I know some people who are anti-science but they seem to come from all over the political spectrum. In fact, I know more liberals who support the false god of political science than conservatives who denounce the real thing. And that is the crux of the problem.
When Buster Door said to me, “You’re anti-science” he and his friends are mostly saying “You’re against what I oh-so-strongly believe.” They have no rigorous proof to back up either the claim or what they believe. NPR’s Ira Flatow who “barely grasped chemistry” is a good example of that.
“The science of climate change is fixed,” he says regularly on his weekly radio show, Science Friday. “Why can’t people just accept that [man causes it] and move on?”
I don’t think anyone would argue for a static climate. I don’t understand how anyone who has ever seen a 5-day weather forecast could argue that we know enough about climate to “fix the science” in Mr. Flatow’s favorite concrete.
Stephen Hawking wrote in A Brief History of Time, “A theory is a good theory if it satisfies two requirements: It must accurately describe a large class of observations on the basis of a model that contains only a few arbitrary elements, and it must make definite predictions about the results of future observations.
“Any physical theory is always provisional, in the sense that it is only a hypothesis; you can never prove it. No matter how many times the results of experiments agree with some theory, you can never be sure that the next time the result will not contradict the theory. On the other hand, you can disprove a theory by finding even a single observation that disagrees with the predictions of the theory.”
The theory of anthropogenic climate change describes a smaller-and-smaller class of observations on the basis of a model that contains an increasing number of arbitrary elements. Many proponents ignore historically larger climate swings that do not fit the theory. Many proponents ignore solar influence that does not fit the theory. Many proponents ignore the inconvenient truth that new temperature data shows the planet has not warmed for the past 15 years which does not fit the theory.
Mr. Drum makes some good points but he overlooks the most obvious when he writes, “Doubt about climate change is obviously motivated by a dislike of the business regulation that would be necessary if we took climate change seriously…”
I just can’t see that.
I see that doubting anthropogenic climate change means we understand how science works.
And I see the political scientists of anthropogenic global weirding as worshipers of Ptolemy.
Pretty bright guy, our Ptolemy. His Harmonics defined music theory and the mathematics of music. His Geographia not only compiled world geography in the Roman Empire, but also used coordinates and established latitudes and longitudes. But he also believed the Earth was the center of the Universe. It took 1500 years before Copernicus could dispel that.
I know these pieces are always All About Me, but I also know I am not the center of the Universe.
If it takes us another 1500 years to understand that bankrupting ourselves on political science so we have nothing left to adapt to the looming colder or hotter lands and seas, we have indeed met the enemy.
He is us.