A reader here sent me this excellent letter, which definitely deserves to be shared, and widely. Enjoy! – Jo
A Guest Post by the Clipped-Wing Warrior
Hi, there. I’m a Global Warming sceptic. By that I mean that I am sceptical of all but the first of the Ten Tenets of the Church of Global Warming, which are;
- The globe warmed over the course of the 20th century.
- The globe is warming right now.
- The global warming is going to continue in the future.
- This warming is unusual, unnatural, and unprecedented.
- This warming is an overall bad thing.
- This warming is caused mainly by increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere.
- Human CO2 emissions are responsible for most of the warming.
- Humans are capable of reducing their global CO2 emissions.
- A significant amount of warming could be avoided if humans reduced their CO2 emissions.
- The amount of CO2 emissions reductions that would be achieved by bringing in a CO2 tax will reduce the amount of global warming by a large enough amount as to be worth the economic pain that would come with the application of a CO2 tax.
Apparently, to be a true Warmist you must confirm your belief in every one of the Ten Tenets. Declare your scepticism in just one of these and you risk being banished from the Church as a heretic.
I concede the globe warmed approximately 1 degree Celsius over the course of the 20th century, but I have my doubts about the other nine Tenets. But if you are a devout believer in Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) and want to convert me to your religion then I’m going to tell you how you can do it.
The fourteen easy steps
- Step 1 – Stop making predictions that don’t come true.
- Step 2 – When you make a prediction, don’t just say something “might” happen.
- Step 3 – Don’t live your life like you don’t believe a word you’re saying.
- Step 4 – Stop the hate.
- Step 5 – Stop avoiding debate.
- Step 6 – Answer questions.
- Step 7 - Stop enjoying catastrophes.
- Step 8 – Don’t use invalid arguments.
- Step 9 – When you are wrong, admit it and apologise.
- Step 10 – Stop claiming that 97% of scientists agree that humans are warming the globe significantly.
- Step 11 – Stop lying. If you think it is okay to lie if it’s for a good cause, you are wrong.
- Step 12 – Rebuke your fellow Warmists if they act in an unscientific way.
- Step 13 – Stop blaming everything on Global Warming.
- Step 14 – Why are the only solutions always big-government “progressive” policies?
Step 1 – Stop making predictions that don’t come true
Like in 2006 when Kenneth Davidson said “Within a decade, most of us on spaceship Earth will face the prospect of choking, freezing, burning or drowning, and all of us are likely to be extremely uncomfortable unless measures are taken to reduce greenhouse gases now.” Well it is now 2014, 8 years into Kenneth’s 10-year prediction, and we didn’t reduce greenhouse gases, we actually increased them, and are most people on Earth choking, freezing, burning or drowning? Hardly. Conditions today are little different to 2006. There are thousands of similarly exaggerated ludicrous predictions that can be found on the internet if you bother to look. When you make a prediction and it doesn’t come true, it makes me sceptical of your position. So stop it.
Step 2 – When you make a prediction, don’t just say something “might” happen
The word “might” in that context just means a chance of more than 0% and less than 100%. Not very helpful. It is plainly transparent what you are doing when you say something “might” happen. If it happens, you will triumphantly declare that you were right, and if it doesn’t happen, you will defensively declare that you only said it “might” happen, not that it definitely “would”. If you say something “might” happen, you need to follow that up with something more specific, like “very likely” or “a slim chance” or “50/50″, otherwise I will write you off as a flake.
Step 3 – Don’t live your life like you don’t believe a word you’re saying
Don’t say that the oceans will rise 10 metres this century, and then buy a house beside the beach. Don’t say that we need to reduce emissions, and then fly around in a private jet. If you say we should all live like the Amish, then you should live like the Amish. Don’t complain that the Earth is overpopulated, and then father 6 children. Yes, I’m looking at you, Sting. Practice what you preach and you will gain my respect.
Step 4 – Stop the hate
A. A. Gill once said “What is stopping vast numbers of perfectly decent concerned folk getting with the programme is the eye-rolling, dismissive loathing of the people yelling at them to get with the programme.” Heed his words. Assume I’m a good person. Call me a bad person because I haven’t yet converted to your religion and you will all but guarantee I never will.
