Claim: ‘One Guy With A Marker Just Made The Global Warming Debate Completely Obsolete.’

Greg Craven, the guy with the marker

Guest Posting by Ira Glickstein

My granddaughter just sent me a link to a video that claims: “One Guy With A Marker Just Made The Global Warming Debate Completely Obsolete.”

I watched the video with interest. He starts off saying he has: “… An argument that leads to a  conclusion even the most ardent skeptic and most panicked activist can agree on. No one I’ve shown it to so far has been able to poke a hole in it. …”

(Source: http://www.upworthy.com/one-guy-with-a-marker-just-made-the-global-warming-debate-completely-obsolete-7?g=2&c=upw1)

GW Dichotomy

As the image from the video indicates, he divides the Global Warming debate into two dichotomies:

  • Global Climate Change (GCC) is “False” (Top Row) or “True” (Bottom Row), and
  • We take Action “Yes” (Column A) or “No” (Column B)

Here are the results he gives for his four boxes:

  1. GCC is False but we unnecessarily take Action. The result is a high “Cost” that results in a “Global Depression”.
  2. GCC is False and we take No Action. The result is a happy face.
  3. GCC is True and we take Action that stops GCC dead in its tracks. The result is a happy face.
  4. GCC is True and we take No Action. The result is “CATASTROPHES [in the] ECONOMIC, POLITICAL, SOCIETAL, ENVIRONMENTAL, [and] and HEALTH” areas.

He ends with the inevitable: “The only choice is Column A” – we must take Action!

“All or nothing”, “Camelot or Catastrophe” arguments have great emotional power in political discourse, where the (usually hidden) assumption is that some things are perfectly TRUE and others are perfectly FALSE. But the real world is mostly in shades of grey. He studiously avoids that complication, because, when shades of grey are considered, his argument, IMHO, falls apart.

Let us take a closer, more realistic look at his four boxes:

  1. GLOBAL DEPRESSION: This box is included to make it appear he is being “fair” to Skeptics. He assumes that taking Action to stop GCC will be so costly that, if it turns out to have been unnecessary, the result will be a “Global Depression”. Certainly, maximum environmental spending will damage the world-wide economy, but I doubt that type of spending, alone, will trigger a “Global Depression”. When we get to box #3 we will see that he doesn’t really think so either!
  2. HAPPY FACE: GCC is “False”, we take No Action, so all is well! But, is it? Does his “GCC” include NATURAL PROCESSES and CYCLES that have caused Global Warming (and Cooling), Floods (and Droughts), and Violent Storms (and Blessed Rain) prior to the advent of Humans on Earth, and before we Humans had the capability to affect the climate? Apparently not, else “GCC” could not be totally “False”.  Therefore, by “GCC” he is referring ONLY to the HUMAN-CAUSED variety, totally ignoring the evidence from the geological, ice-core, and historical records of NATURAL Global Climate Change and some Catastrophes.
  3. HAPPY FACE: This box is totally inconsistent with box #1! If Action to stop Human-Caused Global Warming is so costly as to cause a Global Depression in the first box, would it not also cause such a Global Depression in this box? So, why the Happy Face? Realistically, even if we in the US and other nations in the Developed World take maximum Action to reduce our CO2 emissions, it is totally unrealistic to expect those in the Developing World to do the same. Indeed, China, India, and other countries will continue to build power plants, nearly all of them coal-fired. CO2 levels are bound to continue their rapid increase for at least the coming several decades, no matter what we do.
  4. TOTAL CATASTROPHE: This box is filled with terrible consequences and is intended to scare us into taking maximum Action. He assumes the worst-case Global Warming of several degrees predicted by Climate Models despite the failure of those Climate Models to predict the past 17 years of absolutely no net Global Warming. (The most realistic prediction is continued moderate change in Global Temperatures, mostly NATURAL but some small part HUMAN-CAUSED. As standards of living continue to improve world-wide, populations will stabilize which will allow reasonable action to be taken to moderate CO2 emissions, and Human Civilization will ADAPT to inevitable Natural and Human-Caused Climate Change as we have throughout history.)

Bottom Line: This “One Guy With A Marker” DID NOT MAKE “The Global Warming Debate Completely Obsolete.” His failures of logic:

  • He assumes HUMAN-CAUSED Climate Change is the only kind we need to worry about, which flies in the face of the fact that most Global Climate Change has been and continues to be NATURAL, and not under Human control or influence.
  • He assumes costly Action to prevent GCC will cause a GLOBAL DEPRESSION (box #1) if GCC is “False”, but the same costly Action will cause a HAPPY FACE (box #3) if GCC is “True”. Box #3 contradicts box #1.
  • He ignores the fact that GCC models have way over-predicted Global Warming. For example, taking 1979 (when worldwide Satellite temperature data came available) as a starting point, the average of 102 Global Climate Models predicted warming of 0.9°C (1.5°F) by 2013. Actual warming from 1979 to 2013 has been less than a quarter of that, and there has been no net Global Warming since 1997.  During this time period, CO2 levels have continued their rapid rise. (See  http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/01/12/global-warming-is-real-but-not-a-big-deal-2/)
  • He assumes “All or Nothing at all” and “Camelot or Catastrophe” which is the characteristic of irresponsible EMOTIONAL argument. He ignores the shades of grey in-between. He brings POLITICAL rhetoric to what should be a rational SCIENTIFIC discussion.

Ira Glickstein

[UPDATE 18 May 2014. In a comment:

John Coleman says May 15, 2014 at 12:52 pm)

Ira, please make a video that presents the counter argument so I can put the two videos together for a You Tube “gotcha”. This guy is getting lots of hits and needs to be answered on You Tube.

Thanks for the suggestion John! I've done a video Titled: "One Guy With a Marker - DECONSTRUCTED". It is on You Tube at http://youtu.be/pSmV_QhDmc4 Comments are welcome. Ira]

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

Related: See Craven Attention, where Steve Mosher reports on Greg Craven making a buffoon of himself at AGU.

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About Ira Glickstein, PhD

[Retired] Senior System Engineer (Advanced Avionics and Visionics, Route Planning, Decision Aiding, Five Patents ... at IBM, Lockheed-Martin); Adjunct Associate Professor (System Engineering at University of Maryland, System Science and Computer Science at Binghamton University); PhD in System Science (Binghamton University, 1996); MS in System Science (Binghamton); Bachelors in Electrical Engineering (CCNY)
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189 Responses to Claim: ‘One Guy With A Marker Just Made The Global Warming Debate Completely Obsolete.’

  1. Mark Bofill says:

    An argument that leads to a conclusion even the most ardent skeptic and most panicked activist can agree on.

    How peculiar then, that I disagree.

  2. Shawn in High River says:

    Waste of time even watching it

  3. Michael D says:

    I have little patience for people who think everyone else is stupid.

  4. Peter S says:

    My conclusion is that either: A) He has not shown it to many people
    or B) The people he has shown it to are thick.

  5. sinewave says:

    This presentation with all the happy faces probably works perfectly with first graders.

  6. beesaman says:

    It’s an example of Bertrand Russell’s ‘Excluded Middle’ theory which doesn’t allow for uncertain inference but treats everything as a dichotomy. If you start with a false premise then expect garbage out no matter how well you argue it.

  7. John Coleman says:

    Ira, please make a video that presents the counter argument so I can put the two videos together for a You Tube “gotcha”. This guy is getting lots of hits and needs to be answered on You Tube.

    [John Coleman: Thanks, I am not really set up to do videos but will consider it. Meanwhile, you or anyone else is welcome to use my text above as a rough draft for a video script. Ira]

    [UPDATE 18 May 2014 - John Coleman: THANKS for the suggestion. I've done a video and uploaded it to You Tube at http://youtu.be/pSmV_QhDmc4 Comments are welcome. Ira]

  8. tabnumlock says:

    Why is nicer weather and more abundant crops a catastrophe again? I keep forgetting. Thanks.

  9. WillR says:

    I have seen this argument before. His attire in the photo is most appropriate.

  10. this is about control …the climate hoax is the club we are beaten with.

    it is AGENDA 21 and the reduction of the human population.

  11. Colin Richardson says:

    This is just a variation of the ancient logical fallacy of the false dilemma with a little jazz to try to confuse.

  12. Follow the Money says:

    He’s got as good a shot as any to be the American public relations “face” of the AGW money. James Hansen was for years until he was curtly pushed aside for his anti-cap and trade comments. Michael Mann was being prepped and tested, but became mired in legal claims. Bill Nye the Science Guy looked good, but was destroyed in every debate. His end was marked in that recent HBO skit about with the 97 “scientists” making noise, while Nye sat quietly. He looked like he was ordered to remain quiet, and knew this meant his handlers had no more confidence in him. Defeat was written all over his face. So mass comm now has a place for a new fake face for the banks and energy companies, so why not this guy?

  13. I believe this video has actually been around for a few years now. There is also a piece of comic satire that is floating around which some like to use in public comment threads and forums to prove their point. Here it is:

    This one really bugs me because it paints a picture that just because you believe the “science isn’t settled” that you can’t be eco-friendly or a true conservationist.

