The Demeanor of the Warmalarmer Witness

A reader asked me to justify my skepticism toward such well informed experts as NASA and NOAA and Scientific American magazine on the question of catastrophic manmade global warming, and, of course, the United Nations IPCC, whereby I dismiss their data and declare the matter to be a hoax.

Let us review a crucial bit of evidence first. This is the head of the Sierra Club, which is perhaps the foremost and most well respected conservationist group on the planet. If anyone can be expected to know the facts of the matter, it is he. This is not some surprise interview by a reporter popped through the mail slot, but prepared remarks and cross examination in Congressional subcommittee hearing.

Observe the demeanor of the witness:

My approach is impossible to describe to any modern or postmodern man.

You see, I believe that a jury of twelve good men and true are sufficiently well informed to decide which witnesses to believe when hearing testimony even in the most difficult and technical legal case. I believe the voter knows his own self interest in matters immediately touching his own life better than any aristocrat, expert, oligarch, bureaucrat, or glorious leader.

(Matters beyond his immediate concern should not be open to a vote in any case, for the same reason why a jury does not decide who is a good or bad man, but only decide whether this crime was committed this time by this man.)

Postmodernism is a philosophy designed to avoid the labor of thought. It is the philosophy used to justify making snap-judgments about all phenomena by their most obvious and transient surface features, and then reacting to all questions about the snap-judgment by leveling an accusation of ill will not toward the question, but only toward the questioner.

Postmodernism is a psychological defense mechanism meant to deflect criticism from hypocrisy. It has no other function. It is not a philosophy of life. No one lives by it or can live by it. It is a mechanism for ending debate while retaining self esteem.

Before postmodernism, back in the Middle Ages when Thomas Aquinas flourished, when scholars studied logic and common men were expected to be honest, the practice of juries, parliaments, and private life alike was supposed to be to hear both sides of the issue before deciding.

When someone does not want to hear both sides of the issue, declares the matter over, and grows increasingly silent, sullen, and hostile when asked simple and honest questions about his position, or when he offer vague and conclusory answers only — such as telling you THAT science has explained away the pause, but not telling you HOW science explains it — then there is solid reason to be skeptical of the testimony.

Now, I am not a scientist. I am a science fiction writer, a lawyer, a newsaperman, and a philosopher. I know the limits of my discipline. The scientific question about the reliability of the data on which the theory of manmade global warming rests I leave to the experts to debate. It is not in my bailiwick.

But the legal question is within my bailiwick. And within the bailiwick of anyone who is fit for jury duty, that is, any common man.

The question is whether the witness is lying. There are three telltale signs of a liar. First, he has lied in the past, and has a reputation in his community for dishonesty. Second, his story does not cohere with itself. Third, his story does not cohere with the common knowledge of the common juror. (Jurors are allowed to use their own knowledge of common things to judge whether or not a testimony is credible.)

So, in this case, the fact that scientific debate is open to skepticism and welcomes skepticism is counted as common knowledge. You do not have to be a scientist to know as much as a highschool student knows about how science works. It works by observation and experiment, not by a show of hands of men in white coats declaring certain opinions to be heresy.

As for the 97% of scientists who support the theory of catastrophic manmade global warming, this is a hoax. This claim does not even pass the giggle test. Can 97% of scientists agree on anything? This is like the electoral results claims of Saddam Husseyn,

Here is the testimony of Dr Roy Spencer at a Senate hearing explaining why the claimed 97% consensus figure is bogus.

The figure is based on one, I say again, one flawed study by a man named Cook, an activist. He did not review scientists, but scientific papers. He did not look to see what degree of climate change was listed in each paper, or what was attributable to manmade causes. He also added papers that did not speak of manmade climate change, but that, in his opinion, implied it. The scientific qualification of the scientists writing the papers was not cross checked: they might have been ornithologists or optometrists for all we know, not ecologists, not meteorologists.

When Cook’s work was checked and the papers examined again, the figure was not 97%. The actual figure is 2%.

Uncovering this took me, a science fiction writer who is not a member of the Sierra Club, not the leader of that institution, has no staff and no secretary, is not testifying before Congress, less than four minutes to discover from public sources on the Internet.

The fact that the 97% figure is a hoax is common knowledge, and the fact that the witness repeats it like a prayer to a dark and dismal god of ignorance, makes his testimony open to doubt on the third point: what he says does not cohere with common knowledge.

Common knowledge holds that scientists welcome skeptical inquiry. However, when those who propose scientists to live up to the commonly accepted scientific standard, that is, to base conclusions on experimental evidence, not on shared group-prejudice, are literally called heretics and subjected to public humiliation to silence them, at that point skepticism is not merely allowed, it is required.

Dr. Judith Curry is Professor and former Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Following is her remarks as delivered to a US Senate Commerce Committee Hearing.

Please note that it is Scientific American, the same newspaper alleged fact checkers report as being nonpartisan and nonbiased, who savaged her.

Since the witness here would not answer a simple question about whether he would publish a retraction should the scientific data show him in the wrong, it is safe to assume that his meaning was that he would continue to support the party line, true or false, right or wrong. Correct or incorrect be damned: he only cares about political correctness. This is a self-refuting position. It is the same as saying “I honestly believe it is honest to be dishonest.” It does not cohere with itself.

Again, the witness claimed to base his statement on the scientific findings, but when asked about the scientific findings inconvenient to his preferred position, he clammed up, and turned his brain off, and was replaced by a weird windup doll that could only repeat one non-responsive phrase over and over again.

As for the reputation in the community, I merely ask that you reflect upon all the ecological panics, scares, and false alarms that have agitated the newspaper headlines for the last fifty years or more. If you are not familiar with these topics, that is because you are being kept in ignorance.

Let us look at the Green record.

The Greens were wrong about the DDT scare, the ALAR scare, the radon scare, the mercury in the fish scare, the acid rain scare, the hole in the ozone layer scare, the power cables causing cancer scare, the chlorofluorocarbons scare, the overpopulation scare, the salmonella scare, the Mad Cow disease scare, the continent-sized flotilla of floating plastics scare, the fish choking on plastic sixpack beer can holders scare, and, most important of all, the manmade global cooling scare.

Yes, when I was young, the newspaper headlines were agitated with warnings of a coming Ice Age. The proposed solution to stop global cooling was the selfsame proposal as to stop global warming: government shutting down private industry. Strange how even opposite problems have one and only one solution. Expand the role of government.

Moreover, no Green ever admits wrong or admits mistake. Once the last fraud fails to achieve panic, they ignore it and move to the next. Imagine visiting a doctor who tells you, each visit, that you are about to die of a horrific and fatal disease unless you buy some expansive placebo and give the doctor ever more control of your life, exercise, diet, and psychological habits: and then he says the same thing again the next visit, but each time the lethal disease is different. How many years of doing this would you need to suffer before you realized that this doctor is a quack?

The record shows that real pollution problems can and have been solved. Car exhaust is minimal; our rivers and lakes are clean. Imaginary problems cannot be solved. That is their point.

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