Global Warming is Conjecture, Consensus and Anything but Science

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 20th, 2011

Week in Review

What’s that sneaking up behind you?  Could it be global warming?  Probably not.  But a whole lot of scientists with a vested interest are saying it is (see Weather disasters to increase report warns, climate change signal slow to emerge for some extremes by Jason Samenow posted 11/18/2011 on The Washington Post).

A report from 220 of the world’s leading climate scientists cautions climate change may bring “unprecendented extreme weather and climate events” in the coming decades.

The report by the United Nations Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change makes clear that warm weather extremes and heavy precipitation events have increased, most likely as a result of manmade climate change. And it projects with a high degree of confidence increasing hot weather and heavy downpours in the future…

But the “Special Report on Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation” (SREX) is somewhat guarded about the links between manmade climate change and hurricanes, floods, droughts and weather disaster losses. And some of its findings are more conservative and characterized by greater uncertainty than the major volume released by the IPCC in 2007, known as the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4).

What other science reports their findings using words like ‘may’ and ‘likely’ and a ‘high degree of confidence’?  I’ll tell you what kind.  Bad science.  Good science knows that if you raise the temperature of water to 212 degrees Fahrenheit at standard atmospheric pressure it will boil into a gas.  And there’s no ‘may’, ‘likely’ or a ‘high degree of confidence’ necessary in the report documenting this.

Science is not consensus.  That said, there isn’t even a consensus in the scientific community studying climate.  One says it’s definitely man-made global warming.  While another is saying there may not even be a link between man and rising temperatures.

The equivocal nature of some of the report’s scientific findings demonstrates the difficulty in drawing conclusions from a patchwork network of weather observations. It also illustrates the challenges in identifying a human fingerprint in data that is inherently noisy due to the highly variable nature of climate and weather, not to mention the challenges in modeling its future behavior.

The report is clear that when it assigns “low confidence” in observed changes, it doesn’t mean the extreme hasn’t changed or won’t change in the future. It simply conveys lack of data and/or knowledge. For some extremes, it seems to be the case that more we learn, the more we recognize we don’t know.

Climate is complex.  It’s far more complex than predicting tomorrow’s weather.  And we all know how often the weather people get tomorrow’s weather wrong.  And if it’s the case that as we learn more the more we recognize we don’t know, then it’s a safe bet that the global warming alarmists are wrong.  They were, after all, wrong about the coming ice age back in the Seventies.

Perhaps it’s time we ask them how do they know what they’re telling us.  I think you’ll be surprised by what you hear.  For it’s all a lot of guess work with some elaborate man-made computer models.  Not hard science spent in a laboratory.  Or study of empirical data going back a few ice ages or so.  It’s just conjecture.  And consensus. Which is anything but science.


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