  14. Code Monkey Wrench says:

    This video was posted years ago. It’ll work on people with little or no critical thinking skills. Not surprised it’s a hit on Upworthy.

  15. wobble says:

    His game theory analysis is incredibly sophomoric – even if it had been done correctly. Most of us already, intuitively, understand the simple matrix.

    And it’s 50x more expensive to prevent CAGW than to adapt to it – according to the IPCC’s own numbers. His matrix doesn’t align with that fact.

  16. James Strom says:

    This is a sort of inversion of Pascal’s Wager, where you have one box representing an infinite negative instead of an infinite positive.

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pascal's_Wager

    Diagram about 1/3 down the page.

  17. Merovign says:

    That was not even wrong.

    If you’re unwilling to check your assumptions, don’t waste your time challenging others’.

  18. markstoval says:

    “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” ~ H. L. Mencken

  19. Onlooker says:

    This is very much like leftist arguments for government intervention in the economy. Full of false assertions and fallacies.

  20. Trevor Casper says:

    Meh. Too clever by half. The major flaw I see in this type of “we might as well do something since the worst that could happen is we reduce economic activity a little bit, and we might just save the world and all of humanity” argument is that the actions that are “required” will necessitate that citizens of developed countries accept reduced standards of living. Worse than that, arguably, is that the citizens of developing countries will be expected to abandon their aspirations of ever achieving the living standards we currently take for granted in developed countries. The poorest people of the world will be the most affected, and they will suffer and die because of it. These “necessary actions” will exact a huge cost in real human lives, right now, today, if they are enacted. The brainiac (so he thinks) with the whiteboard might have a different take if he were to view the pile of bodies that his actions had condemned.

  21. RJ says:

    The impact of a large asteroid would be even more catastrophic, ending human life on earth, so by his logic we must commit to spend all our money creating the means to identify and destroy any such asteroid, This, of course, would not leave any funds available to combat CAGW, but the number 1 priority has to come first!!!!!

  22. KevinM says:

    “Global Climate Change ”

    In politics, people instantly identify themselves by word choices.

    By the way, he’s using the exact argument CS Lewis proposed: The consequences of not joining the religion are too high to risk, and the benefits are socially good. I wonder if this guy goes to church on Sundays?

  23. hunter says:

    This is the clown that did the meltdown at the AGW a couple of years ago. He has been peddling this naive version of Pascal’s fallacy for years.
    He is literally a climate clown, if you watch his videos (his is very tedious and dereivative work, by the way). At the end, after he talks himself out (long winded) he falls back to the appeal to authority- if you don’t agree with me, get out of my because we climnate obsessed are morally superior.

  24. JPS says:

    I propose someone makes the same grid but instead of using “global climate change” use “huge meteor impact” as the relevant question. then proclaim the “inescapable conclusion” that we should begin preparing for a huge meteor impact.

  25. theyouk says:

    Welcome to the intellectual (largely) wasteland that is Facebook. These types of videos get posted followed by users posting their “2 minutes of hate.” It’s helping create an uber-emotional, anti-logical and scientifically illiterate society.

  26. Merovign says:

    An even slightly meaningful chart would include effective and ineffective action, corruption, and whether there’s an actual warming trend (or cooling, long-term), and whether it’s natural or man-made.

    The uncertainties aren’t just what the temperature will be, it’s the cause, the trend, the length of the trend, and the “solutions” are highly uncertain.

    The very argument itself is on the order of “How do we get out of this pit? Let’s assume we have a ladder…” Additionally, you have to accept the assumption that you’re in a pit.

  27. Eric Anderson says:

    This is pretty old and it is a failure.

    Faulty reasoning employed to reach his conclusion.

  28. JimS says:

    @KevinM

    Those were my first thoughts almost exactly. It parallel’s with C. S. Lewis thought when he said: “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, is of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”
    This is also known as Pascal’s Wager. Mr. Lewis cribbed the concept from Blaise Pascal.

  29. Tom O says:

    You know, basically he IS telling the truth, but he doesn’t realize it. His underlying assumption is that GCC is ONLY global warming, as is everyone else here. The underlying truth is that if GCC is sliding into a mini ice age, and we don’t take the actions that we need to take to protect us from it, then it’s catastrophy, so change the yes to warming and the no to cooling, and he is telling the truth – but it is WHAT is taking action that matters. The sad part is that if we take the action to insure we aren’t clobbered by global cooling, it will cost, but it actually won’t much matter should we be wrong. The world, and we, will adapt. If we take the action to insure we aren’t clobbered by global warming and we are wrong, life on this planet as we know it will be forever changed. And, by the way, global depression versus global catastrophies doesn’t sound like there is any real difference for civilization to me.

  30. PaulH says:

    (Warning: Star Trek reference ahead.)
    Just for fun, in that video substitute the phrase “Global Climate Change” with “Borg Invasion”.

  31. Resourceguy says:

    Retired and system engineer equals organized drivel. Does he really think adaptation is not relevant, such as the case of spending to a depression-level outcome? Well, he has been right to the extent that political leaders have done a good job of ignoring the growing evidence of gross prediction error underlying the policy recommendations. A chaos theory of policy failure and abundance of unintended consequences would be a better approach than oversimplifications with a 2 by 2 matrix.

  32. Latitude says:

    ……….common core

  33. george e. conant says:

    Take Action Now! The mantra of CAGW or CCC or Climate Weirding is all that matters now to the warmista’s. Again I am forced to ask “How do THEY know, for certain, as fact, that all the claims of catastrophy due to CO2 is / will happen(ing)??? The geopolitical machinations are ongoing dynamics perpetrated for thousands of years now by one civilization after another, so it is safe to assume that will continue regardless of climate change or climate stability. As for draconian actions, exactly what kind of actions and who will be winners and who will be losers? Again our geopolitical history will demonstrate what we can expect, that is, the privileged elite with their private armies will remain the dominant force while the masses are herded like cattle by brute force into internment camps for “processing”. The job and duty of freedom and liberty loving people requires work to keep tyranny in check. Like any good crime, we need to “follow the money”. Who has to gain from such gross acquisition of power and wealth? I am not saying by any means that thoughtful caring stewardship of our home planet is unnecessary , surely we should be employing the best of our knowledge and technology exactly toward that end. But done soberly. With truth in science and truth in politics. Perhaps the biggest pollution machine there is is the War Machine. This mans chart and argument I find devoid of facts on the ground. The complexity of our human behavior and the chaotic nature of weather can not be reduced to four squares and an ultimatum for action that is not defined or based on certainty. Making decisions based upon untruth and uncertainty is not only illogical but blatantly endangering our world civilization. This Man with a Marker is yet another attempt to shut down discussion and discovery of DATA and TRUTH regarding our planets climate health.

  34. Jeef says:

    A variation of the god/no god argument. Totally lame.

  35. David Walton says:

    Must be a CSUC educated professor.

  36. Kate Forney says:

    Prog “logic” seldom is.
    The sad thing is, this weenie thinks he’s being very clever. I’d bet London to a brick he’s actually convinced he’s making sense and isn’t just some watermelon appraratchik spouting the party line.

  37. Jaakko Kateenkorva says:

    Using his own chart, the column B has the only box that doesn’t involve $.

  38. Gunga Din says:

    He assumes “All or Nothing at all” and “Camelot or Catastrophe” which is the characteristic of irresponsible EMOTIONAL argument. He ignores the shades of grey in-between. He brings POLITICAL rhetoric to what should be a rational SCIENTIFIC discussion.

    =====================================================================
    Yes he does AND he ignores the negative political consequences (massive loss of freedoms for the masses and massive concentration of power for the few) the “actions” would require.
    His “Global Depression” wouldn’t just be economic.

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2014/05/14/un-environment-program-aims-to-boost-influence-in-push-for-global-green-economy/

  39. CalMike says:

    “No one I’ve show it to so far has been able to poke a hole in it. …”

    This video has been around for many years. If this guy has not seen any holes poked, he has not been paying attention.

    At the very least, box 3 needs to be divided into:
    a) the money spent to mitigate warming actually stops warming.
    b) the money spent to mitigate warming does not stop warming.

    And box 4 should be divided into:
    a) warming is bad.
    b) warming is good.

  40. Ken Harvey says:

    Might be useful for teaching very young pupils what sophistry is.

  41. thegriss says:

    And in the bottom left, he assumes all that money will actually fix a problem that doesn’t exist except in the crazy world of climate modelling.

    Sorry, but you cannot fix the climate models. !

  42. ossqss says:

    Obviously this person doesn’t have the capacity to comprehend the complexity of what he tries to simplify. He is not worth the PCO2 footprint he just left in the net.

    Next up, Bozo the other clown! 》

  43. sven10077 says:

    JPS says:
    May 15, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    I propose someone makes the same grid but instead of using “global climate change” use “huge meteor impact” as the relevant question. then proclaim the “inescapable conclusion” that we should begin preparing for a huge meteor impact.

    Might I humbly suggest a set of shovels and a miner’s cap as props?

