It is time to stop quivering in our boots in pointless fear of the future and just roll up our sleeves and build it.
- Ray Pierrehumbert

Friday, February 5, 2010

Grim amusement

Look, I don't want to chase my new audience away, but look at this stuff. Where did all this craziness come from?
  • The author talks about “consequences” for the leftwing politicians and activists who have been pushing this fraud on the American people.

    Don’t hold your breathe.

    Was the left ever held accountable for trying to block President Reagan’s policies which won the Cold War? Do they ever admit they are wrong?

    The left will just latch onto some other big scare/big lie and with the help of their media acolytes attempt once again to push another of their big government/big socialist plans down our throats.

  • There is something truly frightening here. The fact that political agenda can so sway “scientific data” as to cause a near hysterical movement ought to give all those who value truth severe pause.

    Those against the concept of man-made global warming we demonized- my own flesh and blood brother called me a “flat-earther”. Any deviation from the mantra was ridiculed, and the idea of questioning authority was squelched.

    This I find more frightening than any carbon capping legislation that has been talked about.

    People truly are sheep.

  • Can you imagine how bad off we would be as a nation, If Al Gore would have been elected President. To me he is a criminal and so are the scientists who lied about global warming to line their own pockets with so called carbon credits.
  • Yet another vehicle the socialists hoped to use to get to their goal of a world wide socialist utopia has been driven into the ditch.

    It was always about redistribution of wealth and power of government over the individual. Now watch the socialist true believers glom onto another crisis as their new vehicle.

  • By God’s Grace we have seen Truth overpower the Lie. Amen
  • The AGW crowd is comprised of two groups. The first group (the followers) includes the uninformed, the gullible, the well intentioned but naive, the sincere but mislead, many journalists and researchers, and yes, the just plain stupid. I would think it safe to say that these people all believe that most of the recent global warming must have been or was caused by human activity – primarily CO2 emissions and that wind farms fix the problem. These people are not evil, they are just wrong. How anyone could rationally think that the IPCC fairytales prove their position is beyond hope and not worthy of debate.

    The second group (the leaders) includes primary, government funded researchers, left leaning political leaders, activist and environmentalist leadership, and, of course, the Hansens, Gores, Manns, Briffas, Pachauri, and the rest of the extremists with which we are burdened. To the surprise of those in the first group, but not at all to the rest of us, these people do not necessarily believe or, for the most part, even care if global warming is anthropogenic. And, unlike the first group, these people are not only evil and wrong but also dangerous. They are not out to save the world but to gain political power and financial control over individuals, businesses and countries.

  • We continue to thaw from the last ice age. That is the only truth about global warming. It is not catastophic, it is nature. We will most certainly enter another ice age before the earth reaches its warmest climes in which strawberries grow int the arctic circle and Earth is only 3% coverede in ice. We currently sit at about 10% ice coverage. Still in the thaw stage. Science? It seems these folks have no background in historical geology. There is where the history of the terrestial climate lies. It is settled and ageed.

  • The environmentalist’s plan to re-engineer the industrial economy is dead. Unfortunately trust and confidence in the leading western democracies is also dead as a consequence of empty headed support for this travesty. We can laugh at outrageous politicians and call them fools but it is an awful shame that the good names – NASA, NOAA, etc – also spent their credibility on this foolhardy venture. The scientific community has demonstrated a lack of intellectual credibility on the scale of bankers and real estate brokers!
  • This entire scam has been perpatrated for the express purpose of exerting more control over the lemmings (us). The political powers in this world and particularly the UN has seen this issue as an opertuity to attemt to wrest some world control from the US and tranfer it to itself.
  • The situation is dire, far worst than presented here. There is a global melt down in trust in science, unique since Galileo. We just witnessed a worldwide conference of 45,000 attendees, which promoted a redistribution of wealth due to climate change. In the run up to the conference, we were told by prominent scientists and political leaders that this was our last chance, if we do not curtail CO2, billions were doomed. The US Supreme Court, on the basis of this science, granted permission to our EPA to regulate our entire economy to curtail this molecule. However the debate is now about cover up, fraud, lying and deceit, in the basic science. Scientists now enjoy the level of esteem of street barkers. Like Catholic priests, 99% do not deserve this distrust, but it is real, due to not only criminal conduct, but high level official cover up. CO2 curtailment has the very real potential to destroy our way of life, end our society. This is dire.
  • Seems to me that the most important aspect in this article is the fact that people are starting to wake up. I think more and more people are going to demand proof to these “finding” and “theories”. The real death of Global warming will come when these environmentalist have to prove what they are saying BEFORE they get any more money.
  • As any con man will tell you it is easy to deceive those who want to be deceived. The greedy are the easiest of all. With AGW we have greed for money, greed for power and greed for status (saviours of the planet) and greed for votes all coming together and available to so many if they believe in AGW.

    There are also many jobs on the line: How many in the MGM have jobs like correspondent for climate change? How many government departments, politicians and officials oversee policy on climate change/global warming?

  • here is exactly zero evidence that CO2 has anything whatsoever. In fact the evidence is overwhelming that there is no such thing as AGW at all. The whole theory has been debunked by real scientists.
  • As we suspected, AGW was nothing but a watermelon….green on the outside and red on the inside….

    Rather a dramatic coincidence that the AGW scam is revealed just as the USA president tries to ram his socialist agenda down the throat of the American people, with the largest congressional liberal majorities in decades, just in time for gearing up a really good battle in the 2010 midterm elections and perhaps causing the American voter to question other elitist ideas on managing energy, health care, the economy, and various other nanny state regulatory schemes where “the science is settled” …

    God does indeed work in mysterious ways…

    Let us hope that there is indeed truth in the quip widely attributed to Bismarck that “God looks out after fools, drunkards, and the United States of America”

  • What evidence? There is now NO evidence for global warming–period. There are no temperature records anywhere which show an increase in temperatures. All the records had been doctored, where there are actually any records. Climategate revealed that academia had no evidence, just fraudulent programs. The recent “Son of Climategate” revealed that NASA and NOAA were doctoring their temperature records as well.

    Nor is there indirect evidence of warming (c.f. the new Glaciergate and Amazongate scandals). It was all U.N. propaganda.

    The scientific causation model has been disproven–there is no positive temperature feedback. And now recent cooling has been explained by net reduction of atmospheric water vapor. The CO2 story was entirely made up and passed off as fact with no evidence whatsoever.

    There is no evidence for global warming, and there never was. Nada. Nothing. It was all a scam. Don’t you get it? There is no global warming. There is not even evidence that warming would be a threat if it were real. It was all a lie. People have got to stop giving the climate “lientists” any benefit of the doubt. Everything they say is a lie designed to yoke you to a false paradigm.

