Sunday, September 14, 2008

Weather Report: Consistent with Global Warming

Ok, I'm going to be the first to say it: This shockingly cloudy and wet British August is consistent with Anthropogenic (man made) Global Warming Theory (AGW).

Note that I do not say "Is due to GW" nor "Proves Global Warming theory is true". Both those statement would be unsustainable.

Causality is always problematic, especially in empiricist Britain, where the philosopher David Hume concluded that causality is only a regularity of our perceptions, so real, common sense causality cannot be verified. He is supposed to have said "I cannot know that my tossing a stone across the room might not extinguish the sun. So I am not saying August is due to AGW.

Likewise, since "proof" is something that happens in geometry and mathematics, not in science. Popper shows that the best status that a scientific theory can attain is not-yet-disproven. Kuhn goes further, saying that proof happens when a matter is consensual in the scientific community. AGW sure is proven in this sense, but Kuhn is a hostage of fortune to Derrida and his undisciplined hordes. (I have picked up a habit of source-dropping from certain members of the green economics community. It is time saving fun for the writer, but apologies to any readers who find it a pain). So "August proves global warming" is out.

But August is consistent with AGW. "Consistent with" is the phrase used by medical witnesses as in "The injuries were consistent with being struck with a blunt instrument". Science is a matter of recognising a pattern, proposing n explanation, then trying to find data that invalidates the pattern. AGW has been recognised. A sound body of evidence is consistent with the proposal that it is happening right now.

The problem lies with the psychological ego-defence mechanism of denial. Up to now I have just dismissed these as time-wasters. I now realise that we have to take them on, because they are hugely influential with the newspaper reading public.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.