About consensus, "97%", and settled science

10/22/2019 21:47 - Posted by Tom van Leeuwen
There are four misconceptions about science that are commonly used by catastrophic man-made warming advocates. Normally, when you try to start a conversation on the subject, their first reply will be one of these four "arguments".

1.- "The science is settled"

When you hear someone say that the science is settled, you can be sure you're not talking to a scientist.
Science is never settled. Even the most advanced discoveries and theories are always open to discussion and improvements. The scientific method is an ongoing process of formulating hypothesis, carrying out replicable experiments and rejecting failed hypothesis.
In fact, once the "settled" science was that the Earth moved around the Sun and that bleedings could cure all diseases. Enough said.

2.- "There is a scientific consensus"

When you hear someone claim there is a scientific consensus, you can be sure you're not talking to a scientist.
Science is never about consensus and a consensus is never science. Consensus is politics, not science.

3.- "So, you disagree with..."

This one can have various forms: "You disagree with all scientists", "You disagree with the IPCC", "You're a denier (i.e. you disagree with the truth)".
And of course! You're free to disagree with whoever you want! So, your first answer can be, "yes, I'm proud to disagree." Don't feel shy to say exactly that. After all, you have the science on your side. There are lots of renowned physicists and other climate-related scientists who disagree with the CO2-hypothesis, so you're in good company.

The scientists who defend the CO2 warming hypothesis run videos like these ones:
  • Professor David Archer starts off explaining why CO2 can not cause catastrophic global warming but then he states the exact opposite and contradicts himself about the transparency of the panes of glass in his model
  • Professor of Astronomy Michael Merrifield explains a model that, when taken to the limit, predicts that adding more CO2 will cool the planet.
And those are the models that support the CO2-hypothesis. The whole CO2-hypothesis is based on the idea that the warming properties of CO2 are unlimited and that's why it has never been formally proven. That assumption is defied by all empirical data. It simply doesn't happen in the real world.

On the other hand, we have lots of arguments, considerations, and proofs based on empirical real-word data, that CO2 does not warm the Earth.

So... Yes! You can be proud to disagree with the CO2 warming hypothesis.

4.- "97% of scientists agree"

This is a myth, popularized by the "Nobel laureates" Al Gore and Barack Obama.
Of course, they never asked all scientists for their opinion on this subject. The myth is based on various ill-performed literature researches. The most famous one of them, Cook at al., made the terrible mistake to combine scientist who think that human activity has some effect on the climate with scientists who think humans are the primary cause for the warming.
After that group is split up, only less than 2% of the scientists endorsed the statement that humans are the primary cause of the warming.

The scientific method

In the scientific method as depicted above, the CO2 warming hypothesis has stranded between the phases "Develop Testable Predictions" and "Gather data from formal experiments". The models based on the hypothesis are unable to predict future warming and there are no formal replicable experiments that support it.

This means that the CO2 hypothesis can not be used to develop a general theory and should be avoided in any political process or decisionmaking.

I want to conclude with this quote from David Wojick:
The elegant thing about science, at least in principle, is that a single observation can falsify a popular hypothesis. But as Thomas Kuhn pointed out in his groundbreaking book — The Structure of Scientific Revolutions– this may not be true in practice when the hypothesis is deeply entrenched, due to what I call paradigm protection. The community of believers will resist what observation clearly says. So we get the argument that the data must be wrong. However, the satellite data is accurate enough to falsify AGW.

Tom van Leeuwen, October 2019.


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The fingerprints of the greenhouse effect

The hypothesis of "man-made climate change" tells us that the increase in the concentration of CO2 enhances the greenhouse effect of the atmosphere and has global warming as a final result.

Since the beginning of the industrialized era around 1850, man emits relatively large amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere through the use of fossil fuels. The consequence of these emissions is that during that period, the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere increased sharply from about 300 parts per million to more than 400 ppm, an increase of almost 40%. The average temperature increased in the same period more or less 1.5 °C with a small variation depending on the data source used.

Why did the warming stop?

The political reports of the IPCC are based on the hypothesis that CO2 is the most important control knob of the Earth's temperature. The problem is that this hypothesis does not correspond at all with the empirical data available to science. Forecasts are made using models that are not capable of 'predicting' the past.

Temperature versus CO2 – the big picture

When discussing “Climate Change” it’s good to have an understanding of how the Earth’s climate has changed in the past. That will give us a reference to decide whether the current changes are normal or not.

Global temperatures have varied a lot over the last 500 million years. Depending on the timescale used, the current temperature is either cold or hot, so when you want to know the “normal temperature” you’ll have to indicate what timescale you’re using.

An estimation of the human influence on the climate

The month of May has come to an end. Another month of economic paralysis and reduced human CO2 emissions. And again, the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere continues to rise to record levels in modern measurements.

It is time to remove the blindfolds and thoroughly analyze the question of the effect of human CO2 emissions on global temperature. I propose to divide the problem into four issues, open for discussion:

Sydney Sea-Level Rise

According to the IPCC CO2-hypothesis, rising CO2-levels leads to warming. That warming supposedly expands sea-water and melts glaciers and polar ice-caps, finally resulting in rising sea-levels. They warn us for catastrophic sea-level rises in the year 2100 and beyond because of this process.

Sydney is strategically located between the Indian, Pacific, and Southern oceans. CO2-levels went up from 300 to 400 parts per million over the past 100 years. What's the impact on Sydney's sea-level?

Democracy? Make your choice!

In recent centuries the power of governments has become stronger and stronger. The governments got involved increasingly deeper into our lives and the citizens, the individuals, have ever less to say about ever more issues.

Climate policy is an excellent example of this interference. The government relies on completely unreliable data, unproven hypotheses, and ideas while the consequences of this interference affect everyone. At present, governments worldwide are about to make cheap and reliable energy sources -that form the basis of our economic prosperity- inaccessible. The results are far-reaching.

Censored and kicked by a Facebook group!

Yesterday I decided to post my Four Interglacials to a Facebook group called "Global Warming Denialism is a Big Oil agenda".

It was an educational experience.

Atmospheric CO2 distribution

On the above world map we see the average level of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere over five weeks in 2014. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech.