Andrew Bolt takes back “nice words”

Andrew Bolt responded to my debate with Monckton by defaming me, calling me “vituperative, deceptive, a cherrypicker, an ideologue, a misrepresenter and a Manichean conspiracist only too keen to smear a sceptic as a crook who lies for Exxon’s dollars”. You’ll be glad to hear that Bolt now says I take back my nice words about Lambert. Even though he admitted that “Many of these issues are over my head” he is now utterly convinced by a dishonest post from Joanne Nova that I somehow tricked Monckton.

Nova quote mines Pinker’s explanation for this phrase:

if we give Christopher Monckton the benefit of doubt and assume that he meant “the impact of clouds on the surface shortwave radiation” than it can pass.”

And claims it means exactly the opposite of what it does:

An honest look at the Pinker statement says Monckton may have gotten the terminology wrong, but allowing for this, his analysis “passes”:

An honest look at the Pinker statement says that his terminology can pass but that his analysis is wrong, because as Pinker writes:

The CO2 “radiative forcing” value that Mr. Christopher Monckton is quoting refers to the impact on the Earth’s Radiative balance as described above. The numbers that we quote in our paper represent the change in surface SW due to changes in the atmosphere (clouds, water vapor, aerosols). These two numbers cannot be compared at their face value.

Nova then tries to explain away the fact that Pinker wrote

Our work was properly interpreted in the latest IPCC Report (2007)

Watch the spin here:

Monckton never claimed the IPCC misrepresented Pinker. He said they actively ignored the bigger meaning; so Monckton agrees with what the IPCC said about the paper, but not with what it omitted to say. Pinker has not addressed this point at all.

Pinker was responding to this, from my email to her:

Later he [Monckton] accuses the IPCC of a fraudulent cover up of the implications of your paper.

Which was my summary of this statement from Monckton:

[The IPCC admits] that they don’t really understand clouds. One of the reasons why they are willing to make that extremely rare admission that they don’t understand something is that they want to conceal that they understand perfectly well the implications of Dr Pinker’s paper and of a number of other papers like it, Wild et al is another one, the early satellite results is another, there’s several of these papers out there all of which show for that period exactly what caused the warming which is a reduction in cloud cover. And when you see the conclusion of the chapter on Observations and the sub-chapter on Clouds in chapter 3 of the IPCC report. The only conclusion that you can come to is that they were deliberately avoiding the very clear implications of Dr Pinker’s paper. They knew perfectly well that if they took proper account of that paper they would have to evaluate climate sensitivity as low by the remarkably simple calculation that I showed you on the screens or something very very close to it. And they simply fudged it because if they did that and admitted that all their previous reports were wrong they’d be out of business before you could say “Jack Robinson”.

I suppose we should Nova points for trying, but there is no wiggle room there. And notice that Monckton is citing Wild et al as well, so we should also look at Wild says on the subject in Global dimming and brightening: A review: (my emphasis)

The decadal changes in SSR found in the dimming/brightening literature are at first sight often unrealistically large from a radiative forcing viewpoint, as, e.g., presented by IPCC [2007]. Therein, radiative forcings altering solar radiation between preindustrial (year 1750) and present day are on the order of minus 1-2 W m−2 on a global average, while some of the surface-based estimates show similar or larger changes already within a decade (Tables 1-3). Indeed, under the assumption of a climate sensitivity of 0.5-1°C per W m−2 radiative forcing as suggested by current climate models, a change of several W m−2 decade−1 as inferred from surface observations would imply enormous decadal variations in surface temperature which are not observed. However, one should be aware that the radiative forcing concept as used in the IPCC reports applies to changes at the tropopause, which cannot be directly compared to changes at the surface. Scattering and absorbing processes in the atmosphere are additive with respect to their effects on SSR at the surface, but may be opposed at the tropopause. Scattering aerosols enhance the reflectance of solar radiation back to space and reduce the solar flux to the surface. Absorbing aerosols also reduce the solar flux to the surface, but at the same time may reduce the reflectance back to space, opposed to the effects from scattering aerosols at the tropopause. Therefore, surface changes can expected to be larger than tropopause changes, and consequently are also not necessarily representative for (tropopause) radiative forcing estimates (this would only be valid in a purely scattering atmosphere). SSR change estimates based on surface observations should therefore not be used to challenge the IPCC radiative forcings [Liepert et al., 2007], even if these SSR changes would be free of biases from upscaling the surface point observations to global numbers.

Nova then quotes this confused email from Monckton

The only point that Lambert scored was that I had gotten Pinker’s sex wrong in my Melbourne presentation (which, from memory, is the only one in which I mentioned her sex). Otherwise, his stuff was gibberish, as the audience swiftly understood when I explained it to them. During the debate, I had kindly done the calculation on the basis that the change in surface radiance mentioned in the Pinker paper would be the same at top of atmosphere, from which a climate-sensitivity calculation using the UN’s method follows.
However, since Pinker insists that it is the surface radiance that her paper addresses, one must of course use the Stefan-Boltzmann radiative-transfer equation to evaluate the temperature change corresponding to the change in radiance caused by the reduction in cloud cover. And that means just about zero climate sensitivity, which, within the usual error margins, is about the same as the 0.12 K/W/m2 that my previous method had calculated. The common-sense point, as I explained to the audience, is that with that amount of warming from a natural source there was not much room for CO2 to have made much of a contribution.

Presumably by “use the Stefan-Boltzmann radiative-transfer equation to evaluate the temperature change” Monckton means that you should treat the Earth as a black body, ie ignore the fact that the Earth has an atmosphere. But it does have an atmosphere so such a calculation will not give the correct value for climate sensitivity.

Comments

  1. #1 Steve L
    February 28, 2010

    Hmmm, so Tim I guess you have the answer to the question you asked Monckton:
    “Tim’s 1st question: if Pinker’s correction is accurate, how will you correct the record?”
    “Monckton: I will firstly check with Pinker and the IPCC.”
    I guess he decided not to check with Pinker. Would it be unfair to say that Monckton is a liar and uninterested in the truth?

