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October 31, 2008

Inconvenient Facts

Some Guides To Combatting Climate-Change Nonsense

Socrates maintained that there are two kinds of ignorance. Simple ignorance is that which consists of not knowing, which is usually acknowledged and easily remedied by learning. The other kind is ignorance of one's ignorance, usually translated as compound ignorance. The latter is a far more difficult thing to rectify--if it can be rectified at all--because the people afflicted are unlikely to invest the effort needed to fix the problem since, by definition, they are unaware of any problem that needs fixing. Al Gore is forefront among political figures affecting scientific pretensions while remaining blissfuly ignorant of their scientific illiteracy. The damage done by his electoral-campaign-style production An Inconvenient Truth to the public's perception of science and grasp of reality--to the point of mandatory political indoctrination in schoolrooms--is probably incalculable. Below are sources to help correct some of the misperceptions.

A Skeptic's Guide to An Inconvenient Truth, by Marlo Lewis. A free, downloadable book of over 140 pages with many illustrations and links to scientific references. Critiques just about every substantive statement which Gore makes in the book and--since it is essentially the same--the movie as well. http://cei.org/pdf/5820.pdf

Intermountain Rural Electric Association, which is trying to prevent the cost of electricity from escalating, has a variety of scientific critiques at http://www.intermountain-rea.com/GlobalWarming.html

The Science & Public Policy Institute (SPPI) has a large number of scientific papers devoted to a critical examination of anthropogenic Global Warming claims: http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/

Fallacies About Global Warming, by John McLean, addresses seven common errors. In discussing the belief that "Temperature trends are meaningful and can be extrapolated," he points out that "Any trend depends heavily upon the choice of start and end points." Shows how a judicious selection of such points can be made to prove just about anything you want. http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/sppi_originals/fallacies_about_global_warming.html

35 Inconvenient Truths: The Errors in Al Gore's Movie, by Christopher Monckton of Brenchley (October 18, 2007): http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/images/stories/press_releases/monckton-response-to-gore-errors.pdf

The Skeptics Handbook, an excellent, downloadable, 16 page handbook by Joanna Nova that tells how to debate a Climate Alarmist and avoid the usual red herrings and illogic: http://joannenova.com.au/global-warming/

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