I am a relative newcomer to the arena of what is now called “Climate change” or AGW or “No, it’s global cooling, fool” or “We’re all gonna FRY!”
I have more than a few years in bashing computers, my first program was written in Fortran and entered into the computer via punch cards. (Off the record, I’ll just say you have not lived until you have seen a punch card reader screw up and turn several weeks worth of programming effort into a room full of confetti in less time than it takes to tell about it.) Oh yeah, me and the nefarious computer go way back. I have more hours than I care to even think about trying to recover data in some form or another from floppies with bad sectors to those times of “Oh crap! I deleted the wrong file” to the mournful playing of taps over an ever faithful hard drive that bit the dust.
Over the years, I have dealt with searching out, finding, correcting and dealing with data of all kinds: from working with telemetry files to spreadsheets trying to model a five year operation in an entirely new “computerized” mode to trying to keep the taxman away from the door.
I claim to be no sort of genius, I am just just a working stiff that over the years has accomplished a few things here and there.
With this in mind, there is one thing I cannot help but keep thinking as I roam around the various websites and observe the antics of the denizens of the web, particularly on those sites where the global warming / cooling debate rages so intensely: is this issue strictly one of the computer era?
Or, perhaps more specifically, one of the internet era? After all, I remember back to when it was nothing more than the plot of a science fiction story. As the AGW theory began to gain traction, I was at first amused, then aggravated and then appalled. After all we are talking about something that is 0.00036 of the atmosphere. 360 parts per million (now, I guess up around 400 parts per million). (As a side note, give it some consideration about how long science or scientists if you will haven even been able to measure to a resolution of 1 part in 1 million. Of anything,) How is it that .00036 is going to rule over the other 0.99964? Consider, if you will, the entire volume of the atmosphere. No, I am not going to give a number for that other than to say it is a large volume. A large, large, large volume and of that volume, the difference between say, 250 ppm and 360 ppm or even 400 ppm is going to make that much difference? What is going to rule, the 999,340 out of the 1,000,000 molecules in a particular volume or the 360 out of the 1,000,000 molecules in that selfsame volume. Or that when the number is, 250 say, the world is going to be one way (all hunkey dorrie fine) but go to 400 and we are going to be doomed, I say, doomed?
In a word, baloney.
(For the sake of the youngsters who might be reading, I’ll behave myself. A little.)
Okay. Enough of the trumpeting and fanfare. Straight to the challenge. And it is this: these days the argument is primarily over how to measure to demonstrate that global warming is / is not happening. Is a 1.7 degree C increase over the course of 10 years significant or not? (Most people do not even consider that amount can be lost in the accuracy / uncertainty of whatever means is used to measure it, which begs the question if it even exists in the first place.)
So the challenge is this: shut down the computer, turn off your ipads, ipods, cell phones and all the other electronic befuddling agents. Now. Describe a method of proving that global warming (or global cooling, your choice) is actually going on. AGW is nothing more than a theory implemented on various computer models over the years. So, what in the real world is connected to it in such a way that the effects of global warming (or global cooling) can be demonstrated in the real world in some manner, method or by some mechanism?
Does it even exist outside of the internet and the historical temperature record and the dreamy delusions of a high speed cpu in a late model computer. Does it exist and is there anyway at all to measure it outside of theoretical implications?