Michael Kundu, Board President of Marysville (Washington State, USA) District #25 has written to colleagues to urge them to trash a free science resource that discusses logic, reason and evidence, and the core of science. The Skeptics Handbook has arrived at school board presidents’ desks around the US.
“I would encourage all of you to stuff that junk mail directly into the recycle basket.”
In a spot of unwitting self-parody he states:
“…we need to have the ability to tell fact from fiction. This last mailing is an excellent example of ‘fiction’.”
Thus Michael Kundu, whale photographer, pronounces the data from NASA, Hadley, UAH, CSSP, IPPC, as fiction.
Michael Kundu has no evidence or logical reason to back his claim. He exhorts everyone to use good sources (then uses Wikipedia), and make intelligent decisions to spot the propaganda, and gives nothing except logical errors. All he can offer is the typical, low base ad hominem attack. So on a science topic, he reasons by ‘smear’.
“I am sure that history will file your names alongside such ‘credentialed luminaries’ as Hwang Woo-suk, Luk Van Parijs, Jon Sudbo, and William Summerlin.”
“if you want to continue spreading your propaganda, I am sure the oil industry (I understand that they had another year of record profits) can provide you with significant funding,”
Thus proving to be rude, ignorant, and unable to reason. He is at least up front about it. It was honest of him to CC Bob Carter in at the start. Though it appears to be more unfounded arrogance than an attempt to communicate.
Professor Bob Carter writes:
“As the president of a school district board, you have a particular responsibility to encourage informed discussion on controversial matters of the day, rather than to denigrate in ignorant fashion one aspect of a complex, multi-sided argument of which you happen to disapprove.
The Skeptics Handbook is a carefully and accurately written account of matters to do with contemporary climate change. Every statement in it is founded in data contained in numerous research papers in refereed scientific journals.”
Joseph Bast agrees:
“…none of our work is “propaganda.” More than 100 academics and 150 elected officials participate in our research and education programs.”
Kundu is up for reelection this year.
So people, email your friends in Marysville, Washington: pass the word around. Even if you don’t agree with sceptics on climate, do you really want someone so rude and ignorant involved in your child’s education?
It’s a shame that a man brave enough to enter Siberia covertly to film slaughtered whales and expose Russian censorship is hypocritically censoring views in US schools on something as important as climate science. Is he really a fighter to get out the whole story? Not if he’s been fooled by the propaganda himself.
My reply to Kundu
Thanks for your thoughts. Like you, I’m passionate that our educators use accurate scientific information and be able to help our students tell fact from fiction. That’s exactly why I wrote The Skeptics Handbook. The climate, the fauna, our kids; it’s too important to get wrong.
That’s why I know you will be as concerned as I am that your recent emails failed to pass the test of basic reasoning and thus qualify as Junk-emails. Unfortunately you were not only unable to come up with any logical reason to back up your exhortation to censor a free scientific resource, but it appears you didn’t even read the booklet you call ‘propaganda’. If you had, you’d see I’ve already described most of rules you break.
Michel Kundu’s Scorecard for Logic and Reason
|…………………………….||Argument from Authority||1|
|Ad Hominem Attack||3|
|Conflating irrelevant issues||1|
|Selection bias in survey||1|
|Argument from Ignorance||1|
|Bonus point for breaking the first amendment||1|
The ‘ad hom’. Your method for analyzing Earth’s climate by looking at the history of a particular think tank is doomed to fail. There has never been a single instance of a think-tank induced climate change. For a better way to analyze the climate, scientists use thermometers and weather balloons. Fraudsters use bluff, bluster and censorship. Is it not fraud to act as an authority on science education if you are unable to reason?
You have no evidence. You mistakenly believe that the hypothesis of the Enhanced Greenhouse Effect is proven unless you notice a compelling paper against it published in Nature or another esteemed journal. As attractive as it sounds, this is argument from ignorance. In science, theories are vindicated by evidence, not by a lack of it.
There are over 115 scientific journals on earth and atmospheric sciences. So it’s no wonder you’ve missed so many papers that don’t support your unresearched position. My links and sources are here.
Bob Carter provided these links:
You will find my listed scientific research papers here.
In addition, many useful articles on global warming are listed here (articles 92, 95 and 115 being particularly suitable for persons who manifest scientifically erroneous views such as those that you appear to espouse).
Joseph Bast provided these links:
On Tuesday, Heartland is releasing an 880-page book on climate change that cites thousands of peer-reviewed articles while arriving at the conclusion that global warming is not a crisis. The entire book will be available at www.nipccreport.org.
Furthermore: you claim most educational decision makers agree with you and are able to “see through the fog of propaganda” because only 1 in 50 responses disagreed with your email. However your study suffers from a crippling flaw. You assume that those who disagree with your loaded inaccurate letter would bother to reply. All you have proved is that most people who disagree with you will ignore you.
Likewise you claim that you can see through propaganda yourself, but have not given a single example of how the booklet is wrong, misleading, or incorrect. If you could provide any examples I would be most happy to issue an immediate correction. I await your response keenly.
Based on your reasoning so far, the fog of propaganda you speak of not only does not exist, but you could not spot a real fog if you were surrounded by it, which indeed you are. I sympathize.
As for your libelous insinuations that I must be paid by oil companies – that’s not only a meaningless Ad hom attack, it’s also wrong. I wrote the entire Handbook pro bono with no financial assistance from anyone. It was finished before I had any contact at all with The Heartland Institute (and as Joe Bast points out, 95% of their funding comes from non-energy sources anyway).
It is a remarkable un-coincidence that Heartland approaches people who independently hold similar views.
To rectify the unwarranted censorship and libelous claims – all you need to do is send this email around to your mailing list. If I am as fringe and junky as you make out, they will all recognize your skill, and my flaws immediately. Right?
That’s free speech.
Click here for the full email exchange including Bob Carter and Joseph Bast’s responses.