Inside the Climate Skeptic Hive Mind

By Keith Kloor | April 30, 2012 12:29 pm

And you thought some of the rabid in the climate concerned community had it in for Roger Pielke, Jr. Check out the threat Roger apparently poses to climate skeptics over in this Bishop Hill thread.

Fortunately, there is a voice of sanity among the rabble. Ben Pile at first tries to reason with the fire-breathers, who think that Roger is 1)  a stalking horse for the global climate conspiracy to enslave the free world, and 2) a polite version of James Hansen. Pile grows frustrated:

What bothers me is that there seems to be a reluctance to accept any nuance to the debate: any form of state intervention must be just one goose step away from global fascism; anyone not completely attached to the idea that there’s no such thing as global warming is in bed with M. Mann, and probably helped him draw the HS. It’s an attempt to impose lines over a debate which is messy, and has many dimensions. Frankly, it reminds me of the excesses of environmentalism.

The paranoids in the climate skeptic sphere are unmoved. Here’s one:

He [RPJ] is very dangerous because he can speak publicly with authority although most of what he calls science is arm waving. He used some very clever presentation techniques. Very professional.

Pile gives up:

I don’t see the point in all this… ‘Sceptics’, mirroring the worst of environmentalism. Turns out that many of them are zealots, too.

He sounds as if he just found this out.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: climate change, climate skeptics
  • BobN

    Unfortunately, it seems that one oft times must wonder if the rapid partisans at either end of the debate/discussion/whatever you want to call are actually listening to or reading the same thing that you are.  Whether it be Greenfyre, Policy Lass, SBVOR or shub, there seems to be no limit to certain individual’s obduracy.  Keith you certainly have seen this hear by those that attack you either for being nearly a denialist or for being in bed with the Hockey Team.

  • grypo

    It appears even the slightest aversion to market fundamentalism is scary to a few people on BH.  So what?

  • Barry Woods

    Ben is well aware of some commentors being a silly as some environmentalists. As I know him quite well. I’ve mentioned this story to himHe blogs at Climate Resistance, tweets as @clim8resistance A while I  had a ‘discussion’ with James Delingpole here in the comments: http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2011/9/28/dellers-on-reason.htmlBen and Dr Tamsin Edwards join in, in my defence pg 2 & 3 of the comments.. Ben is similarly critical of ‘some’ commentators way back then.  If you take a look he is equally critical of ‘some’ environmentalists and journalists (guardian) http://www.climate-resistance.org/2012/04/green-is-going-mouldy.html 

  • mondo

    Come on Keith.   If anything, your take on it is all a bit hysterical, don’t you think?  I read the comments thread there, and see a robust discussion, as you might witness in a bar, or over a dinner table.  Clearly different folk have differing views on the issues.  But surely, some of the questions are reasonable.   For example, the question of why are we doing anything about CO2 when it has yet to be demonstrated that there are any serious adverse consequences.   In case you hadn’t noticed, there is a discussion going on about this issue.  Hardly anybody seems to argue that CO2 has some warming effect, or that humans are making some contribution to warming.   The real argument relates to the feedbacks.  The IPCC position (apparently based on assumptions and models that don’t seem to be replicating reality too well) is that the feedbacks are strongly positive.  The counter position is that the feedbacks are neutral or possibly negative, in which case CO2 is hardly a problem.   It is surely not unreasonable for those of us concerned about the costs of measures designed to reduce CO2 to ask for proof that CO2 is a problem. 

  • BBD

    The horror, the horror.

    I spent a very long six months as essentially the only non-sceptical commenter at BH attempting to reason with shub & co. A total waste of time and frequently unpleasant with it. Reading the thread and seeing those old, familiar names brings it all back a little too vividly ;-)

    Ben says it all with those quotes around ‘sceptics’.

    mondo

    The counter position is that the feedbacks are neutral or possibly negative, in which case CO2 is hardly a problem.

    Okay, explain known climate variability (substantial in response to minor changes in forcing) with net *neutral* feedbacks. Oh, and if feedbacks net *negative*, the climate would get colder and colder and colder… would it not?

    Also explain why, with explicit reference to the net neutral feedback claim, the average global surface temperature is ~15C rather than *much lower*.

  • Barry Woods

    5#  Ben is a ‘sceptic’  ;-)

  • Nullius in Verba

    #5,”Okay, explain known climate variability (substantial in response to minor changes in forcing)”That would suggest you’ve underestimated the variability of internal forcing.”Oh, and if feedbacks net *negative*, the climate would get colder and colder and colder”¦ would it not?”No. That would be positive feedback.”Also explain why, with explicit reference to the net neutral feedback
    claim, the average global surface temperature is ~15C rather than *much
    lower*.”The altitude of emission to space is about 5-6 km, the adiabatic lapse rate is about 6.5 C/km, so the surface is about 5*6.5 C warmer than the layer radiatively emitting to space at -20 C. Feedback is to do with the effect of perturbations, not the starting level set.

  • Nullius in Verba

    Drat! I keep forgetting the formatting!

    #5,

    “Okay, explain known climate variability (substantial in response to minor changes in forcing)”

    That would suggest you’ve underestimated the variability of internal forcing.”

    Oh, and if feedbacks net *negative*, the climate
    would get colder and colder and colder”¦ would it not?”

    No. That would be positive feedback.

    “Also explain why, with explicit reference to the net neutral feedback claim, the average global surface temperature is ~15C rather than *much lower*.”

    The altitude of emission to space is about 5-6 km, the adiabatic lapse rate is about 6.5 C/km, so the surface is about 5*6.5 C warmer than the layer radiatively emitting to space at -20 C. Feedback is to do with the effect of perturbations, not the starting level set.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    There are some kooky skeptics out there. There are some kooky alarmists. The mistake for all is to class the kooks with the rest. 

  • BBD

    NIV

    That would suggest you’ve underestimated the variability of internal forcing.”

    You are suggesting for example that the MWP and LIA were the consequence of internal variability? That would be substantial in response to minor changes in forcing.

    Positive feedback – yup, silly me.

    You are arguing that the climate system maintains the average surface temperature at ~15C *without positive feedbacks*?

  • BBD

    Barry

    Yes, I know.

  • stan

    I try not to lump Keith with the enviros who favor the elimination of much of the human race and/or other bizarre and crazy notions .  Even though some of these raving lunatics have held positions of authority in environmental organizations.  Or even made it to be the president’s science advisor.Just because environmental wackos caused the severe flooding of the Missouri River valley last year and ruined the homes, farms and businesses of millions of people, doesn’t mean that all the folks and organizations who support those wackos are bad people.  Stupid maybe.  Or ignorant.  But not necessarily bad.Of course, it would be nice if  the enviros who aren’t pleased with such massive flood damage would speak up and let the world know that they do not wish to be included with the wackos.  Just so we don’t mistakenly include them.  That would place them at odds with most environmental groups, but at least they wouldn’t be in favor of such wholesale devastation.Choices.  Choices.

  • Steven Sullivan

    Mr. Pile seems a bit….naive.My favorite on that thread was the loon who is sure, SURE I tell you,  that the US government does an ‘absolutely awful ‘ job of *everything* except defending personal liberty (and even that it does poorly). 

