Many of the climate change denialist sites have been up in arms by comparisons of climate change denial to holocaust denial. In particular Marc Morano at climate depot has had multiple articles attacking and expressing hysterical outrage at these comparisons.

We know they don’t like the comparison, but the question is, is it apt?

One article in particular from Micha Tomkiewicz, who is himself a holocaust survivor, has earned the ire of climate denialists around the web because in addition to the comparison of the tactics of global warming denialists and holocaust deniers, he additionally creates a moral comparison. While not saying it’s as bad a holocaust denial, Tomkiewicz does suggest they might be denying the possibility of a future holocaust:

I make my “climate change denier” claim for one reason. It’s easy today to teach students to condemn the Holocaust, but it’s much more difficult to teach them how to try to prevent future genocides. There are different kinds of genocides and they don’t repeat themselves; they come to us in different ways. I am not suggesting that the Holocaust is just like climate change. But what I am suggesting is that even though it’s hard to see a genocide – any genocide – coming. The future is hard to predict, but we can see this one coming. This genocide is of our own making, and it will effect everyone, not just one group or country.

I don’t know that I would state the problem in these terms but then I have a very different background from Dr. Tomkiewicz. In general people who engage in denialism are ideologues who use similar rhetorical tactics, and that’s where my comparison ends. The commonality is denial, and all those who engage in denial aren’t automatically morally comparable to Holocaust deniers. After all, the ideology fueling denial comes from all sides of the political spectrum, and ranges from hateful (anti-semitism) to political (libertarianism vs global warming) to even well intentioned compassion (animal rights extremism vs biological science). Usually, the desire to make the comparison to Holocaust denial comes from the denialists themselves, as they wish to create a straw man argument to distract from their dishonest rhetoric. When we describe denialism we are describing the use of conspiracy theories, cherry-picking, fake experts, moving goalposts and logical fallacies to argue against legitimate science. It is not a description of people who might disagree with a scientific theory or even a scientific consensus, as scientists routinely disagree over interpretation of data and it is possible for consensus to be overturned. However, legitimate debate occurs in the scientific literature, and not by alleging fantastical conspiracy theories and denial of data.

Worse, using the Holocaust itself to score rhetorical points is a slimy tactic, and it is insulting to those who survived the Holocaust to raise petty disputes to the level of the worst crime in history.

The comparison between climate denialists and other denialists should come from the fact that they argue the exact same way, and it should end there. Holocaust denial and climate change denial share many features, as does evolution denialism, HIV/AIDS denialism, vaccine crankery, 9/11 trutherism etc., that is they use rhetorical tricks to deny a body of evidence that contradicts an ideological position. In fact, Deborah Lipstadt’s Denying the Holocaust: The Growing Assault on Truth and Memory is an excellent book to read because in rigorously exposing the intellectual bankruptcy of Holocaust denial, she also uncovers the tactics used by other denialists.

Holocaust deniers have conspiracy theories to explain away the documentary evidence and personal experiences of holocaust survivors. The first Holocaust denier Paul Rassinier alleged a zionist/soviet conspiracy to invent the Holocaust. They latch on to minor inconsistencies in the historical records of extremely complex events to suggest that the records are flawed, or that vastly fewer Jews were murdered by the Nazis. They cite historical evidence from revisionists like David Irving, a fake expert who was very publicly castigated for shoddy and outright false scholarship after he made the mistake of suing Deborah Lipstadt for libel in Britain over her book (a classic silencing move by denialists). Holocaust deniers create impossible expectations for the level of evidence required to prove the holocaust occurred. Finally, logical fallacies, like David Irving’s attempt to create a moral equivalency between the Allies and the Nazis for the allied bombing of Dresden is a classic tu quoque.

