Of Dogs and Fleas

Over at both Mark Lynas’s blog and at Collide-A-Scape, my comment has become a topic of discussion.

On Lynas’s blog, Barry Woods seems upset that I consider him an “enemy”. Hey, Barry — if the shoe fits… I haven’t been coy about this whole business. I believe it’s a war — a policy war. As such, there are allies and adversaries. There are strategies and tactics, weapons and intelligence. In this, if you’re not with me, you’re against me. It’s a very important war — perhaps one of the most significant. Scientists are not good at fighting wars. Honest and well-intentioned members of the public or media aren’t necessarily good at fighting wars. I wouldn’t have pegged Lynas as naive but maybe he is — at least about how his latest blog posts have become fodder for deniers.

Case in point: Lynas is lauded for being “honest” for criticizing the IPCC over the WGIII Chapter 10 and press release. Reading a little deeper, the implication is that everyone else on his “side” — aka AGW — is dishonest. This is the big lie that deniers spread — that we all know that climate change is a lie and that the IPCC is corrupt and we’re all just pretending, lying in order to line our pockets and bring about a new communist world order. His “honesty” then gets touted as a turnabout, a epiphany, and the imminent demise of AGW is heralded far and wide in the denialosphere.

More noise to obscure the signal.

At Keith Kloor’s, KDK33 suggests that I am guilty of noble cause corruption. I think that’s taking my comment a tad too far, but that’s to be expected. I didn’t advocate lying for the sake of some higher principle. I said that the “truth” he felt so compelled to state — and I don’t accept that it is a truth — in alignment with deniers, will be bent all out of proportion, tainted and turned from a ploughshare into a sword which they will then use to skewer him. I think good arguments have been put forward that Lynas got it wrong in substance, regardless of the fact that he agreed with McIntyre. I merely wanted to point out that you can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.

Here’s Keith Kloor:

In a comment at Lynas’ blog, Policy Lass, a liberal climate blogger, reveals what’s really bugging climate activists about Lynas’ highly publicized critique of the IPCC:

This is a war and as we all know, the first casualty is truth. This means that well-intentioned supporters of AGW who point out errors, perceived or real, serious or of no consequence, find their words used as ammunition to attack them and AGW in a cynical effort to affect public policy by raising unfounded doubt about the science. If you decide to speak out, you have to remember that no matter what your motives or intentions, your words will be spun to suit the needs of your opponent. Unfortunately, when you are involved in a war, you have to think strategically. Those who are naive about this become tools for their enemy’s advantage.

This is a variation on the Republican 11th commandment of politics, made famous by Ronald Reagan. Lynas, in refusing to muzzle himself, is likely to get squeezed further by the climate capos on the left.

Of course deniers are raising the alarm that we warmists / alarmists are on a witch hunt, throwing Lynas to the lions and all. That’s what they do — overreach is their specialty and modus operandi. It plays well to the crowd, who after all, are distracted from the real problems by circuses.

.

Nullis in verba makes a good point:

Sometimes it is a case of losing the battle to fight the war. If it becomes widely known that you will dodge or deny even true statements for fear that they could give succour to your enemies, then soon nobody will believe you even when you’re right. You would say the same whether it was true or not, and so the statement conveys no information.

However, if you tell the truth even when it hurts, then while it will cost you this time, it will pay back in the next battle when people believe that you say what you say because you think it’s true, not because it supports the party line.

It’s a question of short-term thinking versus long-term. You sometimes need to fight the short-term battle to survive for the long-term one, but if you are forced into thinking short-term all the time, it means you’re losing.

That would be good advice and perhaps I should take it, because my words have been spun by skeptics for their own purpose, too.

The trouble is that I’m not losing — we all are. When deniers and their dupes and lackeys delay and obfuscate and create false controversies, they delay action on climate change. When the well-intentioned but naive provide them with legitimacy they dont deserve, the naive become part of the problem, not part of the solution. If Lynas hadn’t come out in support of McIntyre, if he hadn’t praised him, if he had instead taken some time and tried to see through his own biases — against Greenpeace, for example —  and looked at the issue understanding the politics and optics, he might have taken a different track.

Here’s Grypo, coming to my defense — or at least, trying to represent what I wrote:

I don’t think that the alignment of Lynas and others is all that surprising.  There are two distinct issues here.  One, which Policy Lass discusses, is the issue of how Lynas’ attacks play into the hands of his political enemies, and two, the more interesting policy issue, which is the renewables versus nuclear mitigation decisions. So Lynas coming out against the IPCC on it’s use of a politically unfeasible scenario as it’s media headliner should have been expected.

And later on:

Just because Policy Lass tells him that his words are going to be used to thwart his own efforts doesn’t constitute the dramatic reenactment of witch hunts.

That was my point — by lauding the Grand Disinformer, by attacking the IPCC over a faux controversy, he will thwart his own efforts. Unless of course, he’s changed his mind about climate.

They say that politics makes strange bedfellows, and this episode has been a prime example.

Update:

Here’s a thoughtful post from Chris Colose on the contribution of people like McIntyre and the skeptic crowd that I put here to counter the crap from skeptics:

A good way to gauge the scientific contribution of people like McIntyre (especially in cases like the hockey stick where few people have the time, or statistical background, to sift through every ClimateAudit, RealClimate, etc post and work it out themselves), is to follow the literature over time or go to scientific conferences with experts in that specific area.  Although only a certain number of papers have become high-profile because of the blogosphere, google scholar searches of things like the “Medieval Warm Period” (which is now referred to by those in the field as the Medieval Climate Anomaly) will reveal dozens and dozens of papers which can still be considered recent; the citation count for an individual paper is also a good proxy for its value to the scientific discussion (not necessarily its accuracy).  You can also read summary works like that of the National Academies.  When you do this, you find that the general picture of the an anomalously warm MWP (relative to surrounding areas), a colder LIA (in both cases, with large spatial and temporal heterogeneity), and anomalously warm late 20th century is robust to well over a decade of work. There are various wiggles that authors disagree on, but the broad picture painted back in 1998 by Mann, and echoed by many papers since then has not in fact changed very much.

This is pretty much the case for any claim against “The Team” to date; as raypierre mentioned, the signal-to-noise ratio is incredibly small for people like McIntyre.  I can remember him pointing out an error in the NASA temperature reconstruction that ended up making 1934 the hottest U.S. year, but with virtually no global impact, and that story was blown out of proportion.  I cannot think of a single scientific contribution by him that has stood the test of time and has had such a profound impact on our understanding of climate, as many bloggers believe it has.  There has been some lessons learned, but when we zoom out to critical “broad brush” topics like the radiative forcing of atmospheric CO2, climate sensitivity, impacts of ocean acidification or sea level rise, etc, the “skeptic” camp has contributed virtually nothing to help understanding anything. (my emphasis)

Here’s Lynas in his latest attempt to dig himself out:

How is the Exxon scenario different from what has just happened with the IPCC’s renewables report? And why – when confronted with this egregious conflict of interest and abuse of scientific independence – has the response of the world’s green campaigners been to circle the wagons and cry foul against the whistle-blowers themselves? That this was spotted at all is a tribute to the eagle eyes of Steve McIntyre.
Yet I am told that he is a ‘denier’, that all his deeds are evil, and that I have been naively led astray by him. Well, if the ‘deniers’ are the only ones standing up for the integrity of the scientific process, and the independence of the IPCC, then I too am a ‘denier’.

First, the Exxon scenario is pure self-serving fantasy.

Two words — false equivalence.

Exxon is not equivalent to Greenpeace. If Lynas the much vaunted journalist can’t see that, I have little hope. Just look at the tone he is taking — “egregious” and “abuse of scientific integrity” — why he sounds like — like — Steve McIntyre!

Lynas on the same side of a climate issue as “skeptics” like McIntyre, Watts and Jeff Id? If I found myself on the same side as them on an issue relating to climate or the IPCC, I’d run screaming and STFU. His willingness to side with them publicly and prominently makes me seriously question his ability to understand what’s going on in the climate wars.

All Lynas has done is give McIntyre and his crew validity they don’t deserve for an attack that lacks gravitas. He has turned himself into a mouthpiece, giving them a platform of faux legitimacy so they can continue selling their snake oil. Lynas and Revkin siding with McIntyre et al legitimates them. It’s a tactical mistake for those who accept AGW and argue that we have only so much time to do something to mitigate CO2.

When I wrote about truth being a casualty of war, I didn’t advocate lying. Quite the contrary. The truth about climate will outlast McIntyre and the likes of Morano and the mistakes of Lynas. I advocate focusing on what’s important and not being trapped by those who want to dwell in false controversies.

And that is what McIntyre and his ilk do — churn in a cesspool of irrelevancies.

In a climate of misrepresentation and deceit created by the denial machine and parroted by those taken in by it, it’s understandable that well-intentioned people want to appear to take the high road. It’s understandable but naive. The high road is to recognize the attack on truth for what it is and not be a part of it.

I think Lynas made a mistake, over-reached and now instead of acknowledging the mistake, he’s digging in.  Another understandable, if regrettable, response. The fact that he criticized the IPCC and gave kudos to McIntyre is being used to fuel a ridiculous outrage by the usual suspects as part of the same ol same ol smokescreen. All a curious reader has to do is review how his words have been bandied about by deniers and skeptics to understand how futile it is to think one is taking the high ground, hoping to be “on the right side” of an issue and for truth, justice and the American way, when siding with deniers.

I advocate awareness that when you align yourself with your adversaries on an issue, you can’t express bemusement when they use your words as fodder for their own ends — at least not without the rest of us pointing and laughing.

In other words, don’t lie down with a dog and be all surprised when you get fleas.

Update:

Here’s a thoughtful post by CM over at Open Mind:

Thoughts: More of McIntyre’s embarrassing flailing about to maintain his relevance as a merchant of doubt. His beef with the recent IPCC report on renewable energy (SRREN) is (1) that it has Greenpeace cooties, and (2) the IPCC allowed a lead author to evaluate his own work. This is based on the following facts: A lead author on one of the chapters, Sven Teske, is a Greenpeace employee (renewables campaigner for Greenpeace International). And the headline message in the press release for the report, that close to 80% of world energy could be generated by renewables in 2050 given enabling policies, stems from a Greenpeace-commissioned scenario, Energy [R]evolution, on which Teske was also lead author (McIntyre links to a 2008 glossy Greenpeace report, but the updated version referenced in the SRREN is atTeske et al., 2010 – open access).

Greenpeacy is an advocacy group, not a scientific institution, but it commissions serious work by outside experts that may legitimately be cited by the IPCC. The Energy [R]evolution scenarios were commissioned from the Institute of Technical Thermodynamics, part of the German Aerospace Center (DLR). Three of the co-authors are at DLR, a fourth is at the U. of Utrecht. The supply scenarios used a model called MESAP/PlaNet (helpful intro in English here). Demand scenarios were updated from an earlier study by Ecofys, a Dutch consultancy.

As McI has provided no technical argument to the contrary, one should assume that Teske et al. (2010) meets the criteria for inclusion among the 164 scenarios from 16 different large-scale integrated models considered in the SRREN – and that, as the high-end scenario, it merits inclusion among the four scenarios singled out for further discussion. The report clearly shows the 80% claim as the high end, and the SPM puts it in perspective by noting that more than half of the scenarios show an RE contribution of “more than 27%” in 2050.

The IPCC working group, for better or worse, is not limited to academics with no ties to declare. Other contributors to the SRREN include big oil (at least three Chevron employees) and big nukes (at least two EdF employees). No reason not to have Greenpeace there as well, on the strength of the above-mentioned work.

There is no substance to McI’s claims that Teske was allowed to evaluate his own work, or the general insinuation that SRREN ch. 10 was somehow controlled by whale-huggers. Teske cannot reasonably be described as “the Lead Author of the IPCC assessment of the Greenpeace scenario” (McI, emph. added), given that he was only one of eleven lead authors on that chapter. He was not even a coordinating lead author. Chapter 10 was co-ordinated by Manfred Fischedick (Wuppertal Institute) and Roberto Schaeffer (U. of Rio de Janeiro), and also included lead authors from the U. of Botswana, U. of Leipzig, Joint Global Change Research Institute (USA), Volker Krey International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Central European University, and Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica. It also went through two rounds of expert review.

So it appears that there is not much “there” there in Lynas or McIntyre’s criticisms.

If there is some comedic relief in all this, it is that now, Lynas is beset by the likes of Oliver K Manuel.

Here’s Oliver, one of Mark’s new BFFs:

Mark,

I also wish you well.

As a liberal, left wing Democrat who was once a supporter of Greenpeace, I now suspect that this whole affair was molded by the skillful hands of people of some propaganda politicians – like Henry Kissinger.

I was a Principal Investigator for NASA and saw shadows of something strange moving across the stage in 1972 – but I had no idea why science was being distorted and manipulated until I saw the opera of “Nixon in China.”

Here are a few of the experimental findings that were hidden ["Neutron Repulsion", The APEIRON Journal (in press) 2011]:

http://arxiv.org/pdf/1102.1499v1

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo

Next, I expect Kim to show up with some of her inane haiku.

When you find yourself in such company, you gotta rethink what you’re doing…

About Policy Lass

Exploring skeptic tales.

238 Responses to “Of Dogs and Fleas”

  1. “Lynas is lauded for being “honest” for criticizing the IPCC over the WGIII Chapter 10 and press release. Reading a little deeper, the implication is that everyone else on his “side” — aka AGW — is dishonest.”

    I think the idea is that he’s being lauded for “honesty” because he’s standing up for scientific integrity even though it means critiquing a side of an argument he agrees with. That is difficult and rarely done by virtue of our very human tendency to contort information to fit our preconceptions and political in-group loyalties.

    • standing up for scientific integrity even though it means critiquing a side of an argument he agrees with. That is difficult and rarely done by virtue of our very human tendency to contort information to fit our preconceptions and political in-group loyalties.

      This is the sleight of hand that deniers use on the unsuspecting. It’s a diversion. Standing up for scientific integrity is an familiar refrain. Why I believe there is an astroturf organizatiion that even calls itself “Friends of Science“.

      Like I say — naive.

      Or just plain wrong. Or both.

      The more I look at it, the more I am convinced that Lynas was substantively wrong about the matter. Besides being substantively wrong, he made a big strategic blunder. But at this point, he’s too far dug in to recover.

    • Here’s the problem, Menth: Lynas did NOT stand up for scientific integrity. Scientific integrity is not to accuse the IPCC of letting its press releases be dictated by Greenpeace without having direct evidence of that. Lynas did not provide that evidence, he merely went in circles. No one with even the slightest experience with journalism should be surprised a press release, written by a journalist, highlights an ‘extreme’ finding.

      Now, Lynas has the right to state the scenario is overly optimistic in his opinion (or wrong at some point), but it isn’t a Greenpeace scenario either (see the lengthy quote above from CM). And as pointed out by several contributors to the report, there actually are even more optimistic scenarios in the literature. So, why did Lynas not complain that those did not make it into the report? If they had, do you think the Teske-scenario would have been highlighted at all?

      Lynas also complained that someone from Greenpeace was an author. While he did state he thought no one from a company or NGO should be an author on the IPCC report, he only went after Teske. As several have pointed out, there were quite a few authors from industry.

      Then there’s the complaint that an author evaluates his own work. If that’s not allowed, we’re getting into real trouble: the literature can then only be assessed by people who have no experience in the field. This is, of course, what certain obfuscators would like, as it will lead to badly written reports filled with errors and poor understanding. But it also is an accusation to all other authors on the chapter, without any evidence to back up the implicit claim that they screwed up.

  2. You are a fascinating woman Susan.

    Have a good weekend.

  3. The trouble is that I’m not losing — we all are

    Perish the thought that we are all losing because of war-like attitudes such as yours? I mean, it’s been almost 20 years from Rio, and “climate change policy” is always at square one (or counter-effective, such as the ETS transferring money from the taxpayers to the big utility companies). How many times does one need to bang one’s head against the same wall before deciding to open the door?

    If not now, when will it be the time to reconsider the whole approach?

    • The “war-like attitude” comes from recognizing what is taking place, not by choice. Realism, in other words. There’s been lots of research on the war machine. You might want to take off the blinkers and read it.

      You either don’t get it or are denying it. I don’t know — which is it?

      • I could just ask you the same question. What “realism” in continuing along a path that has failed repeatedly? Which bit of “climate change policy is always at square one, or counter-effective” don’t you get? And after two decades of attempts?

        Unless of course you’re in denial, and believe anything practical regarding climate change has been achieved by anybody anywhere (I live in the UK, and the “greenest government” is going from one set of climate shambles to another).

        The answer cannot be, “the enemy outsmarted us”. Because if the enemy keeps outstmarting you, and you keep trying the same thing over and over again, the problem is not your enemy, is it.

        Simply put, there are many other ways to get things done in politics than demonizing one’s opponents and go on the warpath. It’s also difficult, especially in a democracy, to see anything become law if there’s no effort at inclusiveness.

        I would say, even under most tyrants it’s impossible to see anything become law if all efforts are in the direction of identifying whoever doesn’t follow one’s orthodoxy, with the aim of isolating them. Of course you’ll end up “isolating” the whole world, isolating yourself that is.

        This situation keeps reminding me of that insane “Islamist” group in Algeria (the GIA, I believe) that decided at one point the whole population was made up of apostates. Of course, support rapidly evaporated.

