January 2013 Open Thread

Australia makes into 2013 in good shape despite the carbon tax. How can this be?

Comments

  1. #1 Lotharsson
    January 31, 2013

    But of course this does not apply to the likes of BK, chamy & co who can only ever value the width rather than the quality.

    And what a distinct lack of width it is in their case…

  2. #2 bill
    January 31, 2013

    Indeed!

    (Did you encounter our ‘Atmospheric Chemistry Graduate’ a few days back who was running the ‘OA ain’t acidification because the pH will still be above 7′ line? As well accusing the actually-practising folks of more-or-less making it up?)

    And naturally I wasn’t directing my incensed incredulity at you, chek.

  3. #3 bill
    January 31, 2013

    I was referring to Eli’s comment (previous page) above, but ‘indeed’ works just as well for Loth’s.

  4. #4 Lotharsson
    January 31, 2013

    How come Tim doesn’t publish what he puts on this website?

    You mean, how come he doesn’t publish these articles in the peer-reviewed scientific literature? Because “publishing” in the original context you refer to means “in the scientific peer-reviewed literature“. And Tim’s not adding to scientific research. He’s critiquing pseudo-science and the media coverage of science. In order to do that he generally relies on published and generally accepted scientific findings, so he doesn’t need to re-publish the same material to get it re-peer-reviewed. It already has been.

    How come you don’t understand this distinction, given that you were happy to wave around your claim to have “academic scientific credentials”?

    Is there a point of difference in your criticism re Humlum?

    Yes.

    Oh, wait…you want us to explain it more than it already has been?

    Tim’s critiquing science coverage by applying respected science.

    Humlum’s (implicitly or otherwise) critiquing respected science by applying non-respected methods and claims. His critiques haven’t passed the initial filter that must be passed in order to be taken seriously as scientific claims.

    You should wonder why he hasn’t published them. If they are defensible his reputation would be advanced by having additional respected publications – especially publications that show other understandings to be wrong which are huge scientific reputation enhancers. And even better, by surviving scrutiny before and after publication his views would gain scientific legitimacy that they currently don’t have.

    As I suggested, try asking those Canberra researchers if they had defensible research showing some current understanding to be misguided whether they would stick it on a website or publish it in the peer-reviewed literature? Ask them which one would be better for their careers, and which one would gain their views the most scientific legitimacy.

    How come you don’t understand all this, given that you were happy to wave around your claim to have “academic scientific credentials”?

    Why does Humlum refuse to take actions on those claims that would benefit his reputation and give legitimacy to those claims?

    Is there any better answer to that question other than “because he knows they aren’t defensible in the literature and would only hurt his reputation”?

    You might ask Lindzen the same thing about the claims and implications he advances when talking to the general public, but will not attempt to publish in the peer-reviewed literature?

    Is there now something wrong with Geoscience?

    There’s nothing wrong with it. But it doesn’t have the implications you seem to think it does.

    Just because one is (say, for the sake of argument) the most highly respected geoscience researcher the world has ever seen does not mean that one’s unpublished claims suggesting that significant parts of the published scientific literature are mistaken should be taken as anything more than indefensible bluster. Unless and until he publishes, those claims are not even candidates to be considered as serious scientific claims that potentially might change scientific understanding.

    You can bet your bottom dollar that Humlum knows this, or ought to, but he puts them up anyway. One can only conclude he is deliberately pitching indefensible pseudo-science to non-scientists.

    How come you don’t understand this, given that you were happy to wave around your claim to have “academic scientific credentials”?

  5. #5 Lotharsson
    January 31, 2013

    …‘OA ain’t acidification because the pH will still be above 7′ line?

    Here you go.

    His claim is complete with the slimy assertion that only bad chemists use the term “acidification” (and that he’s a good chemist).

  6. #6 Bernard J.
    January 31, 2013

    I guess one could call it ‘de-basicification’…

  7. #7 Lotharsson
    January 31, 2013

    The basic English problem with Latimer’s claim is that “neutral” in chemistry is a term that has no concept of relative degree (“neutral” is properly understood as a single point on a scale), whereas “acid” and “alkaline” or “basic” do (they are regions of that same scale).

    Accordingly it’s quite difficult to allege that the proper term for the process is “neutralisation” because that ought to mean moving to the neutral point. One might argue for “moving towards neutralisation”, but that’s clunky compared to “acidification” and isn’t what Latimer alleged.

  8. #8 Brad Keyes
    January 31, 2013

    @bill nails it:

    “(Did you encounter our ‘Atmospheric Chemistry Graduate’ a few days back who was running the ‘OA ain’t acidification because the pH will still be above 7′ line?)”

    How long until this phraudulent ”pH 7.0” phallacy has insinuated itself into every single corner of the Faux Skeptic flat-earthosphere?

    Poor, poor denihilists. So close. You would have had, at long last, a valid and devastating argument on your hands, and those venal alarmist sudoscyentiztz would have been shame-bound to concede that the entire mendacious language of “acidification” was nothing but science-as-an-extension-of-politics…

    … if only you’d known a basic scientific fact which, uh, most 13-year-old children know. If only you ‘d known what actual, er, experts think the pH of a neutral solution is.

