Global warming and the Geller effect

“I have tested Uri Geller in my laboratory at King’s College, London University, with specially-designed apparatus.

“The Geller effect – of metal bending – is clearly not brought about by fraud. It is so exceptional that it presents a crucial challenge to modern science, and could even destroy the latter if no explanation becomes available.”

Professor John Taylor of
King’s College, London

I was chatting to the friend who had sent me Hanrahan’s doom-laden words which are summarised in Wikipedia as follows:

The poem describes the recurrent natural cycle of droughtsfloods and bushfires in rural Australia as seen by “Hanrahan”, a pessimistic man of Irish descent.

The question we were discussing was how to deal with people who actually believe global warming and climate change are genuine problems. He is looking for arguments to help others see the light. I, on the other hand, long ago reached the conclusion that there is absolutely no reason for the slightest concern, and have therefore stopped arguing with people, other than just for fun, partly because there is nothing for me to learn, other than to further confirm for myself that these people are unbelievable fools who may yet create havoc on a grand scale across the Western world. The main reason I have stopped arguing with them, however, is because these people are deaf to reason. I am always open to persuasion should some forecast actually turn out to be accurate and the seas really do start to rise, which to me is a .001% probability. In the meantime, I think anyone who treats global warming as a genuine problem has some emotional deficiency in their lives that need to be propped up by these fantastic beliefs. I do not doubt their sincerity.

There is, of course, an actual problem, which is that people really do believe that global warming is a genuine issue. This is in and of itself a major political problem since because of these beliefs, governments are putting in place all kinds of policies that will make us much worse off. As for the supposed problem that works them up so much, I think of these people as naive, scientific innocents, who have not done any genuine research and in any case do not know how to investigate such issues properly. I do not doubt there is more carbon in the atmosphere than there had been a few years ago, and that for a time there had been a gentle upturn in global temperatures which may even be continuing. But I do not believe they are related in any way that matters. More importantly, nothing that will ever happen to the weather will cause the seas to rise or in any way threaten any of us, other than in the ways weather has always affected us in the past – see Hanrahan.

My way of arguing with global swarmists is, in part, to remind them of Uri Geller and his supernatural ability to bend spoons, an ability that had been verified by scientists. And by chance, after we parted I came upon in a secondhand bookshop Uri Geller’s 1975 personal account of his life and abilities, My Story. And there, as the opening quote on the very first page, set off all on its own, is the quote you see above. Not only had his abilities been authenticated at the University of London, more famously he had had his abilities assessed and validated by scientists at Stanford – btw it’s not the university but misdirection in these matters has a long history. As you read the passages below from Geller’s book, bear in mind the notoriously bogus “97% of scientists” statistic. By the way, anyone who quotes the 97% stat who has not examined its origins through the eyes of sceptics is asking to be fleeced. But back to Geller:

“I had been going through scientific tests in the United States at the Stanford Research Institute at Menlo Park, California. The first results had confirmed that something strange and new was happening, both with the metal objects involved and with telepathy experiments. The researchers there had indicated that, if the tests continued to check out as they had, they would have a serious effect on modern science.” (Geller 1975: 14)

That really was the case which I vividly recall. Geller had been examined by a bunch of scientists at the SRI and they were ready to write a new chapter in the history of physics. So how did the public react to all this? Geller describes a poll undertaken by the Daily Mail. You ready?

“The tabulation showed that 95.5 per cent of those voting believed I had genuine psychic powers, and only 4.5 per cent indicated they thought I was just using showman’s tricks. In announcing the results, the Daily Mail said: ‘Time and time again in the many letters sent to us, readers say that while they were skeptical at first, it was the Stanford Research Institute evidence which finally convinced them.'” (Geller 1975: 68-69)

He had a great magic act, fooled lots of people, has recently been inducted into the Magicians Hall of Fame, and has a net worth of $20 million. Not bad for a magician who has essentially only four tricks in his repertoire.

Meanwhile, the same gullible fools across every level of society – rich or poor, educated and dropout, politically left and right – buy this global warming idiocy, which is making many an entrepreneur far more than a measly $20m. It has become a way to academic fame and fortune. It will eventually disappear when nothing ever happens, and more important issues come along, such as the coronavirus, or perhaps something worse. I suspect that for a lot of people there is a level of embarrassment in discovering how gullible they have been. In the meantime, there is the real Geller-effect – being conned into believing absolutely anything on the authority of “science”, unlike the original Geller effect which is a zombie-like belief that if a scientist says something, or is reported to have said something, then it must be true.

Below are videos surrounding Geller’s appearance on the Johnny Carson show in the 1970s. Two things are particularly noteworthy. First is that when the props were set up by a professional magician – in this case Jame Randi – Geller’s abilities absolutely failed. Second, and this is for all you young folks out there, Johnny Carson was smoking during the show!

First, here is James Randi explaining how so many are tricked.

This is a straight up excerpt from the show.

And if you are interested in seeing the whole thing, here’s the full show.

I think of the belief in global warming as equivalent to believing that Uri Geller could bend spoons with the power of his mind. The science is never settled.

And for added interest in how acute scientists can be, here is the link to the recording of the experiments at “Stanford” in 1974.

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13 Responses to Global warming and the Geller effect

  1. min

    Extinction rebellion held a rally last night at Camberwell Junction between 5 and 6.30 . When son drove through about 30 people there . Friends and I were going down with a large cane laundry basket to collect all items that were made using fossil fuels. To set a good example we would be nude as we had no clothing that complied. Unfortunately it was far too cold foe elderly ladies to go nude ,even though February is our hottest month ususlly.

