Sometimes, you have to laugh or you’ll poke your eyes out with a rusty spork…
I thought that, for fun, I’d do a bit of a summary of posts I found amusing, in the funny or satirical or farcical sense. My top two climate science “skeptic” bloggers, Anthony Watts and Steven McIntyre, provide much material.
Starting off is Anthony Watts, who perhaps has the most chuckle-inducing post up about Congressman Markey’s suggestion that deniers start their own country on the iceberg that recently broke off Greenland, which he labeled “Deniersberg”. I’ll call it “Denialsberggate” because I sense Watts would like to build this up into something mountainous, when it really is just a anthill crack in the sidewalk of life.
Here’s Markey, as quoted on The Hill blog:
“An iceberg four times the size of Manhattan has broken off Greenland, creating plenty of room for global warming deniers to start their own country”
Watts is really reaching here and is doing his best to build up a head of foam about this, suggesting it is akin to the concentration camps to which the Japanese Americans and foreign nationals were sent after the attack on Pearl Harbour (Canada participated in this insanity as well).
Pardon me while I laugh myself silly. I thought that “alarmists” were the ones with no sense of humor. Sheesh. It’s just more of the old false-affront at the term “denialist” and the attempt on the part of some deniers to link the term to Holocaust denialism. It’s pure hogwash of course, but anything to rouse the rabble and feed the tip jar, I suppose…
Over at Climate Audit, Steve McIntyre is honking on once more about Mann and Bristlecones. My goodness — is there nothing new in the world of climate science denial? I guess not. McIntyre has his millstone and he is going to grind grind grind it to death.
One of the large issues in respect to MBH98-99 was the impact of bristlecones. Eventually, even Wahl and Ammann conceded that an MBH-style reconstruction did not “verify” prior to 1450 at the earliest without Graybill bristlecones. However, for the most part, the Team avoided talking about bristlecones, most often trying to equate no-bristle (or even no-Graybill) sensitivities with no-dendro sensitivity. Over-generalizing criticisms of bristlecone chronologies to criticism of all dendro chronologies. M08 adopted the same tactic – discussing no-dendro, rather than no-bristle (which was the actual point at issue.)
So, let’s step back a minute: McIntyre is blogging about a paper that is 12 years old! Why? Has he run out of material to keep the coffers filled? I mean, this is a dead horse that is getting flogged so silly it is now almost transparent — to all but his followers, I guess.
Orkneygal, for instance, has her feathers all ruffled. I mean, as a science student (oh, my! What credibility that gives), she feels so threatened by the hockey team and their chicanery:
Well scientist, as a science student at university, I care about the “no Tilj”. In fact I care quite a bit.
I care that the Hockey Team has not fully released their data and their methods.
I care that they conduct their pusedo-science behind a wall built of closed network, obfustication, obstruction and double talk, making personal attacks on anyone that questions them.
If they would just release all the relevant data and code, we would not have to depend upon people like Steve McIntyre to decode the Hockey Team’s nonsensical mish mash of inverted logic and twisted statistics.
I care that there are people like Steve McIntyre who are trying to move the state of the art of Climate Science forward, despite the attacks that he continually suffers.
I care that the Hockey Team’s results are not repeatable by others, because if the results are not reproduced, it is not science. That’s the first thing we learn in our Year 1 Ethics of Science course.
“If it cannot be reproduced, then it is not science.”
When I graduate, I hope to pursue a career in Science. I care about the damage the Hockey Team is doing to the reputation and respect of the scientific community with their approach to their use of data, methods of analysis and ethics concerning healthy and rational questioning.
So, scientist, I care quite a bit about “no Tilj”, because it says everything there is to say about the level of openess, integrity and trustworthiness of the people on the Hockey Team.
She’s using all the right in-words — hockey team, integrity, openness, and is lamenting the lack of openness, the myth about the team not releasing all their data and methods, and no one corrects her. In fact, they commend her.
Scientist shows up and provides the levity in the thread. Here’s part of his contribution:
Steve: this is almost undecipherable. I’m ready to read something and this is not it. With all due respect, your opponents should not engage with this until you can state your points. Nor should outside readers make judgements.
