The illogic of climate hysteria

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

Special to the Financial Post (reposted here with permission from the author)

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Erin Delman, President of the Environmental Club, debates with Monckton - photo by Charlotte Lehman

“But there’s a CONSENSUS!” shrieked the bossy environmentalist with the messy blonde hair.

“That, Madame, is intellectual baby-talk,” I replied.

I was about to give a talk questioning “global warming” hysteria at Union College, Schenectady. College climate extremists, led by my interlocutor, had set up a table at the door of the lecture theatre to deter students from hearing the sceptical side of the case.

The Greek philosopher Aristotle, 2300 years ago, listed the dozen commonest logical fallacies in human discourse in his book Sophistical Refutations. Not the least of these invalid arguments is what the mediaeval schoolmen would later call the argumentum ad populum – the consensus or headcount fallacy.

A fallacy is a deceptive argument that appears to be logically valid but is in fact invalid. Its conclusion will be unreliable at best, downright false at worst.

One should not make the mistake of thinking that Aristotle’s fallacies are irrelevant archaisms. They are as crucial today as when he first wrote them down. Arguments founded upon any of his fallacies are unsound and unreliable, and that is that.

Startlingly, nearly all of the usual arguments for alarm about the climate are instances of Aristotle’s dozen fallacies of relevance or of presumption, not the least of which is the consensus fallacy.

Just because we are told that many people say they believe a thing to be so, that is no evidence that many people say it, still less that they believe it, still less that it is so. The mere fact of a consensus – even if there were one – tells us nothing whatsoever about whether the proposition to which the consensus supposedly assents is true or false.

Two surveys have purported to show that 97% of climate scientists supported the “consensus”. However, one survey was based on the views of just 77 scientists, far too small a sample to be scientific, and the proposition to which 75 of the 77 assented was merely to the effect that there has been warming since 1950.

The other paper did not state explicitly what question the scientists were asked and did not explain how they had been selected to remove bias. Evidentially, it was valueless. Yet that has not prevented the usual suspects from saying – falsely – that the “consensus” of 97% of all climate scientists is that manmade global warming is potentially catastrophic.

Some climate extremists say there is a “consensus of evidence”. However, evidence cannot hold or express an opinion. There has been no global warming for a decade and a half; sea level has been rising for eight years at a rate equivalent to just 3 cm per century; hurricane activity is at its lowest in the 30-year satellite record; global sea-ice extent has hardly changed in that time; Himalayan glaciers have not lost ice overall; ocean heat content is rising four and a half times more slowly than predicted; and the 50 million “climate refugees” that the UN had said would be displaced by 2010 simply do not exist. To date, the “consensus of evidence” does not support catastrophism.

“Ah,” say the believers, “but there is a consensus of scientists and learned societies.” That is the argumentum ad verecundiam, the reputation or appeal-to-authority fallacy. Merely because a group has a reputation, it may not deserve it; even if it deserves it, it may not be acting in accordance with it; and, even if it is, it may be wrong.

“But it’s only if we include a strong warming effect from Man’s CO2 emissions that we can reproduce the observed warming of the past 60 years. We cannot think of any other reason for the warming.” That argument from the UN’s climate panel, the IPCC, is the argumentum ad ignorantiam, the fallacy of arguing from ignorance. We do not know why the warming has occurred. Arbitrarily to blame Man is impermissible.

“The rate of global warming is accelerating. Therefore it is caused by us.” That is the fallacy of ignoratio elenchi, the red-herring fallacy. Even if global warming were accelerating, that would tell us nothing about whether we were to blame. The IPCC twice uses this fallacious argument in its 2007 Fourth Assessment Report. Even if its argument were not illogical, the warming rate is not increasing. The notion that it is accelerating was based on a statistical abuse that the IPCC has refused to correct.

Superficially, the red-herring fallacy may seem similar to the fallacy of argument from ignorance. However, it is subtly different. The argument from ignorance refers to fundamental ignorance of the matter of the argument (hence an arbitrary conclusion is reached): the red-herring fallacy refers to fundamental ignorance of the manner of conducting an argument (hence an irrelevant consideration is introduced).

“What about the cuddly polar bears?” That is the argumentum ad misericordiam, the fallacy of inappropriate pity. There are five times as many polar bears as there were in the 1940s – hardly the population profile of a species at imminent threat of extinction. There is no need to pity the bears (and they are not cuddly).

“For 60 years we have added CO2 to the atmosphere. That causes warming. Therefore the warming is our fault.” That is the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, the argument from false cause. Merely because one event precedes another it does not necessarily cause it.

“We tell the computer models that there will be strong warming if we add CO2 to the air. The models show there will be a strong warming. Therefore the warming is our fault.” This is the argumentum ad petitionem principii, the circular-argument fallacy, where a premise is also the conclusion.

“Global warming caused Hurricane Katrina.” This is the inappropriate argument from the general to the particular that is the fallacy a dicto simpliciter ad dictum
secundum quid, the fallacy of accident. Even the IPCC admits individual extreme-weather events cannot be ascribed to global warming. Hurricane Katrina was only Category 3 at landfall. The true reason for the damage was failure to maintain the sea walls.

“Arctic sea ice is melting: therefore manmade global warming is a problem.” This is the inappropriate argument from the particular to the general that is the fallacy a dicto secundum quid ad dictum simpliciter, the fallacy of converse accident. The Arctic ice may be melting, but the Antarctic has been cooling for 30 years and the sea ice there is growing, so the decline in Arctic sea ice does not indicate a global problem.

“Monckton says he’s a member of the House of Lords, but the Clerk of the Parliaments says he isn’t, so everything he says is nonsense.” That is the argumentum ad hominem, the attack on the man rather than on his argument.

“We don’t care what the truth is. We want more taxation and regulation. We will use global warming as an excuse. If you disagree, we will haul you before the International Climate Court.” That is the nastiest of all the logical fallacies: the argumentum ad baculum, the argument of force.

In any previous generation, the fatuous cascade of fallacious arguments deployed by climate extremists in government, academe and the media in support of the now-collapsed climate scare would have been laughed down.

When the future British prime minister Harold Macmillan arrived at Oxford to study the classics, his tutor said: “Four years’ study will qualify you for nothing at all – except to recognize rot when you hear it.” The climate storyline is rot. To prevent further costly scams rooted in artful nonsense, perhaps we should restore universal classical education. As it is, what little logic our bossy environmentalists learn appears to come solely from Mr. Spock in Star Trek.

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309 thoughts on “The illogic of climate hysteria

  1. Yes…. Two birds with one critical stone by Lord Monckton….. A smack in the chops for the AGW hypothesis and its flawed and false arguments…. and a poke in the eye about the standard of classical education in Western Universities during our current times.

    Well done Mr Monckton. I heartily concur.

  2. Before Koch, Leeuwenhoek, Snow and others, there was a scientific consensus that bad smells (“miasmas”) were responsible for contagious diseases. The history of science is loaded with similar examples.

  3. Can we please all write to our education ministers requesting that Aristotle’s methods are made part of the compulsory curriculum in several subjects so all students are sure to meet it somewhere?

  4. Another problem. A large fraction of the public at large…. the “little people”… just doesn’t know the skeptic side. They don’t know any of the arguments against the agw scam, at all. We desperately need an advertising campaign of 30 second type spots to penetrate the population. That would change the equation dramatically.

  5. You can add to that list ignotum per ignotius and ignotum per aeque ignotum, both in frequent use by climate alarmists.

  6. Great summary. Alarmists have managed to cover at least 7 of Aristotles fallacies; that many is a strong indicator that their arguments are incredibly weak.

  7. Good article, but it could use a slight correction:

    However, one survey was based on the views of just 77 scientists, far too small a sample to be scientific, and the proposition to which 75 of the 77 assented was merely to the effect that there has been warming since 1950.

    That is an obvious reference to Doran and Zimmerman 2009, but it was even worse than that description.

    It referenced warming since the pre-1800s, not since 1950.

    The two survey questions to which they got almost all saying yes were:

    1. When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?

    2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?

    Source: http://tigger.uic.edu/~pdoran/012009_Doran_final.pdf

    The “pre-1800s” were the Little Ice Age.

    The so-called consensus reportedly found by the 2 survey questions was only that:

    1) It is warmer now than in the Little Ice Age … obviously.

    2) Humans have a significant effect on temperatures in the scientific sense of non-zero, which is something skeptics imply when talking about even the existence of the Urban Heat Island effect but does nothing to validate the CAGW movement’s claims of temperature rise vast enough to be a net negative at all in cost versus benefit. Most top skeptics (like Dr. Spencer, Dr. Lindzen, Dr. Shaviv, Dr. Svensmark, etc.) estimate that manmade CO2 has a small fraction of a degree Celsius effect, less warming than in the overall beneficial Holocene Climate Optimum.

    Places like Wikipedia are careful to maintain dishonesty when reporting results by not mentioning the trick of asking about temperatures now compared to the Little Ice Age, trying to imply that there was 97% consensus with the claims of the CAGW movement despite there being nothing of the sort.

  8. I’m shocked & surprised at this accusation.

    It shows signs of downright racism.

    It also wholly unfair…

    … to Mr Spock.

    :-)

  9. (1) Where’s the iPod app for the above?

    (2) I have the impression Aristotle didn’t speak Latin. So who’s behind the labels mentioned by Monckton? St. Thomas Aquinas?

  10. Ad hominem! Mr. Spock was simply insensitive, except when the rutting urge was in control every few years.

  11. While few in the UK still get the benefits of a classical education, there is still an opportunity for students to learn critical thinking.

    Here, for example, is a brief synopsis of the syllabus for the AQA examining board’s foundation unit for A level Critical Thinking…

    • recognise when reasoned argument is taking place;
    • recognise the area of discourse to which a particular argument or debate belongs;
    • classify and evaluate different kinds of claim;
    • analyse and interpret texts involving argument to reveal the structure of the reasoning;
    • identify assumptions that are implicit in an argument;
    • evaluate arguments, understanding that there are varying standards for assessing their adequacy;
    • consider consequences and their impact on arguments;
    • consider the impact of additional evidence, counter-examples, analogies etc;
    • identify ambiguity and vagueness and understand the importance of clarifying terms;
    • distinguish between the reasoning in an argument and the use of persuasive language;
    • recognise bad (flawed) arguments, and be able to identify what is wrong with them (fallacies);
    • draw comparisons and contrasts;
    • use their experience of analysis and evaluation to present cogent arguments;
    • acquire a basic vocabulary of terms associated with reasoning, and use them appropriately

    The current generation of MSM journalists would benefit gratefully from such a course.

  12. Illogic and hysteria are good – it’s stops people thinking and may even start them panicking.

    Just look for who is making money out of the panic and who is raising taxes based on it.

    Finally who has seen their careers boosted from complete dunderhead to world famous, internationally aclaimed scientist!

    As HL Mencken said years ago
    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

  13. Thanks, Lord Monckton, for an easy walk through the Chamber of Logical Horrors which our alarmist friends inhabit. Unfortunately, as Dorothy Parker observed, “you can lead a whore to culture, but you can’t make her think”, so we’ll undoubtedly be hearing a lot more of all these. As a philosophy graduate, I’d file most alarmist arguments under “modus horrendo horrens” (warning: philosophers’ joke!).

  14. How come people who can’t even comb their own hair, like Erin Delman, are always trying to save the planet?

  15. Nice article, but way above the head of the average alarmist.

    Today’s ‘climate science’, as practiced by most government funded employees, is based on the concept of: Scary theories need more study, therefore they need more funding and more people to study them. To ensure funding, scary theories regularly mutate into very scary theories and so on.

    The status quo today of ‘climate science’ is an industry, as Moncton correctly points out, which is mostly based on deceptions and fallacies.

    As the CAGW cult’s apocalyptic prophecies fail to come to pass, so the very scary theories mutate further into terrifying theories. However, to support the terrifying theories it becomes increasingly necessary to alter the original data, with the ‘adjustment’ always being in the direction of supporting the terrifying theory.

    The bottom line is this: The global warming experienced over the past century has been a mildly interesting natural phenomenom, which has been mostly beneficial for mankind, and er, well that’s it………………..

  16. Dear Sir,

    Very well written! Science is about deriving some sense out of the natural world. Human opinions are therefore not very helpful. Models describing our warming future contain a lot of suppositions, in other words opinions.

  17. Lord Monckton,

    I enjoyed your article and feel better informed for it. My Latin is sadly lacking and my grasp of logic might turn-out to be too (!), nevertheless, at the risk of attracting derision I would like to propose the following potential logical fallacies for consideration:

    1. The anti-humanist ideology of much of the environmental movement stems from a misrepresentation of the writings of the highly influential Thomas Malthus (1736-1834). These neo-fascistic groups incorrectly claim that Malthus wrote that mankind inevitably faced catastrophe (cf “Malthusian catastrophe”). Malthus never used that phrase and, in fact, indicated that human population pressure will, amongst other things, lead to an increase in food production; will influence individual decisions regarding fecundity in response to perceptions of cost/ benefits in relations to available resources. Therefore, I would like to propose the fallacy of ‘argument through the misrepresentation’ be added to the list.

    2. Anti-humanist ideologues also fail to take into account that challenges of limited resources and related economic and environmental problems have always been met successfully by man and will likely continue to be met in the future through human ingenuity and inventiveness – nicely summed-up by the adage: ‘the stone-age didn’t end because humans ran out of stones’. I would therefore like to propose the fallacy of ‘overly-simplistic thinking’ be added to the list.

    3. Inarguably, the Earth’s climate is a non-linear complex system. We can all agree on that I think. As such, our understanding of its physics is not properly approached by a reductionist or ‘sum of its parts’ analysis beloved by the CAGW cult in its hypnotic focus on atmospheric CO2. I therefore propose the fallacy of ‘inappropriate reductionism’ be added to the list.

  18. Researchers in many technical fields these days have little or no training in philosophy, almost certainly none in philosophy of science, and are unaware of the content of the general sceptical literature. This is why I assume so many in the climate sciences can posit an argument that takes the exact form of a logical fallacy and not realise it. Irrespective of whether a claim is true or not, an argument should not be structured in such a way as to meet all the criteria of a logical fallacy.

    (Although certain individuals who identify as ‘sceptics’ also indulge in a fallacy of their own; the argument from personal incredulity, when they assert that CO2 is too small to have any measurable effect on the heat content of the atmosphere.)

  19. What would be the amount of CO2 added to the atmosphere burning down your house ? We know that Greenpeace knows where we live. As a well known skeptic, you can still insure your home against fire?

  20. Did anyone else hear Lord Monckton’s voice and tone in their heads when reading this? The man is an astounding debater and I am proud that he is UKIPs spokesperson on Climate and energy.

  21. Though my post-high-school education was all vocational and I therefore should be entitled to no opinion on the subject, it strikes me that the Lord M.’s post-hoc-ergo-propter-hoc example was not quite on the money. ““For 60 years we have added CO2 to the atmosphere. That causes warming. Therefore the warming is our fault.” To this non-classicist, a more apt example would be ““For 60 years we have added CO2 to the atmosphere. Warming followed that CO2 enrichment. Therefore the warming is our fault.”

  22. The problem is we can’t blame the young people who grew up in this system of Man Made Global Warming indoctrination. They are just like the Hitlerjugend and some of them just as dangerous.The problem is that they think they do good, that they are the ones that save the world. That is why dictators always first silence the educated opposition and use the youth.

    You think they would burn down your house?

  23. Aristotle’s opinions–I repeat, opinions–held back physical science for 2,000 years. He was a renowned master of rhetoric, not of science, whose pedantic logic did not save him from spouting sheer nonsense. Indeed, that is why modern science is founded upon observation, not reason (the latter merely drives philosophy, which has been a general failure in the age of science). The rhetoricians–like Mr. Monckton–will always be with us, pretending to be masters of science. Science is a higher estate, and while I am a total denier of the climate consensus, I identify with true science, not rhetoric. This is just another angry, fevered rant, misleadingly couched as condescending pedantry, though it is well-intended, and I regret the need for it, for fever is the enemy of true reason. But I know the climate “debate” is really a political, fighting war, waged with words. Just don’t fool yourselves that it has advanced, or will advance, true science one whit.

  24. I always enjoy Lord Monckton’s contributions – he is a national treasure. It is an unfortunate aspect of education in the West that there is more emphasis on facts and knowledge rather than on critical thinking and analysis. One sees the effect of this daily in everything from political speeches (where we expect crooked thinking) to scientific discourse (where we do not). There is a delightful book by Robert H Thouless called ‘Straight and Crooked Thinking’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straight_and_Crooked_Thinking, in which the Aristotelean fallacies and many others are described in a very accessible manner. It should be compulsory reading for anyone who can both read and think. There is also a good list to be found here: http://www.philosophicalsociety.com/Logical%20Fallacies.htm#affirm-consequent
    It is rather fun to go through the list of fallacies and identify examples from the AGW debate. Naturally, both sides of the argument lapse into fallacy, but one certainly sees some exquisite examples from those who attempt to defend an extremist point of view. On a personal note, I left the UK in 1989, and am daily saddened by the state of the British economy, the lack of foresight, the absence of scientific and engineering ability in government, the disastrous energy policies, the vulnerability of the UK to foreign sourced energy, the destruction of the nuclear/coal power sectors and the inevitable consequences in terms of expensive energy, the emergence of an energy-poor subclass of society (mainly pensioners/disadvantaged) and the loss of jobs and industry. It is astonishing how many governments fail to grasp the link between cheap, reliable energy and a successful economy. It is thinking embodied in a quote by the British Comedian Victoria Wood ‘Well, we don’t need coal, now that we’ve got electricity’. Successive British Governments have been seduced by the AGW fallacies, and perhaps only now are they beginning to realise what they have wrought. Lord Monckton – have you ever fancied a go at being Prime Minister? In Australia, where I lived for 15 years, the (Labour) government has also been seduced/cajoled as a result of populism and a Faustian deal with Greens and Independents to take power. A carbon tax is in now in place to penalise Australians who want to make a living and live a life. Ironically, Australia has been subject to the same mismanagement as Britain, in terms of energy and industry, but has been largely spared the consequences by a sustained mining boom, especially in coal and iron ore. Its biggest customer is China, which recently overtook the US as the World’s larger carbon (dioxide) emitter (a lot of it Australian-sourced carbon), and has an annual GDP growth rate in excess of 10% (and no carbon tax to speak of). Fortunately, South Africa, where I now live, is far more pragmatic than both the UK and Australia, albeit out of necessity. Having experienced extended rolling black-outs for several years due to mismanagement of the power infrastructure, the government-owned utility is currently frantically building 6GW of coal-fired base load capacity, and is contemplating a major nuclear expansion. The nice thing about reality is that it is immune to seduction by fallacious argument.

  25. There are countless fallacies used by the religious AGW dogma. Just an example: the fallacy of equivocation between a real temperature (a local temperature) with the ‘global temperature’, which is no physical temperature. It might be a metaphysical, a pseudo-scientific pseudo-temperature, but it’s not a physical temperature. A temperature for Earth cannot be defined. People should look more into the definitions. The physical ones, not the pseudo-scientifical ones. There is also a mighty equivocation between physical heat and the pseudoscientifical ‘heat’ they are using in the argumentation. Even for a real physical system (in the sense that physical parameters are used to describe it, instead of the pseudo-scientifical ones used by the AGW doctrine), one can have a rising temperature, with the sistem cooling (example: a system with an exothermal chemical reaction inside, which is cooled, but not enough to have the relationship they claim it is between ‘heating’ or ‘cooling’ and ‘temperature’), or a constant temperature (a cvasistatically heated water and ice mixture). So counterexamples can be presented even for simple systems, for the physical temperature and physical heat.

    It’s very obvious that for the pseudo-scientifical ‘temperature’ is way easier to falsify the claim of heating, by presenting counterexamples (a single fact can falsify a theory, but not so with the true believers, though), just think of non homogeneous systems (big news: this is the case for Earth) and their pseudoscientifical average temperature. Simply letting them mix can lead to ‘cooling’ or ‘heating’ (in the AGW pseudo-scientific sense), depending on how they are in the initial state, how they mix, and how the pseudo-scientifical average temperature is defined. With no physical heating or cooling at all. Or even with the reverse of what the evolution of the pseudo-scientifical temperature ‘shows’. That is, the physical heat can have a different sign than the pseudo-scientifical heat. One can have physical cooling, with pseudo-scientifical ‘heating’ (that is, an increase in the pseudoscientifical average temperature). In very simple systems, way simpler than the Earth.

  26. harrydhuffman (@harrydhuffman) says:
    April 21, 2012 at 3:23 am
    Aristotle’s opinions–I repeat, opinions–held back physical science for 2,000 years.

    —-

    Are we talking about the same ancient Greeks who had their own Computer, for determining the motion of the planets?

    ‘But I know the climate “debate” is really a political, fighting war, waged with words. Just don’t fool yourselves that it has advanced, or will advance, true science one whit.’

    You know, we WON the war in Viet Nam. The North Vietnamese told us this, years later.
    But it is written in the histories that we lost. Know why? Lying BASTARDS like john ‘effing’ kerry.
    We won’t win the argument if we just stand back and let people like connolley, mann, hansen, suzuki and the like, continue to shriek uninterupted.

  27. There are a dozen fig trees in a government building, in London. Very lovely, for some.
    any alternatives would be “more expensive, disruptive and increase our carbon footprint”, a proposal to the Commons Finance and Services Committee will reportedly say.
    They have beaten down the cost to the UK taxpayer of these trees from >£30,000pa to ~£18,000pa. Hurrah!
    But, considering their ‘carbon footprint’ considerations, how much carbon resource had to be used to generate that £18,000? Someone somewhere had to have paid £18k’s worth in tax, involving some planetary resource (mostly carbon probably) and to pay £18k in tax would have had to do nearer £40k of work/resource use, in the UK.
    Is Australian coal still going for AU$100 per ton? If so, I get roughly 60,000 tons of coal for my £40k. That is one helluva footprint for 12 trees. Per year.
    And they think they’re doing good. Madness.

  28. Calculator and brain fail, my battery’s nearly done and my coffee cup’s empty.
    600 tons of coal is still one major heap of stuff tho innit.

  29. RE
    harrydhuffman (@harrydhuffman) says:
    @ April 21, 2012 at 3:23 am
    “Aristotle’s opinions–I repeat, opinions–held back physical science for 2,000 years.”
    ————–
    Wow… now that’s what I call an impressive set of opinions…!

  30. Who could call Aristotle “pedantic”? Someone who uses the word “rhetoricians”.
    Sounds like he’s smart, but really not so much.

  31. omnologos says: April 20, 2012 at 11:45 pm “(1) Where’s the iPod app for the above?”

    I have so enjoyed the education I have derived from reading this, Omnologus, that I have downloaded it to my Kindle through the Chrome gizmo that pushes web articles to Kindle. Magic!

    And thank you Lord Monckton – who is far too much of a gentleman to rise to Huffman’s insult: ‘Mr’ – which says so much more about Huffman than Lord Monckton.

  32. harrydhuffman (@harrydhuffman) says:
    April 21, 2012 at 3:23 am
    Aristotle’s opinions–I repeat, opinions–held back physical science for 2,000 years. He was a renowned master of rhetoric, not of science, whose pedantic logic did not save him from spouting sheer nonsense.

    Which doesn’t invalidate his description of logical fallacies, and Lord Monckton was citing from his rhetorical knowledge, not his scientific beliefs (okay, that’s an oxymoron)…

  33. Monckton has published an opinion piece in an opinion blog w/o any proof of source for any quote or scientific reference for the assertions he makes about climate change. The crowd of devote followers getting presented what it wants to hear and being confirmed in its preconceived views, is raving. How exiting. The only purpose of the article is obviously to raise the morals among his followers and to make the crowd feel well.

  34. Somebody says:
    April 21, 2012 at 4:14 am
    There are countless fallacies used by the religious AGW dogma. Just an example: the fallacy of equivocation between a real temperature (a local temperature) with the ‘global temperature’, which is no physical temperature.

    And the fallacy that carbon dioxide generated by human activities is chemically distinguishable from that generated by Mama Gaia…

  35. Thanks for the excellent piece.

    Just one minor point. Sea levels are rising at 30cm per century, not 3cm. Still a trivial amount though in the context of coastal dwellers though. The far bigger issue is the shifting coastlines.

    Like with the long-term rate of temperature rise, and melting of pack ice, the important point here is the absence of any acceleration. There is a strong case for monitoring all of these things (with independent auditing of the figures), but no case I can see for doing much else.

    http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

  36. harrydhuffman,

    ‘The rhetoricians–like Mr. Monckton–will always be with us, pretending to be masters of science. Science is a higher estate, and while I am a total denier of the climate consensus, I identify with true science, not rhetoric. This is just another angry, fevered rant, misleadingly couched as condescending pedantry, though it is well-intended, and I regret the need for it, for fever is the enemy of true reason.’

    Well said and I agree with you to an extent. I believe that you mean to criticize the ancient version of science derived from pure reason, and that modern science is validated through observation. True enough. However, I don’t agree with the inference that modern science stands on the foundations of observation alone. It should go without saying, but any argument must also be reasonable (ie logical), and so Monkton I s right to criticise the manner in which AGW arguments are formed and accepted.

  37. [SNIP: The topic of this post is logic, not Sarah Palion or Fox News. Please address the topic. -REP]

  38. Jan P. Perlwitz says: April 21, 2012 at 5:54 am

    Perlwitz, this is meant in the kindest possible way: everyone on this blog knows you are a modeler working for GISS, so finish your morning coffee before posting whiney, illiterate comments like this. WUWT is quite plainly a science blog: it gets more Ph.D. commenters than the RC echo chamber and real scientists are not afraid to pre-post and engage here even knowing that they are facing a tough audience.

    You will also notice that Lord Monckton is not discussing science per se but rather epistemological issues using examples from “climate science” as illustrations. Of course, we understand perfectly the point you were trying to make: “Logic? Logic? We’re climate science modelers! We dunne need no steenkin’ logic!”

  39. harrydhuffman (@harrydhuffman) says:
    April 21, 2012 at 3:23 am
    Aristotle’s opinions–I repeat, opinions–held back physical science for 2,000 years.

