Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Fatal Flaw in the Global Warming 'Hypothesis'

Great article by a geologist about why little of the global warming debate is scientific, i.e., the a falsifiable hypothesis.

Karl Popper, the great philosopher of science, used a simple observational experiment to illustrate the scientific method’s requirement of falsifiability -- the requirement that a hypothesis be stated in such a way as to allow its testing against evidence with a view towards ruling it out. He noted that most people had once assumed that all swans are white. This assumption was based on the observation, over time, of uncounted numbers of white swans -- and each such observation was taken as evidence supporting the assumption. However, there came a time when a black swan was found in Australia, and its discovery served to disprove the assumption that all swans are white. In generalizing from this discovery, Popper understood that you would not test the hypothesis that all swans are white by undertaking a search for white swans -- because no matter how many white swans you found, you would neither have proven, nor even properly tested, the hypothesis. Instead, you must mount an intensive search for a single non-white swan.  If you found even one of those, you would have ruled the hypothesis out. Alternatively, and without finding a non-white swan, it remained viable -- but because there remained the possibility of a single undetected non-white swan, it could not be regarded as proven.

But, global warming has never been treated this way.

The AGW hypothesis that so many people claim accounts for what is essentially pretend global warming has never been treated this way. Initially, its proponents engaged in a search for supporting evidence: Elevated average annual temperatures, local glacial retreats, elevated-temperature indicators in proxy systems such as tree-ring records, measurable coincident increases in atmospheric CO2 concentration, and so on -- a search for white swans. But these efforts ignored, and failed even to seek, either any alternative explanations or evidence that would have ruled the hypothesis out. AGW has failed the predictions test again and again; any true scientific hypothesis with so poor an evidence-based evaluation record would have been scrapped by now. Instead, its proponents elevated it to the status of a theory and, ignoring the fact that climate changes continually, renamed it “climate change.”

We've talked about the multiple climate scientists forecasts that snows "are a thing of the past." The article goes on to say,

Nevertheless, its believers treat AGW as verified, and simply alter its components and predictions to conform to evidence [I call this "moving the goalposts."]. When the predicted warming did not occur and snows continued to fall during London winters even though it was predicted that [snow would stop falling], for example, or when polar ice sheets expanded even though the theory has predicted that they would melt away, the hypothesis should be considered to have been ruled out by evidence.

Or, I might add, that hurricanes were going to become stronger and more numerous and the opposite has occurred. I urge you to read the entire article, it is excellent.

In view of this, one would think climate science would be much more cautious about their hypothesis and making forecasts of the future weather decades into the future. However, no amount of failures seem to shake their faith.

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