Sunday, September 24, 2017

In denial?

Those of us who, as either scientists or laymen, believe that we cannot know, now, or possibly ever, what the climate will be like in fifty or a hundred years, let alone whether changes will have disastrous effects-we are called denialists. We get this fun epithet largely because it is alleged we deny that climate is changing, not just that long-term predictions are a fool's errand.

For the record-we deny least regarding the idea that the climate can ever be ENTIRELY stable, one way or the other.

The Earth's temperature, as best we can tell, is today 0.5 degrees C above its 1979-2000 base. 

But those predictions are fact dicey propositions. As this piece argues, while the climate is a "non-linear chaotic system", it in fact is prone to long periods of relative stability-it has been quite stable over the last ten thousand years (post the last Ice Age).

The shoe seems to be on the other foot, so to speak-the alarmists need to make a case that small changes in carbon dioxide (relative to those seen in geological history) will have effects that override this stability, and that, given that predictions of chaotic systems call for full knowledge of small-scale conditions ("The Butterfly Effect"), that they know conditions well enough to make such calls.

I deny this possibility.

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