Recently I created a meme with a quote by yours truly:
Here’s the thing though, the word ‘evidence’ in this quote has an important implied meaning: Good or High-Quality Evidence!
With this in mind, I was recently presented with a YouTube video as evidence for a cooling Earth… yep, that’s right… not just
implying that global warming wasn’t real, but claiming the opposite, that in fact, the Earth is cooling!
I watched the video and it turns out to be a great teaching tool for critical thinking about science. So I turd mined out each claim in the video, so you don’t have to watch it… unless you want a good laugh!
Also, the video is making claims supposedly based on a book written by John Casey called: Dark Winter: How the sun is causing a 30 year cold spell.
In this post I only examine the claims made in the video, it is not a rebuttal to the cited book. I’m doing this because many times when discussing science issues with people, YouTube videos are a common form of misinformation, and this video is a good teaching tool for critical thinking about science.
However, I’m sure someone else has already debunked the book, but if the claims made in the video really do come from the book, then this is a flaming piece of shit of a book, and a waste of dead trees!
To start, let’s all agree that there is a lot of bullshit and misinformation on the web. Modern humans need a toolkit to be able to identify bullshit. That toolkit is Scientific Skepticism and Critical Thinking!
Click here or on the image below to watch a video about a Baloney Detection Kit. I’m going to use many of the steps in this kit to explore this issue.
But don’t we need to keep an open mind?
Yes, but having an open mind doesn’t mean we accept any claim, it simply means we are willing to examine the evidence.
However, the more outrages the claim, the more persuasive the evidence needs to be.
The first thing to ask is:
What’s the source of the video?
This is important because anyone can make any claim they want on the Internet. Some sources are more reliable than other sources.
For example, if 13-year-old Jonny Nobody puts a video on YouTube claiming the Chinese are mounting a large-scale military invasion of the United States, you probably wouldn’t freak out, because that is an outrages claim, and based on the source, it is highly improbable.
In Contrast, if CNN, FOX News, NBC News, and The New York Times all made the same claim… it’s time to start shitting your pants!
What other kinds of claims do they make?
This video is from a YouTube channel called The Cosmos News, with playlists on UFOs and the Paranormal, with video titles including:
“Monstrous Alien Spider or Crab Spotted On Mars!” and
“Star Child or Alien Hybrid?”
Probably not a great source for science news LOL!
Now, just because a source isn’t reliable, doesn’t mean it is always wrong, but it should be a red flag that gets your skeptical senses tingling.
But let’s examine the claims made in the video anyway.
Claim: The video makes many claims about the author of the book. His name is John Casey, and the video claims he is a climatologist, former space shuttle engineer, a consultant for NASA, and the president of the Space and Science Research Corp.
Ok, let’s start off with, how can he be a climatologist and a space shuttle engineer? He’s either full of shit, or a super genius! Surprisingly (***sarcasm***), you can’t find shit about this guy. I found a Facebook page for the Space and Science Research corp. but the website they listed is actually for sale. I don’t know about you, but if I thought the world was headed into an Ice Age, I’d at least have a website… I mean, I’m a full-time college student, I work part-time, and let’s face it… I’m kind of a slacker, and even I have a website and a couple blogs!
According to an interview he gave, Casey claims to have a B.A. in physics and mathematics from JSU, and an M.A. in management… Management! LOL!
This is not the educational background of a climatologist or a space shuttle engineer… more like someone in administration! I was able to locate a document from NASA with the name John L. Casey on it. While I can’t be sure it’s the same John L. Casey, the document is concerned with establishing management procedures and seems to hire John L. Casey Corporation to assist in this. Now that seems like a job for someone with an M.A. in management!
Oh, and one other thing, John Casey has never published a single scientific paper in a scientific journal! EVER!!! Casey appears to be a scam artist, and others have called him out for exactly that.
Are they playing by the rules of science?
It is essential to understand one of the most important measures in the scientific method is peer review. If someone wants to make any science claim, they need to play by the rules of science, and publish a paper in a peer review journal, otherwise, they’re just some douche from Florida trying to sell a book!
So, to be clear, just because someone has zero credentials to be making a science claim doesn’t necessarily mean they are wrong, but the video is implying that Casey’s credentials give us a reason to believe him.
This is a fallacy called an appeal to authority, and it’s super funny because he doesn’t even have good credentials!
Another Claim: There are prominent scientists that support Casey including one obscure Russian astrophysicist.