  2. #2 Meme Mine
    February 28, 2010

    Post Mortem of the Climate Change movement.
    “Death of a Salesman”.
    RIP Global Dooming/Climate Change/Global Warm Mongering

    In the end it was the Voters that dictated social science policy once again and not the lab coat consultants dictating our democracy. But it felt good didn’t to share a concern with fellow humans no matter how fictional the made up crisis was. That’s why doomers were attracted to Liberalism. Liberalism, not conservatism utilizes hysteria and relegating opposing stances as pure evil. At least we conservatives are sporting considering its an honest struggle we like.
    Climate change needed voter consensus, not scientist consensus. Promising death of the planet wasn’t sustainable for another 24 years anyways. Voters would have to have gone to the poles starving from an obvious climate crisis, to have given the proposed taxes and citizen sacrifices the ok. Even you phony enviros and climate pansies would have thought twice when checking the TAX ME TAX ME TAX ME box on the ballot. Remember this doomers; your “SAVE THE PLANET” was interpreted as “THE PLANET IS DYING”. Promising death was an all-in bet that couldn’t be covered for another quarter of a century.
    Now we can preserve, protect and respect Nature and face the future challenges of energy with courage, not like climate pansies who tried to motivate our children with exaggeration selfishly elevated to the level of fear mongering with a promise of “death”. How progressive.
    I’m 100% sure that Rachel Carson is cursing each and every one of you fading doomers for this irresponsible era of environ MENTAL ism with your neocon-like WMD called CO2.

  3. #3 zoot
    February 28, 2010

    WTF??

  4. #4 Chris O'Neill
    February 28, 2010

    Meme Mine, begone irrelevant troll.

  5. #5 Tyler DiPietro
    February 28, 2010

    “Posted by: Meme Mine | February 28, 2010 12:39 PM”

    Cool story, bro.

  6. #6 TomG
    February 28, 2010

    How nice, a troll trying to change the subject :P
    Must be a little sensitive about this thread.

  7. #7 JasonW
    February 28, 2010

    Meme mine: Step right this way, sir – no sharp objects here, no worries. See the walls are all soft, and would you please wriggle into this fashionable white jacket. Ignore those overlong sleeves. Have some soothing music. There, that’s not so bad is it?

  8. #8 AmandaS
    February 28, 2010

    @2 “Climate change needed voter consensus, not scientist consensus.”

    I can’t get over this line. It’s fabulously surreal.

    A

  9. #9 JamesA
    February 28, 2010

    > Presumably by “use the Stefan-Boltzmann radiative-transfer equation to evaluate the temperature change” Monckton means that you should treat the Earth as a black body, ie ignore the fact that the Earth has an atmosphere.

    I’d presume that he is doing the tried-and-tested technique of putting enough big words in to satisfy his drones. It doesn’t matter to him whether what he said was accurate or not; most of the people listening to him only care that he sounds like he knows what he’s talking about.

  10. #10 JamesA
    February 28, 2010

    @2:
    Oh noes! The laws of physics have just been outvoted! Science has been foiled by democracy! And we would have gotten away with it too if it hadn’t been for you meddling kids…

  11. #11 TomG
    February 28, 2010

    I’d add one more thing JamesA.

    He’s telling them exactly what they want to hear.

  12. #12 Paul UK
    February 28, 2010

    >In the end it was the Voters that dictated social science policy once again and not the lab coat consultants dictating our democracy.

    Geez, you can’t get any more anti-science than that!

    When someone can’t separate politics (voting) from science, we have serious problems.

  13. #13 chek
    February 28, 2010

    Fear not, Paul UK!

    Most of us may not be scientists, but neither are we complete morons.
    Unlike those who spew the drivel you were objecting to.

  14. #14 Anonymous
    February 28, 2010

    Paul UK said “When someone can’t separate politics (voting) from science, we have serious problems.”

    That’s a nice opportunity to segue back to the topic of the post. What is it that motivates people like Bolt and Monckton? How can they claim Pinker is saying one thing, when it is clear she is saying another? Surely they understand what they are doing?

    It is extraordinary how divorced from reality the denialists have become in the past few years. As recently as 2007 Bolt said that he had no doubt the Earth was warming and that human activity had a part to play in it. His argument back then was with the extent of it – to my mind a reasonable point of view. You certainly wouldn’t get him saying that nowadays. (There’s been some interesting experiments where people have posted exactly his words onto his blog to see the reaction. It’s as you would expect – unbelievable abuse.)

    I suspect the thing is that they really cannot separate politics from science. They’re either old fashioned Marxists for whom, “everything is political” or post-modernists, who believe that they really can create their own reality. Or maybe it’s a kind of double-think. They have an identity, a persona, a tribal loyalty, that is linked with them believing that AGW is not happening. For them, two plus two has to equal five. Or to use a more recent example, they’re like George from Seinfeld who says that it’s not a lie if you really, really believe it. Even if you know it’s untrue. Or maybe it’s as simple as getting back at that lecturer who failed them in first year Physics – form of delayed, redirected revenge… It’s pretty obvious that something like that is going on with meme mine.

    Anyway, enough speculation about the nature of the denialist ‘mind’. A man could go mad trying to unearth its mysteries.

  15. #15 Philip Machanick
    February 28, 2010

    The trouble with arguing with someone who does not care about scientific accuracy is they can dribble out irrelevant or plain wrong “facts” at a rapid rate. If you try to take them on by correcting the errors, each error takes a lot longer to rebut than it takes to state, unless you simply say it’s wrong. If you do the latter, an uninformed audience sees it as your word against the other person’s. If you do the former, you argue against a small fraction of the wrong points, appearing to be nit-picking.

