Source: A widely circulated internet meme. Original source unknown.
Notes: Those who dismiss the science of climate change, such as Dr. Judith Curry and former Australian Prime Minister John Howard, like to argue that 'climate change is an uncertain science.' In the case of Oklahoma US Senator James Inhofe, he has even referred to human caused climate change as a "hoax."
Closed-minded skeptics point to higher uncertainty and the small degree of confidence that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research) and UCAR (Unversity Corporation for Atmospheric Research) that tornadoes and hurricanes has or will become more intense with climate change. They point to this uncertainty, while ignoring the very high degree of confidence scientists have that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, currently warming the planet, causing sea level rise and ocean acidification.
When dismissive folks point to hurricanes and tornadoes as the science of climate change still being "unsettled by scientists," this argument is as illogical as a person letting go a balloon to prove that gravity does not exist.
Science historian Dr. Naomi Oreskes has the best response to climate change being uncertain. She stated:
"Many of us think that scientific knowledge is certain, so therefore if someone comes along and points out the uncertainties in a certain scientific body of knowledge, we think that undermines the science. We think that means that there's a problem in the science.
And so part of my message is to say that view of science is incorrect, that the reality of science is that it is always uncertain. Because if we are actually doing research, it means we're asking questions (about things) that we don't already know about.
So uncertainty is part of the lifeblood of science, it's something we need to embrace and realize it's a good thing, not a bad thing.
And if somebody comes along and says, 'Well, you know, evolution is very uncertain,' you can say, 'Well, of course it is. All life science is uncertain. But the fact is that there are some parts of it that are extremely well established. There are are some parts for which the evidence is so robust and so strong that it would be silly to dismiss it. And that is the same with climate change.'"
Orkeskes went on to say,
"There is a lot about the earth's system that we don't know. But there is a lot that we do know, and we know the Earth's climate system is changing right now and it's changing right in front of our eyes. It's become so obvious that you cannot really deny the changes are underway."
Naomi Oreskes make a strong case that science of climate change is extremely strong and robust. To think otherwise is like releasing a balloon to prove that gravity does not exist.
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