  • Howard

    …and BH is a cut above WUWT…  They are just revenue generating sites serving up red meat.  Selling books and ads are the positive feedbacks deniers can believe in.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    If Bishop Hill makes more than $1,000 a year from his site I would be amazed. I’m sure it’s effective at marketing his book, but the amount of work involved makes me wonder if the revenue associated is higher than minimum wage.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    “Oh, and if feedbacks net *negative*, the climate would get colder and colder and colder”¦ would it not?”

    Amazing … just priceless!  

  • kdk33

    “Oh, and if feedbacks net *negative*, the climate would get colder and colder and colder”¦ would it not?”
    Holy crap!!  OMG.  ICFBIJRT.  Unbelievable.

  • kdk33

    “Oh, and if feedbacks net *negative*, the climate would get colder and colder and colder”¦ would it not?”

    Holy crap!!  OMG.  ICFBIJRT.  Unbelievable.

    Once more, with formatting, and just for fun.

  • Sashka

    On the “about” page of his site Ben Pile makes 9 correct statements about climate change. (I don’t particularly object to the remaining 7 either but I’m less familiar with the Environmentalism.) So, he’s a smart guy, I suppose. He should be able to figure out that talking to idiots and trolls amounts to waste of time.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “You are arguing that the climate system maintains the average surface temperature at ~15C *without positive feedbacks*?”

    I’m suggesting it’s a different question. One is about the value of the function, the other is about its slope.

  • BBD

    So positive feedbacks are required to maintain ~15

  • BBD

    kdk33

    When tired, we all make daft mistakes. The difference between you and I is that I made a mistake. You don’t know what you are on about.

  • BBD

    I note that certain commenters are quick to crow, but oddly do not address the actual problem: if feedbacks net *negative* then climate variability will be suppressed.

    But of course this is *not what we observe*…

  • BBD

    NIV

    You didn’t explain how we got an MWP/LIA if feedbacks net neutral or negative. Have another go.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    Well, I am a bit late to the party (and some some of the frustration and comments at BH have been snipped out)

    But I don’t at all agree with Keith here. The debate there was lively and about many relevant issues. Both Pile and Pielke Jr seem like intelligent individuals who can argue their position. Which they do, at least the ones they want to defend. Both address also the policy side of the climate issue (RPJr almost exclusively) and they most certainly criticize all the stupid policies and remedies furthered by many climate zealots and ‘progressive politicians’ .. 

    But that doesn’t mean that one has to agree with them on every point. As has been pointed out very clearly, RPJr very premise is that CO2 should be dealt with somehow, because it supposedly is ‘a problem’. 

    Furthermore, when it comes to policy and politics, no issue is closed for debate. And (some) people will disagree strongly regardless of what position you take. Most of the heat and steam at BH has been about that (and probably some history I am not aware of)

    My take on this is rather that Keith and quite a few on the warmist side cheered at a (seemingly) skeptic brawl with some heated words flying .. and Ben Pile’s examples (in KK’s 1st quote) are not exactly balanced either.

  • kdk33

    If feedbacks are net positive, why does my cat have grey fur?

  • BBD

    A bit stuck are we? Shame, given that this is the *core* ‘sceptic’ argument.
    :-)

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    It seems that some are still stuck at the rudimentary ‘single valued climate’ number, ruled by two other scalar measures, the (additive) sum of all ‘forcings’, and the value of the ‘sensitivity’ to that sum.

    Of course, it this is one’s understanding, it is very difficult to even perceive what much of the debate is about.

    And yes, all can make mistakes, even daft ones. But I think it’s unwise to tell others that they don’t have a clue when one repeatedly makes such, and even more so when many of the ‘peculiar’ things claimed aren’t just mistakes but genuine lack of knowledge and comprehension of the issues ..

  • BBD

    Looks like Jonas can’t answer the question either. Which is unsurprising, as I have never yet encountered a ‘sceptic’ who can.

    Observed climate variability is incompatible with neutral feedbacks. How therefore do we explain known variation eg MWP/LIA without invoking positive feedbacks?

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    BBD, you miss the point. It is the duty of those who claim that variability is greater than a no-feedback world would exhibit to convince skeptics. They have signally failed to do so. 

  • Sashka

    There we go. As if another illustration was needed.

  • BBD

    And Jonas, people who put scare quotes around ‘forcings’ are not taken seriously by actual climatologists. Even I know this.

  • BBD

    Tom

    You need to re-read my comment. I asked how do we *get* an MWP and an LIA with neutral feedbacks? ‘Sceptics’ need to ask *themselves* that question if they believe that the climate system is governed by neutral feedbacks.

  • http://sbvor.blogspot.com/ SBVOR

    Pielke Jr. wants to impose his “decarbonization” will upon the entire world through force of law. I simply want him to explain why he believes that is either necessary or good. Pielke — for almost three years now — has steadfastly refused to answer that simple question.More recently, I asked Pielke Jr. to comment on my assertion that (by NOAA’s own standards) the IPCC computer models have (with a 95% degree of confidence) been invalidated. Guess what? No response.And, this crowd thinks I am the one which is unreasonable? REALLY? What a pack of sheeple you are!

  • kdk33

    Yes, BBD makes mistake.  And dooseys.  He still fails to realize that his #5 contains two absurdities, not one.

  • http://sbvor.blogspot.com/ SBVOR

    What’s the trick to getting carriage return characters to properly format in the comments here? I examined the “source code” and it appears to generate the proper HTML code. But, once posted, the HTML code associated with the carriage return characters seems to disappear.

  • BBD

    kdk33

    I’m waiting for you to explain how belief in neutral feedbacks is consistent with known climate variability. If you think there is another absurdity that needs correction, please say what you think it is. Don’t snipe, and don’t bother with further commentary unless a substantive answer to the question above is part of it.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #21,

    “So positive feedbacks are required to maintain ~15″

    No. Feedback is to do with the gradient. The equilibrium level is to do with the value. The value of a function doesn’t tell you anything at all about what the gradient is.#33,

    “I asked how do we *get* an MWP and an LIA with neutral feedbacks?”

    I already answered that one – there are numerous ways. The simplest, which I gave above, is that the forcings were a lot bigger than you think they were. (Like if you completely ignore solar-GCR-cloud forcing in your calculations.) A second is that it isn’t the average forcing but the spatial distribution of forcing. A third that it is the seasonal distribution of forcing that has that effect. A fourth is that there are cumulative effects, and the random walk drifted high or low over a period of time by chance. A fifth that the sensitivity changes over time. A sixth that the sensitivity to different forcings is different. A seventh that the sensitivity depends non-linearly on the temperature, and is high for mid-range temperatures but flattens out for extreme temperatures. An eighth is that the sensitivity is a function of several other parameters, one or more of which has a different value now to the past. A ninth that circulation changes unrelated to forcing result in heat being retained for longer in the climate system, but the net flow in and out remaining the same. A tenth that the turbulent thermohaline circulation varied to change the balance between horizontal/vertical heat transport, affecting the rate of convection, temperature differences, etc. An eleventh that a circulation-related change in humidity distribution changed the average lapse rate. And so on.

    You keep on unimaginatively treating the climate as a linear one-dimensional ‘T = S*F’ function, and climate sensitivity as some sort of universal constant, like the speed of light. That’s fine for learning to think about the climate system, but you don’t really think it’s that simple, do you?

