Let’s break down the case for human-caused global warming logically:
1) There is plenty of evidence that global warming has been occurring recently.
2) There is ample evidence that carbon emissions causes warming and that the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide is increasing.
3) But there is no evidence that carbon dioxide emissions are the main cause of the recent global warming.
The alarmists focus you entirely on the first two points, to distract you from the third. The public is increasingly aware of this misdirection. Yes, every emitted molecule of carbon dioxide (CO2) causes some warming – but the crucial question is how much warming do the CO2 emissions cause? If atmospheric CO2 levels doubled, would temperatures rise by 0.1, 1.0, or by 10.0C?
We go through the usual “evidence” offered by alarmists, and show that in each case either it:
• Is not evidence about what causes global warming. Proof that global warming occurred is not proof that CO2 was mainly responsible.
• Is not empirical evidence; that is, it is not independent of theory. In particular models are theory, not evidence.
• Says nothing about how much the temperature would rise for a given rise in CO2 levels.
[…] If they just had some evidence of (3) they could just tell us what it was and end the debate.
[…] Typical Alarmist Offerings of “Evidence”: Polar Bears, Glaciers, Arctic Melt, Antarctic Ice Shelves, Storms, Droughts, Fires, Malaria, Snow Melt on Mt Kilimanjaro, Rising Sea Levels, Ocean Warming, Urban Heat Island Effect. Although each of these issues may say something about whether or not global warming is or was occurring, none of them say anything about the causes of global warming. It would make no difference to these issues if the recent global warming was caused by CO2 or by aliens heating the planet with ray guns.[…] Often the assumption takes the form that nearly all the temperature rises since the start of industrialization are due to CO2 rises, or that there are no other possible significant causes of global warming.
Computer Models are Evidence
Computer models consist solely of a large number of calculations that, individually, you could do on a hand-held calculator. So models are theoretical, and cannot form part of any evidence.
Computer Models Incorporate a Lot of Sound Empirical Science
Yes they do. The climate models contain some well-established science that has been verified by empirical observations. But they also contain a myriad of:
• implicit and explicit assumptions
• gross approximations.
A single mistake in any one of these can invalidate the climate models. Typical engineering models that mimic reality closely contain no untested assumptions, material omissions, guesses, or gross approximations. They are the result of mature understanding of the reality being modelled, and have been tested ad nauseum in a wide range of circumstances. On the other hand, climate science is in its infancy, individual models routinely fail most tests, the climate models are riddled with untested assumptions and guesses, they approximate the atmosphere with cells a hundred kilometres square and hundreds of meters high, and they do not even attempt to model individual cloud formations or any feature smaller than the cell size. Don’t let the word “model” fool you into thinking climate models are better than they are.
How many remember that in revolutionary France, the very unsafe Reign of Terror was unleashed by a self-styled “Committe of Public Safety“?
Times have changed, but “Public” concerns have only become slightly less obnoxious. And so, we have now several examples of “public health” decisions that end up making public health worse than necessary.
The rule looks like the following: when science becomes a matter of public health, politics steps in, kills off the scientific debate, stifles independent research and opts for the (politically) safest option, that is (a) likely to be an oversimplification (effects taken as causes), (b) unlikely to be the best choice by a long shot, and (c) likely to be centered around people having to change their behaviors and just lead a more saintly life (eat bland food against cholesterol, avoid stress against stomach ulcer, burn less coal against, stop using DDT against malaria-carrying mosquitos, or whatever else).
The end result is millions of people feeling the guilt of having brought ill health to themselves (or left almost powerless against diseases, in the case of DDT and ulcers), despite there being no actual good reason whatsoever.
Their underlying problems may or many not be managed but are never solved, and their lives are un-necessarily ruined.
It’s all for the good of Public Health, you know!