Monday, December 10, 2007

Cut from the same cloth

From time to time, Neal Boortz likes to take calls from creationists and ridicule, scorn, and deride them for their ridiculously wrong beliefs about evolution. There is great irony in the fact that his global warming denialism is structurally similar. Indeed, the form of argumentation he engages in is virtually identical to that of creationists.

For example, a common creationist claim is that there is not one fact supporting evolution, that there is no evidence of it. The creationist thus waves his hand at a consilience of evidence from multiple scientific disciplines; he refuses to even acknowledge the facts in support of the theory. This denial is tantamount to dismissing entire scientific fields.

Neal Boortz does the same thing. He says that there is no evidence supporting global warming. He waves his hand at the work of the IPCC, calling it a corrupted body. According to Boortz, global warming is a socialist plot, a scam and a hoax dreamed up to bring down capitalism. This sounds very much like the creationist who believes that evolution is an atheist plot to attack religion and morality

In Junk Science, Dan Agin explains what goes into the IPCC's report:

Organized under the auspices of the United Nations, the IPCC periodically presents a voluminous report on global climate change to the public. Every five years, approximately one hundred member governments propose the names of their own selected climate scientists, and from the thousands of nominations, the scientist leadership of the IPCC then selcts several hundred scientists for each of three working groups, the selection based on the publication of these scientists in scientific journals. Each scientist is assigned responsibility for the entire scientific literature on a particular aspect of the problem. Other scientists are drafted as reviewers and critics, and by the end of the five-year cycle, at least 1,500 experts, including nearly every important climatologist on the planet, is involved in one way or another in the process of creating the final report.
That means if Boortz is correct, the entire planetary discipline of climatology has been corrupted by socialists who have conspired to fabricate a global warming hoax in order to overthrow capitalism. But like the creationist who refuses to see the absurdity of his own ideological thinking, Boortz accuses scientists of being the ideologues.

Creationists protest that evolution is a controversial subject within science, that there are scientists who dispute it. Neal Boortz does this, too, saying that the IPCC has blackballed scientists who dispute global warming. Both the creationist and Neal Boortz ignore that there is no dispute in the scientific literature.

Here's an example of Boortz in action. Don't let the production notes fool you, his actual on air performance is much, much worse. And nothing written can capture the dripping contempt and scorn he has for the global warming hoaxers and alarmists (i.e. the entire discipline of climatology and people who are vastly better informed than him about the subject.)

Like the creationist, Boortz throws out all kinds of incoherent and contradictory arguments. Global warming is a hoax. Global warming is real but its heliogenic. Global warming is just erroneous alarmism like global cooling. Global warmings is happening but its unstoppable (the Fred Singer argument.) Boortz has his favorite global warming denialist myths that he likes to toss out such as the assertion that its warming on Mars or that global warming isn't real because polar bear numbers are increasing, equivalent to creationist myths like evolution violates the second law of thermodynamics or information never increases and such. Etc.

Then in the grand tradition of creationism, he just plain makes shit up.

The corrupt United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has issued a summary for action on climate change. This summary says that "warming of the climate system is unequivocal." Quite odd, really, since the Earth has actually cooled somewhat during the last three years, and considering the fact that there has been no appreciable warming for ten years.

The summary also says that "human activity" is behind the problem, and that we're facing "abrupt or irreversible changes" on Earth. Again .. a bit odd, considering that humans are only responsible for about three percent of the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.
Say what?
If you look at the graphic on the left (Source: Met Office/Univ of East Anglia/Hadley Centre) it's pretty obvious what the temperature trend is. No appreciable warming in the last ten years and the Earth has cooled over the last three years? 2005 is the warmest year on record, followed by 1998, 2002, 2003, 2006, and 2004. In fact, eleven of the last twelve years are the warmest on record, and 2007 is predicted to be the new warmest year on record.

Then the moronic bit about humans only being responsible for 3% of atmospheric CO2. Boortz doesn't give a source but a google search turns up an article by the industry interest propagandist Steven Milloy at Fox News saying the same. New Scientist has done us the favor of explaining why Milloy and Boortz are idiots (and if you click back to the front page of that link they rebut most of their idiocy.)

There's more moronity at the Boortz link, but I'm not going to spend anymore time with it. It looks like the Liars for God are cut from the same cloth as the Liars for The Market.

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