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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

From Angela Fritz's wunderground blog -- a marvelous takedown by one commenter of a troll/denier

39. Daisyworld 4:59 AM GMT on October 05, 2013  
Quoting 37. CamKatBSL:[...]
Bravo. I congratulate you. I sincerely do. That comment must have taken quite a while to write. Since you spent so much time writing it, I'll respond in kind. However, since you've managed to severely distract from the main premise of Angela's blog, I do not take pleasure in engaging with your rhetoric, as I view it as nothing but a diversionary tactic. Nevertheless it warrants a rebuttal:
Thanks so much for schooling me in rhetoric. As an expert in fallacious arguments you should know that your attack is a non sequitur as you attempt to assign motives to me based your personal inference rather than citing any premise stated in my post. You admit as much when you state "... And now you feign ad hominem instead of engaging in civil conversation, thus igniting yet another fabricated controversy. This lends credence to the suggestion that you're commenting in this forum to distract from the main subject of the blog entry...". So, what do you call it when you attribute sinister motives where none exist? You're the fallacious argument expert, you tell me.
Expertly authored, I must say. This is a full-blown, Manufactured Doubt industry attack tactic on my questioning of your motives. It's a very old misinformation tactic used to discredit one's opponent, and often used by the popular media organization, Fox News. According to research, you are engaging in what's known as "Projection" or "Flipping," which is basically accusing your opponent of using the same underhanded tactics that you're using against them.

You see, I have only suggested what your motives are here, which is based on your original comment that (1) took issue with a minuscule and wholly unassuming portion of Angela's post ("acts like a massive cryogenic chamber"), then in a fallacy of quoting out of context, used that cherry-picked piece of text to (2) call into question her scientific integrity and skills as an atmospheric scientist by writing, "it seems to me that an atmospheric scientists should know this." This known as caricaturing your opponent so they are easier to attack, and it is a logical fallacy that falls under the straw man attack, also known as "the fallacy of extension." This line of reasoning about your motives is not in doubt.

At the very best, you are picking a scab just so you can complain that it hurts; at the very worst you establishing a red herring which was contrived by YOU just so you can initiate an attack on Angela.

As far as accusing me of "non-sequitor" reasoning, which suggests my conclusion supposedly does not follow from its premise: As I proved above, you are wrong. All I have done is spell out that you have attacked Angela using tactics from the Manufactured Doubt industry, and since there's no way to affirmatively prove that you are or aren't from that industry, that is where my logic stands firm, and yours falls down, as I have gone no further than point out your tactics. YOU took it to the next level based on assumption and emotional disdain. Now who's appealing to emotion and not reason? That would be YOU.
I've got nothing to hide here. For the record, I'm a scientist and an engineer and I'm keenly interested in climate science. My personal opinion is that there is plenty of good observational evidence to support the premise that the planet is warming (just how much is debatable but the trend is clearly there). On the other hand, I think the evidence to support the notion that man is the primary cause of this warming is less strong. While humans may be contributing to this trend, I have strong doubts that this is the end of the story. I think there are other long term trends at work. That's my opinion based on my reading of the science. I'm not denying anything. I'm just not convinced.
And now we see how you inject your misinformed opinion, and make it appear as if it is more factual than it really is because you declared yourself as "a scientist and an engineer." "For the record", this is where your logic fails yet again, as does your understanding of climate science in general: The fingerprint of humans on the rising CO2 is very clear, and it's 50-100 times that of natural background volcanic origin. The evidence is:

(1) Measurements of the CO2 output from both volcanoes and fossil fuel burning show that fossil fuel burning far exceeds that of present-day volcanoes. (Link)

(2) The increase in atmospheric CO2 is proportional to a decrease in atmospheric O2, which shows that the CO2 is being created from combustion. (Link)

(3) The carbon isotope signature of the CO2 shows an increase in 12C, which comes from living organisms. There's NO relevant increase in 13C, which comes from melting rocks (volcanoes), and NO increase in 14C, which comes from recently dead living organisms. Therefore, the carbon in CO2 is coming from once living organisms that have been dead for a very long time . . . aka fossil fuels. (Link)

