Everyone likes to be right. You make bets when you think that you are right. I am not a betting person but I do not think that anyone makes a bet thinking that they will lose; even lottery players think that their repetitive bets will one fine day prove right. So when it comes to gambling on climate change, what would you do?
If you think that anthropogenic climate change is right you derive satisfaction from the majority of clever climatologists who agree with you. If you do not think that the climate is changing any differently from the way that the climate has always changed you derive much satisfaction from the news that for sixteen years global surface temperatures have remained steady.
Each argument avoids a vast body of contrary opinion.
The man made global warming argument avoids or swerves around the fact that there has been little global warming for sixteen years, and explains the reason for this as climate change does not happen in a straight temperature gradient over a decade or two, but happens (when it is measured in global surface temperatures) in a gradient that rises sharply, falls a little, plateaus and then rises again over a period of two hundred and fifty years, as far as we can tell, using the start date as approximately the start of the industrial revolution – say 1750 give or take a couple of decades.
Those from the school that think that there is no anthropogenic global warming seize on specific temperature data and swerve or ignore the very odd things that are happening to the weather all over the world explaining them by pointing out there have always been record bad droughts in the USA, that Australia has always had record heat waves that cause bush fires and snow has occasionally fallen in Damascus and Jerusalem in January, albeit rarely and although the Arctic sea ice is diminishing year by year to record lows, this has nothing to do with anthropogenic climate change.
Ultimately there are probably just a handful of questions that you need to ask yourself about anthropogenic climate change. Who do you trust? Which view of the science makes best sense to you? Is this a complex question that can be resolved by a simple answer?
You could, for example, applying Occam’s razor, find the correlation between temperatures increase and the industrial revolution due to what happened in the industrial revolution, which was the huge emission of greenhouse gases previously locked away in the bowels of the earth.
You could by applying Occam’s razor argue that sixteen years without a global temperature increase simply means that the average temperature of the earth is mostly the result of the obvious differences in the power of the sum from time to time, which explains the previous two hundred and fifty years which coincided with the industrial revolution by mere chance.
Ultimately, as you cannot test anthropogenic climate change empirically you need to (a) decide which theory you prefer and back that theory but (b) bear in mind that you are making a bet and it is prudent, as there are only two choices, to insure your bet just in case you have made the wrong bet.
Filed under: carbon emissions, climate change, global warming | Tagged: anthropogenic climate chnage, arctic sea ice, betting, climate, covering bets, environment, gambling, global surface temperatures, laying bets, occam's razor, ockham's razor, science, temperature increases, weather all over the world |