By Roger F. Gay
Regardless of the continuous political and commercial efforts to promote the idea of catastrophic man-made global warming, no actual scientific evidence has ever been produced in support of the notion. It would seem helpful at this point, for the general public to understand that there is no such thing as Global Warming “Theory”. That word, “theory” suggests that the idea has passed many scientific hurtles that it hasn't even come close to reaching.
In everyday use, certainly “theory” can mean merely a guess or a conjecture, an idea about something. But formal science doesn't allow such carelessness. A theory involves a detailed understanding of a set of relationships that tell us something about how the real world works, that has held up to observation, experiment, and criticism. Wikipedia's explanation isn't bad. “A scientific theory is a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses.”
A good example of theory is Newtonian mechanics. What we observe in our daily experience, people, cars, planes, etc., move in accordance with Newton's mathematical descriptions of motion. Newton's “Theory of Mechanics” held true again and again with observation and experiment until Einstein's theories were tested. Even then, Einstein's models of time and motion are consistent with Newton's for things that we normally observe, but are better when very large differences in speed and gravity are involved.
We can also build on existing theory to increase our knowledge and understanding. Einstein would never have achieved his contributions to physics if Newton's theories had not already existed. Einstein's work is useful in trying to grasp a better understanding of gravity which will undoubtedly lead to a better understanding of Einstein's and Newton's theories.
Wikipedia goes on to say that “A scientific theory is differentiated from a hypothesis in that a theory must explain actual observations.” “A Hypothesis (plural hypotheses) is a proposed explanation for a phenomenon. For a hypothesis to be a scientific hypothesis, the scientific method requires that one can test it.”
What has been called Global Warming “Theory” consists of computer models that predict rapidly increasing average temperatures on Earth as CO2 increases. These models represent hypotheses, “a proposed explanation for a phenomenon”, in this case, increased average temperatures starting at the coldest part of the past century up until about the year 2000. The models do not match with actual observations over greater lengths of time – including both before and after this period of coincidental warming. Attributing the warming to natural causes holds much better. The conclusion being drawn by scientists who are not political activists and have no financial or other stake in the game is that the catastrophic man-made global warming hypothesis has been tested, and it has failed.
Help the children. A demonstration of the claims by global warming activists has been promoted for use in schools. It involves setting up bottles or plastic containers that are either tightly sealed (like a car with the windows rolled up) or loosely sealed or open at some point (like a car with the windows down). With light bulbs playing the Sun, it's meant to show the effect of increased CO2 (like closing the windows) on the temperature of Earth's atmosphere. I want to mention this because I've heard from a number of children who believe this demonstration proves Global Warming “Theory.” It does not.
Anyone who lives in an area that is cold in the winter shouldn't need the demonstration at all. Go into your house and it's warmer inside than it is outside. There is nothing at all new about heat trapped in closed places. Pretty much everybody knows that cars get hot in the summer too, especially with the windows rolled up. But the Earth and its atmosphere has been around for a long time, and so far it hasn't behaved like air trapped in a tightly closed bottle. Air heats up, and we should be glad that it does. If it didn't, we would not survive (or would never have existed). The demonstration merely illustrates what global warming activists want people to think, but does nothing to reverse the failure of their hypotheses.