Kitcher’s second criterion is consilience or ontological unity. In the example of global warming, the theory is supported by studies of the climate noting extreme and sudden changes for example, an accelerated rate of melting in the arctic icecaps (International Energy Agency) severe droughts in Australia and an accelerated dissolution of the coral reefs thought to be caused by an increased acidity of oceanic water, due to increased carbon dioxide levels (Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change).
Those who argue against global warming say that the climate is always changing, and the current climate change is part of the natural order; they cite earlier climate changes in the Earth’s climate, the various global ice ages etc. and say that the current climate change, if it occurs, is likely to be similar to the earlier cycles of change in the Earth’s climate (pewclimate.org). Supporters of the theory of Global warming reply that the changes that happened in the past were gradual, they occurred over the course of thousands of years, whereas the ones happening today are relatively sudden changes, the likes of which have not been recorded before (pewclimate.org).
Kitcher’s third criterion for ‘good science’ is fecundity. Good science sparks new researches in varying fields of science.
Global Warming is pretty fecund theory. Global warming sparks research into various fields of applied sciences such as fuel efficiency, energy efficiency, alternative energy sources, eco-friendly architecture, geo–engineering etc. (International Energy Agency) (BBC News).
Denial of Global Warming, on the other hand, is just a conservative position that seeks to maintain status quo. As such, it has not sparked much research into other areas of science it is in fact generally an anti-scientific movement.
On the whole I would give the supporters of Global Warming 7 on a scale of 1-10, acknowledging the unreliability of climate prediction models.
The Global Warming deniers get 1 on the scale, for not having a credible or consistent scientific theory of their own and concentrating their efforts merely on trying to pick apart the arguments of the scientists that support Global Warming.
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