  • BBD

    NIV

    What do you think would happen to surface T if all the WV was removed from the troposphere?

    As for the astonishing list of obfuscation provided above, do you really think that nobody aside of yourself has considered all this? If *any* of these factors was capable of damping the climate response to changing forcings it would be extremely obvious from paleoclimate behaviour and from modern observations. You really shouldn’t have started with ‘forcings are bigger than you think’ either. Too much work has gone into the GCR-climate link – and there’s nothing there. 

    Stating (correctly) that known climate variability is incompatible with neutral feedbacks doesn’t make me ‘unimaginative’. Arguing  that this is indicative of poor understanding on my part only reveals just how out of touch with current thinking you really are.

  • BBD

    And how sunk in denial.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #39,

    I really don’t know why I bother. I answer your question, and you come back with some irrelevant non-sequitur non-answer.

    What if the sun’s brightness dropped 30%? What would happen to your precious global warming then?

    Yes, of course people have thought of it before. Which is why it’s even more zany that you keep going on about sensitivity as if it was a universal constant, and forcing as if it was the only thing that could conceivably affect climate. You ask how past climate could vary without high sensitivity, and then complain that if any of the offered effects were true, it would have caused past climate to vary and people would have noticed. Whatever.

  • laursaurus

    BBD and NiV, this is getting too wonky for me. Are you trying to turn C-a-S into RealClimate or Mosher’s blog?
    SBVOR, thank you for staying on topic. Oh, wait! Your criticisms of RPJr’s policy proposals IS the topic! The good professor has participated in past discussions here . Maybe he’ll show up in this thread to provide some uniquely refreshing dialogue. Popcorn sure sounds good! The ongoing feuds between the regulars here has become almost comical. I swear they enjoy it!
    As far as the formatting, I don’t know anything about HTML. But if you highlight “enter your comments here, click the icon, then replace the text with what you have to say between the and the , and hit enter when you want a new paragraph, it usually works. Now I probably screwed my comment up by using HTML code in my comments.
    I need to take a class on HTML code and a couple of semesters of statistics to continue commenting here @C-a-S.

  • laursaurus

    LOL it deleted my HTML code! Should read between the less than, letter P, greater than AND the less than, back slash, letter P, greater than that become visible when you click the less than, greater than blue icon, just use “enter” for new paragraphs. 

  • http://sbvor.blogspot.com/ SBVOR

    #43 (laursaurus),

    1) Thanks — trying your technique.

    2) Don’t expect Pielke Jr. to engage me in any dialog. He swore off of that years ago. He cannot compete. He did pop in today on the B-H thread. I then offered a followup question and another comment. Don’t expect him to respond.

  • Nullius in Verba

    laursaurus,

    Sorry. I find the science more interesting than the endless political sniping, or the sniping about sniping, or the sniping about the insufficiently evenly balanced or over-balanced sniping about the war between partisan snipers and snipers at partisans. Or whatever it was about.

    The paragraphs can be made to work by writing your comment, switching to html view, and then hitting Enter twice after every </p>. For some reason, the blog code strips out all the html tags for paragraphs and line breaks in some browsers.

  • BBD

    NIV

    You did *not* answer my question at all. You did a great deal of hand-waving that came nowhere near close. I mean seriously:

    A second is that it isn’t the average forcing but the spatial distribution of forcing. A third that it is the seasonal distribution of forcing that has that effect. A fourth is that there are cumulative effects, and the random walk drifted high or low over a period of time by chance.

    So the MWP/LIA arose from some absolutely undetected new kind of orbital forcing? Or what, exactly? This is bizarre, to put it mildly. What other kinds of regionally/seasonally heterogenous *forcings* do we know about? And this random walk bafflegab is straight out of Koutsoyiannis. It is unphysical: the climate doesn’t just warm up on its own. Sell this to someone else; I am not buying,

    A fifth that the sensitivity changes over time. You what? Go on then, tell me why… what period, how does this effect Holocene CS etc. This is ridiculous. Confine yourself to Holocene climate variability if you wish. Indeed, do so. I restate: how can Holocene climate variability be compatible with neutral feedbacks? Answer that, if you can.

    To make matters worse, you are now trying to avoid addressing what would happen if all the WV was removed from the troposphere. Because WV is a *positive feedback* to GHG forcing, isn’t it? And this would bugger up your denialism, wouldn’t it? See Lacis et al. 2010.

    You are wriggling, obfuscating and as usual, claiming that the fault lies with my powers of reasoning. Well I can see through your bullshit every time, so I can’t be quite as thick as you suppose. Or perhaps you aren’t as clever as you think you are.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “To make matters worse, you are now trying to avoid addressing what would happen if all the WV was removed from the troposphere.”

    Sigh. It goes on and on and on.

    What would happen if all the water vapour went away? Why, we’d have no clouds! So the albedo of the Earth would drop and the effective radiative temperature would rise by 23 C, ceteris paribus. You would have a drop in emission altitude from the reduction in H2O, but an increase in lapse rate, and there’d still be some CO2 and methane about. We’ve got about the same CO2 as Mars and the GHE there is about 4 C, so I’d guess the average temperature would probably drop around 5-10 C.

    But I repeat, this has absolutely nothing to do with feedback!

    The surface temperature is (roughly) a function of effective radiative temperature, lapse rate, and emission altitude, and each of these variables is itself a function of temperature. The derivative with respect to temperature tells you the feedback. But if all three were constant with respect to temperature, giving a zero derivative and no feedback, the combination of those constants would still give the same answer. There is absolutely no difficulty in getting a 33 C greenhouse effect from multiplying constants, any more than there is from multiplying slopey functions. The fact it gets cold if you set a constant to zero isn’t inconsistent with it being a constant. You’re talking nonsense.

  • http://sbvor.blogspot.com/ SBVOR

    Cross posted on the B-H thread:

    Pielke Jr. is — in many ways — a reasonable and pragmatic fellow.

    But, he has two fatal flaws:

    1) He has a blind faith in the (now discredited) CAGW myth (emphasis on the C).

    2) As a so-called “Progressive”, he has a blind faith in the benevolence and efficacy of big government (even global governance).

    From Roger’s blog, visit his profile page, follow the link to the “Progressive” think tank he is involved with (The Breakthrough Institute) and examine their objectives. I believe that The Breakthrough Institute is pursuing the exact tactics defined long ago by the Fabian Society.

    If Roger and his fellow “Progressives” continue to have their way, the outcome will be “progressively” more destructive.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    BBD, how come you believe that you speak for the climatologists? Which one of them has ever asked or authorized you to speak on their behalf? 

    Wrt ‘forcing’: 

    The equation is not the explanation! You have been arguing the simplified equation, and repeatedly pointed at it and the one variable you call ‘forcing’, demanding that this rudimentary description also should be accepted as the explanation, the ‘true description’ or at least the best one available. But I  would be very surprised if any climatologist trained in real science would subscribe to this understanding. Your various ‘forcings’ are not even of energetically equivalent kind (something you wanted to make an ‘argument’ but unknowlingly(?) turned into an own goal).

    I am sorry, but these things have been pointed out to you before (by more than just me) and you seem to have missed them then too. No wonder you repeat your irrelevant questions when you don’t even recognize that they have been addressed. 

