Reply to a challenge

As a retired social science academic from Australia I am not nearly as grand as a biology professor at Ohio State University but the challenge below is such an easy one that even I can answer it. And social science is surely just as relevant to climate science as is biology!

Steve Rissing below lists a number of recent weather extremes and implies, without proof, that they are unusual. He then goes on to say:

Almost all scientists and related professionals who collect and analyze data about climate change or its effect on biological systems agree that the increased carbon dioxide levels cause much of the climate change and warming. The remaining climate skeptics tend to be policymakers who would rather not make policy.

So how do the hold-out skeptics propose to test their hypothesis that no link exists between carbon-dioxide increases and climate-change effects? Good science demands explanations and hypotheses that can be tested.

An explanation that can’t be tested isn’t an explanation — it’s a dream, a belief, a political position. It might make for good campaign rhetoric, but it makes for poor public planning.

The skeptics demand more science. Bring it on. What’s the red line for their “no effect” hypothesis? What has to happen for them to say: “We were wrong; there is an effect. You better do something about this.”Thomas Kuhn, a philosopher of science, noted in the middle of the last century that the ability and willingness to submit one’s hypothesis to testing and possible rejection formed a core component of effective science. Indeed, without it, one really isn’t practicing science; he or she is practicing advocacy at best, or maybe self-promotion.

The hold-out skeptics say they only want good science when it comes to climate change and planning for it. We all do.

How will we know we’re there? What will it take for them to abandon their “no effect” hypothesis? If they can’t answer that, they’re just adding even more hot air to the atmosphere.


My reply is simple. Both written history and proxy data show that the Medieval and Roman warm periods were at least as warm as today, despite there being nothing like the manmade CO2 emissions of today. Show me where history is wrong and I will concede that manmade CO2 levels could be responsible for the current warmish temperatures and that we are all in dire peril.

And in case the klutz is so ill-inforned as to resort to Mann's "hockeystick", let him read this and this. Warmists really are amusing

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