Sunday, February 11, 2007

More on global warming and cloud formation

Here's another article which, after raising some of the same complaints that I have about this global warming debate, cites Dr. Svensmark's experiment with the cloud formation in a box. There's no new data here, but I'm glad to see someone else raising questions about the unscientific nature of what should be a scientific debate.

Now, granted, I have not seen the actual data from the Svensmark's experiment. The whole thing could be bunk. Maybe he's making it up. BUT - at the very least, someone has proposed an experiment as a method of determining the cause of global warming, and someone else (the writer of the above article) has taken notice that experimentation is fundamental to scientific proof.

I'm also raising my estimate to the odds that no one has conducted an actual experiment proving the CO2=greenhouse gas=global warming tie to about 99.9999%. Either the internet is completely absent of that experiment, or it just doesn't exist. I'm guessing the latter. (I have no scientific evidence to back up this claim either, but that seems par for the course...)

Which leads me to my next irritation about this thing. People who have not bought into the human/CO2/warming combination are referred to as "global warming skeptics" or, in more propagadized (is that a word?) terms "global warming deniers" which is a really stupid attempt to equate skepticism of human caused warming with denial of the Holocaust. Whatever.

Anyway, ignoring that obvious stupidity, calling someone a "skeptic" in science implies that someone doubts the results of a particular experiment or overwhelming proof. If I said I had developed a drug that destroyed all cancer, then, in the absence of data, you'd dismiss me as a lunatic. If I backed my claims up with data, you'd probably be skeptical of my claims until you could repeat the experiment that produced the data yourself.

So, "skeptic" implies that there's something to be skeptical about. There isn't, because in this case there is no experimental data or overwhelming proof. There is only circumstantial evidence. So, to me it doesn't seem like there should be a group called "skeptics" so much as there should be a group called "believers". Belief in the absence of proof is something that you find in religion and philosophy, not science.

Instead of spending billions to address the CO2 problem, how about spending millions to get some experiments setup and completed which confirm (or deny) this linkage? Is that too much to ask, given the kinds of dollars that will be spent here?

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