        • The opponents to action on climate change demonize themselves by their cynical attacks on science and distortion of facts. We just point out the facts. If AGW supporters have failed, it is not because we are wrong, but because this is asymmetrical warfare. The opponent recognizes no laws of war, has deep deep pockets and a lot of gold at stake. Lies, falsehoods, misrepresentation, smears, personal attacks and denial of science — whatever works. The opponent has no scruples, no matter how much noise it makes about “sound science”. There is no effective way to fight this opponent except to continue trying to expose it for what it is. Eventually the climate itself will judge.

          • You’re doing exactly what I asked you not to do. Even all you said were correct, actually, especially if what you said is correct, you’re the one at fault by fighting your war under a situation that you yourself admit will only lead to everyone’s defeat.

            Do you want to win the war? I am not so sure you do. Charge of the Light Brigade, anybody? Await the death and destruction you’re expecting, then you’ll turn around and say “told you so”…is that what you’ll call a victory?

            • You assign far too much influence to my actions and those of people who write or think in a similar vein, and I suspect it’s just an excuse to attack me rather than make a valid point.

              Comparatively, people like me have little power and end up speaking to the converted. The real impact on the policy war comes from places like WUWT and CA who have massive readerships and who create enough smoke to obscure the light. They’re the ones who have impact on policy and nothing I write is going to affect that. I’m just the little mouse hiding behind the couch while the giants lumber around trashing the place.

              You’re doing the typical schtick of reversal. I’m not the problem. The problem is an unethical lobby backed by those who have economic, ideological and political objections to action on climate change, and who see science as the enemy. My calling it like I see it has no ultimate impact on whether there is coherent and effective climate and energy policy. That’s way above my pay grade.

          • Ya right Mc and Watts have really deep pockets. You wanna know what drives Mc? not money, but rather, stupid comments like yours.

            • Does that excuse his own stupidity then?

            • Go write a book about it Mosher…

            • I couldn’t care less what drives “skeptics” — the adulation of a choir, most of whom aren’t qualified intellectually to opine on the quality of James Hansen’s or Mike Mann’s shit? Playing in a pool with the big boys, swimming in the deep end whist wearing water wings and imagining that makes them their equal? Taking potshots at climate science for 15-minutes of fame?

              Whatever…

            • Like you,Mosh,McIntyre is driven by vanity. Watts,too. Very sad.

        • There is a mass of work going on about AGW. Research, mitigation, practical efforts at efficiency, RE etc etc etc.

          If you get too focussed on the blog-o-sphere, you can forget that there is, inexorabl,y progress being made, even it is painfully slow.

          Stop random people in the street and almost everyone will know what AGW is. Ask them who Steve McIntrye is and you’ll get ‘huh?”.

          Oh and Algeria – you do know that it later emerged that it was the Algerian Govt who set up their own little murderous group portraying themselves a the GIA, that committed some of the worst atrocities. But as you say, it worked a treat in killing off their public support.

    • Your position, omnologos appears to be that AGW science supporters should change their tune because they’re not “winning”. Unless you’re just being difficult, your apparent underlying assumption is that it is actually possible to “win the war” by doing something else. Perhaps you discount the possibility that there may be no conventional, polite, rational way of communicating the insanity of the denialists and the terrible potential consequences to the voting general public. You don’t seem to realise that denier propaganda, misdirection, lies, stupidity and pathological “scepticism” can fool most of the people most of the time to their ultimate detriment. As my father used to say, bullshit will always baffle brains.

      If you have any ideas of different, more effective ways of communicating the truth about the risky state we are in to the public, how about articulating it instead of just sniping from the sidelines? Please do it quickly because the people need all the help they can get, whether they realise it or not, owing to the merchants of doubt spreading tsunami’s of FUD.

  4. On Mulberry Street
    See the Furies perverted.
    Ya, strike up the Band.
    ==========

    TPL: That’s enough bad haiku from you.

  5. Why you should consider Mark’s post as good news.

    The average person has no way to gauge if the bulk of climate science is correct, indeed even highly educated climate scientists are unable to judge its entirety because the core of it lies in computer models. They all have to take on trust that each branch of the science has been honest and more importantly accurate.

    Now everybody makes mistakes and even the most modest might be inclined to exaggerate every now and then. People expect that and do not judge unless it becomes a regular thing. However we do judge the way those mistakes and exaggerations are handled. Even stupid people can tell when problems are being swept under the carpet. They get angry when their concerns are being dismissed and at that point the harder you fight them the less they’ll trust.

    The grist for the sceptic mill is the IPCC press release. It’s patently wrong for a Greenpeace campaigner (or anyone) to write a way out scenario on renewables, review his own work and then have that scenario highlighted in a press release 1 month before the much more balanced report. It’s a no brainer! What a gift to sceptics, LOL.

    OK, accept it’s a mistake and we’ll move on. Or argue and sceptics get another bonus by being able to demonstrate that the AGW community can’t even admit to gross bias. Mark Lynas really is doing you a favour and you fell into the sceptic trap (ha, ha) of defending the indefensible.

    You really need to stop seeing this situation as a war and realise that to win you have to convert us to allies. Oh, and in case you were assuming that sceptics are tiny in number, you should realise that everyone who agrees with CAGW but grumbles about green taxes or refuses to make significant cuts to their CO2 is just a sceptic in disguise.

    PS I’ve quickly searched your site but I’ve found no evidence of your commitment to cutting your own CO2 footprint. Have I missed the post where you featured those efforts that have worked for you? Perhaps you already have a planet saving minute emissions policy? Personally I would find commitment to cutting CO2 so much more convincing if people actually got down and did it and/or were loud and proud of their successes. Needless to say I consider carbon offsets a form of pointless cheating.

    I am seriously interested as I’ve been involved in cutting energy consumption for decades and know how very much harder it is than generally portayed.

    • You really need to stop seeing this situation as a war and realise that to win you have to convert us to allies. Oh, and in case you were assuming that sceptics are tiny in number, you should realise that everyone who agrees with CAGW but grumbles about green taxes or refuses to make significant cuts to their CO2 is just a sceptic in disguise.

      Buzzz.

      There’s a logical fallacy in there somewhere… I’m too bored to spend the time to point it out. The fact that you used the term “CAGW” means I stop reading and my eyes glaze over.

      PS I’ve quickly searched your site but I’ve found no evidence of your commitment to cutting your own CO2 footprint. Have I missed the post where you featured those efforts that have worked for you? Perhaps you already have a planet saving minute emissions policy? Personally I would find commitment to cutting CO2 so much more convincing if people actually got down and did it and/or were loud and proud of their successes. Needless to say I consider carbon offsets a form of pointless cheating.
      I am seriously interested as I’ve been involved in cutting energy consumption for decades and know how very much harder it is than generally portayed.

      The fact you make this specious argument signals to me you don’t really understand the dimensions of the problem.

      • I presume you don’t like CAGW because it indicates that I know that there’s a difference between climate change, AGW and climate weirding? It doesn’t signify anything other than I have been paying attention and know that the key part is the ‘catastrophic’ bit. Without that there’s no hurry to solve the problem and the issue would still be buried in academe. I don’t have any problem with AGW being investigated, I don’t even have a problem with solving it so long as the problem has been properly investigated and the solutions are sensible. What I won’t accept is climate science and their followers giving a good impression of Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men telling me that they have neither the time nor the inclination to explain themselves and would rather I just said thank you, and went on my way.

        That you consider cutting your own CO2 footprint as specious might suggest you don’t think that the global footprint is made up of individual footprints. Do you think Big Business or Big Oil or even Big Government can do it without the will of the people? Even Big Dictatorships crumble when the people are paying too high a price. Until you sample a low carbon lifestyle it’s impossible to make any serious judgements about what others might be able to achieve.

    • Let’s see:
      Did Sven Teske write an article discussing a scenario? Yes, he did, TOGETHER with a range of others, none of whom were Greenpeace employees. Conveniently left out of the discussion, of course, as this would dilute the desired message: “Rise, my army, we have another thing we can get all upset about!”

      Did Sven Teske review his own work? In a sense, but he did so TOGETHER with several others, none of whom were Greenpeace employees. As a simple assignment: look up the affiliations of all authors on chapter 10. Conveniently left out of the discussion, of course, as this would dilute the desired message: “Rise, my army, we have another thing we can get all upset about!”

      Did Sven Tesek “have that scenario highlighted in a press release” ? Well, here there is a very clear lack of evidence that Sven Teske (or Greenpeace for that matter) had anything to do with the press release. In fact, anyone with even the slightest experience with journalism knows journalist will always start with an eye-catching topic. And the press release still highlights it as the most optimistic option, mentions the least optimistic also, and the likeliest. This is the most worrysome part of Mark Lynas comments: he in essence fell for the conspiracy theory, and completely forgot what journalism is, and who writes press releases.

  6. Why do you support this stuff? You are the policy wonk right? How did you quote the CM post as ‘thoughtful’?

    The Teske et al paper is cited no less than 70 times in the final report, all chapters included. It is not just in Chapter 10.

    • The IEA was cited more than 100 times, Sims et al 57 times, the world bank more than 100…

      Yawn…

    • Gavin's Pussycat Reply June 18, 2011 at 8:19 am

      I count 56 cites of which 33 in Ch. 10.

    • I am a policy wonk and here are a few things I have read about policy during my time from reading those who are vastly experienced in the field:

      1. When it comes to public policy decisions, policy makers know who butters their bread. You may think it’s the voters, but even Citigroup knew it’s the plutonomy, not the rest of us… Policy makers are unlikely to do anything in terms of public policy if it means upsetting their paymasters — not the ones who fund government, but the ones who fund elections and political parties.

      2. When you want to look like you’re doing something about the problem, but really aren’t, you can always do more research and develop high sounding talking points and press releases about it. You just never implement anything that has any real impact on the problem you don’t really want to address so as to not upset your paymasters.

      3. Policy makers are obsessed with the opinions of “stakeholders” – read “paymasters”. They pay cynical lip service to the opinion of the voters, telling them what the voters want to hear in order to get elected/re-elected. Then they go ahead and cater to their real paymasters. The paymasters know this. The voters are largely deceived.

      4. Only when a party or government might lose an election due to public opinion on the problem will that party or government actually do something about the problem, risking their paymaster’s wrath. But there is a tacit agreement that at times, something must be done about pesky policy problems.

      5. When that point is reached, the government will do something — sign a treaty, develop a program — but they will ensure that those “stakeholders” are part of the solution and they in turn will ensure that the solution harms them the least. Then, the evidence will be selectively marshalled to support the least hurtful — to the stakeholders — option, but may be less effective than others.

      There — the jaded guide on how policy makers manage those pesky public policy problems they really don’t want to have to address. Believe me climate change is a prime example. There is just too much riding on the continued use of fossil fuels at an un-regulated pace. Hence we have lots of research and little real action. Every government pays lip service to addressing global warming. Few have actually done anything substantive to address it.

      The thing about understanding public policy? Unlike understanding the climate, it ain’t rocket science. It’s politics. A close read of Machiavelli will suffice.

    • > How did you quote the CM post as ‘thoughtful’?

      Based on my reading of CM comment so far (and it’s only been available a short time), Steve McIntyre’s reference to Teske **the** Lead Author (CM’s emphasis) is untrue. As far as I can tell, IPCC’s documents does NOT “show” that “the Lead Author of the IPCC assessment of the Greenpeace scenario was the same Greenpeace employee who had prepared the Greenpeace scenarios” is untrue.

      • Let’s terminate the last occurence of “is untrue”.

        As far as I can tell, IPCC’s documents does NOT “show” that “the Lead Author of the IPCC assessment of the Greenpeace scenario was the same Greenpeace employee who had prepared the Greenpeace scenarios”.

        • Willard,
          Look at Chapter 10. Teske is a lead author on the chapter (I get the point about the ‘the author’ business, please hear me out). The Chapter does an assessment of 4 ‘scenarios’ in detail. One of the 4 scenarios is the EREC-Greenpeace one – as put out in Teske et al 2010.

          The IPCC document does show that a lead author did assess his own work.

          I am not getting your “does not show”.

          Susan,
          I did not get the point about your longish passage above.

          Why should we have advocacy organization-authored papers admitted as science, to be assessed, commented upon and evaluated? Let us leave alone the fact that the assessment was performed by the same person. Tekse authored the paper, not in individual capacity, but under his Greenpeace designation. As the Economist notes, the IPCC may or may not want to identify itself with Greenpeace in this matter, but Greenpeace certainly wants to take credit.

          And secondly, a considered, if not exhaustive reading of the underlying papers here – Teske et al 2010, Krewitt et al 2009, Krewitt et al 2007 shows that these papers are not “what if” scenarios, as they have been represented. One of the key input variables in these papers is fixed a priori – the world CO2 ‘output’ in gigatons, and/or the proportion of fossil-fuel derived energy sources.

          Utilizing such a paper in a ‘what if’ scenario is completely misleading. Dont you agree?

          • Thank you for getting the point that Teske cannot reasonably be described as “the Lead Author of the IPCC assessment of the Greenpeace scenario”.

            But since you simply replaced the same accusation with A lead author, I’m not sure you get CM’s point that:

            > [Teske] was only one of eleven lead authors on that chapter. He was not even a coordinating lead author. Chapter 10 was co-ordinated by Manfred Fischedick (Wuppertal Institute) and Roberto Schaeffer (U. of Rio de Janeiro), and also included lead authors from the U. of Botswana, U. of Leipzig, Joint Global Change Research Institute (USA), Volker Krey International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Central European University, and Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica. It also went through two rounds of expert review.

            If we remove every player from the ice except the one who carries the puck, hockey commentators might be able to say any time a player carries the puck that he’s on a breakaway. By chance for the fans, hockey commentators do not do that. In fact, an hockey commentator that does that would be terminated soon enough.

            • When I said “I get the point”, what I meant was: “Let us not get distracted by that smoke and mirrors because there is a problem even if “.

              CM’s main points are:

              1) Teske is not ‘the’ author, but just ‘one of the’ authors.

              I addressed that above. It seems to have passed by you, (and shewonk), without any reaction.

              This is not a schoolmarmish “who spilt the milk” type of situation. This is a more adult one – it is immaterial who actually highlighted Teske et al as one of the scenarios, what his relative contributions as Lead Author were, or what text he contributed. Here we have an IPCC lead author, *assessing* his own work, not just quoting some factoid in passing.

              As a result, the concern here is beyond mere self-citation. The SRREN text is non-analytic, non-critical and largely expository and Chapter 10 fits the bill. It is therefore, more problematic, that so many people were providing oversight, and yet saw no problems with the chapter’s conclusions, for instance.

              2) That “one should assume that Teske et al. (2010) meets the criteria for inclusion among the 164 scenarios”, because “McI has provided no technical argument to the contrary,…”

              This is the specific part I objected to. Teske et al is acceptable to CM because McIntyre does not provide any technical objections?

              Can he not come up with any, of his own?

              • Shub,

                MC identifies McIntyre’s “beef” with these two points:

                > (1) that it has Greenpeace cooties, and
                > (2) the IPCC allowed a lead author to evaluate his own work.

                MC’s argument against (1) is that Greenpeace “commissions serious work by outside experts that may legitimately be cited by the IPCC.”

                MC’s argument against (2) is that the presumption of innocence burdens McIntyre to “show” his proof; that the IPCC WG ” for better or worse, is not limited to academics with no ties to declare”; and that “Teske cannot reasonably be described as “the Lead Author of the IPCC assessment of the Greenpeace scenario”.

                You now say that this is only “smoke and mirrors”. Very well, but that is how the argument has been sold to a public craving for independent analysis. In any case, MC’s argument goes beyond these smokes and mirrors: it shows that there are so many people involved in the process that the plausibility of the claim that Teske **assessed** his own work might very well rest on these smokes and mirrors.

                This last point seems to have passed by you.

                And let’s not forget that all this is supposed to lead to this conclusion:

                > Everyone in IPCC WG3 should be terminated and, if the institution is to continue, it should be re-structured from scratch.

            • Shub, why should intelligent peop[le do the work of the lying deniers? Is McIntyre incapable of making technical criticisms? Is he not knowledgeable enough? Then why is he presuming to opine at all since his opinion is valueless?

  7. Gavin's Pussycat Reply June 18, 2011 at 7:28 am

    > to win you have to convert us to allies

    Eh, no, that’s your job. It’s done simply by stopping telling lies.

    > I’ve been involved in cutting energy consumption for decades

    A typical denialist gambit… you’re so transparent. Try the truth sometimes.

    • Ahh GP, are you perhaps suggesting I’m a paid denier? LOL. Is that as far as your arguments go? You don’t think anyone can disagree with you and do it for free? Pick any pub you like and start a conversation with strangers about global warming and you’ll find out how many sceptics there are. Or has Exxon got people everywhere?

      Vocal sceptics are just a symptom of a wider resistance to the astronomical changes that are required to do away with fossil fuels. That resistance is in its infancy because the costs have barely begun. If you don’t believe that you really are kidding yourself.

      If you want to push the World in a direction is doesn’t want to go (even if it’s for its own good) then your arguments have to be watertight, your people have to be beyond reproach. No member of a well known NGO can be considered unbiased. No press release that stresses the unlikely instead of the likely should be considered effective communication. What part of that is unreasonable?

