A Taxonomy of Delusion

John Quiggin categorizes those that reject climate science into Tribalists, Ideologists, Hacks and sufferers of Emeritus disease.

Speaking of hacks, Bob Burton has discovered some more about Pat Michaels funding:

[New Hope Environmental Services], which he wholly owns, describes itself as “an advocacy science consulting firm.” These days, New Hope’s main activities are publishing the firm’s blog, World Climate Report, and helping anonymous clients to publicize “findings on climate change and scientific and social perspectives that may not otherwise appear in the popular literature or media.”

While both Michaels and New Hope Environmental Services are secretive about who their clients are, a little piece of their funding jigsaw is tucked away in the backblocks of the 2006 and 2007 (pdf’s – see page 10) annual returns of the Cato Institute. In its returns, Cato reports that since April 2006 they have paid $242,900 for the “environmental policy” services of Michaels’ firm.

And Jonathan Chait turns up this story:


Matthew B. Crawford has an essay in the New York Times magazine entitled “The Case for Working With Our Hands.” It’s an interesting read. What caught my eye was this passage, about the author’s disillusionment with conventionally intellectual work:

I landed a job as executive director of a policy organization in Washington. This felt like a coup. But certain perversities became apparent as I settled into the job. It sometimes required me to reason backward, from desired conclusion to suitable premise. The organization had taken certain positions, and there were some facts it was more fond of than others. As its figurehead, I was making arguments I didn’t fully buy myself. Further, my boss seemed intent on retraining me according to a certain cognitive style — that of the corporate world, from which he had recently come. This style demanded that I project an image of rationality but not indulge too much in actual reasoning.

What was the policy organization? The George C. Marshall Institute.

Comments

  1. #1 jre
    May 28, 2009

    To avoid a wasteful and confusing duplication of effort, I propose we harmonize John Quiggin’s system with John Mashey’s. Acronyms are solicited.

  2. #2 John Mashey
    May 28, 2009

    By amusing coincidence, it’s actually been my latest project, with a big spreadsheet, some study of the folks in Solomon’s “The Deniers”, some earlier work on categorizing expertise levels, and a few other things.

    JQ’s is more of a molecular grouping from the top, whereas I’ve been studying the atoms from the bottom. More soon.

  3. #3 Doug Mackie
    May 28, 2009

    Oooh can I play?
    I’ve been looking for clusters of “arguments” in 6500 pages of submissions to two parliamentary Select Committees considering an emissions trading scheme.

    I know it doesn’t count as a scientific objection but I can’t help liking statements like:

    “[climate change is] a fraud that has been manufactured for fascist political purposes. Proponents of the New World Order are behind this as they wish to bring in a one world government under the guise of saving the planet.”

    (From a “journalist” who appears to count blog postings as publications).

    In general many of the submissions crossover the J2QM classifications as it seems submitters wanted to, like a true nature’s child, fire all their guns at once.

  4. #4 Dave Andrews
    May 28, 2009

    Tim,

    I bet that description from Crawford could equally as well apply to your own work at your University and to countless appointments elsewhere. You know you are clutching at straws here.

  5. #5 TrueSceptic
    May 28, 2009

    4 Dave Andrews,

    Just what are you claiming here? Spell it out, please.

  6. #6 Phila
    May 29, 2009

    “[climate change is] a fraud that has been manufactured for fascist political purposes.

    Fascist?! I thought we were committed to Marxism, and trying to bring about the Dictatorship of the Proletariat!

    What a rip-off.

  7. #7 Marion Delgado
    May 29, 2009

    I will let my brothers and sisters in the struggle against alarmism answer this for me

    Dave Andrews

    Can’t say I’ve noticed you participating in the discussions at Climate Audit. There is a lot of serious, in depth and scientific debate there, as opposed to the froth and ad homs that dominate a site like this.

    janama

    Nathan – you are the scum of this blog – the fractured little cheer leader that attacks anyone that might disagree with your supreme leader Tim. I have absolutely no concern for your pathetic little outburst. I post a complete page, documenting the history of Arctic temps from all the nationalities perspective and your reply is pathetic abuse.Why don’t you grow up?

    cohenite

    As for ENSO being an oscillation and not being able to affect temperature trend; this is bunk as White and Cayan show

    Greig

    To be honest, accusing Plimer of lying sounds hysterical and very unprofessional. Even worse, considering it looks likely that Durkin and Plimer appear to have used the same source, Klimafakten (originally from Euskara Klimazientzia), exactly as Plimer says, ie he wasn’t lying but simply mistaken about the year of publication (2000 rather than 2001).