Step 5 – Stop avoiding debate
On any issue, if I see that one side is willing to debate but the other side isn’t, I instinctively gravitate to the side that wants to debate. It seems logical that the side that wants to debate believes they have a strong position with supporting arguments that will convince most listeners. The side that refuses to debate does so because they know their position is weak and they can’t tolerate the thought of losing the debate. So stop trying to think up reasons to not debate. There are no good reasons to not debate. Any time you start a sentence with “I’m not going to debate because…” I guarantee you the rest of that sentence is going to make you sound like a half-wit and a coward. So debate. Fairly. Give your opponent equal time and respect. And if, at the end of the debate, most listeners side with your opponent, don’t throw a tantrum. Just go away and work on your arguments and be better prepared for the next debate. Then you’ll have my respect. Try to violate your opponent’s right to free speech and you become my enemy.
Step 6 – Answer questions.
Any time I see a politician or commentator refuse to answer a question I reasonably conclude it is because the answer would be embarrassing and/or damaging. So I assume the worst. I think of the worst possible answer and assume it’s the case. So just answer the question, even if the answer damages your case. You can’t do any more damage than by not answering. At least you’ll gain my respect for being honest. So when somebody asks you “How much cooler do you think the globe will be on 1 January 2100 as a result of the introduction of Australia’s carbon dioxide tax?” give the honest answer which is “By an imperceptibly small amount.” Everybody knows that is the truth so just say it. And then when they ask “So what’s the point?” you can explain to them how it is a symbolic gesture, and symbolic gestures are important, they raise awareness and understanding and can alter behaviour, and hopefully it will cause us to use less coal and oil, and it shows the world we care, and maybe the rest of the world will get on board and do the same and then the effect on global temperatures will be more substantial. See, it’s not that hard. It’s better than hissing and spitting at the questioner and generally acting like a petulant child. And by the way, trying to justify your refusal to answer on the grounds that the questioner is not a qualified climate scientist doesn’t work. Just answer the bloody question, whatever it is (unless it is something inappropriately personal, like “what colour undies are you wearing?”).
Step 7 - Stop enjoying catastrophes
When you hear evidence that the globe may not be warming as much as we thought, don’t react like this is terrible news. Take Phil Jones of the Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia, who said “If anything, I would like to see the climate change happen, so the science could be proved right, regardless of the consequences.” Kudos to Phil for having the courage to admit what I’ve long suspected about many Warmists, that they actually want the globe to warm. Catastrophically. It follows they would feel tremendously disappointed if millions of people aren’t killed as they predicted. If I predicted some catastrophe I would follow that up with “…but I really hope I’m wrong.” When you tell a Warmist that since 1998 it appears that global warming is slowing down or maybe even stalled entirely, they could say “Yeah, that’s great. Maybe things won’t be so bad after all. I really hope I was wrong and maybe those millions of deaths I predicted won’t happen.” Instead, mostly they become angry, defensive, abusive, and insist that global warming is going to kick into gear any time now. Can’t you see that when you give people the impression that you want millions of people to die just so that you can gloat and say “Ha, ha, I told you so” – it’s a bit of a turn off?
Step 8 – Don’t use invalid arguments.
- Argumentum ad baculum – “arguing by making threats, either implicitly or explicitly”
- Argumentum ad hominem – “arguing against the man”
- Argumentum ad populum -“arguing that the majority must be right”
- Argumentum ex silentio – “arguing that silence is necessarily proof of ignorance.”
- Argumentum ad verecundiam – “an argument that appeals to authority”
- Straw man argument – “arguing by attacking a less defensible position than the one your opponent has actually put forth.”
When I see someone using one or more of these arguments in any debate it really puts me off their position. There is only one valid argument when debating how to solve a problem; that when the positive and negative aspects of your proposed solution are compared to your opponent’s, yours is overall preferable. So calmly, politely, and rationally, discuss the positive and negative aspects of all of the proposals on the table. And don’t misrepresent your opponent’s position or arguments. If you have to totally misrepresent what someone says in order to refute them, you can’t refute them. And don’t hurl abuse or get personal.
Step 9 – When you are wrong, admit it and apologise
If you make a prediction and it fails to come true, admit it and say you’re sorry. Just say “Yeah, I got that wrong. What I thought would happen didn’t. Sorry about that.” The need to apologise is especially strong when politicians made multi-billion dollar decisions based on your dud prediction. Australia wasted billions of dollars on desalination plants, all of which are now suspended or mothballed, on the advice of a few scientists who said that global warming would mean little rain. I’m not aware of even one of those scientists ever apologising. They just flip the bird at anyone who raises the subject. You have no idea how much damage was done to your religion by the arrogant unrepentance of your false prophets.
