Let science speak without bias

Objective, rigorous science 
stands on its own merits

I think the Manitoba Co-operator is an advocate for the theory that observed warming over the past century is dangerous climate change caused by greenhouse gas emissions partially resulting from agricultural use of fossil fuels and cattle ranching.

I’m skeptical about the theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) but I nevertheless faithfully read what the Co-operator prints on the subject in hope of seeing evidence of causal linkage between damaging weather events and greenhouse gas emissions. Three articles in the Jan. 21 edition caught my attention because together they point to reasons for skepticism.

Cam Dahl’s “What does ‘science based’ mean?” poses an excellent question whether one is considering pest management regulations or greenhouse emissions control standards. Readers will have heard it claimed that the science is conclusively settled regarding global warming.

It’s not settled and for good reasons. Daniel Bezte’s piece titled “Record warmth top weather story of 2015” provides one. Bezte, writing about the University of Alabama’s satellite measurements that usually show lower temperatures than surface measurements, comments that “What is interesting, or rather important about the University of Alabama in Huntsville, is that none of the funding for its work comes from oil, coal or industrial companies or from any private or special interest groups.”

So the source of funding determines the scientific results? Does this standard apply to funding from governments and organizations committed to killing our fossil fuel-based economy?

Research funding is overwhelmingly directed at supporting the theory of dangerous AGW while studies funded from other sources are routinely rejected and their author’s credibility attacked. This approach cannot in any meaningful sense lead to a “science-based” outcome.

The scientific method is about disproving conventional wisdom, not confirming it. Objectively, rigorous science stands on its own merits. But a world caught up in the theory of AGW is not objective.

Nevertheless, inconvenient facts emerge as in Lorraine Stevenson’s article “Agro-climate data is a ‘mismatch’ with overall trends.” Soil scientists at the University of Manitoba found facts that conflict with climate change forecasts. The headline calls them a mismatch. Perhaps it is the forecasts flowing from the “settled science” of climate change that are a mismatch with reality insofar as being meaningful to farmers.

Brian Ransom is a former MLA and Manitoba finance minister. He also served as chairman of the Manitoba Hydro-Electric Board. He lives near Woodlands.

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