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Confirmation Bias And Climate Change

Unleash Prosperity Hotline
Issue #310
1) Confirmation Bias And Climate Change

The extreme heat wave in the western states has brought record high temperatures in Arizona, Nevada, Texas, the mountain states, and coastal California. Baby, it’s hot outside. 

We were expecting headlines like the one below, and sure enough, NPR accommodated us:

The Record Temperatures Enveloping The West Are Not Your Average Heat Wave.

The story quotes climate experts warning “it’s more evidence of human caused climate change.”

One said: “This current heat dome fits with climate change ideas, global warming, meaning that it’s just a little bit warmer than it would have been last year. And if we have this next year, it’ll be just a little bit warmer again.”

Another climate scientist Daniel Swain of UCLA, told NPR: “There’s a crystal clear human fingerprint on extreme heat and extreme heat events … climate change is making these sorts of things worse.”

We wouldn’t dispute that the climate of the earth may be changing. It’s the “human fingerprint” thing we think is a leap of faith. Few in the climate lobby like to confess that their climate forecasting models have been inaccurate, so they seize on events like this current heat wave to scare the public.

NPR and others have fallen into the classic and routine trap in the sciences called “confirmation bias.” When you firmly believe that A will cause B, any event where B follows A is seen as concrete validation of the theory. But every time A doesn’t lead to B, we ignore that data or excuse it away as a statistical outlier. By the way, we are ALL guilty of this bias – even, we confess, your humble editors – from time to time. It’s human nature to search out only things that confirm your preconceived notions. 

Back in February the middle of the country was crippled for a week and longer by a polar vortex that led to some of the lowest temperatures in Texas and other states, in many decades. How did that happen if carbon emissions are warming the planet? 

The ultimate form of confirmation bias is the very term “climate change.” Every change in weather patterns – record cold, record heat, flooding, droughts – validate the thesis. But a theory that can’t be refuted by evidence is not science. It is religion. 

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