Luke, I am your father…

Is it just me, or has there been a noticeable shift in the tone of the lukewarmers and lukewarmistas over the past year or so?

I may be inaccurate, but to me, the term “lukewarm” tends to suggest that a person is tepid, or has a tepid acceptance of something. They are not hot for the idea, nor are they cold to it. They are so-so. Middle of the road. When it comes to the Lukers, they agree that warming is happening, but that it will likely be on the low end of projections. Nothing much to worry about. 2C at doubling, with little likelihood or evidence of positive feedbacks.

I was reading over at Lucia’s Blackboard and noticed this — strategy??? –  on the part of Mosher and Lucia that seems to imply they “believe” in AGW and willingly speak of “warming” and write things like “as the earth warms” and even step in to openly deny accusations of fraud launched against the Team by the more strident deniers in the comments. What they do is complain about the attitude and behavior of some climate scientists towards “skeptics”.

IOW, they are concern trolls in the great global warming debate.

Here’s Mosher:

Here is the problem you face with lukewarmers. we accept the science. we dont accept some of the behavior of a small number of scientists. We think the science can and does survive this behavior, so we have NO PROBLEM saying the behavior was not best practices.

So, what is it with the lukers?

Am I wrong or is it not the case that now that CCC has pretty much validated the datasets, and several prominent bloggers like Mosher and Zeke have debunked the “station data quality has created warming” meme, and the “station drop outs has created warming” meme, the luker types are hedging their bets, turning down the volume and reducing the vitriol.

Are they trying to rewrite history, so that they can claim to have been on the “right side” all along?

Will we see them eventually start casting stones at people like McIntyre and Watts, they way they seem to be casting stones at Moncton?

Here’s Lucia:

Talk about a statement so wrong! I can’t stop laughing.

I’ve got scads of posts tagged “Monckton”. I’ve criticized his “science”, his ad homs, his complaining about midwestern accents, his decision to complain about people’s looks, his invocation of hitler etc. See

Here’s Mosher:

WRT Monckton and Anthony and the lukewarmers. There are a few
vocal people on the lukewarmer side. Its pretty safe to say that the self identified lukewarmers have no patience for monckton. In particular I’ve been very critical of him. WRT Anthony, I have plenty of issues WRT his positions
on certain scientific issues. I’ve made those criticisms clear over and over again. I’ve even done that on his blog. I think that most people criticize Anthony for the “science” he promotes on his site. Take for example, Goddard. My position here is pretty easy to understand. I would rather have blogs that display poor science, than mann’s climategatekeeping. That’s because I can read and think for myself. I frankly think Anthony’s editorial choices are nothing short of brilliant for his demographic. I would not say it is the best science or even good science or even science. It’s not.

Oh, there are a number of stalwart deniers haunting the comments, like Andrew_KY and raven and others but the former more strident lukewarmistas seem to be defending the temperature record and the theory, and stepping in to deny accusations of outright fraud against Mann and others.

Now their only schtick seems to be to knock Mann and Jones and the IPCC for not being “open enough” and “willing to admit mistakes” and “share data” and generally being big ol meanies to the new boys on the playground, like McIntyre. They continue to point to the hacked emails as proof that the scientists tried to manipulate peer review and hide data and be unscientific in demeanour, but they no longer seem as strident about warming being entirely inconsequential.

In fact, they seem to want a coup, and take over from the warmers:

Mosher again:

The problem for those of us who believe in AGW is that we do not have people
with any imagination presenting the story. we have anonymous twerps like Tamino, and jerks like Romm and Lambert, and stuffy twits like Gavin. No sense of humor, no sense of audience. We might as well make a video of blowing school children up. Opps we did that.

get off my team. I don’t want people like you representing the belief in global warming.

Wow — that seems to me to be a huge turnaround. They are the true believers.

I think I even saw one of them questioning the claim that the MWP was warmer than today but maybe I was in such shock that I read incorrectly…

Am I right about this?

Are lukewarmers really just big ol concern trolls?


About Policy Lass

Exploring skeptic tales.

93 Responses to “Luke, I am your father…”

  1. >I was reading over at Lucia’s Blackboard and noticed this — strategy??? – on the part of Mosher and Lucia that seems to imply they “believe” in AGW and willingly speak of “warming” and write things like “as the earth warms” and even step in to openly deny accusations of fraud launched against the Team by the more strident deniers in the comments.

    Imply? “even”?

    I’ve specifically said I think the earth is warming and have said so since my blog was established in 2007. I’m pretty sure I said so in comments at CA before that. I’ve never accused “The Team” of fraud and “even” avoid the term “The Team”. (I use it now because of your comment.

    To parallel your closing with a rhetorical question: Is Policy Lass just someone who just dreams up fake facts to support her preconceptions?

  2. I’ve always equated lukewarmers with fence sitters. Yep, often acting like concern trolls, and I agree that’s what some of them are. They like the attention, typical of concern trolls.

    I can’t make out why else lukewarmers would bother with climate if they don’t think it’s a problem. Maybe it’s political to stop others from understanding the extent of the problem we are facing and wanting to delay action. I’ve never been able to understand why anyone would want to speed up disasters, but that’s how some lukewarmers seem to get their kicks.

    • I believe that fence sitters are disingenuous types who get some kind of shadenfreude by reveling in the attacks on climate science and scientists and even attacking the scientists themselves, all the while claiming that they are only after “good science” and “openness” and “the truth”. They ignore the politics of their own behavior and the political effects their criticism and innuendo has on the science. It’s a bit like the public trial of a suspected witch. Imagine taking part in the witch hunt by repeating the accusations you’ve heard or even adding to them by saying “she was always strange”, “she has black cats”, and “she goes out late at night” which might all be factual, but claiming that you don’t really believe she’s a witch. Your evidence is still used to convict her. Then, when the witch is burned at the stake, you claim “Well, it’s her own fault. She shouldn’t have been so weird — what were people to think?”

      You know what happens to people who stay in the middle of the road? They get hit by the semi-trailer of truth.

      I do think warmistas are hedging their bets so that when BAU produces more serious warming, they can get all huffy, and criticize the side their current actions are supporting.

  3. Lukewarmers, are, for the most part, IMO, Polyanna’s. If uncertainty is the foremost reason for the delay of action, then, for whatever reason you may want to attribute their actions, they will only focus on one end of that uncertainty. The only two traits they all seem to share is a disagreement with mainstream science over the extent of climate change and that this necessitates a continuance of current action, until *fill in the blank*. The premises for this argument vary, but all seem to reject precautionary principles. Perhaps a few could flesh out this stance for us, if they feel it is worthy enough of its own “tag” and also to assist others in better communicating with them.

    • I’ve often noticed that many of them could be classified as libertarians and some have outright acknowledged this fact. AKA against government intervention in the marketplace. Since the problem is the result of a market economy premised on the burning of fossil fuels and since mitigating the CO2 produced by the burning of fossil fuels would require some kind of regulation of the market, either through a carbon market or tax or other scheme, this grates against their political sensibilities. It seems possible that they hope warming will be minimal so that they don’t have to accept regulation. Or hate the prospect of market regulation so much that they are willing to not act to preserve their ideological purity.

      Either way, it’s disingenuous because it’s not primarily about the science, as they claim, but about the politics.

