That climate science relies too heavily on models is one of the last arguments that climate change deniers cling to—many of them argue that proving climate change is manmade is impossible. But one researcher says he’s basically just done the opposite: he used statistics, actual observed data, and, most importantly, no computer models at all to prove that climate change has not been a natural phenomenon.
“There’s a difference between trying to prove a theory is correct and trying to prove something incorrect,” said Shaun Lovejoy, a nonlinear physicist at McGill University. “If we can’t prove the theory, we can reject the hypothesis that all we have is natural variability. I’ve rejected that with a 99.9 percent level of confidence.”
In a paper published in Climate Dynamics, Lovejoy eschews computer models in exchange for empirical data found in ice cores, lake sediment records, Greenland ice cap information, and other commonly used (and commonly published) paleodata dating back to the 16th century, before humans contributed greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
Lovejoy says that the computer models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and others are extremely useful, but says that climate skeptics aren’t totally off base to raise their doubts, when nearly every paper published on the subject relies on one model or another.
“The main rational argument held by climate skeptics is that, the global warming hypothesis depends on these giant models—they say, if the evidence is so strong, we shouldn’t need supercomputers to demonstrate it,” he said. “Well, it turns out, we don’t. Without supercomputers, I got quite similar results, and I can use this paleodata to suggest the probabilities [that climate change falls within established natural variation].”
To do that, Lovejoy used surface air temperature measures from NASA, NOAA, and and the Climate Research Unit, and the paleodata proxies (at 100-year time intervals, where they are believed to be most accurate) to complete a statistical analysis of whether what we saw happen prior to human pollution matches up at all with what we’ve seen since humans began putting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. It doesn’t.
“Even if you allow for very, very extreme natural fluctuations, the worst you can do is reject the hypothesis [of natural variation] with 99.8 percent certainty,” Lovejoy said. “This study will be a blow to any remaining climate change-deniers … their two most convincing arguments—that the warming is natural in origin, and that the computer models are wrong—are either directly contradicted by this analysis, or simply do not apply to it.”
Of course, scientists haven’t been split on that fact in a long, long time—just .01 percent of climate scientists reject global warming. Given the level of willful ignorance we’ve seen at places like Fox News and on Capitol Hill, I’m not so sure any climate deniers will concede so easily—but here’s one more piece of evidence, with a completely different methodology, that proves far beyond a reasonable doubt that what’s happening is not natural. Still want to gamble humanity’s future on it?
You want to say Hi to the cute girl on the subway. How will she react? Fortunately, I can tell you with some certainty, because she’s already sending messages to you. Looking out the window, reading a book, working on a computer, arms folded across chest, body away from you = do not disturb. So, y’know, don’t disturb her. Really. Even to say that you like her hair, shoes, or book. A compliment is not always a reason for women to smile and say thank you. You are a threat, remember? You are Schrödinger’s Rapist. Don’t assume that whatever you have to say will win her over with charm or flattery. Believe what she’s signaling, and back off.
If you speak, and she responds in a monosyllabic way without looking at you, she’s saying, “I don’t want to be rude, but please leave me alone.” You don’t know why. It could be “Please leave me alone because I am trying to memorize Beowulf.” It could be “Please leave me alone because you are a scary, scary man with breath like a water buffalo.” It could be “Please leave me alone because I am planning my assassination of a major geopolitical figure and I will have to kill you if you are able to recognize me and blow my cover.”
On the other hand, if she is turned towards you, making eye contact, and she responds in a friendly and talkative manner when you speak to her, you are getting a green light. You can continue the conversation until you start getting signals to back off.
The fourth point: If you fail to respect what women say, you label yourself a problem.
There’s a man with whom I went out on a single date—afternoon coffee, for one hour by the clock—on July 25th. In the two days after the date, he sent me about fifteen e-mails, scolding me for non-responsiveness. I e-mailed him back, saying, “Look, this is a disproportionate response to a single date. You are making me uncomfortable. Do not contact me again.” It is now October 7th. Does he still e-mail?
Yeah. He does. About every two weeks.
This man scores higher on the threat level scale than Man with the Cockroach Tattoos. (Who, after all, is guilty of nothing more than terrifying bad taste.) You see, Mr. E-mail has made it clear that he ignores what I say when he wants something from me. Now, I don’t know if he is an actual rapist, and I sincerely hope he’s not. But he is certainly Schrödinger’s Rapist, and this particular Schrödinger’s Rapist has a probability ratio greater than one in sixty. Because a man who ignores a woman’s NO in a non-sexual setting is more likely to ignore NO in a sexual setting, as well.
So if you speak to a woman who is otherwise occupied, you’re sending a subtle message. It is that your desire to interact trumps her right to be left alone. If you pursue a conversation when she’s tried to cut it off, you send a message. It is that your desire to speak trumps her right to be left alone. And each of those messages indicates that you believe your desires are a legitimate reason to override her rights.
For women, who are watching you very closely to determine how much of a threat you are, this is an important piece of data.
an excerpt from Phaedra Starling’s “Schrödinger’s Rapist: or a guy’s guide to approaching strange women without being maced” (via lostgrrrls)
HOLY FUCK THE TRUTH.
Can every one of my male followers read this? And please, before you get defensive (“I would never rape anyone!”) keep in mind, women being afraid of Shrodinger’s Rapists (oh my god i still can’t get over the encompassing brilliance of this phrase) is a conditioned, learned response from being immersed in rape culture and the evolution of sexism and sexual violence in our society from the day we’re born. And unfortunately, it’s very difficult to unlearn without the efforts of all genders to dismantle it. Which is where you come in.
It’s also just rude and disrespectful to patently ignore what someone has told you regarding their personal space, body, and time. Get a clue.
I will always reblog this. Always.
If we long to believe that the stars rise and set for us, that we are the reason there is a Universe, does science do us a disservice in deflating our conceits?
For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.