    Malaria fighter/fugba

    Bednets more effective than DDT??? Very little evidence availalble. They are however excellent tools to fish with, but who worries abount polluting our rivers with the insecticides embedded in the nets or gettign rid of fish.

    tehdude

    Cutting by 60% is pathetic. DDT can “eradicate” malaria, meaning, 100% reduction.

    Sally Johnson

    John Quiggan you are so full of HATE!!!

    Peter Smith (referring to a disemvoweling of the above comment)

    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.

  8. #8 WotWot
    May 29, 2009

    I know it doesn’t count as a scientific objection but I can’t help liking statements like:
    “[climate change is] a fraud that has been manufactured for fascist political purposes. Proponents of the New World Order are behind this as they wish to bring in a one world government under the guise of saving the planet.”
    (From a “journalist” who appears to count blog postings as publications).

    Posted by: Doug Mackie

    Aw, go on, Doug. Tell us who it is, you know you want to. (Their name is already public info, but make it easy for us.)

  9. #9 nanny_govt_sucks
    May 29, 2009

    It seems Quiggin isn’t afraid to spout out about what he doesn’t understand, be it climate or economics. See the recent

    Correcting Quiggin on Austrian Business Cycle Theory
    http://mises.org/story/3466

  10. #10 Hank Roberts
    May 29, 2009

    Shorter summary:

    The Fascist octopus has sung its swan song.
    http://www.informarn.nl/assets/images/wto-krake.jpg

  11. #11 Hank Roberts
    May 29, 2009

    Speaking of OISM:

    http://www.nationalhomelandsecurityknowledgebase.com/shelter.html

    “$3,200.00 CALL TO ORDER The blast and fallout shelter offered above is based upon a proven design by the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (OISM), a leader in civil defense research and education since the mid-eighties. OISM has constructed five full-scale civil defense shelter displays under contract for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (shown HERE) , as well as the states of Pennsylvania, Utah, Arizona, and Idaho. OISM is also a FEMA educational partner…..”

    Combine this with the premature claims that seeing more wildlife in the Chernobyl exclusion zone proves radiation isn’t really harmful (they never talk about Hanford or Savannah River or Oak Ridge, where there’s already a longer time base). Seems like someone’s working up to the survivable-nuclear-war notion.

    I think these folks have gone past red-herring and into red-heifer.

  12. #12 Hank Roberts
    May 29, 2009

    Ah, good, that’s apparently rather ancient information, currently being used to hype sales of this sewer pipe.
    http://www.frontline-online.com/oldsite/story.cfm?articleid=12

    “… Reagan …. administration, FEMA ordered many thousands of copies of the Nuclear War Survival Skills manual from the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine (OISM) … program that continued to exist until 1992 was entirely scrapped by the Clinton Administration. …”

    I wonder how much, and when, OISM got paid by FEMA for building these things — from Eisenhower’s shelter plans.

  13. #13 Hank Roberts
    May 29, 2009

    http://www.keywordspy.com.au/overview/domain.aspx?q=oism.org
    Keywords used by oism.org to advertise in Google, MSN and Yahoo.

  14. #14 Dave Andrews
    May 29, 2009

    TrueSceptic,

    Have you ever worked within a bureaucracy or an advocacy organisation? The latter like to think they are worlds apart from the former but in truth they are very similar. Decisions are taken and then the rest of the organisation has to work within that dynamic no matter how ridiculous from their own perspective the decisions are.

  15. #15 Dave Andrews
    May 29, 2009

    Hank Roberts,

    As a UK citizen I hold no particular brief for the OISM but
    I’ll guess they were not the only Independent Institute or University Dept to research such issues during the Cold War (paid for by the Federal Government, ie the taxpayer) so why query how much they, in particular, were paid for this work?

