Saturday’s Science Show was on the AAAS Symposium on climate change scepticism. Speakers are Riley Dunlap, William Freudenburg, Naomi Oreskes and Stephen Schneider.

Hat tip Bernard J.

Comments

  1. #1 Dave Andrews
    April 6, 2010

    To summarise their arguments,

    1) Dunlap – ‘nodody who doesn’t have a PhD understands or should be able to comment on climate change’

    2) Freudenberg – ‘its all the fault of the publishers who are publishing too many sceptical books’

    3) Oreskes – ‘its all the fault of the media who don’t report things properly’

    4) Schneider – ‘yes the media is to blame but also scientists who don’t agree with me (I even changed my mind once, proudest moment of my life!)’

    Great show :-)

  2. #2 Michael
    April 6, 2010

    Shorter Dave Andrews:

    If you realy want to understand climate science, you have to listen to economists and weather-presenters, who, by means of their lack of knowledge and understanding, can explain it best……or at least tell me what I want to hear.

  3. #3 el gordo
    April 6, 2010

    Michael

    They are desperately in need of a troll over at Jen Marohasy’s blog (Luke has lost his sense of humor) and I think you would be perfect for the position.

  4. #4 DavidCOG
    April 6, 2010

    Shorter, shorter Dave Andrews:

    “I don’t like what them climate scientists be sayin’! It scurs me! Quick! Misrepresent what they sayin’!”

    :-)

  5. #5 Watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com
    April 6, 2010

    Terrific, I’ve been looking forward to hearing this one. The more we throw a spotlight on them the better.

  6. #6 Watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com
    April 6, 2010

    For me the central question and dilemma is this (from transcipt):

    “So all of the polls clearly show us that whatever it is we’ve done has not been effective, our message has not gotten through to the American people. In fact a completely different message has gotten through which is that scientists are arguing, that there is still a lot of scientific uncertainty, that more research is needed, and that a lot of what we’re seeing can be explained by natural variability…”

    There is a wealth of information out there, how is it failing to make an impact?

    From my own observations, I think the denial movement had been very good at packaging their messages as great “infotainment”. Just like Ghost Hunters, The Secret and the plethora of UFO books out there they denial movement has perfected the art of entertaining, while we are trying to explain.

    Entertainment is really the art of storytelling, and most people respond to stories. “A conspiracy really? How fascinating? How does that work…” Coupled with cognitive biases and hey presto, a shift in public perception. I think we need to tell stories mixed with good science. We need something of the order of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos, but for climate science. Alternatively we need a show like “Myth Busters” that has a punk attitude and injects good science and scepticism into the market place of ideas.

  7. #7 John Mashey
    April 6, 2010

    re: #6
    If you wonder why, it has a lot more to do with the climate anti-science machine described @ DeSmogBlog. There has been plenty of fine communication from climate scientists, but having a cleverly-funded machine fighting you, using tactics well-honed in the tobacco wars, is just something different for most scientists. There is almost no chance of fixing the problem until rocks are thrown into the gears of the machine.

    See also Greenpeace’s two recent reports:
    Exxon and
    Koch Industries.

    I was especially delighted to see the latter, as I’ve been saying for a while that the Kochs must laugh all the time at the flak Exxon has taken. Although we’re generally consistent, Greenpeace found a few more things that I hadn’t, which I’ll catch with the next update. The big missing piece is Richard Mellon Scaife.

  8. #8 Chris O'Neill
    April 6, 2010

    There is a wealth of information out there, how is it failing to make an impact?

    Scientists have a hard enough time getting their message through in the most favorable of circumstances. When they have to compete with liars, they’re in real trouble.

  9. #9 Watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com
    April 6, 2010

    @ 8 Chris O’Neill

    Not just liars, but very good entertainers. Check out this quote from the recent Mark Morano profile in Esuire:

    “…Morano has fun with it too, using goofy illustrations like a cartoon hand hammering a nail into a coffin and a Scooby Doo villain getting his mask pulled off. People tell him this is too childish for a publication that affects global policy, but it’s part of his vision for his Web site — climate entertainment, he calls it.”

    They entertain, they don’t explain.

  10. #10 Watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com
    April 6, 2010

    @ Tim Lambert – Sorry for repeatd posting on this topic, but I think this best somes up my point:

    http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2010/04/07/get-punkd-how-the-denial-movement-punks-science-and-how-we-can-fight-it/

    I’ll slow down on the posts :)

  11. #11 smitty
    April 6, 2010

    Yep, Dave!
    The greens are really into recycling. They don’t realize it doesn’t work well with their discarded old arguments.
    You left out the vast right wing conspiracy emerging from conservative think-tanks and well-funded by the fossil fuel industry. Yes, they have embraced the strategy from big tobacco. Who were these “paid” scientists? The smoking gun! The CEO’s testifying before congress that they did not believe nicotene was addictive! Gee with all the MD’s who sell endorsements to AltMed, couldn’t they scrounge up at least one as an expert witness? This was decades after all TV and radio advertising was banned and packaging displayed warning from the Surgeon General. OTOH, Joe Camel is more comparable to the Alarmist propaganda from the AAAS aimed directly at kids.
    By their own standards, the chairman of the IPCC and Al Gore lack all credentials to be authorities on the subject of global warming.
    Can you believe they are still trumpeting the gold standard of peer-review, even after Climategate blew that campaign out of the water?
    I don’t know what world these people are living in if they think the media has given skeptics balanced coverage. Did they miss the alarmist battle cry run by every major newspaper around the world on the eve of Copenhagen?
    Was this whole production directed at brow-beating journalists for finally doing their job at least in the UK?

