Tuesday, 5 July 2011

More About Psychology than Physics

The Great Global Warming Debate seems (on the surface, at least) to be a question of science where opinions should count for nothing and verifiable hypotheses for everything. In general the prevailing theory explains the world until a better one comes along to displace it. If you try to disprove the laws of thermodynamics - go on, give it a go! - you'll make history if you succeed. You'll be revered.

Science is subject to something called "Popperian falsifiability", after the great science philosopher Karl Popper. Popper argued that a theory can be considered scientific only if subject to falsifiability. That is, if false it can be refuted by observation or experiment. In contrast, political ideas can be as wacky as yer like: even the most discredited ideas manage some sort of following. And as for religious 'truths'... (ah, you can complete the sentence for me).

The new religion of global warmism is immune to falsifiability. To every refutation there is an equal and opposite riposte. It is unfalsifiable. If the Britain disappears under a ten mile sheet of ice the Warmistas can sneer, "Huh! It would've been twenty miles thick but for greenhouse gases." I have on several occasions volunteered my acceptance criteria: I will accept Global Warming if (you guessed it) the..... globe warms. Specifically, if the annual mean temperature anomaly of the GISS data series exceeds 1.0C in three of the years in the current decade I'll surrender. When I challenge Warmists to state their falsifiability criteria the reply is along the lines of, "Ahhhh, no, you can't get us on THAT one! No sir! If the inevitable warming is delayed by a few years it'll be along at some later time." Substitute for the word warming for The Second Coming or The Galactic Spacefleet and the warped self-sustaining logic is just as evident.

Since time immemorial Man has had a deep-seated need to fear an apocalypse. Our ancestors feared great floods and barbarians at the gates. They feared flying saucers and commie domino effects. They feared anarchists poisoning the reservoirs and divine termination of this wicked world. Video flagare; audio clamare. Global Warming is merely the latest millennial fear; a neoapocalyptic Armageddon myth.

Is it a giant hoax; a worldwide conspiracy? I think not. I think that the maniacs peddling this scare story sincerely believe thier own nonsense. They're genuinely deluded. Listen to the coach of the Hockey Team, Michael Mann:


That's what science* is up against.


*'Science' does not include the bankrupt numerological discipline of Climatography which has been stripped of its 'ology'. They barely deserve an 'ography'.

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