    Well, you may harbor those simple beliefs, but arguing your beliefs, or repeating them won’t convince anybody. Especially if you neither have understood what the issues are about, or hope that  attacking from your level will score you any points .. 

    Sorry! 

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

    So, now ‘CAGW’ — a phrase and acronym promulgated by ‘skeptics’ , not scientists — has gone from being a supposed thing to being a myth to being a ‘now discredited’ myth. Whew!  Such patently self-serving and not a little nutty rhetorical games would be funny if the stakes weren’t so high.  No wonder even Pielke the Younger  won’t engage you.

  • laursaurus

    No need to apologize, NiV. If this was medical jargon, I would be familiar with all the terms and fascinated. Climate science is foreign territory. I can’t accept that this is possibly as simplistic as CO2, alone. Increased levels of CO2 in the bloodstream obviously are lethal. However, a variety of physiological mechanisms efficiently respond, keeping a narrow pH of 7.35-7.45 consistently in the arteries. Of course, this is comparing apples and oranges.
    I wish my eyes didn’t glaze over. Does CO2 = forcing? A life-supporting climate is supposedly unable to tolerate minuscule increases in the atmosphere? I’m skeptical (in a nut shell). How will decarbonizing our economy produce the desired results? I look at the fractional increase in temp, and wonder. If the temp had decreased <1 degree in 150 years mean of global cooling?
    My skepticism remains unsatisfied with the evidence. Which puts me in your camp, I guess.
    Enacting policies with no tangible goals identified seems a waste of time.
    I should probably watch the video. Maybe I'd learn something.
    BBD has his mind made up. But at least he is cheerful about it. I appreciate the occasional :) Much more pleasant than dhogza or Tobis.
    Your "sniping about the sniping" made me laugh, too! And Menth…ROLF!!!
    Nice to see Tom Fuller didn't disappear. I feel sad for Marlowe knowing he's drunk and depressed though. When I thought he was a she, she seemed rather bitchy (we females are so judgmental of each other sometimes). I was raised to make an effort to be cheerful, I suppose. Thanks, Mom! Thank God I have all male offspring. LOL :D

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    Steven Sullivan .. 

    I am sorry, but you are wrong. There is plenty of C added to the more reasonable hypothesis of AGW by quite a few who consider themselves, and are considered by others, by the wider ‘community’ of climate science, to be scientists. 

    One egregious example is James Hansen who maintains that sea level rising rates will three- to fifteenfold on average during this century.

    And you have all these who bring on ‘mass extinction’ and ‘extinction rates’ as a consequence of the A in GW. 

    Are you really saying that all such claims (about the future) are just rhetorical word games? You yourself seem to ‘argue’ that the stakes are so high! 

    Based on what? Your beliefs? Well, if so, it kinda proves the point, doesn’t it?

  • Nullius in Verba

    #48,

    SBVOR,

    I’m not convinced on either point, but even if it was so, you mustn’t forget the other side of political liberty is that everyone has a right to freedom of belief and freedom of expression, even ‘Progressives’.

    Roger advocates for his point of view in a polite and civilised way, and seeks to persuade by his arguments. We get to offer polite and civilised counter-arguments, and considering the way some parts of this debate have been run and the difficulty we’ve had getting a hearing, we ought to value the opportunity and seek to encourage it. We don’t do that by aggressive name-calling and harassment. That just proves their point.

    And since I’d point it out when the other side do it, I’ll point it out here too. Arguing on the basis of your opponents identity, politics, or organisational affiliations instead of by looking at the content of their arguments is an ad hominem fallacy. It looks bad.

    It is acceptable for people to hold different opinions. The people who don’t think so are the problem.

  • BBD

    NIVBut I repeat, this has absolutely nothing to do with feedback!Why are you not acknowledging how the WV got to be in the troposphere in the first place. It is a *fast feeback* to GHG forcing. With that in mind, consider that Schmidt et al 2010 showed that WV accounts for 50 percent of the 33K greenhouse effect. Longwave absorption by clouds contributes 25 percent, and CO2 accounts for 20 percent. The remaining 5 percent of the greenhouse effect is split between methane, N2O, CFCs, ozone, and aerosols. Significantly, CO2 and the minor GHGs do not condense or precipitate at current atmospheric temperatures. This provides a stable reference temperature structure for the fast feedback processes to operate and maintain the amounts of atmospheric water vapor and clouds at their quasi-equilibrium concentrations. Hence the strength of the terrestrial greenhouse is sustained and effectively controlled by the atmospheric temperature floor that is provided by CO2 and the other non-condensing greenhouse gases.So increase tropospheric temperature and you get amplification of the GHE from WV – the key fast *positive* feedback underpinning an ECS to 2xCO2 of ~3C. My impression is that your explanation is partial and distorted to serve your prior commitments.

  • http://sbvor.blogspot.com/ SBVOR

    #50 (Sullivan, the Absurdly Silly),

    1) Not only am I a scientist, I am an environmental scientist. So, there goes your absurdly silly premise.

    2) If you imagine that CAGW is not a discredited myth, I invite you to enlighten me here:

    http://sbvor.blogspot.com/2012/04/high-preist-of-global-warming-hysteria.html

  • Nullius in Verba

    #54,

    You can’t attribute percentages that way, because the contributions are non-linear and overlap/interact.

    And I already did acknowledge that water vapour is a feedback. But that doesn’t affect the point that your logic is incorrect – feedback is about the slope, while the equilibrium temperature is about the amount.

  • BBD

    Sanity interlude:

    Q: How can you explain the MWP/LIA with neutral feedbacks (low climate sensitivity)? 

    A: You can’t. An unresponsive climate system could not exhibit this degree of variability in response to relatively small changes in forcing. Positive (amplifying) feedbacks are necessary, demonstrating a moderately high climate sensitivity.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    BBD, it seems you are now claiming that atmospheric H2O is a consequence of large, positive and fast feedbacks. 

    Truly amazing … :-) Are you really claiming (rather ‘hoping’, that is) that without non-condensing GHGs there wouldn’t be any H2O evaporating!?

    Marvelous! 

    And Gavin Schmidt et al didn’t show what you claimed. Rather their GISS ModelE gave those numbers. 

    Once more a circular argument: The model simulations showed that what the model was told to show! 

  • BBD

    NIV

    You can’t attribute percentages that way, because the contributions are non-linear and overlap/interact.

    Complain to Schmidt et al. (real scientists, unlike your good self). That paper passed peer review. As did Lacis et al. (2010).

    You? You’re just another right-wing contrarian trying to deny something you really, really don’t like.

  • BBD

    Same goes for you, Jonas.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #59,

    Oh, and now we’re back to the argumentum ad verecundiam.

    MBH98 passed peer review, too. Colour me unimpressed.

  • BBD

    NIV

    You are stuffed on this one and we both know it.

  • http://www.climate-resistance.org Ben Pile

    All this really shows is that there are more than two camps in the climate debate. Which is what I’ve argued all along. 

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Mr. Pile, thanks for the understatement…

  • Nullius in Verba

    #62,

    Only in your own head, BBD.

