Our Uncivil Climate (Debate)

By Keith Kloor | June 14, 2010 1:45 pm

Maybe I’m whistling Dixie with this modest attempt to bridge the climate divide. Consider what Nicholas Kristof wrote last year, in an op-ed column titled, The Daily Me:

there’s pretty good evidence that we generally don’t truly want good information “” but rather information that confirms our prejudices. We may believe intellectually in the clash of opinions, but in practice we like to embed ourselves in the reassuring womb of an echo chamber.

What greater proof than most climate blogs. And if you disagree, just spend a few moments reading the comment threads at WUWT and Climate Progress, two of the most popular blogs on opposite ends of the climate spectrum. The question I explored with Bart Verheggen and Lucia Liljegren in Part 2 of our conversation (here’s Part 1) was why their own blogs didn’t attract the same huge readership as WUWT and Climate Progress.

After all, if we want to ratchet down the hyperbole and partisanship in the climate debate, shouldn’t we be paying greater attention to bloggers like Lucia and Bart, both who write in a civil tone and often dive deep into the vexing subtleties of climate science issues? If we paid more attention to them, wouldn’t that help elevate the public discussion?

Here’s the second and final part of our conversation.

Keith: Why does the climate debate seem so antagonistic in the blogosphere? Why isn’t there more civil, nuanced dialogue?

Bart: I think the blogosphere is not made for nuance. It draws in people who are more opinionated, sometimes to the point of their opinions being set in stone. Of course the internet is very anonymous. The more extreme commentators are very anonymous. That’s another thing.

Lucia: Bart, what percentage of your commenters do you think are anonymous? I’m sure a lot of mine are.

Bart: Maybe a third are anonymous or pseudonymous. I’m not sure.

Lucia: I’m not sure either. Mine might be a third, too.

Keith: How can we then raise the level of debate, given that the extremes on both sides seem so strident, in part because of anonymity?

Bart: Yeah, that’s a tricky one.

Lucia: One of the problems with seeking a way to raise the debate is also the question of”¦if someone becomes more moderate and nuanced, will they just lose all their audience. It’s not as if I’m thinking, I want to have audience, so I’m going to write posts with titles like ‘Godwin’s Law Alert: Monckton cries “Goebbelian”‘ or “Joe Romm offers a (lame) bet!”. I write those because I think the titles are appropriate.

Bart: Exactly. And I’ve seen that with blogs””and I’ve noticed myself””that the things that get most viewers and most discussions are the posts that are a bit more polarizing and perhaps even playing a little on another person. Those are the posts that get the most exposure. I think it was some well known climate blogger who wrote once, what’s the point of a blog, if you don’t write in a little bit of a sharp tone, or something like that. Blogs are kind of made to put a sharp edge on your words. Like who’s going to read something with a lot of nuance?

Keith: But I think Andy Revkin is fairly nuanced at Dot Earth. He seems to be trying to facilitate serious discussion. And he’s got quite an audience. Of course he’s got the NY Times imprint, too. But even if you took Andy away from the Times, don’t you think he’d still have a good audience?

Lucia: Well, there is something in the blogoshphere, that once you have critical mass, you won’t lose your readership”¦but if Andy Revkin were reincarnated as somebody else,with no reputation, and he’s not from the NY times and started a blog like that, he might very well have great difficulty attracting a large audience. You’d like to think that that’s not true, but it is unfortunately the case that it is extremely difficult for people to start a blog, be nuanced, write long posts and get lots of people coming to the blog.

Keith: I wonder to what extent the blog format exacerbates ill will and misunderstanding between people. Because we process written communication differently than we do the kind of real-time conversation we’re having now.

Bart: I think that’s true, because I sometimes see examples [on blogs] where I see people reacting to someone else and I think to myself, hey, you’re reading something into it that the other person didn’t necessarily mean, or your’re prejudging. The blog format is definitely very conducive to blowing those things out of proportion and misunderstanding each other.

Keith: Recently Judith Curry suggested something that I found intriguing:

Maybe we should try a “blog of bloggers” whereby the blog owners from across the spectrum participate in a dialogue, perhaps with a few invited guests, and then the dialogue can be continued also at the individual blogs with the commenters. The polarization will be difficult to overcome, but I think with the waning of climategate that the blogging community is looking for something new, maybe this is a fertile time for cross-camp communications.

What do you both think of that?

Bart: I thought it was a great idea when I read it.

Lucia: I thought it was a great idea, too. Now we just have to figure out how to do it. (laughs). How would we implement it? That’s not to say it can’t be done. I think it would be a useful thing.

**ENDNOTE**

I’d like to hear from readers on Judith Curry’s “blog of bloggers” idea. Is such a thing even viable? Additionally, please offer suggestions on how to make the bloggy climate debate more civil and constructive.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: blogosphere, blogs, climate change
  • Pingback: Reflections on climate discussions in the blogosphere between Keith, Lucia and me, part 2: The role of blogs « My view on climate change()

  • Judith Curry

    How about some sort of a blogospheric "meet the press" format? With 1-3 guests fielding questions over a period of say 1-3 days from the bloggers in an interactive format, with public comments at the participating blogs. Not sure who might host, but if a corps of bloggers signed on to this, it could rotate among different sites

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/keithkloor keithkloor

    Judith, I like the sound of that. BTW, in an email, Jess Jenkins reminded me that something akin to a blog of bloggers already exists, as The Energy Collective. http://theenergycollective.com/

    It is indeed an interesting model, though I scrolled down the first page and noticed there wasn't a lot of reader engagement with the posts.

  • http://andrewottoson.com andrewo

    I appreciate what you're doing here. I'm a big fan of some of the things I've seen on Google Wave, as the potential for real-time interaction seems to help defang some of the more venemous posters on either side.

    See also: http://www.debatewise.info/index.php/blog/debatab

  • http://rankexploits.com/musings lucia

    I like Judy's "meet the press" sort of format. One of the nice features of Keith's interview is he asked questions; the bloggers answered. In contrast, bloggers normally write about topics that engage them on a particular day or week. Both are useful things, but it would be nice if the "blog of bloggers" did something to supplement what blogs do rather than trying to simply aggregate what each blogger already does.

  • Tom Fuller

    I think it's a great idea. Who supplies the popcorn?

