Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The ACE Theorem

It's like nineteen degrees with the windchill in Richmond today. That's insane. What's even crazier, I think, is that somebody, somewhere, is undoubtedly claiming that this bitter cold front proves that global warming is real.

As far as anthropogenic climate change goes, I'm a quasi-skeptic who leans towards belief; that is to say, the science behind man-made global warming seems both plausible and sound. When asked, I usually just say I believe humans are causing global climate change at the very least in part, because it's easier to put it that way. But though I pretty much believe in the change, I'm unsure of the extent of the change, or the extent of the change's effects.

This is where it gets kooky with the ardent climate change crowd. They are students of what I call the Anything Confirms Everything theorem, or ACE. If you listen to them, it seems that everything, and I mean everything, is indicative of climate change:
  • Are we having a warm spell of seventy-degree days in December? That's global warming. 
  • Is it instead seventeen degrees in December, and/or did we have a big snowstorm? That's a climate "extreme," of which we can expect to see more in the future. It's climate change.
  • Is it a mild low-to-mid-fifties day in December? We never used to have these types of average days when we were younger---it was always colder in December. It's global warming. (Note: see the above statement on "extreme" weather, which will be used once it gets colder.)
  • Are we experiencing multiple instances of these weather phenomena within December? The climate is growing more unpredictable---that's climate change too.
The last one is my favorite. It's as if we lived on a predictable planet before climate change began, but then carbon emissions made it "unpredictable." The weatherman can't accurately call the weather forecast fifteen hours out, and he has never been able to do so, and yet "unpredictability" is a new thing!

Considering all of this, the basic conditional statement of the acolytes of the ACE theorem is as follows:

If weather is happening, then global warming is real.


Weather is happening,


Global warming is real.

As you can see, the only way for the theorem to break down would be if weather were to stop happening. But then they would probably call that global warming too, damn them! 

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