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Lawrence Torcello: A demonstration of academic ignorance and malfeasance on behalf of global warming?

I had never heard of Lawrence Torcello, an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the Rochester Institute of Technology, before reading his remarks on global climate change. Torricelli's thesis is encapsulated in a single thought: perhaps we should criminalize those organized activities that do not comport with our current understanding of science.


An example of Torcello’s “professorial-level” academic thinking … 

“The importance of clearly communicating science to the public should not be underestimated. Accurately understanding our natural environment and sharing that information can be a matter of life or death. When it comes to global warming, much of the public remains in denial about a set of facts that the majority of scientists clearly agree on. With such high stakes, an organised campaign funding misinformation ought to be considered criminally negligent.”

We have good reason to consider the funding of climate denial to be criminally and morally negligent. The charge of criminal and moral negligence ought to extend to all activities of the climate deniers who receive funding as part of a sustained campaign to undermine the public’s understanding of scientific consensus.”

“My argument probably raises an understandable, if misguided, concern regarding free speech. We must make the critical distinction between the protected voicing of one’s unpopular beliefs, and the funding of a strategically organised campaign to undermine the public’s ability to develop and voice informed opinions. Protecting the latter as a form of free speech stretches the definition of free speech to a degree that undermines the very concept.”

What are we to make of those behind the well documented corporate funding of global warming denial? Those who purposefully strive to make sure “inexact, incomplete and contradictory information” is given to the public? I believe we understand them correctly when we know them to be not only corrupt and deceitful, but criminally negligent in their willful disregard for human life. It is time for modern societies to interpret and update their legal systems accordingly.”

Read the entire article in context at: Is misinformation about the climate criminally negligent?

Professor Torcello’s thinking is clearly and woefully inadequate … the politest way of saying the professor has his head up his ass so far that he will never see daylight again …

1.     While we all would like to accurately understand our natural environment, many physical phenomena are poorly understood and cannot be easily explained by an existing hypothesis or conjecture.

Merely analyzing historical data, building a curve-fitting formula, and then using this formula as a predictor of future events is merely a scientific tool to aid in understanding a trend; but it does not often convey understanding of the phenomena itself.

Any number of reputable researchers have built global climate models to help in this understanding of our environment, but most have flawed or incomplete assumptions, use highly-manipulated data, and use artificial forcings that are not found in nature to produce their output. Unfortunately, most of these models fail to account for the last decade or so of a global cooling trend; and thus have little or no credibility when it comes to long-term predictions.

It is the output of these models that give rise to the catastrophic predictions used by politicians to pursue their preferred public policy agenda.

And, the models do not accurately reflect the observations over the past 10 – 15 years, as we see a rising atmospheric carbon dioxide level and a cooling trend; whereas the models predicted continued heating.

The inability of models to adequately explain the cooling, points to the failure of the models themselves. The IPCC activist crowd cannot explain away the natural variability of climate nor can they prove their case for carbon dioxide as a trigger mechanism. 

<Source of the graphic below: 73 Climate Model Graphic>


2. The nature of the scientific method is a never-ending process of controlled skepticism. One proposes a hypothesis or conjecture, creates an experiment or collects historical data, analyzes the data, draws conclusions, and presents the findings to the scientific community for comment, confirmation, refutation, or the impetus for further study.

Science is not performed by consensus, and what is generally believed today might not be accepted in the future, given an advanced understanding of the physical phenomena under study. We now know that the Sun does not rotate around the Earth and the Earth is not flat; consensus viewpoints in an age when you could be charged with heresy and put to death.

Galileo's championing of heliocentrism was controversial within his lifetime, when most subscribed to either geocentrism or the Tychonic system. He met with opposition from astronomers, who doubted heliocentrism due to the absence of an observed stellar parallax. The matter was investigated by the Roman Inquisition in 1615, which concluded that heliocentrism was false and contrary to scripture, placing works advocating the Copernican system on the index of banned books and forbidding Galileo from advocating heliocentrism.

Galileo later defended his views in Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, which appeared to attack Pope Urban VIII and thus alienated him and the Jesuits, who had both supported Galileo up until this point. He was tried by the Holy Office, then found "vehemently suspect of heresy", was forced to recant, and spent the rest of his life under house arrest. <Source>

3.  And, about the consensus ... Science is not performed by consensus as aptly illustrated by Galileo.

Due to the makeup of the United Nation’s IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), one can plainly see that it is composed mostly of politicians and administrators of scientific institutions, and that there are a relatively few working climate scientists.

Moreover, since much of the funding for current scientific projects comes from the government with an inherent bias towards using science to justify a political agenda, one might consider the degree of reluctance of any scientific contrarian to risk their personal reputation, livelihood, project funding, and acceptance by their peers if they were to become outspoken advocates of a contrarian viewpoint rather than remain silent observers. Thus, the idea of consensus science is deeply flawed and unreliable.

Naomi Oreskes (2004) claimed 75% agreement and ‘no disagreement.’”. Peiser (2005) re-ran her survey in 2005 and found dramatically different results. As shown below [Figure 4], only 13 of 1,117 papers explicitly endorse the alleged “consensus” on anthropogenic global warming.


To gain public acceptance for carbon taxes and renewable energy subsidies, several studies claim a 97% scientific consensus on global warming, implying that the human causes are all about carbon dioxide or greenhouse gases; but a closer look reveals a lot of mathematical manipulation goes into arriving at 97% - a psychological ploy that plays on our primal emotions, ‘herd mentality’ and fear of being the odd man out.

Few people know that the Dutch government has called for the IPCC to be overhauled stating: “..limiting the scope of the IPCC to human-induced climate change is undesirable, especially because natural climate change is a crucial part of the total understanding of the climate system..” Not only is the 97% claim faulty, the climate predictions of the IPCC exclude an estimated 65% natural factor influence.

You may wish to read the paper, 97% CONSENSUS? NO! GLOBAL WARMING MATH MYTHS & SOCIAL PROOFS, for yourself.  <Source>

4.   Science is not a religion and has no inherent morality. Or put another way, “it is what it is, not as what you wish it to appear to be.” So to impute any moral obligation where a contrarian view of existing science should be criminalized  is both intellectually dishonest and morally repugnant.

Bottom line …

Rather than being an advanced thinker, Professor Torcello appears to be a retarded thinker. Not able to interpret a corrupt political agenda that is an attempt to use science to convince the populace that draconian measures are needed to save the planet. Especially not recognizing the significant conflicts of interest and benefits accruing to special interests; all to save the planet from a non-existent natural phenomena that clearly does not rise hysterically to a planetary emergency as supported by flawed computer models.

It is academic idiots like Torcello who appear to “cash in” on the subject of global warming without a clear understanding of the science, politics, or the religious nature of the global warming acolytes.

If anything should be criminalized, it is the corrupt diversion of public funding to purchase votes and political power. A subject for a philosophy professor who asks the wrong question, provides the wrong prescription, and is blind to the loss of freedoms that would be manifest under his idea of criminalizing organizations that oppose the current political regime. I wonder if the good professor knows anyone at the IRS?

-- steve

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

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