Absurd Logic, But Al Gore Won An Oscar For It

It just is amazing to me that anyone can, with a straight face, advance this logic chain:

Again, here’s the situation: Mississippi homeowners sued 34 energy companies and utilities operating in the Gulf Coast for damage sustained to their property during Hurricane Katrina. The homeowners alleged that the defendants had emitted greenhouse gases, which increased the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which contributed to global warming, which accelerated the melting of glaciers, which raised the global sea level, which increased the frequency and severity of hurricanes, which caused the destructive force of Hurricane Katrina.

The attached article discusses some weird procedural hurdles, but my hope is that the court system will be better able to parse the absurdity of this logic than the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.  If every scientist in the world was dedicated to the task for 50 years, there would still be no way to assess the impact of incremental CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere on the strength of Katrina, and in turn the effect of this altered strength on property damages.

  • Tom

    “It just is amazing to me that anyone can, with a straight face, advance this logic chain:”

    Where did you pick up the term “Logic Chain”? Its odd.

    You are missing the whole point. You must be so obsessed with your Climate Change skepticism that you forgot about ambulance chasing lawyers and the greed they serve. I suspect since the evidence for climate change is so strong and so widely supported by the most prestigious scientific organizations that all they have to show is that the companies behavior “contributed” to the worsening of the impact to win damages. Its probably easier to show a contribution than many of the medical lawsuits. Just think about the lawsuits against drug companies and trying to prove causation. They can’t and don’t have to in order to win. Greedy people and your “straight face” shock is amusing.

    The attached article discusses some weird procedural hurdles, but my hope is that the court system will be better able to parse the absurdity of this logic than the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. If every scientist in the world was dedicated to the task for 50 years, there would still be no way to assess the impact of incremental CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere on the strength of Katrina, and in turn the effect of this altered strength on property damages.

    You are missing the point altogether.

  • Bob

    Very interesting report explaining the psychology of Global Warmers….

    http://www.apa.org/science/about/publications/climate-change-booklet.pdf

  • Sara Jones
  • Jack

    Great article. Thanks, keep up the good work.

  • hunter

    John Maddox, publisher of “Nature” magazine, wrote an excellent book, The Doomsday Syndrome” that speaks to the corruption of science by scientists and politicians falsely selling doom. It is an excellent read, written in 1972 and even more true today.

  • stan

    I think the proper conjunction in the title to your post should be “and” rather than “but”. When it comes to Hollywood and Oscars, absurdity in logic is a feature, not a bug.

  • Waldhacker

    And then let’s blame all the hysteria about Big Tobacco on those crazy doctors and their ideology. Clearly they’re riding the cancer gravy train! Where’s the logic in that?

  • E Porat

    I assume the prosecutor’s side did not and does not ride a gasoline driven cars, and does not use electricity coming from those bog dirty CO2 spewing good old American power plants.
    Otherwise, they could become defendants themselves as collaborators of Big Oil…
    Oh, the irony.

  • Andy Nitschke

    To Sara Jones and others when will you learn that the people who read these sites are interested in raw information to determine the closest proximity to truth that is available not waste time watching something that is presented as factual but is just fluff and designed to influence a young mind. I have empathy for new graduates that solemnly believe all they are taught (been there). These sites are for the mature mind that realize disinformation is a tool of power and government. We need to be able to read all information to discern not censor and ridicule or blind.

  • jnickell

    Sara and Bob, as well as the entire Warmist movement, are merely following the age old adage of “a lie told often enough becomes the truth.” They tried “the debate is over” line for the last decade, but failed to stifle dissent. Judging by the number of drive-by postings I’m seeing on climate blogs, which contain no analysis, comment, or debate, but merely link to fluffy videos and group-think articles, I believe that in the wake of Climategate and the investigations into Mann’s deceptions, a major propaganda offensive has been ordered.

    It would be more productive, and possibly restore some confidence in climate science, if the Warmists would just admit their errors and manipulations, and provide full transparency going forward, just as the IPCC promised, yet certainly makes no effort to enforce.

  • ADiff

    Interesting how one commentator throws out a false analogy about tobacco and smoking law suits. Isn’t it interesting that while one can easily find clear correlation between smoking and various health problems, the data just as clearly shows no such correlation between hurricanes and warming, and even more so between atmospheric CO2 levels and storm activity? But there is at least one correlation between the two that does hold true: attorney’s can be found to litigate any claim, however nonsensical. Beyond that the two have absolutely nothing in common (except, perhaps, ‘hot air’). Smoking correlates beautifully with incidence of certain diseases. Increasing CO2 levels and the gradual overall warming trend of the past century or so correlate with absolutely no change in the patterns of storm activity during the same period.

