SEARCH BLOG: CLIMATE CHANGE
"Skeptics," the word is spit out with scorn. For scientists, it is the "N" word. It is an attack on the person rather than the position. If you are a "Skeptic," you have a scarlet "S" on your chest. But it doesn't stand for "Superman."
In classical philosophy, skeptics argued that nothing could be known with certainty. Other branches of philosophy attacked that thinking with all sorts of logic. Language is good for that because it is not purely logical. Ludwig Wittgenstein attempted to develop a purely logical language in his "Tractatus" but, alas, it was essentially without application when he finished. Likewise, the logical attacks on skepticism were accomplished with logically impure language.
Regardless, Skeptics may have the last laugh. In the 20th century, along came physicists with their formulae and frameworks. The "real, logical" world was due for a shock. As we examine with increasingly finite lenses the framework of our universe, we discover that at its basis is "uncertainty." We really can't "know for certain."So much for philosophy and physics. When it comes to climate science, we find that there is an enormous gulf between "consensus" and "certainty" much less an "exact science." Yes, principles of physics and other disciplines are part of this relatively new discipline, but it is far from matured.
True, we can live with that for all practical purposes. But we have our limits. Right now that limit has been pushed to the "11th dimension." While physics can be and is an "exact science", there is always the very tiniest element of "uncertainty."
We have pointers and bodies of evidence. But if truly pushed, the "Consensus" must ultimately admit it is their estimate of what is happening and may happen. They can attempt to come up with "probabilities" of outcomes. But in the end, they are guesses based on fairly fragile measurements and models that don't quite fit reality... for example, Radiative Forcing of Climate Change: Expanding the Concept and Addressing Uncertainties (2005). Don't even try that one unless you have a strong mathematical bent.So, while I might be honored to be called a "Skeptic," I can only claim "ordinary incredulity" about the claims and connections of those who believe "the climate debate is closed." Perhaps that is because there is far too much conflicting or "uncertain evidence."