      And if you show me your CO2 footprint, I’ll show you mine.

      • “If you want to push the World in a direction is doesn’t want to go”

        If the world doesn’t want to go in particular direction it doesn’t have to. People can choose not to vaccinate their children, they can decide they’re at no risk from AIDS through sexual intercourse, they can act as if smoking won’t cause them cancer and they can try to consume energy and resources as if they were limitless.

        What they cannot do is decide that reality is such that it justifies those choices relative to other principles. You cannot claim to be using the best advice for your children’s health and not vaccinate them at the same time. This applies to the other examples at all.

        We’re all aware that the vast majority of the climate change “skeptic” movement are not scientific skeptics at all, contrary to their claims. Their problem is they don’t like the idea of paying the real cost for the energy and resources they consume but they don’t want to admit that. Instead they pretend to be interested in accuracy and accountability as you do when you say

        “your arguments have to be watertight, your people have to be beyond reproach. No member of a well known NGO can be considered unbiased.”

        Or in other words, so long as anyone anywhere can invent a problem that another group of people are prepared to pretend they believe nobody has to acknowledge the existence of climate change, much less do anything about it.

        • Your post indicates the divide between sceptics and believers. You think the science is as robust as medicine (and even that makes mistakes) and sceptics don’t. You don’t believe we think climate science is genuinely poor and have invented reasons for us. We’re paid, we’re stupid, we’re mental, we’re greedy CO2 emitting monsters.

          Isn’t the obvious answer that we see the world differently?

          • “You don’t believe we think climate science is genuinely poor and have invented reasons for us.”

            I invented no reasons for you, you said it yourself i.e.

            “Vocal sceptics are just a symptom of a wider resistance to the astronomical changes that are required to do away with fossil fuels. That resistance is in its infancy because the costs have barely begun. “

            This is not a surprise to anyone familiar with the debate, nor is your “No no, we’re like totally talking the science!” response.

            • I indicated what makes people pay attention to the science (money), not what makes them come to one decision or another. A person can make arbitrary decisions about things that don’t matter but starts asking questions when they are asked to pay.

      • Denialism: what is it and how should scientists respond?
        http://eurpub.oxfordjournals.org/content/19/1/2.full

        The fourth is the creation of impossible expectations of what research can deliver. For example, those denying the reality of climate change point to the absence of accurate temperature records from before the invention of the thermometer. Others use the intrinsic uncertainty of mathematical models to reject them entirely as a means of understanding a phenomenon. In the early 1990s, Philip Morris tried to promote a new standard, entitled Good Epidemiological Practice (GEP) for the conduct of epidemiological studies. Under the GEP guidelines, odds ratios of 2 or less would not be considered strong enough evidence of causation, invalidating in one sweep a large body of research on the health effects of many exposures.24 Although Philip Morris eventually scaled back its GEP programme, as no epidemiological body would agree to such a standard, British American Tobacco still uses this criterion to refute the risk associated with passive smoking.

        • Do we ask the impossible? Hmm I really don’t think it’s that hard to make sure you don’t include known activists amongst your lead authors. Or maybe it is, maybe they’re all tainted by their connections? You tell me.

          Is it that hard to make sure the press release reflects the true range of scenarios in a report rather than the exciting outlier? But then nobody would be interested in the report or its findings. Tough call.

          Of course what you wanted to indicate was that deniers are always asking for proof of something. Well, yes, why not? This is a multi trillion dollar exercise that will affect every man, woman and child, forever. How many questions are we allowed for those kinds of costs?

          • I really don’t think it’s that hard to make sure you don’t include known activists amongst your lead authors.

            In this instance, it might be. There are experts that in the business and activist field that get published in peer-reviewed literature on this subject. the person in question was nominated by his country, a country that is also leading the world in nenewables. The best you can hope for is that there are established rules for reviewing, which, just a cursory looks shows there are. id this isn’t suitable, and you’d rather use these facts to hold off on policy adjustments then refer back to my previous post

            Is it that hard to make sure the press release reflects the true range of scenarios in a report rather than the exciting outlier?

            The press release isn’t quite as bad as people are making it out to be (refer to previous post). It seems to be the media’s treatment of that release that should be questioned. Maybe we should terminate all the media? Or perhaps there was a genuine mistake, one that can be rectified by discussing this problem like the public expects?

          • “Do we ask the impossible? Hmm I really don’t think it’s that hard to make sure you don’t include known activists amongst your lead authors.”

            Are you describing the IPCC or the NIPCC?

      • Gavin's Pussycat Reply June 18, 2011 at 11:19 am

        > Ahh GP, are you perhaps suggesting I’m a paid denier?

        Eh no, what gave you that idea? I suspect that you’re just piss-poor at spotting the lies that others feed you, i.e., you’re really a victim, a willing one though. Denial is funny that way. That would be my guess given your stereotyped argumentation. Hardly Exxon material.

        Yes I’ve turned many a ‘pub skeptic’ around… most are victims like you, but eager to learn.

        > the astronomical changes that are required to do away with fossil fuels

        Like that lie. Does your footprint include the effect of your spreading of lies on others? Look at the big picture.

        • It’s so black and white with you guys. I can’t just disagree, I must be a victim of lies.

          Are you seriously telling me that ditching fossil fuels for renewables won’t be astronomically difficult? You must move your rhetoric out of the pub and speak at conferences because I’ve never heard anyone other than a Greenpeace spokesman suggesting anything else. And I’m fairly sure he WAS lying so I can’t be that bad at spotting liars.

          Since I tend to mainly write to comitted believers I don’t much worry about my effect of global CO2. In fact I actively encourage them to cut their footprints. But then I find them largely all talk and no action.

          • Gavin's Pussycat Reply June 20, 2011 at 2:26 am

            Are you seriously telling me that ditching fossil fuels for renewables won’t be astronomically difficult?

            It will be challenging, yes, and a lot of money in dollars and cents. But the proper metric is the cost, also the human cost, of not doing it in a timely manner — and by that metric, it’s a bargain. Don’t take my word for it: precisely this IPCC WG3 has studied the subject. As have others. All tell us that it will set back global GDP by a few percent. A year’s worth of growth, and comparable to what nations of the world spend routinely on military ‘security’, generally without going bust (and often without getting security; but I digress). This whole idea of it being ‘astronomically difficult’ or even sending us back to the stone age is just alarmism. Get real.

            …but in one sense you’re right, sort-of. The amount of dollars and cents is large enough to provide a powerful incentive to the wreckers, the merchants of doubt. As we have seen.

            But then I find them largely all talk and no action.

            Then you don’t know very many climatologists. The ones I know are keenly aware of the carbon footprint of both their personal and professional activities, and at least pick the low hanging fruits, but sometimes do significantly more. But I agree that the value of personal initiatives like this is limited — and ultimately, without policy solutions, useless. It just fine-tunes the timetable of the crunch to come without affecting its nature.

            But talking about climatologists, I find your question almost insulting. First they choose a career in science, taking a smaller paycheck, living from funding decision to funding decision, from tenure review to tenure review; and then, of all sciences, climatology. Where if you’re successful, the rewards are multiple FOI requests, fraud charges and malpractice investigations. Or if you’re really successful, death threats. What further proof of commitment or dedication do you need, huh?

            But I’ll grant that (like Oscar Wilde’s (?) stated reason for preferring to go to Hell rather than Heaven) the company you’ll find in climatology is worth it…

            • Not all risks are on the side of rising temperatures (and their effects). Look at what biofuels has done to both the cost of food and deforestation. Not good. There are people out there who are suffering now because of climate change policies. Or are the old people who freeze to death; or those who starve; or those who’s job disappears to China because of gas prices an acceptable casualty of war? Maybe, maybe not but the evidence tends to sweep those people under the rug. There’s always talk about protecting them but it never happens. I have no doubt that the people who will suffer most from cuts in CO2 will be exactly the same people who suffer most from global warming. It’s a poor deal to kill a man today to save him from death in 50 years time.

            • It’s very easy for you to toss off numbers from the IPCC report about what it might cost in GDP but practice is invariably different from speculation. Cost for UK renewables have spiralled from initial estimates, output is a lot less than predicted and there’s no evidence to suggest that other policies won’t do the same. People who develop these predictions have no responsibility for them. There are no penalties for mistakes and most are retired before the inaccuracies become apparent. Some of the most vocal climate change supporters have been making laughably false predictions for years but are never held accountable for them. They just make new predictions that are based on ‘better’ data. Computer models are never wrong they just get a new version number. Bring in some accountability for these grandiose predictions and they might have more credibility.

                • And when they can pay their way some people will install them. But-

                  The cost of an individual panel is but a part of the process. Installation will ultimately be a fixed cost that will vary depending upon size of installation, height of roof, insurance and manpower costs. There will be a base cost that cannot be improved upon. While the book price of solar panels may fall rapidly, installers who have stock won’t want to drop their prices accordingly and they will lag any improvements in price. There is currently a solar panel glut which in part accounts for the price falls but five years ago there was a raw material shortage. Has that gone for good or will the prices start to rise again?

                  Many roofs are not in a viable orientation and others are structurally unsound. Some locations are unsuitable because of latitude, terrain, local planning rules (especially aesthetics). One of the biggest costs to UK households is heating and solar isn’t planned to replace that.

                  While modern solar panels might be cheaper there’s the unknown element of reliability and maintenance. Historical data is often unhelpful as reduced production costs sometimes stem from reduced quality. Some wonder if the CO2 (and other pollution eg nitrogen trifluoride) costs of production, installation, maintenance and disposal are worthwhile.

                  While the cost of installation to you and even me might be reasonable, for many the price is beyond their ability to pay. Some governments offer subsidies but they will only be available for early adopters. The early adopters will be the more wealthy and since the subsidies come from general power bills the poorest people will be paying the richest to get cheaper electricity. This already happens. Some suggestion has been made to place the cost of the installation onto the lifetime bills of the house so that when a person moves, the new owner carries on paying for the panels. A good installation might improve the saleability of the house but a bad one might be a disaster.

                  Nothing is as easy as it seems on paper.

                  • And when solar can pay its way? The Third World loves cheap Chinese solar, especially in rural areas. Kids’ school grades are better, too, as they don’t need to conserve expensive kerosene and can study more at night. Pakistan’s solar effort has been so successful they beat their target by two years and have set more aggressive targets for the next phase.

                    Or did you forget and drop developing countries all of a sudden?

                    • Solar power has its role, particularly in sunny countries but it doesn’t replace the reliability of more conventional fuels. The reason those people need solar is because there’s nothing else. I doubt very much they cook or heat their homes using solar and lung disease is a major hazard for those cooking over open fires. Their overall use of energy is tiny compared to industry and/or western countries. If we all lived like those people there probably wouldn’t be a CO2 issue at all.

                      I don’t want to live like that, do you?

            • Climate scientists are frugal, low paid, under appreciated souls? Really? I think you’ll find they are amongst the highest paid/highest respected people on the planet. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t more lucrative jobs out there, but compared to the majority of those who will have to pay for CO2 reduction schemes they’re rolling in it. So they get a bit of grief from FOIs or nasty emailers? If they’re so smart they should have predicted it. FOIs are easy compared to an inspection by a governmental regulatory organisation. You don’t get a year to get your data in order you get two weeks. Nasty e-mails can be filtered out before the recipient ever sees them. Have you ever asked bar staff, nurses, policemen, etc if they’d prefer their death threats by email or in person? I know which they’d choose.

              Do climate scientists make substantial cuts to their CO2 footprint? I don’t know, they (and their supporters) never talk about it. They DO talk about flights to this conference or that one, often knowing that it will be a failure. Have they never heard of teleconferencing?

              If you guys are serious about CO2 why not post your footprint as a footer to each comment? Or at least post it one a month? You won’t because you and I know that most western people have big footprints. If you have to fly anywhere your emissions are big and everyone likes to assume that their job or holiday is important enough to justify them. Everyone. And who are you to judge that their travel is not important? No more than I’m qualified to judge yours, except you think cutting CO2 is important. It’s very, very hard to give up the luxuries of a modern world but it’s only those actions that will make a significant difference. If CAGW beleievers can’t/won’t do it, who will?

              • “among the highest paid on the planet”

                What are you on?

                Though, out of interest, throw us some figures (and I don’t mann ones that you’ve just pulled out of your arse).

                • “mean”

                • I’m on a planet that doesn’t start and stop in the US or the UK There are rumoured to be poor countries too.

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_inequality

                  13% of the world’s population and receives 45% of the world’s PPP income. This group includes the United States, Japan, Australia, Germany, France and the United Kingdom, and comprises 500 million people with an annual income level over 11,500 PPP$.

                  42% of the world’s population and receives only 9% of the world PPP income. This group includes India, Indonesia and rural China, and comprises 2,100 million people with an income level under 1,000 PPP$. (See Milanovic 2001, p. 38).

                  I’m on a planet where the highly educated largely get better salaries than the poorly educated. What are you on?

                  • I’m on a planet where the highly educated largely get better salaries than the poorly educated.

                    In his 35 year career – with ~180 published articles, and several in Nature and Science – my climate scientist ex-boss’s highest annual salary was $105K (a matter of public record as he was employed in a state university). In contrast, an intellectual flyweight like Morano got paid $134K with my tax dollars to spread disinformation and lies.

                    How about you send him a check – say $1.015 million ($29K x 35 years) – to cover the difference? After all, it’s “fair” in your planet. :)

                    • I link to information about global income inequality and you say my version of the planet is fair???

              • “Climate scientists are frugal, low paid, under appreciated souls? Really? I think you’ll find they are amongst the highest paid/highest respected people on the planet.”

                Pure bollocks, unless you mean when they go to work on Wall Street where they’re in demand.

                * Taking the Money for Grant(ed) – Part I
                * Taking the Money for Grant(ed) – Part II

                $204,489.92 is what the investigators on the grant are paid over three years. There are six (6) of us working on this grant. Three of us, including the PI, will receive the majority of that amount. I will receive $48,264.75 over three years ($16,088.25 per year). The PI will receive $49,175.31 over three years.

                Scientists studying Greenland forced to pay their own airfares

                “Muenchow told the briefing that over the last seven years he had only received funding to measure ocean temperatures near the Petermann Glacier for a total of three days. He was also reduced, because of a lack of funding, to paying his own airfare and that of his students to they could join up with a Canadian icebreaker on a joint research project in the Arctic.”

              • Gavin's Pussycat Reply June 20, 2011 at 2:52 pm

                > Climate scientists are frugal, low paid, under appreciated souls? Really

                Compared to what they could earn, yes. This is about choices they make. No use comparing with other walks of life, where the choices are very different (if not the ethics). You really don’t have any scientists among your acquaintances right?

                • It’s not about who could earn more money, it’s about who pays most for CO2 reduction. It’s the POOR. Climate scientists do not fall into the global poor category by any stretch of the imagination. It’s easy to sign up to policies that cost you a small proportion of your overall wealth.

                  But despite it being easy to agree to reducing CO2, most AGW believers (and I wasn’t limiting this to scientists) still have carbon footprints that are much too large. Many haven’t bothered to calculate them.

                  Muenchow would have considered his trip to the Petermann glacier as vital. Maybe, but did he really have to take the students? Aren’t there other ways to learn than flying hundreds of miles? Or perhaps he could have sent the students and stayed behind? No? if his job can’t be done without a big CO2 footprint why do you assume everyone elses can?

                  I can have no respect for people who think that CO2 cuts are important and that others should be making them.

                  • TinyCO2 :
                    \who pays most for CO2 reduction. It’s the POOR.

                    This is an article of faith with skeptics; one that is neither questioned nor backed up with evidence.

                    CO2 reduction is not going to be achieved by a return to Bronze Age technology and material wealth. If it’s going to happen at all (which I increasingly doubt), it’s going to be through a massive investment in the best non-carbon power-generating technology (including nuclear) we can achieve, electric transport, efficiency, and sequestration, along with technology transfer to make sure the developing world can establish its own low-carbon energy and transport industries.

                    Impoverishing the developing world – even if it were the fastest route to CO2 reduction, which is is not – is neither politically feasible nor morally supportable. Guess what: everyone knows that.

                    Acting as if your interlocutors are all either cretins or villains, or both, bespeaks a rather low confidence in your own reasoning abilities.

                • And yes I do know some scientists. Some of them are smart and one of them is stupid and he’s not the lowest paid. One of them only recently left the Univeristy environment and he’s much happier, but not because he’s earning more.

                  Scientists are not all based in Universities and they’re not all limted to theoretical work. Some actually have to demostrate success.

                  I don’t know any climate scientists.

                  I know far more people who are poorly paid, non scientists. Some believe in climate change some don’t but none of them want to pay more for petrol or gas or electricity. They are no more evil or greedy than the scientists.

                  • One genius medical scientist aquaintance believes implicitly in AGW. She lives in a huge old house with zero insulation, flies at least once a month to visit friends and relatives on five different continents. Go figure.

                    • TCO2, let me point out that your brand of opinionated anecdote-laced comment is no different to that practiced in the mainstrean press every day, and by far better writers than you.

                      You have no facts that engage anybody, and are merely hopelessly flailing about in the wrong kind of arena displaying your inarticulate confusions.

                      No doubt the Morano’s of this world may have some minor use for those like you but whatever it is you think you’re doing, to most readers here is water off a duck’s well jaded back.

