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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Global warming: the ultimate mental health issue?

Follow-on update to my prior post "Global warming: the ultimate health issue?"

“My uncle was a great professor at MIT for many years. Dr. John Trump,” he said. “And I didn’t talk to him about this particular subject, but I have a natural instinct for science, and I will say that you have scientists on both sides of the picture.”

So Trump’s claim to scientific competence rests on his belief that science is a matter of instinct, and this instinct is passed on genetically, as evidenced by his uncle. Those lucky few possessed of this gift can look at two competing hypotheses and know which one is correct, without needing to study the evidence, or even having a clear understanding of what “evidence” means...
From New York Magazine this morning.
Trump: My ‘Natural Instinct for Science’ Tells Me Climate Science Is Wrong
By Jonathan Chait

…The president of the United States styles himself as a man of science, willing to follow the facts wherever they go. In yet another of his current spate of lunatic ramblings he has decided to share with various media, this time the Associated Press, Trump was asked about the report again, and gave an even crazier response.

Trump asserted that, contrary to the scientific conclusion that pumping heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere has caused an upward ratcheting of temperatures, he sees it as random unexplainable variation: “I agree the climate changes, but it goes back and forth, back and forth.” When the interviewer noted that scientists have concluded otherwise, Trump asserted his own scientific credentials…
Elect a clown, expect a circus. But, hey, what do I know? "I am not a scientist."

From the Chicago Tribune:
Physicist U.S. Rep. Bill Foster says Trump has 'inability to understand the importance of science'

Stay tuned. This is likely to be another accruing long one. There's just so much to consider.


Above, see in particular Trump administration flack Myron Ebell at 3:52. A Google search turns up some stuff characterizing him as a "scientist." Right. He's with the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and a transparently partisan"markets-uber-alles" apologist for incumbent dirty energy extractive industries. He is no scientist. His argument here is basically an circumstantial ad hominem fallacy attacking the IPCC participants of practicing "Soviet Science" -- i.e., that they're UN stooges for an anti-US environmental policy position.

Calls himself the "#1 enemy of climate change alarmism."

But, hey, he lists a "Master of Science" degree from the London School of Economics.

The increasingly popular refrain among politicians, “I am not a scientist,” is just another formulation used to avoid an intelligent discussion of climate. It is not in any way a coherent response because logically the follow-up would be “so I will defer to the consensus of people who are scientists.” 

But the politicians never seem to get to that part. They instead act as though unless there is 100 percent unanimity among scientists, nothing can be known. But they are also contradictorily fully willing to assent to a tiny minority of scientists who happen to be saying what they want to hear. As often as not, the scientists in question are not even climate scientists, but who cares?

Mann, Michael E.. The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial Is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy (p. 9). Columbia University Press. Kindle Edition. 
An actual, accomplished scientist.

In His Own Words.
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More to come...

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