"System change is now inevitable. Either because we do something about it, or because we will be hit by climate change. '...

"We need to develop economic models that are fit for purpose. The current economic frameworks, the ones that dominate our governments, these frameworks... the current economic frameworks, the neoclassical, the market frameworks, can deal with small changes. It can tell you the difference, if a sock company puts up the price of socks, what the demand for socks will be. It cannot tell you about the sorts of system level changes we are talking about here. We would not use an understanding of laminar flow in fluid dynamics to understand turbulent flow. So why is it we are using marginal economics, small incremental change economics, to understand system level changes?"

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Oh Great

I am selectively quoted in an article on Prometheus to make me look like a maniac.

Oh, well. Welcome to the big leagues I guess.

My Prometheus login is stubbornly not working and I am late for something... Will try to effect some repairs later.

For what it's worth I have already withdrawn my attaching Pielke to Revkin and stated that my ethical concern in the present matter attaches to Revkin only. If somebody would please tell Roger that I'd appreciate it.


Update: got a new login. michael_tobis is indeed me.


OK! Now I've got a blogstorm of my very own! What fun!

Lucia does a fairly convincing deconstruction of your humble narrator in what looks like it could be an almost bottomless tarpit for me.



Anonymous said...

You say what Revkin wrote was "palpably evil."

I wrote about your exchange here (www.collide-a-scape.com/2009/03/02/climate-gutterball/) and say that I was excerpting the exchange between you and Pielke Jr.

My point is that you ratcheted up the rhetorical war against Revkin by orders of magnitude that I'm still trying to comprehend.

EliRabett said...

You are surprised?

kkloor said...

I'm not sure why my earlier comment was labeled as anonymous, because I'm not trying to hide my identity (my name is Keith Kloor).

At any rate, Michael, I'd be curious if you feel, in hindsight, that your choice of wording ("palpably evil") was a tad overheated.

coby said...

It doesn`t matter what you tell Pielke, his concerns are of a completely different nature. Clarification and understanding are not the goal.

Michael Tobis said...

Keith, I'm afraid that, with the context (i.e., assuming that Revkin knew the equivalence was unfair), I have no choice but to stick to my guns.

On the other hand, I sure as hell wish I hadn't got this piece of intimidation in my mailbox:

[ Note: More evidence the promoters of climate fear are growing increasingly bizarre, also see: Robert Kennedy Jr. calls coal companies 'criminal enterprises'... declares CEO 'should be in jail… for all of eternity' - 'Get the net?' NASA's James Hansen exhibiting 'megalomania' - 'scientific authoritarianism' - 'off the deep end' - 'lost his mind' – Round up – February 17, 2009 - See also: July 2007 Senate report details how skeptical scientists have faced threats and intimidation - LINK & LINK ]


Professor Unleashed! Gore Critics 'Palpably evil' - Suggests critiquing Gore's science 'morally comparable to killing 1,000 people' - Professor Michael Tobis of U. of Texas

Professor Michael Tobis of the University of Texas is a “Research Scientist Associate (in practice, mostly a software engineer) at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics in the delightful city of Austin.” Tobis is also editor of the EGU journal Geoscientific Model Development. Full bio of Tobis available here: http://mtobis.googlepages.com/ - Publicly available Email is: *

Key Professor Tobis excerpt: “As for the scope of the ethical risk, let us consider the possibility that the behavior of the Times and the Post this year increases the chance of an extreme event with a premature mortality of a billion people by a mere part per million, a per cent of a per cent of a per cent. The expected mortality from this is a thousand people. Is that morally equivalent to actually killing a thousand people? It’s not all that obvious to me that it isn’t.” […] Tobis later asks: “I’d sure like to know how I ‘gave ammunition to my enemies’”

Pielke Jr. Blog on the exchange: Pielke Jr. Excerpt: I am beginning to get a better understanding why some scientists react so strongly to some of the things we write here at Prometheus. For instance, one climate scientist suggests that my calling out Al Gore for misrepresenting the science of disasters and climate change (as well as Andy Revkin’s comparison of that to George Will’s misrepresentations) to be the morally comparable to killing 1,000 people. I kid you not. I wonder how many climate scientists share this perspective.

