Is Climate Change 'Science'?
“Trust science, not the scientists.” That is the essence of science. That should be widely shared. Unfortunately, climate change advocates have completed the twisting of science (although this was well underway). Science was created to eliminate opinions and the role of prestigious experts.
We are watching the rapid collapse of COVID-19 experts, like a house on a Malibu cliff after a heavy rain. Will the unsustainable hoax of climate change be far behind? The establishment system exalts experts if they advance statist goals. But the public rejects royalty.
First, science has decayed into “Imagineering.” Thought experiments are not science. (Imagining things can lead to proposed hypotheses. But a hypothesis must still be tested by hard-core experimentation.) Many argue desperately for speculation as being science when science was designed to avoid speculation.
What matters most is what we do not know. The surprise factor between what we expected and what actually happens in real-world experiments is where discovery lives. We don’t know what influences are happening that we did not know about. That is why Imagineering is not science.
Second, so we have to run actual empirical experiments. To determine whether carbon dioxide (CO2) causes the Earth to be warmer would require experiments “with all other things being equal.”
To qualify as science, we would need to contrast Earth A with no human industrial activity against Earth B with human industrial activity. All other things would have to remain the same, identically. Then we would have to repeat that experiment. So we would need Earth C, D, E, F, G, etc.
This cannot be done. The correct response is for grown-ups to say “We don’t know.” But there is too much to gain in publicity and fame. So we corrupt science to reach conclusions that cannot be scientifically confirmed.
There has never been an empirical experiment to test whether CO2 causes a planet to be warmer. Have we tested Venus or Mars by removing some of the CO2 from those planets? No. Then we don’t know what role CO2 plays. You can strongly believe it. But that’s faith, not science.
Third, because it is impossible to test Earth A versus Earth B, climate change proponents are trying to use another “proxy” by comparing current time periods against the past. This is an attempt to fake up an experiment, substituting for Earth A versus Earth B. Today is Earth A. The past is Earth B.
But we cannot “hold all other factors constant” across different time periods on Earth. There are too many influences known and unknown changing over time. We know that the Earth’s orbit changes shape under the influence of other planets in long-period oscillations called Milankovitch Cycles. So “Today’s Earth” vs. “Yesterday’s Earth” cannot replace an empirical experiment because we cannot control for other influences.
Fourth, the behavior of CO2 in a container in a laboratory cannot be projected to the open atmosphere. Climate change activists say that scientists prove in the laboratory that CO2 “traps” heat.
But the question is how does the planetary atmosphere of a gigantic planet behave? We don’t care what CO2 does in a box in a lab. We care how the massively complex global climate responds.
Fifth, the reason why is because the atmosphere is in constant motion. All climate change theory is intrinsically grounded on the assumption that air cannot move. CO2, they argue, is like a “blanket.” But it is not. Air is not nailed to the Earth’s surface. Therefore, we cannot take observations from an enclosed container and conclude anything about the open atmosphere, which is freely and constantly in motion.
The assertions of climate change are impossible to test. The Earth is too big. The atmosphere is too complex. There are too many forces at work, known and unknown. Science presumes that what cannot be confirmed is treated as false (for now). We cannot pretend we know things we don’t know.
Sixth, what do we know? We know that hot air rises. We know that the atmosphere circulates vertically through “convection.” We know that convection is central to weather. We know that heat at the Earth’s surface is transported up to high altitudes by convection. We know that the very purpose of weather and convection is to transport heat from the surface to the edge of space. We know that the heat is radiated into outer space.
Seventh, CO2 does not trap heat. A CO2 molecule absorbs energy at frequencies determined by its electrons. In one of the weirdest mysteries in physics, the absorption of electromagnetic radiation is converted into kinetic energy. Increased vibration is experienced as heat (and pressure).
Then the CO2 molecule re-emits the energy. A photon of infrared frequency energy is absorbed and re-emitted. Then it is absorbed by another molecule. Then re-radiated. Absorbed, emitted, absorbed, emitted – maybe thousands of times per second. This is the opposite of trapping.
But they say CO2 is “opaque” to infrared energy. When CO2 re-emits heat energy it gets absorbed by another CO2 molecule. Again, that’s irrelevant, because the atmosphere moves vertically, transporting the heat up to space. It’s also wrong because everything absorbs heat. Put a penny out in the sunshine. It will get hot, without being CO2.
Eighth, CO2 probably cools the earth. By absorbing heat and carrying it to the edge of space, CO2 would facilitate the release of heat out into space.
The air is thinner above, and thicker below. And the Earth is curved. So at high altitudes, the probability of an IR photon escaping out into space is significantly greater than being re-absorbed by another air molecule. The air is very thin at 5 to 10 miles up at the top of convection, and thinning even more rapidly above that. There is a built-in bias causing heat emitted by CO2 molecules to leave the planet, not to stay.
Ninth, the quantity of plants can freely expand, especially algae and seaweed in the 70% of the Earth’s surface that is lakes and oceans. If the Earth were warmer, rainfall would increase, droughts would decrease, and plants would proliferate with warmth, moisture, and more CO2. We should expect proliferating plants to consume any CO2 surplus.
Tenth, we do not have scientifically valid temperature measurements earlier than World War II. The machine to measure CO2 in the open atmosphere (meant to measure a patient’s breath) existed but did not work well before 1930. The earliest spotty records of temperature in only a few locations date back only to around 1850. An early advocate for global warming lamented that CO2 measurements were unreliable.
Because of the complex nature of the Earth, including many influences we probably don’t know about, we cannot use short periods of time to draw conclusions. If we knew the Earth warmed over the last 200 years that would not tell us why, in the climate of a 4.5 billion-year-old planet.
It’s like saying I got my brakes changed, and then my house was struck by lightning. Therefore, brake changes cause lightning. Repeated experiments would be required on the hypothesis. Just A happened, then B happened is not science. Over such short periods of time, the noise of other phenomena drowns out any signal.
The key to successful science is to isolate just one single cause and carefully measure its effect. Climate change opinions do not meet these standards.
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