The original post indicates he didn't go in uninformed. A classic negotiation tactic is to let the other side go first. Asking a salesman to show you something is a good opening move for an expensive purchase even if you know exactly why you are there and what you want to buy. When the salesperson went immediately to the product of the day, that gave away that they were acting in bad faith.
No, you do not need a control to draw conclusions.
What control do we use for the conclusion we have about gravity?
Please, be ignorant somewhere else. It's not that hard to do gravity experiments with controls. For example, a good example is the Cavendish experiment. Here, there are two heavy movable weights which pull via gravity on two smaller weights. You can move the heavy weights around so that they pull on the small weights in the opposite direction or remove them altogether, giving you a control.
Further, we can observe dynamics of regions of low density space and see how those are far less dominated by local gravity that the surface of Earth is. This is another study of gravity that gives you a control.
OTOH, the ozone hole is in tiger-repelling rock territory. We don't know how often or under what circumstances ozone holes have formed over the past few million years. Is it a regular thing or is it very unusual? Your assurances aren't worth the effort of making them. We need actual evidence instead.
And warming, while accurate, doesn't really define what the real problem is. Warming isn't the problem. It's what happens as a result of the warming that's problem. The additional energy into the climate system shifts the climate, which we, as a civilization, depend on. Also, warming gives the impression that every place on Earth is going to get warmer, which is not the case.
In other words, because the innumerate can't quite grasp what "global warming" and its implications mean, we're going to use a far less accurate term for propaganda purposes. "Global warming" as a label does not given the impression you claim it gives. I think a huge part of the problem is this ridiculous doublethink and cognitive dissonance.
Especially the cognitive dissonance that goes into claiming as you do that we have very accurate models of how the Earth's climate is changing - via global warming - yet still claim that we're ignorant enough of the situation that we have to use an all-encompassing label "climate change" that means by definition any sort of climate change possible.
Since then, the science has only improved. We've gone from basic physics models to complex integrated global climate models. And they all show the same thing.
Namely, that we've still haven't been able to improve a bit on the original estimates of Arrhenius about the temperature forcing effect of a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Despite a century of work on the most important parameter of so-called "climate change" now has the same error estimate as Arrhenius's original estimate.
Any State Party to the Treaty may give notice of its withdrawal from the Treaty one year after its entry into force by written notification to the Depositary Governments. Such withdrawal shall take effect one year from the date of receipt of this notification.
Just written notice and one year later you are free of the entanglements of the treaty and it's just as written into stone as the rest of the treaty. That's why having Congress pass laws like this is interesting. It provides an easily attainable alternate framework to the original treaty.
Hint, the NSF might have programs that have to do with national security (or the national security apparatus has a vested interest in). So they dictate everyone gets a thorough check.
If this particular branch of the NSF is involved in actual national security, or even just merely near it, then there's something very wrong. Like a teacher assuring you his classroom will be safe because he wears a condom.
You cannot simply remove a Theory form its field and apply it within another.
Sometimes that statement turns out to be wrong. And when it does, you occasionally get some amazing stuff.
For a physics example, group theory turns out to have several remarkable applications. One can derive the elementary subatomic particles from it, for example, or determine the vibration modes of gases of molecules with symmetries.
Or geometry applied to dynamical systems helps study the existence and properties of chaotic behavior. For example, local divergence of solutions to a differential equation can be determined by the curvature of the solution space (it happens when the curvature is negative, meaning the space has a sort of "saddle" shape) and a bounded set of locally divergent solutions in a finite dimensional space exhibits chaotic behavior (well to my knowledge, I may be ignorant of important exceptions).
One of the powers of math is that when you have a mathematical theory or model, if the premises of the thing apply, then so do its consequences and conclusions - even if you are completely ignorant of the theory and the association with whatever system you're dealing with.
Some fields are particularly amenable to transplant into other areas. Information theory is one of these fields that transplants to a wide range of fields, though perhaps not easily. The reason is that a lot of scientific analysis boils down to extrapolating from a heavily transformed dependent observation the actual phenomena we wish to observe. Information theory provides a variety of tools for trying to find underlying phenomena for derived observations (such as interpreting what a seismograph network is observing deep underground from altered vibrations that originated with known small earthquakes throughout the world).
And it's clear that removing the human element has done nothing to reduce the cost of programs like JWST. On the contrary, it's blown the cost out by over 300%.
300% of what? You're making the unwarranted assumption that the telescope would have cost less. I don't see that happening. I think it would have cost about the same amount either way. That's because that's how much money was available to be snagged.