The logical case against climate panic

How the profiteers who market Thermageddon offend against the principles of formal logic

Guest post by Monckton of Brenchley

LOGIC is the heartbeat of all true learning – the soul of the Classics, the Sciences and Religion. Once everyone studied the Classics, to know that in logic there is a difference between true and false; the Sciences, to discern where it lies; and Religion, to appreciate why it matters. Today, few study all three empires of the mind. Fewer study the ordered beauty of the logic at their heart.

Is Private Fraser’s proposition that “We’re a’ doomed!” logical? I say No. G.K. Chesterton once wrote: “When men have ceased to believe in Christianity, it is not that they will believe in nothing. They will believe in anything.” The belief that Thermageddon will arise from our altering 1/3000th of the atmosphere in a century is in-your-face illogical, rooted in a dozen fallacies marked out by Aristotle as the commonest in human discourse.

“Consensus” is the New Religion’s central fallacy. Arguing blindly from consensus is the head-count fallacy, the argumentum ad populum. Al-Haytham, founder of the scientific method, wrote: “The seeker after truth does not put his faith in any mere consensus. Instead, he checks.”

Two surveys have purported to show 97% of climate scientists supporting the supposed “consensus”. In both, 97% agreed little more than that the world has warmed since 1950. So what? One involved just 79 scientists, hardly a scientific sample size. Neither was selected to eliminate bias. Neither asked whether manmade global warming was at all likely to prove catastrophic – a question expecting the answer “No.”

Claiming that the “consensus” is one of revered experts is the argumentum ad verecundiam, the fallacy of appeal to authority. T.H. Huxley said in 1860, “The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism is the highest of duties: blind faith the one unpardonable sin.”

Believers talk of a “consensus of evidence”. Yet evidence cannot hold opinions. Besides, there has been no global warming for 18 years; sea level has risen for eight years at just 1.3 in/century; notwithstanding Sandy, hurricane activity is at its least in the 33-year satellite record; ocean heat content is rising four and a half times more slowly than predicted; global sea-ice extent has changed little; Himalayan glaciers have not lost ice; and the U.N.’s 2005 prediction of 50 million “climate refugees” by 2010 was absurd. The evidence does not support catastrophism.

Believers say: “Only if we include a strong warming effect from CO2 can we explain the past 60 years’ warming. We know of no other reason.” This is the argumentum ad ignorantiam, the fundamental fallacy of argument from ignorance. Besides, natural variability is reason enough.

They say: “Global warming is accelerating, so we are to blame.” Even if warming were accelerating, this non sequitur is an instance of the argumentum ad causam falsam, the fallacy of arguing from a false cause. They go on to say: “CO2 concentration has risen; warming has occurred; the former caused the latter.” This is the post hoc ergo propter hoc sub-species of the same fallacy.

They say: “What about the cuddly polar bears?” This is the argumentum ad misericordiam, the fallacy of needless pity. There are five times as many polar bears as there were in the 1940s – hardly, as you may think, the profile of a species at imminent threat of extinction. No need to pity the bears, and they are not cuddly.

They say: “We tell the models there will be strong CO2- driven warming. And, yes, the models predict it.” This is the fallacy of arguing in circles, the argumentum ad petitionem principii, where the premise is the conclusion.

They say: “Global warming caused extra-tropical storm Sandy.” This inappropriate argument from the general to the particular is the argumentum a dicto simpliciter ad dictum secundum quid, the fallacy of accident. Individual extreme events cannot be ascribed to global warming.

They say: “Melting Arctic sea ice is a symptom of global warming.” This unsound argument from the particular to the general is the argumentum a dicto secundum quid ad dictum simpliciter, the fallacy of converse accident. Arctic sea ice is melting, but the Antarctic has cooled for 30 years and the sea ice there is growing, so the decline in Arctic sea ice does not indicate a global problem.

They say: “Monckton says he’s a member of the House of Lords, but the Clerk says he isn’t, so he’s not credible.” This is the argumentum ad hominem, a shoddy sub- species of ignoratio elenchi, the fundamental red-herring fallacy of ignorance of how a true argument is conducted.

They say: “We don’t care what the truth is. We want more power, tax and regulation. Global warming is our pretext. If you disagree, we will haul you before the International Climate Court.” This is the nastiest of all logical fallacies: the argumentum ad baculum, the argument of force.

These numerous in-your-face illogicalities provoke four questions: Has the Earth warmed as predicted? If not, why not? What if I am wrong? And what if I am right?

Q1. Has the Earth warmed as predicted? In 1990 the IPCC predicted that the world would now be warming at 0.3 Cº/decade, and that by now more than 0.6 Cº warming would have occurred. The outturn was less than half that: just 0.14 Cº/decade and 0.3 Cº in all.

In 2008 leading modellers wrote:

“The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 years or more, suggesting that an absence of warming of this duration is needed to create a discrepancy with the observed warming rate.”

Yet the linear trend on the Hadley/CRU monthly global temperature anomalies for the 18 years 1995-2012 shows no statistically-significant warming, even though the partial pressure of CO2 rose by about a tenth in that time.

The modellers’ own explicit criterion proves their scary predictions exaggerated. Their vaunted “consensus” was wrong. Global warming that was predicted for tomorrow but has not occurred for 18 years until today cannot have caused Sandy or Bopha yesterday, now, can it?

Q2: Why was the “consensus” wrong? Why do the models exaggerate? The climate-sensitivity equation says warming is the product of a forcing and a sensitivity parameter. Three problems: the modellers’ definition of forcing is illogical; their assumptions about the sensitivity parameter are not falsifiable; and their claims that their long-term predictions of doom are reliable are not only empirically disproven but theoretically insupportable.

