Monday, 10 October 2016

“A single weakness in the chain and the climate creed falls flat”


Writer Vinay Kolhatkar makes an important point about the Global Warming Creed:
Climate Change is the creed that claims that (a) there is global warming, (b) that warming is dangerous, (c) that it is manmade, (d) that it is catastrophic, (e) that it can be reversed by replacing a whole lot of fossil fuels with wind and solar (f) that such a replacement is feasible, (g) that, to boot, is an expense that an economy can bear, and, (h) that such replacement is the only avenue left, since geo-engineering solutions are destined to fail, because they are manmade as against a nature-worshiping withdrawal from fossil fuels.
    You see, when you put it like that, there are 8 matters (a) to (h) that the climate creed has to defend. All eight, no exceptions—a single weakness in the chain and the climate creed falls flat.

A very high bar.
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7 comments:

  1. Excellent. Homework for today is to remember their absurd creed. Western Society is very sick. Social politic is a religion which is beating us down inexorably.

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  2. Egregious logic! This oversimplification conflates a bunch of suppositions into a smug straw-man argument that really doesn't befit the general level of discourse on the blog PC. Without wanting to 'fisk' this quote, it starts off fairly poorly by claiming that 'Climate Change' is a 'creed'. Climate change is the observed changing of the climate, whether natural or anthropogenic, not a political belief. This throwaway post on Facebook is both lazy and cheap!

    /DenMT

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    Replies
    1. Hi Den, great to see you back here -- and I welcome your intelligent disagreement. (There's been too little of both about in recent times.)

      Truth be told, I'd love to see you fisk it. Strip out the word "creed' as a forgivable piece of journalistic colour, if you like, and explain why the whole chain isn't necessary linked.

      Because, remember, there are people in power now insisting that folk who disagree with that chain of suppositions should be locked up. Should be jailed. So while you may insist that the science itself is apolitical, you must surely accept it's not being used that way by the political classes.

      But I do agree with you that all eight matters are simply suppositions.

      Delete
  3. This must be submitted to NASA ASAP. They'll be grateful for the ground-breaking insight.

    If this sounds stupid to you then congratulations: you're not as far into the rabbit hole as Vinay.

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  4. Cheers for the kind words PC.

    The attempt at a pithy argument on the part of this guy falls at the first hurdle - we can take out 'creed' - then it sounds as if he is attempting to redefine 'climate change' in political terms, which is of course absurd, as even the most stoic skeptic will not try to deny that climate change exists as a verifiable phenomenon outside of political argument.

    This bloke doesn't mean 'climate change,' he means 'x' where 'x' is a term to define a political standpoint on the spectrum of belief in anthropogenic global warming (from 'Warmist acolyte' to 'Loopy Moonbat Deep-Green Pointy-Hatted Gaia Worshipping Charlatan'), and the further you work through his 'logic' the more narrowly defined you see 'x' has to be. His rationale, starting with a general blanket term and then racking up a bunch of dodgy premises to try and redefine the original concept in terms of a small subset, is pure sophistry.

    Looking individually at his premises then, (and again, he is defining a narrow political standpoint 'x', not a general theory of 'people who accept the veracity of anthropogenic climate change') we have:

    A) There is global warming. This is an independently observable scientific truism, however one wishes to ascribe the causation, anyone who is interested in the topic can scarcely have missed that global temperature is currently in a warming trend. You can disagree on scale, but hardly on the observed climate record.

    B) That warming is dangerous. What warming? The already observed warming? The predicted warming? Any warming? A more acceptable wording for those of us that have drunk the Kool-Aid and can be found somewhere on the spectrum of 'x' might be 'that the current warming trend constitutes a risk'. Someone else tacking together this 'logic' might have popped this premise further down the line

    C) That it is manmade. The level of serious opposition to this premise (lets nuance it a tad and say 'that the observed warming can be at least in part attributed to manmade factors') is rapidly dwindling.