    —-
    Using a logical fallacy to dispute Aristotle? (affirming a disjunct – A or B; A; therefore not B)

  40. Jan P. Perlwitz says:
    April 21, 2012 at 5:54 am
    Monckton has published an opinion piece in an opinion blog w/o any proof of source for any quote or scientific reference for the assertions he makes about climate change. The crowd of devote followers getting presented what it wants to hear and being confirmed in its preconceived views, is raving. How exiting.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>

    You may exit anytime you wish. If you elect to stay, perhaps you could present a cogent argument instead of simple mocking (which you may want to consider actually makes the very point that Monckton was raising).

  41. I feel that the driver behind argumentum ad populum is the Asch Effect … named after Solomon Asch (1951). Parroting nonsense allows one to be accepted by the tribe.

  42. Another example, and a favorite of Alarmists is one that sidesteps science altogether, speaking to the question of taking action on climate change. It uses the logical fallacy of the Appeal to Consequences (Argumentum ad consequentiam), as used by Greg Craven with his infamous Action Grid. His “argument” essentially is that, even if we don’t know whether or not manmade climate change is real, the risks of not acting to avert it far outweigh the risk of taking action (spending a lot of money needlessly). He’s even written a book called “What’s the Worst That Could Happen”?, and I believe he ups the ante, shrinking the size of the boxes where manmade climate change is false, using the consensus argument, asking, “what are the odds that all those scientists are wrong, or worse, engaged in some massive conspiracy”?
    His type of “logic” is especially popular for those unwilling or too lazy (like “lazy teenager”) to delve into the science themselves.

  43. Say. I wonder if said blond with red highlight captured the rinse from her bleach job in order to take it to a hazardous waste disposal company? That stuff should not be allowed down the drain you know. Plus, those stylish glass frames are likely a petroleum product. She needs to whittle up a pair of wooden ones. Unless she can find frames made from recycled metal from a company that runs their machinery from electrodes stuck in potatoes in order to generate an electric current. Not to mention the size of the lenses. If plastic, they are also a petroleum product. If glass, she again should locate a company that makes glass lenses in a facility that uses electrodes stuck in potatoes in order to generate electricity.

    These earth muffins compete with door knobs. Which is good. Door knobs win Nobel peace prizes these days. Especially wooden ones.

  44. Monkton makes the classic mistake of argumentum ad alienus, the fallacy of using aliens to prove a point.

    @Pamela Gray. Electricity from potatoes is not environmentally friendly. As a teacher you should know better.

  45. davidmhoffer says:
    April 21, 2012 at 6:31 am

    Jan P. Perlwitz says:

    Don’t you know who he is?????

  46. Fallacies:
    Accent: Emphasis that changes the meaning of the sentence.
    Accident: A general rule used to explain a specific case not covered by it.
    Affirming the Consequent: If A then B. B is true, so A is true.
    Amphiboly: A sentence has two different meanings.
    Appeal to Authority: Referencing an ‘expert’.
    Appeal to Common Belief: If others believe it to be true, it must be true.
    Appeal to Common Practice: If others do it, it must be ok to do it too.
    Appeal to Fear: Gaining compliance through threat.
    Appeal to Flattery: Make them feel good.
    Appeal to Emotion: If it feels good, it must be true.
    Appeal to Novelty: Newer is better.
    Appeal to Pity: Going for the sympathy vote.
    Appeal to Ridicule: Mocking the other person’s claim.
    Appeal to Tradition: It has always been done this way, so this way is right.
    Argument from Ignorance: Accepting circumstantial evidence.
    Assertion: What I say is true.
    Attack the Person: Distracting them from their argument.
    Begging the Question: Circular reasoning to prove assumed premise.
    Complex Question: two questions, one answer allowed.
    Composition: Generalizing from a few to the whole set.
    Conspiracy Theory: Reframe refutation as further proof.
    Denying the Antecedent: If A then B. A is false, so B is false.
    Division: Assuming the parts have the characteristics of the whole.
    Equivocation: A single word with more than one meaning.
    Excluded Middle: Only extreme views are valid.
    False Analogy: X has property Y. Z is like X. So Z has property Y.
    False Cause: A causes B (but no proof).
    False Compromise: Extreme views are wrong. The middle way is right.
    False Effect: A is assumed to cause B. B is proven wrong, so A is wrong.
    False Dilemma: Choice is A or B. Rejecting A is selecting B.
    Four Terms: All A is B. All C is D. So all A is D.
    Gambler’s Fallacy: Chance can be predicted.
    Hasty Generalization: Generalizing from too-small a sample.
    Illicit Major: All X is Y. No P (which is a subset of Y) is X. Therefore no P is Y.
    Illicit Minor: All X are Y. All X are P. Therefore all P are Y.
    In a Certain Respect and Simply: Extending assumed boundaries too far.
    Insignificance: Making a minor cause seem major.
    Many Questions: overloading them with lots of questions.
    Missing the Point: Drawing the wrong conclusion.
    Personal Inconsistency: Past words or deeds do not match claim.
    Poisoning the Well: Discrediting the person before they speak.
    Post Hoc: X follows Y. Therefore X is caused by Y.
    Red Herring: Distracting with an irrelevancy.
    Reification: Treating a concept as concrete reality.
    Repetition: Repeating something makes it more true.
    Slippery Slope: Loosely connected statements with ridiculous conclusion.
    Social Conformance: Agree with me or be socially isolated.
    Strawman: Attack a weak argument used by the other person.
    Style over Substance: An attractive presentation makes it more right.
    Undistributed Middle: All A is B. All C is B. Therefore all C is A.
    Unrepresentative Sample: What is true about any sample is also true about the population.
    Wishful Thinking: A is true because I want it to be true.

  47. Why be so many climate alarmists also believe in remedial measures that make no sense,like ethanol or wind turbines?

  48. Unattorney says:
    April 21, 2012 at 7:51 am
    Why be so many climate alarmists also believe in remedial measures that make no sense,like ethanol or wind turbines?
    >>>>>>>>>>>

    Because subsidized industries are incredibly profitable and so are heavily promoted. (This says nothing about the beliefs of the promoters of course).

  49. Jan P. Perlwitz says:
    April 21, 2012 at 5:54 am

    Monckton has published an opinion piece in an opinion blog w/o any proof of source for any quote or scientific reference for the assertions he makes about climate change.

    Which specific statement do you want a source for?

    Monckton said: “There has been no global warming for a decade and a half”

    See the graphs below that show zero slope for RSS for 15 years and 5 months and zero slope for sea surface temperatures for 15 years.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1995/plot/rss/from:1996.8/trend/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1995/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1997.08/trend

    Monckton said: “global sea-ice extent has hardly changed in that time”

    According to the latest numbers, the northern hemisphere sea ice anomaly is down by 0.142 million square kilometers, but the southern hemisphere sea ice anomaly is up by 0.665 million square kilometers. So the net effect is that global sea ice is UP by 0.523 million square kilometers. (This can be verified at the WUWT site on sea ice.)

    I am not going to go through all statements and provide proof for them. But was there something else in particular you disagree with and want proof for?

  50. Logic is the Achilles’ heel of the climate bedwetters. All they really have is emotion. They are, after all, of the ilk that signs a petition against dihydrogen monoxide.
    Keep up the good fight, Lord Monckton, and, may you live long and prosper.

  51. Mr Monckton is a master of rhetoric. He misses the point, however. “Consensus” in science occurs when the discussion stops. This is not, as he well knows, a political concept, where truth depends on having more proponents than opponents. SCientific truth has got nothing to do with “belief”. The facts of climate science have been (and continue to be) well researched by thousands of scientists from all over the world. Their work describes a deeply troubled planet, whose life-giving systems are severly challenged. This is not “hysteria” as you assert; it is simply unadorned fact.

    I would like to be wrong, and I would like you to be right, but you have to make your case with much more than mere words. DO some research and reference your assertions to accepted research.

    REPLY: LOL! Hey Pepper, look at the latest post, let’s hear you defend McKibben then. Go ahead, make my day. ;-) Anthony

  52. Mr. Spock got (or will get-in the future) a PhD from Starfleet Academy. Therefore, Dr. Spock must be right… and he always called out the rot in Human logic.

  53. Harry D Huffman said, in part:
    “…The rhetoricians–like Mr. Monckton–will always be with us, pretending to be masters of science. Science is a higher estate, and while I am a total denier of the climate consensus, I identify with true science, not rhetoric. This is just another angry, fevered rant, misleadingly couched as condescending pedantry, though it is well-intended, and I regret the need for it, for fever is the enemy of true reason. But I know the climate “debate” is really a political, fighting war, waged with words. Just don’t fool yourselves that it has advanced, or will advance, true science one whit…”.

    Monckton, to my knowledge, does not claim to be a scientist. He uses facts and logic to explain the real science of our changing climate, as opposed to the often-fallacious science presented by the CAGW cult. Excuse me, but how will the results of any scientific discipline be explained to non-scientists without the use of rhetoric? (Rhetoric is the art of discourse, an art that aims to improve the facility of speakers or writers who attempt to inform, persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations.) The general public neither understands the scientific process, nor its tools of physics, chemistry, mathematics and statistics, etc. The above stated separation of rhetoric and science, rather haughtily put, is surely a prescription for the continued misunderstanding and mistrust of science.

  54. Jan P Perlwitz:

    Do you know the difference between ‘morals’ and ‘morale’?

    If it was a typo, I think you may be projecting (in psychological terms).

  55. Hugh Pepper says:
    April 21, 2012 at 8:16 am

    Their work describes a deeply troubled planet, whose life-giving systems are severly challenged.

    We’re doing our best to get as much life-giving CO2 into the atmosphere as possible, I hope you’re doing your bit too.

  56. “Logic is the begining of wisdom not the end” (Spock to Valeris STII)

    “Logic is a little bird tweeting in meadow; logic is a wreath of pretty flowers which … smell bad…” (Spock – I Mudd)

    “Not even Vulcans can know the un-known.” (Spock – Immunity syndrome)

    “If I drop a wrench on a planet with a positive gravity field, I need not see it fall, nor hear it hit the ground, to know that it has in fact fallen.” (Spock – Court Martial)

    C’mon Lord Monckton, how can you argue with that?

    /sarc.

  57. Robert E. Phelan wrote:

    “Perlwitz, this is meant in the kindest possible way”

    What? No announcement from you of violence against my health and life this time, just for doing my science? Shall I be grateful?

    “everyone on this blog knows you are a modeler working for GISS”

    And what exactly is the relevance of this information so that you emphasize this here, particularly if everyone knew this anyway? And what exactly is the relevance that everyone here knew this as you declare? Appeal to majority? The million-flies argument?

    “You will also notice that Lord Monckton is not discussing science per se but rather epistemological issues using examples from “climate science” as illustrations.”

    Using alleged examples. Alleged examples w/o proof of source for the alleged quotes or arguments. I suspect most of the alleged examples are just made up by Monckton, misrepresentations of what really was said or what the real argument is, which would make his examples just a list of strawman arguments, i.e., logically fallacious arguments, applied by Monckton himself.

  58. Hugh Pepper says:
    April 21, 2012 at 8:16 am
    Mr Monckton is a master of rhetoric. He misses the point, however.

    Nice try at changing the subject — which is that AGW adherents depend on lies, strident denunciation, and logical fallacies in an attempt to control the discussion.

    “Consensus” in science occurs when the discussion stops.

    Is that why AGW True Believers keep saying “There’s no necessity for debate”?

    This is not, as he well knows, a political concept, where truth depends on having more proponents than opponents.

    Consensus *is* solely a political concept, not a scientific one, and the truth never depends on the number of its proponents.

  59. “Aristotle’s opinions–I repeat, opinions–held back physical science for 2,000 years. He was a renowned master of rhetoric, not of science, whose pedantic logic did not save him from spouting sheer nonsense. Indeed, that is why modern science is founded upon observation, not reason (the latter merely drives philosophy, which has been a general failure in the age of science).”

    And yet, when your observations are followed by conclusions that can not stand up to logic, it’s no longer science. Science is Observations + Logical Deduction to arrive at a Theory. Observation + Irrational Handwaving != Theory

    Climate Science is not science in any real sense of the term. Individual branches of science may be, until they add the obligatory unfounded CliSci propoganda at the end of their papers.

  60. Jan P. Perlwitz says:
    April 21, 2012 at 9:07 am
    Using alleged examples. Alleged examples w/o proof of source for the alleged quotes or arguments. I suspect most of the alleged examples are just made up by Monckton, misrepresentations of what really was said or what the real argument is, which would make his examples just a list of strawman arguments, i.e., logically fallacious arguments, applied by Monckton himself.

    If you’re unfamiliar with the examples Lord Monckton used to illustrate the fallacies, then you’re guilty of argumentum ad ignorantiam — you’re personally unfamiliar with the references, so therefore they must be wrong.

    On the flip side, if you *are* familiar with his references — which you should be, given your background and place of employment — then you’re just being a troll.

  61. Pamela Gray says:
    April 21, 2012 at 6:10 am
    I love Latin. It is so affixive.

    You can use Latin for your dentures? How does that work?
    ;-D

    Illegitimi non carborundum.

  62. Werner Brozek wrote:

    “Which specific statement do you want a source for?

    Monckton said: “There has been no global warming for a decade and a half”

    See the graphs below that show zero slope for RSS for 15 years and 5 months and zero slope for sea surface temperatures for 15 years.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1995/plot/rss/from:1996.8/trend/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1995/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1997.08/trend

    This is one, good example for logical fallacies applied by Monckton and followers.

    It’s a logical fallacy to conclude from the temperature curve above that there “has been no global warming” for the last 15 years. It’s a scientifically invalid conclusion, a non-sequitur. I equally could declare there hasn’t been any global warming since last year, or since the other day, because no signal can be seen in the temperature curve. It would be equally nonsense. The approach for producing the fallacy is to cherry pick the data in a way that the chosen time-scale is too short to see the signal emerging from the background noise that comes from natural variability, the largest source of which in the temperature curve presented by you is the variability due to El Nino/La Nina. You yourself had referenced the paper by Santer et al., JGR, (2011) (http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2011JD016263) who concluded from analyzing the data that it takes at least 17 years, currently, before a statistically significant signal can be diagnosed, because on shorter time scales the signal is masked by natural variability.

    It also was the “last 15 years” used by the “skeptics” in 2010. It’s still about the “last 15 years”, and it likely will be “the last 15 years” (give or take a few years) in five or ten years from now. My prediction is, in 50 years from now, when Earth’s surface has become significantly warmer than today due to the anthropogenic greenhouse gas forcing, which has become the dominant climate driver in the second half of the 20th century, the “skeptics” crowd, the few that will be left by then, will still declare, “no global warming for the last 15 years” then, since natural variability will still mask the warming signal on such a short-time scale.

  63. It is often said by some, not all of the AGW proponents, that the current global warming is unprecedented. Holocene epoch temperature reconstructions based on different proxies suggest that it is not so, but there is always problem of accuracy of interpreation.
    I have added an independent proxy, not generated by the temperature change itself, but likely by the common cause, two branches of the same tree.

    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/GMF-7Kyr.htm

    It correlates well with the previous reconstructions.

  64. Can argumentum ad hominem work two ways?
    1 Senator Bluster proclaims such-&-such. Senator Bluster is an ass, therefore such-&-such is assinine.
    2 Senator Grey Eminence vouches such-&-such. Senator Eminence is truthful, therefore such-&-such is true.

  65. Billy Liar wrote:

    “Do you know the difference between ‘morals’ and ‘morale’?

    If it was a typo, I think you may be projecting (in psychological terms).”

    Thank you for pointing out my mistake and the difference between the meaning of the two words. I indeed meant morale. English isn’t my native language. I make mistakes sometimes. I admire you, if such a thing doesn’t happen to you when you use the other languages you have learnt in the course of your life in addition to your native language.

  66. Many thanks to the kind commenters who have enjoyed by application of Aristotelian logic to some of the central arguments advanced by the climate extremists.

    Mr. Huffman describes Aristotle’s contribution to the science of logic as mere “opinions”. However, in two short volumes, the Prior and Posterior Analytics, Aristotle brought forth what we understand today as the science of logic almost complete, like Pallas Athene springing fully-armed from the head of Zeus. No serious logician – including mathematical logicians – would decry Aristotle’s foundation of logic as a mere expression of opinion.

    Nearly all of the dozen central fallacies of human discourse codified by Aristotle in his Sophistical Refutations and yet so heavily relied upon by the climate-extremist faction are formally demonstrable to be fallacies by the use of propositional calculus.

    Mr. Manic Bean-Counter says sea level has been rising at a rate equivalent to 30 cm/century. In the 20th century it rose at about 20 cm/century, but in the past eight years, according to the Aviso Envisat satellite, sea level has been rising at just 3 cm (or 1.3 inches) per century. It is a shame that Envisat has gone offline, because it provided real-time data calling into question the far more rapid rate of sea-level rise found by the Topex and Jason I satellites.

    Professor Nils-Axel Moerner, who has written more papers on sea level than anyone else, was told in 2004 by one of the sea-level team at the University of Colorado, where the Jason/Topex results are processed, that the output graph from the satellites had been tilted to show a sea-level rise of 30 cm/century. When he asked why the Colorado team had done this, he was told it was because otherwise the satellite data did not show the rate of sea-level rise that the policy-makers required.

    Mr. Pepper says “consensus” in science occurs when the discussion stops. However, there is no basis in the philosophy of science for any such proposition. The founder of the scientific method was Abu Ali Ibn al-Haytham, an astronomer, mathematician and philosopher of science in 11th-century Iraq. He wrote: “The seeker after truth does not place his faith in any mere consensus: instead, he subjects what he has learned of it to checking, checking, and checking again. The road to the truth is long and hard, but that is the road we must follow.”

    Likewise T.H. Huxley, who defeated Bishop Soapy Sam Wilberforce in the debate about evolution in 1860, said: “The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, skepticism is the highest of duties: blind faith the one unpardonable sin.” Again, no place for consensus.

    Karl Popper, who codified the scientific method as we understand it and use it today in his celebrated paper of 1934, described the scientific method as an iterative algorithm which relies upon skepticism, not consensus, to reach the truth.

    There is no consensus about how much global warming the doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration this century will cause. There are two very good reasons why there is no consensus. First, as the IPCC itself admitted in its 2001 report, the climate is a coupled, non-linear, chaotic object, so that “the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible”. This limitation on the predictive ability of climate models is known as the “Lorenz constraint”, after the late Edward N. Lorenz, the father of numerical weather forecasting by computer. His paper on Deterministic Non-periodic Flow, published in the Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences in 1963, founded chaos theory.

    Secondly, the amount of warming that may occur as a result of our doubling the atmospheric concentration of CO2 – called the “climate sensitivity” – depends upon seven key parameters, not one of which can be directly measured or indirectly inferred by theoretical methods. For this reason, even the IPCC’s attempts to circumvent the Lorenz constraint by the use of probability distributions is doomed to fail.

    The seven parameters are the CO2 radiative forcing (whose value the IPCC has already had to reduce by 15%); the Planck parameter (whose value for Earth is now in doubt because the Lunar Diviner mission has shown the equivalent value for the Moon to have been overstated by 40%); and the five most significant temperature feedbacks (none of which can be measured or even distinguished observationally from the forcings that cause the direct warming that is supposed to trigger them).

    There is now growing evidence in the literature that feedbacks are net-negative, not net-positive: in other words, that they attenuate rather than amplifying the direct warming of perhaps 1 Celsius degree per CO2 doubling.

    The most reliable (and cheapest) way to reach an approximation to climate sensitivity, therefore, is to wait and see. The fairest summation of the climate sensitivity question is that there is simply no scientific basis for the IPCC’s assumption that climate sensitivity is as high as 3.3 Celsius degrees per CO2 doubling, precisely because the seven necessary quantities are all not only unknown but unknowable.

    In that event, can it be demonstrated that climate sensitivity is low? Yes, it can. We have been adding CO2 and other greenhouse gases to the atmosphere in appreciable quantities since 1750, and the radiative forcing we have caused since that date is about 3.1 Watts per square meter – a forcing equivalent to five-sixths of the 3.7 Watts per square meter that is the IPCC’s current estimate of the CO2 radiative forcing. Yet global warming since 1750 is only 0.9 Celsius degrees, of which some fraction is attributable to a natural recovery of global temperatures after the Little Ice Age. Even if all of the warming since 1750 were our fault, climate sensitivity would be little more than 1 Celsius degree per CO2 doubling, implying zero or somewhat net-negative feedbacks.

    Unless one were to try to claim that today’s global temperature is the best possible temperature in the best of all possible worlds, the 1 Celsius degree of warming that we may expect over the next 90 years (there has been none since the century began) is certainly not catastrophic and will more likely to prove beneficial.

    For these reasons, it is inappropriate to assert that there is a scientitic “consensus” that climate sensitivity will be high.

    However, those who decry, defy, or deny the philosophical tradition from Aristotle via Al-Haytham and Huxley to Popper and prefer to do science by mere head-count among “experts” should know that the economic peer-reviewed literature is near-unanimous in finding that it is more cost-effective to do nothing about global warming today than to spend trillions on doomed attempts to make it go away.

  67. Christopher Monckton of Brenchley,

    I enjoyed your efforts to bring a broader philosophical context with epistemology and logic into perspectives on the multitude of fundamentally irrational CAGW arguments. Thankfully, you have exposed some of the key false arguments of the high profiled IPCC centric activists who are masquerading as objective scientists.

    Ultimately, those advocating CAGWism via the IPCC will be forced simply to deny the validity of rational thought in their ongoing climate discourse. As they do so then they will be totally in the realm of Jerome Revetz’s Post-Normal Science where it is the subjective mores of politics and society that mandate the findings of scientific research in climate as assessed by the IPCC. The IPCC centric CAGWists will be strictly in that world were policy/ideology advises science.

    The primary philosophical root of Post-Normal Science is Hegel with his adoption of Kantian metaphysics/epistemology. It is in the universities that are dominated by those philosophers that opposing intellectual discussions are needed to re-establish the knowledge that is objective in the Aristotelian original sense.

    John

  68. Perlwitz makes a prediction for 50 years in the future, thus assuring that he cannot be proven wrong regarding that particular prediction. But of course, Perlwitz is easy to debunk. Because he also says that although 15 years is too short a time to draw conclusions, he also admits that 17 years will be decisive. [For the record, I expect that he will move the goal posts as usual, if the planet does not obey his prediction.]

    If present trends continue, I call on Perlwitz to man up and admit that his entire premise and purported understanding of the subject is fatally flawed. Will Perlwitz acknowledge that he was wrong, if current trends continue for two more years? I doubt it. Because that would require real character, and honesty, which is universally lacking in the clique of charlatans riding the taxpayer-funded climate alarmist gravy train.

    It is easy for Perlwitz to prove me wrong. He can state right here and now that if there is no statistically significant warming in the next 24 months, that his CO2=CAGW conjecture is falsified. Perlwitz is the one making the 17 year claim. Now we will see if his words mean anything, or if they are just the usual bluster coming from the self-serving climate charlatan cult.

  69. Bill Tuttle wrote:

    “If you’re unfamiliar with the examples Lord Monckton used to illustrate the fallacies, then you’re guilty of argumentum ad ignorantiam — you’re personally unfamiliar with the references, so therefore they must be wrong.”

    And here we have an example for a strawman argumentation, where an argument is made against a statement that wasn’t made, but which is only a misrepresentation of the statement that was actually made. I didn’t not say the references were wrong. Monckton just did not provide any proof of source or any references for the alleged quotes or alleged arguments.

    Declaring that I would have to know the references, even if they aren’t provided, and declaring the request for the proof of source or for the references was an “argumentum ad ignorantiam” is just an example for applying the fait-accompli fallacy.

    In summary, all of this serves the purpose to free Monckton from the burden of proof for his own assertions.

  70. Jan P. Perlwitz says:
    April 21, 2012 at 9:39 am
    Werner Brozek wrote:
    See the graphs below that show zero slope for RSS for 15 years and 5 months and zero slope for sea surface temperatures for 15 years. [link to SST graph from woodfortrees-dot-org]

    This is one, good example for logical fallacies applied by Monckton and followers.
    It’s a logical fallacy to conclude from the temperature curve above that there “has been no global warming” for the last 15 years. It’s a scientifically invalid conclusion, a non-sequitur.

    There *is* no curve — both HadSST2gl from 1995 and from 1997-98 are flatlined. For global warming to be happening, the SST also has to be rising — and it isn’t.

    You yourself had referenced the paper by Santer et al., JGR, (2011) (http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2011JD016263) who concluded from analyzing the data that it takes at least 17 years, currently, before a statistically significant signal can be diagnosed.

    Santer originally said it would take 15 years — it was only after he saw 15 years of no change that he moved the goalposts to 17 years. BTW, it’s now been 17 years since HadSST2gl 1995 — is Santer’s next call going to be “19 years before a significant signal emerges”?

  71. {You know Christopher, if they could think clearly, they’d be more dangerous opponents …}
    { }
    {Pointman }

    Not forgetting, of course, if they could think clearly, then they wouldn’t be opponents, at all . . . .

    :P

    Hi Pointman, hope you keeping well.

    Ras

  72. Smokey wrote:

    “Perlwitz is easy to debunk. Because he says that although 15 years is too short a time to draw conclusions, he also admits that 17 years will be decisive.”

    Do you understand what you read? Or are you just making things up at will? I did not say such a thing.

  73. As Bill Tuttle points out, Perlwitz cited the Santer statement: “…analyzing the data that it takes at least 17 years, currently, before a statistically significant signal can be diagnosed.”

    Perlwitz didn’t make the statement, but he used Santer’s statement in his appeal to authority in an attempt to buttress his argument. The obvious meaning is that 15 years is too short a time frame, but 17 years will be long enough to decide the question.

    Perlwitz is already trying to move the goal posts.

  74. Jan P. Perlwitz says:
    April 21, 2012 at 9:52 am

    if such a thing doesn’t happen to you when you use the other languages you have learnt in the course of your life

    I only ever ask for beer in the other languages I have learnt. :)

  75. good article but too bad you start it out with an ad hominem attack on the young lady’s appearance and demeanor.

  76. If anyone tries to argue that ‘all reputable scientists believe…’ just remind them that at one time all reputable scientists believed that the sun went around the earth (and they had models for that too)! Today’s scientific certainty may well become tomorrow’s ROTFL.

  77. Jan P. Perlwitz says:
    April 21, 2012 at 9:39 am

    The NOAA “State of the Climate in 2008″ stated:

    “Near-zero and even negative trends are common
    for intervals of a decade or less in the simulations, due to the model’s internal climate variability. The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 yr or more, suggesting that an observed absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the expected present-day warming rate.”