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/keithkloor keithkloor

    Lucia, I agree that a "blog of bloggers" should be differentiate itself from the scattershot, whimisical approach of most individual bloggers. This would probably require it to be more journalistic.

    This, in turn, would require a rethinking of how to use the blog format. I've been experimenting with that here, by trying to devote my blog to a particular theme or specific issue on some weeks. I believe that is one way to probe deeper and also facilitate more sustained engagement.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/mspelto mspelto

    What I look forward to in attending science meetings is the chance to discuss a topic with several scientists each with a different expertise. It is this dialog that is most valuable and has the best chance to offer new insight. Thus, a blog article that examines an issue but from several disparate angles is most interesting. This means no single blog author it is a give and take in the interpretation of the data or paper in question by several blog authors. The above post discussion somewhat fits this, but is not really examining science directly.

  • William Connolley

    "shouldn’t we be paying greater attention to bloggers like Lucia and Bart, both who write in a civil tone and often dive deep into the vexing subtleties of climate science issues?" – more false balance stuff. I've never know Bart to be significantly wrong about anything. When I last looked at Lucia (admittedly, some time ago) most of it was wrong.

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/stevemosher Steven Mosher

      You're right. I visited your blog maybe two years ago and everything was wrong. Me saying so, makes it so. Because I'm right.

  • Andy

    I've seen a "meet the press" kind of format work well for blogs. Also, consider how the National Journal does things – a Moderator raises and issue and a variety of experts provide commentary.

  • DeNihilist

    You see Dr. Connelly, it is remarks like yours that pushes people to get their backs up. Do you not see the arrogance of such a statement? If you have not visited The Blackboard for "some time", why not go there first, read the latest posts, then make your declaration with some references.

    To out of hand say that Lucia's work is mostly wrong, without giving some kind of reference that I can then check, to me, appears to be an ad homen.

    Therefore I dismiss your contribution out of hand as easily as you dismiss Lucia's.

  • DeNihilist

    Keith, to the best of your knowledge, do you know if any one/group, has done a study on the total amount of contributors to the most popular climate blogs? I know that there can be a lot of lurkers at internet sites, but just from my lurking and going round to some of the more popular yea/nay/luke sites, it appears to me that there is a small group of actual commentators.

    Maybe, just maybe, there really isn't that much interest amongst the general population about climate or climate science. Are we, those who are interested in this topic, actually walking in a house of mirrors? And the perception of a lot of interest is just our own reflections?

  • http://twitter.com/IISSHolland @IISSHolland

    I think you're overlooked the use of blog aggregators. If I can post on my blog (plug: http://climatesecurity.blogspot.com/), then have that automatically post on a collective blog, I think that's more effective than a one-time 'meet the press' sort of thing.

    Frankly, I don't really have time to do more than one blog, and I think other bloggers might hit the same problem. The truth is, bloggers are busy. I know that I'd like to write more on my blog, and post more on other people's comments section, but I run out of time doing my full-time job.

    I think aggregators are an important part of this, and my posts automatically go up at the Energy Collective (which you mention above) http://theenergycollective.com/. I wish it go a bit more discussion going, but I think its a good model.

    • Judith Curry

      Thanks for pointing out climatesecurity.blogspot, i hadn't spotted this before, looks like a good site

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/keithkloor keithkloor

    DeNihilist, I'm not aware of such a study, but I suspect you are right about their being a core group of commenters at individual sites. In in my own informal browsing around, that appears to be the case.

    I do think the intensity of the views reflected in the comment threads can be mistaken by some as reflective of similar passions in the broader public.

    That said, I remain convinced of the blogosphere's potential to contribute more constructively to the climate debate. The blogosphere acts as a bit of incubator for ideas and debates that over time, I believe, get picked up by mainstream media.

    Additionally, the blogosphere is increasingly seen as a very credible information stream. Hence, some of the bloggers I've mentioned in recent days are influential, as they are cited by reporters and columnists alike.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/keithkloor keithkloor

    William, I'm at a loss as to how to respond to your vague and sweeping denunciation of Lucia, except to say that you've more than adequately reinforced the headline of the post.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    Keith,

    Since when is it uncivil to say that someone is wrong? Stoat is simply saying that civility is not a measure of correctness…

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/keithkloor keithkloor

    Marlowe, please. I can accept that civility is not a measure of correctness. For example, Morano is quite civil.

    Stoat was making a Romm-like characterization of someone he disagrees with (tarring with a broad brush), and he did in Romm-like style (the gods have spoken).

    Here's Stoat's argument: "I used to read Lucia and she was mostly wrong. Case closed."

    Pathetic.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    Keith,

    Let me try again. Given the choice between listening to someone who is 'right' but rude and someone who is wrong but polite, who would you "pay attention to more"? Of course being factually correct and polite is best (e.g. MT, Bart) but not everyone likes to play that way…

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/keithkloor keithkloor

    Me too: a summary dismissal of someone you claim to be mostly wrong x many years ago is ridiculous, the same way a curt, summary condemnation of a leading climate journalist's credibility is wrong because of an article or two you disagree with.

    I'll tell you what, though. Since you're defending him, and since Stoat couldn't be bothered to cite a few posts that I assume he believes reflects Lucia's wrong-headed grasp of climate science, why don;t you take a stab at it and summarize Lucia's representative wrongness. I'm sure she'd like to at least know what specifically she's being charged with–other than simply being mostly wrong.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    I'm not defending him, just articulating what I think he's trying to say. Wrt to Lucia I have no idea how well she covers climate change issues from a technical perspective as the Blackboard is not a blog that I frequent (nothing personal).

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/keithkloor keithkloor

    Oh, I think Stoat was quite clear in what he was saying.

  • http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/ William

    Keith: if you're trying to create a friendly atmosphere in which people can politely express their views, you're failing. As I said: When I last looked at Lucia (admittedly, some time ago) most of it was wrong. is correct. You say you find me ridiculous, and that comment incivil. That is no great problem: I can take a hint, if you like. But no: I'm not going to hang around here if you feel free to talk like that.

    But inspired by you recommendation, I looked at Lucia.

