I’ve lived aboard space ship Earth for over six decades now. From the time I was very young, probably six years old, I’ve been fascinated with science. Not one particular discipline, but, pretty much all of them. Astronomy was my first love. Chemistry, second and physics my third. The latter culminated in my career in RF communications, radio systems, the design and implementation of many things, including one of the largest communications systems ever, the VHF/HF portion of the White House Communications Agency’s ground network spanning the East Coast of the USA. (Note: even that system is now outdated and probably moved on to new technologies now.)
Over my decades of life, I took every science class in elementary and High School I could, and found, once I went to college that I was not interested in “getting a degree” so much as I was interested in “knowledge and learning”. So, instead of concentrating on either a degree or particular discipline, other than electronics and digital theory, I took to taking – or rather “wangling” myself into various writing and science courses.
What this means is that I don’t have a “degree” like most people would have. I didn’t complete some particular subset of educational theory to give me a tiny slice of the pie of knowledge. I didn’t concentrate on one piece, thus becoming an “expert” in that chosen field.
Instead, I’ve concentrated on gathering and learning information in the sciences and have participated in many of them “as an amateur”; that is, not being paid necessarily, to do the things I did. I’ve been involved in everything from Astronomy to Psychology to Meteorology, and may other sciences. My “degree” of study originally was a bachelor of science in, of all things, business. That degree fanned out into nothing but sciences, and thus I never “received” my degree. By doing this, I found that all sciences are interconnected, and each has an effect on another. While you might say “meteorology does not affect stellar physics” you might be partially correct, but stellar physics does affect Earth bound weather, and climate.
What I did receive in my (still on going) education was a vast amount of study in many, many different sciences. I went to college on and off for over thirty years and to this day, I still pick up textbooks and read them cover to cover. Hey, if Abe Lincoln can become a lawyer without formal training, then anyone can learn a discipline, including any of the sciences.
Am I an “expert” in anything? Yes, electronic theory, radio frequency theory, and the technical aspects of electronics engineering (and have taught this material in colleges as well). I was certified in the State of Colorado as Teacher, based not on my “degree” but my “knowledge and experience”. I have a technical degree diploma in digital theory s a result.
I used to sit at lunch with several “colleagues” at the Missile Defense Agency, who had “Masters” and “Phd” after their names, discussing things like physics, mathematics and the like, and not only keeping up with them and their conversations, but contributing to them. One asked me what my phd discipline was one day, not knowing I was the electronics security systems engineer. I chuckled when he asked, and told him I was just an engineer. He was visibly shocked. He said he though I must have held a degree in physics based on my knowledge of the subject.
I no longer teach these days and am retired on a Sailboat. I was, once, as a young man also a contributor to solar studies. I was doing daily sunspot counts with my telescope and presenting the data to a large University for sun spot numbers. I was a data collector. Much of the data I collected went into records for the official sun spot counts.
I was sixteen at the time.
The point here is not really to tout my credentials, but rather to show that knowledge can be gained by anyone, anywhere, if they put their minds to it. Study is study. Knowledge is knowledge. You don’t have to have a degree from a higher learning institution just to “show you’re smart”. A degree gets you into places because society has placed those who “pay their dues” on a pedestal, rather than know their subjects.
For instance, I probably can’t get a job doing scientific studies of the weather, but I probably COULD get a paying job at a local TV station doing the weather on the six o’clock news. (Side note: I don’t WANT a job doing these things.) I’ve been a storm spotter for the National Weather Service, and a storm chaser, chasing with several famous figures in the past twenty years so I know about the weather. Being a Sailor on a sail boat forces one to have even more intimate knowledge of the weather than even chasing tornadoes!
Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing, some might say. I say, knowledge is power. Knowledge gives you the ability to seek out more knowledge, how to study things outside your discipline. The ability to learn gives the ability to reason, and reasoning gives you the ability to come to logical, scientific conclusions, whether it is about Politics, or Sciences.
Reasoning is the ability to discriminate between facts, fiction, opinion, truth and lies. Reasoning, and the ability to have rational thought processes allows a person to discern from objective evidence (note the phrase “objective”) whether something is reasonable to be true or false.
If you are attempting to understand something more clearly, for instance, let’s take “Climate Change” as an example, you might read all you can on the subject, taking in the information as-is. You read the footnotes. You check articles. You read a book or ten on the subject. You take “for granted” the material is presented by someone with special knowledge on the subject, and most of us tend toward “benefit of doubt”.
The material presented, we assume is accurate, unbiased and forthright.
But, Global Warming – later called “Climate Change” has some problems. For example, there’s the “Climategate” hoax, the attempts at changing data (which has been shown in emails that were made public) to make things appear more drastic than they are.
There are multiple graphs and charts produced by NASA and NOAA that have been modified, even changed, and data dropped off those charts. This makes “Climate Change” suspect.
Places where sensors are set up are in urban areas, where it’s obviously hotter than out on the plains of Kansas or mountains of Colorado, and an urban area will obviously and consistently show higher temperature norms, than something distant from the massive concrete, asphalt and steel structures built by people.
When data becomes suspect, so too, does the final “answer”, in this case, regarding “Climate Change”.
Logic and reasoning, especially ‘deductive reasoning’ comes into play here.
We may deduce that because someone “modified” data, they were attempting to modify thinking.
We may deduce that because someone changed graphs they were attempting to high an important piece of information.
We may deduce, correctly, that placing temperature sensors deep in the heart of a thriving metropolis would necessarily skew temperature readings, and thus the data be factually inaccurate.
As a society, we’ve become dependent upon computers, “Google” and search engines giving us information at the touch of a button, or by clicking on a link. But, that data isn’t always accurate. Nor, sometimes is it meant to be. In reality, there are two, and sometimes more than two, sides to every thing.
But, in the “Science of it All” there are facts, and there are inconsistencies that don’t fit with facts. Throughout my six decades, one thing has been consistent when it comes to science: Scientific DoomSayers are almost always wrong.
Scientists can and do come to a consensus on things, but, it takes time, and a lot of independent studies by many people, many papers, many discoveries for this to happen. It’s not “set by policy” as “Climate Change” has been done. Simply setting a political policy to give monies to one type of study does not, in itself, create consensus. Well, it does, because “money”. Who wants to give up their piece of the pie when it is lucrative?
Speaking of pieces of the pie, and “consensus”, we should point out that the folks pushing this “Climate Change” thing are so dead set on it, they’ve started campaigns to “get the word out” and tell the masses “the debate is over”.
This is, in effect, non-scientists who are pushing this agenda on the public and claiming peer-reviewed papers are “in consensus”, giving high marks to the papers in the “study”.
Why would anyone want to push such an agenda? Look at the bottom of the second graphic above, and read after “SJI Associates”. Now, look at the next graphic and draw your own conclusions.
SJI is a design firm. They design advertising. They create material to entice you to BUY something. Very interesting concept, isn’t it? Who would have thought you’d have to hire an advertising firm to convince the public into buying science?
In part two, we will touch on why we should not be simply accepting the main stream media, or “scientists” views without study. In part three we will discuss “scientific consensus” and the mythology of the “97% Consensus on Climate Change“.