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St Andrews University: Global Warming Loses Formal Debate (AGW Can't Argue Facts, Must Insult)
IceCAP - Political Columns ^ | Mar 06, 2009 | Dr Richard Courtney

Posted on 03/06/2009 9:45:16 AM PST by Robert A. Cook, PE

Mar 06, 2009 St Andrews University Debating Society

By Richard Courtney

I write to report on a debate that defeated the motion “This House Believes Global Warming is a Global Crisis” during a meeting of the St Andrews University Debating Society. It is difficult to arrange a debate of anthropogenic (that is, man-made) global warming (AGW) because few proponents of AGW are willing to face such debate. They know from past experience that they always lose such debates because there is no evidence that AGW exists and much evidence that it does not.

However, on Wednesday 4 March 2009, the St Andrews University Debating Society held their debate of the motion, “This House Believes Global Warming is a Global Crisis” in the Old Parliament Building, St Andrews. The debate was organized and presided over with exemplary efficiency and professionalism by the Speaker of the Society, Ms Jessica Siegel. It was conducted with all the pomp and ceremony that could be expected of an ancient society of so ancient and prestigious a university.

And the debate was lively, informative and entertaining. It got emotional at times. Some of the contributions from the floor were of exceptionally high quality. But, it was somewhat spoiled by the weakness of the proponents of the motion. (I have good reason to suspect this weakness is because stronger speakers could not be obtained to propose the motion. If so, then it is yet another example of leading proponents of AGW fearing to face their critics in open debate).

The proponents of the motion were Ross Finnie MSP, former Scottish Government Minister for Environment and Rural Development; Mike Robinson, Chief Executive of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society and Chair of Stop Climate Chaos Scotland; Gregory Norminton, Novelist ‘Serious Things’, Environmental Activist, Founder of ‘Alliance against Urban 4x4s’

The motion was opposed by myself, and Nils-Axel Morner, Leader of the Maldives International Sea-Level Project who was awarded the ‘Golden Contrite of Merits’ by Algarve University, Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, Former advisor to then UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and now an Investigator of Scientific Frauds.

Each speaker was given a strict maximum of 7 minutes to speak. The speakers would alternate between proponents and opponents of the motion until all 6 had spoken. No speaker was allowed to speak more than once except to raise a point of information, order, or etc.

The proponents had clearly not prepared. They were not co-ordinated in their presentations, they each lacked any significant knowledge of the science of AGW, and they each assumed that AGW is a fact. None of them made a substantial presentati on of arguments supporting the motion, and they all (including the politician!) lacked adequate skills at public speaking. The opponents of the motion were a sharp contrast to that. They each have significant expertise in their subject, and they had agreed the case they were to put and how they were to put it. Also, they are all very competent public speakers and their very different styles made their presentation much better than the sum of its parts.

Finnie spoke first. He argued that AGW is a fact because the United Nations (UN) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has published its Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) that says the IPCC is “90% certain” that AGW exists. From this he claimed there is a “crisis” because governments are failing to give the matter sufficient importance. It is necessary for governments to de cide a treaty that would follow-on from the Kyoto Ptotocol that intends to constrain emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) but ends in 2012. The decision needs to be made at a meeting later this year.

I replied by outlining the case for the opposition. My speech is copied here. It asserts that governments do need to have policies on climate change but empirical evidence denies the existence of AGW and so there is no need to constrain fossil fuel emissions. Indeed, the harm caused by the emission constraints would be greater than any harm that AGW could induce if it were to exist.

Robinson’s response was very angry. He seemed to think attacking the opposition speakers would provide a victory for the motion. Almost his entire speech was attempted defamation of the opposition speakers. Within seconds of starting to speak he had accused them of being “like supporters of the Nazis in 1930s Germany” (my family lost everything in the blitz so I did not take kindly to that). The speakers on the opposition side “could not get anything published in peer-reviewed journals” (Morner and I each shouted out that we have and we do). And much of the same. He said people and governments must act to stop global warming (but he did not say how they should act) because - according to him - if a person had an elevated temperature of 2 degrees then he would die so we cannot let the Earth get 2 degrees hotter in case that kills the Earth.

Morner then gave a witty, entertaining and informative lecture on sea level change. The major potential threat from AGW is severe sea-level change. He interacted with the audience and selected one individual to ja pe with (his skill at this selection was later demonstrated when that individual stood and gave a speech that won the prize - of a Society neck-tie - for best speech from the floor). Morner presented data that showed sea level is not rising as a result of AGW at a detectable rate anywhere.

