Thursday, February 17, 2005

Kyoto and the Popperian question

Yesterday was Kyoto Protocol Day. Why not pose and answer the Popperian question? In an exchange on climate change in the Jan-Feb 2005 edition of The Freeman, reader Dan Karlan and writer Christopher Lingle do just that.

Karlan asks: "What evidence would cause you to reconsider your position and accept the position you have so far rejected?"

Lingle rises to the occasion and writes: "First, I would have to see evidence that reconciles the differing data from surface temperatures that suggest a warming trend with the data from weather balloons and satellites that do not support the notion of a warming trend. I would also have to see evidence that modeling of climate involves more complexity so that solar flaring and water vapor can be accounted for. These natural phenomena are much more important in influencing climate and weather than the combined actions of mankind. Indeed, one large volcanic eruption will disrupt weather patterns and alter climate to a much greater extent than decades of anthroprogentic effects."

Refreshing and useful.