Is Computer Modeling Real Science?

Countless millions of people are concerned about an impending climate crisis. Every day people Google terms such as “causes of global warming,” “climate change solutions,” “climate crisis” and “why do people deny climate change.” Many of the people who are entering these search terms are convinced that man’s use of carbon-based energy sources is going to cause a global calamity in the future. Why do they believe this? Because they have been told there is a scientific consensus on man-caused climate change, and that consensus has been backed up by climate models. Actually, there are no small number of climatologists and other scientists well-informed on the issue who are justifiably skeptical of catastrophic global warming claims and modeling that supposedly confirms the hypothesis, but that’s a separate issue for another blog post. (Or you could watch my film “Fractured: Language Lies & Energy” for a sufficient debunking of this fallacious proclamation.)

In any event, the climate change alarmists insist that they know with a high degree of certainty that the planet is warming at an unusually fast pace, primarily due to the burning of fossil fuels (you know, the energy sources that run your life). When burned these fuels emit carbon dioxide (CO2), which is a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere. The end result is climate change, most likely of the catastrophic variety.

Notice how I mixed in a lot seemingly straightforward information along with some gigantic leaps of hooey? Yes, burning fossil fuels generates carbon dioxide and yes CO2 is a greenhouse gas. But all the rest of it—high degree of certainty, warming at an unusually fast pace, primarily because of fossil fuels, catastrophe—is nothing more than unscientific supposition.

Can you hear the screams? WHAT? THIS MAN IS A DENIER! SHOUT HIM DOWN! WE CAN’T TOLERATE SUCH HERESY! Actually, I’m a great believer in the scientific method, which demands that there must be systematic observation, credible measurement, experimentation, testing and more experimentation that validates, defeats or modifies the hypothesis. It’s not enough to simply say, “We have computer models and they show that we have a climate change crisis on our hands!” No, you have to actually prove it, and computer modeling has done no such thing.

In the coming weeks Clear Energy Alliance will be releasing two videos that demonstrate why computer modeling is deeply flawed. That’s an understatement. To be blunt, computer modeling doesn’t even qualify as science because these tools have no ability to run controlled experiments on the hypothesis they are testing. How do you test a hypothesis that says average global temperatures will rise by many degrees over the next 50 to 100 years? You won’t know the answer for 50 or 100 years.

If we are to have faith in computer models (faith is the correct word), we would at least need to know that these models have been proven accurate in their previous predictions. They haven’t. Uncontested data gathered by John Christy of the University of Alabama show that nearly 98 percent of the most important computer models predicted a higher temperature than what was observed between 1980 and 2010. And they didn’t miss by just a little bit. As a group they predicted 2.2 times as much warming as actually occurred. If computer models missed that badly over a 30-year period, how can we expect they will do any better over a much longer time frame? And equally as important, how can these models separate natural climate variation from changes in temperatures presumably caused by the burning of fossil fuels? That’s not something climatologists even talk about, at least not directly. The question is too difficult and is not answerable. It’s hard to imagine how the question could ever be answerable using the scientific method.

What we do know about human behavior is that people who consider themselves to be THE experts in any given field tend to suffer from groupthink and voluntarily drink their own Kool-Aid. The fact that the “problem” they are solving brings them a lot of attention, funding and prestige has a tendency to amplify the issue and create dramatic urgency to address the coming storm. The self-serving cycle of financial gain and career advancement has a way of hiding in plain sight.

Remember the big Y2K scare from the late 1990s? There was a nearly universal consensus among computer programmers that modern civilization was going to plunge itself into the abyss if we didn’t rush to make everything “Y2K compliant.” Countless billions of lines of code had to be re-written lickety-split or airplanes would be falling out of the sky, power plants would go haywire, computers wouldn’t boot or reboot, toilets wouldn’t’ flush, etc., etc. The world spent about $600 billion “fixing” the Y2K bug, as it was called back then. Of course a lot of the work didn’t actually get done before the clock struck midnight on Jan 1, 2000. So what happened? Nada. Zippo. Zilch. Oops! Virtually all the experts were wrong.

These are some of the fun facts we’ll we addressing with our two upcoming videos on climate computer modeling. You’re going to like them. Please sign up to get updates on our website or YouTube channel and we’ll let you know when they are posted for viewing.

Power On, America!

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