Why ‘climate change’ is a useless phrase

In the late 2000s, “climate change” began replacing “global warming” as the phrase used to encourage government intervention to prevent man-caused climate catastrophes. In 2006, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, greatly increasing regulatory control over state industries.

Shortly after, “global warming” went out of favor, replaced by “climate change.” Just two years later, in his acceptance speech at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, candidate Barack Obama didn’t mention “global warming,” only “climate change.”

For example, in a debate over global warming on our site last week, one commentator wrote, “It’s called climate change, John. You have record cold in some places and record heat in others.”

But the phrase “climate change” is a logical fallacy called a tautology, also called circular reasoning. According to the Philosophy Index, “A tautology in logic is a formula that is always true on any valuation or interpretation of its terms.”

Or as I put it, something that explains everything, explains nothing.

Here are some examples of tautologies:

  • Either it will rain tomorrow or it won’t rain.
  • Bill will win the election or he will not win the election.
  • She is brave or she is not brave.
  • I will get in trouble or not get in trouble.
  • Mary will turn the light on or turn it off.

So here are some examples using “climate change”:

  • Climate change is causing the earth to warm and cool.
  • Climate change is causing more and fewer hurricanes.
  • Climate change is causing greater and lesser crop harvests.
  • Climate change is causing higher and lower sea levels.
  • Climate change is causing smaller and larger polar ice caps.

Government

Of course, the main reason this logical fallacy is used is to increase government control over our lives to make sure “climate change” doesn’t destroy the planet. It doesn’t hurt that some connected crony capitalists, such as Al Gore, have become even richer by investing in global warming/climate change technology boosted by governments.

The problem has cropped up that the global-warming hypothesis is hard to advance when temperatures have ceased increasing the past 15 years. And although one year doesn’t make a trend, it doesn’t help that much of the United States continues to freeze under record low temperatures.

So “climate change” seems a better phrase because it can, as has been shown, mean anything. The problem though is that, although most people are not logicians, many people can sense something isn’t quite right about phrases based on logical fallacies.

A common fallacy is the argument based on an irrelevant appeal to an authority, such as a celebrity pitching a credit card or diet program. (Appealing to a real authority, such as a physician to heal your aliment, may be valid.) Many people understand that the celebrity isn’t a banking expert; or might have lost weight not because of the advertised program, but because of personal chefs and trainers only the rich can afford.

With a tautology like “climate change,” at least some people understand that it’s a phrase with no explanatory value.

(Note: I am is not arguing about whether or not global warming is occurring, only that those who believe it is occurring should use that phrase, not “climate change.”)

52 comments

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  1. Ted Steele, CEO
    Ted Steele, CEO 10 February, 2014, 11:58

    The phrase “climate change” is only useless in the more ignorant parts of the world….well…..hmmmmm……..like here in the USA!

    Reply this comment
    • John Seiler
      John Seiler Author 10 February, 2014, 18:52

      Ted: Read again what I wrote. As I noted at the end, I was not (in this article) denying man-caused global warming. I was just pointing out that “climate change” is a useless phrase. Please deal with that part of it. Explain how a tautology is NOT a logical fallacy.

      Reply this comment
      • Rex the Wonder Dog!
        Rex the Wonder Dog! 10 February, 2014, 19:08

        John, at least Teddy didn’t try to say Ronnie Raygun invented “climate change” 😉

        Reply this comment
      • Ted Steele, CEO
        Ted Steele, CEO 10 February, 2014, 21:53

        LOL John– OK– You have correctly defined tautology. Of course you’re a denier in this important bulletin and of course this short alert about the lexicon, I guess, prosecutes your point in some way?

        You’re a caution!

        The Ted Concept.

        Reply this comment
  2. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 10 February, 2014, 15:19

    This will be brutal…..you’re head could explode…..but….here goes…..colder in winter and hot in summer makes for rebuts a plenty…..Teddy save me!

    Reply this comment
  3. S Moderation Douglas
    S Moderation Douglas 10 February, 2014, 15:31

    first, they deny it,

    next, they say “it conflicts with the bible”,

    then they say, “I knew it all along.”

    “Amazingly, science is not based on belief. It is based on evidence. According to the National Academy of Sciences, the definition of science is “The use of evidence to construct testable explanations and predictions of natural phenomena, as well as the knowledge generated through this process.”

    “People often ask if I believe in global warming. I now just reply with the question: ‘Do you believe in gravity.'” — Neil deGrasse Tyson

    Reply this comment
    • Donkey
      Donkey 10 February, 2014, 16:01

      Simple quotes seem cleaver, but when looked at closely fail to pass the logic/reason test.

      TCS, it’s people like you that caused Thomas Paine to write the “Age of Reason.” If you ever want to expand your intellect you should read the book, but I am not assured that you have the ability to comprehend his perspective. 🙂

      Reply this comment
      • S Moderation Douglas
        S Moderation Douglas 10 February, 2014, 16:58

        I’ve read it. I was responding to Johns discussion of argument by appeal of authority.