      • Indeed, I see this political entanglement with psuedo-Libertarianism, too. Unfortunately, they don’t realize that taxes on known externalities have been preached by free-market economists like Arthur Pigou and Murray Rothbard as the only way to stop overproduction and overconsumption of products that adversely effect the free economy. This is, of course, before Libertarianism was bought by corporate interests to further their own goals, like doing whatever they want, no matter how that effects everyone else’s liberties.

        This is why it so hard to get them to admit that CO2 will eventually cause costs externally on third parties.

  4. Deniers, skeptics, lukewarmers: one big happy family. Just like the (plagiarized) Social Network stuff in the Wegman Report is highly ironical, so is the way that members of this homogeneous group talk about consensus and The Team.

    Lucia is not so bad, but one of her main flaws is that people like Anthony Watts are her buddies and she closes her eyes and ears as soon as someone points to the Denial Machine. Naive is the best word to describe her. And loving a good gossip, especially when it’s about those arrogant, stuck-up scientists.

    Mosher on the other hand is an egotistical, narcissistic hypocrite that plays tactical games for kicks and delay. He would’ve been credible if it wasn’t for the quick-buck-book he wrote with Fuller, another geriatric attention craving hypocrite. In my view these people are the worst poisoners in the debate because they are smart enough to know what they are doing (Morano-level so to speak).

    They will be partly responsible for the lack of action undertaken to mitigate the worst consequences of AGW-driven freak weather in the coming decades. But first they will enjoy the cool 2011 for some more tactical delaying fun.

    And what is a lukewarmer? What does it mean exactly? What do they stand for? I thought Between the science and a hard place: The intellectual incoherence of lukewarmism Part 1 and Part 2 on The Idiot Tracker was useful reading.

    (TPL: Edited to fix broken link)

    • I don’t really accept the claim that they are one big happy family — that’s far too facile. I do believe that the skeptics and lukewarmers and people like Curry do unwittingly and/or apparently uncaringly play into the hand of the denier and have the same ultimate effect as if they were actually aligned and working together but I don’t claim that they are doing so consciously. For some, taking part in the climate debates is a part of identity politics — I am a skeptic and I can roar — it gives them something meaningful to take part in. Very common in political action groups. For others, the science is inconvenient for their politics. They just don’t accept that action is needed to address CO2 because it goes against their political ideology. They don’t knowingly deny the science — they just don’t want to accept it and its implications.

      As to Lucia’s or Mosher’s character and motives, that’s your opinion and you are entitled to it, but mere opinion becomes a much stronger argument when you include some evidence. I don’t necessarily disagree with your opinion, but I’d love some examples.

      And I do love that website on lukewarmers so thanks for the links.

      • I want to include a quote from that page, because it really does distill the essence of the matter:

        when you begin to argue that not only does science have climate sensitivity wrong but also emissions and maybe impacts to boot – well, you’re going to have a hard time explaining why thousands of scientists have made not one but a series of mistakes, all supposedly exaggerating the dangers of global warming. Go down that road, and pretty soon you’re right back in the tinfoil-hat camp lukewarmist rhetoric was supposed to deliver you from. If you allege not one but a whole series of gigantic mistakes by huge numbers of investigators, all tending to undermine a scientific conclusion (only rapid reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases can prevent a substantial risk of planetary disaster) to which you are avowedly hostile, the simplest conclusion is not that you are a genius and the rest of the scientific community are fools; it is that you are a partisan and you are attacking science with implications contrary to your political goals.

  5. My description of Lucia and Mosher are indeed subjective, based on numerous comment threads here and there. It would take too much time to dig through them (again) and point to various texts. But it’s not a coincidence that you start this discussion based on one such comment thread at the Blackboard.

    As for Mosher: I find his CRUtape book pretty compelling evidence of his hypocrisy (check the description on Amazon: “we show why [Climategate] will swamp the conventional wisdom on climate change.”. Not too long ago he was also giving some free strategy advice to one of the more rabid deniers on WUWT, showing him how he was undermining his own position by being too extreme and how a phony position would get him where he wanted to be much more easily. Quite an eye-opener.

    And that’s the only reason why Mosher will criticize some of the (even) more irrational entries on WUWT. Not because he believes in AGW and the pursuit of truth, but because being too irrational is hurting the delaying tactic. But again, this is my opinion of Mosher.

    • I don’t necessarily disagree with your opinion. I just think that it helps to have some evidence so that your posts don’t seem like pure opinion when I know and others know that they are based on countless bits and pieces of commentary and blog posts. I read the thread in which Mosher gives advice to someone on how to appear like a lamb whilst being a lion. In my view, it’s a tactic to discredit AGW from within rather than from without. If you appear to be a supporter and raise “concerns” about the morals and ethics of scientists and the credibility of the science, you have your cake and get to eat it too. Clever. I’ve always been suspicious of lukewarmers for this reason. Like I say, concern trolls.

    • I read Mosher doing the same thing at Jeff Id’s. Coaching denialst to the effect of, ‘we don’t need to embarressingly disagree with this particular aspect of science, we can instead attack it from this direction’.

  6. To substantiate Neven’s impression that Mosher likes to give advice:

    The following discussion might be interesting. If that’s the case for readers here, I can link to some previous instances of interaction with him where Mosher portrays himself as open to discussion whence he’s clearly and only there to urge everyone to free the data, free the code, and open the debate.

    The integrity we ask from others always ends up asked for ourselves.

    • That’s a very interesting discussion you’ve linked to. Mosher seems to have repositioned himself from someone who seemed to sneer at climate science and AGW and anyone who dared support it only a few months ago to someone defending the temperature record, the physics and the theory against the corrupt climate pseudoscientists at CRU and amongst the Team, wanting to take over the helm.

      I don’t know what the hell Judith Curry is up to. I still can’t figure her out. Is she just naive, is she just over her head when it comes to understanding climate policy and politics or is she just a fool who doesn’t get it? Or all of the above? She makes the most outlandish sweeping statements alleging fraud and discreditable behaviour on the part of climate scientists and then backtracks and resorts to revisionism, claiming to refer to “the system” — ah yes, the system. She’s doing the very thing she accuses others of doing in a series of posts in which she asks for civility…

      It’s face-palmable and head-deskable.

      • Sorry, you have the history wrong.

        When I first started looking at climate science in 2007, my position was ( as it is now) that the science was clear.

        April 2007

        “The climate science is straight forward. Only nuts deny the science. The stories about the future, on the other hand, The SRES, are frankly and admittedly, stories. It COULD BE MUCH WORSE. Or not so bad. In looking through the data sets for the SRES, I found no feedback between Climate and economics. The datasets appear to be decoupled from the models. I can understand why they would do this. But it harms the validity of the projections. Fairy tales in. fairy tales Out.
        Even though the math and science in the middle is by all measures correct and valid.”

        My main concern was the wide spread in SRES and the lack of dyanmic coupling between the climate state and models of output from economic activity. The response I got at RC for asking questions about SRES, kinda shocked me.

        I drifted over to CA. That was quite a change. I guess it was the more data oriented approach that I liked. Double checking things. no blocked comments. Open dialogue.

        That’s how I really started out. Wanting to double check things. go figure.

