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.)
- THE COMPLEXITY OF MULTI-FACTOR, MULTI-SCALE SYSTEMS DEMANDS CLOSE CO-OPERATION BETWEEN A WIDE RANGE OF SCIENTIFIC FIELDS AND DISCIPLINES
- SOUND SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH IS OPEN-MINDED AND CHARACTERIZED BY A WIDE VARIETY OF VIEWPOINTS WITHOUT DOGMAS AND PREJUDICES
- FAITH IN SCIENTIFIC MODELS IS FAITH IN THE UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS; ONLY CORRECT ASSUMPTIONS LEAD TO CORRECT ANSWERS
- WITH ENOUGH MODEL PARAMETERS IT IS ALWAYS POSSIBLE TO RECONSTRUCT MEASUREMENTS FROM THE PAST; MODEL VALIDATION REQUIRES A LOT MORE EFFORT
- IMPROVED MEASUREMENT SYSTEMS ARE DECISIVE IN SCIENTIFIC PROGRESS; SOUND SCIENCE REQUIRES A BALANCE IN THEORETICAL AND EMPIRICAL SCIENCE
- THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE SHOWS THAT NEW INSIGHTS DO NOT COME FROM FOLLOWERS BUT FROM DISSENTERS; DOUBTERS AND DISSENTERS MAKE HISTORY IN SCIENCE
- SEPARATION OF SCIENCE AND POLITICS IS A GREAT GOOD; ACADEMIES OF SCIENCES SHOULD PROTECT SCIENTISTS FROM POLITICAL IDEOLOGIES
- ACADEMIES OF SCIENCES HAVE A MORAL RESPONSIBILITY TO WARN SOCIETY OF SENSELESS CONCLUSIONS THAT FOLLOW FROM NAÏVE BELIEF IN IMMATURE SCIENTIFIC MODELS
- THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY SHOULD BE MORE HONEST ABOUT THE LIMITS ON THE POWER OF MANKIND TO SUBDUE NATURAL VARIABILITY
- 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
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