Bad Astronomer likens warmism to quality of Newtonian mechanics — not as good as relativity but close enough

Has there ever been a 17-year pause in F=ma?

Phil Plait (aka Bad Astronomer) writes at Slate:

If you want to be concise, science is all about testing hypotheses, checking to see if observations support (not prove, support) the idea, or disprove it. The reason behind this is pretty simple: You can have an idea that seems right, and is supported by some observations, but may eventually be shown wrong (or incomplete) by better tests. Ideas are tentative. Provisional.

Of course, some ideas are better than others. It turns out some do an excellent job describing reality, and some not so much. And even the ones that are good can be better. The obvious example is Newtonian mechanics versus Einstein’s relativity. If you use Newton’s physics you can send probes to the planets, but the equations for relativity are more accurate. However, you don’t need relativity for most things (which is way more complicated and more difficult to use), so Newton’s way is good enough to get the job done. It’s important to note that Einstein didn’t show Newton was wrong, he showed Newton was incomplete…

From climate science we know the Earth is warming; the evidence for that is overwhelming. We know humans are at least partially if not mostly to blame for these increasing temperatures; the evidence for that is overwhelming. We know the ramifications are costly at best and catastrophic at worst; the evidence for that is overwhelming.

When it comes to climate change you can argue about proof and credible theories and how many angels can dance on the head of a pin for all I care, but in the end the evidence is so strong it’s well past the point where we have to move our feet.

16 thoughts on “Bad Astronomer likens warmism to quality of Newtonian mechanics — not as good as relativity but close enough”

  1. How does this conclusion follow from the discussion? The author explains how Newtonian physics was corrected by Quantum physics after generations of being accept as a “law”. And Quantum physics continue to be tested for failure so it is subject to continually being proven.
    Yet Climate Science which is based on assumption and which fails to be useful because there is no model that describes an outcome that actually occurs – should not be continually be tested and questioned.

  2. “We know humans are at least partially if not mostly to blame for these increasing temperatures; the evidence for that is overwhelming. ”

    it is? Show me the evidence (ie; data) that shows this. Models are not data.

  3. “Of course, some ideas are better than others. It turns out some do an excellent job describing reality, and some not so much.” — No global temperature trend since 1998. GCM’s don’t predict this, so our author believes in Not So Much.

  4. “Bad astronomer” is also bad scientist, knows nothing about what scientific evidence is, is not aware that there is no scientific evidence that supports his assertions. Everything he asserts here is demonstrably false. Human activity might be responsible for some aspect of climate but we don’t yet have any evidence that any particular human activity affects any climatic phenomenon. Show me the evidence. I continue to wait for a single piece of evidence supporting these assertions. They are essentially biblical in nature, not scientifically based at all. Bad astronomer is essentially a bible thumper for extremist idealogical environmentalism.

  5. If the social agenda (socialism/fascism) behind the AGW hypothesis was subject to the same rigors we wouldn’t have this website.

  6. Evidence for what? You aren’t very clear in your post. I think what the “Bad astronomer” is trying to say is that the link between human activity and climate is supported, not proven. So there needs to be some sort of valid explanation to disprove any sort of a link there, which is what those studying climate change are looking for.
    If the current supported magnitude of the link between human activity and climate change is disproven, I’m sure there will be a Nobel prize waiting for the discoverer.

  7. The data incorporated are from measurements less precise than the precision of the prediction/projection.

    i.e. the changes are smaller than what could be measured using the same technology as from which the real-world measurements from which the “input” data were derived. The data fed into the models has been folded, spindled and mutilated (aka homogenised), so it bears more information about the assumptions of the process of ‘homogenisation” than measurements of the natural world.

  8. What he said was that evidence was overwhelming (read inarguable) and he uses an analogy with physics that has been tested innumerable times and the theory modified to fit the data when necessary. The CAGW crowd modifies the data to fite the “consensus theory”, hence poor analogy. The only thing overwhelming about the “evidence” is the stench from the GIGO results from the models.
    In the current warmist thinking, an “oil company shill” (aka skeptics, deniers, etc.) who dares try to disprove the theory (religion) of CAGW will likely get the gallows rather than a Nobel. It is kind of like Scientology on sterioids.
    Of course the Nobel committee has also made a joke of themselves after their last few Peace Prize awards.

  9. When his *sacred* models can hind cast history for the past 10,000 years to an engineering degree of accuracy (parts per thousand) AND forecast the next 10 years with the same accuracy, then and only then can it be equated to approximate Newtonian Laws of Mechanics and Motion. Even then, every definition of every term of his so called theory must be able to be objectively tested and reproduced. No BS and general purpose evasions allowed.

    Up to now, it has been nothing but a concatenation of wild ass guesses, cooked data, pandering, misrepresentation, falsehoods, and just about every logical fallacy in the books. Their so called accuracy is much worse than shooting at the side of a barn and missing. To say they are “not so good” is a misrepresentation nearly approaching criminal fraud. If he gets tax money sourced grants based upon his so called methods and theories, it then becomes a criminal fraud punishable by a very long term in prison.

  10. “However, you don’t need relativity for most things (which is way more complicated and more difficult to use), so Newton’s way is good enough to get the job done.”

    Of course it is more difficult to use, just as in ‘climate science’, trying to make fictional fisics fit the real world just does not work.

  11. The models are even missing the Water Cycle, have no rain in the Carbon Cycle, they are models of no known physical planet or star.

    Having created a fantasy world passing itself off as our real one the arguments between CAGWs and AGWs continue to be about nuances of their imaginary Dogma, as all belief systems built out of the imagination, and both unable to provide any empirical data in support of it.

  12. Reply to anonymous “explain.” You say, “I think what the “Bad astronomer” is trying to say is that the link between human activity and climate is supported, not proven.” Maybe he (or she) is saying that, but even that is wrong. CAGW and AGW are only “supported” by opinions, assumptions, and anecdotes. Anecdotes are never “telling” unless they illustrate a phenomenon that has been empirically demonstrated through proper sampling, careful measurement, and tracking over a reasonable period of time. For climate, that probably means at least 20 years. An example might be particulate matter creating atmospheric smog resulting from the exhaust of motor vehicles or the burning of coal.

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