    Santer etc. recently moved the goal posts out to 17 years. What is the Latin term for the logical fallacy of moving the goal posts? An extra two years gives you a little more breathing room but if Gaia doesn’t cooperate with your models, are you going to move the goal posts once again?

  78. (Thank you Bill Tuttle says:)

    Jan P. Perlwitz says:
    April 21, 2012 at 9:39 am
    You yourself had referenced the paper by Santer

    True, but my intention was not to say that because I agreed with him but to show that 15 years and 5 months is 90.7% of the way there.

    You mention “chosen time-scale is too short…”
    See the following with two 30 year trends, the most recent one and the other from 1912 to 1942. The slopes are essentially identical. So how much can you attribute to CO2?

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1900/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1912.33/to:1942.33/trend/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1982.08/to:2012/trend

  79. Aristotle put forth a methodology for analyzing the validity of argumentw, not facts.

    I believe you are trying to say that the facts should speak for themselves, and that rhetoric is used to mask the truth the facts reveal. I believe Aristotle is your friend in analysis of rhetoric and not your enemy.

    The facts speak but their meaning is always open to interpretation.

    There temperature today is 62 degrees F. Last year on this date it was 47 degree F. Those are facts which speak for themselves…. but what does that tell you?

    This is where Aristotle’s methodolgy comes in.

  80. Bill Tuttle wrote:

    “There *is* no curve — both HadSST2gl from 1995 and from 1997-98 are flatlined. For global warming to be happening, the SST also has to be rising — and it isn’t.”

    Global SST has “flatlined” since 1995? Really?

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1995/plot/hadsst2gl/from:1995/trend

    And here the global temperature anomaly from HADCRUT4 from 1995 to today:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1995/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1995/trend

    Where is the alleged “flatline” of the global temperature anomaly?

    “Santer originally said it would take 15 years — it was only after he saw 15 years of no change that he moved the goalposts to 17 years.”

    I naively would assume how many years are needed isn’t a question of a normative, just making up some number by definition, a “goalpost”, some magical threshold. I rather would think this is a question that only can be answered by analyzing the actual data. How long does it take until the trend can be seen for a given background noise due to natural variability? The answer may vary depending on the magnitude of the noise and the slope of the trend. If a trend is larger it will take less years, if the trend is smaller it will take more years.

    Am I wrong?

  81. @Ras. I’m good, hope the same goes for you. Grateful as always for the Founding Sons chatroom. Pop in tonight if you get time.

    Pointman

  82. Jan P. Perlwitz says:
    April 21, 2012 at 9:39 am

    This is one, good example for logical fallacies applied by Monckton and followers.
    It’s a logical fallacy to conclude from the temperature curve above that there “has been no global warming” for the last 15 years. It’s a scientifically invalid conclusion, a non-sequitur.

    = = = = =

    Jan P. Perlwitz,

    Are you confusing some logical fallacy with a normal scientific process of open dialog about the statistical treatment of times series? Please tell me what logical fallacy you think has been committed.

    Regarding statistical treatment of times series, if you are somehow implying it is appropriate to use Santer as a primary unbiased authority in objective application of statistics related to time series then that seems ill advised considering the following BH post;

    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2012/4/21/madrid-1995.html

    I do not suggest rejecting Santer research out of hand, but I assess that Santer needs to be evaluated at extreme arm’s length and with some considerable risk evaluation by independent scientific thinkers (aka skeptics). I say that because I wonder; does Santer adopt the Post Normal Science of Jerome Revetz where ideological/societal/political beliefs should inform the outcome of scientific research?

    John

  83. to be politically correct-I should have said too bad you started out with what might be construed as an “ad feminam” attack on her appearance and demeanor

  84. Mr Perlwitz says:

    “I naively would assume how many years are needed isn’t a question of a normative, just making up some number by definition, a ‘goalpost’, some magical threshold.”

    ‘Magical’ is the right term. Recall that the 17 year number is fabricated and owned by your side. And as predicted, the goal posts are already being moved:

    “The answer may vary depending on the magnitude of the noise and the slope of the trend. If a trend is larger it will take less years, if the trend is smaller it will take more years.

    “Am I wrong?”

    Yes. The long term trend from the LIA is intact. It is not accelerating. The current temperature stasis is clearly troubling to the wild-eyed alarmist contingent. It means that the planet itself disagrees with the “carbon” conjecture. Who should we believe? Rent seekers? Or the ultimate Authority, planet earth?

  85. Jan P. Perlwitz says:
    April 21, 2012 at 11:06 am

    Hey, Jan! How’s it goin’, bud? If you wish to see applied mathematics and how observed data is used to understand and improve a product, watch NASCAR on the Speed Channel. Have a great weekend!

  86. Here is a question, how can these people be so illogical and not even know it? And that brings us to the topic of Spock, not Mr. Spock, Doctor Spock. It has been shown that the chief difference between “leftists” and and “right wingers” (as the words are used today) is whether or not the person was spanked as a child. It was Dr. Spock who wrote a book advocating that children should not be spanked. Much later, after having actually seen the results of that idea, he has repudiated it, and has been pointedly and deliberately ignored. Now how, you might ask, could spanking or not spanking as a child effect whether they can understand or use logic and thus spot the rot in a fallacious argument? Simple, spanking teaches a lesson, “Actions Have Consequences”. A child that is never spanked usually never learns this.

    They also do not learn the idea of delayed gratification, learning instead that you can get anything you want if you just scream loud enough ( it was said that you could spot a “Spock baby” if you went to their house and could not hear yourself talk). If you look at the typical “demonstration”, 60’s style, and understand this, you will realize that what you are looking at is simply a mass temper tantrum, which is what these people learned to do when growing up. Look at one again, see the silly costumes, remind you of kindergarten? Notice their signs, about everything under the sun, even totally irrelevant subjects than the supposed reason for the protest (“save the whales”). Notice their ages, still mostly in college, still mooching off dear ol’ dad, not as they may become later when, having left all that and proceeded out into the real world, they discover that yes, actions do indeed have consequences. Many never learn it even then, instead banding together into organizations to deny (loudly) that there are consequences of actions (they instead find someone to blame) or that their is any need for delayed gratification, or hard work to achieve that gratification (socialism basically says that you can let someone else do all that work and then take their money).

    Since these people never learned delayed gratification, they never learn to control their emotions. Since they learned that you could get anything you wanted if you just scream loud enough, they believe that they should continue that tradition, believing that if they believe, really believe hard enough, in other words, use pure emotion, that it will be true and they will get what they want (it always worked before). They simply do not understand the idea “stop and think”, because they do not understand the idea “stop”, that would be delaying gratification, which they are now in the deeply ingrained habit of never doing.

    The ideas behind CAGW bring immediate emotional gratification, you are “saving the planet” (and the whales, and the polar bears, and…) and this feels good. You can also surround yourself with people who think, or to be more accurate, feel, as you do, which allows them to do what is known as “incestuous gratification”, where a bunch of people get together and reinforce their own beliefs and give each other approval for them and greater approval for ever more extreme forms. You can also get together and blame everything on someone else, this allows you to blow off steam for the bad consequences of your own actions rather than ever admit that you are to blame. Basically, they get together to point fingers of blame at “outsiders”, non believers, to shut up that little inner voice that nags them about their own actions. If everything is “their” fault (evil capitalists, say), then they feel better.

    They also go to colleges which now teach things that reinforce these beliefs. For instance, they learn that there is no such thing as right or wrong, which is gratifying since it means that the bad consequences of their actions are not wrong and they really can find someone else to blame for it. Also, it quiets their nagging conscious which is important to them because, never having learned delayed gratification, they have never learned to suppress or control, even temporarily, their emotions, and thus anything that gives them immediate gratification must be “right”, because it feels good. It should also be noted that colleges are now staffed largely with those who never see consequences, in college, it is all theory and no practice, they are isolated from any consequences and only have do deal with ideas, thus they often choose to believe and teach those ideas which feel good.

    An example of this, one teacher achieved results with inner city children by teaching them chess. In chess, you must think many moves ahead. The children reported this as a revelation, they had never before thought that actions now might have future consequences. This is not surprising, many have no fathers who would spank and teach this (mother probably doesn’t have time), and they can see how dear ol’ dad dealt with consequences of his actions, running away, and I think we can safely say that their mother didn’t think about consequences either. A large percentage of children now are born without fathers, thus, we can expect that the number of children who never learn delayed gratification, and thus reason, will diminish.

    To sum up, many children today have never been spanked, spanking teaches that actions have consequences, and teaches delayed gratification, which teaches you to stop and think before action, which teaches you to reason and not simply believe what feels good. Thus, if you appeal to these peoples reason, you need to understand that they simply do not even understand, even a little bit, the very idea of reason. Reason, to them is as alien as Mr. Spock.

    BTW, here is a good list of logical fallacies http://www.don-lindsay-archive.org/skeptic/arguments.html .

  87. Jan P. Perlwitz says:
    April 21, 2012 at 10:10 am
    Bill Tuttle wrote:
    “If you’re unfamiliar with the examples Lord Monckton used to illustrate the fallacies, then you’re guilty of argumentum ad ignorantiam — you’re personally unfamiliar with the references, so therefore they must be wrong.”
    And here we have an example for a strawman argumentation, where an argument is made against a statement that wasn’t made, but which is only a misrepresentation of the statement that was actually made. I didn’t not say the references were wrong.

    It’s obvious that English isn’t your first language, so please take this as a positive (instruction) rather than as a negative (correction). Your exact words were “Using alleged examples. Alleged examples w/o proof of source for the alleged quotes or arguments. I suspect most of the alleged examples are just made up by Monckton, misrepresentations of what really was said or what the real argument is,” My emphasis.

    What you effectively said was that Lord Monckton fabricated his statements. Re-read them, and if you still think he’s misrepresented anything, be specific about which statements you object to.

  88. jim says:
    April 21, 2012 at 10:33 am
    good article but too bad you start it out with an ad hominem attack on the young lady’s appearance and demeanor.
    ========
    +1, of course.

  89. BTW, as an example of how much people today even understand the idea of rationality, or of actually looking at the evidence, or even bothering to try, Just two days ago someone bet me $5 that the north pole ice cap would be gone on two years. Totally gone. Think about that. Is this person even capable of understanding even the idea of rational thought, or even the idea of thought?

    For many people, talking to them about anything like this which involves them using rational thought is a waste of time. However, what you can do is talk to their followers, the people they drag along with them with the force of their personality and the loudness of their advocacy. You could also sway many people by NOT appealing to their reason, since they have none, but to their emotions. The leftist side does this all the time, with 30 second sound bites and emotional images. Maybe we can bombard them with images of too many polar bears eating up all those cute little baby seals (and then dying out themselves). We can also appeal to their immediate gratification, something they do understand, by pointing out that the consequences of their actions are that their lights go out.

    Personally, I think of using emotional arguments to sway people as nothing more than propaganada. However, many people today understand nothing else. Thus, you may simply have to take the truth, facts, and present it in emotion laden ways similar to the way the lies are presented. Truth is truth, however it is presented. Just remember that if you try to appeal to many peoples rationalty today, you are appealing to something that simply isn’t there.

    One thing that can be done is to use laguage that sways the emotions, as well as reason. A good classical education, such as Lord Mocton has (he had the title at birth, therefore, he still has it) includes ancient rhetoric, speeches, poetry, and the like. On the flip side, the proponants of CAGW have lies that they have been caught in, another way to sway with emotion being to prove that you have been lied to, many people have learned reason when they discovered anger at being lied to.

    And if many are not pursuaded by reason, don’t be suprised or discouraged, they simply don’t understand the concept. if you know that they cannot ever understand you (or will ever try), simply make them look foolish so that their followers see this. You can’t change their minds simce effectively they have none, but you can affect the people around them.

  90. Legatus</bI says:
    April 21, 2012 at 12:05 pm
    Just two days ago someone bet me $5 that the north pole ice cap would be gone on two years. Totally gone. Think about that.

    I did. Tell him to make it $20 and then offer him double or nothing on three years.

  91. @Hugh Pepper: You want consensus, Hugh? I came across my favourite claim to consensus this month: It was the consensus that the Titanic was ‘unsinkable’. Then again, I guess you figure the same about AGW…ooops! I do hope you know where your lifeboat station is (you’re bound to get in; it’s women and children first. :)

  92. Some things that are irrelevant to science are: trust, consensus, authority, public opinion and belief in any ideology.

    John

  93. Jan P. Perlwitz says:
    April 21, 2012 at 11:06 am
    And here the global temperature anomaly from HADCRUT4 from 1995 to today:

    Hadcrut3 shows a zero trend for 15 years, or at least it would if the February anomaly of 0.19 were added. (Please do not take this next statement as a criticism since it is an easy thing to miss.) But as for Hadcrut4, it only goes to December 2010 so the last 15 months are missing and they have been relatively cold months. See the additions I made to your graph to show the slope for the last 15 years and the slope for the last 17 years, both using Hadcrut3.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1995/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1995/trend/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1995/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1997.16/trend/plot/hadcrut3gl/from:1995/trend

    I do not know about the Hadcrut4 slope, but the Hadcrut3 slope for 17 years of [slope = 0.00764992 per year] is NOT significant at the 95% level. I am applying Phil Jones’ definition of 95% significance based on the following:

    http://hadobs.metoffice.com/hadcrut3/diagnostics/global/nh+sh/

    Focus on the top 95% error bar for 1995 and note that it is way above the bottom error bar for the 2011 line.

  94. I couldn’t help but notice how insecure young Ms Delman appears, guarding her solar plexus so carefully. The whole “consensus” meme seems to be driven by a deep seated insecurity, psychlogical as well as rhetorical.

    W^3

  95. Steve C says:
    April 21, 2012 at 12:56 am
    As a philosophy graduate, I’d file most alarmist arguments under “modus horrendo horrens” (warning: philosophers’ joke!).

    So you’re the other one. ;-)

    Honoured in philosophy myself, UBC 1993.

    As to Lord Monckton’s missive here, excellent summary of the argumentative traps our alarmist friends routinely fall into. Thank you, sir.

  96. @James Bull: April 21, 2012 at 3:09 am
    Thanks James – an excellent clip! I hope I have occasion to use that – argumentum ad petitionem principii, the circular-argument fallacy.

  97. I for one would like to encourage WUWT to post more of these logic and philosophy-based articles. The environment of lying is the big problem, not merely the accumulation of data, and we need to turn back to real philosophy to depose it.

    Also, Andrew,
    I appreciate you trying to see specific, modern forms of mass fallacies. Keep it up.

  98. I think the Latin for “moving the goal post” is postus creepus. But I might be wrong.
    It does remind me though of what a local seafood restaurant had painted on the side of their building, “Free Crabs Tomorrow!”

  99. Mike Jowsey says:

    “I hope I have occasion to use that – argumentum ad petitionem principii, the circular-argument fallacy.”

    Most of the Team’s pal reviewed papers fall under that fallacy.

  100. “It’s a logical fallacy to conclude from the temperature curve above that there “has been no global warming” for the last 15 years”

    Of course it is a logical fallacy to conclude that – or ‘heating’ for any time period – even for a real temperature curve, unless you know the system very well, and know for example that inside there are no chemical reactions and/or latent heats at work (newsflash: on Earth, both of them are present, and not only those), or if they are present, you must take those into account, the sole temperature evolution is not enough to know if the system was cooled or heated (I’m talking here about the real, physical heat, not the pseudo-scientifical one). The real problem is that the pseudo-scientists not only do not have such a simple system, but they do not have a temperature curve. The average temperature is no temperature, and Earth does not have a temperature. Did not have. Never ever. Will not have one, for a very, very long time, hopefully. A temperature can be defined only for systems at thermodynamic equilibrium (cvasiequilibrium for local temperature only, a ‘global temperature’ is a non-physical value for systems that are not at equilibrium). Those pseudo-scientists should really, really look into the definition of temperature. And heat. Heat is not ‘increasing global temperature’.

  101. One who proposes a hypotheis must prove it by rational method and observation.
    A sckeptic who points out the falacy of an incorrectly proven hypothesis is not held to a standard. The burden of proof lies completely on the proponent of the hypothesis. Reference to a web page is not a scientific proof.

    Lord Monckton is not obliged to prove anything.

  102. “‘Gentlemen, you are now about to embark on a course of studies which will occupy you for two years. Together, they form a noble adventure. But I would like to remind you of an important point. Nothing that you will learn in the course of your studies will be of the slightest possible use to you in after life, save only this, that if you work hard and intelligently you should be able to detect when a man is talking rot, and that, in my view, is the main, if not the sole, purpose of education.’

    “Those are the words of John Alexander Smith, a professor of moral philosophy at Oxford. When he spoke them, in 1914, to the equivalent of an entering freshman class, he neither outraged nor astonished his hearers. It was little more than common wisdom in those days.”

    -Richard Mitchell, The Underground Grammarian, Vol. 9, No.1, Feb. 1985.

    http://www.sourcetext.com/grammarian/

  103. Jan P. Perlwitz: “Monckton has published an opinion piece in an opinion blog w/o any proof of source for any quote or scientific reference for the assertions he makes about climate change.”

    This is correct, and strongly undermines Monckton’s argument, which is: “Startlingly, nearly all of the usual arguments for alarm about the climate are instances of Aristotle’s dozen fallacies of relevance or of presumption, not the least of which is the consensus fallacy.”

    The post contains a number of assertions about what “believers” say, but does not offer any evidence that climate scientists or their supporters actually make these assertions.

    It is not the task of the reader to validate Monckton’s claims. He has assumed the burden of proof, so he needs to supply the evidence to support his assertions.

    Interestingly, Monckton is himself not above peddling the odd fallacy or two. The ad hominen that begins this post has already been noted, and the previous post about this event contained both a consensus argument and a rather blatant appeal to pity.

  104. Those such as Brendan above claiming that the opening line “But there’s a CONSENSUS!” shrieked the bossy environmentalist with the messy blonde hair” is an ad hominem simply don’t understand what an ad hominem argument is. His description is humorous, and yes mildly insulting, but it is not being used to negate her “consensus” argument. No, the “consensus” argument falls no matter who is making it, how bossy they are, or how messy their hair is.

  105. If someone has messy hair, and they are shrill, and they commit a logical fallacy ad populum, it is not an ad hominem to point any of that out.

  106. jim says April 21, 2012 at 10:33 am:

    good article but too bad you start it out with an ad hominem attack on the young lady’s appearance and demeanor.
    ========
    u.k.(us) says April 21, 2012 at 11:39 am:

    +1, of course.

    Oh please; verily she’s wearing the garb of a child while attempting to engage on a subject ‘in the big leagues’ and taken seriously! Whatever happened to proper grooming and dress appropriate-to-(the)-circumstances?

    (I wasn’t going to make this comment, but this last has ‘pushed me over the edge’ …)

    .

  107. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 21, 2012 at 9:56 am
    We have been adding CO2 and other greenhouse gases to the atmosphere in appreciable quantities since 1750, and the radiative forcing we have caused since that date is about 3.1 Watts per square meter – a forcing equivalent to five-sixths of the 3.7 Watts per square meter that is the IPCC’s current estimate of the CO2 radiative forcing.
    =======================================================
    I wonder,Christopher, why you so easily agree on this “3.7 Watts per square CO2 radiative forcing”. This number comes from a 1978 climate model and I am pretty sure it was not measured, but calculated based on the assumption that the “greenhouse gasses” cause like 33 degree warming.

    And now “climate scientists” calculate the CO2 climate sensitivity based on this figure that is based on the assumption of the CO2 climate sensitivity. You made the calculation, too, based on the “literature”, right? Aristotle would not have accept it.

    I strongly recommend you check it.

  108. Christopher Monckton of Brenchley said:

    As it is, what little logic our bossy environmentalists learn appears to come solely from Mr. Spock in Star Trek.

    Dear Sir, they surely are not up to Spock’s Vulcan training in being able to expel emotion from argument and rational behavior, so even from Star Trek they didn’t learn. You are too kind.

  109. Since no one else has, I’d like to point out that the National/Financial Post is one of the few “broadsheets” in the English speaking world giving voice to alternative views on matters scientific.

  110. Smokey says:
    April 21, 2012 at 10:09 am
    Perlwitz makes a prediction for 50 years in the future, thus assuring that he cannot be proven wrong regarding that particular prediction. But of course, Perlwitz is easy to debunk. Because he also says that although 15 years is too short a time to draw conclusions, he also admits that 17 years will be decisive. (For the record, I expect that he will move the goal posts as usual, if the planet does not obey his prediction.)

    On Intrade one can make bets about where the temperature per GISS will be in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2019. (Also on Arctic ice.) I’ve put my money down.

    https://www.intrade.com/v4/markets/

  111. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    Startlingly, nearly all of the usual arguments for alarm about the climate are instances of Aristotle’s dozen fallacies of relevance or of presumption, not the least of which is the consensus fallacy.
    ========================================================
    Christopher, let me tell you first, that I agree with you on what you wrote about consensus fallacy. I also like your DDT example. I do not, however, like your Holocaust example, because it was not based on a scientific consensus, but it does not matter now. At the same time I do not think your argumentation on the issue of consensus is efficient. You need to understand, how ordinary people including politicians and journalists think and build their opinions. They do not look into issues. They listen to the others.

    Now, you tell them, there are examples of wrong scientific consensus. In this case they think like that: “So what? In most cases, where there is a scientific consensus they are right. So even if there are some negative examples, the probability that the consensus is right is very high. So it is reasonable to follow the consensus”.

    Logically you have only a choice between proving there is no consensus or scientifically proving that all of them are wrong. Just giving a few examples of wrong consensus is not enough.

  112. Perhaps a bit late in the thread to bring this up but: Blaming Aristotle for the lack of scientific progress in the Middle Ages is wrong – the fault was with those who followed him – they fell into the “Appeal to Authority” trap. Similar to the “Consensus” trap of today.

  113. Mr. House seems intent on muddying the waters. Let us be clear: the argument from consensus is the headcount fallacy. Mr. House is wrong to say, “Logically you only have a choice between proving there is no consensus or scientifically proving that all of them [presumably the supporters of the imagined consensus] are wrong.” No. Logically, any conclusion to the effect that a proposition affirmed by a consensus (whether the consensus be real or imaginary) is true on the ground that the consensus affirms that proposition is a fallacy. And that is that.

    Since there is in fact no consensus on the quantum of global warming that will occur in response to a doubling of CO2 concentration this century, neither I nor anyone else should be regarded as under any obligation to “prove” the supposed consensus wrong. Instead, it is necessary only to point out that the seven quantities upon which climate sensitivity itself depends are all unknown and unknowable; that climate sensitivity inferred from greenhouse-gas enrichment and warming since 1750 is low even if one assumes the IPCC’s current estimate of the CO2 radiative forcing is correct; and that the IPCC’s first attempt to predict the future evolution of planetary temperature, made a generation ago in 1990, has proven to be a wild exaggeration. Even the lower bound of the IPCC’s then projection is above the measured warming trend since 1990.

    I had additionally explained that there cannot be any consensus as to how much warming a doubling of CO2 concentration over the next 90 years may cause because the answer depends on the values of seven key parameters not one of which can be determined with sufficient precision either by measurement or by theory.

    I had explicitly stated that the first of these seven key unknown and unknowable parameters is the CO2 radiative forcing, and had also pointed out that the IPCC has itself reduced its estimate of the value of this parameter by 15%. Yet Mr. House, bizarrely, asks why I “so easily agree” with the IPCC’s current estimate. I did not say I agreed with it: on the contrary, I made it plain that there is no scientific basis for agreeing or disagreeing with it, because it is unknowable. The best we can say is that it may be in the right ballpark (though, in the light of real-world evidence of low climate sensitivity, it appears to be on the high side).

    Attempts to blur the very clear logic of Aristotle as Mr. House has done are not helpful. As I pointed out in an earlier response, nearly all of the logical fallacies I mentioned in the head posting have been formally established to be fallacious by rigorous propositional calculus: these fallacies, therefore, are settled science and cannot be repealed (or even fudged away) by those true-believers in the New Superstition who find them inconvenient.

    The plain truth is that very nearly all of the most frequently-deployed arguments advanced by the climate extremists are instances of one or another of Aristotle’s dozen logical fallacies, and no amount of fudging and mudging will alter that truth. In any previous generation, the climate fanatics would have been laughed off the stage. It is only because today’s “education” is so deficient (the French, for instance, have banned the teaching of logic in schools and universities) that the armor of sound and rigorous reasoning has been stripped from the populace by a governing class that requires us merely to acquiesce with unbecoming passivity in whatever absurdities and follies are currently fashionable in the corridors of impotence.

  114. Lord Mockton –

    Why not embrace the consensus theory?

    Think about it because hey we could stop many issues by simply flipping this back on the warmists and their ilk.

    One major example if I am not mistaken is the consensus that there is a god and that Jesus was his only begotten son.

    But do not take my word for it asks the experts.

    The Pope, Cardinals, Bishops, Priest, and all the other faiths clergy, (with the possible excpetion of some of those denier religions). Even Reverend Wright and President Obama believe in this basic consensus.

    Maybe this argument has been made before but I thought I would mention it once again for fun.

    Keep in mind the Bible, if I am not mistaken, says God will have the say as to the end of time and since we have a pretty large consensus particularly among the real experts listed above, all others should just fall in line and surrender their own beliefs in the whole AGW nonsense.

    /sarc

    PS think of how many other things we can dismiss by embracing the consensus mind set for example the theory of evolution, life starts at conceptions, etc. I am pretty sure the clergy listed above has an expert opinion on these issues also. Remeber we have to listen to the consensus especially when the are such noted experts like the Pope.

  115. In 1923, the “consensus” of all scientists – not just geographers and geologists and physicists would have disputed ANY theory about continental drift and volcanism. Despite this, the continents had been moving for 250 million years just all by themselves – DESPITE the consensus of every scientific body who printed hundreds of papers and books disputing the movement.

    It was not until ONE person challenged the “consensus” of the world’s experts that we learned where to look, how to look, and what to look for that any advance was made. And the search did NOT succeed – even though the theory was correct! – until satellites and ocean research detected the mid-ocean ridges and slopes in the 1960’s.

    In 1962, the “consensus” of all scientists – not just geographers and geologists and physicists would have disputed ANY theory about meteor impact and not volcanism on the moon. Despite this, the moon had been impacted continuously for 3.5 some-odd billion years just all by itself – DESPITE the consensus of every scientific body who declared volcanoes made the craters.