Modellers define forcing as the net down-minus-up flux of radiation at the tropopause, with surface temperature fixed. Yet forcings change surface temperature. So the definition offends against the fundamental postulate of logic that a proposition and its converse cannot coexist. No surprise, then, that since 1995 the IPCC has had to cut its estimate of the CO2 forcing by 15%. The “consensus” disagrees with itself. Note in passing that the CO2 forcing function is logarithmic: each further molecule causes less warming than those before it. Diminishing returns apply.

Direct warming is little more than 1 Cº per CO2 doubling, well within natural variability. It is not a crisis. So the modellers introduce amplifying or “positive” temperature feedbacks, which, they hope, triple the direct warming from CO2. Yet this dubious hypothesis is not Popper- falsifiable, so it is not logic and not science. Not one of the imagined feedbacks is either empirically measurable or theoretically determinable by any reliable method. As an expert reviewer for the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report, I have justifiably excoriated its net-positive feedbacks as guesswork – uneducated guesswork at that.

For there is a very powerful theoretical reason why the modellers’ guess that feedbacks triple direct warming is erroneous. The closed-loop feedback gain implicit in the IPCC’s climate-sensitivity interval 3.3[2.0, 4.5] Cº per CO2 doubling falls on the interval 0.62[0.42, 0.74]. However, process engineers building electronic circuits, who invented feedback mathematics, tell us any loop gain much above zero is far too near the singularity – at a loop gain of 1 – in the feedback-amplification function.

At high gain, the geological record would show violent oscillations between extremes of warming and cooling. Yet for 64 million years the Earth’s surface temperature has fluctuated by only 3%, or 8 Cº, either side of the long- run mean. These fluctuations can give us an ice-planet at one moment and a hothouse Earth the next, but they are altogether inconsistent with a loop gain anywhere near as close to the singularity as modellers’ estimates imply.

Surface temperature changes little, for homoeostatic conditions prevail. The atmosphere’s lower bound, the ocean, is a vast heat-sink 1100 times denser than the air: one reason why 3000 bathythermographs deployed in 2006 have detected no significant ocean warming. The atmosphere’s upper bound is outer space, to which any excess heat radiates harmlessly away. Homoeostasis, then, is what we should expect, and it is what we get. Thus the climatic loop gain cannot much exceed zero, so the warming at CO2 doubling will be a harmless 1 Cº.

Yet the overriding difficulty in trying to model the climate is that it behaves as a chaotic object. We can never measure the values of its millions of defining parameters at any chosen moment to a sufficient precision to permit reliable projection of the bifurcations, or Sandy-like departures from an apparently steady state, that are inherent in the evolution of all objects that behave chaotically. Therefore, reliable, very-long-term modelling of future climate states is unattainable a priori.

The IPCC tries to overcome this actually insuperable Lorenz constraint on modelling by estimating climate sensitivity via a probability-density function. Yet PDFs require more, not less, information than simple estimates flanked by error-whiskers, and are still less likely to be reliable. The modellers are guessing. Their guesses have been proven wrong. Yet they continue to demand our acquiescence in an imagined (and imaginary) consensus.

Q3: What if I am wrong? If so, we must travel from physics to economics. Pretend, ad argumentum, that the IPCC’s central estimate of 2.8 Cº warming by 2100 is true, and that Stern was right to say that the cost of failing to prevent warming of that order this century will be about 1.5% of GDP. Then, at the minimum 5% market inter-temporal discount rate, the cost of trying to abate this decade’s predicted warming of 0.15 Cº by typical CO2-mitigation schemes as cost-ineffective as Australia’s carbon tax would be 48 times greater than the cost of later adaptation. At a zero discount rate, the cost of acting now exceeds that of adapting in the future 36 times over.

How so? Australia emits just 1.2% of Man’s CO2, of which Ms. Gillard aims to cut 5% this decade, abating 0.06% of global emissions by 2020. Then CO2 concentration will fall from a predicted 410 μatm to 409.988 μatm. In turn predicted temperature will fall by 0.00006 Cº. But the cost will be $130 billion ($2 quadrillion/Cº). Abating the

0.15 Cº warming predicted for this decade would thus cost $317 trillion, or $45,000/head worldwide, or 59% of global GDP. Mitigation measures inexpensive enough to be affordable will thus be ineffective: measures expensive enough to be effective will be unaffordable. Since the premium vastly exceeds the cost of the risk, don’t insure. That is a precautionary principle worthy of the name.

Q4: What if I am right? When I am proven right, the Climate Change Department will be swept away; Britain’s annual deficit will fall by a fifth; the bat-blatting, bird- blending windmills that scar our green and pleasant land will go; the world will refocus on real environmental problems like deforestation on land, overfishing at sea and pollution of the air; the U.N.’s ambition to turn itself into a grim, global dictatorship with overriding powers of taxation and economic and environmental intervention will be thwarted; and the aim of science to supplant true religion as the world’s new, dismal, cheerless credo will be deservedly, decisively, definitively defeated.

Any who say “I believe” are not scientists, for true scientists say “I wonder”. We require – nay, we demand – more awe and greater curiosity from our scientists, and less political “correctness” and co-ordinated credulity.

To the global classe politique, the placemen, bureaucrats, academics, scientists, journalists and enviros who have profiteered at our expense by peddling Thermageddon, I say this. The science is in; the truth is out; Al Gore is through; the game is up; and the scare is over.

To those scientists who aim to end the Age of Reason and Enlightenment, I say this. Logic stands implacable in your path. We will never let you have your new Dark Age.

To men of goodwill, lovers of logic, I say this. It is our faculty of reason, the greatest of the soul’s three powers, that marks us out from the beasts and brings us closest in likeness to our Creator, the Lord of Life and Light. We will never let the light of Reason be snuffed out.

Do not go gentle to that last goodnight – Rage, rage against the dying of the light!

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Theo Goodwin

Wonderful essay. Thanks for the “shout out” to logic.