Climate change denialism shares all of these features. Denialists like Inhofe (Morano’s boss) allege a global warming “hoax”. This conspiracy theory suggests that thousands of scientists worldwide are all operating from the same playbook (the Protocols of the Al Gore), falsifying data for the purpose of creating regulations to restrict business, and secretly working to create one world government. Or that somehow peer-review and grant rewards only go to those who back the consensus, the classic “grantsmanship” conspiracy theory that is contradicted by the fact that scientists encourage and reward revolutionary results as long as they are well-grounded in data. It sounds ridiculous, but these are their arguments. How one could possibly manage to make thousands of people fabricate evidence for peer reviewed journals all to say the same thing and not be detected is beyond belief. And before the cranks show up and suggest the East Anglia emails are of any significance, let’s move on to number two:

The cherry picking of papers, often from journals that are overrun by cranks like Energy and Environment, and even the cherry-picking of individual data points or time periods is rampant. The theft of the East Anglia emails, which were then cherry-picked and quoted out of context to create the false appearance of deception on the part of scientists is another excellent example. Despite the actions of the involved scientists being cleared by multiple investigations of the emails (context is everything), denialists still harp about climategate as if it’s actually a thing. Instead it’s excellent evidence of their willingness to engage in dishonest editing to serve their ideological goals, just as creationists will attempt to misquote Darwin or other evolutionary biologists out of context to suggest they’re really skeptical of evolution or racist.

Global warming denialism is rife with fake experts. The Oregon petition and various other lists generated by climate change denialists are full of MDs, meteorologists, and the occasional AC repair man. These are not climate experts. Similarly, I am not an expert in climate change despite having degrees in physics, medicine and physiology. I don’t contribute to the literature, and I don’t have the technical expertise needed to challenge real climate scientists that are the true experts in this field. I am something of an expert in crankery though, so when you have cranks like Christopher Monckton, who asserts he’s a member of parliament when he’s not (they even had to send him a letter telling him to stop), who routinely makes the same debunked arguments over and over, and makes other bizarre claims like that he’s discovered a cure for HIV, then I’m going to weigh in and call bullshit. Part of the problem is the Dunning-Kruger effect, people who are incompetent have a great deal of difficulty recognizing competence in others, while inflating estimates of their own competence. Cranks and denialists are probably incapable of judging whether someone is a legitimate source or authority. This is where crank magnetism comes from, as long as an “expert” agrees with them, their otherwise ludicrous views and behavior have no bearing. Intellectual consistency and expertise in the field in question has no relevance in their eyes as long as they spout out BS that fits with their ideological biases.

Global warming denialists are excellent at moving goalposts, they’re still arguing about the damn hockey stick graph after all, despite its validation by multiple other methods. Some early criticisms which actually enetered the literature might have represented a legitimate attempt to debate the findings scientifically, but after being affirmed by the NAS, replicated by other investigators, and expanded upon using other methods, the denialists still are not satisfied. They still will never accept the conclusions. No additional data, no worsening trend, no publication in the legitimate literature will ever make a dent. They reject the research because of ideological conflict, not because they have a legitimate scientific beef with the data.

Finally, logical fallacies are rife. From the appellation “warmist”, to crowing that Al Gore is fat and has a big energy wasting house, fallacies are not rare with this movement. The holocaust denier comparison itself is a straw-man argument, as most of us who are attacking their tactics emphasize that the similarity is in their actions, not their motivations. My favorite piece of nonsense comes from Inhofe, who argues God made the earth and is the only one who can destroy it (he’s not the only one who has argued this). Where to begin with such nonsense? This is the type of argument that people use and believe to argue against actual data and scientific papers. God made the earth! Science can’t be right because God said otherwise! Really? It’s sad this blog is even necessary when that is the level of debate from one of global warming’s leading critics.

The reason these arguments are denialist isn’t because they disagree with theory, and it isn’t because they disagree with scientific consensus. It’s because they’re challenging scientific theories and consensus with conspiracy theories, quote-mining, crank experts, and rhetorical tricks. It’s perfectly acceptable to disagree, it’s when you use these tactics to disagree that you’re engaging in denialism, and these tactics are indefensible.

Ultimately I disagree with Tomkiewicz, respectfully. I do not think that a moral comparison need be made between holocaust deniers and climate change denialists. The only comparison needed is between their tactics, which are dishonest and intellectually bankrupt. The suggestion of moral equivalence will only serve to alienate those that identify with these arguments because of their ideological affinity with the libertarian cranks promoting it. Libertarians, after all, truly believe the path to happiness is unregulated industry, and some Randian ideal of unfettered supermen whose unenlightened self-interest will lead us to greatness. They don’t want to let global warming spin out of control because they hate humanity and want the world’s population to suffer.

