion such evidence exists, in the form of a lab experiment performed over a century ago. That was not evidence; it was a demonstration and crude measurement of the absorption and radiation spectra of carbon dioxide. It was not an in vivo proof of the “Greenhouse Hypothesis”. It violated the basic premise of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, which is that the system be open; there is nothing “open” about a sealed container of gas.
      it’s completely false to say it was. Any consensus on the subject is nothing more than opinion; it has no scientific basis.

  7. Better yet, put engineers in charge of the country. Unlike science, the limits of the scientific domain are strictly enforced by local physical laws in the engineering discipline. Also, engineering requires actually reconciliation of natural and human interests, thereby avoiding the worst special and peculiar traps laid by a pro-choice or selectively principled philosophy (e.g. selective child, selective exclusion, [class] diversity).
    Does anyone actually believe in spontaneous conception or selective discontinuities in a human life (i.e. chaotic or evolutionary process)?
    And engineers are prevented from playing semantic, fiscal, and emotional games as other professionals in the legal, financial, advocacy, etc. professions. Notwithstanding the variable demands and expectations of the rider professions. However, they do need to improve characterization and estimation of projection resolutions.
    That said, drop the political (i.e. social) consensus, and scientists may become a viable option.

  8. In spite of all the noise they make, “Climate Scientists” are a small minority of the scientific community.
    The author does a terrible disservice to scientists as a whole.

    The reason we don’t put scientists in charge, is because it doesn’t work.

    That is a fairly ugly statement.
    I followed the link. It goes to a Wikipedia(!) link to “Scientific Communism”, a version of Marxism-Leninism as taught in the Soviet Union.
    That is a pretty nasty slur, right there.
    For my money, I would rather have an eclectic mix of biologists, chemists, and physicists running the show, rather than lawyers, lawyers, and lawyers.
    I do not think any sane person could look around today and conclude that lawyers have done a great job.

    • Isaac Asimov imagined an entire planet ruled by scientists in the Foundation trilogy. It worked for a while.
      One of its problems is that scientists define scientist. Thus it can be anything and tends to collapse upon itself.

    • On second thought, there is no reason why “we” don’t put scientists in charge. What is your reason?
      What scientist do you nominate for President of the United States, and why? Military experience? Executive experience? Political connections? Ability to compromise? None of the above?

      • As I think you know, my objection was to the blanket condemnation of scientists as a group, rather than to suggest any one person.
        But since you ask: Dr. Ben Carson. By all accounts, a good and decent man, and a patriot. If you watched the debates, you saw him as articulate and well informed on the issues, and he held himself above the bickering and cat fighting of the other candidates. Character Counts.
        Military and executive experience? Can’t do worse than what we have now. Principles and Character Matter. The tough decisions do not always go by the choices of the political policy wonks.
        I would take a pediatric brain surgeon over a lawyer any day.

        • TonyL wrote “I would take a pediatric brain surgeon over a lawyer any day.”
          As would I (absent any other information).

      • TonyL May 22, 2016 at 9:59 pm: ” I would take a pediatric brain surgeon over a lawyer any day.”
        You could call him “Papa Doc”.

      • I believe you’re right about Carson.
        I also believe the machine of big government and the Corridors of Power would have eaten him alive.

    • TonyL “biologists, chemists, and physicists” do run things like the National Academies, SCIENCE, NATURE, ROYAL Society, etc. How good a job are they doing in promoting global warming and smothering new ideas? Pretty good I think.

      • True enough, the big societies jumping on the CAGW bandwagon is most troubling. But there are a few issues to consider. First, particularly with the American Physics Soc. and American Chemical Soc., when we pull back the curtain we see a huge gulf between the leadership and the rank and file. That big rift has caused some real sparks in both organizations. I remember APS was considering a petition to withdraw their support of CAGW, but I do not know how that turned out. Second, is the leadership of APS and ACS really invested in CAGW, or is it a more realpolitik acknowledgment of where the money and politics are? That, I do not know.
        So on balance, are they better than, or as bad as, for instance, the education establishment which is fully invested in CAGW, or the political establishment which is both funding and exploiting CAGW.
        At least in the US, I think it is a rather mixed bag. The professional societies are in some ways on the wrong side of the CAGW issue, but not nearly as bad or as strident as they could be.

      • ===================
        ” I remember APS was considering a petition to withdraw their support of CAGW
        ===================
        I remember WUWT had a post where several prominent members debated the CAGW issue. Once again, in my view, the skeptics dominated hands down. Most or all scientific organizations have refused to submit the question of CAGW to their members to vote on. Zero “consensus studies” have addressed the “C” in CAGW, and zero scientific society organizations have addressed the “C” in their generalized affirmation that CO2 causes some warming, statements many skeptical of CAGW would agree with.. The O’s abuse of the deeply flawed 97 percent studies is clear.
        The mixture of policy and science is called “post normal science” and WUWT had several posts on this years ago. The rational view of many commentators is that mixing the two, “science” and “politics” destroys science. I certainly have no objection to a scientist becoming a politician. (Any of the 30,000 plus signers of the “Oregon Petition” would get my consideration.) The PHD scientists I would choose for political appointment would not be the ones the O would choose.
        Eisenhower’s warning about the dangers of scientific community becoming indebted to the Government is certainly cogent today. Obama’s abuse of the power of position and the purse is tragic for both science and the US, and in extension, the world. Our refusal to encourage investment of inexpensive fossil fuel energy in Africa is not helpful to the poor of that Continent. Obama’s words and actions are often miles apart.
        Typical of big government advocates, the policies implemented have had the opposite affect. The ACA for example is anything but affordable, and the quality of care will only be further harmed by it as it is more fully implemented. (The worst aspects of the ACA are yet to be fully implemented) IMV the foreign policy of the O has sent the world on a very dangerous course and created tragedy in North Africa and the Middle East which will likely only continue to intensify, making a mockery of his “Peace Prize” given for speaking about peace in good sounding platitudes before actually doing anything. His economic policies have harmed the middle class and the poor he is the supposed champion of, as well as endangering the entire economic system and US dollar through debt on steroids, items his successors will have to deal with in almost impossible circumstances. His opportunity to further instill the improving (before his term) racial harmony in the US, have in my view been worse then ineffective and have only increased racial divides and animosity, and increased class resentments within society.