    So, until Shoemaker began his research, made his ideas, and got time to explore when the lunar landings occurred …. the “consensus” you so highly value was dead wrong.

    In fact, name ANY “consensus” of the world’s experts that has proven right.

  116. “Aristotle’s opinions–I repeat, opinions–held back physical science for 2,000 years. He was a renowned master of rhetoric, not of science, whose pedantic logic did not save him from spouting sheer nonsense.”

    Yes because lesser minds treated his claims dogmatically as true and the scholastics dared not question the ‘consensus’ of opinion that they created around this man.

  117. Rhoda R says:
    April 21, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Perhaps a bit late in the thread to bring this up but: Blaming Aristotle for the lack of scientific progress in the Middle Ages is wrong – the fault was with those who followed him – they fell into the “Appeal to Authority” trap. Similar to the “Consensus” trap of today.
    _____________________________
    Not to mention the fact that Aristotle did not even have a decent numbering system to use (The Greek system made Roman Numerials look good) It is really tough to do good science without decent math.

  118. _Jim says:
    April 21, 2012 at 3:33 pm
    Oh please; verily she’s wearing the garb of a child while attempting to engage on a subject ‘in the big leagues’ and taken seriously! Whatever happened to proper grooming and dress appropriate-to-(the)-circumstances?

    (I wasn’t going to make this comment, but this last has ‘pushed me over the edge’ …)
    ==============
    Her “garb” reflects her intellect, eh.
    Where the &%uk have you been.
    It was a stupid observation, period.

    .

  119. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 21, 2012 at 5:01 pm
    Mr. House seems intent on muddying the waters. Let us be clear: the argument from consensus is the headcount fallacy.
    ==============================================
    No problem, Christopher, Mr. House is very patient. Let us be clear: the argument from consensus is the headcount fallacy. If necessary, I can say it for the third time.

    My point is, that a lot of people, including politicians and journalists, very often do not look into the issues for whatever reasons. These are the people you are talking to. They practically rely on their impression of scientific consensus. This is a crucial point, Christopher. There does not not need to be a real consensus, if someone manages to create just an impression of scientific consensus, they win. I am talking specifically about their impression, that there is the following scientific consensus: „there is a catastrophic man made global warming“.

    Then you come up and say the scientific consensus might be wrong too. Very nice, they understand. But what do you offer them instead? Some statements with a few references. You say e.g. it is just 1 degree, but they think there is a consensus about 3 degrees. You say it is unreasonable to mitigate this 1 degree, but they still think there is a consensus on the opposite, and so on.

    So, if you do not seriously address the issue of their perception or show them, that there is no consensus or that they all are wrong – you lose.

    This is the inconvenient truth, Christopher. And please, you do not need to make a long speech in response, it would be nice, if you could just address my points. Impression, perception, ways, you know.

  120. Jan P. Perlwitz says:
    April 21, 2012 at 11:06 am
    To answer your question at the end there yes, yes you are wrong. and as long as you hold faith in the high priests of climate “science” such as Santer, Hansen, Jones, and Mann you will continue to be wrong.

  121. Bruce Cobb: “Those such as Brendan above claiming that the opening line “But there’s a CONSENSUS!” shrieked the bossy environmentalist with the messy blonde hair” is an ad hominem simply don’t understand what an ad hominem argument is.”

    I understand what an ad hominen argument is. Notice that in the above passage, Monckton’s attack on the woman’s character and appearance is in response to her claim of consensus.

    While it’s true that many people confuse mere insults with an ad hominen argument, an ad hominen is all about derailing one’s opponent’s argument by attacking the person.

    It may be that Monckton is simply offering an amusing observation on the woman’s demeanor and appearance, but the juxtaposition implies an association between a claim of consensus and claimed undesirable characteristics. So I think the conditions for an ad hominen are satisfied.

  122. “That is the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy, the argument from false cause. Merely because one event precedes another it does not necessarily cause it.”

    But what if the warming began before the CO2 increase? Perhaps that would be a “pre hoc ergo feedbackter hoc fallacy” or something.

  123. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 21, 2012 at 5:01 pm
    Yet Mr. House, bizarrely, asks why I “so easily agree” with the IPCC’s current estimate. I did not say I agreed with it: on the contrary, …
    ===============================================
    Cristopher, these are your own words you wrote earlier on this thread:

    „Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 21, 2012 at 9:56 am
    We have been adding CO2 and other greenhouse gases to the atmosphere in appreciable quantities since 1750, and the radiative forcing we have caused since that date is about 3.1 Watts per square meter – a forcing equivalent to five-sixths of the 3.7 Watts per square meter that is the IPCC’s current estimate of the CO2 radiative forcing.“

    Or do you mean you agree only with „3.1 Watts per square meter“ and not with „3.7 Watts per square meter“? Did you or someone else physically measure it?

    If not, then it is probably a sort of model adjustment based on the assumption as well, that there is something they are trying to prove based on this assumption. Aristotle and humble me are very confused.

    But, you know, If you do not agree with that estimation now, then I am happy, thank you.

  124. I learnt that Aristotle is relevant to the Arctic: ‘ “Arctic sea ice is melting: therefore manmade global warming is a problem.” This is the inappropriate argument from the particular to the general that is the fallacy a dicto secundum quid ad dictum simpliciter, the fallacy of converse accident.’ I absolutely agree. I published a paper proving that Arctic warming is not greenhouse warming which you can download here: http://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/arno-arrak.pdf . Its argumentum is fallacy-proof, just pure science.

  125. u.k.(us) says:
    April 21, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Her “garb” reflects her intellect, eh.
    Where the &%uk have you been.
    It was a stupid observation, period.

    I find the willful acceptance of ‘defining civility down’ appalling (and as to the use of especially unwarranted vulgarity doubly so); and I think her attire, grooming/appearance and demeanor deserves some mention with respect to the atmosphere/environment existing at Union College for Christopher Monckton of Brenchley’s talk, particularly in light of the fact that the young waif’s picture will not always accompany the ‘print’ of his word such that others may get the full ‘flavor’ of his questioner (after all, she insisted on inserting herself, as attired and groomed, into the debate; take a hint and dress appropriately next time I say).

    BTW, now that I know I am probably expressing thoughts to one who is a tinge more beast than man, our correspondence on this matter is hereby concluded; have a nice day.

    .

  126. Greg House says:
    April 21, 2012 at 7:15 pm
    Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 21, 2012 at 5:01 pm
    Mr. House seems intent on muddying the waters. Let us be clear: the argument from consensus is the headcount fallacy.
    ==============================================
    No problem, Christopher, Mr. House is very patient. Let us be clear: the argument from consensus is the headcount fallacy. If necessary, I can say it for the third time.

    Perhaps there is something besides the “headcount fallacy” (“argumentum ad populum”) or any other logical fallacy at the root of all this Global Warming hysteria: “akoloutheo stater”. “Follow the money”. (Sorry. I don’t know the Latin for that.)
    (And, yes, I did a copy/paste on the big words.)

  127. Lord Monckton,

    I believe the explanation lies in lies. The art of propaganda is all about the deliberate construction of untruths that appear true. The use of “useful idiots” depends upon it.

    That there are far more people of “average or below” than of “bright enough to have studied logic”, the use of non-logic is the easier path. Thus the great results that accrue to the Propagandist and the meager return to the Truth Seeker.

    That, too, is why you see the “Warmers” advocating all sorts of “Con The Dots”, oh, pardon, “Connect The Dots” and similar “mass participation” actions that do not require thinking. Forcing people to “think against their will” only generates resentment. (That is, I fear, why I’ve so often had resentment tossed in my face… ) The goal is to provide simple, irrational (but NOT requiring strenuous thinking), and visible actions for “The Masses” to perform; on queue from the Puppetmasters… Logic need not apply.

    So while I laud your endless efforts at education and refutation, I fear we need more in the “Feel Good – don’t worry about logic so much” department (but backed up with actual clean logic and data). Basically, we need a more effective Public Communications / PR effort. (To use the Politically Correct terms).

    FWIW, I think one can do a credible job of spotting the “Central Planned and Canned Guidance” of the Warmers Side by simply looking for their (rather consistent) exploitation and use of broken logic. It’s something of a trademark of their behaviours. As you so aptly demonstrated.

    Best Wishes,
    Chiefio

  128. Jan P. Perlwitz does indeed seem to have moved the goalposts. This is similar to a refrain that I often hear as a person is about to lose an argument, namely: “What I really meant was….”. In TV-lawyer speak they are looking for a “second bite at the apple”. A little help here , please. Is there a better term for this argument ploy?

  129. AGW is simply a tool of the evolving socialist totalitarian police state. It is a tool not unlike the burgeoning numbers of airborne robotic spy craft used to keep all of us under surveillance and the 450 million rounds of hollow-point bullets purchased by DHS to render any suspected felons lifeless. Connect the dots.

  130. More fun:

    argumentum dei omnipotentis – The error is yours if you continue to argue.

    argumentum moti perpetuis – An argument making a claim that violates the First Law of Thermodynamics.

    argumentum rei in nihilum partes divisus – An argument that makes something seem true, when secretly dividing by zero.

    argumentum nihili in nihilum partes divisus – An argument that can always be true when zero is divided by zero – undefined!

    argumentum suffragatoris pro Democratis – Forget it. Logic doesn’t work. They voted for Democrats.

  131. PaulID wrote:

    “To answer your question at the end there yes, yes you are wrong. and as long as you hold faith in the high priests of climate “science” such as Santer, Hansen, Jones, and Mann you will continue to be wrong.”

    And this is an example of an ad hominem “argument” applied by a fake skeptic.

  132. Jon R. Salami wrote:

    “Jan P. Perlwitz does indeed seem to have moved the goalposts.”

    Please could you elaborate where I have “moved the goalpost”? With quotes and proof of source.

  133. Ed Mertin says:
    April 21, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    Greg House, NAZI Eugenics very much was based on a scientific consensus.
    ============================================
    My point was, that the Holocaust was not based on scientific consensus, it was based on anti-Semitism, that is much older, like 2000 years older, than Eugenics, that’s why I believe Lord Monckton should refrain from referring to the Holocaust as an example of a wrong scientific consensus.

  134. @Jon R. Salmi:

    Oh, man. I really saw “Salami” on my screen. And I was even thinking, “He has chosen a really funny alias”. There was no mischievous intention behind this. Sorry.

  135. How could the content of the article POSSIBLY resulted in false arguments?

    I’m tempted to mail vis. a letter to ask what her the reasoning for her hair colorations.

  136. Gunga Din …. “Follow the money”. (Sorry. I don’t know the Latin for that.)

    Try: Cui bono. (To whose benefit)

  137. Jan P. Perlwitz says:
    April 21, 2012 at 10:10 am
    Bill Tuttle wrote:
    “If you’re unfamiliar with the examples Lord Monckton used to illustrate the fallacies, then you’re guilty of argumentum ad ignorantiam — you’re personally unfamiliar with the references, so therefore they must be wrong.”
    And here we have an example for a strawman argumentation, where an argument is made against a statement that wasn’t made, but which is only a misrepresentation of the statement that was actually made. I didn’t not say the references were wrong. Monckton just did not provide any proof of source or any references for the alleged quotes or alleged arguments.
    Declaring that I would have to know the references, even if they aren’t provided, and declaring the request for the proof of source or for the references was an “argumentum ad ignorantiam” is just an example for applying the fait-accompli fallacy.

    It appears that you haven’t read the definitions Lord Monckton elucidated, because you’re declaring anything you can’t refute as either a strawman or an ad hominem, and you’re the one raising the strawmen and putting words in people’s mouths. I didn’t say that requesting the the source of the references was an argumentum ad ignorantiam, I said “If you’re unfamiliar with the examples Lord Monckton used to illustrate the fallacies, then you’re guilty of argumentum ad ignorantiam — you’re personally unfamiliar with the references, so therefore they must be wrong.” You work at GISS, your CV lists papers you’ve collaborated on with Hanson, and if you’re unfamiliar with the source of any of Lord M’s statements, you haven’t been doing your homework.

    And unless you have *valid* alternatives to your either using argumentum as ignoratiam or just being a troll, you’ve also got the fait-accompli fallacy wrong.

  138. As one of the “little people” I do know both sides of the issue but unlike most I believe what I see – not what I want to see. I thought the earth was flat until I opened my eyes …

  139. Greg House says:
    April 21, 2012 at 8:07 pm
    Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 21, 2012 at 5:01 pm
    Yet Mr. House, bizarrely, asks why I “so easily agree” with the IPCC’s current estimate. I did not say I agreed with it: on the contrary, …
    ===============================================
    Cristopher, these are your own words you wrote earlier on this thread:
    „Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 21, 2012 at 9:56 am
    We have been adding CO2 and other greenhouse gases to the atmosphere in appreciable quantities since 1750, and the radiative forcing we have caused since that date is about 3.1 Watts per square meter – a forcing equivalent to five-sixths of the 3.7 Watts per square meter that is the IPCC’s current estimate of the CO2 radiative forcing.“

    Or do you mean you agree only with „3.1 Watts per square meter“ and not with „3.7 Watts per square meter“? Did you or someone else physically measure it?

    If not, then it is probably a sort of model adjustment based on the assumption as well, that there is something they are trying to prove based on this assumption. Aristotle and humble me are very confused.

    But, you know, If you do not agree with that estimation now, then I am happy, thank you.

    &

    E.M.Smith says:
    April 21, 2012 at 8:34 pm
    Lord Monckton,

    I believe the explanation lies in lies. The art of propaganda is all about the deliberate construction of untruths that appear true. The use of “useful idiots” depends upon it.

    ========================

    What’s the logical fallacy here of someone who promotes himself as an upholder of the greats against accepting consensus to reach the truth, stressing the search for truth be paramount, but then insists that all responding adhere to the unproven claim by consensus he presents as the premise of his argument? http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/20/the-illogic-of-climate-hysteria/#comment-962814

  140. Mike Jonas says:
    April 22, 2012 at 12:01 am
    Gunga Din …. “Follow the money”. (Sorry. I don’t know the Latin for that.)

    Sequere pecuniam.

  141. she has only one brain and it is disconnected she should see a shrink to see if you can connect again I don,t think it is possible

  142. :- jim says:
    April 21, 2012 at 10:33 am
    good article but too bad you start it out with an ad hominem attack on the young lady’s appearance and demeanor.
    ========

    Indeed it’s a pity that Erin Delman, an impressionable undergraduate, becomes the poster child for unreasoned argument.

    However, I think The messy hair reference is merely confirming the stereotype that the appeal to concensus is coming from, and not without some reliance on bossiness and a suggestion of hysteria, both techniques used to back up weak arguments.

  143. Too bad Aristotle didn’t include the straw man fallacy. Monckton certainly uses it liberally.

  144. To those who think Lord Monckton began his article with an ad hominem …
    “You are dimwits” is an assertion.
    “You can’t spot an argument because you are dimwits” is an explanation.
    “You can’t spot an argument, so you are dimwits” is an argument.
    “You are dimwits, so you can’t spot an argument” is a fallacious argument (specifically an ad hominem).
    Hope this helps.

  145. Miss Delnam in the picture has clearly adopted a stance of defensive agressiveness, thereby strongly marking her repugnance to be convinced by the speaker’s arguments. In layman’s terms: she’s closed off completely. That her hair is “messy” is merely because students like to adopt a “care-free” appearance (i.e. hairdressers are too expensive… I write from experience by the way), but when you’re a spokesperson people do expect a bit more grooming.
    The article however is hilarious. I do like the exposition on bad arguments. And as was described in the article, Aristotle was the first to write about them, but the list was augmented later by Latin-writing philosophers hence they are written in … Latin. That is also how they are taught at my university when I read Communication Sciences there.

  146. Naomi Oreskes in her analysis 928 abstracts using the keywords ‘‘global climate change’’ managed to find none that refuted the following statement:
    ‘‘Global climate change is occurring, and human activities are at least part of the reason why”.
    Which is remarkable, since I doubt there is a single skeptic/climate realist who would disagree with that statement.
    Some “consensus”.

  147. His lordship doesn’t know the difference between induction and a formal argument, I’m afraid. Defering to the opinion of experts instead of a pompous dilettante, for example, is not a “fallacy”.

  148. Jan P. Perlwitz says:
    April 21, 2012 at 9:23 pm
    well from a fake skeptic to a fake scientist all I was doing was answering your question if my ad hominem attack was to call those named in my post high priests then what would you call them they (and you) want us to take without question (that is on faith) that they are right in all of their pronouncements without providing the slightest bit of VERIFIABLE, REPRODUCIBLE, HONEST science now that sounds to me like a high priest.

  149. Yep … note the crossed arms.

    Crossed Arms means I’m in total defense, and you are not getting in.

  150. ali says:
    April 22, 2012 at 6:56 am
    His lordship doesn’t know the difference between induction and a formal argument, I’m afraid. Defering to the opinion of experts instead of a pompous dilettante, for example, is not a “fallacy”.
    Deferring to the opinion of “experts” is a perfect example of an Appeal to Authority, which most certainly is a logical fallacy, and your use of the phrase “pompous dilettante” is a perfect example of an ad hominem. Using inductive reasoning, one can therefore conclude the following:
    1) Most Warmist trolls, judging by their words and actions are idiots.
    2) You are obviously a Warmist troll.
    2) Therefore there is a strong possibility you are an idiot.

  151. systemsthinker says:
    April 22, 2012 at 6:05 am
    Too bad Aristotle didn’t include the straw man fallacy. Monckton certainly uses it liberally.

    Another baseless and false accusation.

  152. Christopher Monckton, thank you for the article. I found it educational and also found many comments quite educational as well.

    Have you had an opportunity to view and analyze the video of Murry Salby’s speech posted on WUWT recently? Somehow, I doubt Jan Perlwitz and some of the other CAGW snake cult accolytes posting here would have a clue how to respond to it without exhausting the list a fallacies you’ve highlighted in your article.

  153. Will Nitschke says:
    April 21, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    harrydhuffman (@harrydhuffman) says:
    April 21, 2012 at 3:23 am

    “Aristotle’s opinions–I repeat, opinions–held back physical science for 2,000 years. He was a renowned master of rhetoric, not of science, whose pedantic logic did not save him from spouting sheer nonsense.”

    Yes because lesser minds treated his claims dogmatically as true and the scholastics dared not question the ‘consensus’ of opinion that they created around this man.

    – – – – –

    Will Nitschke,

    Well said.

    I think that the consensus (authority) fallacy committed by those (predominately Catholic) scholastics wrt Aristotle’s original work is instructive of the fundamental logical fallacy being propagated by the blog site which falsely calls itself ‘Skeptical Science’. SS has a false ‘a priori’ pre-science premise. SS’s false ‘a priori’ pre-science premise is the existence of an authoritative scientific consensus which they posit as being all the IPCC products and only that science which supports the IPCC CAGWism.

    By its very nature SS contains the epitome of basic logical error. Their continuing descent into irrationalism is inevitable unless they remove their fallacious fundamental logical thinking.

    John

  154. ali says:
    April 22, 2012 at 6:56 am
    His lordship doesn’t know the difference between induction and a formal argument, I’m afraid. Defering to the opinion of experts instead of a pompous dilettante, for example, is not a “fallacy”.

    Sorry, but your statement’s a fallacy. An opinion is merely an opinion, and a pompous dilettante may have just as well-informed an opinion on a subject — or many subjects — as an expert.

  155. Various trolls have tried to confuse the issue of whether the climate-extremist case is illogical by making some unsupported (and false) allegations. Let me respond to them.

    Mr. House says the holocaust (which was not mentioned in the article by me that is the head posting in this thread) was “not based on scientific consensus”. It was indeed based on a particularly unpleasant and very widespread scientific consensus: eugenics. The hateful notion that if humans were bred like racehorses the stock would be strengthened was accepted and actively promoted by the scientific community throughout Europe in the decades before the Second World War. It was only a short step from that notion to the kindred notion that the Jews were less than human, would pollute the stock if they were allowed to breed, and should accordingly be rounded up and first isolated and then murdered. If skeptical scientists had spoken up plainly when governments and fashionable newspapers and Leagues of Health and Beauty were openly spouting eugenicist nonsense, the holocaust might not have happened. At least the scientists should have tried, rather than cowering in silence when faced with the “consensus”.

    Mr. House also says: “If someone manages to create an impression of scientific consensus, they win.” Win what? To anyone properly instructed in logic, an impression of scientific consensus, or even the reality of scientific consensus (if there were one) would not in any way colour the examination of the question whether the proposition to which the imagined consensus is said to assent is true. To any seeker after objective truth, the argument from consensus is a fallacy. Anyone seeking to depend upon it to demonstrate a scientific result is merely perpetrating and perpetuating that fallacy, and no attempts to muddy the waters by those unfamiliar with logic (or familiar with logic but wicked) will alter the fact that the question whether or not there is a scientific consensus has no bearing on objective scientific truth.

    SystemsThinker makes the unsupported allegation that I am guilty of the straw-man fallacy, but fails to supply, still less to provide evidence for, a single instance. This sort of comment is mere yah-boo, and is the unfailing mark of a troll.

    Ali makes the unsupported and nonsensical allegation that “His Lordship does not know the difference between induction and a formal argument.” Again, not a single instance or reason for this allegation is either given or supported by any evidence. However, Ali should know that induction is itself a species of formal argument, and that he is accordingly making the rather silly statement that I am unfamiliar with the distinction between a subset and a set.

    Ali also says that “Deferring to the opinion of experts … is not a fallacy”. It is a fallacy, and a very commonplace one: the fallacy of reputation or of appeal to authority. As the head posting makes explicit, merely because we are told many experts say they believe a proposition to be true, it does not necessarily follow that the proposition is true. There may or may not be many experts who say they believe the proposition to be true; their reputations as experts may or may not be justified; they may or may not say they believe it to be true; they may or may not believe it to be true; even if they believe it to be true, they may or may not be acting uprightly in accordance with their expertise and reputation; and, even if they are acting in accordance with their reputation, they may be wrong. To cite Huxley again: “The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. To him, skepticism is the highest of duties: blind faith the one unpardonable sin.” Al-Haytham made the same point. Or, to put it in Michael Crichton’s succinct words: “If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus.”

    Myrrh says that to rely upon Aristotle’s fallacies is to rely upon “an unproven claim by consensus”. While it is welcome that Myrrh now recognizes that the argument from consensus is a fallacy, for otherwise he could not reasonably have sought to rely upon it, his allegation that Aristotle’s fallacies represent a “consensus” – indeed, an “unproven consensus” – is unsupported. As I have explained in an earlier comment, since mathematics and logic became fused in the quite recent discipline of mathematical logic it has become possible to use remarkably rigorous mathematical techniques – in particular, the technique of propositional calculus, which in turn depends upon Boolean algebra – to demonstrate formally that the fallacies codified by Aristotle are indeed fallacies. They are fallacies not because there is a consensus that they are fallacies but because they have been demonstrated rigorously to be fallacies, just as Pythagoras’ Theorem is true not because there is a consensus to the effect that it is true but because it has been demonstrated rigorously to be true.

    And, as I have pointed out before, those who consider that science is or ought to be done by head-count among “experts” [x, an unknown quantity; spurt, a drip under pressure], the near-unanimous consensus in the peer-reviewed literature of the science of economics holds that attempting to mitigate global warming is so cost-ineffective in comparison with the far lesser and later cost of focused adaptation to any adverse consequences of warming that little or no spending on CO2 mitigation is justifiable today. The argument from consensus is a fallacy: but those who – largely for political reasons – find it expedient to adhere to that fallacy must understand that the economic consensus is implacably against them. The correct policy to address a non-problem is to have the courage to do nothing. Since the premium exceeds the cost of the risk, don’t insure: that is a precautionary principle worthy of the name.

  156. Bill Tuttle, at April 21, 2012 at 10:10 am, wrote:

    “What you effectively said was that Lord Monckton fabricated his statements. Re-read them, and if you still think he’s misrepresented anything, be specific about which statements you object to.”

    Yes, that is what I mean. I suspect Monckton just invented some statements that are allegedly made by climate scientists, or he distorted the real arguments made by the scientists too a large degree. One example from his original article:

    ““But it’s only if we include a strong warming effect from Man’s CO2 emissions that we can reproduce the observed warming of the past 60 years. We cannot think of any other reason for the warming.” That argument from the UN’s climate panel, the IPCC,…”

    I do not know where the IPCC (what does he mean with “the IPCC” anyway? The IPCC-Report?) used this argument, particularly that the given reasoning for the statement in the first sentence was the one in the second sentence as asserted by Monckton. I strongly suspect he made this up.

    In your comment at April 22, 2012 at 12:51 am, you still try to free Monckton from the burden of proof for his assertions. You still try to shift the burden of proof for his sources toward me, that I hadn’t done my homework, if I didn’t know what his sources were. I do not accept this. I also don’t see what this has to do anything with on what papers I was a co-author. Are you claiming, being a co-author on those papers would make Monckton’s random elaborations he did somewhere where he may have provided the sources a mandatory reading material for me? I don’t think so.

  157. It amuses me how the liberal minded, concerned about the climate and tending to scoff at christian viewpoints as benighted so readily sermonize on a doomed future. People should think more about where they get their ideas.

  158. Monckton of Brenchley, April 21, 2012 at 9:56 am, wrote:

    “In that event, can it be demonstrated that climate sensitivity is low? Yes, it can. We have been adding CO2 and other greenhouse gases to the atmosphere in appreciable quantities since 1750, and the radiative forcing we have caused since that date is about 3.1 Watts per square meter – a forcing equivalent to five-sixths of the 3.7 Watts per square meter that is the IPCC’s current estimate of the CO2 radiative forcing. Yet global warming since 1750 is only 0.9 Celsius degrees, of which some fraction is attributable to a natural recovery of global temperatures after the Little Ice Age. Even if all of the warming since 1750 were our fault, climate sensitivity would be little more than 1 Celsius degree per CO2 doubling, implying zero or somewhat net-negative feedbacks.”

    It sounds generous, when Monckton assumes for his little calculation that all the warming was “our fault”, strengthening his argument effectively, because the assumption is not in favor of it. But not including the about +0.3 W/m^2 solar radiative forcing is only the smaller neglect. The much larger neglect, which strongly favors his assertion of a “low” climate sensitivity, is plainly ignoring the strongly negative aerosol forcing of -1.4 W/m^2 (Ramanathan and Carmichael, 2008, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ngeo156), which may have counteracted up to 50% (+/-25%) of the forcing due to greenhouse gases since pre-industrial times. Thus, including the missing forcings, and repeating the back on the envelope calculation gives then an estimate for the climate sensitivity of about 1.7 K for a doubling of CO2 instead, which is not in contradiction to the values in the IPCC Report 2007 (that says very likely > 1.5 K).

