Scientists can also wear their citizen hats
with 10 comments
Kids, you need to tell your parents that things are getting really serious. Global warming is soon to put Santa Claus out of business.
The North Pole
Santa's Workshop is Located at the North Pole
Santa's Workshop in 1979
Santa's Workshop in 2003
Santa's Workshop in 2010
Trend in Arctic Sea Ice
North Pole Sometime in the Next Two Decades - No Ice, No Workshop
Santa Goes Out of Business
Written by Scott Mandia
December 5, 2010 at 8:00 am
Posted in Uncategorized
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Mandia: The link between human activities and global warming is well-established science. If you are going to claim otherwise, you will need to prove that 97% of the world’s experts and virtually every international scientific body is wrong. Good luck.
December 5, 2010 at 9:09 am
“prove that 97% of the world’s experts and virtually every international scientific body is wrong”
Argument to authority is a logical fallacy.
You need to prove that energy can disappear entirely into nothingness and/or be created entirely from nothingness, and/or that increasing the amount of an infrared-absorbent substance within a semi-open (see below) system will NOT change its thermodynamic balance towards (initially at least) a global warming of this system.
No matter how little you add, adding a nonzero amount will cause the system to retain additional energy.
In other words, either the basic AGW science is correct, or the 0th and 1st laws of thermodynamics are wrong. Good luck trying to falsify the latter.
(NB: I called Earth – and similar bodies – “semi-open” because they are thermodynamically open systems, but surrounded by near-vacuum. That means that significant amounts of energy/heat can only be exchanged with its surroundings by radiation, not by convection or conduction.
Which in the case of this here planet can be measured and for practical purposes adheres well enough to the Stefan-Bolzmann and Wien laws to make it predictable, even though no natural system is the blackbody radiator used to derive the “pure” – theoretical – forms of these laws.
Thus, to heat up, Earth needs either an increased influx of EM radiation, and/or an increased means to absorb either this radiation or the outgoing radiation. To cool down, it’s the other way around.)
Thus, no need to to invoke scientific authority (which can be wrong and often enough has been wrong). Simple highschool-grade physics will do the job.
December 5, 2010 at 12:04 pm
I was about to reply and then saw what Tenney wrote.
Anyway, this thread is not about questioning well-understood science. If anybody here thinks that they are smarter than the vast majority of scientific experts then please publish it somewhere important. I doubt writing it here on my blog will get as much notice. :)
December 5, 2010 at 12:35 pm
i think your wrong ive payed attention to this site.
May 31, 2011 at 11:37 am
Eike, if simple high school physics could have done the job, it would have been done already — duh!
So, do you think thousands of scientists are not capable of doing high school physics?
Perhaps high school physics is all that you are capable of which is the reason that you think in such a simplistic manner.
For a discussion of the physics of incoming and outgoing radiation see Skeptical Science’s recent post (I dunno, you just might be able to understand it):
Stratospheric Cooling and Tropospheric Warming
December 5, 2010 at 12:26 pm
I have to agree with Tenney that your physics seems to be only rudimentary to the problem. Climate scientists are quite aware of the differences between theoretical blackbodies, first-approximation black bodies, and greybodies. But I really had to write to disavow you of the misuse of one the critical thinking rules – do not argue from authority. Argument from authority comes up when an authority on one subject oversteps their knowledge base to comment on issues not within their expertise. When Mandia points out the 97% of climate scientists agree with the science, it is not an argument from authority in the logical fallacy category. These are experts commenting directly on the subject of their expertise, and with a 97% consensus, that is as authoritative as you can reasonable expect from such a complex scientific argument, and thus using their authority on the subject is not a logical fallacy. Watch out for throwing stones in greenhouse glass houses. Take a close look at the “authorities” whose position you seem to parroting.
December 5, 2010 at 2:31 pm
Perhaps Santa will need to outsource his summer production to Antarctic penguins?
December 5, 2010 at 4:55 pm
[…] nature. ‘Tis the season to say: ‘Tis time to act! See also Scott Mandia’s, “Global Warming: Santa Claus Out of Business.“ Related […]
Merry Python » Blog Archive » The war on Santa Claus (and Superman)
December 19, 2010 at 12:11 pm
Mmm, that depends. I see this comment made all the time.
No offence intended but you might want to look at the fine print of what makes an argument from authority.
Thus, no need to to invoke scientific authority (which can be wrong and often enough has been wrong).
Science does have authority (for good reason). Defering to it is not a bad argument.
If your dentist says you have a cavity, then getting a filling put in is not a wacky thing to do.
There’s no fallacious reasoning there.
Now if your Aunt Harriet, the retired accountant, says that you have a cavity and you believe her…then that’s an argument from authority.
Whenever I say, “Oh, you should listen to what the experts are saying,” I am accused of committing a logical fallacy, which is the argument from authority. And I’d like to clear up what the issue there is because for a philosopher to be accused of committing a logical fallacy, it’s really an ironic thing and sure to be embarrassing if it were true. So the argument from authority of course, is a fallacy when you use it this way, if you’re saying that it necessarily follows from a scientific consensus or from what an authority says that what that authority says is true.
So if I were to say that, “You know what? I know for certain that climate change is real. Why? Because the experts say so,” that would definitely be an example of a logical fallacy. You cannot derive certain knowledge, you cannot derive consequentially, absolutely certain knowledge from the fact that there is agreement within a certain community of experts because of course, the history of science shows that the community of experts can be wrong.
What I am saying instead is what I think is a very rational and in fact, even common sensical position which is understanding that whatever concerns science reaches is in fact provisional, your best bet as a non-technical expert is to look at whether there is a consensus and if there is a consensus, go with it.
December 30, 2010 at 4:08 am
I wonder where Santa would transfer?:)
Climate change is real and you can see its effect on the storms the world is encountering right now.
February 6, 2011 at 7:56 am
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