Simple Sam Learns About Climate Alarmism

Posted on June 4, 2011


I’ve invited Simple Sam, my friend the crackpot climate change denier around to witness an experiment in my Thought Experiment Chamber.

“I don’t care what you say, I’m not going in there,” says Sam.

Sam won’t go into my chamber because he found out that, as a fictional character, the experiments actually work on him.  – I’m not asking you to go in, Sam, just stand here at the window and look in.

“It’s bigger than I thought.”

I can make it as big as I want, Sam.

“Who are those children?  You’re not experimenting on children, are you?”

They’re your grandchildren, Sam.

“I have grandchildren?  I didn’t even know I had children.”

Nevertheless, they’re your grandchildren, Sam.  And if you look closer, what do you see your grandchildren playing with?

“It looks like a gun, a funny sort of gun.”

That’s what it is, Sam.  It’s a probability gun loaded with a probability bullet.  At present the probabilities are set to zero, so it’s no danger to the children.

“Just what kind of experiment is this?”

It’s kind of the human experiment, Sam.  Climate scientists like the ones at the IPCC are telling us that certain things are going to happen, and if these things happen, our grandchildren will be disastrously affected by them.  They aren’t a 100% sure about all of it, only about 90% at present.  Some people call them alarmists because of this.  They think that climate scientists should be more certain before raising a fuss about these issues.  They call it climate alarmism.

So I called you over, Sam, to find out your own opinion about climate alarmism.

“I’m glad you asked,” says Sam, “Scientists should be…”

No, no, Sam, I mean by way of my thought experiment.

“What do you mean?”

Look again at your grandchildren in the Thought Experiment Chamber, Sam.  They’re having fun, aren’t they, pointing the gun, pulling the trigger?  At present the probability of the pistol being dangerous has been set to zero.  See, it shows on this dial over here.  And beneath the dial is this control knob.  If I twist this knob to the right, it charges up the probability bullet.  See I’ve moved it over to 0.00000000000001%….

Don’t worry, Sam.  Stop being so agitated.  Your grandchildren’s chance of being hurt by the gun are still less than them being struck by a meteorite while playing Beethoven’s Fifth on their kazoos.  There’s nothing yet to worry about.

Now the question, the question I’m asking you, Sam, is this, should we be pushing the alarm button if we are only 90% sure the gun is loaded?  Doesn’t that make us alarmists just like the climate scientists?

Sam, where are you going?  I thought you said you’d never go in there.  Really, Sam, the kids are not in danger.  0.00000000000001% is not that dangerous.  Sam, talk to me.  Sam….

Okay, see you later, Sam.  See you, kids.  Drop by anytime.

Well, I’m not sure what it proves, but it seems that Simple Sam is just as alarmist as anybody, and about a million times more alarmist than climate scientists when it comes to his own grandchildren.

Fancy that.