The real way to win over the undecided is to attack the tactics of the denialist, to educate people that denialist rhetoric is not legitimate debate, and to mock the fools that think that “God will protect us” is a legitimate scientific argument. Debates should have minimal standards, including intellectual honesty and substance, and scientific debate should have even higher standards including reliance on peer-review and publication in legitimate scientific journals. Climate change denialism does not meet the standards for legitimate debate, it relies on conspiracy theories, bogus experts, cherry-picked data, crank journals, and appeals to the almighty. Climate change denialism is rightly criticized for being denialist, but moral comparisons of these denialists to the anti-Semitic deniers of the Holocaust is a distraction, and will not help sway anyone to the side of science.

Comments

  1. #1 Ozonator
    May 18, 2012

    With condolences, AGW denial by my own predictions and resulting body count from just kinetic damage from ~2002 to 2010 should be comparable to the horrors of the Holocaust and the denial that made it possible. “A. … 2. … With condolences, the global warming earthquake loss of so many Haitians and now 1 more Chinese soul mean GBRWE predictions have been the tombstones and other markers of ~1 to 2.5 million dead and dying from violent global warming catastrophes not including any fireballs” (“GBRWE 2/7 – 13/10”s Extreme Planetary Warnings for Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Solar/Terrestrial Flares from Human Activities”; Robert Rhodes, Supplemental; GBRWE 2/7 – 13/10, 2/6/10). However, extremist Republicans and Christians think they can sponge of the lives of their grandparents in lieu of actual service to humanity. Holocaust and denier are not interchangeable just as predicting a free lunch from EssoKoch is not the same as predicting a hurricane or earthquake with AGW. To avoid his employers killing with AGW and not stating whose side was gramps on, “Comparing skeptics as a whole and me personally to Holocaust deniers … whose grandfather risked his life and caught a bullet fighting the Nazis in World War II, that is one of the most offensive, disgusting, incendiary attacks a person can make” (“Giving The Global Warming Bully A Free Pass “; Written By: James M. Taylor; The Heartland Institute; forbes.com, 5/16/12). Perhaps Taylor writes from the DPRK for hard currency, “Was North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s grandfather a traitor?” (Michael Woods, Staff Reporter; thestar.com, 5/14/12).

  2. #2 Mark Edward Gillar
    May 18, 2012

    You Global Cooling Deniers really crack me up.

  3. #3 Wow
    May 18, 2012

    “The comparison between climate denialists and other denialists should come from the fact that they argue the exact same way, and it should end there.”

    It does, except for the whining martyrs of denailism who continue to whimper they are sooo put upon by being called nazis.

    They are the only ones making the connection. And incorrectly (holocaust deniers are not necessarily nazi or even neo-nazi: they just deny any and all evidence of the Holocaust. This can be because they’re fervent christians (as nazis were), just hate “kike’s” or are plain old bitter and twisted a-holes).

  4. #4 Windy
    May 18, 2012

    There is no denial in the new Levitus etal paper on ocean heat that confirms Trenberth’s travesty of being unable to explain the “missing heat”.

  5. #5 Mike Mangan
    May 18, 2012

    “The real way to win over the undecided is to attack the tactics of the denialists…” Lord knows you can’t sway them with your “facts” or your ever changing Alarmist icons like polar bears or glaciers. So this years meme of “Look! Bad weather! It’s Global Warming!” isn’t working for you? Your fallback position is smearing the other side? Uh, OK, that should overcome the steady decline in CAGW belief since 2007. That should help pass some serious legislation. That won’t keep the opposition angry and energized.
    I take it you don’t actually want to accomplish anything, you just want to appear to be intellectually superior. Good. You’ll remain the pretentious, arrogant minority that you’ve always been. Now I’ll get back to reminding as many people as possible what insufferable, bigoted, hateful scumbags you people are.