    Unfortunately science is not a matter of opinion. It is a matter of weighing up evidence vs. theories. A good theory fits the evidence well; a better theory fits the evidence better. Using debating tricks etc. is all very fine in an undergrad debating society, but the science remains what it is at the end of the “debate”. The contrary side have no plausible alternative theory, and the evidence for the mainstream is continuing to build. Hence the need to oppose the science with vaudeville acts and the like. If the mainstream was as weak as they claim, they would be able to line up data that is a poor fit to the theory, or come up with a better theory. The way to do this is to write a good paper, not a vaudeville act, trashing scientists’ reputations, etc.

    The more this sort of attack on the science goes on, the more convinced I am that there is no serious flaw in the mainstream. Big Oil for example has massive R&D resources, with world-class science dedicated to finding new oil wells. Don’t tell me they lack the resources to review the literature, find obvious flaws and fund research that addresses those flaws. What is actually happening strongly suggests that they have indeed reviewed the science and found no case for funding real contrarian research – a deduction supported by [fact](http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/24/science/earth/24deny.html).

  16. #16 Deech56
    February 28, 2010

    “I take back my nice words on Lambert” Tim, you must be devastated. My condolences. ;-)

  17. #17 Paul UK
    February 28, 2010

    One of the commentors in the Jo Nova blog (Louis Hissink) references a paper about Venus on a site that:

    >”is consistent with the Christian Bible as well as ancient myth, thereby unifying scientific and religious views.”

    Heh, heh, heh. The author of the ‘paper’ also authors the site.

    In an earlier comment Hissink says:

    >”I’ve finally managed to get a paper analysing the “greenhouse effect” on Venus which is the basis of the Copenhagen Diagnosis…”

    AFAIK the Copenhagen Diagnosis doesn’t mention the greenhouse effect on Venus. But more importantly it seems the ‘paper’ is written by someone that says:

    >”We accept the sacred myths as scientific data – observations of cosmic events…”

    He claims Venus is 6000 years old:

    “Based on our interpretation of sacred myths… Venus was born some six millennia ago…”

    It’s a real fantasy land at Jo Novas!

  18. #18 Paul UK
    February 28, 2010

    BTW following my post @17:

    What is even more worrying is that Hissink can be found here:

    http://geoplasma.spaces.live.com/

    Occupation: Geologist
    Professional exploration geologist, Editor of Australian Inst. Geoscientists Newsletter.

    And he seems to think a paper
    (http://www.firmament-chaos.com/papers/fvenuspaper.pdf)
    that states Venus is only 6000 years old is valid science.

  19. #19 Wadard
    February 28, 2010
    As recently as 2007 Bolt said that he had no doubt the Earth was warming and that human activity had a part to play in it. His argument back then was with the extent of it – to my mind a reasonable point of view. You certainly wouldn’t get him saying that nowadays.

    When the Murdoch changes, Bolt changes his mind. What do you do, sir?

  20. #20 ligne
    February 28, 2010

    Meme Mine’s, uh, outburst of random words reminds me of [this wonderful Onion article](http://www.theonion.com/content/node/28308).

  21. #21 James Haughton
    February 28, 2010

    Paul UK, Hissink is a follower of Immanuel Velikovsky, whose theories on planetary formation can be summarised as “the solar system is a big atom and all the planets are electrons which jump around between energy levels”. He claims that Velikovsky’s geological theories help him find diamonds. You can tell this works, because of how fabulously rich and influential he is from his controlling interest in all those diamond mines.

  22. #22 Paul UK
    February 28, 2010

    I notice Hissink has been featured by Tim:

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2005/01/hissink3.php

  23. #23 Paul UK
    February 28, 2010

    Thanks James. I was reading through the comments and decided to check out the venus thing. I nearly didn’t because the site was called “firmament-chaos”.

    But then thought, for a laugh, I’ll have a look.

  24. #24 BlueGreen
    February 28, 2010

    Andrew Bolt, The Australian and The Times conspire to [misrepresent the IPCC](http://andrewboltliesdeceptionsonagw.wordpress.com/2010/02/28/gore-promises-the-warmist-inquisition/) and deceive their readers yet again.

  25. #25 el gordo
    February 28, 2010

    Wadard, do you have a link for when Murdoch changed his mind? I thought he was still pro AGW.

  26. #26 frankis
    February 28, 2010

    Enough to read just one of Nova’s blog posts in full to realise that the excerpts you’d previously seen were a fair representation of her “work”. Yes she really is that inept, that ideologically driven, that bad a character. I imagine half her regular readers are there because she’s blonde and they’re wankers.

    Note that Monckton is at odds with fellow “skeptics” Spencer and Christy. He refers to the “early” satellite record suggesting that he doesn’t like the corrected figures (S & C admitted they’d got the early record wrong and corrected it). This is Richard Lindzen’s contribution to debate recently, he’s been giving Monckton his talking points on the meme that scientists would falsify data to fit a preconceived hypothesis. I’d like to see Lindzen sacked from his professional memberships for it.

    Anonmymous #14

    What is it that motivates people like Bolt and Monckton? How can they claim Pinker is saying one thing, when it is clear she is saying another? Surely they understand what they are doing?

    They know that they are using original researchers’ work and data to draw conclusions that the researchers would disagree with (being diametrically opposed to the published conclusions which the Moncktons and Lomborgs have of course read).

    You can only do this when you know for a fact that you are much, much smarter than the people whose original work you have stolen from …. and of course you only know this when you are as irredeemably delusional and antiscientific as Bolt, Nova, Carter, Plimer, Monckton and their muppets.

  27. #27 Andrew
    February 28, 2010

    @17 Paul UK – Sometimes these guys reminds me of the George Bernard Shaw quote, “I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation.”

    Perhaps, “I like to quote myself to support my own theories.”

  28. #28 Bernard J.
    February 28, 2010

    [Paul UK](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/andrew_bolt_takes_back_nice_wo.php#comment-2310447).