    “We know stats wise an ELE impact is inevitable…so get to digging 8 hours a day….

    as your sign off?

  44. F. Ross says:

    A Boolean type truth table requires “true” or “false” values to be of any use.
    The guy with the marker is using values which are open to dispute and his so called “truth table” is, in a word, garbage.

  45. Joseph Murphy says:

    Hard to take him seriously when he begins by claiming no one disagrees with him. I did watch it and it is fairly well reasoned if you are quite naive in several subjects. First and foremost, if what the most ardent alarmist are claiming is true, then it is already to late. That means box 3#, the so called happy face with global warming being true should in fact be a worse case scenario than box #4. Box #3 will result in a combination of climate catastrophe and economic induced catastrophe. I’d rather just have one of those thank you.

  46. Zeke says:

    Applying the Precautionary Principle equally, instead of selectively, requires in this case that all historical examples of economies being “remade” by a “paradigm shift” by some progressive intellectuals (say in the 1900’s) be taken into consideration.

    Examples include China’s Great Leap, Russia, pre-war Germany, North Korea, Romania, Cambodia, and Cuba.

    The Precautionary Principle would then show that these intellectuals rarely if ever get good results from “remaking” economies. Therefore, the Great Transformation to a decarbonized economy plainly has far too many potential deadly consequences that will come with it. Remember that Bill McKibbon has praised Cuba’s rationed, disgusting diet as “semi-sustainable.”

  47. Jim Gleason says:

    Obviously it’s the PROBABILITIES of each scenario actua lly happening as well as our proven ability to provide reasonably efficient remedies. What is the probability that earth will get hit by a huge meteor that will wipe out all life on earth. What is the probability that we will be involved in a fatal car accident. Should we go back to horse and buggy?

  48. Theo Goodwin says:

    It is the very same reasoning that is found in Pascal’s Wager. The conclusion of Pascal’s argument is that every rational person will be in church on Sunday. (Pascal stated the argument for Christians.) I have often wondered when the Head of the EPA will require all of us to attend some appropriate religious service regularly.

  49. philjourdan says:

    A key failure also is that the first quadrant happens if A is chosen regardless. If it is happening and we can stop it, we still have a global depression.

    So column be is the only real answer as everyone loses in Column A.

  50. Dave L says:

    I attended a local talk on ‘climate change’ recently. It was very elementary. Sadly, it went completely over the heads of the general-public attendees — their comprehension of the subject matter was zilch. This is the problem: the average American adult hasn’t a clue what the climate debate is about; their science skills are woefully deficient. Hence the bozos in Washington can continue spinning lies, and the general public will absorb them if they are Democrats and reject them if they are Republicans.

  51. Gerry Shuller says:

    So, what has done to prepare for the Zombie Apocalypse?

  52. Jaakko Kateenkorva says:

    What’s GCC? Does G stand for Godzilla here too? http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/05/14/off-the-rails-godzilla-and-climate/

  53. Chuck Nolan says:

    Not even close.
    Needs to rethink his assumptions.
    cn

  54. elmer says:

    Let’s see, warmer weather, longer growing seasons, more CO2 which means more plant growth, disappearing Tundra which means more inhabitable land, where’s the downside.

  55. Sharpshooter says:

    Typical juvenile thought process as nurtured in the state schools.

  56. lemiere jacques says:

    this stupid diagram would work with any silly fear that a guy suddenly discovered.

  57. Andy DC says:

    What about another choice:

    We are aware of a potential long term problem, but it is not immediate and there is no need to grossly overstate it or panic. We have already taken many positive steps to reduce pollution and our carbon footprint. Like so many other challanges humanity has faced, over the long run, innovation and technology will solve the problem.

    Therefore take no draconian Government action at this time. There are far more pressing problems to tackle, like national debt and the economy. We need to in the short term become energy independent and develop our own relatively inexpensive resources.

  58. tteclod says:

    This is a version of Pascal’s wager. It has the same practical value as the programming language with the same name: it’s a tool to teach logical errors.

  59. elmer says:

    “3. GCC is True and we take Action that stops GCC dead in its tracks. The result is a happy face”
    According to NASA it’s unstoppable so why even try?

  60. Louis says:

    Craven assumes in his scenario #3 that if we take action, we will stop GCC dead in its tracks. But what happened to all the claims that we are already beyond the tipping point and that we have locked in warming for hundreds of years to come? There is little evidence that any actions we take will have a noticeable effect on climate. So the happy face in box #3 is the least likely result.

    Even if GCC is true, the more likely outcomes will be:
    1) We spend a fortune in money and lives trying to prevent climate change with little or no effect, and then we find ourselves without resources to adapt to the still changing climate.
    2) We spend a fortune trying to prevent warming just as we are about to begin a new ice age, and all we succeed in doing is hastening global cooling.
    Neither of the more likely outcomes produces a smiley face.

  61. Steve B says:

    tteclod says:
    May 15, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    This is a version of Pascal’s wager. It has the same practical value as the programming language with the same name: it’s a tool to teach logical errors.
    *********************************************************************************************************
    Hey go easy there. Pascal is my language of choice. It works very well.

  62. L Leeman says:

    Throw the baby into the volcano! Right now! No time to lose! Are you willing to take the chance on what will happen if we dont?

  63. Joe Born says:

    I feel compelled to come to Mr. Craven’s defense. True, the logic is sophomoric, but I personally don’t see it as much worse than that of most catastrophic-anthropogenic-global-warming proponents.

  64. TheLastDemocrat says:

    In these nutty arguments, the set-up is almost always in the initial assumptions. Most any person will nod in agreement for the time-being in an effort to hear the entire idea.

    However, whenever one of these cult members starts their argument, and you can see where it is going, you look very rude cutting it off at the stage of presenting assumptions.

    This is because, to others, you look rude for not even listening to someone’s idea before they have gotten it presented.

    Also, per your own values, you generally do not want to be rude to others unless justified, and justification requires more than, “excuse me, could I ask you about something?”

    -Except when you know what the sales pitch is, and that this is a set-up.

  65. Kevin R. says:

    If we let the State set up a dictatorship to solve any problems there will be catastrophic consequences.

  66. Merovign says:

    25th caller to mention Pascal’s Wager wins tickets to Poincare’s Conjecture opening for Godel’s Theorem at Euclid’s Proof.

  67. Russ R. says:

    What if “we” (the developed world) take action, and “they” (the developing world) continue to emit GHGs in quantities that completely outweigh our reductions.

    Sounds like the worst possible scenario, where Box 1 and Box 4 aren’t mutually exclusive.

    Oh what… that’s not a “what if”… that’s historical reality so far.

  68. Steve Case says:

    We pretty well know that the “solutions” won’t work if CAGW is true, so if CAGW is true and we choose column A we will be broke with no resources to adapt to it. Choose column B we retain the economical resources necessary to adapt.

    The false assumption is believing that the remedy will work.

  69. Sandi says:

    An argument that appeals to emotion without giving appropriate thought to the details.

    It’s an appeal to one’s emotion that you must chose to be either true or false based on whether the premise leads to desirable or undesirable consequences. This is a fallacy since the desirability of a consequence doesn’t make it true.

    The first casualty in this video is truth.

  70. son of mulder says:

    In the YES column the two boxes should be the same because if you solve the problem you don’t know you’ve solved it because you’ve never seen the result of it being true, so no smile I’m afraid, just “Cost & Global Depression”. In the NO column, you don’t smile if “False” because you’ll still be being told that it’s going to happen by the usual gang of eco-religious fanatics. Which leaves “Catastrophes” like bad would happen suddenly, well it wouldn’t. What you’d actually do is adapt as and when depending on individual events,risks, costs, benefits and priorities, like we do anyway in all aspects of life, in the sensible world I inhabit ie Business as usual.

  71. TRG says:

    I like reading blogs like this because sometimes you get to hear from highly intelligent and thoughtful people and you learn stuff. On the other hand, sifting the wheat from the chaff is sometimes more than I can endure.

  72. bobbyv says:

    where is the box for taking action and harming the climate?

  73. sven10077 says:

    TRG says:
    May 15, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    I like reading blogs like this because sometimes you get to hear from highly intelligent and thoughtful people and you learn stuff. On the other hand, sifting the wheat from the chaff is sometimes more than I can endure.

    If I was guilty of chaff I apologize, my only defense is in a game theory sense “One Guy With a Marker” is using a parlor trick to try to Jedi HandWave the gullible.
    There is no(and arguably can be NO b/c of how flawed the models are and how ill equipped said models are to act as a predicative exercise) factoring of %s and orders of probability and as was pointed out the entire exercise is cloaked in the idea that there are ONLY adverse effects which is folly.

    They grew grapes in Iceland and Greenland in antiquity the wheel keeps turning and it is hard to take such sophomoric idiocy seriously.

  74. sven10077 says:

    bobbyv says:
    May 15, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    where is the box for taking action and harming the climate?

    by inference he is postulating that the Gaia Watermelon Kult is ABSOLUTELY engaged in the correct preventive measure…which is STUNNING given the last 17 years.

    I am in awe that the gentleman in question has eliminated with 100% certainty the possibility we are creeping into a mini ice age.