      • David A wrote: “The O’s abuse of the deeply flawed 97 percent studies is clear.”
        It shows how effective one little lie can be in the propaganda game, doesn’t it. Effective for the uninformed, that is. But that’s always the case.

  9. Ah yes Mr Obama, the consensus.
    Would that be the IPCC scientist who said they’re basing recommendations on the models? Or the IPCC scientists that said the models run too hot and should be set aside in favour of expert opinion?
    Those of course would be the same scientists who, after repeatedly asserting a consensus climate sensitivity in the first four IPCC reports, now say that based on the most recent research, they can’t agree on one?
    Are we talking about the scientists who said the warming was too large to be natural variation? Or the ones that said natural variation is so big it can hide the warming? Oh, wait those were both from the IPCC too.
    Wait, I know, you’re talking about the dozens of climate papers that explain the pause, each with a different explanation? That consensus? Do we include the paper claiming it never existed as part of the same consensus? I’m really confused.
    I have no idea Mr Obama, what consensus you speak of. But as to putting scientists in charge:
    Climate change is too important to be left to scientists – least of all the normal ones.
    ~ Mike Hulme, professor, University of East Anglia

  10. No matter what Obama says, he will be a Lame Duck in 6 months. The worst President since WWII, with the possible exception of George Bush Junior.
    George Bush Jr. did not have enough sense to finish the job in Afghanistan before trying and failing to show us how how much more macho he is than his father by opening Iraq to the jihadists.
    On second thought, no matter how hard he tries, not even Obama has topped that one.

    • The Obama Legacy:
      1. ObamaCare
      2. Debt outstripping all former Presidents combined
      3. Unprecedented numbers on food stamps.
      4. Transgender bathrooms
      Oh! The pride! The pride!

      • Let’s not leave out the worst, the most egregious legacy of the Obama Presidency; a total and complete failure as the first Black President of the USA.
        I’m not being facetious. It was historic. Morgan Freeman did a better job. All he had to be was “OK” and he would have made history. Instead, he fell on his face. His presidency has seen the most frightening (nay, horrific) rise of racism in the United States since the Civil War. It’s been a complete and total cultural disaster. Then the transgender bathroom thing. It just keeps getting worse…
        And no, I don’t have any “black friends”. Not anymore anyway, they’re all dead. This guy really screwed the pooch.

    • Frederick Colbourne May 22, 2016 at 9:06 pm wrote:
      “No matter what Obama says, he will be a Lame Duck in 6 months. The worst President since WWII, with the possible exception of George Bush Junior.”
      No, there is no doubt Obama is the worst president in U.S. history. Obama has done more to fuel the expansion of radical Islamic terrrorism than any person in world history. It’s not even close.
      Frederick Colbourne: “George Bush Jr. did not have enough sense to finish the job in Afghanistan before trying and failing to show us how how much more macho he is than his father by opening Iraq to the jihadists.”
      When George W. Bush left Office, both Afghanistan and Iraq were well under control. The jihadists did try to take advantage of Bush deposing Saddam Insane, and put up a pretty good fight for a while, until Bush surged an extra 20,000 troops into Iraq (against Democrat opposition) and decimated the jihadists and ran them out of Iraq. The jihadists, including al Baghdadi, fled to Syria with an estimated 37 members left after Bush and U.S. troops got done with them.
      It was Obama who spawned the Islamic Terror Army by pulling all U.S. combat troops out of Iraq in 2011, against the advice of all his military advisors. The “Al Qaeda-in-Iraq jihdists that Bush defeated in 2008, came back as the Islamic Terror Army and Obama let them take over nearly half of Iraq, murdering thousands of innocent people, and sending hundreds more thousands of people fleeing to Europe, where they are underming Western democracy in Europe even as I write.
      George W. Bush didn’t do this. Obama did it. Bush had an Iraq success story. Obama turned it into an ongoing horror story.
      Bush outlined exactly what kind of horrors would take place in Iraq if the U.S. pulled out too soon, in his State of the Union speech in 2007. You ought to read that speech. It is prescient.
      Bush gave that speech because all the Liberal Demcrats at the time were opposed to sending more troops, fighting Bush all the way. Bush got more troops anyway, and won the day with them. Too bad Obama didn’t listen to Bush’s speech, and protect the gains the U.S. had made in Iraq.
      “On second thought, no matter how hard he tries, not even Obama has topped that one.”
      Well, as I explained above, Obama has been the problem, not Bush.
      Obama is also doing his best to lose us Afghanistan, too. It’s what Liberal Appeasers do. It’s ALL they do, when it comes to war and national security.

      • Good comment, and it is factual that the Iraq economy was very steadily improving with time. It is likewise true that Obama tried to claim credit for the successes there and subsequently turned it back into a hell hole as you have mentioned. Shia or Sunni Islamists, the O policy has supported and enabled both and been partially responsible for the “refugee” crisis.