    One also would have to take into consideration that the sensitivity for CO2-doubling is for the equilibrium state, but the observed present day temperature change since pre-industrial time is not the equilibrium temperature change due to present day forcing. The system is not in equilibrium because of the heat flux into the ocean abysses. It would take thousands of years to reach the equilibrium.

  159. Monckton of Brenchley: “…merely because we are told many experts say they believe a proposition to be true, it does not necessarily follow that the proposition is true. “

    The argument from authority is legitimate as long as the authority in question is genuine and there is a consensus of experts on the subject.

    One can then make a valid argument, caveats notwithstanding, that a genuine authority is likely to be right about his subject of expertise, or at least more likely to be right than wrong, and more likely to be correct that the non-expert.

    Admittedly, the argument from authority is not very strong, so it’s interesting that in disputing the argument Lord Monckton cites three authorities of his own.

  160. Ms Delman may not understand logic, but she definetely has Monckton beat on the basis of cuteness…. ;-D

  161. Jan P. Perlwitz:

    “Santer originally said it would take 15 years — it was only after he saw 15 years of no change that he moved the goalposts to 17 years.”

    I naively would assume how many years are needed isn’t a question of a normative, just making up some number by definition, a “goalpost”, some magical threshold. I rather would think this is a question that only can be answered by analyzing the actual data. How long does it take until the trend can be seen for a given background noise due to natural variability? The answer may vary depending on the magnitude of the noise and the slope of the trend. If a trend is larger it will take less years, if the trend is smaller it will take more years.

    What is it exactly are you saying here? Do you mean to say that Santer did not do said analysis? Do you agree with him or disagree?

    Did he or did he not analyze actual data and come up with 17 years?

    Do you mean that this number might be different 2 years from now? Considering that trend for last 15 years was essentially 0, how much more than those 2 years would we need if it stays that way?

    In any event, can you actually tell us what is the number is?

    Considering how important this number is to CAGW side, I’d expect you to have an automated script doing this analysis on daily basis.

    As someone who does models, you should appreciate that models are nothing without proper validation, and since this number goes directly to that, I’d expect you to be able to answer this question very easily.

    Or you just hoping that 2 years from now you’ll be able to come up with some other explanation as to why it is 17 years of no warming trend is still not conclusive?

  162. Goldie on April 21, 2012 at 5:02 pm said:
    ” Please can Josh make a poster of these, I’ll gladly pay for it! ”

    You mean of the Aristotelian fallacies, or of Aristotelian Climate perhaps, as the original article might have it ?

    Yes, I’d buy the T-shirt.

    For impact though, it might be better to do just one at a time. His ensembles really do contain so much talent and hard work, though I think they might be better appreciated as individual cartoons. A series perhaps.

    Josh is certainly the ‘ cartoonist in residence ‘ we first think of and rely on to convey these messages in an effective way.

  163. Jan P. Perlwitz says:
    April 22, 2012 at 11:30 am

    “May have counteracted……”? This based upon a model and not observation I take it.

  164. It is interesting how desperately some commenters try to keep alive the discredited and discreditable notion that, as Brendan H puts it, “the argument from authority is legitimate as long as the authority in question is genuine and there is a consensus of experts on the subject”. No. In scientific discourse the argument from authority is not legitimate under any circumstances. As Huxley says: “The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. To him, skepticism is the highest of duties: blind faith the one unpardonable sin.” All that Brendan H is really asserting is that he would prefer the headcount fallacy and the reputation fallacy not to be fallacies, so that the climate extremists might continue to rely upon them in the absence of real-world confirmation of their fanciful predictions. But fallacies they are, and mere otiose repetition of them does not alter that fact.

    Mr. Perlwitz seems not to understand how scientific discourse is conducted. It is not appropriate for him merely to assume that I have, as he puts it, “fabricated” the climate-extremist arguments that were outlined and demonstrated as fallacies in my article for the Financial Post in Canada. To make a baseless accusation that a statement has been “fabricated” is a libel, and a serious one. Mr. Perlwitz is not entitled to make any such allegation unless he is sure of his facts, which in the present instance he is not.

    Only after some pressure from other commenters, he finally attempts to support his previously unsupported allegation by saying I had fabricated the IPCC’s argument that it is only if a substantial influence from CO2 be posited that its models can reproduce the warming of recent decades. Yet that is one of the most prominent arguments advanced not only by the IPCC but also by its acolytes and adherents worldwide, over and over again. The IPCC’s 2007 report even illustrates its fallacious argument by showing model-generated graphs of global temperature flatlining if no warming from CO2 is assumed, and only rising in accordance with observation if a high climate sensitivity is assumed. This is a spectacular example of the argumentum ad ignorantiam – the argument from ignorance, which is a fallacy.

    In future, Mr. Perlwitz should be very careful indeed before making unsubstantiated and libelous allegations that I have fabricated evidence. He works for a federally-funded organization that profits mightily by the climate scare, and the courts have in the past held such organizations responsible for the libels of their servants, even when those servants have not stated that their allegation is made by or on behalf of the organization. The civilized approach, if he would like to imagine that I have made something up but has no evidence whatsoever that I have done so, would have been to get in touch with me, be specific about which point or points he considers to have been fabricated and why, and ask for my comments before shooting his unscientific mouth off.

    Mr. Perlwitz – one hopes that he is not writing his libels on the taxpayer’s dime, and unless he withdraws his allegation of “fabrication” very smartly enquiries will be made of his masters to draw their attention to his libels and to ensure that he does not have their backing in perpetrating them – also takes me to task for having determined climate sensitivity incorrectly. His contention is that I failed to make allowance for a very strongly negative aerosol forcing that has been widely posited in the literature. The aerosol forcing is highly speculative (it is yet another quantity that can neither be measured nor inferred by any theoretical method, and even its sign is in doubt), and is really best seen as a fudge-factor to make climate sensitivity higher than it is, See, for instance, Murphy et al., 2009, where it is assumed – on no evidence – that the negative aerosol forcing altogether cancels the positive forcing from CO2 over the period of study. See also the IPCC’s 2007 report, which adopts a not dissimilar approach, again with no very sound basis either in theory or in observation.

    But let us be kind and assume a quite strongly negative forcing of, say, 1.1 W/m2 from anthropogenic non-greenhouse forcings. Since 1750, whence IPCC dates our influence on climate, a recent study (Blasing, 2011) shows 3.1 W/m2 of forcing from our greenhouse-gas emissions, less the 1.1 W/m2 from non-GHG influences. Global temperature had risen by 0.5 C° from 1750-1983 (Hansen, 1984), with a further 0.3 C° since (HadCRUt3, 2011). Of this 0.8 C° warming, 50 to 100% may be manmade. Thus, the 261-year transient climate sensitivity parameter is (0.4 to 0.8)/(3 – 1) = 0.2 to 0.4 C° per Watt per square meter. Multiplying by the forcing at CO2 doubling, i.e. 5.35 ln 2 W/m2 (Myhre et al., 2001, cited by IPCC, 2001, 2007), one obtains a transient sensitivity of 0.75 to 1.5 C° by 2100, when CO2 concentration will have doubled. Dividing this value by 0.7, the fraction of all forcings attributable to CO2, allows for non-CO2 forcings, so that expected warming over the 21st century would then be 1.1 to 2.1 C° to 2100, 32 to 62% of IPCC’s central estimate of 3.4 C° on the A2 emission scenario, and also well above the 2.8 C° implicit central estimate of the IPCC (taking the average of the projections on all six emission scenarios). Even Mr. Perlwitz says the sensitivity is only 1.7 C°, a long way below the 2.8 C° central estimate of the IPCC.

    I do not think it likely that the non-greenhouse forcings are anything like as strongly negative as the climate extremists have to assume in order to maintain a case for high climate sensitivity in the teeth of the evidence that warming is not even occurring at the very least rate predicted by the IPCC in 1990. Yet in the above calculation I have assumed it, purely for the sake of argument. The truth is that all of the quantities whose values must be determined with some precision in order to obtain a respectably reliable projection of climate sensitivity are either altogether unknown (such as the aerosol forcing and all temperature feefbacks) or not known to a sufficient precision (such as the CO2 forcing and the Planck parameter). I have said it before and I shall say it again: in the absence of proper knowledge of the relevant quantities, there is no, repeat no, scientific basis for any assumption that climate sensitivity will be anywhere near as high as the IPCC and its followers would like us to believe.

    Lest anyone should think I have been too tough on Mr. Perlwitz in this reply, it is really unacceptable that he or anyone should carelessly make allegations that I have fabricated the arguments of the usual suspects. A serious allegation deserves an appropriately tough response. Perhaps he will now be kind enough to withdraw his malevolent and unfounded allegation.

  165. So, you have gone from “there is no consensus” to “there is a consensus, but it’s ‘argumentum ad populum’.” Desperate times for the non-believers, I say!

    ‘ “Monckton says he’s a member of the House of Lords, but the Clerk of the Parliaments says he isn’t, so everything he says is nonsense.” That is the argumentum ad hominem, the attack on the man rather than on his argument. ‘ Can you really trust a man who so grossly misrepresents himself. I’m a member of the House Of Lords, too. Or maybe I’m the PM. Mr. Monckton seems to think these things don’t matter. Words and truth matter.

    Very illogical, Mr. Monckton!

  166. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 22, 2012 at 1:02 pm
    I do not think it likely that the non-greenhouse forcings are anything like as strongly negative as the climate extremists have to assume in order to maintain a case for high climate sensitivity in the teeth of the evidence that warming is not even occurring at the very least rate predicted by the IPCC in 1990. Yet in the above calculation I have assumed it, purely for the sake of argument. The truth is that all of the quantities whose values must be determined with some precision in order to obtain a respectably reliable projection of climate sensitivity are either altogether unknown (such as the aerosol forcing and all temperature feefbacks) or not known to a sufficient precision (such as the CO2 forcing and the Planck parameter). I have said it before and I shall say it again: in the absence of proper knowledge of the relevant quantities, there is no, repeat no, scientific basis for any assumption that climate sensitivity will be anywhere near as high as the IPCC and its followers would like us to believe.

    Your conclusion doesn’t follow.

    ‘there is no, repeat no, scientific basis for any any assumption that there is any climate sensitivity at all.

    Is the logical conclusion.

    If you’d end your pieces logically, the rest of your arguments would make excellent sense.

  167. Hold the phone, Jan. You work at GISS and claim to have never read the IPCC Report, you keep twisting my words (“You still try to shift the burden of proof for his sources toward me”), you insist on sources for statements that have been in the news and the subject of debate in the very fields you’ve authored papers on, and then you state (April 22, 2012 at 11:30 am) : “The system is not in equilibrium because of the heat flux into the ocean abysses” and don’t even bother to reference it.

    Now you have a real problem, because according to your sister organization, NOAA, the “ocean abysses” have been cooling since 2005… http://www.nodc.noaa.gov/OC5/3M_HEAT_CONTENT/

    Or did you base your statement of one of your computer simulations?

  168. Pierre says:
    April 22, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    So, you have gone from “there is no consensus” to “there is a consensus, but it’s ‘argumentum ad populum’.” Desperate times for the non-believers, I say!

    ‘ “Monckton says he’s a member of the House of Lords, but the Clerk of the Parliaments says he isn’t, so everything he says is nonsense.” That is the argumentum ad hominem, the attack on the man rather than on his argument. ‘ Can you really trust a man who so grossly misrepresents himself….
    __________________________________
    This is how he represented himself.

    “The House of Lords Act 1999 debarred all but 92 of the 650 Hereditary Peers, including my father, from sitting or voting, and purported to – but did not – remove membership of the Upper House. Letters Patent granting peerages, and consequently membership, are the personal gift of the Monarch. Only a specific law can annul a grant. The 1999 Act was a general law. The then Government, realizing this defect, took three maladroit steps: it wrote asking expelled Peers to return their Letters Patent (though that does not annul them); in 2009 it withdrew the passes admitting expelled Peers to the House (and implying they were members); and it told the enquiry clerks to deny they were members: but a written Parliamentary Answer by the Lord President of the Council admits that general legislation cannot annul Letters Patent, so I am The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley (as my passport shows), a member of the Upper House but without the right to sit or vote, and I have never pretended otherwise.”

    Monckton, on returning from Australia from his tour this autumn, consulted Hugh O’Donoghue, a leading constitutional lawyer at Carmelite Chambers, overlooking the River Thames just a mile downstream from the Houses of Parliament. His question: “Am I or am I not a member of the House of Lords?”

    There is no deception on the part of Christopher Monckton. He has never claimed he was a voting member of the House of Lords in the UK. He inherited the title the Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley from his father and grandfather before that. It is indeed inscribed on his passport as such, I can confirm. (Jo Nova)

    ….O’Donoghue, who specializes in difficult human-rights cases and Peerage law, spent months carefully researching Monckton’s question. He says Lord Monckton “was and is correct at all points”. The conclusion of his 11-page opinion (see PDF at bottom of this article) , reviewing 1000 years of Peerage law, is clear on the issue:

    “Lord Monckton’s statement that he is a member of the House of Lords, albeit without the right to sit or vote, is unobjectionable. His claim is not a false or misleading claim. It is legitimate, proportionate, and reasonable. Likewise, Lord Monckton was correct when he wrote to the US Congress that ‘Letters Patent granting Peerages, and consequently membership [of the House of Lords], are the personal gift of the Monarch. Only a specific law can annul a grant. The 1999 Act was a general law.’ He legitimately drew attention to a parliamentary answer by no less a personage than the Leader of the House, making it plain that the Act was a general law and not a particular law that might have had the effect of revoking Letters Patent. We now have the recent authority of the High Court, in the Mereworth case, for Lord Monckton’s assertion that the 1999 Act did not revoke or annul his Letters Patent. Unless and until such revocation takes place, Lord Monckton remains a member of the House of Lords, and he is fully entitled to say so.”

    O’Donoghue-lords-opinion (PDF 335k)

    Seems you are very very WRONG because you did not do a simple internet search.

  169. Pierre says:
    April 22, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    ‘ “Monckton says he’s a member of the House of Lords, but the Clerk of the Parliaments says he isn’t, so everything he says is nonsense.”…

    Can you really trust a man who so grossly misrepresents himself. I’m a member of the House Of Lords, too. Or maybe I’m the PM. Mr. Monckton seems to think these things don’t matter. Words and truth matter.
    ————————-

    You claiming that you are a “member of the House Of Lords” and Monckton’s claim to be essentially an honorary member of the HOL’s are not equivalent. Monckton has some traditional/historical basis for his claim. He is a lord afterall. You may buy it or not, but he’s not just making it up out of thin air. The clerk of the HOL’s, Beamish, actually isn’t the final word on the matter either. It seems like one of those things that would have to be settled in court.

    [Reply: And that will end the discussion of this particular subject. Whoever is right is immaterial. This question of peerage brings out endless ad hominem accusations and counter-accusations. Further comments on Monckton of Brencheley’s peerage status will be deleted. ~dbs, mod.]

  170. Reason is something that can take root in the mind independently of culture. It’s a product of Mother Nature and the architecture of the human mind. (Or some human minds.) A study of the classics gives one training in logical thinking, but that training is not strictly a necessity. How did Aristotle discover these fallacies? Perhaps Socrates was his teacher — or someone else — and perhaps Socrates or the someone else, in turn, had a splendid teacher. But farther back, somebody somewhere has to have had the “ah ha!” moment, and my guess is that Aristotle had his own “ah ha!” And a certain human urgency requires each of us to seek his or her own “ah ha!”

    Whoever lacks at least some acquaintance with a classical education has our sympathy, but still has no excuse. The illogic of the AGW arguments has always been visible to anyone who has cared to look. And the motives of the illogic have not been all that difficult to discover either.

  171. “An appeal to authority” may be one of the logical fallacies that is the hardest to spot. The accumution of Man’s knowledge and education depends on accepting what something someone else has said true. Where it becomes a fallacy is when what they said proves to be wrong. Thomas Edison (Was he a “scientist”?) accomplished great things. He said that transmitting DC power was better than transmitting AC. Was he right or wrong? To say he was right because he invented the light bulb would be a logical fallacy.
    (Now, someone might say that he promoted DC, not because he actually believed it was better than AC but because stood to gain $$ by DC over AC transmission. That brings us back to “Follow the Money”.)

  172. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 22, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Various trolls have tried to confuse the issue of whether the climate-extremist case is illogical by making some unsupported (and false) allegations. Let me respond to them.

    Mr. House says the holocaust (which was not mentioned in the article by me that is the head posting in this thread) was “not based on scientific consensus”. It was indeed based on a particularly unpleasant and very widespread scientific consensus: eugenics. The hateful notion that if humans were bred like racehorses the stock would be strengthened was accepted and actively promoted by the scientific community throughout Europe in the decades before the Second World War. It was only a short step from that notion to the kindred notion that the Jews were less than human, would pollute the stock if they were allowed to breed, and should accordingly be rounded up and first isolated and then murdered.
    ===========================================
    Let me tell you first, Christopher, why I do not call my opponents here „trolls“ or any other names. It is not just because it would be unethical, it is mainly for the reason, that if I did that, it would damage MY reputation in the first place, not theirs, and then people would take my comments less seriously.

    To your Holocaust example, I have never heard of a scientific consensus specifically on, as you put it, „that the Jews were less than human, would pollute the stock if they were allowed to breed, and should accordingly be rounded up and first isolated and then murdered.“ You are welcome to provide the evidence, otherwise it looks like just an unsupported claim.

    On the other hand, you are completely overlooking another „forcing“: anti-Semitism. Just consider a few things.

    First, Jews were traditionally portrayed in the Christian religion as „god killers“. Second, this is what the father of Protestantism wrote 400 years before eugenics: „What shall we Christians do with this rejected and condemned people, the Jews? …I shall give you my sincere advice: First, to set fire to their synagogues or schools and to bury and cover with dirt whatever will not burn, so that no man will ever again see a stone or cinder of them. This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians, …Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed… Fifth, I advise that safe-conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews. …For you, too, must not and cannot protect them unless you wish to become participants in an their abominations in the sight of God.. Now let me commend these Jews sincerely to whoever feels the desire to shelter and feed them, to honor them, to be fleeced, robbed, plundered, defamed, vilified, and cursed by them, and to suffer every evil at their hands — these venomous serpents and devil’s children, who are the most vehement enemies of Christ our Lord and of us all…“ (http://www.awitness.org/books/luther/on_jews_and_their_lies_p2.html)

    Third, the German nazi party stated in their program: „The Party as such advocates the standpoint of a positive Christianity without binding itself confessionally to any one denomination.“ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Socialist_Program#The_25-point_Program_of_the_NSDAP)

    You can connect the dots.

    We can also talk a little bit about the role of the peace loving UK, that prevented the Jews from finding the refuge in Palestine in times of the highest danger in 1939. Palestine was assigned by the League of Nations as a homeland for the Jewish people and the UK got a mandate to administer it. This is how they did it in 1939: they issued the White Paper of 1939, where „a limit of 75,000 Jewish immigrants was set for the five-year period 1940-1944, consisting of a regular yearly quota of 10,000, and a supplementary quota of 25,000, spread out over the same period, to cover refugee emergencies. After this cut-off date, further immigration would depend on the permission of the Arab majority“ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Paper_of_1939). The future 6 million victims had no chance.

    So, I think it would be nice, if you could just drop your Holocaust example.

  173. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 22, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Mr. House also says: “If someone manages to create an impression of scientific consensus, they win.” Win what? To anyone properly instructed in logic, an impression of scientific consensus, or even the reality of scientific consensus (if there were one) would not in any way colour the examination of the question whether the proposition to which the imagined consensus is said to assent is true.
    ============================================
    I am very glad, Christopher, that you are starting to ask questions, I just hope, that your „Win what?“ is not just rhetorical.

    I can tell you, what they win. Of course, not a scientific debate, because it is a fallacy, as you perfectly put it. They win the public opinion. You really need to realise that. They actually already won the public opinion and the one of the politicians long ago, remember Kyoto Protocol?

    And now you believe to reverse that by just pointing out to the logical fallacies? I am sorry, it is not realistic.

    You need to understand, that people always rely on what they are told by respected authorities including scientific ones, like Royal Society or NASA or whatever. This is the reality. Telling people about logical fallacies will not change that. Besides, what are you offering them beside believing you and your references to the papers they will never read? Why should they favour your opinion over the „scientific consensus“? The answer is, they will never do that, except for maybe very few impressed by your personality.

  174. Greg House says:

    “I have never heard of a scientific consensus specifically on, as you put it, ‘that the Jews were less than human, would pollute the stock if they were allowed to breed, and should accordingly be rounded up and first isolated and then murdered.’ You are welcome to provide the evidence, otherwise it looks like just an unsupported claim.”

    Have you never heard of Mein Kampf ?? And if you don’t believe that the consensus supported the book’s author, you are out of touch with reality. So let’s just forget the “denier” and “denialist” pejoratives, OK?

  175. Mr. House persists in maundering on about the Holocaust, and tells me to “drop” my “Holocaust example”, when my article for the Financial Post did not mention the Holocaust. It was he, not I, who introduced the topic to this thread. This is trollery, and I call a troll a troll, just as I call a spade a spade. Perhaps he had better drop his Holocaust example: in the circumstances it is an instance of ignoratio elenchi, the red-herring fallacy.

  176. Smokey says:
    April 22, 2012 at 3:28 pm
    Have you never heard of Mein Kampf ??
    =============================================
    Is it possible, that you somehow missed the point? Cristopher attributed Holocaust to scientific consensus and I disagreed. Did “Mein Kampf” represent scientific consensus? I do not think so. I mean scientific consensus, not antisemitic or religios consensus. You need to see the difference.

  177. Jan P. Perlwitz says:
    April 22, 2012 at 10:57 am
    Bill Tuttle, at April 21, 2012 at 10:10 am, wrote:

    “What you effectively said was that Lord Monckton fabricated his statements. Re-read them, and if you still think he’s misrepresented anything, be specific about which statements you object to.”

    Yes, that is what I mean. I suspect Monckton just invented some statements that are allegedly made by climate scientists, or he distorted the real arguments made by the scientists to a large degree.

    The use of quotation marks in cases like these is problematic. Their ought to be a punctuation mark that signifies paraphrase. It places too great a burden on an arguer in a rapid-fire environment to provide sources for certain claims that were indisputably made by the opposition. (Of course, it’s helpful to the arguer’s case if he does so–in a footnote. It would be helpful for some WUWTer to provide a list of citations that form a basis for Monckton’s paraphrases.) And it’s helpful to be able to “boil down” (summarize and clarify) what an opponent’s remarks amount to, provided it’s done fairly.

    I think most readers understand when paraphrase-type “quotation marks” have been used, and I think it’s pettifoggery to object to their being inaccurate merely because that exact wording wasn’t used by any one spokesman. I’ve rarely seen WUWTers raise that objection when a warmist comes here and employs that tactic. (Or maybe I’ve expunged the bad memory of my side doing so in cases where the paraphrase was fair.) Paraphrase-quotes sharpen the issue and save time.

    Has anyone any suggestions as to what such punctuation marks might consist of? I think they ought to be at least two characters long, so they stand out and alert the reader that something unusual is being signified. A pair of asterisks, maybe? Or an asterisk “inside” the quotation mark, buffered perhaps by a space?

  178. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 22, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Mr. House persists in maundering on about the Holocaust, and tells me to “drop” my “Holocaust example”, when my article for the Financial Post did not mention the Holocaust. It was he, not I, who introduced the topic to this thread.
    ==============================================
    Cristopher, the problem is, that in your presentations you use your Holocaust example as an illustration of the very idea you expressed on this thread, namely that people should not blindly rely on scientific consensus, and you refer to DDT ban and Holocaust. This is the connection.

    I do not command you what to say, it is entirely your choice. Your Holocaust example is indeed rhetorically impressive, let us hope you will be lucky enough not to be confronted with arguments like mine on the issue by someone from the audience or the press.

  179. rogerkni,

    When paraphrasing [actually, when quoting someone’s word with a different suffix because the original root word is clumsy in response], I use a single apostrophe, ‘like this’, instead of “quotation marks.”

    I agree, quotation marks must enclose only a verbatim quote, with no changes whatever.

    But I would give the benefit of the doubt to the one using quotation marks. They have the choice then of identifying the quotation, or apologizing for misquoting.

  180. To paraphrase Jerry Lee Lewis- ‘Whole lotta obfuscation goin’ on !!’

    Greg House’s posts are indicative of a cluttered and confused mind. Not very clear and making every attempt to keep the conversation that way. Perhaps this is more comfortable for him.

  181. Greg House says:

    “Cristopher attributed Holocaust to scientific consensus and I disagreed.”

    Then Christopher is right and you are wrong. A few years ago a media personality [forget who, but I could find it if I felt like it] specifically equated skeptics of runaway global warming with Holocaust deniers. Despicable.

  182. If it takes just four years of study to learn to recognize rot, well then that sounds like a great investment of four years to me! I never studied the classics and hence fall for rot fairly often. It actually took me a fair while to eventually determine that CAGW is rot.

  183. David Ball says:
    April 22, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    To paraphrase Jerry Lee Lewis- ‘Whole lotta obfuscation goin’ on !!’
    Greg House’s posts are indicative of a cluttered and confused mind. Not very clear and making every attempt to keep the conversation that way. Perhaps this is more comfortable for him.
    ============================================
    And this comes after Lord Monckton’s extensive explanations of logical fallacies like ad hominem? It might be very frustrating for him.

    On the other hand, it confirms my point about ineffectiveness of such an approach.

  184. Greg House,

    Both sides point out logical fallacies. You know why? Because words matter.

    Otherwise you would see folks refer to AGW “Theory”…

    …oh, wait…

  185. Smokey says:
    April 22, 2012 at 4:56 pm
    Greg House says:
    “Cristopher attributed Holocaust to scientific consensus and I disagreed.”
    ———–
    Then Christopher is right and you are wrong.
    ====================================================
    So, you mean there was scientific consensus on “Jews should be killed”? Just present the evidence.

    Was there something like IPJ (International Pannel on Jews)? Did the Royal Society issued their verdict? Or Swedish Academy and so on? No?