  • There are indeed a number of benefits arising from anthropogenic CO2 added to our atmosphere: Plant growth has improved, the globe is greening (literally), and the deserts are blossoming as the rose (this includes that most magnificient of sand traps, the Sahara). China’s food production is up 20+% due to carbonization of the atmosphere, as is that of every other food-consuming country. And since that includes all 6+ billion people on the earth, that’s good news. Are there challenges? Yes! Can we address them adequately? Yes! Are we seeing benefits to added CO2 to the atmosphere? Yes! And do greenhouses increase CO2 levels to at least 1,000 ppm (about three times normal) and see substantial benefits? Yes! Sounds like a series of Wins to me!
  • the “phenomenon of global warming” couldn’t be dead, because it has never existed. It was always a giant hoax and fraud perpetrated on humanity by people who hoped to ride the “fix” into permanent power, influence and wealth.
    Far from being simply a transfer of wealth from 1st world to the 3rd, as many have suggested it was all about transfer of wealth from productive sector of humanity (and that exists in China, India, Brazil, and I imagine upper Volta) to the freeloading, jet-setting, “cultured” elites that are running out of inherited wealth.
    The movement would permanently impoverish vast sections of US, Europe, Japan, and kept most of 3rd world, as well as China, India and such like – whatever they are categorized these days as – at the current level of poverty.
  • The faked data, scientists as political actors, and advocacy turning back to drive the research results are the worst aspect of this.

    Advocacy research undermines science as well as twisting policy. This creation of “truth” is found in absurd body counts in Iraq published by epidemiologists who refuse to release details, large numbers of annual dead from lack of private health insurance reported by national health insurance advocates created by massaging “controls” for other factors, or think-tank results about how religion improves life which come from carefully selected methods.

    After all, why bother to base policy in reality when the political class can just twist our view of reality to support policy? It has to start with science and research policing themselves: the effect of a few bad apples is to ruin the whole bushel.

  • What exactly still remains that justifies the “…troubling and establishes in my mind the need for intensive additional research and investigation, as well as some prudential steps that would reduce CO2 emissions by enhancing fuel use efficiency and promoting alternative energy sources…”?

    Is it the deeply flawed GISS dataset that is more and more obviously a product of Hansen et al’s failure to correct for UHI effect? IS ist the disregard for Svensmark’s more and more verified causation theory? IS it the complete non-correlation between CO2 concentration and mid-tropo / mid tropic heat buildup (the only even mildly plausible mechanism ever proposed for AGW)?

    There is nothing left except GCM’s that never had any predictive power, even backwards, and have no physical mechanisms to model that produce AGW symptoms without having them injected through table-lookups.

    Fraud is fraud… find a basis, a mechanism besides dire need to rule the lives of others and there can be a discussion. Right now Gore and PAchauri deserve that medal almost twice as much as the subsequent peace rize winner… and you shouldn’t hold you breath for a pulitzer on this piece either… or then again maybe you’re in the running. Who knows?

  • whats worse here is that there will be an erosion of trust in science. these idiots at the royal academy should be at a minimum fired. I expect politicians to pull these kind of stunts, but scientists who do need discipling.
  • The global warming scam is symptomatic of how the international left does business generally. It tries to rely on distortion,fabrication and intimidation because its statist snake oil is a toxic brew that the public won’t buy if accurately described.Putting it in a green package rather than the red one fools only the terminally gullible
  • The real goal of the elitests behind AGW was to transfer wealth from the 1st world (primarily the US) to the 3rd world. This would serve two purposes: (1) to provide aid to struggling 3rd world economies, and (2) to reduce the wealth/power of the US which is seen by many in Europe as inherently fascist/capitalistic/racist. Thus, you hear nary a word of criticism about the failure of China, India, and Brazil to agree to any measures to restrict their CO2 emissions. The focus is ALL on the US.
  • The great question is not whether this will be remembered as another pseudo-scientific hoax (it will), but rather whether all those who persecuted and attacked the “deniers” and scientific skeptics who went against the “church’s” teachings will be humbled by this, or just go on to the next feat of faith and belief and pretend that they were never a priest, inquisitor, and executioner for their AGCC religion.

    If this recent incarnation of “scientific evidence” for the necessity of slavery and ceding of liberty to elites who have all knowledge and all truth for, “the greater good” has taught us anything, it is yet more evidence that the American public, and the Western World at large, is woefully lacking in basic math and science education. Only an ignorant and uneducated public could be so easily led to believe that global cataclysm was just around the corner because of a tiny increase in a trace gas. Or, that given the size and complexity of the system, that is our atmosphere, such minute changes could cause Armageddon. Carbon dioxide accounts for .00038 of our atmosphere. By contrast, there is 2,631 times as much water vapor in the atmosphere, and it is more than 20 times as important in our planet’s atmosphere’s natural greenhouse effect (you know, the one that allows life on Earth to exist).

    If this is not taken as a stern warning that we need to do a better job of teaching science to all citizens, then we are in a great deal of trouble. Scientists should not be treated like The Great Oz, or cloistered priests who have esoteric knowledge we wouldn’t understand. Science if for everyone, and in our technological societies it is an absolute necessity or we are going to have more and more hoaxes like this one.

  • Thanks goodness sanity is returning. Too bad it hasn’t reached Obama yet or the New York Times.
    I just read Climategate, The CRUtape letters, by Steven Mosher and Thomas Fuller. This is a step by step analysis of what the CRU emails reveal and the folks that write it know the skilled crew that uncovered the dodgy science, so it ties together. It is a “read it and weep” kind of expose. we were being lead down the garden path!
And so on. The winner of this batch (well, to be honest I didn't get all the way through...) is:
  • Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) since the putrescent Hansen’s non air-conditioned testimony before the U.S. Congress in 1988 has always been a propaganda exercise, a tissue of junk-science lies. Cyclical rebounds from a 500-year Little Ice Age ending c. 1880 – 1890 have been deceitfully plotted as a linear trend correlated with atmospheric CO2 emissions by late-Industrial/Technological Western civilization, which for deep psychological reasons Climate Cultists’ Green Gang of Luddite sociopaths despise.

    For fundamental reasons, any “greenhouse effect” anthropogenic or otherwise is mathematically and physically impossible. First, as Edward Lorenz’s Chaos Theory showed in 1964, “complex dynamic systems” such as Earth’s atmosphere are non-random but indeterminate, non-linear in any form.

    Second, thermodynamic Conservation Laws define “entropy” as prohibiting 100% efficiency of any heat-engine in either open or closed contexts: Thermal equilibrium self-adjusts by means of cooling vs. warming processes. Warmist ignoramuses assert Perpetual Motion, equating Earth with Venus, whose geophysical dynamics bear no resemblance to our own.

    Over a generation now, this massive fraud has sabotaged world energy economies, subverted objective, rational scientific inquiry, promoted a terminally dysfunctional elite like Al Gore and Rajendra Pachauri, too busy raking off ill-gotten Cap-and-Trade gains in Thieves’ Markets to proofread or even minimally review their doltish IPCC, GISS/NASA, Penn State ESSC, or Hadley CRU pronouncements. Now as Cycle 24’s “dead sun” presages a 70-year Maunder Minimum, most likely ending Earth’s 12,250-year Holocene Interglacial Epoch, Warmists’ legacy could well be mega-deaths worldwide.

