Climate Change and the Appeal to Authority Fallacy

December 19th, 2009

There is a comment on James Randi’s blog that is just too good to miss.

Those of you interested in science will be well aware of James Randi. He, like the deceased Phillip Klass and the ridiculous James Oberg, are Ostrich Posturers ‘First Class’ when it comes to things that they would simply rather not believe to be true, despite evidence to the contrary.

Now James Randi has committed blasphemy by denying AGW, and has been roasted for it. He is not the only one by the way, to have to suffer this astonishing and shabby behaviour.

I have no sympathy for him; you cannot pick and choose what you want to believe is true in the face of irrefutable evidence and call yourself a rational man, and that is exactly what James Randi has done in the past, and it is similar to what he is doing now by back-pedalling from a standpoint of pure logic on the subject of ‘Climate Change’ and the ‘scientists’ that promote it.

Now for some definitions:

Argument from authority

Argument from authority or appeal to authority is a logical fallacy, where it is argued that a statement is correct because the statement is made by a person or source that is commonly regarded as authoritative. The most general structure of this argument is:

Source A says that p.
Source A is authoritative.
Therefore, p is true.

This is a fallacy because the truth or falsity of the claim is not necessarily related to the personal qualities of the claimant, and because the premises can be true, and the conclusion false (an authoritative claim can turn out to be false). It is also known as argumentum ad verecundiam (Latin: argument to respect) or ipse dixit (Latin: he himself said it).

On the other hand, arguments from authority are an important part of informal logic. Since we cannot have expert knowledge of many subjects, we often rely on the judgments of those who do. There is no fallacy involved in simply arguing that the assertion made by an authority is true. The fallacy only arises when it is claimed or implied that the authority is infallible in principle and can hence be exempted from criticism.

This is the argument used by Eco loons who claim that AGW must be true “because a scientist says so”. Of course, the opposite is also true; just because a scientist says it isn’t true, we cannot accept that it is not true solely on the basis that it is a scientists that says so.

And now to the blog comment, here it is:


What specifically WOULD you accept as evidence of global warming? What evidence science could uncover would you accept as proof that climate change is real?

Point ONE:/b] The appeal to authority fallacy is fully functional here because AGWers have not provided the tiniest piece of EVIDENCE for sustaining their HYPOTHESIS. It has been already falsified many times but religious AGWers still claim “they have evidence”. They are simply mistaking ASSUMPTIONS for evidence. They call “evidence” computer models projections. They are simply their programmer’s opinion. Let’s define it once and for all: GIGO. Models have been failing to project (not to mention “predict”) the last ten years plateau and decline in temperatures as shown in this IPCC AR4 graph has observed temperatures added showing the decline.

They have failed to prove any acceleration increase in sea levels. Actually, sea level increase rate was an average of 2.4 mm/year during the last 300 years, and has progressively reduced to 1.75 and 1.4 mm/year. That’s FACTUAL EVIDENCE.

I need no evidence to know and accept that climate changes, and does it continuously, in fact, it does it four times every year. And has been changing since Earth’s was created as ALL geological and paleoclimatic evidences show.

I have all evidences needed to know that the Earth’s temperatures have risen since the Little Ice Age, and all necessary evidences to know that during the 20th Century temperatures went up 4 times and down another four times, including the present temperature decline, while CO2 levels have risen in a lineal way, which PROVES its lack of correlation with temperatures, that is, that CO2 increases causes temperature increases as claimed by the AGWer’s hypothesis.

I would accept AGW Hypothesis could be right IF someone showed me that CO2 has the ability to increase surface temperatures more than 0.4 W/m2 with a doubling of its atmospheric concentration. Someone that proves to me that CO2 has not logarithmic properties when increasing its concentration levels as shown in Australian astronomer David Archibald’s graph.

Someone who can prove that during the last glacial termination CO2 DID NOT[7B] increase between 600-800 years after temperatures increased, as demonstrated by Monnin et al, (2000), a peer reviewed study published in Science and not refuted until yesterday, which proves that CO2/temperatures correlation is 100% inverse to IPCC and warmers claims, that is, temperatures rise first, CO2 levels follow.

If you can provide me with SOME FACTUAL EVIDENCE, not ASSUMPTIONS, PROJECTIONS, CLAIMS, or press releases, then I will admit AGW is real. Meanwhile, enjoy a proof of why the forcing theory as by the IPCC idea is completely flawed:


I’m lovin it.

And while we are at it, read this marvellous post from the Foresight Institute it has graphs that show

the temperature record as read from this central Greenland ice core. It gives us about as close as we can come to a direct, experimental measurement of temperature at that one spot for the past 50,000 years. As far as I know, the data are not adjusted according to any fancy computer climate model or anything else like that.

so in other words, these are the FACTS, as opposed to FRAUDULENTLY MANIPULATED DATA of the Phil Jones / Piltdown man school. If after reading that page (and everything else that is based on the facts) and you still believe in AGW, you have a problem, just like Phillip Klass, James Oberg, Carl Sagan, James Randi, Seth Schlockstack and all the other religious fanatics and science cultists out there who bury their heads in the sand, plug their ears with their fingers and say ‘LA LA LA LA LA I’M NOT LISTENINNNNNNG!!!!!’.

Finally, this guide to the debating tactics of fake sceptics is something that you need to have in the back of your mind whenever you read any newspaper, blog, blog comment or watch TV News (if you still do that).

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