Free publicity from Andrew Bolt

Andrew Bolt is giving our little panel at the Sydney Writer’s Festival some free publicity, describing it as “That baaing sound of writers debating” and as an “ABC-style “debate””. Which is odd, because he’s on the ABC all the time and this panel is Bolt-free.

And while I was turning over the rocks at Bolt’s blog I cam across this post, where he argues that because “polls show fewer men are excited by the issue (of climate change)”, that this

further evidence, of course, that the great global warming scare is fundamentally irrational.

And then


Pick a woman, and you run a comparatively higher risk that you’ve got yourself a superstitious New Ager, which is precisely the conclusion of a fascinating study last year by two Swedish researchers–Lennart Sjoberg of the Stockholm School of Economics and Anders af Wahlberg of Uppsala University.

The study actually says:

women were only slightly more attracted to NA than men. Religous commitment was positively related to NA beliefs

Bolt continues:

More dangerously, they’ll tend to show a “scepticism toward modern science and technology”

Yes, I can see why scepticism towards modern science is rather irrational.

Comments

  1. #1 janama
    May 20, 2009

    He’s right – it was just a warmers love fest!
    why won’t you warmers debate Plimer and the other skeptics?

  2. #2 Trevor Williams
    May 20, 2009

    “The baa-ing sound of writers debating…” courtesy of one Andrew Bolt, occupation: errrm…..writer.

  3. #3 MarcH
    May 20, 2009

    Bolt is right, hardly qualifies as a debate. The organisers could have at least tried to get someone from the skeptics camp on board. I see the venue is most apt for dancing around the facts.

  4. #4 John Quiggin
    May 20, 2009

    #1 and #3 illustrate the undesirability of debating delusionists, even in blog comments. It supports their delusion that they have a position worth debating. It would be better to respond to each comment with the appropriate number from the Coby Beck list and leave it at that.

    It’s appropriate to analyse delusionism as a social and political phenomenon, as the panel is doing, but delusionists themselves have no capacity to contribute to such an analysis.

  5. #5 Brian D
    May 20, 2009

    John Quiggin: As Frank Bi observed, Bet: Bad. Debate: Good. I’d be interested in seeing whether Janama or MarcH would be interested in putting their wallet where their mouth is, challenging Brian Schmidt, Joe Romm, or Will Connolley, all of whom have active (and open) bets with the climate community on assorted issues. Without that, they’re just screaming “waaah, they won’t debate us!”, knowing full well that science isn’t settled by public debate.

  6. #6 DavidCOG
    May 20, 2009

    John Q,

    Absolutely. I try my best nowadays to only respond *at* them, not *to* them. Conversations are futile, we just need to expose the delusion and ignorance for the benefit of lurkers. It’s a Groundhog Day of Idiocy otherwise.

    And as the evidence mounts, the crazy dial is getting turned up to compensate – witness the wingnuts in comments at http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/georgemonbiot/2009/may/20/climate-change-denier-mit

  7. #7 TrueSceptic
    May 20, 2009

    4 John,

    Nail meets head.

    They will never get this, of course. They have so much in common with Creationists yet they cannot see the similarity.

    Have you seen Joe Romm’s [ASS](http://climateprogress.org/2009/01/05/anthony-watts-up-with-that-anti-science-denier-website-weblog-awards/)?

    And am I the only one that thinks the denialists have become more frenzied over the last few months? Could this be anything to do with Bush being replaced by Obama (the do-nothing replaced by the yes-we-can-do-something)?

  8. #8 janama
    May 20, 2009

    John Q – exactly what is the evidence that keeps mounting??

    you guys keep telling each other this yet it’s false.

    The global temperatures are dropping, sea level is falling, arctic ice is normal and antarctic ice is expanding. None of the claims made by the warmers are in fact happening – you are deluding yourself.

    check the accurate charts as per http://www.climate4you.com and you’ll find all this is correct.

  9. #9 frankis
    May 20, 2009

    I agree that engagement with persistent delusionists is counterproductive and most likely to give observers the wrong idea. Derision is a more appropriate response to out and loud antiscience and the denialist noise machine, to the Bolts, Plimers and Carters. Let them talk to the peer reviewed journals if they really have something of science to contribute. Engaging them on blogs is as John Quiggin says not as smart as referring them – and intelligent observers – to something like Coby Beck’s excellent answers to their noisy stupid talking points.

