Science and Accountability
By Tom Rhodes 10/24/2012
By now you’ve no doubt read about the convictions and sentencing of the scientists in Italy for failing to predict the 2010 earthquake. These geophysicists are being held accountable and have received up to six years in prison, because they failed to correctly identify the risk of major earthquake associated with the seismic activity prior to the catastrophic earthquake of 2010. Imagine that, the courts actually held scientists accountable for their analysis of scientific data.
Professional engineers are personally accountable for their opinions as those opinions affect others. If a civil engineer designs a bridge and the root cause is determined to be bad design the engineer can and is held accountable. The scientists in Italy where hired and paid large sums of money to analyze and report on the risks associated with seismic activity. They reported the risks of major seismic event to be low and that there was no need for the population in question to move to safety. They were wrong and people died. If scientists are going to give opinions which affect other people’s lives then they should be held accountable.
Any science that cannot make accurate predictions is unreliable and not trustworthy. How can a rational person accept the predictions of any science that cannot be used to get reliable predictable results? Mix one part oxygen gas and two parts hydrogen gas and add a spark of energy, and you will always get water and a huge amount of heat. That’s chemistry and science and repeatable, provable, and predictable. I earn my living as a chemist; huge financial decisions are often based on my opinion of the science. I’m accountable and my job is at stake based on science and my predictions and conclusions.
If a science is unreliable that that scientists cannot reasonably be held responsible for the accuracy of their science-based predictions, then why should that “science” be trusted, and people be expected to act upon or change their behaviors based on that science?
Why aren’t the scientists whose predictions resulted in massive costs for our culture not held accountable for their bad predictions? We have invested and wasted vast fortunes on “global warming” but the predictions of those scientists have been proven to be false. There has been no meaningful global warming for 15 years. There has been evidence of scientists manipulating data and trying to cover up the failure of their dire predictions about global warming. Globally over the past 15 years there have been massive increases in CO2 without the predicted increase in global temperature. Shouldn’t those people and companies who’ve invested vast fortunes because of these scientific predictions be allowed to sue for damages and financial losses caused by acting on what is arguably bad science?
If a science cannot be transformed into some form of engineering, and cannot reliably make predictions based on factual evidence, it cannot and should not be used to drive changes to our entire culture. Science that cannot make solid repeatable predictions is unreliable. If a scientist is not willing to be held accountable for his opinion, than that opinion should be treated no different that of a bookie.
The observable fact is that CO2 increased massively from the 1940’s to the 1970’s and temperatures decreased globally, scientists talked of the coming ice age. The observable fact is that CO2 increased massively from the 1980’s to the end of the century and temperatures increased globally, scientists talked of global warming. In as much as the scientific predictions predicted an increase in global temperature and increases in atmospheric CO2 because of man’s activities being a major cause, while the past 15 years have show a stable global temp, and history has shown both increase and decrease in global temp during significant increases in atmospheric CO2. The science concerning CO2 and global temperatures is proven to be unreliable. Unless scientists are willing to be held accountable to their predictions then those predictions should be treated as unreliable. Why are we as a society willing to completely change the way we get and use energy based on unreliable “science”?
Should demonstrably unreliable science be used as a criteria to limit individual freedom, liberty, and be allowed to dictate how people use their private property?