Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Climate Change, and the Fate of a Skeptic

Article: Though Scorned by Colleagues, a Climate-Change Skeptic Is Unbowed

John Christy, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
Every time I [Dr. Christy] hear that phrase, ‘The science is settled,’ I say I can easily demonstrate that that is false, because this is the climate — right here. The science is not settled.”
Dr. Christy was pointing to a chart comparing seven computer projections of global atmospheric temperatures based on measurements taken by satellites and weather balloons. The projections traced a sharp upward slope; the actual measurements, however, ticked up only slightly. [emphasis added]

But in speeches, congressional testimony and peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals, he argues that predictions of future warming have been greatly overstated and that humans have weathered warmer stretches without perishing.

Dr. Christy argues that reining in carbon emissions is both futile and unnecessary, and that money is better spent adapting to what he says will be moderately higher temperatures. Among other initiatives, he said, the authorities could limit development in coastal and hurricane-prone areas, expand flood plains, make manufactured housing more resistant to tornadoes and high winds, and make farms in arid regions less dependent on imported water — or move production to rainier places.
This is the true skeptic's position:
1) The science is not settled.
2) The available data does not match the predictions.
3) Use the government to make sensible adjustment to existing laws to prevent or reduce the size of natural disasters.
4) Use our wealth to ameliorate problems caused, rather than destroy our wealth by trying to stop our 21st century, fossil fuel-driven, technology-using civilization. And destroying our civilization is the only way we can reduce carbon dioxide emissions and reduce carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, short of switching to nuclear power.

And ALL scientists should be skeptics, by definition.
Dr. Christy’s willingness to publicize his views, often strongly, has also hurt his standing among scientists who tend to be suspicious of those with high profiles.
This is complete nonsense. Michael Mann and James Hansen are global celebrities inside the climate change community precisely because they have high profiles who strongly publicize their views.
If the models are imprecise, they [Dr. Christy's colleagues] argue, the science behind them is compelling...
This is not in quotes. No one person is given credit for it. It may be a paraphrase, though it would be a poor one.

The models are not "imprecise." They are wrong. That is what the charts, mentioned above, show.

How can "the science be compelling" if the models are wrong? The models are part of the science. They are the experiment. If they are wrong, falsified, so then is the "science."

It is as if a roller coaster collapses, killing dozens, and someone says, "The engineering behind the roller coaster is compelling." Nonsense. The engineering just killed dozens.
Quote #1: And while his work has been widely published, he has often been vilified by his peers.

Quote #2: “He’s not even a third-rate scientist.” [Actually, he "was a lead author — in essence, an editor — of a section of the 2001 report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the definitive assessment of the state of global warming."]

Quote #3: Dr. Christy has been dismissed in environmental circles as a pawn of the fossil-fuel industry who distorts science to fit his own ideology. (“I don’t take money from industries,” he said.)
These are examples of the ad hominem logical fallacy: attack the person, rather than the person's arguments. It is what one does when one knows that one has the weaker argument. And remember, the people being quoted are the global warming experts. These are ones who should have the best arguments.

Lawyer's Rule:
When the law is against you, argue the facts.
When the facts are against you, argue the law.
When both are against you, call the other lawyer names. [or lie, or yell like hell, or argue the constitution, etc.]

No comments:

Post a Comment