The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Occam's razor shaves climate science

Despite tons of research that support the anthropomorphic climate change theory, some people persist in the belief that the data does not support it. And yet, this week, there's more data:

[A] new study of current data and analysis by Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature...estimates that over the past 50 years the land surface warmed by 0.911°C: a mere 2% less than NOAA’s estimate. That is despite its use of a novel methodology—designed, at least in part, to address the concerns of what its head, Richard Muller, terms “legitimate sceptics”. ... At a time of exaggerated doubts about the instrumental temperature record, this should help promulgate its main conclusion: that the existing mean estimates are in the right ballpark. That means the world is warming fast.

My trouble with climate-change skeptics remains the same, a question about economic incentives. I guess I just don't understand why people persist in irrational beliefs when the evidence weighs so clearly towards an incompatible conclusion. In the case of quotidien religion, I live and let live. But in the case of anthropomorphic climate change, I don't get it. If climate scientists are right, and we cut emissions and energy use to slow climate change, we all win. If climate scientists are wrong, and we cut emissions and energy use to no effect, we're out maybe a billion dollars—about 3 cents per person, worldwide. But turn it around: if climate scientists are right, and we do nothing, say goodbye to Hollywood (Florida). And if climate scientists are wrong, and we do nothing, we'll still have the health and cosmetic effects of all those carbon emissions to deal with—and we'll still likely run out of oil in two centuries, after giving all our wealth to people who hate us.

So somebody, please, explain whence the hostility to the theory comes? Because it seems to me like the hostility farmers had to being jabbed with cowpox pus in the 1780s. Of course it's unpleasant, but wow is it better than the alternative.

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