Al Gore's bizarre editorial brings to the surface that question of whether what he calls Climate Change is a science or not. Is his emotive, Chicken Little ("the sky is falling!") approach scientific? Does it make specific, falsifiable predictions, or is it ever expanding to cover exigencies?
I used to be an avid AGW supporter. What clued me in was when I heard the Global Warming crowd claim warming was melting the snows on Kilimanjaro, then when that stopped, claim it was also increasing precipitation, so lengthening the snows!
This story repeats itself constantly. Before the big snow hit DC this year, Robert Kennedy editorialized that Global Warming was reducing snowfall in DC. After the storm hit, Al Gore editorialized that warming creates more precipitation so causes heavy snow!
The core of a pseudo science like Astrology is it constantly expands its claims to encompass de-verifying events. It refuses to be disprovable. The expansions always have a veneer of scientific plausibility. Isn't that what we see in Al Gore? Isn't he peddling a modern-day Astrology?
- It is easy to obtain confirmations, or verification, but ...
- Confirmations should count only if they are the result of risky predictions - an event which would have refuted the theory.
- Every "good" scientific theory is a prohibition: it forbids certain things to happen
- A theory which is not refutable by any conceivable event is non-scientific
- Every genuine test of a theory is an attempt to falsify it, or to refute it
- Confirming evidence should not count except when it is the result of a genuine test of the theory
Popper adds a critical distinction between real science and psuedo science:
Some genuinely testable theories, when found to be false, are still upheld by their admirers — for example by introducing ad hoc some auxiliary assumption, or by reinterpreting the theory ad hoc in such a way that it escapes refutation.
Such a procedure is always possible, but it rescues the theory from refutation only at the price of destroying, or at least lowering, its scientific status.
A theory must make specific predictions about how it behaves that can be tested by observation or experiment. There are certainly climate scientists trying this route. Unfortunately for the theory, the scientific claims are being steadily disproved. I have looked into these in this blog, such as these three key predictions:
- Is the greenhouse layer in the troposphere warming as it must? No, there is no hotspot.
- Is humidity increasing in the greenhouse layer as models require? No, it is decreasing.
- Are the oceans warming as they must to hold the higher heat? No, cooling.
But Al Gore? He made a number of predictions in his documentary, most of which are proving false:
- Hurricanes are getting fewer and less violent
- Tornadoes are getting less violent
- Sea levels are not rising at the moment
- Greenland is not at risk of losing its land ice sliding into the sea
- ... etc
In the UK his documentary has been found in court to contain nine scientific errors. Gore has repudiated some of his alarmist assertions, such as when the Arctic ice would melt; and others are simply whacko, such as the temperature of the Earth a few kilometers down.
Now he falls back in his editorial on pleas to keep the faithful in the fold by appeals to emotion and extreme claims of "unimaginable" tragedies that await if we do nothing.
Face it, this is not science, but an Astrology of Fear.