    It’s remarkable that anyone claiming to be scientifically-literate could have gotten this wrong—nevertheless, dear, denihilist dilettantes, read it and weep weakly acidic tears:

    “Yet its rain had a measured pH of 4 or less (neutral pH is 6, ordinary rain is around 5); one sample measured 2.85—about the same as lemon juice, acidic enough to bum a cut.”

    —Professor N. Oreskes [Merchants of Doubt”, p. 67]

    Professor of History and Science Studies, UCSD

    George Mason Center for Climate Change Communication “Climate Change Communicator of the Year”

    Lecturer, George Sarton Award Lecture, American

    Association for the Advancement of Science, 2004

    Fellow, American Philosophical Society Sabbatical Fellowship, 2001-2002.

    Winner, National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award, 1994-1999.

    Recipient, National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for University Teachers, 1993-94.

    Winner, Society of Economic Geologists Lindgren Prize for outstanding work by a young scientist, 1993.

    Fellow, Ritter Memorial Fellowship in History of Marine Sciences, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 1994.

  9. #9 Lotharsson
    January 31, 2013

    Brad continues to vigorously over-interpret what appears to be a typo.

    Why am I not surprised?

  10. #10 bill
    January 31, 2013

    Yeah, books of that length hardly ever contain errata.

    A false attribution to Keynes and all. Tsk Tsk.

    I don’t see any Philosophy qualifications there, so what can you expect?

  11. #11 bill
    January 31, 2013

    Blow me down, upon a quick re-scan I do see Philosophy quals! Must be expecting a call from the space program any minute…

  12. #12 Bernard J.
    January 31, 2013

    This is Brad.

    See Brad pwned.

    Pwned, Brad, pwned…

  13. #13 Bernard J.
    January 31, 2013

    By the way Brad, what is neutral pH?

  14. #14 chameleon
    January 31, 2013

    Don’t you know BJ?
    Hint:
    It’s not 6 :-)

  15. #15 Lotharsson
    January 31, 2013

    So, who thinks chameleon will provide a better reason for Humlum not publishing his website stuff in the peer-reviewed literature than “he knows it won’t pass muster”?

  16. #16 Bernard J.
    January 31, 2013

    Don’t you know BJ?
    Hint:
    It’s not 6

    Oh, I know the answer very well Chameleon.

    I’m just trying to see what Brad Keyes knows.

  17. #17 Jeff Harvey
    January 31, 2013

    Lots of comedy gold over at the Jonas thread. Jonas has painted himself into a corner and he’s getting desperate. He steadfastly refuses to tell anyone where he was educated and what sources enabled him become such a climate science genius.

    Now here we have Chammy trying to give the impression that a web site run by a contrarian (Humulm) has some good stuff on it. At least Humlum does some science. Its just too bad that almost all of his climate change denial views are restricted to his web site and aren’t published in the empirical literature.

  18. #18 luminous beauty
    January 31, 2013

    O, yes, Natural Philosophy! The epistemology that gave us astrology, alchemy, galenic medicine and the geo-centric model of the universe. That Science.

  19. #19 Brad Keyes
    January 31, 2013

    Lotharsson continues to vigorously defend someone who appears to be a pseudo-scholarly conspiracist crank. How surprising.

    Brad continues to vigorously over-interpret what appears to be a typo.

    Well, that WOULD be surprising if it were true, Lotharsson—since I know I trivially misexpress myself just as often as the next person (and, unlike Oreskes, I don’t have a co-author and the editorial army of Bloomsbury Press to correct me when I do; but then again, would any among them be intellectually arrogant enough to dispute the claims of someone so far above their own expertise level?)—and am generally happy to overlook such trivia in others. For example, I think it’s lame and silly to pretend President Obama’s “the other 47 states” → “the other 57 states” was anything but a speako.

    On the other hand, was it just a typo when Oreskes characterised beryllium as “a heavy metal” instead of a “a really, really light metal”?

    Or is it a knowo, as it appears to be? (One almost has to wonder how competent a geologist she was.)

    Was Oreskes’ description of Ben Santer—“he’s thoroughly moderate… soft-spoken, almost self-effacing … you might think he was an accountant”—a mere writo, an expresso?

    Was she in fact aware, and did she really mean to say, “he’s thoroughly immoderate… fantasises in emails about beating the crap out of a skeptical State Climatologist and having a talk with those [readers of ClimateAudit] in a dark alley … you might think he was a union enforcer,” but somehow managed to give precisely the opposite, delusory impression?

    Whatever the reasons for it, why is this laugh-out-loud mischaracterisation not mentioned on the novel’s Errata page?

    What about Oreskes’ apparent confusion of reactive oxyen with radioactive oxygen (p. 28)?

    Shall we chalk this up to a simple, could-have-happened-to-anyone-who’s-unfamiliar-with-the-field-she’s-commenting-on, reado?