  12. #12 John
    April 6, 2010

    wat

  13. #13 Lotharsson
    April 6, 2010

    One suspects the stream of tenuously linked talking points from smitty indicates a POE. But it’s so hard to tell these days…

  14. #14 David Horton
    April 7, 2010

    Lotharsson – I think a POE would spell nicotene correctly? Maybe not.

    I love “the gold standard of peer-review, even after Climategate blew that campaign out of the water?” The mental processes of these people are amazing. Does Mr Smitty know what peer review is? Nah, of course he doesn’t, he thinks it is some kind of uppity smarty pants thing that tried to look down on him and his denialist mates. Well, no more of that thank you very much. The blog opinions of McKittrick, McLean, Watts, indeed, even of Mr Smitty himself, are just as good as all that science nonsense. This a democracy, or what?

  15. #15 Jeff Harvey
    April 7, 2010

    el gordo,

    given that you are our resident ‘model’ troll here, methinks you ought to keep your mouth firmly closed. Or bugger off elsewhere.

    As for Dave ‘layman’ Andrews, I think we’ve hammered his guff appropriately in other threads. The denialists love to argue that Steve Schneider changed his mind on the subject of the balance between different forcings (aerosols vs. greenhouse gases) on climate patterns. But all Steve did was change his mind as new data came in, as any good scientist should do. A few years ago there was a debate on the fitness of hybrid zones in forest ecosystems after some researchers published a paper showing higher fitness in these zones. But then a number of papers were published with different systems showing equal or lower fitness in hybrid zones. The original researchers would be marginalized if they did not accept the fact that the new evidence showed that the process was context-dependent. This is how science works, Andrews: at least with the exception of many of the denialists, who will probably never accept the primary human fingerprint in the current warming. But then again, most of these people are not good scientists but idealogues.

    Of course know-nothings like DA think it is a crime to change your mind on the basis of empirical evidence, but then again given that they have no scientific acumen whatsoever it is hardly surprising. Furthermore, Dunlap’s point is also relevant here; laypeople can comment on climate change all they like but his point is that people lacking any pedigree in the field should have no influence on public policy decisions. What is wrong with that? Perhaps comments like those from Dunlap sting the mob of self-confessed armchair ‘experts’ like DA, el gordo et al. out there who think that they have a solid grasp of the science. Speaking as a scientist working in another discipline, let me say that I am relieved that the views of the armchair experts are completely ignored.

  16. #16 Lotharsson
    April 7, 2010

    Speaking of climate change skepticism, weather forecasters, especially those on TV (in the US at least) are much more skeptical about global warming than climate scientists – and a majority of the public tends to trust them, even though they often don’t know what they’re talking about when it comes to climate science.

    From the NYT article referenced in that blog post:

    A study released on Monday…found that only about half of the 571 television weathercasters surveyed believed that global warming was occurring and fewer than a third believed that climate change was “caused mostly by human activities.”

    More than a quarter of the weathercasters…agreed with the statement “Global warming is a scam,”….

    …polls show that…weather forecasters — especially those on television — dominate communications channels to the public. A study…found that 56 percent of Americans trusted weathercasters to tell them about global warming far more than they trusted other news media or public figures like former Vice President Al Gore or Sarah Palin, the former vice-presidential candidate.

    Well, at least they don’t trust Palin ;-)

    The reported skepticism is at odds with the professional society:

    The American Meteorological Society, which confers its coveted seal of approval on qualified weather forecasters, has affirmed the conclusion of the United Nations’ climate panel that warming is occurring and that human activities are very likely the cause.

  17. #17 Lotharsson
    April 7, 2010

    …know-nothings like DA think it is a crime to change your mind on the basis of empirical evidence…

    That seems consistent with the fact that many of them did not make their mind up based on a fair analysis of the empirical evidence in the first place…

  18. #18 Joe
    April 7, 2010

    Scientists and physicists have made an exclusive order club that will only allow like minded players.
    If any new science does not fit with the theme, even if the science is rock solid, is ignored and suppressed.
    Science has made many an error that will not be corrected due to funding could be compromised.

    Who funds scientists? Governments. So, scientists will always be right and unquestioned. They are the expert in that theory you know.

  19. #19 SC (Salty Current)
    April 7, 2010

    Thanks for the link to the post about meteorologists, Lotharsson. I have to question the proposed explanations, though. I wonder if anyone has investigated the extent to which weather people have been specifically targeted for denialist propaganda. Given that disinformation campaigns play such an important role in public perception generally, it seems reasonable to suspect that a focused propaganda effort is at the heart of this. (I’m interested to know if Oreskes covers this in her new book….)

