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Is the Global Warming Theory Scientific?

A long article has been released with many quotes from the core group of global warming alarmist 'scientists'. Why do I quote that word? - because so far none of them have told us, the intelligent public, a full, proper, scientifically argued case giving evidence of four things:

  1. dangerous,
  2. human-emitted,
  3. carbon-dioxide-caused,
  4. global warming is taking place.

In other words, there are four propositions that must all be substantiated with credible evidence before a scientific theory exists that there is anything to fear from carbon dioxide. My take on the status of these four is: (1) is certainly false, (2) uncertain, (3) most likely largely false, and (4) most likely true, but not as large as it has been represented. But this post is not about the correctness of the theory, but the more basic question whether it is a scientific theory at all.

I think most people know of the concept that scientific theories must be falsifiable. There are a lot of subtleties around that idea that need not concern us now, but we can use it as a rough test for good science. Remember, good science doesn't have to be correct - a theory proposed, tested properly, and rejected for making incorrect predictions is still an exercise in good science, even if it failed to come up with an advance. And contrariwise, a wild guess shoved down people's throats by force without any attempt to test against reality is bad science, even if by some chance the guess happened to be correct.

So we see that the question of whether this is good science is not the same as the question whether it is correct (although the two are obviously related).

So how does the CAGW theory stack up?

Worth repeating: Gas against wind

From Matt Ridley at

Which would you rather have in the view from your house? A thing about the size of a domestic garage, or eight towers twice the height of Nelson’s column with blades noisily thrumming the air. The energy they can produce over ten years is similar: eight wind turbines of 2.5-megawatts (working at roughly 25% capacity) roughly equal the output of an average Pennsylvania shale gas well (converted to electricity at 50% efficiency) in its first ten years.

Difficult choice? Let’s make it easier. The gas well can be hidden in a hollow, behind a hedge. The eight wind turbines must be on top of hills, because that is where the wind blows, visible for up to 40 miles. And they require the construction of new pylons marching to the towns; the gas well is connected by an underground pipe.

Unpersuaded? Wind turbines slice thousands of birds of prey in half every year, including white-tailed eagles in Norway, golden eagles in California, wedge-tailed eagles in Tasmania. There’s a video on Youtube of one winging a griffon vulture in Crete. According to a study in Pennsylvania, a wind farm with eight turbines would kill about a 200 bats a year. The pressure wave from the passing blade just implodes the little creatures’ lungs. You and I can go to jail for harming bats or eagles; wind companies are immune.

He goes on:

Does Melting Sea Ice Raise Sea Levels?

Up until now I have unthinkingly assumed that melting sea ice doesn't change sea levels. The reason is a basic principle of physics: Archimedes' Principle, which says that a floating object displaces its own weight of liquid. The idea is that when the ice melts, it will exactly fill in the 'space' that the ice block made in the water, thus leaving the water level unchanged.

But there's a fly in the ointment: when sea ice freezes, it preferentially expels salt, in the process becoming purer than the sea water it is floating in. Pure water is less dense than salty water, so when the ice melts it will overflow the 'hole in the water' that the ice had occupied, and when it overflows, it raises the water level.

That's true, and that's a very interesting application of physics and a lesson to think precisely about the physics of any situation. In other words, as physics, it is fun and interesting.

But let's see how this is being used. At the alarmist site Skeptical Science, which purports to 'expose' the fallacies of skeptical views on global warming, they start out:

Darkness Closing In - Gillard Government Censors Its Critics

Anyone who is still in doubt that the era of freedom and tolerance is rapidly drawing to a close, please note this week's shocking news. From Menzies House, we hear of this behaviour completely unbecoming a government of any free people:

Four thousand, five hundred Australians have just been censored by the Gillard-Brown regime.

I thought I had seen everything. I thought after all the attacks on freedom of speech I have written to you about before, that nothing could surprise me.

I was wrong.

In a shocking and historically unprecedented suppression of political expression and abuse of democracy, 4,500 Aussies - all opposed to this unnecessary and destructive tax on carbon dioxide - have just been told that they don't count. That their opinions don't matter. That their thoughts are not allowed to be heard.

The background: As you will remember, last month, the Joint Select Committee on Australia's Clean Energy Future Legislation asked for submissions about the carbon dioxide tax legislation. They specifically stated that they "encourage submissions to its inquiry from a wide range of individuals and organisations". There were no terms of reference.

Although they only gave us one week, four thousand five hundred of us took the time to write to the committee. Four thousand five hundred Australians took the time to read the over 1000 page legislation. Four thousand five hundred Australians wrote in depth submissions detailing the flaws in this proposed legislation.

Yesterday we discovered that their work will be suppressed. Will be silenced. Will be censored and stripped from the record without a trace.

Organised Climate Change Denial - or What?

The New York Times published a 'map' of 'organised climate change denial', which is supposed to be 'winning' because of the deep pockets and superior organisation of the hidden movers and shakers in the fossil fuel industry. As I showed before, the Australian fossil fuel industry alone is funding the climate alarmists to the tune of a billion dollars. I would be very much surprised if Andrew C. Revkin, author of the latest piece of work at NYT, can identify even a tenth of that much money spent worldwide on the skeptic side of the argument. In other words, pot - kettle - black.

But in the comments, this neat summary of the whole scare appeared: