That Washington Post Piece on Science Communication and ClimateGate

By Chris Mooney | January 6, 2010 9:39 am

Things have been so nuts for me over the past few days, I haven’t even been able to blog my Washington Post Outlook piece from Sunday about the need for better science communication in the wake of the devastating blow dealt by the ClimateGate scandal. The piece has been drawing tons of supportive private emails, as well as lots of online critiques and reactions, and fully 800 plus comments on the Post’s website, many of them from climate deniers.

Anyway, the article starts like this:

The battle over the science of global warming has long been a street fight between mainstream researchers and skeptics. But never have the scientists received such a deep wound as when, in late November, a large trove of e-mails and documents stolen from the Climatic Research Unit at Britain’s University of East Anglia were released onto the Web.

In the ensuing “Climategate” scandal, scientists were accused of withholding information, suppressing dissent, manipulating data and more. But while the controversy has receded, it may have done lasting damage to science’s reputation: Last month, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 40 percent of Americans distrust what scientists say about the environment, a considerable increase from April 2007. Meanwhile, public belief in the science of global warming is in decline.

The central lesson of Climategate is not that climate science is corrupt. The leaked e-mails do nothing to disprove the scientific consensus on global warming. Instead, the controversy highlights that in a world of blogs, cable news and talk radio, scientists are poorly equipped to communicate their knowledge and, especially, to respond when science comes under attack.

A few scientists answered the Climategate charges almost instantly. Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University, whose e-mails were among those made public, made a number of television and radio appearances. A blog to which Mann contributes, RealClimate.org, also launched a quick response showing that the e-mails had been taken out of context. But they were largely alone. “I haven’t had all that many other scientists helping in that effort,” Mann told me recently.

This isn’t a new problem….

Read here, there’s much more….on science communication strategies, how to fight the evolution war, and so forth. In essence, the piece builds on some of the central arguments of Unscientific America, but strained through the new example of ClimateGate, which is surely the number one reason yet that scientists have got to mobilize in the way that we recommended in the book. Hope you enjoy…

Comments (202)

  1. Alexander

    Dear author,

    There are many people who wish that Climategate was just a public relations disaster.

    Except it was not and is not.

    The problem of Climategate is not that the scientists ignored communication. The problem is that they were obsessed with communication. With presenting their message, with persuading other people, and with preventing their opponents from doing the same.

    And in doing so, they totally forgot about the science.

    And from your readiness in applying the “denier” stamp to those who disagree with the theory and have the insolence to criticize it, I conclude that you have nothing to do with science either, and everything to do with propaganda.

    Who do you think will listen to you? Those who are already sceptical to the AGW theory – will not. Those who are open-minded – will read your piece and compare it with opposing views, and again, won’t believe a word you say because your only arguments are empty claims of “settled science” and ad hominem arguments. So your only audience are the green zealots? Probably serves you right.

  2. My question, ChrisM, is why do you refer to this as a “scandal”? There’s nothing scandalous about it. There are a few instances of scientists being petty, scientists talking trash, scientists beating their chests–in short, scientists being human.

    But a scandal? No. In order for it to be a scandal, it would have to show scientists doing things to falsify the science. It does not, no matter how many times the “skeptics” take things out of context.

  3. Climate Denier

    How dare Chris Mooney call those of us who clearly see that the climate models have failed to correctly predict the climate behavior for more than a decade as the “climate deniers”?

    Chris Mooney has a vested professional interest in the global warming. He has written several books and put his reputation on the line. He also has a clear political agenda as demonstrated by authoring The Republican War on Science. Finally he has a personal agenda as noted by his belief that his mother has been a personal victim of global warming in the form of Hurricane Katrina.

    Once again people like me, who are genuine environmentalists and who see real and measurable problems (like erosion, fresh water contamination, deforestation, over fishing, whale hunting and more)are being ignored while people like Chris lie and profit about the global warming hysteria are getting the press.

    This is truely a sad world.

  4. Harman Smith

    @2, Chris,

    It’s a scandal at the very least because it’s perceived as a scandal, in the same way the evolution-creationism is a controversy because it is perceived as one. I agree that it’s not a scandal, but try telling that to the deniers.

  5. Jack

    ClimateGate is the greatest thing to happen to man-kind. I read the emails and they tell me that even the ClimateGate scientists doubt their computer model predictions and these predictions were proven wrong on all accounts. Might as well spend 50$ on a fortuneteller and have this fortuneteller gives predictions on climate change and save us billions of dollars annually. I’ve been duped and I am pissed at all the ClimateGate scientists. I want my tax money back!

  6. Rmoen

    The Climategate emails–many written by two coordinating Lead Authors of the UN’s 2007 Fourth Assessment Report–underscore the need for the United States to convene its own objective, transparent Climate Truth Commission. It defies common sense that we outsource our climate science to the UN then allow it to serve as both judge (IPCC) and advocate (Kyoto Protocol, Copenhagen).

    – Robert Moen, http://www.energyplanUSA.com

  7. Syl

    Hey you anti-humans, take the time to read the e-mails yourself and don`t rely on other people to do the analysis for you.

    I did and it is scandalous. The normal scientific method has been trashed by these climate clowns. The science is not settled and not proven. CO2 = warming? Why then spend Billions on research when it`s such a simple single variable linear equation? You can`t model a chaotic system – forget about it. You can`t “equate” climate. CO2 correlation to temperature has been unstable in the earth`s 4.5 Billion year history. 100 years of the earth`s history is equivalent to 2 milliseconds of a day. Surely not enough to even decipher any trend.

    I hope the earth gives them a lesson. Humanity should be concerned about cooling – not warming.

    The CERN cloud experiment should start yielding results this year. It will be interesting to see the results and the reactions to them.

  8. goodbye

    I have enjoyed Discover for many years, but, I am sorry to say, that has come to an end. I can only assume your bias is shared by all your coworkers.

    I advise you read the definition of scientific method, and look at this.

    http://assassinationscience.com/climategate/

  9. sHx

    I read the Washington Post article the day it came out but skipped the comments altogether. So some of the things I’ll be saying in response may have already been said by others. I have two points to make.

    Firstly, one of the main themes of the article is the rather feeble attempt to associate the AGW theory with the theory of evolution. The corollary to such an association is that the AGW scepticism is as unscientific as creationism, or ‘inteligent design’ as we came to know later. Creationism derives its tenets from a book of faith. It does not rely on scientific method as the sole basis of its knowledge. AGW scepticism however seeks to use the same scientific procedures that gave way to the AGW theory to acquire its knowledge. I am fairly certain, Chris, that most of the scientists whose help you are seeking are intelligent enough to know that the AGW scepticism is nothing like creationism.

    And secondly, the article neglected to expand on why not many other scientists came to the rescue of Micheal Mann, et al. You say,

    A few scientists answered the Climategate charges almost instantly. Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University, whose e-mails were among those made public, made a number of television and radio appearances. A blog to which Mann contributes, RealClimate.org, also launched a quick response showing that the e-mails had been taken out of context. But they were largely alone. “I haven’t had all that many other scientists helping in that effort,” Mann told me recently.

    Well, Chris, in case you did not know already, the reason that not many climatologists as well as scientists from other disciplines offered much help to Mann and others is/was because they did not want to be associated with the secretive, tribal way scientific work was being carried out by the likes of Micheal Mann and Phil Jones. Didn’t Richard Feynman urge young scientists to do exactly the opposite in his Cargo Cult Science speech? Most of the AGW faithful are still in denial about the damage the climategate scandal has done to Climatology and quite possibly to all other scientific fields. Although climategate scandal may have receded from the mainstream media, the manufactured scientific consensus, the corruption of the peer-review process, the secretiveness, the tribalism, the alarmism, and so on, will continue to be discussed in scientific circles for months, years and decades to come, especially if the climate models predicting a catastrophic future is proven false. The fact that so many were cautious in expressing solidarity with Mann, et al, can only show that they knew that not all was right in climate science.

  10. moptop

    “But a scandal? No. In order for it to be a scandal, it would have to show scientists doing things to falsify the science. It does not, no matter how many times the “skeptics” take things out of context.” Chris

    Now this is necessarily a long read, but it is an account of the “context” of “hide the decline”

    I don’t expect you to read it Chris, but anybody with an open mind on this subject should check it out.

    http://climateaudit.org/2009/12/12/daily-mail-special-investigation/

  11. sHx

    I read the Washington Post article the day it came out but skipped the comments altogether. So some of the things I’ll be saying in response may have already been said by others. I have two points to make.

    Firstly, one of the main themes of the article is the rather feeble attempt to associate the AGW theory with the theory of evolution. The corollary to such an association is that the AGW scepticism is as unscientific as creationism, or ‘inteligent design’ as we came to know later. Creationism derives its tenets from a book of faith. It does not rely on scientific method as the sole basis of its knowledge. AGW scepticism however seeks to use the same scientific procedures that gave way to the AGW theory to acquire its knowledge. I am fairly certain, Chris, that most of the scientists whose help you are seeking are intelligent enough to know that the AGW scepticism is nothing like creationism.

    And secondly, the article neglected to expand on why not many other scientists came to the rescue of Micheal Mann, et al. You say,

    A few scientists answered the Climategate charges almost instantly. Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University, whose e-mails were among those made public, made a number of television and radio appearances. A blog to which Mann contributes, RealClimate.org, also launched a quick response showing that the e-mails had been taken out of context. But they were largely alone. “I haven’t had all that many other scientists helping in that effort,” Mann told me recently.

    Well, Chris, in case you did not know already, the reason that not many climatologists as well as scientists from other disciplines offered much help to Mann and others is/was because they did not want to be associated with the secretive, tribal way scientific work was being carried out by the likes of Micheal Mann and Phil Jones. Didn’t Richard Feynman urge young scientists to do exactly the opposite in his Cargo Cult Science speech? Most of the AGW faithful are still in denial about the damage the climategate scandal has done to Climatology and quite possibly to all other scientific fields. Although climategate scandal may have receded from the mainstream media, the manufactured scientific consensus, the corruption of the peer-review process, the secretiveness, the tribalism, the alarmism, and so on, will continue to be discussed in scientific circles for months, years and decades to come, especially if the climate models predicting a catastrophic future is proven false. The fact that so many were cautious in expressing solidarity with Mann, et al, can only show that they knew that not all was right in climate science.

  12. es58

    The folks who keep saying nothing in e-mails show anything but pettiness etc either haven’t read them or don’t know how to read

    They’re either repeating what they’ve heard, or have read some online “cleaned up” version with cherry picked quotes, sort of like the cherry picked way they did the science.
    Thanks

  13. es58

    try reading this:

    http://www.assassinationscience.com/climategate/

    It may not be correct, but to say there’s nothing worth investigating is closing your eyes. My concern is to find unbiased investigators;

  14. Syl

    moptop,

    Things were not taken out of context. Actually, if you put them into context, it gets worse.

    RealClimate is biased beyond belief. 95% of comments are AGW positive and moderated. Here`s another view from the hide the decline.

    http://climateaudit.org/2009/12/10/ipcc-and-the-trick/

    The above site is also biased anti-AGW but the comments are not moderated to the same degree.

    Here`s another analysis of the e-mails.

    read these references with an open mind.

  15. Syl

    Here`s an analysis of the e-mails from a John P. Costella (Ph.D)

    http://www.assassinationscience.com/climategate/

  16. Jon

    Again, moptop, you’re recycling arguments that have already been addressed here in the comments that you participated in, but you ignored. (A sign of hackitude, seems to me.)

    Skip down to the “Mixed Messages” section of this factcheck.org article:

    http://factcheck.org/2009/12/climategate/

    “Hide the decline” refers to replacing bad data with real temperatures. The bad data was not a secret and was addressed in other articles (some that Factcheck links to in this article).

  17. edge

    Ahem.

    The effort to whitewash this is, frankly, unsettling. And exactly what is so unsettling is that some people… on both sides… are so willing to rush to conclusions based on incomplete data, going off on their typical biases. Imagine two people draw a card from a standard deck. One draws a King and the other draws an Ace. They both think they drew the higher card because they can’t agree on the high or low value of an Ace. They are both biased to win… to be right. So, an entire argument to define the rules of the game takes off… one where the two sides are so vested they will never agree.

    Back on topic, ClimateGate is going to go down in several acts, and this was only act one: the revelation of the emails.

    First, look at how the researchers refer to being part of the “cause”, how they deal with reporters, and how they deal with peer review. Being “human” is NO defense to these charges. These are not impartial men of science.

    Now, that may OR may not invalidate the science. Anyone who rushes to say that it DOES NOT is clearly part of the “cause” and the biases associated with it, but anyone who automatically says it DOES is very likely a denier and part of a completely separate and equally biased cause. The science is NOT settled, now more than ever, which means MORE research… under careful eyes, with full disclosure and transparency, without stonewalling and maneuvering… is needed before we even consider some of the economically deleterious measures we are considering.

    Unfortunately, human beings are good at one thing above all else: bias. We may never get our answer if that’s the case.

  18. Syl

    Jon,

    They decided to throw away the “bad data” because the proxy measurements (tree rings) diverged from the measured results starting around 1960. This “bad data” was extensive and should have made the scientists take a step back to question if the proxy data before 1960 could even be relied upon. But instead , they grafted measured data to proxy data pre 1960! Since it was a multi-proxy graph, they made sure the “bad data” line stopped at 1960 at the intersection of another line so a casual observer would not notice. That was the “trick” part.

    The thrown out data showed declining temperatures. It`s called cherry-picking your data to show your pre-determined outcome.

  19. Bob

    Dear author of this article,

    Obviously you haven’t read the emails where they squashed other scientific papers from appearing in the journals. How the Russians say their data was cherry picked and they only used temperatures from urban areas. There is a scandal here and these men are being investigated. If the research of this “handful” of men is valid why didn’t they release it so that other scientists could try to reproduce the results? The hockey stick graph has been proven to be junk science so get off your high horse and realize that yes there is climate change but being man made is negligable.

  20. S. Wilson

    All these scientists and journalists and politicians and activists who have been ramming global warming down our throats for a decade have suddenly been faced with their reputations being trashed. The result is a completely disingenious attempt to throw blame on climate “deniers” for “exaggerating” the “non-scandal”. Like a man who has just realized that the police know he’s the guilty one, only when people are really scared do they make up ludicrous excuses.

