Excerpt: “…it is meaningful to proclaim that the extreme rainfall observed in Colorado several weeks ago are “consistent with” predictions of more intense rainfall associated with human-caused climate change.
Long-time readers will know that I believe the use of the phrase “consistent with” in this context is a canard and devoid of substance. Here is an example using exactly such a construction related to the Colorado floods.
The analogy I’d suggest is a 52-card deck stacked with an extra ace. After being dealt a blackjack (i.e., an ace and a face card) it would indeed be appropriate to proclaim that “such a hand is consistent with expectations for hands dealt from this stacked deck.” Of course, being deal a 5 and a 2 would also be “consistent with” the stacked deck. For that matter, being dealt a blackjack would also be “consistent with” hands coming from an unstacked deck.