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Un-Settled Science

By  |  June 5, 2017, 01:50pm  |  @darrickjohnson


The “settled” science of climate change continued to have a bad week, in the aftermath of the United States’ departure from the Paris accords.

NASA revealed a new study showing that an Antarctic Glacier isn’t shrinking as fast as previously thought.   Scientists believe the Thwaites Glacier’s melt is responsible for 1% of the projected global sea level rise.   According to the new study, earlier studies overestimated the glacier’s ice loss by 7% over the next half century.    While there are still some significant modeling difficulties, Helene Seroussi, the lead researcher on the project noted that

Our results shift the estimates for sea level rise to smaller numbers regardless of the scenario.

Good for NASA, funding and publishing research that reaches conclusions contrary to the climate alarm-ism that seems to be trending.   The study, and the existence of others like it are a clear demonstration that “climate science” isn’t settled.  Science, by its very nature, isn’t ever supposed to be “settled.”  We should always be testing, and refining.   Science is only settled until the next, better hypothesis comes along.

Not to be outdone by the more charismatic glacier, former Vice President (and election-result denier) Al Gore appeared yesterday on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.  Wallace challenged Gore on his record of false alarms on the climate.  Gore claimed in his documentary that unless the world “took drastic measures, the world would reach a point of no return in 10 years.”  That was in 2007.   Either we have blown past that point of no return, in which case Paris doesn’t matter, or Gore was provably wrong in his prediction.  Wallace’s brilliantly succinct question:   “Weren’t you wrong?”

You can see the interview here:

Gore’s defense: “we have seen a decline in emissions on a global basis.”   A cursory read of the climate change discourse rulebook makes it clear that you cannot cite evidence of improvement in any climate metric.  However, if it gets Gore off the hook for false alarms, its apparently fair game to say things are getting better.  Second, he trotted out an old, and at least partially debunked Obama line about seeing fish swimming in the Miami streets.

I went down to Miami and saw fish from the ocean swimming in the streets on a sunny day.

Maybe he was just watching this Miami Marlins game, and got confused:

At some point, Gore needs to get his story straight.  Either his years of alarm-ism have been successful, and the prophesies he foretold about climate doom have been averted, or we are still in a state of perpetual crisis and street fish invasions.  It can’t be both.

It would be nice if activists like Gore took a page out of NASA’s study, and were honest about the variability and uncertainty in their field, and quit dismissing anyone who dares to question any aspect of their evolving models as “anti-science.”