In a previous post, I explained that many of the climate-extremists’ commonest arguments are instances of logical fallacies codified by Aristotle in his Sophistical Refutations 2300 years ago. Not the least of these is the argumentum ad populum, the consensus or head-count fallacy.
The fallacy of reliance upon consensus, particularly when combined with theargumentum ad verecundiam, the fallacy of appealing to the authority or reputation of presumed experts, is more likely than any other to mislead those who have not been Classically trained in mathematical or in formal logic.
To the Classicist, an argument founded upon any of the Aristotelian logical fallacies is defective a priori. Nothing more need be said about it. However, few these days are Classicists. Accordingly, in this post I propose to explain mathematically why there can be no legitimate consensus about the answer to the central scientific question in the climate debate: how much warming will occur by 2100 as a result of our sins of emission?
There can be no consensus because all of the key parameters in the fundamental equation of climate sensitivity are unknown and unknowable. Not one can be directly measured, indirectly inferred, or determined by any theoretical method to a precision sufficient to give us a reliable answer.