Guest Opinion: Dr. Tim Ball
When you realize you are losing an argument, it is common to abandon the argument and attack the person. It is one of many forms of arguments called ad hominem, or to the person. A disagreement between two people makes an ad hominem argument easy to notice. The loser and the winner are clear, and a shift in the tone and focus of the discussion is relatively apparent.
The structure and method chosen to create the myth of anthropogenic global warming (AGW) guaranteed an ad hominem situation. The evidence against the hypothesis was overwhelming from the start. The only question was left academic. Can you have a collective ad hominem, that is a personal attack on a group, or does it only apply to an attack on an individual? The answer is not about the number but the nature of the attack. When it is an individual, the attack occurs because the debate on the issue is lost, and that is true when it is a group.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was formed to test the hypothesis that human CO2 caused global warming. Most scientists naturally assumed that the scientific method would apply. This requires that other scientists test the hypothesis, which mostly involves testing the assumptions. The idea quickly faded as an early IPCC member, emeritus professor of meteorology at MIT, Richard Lindzen resigned because of what was happening. He identified a part of the problem with his observation that they reached a consensus before the research even began. In those early days, individuals like Lindzen experienced classical and severe ad hominem attacks and it continues.
Gradually, more people became aware of the deception driven by this bypassing of the scientific method. The website Still Waiting for Greenhouse created by that Tasmanian terror, John Daly, became a focus for early so-called skeptics. Fortunately, the momentum he built achieved a core of skeptics, so his work carried on beyond his untimely death in 2004.
It is difficult to identify when the word skeptic first appeared. The difference between the general definition and science created problems. All scientists are skeptics; otherwise, they are not scientists. Deviously, those who pushed the IPCC deception used the public definition. In that view, skeptics are disagreeable and not just people who disagree. Those not with you are against you encapsulates this view. The word skeptic and the pejorative mentality appear in a leaked email from Tom Wigley, a former Director of the Climatic Research Unit on 19 August 2003 Tom Wigley. He is talking about an article published in Climate Research by an early scientific skeptic, Chris De Freitas. He is angry that they dared to publish an article that questioned the IPCC and CRU science. The quote begins with another form of argument, an appeal to authority (Argumentum Ad Verecundiam). It implies that I am correct because another ‘expert,’ or group of experts, said it is true.
Jim Titus mentioned to me that in the legal profession here people are disbarred for behavior like that of De Freitas (and even John Christy — although this is a more subtle case). We cannot do that of course, but we can alert the community of honest scientists to such behavior and formally discredit these people.
In the meantime, I urge people to disassociate themselves from Climate Research. The residual ‘editorial’ (a word I use almost tongue in cheek) board is looking like a rogues’ gallery of skeptics. Those remaining who are credible scientists should resign.
His definition of ‘honest’ and ‘credible’ scientists is those who agree with him.
As Lindzen said, the IPCC accepted the AGW hypothesis from the start. This meant that when evidence appeared that contradicted, they ignored it or created false data. When this failed, they began orchestrated attacks on individuals and groups who asked questions or identified scientific problems.
They never answered the questions. The latest report used to justify the demand for action at the Conference of the Parties in Poland is another example.
Here is a short list of those questions. I am sure the skeptics on this site can add many more.
- Why was the definition of climate change used as the basis for the IPCC research limited to only human causes?
- How did this allow them to ignore water vapor, by far the most important and abundant greenhouse gas?
- Why were they allowed to build computer climates models when they knew the data was inadequate?
- Why was the IPCC membership and participation in Reports limited to only those chosen by bureaucratic members of the WMO?
- Why are almost all the people involved in the IPCC unqualified in climatology?
- Why did the IPCC only examine temperature and warming?
- Why didn’t the IPCC report on the positive effects of warming?
- Why don’t they release the Working Group I (WGI) Physical Science Report first?
- Why did they set up a separate group of politicians and bureaucrats with a few selected scientists to produce the Summary for Policymakers?
- Why was it released before the scientific evidence of WGI?
- Why were the forecasts made in the first IPCC Report in 1990 so wrong?
- Why did the second Report in 1995 stop providing forecasts?
- Why did they switch to providing scenarios or projections after 1990?
- Why did they ignore all the legitimate critiques of the early Reports?
- Why did they finally establish a method of feedbacks and critiques?
- Why did most of these never make it into the Reports?
- Why did approximately 30,000 attend the recent climate conference in Poland?
- Why were a majority of them environmental activists with no qualifications in climatology?
- Why were industry and business so poorly represented from the start?
- Why does that continue at the recent climate conference?
- Why is the IPCC the source of e annual production of human CO2 for their computer models?
- Why does a CO2 increase cause a temperature increase in their computer models when it doesn’t exist in the empirical data?
- Why are similar computer models unable to forecast weather much beyond 72 hours?
- Why were all the IPCC projections from 1995 to the present incorrect?
- Why has most of the global temperature record been altered?
- Why did all these alterations only change the record in one direction?
- Why did those adjustments only lower early temperatures?
- Why do major agencies that calculate the annual average global temperature get different results?
- Why did skeptics become deniers?
- Where is the evidence that climate change deniers deny climate change?
- Why, in fact, do all the deniers claim that climate change occurs?
- Why do the media never ask Al Gore about his climatology qualifications?
- Why in IPCC AR4 did they provide a completely different definition of climate change that they claimed, falsely, they used in their Reports? They didn’t even use it in the one in which they claimed it.
- Why, if the science is so clear, do most nations act hesitatingly or fail to act?
- Why did the Kyoto Protocol fail?
- What replaced the Kyoto Protocol?
- Why is China entitled to and now demanding $2 billion from the IPCC through the Paris Climate Agreement?
Most people reading this website know most of the answers to these questions. The challenge is to adjust the list as you wish then distribute it to the media and your politicians at all levels asking them to provide answers. If people have absolute positions on a topic and attack those who disagree, demonstrating their level of knowledge and understanding becomes mandatory.