Scott Adams’ Challenge

Scott Adams has asked climate sceptic Tony Heller for his top five reasons for disbelieving that there’s any real threat from global warming. He wants to be persuaded one way or the other about it. And he’s proposing a kind of “trial” in which the arguments and counterarguments are put forward one by one.

Adams says he’s genuinely undecided on the matter, because he thinks that “both sides seem to be lying”.

And Tony Heller has duly come up with this five top arguments against climate alarmism:

The Five Arguments:

1. Climate alarmism is based mainly around fear of extreme weather. This concept is deeply rooted in human nature, and has its roots in ancient stories of giant floods, famines and plagues – caused (of course) by man’s sins. Climate alarmists are tapping into that primal fear, and pushing the same idea of extreme weather and floods caused  by mankind’s carbon sins.

2. Climate alarmism is much like the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes. People may not see any evidence of catastrophic climate change or sea level rise, but their opinion is irrelevant because 97% of scientists believe we are doomed due to global warming. Only a small handful of people whom the press and politicians quote over and over again are allowed to state an opinion, and they are claimed to represent 97% of the world’s millions of scientists.

3.  Academics have been making apocalyptic predictions for decades.  All have failed miserably, yet they keep repeating the same misinformation over and over again.  Had their forecasts been correct, we wouldn’t be here now to have this discussion.

4. Climate alarmism is completely dependent on graphs and useless climate models generated by a small handful of people.  The graphs are generated through scientifically corrupt processes of data tampering and hiding data.

5.  The most important argument against climate alarmism is that the proposed solutions are unworkable, dangerous and useless. They were made without consulting engineers, and have zero chance of success.  A robust discussion about our energy future is needed, but that discussion is censored in favor of propaganda.

None of these arguments addresses the science. In sum, they would seem to all boil down to saying: Don’t believe a few self-styled experts. I’ve said as much myself quite often.

But is that persuasive enough to ignore the climate alarmists? I’m not sure that it is.

I think the reasons that I’m unpersuaded by the climate alarmists are:

  1. Climate alarmism is highly politicised. Who has been the principal protagonist of climate alarmism? Al Gore. And Al Gore is a politician. He’s a one-time US vice-president. I more or less always discount what politicians say, even if I generally agree with them. If you want to lose credibility, become a politician.
  2. I’ve always found it hard to believe that CO2, which only exists in the atmosphere in a few hundred parts per million, could exert a controlling influence on the Earth’s climate. It sounds to me like homeopathy. Homeopathic practitioners repeatedly dilute medications, believing this will make them more potent. And CO2 in the atmosphere seems to have homeopathic concentrations.
  3. Climategate. And “hiding the decline.” The climate scientists lost a lot of their credibility in 2009 when a lot of emails between them were published. They may have lost all credibility.
  4. In my personal experience the world doesn’t seem to be any warmer than it was 71 years ago when I first arrived in it.
  5. Climate alarmism is a synonym for global warming alarmism, We’re told that the world is getting warmer, and the poles are going to melt, and there’ll be 60 m flooding. But over the past 10 years ago I’ve begun to think that it’s far more likely that we’re going to experience an ice age fairly soon, given the historical record that has been found in the Vostok and EPICA ice cores (at right, click to enlarge), which show brief interglacial periods of a few thousand years sandwiched between 100,000 year periods of glaciation. If we’re going to be alarmed about anything, shouldn’t it be this?

I’ll be interested in whether any climate alarmist scientists pick up Scott Adams’ challenge. I bet they don’t. Al Gore for one will never debate anybody. So I suspect that Adams’ “jury trial” will  only see evidence presented for the sceptical position.

About Frank Davis

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7 Responses to Scott Adams’ Challenge

  1. Fredrik Eich says:

    I believe that climate alarmism is a direct result of global energy security concerns.
    The world has about 50 years of oil and gas left and about 130 years of coal left at current rates of consumption. This is not a lot of time to adjust to a future without these sources of energy. In addition western developed nations used up their resources before other nations which means that bargaining power is shifting away from western democracies to other nations, which is a security concern as the supply of energy can be used as a very effective weapon.

