Why Climate Change Isn't Science
Environmentalists first predicted impending climate disaster in the 1970s, but they didn’t call it global warming. Back then, it was “Global Cooling” that would end life on earth as we knew it. The smog of industrial pollutants was blocking out sunlight so severely, we were warned, that our planet would enter a new ice age unless we acted quickly. Magazine covers featured pictures of snowball earth.
In the eighties, we cleaned up our air, the threatened the ice age did not occur, and thousands of people with time on their hands and seeking purpose in life had discovered that they could make a career out of disaster prophecy. Thus, it was time for a new catastrophe: “Global Warming” Well, maybe not so new. Same villain: us and our machines. Same victim: our delicate planet earth. Same threat: the end of life as we know it. Only the predicted temperature had changed.
Global warming appealed to the press’s appetite for calamity and became an instant hit. The headlines wrote themselves: The poles will melt! The oceans will rise! Lakes and rivers will dry up! Farmlands will become deserts! Millions will starve to death! This was big. Government would have to join the fight.
In the nineties, environmentalists switched their emphasis to “Climate Change” This was a marketing move. Global warming could credibly be blamed for warming, but climate change could be blamed for anything. If hurricanes increase one year, that’s evidence of climate change. If they decrease the next year, well, that’s climate change too. Droughts are caused by climate change, but so are exceptional rains. Warmer winters prove climate change, but so do colder winters. (Claiming that frigid temperatures are caused by global warming would sound ridiculous.) “Climate Change” was disaster gold. It couldn’t be disproved.
Which is exactly why it’s not science. It’s pseudo-science, according to the great philosopher of science, Karl Popper, who pointed out that for any theory to be considered scientific, it must be falsifiable. There must be something within the theory itself that can be disproved.
This may be technically true, but what was far more important was that “Climate Change” had already been proven -- by three decades of data, by the computer models of climate experts, and by the overwhelming consensus of scientists.
But those “proofs” aren’t science either. Looking backward, climate change the phenomenon has been a constant feature of our planet. Real climate science tells us that temperatures have been much colder and much hotter in the past. (Canada once had a tropical climate.). For the past ten thousand years, we’ve been living in an interglacial period. These pleasant periods have tended to last for ten to fifteen thousand years, so real climate science predicts that we can enjoy about five thousand more years of temperate weather until the next ice age hits.
The theory of “Climate Change” is entirely different. To claim that it has been proven is to entirely misunderstand how science works. No scientific theory is ever proven. Theories that appear to accurately describe how nature works -- like Darwin’s theory of evolution or Einstein’s relativity -- are assigned the provisional status of not yet disproven, with the understanding that the discovery of a single contrary fact could throw a wrench into the works.
Strictly speaking, “Climate Change” theory isn’t really a scientific theory at all. It doesn’t take into relevant account factors which arguably have a far stronger effect upon climate than CO2, like the sun, ocean currents, and the greatest greenhouse gas of them all, water vapor.
What “Climate Change” is, is a bunch of doomsday predictions. Now, predictions are the critical part of the scientific method. They are what enable a theory to be proven or disproven. If they prove false, they’re also the best way to refute a theory.
Climate change alarmists have made lots of predictions. Perhaps too many, because not one of their predictions whose expiration date has passed has proven correct. Here’s a sampling, courtesy of Anthony Watts at wattsupwiththat.com:
- 1988, Dr. James Hansen. Asked by author Rob Reiss how the greenhouse effect was likely to affect the neighborhood below Hansen’s office in NYC in the next 20 years, Hansen replied: “The West Side Highway [which runs along the Hudson River] will be under water. And there will be tape across the windows across the street because of high winds. And the same birds won’t be there. The trees in the median strip will change…There will be more police cars…[since] you know what happens to crime when the heat goes up.”
- Sept 19, 1989, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “New York will probably be like Florida 15 years from now.”
- 1990, Michael Oppenheimer, The Environmental Defense Fund: “By 1996, the Platte River of Nebraska would be dry, while a continent-wide black blizzard of prairie topsoil will stop traffic on interstates, strip paint from houses and shut down computers… The Mexican police will round up illegal American migrants surging into Mexico seeking work as field hands.”
- October 15, 1990, Carl Sagan: “The planet could face an ecological and agricultural catastrophe by the next decade if global warming trends continue.”
- 1990, Actress Meryl Streep: “By the year 2000 – that’s less than ten years away -- earth’s climate will be warmer than it’s been in over 100,000 years. If we don’t do something, there’ll be enormous calamities in a very short time.”
- July 26, 1999, The Birmingham Post: “Scientists are warning that some of the Himalayan glaciers could vanish within ten years because of global warming. A build-up of greenhouse gases is blamed for the meltdown, which could lead to drought and flooding in the region affecting millions of people.”
- April 1, 2000, Der Spiegel: “Good bye winter. Never again snow?”
- March 29, 2001, CNN: “In ten years’ time, most of the low-lying atolls surrounding Tuvalu’s nine islands in the South Pacific Ocean will be submerged under water as global warming rises sea levels.”
- Oct 20, 2009, Gordon Brown, UK Prime Minister (referring to the Copenhagen climate conference): “World leaders have 50 days to save the Earth from irreversible global warming.”
To suggest that the scientific validity of “Climate Change” is debatable is to speak charitably. But there’s never been a debate, not for want of trying. Many skeptics have called for debates. In particular, Christopher Walter Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, a hereditary peer, journalist, political advisor, inventor, and a skeptic well-versed in the details of climate science, has repeatedly challenged Al Gore to debate. That Al Gore has never replied to these requests is difficult to reconcile with his comments on the CBS "Early Show" (May 31, 2006):
“…the debate among the scientists is over. There is no more debate. We face a planetary emergency. There is no more scientific debate among serious people who’ve looked at the science… Well, I guess in some quarters, there’s still a debate over whether the moon landing was staged in a movie lot in Arizona, or whether the Earth is flat instead of round.”
These are not the words of a person who understands science. They are the tactics of a person who realizes he doesn’t have a scientific leg to stand on.
There must be another nonscientific reason for the “Climate Change” agenda. That reason may involve the billions of dollars that proponents have demanded for solving this “problem.”
“Climate Change” is a scam.