Dajake

Nice.

grumpyoldmanuk

When you have a good strong message, keep saying it. Very well spoken, My Lord.

anarchist hate machine

Excellent. A wealth of knowledge.

ancientmariner

I had to agree with Huxley, but then found myself in a feedback loop…….

Bloke down the pub

If the warmists were logical beings, we would never have gotten into this mess in the first place.

sailboarder

I still think Willis nailed it, ie, the belt of thunderstorms around the equator act to cool the earth. The heat gets lofted above most of the CO2 so it radiiates straight out. Thus the 1 C warming due to AGW doubling the CO2 is only hypothetical. The dynamics of the earths thermostat might reduce that from 1 C to 0.3 C for example. We probably will never know, as it is too small to measure.

Colin Gartner

Brilliant essay, Lord Monckton. I have long bristled at the endless parade of fallacies trotted out by believers in cAGW. This essay wonderfully summarizes the lot of them, even a few I wasn’t aware of. Thank you, and best wishes for a 2013 where we, hopefully, see the death spiral of cAGW continue.

oldseadog

Good paper.
I am familiar with the survey of 79 people, 77 of whom gave the 97% answer, but would be interested in knowing the origin of the other survey you talk about.
Thanks, and keep up the good work.

Doug Huffman

Rage, rage against the dying of the light! Goodly direction on Epiphany.

mpainter

“For there is a very powerful theoretical reason why the modellers’ guess that feedbacks triple direct warming is erroneous. The closed-loop feedback gain implicit in the IPCC’s climate-sensitivity interval 3.3[2.0, 4.5] Cº per CO2 doubling falls on the interval 0.62[0.42, 0.74]. However, process engineers building electronic circuits, who invented feedback mathematics, tell us any loop gain much above zero is far too near the singularity – at a loop gain of 1 – in the feedback-amplification function.”
In fact, the whole of AGW is theoretical with nothing behind it but the absorbency spectrum of CO2 -thin soup, indeed. The so called “climate sensitivity” factor is a theoretical pretension in view of the incontrovertible fact that the true metric of global warmth is ocean heat content. Once again, global climate modeling is nothing but a feed trough for AGU types.

Vince Causey

Always good to read Lord Monckton’s writings.
It’s not that the argumentum ad populum is deployed by agenda pushers, but that it ain’t true in any case. The 97% is a well known figure from a manipulated poll based on a sub-sample of 79 chosen from a larger sample. And in the argumentum ad verucundiam one often hears statements like “all the great scientific bodies agree that . . . is true,” as if that alone is sufficient to make it true.
But pull away the curtains, and you see how these pronouncements, instead of being the distilled wisdom of thousands of experts, are just statements made by committees of a few individuals, mostly echoing similar statements made by other committees. Nowhere does one find anything more than opinion – and normally that which follows a particular fashion that happens to be the force de jeur.
Sometimes, these statements are so outrageously anti-science, that member of those bodies – the actual scientists who should be counted as the true experts – protest against this tarnishing of their august bodies. This has happened within the American Physical Society and the Royal Society. But, by and large, nothing much changes, and the fascade of consensus of experts continues to echo down through the media and the various government apparatchiks whose jobs it is to push their bureaucratic agendas.
There is nothing so bad as the argumentums ad populum and ad verucundiam.

After all your rambling, you still do not answer the most basic of questions: Why is it not a good thing to develop alternative energies? What is the harm in cleaning up the environment? Surely you do not deny that there are serious ill health effects of fossil fuel mining and use? That we are still burning up the house to keep the family warm? That fossil fuel supplies are finite? That there are readily available alternatives which are economically scalable if only they were adequately supported? Development of clean, renewable energy will stimulate the economy and improve the quality of life for all living things on the planet. So please explain why you oppose an orderly, economical transition to readily available alternative energies? You say the “alarmists” are motivated by profits. Yet it is you who are affiliated with the Heartland Institute, a noted man cave for fire-breathing fossil fuel behemoths. Anthony and friends, you can parse the particulars until kingdom come, but fossil fuels are still the Earth’s Goliath. Humanity is still David. The only question is what are we going to put in our slingshot, and why are we so slow in getting about the business so clearly at hand? Need leadership is needed now. Join the good guys.
REPLY: Instead of making assumptions from your personal biases, you might want to read my about page Pat, and note what alternative energy and conservation measures I actually do.
I look forward to you demonstrating how you’ve done similar things of substance in your own life rather than just bloviating about what everyone else should do, while proclaiming yourself to be “one of the good guys”. Please do demonstrate your own personal actions in these areas, or kindly shut up. – Anthony

@Pat Ravasio ..and another thing. I’ve never taken a dime from any fossil fuel interests, and your smear by association is just that: a smear. Prove it or shut the hell up as I’m really getting tired of this sort of crap. Maybe it is time I make an example out of somebody. I’m also not a “denier” as you claim in your blog. The greenhouse effect from CO2 exists, I and many others simply think it is oversold and far less of a problem than it is claimed to be. Over a decade of no warming seems to back that up.
So per my comment addendum to your comment above, man up, show you’ve done something of substance (like install alternate energy you preach about) other than lecture to other people about how they should conduct their lives and their affairs.
Otherwise, if you can’t/won’t, it will be the permanent bit bucket for you, as I don’t want to waste time on your baseless taunts any further. – Anthony

richardscourtney

Christopher:
The above article is – even by your high standards – a tour de force of logical argument. It is worth copying and filing for reference. Thankyou.
I write with reference to your answer to your ‘Question 1’ that begins

Q1. Has the Earth warmed as predicted?
In 1990 the IPCC predicted that the world would now be warming at 0.3 Cº/decade, and that by now more than 0.6 Cº warming would have occurred. The outturn was less than half that: just 0.14 Cº/decade and 0.3 Cº in all.
etc.