    Never mind that the emails reveal that the main set of data on which the entire gloabl warming “consensus” was based, as well as on which was based the IPCC report and UN recommendations, was fudged. It was all made up. The climate model source code, which cannot be “taken out of context”, had a variable array in it arrogantly called “fudge factor”, which cranked up the temperatures in 5-year increments throughout the 20th Century such that a hockey stick would result at the end. Even completely random data entered into the climate model would show a hockey stick.

    Yet is it we who are called the “deniers”.

    Let me give you a bit of advice. This scandal isn’t going away. Nobody is so stupid as to believe nothing went on. The more you try to pretend nothing happened, the more your reputation will go down the drain. It’s your choice.

  21. Jon

    This “bad data” was extensive and should have made the scientists take a step back to question if the proxy data before 1960 could even be relied upon.

    The question is whether the problem was called out in the studies, and I believe it was. And these studies, by the way, were not for “the casual observer”. They weren’t publishing in USA Today. They were publishing for other scientists and other technically literate, interested parties. Their audience had every opportunity to challenge their work (which is now ages old, in terms of the development of the science).

    And again, as I said in the other thread, you can reach the same conclusions using completely different proxies from tree rings:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Hockey-stick-without-tree-rings.html

  22. Syl

    Jon,

    This graph was to be used in the IPCC`s “summary for policy makers” (ie politicians) and they knew that. The optics were of great importance here. Politicians don`t bother reading the details.

    Please read this:

    http://climateaudit.org/2009/12/10/ipcc-and-the-trick/
    It is timelined with e-mails.

    Even if you believe in AGW, you should read it and nuance it with http://climateaudit.org/2009/12/12/daily-mail-special-investigation/

    Keep an open mind.

  23. moptop

    Jon,
    I didn’t expect you to read my link, which comprehensively debunks your claim, at a length that precludes summary, by bringing in the history of other relevant events that took place contemporaneously. Tell you what, anybody interested in the truth should read both links. How does that sound Jon?

  24. moptop

    Oh yeah, all of those pretty hockey stick graphs you show either depend on the CRU, which the UK met office is in the process of a three year re-examination of based on issues raised by climategate, or stop at the beginning of the Little Ice Age. Wow. Those are what are called “rhetorical graphs”, you should go back just a little ways further on that borehole graph, Jon.

    Lots of those other “independent” graph lines are based on tree rings. You really ought to separate those out, or stop making the claim. One of them is “Moberg et al”

    Here we reconstruct Northern Hemisphere temperatures for the past 2,000 years by combining low-resolution proxies with tree-ring data, </b

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/moberg2005/moberg2005.html

    Who is the denier Jon?

  25. Jon

    Again, Syl, considering how old this study is, and that other studies have superseded it (see my link, for instance) the point is moot.

    Yes, the “optics” are important. There is an element of persuasion in a graph, and what appears in large and small print. (That’s why politicians hire people to read the small print.)

    And this issue also applies to our conversation right here. As a sane lay person, I don’t have time to go through all the studies on 1960 “the decline” and see how strong the case is that the problem is isolated to one particular tree ring data set.

    But again, the point is moot. It’s like we’re arguing about a flaw in the Windows 95 operating system. What’s that kvetching got to do with now?

  26. Jon

    That is, what’s that kvetching got to do with now, other than trying to convince me that the whole history of computing is a HUGE CONSPIRACY involving Microsoft against everybody?

    That Windows 95 code is part of a larger picture of the Evil Bill Gates trying to Control the World and other such B movie plots.

  27. Syl

    Hi Jon,

    It does matter if it was 10 years ago. The true topic of discussion is the contents of the e-mails. Was is exposed is their behaviour which continues to this day.

    They are on a crusade rather than seeking the scientific truth. They prepared in advance rebuttals and negative reviews of certain authors before these papers even became available to them!

    And as for Microsoft – you bring a good point. Don`t forget that it was Bill Gate`s own e-mails that nailed them. (ie conspiracy against Netscape and others)

  28. Jim

    From Technology Review
    McIntyre and McKitrick created some meaningless test data that had, on average, no trends. This method of generating random data is called Monte Carlo analysis, after the famous casino, and it is widely used in statistical analysis to test procedures. When McIntyre and McKitrick fed these random data into the Mann procedure, out popped a hockey stick shape!

    http://www.technologyreview.com/Energy/13830/?a=f

    The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, skepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin.
    Thomas Huxley

  29. Klem

    Just as the public believed everything the media has spewed in favour of climate change catastrophe, they now believe everything the media spewes about Climate Gate. The media is now on a crusade saying that ClimateGate is proof that AGW was a hoax all along and the public is lapping it up. You folks didn’t complain when the media was on your side, not you’ve got to eat it when the media jumps from the ship.

  30. Jim

    Dr Stephen Schneider, of Stanford,
    “On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. To do that we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, means getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.”

    Sir John Houghton, first chairman of IPCC
    “Unless we announce disasters no one will listen”

  31. Comish

    Goodness. Surely it wouldn’t hurt your credibility to admit the obvious: The ClimateGate emails were more than a public relations disaster. If you want to spin it, fine, hopefully you can at least admit that the lesson to take from the emails is that scientists are not automatons. They’re human beings who work in the real world and occasionally bicker and act as advocates for their beliefs. But to suggest that the only problems evident in the emails were a result of “being taken out of context”? That’s preposterous. The only people who are going to be convinced by your statements are people who really want to believe it, and who won’t take the time to look at the emails themselves. You’re selling your credibility for cheap, and unnecessarily.

  32. Jon

    Don`t forget that it was Bill Gate`s own e-mails that nailed them.

    But this isn’t a case of monopoly. In the case of CRU (even if beyond people saying mean things in confidential emails you found actual substantial wrongdoing) with AGW we’re not talking about one set of scientists, one set of data, one area of experimentation. We’re talking about many independent groups of researchers, many different data sets, many different areas of experimentation.

    If you want to generalize about scientists as a whole class of people, and attack them en masse, impugn their honesty, do PR campaigns against them, stifle their findings when they are government employees, “marginalize” them as part of the “the reality based community“, etc., then Chris Mooney will write a book about you, called *The Republican War on Science.*

  33. TTT

    Chris,

    The status of your own blog disproves your thesis. Despite your own communication techniques, you are surrounded by eco-denialists and conspiracists. How else can you explain this?

  34. Jon

    Syl: “Don`t forget that it was Bill Gate`s own e-mails that nailed them.”

    But this isn’t a case of monopoly. In the case of CRU (even if beyond people saying mean things in emails you found actual substantial wrongdoing) with AGW we’re not talking about one set of scientists, one set of data, one area of experimentation. We’re talking about many independent groups of researchers, many different data sets, many different areas of experimentation.

    If you want to generalize about scientists as a whole cl@ss of people, and attack them en m@sse, impugn their honesty, do PR campaigns against them, stifle their findings when they are government employees, “marginalize” them as part of the “the reality based community“, etc., then Chris Mooney will write a book about you, called *The Republican War on Science.*

  35. Calendar

    Mankind should have ended by now using the changing of seasons to manipulate the ignorant to gain power.
    The calendar cycle of the Great Year ends in December of 2012. It is not so different from the monthly calendar used daily now by all people that it should appear so impossible to understand for so many.
    Perhaps it is because of fear and denial that this cycle cannot be controlled or stopped that the average people are refusing to see what is right in front of their eyes as the clearly marked astronomical event used as the end and beginning point for the Great Year approaches.
    This calendar was meant to be used so that people could prepare for the Great Winter, ice age, of the Great Year just as they use the monthly calendar to prepare in advance for the yearly season of winter.
    It is a travesty that in this age of world wide technological communication the simple, silent calendar of the Great Year is either totally being ignored or totally being dismissed as something that was created out of no real importance.

  36. Ron

    I read so many conflicting opinions from professional journalists that I finally decided to read the emails myself, as so many commenters recommend.

    Actually I read something over 200 of more than a thousand.

    Here is a good rule of commentaries. The bias of the commenter can be determined by combinations of three words. Those words are the emails were “stolen”, “hacked”, or “leaked.” If the commenter says “stolen” you can bet the article is biased pro AGW all the way. “Hacked” tends toward pro AGW. “Hacked or leaked” tends to indicate an open mind. “Leaked” seems to be more skeptical. In addition, pro-biased journalists also say, “a few emails,” when there are in fact well over a 1000 of them. In addition, there are countless other documents.

    Since they were public information subject to the FOIA, it is impossible to “steal” them, since the person who got them somehow, had every right to them. How can one steal that which one already has a right to? Why would one consider public information being made public is theft?

    So lets look at the integrity of the scientists involved. When a FOIA request was filed they tried to get others to “delete the emails.” That is a crime in all jurisdictions with FOIA. Apparently Chris M believes law breaking is just fine when his job may be on the line.

    A scientist protects data diligently. Those involved “lost” and/or destroyed data.
    This was discovered only when it was requested.

    Those involved in the emails discuss how to squelch, by subverting the “peer review” process, those who disagreed. Once they got the process sufficiently in there favor they claimed the skeptics were not scientists because they did not have peer reviewed articles in publications. This is not a my words, they are the plain straight forward words in the emails.

    I advise anyone who believes a single word of Chris M. to “READ THEM YOURSELF.”

    When I finished the 200 plus, of the over 1000, I came to believe firmly that the lot of them should be researching from behind bars. And, people like Chris M. should be reporting from adjacent cells.

  37. moptop

    Yeesh Jon, I was expecting some kind of reply to my demolition of your “hockey sticks without tree rings” link. But yet, you seem to be in some kind of “denial” that your link is a laughable attempt at covering up what is obviously true. “(A sign of hackitude, seems to me.)”" :) Unprecedented” went out with climategate.

  38. moptop

    *The Republican War on Science.*

    I leave it to anyone with an interest in the subject to read leading alarmist blogs like this one. Remember that Realclimate deletes contrary comments, so you can’t get both sides there, and skeptic blogs like “ClimateAudit” and “The Reference Frame”, by Lubos Motl, neither of which deletes comments that are on topic, no matter their point of view. Then decide which side is engaged in a “war on science.”

  39. Jon

    You can read *Republican War on Science* and decide for yourself the merits of Chris’s arguments. Mind you, Chris isn’t talking about the people who maintain websites. He’s talking about Senators, high and low Republican administration officials, “scholars” at libertarian think tanks, etc.

    And I don’t know about Realclimate deleting “contrary comments” (if I were them, I’d get sick of all the “cooling back in the 70′s” comments too), but as for Climate Audit not deleting comments, that’s not what Tim Lambert has said:

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2007/03/climate_paranoia.php

    Any backtracks or comments that link to Lambert’s blog are deleted.

  40. Chloride

    Mr. Mooney, comparing skepticism of climate change models and predictions to creationist beliefs is eminent nonsense and bovine waste.

  41. Bob

    Chris, you will find that the skeptic community is comprised almost exclusively of scientist and engineers. To suggest that skeptics are akin to creationist or holocaust deniers reveals a profound ignorance on your part (or maybe it’s just your feeble attempt at spin).

    Aside from the alleged criminal behavior (obstruction of FOIA, tax evasion and falsification of public documents), what the climategate papers reveal is a coordinated attempt to tamper with the temperature record and proxy data to make these data conform to the desired PR message of the various funding agencies.

    With the publication of McIntyre and McKitrick (2003) people became aware of this manipulation, and the involved scientists panicked. Jones allegedly went so far as to destroy the raw station data (arguably the world’s most valuable scientific data) rather than produce it under FOIA.

    The Met Office and Penn State are currently investigating whether the actions of these scientists constitute fraud or other forms of criminality. I’ll leave that assessment to them. For your sake I suggest you refrain from declaring this a non-issue pending the outcome these investigations.

    What’s clear is that the scientific method has been corrupted. Discover Magazine should be an advocate for science and not for what’s taken place here.

  42. Marion Delgado

    I have another point to add to sHX’s 2 points (only 2 in all that wordage?):

    in addition to not having even a child’s knowledge of science, shx also doesn’t know enough or care enough to close tags.

  43. Marion Delgado

    is it an em or an i?

  44. scudlington

    It’s just painful, isn’t it.
    You know exactly which way these blogs are going to go as soon as you see how the emails were supposedly extracted.
    ‘Stolen’… ‘hackers’ and the crime isn’t the almost unimaginable fraud that’s taking place but the criminal activity of those brave enough to expose it.
    To the author of another limp wristed piece of handwringing rubbish… jump off this ship of lies that’s going to go down faster than the Titanic and get yourself a proper job.

  45. moptop

    Jeeze Jon, still not responding to my point about your link about independent reconstructions?

    As for my “cooling in the seventies” comment, I specifically said “in the media”, which happened. So I am not sure if you were trying to make some kind of jab at me by putting words in my mouth, but whatever.

    I think that that whole “Lambert” “ClimateAudit” spat had to do with with Lambert deleting links to CA to avoid raising CA’s pagerank in Google. But I could be wrong, so I will accept your point nolo contendere :)

    I think that “The Attack on Reason by Al Gore” is the best book title ever, btw.

  46. Phil

    It’s interesting to watch the man-made climate change believers (like you, Chris) attempt to dismiss the emails as “taken out of context” and a “smear job”. It’s a pity that you are so brainwashed that the actions of 1) trying to silence dissenting opinion, 2) willfully ignoring freedom of information, 3) artfully juxtaposing temperature graphs from unrelated sources, and 4) general disregard of the scientific method by the small group of man-made climate change fanatics leave you no room for pause. Interesting. Very interesting. It is so sad that you have given away your own reasoning skills to engage in lemming science. There are many reputable climatologists who question the true impact of human-produced CO2 on climate change. These folks are called “deniers” because they dare question Al Gore and the whole flock of
    “if you say it enough times, it will become truth.”

    Label me a denier. I see temperature being warmer in 1997 than in 2007. I see both 2007 and 1997 as -warmer- than 1850. What are all the causes of global climate change? How much have we contributed? Those are questions. Not denials. what is denied is that Al “I invented the Internet” Gore knows anything substantive about the significant forces and the earth’s response to those forces the result in a constantly-changing climate. Remember the 1960′s bumper sticker “Question Authority”? Use your brain, actually ask some questions as to why climate science is now political science. Remember Occam’s razor that you were taught in grade school? If Water vapor is 90% of the earth’s greenhouse gas, why are we focused on the < 10% component as the only "bogey man?" Ask questions. Think. Clearly you have forgotten how.

