Karl Popper and AGW

Karl Popper wrote: “In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality.”

If there is no link between false predictions and the felt need to amend one’s theories, one is dealing with religions, or the equivalent of astrology, Freudian psychoanalysis, or anthropogenic global warming.

Such is the import of a good article on the subject by Milan Bhardawaj. 

He writes:

“it seems like any and all atmospheric occurrences are attributed to climate change — in part because its definition has become so broad. There is no combination of weather patterns that would cause climate change devotees to doubt their gospel. By contrast, even theories that are deeply ingrained in the fabric of our society, such as gravitation or evolution, are still capable of being disproven with counterexamples. It is for this reason that they are regarded as theories and not axioms. Climate change, on the other hand, has no counterexamples since every weather pattern is seen as a byproduct, therefore making it essentially pseudoscience”.

What is the refutation of AGW? It would be that something other than human agency is causing observed climate changes, or that climate is not changing relative to past patterns. The null hypothesis is that nothing unusual is occurring in global climate. “Unusual” in the climate science game would only be established by reference to climate change over tens of thousands of years, over many periods of glaciation and inter-glacial periods.

The merest glance at the history of the earth shows that, yes, the earth is warming slightly since 1850, and it is still colder today than it was in 1250AD. And so forth, through many cycles over tens of thousands and millions of years.

At the beginning of the Obama regime I heard a scientist dispute with John Holdren, Obama’s official science advisor, about the AGW hypothesis. The scientist said that AGW had become an axiom, not a testable hypothesis. The reception of this idea by Holdren was decidedly frosty. Of course it was, since in the politest possible terms Holdren was told he was not supporting science, but the equivalent of alchemy.