Al Gore’s Logical Fallacies of Global Warming

It’s funny how a divinity school drop-out is viewed by a large (and deceived) segment of society as being able to predict what will happen to God’s creation.

There are so many holes in Al Gore’s arguments that his global warming boat is now finally starting to sink.  It is taking on water at an even faster rate with the exposure of the fraud perpetrated by the East Anglia crowd (who are the primary providers of “data” to the UN’s IPCC, who the uninformed have viewed as an authority on global warming UNTIL NOW).

Mr. McDurmon does a passable job of explaining how just the LOGICAL errors in Gore’s “reasoning” shoot down his own arguments.  The documented evidence McDurmon provides (supported authoritatively by many, more credible scientists than those proponents of “global warming”) also highlights the logical AND scientific fallacies of the global warming argument.

As Mr. McDurmon sums up, “global warming”/climate change is simply a CONVENIENT LIE to push an agenda of CONTROL over populations and money.  IT HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH SAVING THE PLANET.


http://www.americanvision.org/print/printpage.php

Logical Fallacies of Global Warming

by Joel McDurmon, Dec 18, 2009

Excerpts from Biblical Logic: In Theory and Practice

One of the “Fallacies of Cause” I address in my book Biblical Logic is one that confuses simultaneity for causation. In other words, just because two things occur at or near the same time, someone may fallaciously assume that one caused the other. We call this Cum Hoc Propter Hoc, which is Latin for “With this, because of this.” The same exposure of folly as the After This Fallacy applies here to the With This Fallacy: a myriad of possible causes exist—many we may not even see or know of—for every given occurrence. This creates a high probability for false causes, even for events that seem to concur in time. Correlation in time cannot guarantee a causal link.

Al Gore’s False Cause

One of the concerning examples I use comes from Al Gore’s crusade against global warming. In his video An Inconvenient Truth, he uses correlational data to back his points: “If you look at a thousand years worth of temperature, and compare it to a thousand years of CO2, you can see how well they fit together.” He admits that the relationship between carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and temperature is very complicated, but states that the most important relationship is this: “when there is more Carbon Dioxide, the temperature gets warmer, because it traps more heat from the sun inside.” Gore, famously now, presents pictures of melted glaciers and icecaps, along with warnings of increases in hurricanes and storms, flooded port cities due to rising ocean levels, and other climate catastrophes should we not immediately begin to reduce carbon emissions and our use of hydrocarbons (a scare-tactic, or Appeal to Fear). More importantly, he correlates modern human activity with the increase in carbon dioxide levels, implying that since humans cause global warming we must take drastic measures to reduce it.

Of course, all of this abuses the “With This” correlational fallacy many times over. To begin with, CO2 is not the primary cause of the “greenhouse effect” that results in higher temperatures. At least two other factors greatly outweigh it: solar activity and another more important greenhouse gas, water vapor. The Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine argues in a detailed paper, “Atmospheric temperature is regulated by the sun, which fluctuates in activity … by the greenhouse effect, largely caused by atmospheric water vapor (H2O); and by other phenomena that are more poorly understood.”[1] Changes in solar radiation correlate more closely and for a longer period of history with temperature changes than do Gore’s graphs of CO2. As well, “While major greenhouse gas H2O substantially warms the Earth, minor greenhouse gases such as CO2 have little effect.[2]

On top of this, while global temperatures have indeed risen in recent decades, proponents of Gore’s scare-tactics rarely mention that temperatures for centuries prior cooled considerably. The current rise merely corrects the previous “Little Ice Age.” The warming trend has occurred for much longer than Gore emphasizes, and has created effects that belie more of his claims:

[M]easurements show that the trend of 7 inches per century increase in sea level and the shortening trend in average glacier length both began a century before 1940, yet 84% of total annual human hydrocarbon use occurred only after 1940. Moreover, neither of these trends has accelerated during the period between 1940 and 2007, while hydrocarbon use increased 6 fold.[3]

This scientific paper, which stands behind a petition signed by over 31,000 American scientists, concludes,

There are no experimental data to support the hypothesis that increases in human hydrocarbon use or in atmospheric carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are causing or can be expected to cause unfavorable changes in global temperature, weather, or landscape. There is no reason to limit human production of CO2, CH4, or other minor greenhouse gases as has been proposed.[5]

So it seems that—despite Al Gore’s claims about having a “scientific consensus” (a fallacious Appeal to Authority)—other obvious, more relevant, and powerful causes exist to explain global temperature changes other than those claimed by Al Gore (as well as the United Nations and those who follow it). Al’s An Inconvenient Truth contains little more than one big craftily presented With This Because of This Fallacy (packaged with a few other fallacies).

