Just to get this out of the way, apart from this ideologically and politically charged debasement of real science, I am and remain firmly a “believer”* that the earths climate has changed, has been changing, will change, and continue to change with or without our input. Moreover, our climate has gone through some remarkable changes over its existence, all lovingly preserved in one way or another in the fossil record, and through mechanisms that effectively store state of a system. Like ice cores. Or sedimentation and chemical composition of layers. Or geophysical features. We’ve gone from massively glaciated continents, the “Cryogenian” period of something akin to the Ice Planet Hoth to where we are now. And this has happened all, without human interaction … nee without human beings.
So it takes some special sort of hubris to take credit for what has been occuring naturally for billions of years. And again, the geological record is pretty clear on that this has been happening without us. Really, its an appeal to the halcyon days of anthropocentric discourse to believe that we are the ones causing the change around us.
This doesn’t mean we are doing good things by polluting our environment, or dumping waste, or otherwise destroying our habitat. I do believe, rather strongly, that we should be building our systems with efficiency, waste reduction, and quality of life in mind. I am not completely anti-anthropocentric, in that it is my opinion that as one of the apex species on the planet, we have an obligation not to screw it up for our fellow terrestial species. Not so much a stewardship (that would be anthropocentric, and would place us above others), but more of a good neighbor, fellow traveler on this rock.
It also means that I view the catastrophic AGW with a healthy dose of skepticism.
Anything that is considered a theory** in science will make testable predictions. If a single one … not ten, not best of five, but a single prediction fails to be represented in an objective and correct measurement, that theory is busted. Its done for. It is not valid. It should not be used.
You need a single measurement to invalidate a theory.
Conversely, **you can never, ever prove a theory**. Again, see the discussion of theory below. If you make a measurement that appears to support a theory, great. It doesn’t prove that the theory is correct. It just means you’ve measured something consistent with that theory.
That is the background now.
So take a “theory” that has policy implications and start hyping it like mad. Politicians are rarely scientists, and they have to trust that the scientists are working for society as a whole, and not, say, for their own benefit or egos.
Then, as the political class often do, they realize they can benefit from policy changes, that funnel money to them. So they create a “market” and an “exchange” for the “scarce” item, so people can trade it and get benefit from it. All the while collecting their taxes, and operating in a rent-seeking mode relative to real scarce resources, which is what they manipulate in order to enrich themselves.
If that sounds defeatist, it is because, it is. This is the state of affairs. In order to defend this state of affairs, they need occasional validation to continue this mass transfer of wealth. And they get that in the form of a variety of reports from various UN bodies. A set of reports that many scientists are taking great issue with.
So the political class and their fellow travelers set upon these scientists and concerned citizens, attempting to reuse the class warfare … the “us versus them” rhetoric that has worked so fantastically well for their political fellow travelers. “Deniers” is the pejorative used. “The science is settled” is often heard bandied about. It is untrue, no scientist with an ounce of integrity would be caught anywhere near such a statement.
The politicians, given their decisions, will also seek to spend taxpayer monies on their pet faux-science. And as with all things government, not only will it be inefficient and wasteful, but it will eventually devolve into outright fraud.
Yes, this nightmare is really happening.
Ok, this was the setup.
I’ve been concerned for
- as in I am of the opinion that the evidence for this is not simply overwhelming, but coming from multiple overlapping non-correlated techniques which all seem to corroborate each other.
** the vast overwhelming majority of people do not understand the weight of the word “theory”. Many in the legal and political worlds, and indeed in society as a whole, believe “theory” means “far fetched unproven wild ass guess”. A scientist knows a theory means something very different. It means you have a model, that makes predictions that you can test. And if the tests do not invalidate the theory by showing an objective measurement to be different from the predictions, you can start trying to interpret what the theory indicates. There is an unfortunate tendency to refer to theories as “laws”. The “law” of gravity, as postulated by Newton and others. It is immutable. It is universal. It is also, wrong. The law that is. But that is because language is an imprecise and inarticulate mechanism to convey what a theory is, what the theory of gravitation is, and why it is not an immutable law.