December 19, 2008
Climate Crisis = Logic Crisis
Al Gore is right! Sort of. The current debate over climate change is over. At least, it is over in terms of a logical and unbiased inquiry.
The debate over "climate change" is no longer a matter of science. In the past forty years, the proponents of "climate change" have written and rewritten their hypotheses to fit the empirical facts. In logic this is sometimes called "The fallacy of saving the hypothesis." There is no honest discussion when the topic of a debate is constantly controlled, and occasionally altered, by the proponents of one side of the argument. Climate change proponents have been doing this for years.
I distinctly remember the first time I had an argument with someone about "climate change." It was a warm spring day in April of 1975. I was walking across the campus at Harvard headed for lunch. A fellow classmate (we were both juniors) ran up to me. He was really excited. He hollered out:
"Have you heard? The ice age is coming. They've proven it with computer studies at MIT."
"How did they prove that there is an ice age coming with computers?" I asked my friend.
"The planet is getting colder. They have the data. And it is going to keep getting colder. They have these computer models --"
I stopped him right there. I knew enough about computers to understand that they were not up to accurately predicting short-term weather patterns -- let alone an ice age.
"No way. Computers aren't that powerful. "
"But they have the data and they have computers!"
"I know they do. But computers spit out whatever they are programmed to spit out. Load a computer with the data that the world has been getting colder; ask it what the weather will be tomorrow, and what do you think the computer is going to tell you? The world is getting hotter? If it does you'd better get a better computer. You hungry?" I replied and I continued on my way to lunch.
The original "climate change" hypothesis was that the planet was getting colder and that it would continue getting colder. That was a very simple hypothesis and was easily proven or refuted. Planet keeps getting colder = hypothesis correct. Planet gets warmer = hypothesis incorrect.
The world got warmer instead of colder. The "climate change" hypothesis was rewritten. This time the planet was facing a catastrophic meltdown. The world was not only getting warmer -- it was going to keep getting warmer at an ever increasing and life-threatening rate.
I remember this hypothesis too. It was scary. Computers were fed information that the world was now heating up and asked, again, "what will the weather be tomorrow?" This time the computers spit out: "hotter." Good computers.
The computers said it would be even hotter the day after tomorrow. Hotter still next week, and next month. And in a few years? Forget about it.
The hypothesis predicted, and the computers affirmed, an exponential increase in temperatures was being caused by the exponential increase in man made green house gases. Al Gore's famous (and refuted) "hockey stick graph" proved it. In other words, the earth would heat fast, then faster, then faster still. Man made global warming was predicted to be a run away train on a steep downhill incline that had to be stopped and stopped immediately.
That was the hypothesis. It was simple. And it was just as easily proved or refuted as the global cooling hypothesis. World gets steadily and increasingly warmer = hypothesis correct. Planet gets colder = hypothesis incorrect.
But while concentrations of CO2, the culprit behind man made global warming, continued to rise -- the temperature did not. The empirical data refused to cooperate with the hypothesis. In the last few years the earth's temperature has leveled off. It may be dropping.
Oops. Another hypothesis bites the dust. Not to worry. The hypothesis has been rewritten, once again. Now we have a "climate crisis." Long term global warming is causing short term global cooling that will, eventually, result in long term global warming. Really. That is the new hypothesis.
The official reason being given is that the "weather is not the climate." For those readers not skilled in dialectical huckstering, the argument seems to be that the weather can get colder while the climate gets warmer.
Proponents of global warming finally have an irrefutable, because incoherent, theory guaranteed to win any debate. This hypothesis cannot be refuted. If the "weather" cools it proves that the "climate" is getting warmer. If the weather gets warmer then the climate gets warmer. As the barker shouts out at the carnival,
"Winner! Winner! Winner!"
"Winner! Winner! Winner!"
This latest hypothesis is a violation of the most basic of the laws of logic: the principle of non-contradiction. Something cannot be both A and not A. The weather cannot get colder while the climate gets hotter anymore than the earth can be flat while the world is round. This is not science, or logic; this is unabashed nonsense.
Yes. Climate science has come to this: We are now being told, in effect, to ignore the data and believe the hypothesis. I have recently written that global warming is not a science -- it is a religion. I take it back. Global warming, aka climate crisis, is now a crisis of logic. In other words, it is insanity.
Larrey Anderson is a writer, a philosopher, and submissions editor for American Thinker. His latest award-winning novel is The Order of the Beloved. His memoir, Underground: Life and Survival in the Russian Black Market, has just been released.