        Neil deGrasse Tyson is not just a celebrity, he IS a real authority. From what I have seen and read of Dr. Tyson, he would disagree with Johns understanding of science, AND his definition of the word “tautology”.

        AND, Dr. Tyson still uses the phrase “global warming”.

        Reply this comment
        • Ted Steele, CEO
          Ted Steele, CEO 10 February, 2014, 17:44

          Well said Moderation Douglas—- Dr. Tyson is in good company with the vast majority of the world’s climate Phd’s!

          Or maybe we should get our science from Rush? Hmmmmm…

          Reply this comment
        • John Seiler
          John Seiler Author 10 February, 2014, 18:58

          Douglas: My main argument was not about an appeal to authority; I just used that as an example of another type of fallacy. My main argument was that “climate change” was a logical fallacy because it holds no meaning. I was not talking about man-caused global warming in this article, as I noted at the end.

          Reply this comment
          • Ted Steele, CEO
            Ted Steele, CEO 10 February, 2014, 21:57

            But of course what you say the composition isn’t about is precisely what the composition IS about.

          • Donkey
            Donkey 11 February, 2014, 10:38

            John, trying to reason with a person entrenched with dogma he celebrates is a non-winning game. It is on a par with radical Muslims, it’s their way or the highway!! 🙂

      • Donkey
        Donkey 10 February, 2014, 17:09

        Regardless your feelings for Neil TCS his quick and cleaver statement are not even congruent. Gravity has nothing to do with the religion of Al Gore and his global warming lie.

        This phony doctrine is all about the control of individuals not connected to the RAGWUS. 🙂

        Reply this comment
        • S Moderation Douglas
          S Moderation Douglas 10 February, 2014, 17:23

          Well, I thought it was cleaver.

          Reply this comment
          • Rex the Wonder Dog!
            Rex the Wonder Dog! 10 February, 2014, 19:11

            “Well, I thought it was cleaver.”

            I am SURE Teddy did too Douglas.

            🙂

          • Ted Steele, CEO
            Ted Steele, CEO 10 February, 2014, 22:09

            No Poodle– I thought is was “clever”. YOU thought is was cleaver.

          • S Moderation Douglas
            S Moderation Douglas 11 February, 2014, 10:46

            Teddy, don’t even look up “cleaver” in the slang dictionary. You’ll get us all banned.

            Kinda Freudian.

    • John Seiler
      John Seiler Author 10 February, 2014, 18:54

      Douglas: Read again what I wrote. As I noted at the end, I was not (in this article) denying man-caused global warming. I was just pointing out that “climate change” is a useless phrase. Please deal with that part of it. Explain how a tautology is NOT a logical fallacy.

      Reply this comment
  4. Steve Mehlman
    Steve Mehlman 10 February, 2014, 15:42

    These people believe the earth is flat, the the world is less than 5,000 years old, etc.,etc. So gravity might be stretch for them.

    Reply this comment
    • Donkey
      Donkey 10 February, 2014, 15:56

      Now there is an original thought!! LOL 🙂

      Reply this comment
    • Ted Steele, CEO
      Ted Steele, CEO 10 February, 2014, 17:44

      Well said Steve!!!!!

      Reply this comment
    • John Seiler
      John Seiler Author 10 February, 2014, 18:54

      Steve: Read again what I wrote. As I noted at the end, I was not (in this article) denying man-caused global warming. I was just pointing out that “climate change” is a useless phrase. Please deal with that part of it. Explain how a tautology is NOT a logical fallacy.

      For the record, I don’t believe the earth is 5,000 years old. I also do not believe that a tautology is a valid argument; it is a fallacy.

      Reply this comment
      • Donkey
        Donkey 10 February, 2014, 19:46

        Yes John, you are correct about tautology. When indirectness is the cornerstone of your religion then all that is left is blind faith. Global warming is bad religion. 🙂

        Reply this comment
        • Ted Steele, CEO
          Ted Steele, CEO 10 February, 2014, 22:01

          LOL– Hey John– Looks like ol Duncey agrees with ya! That must make ya feel pretty confident ol buddy.

          oh my

          Reply this comment
      • Donkey
        Donkey 11 February, 2014, 10:35

        Only because John is correct. Now where is the school that is offering climate change PHD’s TCS? 🙂

        Reply this comment
  5. Donkey
    Donkey 10 February, 2014, 15:49

    John you are absolutely correct!! Even the scientists have no clue what they are talking about. These same quacks had the refrigerant R-12 removed from production because it was destroying the ozone only to find out it never reaches high enough to even effect the ozone, the solar winds have been doing the real damage, and doing it since the beginning of this world.

    “Scientists have been trying to find out why the rate of global warming has eased in the past 20 years while greenhouse-gas emissions have surged to a record. Today’s paper elaborates on a theory that deep seas are absorbing more warmth by explaining how that heat could be getting there.”
    “The net effect of these anomalous winds is a cooling in the 2012 global average surface air temperature of 0.1–0.2 degree Celsius, which can account for much of the hiatus in surface warming observed since 2001,” the researchers wrote. They’re led by Matthew England, a professor of oceanography at the University of New South Wales in Australia.

