About Climate of Sophistry

I chose the title for my URL to represent the sophistry that is apparent which underlies alarmist and even most of climate science.

From the Wiki page:

A sophism is taken as a specious argument used for deception. It might be crafted to appear logical while actually representing a falsehood, or it might use obscure words and complicated sentence constructions in order to intimidate the opponent into agreement out of fear of feeling foolish. Other techniques include manipulating the opponent’s prejudices and emotions to overcome their logical faculties.

An example of sophistry in climate science is how climate scientists misrepresented the correlation between carbon dioxide and geological temperature variations.  As we saw in “An Inconvenient Truth” by Al Gore, which leading climate scientists with the IPCC used to hold up as one of their best representative documentaries, we were told that because CO2 levels in the atmosphere and global temperature were correlated, that increases in CO2 would therefore cause an increase in temperature.

What they didn’t ever tell us until independent scientists checked it out, is that the direction of correlation was from temperature TO carbon dioxide, which meant that temperature caused the changes in CO2, rather than the other way around, like they tried to present.  It is a very major scientific error to not distinguish correlation from actual causation.  So, the idea they promoted that changes in CO2 would cause changes in temperature had no historical basis, because the causation in all history was the opposite direction.  This isn’t quite sophistry, although it might just be called that anyway, but it is definitely extremely poor science, so poor to the point of being pseudoscience (fake science).

In answer to this scientific rebuttal of their claim, climate scientists said that while the temperature caused the CO2 to change in the first place, there is no reason why CO2 wouldn’t have caused the rest of the temperature increase.  This is sophistry.  Without knowing how much temperature affected CO2 in the first place, and without knowing what was causing the temperature increase itself in the first place, and how much it was going to be, and all the other factors, there is absolutely no scientific or logical justification for claiming what they did. It was pure BS, in other words.

That is just one of probably thousands of examples of sophistry in alarmist climate science.  It should actually be called climate pseudoscience instead.

This type of sophistry is something we’ll be exposing and correcting on this blog, among other things.  Through this process we will arrive at a reality-based understanding of climate change and the environment, which because it is based on reality, acknowledges climate change as the natural and beneficial process it is, and how human-caused change is a benefit to the planet, the universe, and human quality of life.

16 Responses to About Climate of Sophistry

  1. JLB says:


    In Part II you say “Other climate scientists, on the other hand, have admitted that the flat Earth/cold Sunshine model isn’t actually real, and that they’re only used for teaching, and that it was silly for me to criticize it.”

    My question is, do the modelers not use the flat earth/cold sunshine model equations in their computer code? Have you checked to verify this? Perhaps they use some version similar to your integrated sunshine model in their GCM modeling code.

    [Reply: Yes we’ve been over the GCM thing with them and they never actually give the code up. They just say that “it is very sophisticated”. Oh ok. They probably just fabricate CO2 forcing and insert it into the model…and the CO2 forcing is the value based on the flat-earth “average” assessment of the energy flow, which means nothing. There is a lot of good criticism you can find out there on the whole model problem…]

  2. John in France says:

    I don’t know if it’s part of the definition or a symptom of sophistry, but it seems to me that an important component is the absolute determination to win an argument at any cost which necessarily leads to the lying, ad hominem attacks and piss-taking we so often encounter.

  3. Good point John.

  4. Here is an example of the sophistry of the IPCC. Note the date, May 2006.
    It is interesting to note that the day after I posted this to the sci.environment newsgroup the page I quoted (and decyphered) from the IPCC website was taken down! This told me two things. It told me that somebody working for IPCC was monitoring the newsgroup (actually it was two NGs, sci.environment and alt.global-warming) and that I had struck a nerve. They were embarassed that by clarifying their sophistry I was exposing their incompetence/fraudulence. This escalated a continuing flame war between myself and a bunch of climate frauds that I subsequently identified as being associated with CRU, Realclimate (Schmidt, Tobis), Wikipedia (William Connelly). Eventually they realized they couldn’t take the heat anymore. They abandoned these two NGs and started their own (global change) which was and still is largely ignored.

