Thursday, March 09, 2017

Science

Over the years I have saved many articles that have caught my attention. I go through them every so often to see how they read years into the future. I have referred to a number of them in other posts. One of my favorites is this one.

I have written before of my extreme skepticism with respect to the horrific outcomes projected for man made climate change. It occurs to me that if you did not live through the 1970's (there are fewer and fewer of us around these days!) you might not understand the source of my skepticism.

I offer a few quotes from the linked article as proof that the scientific community is often wrong in its evaluation of current conditions and almost always wrong about extrapolating their conclusions into the future. None of this seems to prevent many of them from continuing to opine and extrapolate. Worse still, none of this seems to prevent a credulous press from amplifying their statements. Keep in mind that these quotes are from 1970, the birth year of Earth Day.


“Scientists have solid experimental and theoretical evidence to support…the following predictions: In a decade, urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution…by 1985 air pollution will have reduced the amount of sunlight reaching earth by one half….”
• Life Magazine, January 1970

No doubt you recognize the construction of the opening phrase. The age-old appeal to authority. I imagine you have also heard that 97% of scientists agree that climate change is a man made problem. There is a small problem with that assertion. It is not true.

What is true is that a review of some 12,000 papers on the subject of climate showed that only 33% of them suggested a reason for climate change. 97% of those asserted that the cause was man. So, now we are down to 97% of 30%, 29.1%. Quite a different number than 97% .

Let's go get more of that 70's wisdom.

“By the year 2000, if present trends continue, we will be using up crude oil at such a rate…that there won’t be any more crude oil. You’ll drive up to the pump and say, `Fill ‘er up, buddy,’ and he’ll say, `I am very sorry, there isn’t any.'”
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

Watt also predicted that,

“At the present rate of nitrogen buildup, it’s only a matter of time before light will be filtered out of the atmosphere and none of our land will be usable.”
• Kenneth Watt, Ecologist

 And, from the ever reliable Sierra Club ,

“We are prospecting for the very last of our resources and using up the nonrenewable things many times faster than we are finding new ones.”
• Martin Litton, Sierra Club director 

If you follow the link immediately above you will see that they have not mended their
Malthusian ways. 

I don't think I have ever seen an acknowledgment from any of these people that they have ever been wrong about anything.

Be skeptical of those who assert our imminent destruction. Their assertions seem, curiously, almost always to be attached to pleas for money. I can't imagine why.


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