fooling one’s self

ars technica illustrates how people try to convince themselves that what they think is true really is. The story is Climate skeptics perform independent analysis, finally convinced Earth is getting warmer. They commit the same mistakes as other media outlets reporting similar ‘news’. The first thing to note is that the issue of the report isn’t about climate change but rather about skeptics. That is the essence of the ad hominem logical fallacy. Note at ars that they also get into the Koch Brothers, a favorite leftist villain and Anthony Watts whose blog has been a major driver of skeptical inquiry in the field. Then you can get into the reality of the story.

First up is that the Berkeley Earth group contains people skeptical of global warming, It doesn’t.

Second is that the disagreement is about climate warming. It isn’t (it is about causes of recent warming trends).

Then you get into the technical problems such as the fact that the report was based only on the same data sets used in previous climate catastrophe predictions and that these data only show warming since 1950 of a minor amount (compared to signal noise).

It should also be noted that the brouhaha is about pre-publication press releases. Publicizing ‘scientific’ papers prior to publication is highly indicative that the effort is about publicity, not scientific knowledge. The effort is to stimulate media reports, such as the one at ars technica that impugn and denigrate those who raise unpleasant questions and try to bring reality into ideological views.

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