    I now realize that they were using the NGs to establish and maintain their illusion that they were winning the debate against their detractors. By exposing their sophistry I had started a domino effect. Soon (2007, 2008) blogs were starting to see through the sophistry of the global warming fraud. Eventually the realization (that CO2 forcing is immeasurable pseudo-science) started making it through to the major media. And more recently we see the emergence of websites (Principia Scientific and Climate of Sophistry) that deal directly with this issue).

    It is interesting to note that if they did not change the IPCC website the day after I made the above post (to sci.environment and alt.global-warming) I would not have known I’d drawn blood and I might not have gone into attack mode to further expose the fraud (I, essentially, drove them off these two NGs). At the time nobody on the planet was discussing the fact that CO2 forcing is/was immeasurable and untestable. Now this notion is a common part of the dialogue.

  5. Thanks for that Jim…interesting stuff! Schmidt et al. are the BIGGEST sophists imaginable.

  6. Peter says:

    Joseph, Hi. I am a mechanical engineeering lecturer and have been following your work and that of Principia-scientific for some time now. I am from the UK where it is impossible to get decision makers or indeed anyone to consider checking the validity of the greenhouse theory. It seems they want to believe we are destroying the planet and that, if anyone questions this, then he must be happy for his grand children to suffer unmentionable environmental contamination! Our politicians are technically illiterate coming mostly from a legal or philosophy/economic background. I suggested to my local representative that this was a problem and that we need a better mix of skills for those governing us. Paraphrasing his reply he said simply that “we’ll have to get better at asking questions”! He is not concerned that he would not be able to understand the answers! The broadcast media and the newspapers are on the side of the warmists and don’t seem to print letters that question the greenhouse theory. Even those who question the extent of predicted warming seem to avoid questions about the validity of the greenhouse theory -“everyone knows that must be correct or we would all freeze to death” – is the depth of their thought. The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics is beyond their comprehension and of many lecturers in science and engineering. We have a big communication problem here. I’d be grateful if you have any ideas on how to educate people who have a scientific/engineering background and those who haven’t through easily understood principals that force them to question their position. Perhaps you will be prepared to comment on any ideas I have. Peter

  7. Hi Peter,

    Yes I would be happy to comment on any ideas that you have for fixing the problem of communication. You are correct that this is an issue that people WANT to believe in, and somehow part of that belief is that the sunshine is not what heats you up. So, since people WANT to believe that humans are bad an evil, we’re dealing with a religion. How do you take away a person’s faith? We’re dealing with the triumph of post-modernism and materialism, where human value has been completely negated out of the equation and the only thing left to do is to figure out how to make ourselves not exist. That is their goal. Carbon dioxide is plant food? What of it! Feeding plants must be evil, then. You are right – stupid people are in charge of the hen house and their best friends are scorpions and foxes. How do you tell a person that sunshine is hot if their faith goes against that? You can’t. If faith says that the Sun is cold then it is.
    So I don’t really know. I just keep plugging away. See my latest post…this is as unassailable and as clear as you can, one day I’ll hit the right nerve. People talk about the harm climate alarm is doing to science – this isn’t the picture, it is academic science that already had the problem.

  8. Peter says:

    Joe, are you still in business? I haven’t seen anything this year.

  9. Yep, no worries. More will be coming.

  10. John Thorpe says:

    I wandered onto this blog from a twitter link about Antony Watts. Still somewhat befuddled because I was under the impression he hunted down alarmists, not reinforced them. However what really felt like coming home (I’m a Physics grad) was the return to first principles with the laws of thermodynamics in that article – which seem to have been ditched in the climate cocophany. A perfect example of this prostitution of science is this classic from (un)skepticalscience.com:


    It is stunning that they parallel CO2 with a blanket, when anybody with a basic grasp of physics knows that the effect of a blanket, and indeed an actual greenhouse, is to block CONVECTION, which is a major process of cooling.

    I still regularly have to reinforce the point that they are thermodynamic LAWS and anything in climate is a THEORY. Most don’t get it, and the BS touted by the likes of the link above are not going to make it easy to get the point across.

