Rationality Now Rotating Header Image

If it’s cold, it’s evidence!

I find it noteworthy that the global warming deniers, many of whom were touting the recent cold snap in the USA as evidence against global warming, are strangely silent about the recent warm temperatures we’ve been having. In Pennsylvania, it was about 60 degrees this morning, which is pretty high for this time of year… not unheard of, but definitely high. The entire past week has been warmer than usual, actually.

Now, those who understand anything about climate change understand that local temperature variances really say nothing about global climate change (hence the word "global"), but the deniers latch onto this sort of thing and wave it around as if it somehow validates their conspiracy theories. The caveat is that they only do it when it suits their purposes. If there is contradicting "evidence," it is ignored.

Evolution deniers do the same thing… tout irrelevant things as evidence in support of their delusion, but ignore (or deny) evidence that refutes it. Anti-vaxxers do it, too… as do moon hoaxers, flat earthers, 9/11 truthers, and Obama birthers. It’s a common theme among conspiracy theorists.

And all that is fine… unless they have any political clout.

Sadly, that seems to be the case in some instances.

6 Comments

  1. Papa T says:

    Wow. I was really having a great first visit to RationalityNOW until I read this post.

    Rationale, it seems to me, would find fault with 1) making blanket conclusions about global climate (macro) change based on a temporary, small (micro) data set, AND 2) making blanket conclusions based on data that may have been manipulated thus unreliable.

    Maybe somebody could save me some time and trouble and tell me if this type of left-leaning sentiment is characteristic of RationalityNOW. If so, I’ll “move on down the road” with my silly belief in science.

    Best wishes to all & thanks!

    1. Dan says:

      I’m glad you were at least enjoying your first visit for a little while.

      I actually do find fault with your point #1. That was the thrust of this piece. As for point #2, I’m not sure what you’re trying to say.

      You’re more than welcome to “move on down the road” but thanks for visiting… and accepting, understanding, and promoting science is anything but silly.

      Cheers!

      1. Papa T says:

        Maybe you’d care to “read me” again. AFTER you take a comfortably deep breath and consider that some other rational sojourner just might have something worthwhile to say.

        In point #1, I am agreeing with you (and the “thrust” of the piece).

        In point #2, I am suggesting that it might behoove the thinking wo/man to at least consider some of the recent revelations of data tampering and potentially glaring omissions that have been revealed in the work of the IPCC. For example, you may or may not wish to read the article published in Scientific American (link below) that gives account of suggested reviews as a result of errors in the IPCC product.

        Again, I would concur. Accepting, understanding, and promoting science is truly anything but silly. Perhaps you are doing so–promoting science. But as an “amateur” logician I would point out to you that ad hominem rebuttal and straw man attacks are generally frowned on by folks who long for rational debate…for good reason.

        Your so-called deniers might be idiots. Some of the “correct ones” (e.g. anthropogenic global warming “embracers”) might also be idiots. Either way, calling people idiots–or any other “name” for that matter–does nothing to further the debate.

        Thanks for the welcome to move on down the road. I might linger a bit. You seem–if nothing else–passionate. And we sure do need RationalityNOW!

        “I am not very skeptical…a good deal of skepticism in a scientific man is advisable to avoid much loss of time, but I have met not a few men, who… have often thus been deterred from experiments or observations which would have proven servicable.” – Charles Darwin

        Cheers back!

        http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=ipcc-errors-prompt-review-by-international-science-academies#comments

        1. Dan says:

          My apologies. I was unclear in my response. When I said I found fault with your point #1, I meant I agreed with you about finding fault with the idea of making macro claims about micro data (to paraphrase). I didn’t mean to convey that I found fault with the point YOU were making. Bad word choice on my part.

          I’m more than happy to have commenters here who disagree with and/or challenge my ideas and I certainly meant no offense in my response.

          As for point #2, I again agree and I have considered the errors in the IPCC report. More importantly, the scientific community has considered them. Finding a few small errors in a 3,000 page report, no matter how well-researched doesn’t seem to be a big deal to me, but I think it says a lot that the IPCC chair (along with the UN secretary general) invited the IAC review of the IPCC and the document in question.

          I haven’t read anything about actual data tampering, however, so I can’t comment on that other than to say that I’ve heard accusations of data tampering that turned out to be simple denialist spin. As for actual tampering with an intent to deceive, I have read nothing. Of course, my not reading it doesn’t mean it couldn’t have (or didn’t) happen.

          I try to avoid straw man and ad hominem attacks but will, on occasion, use strong words when I feel they are warranted. I will accuse someone of ignorance, but that’s a far cry from calling someone an idiot… or calling them stupid. Ignorance can be fixed.

          I look forward to your comments, should you decide to linger a bit. 🙂

          1. Papa T says:

            Fair enough. Well said. Thank you. I wouldn’t say that you chose “bad” words. I just needed clarification…which you provided.

            I meant to add in my previous post some glowing compliments on your site. It is quite “user friendly” and well organized. Clearly you are devoted to “the cause.” I am most appreciative of your work here.
            ———————
            Since you seem to be checking in here, may I ask you a marginally related question? The BBC “Outnumbered” program looks MOST interesting. [And I agree, the acting is superb.] Unfortunately, it seems that it’s only available in the PAL format. Might you have any idea where one could obtain NTSC copies? [I currently live in the US.] I may have to get a PAL player or learn how to convert/play PAL on my PC. Oh, well…just wondering.

            Thanks again!

          2. Dan says:

            Thanks for the compliments on the site. I did some customization on the theme, but most of the props should go to “Elegant Themes” who designed it.

            Sadly, I have only ever seen clips from “Outnumbered” and haven’t found the DVD’s in NTSC format, either (I’m also in the US). If I can locate them, I’ll (try to remember to) send you an update. 🙂

Leave a Reply