  47. DCC

    It’s obvious from reading the e-mails that Briffa, the guy in charge of the paleoclimate data at East Anglia, thinks his data is garbage. Not just the recent data that nobody understands, but the data all the way back. They don’t even seem to be able to calculate their margin of error and Briffa thinks that it might be so large that it dwarfs the recent rise in the instrumentation records.

    Briffa did everything that he could to make this point internally and wanted it addressed in the IPCC report, but he was not well received. If it was published elsewhere, it was in a very hidden place. That’s bad science and Briffa knew it. The e-mails also make clear that the “hockey team,” as they call themselves, did everything in their power minimize the damage that Rosanne D’Arrigo did when she questioned the validity of tree rings as proxies.

    If anyone can provide a reference to the mystery publication where the CRU published this “problem,” please do so. I would like to read it. Frankly, I doubt that it exists.

  48. DCC

    A corollary to my recent comment is that if it’s bad science to mix apples and oranges (proxies and recent temperature reccords,) it’s even worse to mix garbage and oranges. Especially when the garbage obviously fails to match the historical record – the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age.

    But don’t get too hung up on the phoney hockey stick chart. That’s far from the only problem being unearthed. It’s a slow process because they consistently refuse to release their data, but Steve McIntyre at climateaudit.org is nothing if not dogged.

  49. gillt

    Bob: “Chris, you will find that the skeptic community is comprised almost exclusively of scientist and engineers.”

    Doubtful. And besides, the Intelligence Design community is full of engineers, so what’s your point?

    The anti-AGW community is full of people who think science is a godless, lefty-liberal conspiracy crushing the windpipe of Lady Liberty under the jackboot of a New World Order.

  50. sam

    Very frustrated reading your recent op ed in the Post. One of my NY resolutions was to stop mollycoddling people who are clearly in the wrong; am tired of engaging people who argue with no basis in logic or fact. (Er, I should note that I’m not talking about you; rather, I’m talking about your proposed approach in things like the evolution debate.)

    See: http://www.philosophypress.co.uk/?p=962

  51. Dr. Professor Reverend

    Anthropophobic Global Warming is a dead parrot.
    It is a defunct, expired, no longer existing, shuffled off the mortal coil sort of parrot.
    Mooney is a bad plagiarist of Monty Python.
    Now he’s doing The Dark Knight.
    It would be funny but it ends up with Jonestown.

  52. Jon

    Proxy data isn’t even central to the case for GHG-caused climate change. It’s a piece of supporting evidence. And tree ring data isn’t even the only proxy used. There are several others. But since the “hockey stick” graph is what got the dogs barking (it was on the cover of that 10 year old report!!1!), they continue to harp on a 10 year old study to keep them barking.

  53. moptop

    “And tree ring data isn’t even the only proxy used. ”

    OK, you said it again. Where is the non tree ring proxy or direct measurment, bore holes, for example, that shows the current warming as unprecedented, let’s say, since Roman Times.

    Don’t give me that last link again. All non tree ring histories seem to stop at the little ice age, end the mixed chart in it, the first one I looked at *was based on tree rings.

    “it was on the cover of that 10 year old report!” – Jon

    It has been inside of a lot of more recent reports too. AR4 contained it, even though the National Academy of Sciences said it was unreliable. When it goes away, we will stop harping on it. I suspect, now that Jones has been discredited, that it will disappear from the next one.

  54. moptop

    “it was on the cover of that 10 year old report!” – Jon

    In case anybody is wondering whether Jon is right or not that the hockey stick came and went ten years ago, as he seems to imply.

    http://climateaudit.org/2007/10/23/bristlecones-foxtails-and-ipcc-ar4/

    It is very technical, sorry, but the point is that the graph is in the latest release by the IPCC.

  55. bilbo

    Mankind should have ended by now using the changing of seasons to manipulate the ignorant to gain power.
    The calendar cycle of the Great Year ends in December of 2012. It is not so different from the monthly calendar used daily now by all people that it should appear so impossible to understand for so many.
    Perhaps it is because of fear and denial that this cycle cannot be controlled or stopped that the average people are refusing to see what is right in front of their eyes as the clearly marked astronomical event used as the end and beginning point for the Great Year approaches.
    This calendar was meant to be used so that people could prepare for the Great Winter, ice age, of the Great Year just as they use the monthly calendar to prepare in advance for the yearly season of winter.
    It is a travesty that in this age of world wide technological communication the simple, silent calendar of the Great Year is either totally being ignored or totally being dismissed as something that was created out of no real importance.

    Is it a full moon or something? The crazies are out in full force on this thread.

  56. PJ

    I like watching Jon and moptop go at it. Moptop makes some bogus statement about climate science being a sham, Jon disproves him with cold, hard evidence and slaps him around, and moptop pretends nothing happened and quickly shifts the goalposts to another topic altogether. It’s been going on and on for two threads now, and moptop never even wins a single skirmish.

    You’ve gotta admire his tenacity….

  57. astonerii

    Re OP: Sure hope the cool aid tastes great, because your gravy train is coming to an end, and all you will have left for it is your lack of credibility.

    Re 51: Actually, proxy data is 100% of the argument for GHG caused climate change, because it is 100% the only way to determine if the climate change of today is different than the climate change of the past.

  58. astonerii

    Make that re:54 instead of re 51.

    Are these reply numbers changing?

  59. bad Jim

    Curses! They’ve caught on to our plan to establish world-wide socialism through climate change mitigation! Or wait – maybe it’s a plot by shadowy international bankers to make billions trading carbon credits.

  60. Jon

    In case anybody is wondering whether Jon is right or not that the hockey stick came and went ten years ago, as he seems to imply.

    There’s just a lot more data than there was 10 years ago–a lot more proxies. Complaining about the bristlecone pines starts to get meaningless when there is so much data pointing in the same direction.

  61. Jon

    “Actually, proxy data is 100% of the argument for GHG caused climate change, because it is 100% the only way to determine if the climate change of today is different than the climate change of the past.”

    Actually it isn’t:

    The first order of business here is to correct the mischaracterization of this single paleoclimate study as the “foundation” of Global Warming theory. It is anything but! What is going on today is unique and is understood by study of today’s data and the best scientific theories the experts can come up with. Reconstructions of past temperatures are, well, they’re about the past. The study of the past can be very informative for scientists, but it is not explanatory of the present nor is it predictive of the future. The scientific basis for the dangers we face and their cause is about much more than a few tree-rings and the temperature during the Medieval Warm Period.

    For instance, there are quite a few experiments that tease out GHG as an “agent” of the present warming. Here’s a list of some of them:

    http://tinyurl.com/heatisonline

    Again, the “hockey stick” is just supporting evidence.

  62. John A. Jauregui

    Are you angry about this obvious RICO Act fraud and the national media’s complicity in the cover-up, misinformation, reframing and misdirection of the issue and the related “carbon derivatives” market Obama’s Administration is spinning up? Take responsibility and take action. STOP all donations to the political party(s) responsible for this fraud. STOP donations to all environmental groups which funded this Global Warming propaganda campaign with our money, especially The Environmental Defense Fund. They have violated the public trust. KEEP donations local, close to home. MAKE donations to Oklahoma’s Senator Inhofe, the only politician to stand firmly against this obvious government/media coordinated information operation (propaganda) targeted at its own people. People that government leaders and employees are sworn to protect. WRITE your state and federal representatives demanding wall to wall investigations of government sponsored propaganda campaigns and demand indictments of those responsible. WRITE your state and federal Attorneys General demanding Al Gore and others conducting Global Warming/Climate Change racketeering and mail fraud operations be brought to justice, indicted, tried, convicted and jailed. Carbon is the stuff of life. He (Obama) who controls carbon, especially CO2, controls the world. Think of the consequences if you do nothing! For one, the UK is becoming the poster child for George Orwell’s “1984” and the US government’s sponsorship of this worldwide Global Warming propaganda campaign puts it in a class with the failed Soviet Union’s relentless violation of the basic human right to truthful government generated information. Given ClimateGate’s burgeoning revelations of outrageous government misconduct and massive covert misinformation, what are the chances that this Administration’s National Health Care sales campaign is anywhere near the truth?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bdneX1djD0

  63. George

    Well it’s on the wall now spin warmers spin :) )

  64. Jon

    This climate change stuff sure tends to bring out 1) John Birch society types (there’s a reason why Bill Buckley read them out of the movement), and 2) pedants of a certain libertarian stripe (often in the pay of wealthy members of #1, the John Birch society types).

  65. bilbo

    “Given ClimateGate’s burgeoning revelations of outrageous government misconduct and massive covert misinformation, what are the chances that this Administration’s National Health Care sales campaign is anywhere near the truth?”

    Wait – now climate scientists at independent universities are the “government?” Wow. This conspiracy runs deeper than I thought if we’ve got politicians planning 15 years ahead of time to pursue undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in climatology!

    The more realistic explanation, of course, is that John in #64 just got his anti-intellectualism mixed up with his “I hate government”ism. It’s ok, John. It happens.

  66. hunter

    The only denial I see going on right now is that of the AGW community in pretending that everything is fine.
    Of course those exposed or put at risk by the leaks are going to claim innocence.
    If you found out your money was being invested by people who wrote their investment results statments of your money, the way the climategate guys deal with code, data, proxies, etc. would you be comfortable?
    And for those who have failed to notice, the cliamtegate leak is made up of e-mails, data, and code.
    Not any of it vindicates the AGW promoters.
    Climategate clearly shows a concerted effort by more than a few people to suppress competing ideas, to hide the weaknesses of their own ideas, and to manipulate the public and policy makers.
    AGW true believers can deny that any of this matters, but that does not make the denial true.
    What is amusing, in the denial of the AGW true believers, is how they cling to the paranoid fantasy that skeptics are part of a vast secret network of funded cynics.
    More leaks will come. They always do.
    Who wants to bet the next round of leaks will vindicate AGW theory or will further show that AGW is a fallacious theory, whose strength is strictly political?

  67. Denier is a political term. Sceptic is a scientific term. Because scepticism is the soul of science.

    This piece has nothing to do with science and everything to do with politics.

  68. Did that close the tag?

  69. bilbo

    Climate change skeptic: someone who does not fully accept the scientific theory that human-emitted greenhouse gas emissions influence Earth’s climate system. A skeptic can tyocially back up his/her points with scientifically-valid evidence. Sorbet is a good example fromt his blog.

    Climate change denialist: someone who does not fully accept the scientific theory that human-emitted greenhouse gas emissions influence Earth’s climate system….but argues that point with unsubstantiated accusations, out-of-context points, angry rhetoric, a bastardization of the scientific method, and/or politically-motivated claims with a root source in conservatism and/or rabid anti-intellectualism – not science.

    Over 90% of the people who don’t accept AGW on the comment threads of this blog are deniers, not skeptics. This entire thread is a fine example of that.

  70. bilbo

    Might I add that “M. Simon,” who talks about being an honest skeptic, has a post up on his/her blog at the moment implicitly accusing global warming of being a hoax because it’s snowing in China.

    Confusing weather in climate is stupid denialist misconception #1, M. Simon. Most denialists, in fact, would even admit that you’re totally wrong when it comes to that one. That’s strikes one, two, and three, Simon – you don’t know jack squat about this topic, and you’ll be treated as such.

    Furthermore, a peek at M. Simon’s blogroll highlights a number of links that go directly to Islamic quasi-hate group sites, sites that accuse Democrats of “hating America,” and a Barack Obama hate group. It looks like we have another whoring poltical shill on our hands, folks. Let’s give this disgusting piece of garbage scumbag the attention it deserves: none.

  71. sHx

    43. Marion Delgado Says:
    January 6th, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    I have another point to add to sHX’s 2 points (only 2 in all that wordage?):

    in addition to not having even a child’s knowledge of science, shx also doesn’t know enough or care enough to close tags.
    44. Marion Delgado Says:
    January 6th, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    is it an em or an i?

    1- Actually, I had three points but I culled the last one. (Less wordage. Your lucky day!) The third point was about online civility and why Chris Mooney was less civil here than in Washington Post.

    2- I once carried out an experiment to find the density of water in a science class. The result was 0.98 g/cm3. But because I already knew the density of water was 1 g/cm3, I fudged my results to show precisely that. My science teacher said it was a good experiment well within the margins of error. I abondoned all interest in science after that misconduct, which still bothers me, and studied history and philosophy of science instead. Hence, the wordage. As for the HTML tags, I know a little and care a lot, but still a single typo ruins it all.

    3- It is neither em nor i.

    and

    4- The bonus point: got anything to say other than a pointless ad hom?

  72. bilbo

    Wait wait wait wait wait. Did sHx really just say that his/her distrust of science is rooted in a personal anecdote from a grade-school science class? Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!

    Please tell me I missed some sort of sarcasm in that post. Please.

  73. Jon

    Moptop: “All of those pretty hockey stick graphs you show either depend on the CRU, which the UK met office is in the process of a three year re-examination of based on issues raised by climategate, or stop at the beginning of the Little Ice Age.”

    I don’t see where you get that from my link, but I’ll take your word for it, Moptop. If you read Climateaudit all day, you may be up on every tidbit in every proxy data study. But regarding “depending on the CRU”–is every piece of data ever collected by the CRU tainted by the emails? If I include some CRU data in my study, is it automatically suspect, just because of some angry emails by some CRU staff? …Even if the investigation finds a piece of substantial misconduct by one or two of the researchers (which may or may not happen).

    “I didn’t expect you to read my link, which comprehensively debunks your claim, at a length that precludes summary, by bringing in the history of other relevant events that took place contemporaneously.”

    I’m sorry. Which claim? Which link?

  74. bad Jim

    Why are there so many “skeptics” every time Chris mentions climate change?

    Why do they never seem to ask cui bono or offer a plausible explanation of why so many scientists and governments accept AGW? As with evolution denial, it’s a conspiracy theory without a motive.

  75. bilbo

    You often here money as a motive, Bad Jim….but then there are denialists commenting on this very blog attempting to use climate change as a handle to solicit campaign funds for their favorite conservative denialist politician (see #64, for example).

    My question is this: why can none of the skeptics/denialists/whatever PC term we’re supposed to use with them now actually BACK UP what they’re saying with scientifically-valid evidence instead of conspiracy allegations, totally backasswards misunderstandings of basic climate science, and/or something along the lines of “I did some tinkering with the code on my home computer, and look at THIS!”?