    Astounding really.

  75. David in Cal says:

    Mathematical Game Theory has a 2-person game called “Sentry’s Dilemma”. In this game, the sentry must decide whether or not to shoot someone who might or might not be an enemy. Suppose you assume that failure to shoot an enemy means he will shoot you — a kind of infinite loss. The odd conclusion is that no matter how likely you think it is that he’s an ally, you must shoot him. This is a thought-provoking game. The mathematically correct solution is obviously wrong, but it’s not easy to explain why.

    The 2X2 matrix above is very much like a 2-person game, except that humanity chooses the column and nature chooses the row. Like the Sentry’s Dilemma, if you assume that climate change will cause infinite disaster, and if you assume that we have the means to prevent infinite disaster, then the mathematically correct solution is that we must take that action.

    The problem with this analysis IMHO is that both assumptions are false. It’s not certain that climate change will cause infinite disaster And, it’s not even probable that we have the means to prevent that disaster, if that’s what nature has in store for us.

  76. Mike Tremblay says:

    Regardless of whether it is true or false, the cost of fighting GCC is already producing the conditions for a global depression and the ensuing social unrest and war by raising the price of energy and food. Mr. Craven’s position that we will have a ‘smiley face’ is entirely wrong. The UN’s prediction that GCC, and AGW in particular, will cause millions of climate refugees ignores the very real evidence that fighting AGW on their terms has already cost the lives of millions of people through famine and violence.

  77. Steve from Rockwood says:

    He even looks stupid. Next!

  78. Ken says:

    The hat is appropriate.

  79. Rob Dawg says:

    Nearly ten years ago I went through the same exercise with a different result:

    Rob Dawg’s Rules for Climate Intervention:
    [formerly named Rob Dawg's rules for environmental inaction:]

    You may NOT skip questions. Feel free to substitute the eco-emergency of
    the moment for “global warming” as all are equal in the eyes of science.

    Is there local climate change? Yes/No
    No: end Don’t Know: pause Yes: continue

    Is there global climate change? Yes/No
    No: end Don’t Know: pause Yes: continue

    Is global climate change bad? Yes/No
    No: end Don’t Know: pause Yes: continue

    Is global climate change going to continue? Yes/No
    No: end Don’t Know: pause Yes: continue

    Is global climate change controllable? Yes/No
    No: end Don’t Know: pause Yes: continue

    Is global climate change controllable by human action? Yes/No
    No: end Don’t Know: pause Yes: continue

    Is global climate change worse than the actions required? Yes/No
    No: end Don’t Know: pause Yes: continue

    If you have reached this point on the decision tree you may
    now proceed to the public plebiscite process to determine
    which radical actions are most popular/acceptable.

    —–

    Remember I went through this a decade ago.

  80. Clovis Marcus says:

    This did the rounds years ago under the heading “the most important video you will ever see.”

    It is just another way of stating the “what if we made a better world for no reason” argument.

  81. RoHa says:

    Let’s be charitable. When he says “we” take action, he might actually mean everyone. (Highly unlikely, I know. He’s an American, and so probably doesn’t take the rest of the world into account, but let’s pretend he does.)
    In that case, it may be unrealistic, but he does mean the whole world reducing its CO2 emissions.

    But Louis is right. There is still an unwarranted assumption there. He assumes that Action will prevent the catastrophe.

    It won’t.

    It’s too late.

    Last summer I opened a can of beer. The CO2 from that beer was the final bit needed to push us over the tipping point. It is working its way through the system. The chain of events is now unstoppable.

    We’re doomed.

  82. Andyj says:

    OMG! We’re doomed! After applying his theory to zombie invasions we have no recourse but to dig up everything hat is dead and eat it.

  83. Jake Haye says:

    The clown in the vid does at least demonstrate a firm grasp of what the ’cause’ is really about: lying to gullible idiots.

  84. Louis says:

    son of mulder makes a good point. Boxes 1 and 3 are basically the same. It doesn’t matter if GCC is true or not. If we take steps to combat GCC, and the predictions of gloom and doom fail to materialize, alarmists will claim our actions prevented the catastrophe. The only way to prove them wrong is if we take no action and nothing bad happens to the climate. That is why they are getting so desperate for us to take action. They know their fraud will be exposed soon if we don’t.

  85. gbaikie says:

    My first reaction is that people should be require a license to have the right to use a marker.
    As apparently some people are too stupid for this privilege.
    But then remembered that government is so stupid they would probably think this hapless twit should be only one with this privilege.

  86. Keith says:

    What if Earth cools? Can we really afford to do nothing in preparation for cooling? The required added Energy supplies and Food Sources. Only one conclusion, we must prepare for Cooling. aka the Cooling Precautionary Principle.

  87. wobble says:

    CalMike says:
    May 15, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    “No one I’ve show it to so far has been able to poke a hole in it. …”

    A few years ago, he was forced to disable comments on youtube because so many holes were being poked into it. So funny.

  88. Here’s my grid:

    I predict that if the world doesn’t pay me 1 billion dollars, the world will end in 2020.

    Pay Don’t pay
    I’m right world losses a measly 1 billion END OF THE WORLD!
    I’m wrong world losses a measly 1 billion Nothing happens

    Well given the OMG, END OF THE WORLD if I’m not paid … it’s only logical to pay me. I’ll accept gold, diamonds and US currency thanks. It’s foolproof as long as you focus only on illogical imaginary worst case scenarios! But come on, do you really want to risk it!? 

  89. Pete Brown says:

    I don’t know why you’re giving air time to this garbage. He piles logical fallacy onto logical fallacy.

  90. Jeff says:

    “No one I’ve show it to so far has been able to poke a hole in it. …”
    So far his his dog, his cat, and his pet rabbit have seen it….

  91. sunsettommy says:

    Ha ha ha,

    I debated with him for a very short time in youtube comment board,until he realized I knew far more than he did on the topic.I had invited him to discuss his stuff at my old global warming skeptics forum,but never did join for the debate.

    He does not impress me in the least.

  92. Roy Spencer says:

    saw this years ago. stupid, naive argument. As I recall, it assumes there’s no cost in “fixing” the problem, when in fact that’s where most of the human cost resides.

  93. Tanya Aardman says:

    You can defeat all alarmists simply using Reductio ad Absurdum

  94. LogosWrench says:

    The like the mayor of my old home town once said “if everyone swept his own doorstep the whole world would clean.” So all I can say to these alarmists is set the example and sweep your own doorstep. Hey lefty low CO2 starts with you.

  95. John Of Cloverdale WA, Australia says:

    My first thought was he drinks too many sugar drinks (look at the empty cans on his desk).
    But best summed up in Einstein’s words:
    “Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the the universe.”

  96. Gary Hladik says:

    Theo Goodwin says (May 15, 2014 at 1:50 pm): “It is the very same reasoning that is found in Pascal’s Wager. The conclusion of Pascal’s argument is that every rational person will be in church on Sunday. (Pascal stated the argument for Christians.)”

    I suppose the Muslim equivalent is called “Muhammad’s Wager.” :-)

  97. Steve says:

    He doesn’t cover the most likely scenarios
    1. “We act, but it does nothing because the warming isn’t man made and the warming continues” — In this case you’ve just caused a global recession AND the world comes to and end also, basically both the upper left and bottom right corners of his chart happen at the same time. That is worse than just the lower left box.

    2. “We act, and the climate changes, but not how we want it to change”.

    How do we know if we change man’s input to the climate what the result will be? He only assumes our actions will cause the exact effect on the climate we want, not too little, not too much, but just exactly right. Even if we effectively remove man’s impact on the climate, the climate will still have forces acting on it, so removing man’s impact does not mean the climate stays the same. What if we ARE warming the climate, but without our input, the climate would head into an ice age? In that case, we remove our effect then the earth goes into an ice age that freezes all but the areas near the equator, and all the bad things that happen if we had done nothing and the warming continues look ten times more appealing than all the bad things that happen when 2/3 of the world is under a sheet of ice.

  98. Proud Skeptic says:

    I’ve been saying the same thing ever since this loon posted his video but like all religious fanatics, recognizing and admitting to failures in logic often falls on deaf ears.

  99. GoneWithTheWind says:

    This arguement is strangely familiar. I believe in my youth it was the same arguement I would make to my date in the backseat of the car at the drivein.. If we have sex there are two possibilities: 1.We will both enjoy it or 2. I will enjoy it. We have no choice, we must select column A and have sex. There was 97% consensus among the guys that this was the correct choice but as expected many of the girls were skeptics.

  100. D. B. Cooper says:

    He has the mental agility of a head of broccoli.

  101. Streetcred says:

    The only thing that I agree with Craven on … is that he is wearing the right hat.

  102. William Astley says:

    In support of:
    RJ says:
    May 15, 2014 at 1:01 pm
    The impact of a large asteroid would be even more catastrophic, ending human life on earth, so by his logic we must commit to spend all our money creating the means to identify and destroy any such asteroid, This, of course, would not leave any funds available to combat CAGW, but the number 1 priority has to come first!!!!!