      • David A May 23, 2016 at 7:10 am wrote: “Good comment, and it is factual that the Iraq economy was very steadily improving with time. It is likewise true that Obama tried to claim credit for the successes there and subsequently turned it back into a hell hole as you have mentioned.”
        Yes, things were going so good in Iraq that Obama and Biden both went over there right before the U.S. troops pullout, and tried to take credit for how well things were going.
        Then Obama pulled all the U.S. combat troops out, and things went straight to hell.
        Bush left a stable, hopeful Iraq to Obama, and Obama turned it into a hellhole.

      • In polls done in Jordan and Iraq, 75 percent of Jordanians blame Obama for their horrendous refugee crisis there in Jordan and surrounding areas, and about 50 percent of Iraqis think Obama is on the side of the Islamic Terror Army.
        That’s a heck of a legacy Obama is building.

      • TA, Afghanistan & Iraq are not “yours” – ie the property of the USA. It is a failing of US foreign policy since WW2 that they think the application of US power can solve any problem, anywhere. Truth be told the wars in the Middle East & Africa are all to do with the national borders drawn on maps by the colonial powers. These borders completely ignored centuries old ethnic, religious, & tribal boundaries, thereby creating countries that can only be held together by force of arms.

      • TA, you neglect to mention the Shrub prosecuted an aggressive act of war and the invasion of a sovereign country under false pretense.
        He was never prosecuted himself for that act, which cost tens of thousands of American lives and hundreds of thousands of innocent civilian lives in Iraq and other middle eastern countries, not to mention some 3 trillion dollars in US debt. This isn’t meant in any way to excuse the subsequent policy failures of his predecessor, only to point out that you get what you pay for.
        These are not small things.

    • Frederick Colbourne May 22, 2016 at 9:06 pm:
      The worst President since WWII, with the possible exception of George Bush Junior.
      George Bush Jr. did not have enough sense to finish the job in Afghanistan before trying and failing to show us how how much more macho he is than his father by opening Iraq to the jihadists.

      Yeah, just think about the possibilities! If only we’d elected Obama to be Commander In Chief instead of retaining Boooosh! twice to fill this Post from 2009 on, Obama could have even been in the running for Worst Living Person In The World and celebrated by Shariah Law Supremacists as perhaps The Greatest Dhimmi evah! But apparently White Privilege again took its toll.

  11. “On second thought, no matter how hard he tries, not even Obama has topped that one.”
    Your mileage obviously varies. “Top” assumes a direction and magnitude (vector) that you have defined for you, but which I define for me, and varies according to things you consider important or that I consider important.

    • It’s Obama total lack of reguard for limited government and rule of law that will be his ultimate legacy, congress and Scotus have totally failed to check his power grab, what future president will gladly give back what Obama has taken? One can only hope for ineptitude in our future presidents because the alternative is dictatorship, gleefully given by the masses of clueless citizens who want a LEADER to run their lives.

  12. Here is what else the author has to say about scientists:

    As history shows, scientists are as susceptible to group think and pressure as any other group of people.

    The second link is , again, to Wikipedia, this time to the entry on Lysenkoism. I am sure we all agree that Lysenkoism was pretty nasty business, as was all of all of the USSR under Stalin.
    Let’s see what the entry has to say.
    “under Lysenko’s admonitions and with Stalin’s approval, many geneticists were executed”
    Does not seem that they were too “susceptible to group think and pressure” if they had to be taken out and shot before they would conform.
    Anyway, so what if scientists were as susceptible to group think as anybody else, how would that make them worse than everybody else?

    • Lysenko had his scientific naysayers dispatched. Today, a kinder gentler John Holdren just has their NSF or intramural funding cut-off.

      • A whole bunch of AGs are looking to fabricate a case for criminal prosecutions. If “Climate Contrary-ism” (We can’t use the “D” word) is redefined as a Crime Against Humanity, then the Death Penalty will apply.
        Think it is too far-fetched? Consider an IRS weaponized and wielded against the citizenry. Consider a presidential edict demanding that in all public schools, boys/men *must* be allowed to use the girls locker rooms.

    • I believe the point is that since scientists are as susceptible to group think as everybody else, putting scientists in charge will be no better than putting anyone else in charge, in terms of results.
      Anyone who does not think scientists are susceptible to group think must not realize that scientists are humans. All humans are flawed, regardless of education level or descriptor or title. Currently, there are “scientists” who are pushing to silence those who have different views, by refusing to allow others to be heard, discouraging funding, and attempting to shun or “shame” perceived iconoclasts. No industry is free of corruptible members.

    • Do you have any evidence that scientists are less susceptible to group think and pressure than are others? Or do you just want to continue whining?

      • Whining?? Really now.
        Given the criticism and sometimes outright ostracism science majors face on the American campus, it takes a person willing to go their own way to pursue a physical science major.
        There are the “belongers”, who form up into groups and take their social status from the group. You can see this clearly with fraternities, sororities, and the sports team fans. these are the people who are going to engage in groupthink. I find it interesting that these above groups are exactly the groups (and their activities) that the typical science major wants nothing to do with.
        Then you have the “independents”, people who pursue their own goals in their own way. If you would ask one of these people about “groupthink”, they might not be sure what you are talking about. By and large, these are the science majors.
        For myself, I just want to know how that chemical system works. I do even care about how I think the system works. I want to know. I most certainly do not care what others think about the system, as that does not get me to know how that system works, unless, of course, I find someone who actually does know how it works. Ultimately, I want to know how the system works, why it does what it does, and why the damn thing won’t behave itself. Groupthink not involved.
        These are two entirely different world views, and they do not reconcile.
        I also find it interesting that people who align themselves with a “belonger” viewpoint and exhibit herding behavoir, very often cannot imagine that anyone would do things differently. Indeed, they often react with open hostility when confronted with someone who will not subscribe to the herd’s viewpoint.
        What you see coming up through the ranks in college is pretty much what you will get later in life.

