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Let’s Test Climate ‘Science’ With Real Science

Remember the one about Indonesian peat fires? How the large scale peat fires in 1997 contributed carbon dioxide in amounts up to 40% of a typical year’s global carbon output? Do you recall that the very next year, 1998, is touted as one of the warmest on record? If saving the planet means drastically reducing carbon emissions, why not start with Indonesia?

For all its scientific-sounding pronouncements, Climate Science is anything but a real science. Real science is a process: first you make a hypothesis, then you make a prediction based on that hypothesis, then you conduct an experiment as a test of the hypothesis. If you made a good prediction, you publish your results and refine your hypothesis; if your prediction was bad, you throw out the hypothesis and start over.

Climate Science has morphed into Climate Religion. There are no testable hypotheses; we have instead a consensus and a “science” that is impossible to disprove. Skepticism is heretical. Any and all results support the theory, once you move the goalposts far enough and boldly enough. Is the weather warmer? “We told you so.” Is the weather cooler? “Weather is not climate.” More hurricanes? “Just as we said.” Fewer hurricanes? “African dust storms.” And so on.

How ’bout we test the models that the Climate Change community tout as the compelling reason that we must “FIX IT FIX IT FIX IT!”?

What better way to test the models than to control the Indonesian peat fires? All the so-called climate experts could crank up their models and predict the climate over several years. How much of an impact do the Indonesian fires have? If the answer is “none”, how can that be explained? More importantly, are the models any better than totally naive forecasts, or none at all?

Not that I’d expect True Believers to go along with this proposal. They have too much to lose.

According to one source, Indonesia contains 18% of global peat, a huge carbon repository:

At least 550 billion tonnes of carbon are stored peat globally. This is the equivalent of about 75% of all the carbon in the atmosphere at present, or 70 years of fossil fuel emissions at current rates. … 30% of global peat is in the tropics, and Indonesia holds 60% of this… Thousands of fires now burn every dry season and the worst fire-seasons since 1997 have been 1998, 2002 and 2006, with over 60,000 hotspots in each of those years.

Poor land use practices in Indonesia have been destructive of the peat; deforestation for agriculture leaves the peat exposed and prone to drying out. When the peat catches fire (from man-made or natural causes), it burns like a smoldering cigarette. The burning peat releases carbon dioxide, but it also burns trees (CO2 consumers) in the overlying rain forest.

…[I]n 2006, peatland fires in Indonesia released up to about 900 million metric tons of CO2. This is more than the total amount of CO2 emitted in Germany in that year… [Source]

So stopping the peat fires would be the equivalent of shutting down Germany, the world’s fourth-biggest economy.

Would my proposal prove feasible? There’s some amount of money, much less than the prescription that our leaders envision, that could convince the Indonesians to cooperate. Even if we had to mobilize the military (the blue-helmeted ones) to secure the area and fight the fires, hey! The future of the planet is at stake!

Any time that Anthropogenic Global Warming is discussed, the implicit target is industrial development and transportation in the developed world. The Indonesian peat fires are anthropogenic, too, but they have the disadvantage of being non-point sources (point sources being smokestacks and tailpipes and other things that are easy to count, control, and, significantly, tax).

Another plus for this plan – there is no downside. The Indonesian fires are not natural; putting them out would be neutral to beneficial for the environment, even if Climate Change is totally disproven.

Cross-posted at VladEnBlog.

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