    * http://rankexploits.com/musings/2010/our-goose-is… – deeply unimpressive: "OMG! The Channel 5 AMSU temperatures page reports June 13, 2010 456.85F was warmer than this day last year!!!" – dull
    * http://rankexploits.com/musings/2010/gistemp-may-… – contains the tradiational Lucia / RP Jr error over interpretation of the models

    I got bored at that point, so you can have the tradiational challenge: point out one of her science posts that is of any value and doesn't contain substantial errors.

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/stevemosher Steven Mosher

      The UAH post is not dull to people who are BETTING on the temperature. William, one of the fun little things we do at Lucias to amuse ourselves, AND keep things civil is we engage in a somewhat social activity of betting game.
      So what is INTERESTING to us may be dull to you. But its not WRONG. your claim was

      "Most of her blog was wrong." You cite two examples. One of which you criticize for being dull.

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/stevemosher Steven Mosher

      WRT the 'error" you claim in the second post. Sorry you are wrong.
      how's that for a Monthy Python skit.

  • http://rankexploits.com/musings lucia

    Gosh WC, sorry my latest blog post reminding people they can still enter their bets for the June UAH temperature anonaly is not zippy enough for you. I assume you didn't bet on the temperature to see if

    You think the post discussing GISTemp over interprets the models? How? By comparing the actual trend since 1980 to a reference level to help people eyeballing the graph? Or by comparing the 12 month smoothed anomalies to what the multi-model mean for the period from 1980 to now and then writing this:

    "Is the 12 month lagging average temperature above or below the 12 month average of the multi-model mean extended using the models forced using the A1B SRES? At what appears to be a few months after the top of El Nino, the 12 month temperature is just above the multi-model mean. I’m guessing it will be there for at least a few months. After that, we’ll see."

    It's hard to imagine what might constitute not-over interpreting the models. Maybe never comparing them to any data at all?

  • http://rankexploits.com/musings lucia

    Keith– it would be nice if the comments had an edit feature. I didn't mean to leave a sentence fragment. :)

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/keithkloor keithkloor

      I'm working on it! Sorry.

      • http://rankexploits.com/musings lucia

        I understand! :)
        There are zillions of features I'd like at my own blog. But we all either have to program them ourselves or wait for someone else to program one that works with all our other plugins.

  • Judith Curry

    Keith, I'm liking the thumbs up/down feature. It allows people to note a post that is on target, off the mark, or rude with a thumbs up or down, and hence personal criticisms of the blogs in terms of tone aren't so much needed, with replies being necessary to refute arguments rather than remark on tone. Seems like the "thumbs down" is being given with regards to posts that have an element of rudeness or other inappropriateness. So this feature could help with the blog atmosphere, if posters pay attention to frequent thumbs down.

    • Steven Sullivan

      I'm curious what got me a -1 on my post from earlier today, which chided Keith for his bundling of WUWT with CP as if they were equivalent extremes. Was that rude and inappropriate of me to do?

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/stevemosher Steven Mosher

      At some point perhaps I can detail how the "approval" of others can be turned into an "economy" of sorts.. need to think on that some more..

  • intrepid_wanders

    Judith,

    Unfortunately, like all "social gadgets", they too can be abused. With one "skeptic alert" (or vice-versa, whatever that might be) the factions or "tribes" can swoop in a render it useless. Remember that democracy is "mob rule" ;)

    One does has to think of a way to filter through the open comments and apply a sort of formal process for the "forum" so that the more emotional outburst and the "WRONG!" with no supporting information can be moderated. Arguments will need to stand on their own merit, not this ridiculous "at the blog attacks". Something like comments on an interview or article will be in essay format…. I dunno.

  • http://www.skepticalscience.org Steven Sullivan

    No matter how many times you propose ClimateProgress as the mirror image WUWT, that won't make it true. Extremes are only equally extreme if the center lies in the middle of them.

  • DeNihilist

    Dr. Connelly says –
    {I got bored at that point, so you can have the tradiational challenge: point out one of her science posts that is of any value and doesn't contain substantial errors. }

    Dr Connelly, try these:
    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2010/airports-and

    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2010/the-great-gi
    http://rankexploits.com/musings/2010/another-land

  • DeNihilist

    part 2

    Now let me explain why these posts are important to me, a Joe Sixpack, that eventually will have to be convinced to accept your opinion on what the science says about CC.

    I am your audience, if you want to get this world to start on the largest social human change of all time. With these posts on Lucia's blog, I saw that is was possible for all sides to actually tackle an issue, that has been hammered on ad infinitum, on all CC blogs. Follwing Dr. Phil's (not that Doctor! ), advice a disparate group have created their own temperature series. From one of the most right wing of contrarians to those who did trust the original series. And guess what? They all came up with similiar reconstructions of the GISS Graph. Using different techniques. And the irony of it all is that Jeff ID/Roman's reconstruction was a bit higher then all others!

  • DeNihilist

    part 3

    So they did what science is supposed to do, they tried to deconstruct some eveidence, but by their own work have actually made the evidence stronger.
    They also freely posted their data and techniques, so that others could review their work to make sure that they hadn't messed up somewhere, again, a pillar in the scientific method.

    Now for you Dr. Connelly, I am sure that you already trusted Dr. Hanson and associates work. But for the common man/woman, there is a lot of noise out there, so when I see work like this being performed in a complete open and transparent way, I now trust Dr. Hanson's work also. As far as I am concerned, the temperature debate in regards to warming is over.

  • DeNihilist

    part final

    Why is this important? Because you cannot dismiss us (the common folk) if you want to save the world. We are the ones who will have to pay for it. Period.

    So for you to quickly get bored and not really look at what has been happening at the Blackboard, co-operation, openess, frank discussion, trust, the scientic way, shows to me that you may not really understand who your target audience really is. I am sorry Dr. Bill, but if you want to get your message across, I would say that first your going to have to get your hands dirty and engage me and others, not just your peers. And second, take some time and see how Lucia gets all sides to work together. And yes, her little betting posts are a very good way to create community, and put a bit of levity into an all to often serious, but not usually, sincere debate.

    Dr. Judy, I myself would vote for Keith to do this sort of thing more often with only 2 guests at once. I feel that the question and answer routine works exceptionally well that amount of participants.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/keithkloor keithkloor

    Steven, I wouldn't assume that every reader is thinking like Judy about those arrows, which BTW, I'm not as wowed by. I think they can be totally arbitrary. What I do like about them is that each commenter can only vote once per comment. To make it work better, I think, means I should alert everybody to the arrows in a comment policy that I keep talking about.

    But I've held off on that because I'm still experimenting with this new system and trying to figure out new compatible plug-ins or whether to go with a new system altogether. Once I do, I'll write a new page with a comment policy.

    As for your chiding of me, no I didn't take it as rude or inappropriate (and I didn't vote on an arrow). Somebody, if they choose, could easily bounce it back to 0 if they vote thumbs up. And you would have never known.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/amac78 amac78

    DeNihilist (four-part comment, supra) — I had the same reaction that you describe to those posts at Lucia's Blackboard.

    I came to those posts thinking that instrumental temperature anomaly reconstructions based on GISS / Hadley / NCDC were suspect, and quite possibly jiggered to exaggerate recent warming. Posts such as those and the accompanying comment threads convinced me that the records are useful and the analyses are robust, i.e. competently and honestly performed.

    My initial suspicions had been stoked by evidence of Bad Behavior by prominent members of the paleoclimate community. This notably included the silly defenses of the mistaken use by Mann (PNAS, 2008) of the uncalibratable and upside-down Tiljander proxies in that paper's paleoclimate reconstructions.

    Parts of climatology function like a normal science. Other parts don't. "Insiders" either can't see this, or prefer to keep the secrets within their family. Thus, I think prudent "outsiders" should evaluate the claims advanced by the AGW Consensus with great care.

    • http://www.skepticalscience.org Steven Sullivan

      So, the adversarial, guerilla reconstructions having largely validated the scientists', have you changed your opinion on the 'evidence of Bad Behaviour by prominent members' ? Or do you think they just got lucky…this time?

      • http://intensedebate.com/people/keithkloor keithkloor

        I'm not getting your question. I wouldn't call the excellent example cited by DeNihilast over at Lucia's site "bad behavior." I thought it was fantastic.

      • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/amac78 amac78

        Steven, the reconstructions discussed in those Blackboard posts would be instances of Good Behavior, I think. The change in my opinion was from caution to acceptance. Getting lucky is always a good thing :-) but doesn't seem to have much to do with the work cited by DeNihilist.

        Perhaps people in other areas of climate science can find some lessons in how Zeke Hausfather has approached his topic of interest, and in how others have reacted to his efforts.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/verheggen Bart

    DeNihilist makes some interesting and worthwhile observations. Yet they also show in which way the scientific and public discussion differ: I suspect that many scientist didn't actively distrust the temp reconstructions out there in the same fashion as a portion of the lay public do (partly based on innuendo following the released CRU emails). So redoing yet another temp reconstruction was not on many scientists' radarscreen, since it wouldn't have created new insights really. Most scientists are not surprised that thorough reconstructions by and large agree. Those that are engaged in communciation of science are opf course releaved that indeed it turned out like this, as it indeed, as you clearly say, helps to increase the trust in existing temp reconstruction and hopefully trust in science a bit, which is highly needed.

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/stevemosher Steven Mosher

      Bart, in some cases scientists are looking at the accuracy of reconstructions. In our book, for example, we noted that Briffa didnt even consider questioning the temperature record of Jones for Siberia. That option, a logical and scientific option, was off the table. When proxies diverge there are cases where researchers have done there own reconstruction and ignored CRU
      ( Wilscon comes to mind) FWIW.

      JAN ESPER*w, DAVID FRANK*, ULF BU¨ NTGEN*, ANNE VERSTEGE*, RASHIT M.
      HANTEMIROV z and ALEXANDER V. KIRDYANOV. 2010. Trends and uncertainties in Siberian indicators of 20th century warming. Global Change Biology (2010) 16, 386–398, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2009.01913.x
      Abstract
      Estimates of past climate and future forest biomass dynamics are constrained by
      uncertainties in the relationships between growth and climatic variability and uncertainties
      in the instrumental data themselves. Of particular interest in this regard is the borealforest
      zone, where radial growth has historically been closely connected with temperature
      variability, but various lines of evidence have indicated a decoupling since about the
      1960s. We here address this growth-vs.-temperature divergence by analyzing tree-ring
      width and density data fromacross Siberia, and comparing 20th century proxy trends with
      those derived from instrumental stations. We test the influence of approaches considered
      in the recent literature on the divergence phenomenon (DP), including effects of tree-ring
      standardization and calibration period, and explore instrumental uncertainties by employing
      both adjusted and nonadjusted temperature data to assess growth-climate
      agreement. Results indicate that common methodological and data usage decisions alter
      20th century growth and temperature trends in a way that can easily explain the post-1960
      DP. We show that (i) Siberian station temperature adjustments were up to 1.3 1C for
      decadal means before 1940, (ii) tree-ring detrending effects in the order of 0.6–0.8 1C, and
      (iii) calibration uncertainties up to about 0.4 1C over the past 110 years. Despite these large
      uncertainties, instrumental and tree growth estimates for the entire 20th century warming
      interval match each other, to a degree previously not recognized, when care is taken to
      preserve long-term trends in the tree-ring data. We further show that careful examination
      of early temperature data and calibration of proxy timeseries over the full period of
      overlap with instrumental data are both necessary to properly estimate 20th century longterm
      changes and to avoid erroneous detection of post-1960 divergence..

      • http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/ Bart Verheggen

        Mosh,

        I was talking about global temp reconstructions

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/verheggen Bart

    In short, "science" was not "supposed to" create yet more reconstructions. The skeptic public, and admittedly also part of the agnostic public who have been fed biased media coverage on "climategate" needed reassurance. Which in the end is good for the scientific literacy of the public. So indeed, this is a success story.

    (see for a discussion of the difference between blogs and science also this insightful piece by Bob Grumbine: http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2010/04/1

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/amac78 amac78

      Bart's link to Bob Grumbine's essay gives me a "Page not found" error. Here it is again — The nature of blogging (“having a beer”) vs the nature of science. (No preview; I hope the html works!) It's well worth reading, especially in light of an ongoing exchange at Climate Audit, in the thread following Losing Glacier Data. Featuring Judith Curry, Michael Tobis, Willis Eschenbach, Steve McIntyre, and Bob Grumbine (penguindreams), among others.