I know why the climate models do not – and cannot – predict climate of the real Earth.
At most only one of climate models emulates the climate system of the real Earth and it is probable that none of them does.
It seems appropriate for me to explain this again for the benefit of people who may not have seen it.
None of the models – not one of them – could match the change in mean global temperature over the past century if it did not utilise a unique value of assumed cooling from aerosols. So, inputting actual values of the cooling effect (such as the determination by Penner et al.
http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/07/25/1018526108.full.pdf?with-ds=yes )
would make every climate model provide a mismatch between the global warming it hindcasts and the observed global warming for the twentieth century.
This mismatch would occur because all the global climate models and energy balance models are known to provide indications which are based on
1.
the assumed degree of forcings resulting from human activity that produce warming
and
2.
the assumed degree of anthropogenic aerosol cooling input to each model as a ‘fiddle factor’ to obtain agreement between past average global temperature and the model’s indications of average global temperature.
More than a decade ago I published a peer-reviewed paper that showed the UK’s Hadley Centre general circulation model (GCM) could not model climate and only obtained agreement between past average global temperature and the model’s indications of average global temperature by forcing the agreement with an input of assumed anthropogenic aerosol cooling.
The input of assumed anthropogenic aerosol cooling is needed because the model ‘ran hot’; i.e. it showed an amount and a rate of global warming which was greater than was observed over the twentieth century. This failure of the model was compensated by the input of assumed anthropogenic aerosol cooling.
And my paper demonstrated that the assumption of aerosol effects being responsible for the model’s failure was incorrect.
(ref. Courtney RS An assessment of validation experiments conducted on computer models of global climate using the general circulation model of the UK’s Hadley Centre Energy & Environment, Volume 10, Number 5, pp. 491-502, September 1999).
More recently, in 2007, Kiehle published a paper that assessed 9 GCMs and two energy balance models.
(ref. Kiehl JT,Twentieth century climate model response and climate sensitivity. GRL vol.. 34, L22710, doi:10.1029/2007GL031383, 2007).
Kiehl found the same as my paper except that each model he assessed used a different aerosol ‘fix’ from every other model. This is because they all ‘run hot’ but they each ‘run hot’ to a different degree.
He says in his paper:

One curious aspect of this result is that it is also well known [Houghton et al., 2001] that the same models that agree in simulating the anomaly in surface air temperature differ significantly in their predicted climate sensitivity. The cited range in climate sensitivity from a wide collection of models is usually 1.5 to 4.5 deg C for a doubling of CO2, where most global climate models used for climate change studies vary by at least a factor of two in equilibrium sensitivity.
The question is: if climate models differ by a factor of 2 to 3 in their climate sensitivity, how can they all simulate the global temperature record with a reasonable degree of accuracy.
Kerr [2007] and S. E. Schwartz et al. (Quantifying climate change–too rosy a picture?, available at http://www.nature.com/reports/climatechange, 2007 ) recently pointed out the importance of understanding the answer to this question. Indeed, Kerr [2007] referred to the present work and the current paper provides the ‘‘widely circulated analysis’’ referred to by Kerr [2007]. This report investigates the most probable explanation for such an agreement. It uses published results from a wide variety of model simulations to understand this apparent paradox between model climate responses for the 20th century, but diverse climate model sensitivity.

And, importantly, Kiehl’s paper says:

These results explain to a large degree why models with such diverse climate sensitivities can all simulate the global anomaly in surface temperature. The magnitude of applied anthropogenic total forcing compensates for the model sensitivity.

And the “magnitude of applied anthropogenic total forcing” is fixed in each model by the input value of aerosol forcing.
Thanks to Bill Illis, Kiehl’s Figure 2 can be seen at
http://img36.imageshack.us/img36/8167/kiehl2007figure2.png
Please note that the Figure is for 9 GCMs and 2 energy balance models, and its title is:

Figure 2. Total anthropogenic forcing (Wm2) versus aerosol forcing (Wm2) from nine fully coupled climate models and two energy balance models used to simulate the 20th century.

It shows that
(a) each model uses a different value for “Total anthropogenic forcing” that is in the range 0.80 W/m^-2 to 2.02 W/m^-2
but
(b) each model is forced to agree with the rate of past warming by using a different value for “Aerosol forcing” that is in the range -1.42 W/m^-2 to -0.60 W/m^-2.
In other words the models use values of “Total anthropogenic forcing” that differ by a factor of more than 2.5 and they are ‘adjusted’ by using values of assumed “Aerosol forcing” that differ by a factor of 2.4.
So, each climate model emulates a different climate system. Hence, at most only one of them emulates the climate system of the real Earth because there is only one Earth. And the fact that they each ‘run hot’ to a different degree unless fiddled by use of a completely arbitrary ‘aerosol cooling’ strongly suggests that none of them emulates the climate system of the real Earth.
Richard

William McClenney

Excellent summary of the state of logic in our new post-sentient times.
Note: needs a break-point somewhere near the initiation so it does not dominate main page, even though it is good that it does.

Polentario

There is one aspect often left out in this sort of lists – if we really knew what human contribution to climate would look like, AGW adherents would have no problem to discuss geoengineering against it.

e. c. cowan

“They say: “We tell the models there will be strong CO2- driven warming. And, yes, the models predict it.” This is the fallacy of arguing in circles, the argumentum ad petitionem principii, where the premise is the conclusion.’
I think it’s also called ‘GARBAGE IN — GARBAGE OUT’

michael hart

Unfortunately, Chris, I fear you are going to have to say it a few more times yet. When these people start cursing the darkness they probably won’t remember your words.