I love the appeal to Ed Lorenz. Very compelling.

OK, politeness challenge! Pick one and reply, as if your aunt had said it over a holiday dinner.

62 comments:

John F. Pittman said...

Hello, MT. You invited me (us), I assume with the invitation of your linked name. I hope you have not quoted me on this thread. Unless of course you will allow me to respond?

I like Mosher read your blog on occassions. Hope you forgive me in that after the emails I spent time on my two areas of interest which are "Why Yamal Matters" and economics of climate change.

I glad that brid was able to show what I was trying to communicate.

Perhaps you appreciate the irony, though brid stated that it was an interesting but complicated/complex consideration. Your point is that climate science is, too.

There are other considerations than whether it is 3, 5 or take your choice degrees C sensitivity.

It is unfortunate that brid did not understand that accounting for value was a prerequiste for your and the IPCC's claim as has been done.

If you wish to discuss we can. I assumed your invation included me.

Penguindreams said...

Michael,

I'll suggest a different exercise. Take any one of those comments. Preferably work your way through all of them. Rule out cheap answers like 'they're just delusional/ignorant/irrational/...' as explanations. Presume that the commenters are honest and rational by their lights and in their frame of reference. What is that frame of reference? What premises are they working from?

If you can't answer in terms that the person who made the comment might agree with, you're never going to be able to communicate with them.

David B. Benson said...

My aunt earned her MS in a biological science (before WWII) and would never have uttered any of those quotations.

Arthur said...

The main post you linked to, and many of the comments, are rather obviously examples of projection. It's a mental illness, at the bottom.

(word verification: dunse)

Tom said...

Okay. "The global warming scam is symptomatic of how the international left does business generally. It tries to rely on distortion,fabrication and intimidation because its statist snake oil is a toxic brew that the public won’t buy if accurately described.Putting it in a green package rather than the red one fools only the terminally gullible."

I don't see how you can credibly say that. In the UK, global warming was used heavily by the Thatcher administration as an additional reason to move from coal (and her hated coal unions) to nuclear. This was pushed hard by her science advisor, one err, umm, Viscount, Lord, ummm, Monckton. Left and Right really don't have much to do with this. Right now the Republicans are leaning skeptic because it's a convenient club with which to beat the Democrats. If Obama turned skeptical all of a sudden, the Republicans would become very Green.

Political positions have nothing to do with this issue. CO2 is a greenhouse gas. If concentrations double, it will have an appreciable effect on the heat retained in the oceans and atmosphere. There will be consequences. Some (not all) will be quite bad.

If we had the sense god gave a duck we would hasten the switch to green energy generation, smart energy distribution and greater consumption efficiency. Can you find me a Republican or Democrat stupid enough to deny this?

Ian said...

Phew, that's a tough one - and I do have quite a few of these people among my neighbors. The hard part is establishing any sort of common ground, because each "side" of the conversation feels as if the other is disconnected from reality.

Surprisingly, it often helps (a little) to separate the science that shows warming from the political/social/tech responses. At least in my experience, people like this assume that you're a socialist elitist (etc.) if you believe the A part of AGW - separating the two spheres is important. (Of course, this has its limits - at a broad level the human cause of the problem constrains the solutions - but try to keep them separate.)

Beyond that, I think the approach would depend on the particular people. So, for example, for someone who might be interested in a longer conversation, I might start with "Well, I think the science is pretty ironclad. For instance, x, y, and/or z. The hard part is figuring out what to do next." For someone who's itching for a fight, the best response is sometimes to play to the audience; e.g. saying with a smile "You're revealing a lot about where you get your information. Careful you don't drink the kool-aid..." The audience gets a kick out of this rhetorical switch, but you have to be careful not to get too worked up or it kills the effect.

I hope these sorts of approaches are effective, but I'll probably never really know if I change anyone's mind...

gravityloss said...

Hmm, I think they do have strawberries in the arctic circle already.
http://www.actahort.org/books/439/439_64.htm

Marco said...

@Tom:
I hope that was at least in part a tongue-in-cheek comment?
Monckton at no point was ever a science advisor to Thatcher. He was involved in a policy unit as 'special advisor' on economical matters.

Hank Roberts said...

> as if your aunt

Heimlich maneuver is all I could think of if I saw someone choking on one of those.

Seriously, some of those are probably bot posts. Step back and remember this is a highly funded corporate PR effort to delay change until changes in funds and investments and contract language can be done to leave the old dead industry in the hands of the little investors and let the few who always profit from change own the future, again, as they always try to do.

Don't look at the waving hands, most of this is misdirection.

Look where the money is going.

Hank Roberts said...

PS, I completely agree with Penguindreams on this approach:

"Presume that the commenters are honest and rational by their lights and in their frame of reference. What is that frame of reference? What premises are they working from?

If you can't answer in terms that the person who made the comment might agree with, you're never going to be able to communicate with them."

Not because it's easy or fun, but because it's what works. Nothing else does.

Point of my earlier post was to first figure out which of the figures at that holiday table are real human beings and which are lifelike simulations by PR companies. Because it's always going to get harder to tell who's a real person and who's a convincing advertising supplement. They'll alwyays be able to overwhelm any serious attempt at conversation by marching more zombies into the crowd, diluting the real human beings' participation with corporate PR.

That's the way the world is going. The corporations have taken a Dr. Bronner approach to controlling democracy: Dilute! Dilute!

Ian said...

Hank, there may be bots among the quoted posters, but I'd bet most are real. The web comment format may make them a bit freer to express themselves than they would feel in a face-to-face conversation, and there may even be some social pressure to make one's post sound more emphatic than the previous posters, but there's no doubt that there are lots of people like this.

Michael Tobis said...

John Pittman, thanks for your interest. Discussions of economic matters are very much on topic for this blog, although not this particular thread.

I am "skeptical" in the sense of harboring severe doubts about economics much as others are toward climate science. Because of this, I try to be careful using argument from authority, which is not to say that I don't think authority has its place.

I promise to come back to this topic as time allows. At the moment, there is much to process from my experiences of the past week, especially at Lucia's. So you may wish to check back later.

My entire formal education in economics consists of a single undergraduate course at Northwestern way back in the 1970s. I have read some informal writings by a few economists since.

My position is essentially Malthusian. I believe that most economics totally ignores the finite limits of the system among other things; that most of its achievements are best considered as a small-signal linearization and therefore fundamentally misleading in consideration of whole-system constraints.

I think I understand what you are driving at regarding risks and strategies, but I think we currently lack the means to be quantitative about economics at the largest time and space scales.

I don't expect a new economics thread soon, although I'm glad to have more readers who think about economics in the hopes of raising the level of the discussion.

Meanwhile, please look around the blog and see what my previous efforts to raise these matters have come to.

