The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently released a report that doesn’t find much evidence of “climate change” or “global warming” based on human activity, but nevertheless rushes to assure readers that the problem is still serious. Not so fast, says the Heartland Institute and the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change it supports:
“Whereas the reports of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warn of a dangerous human effect on climate, NIPCC concludes the human effect is likely to be small relative to natural variability, and whatever small warming is likely to occur will produce benefits as well as costs,” the non-governmental panel announced, rolling out a hefty report with a succinct “summary for policymakers” to back up their claim.
In essence, the NIPCC is calling shenanigans on the United Nations panel, accusing them of “departing from proper scientific methodology.”
Global climate models produce meaningful results only if we assume we already know perfectly how the global climate works, and most climate scientists say we do not (Bray and von Storch, 2010). Moreover, it is widely recognized that climate models are not designed to produce predictions of future climate but rather what-if projections of many alternative possible futures (Trenberth, 2009). Postulates, commonly defined as “something suggested or assumed as true as the basis for reasoning, discussion, or belief,” can stimulate relevant observations or experiments but more often are merely assertions that are difficult or impossible to test (Kahneman, 2011). Observations in science are useful primarily to falsify hypotheses and cannot prove one is correct (Popper, 1965, p. vii).
The defense against this criticism amounts to a despairing cry that we can’t afford to follow the scientific method when it comes to climate change, because the problem is so potentially severe that we don’t have time to find out if it’s real. That’s a “sociological precept, rather than a scientific one,” as the NIPCC points out. I would add that it’s also a very useful vehicle for grabbing political power and money. Also, it’s pretty rich to hear the people who constantly claim they’ve got science on their side frankly admit that they do not, but it doesn’t matter, because if you just bend and twist the data enough, you can pretend the “crisis” they’ve been warning about still exists, and we must spare no expense to avoid it.
Read More at Human Events . By John Hayward.