Keith Kloor, a journalist, summarizes the exchange I had this week with that climate scientist: http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2009/03/02/climate-gutterball/

What are we to make of Michael Tobis, a University of Texas climate scientist, who on his blog recently said this about Revkin: “I don’t think his dragging Gore into Will’s muck was a minor transgression of a fine point of propriety. I think it was palpably evil.” (End excerpt of Tobis.) […]

Oh, but wait, Tobis is just getting warmed up. In the comment thread of his post, he has this exchange (which I’m excerpting) with Roger Pielke Jr (who Tobis and other bloggers blame equally for his role in the Revkin piece that equates Gore with Will). Tobis: “It is difficult for me to state how grave I think the transgression of ethics committed by Revkin and Pielke in this matter is. Consider some statistical expectation of human lives that will likely be lost as a consequence of the delay due to this confusion. I think such a number could present a very grave picture indeed.”

Pielke Jr response.: “If you think that it was unethical for me to point out that Gore was misrepresenting the relationship of disasters and climate change (based on my research I should add), then I am really amazed. What kind of scientist says that misrepresentations are OK or should be ignored if politicians with the right values are making them? [And maybe I read you wrong, but are you really suggesting that Revkin and I are complicit in "statistical deaths"? Please do clarify that odd claim ...]”

Tobis obliges: “Implying an equivalence between Gore, who is constantly treading a fine line between effective politics and truthful description of risks, and George Will, who is wrong from beginning to end in conception, detail and emphasis is unacceptable because it perpetuates this dangerous skew. As for the scope of the ethical risk, let us consider the possibility that the behavior of the Times and the Post this year increases the chance of an extreme event with a premature mortality of a billion people by a mere part per million, a per cent of a per cent of a per cent. The expected mortality from this is a thousand people. Is that morally equivalent to actually killing a thousand people? It’s not all that obvious to me that it isn’t.” -

Pielke is incredulous: “Wow. These sort comments give far more ammo to your political enemies than anything I could ever say or do. Eye opening stuff.” -

Tobis asks later in the exchange: “I’d sure like to know how I ‘gave ammunition to my enemies’? –

Pielke Jr. is now asking on his blog: “Anyone care to give him an answer?”


kkloor said...


How could you possibly interpret a mass email sent out my Morano (which is mostly a cut and paste job) as "intimidation."

And if that's intimidation, what do you call the campaign by you and Romm et al being waged against Revkin?

BTW, Morano's email was sadly predictable and illustrative of Roger Pielke Jr.'s last point in that exchange with you, in that you now have provided chum for the fringe deniers.

bi -- International Journal of Inactivism said...

Michael Tobis:

"On the other hand, I sure as hell wish I hadn't got this piece of intimidation in my mailbox:"

It means you're well and truly in the big leagues now -- together with PZ Myers, who regularly Gets E-mail.

Time to draft up an e-mail policy, I think. :)

Roger said...


If you feel you have been misrepresented by Keith Kloor's summary, then you are welcome to respond on our site. I thought it was a fair summary of our exchange here.

I am unclear what you mean by "intimidation"?

Arthur said...

Michael, yes indeed, stick to your guns on this. It is Pielke whose moral compass is skewed here, not yours - he fails to recognize any possible fault in the actions he takes. We should always recognize that anything we say or do has a moral tint to it; Pielke seems to think he is just playing some wild game. His political games trump any discussion of morality, for him.

Of course, just getting out of the wrong side of bed one morning can lead to thousands of excess deaths too. Every choice we make is moral and should be weighed by what we know about its possible impact, but there is also much we can not predict about where the interlaced complexity of life will lead.

Nevertheless, you should also be clear that Pielke has here, as with every other scientist they attack, misquoted your original statement and placed in the worst possible context, as if you were explicitly accusing him of causing 1000 excess deaths. You did not, you were merely explaining why that possibility makes this a moral argument for you. And that's vitally important.

Once again, he only wants to change the subject. Not a good sign of his integrity or honesty at all. He has used you here, Michael, as he uses every scientist he sparks with. Don't let it limit what you feel compelled to say in public. Especially about Pielke.

Anonymous said...

Frog meet scorpion.

Anonymous said...

Well, you know that there will be screaming chimps when you make such a statement, and the Moranos of the world need to grab onto anything for demonization purposes.

Nontheless, surprise! Looks like you've been called up to the big leagues, Michael, and Roger is throwing spitballs and scuffing up the ball when his back is turned to the plate. Morono is throwing something other than baseballs, but you knew that.



Roger said...


I opened my post with:

"to be the morally comparable to killing 1,000 people"

Key phrase "morally comparable," exactly as you say.

Roger said...

Sorry, extra "the" in there ...

Nosmo said...

As Author said, "...Pielke has here, .... misquoted your original statement and placed in the worst possible context..."

