As much as it may seem that there simply isn’t a need to continue to poke holes in the failed fear-mongering around Anthropogenic Global Warming, I must warn you that the issue is far from dead. Now that enough has been done to show that, despite the environmentalist claims, the science is not settled (in fact, it is apparently manipulated and distorted to create desired results rather than accurate ones), the environmental alarmists have begun to switch their tactics. Now, instead of telling us the world is ending, they are forced to rely on “Well, on the off-chance that we are right about man made global warming, the results would be catastrophic, so we must act.” Problem is, there simply isn’t any way to accurately predict the outcomes. But we should not let anything as silly as accuracy or reality get in the way of doom required government action, should we?
Below you will find a video presented on YouTube by a global warming activist. Oh he attempts to sound like he doesn’t have an agenda as be begins. He attempts to sound as though he just wants to test his theory. But at the end, he clears up where he stands on the whole topic by urging you to go out and share his conclusion with all your friends so that we can change the world. He begins by presenting that the future of the human race is at stake. Just that this level of fear mongering is happening up front should set off your warning bells. Then he makes the following statement (emphasis added is mine):
What if I told you that I found an argument that makes that whole bitter question of whether its really happening or not moot. An argument where we don’t need to know whether its true or not in order to decide what to do or not do. An argument that leads to a conclusion that even the most hardened skeptics and the most panicked activist both can agree on. Sounds impossible doesn’t it? It does to me too, which is why I am putting it out there to check to see if my reasoning is delusional. Because frankly, no one I’ve shown it to so far has been able to poke a hole in it.
Well, I have to admit that when you make a statement like that at the end there, I am certainly going to listen a little further and see if I can, in fact find any holes in the theory. Alas, I was sorely disappointed. After a very short time of watching more I was already beginning to see flaws in his presentation. So I present his video in full here. Then I will ask Mrs. Weapon if I may borrow her shiny new tactical shotgun to make aeration an easier task. I will then ask all the man-made global warming skeptics to find other holes to poke in it, while simultaneously allowing those who support the nonsense being offered to defend what they can. First let’s watch the presentation (it is only about 9 minutes long):
Allow me to get right to the meat of what he presented. Because there were so many flaws in what was presented that I could almost devote an entire freshman level critical thinking course just using this video as the course materials. He begins with a grid with whether man-made global climate change is “True” or “False” on the y-axis and taking significant action as either “Yes” or “No” on the x-axis. Upon doing so he starts with the premise that any reasonable people can agree that we could be wrong on where we stand on the y-axis. In other words, reasonable people can agree that while they may believe that AGW is true or false, they could be wrong. I am OK with that statement. Certainly some are more sure of their position than others, but I think all can agree (at least those who seek a correct answer for the sake of getting it right rather than serving an agenda) that there is a possibility that they are wrong.
Just for discussion’s sake, I am going to label the boxes A through D so that you will know what box I am talking about without constantly referring to true, false, yes, and no. So the following is how I will refer to each:
A: Man Made Global Climate Change is FALSE and we DO take action (Global Depression)
B: Man Made Global Climate Change is FALSE and we DO NOT take action (Smiley Face)
C: Man Made Global Climate Change is TRUE and we DO take action (Smiley Face with $)
D: Man Made Global Climate Change is TRUE and we DO NOT take action (Catastrophe Econ, Pol, Soc, Envi. Health)
In building his boxes, the presenter makes his first critical thinking mistake, by presenting a logical fallacy right from the start. What is he guilty of? A false dilemma, also called false dichotomy or the fallacy of exhaustive hypotheses. This is a type of logical fallacy that involves a situation in which only two alternatives are considered, when in fact there are additional options. On the “True” and “False” side of things, there are multiple other possibilities that exist. Perhaps man does contribute to global climate change, but is instead only 1% of the contribution and therefore essentially irrelevant. Perhaps Global Warming itself is occurring but man doesn’t have anything to do with it. Perhaps the earth would be warming at a far faster rate if it weren’t for the planet saving carbon emissions that we are adding to the atmosphere (didn’t think of that one did ya!). I am sure others can come up with other ideas for what could go on that y-axis, but I think what I have done here is enough to poke the first hole in the flawless theory that he presents.
The presenter then goes on to ascribe results to each of the four boxes where true and false meet action or inaction. Here is where he begins to go off the tracks in terms of presenting a logical argument that stands up to the scrutiny of critical thinking. He assigns little smiley faces in boxes B and C. There is mistake number two. Because we cannot simply say that if AGW is true and we take action, then the world is saved and Mr. Smiley Face belongs in that box. Because as we have seen, many, if not all, of the proposed actions that have passed into implementation have had either no effect or the opposite effect that was intended.
Take, for example, the vaunted Kyoto Protocol. The first giant step in reducing the carbon footprint of human beings on the planet. Trillions of dollars spent. Billions of people affected. And the result. Carbon emissions in the countries that adopted the Kyoto Protocol went UP instead of down. As a result, we have wasted money, an added strain on the global economy, and some countries, such as Australia, refuse to adopt any further measures to combat AGW. Epic Fail. And proof that putting a check mark in the “Yes” column for taking action doesn’t necessarily result in a smiley face in your box. What is that I see there? Oh yeah, hole number two.