        Like I wrote to gavin in 2007:

        “thanks gavin! I’ll See if anyone over at CA with better math skills than mine cares to have a go at it. Hard as it is for some to believe, but there is a class of folks who just like to double check, understand things for themselves. Not deniers. Not believers. In the Middle. One more thing, the 1200km figure. Is there a document that shows which stations are associated with which stations

        Comment by steven mosher — 4 Jul 2007”

        As for my belief in the land record. been there from the begining.


        “So, best case, bad stations create a noise farm. This is bad for climate science. Fix it. Worst case, The land record might have a small positive bias, a minor annoyance but utterly correctable if proper QA is employed. Put QUALITY DATA IN, rather then testing for JUNK DATA after you put it in. Nobody thinks that attending to Quality is a bad thing. We have a QA consensus. And only a few folks in this project think that the warming will go away. Too many independent sources confirm the global increase. The issue is quality, reliability, and accuracy. Don’t farm the noise, if you don’t have to.”

        I was on the record early and often that we would find nothing in the temperature record that would change the science. As I explained to gavin, it was fun for me to look at a “neat” problem.

        Unfortunately, some people decided that this fun little project was “dangerous” that skeptics would use our work and delay .. blah blah blah. And so they played some games with FIOA.

        FWIW we started the luke warmer position on CA back in 2007. Basically, people who believed in AGW, Transparency, and tended to be at the lower end of the IPCC sensitivity ranges.

        ModelE is a lukewarmer. And yes you can see me praising the results of that model after gavin showed me where I could get the data.

        I dunno. When I sit down with Curry and Webster and others ( who dont wish to be named) we seem to get along pretty well and agree on the IPCC science. For the policy… I don’t speak very much except to say that action is merited NOW based on the data and science as it stands. That doesnt mean I will look the other way when guys deny me data and break the law to do that.

        If you actually took the time to talk to Judith you might understand where she is coming from. it’s not that hard.

        • ModelE is a lukewarmer. And yes you can see me praising the results of that model after gavin showed me where I could get the data.
          I dunno. When I sit down with Curry and Webster and others ( who dont wish to be named) we seem to get along pretty well and agree on the IPCC science. For the policy… I don’t speak very much except to say that action is merited NOW based on the data and science as it stands.

          Accepting the IPCC means you accept the full range of possibilities. I am too a lukewarmer, I suppose, in that I accept that sensitivity may be at the low end. Or if you accept that it may be more toward the most likely number or above, neither of us are lukewarmers. I don’t understand how you come to any conclusion based on one model and what selected scientists say. It doesn’t sound like a policy position for you either, so I have no further understanding of the position. And what climate sensitivity is towards the low end? Transient? ESS? Perhaps your policy options depend on how far out the changes occur, based on different feedback speeds?

        • I sent this earlier but apparently it was eaten by the great ether monster…


          So, let me get this straight – you believe the science is sound and only nuts deny the science.

          I take it then that you agree with the following:

          1. The temperature of the earth is determined in part by the level of CO2 in the atmosphere.
          2. Human burning of fossil fuels (and land use changes, etc) has increased the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere by approximately 36% (+/-) over pre-industrial levels.
          3. This has led to a warming of the oceans, land and atmosphere of approximately 0.8C over the past 100 years, with 0.6C of that in the last 30 years.

          That’s what the science says. You’d have to be a nut to deny that.

          Here’s my question, now that we have you here:

          Given that you agree to points 1, 2 and 3, what is your stand on these additional points?

          4. Continued burning of fossil fuels with no restraints will lead to a doubling of CO2 by about 2050.
          5. This doubling could result in a global temperature increase between 2C – 4.5C, with 3C being the most likely temperature by the end of the 21st century.

          If I understand you correctly, you accept everything up to point 5 but your quibble is with the measure of climate sensitivity. You and other lukewarmers believe that the increase will be at the lower end of the IPCC range. Say closer to 2C than 3C or 4C or even more than 4.5C.

          Fair enough.

          Can I ask on what evidence do you base this belief? Don’t point me to Lucia’s place — please support your belief here for the rest of us to see. What evidence do you find so compelling that you have decided on a most-likely range.

          You say the models are the problem. That’s it’s fairy-tale in and fairy-tale out. I agree that the models provide a range of projected temperatures for various scenarios. What is the evidence to rule those models out that claim a higher sensitivity and higher temperatures?

          You claim that action is warranted now based on the science.

          What action do you support?

          Do you support legislated CO2 mitigation? Do you support climate policy to reduce CO2 through a carbon tax or carbon cap and trade scheme and the development of alternatives? If not, if you are against legislated reduction of CO2, what kind of action do you support? What amount of action is merited?

          And if you believe in the basic science and the need for action, why have you spent your time since 2007 demanding data from scientists, sending FOI requests when they said data wasn’t available, looking at code for errors and data for mistake and suggesting that there were deliberate, erroneous adjustments and that the CRU emails show evidence of fraud? Why did you spend your time on this, which smacks to me of trying to undermine the science you claim is sound, instead of advocating for the action you believe is needed now?

          I just don’t get it if you think only a nut denies the science and that action is needed now. It seems that you’ve spent an awful lot of time with nuts and all your efforts to date have served to undermine that very science and delay action.

          Did you ever stop to think about how your actions have affected the political realm? If not, does that mean you are blindingly naive about how the political realm works or too self-important and filled with hubris to care?

          Enquiring minds, you know.

  7. Not so long ago most of the scientists involved with investigating the climate were luke warmers, the idea of a slow rise to 2C warmer and very slow (1000s of years) response by the three great ice sheets was very much the recieved wisdom. Then slowly through the late 80s ideas like the deep sea clatherate release came into focus and the speed of changes in the past, evens such as D-O cycles, Meltpulse 1A, Younger Dryas became clearer in the climate record, many of the scientists became deeply concerned that we had too much uncertainty loaded towards a catastrophy, very rapid climate change. So by the early 90s the idea of very rapid climate change was written in the geological record.

    But during the 90s there was legitimate scientific uncertainty in the other direction. Things like the mid tropospheric cooling (balloons and Christy Spencer)and just the general newness of the science meant that predictions of some future thermageddon doom were a bit too much for a conserative (scientifically not as a political ideology) scientist to swallow.

    Since the 2000s though many questions have resolved themselves, things like the Ordovician ice age, snowball earth, the orbit problem on satellite datasets, causes of the Permian Triassic event (well not all are resolved but the questions are much narrower). The legitimacy of very low climate sensitivities is in a deep hole from a science perspective, but a few of the hoary old scientists who had legitmate concerns in the 90s seem to have stuck around to the old position (in the same way that this happens in every field of science) and given credibility to the new generation of out and out deniers. But the luke warmers who were once the mainstream are finding the science move forward under their feet, so it is inevitable for many of them to try to move to the more mainstream 3C per doubling position. Even if that move takes a bit of liberty with previous opinions.

    I think the old school luke warmers are simply scientifically conservative (and that his not always a bad thing [except in particle physics funding grant appications]) who are finding that their conservativism is needing to find a slightly higher climate sensitivity to settle on.

    But yes the luke warmers do appear to be trying to expand the scope of what is defined as luke warmism (to above official government targets and pretty damned close to the IPCC position.)
    I think the value in the luke warmer position is that it allows a bridge for politically important oponents of climate science to justify their opinions with an added dash of revisionism “I never denied CO2 would warm the climate I was just sceptical of the scale” type views appearing from various media and political figures.

