Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming is not "science" - yet

A friend of mine posed the following question on Facebook:

"So, an honest favor request for climate change skeptics, non-believers, deniers, however you choose to self identify... I ask this out of true curiosity. I ask in the spirit of honest debate.

A topic exists that in your mind is still open for debate... Ok, I get that. I even lived there for a while.

The question is this: Is there any authority that could sway your position on climate change? Who could speak out (publish, document, whatever) and what would they say to change your mind on this topic?"

I responded with the correct answer, which I now post below:

"Extremely simple. It doesn't matter who says what. It only matters that someone makes a prediction and that prediction comes to pass, and is repeatably confirmed by subsequent observations that I myself may observe. A patent clerk from Switzerland said light would bend around a massive object because gravity warps space, and predicted the resulting observation of distant stars' light bending around the sun during an eclipse. It didn't matter what credentials Einstein had. His theory made a testable prediction that was verified by observation, and has continually been re-verified by subsequent observations. Catastrophic AGW proponents have NEVER made a prediction that was confirmed via a testable observation. Until someone does, nothing any of them says holds any weight whatsoever. In fact, the opposite is true: every prediction the catastrophic AGW crowd has made has not been observed - no theory predicted the 18-hear hiatus on rising global temperatures - and thus every theory thus far hypothesized has been falsified. The motto of the very first scientific society, The Royal Society of which Isaac Newton was a founding member, is "Nullius in Verba" - take nobody's word for it. Any scientific theory must be demonstrated by actual observation of phenomena predicted by the theory. That is science. The question you have posed - whose word will skeptics accept - is anti-science. Practicing scientists know this, so if any of them ever pose the same question, or makes any appeal to authority - i.e., asks us to trust someone's word - they are willfully anti-science and necessarily fraudulent. So I now turn around and pose to you this scientific question: what potential observation will disprove the catastrophic AGW hypothesis? I have NEVER heard any catastrophic AGW adherent answer that question. If someone has, please direct me to it."

Let me append to this an additional comment.  With Einstein's Theory of Special (or General) Relativity, many if not most testable observations are beyond the every day experience of the average person as they only differ in predictions from Newton's laws (which are easily testable by the average person) at extreme (short or long) distances and/or velocities.  To observe the differences in predictions between Einstein and Newton's theories, one generally needs special equipment.  So most of us, including me, generally take the scientific consensus' word for it, knowing we could test these predictions ourselves if need be, and glory and fame would come to us if we discovered Einstein was wrong.  Any AGW theory is making a testable prediction about the weather, which anyone can observe by walking outside, which means no one has to take the word of scientists to observe an AGW theory's predictions.  The sea level rises or it doesn't (it hasn't).  The weather outside one's house gets progressively hotter every year (on average) or it doesn't (for 18 years, it hasn't).