This is why I gave up on Pielke and canceled my order of The Honest Broker when it was back ordered. At the time he repeatedly placed a statement by Coby in the worst possible context and repeatedly defended his interpretation even after it was pointed out by Coby, myself and others that he was misinterpreting the statement.

It is a pattern I've seen many times since. I believe this is why so many climate scientists don't like him and the skeptics love him.

As much as I dislike psychoanalysis, I think Coby is right: "Clarification and understanding are not the goal". I don't think obfuscation and confusion is the goal either. Both seem to be besides the point. This attitude is extremely distasteful for anyone concerned with real learning/teaching. Which is another reason why I think he is so disliked.

Arthur said...

Roger - now you choose to misquote me as well? I did not say "morally comparable" anywhere in my comment, either explicitly or implicitly. Do you need reading glasses? You seem to make this kind of one-sided mistake very often.

Michael's point was to justify why he views your and Revkin's actions as having moral implications. He prefaced his entire "1000 deaths" scenario with the phrase "consider the possibility". It was not an analytical calculation of your moral turpitude, it was a back-of-the-envelope justification for his discussion of morality in this context. If you really want "moral comparability", his numbers could easily be off by a factor of thousands one way or another. Perhaps the sign is even wrong - that would be a legitimate argument for you to take up.

Or do you personally think morals have no place in discussion of politics? Is it really just a game, to you?

Roger said...


I interpreted your statement that

"why that possibility makes this a moral argument for you"

with my assertion that Michael was making a moral argument in terms of equivalencies. Apologies if you meant something different.

Michael has clarified his statement over on our blog as follows, in a way that suggests that he was indeed making reference to such equivalencies:

I asked: "So, to be absolutely clear, presuming you are correct about Revkin’s beliefs (your caveat) you are saying (a) “yes” that you think that Revkin was “willfully lying” and (b) this act by Revkin was morally equivalent to killing 1,000 people?"

He replied: "All I said was, and all I’ll say is, that such a conclusion is not obviously false.
I don’t propose to defend it, but I’d be interested in how someone could refute it."

I'll be happy to address comments over on our blog, and I'll be following up with another post on this by the end of the day, if time permits. But I won't have a chance to keep up here.

thingsbreak said...


if time permits

If "time permits", be a dear and also address why you ran in your Prometheus column a guest post that you had to have known to contain factual errors, would you? :)

I'd also like to see an explanation as to how Michael Zimmerman can accuse Hansen of being "anti-modernity" given his frequent public calls for rolling out new technologies that provide energy to the planet's populace while limiting the effect on our atmospheric GHG levels, and why you would choose to publish such a bizarre and baseless attack.

David B. Benson said...

MT --- Stick to your views.

[Word verificatin agrees, stating "basesess".]

Pleased, in a way, that you have made the big time.

Doubt that it will change anybody's mind.

A man convinced against his will
is of the same opinion still.

tidal said...

Oh dear. It's spreading like wildfire now! George Monbiot published a column in the Guardian today. On the first page of comments, what appears? Behold!:
Your rudeness is in keeping with AGWers. Professor M. Tobis of the University of Texas (and not a climatologist) has decided that critiquing Gore science is "morally comparable to killing 1000 people".


Michael Tobis said...

It's amusing that Morano has succeeded in promoting me to faculty where all my own efforts failed. I suppose it makes less sense to demonize a mere hanger-on.

Roger said...


At Prometheus we are all sole proprietors and individually responsible for our own words. Your efforts to somehow connect an honest mistake of another onto me is telling. Michael Z's quick reply to your concerns should be applauded.

Michael Z is a thoughtful guy who has studied the environmental movement for 30+ years, I'm sure he would be happy to engage if you'd like.

Astronomers and philosophers can talk to each other can't they?

Anonymous said...

"made the big leagues"

Yeah, your 15 minutes of fame.


Check out wattsupwiththat (the Best Science Blog of 2008).

Tom in Texas (San Antonio, not Austin)

Rich Puchalsky said...

Michael, this is what happens what you treat denialists -- of whom Pielke Jr. is one -- as if they are reasonable interlocutors. Denialism is best considered, in my opinion, as a description of behavior, not a description of someone's self-image (which is easier for people to misrepresent.)

I thought that it was about time to give up on these people a decade ago. While I think it's great that you and Stoat and RealClimate and Deltoid and Eli and so on are still willing to masochistically engage these people, you have to know who you are dealing with. Misquotation and demonization is what they do. It's who they are.