    • For scientists, it’s always advisable to remain skeptical of any new idea or bit of research or claim coming out of the journals or conferences, etc. One off papers can be wrong, their findings spurious, their methods flawed and unreplicatable. When it comes to the rest of us proles, who among us can judge the scientific papers in a serious manner? I have a BSc and I don’t claim to be able to do so for some areas. Hence, it makes sense for me to recognize the expertise of climate scientists working in the field and accept what the majority of climate scientists and science bodies support as sound. Of course, the majority of scientists can be wrong and have been before — think about plate tectonics and continental drift — but a betting person would be wise to bet on the “consensus” rather than go with the few outliers or minority report. In the early days when the science of global warming was in its infancy, it was wise to be conservative, but as the evidence kept flowing in, it became foolish to keep a skeptical stance – skepticism maintained in the face of overwhelming evidence dissolves into cynicism. In other words, anyone who maintains a skeptical position at this point in time is either in denial or a denialist.

      • re: Continental drift/plate tectonics.
        This analogy with majority-AGW views is often used, but on balance, I think the evidence argues that is it not a good analogy.

        See How to learn about Science @ Deltoid.
        “Case 3: multiple hypotheses arise and persist for some time, gathering support, being modified, sometimes combining, or failing to accumulate evidence. An issue can stay open decades, and then quickly be resolved if the right new data or explanation appears.

        Example:Geologists argued fiercely for many decades over Alfred Wegener’s hypothesis of continental drift, but when enough new kinds of data appeared following World War II, most geologists quickly accepted it.”

        “Well, actually, I’d disagree slightly with:

        “during wegner’s (sic) lifetime there was no known/plausible mechanism for plate tectonics”

        as I think it is way more complicated than that. Naomi Oreskes’ “The Rejection of Continental Drift” has 320 pages of text and 80 of references and notes and explains why it is more complicated.

        Wegener died in 1930, and although he got the basic idea right (and he wasn’t the first, actually), but there were certainly problems with his speculations about mechanisms.

        There were in fact already plausible hypotheses from such folks as Reginald Daly, John Joly, and Arthur Holmes [serious/famous geoscientists]. Note: hypotheses (plural).

        There was data, just not yet quite enough to be thoroughly convincing, as there were alternate possibilities not ruled out.

        American geology didn’t buy it, a substantial set of Europeans did, at least cautiously, with the split due to complicated reasons.

        I of course picked this example very carefully:

        1) There were multiple hypotheses about mechanisms, that persisted for decades, with serious, credible people on all sides.

        2) But it changed, after WW II, when new kinds of data arrived, as Naomi writes (p.308):

        “A new era in geology was ushered in not by the elucidation of the ultimate cause of crustal motions, not even by the mechanism by which they occur, but by the availability of a new kind of evidence.”

        3) It’s a good illustration of one flavor of paradigm shift, in this case, where plausible hypotheses were identified early, but evidence just didn’t get strong enough for a long time, but when new kinds of evidence popped up, the discipline pretty much changed views in a decade.

        But indeed, the evidence for AGW is (by now) immensely stronger than the evidence for continental drift in 1920. After all, Arrhenius was talking about Greenhouse Effect over 100 years ago, and that wasn’t accepted instantly either :-)”
        A somewhat similar analogy right now would be the arguments over Bill Ruddiman’s various hypotheses about early anthropogenic influences and CO2 jiggles from plagues. Some serious people thought they were interesting hypotheses, but hardly proven. A few others remain deadset against them. Meanwhile, the hypotheses stirred others to do research, and evidence has been accumulating. I think this will end up being a fine case study in the way science works, over a relatively short time-scale (say 10 years), with hypotheses proposed, modified, assessed. Some interesting papers should appear soon in The Holocene.

  8. I’ll point out that McIntyre did say at the Guardian debate earlier this year, if he were in a position to do so, he would enact mitigation now. Much fun was had with deniers at the time over on CIF. To be honest, I’d believe McI if he were to audit Spencer, Michaels, Christy, Douglass, etc, or change the name of his blog to Hockey Team Audit.

    Thus far Ryan O’Donnell seems the real deal, and hopefully he’ll get together with Eric Steig to have another go at the Antarctic, which Eric already seemed to hope for according to a response to me at RC after I made the suggestion.

    • I find that to be the height of hypocrisy. For McIntyre to claim he’d enact mitigation if he was in a position to do so is like Tiger claiming he supports monogamy when married. McIntyre could always support mitigation if he was truly concerned about dangers from global warming but instead, he’s spent his time smearing climate science and climate scientists. What a joke.

      • Hmm, in Dec of 2007 at the first dinner between mcintyre watts and mosher, Steve Mc said the same thing. It’s not a new position for him. I like to explain the view this way. I support taking action. But I know that tough action will require the consent of the governed. And that consent cannot be won when the kind of nonsense that you sanction is allowed.

        Anyway, how’s the tactic of attacking Mcintyre working for you.. going on 6+ years. ever think about a different approach?

        • How’d McIntyre’s tactic work for all those inquiries? I wonder what GMU are making of it…

        • And you and McI seem to be doing everything possible to suggest to the governed that the science is shoddy and shouldn’t be the basis for legislative action. Seems to me that if you truly accepted the science as you claim, and if you truly believed action is needed now to mitigate CO2, you would focus on convincing the governed that the science is sound and that action is needed now…

  9. If I may add another subjective opinion: I think Curry got taken in by the McIntyre David-vs-Goliath narrative quite a while back, decided to join the fray and then quickly got addicted to all the attention that the controversy that ensued. It’s clearly an ego-thing in my view.

    One of the reasons I say that is that I’ve noticed her referring here and there to things like hits and pageviews, for instance accusing others of thrashing her to generate blog traffic. It’s a clear case of ill-doers and ill-deemers. I think she gets off looking at that little blog statistic trend line (we’ve all been there).

    I also paid attention to her body language during the recent Congress hearings. She obviously feels important (looking over her glasses mega-interestedly whenever Patrick Michaels was doing his shtick), and that feels great. Dunning and Kruger move in mysterious ways. In fact, Curry has increased my suspicion of climate scientists. If someone with such an obvious lack of critical thinking can attain a relatively high position in a university and publish in peer-reviewed journals, then what about the others?

    But again, that’s my take.

  10. “Resistants de la dernière heure”

    Those who rush in wanting to claim to lead the opposition they have long delayed, only after great damage has been done.

  11. Yet another interesting lukearm discussion there regarding thin green lines:

    I do not link to first nor the most important comment, just the one that amused me most.


    • In that thread Mosher also says that DeepClimate is free to write a guest blog on CA, because CA is a very open place where all voices can be heard (unlike the totalitarian RC that edits, deletes and bans). BUT of course DeepClimate has to do it under his real name.

      Am I wrong when I say that I find that disgusting?

      • Some bloggers and commenters are semi- or fully-anonymous for good reason. IOW, because they are vulnerable if their opinions and identities were to be made public. I think this BS about using your “real name” in the blogosphere is just that — BS. A convenient truncheon with which to attack your opponent when you can’t debate the substance of their argument.

      • Disgusting? Hardly, using your real name means that you have to take care not to libel certain folks. A line that some would argue Deep has crossed in the past.
        Plus it’s Anthony’s blog and he sets the rules for guest posts. I would say the disgusting position is argue passionately from a position of anonymity, that you personally give a damn about the planet

        • I understand that Steve Goddard was a pseudonym but Watts had him as guest poster for a long time.