Claiming one, or a few (obscure) scientists share your view is not good evidence! This is also an appeal to authority fallacy.
As I am not a publishing climate scientist, the most rational thing to do is to see if there is a consensus on the issue among currently publishing scientists, in the relevant field, and if so, assume the position taken by the vast majority of experts is the most plausible position.
As far as human-caused global warming is concerned, this is a no brainier!
Where does the preponderance of evidence point?
Anybody who knows even a little about climate change should know the consensus on climate change has been getting closer and closer to 100% of publishing climate scientists every year.
In a one year period between 2013- 2014, there were over 24,000 papers (peer-reviewed) published, by actual climate scientists, by over 69,000 scientists, and out of those, only 4 rejected human-caused climate change!
That’s a consensus of OVER 99.9 %!!!
Even crazier, the video makes multiple claims that are just DEMONSTRABLY WRONG!
Here’s all the earth is cooling bullshit claims from the video:
Claim: Al Gore and Environmentalist have it completely wrong.The earth is cooling, and cooling fast. Cold dark days are ahead.
Claim: We are headed into cooling period similar to 1645-1850 little ice age.
Claim: 30 year period of cold has already begun. Claim: The oceans are cooling
Claim: since 2007 atmospheric temperature is cooling
Claim: Looking at 100 years of temperature, there’s a steep drop after 2007.
Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope.
The earth is most definitely warming, (well according to actual data from actual scientists anyway).
Here is the data from NASA, (where Casey supposedly consulted and built shuttles, lol!):
It’s the exact opposite of every claim! It’s sooooo wrong, it’s like saying gravity makes stuff fall up! That’s why I found this video in-fucking-credibly hilarious!!!
Here are another couple funny claims:
Claim: Earth is cooling because of diminishing solar activity.
Claim: Main driver of global climate is solar activity, mainly sunspots, which correspond to global temperatures with a 90% accuracy.
Nope! Scientists believe the main driver of the current WARMING, not cooling, of our climate, is due to increased greenhouse gasses… I mean unless you ask douchebags claiming to be scientists, trying to sell a shitty book, from Florida, with an M.A. In management LOL!
The video also makes these claims, and then asks a question… let’s see if we can answer it for them:
Question: How can scientist claim it’s warming when it’s cooling?
I could be wrong, but my guess is they don’t use meaningless drivel like “Trust natural cycles…” To formulate opinions on science.
They are probably looking at actual data, from actual scientists, in actual peer review journals, while aware of the consensus of over 99.9% of actual climate scientists, and coming to the most rational possible conclusion that the globe is warming due to increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, because of human activities, causing the climate to change…
but I mean it could be their brains are infected with alien spider crabs from Mars that came here on UFOs… either one really…
Are personal beliefs driving the claims?
People have biases, we tend to look for things that support our beliefs. Religion, politics, and emotions play a role in how we see the evidence. Pointing to evidence that supports our beliefs while ignoring the evidence that doesn’t support our beliefs is a type of cognitive bias called Confirmation Bias. Denying science because of belief has a long history stretching back to Socrates, Galileo, and of course, Darwin.
As far as I can tell, the Palm Beach County Tea Party is a fan of John L. Casey. That makes total sense, the Tea Party is a politically conservative group, and they are typically anti-science on the global warming issue, This is because of multiple issues.
Dealing with climate change is going to require a mix of private and government solutions, and conservatives don’t like government solutions. Also, some of the solutions require moving away from fossil fuel and coal, and reinvesting in renewable energy, conservative tend to be pro-business, and when business is in conflict with the environment, they tend to support the business over environmental concerns. Lastly, the conservative movement includes the religious right, many of whom dismiss environmental concerns because they claim the Earth was made for man, and man can do whatever we want with the Earth.
I don’t really understand this last position, if I though a magic sky daddy made me a gift, and that magic sky daddy is known for being a jealous, vengeful, and violent murderer, I’d want to be a good steward of that gift, and I’d take extra special care of it!
It is important to remember, science is not a belief system, it is a method for investigating nature, using evidence and natural causes to formulate explanations.
All snark aside, understanding climate change due to global warming is a critical issue for our society. It is yours and my responsibility as voting citizens to be informed on this issue. Furthermore, as science and technology become more and more of an integral part of our lives, it is crucial that we all take it upon ourselves to obtain science literacy… because future generations are depending on us… anything less is unpatriotic and a disservice to your fellow humans!
To learn more about climate change and scientific thinking, I have included some resource below: