Mercurius’ Rules from Larvatus Prodeo

[voice over of Narrator from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Movie]  “Long ago and far away there existed a a fascinating blog originating in Australia named Larvatus Prodeo. And then it didn’t exist. And then it did. And now it doesn’t again.”don__t_panic_wallpaper_by_vantaj-d4fgo87

Actually it’s in archive state, which means it’s probably not staying active in trends etc. So I’ve resurrected a charming bit posted originally by Mercurius, called “The Rules”.

This bit of satire easily demonstrated the tactics in play at the time. The movie “An Inconvenient Truth” was still fresh in people’s minds, the Climategate affair was underway but not yet public. And a pivotal moment for global action to save civilization from itself was just a few months away. While we knew that some millions of dollars were flowing from the fossil fuel industry to professional disinformation campaigns, we still did not have evidence of the Exxon Mobil involvement, nor the amount of activity coming from the Koch brothers.

I’ve taken the liberty of adding some “pictorial” commentary. Thanks to Glen Welch and the Fallacy Ref page for the extra material. Can you Imagine a Fallacy Ref attempting to keep track and stop all the fallacies in this one little bit of prose? This of course was 2009, just as the Denial campaign was getting into full swing.

For your reading pleasure, here are:


 The rules


Hello world. It’s your friendly neighbourhood denialist here. Look, we need to talk. I think we got off on the wrong foot. You’ve got me all wrong. I’m really an open-minded guy. All I’m asking for is evidence of your AGW claims. Surely that’s not too much to ask?

And please note, that when I say evidence, I mean:

Ref - Continuum Fallacy1) Nothing that was recorded by instruments such as weather-stations, ocean buoys or satellite data. Since all instruments are subject to error, we cannot use them to measure climate.

Ref - Nirvana Fallacy2) Nothing that has been corrected to account for the error of recording instruments. Any corrected data is a fudge. You must use only the raw data, which is previously disqualified under rule #1. Got that? OK, moving along…

Ref - Goalpost move3) Nothing that was produced by a computer model. We all know that you can’t trust computer models, and they have a terrible track record in any industrial, architectural, engineering, astronomical or medical context.

Ref - Cherry PickingRef - Troll4) Nothing that was researched or published by a scientist. Such appeals to authority are invalid. We all know that scientists are just writing these papers to keep their grant money.

Ref - Proof ReversalSee? I’m a reasonable guy. I’m perfectly open to being convinced by real evidence — you know, the kind that doesn’t rely on scientific instruments, or corrected data, or computers, or results recorded by other scientists. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and I’m sure you’d agree that any evidence which meets my criteria would be extraordinary indeed.

Ref - False EquivalencyAnd before you accuse me of hypocrisy, I apply all these rules to myself. For example, I have perfectly good evidence that the ETS will destroy the economy. I haven’t relied on any measurements, or projections, or the advice of economists in making this prediction. Therefore my evidence for this prediction of economic doom is water-tight. (On a related note, how can you predict the climate next decade when you can’t predict the weather next week? And did you know I can predict economic doom from the ETS next year, even though I can’t predict the stock market tomorrow?)

Before I go, here are some corollaries that devolve from the above 4 rules:

Ref - Argument from FallacyA) Any previous errors in climate science are automatic proof that new data is also wrong. For example, if you produce results which show a reduction in ice coverage, or a warming of ocean temperatures, all I have to do is shout ‘Hockey Stick!’ and the new data is instantly dispelled.

Ref - Goalpost moveRef - Nirvana FallacyB) So, before I will accept your new data, it must retrospectively correct any errors in past data, and erase them from the space-time continuum as though they never occurred. Furthermore, if you do manage to perform this feat, your data will be invalid because corrected data is disqualified under rule #2.Ref - Spotlight Fallacy

Ref - Ad HomC) Al Gore is a big fat hypocrite and a liar and a fraud who jets around the world and has a big house and eats puppies for breakfast. And will you please stop the ad hominem attacks on Ian Plimer?

D) Will somebody, please, somewhere, anywhere, address the science in Ian Plimer’s book? I mean, surely that’s not too much to ask? Ref - YogiismRef - Argument from SilenceBy the way, anybody who addresses the science in Ian Plimer’s book is just a nit-picker who hasn’t addressed the main issue.

E) Please, spare me your conspiracy theories. It’s not my fault that AGW is a giant hoax perpetrated by Big Green to take over the world in a socialist plot.Ref - echo chamberI’m just trying to uncover the truRef - Bandwagonth here, with the assistance of a lot of commentators, media personalities, corporate executives and hired scientists who just happen to share similar political views to my own.

Ref - TrollF) Your position is based on religious faith, not on the science. I can tell because you pay attention to Ref - False AttributionRef - Non-Central Fallacythe scientific instruments, the corrected data, the computer models and the writings of published scientists, instead of what I know, deep in my heart to be the truth: that AGW is a giant hoax and a fraud.

