#Tisertosh June 20 – Abbott love and gish gallops

Today is a perfect example of why the Advertiser is such a contemptible and unfunny joke as a newspaper.

Front page non-story “Abbott pushes for carbon referendum.” Which he’s been doing (let’s have an election yadda yadda yadda) for ages. Since when does reprinting Opposition talking points constitute a front page story?? It’s a beat-up. How do the editors sleep? How do they look themselves in the mirror and say “I’m a journalist.” They presumably don’t. They presumably think of the mortgage that wouldn’t get paid if they upheld anything approaching the alleged journalistic values of truth, decency and so on.
What WILL be interesting is in 20 years time, when their children find out what they did during the crucial decade. “Gee, thanks Dad. Epic Fail.” The same goes for the person/people

Then the letters page. Holy Cow, you really need to brace yourself.
They run four long letters all singing from the same delieriously mis-informed hymn sheet.

First up is “Carbon is a tiny factor”
James Harvey starts with a classic strawman argument – show me ANYONE who knows anything about climate who claims the it has always been stable. . But by “conceding” this non-point he create the illusion of being reasonable. And he then cashes those points.
Then the usual stuff about Earth’s orbit, extent of cloud cover, volcanic activity. Yep, all true.
Then “geological evidence shows that levels of carbon dioxide have not seemed to be influential.”
What evidence? He had space to cite some names of researchers so their articles could be tracked down. He didn’t. Also, we are in an unprecedented situation, doubling atmospheric C02 in 250 years, so history is at best an imperfect guide.
Then “many people don’t know the true levels of C02″ meme. Well, there’s lots that people don’t know that still is important.
Then the “only 0.038 percent of the atmosphere argument.” Sigh. A very thin rapier blade might only be about that amount of your weight, still kill you…
Carbon dioxide as a food source for plants. Gibberish and irrelevant.
“If C02 is not the culprit” – you’ve not proven (because you can’t) it. But the point is to be seen to be supporting a research agenda looking at “water and other gases produced in smaller quantities from burning fossil fuels are to blame.”

What we have here (I’ve not bothered to address all the points) is a Gish gallop– a series of illogical points and fallacious arguments, which would take a long long space to rebut, and the mere fact of doing that confers legitimacy on the nonsense that has been spouted.

Oh, and the final touch – putting the word Doctor in brackets – spurious argument from authority.
The thing is, this idiocy works. Even with my mother, who is nobody’s fool said it’s a “long, interesting letter and he’s a doctor.” He can be a doctor of whatever he likes, that’s entirely irrelevant. The ONLY thing that is relevant is has he recently had articles published in peer-reviewed journals that withstand scrutiny.

Footnote 1: The Gish Gallop is an informal name for a debating technique that involves drowning the opponent in such a torrent of half-truths, lies, and straw-man arguments that the opponent cannot possibly answer every falsehood that has been raised. Usually this results in many involuntary twitches in frustration as the opponent struggles just to decide where to start. It is named after creationism activist and professional debater Duane Gish.

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7 Comments to “#Tisertosh June 20 – Abbott love and gish gallops”

  1. Plebiscite for the carbon tax….Tony Abbott said on this mornings radio.. what is the point, it is only about saving the planet!
    Anyone pick up on that?

  2. .So reading all your arguments you do believe global warning and the carbon tax is crap. We extend a warm welcome to you.
    One quick one.
    What is 1.375?
    …………….that is the increase in CO2 since the early 1970s expressed as parts per 25,000.
    …………sooooo if my wage was $25,000 in 1970s based on the increase in C02 in the atmosphere since then, my wage is now $25,001.38 .Rounded the cents upwards.
    hmmmm. scary? ………..or irrelevant.
    Sorry have been out of the loop for a couple of week. Have been sailing.

  3. “increase since the early 1970s.” What a bizarre baseline. So typical of a denialist troll. What a cheap debating trick. You really think anyone falls for your nonsense? Try the 1780s baseline, and try projecting what atmospheric concentrations are into the future. We are going to DOUBLE atmospheric concentrations from pre-industrial levels within the next 50 years. That is an astonishing rise, on a geological timeframe.

    But you know this. You watched the “Carbon History of the World” youtube (I know because you made an irrelevant and ignorant comment on that too). So you know what the basic scientific argument is. Instead you set up strawmen and make ludicrous arguments like the one above. You obviously have no respect for science, and must – on some level – have no respect for yourself. Do you know about “terror management theory”? It’s an explanation of why so many denialists are old men. Maybe worth a look-see.

    In the meantime, if you are going to persist with irrelevant and troll memes, I’m going to stop approving your comments. You will whine censorship, but so what.

  4. I used the 1970s because that is when the Cape Grim atmospheric measurements were commenced.
    http://www.csiro.au/places/Cape-Grim.html
    …. and if the carbon did double from the early 1970’s till now then using the same calculations based on the Cape Grim measurements CO2 in the atmosphere would have increased by 10 parts in 25,000. hmmmm. I think you should google what ppm (parts per million) actually means. Suggest you use “Jack Shit” in your google search. Yes there is Jack Shit Carbon in the atmosphere.
    FYI my share portfolio increased by 50% yesterday. My share went from 1 cent to 1.5 cent. I stll have a Jack Shit share portfolio today, the same as yesterday.

  5. yes, of course, those famous Cape Grim atmospheric measurements. So much more used than the Mauna Loa ones which began in the 1950s. So, if a doctor were looking at the extent of the spread of a cancer in your body, and looked only at the treatments and assessments he had done, rather than the more thorough ones by the hospital that referred you, and based his treatment on that, you’d be happy would you? I don’t think so.

    I know full well what “parts per million”means. So do you. You know that the ppm has gone up from 280 to 390 (not counting all the other greenhouse gases), and will double to 560 very soon (40 to 50 years).

    You know FULL WELL that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, unlike oxygen and nitrogen, which makes up the almost all of the atmosphere. You know FULL WELL that you are not comparing like for like If it weren’t for the greenhouse effect, this planet would be about minus seventeen degrees.

    This is 19th century physics we are talking about.

    You KNOW all this, and yet you persist simply trotting out pathetic denialist memes. Don’t you have ANY self-respect? How do you sleep?

    You are wasting my time and yours. Don’t bother commenting again.

  6. Sorry. I will make sure my comments conform in the future.

    • I suppose I should take your comment at face value, though I am wouldn’t bet more than 5 cents against it being “ironic.”

      If you can conform to basic standards of discussion (where strawmen are not the first resort, where deliberate misinterpretations and cherry-picking of data is seen as embarrassing) then fine.

      I strongly suspect however, that you are conforming to type and pulling the standard “oh, you warmists are forcing everyone to accept your jackboot ideology, calling out the Thought Police ” martyrdom/I am being censored line.

      I hope – as with climate change – that I am wrong, but the evidence to date suggests otherwise.

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