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Global: Song of Unfalsifiability

January 28, 2013

I’ve written a paper; it’s ten pages long.
Although the conclusions I’ve come to are strong —
For freezing conditions be on the alert! —
To be published I have to assert:

It doesn’t disprove global warming!
No, it doesn’t disprove global warming!
Whatever you find, put that thought from your mind;
You can’t contradict global warming!

There’ll be snowstorms in Mali and hail in Ibiza,
The Nile will be frozen from Aswan to Giza.
My data’s been checked and there’s just one concern —
The reviewers insist I must learn:

It doesn’t disprove global warming!
No, it doesn’t disprove global warming!
They’ll approve publication with one reservation,
I mustn’t deny global warming!

I’ve studied the climate back into the past,
Through numerous changes, some slow and some fast,
I’ve seen carbon dioxide and temperature swing,
I’d report it except for one thing:

I daren’t contradict global warming!
No, you can’t contradict global warming!
When you’re graphing a trend, be sure to append:
‘It doesn’t disprove global warming!’

A colleague of mine’s a statistical star,
She says climate models are well below par.
Their predictions are wrong and their errors are high,
But she’s not going to publish — here’s why:

It doesn’t disprove global warming!
Because nothing disproves global warming!
If you don’t make that clear you’ll be out on your ear!
No, you can’t contradict global warming!

Now scientists all over are making a splash,
We appear on the news and we’re raking in cash.
But our new-found importance would vanish away
If we had the courage to say:

“The facts contradict global warming,
We’ve already disproved global warming!”
To maintain a high profile, just bury the ‘No’ file,
And don’t contradict global warming! 

So all you young scientists, take heed of my tale,
For fear that your grant applications should fail,
Your results go unpublished, your tenure denied.
At some point you’ll have to decide:

That you won’t contradict global warming!
No, your work can’t disprove global warming!
Don’t engage in debate, just dogmatically state,
That it doesn’t disprove global warming!

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