John F. Pittman said...

MT I don't know if you saw the article Contrarian linked to. I think it supports some of your points. From my point of veiw it appears that it could possibly show that the precautionary principle wrt climate change is a correct stance. I look at his model and think he needs to expnd it. But I am having to read it several times to make sure. I know I would consider a different probabilty bounding. I think his has a problem that assigned probabilities are difficult to agree to. See what you think. It may be his presentation you would find agreeable.

Patrick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael Tobis said...

Tyndall, not Tydale, but otherwise thanks! Nice quote, and quotation of the week now.

Pangolin said...

The first rule of science is that the universe doesn't care what you think of it unless perhaps you're a single electron. It has it's own rules. Ignorance of gravity or inertia or friction coefficients does not excuse bad driving. The car goes where the laws of physics say it will go.

Likewise ignorance of the science of global warming will not spare those living in the path of it's effects. Energy added to a fluid system, the atmosphere, will seek to reach a balance; if your house, or nation, is in the way tough crackers. Nobody has to believe in global warming; if it's real it will believe in you soon enough.

So much for the polite answer.

Somewhere there is somebody who is working on a hypothesis of "meme" poison in that acceptance of certain toxic memes allows a whole range of other toxic memes to take up residence. The paragraphs you quote show a pronounced lack of information hygiene. Comparisons to an anaerobic compost pile come to mind. Unfortunately, sticking a fork it it and airing it out is not an option.

When the proof of climate change comes to these individuals with an immediate and significant attachment of mass, inertia and or thermal gradient they may take notice. But don't hold your breath waiting. These people have turtles all the way down.

EliRabett said...

The Communists and Socialists have always been oriented towards production from heavy industry at all costs. The worst polluters were in the former Soviet Union, the Warsaw Pact countries and now China. Why are you pushing their environmental policy?

Stephen said...

@Pangolin,

One has to wonder if there's anything that would constitute proof for a die-hard climate denier.

No matter how hot the Earth gets, no matter how high the carbon dioxide concentration gets, no matter how steep or how long the trendline, if they don't accept the extant scientific proof behind AGW, nothing that happens from here on in will change their mind.

A belief that cannot be changed despite the evidence is the very definition of a religious belief.

Frank Bi said...

MT, Ian:

A reply up on the IJI.

Hank Roberts said...

Sigh. They want _scientists_ to explain why the Internet is full of this nonsense??

http://blogs.reuters.com/uknews/2010/02/04/climate-scientists-seek-to-calm-storm-of-doubt/

---excerpt----
The questions grew tougher when none of the panel members agreed to discuss the leaked email row, dubbed “Climategate”. One reporter from a national newspaper said the scientists had failed to explain why internet forums are full of people who just don’t believe the science behind manmade global warming.

“Call me naïve, but I came here today expecting a confident fightback from climate science and I haven’t heard that,” the reporter said. “You are not addressing head on and robustly the issue of perception in the way you need to do.”

The panellists refused to budge, however. They would not talk about the leaked emails until an inquiry reports its findings.

They also refused to say if the IPCC head Rajendra Pachauri should resign over the glacier claim.

They wanted to stick firmly to the science and said they would always be willing to examine any credible evidence from climate change sceptics.

“I’m sorry if you feel it is not adequate, but it is where the scientific community has to be. We just simply have to do the research and bring the scientific evidence to the table,” said Professor Alan Thorpe, a climate scientist who is also chief executive of the Natural Environment Research Council.

---end excerpt----

And the AI that handles word verification offers me for this one:

"quack"

I think it's a duck.

Hank Roberts said...

Oh, earlier when I suggested 'bot posts' I include manually operated bots, copypaste people.
It's always worth taking a long string from a rant post and quoting it in the Google search box.

So many of them are just plagiarized copypastes of something someone found elsewhere.

I think it's worth testing whether it's really something written by the person who posted it, before making the effort to reply to any given instance---if it's been posted repeatedly many places letter for letter, you won't be replying to the writer, just to the guy with the brush and glue who's pasting up the copies in every available space everywhere.

Pelto said...

You mentioned, there is a global melt down in trust in science, unique since Galileo. Is it not true that on scientific issues Galileo was on the right course and those that called him a fraud and quack on the wrong track. Thus, the lack of trust at that time was not warranted. In terms of global meltdown, yes I do see that from the Pine Island Glacier and Wilkins Ice Shelf in the south to the Jakobshavn Glacier and arctic sea ice loss in the north and the shrinking mountain glacier in the middle. Including our need to develop a model to forecast glacier survival . Are you sure you did not just confuse some of your words auntie?

Marion Delgado said...

It's Groundhog Day for us, but may not be for all of them. That's as polite as I can manage.

Patrick said...

A common thread in these arguments about Anthropogenic Global Warming is that it is wholly motivated by a political agenda. This notion has a logic to it. If you wish to oppose an idea that enjoys wide spread support the easiest way to undercut that idea is to argue that those with the concerns are not acting in good faith. This puts you in an enviable position. Nearly anything that your opponent says or does is evidence for your position, that they are either acting in bad faith or are pathetic, gullible, and mislead. That they are, in short, either fools or liars. In a situation such as this the ability to answer the question "what would it take to change your mind" is essential. Making the claim that those arguing for action to reduce GHG emisions are perpetrating a hoax ends the very possibility of dialog.

A favorite passage of mine from a letter by John Tyndall seems to the point. The context of his comments was that Tyndall was a supporter of the germ theory of disease which was promoted at that time (nineteenth century) by Louis Pasteur and Joseph Lister.

"My own interference with this great question, while sanctioned by many eminent names, has been also an object of varied and ingenious attack. On this point I will only say that when angry feeling escapes from behind the intellect, where it may be useful as an urging force, and places itself athwart the intellect, it is liable to produce all manner of delusions. Thus my censors, for the most part, have levelled their remarks against positions which were never assumed, and against claims which were never made."

One of the commentators quoted claims that widescale mistrust in science is without precedent, since the time of Galileo. It is not. What is more, those who were in opposition did not blush at the most extreme claims while seeking to discredit their rivals.

(edited for spelling errors.)

Michael Tobis said...

Andrew Sullivan:

"I do not believe you can understand contemporary conservatism as a political entity. It is a religious entity. And until more Americans understand its true nature, they will keep getting surprised by the virulence of its message and the power of its momentum."

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/02/christianism-in-its-essence.html

Pangolin said...

I am sympathetic to the hypothesis that climate change denialism is religious in nature. My father, a conservative christian, was subject to certain habits of argument. When faced with an argument that proved he was factually wrong on a supporting point he would simply replace it with another no matter how fanciful or tangential to the original argument that might be. Simply defeating that point was ineffective because a previously defeated point could reappear to prop up the platform he was proposing. In effect he had an infinite supply of props to support any claim he might make. To fault any claim he might make on logic was pointless.