    Moreover, are you imputing that the research was unnecessary, or that they were somehow duplicitous?

    They took advantage, like the University Depts, of the funding situation at the time. Tell me this isn’t true of climate researchers and departments today – if you do you would be lying.

  16. #16 TrueSceptic
    May 29, 2009

    14 Dave Andrews,

    The relevant quotation was “It sometimes required me to reason backward, from desired conclusion to suitable premise.”

    You “bet” that this could equally apply to Tim Lambert’s own work and to countless appointments elsewhere, i.e., that ideological and political corruption is common. In what way might this apply to computer science and what grounds do you have for this accusation?

  17. #17 TrueSceptic
    May 29, 2009

    15 Dave Andrews,

    Given that the impact of climate change is seen as being extremely important, why on earth would climate research *not* have received a lot of funding, especially to ascertain the extent of that change and its impact?

  18. #18 bi -- IJI
    May 30, 2009

    Shorter Dave Andrews:

    Whatever the Marshall Institute did, it’s OK, because Clinton Did It Too! Clinton Did It Too! Clinton Did It Too! Clinton Did It Too! Clinton Did It Too! Clinton Did It Too! Clinton Did It Too! Clinton Did It Too! Clinton Did It Too! Clinton Did It Too! Clinton Did It Too! Clinton Did It Too! Clinton Did It Too! Clinton Did It Too! Clinton Did It Too!

  19. #19 guthrie
    May 30, 2009

    DAve Andrews #14 – you just described the two companies that I have spent 6 years working at (One with turnover of £14 million, another with £100 million). Decisions are taken and implemented and we just have to put up with them, no matter that we can see they will have a negative impact.

  20. #20 Paul
    May 30, 2009

    >They took advantage, like the University Depts, of the funding situation at the time. Tell me this isn’t true of climate researchers and departments today – if you do you would be lying.

    Since you declare you live in the UK, then you are aware that a ‘capitalist’ financer (Jeremy Grantham) has started a fund to research climate change issues and science.

    It takes a massive change in corporate thinking to invest in research which would mean significant change for them and would cost them a lot of money in the long term.
    So unless there are more Jeremy Grantham’s then there will be little money from the commercial sector to fund climate science.
    The only choice is through tax revenue.

  21. #21 Anna Haynes
    May 30, 2009

    > What was the policy organization? The George C. Marshall Institute.

    Good catch!

    BTW, Jeffrey Salmon (who represented the Marshall Institute in the 1998 American Petroleum Institute climate-disinfo-planning memo) has burrowed in at the Department of Energy – he’s Deputy Director for Resource Management in their Office of Science (where he oversees decisions on its grants and budget)

  22. #22 Dave Andrews
    May 30, 2009

    Truesceptic #16

    “The relevant quotation was “It sometimes required me to reason backward, from desired conclusion to suitable premise.””

    My point was that this happens all the time in all kinds of organisations, as my post #15 tried to show. |It is not necessarily ideological or political corruption, just the way human run organisations operate.

  23. #23 Dave Andrews
    May 30, 2009

    bi–IJI,

    Being British I couldn’t give a **** what Clinton did.

    BTW have you cleaned up your site yet?

  24. #24 elspi
    May 30, 2009

    “”The relevant quotation was “It sometimes required me to reason backward, from desired conclusion to suitable premise.”””

    “My point was that this happens all the time in all kinds of organisations, as my post #15 tried to show. |It is not necessarily ideological or political corruption, just the way human run organisations operate.”

    Not at a research university it doesn’t (not in the FIELD OF STUDY). If you are unaware this, that would explain all of the dipshittery you have been posting here.

  25. #25 luminous beauty
    May 30, 2009

    Dave Andrews,

    You poor dear. Not even a private corporation is going to pay for real research that tells them what they want to hear. That has no value and real research is really expensive. They might, though, underwrite cheap faux research foundations that disseminate ideas they want people to believe.

    That’s the real deal.

