Say, “What Evidence Would Persuade You That Man-Made Climate Change Is Real?”

This should make Warmists happy: an actual Republican voter (supposedly, being that the writer, Ronald Bailey, is a Libertarian) who joined their Cult Of Climastrology, and writes at the always squishy hotbed of libertarianism known as Reason

What Evidence Would Persuade You That Man-Made Climate Change Is Real?

First, call it “anthropogenic global warming” again, and change your entire life to match your beliefs. That might go a ways to convincing me.

In 2005, I changed my mind about climate change: I concluded that the balance of the scientific evidence showed that man-made global warming could likely pose a significant problem for humanity by the end of this century. My new assessment did not please a number of my friends, some of whom made their disappointment clear. (snip)

So what evidence would convince you that man-made climate change is possibly real? Keep in mind that despite what progressive dimwits like Naomi Klein might assert, the scientific evidence does not mandate any particular program.

What about higher temperatures? Obviously, in order for there to be any man-made global warming, temperatures must be going up. Are they? Yes.

Concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have increased from 280 parts per million in the late 18th century to around 400 ppm today. And the trend in average global surface temperatures has been increasing since the late 19th century. As I’ve reported before, all of the global temperature datasets, both the instrumental and satellite, find that the atmosphere has warmed since the 1950s.

Of course, what is going on here is belief that one causes the other, despite the history of the Holocene. Just because you wore your lucky socks the past few games and your favorite team one doesn’t mean wearing your lucky socks is real. What caused the previous warm periods, which were actually warmer than the current Modern Warm Period? Warmists will say “it was nature then, but it simply cannot be nature now, because shut up, you must be anti-science and believe in God.” As the saying goes, correlation is not causation. We could blame leaves turning and falling on the NHL and NBA, because the NHL and NBA start playing right about the time the leaves turn and fall. Several hundred years ago they blamed Bad Weather on witchcraft.

We also get

  • What about converging daytime and nighttime temperatures?
  • What about earlier spring and later fall seasons?
  • What about disappearing glaciers and Arctic sea ice?
  • What about warming oceans?

None of those are unreasonable during a Holocene warm period. Furthermore, none prove anthropogenic causation, at least not how the CoC portrays it, being mostly/solely caused by Mankind. There’s no doubt in my mind that Mankind does play a small roll, mostly through agriculture, landfills, pollution, the Urban Heat Island effect, and land use. Not too mention falsified data, smoothed data, manufactured data, data invented out of thin air, and garbage in garbage out computer models. The scientific evidence that says that CO2 from Mankind is causing the Modern Warm period is thin to non-existent, scientifically.

It might be that it is just so happens that natural climate variability has boosted global temperatures and the trends discussed above are occurring coincidentally at the same time the concentrations of carbon dioxide are 30 percent above their highest levels in the past 800,000 years. Correlation does not imply causation. The data cited (and uncited) do not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that man-made climate change is real. However, in my best judgment the preponderance of the evidence suggests that the greenhouse gases produced by humanity are warming the climate and that it could be a significant issue later in this century. In the foregoing I have aimed to cite data, not model outputs. I have long been a critic of computer climate models.

There’s no “might” about it. If Warmists really believed, they’d modify their own behavior. Warmists will cite that as some sort of strawman, but, if you believe in something, you should do all you can to match your life to those beliefs.

To restate: The existence of man-made warming does not mandate any particular policies. So back to the headline question: If generally rising temperatures, decreasing diurnal temperature differences, melting glacial and sea ice, smaller snow extent, stronger rainstorms, and warming oceans are not enough to persuade you that man-made climate is occurring, what evidence would be?

In the comments at Reason, LC Bennet asks a better question

I propose that you are asking the wrong question and omitting the companion question. First, most skeptics and lukewarmers know that AGW is real so the better question, imo, is – What would persuade skeptics and lukewarmers that AGW is catastrophic? Second, given the many failures of the models, decline of extreme weather, greening of the planet, increase in crops, fewer cold-related deaths, increased standard of living and “The Pause” – What would persuade alarmists that AGW is not catastrophic?

Now that they have stopped denying the pause, climate scientists seem to be coalescing around the idea that the pause i(15-18 years and counting) is caused by natural variability and natural cycles that are suppressing the AGW warming trend. If true, wouldn’t it be plausible, even probable, that the warming of the 80s and 90s (18-20 years)was amplified by those same forces. If so, catastrophic (CAGW) human-caused warming seems even less likely. Mild warming – yes, catastrophic – unproven and leaning towards no. The truth is that climate science needs better data and more decades of observation to see if warming/cooling is actually a sine wave with a mild upward trend due to recovery from the Little Ice Age and CO2 emissions or an unprecedented linear warming caused by humans. Note: All those events you have listed as proof have happened before so they prove neither the claim to being catastrophic nor unprecedented.

I’d actually go with “what would persuade Warmists that AGW/climate change/climate disruption/etc is not mostly/solely caused by Mankind?

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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