  20. #20 Watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com
    April 7, 2010

    Is Joe a drive by poster, or a regular forum troll? The usual “follow the money” argument is somewhat tiresome.

  21. #21 lord_sidcup
    April 7, 2010

    I think Joe is a ‘drive by’. If he drives back he might want to note that scientists are quite willing to accept funding from sources other than government. Indeed, private funding of science and other academic research is positively encouraged here in the UK – for reasons that ought to be obvious. Perhaps Joe can explain why, for example, Peabody Energy ploughed [$5.5 million in 2 years](http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/07_19/b4033075.htm) into political lobbying against regulation of carbon emissions when they could (according to Joe) simply fund some scientists to do the necessary research that disproves AGW? Maybe deep down even Peabody recognises the science is sound and does not want to waste money on a scientific case that can’t be made.

  22. #22 Bruce Sharp
    April 7, 2010

    Speaking of meteorologists and climate change skepticism, everyone should take a look at a segment from last night’s Colbert Report: [Science Catfight – Joe Bastardi vs. Brenda Ekwurzel](http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/269929/april-06-2010/science-catfight—joe-bastardi-vs–brenda-ekwurzel).

  23. #23 caerbannog
    April 7, 2010


    Speaking of meteorologists and climate change skepticism, everyone should take a look at a segment from last night’s Colbert Report: Science Catfight – Joe Bastardi vs. Brenda Ekwurzel.

    Bastardi is amazing — so cocksure and so clueless. You can tell that he spent a lot more time at frat parties than he did at the library back when he was in college.

  24. #24 Michael
    April 7, 2010

    el gordo:

    Michael
    They are desperately in need of a troll over at Jen Marohasy’s blog (Luke has lost his sense of humor) and I think you would be perfect for the position.

    What! Are the Marohasy dead-enders still dribbling on to each other in the world’s smallest echo-chamber?

  25. #25 toby
    April 7, 2010

    Re: Stephen Schneider “changing his mind”

    J.M.Keynes was once accused of this sin & he said:

    “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do?”

  26. #26 Dave
    April 7, 2010

    @Michael

    Apparently so – I had no idea, but the “postscript” entry now that she’s no longer blogging has some 3,600 comments on it…!

  27. #27 caerbannog
    April 7, 2010


    Re: Stephen Schneider “changing his mind”

    J.M.Keynes was once accused of this sin & he said:

    “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do?”

    Folks should remember that Schneider was a young postdoc when he thought that the near-term climatic outlook was for cooling. He was not an experienced climate-scientist with decades of research experience under his belt at that time.

  28. #28 t_p_hamilton
    April 7, 2010

    “Scientists and physicists have made an exclusive order club that will only allow like minded players.”

    I see somebody had his graduate school application rejected because he ticked the wrong box for the question “Do you promise that whatever you discover, you will only publish results consistent with global warming?” Gotta keep the bright, independent thinkers out of science, you know!

  29. #29 John Mashey
    April 7, 2010

    re: 19
    I haven’t been able to find any evidence of particular targeting of weather people (and I’ve looked some). Oreskes/Conway doesn’t cover that. See CCC, Section 2, especially Figure 2.6, regarding reasons for anti-science. TEC4 specifically mentions weather folks.

    re: #27
    I don’t think this was primarily a question of youth. Even experienced people were generally uncertain at the time of the relative effects of aerosols vs GHGs. AFter all, we would be cooler if we had one Pinataubo per year.
    I don’t have it handy, but this is discussed in “Science as a Contact Sport.”

    This is a specific example of the process in which a potential issue is identified as a possibility, and people then go explore it, and new data keeps arriving.

  30. #30 SC (Salty Current)
    April 7, 2010

    OK, I’ve now taken a look at the study referenced in the NYT article re meteorologists. It’s…a bit odd.

    My offhand speculation about the causes of meteorologists’ views above was illogical. (The other speculative “hypotheses” are equally illogical, I should add.) Given that a healthy percentage does accept AGW, the proper sociological question is: How do those who don’t differ from those who do?

    The study seems like a reasonable survey (with all of the inherent problems with surveys). It’s strange, though, that they didn’t ask questions that could then be put in a multivariate analysis and used to understand what qualities of the ‘rejecters’ differed from those of the ‘accepters’. Even those they did ask about or know – region, sex, station aspects, interest in the problem, self-reports of knowledge, level of desire to be ‘scientific educators’, reports of audience interest and informedness, sources trusted, etc. – weren’t analyzed in terms of their relationship to beliefs about AGW. (I see that this is a preliminary report, but they include what I believe is the full survey and responses and I see no indication that the survey instrument was designed to answer this key question. I can think of reasons to leave out certain questions, but my call would be to include them.)

    There’s also something very strange going on. The most trusted sources of information are government scientists, state scientific organizations, and the peer-reviewed literature. But then among the least trusted is the IPCC. What do they think the IPCC reports are based on?

    Finally, I’m not sure (Colbert’s silly comparison with astrologers aside) of the extent to which meteorologists should be expected to differ from the general public here….

    ***

    John Mashey, thanks for the response and link. I didn’t know you had been working on this. Would you mind if I sent you some (polite but critical) comments on your recent report?

