By JR on Thursday, February 19, 2015
The wicked Tom Harris
Canadian Tom Harris of the International Climate Science Coalition is roundly criticised for his advocacy of open discussion of climate matters in the article excerpted below. It is a rather long article so I reproduce only the preamble to it. The thing that stands out both in the preamble and in the full article is that it is totally "ad hominem". It is a discussion of persons, not of science. Not a single scientific datum on climate is discussed. It is one long logical fallacy if it is meant as support for Warmism.
It is true that Harris did not present any scientific data either but that was not the point of what he was doing. He was simply calling for open and unhindered debate on climate matters. That the writer below does his best to undermine that speaks volumes of itself.
And the writer would seem to be the sort of hack he claims to deplore. He appears not to know the difference between "censor" and "censure". Harris called for censorship to be censured. The writer below seems to think he wanted it censored! In his last paragraph he says of Harris: "And he demonstrates his own hypocrisy by accusing climate realists of censorship while explicitly calling for censorship himself". What a dummy!
The rather arcane terminology is amusing too. Warmists are called "climate realists" and skeptics are called "climate disruption deniers". All the persons involved are thereby prejudged. Terminology is used in an attempt to dictate the conclusions. The writer is obviously deeply committed to the conclusion he aims to reach. Objectivity? Not even aimed at, it seems. Prejudicing the reader from the beginning is obviously much preferred
Starting in the middle of December, 2014 and continuing through February, 2015, Tom Harris, Executive Director of the industrial climate disruptionA denying International Climate Science Coalition (ICSC), wrote at least eight nearly identical commentaries. They were published mostly in small local newspapers and websites around the United States, Canada, and South Africa. The stated purpose of the commentaries was to call for scholars and philosophers to engage in the public argument over climate disruption (aka global warming or climate change), and Harris wrote that “philosophers and other intellectuals have an ethical obligation to speak out loudly when they see fundamental errors in thinking6.” As S&R hosts an occasional feature called “Climate Illogic,” we accepted Harris’ invitation and looked through his own commentaries for illogical arguments as well as other issues of concern.
As a result of our review, S&R identified five major areas of concern and a troubling observation. First, Harris engages in what is known as “tone trolling,” attempting to distract from an argument by complaining that the language or tactics used by the debaters is offensive. Second, Harris misidentifies many logical errors he alleges are made by others and he commits several logical fallacies of his own. Third, he misunderstands how science can legitimately draw conclusions that are “unequivocal” and discover “truth.” Fourth, he demonstrates a significant lack of understanding of the scientific method in general, the state of climate science in particular, and the differing levels of expertise between climate disruption deniers and climate realists. Fifth, Harris’ commentaries are found to be less about fixing the tone of a supposedly broken debate and more about undermining climate scientists, poisoning the well against any logic experts who actually engage in the discussion, and derailing the discussion as much as possible. Finally, S&R reviews the fundamental asymmetries between climate realists and climate disruption deniers and how those asymmetries enable Harris and his peers to regularly produce distortion-filled commentaries like these.