Message to the President of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences

Climate alarmism versus integrity at National Academies of Science

By David Wojick |July 14th, 2020|Climate|

In the ongoing effort to clearly summarize their position, CLINTEL has published a Scientific Manifesto in the form of ten propositions. These specifically address, among other things, the role of National Academies in protecting the integrity of science, in the face of alarmist dogma.

Since the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has evolved from guardians of science to an alarmist fortress, I thought it interesting to contrast the basic CLINTEL Manifesto with the statements of NAS President Marcia McNutt.

First, here are the ten basic CLINTEL propositions. (In the Manifesto document each is elaborated with regard to the sorry state of climate science today. All-caps are in the original.)

  1. THE COMPLEXITY OF MULTI-FACTOR, MULTI-SCALE SYSTEMS DEMANDS CLOSE CO-OPERATION BETWEEN A WIDE RANGE OF SCIENTIFIC FIELDS AND DISCIPLINES
  2. SOUND SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH IS OPEN-MINDED AND CHARACTERIZED BY A WIDE VARIETY OF VIEWPOINTS WITHOUT DOGMAS AND PREJUDICES
  3. FAITH IN SCIENTIFIC MODELS IS FAITH IN THE UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS; ONLY CORRECT ASSUMPTIONS LEAD TO CORRECT ANSWERS
  4. WITH ENOUGH MODEL PARAMETERS IT IS ALWAYS POSSIBLE TO RECONSTRUCT MEASUREMENTS FROM THE PAST; MODEL VALIDATION REQUIRES A LOT MORE EFFORT
  5. IMPROVED MEASUREMENT SYSTEMS ARE DECISIVE IN SCIENTIFIC PROGRESS; SOUND SCIENCE REQUIRES A BALANCE IN THEORETICAL AND EMPIRICAL SCIENCE
  6. THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE SHOWS THAT NEW INSIGHTS DO NOT COME FROM FOLLOWERS BUT FROM DISSENTERS; DOUBTERS AND DISSENTERS MAKE HISTORY IN SCIENCE
  7. SEPARATION OF SCIENCE AND POLITICS IS A GREAT GOOD; ACADEMIES OF SCIENCES SHOULD PROTECT SCIENTISTS FROM POLITICAL IDEOLOGIES
  8. ACADEMIES OF SCIENCES HAVE A MORAL RESPONSIBILITY TO WARN SOCIETY OF SENSELESS CONCLUSIONS THAT FOLLOW FROM NAÏVE BELIEF IN IMMATURE SCIENTIFIC MODELS
  9. THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY SHOULD BE MORE HONEST ABOUT THE LIMITS ON THE POWER OF MANKIND TO SUBDUE NATURAL VARIABILITY
  10. THE SCIENCE IS SETTLED IS A CONSENSUS STATEMENT THAT WILL NEVER BE USED BY SCIENTISTS OF INTEGRITY

Note that propositions 7 and 8 speak specifically to National Academies of Science. But the US NAS is doing the very opposite. They are endorsing a political ideology and promoting the senseless conclusions that flow from the immature climate models, via the IPCC and US National Climate Assessments. That science is getting more and more intertwined with politics is most worrying. If the US NAS President cannot be trusted anymore, who else can we trust?

More specifically, a year ago President McNutt signed an ideologically loaded NAS position statement, along with the presidents of the National Academies of Engineering and Medicine. Here are some telling excerpts:

“Scientists have known for some time, from multiple lines of evidence, that humans are changing Earth’s climate, primarily through greenhouse gas emissions. The evidence on the impacts of climate change is also clear and growing. The atmosphere and the Earth’s oceans are warming, the magnitude and frequency of certain extreme events are increasing, and sea level is rising along our coasts.”

This is a very unscientific statement. That humans are the sole cause, or even the primary cause, of these changes is far from known. Research on this deeply uncertain hypothesis should be the focus of NAS’s efforts. Not uncritically supporting it. Look at what proposition 3 says: ‘Only correct model assumptions lead to correct model answers’

“A solid foundation of scientific evidence on climate change exists. It should be recognized, built upon, and most importantly, acted upon for the benefit of society.”

Again, this is an embarrassing statement from a President of the US NAS. Calls for action on climate change are scientifically unfounded. Looking again at propositions 7 and 8, “a call for action” should never be coming from the National Academies.