    There are many other examples of Louis Hissink’s bizarre ‘scientific’ beliefs sprinkled through other threads on Deltoid if you care to search! Add “Marohasy” or “iron” to your search terms and you’ll probably hit some interesting ones.

    Speaking of Marohasy, [frankis’](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/andrew_bolt_takes_back_nice_wo.php#comment-2310570) comment about blondes probably has more than a grain of truth. When the Old Bog dried out [Louis Hissink and his fellow hands-in-pockets brethren migrated en masse to Nova’s](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/01/the_australians_war_on_science_44.php#comment-2223810)*, to fawn and gush there as they used to over Marohasy. It seems that scientific credibility was not a criterion for their relocation, but then, who’s surprised about that?

    Their dedication to Marohasy is admirable though – the last thread there has evolved into a rat’s tooth etched with the nonsense of self-reaffirming pseudoscience so nutty that its very presence is a fitting epitaph to the demise of Marohasy’s credibility.

    (*For laughs, read some of the comments in the second link!)

  29. #29 Eli Rabett
    February 28, 2010

    Hissink is Graeme Bird if the latter had manners took his psychotic medications.

  30. #30 Anonymous
    February 28, 2010

    Frankis (#26) said “You can only do this when you know for a fact that you are much, much smarter than the people whose original work you have stolen from …..”

    Hmmm… Good point Frankis. An extreme form of Narcissism then? Yes, that’s probably on the money.

  31. #31 codex
    February 28, 2010

    > if we give Christopher Monckton the benefit of doubt and assume that he meant “the impact of clouds on the surface shortwave radiation” than it can pass.

    But this is exactly what Monckton does say isn’t it ?

    Wasn’t he saying that the IPCC ignored this effect from clouds or gave it a minimal effect instead attributing 1.7W/m2 of warming to CO2 when in fact twice that amount was actually due to absence of clouds i.e. Pinker’s paper ?

    Isn’t Pinker’s entire comment based on the assumption that Monckton was saying sommething else ? Where did she get that idea Tim ?

    And in that one sentence, doesn’t she effectively issue a statement saying if, on the other hand, what he is saying is …. then it is ok ?

  32. #32 Anonymous
    February 28, 2010

    Tim, I think you still don’t understand that you are being played. No amount of scientific scrutiny or correctness will work here.

    The point is that questions (right or wrong) have been raised by “sceptics”, scientifically inappropriate behaviour has been documented by people contributing to the AGW theories (it is _never_ OK to withhold data – even if you are being asked by a complete moron) and now the trust in scientists doing all this work has been lost in such numbers that it matters. Hence, we have crossed from science into politics.

    The failure of Copenhagen was colossal. Essentially, China and India told the world to bugger off. Also, it is very hard to effect any change in the US, due to their local political scenarios. And without those three, nothing anyone does will really matter. It is chaff.

    So, you’ll find that your average Australian taxpayer would have changed their mind a bit. They don’t care about doomsday scenarios you and AGW scientists are painting any more. They simply say: “Hey, if this means money out of my pocket and my job gone, then heck no – I won’t have any of it unless the big boys do it first.”

    The opportunity has been lost (for now). Can it be gained again? Who knows. I guess once we start hitting depletion of oil/coal in 50 or 60 years from now, we will be forced to correct this, because we’ll run out of things to burn, but doing it as a result of some kind of AGW agreement seems rather unlikely at this point. And if ETS gets pushed through by Greens, just you wait until everything becomes more expensive and many lose jobs. The noise we are hearing now will be silence compared to what happens then.

    So, in summary, Monckton and others arguing against AGW don’t have to be right. They just have to be there. That’s the nature of the beast, not in small measure a result of idiotic lack of judgement by those who wrote those climategate e-mails. And unless something really catastrophic happens climate wise rather soon, you’ll get played every time. Not you fault…

  33. #33 Arthur Smith
    February 28, 2010

    On the technical point here, I believe the issue is that radiative forcing is defined by flux change at the tropopause, which is a completely different part of the atmosphere than the surface. A small change in forcing at the tropopause can cause very large surface radiative flux changes due to the various feedback effects – that’s sort of the whole point. In order to back out a surface flux change to the associated forcing you’d need to know all the feedbacks in the first place.

    And the effect of that transformation would be to reduce the flux associated with the surface to a considerably smaller number for the actual forcing. Therefore the corrected value for the ratio that Monckton calculates (surface temperature change over flux change as an estimate of sensitivity) is much larger than the number he quotes, since it varies inversely with that flux.

    Just to point out that (as is typical) the technical problem here implies a conclusion completely opposite to Monckton’s claim.

  34. #34 Michael
    February 28, 2010

    Anonymous@32

    That’s the nature of the beast, not in small measure a result of idiotic lack of judgement by those who wrote those climategate e-mails.

    No one is going to spend their time carefully considering every word they write or speak, in light of the potential for those of bad faith (ie the denialati) to deliberately cast their words in as poor light as possible. Given their penchant for dishonesty, any time thus spent would be wasted anyway.

  35. #35 paulmurray
    February 28, 2010

    @2 “Voters would have to have gone to the poles starving from an obvious climate crisis, to have given the proposed taxes and citizen sacrifices the ok.”

    You meant ‘polls’, I assume? Mind you: “poles” is a nice malapropism in this spot.

  36. #36 Marion Delgado
    February 28, 2010

    The whole Concern Trollosphere talks about the evils of anonymous comments, but some of us put “Anonymous” in our killfile.

  37. #37 Anonymous
    February 28, 2010

    Michael@34,

    That horse has bolted and look at the damage it’s done. Always, always, always take the high road. Especially when you’re asking for billions of dollars. (Also note that data was denied at various points. A big no-no in scientific world.)