    D) That it is catastrophic. What does this even mean and how does it differ from B? Is this guy suggesting that already observed warming is catastrophic? Surely we have simply moved further down the scale from 'presents a danger' to 'presents a huge danger'.

    (HIT COMMENT LIMIT!!)

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  5. ...E) That it can be reversed by replacing a whole lot of fossil fuels with wind and solar. Now we get to a huge generalisation, full of suppositions. That 'climate change' can be 'reversed'? Most people who devote any time to climate science are of the opinion that manmade factors at this stage can slow the warming trend, I don't think anyone is claiming 'reversal'. 'Replacing a whole lot of fossil fuels' is certainly the conventional wisdom but not the exclusive theory for alleviating the effects of climate change, and 'wind and solar' are definitely not the only proposed alternative energy sources. There are countless proponents for other sources, even folks like George Monbiot have swung in behind nuclear, just as an example. This is a clumsy, simple generalisation. Perhaps if it was worded 'that anthropogenic climate change can be mitigated by switching from fossil fuel energy to alternative emission-free sources' it would be less contentious.

    F+G) (Because G implies F anyway) That such a replacement is feasible. Now we appear to be arguing that adherents of 'x' believe in the wholesale replacement of fossil fuels with alternative energy sources. This might be an expressed goal but hardly a strategy that has been suggested in the short or medium term. Setting this as a logical condition for adherents to 'x' shows just how narrow the definition of 'x' is.

    H) That such replacement is the only avenue left, since geo-engineering solutions are destined to fail, because they are manmade as against a nature-worshiping withdrawal from fossil fuels. And now we are off into extraordinarily narrow definitions yet again, with no real basis in current policy or theory. Coffee break over now so I am not particularly keen to go in and pull this apart but it falls flat all by itself as a generalisation of current thinking around approaches to anthropogenic global warming.

    Put briefly, I just wasted a load of time with semantics on what is a logical mess. Hopefully I went some way to argue that it is not a valid argument for defining mainstream thought on 'climate change' but instead defines an extraordinarily narrow corridor of thought 'x' - there are certainly a few folks out there who fit within that definition but to try and extrapolate that out over the superset of people who see AGW as a problem worth solving is straight-up bullshit.

    Back to work.
    /DenMT

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    Replies

    1. Hi Den

      Thanks for the detailed comments. You said:

      "The attempt at a pithy argument on the part of this guy falls at the first hurdle - we can take out 'creed' - then it sounds as if he is attempting to redefine 'climate change' in political terms, which is of course absurd, as even the most stoic skeptic will not try to deny that climate change exists as a verifiable phenomenon outside of political argument."

      I suggest 'creed' should be seen as part of his conclusion, rather than his introduction. He's arguing that anthropogenic global warming as it's generally argued amounts to a package deal, since the argument goes so quickly from ' there's warming' to 'here's what the models say' to (to take just two examples) 'we must shut down coal mines and coal-fired power stations,' and 'anyone disagreeing with us should be jailed.'

      But these last two could only be right if that whole chain were a thing.

      And if he is right that it is a thing, then it's a creed. If not, not.

      "This bloke doesn't mean 'climate change,' he means 'x' where 'x' is a term to define a political standpoint on the spectrum of belief in anthropogenic global warming (from 'Warmist acolyte' to 'Loopy Moonbat Deep-Green Pointy-Hatted Gaia Worshipping Charlatan'), and the further you work through his 'logic' the more narrowly defined you see 'x' has to be. His rationale, starting with a general blanket term and then racking up a bunch of dodgy premises to try and redefine the original concept in terms of a small subset, is pure sophistry."

      But if it weren't manmade we surely shouldn't be blaming ourselves. And if it weren't dangerous or catastrophic we shouldn't be so afraid -- and we shouldn't hear so much about how our behaviour must be curtailed -- and we wouldn't be hearing so often that we must avoid fossil fuels and to replace then is affordable.

      You may say that it's only a small subset of 'x' who believe that set of things. But you'd be battling the experience of most who are non-x.

      Continued ...

      Delete

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