  10. #10 MarcH
    May 20, 2009

    John Q and Tim, As the science will not be debated I guess this event can be classed as fiction. Will you both be wearing a tutu to the event? Suggest you add some leg warmers as its gets quite cold in the Sydney Dance Theatre. I hope the organisers have taken it upon themselves to provide CO2 neutral candles for lighting lest they be accused of being hypocrites by tapping into our coal based power system.

  11. #11 MarkG
    May 20, 2009

    Debate? No debate is really possible without, at the minimum, an agreement over what constitutes a climate change. Everything else is just argument, we may as well be “debating” the laws of thermodynamics with young earth creationists. The last few threads on Deltoid seem to have shown this repeatedly. Speaking as a physicist it’s just annoying to get lectured by people who seem to think that the physics and maths I’ve done is somehow malleable depending on someone’s “opinion” on the subject.

    I’m not even sure we should debate the subject with anyone who hasn’t personally derived the radiative transfer equation and worked through the solutions.

  12. #12 Paul Norton
    May 20, 2009

    He’s right – it was just a warmers love fest! why won’t you warmers debate Plimer and the other skeptics?

    Posted by: janama | May 20, 2009 5:43 PM

    Considering that the “warmers love fest” is scheduled for 23 May, could I respectfully suggest that janama should leave the climate science alone and write up a Nobel Prize-winning physics paper on the relativistic effect that s/he has apparently discovered?

  13. #13 frankis
    May 20, 2009

    In response to janama at #8 (links are to Coby Beck’s refutations of the noise and stupidity):

    “global temperatures are [not] dropping”

    “sea level is [not] falling”

    “arctic ice is normal and antarctic ice is expanding – [not!]”

    The journey of a thousand miles to less stupidity begins with the first step into science.

  14. #15 janama
    May 20, 2009

    and while we are at it here’s the temp history to get some perspective on what exactly the recent warming is relative to.

    http://users.tpg.com.au/johnsay1/Stuff/temp_history.jpg

  15. #16 Brian Schmidt
    May 20, 2009

    My ears are burning….

    Hey janama, care to put your money where your mouth is?

  16. #17 Richard Simons
    May 20, 2009

    Janama,

    You claim that your first link shows that global temperatures are falling. Exactly which few months are you using to support this claim, as the overall trend is clearly upwards?

    You claim that the second link shows that sea level is falling. You mis-read the graph. The vertical scale is not sea level, but the rate of increase in sea level. In other words, they found that sea level is still rising but that in the last couple of years it has not been risen rapidly as previously.

    You claim that the third link shows that Arctic ice is normal and Antarctic sea ice is expanding. The maps are for May 17, compared to a 21-year average. Given that much of the Arctic ice on that date would be temporary, first year ice, wouldn’t it have been more reasonable to compare the minimum extent of sea ice?

  17. #18 janama
    May 20, 2009

    what’s that supposed to mean Brian – can’t you read charts and graphs.

    All the charts I presented are sourced from the originators of the data. It is not the opinion of some blogger like Coby Beck.

    Now do you deny the validity of these charts?

  18. #19 John Quiggin
    May 20, 2009

    Since this seems like a good time to start, here are a few hypotheses on delusionism
    (i) Emeritus disease (premature in some cases). It’s the product of reflexive contrarianism over-estimation of own intelligence and knowledge relative to those actually working on the topic, combined with the kind of intellectual rigidity that refuses to admit error. Cases: Lindzen, Plimer, Aitken, Kininmonth and others
    (ii) Tribalism: Can divide into two groups
    (a) Rightwingers going along with the herd (the great majority of delusionists)
    (b) Engineers, mining geologists and so on who hate greenies and don’t think much of academic scientists (Lavoiser Group, probably Plimer again)
    (iii) Ideologues who think the the truth of AGW would undermine their world view. There’s an obvious overlap with (iib) here, and it’s hard to distinguish particular cases, but the Cato crowd are an obvious fit, as are Baliunas, M&M and others
    (iv) Bought-and-paid for hacks. Quite a few started out this way (Michaels, Milloy, Balling and many others) but as the Exxon tap has been turned off, most of them have either gone quiet or are doing it for love, though Milloy has found a new gig at Fox
    (v) just plain thick as a post – the average delusionist blog commenter

  19. #20 Richard Simons
    May 20, 2009

    Janama:

    In post #15 you are confusing local variation with global averages. There is a big difference, as no doubt you have been told many times.

  20. #21 bi -- IJI
    May 20, 2009

    > Andrew Bolt […] describing it […] as an “ABC-style ‘debate'”. Which is odd, because he’s on the ABC all the time and this panel is Bolt-free.

    Probably another of those “Yes, But Clinton Did It Too!” things.

