Must see: an unsound argument?

June 16, 2007 at 2:25 pm | Posted in Break, Climate change, Logic, Videos, YouTube | Leave a comment

wonderingmind42 has captured people’s attention and his clip has been viewed 81,869 times at YouTube and Favorited 466 times there so far as:

The Most Terrifying Video You’ll Ever See

(This is a video response to Junk Science: Global Warming Myth Busted)

This video is also posted at Celsias, after originating at Break.com with a ‘Humor’ tag as:

Interesting Argument About Global Warming Video

At my time of writing it has had 603,390 views and 1174 diggs there.

Here’s my take on his argument:

The first premise in the first row of choices provided in the video is not sound. That row goes:

  • Global climate change is false.

either

  • Action will cause economic meltdown with disastrous consequences.

or

  • Inaction will be fine đŸ™‚

Global climate change is false.‘ is a false premise. Therefore any argument based on it may be valid, but is not sound.

A logical argument is sound if and only if

  1. the argument is valid
  2. all of its premises are true.

A common dictionary definition of truth is “agreement with fact or reality”.

Global climate change is false.‘ is a false premise because it does not agree with reality.

The alternative sequence of choices in the row below is (in my words):

  • Global climate change is true.

either

  • Action will cost time, money, brainpower, and motivation, but will be worth it đŸ™‚

or

  • Inaction will cause environmental meltdown with disastrous consequences.

The second argument is valid and sound. We can choose action or inaction.

Wonderingmind42 updates are definitely worth watching:

FYI, this is what I wrote before watching the patches~I am trying really hard to deny anyone the philosophical privilege of ignoring reality!

I think that spreading this video will only encourage people to continue the mistaken belief that global climate change may not be real and may not be happening. It is real. It is happening. There are no odds associated with that part of your argument; it is a certainty and the IPCC says it is unequivocal:

Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global mean sea level (see Figure SPM-3). {3.2, 4.2, 5.5}

So, you need to delete your False row. Or draw it in, then strike a horizontal line through it to make the point visually.

Your True row is the only valid option in the real world. You can still have two columns for inaction and action, but they only contain one row.

That should make it a powerful 2-minute video đŸ˜‰

There is no valid debate about whether climate change is happening; there is a debate about exactly how much of the current warming is caused by human activities and whether we should do anything about curbing our emissions or carry on the easier path of business-as-usual; the biggest bone of contention surrounds what actions to take individually, locally and globally and whether they should be voluntary or enforced through legislation. The sooner we can get more people involved in that part of the debate, the better.

P.S. I found this interesting comment by malsum

Subject: long or short
Comment: About the length of of a video – Consider your target audience, 3 categories to choose from:

  • Against your argument:You will never reach them whatever you record (sad but true). Anyone already set in their “you can pry my SUV from my global warm dead hand”-ways wont listen.
  • For your argument:Don’t have to hear the arguments. We allready know them.
  • Undecided: There’s your target. And these people are usually not that interested in the first place. Therefore the videos should be short and to the point, to make the biggest difference. (This is actually basic commercial advertising rules, but they apply to all kinds of opinion-making.)

Try to make the videos simple enough to be understood by an 8 year-old child (ground rule in advertising), but without being condescending. And hey… Thanx for a good job so far. I’ve spread the first video in forums all over Sweden.

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