  186. Mr. House, really, just about everyone on the planet realizes that the holocaust was enabled based on very deep seated anti-Semitism at that time including, I am sure, Mr. Monckton. In order for the populous to willingly go along with murder, they had to find a way to completely de humanize them. Thus, a scientific consensus concluding the Jewish race was sub human was concocted to further that end.

    Jim

  187. @ Jan P. Perlwitz

    If 17 years is the time where you can say that signal can be deduced from the noise then what do you think the warming trend is likely to be in two years? Have you actually thought about the consequences of what you have said?

    For 2012 to be warmer than 2010 we will need some seriously powerful el-nino event. So far 2012 looks similar to 2011 which would put it as one of the coolest years in the last decade. Even if 2012 was by some amazing event as warm as 2010 the trend for the last 17 years is unlikely to indicate significant warming. If both 2013 and 2012 were somehow as warm or warmer than 2010 the 15 year trend would still be very very flat. So where does that leave climate sensitivity to CO2?

    You should think about what you are saying if you are having an argument.

  188. Greg House says:
    April 22, 2012 at 5:13 pm
    More indication of confusion. I made an observation of the lack of clarity in his writing.

  189. Philip Mulholland says:
    April 22, 2012 at 5:43 pm
    A weak mind would try to dismiss Monckton as wrong about climate because he is not a lord. Oh, right, that is what you have done.

  190. “Just because we are told that many people say they believe a thing to be so, that is no evidence that many people say it, still less that they believe it, still less that it is so.”

    This sentence doesn’t parse. You can’t have less than no evidence, and the alternate reading that there is “less evidence that it is so” is not a general principle. A lot of people can believe something, and they might even be right. Or a very few people can believe something and that too can be correct.

  191. JimJ says:
    April 22, 2012 at 5:34 pm
    Thus, a scientific consensus concluding the Jewish race was sub human was concocted to further that end.
    ====================================================
    Jim, the primary question is, whether there was a scientific consensus on Jews or killing Jews. Lord Monckton has not provided any evidence yet. You are welcome to help him. Evidence, Jim.

    Another thing regarding his analogies is, that he actually delivers the message to the audience, that there is indeed a scientific consensus on global warming (but this scientific consensus might be wrong like the one on DDT or Jews etc). As a result, the audience gets the impression, that there surely is a really strong scientific consensus on global warming, because even such a brilliant “sceptic” Lord Moncton implies it.

    Now I am asking a simple question: what are the evidences of that scientific consensus on global warming? Has Lord Monckton counted scientists? Is there a reliable study confirming such a notion? Or is it just his impression, like the one of so many laymen?

  192. Greg House says:

    “Jim, the primary question is, whether there was a scientific consensus on Jews or killing Jews. Lord Monckton has not provided any evidence yet. You are welcome to help him. Evidence, Jim.”

    That is like demanding evidence that the Sun rose in the East this morning. Why bother? So some Holocaust denier can try to dispute it? Do your own homework, the web is packed full of evidence, including pictures and videos.

    Regarding the so-called consensus on scientists supporting the belief in CAGW [which I assume is the point], there is no consensus. The real consensus agrees with this statement:

    More than 31,000 co-signers, including more than 9,000 PhD’s. And they know more than you.

  193. Wow my first snip on WUWT!
    A simple “No, you are wrong” would have been sufficient.

  194. Smokey says:
    April 22, 2012 at 7:12 pm
    Greg House says:
    “Jim, the primary question is, whether there was a scientific consensus on Jews or killing Jews. Lord Monckton has not provided any evidence yet. You are welcome to help him. Evidence, Jim.”

    That is like demanding evidence that the Sun rose in the East this morning. Why bother? So some Holocaust denier can try to dispute it?
    ===================================================
    Smokey, is it possible, that you confused something?

    I am not asking for evidences of Holocaust, please, note it. I have asked Lord Monckton and anyone for evidence of SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS, that according to Lord Monckton resulted in Holocaust.

    These are 2 completely different things, Smokey.

  195. Smokey says:
    April 22, 2012 at 7:12 pm
    Regarding the so-called consensus on scientists supporting the belief in CAGW [which I assume is the point], there is no consensus. The real consensus agrees with this statement:

    More than 31,000 co-signers, including more than 9,000 PhD’s. And they know more than you.
    =========================================
    You should better tell it Lord Monckton, who implies there is one, not me.

  196. Greg House says:

    “These are 2 completely different things, Smokey.”

    Not necessarily. Do a search for “Eugenics”.

  197. Smokey says:
    April 22, 2012 at 7:42 pm
    Do a search for “Eugenics”.
    ============================================
    Smokey, to me it is rather usual, that if someone states something in a debate, he is supposed to provide evidence supporting his notion, not his opponents.

  198. Greg House says –
    the primary question is, whether there was a scientific consensus on Jews or killing Jews.

    Dear Greg:
    There are museums that have exhibits dedicated to the propostion you are calling into question.

    http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007062

    http://www.ushmm.org/museum/exhibit/online/deadlymedicine/narrative/index.php?content=science

    http://www.ushmm.org/research/library/bibliography/index.php?content=nazi_racial_science

    The best history of eugenics is by historian Daniel Kevles:
    Kevles, D. J. (1995), In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and the uses of human heredity. Revised ed. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.

    Where do you thing your going to end up following this line of argument you’ve taken up? Kindly take some time to look into this. It is important history and it’s important that you know it.

  199. Philip Mulholland says:
    April 22, 2012 at 7:18 pm
    We have all been snipped. Anthony’s site. Anthothy’s rules.

  200. Greg House. You were right. it was an ad hom and uncalled for. It’s just that I watched as you entered the conversation and immediately tried to redirect the discussion. One might wonder at your motivation for doing that.
    Many have come through WUWT and have done exactly what you have done. You have your intellectual arms crossed as Erin Delman does in the photo at the top. It is not helpful or productive.

  201. James of the West says:
    April 22, 2012 at 5:42 pm
    So far 2012 looks similar to 2011 which would put it as one of the coolest years in the last decade.

    Just for the record, 2012 so far is actually much colder than 2011. I will just discuss RSS here. In 2011, the anomaly was 0.147 and 2011 ranked 12th. For the first three months of 2012, the average is (-0.058 – 0.12 + 0.075)/3 = -0.034. It will not stay there, but if it did, the rank for 2012 would be 26th. With this value after 3 months, the chances of a high rank for the year are greatly reduced. To get the present flat line for 15 years and 5 months, the average value is 0.24. So if the April value is less than 0.24, it is possible that the flat line would be extended an extra 2 months instead of 1. As a matter of fact, if April is less than 0.125, then the time is guaranteed to go to at least 15 years and 7 months of zero slope. We do not know what will happen, but it is quite possible that the 17 years with no slope will be reached much sooner than in one year and seven months. On the other hand, if we get a very strong and prolonged El Nino, we may never reach 17 years of no slope.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/from:1995/plot/rss/from:1996.83/trend/plot/esrl-co2/from:1996.83/normalise

  202. David Ball says:
    April 22, 2012 at 8:13 pm
    It’s just that I watched as you entered the conversation and immediately tried to redirect the discussion. One might wonder at your motivation for doing that.
    ==================================================
    Redirect, really? Look, what Lord Monckton wrote in the article above: “Ah,” say the believers, “but there is a consensus of scientists and learned societies.” That is the argumentum ad verecundiam, the reputation or appeal-to-authority fallacy.”

    I addressed the issue. My main idea was, that telling people they have committed a logical fallacy regarding consensus would not be an efficient argument, my argumentation see above. I do not see any reason to question my motivation.

  203. HankHenry says:
    April 22, 2012 at 7:57 pm
    Greg House says –
    the primary question is, whether there was a scientific consensus on Jews or killing Jews.

    The Holocaust encompassed more than the Jews — ten million people died in those camps from disease, malnutrition, medical experimentation (including those made in the name of eugenics), beatings, exposure, and the gas chambers. Anyone — gypsies, Slavs, Jews, Catholics, Protestants, Russian POWs — who was deemed “racially impure” or “of an inferior race” usually wound up in either a work camp or an extermination camp.

    And they wound up there because of the scientific consensus — the political prisoners arrived soon afterward…

  204. Just in case Greg House tries to pull a Jan P. on me and demand references for my statement (at 10:03pm) that the Third Reich’s Final Solution was formed on the scientific consensus of that time, let’s take a trip in the ‘WayBack Machine to 1939, specifically to see some excerpts from a paper read by Felix Tietze, MD, to the Eugenics Society on 17 January and cited in Eugenics Review, Vol XXI, No. 2.

    “Another step which to the German legislation seems to be a eugenic measure, which, indeed, is such a one from the standpoint which I explained in the beginning of my paper but would not be considered so in this country [England], was the Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour of September I5th, I935, forbidding marriage and sexual intercourse between Jews and citizens of German or related blood and containing the famous regulation that Jews are forbidden to employ in their households female citizens of German or related blood under the age of 45 years. Every German author on eugenics considers this a eugenic law.” My emphasis.
    […]
    “After having explained the importance of these three measures – the Law for the Prevention of Hereditary Disease, the Law for the Protection of the Hereditary Health of the German Nation, and the Law for the Promotion of Marriages, to give you an idea of the German conception of racial hygiene and to justify my argument at the beginning of this paper [” Eugenics is an
    objective science, i.e. applicable to each group of individuals connected with each other by procreation, without any dependence on race in the anthropological sense of the word to which this group belongs”], I want to quote from an article written by two of the most prominent German eugenists, Alfred Ploetz and Ernst Rüdin, on what seem to them to be some of the eugenic consequences attained in Germany since the Führer took power on January 30th, I933.*
    They summarize these as follows:
    Education of Germany’s young people.
    Repression of the Jewish portion of the population
    * Archiv fur Rassen-und Gesellschafts-Biologie, I938, 82, I85.” Again, my emphasis.

    Doc Tietze also scored a body slam: “Before the Third Reich all the experts were agreed about the fact that the experiences of science were still not sufficient to grant such a measure [sterilization of the unfit, marriage laws, etc.]; it was the political issue which made them change their mind.” The scientific consensus in Germany changed overnight with the injection of *politics*. So much for the vaunted high-mindedness, objectivity, and trustworthiness of scientific consensus.

    For those interested, the paper (three pages) is here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2962393/pdf/eugenrev00236-0025.pdf

  205. Monckton of Brenchley: “In scientific discourse the argument from authority is not legitimate under any circumstances.”

    We’re talking about the argument from authority in general. As long as certain conditions are met, the argument from authority is quite acceptable.

    “All that Brendan H is really asserting is that he would prefer the headcount fallacy and the reputation fallacy not to be fallacies…”

    I have yet to state my preferences, so Lord Monckton is simply broadcasting an assumption. This attempt to rewrite one’s opponent’s argument is known in the trade as the strawman fallacy.

    “…so that the climate extremists might continue to rely upon them in the absence of real-world confirmation of their fanciful predictions.”

    Lord Monckton snags a red herring, the tactic of diverting the argument to another subject. The issue is argument from authority, not Lord Monckton’s opinions about the motivations of climate scientists.

  206. Greg House says:
    April 22, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    I am not asking for evidences of Holocaust, please, note it. I have asked Lord Monckton and anyone for evidence of SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS, that according to Lord Monckton resulted in Holocaust.

    It was Hitler’s use of the Eugenics ‘theory’ which resulted in the Holocaust, and as others have pointed out, included those peoples which Hitler also wanted to elimate. The ‘demonising’ of those not considered the ‘pure race’ took on a new twist, by not having to consider them even human as racially inferior, but physically flawed it made them easier to kill (children were indoctrinated into this belief so a whole generation had no concept of seeing them as equals, much as the Spartans with their slave labour force).

    Racial purity was the addition/interpretation Hitler put on the eugenics thinking which was not included in the original – or was it?

    The eugenics theory from Darwin came from a very clear description and the argument here worth looking at: http://www.expelledexposed.com/index.php/the-truth/hitler-eugenics

    “In Expelled, Ben Stein reads a passage (omitting ellipses) that was also read by anti-evolutionist William Jennings Bryan in the Scopes trial:

    “With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated. We civilized men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination. We build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed and the sick, thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. Hardly anyone is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.” (Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, 1871.)”

    This piece argues that the next sentence is missed out and so claims Darwin wasn’t proposing such for humans:

    “But Stein does not quote the very next passage in the Descent of Man which makes clear that Darwin was not advocating eugenics. Rather, he remarked, “The aid which we feel impelled to give to the helpless is mainly an incidental result of the instinct of sympathy, which was originally acquired as part of the social instincts, but subsequently rendered, in the manner previously indicated, more tender and more widely diffused. Nor could we check our sympathy, if so urged by hard reason, without deterioration in the noblest part of our nature.”

    Two things. First the missing sentence in no way alters Darwin’s preceding points and this sentence was taken on board in the eugenics movement as it developed, hence the forced sterilisation of those considered imperfect specimens; the noble sympathy extended that far but no further. The second is Darwin begins with equating some humans less human than superior whites by calling them savages. It could be said that the ideas of eugenics grew out of the widely held belief of the ‘educated white man’, that those he met in his travels still living in more primitive conditions were racially inferior. Can eugenics as Hitler interpreted it be separated from the idea ‘widely’ held that some races were inferior?

    Can’t offhand recall those in England who argued against eugenics being incorporated into society by Acts of Parliament, an indictment on us for allowing their names to disappear from common history of important milestones.., but it was a different story as this spread to America: http://www.waragainsttheweak.com/offSiteArchive/www.sfgate.com/

    “Eugenics was born as a scientific curiosity in the Victorian age. In 1863,

    Sir Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, theorized that if talented people married only other talented people, the result would be measurably better offspring. At the turn of the last century, Galton’s ideas were imported to the United States just as Gregor Mendel’s principles of heredity were rediscovered. American eugenics advocates believed with religious fervor that the same Mendelian concepts determining the color and size of peas, corn and cattle also governed the social and intellectual character of man.

    In a United States demographically reeling from immigration upheaval and torn by post-Reconstruction chaos, race conflict was everywhere in the early 20th century. Elitists, utopians and so-called progressives fused their smoldering race fears and class bias with their desire to make a better world. They reinvented Galton’s eugenics into a repressive and racist ideology. The intent: Populate the Earth with vastly more of their own socioeconomic and biological kind — and less or none of everyone else.”

    This is the line of thinking which informed Hitler, his scientists trained in America and by support from America in setting up the science in Germany. It was scientific consensus. This was not a few people in isolation from society, it came from a consensus science fully supported by society in America, by its own laws.

    “Even the U.S. Supreme Court endorsed aspects of eugenics. In its infamous 1927 decision, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote, “It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind . . . Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” This decision opened the floodgates for thousands to be coercively sterilized or otherwise persecuted as subhuman. Years later, the Nazis at the Nuremberg trials quoted Holmes’ words in their own defense.

    Only after eugenics became entrenched in the United States was the campaign transplanted into Germany, in no small measure through the efforts of California eugenicists, who published booklets idealizing sterilization and circulated them to German officials and scientists.

    Hitler studied American eugenics laws.”

    So, I think Monckton correct here.

    Something worth bearing in mind though, is that Acts of Parliament are not Laws, they may well be generally called laws and use the term “legal” to describe them, but that does not in and of itself make them lawful. If they are against Common Law they are at the very least unlawful, at the worst, criminal in that they should never have been enacted – certainly passing them off as if laws is fraud (if asked whether a particular legislation is a law, a policeman/woman commit fraud if they say it is). Similarly, and again memory.., but legislation passed by Congress or otherwise brought into effect by imperial edict of the president of the day or ruled by judges, are not ‘lawful’ if against the Constitution/Bill of Rights, which is not a government giving rights to subject citizens, but clarification of natural rights, Common Law. We really need to understand the differences, the confusion between the two is what is exploited by those intent on making it appear their unlawful acts are legitimate. The eugenic laws passed in America were not lawful, but they were passed because of the held science consensus of the time. Just as all the carbon restrictions are passed now, because of science consensus.

    However, Greg, I do agree with you that Monckton’s style makes it appear that he agrees with consensus, and though he said not his view to something you questioned earlier, he has made it clear in other posts, to me, that he agrees with science consensus about carbon dioxide warming, the Greenhouse Effect, and brooks no argument about it.

  207. @Bill Tuttle says:
    April 23, 2012 at 12:08 am
    “Just in case Greg House tries to pull a Jan P. on me and demand references for my statement (at 10:03pm) that the Third Reich’s Final Solution was formed on the scientific consensus of that time, let’s take a trip in the ‘WayBack Machine to 1939, specifically to see some excerpts from a paper read by Felix Tietze, MD, to the Eugenics Society on 17 January and cited in Eugenics Review, Vol XXI, No. 2.”

    ===========================
    Ah, finally. The reference requested by G.H. With that, you may stick a fork in him Bill, ’cause he’s done.

  208. And I’ll add a p.s. having seen Brendan H’s post while waiting for mine to appear.

    Monckton says of me: “While it is welcome that Myrrh now recognizes that the argument from consensus is a fallacy,”

    Which is actually contrary to the truth – it was Monckton who now changes to claiming consensus is a fallacy, before this he claimed the authority of ‘settled science consensus’ re the Greenhouse Effect – and got very shirty when I asked for the actual science on which this claim is built because I don’t hold consensus as proof.

    Then as now, he promotes the idea of science as seeking the truth regardless the hurdles of science consensus, but doesn’t incorporate it into full logical expression in his conclusions.

  209. Brendan H says:
    April 23, 2012 at 12:41 am
    We’re talking about the argument from authority in general. As long as certain conditions are met, the argument from authority is quite acceptable.

    “Argument from authority” is the *definition* of the type of fallacy. Citing *an* authority who is recognized as both an expert on the subject under discussion and is acknowledged to be truthful is *not* an “argument from authority.”

    “All that Brendan H is really asserting is that he would prefer the headcount fallacy and the reputation fallacy not to be fallacies…”
    I have yet to state my preferences, so Lord Monckton is simply broadcasting an assumption. This attempt to rewrite one’s opponent’s argument is known in the trade as the strawman fallacy.
    “…so that the climate extremists might continue to rely upon them in the absence of real-world confirmation of their fanciful predictions.”

    Got a timestamp on that reply of Lord Monckton’s? He replied to Greg House, Jan Perlwitz, Systemsthinker, ali, Myrrh, Hugh Pepper, Manic Beancounter, and Don Huffman, so I obviously must have missed seeing both your tag *and* those quotes in my re-readings of his replies…

  210. Brilliant article.
    May I add a little ‘Latin’ quote which decorated the desk of a work colleague, many years ago…
    ‘Nil illegittemi carborundum…’
    (Never let the b*stards grind you down)…

  211. Two articles on the eugenics movement in Britain: http://www.secondspring.co.uk/articles/sparkes.htm

    http://www.newstatesman.com/society/2010/12/british-eugenics-disabled

    My comments in double square brackets. From the second: “Britain and America are two countries that, in recent years, have led the world in attempting to give disabled people rights and equality. During his presidency, George Bush Senior was proud to sign the Americans with Disabilities Act while the 1995 Disability Discrimination Act has gradually transformed the lives of disabled people in the UK. It may appear on the surface that the UK and USA have nothing in common with Nazi Germany, a regime that is estimated to have killed 200,000 disabled people and forcibly sterilised twice that number.

    However, there is a dark side to the history of the two partners in the “special relationship” that has quietly been forgotten and swept under the carpet. It is a history that is deeply uncomfortable, disturbing and shameful and which seems to contradict the values America and Britain claim to uphold. This makes it even more vital that light is shone upon this history. Even if it is painful to do so, the past must be confronted and acknowledged.”
    ..
    “Galton’s views were not regarded as eccentric or offensive at the time. Far from it. In fact, he received many awards during his career. He was made a fellow of the Royal Society in 1860 and was knighted shortly before he died.”

    [[The first much longer piece, gives more background on the campaign against it, G.K.Chesterton the prime mover here, but timely intervention by Horatio Donkin in a report direct to Churchill, who was Home Secretary at the time, disrupted its progress in 1910 and makes a comment pertinent in the current hijacking of science]]:

    “Eugenics fervour reached its peak in the United Kingdom in 1912, when the first International Eugenics Conference, with over 750 delegates, was held in London. It was addressed by the former Prime Minister Balfour, and attended by an enthusiast who had the power to make law in Great Britain – the Home Secretary, Winston Churchill. He called for a “simple surgical operation (sterilisation) so the inferior could be permitted freely in the world without causing much inconvenience to others.” In 1910, on becoming Home Secretary, he had asked the civil service to investigate putting into practice the Indiana law (see below): “I am drawn to it in spite of many Party misgivings. . . . Of course it is bound to come some day.” Churchill was put off by the chief Medical Advisor of Prisons, Dr. Horatio Donkin, who wrote of the Indiana arguments for eugenics: “the outcome of an arrogation of scientific knowledge by those who had no claim to it. . . . It is a monument of ignorance and hopeless mental confusion.”

    [[So Churchill still firmly a supporter of eugenics as it gained momentum in 1912]]:

    “The International Conference on Eugenics led to great public pressure for Britain to adopt eugenics laws, something Churchill was only too pleased to see. As he wrote to Prime Minister Asquith: “I am convinced that the multiplication of the Feeble-Minded, which is proceeding now at an artificial rate, unchecked by any of the old restraints of nature, and actually fostered by civilised conditions, is a terrible danger to the race.” He was wary of the cost of forced segregation, preferring compulsory sterilisation instead. In 1912, the government introduced a draft proposal, the Mental Deficiency Bill, for the compulsory detention of the feeble-minded. Hundreds of petitions arrived in Parliament urging the government on.

    Opposition seemed minimal. The Catholic Social Guild commissioned a pamphlet by Father Thomas Gerrard, which roundly condemned eugenics, but the influence of the Catholic Church was small in Britain in 1912. Indeed, Dean Inge complained that eugenics was so logical it was only opposed by “irrationalist prophets like Mr. Chesterton.” Chesterton’s response was a series of lectures, public talks and essays ridiculing what he called “the Feeble-Minded Bill.” Chesterton later compiled his arguments against eugenics into a book published in 1922 Eugenics and Other Evils. It begins:

    There exists today a scheme of action, a school of thought . . . a thing that can still be destroyed, and that ought to be destroyed. . . . I know that it numbers many disciples whose intentions are entirely innocent and humane . . . but that is only because evil always wins through the strength its stupid dupes; and there has in all ages been a disastrous alliance between abnormal innocence and abnormal sin.

    In his book, Chesterton showed that eugenics was an unholy mixture of social Darwinism, coupled with mad Nietzsche’s dream of breeding the Superman. (It is one of ironies of history that Nietzsche, his brain destroyed by the wormholes of syphilis, should have been one of the inspirations of eugenics. He would have not lasted long when Germany really began to breed the Superman.) Chesterton also argued that the real target was not the mad, for which the Lunacy Laws were quite sufficient, but the poor, and he put his finger on the key weakness of eugenics – its essential vagueness:

    [A] solemn official said the other day that he could not understand the clamour against the Feeble-Minded Bill as it only extended the “principles” of the old Lunacy Laws. To which one can only answer “Quite so.” It only extends the principles of the Lunacy Laws to persons without a trace of lunacy. . . . Indeed, the first definition of “feeble-minded” in the Bill was much looser than the phrase “feeble-minded” itself. It is a piece of yawning idiocy about “persons who though capable of earning their living under favourable circumstances” are nevertheless “incapable of managing their affairs with proper prudence”; which is exactly what all the world and his wife are saying about their neighbours all over the planet.

    According to Chesterton, the real target was the poor, as the clause highlighted above rather gives the game away. He marshals compelling arguments that eugenics was one more logical progression in the tools used by the State to suppress the landless poor, initially needed in the factories, and now surplus to requirements. One more step in the road of the Exclusion Acts and Game Laws which had forced the poor from the common lands which had once belonged to them, one more step in the Poor Laws and the workhouse with its treadmills and flogging.”

    [[Gosh, we have the same analysis now of those on the AGW bankwagon, the essential vagueness and promoted by useful idiots in main, and the same ulterior motives of those driving the wagon – cheap labour, the cheaper the better..]]

  212. Philip Mulholland says:
    April 22, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Wow my first snip on WUWT!
    A simple “No, you are wrong” would have been sufficient.

    – – – – – –

    Philip Mulholland,

    I remember my surprisingly strong feelings at my first (and IIRC only) snip at WUWT in the >3 years of ~500+ comments here.

    It did humble me because I value this place so much. : )

    Do not take it personally . . . .

    John

  213. It wasn’t too long ago that the learned and clergy authorities were of the concensus the Earth was flat and the whole Universe rotated around it….and anyone who proved differently was executed for their stupid proof and data. Many of Lord Monckton’s observations, so elegantly written here, could have been written by a scientific heretic of the Dark Ages, resulting in his beheading. Why are we digressing back into that era of delusion and superstition??

    I’m highly honored to be allowed into his lordship’s presence. Thank you.

  214. Guys, again on the idea of Lord Moncktons about Holocaust based on scientific consensus, I have not seen any clear evidence of it.

    Second, you can not just attribute Holocaust to scientific consensus (eugenics, whatever), because there had been prosecution and killing of Jews in the Christian World BEFORE eugenics. Please read again the quotation of Marthin Luther above. Jews were considered enemies, “god killers” etc. for 2000 years. You can not just say “eugenics”. And please do not ignore the UK’s White Paper of 1939.

    It would be better, if Lord Monkcton found another example and dropped this one, that is all.

  215. Christopher Monckton of Brenchley,

    If I recall correctly from university logic class (+30 yrs ago), in logical analysis of the form of arguments it should be remembered that the truth value of the premises and conclusions does not matter as to the logical validity of the form of an argument. It is rather the form of the argument; the relation between premise and conclusion that makes for logical form validity and not the truth value of the premises and conclusions.

    For example, if an argument is in a correct form logically, it does not mean that the conclusion is necessarily true. It could be that the premises are not true. But when the premises are true, it follows that the conclusion also is true, just as a logical result of the form of the argument being logical.

    John

  216. Re: Henry Clark’s reference to Doran and Zimmerman question #1,

    “1. When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?”

    This question is totally absurd and has no meaning whatsoever. “Pre-1800s” comprises all of geologic history. There have been huge increases and huge decreases of global temperatures in the pre-1800’s. What part of “pre” are we talking about?

  217. I’d like to address again one crucial mistake of Lord Monkton’s, that belongs to the family of “not understanding what is going on”-fallacies.

    People know, that what other people say might be untrue, but they REASONABLY rely upon scientific consensus, because they have no other choice.

