Warmist Prof: Burden to disprove global warming hypothesis on skeptics

Wesleyan University’s Gary Yohe has it exactly backwards — but what would you expect from an “environmental studies” professor?

Yohe writes in the Providence Journal:

Steve Goreham’s Aug. 5 Commentary piece (“Why the climate models of global warming are wrong”) offered a wrong diagnosis and a wrong prescription on how to respond to climate change.

Climate models show us the planet’s long-term response to more heat-trapping emissions from fossil fuels. They may miss some short-term changes, which critics often point to, but they are on the mark regarding long-term warming and the risks we face from it. We know more warming — and more coastal flooding and heat waves — is on the way thanks to the heat-trapping emissions we’ve already put into the atmosphere. It’s also clear that continuing on a business-as-usual path would lock us into even higher levels of warming. But dramatically and swiftly lowering emissions would decrease the effects of climate change.

No climate model is perfect, but all are immensely useful in projecting possible futures since we do not have the luxury of another Earth on which to experiment. Similarly, the Federal Reserve uses economic models to inform how it sets interest rates, even though those models of our economic system are imperfect, too.

We are already dealing with climate change as a risk management problem, and that is good. Local and state governments in the Northeast are adapting and many are reducing emissions.

Most importantly, though, the burden of proof should be on contrarians like Goreham. Unless they can prove unequivocally that climate change presents no risk, we cannot prudently take responding to those risks off of the table.

Gary W. Yohe Middletown, Conn.

The writer is Huffington Foundation Professor of Economics and Environmental Studies at Wesleyan University.

In science, a hypothesis needs to be affirmatively demonstrated via the scientific method. Warmists claim science proves their hypothesis. Therefore, the burden is on them. Attempting to disprove their hypothesis is akin to proving a negative, which is impossible.

16 thoughts on “Warmist Prof: Burden to disprove global warming hypothesis on skeptics”

  1. “Is the Magic 8 Ball making a comeback as a climate model?” It’s about as accurate as anthing the alarmists are using. Love that line!

  2. More specifically, it is a meaningless package deal. The wrapping is innocent climate change as climate has always done since there first was a climate. The next layer is catastrophic climate change. On down is that man caused the change, especially the catastrophic part, and that change is going to destroy the planet. Finally we get close to the core of the matter. To prevent the disaster from happening we must stop the future, end the use of industrial quantities and quality of energy, and return to a hunting and gathering lifestyle (alternate energy). The payoff is that the economy of the earth will collapse, our technological civilization will implode, and thevast majority of mankind will parish in the process.

    Why? It is not to save the earth. The earth has passed through many far more serious disasters than the addition of a trace amount of CO2 to a trace amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. The reason is they hate the responsibility of being human and having to think, learn, act, fail, try again, eventually succeed, and always strive to do better. NO. If they can’t have the mythical Garden of Eden were every whim is provided without effort, they want to destroy it all.

  3. Rather than refuting in a factual manner any of Goreham’s points, Yohe uses a number of illogical fallacies involving presumption and irrelevance (as warmists are wont to do) and tries to induce his readers to excuse the shortcomings of the climate models. He throws around factual-sounding phrases without any support: “climate models show…” and “they are on the mark….”
    And then there’s this gem: “all [climate models] are immensely useful in projecting possible futures….” Setting aside his ridiculous insistence that ‘all climate models are immensely useful,’ how ambiguous can a warmist get? ‘Useful in projecting possible futures’? Is the Magic 8 Ball making a comeback as a climate model?
    I have come to believe that Climate Studies programs at our esteemed postsecondary institutions are now offering a writing course titled ‘Boldly proclaiming the possible and/or the likely as scientific fact.’ The Maybe Game is not science.
    This is a classic appeal to ignorance: until you prove it’s wrong, my conclusion must be right. Warmists employ fallacies so regularly that they no longer can discern when they have driven off the cliff of reason and into the ravine called Non Sequitur.

  4. “We all agree that climate change presents risks.”

    Sorry, I don’t agree. “Climate change” is a meaningless marketing phrase.

  5. “Climate models show us the planet’s long-term response to more heat-trapping emissions from fossil fuels . . . they are on the mark regarding long-term warming and the risks we face from it.”

    Yohe is back from the future. How else could he know?

  6. How do the models work when we remove the assumption that CO2 has any effect on climate whatsoever, and then add in the Pacific and Atlantic occilations and sun spot cycles, i.e. all the non-human variables? Has anyone done this sort of modeling?
    Also, I was wondering if you can get a doctorate in environmental studies without taking and passing a course in elementary statistics and statistical inference? Here is a test question for you, real simple. Take the 100 year temperature record of the East Anglia U Climate Research Unit. Cut it into two halves. Is there any statistically significant difference between the two halves in terms of absolute increase? OK, how about pattern of accelerate-deceleration? No? The very same data set that the IPCC relies on for AGW and its connection to CO2 is easily thus falsified.
    Ronald G. Havelock, Ph.D. (earned the hard way by learning what science was all about)

  7. Professor:
    We all agree that climate change presents risks.
    We do not agree that climate change is primarily or solely caused by co2; and
    We certainly do not agree that you or your friends can control the climate in any meaningful way; and
    We will never agree to allow you and your friends to destroy our societal infrastructure based on your climate “models”.

  8. This is but one more of an almost infinite number of examples of the alarmists adhering to Postmodern Philosophy and Post Normal Science. They believe that by the mere assertion of an idea, it becomes true. The only evidence he thinks he has to present is that others assert it also. In particular, since 100% of true believers believe it is so, it has a consensus behind it and the science is settled.

    However, there is one quite troubling fact with respect to this so called settled science. Reality may not agree to cooperate with the consensus and will do what it has done for approximately 13 billion years more or less: do its own thing its own way without paying any attention to the hopes, dreams, fantasies, whims, and nightmares of we humans.

    The professor’s words are nothing but a word salad empty of intellectual nutrition and is distinctly toxic to human health and wealth.

  9. I can vouch that the professor does not torture kittens….before he eats them. As to his/her cross dressing, I cannot testify…thankfully.

  10. By the way, at the end of Ed Woods Jr.’s classic “Plan Nine of Outer Space”, the “prophet” Criswell ominously asks, “Can you prove it didn’t happen?” He has worthy successors here in Professor Yohe and his ilk and his kith and his kin.

  11. Of course, it turns out that the basics of CAGW have been disproven anyway.
    1) Although humans have continued to produce larger amounts of CO2, temps have flattened or declined since 1997 or 1998 or 2000 or 2005, depending on which data series you choose.
    2) Even during the warmest years of the last 50 years, “extreme” weather events occurred erratically and at about the same rate as other years during the last 50.
    Empirically, then, the warming that occurred did not produce the results that the models predicted (or that the warmists claimed had happened but had not) and the human production of CO2 has not produced the warming that was predicted.
    When the key points of a hypothesis have been falsified, the hypothesis has been falsified. NED.

  12. Mr. Yohe fails to even consider the costs and risks associated with the carbon reduction regime. The onus WOULD be on skeptics if the costs of amerlioration were low enough. They aren’t. I won’t even deign to mention his dubious assumptions about the purported effects,

  13. Even before I opened the post ,I swear that I thought the same thing about trying to prove a negative.I am not a prof. of economics and enviro studies, but as a humble toothdoc,if I can intuitively see this ,I worry about this gentleman’s skewed view of the scientific process!

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