      Continues…

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/amac78 amac78

      Continuing …

      The Grumbine essay illustrates several things, not all pointing in the same direction. First, I agree with Bart that Grumine's description of "how Science works" is on target. (I spent over two decades at the bench in cell/molecular biology). More exactly, "how Science has worked in a pre-Internet era, when it's been functioning properly."

      Relevant to my earlier comment (beginning, "DeNihilist (four-part comment, supra) …") — Grumbine's stance on a different issue illustrates an unsolved problem with climate science: the tendency of AGW Consensus scientists and advocates to contest erroneous arguments that, if accepted, would weaken the AGW case (which is proper), but to ignore or even support errors that, if accepted, would strengthen the AGW case. The latter is not good scientific practice.

      The example is the decision by Prof. Mann's group to use the four Tiljander proxies in their high-profile paleotemperature reconstruction paper, published in September 2008 in the high-impact journal PNAS ("Mann08"). All four were uncalibratable to the instrumental record, and thus unsuited to the methods used (which had other, likely fatal problems–another story). Two of the four proxies were used upside-down with respect to the interpretations of the proxies' discoverers (Tiljander et al., Boreas, 2003). The rapid discovery of this embarrassing mistake caused great glee at "Watts Up With That" and other "skeptical" sites. Grumbine pushed against that, by defending the use of the proxies in Mann08. Link. We had a follow-up discussion in March 2010 in the thread following this post at Lucia's Blackboard (mainly these comments: #37683 / #37725 / #37779 / #37792 / #37800 ).

      If the error-correction mechanisms of normal science were functioning in climate science, this might not matter much: major mistakes in high-profile articles would be noticed and fixed. "Fixed", formally by correction or retraction, or perhaps informally, as the flawed work is discredited through gossip, and falls into a deserved obscurity.

      Instead, "outsiders" observe the spectacle of a science-community that defends or ignores certain mistakes: when acknowledgment and correction would provide succor to non-Consensus views.

      Leading to developments such as Brian Angliss citing Mann08 as an exemple of robust climate science, in a current thread at Climate Audit. Link.

      When "insiders" cannot recognize problems with their Consensus — or diagnose them as being the result of Enemy Conspiracies, etc. — many "outsiders" respond by becoming more skeptical of insiders' other claims, especially those that appear to carry ideological content. This shouldn't be a particularly surprising development.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/verheggen Bart

    Thanks Amac. The problem in the link I wrote was the ")" at the end.

    The conversation at the CA link you provide is very interesting indeed. MT has various posts related to that thread, eg http://initforthegold.blogspot.com/2010/06/willarhttp://initforthegold.blogspot.com/2010/06/some-f

    I find myself in agreement with most of what MT wrote, though his wording is sometimes prone to be misunderstood. E.g. him using the word "amateur" to express that most readers are not professional climatologists was taken as derogatory, whereas it wasn't meant like that at all.

    His words express very well the problem that I (and I suspect many others) have with McIntyre and his fans.

  • Pingback: The Blackboard » Musing on Reconstructions: Response to Bart at Keith’s()

  • http://rankexploits.com/musings lucia

    Bart–
    Your response to DeNihilist got me thinking. I wrote a post that is much too long to put in comments. The response is posted here and begins:

    DeNihilist raised the subject of temperature reconstructions at Keith's blog, suggesting the fact that blogs like mine are doing a service of investigating a contention issue that is highly visible to the public. Bart responded suggesting that scientific and public discussions differ, writing,

    Yet they also show in which way the scientific and public discussion differ: I suspect that many scientist didn't actively distrust the temp reconstructions out there in the same fashion as a portion of the lay public do (partly based on innuendo following the released CRU emails). So redoing yet another temp reconstruction was not on many scientists' radarscreen, since it wouldn't have created new insights really. Most scientists are not surprised that thorough reconstructions by and large agree. Those that are engaged in communciation of science are opf course releaved that indeed it turned out like this, as it indeed, as you clearly say, helps to increase the trust in existing temp reconstruction and hopefully trust in science a bit, which is highly needed.

     

    I agree that scientific and public conversations differ; I am also not surprised that most temperature reconstructions largely agree. However, the totality of Bart's comments motivates me to discuss issues surrounding the appearance of temperature reconstructions at blogs, and to use this example to place my views about the function of climate blogs into the context of the public discussions.

    It continues here.

  • http://rankexploits.com/musings lucia

    Bart–
    I clicked on your link to MT's http://initforthegold.blogspot.com/2010/06/some-f…. I know some others disagree with me, but I've never found Michael's discussions of how people with whom he disagree became evil to be very helpful to any conversation about climate. I also don't consider these posts insightful and I find them distasteful. I also think he mis-characterizes what is happening at Climate Audit.

    It may well be the case that MT, who has on various occasions written posts which certainly can be read to be accusing those with whom he disagrees are evil (decorating the posts with devils), finds commenters at CA do not welcome him with open arms.

    However, it appears his theory for the unfriendliness =doesn't consider the possibility that his own rhetoric might be a source of friction.

    His analysis explaining his reception at CA doesn't consider the possibility that his comment at CA addresses noone, appears to be a pre-written lecture rebutting an argument no one seems to have made and also denigrates the understanding of those posting on the thread in many ways other than merely referring to them as "amateurs". I read the blog post and scrolled well back and as far as I can tell, MT's does not engate the topic of the post. This only makes his decision to lecture the people on their general deficiencies more unwelcome.

    In all, I tend to disagree with MT's diagnosis that the negative reaction to his posts at CA suggst which he has been "summarily excluded from the circle of civilized communication as the Climate Audit community would have it" because he failed to "pass a litmus test".

    While I can understand you might agree with the content of what MT wrote in the comment at CA, my view is that many of his comments are poorly received at CA because they are barely or not at all on topic, and they evolve into discussions of the deficiencies of the local audience relative to those who MT admires. If he had simply written that comment as a stand-alone post at his own blog, people at CA might disagree with his post, but they would likely simply ignore it because no one would have imagined it had anything to do with the conversation on the thread where MT posted it.

    Of course, my view could be incorrect.

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/stevemosher Steven Mosher

      We've talked about this before. MT is two different people.. one in public and the other in private email. I MUCH prefer the private MT. I don't want to characterize his public persona.. I've already done that except to say this. His public persona is deeply flawed. And I say persona because I want to seperate that from the person I senses in our private mails.