    I’ve made several challenges on multiple comment threads here for a denialist to post some scientifically valid data/analyses/evidence to debunk the major tenets of climate science. If someone can, I’ll being to have some big doubts about the science. But alas, no one has done it – and most don’t even try.

    That should be VERY telling…

  76. bad Jim

    Let’s try strong, code, del, and ins. Also an empty anchor, some bold. Also, preview would be nice (or user editing as available at Cosmic Variance).

  77. Jon

    “Why do they never seem to ask cui bono or offer a plausible explanation of why so many scientists and governments accept AGW? ”

    The do ask cui bono. But when they do and offer their theories, they sound really paranoid and irrational. So they prefer other subjects in their public discussions…

  78. Spire

    BJ said:

    “Or wait – maybe it’s a plot by shadowy international bankers to make billions trading carbon credits.” [61]

    “Why do they never seem to ask cui bono or offer a plausible explanation of why so many scientists and governments accept AGW? As with evolution denial, it’s a conspiracy theory without a motive.” [76]

    Didn’t you answer your question before you asked it?

  79. Syl

    Hard to believe that discussions about the weather was for small talk.

    Haaa – the good old days.

  80. bad Jim

    They don’t seem to realize that their citation of Climategate also sounds pretty paranoid and irrational. That they’re acting in the interests of the energy industries doesn’t seem to bother them, either. What's good for General Motors is good for the USA.

    The fact is that it isn’t just a scientific consensus; the governments of most countries accept AGW as well, which ought to suggest a more sinister motivation (particularly since most governments are exquisitely sensitive to the interests of their countries’ industries). It’s preposterous to suppose that every government is being blinded by science.

  81. gallopingcamel

    The article says there is nothing to worry about. Like George Washington, the Hockey Team would never lie.

    Just move on, drink your trank and leave it all to the experts at the IPCC. You will be glad you did.

  82. bad Jim

    Where’d they all go, anyway? Were they on the clock? Seeking high seeking low As to Mooney's over all point, it may not even matter that much what scientists or journalists say or do, as long as there are loud voices inciting audiences to believe what they already want to believe, that they’re God’s special creation and that the American way of life is a blessed one.

  83. bad Jim

    Viewing the source, I see that sHx ended a quotation with instead of . I have no idea why it’s so difficult to fix.

    My larger point is that science education for the public faces the same problem as science education for students: it isn’t what the audience wants. Better journalists and better teachers will only help a little, and the market is reason that we don’t already have them.

    People prefer feeling good, period. They’d rather be cool than smart. It’s easy to convince them that they can be right without having to do anything too hard. Go to the bookstore and compare the self-help section to the science and/or nature sections.

    This is why I think journalists ought to hammer political issues instead of explaining the science. Follow the money and point out who’s on what side. Politics and psychology are vastly more accessible than physics or biology for the general public. Where climate change is concerned, there are malefactors of great wealth involved, and this is what ought to be emphasized

  84. lucklucky

    Amazing how some people can see science certainity in a science that is just starting its first steps, where much is unrealiabe, unknown, with systems so complex . They don’t even want to see that the noise is bigger than what values they predict.

    Chris Mooney is just a rebirth of Eugenics Movment now Climate bound . The arrogance of elits certainity working once more to guide the masses. Once again the arrogance of Human Power.

  85. sHx

    @82

    The fact is that it isn’t just a scientific consensus; the governments of most countries accept AGW as well, which ought to suggest a more sinister motivation (particularly since most governments are exquisitely sensitive to the interests of their countries’ industries). It’s preposterous to suppose that every government is being blinded by science.

    200 years ago most governments considered republics abominable systems and they dismissed democracy as the rule of mob. Probably half the world’s nearly 200 governments today still think so but they hold elections to keep up appearances.

    Until 65 years ago most governments, if not all of them, were blinded by the theories of race and the ‘science’ that underpinned it. Today, no government would want to touch what was known as scientific racism.

    I am told there isn’t a single state constitution that does not make a reference to some divinity. Most politicians invoke the name of god during campaigns; governments leaders swear in on a sacred text before taking up the office; parliaments open their session after a brief prayer. It is preposterous to think that there is no god if so many governments accept that there is one, is it not?

    If the attitude of the world governments were to be taken as a sign of validity or not of the AGW science, then there is absolutely no doubt that the science behind the AGW and/or the prescribed policy responses are dodgy business. There is a reason that Kyoto was ignored by most governments and Copenhagen ended in abject failure.

    By the way, with so many scientists supposedly agreeing with all the tenets of the AGW crusade, could someone please explain why Micheal Mann whinged to Chris Mooney about being left alone following the climategate scandal?

  86. sHx

    “Viewing the source, I see that sHx ended a quotation with instead of . I have no idea why it’s so difficult to fix.”

    How do you fix it? I use Opera for a browser. Thx.

  87. bad Jim

    A few of us have been trying to fix it for hours. An administrator could simply correct the source. In some commenting systems the commenter can do it themselves, but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

  88. sHx

    I just looked at the page with Firefox and now I see what you mean. A single html typo at my comment #9 has caused all of the comments following it to appear in italics. I have seen similar problems elsewhere. Yes, it is very annoying.

    Honestly, this is the first time I’ve been responsible for it :-( I mean you can hardly assign any blame on the commenter. Gotta be a page design fault. Interestingly, the page looks just fine with Opera, but looks crooked with Firefox and -just checked- Internet Explorer too.

    The reason I posted the same message twice was in anticipation that the first would be deleted. They are identical except for the html typo.

  89. bad Jim

    If climate change was really bogus, it wouldn’t be that difficult to devise ways to take advantage of the general delusion. The obvious moves would be shore front properties in Tuvalu or the Maldives or cropland in Bangladesh, which may currently be undervalued. If you’re certain that glaciers aren’t disappearing you could buy up the agricultural acreage downstream. Coal futures ought to be particularly appealing.

  90. bad Jim

    Opera at least the Apple version does indeed render the page without italics Safari and Firefox do not

  91. Spire

    “If climate change was really bogus, it wouldn’t be that difficult to devise ways to take advantage of the general delusion. The obvious moves would be shore front properties in Tuvalu or the Maldives or cropland in Bangladesh, which may currently be undervalued. If you’re certain that glaciers aren’t disappearing you could buy up the agricultural acreage downstream. Coal futures ought to be particularly appealing.”

    Desperation leads to poor unscientific reasoning.
    Squirm, baby, squirrrrrmmmmm.

  92. moptop

    Jon,
    You have said twice and implied once on this thread that there are other proxies besides tree rings that show that the current warming is unprecedented. Yet, the one link you give me shows proxies with which I am familiar, and which are deliberately truncated at the beginning of the Little Ice Age, or… longer series based on tree rings. The problems with those tree ring series are well documented. For anybody who hasn’t heard, Briffa, who mentions his doubts about this in the climategate emails, cherry picks a tiny number of trees for a key period to avoid showing how warm it was during a certain key period. We know the data was cherry picked because if you attempt to replicate his findings, but use more trees, his results go away.

    Would you like to see a historical temp series that is based on *only* proxies which have been shown in the literature to be accurate temperature proxies?

    No, I am sure you don’t, because it won’t give you the answer you want.

    While you have often declared your sincere faith that there is overwhelming evidence that show the current warming is unprecedented, even leaving out the climategate infected stuff, you haven’t offered even one. Nor have any of the readers of this thread, one of whom I am sure you are hoping will rescue you.

  93. moptop

    Never mind, I see you responded. This thread is all but unreadable with the italics. Another day, I am sure.

  94. Jessica

    “climate deniers”

    Can you please have the decency to revert back to calling skeptics what you initially called us “Global Warming Deniers” or is the world not warming anymore? :)

    I know it is a Freudian slip but this is the third name change given to deniers.

    1. Global Warming Deniers

    2. Climate Change Deniers

    now

    3. Climate Deniers

  95. Busiturtle

    Given a month of North American temperature readings 5 degrees below normal I suspect Michael Mann’s hockey stick is looking more like a limp noodle.

    How will the IPCC hide this decline?

  96. Fredrick Lightfoot

    Thank You,
    RON (37)
    you are one of the few that uses what God gave you.
    Fred

  97. bilbo

    “Given a month of North American temperature readings 5 degrees below normal I suspect Michael Mann’s hockey stick is looking more like a limp noodle.

    How will the IPCC hide this decline?”

    That one’s pretty easy: they don’t have to. That’s because 2009 was the fifth warmest year on record when you stop cherry-picking a single continent (and a single month) and look at the whole globe. The NOAA has a lot to say about this, too: “http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/?report=global&year=2009&month=13&submitted=Get+Report”

    So now NOAA is in on this massive global conspiracy to “hide a decline” in global temperatures, Busiturtle? I’ll add that they get their data from a completely different place from NASA, the CRU, etc…..and they all reach the same conclusions.

    Of course, there’s a much more logical explanation when three different datasets show the same thing: the world is getting warmer, not getting cooler, as Busiturtle just claimed. That’s one of the most dimwitted brands of denialism, and a desperate one, at that. You might as well say the sky is green.

  98. gillt

    @ Jessica and fellow whiners, if you insist on being called skeptics I have to insist on modifying it with poseur.

    The science isn’t on your side, you’ve traded dispassionate objectivity for conspiracy-theory mongering and know-nothing assertions based on a field of research you’ve continually shown zero comprehension of.

    Please provide a clear argument for why you shouldn’t be labeled a denialist?

  99. Steven Douglas

    Chris D., “In order for it to be a scandal, it would have to show scientists doing things to falsify the science.”

    Wow. I’ll bet you typed that with a straight face, too.

    “…If you think that Saiers is in the greenhouse skeptics camp, then, if we can find documentary evidence of this, we could go through official AGU channels to get him ousted.”

    “Kevin and I will keep them out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer review literature is!”

    Chris, “the science” is “the entire body” of science. Anything less is not “the science”. The concerted effort (both documented and successful) to stifle, bully, censor, and otherwise keep out any scientist or scientific research (people and/or papers), on the basis of views, conclusions, or suspected predispositions that might contradict or run counter to their own, that alone FALSIFIED ALL THEIR WORK in terms of it even being able to be called “the science”!

    Also, the fact that they knew that they could go through legitimate channels to get someone “ousted” on the basis of their scientific views, means that the CORRUPTION of “the (alleged, putative) science” was, AND IS, systemic!

  100. gillt

    Steven D: “Also, the fact that they knew that they could go through legitimate channels to get someone “ousted” on the basis of their scientific views, means that the CORRUPTION of “the (alleged, putative) science” was, AND IS, systemic!”

    Well Christ on a cracker, by denialist logic if you can pull a syllogism from your ass and turn it into a conspiracy theory you can prove anything!

    It just occurred to me I’m arguing with 5th graders.

  101. gallopingcamel

    bilbo (#67)
    You nailed it when you said: “Wait – now climate scientists at independent universities are the “government?” Wow. This conspiracy runs deeper than I thought…………………”

    In his farewell address in 1961 Dwight Eisenhower warned us about this:
    “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded”.

    Bad public policy based on bad science is almost inevitable when the government takes control.

  102. gillt

    Nice gallopingcamel. So what else goes on at the National Institutes of Health besides treating childhood leukemia, developing vaccines for malaria and anthrax, and HIV-1 research? Perhaps you could enlighten us.

  103. Sorbet

    I once carried out an experiment to find the density of water in a science class. The result was 0.98 g/cm3. But because I already knew the density of water was 1 g/cm3, I fudged my results to show precisely that. My science teacher said it was a good experiment well within the margins of error. I abondoned all interest in science after that misconduct, which still bothers me

    sHx, I think we can all be really glad you abandoned science before science would have decided to abandon you. Clearly you did not have the patience or sense to carry out multiple runs of an experiment, understand statistics, errors, standard deviations, law of large numbers etc. (or understand what your teacher was saying for that matter). Thank god people like you decide to weed themselves out of the wannabe scientist pool.

  104. bilbo

    I’ve clearly tapped into the camel’s deep-seated hatred and fear of smart people.

    But good point, gillt. If the camel is claiming that science is evil simply because the government funds it, I’m assuming (s)he won’t be receiving any treatment if they (heaven forbid) get cancer one day.

    ’cause those treatments are mostly funded by government bureaucrats, y’know.

  105. PJ

    The comments on this post are like amateur hour. Sheesh.

  106. PJ

    “sHx, I think we can all be really glad you abandoned science before science would have decided to abandon you. Clearly you did not have the patience or sense to carry out multiple runs of an experiment, understand statistics, errors, standard deviations, law of large numbers etc. (or understand what your teacher was saying for that matter). Thank god people like you decide to weed themselves out of the wannabe scientist pool.”

    Trouble is, then they become blog trolls who pretend to understand science.

  107. Busiturtle

    Seems like you fans need to give Al Gore a teleprompter.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/01/the_intellectual_dishonesty_of.html

    As the Gore party started walking out of the room, my colleague called out, “Hey, Al, how’s all that global warming working out for you?” Gore turned around and stared at us with a completely dumbfounded look on his face. He was speechless. With a smile, my colleague repeated the question, again to a hapless look of dismay.

    Finally, Gore mumbled under his breath, “Wow, you sound awfully angry.” I responded with a thank you, explaining to him that we were actually extremely amused.

  108. bilbo

    So people are “fans” of Al Gore now for simply accepting the scientific tenets of climate change?

    Interesting.

  109. Sorbet

    Bad public policy based on bad science is almost inevitable when the government takes control

    Sure, the human genome project, sending men to the moon, nuclear power and all the space sciences and medical research the government has done is indeed “bad science and bad policy”. Really, make sure you find out whether the next drug you consume had any component of government funded research responsible for its discovery. If it did, avoid it like the plague. Then tell us what disease you would want to die from.

