What do you call the mental process which allows a man to say “What’s firmly established is that the climate is warming” while also holding that “There’s been a burst of worthy research aimed at figuring out what causes the stutter-steps in the process—including the current hiatus/pause/plateau [in warming]”?
Which is it? The climate is warming or it isn’t?
Since the man who said this is a reporter (for a far-left newspaper), I’m inclined to put it down to reporteritis, but if we have a psychologist in the house, perhaps he can suggest a better term.
Whatever it is, the man is not alone; indeed, he is only quoting his scientific betters, who also claim that the climate is warming because it isn’t. This stark, throbbing contradiction is called “settled science”, and if one doesn’t want to be called a fool, one had better avow it reasonable.
Among others, the reporter quotes Joshua Willis of JPL who said, “if you mean how robust is the ‘slowdown’ in global surface warming, the answer is it just probably just barely statistically significant.”
He also queried John Michael Wallace, emeritus at U. Washington, who said, “The prevailing view…was that the signal of human-induced global warming first clearly emerged from the background noise of natural variability starting in the 1970s..” and “It seemed to me that the hiatus in the warming, which by then was approaching ten years in length, should not be dismissed as a statistical fluke” and “I hope this will lead to a broader discussion about the contribution of natural variability to local climate trends and to the statistics of extreme events.”
These experts belie an ignorance of the nature of statistical evidence. Let’s review what that evidence implies for the theory of doom-laden global warming.
The theory said, for decades, that temperatures would be high, yet they were not high. That logically implies that the theory is wrong. That it it not right. That it is flawed. That it is in error. That it should not be trusted. That the science behind the theory cannot be settled. That to believe the theory is true in the face of this evidence is unreasonable.
To say the theory which promised an increase where there was instead a “hiatus” or “pause”, is to say the theory is false. The theory did not say “hiatus” or “pause”, but increase.
To still believe the theory true in the face of this evidence is to believe against the evidence, and to believe on the basis of something else. What this is can be told to us by our psychologist.
What this something else cannot be is “natural variability.” Natural variability is just what the theory promised to quantify. It didn’t. Natural variability is the climate. It is a mistake to say the climate is some “signal” overlaid with “noise”. There are only causes and effects. The effects are the natural variability—the observations—the causes, at least one of them, are what climatologists have obviously misidentified.
Statistics is only useful to quantify the uncertainty we have in observations not yet seen. Thus it is pointless to say the “hiatus” is or isn’t “statistically significant.” Some thing or things caused the temperature to take the values it did. If we knew what those causes were, we would have made good forecasts: we didn’t; therefore, we don’t know the causes. Statistical statements about the past are thus of no interest (other than tallying or noting what happened, of course).
If the statistical model that said the “hiatus” was “statistically significant” was any good, it would be able to skillfully predict future temperatures. Can it?
Some climatologists say, “The theory is true, but the oceans portion is broken.” This makes no sense. The theory was supposed to incorporate the oceans; rather, the oceans were part of the theory. The theory is still wrong, and for the same reasons.
He could instead say, “The theory is false, and perhaps the oceans portion is why.” That could be true. Maybe the oceans portion of the theory is broken. If so, fix it, thus creating a new theory. Make new forecasts with this new theory and let’s see if they better match reality.
The reason good scientists do not believe in apocalyptic global warming theory is because that theory has failed consistently (and outrageously, given its hype) to produce skillful predictions.
It it flabbergasting therefore to hear so many say that “obviously” the theory is still true. It can’t be.
Tomorrow: the winner announced in the What Should Artists Do About Global Warming Contest!