(Ed: Definition of phlogiston: a substance supposed by 18th-century chemists to exist in all combustible bodies, and to be released in combustion.)
In the 18th century a theory arose to explain the process of oxidation (combustion and rusting).
a substance supposed by 18th-century chemists to exist in all combustible bodies, and to be released in combustion. The theory involved a non-existent substance named phlogiston (from the ancient Greek for burning up. It was a theory which neatly accounted for oxidation processes such as combustion and rusting. Phlogiston was supposedly contained within every flammable substance and released when a substance was burnt. This meant that the residue (the calx) of what was burnt should be lighter than the original substance. Inconveniently for the phlogistonists , experiments showed that, for example, a metal such as magnesium gained weight when burnt in the air. The most excitable phlogistonists in desperation then floated the idea that phlogiston had a negative weight. Some of the less excitable suggested that phlogiston was lighter than air, which obfuscated matters until the measurement of the weight of gases as well as the remainders of a burnt substance became possible through the use of hermetically sealed containers . Eventually an end was brought to this nonsense by a combination of Lavoisier’s identification of oxygen and its combinational qualities and numerous experiments by antiphlogistonists which showed that results of any substance that was combusted or corroded in air could only be explained by the phlogiston theory if phlogiston had a negative weight. The discrediting of phlogiston theory took the better part of a century.
The behaviour of the man-made global warmists is reminiscent of the believers in phlogiston.
Time and again they are confronted with facts which are as damaging to their creed as the weight gain of combusted material was to phlogiston theory. Just like the believers in phlogiston, they meet every unwelcome fact with increasingly absurd adjustments to their theory. It gets warmer; that proves man-made global warming. It gets colder; that proves global warming . Here’s my all-time favourite of such reasoning:
Daily TELEGRAPH 1.5.08
Global warming may ‘stop’, scientists predict
By Charles Clover, Environment Editor
Global warming will stop until at least 2015 because of natural variations in the climate, scientists have said. Researchers studying long-term changes in sea temperatures said they now expect a “lull” for up to a decade while natural variations in climate cancel out the increases caused by man-made greenhouse gas emissions…..
… Noel Keenlyside of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences, Kiel, Germany, said: “The IPCC would predict a 0.3°C warming over the next decade. Our prediction is that there will be no warming until 2015 but it will pick up after that.”
If this was an idea believed only by a few harmless academics it would be of no account. As it is part of the politically correct political elites of most of the developed world it is potent danger as massive costs are piled on developed economies while the economies of the developing world carry on merrily without such costs. It is a recipe to make the West dependent on the likes of China and India and to inflate the wealth and power of the developing world at the expense of the West. As a matter of simple self-preservation, the West needs to rapidly change the mentality of its elites.