FALLACY ESSAY: CLIMATE CHANGE CONSPIRACY 7
FallacyEssay: Climate Change Conspiracy
In1896, a Swedish climate science enthusiast Svante Arrhenius(1859-1927) introduced his findings on the effects of the fossilfuels on the atmosphere in which he detailed the relationship betweenthe increasing carbon dioxide and the atmospheric temperature (Payne,2014). In this study, he established that the normal surfacetemperature is 15 degrees Celsius, which remains in check due toinfrared absorption capacity of both the carbon dioxide and watervapors (Payne, 2014). The study further revealed that a doubleincrease of carbon dioxide would cause a 5 degrees Celsius increaseinto the atmosphere. The reception of these findings wascharacterized by numerous studies by individual scientists andorganizations, leading to expansion of knowledge on climatology andits dynamics (Douglas & Sutton, 2015). However, the last thirtyyears have seen the original science of climate change receivecriticism and skepticism from people in different fields of science. In particular, James Inhofe developed his skepticism in his book TheGreatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens YourFuture (2012)in which he argued that global warming is a hoax. Similarly,individuals such as Sammy Wilson, Vaclav Klaus, and someorganizations have joined the role to rebuke the established facts ofclimate change and its effects on the environment. Sammy Wilson,Vaclav Klaus and James Inhofe’s arguments that the climate changetheory is a conspiracy evidently reveals the fallacies such as appealto authority, circular argument, non-sequitur and slippery slope.
SenateJames Inhofe’s Claim That Global Warming Is a Hoax
Asa member of The US Senate committee responsible for the environmentand public works, James Inhofe developed interests in criticism ofthe US Environmental Protection Agency’s effort in the reduction ofcarbon emission. He specifically claimed that the organization wasworking secretly to promote political agendas as ordered by those whowere in power (Douglas & Sutton, 2015). Claiming that the EPAwas under the manipulation of political agenda reveals, an attack tothe person fallacy especially when he likened the EPA’sadministrator Carol Browner to the Hitler’s Tokyo Rose (Gordon,2014). In his determination to convince the audience to accept hisarguments, Senate James Inhofe went ahead asking, “is the man-madeglobal warming not the greatest hoax perpetrated on the people ofAmerica considering all the hysteria and the fear due to phonyscience?” Such question was not only intended to seek people’sagreement with his ideas but also reveals biased conclusion withmisinterpretation of information in the form of begging the questionfallacy.
Hefurther stated that the links between the fossil fuels such as coaland petrol as presented by the scientist of climate change wereunsubstantiated (Gordon, 2014). However, he failed to provide anyfactual evidence but instead played around with the evidence theclimate change alarmists were using. For instance, he specificallypointed out how the models used may have led to inaccuracies (Biello,2016). Such claim is an error of circular argument in which theevidence supporting his arguments were borrowed or originated fromthe alarmists’ database. Consequently, this claim further confirmedhis illogical conclusion on matters of climate change.
Furthermore,James argued that the hoax was directed to serve the global warmingregimes such as the Kyoto Protocol and United Nation`sIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that focused on thedevelopment of policies to control the economy and world politics(Biello, 2016). According to him, such entities enforced regulationsand policies that targeted harvesting a large amount of citizen’shard-earned money in the name of taxes. In line with this argument,he concluded that even if the global warming were a reality, boththese regimes (Kyoto Protocol and United Nation’s IntergovernmentalPanel on Climate Change) would not fix it but only God can. Suchconclusion indicated a naturalistic fallacy especially when heinserted that the climate variation is a natural occurrence beyondhuman control.
SammyWilson’s Claim That the Anthropogenic Climate Change Is a Big Con.
Inhis position as the Minister of the Environment of the NorthernIreland, Sammy Wilson felt compelled to declare publicly that theclimate change campaigns are the systems established to misuse theresources legally (Wilson, 2008). He asserted that the campaigns forreducing carbon emission seek to deprive third world countriesbillions of dollars that would rather be allocated in the fightagainst HIV and famine (Wilson, 2008 Biello, 2016). During thistime, he further added that he will not be “stopped to say whatshould be said about the global warming” as his critics tried todo. Statement revealed an argument against the environmentalist (adhominem fallacy) who criticized his climate change denial.
Moreover,he argued that global warming is a “myth” whose foundations isdodgy science by the climate alarmist seeking to scare the masswithout any knowledge on the climate change (Payne, 2014). In thisargument, he said, “most of the alarmists of climate change havenot read even a single article about it” therefore, unaware of theconnection between the carbon emission and global warming they claimto exist (Wilson, 2008). Such claim is based on the appeal toignorance fallacy since he thought that climate alarmist have nosufficient information about the climate change yet they havedeveloped and enforced policies to reduce carbon emission.