  31. #31 Dave Andrews
    April 7, 2010

    Jeff Harvey,

    “Of course know-nothings like DA think it is a crime to change your mind on the basis of empirical evidence,”

    Well you couldn’t be further from the truth,Jeff, as I’ve always viewed the world as shades of grey rather than black and white. But as an obsessive investigator of parasitoidal wasps, or whatever, I guess you get to know more and more about less and less.

  32. #32 Watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com
    April 7, 2010

    @ SC, some good points.

    “Finally, I’m not sure (Colbert’s silly comparison with astrologers aside) of the extent to which meteorologists should be expected to differ from the general public here….”

    I’d surmise the weather guys have an authority and familiarity for the general public. They are the public face of weather, and for most people this is their exposure to meteorology/climate related news.

    The average person conflates weather with climate, and thus conflates the weather presenters expertise in both.

    Watts is the example par excellence: former weather guy, runs wolds largest denialist blog.

  33. #33 Lars Karlsson
    April 7, 2010

    3 – “They are desperately in need of a troll over at Jen Marohasy’s blog”

    Oh no, is Jen quitting?

  34. #34 Fran Barlow
    April 7, 2010

    Now that we have a sense of what weather reporters think, not only of climate science but the “MSM” of which they are a part, one does wonder if someone will follow up and ask what TV Quiz barrel girls make of climate change.

    Do they accept the science or would they point to better sources of data?

  35. #35 SC (Salty Current)
    April 7, 2010

    I’d surmise the weather guys have an authority and familiarity for the general public.

    Ah. I think I might have been unclear. My point was about whether we should expect the percentages of ignoramuses/denialists among them to differ greatly from the percentage among the general public. On the one hand, they – or at least a significant percentage – do have training in empirical and statistical (I assume) analysis, and I suppose they could be expected to be able to view local weather within a global and long-term context; on the other, they’re not scientists (Bastardi’s “We go to the same schools” was just ridiculous).

  36. #36 Eli Rabett
    April 7, 2010

    Interestingly, the first author of that paper, who was senior at the time, was S. Ichtiaque Rasool, who is a bit of a denialist today. (and, of course, they borrowed Jim Hansen’s Venus model, so Rasool can also be blamed for getting Hansen interested in Earth modeling).

    As Eli pointed out long ago for years the paper has been used by denialists to attack Schneider and by claiming that global cooling was predicted in the 70s to attack the fact that global temperatures are warming
    rapidly. As part of their strategy, Rasool often disappears, much as has happened with Michael Mann, whose first papers on multiproxy modeling were co-authored by Ray Bradley and Malcolm Hughes. Mann was out front on the issue, Bradley and Hughes have been Rasooled.

    Eli appreciates the recycling opportunity

  37. #37 MapleLeaf
    April 7, 2010

    Undeterred by Lewis taking them to task the Sunday Times and Leak continue to distort and misrepresent the science. Now the Arctic sea ice has recovered don’t you know (sarc). OMG I’m going to scream!

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7086746.ece

    It is hopeless, the denial machine sewer line has an enormous leak and no one seems capable of plugging it.

    The first bloody para has a blatant error which is easily refuted suing this graph from NSIDC:

    http://nsidc.org/data/seaice_index/images/n_plot_hires.png

  38. #38 Gaz
    April 7, 2010
  39. #39 MapleLeaf
    April 7, 2010

    Sorry Gaz, and thanks :)

  40. #40 John Mashey
    April 7, 2010

    RE: 30 SC
    Sure, send comments. There’s an email address, and the report is labeled V1.0 … i.e., expect updates. I’m expecting to finish the next update in a week or so [integrating a few bits from the recent Greenpeace reports], doing a major update on the plagiarism section to reflect new info (keep an eye on Deep Climate), adding a lot of Heartland conference attendees I’d overlooked, adding a few more people that deserve attention.

    I am especially happy to hear of errors and omissions (of which a few have already been found). I will also answer questions as I can, although some are likely unanswerable at this time.

  41. #41 Stu
    April 7, 2010

    MapleLeaf, it’s no surprise coming from Leake is it? Comments contain the usual fawning; it’s all quite depressing.

    Example: “It is a “warmer than average winter”? HOW!!! I know it is colder than average in North America and , Europe and Asia. I am not sure about the other continents. Sea ice is growing so where the Hell is it warmer than normal?”

    No access to monthly anomaly maps? Geez, some people just don’t want to think outside the box.

  42. #42 pough
    April 8, 2010

    I know it is colder than average in North America

    Finally, Canada has been set free from North America!

  43. #43 Bernard J.
    April 8, 2010

    [Salty Current](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/04/science_show_on_climate_change.php#comment-2409682).

    I too am a little surprised that Maibach et al did not seem to dig deeper into some of the psychology/sociology underpinning the beliefs of the respondents, but this might just be a reflection of the fact that it is a preliminary release:

    Our
    top-line findings are being distributed directly to survey respondents and their professional
    associations, and additional detailed analyses are being prepared for submission to peer-reviewed
    journals and conferences.

