Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Postmodern,yes. Sane,no

We spoke about the postmodern nature of at least some of the contemporary science. New York Times (via Eureferendum) provides a working sample-

Hurricanes could become more prevalent with climate change, but the economic pain they deliver might not be recognized as man-made for 260 years.

That means smashed homes and ruined roads may not be attributable to greenhouse gases for centuries, according to new research that suggests climate policies like adaptation should be designed without financial evidence of climate-enhanced windstorms.

The researchers also warn environmentalists and policymakers against making claims that damage from Hurricane Katrina and other storms are rising from carbon dioxide emissions. Insurance companies that promote climate change as a reason for rising prices could also lose credibility.

That won't please Pachauri. IPCC's 2007 report warned that " that global warming is already affecting the severity and frequency of global disasters" and that the world had "suffered rapidly rising costs due to extreme weather-related events since the 1970s".

Nevertheless, as the Times continues, absence of proof is no stumbling block for postmodern scientists. They march on regardless:

................ a landmark study published in Science last January finding that the number of strongest hurricanes, categories 4 and 5, could double in 100 years because of climate change.

The researchers begin by assuming that's true. Then they apply hurricane damage data from the past century to those future hazards, adjusting for growth in population, inflation and wealth. 

What's the point of science? Let's assume whatever suits our narrative anyway. With our convenient assumptions, our "research" can show anything:

The results indicate that future hurricane damages won't produce a tangible "climate signal" for at least 120 years, and perhaps not for 550 years. The average time before a signal might be seen is 260 years, according to the combined findings of an 18-model ensemble used by the researchers. In that year, 2271, climate change is expected to increase damage by 106 percent, more than double. 

As Eureferendum says wryly-

So, let me get this straight. We have absolutely no evidence that man-made climate change is causing or will cause more hurricanes, and are unlikely to have that evidence for an impossibly long time – after everyone currently living is long dead – if ever. Therefore, we should proceed on the basis that it is proven.

And these people want us to believe they are sane?

Sane? No. Postmodern? Yes.

 (all emphasis mine)