You can’t prove God or man-made global warming doesn’t exist – (but here’s $30,000 if you can)
Written by PSI Staff
At a time when ever more scientists agree that worries over climate change are misplaced undaunted supporters of the ‘science’ of man-made global warming are desperately resorting to new strategies. Some are even making apparently bold financial challenges to their opponents.
So, enter the stage Dr Christopher Keating. He is offering ‘$30,000 to anyone Who Can Disprove Climate Change’ (prize now increased from $10,00) Keating declares:
“I have heard global warming skeptics make all sorts of statements about how the science doesn’t support claims of man-made climate change. I have found all of those statements to be empty and without any kind of supporting evidence. I have, in turn, stated that it is not possible for the skeptics to prove their claims.”
This is an intellectually bankrupt equivalent of challenging a religious devotee to back their own claim that God exists. Such statements are intended to shift the burden of proof away from the believer and onto the skeptic, and therefore represents a logical fallacy.
Quite simply, Keating is putting forward an argument from ignorance. In effect he is saying: “Belief in proposition X is justified because you can’t prove it’s not true.” Keating is a physicist, so he should know better.
If Keating’s reasoning was widely accepted in the sciences then we would be unable to develop any useful picture of reality because every claim would be necessarily accepted as true until it was disproved. This is a burden that is impossible to meet when dealing with claims that are bereft of sufficient empirical evidence, as is man-made global warming.
Keating believes humans are dangerously warming the planet and catastrophe looms – his view is unfalsifiable based on current data and the limits of scientific knowledge. Philosopher Bertrand Russell addressed the similar quandary of attempting to disprove god. Since it is impractical to expect a disproof of either and are therefore unfalsifiable, the burden of proof cannot lay with the sceptic.
We took Keating’s fatuously worded challenge from above and replaced ‘sceptics’ with ‘promoters’ thusly:
“I have heard global warming promoters make all sorts of statements about how the science (doesn’t) support claims of man-made climate change. I have found all of those statements to be empty and without any kind of supporting evidence. I have, in turn, stated that it is not possible for the promoters to prove their claims, because they have been falsified in many ways by many sceptics.”
Also, we provide below our 50-point guide to further demonstrate to Keating and other logical fallacy promoters why their ‘challenge’ is fatuous – it certainly cannot form the basis of any scientific debate.
- Before playing a game it is good policy to understand the rules and how to keep score.
- The Proposer of a game has the duty to explain the rules and how to keep score and the Denier may refuse to play for any reason.
- The Proposer of a theory has the duty to explain and prove it is true, the Denier only has a duty to explain why it is not.
- Any theory, postulate, hypothesis, surmise or hunch may be true, false or unproven. If true it is promoted from a Theory to a Law of science.
- While Denier may prove a different theory is true so that proposed greenhouse gas theory (GHGT) must not be, he does not have to meet that standard to claim GHGT is not proven.
- If Denier merely proves the theory is unproven and not of sufficient quality to be promoted to a Law that would satisfy the claim the theory is not true.
- If Denier finds one flaw in theory, that is sufficient to deny it status as a Law.
- A theory of science or mathematics may be considered true if it meets some well-established criteria, until then it is not yet proven.
- Consensus about the validity of a claim not supported by science or evidence is irrelevant to decision to elevate theory to Law.
- Since GHGT promoters still call it a theory, they acknowledge it is not a Law.
- Since some GHGT promoters claim it is not falsifiable, they place it in the realm of religion, superstition or politics. This is evidence they accept it is not a Law.
- Science has clear criteria standards to be met before a theory is considered true. Engineering profession has additional standards.
- Both sets of standards must be satisfied before GHGT is deemed proven; if any one criterion is not satisfied, it is not proven.
- Since there are a number of evolving attempts to define the GHGT, there is no accepted standard version.
- Therefore a correct one is not finally offered for rebuttal. No proposed unique GHGT exists. Without a uniqueness proof, it must be held false.
- Therefore it is important to clearly state what the theory is in English and mathematics, the language of nature.
- Since Earth’s atmosphere is a chemical process system, chemical engineers holding degrees from accredited universities and professional licenses from State governments are qualified to be Deniers.
- Since application of GHGT to control Earth’s temperature and climate is a control system, like a thermostat, control systems engineers holding degrees from accredited universities and professional licenses from State governments are qualified to be Deniers.
