I want to respond to Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson’s video titled “Neil deGrasse Tyson explains the real problem with climate change deniers” so here goes. The problem according to Tyson is that “deniers” do not understand science. “They can not sort out what is true and what is not true,” says Tyson.
If you watch late night TV or mainstream TV news you probably know Tyson. He and Bill Nye “the science guy” are their favorites when the media want someone to talk about “deniers” and global warming. Tyson is reasonably informed about the theory of man-made global warming while Nye is an embarrassment. See Nye’s debate with Marc Morano of Climate Depot.
Back to Tyson. Climate Depot has assembled a list of 700 or so prominent scientists that are skeptics. Most of them have as much or more understanding of climate science than does Tyson. Is Tyson overwhelmingly arrogant or living in a cocoon? I suspect the answer to that is probably both. With regard to the cocoon, he probably never looks at any of these Skeptics work or their reasons for being skeptical.
I want to look at this topic—who believes in science and who doesn’t—- from a seldom-discussed approach. The Oregon Petition**** which I and more than 30,000 other US engineers, scientist, physicians, etc., signed says in part:
|“There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”|
Now here is what I think refutes Tyson’s allegation. I am going to make this a bit personal, but my story is repeated over and over and every day by people like me.
Early on in my employment I had to design, install and operate additions to existing chemical processing systems. These additions had to provide a benefit to the process and they had to do it safely and economically. Over the years I dealt with processes that had pressures up to 12,000 psig and others with temperatures up to 1,200°C. Contained in these processes were hydrogen, CO, natural gas, benzene, sulfuric acid, dimethyl sulfate, hydrogen cyanide, just to mention a few of the hazardous materials. Some systems were so corrosive that the entire piping system were Teflon lined. As years went by, my role became more management of design than engineer-designer but it did not lessen my responsibility to assure that the new processing plants were beneficial, safe and economic. I have an engineering degree and am a registered professional engineer. So I am not as degreed as Tyson is. But I will bet you that he and the most of the computer modelers, and the like, that are the body of the warmers have never had responsibility for peoples lives and the community’s environment. People like me, engineers, scientists, Doctors, etc that signed the Oregon Petition have that kind of responsibility every day. We are the people in the trenches. The chemical industry has made one scientific advance after another. But we have to do it based on a full understanding of the science we employ.
Tyson thinks we don’t know science? He is wrong. We had to know science and if we did not, it would be evident almost immediately. The science that Tyson and others like him use to make predictions about things going to happen 50, 100 years from now, is unproven. This has been evidenced in that it has been used for their shorter termed “science predictions” which have largely failed. I am surely glad they have not been responsible for the design of chemical plants handling hazardous materials.
When we look at the “science” being produced by the warmers we do not see the kind of closure that gives us confidence that they have got it right. We would not do our work based on such flimsy evidence. (Tyson calls us deniers; perhaps we should reciprocate and call him a “hoaxer”)
Let me punctuate our lack of trust in warmer science quoting Steve Milloy owner of Junkscience.com:
“The only part of climate “science” that might be related to science are the temperature predictions made by models. Those have not fared so well and so the models need to be refined. The rest of climate “science” is mostly unverifiable hypotheses based on the predictions of the models that don’t work. We understand how science works. Tyson willfully misleads.”
***** You will find sites that attempt to debunk the Oregon Petition by saying that the Spice Girls are signers. I suppose that trolls did get some fictitious people on the list. When I made a cursory look at the list some years ago, I found many names that are engineers and scientists that I knew and trusted. The attempts to discredit the list are failures.