William Happer achtergrond Gaja

Dit is het vierde deel van mijn ‘posting’ over het interview met William Happer op de website ‘TheBestSchools’, waarin Happer zijn opvatting over de klimaat’problematiek’ ontvouwt. De eerste drie delen zijn hier, hier en hier te vinden.

Happer’s visie komt dicht bij wat als consensus onder de klimaatsceptici kan worden beschouwd. Inmiddels is hij bij Donald Trump in diens ‘Tower’ op bezoek geweest.

Het is derhalve aannemelijk dat zijn klimaatvisie als inspiratiebron, zo niet leidraad voor het klimaat- cum energiebeleid door de nieuwe Amerikaanse regering zal worden overgenomen. Reden te meer om er uitvoerig aandacht aan te schenken.

Na de manipulatie van temperatuurdata te hebben behandeld, richt het interview zich vervolgens op de falsifieerbaarheid van de AGW- hypothese (AGW = ‘Anthropogenic Global Warming’).

William Happer:

This concept is often associated with the philosopher Karl Popper, whose views are succinctly summarized in his essay, “Science as Falsification” (in his collection, Conjectures and Refutations [Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1963). …:

After some discussion, Popper concludes:

One can sum up all this by saying that the criterion of the scientific status of a theory is its falsifiability, or refutability, or testability.

… Most establishment climate models are scientifically falsified because they predicted much more warming than was actually observed. And there were dozens of papers in major scientific journals that made the same point.

Watching the news of the blizzard of 2016 on the evening news, I heard New York City Mayor de Blasio state that the blizzard was an example of weather that has become more extreme “because of global warming.” Just as Popper said: “Once your eyes were thus opened you saw confirmed instances everywhere: the world was full of verifications of the theory.”

Yet, there is not the slightest evidence that the weather has become more extreme. A good quantitative discussion of extreme weather can be found in John Christy’s congressional testimony (PDF).

The interviewer richt zich vervolgens op het bekende verzekeringsargument.


Many would argue that, whatever the theoretical and empirical uncertainties surrounding the consensus view on global warming may be, we simply cannot afford the luxury of further study. As with Pascal’s Wager, the stakes are so high that it is far better to act and discover it was not necessary, than not to act and discover it was.

We will be discussing the specifics of the implications of global warming for human welfare below. Here, we would like you to speak to this general type of argument: “urgency overrides normal scientific caution in the face of uncertainty.”

William Happer:

… Let me turn to what is meant by “doing something” about global warming, since it is supposedly “good insurance.” Pascal made major contributions to physics and mathematics of importance to climate science, before turning to philosophy and theology. As far as I know, he was the first to introduce probabilistic or statistical ideas to theology. And the theological context is appropriate, since global warming has long since acquired many of the trappings of religion, disguised as science.

Promoters of the “good insurance” argument would have you believe that there is a small but finite risk of catastrophic consequence from more CO2, irreversible “tipping points,” and other doomsday scenarios. This is not true. CO2 levels were thousands of ppm over most of the Phanerozoic eon — the last 550 million years …

Only once in the Phanerozoic, about 300,000,000 years ago, has the CO2 level been as low as in the recent geological past.

Today’s 400 ppm is still a CO2 famine as far as most plants are concerned.

Life begins to fade at half of today’s CO2 levels, and dies almost completely at one quarter of today’s values. Geological history has demonstrated that life flourishes abundantly at double or quadruple the CO2 levels of today. It is stupid to insure against damage that will not occur if CO2 levels are doubled or tripled. ….

I think that the fact that more CO2 is good, not bad, for the world is the strongest argument against “insurance policies.” But another powerful argument is that “the cure is worse than the disease,” especially since there is no disease at all. Today, there is no way for humanity to prosper without using fossil fuels. Quite aside from their high cost, wind and solar farms are of limited use for producing electrical power, because of their unreliability. Solar farms stop working every night and windmills stop working when the wind stops blowing. And neither makes transportation fuel for automobiles or aircraft.

China, India, and other less-developed countries are not about to cut their CO2 emissions to pander to the USA and Europe. Over-privileged, ignorant, or cynical western elites are trying force green “insurance” onto their own populations, depriving most of them of meaningful jobs or hope for the future. In the process, they blight once-wide-open spaces with ugly, barely-functional solar farms, and cover once-green hills with noisy, bird-chopping windmills. And even the flawed models, … show temperatures one 100 years from now that are only a few tenths of a degree cooler than they would have been with no insurance at all.

This is a protection racket, not insurance.

The economic damage to the least-advantaged parts of society from the “insurance” will be real and painful. But the insurance salesmen, like the Laputan professors of Gulliver’s Travels, “instead of being discouraged, … are fifty times more violently bent upon prosecuting their schemes, driven equally on by hope and despair.” This is a protection racket, not insurance.

Aldus William Happer.

Wordt vervolgd.

Voor mijn eerdere bijdragen over klimaat en aanverwante zaken zie hierhier, hier, hier en hier.