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.