Skip to comments.Climate skepticism is just bad science: "There is no cohesive, consistent alternative theory.."
Posted on 12/06/2015 1:40:40 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
Climate skepticism is just bad science: "There is no cohesive, consistent alternative theory to human-caused global warming"
At some point in the history of all scientific theories, only a minority of scientists-or even just one-supported them, before evidence accumulated to the point of general acceptance. The Copernican model, germ theory, the vaccination principle, evolutionary theory, plate tectonics and the big bang theory were all once heretical ideas that became consensus science. How did this happen?
An answer may be found in what 19th-century philosopher of science William Whewell called a 'consilience of inductions." For a theory to be accepted, Whewell argued, it must be based on more than one induction-or a single generalization drawn from specific facts. It must have multiple inductions that converge on one another, independently but in conjunction. "Accordingly the cases in which inductions from classes of facts altogether different have thus jumped together," he wrote in his 1840 book The Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences, "belong only to the best established theories which the history of science contains." Call it a "convergence of evidence."
Consensus science is a phrase often heard today in conjunction with anthropogenic global warming (AGW). Is there a consensus on AGW? There is. The tens of thousands of scientists who belong to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Chemical Society, the American Geophysical Union, the American Medical Association, the American Meteorological Society, the American Physical Society, the Geological Society of America, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and, most notably, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change all concur that AGW is in fact real. Why?
It is not because of the sheer number of scientists. After all, science is not conducted by poll. As Albert Einstein said in response to a 1931 book skeptical of relativity theory entitled 100 Authors against Einstein, "Why 100? If I were wrong, one would have been enough." The answer is that there is a convergence of evidence from multiple lines of inquiry-pollen, tree rings, ice cores, corals, glacial and polar ice-cap melt, sea-level rise, ecological shifts, carbon dioxide increases, the unprecedented rate of temperature increase-that all converge to a singular conclusion. AGW doubters point to the occasional anomaly in a particular data set, as if one incongruity gainsays all the other lines of evidence. But that is not how consilience science works. For AGW skeptics to overturn the consensus, they would need to find flaws with all the lines of supportive evidence and show a consistent convergence of evidence toward a different theory that explains the data. (Creationists have the same problem overturning evolutionary theory.) This they have not done.
A 2013 study published in Environmental Research Letters by Australian researchers John Cook, Dana Nuccitelli and their colleagues examined 11,944 climate paper abstracts published from 1991 to 2011. Of those papers that stated a position on AGW, about 97 percent concluded that climate change is real and caused by humans. What about the remaining 3 percent or so of studies? What if they're right? In a 2015 paper published in Theoretical and Applied Climatology, Rasmus Benestad of the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Nuccitelli and their colleagues examined the 3 percent and found "a number of methodological flaws and a pattern of common mistakes." That is, instead of the 3 percent of papers converging to a better explanation than that provided by the 97 percent, they failed to converge to anything.
"There is no cohesive, consistent alternative theory to human-caused global warming," Nuccitelli concluded in an August 25, 2015, commentary in the Guardian. "Some blame global warming on the sun, others on orbital cycles of other planets, others on ocean cycles, and so on. There is a 97% expert consensus on a cohesive theory that's overwhelmingly supported by the scientific evidence, but the 2-3% of papers that reject that consensus are all over the map, even contradicting each other. The one thing they seem to have in common is methodological flaws like cherry picking, curve fitting, ignoring inconvenient data, and disregarding known physics." For example, one skeptical paper attributed climate change to lunar or solar cycles, but to make these models work for the 4,000-year period that the authors considered, they had to throw out 6,000 years' worth of earlier data.
Such practices are deceptive and fail to further climate science when exposed by skeptical scrutiny, an integral element to the scientific process.
Chris Mooney [author of "The Republican War on Science"] in Mother Jones: There's No Such Thing As the Liberal War on Science
In general, I'm no fan of intellectual whack-a-mole. Nevertheless, there's one bad idea that circulates and recirculates with such frequency that once in a while, you just have to dust off your mallet.
I'm talking about the idea that when it comes to misusing or abusing science, both sides do it-a pox on both their houses-and the left is really just as bad as the right.
