“Just suppose, if you are able, that significant man-made climate change is false; further, that it cannot happen, and that all changes to the climate system are due to external forcings, such as those caused by changes in solar output. Just suppose all this is true for the sake of argument.
“Now put yourself in the place of a climatologist, one of the many hundreds, in fact, who was involved with the IPCC and so shared in that great validator, the Nobel Peace Prize.
“You have spent a career devoted to showing that mankind, through various forms of naughtiness, has significantly influenced the climate, and has caused temperatures to grow out of control. Your team, at a major university, has built and contributed to various global climate models. Graduate students have worked on these models. Team members have traveled the world and lectured on their results. Many, many papers were written about their output, and so forth…”
I am quoting Statistician William M. Briggs** who explores this issue by considering four different alternatives for today’s climatologists:
1. Abandon the model and seek a new career
2. Discover where the model went wrong; publish results admitting why and how you were wrong
3. Sit and wait: after all, the temperature is bound to increase sooner or later, hence validating your model
4. Believe that the model cannot be wrong, else so many people wouldn’t believe it, and so posit some new source that is “holding back” warming, and only if that new source weren’t there, your model would be perfect.
** Is climatology a pseudoscience?
January 28th, 2008