          “Some would argue” that Deep Climate has libelled “certain folks” but I guess the courts would need names for the plaintiffs as well as the defendant, so why don’t we start with a more detailed accusation?

          If DC has indeed succeeded in sequestering his real idenitity beyond the reach of the law, the injured parties, whoever they are, could always go after John Mashey, who is hiding in plain sight.

          • ““Some would argue” that Deep Climate has libelled “certain folks” ”

            Nothing a subpoena to DC’s ISP wouldn’t overcome. They are not suing, becaue like Monckton they don’t have a case, but want to sound like they do.

        • > Hardly, using your real name means that you have to take care not to libel certain folks. A line that some would argue Deep has crossed in the past.

          A conclusion is missing here.

          My bet is that it has to do with Neven’s impression and Shewonk’s argument.


          The topic at hand is the false fig leaf offered by Steven to DC.

          The topic Steven decides to talk about at the end of his comment is DC’s past behavior.

          So what DC seems to justify what Steven has done.

          Shifting topic by a tu quoque: an important tactical trick.


          Some would argue lots of things.

          Some are more than anonymous.

          They’re indefinite.

  12. Reading along, this new favorite is now mark’s:

    I have a knack for culinary analogies.

    That said, I’m not sure mark is 100% right. Mosher is not “correct” per se. He sure has a point. A point he oversells and connects with some strange implications. (A trick to spot the weaknesses in his position is to follow where he starts the insults.)

    But he has a point. We can concede that.

  13. PolyisTCOandbanned Reply January 5, 2011 at 3:24 am

    I’ve always thought it was awry to call yourself a lukewarmer. It sort of confuses issues. Is it that you are just sort of agnostic (i.e not proven) on the topic, or that you think the warming will be smaller? Well if you ar agnostic, how can you take a stance on extent? you would actually be more open to different possibilities than either side. so when they conflate these things it reeks of wishful thinking and poor logic.

    Lucia and Moshpit should not be patting themselves on the back. They’ve been very chummy with Wattsidiot. Lucia did not bother really challenging the Heartland idiots or running some expose. Not even pushing things as a devil’s advocate. She just chummed on up as the major priority. Lucia took ungodly years to work through her boners on the decade decline crap. Moshpit took all kinds of pressure to concede a simple mistake and STILL seems to lack the brains (or perhaps the balls) to admit some of his initial logic miscues with nightlights and the like (plus he did not take a curious approach from the start). And they’ve never ripped into Steve for his boners or evasions. Doesn;t meet my test for guts or heart. Just disgusts me.

  14. What I don’t understand is why Mosher or Fuller, while they banged on about “The Trick” on the interweb, and while claiming to have read all of “The Emails”, seem to missed this academic usage with explanation… in “The Emails”?

    Email # 1200162026
    “I would note that the distribution of rejection rates is like the distribution of precipitation in that it is bounded by zero. A quick-and-dirty way to explore this possibility using a “trick” used with precipitation data is to apply a square root transformation to the rejection rates, average these, then reverse transform the average. The square root transformation should yield data that is more nearly Gaussian than the untransformed data.”

    Emails #843161829 and #994859893 are two more examples.

    What gives? Did they point out that email in their book as a perfectly legitimate explanation for why Jones’ uses the word “trick”?

    • Great catch. I’m sure most of us understood what “trick” meant in context. The deniers were just a bunch of opportunists, using anything they could distort for their own purposes – to deny and distort and delay.


    • PolyisTCOandbanned Reply January 5, 2011 at 4:57 pm

      The issue with the trick was not that it was a trick (a deft manuever) but that it was used to hide.

      They sexed a graph and they know it. (and they buried the caveat in deep ambibious text away from the figure.) That’s why all the comments about “it wasn’t in a real journal”. Try doing that in Phys. Rev B. and they’ll cut your dick off. I dare you. Try it with a semiconductor.~~~~

      • For you it might have been all about “the hiding”, but if you read CA and Mosher’s work, all you see is ‘trick’ repeated ad nauseum. It’s really disingenuous.

        As I have said before, if different wording had been used in that email, it would have gone unnoticed. If Jones had written he “used Mike’s handy method … to exclude the post-1960s data from the graph as Briffa suggested is appropriate” we probably wouldn’t be having this discussion, or at least, not with the level of vitriol and affront we have witnessed. Face it, the choice of words was exploited to the max by skeptics and denialists, who did not really address the issue as thoroughly or as objectively as they should have. Because the attacks were not about objective truth but spin.

        I have some sympathy for what they (jones etc) were doing in the WMO pamphlet. As a policy type who has written documents for public, fellow bureaucrats and policy maker’s consumption — different audiences, different levels of detail and complexity — you have to be sensitive to both the optics and the message you are sending and who the target audience is. That’s a fundamental of communications. I know some won’t like this, but at times it really is the case that adding in too much complexity and especially ambiguity will cause real problems for the audience, depending on who they are. The public – and many policy makers — generally aren’t equipped to understand the minutiae and unlike scientists or experts, they aren’t prepared or interested in comprehending the more complex concepts and issues, at least IMHO.

        They insist on the McNugget version of things.

        The communications field is expert in knowing how to present a message to different audiences. I think if the WMO graph was intended for a scientific audience instead of the public/policy makers, we would have seen a different level of detail in the text than was included in the WMO pamphlet.

        I can’t say this enough — policy makers don’t usually want the minute details. They want the key messages. They want to know what to say and how to say it in order to conform to their agenda. They hire experts to condense the complexity down to easily digestible bites that will help them make decisions and speak in front of cameras. You can’t imagine how many times I have been directed to cut out references, charts, tables and detail in briefing material I have written.

        You don’t like that reality? Change the political system. Good luck.

        • > As I have said before, if different wording had been used in that email, it would have gone unnoticed.

          Perhaps, but I am quite confident that it might be easy to find a replacement.

          A ten seconds brainstorm from a non-marketing guy. Handy. Handy-man. The hand that cherry-picked. What the left hand does that the right etc. Lefty.

          Mind framing minds is a real day-job.

      • “Try doing that in Phys. Rev B. and they’ll cut your dick off. I dare you.”

        But they weren’t writing for the technical literature, and all that graph was used for is a cover graphic.

        Are you suggesting that temperatures have actually been declining since divergence with some-not-all tree chronologies has been observed?

        Yes, there’s been divergence. No one serious believes this means the recent instrumental record is wrong. No one serious believes that this invalidates past periods where there’s been decent correlation with other proxies.

        And one must be incredibly pedantic to expect the divergence issue to show up on the cover graphic of a report.

    • Basically because I don’t make much of the trick in the WMO graphic. It’s basically chartmanship. While some idiots like Palin got it wrong, we pretty much see it for what it is. Poor practice in making a chart. Having made and published a few thousand charts for DoD review, I’d pretty much fail the Jones effort in that WMO report. I don’t see it as a fraud. What was more interesting to us was the repetition of this “trick” in other places and the process issues surrounding it. So, we basically don’t get into the stupid discussion of what jones could have meant or not. That’s not an issue as we see it. What’s more of an issue is the lengths some will go to to defend poor practice and the lengths others will go to to demonize that, when the truth is in the middle. Bad graph, don’t do that Phil.

