Why Do Skeptics Avoid the Science?

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A blogger asks, “Why do many global warming skeptics avoid the scientific issues?

Well, when the so-called Global Warming science includes whoppers like these:

…greenhouse gases retain heat within Earth’s atmosphere.

It’s awfully hard to refute. Where do you even begin?

Heat can’t be retained. It is only transferred. According to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, it is always transferred from hot to cold bodies. The devices of heat transfer may vary, but the end result is always the same.

So-called “Greenhouse Gasses” have other properties too, above and beyond their ability to absorb, reflect, or transmit radiation energy. Heat transfer by radiation from the ground to the atmosphere is totally dwarfed by more obvious heat transfer methods such as convection and direct contact. In fact, when you’re talking about heat, it’s important that you don’t think too much about energy. Heat has as much to do with entropy and other things as it has to do with energy.

If someone mentions the heat transfer from the cooler atmosphere to the warmer ground, and then calls me unscientific, I’m going to smirk.

Here’s another whopper we’re forced to swallow before we can join the Global Warming Kool-Aid Camp: The idea of a global temperature, one that you can find it by averaging temperature readings from several weather stations spread across the world. I’d like to see the scientific foundation for the so-called average temperature of the earth, and whether it is even relevant to climate or not. As near as I can tell, the earth is in constant motion with regards to temperature. When it comes to temperature, no one can possibly understand what is happening at any given moment on this earth, and supercomputers can’t even give us an appropriate approximation. If we can’t even understand a moment in time, how can we hope to explain trends?

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2 Responses to “Why Do Skeptics Avoid the Science?”

  1. Jonathan Gardner Says:

    I wrote this in reply at their post. It is currently awaiting moderation.

    As a skeptic, let me point out why it is difficult to have a scientific discussion with a warmist.

    First, you say that the atmosphere “retains” heat. That is fascinating. I would like to know where you discovered the magical substance that can somehow “retain” heat. Heat flows from hot to cold bodies, and the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is very clear on this. The question isn’t whether there is heat transfer, the question is how fast it occurs.

    Second, the very concept of measuring the temperature of the earth by averaging thermometer readings is absurd. Where in thermodynamics is it said that you can measure the temperature in this way? The only way I know of measuring temperature is to allow the system to come to equilibrium, stick a thermometer in, and measure the reading. A system that is in change, as our earth is, cannot be measured effectively.

    Warmists have shown these attributes that make me question whether they are scientist at all:

    (1) An unwillingness to address the very real concerns with the science that skeptics bring up. It is easy to find papers and research addressing, directly, the claims of warmists, but it is impossible to find warmists addressing, directly, the claims of skeptics.

    (2) An unwillingness to rely on basic measurements of physical properties that are accepted within the scientific community. Instead, they have to find novel and unique ways to measure things that are not built on solid scientific principles.

    (3) An unwillingness to expose their data and techniques, or even discuss them.

    (4) A willingness to rely on computer model simulations that cannot address the unsolvable nature of the basic properties of weather phenomena.

    (5) A willingness to spread outright fantasy as fact, such as John Kerry’s recent claims that the Arctic ice will melt in 5 years and that hundreds of miles of land are missing forests due to increased CO2.

    (6) An unwillingness to reason about whether it is appropriate to shut down the world’s economy to avoid a few degrees change in the temperature.

    (7) A willingness to use argumentum ad hominem as a scientific debate tactic. (If you feel the urge to label me an idiot or a fool, then you are demonstrating my point exactly.)

    Science does not occur by consensus, and the advancements in science are made at the expense of popular, trusted theories. Any physicist is looking for a way to disprove everything he has come to know. If there is an experiment or a theory out there that would question the very foundation of our understanding of the physical world, we would aggressively pursue it and accept whatever results come.

    Can you say that for yourself as a warmist? If not, you are NOT a scientist.

  2. Jonathan Gardner Says:

    They still have not approved my post. Either they are unavailable, lazy, or do not want to consider my points. This shows my point (1) above—they are unwilling to confront the points that skeptics bring up.

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