  26. #26 Trevor
    May 30, 2009

    Excellent piece by John Quiggin; but I feel the most glaring category hasn’t been well documented: Machismo.
    Many of the male objectors to the AGW hypothesis that I encounter also exhibit intolerances to a wide variety of other social situations. I work in a science-based environment, and I have made some mental notes about my male colleagues and their positions on various topics.
    Without fail, the loudest objectors to AGW always seem to cherish loud objections to “political correctness” ( ie they’re not allowed to tell off-colour and unfunny jokes about women, Aboriginals etc); gay marriage ( some of the tea-room comments I hear make you wonder if we’ve developed much past the Middle Ages, or early 20th C. Ireland); ‘Greenies’ as a sinister hidden, well-organised army; female colleagues, especially if they are senior to the complainant ( nothing is said openly around her); people who don’t obsess about fast cars or football; and anything to do with Labor as a governing party.
    For the life of me, I cannot figure why many males think it unmanly to support environmental issues, and laudable to display contempt for good science.
    Must be something in the genes.

  27. #27 bi -- IJI
    May 30, 2009

    Shorter Dave Andrews:

    You mean Clinton didn’t do it? You missed my point, namely … Clinton Did It Too! Clinton Did It Too! Clinton Did It Too!

  28. #29 Barton Paul Levenson
    May 31, 2009

    Trevor, I don’t know what things are like in Australia, but I can tell you that in the US there are plenty of male supporters of environmentalism, especially among scientists. Please don’t stereotype. Sociobiology is the worst kind of pseudoscience, especially when used as an excuse for cheap generalizations about vast groups of people.

  29. #30 MarcusJ
    May 31, 2009

    Barton, Trevor wasn’t stereotyping, he was simply making an observation of his own experence, one that I would personally corroborate. He wasn’t generalising, nor am I, because, obviously, both Trevor and I are males of the species – he said many, not all. Nevertheless, this mentality does exist, and I think his point is quite valid. There are men in this world who do conform to a mindless and brutish stereotype of masculinity, simply because they learned it as they socialised, and never properly individuated enough to learn some sensitivity and awareness. I’m quite sure Trevor was not accusing all the men in the world of such brutishness.

  30. #31 Trevor
    May 31, 2009

    Barton@29: a tad of a smidgen of an over-reaction, don’t you think? I was characterising a certain percentage of male AGW denialists, which would be….what percentage of the total male population? And who said I was practising science? It was an opinion, not a peer-reviewed paper.I tell you what: for a compromise, I’ll try to avoid generalisation (not that my post was one) and you try to avoid pomposity. I think I’ll probably win.
    Marcus@30: you put it better than I did. Thank you.

  31. #32 Hugh
    May 31, 2009

    Sociobiology is the worst kind of pseudoscience, especially when used as an excuse for cheap generalizations about vast groups of people.

    Do you mean sociobiology BPL(I’m interested that it was you not Trevor who introduced that very specific concept to the thread), or how about just plain sociology or human geography?

    If the latter, then I guess we’ll just have to keep on with the telling people what they should be doing eh? Afterall, we all know how effective the deficit model of risk communication is, don’t we?

    I guess there really is no point in generalising (either on any consensus or even the range of opinion / attitudes), because society is just too hard to quantify in any objective way isn’t it!?

    All that studying I’ve been doing…ker…if only I’d known it was for nothing…because a physical scientist (of whom I otherwise have considerable respect) says so!

    Thanks, I’m off to start counting real things this very minute!

  32. #33 Gaz
    May 31, 2009

    Barton, I think Trevor has a point.

    It seems to me that a lot of detractors of the AGW hypothesis adopt a very macho posture, and it does seem often to be tied up with corresponding political and social attitudes – domination of nature, intolerance of intellectual discourse, ganging up on those perceived to be weak (eg dissidents like greenies), preference for social conservatism, and so on.

    Perhaps the emeritus professor syndrome could be partly explained in rather traditional terms – the old males objecting to challenges from young upstarts in their own tribe of from competitors in adjacent tribes.

    Or perhaps not – but all of us here have certainly at some stage had to accept that support for the “sceptical” position typicaly has very little to do with its objective merits.

    Anyway, I’m sure Trevor never intended his observation to be extended to imply an “all men are environmental rapists” argument.

    Did ya, Trev?