    Hence it does not change anything, if you tell people, that climate consensus MIGHT be wrong. Either you show them there is no consensus, or you prove that the consensus is wrong, like flat earth consensus. Otherwise they will not change their mind.

  218. I thank Christopher Monckton of Brenchley for bringing logical form analysis to WUWT. I will try to extend his logical precedent.

    Is there a logical fallacy in this following argument?

    Proposition #1 – The Precautionary Principle is the highest overriding principle in the protection of free democratic societies.

    Proposition #2 –CAGW scientists demand the implementation of the Precautionary Principle by free democratic societies.

    Conclusion – CAGW scientists support the principles of democratic societies.

    ????

    John

  219. John Whitman says:
    April 23, 2012 at 9:31 am
    Is there a logical fallacy in this following argument?
    Proposition #1 – The Precautionary Principle is the highest overriding principle in the protection of free democratic societies…
    ============================================
    John, this red-green so called “precautionary principle” is absurd by it’s logical nature. It is very easy to prove, if you apply this “precautionary principle” to the implementation of the “precautionary principle”.

  220. Amazing. Now we have Greg House arguing that there is no such thing as the Precautionary Principle, even though we see it every day here, and insurance companies use it in their cost/benefit analyses.

    When an inconvenient fact pops up, the alarmist crowd’s response is to pretend it doesn’t exist.

    And relying on the supposed “consensus” reminds me of Orwell’s Winston Smith, who wonders: if everyone believes that 2 + 2 = 5, does that make it true?

  221. Greg House says:
    April 23, 2012 at 9:43 am

    John Whitman says:
    April 23, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Is there a logical fallacy in this following argument?

    Proposition #1 – The Precautionary Principle is the highest overriding principle in the protection of free democratic societies…

    John, this red-green so called “precautionary principle” is absurd by it’s logical nature. It is very easy to prove, if you apply this “precautionary principle” to the implementation of the “precautionary principle”.

    – – – – – –

    Greg House,

    Thanks for your comment.

    Taking the Precautionary Principle as a fundamental irreducible premise, then the Precautionary Principle does seem to caution one about applying the Precautionary Principle. : )

    But I do not see the Precautionary Principle as contradicting itself per se and therefore I do not see that by itself it is self-contradictory or illogical.

    As far as the argument I asked analysis on, I tend to think it has the logical fallacy called Non-Sequitur. Non-Sequitur in Latin meaning ‘doesn’t follow’. The argument contains a conclusion that does not necessarily follow from the premises. This fallacy means there is actually no rational connection though one is implied in the argument.

    John

  222. Bill Tuttle: “Argument from authority” is the *definition* of the type of fallacy.”

    No. “Argument from authority” is the *name* of the legitimate argument. The definition would be: “an argument in which the conclusion is supported by citing an authority”.

    The name of the fallacy would be “fallacious argument from authority” or “argument from false authority” or similar.

    “Citing *an* authority who is recognized as both an expert on the subject under discussion and is acknowledged to be truthful is *not* an “argument from authority.”

    Yes it is. As above. And the argument is legitimate as long as certain conditions are met, such as genuineness and consensus.

    “Got a timestamp on that reply of Lord Monckton’s?”

    April 22, 2012 at 1:02 pm

  223. Greg House says:
    April 23, 2012 at 8:37 am
    Guys, again on the idea of Lord Moncktons about Holocaust based on scientific consensus, I have not seen any clear evidence of it.

    And here’s me thinking I presented evidence..

    Second, you can not just attribute Holocaust to scientific consensus (eugenics, whatever), because there had been prosecution and killing of Jews in the Christian World BEFORE eugenics. Please read again the quotation of Marthin Luther above. Jews were considered enemies, “god killers” etc. for 2000 years. You can not just say “eugenics”. And please do not ignore the UK’s White Paper of 1939.

    Yes, but. You are arguing about a specific event, the Holocaust, and this was inspired by the evil breath of eugenics science and was able to be put into effect because that science was deemed fact by consensus. That there has been a persecution of Jews over some 2,000 years is a distraction, the mass slaughter which culminated in the Holocaust was justified by the science consensus of the day from America which had legalised various eugenic solutions to their perceived problem with others. Hitler studied these laws and his scientists were trained in them, they used these methods not only on Jews as others have pointed out, but also other nations, the Slavs and Gypsies (Romany) were also targetted. If I recall, Hitler actually targetted the Jews because they were an ‘easy’ target, not particularly out of any real personal anti-semitism, but because he knew he had to provide a ‘common enemy’ to get what he wanted. (Though some say it was personal from his rejection by the arty Jews, there were some with Jewish ancestry in his organisation.)

    It would be better, if Lord Monkcton found another example and dropped this one, that is all.

    It was because of the Holocaust and the revulsion it engendered that the eugenics movement was driven underground, even the stupid dupes woke up to it. It is an excellent example of scientific consensus promoting a range of fanatical ideas, and as has been covered in sceptic discussions, the solutions proposed from our current scientific consensus includes the mass murder of billions and a world governing elite supervising every move of a slave class. “Science consensus” has merely replaced other superiority of some over others belief systems de-humanising the others. The link between science consensus and the Holocaust is clear, the methods are more subtle now.

  224. Ms Delman’s clothing and hair are fairly typical of liberally-minded college students in the modern era, even 20 years ago, she would have fit right in at a CA liberal arts university. Very pretty too, I’m sure she has no problems recruiting hopeful young college-age males to join her in her cause.

  225. Greg House says –
    “Guys … whatever”

    I think we’ve reached a consensus. Just as the science of eugenics had a foundation in xenophobic notions about those practicing the Jewish faith; so too does the science of climate change have a foundation in simpleminded notions of impure Man living within a pure Nature. I think we all appreciate the impulse to make sweeping condemnations of our fellow man, but let’s make sure that any sinfulness we attach to the burning fossil fuels has genuine basis and is not something concocted to comfort a green ethic. Yes human activities can have undesirable long term effects on the environment (for instance adding tetra ethyl lead to gasoline). On the other hand human activities can also have desirable long term effects (for instance substituting the burning of kerosene for the burning of whale oil). It takes particular attention to the issue at hand. Proceeding from a general proposition that all things Man does must necessarily be bad for Nature is a sweeping generalization or what I like to think of as the fallacy of simple-mindedness.

  226. Greg House says:
    April 23, 2012 at 8:53 am
    I’d like to address again one crucial mistake of Lord Monkton’s, that belongs to the family of “not understanding what is going on”-fallacies.

    People know, that what other people say might be untrue, but they REASONABLY rely upon scientific consensus, because they have no other choice.

    Hence it does not change anything, if you tell people, that climate consensus MIGHT be wrong. Either you show them there is no consensus, or you prove that the consensus is wrong, like flat earth consensus. Otherwise they will not change their mind.

    =================

    In full agreement with you here, and so my gripe about Monckton’s presentation – the non sequitur conclusion from the premise. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/20/the-illogic-of-climate-hysteria/#comment-964011

    He continues to give them credibility by changing direction at the last moment, I find this jarring. If, as he has shown, there is no consensus, then let him say it loud and clear – then there wouldn’t be this confusion of whether he has shown it or not or proved it wrong or not..

  227. Yet again following the lead of Christopher Monckton of Brenchley who brought some logical form analysis to WUWT, here is an argument which can be analyzed logically. Does it contain logical fallacies?

    Proposition #1 – Increased CO2 in the atmosphere must cause an increase GMST; both directly and via feedbacks indirectly. {no caveats about ‘all other multitudinous dynamics of the complex Earth-atmospheric system remaining the same’}

    Proposition #2 – In the industrial era (late 19th century to present) man has added significant CO2 to the atmosphere at increasing accelerated rates.

    Proposition #3 – In the industrial era (late 19th century to present) proxy and measurement of CO2 relative concentration (ppmv) in the atmosphere has increased in a significant and unnatural way.

    Proposition #4 – In the industrial era (late 19th century to present) GMST has increased at an unnatural and unprecedented rate.

    Proposition #5 –A signature (delta 13carbon) provides irrefutable CO2 increase attribution to anthropogenic CO2 from burning fossil fuels; signature says the predominant portion of the atmospheric CO2 increase in the industrial era (late 19th century to present) is anthropogenic CO2 from burning fossil fuels.

    Proposition #6 – There can be no other reasonable explanation for increasing GMST increase in the industrial era (late 19th century to present) except anthropogenic atmospheric CO2 from burning fossil fuels.

    Conclusion A – There can be no significant uncertainty that mankind is causing unprecedented and unnatural increases in GMST.

    Conclusion B – There must be negative impacts, ranging from significant to catastrophic (depending on one’s position ranging from luke to alarm), to life on Earth due to Conclusion A; the negative impacts are as certain as Conclusion A’s certainty.

    ?????

    John

  228. Myrrh says:
    April 23, 2012 at 10:34 am
    Greg House says:
    April 23, 2012 at 8:37 am
    Guys, again on the idea of Lord Moncktons about Holocaust based on scientific consensus, I have not seen any clear evidence of it.
    ———————
    And here’s me thinking I presented evidence..
    ================================================
    You have surely made an effort. Of course, you can find articles where Holocaust is attributed to eugenics, lord Monckton is certainly not the first one.

    But we are talking specifically about scientific consensus on Jews. Now I am asking: were there scientific bodies like IPCC producing reports on Jews? Did many scientists studied Jews and did most of them come to certain conclusions? Never heard of any evidence of that.

    Even the notion, that Nazis or most Germans really considered Jews inferior race is not supported by evidences. I guess, the Jews were considered rather superior, given they were very well represented in science and culture. They simply hated Jews for religious reasons and that hatred was amplified by the success many Jews had in German science, culture and economy. So they decided to kill their enemies, eugenics has nothing to do with that.

  229. I’m getting the impression from his comments that Greg House is a genuine Holocaust denier. They are few and far between, but I think we’ve found one. I wonder if he thinks Herr Schickelgruber wore a yarmulke?

  230. Smokey says:
    April 23, 2012 at 2:50 pm
    I’m getting the impression from his comments that Greg House is a genuine Holocaust denier.
    ===========================================
    Smokey, would you be so kind and show, where I denied Holocaust? Maybe you need to make a stronger effort reading my comments. I clearly presented the idea, that 6 millions Jews were killed by the Nazis not because of “scientific consensus”, but in the first place for religios reasons. Does it sound like Holocaust denial to you?

  231. Greg House says:
    April 23, 2012 at 2:35 pm
    Myrrh says:
    April 23, 2012 at 10:34 am
    Greg House says:
    April 23, 2012 at 8:37 am
    Guys, again on the idea of Lord Moncktons about Holocaust based on scientific consensus, I have not seen any clear evidence of it.
    ———————
    And here’s me thinking I presented evidence..
    ================================================
    You have surely made an effort. Of course, you can find articles where Holocaust is attributed to eugenics, lord Monckton is certainly not the first one.

    But we are talking specifically about scientific consensus on Jews. Now I am asking: were there scientific bodies like IPCC producing reports on Jews? Did many scientists studied Jews and did most of them come to certain conclusions? Never heard of any evidence of that.

    Even the notion, that Nazis or most Germans really considered Jews inferior race is not supported by evidences. I guess, the Jews were considered rather superior, given they were very well represented in science and culture. They simply hated Jews for religious reasons and that hatred was amplified by the success many Jews had in German science, culture and economy. So they decided to kill their enemies, eugenics has nothing to do with that.

    ===================
    For goodness sake, get over yourself. Jews were just one of the groups considered deficient according to the eugenics classification, from the link I posted earlier:

    “The superior species the eugenics movement sought was populated not merely by tall, strong, talented people. Eugenicists craved blond, blue-eyed Nordic types. This group alone, they believed, was fit to inherit the Earth. In the process, the movement intended to subtract emancipated Negroes, immigrant Asian laborers, Indians, Hispanics, East Europeans, Jews, dark- haired hill folk, poor people, the infirm and anyone classified outside the gentrified genetic lines drawn up by American raceologists.

    How? By identifying so-called defective family trees and subjecting them to lifelong segregation and sterilization programs to kill their bloodlines. The grand plan was to literally wipe away the reproductive capability of those deemed weak and inferior — the so-called unfit. The eugenicists hoped to neutralize the viability of 10 percent of the population at a sweep, until none were left except themselves.

    Eighteen solutions were explored in a Carnegie-supported 1911 “Preliminary Report of the Committee of the Eugenic Section of the American Breeder’s Association to Study and to Report on the Best Practical Means for Cutting Off the Defective Germ-Plasm in the Human Population.” Point No. 8 was euthanasia.

    The most commonly suggested method of eugenicide in the United States was a “lethal chamber” or public, locally operated gas chambers. In 1918, Popenoe, the Army venereal disease specialist during World War I, co-wrote the widely used textbook, “Applied Eugenics,” which argued, “From an historical point of view, the first method which presents itself is execution . . . Its value in keeping up the standard of the race should not be underestimated.” “Applied Eugenics” also devoted a chapter to “Lethal Selection,” which operated “through the destruction of the individual by some adverse feature of the environment, such as excessive cold, or bacteria, or by bodily deficiency.” ”

    Get it? The science consensus of eugenics was that the Jews were merely a part of those who were considered inferior. That Hitler targetted them certainly was because of their standing, particularly their wealth – this he worked up to a frenzy as being the reason Germany was in dire financial straights after the first world war, however, it wasn’t the Jews who he targetted in Germany by incremental laws gaining in intensity, from not being allowed to walk in certain streets to destruction and takeover of their property, who provided the majority of his funding for re-building Germany.., the huge building projects, the great autobahns, the new factories producing weapons for war.

    Hitler used anti-semitism for his own ends because he required a scapegoat, this is not direct anti-semitism. He used it to build up a following, by creating a common enemy. That is a tactic very much in use today. Anti-semitism was part of the expression of eugenic science consensus and Hitler rolled with it – he, look at his pictures for a reality check here, wasn’t exactly your typical tall blond haired blue eyed Aryan.. He was a master of hype.

  232. Myrrh says:
    April 23, 2012 at 3:21 pm
    For goodness sake, get over yourself. Jews were just one of the groups considered deficient according to the eugenics classification, from the link I posted earlier
    =======================================
    Myrrh, I do not consider your link to be the evidence.

    As an evidence I would except things like “1000 scientists studied Jews and 997 of them came to the conclusion” and of course references to the studies. This is how scientific consensus looks like. A narrative without references is not an evidence.

    • OK we are done with Jews, Eugenics, and similar discussions – all further replies on this topic will be deleted wholesale. – Anthony

  233. I’m not reading it as that Smokey, I think Greg is concerned that the anti-semitism aspect is diluted by its association with the idea ‘science consensus eugenics’ – I can understand that would hurt because the Jews have been subjected to two thousand years of persecution and the Holocaust is so appalling – it was certainly the general anti-semitism of the Germans at the time which allowed it to happen, they were for the most part willing or frightened participants in demonising the Jews. Some though it has to be stressed, were children brainwashed into this, they didn’t know any different and grew up thinking it normal.

    It seems extraordinary now to think that for a brief period of time the Germans were completely into the idea of themselves as superior race and what was happening to the Jews around them was shut out of mind, they wanted to believe they had been sent away to work camps where they were living well, propaganda pieces were filmed to show such. The gas chambers became an imperative when they quickly found that the ordinary soldier was appalled to be a part of mass murder of civilians, even with the indoctrination that Jews were subhuman and their enemy..

  234. John Whitman,

    nice try but no cigar.
    proposition 1 – an assumption.
    proposition 2 – an assumption
    proposition 3 – two assumptions
    proposition 4 – two assumptions
    proposition 5 – an assumption
    proposition 6 – an assumption
    Conclusion a – an assumption
    Conclusion b – an assumption
    you forgot to ask if there were factual fallacies.
    prop 1 – a simple model would suggest that the average T will rise with co2 in the atmosphere. That is not validation of the assumption.
    prop 2 – mankind emitting more co2 than previous times is something that can be validated but mankind causing the increase in ppmv is not.
    prop 3 – a good argument can be made that there is more co2 now than in the fairly recent past but it is pure speculation that it is an unnatural amount.
    prop 4 – a good argument can be made that it is warmer now than in the fairly recent past, often referred to as the little ice age. It is speculation that current temperatures are above the midieval warm period or that there is something strange or unnatural with our present temperature or rate of change.
    prop 5- The size of human emission is a tiny fraction of the sizes of other sinks and sources which are called natural and consist of poorly understood processes and are never in equilibrium but rather chase each other around trying to achieve equilibrium. Some of these also affect the 13/14 ratio. Consequently, your irrefutable fact is merely another hypothesis founded on a lack of knowledge.
    prop 6 – out of ignorance of alternatives, one can make that claim. If one realizes that a rise in temperature releases more co2, then a general rise in temperature, such as exiting the little ice age, will cause an increase in co2 in the atmosphere. Also, one cannot have substantial net positive feedback in a system because it would be unstable an unable to maintain operation except at the limit where it cannot go further.
    conclusion a – is a set of assumptions and not a conclusion based upon any solid argument provided.
    conclusion b – nothing provided even hypothesizes that there would be a single negative or detrimental result from an increase in T. Is that a non sequiter?
    if you really think you know something about this subject, why don’t you go over to the other WUWT recent article featuring the video of Murry Salby and try to refute anything he says in the video?lol

  235. The trolls are understandably worried by the ease with which it can be demonstrated that many of the most frequently-deployed arguments of the climate extremists are instances of elementary and long-established logical fallacies. They seem more than usually determined to confuse the issue, so let me straighten a few points out.

    First, I am grateful to Anthony for bringing to an end the hijacking of this thread by Mr. House with his red herring about eugenics and the Holocaust (a topic which was not mentioned at all in my head posting). To introduce an extraneous and irrelevant consideration is to perpetrate the fallacy of ignoratio elenchi – ignorance of the method of conducting a rational argument.

    Next, Mr. House yet again attempts to assert that, in effect, the argument from consensus is not a logical fallacy. He says: “People reasonably rely on scientific consensus because they have no other choice.” Try telling that to Galileo, Newton or Einstein, all of whom overthrew the pre-existing scientific consensus because they had a choice – to do science properly, rather than relying upon mere head-count to reach their conclusions.

    Anyone who relies upon a logical fallacy is not conducting a reasonable argument, and anyone who believes the conclusion of a fallacious argument on the basis of the fallacy is unwise. Sorry, but the argument that “global warming” will prove catastrophic unless the economies of the West are hobbled or shut down because there is an alleged consensus to that effect is a fallacious argument. Further attempts to assert that this or any argument from consensus is reasonable or rational are pointless. As I said to the rabid environmentalist at Union College, the argument from consensus is intellectual baby-talk. Time for the trolls, and the climate extremists generally, to stop drooling and grow up, intellectually speaking.

    Brendan H tries to maintain that citing an authority is an instance of the fallacy of appeal to authority. No. This sort of muddled thinking seems all too frequent among the climate-extremist faction. If I rely upon a previously-established scientific result as one step in an argument of my own, I am guilty of plagiarism unless I acknowledge those upon whose result I rely. The fallacy of appeal to authority or reputation – the argumentum ad verecundiam – arises when the sophist asserts that a conclusion is true solely or chiefly because the experts say so.

    Brendan H also asserts that the fallacy of appeal to authority is legitimate as long as it meets conditions such as “genuineness” and “consensus”. This really will not do. An argument must stand on its own internal merits: to pray external forces in aid is to misunderstand the process of logical thought altogether. After all, who is to say whether the “experts” are acting with “genuineness”, rather than in response to peer pressure, political predilection, social convenience, or financial profit? And, since the argument from consensus is itself an elementary fallacy, praying it in aid to shore up the fallacy of appeal to authority seems desperate, and is scarcely a rational approach.

    John Whitman misunderstands – or at any rate misstates – the distinction between the truth-values generated by the Boolean truth-functors that are the nuts and bolts of propositional calculus and the truth or falsehood of an argument’s conclusion. To establish that an argument is logically valid (i.e., that the premises properly entail the conclusion), it is essential to assign the correct truth-values “T” or “F” to the truth-functors, in accordance with the widely-available and readily-demonstrable truth tables for each functor. However, the conclusion of a logically valid is not necessarily true, just as the conclusion of an invalid argument is not necessarily false. On the other hand, if the premises of a valid argument are all true, then the conclusion must be true. Thus, for instance, the argument from consensus tells us nothing about whether the conclusion to which the consensus allegedly assents is true or false.

    Mr. Whitman goes on to attempt to construct two logical arguments. However, it is clear that he does not understand the process by which a truly logical argument is constructed. For instance, the first premise of his first argument is to the effect that “The precautionary principle is the highest overriding principle in the protection of free democracies.” Since this is a political statement, it may be held to be true or false depending upon one’s point of view. For this reason, it is unsuitable as the premise of a logical argument intended to determine the objective truth – as opposed to the mere logical self-consistency – of the conclusion. In fact, the economic literature demonstrates that the cost of attempts to mitigate future global warming is very likely to exceed the cost of any climate-related damage that the future warming might cause: and, as they say at Lloyds of London, if the premium exceeds the cost of the risk, don’t insure. That is a precautionary principle worthy of the name.

    Mr. Whitman’s second attempt at a logical argument is no more successful than the first. He conflates at lest two premises as his first premise, asserting that more CO2 implies warming directly and that more CO2 implies indirect warming via temperature feedbacks. However, as I have pointed out in earlier comments here, there is no agreement in the scientific literature as to whether feedbacks are net-positive at all, so we cannot be sure that feedbacks will cause warming.

    His fourth premise is to the effect that warming has occurred at an unprecedented rate. Yet this is untrue. From 1695-1735, the temperature in central England (and probably globally, for the Central England Temperature Record is not a bad proxy for global temperature changes where it coincides with the global instrumental record) rose at a rate equivalent to 4 Celsius degrees per century, while the warming of the 20th century was a mere 0.74 Celsius.

    His sixth premise is that there is no other reasonable explanation for 20th-century warming. But I exposed precisely this contention in my head posting as the fundamental logical fallacy that is the argumentum ad ignorantiam – the argument from ignorance. Since the warming of the 20th century was well within the natural variability of the climate, no other explanation is necessary: a point that Professor Lindzen has made time and again.

    The first of his two conclusions is that the warming of the 20th century has been “unprecedented”. But that was also one of his premises, so he has here perpetrated the argumentum ad petitionem principii – the circular or begging-the-question argument, in which one of the premises is also the conclusion.

    His second conclusion is that there must be negative impacts as a result of our enriching the atmosphere with CO2. Yet the premises do not entail this conclusion at all. It is a non sequitur. This conclusion might properly belong to an argument to the effect that there is some ideal global mean surface temperature, and that a sufficiently large warming compared with this ideal temperature might be dangerous.

    Myrrh says that in the past I have claimed the authority of settled scientific consensus as to the existence of the greenhouse effect. No. To say that a scientific question is settled is not the same thing as to argue that it is settled because one has taken a head-count among the experts about it. The greenhouse effect has been sufficiently and repeatedly demonstrated by experiment (one of the earliest such experiments, and the first to demonstrate due rigor, was that of John Tyndall at the Royal Institution, London, in 1850). The effect has also been explained right down to the quantum level, and appears to behave in accordance with that explanation. Therefore, I do not care how many scientists say there is or is not a greenhouse effect. There is one, and that is that, just as the Pythagorean theorem is demonstrably true, and that is that.

    Logic – particularly in its recently-developed branch, mathematical logic – is a highly rigorous subject. Anyone familiar with it will at once realize that the trolls I have cited here either know very little about the subject or are doing their best to obscure the fact that the case for climate hysteria is founded very largely upon numerous gaping logical fallacies. Or perhaps both.

    So here is a puzzle for the trolls to attempt. Equilibrium climate sensitivity depends upon as precise knowledge of the value of the CO2 radiative forcing; of the Planck parameter; of the water vapor feedback; of the lapse-rate feedback; of the surface-albedo feedback; of the cloud feedback; and of the CO2 feedback. At minimum, we must know, and know precisely, the values of each of these seven parameters before we can determine equilibrium climate sensitivity. Yet not one of these quantities can be measured directly or indirectly; the feedbacks cannot be distinguished either from one another or from the forcings that triggered them by any observational method; and there is no theoretical method that will determine any of these seven quantities to a sufficient precision. To make matters worse, we do not know and cannot measure the (probably negative) anthropogenic forcing from particulate aerosols, nor the fraction of total greenhouse-gas forcing attributable to each greenhouse gas; nor the fraction of equilibrium warming that will occur by, say, 2100. Nor do we know all of the processes by which the climate evolves, particularly at sub-grid scale. Even if we did, the climate is a mathematically-chaotic object, so that, since we cannot know its initial state to anything like a sufficient precision, the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible by any method. Since 1950, the world has warmed at a rate equivalent to little more than 1 C/century, and the maximum warming rate sustained for more than a decade since 1850 has been 1.6 C/century, yet the IPCC maintains, on no evidence, that the rate of warming will accelerate to 3 C/century over the next 90 years. So here is the puzzle. Given these numerous unknowns and unknowables, how can there possibly be a reliable scientific consensus to the effect that the warming – contrary to what has been observed to date – will be anything like as large as the IPCC and its acolytes would have us believe?

  236. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 23, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Mr. House yet again attempts to assert that, in effect, the argument from consensus is not a logical fallacy. He says: “People reasonably rely on scientific consensus because they have no other choice.” Try telling that to Galileo, Newton or Einstein, all of whom overthrew the pre-existing scientific consensus because they had a choice – to do science properly, rather than relying upon mere head-count to reach their conclusions.
    ====================================================
    Let me tell you for the third or forth time on this thread: the argument from consensus is a logical fallacy. Yes, it is. It is.

    Such an argument is absolutely wrong in a scientific debate. But I am not talking about scientists, Christopher, for the third time, I am specifically talking about non-scientists, ordinary people, policy makers, journalists. Do you expect a construction worker to check your equation on climate sensitivity? Or heads of states? Or TV anchors?

    All these people have no other choice, than to rely in their everyday life upon what they think is scientific consensus. Their logically fallacious, yes, opinion is however crucial, because they vote, make decisions, convince other people. If they are convinced, that there is scientific consensus on catastrophic global warming, they will behave accordingly and we all will have a problem.

    I see only 2 ways to deal with this problem: 1) to prove, that there is no scientific consensus on global warming or 2) to prove, that all of them are wrong.

    Well, there is, of course, another way, like your telling people about their fallacy, but this will change nothing, because your construction is merely equal to saying “scientific consensus on catastrophic global warming MIGHT be wrong”. This is a very weak point, I am sorry.