Keep in mind that there are always going to be denialists around, just as there always will be creationists and flat earthers. At some point, they can safely be ignored. I suppose that we aren't there yet. But the remaining ones are cranks, not people whom you can address seriously.

Anonymous said...

What Rich Puchalsky said.



Arthur said...

Actually, I think this is starting to read like a Brer' Rabett story :-) The more people who hear whatever distortion Pielke, Watts, Morano and friends make out of Michael Tobis' perfectly valid moral statement, the more people will start to think about this in a moral way, and be called to greater action by that.

"Criticizing Al Gore is like killing 1000 people"? Well, maybe not quite 1000, but you know, maybe an angel loses his wings every time you say something bad about old Al. Hmm.

The point is, when somebody *knowingly* acts against the greater good, that is immoral, and they absolutely should be called to account for it. If they are unaware, they should be helped to understand the morality of their actions. If they really do have good internally consistent reasons to think that their actions are moral anyway, they should be forced to put those reasons out in the open, not hide behind snide and belittling commentary.

RobertM said...

Dr. Tobis,
I suspect that outside of the that 20% whom Revkin claims Gore is targeting, the equivalence argument falls flat. What may be blindingly obvious to you is very obscure to me. Revkin’s article looked fine to me.

I agree with Revkin that neither Al Gore nor Will appeal to the 60% who might be swayed by argument. The link you posted http://www.ipy.org/index.php?/ipy/detail/arctic_sea_ice_will_probably_not_recover/ was far more effective in providing context and reason for concern.

I tried to make it through an Al Gore presentation on the Web and got side-tracked three minutes into it on fact checking. I see him as an advocate to whom the truth is inconvenient. Prior to this blogstorm, I have not read anything by Will in years. For me, misuse of the truth obscures the message. However, I may be a pathological fact checker and atypical of that middle 60%.

I agree with Revkin that neither Al Gore nor Will appeal to the 60% who might be swayed by argument. The link you posted http://www.ipy.org/index.php?/ipy/detail/arctic_sea_ice_will_probably_not_recover/ was far more effective in providing context and reason for concern.

FWIW, for me to get worried, I need a convincing explanation why the current warming trend is different from the Medieval Warm Period. I have run through all the explanations and links at RealClimate and it looks like hand waving (or outright denial that the North Atlantic was at least as warm then as now).

The task of those who want me to get worried is made doubly difficult now that the Hadley 5 year average has rolled over. I understand the explanations as to how this might be temporary, but it certainly removes the sense of urgency that Gore and others attempt to create.

As for me, I am firmly in favor of the rich part of the world reducing it’s carbon footprint. Not because I see a compelling argument that anthropogenic CO2 is dangerous to the planet’s long term ecological viability, but to keep the price of carbon low for the poor parts of the world, so that they may join us in relative prosperity.

I guess that I am still just an archaic McGovern era idealist.


David B. Benson said...

What Dano wrote.

RobertM --- This is not the thread for the details, but I assure you there is a superabundance of observations to show the current warming is much more extreme than during the MWP.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Lucia is digging into you pretty harshly. You might want to set her straight. She's been hanging around with the denialist crowd so long now that it's starting to show, especially in her last few posts. Sad.


thingsbreak said...

@Roger (I'm assuming this was a reply to me):

At Prometheus we are all sole proprietors and individually responsible for our own words. Your efforts to somehow connect an honest mistake of another onto me is telling.

Are saying that you are not responsible for even cursory fact-checking of guest posts you host at Prometheus?

Either way, did you read Zimmerman's post before you posted it under your column?

What is "connecting you" to Zimmerman's piece is your name at the top of the post. The relevance of this jaw-dropping negligence to current discussions of Will, Gore, et al. is obvious.

Michael Z's quick reply to your concerns should be applauded.

His correction was nice but insufficient for reasons I've already explained to him. What he cannot answer, assuming he is not telepathic, is why you made the decision to publish his post.

Anonymous said...

Howdy Michael!

Real nice hat you got there.

I just got back from the Land of Qz where I got into a fight with the Deltoid Dingo Dogs! Pretty fierce critters and they take no prisoners! They are easy to spot because they have pink fur!

RE: Al Gore

He is the Godfather Don Al "Fat Al"
Gore and is running one the mob's reliable money-making schemes: the enviromental protection racket. He hired James "Jimmy the Enforcer" Hansen to provide some scientific muscle to promote this get-rich scheme to the public!

