Francisco Gil-White

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Francisco Gil-White is an academic who moonlights as an internet conspiracy theorist, writing on a variety of topics on his own website, "Historical and Investigative Research," which does not have a comments section below articles.

Until 2006, Gil-White used to write at conspiracy theory website Emperor's Clothes (which publishes conspiracy theories about 9/11, former Yugoslavia and Israel) before a falling out with the editor of that website, Jared Israel.

[edit] Climate change

Gil-White is a climate change sceptic who has trotted out the old chestnut that Antarctic ice cores "refute" the theory of anthropogenic climate change, because they show that in prehistoric times, changes in CO2 concentrations lagged behind global temperature changes. Gil-White seems to regard this as some kind of devastating critique. What he (deliberately?) fails to understand is that, as the climate scientist he quotes says in the quotation he quotes, there are multiple factors behind prehistoric climate changes, and of course this time it really is different because this is the first time a rapidly-growing industrial civilisation has ever existed on earth.[1]

He also sneers at Al Gore's arguably clumsy and roundabout attempt to respond to the CO2 lag argument, as if a non-scientist - and a politician at that - coming off badly in a political committee proves anything at all about the scientific theory (this is an example of an ad hominem argument).

Gil-White also trots out the old "argument from government funding," a variation on the more usual denialist argument, "skeptics cannot get published due to a conspiracy to suppress the truth among all climatology publication venues, so they are forced to sign angry petitions and go on Fox News instead." So, essentially the same implausible conspiracy then, but taking place at the funding approval stage rather than (or in addition to) at the peer review stage. He fails to explain why sceptical scientists could not simply get bootstrap funding from the likes of the Koch brothers (indeed, one climate sceptic famously tried to do this, and ended up changing their mind on climate science on the Kochs' dime). He also claims that climate change sceptics are not "defending" the fossil fuel industries[2] - but not only are some of them defending them, some of them are actually funded by them!

Other amazing lines of argument include citing climate denier and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott abolishing the post of science minister to advance the thesis that some scientists reject climate change, and citing the notorious propaganda "documentary" The Great Global Warming Swindle.

[edit] References

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