      • > What’s more of an issue is the lengths some will go to to defend poor practice and the lengths others will go to to demonize that, when the truth is in the middle.


        So Palin is not helping.

        And the ones who cry “fraud” neither.

        And the ones who “defend” bad practices even less.

        Who “defends” bad practices?

        Who “defends” Phil?

        Does that mean that bad practices and Phil are being under attack?


        “Lukewarming” amounts to promote AGW in cold blogs and INTEGRITY(tm) in warm blogs.

        Lukewarming, as it is currently practiced, shows itself as pure and simple contrarianism.

  15. shewonk :
    I’m sure most of us understood what “trick” meant in context.

    I’ve never been one who bought into the notion that most of the deniasphere, being of a more elderly persuasion, suddenly had mass amnesia when it came to the phrase “trick of the trade”.

  16. Here was one of my previous encounter with Mosher, that time regarding the “Miracle worker”:

    It shows how Mosher seems to believe that he can talk about “noble cause corruption” without ascribing intentions. We also see “green line” storyline, one that we just saw.


    That comment was an answer to my comment on Brandon Schollenberger’s assault on Chris Colose:

    This is an interesting story all by itself.


    Here was my follow-up, where I was (again) trying to pass his “rationality test” (which is more about sincerity or openness, but let’s not digress):

    And here is Mosher’s answer, returning to his rationality test and green-line storyline, where he asks that someone, anyone, stand up and says “we can do better”:

    Here is my answer to that test, with two news, one good and one bad:

    Therein I show that Judith Curry readily satisfy his green-line test.

    A little chat follows with Judith, and then Mosher went silent.

    I surmise that Steven Mosher’s call for sincerity and openness is first and foremost a ringtone.

  17. “In fact, they seem to want a coup, and take over from the warmers”

    Nailed it.

    The Mosher/Fuller/lukewarm/climate_scientists_are_bad stuff is a lot of self-serving nonsense. Realizing there are already plenty of hardcore deniers, they see a niche for the “lukewarmer”, which certainly involves concern trolling. Their style is usually (but not always) less overt. Lucia claims to not make accusations of fraud, but advertises Hide the Decline mugs on her website. Cute. McI engages in similar behavior. Imply a few things then let the hardcore deniers do the dirty work.

    Such folks may be clever or street smart, but generally have inadequate to little knowledge of climate science, have little to nothing to contribute, and are out for personal advancement, certainly not scientific advancement. One way to do that is to try to convince the general public that credentialed knowledgeable published climate scientists are “corrupt”. It’s easy to do among certain crowds, and throwing token critiques at goons like Monckton, accepting climate basics like radiative forcing, and perhaps feigning support for emissions reductions, is hoped to help build bridges with a broader audience (important for the figurative “coup”). Doing so will help boost their stature. They see themselves as filling the void after the dust settles from the catapults they and the hardcore deniers working informally with them have hurled. It’s not a lot different from the office politics and back-stabbing typically inferior, lazy, and technically incompetent employees and managers engage in. Take out the top guns – the most respected and competent workers, and slide in to their office chairs afterwards. Actually doing real work and respecting those with competency doesn’t gain them much.

  18. I’m finding the test of a blogger’s leanings or prejudice in the climate debate is not so much the post at the top of the page, but the choice of who they challenge, further down in the comments, and even more importantly who they do not challenge. It may even be a quantifiable test. Some we can predict with accuracy, and not reasonably expect anything else from them as their intent is clear via their own statements and post content. Others are not so transparent but tend to show a good deal of asymmetry in their marshalling of commenters while presenting themselves as being neutral, and they’re the ones I consider to be the Betroffenheitstrols in the debate.

  19. So, for various reasons, given the history, some of us often compare the dynamics around AGW to those around tobacco, especially as the latter has a longer history of discussion., and is wonderfully documented to the Tobacco Archives.

    In the tobacco case, there were clearly these:

    “Alarmist” doctors and medical researchers, the Surgeon General, teh CDC (Centers for Disease Control): cigarette smoking strongly increases the chance of disease.

    “Denier” cigarette executives: “chief executives of the seven major tobacco companies to swear under oath that nicotine was not addictive”, although of course they all knew about The Importance of Younger Adults, meaning, 12-19-year-olds.

    So, in this domain, were there analogs of “lukewarmers” and what did they say?

    For instance, was Fred Singer a “tobacco-lukewarmer” when writing this?

  20. Lukewarmers acknowledge that CO2 is a greenhouse gas; that it has been increasing; that we are mostly responsible and that the planet has already warmed because of it and will continue to warm as a result. They “just” dispute the climate sensitivity – that the feedbacks will be a problem.

    I wonder if they could be pinned down thus.

    Lukewarmers! You acknowledge the basic physics of greenhouse gases and you are also aware of the uncertaities in some feedbacks and your stated beliefs suggest that you are confident they will be in our favour – that climate sensitivity will prove, in due course, to be at the lower end of estimates.

    Speaking from a perspective of risk analysis, you believe that there will be no dangerous bullet in Dirty Harry’s Magnum (or at least that it will be a misfiring damp squib of a bullet that proves no danger to anyone).

    1) If you are right and people vote to believe you and take no action then the resulting misfire means that everyone will be just fine apart from the majority of climate scientists, who will have a lot of egg on their faces. We still need to wean ourselves off fossil fuels and the delay and consequent economic disruption you expose us to won’t help or please people.

    2)If you are right but people don’t listen to you and instead vote for the far reaching action prescribed by many then, although the serious climatic problems would not materialise, we would have weaned ourselves off peaking fossil fuels and also we would have reduced our dependence on unstable foreign energy sources.

    3)If you are wrong and people don’t listen to you and instead take the action prescribed, the climate bullet just might get taken out of the Magnum and the world just might get away with the decades of delaying tactics, tidal waves of disinformation and propaganda that has paralysed action so far. I personally was campaigning to get our local government to change insulation and energy use standards in 1991 (for climate change mitigation reasons)…

    4) If you are wrong, people listen to you and take no action and the climate bullet gets fired and things get from unpleasant to downright nasty with no way to turn back the clock, what then?

    So, lukewarmers. To sum up

    consequence 1) Smiles and some embarrasment plus a pressing need to start weaning ourselves off fossil fuels

    consequence 2) Everyone apart from you is embarasssed but we have a sustainable eregy policy in place in time

    consequence 3) We have a sustainable energy policy and we might have avoided unpleasant to nasty climate change

    consequence 4) we get unpleasant to nasty climate change plus, simultaneously, colossal economic disruption due to the peaking and decline of economically obtainable oil.

    Finally, lukewarmers. In all four cases, whether you are right or wrong, the smart thing to do is to not listen to you but instead to take action. So please shut up.

    Finally, finally. The uncertainties in the science proved to be wrong. Scinec diidn’t think of everything. There proves to be “unknown unknowns”. Climate sensitivity proves to be more than the highest figure expected today. Adieu civilisation. The vast majority of people, climate scientists, lukewarmers, deniers alike are very embarrassed. For a while. A short while…

    • Problem. Lukewarmers have a wide variety of positions on sensitivity and what actions are required. If I had to pick out one thing we all agree on it would be a move away from fossil fuels. Personally, I supported mcKittricks notion of a T3 tax, and nuclear.

      If I had to pick a text that captures my basic psoition it would be one on adaptive governance. you can google that.