    How typical of ideologically driven advocates to resort to false dichotomy, among any number of other rhetorical ‘dodges’ used to abuse public perception in interests of their social agendas. In this regard they have much in common with attorneys, including those employed by tobacco companies.

  • WalDiff

    ***”Increasing CO2 levels and the gradual overall warming trend of the past century or so correlate with absolutely no change in the patterns of storm activity during the same period.”

    This assumes two things, ADiff: 1) You understand this science better than the actual scientists, and 2) we know all there is to know about the relationship between storms and CO2.

    Neither of which is true. Which means your entire post is simply more dodgy unsubstantiated conjecture.

    Now lawyers chasing a claim? Sure – nothing new there.

  • ADiff

    Look! It’s another Straw-man! Surprise, surprise.

    Instead of rhetoric perhaps proponents of DAGW should actually read the science they pretend they’re representing. It’s the scientists themselves who say there’s no correlation. Those who prefer not believe it should take it up with them. I’m not at all surprised to hear DAGW advocates prate on about understanding everything….aren’t these the very same people who claim just about everything is too dangerous to do because we don’t understand everything about everything? One wonders how they gather the courage to get out of bed in the morning, so fraught with unknown peril to themselves, the eco-system, and the world as we know it, is every possible action.

    Oh, yeah…right! They’re ‘advocates’. What they advocate doesn’t have to apply the THEM…just ‘other’ people. How frightfully convenient!

    It appears ‘their’ issue is moving on….and leaving them behind.

  • Waldangle

    I’m wondering if this is a strawman or simply more unintended hyperbole: “I’m not at all surprised to hear DAGW advocates prate on about understanding everything….aren’t these the very same people who claim just about everything is too dangerous to do because we don’t understand everything about everything?”

    Who exactly thinks “everything” is “too dangerous,” ADiff?

    And why does Mr. Meyer mention Al Gore here? Is this blog really about climate change or politics I wonder?

  • Wally

    Waldo,

    “Is this blog really about climate change or politics I wonder?”

    The two are pretty closely linked at this point, don’t you think?

  • WaldoGoesToWashington

    Sure Wally, at this point politics are clearly polluting the science and the public dialogue has become entirely politicized.

    Certainly, to be fair, there are extremes on both ends – there are just as many Greenpeace wingnuts out there who misunderstand and misinterpret the science as there are neocon wingnuts who chose to follow only a select few outliers (although I tend to find far more neocon wingnuts when I look on google) – and that’s why people like myself come to places like CS.

    Leave the politics out of the science! Do not pretend that somehow the Greenpeace nutbags are the only ones with their heads in the sand! It is beneath you, Wally.

    This is nowhere better illustrated than by places like CS which is entirely predicated on the political aspect (no good science here, Wally) which stains the science even more. Sure, politics has entirely overwhelmed the debate, and CS is a perfect example of how this happens.

  • Wally

    Wow, waldo, I’m impressed. I mostly rational post outside of that little bit trying to tell me what’s beneath me and what you decided to include in the parenthesis.

    On that, exactly where did I pretend only the “Greenpeace nutbags” are the ones with their head in the sand? But hey, that was your only strawman for at least a good 200 words. So I applaud you.

    But yes, I’d LOVE to keep the politics out of science, unfortunately the catastrophic AGW alarmists won’t have it so. You can pretend their reasons for this are noble if you like, claiming its rational to attempt to avoid even a possible catastrophe, however (un)likely, as you have in the past. But its hard to deny it was the alarmists (ie. gore) that entered the political scene first. The skeptics are merely fighting back, largely claiming the science is not “settled” and that the certainty around this “catastrophe” does not reach a level that requires economy killing policies.

    Now that this subject has been so politicized for a decade or so now, both sides certainly have distorted the science in innumerable ways. I doubt many would deny that, though your claims of what you see on google are worthless. You are likely suffering from selective memory or selection bias and noticing more of the craziness that doesn’t support your side of the debate. In general people are slow to criticize the loud mouthed fool that shares the same conclusion even if their methods of defending that conclusion are faulty. And I see little reason to think you’re not suffering from that problem.