    Or is it a symptom of the kind of encyclopaedic ignorance of biochemistry that might allow a person to believe DDT “was not a magic bullet to cure malaria that its advocates are claiming”, as Oreskes has publicly claimed?

    Again, it’s possible that, despite appearances, Oreskes has some grasp of the rudiments of biochemistry. (Surely it would behoove her to learn the basics of a field before injecting herself into the public conversation about it, wouldn’t it?)

    If you don’t know what’s wrong with Oreskes’ claims, here are some hints:

    1. DDT certainly was a “magic bullet” of chemical design, and the humanitarian miracle made possible by DDT was recognised by the award of a Nobel Prize to its inventor, Paul Mueller

    2. DDT was never intended, claimed, promoted or thought (by anyone but Naomi Oreskes, apparently) to “cure malaria,” or even to treat malaria, or treat any disease* at all!

    * As far as I know, the only use to which DDT has ever been put in a medical context was as a safe and efficacious antidote for people who’ve overdosed on barbiturates.

    But the most scientifically-illiterate falsehood I’ve encountered in Oreskes’ oeuvre is probably:

    “What counts as knowledge are ideas that are accepted by the society of experts.”

    Either this is a double-grande expresso, or Oreskes genuinely has failed to grasp a principle every scientist in the last 250 years has understood! (Because you can’t do science otherwise.) Richard Feynman put it best:

    “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.”

    This definition is, of course, jocular, but it isn’t a joke.

    If you don’t understand the dead-serious epistemology behind it, if you think Feynman was kidding, then you don’t get how science works.

    And if you don’t know how science works, we can hardly blame you for being gulled by the pseudoscience that underwrites climate Angst, can we?

  20. #20 luminous beauty
    January 31, 2013

    Stop the presses! Ben Santer beats the crap out of <a href="http://climatecrocks.com/2010/12/08/did-ben-santer-finally-beat-the-crap-out-of-pat-michaels-you-decide/"Pat Micheals.

  21. #21 luminous beauty
    January 31, 2013

    Brad seems to think that vector control of disease transmission has no medical context. Curious that.

    Brad misinterprets Feynman to mean the ‘ignorance of experts’ is absolute ignorance.

    Brad is wronger than wrong

  22. #23 Brad Keyes
    January 31, 2013

    @Jeff Harvey,

    I suspect you’re still around—reading, if not writing, about the moral abyss I’ve just exposed between you and a certain (ostensibly ipsilateral) fanatic.

    I hope so, because I wanted to comment on your revelation that:

    “I do have friends who question AGW. I disagree with them, and think that they have been misled somewhere along the line.”

    I don’t think you quite mean this!

    As you know, precision is imprescindibly important among scientists, so please excuse my pedantics ’n’ semantics.

    You hardly strike me as the kind of person who disagrees with questioning AGW. In a word, you hardly strike me as agullibilist.

    In fact I know you were, in a past career, and hope you are, in the present conflict, the opposite of a gullibilist: a skeptic. A scientist.

    Therefore I think you agree with questioning AGW. In fact I’m pretty sure you questioned AGW once.

    That’s what scientists do. They ask questions first, believe second. Or disbelieve second.

    So I reckon you meant:

    “I do have friends who deny (disbelieve in) AGW. I disagree with them—I do believe in AGW—and I think that they have been misled somewhere along the line.”

    So far so good.

    Like you, I’ve met the occasional person in meatspace who opines that “AGW is a myth”, “a scam”, or “imaginary / unreal / counterfactual.”

    My experience has been that, in virtually 100% of cases,

    1. they only hold this view as strongly as they formed it carefully—which is to say, they arrived at it carelessly and are fairly weakly attached to it.

    2. a friendly 10-minute discussion about the case for AGW is all it takes to change their mind.

    3. nobody feels the need to raise their voice during this process.

    I’m curious as to why you have friends (plural) who still disbelieve in AGW after what I presume would be a similar effort on your part to convey the arguments/evidence to them, especially considering your scientific “fluency”, particularly when it comes to things ecological and atmospheric. It’s surprising. May I ask: what reasons do these friends offer against agreeing with you, or perhaps I should say: what arguments do they present in favor of their own positions? I rarely ever hear such arguments, hence my curiosity.

    But hey, it could happen to me. I might have a friend someday who remains unmoved by the cogent, airtight reasoning I adduce … if I say so myself :-)!

    If I still couldn’t change this AGW-denying friend’s mind over a couple of beers, how would I react?

    Maybe I’d feel a number of these:

    — frustrated at my failure to articulate the evidence properly
    — genuinely curious about the “evidence” or “reasoning” behind my friend’s continued disbelief, just in case it was somehow far, far better than I thought—for instance, have I missed some revolutionary paper that changes everything?, etc.
    — sad for my friend’s hebetude / contrarianness / disingenuity, which is totally not like him/her
    — thirsty

    How would it affect the friendship? Or the prospects for friendship, as the case may be?

    Minutely, if at all.

