In Theory, It Ought to Be a Theory, But…
posted at 4:58 pm on January 1, 2010 by Dafydd ab Hugh
Frequent commenter Snochasr: has responded to a previous Big Lizards post titled Gas Masquerade, which notes that even some mainstream scientific publications for lay readers have begun to think a second time about the pronunciamentos of globaloney. Snochasr japed:
This looks like my list of the “top four flaws” in the theory of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW). Those are that it’s not catastrophic, it’s not anthropogenic, it’s not global and it’s not warming. But it IS a theory.
Well actually, it’s not even a theory — at least not a scientific one.
In science terms, a “theory” is “an analytic structure designed to explain a set of empirical observations.”
To continue quoting from that unimpeachable font of all wisdom, Wikipedia…
A scientific theory does two things:
- it identifies this set of distinct observations as a class of phenomena, and
- makes assertions about the underlying reality that brings about or affects this class.
In the scientific or empirical tradition, the term “theory” is reserved for ideas which meet baseline requirements about the kinds of empirical observations made, the methods of classification used, and the consistency of the theory in its application among members of the class to which it pertains. These requirements vary across different scientific fields of knowledge, but in general theories are expected to be functional and parsimonious: i.e. a theory should be the simplest possible tool that can be used to effectively address the given class of phenomena.
Here are the theoretical problems with the “theory-ness” of AGCC:
- AGCC is not primarily based upon empirical observation but rather computer modeling; as the models are designed by global-warming activists, they naturally show global warming… but that is purely an artifact of the modeling: A spurious characteristic introduced by human manipulation, whether deliberate or unconscious.
- It is inconsistent with about half the available data — which is therefore suppressed, e.g. Michael Mann’s infamous “hockey stick” graph, which wished the Mediaeval Climate Optimum out of existence. When observation is subservient to the model, when data is cherry-picked, when results are misreported or manipulated, when contrary results are censored, that is not science; it’s politics.
- It is not functional; it cannot even “predict” the warming from 1900 to 2000; nor can it explain the lack of warming since 1998, other than by denying it.
- It is not parsimonious, in that there are simpler explanations than AGCC that account for what observational evidence does exist — variations in solar output, for example.
- It is not testable, since even its proponents proclaim that there are too many confounding factors to make firm predictions.
- It is not falsifiable, as “climate change” can mean a climate that is warming, a climate that is cooling, or a climate showing unusual stability, each of which thus becomes “evidence” for AGCC.
Ergo, AGCC is not a scientific theory. At best, it could be an interesting hypothesis for future scientific study.
More accurately, as currently used, AGCC modeling is a political formulation whose true function is to rationalize and facilitate the gargantuan transfer of wealth from developed to underdeveloped nations and the accumulation of totalitarian power within an international quasi-government.
This global regime is cobbled together from environmental regulations, economic utopianism, and radical misanthropy… “hatred of humanity” so extreme it calls for the destruction of most of the human race (or all of it, in some cases) and the degredation of whatever fraction remains.
So… AGCC Theory is not anthropogenic, not global, not climate change — and it’s not even a theory. Strike four, and globaloney is really, really, really out!
Cross-posted on Big Lizards…