      • http://twitter.com/mtobis @mtobis

        Or, it may be that my attitude to Steven Mosher changed after he wrote a clamategatemongering book.

  • http://twitter.com/mtobis @mtobis

    William's observation and the reaction to it is interesting and revealing.

    Journalistic ethics says we cannot say somebody is "wrong". This is why conventional journalism is useless in a controversy.

    (An odd thing here is that journalistic relativism is not the middle ground in this sense: both parties to the debate believe there really is an actual number, the climate sensitivity, an objective quantity set by phsyics that we are arguing about!)

    Now I don't agree that Lucia is consistently "wrong" at the blog posting level. I do think she (like most of the naysayers) pays attention to the wrong things, which is a higher order judgment and one that the scientifically informed community has utterly failed to convey.

    But there is nothing intrinsically wrong with someone, like William, who has a reputation stating that a source is more or less valuable or reliable. That person may or may not choose to spend the time to back it up, and the reader may or may not choose to believe it. But this is exactly the sort of judgment that has to be made if we are to make progress on substance and move away from style. And this sort of judgment is necessary to the progress of science; there is far more noise than signal, and we must rely on people we trust to act as useful filters.

    On the other hand, I think Lucia is performing a very useful service.

    I think Lucia's is emerging, along with this site, as the closest we have to neutral ground. I said so on my blog recently, along with the gloss that both sites are frequently wrong on matters of substance. I ruefully noted that this tendency to error seems a requirement for neutral ground from the point of view of those of us who have some grasp of how the climate system works.

    After all, that is what the argument is: an argument between the experts who see the outlines of the evidence where they lie, and the inexpert who don't. At least, that is how the experts see it. Now of course I will get "thumbs down" for "arrogance" for saying that!

    But nobody regards a doctor or a plumber or an auto mechanic as arrogant for being able to solve a practical problem that they themselves cannot. This claim of "arrogance" makes no sense. What they imply is that we are "deluded"; that in fact we have no more expertise than, say, homeopaths or palm readers. But this doesn't fit in with the facts; homeopaths are not defended by the NAS, the AGU, the Royal Academy, etc. And they usually aren't accused of "arrogance".

    Coming back to what neutral ground is about, like it or not an alternative vision of earth system science has emerged wherein 1) almost nothing is known 2) the main thing of interest is climate sensitivity 3) climate sensitivity is determined almost entirely from direct observations and millenial scale proxies 4) climate sensitivity so determined is systematically grossly exaggerated and 5) corrupt institutions promote this exaggeration.

    There's also 6) GCMs are not an independent measure of sensitivity, and I'd actually grant that there is some partial truth to that one, though it is conflated with a totally incorrect corollary (from 1 and 2 and 6) that GCMs have no utility.

    The ways in which this conspiracy theory have been harmful to the world are too numerous to list in a comment.

    Dr. Curry notes that many of the people holding this or something like this set of views are energetically interested in examining the data, although they may be so ignorant of the physical theory as to believe it practically doesn't exist. So perhaps there is some way of making use of this energy, and diverting the conversation from a battle between a realistic view of climate science and a paranoid one is itself a prospect that is worth making some effort toward.

    In order to do that, the conversation has to take place somewhere where the paranoid view is not dismissed, and consequently the idea that the sensitivity may be low enough to delay policy is treated as worthy of consideration. Hence, the journalistic relativism of this site can be useful.

    But we cannot be dismissed for saying "we know what we are talking about and you don't". That is only arrogant if we are wrong. That really is our position, and with good reason. If you exclude people who say so you can't provide a middle ground, because you are dismissing the position of the scientific mainstream.

    • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/stevemosher Steven Mosher

      "William's observation and the reaction to it is interesting and revealing. "

      It's also wrong. MOST of what she writes is not wrong. Some of what she writes may be wrong. But when you say MOST, I think journalistic ethics and common decency require you to support your contention. Otherwise you just jack the thread into discussions like this. Say something provocative. old dog. old trick.

      "Journalistic ethics says we cannot say somebody is "wrong". This is why conventional journalism is useless in a controversy. "

      Journalistic ethics say nothing of the sort. Suggest you google "bush was wrong." Now, if your point is that journalists have an ethical standard that commits them to fairness or telling both sides, even where one side is highly likely to be wrong, then we can agree. That is one of your talking points I believe.

      "Now I don't agree that Lucia is consistently "wrong" at the blog posting level. I do think she (like most of the naysayers) pays attention to the wrong things, which is a higher order judgment and one that the scientifically informed community has utterly failed to convey. "

      Lucia, pays attention to what INTERESTS her and her readers. Your higher order judgement is not a higher order judgement. It is rather an ethical judgement that you think Lucia should be interested in other things.

      "But there is nothing intrinsically wrong with someone, like William, who has a reputation stating that a source is more or less valuable or reliable. That person may or may not choose to spend the time to back it up, and the reader may or may not choose to believe it. But this is exactly the sort of judgment that has to be made if we are to make progress on substance and move away from style."

      Seriously. William has a reputation and the reputation of working with others is documented and not that admirable. His claim was MOST of what she wrote was wrong. When he adds that he hasnt been there in a while what does that tell me. he sampled a stream of argument sometime ago. He hasnt sampled it recently. On the basis of a limited sample he makes a statement.
      MOST of it was wrong. I can be pretty sure that this is false on its face. Its quite difficult to be wrong most of the time ( some skeptics of course defy the odds)

      " And this sort of judgment is necessary to the progress of science; there is far more noise than signal, and we must rely on people we trust to act as useful filters. "

      Yes. This is why the mails give me a good clue as to who to trust and who not to trust.

      On the other hand, I think Lucia is performing a very useful service.

