The North Pole is fine, according to Santa,
it’s Western civilization that has a problem.
What worries Santa most these days is Western academia and politicians who use global warming as their excuse to ignore real problems. “If you don’t want to use the scientific method that’s fine,” Santa says, “but at least try using some common sense.”
“In order to conduct a proper scientific investigation, scientists must first formulate a falsifiable hypothesis to test. An alternative and null hypothesis – the simplest hypothesis consistent with the known facts – must be entertained. The hypothesis implicit though rarely explicitly stated in the IPCC’s work is that dangerous global warming is resulting, or will result, from human-related greenhouse gas emissions. The null hypothesis is that currently observed changes are the result of natural variability.”
~NIPCC (Responding to an inquiry on the IPCC 5th Assessment by UK House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee [link])
The Scottish Climate and Energy Forum says, “the IPCC do not understand noise or natural variation.” They also have no use for “the null hypothesis” in science. Let’s look at an example. Whether your AGW hypothesis is that humans or aliens cause global warming (Anthropogenic or Alienpogenic theory), the null hypothesis is still the same. Fact: the null hypothesis of AGW — that that all global warming can be explained by natural variation (that all observed climate change is natural) – has never been rejected.
If all warming can be explained by natural causes, then there obviously is no room for an hypothesized AGW as a cause for warming. What we need to buy into — for the sake of truth — is that we look first for simple ways to separate fact from fiction. So, for example, we do not purposefully confuse matters with the possibility of there being 1,000s of possible null hypotheses — or, spark acrimony by saying, it’s the Sun, stupid — when there is one simple null hypothesis that is sufficient to challenge the credibility of a theory.
An undeniable benefit of hypothesis-testing is realizing that theories are a dime a dozen. Most are not worth reading and no one is going to spend their own money chasing highly questionable theories that can never be verified. Sure, sure, maybe aliens do cause global warming — prove they’re not! (rarely is anything 100% certain, right?) — but, natural causes can explain ALL global warming so, why spend any time looking for alien-causation?
The null hypothesis has never been rejected because we can’t can’t reject a null hypothesis when it is simply a restatement of reality–e.g., that ALL global warming can be explained by natural causes.
Albert Einstein once said, “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.” Einstein’s words express a foundational principle of science intoned by the logician, Karl Popper: Falsifiability. In order to verify a hypothesis there must be a test by which it can be proved false. A thousand observations may appear to verify a hypothesis, but one critical failure could result in its demise. The history of science is littered with such examples.
A hypothesis that cannot be falsified by empirical observations, is not science…
In brief, we know of no mechanism by which vast amounts of “missing” heat can be hidden, transferred, or absorbed within the earth’s system. The only reasonable conclusion — call it a null hypothesis — is that heat is no longer accumulating in the climate system and there is no longer a radiative imbalance caused by anthropogenic forcing. This not only demonstrates that the IPCC models are failing to accurately predict global warming, but also presents a serious challenge to the integrity of the AGW hypothesis.
~William DiPuccio (Falling Ocean Heat Falsifies Global Warming Hypothesis):
Hypothesis-testing is a scientific endeavor. Let’s look at this from a simple common sense angle. Richard Somerville is a practiced climate alarmist who participates in many climate change debates. Michael Crichton (now deceased) was a medical doctor and also a noted best-selling author who could tell a good story and knew better than anyone how to separate fact from fiction –e.g.:
RICHARD C.J. SOMERVILLE
Contrarians are not unique to climate. They exist in many fields of science. There are a few retrovirus experts, fully credentialed, who don‘t think that HIV causes AIDS. The New Yorker this week, many of you will have seen, writes about them. When the revolution of continental drift was sweeping through geology and geophysics, some imminent earth scientists couldn‘t be persuaded that plate tectonics were real. Continents can move. These contrarians were mistaken. They faded from the scene. Experience, long experience shows that in science it tends to be the rare exception rather than the rule when a lone genius eventually prevails over conventional mainstream scientific thought. An occasional Galileo does come along or an Einstein. Not often. Most people who think they‘re a Galileo are just wrong. [LAUGHTER] We‘re talking here about managing risk for the future. It‘s a big risk to the planet to bet it on the contrarians. Here‘s a brief look at some of what we know…
Thank you, Richard Somerville. Michael Crichton, you have the next statement.