      • Anyone who gets bent out of shape when someone points out the obvious fact that scientists can be influenced by group thing and group pressure is whining.
        I’m sorry that you weren’t popular while you were college.
        I’ve been a nerd all my life, and while my popularity went up and down depending on many factors, I got over it.
        You should too.

    • TonyL
      How about this, lets just have a limited government that protects or civil liberties, person and property and defends us from foreign powers and we live our life each as we see fit and to hell with needing to be lead by anyone.

      • You know that kind of thinking could get you in trouble, some people would even call it revolutionary. I will tell you right now, I do not think the Crown will go for it.
        But anyway, you could run it by George W., Thomas J., James M., Ben F., and the rest of the gang. They might want to come up with a Declaration of some sort, or something.

  13. Thank God for the wisdom of the 22nd Amendment.
    But I have no doubt that Obama is scheming to remain in power past January 20, 2017.
    Marshall Law anyone?

    • I literally abhor the actions and policies of the current POTUS. However on what basis are you so certain this is the O’s plan?

      • The current POTUS has spoken carelessly about a third term. All other modern POTUS have studiously avoided the topic, as a matter of protocol, if nothing else. His breach of protocol in this instance startling. Combined with 8 years of wanton disregard for constitutional limits on his powers, such talk is truly worrying. Far from observing his oath to “protect and defend the constitution”, he called it “a seriously flawed document”.
        A stepwise scenario:
        1) declare a limited financial emergency
        2) declare a general economic emergency
        3) declare a civil emergency
        4) declare a national emergency
        5) invoke extraordinary powers, suspend civil liberties
        6) suspend elections

      • Thanks Tony. I would not put it past him, but I read the link about speaking carelessly about a third term, and did not find that to be the case from the O quotes linked here Not that I take the O at his word except when he is talking about “fundamentally changing the US” so…

  14. Carl Sagan also said that whenever new ideas are offered for consideration, scientists must use a baloney detection kit containing tools for skeptical thinking. Among the tools are the following:
    * Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the “facts”.
    * Encourage substantive debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of view.
    * Arguments from authority carry little weight — “authorities” have made mistakes in the past. They will do so again in the future.
    * Spin more than one hypothesis. If there’s something to be explained, think of all the different ways in which it could be explained.
    * Quantify. What is vague and qualitative is open to many explanations.
    * Inveterate skeptics must be given the chance to follow your reasoning, to duplicate your experiments and see if they get the same result.
    * Control experiments are essential.
    Carl Sagan went on to say that politicians [especially Obama] often use fallacies of logic and rhetoric such as the following:
    * argument from authority
    * argument from adverse consequences
    * appeal to ignorance
    * special pleading
    * assuming the answer
    * observational selection
    * statistics of small numbers
    * misunderstanding of the nature of statistics
    * inconsistency
    * post hoc, ergo propter hoc (“it happened after, so it was caused by”)
    * false dichotomy, considering only two extremes in a continuum; short-term vs. long-term
    * confusion of correlation and causation
    * straw man [Obama’s a master utilizing this]
    * suppressed evidence or half-truths
    * weasel words [e.g., “climate change”]
    (source: The Demon-Haunted World, Carl Sagan, 1995, Chapter 12: The Fine Art Of Baloney Detection)

    • Thank you for a brilliant quote that sums up all that is wrong with climate science and its practitioners except perhaps some of their private lives and ethical standards which is by no means restricted to IPCC heads.
      I really wish we could see the same coverage to any accusations against some of the other major figures by their subordinates that these figures get for claims about climate that are in contrast totally unfounded.

      • David Cage wrote: “Thank you for a brilliant quote that sums up all that is wrong with climate science and its practitioners”
        I agree. Good post. The Alarmists score a zero on about all those Sagan tests.

  15. Oddly enough we have already done so.
    We are governed by far too many graduates of “Political Science”.
    They probably consider themselves scientists.
    Obama-Bin Lying is great at empty rhetoric, shame he never has anything factual to say.
    Would be wonderful to see him forced,under oath, to state the evidence he claims exists for Anthropogenic Climate Change..AKA CAGW, which is always the sense he uses Climate Change in.
    Supposedly this is the best informed head of state in the world, is all the evidence classified?
    Perhaps he should share it with the UN IPCC.

  16. Everybody seems to have missed the glaring irony contained in Obama’s speech.
    He states that we should defer to the experts, and ensure that they are qualified to do their jobs.
    Yet, Obama, who was not even qualified to flip burgers was elected as President. Twice.
    Kind of negates his argument. Only he could make that argument with a straight face.

  17. In that speech he also says:

    “And it’s especially important, I believe, for those of us of African descent, because we’ve known what it feels like to be on the receiving end of injustice. We know what it means to be discriminated against. (Applause.) We know what it means to be jailed.”

    I wasn’t aware that Obama has already been to prison. Can someone enlighten me?

    • I think Barack is prescient. He has memories of being sent to prison in the future.
      His similarity to our King Blair, is remarkable. Both are shyster Lawyers, Both promised a new deal, which turned out to be simply a pragmatic way to get and stay elected, both misused ‘liberal ‘ politics to destroy huge swathes of the culture they inherited. Both were so vain that in the end all they cared about was their ‘legacy’. Both hated Britain with a passion. Both use the interesting rationale, that if they didn’t know something was wrong, they cant be blamed for any decision they made with respect to it, and thereby cultivate deliberately uninformed positions.
      And both should be in jail.