    With apologies to Phelim McAleer, I would simply think my drinking companion was wrong, but not evil, on climate change.

    As would you, I think, Jeff.

    Your being a normal, decent person.

    Tragically, though, decent human beings aren’t the only human beings.

    Take fanatics, for example. The cardinal sign of fanaticism is ectopic moralisation. Due to some poorly-understood ethical oncogene, the good-bad axis is somehow transposed onto the correct-mistaken axis.

    The affected person can’t even begin to speculate what “not evil, just wrong” means. To a fanatic it’s just word salad.

    Never mind how big and complex the question: the only decent thing to do is to come to the conclusion X (and anyone who concludes Y is clearly up to no good!), where X = whatever the fanatic believes.

    For example, in Lotharsson’s ontology, it is bad of any able-bodied, educated, informed adult to be mistaken about climate change. He has yet to meet—because they can’t possibly exist!—a morally good person who makes an informed choice against believing [some climate doctrine].

    Therefore, by simple propositional calculus, our planned symposium for two is an absurd and repugnant dream. Even when I go to Holland we can’t possibly share those beers, because that would represent the absurd spectacle of good making friends with evil.

    Sorry Jeff! :-( LOL

    (Dunno about you, but I was kinda looking forward to it.!!)

    :-)

  23. #24 Brad Keyes
    January 31, 2013

    “Brad seems to think that vector control of disease transmission has no medical context. Curious that.”

    Har har. Zing. You got me there.

    Don’t be deliberately obtuse, luminous. Our/your/everyone’s inadvertent incomprehensions are annoying enough without you going out looking for something to misunderstand.

    The only THERAPEUTIC context in which DDT has ever been used, as far as I know, is in barbiturate overdose

    Happy?

    You do not GIVE DDT to patients with MALARIA.

    Got it?

    Good, Now you understand more than Naomi Oreskes.

  24. #25 Brad Keyes
    January 31, 2013

    “Brad misinterprets Feynman to mean the ‘ignorance of experts’ is absolute ignorance.”

    No I don’t.

    What made you think I did?

  25. #26 Lotharsson
    January 31, 2013

    Was she in fact aware, and did she really mean to say,…

    Given that you claim to be a philosophy graduate but loudly crow about “conclusions” you draw from failing the basic philosophical skill of parsing English sentences, you might want to ponder the semantic differences between what you reported Oreskes saying and what your version says.

    You are smart enough to see there are significant differences, right? You did pass high-school English at least, right?

    If you don’t know what’s wrong with Oreskes’ claims, here are some hints:

    Your (1) is completely irrelevant – so it’s unsurprising that you’d spout it.

    Your (2) relies on your mad skillz at not being able to find stuff, therefore concluding it doesn’t exist. You know, like that word in the dictionary you couldn’t find. And those real world applications of the term “denial” to concepts that you thought did not exist. And all sorts of things that one may find via Teh Google. (And it also relies on your mad misinterpretation skillz too! Not every use of the word “cure” in English applies to a medical case. A competent graduate of a philosophy degree ought to understand that.)

    But it is interesting to see you agreeing with Oreskes when she debunks that claim. Trouble is, she seems to be debunking the claim whereas you merely seem to deny it exists – and you seem to think that she’s wrong.

    Your re-assertion that “accepted scientific theory” and “scientific consensus” are radically different concepts is noted. It hasn’t changed since the last time, so there’s no need to respond further.

  26. #27 Lotharsson
    January 31, 2013

    For example, in Lotharsson’s ontology, it is bad of any able-bodied, educated, informed adult to be mistaken about climate change. He has yet to meet—because they can’t possibly exist!—a morally good person who makes an informed choice against believing [some climate doctrine].

    What an amusing misconception.

    I’m beginning to doubt you passed philosophy. Your parsing skills seem to be subordinated to your prejudices.

  27. #28 luminous beauty
    January 31, 2013

    Brad,

    Hate to mess up your ‘simple propositional calculus’, but evil is the intent to do wrong. Being wrong about climate change is not evil per se. The consequence of being wrong about climate change does risk the very high likelihood of very bad things happening. However, continuing denial of the potential risks of human caused climate change after being advised of those potential risks, could be said to be evil.

  28. #29 luminous beauty
    January 31, 2013

    Apparently Brad, in his infinite medical wisdom, has never heard of the terms preventative or prophylactic therapy.

  29. #30 Lotharsson
    January 31, 2013

    I’m beginning to think Brad’s infinite wisdom is like an infinite mesh. Sure, it’s infinite in extent – but it fails to cover an infinite area.

  30. #31 luminous beauty
    January 31, 2013

    Brad,

    Read the Asimov essay. You are wronger than wrong.

  31. #32 Brad Keyes
    January 31, 2013

    @Lotharsson,

    “Your re-assertion that “accepted scientific theory” and “scientific consensus” are radically different concepts is noted.”

    Thank you for sharing this hallucination with us.

    Let me explain why you write this.

    Your fanaticism is causing you to see disagreements where none exist.

    I didn’t say what you think I said. Let alone twice.