It is this experience that makes me believe that climate scientists should NEVER debate the deniers in a verbal public forum. An honest scientist will always admit the relevant level of doubt behind his arguments while the deniers will support total fictions as if they had the solidity of a granite dome. To even stand before an audience with a denier is a victory to them as it pre-supposes an equality that is not there.

Ask them to write their own research papers. If they complain they cannot get published they could always start their own journals. It would quickly become apparent that the denier journals were publishing garbage as the facts overtook their claims.

Finally, as to the claim that "normal" people are excluded and ignored. I am a high-school, and college, drop-out and part-time handyman. I am as normal as mud. I have been frequently corrected but never excluded.

David B. Benson said...

Pangolin --- Your fathr's debating technique is infamously known as the Gish Gallop.

Which I have personally witnessed in a "debate" between an anthropologist and Gish himself..

Pangolin said...

David_ Thank you for the reference to Gish Galloping. It's nice to know the consensus terms for these things. Be glad you witnessed the performance from a distance and had the privilege of walking out at the end of the session. I ended up with a deep skepticism and reflex flinch at religious language.

Kooiti MASUDA said...

EliRabett, I agree that the past communist regimes were worst polluters, perhaps because of top-down administration combined with Marx-Engels idea of material growth. But I think that the current situation of China etc. is very heterogeneous regards to environmental policy: very bad somewhere, but very good somewhere.

According to a Japanese social scientist, the only countries where the trends of forest coverage in 2000-2005 is significantly positive are just China, Vietnam and Cuba (based on data from FAO). It appears that forest plantation under capitalist regimes are usually unsustainable. But the author also worries about China where the reforestation policy is too top-down.

Seki Y., 2009: Thinking about mitigation of global warming from Asian forests (in Japanese). In: "Global Warming and Sustainable Development" (Uzawa H. and Hosoda Y. eds., University of Tokyo Press, ISBN 978-4-13-040243-9), 79 - 110. (The English translation of the book title is official, but that of the chapter title is mine.)

Kooiti MASUDA said...

My understanding about whether "science is settled" is as follows.

Science is settled about the one-century outlook of global mean surface air temperature approximately within a factor of two (and another factor of two if we include uncertainty in what the human sociey decides).

Science is NOT settled about regional climate change. And I am not sure whether it can ever settle if the target is defined as accurate prediction. But, make no mistake. "Not settled" is not equivalent to ignorance. We have some knowledge, just just we are less confident than the global case.

Hank Roberts said...

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_7pPdnIdJ3DE/S2zGDSRp9hI/AAAAAAAAAbg/CRSH3x_TDQ8/s1600/Morlandclimate1.jpg

Hank Roberts said...

'Facts' corrected; opinion unchanged:

http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/content/jan2010/bw20100128_152091.htm?campaign_id=rss_topStories

It begins:

Is Global Warming a "Crock of S*%t?"
Many scientists and the media warn that global warming is a man-made danger. But others argue that climate change is nothing new

By Ed Wallace

(This column has been corrected. A previous version cited findings by the author that misstated conclusions of a scientific report by Wolfgang Knorr of the Earth Sciences Department at the University of Bristol. The paragraph in question has been removed. The author, while admitting the mistake, stands behind the thesis of the column.)

"Global warming is a crock of s*%t!"...

AMac said...

The last line of this post ("OK, politeness challenge! Pick one and reply, as if your aunt had said it over a holiday dinner") is what makes it a good one.

Here's one way of looking at things. What do we do about --

1. Our side's strong arguments.

2. Our side's weak arguments.

3. Their side's strong arguments.

4. Their side's weak arguments.

At advocacy blogs, contributors can forget that "we" share these challenges with "them" (people who take a contrary position on the issue at hand).

By and large (the excerpts are too long for me to read 'em all), what MT quotes are examples of #4 from the AGW Consensus perspective.

I thought Patrick, among others, made a good point:

"A common thread in these arguments about AGW is that it is wholly motivated by a political agenda... If you wish to oppose an idea that enjoys wide spread support the easiest way to undercut that idea is to argue that those with the concerns are not acting in good faith. This puts you in an enviable position. Nearly anything that your opponent says or does is evidence for your position, that they are either acting in bad faith or are pathetic, gullible, and mislead. That they are, in short, either fools or liars."

Lukewarmers and skeptics -- not to mention "Denialists" -- can of course look at "the other side's weak arguments" from a different perspective. The same argument comes as naturally to them. Here, for example, is Half Sigma with a similar riff on Gaiaism.

Those who followed the lengthy Tobis/Simacs thread Lucia's saw MT's evolving perspective on handling #4 (their weak arguments), and willing to think about the counterpart #2 (our weak arguments) as well.

It's maddening to know that you've got the right of it and your opponents don't. Difficult to credit that those opponents share your frustrations.

Frank Bi said...

Duh. Duh duh duh. I see that AMac has just supplied yet another example that sort of proves our thesis. I'm attempting at a polite reply to AMac, as if he's my aunt and he just said all that over a holiday dinner, but let's just say it's not straightforward.

AMac said...

Frank Bi,

It's possible that your response (Feb. 9, 5:41 am) says what you want it to say. It's even possible that you think you've got an argument that has legs outside your own circle.

On the other hand, your stance isn't tactically effective. I'll wager MT knows what I mean. He could fill you in.

Your "our thesis" link features blogger Robert Grumbine. Here's a page with a link to Grumbine and his chums smirking about Mike Mann's upside-down use of the Tiljander proxies.

Also not tactically effective.

bi -- International Journal of Inactivism said...

AMac:

"At advocacy blogs, contributors can forget that 'we' share these challenges with 'them' (people who take a contrary position on the issue at hand)."

Well, let me say this. Instead of thinking of us 'The AGW Consensus' as angry white people just like yourself except coming from a reverse direction, it may help to think of us as aliens on Jupiter.

Ask yourself, 'Does an alien on Jupiter prefer to drink tea or coffee in the morning?'

If your answer is 'Bad question. It's an alien on Jupiter, for goodness's sake!' then you're starting to get the idea.

Yes, that's how different we are. Over here we do things very, very, very differently -- more differently than you can imagine. Forget everything you think you know about Michael Tobis the angry white male coming from a reverse direction. Start learning about Michael Tobis the alien on Jupiter.

Welcome to Jupiter.

AMac said...

Frank Bi,

You present an analogy about Jupiter that's not helpful to me.

The "angry white male" talk isn't an analogy, it's a projection.

A couple of years back, I participated in a series of blog-discussions with some committed right-to-lifers, concerning abortion policy. They were able to listen to pro-choice positions, and make some good points of their own. While remaining civil, despite their passionate beliefs. That was surprising to me.

Many online advocates of the AGW Consensus conduct themselves in ways that seem--on their face--to be pretty damaging to their cause. At least, those advocates that have to get policies enacted in open societies, rather than by gaining the favor of some tyrant.

Viewed in some ways, that's surprising. Seen from other perspectives, maybe it's not.

