2011-04-26 16:51:52Treehugger transcript #6: Understanding Climate Denial: Logical fallacies
John Cook

yes, I've borrowed Bart's Harry Potter theory for this one.
To deny the scientific consensus on global warming, one needs to deny the scientific evidence. We've seen how this is done through cherry picking or conspiracy theories. Another technique in the climate denier kit bag is the use of misrepresentation and logical fallacies.

For example, the most common logical fallacy is the argument that climate has changed in the post, long before humans and SUVs, so recent global warming is nothing new and no cause for concern. This logic is flawed. Climate doesn't change by magic. We don't see Dumbledore striding through history, waving his wand to induce ice ages or past warming. Climate changes when its forced to change, when the planet builds up heat or loses heat. When scientists examine Earth's history, what they find is when our planet warms or cools, climate feedbacks amplify the change. It's these feedbacks that pulled the planet out of an ice age 20,000 years ago.

Currently, more carbon dioxide is trapping heat and causing warming. What the past tells us is feedbacks will amplify this warming. These feedbacks are already being observed. Past climate change is not a cause for comfort. On the contrary, it's a cause for concern.

This is summed up by past climate change expert, Wally Broecker, who said "The paleoclimate record shouts out to us that, far from being self-stabilizing, the Earth's climate system is an ornery beast which overreacts to even small nudges". We have already given our climate a big nudge.

2011-04-27 04:34:19nice
Dana Nuccitelli

I like it.

2011-04-27 07:53:12
Peter Miesler

logical fallacies

Well then there's the even more irritating logical fallacy of claiming there are no atmospheric tests "proving" CO2 is reponsible for warming.

I'm still trying to find a quality, poetic, come back to that one.  {something better than proofs are for mathematicians}

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John   [thumbs up smilie] on this series.