Environmental Philosophy

Volume 12, Issue 2, Fall 2015

Michael Goldsby, W. John Koolage
Pages 221-252

Climate Modeling
Comments on Coincidence, Conspiracy, and Climate Change Denial

Despite overwhelming evidence that climate change is real and represents a serious challenge for human flourishing, many still hold that climate change is not a credible threat—including a surprising number of broadcast meteorologists. In this article, we look at the logic that underwrites such an attitude, which typically appeals to a distrust of climate models, natural variability, or the presence of a conspiracy. Using a model selection framework, championed by Elliott Sober and Malcolm Forster, we will show that appeals to such lines of reasoning do not provide sufficient warrant to dismiss the predictions of climate models.