  33. #34 TrueSceptic
    May 31, 2009

    29 BPL,

    I’m surprised by your objection. Trevor made an observation of the form “many AGW objectors are aggressive males”. Even if he had said “*all* AGW objectors are aggressive males” or “*all* AGW objectors are males”, it does *not* follow that he claims that “all males are AGW objectors”, or even that “all aggressive males are AGW objectors”. You appear to be committing a classic invalid syllogism.

    (I would add that these aggressive males are overwhelmingly right-wing too.)

  34. #35 Hank Roberts
    May 31, 2009

    There aren’t all that many of them. There are more people quoting them than there are original posters trolling.

  35. #36 Paul
    May 31, 2009

    In some respects i agree with Trevor.

    However, i think the issue is really ‘personality’. There is no doubt that certain males have difficulty in accepting green ideas and more often than not, they often fit a stereotypical model.

    You can’t design complex wind turbines, electric sports cars and solar energy products without being just as technically competent as some fanatic that loves ‘hot rod’ racing etc.

    Dale Vince has a ‘macho’ side in that he is funding the development of an electric sports car:

    http://zerocarbonista.com/category/transport/wind-car-transport/

    But he is also passionately green.

  36. #37 Jack Hughes
    May 31, 2009

    Trevor makes a good point. There is a “red meat” type of male personality that takes a position on all kinds of political and social issues.

    Equally well there is also a “Ned Flanders” (watch The Simpsons) personality. The idea that we are all doomed and it’s all our fault finds traction with the Ned Flanders types.

    Interesting debates on here but would be improved if you cut down on the ad-hominem stuff. Play the ball – not the man.

  37. #38 Marion Delgado
    May 31, 2009

    Trevor’s observation was fine, but I liked Barton’s response nonetheless.

  38. #39 Trevor
    May 31, 2009

    I think Barton’s had a nerve touched by my post: ‘please don’t stereotype’ implies that he sees my assessment as some sort of blanket attack on males in general. Let’s be frank: males have a dubious tendency to stereotype themselves, Barton….or is gay-bashing the fault of the victim?
    Marion Delgado @38…Barton’s free to opine on what anyone writes, but you have to admit that he has grasped wildly at my premise and dressed it up in a monkey-suit of generalisations and assumption. I still aver that a certain subset of male opponents of AGW theory see it as a matter of personal posture.
    That’s not all males, Barton, OK?

  39. #40 Marion Delgado
    May 31, 2009

    The classic example of the above would be Ted Nugent – kind of a back-to-the-woods type but too macho to be an environmentalis:

    Ted Nugent is not an evolution guy.

    This became apparent recently when Mr. Nugent, the 57-year-old rocker, huntsman and N.R.A. board member, brandished a blood-drenched liver he had just pulled from a freshly slain deer. He used the moment, during filming of his forthcoming reality show on the Outdoor Life Network, “Wanted: Ted or Alive,” to explain the meaning of life to five contestants who were in various states of awe and nausea.

    “Big bangs don’t make this,” Mr. Nugent said, musing on the steaming organ he held before him. “That’s not a big bang. God made that. That’s a liver. That’s mystical. You and I can’t make livers. Things banging don’t make livers. This is mystical stuff. This is magic. This is perfection.”

    He extols hunting as a way for people to get back in touch with what they’re eating, and themselves.

    “Hunters, fishermen and trappers were the first and remain the ultimate environmentally responsible stewards and managers of life, quality, air, soil and water,” he said. “Biodiversity is mine, environmentalism is mine. It doesn’t belong to Pam Anderson.”

    He does not, however, believe in modern environmental issues like global warming. Asked for his view of the world, he expounded at length, at times belching, cursing, yelling, guffawing. He endorsed President Bush’s foreign policy and railed against liberalism and the notion that the world’s problems could be solved by negotiation.

    Since I’m a rural Alaskan who hunted and fished for food as a child, you can imagine what I think of this boastful poser.

