We have had some more emails from Mr Bright-Paul the climate-change “sceptic”.
As you’ve seen thus far, Anthony claims to have an open and skeptical mind with regards to his own position. I have personally not yet seen any evidence of this claim, perhaps you have, perhaps I’m missing something.
Again, I post these communications in an effort to illustrate the failings of reason and the mental traps that one’s thinking can easily fall prey to. These emails, in my view, are a classic example of an entrenched position that appears unable to admit the possibility of doubt and utilises infinite minutiae to deflect answers whilst avoiding the elephant in the room.
It’s a very common trick that some creationists also use, Mr Gish of galloping fame comes to mind as a similar example. I’m sure you can think of others.
Anyway, have a read of these and see if you can find the common thread through all of this. I have posted my own personal views at the end.
I have also made the odd comment in blue (for the cooling effect 😉 ). I have not replied directly to these emails but instead prefer to conduct my communications in the open where I can be corrected in public.
It’s all rather fun really I think. There are reams and reams of information submitted by Mr Bright-Paul that he seems to think will have some bearing on the facts of the matter. Simply posting ever more detailed analyses of increasingly cherry-picked data does not change what is happening in our atmosphere and to our planet. Something of which Mr Bright-Paul would appear to be unaware.
Anyway, read on…
This email came with an accompanying PDF which you can have a look at here : Greenhouse Gases in the Atmosphere Cool the Earth
Dear Hampshire Skeptics, if I may address you through the person of your President,
Should you not be wary of Consensus, as if Consensus conferred upon those who adhere to it, some sort of rightness? Some sort of legitimacy? Why! The history of Science shows that the very opposite is the case!
Something of a misunderstanding of what consensus actually involves there methinks.
You may remember Copernicus, who was fearful of publishing his work De Revolutionibus for the simple reason that he feared, correctly, that he would be persecuted, not just by the Roman Church, but also by the Lutherans. Up to this time it was considered that the Earth was the centre of the Universe and that the Sun revolved around the Earth. Any other view was considered to be heresy, and heresy meant the Inquisition and torture. Copernicus was lucky to die on the day his great work was published, in 1543.
The great majority of people shared the view that the Earth was the centre of he Universe. That was the consensus. Galileo, who was known as the Wrangler because of his argumentative disposition, came to share the Copernican viewpoint, but had a horror of torture and kept Schtmm! Quite late in his life he produced the first telescope with an upright image, with one convex and one concave lens. At first it had only ten times magnification, but shortly he had increased it to twenty times. This allowed him and others to observe the moons of Venus, which confirmed the Copernican theory. He averred that Venus also orbited the Sun and that the Moon was uneven, both of which contradicted the consensus of Aristotelian theory. The Papal commission under Paul V however decided that the idea that the Sun lay at the centre was both absurd and heretical. So, in 1633, Galileo was forced to confess, ‘I abjure curse and detest my errors’. So much for consensus!
Only a little later Giordano Bruno went further as he claimed that the Sun was a star. For saying this openly he was imprisoned and tortured for seven years, while the Inquisition sought to change his mind. But he, Giordano Bruno, (may God preserve his soul) refused and was burnt at the stake.
From this short summary, we who are Skeptics must surely be aware that Consensus has nearly always proved to be wrong. There is no Inquisition nowadays, but something more subtle, as those who question the Consensus are squeezed out of jobs, fail to obtain grants, are labelled as ‘deniers’ and have even had businesses burnt down. How far have we, my friends, progressed from the Middle Ages?
Fairly standard Argument from Antiquity or Ancient Wisdom here
In these present times there has grown up a most extraordinary ‘consensus’ about Global Warming and the role of Carbon Dioxide. This is a very curious and dangerous state of affairs, since nobody to my knowledge has yet defined what is meant by Global Warming, yet people on either side confidently argue about the warmest year ever and the state of Arctic Ice. Perhaps a member of the Hampshire Skeptics would come up with a definition. What exactly is being measured? A little thought will show that this is not as simple as first appears. But I am sure that some Skeptics will see why, without my having to prompt them.
As you all meet in a Pub in Winchester of a Thursday evening, be sure to buy a pint of foaming Bitter, an ice cold Lager, a gin with Indian Tonic Water, Scotch with either soda or Ginger Ale, or if one prefers wine a charming, barely alcoholic, Lambrusco, or an Asti Spumante, or perhaps even a glass of Champagne is in order. And every single one of you can then contemplate the minute, clear bubbles rising in the drink. The same with Coca-Cola or with Pepsi, every single one of these drinks is carbonated thanks to Joseph Priestley, who first identified Carbon Dioxide in the 1770s, apart from also identifying Oxygen and various other gases. It was clear from his experiments in a Brewery in Leeds that Carbon Dioxide (fixed air) was colourless and heavier than air. By swilling it about he made the very first soda water that became a popular drink. So Hampshire members raise your glasses to the memory of Joseph Priestley.
