Another United Nations global climate change “Conference of the Parties” wrapped up earlier this month, this time in Bonn, Germany. In recent years, attendees were required to endure travel to cosmopolitan venues like Paris, Cancun and Durbin (“South Africa’s best-kept secret”). The surely well-meaning conference-goers have high hopes that their uncommon knowledge of the future dire climate under “carbon pollution” will become common knowledge. Yet, as brilliant as the climate luminaries are about their view of the far-future global atmosphere, their confidence and persuasiveness is dimmed by a reality found well-beyond city lights.
Nearly two decades of global temperatures that refuse to cooperate with climate prediction models have caused many observers to avoid becoming climate-party initiates. In fact, climate conditions may very well continue to unfold in ways not predicted by the venerated climate models — models which are used to lure unwary proselytes. As more of the public gets wind of the paltry model success, citizens may very well pressure their governments to spend their tax revenues in more productive and beneficial ways, such as learning to understand how to better adapt to natural atmospheric variations.
Complex problems (like understanding climate change) cannot be solved because of ignorance and arrogance. Ignorance because we do not know all the facts surrounding a complicated issue. Arrogance because we think we do.
In a November 3, 2017 Wall Street Journal op-ed, “A Deceptive New Report on Climate,” physicist Steven E. Koonin points out examples of the use of climate observations which apparently are skewed toward climate alarmism. The report Koonin comments on is the U.S. Climate Science Special Report, released in early November. Koonin notes how official conclusions about recent changes in atmospheric conditions, such as heat waves and hurricane activity, can mislead the public by “highlighting a recent trend but failing to place it in complete historical context.” When such context is provided, heat and hurricane trends of late look much less remarkable in comparison with their history.
There’s an old adage that says: “Figures don’t lie, but liars figure.” Not that anyone is necessarily being purposefully dishonest when it comes to climate assessment and reporting, but you have to wonder if another old saying should be modernized to say: “There are lies, damn lies, and climate statistics.”
What about the larger state of this contentious issue?
In a chapter on mass delusions in “Win Bigly: Persuasion in a World Where Facts Don’t Matter” (Penguin Random House, 2017), author Scott Adams notes two conditions for climate science mass delusion:
“1. Complicated prediction models with lots of assumptions;
2. Financial and psychological pressure to agree with the consensus.”
These conditions go a long way to explaining how purveyors of global climate catastrophe have sold so many on planetary peril.
Although the general public may intuitively understand the complexity of the climate, few comprehend how scientists go about sorting the complexity out. Mathematical modeling is, of course, the means to climate prognostications. Such modeling is but a mystery to the uninitiated. Yet even amateurs — excluding science groupies — can sense when groupthink and arrogance is invading professional confidence. How can climate prognosticators be so sure of the catastrophic effects of humans living comfortably that they can assure us that spending a trillion dollars over the next decade is a reasonable investment?
All we have to do is invest in modernized medieval technology of wind mills and sunbeam collectors and all will be well with the world.
Ultimately, people (including scientists) believe what they want to believe. But everyone should agree that, despite the recent partying in Bonn, rational and cost-effective solutions to demonstrable climate change and environmental challenges should be sought.
Anthony J. Sadar is a certified consulting meteorologist and the author of “In Global Warming We Trust: Too Big to Fail” (Stairway Press, 2016).