Norminton then spoke to conclude the case for the proponents of the motion. Like Finnie he seemed to be extremely nervous: both were shaking during their presentations. Norminton’s hand was shaking so much he put it into his pocket. (I know others interpret this to be nervousness, but I think it was extreme anger: Norminton had not expected any opposition to the motion, and the assertion of clear evidence that AGW does not exist was - to him - an outrage too hard to accept.) Also, like Finnie, he did not address the motion. He said he was not a scientist so he had to accept the word of scientists about global warming and scientists agree that gl obal warming is real and man-made. He said, the speakers on the opposition side were “not scientists”. Lord Monckton interjected that “Courtney and Morner are”. And Norminton replied, “So was Mengele.” Monckton raised a Point of Order demanding withdrawal of the remark. Norminton lacked the wit to withdraw and move on, so he refused to withdraw. Monckton persisted pressing the Point of Order and Norminton continued to refuse to withdraw. Only moments before Morner had made himself the lecturer the students would most like to have, and support for Norminton drained away as he insisted that Morner was akin to a murderer operating in a Nazi concentration camp. Norminton continued by saying the threat of global warming was real, and it was killing polar bears, but it is not clear that anybody was listening to him.

Monckton then summated the case for the opposition. He had not prepared a speech but took notes of the proponents’ speeches with a view to refuting arguments of the proponents that Morner and myself had not covered, and by defending the opposition case against rebuttals of its arguments. This was a deliberate use by our side of Monckton’s debating skills. But he had a problem because the proponents of the motion had not made a case and they had not addressed any of our arguments. Instead, they had made personal attacks on the opposition speakers, and they had asserted - with no evidence or argument - that the IPCC is right. So, Monckton’s summarizing speech consisted of evidence that the proponents of the motion had merely provided errors of logic and fact but they had not a case. He pointed out that polar bears had quadrupled their number in recent decades and this was not a sign that their species is threatened. And he cited and named each of the logical fallacies utilized by the proponents of the motion.

The debate then opened to the floor. Four persons each spoke well. One gave a balanced pr esentation and the other three spoke in favour of the motion. But by then the debate had been settled. Prior to the debate the opponents of the motion had expected to lose the vote because the students have been exposed to a lifetime (i.e. their short lifetime) of pro-AGW propaganda. We consoled ourselves with the certainty that we would win the arguments because opponents of AGW have all the facts on our side. But in the event we won both. The motion was defeated when put to the vote.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: agw; debate; globalwarming; hoax; standrews
Long piece, but it shows the complete INABILITY of the AGW extremists/environmentalists to even debate the facts - note the anger and hatred and extremism - The vicious reuse and reuse and reuse of their (anti-Soviet socialism!!) Nazi curses.

Compare with Hansen's recent "death trains" of coal, the entire "global warming denier" label - to match the Holocaust denier" and neo-nazi" labels, the use of Mengale (as a "scientist!") .....

1 posted on 03/06/2009 9:45:17 AM PST by Robert A. Cook, PE
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To: xcamel; steelyourfaith; neverdem

reference: Notice how the “religion” of AGW and environmentalism requires “conversion” from their current view when presented by the facts and actual global trends in temperature, gas levels, and the earth’s responses.

Not conversation. They can’t “converse” about this topic. They can’t “reason” about it.


2 posted on 03/06/2009 9:48:14 AM PST by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but socialists' ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE; Entrepreneur; Defendingliberty; WL-law; Genesis defender; proud_yank; FrPR; ...
Thanx !

 




Beam me to Planet Gore !

3 posted on 03/06/2009 9:50:40 AM PST by steelyourfaith (Yo, Washingtonians, the American people called. They DEMAND their country back.)
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE

Wow, great post! Thanks for posting it!


4 posted on 03/06/2009 9:52:39 AM PST by MeganC (Palin-Limbaugh 2012)
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To: MeganC

Ditto!


5 posted on 03/06/2009 9:55:52 AM PST by agere_contra (So ... where's the birth certificate?)
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE

That’s the same old liberal M.O. If you can’t defend your position, personally attack the opposition.


6 posted on 03/06/2009 9:58:04 AM PST by BubbaBasher ("Thus always to tyrants.")
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE

I have been amazed at the number of people who buy into the AGW garbage. Unbelievable.


7 posted on 03/06/2009 9:58:25 AM PST by texmexis best (uency)
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE

Nice post!


8 posted on 03/06/2009 10:01:17 AM PST by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE

Any video?


9 posted on 03/06/2009 10:02:43 AM PST by TexasCajun
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE

Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

Possible new tag line.