    Lastly, I’m not exactly sure how you believe CS is overwhelming the political debate (and correct me if this is not what you mean, but you’re very sloppy with your wording while dealing with this issue). Generally this space is used to present data collected and analyzed by others, or be critical of others making unsupported or distorted claims, in either the media or political field. I hardly see how this site strains the science, particularly on the scale of say, “An Inconvenient Truth?” So this site may be symptomatic of the bastardization of climate science by the political arena (as is you coming here with your spewing little more than incendiary fallacies), but it is certainly not a cause of this bastardization.

    But if you really want to have a rational discussion of this subject you’re going to have to raise you level of discourse above the idiotic claims of what you see on google, your opinion of the science being done on this site (this largely isn’t used as a spot for original research but a discussion of research and public policies related to it) or what may or may not be beneath me. I would be impressed if you could take this step.

  • ADiff

    Wouldn’tcha know it? I try to bring a bit of levity into the discussion and the site has some aspect of its filtering that doesn’t seem to like it…..

    Oh well.

  • Waldorama

    So, in other words, Wally, you are simply fighting back against Al Gore? Or am I misinterpreting? Why not simply conclude that Al Gore has a political stake and leave the scientists alone?

    By the way, I was not suggesting that you have anything against Greenpeace, simply that they occupy the alternate space from you and are no more introspective or self-aware than the CS tribe is.

    But this “[CS] is certainly not a cause of this [political] bastardization” I absolutely have to disagree with. It may not be the single cause (it has not “overwhelmed” anything), but Mr. Meyer’s site is certainly one of the myriad causes of this politicizing movement. I don’t believe you when you post “I’d LOVE to keep the politics out of science, unfortunately the catastrophic AGW alarmists won’t have it so.” Nope, not buyin’ it. You are throwing stones with the rest of them (no reference to Ireland). You propagate the war of words and politics as boldly as anyone (and yes, this includes me too).

    And, Wally, if you really are worried about the “level of discourse” in the climate debate, what are you doing here? Look at some of the comments upstairs on this thread even – is this the “level of discourse” you are posting about?

  • Wally

    Waldo,

    It isn’t just Gore on the political pro-alarmist side pushing for things like cap and tax. I think we all know that. The scientists themselves are also not without their own political leanings, as seen by the slanted (to put it as nicely as possible) IPCC reports.

    “Mr. Meyer’s site is certainly one of the myriad causes of this politicizing movement.”

    No, not a cause. Its a symptom of something that’s already happening. I really don’t know if you just don’t understand the meaning of words or if you have an aversion to logic. CS the site itself, or any similar site, hasn’t caused the politicizing of this science. That was done by alarmists like Gore, those that draft the IPCC reports, or politicians pushing for cap-and-tax or Kyoto protocol-like agreements while pretending to lean on the “settled” science. Skeptics are the backlash to the overreach of this power grab by the politicos. So this resulting skeptic argument is not the CAUSE of the politicization of the science, but the effect of it occurring in the first place. Skeptics didn’t start fighting against something that wasn’t there to begin with. Really, this should be obvious.

    So real quick, lets recap. Skeptical sites like this one, did not cause the politicization of climate science, they are an effect of it. Yes, they deal with politics of this science, but that cat is already out of the bag. And it was released by those on the alarmist side.

    “I don’t believe you when you post “I’d LOVE to keep the politics out of science, unfortunately the catastrophic AGW alarmists won’t have it so.” Nope, not buyin’ it. You are throwing stones with the rest of them (no reference to Ireland). You propagate the war of words and politics as boldly as anyone (and yes, this includes me too).”

    Again you fail to understand. Maybe I need to spell things out a little more for you. I’m here because of the politicization of climate scientist by alarmists. That’s why I care so much about this science. They are using the findings of a very uncertain and raw science to attempt to push very economically damaging policy. Without that power grab, we would not be talking and I’d probably be spending more of my free time on baseball or maybe even getting more real work done, who knows. Understand? If they stop pushing policy on the back of a false consensus, I’d be gone too. Similar to before, I’m the effect of the politicization of the science. The Gore types have made this a political issue and now we have to deal with it until those trying to use this science to pass policy stop.

    “if you really are worried about the “level of discourse” in the climate debate, what are you doing here? Look at some of the comments upstairs on this thread even – is this the “level of discourse” you are posting about?”

    Waldo, outside of your posts, most people are civil and logical. You like to incite people with such idiocies as “This assumes two things, ADiff: 1) You understand this science better than the actual scientists, and 2) we know all there is to know about the relationship between storms and CO2.”