      "I think Lucia's is emerging, along with this site, as the closest we have to neutral ground. I said so on my blog recently, along with the gloss that both sites are frequently wrong on matters of substance. I ruefully noted that this tendency to error seems a requirement for neutral ground from the point of view of those of us who have some grasp of how the climate system works. "

      "But nobody regards a doctor or a plumber or an auto mechanic as arrogant for being able to solve a practical problem that they themselves cannot. This claim of "arrogance" makes no sense. What they imply is that we are "deluded"; that in fact we have no more expertise than, say, homeopaths or palm readers. But this doesn't fit in with the facts; homeopaths are not defended by the NAS, the AGU, the Royal Academy, etc. And they usually aren't accused of "arrogance". "

      I have no issue with well placed arrogance. I do have an issue with falsehood. When for example, Jones argues that he shouldnt release to
      people because of IP, I know that is BS. When the mails confirm why he really refused, then my expert judgement on these things is confirmed. When non experts argue that you don't NEED to share data or NEED to share code, I have to endure their ignorance. When, as a expert in data analysis I argue that truncating a proxy series and grafting on a temperature series for smoothing purposes is NOT good practice, I have to endure people who argue that it is. The issue MT is that climate science encompasses a whole host of disciplines, programming, archiving, analysis, writing, presentation graphics. I don't trust Jones to archive data. He doesnt trust himself. I do trust the NOAA guys to archive data. Let me put it a different way. There are no climate science experts. Or let me put it a different way. William connelly is NOT an expert in reading blogs and determining if most of the content is right or wrong. In fact, he has demonstrated failures in reading comprehension.
      NOT in science, but in reading comprehension. he may very well be a good scientist, but he has no demonstrated expertise in determining whether a blog is most right or mostly wrong.

  • Pingback: Collide-a-scape » Blog Archive » Collide-a-scape >> The Main Hindrance to Dialogue (and Detente)()

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/amac78 amac78

    Michael Tobis —

    You are prone to making sweeping statements. Also, to seeing yourself and like-minded people as wearing White Hats, while those with whom you disagree have the Black Hats. Knaves, or Fools.

    The "good" news: in a low signal-to-noise environment such as blogs and blog-comments, your generalizations will almost certainly ring true, for certain individuals and their arguments.

    The bad news is that these generalizatins fail in other circumstances. Worse, one hope for sophisticated, high-level discussion is that each debater will select the best opposing arguments and engage them.

    I've had exchanges with you, in the comments at Lucia's and for a time at your blog. As concerns me, I think the arguments and characterizations you make in your comment are silly.

    Will Lucia or any of your other serious correspondents feel differently? Should they? Do you view any of the points raised by Steve McIntyre or other non-AGW-Consensus-supporting skeptics as worthy of careful, measured, case-by-case consideration? If so, which?

  • http://twitter.com/mtobis @mtobis

    "Worse, one hope for sophisticated, high-level discussion is that each debater will select the best opposing arguments and engage them."

    Sure, with some caveats. We may not agree on what is "best". We may not agree on what is important enough to reply to. One may not wish to reply on matters where one feels that others could do a better job replying, especially if one disagrees on the importance of the matter at hand. One may think a question has been done to death already. One may feel that a question is a mere rhetorical trap or a legalistic confrontation rather than a genuinely expressed interest in science.

    "Do you view any of the points raised by Steve McIntyre or other non-AGW-Consensus-supporting skeptics as worthy of careful, measured, case-by-case consideration?"

    It's a good question.

    I don't know. On the one hand, I support universal archiving, strict repeatability of computations, formal public release criteria for data, and an end to the private journal system. So you'd think you could make an ally of me.

    On the other hand, asking questions is always much easier than answering them. Even a three-year-old can win the "why why why " game. So it can be used as a form of filibuster, and it appears it is being so used.

    I want to see a little more respect for the honest good intentions of scientists, or at least the benefit of the doubt. And as Gavin Schmidt points out, we'd also like to see some capacity for some forward movement in the dialog.

    There are perhaps five billion people interested in climate and perhaps 50,000 who have a grasp on how it works. We are outnumbered 100,000 to 1 and cannot possibly be as responsive as you might want. We do try to write articles and tutorials at every possible level. But we do not, as things are now arranged, owe you engagement. If you want us to owe you engagement, fund people to do that. Maybe that is one of the changes we need.

    If you don't listen to the answers, if you are quick to express hostility and contempt, we go away, hoping to find venues where what we say is treated with enough respect that the ideas get across.

    Real skepticism (of the sort amenable to evidence) is welcome, but hostility is not useful.

    We have no shortage of good, difficult questions with which to occupy ourselves. "Where the hell is this data" does not advance any of our interests if we don't actually believe the person requesting the data is going to use them. You shouldn't wonder that nobody cares to go digging for archived data to satisfy your whims, especially if your purpose is to embarrass people who don;t comply rather than to actually put the data to use.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/amac78 amac78

    Michael, I believe that in all interactions with you, here and elsewhere, I have been civil, sincere, and focused on issues that I think are significant. We can disagree on the facts, as well as on appropriate standards with respect to civility, sincerity, and significance: I'm describing my interior state, and I don't think you are a mind reader.

    In my opinion, your comment immediately prior contains many straw men (unless "you" somehow refers to "all those Knaves and Fools out there" rather than to "AMac"). I'd characterize the attitude you display towards me in that comment as contemptuous.

    Keith Kloor titled this post "Our Uncivil Climate (debate)." Perhaps he is a mind reader.

  • http://twitter.com/mtobis @mtobis

    I'll try to be more careful with the "you" in future. Thanks.

    My complaint with AMac (and I do have one) was not listed above.

    My apologies for the lack of clarity.

  • DeNihilist

    Dr. T ( I was going to say Mr. LOL), I am one of those plumbers you spaked about (I specialize in hot water heating systems). Unfortunately, like climate scientists, we too get questioned by net-diving customers (and believe it or not, but I am your customer), who as you so aptly put it, are amauters. I get your take on having trust for people who have spent their time and energy on their specialty. And I get your need to feel that you should protect your peers.
    But for Dr. Bill to just offhand reject a blog site, that has probably influenced more customers about the integrity of one of the main tenents of GW, then all of the science blogs put together, is in my opinion, arrogance. But here is the kicker, if Dr. Bill was to answer a question that I put him, or direct me to place where I could work it out myself, I would still take his answer to be truthful as he knows it, because he is an expert. But I am a bit different that way, most people get pissed-off if someone acts/appears to be arrogant.

    • DeNihilist

      Grrrrr part 2

      Probably what most scientists that are involved in this kind of important policy debate need, is a couple years of sales courses, because I feel that most of you if you had to sell a product or service for a living would starve.