So why would Gore and others present the story this way? Note how he and other liberals intend to “solve” the problem: they propose a tax on carbon emissions as well as a global system of “cap-and-trade” on hydrocarbon usage. In plain language, these measures amount to a redistribution of wealth where more prosperous people and nations that use more fuel end up paying tons of money to third-world nations that do not. “Global Warming” simply acts as a mask and a fear factor for advancing the leftist political agenda, and increasing global government control of free and prosperous nations like the United States. Global warming is not an “inconvenient truth,” it is a convenient lie.[5]

Al Gore’s Slippery Slope

The Fallacy of Slippery Slope involves the claim that if a particular action is taken it will inevitably lead to another particular and undesirable event, or series of events. The idea imagines, for example, that a person who takes a first step onto a steep slope will slide all the way to the bottom. Therefore, it argues, it is better to avoid that first step altogether. But this assumes a number of things (keeping with the metaphor): 1) that the slope actually exists; 2) that the slope is steep enough to cause someone to slip; 3) that the person stepping has not prepared some means of adequate footing, for example, special boots or ropes; and 4) that the slope actually leads exactly where the arguer claims it does. All of these assumptions, and probably more, indicate that Slippery Slope thinking is fallacious without lots of supporting qualifications.

Al Gore creates a gross Slippery Slope argument with his claims about increasing greenhouse gases in the future. The now-debunked graph that his film An Inconvenient Truth popularized earned the nickname “the hockey stick” because it shows only mild fluctuations in the amount of CO2 until the last few decades, and then drastically shoots upward—thus forming the shape of a hockey stick. Even if his graph represented the data accurately (it does not), this would still not warrant the conclusion that Gore draws from it. In order to make his rhetorical point he mounts a man-lift and elevates it several feet high. He then points to the top of a big screen where the spike on his graph goes “off the charts.” Such is the radical future we face if we do not cut CO2 emission!

Of course this unwarranted extrapolation commits classically fallacious Slippery Slope thinking. Anyone could make any kind of radical prediction like this by simply extending the last upswing or down-tick of data indefinitely. The real question remains, “Is such an extrapolation warranted?” (Remember the books DOW 30,000, DOW 36,000, and DOW 40,000, all predicting wild extrapolations for the stock market?) And still then, even if the data warrants such a speculation, it cannot prove such a speculative event will come to pass, simply because many factors could yet affect the future.

Peter corrected a reverse application of “Slippery Slope to doomsday” thinking in his day. Instead, God’s judgment did loom very near on the Jewish people as Jesus had predicted. Critics of the promised return of Christ argued that since Christ had not yet returned for sometime (probably nearing 40 years) therefore the promise was a hoax and Christ would never return. Peter relates their fallacy:

Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation” (2 Pet. 3:3–4).

Peter corrects their fallacy by reminding them who actually controls the slope of history:

But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance (2 Pet. 3:8–9).

Like so many fallacies that people commit, the remedy lies in the fact that God reigns supreme, and His Word shall come to pass. Any human reasoning that deviates from this standard risks all manner of fallacy. Al Gore may have learned that had he not quit divinity school. Instead, he is abusing human reason hoping to further break God’s law: to steal from some nations and give to others. At least it’s easy to see through.

Endnotes:

[1] Arthur B. Robinson, Noah E. Robinson and Willie Soon, “Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide,” Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons 12:3 (Fall 2007):79. Available at http://www.jpands.org/vol12no3/robinson.pdf (accessed February 11, 2009).
[2]
Arthur B. Robinson, et al, “Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide,” 79.
[3]
Arthur B. Robinson, et al, “Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide,” 82. Emphasis mine.
[4]
Arthur B. Robinson, et al, “Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide,” 89.
[5]
See also Christopher C. Horner, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism (Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 2007).


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One Response

  1. I think http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2009/20090616_climatereport.html is better work.

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