    I didn’t assert it. Let alone re-assert it.

    I don’t even believe it. Let alone re-believe it.

    “Accepted” is a sociological word.

    “Consensus” is a sociological word.

    Let’s imagine the vast majority of scientists believed the theory that X.

    I’d call this a “consensus of scientists”, wouldn’t you?

    I’d call X an “accepted [by the majority of scientists] scientific theory”, wouldn’t you?

  32. #33 Vince Whirlwind
    January 31, 2013

    Interesting that Brad feels the need to cut and paste and half-baked Koch-funded smear on the excellent Oreskes.

    Let’s not forget why Brad is here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tGB8Uuffi4M

  33. #34 Brad Keyes
    January 31, 2013

    “Apparently Brad, in his infinite medical wisdom, has never heard of the terms preventative or prophylactic therapy.”

    Lol.

    I’ve not only heard of those terms, I can tell you with some confidence that a residual insect spray on a wall would NOT be considered a form of preventative OR prophylactic therapy.

    But don’t give up.

    Go on, hit me with some more TV-gleaned, quick-googled medical sophistry!

  34. #35 luminous beauty
    January 31, 2013

    Bradspeak,

    Some confidence = none

  35. #36 Lotharsson
    January 31, 2013

    Your fanaticism is causing you to see disagreements where none exist.

    Since several people here – perhaps even a majority of commenters – apparently share this “hallucination”, Occam’s Razor suggests that I might not be fanatical but rather your explanation might need to be improved.

    Over to you.

  36. #37 Lotharsson
    January 31, 2013

    Go on, hit me with some more TV-gleaned, quick-googled medical sophistry!

    And you should know sophistry.

  37. #38 Bernard J.
    January 31, 2013

    Brad Keyes.

    What is neutral pH?

  38. #39 bill
    January 31, 2013

    Ah, I see the garrulous narcissist is back to clogging the threads.

    These sub-Nietzschean Tea-Partyite – and all-round dotty – rants are just dull dull dull.

    This one needs to be confined to its own thread, where those who wish to goad it, marvel at the sheer scale of the inverse relationship between competence and arrogance, or who simply cannot let immovable stupidity go unchallenged can contend with it without necessitating that every other dialogue being hopelessly skewed by the spirit of Andrew Breitbart.

  39. #40 Vince Whirlwind
    February 1, 2013

    Isn’t there a separate thread for people who want to discuss the tea-party-invented “DDT Ban” myth?

  40. #41 chameleon
    February 1, 2013

    WTF?
    Look it up BJ!
    It is entirely googleable!
    Here for fox ache!
    http://www.elmhurst.edu/~chm/vchembook/184ph.html

  41. #42 chek
    February 1, 2013

    Cammy, you might like to bear in mind that you’re talking to some professional scientists here.

    When a teacher or instructor asks you a question, it’s not because they>/i> don’t know the answer., Just like with Bernard’s question, they’re ascertaining your knowledge. Or lack of, in this instance.

  42. #43 bill
    February 1, 2013

    Context: Inferncinferaninnferen.. think out things hard: Hurt Chebbie! Chebbie like Typing. Typing Good. Type Type Type

  43. #44 chameleon
    February 1, 2013

    Oh?
    I’m sorry?
    Is BJ BK’s professional teacher/instructor?
    BTW, @ Jeff Harvey,
    I am VERY interested in YOUR answer/reply (as in Jeff Harvey’s answer/reply) to Brad K @#23.

  44. #45 Vince Whirlwind
    February 1, 2013

    I don’t see why he’d bother, Chameleon, when it should be patently obvious that
    “to question AGW”
    is not the same thing as
    “to ask questions about AGW”

    Considering Brad’s entire post depended on his dishonest conflation of the two, that leaves nothing to respond to.

    What did you think of Brad’s mate in this video?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=tGB8Uuffi4M

    Imagine that – people deliberately polluting the internet with lies in order to advance their false beliefs?

  45. #46 chameleon
    February 1, 2013

    Not interested in your reply Vince,
    I am however interested in JeffH’s.
    You have done a spectacular job of missing the point and apparently forgetting the comments to which Brad is specifically referring.

  46. #47 bill
    February 1, 2013

    Rain getting heavier as temperatures rise

    Giant heatwave delivers hottest January on record

    The monthly result means the September-January period was also the hottest on record, beating the previous three highest in 2002-03, 2006-07 and 2009-10.

    Those earlier years “were all El Nino and drought years, whereas that hasn’t been a factor this time,” said Blair Trewin, senior climatologist with the bureau’s national climate centre. “That makes it even more remarkable.”

    Dr Trewin said that while Australia had a variable climate, the recent heat spell should be seen against the backdrop of longer-term warming.

    “If you do super-impose your normal variability on a warming background trend, you are going to see more warm extremes and fewer cold extremes,” he said.

    Remarkable indeed.

    All the fires and floods may well help explain why the Potty Peer’s Grand Tour of The Antipodean Colonies Anno Domini 2013 , which was inaugurated, doubtlessly with much ceremony, on the 28th, appears to have been studiously ignored.