This and the next paragraph are relevant how ?
As you observe these tiny colourless bubbles, it is as well to remember that through an incessant propaganda campaign this innocent well-loved gas has become the villain of the piece. It is supposed to be responsible for that Global Warming, which as I have pointed out, has yet to be adequately defined. In turn this Global Warming is supposed to be responsible for ‘climatechange’ – I put it all in one word on purpose, while it is obvious to anyone with a modicum of intelligence that climate is changing all the time and Great Nature is quite capable of looking after its own.
Furthermore, any of you who watched the recent series on the Earth’s Orbit round the Sun, will have been made well aware that the cause of Solar Warming and of changes in climate occur largely because of this same elliptical orbit and our proximity, perihelion, or aphelion, distance from the Sun.
Nope. Helen and Kate said it was almost all down to the axial tilt of the Earth as has already been pointed out in a previous comment.
In the atmosphere Carbon Dioxide is but a trace gas, less than 0.04% of the whole.
The latest figure I can find is 392 parts per million, which equates to 0.0392%, a little less than 0.04%. This is the total from all sources. What then, according to the International Panel on Climate Change is the contribution of man-made Carbon Dioxide? It is 2.9%. Let us multiply 0.0392% x 0.29% and we arrive at 0.001136%. That is a trace of a trace, I am sure you will all agree.
Nevertheless there are some who argue that because CO2 responds to infrared, which means it warms up, that its presence in the atmosphere leads to a ‘trapping’ of heat. This argument fails on at least three counts, possibly four.
It is true that CO2, as Paul writes, that CO2 absorbs the infrared and radiates every which way, possibly within a nano-second, according to the latest research. But just as CO2 can be warmed, it can also be cooled, which is proven by the fact that Dry Ice is CO2. It is a reactive gas, and by the laws of logic it cannot therefore be a causative one. Furthermore this does not take account of the Adiabatic Lapse process, by which gases as they rise cool. In fact they cool by 2°Celsius for every 1,000 feet of altitude.
By 7,500 feet the temperature is on average 0.0°C, and by the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics it would be impossible for an ice-cold Carbon Dioxide to re-radiate heat back to Earth, as we know that heat, by itself, always flows from hot to cold and never vice-versa. Yet this curious form of perverted Physics has even taken hold of some otherwise intelligent people.
Furthermore, as I have already demonstrated, heat cannot be ‘trapped’. Heat has no temperature, but is the result of an action. Radiation also has no temperature either; it is the result of a substance having a temperature. Likewise electricity has no temperature. Get your heads round that! Yes, that is difficult, so ask your best authority to confirm what I say, namely your Honorary President, Dr Helen Czerski..
Our “best authority” is certainly not our honorary president, after all she’s not a climate scientist, she’s an oceanographer and physicist, so what would be the point of having her adjudicate upon some recondite infinitesimal of climate-change ? No offence to Helen of course.
And in any case, as if any authority would even be relevant. An authority is by definition worthless, the consensus is not an authority it’s an overall viewpoint formed by the vast majority and contains within it a myriad of different views. The broad direction of the consensus view is only apparent from outside of the consensus, inside it’s a seething maelstrom of peer-review and critical analysis. But the critical thing is that everyone in the consensus will, if asked the big question, give much the same answer. That’s why it’s called a consensus. Authority means nothing and is worthless when it comes to the evidence. Even the greatest Nobel Prize winners with the highest possible credentials and weight of authority can be turned away from the scientific method in their thoughts and fall prey to the same kinds of failings as those who ignore evidence and skeptical enquiry. Linus Pauling is possibly the best example I can think of off the top of my head.
It seems to me that those who give the greatest weight to authority are the ones who do not understand the workings of the scientific method.
Contrary to popular belief at this moment, your famous ‘consensus’, Greenhouse Gases far from warming the climate do precisely the opposite. For which reason I attach a paper by Hans Schreuder, for those of you with a scientific bent.
The consequences of this scam are huge. Vast sums of money have been spent in Europe, in the USA, in the UK, all supposedly in order to make the world greener. Not only has the land not become greener, but our country has been decimated by huge and useless wind turbines, which do not even produce 1% of the world’s electricity. As you watch those bubbles of clear colourless Carbon Dioxide you will I hope become aware of the monstrous lie perpetrated by Al Gore and his henchmen as he shows Power Station chimneys pouring black smoke into the air. Where is the Carbon Dioxide, my friends? Ah! You cannot see it. There may indeed be some there, but don’t let smoke get in your eyes! Carbon Dioxide is transparent.