  110. I debated the Creationists back in the 90′s on Talk Origins, and the parallels to the debate today are astounding. It was about that time that I completely abandoned any lingering belief in any organized religion and the gods they worship. Many people have come to similar epiphanies, and have abandoned the old-school religions as well, and have started their own religion to fill the spiritual void –environmentalism.
    There is a war on science, and it is being waged by both wings of the sociopolitical nut. Creationists on the Right, Warmists on the Left. Neither one has true science on their side. Creationism has been thoroughly slapped down for the stupidity it is, and Global Warming is quickly following suit.
    Follow the money:
    Chris Mooney makes his living by spreading his chicken little dogma. His Book would have been called “The Political War On Science” if he was not a partisan hack. Chris and his ilk are the reason journalism is on the ropes.
    Gore’s carbon trading company just surpassed the billion dollar mark by trading cow farts (7.5 billion worth of fraud (that they are aware of) in Europe already) .
    Obama and his wife are heavily invested in the Chicago Climate Exchange and other conflicts of interest. Same for Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and many other politicians –is anyone surprised?
    Rajendra Pachauri –the head of the IPCC – has his hand in at least 21 companies that are making a fortune off of the global warming hoax.
    On the lighter side, Al Gore. His aptly named new fiction, ‘The Assault on Reason’ has a cover picture reminiscent of the old Creationist debates. I remember Creationists trying to desperately explain all of the extra water needed to flood the earth to explain arc science. The image shows Gores comrades in Cuba completely under water. The tallest mountain in Cuba is Pico Real del Turquino at 6,578 feet. Maybe he will use the Creationist “welling up from beneath” theory to prove this could happen. It is a peer reviewed theory and there is a consensus, so why not? He also has hurricanes spinning backwards and other nonsense, but as we all know, the truth is inconvenient to Big Al and the Warmists.

  111. bilbo

    I’m personally going to walk down to my colleague’s office right this instant and give him a scolding lecture for taking all those taxpayer dollars just because he has a fetish for studying old senile people.

    And to think my hard-earned taxpayer money goes to help him!

    *rolleyes*

  112. Bob

    Well gillt, you can’t convince me. These scientific alarmists will be exposed after the investigation. We know data was cherry picked. These alarmists did everything they could to stop any other scientific paper that gave a contrary view being publishd. Don’t give me your circle arguments you won’t convince me. I bet you’d say the sun has nothing to do with climate. If these guys were correct why is there an investigation? Also the emails are public information there is no theft here. If this so called data can’t be reproduced what good is it?

  113. bilbo

    Wow. Bob is pissed. But he sounds more like an angry child.

    Tell us, pissed-off Bob, why is climate change a hoax? Give us data, facts, and analyses, please.

  114. debreuil

    The problem is scientists became advocates. And in this article you are clearly an advocate. Many words about shaping people’s opinions to fit your own, not one word about science.

    So sir, you are part of the problem – the biggest part.

  115. gillt

    Bob: “Well gillt, you can’t convince me.”

    I commend you for your admission of irrational, knuckle-headed certainty. I hereby swear from this point forward to dismiss and/or deride any future ideological puke from Bob.

  116. Busiturtle

    The cold snap spread across most of North America not only mocks Global Warming groupthink it proves that the science is meaningless.

    Why is it meaningless?

    Who cares what the average temperature is if it is the extremes in both directions that actually do the most harm.

    Will regulating “carbon” minimize temperature extremes?

    If cold weather causes so much more human death than milder weather why do the “climate experts” favor colder temperatures?

    Why should the activities of 7 billion people be regulated under the guise of saving some far-off pacific island when a tsunami would destroy that same island and there is not thing one anyone can or could do about it?

    Look up the word “Hubris” in the dictionary and you will see a picture of a Climate Change activist.

  117. bilbo

    Let’s see…where should I begin? A flow-chart might work best:

    1.) Busiturtle just said “The cold snap spread across most of North America not only mocks Global Warming groupthink it proves that the science is meaningless. Why is it meaningless? Who cares what the average temperature is if it is the extremes in both directions that actually do the most harm.”

    2.) What Busiturtle appears to be (hilariously) ignorant of is that “extremes” are a major part of climate science, and temperature anomalies are going absolutely nuts with climate change along with the “average temperature.” He appears to be getting his information on what climate science says from Joe Somebody’s skeptic blog…or just making crap up off the top of his head.

    Nice one, Busiturtle. Can you ram your foot any farther down your throat?

    (P.S. – If you make judgments on the validity of climate science based off of things like “cold snaps,” I’ll be expecting you to be loudly proclaiming from the rooftops that climate change is real if and when we have a record-breaking warm snap this summer. Actually, you can go ahead and do that…because parts of Europe are currently in the grips of an all-time record warm spell for winter. Something tells me the paradox that should ensue with that information will escape you, however…)

  118. Milton C.

    “Why should the activities of 7 billion people be regulated under the guise of saving some far-off pacific island when a tsunami would destroy that same island and there is not thing one anyone can or could do about it?”

    Could we find a more ignorant, self-interested commenter for the blog?

    I doubt it.

  119. PJ

    “Why should the activities of 7 billion people be regulated under the guise of saving some far-off pacific island when a tsunami would destroy that same island and there is not thing one anyone can or could do about it?”

    Why should the taxes of 300 million people be collected under the guise of something like preventing cancer deaths when something or other will eventually kill those people one day and there is not one thing anyone can or could do about it?

  120. Seminatrix

    Why should the activities of 7 billion people be regulated under the guise of stopping the act of homicide with “laws” when a disease or something else will eventually kill those people one day and there is not one thing anyone can or could do about it?

  121. Action Jackson

    “Why should the activities of 7 billion people be regulated under the guise of saving some far-off pacific island when a tsunami would destroy that same island and there is not thing one anyone can or could do about it?”

    We’ve got a real philosophical scholar on our hands here, folks.

  122. bilbo

    “Why should the activities of 7 billion people be regulated under the guise of saving some far-off pacific island when a tsunami would destroy that same island and there is not thing one anyone can or could do about it?”

    Screw all those laws and regulations meant to protect people, Busiturtle. Life sucks and then you die no matter what, right?

    You just descended into the depths of irrelevancy. Here’s to hoping you and your drivel just get ignored from here on out. They don’t even deserve being read.

  123. Carol

    An excellent interview with Ken Wilber and Michael Crichton on the politicization of climate science:
      
       Science, Ethics, and the Impossibility of Prediction
      
       “In his recent book Crichton argues that environmentalism has degenerated from a discipline based on evidence, to a kind of highly-politicized pseudoscience, where “facts” are determined more by group consensus than by reproducible results. To complicate matters, much of environmentalism is concerned with what is going to happen on a global scale, and so one cannot test the veracity of a given hypothesis until the future has become the present. Needless to say, elevating what is necessarily speculation to the level of fact causes enormous problems—problems many environmentalists have nonetheless ignored for decades. Sure, in 1970 a leading environmentalist predicted a devastating ice age by the year 2000, but who wants to remember that?
      
      Says Crichton:  “No one that I see in the environmental movement will acknowledge that there is the possibility of making a tremendous, grave misallocation [of money] that will kill millions and millions of people….”
      
       Michael and Ken discuss some of the rather extreme reactions to State of Fear, ranging from venomous outrage and smear campaigns to hearty applause and an invitation to the White House. In fact, Michael is a self-described “political agnostic,” and simply advocates that policy drafted by any party be based on the evidence of today, not the speculation of tomorrow. As he points out, there is a profound moral and ethical dimension to how science informs our national and international agendas: “If it [the environment] is not a genuine problem… and we go and spend a kazillion dollars on that instead of feeding hungry people, then we have done a terrible, terrible, terrible thing.”
      
       http://www.littleurl.net/64d971

  124. Carol

    Sorry, I thought that link would post all by itself. Let me try again….

    Science, Ethics, and the Impossibility of Prediction

    http://www.littleurl.net/64d971
      
       

  125. Busiturtle

    Says Crichton: ”No one that I see in the environmental movement will acknowledge that there is the possibility of making a tremendous, grave misallocation [of money] that will kill millions and millions of people….”

    So says Busiturtle also

  126. Busiturtle

    Put another way,

    There is no limit on the amount of freedom climate scientists are willing to coerce from people through the political process. Thus, from their perspective, there is no cost to their efforts and only benefit.

    But of course there is a cost when people are made less free. Only someone blinded by ambition would fail to acknowledge this.

  127. Eric

    It seems to me that something substantial needs to present for reasonable people to be able to accept the validity of climate predictions based upon climate models. That something would would be past predictions that were correct.

    Well, past predictions based upon climate models are supposed to have had us in another ice age since 2000.

    In their defense climate scientists will say that “the state of climate science was such that there was not enough research to be able to make these supposed predictions with any certainty. A 1975 National Academy of Sciences report stated as much, saying “…we do not have a good quantitative understanding of our climate machine and what determines its course. Without the fundamental understanding, it does not seem possible to predict climate…”

    But even the very recent hockey stick graph of the past and present was proved to be based upon a faulty model.

    So what makes these guys so sure that climate science is not STILL in its infancy…? Are they not stating that the climate of the entire earth can be modified by tweaking one single variable…? That seems pretty naive to me.

  128. arkonbey

    Ok, guys.

    Putting aside the ClimateGate controversy for a moment, consider this:

    Nearly everything we’re told we need to do to”fight global warming” are things that we need to do to survive as a civilization, so why not do it? Many of them are neither hard nor expensive (and on some things, cost should be no object).

    1) Fuel standards and green energy: You can argue against AGW all you want, but the fact is we WILL run out of fossil fuels; it is not a matter of IF, it is a matter of WHEN. Since the earth has no gas gauge, it could be a 500, 100 or maybe even 50 years from now before we run out of oil, coal and natural gas. Why not find alternatives now and, in the interim, find ways to make what’s here already last as long as possible?

    2) Recycling: Minerals are not renewable resources in and of themselves. There are suggestions right now that there are larger amounts of some metals in circulation and landfills than left in the ground.Trees are renewable, but on a very long timescale. Eventually, recycling with have to happen in order to build anything. Add to the mix the piles of waste in growing landfills and there are even more reasons to recycle (and reduce and reuse)

    3) Emissions: even ignoring carbon emissions as a probably source for ‘greenhouse gasses’, air pollution is a serious problem that needs to be addressed.

    This is a short list, but then it’s not my blog. There are more reasons, many of them complex as they also have societal, health and economic benefits as well as environmental.

    I’ll end with this thought: If we actually do everything we can to “fight global warming” and it turns out the environmentalists were wrong, our civilization still wins with clean air, clean water and clean power; if you’re wrong and we have done nothing, what do you imagine the cost will be then?

  129. bilbo

    Even I’ll admit that climate science has been politicized. No one can deny it (and I never really see anyone do that).

    But to say that the science of climate change is false simply because the issue has been politicized is a strawman, and it’s a fool’s reasoning. Once you make that assumption, you’re only looking for an excuse to fit a predetermined conclusion.

    If you want to REALLY disprove the science of climate change, you have to show that the science itself is wrong – not mention that politicians are involved and wash your hands of the issue like it’s solved. I’ve never seen any skeptic, here or otherwise, disprove any part of established climate science with solid, evidence-backed argumentation that doesn’t involve some gross misunderstanding of basic science and/or unfounded conspiracy allegations. That’s why skepticism fails, every single time.

  130. PJ

    …and now Busiturtle brings out the charge that scientists are “trying to take our freedom.”

    There’s a Tea Partier in our midst.

  131. Milton C.

    I like how busiturtle just brushed off getting called out by about 5 different posters like it never happened.

    “If I don’t address my boneheaded arguments, they’ll just disappear!”

  132. Sorbet

    Why should the activities of 7 billion people be regulated under the guise of saving some far-off pacific island when a tsunami would destroy that same island and there is not thing one anyone can or could do about it?

    Why should Superman try to kill Lex Luthor if Luthor is mortal and is going to die someday anyway?

  133. Busiturtle

    Quoting then candidate Obama:

    So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.

    So first, based on phony science, government will ban the freedom to build inexpensive energy generation. This would be a loss of freedom to coal miners and employees and investors in coal plants.

    Second, electricity generation will be more expensive. This will result in a loss of freedom to everyone who will have to spend more time and money for food and every other necessity of life.

  134. bilbo

    Let it be known that Busiturtle is quoting a fabricated story from newsbusters.org. His Obama ‘quote’ has since been proven to be a fabricated story. In other words, a lie made up by partisan conservatives during the presidential campaign. In fact, in the interview Busiturtle is referring us to, Obama says that eliminating coal power plants is an “illusion.”

    http://www.freedomunderground.org/view.php?v=3&t=3&aid=25762

    Just when you think you’ve seen it all from the Busiturtle partisan spin-and-lie machine today, he starts pulling fabricated news stories. He has truly reached the mark of desperation.

  135. Busiturtle

    Don’t “hide the decline” bilbo

    There is no dispute Mr. Obama said what he did about bankrupting the coal industry.

    What is disputed is the “secrecy” of the audio.

    The Chronicle’s point is the audio had been publicly available for most of 2008. The only denying of Obama’s comments are by Obama himself who apparently never means what he said after he said it.

  136. bilbo

    That’s a negative, Busiturtle. The entirety of the transcript paints a much different picture than your out-of-context fabrication. I suggest you read/listen to it with an attempt at reading comprehension.

    You’re failing to see that you’ve been utterly raped on two different threads by multiple people today on virtually every point you make – mostly using facts that outright refute your stupid, half-assed partisan lies. This is yet another case of that.

  137. JIM

    I think what many people don’t understand is that the hacked emails are is not an end of such events but a beginning.

    More hacked emails and stuff from whistle blowers- will find there way to the internet – information discrediting Global Warming not only from scientists, but people like greenpeace the UN and companies like BP, GE and Duke Energy.

    Further, Lawsuits are going to be filed against NASA ‘s Goddard and EPA for their data and emails under the freedom of information act.

    The point is “Warmers” are trying to put an end to the discussion based on the recent emails….just wait, in 2010 your going to find a whole lot of new information that will sway majority opinion and politicians against the Warmers” Keep an open mind, it is way to early to draw any conclusions.

  138. Eric

    Obama and his administration have indeed said some doozies that they later have had to recant. Remember how they floated the proposition that military veterans should have to submit their combat related injuries to their private insurance…? They really test-floated this proposal!

    What kind of MORON would EVER think that the American people would be A-OK with hanging their injured soldiers out to dry…? Amazing to think that this group commiserated about this and thought the idea had sufficient merit to test the political winds… Wow!

  139. bilbo

    Is Jim in #140 the same Jim that said the other day that we’d “all be sorry” for our reliance on science when the ‘Great Calendar’ propelled us into the ‘Great Winter?’