  40. #41 caerbannog
    May 31, 2009

    And here’s a heapin’ helpin’ of stupidity/hackery courtesy of the USA’s own Rush Limbaugh: http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/home/daily/site_052709/content/01125110.html.guest.html

    excerpts:


    They just throw these statistics out. If we paint every roof in America white — well, yeah, every flat roof — and that’s another thing. Why does the roof have to be flat? White is white, the sun’s up there, the sun shines down on a flat roof or an angled roof, what the hell difference does it make?

    ……….


    Here’s the real question about this. I need a scientist to answer this for me. I understand how clouds at altitude can help reflect the heat. But I want to know how something white on the surface of the planet, where does that reflected heat go? If the road is white, and the heat reflects, aren’t you going to boil if you happen to be walking on it in the summertime? Where does this reflected heat go? Are we being told here that reflected heat is not damaging at all but direct heat is? It seems to me if we had global warming wouldn’t we want dark roofs to absorb the heat? Yeah, it may be cooling your house a little bit, but… This is all such gobbledygook.

  41. #42 Trevor
    May 31, 2009

    Ewwk! Marion, I’ve disliked Nugent since I first heard his daft music in 1975, and even then he was a poseur: part of his stage act was the ostensible harmonic destruction of a glass ball using guitar feedback. It drove the fans wild, but it was revealed later that the ball was “assisted” to its demise by the judicious use of a roadie with a BB gun.

    Paul @36: as with any personal pursuit or occupation, a person ( male or female) can begin to identify with that pursuit ( especially if they are good at it) to the point where it becomes an “ego-badge” (my non-scientific definition!). Thus any contrary opinion on that subject becomes an attack on them as an existing being: almost a threat to their lives.

    When a person is self-aware enough to know that openness to opposing ideas constitutes no personal affront (probably Dale Vince might be in this category),then debate can be entered into. Sadly, in my experience, the attachment to a personal character type is often most strong in certain males; the debate can often go nowhere because of the perceived affront to this fictional “me”.

    No offence is intended to any males reading this. You shouldn’t be offended anyway…unless you’re too attached to a certain perception of yourself…: )!

    Nice debate, btw. I rather tire of reading the acrimonious and acronymous “debates” ( HADCRUT, NSIDC etc etc) over factual matters. The science is done, apart from some relatively minor tweaks: what interests me more is why some people are hanging on to the denial position as if their lives depended on it.

  42. #43 Neilious
    June 1, 2009

    Ahh John Quiggin describes it perfectly.

    A while ago I visited Andrew Bolts blog out of curiosity. He was making the claim that Climate Change has been debunked because, according to him it had not warmed since 1998 (im sure you’ve all been confronted with this one ad nauseum). When I tried to explain in a civil manner that ten years does not constitute a trend I got stung with a bunch of waspish comments, and was called a warmenist (whatever the hell that means), accused of being closed minded, pandering to the high priests of the IPCC, and a cheerleader of the IPCC (i thought that one was kind of cute).

    Anyway, I told them I was boycotting Bolt’s blog and vowed never to waste another kilobyte of bandwidth arguing with a bunch of callow people. All of a sudden the clouds parted and the day got just a little bit brighter :)

  43. #44 John
    June 1, 2009

    If you want to see some fancy foot work check this out, Fred Astaire’s got nothing on this guy.
    http://tinyurl.com/ldn5ht
    I especially like the bit where it’s hunky-dory to include El Nino if you’re saying the world has been cooling since 1998 but if you’re betting on the next warmest year it’s not really fair to include it.

  44. #45 Barton Paul Levenson
    June 1, 2009

    Hugh writes:

    Do you mean sociobiology BPL(I’m interested that it was you not Trevor who introduced that very specific concept to the thread),

    I introduced it? What did his reference to “genes” mean? Was he not saying that that type of behavior was genetic in origin? Is that not the whole point of sociobiology?

    or how about just plain sociology or human geography?

    See above.

  45. #46 Barton Paul Levenson
    June 1, 2009

    Trevor writes:

    No offence is intended to any males reading this. You shouldn’t be offended anyway…unless you’re too attached to a certain perception of yourself…

    Wow, talk about touching a nerve. I make one objection to a poorly phrased, overgeneralized post, and not only do I get ten posts objecting to mine (thanks, Marion, for trying to inject some sanity into this thread), but Trevor has now replied to my post three times! Did I hurt your feelings, Trev? Sorry about that.

