Because when people like Matt Ridley question your theory, and when even the notorious United Nations Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change so much as softens the rhetoric, you know the hypothesis—in this case anthropogenic, or man-made, global warming—is in trouble. To wit, Ridley points out that in its next report the IPCC moves toward a more sober view of AGW. Gone are the various warnings which inevitably will turn out to be false. Instead the IPCC will issue sufficiently vague warnings, such as dangerous cyclones and changes in rainfall, that are resistant to falsification. And the cost of all this calamity will be scaled back from the 5-20% of the world’s gross domestic product that has been discussed, to less than 2%. The IPCC will be forced now to admit that the economic impact of global warming will be, err, “small relative to the impacts of other drivers.” The report will also admit that not only has climate change not brought any species to extinction, but that the IPCC has “very little confidence” that it will do so. Not surprisingly, as AGW wanes, the IPCC will begin to lay the groundwork for other environmental catastrophes to be alarmed about, showing that, as with evolution, while the various hypotheses are forfeitable (global cooling, global warming, acid rain, the ozone hole, etc.), it is the theoretical core (in this case, environmentalism) that must be protected. None of this is to say that protecting the environment is not important. In fact, it is crucial.
Cornelius G. Hunter is a graduate of the University of Illinois where
he earned a Ph.D. in Biophysics and Computational Biology. He is
Adjunct Professor at Biola University and author of the award-winning Darwin’s God: Evolution and the Problem of Evil. Hunter’s other books include Darwin’s Proof, and his newest book Science’s Blind Spot
(Baker/Brazos Press). Dr. Hunter's interest in the theory of evolution
involves the historical and theological, as well as scientific, aspects
of the theory. His website is http://www.darwins-god.blogspot.com/