Recently Jimmy the Enforcer was paid 250,000 cans of Heinz beans for his services. Jimmy the Enforcer is aka Jimmy the Sandwich Man, and he works at out that deli in NYC where he has been selling phony balony for 20 yrs. Keep a sharp eye on Jimmy for he always has his thumb on the earth's thermometer!

BTW: Lately, I have been putting so much High Harold Heat on Joe "Rantin' Joe" Romm that he has put the blog blocker on me.

Here is a recent book you should check out:

"Cyclic Climate Changes and Fish Production" by L.B. Klyashtorin and A.A. Lyubushin available at:


Harold Pierce Jr

thingsbreak said...


Just saw your comment at my place (6:27pm Boulder time). Thanks, I am looking forward to the revised version.

gravityloss said...

I suspect Lucia isn't playing but just lacks the capability to understand what you wrote.

In a sense, her breaking your thing into pieces makes it easier to understand.

Anyone who hasn't lived in a bottle is very well aware of the industry funded misinformation campaign.

That is easily very well documented.

gravityloss said...

And what's with the surprises?

This has always been about lying about the consequences of releasing CO2 (and causing deaths), for personal gain.

Same with the tobacco doctors, CFC:s etc etc...
It is what think tanks are FOR. To make money from lying.

Possibly the same with people like RPJR. (We *still* don't know his motivations, and possibly never will, it's possible that even he himself doesn't.)

Oh how surprised Roger Pielke Jr is that *morals have been talked about*. That is *so horrible*.

A victim bully is a perfect characterization.

Michael, you are from the old world. That was more honest and kinder and more surprised and flabbergasted by frauds. This is the cynical today.

Don't take too much stress about it. It's the only way to survive in it.

Dan Satterfield said...

I spent some time reading some of Pielke Jr.'s site, and it quickly became apparent that it was based on politics and not any real science.

It serves to feed those who have decided to believe something, and want someone to tell them they are correct. It saves reading those complicated papers I guess.

I have happily ignored it since then.

If he comes up with some real Science, he can always submit it to a reputable journal. I do read those.


bi -- International Journal of Inactivism said...

Robert "I'm a fact checker!" M:

"I have run through all the explanations and links at RealClimate and it looks like hand waving"

I think this particular quote looks like hand-waving.

naught101 said...

That email you got is more or less entirely plagiarised from from WUWT, Michael. /2009/03/03/pielke-jrs-take-on-an-amazing-conversation-with-a-climate-scientist/

Keep up the good work, don't let them grind you down.

naught101 said...

RobertM "the North Atlantic was at least as warm then as now"

You said it - the MWP was a north-Atlantic constrained event. There's no evidence of it in the southern hemisphere. GLOBALLY, temperatures were not warmer then than now.

Arthur said...

More extensive commentary from me on this here -

amoeba said...

I too echo what Rich Puchalsky said.

PS Thank-you Michael for your stand.

Marion Delgado said...

my opinion of Prometheus: you can guess.

the point in worrying about anything whatsoever to do WITH Prometheus: unclear to me.

Magnus Westerstrand said...

MT "Blog storms" can be very frustrating... just wait it will be over, and the sane people will still be here.

Just try to make the most of it and enjoy the parts you can.

Made a comment about Roger earlier on an other blog... and just on the top of my head... the history don't make Roger look good...






David Duff said...

Not worth much, I know, but I recently stripped some 'warmers' from my blog roll, not for their views which I hoped my reader would take on board as a counter to mine, but because they had banned me for leaving perfectly polite comments on their sites. However, in a post I pointed out that I had left you on my blog roll because your occasionally curmudgeonly persona was tempered by graciousness to opponents. This recent 'kerfuffle', which has taken place after my endorsement, is a perfect example of it.

Well done, Michael, you're a gentleman.

Dano said...

Often, we think we know something, but until it happens to us, we really don't know.

Know you know, Michael, how the noise machine works. And how the willing consumers of the product operate.

Keep doing what you're doing (word verification says 'aught'). Fuggem, they are waning (the fast spread of faux outrage isn't a good metric for influence).



lgcarey said...

It's about time that more people were discussing climate disruption specifically as a moral problem - I'm just sorry you got sideswiped over the specific wording you employed (not to mention defending Al Gore in the process). But the fact remains that, however much we would like to stick to nice sanitized "science speak" and "policy speak", the climate issue will impact real people, and if things in fact go badly (which is very plausible, the real question in my view being "just how badly") the very likely result will be lots and lots of people dying. Ergo, thoughtful consideration of the moral implications of not only climate disruption in general, but also of the discussion and policy proposals surrounding this issue is essential - the way we talk about the issue needs to keep the moral dimension in mind.

