In the article Canadian astronaut, Dr. Bob Thirsk is quoted as the authoritative source. Bob is two months into a planned six month stay on the International Space Station. This is his second trip into space. His first was as payload specialist aboard space shuttle mission STS-78 in June and July of 1996. Wow, I would not want to detract from Bob's obvious experience but I wondered how qualified Bob was to speak out on matters revolving around the environment of the Earth. Was he some sort of climate scientist or even a scientist at all?
A little research yielded that Bob had received a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Calgary, a Master of Science in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a Doctorate of Medicine from McGill University and a Master of Business Administration from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Bob was in the family medicine residency program at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Montréal when he was selected to join Canada's space program. Now I ask you, how is a medical doctor with degrees in mechanical engineering and business administration qualified to speak out on matters of the environment?
Reading the article to find its basis yielded this juicy quote from Dr. Thirsk, "This is probably just a perception, but I just have the feeling that the glaciers are melting, the snow capping the mountains is less than it was 12 years ago when I saw it last time". (Emphasis is entirely mine).
So that is what serves as the impetus for a doom and gloom article title like, "Earth bears scars of human destruction"? Beyond that, one questions the validity of the whole premise. Environmentalists have been telling for years now about how "Global Warming" was going to destroy the planet. We've been told that the science is solid and that the consensus has been struck. The dies are cast and we are all going to hell in a hand basket woven of carbon dioxide gases humans have released into the atmosphere.
The problem is, science isn't done by consensus. All due respect to Bob, but science isn't done by mere perceptions or feelings either. The scientific method has been established for damned long time. It is how science is done! There are four basic steps:
- 1.) Observe the phenomenon in question.
- 2.) Form a hypothesis that describes the mechanism behind the observations.
- 3.) Using your hypothesis as the basis, form a prediction.
- 4.) Perform tests designed to disprove your prediction and thereby your hypothesis.