    The survey is certainly structured such that a decent multvariate analysis could be done on the raw data, and no doubt it will be.

    I’m a little puzzled though about the apparent thinness of the surveyors’ questioning about the respondents’ backgrounds/beliefs/training/followings of the underlying science. As difficult as these type of surveys are to construct (and yes, I speak from experience), such questions should be easily imported from other, similar surveys, and include checks for consistency of response, and for corroborations of the veracity of self-assessments (such as is the last question, #51).

    Although, having said this, it is quite possible that the paper linked by the NYT does not present all of the original survey questions, in which case it is much more likely that Maibach et al did go deeper into the factors that guide weather-presenters’ views. I hope so, because it would be a great missed opportunity otherwise.

    Time will tell I suppose.

    And on a differnt matter: John Mashey, it’s something that I’ve been meaning for a while to put on the public record, but from which I keep being distracted… I’d personally like to say “kudos” for your work in tirelessly (apparently!) gathering the many threads together that you have. It’s an interested story indeed.

  44. #44 Bernard J.
    April 8, 2010

    interested …interesting

    Hmmmph!

  45. #45 Jeff Harvey
    April 8, 2010

    Dave Andrews,

    OK, I will cut you some slack, even though I don’t necessarily think that you deserve it.

    First of all, thanks for supporting my parasitoid (not parasitoidal) research. These organisms are worth many milliona – and perhaps even billions – of dollars to the global economy every year for their pest control services, so your attempt to belittle research on them goes down like a lead balloon. Moreover, they make model subjects for research in evolutionary and population ecology.

    Furthermore, I was taught population ecology at Liverpool University and some of my current research involves the the effects of invasive plants on multitrophic interactions as well as habitat heterogeneity on this parameter. Just because much of my research involves the parasitic Hymenoptera does not mean that I do not read a huge amount of empirical literature in ecology. This was an important pre-requisite for my position as editor at Nature 10 years ago.

    Finally, my main objection to your last post was that you criticized a researcher (Steve Schneider) on the basis of the fact that he changed his mind as new data came in. This was a no-brainer on your part and clearly showed that you do not understand how science works. Any scientist who would not change his/her mind on the basis of new data as it came in that disproved their original views would become an isolated dinosaur.

  46. #46 Watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com
    April 8, 2010

    @ Dave Andrews

    “Finally, my main objection to your last post was that you criticized a researcher (Steve Schneider) on the basis of the fact that he changed his mind as new data came in. This was a no-brainer on your part and clearly showed that you do not understand how science works.”

    Indeed, to quote:

    “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”

    John Maynard Keynes.

  47. #47 willard
    April 8, 2010

    A quote mine. A dig there, as geologically-minded people use to say. The best quotes should be moshpitted everywhere there is traffic.

  48. #48 JamesA
    April 8, 2010

    @Maple Leaf

    Oh joy. He just can’t stop himself, can he? To be fair on him, he does point out that sea ice is still in long-term decline and it doesn’t contradict global warming, but it doesn’t stop him from taking this and invoking the denialist trope of “but that’s not what you said before”. This is naturally playing to the bone-headed notion that all scientists speak with a common voice, something which is the bread-and-butter for hack science journalists the world over. It is especially rich listening to him lecturing us on overstating short warming trends, when he he himself has been guilty of just that.

    But then again, I detected a hint of a backpedal in his article in that his bile is aimed at the representation of the science rather than the science itself. Eventually, when they realise that global warming isn’t going away, the British Press will be forced to reposture themselves and I’m wondering if he’s just trying on the ‘global warming may be real but it’s not worth panicking over’ belief for size.

  49. #49 John Mashey
    April 8, 2010

    re: #43 Bernard J

    Thanks for the kinds words. You may amused to know that this is the outcome of work that started from Tim’s sleuthing of the Monckton/Schulte/Ferguson vs Oreskes affair in 2007, and got me interested in long-term tracking of the Internet information flows and social networks involved. Maybe it will pay off soon…

  50. #50 Dave Andrews
    April 8, 2010

    Eli Rabbett,

    I suppose your loyalty to Mann must account to something but there was a reason he was ‘singled out’. He was lead author and very aggressive in self promotion.

    As for “Bradley and Hughes have been Rasooled.”
    There are many posts on CA where they come in for considerable criticism.

    Go read.

  51. #51 Dave Andrews
    April 8, 2010

    Jeff and ‘watching the deniers’,

    My remark about Schneider was not about the fact that he changed his mind but about the fact that he seemed to think it was such a big deal.

    Surely, as others have said here, when the facts change you have to change also? And surely this happens to all of us over the course of our lifetimes? So why does Schneider still try to make some kind of capital out of an event well in the past?

  52. #52 Zibethicus
    April 8, 2010

    #51: Surely, as others have said here, when the facts change you have to change also? And surely this happens to all of us over the course of our lifetimes?

    (end quote)

    You obviously haven’t been watching the Deniosaurs turning their finest cartwheels to either ignore the exonerations of Mann and Jones or claim conspiracy after the event.