The Good Lord has spoken in a wonderful manner. As to who will rise to the challenge and how they will do it? May I offer some advice:
http://www.irishexaminer.com/archives/2012/1221/business/engineer-to-challenge-governmentaposs-renewable-energy-programme-217634.html
One passage in the introduction section of the site entitled “The Citizen’s Handbook; [14] A bridge to strong democracy” reads as follows;
“When citizens get together at the neighbourhood level, they generate a number of remarkable side effects. One of these is strengthened democracy. In simple terms, democracy means that the people decide. Political scientists describe our system of voting every few years but otherwise leaving everything up to government as weak democracy. In weak democracy, citizens have no role, no real part in decision-making between elections. Experts assume responsibility for deciding how to deal with important public issues. The great movement of the last decades of the twentieth century has been a drive towards stronger democracy in corporations, institutions and governments. In many cities this has resulted in the formal recognition of neighbourhood groups as a link between people and municipal government, and a venue for citizen participation in decision-making between elections.”
Lord Monckton has hit the nail on the head – we have a weak democracy. Those of us qualified in logic and reason need to get active. A Scottish Grandmother can rise to the challenge; 2013 will be interesting for the above. It will be even more interesting if more rise to the challenge:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/argyll-grandmother-takes-uk-and-eu-to-the-united-nations-over-plans-to-turn-scotland-into-windfarm-hedgehog-8399574.html

David Chorley

For the non British readers of Lord Monckton’s article, Private James Frazer, a character in the TV show “Dad’s Army” can sum up all the warmist’s statements succinctly: see.
http://m.youtube.com/index?&desktop_uri=%2F#/watch?v=w7RIgs3eygo
David

Clay Marley

Thank you Lord Monckton. Most of the Latin I know I have learned from you.
“They say: “We don’t care what the truth is. We want more power, tax and regulation. Global warming is our pretext. If you disagree, we will haul you before the International Climate Court.” This is the nastiest of all logical fallacies: the argumentum ad baculum, the argument of force.”
Fallacy possibly, but it is at least the truth.
As the CAGW excuse collapses, another must take its place. The desire for global power and socialist redistribution will never vanish. If I were a warmist I would be working vigorously behind the scenes to develop an alternate excuse for global socialism. A non-anthropogenic global cooling might be effective. Although true they couldn’t blame Man, they could argue it will take the same global effort to prevent the catastrophe.
So even after the demise of CAGW, WUWT will still be here, fighting the good fight.

I liked it until you started talking about religion… Just like the last article. It simply isn’t necessary and detracts from the scientific and logical merit of your case. “Closest in likeness to our Creator?” Ugh.

davidmhoffer

That there are readily available alternatives which are economically scalable if only they were adequately supported?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Ah yes, the magic of adequate support. The notion that if alternatives were economical they wouldn’t need support in the first place seems to have eluded the troll. She thinks that “support” is free, and has no impact on the economy. In brief, she believes in magic.
That is the problem we face today. People believe in magic. With apologies to Arthur C Clarke, any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from science.
An excellent essay Christopher Monckton. But the sad fact is that the answer to the troll’s question is contained in the article itself, yet still she demands the adoption of magic as being logical.

Mike Bryant

Lord Monckton,
I’m wondering if Australia is really cutting CO2 emissions at all in view of their huge coal exports to many countries. I’d love to hear your take on this question.
Mike Bryant

Jeff Alberts

If, as you say, logic is a cornerstone of religion, and CAGW is a religion, then logic must be a cornerstone of CAGW. No?
Personally I don’t think religions use much logic. Making proclamations without evidence is not logical. That’s religion in a nutshell, IMHO.

Just to fill in a citation for Lord Monckton (the “believers” in his following statement):

Believers say: “Only if we include a strong warming effect from CO2 can we explain the past 60 years’ warming. We know of no other reason.”

This is almost an exact quotation from the official APS statement on climate change, as clarified in 2010:

While there are factors driving the natural variability of climate (e.g., volcanoes, solar variability, oceanic oscillations), no known natural mechanisms have been proposed that explain all of the observed warming in the past century.

In particular, they are talking about post-1980 warming, as their next sentence makes clear:

Warming is observed in land-surface temperatures, sea-surface temperatures, and for the last 30 years, lower-atmosphere temperatures measured by satellite.

This warming cannot have been caused by the sun, you see, because as numerous “consensus” scientists have noted, solar activity was not going up over this period, but only persisted at a high level (whether extraordinarily high, as Usoskin estimates, or merely high, as Muscheler estimates). A persistent high level of forcing can’t cause continued warming. That is their so-called “physics.” I call it “Newton’s fourth law”: that temperature is driven not by the level of the forcing but by the rate of change in the forcing. Affirmed by the APS itself!
Note also how the APS statement inverts the scientific method. “No known natural mechanism.” They don’t know what the mechanism is, so they are going to ignore the strong evidence, now admitted by the IPCC itself, that SOME substantial mechanism of solar amplification seems to be at work. Argument by exclusion, Newton’s 4th law, and inversion of the scientific method. This is our new APS, as transformed by government funding of climate alarm.

Global warming, the tool of the West
By Stanislav Mishin
For years, the Elites of the West have cranked up the myth of Man Made Global Warming as a means first and foremost to control the lives and behaviors of their populations. Knowing full well that their “produce in China and sell in the West” model and its [consequent] spiral downward in wages and thus standards of living, was unsustainable, the elites moved to use this new “science” to guilt trip and scare monger their populations into smaller and more conservatives forms of living. In other words, they coasted them into the poverty that the greed and treason of those said same elites was already creating in their native lands.
What better way to staunch protests at worsening economic and life conditions than to make it feel like an honourable job/duty of the people to save “Gaea”. At the same time, they used this “science” as a new pagan religion to further push out the Christianity they hate and despise and most of all, fear? Gaea worship, the earth “mother”, has been pushed in popular culture oozing out of the West for a better part of the past 1.5 decades. This is a religion replete with an army of priests, called Government Grant Scientists.
Various groups have fought back. This is including Russian hackers, who published a huge database of UK government, scientific and university emails depicting the fixing of data to sell Global Warming, er Climate Change (as if it never changed on its own). And while taking hit after hit, the beast, like Al Quida, will not die. As a matter of fact, the beast is on a steady come back, as it is quite useful during the down times recession. The US alone spends $7 billion each year on warming “studies”, which is, in truth, nothing but a huge money laundering operation, as no real science is conducted and vapid alarmist reports the only product generated.
http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/04-01-2013/123380-global_warming-0/