  8. at the end ofthe day it’s you guys the ones worried about the future. whatever insurmountable odds you believe you’re facing, if you can’t get around the idea of expanding your support base to better your situation you’ll literally be the ones guilty as charged because you knew it, you knew what you were up against and still you carried on with failed policy attempts. Who’s to blame for the Light Brigade massacre, the shooting enemies or the person who ordered an obviously flawed action? Who’s remembered as heartless idiotic and a failure , the Germans machine-gunning the British troops during WWI or General Haig and his asinine ideas about the importance of suffering casualties? So once again what’s the point of your war-like attitude ? are you looking for a valiant defeat or do you actually care about the planet and future generations? How will the IPCC omissions about Teske help further your cause and your war? What is the IPCC supposed to do to earn your contempt, apart from having an Exxon guy as LEAD author of a future report?

    • > you knew what you were up against and still you carried on with failed policy attempts.

      Who is “you”?

      Which “policy attempts”?

      How do we know that these policy attempts failed?

      Asking questions is as easy as begging questions.

    • Gavin's Pussycat Reply June 18, 2011 at 11:25 am

      Cut this out and stick it to the wall as a textbook example of ‘blaming the victims’. Omnologos, have you no shame?

  9. you=those alarmed

    climate policymaking has failed for 19 years in a row. how long more do you need? how many billions of euros must be pocketed by Big Utility, or of dollars by Big Ethanol for no result at all?

    • Are you really going to try and present yourself as some sort of honest broker in this debate? As if you’re just offering helpful advice and trying to calm the debate? I read Steve Goddard’s site and anyone that’s heard of google can access your comments there

      https://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/02/23/un-earth-will-become-unrecognizable-by-2050/#comment-40107

      “Given the cooling experienced thanks to Genghis Khan’s murderous ways, perhaps billions will die, due to the AGW scare pushing some weaker minds towards obliterating most of us, for the sake of the planet.”

      http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/05/08/you-dont-need-to-be-a-rocket-scientist-to-work-at-nasa/#comment-56563

      “A drop in climate science is never a drop. It’s just an uptick that hasn’t been corrected yet.”

      And now you’re here complaining that someone else invoked a war metaphor to try and explain how people should act within a policy debate. Hmmm!

    • Ok, so let’s substitute “you” by “those alarmed”:

      > Those alarmed knew what they were up against and still carried on with failed policy attempts.

      I thought omnologos was responding to Susan. My mistake.

      ***

      I like the expression “failed policy attempts”. Just imagine a hockey commentator describing a shot from a player while it’s being released from his stick as “a failed scoring attempt”.

      Why is the player shooting?

      Why is the player playing hockey?

      Now, imagine the commentator compares the hockey player to the Light Brigade, World War I, and Algerians extremists.

  10. So I need to repeat myself. I do not care about being an “honest broker”. My interest is in understanding why (=what for) do people embrace the “it’s a war” attitude. It is quite hard as there is seemingly a need to obfuscate every statement with lamentations about evil skeptics.

    So far the outcome has been: Susan is totally pessimistic about any policy change happening unless under exceptional circumstances. This still doesn’t explain what she would find worthwhile in berating people that don’t totally agree with her. Also somebody (Friedman?) said pessimists are right, but it’s the optimists that can change the world. So Susan can’t change the world, and doesn’t even want to.

    “sharper00″ goes a step further, and appears to justify the aforementioned berating by the desire to tell people when their attitudes and decisions are not based on science, where “science” is whatever “sharper00″ means it is. It’s the famous strip, why don’t you come to sleep, wait, somebody’s wrong on the internet. This doesn’t strike as a particularly effective way of saving the planet either.

    All the worse for the planet then when its “saviors” don’t want to save it…

    • “where “science” is whatever “sharper00″ means it is. “

      I’m happy with science as “what the scientists say it is”. I’m not the one that needs to invoke massive governmental and scientific conspiracies to justify why practically every expert on the topic is wrong.

      “All the worse for the planet then when its “saviors” don’t want to save it…”

      People want to save it just fine. They’re simply uninclined to accept the premises of arguments from people such as yourself that thinks science is all fraud and those behind it all want to murder most of the people alive.

      • I’m happy with science as “what the scientists say it is”.

        It doesn’t matter. People convinced that the Rapture is coming can follow your exact same logic, only they place their trust in a particular set of experts and you in another.

        It’s the path the thing I’d like to understand, not the details of one’s particular creed.

        As of “people such as yourself…thinks [sic] science is all fraud”, that’s just too silly even to be ridiculous. I bet that’s what the Aristotelians were accusing Galileo of saying when he invited them to look through the telescope.

        And no, I don’t think “those behind it” want to “murder most of the people alive”. I did specifically mention “some weaker minds”.

        But once again, my opinions here don’t matter. The problem remains: what of whatever you’re doing is contributing to save the planet from the disaster you’re convinced is going to befall upon us? And where does the berating of whoever disagrees about anything sit in the great scheme of things regarding saving the planet from the aforementioned disaster?

        There has to be somebody out there capable of explaining themselves. Perhaps not here.

        • “There has to be somebody out there capable of explaining themselves.”

          To you? You’d have to be interested in the answer. You think equating scientific inquiry with the rapture is an argument.

          I don’t go around demanding “skeptics” accept my premises and provide explanations on my terms. I read their statements and interpret their actions and motivations on their own terms. It’s not difficult.

          Like when someone comes along pretending to be interested in answers but elsewhere spends his time actively engaging in the worst of the worst when it comes to “Not just wrong but evil” on the blogopshere I know that you’re not actually interested in answers. I know that trying to explain things to you is purely a vehicle for you to further distort what’s being said. Then later you can pretend “Their minds are so weak they can’t even explain themselves!”.

          • You don’t want to explain yourself. That’s fine as it makes sense within the logic of the swashbuckling climate musketeer persona you seem to enjoy. In fact you then proceed with your own analysis of my evil machinations, blissfully uninterested in anything I have written.

            Perfect then…but what’s that got to do with avoiding the catastrophe? Who knows?

        • Wow.

          So you think that rhe practice of people interpreting ancient religious texts (rapture) is comparable to satellite measurements of the planet?

          No wonder you’re confused.

    • > My interest is in understanding why (=what for) do people embrace the “it’s a war” attitude.

      That’s a good question.

      You go first.

      • Since you ask…I do not embrace the “it’s a war” attitude. For example I have no qualms in admitting my mistakes, and will agree with whomever will say that among the skeptics there’s lots of wacos and nutjobs (it goes with being “at the fringe” of any scientific field, I suspect).

        I am not particularly happy with sharing views with the UKIP, will not compromise on my morality for the “higher goal” of protecting Monckton or Inhofe, have repeatedly spoken in favor of what the WG1 has come up with in 2007, my blog’s about page starts with “I also think that increasing GHGs [greenhous gases] will warm the earth” etc etc..

        And I do not embrace the “it’s a war” attitude because I actually do try to figure out what the truth is, so I can’t start by killing it can I.

        • I am not sure how this is responsive to the question. But we notice the noble ideal:

          > I actually do try to figure out what the truth is, so I can’t start by killing it can I.

          Speaking for myself, I humbly seek to uncover falsities. A matter of taste, or style perhaps. Let the readers find out at your blog and my tumblog how we fare and forget about that for now.

          Let’s take this intriguing supposition: embracing “it’s a war” attitude kills the noble ideal of finding out the truth. There is something to be said for this very ancient ideal. But as far as respectable ideas are concerned, justice is also likened to truth, and the intellectual way to wisdom has oftentimes been compared to a sword. Et cetera. The incompatibility between seeking truth and warring is not given.

          Let’s also take this interesting conflation between “it’s a war attitude” and the mere belief that “it’s a war”. Susan has clearly said that she believed it was a war:

          > I believe it’s a war — a policy war. As such, there are allies and adversaries. There are strategies and tactics, weapons and intelligence. In this, if you’re not with me, you’re against me. It’s a very important war — perhaps one of the most significant. Scientists are not good at fighting wars. Honest and well-intentioned members of the public or media aren’t necessarily good at fighting wars.

          We can’t be sure how far she’ll stretch the metaphor. For it’s a metaphor, right? In any case, I’m not sure if Susan is “embracing” any
          war attitude. In a war, candor and passionated opinion are more liabilities than anything, whereas calmness and prudence very important assets.

          In fact, I would surmise that you’re simply tone trolling.

          In any case, it was a good question.

      • Gavin's Pussycat Reply June 18, 2011 at 11:32 am

        > That’s a good question.

        Yep. It is.

        Could it have something to do with… being attacked?

        Nah. Too simple.

  11. > I have no qualms in admitting my mistakes

    Looking forward to your correction over at wossname’s where you wrote
    “A drop in climate science is never a drop. It’s just an uptick that hasn’t been corrected yet.

  12. http://www.cartoonsbyjosh.com/mark_lynas_scr.jpg

    Yes, use of ‘war’ is quite the funny way to go in this debate. How is war used? Perhaps we need to review the conversation about the conversation. No not again, how boring! But cartoons are funny.

  13. Headlines:

    “… what AOL cares about is the title, and the “keywords” that will make the article more likely to show up among the top results on Google. You type phrases into “Google Trends,” and it suggests the most popular combination of words associated with that topic. You then stick those words into your title and first paragraphs. Rinse, wash, and repeat. The article itself was just ballast….”
    http://thefastertimes.com/news/2011/06/16/aol-hell-an-aol-content-slave-speaks-out/

    http://www.google.com/search?q=greenpeace+IPCC

    Blogs:
    About 1,320,000 results

    News:
    About 52 results

  14. On the 2011-07-18, at 13:39 EDT, Steve McIntyre starts a new post, entitled **Lynas’ Questions**, by begging what he has yet to prove:

    > As most CA readers know by now, the following widely-disseminated lead statement to the IPCC press release announcing the Renewables Report was untrue.

    The only thing that has been shown for now is that Steve McIntyre has not read anything that contradicts his belief that it was untrue, and that for him “showing” was to be interpreted as “assessing independently” and “being untrue” as “being untrue on its face” (i.e. until shown contrariwise).

    The main thing that has been shown is a program to shift the burden of proof that can be specified with four steps:

    (1) tell “what you say is untrue”;
    (2) tell “for I believe what you say is untrue”;
    (3) tell “until you show me that what I believe is false”;
    (4) while, do write another blog post that return you to (1)

    ***

    In the blog post that McIntyre alleges that one lead of one press release as being untrue because of his own interpretation of the word “shows”, there is a quote from Edenhofer’s answer to Oliver Mortin. In that quote, we see a quote from the press release itself, in the **Notes for Editors’**, under Scenario analysis:

    > Over 160 existing scientific scenarios on the possible penetration of renewables by 2050, alongside environmental and social implications, have been reviewed with four analyzed in-depth. These four were chosen in order to represent the full range.

    There is also this paraphrase from Edenhofer, which clarifies a bit the word “ambitious”:

    > The most optimistic [ambitious] of the four, in-depth scenarios projects renewable energy accounting for as much as 77 percent of the world‘s energy demand by 2050, amounting to about 314 of 407 Exajoules per year.

    Source: http://www.energyblueprint.info/1327.0.html

    We can see that this quote and this paraphrase, reproduced in the CA blog post, mention: how many scenarios the IPCC reviewed (160) and how many they analyzed in-depth (4); why they chose the four they analysed in-depth, i.e. to **represent** the full range; that the underlined scenario in the lead was the most **optimistic** one.

    We can also see that the interpretation of “shown” chosen by Steve McIntyre is rendered implausible by the content of the press release itself, and that Edenhofer addressed the claim at issue, perhaps not as “squarely” as one might have preferred, but sufficiently enough to recognize that to claim, as McIntyre did in his blog post:

    > Edenhofer quotes a paragraph buried in the press release that wasn’t at issue.

    is conspicuous at best.

    Let the reader ask why does a press release underlines the most optimistic scenario in its lead, if a press release underlining an optimistic press release is supposed to “show” anything like what Steve is implying they should, what role does building this kind of scenario take in the overall scientific endeavour, and finally why this provides any ground for Steve to make this terminating pronouncement:

    > Everyone in IPCC WG3 should be terminated and, if the institution is to continue, it should be re-structured from scratch.

    Once upon a time, it was “unprecedented”. Then it was “delete”. Now it’s “show” time.

    It might not be a war, but it sure does look like a battle of inches.

  15. Rattus Norvegicus Reply June 18, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    I especially like Steve’s implying that Teske must have had *something* to do with the with the press release because the E[R] folks had a press release which highlighted their choice as one of the highlighted scenarios. For whatever that is worth.

    The second question has a clear answer, it is SOP for reports which are approved by a plenary session of the IPCC. Given the modern media environment it is probably pointless to keep the SPM under wraps, but the report itself has to be brought into line with the SPM as modified by the participants in the plenary session. Steve knows this and has complained about it in the past, but as long as thems the rules, that’s the way it’s played. Hide the influence of the US, the Saudis and the Chinese in softening the conclusions of the report.

    Question 3. Undoubtedly Teske did play a role in this decision since it was probably taken at an LA meeting, unless the decision was made only by CLA’s which is doubtful.

    And question 4 was answered in another IPCC statement. No, it would not be fair since the CLAs and LAs for AR5 were appointed more than a year ago. Of course Steve’s definition of COI seems to be “having intellectual turf to defend” in which case anyone but the completely ignorant should be disqualified from participating in the IPCC. Expert review replace with ignorant review. Yeah, that’s a good idea!

  16. I’ve noticed elsewhere the real cranks coming out of the woodwork in force lately. I can’t blame it on the heat waves, floods, tornadoes and fires in the USA because it’s happening down under as well. Maybe here it’s the recovery from the big floods after the big dry and the big fires. Whatever is causing this rising blip, I reckon the psychiatric hospitals must be under a lot of pressure at the moment.

    Keep up the good work, Shewonk. Don’t let McIntyre and his crew of scientist-bashers get away with their efforts to bring on more bad weather. They are really having to scrape the bottom of the barrel for what they think are goodies now. There’s just too much real science going on these days and they have to really stretch to find tidbits. And it’s getting hard for them to hide the evidence, with all the weird weather everywhere around the world.

    I must say I’m surprised Lynas got sucked in by McIntyre. What was he thinking? Kloor is running true to form I suppose. Does anyone take any notice of him at all? He comes across as being not very bright (par for the course for most of the delayers, eg Curry).

  17. Ironic that you would quote Feynman four times in the side column, and yet have clearly never understood him.

    • Shewonk, here’s an easily understood Einstein quote:

      “This world is a strange madhouse. Currently, every coachman and every waiter is debating whether relativity theory is correct. Belief in this matter depends on political party affiliation.” — Albert Einstein to Marcel Grossmann, 1920.

      Source: Climate denial activists’ parallel to anti-relativity movement of 1920s

    • Oh how easy it is for an anony mouse to sneak around the furniture and make claims without substantiating them. :)

      OK Anony, how about enlightening me as to how I don’t understand Feynman? I could come right back at you and say the same and then it’s just s/he-said-she said.

      Put up or shut up, in other words.

      • Some folks need a visit from the Uncomfortable Truthasaurus

      • You wanted me to “Put up or shut up”

        Compare and contrast:

        This is a war and as we all know, the first casualty is truth. This means that well-intentioned supporters of AGW who point out errors, perceived or real, serious or of no consequence, find their words used as ammunition to attack them and AGW in a cynical effort to affect public policy by raising unfounded doubt about the science. If you decide to speak out, you have to remember that no matter what your motives or intentions, your words will be spun to suit the needs of your opponent. Unfortunately, when you are involved in a war, you have to think strategically. Those who are naive about this become tools for their enemy’s advantage.

        And:

        Feynman: Cargo Cult Science

        But there is one
        feature I notice that is generally missing in cargo cult science.
        That is the idea that we all hope you have learned in studying
        science in school–we never explicitly say what this is, but just
        hope that you catch on by all the examples of scientific
        investigation. It is interesting, therefore, to bring it out now
        and speak of it explicitly. It’s a kind of scientific integrity,
        a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of
        utter honesty–a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if
        you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you
        think might make it invalid–not only what you think is right about
        it: other causes that could possibly explain your results; and
        things you thought of that you’ve eliminated by some other
        experiment, and how they worked–to make sure the other fellow can
        tell they have been eliminated.

        Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be
        given, if you know them. You must do the best you can–if you know
        anything at all wrong, or possibly wrong–to explain it. If you
        make a theory, for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then
        you must also put down all the facts that disagree with it, as well
        as those that agree with it. There is also a more subtle problem.
        When you have put a lot of ideas together to make an elaborate
        theory, you want to make sure, when explaining what it fits, that
        those things it fits are not just the things that gave you the idea
        for the theory; but that the finished theory makes something else
        come out right, in addition.

        In summary, the idea is to try to give all of the information to
        help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the
        information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or
        another.

        QED.

        P.S. I do find it illustrative and amusing and tragic the sheer number of times I find AGW hoaxers complain that what Feynman had to say in Cargo Cult Science has nothing to do with them. So I was genuinely pleased to see you quoting him. As I said though, pity you quote from Feynman (the way I quote from Shakespeare), with no real understanding of what is going on.

        • You quote Feynman but show no understanding of what he writes nor how it might apply to the issue at hand.