    He may have to resort to sky-diving again… ;-)

  47. #48 bill
    February 1, 2013
  48. #49 Bernard J.
    February 1, 2013

    WTF?
    Look it up BJ!
    It is entirely googleable!

    Chameleon, stop being a twit.

    As has already been said to you, I want to hear Brad’s opinion for a very specific reason. It’s telling that he’s suddenly gone quiet on the subject – perhaps it’s a sign that he knows he’s stepped on the quicksand.

    You are better off just shutting up. You’re out of your depth on this subject – which is ironically apropos as I’ve previously encountered this same ignorance of the subject from other denizens of the swamp.

    So Brad, what is neutral pH?

  49. #50 Anthony David
    February 1, 2013
  50. #51 lord_sidcup
    February 1, 2013

    @Anthony David

    And Delingpole’s ‘apology’ reads like a further dig:

    @suzanne_moore I’m sorry, Suzanne, my Tweet was over the top. I’ve used it on with ref to men before, but I realise with women it’s wrong.

    https://twitter.com/JamesDelingpole/status/296942824035852288

  51. #52 bill
    February 1, 2013

    It’s not often one encounters someone who genuinely merits the adjective ‘vile’, but Delingpole is, fortunately, of a type one does not encounter often.

  52. #53 bill
    February 1, 2013

    Well, BJ, p and H are the first two letters of ‘philosophy’, and ‘neutral’ is, um, neither one thing nor the other…. so it’s sort of like being a lukewarmer genius? Yeah, that’s it!

  53. #54 Brad Keyes
    February 1, 2013

    @Lotharsson,

    Oreskes’ reference to DDT as a purported cure for malaria was, in the most generous interpretation, solecistic. Your apologetics for her are now touching in their desperation:

    “(Not every use of the word “cure” in English applies to a medical case. A competent graduate of a philosophy degree ought to understand that.)”

    No need to explain that to me—in fact, I was writing to a fellow student of this blog not 2 days ago and had occasion to recruit the word in question extra-medically, in service to this metaphor: “Together, we can find the cure for climate alarmism.”

    But climate alarmism is not a medical condition (is it?), and it should therefore be pretty obvious that I had in mind a non-medical, metaphorical “cure.”

    Unfortunately for Oreskes—and you, now—all readers of this thread know that words operate in the context of other words and that when the verb “to cure” takes the name of a medical condition as its object, as in this predicate:

    “was not the magic bullet to cure malaria its advocates claimed”

    … the concept is unambiguously medical.

    So, which advocates of DDT made the claim that it could cure malaria, as Orekes alleges?

    (Not “extirpate,” “control,” “prevent,” or any other verb—“cure.”)

    No medically-literate person would make such a claim, as Oreskes would know if she’d taken the time to acquire the rudiments of medical theory before pronouncing on it. And as you would know if you were medically-literate.

  54. #55 chek
    February 1, 2013

    ‘Cure’ is a perfectly acceptable word in the context. An outbreak can be cured without necessarily meaning everyone affected received personal medical attention.

    So last week it was attack the consensus, this week it’s attack Oreskes, but curiously you have nothing to say about the actual subject of her book which has inspired all that denier petty parsing.

    You’re nothing if not predictable “Brad”.

  55. #56 Turboblocke
    France
    February 1, 2013

    Earlier Brad said,”On the other hand, was it just a typo when Oreskes characterised beryllium as “a heavy metal” instead of a “a really, really light metal”?”

    Are you aware that beryllium is known as a heavy metal because of its toxic properties? http://chemistry.about.com/od/chemistryglossary/g/Heavy-Metal-Definition.htm

  56. #57 Turboblocke
    February 1, 2013

    Brad you say “Or is it a symptom of the kind of encyclopaedic ignorance of biochemistry that might allow a person to believe DDT “was not a magic bullet to cure malaria that its advocates are claiming”, as Oreskes has publicly claimed?”

    Where did Oreskes make this claim?

  57. #58 bill
    February 1, 2013

    From Turboblocke’s link, which came up at the top of my own ‘heavy metal definition’ Google search, too.

    Definition: A heavy metal is a toxic metal. There is no standard definition assigning metals as heavy metals…

    Examples of heavy metals include lead, mercury, cadmium, sometimes chromium. Less commonly, metals including iron, copper, zinc, aluminum, beryllium, cobalt, manganese and arsenic may be considered heavy metals.

    This ‘heavy metal’ thing is the most pointless pedantry imaginable. The MoD errata acknowledges that by the ‘atomic weight’ definition this is technically incorrect. But in general English usage ‘heavy metal’ meaning ‘poisonous’ is completely legitimate.

    Trying to turn this into an indicator of, what, lack of actual scientific knowledge(?) or a deliberate attempt to mislead(?) is merely comic – and rather ironic in the circumstances coming from someone whose schtick is all bluff – but I guess that’s basic projection for you.