    William:
    The Fool’s marker presentation needs to address a couple of key issues which all warmists have avoided even acknowledging, as opposed to actually discussing.

    The Fool should have noted that as the green scams (wind and solar) are not capable of significantly reducing CO2 emissions (best actionable is around 20% reduction for a tripling of electrical costs), if CO2 emissions truly are a problem (which they are not) we need a massive program to convert the entire planet to nuclear power, sad face for environmentalists/warmists who do not understand or ignore basic engineering facts and are completely clueless concerning as to how economies work and do not work, and who irrationally hate nuclear power.

    The Fool should have noted that as nuclear power is roughly 8 times more expensive than coal plants, a massive transfer of wealth from the developed countries to the developing countries is required to enable the entire world to be powered by nuclear power. The Fool should have noted that as the developed countries are deeply in debt this will require massive cuts to education, health care, roads, government departments (another sad face).

    The Fool should also have added that part of the carbon scam is signing on to a massive carbon tax which will create thousands of bureaucratic carbon trading jobs Vs the loss of millions of jobs due to the tripling of electrical costs and the loss of more jobs to Asia as Asia will cheat and will not follow the idiotic carbon cap. (another sad face).

  103. Kurt says:

    Another flaw in the logic of the video not mentioned in the original post is that ignores the cost to society if a warmer world is beneficial and we prevent that warming.

  104. Goldie says:

    I’m surprised he didn’t use finger puppets or interpretative dance!

  105. “A variation of the god/no god argument. Totally lame.”

    Except that believing in God per se costs nothing. And even if people disagree with you, they will still respect your right to your own opinions. Religion could be brought into the equation but that is for another forum.

    IIRC, his claims that his premise is valid based on the assumption (the only assumption he admits) that we don’t know one way or another.

    But we do know. We do have a rough posterior probability of AGW being true, and it’s less than 50% IMHO. If it was 50/50, maybe he’d have a point. But 50/50 is not the same as not knowing. 50/50 by definition means that we do know. Just like we know that a coin flip will give 50/50 results.

    What is the definition of rationality? Believing and acting in proportion to evidence. If that means funding asteroid detection, I would be all for that. In fact, I am.

  106. Bob says:

    This video, or one like it, was around several years ago, and it was obvious that the endgame was determined by unsupported assumptions.

    It’s kind of like when someone says, “Let’s face it…”, you know that they are trying to trick you into agreeing to something that is probably not true. The same thing takes place on the phony board game. It is a game, isn’t it?

  107. David L. says:

    The solution is simple: everyone who believes in CAGW needs to adopt the Amish way of life immediately. Move to the country and start homesteading. If they don’t, then I don’t believe that they actually believe in CAGW.

  108. jim says:

    The first rule of Climate Hoax club is we do not talk about the “hoax” in Climate Hoax club.

  109. Scott says:

    Sorry mods I tried the links can you please delete the two above. I hope this works

    [all that appears is a "This video does not exist." warning. Mod]

  110. RoHa says:

    @Gary Hladik.
    “I suppose the Muslim equivalent is called “Muhammad’s Wager.””

    No, it isn’t. Muhammad did not present that argument. Not is it clear that it would strictly work for Islam, since some Muslim theologians argue that the punishment of Hell is not eternal, and therefore not infinite.

    But one of the weaknesses with the wager (pointed out by Hobbes*, among many others.) is that it can be applied to most religions that include rewards and punishments, including the religion you made up five minutes ago. I used Harwood’s Wager to argue for honouring the Ancient Gods.
    (See “In Praise of Zeus”, R. Harwood, The Philosophers’ Magazine 3:18-19 (1998)

    (*Thomas Hobbes, not this Hobbes, who is undoubtedly named after him.

    http://imgur.com/a/z0Vt6)

  111. talldave2 says:

    I enjoyed this ARTICLE and I would like THANK you for SHARING it.

  112. Eric Simpson says:

    What a flatulent load of garbanzo beans. The “guy with a marker” says “what if the alarmists aren’t wrong, then we are facing mega-disaster in 20 or even 10 years…”
    Right. Consider what the alarmists have said 20, even 30 years ago, about what we would be facing in 10 or 20 years (year 2000!):
    “Entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000. Coastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus of eco-refugees, threatening political chaos.” -Noel Brown, ex UNEP Director, 1989
    “[Inaction will cause]… by the turn of the century [2000], an ecological catastrophe which will witness devastation as complete, as irreversible as any nuclear holocaust.” -Mustafa Tolba, 1982, former Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program
    Well, we’re still here, but none of that baloney happened. The sea is just the same. Everything is just the same. Wow. It’s like a broken record, or constant Crying Wolf. They just keep uttering the same fear mongering drivel over and over again, decade after decade, they keep saying that we are doomed in a decade or two, but decades pass, and there is no doom. Yeah, we’re supposed to put ourselves into global depressions and strict global governance and control for what ain’t. going. to. happen.
    “Five years is all we have left if we are going to preserve any kind of quality in the world.” -Paul Ehrlich, Stanford Biologist, Earth Day 1970

  113. Merrick says:

    As several said up front, total waste of time watching it. I’m sure all of the arguments I’ll make have been made already by the bright group of folks around here, and I’ll just name a few.

    First, in column 1, true, you STILL get all the crap of column 2, true, only you have nothing in the bank to help make it better. In either case you’re still probably screwed. In column 2, true, he tried to act all “I’m being fair and stuff” because he was so “harsh” on column 1, false, but that just plays into his scenario, he’s not being “unbiased” he’s being completely biased and trying to cover it up with slight of hand. And, most importantly, there is still the issue of TRUE being TRUE as far as rising temperatures but rising temperatures are GOOD and BENEFICIAL.

    You, Mr. “wondermind42″ – do not have such a wonderful mind. You’re as biased as most and as blind to your biases as most. And, yes, I am probably blinded by my biases as well – but not blinded to his!

  114. The problem, as I see it, is that Craven is (“Obviously” to quote a well-known troll here) unable to see the future. Given the fact that he claims otherwise he is obviously a false prophet. I say he needs to read Deuteronomy 18.

  115. Poptech says:

    Craven’s video was debunked by another YouTube video when it came out in 2007:

  116. Eric Simpson says:

    And another thing, regarding the marker dude’s worry that in a decade or so we are going to be facing the sea rising en masse over island nations and coastal communities, well, as far as the powers that be in terms of wealth and money are concerned, they don’t seem at all worried, as the Maldives are building a multi-billion dollar airport on the beach, see graphic: http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/05/15/what-about-the-maldives-airport/

  117. “…what a waste it is to lose one’s mind or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is.” Dan Quayle III

  118. Greg Craven has presented a potted version of the Stern Review.

    Mr Craven seems to be unaware of the time value of costs and benefits. His timing assumptions for column A and column B costs and benefits are not stated.

    But we know from the Stern Review that the time value of costs and benefits (discount rate) has to be set extremely low in order to come to the Mr Craven’s conclusion, which is the same conclusion as the Stern Review. (Professor Stern is perfectly aware of the inter-generational bias in his Review.)

    The problem is that the costs are up front and the benefits far off in the future. (At the usual risk-free real discount rate of about 7%, the real (without inflation) value of a benefit or a cost falls to half after about 10 years.)

    As I understand Professor Tol’s critique of the Stern Review, this is a major defect of the Stern Review.

    Mr Craven focuses on costs. But what about the benefits of increased CO2 and the benefits of warming? This too was a defect in the Stern Review, also pointed out by Professor Tol..

    In this blog, Ira stated, “Certainly, maximum environmental spending will damage the world-wide economy, but I doubt that type of spending, alone, will trigger a “Global Depression””.

    My comment

    Policies to shut down coal power plants in favor of high cost renewables won’t cause depression if other sources of cheap energy can be developed. What would cause a global depression is the same thing that caused the global depression of the 1970’s, government policies that radically increase the cost of energy.

    The purpose of carbon taxes is to reduce CO2 emissions by increasing the behavioral cost of energy above its resource cost.

    Theoretically revenue from business and personal taxes could be reduced to exactly offset revenue from carbon revenues, but few governments would be willing to do that. Instead, carbon taxes would likely be used less efficiently by government than by businesses and households. Carbon taxes could cause depression in a particular country because they are unlikely to be revenue-neutral and because they would tend to distort international trade..

    Exporters in high-energy cost countries could suffer from competition by countries with lower carbon taxes. Producers for domestic markets could suffer from competition by cheap imports from countries with low-energy taxes. Prices would in effect be set by government policies instead of resource costs. This could in theory be a zero-sum game: winning and losing countries would balance wins and losses.

    No global depression but depression in those countries with high carbon taxes.

    To get a global depression would needs a draconian international treaty for reducing carbon emissions that would be enforced on all nations so that carbon taxes are revenue-neutral in all countries. This is theoretically possible but politically impossible.

    What is more certain is that the world-wide increase in inefficient government spending would dissipate whatever benefits might accrue from reduction of carbon emissions. (I am here referring to economic efficiency rather than inefficiency that arises through inappropriate budget allocations and corruption.)