  140. JIM

    Bilbo,
    No that wasn’t me.
    Tolkien fan!
    Jim

  141. Anonymous Coward

    http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1476540&cid=30419250

    Can we please stop with the “denialist” crap? (Score:5, Insightful)
    by Sycraft-fu (314770) writes: Alter Relationship on Saturday December 12, @06:57PM (#30419250)

    It really does weaken the position of those who support the AGW theory. Why? Because it is name calling and over simplification. Pretending that everyone who doesn’t agree with you is simply in denial of what is happening and then making up a cute little label is not the sort of thing that speaks to a rational debate. It is the kind of thing a con man would do, and thus makes people wonder, why would you use those tactics?

    So as a start, you have to understand that there are some major differences in terms of what people believe who are skeptical of the AGW thing. These are just some examples:

    1) There are people who believe the whole thing is a crock, there is no warming, it is all made up, etc, etc. These are the only people who could be called in denial, by any stretch of the imagination.

    2) There are people who believe that there has been a warming trend recently, however the trend is entirely natural. It is right in line with the kind of trends seen historically, and thus there is no cause to believe this is anything but a natural occurrence. They are skeptical that humans are contributing in any significant fashion.

    3) There are people who believe that there is warming, and indeed man is contributing to it, but that the result will not be problematic, and perhaps beneficial. They do not accept the conclusion that the warming will lead to catastrophe, even though they do accept that humans are at least partly causing it. They are skeptical that a warmer Earth will be bad for humans.

    4) There are people who believe that people are causing the warming, and that it will lead to worse conditions, but that it would be even worse to attempt to stop it. They believe that the money spent on trying to stop such a thing could be better spent on other things to improve human life. The sort of thing that while warming might cause X additional deaths per year, spending money on that instead of other things would lead to 5X additional deaths per year. They are skeptical that the proposed solutions are the best.

    5) There are people who believe that people are causing the arming and that it needs to be stopped, but that reducing output won’t do that. We need a different solution like geoengineering or something. Reducing CO2 output wouldn’t help, at least not enough to matter, so we’ve got to find another solution. They are skeptical that the proposed solutions would do anything.

    6) There are people who believe that people are causing the warming, and that it will be bad, but there is fuck-all we can do about it. We are too far along, shit is going to happen anyhow, so we might as well apply our energies and money to surviving the change, not to trying to prevent it, since that it impossible. They are skeptical anything can be done at all, other than to try and survive the change.

    So a big part of the problem with trying to frame everyone as a “denialist” is the simplification of the argument, to try and say “Oh they all just ignore everything that is said.” No, in fact, many don’t. They simply come to a different conclusion. Also they may well find enough evidence to sustain part of the argument, but not all of it. You find people who say “Sure, I’ll buy the world is getting warmer. We’ve got pretty good instrumental data on that. However I’m not so sure about CO2 being the cause. The data on that is more shaky. Either way I’m really skeptical that a warmer Earth will be a bad thing, there’s essentially no data to support that.” They aren’t just saying “La la la, I can’t hear you!” They are just not convinced by all the arguments.

    Well, when you simply dismiss them as a “denialist” and act as though they are a moron, that does nothing to convert them. In fact, it may do the opposite. They say “Hmmm, this is the kind of thing con men do. When someone questions them, they just attack and shout down their questioner. They are afraid of scrutiny. They want you to accept what they say, unquestioningly. Why are AGW proponents acting like this? Could they be con men?”

    So seriously, knock it off with the label. You are doing nothing to help.

  142. arkonbey

    @ Busiturtle: I’m curious if you could stop fixating on AGW as a science conspiracy for just a moment and share your thoughts on my comment. I’m asking you to consider the larger outside of this polarized argument for just a moment.

  143. TB

    I have an absolutely devastating argument that will absolutely blow all climate deniers out of the water. But it doesn’t work in italics.

  144. Dark Tent

    What Phil Jones and a few others did was very unscientific — to say nothing of stupid.

    But the idea that the emails somehow bring into question the entire body of science upon which AGW is based is just silly.

    Nothing has changed, either in the science itself or in the “thinking” of the contrarians.

    The people who are claiming that the emails demonstrate a conspiracy among scientists to defraud the public are the same ones who have been claiming as much for years now.

    Same as it ever was.

  145. Carol

    Bilbo wrote at #132: If you want to REALLY disprove the science of climate change, you have to show that the science itself is wrong – not mention that politicians are involved and wash your hands of the issue like it’s solved. I’ve never seen any skeptic, here or otherwise, disprove any part of established climate science with solid, evidence-backed argumentation that doesn’t involve some gross misunderstanding of basic science and/or unfounded conspiracy allegations.

    —- Are you unaware the Mann’s hockey stick graph that was used by the IPCC in 2001 to alarm the public about global warming was shown to false by Stephen McIntire — that this graph eliminated the Medieval Warming period that the IPCC had once acknowledged in the 1990′s…? That scientists and statisticians were brought before congress and they agreed that the hockey stick graph was a phony and that the 1998 was NOT the hottest year on record…? That even the IPCC dropped the hockey stick graph in 2007…?

    And what of Dr. Vincent Gray, who has a Ph.D. in physical chemistry from The University of Cambridge. Lest you instantly write him off,
    Gray is one of the “2,500 top scientists” that the IPCC cites as backing their reports. He wrote 1,900 comments on the final draft on a recent IPCC’s report.

    “Right from the beginning, I have had difficulty with this procedure,” Gray wrote. “Penetrating questions often ended without any answer. Comments on the IPCC drafts were rejected without explanation and attempts to pursue the matter were frustrated indefinitely.” His conclusion was that the information in the IPCC reports were “unsound.” For example, Gray says that temperature stations are not properly stationed. Ninety percent are on the land while 70 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by the oceans. Temperature stations are disproportionately located near cities, which are heat sources.

    That is about unsound science. No conspiracy theory.

  146. Sean

    Dark Tent:

    So the scientists acted unscientifically, but nothing has changed with the science….? Indeed, it may well be that the science has ALWAYS been unscientific, but I don’t really think so and it would be hard to prove. I imagine it was a gradual lapse into groupthink, where consensus became viewed as equivalent to truth.

    It may well be that the people who have been claiming that AGW science has been riddled with fraud for years — have been right for years.

  147. bilbo

    Carol:

    Cutting the “hockey stick” out of an IPCC report didn’t change the results and conclusoons of literally hundreds and thousands of other independent papers now, did it?

    Only in a denialist’s Bizarro World, I guess.

  148. bilbo

    “It may well be that the people who have been claiming that AGW science has been riddled with fraud for years — have been right for years.”

    If that’s true, Sean the Concern Troll, pick out 10 influential scientific articles that support climate change and debunk them with your own data, analyses, and mathematically-valid results. That’s only a tiny, infantesimile subsample of the 1000s of supporting papers out there for climate change. If you’re right – disproving such “fraud” should be a piece of cake, right? By your own admission, you’ve been looking at it for “years,” so you MUST have something?

    Right?

    I imagine a deflection, ad hominem, or off-topic evasion tactic will be all we’ll see, however…

  149. PJ

    @ Anonymous Coward #144:

    Do you deny that climate change is mostly driven by human greenhouse gas emissions? If you do not, then I won’t call you a denialist. Denialist means “one who engages in denial.” So, do you or do you not deny the statement I just posed to you above?

    I find it humorous that so many people who get on the blog and hurl little insults like “warmers,” “kool aid drinkers,” and other various taunts at those who simply choose to follow data and evidence over politically-based rhetoric and unsubstantiated conspiracy cliams get so upset when someone turns the tables on them. It’s classically funny. The best example was when some jagoff got on the blog several weeks ago and told Chris he should be lined up against a wall and shot for accepting the science of climate change…..and then freaked when someone called him a “denialist.”

    What a non-hypocritical, classy bunch.

  150. Dark Tent

    Sean, I believe their words in the emails (and perhaps actions if they tried to keep their data from certain individuals like McIntyre) may have violated the spirit of openness that is an important part of science.

    But, as far as your twisting my words around to suit your own goofy conspiracy theories, who am I to spoil your fun?

  151. sHx

    Sorbet @106
    “sHx, I think we can all be really glad you abandoned science before science would have decided to abandon you. Clearly you did not have the patience or sense to carry out multiple runs of an experiment, understand statistics, errors, standard deviations, law of large numbers etc. (or understand what your teacher was saying for that matter). Thank god people like you decide to weed themselves out of the wannabe scientist pool.”

    Well, at 15 years of age, one certainly doesn’t have much “patience or sense to carry out multiple runs of an experiment, understand statistics, errors, standard deviations, law of large numbers etc”. I take it you were already a pompous know-it-all nerd by 15. Glad to lock you up in a lab than let you loose in the streets.

  152. Sean

    Dark Tent,

    Why do you assume I have some sort of conspiracy theory when I explicitly stated that I did NOT believe that their bad science was a plot from the beginning, but was rather something that evolved. Sheesh. It seems to me that the Climate Cultists are the ones making all the conspiracy claims.

  153. Sean

    Bilbo,

    Unless YOU have compiled ALL your OWN data on climate change and performed your OWN experiments, everything you believe about climate climate change is just that — a BELIEF. You do not KNOW anything yourself. You have CHOSEN a side, either because you like that side better and therefore trust them more, you like their political agenda better, or because their arguments make more sense to your limited understanding. Whatever your motives, it is still based on belief and TRUST that your side isn’t mistaken or that you aren’t being scammed.

    Since I have not performed my own tests I too had to pick a side. The thing is, I never did pick a side until AFTER the Climategate e-mails came out. You see, I did not know which side was right and I had no agenda, so I remained undecided. I tend to take the position that both sides of any argument usually have pieces of truth to offer. Being politically independent is very useful in circumstances like these. An independent doesn’t feel obligated to support any party’s unsubstantiated positions.

    What was very instructive to me was the irrational, knee-jerk response of the Climate Changers. to Climategate They did not wait to examine the emails or the computer code before announcing the whole affair as bogus. They KNEW. Which actually means they believed with all their hearts, with all the faith they could muster.

    As for Carol’s comment about the hockey stick, what is it about that hockey stick graph being proved wrong keeps you brimming with trust for those that created it? It was a lie! You seem to think that is OK — that one lie doesn’t change the rest of the science. Doesn’t it…? We know these people are willing to LIE in a scientific paper. How many other lies might there be? How many lies were needed to create that graph in the first place?

    And if you are willing to keep on believing people who are willing to lie to you, what sort of psychopathology is at work? Why do you NEED for AGW to be real in your mind? Some sort of divine punishment or something?

  154. Dark tent

    Sen says

    Unless YOU have compiled ALL your OWN data on climate change and performed your OWN experiments, everything you believe about climate climate change is just that — a BELIEF.

    That demonstrates that Sean has no clue how science actually works — either that or he is being very dishonest.

    Scientists do not need to “compiled ALL their OWN data and perform all their OWN experiments’ (ie, start from scratch) every time they try to advance the science.

    Do i need to redo all of the early experiments on acceleration due to gravity (eg, galileo’s) to accept Newton’s laws as valid?

    of course not. If Newton’s laws were not valid in the real world that we live in, we would find out very quickly: bridges and buildings would be collapsing right and left all around us.

    The way that science really works is that multiple lines of evidence are used to bolster (or refute) single lines of evidence. So, i don’t have to repeat a particular study using tree ring proxies to get a pretty good idea about whether its basic conclusions (eg, hockey stick shape of temperatures) are valid.

    The hockey stick is one of those things that is actually supported by multiple independent lines of evidence: bore hole temperatures, corals, ice cores, even stalagmites. See http://www.skepticalscience.com/Hockey-stick-without-tree-rings.html

    I can look at these multiple lines and see if there is consistency without having to collect my own data.

    If one assumed that every scientist is a fraud, as Sean seems to assume, science would never get anywhere.

    When Sean says the hockey stick is a lie, he is either completely ignorant of the multiple independent lines of evidence supporting it or he is simply lying himself.

  155. bilbo

    Sean, you said:

    “You do not KNOW anything yourself. You have CHOSEN a side, either because you like that side better and therefore trust them more, you like their political agenda better, or because their arguments make more sense to your limited understanding. Whatever your motives, it is still based on belief and TRUST that your side isn’t mistaken or that you aren’t being scammed.”

    There’s just one problem, though: science makes decisions on what scientific theories are supported based on the ones that are the most backed up by evidence. And the science of climate change is supported by two to three decades’ worth of 1000s of independent studies by government-funded researchers, independently-funded researchers, and researchers from completely different fields that all reach the same conclusion. In science, that gives someone very much reason to support that “side” until that evidence is firmly disproven.

    All I see on the skeptics’ “side” revolve around: i.) unfounded conspiracy allegations that always boil down to a simple distrust of liberal politics and/or government-funded science, ii.) unfounded notions that a skeptic “just doesn’t think” the science could be right, or iii.) armchair scientists trying to disprove climate science with a simple graph made in Microsoft Excel that doesn’t even remotely approach being scientific (that’s not an exaggeration. That’s been done in comments on this blog before. I can go dig it up if you’d like.)

    Until skeptics can disprove the body of climate science with evidence and scientifically-legit analyses (I’ve asked for that several times here. And no one has even tried. That should scream failure.), the skeptics’ side is simple opinion versus evidence, facts, and hard data.

    If you want to prove me wrong, do it. It’s that simple. I’ll repeat my challenge to you (which, by the way, you predictably skirted): pick just 10 influential papers supporting a role of human-emitted greenhouse gases influencing climate change (out of the 1000s of them that exist), and show us the data, analyses, and results that prove them wrong. I don’t want your opinion on politics or science, Sean – because guess what? Your opinion means absolutely dick in front of decades’ of cold, hard data unless you can back yourself up.

    So, here’s your chance, Sean. Either destroy me and my “side” by disproving the science that backs that side up, or just keep blowing hot air. If you can do this, even I will have some pretty serious doubts about the science. Or you can just continue to look foolish and impotent at proving your argument. Which will it be, Sean? Let’s see what you’ve got to back yourself up…..if you even can.

  156. PJ

    For those following along at home, let me summarize the last couple exchanges between bilbo and Sean.

    -First, bilbo issued a challenge to Sean in post #151 to pick just 10 scientific articles from climate science and disprove them. I agree with bilbo that this doesn’t seem too hard, especially if your opinion on climate science seems to be as certain as Sean’s. If you’re that opinionated on the science being wrong, you’ve got to have some hard evidence to back up exactly why.

