Friday, December 09, 2005

Real science is too hard for most people to understand (but it's easy to take the p***)

Global warming is blamed for a coming ice age. Maybe we could halt this by reducing the amount of greenhouse gases we produce, thus causing the earth to get ... colder. Which is what we’re trying to avoid. Okay, instead let’s increase greenhouse gas outputs so that we’ll all be safe and warm. Hang on; warming is wrong, too!

From Tim Blair's blog apropos a recent article in New Scientist on a possible (paradoxical) consequence of global warming. Click the link to see the actual story and as such, it should be so obvious that even the meanest of intellects will see Blair's post for the caricature it is. Here is a snippet:

The ocean current that gives western Europe its relatively balmy climate is stuttering, raising fears that it might fail entirely and plunge the continent into a mini ice age.

A mini ice age for one continent out of seven. And as you'll see when reading the whole article, this is thought to be a consequence of melting ice, which in turn affects ocean currents, which again has a localised affect (decrease of mean temperature) - all due to an overall increase in the Earth's mean temperature. Climatology is complicated - more so than any caricature.

False Positioning - attacking a weakened, exaggerated, over-simplified or otherwise false or distorted form of the opponent's argument rather than the real one. Also known as a "straw man" (because it's easy to knock down).