What It Would Take to Prove Global Warming

Recently, Reason‘s Ronald Bailey asked what it would take to convince conservatives and libertarians that global warming is real.

If generally rising temperatures, decreasing diurnal temperature differences, melting glacial and sea ice, smaller snow extent, stronger rainstorms, and warming oceans are not enough to persuade you that man-made climate [change] is occurring, what evidence would be?

This has since been picked up by Jonathan Adler at the Washington Post‘s token right-leaning blog, the Volokh Conspiracy. There’s no pressure: Bailey and Adler merely insinuate that you are “obscurantist”—that is, you hate new knowledge—if you don’t agree.

That, by the way—the smug insistence of global warming alarmists on presenting themselves as the embodiment of scientific knowledge as such—is one of the reasons I stopped taking them seriously. In fact, I have thought about what it would take to convince me global warming is real. And it’s pretty clear that Bailey has not thought about it.

He really hasn’t. He’s thought a lot about the various scientific claims made by those who insist global warming is a man-made catastrophe. But he has not thought about how those claims add up or how they would have to add up to be convincing. All Bailey’s piece amounts to is: here is a long list of factual claims that seem to support the global warming scare; how high do I have to pile up these claims before you are convinced?

What It Would Take to Prove Global Warming.