    Before all this, it was easy to paint the “sceptics” with a dishonesty brush (big oil etc.). Now it looks to an average taxpayer like both sides are just cheerleaders for their own agenda, but the AGW camp want to take their hard earned money too. Guess which side taxpayers are going to go with in that scenario…

    That’s why I’m saying that Tim is being played. Scientific rigour is being lost to the bigger picture. Many stopped caring whether science is right or not, for several different reasons already mentioned above.

  38. #38 Wadard
    March 1, 2010

    @25 – Actions speak louder than words, don’t you think? I’m referring to their war on science.

  39. #39 Fran Barlow
    March 1, 2010

    At the risk of feeding the concern troll …

    Some troll wittered:

    Before all this, it was easy to paint the “sceptics” with a dishonesty brush (big oil etc.). Now it looks to an average taxpayer like both sides are just cheerleaders for their own agenda, but the AGW camp want to take their hard earned money too. Guess which side taxpayers are going to go with in that scenario…

    1. it pretends to know what “ataxpayers” want

    2. it implies that those favouring mitigation want to “take taxpayers’ money” rather than redirect it

    3. it implies that public subsidy to the polluters by giving them the right to treat the biosphere as an uncharged industrial sewer and leaving our descendent with the cost as an unfunded debt would pass unnoticed.

    How stupid are these characters?

  40. #40 Gaz
    March 1, 2010

    @2

    “climate pansies”?

    “neocon-like WMD called CO2″?

    Seriously wierd.

  41. #41 Dave C
    March 1, 2010

    Tim, if you’re not already doing it, is it possible for you to work with Pinker to put out another, formal statement on the implications of Pinker’s research? Perhaps one that addresses remarks made since the debate (such as Nova’s).

    I know you and Pinker shouldn’t have to jump through such hoops, but for the sake of the public debate I think it could be useful. Bolt and friends should not get away with such muddying of the waters, especially on an issue that goes to the heart of Monckton’s thesis.

    I wouldn’t ask you to abandon attempts at a nuanced explanation, but (without knowing much about it) I suspect the argument could be made a little more clearly. I’m certainly grateful for your efforts thus far.

  42. #42 johntherock
    March 1, 2010

    #32 Anonymous said:

    “Tim, I think you still don’t understand that you are being played. No amount of scientific scrutiny or correctness will work here.”

    The making of the film the Age of Stupid was obviously more than justified in that case!

    “The opportunity has been lost (for now). Can it be gained again? Who knows. I guess once we start hitting depletion of oil/coal in 50 or 60 years from now, we will be forced to correct this, because we’ll run out of things to burn, but doing it as a result of some kind of AGW agreement seems rather unlikely at this point.”

    We are at or close to Peak Oil now, although the real trouble begins as we start on the downward curve on its other side. This decade sometime, I would suggest.

    Peak Coal is as further away from your 50/60 years as Peak Oil is nearer. The really silly bit is that what a lot of you are advocating – business as usual – attempts to grow its way out of the current recession via the standard route that involves an economic growth system based on an assumed infinite reserve of oil, coal and gas. The more that you and your kind get their way, the sooner we hit oil depletion, peak Gas and the peak Coal, in that order. Therefore, what you and your colleagues are advocating is burn, burn and crash – total, probably irrecoverable economic ruin, within the 21st Century.

    Transition to a low-carbon economy on the other hand prolongs the availability of the fossil fuels whilst at the same time it creates colossal economic and mass-employment opportunities in the energy, transport, construction and food sectors. It also addresses AGW, although we’ve already committed to at least two degrees increased global average temperature due to lag/residence factors.

    It seems to me what you guys want is a crash, and Peak Oil will have a good go at achieving that within ten years, mark my words. Perhaps at that point, it will be much easier to explain to the general public that the economic model of Infinite Growth on a Finite Planet is a 100% flawed paradox!

  43. #43 Mike
    March 1, 2010

    Yes, yes don’t feed the troll etc. But:

    That’s the nature of the beast, not in small measure a result of idiotic lack of judgement by those who wrote those climategate e-mails.

    I mean, come on. Seriously. Really. How about the idiotic nature of those who misinterpreted, misrepresented, and stripped all context out of the “climategate” emails?

    How about those who still think the “trick” was a big call-to-arms for the conspiracy, rather than a genuine referral to a divergent data problem which was already well publicised in the literature?

    I mean, I read this crap every single day from those who wouldn’t know a CO2 molecule if a block of them fell from the sky and hit them on the head. Very irritating.

  44. #44 Anonymous
    March 1, 2010

    @39, 42, 43:

    > you and your kind

    If you actually _read_ what I wrote, you would know that _my_ kind is not what you’re implying it is.

    Burying your heads in the sand isn’t going to do any good. There is no point denying reality. A couple of years back it would be impossible for any “sceptic” to even get any media attention. Now, they are “equal” opponents in most any debate. They _are_ being listened to, more than you think.

    PS. See how our own PM has to eat humble pie daily, because he underestimated how much damage being sloppy can do.

    PPS. I don’t have to pretend to know anything. Just read the recent polls and see for yourself how the side that denied ETS twice already _is_ gaining strength.

  45. #45 Michael
    March 1, 2010

    It’s curious how certain individuals are obsessed by what “taxpayers” may or may not think. Evidently, the future of today’s children counts for little.

    And speaking of dishonesty,

    data was denied at various points. A big no-no in scientific world.)

    our concern troll de jour trots out this little lie.

  46. #46 Mark E. Gillar
    March 1, 2010

    Gore and The UN IPCC should be forced to give back their Nobel Peace Prize. The flaws in Gore’s film and the errors in the 2007 UN IPCC Report that have been discovered since the award was given should disqualify both parties. Irena Sendler who risked her life daily during World War II to save the lives of over 2,500 Jewish children is much more deserving. Please sign the petition to demand that Gore and the UN IPCC have their award taken away. http://www.stripgore.com

  47. #47 Michael
    March 1, 2010

    Thanks for that totally off-topic comment Mark.

    When will the denialists obsession with Gore cease??