10 posted on 03/06/2009 10:04:15 AM PST by pappyone (New to Freep, still working a tag line.)
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE

Nice to see that reason is not entirely dead.


11 posted on 03/06/2009 10:06:28 AM PST by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE

Great post, thanks!


12 posted on 03/06/2009 10:07:05 AM PST by Oldeconomybuyer (The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.)
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE

Many years ago as a B team debate I remember going to listen to a debate team from Oxford debate a well respected team from the US.
I still remember the Oxford team-their wit, their attention to detail, and finally their love of the craft.


13 posted on 03/06/2009 10:09:22 AM PST by Maine Mariner
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE

Many years ago as a B team debater I remember going to listen to a debate team from Oxford debate a well respected team from the US.
I still remember the Oxford team-their wit, their attention to detail, and finally their love of the craft.


14 posted on 03/06/2009 10:10:43 AM PST by Maine Mariner
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To: texmexis best

I’ve seen the St. Andrews debates on TV from time to time. Anyone know if this will be aired in the US?


15 posted on 03/06/2009 10:19:50 AM PST by Yollopoliuhqui
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE

Good post. Thanks.


16 posted on 03/06/2009 10:34:12 AM PST by Ditto
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE

Thanks for the fantastic post!
Another great item on the site is “It’s the Sun, Stupid!”
Has it been posted?
I’m on lunch and lazy or I’d check...


17 posted on 03/06/2009 10:37:40 AM PST by astyanax (Status quo, you know, is Latin for 'the mess we're in.' Ronald Reagan)
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE
Great post! The British really do excel in debating skills. The Opposition must have really destroyed the Proponents to win a vote of university students.
18 posted on 03/06/2009 10:44:13 AM PST by colorado tanker (Oh my God, am I hoping for change.)
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE
P.S. No wonder Algore won't debate Monckton!
19 posted on 03/06/2009 10:45:14 AM PST by colorado tanker (Oh my God, am I hoping for change.)
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To: astyanax
Another great item on the site is “It’s the Sun, Stupid!”
Has it been posted?

Put up that one last night over here on Free Republic.

20 posted on 03/06/2009 10:52:07 AM PST by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but socialists' ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: BubbaBasher

“If the facts are on your side, argue the facts. If not, pound the table!”


21 posted on 03/06/2009 10:56:08 AM PST by r-q-tek86 (The U.S. Constitution may be flawed, but it's a whole lot better than what we have now)
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE
He argued that AGW is a fact because the United Nations (UN) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has published its Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) that says the IPCC is “90% certain” that AGW exists. From this he claimed there is a “crisis” because governments are failing to give the matter sufficient importance.

This in a tried and true technique which has enjoyed great success for almost 20 years.
I submit the following as proof:

Reminds me of a fascinating quote from a Chinese Com government during the "International Woman's Conference" held in China during the Clinton administration. The government official said ..."that they studied Hillary's speechmaking method to understand her power and success. They concluded: her trick was never actually to make any arguments -- just state conclusions that were all already accepted as self-evident by her audience.
(They found that interesting and perhaps admirable, and to be emulated).

22 posted on 03/06/2009 11:41:12 AM PST by Publius6961 (Change is not a plan; Hope is not a strategy.)
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To: r-q-tek86

If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bull ...


23 posted on 03/06/2009 11:55:40 AM PST by the_devils_advocate_666
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE

Thanks for the Post. BTTT.


24 posted on 03/06/2009 12:19:06 PM PST by PA Engineer (Liberate America from the occupation media.)
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To: Publius6961; patton; neverdem
The government official said ...”that they studied Hillary's speechmaking method to understand her power and success. They concluded: her trick was never actually to make any arguments — just state conclusions that were all already accepted as self-evident by her audience.

Is this contrast to the Republicans method of debate - Which is to concede every point brought up by the liberal and then claim that “Well, we are going to do that too!”; and never-ever-never absolutely state “That is a lie, and you know it is a lie, and I demand you retract that lie!”

25 posted on 03/06/2009 6:13:50 PM PST by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but socialists' ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE

Maybe he saw this ... http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2200792/posts


26 posted on 03/06/2009 8:35:17 PM PST by Wil H (No Accomplishments, No Experience, No Resume No Records, No References, Nobama..)
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE

XLNT


27 posted on 03/06/2009 8:36:29 PM PST by nufsed
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE

Thanks for the thread, it’s an enjoyable read.


28 posted on 03/06/2009 9:22:28 PM PST by Balding_Eagle (If Liberals would pay their taxes, there would be no deficit..)
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