    Now we can take a look at TCS’s godlike figure and his solution for controlling the weather:

    Global warming activist Al Gore told the World Economic Forum “making fertility management ubiquitously available” is key to the future of civilization and efforts to limit global warming. Gore said such efforts to manage African women’s fertility were important in his desire to reduce the growth of human population.

    In the lefts attempts at control of individuals they have created a religion of weather, which has the widely held belief as ever changing. Hence want is the root of this change? Al Gore above sees population as the problem, but only the Black population of Africa. This is TCS’s leader!!

    Now dance for me TCS, twirl your feathers my parrot. Tell me how your leader Al has the answers to redeem your wicked RAWUS feeding soul. 🙂

    Reply this comment
  6. Ted Steele, CEO
    Ted Steele, CEO 10 February, 2014, 17:45

    RAWWUS?

    OR

    SQWIDWID?

    Think about it little buddies!

    Reply this comment
  7. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 10 February, 2014, 19:02

    Dr. Donkey has been very eloquent on this thread…..my kit includes little on climate…..Teddy is he correct?

    Reply this comment
    • Donkey
      Donkey 10 February, 2014, 19:34

      Yes UU, the Donkey is correct!! 🙂

      Reply this comment
    • Ted Steele, CEO
      Ted Steele, CEO 10 February, 2014, 22:07

      Yes — Duncey is a PhD level climate scientist, you can trust anything he says on the matter, 100% I just give him a hard time because he is a devil worshipper ™

      Reply this comment
      • Donkey
        Donkey 11 February, 2014, 10:31

        There are no PHD’s in climate science TCS. As close as you are going to get is your buddy Al, and one of his top solutions is to stop Africans from breeding.

        Now dance for Al Ted(TCS). 🙂

        Reply this comment
        • Ted Steele, CEO
          Ted Steele, CEO 11 February, 2014, 11:33

          Yes Sir Dr. Duncey. LMAO!

          Reply this comment
        • Ted Steele, CEO
          Ted Steele, CEO 11 February, 2014, 11:36

          Oh– Duncey, and then there’s this other PhD in Climate science…LMAO

          http://aoes.gmu.edu/climate_dynamics

          Reply this comment
          • Ted Steele, CEO
            Ted Steele, CEO 11 February, 2014, 11:39

            Oh and this one–

            http://scrippseducation.ucsd.edu/Graduate_Students/Prospective_Students/Program_Areas/climate.php

            and about 30 more! LMAO— God Bless ya little buddy but once again this year you win the CWDMIPA

            CWD’s Most Incorrect Poster Award 2014!

            Go SQWIWID!!!! LOL

            PLEASE keep posting!

          • Donkey
            Donkey 11 February, 2014, 19:39

            I knew I could get you to dance harder TCS, spread those feathers my parrot, now show us how any of this academia has helped your friend Al, since 2001 the atmosphere has been cooling. Now dance for me TCS, just dance!!

            The Great Lakes are soon to be completely frozen over my little tax stealing parasite. 🙂

          • Ted Steele, CEO
            Ted Steele, CEO 11 February, 2014, 20:44

            Zzzzzzzz– it’s winter little buddy— or should I say Climate PhD little buddy? LMAO

          • Donkey
            Donkey 11 February, 2014, 22:25

            Still he dances, as the Great Lakes completely freeze over, faster TCS, faster!!! Help Al little parrot!! Dance!! 🙂

          • Ted Steele, CEO
            Ted Steele, CEO 11 February, 2014, 22:56

            Can you do 1 pushup little buddy?

          • Donkey
            Donkey 12 February, 2014, 11:36

            Dance my Tu tu wearing parrot!! Al wants to rid the eastern part of the nation of cold and ice TCS, shuffle those feathers little man!! 🙂

          • Ted Steele, CEO
            Ted Steele, CEO 12 February, 2014, 17:17

            Can you do 1 pushup little buddy? ™

          • Donkey
            Donkey 12 February, 2014, 21:33

            He’s still dancing! 🙂

  8. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 10 February, 2014, 22:22

    Teddy….aghast…..does Dr. Donkey realize his cover is compromised…..does he spit fire out of both orifices?

    Reply this comment
    • Ted Steele, CEO
      Ted Steele, CEO 11 February, 2014, 11:40

      Dr. Duncey says there’s no such thing as a PhD in climate science! LMAO– I think he’s just being modest! Or perhaps his organic brain syndrome ™ is kicking in again!

      Reply this comment
  9. Ulysses Uhaul
    Ulysses Uhaul 11 February, 2014, 13:23

    Oh. Thks for the heads up….then he is disgraced and has to turn his divining and lightning rods along with his snake worship liturgies?

    Reply this comment

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