Friends and colleagues question my avowed skepticism about global, catastrophic climate change. After all, who am I to argue with science (as if science is one collective body)?
The reasons are 3-fold, and I mention the first two only in passing. First, I do not trust long term models. If nearly 40 years of studying and applying economics, finance and technology has taught me anything, it is that our complex universe and collective human psyches mock our ability to predict anything beyond about three days.
But science is different shout the believers. Well, yes and no—especially on something as incredibly complex and laden with uncountable variables as the world’s climate. Don’t believe me? Then dig out alarmist climate forecasts—nearly any will do—from 10, or even 5 years ago and compare them to today’s world.
My second reason, alas, may offend some very good people. In the absence of a shared deity, the political left tends to create one every generation or so. The same, anti-growth forces all flock to the temple. Catastrophic Climate Change is the current deity of the left and it is upheld with religious zeal. History has not always been kind to their causes.
The third reason concerns me the most because it contributes to the wasteful and silly antagonism between the scientific community and its consumers of information—that is, us.
Look around and you will find examples of respected scientists and publications using fallacious arguments in asserting proof of their climate change theories. The catastrophic climate change community—and, let’s face it, industry—can be found using argumentative techniques for which we teach our children to be wary. Perhaps this is in part due to the reputational and financial capital some of them have at stake in bolstering their narrative.
Consider the specious use of examples of a Drowning World from a recent edition of National Geographic. The first in a series of dramatic flood photos (attributed to climate change) is captioned, “In 2011 Thailand’s worst floods in 50 years swamped the village…”
So, 5 years prior to this article a flood occurred. 50 years ago a worse flood occurred, and nothing of note occurred since 2011. We are not told when the previous flood occurred, or what is the historical pattern of flooding. Is this simply a 50-year flood event? Sad for the residents, but ho-hum for alarmist theories.
Other examples sport the same anecdotal narrative attempting to pass for science. Using this one article as an example, from one of the world’s most respected sources, it is not hard to find this technique– mislabeling of random natural events as scientific trend–writ large.
I am not qualified to know whether nightmare climate change projections are right or wrong. But you don’t need to be a scientist to spot a shoddy argument.