By the way, this is the topic that Michael Tobis was discussing with Lucia and her commenters at The Blackboard, as far as the Planet3.0 discussion of Kim Simacs' Tea Party invitation to an AGW debate.

Your remarks are kind of patronizing--it's somewhat unpleasant to be on the receiving end of that. And you don't seem to be making a big effort to offer insight, as far as I can tell. So this will likely be my final contribution to this exchange.

But anyway, thanks for taking the time to respond.

Michael Tobis said...

Many people value politeness and don't value coherence.

They claim to value "science", a claim which is at best delusional, because coherence is the fundamental tool of scientific truth-seeking. This drives people who actually do value truth-seeking to a fury. This fury is unattractive to observers and weakens the credibility of science.

I fell into the trap when Morano called the world's attention to my somewhat impolitic article about Kim SImac. It was not as if I was unaware of the trap; I began this blog by talking about it.

I do not agree with bi that there is a huge qualitative difference between myself and someone like Lucia or Steve McIntyre.

Why their behavior is so immensely destructive despite their reasonable intentions and skills is a separate topic, and an interesting one. Learning more about this was what was so fascinating about my recent foray to Lucia's.

AMac said...

MT, I think "many people" (Feb. 10, 10:06am) is addressed to me, so I'll respond.

Politeness is good; civility is the real virtue. The reality of the human condition is that people disagree, even about very important things. What should we do, move straight to coercion, based on what one party thinks? (See: Century, 20th, History of.) What if your beliefs, or mine, require common action?

For that matter, what's the disadvantage of civility?

> ...and don't value coherence.

Can you cite examples from this thread or the one at The Blackboard that lead you to assert that I don't value coherence? If the riposte is, "many people" doesn't include AMac and his ilk... of course many Lukewarmers aren't particularly coherent. Ditto for many AGW Consensus adherents. So the insight is... what?

> They ["many people"] claim to value "science", a claim which is at best delusional, because coherence is the fundamental tool of scientific truth-seeking.

Today, everybody claims to value Science. "Everybody" in Medieval Christendom claimed to value the divinity of Jesus. (Somehow, never managing to arrive at unanimity or peace. Go figure).

Here's the rub: what, exactly is this totem that we all agree on?

I value the application of the scientific method as the best way to learn about the natural world. I value the process of falsifiability as described by Karl Popper, Richard Feynman, and others. I don't assume that people who have the credentials and jobs that make them Scientists are immune from the shortcomings that afflict all of humankind. I don't assume that their work product is necessarily correct.

> This drives people who actually do value truth-seeking to a fury.

"This" needs to be better defined. "People who actually do value truth-seeking" needs characterization, too.

> This fury is unattractive to observers and weakens the credibility of science.

Yes. The fury that is readily displayed by many advocates of the AGW Consensus conveys information about the nature of their beliefs. To observers, it weakens the perceived credibility of AGW Consensus science.

Suppose, hypothetically, that some climate scientists engaged in Bad Behavior. E.g. suppose that they produced faulty scientific papers that supported their deeply-held beliefs that immediate, sweeping, worldwide action is required to curb GHG emissions.

What should the response of the wider AGW Consensus community be?

* Close ranks. Admitting that climate science can be flawed would provide ammo to Denialists at a critical time when the focus should remain on planet-saving action.

* Offer justified criticism. The AGW Consensus is driven by the science. Bad behavior leads to results that are unreliable or wrong. Good policy can't be based on faulty science.

* Offer justified criticism. For the AGW Consensus' insights to translate into actions, a plurality of citizens beyond the committed base have to understand the threat of human-caused climate change. The credibility of the Consensus will be eroded if advocates selectively support Bad Behavior. In the long run, credibility will be enhanced if observers recognize that the AGW Consensus community walks the walk.

Unfortunately for you -- unfortunately for all of us, if you're right -- this hypothetical, isn't. Certain climate scientists have put the Consensus community in just this position.

Michael Tobis said...

Regarding alternative tactics, you can't win.

If somebody wants to paint you as a criminal, all the while smiling and pretending to be honest and congenial, you cannot win in the eyes of a casual observer. At best you can break even by employing the same shallow tactics. But since the opponent is playing for the draw, that is as bad as losing.

The only way science can win is with an appropriate network of trust and authority. This becomes very difficult and expensive under concerted attack. We have to figure out how to pay this price.

AMac said...

MT,

Your 4:30pm comment wasn't responsive to what I wrote at 3:48pm. Perhaps it wasn't meant to be, which is fine of course.

I'd raise these points.

"Winning" can mean many things. Consensus advocates don't seem to have thought much about that.

Painting you as a criminal, all the while smiling and pretending to be honest and congenial -- If you can't imagine a good-faith dispute, then either you're being persecuted, or you suffer from a persecution complex.

The only way science can win is with an appropriate network of trust and authority -- The trust and authority of AGW Consensus Science wasn't stolen by evil denialists. It has been damaged by the Consensus advocates who enabled and then excused the bad behavior of particular scientists.

Dan Satterfield said...

It amazes me that people can write this stuff and not have the slightest idea of how utterly stupid they sound. Obviously they haven't had even a junior high level of science education.

Dan

bi -- International Journal of Inactivism said...

AMac:

"At advocacy blogs, contributors can forget that 'we' share these challenges with 'them' (people who take a contrary position on the issue at hand)."

"The 'angry white male' talk isn't an analogy, it's a projection."

Dude, you can't ask other people to treat you as similar to themselves, and then later complain that (according to you) people are treating you as similar to themselves.

So which is it? You can't have it both ways.

"You present an analogy about Jupiter that's not helpful to me."

Which part(s) of the analogy do you not understand? Maybe I can clarify them for you. You see, we use the lingo of Jupiter among ourselves so often that sometimes we forget that others speak a different lingo.

* * *

MT:

"I do not agree with bi that there is a huge qualitative difference between myself and someone like Lucia or Steve McIntyre."

Whether something is "huge" depends on who's looking at it. It may not be huge in your terms, but it's definitely huge in AMac's (supposed) terms.

Lazar said...

"coherence"

I have not seen a "lukewarmer" generate *any* pdf of climate sensitivity, let alone one which is plausible and has a central value of less than 2C. Mostly I see a large focus on irrelevancies (to climate sensitivity). I wonder where beliefs in lower sensitivity come from (surely not e.g. upside down Tiljander)?

Lazar said...

AMac,

"Winning" can mean many things.

Winning to most of us means enough support from the glorious, mercurial, disinterested public -- blown by the winds of a Morano screed one day and a plastic bottle, vinegar and bicarb solution the next -- to overcome our politicians love of fossil fuel money. Not winning over ideologically or financially committed activists -- has been tried, and was universally found to be a waste of time. If we engage activists at all it is as far as those efforts can help in engaging the public.

