Rationalizing climate

If you want to understand the nature of the debate about climate change, see the Indur M. Goklany post Sir David King: Half Right on the IPCC and Global Warming Policies, Despite Bad Logic.

Golanski notes that a dedicated advocate of human caused global warming acknowledges that ideas in science require skepticism as a means of testing them. The advocate also recognizes the risk of advocacy. But then, when it comes close to the heart, these words become empty and that becomes “Sir David’s revisionist Apologia for IPCC’s transgressions”

Who to blame for the current brouhaha? It can’t be anyone on my side so it must be that those I admire were forced into bad behavior by evil forces. It’s those evil big oil corporations providing all the money to do the dirty deed.

The problem is that the money is in government grants for research and that the errors come from advocacy such as needed to sway the population to support the government money. Money and advocacy are only two of the problems in the advocacy group that are turned on those who do not adhere to the belief in AGW. Misrepresentation of position is another.

These paragraphs point to one of the major disagreements between climate change skeptics and “conformists.” Most skeptics do not dispute that it has warmed, although most, in my opinion, are skeptical that we know the amount of warming with sufficient accuracy to make quantitative pronouncements about how much or how fast it has warmed during the past century. And they certainly would not conclude that because it is warming, human beings must necessarily be responsible.

There are logical fallacies and distortions of reality that need to be repaired before any action on climate can be taken.

If a scientist as distinguished as Sir David King, once HMG’s Chief Scientific Adviser, could make such fundamental errors in logic, it’s hardly surprising that a good share of humanity, even those who are well educated and, presumably, less-than-gullible, could make similar errors. Much of the public support for doing “something” about global warming comes, perhaps, from this segment of society.

The potential disasters from any human caused global warming pale in comparison to what can happen when reality becomes distorted by those who are making decisions.

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