This idea is currently being championed by the generally clear thinking (but also ideologically libertarian) Michael Shermer, who wrote in Scientific American recently about the "Liberal War on Science." I just appeared in an hour-long discussion of this subject on the Canadian public affairs program The Agenda With Steve Paikin, which also featured Shermer and Mark Lynas, the British environmentalist and author who recently gained great attention for his resounding defense of genetically modified foods:
Shermer begins his article by conceding that conservatives have a bad scientific track record, noting their global warming denial and evolution denial in particular. The latter, he writes, springs from the "erroneous belief that the theory of evolution leads to a breakdown of morality." But then he goes on to argue that since some Democrats also doubt these scientific verities-or more particularly, a recent Gallup poll found that 41 percent of Democrats are Young Earth Creationists, and 19 percent doubt the Earth is warming-science denial is a problem on the left too.
Yes, but considerably fewer Democrats than Republicans get the science wrong on these issues, as the very polls that Shermer cites demonstrate. Nobody ever said Democrats were perfect on science. But Republicans today are majority creationist (58 percent, according to Gallup) and majority climate denier.
And polls alone don't tell enough of the story. Evolution denial and climate denial on the right are much more politically problematic-because conservatives, not liberals, are going around trying to force these wrongheaded views on children in schools. Oh, and by the way: By denying global warming, they also jeopardize the planet and the well-being of humanity. In my view, not all wrong beliefs are equally harmful-rather, wrong beliefs are harmful in proportion to their bad consequences.."
So because there isn’t, as they claim, a sufficient alternate theory, their poorly sculpted and botched theory has to be right by default? That’s not scientific.
There is no consistent alternative theory to the Easter Bunny either.
Indeed. They haven’t proven their theory (except by data manipulation, lies and intimidate through a plethora of means). There doesn’t have to be an ‘alternate’ explanation for the zealotry they are perpetrating.
Correlation does not equal causation. If the start of a rise in mean global temperature occurs simultaneously with increased emissions of CO2 from industrialization, it does not mean that the latter caused the former.
The burden of proof is on the supporters of AGW to demonstrate the validity of their model, not on the skeptics to prove them wrong.
in the current debate on climate, the AGW hypothesis is unfalsifiable -- if the mean global temperature rises, it's AGW; if it cools, it's AGW. Any observation can be accommodated to AGW. A model that can be expanded to explain everything explains nothing.
CO2 levels in the geological past have exceeded several thousand parts per million, long before humans even existed. So clearly, a natural mechanism for an increase in CO2 content must exist.
The most dire predictions of AGW come not from any observation, but from extrapolation of computer models. Chaotic behavior makes reliance on such models questionable.
In contrast to the claims of this article, there are multiple alternatives to AGW for climate change, including variations in solar radiation, the role of cosmic rays in nucleating cloud formation and global cloud cover, wobbles in the Earth's obliquity over geological time, volcanic pulses that inject massive amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere and other geological effects, such as meteorite impact. None of these factors are accounted for in climate modeling because we cannot estimate the magnitude of their influence.
Finally, there is the social aspect of all this. Science in this country is largely funded by the federal government, with grants and contracts being distributed on the basis of peer review. Go against your peers at your peril; it is simply much easier and politically savvy to find errors and faults with the grant proposals of the naysayers and skeptics than it is with those of members of the "consensus." Money makes the world go around.
In my lifetime, I have never seen such a poorly justified, scientifically barren, morally corrupt episode as the current campaign of climate change panic, screeching and idiocy. It's a real psychological case study. Future generations will laugh at our credulity.
The author admits - hurrah! - that consensus is irrelevant in science, but proceeds to invoke it anyway. The only proper emotional reaction on the part of the reader is pity. "It may be crap, but it's the best we have" is not an argument for veracity.
There is no earth-based survey more accurate than an orbital survey. True science prefers imperical testing and tries its best to avoid hit-or-miss, such as thermometers peppered all over the place and not always in the proper kind of shade for accurate results.
The criticism is that their data is wrong. It is ridiculous to demand an alternative theory to a theory built on incorrect data.
Good Lord! How do you disprove something that’s made up on falsified evidence? Every time you disprove it, they falsify the evidence to show you’re “wrong”.
Just building on your thoughts and trying to view earth dynamically rather than as a test tube the way warmers do.
More CO2 also helps plants grow more quickly. For example, plants grow better where bodies deteriorate. So the added plant life seperates the carbon from the oxygen.
