Jane Haddam’s WordPress weblog

Just A Note

with 9 comments

I’m still correcting papers like a maniac in an attempt to get all this done before my grades have to go in on Wednesday–

But I’d like to point out a few things:

1) I made NO statement as to the truth or falsity of “climate change” science or the existence of nonexistence of a consensus.

2) I will stipulate that there is a consensus.  So what?  “There’s a consensus” just means “everybody thinks so!” and it’s NOT a valid argument FOR ANYTHING.

3) No, it does not matter if the consensus is among experts.  Experts have been wrong, and “consensus” is the ad populam fallacy. 

4) The two things that make me think, at the back of my mind, that the present presentation of “climate change” science is wrong are not particulars on missing heat or speculations on the state of the oceans, but–

       a) the fact that when I ask for evidence, I too often get “there’s consensus” AND

       b) the use of the term “climate deniers.”  That’s ANOTHER logical fallacy, called “poisoning the well.”

5) The link that lead to the “here’s the ocean theory of why we haven’t seen the heat rise in the last 17 years” reminds me of Christian creationists trying more and more and more possible “explanations” when reality doesn’t meet their predictions. 

For whatever reason, the reality did NOT match the predictions.  I’d also thought the first response to such a circumstance FOR SCIENTISTS was supposed to be to ditch the predictions as flawed, unless a CERTAIN explanation could be found to explain the anomaly, after which more predictions would be made with the new information and then the hypothesis would be retained ONLY if the predictions panned out.

Deciding that you already know the answer and responding to failed predictions by running around looking for excuses does not inspire confidence.

6) What John Oliver is suggesting is the ad authoritatem fallacy–we won’t counter the other side’s arguments, we’ll just declare them obviously untrue and get together to laugh at them. 

That’s a lot of things, but it’s not science.

7) Oliver himself is in fact suggesting a way to shut people up, but the other two links I provided in that post were to information on very straightforward, brutal and bullying attempt to shut people up, including a law suit that, if won by Michael Mann, would put an end to the first amendment guarantee of free speech.

As it is, the lawsuit itself chills speech even if it’s lost–the punishment is in the process, not the verdict. 

Then there are the calls, and there have been many of them, to put “climate deniers” in jail.

I’ll reiterate my point from last time. 

No matter what the validity of your position, tactics like these RIGHTLY make people think you’re probably lying.

Written by janeh

May 19th, 2014 at 9:27 am

Posted in Uncategorized

9 Responses to 'Just A Note'

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  1. Semi-hijack. It’s not on freedom of speech, but it does touch on some long-running themes of the Blog:



    21 May 14 at 5:53 pm

  2. Here’s the latest from The Pointman which is a pretty good summary of the debate that isn’t happening.



    22 May 14 at 10:04 am

  3. And then, as my last word on the subject, for a while at least, unless provoked :-), there was this, the latest entry in Professor Judith Curry’s blog. Nail, head, smack.



    22 May 14 at 10:20 am

  4. New bottle, old whine:


    Ya gotta laugh!


    28 May 14 at 1:29 pm

  5. Back from holidays. Good time but caught a chest infection. Now on antibiotics.

    Re the consensus on global warming or climate change. Consider the history of Physics.

    Newtonian mechanics is now considered a special case. (relativity and quantum mechanics work where Newtonian mechanics fail)

    Maxwell’s equations of electricity and magnetism break down at atomic scale and must be replaced by a form of quantum mechanics.

    An “intuitively obvious” law of Quantum Mechanics called Conservation of Parity turned out to be wrong. (experiments in the 1950s)

    The experimental belief that electric charge only occurs in integer multiples of the charge of an electron was challenged by the introduction of quarks (1960s). Quarks have charge of 1/3 and 2/3 of the charge of an electron. Quarks are the basis of the present standard model of particle physics.


    29 May 14 at 7:21 pm

  6. Just in case anyone thought there were matters where the government didn’t now best–affairs in which it ought not to intervene–you were wrong.



    30 May 14 at 5:04 pm

  7. Apropos your last, Robert, this just in from Frank Furedi at Spiked:


    What planet do these people live on?


    31 May 14 at 7:50 pm

  8. I am not a lawyer but I was told long ago that it is good legal practice to have clear definitions for crimes. For example, murder is defined as a deliberate killing as distinct from manslaughter where there was no intent to kill.

    The vagueness of “emotional cruelty” terrifies me.


    1 Jun 14 at 2:20 am

  9. jd that would be “good legal practice” only if one were interested in preventing crimes and upholding the law. People would know when or whether they were violating the law, and the police would know who to arrest. But if the intention is to decide afterwards who has broken the law–prosecuting your enemies, exonerating your friends and extorting money and deference from everyone–well then, vagueness is very much your friend.

    LOTS of vagueness in the law lately. I wonder why?


    1 Jun 14 at 9:43 am

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