Debate and pull this apart as you like. Climate change denialists try to do it all the time, but their arguments never hold up, and never paints them in a better light. Point in fact, they tend to start leaning toward conspiracy theories eventually, but that's a different debate altogether.
(You may want to quote the previous statements for your next post where you choose one of your fallacious constructs to paint me as a drooling idiot because I don't strictly adhere to the orthodoxy that climate science is settled and that man is sole culprit. Go ahead and have at it.)
Absolutely. There are so many logical fallacies here, I have difficulty in deciding which to point out. Again, we see projection and flipping by accusing me of slinging around "fallacious constructs", but I think I'll point at where you accuse me of painting you as a "drooling idiot because (you) don't strictly adhere to the orthodoxy (of) climate science." First: I never said that, and you know it. That's called putting words in someone else's mouth. Some might call it lying. Second: If you truly feel this way, it is because you are getting angry at the notion that I've called you out on your misinformation tactics. Again, who's appealing to emotion and not reason? Again, that would be YOU.

Yes, as I outline above, the science is clear that HUmans are the sole culprit for the rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere, which is trapping the sun's heat at the surface of our planet. (Incidentally, I would appreciate it if you included women along with men when you try to describe civilization as a whole -- just to be accurate with words.) Overall, the number of quality, peer-reviewed studies proving this far exceeds by several orders of magnitude those that still remain uncertain about the subject. If you wish to side on that minuscule portion, then have at it, but you would be part of an ineffectual minority, and continue to be proven wrong at every turn.
The fact is, anybody who claims that any science is settled is no scientist at all. Such an individuals are better described as politicians. Many theories have explained our observations of nature extraordinarily well only to be later found inaccurate or incomplete. Newton's laws where a stunning breakthrough yet Einstein later created an improved construct that described physical phenomena with even greater precision. Scientists are now working on a variety of theories that will improve upon and unify the work performed by Einstein. Do we dismissively refer to string theorists as "Einstein Deniers"?
More logical fallacies. Highest among them being deflection: Taking the debate in a weird but predictable direction to avoid accountability. If you want to take a trip through historical science that was later found inaccurate, incomplete, or needing improvement, I'd suggest looking at Lamarckian evolution or Charles Wilber's theory of climatology, as they are better contrasts to modern climate science.
If the science is good, it will stand the test of time on its own merits. A sound argument supported by observational evidence doesn't need self-appointed thought police to attack anyone who expresses the slightest doubt. It needs people to attack it so it becomes stronger.
Finally! You admit that you're on the attack here. I'm glad that you cleared that up. It's so much easier when you explain what your motive is here in this blog, and now we all know: Attack the climate science.

Yes, science WILL stand the test of time based on its own merits. The premise behind human-induced climate science has withstood more scrutiny and criticism than any other subject I have studied over the years. The basic physics, chemistry, and mathematics have proven beyond any reasonable doubt that:

(1) Carbon dioxide increases in the atmosphere have trapped excess solar radiation at the surface of our planet in the form of heat.
(2) These carbon dioxide increases are the primary result of human activities via the burning of fossil fuels.
(3) The increase in trapped solar radiation is causing our planet to warm at an accelerated rate leading to faster-than-normal climate changes across the globe.

None of these facts are in doubt. The science community has long ago accepted these as unequivocal axiom, and moved on. Anyone still "debating" these three facts in their entirety are WAY behind in their understanding of the general science, and for all intensive purposes, do not know what they are talking about. Again, if you choose to be among the portion that does not know what they are talking about, that is your choice.
As to my understanding of cryogenics, I did learn a thing or two during a stint as a propulsion test engineer in NASA's space shuttle main engine program. In case you didn't know, the shuttle main engines where fueled liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen driven by 70,000 horsepower turbo pumps operating at temperatures as low as -423 degrees F. The physics at these cryogenic temperatures can be quite bizarre but "molecular stabilization of materials" is never a term that sprang into my mind to describe what was going on.
Actually, I know plenty about the space program and aeronautical science, and your attempt to establish yourself as an authority on cryogenics is lackluster at best. "Molecular stabilization of materials" is a comment a chemist might make, and if - as an engineer - you cannot see this, then maybe you need to revisit your physical chemistry textbook, assuming you had any training in that field at all.

