The models are wrong

The climate models predicting “global warming.” From Watts Up With That:

Albert Einstein once said, “No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.” Einstein’s words express a foundational principle of science intoned by the logician, Karl Popper: Falsifiability. In order to verify a hypothesis there must be a test by which it can be proved false. A thousand observations may appear to verify a hypothesis, but one critical failure could result in its demise. The history of science is littered with such examples.

. . .

Writing in 2005, Hansen, Willis, Schmidt et al. suggested that GISS model projections had been verified by a solid decade of increasing ocean heat (1993 to 2003). This was regarded as further confirmation the IPCC’s AGW (anthropogenic global warming) hypothesis. Their expectation was that the earth’s climate system would continue accumulating heat more or less monotonically. Now that heat accumulation has stopped (and perhaps even reversed), the tables have turned. The same criteria used to support their hypothesis, is now being used to falsify it.

It is evident that the AGW hypothesis, as it now stands, is either false or fundamentally inadequate. One may argue that projections for global warming are measured in decades rather than months or years, so not enough time has elapsed to falsify this hypothesis. This would be true if it were not for the enormous deficit of heat we have observed. In other words, no matter how much time has elapsed, if a projection misses its target by such a large magnitude (6x to 8x), we can safely assume that it is either false or seriously flawed.

Assuming the hypothesis is not false, its proponents must now address the failure to skillfully project heat accumulation. Theories pass through stages of development as they are tested against observations. It is possible that the AGW hypothesis is not false, but merely oversimplified. Nevertheless, any refinements must include causal mechanisms which are testable and falsifiable. Arm waiving and ad hoc explanations (such as large margins of error) are not sufficient.

Let me translate from the cautious scientific jargon above into more easily understandable language: This means that EVERY scientific study, and EVERY policy prescription based on the GISS model of climatology is wrong. Invalid. Mistaken.

This means that James Hansen, the NASA-employed climate change fanatic who is responsible for the GISS model, is a-scientific to continue to insist that his model correctly represents reality. It does not. He is wrong. There are two types of computer models: those which accurately represent aspects of reality, and those that don’t. Those that do are, within limits, useful tools to predict future occurences and events. Those that don’t are useless fantasies. The GISS model has now been shown to reside in the latter category, along with the “Earth is Flat” model and the “Sun moves around the Earth” model.

Back to the drawing board, climate change alarmists.

Whither the Republicans?

Via Little Green Footballs[*1] , a post from the blog SensuousCurmudgeon[*2] with which I totally, completely, 100% agree. I’m taking the liberty of re-posting the entire thing here, after the Read More. It begins:

My fellow Republicans:

As our party is going though a much-needed period of introspection, please consider that there was a time when this party stood for the Constitution, the rule of law, national defense, free enterprise, limited government, low taxes, balanced budgets, and individual rights. We still honor those principles; but those who now govern have no concern for or even understanding of such matters.

While the other party has been winning elections and undermining everything we have traditionally valued, what issues dominate our political discourse? Our party has been talking about sex and religion.

When we say “sex,” we mean topics like abstinence, promiscuity, homosexuality, pre-marital relations, contraception, sodomy, nudity, pornography, masturbation, same-sex marriage, sex education, abortion, and morning-after pills. Does that list sound familiar? It should, because those are the issues that too often dominate your campaigns.

Except for late-term abortion, where the other party has an extreme position that could be exploited (except that it’s lost in a sea of other sex-related issues), there is absolutely no reason to discuss such matters as part of our party’s policies. The Constitution doesn’t give the federal government any authority over those issues. If they need to be addressed, it should be done only at the state level.

When we speak of religion, we mostly mean the current movement to insert religious doctrines into public school science classes, especially creationism and its love-child, intelligent design. It seems to us that this is a latter-day substitute for prayer in public schools, which is essentially a dead issue these days, but still a hot-button item. There are other religious issues, like objections to certain areas of biological research.

Our obsession with creationism and blocking biological research has earned us the reputation of being an anti-science party, which is a burden our adversaries are delighted to exploit — notwithstanding their Luddite opposition to nuclear energy, oil exploration, aerospace technology, etc. Aside from that, religious issues should not concern the national government — especially when we have so many vital matters — our traditional principles — that must be addressed before the republic is lost forever.

Any of these sex or religion topics would be a fine subject for a sermon; but experience teaches us that they are not issues that will propel a party to national leadership. Regional, yes; national, no. A successful political party should understand this, but it seems that we don’t. That is why, at the moment, we are not a successful political party.

If a politician’s principal issues are sex and religion, and he wants to campaign with a bible in one hand and his carnal concerns in the other, that’s his choice; but he should know that this approach — although thrilling to a vocal faction of the party — isn’t attractive to a broad majority of the population. If you feel that you must campaign on those issues, please do it as a member of the other party. In most parts of the country you’re going to lose either way, but you’ll still feel good, and at least you won’t be hurting us.

To know what issues appeal not only to Republicans, but also to most Americans, consider Newt Gingrich’s Contract With America, the most successful thing we’ve done since nominating Ronald Reagan. Each item on Newt’s list was poll-tested. We loved them, and so did most Americans. Significantly, religion and sex were not on the list, except indirectly in the case of some welfare reform provisions affecting unwed mothers, and some non-controversial items in the proposed Family Reinforcement Act (tax incentives for adoption, stronger child pornography laws, etc.) . Wikipedia says: “Gingrich insisted on ‘60% issues’, intending for the Contract to avoid promises on controversial and divisive matters like abortion and school prayer.” Source: Contract with America.

Newt knew exactly what he was doing, and it worked. Why have we abandoned a successful strategy?

An inordinate emphasis on sex and religion makes hypocrites of half of us, and fools of all. More importantly, it will permanently marginalize the party, while the opponents of our traditional principles triumph.

/s/ The Curmudgeon

I don’t particularly care what other people’s sexual inclinations or practices might be (as long as consenting adults are involved), I’m not particularly worried about abortion (I’m vaguely, kinda-sorta uneasy with it, but don’t think it’s a Federal Issue), and I consider creationism/intelligent design with as much scientific skepticism as I do global warming catastrophism (which is, a LOT). I think religion, properly understood, serves as a guide to one’s own behavior, and should not be applied to others (unless you then want others to apply their religion to YOU.) To me, the best possible policy the Federal Government could adopt is “leave me and everybody else the hell alone.” Because the worst excesses of history occur where somebody, backed with the power of government, decides that he (or, rarely, she) knows better than everybody else how they should run their lives.

Obama Admin: military trials not such a bad idea after all

When President Obama suspended Guantánamo cases after his inauguration on Jan. 20, many participants said the military commission system appeared dead.

But in recent days a variety of officials involved in the deliberations say that after administration lawyers examined many of the cases, the mood shifted toward using military commissions to prosecute some detainees, perhaps including those charged with coordinating the Sept. 11 attacks.

“The more they look at it,” said one official, “the more commissions don’t look as bad as they did on Jan. 20.”

To misquote Star Wars, “This is not the Hopeful Changeyness you were looking for. Move along, move along.”