  • http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/ Bart Verheggen

    Michael sais "we know what we are talking about and you don't". That is only arrogant if we are wrong."we're

    Since a good proportion of the "skeptical" public think that "we" (the vast majority of climate scientists) are wrong, they naturally see the first part of MT's statement as arrogance. Which brings us back to square 1: How do we convince people that we're not as wrong as they think we are? Probably not by appealing to our expertise, which is kinda strange, because in daily life it's the most common thing there is, trusting people on their field of expertise.

    A person close to me once told me off when I was asking all kinds of critical questions about how to lay a floor down in the house. At some point he got pissed off and asked me: "How would you like it if an outsider kept questioning whether you did a good job?"

    • DeNihilist

      It is the new paradigm Dr. Bart. Most Westerners have a decent education, were brought up in luxuries conditions (compared to the third world) and either lived through the sixties or their parents did. We learned to question authority which in most cases is good. It is just the reality of the 21st century, which for most scientists has not been noted because of their line of investigation. Unfortunately/fortunately for you and your peers, welcome to the 21st century.

  • toto

    Amac78, I think your posts on the Mann et al. 2008 PNAS paper illustrate one of the main problems with blog dynamics ““ namely, the fragmentation of information.
    In your post, you do not mention the fact that Mann et al. were fully aware of the possible confounds in the Tiljander series –  long before the skeptics themselves (as shown by this CA post). Which is why they also performed their reconstruction without the contentious proxies ““ and found no significant difference (Fig. S8). Again, all this was done in the original paper itself, without any input from the skeptics.
    Now consider an outsider, who hasn’t followed the controversy, coming to this blog and reading your post. He would likely conclude the exact opposite, namely, that Mann et al. were unaware of the potential problems with the Tiljander series, that the skeptics uncovered the previously unknown “error”, that scientists refused to admit it and “circled the wagons”, etc. Thus, due to the fragmentation of information sources, an honest layman reading your post  would come to conclusions that are not just wrong, but are actually the opposite of what really happened.


    When “insiders” cannot recognize problems with their Consensus “” or diagnose them as being the result of Enemy Conspiracies, etc. “” many “outsiders” respond by becoming more skeptical of insiders’ other claim
    But when “outsiders” keep crowing about conspiracies in the face of contradicting information, “insiders” are likely to just shrug and move on. Which I think is precisely what is going on.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/amac78 amac78

    toto, thanks for the constructive feedback.

    First of all, I'm not sure which post of mine you refer to–it's very hard to identify them with the current thread implementation at this blog. But your point is valid. It has come to seem obvious to me that Mann08 considered potential drawbacks with the Tiljander proxies, since they discuss these issues in the Methods. You're right, somebody coming new to this debate wouldn't know that from reading some of my comments.

    But comments have to be kept short and on point. There are many other caveats and provisos I could list — but don't. Anybody who takes the time to learn about the case will quickly appreciate the point you raise.

    Still, credit should be given when due, and you're right, Mann08 authors did consider the issue. Though they mistakenly didn't give it enough credence and disqualify these proxies, in my opinion.

    As far as "crowing about conspiracies" — I am at a loss to respond to that. I don't believe I've ever done that, and regret it if I have. People aren't perfect, and social organizations aren't perfect. This applies to climate scientists and to the institutions of climate science — of course. In my opinion, the treatment — lack of treatment, actually — of the shortcomings of Mann08 can teach about what's wrong. That should help set climate science on an improved course.

    "Most planes don't crash" isn't an argument against investigating the crashes that do occur. Do events like Sullenberger safely landing his jet in the Hudson River also teach about aircraft safety? Yes, they do. Both good processes and bad processes should be acknowledged and appreciated.

  • agw_skeptic99

    Another way to say this is that perhaps current rules for civilized behavior amongst the PhD set preclude give and take with anyone except through the medium of peer reviewed papers.
    The ivory tower residents may occasionally deem it worthwhile to state that the bloggers can’t or won’t be able to understand the weighty matters of interest to the community of scientists, or even to offer explanations so we can better understand the implications of their publications, but there simply cannot be any give and take on matters of substance.
    Perhaps this theory also helps explain why the corrections are seldom acknowledged.  Once weather data sets have been used to publish anything, a correction might lead to increased work by the authors on already published work.
    There are no brownie points in the publish-or-perish world for retracting or fixing already published papers.  No lines are added to the list of peer reviewed paper, the funding for the paper has long been used up, and new work is where the interest and the money are focused.

  • http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com Bart Verheggen

    Denihilist,

    I don’t think that’s the whole story (questioning authority being the modern way), though the internet has been a massive influence in encouraging the Dunning Kruger effect. I fall prey to it myeself too, eg when I think I can do my own medical diagnosis based on google. Truth is, I can’t do it nearly as well as a medical professional can. That’s important to realize when confronting professionals, see eg http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2009/10/15/web-iquette-for-climate-discussions/

    A carpenter (or doctor/plumber/laywer/scientist, whatever) doesn’t like me (a know-nothing about carpenting) to continuously question what he’s doing. Try it out. I guarantee you that professionals in any walk of like would get irritated at such boundless questioning, nevermind boundless contempt/suspicion.

  • http://hamiltonianfunction.blogspot.com Rob

    Bart:
    Your analogy with carpenters, etc. may be true but there’s a key difference. You called the carpenter. If a carpenter comes to your door and says “I’ve examined your house and the framing is clearly inadequate. It’s in danger of falling down. You’ll need to move out of the house for a year and spend a huge portion of your disposable income to fix it – sign here, press hard” I imagine you would say “wait just a minute. I want to check your evidence, consult other carpenters, etc.”
    Now, there’s a weakness in this analogy as well, in that the carpenter clearly stands to gain from your belief in his contention. But the skeptical community says that climate scientists and proponents of significant systemic changes have  analogous motivations (ownership in firms trading in carbon credits, receipt of grant money, etc.)
    For informational purposes, I’m not an AGW skeptic (though I do question the unwillingness of the scientific community to disavow what seem to me to be unethical practices, albeit isolated ones) and I very much believe that demonstrated expertise should be trusted.

  • Pingback: Collide-a-scape » Blog Archive » Collide-a-scape >> Why We’re Doomed()

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Collide-a-Scape

Collide-a-Scape is a wide-ranging blog forum that explores issues at the nexus of science, culture and society.

About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, and an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets. From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine. In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest. He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.

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