Saturday, May 14, 2005

It's global warming, so get out your ear muffs.

(Get Out the Ear Muffs: New Ice Age Forecast
The New York Times; Nov. 11, 1956, pg. 40)
New findings of "atomic timekeeping" suggest that North America may be headed into another major Ice Age, a Government geologist said today.

(Frozen Key to Our Climate
By Leonard Engel
The New York Times; Dec 7, 1958, pg. SM72)
...Lately, conspicuous changes have taken place in some of the ice. Glaciers in the western United States, for example, have lost 50 per cent of their ice in seventy years. The floating ice of the Arctic is one-third thinner and covers a considerably smaller area than it did sixty years ago.

Such changes imply that the world is becoming warmer. But no one is sure of the extent of these changes. research suggests that the melting of the Arctic's floating ice may have the paradoxical effect of bringing, in perhaps as little as several hundred years, the start of a new Ice Age.

(Science, Worrying About a New Ice Age
By Walter Sullivan
The New York Times; Feb 23, 1969, pg. E10)

(Scientists Ask Why World Climate Is Changing: Major Cooling May Be Ahead
By Walter Sullivan
The New York Times; May 21, 1975, pg. 45)

(New Ice Age by 1995?
By Larry Ephron
The New York Times; Jul. 1988, pg. A16)

(Scientists Suggest Global Warming
Could Hasten the Next Ice Age
By William K. Stevens
The New York Times; Jan. 21, 1992 pg. C4)

That's the basic pattern of the paradoxical story of global warming over the last fifty years. The year of 1995 came and went, still no New Ice does that falsify the predications? It would be nice if more of this story telling were testable.

Some of the science dealing with global warming is flirting with scientism. It has some of the signs of it where it intersects with politics and so personal biases. Some of where this sort of story telling falls into scientism is where it is not falsifiable, not testable by any empirical observations. There is a warm summer and that's said to be because of global warming. There is a cold summer and that's said to be because of global warming too. If you are going to make a global claim, stick with global evidence.

I am just a simple fellow and I am with the scientist when they have a grand cause for a grand effect such as solar spots and volcanic eruptions, vast observable forces of Nature causing cooling and warming on vast scales. I am with them even when they argue paradoxical things about global warming bringing about an Ice Age when they have the empirical evidence for such claims. Yet when they or science thumpers begin to argue based on their own politics that something as puny as people driving SUVs around is causing something on a global and nearly Cosmic scale, then I note that grand claims need grand evidence. Sometimes it seems that some people just want to make grand prophetic claims and claim it is all scientific. Besides, wasn't it a butterfly flapping its wings in the forest that caused storms, which caused the Ice Age?

As Einstein argued, humility is the scientist's greatest virtue. That is what is lost in scientism.

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