At WUWT today Eric Worrall has mixed up politics and science into a logical fallacy (archived here). He is complaining about the US President suggesting that political leaders take heed of climate science experts, rather than spout nonsense from charlatans and science deniers. Eric implied that Obama was saying that climate scientists should be "running the country". Yes, deniers are weird.
Eric wrote an article under the headline: "Why don’t we put Climate Scientists in Charge of the Country?". Underneath he wrote:
President Obama recently gave a speech, in which he seemed to suggest that politicians should subordinate their decisions to the opinions of scientists. My question – why don’t we cut out the middleman, and put the scientists directly in charge?
What Eric did was copy a passage from the Whitehouse website: Remarks by the President at Commencement Address at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. He bolded some segments as if to say there was something wrong with them:
But when our leaders express a disdain for facts, when they’re not held accountable for repeating falsehoods and just making stuff up, while actual experts are dismissed as elitists, then we’ve got a problem. (Applause.)Eric then waffled on about how putting scientists in charge doesn't work - as if the US President suggested scientists be "put in charge" of nations, when he didn't. Whether Eric is really as stupid as he seems or whether he's just pretending to be stupid, is hard to say. He does make a habit of writing logical fallacies, which is par for the course for deniers.
You know, it’s interesting that if we get sick, we actually want to make sure the doctors have gone to medical school, they know what they’re talking about. (Applause.) If we get on a plane, we say we really want a pilot to be able to pilot the plane. (Laughter.) And yet, in our public lives, we certainly think, “I don’t want somebody who’s done it before.” (Laughter and applause.) The rejection of facts, the rejection of reason and science — that is the path to decline. It calls to mind the words of Carl Sagan, who graduated high school here in New Jersey — (applause) — he said: “We can judge our progress by the courage of our questions and the depths of our answers, our willingness to embrace what is true rather than what feels good.”
The debate around climate change is a perfect example of this. Now, I recognize it doesn’t feel like the planet is warmer right now. (Laughter.) I understand. There was hail when I landed in Newark. (Laughter.) (The wind starts blowing hard.) (Laughter.) But think about the climate change issue. Every day, there are officials in high office with responsibilities who mock the overwhelming consensus of the world’s scientists that human activities and the release of carbon dioxide and methane and other substances are altering our climate in profound and dangerous ways.
A while back, you may have seen a United States senator trotted out a snowball during a floor speech in the middle of winter as “proof” that the world was not warming. (Laughter.) I mean, listen, climate change is not something subject to political spin. There is evidence. There are facts. We can see it happening right now. (Applause.) If we don’t act, if we don’t follow through on the progress we made in Paris, the progress we’ve been making here at home, your generation will feel the brunt of this catastrophe.
So it’s up to you to insist upon and shape an informed debate. Imagine if Benjamin Franklin had seen that senator with the snowball, what he would think. Imagine if your 5th grade science teacher had seen that. (Laughter.) He’d get a D. (Laughter.) And he’s a senator! (Laughter.)
Look, I’m not suggesting that cold analysis and hard data are ultimately more important in life than passion, or faith, or love, or loyalty. I am suggesting that those highest expressions of our humanity can only flourish when our economy functions well, and proposed budgets add up, and our environment is protected. And to accomplish those things, to make collective decisions on behalf of a common good, we have to use our heads. We have to agree that facts and evidence matter. And we got to hold our leaders and ourselves accountable to know what the heck they’re talking about. (Applause.)
Eric wrote something about George Washington and Benjamin Franklin and absolute power, none of which was related to either the President's speech or to putting scientists in charge of anything. What Eric didn't say was who he thought that elected officials should take heed of when it comes to climate science. Let's take a guess:
- Mickey Mouse
- Anthony Watts and his russian steampipe hypothesis
- Christopher Monckton and his "cure" for AIDS
- Donald Duck
- Pink elephants.
Changes in deniersville
The glee of the so-called "pause" that wasn't is gone. Bob Tisdale has been trying, but the material he chooses to chart shows the record global warming, no matter how hard he tries to spin it away. Willis Eschenbach is writing travelogues instead of science. Christopher Monckton is conspicuously absent. Anthony has had to rely on nonentities like Eric Worrall to write about trivia. He must have had a word to Tim Ball, because the last couple of articles from him haven't been about One World Government conspiracies. They've been more tame off-the-shelf denier stuff.
Yesterday Anthony Watts posted a "sticky", talking about making changes to WUWT, as he does from time to time (archived here). He might charge a subscription to read WUWT, or make people register to comment, or try to get more people to write freebies for him. He's even talking about introducing what he calls "peer review" of technical articles, which I'm guessing means articles by Bob Tisdale and Willis Eschenbach and Tim Ball and other bits of pseudo-science you occasionally see at WUWT. He asked his readers to vote on some of these, the results are interesting. At the time of this article there were more than a thousand votes (and the responses haven't changed since there were around 500 votes):
- 64% voted for registration with real names and real email addresses before being able to comment
- 64% wanted "peer review" of "technical" articles, only 16% didn't
- The vote on whether to charge a $5 - $10 monthly subscription to read WUWT was split 50/50, with around 40% in favour and 40% against.
Don't hold your breath waiting for changes. Remember Anthony's Open Atmospheric Society that went nowhere (but is still in the WUWT sidebar)? It's now ten months since he called for nominations to the board, promising a vote within a month. Since then, not a peep.
From the WUWT comments
Keith T. Rodgers doesn't know the difference between weather and climate. Does he think that everyone is wrong when they say that in the mid-latitudes winter will be colder than summer?
May 22, 2016 at 7:29 pm
Governments of the past controlled people by religions. Today they are using scientist’s.
Example: Watch your weather report and see a forecast and how it is revised daily. 3 day and they want to say what’s going to happen in 30 years?
Anne Ominous is right. If only deniers would question the deniers in the Republican Party and challenge them to show evidence for their lies about climate.
May 22, 2016 at 7:30 pm
This is what Benjamin Franklin said:
“It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.”
Tom Halla has got WUWT and Eric Worrall pegged. Science denial is politics:
May 22, 2016 at 8:12 pm
No matter what Obama says–its still politics, all the way down.