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What is evidence?

Posted By Joanne Nova On October 30, 2008 @ 4:38 pm In Global Warming | Comments Disabled

Science depends on observations, made by people at some time and place. Things you can see, hold, hear and record. The real world trumps theory every time. And real evidence must be falsifiable, not faith based.

Evidence is not just any observations, only the relevant ones matter. As far as the question of
carbon as a major cause of global warming, the following lists sum things up.

Evidence of carbons impact

  • If temperatures followed CO2 levels in the past. (They didn’t)
  • If the atmosphere showed the characteristic heating pattern of increased greenhouse warming. (It doesn’t).

Anything that heats the planet will melt ice, shift lemurs, and cause droughts. None of these things tell us WHY the planet got warmer.

Not evidence

  • Arctic Ice disappearing
  • Glaciers retreating
  • Coral reef bleaching
  • Mt Kilamanjaro losing snow
  • Madagascan lemurs doing anything
  • Four polar bears caught in a storm
  • Pick-a-bird/tree/moth facing extinction
  • A change in cyclones/hurricanes/typhoons
  • Droughts
  • Dry rivers
  • Computer models*
  • There is no ‘better’ explanation.
  • Some guy with a PhD is ‘sure’.
  • 2,500 scientists mostly agree.
  • A government committee wrote a long report.
  • Government spending on ‘Emissions Trading Plans’ tops $100m.
  • Geri Halliwell signed a sceptics petition.
  • A failed theologian, ex politician made a documentary.

*Computer models are NOT evidence

They’re sophisticated, put together by experts, and getting better all the time. But even if they could predict the climate correctly (they can’t), even if they were based on solid proven theories (they aren’t), they still wouldn’t count as evidence. Models of complex systems are based on scores of assumptions and estimates piled on dozens of theories. None of the current models forecast that temperatures would stop rising from 2001 – 2008. So there is at least one other factor that is more important than CO2 and the models don’t know what it is.

For a full discussion of evidence see “No Evidence”.

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