    Margaret Thatcher would make speeches about this topic and it did not prove very effective when painted it as an energy security issue. She also had the political left running a parallel government via the unions of which the coal mining unions (fossil fuels) were the most disruptive and the green lobby was very anti-nuclear (not fossil fuels). She also had concerns about Germany/EU importing gas from the Soviets which is clearly a security risk because this hands bargaining power to the soviets. Today this power is in the hands of a kleptocracy that has nuclear weapons and laments the passing of greater Russia and would probably like to make Russia great again (and is deploying tactical nukes it is believed). But global warming solves a lot of problems and I believe this is why Margret Thatcher was so instrumental in setting up the IPCC. When she painted the problem not as a security issue but as an existential threat then people started to listen.

    The UK’s last coal mine closed recently , where was the out cry from political left? Not a word out of them! The UK is still building fission reactors where are the greens? Not a word out of them either!
    They are all, now, to busy boasting about saving the planet by becoming vegetarian. It was check mate to Thatcher. The fact of the matter is that people will suffer all loss of liberty if they think it will eliminate an existential threat – hence the rebranding of a security issue (finite fossil fuels) into an environmental issue (global warming).

    There is little doubt in my mind that global warming is primarily a political instrument being used address a very real security concern. Without adequate energy supply there will be war and death. Whether or not carbon caused global warming is real or not I don’t know but if you accept that it’s origin is deeply political, as it clearly is, then that gives us a big clue.

  2. decnine says:

    The Climategate emails were, for me, damning enough. What was even worse were the files exposing the work attempted by “Harry” to recover original data from datasets badly corrupted by multiple layers of (undocumented) ‘adjustments’. Harry failed in that effort, but succeeded in exposing scandalously bad data curation practices in CRU. If I remember correctly, when the CRU moved from its original accommodation to a new building, paper records of historic temperatures from around the world were put into a skip because there was no room to store them in the new location. The data had been transcribed into computer readable form; but then ‘adjusted’ without any copies of the original datasets having been kept. People capable of such bad practice do not deserve to be taken seriously.

  3. Jim says:

    For me the killer argument with regard to fossil fuel use and the CO2 its use generates is that all the CO2 that the fossil fuel represents was once in the atmosphere before (as the carbon sequestered in those fossil fuels had to come from the air in the first place), and the earth survived those far higher CO2 levels just fine. We are behaving as if the fossil fuels have been in the earth since its creation ex nihilo by the big bang, and burning them is introducing previously never seen CO2 into the atmosphere, which it scientific nonsense. In fact its believed that one of the reasons that animals such as the pterodactyl could fly was that the air was far ‘thicker’ in its day, as it contained CO2 at far greater concentrations, the CO2 that ended up forming our fossil fuels millions years ago. In our air it wouldn’t be able to get off the ground, but in a thicker gas there would be more lift, just as when you get in the water you weigh less.

    So logic says that there is no runaway greenhouse effect, as if there was then the earth wouldn’t exist in its current form at all. At some point in the billions of years its existed it would have hit the point of no return and gone off into a death spiral, like Venus and Mercury etc. But it hasn’t and won’t now either.

    One also has to be an incredible arrogant being to consider that we humans (who have turned up inside a few hundred thousand years, certainly less than 1 million years) are so important and all powerful that we can disturb the equilibrium of a planet that has existed perfectly happily for billions of years.

  4. Fredrik Eich says:

    Well we will probably need to learn how to disturb the equilibrium of this planet if we want to avoid another ice age. And climate science is a pretty good starting point!

  5. slugbop007 says:

    I just read this comment by Fredrik Eich says:    February 19, 2019 at 6:20 pm    ” To prevent that from happening, it became necessary circa 1950 for governments to place the blame on something else, and keep the blame there for the next 100 years or more. ” Following is a fine example of a newspaper report from 1961 reassuring readers that fallout is nothing to be concerned about and people should really be worried about a 20 fold risk for lung cancer by smoking. (We now know the risk is less than three fold for smoking)

    He cites a newspaper article from 1961. At the bottom of the page is a message from UCSF: Ms Ruth E. Malone teaches and preaches there. So, they have a long history of lying to the public and propagating anti-tobacco propaganda at the same time. My my my. I think Glantz is there as well. What a coincidence. Graft and corruption in academia.That’s disgusting. And they are getting away with it. Disturbing and disgusting.


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