    I conclude that Ira is correct in saying that maximum environmental spending, but for the wrong reasons.

  119. Leonard Jones says:

    This reminded me of a quote by Soylent Green:

    “These guys (Climate Scientists) are so incompetent, they have to cheat to prove a circular argument.” — Soylent Green.

    I would not recommend his Blog to anyone who is offended by the sight of nekked
    women, but he is on our side on the issue of AGW.

    Also from his Blog:

    “If more people had their Ship High In Transit eaten by skunks, it’d be a better world.” — Steamboat McGoo Steamboat was another vocal AGW skeptic.

  120. Oracle says:

    Can someone with a vid cam please do a response
    showing how we must equally prepare for
    an alien invasion, just in case…

    Even the United Nations is preparing lol:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=united+nations+alien+ambassador&tbs=lr:lang_1en&complete=0&gbv=0&hl=en&lr=lang_en&num=99

  121. Colorado Wellington says:

    This reminds me of an argument for the conversion of the United States to Communism made to me some years back by a little-known Colorado Maoist. She was so proud of her special insights and equally convinced about the intellectual unavoidability of that choice. And she sounded just as stupid.

    I know, I frequent some strange neighborhoods. It’s the one thing that truly is unavoidable in the People’s Republic of Boulder.

  122. You know what’s funny? While I was out today, I wondered – purely hypothetically – if anyone would try to use the “unavoidable conclusion” fallacy to promote communism. I dismissed the thought, but I am bemused that it has already been tried. :-)

  123. Sandi says:

    Re: The Most Terrifying Video You’ll Ever See, NOT!

  124. jauntycyclist says:

    the hat probably sums it up.

  125. michel says:

    This is a version of Pascal’s Wager. Here is how the original works.

    Christianity (for him Catholicism) may be true, or it may be false. We may believe it, or we may choose not to.

    If we believe and its true we go to heaven. Great.
    If we believe and its false, we live a better life. Great
    If we disbelieve and its false its no better than the above. Neutral.
    If we disbelieve and its true, eternal damnation. Very bad indeed.

    Therefore we should believe. The problem of course is that someone says that I was wondering whether to believe in Islam. It seems that if I disbelieve that and its true then I also get eternally dammned, but I cannot believe in that and Christianity, so what am I to do? And then there are those pesky Protestants, what about them? And the Buddhists, who make the mistake of not promising eternal damnation, so maybe they don’t count. But then, there is reincarnation as a toad, so maybe they do….

  126. ironargonaut says:

    I disagree, case 1 is not the worst case. Let me worst case it. We spend billions on fighting cage, we mandate biofuels. Food prices soar. Iran can’t sell oil and can’t afford food. Citizens riot. Iran collapses zealot in charge of nukes believes it is an American plot, nukes Israel Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan. Pakistan thinks they were nuked by India and nukes them. India retaliates. Radiation spreads around globe millions die. Hundreds of millions die in food riots and countries collapse as citizens flee or try to hoarde and hide from fallout. That is no less believable then the cagw fantasy scenario.

  127. Leo Smith says:

    It is a simple use of the false logic of the precautionary principle. That is: actions with uncertain possible negative outcomes should be avoided.”

    I used to be in business with younger partner. he was approached by a firm trying to sell key man insurance. Due to my age the premiums were very high.

    I pointed out to him that the premiums would kill the firm anyway irrespective of whether I fell under a bus.

    Ironically he is now dead form prostate cancer but I am still here after testicular cancer. Funny old world.

    The logic in that film can be reversed.

    Doing something will wreck the economy just as surely as climate change will.

    The only sensible thing is to do nothing and hope.

  128. Jimbo says:

    1. GCC is False but we unnecessarily take Action. The result is a high “Cost” that results in a “Global Depression”.

    2. GCC is False and we take No Action. The result is a happy face.

    3. GCC is True and we take Action that stops GCC dead in its tracks. The result is a happy face.

    4. GCC is True and we take No Action. The result is “CATASTROPHES [in the] ECONOMIC, POLITICAL, SOCIETAL, ENVIRONMENTAL, [and] and HEALTH” areas.

    5. GCC is largely beneficial, we take no action and reap the benefits of longer growing seasons etc.

    6. GCC is over hyped, we take drastic action which fails to have any descernable effect – result > the cure is worse than the disease. (China, India etc. take no action).

  129. luvthefacts says:

    I remember a poster that showed a monkey and a typewriter, the comment was that if you “give enough monkeys a typewriter, you will end up with a Shakespeare ”
    Sadly it doesn’t hold up for Climate Scientists – the best you can hope for is yet another BUFFOON.

  130. Several comments in this thread have equated Pascal’s Wager with the argument presented by Craven in his “Guy with a Marker” video. Although there are similarities in form, Pascal’s Wager is, IMHO, quite different in substance.

    According to Wikipedia:

    Pascal’s Wager is an argument in apologetic philosophy which was devised by the seventeenth-century French philosopher, mathematician, and physicist Blaise Pascal (1623–1662). It posits that humans all bet with their lives either that God exists or does not exist. Given the possibility that God actually does exist and assuming the infinite gain or loss associated with belief in God or with unbelief, a rational person should live as though God exists and seek to believe in God. If God does not actually exist, such a person will have only a finite loss (some pleasures, luxury, etc.).

    In Pascal’s box #1, we choose to live as if God exists, sacrificing some pleasures and luxuries, even thought God does not exist. That is not a big price to pay. In Craven’s box #1, we incur a GLOBAL DEPRESSION to stop a nonexistent Human-Caused GCC from occurring! We also incur Natural GCC, which is much worse than Human-Caused GCC according to the geologic, ice core, and pre-Industrial Age history. A very big price to pay, indeed.

    In Pascal’s box #4, we choose to live as if God does not exist, but He does, and we end up in eternal damnation in Hell. That is a very big price to pay. In Craven’s box #4, we incur CATASTROPHES, but only if Human-Caused GCC is as bad as predicted by the official Climate “Hockey Team” models, if they are correct. Since 1979, Global Warming predictions of those Climate Models have been overstated by 400%, so we have little to worry about on that account.

    So, bottom line, as the song says, “Don’t worry, be happy.”

    Ira

  131. Non Nomen says:

    It is not fiddling with variables like CO², clouds etc. hoping it will be the right switch pulled out of so many, some of them still unknown. The question is about adaptation. Mankind is able to adapt to changing circumstances and some human beings have found pretty inconvenient niches to live in, e.g. the Inuit and the Touareg. No doubt, mankind can and will meet these challenges. It is better to adapt only if and when necessary than kicking up a fuss now and probably worsening everything. But changes do not necessarily mean worsening, which that guy obviously did not mention in his demonstration.

  132. Eric Worrall says:

    I like the Southpark version of making the global warming debate obsolete – much funnier :-)

  133. M. Adeno says:

    In case 3 most likely we are forced to make a HAPPY FACE to the costs additional to the CATASTROPHES because the cost will not decrease CO2 significantly. In Germany we have EUR 50 billion per year with constant CO2.

  134. johnmarshall says:

    I disagree totally. We should look again at the flawed ”science”, correct the gross errors and live a cheaper more energy prolific life. Let nature take its course.

  135. Tim Hammond says:

    The flaw is obvious – in the second row we can either have global depression or catastrophes.

    You then have to show that catastrophes are worse than global depression, which he doesn’t.

    And since global depression is certain but catastrophes less than certain, why would we pick certain awfullness?

  136. Andrew McRae says:

    When it comes to clownish champions of science flunking the logic test on global warming, Bill Nye is not far behind.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2014/05/if-only-bill-nye-knew-what-science-was-john-oliver-couldve-been-funny/

  137. I posted a rebuttal of this a few years ago and had over 2,000 views. Nothing compared to his 6 million. What is more interesting – a horror story or a message that there is nothing to worry about? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MgFgGS98XqA

  138. Adam says:

    What a class-A idiot.

  139. Harry Passfield says:

    A BIG Fail! It didn’t convince me in the slightest. I agree with Ira about the fact that Action=Yes in both True and False boxes lead to polar opposite results – which is illogical. But I also note that the ‘man with the marker’ also assumes that Action=Yes in the True box would actually work and stop GCC! Further, if the actions really could stop GCC, and if GCC has a large natural component, what are the unintended consequences of screwing with the climate?

  140. Tony Berry says:

    It’s a naive and somewhat idiotic application of simple game theory. but without real assessments of the financial pay offs for each outcomei it’s not worth the paper it’s written on.

  141. Bill Weronko says:

    Such logic assumes that decisions based on logic are unobtainable and therefore extreme fears should be our only criteria for decision making. Such totally fatalistic methodology can be used in just about any situation that essentially would result the seizing up of all actions.

    For example, if I leave the house today I could in a worse case scenario: die in a car accident, be murdered on the streets, be hit by lighting and killed, fatally injured in a fall or various other possible nasty scenarios.

    Now if I stayed home I could be fired and fall into an economic depression.

    Clearly the better alternative is to stay at home because the worst case scenario is so much superior in potential outcome.