  21. #22 frankis
    May 20, 2009

    Yes that categorisation (#19) looks quite good to me John, although I feel that many of the wider-mouthed engineers, mining geologists et al of class (iib) could as well be accommodated OK in your (v). You know, relatively speaking.

    Janama (#14): please see #13.

  22. #23 Ken
    May 20, 2009

    There are the expert witnesses and there are people shouting from the back of the courtroom when the verdict isn’t to their liking. The fundamentals of AGW are confirmed more than well enough to be taken as workaday truth by everyone who knows the subject matter well – and for those who develop energy and infrastructure policy to take the reality of climate change into consideration.

    There is no debate to be had over the fundamentals of climate change, just opportunities for the backers of the losing arguments of climate science debates to imagine their unsubstantiated opinions and debunked arguments have real merit.

  23. #24 Lee
    May 20, 2009

    janama:

    The peak of the Greenland ice cap is not global.

    The graph you present to show falling sea levels, actually shows sea level rise of between 2-4 mm / yr (smoothed) every year since 1996.

    Unsmoothed, it shows annualized increase of ~4mm/yr in late 2008, the most recent time on the graph.

    Do you understand any of this stuff?

  24. #25 Markhc
    May 20, 2009

    John Q,

    I would count Plimer in at least the first 3 groups, considering also his relationship with an ideological lobby group, the IPA.

    I’m not sure if he fits in group 4. Plimer was recently asked on Stateline (SA) whether he had any income relevant to a perceived conflict of interest. He skillful disclosed his government paid income, without being categorical about whether that was his only income.

    I’ve since read (without confirmation) that Plimer is director of two mining companies. So I don’t know if he’d fit a four out of four jackpot, or merely a d ¾ crackpot.

  25. #26 Markhc
    May 20, 2009

    Reading Janama @14,@15 and @18, and the amply chances given for him to realise his folly @13, @17, @20; I would direct readers to category V in quiggins post @19.

  26. #27 Bernard J.
    May 20, 2009

    what’s that supposed to mean Brian – can’t you read charts and graphs.

    Yes, Janama, he can. And his point was that you can’t, which you neatly demonstrate by your reply at #18.

    All the charts I presented are sourced from the originators of the data. It is not the opinion of some blogger like Coby Beck.

    So?

    Their source is irrelevant; your misude of them is not.

    Now do you deny the validity of these charts?

    It has nothing to do with the inherent ‘validity’ of the charts themselves, and everything to do with the invalidity of your misuse of them.

    Are you truly so dense that you don’t understand your childish misprepresentation of their meanings? Read Richard Simmons’ post at #17 again, and think for a few minutes before you comment.

  27. #28 Neil
    May 20, 2009

    janama, You ask John Quiggin for his evidence. What part of “I don’t debate delusionists” don’t you understand?

  28. #29 GC
    May 21, 2009

    I looked at the graphs at #14. They look like pretty compelling evidence *for* climate change, not against. Bolt does the same thing. He puts up a graph he claims shows one thing when it is obvious that it shows another. John Quiggin is right. We are no longer talking about scientific debate (if we ever were). We are talking about delusionalism where the victims quite literally cannot see the evidence staring them in the face.

  29. #30 John Mashey
    May 21, 2009

    re: #19 JQ
    I’ve been working on a coherent taxonomy of this, an iteration beyond this one here.

    I think that there are clearly two different syndromes around your category (i), and they are worth splitting.

    Plimer looks like GONE EMERITUS, whereas Lindzen looks like EARLY POSITION HELD INDEFINITELY.

    GONE EMERITUS

    (Plimer, Akasofu, many others)

    a)Career, even distinguished, in one area.

    b)Then, starts opining or taking strong positions in a completely different area in which expertise is lacking. This may come from “I’m smarter than everyone else”, or maybe from “why is nobody asking me for advice any more?”. Writes OpEds, books, does interviews, not peer-reviewed research.

    At the Nobel level, Linus Pauling and William Shockley would fit this.

    EARLY POSITION HELD INDEFINITELY

    (Lindzen, Spencer, William Gray (maybe)).

    Such people have published peer-reviewed research in the field, and may still do so, but say different thigns in OpEds, etc.

    Lindzen is actually an accomplished climate scientist, with many this in 1990. I haven’t studied it in gory detail, but a quick look puts it on the extreme skeptical side, but not completely irrational.

    Lindzen’s colleague, Ronald Prinn (see how to learn… search for Prinn) changed his mind.

