By Roger Pilon
Today POLITICO Arena asks:
Ex-VP Al Gore says the snowstorms that paralyzed much of the U.S. this week are more evidence of manmade global warming. “The scientific community has been addressing this particular question for some time now and they say that increased heavy snowfalls are completely consistent with what they have been predicting as a consequence of man-made global warming.” Do you agree?
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A scientific hypothesis that’s essentially unfalsifiable — cold corroborates “global warming,” heat corroborates it, nothing really falsifies it — is worse than useless. It’s a scientific poseur, properly classified as a belief system, like religion. And the implication that there’s an optimal earth temperature, or range of temperatures, or that global warming is destructive, not possibly beneficial, is just further evidence that there’s more going on here than pure science.
Throw in beliefs about the human contributions to “global warming” and the policy recommendations that follow – massive shifts toward wildly expensive command-and-control energy systems, the effect on the world’s poor notwithstanding – and the politics of the matter come into view. Let’s remember that Al Gore, who never missed an opportunity to expand government, was once an ethanol evangelist, a posture he’s recently admitted was connected mainly with presidential politics in Iowa — now that ethanol has been shown to have negative environmental consequences. Frankly, I’ll stick with Punxsutawney Phil.