Do you take climate science with a grain of salt?


If you say ‘yes’ to the title of this post, it’s a good thing. ‘Science is not something you should believe in. You should be skeptic about everything.’, an advice offered to me once. Science is based on facts – there is no question of belief in science. Science helps you find the truth. It is logic and not blind faith. It’s not about consensus either. Stuff that you don’t understand seems magical for a reason. The reason is our lack of understanding and it astounds us. Want to see some magic? See the video below.

When Copernicus said that the sun was at the center of our solar system instead of the earth, when Galileo supported him, imagine what would have happened if everyone had believed the consensus. We probably wouldn’t have advanced in astronomy as much as we do now. This fell on my ears when I listened to Real Time with Bill Maher as Bill questioned the speaker Bret Stephens (a columnist) why he won’t believe the scientists who know climate science. But as Rheinhard says, the heliocentric solar model won because it had evidence to back it up, and the same goes with climate change.

So far the evidence that I’ve seen, which is available for anyone with internet to view – the chart where the CO2 has been rising like it never has before, and that greenhouse gas effect is real, I think CO2 reduction is tough but necessary. It would be scary to think that so many scientists might have twisted scientific facts. Some say it is the solar spots and why not, sun has major influence on our climate. It doesn’t have to be just a single contributing factor. Climate science has evolved (see figure below) and is being supported by newer techniques such as NASA’s operation IceBridge. We are learning more and more about our atmosphere, land and water. The more we know, the better our climate models get. The better our climate models are, the better prepared we are with the help of the predictions that these climate models fetch.

Our oceans are carbon dioxide sinks. We do understand the chemistry that takes place in this case but we barely know the ocean in entirety. (There are waterfalls and lakes at the bottom of the sea! There’s an ocean at the core of the Earth! AAAAAAAA!) It’s only been three decades since we started studying what constitutes 70% of our Earth’s surface. May be the ocean will take care of this all, may be it won’t.

Some may argue that the money that goes into climate science may better address immediate issues of concern – like poverty and diseases. (I do not find the source of this statement at this moment.) Won’t preparedness for climate disasters help not only the rich but also the poor? Doesn’t science help alleviate poverty in the long run? Can’t we allocate enough money for both – poverty, medicinal science and all kinds of scientific studies there can be? Speaking of funding towards science, the picture isn’t too good for space science either:

“As a fraction of your tax dollar today, what is the total cost of all spaceborne telescopes, planetary probes, the rovers on Mars, the International Space Station, the space shuttle, telescopes yet to orbit, and missions yet to fly?’ Answer: one-half of one percent of each tax dollar. Half a penny. I’d prefer it were more: perhaps two cents on the dollar. Even during the storied Apollo era, peak NASA spending amounted to little more than four cents on the tax dollar.” From Space Chronicles, p. 25.

Take climate science with a grain of salt? Do you take any other subject of science with a grain of salt? I do because that propels me into understanding it better rather than believing it on face value.

“The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.” Neil deGrasse Tyson

He nailed it!