Monday, February 1, 2010

The Worst Way to Argue for Global Warming Being a Threat

This is the kind of news story, published in the Times of London, that must drive serious scientists who sincerely believe in Anthropogenic Global Warming absolutely batty. Assuming there is actual scientific evidence for AGW, why do its friends persist in making loony claims about how every weather event, natural disaster and, in this case, single flock of sheep "proves" AGW?

The news story cites a scientific paper says that a flock of sheep on an island off Scotland is getting whiter year by year and leaps to the conclusion that this must have something to do with AGW. It seems that the difference between a hypothesis and a conclusion escapes the understanding of the news writer (not, one hopes, the author of the scientific paper).

The AGW alarmists frequently hector the skeptics for celebrating every snowstorm as evidence that the planet is not heating up by insisting on the difference between weather (short term, local, erratic) and climate (long term, global, displaying macro trends over time). OK, I get that. Fair enough. But what is good for the goose is good for the gander or, er . . . what is good for the ewe is good for the ram.

The alarmists think that hectoring the public on every weather event or isolated circumstance that could possibly be linked to AGW builds the case for AGW being real in the public mind. But, actually, it has the opposite effect. If there were repeatable, universally-accepted empirical evidence proving AGW there would be no need for "Global Warming Apologetics" or for constant propaganda.

If the threat were as real as last year's banking crisis, the leaders of the leading countries of the world would just get together and take whatever action was necessary to keep London and Florida above water. It would not need to be a matter of debate and propaganda. It would be a matter of science - period. The funny thing is that the more Al Gore harps on how absolutely unanimous the science is and the more the media try to prove AGW from a weather event or the equivalent, the more skeptical the public becomes.

And then when we read stories like this one in the Daily Telegraph "UN Climate Change Panel Based Claims on Student Dissertation and Magazine Article," we are not that surprised.

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