Then there’s the other point — heat causes more evaporation of sea water. Evaporation = clouds. Clouds block sun rays and cool the air. Rain causes more plants to grow. More plants can improve moisture in the region.
Then there is the earth’s crust itself. Heat strains the fault lines. Fault lines crack open volcanoes. Volcanic ash not only blocks sunlight leading to global cooling, but also it helps increase vegetation [although there are temporary areas of devestation].
There are stabalizing factors.
it consistently comes out that they outright change data to fit their conclusions and nobody on the left ever says. “Gee thats a problem.” How can i take them seriously if they refuse to have a serious look at the data? Just maybe the whole issue needs to be looked at with a fresh eye from a fresh prospective but that might entail vested interests losing their subsidies so we’re attacked as no nothing’s.
Is the earth still flat?
Stopped reading right there. That’s the same POS publication that blamed “right wing politics” for the terror attack in San Bernardino.
“41 percent of Democrats are Young Earth Creationists [and most non-democrats]...”
I would be sad to hear that, but I assume that people who believe in Intelligent Design are being lumped together with the ‘Six Day Wonder’ guys.
To all ‘Six Day Wonders’, the sun was created on the Third Day. The ‘days’ of Genisis were not 24 hour solar cycles. The ‘days’ of Genisis are flawed interpretations of ancient oral traditions.
My gawd—that is the best rebuttal I’ve ever read.
A very odd thing happened last weekend. The death was announced of the man who, in the past 40 years, has arguably been more influential on global politics than any other single individual. Yet the world scarcely noticed.
Had it not been for this man, we would not last week have seen 150 heads of government joining 40,000 delegates in Paris for that mammoth climate conference: the 21st such get-together since, in 1992, he masterminded the Rio "Earth Summit", the largest political gathering in history. Yet few people even know his name.
Some years back, when I was researching for a book called The Real Global Warming Disaster, charting how the late-20th-century panic over climate change came about, few things surprised me more than to discover the absolutely central role played in the whole story by a Canadian socialist multimillionaire, Maurice Strong.........."
Greenpeace was founded in Vancouver, Canada in 1971.
July 28, 2015: A co-founder of Greenpeace tells the truth on CO2
Dr. Patrick Moore, who was one of the original founders of Greenpeace who left the organization in disgust of their current political zealotry, and Greenpeace is now trying to have him erased from history for daring to do that. He has now produced this interesting video in conjunction with with Prager University that is sure to put some people into conniption fits.
Global Warming activists will tell you that CO2 is bad and dangerous. The EPA has even classified it as a pollutant. But is it? Patrick Moore provides some surprising facts about the benefits of CO2 that you won't hear in the current debate.................."
Dec. 5, 2015 - James Delingpole in Breitbart Big Government: Greenpeace Co-Founder Patrick Moore: Skeptics Are The New 'Thin Green Line'
"....The COP series of conferences (staged once a year in a variety of exotic locations) are a giant bubble inside which only true believers are allowed. That's why people like me don't get press passes. (The official reason given was that, due to the increased security following the Paris terror attacks they'd had to reduce their press quota.) The UN doesn't want cheeky little boys pointing out that the climate Emperor is wearing no clothes. All it wants is more tax, more regulation, more wealth redistribution and more global governance of the kind envisaged by the (recently deceased) Canadian Marxist and one world government enthusiast Maurice Strong when he launched the first major climate summit (and Agenda 21) in Rio in 1992....."
Not many greenies get this. But one who does is a man who has about as much environmental credibility as anyone alive: Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore.
...Greenpeace hates it when you mention Moore because he has since gone to what it considers the dark side. But you only have to look at this glorious gallery of pictures of Moore in his green radical youth. He was the real deal - sitting astride baby fur seals in an (unsuccessful) bid to stop them being clubbed to death, fearlessly steering his rubber inflatable boat into the path of Russian whaling shifts, narrowly missing being blown up when French intelligence agents sank the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior in Auckland harbour, New Zealand..........."
“..with those of members of the “consensus.” Money makes the world go around.”
My 18-year old daughter was just telling about a “discussion” she had in High School with a Bernie Sanders type.
“So you want to talk “facts”? So how come the satellite data for the last 12 years shows no global warming? But 95% of the “experts” say that there is!? - The satellites can’t be bought off!!!”
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