    In this kind of science, one expects arguments:

    a) To what extent a signal has emerged from noise, i.e., statistical significance.

    b) Over real means and uncertainty bars, or put another way, the shape of the distribution of some important parameter, like temperature sensitivity to doubling CO2, whose dispersion has been difficult to reduce.

    These are OK arguments, and scientists can legitimately differ in the level of evidence required. When evidence keeps accumulating, sooner or later, most scientists will accept the result. Prinn certainly did, although it took more data than it did for Stephen Schneider or James Hansen.

    Someone may take the “insufficient evidence”, and then simply not change, no matter what. In Lindzen’s case, this may be exacerbated by natural contrarianism. But in any case, the viewpoint was already there ~20 years ago, well before one could claim “Gone emeritus.”

    In the URL above, search for Hoyle or Fisher for other examples of positions taken against a growing theory and held too long.

    There can be numerous reasons for this, but the characteristic is really different, even if the resulting behavior looks similar.

  30. #31 John Mashey
    May 21, 2009

    DEBATES

    Live debates are absurd, when one side is trying to create clarity, and the other side confusion. The latter can throw out numerous plausible-but-wrong ideas, any of which take 10X more time to correct.

    The closest I’ve seen to a plausible debate was this one at Washington Post.

    Search for:

    “Posted by: JohnMashey | March 22, 2009 2:19 AM”

    for the reasons why a slower-paced blog debate, with pointers to references, charts, data, and time for readers to check them, might actually work, and a few posts later, Bob Ryan’s comments on this. Ideally, there would be fair, but ruthless moderation.

    Then, think about the difficulty of getting that effect in a live debate… which is why certain Viscounts are always wishing for one.

    ===
    re: janama

    I killfiled him long ago. Can anyone who keeps replying to him convince me I should unkillfile him?

  31. #32 Steve S
    May 21, 2009

    I spent some time recently at Bolt’s blog. I was trying to point out to his acolytes an incorrect claim that Bolt makes – that Josh Willis says that sea temps are cooling. I pointed out that after carefully analysing the data, Willis discovered that the problem was with some of the equipment (Argo Floats). Willis’s retraction of his 2006 view was well known two years before Bolt’s latest opus on Global Warming (April 29).

    I received four replies, three just abused me and AGW theory without even considering my evidence that Bolt was being either dishonest or lazy. The fourth read the link I provided but totally misunderstood it in the same way that janama has on this thread.

    This is a long winded way of saying that it seems quite useless to point out to delusionists the error of their ways and that it is a very unpleasant experience to spend much time at places like Bolt’s blog.

  32. #33 janama
    May 21, 2009

    so what part of this graph don’t you understand Steve S?

    http://users.tpg.com.au/johnsay1/Stuff/sea_temp.jpg

  33. #34 Gavin's Pussycat
    May 21, 2009

    > === re: janama
    >
    > I killfiled him long ago. Can anyone who keeps
    > replying to him convince me I should unkillfile him?

    Not everybody uses killfiles. And no, you shouldn’t reply to him.

  34. #35 bi -- IJI
    May 21, 2009

    Shorter janama:

    These hard facts prove my case. And I’m not presenting a case, I’m only presenting hard facts.

  35. #36 Gavin's Pussycat
    May 21, 2009

    > so what part of this graph don’t you understand
    > Steve S?

    I see a rising trend of 0.012 degrees/year. Plus noise. So what part of the graph don’t I understand janama? Do I need to get out my infraviolet goggles?

    …and what don’t you understand about this graph? I can play this game too you know. Same data, differently cherry-picked.

  36. #37 Steve S
    May 21, 2009

    I know I shouldn’t reply, as that was a point I was making in my post.
    But, I have been sucked in …
    Janama, go to the actual Hadley site, and look at their graph and explanation, rather that throw a second hand version at us.
    Note that Hadley have a dashed line at the end which is “the portion of the smoothed line which indicates where it is influenced by the treatment of the end points”.
    If you don’t understand the point that I am making, Tamino has an excellent post on these issues at http://tamino.wordpress.com/2009/05/11/dangerous-curves/

  37. #38 janama
    May 21, 2009

    Steve S – I’m not concerned about end points – I just look at the chart – the smoothing lines mean nothing.

    Look at the chart and determine what you see – I see cooling in SST from 2002. what do you see? forget what tamino want’s to see.

  38. #39 Boris
    May 21, 2009

    “forget what tamino want’s to see.”

    This is why we use statistical analysis. It’s not about what anyone “want’s” to see. Even you.

  39. #40 Barton Paul Levenson
    May 21, 2009

    janama writes:

    The global temperatures are dropping, sea level is falling, arctic ice is normal

    Where do you get this stuff?