    As for world issues I can thing of many potential global catastrophes that each require different responses to avoid the worst case scenario. For example: planet sterilization by meteor or comet strike, global pandemic, nuclear war, sun caused EMP blast destroys the entire world electrical grid, aliens hear our radio signals come and destroy us, computers become self aware and take over the world, Mister Obama declares him self dictator for life and civil war starts, etc, etc.

    If you make decisions based on worst case scenario civilization will grind to a halt and that in itself would be a unparalleled disaster.

  142. John A says:

    It’s called “Pascal’s Wager” and its fallacious.

  143. BruceC says:

    What a child can do with a piece of chalk:

  144. Michael Sununu says:

    The real four boxes should be 1) Global Warming is mostly driven by man and we spend massive amounts of money to fix it 2) Global warming is mostly driven by man and we ignore it 3) Global warming is mostly naturally occuring and we spend massive amounts to fix it (and waste that money) or 4) Global warming is naturally occuring and we accept.

    Case #1 is the proverbial happy face. Case #2 is the “catastrophe” case. Case #3 is one that dooms billions of people to poverty without access to inexpensive electricity/energy and everything that can provide (heat, water, food resources, transportation, opportunity) and Case #4 is also the proverbial happy face.

    Given that no one can show Case #2, I would argue that we do everything to avoid Case #3 for humanity’s sake.

  145. Oscar Bajner says:

    |——————————————————————-|
    | R | A Kill Self Now B |
    | U | YES | NO |
    | Mortal? | abort now | wait and see |
    |——————————————————————-|
    | False | kick the bucket :-( | kick the can :-) |
    |——————————————————————-|
    | True | kick the bucket :-( | kick the can :-) |
    |——————————————————————-|
    | p i c k a c o l u m , a n y c o l u m n :D |
    |——————————————————————-|

  146. Tom J says:

    I’m not making this up. (Yeah, I know I’ve got a credibility problem when I have to start a comment with, ‘I’m not making this up.’)

    But, seriously, I’m not making this up. One of the first things a newborn infant responds to, as their brand new eyes start to see, is a smiley face. This is a well researched and recognized response, and in fact, in the literature it’s called just that; ‘the smile response.’ Any kind of smiley face will do. Even those well known solid yellow circle comic smiley faces will elicit a response.

    Therefore in my mind (which still has some form of existence after years of over exuberant alcohol consumption) I feel that any research that simplistically relies on appealing to the very first emotional response we exhibit after we’ve been plopped into this world is research that’s inherently suspect.

  147. JohnWho says:

    Well, there is a great problem here with the original video:

    the chance that the global climate will change is pretty much 100%.

    Whether we do anything or not, and whether the change will be good or not.

    100%.

    Do nothing or do something, doesn’t matter, we can not keep the climate from changing.

    100%

    Climate change is here to stay. (Well, actually it has been here all along ever since the first observed instance of the Earth’s climate.)

    Climate warming on a global scale being caused by human CO2 emissions remains very minor to barely noticeable to not discernable in the last 15 to 17 years if it is measureable.

    Do nothing or do something doesn’t matter if we can’t discern the difference, does it?

  148. hunter says:

    Craven does not deserve the amount of attention he is being given. He is a neurotic imbecile, using phony childish arguments, decpetion and misdirection to sell his program.

  149. Colorado Wellington says:

    Karim D. Ghantous says
    May 15, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    You know what’s funny? While I was out today, I wondered – purely hypothetically – if anyone would try to use the “unavoidable conclusion” fallacy to promote communism. I dismissed the thought, but I am bemused that it has already been tried. :-)

    Good instinct. The “unavoidable conclusion” argument is central to the Marxist belief system. Because science, you know. Like gravity and stuff, man.

    In fact I’ve heard some variations of it so many times I can’t recount them all. It’s just that this particular clown’s smugness reminded me of that Maoist clown.

  150. kcrucible says:

    The take action and stop global warming will have the high cost and global depression, even if it works… the cost is independent of whether it was needed or not. Glossing that over and leaving it out of the chart shows that he’s either an idiot or a con-man… either way, not someone to give a moment’s thought to.

  151. Colorado Wellington says:

    “… No one I’ve show it to so far has been able to poke a hole in it. …”

    How do you poke a hole in vacuum?

  152. usurbrain says:

    He also left out “HOW MANY DIE?” because we take action! AND several other hidden costs of taking action.

    The unpublished reason for the Three Mile Island Accident was because until that accident they ONLY analyzed for WORST case scenarios and accidents (e.g. a 1 in pipe break – the smallest pipe in the plant and a 24 double guillotine pipe break the largest and worst possible method). If it was OK at these two values IT MUST BE OK in between! Well, the problem was with a leak on a pipe larger than 1 inch but not at 24 inches. None of the data fit what the operators were taught – they were confused and not properly trained. The rest is history. In 100 years the AGW FRAUD will be history – BUT WE WILL HAVE WASTED A BILLION-TRILLION $

  153. usurbrain says:

    How much of the continued recession in the USA and elsewhere is caused by the present “Take Action” to eliminate AGW?

  154. Craig Loehle says:

    Those who have this type of view of the world (black/white) and are highly risk averse can end up paralyzed. Every action can lead to catastrophe. Sunny day and hot? Better take an umbrella and coat–you can’t be too safe. Better not go for a walk, someone might mug you. Spend weeks and weeks trying to decide what suit to buy because it might be the wrong choice and someone will laugh at you. Revise and revise and revise that report because maybe there is a mistake.

  155. don says:

    Yeah, and if the players of tic tac toe make optimal moves with no mistakes the game can’t be won.

  156. matayaya says:

    Why does everything have to end up in absolutist terms. The take away I get, not just from the subject post and comments, but from this AGW/skeptic discussion in general, is what my common sense response should be. Consider the thin troposphere, 20k at the equator and 7 at the poles, then 7 billion people, soon to be 9 billion; all burning and dumping carbon into that thin finite space. Does common sense tell me that is not a good thing? Can the effect be benign? No, then what can little ole me do about it? It’s not much, but solar panels on my roof cut my electric bill considerably. The technology is not there yet, but I can imagine that not too long from now I will be able to plug in a car from those solar panels. My small house is well insulated with good windows and I don’t fly as much as I did in the past. My car gets good gas millage and I try to avoid unnecessary trips. For medical reasons I eat less meat and that translates into less energy usage. It’s not much, but for one libertarian person, it’s something. Trying to decentralize from the grid is a good thing. Others should be encouraged to do so.
    I think we Americans are the essential nation that can lead as well. If we don’t lead, much of the rest of the developing world will just burn more and more coal and aspire to consume as much as us in the developed countries. Surely we can agree that massive burning of coal is not a good idea. We have natural gas and nuclear. Wind and solar can help. This won’t “stop” global warming but it could take some of the curse off of it if lots of folks transition to new energy sources and consume less of it.
    It is not human nature to get throw our hands up and just let it happen without a fight. Even if warming were not occurring, an ethic of stewardship should not be controversial. An ethic toward energy efficiency and stewardship does not equate to crashing the economy.

  157. Steve R says:

    This is a great example of wht happens when we toss away the scientific method and substitute in its stead the precautionary principle. It is as if we’ve rejected the enlightenment and moved backwards to the dark ages.

    Also, to point out a fundamental flaw in the logic, under the column A, he has global depression ONLY for the case when climate change turns out not to be true, but directly under it he has a happy face for if it DOES turn out to be true. That is nonsense, if the cost will cause a depression along the “climate change is NOT TRUE” row, it will also cause a depression on the climate change is TRUE row. I don’t understand why he puts a happy face on that. (well I do understand, but it is flawed)

  158. RHS says:

    That isn’t a debate or an argument, that is an agenda!

  159. Zaphod Beeblebrox (part-time galactic president) says:

    His argument is as facile as the St Paul et al “proof” of the existence of god.

    “If God doesn’t exist, everyone is wasting their time praying to him- therefore God exists”

    This is only proof that St Paul et al thinks everyone else is an idiot.

  160. kcrucible says:

    “Does common sense tell me that is not a good thing? Can the effect be benign? No, then what can little ole me do about it?”

    The effect COULD be benign. There’s no proof one way or another. AGW proponents stipulate non-benign outcomes, based on their models, but those models are not reality (nor even very good models of reality.)

    You declaring “No” based on your “common sense” isn’t the end of the story of if it’s worth doing.

    IF stopping 3 degrees of warming meant everyone needed to live in a 400 Sqft apartment within walking distance of their work, would it mean it should be done? Pretty much civilization as we know it would end.

    That said, I drive cars with good gas mileage, I have a small fuel-efficient house that meets my needs . I do these things to benefit ME, not to benefit the World Wildlife Federation buying up tracts of land in the Amazon and wanting to be funded. I do these things to benefit ME, not the abundant third world countries looking for handouts. I do these things to benefit ME, not to give the UN an excuse to wield power over sovereign nations.

    Research into new forms of energy is always a worthwhile cause, research into new methods of conservation is good. Adopting these things before they’re economically viable based simply on an ideal, hype or political payout for cronies is stupid.