    It’s like the Black Knight in Monty Python…

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    Ben Pile, your points were fair. Not all of RPJr’s premises were/are accepted at face value. In politics, they never are. Leave it at that … 

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    Sanity check, BBD

    Q: With the claimed high and positive feedbacks, how can you explain that the ‘climate system’ exhibited similar warming trends both in the late 19th and the early 20th century? Without any identifiable changes in ‘forcing’. Or why it cooled while the presumed ‘forcings’ increased. Or why there hasn’t been any further warming lately although presumed ‘forcings’ have increased further, and previously used ‘masking mechanisms’ cannot be used again?

    A: Basically, you can’t. What you can do is to use the same (now disproved) ad hoc do-away explanation once more, but add another twist: That we cannot see what we ‘know’ should be seen, depends on that ‘realclimate science’ is obscured by a combination of new variety of human aerosols and a larger (than previously thought) natural variability, now both conspiring in a coordinated effort to conceal ‘the truth’ about the ‘true’ earth climate system from the enemies of it’s protectors.

    Q: But is this really a likely, even remotely possible explanation?

    A: Yes, I mean no! It’s extremely unlikely to happen naturally by chance. But just by the fact that it is happening, that the evil enemies and deniers, the fossil fuel polluters and nature itself have aligned their efforts to conceal ‘the truth’ you can see how evil they are and how desperately they want to prevent the public to know how fragile the climate system really is. You can establish this from how benign they want to climate system response to appear: The less it responds, the harder they had to work to disguise the real behavior. As we’ve said all along! 

    /Sarc off

  • http://sbvor.blogspot.com/ SBVOR

    It seems that…
    Sullivan the Silly was surely shut-up in surprisingly short shrift.

  • Tom Scharf

    BBD, your arguments are stated with a positive flow that the answers are known, are trivial to find if you look in the correct places, and are obvious to all thinking minds.  

    Which if this was the case, would lead to climate simulations that had good predictive skill and could be held up as evidence that these assertions may have merit.  However this is clearly not the case, much is quite unknown, and much historical data may never be known.  

    Forcings and the actual state of the climate from decades ago are only rough guesses in many cases (Hansen was adjusting aerosol forcings by 40% recently…), much less centuries ago.  NiV is plastering you by pointing this out, but you continue to embarrass yourself by pretending you know all the historical answers in some omnipotent way, and yet you keep digging the hole deeper hoping to find a way out.  

    Right wing contrarian?  Nice summary to a very strong argument.  I’m guessing you aren’t entirely satisfied by how this one played out for you.  Knowing what you don’t know is as important as what you do know.           

  • Marlowe Johnson

    @69stop being a gas-bag blowhard (a term i lobbed at BBD once) and provide some EVIDENCE to back up your interesting claims. 

  • michael hart

    I don’t see so much to fuss about over some of the
    comments regarding Pielke junior on Bishop Hill. All sites have people
    from different parts of the political spectrum. Politically, I might
    be closer to Pielke than many regular commentators on BH. But I’m not
    angry with Pielke, even though I take a fundamentally very different
    view of the science. I’m confident enough to wait and be proved right
    about that. The jury should be in within 10 years.
    I’ve not heard Pielke speak before, but I quite
    liked him. I’m really pleased that he is telling a few home truths on
    the policy front. I think a lot of people really do need to spend
    some time thinking about what he said. Long term, I think punishing
    carbon-users economically in the ‘Western’ democracies is as
    guaranteed to succeed as the proverbial snowball-in-hell . And the
    Devil will ski to work before it has any effect on the
    global contributions from China and India.
    I’ve not read much of Ben Pile before. I think I
    like him too.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > He has a blind faith in the (now discredited) CAGW myth (emphasis on the C).

    Having faith in a myth is wrong.

    But blind faith?

    But a discredited myth?

    Looks like an oxymoronic sentence.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > Oh, and now we’re back to the argumentum ad verecundiam.

    Indeed. And your point is?

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    willard likes to cherry pick

  • kdk33

    BBD raises one’s ire only if you consider him competent.  In that case his silly arguments and frustrating unwillingness to listen come across as intentional – harrassment really.  Once you wrap your mind around the notion that he is utterly incompetent then his behavior begins to make sense.

    He has no idea what you are talking about NiV.  He only knows that you must be wrong and he knows there is some sciency sounding explanation that he read somewhere.  Once this settles in, he is less offensive and more amusing.

    Seriously.  This is a guy who began his arguement about certainty by proving he cannot provide a coherent explanation of a probability distribution function.  This is a guy who began his argument about feedbacks by demonstrating he doesn’t know the difference between positive and negative feedbacks and then upping the ante by demonstrating he doesn’t know what feedbacks means in the first place.

    It does take some discipline.  I’m still practicing. #42 has a point.

  • BBD

    kdk33

    If you had a clue what you were on about, then you might be in a position to make a point. You don’t, so you aren’t. Thus you are reduced to sniping.

    I noticed – and others will have too – that you couldn’t answer the questions I raised above. A careful reading of NIV’s obfuscations shows that he can’t either.

  • BBD

    Now, since you are being an arse, kdk33, you will explain how we got the MWP and LIA if feedbacks net neutral.

    Let’s see your ‘competence’ in action, shall we?

    And NIV – no helping the boy out with Gish Gallops of obfuscation. Let him speak for himself…
    :-)

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    of course he is not competent .. he has made on gross error after another, and most of the time doesn’t even properly understand his own side’s arguments.

    Many times now has he argued (in various ways) that because climate sensitivity is definied as a linear equation relating two scalar quantities, and that this description is also used by ‘climatologists’, therefore the climate, and what ‘forces’ it to vary must also be a linear relation responding to the scalar causation.

    The concept of a (simplified) description not also being the physical explanation of reality seems somehow to abstract a concept to grasp ..

    As I’ve said: It is truly amazing …

  • BBD

    You know nothing too Jonas. Here is an example:

    Once more a circular argument: The model simulations showed that what the model was told to show!

    You clearly haven’t understood what an emergent property is. Or how a model might provide insight into same. So you don’t understand what a GCM is and does.

  • BBD

    Now let’s all STFU and give kdk33 a chance to demonstrate his ‘competence’.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    BBD … you referring to your own previous claim is also circular, it amounts to: I was right, see I already said so. Therefore I am right now too …

    Sorry, kid, but that won’t cut it.

    And in case you still haven’t understood this: You are neither asked or authorized to speak for ‘climatologists’ or who needs to answer what requests or demands, and who needs to STFU ..

    although you often pretend (possibly even believe?) that you possess such authority. In case you do, it that only underpins it further ..

  • BBD

    Jonas – you are trolling. Please STFU.

  • BBD

    And you still don’t understand what an emergent property is. Climate sensitivity, for example…  And did you acknowledge just being shown up for a know-nothing? Of course not. Just more trollery. And so it will go, on and on and on. Unless of course you get banned for trolling.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    And once more you got it upside down, BBD

    The concept of a linear and scalar ‘climate sensitivity’ is the ‘emergent property’ you are referring to. It is you who are arguing that simplified equation also being the explanation.

    Sorry kid, almost everytime you try, you fail. Sometimes miserably!

  • BBD

    Jonas, what is your latest ‘linear and scalar’ obsession all about? Your grasp of English is a bit wobbly at times, so for clarity, please explain what *you* think you mean. Because I’m buggered if I know what you are on about.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Another one, for Tom:

    > I’m confident enough to wait and be proved right [..]

    Does confidence entail patience?

