01 Mar 2016

Appeal to Scientism in the Climate Change Policy Debate

Climate Change, Shameless Self-Promotion 2 Comments

My latest at FEE. I think I have some funny lines in here that you haven’t seen before; this was not my usual piece. An example:

The “statistical analysis” did not establish that the critics’ claims were false. It is undeniably true that the official NASA GISS records showed, for example, that the average annual global temperature in 2008 was lower than the annual temperature in 1998, and that’s why people at the time were saying, “There has been no global warming in the last ten years.”

Here is a NASA-affiliated scientist arguing that such claims are misleading, and perhaps they were, but it is similarly misleading to turn around and claim that the pause didn’t exist.

If you asked a bunch of Americans whether they gained weight over the last 10 years, their natural interpretation of that question would be, “Do I weigh morenow than I weighed 10 years ago?” They wouldn’t think it involved construction of moving averages since birth. In that sense, the people referring to the pause were not acting dishonestly; they were pointing out to the public a fact about the temperature record that would definitely be news to them, in light of the rhetoric of runaway climate change.

2 Responses to “Appeal to Scientism in the Climate Change Policy Debate”

  1. guest says:

    Why Skeptics are Losing the Climate Change Battle

    “And as to remote sensing by satellites the data obtained may be of some scientific interest, but can counting units of energy likewise tell us the temperature of the planet? Well, the answer is no, for the very simple reason that there is not one temperature, but a huge mass of ever changing temperatures.

    (HT to JunkScience.com)

    • Gil says:

      I would read an article like that as akin to “Creationists making great steps to making sure both sides of the origin of life appear in science classroom.”

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