The trust and authority of AGW Consensus Science wasn't stolen by evil denialists

Yes it was. By two decades of disingenuous and often lying PR by politicians, PR professionals, journalists, conservative think tanks, astroturf organizations and more recent efforts on the intertubes.

Lazar said...

Blaming the victims, a timely example -- from where does public distrust in climate science originate -- not those wascally denialists -- are you sure?

"Fabricated quote used to discredit climate scientist"

Peiser; think tank associate, not a climate scientist
Monckton; think think associate, financial interest, not a climate scientist
Booker; journalist, financial interest, nacs
Helmer; politician, nacs

Lazar said...

"Groundhog Day; six more weeks of climate change debates?", Simon Donner;

Over time, Maribo, like most other climate-focused blogs became enveloped in the online game of whack-a-mole between the 20% of the internet-savvy population that is actively concerned about climate change and angry about the lack of action, and another 20% who see climate change as conspiracy cooked up by Al Gore. The battles may be necessary to stamp out the egregious mistakes and misrepresentations that permeate the internet and the daily news (*). The battles are also tiresome.

I'd like to get back to thinking about the other 60% of the population. I've been working on new ideas and venues for outreach which may involve a re-imagining of Maribo and/or a venture into other media.

AMac said...

bi --

> Dude, you can't ask other people to treat you as similar to themselves, and then later complain that (according to you) people are treating you as similar to themselves.

Sorry, this remark isn't readily interpretable.

> Which part(s) of the analogy do you not understand?

I'd suggest you make your point directly rather than via analogy.

- - - - -

Lazar --

> If we engage activists at all it is as far as those efforts can help in engaging the public.

That sounds like a good plan. It's what Lucia suggested to MT.

> [AMac] The trust and authority of AGW Consensus Science wasn't stolen by evil denialists

> {Lazar] Yes it was.

Not to me. The issue was and is the divergence between the norms of AGW Consensus science, and the norms of science as conceived by Popper and Fenyman (Cargo-cult science essay).

That doesn't make the Consensus wrong. It means Consensus claims should be approached with caution.

Thanks for the heads-up on the emerging Houghton quote scandal. We'll see how it plays out.

Lazar said...

AMac,

Not to me.

I accept your reasons for reserving doubt toward the consensus are what you say they are. But when members of the public tell me why they doubt AGW they often refer to a puff piece they read in a 'newspaper' or watched on TV, with trivial errors, endlessly debunked stuff, like confusing weather and climate. And they generally don't mention Feynman or Popper. The most recent example based his decision from watching the "Great Global Warming Swindle" -- a piece of fraudulent, denialist, PR. Disagree? I mean, do you disagree the factors I mentioned -- two decades of disingenuous and often lying PR by politicians, PR professionals, journalists, conservative think tanks, astroturf organizations and more recent efforts on the intertubes -- have influenced the public (as a group) opinion? Are your experiences greatly different?

Turing word says; "conse"

Frank Bi said...

AMac:

So you repeatedly claim that you don't understand a word of what I'm saying, and yet you pretend to understand what we "The AGW Consensus" are doing, to the point of giving us unsolicited advice.

Are you honestly trying to understand what we're about, or are you just throwing dung?

-- bi

AMac said...

Frank Bi,

You don't appear to be very good at paraphrasing me. If you want to converse, it might help if you quote me, instead.

Re: my use of "AGW Consensus," I've tried to find a description that is neither offensive nor flattering. Is there a better term? By the way, "Denialist" is offensive, at least to me. As well as inaccurate.

If and when I become convinced that Michael Tobis' concerns about the timing and magnitude of climate change are valid, then I'll also become very worried about the counterproductive tactics of so many Consensus adherents. That's the future.

Richard Feynman's "Cargo-Cult Science" is an essay based on a metaphor. It was rewarding to follow his thinking, because of who he is, how he writes, and what he has to say. This metaphor is a literary device: towards the end of the piece, he makes his points about the practice of science in direct, unadorned prose.

I hope that helps.

Frank Bi said...

AMac:

I asked

"Are you honestly trying to understand what we're about, or are you just throwing dung?"

You said,

"Re: my use of 'AGW Consensus,' [...]"

Thank you, AMac, for repeatedly dodging my questions and chasing after some tangential part of some remark as an excuse to throw out your own talking points. That speaks volumes more about you, than it does about any of the "counterproductive tactics" you claim to decry.

* * *

"towards the end of the piece, he [Feynman] makes his points about the practice of science in direct, unadorned prose. I hope that helps."

OK, AMac. Here's the plain prose. Which part of

"Over here we do things very, very, very differently -- more differently than you can imagine."

do you not understand?

-- bi

AMac said...

Frank Bi --

Sorry, I missed this:

> Are you honestly trying to understand what we're about, or are you just throwing dung?

I'm slowly learning some of the AGW science, which is important as far as what public policy should be. How people deal with dissonance between external facts and internal beliefs obviously interests Michael Tobis. Me, too.

Throwing dung? I re-read the thread and don't see where I've given offense.

This is a conversation, not a lesson where I've agreed to the task of understanding what you are about. If it annoys you, how about saying, "I'm done." I'll say "OK" (though I might still respond to Lazar or MT).

Michael Tobis said...

AMac may be concern trolling a bit, but I don't see any dung throwing.

On the other hand, I'm afraid I don't understand what Frank is getting at, at all.

AMac said...

Frank Bi --

> OK, AMac. Here's the plain prose. Which part of "Over here we do things very, very, very differently -- more differently than you can imagine" do you not understand?

I understand the words, but do not understand the point you wish to make. What are the things that you do very differently? Express a deep faith in AGW Consensus-supporting scientists? Loathe Denialists? Live daily life according to the precepts of Sustainability? Hold the uninformed views of the Sheeple in contempt?

Why should I be fascinated by this puzzle that you've set before me?

At times, it seems that "you folks" are heedless about giving offense to people who would otherwise be neutral or even sympathetic to your cause. Recall, that was a topic of the Tobis/Simacs threads at Lucia's.

Perhaps you figure that AGW Consensus science is so compelling that people like me will end up under your banner in the end, no matter what. So might as well work off a little steam in the meantime.

I like to think that, in my case, you'd be right. But it still seems like poor tactics.

- - - - -

Michael Tobis --

> AMac may be concern trolling a bit

Here's prominent AGW Consensus blogger Eli Rabett on Concern Trolls.

Everything I've written here and at Lucia's has been in good faith. To be repaid in this coin of faux psychoanalysis feels cheap.

I don't comment where my voice isn't welcome. This blog is your party, and it's a big internet.

If you didn't mean that drive-by, you might say so. If it is what you meant, I'm done.

Michael Tobis said...

I did say "a bit".

The whole thing about "I disagree but if I were you and I wanted someone to agree I would..." is not exactly in the definition, but it is exasperating.

A real concern troll would actually dishonestly pretend to agree.

I'd prefer you speaking for why you believe what you believe, and leave the cast confusion about how to handle the fiasco to those of us who are trying to do that.

AMac said...

