The Pseudoscientific Belief Which Is Anthropogenic Global Warming.
While science reality-validates beliefs as to cause and effect to positive knowledge of cause and effect or reality-refutes them to negative knowledge thereof by conclusive experimentation, pseudoscience randomly selects a cause for an effect and correlates these two parameters numerically or statistically without conducting any experimentation to demonstrate that the former is actually the cause of the latter. Again, while science thus relates these parameters by a mathematical equation for prediction of the magnitude of the latter from that of the former or vice versa, pseudoscience selects the cause which it wants to belief is the cause, rather than any other which it could just as easily have chosen. Having listened to a lecture by a Royal Society Fellow who attributed a fall in plankton numbers to increasing oil pollution levels in the western approaches to the English Channel, I privately asked him as he circulated afterwards within his audience, whether he had considered any other parameters as the cause of his observed effect, such as, for example, the then current increase in the issuance of television licences. He coloured slightly before turning away. He did not, and could, not attempt a reply.
As to parameter selection, the believers in anthropogenic global warming have selected atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations from the burning of fossil fuels as the cause of global warming because they want it to be so, not because they have reality-validated this belief to positive knowledge by suitably designed experimentation. Of course, I agree that it is not always possible to conduct conclusive experimentation, but, I do contend that in such cases science always has recourse to whatever existing knowledge may be capable of supporting a belief or questioning it pending its being reality-validated or reality-refuted by specific experimentation at some future time. As to anthropogenic global warming we know by the experimentation of Cardinal Nicholas de Cusa (1401-64) that the combined weight of a potted plant increased with the growth of the plant; that the increase could not have been acquired from the earth in the pot because this would have been a transfer of internal weight which would not have increased the observed weight; and that the combined increase could have come only from the surrounding air. He subsequently wrote a book on use of the balance in what I now refer to as the investigation of cause and effect by experimentation.
Later, Jan Baptist van Helmont (1577-1644) returned to the experiments of Nicholas de Cusa, coined the word gas to describe that state of matter, confirmed that air had weight and that it was a mixture of different gases, one of which is carbon dioxide which turned out to be the one which caused plants to increase in weight as they grow. Later, it was shown by experiment that without atmospheric carbon dioxide there would be no plants; that plants are little more than embodiments of carbon dioxide, and when they die and decay or are combusted as wood, coal or oil, this carbon dioxide is returned to the atmosphere to be recycled as further plants and so on ad infinitum. Indeed, in so far as animals eat plants and other animals, they too are embodiments of carbon dioxide which on death and decay return this carbon dioxide to the atmosphere for such further recycling. Thus, we know that our anthropogenic recycling of carbon dioxide by our combustion of fossil fuels recycles that which would be recycling anyway had it not been fossilised in the absence of air (oxygen) by intervening geological processes.
As to geological and astronomical processes, we also know that these too have causes and effects; that these in turn have causes and effects; that all of them are open to consideration and to investigation by direct observation or purposefully designed experimentation; and that pseudoscience is counter to all such progress. Thus, we know that the global warming which removed the glaciers which, for example, carved out the mountain and loch scenery of Scotland, was initially attributed to variations in the Earth’s orbit round the Sun and to variation in the angle of tilt of the Earth’s rotational axis by such as J.L. Lagrange (1736-84) who also showed that the gravitational influence of one member of the solar system on another depends not only on their relative positions and masses but also on the dimensions and relative inclinations of their orbits and that the latter produce small-scale orbital disturbances which, exhibit periodic cycles which were/are cumulative, and either self-correcting (periodic) or non self-correcting (secular). Thus, we ought to consider whether such variations could account for variations in the earth’s climate, and because we already know that the north polar ice which covered the British Isles began to melt long before we humans began to burn fossil fuels at industrial levels, and because we already know that sea levels have been rising since before the prehistoric inhabitants of these Isles arrived dry-footed by walking across what is now the English Channel, we ought to consider the current belief in anthropogenic global warming as the pseudoscience which it so obviously is.