BTW, this whole affair has been very instructive to bystanders. I believe that it began when you expressed some cautious sympathy for/interest in Pielke's position and motivations in the climate disruption debate, no? Well, wish granted!

thingsbreak said...

Wow. Glenn Beck? http://tinyurl.com/bulhlu

That's f#cking awful, Michael. Ugh.

Michael Tobis said...

jeez. Thanks for the bad news; I'd rather hear it from a friend. I wonder if I am altogether undone.

Time for the Joe the Plumber track?

Dano said...

I wonder if I am altogether undone.


"The stones that critics hurl with harsh intent
a man may use to build a monument." -- Arthur Guiterman

You struck a nerve. Enjoy the thrashing and raiment-rending ululation. And the discussion by the non-denialist crowd.



Hank Roberts said...

Have you looked up Ben Santer lately, Michael? He got pushed through the same kind of grinder, early on, you'll recall.


EliRabett said...

No, but you have to get your posse to be riding out there to defend you. It also has to be made clear who the instigator was

Dano said...

Is there a badge of honor to be the object of the denialosphere's dopey, ululating derision?

Some sort of thing you can wear, like a lapel pin in the shape of a 'dead end' sign, or a hat pin in the shape of a clown's red honkey nose/squirt flower?

If not, maybe someone like The Editors can Photoshop something to make Kip Winger proud...



Arthur said...

Michael - this is turning into an amazing example of how, through fake outrage, the true feelings of real scientists are being suppressed these days. Write all your feelings down, think about what's happened, be public as much as you feel able about it. You have worthy companions who have trodden this ground before here - Jim Hansen and Al Gore at the least. If you feel your job is threatened in any way by the kerfuffle, make that open too - there are millions who care, if they knew, and the more the other side publicizes it, the more will know how you're being treated unfairly. You have far more people on your side than you may know.

The one very solid outcome here is that Roger Pielke Jr. has clearly overplayed his hand. Just as Viscount Monckton did over the summer with his attack on the American Physical Society that made him that much more solidly a laughingstock. Pielke's clear unfairness and rhetorical sleights in response to your honest questions in this case will only lead to Pielke's loss of favor with the elites he so tries to cultivate. Pielke has become the ultimate concern troll, soon to be ignored completely, because his callousness in this instance is on display for all to see.

Hank Roberts said...


Adaptation to Climate Change: Thresholds, Values and Governance
S Dessai, M Hulme, R Lempert, R Pielke Jr. - 2009 - Cambridge University Press
Anyone looked at it? That's "Post-normal"
Hulme, famous for this woo-woo argument:

Dano said...

Arthur can shred my paltry comments any time.



Michael Tobis said...

Hank, the last thing on earth I want at this point for this blog is to become Pielke central. I've learned my lesson. Please take the discussion elsewhere.

RobertM said...

re: David B. Benson said @ Mar 3, 4:35 pm.
"RobertM --- This is not the thread for the details, but I assure you there is a superabundance of observations to show the current warming is much more extreme than during the MWP."

If you are willing, please send me an email to rmonical@monical.us with the details.

Hank Roberts said...

True that.

Recommendation to journalists -- it's not about Michael Tobin, or anyone else in particular, if you step back and look for patterns -- read history you can see how it's been done in the past.

Here's one place to start:

Meetings that changed the world Madrid 1995: Diagnosing climate change

J Houghton - Nature, 2008 - nature.com
... for some months afterwards the Global Climate Coalition waged a relentless campaign in the United States against Ben Santer, the lead author ...

Here's another:


Dr. Benjamin D. Santer will be the keynote speaker at this year's Grantham Prize Seminar on Environmental Journalism, "Reporting on Climate Change: Science, Policy and the News," Monday, September 24, 2007, at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography's Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting.

The event will honor the 2007 winners of the Grantham Prize for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment, the largest journalism cash prize in the world....


Think about the patterns, not the individual of the moment, and it makes more sense what's going on .

Hank Roberts said...

er, it's not only about Michael Tobis either. Pard'n the typo (sigh)

It's about the political spin machine. Do look up Hulme. Woo!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Michael Tobis said...


Really, I mean it. No more RPJr stuff. It's not worth the grief.

EliRabett said...

Something appears to have happened to your index page and the last two posts.

FWIW, Pielke and Zimmerman appear to have pulled Zimmerman's attack on Hansen