In truth, I believe this is yet another attempt to discredit others by trying to caricature someone else (yourself) as an authority in a field, and again using the fallacy of extension to suggest that I do not know what I'm talking about (much as you did with Angela). This does nothing more that to deliberately confuse the argument, as you subtly use your self-established "authority" to insist that your own logic is airtight, implying that anyone else who disagrees with you is too fanatical to follow along.

In truth, this is just a climate blog (the comments section even), and your background cannot be truly determined. Regardless, I submit that your supposed background in propulsion engineering has absolutely nothing to do with climate science, and you are using this in an attempt to make yourself sound more plausible than you really are on the subject of climate science. That, in effect, is the REAL non sequitur here.
By the way, I'm not an expert in climate models but I do know more than a little about numerical modeling of natural systems in general and, I am more than capable of understanding the challenges associated with developing and initializing models that will produce results that accurately predict observed data. In short, I feel more than comfortable in forming my own educated opinions to satisfy my personal curiosity.
This is sounding all too familiar. . .

Quoteth aerospace engineer (and climate change denialist/disinformer) Burt Rutan:

"My study is NOT as a climatologist, but from a completely different perspective in which I am an expert . . . For decades, as a professional experimental test engineer, I have analyzed experimental data and watched others massage and present data. . ."

I'll make this one succinct: Just because you supposedly understand one small part of the puzzle, doesn't make you an expert of the whole. It's a correlative fallacy of logic, and yet another distraction.
Unlike you, I'm not trying to convince anyone that my point of view represents immutable fact. You accuse me of being an organ of the so called "manufactured doubt industry". If you are representing the "no doubt whatsoever industry" then tell me where I can sign up. When did doubt become a bad thing? Doubt is an essential part of the scientific process. It's the essence of what drives scientific discovery forward. It seems to me that you wish for me and the rest of us evil doubters just shut up and just accept that your science is perfect. Once upon a time, nobody doubted that the earth was flat. As a result, no one ventured beyond the visible horizon for fear of falling off the edge of the world. What are you really afraid of and why should I accept what you say without question?
Doubt is a bad thing when it's being used to lie to the public. Doubt is a bad thing when it's being used to hide the scientific truth. Doubt is a bad thing when you use it to cloak your lack of scientific premise with claims that you are a champion of science and the scientific process. This is about as disingenuous as it comes. I grow tired of pointing out your seemingly endless fallacies of logic. Let us cut to the chase:
To amplify my original post, words matter in science. There is simply no place for appeals to emotion in science which is why I disdain the use sensational adjectives to describe scientific phenomena. If you would have paid attention to the substance of my original post rather than attributing a sinister motive to it, you might have learned something useful.
And THAT is the whole premise of your attack: To amplify your original message. Believe me, I DID pay attention to the substance of your comments. I saw your accusations, assumptions, and contrivances hiding within the written words of a dishonest yet educated person. I saw your lack of objectivity and your own appeals to emotion; all wrapped up in a verbose, naturalistic fallacy intended to reap discredit on the author of this blog and confuse its readers: In summary, your words have shown that you:

1. Discredit your opponent
2. Inject misinformation
3. Accuse others
4. Deflect the argument
5. Attack the science
6. Establish yourself as a (false) authority
7. Amplify your message.

These are your tactics. They define your motives. They explain why you are here:
Member Since: January 11, 2012 Posts: 5 Comments: 484


rpauli said...

Wow ! This is a classic. Thanks so much for posting.

There is one more point to the final #8 "Pick up a paycheck for paid disinformation."

We should know that years of such professional work have refined the process.

Anonymous said...

I notice that all the blogs quoted on the left are one sided. So how do you get a balanced discussion. The points quoted at the end are frequently used by AGW supporters.
And the so-called "take-down" Get serious. Most of the points are "deflect".