    • Compared to most of us, Our Dear President has led a blessed life, full of good fortune, partly due to the wonderful nation we have, as has his wife.
      They have not been hindered in their life goals by Racism as he infers; instead, he and his race-bating wife have benefited – marvelously – from our society’s efforts to address those wrongs.
      He should be praising this truth, not re-writing this truth.

  18. Unlike any other US president, the legacy of President Obama is to have fallen for a scam.
    Now, some people find that falling for a scam is not such a great legacy. However, in his defense it must be said that, at least, he fell for the biggest scam in history.
    For instance, if he had instead spent the same $250 bn to help a Nigerian general in distress, his legacy would have been worse.

    • Well, Adrian O, if he’d done that, the money would be gone, true, but the US and other nations dutifully following along, would not have the “green energy” industry foisted on them. No it would have been better (I think).

  19. We cross for a word from one of the best presidents since WW2, (if I may, as a non-us citizen, say so):

  20. So when the engineers who actually have to make things work say the scientist have a superb theory but it does not actually work in the real world the scientists still are supposed to be right? This even when the engineers are eager to have their rebuttal publicly aired and examined by everybody while the scientists abuse legislation intended to keep information from terrorists to suppress the less than high integrity of their work let alone their abuse of position for extra curricular favours on the part of desirable younger team members? An abuse far more widespread that so far revealed.

    • Yes the scientist is still right and still collecting a paycheck when his views align with the politician. Keynesian economics is another great theory that doesn’t work in the real world, that doesnt stop economic scientists from continuously promoting it, and politicians from continuously implementing it. Those that disagree are ignored to the point one hardly can tell they still exist. I can fully understand why Obama sees scientists as a powerful and useful tools to promote the politics one desires.

  21. The thesis goes that scientists are dispassionate, independent thinkers, working for humanity.
    The evidence in my experience is that scientists are driven by grant funding, their ‘thought processes’ are often guided by the grant fund raising process and that scientists work for whoever will pay them.
    Scientific promotion is gained by publication in ‘high impact’ publications, which are controlled by scientist editorial boards, well-known ‘jobs for the boys’ old-boys clubs. As a young scientist, you are more likely to publish work in ‘high impact’ publications working for a Professor on high impact journal editorial boards than if you seek to publish ostensibly identical work from a less high profile research team.
    Science has mantras, dogmas and things young scientists do not question if they know what’s good for them. Those mantras and dogmas may change over generations, but in any one generation, group think stifles independent thought. You play the publication game and you play by the rules.
    At the top levels, there is a lot of mutual back scratching. 5 year programme grant reviews in many research institutes are carried out by ‘competitors’ in similar positions in other institutes. In many ways, these things operate like a highly skilled Trades Union. Just like the same old speakers tend to get invited to conference after conference, which reinforces group think through repetition of desired messages.
    Part of this is a belief that ‘politicians don’t understand science’. Whilst this is true for the majority of politicians, the evidence is that if you ask tough, tough questions from a position of knowledge and understanding, you get the concerted media witch hunt treatment. Science and medicine knows how to do that just as well as the politicians, you know. That’s because the security services infest science and medicine just like all other arenas of western life…….

  22. Most people are capable of getting through life without being ruled by anyone. If Washington DC wants to improve the country, all they need is to get out of the way.

  23. Because political decisions isn’t science.
    Because scientists aren’t economists.
    Because experts have been wrong more often than they have been right.
    Because when we go to a doctor or get on a plane, we make a choice. Obama and climate change don;t allow me a choice.
    And perhaps Obama should listen to the majority of economists, who think that most of his financial policies are stupid and keep the poor poor. So why doesn’t he listen to the experts in that field?

  24. Weren’t the so called scientists and their collective institutions ‘in charge’ presiding over the ‘insight’ of eugenics? That didn’t end so well. And that was before the current chancre of precautionary Progressive, post-modern ‘Science’, which appears to be entering a period that is a simulacrum for tertiary stage neuro-syphilis.
    A definite no thank you.

  25. “We have not overthrown the divine right of kings to fall down for the divine right of experts.”*
    *Harold Macmillan

  26. As the American revolution ended many of Washington’s officers were very discontented. The Continental Congress had failed to fulfil it’s promises for pay and other compensation to the officers and men who had fought for so long and at substantial personal cost. Anonymous letters circulated calling for a military overthrow of the government. A substantial number of officers wanted Washington to be declared a King.
    Washington understood he had to act and prevented an unauthorized meeting of his officers to discuss such propositions. Instead he proposed to meet and speak with his officers a few days later. His prepared speech was not well received by the gathering. Then Washington took out a letter from Congress in which they explained their terrible financial condition. Squinting, he tried to read the letter then stopped, and reached into his pocket for a pair of glasses. Very few of his officers knew he required glasses to read. Washington had done his best to hide the fact. Then Washington said: “Gentlemen,” said Washington, “you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for I have not only grown gray but almost blind in the service of my country.”
    That statement moved some to tears. Here was the man who had risked more than most and led the Army with unwavering fidelity and valor through some of it’s darkest times when all seemed lost, and who still remained loyal to the experiment, revealing a disability that they had no idea he was suffering from.
    The gathering ended with a unanimous vote to support Congress and to wait to see what transpired.

    • rah wrote: ” Then Washington said: “Gentlemen,” said Washington, “you will permit me to put on my spectacles, for I have not only grown gray but almost blind in the service of my country.”
      That statement moved some to tears. Here was the man who had risked more than most and led the Army with unwavering fidelity and valor through some of it’s darkest times when all seemed lost, and who still remained loyal to the experiment, revealing a disability that they had no idea he was suffering from.
      The gathering ended with a unanimous vote to support Congress and to wait to see what transpired.”
      That moves me to tears.

