Speaking About Flawed Climate-Change Models

CRI-Blog-Hanegraaff, Hank-Climate Change Models FlawedI want to mention an article I read in the Boston Globe, a very progressive Boston Globe. If I am not mistaken, it is owned by the New York Times. This article is by Jeff Jacoby, who I think has been a columnist for the Globe since 1987. The article is entitled “Why Are Climate-Change Models So Flawed?” And the answer: “Because Climate Science Is So Incomplete.”

The gist of Jacoby’s article is that the Environmental Protection Agency’s new director, Scott Pruitt, says we just do not know whether “CO2 is the primary control knob for climate.” Well, of course, hysteria broke out in the media and the broader American community.

Jacoby thought, “Well, let’s add a little discernment to the mix,” and starts explaining that “CO2 is certainly a heat-trapping greenhouse gas, but hardly the primary one.” This is about thinking. A lot of people don’t allow thinking; you have to lockstep march. But Jacoby is thinking out loud in this article, as it were, saying, “Water vapor accounts for about 95 percent of greenhouse gases. By contrast, carbon dioxide is only a trace component in the atmosphere: about 400 ppm (parts per million), or 0.04 percent. Moreover, its warming impact decreases sharply after the first 20 or 30 ppm.”

At any rate, Jacoby goes on to write that “Earth’s climate system is unfathomably complex. It is affected by innumerable interacting variables, atmospheric CO2 levels being just one.”

The list of variables that shape climate includes a whole bunch of things including:

Cloud formation, topography, altitude, proximity to the equator, plate tectonics, sunspot cycles, volcanic activity, expansion or contraction of sea ice, conversion of land to agriculture, deforestation, reforestation, direction of winds, soil quality, El Niño and La Niña ocean cycles, prevalence of aerosols (airborne soot, dust, and salt) — and, of course, atmospheric greenhouse gases, both natural and manmade. A comprehensive list would run to hundreds, if not thousands, of elements, none of which scientists would claim to understand with absolute precision.

The bottom line, according to Jeff Jacoby, is that “Pruitt got it right: Measuring human impacts on climate is indeed ‘very challenging.’ The science is far from settled. That is why calls to radically reduce carbon emissions are so irresponsible — and why dire warnings of what will happen if we don’t are little better than reckless fearmongering.”

Again, I was very, very surprised to see this article in the Boston Globe. The point, I guess, by Jacoby is that science is not about consensus, and the present policies are things that we ought to examine very, very closely, because one thing we know beyond a peradventure of a doubt: they harm the poorest of the poor. As I wrote in an article, which is available in The Complete Bible Answer Book Collector’s Edition Revised and Updated, you need to learn to ask the right questions, and ask the right questions in the right sequence. Overall, we all need to learn discernment skills. This is a discernment ministry, teaching people those very skills, hopefully, by modeling those skills in many of our outreaches around the world. —Hank Hanegraaff

“The first to present his case seems right, till another comes forward and questions him” (Prov. 18:17 NIV).