Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Confidence Men

Reading about the snowstorms in Britain and Europe, I thought again about the man-made global warming hoax. Why have so many otherwise intelligent people bought into it? Likely because of the boldness. It's in the tradition of a couple confidence men who were around in the 1930s, early postmodernists, who said that people are more likely to believe a lie if it's a very big one. Global Warming theory is such a large, dramatic concept, that most people accept that it must be so.

A few moments of thought should dispel that. Computer models "prove" the theory. I'd like the same computers to pick a Super Bowl winner. Even in a very controlled situation, like a horse race, where most of the variables can be quantified-- weights and speeds, history, track conditions-- it's difficult if not impossible to be consistently correct in the analysis. How much more difficult with climate, where you're facing infinitely more variables. Scientists are dealing with a mere two hundred years of semi-reliable recorded weather statistics, out of millions of years of climate on this planet. Very tough to credibly determine any cycles or patterns, which are the most likely explanation for modest warming. Scientists also focus on one variable-- co2-- out of thousands. Not the largest variable either. (See the sun.)

What was P.T. Barnum's quote? No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

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