    Amazing agility from such lumbering creatures. Tying themselves into fantastic knots precisely in order to avoid changing their minds…

  53. #53 Jeff Harvey
    April 9, 2010

    *My remark about Schneider was not about the fact that he changed his mind but about the fact that he seemed to think it was such a big deal*

    The reason it was such a big deal was because he was being harried about it consistently by the AGW denialists as well as the corporate msm. What was he supposed to do? Time and time again those in the denial camp have smugly claimed that scientists in the 1970s were advocating the threat of global cooling as some sort of twisted strategy of downplaying AGW. This is of course a myth, and only a very small subset of scientists were actually concerned about cooling, Steve Schneider being amongst the most prominent of them. But when he began supporting the much broader consensus of AGW in the early 1990s, this came back to haunt him. He was forced to say exactly what I alluded to – that any good scientist changes their mind if the empirical evidence shows that their initial beliefs were incorrect. But as soon as he defends himself against the political right, people like Dave Andrews accuse him of overplaying his card. Its a no-win situation; say nothing and you are accused of hiding something, whereas if you defend yourself you are accused of blowing it out of proportion. This is just one of the many devious tactics in the denialist’s bag of tricks.

    Dave Andrews, you are painting yourself more and more into a corner. Again, why do you persist?

  54. #54 Fran Barlow
    April 9, 2010

    Jeff said:

    Its a no-win situation; say nothing and you are accused of hiding something, whereas if you defend yourself you are accused of blowing it out of proportion. This is just one of the many devious tactics in the denialist’s bag of tricks.

    Well done calling out this particular piece of heads I win tails you lose cant. You wonder how people like Dave Andrews keep a straight face writing this stuff, but then again, in cyberspace nobody can see your face.

  55. #55 Lotharsson
    April 9, 2010

    This is of course a myth, and only a very small subset of scientists were actually concerned about cooling…

    …and IIRC they were concerned because of anthropogenic aerosols, and they were right (given their limited data) because aerosols are a non-trivial cooling forcing today according to the IPCC.

  56. #56 Lotharsson
    April 9, 2010

    Well done calling out this particular piece of heads I win tails you lose cant.

    I said something similar elsewhere over on the Intersection thread.

    But scientists can’t win. If they follow the evidence as it comes in, they’re accused of being incompetent because they change their mind (”global cooling was the cause du jour”), even as others accuse them of not following the evidence so that they can publish pre-determined results.

    I think this type of catch-22 needs to be pointed out whenever it happens.

  57. #57 el gordo
    April 9, 2010

    Lotharsson

    … ‘those concerned about cooling were proved right by further research – aerosols really can cause global cooling (amongst other issues) – so humans reduced their output and largely headed off that concern.’

    True and all the industrial countries cleaned up their acts, now we have to encourage China and India to do the same.

    If AGW is taken out of the equation, then the capital released will go a long way to improve our earthly lot.

    There are a lot of climate scientists doing their utmost, in their own narrow fields, who want to see their efforts published in peer review journals, with the academic respect that brings.

    We need to disengage politics from science, in every discipline, so the scientists can get on with their work. Spending a lot on climate science now, is money well spent if we can forecast the future.

  58. #58 JamesA
    April 9, 2010

    @el gordo

    As a point of fact, the main reason aerosols have been reduced in developed countries was in an effort to reduce smog and acid rain. Their effect on climate change has never really been a serious motivation for controls (a very recent exception being black carbon).

    As someone working in the field, I can honestly say I don’t know what politics it is you’re talking about. People are free to publish what they want and they do. If you don’t believe me, try looking up some contents listings for some of the journals (e.g. this, this, this, this and this) and you’ll see how diverse the material is.

    The ‘spend more money on research’ line has got a bit old now. Not that I don’t agree with spending money on science, but that has been a common conclusion reached by a lot of the denialists for a long time. And just like with the tobacco research, the answers have just kept coming back with same only with more and more certainty. That should probably tell you something.

  59. #59 Ezzthetic
    April 9, 2010

    “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”

    John Maynard Keynes.

    Beside the point, but I’m not sure that’s a genuine quote:

    10 famously inaccurate quotes

    At least, no-one seems to be able to source it.

  60. #60 t_p_hamilton
    April 9, 2010

    Dave Andrews unwittingly speaks the truth:”Eli Rabbett,

    I suppose your loyalty to Mann must account to something but there was a reason he was ‘singled out’. He was lead author and very aggressive in self promotion.”

    Not because his science was faulty.

  61. #61 Donald Oats
    April 9, 2010

    With regards to Stephen Schneider and that 70’s paper, Mark Bowen’s book “Censoring Science”, (2009), pp 204–205, has this to say:

    Ichtiaque Rasool and his student Stephen Schneider had helped initiate this craze in 1971 with a paper in Science in which they inferred from a primitive computer model developed by Schneider that the increasing dustiness of the atmosphere stood not only to offset greenhouse warming but might even “be sufficient to trigger an ice age.”

    and,

    Thirty years later, George Will would refer to this momentary and minor delusion, which had been shared even in the 1970s by a just small fraction of the relevant science community, on George Stephanopoulos’s talk show, one week after Jim Hansen and Rick Piltz would appear on 60 Minutes.