    I’ll just deal with the first wrong claim above:

    http://www.geocities.com/bpl1960/Ball.html

    http://www.geocities.com/bpl1960/Reber.html

  40. #41 janama
    May 21, 2009

    so Prof Ole Humlum should just pack his bags and go home
    and tamino will tell us what to believe? that would be a waste of talent surely:

    http://www.climate4you.com/Text/BIBLIOGRAPHY%20OLE%20HUMLUM.pdf

    he goes to extreme care to produce these graphs and charts.
    Maybe you should respect his talent and his effort.

  41. #42 janama
    May 21, 2009

    I’ll just deal with the first wrong claim above:

    http://www.geocities.com/bpl1960/Ball.html

    have you been to WUWT ? his son posts there all the time.

    I hope you aren’t teaching any of our kids.

  42. #43 John Quiggin
    May 21, 2009

    What I said in #4, proved at tiresome length.

  43. #44 Steve S
    May 21, 2009

    Apologies all, I should have taken Gavin’s Pusseycat’s and John Mashey’s advice and ignored janama – who ignores Hadley’s explanation about end points and clearly shows no interest in learning about statistical analysis with the “forget what tamino want’s to see” comment.

  44. #45 Sally Johnson
    May 21, 2009

    Jhn Qggn y r s fll f HT!!! Wh r y sch htr f fllw mn? Y r bvsl lvng n fr f ‘th hmn plg’ nd nyn wh prptts ts sccss. Whn wll rsrchd scnc s prsntd tht s thr cntrr t yr prsnl nvrnmntl blfs r yr blt t cmprhnd, rthr thn ddrss t n scntfc mnnr (whch y cnnt bcs y lck bth th qlfctns nd ntllct) y rsrt t th sm ld trd ttcks. Hhm, hhm. ‘v lstnd t tlk-bck rd jcks n Tjn wth mr clss nd dgnt thn yr psts.

  45. #46 Janet Akerman
    May 21, 2009

    Sally,

    Come join me, I’m saying [similar things here.](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/05/ian_plimer_lies_about_source_o.php#c1647744)

  46. #47 TrueSceptic
    May 21, 2009

    19 John,

    The ASS/denialist syndrome is something that’s interested me for a while now and your list is most helpful.

    I wonder, though if there is a category that you haven’t covered: those who appear to be so highly delusional (vi) that they are convinced that

    a) they know more about science than those who practice it at a high level, to the extent of denying elementary mathematics and thermodynamics (extreme Dunning-Kruger);

    b) there is some world-wide left/green conspiracy to subvert science and its national bodies.

    They are not necessarily stupid, which is why I don’t think they belong in (v), just delusional to the point that it can only be described as mental illness. We see these frequently in various forums and blogs, and indeed they dominate some, such as the Marohasy Bog and WattsUpWithMyBrain.

    Do you agree, or do you think they are they already covered in your list?

  47. #48 bi -- IJI
    May 21, 2009

    Shorter Sally Johnson:

    I have no actual arguments, so I’ll just make ad hominem attacks against John Quiggin and justify that by using the “John Quiggin Did It Too!” argument.

  48. #49 Chris O'Neill
    May 21, 2009

    Sally Johnson:

    John Quiggan you are so full of HATE!!!

    you resort to the same old tired attacks

    Amazing hypocrisy. Makes a personal attack and then complains about attacks.

    By the way, I note you have yet to retract your dishonest out-of-date quote mine of James Hansen’s 1999 statement about the US temperature record.

  49. #50 Paul
    May 21, 2009

    >More dangerously, they’ll tend to show a “scepticism toward modern science and technology”

    Funny really. On another site i occasionally visit, one male poster who thinks we should apply science to everything, but never uses science to justify his own arguments. Often refers to me as ‘she’ when he gets stuck in a corner and can’t get out.

    I thought most climate change sceptics of the ‘popular’ variety, are sceptic of electric cars, modern wind turbines, new energy ideas etc.

  50. #51 Barton Paul Levenson
    May 21, 2009

    janama writes:

    All the charts I presented are sourced from the originators of the data. It is not the opinion of some blogger like Coby Beck.
    Now do you deny the validity of these charts?

    janama, go read Richard Simons’s post above yours. Then read it again. Repeat until it sinks in.

    Nobody is disputing the charts. They’re disputing your reading of the charts, your interpretation, which is just plain wrong every time.

    The first chart shows temperature going UP, not DOWN. Digitize the data and find the trend.