Michael Tobis --

> The whole thing about "I disagree but if I were you and I wanted someone to agree I would..." is not exactly in the definition, but it is exasperating.

OK, when I express my puzzlement over your stupid tactics, it exasperates you. How to respond? (a) "AMac, you won't get any more insight and your approach annoys, please move on", or (b) "AMac may be concern trolling a bit" (even if it's not exactly in the definition).

You chose (b). That speaks volumes more about you.

> I'd prefer you speaking for why you believe what you believe

See below

> and leave the cast confusion about how to handle the fiasco to those of us who are trying to do that.

I have no idea what that means.

I came to AGW a couple of months back, via learning about Mann's upside-down use of the Tiljander proxies. Scientists making dumb mistakes? Yawn, happens all the time. Scientists having obvious, glaring mistakes formally brought to their attention in PNAS, and responding by, effectively, spitting in their critic's face? That's different! Then having their colleagues and a passionate activist community defend their erroneous work and their blowoff of the criticisms? Wow! Something's really off the rails!

At Lucia's and here, you have lamented the breakdown of public trust in the science that forecasts major and dire environmental changes to our climate.

I think it's likely that some of the conspiracy theories that AGW Consensus advocates proclaim have some merit. They don't account for my newfound doubts about climate science -- your whinging about Concern Trolls notwithstanding. I started reading blogs on the subject, and found some sensible posters with generally sensible commenters. Who are able to manage their tempers and their self-righteousness, and offer generally coherent remarks while being (at least somewhat) civil to dissenters. Guess what? They are Lukewarmer blogs. None so far are in the AGW Consensus camp.

This and other lines of evidence strongly suggest that something's wrong with (part of?) climate science, and that some of the consensus conclusions are not trustworthy.

Jump to implementing drastic policy initiatives while the science is (seems to be?) in such disrepair? No thanks.

(Disclaimer) This "why I believe what I believe" narrative is not evidence that the AGW Consensus position of the effects of GHG on temperature is wrong.

AMac said...

Lazar --

I missed your response of Feb. 11, 2010 3:09 PM till now.

> the "Great Global Warming Swindle" [is] a piece of fraudulent, denialist, PR. Disagree?

I haven't heard of it. Monckton? I'll rent it, when time permits.

> do you disagree [that] two decades of disingenuous and often lying PR by politicians, [snip], and [snip] have influenced [public] opinion?

Strip out the perjoratives, and you are surely right. Are the adjectives justified? I don't know. Based on more general knowledge of US politics... probably. But, what's the balance of truthyness, among the sides? I don't know that either. I'd tend to think that there's been more untruthfulness on the not-much-to-worry-about side, but that's a guess.

> Are your experiences greatly different?

Yes. Crazy though it sounds, I hadn't paid that much attention to AGW before last fall. If you'd pressed me, I would have said, "scientists are a pretty solid crowd and the consensus is probably well-founded, I'll go with that".

Lazar said...

AMac

Thanks for the response. I think I now better understand where you're coming from.

"I hadn't paid that much attention to AGW before last fall"

Bear in mind the reactions you observe are shaped by *a lot* of history... most of it unpleasant. PR efforts to distort the science have left people feeling angry and defensive, myself included.

"what's the balance of truthyness, among the sides?"

I don't think it is possible to gauge 'truthyness' without engaging the literature as a whole. I really doubt meta debate blowups like Tiljander matter much except in the PR sphere. E.g what happens to a consensus position if you throw Tiljander on the fire? The whole study on the fire? Everything by Mann? Every paleo-reconstruction?

To my judgment Mann and Jones have both behaved dishonestly -- Mann in his ultra-defensive refusal to admit error, Jones whilst digging himself deeper in the FOI kerfuffle. I would say the same for Lucia and McIntyre, e.g. Lucia's interminable dodging of Nick Stoke's simple request here, and McIntyre's green carding of Douglass et al. But can I judge 'what the science says' from any of these issues? Hell no. Can I extrapolate to the whole field from Mann and Jones? Hell no.

"I'm slowly learning some of the AGW science, which is important as far as what public policy should be."

Much more fun, interesting, and enlightening than the public brawling.

"responding by, effectively, spitting in their critic's face? That's different!"

There's a media spotlight on AGW. I know of much much worse in another and completely unrelated field, seriously litigious :-)

I see a mountain of evidence supporting consensus positions on e.g. climate sensitivity and detection. I see a molehill of scientific evidence against. Outside of the literature, I see a large PR campaign to distort consensus-supporting science, real boneheaded stuff e.g. Watts and Morano. I see more sophisticated efforts picking issues with consensus science *alone*, e.g. McIntyre, but not following those issues through to publication and therefore not following through to effect sizes, e.g. Tiljander, YAD06, high latitude surface stations. I view the latter as of limited use to furthering the science and falling in a somewhat grey area between science and PR, and the concentration on alleged flaws in consensus science alone producing an estimate of 'the truth' which is biased. I daresay that this outlook is shared by many on the consensus 'side'. Therefore, even if you disagree, you can hopefully grok our frame of reference.

TW says: unhaite

AMac said...

Thanks, Lazar. You've provided useful background and perspective.

Re: Tiljander, a limited and brief analogy.

Suppose "US Health Care Reform" is a topic that you haven't followed closely. I write an essay that makes two points:

1. Speaker Pelosi has no interest in health care; she supports Pres. Obama's initiative because it is a stepping-stone to world government.

2. The proposed medical device tax will have the unintended long-term consequences of increasing medicial costs, and/or lowering innovation.

(What I said about Spkr. Pelosi is sheer fancy. My position on the device tax may or may not be "true," but I can make a detailed, reasoned case for it, with supporting links.)

Not having a firm grounding in the subject: would my claim #1 affect your confidence in my interpretation of issue #2?

I think it should, and it would.

End of analogy.

As you suggest, Mann's torturing of the Tiljander proxies oughtn't be big news, in and of itself. One sloppy paleoclimate reconstruction, another instance of crummy science, so what.

It's the reactions of the broader AGW Consensus community that really matter. Those who defend the indefensible--because of whatever mix of ignorance, team loyalty, hubris, and confirmation bias--forfeit the presumption of trust on related issues.

That's not just Nick Stokes (Lucia's, yesterday) and Gavin Schmidt. It's many others as well (including Bob Grumbine, who commented earlier on this thread). Nobody is dissenting from the "party line."

I've been surprised at the number of Lukewarmer commenters whose sentiments largely mirror my own.

As I can, as my interest holds up, I'll look at the actual case for AGW, to the extent it's accessible to a layperson. Starting per MT's suggestion with IPCC WG1's report.

Lazar said...

AMac,

Not having a firm grounding in the subject: would my claim #1 affect your confidence in my interpretation of issue #2?

No. Both claims could be true.

Lazar said...

AMac,

So as not to clutter up the thread I've posted, subject to approval, a comment on your blog responding to your Tiljander comments.