          I’ve read a lot of Feynman for layperson because I have an interest in physics. Feynman has a great deal to say about science and how it should be conducted, and I am sure that most all scientists strive to follow the precepts and methods and ideals of the scientific method that Feynman describes in his commencement address to Caltech in 74. Students are taught this in their courses and learn it during labs. They may do so imperfectly, but in the long run, as long as science is left to itself free of political interference and anti-science attacks, it does a pretty darn good job of finding out very useful facts about the way the world works, so useful that we are able to use those facts to get to the moon, to Saturn’s rings, and now into the outer reaches of the solar system. We are able to see back to a few hundred thousand years after the big bang and deep into the structure of the atom.

          Feynman was speaking and writing about pseudosciences like parapsychology that use scientific-looking methods like stats and experiments but have no underlying physical mechanism to explain the correlations uncovered. Kind of like deniers and skeptics talking about “natural cycles”… He was really talking about the social sciences, which at the time were trying to wear a scientific mantle in order to gain credibility and take on the role of advisors to government and industry.

          I know it is all the vogue for deniers to reference Feynman and claim that climate science is pseudoscience, but I am sure that if Feynman was alive today, he’d be pointing the finger at deniers along with the rest of us. Why? Because contrary to what deniers claim, there is lot of “there” there to climate science. There is physics and chemistry and biology and astronomy and geology and biochemistry underlying the theory and evidence to support it.

          There’s almost no “there” there to McIntyre and Watts and what is there has precious little impact on the overall science.

          It isn’t pseudoscience. But there are many pseudoskeptics who are really deniers in disguise, proclaiming their allegiance to “sound science” without actually doing any, swallowing and regurgitating every bit of denialist dreck that comes along regardless of how self-contradictory it is or how poor in quality, bandying Feynman’s words about like some kind of weapon but showing they have no idea how to use it or intent to do so.

          You know, like those spending time sending out FOIAs for data that already exists in the public realm in order to harass scientists, who have the data and do nothing with it, who do not follow the scientific method themselves and do no science but feel qualified to pass judgement on an entire field.

          • “You quote Feynman but show no understanding of what he writes nor how it might apply to the issue at hand.
            I’ve read a lot of Feynman for layperson because I have an interest in physics.”

            That’s very exciting to hear. You know nothing about me and tell me I have no understanding of Feynman, but you admit you are not a physicist and have only read Feynman as a layman, and you proceed to tell me what Feynman taught

            Well, sorry, this anonymous graduated with a degree in Physics and was actually taught by Feynman. Regardless, I would not presume to tell you where Feynman’s finger would be pointing, and I take your claim to know which position Feynman would take to be ludicrous.

            I am saying that your notion that Cargo Cult Science doesn’t apply to Climate Science is just not so.

            I am telling you specifically that this is wrong: “He was really talking about *the social sciences*, which at the time were trying to wear a scientific mantle in order to gain credibility and take on the role of advisors to government and industry.”

            Here is Feynman again:

            “We have learned a lot from experience about how to handle some of
            the ways we fool ourselves. One example: Millikan measured the
            charge on an electron by an experiment with falling oil drops, and
            got an answer which we now know not to be quite right. It’s a
            little bit off, because he had the incorrect value for the
            viscosity of air. It’s interesting to look at the history of
            measurements of the charge of the electron, after Millikan. If you
            plot them as a function of time, you find that one is a little
            bigger than Millikan’s, and the next one’s a little bit bigger than
            that, and the next one’s a little bit bigger than that, until
            finally they settle down to a number which is higher.

            Why didn’t they discover that the new number was higher right away?
            It’s a thing that scientists are ashamed of–this history–because
            it’s apparent that people did things like this: When they got a
            number that was too high above Millikan’s, they thought something
            must be wrong–and they would look for and find a reason why
            something might be wrong. When they got a number closer to
            Millikan’s value they didn’t look so hard. And so they eliminated
            the numbers that were too far off, and did other things like that.
            We’ve learned those tricks nowadays, and now we don’t have that
            kind of a disease.

            But this long history of learning how not to fool ourselves–of
            having utter scientific integrity–is, I’m sorry to say, something
            that we haven’t specifically included in any particular course that
            I know of. We just hope you’ve caught on by osmosis.”

            and

            “Nowadays there’s a certain danger of the same thing happening, even
            in the famous (?) field of physics. I was shocked to hear of an
            experiment done at the big accelerator at the National Accelerator
            Laboratory, where a person used deuterium. In order to compare his
            heavy hydrogen results to what might happen with light hydrogen”
            he had to use data from someone else’s experiment on light
            hydrogen, which was done on different apparatus. When asked why,
            he said it was because he couldn’t get time on the program (because
            there’s so little time and it’s such expensive apparatus) to do the
            experiment with light hydrogen on this apparatus because there
            wouldn’t be any new result. And so the men in charge of programs
            at NAL are so anxious for new results, in order to get more money
            to keep the thing going for public relations purposes, they are
            destroying–possibly–the value of the experiments themselves,
            which is the whole purpose of the thing. It is often hard for the
            experimenters there to complete their work as their scientific
            integrity demands.”

            Jeez, he’s talking to a Caltech graduation, and you want to claim he is speaking only about social science?

            Reread this part again, Richard Feynman is speaking directly to your post

            “I say that’s also important in giving certain types of government
            advice. Supposing a senator asked you for advice about whether
            drilling a hole should be done in his state; and you decide it
            would be better in some other state. If you don’t publish such a
            result, it seems to me you’re not giving scientific advice. You’re
            being used. If your answer happens to come out in the direction the
            government or the politicians like, they can use it as an argument
            in their favor; if it comes out the other way, they don’t publish
            it at all. That’s not giving scientific advice.”

            • Gavin's Pussycat Reply June 20, 2011 at 4:23 am

              Anon, I did study physics based on Feynman’s lecture notes, unfortunately not taught by Feynman, living as I am on the wrong continent. I am also familiar with his role in the Shuttle disaster investigation. If you seriously think that, if he were alive today, he would not expose climatology denial for the idiocy it is, I want some of the stuff you’re smoking.

              “For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.”

              • I don’t know what Feynman would say regarding AGW, but I do find it amusing how many AGW proponents will tell everyone that Cargo Cult Science does not apply to them. I think that says it all.

                • Gavin's Pussycat Reply June 20, 2011 at 2:57 pm

                  > I don’t know what Feynman would say regarding AGW
                  Was ever a true word spoken. Make that ‘I don’t have the faintest…’

                • I don’t know what Feynman would say regarding AGW, but I do find it amusing how many AGW proponents will tell everyone that Cargo Cult Science does not apply to them. I think that says it all.

                  Isn’t that rather contradictory of you? You claim authority as Feynman’s student and as a possessor of a degree in physics. You claim that I am wrong about Feynman and don’t understand what he wrote. Yet you claim that you don’t know what Feynman would say regarding AGW…

                  How is that possible? You must understand what Feynman would have said about AGW in order to know that what I wrote was wrong.

                  Please explain how this is possible because it would seem to me that you would have to understand the one to conclude the other.

                  • I’m not sure why, but one reply of mine to this comment of yours appears way far below, current at 159.

                    You write:

                    “Isn’t that rather contradictory of you? You claim authority as Feynman’s student and as a possessor of a degree in physics. You claim that I am wrong about Feynman and don’t understand what he wrote. Yet you claim that you don’t know what Feynman would say regarding AGW…
                    How is that possible? You must understand what Feynman would have said about AGW in order to know that what I wrote was wrong.
                    Please explain how this is possible because it would seem to me that you would have to understand the one to conclude the other.”

                    I think you’ve lost the point.

                    You wrote wrt Lynas:

                    “This is a war and as we all know, the first casualty is truth. This means that well-intentioned supporters of AGW who point out errors, perceived or real, serious or of no consequence, find their words used as ammunition to attack them and AGW in a cynical effort to affect public policy by raising unfounded doubt about the science. If you decide to speak out, you have to remember that no matter what your motives or intentions, your words will be spun to suit the needs of your opponent. Unfortunately, when you are involved in a war, you have to think strategically. Those who are naive about this become tools for their enemy’s advantage.”

                    Why do I need to know what Feynman would have thought about AGW itself to believe I have an understanding based on Cargo Cult Science of what Feynman would have said about your statement?

                    He quite literally wrote that your approach is absolutely wrong and not science:

                    “One example of the principle is this: If you’ve made up your mind to test a theory, or you want to explain some idea, you should always decide to publish it whichever way it comes out. If we only publish results of a certain kind, we can make the argument look good. We must publish BOTH kinds of results.

                    I say that’s also important in giving certain types of government advice. Supposing a senator asked you for advice about whether drilling a hole should be done in his state; and you decide it would be better in some other state. If you don’t publish such a result, it seems to me you’re not giving scientific advice. You’re being used. If your answer happens to come out in the direction the government or the politicians like, they can use it as an argument in their favor; if it comes out the other way, they don’t publish at all. That’s not giving scientific advice.”

                    Come on, this is clearly opposed to your advice for Lynas, and it takes knowing nothing about what Feynman would think wrt Climate Change to determine he would think your approach is bogus. And it is.

                    • Anon, you continue to show a complete lack of ability or willingness to provide substantive analysis. Maybe you can do physics. I wouldn’t know — I only have your word on this and so far, I am not all that impressed with your skills in analysis.

                      You certainly do not show any understanding of Feynman, although you do show an ability to copy and paste.

                      Unless you do provide an actual analysis of Feynman’s words and how they apply to my post or AGW instead of relying on quotes and assertions, please desist from torturing us all with your empty posts.

            • Anon, you know nothing about me. I could tell you that as a little girl, I was helped with grade-school math by Einstein because I lived in his neighbourhood in Princeton where my parents taught and he was a nice old man to children who lived there, helping us with math. I could post a line of Einstein’s equations up and make a claim that it means something, but unless I show that I understand how the equation or statement relates to the matter of hand, I am just taking up space and appealing to authority. You showed no understanding of what Feynman wrote. You merely quoted him and said “There!”

              You’ve done it again. More quotes.

              Please — one of the first things I expect from my students is to actually discuss the relevance of the quote they have used in a paper to the issue at hand.

              And as a government analyst, I understand only too well what he meant because it is my life and I have actually made the exact point that Feynman made repeatedly on this blog.

              So if you truly are a Feynman student, and I envy you if you are, then show me the beef and quit quoting him without substance.

              _______

              Note: It was actually my university advisor who was a casual student of Einstein. She lived in his neighbourhood in Princeton and he did help her with math. That doesn’t mean that I would trust her to instruct me on the theory of relativity because she is a political scientist.

              • I presented what you said.
                I presented Feynman’s quotes.
                I presented Feynman’s context.

                And yet you stick by your claim I have no understanding of what he wrote, you demand I present such, and yet, you do not present any counter argument, any counter evidence apart from that.

                I believe it’s your turn to show us all actual evidence that Feynman was not speaking about climate science or even physics but specifically to social science. That’s a pretty strong claim, it would be good to see some pretty strong evidence for that. Your claims, from someone who admires Feynman but who is neither physicist, or Feynman biographer, would seem to be opposed to what most people I know believe that essay to mean.

                “you know nothing about me.”

                I know what you have written as per your bio. I know what your words mean in your essay. I know what Feynman’s words mean in the context of science.

                I know you are not a scientist.

                I tell you now your words are salad.

                • You still don’t get it, Anon.

                  I did not claim that you have no understanding of what Feynman wrote. I claimed that you did not show that you understand what Feynman wrote. I can’t tell if you understand what Feynman wrote because you provide no analysis. You merely quote. There are none, zero, of your own thoughts or words in your posts on what Feynman wrote about cargo cult science and how it applies to climate science. You merely quote me, quote Feynman and say “ha!”

                  Not even good enough for a freshman social science student, many of whom are quite sensitive to what Feynman wrote because he was quite critical of social science.

                  You are supposed to show your work (analysis using evidence in your own words) so we can tell you actually understand what something means and how it applies to something. You can’t just provide the “answer”.

                  Show your work — show don’t tell us that you understand by using actual analysis — otherwise none of us will believe that you were Feynman’s student. We will believe that you are merely any old Anony Mouse claiming to be Feynman’s student, throwing quotes around with no analysis, expecting us to bow down and worship.

                  Not going to happen.

  18. Nick – if you don’t believe there’s any other way, we’ve all lost already. And since I am unconvinced a CO2 increase will mean catastrophes in the next century, any suggestion of mine will be treated with profound suspicion. IOW it’ll be a waste of my time. Unless I suggest the opposite of what I mean, expecting the weak-minded knee-jerkers fight-lookers to react accordingly :-)

    • Umm, my own beliefs are irrelevant to my post. I was asking what YOU would do differently. Even though you are “unconvinced a CO2 increase will mean catastrophes in the next century” please put on another hat and tell us what else could be done…

      • Stop believing there’s a war. Be inclusive. Stop whining. Build on quick-wins. Encourage rather than dictate. Keep “the human” in focus. Don’t be elitist. Don’t circle the wagons. Allow yourself the possibility to be wrong on one, ten, a hundred topics.

        It’d be a start wouldn’t it?

        A very recent blog post at Skeptoid, flawed as it is, has some other suggestions.

        • Where are your specifics? Be inclusive of what? Liars and fools? Encourage what – more Duning Kruger stupidity?

        • Omno, I am willing to accept that there are a few credible scientists who are genuine skeptics. I think research shows it is a very small number. I can accept that they really don’t feel, based on what they have read and seen, that the preponderance of evidence is sound enough to conclude one way or the other about the risks of continued GHEs. Some of them might just be old cranks gone emeritus. Some of them may have a pet theory and reject the dominant paradigm. They want to see more evidence before they decide. The majority do accept AGW and the risks of continued GHEs. That’s good enough for me as a member of the lay public. If the majority of qualified scientists did not accept it, that would be good enough for me as well.

          However, when it come to the lay public i.e. those who are not engaged in climate science or allied sciences, and actively publishing, I believe it’s the height of hubris to think that we are qualified to judge whether AGW is valid.

          If I am told I am having an MI by a cardiologist in the ER, I don’t go to Mrs. Magoo’s Crystal Ball Emporium and get her to diagnose my chest pain. Nor do I trust the man on the street selling hotdogs, or the suit talking into his Crackberry on the way to a meeting. I go to the experts, the folks who have trained for years, studied and seen many patients with heart disease. And when they run some tests and look at my ECG and tell me I am having an Mi and need to have to have a stent put in place, I may get a second opinion if my cardiologist thinks I will live long enough, but I will probably just go ahead and get the intervention that my expert specialist recommends, especially if he says I have only a very limited time to act before the damage to my heart makes me really really sick or dead. I don’t call up Mrs. Magoo nor do I wait to see whether there is more damage done to my heart before deciding whether to do something.

          The lay public who takes it upon themselves to judge climate science do so for illegitimate reasons: primarily because of their own personal biases. They don’t like the idea of government intervention in the free market, have a prejudice against environmentalism and thus reject anything that calls for more environmental regulation, etc. They are attracted to denier websites and folks like WUWT and McIntyre because those places feed their own biases against action. They are not willing to listen to the majority of qualified climate science are in effect trusting Mrs. Magoo to diagnose whether their chest pain is the result of an MI or three pieces of a loaded pizza.

          Mrs Magoo knows how to read faces, body language and knows how to develop a lead from a sweeping generalization. She knows how to get folks to pass some money into her palm by saying the things they want to hear.

          As to the folks who hang out at CA, Climate etc. or WUWT / Air Vent, etc. who claim to be skeptics? I don’t care too much about their opinions and having their good opinion of me. Unless they are credible scientists who know the field and work in it or work in an allied field and are familiar enough with the science to be able to judge, I think their opinion on science is just as “dumb” as the next layperson’s. Feynman said that scientists are just as dumb as non-scientists when it comes to non-science matters. When it comes to judging science matters, though, clearly the scientists win out. And while it is possible that the majority of scientists are wrong from time to time, the chances are that they are more likely on the right path. The reverse of course is true. The average man on the street is much more likely to believe what he wants and what appeals to his personal biases, whether political, economic and social, rather than what is based on sound science. It takes years of science training and the working out of the scientific method to overcome that built-in bias to uncover the truth.

          This whole climate skeptic movement is no more than a front on the climate war battlefield. At its base is of course, those economic and political interests who do not want to see climate legislation. They can’t really win a policy battle as a policy battle proper when everyone considers the evidence and then uses it to decide the best course of action. They would lose. So they attack the science because it is their enemy. It is only by attacking the science and undermining its weight in the policy process that they can hope to win or at least, delay long enough to make as much geld off the burning of fossil fuels and fossil fuel producing industries and behaviours as possible.

          So you see, I did not create this war, I did not come up with the idea that it is a war, I merely recognized what is taking place and called it like it is. People don’t like my militant language.

          They’re in denial.

        • omnologos: “Stop believing there’s a war”.

          Can’t – it’s too obvious. It’s a war of ideas declared by the denialist propagandists on the truth. They decided to spread doubt by attacking scientific conclusions based on a methodology that achieves the closest thing to truth that human philosophy can.

          People who blithely state that black is white are really annoying. Maybe they really believe it, in which case their ability to comprehend reality is in doubt. Maybe they don’t, in which case their honesty and integrity are in doubt.

