Despite the guff, no proof on man-made climate change

95 percent is no more a proof than 9.5 percent. It still means there isn't a proof. But there's money and ideology at stake here, as the really top scientists know

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the commentator
On 27 September 2013 12:41

You may have noticed the tidal wave. This one wasn't caused by global warming, though wait for the BBC and, sad to say after recent coverage, Sky NEWS too, to make a claim that it was. It's the tidal wave of illogical, anti-scientific spittle over the release today of the latest report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

We did a, very widely read, curtain raiser on the matter at the beginning of the week ,and offered a right to reply to any serious party who could refute our points. Answer came there none!

So, now, we're just going to focus on one single issue that has formed the top line for pretty well every news report that has been running today: "UN 95% sure humans cause global warming", as the BBC's headline had it.

95 percent? Sounds pretty convincing, right? Except that scientific rigour does not allow for percentage point grades to be attached to a proof. The case either is proven or it isn't. It isn't as though 20 percent would be given a, "good try, but we need more" ranking; while 55 percent would be given a, "yum, you're on to something, and you could be right" ranking; with a 90 percent-plus given a, "well, now you're talking" ranking.

95 percent is no more a proof than 9.5 percent. It still means there isn't a proof.

So how does the IPCC get to 95 percent anyway? Obviously, it's the political and financial pressures that are driving this. The IPCC, like the wider UN,  is dominated by a political-ideological consensus that needs man-made climate change to be true. In addition, there are vast sums of money for research grants that sustain the livelihoods of the scientists involved. Confirmation bias is an obvious problem. Shall we put the likelihood of that at 95 percent?

Between the IPCC's 95 percent certainty and the 100 percent necessary to offer a proof, there is also the "process-of-elimination" issue to address. Know the point? It's key.

As many top climate scientists who are excluded from the IPCC's reckoning have pointed out for years, climate scientists do not know why the climate has been warming since the early 20th century; not in the sense of being able to prove it. Most think the sun is not the issue. Most also dismiss natural variation, and many other putative causes.

Given that it is objectively correct to point out that the climate has warmed (though not for the last 15 years; against all IPCC predictions by the way) and given that man-made carbon emissions are new, then by process of elimination they have deduced that that must be the cause.

It is an elementary, though oh-so-tempting, analytical error. There could well be causal factors that we don't know about. But since we don't know about them, we'll work with what we think we have! Oh dear, go to the bottom of the class...

Trillions of dollars are being wasted on that fallacy. Are you still 95 percent certain? You'd better be because your taxes are paying for those wasted trillions.

p.s. In contrast with the alarmists, we are totally open minded. If we're wrong, we're wrong. Jut show us why. We keep offering a right to reply for serious parties. It's telling that they run a mile...

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