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    BBD, I didn’t expect you to really understand, and SkSc won’t guide you either. It is simpler than that .. but yes, both ‘linear’ and ‘scalar’ are english words. Possibly a bit difficult to understand for those without any grasp of physics, math or science .. But we already knew that.

    BTW, did you notice that you switched from STFU to demanding answers in a few minutes only? But we know too that you really are keen on making rules about who gets to say things and who doesn’t … 

    Funny thing though, that can’t control those urges even here  … but ned to display them regularly

  • BBD

    Jonas – to be as clear as possible – I don’t understand what the emergent value for ECS derived from a *perturbed physics* ensemble has to do with this:

    The concept of a linear and scalar “˜climate sensitivity’ is the ‘emergent property’ you are referring to. It is you who are arguing that simplified equation also being the explanation.

    Nor, I suspect, do you.

  • BBD

    Your response at # 87 was pure trolling again.

  • kdk33

    Emergent property is certainly very sciency sounding.

  • BBD

    Now, since you are being an arse, kdk33, you will explain how we got the MWP and LIA if feedbacks net neutral.

    Let’s see your “˜competence’ in action, shall we?

  • kdk33

    BBD, You are qutie the silly one.  You’re question has been answered more than once.  Your response was perfectly predictable.  What wold possibly compell me to participate in your little game.

  • Kendra

    Sigh…

    Once again, it’s all about what BBD wants.

    Silly me, thinking it’d be worth it to stay up really late with some fun stuff about and maybe from RP, Ben Pile, etc. Or anyone else re Keith’s actual post. 92 comments, maybe 10% on topic?

    Well, tomorrow’s (er… today’s) another day. One can hope.

  • Kendra

    Just checked back one last time in hopes..

    I’m serious about late, It wasn’t 11 pm for me, I’m at Zulu +1 here… birds chirping, sevensleepers cavorting I’ll give you guys 8 hrs now.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Hiya Kendra! Good to hear from you. Topic?

  • Tom Scharf

    I think we have enough data to suggest there is a positive feedback between BBD’s ad hominem attacks and his losing an argument on its merits.  Unfortunately I think this may also be a non-linear relationship.  

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    I must say BBD gets a lot of mileage from his comments, using the simple expedient of insisting that everyone re-read them repeatedly. BBD, get it right the first time–and so will we!

  • BBD

    Yack, yack, yack. Delegitimisation attempt (thanks Kendra!). Yack, yack, yack.

    Go back and *read* the thread. Note particularly my responses to NIV’s Gish Gallop. If you think the question about the MWP/LIA has been answered, then you are alone in that respect. 

    Tom – the reason people have to be asked to re-read is that they have an imaginary version of the thread in their minds, not the real one.

  • BBD

    kdk33

    You argue for a low climate sensitivity (net neutral feedbacks). Please therefore explain how this is consistent with known climate variability, eg MWP/LIA.

    If you cannot do so, then you will have to change your mind. As I did.

  • kdk33

    No, BBD, that is not my argument.  As has been pointed out to you repeatedly.  And to no avail.

  • BBD

    So you *don’t* argue for a low CS? I could have sworn you did, right here in comments on this blog  :-)

    Well, what *do* you believe that invalidates the current best scientific understanding on human-caused climate change?

    We need to clear this up!

  • BBD

    kdk33 confirming his # 100 on an earlier thread:

    Now, as regards climate sensitivity, the best scientific understanding is this:  we don’t know.  I do not find model results compelling, and for the reasons I have already stated, i think it more likely that climate sensitivity is low.

  • kdk33

    BBD, very good, you are truly the cut-n-paste artist.  Not so clever with the bolding, though.

    Now, as regards climate sensitivity, the best scientific understanding is this:  we don’t know. 

  • BBD

    Ah, but we have a pretty good idea. But you are denying the science.
    :-)

    And so, back to the two questions you are now evading: # 101 and #99…

    (Pretty good emboldening, though I say it myself).

  • Kendra

    Tom,

    Thanks for noticing! I usually keep my goddam mouth shut but this is really the limit. Topic? Well, I seem to remember Keith bringing up issues on several levels and, well, fine if hardly anyone’s interested but me. It was like I’d gotten all curled up with a box of chocolates and what I thought was a potboiler and what did I get? BBD

    OK, my mistake, I’ll certainly have to be more active if I want the conversation to at least give a token hat tip to the original post. I grant that. If only I wasn’t so often late to the party (or non-party, as it were – hehehe)

    In this case, however, I was hoping for input from those with more “insider” knowledge about a more concrete issue, i.e person, Keith brought up (or does anyone even remember the main post?). I can talk quite well with the rest of you about the generalities, bla bla bla about tribalism and polarized categories as opposed to the very nuanced reality of scientific and policy positions. But the very basic human level, nothing metaphyical, just who might know, but not even that could be sustained, about certain figures who were specifically mentioned. I didn’t expect philosophical pearls of wisdom, but I might have found out a bit more from commenters about e.g. Pielke specifics. Someone who maybe read the book and said Pielke said – whatever.

    I came back some 16 hrs later and what do I get? A couple of fun, two-Toms. Then BBD, all about him again, yack yack yack, I’m delegitimitzing him. Helloooo, BBD, it’s just not friggin always about you. I couldn’t give a good gd right now whether you’re right or not about your bloody CS. It’s off topic – period.

    Just to stay on the easy level, no philosophical nuances, I have also “suffered under” the lack of information from “read my book.” Altho both Pielke Jrs are in my amazon.de cart, I simply cannot afford them (or any of the other 20-30 in the cart) at the moment. Where I live, there are no English language libraries so I can’t just check it out. So I’d have been pleased with even just the basic – he said, no but, yeah but, no but – so I’d add to my understanding of the person mentioned. Who seems not to be so easily categorized. Who I happen to find interesting in a number of ways, which is not to say agreement.

    Just as I probably disagree with Keith over half the time, I come here because he presents a diverse set of approaches and issues and the commenters are (were) usually not a choir, rather often delivered quite a good discussion with various viewpoints.

    Until the threads that got hijacked. At least at one time that was unpredictable, just who’d do it and when. But when BBD showed up here, what some 6 months ago, it’s been just one-dimensional.

    Here we had this great opportunity to explore some of this tribalism and polarization. I’d really rather there would have been just 2 or 3 comments (like on Keith’s archaeology posts) than this BBD egomaniac and (yes I’ll caps it) BORING challenges. In a relevant thread, I’d be interested. So quit wearing out your welcome.

    In fact, you remind me of 18 yr old guys going on forever about who was on the flip side of some hit, or who played bass better. When people wanted to talk about something else. Or who had the best dope. You even dare to accuse someone else of having an imaginary version of the thread. Maybe you’d be better off experimenting with who’s got the best dope, as in the couple of years I’ve been seeing your comments, your mental state has definitely deteriorated. I even remember a time you actually had some relevant and intelligent comments. In case your humorless character would never contemplate mind-altering drugs, may I suggest Omega 3 and brewer’s yeast? Or drop the carbs? Or start smoking (of course, it’s not PC to extol the benefits but – nevertheless, they exist)? I certainly do recommend that you avoid legal drugs.

