Can Scientists Really Predict a Global Climate Catastrophe?

Just as Al Gore did not invent the Internet, he did not invent global warming theory. Scientists invented it, and they continue to fuel the mass hysteria they created by making predictions about climate change and its dire consequences for our planet. But have any of their followers stopped to consider how scientists are able to predict a global catastrophe in the distant future without being able to make accurate short-term predictions?

For the last two years, scientists were predicting high hurricane activity in the United States. Yet, according to David Demming, writing in the Washington Times last year, "...neither the intensity nor the frequency of hurricanes has increased." The article points out that "the 2007 season was the third-quietest since 1966," and that "in 2006 not a single hurricane made landfall in the U.S."

Seasonal predictions are also challenging for scientists, which might help explain why we have been consulting a groundhog for so long. I live in Buffalo, and when scientists try to forecast our summer or winter weather, they are rarely accurate. Although scientists have sophisticated maps and models and cutting-edge technology, my own predictions based on intuition and conjecture would probably be just as accurate - if not more so.

Even the next day's weather forecasts are a formidable task for scientists. This past winter, on several occasions, they predicted one to two feet of snow in our area, and we barely got a white coating. Last summer, when my wife and I were trying to grow our new lawn, forecasters predicted rain every day for a week, but it hardly rained at all. 

Of course, weather predictions are not always wrong. Sometimes scientists are right on target with their predictions, but often they are not, and sometimes they are way off the mark. The point is that their weather predictions should be significantly more accurate before trying to predict the destiny of the planet 50, 100 or 1000 years from now. Otherwise, it would be analogous to a student struggling with arithmetic but mastering calculus. It just doesn't happen.  

It's not just scientists' predictions that cast doubt on their ability to predict a global catastrophe; it's also the predictions they don't make. They didn't predict, for example, Buffalo's surprise snow storm in October 2006, which destroyed many trees, knocked out power in Buffalo for several days, and sent the whole city scrambling to find alternative sources of heat. An early warning from scientists would have enabled us to prepare for the storm.

Nor did scientists predict that most parts of the world would be colder rather than warmer in 2007, but that is what happened. In fact, many places experienced record low temperatures and more people died from cold than warmth, according to "Year of Global Cooling." Even some Mediterranean countries like Greece and Israel that normally have mild winters were hit hard by snowstorms.

These events, which seem to conflict with both scientists' predictions and global warming theory, are often explained by global warming itself. Thus, one explanation for the cold weather worldwide is that global warming is creating strange weather patterns. Does this mean that, since global warming is supposed to happen, any event that is not consistent with global warming is strange? Also, why didn't scientists predict that global warming would -- or even could -- manifest as global cooling? In the minds of global warming enthusiasts, all events, whether they were expected or not, are proof of global warming since global warming is a foregone conclusion.

The reason scientists struggle with predictions and should be careful about making too many of them is that the world is incomprehensibly fluid and complex. The earth has always gone through warming and cooling phases. On April 28, 1975, a Newsweek article by Peter Gwynne titled, "A Cooling World," warned about the dangers posed by the earth's cooling. A few years after that article appeared, temperatures rose again, bringing us back to pre-cooling levels.

Scientists, of course, know all of this. So why do they continue to instill fear and guilt in their followers through gloomy prophecies? Perhaps they don't want to take any chances, and feel it is their duty to prevent a global catastrophe. But how can they help us save the planet when they can't even help the poor farmer in the Midwest by warning him of the upcoming drought, or the newlyweds whose honeymoon plans have been shattered due to an unexpected storm, or the retired couple who spent their life savings on a dream vacation only to have it ruined by rain?

Although scientists are intelligent and serve an important function in our society, they are not soothsayers. Their inability to predict short-term events with a high degree of accuracy suggests their knowledge about the planet and universe is still quite limited.

So can scientists really predict a global climate catastrophe? I doubt it. 
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