You start by posing the whole concern in the context of debates with Gavin on blogs, rather than with the paper itself (in contrast, the Tilj post was much better). I mean who cares what Gavin says on a blog? I guess maybe y’all do. But I’ll get interested when you rebut the paper, not someone commenting on it, who’s not even an author and just in a blog.
You show graphs and then talk about other things, right away. I kept looking at the first graph and the paragraph after and trying to understand how that figure supported that paragraph. And hoping that later on, the figure would be discussed.
The figures are all vaguelly labeled. I’m not being picky, Steve. It’s enough to have a tricky technical situation AND disagreeing parties, but to mix on poor figures and captions? label every color, every line. Write a long figure caption. Read a book on how to do that. I wouldn’t normally get pedantic about this on a blog, but your figures are always headscratchers! I can follow Id or Watts or anyone else. Not you. For years. Yes, if I spend a bunch of time and read the entire article and then relook at the figures, going back veryt often, I can usually get it. But that’s unsat.
If it weren’t for Scientist, I think I’d fall asleep reading the thread, except for the annoying sound of whining in the head post. I love the final line in this post:
Oh…and before you dismiss me for being too rough on you or wanting to talk form over function, look at the comments you’ve had so far. Has a single person come to grips with any technical issues in your commentary? You’ve got some lower level attaboys and questions and Moshpit has a shorter “huh”. [my emphasis]
Of course, Scientist is taken to task by Steve’s chorus, but he nails it with that. Steve posts something he’s hashed over a thousand times, which is over most people’s heads, and which may or may not be of any importance — probably not in the greater scheme of things — and they just saalam and nod, praise Steve for his bravery and noble fight, and yadda yadda yadda.
If it wasn’t so typical of CA, it would be funny. Instead, it’s just sad really. But instructive.
I mean, it’s 2010 FCS, the past decade has been the hottest on record, all around the world ice is melting, there are droughts, and fires and floods and crops have failed and record temps are killing people and McIntyre is still honking on about MBH98 and the fraking Bristlecones!
One of Steve’s many defenders on the thread, AMac, has this to say:
With respect to the dominant paradigm on the climate of the past millenium or two — “Hockey Stick” has been embraced by AGW Consensus scientists, so I’ll use that shorthand — I see a great deal of explicit and implicit acceptance of both the methods and the results, within the Climate Science community. I see very little dissention from this orthodoxy (though there are a few people publishing “contrarian” pieces)…
McIntyre has burst uninvited into this happy area of climate science and upset it. We can provide our own descriptions and assign our own judgments to “upset it.” The description holds in a number of ways, some flattering to McIntyre and some not so.
Among the things he has demonstrated — at least to my satisfaction — is that the explanation that runs,”the science is settled” is false, in important respects.
In many ways, AGW Consensus paleoclimate reconstructions have more in common with Ptolmeic epicycles than with The Origin of the Species.
Much as professional climate scientists may loathe McIntyre’s demonstrations that paleoclimate reconstructions rest on a foundation of sand, this is a great service to Science, as Feynman idealized it.
For this to be true, McIntyre doesn’t have to be a nice person, or be mostly or always right, or speak in iambic pentamater. If his Climate Audit posts are sometimes correct on important matters–and they are–that is sufficient to get scientists in the Feynman mold to take notice, jumping at the opportunity to correct, improve, and expand their work. Thesis, antithesis, synthesis.
That has not happened and is not happening. [my emphasis]
First, he creates a straw man — the AGW Consensus paleoclimate reconstructions. Then he likens this straw man to Ptolemic epicycles and Feynman’s Cargo Cult. Talk about hyperbolic excursions! If anything should be likened to cargo cult science, it is that of the denialists. Sure McIntyre may be a statistical prodigy and all, but really, what has he done? Question a couple of papers, point out a few data errors? In fact, he’s made one heck of a mountain out of a scientific molehill.
That should be his epitaph — “He made a mountain out of scientific mole hills”.
Denialati believe that if they can slay Mann and MBH98, breaking the so-called hockey stick and dendroclimatology, they can dismiss out of hand anthropogenic global warming. It’s the same ol same ol.
Watts and McIntyre.
The Mutt and Jeff of climate skepticism.