    I’m sure we all look forward to reading any of The Philosopher Prince’s forthcoming 300+ page tomes – for, with such an incomparable mastery across disciplines little seen since Renaissance times there will doubtlessly be many – which will certainly be without error, or maladroitisms.

    Oh, and note the airy ‘chemical expertise’, and the unsurpassable grasp of “medical theory”: is there anything our dazzling savant cannot turn his hand to and make fruitful?

    This pointless ‘cure’ thing isn’t even a joke. What a waste of time and pixels. So, Brad, are there excrements in Paradise?

  58. #59 Bernard J.
    February 1, 2013

    [Tap, tap - is this thing on...?]

    Hey Brad, what is neutral pH?

  59. #60 Lotharsson
    February 2, 2013

    …but curiously you have nothing to say about the actual subject of her book which has inspired all that denier petty parsing.

    It’s exactly the same strategy as was applied to Mann et al., especially via the ClimateGate beat-up.

    If their main claims appear to be robust, find whatever other point you can even if it’s entirely peripheral or your attack on it is purely sophistical, and use it to smear the reputation of the individuals involved so that people discount their main claims based on the smear regardless of how robust they are.

    And if Brad’s style of “analysis” was applied to his own output at Lewandowsky’s or here, he’d have to rule his own arguments out within the first five minutes. The irony of someone who is so frequently wrong or misleading implying that someone else’s work should be entirely ignored because of peripheral issues – most of which seem to be desperate beat-ups – is overwhelming.

    You’ll also notice he ignores many rebuttals of his points and instead of figuring out how they affect his argument he simply shifts to the next point. He’s not debating in good faith.

  60. #61 Lotharsson
    February 2, 2013

    Are you aware that beryllium is known as a heavy metal because of its toxic properties?

    So, wait, wait…I know this one!

    “Surely it would behoove herBrad to learn the basics of a field before injecting herselfhimself into the public conversation about it, wouldn’t it?”

    Nah, I guess not. His purposes here don’t require credibility or accuracy.

  61. #62 Lotharsson
    February 2, 2013

    No medically-literate person would make such a claim, …

    …which seems rather a lot like the No True Scotsman fallacy. But let’s assume it to be true for the sake of argument.

    In that case, Shorter Brad:

    “Anyone who repeats a medically illiterate claim made by someone else, even to disagree with it, is themselves medically illiterate”.

    OK. So Brad has just repeated a medically illiterate claim, and even did so to disagree with it, therefore by his own standards he is medically illiterate. Thus his claims about Oreskes being medically illiterate are grounded in his own medical illiter…oh…wait…

    Er…this Brad bloke doesn’t seem too good at this “logic” thing. Either that, or he has great contempt for his readers. Or both.

  62. #63 Lotharsson
    February 2, 2013

    Since Brad’s presence raised memories of Lewandowsky and conspiracy theorising and stuff, from here (including more in comments) Anthony Watts has guest posts written by conspiracy theorists including one author who says the moon landings were faked…

  63. #64 Wow
    February 2, 2013

    Pfft. Have you EVER been to the moon yourself?

    No?

    Then how do you know the moon EXISTS, huh?

  64. #65 Jeff Harvey
    February 2, 2013

    This will incur the wrath of the bozo-brigade:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-scientists-esld.html

  65. #66 GSW
    February 2, 2013

    @All

    Link to James Randi video. “James Randi Exposes the TRICKERY of Making People ‘Believe’

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDbuf6d3xm8

    Nice quote about 36min mark on wardsw – “Scientists, like the rest of us, have an uncanny ability to find what they are looking for, whether it’s there or not”

    Worth bearing in mind when visiting sks and digesting their output. A pinch of salt should be applied..

  66. #67 Lotharsson
    February 2, 2013

    Yes they do, GSW. As Sagan indicated that’s why we do science – to avoid fooling ourselves.

    And that’s why we try to explain to chameleon that you don’t mindlessly accept the untested claims of any scientist. You look for claims that have survived scrutiny – that are the outcome of the scientific process.

    Maybe you’ll have better luck explaining that to her.

  67. #68 Wow
    February 2, 2013

    Worth bearing in mind when visiting sks and digesting their output.

    ‘sfunny how it’s not your preferred scientists who do this, innit.

  68. #69 Wow
    February 2, 2013

    And who is this James Randi?

  69. #70 Wow
    February 2, 2013

    what’s funny about dellingpole’s notpology is that he’s among the FIRST to fly off the handle if you call him a denier.

  70. #71 Wow
    February 2, 2013

    Really? He shows very little actual skepticism.

    More contrariness.

    I guess to old and stupid people these seem like skepticism and even wisdom.

    They aren’t.

  71. #72 Wow
    February 2, 2013

    Now, can you explain what that youtube post is supposed to say, because it doesn’t help your case at all, really.

    You just (ironically enough) believe it to be, apparently.

  72. #73 Wow
    February 2, 2013

    This may help you see what you’re trying to hide.