          All I know for certain is this. A plausible case has been made that human greenhouse emissions will affect, or already are affecting, the climate. The spectrum of possibilities of the consequences range from very little to moderate to dangerous to catastrophic depending on what the real value of climate sensitivity (both short and long term) is. Short of using a time machine to conduct multiple atmospheric experiments to measure the sensitivity directly, we are stuck with inferring it from records of the past of how Earth reacted to past forcings and, a poor second (IMHO), computer modelling. That’s all we’ve got to divine the odds of how many climate bullets are left in Dirty Harry’s Magnum. Do you feel lucky, punks?

          Based upon simple risk assessment of the possible consequences, the only wise course is to take action to avoid the potential worst cases.

          The big problem with denialists, super sceptics, contrarians etc is they have such uber-confidence in their view that nothing, or virtually nothing will happen, that they are willing to risk not only themselves but everybody else – not to mention the rest of the ecosphere too. They seem to have a kind of inner faith that humans cannot affect things badly and that whatever we do there will never be any bad consequences. That seems pretty arrogant to me.

          Omnologos wrote: “Allow yourself the possibility to be wrong on one, ten, a hundred topics”.

          Imagine it’s now 2080 or 2050. If warmists/alarmists had proved to be wrong and humanity had taken a lot of unnecessary action, then there would be a lot of humiliating egg on their faces. If warmists had proved right, and suitable action had been taken, then things might end up OK

          If denialists/sceptics had proved to be wrong, but their views had prevailed and humanity had taken no action then, assuming the climate sensitivity was at the high end of possibilities they would be responsible for the probable deaths of billions and the severe disruption of the current ecosphere for thousands of years.

          Denialists often whine about being called deniers because they claim they are being compared with Holocaust deniers, which is of course rubbish. If you are described as a denier, people are trying to tell you that you are in denial of reality, like a drug addict or alcoholic who doesn’t recognise that they have a problem. It’s a recognised psychological state. Holocaust deniers, if listened to, might make another 6 million death Holocaust a fraction more likely. Climate change deniers, if listened to, have a very significant chance of… you do the math, omnologos. Which type of denier is worst?

  19. You know who the real bullies are?
    McIntyre
    Michaels
    Morano
    Cuccinelli
    Inhofe
    Monckton
    People making death threats and threats of violence against scientists and their families

    Etc.

    And you know what? Scientists are started to get pissed off– they have had enough of this BS. So Omnologos save us the BS and sob story about being a victim of bullying OK? As for circling the wagons, any news from GMU yet regarding McINtyre/Wegman fiasco? Nope…..what 18 months and counting now?

    UofA dismissed the Dean of Medicine from his position in ONE WEEK for plagiarizing a convocation speech. And please do not lecture us about conceding mistakes…..that is the realm of ‘skeptics’

    As for whining, tell that to Lindzen and Spencer.

    Your posts contain so many fallacies and strawmen that it is laughable. You take yourself far, far too seriously mate.

    Have a wonderful day.

  20. TinyCO2 :Your post indicates the divide between sceptics and believers. You think the science is as robust as medicine (and even that makes mistakes) and sceptics don’t. You don’t believe we think climate science is genuinely poor and have invented reasons for us. We’re paid, we’re stupid, we’re mental, we’re greedy CO2 emitting monsters.
    Isn’t the obvious answer that we see the world differently?

    You forgot the most common characteristic: many of you are intellectually dishonest. Too lazy to test your own assumptions, too prejudiced to examine your own beliefs, too ignorant to realise how little you understand, too ready to project your own inadequacies onto your opponents, unwilling to accept evidence that might force you to change your views, trying to impose your political ideology on an earth that does not care about your false beliefs.

    • many of you are intellectually dishonest

      There comes another bully. How predictable.

      And for Maple Leaf…you should be providing evidence when accusing people of behaving like bullies. In truth, in all these years on the ‘net the only people that have kept trying to bully me, all of them by moving the topic of discussion to my own good self, have been creationists, chemtrailers and AGWers. I can see a pattern emerging there.

      And if you want evidence of what can happen, look no further than the list of insults thrown at me at “Greenfyre”.

      • In truth, in all these years on the ‘net the only people that have kept trying to bully me, all of them by moving the topic of discussion to my own good self, have been creationists, chemtrailers and AGWers. I can see a pattern emerging there.

        And if you want evidence of what can happen, look no further than the list of insults thrown at me at “Greenfyre”

        Oh, puh-leeze… Wah wah wah.

        This is not about you and how you feel, mistreated bullied or otherwise. This is about the fecking climate. Go tone troll somewhere else.

        I am so sick of deniers and “skeptics” complaining about how they are being ignored or mistreated by the mean old climate scientists and AGW warmist alarmists!

        Put on your big boy pants!

      • That list seems pretty short to me.

    • I’ll ignore most of what you’ve written because it’s fantasy and you have zero proof for it.

      However, “trying to impose your political ideology on an earth that does not care about your false beliefs.” I’m not trying to do that, you are. You can make any changes to your CO2 and I won’t say anything. But you want the rest of the World to cut CO2 and they’re ignoring you. CO2 hasn’t dropped. Obama hasn’t made those changes you hopped for. Nearly every country is backing off from commitments to CO2 reduction. So either sceptics like me are so powerful we are mesmerising all those fervent believers into trusting us or you’re message is falling on deaf ears? Climate science is so convincing that everyone does nothing. And you make out I’m stupid?

      • You don’t know what people are doing about climate chage because you have not bothered to find out.

        And you are stupid enough that it’s not worth wasting time on you.

  21. > I am unconvinced a CO2 increase will mean catastrophes in the next century
    Whose hypothesis is this?

    • Especially since we are seeing catastrophes already happening in this century; huge fires in Alberta, Texas, Russia; more intense heat waves, more intense floods…

  22. I went to a talk by urban planner Andres Duany the other night, mostly about incorporating farming and gardening with urban living. He’s an excellent speaker and I’ll link to a video fo one of his speeches.
    http://missionroad.ca/?p=205

    One thing he said was that people do the right thing and become more green for four reasons:
    1. Because if they don’t the polar bears will die, etc. He criticised Gore and most environmentalists for relying on this punitive argument and said most people don’t care about the polar bears and don’t find this argument convincing. “Punitive” was the word he used for this kind of argument.
    2. Because it’s cool to be green; people would not buy the first hybrid car which was dorky, but the Prius was cool and sold well.
    3. Because they can make money or think they will.
    4. Because they want to survive; for instance someone who installs a solar panel to tide them over during a power brownout.

    He argued that a few people might go green for each of the first three reasons, but for most it would be the fourth reason that would cause them to change. I think there is something to that; in Calgary community gardens are being started in quite a few plazces, and some poeple are realising that we need to grow more food locally.

  23. oh well…I’m just so glad the average warmists keep showing themselves as totally unpleasant people. you’d lose an election even if running unchallenged on a platform of motherhood and apple pie. so much the better for the sake of worldwide sanity.

    • Good. That means you’re free to tone troll somewhere else! Teh internets is a big place, you know. No need for you to troll more where you’ve already trolled.

      Troll off. After all, your sanity is intact, and living conditions will not worsen significantly in your lifetime. You’re off the hook! Lucky, lucky troll

    • Do you not realise what a creep you are?

  24. On the 2011-06-19, Judith Curry posted a blog post entitled **Understanding the Conflict**. We know that Judith posted this before 11:00 EDT (Atlanta time) in the morning, because the first comment of the thread was posted at 10:55, by omnologos himself:

    > There’s two sides at least in every conflict but as far as I can remember only the warmists à la Realclimate have shown the “bunker mentality” (all-out war). So are you sure you’re not describing up there the first salvos of a Climate Conflict that is deflagrating within the scientific establishment?

    http://judithcurry.com/2011/06/19/understanding-the-conflict/#comment-77349

    In that blog post, Judith Curry mentioned this blog post:

    http://skeptoid.com/blog/2011/06/15/i-global-warming-skeptic/

    and quoted from that post a list of things one shan’t do when talking to a contrarian.

    By the magic of the Intertubes, omnologos posted the same link here at 13:19 EDT, with his own list of things one shan’t do when talking to a contrarian. A comparison of the Curry’s list, omnologos’, and the original article deserves due diligence, but will have to wait for now. So little time and for now, we need to return to the subject of tone trolling, which as Fran Barlow observed on the 2010-04-01, is a kind of concern trolling:

    The tone troll need not profess agreement with the consensus but pleads for more civility in language and more respect for other points of view.

    We may all disagree, the concern troll maunders, but surely we can all agree to be polite and show each other respect.

    Now who could possibly object to that? Of course, this merely opens the door to allowing other invading spammers and trolls simply posting and reposting their talking points as if they have not yet been civilly dealt with. It can’t possibly reatrin those trolls who come to the group with outlandish and utterly unfounded slanders — which those of us who see them for what they are are supposed to dignify with counter-argument.

    People who post with a reckless disregard for the truth, who lack the seriousness and discipline to anticipate and address likely objections and yet hold themselves out as experts have not earned respect or the right to be dealt with civilly, IMO.

    The Golden Rule applies. If you are constructively rude to others, then others are perfectly entitled to respond in quite the same way. It may or may not be wise in practice to do so. Some trolls take pleasure in nuking discussion by making the thread all about them. Not uncommonly, they declare thinly disguised stupidities as bait for those willing to wander off at a tangent. This is all part of the culture war that the trolls for the filth merchant position do.

    Nevertheless accepting lectures from concern and tone trolls ought not to be something those of us who take ideas seriously ought to endure.

    Fran Barlow also posted an interesting follow-up:

    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2010/04/advanced-trolling-101.html

    Here is what I wrote on that thread, in response to Fran Barlow’s comment:

    http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/6705817268

    For more background on concern trolling, see

    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2010/02/betroffenheitstroll.html

    Here is a random post, in which an atheist blogger argues for the coexistence of diversified approaches to deal with concern trolling:

    http://goodreasonblog.blogspot.com/2010/05/tone-trolls.html

    These are enough resources to see that the subject is as fascinating as omnologos’ question.

    • Confessions of a Community College Dean – Victim Bullies

      “Gunsalus distinguishes between traditional, assertive bullies, who throw their weight around with bluster and force, and ‘victim bullies,’ who use claims of having been wronged to gain leverage over others.(pp. 123-4) Unlike simple passive-aggression, victim bullies use accusations as weapons, and ramp up the accusations over time. Unlike a normal person, who would slink away in shame as the initial accusations are discredited, a victim bully lacks either guilt or shame, honestly believing that s/he has been so egregiously wronged in some cosmic way that anything s/he does or says is justified in the larger scheme of things. So when the initial accusations are dismissed, the victim bully’s first move is a sort of double-or-nothing, raising the absurdity and the stakes even more.”

  25. Avaiting moderation there:

    http://omniclimate.wordpress.com/2009/10/29/the-agw-debate-challenged-game-1-word-list/comment-page-1/#comment-7924

    ***

    Here are some examples of “sarcastic” comments taken from

    http://shewonk.wordpress.com/2011/06/17/of-dogs-and-fleas

    > Perish the thought that [...]

    > It’s been almost 20 years from Rio [...]

    > How many times does one need to bang one’s head against the same wall before deciding to open the door?

    > What “realism” in continuing along a path that has failed repeatedly?

    > Which bit of “climate change policy is always at square one, or counter-effective” don’t you get?

    > Unless of course you’re in denial [...]

    > “greenest government”

    > [I]f the enemy keeps outstmarting you, and you keep trying the same thing over and over again, the problem is not your enemy, is it.

    > [E]ven under most tyrants [...]

    > Of course you’ll end up “isolating” the whole world, isolating yourself that is.

    > This situation keeps reminding me of that insane “Islamist” group in Algeria (the GIA, I believe) [...]

    > Charge of the Light Brigade, anybody?

    > [I]s that what you’ll call a victory?

    > [A]t the end ofthe day it’s you guys the ones worried about the future.

    > Who’s to blame for the Light Brigade massacre, the shooting enemies or the person who ordered an obviously flawed action?

    > Who’s remembered as heartless idiotic and a failure, the Germans machine-gunning the British troops during WWI or General Haig and his asinine ideas about the importance of suffering casualties?

    > [A]re you looking for a valiant defeat or do you actually care about the planet and future generations?

    > The Haig example was too much for you GP. That’s a shame, alright.

    > Given the cooling experienced thanks to Genghis Khan’s murderous ways, perhaps billions will die, due to the AGW scare pushing some weaker minds towards obliterating most of us, for the sake of the planet.

    > All the worse for the planet then when its “saviors” don’t want to save it…

    > People convinced that the Rapture is coming can follow your exact same logic [...]

    > I bet that’s what the Aristotelians were accusing Galileo of saying when he invited them to look through the telescope.

    > what of whatever you’re doing is contributing to save the planet from the disaster you’re convinced is going to befall upon us?

    > You don’t want to explain yourself. That’s fine as it makes sense within the logic of the swashbuckling climate musketeer persona you seem to enjoy.

    > Sarcasm failure. Typical, if you’re at war.

    > For some other weather and climate forecasters, the sole source of data is firmly planted much nearer to the ground, in-between their ears

    > A little adjustment, and the little girl will get boy-fied…

    > [C]an we please show some residual respect for science by stopping calling climate modelers “scientists”

    > All present and future warming is global, all present and future cooling is local. Instead, all past warming was local, and all past cooling was global.

    > NASA is pork.

    > Are you guys in primary school still?

    > Sarcasm is…well, if you don’t get it, it means I can’t explain it to you.

    > Alas, we’ll have to make do with this ignorance of yours.

    > I find it ridiculous in the extreme that people that scour the web in search of a “denier” to bully [...]

    > Unless I suggest the opposite of what I mean, expecting the weak-minded knee-jerkers fight-lookers to react accordingly [...]

    > There comes another bully. How predictable.

    > In truth, in all these years on the ‘net the only people that have kept trying to bully me, all of them by moving the topic of discussion to my own good self, have been creationists, chemtrailers and AGWers.

    > I’m just so glad the average warmists keep showing themselves as totally unpleasant people.

    > [Y]ou’d lose an election even if running unchallenged on a platform of motherhood and apple pie.

    > [S]o much the better for the sake of worldwide sanity.

    > [O]nly the warmists à la Realclimate have shown the “bunker mentality”.

    ***

    The tone troll is wrong when he conflates civility with humaneness. It is quite possible to mock, tease, deride, vex “with all due respects.” Anyone with schooling experience should know that.

    http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/6705817268

  26. omnologos :
    There comes another bully. How predictable.

    Was this you?

    “Leo Hickman bemoans an invite by a “right-wing libertarian” climate skeptic organization just as Iranian President, known anti-Semite Ahmadinejad joins Greenpeace, Osama bin Laden (and Leo Hickman) among the ranks of AGW Faithful.”

  27. willard
    I’ll post here as the comment boxes are getting narrow above.

    My argument is simple. There is no need to go into great depth into this matter of Greenpeace – unless we address the issue and come to some agreement at the broadest level, to start with.

    Unlike what Steve McIntyre, Richard Tol and others, I do not think that Greenpeace material is ‘admissible’ as scientific material, worthy of assessment in an IPCC report. It also, so happens, that the Teske et al and the Krewitt et al papers do not measure up as meaningful scenario constructions as well, but we’ll turn to that later.

    Whenever you do ‘science’ where the conclusions are fixed, it is not science. It is something else.

    There appear to be further problems with the assessment. Hopefully more on that later.

  28. Interesting that onanologue has (in the interests of peacemaking overtures, naturally) come up with an addition to the pinko commie nazi fascist one world government secret plot by climate scientists and those concerned by their findings. It’s also The Inquisition – which I’m sure nobody expected.

    At the rate they’re burning through pejoratives, I suppose it won’t be long until his herd of ilk will be claiming Michael Mann wants to sacrifice their and every other firstborn to appease the IPCC.

  29. > it won’t be long
    oh, my keyboard! Check, you really need to start checking your notions before posting them.

    http://www.google.com/search?q=Michael+Mann+wants+to+sacrifice+their+and+every+other+firstborn+to+appease+the+IPCC

  30. Y’know Hank, sometimes you think you have a handle on how much guano derangement is out there and then someone comes along and points out whole new unexplored levels – and this after only just discovering a few more (to me) unmapped floors in our recent visitor’s list of 66 “logical impossibilities”.

  31. TinyCO2 :
    I link to information about global income inequality and you say my version of the planet is fair???

    And don’t address the disparity illustrated.

    • Fair enough, I’ll send him the money when Al Gore and Prince Charles send me mine. Life’s unfair but it doesn’t negate the truth that the highly educated LARGELY get better salaries than the poorly educated.

      • TinyCO2 :
        I link to information about global income inequality and you say my version of the planet is fair???

        So Morano’s an idiot? :)

        TinyCO2 :
        Fair enough, I’ll send him the money when Al Gore and Prince Charles send me mine. Life’s unfair but it doesn’t negate the truth that the highly educated LARGELY get better salaries than the poorly educated.

        On your planet everyone has to have an Al Gore and Prince Charles fetish?

        /irony
        ———-

        Back to the topic at hand. You claim “climate scientists are amongst the highest paid/highest respected people on the planet.” J Bowers and I point out that it’s patently false.

        You then shift the goalposts and say that “IT’S THE (global) POOR!!11! CLIMATE SCIENTISTS ARE NOT POOR!1!1!” while admitting you don’t know a single one. Epic facepalm moment there.