    And if only their concern with errors was universal – but then I guess they would be so busy with Monckton, McIntyre, Watts et al that they’d have no time left in the day.

  48. #48 John
    March 1, 2010

    I assume Monckton get to keep his imaginary Nobel Prize though.

  49. #49 JamesA
    March 1, 2010

    > When will the denialists obsession with Gore cease??

    In the absence of any actual science, shooting the messenger is the only tactic they have, so they won’t give that one up. The only way they’ll stop obsessing about Gore is if someone else takes his place as a high-profile spokesperson for the science.

  50. #50 toby
    March 1, 2010

    How to stop the obsession with Al Gore (Do the denialists wish that the Supreme Court had let him win that damn election just to shut him up…?]

    … start quoting Arnold Schwartzenegger.

  51. #51 frankis
    March 1, 2010

    Mark – Mark! – don’t miss Gore’s latest in the NYT Mark! Shocking, awful, wicked! Don’t miss out Mark!

  52. #52 toby
    March 1, 2010
  53. #53 Anonymous
    March 1, 2010

    @45:

    I had a really good chuckle when I read your post Michael. Although I admit I shouldn’t have. For, you made all my points for me. It is exactly this kind of elitist, patronising nonsense that made people start listening to “sceptics”.

  54. #54 Paul UK
    March 1, 2010

    I get the impression that Aussies are well aware of Hissinks views of science, it’s something I’m new to.

    However don’t get complacent. It is often worthwhile highlighting such a persons ‘beliefs’ and their dabbling with the ‘occult’ just so that newbies and Aussie layman are reminded of Hissinks crank status.

    There are always knew people coming along that will look at what someone like Hissink says at face value. It is wise to occasionally just reiterate what is known about him in the simplest terms, it may be boring, but most jobs are!

  55. #55 Lotharsson
    March 1, 2010

    It is exactly this kind of elitist, patronising nonsense that made people start listening to “sceptics”

    So in your world view, how does one non-elitely non-patronisingly point out that a falsehood is a falsehood is a falsehood, and continues to be a lie when the three hundredth person confidently states it?

    Or point out the difference in values between oneself and themselves?

    Because that’s the problem in a nutshell. Mindless repetition of known lies by people who think they’re accurately informed, and very different (possibly not consciously considered) values.

    Seems to me you want to put the truth in a double bind. Point it out and people will complain you’re elitist. Don’t point it out and people will believe the falsehoods.

    If you’re happy with that state of affairs, then your concern is useless.

  56. #56 Bud
    March 1, 2010

    It is exactly this kind of elitist, patronising nonsense that made people start listening to “sceptics”.

    Could you perhaps string a couple of sentences together where you don’t pretend to speak on behalf of ‘people’ or ‘taxpayers’ or whoever the hell you’re using to avoid direct accountability for your own position?

  57. #57 Christopher Monckton
    March 1, 2010

    It is exactly this kind of elitist, patronising nonsense that made people start listening to “sceptics”.

    Patronising? Allow me to introduce myself. I am Christopher Walter Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley. I don’t believe we’ve met.

  58. #58 Katharine
    March 1, 2010

    Meme Mine didn’t take his medication today.

    I think it’s funny when denialists get called out on their bullshit that they switch to non-scientific-related claims to try to win the argument, such as ‘eliiiiiiiiiiitist’ or ‘noooooo wurld oooooooooooorder’ or ‘the voters know everything’.

    Tribalist scumbags they are.

  59. #59 Anonymous
    March 1, 2010

    @55 – 57

    If anyone is to have any chance of success in dealing with the problem and “save the children”, the causality principle would mandate not to offend the very people that are supposed to pay for the fix, don’t you think? As I see it, it seems that some have forgotten that in their desire to push things through. Ergo, instead of facing one problem, now we have two.

  60. #60 Michael
    March 1, 2010

    Thankyou brave Sir @57.

    Yours is the kind of honest man-in-the-street opinion that we people-in-the-street want to hear, not any of this elitest ivory tower garbage from our self-appointed betters (AKA Scientists).

    My sincere and humble thanks to you m’Lord, from one not fit to kiss the hem of your lordly robes.

  61. #61 Michael
    March 1, 2010

    Right on @59!

    If people believe nonsense that has harmful implications, the highest priority is not to offend anyone.

    Though it is increasingly celar that certian elements within the conservtive political sphere see this as the new battlefield upon which they can launch the Culture Wars MkII.
    It’s a pity that they are happy to sacrifice science in their little jihad.

  62. #62 Christopher Monckton
    March 1, 2010

    Your kind words have filled my heart with happiness, commoner.

  63. #63 Michael
    March 1, 2010

    Oh Lord, that you deign to notice my unworthy mutterings!!

    Please, speaketh to me of the snowball earth and CO2 of 300,000 ppm!

  64. #64 Anonymous
    March 1, 2010

    Hilarious :-)

  65. #65 Chris O'Neill
    March 1, 2010

    Anonymous:

    The failure of Copenhagen was colossal.

    Simply tragedy of the commons playing out. You’re obviously very happy that this (tragedy of the commons) is happening.

  66. #66 Chris O'Neill
    March 1, 2010

    It’s a pity that they are happy to sacrifice science in their little jihad.

    Indeed. Denying science is a losing strategy. Some people never learn.

  67. #67 JMurphy
    March 1, 2010

    Amoeba, over on RabettRun, has already dealt with Mark E. Gillar and his petition :

    “It seems the Hootervile Gazette People are all such nice people!
    They really like Monckton; the OISM; Glenn Beck; Heartland Institute & etc.
    It’s all tied-in to an outfit called the ‘Conservative Consumer Coalition’.
    http://www.conservativeconsumercoalition.com/
    It appears their Chief Scientist is either Glenn Beck, or Monckton. It’s hard to tell. ;-)”

    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2010/02/framing-al-gore.html?showComment=1267438787978#c1636641896835577218

  68. #68 Dave C
    March 1, 2010

    @59, I have a hard time believing that people are offended at what the proponents of action on climate change have actually said and done. This feeling of offense has been formed and nurtured by interests opposed to such action.