    I’m very sorry Keith if you feel I’m out of line. But I do feel I’ve been tolerant for quite a long time (last time was Lynas – and he was definitely out of line). Snip away – but this thread had so much potential and I am so disappointed. And I do think what occurred was beyond disrespectful.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Kendra, I’ve only met Roger once–he’s a complex guy. On the one hand, he’s obviously sincere right down to the bone about what he’s talking about. He really is. On the other hand, he’s also obviously aware that he’s mounted a horse that can carry him to glory. It’s really fascinating to see him try and balance both aspects of his professional life. He’s an engaging guy, very observant. 

    You should obviously know by now that I agree with the majority of what he writes–and with his father as well. But none of us are one dimensional. 

    As for BBD, there have been people who have written pretty much exactly what you wrote–but about me, so I’m inclined to give him a pass, although he does seem like Johnny One Note at times.

    How’s Germany these days? Are you part of the Pirate Party yet?

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Hey BBD, just saw one of your comments and am moved to respond. Why is it that when everybody says they don’t know what climate sensitivity is (including me) you think that we are saying that sensitivity is low?

    I don’t think anybody knows what sensitivity really is and I discount heavily what people say if they start by claiming there is evidence for a precise number or a very tight range around… say… 3C.

    But I don’t know what it is. The difference between you and me is that I know I don’t know.

  • BBD

    kendra

    You don’t get to join *any* thread at comment # 92 and piss and moan about OT.

    Oh, and you f*cked up big time on the Lynas thread. I’d wind your neck in, if I were you.

  • BBD

    Tom

    The scientific consensus has been bracketed around ~3C for decades. It’s slowly tightening up. I discount heavily when people simply brush decades of investigation away as though it had never happened. That’s the difference between you and me.

  • Kendra

    Tom, thank you for the extra insight – it does fit into the picture I’ve been getting. I have been reading his blog for quite a long time but as I said over at BH, I do miss that there are so few comments to sort of get to the bottom of things through discussion and challenges (altho the most recent one I read, think it went over 50, wow).

    BBD, you are even a nastier creep than I thought possible. Of course I get to join in any time and say I’m disappointed no one’s talking about the subject. And that it’s because some wannabe Tarzan can’t stop thumping his chest and saying lookame, lookame. Especially you’re the kettle here since you ought to get a Nobel in thread hijacking and complaining. If anyone’s neck needs winding in (what is that, some cute folk saying? As an ethnologist, I could get a PhD out of you if you keep this up), you can show by example.

    I really do suggest some kind of assistance with your reading comprehension. No way did I f up with Lynas, in your own famous words “show me the evidence.” Which is all I asked him. He’d simply fallen victim to the group-think assumption that he could make pronouncements with no demonstrable knowledge and by virtue of being mr. joe cool maldives we’d all suck it up. He tried to turn the tables on me altho he’s the one who made the claims. When I persisted he ran away like a coward. The irony is I wasn’t even taking a contrary view. My first question was quite innocent (I only asked the questions that people ask ME). He got all defensive and snarky, because he’d been caught out not knowing what he was talking about and didn’t want to admit it. Especially ironic in that he might have been accidentally right. But the measure of the man for me was his cowardice.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    BBD, are you the new poster child for massive fail? Kendra is cool–lay off.

    As for your fantasy about the scientific consensus, it was betwee 1.5C and 4.5C  about 25 years ago. It has not tightened at all. It is still between 1.5C and 4.5C.

    Some–maybe even many–think it might be around 3C, but there is no observational evidence to support that. The smarter ones among them are pretty open about admitting it, too. They pretty much have to be, with observations running at half that figure.

  • Kendra

    Dear Tom,

    I am in the Italian part of Switzerland (they call the Germans cruchi, the Swiss Germans zucchini.) My only connection with Germany is the written language – the spoken language depends on the region (look up diglossia – I got my BA out of that) . I do speak fluent Zuridüütsch, some French, and a weird polyglot of Italian and Swiss Italian (dialetto).

    If I wanted to be provocative, I’d say the influx of Germans due to the Swiss agreements with the EU (thank ID we don’t belong, I used to be pro) has driven us out of the Zurich area, but in our particular case it was a combination of luck and desire.

    I also had a rather unpleasant experience at the German border some years ago but – OTOH – like they say, some of my best friends are Germans. Oh wait, they just happen to live there. OK, kidding aside, one of the reasons I was interested in this thread is I’ve long been interested in over-stereotyping, etc., and since this post brought up the nuances of the various positions, I still feel it a shame that that got short (or no) shrift and I will venture to presume that Keith has similar sentiments.

    When it comes to political parties, you can start worrying about me if I start voting Lega! Dare I admit I’ve voted partito radicale liberale?

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Tu puoi amettere a qualsiasi cosa. Vediamo se BBD puo indovinare questa lingua.The funny part about the commentariat in the blogosphere is not the  stereotypes people put us in. (That’s just sad.)  It’s the stereotypes we put ourselves in.

  • Kendra

    Tom, we cross-posted so I missed you informing someone I’m cool, which I want to thank you for as well as compliment you on your perceptiveness.

    As it happens (take this on board, BBD), Tom and I probably would disagree on a number of things but he’s first and foremost a real (do I dare write this after my last post?) mensch, as in way-cool himself.

    Also one of the sub-issues of Keith’s post.

    I daresay if you could lighten up and let your own cool side show from time to time (which I thought I noticed years ago and even now occasionally), you wouldn’t be so annoying.

    I just got to thinking, maybe you’re on the wrong blood pressure meds (I did warn you about legal drugs).

  • Kendra

    Si, speriamo. Maybe you and I are a bit more sensitive to stereotypes, having lived in another language and culture, and also that makes us more aware that we put ourselves into stereotypes as well – I will be thinking a more about that as it helps explain some problems with old close friends – even if just to make ourselves more accessible to that other culture (even something so simple as to say you’re from NY, altho you were only born there). And of course, everyone knows what Amis are like from the movies!

    But I am fascinated by need to use stereotypes – in order to dismiss but also to understand – and do fight those based on hearsay and prejudice (empirical data can even be perceived based on them) – less because I resent being seen as a stereotype than that I simply think we ourselves lose so much by seeing people that way. So Americans in Switzerland who begin to judge, why do they speak such a silly language, why this, why that – I question them. And Swiss in the U.S. – if they only go looking for the stupid, fat Ami who is so shallow – well, that’s what they will find. You will always find the stereotype you seek (haha, AKA confirmation bias) – but the real people, the individuals, the richness of uniqueness, you will have missed if you barricade yourself behind them.

    OK, this is it, already a late very night again, so tempted as I am to see what’s been going on in the meantime before signing off, I wish you all a good evening and day.

  • BBD

    @ 111

    They pretty much have to be, with observations running at half that figure.

    Misrepresentation of the multi-decadal records and failure to distinguish between TCR and ECS. Predictable.

    @ kendra

    You accused ML of being ignorant and bluffing. But he was right and you were wrong. Perhaps he couldn’t be bothered to respond to a commenter with your attitude. I got that then, and even more so now.

    If you’d had the good grace to admit, here, that you were wrong about the whole Busby/calcium quackery/fearmongering thing there might be room for progress. But instead you call ML a coward – again - and continue to have a go at me.

    Who sounds like the petulant teenager?

