Congratulations President Trump on having the interest in and courage to ask that the American people be given the benefits of a fact based and unbiased examination of the topic of climate change. Your Presidential Committee on Climate Security (PCCS) holds the first promise of an open, and fact-based examination of the much talked about, but not scientifically quantified buzz-word “man-made, dangerous climate change.” Journalists, the media, and many of the scientific community usually drop the qualifier “man-made,” and treat it as a new and alarming phenomenon.
No student of history or of the scientific record denies that the climate changes. It is an indisputable attribute of the phenomenon known as climate that it has and will forever be changing on some time scale at all places on earth. No one knows why the last ice-age began or ended around 10,000 years ago. No one knows why the medieval warm period (950AD-1250AD) began, nor ended and was followed by the little ice age (1300AD-1850AD) …fossil fuels were not in any significant use.
As a graduate engineer and physician, I am attuned to classical scientific inquiry in attempting to explain physical phenomena. Open inquiry with multiple possible theoretical explanations is essential to determining the valid one, resulting from a process of hypothesis, testing of that hypothesis, and final formation of a theory. That theory is only so good until another one can be formulated with greater predictive accuracy.
The American people are rightly concerned about being good stewards of the environment. They deserve to be reassured that in their daily lives and activities that warnings issued concerning impacts on the climate are based on the scientific method, and not the result of biased motivations based on monetary, reputation enhancement, or misplaced good intentions
It is of concern that this expected scientific methodology and due process has been largely ignored by those promoting the fear of catastrophic climate change. I recall that Vice President Al Gore would not take questions from his audience when challenged on his claims. The earth did not exhibit a fever as he claimed. Beginning in 1979, satellite data became available and they show cycles of temperature change, with a long period of temperature stability. When verifiable satellite temperature did not show the proclaimed fever, global warming was rebranded with the amorphous term “climate change,” and somehow natural earth rhythms became an aberration. Polar bears have continued to thrive, droughts have come and gone, and pacific islands have not sunk beneath a rising ocean. I recall no publicized series of debates on the merits of a quantifiable change in global climate attributable to human activity. No one has defined the ideal earth climate.
Fast forward to the present. The idea that catastrophic, man-made climate change is factual has become an unassailable point in the media and academia. There has been no open proof of this…yet to question it brings ridicule and threats, but never any validated scientific proof. There is reference to a vague collection of scientists at the 97% level, but never any explanation of who they are or how that oft repeated number actually came about. Climate change disasters have become the stuff of urban legends, always imminent but never documented, always off in the future. The human remedy to change the climate has never been proved. Faulty climate models and computers portray a runaway climate, but those predictions have not matched the real-world record, which is mostly benign and without ominous trend.
As a physician, I can give another analogy. Another respected physician refers a patient to me with a serious diagnosis. I prescribe a plan of treatment based on that diagnosis. The patient does not respond and gets worse. Concerned, I refer the patient to another physician and provide the same diagnosis. He looks at my record and tries another therapy for that diagnosis. He sends the patient to another expert in the field, who treats the patient. The patient dies. What went wrong? None of the physicians questioned the original diagnosis, there was a consensus of thought and an appeal to authority which no one dared to question. They all treated the patient for the wrong disease.
This is the current status of climate dogma in America. Climate policy is being set in the media on the free-thought ramblings of a former cocktail waitress, and school children reciting the agenda of their handlers. Our British friends might label these as tweets by twits.
America needs your PCCS and Dr. Happer is the qualified adult in the room to head it up.
Charles G. Battig, MD