    Keep up the good work.

  11. Hi John,

    Well this may sound ridiculous, but you have to consider the scope of what we’re dealing with here. Read my “religion of climate change” series. And watch Star Wars episodes 1 – 3. Seriously. Crazy, I know.

    They’re creating a false reality. Outright alarmism is an obviously false reality, to anyone with a slightest sense of reason. Well, just think of the operation and the forces mustered to establish that false reality, promote it, fake it, have people running websites promoting it, having James Hansen promote it, etc. This is a big deal.

    It ALL rests on the alarmist version of the greenhouse effect (see here for clarification). There is a real greenhouse effect inside a real greenhouse, and then there is the fake “alarming” greenhouse effect of climate pseudoscience, something pretended to be the same but which is not.

    It all rests on that. So, you put people in place to look like skeptic, but what they’re actually doing is defending the very basis of the alarming theory, the basis of which is fundamental to every single aspect of the religious, political, and financial platform. Religious: belief in a false reality. Political: give up rights and freedoms for that false reality. Financial: Pay for the luxury of believing in the false reality.

    That’s what people like Anthony Watts, Roy Spencer, Robert G. Brown, Tim Folkerts, Joel Shore, etc etc, are all doing.

  12. millennia97 says:

    Actually isn’t solar input even more simple and obvious to the layman? In the UK it’s a favourite pastime in hot weather to show pictures of eggs frying on pavements. If the total potential heating is -18C then how does that happen, through intense local “greenhouse” warming?
    Taking your model and running a perfectly simple experiment of the actual surface (not 2m above) temperature at noon in a desert climate near enough to the equator to provide maximum solar energy input, and a surface type giving a reasonable albedo to compare with the average for the Earth, and you’d find a temperature well into the 80s deg C. However it’s unlikely you would find an ever increasing temperature because there is not enough input wattage to allow this to happen.
    This seems basic stuff to me, intense input heat on one side of the planet, none on the other, and a mechanism for redistribution of that heat (latent heat of water) cannot be reduced to a “divide by 4” fudge to make the basis for all climate science. It doesn’t explain where all the heat comes from to drive our weather, and the energy they have put in to create a false theory to make up for their erroneous over simplification right at the start could have been so much better utilised in understanding the dynamics of our climate.
    As the old joke goes when an Irishman was stopped and asked the best way to Dublin, he thought about it and then replied “Well I wouldn’t start from here”.

  13. You got it millennia97!

  14. Pingback: Libertarian Hawk | Liberals Are the Modern-Day Sophists

  15. Michaela says:

    All this guff about the legitimacy of global warming, manmade climate change or whatever you call it is doing one thing very well. Precisely all it has to do…
    Take the real heat from the real truth that hot or cold, human built or nowt, yes, the earth is being destroyed by humans.
    The actual environmental movement, which was just becoming mainstream (and necessarily so), was hijacked in the earliest instances where “climate change” and “carbon” slotted into the “market based instruments” paradigm of some thinktank.
    Again, clearly demonstrating the type of thinking which propagates in tanks.
    Once it became apparent that all the fault could be lumped surreptitiously but blatantly back onto the plebs, the carbon based climate reality deal was sealed.
    Out rolled the battalions, bloody little scientists every last one of them, with a double degreed economy to them. So, there you have it.
    The disgusting and terrible truth is that we have got what we all deserve.
    I only feel true despair and sadness for the animals, plants and life itself.
    For us, I feel a vast, unrelenting emptiness of memories, the grief for what we have done.
    Sometimes I feel it myst be a nightmare and that upon waking we will all naturally restore to our whole loving kind selves and throw off this gargoyle we are puppeteering to it’s doom.

  16. I reject your premise: “the earth is being destroyed by humans”

    With that viewpoint, then the only purpose of humanity is to stop existing. Because any human activity will be interpreted as “destroying the earth”. Because the only thing we can do to survive is to change the environment to make it more habitable and productive for us.

    The Earth exists for us to live on and completely conquer and completely overpower and subdue. Earth is matter. Man is mind.

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