Day by Day Cartoon by Chris Muir

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Climate change

Just saw Bill Nye and some female Congresscritter on "Meet the Press - my wife had the idiot box on. The subject was "climate change".

The words "consensus" and "debate" were used.

I know others have said this, probably better than I will - but -

1. There is no debate in science. Things are either fact or false, proven or theory.
2. There is no consensus in science. You can either prove your theory or you can't.

Both of these concepts are political. "Consensus" comes from a majority agreeing upon some issue. Right or wrong, the majority opinion controls. This is the basis of "democracy", and the big reason that democracy is such a dangerous thing.

"Debate" is a means to come to "consensus".

"Climate change" is a given, in that we have very compelling evidence from written histories and from evidence collected by scientists that the climate of Earth has changed in the past, and is changing now. No reputable scientist will argue otherwise, since the evidence is out there for all to see.

Human involvement in "climate change" is another matter altogether. There is no compelling evidence that anything Man has done in the past or is likely to do in the future can have an effect on the Earth's climate.

What does exist is a collection of theories and computer models. Each taken separately will show that there is reason to think that certain gases can cause a planet's atmosphere to retain more of the heat the planet receives from its' star, or that if you make certain assumptions and run them through a computer model, you can show certain outcomes.

If you take the theory that some percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere will cause global temperatures to rise, and couple that with a computer model designed to show what happens when CO2 concentrations rise, you will get results that show that the Earth's climate will warm with increasing CO2. This is the expected result.

If you take real temperature and CO2 concentration measurements over a significantly long period, you can start to form patterns and correlations between the two variables.

"Correlation does not imply causation" is a truism. Before you can state that increased CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere directly cause the planet to warm, you have to perform experiments designed to prove this theory. Since it is impossible to perform experiments on the Earth, we do simulations. No reputable scientist will do a simulation and announce he has "proven" his theory. He publishes his results and methods - including the intimate details of how his simulation works - and lets other scientists examine his work. When the results are matched to real data over a long enough time, and successfully predict actual present data given historic data, the simulation is deemed to be a good one.

In the "climate change" community, computer models are kept secret, data is not shared, data is altered and massaged, and people make statements of proven fact based on the results of those simulations. "Scientists" conspire to "hide the decline" and prevent peer review of the subject because "the debate is settled".

These people are not scientists, if they ever were. They are people promoting a cause for whatever reason - "protecting the environment", creating a "new world order", or simply gaining more power and wealth for themselves and their friends.

I'm tired of typing now - have to go out in the cold and buy some milk produced by a significant source of the greenhouse gas methane.

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