Let us agree with the enlightened that the world is imperfect and ought not to be. The cause of imperfection is human error which ought to be eradicated with extreme prejudice. One form of error is deliberate misinformation and the most harmful misinformation comes from those who ought to know better and who are trusted. Professors of philosophy ought to know truth from falsity and are trusted.
Therefore those professors of philosophy who spread misinformation ought to be gutted and strung up by their intestines until dead, both as punishment and as discouragement to others.
Now there is very little in that argument different from the one put forward by academic philosopher Lawrence Torcello in his essay “Is misinformation about the climate criminally negligent?”
The very self-satisfied Torcello says scientists have a moral and “ethical obligation to communicate their findings as clearly as possible to the public.” He claims it is a known truth, one with no uncertainty, that “climate change”, i.e. global warming, kills people and causes multiferous harms. Those that deny these truths publicly deliberately spread misinformation.
Worse, these “deniers” do so for the unethical and immoral gain of thirty pieces of silver. Thus “funding of climate denial” is “criminally and morally negligent.” Poor Torcello concludes the “charge of criminal and moral negligence ought to extend to all activities of the climate deniers who receive funding”. “Deniers” are “criminally negligent in their willful disregard for human life.”
From this, we know Torcello would round up his enemies and exile them. He does not mention how long “deniers” should linger in jail nor whether they should be executed.
There is a technical, philosophical term for the kind of argument Torcello used (and I parodied). But it is harsh and vulgar. I restrain myself from using it to make a larger point. That his pathetic screed can only be the product of blind zealousness coupled with bloodlust and an ignorance of his subject so massive that children as young as three would gasp in horror were they to hear of it.
I have searched Torcello’s public record and nowhere can I discover the man has any familiarity with the physics of fluid flow, nor the chemistry or clouds, nor the field of radiative transfer, nor the science and practicality of computer modeling, nor the statistical and mathematical methods of forecast verification and inverse problems.
Whereas I have formal training in all these subjects; indeed, even certification of them—a PhD from Cornell in Mathematical Statistics (forecast verification), a Masters of Atmospheric Physics (climate model uses and skill), and even a Bachelors in Meteorology (I served a year as a forecaster in the NWS). Add to this a stint as member of the American Meteorological Society’s Probability and Statistics Committee, a several-year term as Assistant Editor of Monthly Weather Review, several “peer-reviewed” articles in the Journal of Climate (these are the leading journals), and many other similar things. (See my Who is WMB page.)
Plus, I have spent years investigating not only the skillfulness of climate models (none, outside a few months ahead) but also the myriad papers which purport to show the evils which await us when global warming finally strikes. These papers, if the authors were to go back and assiduously rework them, might reach the standard of horrible. As it is, they are garbage. Bandwagon, confirmation-bias confirming, intellectually bereft, gimme-a-grant garbage. (See my Classic Posts page.)
Now I have come to the conclusion (it took me many years) that the terror of global warming is akin to many other “fear bubbles” or overblown alarums in history. It is no different in character than the “Satanic Panic” of the late 1990s, where legions of women “remembered”, via the kind assistance of “trained” therapists (folks who also relied on “peer-reviewed” literature), to have been abused by their fathers and to have eaten their babies in dark rituals. The only reason global warming lasted longer than that entertainment is that Global Warming Panic is truly global, involving Peu de Poulets as far away as France (incidentally, birthplace of our modern world).
The grand total of monies and any other form of consideration I have received or been offered for my services to call the ideas of people like Torcello idiotic is, to this date, precisely $0.00 (in 2014 dollars). And, in sad fact, my skepticism has actually cost me money in the form of lost jobs and missed opportunities. Taking a position against the majority is rarely a career-enhancing move. And now would-be Consensus Enforcers are calling for my arrest and imprisonment? And how much money have global warming proponents received?
The earnest enlightened must needs have enemies. Taking the place of Satanic cults and Goldstein in the great Global Warming Conspiracy are the Koch brothers and oil companies. The weak-minded (like Torcello) do not have the mental facilities to imagine there could be honest disagreement. So they invent nefarious forces to explain the derision their obviously brilliant ideas receive—then come the calls for torches and pitchforks. It’s only a wonder they haven’t (yet?) hit upon Jews as their “true” enemy.
Update Delingpoile on the same subject.