    You are the drag on the level of discourse here. So, your response to me asking for a higher level of discourse is essentially to tell me that if I want a high level of discourse, I should be posting here because of your endless idiocy. You’re rich waldo.

    And I wonder just what you think you’re accomplishing. You are horrible at making a logical argument, more than that you habitually incite those you disagree with. This kind of behavior does not change anyone’s opinion, it reaffirms them. You would do your “cause” more good by shutting up.

  • ADiff

    Wally, I have yet to see evidence of anything resembling “logical argument” from that source. Cant, yes. Ad Hominem, yes. Logical fallacies galore, yes. “Logical argument”, no. And it’s so poorly done it gives sophistry a bad name. But then that seems ‘par for the course’ among the DAGW crowd, who blithely rattle off the most fictional statistics, make outlandish predictions contrary to science (and do it in the name of science), and then act as if their arrant misrepresentations deserved impunity from criticism!

  • Waldolark

    I love it when Wally posts things like this “I’m here because of the politicization of climate scientist by alarmists” without the least bit of irony.

    Where, I wonder, can we find a history of the politicizing? Hmmm…Might there be one out there, Wally? I think there might…

    However, for now, Wally, I think I will answer your pontification simply: I don’t believe you. Fine if you think you can convince your CS cronies, and fine if you actually believe your own bit about martyring for the cause, but please don’t bother for my sake.

    This is getting quite tedious – plus we’ve already had this conversation before.

    And really, ADiff, your jibes only work if you can produce a fair bit of logic yourself – which has yet to be seen.

    Tell you what, to end this phase of our relationship let’s tally how many of Mr. Meyer’s posts have actual “science” in them, let’s take a look at where his “science” comes from, and let’s even do a run on how often Al Gore comes up. I won’t do it tonight, obviously, but this might prove more productive and far more interesting.

  • Wally

    Waldo,

    What you do or do not believe based on god knows what rational thought process is completely irrelevent. No one cares about your unsupported “beliefs.”

    And Waldo, ADiff has made plenty of logical arguments, and even if he didn’t, that doesn’t make his criticisms against you invalid. You know the whole two wrongs thing…

    And of course its stupid statements like that, that give people like ADiff and myself more evidence of your outright idiocy.

    So, you really should just stop. You just make yourself look stupider and stupider with each subsiquent post. You blather on about what you believe as if what you blindly believe matters and seemingly can’t avoid ad hominem attacks to save your life. This is the behavior of a stupid, stupid person. And certainly not the kind of behavior that is going to change any minds. Which again leads to the question what are you doing here? All you’re accomplishing is strengthening our resolve. Keep it up.

  • Waldelicious

    ***”No one cares about your unsupported ‘beliefs.'”

    Not true, Wally. You care. Otherwise why bother? And you only care, my friend, because at least on some level, you know I’m making sense, whether you want to admit it or not. Call me all the names ye like.

    And my sense is very, very simple: this site, and the people who post on it, only observe one very specific side of the “debate”; the people on this side of the debate are routinely unqualified, have been dismissed and disproven by the experts, and remain safely in the shallow end of the deniosphere; the overall argument – that somehow scientists are out for power and money – has never been proven. At the heart of this site and the ones like it is a pretty clearly conservative, hypocritical, hypercritical mindset that insists on playing the victim / hero card and routinely mistakes blurbs from conservative think-tanks, retired weathermen, parks managers, and any number of odd bloggers as ‘open-review science’ or some such rot without ever re-researching them.

    Nothing will change your mind, Wally, not a mountain of evidence, not a transparent scientific process, not an army of experts, not democratically elected government buy-in, not observable changes in the planet’s atmosphere, not a history of ecological damage, nothing. I suppose I am here doing the same thing you are – getting the word out no matter who objects. Thus –

    “Keep it up.” Okay, I will.

  • Wally

    Oh waldo,

    “Not true, Wally. You care. Otherwise why bother? And you only care, my friend, because at least on some level, you know I’m making sense, whether you want to admit it or not. Call me all the names ye like.”