    Sea level rise is the first derivative of sea level with respect to time. Your second chart shows the second derivative. That very chart shows that sea level is still RISING.

    The third chart shows the sea ice ON ONE PARTICULAR DAY. To find the trend you have to find A LOT OF DAYS.

    Your charts don’t show what you think they show. Please pay attention to what people are saying. Don’t just keep repeating “the charts, the charts, the charts.” The charts don’t help your case. They hurt it.

  51. #52 Sally Johnson
    May 21, 2009

    Tm Lmbrt gss y fll n th sm ctgr s Jhn Qggn fr yr Gstp tctcs f cnsrng m pst # t f xstnc whn t ws mld cmprd t th vtrlc ttcks n thrs b Jhn Qggn n ths blg. S Tm Lmbrt nd Jhn Qggn, wh r y s fll f HTRD fr yr fllw mn? Bth f y r bvsl lvng n fr f ‘th Hmn Plg’ nd nyn wh prptts ts sccss. s sd n m rlr cnsrd pst, ‘v lstnd t tlk-bck rd shck jcks n Tjn wth mr dgnt nd clss thn fnd n yr psts Qggn. S Lmbrt, wht ws th rsn fr cnsrng m rlr pst, thr thn y nd yr crns cn’t tk wht y dsh t s gnrsl? Whn dd y dcd t b s vr vr nstrln?

    [DNFTT]

  52. #53 Sally Johnson
    May 21, 2009

    HHH! Lmbrt y r s wk t gn cnsr pst tht s typcl f mst n ths blg, xcpt tht t s md t y nd n f yr crns. Lks lk y hv xpsd yr chlls. ‘ll jst pst m rmrks lswhr nd y cn ggl thm. nj!

    [DNFTT]

  53. #54 Chris O'Neill
    May 21, 2009

    Sally Johnson:

    I’ll just post my remarks elsewhere and you can google them.

    Try to keep your ego under control.

  54. #55 dhogaza
    May 21, 2009

    Janama claims: arctic ice is normal

    Even though it’s well below the 1979-2000 average.

  55. #56 TrueSceptic
    May 21, 2009

    Sally Johnson,

    Good spoof of the extreme denialist cretin. Think you can keep this up?

  56. #57 san quintin
    May 21, 2009

    Should we really be trying to argue with these people? I agree that it’s always worth explaining the science to true sceptics and to discuss some of the uncertainties in the data. But, it seems that denialists (recently on Deltoid: Dash, Greig, Sally Johnson, janama etc) are never going to accept the science. It’a always entertaining to see their arguments taken apart, but it’s also a huge waste of time too.

    I agree with John Quiggin….just give them a stock answer and then refuse to discuss further until they make a sensible point. I guess it would be less fun though.

  57. #58 TrueSceptic
    May 21, 2009

    57 san quintin,

    This is being discussed in [another thread](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/05/ian_plimer_lies_about_source_o.php#comment-1647862)

    Should we continue there or here?

  58. #59 Peter Smith
    May 21, 2009

    I guess Lambert thinks that by constantly censoring posts he does not find agreeable he will drive away from his site those who understand that proven and verifiable science does not support an AGW view and in doing so somehow win the debate.

    Makes for a very dull world Timmy.

  59. #60 san quintin
    May 21, 2009

    Ah, yes I see. Sorry TrueSceptic. I take on board the view that if we don’t discuss with them then they’ll think they’ve won the argument…but after a while it does get a bit boring. I get the impression that the more we argue with them the more they get some vicarious pleasure. Are you sure it’s not really just a big wind-up?

  60. #61 TrueSceptic
    May 21, 2009

    60 san quintin,

    No apology required. :-)

    I really don’t know. I can usually recognise simple dishonesty but with these I can tell if they are highly delusional or just trolls.

  61. #62 TrueSceptic
    May 21, 2009

    …can *not* tell…

  62. #63 WotWot
    May 21, 2009

    All the charts I presented are sourced from the originators of the data. It is not the opinion of some blogger like Coby Beck. Now do you deny the validity of these charts?

    I do not think those charts show what you think they show.

  63. #64 bi -- IJI
    May 21, 2009

    Shorter Peter Smith:

    The world can only be interesting if there are people who dispute global warming.

  64. #65 Marion Delgado
    May 21, 2009

    #1 and #3 illustrate the undesirability of debating delusionists, even in blog comments. It supports their delusion that they have a position worth debating. It would be better to respond to each comment with the appropriate number from the Coby Beck list and leave it at that.