Should any of you feel aggrieved that you are having to work longer for less pension; if you feel frustrated because you have just been made redundant; if you are finding it difficult to survive because of your monster heating bills; if you are having to put off vacations; if you can no longer afford to send your kids to the schools of your choice; if the prospect of sending your kids to University fills you with fear and apprehension; then just reflect for some moments on the vast sums of your money your Government is spending on something that is totally useless, is not saving the Planet, is distorting the world’s economy and is impoverishing you.
Fairly typical conspiracy stuff; Scams, henchmen, fear, government stooges, money etc… etc… Standard conspiracy proponent fare. Makes me wonder where the government get all the time to do all of these shadowy things they’re alleged to be doing.
Wednesday, 21 March 2012
Whoooo. Or should I say Woo ?
This one was followed up by another email and attachment that started getting a bit more personal and I have added my comments again in blue. Here it is …
Warming and Cooling attachment
Dear Dave Hughes,
Thank you for publishing my first article. Although you attempted to rubbish me, nevertheless you had the grace to publish my replies in full. I had hoped that you might also publish ‘On Consensus’, but perhaps that was a hope too far.
Those seemingly with an inability to examine the evidence and go where the facts take them should be rubbished don’t you think ?
Those who spread bad science and misinformation should be challenged at every turn, should they not ?
Those who hold evidence, not authority, in the highest regard should stand to challenge such misinformation at every turn, do you not agree ?
That a true skeptic will go where the evidence takes them regardless of personal beliefs, is that not so ?
Now I am not in to name calling, which I consider to be childish. I am interested in honest debate. It is evident that PaulJ is well prepared and I respect his comments. John Bowness on the other hand is clearly what I call a Skeptic. It is clear that he has doubts, that his mind is not cast in concrete. So his remarks were well worth while. It is evident that there must be others open to debate. It is true, as you pointed out, that I made some direct assertions, but these were done with the purpose of provoking debate.
The debate has broadly been over since the consensus formed. The debate over what is happening is pretty much done and dusted. There is still a debate over what we should do and over some of the mechanism details but the overall argument has been over for some considerable time now. You only have to do some cursory reading of the journals for that to be very apparent.
Now I have written another article, which also quotes from 3 eminent climate Professors, namely Professor James Peden, Hans Schreuder and Dr Pierre Latour. Peden is a world renowned Astrophysicist. I already sent you a paper by Hans Schreuder, who also contributed to ‘Slaying the Sky Dragon’. It is easy also to look up Dr Pierre Latour in Google.
There’s that argument from authority again and the false debate thing too. Oh, and a “world renowned astrophysicist” does not count as a climate scientist just in case there’s any confusion there.
If you are a serious Skeptic then I would appreciate your also publishing the attached article, so that the debate can take a more scientific turn. I have no difficulty in your publishing my gmail address if you so wish, firstname.lastname@example.org Perhaps you would kindly ask John Bowness if he would like to write to me so that we can correspond directly.
Looking forward to calling in on your Pub at some late date, so I can meet yo personally,
You are very welcome to join us for our monthly meetings, all are welcome regardless of beliefs.
[contact info redacted by editor]
Motto: Learn something new every day.
Note to self…
Planet Earth is dynamic and evolving.
Anthony, you have not responded to any of my points about your thought processes, you continue to make assertions without expertise or qualification that I can find, you seemingly insist upon a futile anomaly hunt and you refuse to acknowledge the possibility that you may be incorrect and from what I have thus far read here and elsewhere there is no hint of doubt in you regarding the matter of climate change at all.
Your position, in my view, is not a skeptical one but that of a denier.
Deniers in my experience make it clear that they are not interested in nor can they be swayed by any presented evidence.
If one is blind to the evidence then one has ceased to think.
I ask you one final question : What possible evidence could one present that would cause you to change your position ?
I think I already know the answer and so, I suspect, do you : I think that no evidence would be enough, no evidence would change your mind, no evidence would kindle the slightest doubt or precipitate any change in your position.
Which is a very great shame indeed, understandable but still a great shame.
I’ll (futilely) post this for your edification by way of addendum : Skeptical Science – Getting Skeptical About Global Warming Skepticism
Try and remember that the issue is not about arguing over the details, it’s about how you arrive at your conclusions. If you use the scientific method properly then you can be pretty sure that no matter how bizarre or at odds with the current consensus your conclusions are, if you’re doing it right, your ideas will be borne out by the evidence gathered by those who repeat your experiments. That’s science.
It’s how you think that’s important.
Just don’t think you’re Galileo, please.
And I thought these from the website were brilliant 😀