      I think the problem most of you have is trying to stick motives that a group has into little boxes that you are comfortable with. Rather than actually engaging with people. You’ll almost always get the individual wrong. So, after 4 years of talking to Mcintyre and watts, i think I understand what drives and motivates them. I have no idea what drives willard or shewonk or ‘warmists’ in general and I think it stupid to even speculate. I can watch them try to convince people, or entertain people, or engage people and judge their success.. both objectively with traffic numbers and subjectively.

  21. I think the time is now what ole red nose would call ‘squeeky bum time’ for the look warmers. Before now they could take comfort from being the rebels to the almighty scientific alarmist consensus, but now with the teabaggers firmly in control of Washington, time for them to stand up and make sure that even if they dispute the more concerning interpretations of the science to be very clear the science is real, honest and not going to go away. The debate is not about ‘how much’ but ‘is it fraud’ and the fence sitters who are not explicit on this are just riding the tiger of anti science fervour. And by explicit I dont mean the occasional castaway ‘yes but’ I mean front and center. Its us or them time, us being people who believe that adding CO2 will warm the planet (even if they dont think its dangerous) them being the teabagger antiscience position.

    • Dude, I did that long ago on tea bagger central. And yes I’ve been pubically critical of Palin.. blah blah blah. Wrote to congress and said please no witch hunts of scientists, can we just get enforcement of open data policies.

      Again I love these calls for purity. Yes C02 warms. Yes the IPCC science is the best science we have today. Yes the envelop of projections has some scenarios that are damn scary. Personally, I believe the sensistivity is in the lower range ( where Nasa modelE has it) BUT I have no problem basing policy on the central figures. Now, can we pay more more attention to the uncertainties as say, Tim Palmer, has suggested. ( kinda like one of the lords of GCMs)I mean seriously, Our scientific position is dead smack in the middle of the science.
      our position on the cultural aspects of science differ from yours. And on Policy we are all over the map. ( still working on that) Your problem is that with us
      you lose your ‘anti science’ club. So you have other litmus tests. They aint science tests that’s for sure.

      • FWIW I have seen you argue for the mainstream physics of radiative transfer on WUWT and I actually have respect for you for that.

  22. Did I just spell luke…. look (facepalms self)

  23. You called it SheWonk.

    Lukewarmers like Mosher are disingenuous and obstructionist. I also have trouble with so-called ‘lukewarmers’ not substantiating their claim that equilibrium climate sensitivity will be lower, they are all over the map with that one. Can they all at least agree and on a number or range and post it on an official LukeWarmer site? Otherwise, it is just more arm waiving in the fog of incoherence from the contrarians.

    I also have a problem with them claiming not to accuse scientists of fraud, but allowing such accusations to be made on their blogs, and also clearly mingling/networking/collaborating/associating with people who do make such fallacious and defamatory accusations against the IPCC and scientists. You cannot have it both ways “Lukewarmers”. Time for the Lukewarmers to officially dump Morano, Watts, McIntyre, Montford, Lindzen et al. And not only that, but actually openly take them to task every time they screw up. Watts and Rotter, and FoS et al. would keep them very busy….

    So make up your minds and bring something substantive to the table “Lukewarmers”. Until then you are just another, slightly more creative, albeit totally transparent, variant of a contrarian.

    • I love these litmus tests.

      On sensitivity, at Lucia’s I published the range of numbers that cover lukewarmerism and the scientific reasons for believing that the number will be in the lower half of the IPCC range. As someone point out my favorite GCM ( ModelE) is actually a Lukewarmer. Go figure. Now you want US to agree on one number.
      That’s stupid. You all dont agree on one number, in fact one number would be wrong.

      But its interesting to note that if we don’t follow your list of increasingly arcane rules we are somehow… what? Anti science? denialist? There are a group of people who accept the core science who tend to believe that we will see from 1.5C to 3C per doubling. Hardly anti science. Hardly denialist. Some of us also believe that immediate action is required. Hardly obstructionist.

      what’s our thought crime?

      ” Time for the Lukewarmers to officially dump Morano, Watts, McIntyre, Montford, Lindzen et al. And not only that, but actually openly take them to task every time they screw up. Watts and Rotter, and FoS et al. would keep them very busy….”

      I see you expect us “dump” or disown certain people. Purity of the warmist tribe?
      maybe a final solution for those guys. Personally, I think it’s more important to do a little housecleaning on our side of the fence. But, truth be told I did have fun attacking Goddard every time he posted. Your method for dealing with skeptics has demonstrably failed. And you stand there and expect me to follow your guidance. Don’t think so. Your way and Mann’s way has been tried for over a decade. How’s that working for you?

      • Words are easy. Anyone can claim they support the science and believe the time for action is now. They might even convince themselves they do and have. I believe you even gave out advice on how to do this.

        What counts are actions. What you do – writing posts smearing, making innuendo, harassing scientists with nuisance FOI requests, writing books furthering the smearing of climate science – that’s what really counts. Not words, which are easy.

        What have you done to call for action on reducing greenhouse gasses and promoting the findings of the science and supporting the scientists?

      • There are a group of people who accept the core science who tend to believe that we will see from 1.5C to 3C per doubling. Hardly anti science. Hardly denialist. Some of us also believe that immediate action is required. Hardly obstructionist.

        what’s our thought crime?

        You are denying that sensitivity could just as well be from 3C – 4.5C as from 1.5C – 3C. Or that best estimates indicate that sensitivity is very likely no less than 2C and that estimates above 4.5C cannot be ruled out. That is unscientific and disingenuous cherry-picking. Your ‘thought crime’ is first order Machiavellian bullshit.

      • what’s our thought crime?

        It’s not a thought crime. It’s behaviour.

        It’s claiming to accept the science but instead of arguing for action based on the science, time is spent trashing the scientists who produce the very science that is supposed to be sound. It’s making innuendo about the motives of scientists for doing the science, like referring to grants and talking about social networks as if that nullifies the science, and suggesting that peer review is broken. It’s exploiting cherry-picked data and failing to correct mistakes and falsehoods, and it’s for fomenting hatred and cynicism towards science. It’s taking things out of context to warp meaning, and for being disingenuous with the use of words like “trick”. It’s harassing scientists with nuisance FOIs, and making mountains out of molehills (station dropouts, moves, adjustments) in order to score more blog traffic or make themselves to be more important then they really are. It’s demanding to be given privileges that they don’t deserve and to have recognition for work they haven’t done.

        Mostly, it’s for being a hypocrite.

  24. Coincidentally I found Mosher’s tactical advice to his fellow denialists:

    It is my great desire that more an more people learn this simple approach.

    Once you say these words the whole debate changes.

    ” C02 warms the planet, we just don’t know how much”

    That changes the debate for the following reasons.

    1. Bulbheads dont know how to respond. They are used to their party line.
    ( skeptics deny the effect of C02, skeptics are anti science, balh blah blah)
    2. The argument shifts to the weakest link of their argument where they have
    INTERNAL discord.

    I don’t know why more “skeptics/denialists” don’t see this.

    EVEN IF you believe that C02 has no effect, EVEN IF you believe that, you are FAR BETTER OFF, saying ” C02 warms the planet, we just dont know how much”

    Cute, isn’t it?

    • That’s the money quote.