The microphone goes up. [LAUGHTER] Before I begin I want to just say one brief thing about what Richard has just told you. He‘s, he’s giving you the story of plate tectonics but it’s fascinating. He’s turned it upside down. He’s turned it on its head. The story of plate tectonics actually is the story of one person who had the right idea – Alfred Wegener. He had it in 1912. And it is the story of major scientists at Harvard and elsewhere opposing him for decade after decade until finally it was proven to be incorrect what they were believing. So it is, in fact — when I was a kid I was told the continents didn’t move. It is, in fact, perfectly possible for the consensus of scientists to be wrong and it is, in fact, perfectly possible for small numbers of people to be in opposition and they will be ultimately be proven true. [APPLAUSE]
“I want to address the issue of crisis in a somewhat different way. Does it really matter if we have a crisis at all? I mean, haven’t we actually raised temperatures so much that we, as stewards of the planet, have to act? These are the questions that friends of mine ask as they are getting on board their private jets to fly to their second and third homes. [LAUGHTER]
And I would like, with their permission, to take the question just a little bit more seriously. I myself, uh, just a few years ago, held the kinds of views that I, uh, expect most of you in this room hold. That’s to say, I had a very conventional view about the environment. I thought it was going to hell. I thought human beings were responsible and I thought we had to do something about it. I hadn’t actually looked at any environmental issues in detail but I have that general view. And so in 2000, when I read an article that suggested that the evidence for global warming might not be quite as firm as people said, I immediately dismissed it. Not believe in global warming? That’s ridiculous. How could you have such an idea? Are you going to try and tell me that the planet isn’t getting warmer? I know it’s getting warmer. I grew up in Long Island. And when I was a kid we always had days off from school for hurricanes. There are no hurricanes on Long Island now. I spent thirty years in California. We used to have something called June gloom. Now it’s more like May, June, July, August gloom with September, October, November gloom added in. The weather is very different. However, because I look for trouble, um, I went at a certain point and started looking at the temperature records. And I was very surprised at what I found. The first thing that I discovered, which Dick has already told you, is that the increase in temperatures so far over the last hundred years, is on the order of six-tenths of a degree Celsius, about a degree Fahrenheit. I hadn’t really thought, when we talked about global warming, about how much global warming really was taking place. The second thing I discovered was that everything is a concern about the future and the future is defined by models. The models tell us that human beings are the cause of the warming, that human beings, uh, producing all this CO2, are what’s actually driving the climate warming that we’re seeing now. But I was interested to see that the models, as far as I could tell, were not really reliable. That is to say, that past estimates have proven incorrect.
“Uh, in 1988, when James Hanson talked to the Congress and said that global warming had finally arrived, The New York Times published a model result that suggested that in the next hundred years there would be twelve degrees Celsius increase. A few years later the increase was estimated to be six degrees, then four degrees. The most recent U.N. estimate is three degrees.
Will it continue to go down? I expect so. And this left me in a kind of a funny position. But let me first be clear about exactly what I’m saying. Is the globe warming? Yes. Is the greenhouse effect real? Yes. Is carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, being increased by men? Yes. Would we expect this warming to have an effect? Yes. Do human beings in general effect the climate? Yes. But none of that answers the core question of whether or not carbon dioxide is the contemporary driver for the warming we’re seeing. And as far as I could tell scientists had, had postulated that but they hadn’t demonstrated it. So I’m kinda stranded here. I’ve got half a degree of warming, models that I don’t think are reliable. And what, how am I going to think about the future? I reasoned in this way: if we’re going to have one degree increase, maybe if, if, climate doesn’t change and if, uh, and if there’s no change in technology – but of course, if you don’t imagine there will be a change in technology in the next hundred years you’re a very unusual person. And I also was aware that we have actually been starting to do exactly the kind of thing that we ought to do, which is to decarbonize. Jesse Ausubel at Rockefeller University points out, for example, that starting about a hundred and fifty years ago, in the time of Abraham Lincoln and Queen Victoria, we began to move from wood to coal, from coal to oil, from oil to natural gas and so on. Decreasing our carbon, increasing our hydrogen makes perfect sense, makes environmental sense, makes political sense, makes geopolitical sense. And we’ll continue to do it without any legislation, without any, anything forcing us to do it, as nothing forced us to get off horses. Well, if this is the situation, I suddenly think about my friends, you know, getting on their private jets. And I think, well, you know, maybe they have the right idea.
“Maybe all that we have to do is mouth a few platitudes, show a good, you know, expression of concern on our faces, buy a Prius, drive it around for a while and give it to the maid, attend a few fundraisers and you’re done.
Because, actually, all anybody really wants to do is talk about it. They don’t actually do anything. [SOMEONE CHUCKLES IN BACKGROUND] And the evidence for that is the number of major leaders in climate who clearly have no intention of changing their lifestyle, reducing their own consumption or getting off private jets themselves. If they’re not willing to do it why should anybody else? [APPLAUSE] Is talking enough? I mean, is, is — the talking cure of the environment, it didn’t work in psychology. It won’t work in the environment either. [LAUGHTER] Is that enough to do? I don’t think so. I think it’s totally inadequate.
“Everyday 30,000 people on this planet die of the diseases of poverty. There are, a third of the planet doesn’t have electricity. We have a billion people with no clean water, we have half a billion people going to bed hungry every night. Do we care about this?
It seems that we don’t. It seems that we would rather look a hundred years into the future than pay attention to what’s going on now. I think that’s unacceptable. I think that’s really a disgrace… This doesn’t need to happen. We’re allowing it to happen. And I don’t know what’s wrong with the rich self-centered societies that we live in in the west that we are not paying attention to the conditions of the wider world. And it does seem to me that if we use arguments about the environment to turn our back on the sick and the dying of our shared world, and that’s our excuse to ignore them, then we have done a true and terrible thing. And it’s awful, thank you. [APPLAUSE]