  27. For me politicians see to make “insane” judgements as we consider them because the agenda is not what they claim it is. To the professed agenda the decisions seem in sane, but if you put those decisions into the context of another agenda, they make sense.
    WMD is a perfect example. It was not a mistake, the middle east was not an error, it was intentional
    Of course when we have to replicate the agenda based on actions, we call it “conspiracy theory” but it isn’t really, we are trying to reconcile the actions with the reasons, and it doesn’t add up.

  28. But what if the doctor used the concepts of the Four Humors, and used leeches, and bled his patients? Would we want to call them if we were hurt or sick? What if the teacher taught Ptolemaic astronomy and that the Earth was flat? Would we want to send our kids to that school? What if the pilot had all the skill and learning of the 9/11 hijackers? Would we want to board that flight?
    The straw man used by Obama in this case is assumed to be a highly-qualified and objective practitioner of its art, and not blinded by groupthink and confirmation bias. However, we can tell by comments such as that by Phil Jones, “Why should I give it [his data] to you when all you’ll do is try to find something wrong with it?” and the efforts of The Team to blacklist and defame any author or journal who tried to publish anything opposing The Cause, that what is being done here is not science.

  29. The politicians have access to all the experts they require after all.
    The IPCC is a perfect example of actions not matching the reasons for said actions

  30. Scientist is a self-serving epithet only. There is no school of scientists.
    Majority rule is as misunderstood. Read Aristotle on demarchy, democracy, sortition, election by lot. Only the tyrants enjoyed majority rule, the citizens did no worse with election by lot.

  31. Michael Crichton covered all the issues in the head post very well in his Caltech Lecture “Aliens Cause Global Warming”. I notice Anthony has posted the lecture here:
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/09/aliens-cause-global-warming-a-caltech-lecture-by-michael-crichton/
    It is a very enlightening read and although I’m also a fan of Carl Sagan’s books (He is hard on Sagan) I highly recommend it to anybody concerned about the politics of consensus science!

    • Michael Crichton was a very smart man who had some very very good ideas, he happened to be right on global warming, but I am reading his autobiography called Travels, and he also had some very strange ideas that are not backed up by science.

  32. The Left-wing political parties already support the ideas of the climate scientists.
    There are already dozens of policies designed and hundreds of billions spent to support the ideas of the climate scientists.
    They already have lots of political power.
    Are the left-wing political parties really saying that the climate scientists should replace them.
    Surely not. The left-wing parties want more political power, not less. They are mostly just using the climate scientists to gain more power. Obama doesn’t live a green life-style.

  33. Oblahblah blathers:
    “Facts, evidence, reason, logic, an understanding of science — these are good things. These are qualities you want in people making policy.”
    Too bad our Liar-in-Chief has none of those qualities, nor do those he relies on for advice, particularly on “climate change”.
    I don’t imagine any of the freshly-minted drones there were able to spot the numerous logical fallacies he used. First he buttered them up and pandered to them, then he used the bully pulpit to spout propaganda. Sickening.

  34. In government or in science, the best results often arise from the tension and competition of opposed forces. When there is no balance of power is when things go completely pear-shaped.

  35. Xi Jinping – China chemical engineering
    Angela Merkel – Germany physics, doctrate in quantum chemistry
    Elio Di Rupo – Belgium Ph.D. in chemistry
    Mohamed Morsi – Egypt Ph.D. in materials

  36. We do not put scientists in charge because you cannot go from an “is” to an “ought”. Scientists tell us what is, politicians decide what we ought to do.
    Take medicine as an example. Doctors and scientists can provide the infomation on, say vaccines. They can say “If we conduct this compulsory vaccination program we will have X fewer cases of disease Y”.
    The scientist cannot say whether we should carry out said program. If it is a compulsory program there are lots of non-scientific reasons why we might choose not to do it. Is prevention of X cases of disease Y worth the infringement of freedom? That is not a scientific question. We cannot arrive at the ought from the is.
    The scientist can tell us sugar contributes to obesity and diabetes. They can say “If sugar consumption was cut by X%, all else being equal we would have Y% less obesity”. They cannot tell us that we should introduce a sugar tax. We cannot go from an is to an ought.
    It is the responsibility of the politician to take all the experts advice and decide what we ought to do. Science cannot tell us what we ought to do.
    What the politician should not do is decide what we ought to do without considering the scientific evidence. They might justifiably decide not to have a compulsory vaccination campaign, but they must not do because they think it will not reduce disease Y if that is what the scientists tell them. They might justifiably decide not to implement a sugar tax, but they must not justify this by saying sugar does not contribute to obesity, if that is what he experts tell them. They might justifiably reject a carbon tax, but thay must not justify this by saying that carbon has no effect on the climate, if that is what the experts tell them.

    • Seaice1 says “We do not put scientists in charge because you cannot go from an ‘is’ to an ‘ought’.”
      There is no “we”. I appreciate your reasons for not choosing a scientist for President.

      • Michael 2. The title of the post asks “Why don’t we put climate scientists in charge of the country?” I was simply answering this question in the same terms. What are you reasons?
        Putting it simply, it is not the job of scientists to tell us what to do. It is their job to tell us what is likely to happen if we make certain choices.
        We could ask the same question of other “expert groups”. Why don’t we put the police in charge? Why don’t we put teachers in charge? Why don’t we put economists in charge (if you could get them to agree about anything)? Why don’t we put doctors in charge?
        It is because being in charge is about much more than the areas in which these groups are experts. There is more to running the country than policing. There is more than education. There is more than the economy. There is more than medicine. There is more than the climate.

    • “Scientists tell us what is…”
      Unfortunately, climate “scientists” practice government-funded pseudoscience, geared towards remaining on the “climate” gravy train. So, in the case of climate the agenda isn’t science at all, but rather the appearance of it.

  37. “The reason we don’t put scientists in charge, is because it doesn’t work. As history shows, scientists are as susceptible to group think and pressure as any other group of people.”
    There is an example just like this from ancient history. One of the most intelligent men ever wondered about who would be the best leader. After decades of study, Plato wrote “The Republic” which included (among other ideas) that the nation ought to be run by philosopher kings. Such enlightened learned men understand how to meet everyone’s needs, because they have taught that. (Ironically, everybody in history who studies governments always comes to the same conclusion — “governments are best run by people like me.”)
    Plato had the chance to see his Republic played out in reality. A small nation-state in Greece declared independence and appointed a ruling council. One of these council members had been one of Plato’s students. Plato even wrote suggestions on how to develop the council.
    Long story short, the council was an unmitigated disaster. It fell apart within ten months and the nation was back at war. .They became tyrants and ruled horribly. The main problem turned out to be that these leaders thought they smarter than everyone else so they did not listen to anyone else. The leaders felt like they were so intelligent that they knew all of the answers.

    • Lrcanbonda wrote: “The main problem turned out to be that these leaders thought they smarter than everyone else so they did not listen to anyone else. The leaders felt like they were so intelligent that they knew all of the answers.”
      That sounds like President Obama. And just like those former ancient leaders, they and he, were wrong about that. They don’t know all the answers. Although I am sure Obama still thinks he does.
      Many of these “smart guys’s” answers make things much worse, not better. Obama being the case in point.

      • During the 2008 campaign, Obama gave an interview in which he claimed he was a better speech writer than his speech writers. A better campaign manager than his campaign manager and so on.
        He stated that the only reason why he didn’t do everything himself was because there wasn’t enough hours in the day for him to do it all.

  38. Ben Franklin would have laughed at Obama’s profound ignorance of climate science and called for the abolition of IPCC seeing it as a bunch of charlatans.

    • Dr Strangelove
      “Ben Franklin would have laughed at Obama’s profound ignorance of climate science and called for the abolition of IPCC seeing it as a bunch of charlatans.”
      +100, he would have seen through the shame in a second and he certainly would have seen increased CO2 as a boon for plant life and the warming trends since the end of LIA as a very positive thing. But then again he didn’t want to control every ones lives and wasn’t looking to use fear as a way to eliminate freedom, come to think of it didn’t he have a little bit to say on the subject of freedom or am I mistaken (sarc)?

  39. The whole issue is suspect when posed by a President that picked John Holdren as WH science adviser. That guy is walking red flag at this point.

  40. We have put them in charge indirectly. Climate Change is the made up agenda of the United Nations to take over the 170 nations which have joined their non-scientific agenda that has a real goal of destroying the USA and capitalism…believing that communism is the best form of government…do some research and it all makes sense. It has all been admitted by those in the UN. Bush Sr, Pelosi, and many of our federal representatives have turned a blind eye to science and the people of this nation in order to promote the UNs plans. Worse, the taxpayer in the US is paying for it.

  41. ‘A while back, you may have seen a United States senator trotted out a snowball during a floor speech in the middle of winter as “proof” that the world was not warming. (Laughter.)’
    A while back, you may have seen a sweating United States senator who trotted out a sweating James Hansen giving a floor speech (in a room in which the AC was deliberately turned off) during one of the hottest days of summer as “proof” that the world was not warming. (Laughter.)
    We live in a parallel universe mr. president.

    • I believe Sen. Inhofe did that more as a joke than anything else. But Climatists, as we’ve seen, are allergic to humor. Makes them break out in hives.

  42. Progressive thinking requires one to obey the laws of science given by Climatologists.(Correct Climatologists, that is.)
    Yet these same science advocates ignore Biologists when they say Genetic science dictates the gender of Humans. .

  43. Yes, let’s! As presidential science advisor Prof Muller had pointed out in his talks ‘Physics for future Presidents’, there had been a supposed commitment to listen to scientific advice anyway — except for they don’t. And so it is that they did NOT come through with the nuclear waste storage site at Yucca Mountain, of which he said, as far as he is concerned, the site is ready to go and safe, and is only held back by irrational political decisions; also, Muller called the electric car ‘dead’ many years ago – so why is politics pushing for them anyway?
    So there you have it.

  44. “….Climate change is not something subject to political spin.” An unfortunate misstatement, incredibly gross naivety, blatant pandering, diabolical propaganda or what?

  45. Why don’t we put Climate Scientists in charge, rather than politicians?
    These are two vastly different philosophies regarding the nature of humans and what government is for.
    To put scientists in charge is to say you believe in “progressivism:” this is the belief that we humans can and should use reason and knowledge to continually improve the wellfare of humankind.
    Think about it: this is EXACTLY the philosophy of many a government philosophy that has failed miserably. All of the flavors of Marxism have been varieties of Progressivism. Also, the Charles Fourier-type socialist fantasies.
    Same with the various utopias. There have been many utopian ideas, leading back, as noted, to Plato’s Republic. The Oneida, NY community was supposed to be a superior society based on progressivism. The kibbutz movement was a Marxist-based version of society with a zionist twist. There have been many “commune” communities attempted in the 1970s. Some still exist, but none live up to the ideals they are based upon.
    B. F. Skinner’s “Walden II” was an overly optimistic portrayal of a utopian community build upon the learning principles he was so enthusiastic about. Walden II should regularly be included in the list of popular fiction representing different types of dystopias, along with “1984,” “Brave New World,” and “Farenheit 451.”
    Skinner’s ideas were more directly reported in another book, “Beyond Freedom and Dignity.”
    That title was serious – Skinner actually believed we should get beyond our cultural adherence to the concepts of “freedom” and “dignity.” He believed these actually interfered with maximization of quality of life.
    Those concepts illustrate why we need to be governed by politicians – by elected officials elected popularly by some representative democracy – sorry, that is the best we can do until Jesus returns.
    Rather than turn society over to the best judgments of John Holdren and other social engineers, we citizens pick our own poison, and we build freedom and dignity into our politics.
    All of the progressivism-based political philosophies are top-down governments – the powerful individuals at the top decide WHETHER and how you get to live.
    Instead, with a commitment to freedom and dignity / human worth of each individual, we get to live our lives as we wish, and only relinquish the freedom we need to in order to permit others to enjoy their God-given liberty, as well.
    This is society governed from the bottom-up, rather than top-down. In short, a top-down society always has and will always end up being oppressive.
    Some of the more clever Marxists and Socialists know this. So, they strive to portray their versions of government from the top-down as from the bottom-up, and portray our open society as governed from the to-down – the dreaded “cultural hegemony.”

