Re: Best. Comment. Ever
"Science never says 'this is the way it is', it says 'this is the way the observable facts and current knowledge suggests it is' "
And that's the nub of the issue. Scientists put forward theories based on observations. Politicians, Greens, Hippies, Corporates, Oil Executives et al take the theories that suit their particular belief/prejudice/money making scheme and pronounce them to be incontrovertible fact.
'There is an observed correlation between increased ocean temperatures and reduction in ice shelf extent' becomes 'Climate Change is melting the Ice Caps! We're all going to die! Science says so!'
While 'Unexpected (and as yet unexplained) thickening of the ice coverage was observed over a study period of two years' becomes 'Scientists have proved the planet is getting colder. The ice is thickening'
Even more apposite at the moment is how 'CO2 is a well known greenhouse gas, and there is little doubt that atmospheric CO2 has increased since the Industrial Revolution, therefore it is a valid area of research to examine the possibility of an anthropogenic influence on climate change' becomes 'I have a method for burying globally irrelevant quantities of CO2 underground, and now the government will give me millions in taxpayer money under the impression that I am saving the planet. Hoorah!'
The message from science is that we don't really know the extent of AGW/MMCC, we don't really know if it exists, we don't have a sufficient history of observation to make black & white pronouncements on the subject, but our observations have led us to construct mechanisms A, B & C which fit the current observational data. Maybe one of them is the correct mechanism, maybe more than one, maybe none. After another 10/20/100 years of data we may need to overturn our mechanisms, or we may not, but for now, we have a small number of working hypotheses.
Unfortunately, people want simple, black/white, easy to implement ideas. And politicians are people who also want 'something that will get us reelected'
For everything, we seem to need two things: A validation of our own beliefs, plus a simple solution to an increasingly complex situation.
So as the world goes down the crapper (or possibly not), our preferred solution is to line up on opposite sides of the room and call each other names.