The Scientific Method struck a valiant blow against climate denialism in Germany this week, as scientists from around the globe gathered to sort out climate change facts from fiction. The climate change conference, hosted by the European Institute for Climate and Energy (known by its German acronym EIKE) and cosponsored by the Heartland Institute, attracted nearly 200 attendees and marks ongoing global momentum in favor of sound science and against factually unsupported alarmism.
American atmospheric physicist S. Fred Singer, whose resume of scientific accomplishments runs longer than Al Gore’s obscene electricity usage (see here), explained how natural variance accounts for most of the global warming of the past century. The German attendees treated Singer like a rock star. Nils-Axel Morner, former head of the Paleogeophysics and Geodynamics Department at Stockholm University, documented a dramatic deceleration of sea level rise during the past 40 years. Nir Shaviv, a professor of astrophysics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, showed how cosmic rays account for much recent global warming. Journalist Donna Laframboise related how she discovered an appalling prevalence of incompetence and bias among lead authors for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
The conference’s unmistakable lesson was that the scientific evidence is woefully short of supporting alarmist assertions that humans are causing a global warming crisis. To the extent the scientific evidence leads to a particular conclusion, the conclusion is that humans are modestly enhancing a natural warming cycle that fortunately rescued the planet from the Little Ice Age.
Several scientists pointed out that during most of the past 10,000 years, the time period since the last full-blown ice age glaciation ended, global temperatures were warmer than today. Global warming may be occurring, but global temperatures are far from surpassing the warmth experienced for much of the past 10,000 years.
The scientists documented how warming and cooling spells, many of which were more dramatic than our recent warming, have always occurred during the earth’s history. The mere fact that our present day climate shows a “climate change” of modest warming is far from unusual. Only climate change denialists assert that climate change is not a natural and ongoing occurrence.
This leads us back to the Scientific Method versus climate deniers. The Scientific Method demands a constant testing of theories. Under the Scientific Method, when a scientist proposes a scientific theory, she or he vigorously attempts to prove the theory wrong and then encourages others to do the same. Vigorous discussion and debate are encouraged, not vilified.
On the other hand, anti-science deniers pretend the Scientific Method doesn’t exist. Rather than encourage vigorous testing of scientific theories, they attempt to shout down the testers as “anti-science.” When someone challenges a particular scientific theory – again, something that is at the very heart of the Scientific Method – the deniers accuse the challenger as “attacking scientists” or “attacking science” itself.
“This conference shows that a growing number of people are challenging global warming alarmism even here in Germany, where alarmism is most deeply entrenched,” conference organizer Wolfgang Muller explained after the event. “Every year the conference grows in size and political impact. The government hates us for it.”
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[First published at Forbes.]