This layman’s impression of the battle over global warming climate change climate disruption has always been that there is a bit too much salesmanship involved. Claims that “the science is in” and that thousands of those scientists who matter are in absolute agreement on this point, demonization of all heterodox thinkers (cf. the recent assault on the relatively orthodox warmist Judith Curry) and the incessant demands that we must act NOW to avert disaster have always struck me as suspicious. Given the emergent evidence that underlying data and computer models had been “adjusted” always to yield the desired results (see, for instance, the hockey stick controversy), I gradually found the whole rigmarole a lot more than suspicious. Smacking, in fact, of a hunger to impose tyranny, but that’s not the point right now.
The point is that, as limited as my knowledge of science is, I have always had the impression that global climate is a highly complex chaotic system, with many variables whose influence we do not wholly understand, and with many more variables that we haven’t even dreamed of yet. As such, it is essentially unpredictable. And even if we knew of all the variables that affect the global climate system, it might still remain unpredictable, because that’s the way of chaotic systems. Whether the climate system responds strongly, weakly, or at all to human doings on Earth still remains in question; and even if the human variable does reflect significant input into it, there is no guarantee that the system, being chaotic in nature, would respond in any way climatologists predict.
Now, finally, someone has confirmed my suspicions, and my heart feels lighter.
Some doughty Danes at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen have concluded publicly that climate is indeed a complex chaotic system that is inherently unpredictable. According to ScienceDaily, the Danish scientists have published their findings in this month’s Geophysical Research Letters.
I would like to say that this and similar research puts post paid to several things:
- First, the claim that the science is in. (It never is, or it isn’t science any more.)
- Second, the assumption that computer models are an acceptable substitute for empirical evidence. (This might be true for non-chaotic systems that we understand very well.)
- Third, the claim that equivocal sources such as tree ring analysis, temperature data from poorly located weather stations, or interpolation/extrapolation of available but sparse temperature data into other areas of the globe provide adequate empirical evidence.
- Fourth, all claims that we have either (a) passed a tipping point and are heading inexorably toward climate change oblivion, or (b) are at such a tipping point now, or (c) are only 10/20/100-or-so years away (take your pick) from such a tipping point.
- Fifth and most important, the insistence that we can only save ourselves by immediately surrendering our freedom and independence to some unelected group of people who would then show their undying concern for us by dedeveloping us all until we lead “sustainable, low-consumption” (i.e. 18th century) lives. (The Obama regime is firmly behind this concept.)
These are my thoughts and my hopes. We will know after November 3, 2010 if we stand a chance of reversing some of the damage already done by the “consensus scientists,” if we can once more restore science to a status independent of politics and if we find a way to, shall we say, dedevelop the extralegal machinery that Obama rasputins like John Holdren and Lisa Jackson have already put into place to further destroy our economy.