  • Steven Sullivan

    SBVOR, you call yourself an ‘environmental scientist’.  If true, your website doesn’t prove it; it only suggests that you’re a ranting, paranoid,  right-wing crackpot with blog — an unexceptional species on the Internet.  Are you besties with Jeff Id perhaps?

  • Kendra

    BBD,

    Please do try to improve your reading/comprehension skills.

    I would have allowed you to have to last word, you seem to need that, so if you’d only called me a petulant teenager, I’d have let you have that one. You certainly should recognize something you demonstrate quite frequently yourself. So maybe it’s only cause I didn’t know as a teenager I was supposed to be petulant – I cheerfully listened to the advice and abeyed the curfews of my elders, while even more happily doing as I pleased while out or even just when they weren’t looking. I still think it’s more being-fed-up-with-BBD-dominating-with-off-topic-pronouncements-yet-another thread-ance.

    There is no evidence provided by you or ML that he is right and I am wrong. First, I made no claims. I siimply questioned his. I had never heard of Busby and have not tried to defend him in any way. The situation boils down to this.

    1. Busby claims low dose radiation involves higher levels of cesium and xyz.

    2. Busby claims that an easily available mineral combination, already well-known to be essential to human health, would have a positive effect on number 1.

    3. Busby advocates the use of a particular brand, from which it seems he might profit.

    Re:

    1. Apparently no-one argues against 1, altho I for one have no idea and certainly dont take Busby’s side – rather is there information available to confirm or not (someone, not ML, did give me links for further info on cesium and xyz)

    2. Is where I asked Lynas for information and evidence, to which his eventual answer boiled down to “because I say so.”

    3. I criticized strongly Busby advocating that formulation – while still having no reason to believe that he was wrong in principle that those particular minerals might play an important role. Additionally, the morality of his making a buck, while an issue, is not the issue we “discussed.”

    Mark Lynas showed his bias in this area in a number of ways.He seemed to believe he was safe in the groupthink of “antiquackery” – i.e. any nutritionist point of view lies in the same category as anti-vaxxers, etc. In fact, when I linked on the site for the mag calc, I was fully expecting some patent medicine, proprietary who knows what secret ingredients only available here – instead it’s just a simple old non-patentable preparation.

    I suppose those with nutritional solutions (remember, we still haven’t identified whether there’s a problem in the first place) are considered nut-jobs as well (pun intended). In fact, one thing that put me off Lynas was his propagandistic use of the word chalk – misleading and manipulative- to scoff at Busby. While there are a number who scoff at nutrition, they’ve had to take on board the reality of such well-known cases as scurvy/vit c, Pellagra/vit B3. Have fun with this one, conspiracy theory among nutritionists is that there’s a concerted censorship (racist to boot) of the role vit D plays in cancer prevention (hereyago, BBC, vested interests). While you’re at it, look up who benefits from Codex Alimentarius.

    I would absolutely have had the grace to admit I was wrong – but I’d never insisted I was right. I simply wanted evidence of a claim ML made. He was unable to provide it. So that question is neither won nor lost by anyone. And he ducked under the table like a coward after announcing I had to provide evidence when I was making no claim – he was.

    I do know that all the people I know who are anti-nuke have these kinds of concerns – long-term health and accident/waste fears. They’ve all seen Erin Brockovich, of course. I think even this site linked to Alexander Cockburn’s hilarious mockery of nuke safety assurances (plus AGW skepticism).

    I personally am biased pro-nuke but agnostic. ML had the opportunity to give some info that might have alleviated some of my friends concerns . I wouldn’t have bothered to ask if he hadn’t given the all-knowing impression. He didn’t have it and couldn’t admit he didn’t and ran away.

    So what! Well I still read Lynas when he’s linked – but no way do I trust him on “evidence-based” factual pronouncements. Opinion, fine, and often I agree, Own facts, he’s not entitled to. And I do talk to people – so maybe there’s a few more who don’t trust him either. I know, so what!

  • BBD

    kendra

    There is no evidence provided by you or ML that he is right and I am wrong.

    I get a sense that you didn’t read the link I provided at # 108.

  • Kendra

    Thank you BBD, I thought the link was to the entire thread, not a last comment I never saw (knowing the thread was long over, I only went back again and searched Lynas).

    Now I have an answer to 1. So 2 is, of course, moot. Which is all I ever questioned. Too bad Lynas couldn’t have done that himself. In that thread, neither Mark nor I is right, he insisted on knowledge of something he in fact didn’t know.
    And didn’t need to. All he had to say is Kendra, the cluster doesn’t exist and give the link GM does.

    I do thank you for pointing me to some answers and sorry I missed it at the time. It does not change Lynas behavior to me in that thread.

    For my worried Erin Brockovich friends, though, will still remain the question what does exist, what is long term that hasn’t been identified.

    I do hope you realize that this whole Lynas diversion was an attempt to discredit me, a type of ad hom. In fact, this is the second time you’ve done it, the first I ignored. And I take it also as a threat, if I ever dare to comment where you disagree.

    And does not change the fact that you once again derailed a thread and I wasn’t in the mood, so I said so. As you have no inhibitions, I don’t see why I should, unless Keith has given you some special dispensation.

  • BBD

    kendra

    I do hope you realize that this whole Lynas diversion was an attempt to discredit me, a type of ad hom. In fact, this is the second time you’ve
    done it, the first I ignored. And I take it also as a threat, if I ever dare to comment where you disagree.

    That is paranoid nonsense. You brought up the subject of the Lynas thread at # 105. My response was almost a throwaway remark. You decided to make a great fuss about it. You dug your own hole on this thread.

    Has it occurred to you that ML *knew* that Busby is a charlatan? I did – I have a reasonably good knowledge of the main anti-nuke scaremongers here in the UK and I bet ML’s knowledge is far greater than mine.

    Perhaps he just didn’t appreciate your tone.

  • Kendra

    bbd,

    I’ve never taken issue with anyone’s nuke knowledge, I questioned Lynas equation of minerals necessary to human health as quackery. I just explained above how easy it would have been to resolve. Right, maybe he didn’t like my tone, which began as earnest questioning – well, I ended up not liking his. The money word was dismissal.

    I only brought him up to say how long ago since I’ve commented, I should have foreseen that you, scorpion that you are, would have taken advantage immediately-but I never expected the f**ed up remark so I had to respond.

    I am only angry about that because you not only cannot see what my concern was, admittedly minor, but twist it out of context and define it as a right/wrong and crow about it. Lookit, it’s that Kendra, again, who “lost” to Lynas.

    You’re meanspirited, egoistic and boring. You’ve achieved your goal. You have to be right, always and forever. I won’t waste my time again.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #122,

    Kendra, you shouldn’t feel any need to respond to BBD – we all know what he’s like. The only people who still engage are those that enjoy that sort of verbal fight.

    And it’s a bad idea to respond when angry, as that usually gives him more ammunition. Don’t worry about it. It’s just the internet.

    http://xkcd.com/386/

  • Kendra

    NiV,
    Thank you for that! Can’t stop laughing, I’m definitely saving it.
    You’ve put me in a fantastic mood.
    The irony is, this all did occur in bed.
    K

  • BBD

    NIV

    What’s amusing here is that you and I should be in the same corner regarding fraudulent fearmongers like Busby. Talk about tribalism, eh?

  • kdk33

    NiV: nice link.  Sweet!

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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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