  46. Instead of Obama’s claptrap speech, here is what they really need to hear. They’ll have to learn how to THINK (now, where have I heard that before?).

  47. Why on earth would anyone put Climate Scientists in charge of whole nations? We already have politicians who do everything that CliSci recommends.

  48. Imagine if Ben Franklin saw a biological male claiming he was a female.
    Why is Obama pro-science on some matters but so anti-science on others? The science of determining male vs female was settled long, LONG ago.

  49. I live in Oregon. I was under the impression climate scientists DO run the country – with eyes on the world.
    Or perhaps that’s just the seedy activist sub-class and their political stooges.

  50. If the POTUS genuinely believes that a Doctor, a Pilot and an ‘environmental scientist’ are all equal then he needs to be removed.
    He seems to want, simultaneously, Doctors treating patients and Pilots flying planes. Fair enough, but why then would we want ‘environmental scientists’ telling us how to run the economy? Surely economists should be doing that job?
    Environmental ‘scientists’ are the ones that couldn’t make it into medical school and certainly couldn’t fly a plane. They seem to have massive problems with maths ‘n’ stats and certainly couldn’t pass economics or PR 101.
    If a POTUS believes that these people should running the Planet then I guess that it is time to use ones democratic vote.
    Then again, isn’t this the guy that employed Holdren as his chief scientific advisor? Holdren would have done much better in Germany some decades ago.
    As an Englishman, I had no problems with Obama becoming POTUS. My problems only started when he put that POS in charge of US science. Couldn’t you track down a genuine article from Argentina or are they all dead now?

  51. I wasn’t sure where this reply would end up, so I put it here at the end.
    Ray Boorman May 23, 2016 at 5:36 pm wrote: “TA, Afghanistan & Iraq are not “yours” – ie the property of the USA.”
    I never made that claim, Ray. I don’t think that. I see the U.S. as the potential benfactor of the Iraqi and Afghan people, which is also beneficial to the U.S. Americans have no desire to tell others what to do unless those others are trying to kill us.
    “It is a failing of US foreign policy since WW2 that they think the application of US power can solve any problem, anywhere.”
    It is a failure to follow the policy the U.S. had during World War II, and the Korean war: NATION BUILDING, that has been the cause of the three failings of U.S. foreign policy, namely South Vietnam and Iraq and Libya.
    After World War II, the U.S. stayed and rebuilt Europe, and Japan, and rebuilt South Korea after the Korean war. All of these nations are now good, prosperous allies of the United States, and U.S. troops are still there protecting the peace, with the consent and cooperation of the host countries.
    The only failures are when the U.S. has a war and then leaves too early and does not protect the peace. If you want a war to solve a problem, you must do nation building afterwards, otherwise all you do is create chaos, and more problems.
    “Truth be told the wars in the Middle East & Africa are all to do with the national borders drawn on maps by the colonial powers. These borders completely ignored centuries old ethnic, religious, & tribal boundaries, thereby creating countries that can only be held together by force of arms.”
    That might be true, but force of arms and the current situation is all we have to work with right now. We’ll have to work it out from here.

  52. Bartleby May 23, 2016 at 7:35 pm wrote: “TA, you neglect to mention the Shrub prosecuted an aggressive act of war and the invasion of a sovereign country under false pretense.”
    No, I didn’t neglect to mention that because I don’t believe that. I think George W. Bush believed just what he told the American public. No false pretense involved.
    Bartleby: “He was never prosecuted himself for that act, which cost tens of thousands of American lives and hundreds of thousands of innocent civilian lives in Iraq and other middle eastern countries, not to mention some 3 trillion dollars in US debt.”
    Well, nearly every politician in Washington voted in favor of backing George W. Bush in the Iraq war, and they all said the same things about WMD that Bush was saying. Some of them, including many Liberal Democrats had been saying those things long before Bush came to Office. It was even official U.S. policy to depose Saddam Insane, the law being passed in 1998, and signed into law by then President Bill Clinton. So don’t lay it all off on Bush. The U.S. has been gunning for Saddam for a long time, for lots of good reasons.
    Bartleby: “This isn’t meant in any way to excuse the subsequent policy failures of his predecessor, only to point out that you get what you pay for.”
    I’m glad to see you at least see the reality of the Obama lack of performance.
    Bartleby: “These are not small things.”
    No, they are not small things, but I think a wider view of the issue is needed to get the true picture.

  53. A climate scientist- or at least a wannabe – has been in charge of the country since 2009

  54. Why don’t we put climate scientists in charge of the country? A wannabe climate scientist has been in charge since 2009.

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