An Excellent article in The Australian online

Logic leaves ‘The Science’ of climate in the dust.

It is the gag order of the pseudo eco-scholar: “The Science is settled.” This is not science as we once understood it. In that discipline something could be proved false through observation and experiment. No, this is “The Science”: science as deity.

In the 20th century Karl Popper transformed the philosophy of science around the idea of falsifiability, saying: “It must be possible for an empirical scientific system to be refuted by experience.”

The first rule in Popper’s The Logic of Scientific Discovery is: “The game of science is, in principle, without end. He who decides one day that scientific statements do not call for any further test, and that they can be regarded as finally verified, retires from the game.”

So, you can spend a lifetime counting white swans, but find one black one and the thesis that all swans are white is destroyed. The black swan event happened when Europeans first encountered the impossible animal in Australia.

Prove one assumption wrong and a whole set of conclusions collapses. The Science is not real science. It is a set of beliefs, a faith. Those who demand we agree it’s settled are no different from a Catholic bishop declaring: “Roma locuta est; causa finita est” – Rome has spoken; the cause is finished.

The zealots who invoke The Science as a gag order have never read the research or wilfully ignore its infuriating uncertainty. This uncountably large group includes battalions of politicians, academics, activists, journalists and a few dozen billionaire energy-hobbyist carpetbaggers.

Take the deeply entrenched belief that global warming is causing more extreme weather. This is so ubiquitous as to be unquestioned. It is an article of faith and there is almost no weather event nowadays that does not come with a blizzard of declarations it is proof of climate change.

Among myriad examples, let’s pick Tropical Cyclone Jasper, which hit far north Queensland in December. It dumped a massive amount of rain and none of what follows denies the fact it caused great damage and suffering. In its wake the Red Cross released an Instagram video declaring “Disasters like Ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper in Far North Queensland are happening more often due to climate change”. Greenpeace called it a “frightening portent of what’s to come under climate change”. The Climate Council warned “climate change is making (tropical cyclones) more destructive”.

None of this is true.

No one denies Ex-Tropical Cyclone Jasper caused great damage, but the science doesn’t back up claims it could be attributed to climate change.

If The Science of global warming has a bible then surely it must be the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. It is the latest accumulation of all the best research and it runs to a mind-numbing 2391 pages.

On page 1586 it says: “(Tropical cyclone) landfall frequency over Australia shows a decreasing trend in Eastern Australia since the 1800s, as well as in other parts of Australia since 1982. A paleoclimate proxy reconstruction shows that recent levels of (tropical cyclone) interactions along parts of the Australian coastline are the lowest in the past 550-1500 years.”

Pause on that. Not only does observation show there are fewer cyclones since the industrial revolution began belching extra carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, there is evidence to suggest cyclone activity in Australia is at its lowest ebb since the days of the Tang dynasty and the decline of the Western Roman Empire.

The CSIRO echoes that finding in its State of the Climate Report 2022 and adds: “The trend in cyclone intensity in the Australian region is harder to quantify than cyclone frequency, due to uncertainties in estimating the intensity of individual cyclones and the relatively small number of intense cyclones.”

What of droughts? The IPCC finds southwestern Australia has been drying out since the 1950s and there is evidence that the length of droughts in southeastern Australia has “increased significantly”. But it says “the Millennium drought in eastern Australia was not unusual in the context of natural variability reconstructed over the past millennium” and concludes “there is currently low confidence that recent droughts in eastern Australia can be clearly attributed to human influence” (p1089).

In summary, on page 1663, it says there is low confidence in observed trends, or projected changes, to droughts in central and eastern Australia as the climate warms. In northern Australia there is medium confidence of a “decrease in the frequency and intensity of meteorological droughts”. So, more rain for the Top End then.

The report notes the major drivers of drought in Australia as well-known natural climate events: “During the last millennium, the combined effect of a positive (Indian Ocean Dipole) and El Nino conditions have caused severe droughts over Australia” (p1104).

What of bushfires? “Extreme conditions, like the 2019 Australian bushfires and African flooding, have been associated with strong positive (Indian Ocean Dipole) conditions” (p1104).

And, in case you were wondering, “There is no evidence of a trend in the Indian Ocean Dipole mode and associated anthropogenic forcing” and “The amplitude of the El Nino–Southern Oscillation variability has increased since 1950 but there is no clear evidence of human influence” (p1104).

Let’s be clear. There is plenty of evidence in the IPCC report demonstrating the climate is changing, that the world and Australia are getting warmer, and that industrial activity has played a part in forcing some of it. We should take that seriously. In response Australia should do its proportionate share in cutting greenhouse gas emissions without destroying our local ecology or impoverishing the nation.

But here is the good news: we are not facing a climate Armageddon. Again, this is not just my view but one shared by British professor Jim Skea, who was appointed chairman of the IPCC last year.

“The world won’t end if it warms by more than 1.5 degrees,” Skea told German weekly magazine Der Spiegel last year. “It will however be a more dangerous world. Countries will struggle with many problems, there will be social tensions.

“And yet this is not an existential threat to humanity. Even with 1.5 degrees of warming, we will not die out.”

Skea worries the zealots are doing their cause a grave disservice. “If you constantly communicate the message that we are all doomed to extinction, then that paralyses people and prevents them from taking the necessary steps to get a grip on climate change,” he said.

What it is also designed to do is scare people out of questioning absurd statements and bad policies.

Here there is another assault on reason by ideologues. In this game of witch burning, questioning a policy response to global warming is evidence of the crime of climate change denial. Their argument can be expressed as a syllogism.

Premise 1: Climate change is real.

Premise 2: Renewable energy combats climate change.

Conclusion: Therefore, to question renewable energy is to deny climate change.

This is the logical fallacy of a false dichotomy; it ignores the possibility of neutrality or nuance. But logic, like science, has long since departed in this debate. This is all about faith.



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  • Ken.T. June 3, 2024   Reply →

    And as is known throughout the Sane World. Regardless of what the Wankers and Wally do, Nature will always have its way with the weather.

  • Clive Bond June 4, 2024   Reply →

    We are coming out of the Little Ice Age, things will get warmer. This cycle has happened for millions of years before the Little Ice Age we had the Medieval Warm period, 3deg warmer than the present, CO2 280ppm compared to 420ppm today. They rely on a scared and compliant media to not tell us this.

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