Uncertainty and global warming

Excluding debate again

A reader sent me this link to a piece on the Daily Kos on incomplete information and global warming.

This quote really jumped out at me.

That's where we are now with climate change. The big picture is clear, the hammock is up. The debate is only about individual strands and pieces here and there. Just because scientists don't know everything about a particular topic doesn't mean they don't know anything about it.

The problem is the big picture is not clear!

Earth's past is full of extreme climate variations that had absolutely nothing to do with human caused carbon emissions because humans hadn't developed the technology. Until the global warming models account for the things that caused those climate changes, those factors can't be excluded.

A blue ball falls down when dropped a roof. Now it could be gravity, or it could be that the ball is blue. The next step would be to either take away gravity or take away the blue. If a green ball falls down at the same rate, then the chances are near overwhelming that the color of the ball has nothing to do with how it falls.

But if we are allowed to test only blue balls, then we can't exclude blue as a factor.

That is the basis for the entire human caused global warming argument. If we are not allowed to consider any other factors, then of course human activity is the only cause AND controlling human action is the only possible solution.

The entry continues.

In our everyday lives we act based on incomplete information as a matter of course - to the point that we don't even think about it. But for scientists, uncertainty is top of mind. We're trained to notice what's certain and what's not so we can design useful studies. That's why we spell out in such exquisite (or excruciating!) detail what we don't know about any given topic. And that's why the IPCC report (indeed, any scientific report) uses such careful language. For non-specialists, all that careful language can obscure aspects of a topic that are extremely well understood and no longer under debate.

Did you catch that last bit? "...no longer under debate." It's the same old same old. According to this, debate is over, human caused global warming is a certainty, and that is all that will be accepted.

Except that isn't true. Even this entry has been carefully worded to exclude any possibility except human caused global warming.

I'd like to see proof, and that doesn't mean computer models.

— NeoWayland

Posted: Thu - July 26, 2007 at 08:04 PM  Tag

 ◊  ◊   ◊  ◊ 

Random selections from NeoWayland's library

Pagan Vigil "Because LIBERTY demands more than just black or white"
© 2005 - 2009 All Rights Reserved