Ohio State biology prof: Any one still doubt climate change?

Who says alarmism can’t be tested?

Steve Rissing writes in the Columbus Dispatch:

An explanation that can’t be tested isn’t an explanation — it’s a dream, a belief, a political position. It might make for good campaign rhetoric, but it makes for poor public planning.

The skeptics demand more science. Bring it on. What’s the red line for their “no effect” hypothesis? What has to happen for them to say: “We were wrong; there is an effect. You better do something about this.”Thomas Kuhn, a philosopher of science, noted in the middle of the last century that the ability and willingness to submit one’s hypothesis to testing and possible rejection formed a core component of effective science. Indeed, without it, one really isn’t practicing science; he or she is practicing advocacy at best, or maybe self-promotion.

The hold-out skeptics say they only want good science when it comes to climate change and planning for it. We all do.

How will we know we’re there? What will it take for them to abandon their “no effect” hypothesis? If they can’t answer that, they’re just adding even more hot air to the atmosphere.

Note the emphasized text.

Alarmism can be tested — but the burden is on the alarmists.

They should make a climatic prediction based on atmospheric greenhouse gas levels. Then we’ll see if it comes true — or even reasonably close.

Short of that, alarmism can go pound sand.

11 thoughts on “Ohio State biology prof: Any one still doubt climate change?”

  1. To the Biology professor.
    4 years ago this summer on the O’Reilly Factor I showed the triple crown of cooling, the change in the oceanic , solar cycles and the wild card, volcanoes. Using just ONE OF THE THREE, THE OCEANIC I made the statement the earths temps will return to where they were in the late 1970s, at the start of the satellite era, and THE END OF THE LAST COLD CYCLE OF THE PACIFIC, WHCIH IS WHEN OBJECTIVE MEASUREMENTS STARTED. You see sir, we have been in its warm phase since then if you would simply look Here is the correlation between the PDO ( Pacific) the AMO ( atlantic) and temps
    http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2010/09/amopdoustemp.jpg
    here are the global temps the last 15 years, vs co2
    http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c0168e65ad371970c-pi

    temps vs Hansens forecast that got this whole mess started
    http://c3headlines.typepad.com/.a/6a010536b58035970c0168e65b013e970c-pi

    since my forecast ( objective satellite)

    http://policlimate.com/climate/cfsr_t2m_2011.png

    The temps have been falling. I made a very public forecast with Bill Nye challenging him to a grand experiment, by 2030 the temps return to where they were in the late 1970s. So there is your test. Part one is already going my way and by the way, next winter, the global temp against the averages will be even lower. I made that prediction back in May. We are sir talking globally right, unless of course as most of you guys do you pull out a local heat wave and then tell people its global warming

    Facts, not feelings, watch the data

  2. No one who has any knowledge of history disputes “climate change”. It changes all the time, and always has, so… another strawman accusation against “deniers”.

    No one who has read anything from reputable scientists is unaware of the effect of the so-called greenhouse gases. There are any number of papers demonstrating the heat trapping effects of CO2 and all the rest – most notably, water vapor.

    What is in contention is the imputed feedback effects touted by the alarmists. Said feedback effects have never been impirically demonstrated anywhere except in their fervid imaginations and in their faulty computer models. The additional point of contention is what the planet will be like a hundred years from now even if their wild guesses were correct and what it would take to prevent it.

    To date, they still have no impirical evidence to present demonstrating a horrific planet Earth if the temperature is three degrees or more hotter. In point of fact, two degrees ought to get us to the point some time back when the Earth flourished and grapes grew in northern England. Works for me.

  3. Prof, the burden of proof is on you. I as a skeptic (if we must use your terms) am not hypothesizing anything.

  4. I have a strong suspicion that the ‘no effect hypotheses’ mentioned in the article is a different name for the ‘null hypothesis’, and that its use of the term in this context is the result of an indescribably faulty misapprehension of what it truly is.

    According to the null hypothesis, there exists in science a presumption that there is no valid connection between the occurrence of Thing A and Thing B.

    To overcome the null (‘no effect’) hypothesis, a person must hypothesize an alternative, that there actually exists a connection between A and B, and prove the connection. If the hypothesis fails, the hypothesis is said to be ‘unable to overcome the null hypothesis.’