Ref - Ergo DecedoConfusedG) If you ever refuse to debate with me, that is proof that your position is untenable, you’re frightened of the truth and you don’t have the evidence. Ref - Neutral Zone

Ref - ClickbaitRef - Red HerringAnd, by the way, when will Burt Newton respond publicly to the claims that he’s a trans-gender vampire who was regenerated in a vat from a single hair of Vlad the Impaler? His silence on this issue is telling…

—-

ConfusedRef - SpreadingRef - Slippery SlopeRef - Out of ContextRef - Occams RazorRef - False EquivalencyRef - False DichotomyI’m so glad we could have this chat. I’m sure if we can just conduct this discussion using the rules and corollaries above, it will be an enlightening and fruitful enterprise that is well worth the time and effort of everybody involved.

Ref - RepetitionI look forward to having this debate, at every opportunity, on every forum, on every website, from now until the end of time.Confused

I give upYours truly,

The Marquess of Queensbury

US Leadership: “Last Place is ‘OK’ by Us… We Don’t Want the US to Succeed if it Makes Obama Look Good!”

I suppose it was inevitable… the crown for intelligent leadership is shifting to China… the American Leadership seems to be too mired in their own self interest to see the huge opportunities they’re deriding… leading our country into at best a third place position.

WBGU Factsheet 3 Budget Approach

The German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) has developed an innovative approach to solving the problem of climate change. A key component is an agreement between the community of states regarding a cap, in the form of a global budget, for the total amount of carbon dioxide that may be emitted from fossil-fuel sources up to the year 2050, with a view to avoiding dangerous climate change. As the global budget would be apportioned among all countries in line with fundamental principles of equity, the budget approach can serve as the basis for a new global climate treaty. In its latest special report, “The budget approach” (2009), WBGU demonstrates that global warming must not exceed the 2°C guard rail if dangerous climate change is to be avoided.

Time for plain talk… the Germans are trying to be clear… If you want to read the pdf file, try here: http://www.wbgu.de/wbgu_factsheet_3_en.pdf

Saul Griffith, “Climate Change Recalculated” – The Long Now Blog

“Two terawatts of photovoltaic would require installing 100 square meters of 15-percent-efficient solar cells every second, second after second, for the next 25 years. (That’s about 1,200 square miles of solar cells a year, times 25 equals 30,000 square miles of photovoltaic cells.) Two terawatts of solar thermal? If it’s 30 percent efficient all told, we’ll need 50 square meters of highly reflective mirrors every second. (Some 600 square miles a year, times 25.) Half a terawatt of biofuels? Something like one Olympic swimming pools of genetically engineered algae, installed every second. (About 15,250 square miles a year, times 25.) Two terawatts of wind? That’s a 300-foot-diameter wind turbine every 5 minutes. (Install 105,000 turbines a year in good wind locations, times 25.) Two terawatts of geothermal? Build 3 100-megawatt steam turbines every day-1,095 a year, times 25. Three terawatts of new nuclear? That’s a 3-reactor, 3-gigawatt plant every week-52 a year, times 25.”

Working on the Realities: Why would we ever think there’s a single solution for renewable energy, or that it will happen quickly?

Arctic Ice: the best explanation you can get in under 5 minutes


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A Beautiful but Terrible Scene: Sunset over Arctic Summer Sea Ice

A Beautiful but Terrible Scene: Sunset over Arctic Summer Sea Ice

Arctic sea ice extent and volume in the summer and winter has gotten lots of attention lately. The ice is a thin skin, more like ice covering a water filled bucket left out in the cold. Lots of the thicker ice has melted and hasn’t re-frozen. I’m sure some people wonder why anyone besides Polar Bears and Eskimos would care?

Set aside that Polar Bears are in trouble because their hunting ranges were out on the now melting Arctic ice. The bears that survive the swim back to land are heading south, closer to human settled areas, to hunt and scrounge…

Ignore that “Eskimos” and other indigenous populations are losing their livelihoods. Pay no attention to the soil under their homes that’s melting away as the frost gets taken out of the ‘permafrost’…

Ignore all that…

The Arctic ice cap is part of our planetary thermostat. The reflective ice cap helps keep temperatures where we’re used to experiencing them. Those of us with automobiles, particularly in the U.S., could think of the cap like the reflective sun shades some of us put in behind our car’s windshields… it can’t stop the heating from the sun, but it can help keep it from getting seriously hot. Don’t put the sun shade up, and the temperature starts rising.

The good folks at NASA are studying ice all over the planet, and have put together a video to help explain to people why that melting ice is important to them. Check it out.

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The Global Premier of “The Age of Stupid”

The Global Premier of The Age of Stupid will launch in America on September 21st 2009 from a solar-powered cinema tent in New York LIVE to over 400 movie theatres across the country. The timings are: 7:30 PM ET/ 6:30 PM CT / 5:30 PM MT / tape delayed 8PM PT. The film is a mix of drama, documentary, and animation skillfully blended together to Continue reading

How to reduce corporate influence in the political process: Term Limits

Who knew? I certainly didn’t know my posts here would be like this, since politics is not what I came here to blog about.  Politics certainly doesn’t match what I have sitting in my drafts folder. But politics keeps intruding on my thougts, so…   Maybe I’ll get to use that draft next… On to the current point!

Long ago, and far away, in a world that used to be ours, there were men and women of good intent Continue reading