Climate change is far from a settled scientific debate, and with increasing political influence finding itself into the discussion, scientists are being pressured to tow the line on the issue. One of the differences between “hard” science and other less definite scientific pursuits is the accuracy with which predictions can be made. A closer look at the situation reveals that climate change “police” routinely reject conflicting papers, harass opposing colleagues and have become a real problem for scientific objectivity.
Recently the Journal of Environmental Research Letters rejected articles which highlighted inconsistencies in climate temperature predictions. The reasons for refusing to publish the dissenting views began with an assertion that the papers did not meet the journal’s requirement and failed to: “significantly advance knowledge of the field”.
Resubmitted as a shorter perspective piece it was again rejected, this time on the basis that it contained errors. Professor Richard Tol from the University of Sussex asserts that the journal is known to make decisions inspired by the political climate. Tol went on to say that they are: “not the scientific journal that they claim to be.”
Regardless of the argument, the reality is that legislation influenced by scientific conjecture, when dealing with global agendas are only as good as the world is willing to make them. China has refused to play ball on the issue, and even with an economy roughly half the size of that in the United States, emits close to twice the CO2 as the U.S. or Europe.
The same climate change police whose voices scream about problems and dangers, say virtually nothing when jobs are outsourced overseas. Each year global emissions increase, elevated largely by growing economies such as China and India. While countries such as this continue to use more pollutant energy sources such as coal, the expansion of manufacturing demands a workforce. The cause and effect of which is migration into cities, which raises the use of electricity and automotive fuel.
To put it bluntly, without China’s and other rapidly growing economic countries involvement, regardless of what scientist think or say, all efforts are futile. The debate and whoever is right are of no consequence as long as the planet’s biggest polluters continue unabated. Any “green” legislation, which always has a dollar sign attached, will be wasting hard earn money on a losing bet.
The situation can be likened to California’s strict emission standards. Californians pay out the nose for their smog checks, emission standards and “go green” initiatives. The problem is that the rest of the country has largely not followed in their footsteps, resulting in very little net gain on emissions reduction countrywide. The world shares the same air, and limiting a pollutant in just a handful of states is the same as a handful of countries; it does not work. Everyone will breathe China’s smog.
For all the back and forth about man-made climate change in the scientific community, implementing effective changes, no matter who is right, can only work if the world cooperates. Attempts to silent dissent by the climate change police might be working in scientific journals and peer review articles, but the real problems are much larger. To make a dent in the arguments supposed problem, the climate control police need to get a much bigger stick when dealing with the likes of China.
Opinion by John Benjamin Wilson