    I’m not some kind of masculinist fanatic. In fact, I’m a former lobbyist for the National Organization for Women. I just thought the phrase “many males think it unmanly to support environmental issues,” together with the rest of the post, implied a certain sweeping overgeneralization. Maybe I read “most” for “many.” My bad. But calm the hell down, Trevor. Nobody’s trying to condemn you for political incorrectness.

  46. #47 Hugh
    June 1, 2009

    Ahh…slapped wrist for my lack of reading comprehension and oversensitivity politely accepted BPL (I should have known better)!

  47. #48 Gaz
    June 1, 2009

    BPL: “Did I hurt your feelings, Trev? Sorry about that.”

    I think you just misinterpreted him, Barton. His comment was no more a generalisation than any other aspect of the Quiggin/Mashey taxonomy under discussion here.

    No-one likes to be misinterpreted, especially by someone whose opinion in this forum is generally held in high regard. That may explain the flurry of commenters seeking to set you straight.

    Now you two have a big hug.

    And remember, both of you, it isn’t unmanly to cry.

  48. #49 TrueSceptic
    June 1, 2009

    47 Gaz,

    I agree. BPL should reread 26 and 34 (and the others).

    (And I agree that BPL’s opinion is held in high regard. Well, I can’t speak for everyone but it certainly is by me!)

  49. #50 TrueSceptic
    June 1, 2009

    42 Neilious,

    Yes, anyone supporting the scientific mainstream on climate change tends to get called “True Believer”, “Warmer”, “Warmenista”, and of course the more general “ecofascist” and “econazi”.

    Of course, it’s all “hysteria” and “warmers” “shriek”. Oh, the **irony!**.

  50. #51 tatil rehberi
    June 1, 2009

    Do you mean sociobiology BPL(I’m interested that it was you not Trevor who introduced that very specific concept to the thread),

    thank you good site

  51. #52 Marion Delgado
    June 1, 2009

    Barton:

    I think it’s important to not stereotype as a substitute for complexity, and also important not to overreact, as Trevor’s post wasn’t a particularly strong example of it. Trevor, I hope we can bring up caveats like Barton’s without getting too digressed :)

    I was scolded once, quite appropriately, on RealClimate for setting off a round of “Physicists vs. Engineers.”

  52. #53 Dano
    June 1, 2009

    Trevor 42:

    The science is done, apart from some relatively minor tweaks: what interests me more is why some people are hanging on to the denial position as if their lives depended on it.

    Soem folks’ lives are their personal, chosen identities. These people have chosen their persona and ideology to be something that is proving to be false. Greek tragedy is full of the result of this sort of psychology (or is it pathology?).

    Best,

    D

  53. #54 Trevor
    June 1, 2009

    Thank you for your generous post, Barton; and others for their inputs.
    Gaz @48: Does this mean I have to shave? Oh very well…..*hug* : )

  54. #55 Marion Delgado
    June 1, 2009

    Never underestimate the power of “I’ll be dead by the time this really matters” or “Hell, I have enough money and connections to live on the Moon, let alone in a world with a few flooded coastlines and a couple extra deserts.”

  55. #56 Bernard J.
    June 1, 2009

    Marion’s post at #55 recalls Ben Elton’s “Stark”.

    At the time I read it I had hoped that Elton’s pessimistic view of some human nature might be invalidated. Luckily for me, I didn’t hold my breath.

  56. #57 ScaredAmoeba
    June 2, 2009

    Re 55 Marion Delgado: “I’ll be dead by the time this really matters”

    How true: this is probably true of me too, but I still believe we must minimise our impact.

    What would these free marketeers be saying if we had inherited a despoiled and degraded earth from a bunch of arseholes whose philosophy was ‘bugger the next generation, I want to be rich’

  57. #58 Barton Paul Levenson
    June 2, 2009

    Look, I almost certainly misinterpreted and overreacted to Trevor’s post. I apologize to Trevor and to the rest of the posters, and also for not saying this earlier.

  58. #59 TrueSceptic
    June 2, 2009

    58 BPL,

    That’s good. You had me worried for a while. :-)