The Sky Is(n’t) Falling!

I can remember a few years back, when for a month or so you couldn’t turn on the television without seeing an ad for an environmental organization — “Hot Earth” or somesuch — touting the imminent danger of global warming. The first image in the ad was a memorable one — a hazy red sun rising over a desert, the heat visibly wavering the air. Then the voice over: “Scientists know that global warming is real….”

My first thought was that it was an insult to the intelligence. A basic tenet of logic: Never trust an argument that begins with the words “Everybody knows…”. (Such arguments constitute a fallacy known as Argumentum ad Populum, or Appeal to Popularity.) Because it is obvious that many people do not accept the “reality” of global warming, the people behind the ad had to add a bit of a twist to their ad populum: rather than “everybody” knows, it’s “scientists” (a.k.a. “smart people”) know.

Well what do you know? It turns out that several thousand scientists worldwide know something other that what “scientists know”. In fact, they believe it so strongly that a number of them recently spent a good chunk of their own money to create a 27-minute documentary, which they are trying to get aired on Canadian television in opposition to the Kyoto Treaty. Good luck on that.

But with a little luck and a few links, here’s hoping it gets a lot more exposure than they ever expected.

Hat Tip: Peeve Farm

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