        That’s pretty lame, even by your standards. But I wish to thank you for wasting your time in writing missives that are hilariously irrelevant. The belly laughs I got between you and the Feynman anon (who is probably thinks he knows all about RF from reading SYJ, MF!) makes it all worthwhile!

        • Epic facepalm moment there.

          Climate scientists also have some of the best access to clean fresh water and are amongst the least likely to die from easily treatable diseases.

        • Oh I get it! Anyone who gets a lot more money than you is highly paid but you and the poor climate scientists are on the bread line. My mistake. I was applying international measures of wealth when I should have been using the jealousy scale.

        • Anyone with any humanity should know why Al Gore and Prince Charles are something of a sceptic fetish. It proves that your tag of former sceptic is less than honest.

          I’ve dealt with relative poverty and wealth, if you still can’t get it, it’s not my fault.

          It’s good that you find me funny because I find you scary. Your disconnect from real people is alarming.

          I note that not one of you wants to share your CO2 footprint. It says more about what your really care about than anything you write. CO2 is just another way for you to dominate others and you really don’t care who gets hurt in the process.

          • LOL! Once again you change the subject. You’re really amusing. :)

            You can’t admit that you were wrong about “climate scientists (are) amongst the highest paid/highest respected people on the planet.” Instead you try every rhetorical trick you know to cover your tracks and hope teacher doesn’t notice. Tsk tsk.

            Do keep posting though, as long as our host allows you to :)

  32. > educated LARGELY get

    But “educated” doesn’t equal “smarter” — look at the correlation —

    “Considerable scientific research has demonstrated that individuals with higher IQ scores earn
    higher income than those with lower scores.21 Nevertheless, there is some disagreement over the
    size of the correlation between the two with Jensen (1998, page 568) finding it is around 0.40 and
    Bowles et al. (2001) discovering only a 0.15 correlation. In a recent meta(analysis which corrects
    for some of the problems of independence and omitted variables in the previous work, Strenze
    (2007) found a correlation of 0.23….”
    http://politics.as.nyu.edu/docs/IO/2797/PesonalityIncomeIdeology.pdf

  33. TinyCO2 :
    Muenchow would have considered his trip to the Petermann glacier as vital. Maybe, but did he really have to take the students? Aren’t there other ways to learn than flying hundreds of miles? Or perhaps he could have sent the students and stayed behind? No? if his job can’t be done without a big CO2 footprint why do you assume everyone elses can?

    Let’s teach budding glaciologists about glaciers without them ever setting foot on a glacier. Pure genius. I’m impressed. And why would a single flight make him the posessor of a huge carbon footprint?

    • I’m not saying his job can be done any other way, I’m saying it’s easy to demand others cut their CO2 and much harder to cut your own.

      New York to London return flight is about 3.7 tonnes so let’s say his trip was half that? There would have been local transport costs and heating, food, food and fuel transport, generator, etc.

      Shall we say 2 tonnes total for his trip? One trip to look at a glacier that has been observed before and will be observed again. Did it increase knowledge of glaciers and Greenland enough to justify it?

      2 tonnes is a greater individual footprint than a third of the world’s population emitted in 2007. Did he make any other flights? Were there conferences or meetings that required travel? And we haven’t even started on his personal footprint.

      Can any of his CO2 be cut? I can’t say and neither can you because nobody’s job has been evaluated for how much CO2 can be justified or not.

      Where are the CO2 cuts going to come from?

      • Jet fuel is a pretty small percentage of total CO2 emissions. Electric generation and motor transportation – which can be replaced with non-carbon-eimitting alternatives, though not easily, quickly, or cheaply – make up about 2000% of the carbon footprint of jet travel.

        The whole Al-Gore-flies-everywhere-and-plus-he-has-a-big-house-hurr-hurr-hurr is not a serious argument, IMHO. The changes have to be systemic, and they have to be on a large scale. We’re not talking about wearing a sweater and walking to work.

        • You see, you’re already saying the cuts have to come from somebody else. Not the wealthy person who flies but the ordinary person who has to get to work every day. They’re the ones who have to travel by bus or fork out a huge sum for an electric car. A car that won’t take them long distance and might die on them when they’re away from home. It’s not like they can stick a spare battery in the boot for emergencies. The poor have to pay a disproportionate amount from their income for the big changes you envisage.

          Al Gore warning about global warming is like a fornicating priest preaching the penalties of sin. It has been done, but nobody respects the message.

          • TinyCO2 :
            You see, you’re already saying the cuts have to come from somebody else.

            What on Earth makes you think I am a wealthy person who flies? What on Earth makes you think that I can afford to “fork out” a huge sum for an electric car?

            Again: wealthy people giving up on flying will not make a difference. Solutions that are not affordable by the working people of the world will not be effective.

            It’s really not a complicated point that I’m making.

  34. Most skeptics are actually suicidal/homocidal sociopaths who take greath pleasure in destroying the earth and its inhabitants. They want to go out in a blaze of glory and take everyone with them. It is also true the skeptics are uneducated, don’t vaccinate their children, don’t take baths, marry their siblings, and go to church – even ond Wednesday evening. Some sing in the choir. They pray for heat, lots of it, and soon. During the week, they drive SUV’s out to the oil patch to frakk for gas and contaminate the ground water – it’s kind of a hobby. Of course they leave the home A/C on full blast while they’re gone, and they don’t choose that green electricity option. One time, I saw a skeptic burn down a tree, just for fun. They vote republican.

    ps.. you guys are a trip.

    TPL: Goodbye!

    • Hey, TPL, don’t ban me. I’ll be sad. I was just having a little fun.

      My point is that this isn’t war. And calling it war doesn’t help. And maybe if we weren’t making war and demonizing anyone who disagress, we could at least begin to understand one another. Which might not bring action on climate, but might at least help move the debate forward.

      TPL: I didn’t find it funny. I found it really stupid.

      I disagree that is isn’t a war. I don’t care about understanding skeptics. I feel that I already do. Being nice and welcoming and understanding their reasons for denial will not help because their objections to action on global warming are ideological and economic and political rather than scientific.

      In the end, this has nothing to do with the skeptical public. It has to do with those paymasters who are pulling strings of those in power and who do not want to see legislation to reduce GHGs.

      Plain and simple.

      The rest is just a lot of smoke.

      So you’re unbanned but if you post any more dreck like that last comment, you’re gone. My tolerance is very low for that kind of dreck.

      • TPL, what a confusing thing to say. You seem to suggest that we could have action on climate, regardless of what the public wants, if only BIG OIL and other vested interests weren’t paying off lawmakers. Which seems rather a consiracy theory. Worse, the folks with the money are likely educated and informed and so must be the suicidal maniacs I referred to in my previous post. IMO, if a strong majority of the public wanted to action, we’d get it; so, convincing the skeptical public is atually very important. But, hey, that’s just me, and I drive an SUV.

  35. Doesn’t anybody screen these calls by IP number?

  36. Srsly? I take some classes with Feynman and therefore I should know what he would think about a scientific field 30 years later, in a different area of physics than the one he instructed in.

    Do you believe that is actually a reasonable demand on your part?

    I am telling you what most physicists and scientists think he meant about Cargo Cult Science — you don’t even believe that insisting on your own interpretation that you present without supporting evidence.

    Dude, come on, stop pulling my finger already.

    • Dude, you’re the one telling me I got Feynman wrong and that you have the Physics Degree and was his student and that I am not a scientist and my words are salad… You can’t know whether someone got a thing wrong unless you got it right.

      1. Ironic that you would quote Feynman four times in the side column, and yet have clearly never understood him.

      This says that you understand Feynman enough to judge whether I understand him…

      2. P.S. I do find it illustrative and amusing and tragic the sheer number of times I find AGW hoaxers complain that what Feynman had to say in Cargo Cult Science has nothing to do with them. So I was genuinely pleased to see you quoting him. As I said though, pity you quote from Feynman (the way I quote from Shakespeare), with no real understanding of what is going on.

      This says that you believe that you understand Feynman’s lecture and writing about Cargo Cult Science well enough to conclude it does apply to “AGW hoaxers”. You also claim that you understand Feynman well enough to know that I have “no real understanding of what is going on”.

      3.Regardless, I would not presume to tell you where Feynman’s finger would be pointing, and I take your claim to know which position Feynman would take to be ludicrous.

      I am saying that your notion that Cargo Cult Science doesn’t apply to Climate Science is just not so.

      I am telling you specifically that this is wrong:

      Except that you presume to tell me that Feynman’s concept of Cargo Cult Science applies to “AGW hoaxers” and climate science. How can you make that claim unless you know what Feynman would think?

      Dude, are you that confused about the basics of logic? Obviously, Feynman’s lectures on physics did not provide you with some basic skills of argumentation and exposition…

      • Feynman’s words in Cargo Cult Science speak for themselves. I post what you wrote, alongside what he wrote. That your words so clearly and obviously are contradicted by Feynman’s words demonstrates by itself that you do not understand Feynman.

        That you then go on to claim that Feynman was not referring to physics or climate science but only to social science again demonstrates you have no understanding of Feynman.

        That you cannot back up your extraordinary claim with any sort of evidence again indicates you are on very weak territory.

        That you then attack me for presenting this by claiming I don’t understand physics or Feynman instead of presenting your affirmative evidence backing up your claim again indicates you have no argument and are well aware of that.

        Res Ipsa Loquitur.

        Your claim that if I do not say I understand where Feynman would stand on Global Warming means I do not understand physics or Feynman is beyond ludicrous, is illogical, not biological, and turns you into a parody of a wonk.

        • anon – do you really believe that Feynman ever considered the opportunity of explaining (several times!) Cargo Cult Science to a cargo cult scientist? Pearls and pigs spring to mind.

        • Feynman’s words in Cargo Cult Science speak for themselves. I post what you wrote, alongside what he wrote. That your words so clearly and obviously are contradicted by Feynman’s words demonstrates by itself that you do not understand Feynman.

          More bluster. Makes me suspect you really don’t know how to explain what Feynman’s lecture is all about. We have no idea if you comprehend his words which you claim speak for themselves because you have not discussed them. You have done the grade school trick of merely quoting an authority without demonstrating that you actually understand the quote.

          Fail.

          Here’s what I wrote:

          Feynman was speaking and writing about pseudosciences like parapsychology that use scientific-looking methods like stats and experiments but have no underlying physical mechanism to explain the correlations uncovered. Kind of like deniers and skeptics talking about “natural cycles”… He was really talking about the social sciences, which at the time were trying to wear a scientific mantle in order to gain credibility and take on the role of advisors to government and industry.

          Here’s Feynman:

          I think the educational and psychological studies I mentioned are examples of what I would like to call Cargo Cult Science.”

          I don’t know how it can be any clearer.

          He describes the Cargo Cult of the South Seas, which any student of anthropology and sociology study in first year courses. The Islanders thought that if they built a landing strip that resembled those of the real military that the planes would come back and bring cargo. But of course, they didn’t because they were not real landing strips, and the people did not comprehend why the planes landed perviously. They mimicked the runways, but missed the essentials.

          He says that the social sciences like psychology and education and things like parapsychology look like science in that there are experiments, there are correlations and there are statistical analyses, but there is nothing there beneath the facade of pseudoscience. The headphones and microphones are coconut halves and bamboo stalks. There is an understanding of correlation but no understanding of causation.

          “I call these things [educational and psychological studies] Cargo Cult Science because they follow all the apparent precepts and forms of scientific investigation, but they’re missing something essential, because the planes don’t land.”

          So in essence, Feynman uses social sciences like psychology and education as a foil with which he will teach students at Caltech what science is, what the essence of the scientific method is. They — the social sciences — are the bad example he uses to try to encourage them to be good scientists and not fall into poor practice like that of the social sciences.

          He then goes on to describe what is science to him, using the example of Milliken and the electron.

          It’s clear, at least to me, that Cargo Cult Science refers to the social science since he actually refers to them. He is using the social sciences as the bad example, having the appearance of real science, but like the South Sea Islanders, the planes don’t fly.

          Of course, Feynman wrote this over 36 years ago when many social sciences were in the early stages of development. I would say that many fields in psychology have become far more scientific, rather than scientisitic. There is actual prediction possible. There is an understanding that is beyond correlation, and into causation.

          Feynman is right though about government and the risks scientists take when providing advice to them. He is also right about the dangers of having paymasters who might influence your scientific integrity. And he is right that the best case is when a scientist is free to do their work without interference, by government or industry or hacks out to discredit them and their work for ideological slavery or economic gain.

          Unfortunately, denialists have created an environment in which climate scientists feel besieiged by those who would try to attack their scientific integrity. Government hacks that try to change the meaning of scientific reports, who muzzle scientists in order to control the message. Industry hacks who create a smokescreen of smear and innuendo and hope to influence government and the public through anti-science attacks.

          I suspect that Feynman would roll in his grave if he could see what is happening today to climate science. I also suspect that some of the skeptical papers lauded by denialists would be described as Cargo Cult Science. I can think of several papers in E&E that would probably qualify.

          • Rattus Norvegicus Reply June 21, 2011 at 9:10 pm

            Bingo.

            The main point being that making conclusions about the operation of a system w/o an underlying theory of the system, based on past observation, is worthless. Accusing climate science of being a “cargo cult” science fails here because it is heavily based on physical theory and observation (granted mostly on paleo evidence) which has allowed people who study the behavior of the climate system to develop theories (which are embodied in climate models) and allows them to make predictions of the future behavior of the system;. Deductive logic.

            Cargo cult science makes predictions on the future behavior of the system w/o having an underlying theory of the how the system works. Cargo cults believed that since the system (military bringing “cargo” in the past) that building landing strips which looked like the ones used during the war, that they would come back. It’s a theory, but not really backed up by any data. This is what he meant and if you, anon, don’t understand that then there are some real problems with your argument.

          • He is speaking to a Caltech graduating class.

            Here he is in the last sentence addressing the Caltech graduating class,

            “So I have just one wish for you–the good luck to be somewhere where you are free to maintain the kind of integrity I have described, and where you do not feel forced by a need to maintain your position in the organization, or financial support, or so on, to lose your integrity. May you have that freedom.”

            How on earth can you claim he is not addressing the physical sciences?

            He uses social sciences and physical sciences as an example. Social sciences is an analogy.

            You are the only person ever to state that he is not speaking to physical scientists. Since you are certain he is not speaking to physical sciences, it should be trivial for you to find one other person who agrees with you.

            Why don’t you do that now. Post an example of one other person who agrees with you that Feynman isn’t speaking to physical scientists.

            Here is a doctoral keynote presentation by a professor of industrial engineering. Clearly, he thinks Feynman applies to all science:

            http://www.ise.ncsu.edu/jwilson/colloq.html

            DOCTORAL COLLOQUIUM KEYNOTE ADDRESS
            CONDUCT, MISCONDUCT, AND CARGO CULT SCIENCE

            Here is a professor of mathematical physics saying that cargo cult science applies to all science:

            http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/the-difference-between-true-science-and-cargo-cult-science/?singlepage=true

            Here is a blog for Irish Scientists in which states that Cargo Cult Science describes the core of the scientific method (for all sciences)

            http://irishscience.wordpress.com/2010/05/18/cargo-cult-science-richard-feynmans-commencement-address-on-how-difficult-it-is-to-think-scientifically/

            A science historian applying cargo cult sciences to nuclear energy: http://nucleargreen.blogspot.com/2007/12/feynman-on-cargo-cult-science.html

            A professor of economics who says cargo cult science is about all science:
            http://lonessmith.com/cargo-cult-science-0

            A physicist and college professor:
            http://www.wanliss.com/2011/02/culture-club-science-post-normal-science-in-the-classroom/

            A geneticist:
            http://www.genetic-inference.co.uk/blog/2010/01/cargo-cult-science-and-nt-factor/

            Susan, all you need to do is find one person who believes that Feynman is not talking about all sciences including physical sciences and including climate science.

            If you cannot do that, than surely the line of arguing in your responses to me demonstrates conclusively that you have not a clue as to what Feynman was about.

            • You misunderstand my point — Feynman, as I said, was using the social sciences as a foil to illustrate good science for the sake of graduating students.

              Here is what I wrote:

              So in essence, Feynman uses social sciences like psychology and education as a foil with which he will teach students at Caltech what science is, what the essence of the scientific method is. They — the social sciences — are the bad example he uses to try to encourage them to be good scientists and not fall into poor practice like that of the social sciences.

              I know he’s talking to scientists — but when he refers to Cargo Cult Science, he’s talking about the social sciences, like parapsychology and psychology and educational studies — he mentions these by name.

              We’re talking past each other.

  37. Hmm, seems I’ve been taken in by a chatbot.

    • If by that, you mean your nick has been taken over by a chatbot, you are indeed correct.

      If, on the other hand, you mean the answers you get are provided by a chatbot, you just seem sillier. You have been asked to provide an analysis. This request came as a result of your opening comment (cited by shewonk above). Your answer? 6th grade copy and paste. Analysis? Zero. Understanding (not of Feynman, but of the questions asked)? Zero. Relevance? Zip

      Now, either analyze or be silent. We know you can quote large texts. No need to show that any more.

  38. this is where one starts longing for RealClimate-style censorship.

    • In your case, Watts style censorship might not be a bad idea. None of the hints at where you live and where you work, though.