    I understand the reaction against “elitism”, but what can we do? Climate change is a complex issue that, like all other science, requires a great deal of expertise to fully understand. People have to realise and accept three things:

    1. There are true experts and false experts, and it is not a matter of opinion as to which is which;
    2. One does not become an expert merely by spewing forth vast reams of opinion; and
    3. One has little choice but to accept the word of the true experts, unless one wants to put in the hard work necessary to become an expert oneself.

    It’s not democratic and it can’t be democratic. If some people are offended by that, there’s precious little that we can do.

  69. #69 Katharine
    March 1, 2010

    Humans are bad at thinking ahead.

  70. #70 SBVOR
    March 1, 2010

    Lambert,

    Personally, I think Bolt went far too easy on you.

  71. #71 Tim Lambert
    March 1, 2010

    Incoming trolls are [courtesy of Joanne Nova](http://joannenova.com.au/2010/03/lambert-victim-of-his-own-spin/).

  72. #72 TrueSceptic
    March 1, 2010

    Tim,

    Any chance you could get Prof. Pinker to respond, in this thread, in Blot’s blog, or Nova’s blog? If she does not want to post a message directly, perhaps she might prepare a statement and allow you to post it here?

    The denidiots truly have no limits, do they? After denying so much in science and its practice, they deny that statements in English mean what they obviously do!

  73. #73 TrueSceptic
    March 1, 2010

    15 Philip,

    Or more simply, if the “sceptics” really had the science, they would have “won” where it matters, in peer-reviewed journals. To explain their utter failure to do that, they claim some great econazi warmofascist conspiracy to establish a World Governament which will tax us back into the Stone Age. You couldn’t make it up could you?

  74. #74 TrueSceptic
    March 1, 2010

    26 frankis,

    I imagine half her regular readers are there because she’s blonde and they’re wankers.

    I’m sure her fans have much in common with those of Jennifer Marohasy.

  75. #75 Baa Humbug
    March 1, 2010

    I’m trying to make sense of this debate but it can’t be done without full info.
    Tim I can’t find your email to Pinker, can you point me to it please so as I can put this in context.

  76. #76 TrueSceptic
    March 1, 2010

    28 Bernard,

    Yep, looks like Jo is the new Jenny!

  77. #77 TrueSceptic
    March 1, 2010

    30 anonymous,

    If you don’t already know it, look up ‘Dunning-Kruger effect’. I think only evolutionary biology rivals climate science for the extent of this.

  78. #78 SBVOR
    March 1, 2010

    Lambert-71,

    So, all who disagree with you are “trolls”?

    Yep, that pretty much validates my original comment (70).

    For those with an interest in basic climate change science:

    http://sbvor.blogspot.com/2009/10/climate-change-science-overview.html

  79. #79 Baa Humbug
    March 1, 2010

    Well, the way I see it, this whole debate is about Tims email request to Pinker and Pinkers reply to Tim. Unless we can all see the full and complete email and reply, none of us can come to an informed conclusion. Anyone disagree?

    Otherwise this whole exercise is no different to a bunch of high school kids chattering away on facebook about nothing. All bloggers on this site, no matter their view point, should be offended by that.

  80. #80 ScaredAmoeba
    March 1, 2010

    Re:Mark E. Gillar and his nasty little petition

    Googling the text of that post revealed 1,190,000 hits, so the slime-balls have been busy.

  81. #81 Chris Noble
    March 1, 2010

    I think the clear lesson from this is that if don’t accept evolution, that HIV causes AIDS or that we are causing global warming and you think you have found something in a mainstream scientist’s paper that supports your views, even though the author quite clearly does not, then the honest thing to do is ask the author of the paper whether your interpretation is correct.

    Monckton should write to Pinker and ask whether his interpretation is correct. This is what an honest person would do.

  82. #82 jakerman
    March 1, 2010

    >*Googling the text of that post revealed 1,190,000 hits*

    The Mark E. Gelliars of the loony right have been trying to “stop Gore” for even longer than they have tried to Stop Hillary or Stop Obama.

    Its what they do and how they define themselves.

  83. #83 Paul UK
    March 1, 2010

    >Well, the way I see it, this whole debate is about Tims email request to Pinker and Pinkers reply to Tim. Unless we can all see the full and complete email and reply, none of us can come to an informed conclusion. Anyone disagree?

    Hilarious.
    How long before Tims emails are unlawfully hacked by some paranoid sceptics wanting ‘the truth’?

  84. #84 frankis
    March 1, 2010

    OK SBVOR I clicked on your link and looked through your work and comments to it. You seem to sincerely believe in what you’re saying there (although I’ve been fooled before).

    Here is the weakest part that caught my eye:

    Click here for a more technical description of this mathematical analysis from PhD physicist Dr. Luboš Motl.

    Therefore, by NOAA’s own standards, the IPCC computer models — the SOLE SOURCE of ALL climate change hysteria mongering — have — with 95% certainty — been officially invalidated!

    To see why you should exercise extreme caution with citing Lubos Motl at the moment it’d be hard to go past reading his contribution to a current thread here at Deltoid: < http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/the_economist_calls_a_lie_a_li.php>

    Mostly though your words “hysteria … 95% certainty …! ” betray that you have not studied statistics, would that be correct? Given this you should suspect that you’re on shaky ground pontificating the way you do – how exactly do you know whose statistical claims to believe when you’re unschooled in the subject yourself? I’d suggest the answer to that is clearer than you’d prefer to think; you’re picking the arguments you choose to believe on ideological grounds and taking statistical claims made by others on faith.

  85. #85 TrueSceptic
    March 1, 2010

    82 jakerman,

    See SBVOR’s blog. Who would guess he’s a wingnut?

