In the modern world, emissions of CO2 and greenhouse gasses have become not only the norm but essential to our way of life. Rightfully so, fossil fuels provide efficient fuel at rather inexpensive prices. Humanity and our consumption of fossil fuels is similar to a smoking addiction. We assume that the risks don’t apply to us, and their addictive nature keeps drawing us back in. In a culture of optimism, it is no surprise that we have had little to no large steps towards building a greener energy output. We simply assume the worst won’t happen to us, and that the risk is worth the benefit.
By Ethan Suquet | United States
In a recent Prager University video Will Happer, a Professor Emeritus at Princeton University that has published over 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers (including one of the first on how CO2 emissions affect the environment), explained perfectly why climate models cannot work. His argument dives headfirst into the complex factors that affect global temperatures and how difficult it is to predict changes in these factors over time.
His argument in the video is an expanded form of his thesis “Aside from the human brain, the climate is the most complex thing on the planet. The number of factors that influence climate—the sun, the earth’s orbital properties, oceans, clouds, and, yes, industrial man—is huge and enormously variable.”
Accurately and precisely predicting the effects that even one of these variables will have on the climate is extraordinarily difficult, and predicting what all of these will do to the climate would be nearly impossible.
To try to narrow down his argument so it can fit in a 5-minute video Professor Happer focuses specifically on the complexity of how water affects global temperatures. He claims that
- When compared to water, carbon dioxide is only a minor contributor to global temperature
- It is extremely difficult to determine what a fluid such as water is going to do.
- Attempting to predict how two fluids (water in the ocean and water in the atmosphere) on a global scale over decades would be nearly impossible.
In Professor Happer’s argument, he pushes the notion that over the past 30 years many climate models have turned out to be incorrect. So rather than accept the fallibility of climate models, modelers have turned to filling in models with whatever data will give them the number that they would like to showcase in their models.
Overall Professor Happer makes great arguments as to why climate models should be taken with a grain of salt and I would highly recommend that readers watch this 5-minute video.
Image from the Washington Post.