  161. G P Hanner says:

    What a load of disingenuous hoo-ha. He is setting up a bias so that his preferred choice is the one that MUST be taken.

    He doesn’t know what the outcome of taking no action in the face of a TRUE state is. Everything he claims to be an outcome itself may or may not come to pass. And I will point out that global warming is likely to be much more benign than global cooling. As an example, show me how well the food crops on the Greenland ice sheet are doing.

    He also ignores the fact that humans have adapted to very severe climatic conditions over a few hundred thousand years — and that includes adapting to the harsh climate of a global ice age.

    No. His claim is not at all bullet proof. It is only bullet proof if you accept his initial claims.

  162. c1ue says:

    Idiotic. A long restatement of the precautionary principle.
    The fact that global depression is well known, while global catastrophe is in no way proven, just shows where this so-called objective commentator really comes from.
    Equally this “row” vs “column” thinking – completely fabricated nonsense.

  163. Bob Kutz says:

    Nevermind the fact that wasting economic resources in useless efforts to reduce carbon emissions hinders our ability to build a strong resilient economy that will help us cope with the results of naturally occurring weather and climate issues.

    If we do this, and we’re wrong; it won’t be global depression we’re worried about. It’ll be mass starvation and human suffering because we sold our future for a pocket full of magic beans.

    People in the third world need to develop their economies and they aren’t going to do it with solar panels and prius’.

  164. Zeke says:

    Zaphod Beeblebrox (part-time galactic president) says:
    May 16, 2014 at 9:46 am His argument is as facile as the St Paul et al “proof” of the existence of god. “If God doesn’t exist, everyone is wasting their time praying to him- therefore God exists”
    This is only proof that St Paul et al thinks everyone else is an idiot.”

    The Galactic inventor cannot provide a reference; this I can guarantee.

  165. Jeff says:

    “Zeke says:
    May 16, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    The Galactic inventor cannot provide a reference; this I can guarantee.”

    He doesn’t need to….

  166. Jeff says:

    There is no other reference to be had … see Hebrews 6:13…

  167. Zeke says:

    False ascription of a statement to an author is not good scholarship. It is also dishonest to make up quotes.

  168. Jeff says:

    I didn’t make up the quote….you can look it up…

  169. Zeke says:

    No I can’t because it is not in the NT. Galactic Inventor can tell us where he got the quote.

  170. Dan Pangburn says:

    The best selection is row 1, column B. Next best is a minimal study of what drives sunspot numbers and what actions to take to mitigate the effects of global cooling.

    Three observations at http://www.middlebury.net/op-ed/pangburn.html demonstrate that CO2 change has no significant effect on climate This was made public 6 years ago.

    1) In the late Ordovician, the planet plunged into the Andean/Saharan ice age and later emerged from it while the CO2 level was about 10 times the present.
    2) During the last glacial period, warming trends changed to cooling trends while the CO2 level was higher than it had been during the warming trend.
    3) During the 20th century, average global temperature trends went down, up, down, up, flat (soon to be down) while the CO2 level went steadily, progressively up. Lack of correlation implies lack of causation.

    This finding was corroborated and the two climate drivers that explain 90% of the average global temperatures since before 1900 are identified at http://agwunveiled.blogspot.com

  171. Leonard Jones says:

    The basic gist of this guy’s argument is the now rather stale line that we cannot
    afford to wait to take action. His best case, or lesser of two evils is one that
    involves taking action when none is needed, resulting in worldwide depression.

    The left column smiley face involves doing nothing with GCC being false. If his
    logic were correct, and one did not know which answer was the right one, Logic would
    force one to hedge his bet against the possibility that GCC was possibly true.

    His argument is not about which is the correct course of action, it is about getting
    people to chose global depression instead of the Armageddon or Doomsday scenario.

    We skeptics see 350PPM as a piss in the ocean. We know the answer results in
    a :) and not a :(

  172. Akatsukami says:

    don says:
    May 16, 2014 at 9:01 am

    “Yeah, and if the players of tic tac toe make optimal moves with no mistakes the game can’t be won.”

    Incorrect; if the two players make optimal moves with no errors, the first player always wins.

  173. PPaul says:

    The problem with Pascal’s Wager or the “Precautionary Principle” is that we can create an infinite set of possible disasters involving the end of humanity; in an infinite universe Planet x will attack us with weapon y where x,y is an element of infinite sets and etc. There is no justification for saying that one end of humanity is worse than any other. Humanities’ resources are finite. So our obligation is to spend a finite amount of money on each element of an infinite set, so we must spend at the limit, zero dollars on each catastrophe. This does not guide us a bit. In the Pascal format, we must worship an infinite number of Gods to assure paradise.

    How about weighting each disaster by its probability of occurrence and saying AGW is the most probable disaster? As any statistician knows, the probability that one realization of an infinite distribution will occur is at the limit, zero.

  174. Steve in SC says:

    I will take bets on whether the originator of the video is an Obama supporter.
    My money says that he is.

  175. Matt says:

    You’ve already done a fine job of writing the counterpoint here, but I’ll add — you can have this argument for any scenario you can imagine and skew the results whichever way you want. Without assigning realistic probabilities to each outcome, it is a meaningless exercise. Example: If Godzilla comes to New York and we do not spend any money to prepare, the result is catastrophe and the destruction of one of the biggest financial centers in the world with countless casualties, whereas the only negative consequence if we are wrong about Godzilla but prepare anyway is a ‘global depression.’ Obviously, we had better prepare for the coming of Godzilla.

  176. RAH says:

    You don’t have to “poke a hole in it” because it is Swiss Cheese to start with. It is a worthless simplistic argument formulated for simpletons.

  177. Box of Rocks says:

    Matt says:
    May 16, 2014 at 7:57 pm

    The sooner Godzilla destroys NYC the better….

  178. Neo says:

    I’ll never get that 9 minutes back.

    What is a giant meteor hits us while we go down the column “A” ? … or a pointy stick ?

  179. LarrySeven says:

    This is nothing new. This is a restatement of the “argument” that we must do something because if we don’t, the world might end.

    And I don’t see this convincing anyone because anyone stupid enough to fall for this has already fallen for the original version of this argument from emotion fallacy.

  180. Lena says:

    Column A is identical in effect to column B with the exclusion of man made GCC induced catastrophes. Other than a beginners guide to truth tables and propositional logic and required assumptions nothing new is added or revealed. By the way off topic sort of, just ran across an article where a well know insurance company is suing 20 communities in Illinois on the grounds that they should have known that man made global warming was going to cause excessive losses. “If it does not make any sense there is money involved”

  181. Justa Joe says:

    matayaya says:
    May 16, 2014 at 9:30 am
    …Can the effect be benign? No, then what can little ole me do about it?
    —————————————–
    Your personal little lifestyle modifications are beyond negligible You’re welcome to all the futile gestures you want. I’ll pass.

  182. guest says:

    “Global depressions” cause “CATASTROPHES [in the] ECONOMIC, POLITICAL, SOCIETAL … ” – “environmental catastrophes” only matter to the extent that they destroy private property – “… [and] HEALTH” areas, too.

    So, boxes 1, 3, and 4 should all include:

    – Depression,
    Catastrophies in the
    – Economic,
    – Political,
    – Societal, and
    – Health areas

  183. C. Shannon says:

    The real problem with his analysis is that it greatly sugar coats column A.

    But apparently the people who live in countries that don’t have access to cheap and abundant energy being asked to sacrifice their lives in order that the rest of the world be able to make sure they survive is adequately captured by the words “Economic Recession”.

    The real chart is:
    =======
    Column A
    =======
    -Spend unimaginable amounts of money that have no appreciable effect on the climate.
    -Economic, Political, and social unrest throughout the world as across the board quality of life is reduced ultimately for no reason at all.
    -Poor countries hit the hardest as they not only have to continue living without cheap or abundant energy but now the wealthy countries can no longer afford to send aid leaving them condemned to die.
    ————–
    -Spend unimaginable amounts of money that have no effect on the climate.
    -Economic, Political, and social unrest throughout the world as countries spend even more money to mitigate the effects.
    -Poor countries hit the hardest as they not only have to live in the new climate without cheap or abundant energy but now the wealthy countries can no longer afford to send aid leaving them condemned to die.

    =======
    Column B
    =======
    -Smiley Face
    ————–
    Minor social and political unrest as countries spend money (still far less than Column A) to mitigate the effects.

    Damn Column B looks pretty good.

  184. C. Shannon says:

    Hey, with one post I just saved the world a bunch of money by switching to Column B.

    The Gecko would be so proud.

  185. David says:

    Wow, I used to post critiques of this marker guy’s arguments in the comments sections of his videos years ago. He likes to put on the impression of a reasonable, level headed person just trying to get to the truth but he never quite gets around to covering the skeptic side… or logic for that matter. In at least one of his videos he actually payed lip service to the idea that you can’t just make decisions via worst case scenarios… and then in the same video said that climate change was the most important issue because if it was true the consequences would dwarf those of any other issue.

    He’s kind of like an onion of bad logic. Every time you peel away one bit of nonsense you find another level beneath it.

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