Potholer54 is back with a good one (he exposes Bob Carter for openers … what’s not to love?). Here he takes out several Denier Fables, including the “it’s not CO2″ and “it’s just the Sun.”
While Crock of the Week takes on the related issue of water vapour in:
Some excellent resources for debunking those Denier Crocks!@
They take people with 2 extreme positions and imply that the correct answer lies somewhere in the middle. The Tobacco Institute used this logical fallacy extremely well in its misguided measures to stop cigarette regulations.
But, when facts are involved, if one side has them and the other does not, then the so-called middle ground does not exist. The appeal to a middle ground is a lawyerly trick, not a scientific rationale.
That is what the denialists hope to achieve. Muddy the waters and create a middle ground if at all possible. Because almost anything but the truth is a benefit for them.
So they attempt to undercut any small aspect of climate change with the goal of destroying all of it. Denialists who use the same tactic against evolution (called creationists) seem to think that trying to identify a single weakness in any area of evolutionary thought will bring the whole thing down. Same with climate change.
And both are just wrong. That is not how scientific theories work. Theories are proposed to explain scientific facts. If you hope to overthrow a theory, you had better have a better one ready, one that has more explanatory power than the previous. That is how relativity overthrew Newtonian mechanics.
These theories have strength because they are not easily brought down. Researchers with tremendous experience and huge egos have had at these theories for 20-30 years. Careers can be made by trying to show the theory is wrong and propose a new, better one.
It is highly unlikely that someone working on a blog is going to be able to create a new theory of climatology that explains all the facts we have found. But they do not even seem to try. They only attempt to obfuscate one particular area, trying to make the entire theory suspect.
They have no theory to replace the current one!! None that explains all the facts we have at our fingertips. Well, none except for some sort of worldwide conspiracy between thousands of researchers who are purposefully lying so that they can get grant money.
Do these guys have any idea of how hard it is to do good research, work that can get you tenure? And just how improbable it is that there is some conspiracy between thousands of smart, independent, individualists who hate outside interference dictating what they can and cannot do?
If there was any chance to overthrow the theory of anthropogenic global warming there would be a large number of researchers working at that in ways that really matter, not by squawking from the sidelines. (And let me tell you, if there was such a thing, there are ample ways to get it funded and to get it published. Science and Nature LOVE publishing these sorts of contrarian articles. but the rigorous science must be there.)
At least the creationists made an effort (after failing miserably for 50 years or so to change things). They came up with something called Intelligent design. It is a theory, not a scientific one and one that does nothing to advance our knowledge.
But it is a step. So I am going to propose the theory of intelligent climatology – that some intelligence is guiding the physical aspects of our climate and will make sure that it stays just right for human civilization. They or It made sure the last 200,000 years or so had varying climate conditions to drive us to higher and higher technological levels. They or It are now controlling the current warming, perhaps by injecting heat into the system through some super-intelligent process, in order to move us towards something. Let’s say interstellar travel.
They or It do not want us to fail so They or It will make sure the climate never gets so bad as to really hurt us. That is why the world has not been heating very rapidly the last few years. They or It are going to give us enough time to figure things out. We owe our continuing existence to They or It.
And any resemblance of this intelligent agent to God is simply mistaken.
Of course,this theory does not really explain anything but I might respect the climate change denialists a little more if they at least proposed something with a higher likelihood than a conspiracy of scientists.
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