In Venice in the last few days it has been snowing.

They will probably blame it on global warming, as they have previously done with the floods. In fact, heavy snow and deadly cold have in the past been blamed on global warming.

Interestingly, 10-15 years ago the believers in global warming also believed in the demise of snowfall.

In the UK, The Independent newspaper was publishing on 20 March 2010 an article headlined “Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past” , which they have now conveniently removed.

In the US, in 2005 Columbia University had a study titled “WILL CLIMATE CHANGE AFFECT SNOW COVER OVER NORTH AMERICA?” in which 9 climate models used by the UN’s IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) were run, and all 9 models predicted that North American winter snow cover would greatly decrease, starting from about 1990. You can see on Google the links pointing to it but this has also now been removed.

This incidentally, happens regularly with many of the models of the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) theory.

In short: if it’s hot, cold, icy, snowy, windy, whatever weather, the climate ideologues claim it is always due to global warming.

They don’t realise that in this way they deprive their pet theory of AGW of any scientific credibility.

A scientific theory, unlike an ideological theory, must make predictions that can be refuted by observation or experiment. This, in logic, is called “Modus Tollendo Tollens”.

It means that from the theory under examination, the theory which is tested as it must be in order to be described as scientific, you logically deduce an assertion or proposition describing an observable event not yet occurred, aka a prediction.

If the event takes place, the theory is confirmed, at least for the time being (nothing is definitive in science, what is proven is so only until contrary evidence). If the predicted event deduced from the theory does not occur, the theory is refuted.

Such theory would not be discarded at the first refutation, granted. Science, contrary to common belief, is highly dogmatic. When a paradigm, a prevailing theory that is fundamental to its field, is established, it is not easy to displace it. And when that happens, it is considered a scientific revolution, which replaces a paradigm with another: a crucial example is Ptolemy’s geocentric theory of the sun revolving around the earth which was replaced by Copernicus’ heliocentric theory of the earth revolving around the sun.

This, namely that history of science is a succession of periods of “normal science” around a paradigm interrupted by “scientific revolutions”, is the authoritative view that 20th-century historian of science Thomas Kuhn expounded in his 1962 book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, considered one of the most quoted academic books of all time.

So, due to scientific dogmatism, between a theory with great explanatory value and one occurrence that would disprove it, scientists dismiss the latter and try to find alternative explanations that could justify that event. That’s why the “stickiness” of scientific theories is well known. This initial dogmatism is not wrong per se, but it can become extremely detrimental to scientific activity if it perdures in the face of repeated empirical rebuttals of a theory.

At that point we are in the presence of an ideological attitude, not a scientific one.

True scientific endeavour should always be prepared to put theories to the most severe, stringent tests.

In a way, it should try to disprove a theory, not confirm it.

The reason for this is that, when a theory explains everything that can possibly occur without excluding anything, it explains too much – and nothing at the same time.

Think of astrology. If you are born under a particular sign of the Zodiac you may have a certain personality trait but also something very different from it. Descriptions of Gemini, Aquarius, Libra types of persons are so vague, generic and comprehensive that you can hardly ever find someone who doesn’t fit into them.

That’s why they are worthless, from the point of view of the knowledge they offer. Knowing means being able to rule out something.

Trying to protect a theory from refutation and bending over backwards to make it appear compatible with any observation is not the way science works; it is how ideology. especially political ideology, operates.