    -In the last post above mine, post #154, Sean responded with a rambling diatribe riddled with all-caps screaming and implicit accusations that every paper supporting climate science is a “lie,” thus claiming that there is a global-scale conspiracy involving over 3000 researchers from over 700 universities from more than 30 countries that have published evidence for AGW to date.

    In other words, Sean, like the 10 to 15 other skeptics I’ve seen bilbo call out personally here on the blog, completely failed to provide evidence showing that what climate science says is wrong and siprovable using real-world data and facts.

    It might be able to talk a big game, but in the real world, where facts and substantiated opinion matter, denialism is dead. In his failure to meet the challenge, Sean just became another casualty.

  157. PJ

    Excuse me, I mean post #155 instead of #154. Looks like Dark Tent had something in moderation that I couldn’t see yet.

  158. Milton C.

    Sean, you are conflating support for evidence-backed science with a liberal political agenda. Those who support the science of climate change don’t do so blindly. They do so because of the staggering amount of valid scientific evidence that supports that viewpoint. And they don’t support climate skepticism because there is little to no corresponding evidence to back that viewpoint up. There’s nothing political about that. You, on the other hand, are erroneously pretending that there is equal evidence that climate change is human-caused and that it is not. That’s a lie – there is not equal evidence supporting both of those views, and so if you’re choosing a side objectively based on which side is the best supoorted, you hands-down must go with supporting the science of climate change. Skeptics have done nothing to date to undermine that body of evidence outside of wild conspiracy claims that can’t be supported.

    Also, the “hockey stick” paper wasn’t a “lie,” as you (and many other skeptics) claim. The original analyses in that paper had their flaws, but those flaws were pointed out (by other climate scientists, mind you) and later corrected. That’s how science works, even things that are much less controversial like cancer research. It doesn’t mean, as you claim in post #155, that we can jus assume that all of the other tousands of other climate science papers are lying also. If anything is jumping to conclusions based off of a sheer political agenda, that would be it.

  159. JIM

    Bilbo & PJ;
    Doesn’t the circumstances call for the matter to be investigated where those involved and associates are placed under oath in a Senate hearing or a court of law?
    There is so much emotional and political capital and personal agendas involved – and so much money, taxes and hardship at stake, that the truth has to be clearly determined.

  160. bilbo

    JIM,

    What evidence exists to counter the body of scientific evidence (2 decades’ worth, 1000s of independent publications, etc.), showing that it is wrong?

    For you to claim that the “truth” is debated, you first have to show that what science says isn’t right. I’ve asked many skeptics here to try, and they’ve failed. Now it’s your turn. Pick 10 influential papers, each by a different author, supporting a role of human-emitted greenhouse gases influencing climate change (out of the 1000s of them that exist), and show us the data, analyses, and results that prove them wrong.

    Show that you can provide evidence that the science of climate change is wrong, and then we’ll move on to the point of your post. We have to get your strawman out of the way first.

  161. JIM

    Bilbo,
    I can’t. I am not as educated in the field as you are and I expect that in my case, that would be true to everyone else that post here.

    It appears, from an ethical point of view, that all the data is suspect. the suspicion has to be cleared up to the degree that the average individual can accept it as truthful.

    Further, what one writes in an email, or a publication the writer can state something totally different than what one would say if there were consequences in stating a lie in say like a court setting where a prosecutor could cross examine the testimony.

    Human nature is what it is. Social-Science when questioned must be able to address skeptics. The elements of this issue has, I believe, moved beyond the strictly scientific community. A political and surprisingly an ethical element has entered into the conversation of those involved in promoting global warming.

  162. “It appears, from an ethical point of view, that all the data is suspect. the suspicion has to be cleared up to the degree that the average individual can accept it as truthful.”

    So if I read you correctly: You don’t know what the science says. You’re vaguely aware of some emails that you think show data being falsified. You don’t know what data is supposedly falsified. You can’t describe any research that would be overturned even if it were proven that any data were falsified. Since you don’t know what data are supposedly falsified or who is in on the conspiracy you simply assume the entire climate science community is complicit.

    How exactly could anyone clear up your suspicions?

    Would you even know if East Anglia presented their entire raw data archives to the public? What would you do with it if they did? Are you aware that they aren’t the sole (or even the original) providers of raw data to the climate community? Have you looked at any of the many data archives that have been available online for years?

  163. Didn’t work the first time Let’s try this.

  164. Oh well. Apparently Discover’s site will let you add html to screw up formatting, but it edits out all attempts to fix it.

  165. Marion Delgado

    Jinchi good try.

    okay if anything can do it that should.

  166. bilbo

    JIM,

    If you jump to the conclusion that “all the data is suspect,” that statement means that you believe all of the scientific data spanning from 1970s to present, spanning 1000s of different publications, datasets collected by NASA, NOAA, independent researchers, temperature data, data on species ranges, genetic data, other various climate data, data on sea ice, data on sea levels, data on ocean pH, data from multimillion-dollar satellites, ships, weather balloons, and surface climate monitoring stations has been fabricated by a massive worldwide conspiracy involving two to three generations of scientists, multiple governments across the world, and literally ALL of the world’s leading scientific organizations.

    And you’re drawing this from what, exactly? And handful of Climategate emails that involve only a smattering of researchers out of THOUSANDS, and three to four different papers out of THOUSANDS?! I find it quite laughable that it’s more believable to you that such a worldwide conspiracy exists than it is to accept the science of human-influenced climate change.

    When someone’s base-level assumption is that all science is “suspect” because it is due to a worlwide conspiracy….well, that’s science denial.

  167. PJ

    JIM in #164:

    So, you have the incredibly strong opinion that the science of climate change is a conspiracy-minded hoax and that none of it is true….but you’ll readily admit to not being able to back up that opinion with anything concrete?

    That settles it for me.

  168. Busiturtle

    What happened to the scientific consensus of global warming?

    Arctic ice increasing, temperatures falling, and AGW scientists failed to predict any of this.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1242011/DAVID-ROSE-The-mini-ice-age-starts-here.html

    The bitter winter afflicting much of the Northern Hemisphere is only the start of a global trend towards cooler weather that is likely to last for 20 or 30 years, say some of the world’s most eminent climate scientists.

    Their predictions – based on an analysis of natural cycles in water temperatures in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans – challenge some of the global warming orthodoxy’s most deeply cherished beliefs, such as the claim that the North Pole will be free of ice in
    summer by 2013.

    According to the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Colorado, Arctic summer sea ice has increased by 409,000 square miles, or 26 per cent, since 2007 – and even the most committed global warming activists do not dispute this.

  169. bilbo

    Busiturtle the Lying Exaggeration Troll said:

    “Their predictions – based on an analysis of natural cycles in water temperatures in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans – challenge some of the global warming orthodoxy’s most deeply cherished beliefs, such as the claim that the North Pole will be free of ice in
    summer by 2013.”

    Climate scientists claim that the Arctic will be free of sea ice since 2013? Wow, interesting. Are we subtracting between 7 and 30 years from the ACTUAL estimates or something? Here’s what reality says:

    1.) The Hadley Centre (a favorite denialism target) has never predicted sea ice to vanish by 2013. They’ve predicted that to be sometime between 2020 and 2080 (note that actual scientists don’t make specific predictions zeroed on a single year because, well, predictions are just predictions.)

    2.) Arctic sea ice was at its third lowest level in recorded history in 2009, so claims that it is ‘increasing again’ are WAY exaggerated (hence Busiturtle now becoming an Exagerration Troll): http://nsidc.org/images/arcticseaicenews/20100105_Figure3.png

    3.) NOAA originally predicted the Arctic to be ice-free by 2100, then adjusted that prediction down based upon the observed rate of ice loss, which has far exceeded predictions. They now say that it will likely be around 2040. Hardly 2013, is it, Busiturtle the Lying Troll? http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2009/20090402_seaice.html

    So, there might be an outlier scientist out there who thinks the Arctic might be ice-free by 2013, but virtually none of the major scientific bodies think so, making Busituirtle’s claim a pathetic denialist lie. I find it quite interesting that, if the skeptic camp has such a strong case, they continually have to lie and exaggerate in attempts to get their points across. It’s almost like they know they have no leg too stand on and are just flailing at whatever they can get…

    While we’re at it, Busiturtle, I’ve noticed you have now failed twice to answer my challenge. Let’s pose it to you again, shall we? Here it is for the third time:

    Pick out 10 influential scientific articles that support climate change and debunk them with data, analyses, and mathematically-valid results. That’s only a tiny, infantesimile subsample of the 1000s of supporting papers out there for climate change. If you’re right – disproving such “fraud” should be a piece of cake, right?

    Let’s see if you can actually man up and support your arguments, or if you’ll continue to prove your side full of unsubstantiated bullshit. Shall you run away and fail thrice?

  170. PJ

    Kick that azz, bilbo!

  171. JIM

    Hi PJ,
    Yes I believe you are more educated in this discussion than me, but let me ask you why there are 450,000 square miles of new ice in the north pole since 2007?
    Does that square with your belief? Please explain.
    Jim

  172. PJ

    Look at 2007-2009 versus the entire trend on this graph (an official graph from NOAA), and you can answer that for yourself. Read it, weep, and then go educate YOURSELF about climate change, JIM (that is very much possible.)

    And stop cherry-picking, cherry-picker. That could be a fine start.

    http://nsidc.org/images/arcticseaicenews/20100105_Figure3.png

  173. bilbo

    You keep talking about how everyone here is more “educated” than you, JIM. I get your half-assed attempt at antiintellectual sarcasm (“being smart is elitist!”), I really do. But ever stop to think that being “uneducated” might be part of your problem?

    For example, you seem to be very uneducated on exactly what “climate” means. Here’s a little comparison that might put things in a better picture for you. When you make a broad-based declaration about sea ice trends based off of only 2 years of data (but ignore the other 30 years that show the opposite trend), that’s akin to saying that your region is in the grips of a massive drought just because it hasn’t rained this week. Or, to put it in more “good ol’ boy” terms a simple folksy “real” Amurican like yourself might be familiar with, what you’re doing is like claiming your football team is having a spectacular season because they won this weekend…when their record on the season is 1-11.

    That’s called “cherry-picking.” And people only cherry-pick when they’re looking for little tiny pieces of data that fit whatever prejudiced notions they already hold about an issue. If they were really objective, they’d look at the overall trends.

    So there’s a little lesson for ‘ya, simple old JIM. Take it or leave it – you can remain an admittedly uneducated moron if you’d like. But at least spare us your stupidity, mmm-kay?

  174. JIM

    PJ,
    Saw the graph, and I recall that NASA acknowledged that they had a failing sensor on their space craft that monitored arctic and they had relied on this for many years. This both undermined the historic data that I believe you refer to.

  175. JIM

    Bilbo,
    First let me say you read far more into my acknowledgment that your knowledge is greater than mine.
    No sarcasm is directed to you or anyone else.
    I am learning more on the topic. My questions are pretty straight forward and my participation here is to find answers to some of the question that come out of following the subject in the press. Anyways thanks for your reply.

  176. arkonbey

    Man. I’m feeling ignored as the ignorant keep grasping at ClimageGate “controversy” as though a(n improbable, if not impossible) global scientific conspiracy will mitigate what’s going on and the knowledgeable keep trying to refute them.

    Whether it’s AGW or just GW or none of the above, all of the things we’re told to do to “fight global warming” we need to do anyway to survive as a civilization (and arguably even a species).

  177. PJ

    JIM, the dataset I linked to is completely independent from NASA’s data.

    And you don’t need “sensors on spacecraft” to monitor sea ice. NOAA does it with a combination of satellites, surface observations, and couple of other methods. All of them show the same trends.

    And when you can sail a boat through the Northwest Passage in the summer if you want, when you couldn’t decades ago, you don’t need “spacecraft sensors” to acknowledge that sea ice is disappearing…..fast. Even most skeptics won’t dispute that.

    Why would you?

  178. V.O.R.

    “PJ,
    Saw the graph, and I recall that NASA acknowledged that they had a failing sensor on their space craft that monitored arctic and they had relied on this for many years. This both undermined the historic data that I believe you refer to.”

    Curious, I looked that up. There’s not much to go on – what “craft”, when? – but I did find a reported error that would, if that graph wasn’t the corrected version, move the trend line up by about an amount I believe would be perceivable to the naked eye in a side by side comparison.

    While your point still stands, PJ, there *might* be an error in that graphic with a trivial but *existent* effect.

    So there!

  179. bilbo

    PJs graph doesn’t seem to be from NASA data at all. It’s from NOAA, and don’t they use all of the same instrumentation as NASA.

    It sounds like JIM’s just trying to grasp at anything to avoid admitting that, yes, sea ice has declined in the last 30 years. That’s not even a controversial part of climate change…..

  180. bilbo

    Let me correct myself in post 182. That graph does come from NASA – partially. The NSIDC uses about 18 different data sources to make sea ice calculations, so even if we excluded whatever “spacecraft” JIM was ranting and raving about, it doesn’t matter.

  181. V.O.R.

    You warmists really have a lot of trouble getting your stories straight, don’t you bilbo?

    Oh, now I suppose you’ll rant on about “multisourcing data”. Yeah, right. If multisourcing is so important why do physical laws get named after individuals?

  182. bilbo

    Riddle me this, VOR:

    Which is more supported in your mind: the conclusions of one data source or the conslusions of 18 that roughly show the exat same pattern?

  183. V.O.R.

    Are we doing koans? I was wanting to earlier, with the Hegel stuff. I was equally torn between that, a pun, and an “Aristotle and Hegel walk into a bar.” joke. But being a good Leibnizian I didn’t post any of them.

    Now, rather than answering your question let me ask you this: Do you really want to engage in conversation someone who questions data multisourcing because physics has historically named laws after individual scientists? Have some pride man.

    Since I *am* doing eastern philosophy this semester I’ll just mention that my oh-so-hilarious comment about physical laws is an example of wu wei and what I’m calling the “Debate Style of the Drunken Master.” It’s a series of weak or careless seeming rhetorical moves that get the other guy to make your point for you. It’s kind of like the Socratic method. But it is best used with people you already agree with and thus, if done properly, it makes you even more unpopular.