All in all a nice essay, but it seems confused about the subject of “formal logic”. Modern formal logic, as developed by Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, and others, does not contain a classification of fallacies or concern itself with questions of consensus, authority, and ignorance.
Modern logic is just a part of mathematics. Einstein summed it up best: “As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.” This applies to logic also – on its own, logic alone does not allow us to mount a case against some contention of empirical science (such as “thermaggedon”). Only if such a contention could be shown to logically contradict itself would there be “a logical case” against it.

mpainter

Pat Ravasio says: January 6, 2013 at 10:45 am
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
You got what you asked for Pat. You reveal yourself as one who has uncritically swallowed the whole bucket of swill. There is no room here for you until you get an education, and you can’t get an education until you learn how to tell an education from an indoctrination. Good luck.

Christopher Monckton says: “Believers say: “Only if we include a strong warming effect from CO2 can we explain the past 60 years’ warming. We know of no other reason.” This is the argumentum ad ignorantiam, the fundamental fallacy of argument from ignorance.”
We see very few scientific unions, academic institutions, publications, journals, or societies were able to recognize this problem with the AGW hypothesis. May I suggest that one reason for the collective blindness to this methodology in climate science is because it has been an argument used by all of the sciences for so long, that it is not recognized for what it is?
What made all of science plunge past the tipping point into the doctrine of global warming? Perhaps it wasn’t just the sudden funding and the glamour, the glories and perks of advocacy, the hazy halcyon idea of doing “public good” and “saving the planet,” and the allure of being an elite able to set the planet’s temperature and population, that made all of science stumble and lose its way. “Circumstance does not make the man; it reveals him to himself.” The error was very likely deeply systemic before climate science came along. That error was the argument from ignorance. “We excluded all other possibilities, so this must be the cause. Trust us.”
The next object is “sustainability” measures through terrifying and sweeping prophecies of the future. In the Anthropocene Age, frightening “tipping points” exist in all natural systems of the “fragile earth,” ready to collapse catastrophically because of the fires, electricity, crops, cattle, and water we use to live our lives at liberty.

Restalrig

Oh dear, Lord Monckton, an interesting essay sullied with nonsenical references to mythology.

Dirty Old Man

Sounds a lot like the Begging The Question Fallacy, Mike. You can’t dismiss an argument simply because you dislike the postulates.

oldfossil

Dear Christopher Monckton, notably absent from your list of fallacies was the “straw man.” Pat Ravasio most kindly drew our attention to this omission and supplied an excellent example.

RobW

Unfortunately the MSM gives pseudo-science as much print as the science it supposedly counters. There in lies the problem. When science literacy comes from the MSM for the general public and the MSM has sold the farm on true journalism in favour of “Fear Marketing”, the public becomes believers in sensational pseudo-science over the real (sometimes boring )science.
I wish I had an answer to this big problem in society.

Has anyone sent a Thank You letter to Russia for the release of the Climategate emails?
Perhaps we should start an online signature campaign?

j ferguson

Doubtless, it reveals shortcomings in my education, but I had never read:
” Once everyone studied the Classics, to know that in logic there is a difference between true and false; the Sciences, to discern where it lies; and Religion, to appreciate why it matters.”
What a marvelous statement. Thank you Lord Monckton

nigelf

Wonderful Lord Monkton, your writing and logic is beyond reproach!

Michael Moon

Ravasio,
“That there are readily available alternatives which are economically scalable if only they were adequately supported? Development of clean, renewable energy will stimulate the economy and improve the quality of life for all living things on the planet. So please explain why you oppose an orderly, economical transition to readily available alternative energies?”
The cost of energy determines prosperity. Energy sources have been sought since time immemorial, and continue to be sought. The last significant new source was nuclear energy, which never could have been developed without the Manhattan Project, in search of a weapon to end WWII. The project was funded because the initial experiments of Curie and Becquerel, followed by many up to and including Fermi, showed that the principle was unquestionably true.
There is nothing else in front of us resembling this. All renewable sources are uneconomic by huge factors compared to fossil fuels, and would bankrupt nations and create mass poverty. This is basically because of energy density. 1370 watts per square meter from Father Sol is just not enough, as Mother Nature has been concentrating sunshine in the form of fossil fuels for eons. People never choose poverty!
Governments are incompetent to develop any new technologies other than weapons. Space Ship One has technology far superior to NASA, who crashed a satellite on Mars because someone did not understand the difference between inches and millimeters. Solyndra and many other “Green” federally-funded start-ups have wasted billions and produced nothing. The US government cannot even run the Senate Lunchroom at a profit!
Let the market forces do what they inevitably will. Contradict Monckton, if you are able. Otherwise, consider the probability that you have chosen the wrong road.