    No you fail to understand. No one cares what your unfounded beliefs are in so much that they will change anyone’s opinion. Do you really think even I care if you tell me you don’t believe what I’m telling you my motivation is? Do you somehow have a better understanding of me than I do? Its just an odd thing to say to someone really. I mean, if someone tells you they want a pastrami sandwich for lunch, do you say you don’t believe them? It’s the kind of statement that achieves nothing, persuades no one, and only pisses people off. Unfortunately, that’s the only thing I see you trying to accomplish here. And as I’ve said is the kind of thing a childish and stupid person does. You can’t have logical and reasonable debate, so you stoop to calling someone a liar when you have absolutely ZERO evidence that what they are telling you of their own intentions and motivations is not true.

    “this site, and the people who post on it, only observe one very specific side of the “debate”;”

    Gosh, did you notice you post here? So you only observe one very specific side of the “debate” too? Do you even pay attention to the things you write, or do you just have this much difficulty communicating? Either way its more evidence of your “intelligence.”

    “the people on this side of the debate are routinely unqualified”

    HAHA, still speaking of yourself I see….

    “the overall argument – that somehow scientists are out for power and money – has never been proven.”

    Well it is difficult to prove someone else’s intentions, but you seem to know mine? Though you don’t care to prove how exactly you know them….again, more evidence of your “intelligence.”

    “At the heart of this site and the ones like it is a pretty clearly conservative, hypocritical, hypercritical mindset that insists on playing the victim / hero card and routinely mistakes blurbs from conservative think-tanks, retired weathermen”

    Yes, because a retired weatherman obviously can’t think… I’d be interested in what you’d have to say if we somehow prevented any of your logical fallacies from being posted. Have you even looked up appeal to ridicules? Ever?

    “Nothing will change your mind, Wally, not a mountain of evidence, not a transparent scientific process, not an army of experts, not democratically elected government buy-in, not observable changes in the planet’s atmosphere, not a history of ecological damage, nothing.”

    Ah yes, you knowing what will or will not change my mind… rather comical. Maybe you can tell me this because I fit a “personality type?” Or some political demographic? Is that it? Just what pigeon hole did you put me in, did you figure it out yet? I’ve figured out yours…stupid.

    Your hypocrisy is blatantly obvious, yet you seem to be completely unaware of it. You want to condemn this site for trying to judge the intentions, motivations and biases of others, yet you have no trouble make very sweeping judgments of me. Oh man, hypocrisy and idiocy all in one. You’re a lucky fellow you are.

    “I suppose I am here doing the same thing you are – getting the word out no matter who objects.”

    Ah, so you admit you’re essentially preaching your gospel? Shame on you. You are the religious missionary of the day.

    And don’t worry, I know you’ll continue regardless of what I do or say. As you said, you’re spreading the Word. No logic or reason can stop someone on such a quest.

  • ADiff

    Actually Wally, Troll-ery and idiocy are only related, not identical. And your commentator’s persistence in the former merely suggests their possession of the later, not proves it. In other words, dis-ingenuousness doesn’t demonstrate ignorance, however much it resembles it. The alternative, dissimulation, is just as possible.

  • ADiff

    What’s really worth noting about all this is resort to Troll-ery and rhetorical devices demonstrates the inability of advocates of DAGW posting here to provide logical arguments in response to logical criticisms. The sample size’s small, but within it’s scope, that seems, so far, universal. So perhaps it’s not too much of a stretch to apply the conclusion to the represented population ….. that being DAGW ‘advocates’ in general. Even ‘climate scientists’, hardly disinterested observers, are expressing misgivings at the damage apparently being done their reputation by their more fanatical ‘supporters’.

  • Wally

    ADiff,

    You’re of course right. But two things are at work here. All the logic and facts we’ve thrown on Waldo’s troll-ery (as you put it so nicely) haven’t slowed him down a bit, so I’ve largely given up attempting to use them. Some might say that responding to him is waste of time, and even is to let the trolls win, but that’s where the second thing comes in. I don’t really have much else to do right now, sometimes at work I reach a spot where I just have to wait for things before I can move on. Sure there’s always reading to do, but I’d rather not. So I’m happy to feed the troll and watch him dance. Its amusing. Helps the slow days pass.

    But alas, the day is over now!

  • ADiff

    Responding to Troll’s points (such as they are) is very advisable, to Trolls themselves, seldom.

    I’m glad someone has the time and inclination. Responding to comments and remarks is a mitzvah, but feeding egos is counter-productive. It’s pretty easy to do one without the other, too.

    Thanks!

  • ron from Texas

    For Tom, the first respondent. What prestigious scientific orgs? And I’m not even talking about some press releases. What do the scientists themselves say? Nor is science something that is decided by authority or “consensus.” Science is decided by hard data and proven methodology.