As most of you may know by know, Kevin Trenberth got some sort of rebuttal to Spencer and Braswell 2011 published in the Remote Sensing journal. Anthony and Steve Mac covered it here and here. As did Bishop Hill. Most of the commentary was regarding the turbo speed in which the comment was accepted and published. And, also towards the unashamed gob-smacking hypocrisy of his ramblings.
What I’d like to concentrate on, is his opening sentence. “Numerous attempts have been made to constrain climate sensitivity with observations [1-10] (with  as LC09,  as SB11).”
Whaaaa??? Webster’s New World College Dictionary defines science as ——-
“systematized knowledge derived from observation, study, and experimentation carried on in order to determine the nature or principles of what is being studied”
The American Heritage Dictionary 4 defines science as “The observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of phenomena.”
Trenberth has also stated in an address to the AMS , “the null hypothesis should now be reversed, thereby placing the burden of proof on showing that there is no human influence.”
What, exactly is the null hypothesis? The null hypothesis is the practice of science involves formulating and testing hypotheses, assertions that are capable of being proven false using a test of observed data. The null hypothesis typically corresponds to a general or default position. For example, the null hypothesis might be that there is no relationship between two measured phenomena or that a potential treatment has no effect.
In other words, when one comes up with a hypothesis, the default position is the hypothesis isn’t true until proven and it must have the ability to be proven false. If I stated, for instance, there are little green aliens in your room. The default position is that there are not little green aliens until I prove it. But, if I stated there are little green aliens in your room, but you can never detect them, it wouldn’t even rise to the level of a hypothesis. Again, we see the use of the root word observe.
So, how do we consider these statements? We see that science is entirely dependent upon observation by definition. Without observation, there is no science. We also see the accepted practices of modern science is still entirely dependent upon observation. Yet, here we see a man bemoaning the fact that some scientists are attempting to constrain climatology by observation. More, this man is rejecting accepted modern science practices.
Kevin Trenberth is a widely recognized figure in the climatology world. He’s published, and honored. You can read a brief biography here. This is a man with great knowledge, insights, and abilities. Kevin Trenberth, by the use of his own words and deeds, is not a scientist. And this, is the travesty of Trenberth.