    It is not commonly known that shortly after his paper went to press, Stephen Schneider discovered an error in his computer program that had amplified the cooling power of the aerosols relative to the warming effect of the greenhouse. In 1975, he published a second paper in Science, predicting that the greenhouse effect would overtake the parasol effect “soon after 1980.” This proved more or less true, and Schneider has since become one of the most visible and outspoken seers of the greenhouse danger.

    This makes the matter sufficiently clear for me, and of course the relevant papers may be found in Science magazine.

  62. #62 Dave Andrews
    April 9, 2010

    t_p_hamilton,

    Mann’s science certainly was faulty. Did you not know that the hockey stick has been thoroughly debunked?

  63. #63 Dave Andrews
    April 9, 2010

    Jeff Harvey,

    Thanks for your concern but I am not ‘painting myself into a corner’

    I assume you are well acquainted with that ‘other quote’ from Schneider about scary scenarios, simplified dramatic statements and little mention of doubts.

    Now, I would ask you is this how a scientist should conduct him or herself?

  64. #64 Bud
    April 9, 2010

    I just saw Dave Andrews’ last two posts shuffling down my street, arms outstretched, groaning something about “Brains…brains…”

  65. #65 Don Wigan
    April 9, 2010

    “Mann’s science certainly was faulty. Did you not know that the hockey stick has been thoroughly debunked?”

    Care to provide any evidence of this, Dave? Mann himself has modified it on the basis of more comprehensive data since available, but I’m not aware that it has been debunked. I hope you’ve got a more credible source than McIntyre or Watts.

  66. #66 Mike
    April 9, 2010

    Yeah I’m curious too as to how the hockey stick has been “debunked”, though I’m aware Mann’s was modified when better data came along (as one would fully expect).

    Could Dave specify which one? The HADCRUT3 hockey stick? The Kaufman Arctic reconstruction hockey stick? The hockey stick shown in the NOAA borehole reconstructions by Pollack? The CO2 concentration hockey stick from Mauna Loa? The Oerlemans 2005 reconstruction hockey stick? The old MBH temperature reconstruction hockey stick?

    So many hockey sticks from different datasets and independent sources to debunk, so little time. But I’m sure Macintyre and Watts are working on it, just as they’re working with the huge volume of raw data now available to show that the warming is just a figment of our imaginations.

    Their robust, watertight, and conclusive scientific papers will come flooding out any day now…………

  67. #67 t_p_hamilton
    April 9, 2010

    DaveA does not know how science is done: “Mann’s science certainly was faulty. Did you not know that the hockey stick has been thoroughly debunked?”

    Because a website says so and you believe it? LOL.

    DaveA – a little clue: A debunking would consist of doing the analysis “properly” and showing how that made a difference. This has indeed been done, many times (with no significant difference), but you are apparently as unaware of the scientific literature as your own incompetence.

  68. @ t_p_hamilton

    …but isn’t that the purpose of propaganda? If you repeat a lie again and again, it becomes “true”.

  69. #69 Lotharsson
    April 10, 2010

    The amusing thing about the “hockey stick has been debunked” meme is that it seems to generally trace back to McIntyre, who screwed up his attempted debunking. He blindly assumed that the number of significant components in uncentered PCA would be the same as Mann’s decentered PCA – which is not generally the case. (For someone who implies climate scientists regularly screw up statistics because they aren’t nearly as competent as professional statisticians…this is particularly egregious.)

    And once you apply McIntyre’s method properly, you get largely the same hockey stick as the original. So McIntyre in a sense helped confirm the original hockey stick, even as he and his enthusiastic supporters continue to echo the exact opposite conclusion.

  70. #70 stepanovich
    April 10, 2010

    Shorter dmabus:

    I am a crank.

  71. #71 Lotharsson
    April 10, 2010

    And that crank refers to a post entitled “Does God have a future” where Deepak Chopra was one of those representing “God” in a debate that appeared to discuss the relationship of science to religion.

    Which probably means it was an Epic Fail, at least as far as the Chopra’s “science” goes.

  72. #72 Crispy
    April 10, 2010

    Hmm, David Mabus is quite a famous nutjob flamer and spam enthusiast. Googling “Davis Mabus spam” gets 40,000 hits. Some of the published assessments of his character are hilarious.

    Sorry to drop in OT. I’ll go back to lurking.

  73. #73 guthrie
    April 10, 2010

    Bugger, Mabus is here. He is totally crazy, just ban him before he destroys the thread with off topic rants against atheism.

  74. #74 Watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com
    April 10, 2010

    I’ve seen him on other boards. Get’s around, he’s even tried to hit my blog a few times.

    /waves @ dmabus

  75. #75 Jeremy C
    April 10, 2010

    Dave Andrews,

    I didn’t quite grasp Lotharsson’s statement @ 69, “the number of significant components in uncentered PCA would be the same as Mann’s decentered PCA”. Seeing you have stated that the Hockey stick has been debunked (and I assume you mean all the different Hockey Sticks produced by different groups) then I guess you would be able to explain to me what Lotharsson was saying in statistical analysis terms.

    BTW. Dave, I’m still waiting for your details so I can start sending you FOI requests as I guess from your posting @62 you have been busily analysing CRU and associated climate data that my taxes paid for. I’m sure the work you have been carrying out on that material will help illuminate climate science so giving me your details will be a public service.

  76. #76 JamesA
    April 10, 2010

    “The Hockey Stick has been debunked” isn’t a scientific fact, it’s a key tenet of denialist dogma. You may as well ask a creationist to provide the evidence that evolution has been debunked.

  77. #77 Ezzthetic
    April 10, 2010

    David Mabus is quite a famous nutjob flamer and spam enthusiast.

    Maybe that guy who claims to have written all the Beatles’ hits will turn up soon.

  78. #78 Dave Andrews
    April 10, 2010

    t_p_hamilton,

    Have you read the Wegman Report or the NAS Panel Report?

    Even the recently liberated CRU emails acknowledged that the MWP was a fact – yet Mann’s HS straight-lined it out of history.

  79. #79 Dave Andrews
    April 10, 2010

    Jeremy C,

    Have you read Professor Ian Jolliffe’s comments on Mann’s PCA at Taminos? Jollife is an authority on PCA and concludes (my words) he didn’t know what Mann was doing.

    Hardly a ringing endorsement.

  80. #80 Dave Andrews
    April 10, 2010

    Jeremy C,

    “Dave, I’m still waiting for your details so I can start sending you FOI requests”

    This is the second time you have made this remark. You obviously have such a poor grasp of FOI that you don’t realise it is about making public authorities accountable and has nothing to do with individuals.

  81. #81 Lee
    April 10, 2010

    Andrews:

    So freaking what!?!?!?!?!

    The data that Mann used in his original analysis, and more recent extended data sets, when analyzed by improved and more easily explicable methods, yield very nearly the same damn results.

    Ignore Man.. Throw it away if you don’t trust it. Expunge it from the record. Pay attention ONLY to the many, many more recent analyses. You still get the same basic answer.

    So why the hell are you all obsessed with that 12 year old analysis, over and farking over again?

  82. #82 John Mashey
    April 10, 2010

    Argh, my IPhone doesn’t have Greasemonkey & killfile, so I got exposed to a Dave Andrews post.

    Does he not yet understand that citing Wegman is a negative for one’s credibility?

  83. #83 Jeremy C
    April 10, 2010

    Dave Andrews @ 79. I want to see you explain it…… to see if you understand what you are talking about.

    Dave Andrews @ 80. In theory, seeing the denialists demanded publicly paid for data to be freed shouldn’t we now see what they are doing with that same data…… to see if their fuss and bother was honest and not some ideological game or fury.

    So Dave, without me using an FOI, tell us all how you have used the data revealed from Climategate to undertake an analysis of the climate science that the CRU was involved in. When are you going to publish….? (have you looked at the data?)

  84. #84 Lotharsson
    April 10, 2010

    Jollife is an authority on PCA and concludes (my words) he didn’t know what Mann was doing.

    Always the trees, never the forest.

    Did Joliffe pass judgement on McIntyre’s “correction”, or on the Mann’s correction to McIntyre’s correction, or on the non-PCA methods that have also been used on the same data sets? If he didn’t, did you bother to try and find out yourself?

    And did any of these other methods yield significantly different results from the original MBH98 graph? Or does an error subsequently corrected render the corrected results just as invalid as the erroneous ones in your world view?

  85. #85 Chris O'Neill
    April 10, 2010

    Lee:

    The data that Mann used in his original analysis, and more recent extended data sets, when analyzed by improved and more easily explicable methods, yield very nearly the same damn results.

    Anti-scientists like Andrews know that they have nothing better than meaningless mantras like “the hockeystick has been debunked”. Consequently that’s all they ever produce, over and over again, perhaps till the day they die.

  86. #86 t_p_hamilton
    April 10, 2010
  87. #87 Dave Andrews
    April 12, 2010

    Jeremy C,

    Why should I release my data to you when I know you only want it to discredit me? (LOL)

  88. #88 Dave Andrews
    April 12, 2010

    Lee,

    OK, just what do you consider the ‘improved and more explicable methods’ to be?

    Chris O’Neill,

    I am not ‘anti – scientist’, just concerned about some scientists who seem to be more into advocacy than scientific accuracy. And there are lot of those in climate science.

  89. #89 jakerman
    April 12, 2010

    Dave Andrews writes:

    >*I am not ‘anti – scientist’, just concerned about some scientists who seem to be more into advocacy than scientific accuracy. And there are lot of those in climate science.*

    Not a scientific statement Dave, being concerned about scientific accuracy is not mutually exclusive from raising public awareness on on an issue of great risk. What would you think of a person who knew what these scientist know and but didn’t warn the public of the implications?

    Re. accuracy: science is a self correcting process and the evidence strongly supports the ground the climate scientist are on. The so called “skeptics” have been show to lack rigor and be less interested in accuracy, take McLean de Freitas and Carter, or Gerlich and Tscheuschner, Soon, Baliunas, Lindzen and Choi, etc, etc. …. These jokers don’t correct their major errors, mean while the IPCC is corrected theirs.

Current ye@r *