  39. more bad news from the “war” as Hickman and the Guardian abandon the trenches

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2011/jun/21/peace-talks-climate-change-sceptics

  40. kdk33 :
    they drive SUV’s out to the oil patch to frakk

    Once, I frakked in the back of a Mustang II.

  41. eheh Marco and if I walked on water you’d complain I didn’t know how to swim. Go check your bile levels and sad sad life.

  42. I don’t know if I’ve been banned or if a link heavy comment triggered a spam filter.

    The complete post can be found here: http://pastebin.com/hGrXzqsF

  43. However unwittingly entertaining a few people are here, my original question remains mostly unanswered.

    Say, you’re approached by a budding climate change activist. She’s convinced there’s a big catastrophe in her near future, and she wants to do something about it. What will you suggest? Shewonk will argue there is no hope to change policy, unless extraordinary conditions happen. That’s a big avenue already shut from the very beginning there.

    Most of the others will only offer examples of spending their time ganging up on “skeptics”, engaging in remote pop-psychology and in general appearing vile in the extreme. Suggestions to reduce one’s CO2 footprint, or to understand the limits of the science, or to stay away from ineffective mindsets such as “it’s a war” will simply be met by more vileness and “I’m better than you are” idiocies.

    How is all of that going to make any difference to the planet? What will it do to avoid the “big catastrophe in the near future”?

    • “and in general appearing vile in the extreme”

      When you say the following about Leo Hickman? Hoisted by your own petard, methinks…

      “Call me a cynic, but I have seen more honesty displayed by used-car salesmen. He can really go back to dance with Ahmadinejad as far as I am concerned.” — omnilogos/Maurizio at one of his numerous blogs.

      “Leo Hickman bemoans an invite by a “right-wing libertarian” climate skeptic organization just as Iranian President, known anti-Semite Ahmadinejad joins Greenpeace, Osama bin Laden (and Leo Hickman) among the ranks of AGW Faithful.” — omnilogos/Maurizio at one of his numerous blogs.

      I can think of much worse things than “cynic”.

  44. Gavin's Pussycat Reply June 22, 2011 at 4:57 am

    > What will you suggest?

    At this point, getting drunk.

    Yes, we lost, and the only thing that gives me some grim satisfaction is that you and your buddies, who alone are responsible for this state, are living on the same planet and cannot get off.

  45. J Bowers : your opinion about my blog entries is irrelevant. A budding climate activist of course will not approach me, let alone ask what she should be doing to save the planet.

  46. it’s irrelevant to my question, and to the future of the planet. not enough ?

    • Showing that the question is sincerely asked matters. Considering the nature of the experiment matters, those who doubt it may have a point. Here was the hypothesis:

      http://omniclimate.wordpress.com/2011/06/18/will-policy-lass-get-it/

      Here are the conclusions:

      http://omniclimate.wordpress.com/2011/06/18/policy-lass-and-the-climate-bullies-didnt-get-it/

      Comparing the added content between that editorial and the comments left here deserves due diligence.

      ***

      Let’s suppose that it’s a sincere question. Not much to lose, as it **is** an interesting question. But since Susan does seem to doubt the questioner’s sincerity, we can generalize it to everyone:

      > Does [Susan] actually care about the environment, climate change and the planet, to the point of being willing to participate to the building of effective, practical, realistic, implementable environment and climate change policies…or is she just interested to participate to a good fight?

      There are many formulations of that question. Comparing them deserves due diligence. Let’s adapt in a way that everyone (including omnologos) can feel free to answer it:

      > Why do you comment, exactly?

      Answering this question entails we can see the point of blogging, tumbling, or commenting.

      ***

      This generalized formulation has the advantage of rendering the presuppositions of omnologos’ formulation in a clearer light.

      It shows that there is some relevance between blogging and “participating in building policies”, whatever that means. This presupposition is behind the the “building bridges” meme. There are enough reasons to doubt that commenters and online editorialists can all participate in building policies. Even if we can pinpoint some editorialists as being able to fulfill this role, we see that this presupposition lacks plausibility.

      It also shows that omnologos’s formulation entails that one’s online activity somehow matters to the future of the planet. In a trivial sense, that’s quite true. Everything one does matters, after all. But how does it work exactly? We can doubt that “participating in building policies” is necessary to “save the planet while blogging”, whatever that means. More importantly, there is some kind of false dilemma there: as if Susan’s editorializing on-line about inactivism prevents here from having a real impact, for instance by participating in first-life events, and first-life efforts.

      ***

      Tone trolling is always relevant, but up to a point. Tone-trolling can be done with the intent to change people’s behavior. Jejune newcomers do that, from time to time. They usually refrain, after a while.

      Tone trolling stops being relevant when it is precisely done to make a point. Readers might consider that omnologos is doing exactly that, with a mix of provocation, prevarication, and premeditation, for which his own blog’s editorials on these matters provide enough circumstancial evidence.

      But even if we grant him sincerity and relevance, we can doubt that his conception of on-line behavior is not tainted by idealism. Not unlike Feynman’s conception of the scientific **attitude**, which is not to be conflated with scientific method, which alone guarantees its success – in his famous speech, Feynman showed how naive he can be as a moralist. For an opposite viewpoint, we can see this editorial about the evolution of a common attitude on the Internet:

      > [O]ppositional behavior, passive aggressiveness, and snark benefit the actor more than considerate or respectful behavior or the fair exchange of ideas.

      http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2010/05/the_evolution_of_asshatitude_o.php

      It seems that this explains a general phenomenon. Journals developed op-eds when competitors like radio and television appeared. Fox News and MSNBC certainly show how to create a 24/7 news feeds almost void of informational content, but full of editorials, in disguise or not. I don’t see any reason why the blogs shan’t do the same: so much the worse for omnologos’ appeal to liberal sensitivity.

      ***

      Robert Frost said that a liberal is a man too broadminded to take his own side in a quarrel. Perhaps taking one’s own side in a quarrel is a good idea. It depends on how we do it, which is a matter of taste, for the most part. As long as we get out of the nerd loop and the hate speech, I don’t mind. See

      http://thebenshi.com/

      for some ideas. In any case, as Eli (who says hi back to omnologos) told me, and paraphrasing, disgreeing between friends and allies belongs to the fine arts.

  47. Budding doesn’t mean young and activist doesn’t mean naive. You should be careful about yiur prejudices first. And “she” is standard nowadays (unless you prefer “s/he”?)

  48. thank you willard for moving beyond the caricature. let me specify that my question makes sense here as Susan signs as “shewonk” and “policy lass”. That’s where the blog-to-policy link is.

  49. For the sake of discussion, lets suppose that omnologos WAS approached by a youthful climate activist. How would he respond when asked about what strategies need to be adopted to avoid the “big catastrophe in the near future”?

  50. joe – I’ll try to be more specific this time. Obviously I’d say resist the temptation of slagging off skeptics, because it’s just adding to the noise. identify a non-controversial problem such as black soot from kitchen stoves in SE Asia. Get the richest countries to solve it (needs money mostly). Show the improvements in child survival rates. And in a cleaner Himalayan glacier system. Now you’ll find yourself with the momentum just after the Montreal Agreement. Don’t squander it again, do what’s feasible when it’s feasible. All grandstanding will kill your hopes.

  51. omnologos – I see two issues with your response. The first is in measuring success in your goals (“a cleaner Himalayan glacier system”?) and attributing success to your actions (child survival rates have many factors, of which black soot may or may not be one of them).

    Why not go simpler? The non-controversial problem is anthropogenic emissions of CO2. Lets get the richest countries in the world together (who also happen to be the greatest emitters) and solve it by (A) increasing energy efficiencies everywhere, and (B) making the switch to less carbon-intensive energies. These solutions need money mostly. Show the improvements in declining global emissions of CO2 and, eventually, hopefully, in decreased concentrations of atmospheric CO2.

  52. joe – am not sure what you find so entertaining regarding child mortality. The incidence of respiratory diseases and its relation to black soot from primitive stoves is very well known. Alternative stoves have already been invented and there’s no need for global negotiations or a revolution in worldwide economies and means of energy production. Anyway …this is only relevant here as there are indications that black soot contributes to the disappearance of Himalayan glaciers. perhaps reducing its emissions could be considered a worthy cause in this web page too. And among budding climate activists.

    • Omno – when your patient had a systemic illness, you don’t treat the ingrown toenail without treating the systemic illness at the same time… Unless you don’t care about the patient…

  53. Dying children are not ingrown toenails. What’s your policy specialism, Susan? Vivisection? Extraordinary renditions? Bombing with drones?

    it’s also amazing how you missed completely the point about gaining momentum. but that might make sense in your 100% pessimistic worldview.

    • Pardon my skepticism, but I am suspicious about the many “skeptics” who have become so concerned with the plight of the poor of late… In my experience, a lot of skeptics found their love of the poor only very recently. Seems rather coincidental.

      I have stated on this blog and elsewhere that I support action on black carbon. It is clearly an important target to address. However, action on black carbon must be coupled with action on CO2 and I feel compelled to argue that action must be taken on both.

      Truthfully, I’m skeptical of the so-called skeptics’ love of the poor and focus on black carbon and non-CO2 forcings. I suspect that it’s merely diversional.

      Color me skeptical…

      • All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace is a highly recommended watch if it ever makes its way to your own part of the world. I think you’d find a lot of pennies drop while watching.

        I’ve long puzzled over why many environmentalists, especially old school environmentalists, are so vehemently opposed to action on CO2 emissions. I suspect it’s a hangover from cybernetics which influenced (even gave birth to) the early environmental movement, which in itself was found to be based on wrong assumptions (even an hypothesis based on cherrypicked/falsified data) about how the ecosphere works. Game theory and cybernetics are bed fellows (Lomborg is a game theorist), and the notion that to change energy sources is tantamount to genocide in the developing world has actually been a common theme for denialists for a while, but perhaps more so in Europe. Read up on International Policy Network. I have a longstanding adversary in the debate elsewhere, who used to be (and perhaps still is) involved in the developing world, so I asked him directly if he was ever into cybernetics, to which he replied that he was.

        I have no doubt in my mind that the desire to protect the developing world is a genuine feeling on the part of many leading sceptics and deniers, but the wider denizens of the blogosphere simply use that stance, which they have uncritically picked up on, to attack that which they hate ideologically and politically. Like the Odum brothers, they cherry pick the data to fit their own hypothesis.

        • “I’ve long puzzled over why many environmentalists, especially old school environmentalists, are so vehemently opposed to action on CO2 emissions”

          I’m not so sure they are.

          Re the “loving grace” program. Ayn Rand is the root of an awful lot of the difficulties we currently face.

          • I’ve come across a number of environmentalists who argue that attention to CO2 is killing other more worthy work in that sphere, plus it will set back third world development.

            The documentary has some priceless moments, like one of Rand’s inner circle having to admit that she was being altruistic when she allowed Rand to take her husband as a lover.

        • Rattus Norvegicus Reply June 24, 2011 at 1:37 pm

          Here in the US, Christy has been a proponent of the view directing energy development in the developing world in a path different from that followed in the developed world is tantamount to genocide. This is of course silly, much of the developing world has bypassed landline phone systems and gone straight to cell service. Is that also tantamount to genocide?

          The idea is not to deny access to electricty, but to bypass the current technologies which are rapidly being made obsolete by considerations of pollution (or all sorts) and resource scarcity.

  54. omonologos: I’m not sure why you think I find it entertaining. I can see your point about gaining momentum through results in other, possibly less contentious, measures, but CO2 effects on global climate act on much longer timescales than black carbon (see Archer for example). Plus, as I think Susan was suggesting, why bother addressing relatively minor climate issues when the viability of the planet is at stake? Measures to reduce black carbon, which may improve child mortality rates, are meaningless if massive crop failures due to anthropogenic global climate change wipe out millions.

  55. Omnologos;
    I have to say your suggestion about reducing black soot (from inefficient stoves) is your first that hasn’t caused me to grit my teeth and try not to reach for my keyboard. This idea is extremely sensible although, of course, the much maligned NGOs like Greenpeace have been suggesting stuff like this for ages too – it’s because they are not just fixated on solving AGW/CC but rather see the bigger picture of the whole unsustainable ball of wax that humanity has created and the solutions that that requires, which are not necessarily identical to those that would best address AGW/climate change.

    Solving the black soot problem in the third world would have effects on climate forcing, child mortality, general health, deforestation. Might even help the situation where a family has to have multiple, population enhancing, kids because some might not survive to adulthood to support the elders in their latter years.

    • Ditto on the gritting. They’ve been doing more than just suggesting it, but it turns out there are both technical (IIRC mainly having to do with making the units cheap enough) and adoption issues (shockingly, people seem to resist changing traditional practices), and the large-scale government funding that could oversome those problems seems to have been less than automatic. So this is actually a great example of how even the most obvious cross-cutting steps can be hard to implement, rather the opposite point to the one Maurizio was trying to make. More specifically, it highlights how resistant rich governments are to funding adaptation outside their own borders, putting the lie to yet another libertarian denialist talking point. Far more likely, rich governments will just pull up the drawbridges and libertarians like Maurizio will be in the front row cheering them on.

    • Nick – there is an underlying ambiguity in AGW circles about black carbon. For some unfathomable reason, there are still people convinced the potential cooling effect of black soot needs to be considered alongside its ability to help destroy Himalayan glaciers and kill young children.

      I remember reading months ago of a climate-related discussion at the EU where it was decided to do nothing about black soot until it was going to be clear if it had a pronounced cooling effect or not.

      This is little short of a monstrosity. Many a child’s lives are ruined at this very moment by black soot emissions. How can there be anything more important than that? How could an effective “war on climate” be put in place if one of its bases consists in leaving children to die of black soot?

      —-Anyway we’re moving away from the debating point…the (virtual) “budding climate activist” is still waiting. Perhaps s/he is tired of silly break-in’s at airports and pointless masquerades in front of power stations. Now what?

      • If you remember that, I’d like to see evidence. The Gothenburg Protocol is to be amended at the end of this year, with strong reductions in black carbon as one of the most important additions.

  56. Children aside the point is to show it is possible to have effective emission policies . mine is just an example

  57. And so pessimism wins the day once more. How nice would it be for a patient to see all doctors convinced there’s nothing that could be done. Apart of course from casually making nauseating accusations like Steve Bloom just did.

    Pass the bucket! or the cyanide pills…

  58. Nick Palmer – your comment deserves a more complex answer than a mobile device can sustain. I’ll reply tonight.

  59. Hmmmm……

    Nick Palmer :
    Solving the black soot problem in the third world would have effects on climate forcing, child mortality, general health, deforestation. Might even help the situation where a family has to have multiple, population enhancing, kids because some might not survive to adulthood to support the elders in their latter years.

    AGW Observer: Papers on black carbon

  60. We’re getting sidetracked. …the question isn’t what a skeptic would do, rather what an “AGW convinced” would, and why, especially if s/he convinced catastrophes are ahead if nothing’s done.

    Answers so far include “war!” (but hasn’t worked so far), “get drunk”, “tell deniers what a bad lot they are”. Anything with the remote chance of “making a difference”?

    • I answered your question here, and you accused me of finding humour in infant mortality, rather than addressing my response. Sounds like you’re the one getting sidetracked.

      http://shewonk.wordpress.com/2011/06/17/of-dogs-and-fleas/#comment-5526

      1) Improve energy efficiencies everywhere (shouldn’t be too hard, everyone saves energy + money in the long run), and 2) make the switch to carbon-neutral energy sources by ending subsidies for oil and gas, and investing in renewable energy R+D.

  61. Great, let them learn from our mistakes and skip all the unnecessary steps.

  62. Jeff Masters’ look at last year.

    * Earth’s hottest year on record
    * Most extreme winter Arctic atmospheric circulation on record; “Snowmageddon” results
    * Arctic sea ice: lowest volume on record, 3rd lowest extent
    * Record melting in Greenland, and a massive calving event
    * Second most extreme shift from El Niño to La Niña
    * Second worst coral bleaching year
    * Wettest year over land
    * Amazon rainforest experiences its 2nd 100-year drought in 5 years
    * Global tropical cyclone activity lowest on record
    * A hyperactive Atlantic hurricane season: 3rd busiest on record
    * A rare tropical storm in the South Atlantic
    * Strongest storm in Southwestern U.S. history
    * Strongest non-coastal storm in U.S. history
    * Weakest and latest-ending East Asian monsoon on record
    * No monsoon depressions in India’s Southwest Monsoon for 2nd time in 134 years
    * The Pakistani flood: most expensive natural disaster in Pakistan’s history
    * The Russian heat wave and drought: deadliest heat wave in human history
    * Record rains trigger Australia’s most expensive natural disaster in history
    * Heaviest rains on record trigger Colombia’s worst flooding disaster in history
    * Tennessee’s 1-in-1000 year flood kills 30, does $2.4 billion in damage

  63. > Nick Palmer – your comment deserves a more complex answer than a
    > mobile device can sustain. I’ll reply tonight.

    “Delay is the deadliest form of denial.” — C.N. Parkinson

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Will Policy Lass “Get It”? « The Unbearable Nakedness of CLIMATE CHANGE - June 17, 2011

    [...] and climate change policies…or is she just interested to participate to a good fight? #5. Perish the thought that we are all losing because of war-like attitudes such as yours? I mean, [...]

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