What Would Einstein Say About Climate Change?

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2018/06/05/what-would-einstein-say-about-climate-change/

There is no doubt that the Earth’s temperature is rising. Temperatures measured on land and at sea since 1880 show that the Earth’s globally averaged surface temperature in 2016 was 0.94 degrees Celsius (1.69 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the 20thcentury average. This finding comes from the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and is likely accurate.

The question, of course, is:  Why is the temperature rising?  Because of solar radiation or sunspot activity? Perhaps changes in ocean currents? Or is it an increase in CO2?

Climate change scientists and activists would have you believe that the sole reason is greenhouse gases – primarily carbon dioxide (CO2). Their argument is that the temperature is rising because of increased levels of CO2 caused by mankind, primarily through the use of hydrocarbons – coal, oil, and gas. In other words, global warming is caused by increased industrial activity.

The climate change models and fearmongering politicians have combined to afflict an entire generation with a sense of impending doom about the Earth’s future. Hollywood has played its part, with dozens of movies showing the Earth imperiled by global warming. The result is that a self-proclaimed “consensus” of politicians, intellectuals, and scientists declare that global warming over the past century has been caused by man and that governments around the world, and especially in the United States, must make major changes in policy that would disrupt economic growth and lessen economic opportunity in order to deal with the problem.

What are these grim prognostications based on? Over the past three decades, climate change scientists have built many models to show the allegedly deleterious effect of CO2 on the Earth’s climate. However, the models have consistently failed, predicting large spikes in the Earth’s temperature which have not materialized. You might remember Al Gore’s prediction in his 2006 documentary An Inconvenient Truth that unless we took “drastic measures” to reduce greenhouse gases, we would reach a “point of no return” in a mere ten years – as in:  2016. But here we all are – with very little change in the climate over the past decade.

Meanwhile, those who demand empirical evidence of man-made global warming are ridiculed and even sued.

What would Albert Einstein say about the “consensus” that the Earth’s rising temperature over the past century is a result of rising levels of CO2: Fact or unproven theory?

In his authoritative history Modern Times (1983), Paul Johnson recounts Einstein’s publishing a paper in 1905 describing what became known as the Special Theory of Relativity. In 1907, Einstein published a demonstration that all mass has energy, encapsulated in the equation E = m(c squared). Following these publications, scientists throughout the world began following Einstein’s work, and within a decade, Einstein had formulated his General Theory of Relativity.  

But unlike our modern climate change scientists, Einstein insisted that before his work be seen as valid, his equations had to be verified by empirical observations, and he devised three specific tests for this purpose. On May 29, 1919, photographs of a solar eclipse, taken on an island off West Africa and at Sobral, Brazil, confirmed the truth of his new theory of the universe. But it was a measure of Einstein’s scientific rigor and intellectual honesty that he refused to accept that his own theory was valid until the third test was met. It was not until 1923 when the Mount Wilson observatory confirmed the third test. 

On that day, Einstein’s theory was proven by empirical data to be true. Until that date, he considered it just an unproven theory. The scientific community was rightly impressed by Einstein’s intellectual honesty in maintaining that he would regard his theory as untenable if it should not be proven empirically.

Based upon Einstein’s rigorous scientific approach to his startling new theories of the universe, we can say with some certainty that Einstein would not buy into the so-called “consensus” about man-made global warming. For more than a decade, there was a “consensus” among scientists that Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity was true, but Einstein repudiated such thinking and insisted that all three tests of this theory must be met before it could be accepted as true.

Where do we see such scientific rigor and honesty now in the great climate change debate? It is hard to find. And those who wish to see empirical evidence of climate change models before accepting them as valid? They’re called “deniers.”

In our modern and sophisticated age, so many in the academy have bowed to political correctness. We rarely see intellectual honesty and humility exhibited by climate change scientists or the politicians who base their policies on their unproven theories. We need to harken back to the example of Einstein, who showed the world that a theory is just a theory until it is proven by empirical data.

Lessening people’s freedom and lowering their ability to make a living to satisfy admirers of an unproven theory isn’t worthy of the scientific method.