Misplaced fury over "unethical" critique of Global Warming

Some scientists in New Zealand aren’t happy.

Here’s why: An American group called the heartland institute cited the research of a number of scientists as part of their argument against the concerns about global warming. (The specific article is apparently buried somewhere in their maze-like website). BUT, these scientists object (in the words of Dr Jim Salinger), “We say global warming is real.”

On this basis, Dr Salinger (and other NZ scientists who were cited) has publicly alleged that the Heartland Institue has acted “unethically.”

The principle here, apparently, is that if someone cites your research and uses it to contribute to their casefor a view you don’t hold, they are being unethical. I say: What a bunch of crybabies. It is common for people making arguments to appeal to the claimsof those who disagree with them. In a courtroom it’s what is called a “hostile witness.” Dr Salinger complains that the Heartland Institute cited his claim that there have been warm and cold cycles in the earth’s history, because he himself doesn’t think that this observation undermines global warming at all. So what? Dr Salinger might not think so, but surely the author of the Heartland Institute’s article is quite entitled to think so.

Heck, when writing my own articles or theses I appeal to everty concession I can get from those who disagree with me. Calling it “unethical” is just a case of people being upset that their research has contributed to a cause that they didn’t want it to contribute to.

Heck, why don’t I just cry crocodile tears and say: “Boo hoo – some guy appealed to Calvin’s defence of the execution of Servetus as an argument for the conclusion that Christianity is evil. But Calvin didn’t think Christianity was evil. So this skeptic is being unethical, using Calvin’s claims to reach a conclusion that Calvin never held!”

Cry me a river. Welcome to a world where people disagree with you.

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