On Climate Change: “We just don’t know yet,” is the truth

Various news outlets have been forced to note in recent months what the I and others have noted for a number of years already – global warming, by which I mean an actual rise in global average temperature as predicted by all the climate models and theories that blame the rise in CO2 for the measured rise in temperature from the early 1980s through the late 1990 – has plateaued. For instance, earlier this week Reuters wrote that “Climate Scientists struggle to explain warming slowdown.” Leaving aside the fact that Reuters even now, got the headline wrong – it’s not a slowdown, the rate of increase hasn’t declined but rather it has halted or plateaued, Lawrence Solomon notes some of the other news organizations that have recently become reluctantly skeptical. Average temperatures have now stalled for 17 years, almost the same amount of time that they rose which sparked the furor about global warming. We at the NCPA have argued for many years that skepticism concerning the causes, direction, continuation and consequences of climate change is the only appropriate stance to take since the earth is not a closed system, like a greenhouse, and there are simply too many factors (largely unknown or concerning which we have limited knowledge of) to make a sound judgment. Though the IPCC does not acknowledge the profound implications of its incomplete understanding of climate science, it does, at least recognize that it has an incomplete understanding.

How Much Do We Know about the Causes of Global Temperature Change?

How Much Do We Know about the Causes of Global Temperature Change?

With this in mind, I thought David Friedman’s recent blog on climate matters was worth publicizing.

Comments (9)

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  1. Roger Depaz says:

    It is interesting how this topic has been widely used for political gain over the past decade or so. I am for the development and research of this field so that we can have a better understanding in the future of which factors influence climate change and why. The scientific method is an evolving concept and practice that humans are still trying to perfect and understand. In some fields, this method has been used and perfected for a much longer time than in other fields. Climate science is one of the sciences we have a very limited understanding about, and, therefore, using manipulated data for political gain on any side of the political scale is sad.

  2. Raj Khan says:

    The title should be: On Climate Change: “We just don’t know yet,” is the “inconvenient” truth!

    • Ron Smith says:

      Raj, it may be inconvenient but we need to realize that environmental science is a new science that will take much longer to develop. We can’t expect to know everything about the earth’s climate when we are just beginning to discover important quantum truths about the earth’s physical structure through a field that has been studied for far longer than the environment. Moreover, both fields are not mutually exclusive.

      • Jordan says:

        I think the point is that there is a lot of money changing hands based on imperfect evidence.

        • Andrew says:

          Well, climate change is not the only field where special interests have set their hands on to use “science” to promote an agenda. Science shouldn’t be messed with in that sense, but unfortunately it does and will continue to happen. In this case, it’s not even based on imperfect evidence, the science still has yet to develop in order to begin to provide evidence. So far only a few influential factors have shown correlations, not causation, as far I am concerned.

  3. Jacob Ruisdael says:

    Vindicated! I was always suspicious about Al Gore, but here’s proof he’s full of it.

  4. Andrew says:

    The graph and article mentioned on this post is a good example that illustrates why we still can’t make any significant claims about climate change since we yet have much to learn about the factors that influence climate change. Solar irradiance, for example, is something we really don’t yet have a clear cause-effect understanding about. The same goes for many other factors that we have to continue studying throughout the upcoming decades.

  5. Gabriel Odom says:

    Climate science, on the whole, has only been around for about 200 years. Before this, simple almanacs and shamanism were the order of the day. Compare this with economics: this discipline is less than 250 years old. Yet, we make nation-altering decisions based on very young – almost juvenile – scientific disciplines.

  6. H. James Prince says:

    @Gabriel, I agree. If only rain dances actually worked.

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