Sunday, June 24, 2007

There is no global 'temperature'

Three important and timely articles in today's Financial Post section of the National Post. The first explains why talk about "average temperature" on a global scale has no physical meaning. There is no scientific meaning to the term. That it has become the standard metric in discussions about climate change is indicative of how much those discussions are politically motivated and informed and not about science at all.

Why is this significant? Well the second article addresses that point. Increasingly, environmental issues are packaged in alarmist language which purports to use science and numbers to substantiate its claims: chief amongst the junk science purveyors is Canada's David Suzuki, who's foundation again weighed in this week with another scare story on pesticides that completely distorts the data. Simply put, there is no reason to fear the use of lawn pesticides.

And, lastly, the effect of distorted, junk science and its mis-guided attack on pesticides is shown in the final article discussing the extended implications of the failure to use DDT to suppress malaria in Africa.

There are real world consequences to ideological environmentalism, the mis-use of science and the appeal to populist authority of self-appointed, celebrity guardians of environmental morality. Sadly, the most frequent consequence is loss of human lives (elsewhere), the suppression of economic development (elsewhere) and the continuation of non-sustainable practices (elsewhere).

But the advocated are green and morally sure of themselves. Moreover, they have science on their side -- or at least that's what they tell us. They wouldn't be lying now would they?

Because it has numbers attached to it doesn't make it science. Because its published, doesn't mean its accurate. Because lots of very loud people believe it, doesn't mean its the truth.