Home > AGW, Catastrophism, Climate Change, Global Warming, Omniclimate, Science, Skepticism > The Weakest Argument For Global Warming…

The Weakest Argument For Global Warming…

…is the one inanely repeated on the website of the San Francisco Chronicle by Dr Peter Gleick, “President, Pacific Institute“.

Those who deny that humans are causing unprecedented climate change have never, ever produced an alternative scientific argument that comes close to explaining the evidence we see around the world that the climate is changing

Gleick’s argument could be classified as a form of “weak thought“. However, the history of Science should have taught him better. For example, the same identical words could have been uttered for most of the 18th century about the now-rejected theory of phlogiston. There really was nothing better to explain why things would burn: and so the whole field of Chemistry was held back for a century by a false scientific theory.

Another highly risky and wholly wrong theory threatened to slow down the progress of Physics and Astronomy a hundred years later: luminiferous aether. We should just be thankful to Einstein for having got rid of it, but obviously by his time the vast majority of scientists did not believe in aether any longer despite the absence of “an alternative scientific argument” coming “close to explaining the evidence“.

Another issue with Gleick’s argument is that is says nothing at all about the gravity and urgency of the Global Warming issue: and that is exactly where the discussion is, among reasonable people that don’t want to follow extremists like Romm or Monckton.

“City Brights”? Only on a sunny day…

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  1. Dubl
    2010/03/15 at 18:40

    I can destroy this inane argument with one word:

    Climate!

    Case closed.

    The term implies one and one thing only (hilariously enough) CHANGE! Not any one ideal temperature, not the slope of temperature rises or falls, not the precise acceptable CO2 levels, glacier thicknesses, or number of polar bears. Just that the weather changes and we are too small, stupid and insignificant to affect it, predict it or change it. And the term worked fine until a bunch of self-important dicks tried putting their for-profit conditions on it.

    But the biggest embarrassment is not that I have destroyed this inane argument with one word. It is that a man claiming to be possessing some intellectual high ground calls the bastardized statistical fraud that the entire AGW myth rests on “Science”. What a joke…

  2. John Catley
    2010/03/15 at 17:49

    I’m disappointed that you choose to refer to Christopher Monckton as an extremist. Whilst I would not argue that he adopts a very high profile and dogmatic approach, he does so using scientific and mathematical arguments to demolish alarmist claims. He also behaves in an exemplary manner unlike the rabid factions he often faces.
    Without his not inconsiderable efforts in the last few years, we would no doubt be very much further down the path to swingeing taxes and penalties for Joe Average.
    It is easy to adopt a holier than thou attitude, especially when the greatest exposure you face is a tan from the illumination of your monitor.
    Please treat this gentleman with the great respect he fully deserves for his heroic stand against the forces of evil.

  3. 2010/03/15 at 10:28

    “Those who deny that humans are causing unprecedented climate change have never, ever produced an alternative scientific argument that comes close to explaining the evidence we see around the world that the climate is changing”

    Have journalists ever bothered to ask themselves whether climate has not always been changing? Do they look at trees dropping their leaves in the autumn and conclude that this means humans are killing the trees?

    AGW is an alternative scientific argument to natural variation. Since climate has changed naturally for thousands of years, and the present changes are well within what has occurred naturally before, there would have to be some pretty strong evidence that the changes are now due to man rather than nature. The onus is on the AGW proponents to prove their case, just as it would be if they suggested that leaves now fall off the trees in autumn due to man rather than a natural cycle. This they have singularly failed to do. Sceptics don’t need to provide “an alternative scientific argument” when the only statistically significant evidence before us can be accounted for by normal natural variation.

    “Those who deny that humans are causing unprecedented climate change”…Before we start talking about ’causes’, we have to establish a phenomenon. The journalist describes it as ‘unprecedented’. Has he actually looked back a few decades, a few centuries, a few millennia? Obviously not. This is cheap, lazy, sensational journalism. Those who claim that anything in history is ‘unique’ or ‘unprecedented’ had better do a little historical research before they start making ignorant nonsense claims.

    We could propose another AGW – alienogenic global warming, by extra-terrestrials and run the same argument:

    “Those who deny that aliens are causing unprecedented climate change have never, ever produced an alternative scientific argument that comes close to explaining the evidence we see around the world that the climate is changing”

    Substitute any other causative agent you like, and the argument still looks ridiculous.

  4. John McLean
    2010/03/15 at 10:12

    “Those who deny that humans are causing unprecedented climate change have never, ever produced an alternative scientific argument that comes close to explaining the evidence we see around the world that the climate is changing” … oh yes they have!

    In a peer reviewed paper, I and two professors, showed that the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (as measured by the Troup system of calculating the Southern Oscillation Index) is a very good indicator of global average lower tropospheric temperatures seven months later. (Our paper was disputed almost immediately on the Internet by some heavyweights of manmade warming. That criticism and our rejection of it as misdirected are currently in the publication pipeline.)

    To put it simply, most of the recent variation in climate can be attributed to the Great pacific Climate Shift of 1976 and the subsequent dominance of conditions on the El Nino side of neutral.

    Let’s see if Gleick can prove that wrong.

    Also, since about 1999 there’s been a shift in cloud cover in every latitude band outside the tropics. (see http://mclean.ch/climate/cloud_cover_main.htm) There’s been less low cloud and more mid-level or high cloud. Cloud formation is a consequence of temperature, but once formed, clouds act to control the temperature.

    Will Gleick care to explain how human activity caused this change in cover since 1999?

  5. kim
    2010/03/13 at 19:04

    Yep, and his other ignorant statement is to call present climate change ‘unprecedented’. Where does he get that but from the likes of Mann and Gore?
    ============

  1. 2010/12/03 at 23:18
  2. 2010/03/15 at 00:04
  3. 2010/03/13 at 21:28

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