  184. bilbo

    So, since you’re dancing around making a strong point for yourself, VOR, I’m interpreting your comments to say that you don’t trust multiple lines of evidence that point to the same thing? The NSIDC gleaning data from multiple sources is bad?

    In other words, a hypothesis supported by one study is equal or better than a hypothesis supported by 50?

  185. gallopingcamel

    gillt@105
    I am not suggesting that all government funded research is corrupt. You are surely right when you imply that the vast majority of such research is ethical. Certainly mine is even though it is 100% government funded.

    When government funded research goes off the rails it is difficult to get it back again. When the problems are extreme we call it Lysenkoism. Are we close to that situation in climate science?

    We all understand that private monopolies are against the public interest but Government monopolies are no better. Once you have a monopoly controlling something, openness, accountability and effectiveness go out of the window. It does not matter whether we are talking about public education or climate science, monopolies are dangerous.

  186. gallopingcamel

    bilbo
    Let’s stop talking about “Climate Change”. The climate has always changed and it always will; you win!

    The argument was originally about AGW so here is my understanding of the “facts” according to the IPCC at COP15:
    http://www.copenhagendiagnosis.org/download/default.html
    Take a look at Figs. 7, 19, 20 & 21. All are based on the “Hockey Stick” graphs of Mann, Briffa and Hughes 1998 and a few related papers. It was junk science in 1998 and it is junk science today. How do I know given that I am a physicist rather than a “Climate Scientist”?

    The IPCC predicted rising CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. They were correct; CO2 concentrations are rising although the measured rise over the last ten years falls below the range they predicted and nobody knows why. When it comes to temperatures, Mother Nature has stubbornly refused to cooperate because temperatures have been falling since 1998.

    The IPCC predicts a rising trend in global temperatures driven by rising CO2 concentrations. However their graphs fail to show the Little Ice Age (LIA) and the Medieval Warm Period. Given such an abject failure to explain the past climate, how can you trust them to predict the future climate? Reality (and history) trumps dogma. There is an IPCC report that agrees with the historical record. It is called AR1.

    Given that the latest IPCC report is demonstrably wrong in its main prediction (Global Warming driven by CO2). How about the other Alarmist claims!

    1. Sea levels are rising, while glaciers and ice shelves are receding.
    True. Thanks to satellites, sea level measurements are now to millimetre accuracy. The IPCC claims an increase of 0.18 to 0.55 metres by 2100. This represents a dramatic slow down given that the average rate since the last Ice Age has averaged over 1 metre/century. Even if you accept the IPCC’s high figure it is much less than “business as usual”. Certainly nothing to be alarmed about.

    2. The Arctic Ice is melting
    So what? We only have 30 years of good measurements so we don’t yet know what “normal” is. Again, the historical record can help us gain some perspective. The “North West Passage” has been navigable on several occasions in the past but that did not stop the ice from returning. The sea ice reached a minimum in September 2007 but it has been increasing since then. Three weeks after the 2007 Arctic minimum, sea ice in the Antarctic reached its 30 year maximum. “Global Cooling”? Probably not!

    The arguments concerning droughts, hurricanes and polar bears are anecdotal or emotional. Let’s leave those to Chicken Little.

  187. V.O.R.

    “So, since you’re dancing around making a strong point for yourself, VOR, I’m interpreting your comments to say that you don’t trust multiple lines of evidence that point to the same thing?”

    Yes, I guess you are interpreting my comments that way. Even though I tried to dissuade you.

    “In other words, a hypothesis supported by one study is equal or better than a hypothesis supported by 50?”

    You could interpret what I said that way. But I think a better interpretation is that I mocked the idea with the “laws of physics” comment. (And “story straight” about a self-correction.)

    The *most* ridiculous things I’m saying keep getting ignored. Perhaps I need to read more “wingnut” blogs and refresh my material.

  188. bilbo

    camel,

    You’ll have to do better than trying to debunk a paper from 1998 that isn’t even one of the foundational papers of climate science anymore to debunk all of climate science.

    See my challenge at the end of post #173 if you’d really like to take a swipe at the science, and not strawmen.

  189. Carol

    It is you Climate Changers who have the burden of proof. Skeptics aren’t seeking power or to extort vast amounts of money from you or anyone else. Prove your case that extorting trillions of dollars that could otherwise cure cancer and feed the hungry will do ANYTHING to alter the climate of the globe. Even prove that a warmer change of climate would NECESSARILY be disastrous to the whole planet and not just to Al Gore’s investments in carbon credits.

  190. Sean

    Dark Tent,

    Sorry to be critical, but you do not seem to be a very rational thinker. I stated that “a” scientist evidently lied in a scientific journal — and I am willing to extend that to several scientists since journal articles tend to have several collaborators — yet you made the conclusion that I think ALL scientists lie about everything…. See, it is crazy distorted reasoning like this that eventually moved me into the skeptic camp.

    You guys need to throw out the emotional reasoning, the all or nothing reasoning, the unfounded attribution of motives, and all of your other cognitive distortions — and use absolute logic and precision in your arguments.

    For a very long time AGW believers have relied on ad hominem arguments and other irrational emotional ploys such as “Skeptics want to destroy the earth. They are tin-foil hatted conspiracy theorists. They are in denial. They are greedy, Hummer driving mass polluters. They are shills for the oil industry.” With the help of a lazy media entrenched in groupthink you seemed to get away with this distorted reasoning for such a long time that it sorta became second nature. AGW proponents didn’t even ask if any of these assumptions were correct.

    I don’t accept distorted reasoning in an argument that must be based wholly on logic and evidence.

  191. Sean

    See, Trent…

    I am being very precise when I speak of “belief” in a scientific theory for which one has not personally gathered the evidence. You call that belief knowledge, but what happens to your “knowledge” when a once widely accepted theory is shown to be false…? See, you really didn’t “know” anything of the sort.

    Did man once know the earth was flat or did they believe it was flat?

    There are very few scientific theories that have enough evidence behind them to be called laws.

    Basically, we generally believe what we read from the scientific community because we consider them reputable and unbiased. We trust that the methods used and the conclusions drawn have gone through rigorous debate and the results have been replicated by independent researchers. We trust that the data is available and has been scrutinized for errors.

    Now, it’s fine that you still “believe” in AGW after the revelations of Climategate call much of the above into serious question. But do call it a belief, not knowledge.

  192. arkonbey

    Look, let’s address the basic stupidity of all this:

    1) There was no ‘revelation of Climategate’: Not one page contradictory data was released to show that current AGW hypotheses are incorrect. There were simply some inferences that are admittedly ambiguous. If someone showed decades of data that worked into a model that disproved AGW, then that would be a revelation. If you deny AGW and have no contradictory data and seek no contradictory data, despite what you claim, you are not being skeptical.

    2) There was no whistle-blowing: These emails were stolen by an outside entity and only certain emails and portions of emails were released by the thieves. If this was a whistle-blowing by a formerly AGW scientist who was fed up with lying, he/she would have released contradictory data and/or direct evidence of data tampering to prove the ‘truth’. Instead , what we got were a few ambiguous emails.

    3) There is no conspiracy by the ‘scientific community part 1: Think of how untenable a multi-nation, multi-organization, multi-individual conspiracy would be, then add a timeline of decades of study. You can’t keep people on the same page forever, especially if it is a deliberate lie; someone would have truly blown a whistle by now. And remember, the ‘scientific community’ is not an entity, it is a bunch of individuals, many of whom are in direct competition with one another.

    4) There is no conspiracy by the ‘scientific community part 2: Contrary to Carol’s argument, there are not gigantic amounts of money being poured into AGW research. At the very least least not the way that keeps the members of a conspiracy complicit. Scientists, generally, aren’t taking the grants given to them and buying Mercedes. Money is carefully scrutinized by the donors and can be revoked at any time, so it goes in to the research.

    5) There is no conspiracy by the ‘scientific community part 3: If there was a conspiracy that has somehow been able to perpetuate a complex lie among many nations and thousands of individuals for decades, it has been terribly ineffective, hasn’t it?

    All arguments aside, are you not the least bit concerned that the data might be correct? If you imagine that the Earth is your house and a couple of different building inspectors tell you that you need to replace your foundation, wouldn’t you do it? The Earth is the only place we have to live, guys and even without AGW, we’re soiling our nest.

  193. bilbo

    “I don’t accept distorted reasoning in an argument that must be based wholly on logic and evidence”

    Interesting remark from Sean, seeing as how myself and multiple other posters have asked him to provide evidence to support his arguments about climate change science being a global conspiracy. I’ll note that he has conspicuouly failed each and every time, not even attempting an answer. How exactly does one not “accept distorted reasoning” while at the same time aligning themselves with a skeptic movement that continually proves impotent at producing evidence to support their arguments? Interesting, indeed.

    On another note, arkonbey is right on the money.

  194. gallopingcamel

    bilbo @192
    If MBH98 was good science it would not matter that it is 10 years old. It would still be good science today.

    The main arguments in the “Copenhagen Diagnosis” are based on the Hockey Stick even though the blade should now look more like a drooping noodle. You need to ask yourself why the IPCC is still using old voodoo “science” that denies both reality and history.

    Regarding your #173. If you want science that does not deny the historical record you only have to look at the IPCC AR1 report. That was done before the zealots took over.

    If you don’t like science that is almost 20 years old take a look at Fred Singer, Richard Lindzen and Patrick Michaels.

    Here is a summary but I fear you won’t like it:
    http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/monthly_report/sppi_monthly_co2_report_july.html

    What is it so hard for you to admit that the IPCC is in the business of forecasting climate centuries ahead and yet they still can’t explain past or present climate?

  195. Sean

    Indeed Camel,

    I would have thought bilbo aka arkenby etc would already be familiar with the work of Lindzen, Michaels, and the rest — since he KNOWS they are wrong…..

    A short list of some Former Believers turned Skeptic for the Faithful to consider:

    Ivar Giaever, Nobel Prize winner for physics, says “I
    am a skeptic…Global warming has become a
    new religion.”

    Geophysicist Dr. Claude Allegre, who has authored more
    than 100 scientific articles and was one of the first
    scientists to sound global warming fears 20 years
    ago, now says the cause of climate change is
    “unknown.”

    Geologist Bruno Wiskel of the University of Alberta once
    set out to build a “Kyoto house” in honor of the
    Kyoto Protocol but recently wrote a book titled
    “The Emperor’s New Climate: Debunking the Myth
    of Global Warming.”

    Astrophysicist Dr. Nir Shaviv, one of Israel’s top young
    award-winning scientists, “believes there will be
    more scientists converting to man-made global
    warming skepticism as they discover the dearth of
    evidence.”

    Atmospheric scientist Dr. Joanna Simpson, the
    first woman in the world to receive a PhD in
    meteorology: “Since I am no longer affiliated with
    any organization nor receiving any funding, I can
    speak quite frankly.” Formerly of NASA, she has
    authored more than 190 studies.

    Mathematician and engineer Dr. David Evans devoted
    six years to carbon accounting, building an award
    winning model for the Australian Greenhouse
    Office. He wrote FullCAM that measures
    Australia’s compliance with the Kyoto Protocol
    in the land use change and forestry sector. Evans
    became a skeptic in 2007.

    Meteorologist Dr. Reid Bryson, dubbed one of the
    “Fathers of Meteorology,” became a leading
    global warming skeptic in the last few years before
    passing away in 2008.

    Botanist Dr. David Bellamy, a famed UK environmental
    campaigner, former lecturer at Durham University,
    and host of a popular UK TV series on wildlife,
    said “global warming is largely a natural
    phenomenon. The world is wasting stupendous
    amounts of money on trying to fix something that
    can’t be fixed.”

    Climate researcher Dr. Tad Murty, a professor of earth
    sciences at Flinders University, says: “I started
    with a firm belief about global warming, until I
    started working on it myself.”

    Climate scientist Dr. Chris de Freitas of The University
    of Auckland, N.Z., converted from a believer in
    man-made global warming to a skeptic.

    Dr. Kiminori Itoh, an award-winning PhD environmental
    physical chemist, says warming fears are the
    “worst scientific scandal in the history…When
    people come to know what the truth is, they will feel
    deceived by science and scientists.”

    Andrei Kapitsa, a Russian geographer and Antarctic ice
    core researcher, says “The Kyoto theorists have
    put the cart before the horse. It is global warming
    that triggers higher levels of carbon dioxide in the
    atmosphere, not the other way around …”

    Atmospheric physicist James A. Peden notes, “Many
    [scientists] are now searching for a way to back out
    quietly [from promoting warming fears], without
    having their professional careers ruined.”

    Dr. Richard Courtney, a UN IPCC expert reviewer
    and a UK-based climate and atmospheric science
    consultant: “To date, no convincing evidence for
    AGW (anthropogenic global warming) has been
    discovered.”

  196. FergalR

    Unbelievable! No wonder you fanatics always quote the GISS numbers:

    http://www.judicialwatch.org/news/2010/jan/judicial-watch-uncovers-nasa-documents-related-global-warming-controversy

    Your hobby horse is now throughly broken. Time to get off of it.

  197. gallopingcamel

    FergalR: Amen!

    As long as James Hansen is at GISS fending off M&M’s FOI requests nobody should trust NASA’s data. Even if the data sets are scientifically sound, you cannot restore the public’s trust with anything less than full disclosure.

    As with Watergate, the crime is a minor problem compared to the cover up.

  198. Sean

    Please don’t waste your time “debating” with Bilbo. His only tools are foul language and fabrications.

    In a previous “debate” on this blog he literally fabricated a quote from scratch to support his claim that climate change “deniers” also deny the link between smoking and cancer.

    I asked him to provide a link to the quote and all I got was a barrage of insults.

    When I demonstrated through a google search that he definitely fabricated the quote he went silent and moved onto this page.

    You can read all about it here:

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/intersection/2009/12/09/how-the-global-warming-story-changed-disastrously-due-to-climategate/

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About Chris Mooney

Chris is a science and political journalist and commentator and the author of three books, including the New York Times bestselling The Republican War on Science--dubbed "a landmark in contemporary political reporting" by Salon.com and a "well-researched, closely argued and amply referenced indictment of the right wing's assault on science and scientists" by Scientific American--Storm World, and Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future, co-authored by Sheril Kirshenbaum. They also write "The Intersection" blog together for Discover blogs. For a longer bio and contact information, see here.

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