Step 10 – Stop claiming that 97% of scientists agree that humans are warming the globe significantly
This claim has been conclusively debunked. The 97% figure comes from a survey of 77 scientists who were hand-picked because of their likeliness to agree. Scientists who it was felt were not very likely to agree were specifically excluded. Of the 77 hand-picked scientists, 75 agreed. That’s where the 97% figure comes from. On that basis you could take any belief, no matter how ludicrous, and say that 97% of people believe in it. There are millions of people like me who groan whenever they hear that bullcrap claim and conclude that the person repeating it is an anti-science propagandist.
Step 11 – Stop lying. If you think it is okay to lie if it’s for a good cause, you are wrong
When you are caught lying it destroys not just your credibility but that of your whole religion. People are going to think that if you have to lie to get them to believe in global warming it’s because the globe isn’t warming. I once heard a newsreader at the end of 2011 say that it was Australia’s warmest year ever. Thinking back on the year it didn’t seem particularly warm to me so I decided to look into that claim. Turns out, the study they were quoting from said that 2011 was not Australia’s warmest year on record, it was actually Australia’s warmest La Nina year on record. Big difference. La Nina years tend to be rather cool, while El Nino years tend to be unusually warm. But 2011 was the warmest La Nina year by only a tiny fraction of a degree over a La Nina year in the 1950s. So the claim that 2011 was our warmest year ever was a complete lie. The truth is that if you only look at La Nina years it would appear that Australia hasn’t warmed much at all in 60 years. But I guess the newsreader thought the righteousness of her cause justified the lie. She was wrong.
Step 12 – Rebuke your fellow Warmists if they act in an unscientific way
The American Physical Society says that scientists should “Expose their ideas and results to independent testing and replication by others. This requires the open exchange of data, procedures and materials.” But when Phil Jones of the Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia, was asked to submit his research for scrutiny he replied “Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?” Of course they are going to try to find something wrong with it, that’s what good scientists do! If Phil Jones was any kind of a good scientist he would want people to dig into his theories and try to disprove them. Anti-science attitudes like his make your religion look bad. Tell him to stop.
Step 13 – Stop blaming everything on Global Warming
Look at these quotes;
”Since the late 1960s, much of the North Atlantic Ocean has become less salty, in part due to increases in fresh water runoff induced by global warming…”
Michael Schirber, LiveScience, 29 June 2005
”The surface waters of the North Atlantic are getting saltier, suggests a new study of records spanning over 50 years. They found that during this time, the layer of water that makes up the top 400 metres has gradually become saltier. The seawater is probably becoming saltier due to global warming…”
Catherine Brahic, New Scientist, 23 August 2007
Do you have any idea how stupid this makes you Warmists look? I just heard somebody say that the much greater than usual amount of ice around Antarctica is because of global warming. Not long after Warmists told us the less than usual amount of ice in the Arctic is because of global warming. You do this all the time. You blame every little change of anything on global warming and say it’s a bad thing, as if you really believe that before the 20th century nothing ever changed. That before 1900 there was never any unusual weather and every year was the same and things like ice levels and salt levels and rainfall and tropical storms never varied from decade to decade. You’ve cried wolf so many times that now whenever you blame something on Global Warming people just tune out and ignore you. If you only blame Global Warming on rare occasions when something has changed in a clearly bad way that can be convincingly explained by global warming then people might start to listen to you.
Step 14 – Why are the only solutions always big-government “progressive” policies?
Stop saying that the only way to solve the problem of global warming is for the whole world to implement the A to Z of your Progressive Left-wing Agenda. You utterly destroy your credibility when you do that. And don’t bail me up with the pretense that you want a “Free market in Carbon” — it’s a fake market, fixed by bureaucrats, and it’s got almost no resemblance to a real free market. Just think about it. What if I said to you that the Earth is facing some catastrophe and the only way to prevent it is to make me your ruler and give me total control over your life and you have to do whatever I say? Oh, and stuff wads and wads of cash in my trousers while you’re at it? You would be justifiably suspicious that the whole thing is just a con-job to trick you into giving me wealth and power. As long as your claims of global warming are intertwined with your claims that we must destroy democracy and free speech, and convert to a socialist gnostocracy with you at the lucrative helm, which is what you’ve been advocating since before anyone ever mentioned global warming, then I will doubt whether you really believe, or even care if, the globe is warming at all.
So there you have it. Follow those steps and I will start to think that you Warmists are a bunch of great people that I’d like to hang out and be associated with. That would help your cause immensely. Oh, that and we get the actual warming you predicted.
* Edited point 10: 78/76 corrected to 77/75.