      Here’s a thought experiment. I am a strong supporter of the theory of evolution. It is the underpinning of modern biology, which was my area of study in science. Imagine I was involved in a debate over whether creation should be taught as the equal to evolution in public schools, a position I do not actually share. Imagine that I surrounded myself with creationists and criticized evolutionary theory because in the past it was used to support eugenics and sexism, racism. Imagine if I was to tell creationists how to prevent evolution from being taught in school, or gave them tips on how to ensure that every time evolution is taught, creation is taught as its equal. Imagine if I were to tell creationists how to shut down debate and get the evolutionists befuddled and called for the prosecution of those who teach evolution. What kind of person would I be? What would you think of my motives and ethics?

    • [devils advocate]
      That can be read two ways. One as a ‘true intentions unmasked’ secondly as a way of encouraging people away from outright denial towards luke warm skepticism. Enticing them that it is not a surrender but a better tactic.

      [/devils advocate]

      And I would much rather meet people agreeing with the basic science and disputing the outcome than the never ending guff that tends to get posted round the blogs.

      • That’s one way of approaching Lukewarmers, but I don’t know if it really helps at all. Lukers with their “it’s no big deal” and focus on climategate and the whole smearing of climate scientists give more reason for politicians not to act…

    • The fact that none of them do this should be very telling to you. That is the whole point of the exercise. They are truly convinced they are right. Even if it was in their tactical interest to adopt a position they don’t believe in, they won’t. I’ve had this private conversation with many of them. If they were merely motivated by monetary interests I would expect them to adopt such practices. But they are not. Now when you consider a corporation, they can ‘act as if they believe” so Oil companies who care only about profits can act as if they believe in the science. But individuals, these individuals, cannot. personally, I found this fascinating. Even when it was in their interest to say they believed when they didnt, they could not do it. That’s some pretty deep faith. And it tells me something about the job of convincing them.

    • And here is Mosher @ Jeff Id’s

      here is my advice for denialists. You can accept RTE and still be a skeptic. In fact you will throw the warmists a huge curveball by simply stating that you believe in RTE. basically it takes away the “anti science” argument from their retorts.

      Mosher is there ready to catch those who made up their mind with out evidence and feed them some thing he considers a harder target.

    • Mosher’s audience are denialist. Not only that they are his allies. Mosher is appealing to the crazies to try and get numbers behind what he thinks is a defenable postion.

      Mosher is not pointing out to the the National Academies of Sciences where they went wrong. He’s trying to draft from the anti-science crazies. Even hoping that he can dress up some anti-science crowd to look more respectable.

  25. Coincidentally I found Mosher’s tactical advice to his fellow denialists:

    It is my great desire that more an more people learn this simple approach.

    Once you say these words the whole debate changes.

    ” C02 warms the planet, we just don’t know how much”

    That changes the debate for the following reasons.

    1. Bulbheads dont know how to respond. They are used to their party line.
    ( skeptics deny the effect of C02, skeptics are anti science, balh blah blah)
    2. The argument shifts to the weakest link of their argument where they have
    INTERNAL discord.

    I don’t know why more “skeptics/denialists” don’t see this.

    EVEN IF you believe that C02 has no effect, EVEN IF you believe that, you are FAR BETTER OFF, saying ” C02 warms the planet, we just dont know how much”

    Cute, isn’t it?

  26. Shewonk at #743, you would not be at all like Steve Mosher, in answer to your question.

    • Well SheWonk, I suppose Fuller’s lame response is expected– I hardly think that he is an objective or impartial voice. Although one could always hope that he might attempt to muster the courage to critique his colleague in this case. Perhaps Fuller’s comprehension skills are failing him, because the message in Mosher’s post that Neven cited was clear as day. And Mosher et el. should be reminded of that every time they try and paint themselves as a “moderate voice of reason”.

      If Fuller wants to try and defend people who are deceitful and disingenuous, he can be be our guest, it is his credibility that ends up being in tatters as a result. So long “skeptics” and “lukewarmers” play at these disingenuous games (and this IS most definitely simply a game for them), they will quite rightly continue to be disparaged and ridiculed. And for that they have only themselves and their actions in public to blame.

    • Tom,

      In the first few comments of this blog’s existence, Moshpit tried to “advise” Shewonk about how to have a better attitude. I recall that a troll came up with a very vivid word to describe Moshpit’s crudeness.

      Somehow, it did not work.

  27. . Although one could always hope that he might attempt to muster the courage to critique his colleague in this case. Perhaps Fuller’s comprehension skills are failing him, because the message in Mosher’s post that Neven cited was clear as day.

    Nah, Fuller’s position has been essentially that described by Mosher from day one. That’s why some of us have had no respect for him from the moment he began his “I believe in the basic science behind global warming but …” schtick in the blogosphere.

    There are reasons why Mosher and Fuller were co-authors of the climategate smear-for-profit book. I doubt that a conflicting sense of ethics was one of them …

  28. Another interesting exchange:

    Identifying what is being exchanged is left to the reader.

    • And MT hits a nail right on the head in (Comment#65761).

      You [Lucia] go easy on Fuller being angry at me but not the other way around. Is there some reason for that?


  29. From Willard, above:

    > “Lukewarming” amounts to promot[ing] AGW in cold blogs and INTEGRITY(tm) in warm blogs.

    Lukewarming, as it is currently practiced, shows itself as pure and simple contrarianism.

    Me: Priceless. Too good to be buried.

  30. Both Lucia and Curry are ripping in to the ‘Slaying the Sky Dragon’ book, Tamino has alread gone on the warpath over one of the books views on orbital forcing.

    Its unbelievably bad science. Reconcillation with this load of clowns? Nope. You can dispute the scale and the impacts of the warming but this crud fubar.

  31. I don’t go to CLimate Etc. often, but when I do I invariably encounter things that corroborate my view of the people that have been discussed here.

    Here’s La Curry:

    speaking of blog traffic, today (and the day isn’t over yet) is the all time highest number of hits at climate etc (exceeding “heretic” day). Third highest was Jan 31. Sky dragon and reconciliation have been big traffic generators. I don’t think there has been much in the way of food fights (a little re steig), i think the “sky dragons vs the physicists” cage match was a big attraction. I don’t pay much attention to hits (my more substantive technical posts get the least number of hits), but seems like sky dragon was a quantum jump in adding new readership here similarly to heretic.

    She doesn’t pay much attention to hits…

    La Mosher is a veritable cornucopia of quotes on this thread, but I like this one best:

    Since those of us who believe in AGW have an interest in the public being persuaded we have a duty to assess the effectiveness of RC and the effectiveness of the current spokespeople at RC.

    By any quantifiable measure, traffic, awards, RC is a failure. The site with the best science ( RC), the most experts (RC) is an abysmal failure. My good friend, a TV weatherman, routinely kicks their ass. My other good friend, a retired mining exec, also kicks their ass.

    That was plenty enough for today.

  32. Neven,

    Sigh. So Stephen Moshpit is good buddies with Watts and McIntyre, he apparently also made up with Goddard in Lisbon. Who people choose as friends and acquaint with says with a lot about a person. In this case, the boasting reflects incredibly poorly on Moshpit….not that we needed confirmation, his own actions paint a scary picture on their own.

    My mum and dad always told me that quality was much more important than quantity. America’s “stupidist” videos probably has a much larger following than does, say NOVA…but whatever those in denial need to believe to keep deluding themselves.

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