Just a few months ago President McNutt issued an even more strident call for action, announcing that NAS was convening a panel to come up with so-called “solutions” to climate change. As though we did not have enough senseless solutions proposed already. All these “solutions” are not based on science but on political ideology. In fact her hyperbolic title is “Not a decade to spare for climate action.” Here again are some excerpts:

“The reality of climate change is sinking in, with millions now feeling its effects—from rising sea levels and disappearing coastlines to more frequent extreme weather such as droughts, floods, and wildfires.”

Dear President, indeed that is what the computer models say, but measurements tell us a completely different story. There is NO climate crisis at all. Your statement is pure political posturing, causing a lot of fear and unrest in the world. Actually, a warmer climate may even be net-beneficial if we use a slim adaptation policy. Look also at proposition 5, stating that superior measurement systems are decisive in scientific progress.

“Scientists have been sounding the alarm for decades that climate change is real and getting worse. As the adverse effects of unabated emissions keep mounting, the alarm is getting deafening.”

President McNutt, you ask capable scientists to behave as a present-day Don Quixote. It is naïve and arrogant to think that mankind can stop natural variability. Mainstream climate research has taken a direction that may be profitable to its practitioners and beneficiaries, but it is unworthy of science. Should integrity not be your first priority?

“Today’s leaders must not bequeath a dangerously destabilized planet to future generations, and we will be placing special emphasis on engagement with today’s young people.”

Dear President, poisoning our youngsters with fear for the future is an irresponsible act. CLINTEL’s message to the young generation is: “Forget about the preachers of doom and gloom and consider the challenges outlined in the Manifesto and the World Climate Declaration as your mission in life.

Conclusion: President Marcia McNutt and her National Academy of Sciences are clearly well off the track of rationality. This is political ideology at its worst, a clear violation of propositions 7 and 8. No doubt it flows from ignoring the prior propositions as well.

David Wojick, Ph.D. is an independent analyst working at the intersection of science, technology and policy. For origins see

http://www.stemed.info/engineer_tackles_confusion.html

For over 100 prior articles for CFACT see

http://www.cfact.org/author/david-wojick-ph-d/

Available for confidential research and consulting.

44 thoughts on “Message to the President of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences

  1. It is hard to comprehend how any scientists could take the political positions they do as correctly noted by the author. Surely there must be working scientists with ethics and morals.

    • I’m thinking it’s that “working” part that is causing the primary issue. In many fields now, only the pure of heart and mind are allowed to stay.

  2. Somebody is going to say it, so it may as well be me. Marcia McNutt is misinformed and ignorant of any honest science, so what in blazes is she doing as President of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences?

      • Sounds like it has turned into a dangerous Cult. There is a comet they could catch next week…

    • Earthling, that’s not fair. I looked at the Wiki entry for Marcia Mcnutt and there is no doubt that , in her field of geophysics , she is quite outstanding. On occasions she has attempted to calm irrational fears about , eg fracking and seismic events .
      It seems to me, from the time line , that she changed when she moved into the administrative sphere of the Natl Acad of Sciences . So the real culprits are the quiet, but insistent voices of the establishment there . Look to the other senior figures there. I came away from the Wiki article convinced that they corrupted a fine and honest scientist. (But of course with Wiki you can never be sure , as posts recently have pointed out).

      • All is fair in this climate debate, as the alarmists have shown using the denier word against anyone who strays from their fiats on the science. If a scientist were truly brilliant, I doubt they could stand for being part of an institution like that, especially promoting it as President. Of course Wiki would be praising her to high heaven, since that is their modus operandi how they all operate together to make them seem credible and relevant.

        What surprises me is that in her field of geophysics, which is a fairly hard factual science, that someone would fall for some of the bunk they believe. I can understand people being quiet if they don’t want to rock the boat, but to actively promote this perverted science is immoral to the notion of science as we know it. This is why I say this is now beyond politics and entering the realm of a cult since there isn’t even much rationality to how climate science is done. It is now a belief system, where science is decreed from upon high, without any evidence to back it up. Well maybe they present evidence, but it is perverted and adjusted and can’t be duplicated and is a model of the future state of climate. And can’t be questioned. Even the IPPC basically says the future state of climate is unknowable.