rgbatduke

To men of goodwill, lovers of logic, I say this. It is our faculty of reason, the greatest of the soul’s three powers, that marks us out from the beasts and brings us closest in likeness to our Creator, the Lord of Life and Light. We will never let the light of Reason be snuffed out.
Once again, the essay is marred by a number of flaws.
First, wrapping an essay accusing anyone who thinks there is evidence of an ongoing global climate catastrophe as being religious within a religious wrapper invoking G. K. Chesterton (speaking, IIRC, in the persona of Father Brown) at one end and ending with an invocation of a Creators, Lord of Life and Light at the other end is oxymoronic in the extreme. You bewail the cost of a new “religion”. Look back at the cost, historically, of actual religion in general, or its ongoing cost today. Not that I don’t love the Father Brown stories myself, but Chesterton’s Christian apologia was nonsense then and remains so today.
Your essay would be immeasurably strengthened by leaving out the prologue and epilogue, because there is not a single argument you make concerning the ill-use of logic in climate science arguments (posing it as a false analogy as a religion) that cannot be brought to bear with far greater reason on the ill-use of religion itself in climate arguments, or on the ill-use of logic in religious argumentation. The minute you assert believe in the invisible logic and reason fly out the door, and if you think climate feedbacks are empirically “invisible”, try a sentient First Cause.
You would in this way also avoid irritating readers that are not, in fact, Christian. Not simply atheists such as myself, but it is at least conceivable that they might be read by Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Jews.
Second, while I found much of your essay compelling and incisive, a second place and reason that at least muting the “Global Warming is a New Religion” assertion is a good idea is that your essay come dangerously close to accusing everybody that disagrees with you or supports the conclusion of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming of being unscientific and/or religious. If this was your serious intent, well, I disagree and think that is actually rather silly. It is important to recognize that scientists acting in the best of faith and good will might well disagree (and often do). What useful purpose is served when group of scientists involved in the debate accuse the other of religious thinking as an insult, as a negative comment (since religious belief is the opposite of reason in all contexts where it occurs, but especially in the realm of science)? None that I can see.
As a sociological observation, I think it has some merit. It is truly difficult for most people to become sufficiently expert in all things to be able to fairly judge things like whether or not smoking causes cancer, or neutrinos have mass, or carrying a cell phone in your pocket is safe. When we lack the time or the wit to laboriously run down and read the peer-reviewed literature and judge for ourselves, we generally rely on the “authority” of the “scientific consensus” on such issues. We have little choice. I am rather better and more broadly educated in logic, science, and religion (your trifecta of the classical scholar) than most humans (a simple fact that I offer without any particular pride in it) and yet I find that I must turn to my wife the physician constantly lest I speak my beliefs about almost any aspect of medicine and have those casually founded beliefs turn out not to be the best beliefs, the things you want to perpetuate by passing them on. I must turn to the great oracle and brain of the modern world, Google and Wikipedia, even to refresh my memory of things I have actually studied and know fairly well, and to go beyond them to textbooks, also written by “authorities”, or the literature when the first two fail or appear likely to be unsound or I really need to see the results themselves to judge.
And then there is the vast array of things I have not studied in any depth and have little knowledge even of the methods involved in the discipline, where I am as ignorant as your average person picked at random off of the street. My beliefs in such matters are necessarily entirely “religious” because I haven’t had the time and/or inclination to pursue anything beyond the organized and mostly reliable “hearsay” of academic authority.
Note well, mostly reliable. Or if you prefer, reliable up to a point, more often than not, but sometimes entirely unreliable.
It is not, actually, a failure of reason to rely on this unreliable authority, as long as it is done with a grain of salt and with a certain amount of Kentucky Windage, or Bayesian weighting of your beliefs considering their source. Some sources of knowledge are more reliable than others, some “authorities” more likely to actually prove authoritative if one takes the trouble to pursue matters all the way down to the published literature. And even there, as our friend Lief Svalgaard keeps pointing out (not that I don’t know it equally well from my own direct experience) there is nothing magical about something being found in peer-reviewed literature. Peer review is necessarily and correctly tolerant where the claims are speculative but supported, and it is up to the reader to judge the degree to which the evidence actually supports the claims.
As a student of logic, surely you owe it to yourself to sooner or later read Jaynes’ Probability Theory, the Logic of Science. At least one version of it is still free online, although the paper posthumous book is well worth owning.
Regarding your actual conclusions (after mentally erasing the parts of your arguments that were themselves logically unsound), overall I agree with the assertion that CAGW is proven. I agree with the proposition that CAGW is unlikely. I do not agree with the proposition that it is so unlikely as to be considered “disproven” (highly implausible).
If I were for a moment to play the Advocatus Diaboli in the discussion, however, I would note in the defense of the climate scientists who might be in good will misled by Global Circulation Models whether or not you consider them “falsifiable” — and your asserting that they are not does not make that so — they are, generally, based on actual physics. They may get the physics wrong, they may use the wrong parameter estimates, they may or may not work, their use of ensemble averages to predict most probable trajectories may not be correct, but that doesn’t mean that they are not science or that they qualify as religion.
Getting the physics wrong is a reasonable thing to assert, if you are prepared to defend the assertion and make it specific (as how can one respond to “you got the physics wrong”). Getting model parameters wrong is equally reasonable to claim — if you have explored the parametric variation yourself and have something constructive to say about the result of that exploration. Asserting that they don’t work (by which I mean they actually do the computations incorrectly, something that is quite likely given their complexity) is best done with direct evidence of places where they give the wrong answers, ideally published alongside the fit.
Finally, asserting that the ensemble average of GCMs (for any unknown combination of the previous reasons) is a poor predictor of the future is at least something that can be verified as time passes. But it isn’t easy to verify this claim, or falsify the GCMs, because we have reliable data on only a 33 year segment, with somewhat less reliable data available for perhaps twice that long, and rather unreliable data available before that. Over 33 years, given the noise in initial conditions and starting conditions and the size of the natural variations, the same things that make it difficult for one to confirm CAGW as a hypothesis make it difficult to disprove it, at least disprove it yet.
rgb

richardscourtney

Friends:
In the past it was common for trolls to claim the Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley is not a “real” Lord. They did this as an attempt to distract attention from anything Lord Monckton said.
That tactic of distraction is no longer possible, so another method of distraction seems to have been adopted and it worked on another WUWT thread.
Now it is common for trolls to distract from the subject of an article by Lord Monckton by promoting the religion of atheism. Several have already tried it on this thread.
Everybody: please, please don’t bite at that ‘red herring’ or this thread will be destroyed as the other was.
Richard

