What is missing from most reports of last month’s Climate Science Report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was the fact that their most important conclusions are impossible.
Consider the following from the IPCC’s Complete Working Group I Report, Climate Change 2021: Basics of Physical Sciences, published on August 9.
“The warming of the climate system is clear, as evidenced by the observations of rising global mean and sea temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global mean sea levels.”
It is clearly wrong to call “the world’s average temperature and sea temperature … and the world’s average sea level” “observation”. These are the result of statistical manipulation of thousands of observations made at different locations and at different times.
But more importantly, it is unreasonable to think that any of the IPCC’s scientific conclusions are “clear” or, as Al Gore often argues, “truth.”
Plato defined the truth as universal, necessary, and certain.
It is universal in the sense that it applies everywhere. Whether you’re in Athens, Sparta, or another planet, that’s true. It also applies “anytime”, now in 5 minutes, or after 1 billion years.
We also need the truth. It must remain as it is, there is no other possible explanation. It’s obvious.
And the truth is certain. It’s not a matter of probability. It’s in the bank.
The truth applies to things like math and chess where we write rules. 2 plus 2 is equal to 4. The queen can move vertically, horizontally, or diagonally in a straight line around the chess board. However, as long as the piece does not block her path. These statements are true and clear.
But the truth never applies to our discovery of nature, which is a knowledge-based opinion based on the interpretation of scientists’ observations. And ancient philosophers have realized that observations cannot be proven to be true. Empirical evidence is specific, accidental, and has some probability, as opposed to being universal, necessary, and certain.
Therefore, contrary to the IPCC’s confident declaration, observational evidence cannot be used to prove that something is true or obvious. Not only are our observations imperfect, but we all have a bias that affects how we interpret what we see.
Indeed, not all scientific hypotheses, or even scientific theories, are true or obvious. They can be wrong and are often wrong. The “facts” of science are just the current opinions of experts, and especially in the case of climate change, different experts often have very different views. For example, the report of the Climate Change Reconsidered series of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) summarizes thousands of studies from peer-reviewed scientific journals that refute or raise serious questions about the science of IPCC. .. Therefore, contrary to what is obvious, there are many possible scientific explanations for moderate warming in the last century.
Consider the following feedback from the two philosophers regarding the use of the IPCC with the word “obvious”.
Stephen Goldman, a professor of philosophy at Lehigh University, supports the hypothesis of anthropogenic and dangerous global warming, but in personal communication says that such an IPCC statement is flawed. Explains. Goldman said it was a “logically persuasive attempt.” “Strictly logically, no observation leads to a” clear “interpretation. “
The Virginia-based PhD David Wojick Science Logic and Philosophy disagrees with Goldman about the impact of human activity on the climate, but agrees that the IPCC makes a serious mistake here. “Inference from evidence is inductive logic,” Wojick said. “For the obvious, that never applies to induction logic.”
It wouldn’t be too bad if the IPCC’s “clear” use was limited to this single quote, but the word would appear 32 times in total in the complete report. And this mistake has regularly appeared in past IPCC reports and statements from IPCC leaders.
So why don’t more philosophers talk about these issues, the errors that distract the public from properly considering the various arguments presented? Scholars may have determined that accepting climate change concerns will help reduce pollution, develop and conserve alternative energies, increase aid, and promote social justice. Therefore, they keep their opinions on their own, rather than risking them from interfering with progressive policies.
But when the authorities tell the truth about science, progress stops. Albert Einstein once said, “Anyone who seeks to establish himself as a judge of truth and knowledge will be wrecked by the laughter of the gods.”
It may be ridiculous to the gods, but the belief that they know the “truth” about climate change and that science is clear spends more than US $ 1 billion a day to “stop climate change.” increase. Imagine what you could do if such a huge amount of money was instead devoted to education, medical care, river cleaning, or adaptation to future inevitable changes in the natural environment.
Now is the time to open a scientific debate on climate change, one of the most complex and costly issues of our time.
Tom Harris is the Executive Secretary of the Canada-based nonpartisan Ottawa International Climate Science Union.
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.