What Fresh Hell Is This?

August 22, 2013

The Trib's Climate Strawman Argument

Before proceeding, we gotta answer the question, "What's a strawman argument?"

Here's an answer:
A straw man argument is one that misrepresents a position in order to make it appear weaker than it actually is, refutes this misrepresentation of the position, and then concludes that the real position has been refuted.
So. How has Scaife's braintrust on the editorial board of the Tribune-Review committed that local fallacy today?

Take a look:
A funny thing happened on the way to Obama & Co.'s “grassroots” effort claiming “climate change” is wreaking all manner of weather havoc. The website wattsupwiththat.com notes that we typically have about 1,200 tornadoes by this time each year. But this year, there have been only about 720 reported twisters. What's a climate clucker to do? [Bolding in original]
Their point only makes sense if ""wreaking all manner of weather havoc" includes an increase in the number of tornadoes.  Meaning that if the "climate cluckers" are saying that climate change will increase the number of tornadoes while the number of tornadoes has actually decreased, then there'd be a problem, right?

Too bad that's not the "climate cluckers" argument.  How do I know?

From the IPCC report:
Although some evidence is available regarding increases in the intensity and frequency of some extreme weather events, it is not yet clear how tornadoes will be affected.
And according to wunderground, this has been the position of the IPCC since 2007.
Um, guys?  Do you even bother to do any independent research before writing your editorials?  Merely echoing stuff you find on science denial websites does not constitute adequate research and you're deceiving your readership by doing so.

1 comment:

The Bleat said...

I think we are beginning to live in a society in which we think in strawman arguments. It's the age of solipsism.