8/22/2007

Science by Consensus

The Hammond Report has a good piece up about global warming, referencing a Jeff Jacoby piece.

Jacoby points out that science has typically not been a matter of voting or 'consensus,' but instead a discipline "in which truth is determined by evidence, experimentation, and observation, not by consensus or revelation." (Can you say "Copernicus?") Is the present bromide about scientific consensus a result of the impossibility of proving the truth of a model that will not play out for the next hundred years?

Hammond had this to say about those who advocate the legitimacy of anthropomorphic global warming theory: "Because of their intense desire to shut down the debate on what is clearly only a hypothesis they are not terribly confident that this hypothesis can withstand serious and thoughtful scrutiny. In other words, if they were 100% confident that humans caused global warming, they should welcome any and all debate and evidence for or against it, knowing that when all evidence is in, it will be proven to be a fact."

I'll give you another thought. If global warming advocates truly believed that this was a global crisis jeopardizing all of mankind, wouldn't they treat it a little bit more seriously? You know, like not flying in private jets and heating multiple homes? Like not pumping thousands of tons of carbon into the atmosphere in the name of raising "awareness?"

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Because it's in vogue. Nobody who's anybody want's to be seen "hating the planet". Even if they do hate the planet, it'd be bad for their reputation to let others know it.

Anonymous said...

On the other hand, when put in human terms, mother's often know their children are ill or "something is wrong" before professionals can identify the problem. Might this not be a case of aware people calling attention to a perceived problem prior to actual diagnosis?

"The more man divorces himself from contact with, and hastens the destruction of, nature, the more he will be unable to identify the ills within himself hasten many people's destruction by those of no conscience." Sister Cecilia 1997

Allan said...

On the other hand, when put in human terms, mother's often know their children are ill or "something is wrong" before professionals can identify the problem. [sic]

And sometimes not.

pediocetes said...

Political correctness prevents any discussion of the root of human caused environmental change, growth in the human population. Any change in efficiences will be overwhelmed by that growth. This neither good nor bad, simply an "inconvenient" Malthusian truth. I see no discussion of this, or its obvious solution, among the human caused climate change elite.

mary jolley said...

This neither good nor bad, simply an "inconvenient" Malthusian truth.
Was not Malthusian "truth" proven wrong many years ago?

Anonymous said...

It seems to me the question is not whether "anthropogenic global warming" is a fact, but whether that view is supported by research.

A meta-analysis of 928 papers published in refereed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003, reveals not a single one disagreed with this consensus. ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A26065-2004Dec25.html) There are virtually no respectable scientists (other than those in the employ of industry) who take issue with the consensus. On the other hand, there are many different forecasts based upon this consensus, so there is some debate there.

Why do believe all these scientists have gotten it wrong? Where is your evidence?