Similarto the James Inhofe, Sammy Wilson asserted that climate change isnatural phenomena, which is beyond people’s ability (Wilson, 2008).Therefore, he concluded that humans are unable to prevent it, butthey can focus on adapting to its effects by appropriately allocatingthe available resources. Such argument is based on the naturalisticfallacy that involving holding something powerful or above thenatural hierarchy as responsible for human redemption even in casespreventable to man. In addition, syllogism fallacy is evident in hisconclusion statement that humans cannot prevent further carbonemission into the atmosphere but can be more efficient and lesswasteful when using fossil fuels, which further proved contradictionpremise fallacy.
VaclavKlaus’s claims that global warming is “a communist conspiracy."
VaclavKlaus is a Czech politician who worked as the president and the primeminister between the years 2003 and 2013 (Payne, 2014). Like theAmerican James Inhofe, he developed a strong criticism against theclimate change alarmists specifically on the anthropogenic aspects ofthe warming, claiming that the Intergovernmental Panel on ClimateChange (IPCC) is “a group of scientist with an assignment tofulfill the political opinions” (Kirchick, 2013). He attacked theother politicians who were in the group of the climate changealarmists by saying that they fear to raise their doubts on alreadyestablished climate science facts because the “whip of politicalcorrectness blocked their voices” (Kirchick, 2013). Since he lackedevidence to support his claim, the argument proves an attack onperson fallacy. That is to say, he attacked his fellow politicians toinsist on his argument. In addition, he expressed thatenvironmentalists are under the control of communists who“manipulates people’s behaviors through the economic systems.”(Kirchick, 2013) In this case, he clearly meant that climate changeis a conspiracy by the communists.
Inone of his 2007 public talks, Klaus called one interviewer“absolutely arrogant” for expressing his (the interviewer)satisfaction with the scientific consensus on climate change(Kirchick, 2013: Klaus, 2011). Such response given by Klaus revealsan attack on person fallacy usually exhibited by an individual whenhe strives to force his argument or idea to an opponent. In 2007, hepublished his book Blue Planet in Green Shackles in which hedeveloped his philosophical hypothesis that “Global warming theoryand its causes is valueless and dangerous.”(Klaus, 2011). In thecontent of this paper, he stated that if any evidence of globalwarming, it can only be derived from the benefits it would have onthe planet especially in the agricultural sector (Klaus, 2011). Suchclaim is based on the dichotomy fallacy since Klaus believed that theanthropogenic global warming could only benefit the planet if notdestroy.
Inbrief, both the climate alarmists and the deniers argue in ways toprove the other people wrong. However, the climate deniers includingthe skeptics and conspiracy theorists base their arguments on someassumptions without some scientific evidence. For instance, VaclavKlaus and Sammy Wilson believed that if global warming exists, itmight not have much effect on agriculture or ecosystems asenvironmentalists claim. James Inhofe argued that the carbon emittedfrom fossil fuels always find its fate in the ocean or in thevegetation where it is absorbed. Some other theorists believe thatreducing carbon emission is irrelevant since the water vapors aremost dangerous greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Finally, thebelief that the climatologists and other scientists manipulate theirdata and models to generate popularity which tends to bring themmoney and prestige at the expense of the innocent citizens. However,most of these theories by the deniers of skeptics such as Sherwood BIdso reveals unlimited fallacies in their arguments as evident inSammy Wilson, Vaclav Klaus, and James Inhofe’s theories.
Biello,D. (2016). The Carbon Capture fallacy. ScientificAmerican,314(1),58-65
Douglas,K. M., & Sutton, R. M. (2015). Climate change: Why the conspiracytheories are dangerous. Bulletinof the Atomic Scientists,71(2), 98-106. Doi: 10.1177/0096340215571908
Gordon,J. (2014). TheGreatest Hoax, by Senator James Inhofe.Ontheissues.org.Retrieved 30 September 2016, fromhttp://www.ontheissues.org/Greatest_Hoax.htm
Kirchick,J. (2013). BadKing Klaus: The Failings of a Czech President – Spiegel Online.Retrieved 30 September 2016, fromhttp://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/bad-king-klaus-the-failings-of-a-czech-president-a-885928.html
Klaus,V. (2011). Climate Change: The Dangerous Faith. QuadrantMagazine,55(9), 8-10.
Payne,J. L. (2014). The Real Case against Activist Global Warming Policy.IndependentReview,19(2), 265-270.
Wilson,S. (2008). SammyWilson: I still think man-made climate change is a con -BelfastTelegraph.co.uk.BelfastTelegraph.co.uk.fromhttp://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/environment/sammy-wilson-i-still-think-manmade-climate-change-is-a-con-28515999.html