He also talks about placing a “Yes” in the action box and assuming that AGW is “False.” If this is the route that we go, he only ascribes a single negative impact. He admits that the massive amount of money that would be spent could result in a global depression. However, he stops there, foregoing all the negative things that he will outline in a moment when talking about No action if AGW is True.
See, when talking about the potential impact of not taking action if AGW is true, he outlines a world in turmoil, the very end of the human race is at stake. He shows that we would get the same economic catastrophe (at least he later presents it as the same even though in his box D explanation he makes it much worse) that we would have gotten from action with AGW being false. But there is so much more. In his words:
This is where it gets kinda ugly. Because we’ve got economic, political, social, environmental, and public health catastrophes, on a global scale. This is your worst case scenario. This is the sea level rising ten, twenty feet, entire coastal countries disappearing. Hundreds of millions of people worldwide displaced. Crowding in on their neighbors, causing widespread warfare over scarce resources and longstanding hatreds. We’ve got entire forests dying, burned. Massive droughts alternating with catastrophic floods. We’ve got the, uh, breadbaskets of the USA and Russian turned to dustbowls, causing catastrophic famines. Terrible disease epidemics spreading like wildfire. Hurricanes like Katrina becoming the norm. I mean this is a world straight out of science fiction. Economic collapse because the global economy has been hit by crisis after crisis. This is a world that makes Al Gore look like a sissy pollyanna with no guts who sugar coated the bad news.
And some of you have the gall to say that G-Man or BF is a doomsayer? This guy has certainly made a compelling case that this box being devoid of a smiley face is far better than that other box that is similarly lacking the “shit happens” moniker. But not so fast. Let’s first be realistic about the comparison of those two boxes. Because added into box A should be far more than the simple depression that he slyly presented as the worst case scenario there. He conceded economic catastrophe up front, even though he wasn’t willing to give it the same fervor he did in box D (Economic Collapse for box D but only Depression for box A). He ignored all the rest of the Box D results in Box A.
A global depression that makes 1930 look easy would impact all those other things as well. Political catastrophe? Yeah I would say so, based on the political catastrophes we are already having without a global depression. Social catastrophe? You bet. Can you imagine what would happen in the US when all the free cookies disappear? We have discussed this in detail elsewhere, but you get the point. A global depression would result in the same scarcity of goods and the same widespread wars outlined in box D. Terrible diseases and epidemics? Have you ever studied the spread of disease and famine associated with the poor? Especially since all the social programs and government health care won’t be around any more to take care of those who have become too dependent on government to remember how to take care of themselves. The only thing missing are the environmental “catastrophes”. I am sure that Japan, Indonesia and New Orleans are glad those are not happening. And for the record, the damage from Katrina was largely due to shitty levees, so stop using the scare word, Katrina, as an example of environmental catastrophes. He should have checked with Kanye. Katrina happened because George Bush hates black people. Hole number Three.
Let us not forget that he claims this is “a world straight out of science fiction.” I concede that he is correct. It has no basis in reality. I have grown tired of listening to the environmental activists throwing out all of these catastrophic scenarios of how the world will end based on global warming. You see, we have had the earth warm in the past, and it didn’t end. All the forests didn’t catch on fire. Sea levels never raised 20 feet. Coastal nations have never disappeared. The world that he paints a picture of is simply a lie, meant to scare you into accepting his solutions. Those are not the accurate results of what would happen to the environment even if AGW were true and we took no action. Hole number 4 (and that one is a big frackin hole given that his whole argument rests on the results of Box D being so much worse than Box A).
I could continue on, poking holes here and there. But I think I have done enough. It shows that the entire argument presented by this gentleman is flawed. Broken. Logically false. Dishonest. In short, the results in Box D are not nearly as bad as what he presents. He literally says “the end of the world” as the result of box D. And the results of Box A are far worse than what he presents. In fact, I would guess that the results from Boxes D and A are almost the same. Each results on economic, political, social, and public health catastrophe. So using his “column theory”, we then have to look at the other two boxes. Both have smiley faces, but Box C has cost associated with it. So obviously the only rational choice is Box B. See how easy that was?
So I will turn this over to all of you. What other flaws can you see in his thinking? What flaws can you find in mine? I won’t go so far as to arrogantly claim that I have no holes. Why did I bother with this guy’s silly argument? Because it has 8 million hits on YouTube. And he has enabled sharing and asked everyone who watches it to pass it on, share it with all, and together change the world. In the time since he originally did this video he has written books, done more videos, and had a liberal activist breakdown on stage. I may not get 8 million hits on this article. But I sure as hell will make sure the people who do come here are better informed than he is going to make them. And I do intend to post a comment on his page and invite him to come here and defend himself. I don’t imagine he will do so. Most people with an ideological agenda aren’t interested in logical debate. As for his claim that “frankly, no one I’ve shown it to so far has been able to poke a hole in it,”…..
I would say it is time for him to get a smarter group of friends.