Seems the Arctic ice sheet has refused to do what it was told by computer models. The models “conservatively” insisted the ice would be gone entirely by 2013, yet the darn stuff is back.
It’s not clear whether its majesty Science itself or just a fawning press made the original prediction—though it could have been both—but back in 2007, it was said the ice would have melted entirely by now.
Imagine the embarrassment faced by both institutions that its prediction was not only wrong, but backwards.
Now there are two kinds of people. Those beholden to truth and the smitten. A person beholden to truth would conclude that the theory which predicted the disappearance of ice was false or at least very badly flawed. This person would abandon the theory and find something useful to do with his time, perhaps endeavouring to fix what went wrong. He would have learned the lesson that next time he makes a prediction to be more circumspect and not run about like Chicken Little mainlining Red Bull.
One who is smitten would say his beloved theory is right and that the world itself if wrong in some way. He would say he is even more confident in his failed prediction than he was before, even unto the level of 95%. Nothing would induce him to abandon his chérie, an ideal model created by his own hand. To do so would be ungentlemanly and callous. It would cause him grief. It could mean financial loss.
Evidence that there are more smitten than truth seekers is in the phrase, “Global warming has paused since 1997.” Paused, which means global warming is still out there lurking, ready to strike. It has only put on hold its nefarious activities. It has not ceased, but is held in abeyance. Global warming, the sneaky creature, is in hiding, perhaps in the oceanic abyss. In short, the theory is still true and the world is wrong.
Time for predictions. It is too much fun to claim that the observed changes in the world are caused largely by us. This attribution will continue. Yet the “pause” must needs be explained. I don’t know how other than it will be us. Perhaps tiny bubbles (particulate matter) released into the atmosphere by capitalists.
Global warming will still increase, but negatively. Meaning the globe will cool slightly, or that it will bounce around some harmless average. These fluctuations will not be benign, but will be said to evince a humanity at war with itself, cooling pollution battling heating carbon dioxide. Now this side will triumph, now the other. Whichever side bests the other, success will be claimed.
It is too embarrassing to say “We were wrong”, especially by politicians, so you won’t often hear it. But since most scientists are truth seekers, the edges of climatological doom theory will be chipped away.
And now the real purpose of this post…
Don’t forget that the fever was raised roughly thirty years ago back in the 1980s. The peak of frenzy was maybe five to ten years ago. This implies we still have ten to fifteen years of this stuff in the press. Or longer, since it is easy to keep putting the end off.
We’ve lived through pollution scares before (mainly affecting our food) back in the 1970s, acid rain in the 1980s, nuclear winter in the 1990s, and overpopulation has played out. Doesn’t seem likely activists would return to these same wells. Something new, then. But what?
Eugenics, I think. We are “polluting” ourselves (see this and this). The “best” aren’t breeding and the “worst” are going at it like rabbits. Perhaps “chemicals” or “hormones” will be the cause of this. They whither sperm and crack eggs. Or whatever. The solution will be genetic engineering and increased abortions.
I’m not convinced, of course. Might be hard to get people in a panic. Would the UN need to meet? How could donations be applied? What laws need be passed? All good questions.
(Actually, to tell the truth, this fractured, unfocused post was written only as an excuse to feature Don Ho’s Tiny Bubbles, a song I was reminded of last week.)