If 99 Doctors Said…

We’ve seen the “If 99 doctors said…” argument, or facsimiles, used often by global warming enthusiasts in recent months.  George Clooney used it when interviewed at the Britannia Awards.  (See the Open Letter to Lewis Black and George Clooney.) James Cameron used it in the trailer for the upcoming ShowTime series “Years of Living Dangerously”.  (Refer to the open letter to Mr. Cameron and the other executive producers of that show.) And on The Daily Show, Jon Stewart included a clip of Dan Weiss of the Center for American Progress using it (See the Open Letter to Jon Stewart.)

I responded to those arguments and discussed many other topics in the posts linked above, with links to more-detailed explanations and examples…and, of course, with links to my ebooks.

The following is something I wrote for my upcoming book with the working title The Oceans Ate My Global Warming (or another possible title CO2 is Not a Control Knob).   I thought you might use for it when you see the “If 99 doctors said…” argument again.

# # #

Imagine you’re running a persistent slight fever.  You visit a new clinic. The nurse takes your vitals and enters them into a computer program. A short time after the computer model completes its simulations, the doctor arrives, advises you of the computer-diagnosed ailment, and prescribes controversial high-cost medications and treatment.

You’re not comfortable with the service, diagnosis, prescription or treatment, so you check out online the computer model used by the clinic.   It is proclaimed to be wonderful by its programmers.  But, the more you research, the more you discover the model’s defects.  It can’t simulate circulation, respiration, digestion, and other basic bodily functions.  There are numerous research papers exposing the flaws in the model, but they are hard to find because of all of the other papers written by the model programmers extolling its virtues.

Of course, you would not accept the computer-based medical diagnosis from a model that cannot simulate basic bodily functions and processes.  But that’s the position we’re faced with climate science.

We need a second opinion for the slight warming the Earth had experienced.  Unfortunately, it is not likely to be coming anytime soon, not until there are changes to the political agendas that drive climate science funding.

# # #

Enjoy your Super Bowl Sunday…for those celebrating.  For everyone else, enjoy your day.

About Bob Tisdale

Research interest: the long-term aftereffects of El Niño and La Nina events on global sea surface temperature and ocean heat content. Author of the ebook Who Turned on the Heat? and regular contributor at WattsUpWithThat.
This entry was posted in CAGW Proponent Arguments, Celebrities on Climate. Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to If 99 Doctors Said…

  1. Steve Keohane says:

    Too true Bob. Thank you.

  2. tomwys says:

    Well done, Bob! In countering the same argument, I’ve used the example of total agreement in the Egyptian Pharaoh’s physicians recommending consumption of frog’s entrails to ameliorate his toothache – the best that then current medicine could offer, and a second opinion was not even available.

    Your example is far better, even though the Pharaoh provided government funding!

  3. earwig42 says:

    Brilliant job! What a great analogy. Simple, concise, and understandable. Almost anyone can relate to it. Thanks, Bob

  4. Alec, aka daffy duck says:

    Alec aka Daffy Duck on February 2, 2014 at 7:11 am
    In 1949 Walter Hess won the Nobel Prize for the Lobotomy! Yes, the ‘scientific consensus’ was the Lobotomy was a great cure for mental illness

  5. I’m not sure I’m comfortable with your analogy. You mention a patient with a “persistent slight fever.” Someone with a slight fever might experience additional negative side effects now (general unwellness, loss of appetite). Economists who specialise in carbon impacts (such as Richard Tol) generally assume net global benefits up to 2C then costs after that. So a better analogy would be where the patient is feeling great and feeling better each day, but doctors are advocating costly medical interventions on the premise that you will come down with an illness decades from now. Although they are vague when you might start to feel sick, or how bad it will be, or what the symptoms might ultimately be. (“Regional” impacts.)

    I guess the logic here is that the monthly repayments on that new Mercedes E-Class Cabriolet aren’t going away so they better treat you now. Also, if you leave it too long, it might be too late to treat you later. Prevention is better than cure, so to speak, even if the prevention is more costly than the cure.

  6. joefreeman says:

    Will, Bob’s reference to a “persistent slight fever” was obviously based on the doctors’ research that the current 98.6F (37C) temperature of the human body has been steadily increasing over the past several decades from its correct value. Without the doctors’ specialized, continuing and very expensive care, projections show that the patient may burst into flames without warning at any time. Oh, but don’t worry about the expense…the taxpayers will pick up the costs. You ARE enrolled in the Universal Fever Reduction coverage, aren’t you? Well, AREN’T YOU?

  7. Brian H says:

    You put me in mind of the famous quote, “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.” I forget whose it is, though!

  8. Mark says:

    If you went to 98 other doctors, all of which used machines using the same basic program, would you really feel like you got 98 second opinions?

  9. Bob Tisdale says:

    Very good, Mark. I’ll have to include that.

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