Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Global Warming and Asymmetrical Warfare

I posted a comment this morning on Keith Kloor's blog on his post about corrosive spin in the climate debate. http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2012/05/22/have-you-had-enough-spin-yet/comment-page-1/#comment-109934

I wrote:
Spin does nothing to hurt the skeptics’ case.  It destroys the alarmist case.  The essence of the alarmist case is an appeal to authority.  Spin by those in authority wrecks their credibility.  The essence of the skeptic case is that the emperor has no clothes.  The little boy who points out the absence of clothes need have no authority to be correct.  He could, for purposes of argument, be the same boy who cried wolf and his point about the emperor would still be absolutely valid.  Climate science “authority” built on the gross incompetence seen in studies by Mann, Rahmstorf, Jones, Briffa, Steig, and the polar bear study was embraced by the science establishment.  Skeptics do not need any credibility of their own to point out the circular reasoning of the IPCC, the corruption exposed by the CRU emails, and the general failure to operate with any concern for quality.

Keith responded:
The spin of Watts, Morano, Bishop Hill et al (to varying degrees) is just as corrosive as the spin from the other side. Like I said, both sides feed off each other.

 Keith, Yes, I understand that you think spin is corrosive.  My point is different.  My point is that one side suffers far more damage when its prominent scientists and spokesmen engage in spin.  Just like the prosecution and defense in a criminal case or the US military and guerrillas in war, the conflict is asymmetrical.  This is made particularly so in the case of CAGW because the alarmists have made the enormous tactical blunder of basing so much of their case on an appeal to authority.  The skeptics do not need credibility to win.  The alarmists cannot win without it.

I don't know why this seems so difficult for people to understand.  Global warming advocates want to make drastic changes in our way of life that will infringe on our rights to an enormous extent.  They have the burden of showing why this is necessary.  Like the prosecution in a criminal case, if there are holes in their evidence, they lose.  And if they base so much of their case on the credibility of their experts, their case fails when their experts say and do things which raise questions about their own credibility.

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