  2. Cynic of Ayr

    This is fascinating, unless, of course. it’s a fake!
    The key is that Geller was investigated scientifically, by scientists, and science had no trouble proving that Geller was a Physic.
    Not only that, 97% of the scientists who were there, agreed.
    (I guess the other 3% is a discarded fingernail or something.)

  3. Alessio

    Yes but it is so hard to sit back and let these fools scare the children by the use of fact free propaganda that they themselves do not verify. In my local newspaper the Whitsunday Times a correspondent to the editor claims the sea level is rising to the degree that turtles will no longer be able to nest on our beaches. Now wait I say “what are the facts”? Well I remember a recent hydrological report (which I now can’t find) at Fort Dennison, Sydney indicating a slight reduction of sea level over 100 years. Then I see a report by Watson, P.J., (2011): Is There Evidence Yet of Acceleration in Mean Sea Level Rise around Mainland Australia?. Journal of Coastal Research: Volume 27, Issue 2: pp. 368 – 377. Another by, You, Zai-Jin; Lord, Doug and Watson, Phil. 2009: Estimation of relative mean sea level rise from Fort Denison tide gauge data [online]. In: Coasts and Ports 2009: In a Dynamic Environment. [Wellington, N.Z.]: Engineers Australia, 2009: [587]-[592]. The latter report indicates sea level increases of 63mm over 100 years, or in their words “the size of a matchbox”.

    Tell me, over a century will our marvellous turtles really change their nesting habits over a sea level increase equivalent to a box of matches? I don’t think so.

    Almost every week I read these invalid claims of climate emergency. I’m only glad that the kids don’t read them.

  4. Carbon rises 800 years after temperatures
    Ice cores reveal that CO2 levels rise and fall hundreds of years after temperatures change

    In 1985, ice cores extracted from Greenland revealed temperatures and CO2 levels going back 150,000 years. Temperature and CO2 seemed locked together. It was a turning point—the “greenhouse effect” captured attention. But, in 1999 it became clear that carbon dioxide rose and fell after temperatures did. By 2003, we had better data showing the lag was 800 ± 200 years. CO2 was in the back seat.

    Surely this analysis from Jo Nova totally debunks the so-called science behind Global Warming/Climate Change theory. When their theory based on carbon dioxide emissions causing Temperature increases has been found to happen in reverse over hundreds of thousands of years and have no scientific & historical precedents. Time to call these narcissists/fraudsters/carpetbagging bankers to account, History will not be kind to them & will just show how shallow & self-serving they have been in their lust for power.

    December 14th, 2009 | Tags: Al Gore, Correlation Is Not Causation, Evidence, Vostok Ice Core | Category: Geology, Global Warming, Holocene, Paleolithic, The Skeptics Handbook | Print This Post Print This Post

  5. cuckoo

    Melburnians of a certain age will remember when tv host Don Lane had James Randi on his show. Randi had a number of small props with which he easily duplicated Uri Geller’s tricks. Lane’s eloquent response was to sweep the props off the table in a rage and stalk off the set. That’s the 97-percent crowd in a nutshell. (Namedrop: in the course of my day job I was once emailed out of the blue by the Amazing Randi, and exchanged messages with him. He was quite a cantankerous old coot.)

  6. Lee

    Melburnians of a certain age will remember when tv host Don Lane had James Randi on his show. Randi had a number of small props with which he easily duplicated Uri Geller’s tricks. Lane’s eloquent response was to sweep the props off the table in a rage and stalk off the set.

    I remember that.

    Lane’s reaction was completely over the top and thoroughly unprofessional. He was also, I suspect, one of those celebrities who was up himself (there are far too many of them these days).

  7. vlad

    Arthur C Clarke, first-class honours graduate in physics and mathematics, was fooled by Geller. Oh, dear.

    I can remember there was some chap at Swinburne in the seventies who was always saying he had 100 papers published as a physicist and had tested children here in Melbourne with similar abilities. It was real, he said.

    Er, no.

    Doris Stokes was a liar, by the way. And the word bleeped out was p-ss.

  8. vlad

    I’ll note also that Feynman (with his son) met Geller privately for a demonstration – Geller was happy to obliged – and wasn’t fooled.

  9. The scientific industrial complex. President Eisenhower predicted the rise of this complex along with the military industrial complex. His farewell speech is available on the interwebs if you haven’t seen it.

    Global Warming / Climate Change is political. It can’t be defeated by science because the industrial complex won’t engage (for obvious reasons).
    It may take a catastrophic economic failure of a large state like Germany or Great Britain for people to stop pushing the scam so hard.

  10. Here we go. Discredited papers don’t even put a dent in the scam.

    The science IS settled. Global Warming is bunkum. Not happening.
    The fight is political.

  11. old bloke

    I do not doubt there is more carbon in the atmosphere than there had been a few years ago,

    Carbon dioxide Steve, not carbon.

    Unless you were thinking of “Lucy in the sky with diamonds.”

  12. Crossie

    Global Warming / Climate Change is political. It can’t be defeated by science because the industrial complex won’t engage (for obvious reasons).
    It may take a catastrophic economic failure of a large state like Germany or Great Britain for people to stop pushing the scam so hard.

    They will both have to fail to convince the rest of our dunces. I’m just grateful that here at the arse end of the world we are a little behind with the fashionable twaddle and hopefully will avoid catastrophic consequences.

    My theory as to why this is happening is atheism. Someone said it much better, when people stop believing in God doesn’t mean they don’t believe in anything, they believe in everything.

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