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Climate Change Perversion

Edward A. Reid Jr.
Posted On:
Dec 12, 2017 at 6:32 AM
Climate Change

“Climate Change Skepticism is “Perverse”, Pope Francis

Perverse: turned away from what is right or good: corrupt (Merriam-Webster)

There is ample historical evidence for climate change. Therefore, while false skepticism regarding the reality of climate change might be perverse, real skepticism regarding climate change is simply ignorance. However, ignoring or denying the reality of the Roman Warm Period, the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age while promoting a future climate “hockey stick”, for example, might be considered perverse. Believing that the climate had always been as it was in 1850, for example, is simply ignorance.

Anthropogenic climate change skepticism is more complex. Skepticism that all previous climate change was natural, but that recent climate change is exclusively or primarily anthropogenic, is a reasonable position, since it is not currently possible to measure the human contribution to climate change on a global or macro scale. However, it is possible to demonstrate human influence on climate on a local or micro scale, particularly in the case of the Urban Heat Island Effect. It is also possible to calculate the impact of human forest clearing and conversion to farmland on the albedo of the land. It is unreasonable to assume that the natural factors which caused climate change in the past somehow ceased, to be replaced exclusively by human influences.

Catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) skepticism is even more complex; and, more rational. CAGW concerns are based on unverified climate models, typically fed the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5 “business-as-usual” or worst-case scenario. Since the models have not been verified, there is no basis upon which to assume that they have any predictive skill. In fact, the models are currently showing warming more than two times greater than observations.

There are, however, several aspects of the current climate science process which are perverse:

  • continuing to collect and adjust near-surface temperature data believed to be inaccurate, rather than replacing the temperature sensors with sensors capable of producing accurate data, or relocating the sensors to appropriate locations;
  • continuing to “create” temperature inputs for locations where there are no sensors, or where the sensors have ceased operating, rather than install or replace sensors;
  • continuing to “reanalyze” previously adjusted temperature data to alter the historical record;
  • continuing to fund production of catastrophic climate scenarios using unverified models and unrealistic emissions growth paths, rather than devoting the available funding to attempting to verify one or more models;
  • failing to seek to understand the relationships between near-surface temperature measurements and satellite temperature measurements; and,
  • failing to seek to understand the relationship between surface-based and satellite-based sea level rise measurements.

There are also aspects of the politics surrounding the climate science process which are perverse:

  • demonization of legitimate skepticism on the part of climate scientists;
  • refusal to fund research which questions the climate orthodoxy;
  • erection of barriers to the publication of skeptical scientific papers; and,
  • lawsuits against climate scientists critical of others’ scientific papers.

Skepticism regarding unproven assertions is a natural human response. Attacking that skepticism, rather than responding to it, typically raises “red flags” among skeptics. The persistent refusal of those in the consensed climate science community to debate, or otherwise engage, skeptical scientists raises additional “red flags”.