    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2009/12/16/say-it-aint-so-randi/

    And this bit has a belter for YOU, Brat:

    http://rationallyspeaking.blogspot.co.uk/2009/12/james-randi-global-warming-and-meaning.html

    The following paragraph is perhaps one of the most astounding I have ever seen penned by a skeptic. It reads in part: “some 32,000 scientists, 9,000 of them PhDs, have signed The Petition Project statement proclaiming that Man is not necessarily the chief cause of warming, that the phenomenon may not exist at all, and that, in any case, warming would not be disastrous.”

    Wow, Randi fell for the old “thousands of scientists are against science” trick!

    Appealing to a consensus?

    Surely not, Brat. Surely not!

  73. #74 Wow
    February 2, 2013

    http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/swift-blog/1779-the-skeptical-disconnect-redux.html

    So again, we have a disconnect. The most likely answer for this is political orientation. Indeed, we find that AGW denial is not linked to scientific illiteracy, but to “cultural identity” (i.e. political and economics identities). Furthermore, this gap in AGW acceptance based on political orientation reveals that republicans are behind democrats in nearly every issue concerning the acceptance of AGW, and that conservatives attribute recent bouts of warm weather to AGW far less than democrats, just to highlight a few examples.

  74. #75 Wow
    February 2, 2013

    But you didn’t know that his entire presumption that GSW was pronouncing like The Word Of God was based on solely that.

    Maybe YOU need to be a little skeptical of the denier talking points.

  75. #76 Jeff Harvey
    February 2, 2013

    Problem is that most of those who are AGW deniers or skeptics are not scientists at all and have no formal training in any relevant fields. Which therefore begs the question: why do they hold such views? It cannot be on the basis of a strong grasp of the science. It must be therefore based on something else. And what else is there? Ideology. In other words, an irrational fear of government and a perceived threat to our way of life posed by actions to deal with AGW as well as other environmental problems.

  76. #77 Wow
    February 2, 2013

    It’s also probably a large parcel of self-serving.
    a) combating AGW will cost them now to save everyone in the future.
    b) doing nothing different will make them wealthier now at the cost of everyone in the future.

    Pretty easy to figure out.

    Some of the richer ones make modify (b) slightly by maintaining that if THEY are rich, their children won’t suffer the problems either).

  77. #78 bill
    February 3, 2013

    I’ve just popped back in to point out that Bernard J is still waiting for Brad to answer his question.

    And James Randi taken in by as cheap a ruse as the Petition Project! Such old news! Disappointing, maybe, but not to the extent that Monbiot being initially taken in by Climategate1.0 was.

    It’s notable that no-one who wasn’t already a regular imbiber of the Kool-Aid was taken in by Climategate 2.0, which goes to show we learn and move on…

  78. #79 bill
    February 3, 2013

    And I’m sure GSW will now link to the papers that provide the scientific basis for the following remarkable statement of Randi’s -

    This ball of hot rock and salt water spins on its axis and rotates about the Sun with the expected regularity, though we’re aware that lunar tides, solar wind, galactic space dust and geomagnetic storms have cooled the planet by about one centigrade degree in the past 150 years.

    Otherwise you might think it was a case of some old guy weighing in on an issue he knows bugger-all about…

  79. #80 GSW
    February 3, 2013

    @Brad,

    Randi didn’t say he was a climate sceptic because 32,000 individuals signed a petition. He refers to that, and the IPCC consensus in the essay, but ultimately he chose to side with the evidence – he didn’t think AGW would be a problem

    Another nice quote from there too,

    “Happily, science does not depend on consensus. Conclusions are either reached or not, but only after an analysis of evidence as found in nature.”

    ;)

  80. #81 bill
    February 3, 2013

    You’ve got your very own stage to strut now, Princeling: off you pop.

  81. #82 bill
    February 3, 2013

    Tim, when you have a moment…

  82. #83 chameleon
    February 3, 2013

    I’ve just popped back to point out that some of us are still waiting for JeffH’s response to BradK #23.
    I guess we can now pop over to the other stage/playing field for that response?
    BTW the answer to BJ’s question is 7 or if we want to use ranges it is 6.5 – 7.5
    Does that help?.
    6 is definitely outside the accepted defined nuetral ph range.

  83. #84 Bernard J.
    February 3, 2013

    Brad.

    Is there a particular reason why you’re having such difficulty answering my question about what neutral pH is?

  84. #85 pentaxZ
    February 3, 2013

    “Tim, when you have a moment…”

    Ah, the alarmistic way of having a debate. When you are out of arguments, then ban your opponent.

  85. #86 Wow
    February 3, 2013

    “Is there a particular reason why you’re having such difficulty answering my question about what neutral pH is?”

    Because it’s devastating to his spiel.

    Note: Not “case”, he has none.

  86. #87 Wow
    February 3, 2013

    Chubby: Does that help?.

    Not unless you’re Brat.

  87. #88 Bernard J.
    February 4, 2013

    Testing
    Table

    R1C1
    R1C2

    R2C1
    R2C2

  88. #89 Bernard J.
    February 4, 2013

    OK, so it doesn’t like that tagging…