Sunday, August 03, 2008

Settled science

If you haven't seen it yet, there's an article at Ithica Journal explaining the science behind man made global warming. It gets off to a bad start:

I'd like to step back for a moment and actually examine what burning carbon dioxide is doing to change our world...
Carbon Dioxide is a product of combustion.

And then it gets worse:
Our world is full of positive feedback cycles, and so is our society. Popular children's books like “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Numeroff are excellent examples. In Numeroff's tale, a mouse asks for a cookie, leading it to ask for a glass of milk, and so on, till finally it asks for another cookie.
And then it gets even worse:
Here's an example everyone in Ithaca can relate to: the snowball. If you make a small snowball and set it on the top of a hill, what happens? 1) It begins rolling, and 2) it collects snow as it rolls. When it collects snow, the snowball becomes heavier, which causes gravity to pull on it with more force, making the snowball roll faster down the hill.
Heavy things fall more quickly than light things? This has been known to be untrue for about half a millennium.

The piece continues:
This causes more snow to collect on the snowball faster, etc., etc. Get the picture? That is a positive feedback cycle.
And, in terms of climate alarmism that might be more true than the author realises: a laboured piece of reasoning based on faulty science that leads to an incorrect diagnosis of positive feedback.

The idea that positive feedback characterises our planet's climate has one major problem: the climate has fluctuated in the past. If you think about it for a moment, that simple piece of information is an adequate disproof. Perhaps I should add, the idea that raised levels of carbon dioxide will lead to positive climate feedbacks has one major problem: levels of carbon dioxide have fluctuated in the past.

I doubt this piece of scientifically illiterate drivel would have been passed for publication were it about any other subject. This is just one of the latest indications that there is no more intellectually disreputable position to adopt today than that of the global warming alarmist.

1 comment:

wildgoose said...

That's so bad it's really hard to credit.

Off the top of my head I can only think of one positive feedback in nature - nuclear fission after critical mass.

That's not to say there aren't more, just that they are incredibly rare.

In any event, (and reserving judgement on the story), a new Ice Age would be far more scary.