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A celebrity has her say

By Greg Strange
web posted January 18, 2016

KokoA world famous celebrity recently delivered an unusual, but inspiring and wisdom-imbued New Year's message.  You could call it a public service message to all of humanity.  Here is an excerpt:

"Man stupid . . .  Protect Earth."

Actually, this brief excerpt doesn't deliver the full impact, so let's take a look at a lengthier portion of this extraordinarily sagacious message:

"Koko love man.  Earth Koko love.  But man stupid … stupid!  Koko sorry, Koko cry.  Time hurry.  Fix Earth!  Help Earth!  Hurry!  Protect Earth.  Nature watches you.  Thank you."

Unless there is ice water running through your veins, you can't help but be moved by this stunningly poignant message from this world famous celebrity.  Which celebrity is it?  That would be Koko – the gorilla.

Okay, so in the world of celebrity Koko isn't exactly a Kardashian, but she's been in the news a few times.  Nonetheless, for those who may not know, Koko is a 44-year-old female gorilla who was born at the San Francisco Zoo.  At a young age Koko was loaned to a doctoral researcher, Francine Patterson, who ended up keeping the gorilla and teaching her sign language.  Having reportedly learned more than 1,000 signs and 2,000 words of spoken English, Koko's communicative ability is what subsequently made her famous.


And now all those decades of hard work learning English and mastering sign language have finally culminated in the brilliant commentary above, a video of which was made in order to send a message to – guess who? -- the recent UN Climate Conference in Paris.

Well sure, might as well let Koko throw in her two cents worth.  It may have been just as valuable as anything else that got said at that conference.  Koko was certainly right about one thing: man is indeed stupid.  But she got it all wrong about what constitutes evidence for that stupidity.  What is actually stupid is to believe that the science of climate change is "settled."

Of course, it's questionable that Koko understands much of anything.  "Koko cry . . .  Help Earth!  Hurry!  Protect Earth.  Nature watches you.  Thank you."  Seriously?  Do you believe for one nanosecond that Koko understood what she was saying – er, I mean, signing?  Some researchers argue she is clueless about the meaning of most of what she purportedly communicates and that completing signs is just a result of operant conditioning which provides rewards for successfully completing tasks.

In any case, getting Koko involved in climate change, however tangentially, only adds to the circus atmosphere that already surrounds what may be the most earth-shaking doomsday theory to ever make the claim of scientific finality and indisputability.

At least Koko has an excuse for going along with the claim that the science of climate change is "settled."  She's just an ape.  But what excuse do rational, analytical human beings have, particularly those who call themselves scientists?  Let's have a go at a bit of deductive reasoning in order to determine, logically, that the theory of anthropogenic global warming/climate change is not actually "settled" science.

First, a bit of background.  What is deductive reasoning?  It is simply a process of reasoning that links premises with conclusions.  So, if all the premises are true, then the conclusion reached is also necessarily true.  Now, in order to set up our premises, we need a little more background.

Are you aware that the earth hasn't actually warmed in over 18 years?  It is referred to as the "pause" and has not generally been disputed by most scientists (until relatively recently – more about that in a moment).  There have been ongoing attempts by many climatologists to explain why this unexpected pause has occurred in contradiction to the predictions made by some very cranky computer models which basically had civilization wiped out in about a century.  In fact, there are a whole slew of theories that talk about everything from low solar activity, to volcanic activity, to Chinese coal-burning, to something called "stadium waves," to the theory that the heat is hiding in the oceans just waiting to unleash itself – and a whole bunch more to boot.

Now for our premises.

Premise number 1:  If the science of global warming/climate change is to be considered "settled," all aspects of that science must be thoroughly understood.
 
Premise number 2:  All aspects of global warming/climate change are not thoroughly understood as evidenced by the multitude of disparate theories that attempt to explain the pause in warming.
 
Conclusion:  Therefore, the science is not settled.

This conclusion is logically irrefutable.  It doesn't mean that the catastrophic claims made by the fundamentalist believers in anthropogenic global warming/climate change are necessarily wrong.  It simply means that the science is not settled.  And if the science is not settled, rational people should be appropriately skeptical of catastrophic claims, the recommended remedies for which could wreck the world economy and deprive hundreds of millions the energy that would help lift them out of abject poverty.

But wait a minute.  What about the brief reference made above to scientists who are now claiming there really wasn't a pause in warming?  A Washington Post headline from a few months ago trumpeted:  "Global warming ‘pause' never happened, scientists say."
 
Really?  "Scientists say?"  All of them or just some of them?  But it doesn't even matter because it doesn't change the fact that myriad scientists came up with umpteen different explanations for what they believed was a totally unexpected pause that contradicted all computer model predictions.  And that is simply further incontrovertible evidence that the science is anything but "settled."
 
As for Koko, must she spend her entire life not only in captivity, but being fed left-wing propaganda which she is then forced to regurgitate in sign language?  Where are the animal rights people?  Don't expect them to come running to the rescue of this "green" gorilla.  As long as Koko can be used as a tool to get out an ideological message that we can be pretty certain the animal rights folks agree with, you can bet no action will be taken to liberate this useful simian.

You have to wonder what Koko's next force-fed message to the public will be . . . .

"Koko love man.  But Republican man stupid . . . stupid!  Vote Trump.  Koko sorry, Koko cry.  Time hurry.  Fix country!  Help country!  Vote Hillary!  Thank you." ESR

Greg Strange's web site can be found at http://www.greg-strange.com. (c) 2016 Greg Strange.

 

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