        • You may be right Earthling , I have never met the lady and not come across her work other than as listed in Wiki. it seemed the case of a fine scientist corrupted by sinister influences once she had left academia.

        • “If a scientist were truly brilliant, I doubt they could stand for being part of an institution like that”

          I don’t think it takes any particular brilliance to see through the Human-caused Climate Change narrative. All it takes is a little logical analysis.

          The problem with the Alarmists is they have substituted logical analysis for emotion.

          • Yes indeed. It is actually antithetical to the notion of how science is actually conducted. Climate science should be especially susceptible, because basic science relies on making a hypothesis, testing it and making predictions. So far, no predictions have been successfully made, therefore it isn’t accurate science. It is emotion that has become a politically motivated diktat that can’t be questioned and punished harshly if you have any different view of the ‘consensus’ which Ms. McNutt actively promotes. Climate science has become twisted and perverted from the very notion of science itself.

          • Here’s my logical analysis of the Human-caused Climate Change narrative: I periodically challenge the Alarmists to provide evidence that Human-caused Climate Change is real. The Alarmists *never* respond. This causes me to think they don’t have any evidence.

            Using logic, the non-response from the Alarmists should cause everyone to think the Alarmists don’t have evidence for what they claim.

            And they don’t. That’s the reason for the silence. There will be silence after this challenge, too. Watch and see.

            One wonders what Ms. McNutt uses to convince herself that Human-caused Climate Change is real. Someone ought to ask her to elaborate on this subject.

          • One wonders what Ms. McNutt uses to convince herself that Human-caused Climate Change is real.

            Maybe her salary and benefits?

          • Consensus climatology is become a subjectivist narrative decorated with mathematics.

            It belongs among other cultural studies departments. And its departmental name should be Climatism Studies.

  3. The limits of thought,from our progressive comrades.
    Identify institutions that provide a public good.
    Infiltrate and take it over.
    Kill it.
    Wear skin as cover for your idiocy.
    Most all of these “National Academies” are ruins,let them burn,salt the earth they stood on.
    Pay your respects to those who created the institutes and walk away.

    For they are beyond salvage.

    “Members of the committee…”

  4. I love governments and big corporations. They are self legalising protection rackets who steal your money, and use it to buy the loyalty of anyone on a position of power. And then return you 10% in public services you neither want nor need, and expect you to be grateful and vote for them.

    And, I’ll be blessed, people do!

  5. Re: point #3, Faith and Belief are essential elements of religion. At best models attempt to predict future events from known data and understood principles, and do not constitute experimentation and documentation. Proof requires all of experimentation, observation, documentation, repeatability and mathematics, none of which are provided by prognostication.

  6. “3. …ONLY CORRECT ASSUMPTIONS LEAD TO CORRECT ANSWERS”

    I tend to disagree with this. False assumptions could still lead to at least one correct answer. Happens all the time.

    • And who knows which assumptions are correct? If it was known they were correct- they wouldn’t be assumptions. And, extremely complex problems usually have multiple potential answers- each with trade offs.

  7. Who cares what the president of NAS says? The media narrative departed from the science, even the NAS “science” ages ago.

    A candidate for President of the United States just held a press conference and said we only have 9 years left to save the planet.

    Call that out. Call it out at every opportunity. The draconian measures required to “stave the planet” would make the darkest hours of Covid-19 look like a pleasant day at the park.

    • Can’t help but comment on your typo.
      Did you mean “save” the planet?
      Maybe you meant “starve” the planet. The latter may be more appropriate!

    • I think he said scientists say we have only nine years to save the planet. Where did he get that idea from?

  8. Their first statement doesn’t make sense, “the complexity….requires”
    Complexity doesn’t require anything.
    The capitalisation of their statements makes them more difficult to read.
    In summary, while I applaud their intentions, their execution is poor and unlikely to sway opinions among those whose opinions they wish to change.

  9. The NAS position paper comment ““Scientists have known for some time, from multiple lines of evidence, that humans are changing Earth’s climate, primarily through greenhouse gas emissions. The evidence on the impacts of climate change is also clear and growing. The atmosphere and the Earth’s oceans are warming, the magnitude and frequency of certain extreme events are increasing, and sea level is rising along our coasts.” Is lifted straight out of IPCC dogma, so they aren’t capable of articulating their beliefs themselves?

  10. Having politicised her role as president of the National Association of Science against scientific integrity, and clearly advocating against the associations constitution, I hope we will soon see Ms. McNutt resigning her position of president of this long established and previously unbiased representative body of the scientific community.

  11. What is the Chinese government going to do about climate change?

    Well, if one asked what the country that emits the most CO2 is going to do about climate change, they probably going to say, “go pound sand”.
    But if they were wiser, they might say, we are actually building nuclear reactors {lots of them} and nuclear reactors have been the only proven way to reduce CO2 levels.

    Why not follow the Chinese lead and built nuclear reactors?

    I think the problem with these scientists is they are unaware of what is happening in world.

    • Nothing at all , indeed that is all the IPCC ask it to do which is why they signed up in the first place, and it gets to judge itself if it has even done that .

    • China exports wind turbines and solar cells to the West, but, strangely enough, seems not to employ them herself.

      • There are ugly looking, are waste of time to install, and don’t provide electrical power when you need it. Plus China has bad weather.
        I think presently lot of China is under water.

    • Gbaikie, the Chinese are building coal-fired power stations – another 1,760 of them through to 2030. By the time this program has been completed, the ADDITIONAL coal-fired power capacity in China will be greater than the TOTAL capacity of coal-fired power stations in the whole of Europe.

      • –Gbaikie, the Chinese are building coal-fired power stations – another 1,760 of them through to 2030. By the time this program has been completed, the ADDITIONAL coal-fired power capacity in China will be greater than the TOTAL capacity of coal-fired power stations in the whole of Europe.–
        You make seem that China doesn’t already have more “capacity of coal-fired power stations in the whole of Europe”
        China is the world leader in CO2 emission, twice US emission, and US was called to world leader in CO2. One reason US was world leader in CO2 emission was because used use the most coal. US has huge amounts of coal and no plan to use. Europe has already used up most it’s coal decades ago- why France has so much nuclear energy- why focused on Nuclear power in ’70s.
        Anyhow China emit twice much CO2 due to manic focus on making coal powerplants, and run out coal starting in 2030 AD. Any increase in capacity would make them run out sooner. But China has some of most efficent coal plants in the world, also the most inefficient, if replace the inefficient coal powerplant, then will get most energy from the remaining coal they have, plus could have less air pollution. Though reducing air pollution does cost some energy- so might just focus on getting more energy from the coal they got left.
        Btw, there is no way China can import enough coal. Just physically impossible, plus it would bankrupt China. Or currently China pays more for coal then US, about 3 times more. And costs a lot to transport Coal. So US has enough coal to provide to China for more 100 years, but only US export coal to China is due to high they get for it. Russia also has endless amount of coal but again it’s a transportation cost issue.
        And US rail costs are about 1/2 of China rail costs {though could say it’s mostly due to corruption and bad management rather a strictly technological issue]. Anyhow China would want energy independent, so coal use will be declining in China pretty soon if not already the case. It seems China is focused on fracking, but having some problems with that.

  12. One of the very worst aspects of ‘climate doom’ is the manner in which those who should act as gatekeepers to ‘bad science’ have instead acted as enablers to bad science .
    And its the backlash that will be the bigger problem, for if they are seen by the people to be willing to lie about this, they can fairly ask want else are they willing to lie about .

    It will be a true irony that this most ‘settled ‘ of sciences ends up bringing all the other ones down

  13. What happens to the somewhat inarguable observation that ocean levels have been changing at a small and steady rate since long before mankind could have affected it via CO2?
    Is it not clear intellectual fraud to pretend a contrary harm? Geoff S

  14. “The reality of climate change is sinking in, with millions now feeling its effects—from rising sea levels and disappearing coastlines to more frequent extreme weather such as droughts, floods, and wildfires.”

    Aren’t the first two the same thing?

  15. Good guys and girls with impressive, solid resumes, get caught up in this. Cover of recent American Scientist–“A path to change–How can climate data be turned into widespread action?” This violated the Sigma Xi (who publishes this) constitution restricting political activity as in influencing legislation. They sent free subscriptions to schools in states with pending legislation on vaccines, evolution, and climate change. Lots of “scientific” societies struggling with this, power corrupts.

  16. Understand that climate change is an absolutely massive funding pool that is nearly limitless in the recent past and going forward.

    This is particularly important because the funding pie is only so large. I’ve long argued that a lot of work has lost funding over the last 25 years because so much has been redirected to studying climate impacts.

    When I was working on my graduate degrees there was no climate change department. We had a single agro-meteorologist on campus and a smattering of geographers working on mostly weather related phenomena. Now there are entire buildings and faculties dedicated to it. Government funds crisis and careers depend on the climate crisis as it is perceived to be. I find it difficult to believe they’ll give that up easily.

    You want money for research grants? Choose the hot topic of the day, or include climate change. Though a few “may, could, might, possibly” in there and you’re gold. You don’t have to believe it, but you have to contribute to it.

    It ‘should’ go back to how it worked when researchers were given a base level of funding to carry out work in their field of interest that didn’t have to meet the flavor of the day. But sometime in the late 80s or so it became all about grant chasing and publish or perish. Can’t do basic work without money, can’t publish without work, so now you chase. Bad model. But politicians are unable to comprehend and defend basic scientific work. Tragic.

  17. Humans have what can be said to be the original sin, which causes them to do evil.
    One can disagree and one could argue that rather than having original sin, the problem is instead, that people are racist. But that isn’t argument, it’s roughly speaking, agreeing with idea that humans have original sin.
    Or more precisely it’s giving an example of one aspect of original sin which align with way a person views things in the world.
    But if a fundamental problem is original sin and/or racism and/or the problem is with top 1% and/or systematic racism and/or world is doomed, one thing leading from such views, is you should not want a totalitarian state. Which of course gives the topic of Lefties.
    The lefties have whining about “top 1% ” and more lately about white supremacy and systematic racism. And as usual are unable to say anything vaguely intelligent or provide some workable direction.
    Now one workable way looking at problem, is a lot people stuck in situation that is economically limited. Or people at one time got good jobs, and afford good housing and education for children. And this largely effects urban area which have high crime rates. One could go back and forth on this, but I point out that was not too long ago, that wasn’t as much of problem as is today- people could get good jobs and afford good housing and education for children.
    Again one can back forth on this. And say for instance that having wars was caused the problem. Sure, but one also say the global pandemic, is probably likewise more similar and immediate cause.
    Anyhow I think people stuck in economic situation, which does not provide a way out of it, can view it as systematic racism. One also view as due to “top 1% “. And also view as white supremacy or white privilege. But I would say it also fits with idea of original sin or quite simply: it’s always been the case with all people and in all time of human history.
    But what you call it, is not particularly useful, whereas people “stuck in economic situation” is far more useful.
    And we look at the entire world and see people stuck “in economic situation”.
    Which brings me to my point, the global warming religion is making the situation worse for people “stuck in economic situation”.

    One could say US did well, and emitted a lot of CO2, and the global warming religion is saying the world has to reduce their CO2 emissions.
    Now this decadical crusade other than it’s foolish plans, has been mostly about helping the “top 1% ” and not a system which helping people “stuck in economic situation”. Has costs trillions of dollars. Has increased CO2 emissions. And one call it a core aspect of white supremacy and/or white privilege.
    It’s terrorize children. It’s distracted children from getting education.
    And far as I tell, no one even understands this stupid global warming religion.
    And it’s advocates are mainly interested in bring about totalitarian global government- which will run by the “top 1% “.
    Or the science is settled, let make system to control CO2.
    Now I am not going to argue that we don’t already have this totalitarian global government. It even possible that we reached “the peak” of totalitarian global government. But the direction it’s going is not doing anything about people “stuck in economic situation”- in fact having more people “stuck in economic situation” is the plan. And they seem very keen on reducing global population and the billions of people “stuck in economic situation” are going be the population “reduced”- is any doubt about this?

  18. On page 6 of the Physical Sciences Basics, volume one of the IPCC AR5 document, 2013, there is a graph showing the increase in global temperature since 1850. It shows a total increase of 0.8 degC, 0.3 degC to 1950 and 0.5 degC to 1950 to 2012.

    On page 17, the report states: “It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together”. No mention of any human forcings contributing to warming prior to 1950, which is sensible since our emissions of CO2, etc in the nineteenth century were miniscule.

    In other words, the IPCC states that humankind is responsible for a minimum of 0.25 degC warming in the last 160 years. By no standard can this be described as a climate emergency. We must always come back to this. The various models of the future are one thing but the measurements are the real science.

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