    – John Quiggin

    Bless you, John, I’ve been maintaining this for a couple of years now.

  65. #66 Marion Delgado
    May 21, 2009

    John Mashey:

    you should unkillfile janama because reading his comments is good for your sinful soul.

    After all, you refuse to wear the hair shirt or the cilice.

  66. #67 jemima
    May 21, 2009

    TrueSceptic, san quintin, Marion: like you I don’t _know_ for sure that some of these trolls are irredeemable and wicked, but it’s the feeling I get. Take a look at Greig’s latest comment (as I write this) on the other thread. The thanks TrueSceptic gets for giving the troll the benefit of the doubt is to be lumped into the latest spit of venom: “How many declared Gore to be a liar. Hands up! Spot the hypocrite. You all, including Tim Lambert, should be ashamed of the way you conduct yourselves in this public forum. It is hypocritical, disrespectful, indulgent and rude. I am quite glad I don’t know any of you personally.”

    What can you engage with in that that could do any good for it or anyone else? The sentiments best reflect the behaviour of its hero Plimer who – in that winningly avuncular tone – calumnies all the thousands of scientists who publish peer reviewed research in the most rigorous and real scientific journals, that Plimer doesn’t understand. Plimer proves every time he opens his mouth that he doesn’t care about the truth, and the troll doesn’t either.

    I believe that to learn something difficult you need both courage to first face the truth and then, maintaining your courage, the discipline to genuinely try to understand. I may be wrong but I don’t see or feel any of the prerequisites for learning in anything we’ve seen from the troll in question.

  67. #68 Dan L.
    May 21, 2009

    san quintin : “Should we really be trying to argue with these people? I agree that it’s always worth explaining the science to true sceptics and to discuss some of the uncertainties in the data. But, it seems that denialists (recently on Deltoid: Dash, Greig, Sally Johnson, janama etc) are never going to accept the science. It’a always entertaining to see their arguments taken apart, but it’s also a huge waste of time too.”

    It’s the same as confronting evolution deniers, holocaust deniers, 9/11 truthers, etc. It’s a dirty job that needs doing – kinda like cleaning the kitty litter box.

  68. #69 naught101
    May 21, 2009

    Janama: please, take care of Poe’s Law. The joke came clear after posts #14 and #17, but you’ve still got a lot of people convinced that you’re an idiot.

  69. #70 Donald Oats
    May 21, 2009

    My view of some of the more moderate AGW sceptics, who have also worked as a lecturer and researcher somewhere, is that they initially have a feeling that AGW couldn’t be correct (perhaps from a newspaper article explaining AGW incorrectly), and because of their academic background, they feel that they can read a couple of articles on AGW and be instant experts. In the case of Ian Plimer we have someone who has a passion for being a contrarian, which in itself is not necessarily a bad thing, but he has the ego to believe he can master climate science and AGW without doing the hard yards of learning the physics, chemistry, geology, paleoentology, mathematics, computing, instrumentation, astrophysics and solar dynamics, fluid and gas dynamics, etc. From this mistake he extrapolates far beyond what the data shows. With the thought filter on he is probably quite oblivious to the correct understanding of AGW.

    The most amazing thing to me is how he derisively dismisses pretty much the climate science fraternity in its entirety: he believes that anyone involved with the IPCC is tainted; and he has a pathological opinion of anyone displaying signs of belonging to the Green movement. Greenies are probably his most derided class of filth – they stop us mining in conservation parks – and anyone who sounds Green gets Plimer’s standard lecture.

    I don’t think he is a bad person as such, just someone misdirecting their talent and prejudices towards AGW. The difficulty for all of us who have an interest in climate science, and in particular AGW, is that the science behind it leads to results that require a *policy* from governments. Policy is where the sceptics tend to fall to one side of the political spectrum (AFAIK) and AGW accepters fall on the other side. Unless you have been thinking about the science behind AGW for a very long time, it is quite likely that your instinct is to join the crowd with your political outlook. A good sceptic would be prepared to change his/her mind on AGW based on a detailed study of the literature on the subject. A poor sceptic tries to change the science (or it’s presentation) in order for it to comply with their initial feeling; this is driven by their strong desire to stay onside politically.

    I’m currently reading his book and I have quite a few of the books and articles that he cites in support of his opinion on AGW. I have seen enough so far to decide that a formal review of his book needs doing.

