With fedora jauntily tipped back to reveal my sparkling hazel eyes, tie loosely knotted and purposely mismatching the pocket square, all counter-balanced by my genetically British teeth and Honda-sized honker, I launched into my defense of the slogan, “Actually, the science is settled.”
It is, too.
Used to be, before the tsunami of money washed over Science, drowning much common sense, a scientific precept was that when a theory made rotten predictions, the theory was condemned. The coupled GCMs around which climatology revolve have been making rotten predictions for decades. Therefore, in the days or yore, we would have said there is something wrong with the models.
And that is still so for those traditionalists among us who cling to the old ways. We say the models stink, because why? Because the models stink: they do not make skillful predictions. You would have done better with persistence. To us old timers, that means something about the models is wrong.
What, exactly, is wrong, I haven’t a clear idea. Too many tunable parameters in the models to know with any certainty. Anyway, if we knew, we’d be able to fix or adjust. We don’t know, so we can’t.
But to young whippersnappers, and especially to their worshipful followers, model accuracy means nothing. What matters more than anything is how consonant the theory which drives the models is with their “lifestyles”—or with their livelihoods.
The theory has become more important than reality. This is so true that even attacks on the theory using reality are seen by believers as confirmation of the theory. “Why is he denying my theory? He must be evil. My theory is stronger than his hate.”
A secondary problem is the expansion of democracy. Yes. Oh, yes. I know you don’t believe it, but it’s true. Somehow we have developed the idea that everything can be put to a vote. Why else do we see these bug-witted attempts to convince us of the theory’s truth because this-or-that percentage of scientists believe it? Why else would people take to the streets for “climate justice”, in hopes their mere numbers would sway?
With my fellow gloom-and-doomers and grinning curmudgeons, I see no way out of this. Comfort yourself with the thought that, except for God, nothing good lasts forever.
At the time of writing, I have 185 emails in my Inbox, all containing ideas for posts, another 200 or so in a folder of post ideas saved for future, and 656 in a third folder called “global warming” sent in by readers, again all with material that demands my attention.
First, from the southernmost tip of the right ventricle of my heart, I thank you for these emails. Please keep them coming. Your emails make this blog work, and provide all of us which prime material.
Second, please understand when I don’t write back and say thanks. I eventually try to thank everybody and answer each question, but I am many, many months behind and I’m not confident I’ll catch up.
If I would have had a secretary, I would have had to let her go for such negligence. But as the amount of money I get from Big Oil, and from all other sources, for my avant-garde work in climate denialism is, at last count and rounded to the nearest dollar, rapidly approaching single digits, I can’t afford a secretary. So there is nobody to fire.
Oh course, it doesn’t help that I seem to taken the wrong position on every culture matter. But no matter.
I got this email this morning:
…often your website is the only interesting thing I can find upon rising and drinking my morning coffee. At other times, the fall back to statistics or assaults on specific individuals that I’ve never heard of makes me feel uninformed and is not interesting.
I enjoy posts that are “pro stuff” not just “anti stuff”. This website tips in favor of the “anti stuff” approach.
What say you about the “balance”?
Climate Scientist walks into a bar, says, "A pint of…
Barman: "Why the long pause?"
Climate Scientist: <sobs>
— John Kennedy (@micefearboggis) September 24, 2014