  86. #86 Ben Breeg
    March 1, 2010

    Thanks SBVOR @ 78

    That was an illuminating read, I was previously unaware that photoshop was such a vital scientific tool. You have opened my eyes in ways unimaginable.

    I was wondering where on that site I may click to receive my diploma in blog science 101, as I feel empowered now to take on all those nasty climate scientists with my recently acquired advanced knowledge in the photoshop sciences.

  87. #87 SBVOR
    March 1, 2010

    Frankis 84,

    Your buddy Lambert is censoring my comments (hence, only Lambert and I will ever see this one).

    So, there is really no point in responding to you. Instead I’ll respond with a belly laugh at Lambert — the consummate propagandist — trying to claim that Phil Jones did not say what Phil Jones CLEARLY said.

    What a con man tool this Lambert is!

    P.S.) FYI, I have a very solid academic background in statistics.

  88. #88 jakerman
    March 1, 2010

    >See SBVOR’s blog. Who would guess he’s a wingnut?

    I took a peak, apparently its simply blog censership that is holding back this intellectual giant’s contribution to science!

  89. #89 SBVOR
    March 1, 2010

    Hey Lambert (the censorship merchant who will be the only one to ever see this comment):

    I knew there was a reason why I virtually never visit your site.

    The gang rape smearing of Dr. Lubos Motl in this thread (which you clearly sanctioned) is all the reason I need to continue avoiding your utterly irrelevant and completely biased hate based, juvenile smear merchant site.

    Adios, Lambert! Have fun in your pathetic little sandbox.

  90. #90 Michael
    March 1, 2010

    SBVOR, if you can’t understand basic stats that’s neither Tim’s fault, nor Phil Jones’s.

  91. #91 Neil
    March 1, 2010

    “Your buddy Lambert is censoring my comments (hence, only Lambert and I will ever see this one).”

    Oh, yeah, and I’ll bet he only put that live to make you look stupid. It’s all a conspiracy!

  92. #92 sod
    March 1, 2010

    always nice to meet the elite of the denialist camp.

    wonderful people, aren t they?

  93. #93 SBVOR
    March 1, 2010

    Hey! Lambert!

    Why do you repeatedly censor the clear evidence I have presented on the peer reviewed 10,000 year temperature data?

    Can’t face the facts? Roger that! No con man can!

  94. #94 TrueSceptic
    March 1, 2010

    87 SBVOR,

    I have a very solid academic background in statistics.

    BHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  95. #95 Revolution9
    March 1, 2010

    Baa Humbug #79

    “Otherwise this whole exercise is no different to a bunch of high school kids chattering away on facebook about nothing.”

    Sounds like what goes on at WUWT, all the time.

  96. #96 Fran Barlow
    March 1, 2010

    For the SVBOR/Dunning-Kruger trolls …

    Those crusading Mmaverick scientists using photoshop to overturn groupthink can now take some comfort in this story …

    Only months after abandoning a tenured position at Lehigh University, maverick chemist Theodore Hapner managed to disprove two of the three laws of thermodynamics and show that gold is a noxious gas, turning the world of science—defined for centuries by exhaustive research, painstaking observation, and hard-won theories—completely on its head.

    The brash chemist, who conducts independent research from his houseboat, has infuriated peers by refusing to “play by the rules of Socrates, Bacon, and Galileo,” calling test results as he sees them, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

    “If you’re looking for some button-down traditionalist who relies on so-called induction, conventional logic, and verification to arrive at what the scientific community calls ‘proof,’ then I’m afraid you’ve got the wrong guy,” said the intrepid 44-year-old rebel, who last month unveiled a revolutionary new model of atomic structure that contradicted 300 years of precedent. “But if you want your results fast and with some flair, then come with me and I’ll prove that the boiling point of water is actually 547 degrees Fahrenheit.”

    Armed with only with a Bunsen burner, a modest supply of chemical compounds, and a balance scale—the last of which Hapner has “yet to find any good reason to use”—this controversial nonconformist defies every standard definition of what a scientist should be. From his tendency to round off calculations, to his rejection of controlled experiments, Hapner is determined to avoid becoming “one of those cowardly sheep who slavishly kowtows to a tired old methodology.”

    “I’m sure my opponents would love to see me throw in the towel and start using empirical evidence to back every one of my theories,” Hapner said. “They’d have a better chance convincing me that metals, like copper, are naturally strong conductors of electricity.” […]

    Rogue Scientist Has Own Scientific Method

    I’m willing to risk attack by those who don’t get Poe’s Law …

  97. #97 SBVOR
    March 1, 2010

    So, tell me…
    Is this another site which foolishly throws anything with some arbitrary number of links into moderation?

    Is that why some of my comments are not published and others are?

    Mercifully, Accuweather.com saw the foolishness of that policy and abandoned it.

  98. #98 Mike
    March 1, 2010

    …..and the spin on Jones’ comments just gets bigger and bigger.

    Everyone knows what he said. It’s on the public record.

    It’s just that not everyone seems to understand that “not statistically significant at the 95% confidence level” doesn’t mean “does not exist” or “will never be statistically significant”.

    And of those people, many are taking it upon themselves to spread the falsehood that Jones has admitted there has been no warming since 1998.

    While the average Joe just does this out of ignorance or misunderstanding, anyone who is good at statistics does it, I presume, either out of sheer dishonesty or out of grossly overestimating their own competence.

  99. #99 jakerman
    March 1, 2010

    >Why do you repeatedly censor the clear evidence I have presented on the peer reviewed 10,000 year temperature data?

    Do some [more homework](SBhttp://www.gisp2.sr.unh.edu/DATA/Obrien.html) SBV.

  100. #100 jakerman
    March 1, 2010

    SBV your conspiracy complex is starting to drown you. This site has auto moderation set for certain parameters, such as using more than 3 or 4 links in one post (avoiding link spam I assume), or using certain libelous terms such as fra*d.

    At least these are two blocks I’ve set off in the past.

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