  70. #71 Ken
    May 22, 2009

    The ‘blame the greenies’ thing always seems to neglect that whilst greens may be able to raise awareness of issues it takes more than that to become part of the mainstream. Green issues tend to impact the mainstream when they are real issues of genuine consequence, that have confirmation in mainstream science; the mainstream is resistant to radical politics. Policy to change the issues comes out of the concerns of mainstream citizens – and once the issue has become a mainstream one the radicals lose control (if they ever had any) of the political agenda. It’s not a matter of attacking climate change policy for being a green issue, it’s a mainstream issue which is why such politicking is unlikely to succeed.

  71. #72 Barton Paul Levenson
    May 22, 2009

    I don’t expect to convince a janama or Sally Johnson by anything I say. My responses to them are more for the lurker who might possibly be misled by what they write. For that reason only, it’s important to point out the mistakes, lies, and distortions of the deniers.

  72. #73 John Mashey
    May 22, 2009

    re: #72 BPL (and all)

    Yes, for sure. This is like politics, where the uncommitted middle needs to be addressed.

    However, it argues for approaches like JQ’s, in more detail:

    a) Point at an item in an existing list, Like Coby Beck’s or John Cook’s.

    b) Point at a good answer in some existing thread.

    c) Or, answer it well, once, and then point back.

    a) and b) reinforce the fact that some silly idea is the Nth time it’s been seen, not a new idea that you’re forced to respond to. I’ve sometimes stopped a dumb discussion cold by listing as many as 12 specific numbers from Skeptical Science. One can do that easily without diluting a discussion.

    Some trolls *want* to dilute/divert a discussion by inducing a lot of other posts, without the slightest interest in ever following the links or learning anything.

    I offer a few suggestions:

    a) If possible, Google a new poster before replying to them. I’ve seen some ask the same questions in multiple places across years, get the same answers. It’s not always easy to sort out the legitimately-confused from the real trolls.

    b) Go back to a year-old thread in which you’ve participated and reread it and see how you feel about it now.

    Many of us get wrapped up in the heat of battle. Returning to it later allows for some more dispassionate analysis of the social mechanisms at work, and whatever or not it was a good use of time, and whether or not a lurker would have gotten much out of it.

    Of course,
    someone is wrong on the Internet.

  73. #74 Hank Roberts
    May 26, 2009

    Excellent summary from John.

    Recommended: Firefox extension Zotero, or your favorite equivalent link-and-clipping tool. There are relatively few clear expositions available. Pointers to those are a reminder that there are relatively few stupid questions.

    There aren’t even all that many ignoramuses. But they repeat themselves so often, they’re a terrible temptation for anyone with a weakness for recreational typing.

    In other news, a chart of “lower troposphere temperatures” does not mean the temperature in the troposphere is going down.
    _____________________

  74. #75 Hank Roberts
    May 26, 2009

    PS to Tim and any web programmer interested:

    Wishlist/pseudocode item:

    Update this:
    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2005/04/gwsbingo.php

    to work this way:

    User goes to a new septic page (not comments, main article) and

    Brings up Coby’s submission form here and incorporates the new septic page:
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/add_article.php

    Creates a fresh Bingo card, using Coby’s then current items, randomly on the grid with a frequency in proportion to their rank/percent on that list (so the card has more “the Sun” squares, etc.); perhaps a larger card will be needed; and

    Lets the user read through, clicking off items (which is what Coby’s analysis also does, of course, if the user is willing to wait for that card to be automagically filled in); and

    Records that user’s Bingo score for that card on that page on that day; and

    … um … what’s the usual final step? OH yeah

    $$Profit$$

    If someone’s able to code this please set up a tip jar.

  75. #76 Hank Roberts
    May 26, 2009

    Dang, sorry Tim. Three times, I got the message saying the system was probably overloaded and to resubmit if I didn’t see the posting; did so with long waits; then all 3 showed up.
    Feh.

  76. #77 Hank Roberts
    May 26, 2009

    Dang, sorry Tim. Three times, I got the message saying the system was probably overloaded and to resubmit if I didn’t see the posting; did so with long waits; then all 3 showed up.
    Feh.

    It’s doing it again:
    Submission Timeout

    … Hit the back button and refresh the page to see if your post made it through …

    Nope, it’s not there. Let’s see if this makes it appear twice.

  77. #78 Hank Roberts
    May 26, 2009

    Dropsies.

    The sketch for improving Bingo should say

    > Brings up Coby’s
    list of septic talking points, numbered, or John Cook’s
    > submission form here and incorporates the new septic page:
    > http://www.skepticalscience.com/add_article.php

    Use either list, crank out a new and unique Bingo card for the site being scrutinized …..

    I know, I know, I should learn to program …. or wish more specifically and clearly in logical steps …

Current ye@r *