pat

Monckton gets his message posted on WUWT, while Prince Charlie exploits his FUTURE grandchildren on mainstream TV in the name of CAGW. the Daily Mail headline pre-empts prospective grandfatherhood:
6 Jan: Daily Mail: Richard Hartley-parkinson: Prince Charles says becoming a grandfather has boosted his environmental beliefs saying he doesn’t want to ‘hand on an increasingly dysfunctional world’
The Prince of Wales has spoken about how the prospect of becoming a grandfather is spurring his environmental beliefs, saying he does not want to ‘hand on an increasingly dysfunctional world’
Prince Charles, an outspoken campaigner on environmental issues, told ITV’s This Morning that he did not want the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s child, due to be born next summer, to ask him why he had not done more to tackle issues like climate change…
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2257993/Prince-Charles-says-grandfather-boosted-environmental-beliefs-saying-doesnt-want-hand-increasingly-dysfunctional-world.html

FrankK

Michael Palmer says:
January 6, 2013 at 11:51 am
– on its own, logic alone does not allow us to mount a case against some contention of empirical science (such as “thermaggedon”). Only if such a contention could be shown to logically contradict itself would there be “a logical case” against it.
—————————————————————————————————————–
Trouble with your statement Mike is that “thermageddon” is not empirical science but model gymnastics and propaganda. Einstein’s criteria that if only one piece of empirical evidence does not agree with a theory then the theory is wrong has validated the logical case that has proved the falsehood of AGW.

” Restalrig says:
January 6, 2013 at 11:54 am
Oh dear, Lord Monckton, an interesting essay sullied with nonsenical references to mythology.”
And of course you swallow the AGW myth?? lol

Kelvin Vaughan

Perhaps someone can explain this effect of increased CO2.
1878 CET January Maximum for every day of the month varies from 3.3 to 12.5 deg C.
The difference between max and min varies between 2 and 6.2 deg C,
2012 CET January Maximum for every day of the month varies from 1.9 to 11.1 deg C.
The difference between max and min varies between 1.3 to 13.4 deg C.
Apart from the one day when the max-min was 1.3 deg every other day for 2012 was at least 3 deg.
The average difference for January 1878 was 4 deg C and for 2012 it was 6 deg C.
Dosen’t look like the minimums are warming faster than the maximums to me, quite the reverse.

Sean

Pat Ravasio says:
January 6, 2013 at 10:45 am
After all your rambling, you still do not answer the most basic of questions: Why is it not a good thing to (take mitigation measures now instead of adapting when and if it happens)?
——————————
You argue from the precautionary principle – which was addressed by Monkton’s conclusion:
“Mitigation measures inexpensive enough to be affordable will thus be ineffective: measures expensive enough to be effective will be unaffordable. Since the premium vastly exceeds the cost of the risk, don’t insure. That is a precautionary principle worthy of the name.”
Clearly Pat Ravisio, your reading comprehension skills are on par with your critical thinking skills, i.e. non-existent. Have a nice day clown.

James Abbott

The Good Lord should stick to latin.
A particularly ignorant comment from Monckton:
“The belief that Thermageddon will arise from our altering 1/3000th of the atmosphere in a century is in-your-face illogical, rooted in a dozen fallacies marked out by Aristotle as the commonest in human discourse.”
The notion that it is “illogical” that trace constituents of physical systems can be important simply because they are at trace levels is so pathetic its difficult to know where to start, but here’s a few examples of why trace constituents are essential:
CFCs and HCFCs are even more trace constituents of our atmosphere, but their impact has been very significant in depleting ozone, particularly at high latitudes – leading to international agreements to reduce their use. Ozone is vital in protecting the Earth’s surface from solar UV and is itself a tiny trace gas in the atmosphere.
Trace metals in the human body are also essential – without them we die.
CO2 is a natural greenhouse gas at trace levels, but without any CO2 in the atmosphere not only would the biosphere be in trouble but in terms of climate the Earth would be in a permanent ice-age, all other things being equal.
The issue is how much will the climate warm as a result of increasing CO2. Monckton at first dismisses its importance completely, then later admits that increasing CO2 will cause warming but goes for 1C with zero feedback (1C he says is “harmless”):
“Thus the climatic loop gain cannot much exceed zero, so the warming at CO2 doubling will be a harmless 1 Cº. ”
So Monckton’s “ignore everything” mock thesis assumes CO2 concentration will peak at double pre-industrial levels (it may go higher), it assumes zero net feedback (wrong) and assumes no impacts in a 1C warmer world (wrong again).
Anyway, Moncktons qualifications to make these sweeping assumptions are … ?

J Martin

@ Old Seadog
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/18/what-else-did-the-97-of-scientists-say/
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/21/gmu-on-climate-scientists-we-are-the-97/
Don’t know if they’re what you want. there should also be something similar to do with Anders-Egg, don’t know if I spelled that correctly, as I cannot find it on WUWT though I’m sure it’s there somewhere.

The world would not be better off without Christophe Monckton. Perhaps he should start an online Thank You Russia Campaign for the release of the climategate emails, and properly thank the Russians who came to our rescue.
As far as proof of natural spirit energy that resides within your DNA, and connects you to the collective consciousness of the universe, call it the Creator or call it whatever you want, you can’t deny its existence when you see the connection explained by this video at about the 3:20:00 time of this.
Vortex Based Mathematics – Marko Rodin

donald penman

I feel that much of the rubbish that is put out to support AGW is contradictory for example more snow proves AGW as well as less snow and every bad thing that happens on Earth is caused by AGW,does this not give Lord Monckton reason to challenge the logic of AGW.