- The GHGT must explain why CO2 is a pollutant, and what the consequences are if it is.
- Since GHGT claims anthropogenic CO2 causes catastrophic global warming and climate change, the terms catastrophic, climate and change must be quantified scientifically, mathematically, before they can reasonably be denied.
- Correlation does not prove causation. That breaks the foundation of GHGT.
- The physical link between CO2 as prime cause and each claimed global consequence like temperature, sea level, drought, habitat destruction, hurricanes, tornadoes, and more must be expressed in laws of physics.
- Theory must provide the laws of nature, like mass, energy and momentum conservation and transfer rate laws of physics, chemistry, biology and chemical engineering that quantitatively describe the effect of greenhouse gases on Earth’s temperature and climate.
- Unintended consequences must be identified, according to the Precautionary Principle.
- Actual financial damages from anthropogenic CO2 must be quantified. Otherwise the catastrophe denial exercise is futile punching as a ghost.
- If the Denier can identify one mechanism that provides a counter effect excluded from the proposed GHGT, would suffice to deny GHGT status as Law.
- Photosynthesis is cooling and CO2 consuming chemical reaction neglected by GHGT. CO2 is green plant food, an important Law of science neglected by GHGT.
- The proposed theory must not violate any existing laws of nature deemed to be true without first proving they are not true.
- The proposed theory must predict behaviour in nature which is verified by observation measurement. This has not been done, so GHGT must be deemed false.
- In summary the theory must be completely defined and explained to anyone invited to falsify it.
- The criteria for judgment of falsification success must be clear from the outset.
- If Denier shows GHGT violates Stefan-Boltzmann Law of radiation intensity, that would be sufficient. This has been done.
- If Denier shows GHGT violates a Law of Thermodynamics, that would be sufficient. This has been done.
- If Denier shows GHGT incorrectly uses the law of radiant energy transfer, that would be sufficient. This has been done.
- If Denier shows a thermostat for Earth adjusting fossil fuel combustion rate is unmeasurable, unobservable or uncontrollable and hence will never work, that would be sufficient. This has been done.
- If Denier finds one peer reviewed paper by a professor of physics that falsified GHGT, that would be sufficient. This has been done.
- The Reward Offerer may not be a judge of a Denier’s falsification success since that would be a conflict of interest.
- Merely having $10,000 does not qualify one to judge the scientific arguments of Deniers.
- The judges must be identified at the outset, with credentials and agreement on the rules and score keeping.
- The Reward Offerer must disclose who is financing the reward. Any government financing may be deemed inappropriate by invited Deniers.
- Since many promoters of GHGT lack credentials and have public records of unprofessional conduct in the debate attempting to elevate GHGT conjecture to scientific Law, like name calling, hate mail, slander, intimidation, threats, and bogus lawsuits, the Reward Offerer should indemnify any contestant from harm, including from government. Guaranteeing anonymity is a minimum.
- What assurance do Deniers have the Reward Offerer will designate someone a winner and grant Award rather than arbitrarily reject all responses?
- Will Reward Offerer publish results and acknowledge Denier successfully showed GHGT remains unproven?
- If it looks like a scam email offer of a free lunch, it probably is. There is no such thing as a free lunch either.
- Stefan-Boltzmann Radiation Law gives temperature of any radiating body with emissivity e < 1 as T = 100(I/5.67e)0.25. Earth’s global emissivity is difficult to measure or determine, but Standard Global Climate Model uses e = 0.612. It increases with content of radiating gases like H2O and CO2. (It goes down with T.) Since e is in the denominator, if e increases, T decreases. That proves CO2 has a small global cooling effect.
- GHGT underlying global warming and climate change claims is thereby falsified. Forever. By scientific method.
- Since there are many proofs the GHGT is false in the peer reviewed literature and internet since 1997, the fact Reward Offerer is making this offer in 2014 proves he is unfamiliar with the literature. He can be excused since the literature on GHGT, global warming and climate change is in such a poor intellectual state.
- When Reward Offerer fulfils all these conditions for a fair contest according to the scientific method, Deniers should consider teaching GHGT Promoters how to reject unproven theories and claiming the award.
- Until then Deniers are free to assume the Reward Offer is not legitimate and they may rightfully claim it.
- Since we just did falsify GHGT throughout and precisely in item 43, we claim the $10,000 (or $30,000) as rightfully ours.