    The null hypothesis *cannot be proven*. It is a presumption that must be overcome with proof. The burden of proof rests on the person suggesting an alternative to the ‘no effect’ hypothesis, i.e. that there is, indeed, a cause-and-effect relationship between A and B.

    Thus, the alarmists must offer proof of their hypotheses, and if they fail, the ‘no effect’ hypothesis continues to reign supreme. The latter, of course, is the default position of science, and, by definition, the default position of skeptics. What’s more, it should be the default position of anyone, including journalists.

  5. Lets assume for the sake of the argument that some percentage of global warming is the result of using fossil fuel. Then the Warmies would have us mitigate this to prevent the inevitable result which can best be described as a warmer and more benign world. The mitigation process would: A) result in a massive shift of power to government especially a world government, B) a massive redistribution of wealth obstensibly to poorer countries but in fact to the new power elite most notably a world government, C) A dramatic decrease in affordable energy that would plunge first world nations and people to a third world status, D) A decrease in health, longevity, food, jobs, democracy and freedom, etc. Not to mention that by all calculations the mitigation strategies would not work. So even if you accept that some portion of global warming is caused by humans why would we or should we abandon fossil fuel.? Until or unless their are some real alternatives to fossil fuel we are fooling ourselves if we believe people will choose to move back into a 17th century existence in an effort to achieve some nirvana thaty everyone knows cannot be achieved. There are no viable and sustainable alternatives and no evidence that any are on the horizon in spite of trillions spent propping up failed alternatives and subsidizing unsustainable alternatives. There is nothing!!! All of the billions and trillions spent chasing alternatives has simply created a better and smarter class of hucksters and scammers who make phony promises then take the money and run usually leaving a worse mess behind then when they started.

  6. This is Cass Sunstien’s precautionary principle at work, the argument is invalid and should be rejected. However, where in the scientific method does one assign someone else a hypothesis, the “No effect hypotheses”, (whatever the hell that is), and require them to prove it? Science is about empirical evidence and repeatable verification, not thinly veiled straw-man arguments. Rissing, if your going to shill for the alarmists, at least try to do a competent job.
    http://www.chamber.ca/images/uploads/Resolutions/2008/Environment-Natural-Resources/E-Precautionary.pdf

  7. Extraordinary predictions require extraordinary proof. The alarmists have made extraordinary predictions — predictions that go well beyond documented historical experience. Therefore, they must provide extraordinary proof of their predictions. They have not done so as the only “proof” they provide are projections made by computer models. Computer models are, essentially, a mathematical method of taking historical data and calculating potential future values with a range of error. The model must be able to reproduce an approximation of the actual data within a small tolerance of error as a “test” of the model’s accuracy.

    Since correlation is not proof, it is also necessary that the variables used to calculate the past results and future projections have scientific validity supporting their use as a variable. For example (this is from a beginning statistics class) it can be shown the number of muggings in NY Central Park are strongly correlated to ice cream vendor sales in the park. (Higher sales = more muggings.) But (it should be obvious) there is no scientific connection between ice cream sales and muggings. The actual variable is “good weather” that results in more people being in the park. Thus the good weather attracts park visitors making both ice cream sales increase and muggings increase (due to the presence of more potential victims).

    Thus, statistical correlations should always be highly suspect because the often involve false positives in the absence of other scientific proofs. This is frequently a problem where certain chemicals are claimed to be harmful due to a correlation. But it can be shown statistically that 100% of cocaine users drank milk (or a substitute for milk) as a baby. But that does not prove the drinking milk (or milk substitutes) is a precursor to cocaine use.

    So, the alarmists, having claimed a correlation between global temperature (a questionable concept on its face) and the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere must show a direct scientific causation effect for the correlation to be proved. However, both the correlation and the causation effect both have serious flaws when examined by various experiments — and even the question of what is the global temperature is hard to accurately determine. So far, the alarmists merely have statistical models that (1) do not accurately explain prior history and (2) do not have clear and convincing data connecting global temperatures to levels of carbon dioxide.

    So, at this point, the alarmists are merely activists, working under the ‘color’ of science in an effort to introduce new social and tax policies to governments around the world. They should be given no more credit than the Occupy Wall Street protestors who also don’t seem to have a coherent message.

  8. So we say that we would like some testable proof that CAGW is happening and it is caused by our CO2 generation. Their response is “prove it isn’t”. WTF !

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