    I have just read your new article, where you changed the line to “there cannot be a global warming consensus”. Well, generally there can be consensus on the stupidest thing, why not on global warming? On the positive side, you have made a step forward in that article, where you are questioning the 3,7 number now. This is nice, but not enough for the non-scientists.

    Now, Christopher, I can prove beyond reasonable doubt, that there is no scientific consensus on global warming. Are you interested in that?

  237. Werner Brozek says:
    April 22, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Just for the record, 2012 so far is actually much colder than 2011. I will just discuss RSS here. In 2011, the anomaly was 0.147 and 2011 ranked 12th. For the first three months of 2012, the average is (-0.058 – 0.12 + 0.075)/3 = -0.034. It will not stay there, but if it did, the rank for 2012 would be 26th. With this value after 3 months, the chances of a high rank for the year are greatly reduced.

    The climate Cassandras on Intrade are overconfident that this will be a warm year and have driven the odds of that happening to unreasonably high levels, offering a good opportunity for climate contrarians to bet against them. The first three months of 2012 averaged 0.407, per GISS. Here are the latest odds (anomalies are those of GISS. The 2011 anomaly was 0.51.):

    2012 will be THE warmest year ever (i.e., over 0.63 or so): 15%
    2012 anomaly will be over 0.55: 42% (If you put up $58, you stand to win $42)
    2012 anomaly will be over 0.50: 78% (Put up $22 to win $78)
    2012 anomaly will be over 0.45: 84%

    You can sell you bets for a profit if the odds move in your direction. (Intrade works like a futures market.) Here’s the link: https://www.intrade.com/v4/markets/?eventId=91036

  238. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 23, 2012 at 5:53 pm
    The greenhouse effect has been sufficiently and repeatedly demonstrated by experiment (one of the earliest such experiments, and the first to demonstrate due rigor, was that of John Tyndall at the Royal Institution, London, in 1850). The effect has also been explained right down to the quantum level, and appears to behave in accordance with that explanation.
    ==================================================
    Christopher, Tyndall has indeed demonstrated that water vapour, CO2 and some other gases absorb and emit IR radiation, this is true, but he did not measure the “greenhouse effect” in sense of how much warming or cooling this effect might cause. You really need to check it. Instead, he simply speculated about warming. Arrhenius did it, too.

    The first scientist who really experimentally estimated the possible warming seams to be professor Wood, and the results of his experiment were disastrous for the warmists (1909): http://www.wmconnolley.org.uk/sci/wood_rw.1909.html

  239. Greg House,

    Referencing Billy Connolley is like citing a Scientologist on a science question. Connolley is a devious propagandist, and he should be dismissed from any science-based discussion.

    Here is a legitimate paper, ulike Connolley’s anti-science propaganda, which empirically verifies R.W. Wood’s experiment. Good for you for questioning Connolley, who specializes in pseudo-science and censorship.

  240. Smokey says:
    April 23, 2012 at 8:33 pm
    Greg House,
    Referencing Billy Connolley is like citing a Scientologist on a science question. Connolley is a devious propagandist, and he should be dismissed from any science-based discussion.
    ==================================================
    It might sound funny, but I did not understand at first, what do you mean by “Connolley”. I do not care about him at all, I am just referring to the Wood’s article he posted on his site. I even did not read his comments properly. Only the Wood’s article is important.

  241. Brendan H says:
    April 23, 2012 at 10:25 am
    Bill Tuttle: “Argument from authority” is the *definition* of the type of fallacy.”
    No. “Argument from authority” is the *name* of the legitimate argument. The definition would be: “an argument in which the conclusion is supported by citing an authority”.

    That’s the beauty of the English language — its versatility. It’s perfectly proper to say that that type of argument is defined as “argument from authority.”

    The name of the fallacy would be “fallacious argument from authority” or “argument from false authority” or similar.

    You definitely have a problem with English comprehension. The fallacy is called “argumentum ad verecundiam.” “Verecundiam” is “reverence” or “deferrence,” the implication being “superior to oneself,” as in, “someone in authority.” Aristotle described the fallacy, so he has naming rights.

  242. Bill Tuttle says:
    April 23, 2012 at 9:47 pm
    You skipped right over it, then.
    ============================================
    I thought this topic was closed.

  243. Greg House says:
    April 23, 2012 at 8:53 am
    People know, that what other people say might be untrue, but they REASONABLY rely upon scientific consensus, because they have no other choice.
    Hence it does not change anything, if you tell people, that climate consensus MIGHT be wrong. Either you show them there is no consensus, or you prove that the consensus is wrong, like flat earth consensus. Otherwise they will not change their mind.

    Generally, people *do* have the choice to research and come to their own conclusions. However, if someone were to form his opinion based solely on “the scientific consensus” by choice, your conclusion also holds true.

  244. Fine useful piece by Lord Monckton.
    I miss one thing: one that comes up all the time: that infuriating STRAWMAN trick.

  245. Bill Tuttle: “It’s perfectly proper to say that that type of argument is defined as “argument from authority.”

    What type of argument? The argument we are discussing is the argument from authority. If so, you appear to be claiming that the argument from authority is defined as the argument from authority.

    But that can’t be so. A definition consists of two parts: the definiendum, or the term(s) to be defined, and the definiens, the words that define (describe) the term(s).

    Therefore, in the case of the argument from authority, “argument from authority” is the definiendum, and “an argument in which the conclusion is supported by citing an authority” (or similar) is the definiens.

    Thus an example of the full definition: “argument from authority is an argument in which the conclusion is supported by citing an authority”.

    “The fallacy is called “argumentum ad verecundiam.”

    Just above you said: “that type of argument is defined as “argument from authority.” So is “argumentum ad verecundiam” the name of the fallacy or is it the definition of the fallacy?

    “Verecundiam” is “reverence” or “deferrence,” the implication being “superior to oneself,” as in, “someone in authority.”

    Crack open a dictionary and you will find that an authority can be a person who is considered to be a legitimate expert on a subject. The term is not just confined to those who wield institutional authority. Indeed, the English is a thing of beauty.

  246. cba says:
    April 23, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    John Whitman,

    nice try but no cigar.
    proposition 1 – an assumption.
    proposition 2 – an assumption
    proposition 3 – two assumptions
    proposition 4 – two assumptions
    proposition 5 – an assumption
    proposition 6 – an assumption
    Conclusion a – an assumption
    Conclusion b – an assumption
    you forgot to ask if there were factual fallacies. [ . . . ]

    and also,

    Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 23, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    [ . . . ]

    Mr. Whitman goes on to attempt to construct two logical arguments. However, it is clear that he does not understand the process by which a truly logical argument is constructed.

    [ . . . ]

    – – – – – – –

    cba & Christopher Monckton of Brenchley,

    Thank you both for your considerable replies.

    It is perhaps my lack of clarity that caused you to misunderstand my comment @ April 23, 2012 at 12:16 pm (the comment with 6 propositions and 2 conclusions). It appears you thought I was claiming that argument correct and that I was making a case in support of the argument . I am not supporting such an argument nor have I ever supported it. It is posted as an example of the argument I find at Skeptical Science, Real Climate, from lukewarmers and within the supporters of the IPCC, etc. The argument I presented is given as an example to be logically analysed by skeptics, not as a means by me to promote that argument. It was an attempt to offer up a common argument to use for the purpose of using it in a logical analysis exercise in the same spirit that Christopher Monckton of Brenchley offered up arguments to be analyzed in the logical exercises in his original post. It appears my intention was wonderfully fulfilled since both of you offered your considerable analysis of the example argument.

    Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, to be quite direct with you, I was indeed quite surprised that by implication it appears you are calling me a troll here on WUWT blog. Please clarify whether you intentionally implied I was a troll or not.

    Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, I will respond separately about truth values and the relationship between premise and conclusion in logical forms. This is a very interesting topic, whether it is only the forms of reasoning that logic deals with formally or does logical also deal with the truth values of the concepts within the forms. I look forward to continue discussion in that area.

    John

  247. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 23, 2012 at 5:53 pm
    The trolls are understandably worried by the ease with which it can be demonstrated that many of the most frequently-deployed arguments of the climate extremists are instances of elementary and long-established logical fallacies. They seem more than usually determined to confuse the issue, so let me straighten a few points out.

    With more obfuscation?

    Myrrh says that in the past I have claimed the authority of settled scientific consensus as to the existence of the greenhouse effect. No. To say that a scientific question is settled is not the same thing as to argue that it is settled because one has taken a head-count among the experts about it.

    Bit dollop of doo doo again. You are still arguing from consensus, and authority. That, as you have so ably pointed out, are logical fallacies.

    The science is not there. If the science was there you would be able to present it in all its detail instead of waving in the general direction of Tyndall who never said anything about the Greenhouse Effect, and Arrhenius who came up with the utter physical stupidity of carbon dioxide forming a greenhouse trapping heat! Carbon dioxide has a heat capacity less than 1, even less capable of trapping heat than oxygen and nitrogen, it can’t trap heat. That he claimed such a thing, absurd as it is, is one thing, but he has never shown that carbon dioxide in our atmosphere has any effect on raising the Earth’s temperature.

    The greenhouse effect has been sufficiently and repeatedly demonstrated by experiment (one of the earliest such experiments, and the first to demonstrate due rigor, was that of John Tyndall at the Royal Institution, London, in 1850).

    Again, he did no such thing. Show, bring to this discussion, here, now, where he demonstrated the Greenhouse Effect.

    To date, the “consensus of evidence” does not support the Greenhouse Effect.

    The effect has also been explained right down to the quantum level,

    More idiocy masqerading as science – show and tell. The pretence to superior scientific understanding is proved because you never show proof, your argument from authority is worthless even if it wasn’t a logical fallacy.

    and appears to behave in accordance with that explanation. Therefore, I do not care how many scientists say there is or is not a greenhouse effect. There is one, and that is that, just as the Pythagorean theorem is demonstrably true, and that is that.

    If it were true, if it has been so often proved, if it is standard science about carbon dioxide, why can’t you provide any detail? Surely, there must be tons and tons and tons of proof that you warmists are so confident that such an effect exists? So where the hell is it?

    You’re, b*llsh*tt*ng. That’s all you ever do. You’re not only arguing from consensus and pretended scientific authority, you’re arguing from a scientific fraud masquerading as consensus because unproven physics. You dare bring in Pythagoras to hide your paucity of science proof.

    Logic – particularly in its recently-developed branch, mathematical logic – is a highly rigorous subject. Anyone familiar with it will at once realize that the trolls I have cited here either know very little about the subject or are doing their best to obscure the fact that the case for climate hysteria is founded very largely upon numerous gaping logical fallacies. Or perhaps both.

    You’re the troll Monckton. You loudly and with great logic, and great passion, argue for science truth, for honesty, but you hide your own propaganda consensus cleverly within it and hope no one notices. Calling me a troll doesn’t change that – ad hominem. You use it distract from your failure to provide proof, or any detail.., just as you use screaming, demeaning tactics against those who pull you up on it, all the while hypocritically pretending you’re of the same mind as the greats you quote who did hold that the truth in science is the only target worth aiming for. You use the logical fallacies in your arguments yourself to browbeat opposition to your views, your opinions, your unsupported claims. You deliberately, I assume, or perhaps in ignorance you really can’t see what you’re doing, keep promoting the unproven Greenhouse Effect conjecture illogically claiming it exists and is proven. Until you can show that it is proven, that is all you’re doing. And that isn’t honest science.

    So here is a puzzle for the trolls to attempt.

    Attempt to fetch proof that the Greenhouse Effect exists. You should have over a hundred years worth of it..

    =========================

    Greg House says:
    April 23, 2012 at 8:03 pm
    Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 23, 2012 at 5:53 pm
    The greenhouse effect has been sufficiently and repeatedly demonstrated by experiment (one of the earliest such experiments, and the first to demonstrate due rigor, was that of John Tyndall at the Royal Institution, London, in 1850). The effect has also been explained right down to the quantum level, and appears to behave in accordance with that explanation.
    ==================================================
    Christopher, Tyndall has indeed demonstrated that water vapour, CO2 and some other gases absorb and emit IR radiation, this is true, but he did not measure the “greenhouse effect” in sense of how much warming or cooling this effect might cause. You really need to check it. Instead, he simply speculated about warming. Arrhenius did it, too.

    The first scientist who really experimentally estimated the possible warming seams to be professor Wood, and the results of his experiment were disastrous for the warmists (1909): http://www.wmconnolley.org.uk/sci/wood_rw.1909.html

    Monckton is a warmist, he refuses to listen to any questioning or arguing on the physics of the claim while never providing any proof of its actual existence. He argues from authority, a logical fallacy, while never providing proof that his authorities proved it or even touched on it in their own work. It is what is has always been in the AGWScience Fiction, a sleight of hand, a science con.

    Arrhenius was dubunked at the beginning of the 20th century, AGWSF continues to hide this fact.

    Which is why is cannot be fetched, it doesn’t exist to be fetched.

    For amusement, here’s a press clipping on Arrhenius’s claim: http://www.real-science.com/father-global-warming-predicted-top-farming

    From a link posted by ES on that page – http://principia-scientific.org/publications/History-of-Radiation.pdf

    “But the more important question is: Was Arrhenius´ theory based on indisputable facts? Or is it
    merely theory?
    Once again Casey: “Contrary to what Arrhenius (1896, 1906b) and many popular authors may
    claim (Weart, 2003; Flannery, 2005; Archer, 2009), Fourier did not consider the atmosphere to be
    anything like glass. In fact, Fourier (1827, p. 587) rejected the comparison by stipulating the
    impossible condition that in order for the atmosphere to even remotely resemble the workings of a
    hotbox or greenhouse, layers of the air would have to solidify without affecting the air’s optical
    properties. What Fourier (1824, translated by Burgess, 1837, p. 12) actually wrote stands in stark
    contrast to Arrhenius’ claims about Fourier’s ideas:”

    This was at the very beginning of such research and much of it very muddled thinking, by our applied science standards now. If the best the Greenhouse Effect claimers can do is wave in this general direction all the while bullying that it does exist rather than providing evidence of their claim, it’s because they know it doesn’t exist.

    Casey’s page where I orginally found his look at the history of this confusion: http://greenhouse.geologist-1011.net/ “However, without the “Greenhouse Effect”, how can anyone honestly describe global warming as “anthropogenic”?”

    Exactly. What’s the logical fallacy here..?

  248. Greg House says:
    April 23, 2012 at 10:24 pm
    Bill Tuttle says:
    April 23, 2012 at 9:47 pm
    You skipped right over it, then.
    ============================================
    I thought this topic was closed.

    I didn’t step into closed territory, I addressed your request for evidence of the scientific consensus.

  249. Brendan H says:
    April 24, 2012 at 1:07 am
    “The fallacy is called “argumentum ad verecundiam.”
    Just above you said: “that type of argument is defined as “argument from authority.” So is “argumentum ad verecundiam” the name of the fallacy or is it the definition of the fallacy?

    No, I said, ““It’s perfectly proper to say that that type of argument is defined as ‘argument from authority’.” As in, “What do you call that type of fallacy?” “That type of fallacy is defined as the ‘argument to authority.”

    “Verecundiam” is “reverence” or “deferrence,” the implication being “superior to oneself,” as in, “someone in authority.”
    Crack open a dictionary and you will find that an authority can be a person who is considered to be a legitimate expert on a subject. The term is not just confined to those who wield institutional authority.

    True. However, the fallacy *is* “argument to authority.” Go argue with Aristotle — he named it.

    Indeed, the English is a thing of beauty.

    Ain’t it just?

  250. Bill Tuttle says:
    April 23, 2012 at 10:33 pm
    Generally, people *do* have the choice to research and come to their own conclusions. However, if someone were to form his opinion based solely on “the scientific consensus” by choice, your conclusion also holds true.
    ===============================================
    Bill, do you expect the vast majority of people who are not scientists to come home after work and do research on global warming and many other things? Let us be realistic.

    A lot of people already have the strong impression that there is scientific consensus on catastrophic global warming and act accordingly as voters in the first place. To change that requires what I described above. It will certainly not be changed by statements of Lord Monckton’s like “there is global warming and it is partly man made, but it is not so dangerous”. This is not an exact quotation, but I watched him conveying that message on videos. Please, correct me if I am wrong on his message. Such statements actually reinforce the impression of the public, the press and the politicians.

    I this context I do not see how the references to logical fallacies can improve anything.

  251. Greg House says:
    April 24, 2012 at 10:17 am
    ===============================================
    Bill, do you expect the vast majority of people who are not scientists to come home after work and do research on global warming and many other things? Let us be realistic.

    A couple of hours ago, I would have answered that I expect the vast majority of them will come home from work, pop a beer, and vegetate until suppertime. But I just participated in an hour-long bull session with a Ukrainian helicopter mechanic, a Spanish medic, a US personal security specialist, a Mongolian weapons specialist, a US intel analyst, and a Slovenian IT guy. The topics went from String Theory and ‘branes to the Permian Extinction to paleo atmospheric composition and finished up with speculations on what type of life forms we figure the Russians will find in Lake Vostok. Then half of them split to go to midnight chow. So, speaking realistically, I think world citizenry may be a lot more scientifically savvy than I’d thought.

    I this context I do not see how the references to logical fallacies can improve anything.

    It certainly improved the thread count…

  252. Bill Tuttle: “As in, “What do you call that type of fallacy?” “That type of fallacy is defined as the ‘argument to authority.”

    Here is a definition: a polar bear is a large, white, carnivorous Arctic mammal.

    In answer to the question: “What do you call that type of bear?” you would not answer: “That type of bear is *defined* as a polar bear.”

    Rather, you would answer: “That type of bear is *called* a polar bear.”

    You are confusing the label with the description.

  253. @Brendan H, April 24, 2012 at 5:39 pm:

    An Arctic fox is also a large, white, carnivorous mammal — if you’re a vole.

    I’ve been quibbling over the validity of colloquialisms, of course, but based on the topics that usually get posted, it’s the only way either of the two of us are likely to get the last word in any of the threads. My nefarious plan working, so far…

  254. In reply to Bart, who asks the sensible question whether there is a fallacy that covers the setting-up and knocking-down of straw men, the answer is that the introduction of any consideration extraneous to the argument itself (and a straw man is an extraneous consideration) stands alongside the consensus, reputation and ad-hom fallacies as another special instance of the red-herring fallacy, or ignoratio elenchi – ignorance of the manner in which a rational argument is conducted.

    Some of the trolls on this thread, for instance, have introduced the red herring that, in their untutored opinion, there is no greenhouse effect. But the long-settled question whether or not there is a greenhouse effect, however interesting a re-examination of that question may be to those who have insufficiently read and understood the large body of science that establishes its existence beyond reasonable doubt, had nothing whatsoever to do with my head posting. The more they maunder on and tediously on about their pet nonsense, the more they demonstrate ignoratio elenchi. Notice the rampant, screeching irrationality both of the form and of the content of the contributions by Myrrh and Mr. House, for instance. These are not people interested in the scientific truth. They have merely attempted, unsuccessfully, to hijack this thread, rather than trying to write a credible argument of their own.

    They have also misunderstood how the scientific method works. The hypothesis that there is a greenhouse effect has been credibly advanced, demonstrated, and explained in the peer-reviewed literature. Accordingly, there is no requirement for me or anyone else to re-advance, re-demonstrate or re-explain it. If the trolls genuinely think there is no greenhouse effect, then it is for them to produce a clear, scientific, mathematically-expressed argument. Since they have not done so, no one will pay any attention to their opinion.

    Some of them now accept that Tyndall’s experiment did in fact demonstrate that greenhouse gases absorb and emit radiation, but they remain blissfully unaware (or willfully determined to ignore the fact) that if greenhouse gases in an atmosphere such as ours absorb and emit radiation they will oscillate at the quantum level, emitting heat directly just as radiators do. And the funny thing about heat is that it causes warming. Get used to it.

    In Christian theology, there is the useful concept of invincible ignorance. That phrase nicely describes the state of mind of the “no-greenhouse-gas” trolls. Whatever the actual subject of a scientific discussion, they wrench it around to their driveling pet nonsense, and do not have the courtesy to desist and to discuss instead the topic of the thread which they have intemperately attempted to hijack. It really is time for the moderators to redirect these senseless trolls into a thread of their own, where they can twitter to each other about flat earths, bigfoot, flying saucers, Area 51, phlogiston, phrenology, astrology, voodoo, wicca, elves, dwarves, goblins, gremlins, leprechauns, orcs, trolls, and flying pigs till the purple cows come neighing home to roost and lay their golden eggs in the bong-trees.

  255. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 26, 2012 at 5:53 pm
    Some of them now accept that Tyndall’s experiment did in fact demonstrate that greenhouse gases absorb and emit radiation, but they remain blissfully unaware (or willfully determined to ignore the fact) that if greenhouse gases in an atmosphere such as ours absorb and emit radiation they will oscillate at the quantum level, emitting heat directly just as radiators do. And the funny thing about heat is that it causes warming.
    =====================================================
    No, Christopher, it is not like radiators.

    Look, I’ll help you with a simple example. If someone gives you 10 dollars and then you give 5 dollars back, it is not, that you produced those 5 dollars.

    So do the infra-red active gases: they send back a part of what they get. These are basics, Christopher.

    The dirty secret of the warmists is, that they forget to mention, that the IR comes from the Sun as well, so the same effect works in the opposite direction, thus contributing to cooling. Thus the question about net warming or net cooling is open. Never heard of any warmist having answered it.

    You said earlier on this thread, it was warming and it had been proven EXPERIMETALLY. I am still waiting for your evidences. No problem, I am very patient,Christopher, I will never give up the hope to get a clear answer from you.

  256. To my “You said earlier on this thread, it was warming and it had been proven EXPERIMETALLY” from my previous comment, Lord Monckton claimed it on another parallel thread “Why there cannot be a global warming consensus”, not on this one. I am sorry for the confusion.

  257. Monckton of Brenchley says:
    April 26, 2012 at 5:53 pm
    Some of the trolls on this thread, for instance, have introduced the red herring that, in their untutored opinion, there is no greenhouse effect. But the long-settled question whether or not there is a greenhouse effect, however interesting a re-examination of that question may be to those who have insufficiently read and understood the large body of science that establishes its existence beyond reasonable doubt, had nothing whatsoever to do with my head posting. The more they maunder on and tediously on about their pet nonsense, the more they demonstrate ignoratio elenchi. Notice the rampant, screeching irrationality both of the form and of the content of the contributions by Myrrh and Mr. House, for instance. These are not people interested in the scientific truth. They have merely attempted, unsuccessfully, to hijack this thread, rather than trying to write a credible argument of their own.

    Nonsense, it’s because I’m interested in the scientific truth that I’ve asked you to provide proof of your premise – that you have been unable to do so speaks volumes.

    They have also misunderstood how the scientific method works. The hypothesis that there is a greenhouse effect has been credibly advanced, demonstrated, and explained in the peer-reviewed literature.

    So provide it. Point it out.

    Accordingly, there is no requirement for me or anyone else to re-advance, re-demonstrate or re-explain it. If the trolls genuinely think there is no greenhouse effect, then it is for them to produce a clear, scientific, mathematically-expressed argument. Since they have not done so, no one will pay any attention to their opinion.

    Your premise, you provide it. Again and again you claim it it proven, but that proof is never produced. I can only conclude that you don’t know what you’re talking about and your only get out is your now ad hominem attacks in lieu of sensible scientific answers.

    Some of them now accept that Tyndall’s experiment did in fact demonstrate that greenhouse gases absorb and emit radiation, but they remain blissfully unaware (or willfully determined to ignore the fact) that if greenhouse gases in an atmosphere such as ours absorb and emit radiation they will oscillate at the quantum level, emitting heat directly just as radiators do. And the funny thing about heat is that it causes warming. Get used to it.

    That’s it? That’s the best you can up with come? So carbon dioxide absorbs some heat, so what? It’s fully part of the Water Cycle, all rain is carbonic acid, which as I’ve pointed out before, is entirely missing from your AGWSF comic cartoon energy budget. Carbon Dioxide is therefore fully part of the cooling of the Earth, reducing temps from the 67°C it would be with an atmosphere but without the Water Cycle. Water vapour is the main greenhouse gas, therefore, greenhouse gases do not heat the Earth, they cool it. Think deserts.

    Nowhere that I have looked can I find a proper explanation, no one that I have asked is ever capable of producing real science proof that Carbon Dioxide heats the Earth. Where are all these experiments? Where is your claimed premise Greenhouse Effect scientifically proven? You are arguing from Consensus that there is such a thing, but you all, generic warmists, avoid it every time it is requested. It’s your premise, but you are unable to show any science to back it. You’re up to your neck in logical fallicies, and you’ve no way out.

    In Christian theology, there is the useful concept of invincible ignorance.

    Only in Roman Catholic theology. [The Orthodox have no need of it as they don’t have the RCC doctrine of Original Sin and the various Protestants which do have OS worked out a different solution to that non-existant problem.]

    That phrase nicely describes the state of mind of the “no-greenhouse-gas” trolls. Whatever the actual subject of a scientific discussion, they wrench it around to their driveling pet nonsense, and do not have the courtesy to desist and to discuss instead the topic of the thread which they have intemperately attempted to hijack.

    Why is asking you for proof of your premises a hi-jack? Because you argue from Authority when it suits you?

    It really is time for the moderators to redirect these senseless trolls into a thread of their own, where they can twitter to each other about flat earths, bigfoot, flying saucers, Area 51, phlogiston, phrenology, astrology, voodoo, wicca, elves, dwarves, goblins, gremlins, leprechauns, orcs, trolls, and flying pigs till the purple cows come neighing home to roost and lay their golden eggs in the bong-trees.

    You clearly show you have no answer, only bluff. Put back the Water Cycle and there is no Greenhouse Effect – that AGWScienceFiction plus 33°C warming is a con, A CON, it is missing the middle; the Water Cycle which cools the Earth 52°C to get the temps down to 15°C. And I don’t for one minute think you don’t know exactly what I’m saying here…

    Until you can prove, show and tell, how your Greenhouse Effect can exist with the Water Cycle, you are promoting a belief system as science fact. So please, do stop pretending you’re interested in science truth, you’re not.

  258. KS;
    Gah. Whoever wrote that piece for UBC was talking from the wrong end. So many dubious or outright false IPCC assertions are taken as authoritatively important that he’s just stirring BS with a limp shovel.

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