  6. #6 Brian D
    May 18, 2012

    Windy, please don’t misrepresent Levitus. Trenberth couldn’t explain the missing heat at the time. Levitus, more recently, found we could: it’s going into the lower oceans, at a rate of two Hiroshima bombs per second.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/levitus-2012-global-warming-heating-oceans.html

    Mark discusses moving the goalposts, but this is just holding them steady with stolen out of context email quotes while denying a goal has been scored.

  7. #7 Matt
    May 18, 2012

    The comparison is idiotic at best.

    And you need only look at the comments of someone like Ozonator to understand that both sides have their fair share of kooks and Zeolots.

    The challenge is to avoid becoming one of them.

  8. #8 John Mason
    May 18, 2012

    Mike Mangan first asks,”Your fallback position is smearing the other side?”

    and then goes on to opine, “Now I’ll get back to reminding as many people as possible what insufferable, bigoted, hateful scumbags you people are.”

    LOL you just couldn’t make it up! Well, I guess he did…..

  9. #9 MarkH
    May 18, 2012

    This is one of those comment threads where I wonder if anyone actually reads beyond the title. Mangan, do you support the climate change hoax? Are you a conspiracy theorist? Do you really think we should buy into the idiotic idea that thousands of scientists are colluding to lie in the scientific literature?

    You can cite examples of idiocy from the lay press, but I don’t see any real challenges to the science, other than windy’s lame attempt.

    Finally, I argue against the moral comparison, not for it. So I really don’t see what the smear is beyond attacking these rhetorical tactics. Does that mean you agree with the use of these tactics? So cherry picking and fake experts are ok in your opinion?

  10. #10 Windy
    May 18, 2012

    @#6

    Do you know Dana1981 who you link to? Do you know his occupation? How about Tom Curtis who also weighs in on the discussion you linked?

    It is funny that you link to people with financial interests in promoting global warming as a valid source of information. I have problems with the conflict of interest and would say that you’re the one that is misrepresenting Levitus. And I am ROTF with the Hiroshima bomb nonsense as that should have been a strong clue to you that Dana1981 is not a climate scientist but rather a PR person. Thanks for the laugh but no thanks on the faux science site you link.

  11. #11 Mushroom George
    May 18, 2012

    Child, you are at the beginning of a thought. You try to use logic, but fail to use it on your self. You need to start the process over. The skeptics hold the null hypothesis – Show me the money. The CAGW position is based on 3 fallacies. Argument from ignorance – It must be CO2 because I have yet to learn of anything else it could be. Argument from authority – You must believe me because I am smarter than you. Argument from the crowd – The consensus must be true. You add several more fallacies in your post. Wiki has a couple of good lists of fallacies that you need to study. One does not need to be a dairy farmer to know the smell of manure.

  12. #12 Wow
    May 18, 2012

    *I* am arguing for the moral comparison.

    But I suppose that, since MarkH allows this on, this is “proof” he supports the use of denial to describe climate deniers.

    Of course, he ALSO allows people on saying that AGW is a hoax and therefore this would be proof that he is a climate denier too.

    Or the predicate is bull.

    I know which seems most likely to me.

  13. #13 Wow
    May 18, 2012

    “Trenberth couldn’t explain the missing heat at the time.”

    That’s not it either.

    Trenberth’s “calamity” was that we didn’t have the deep ocean network necessary to see and measure where the heat was going.

    The heat was going to places where we didn’t have anywhere near enough the number of sensors needed to track the heat budget.

    The ocean deeps.

    He knew where it was going. It was only missing in so far as something going in to a black box is “missing” when you do the sums of in and out: some has gone to “The Black Box”, but you can’t tell any more than that, and if you want to know what’s happened to the inputs, that’s a travesty.

    But it isn’t “missing” as in “We don’t know where the stuff is going” but “off our sensor network”.

  14. #14 Wow
    May 18, 2012

    “people with financial interests in promoting global warming”

    Hmmm. How much financial interest?

    Compare to Heartland.

  15. #15 Wow
    May 18, 2012

    “The skeptics hold the null hypothesis – Show me the money.”

    That isn’t a null hypothesis. It’s a negative slur.

    Child, you need to start some learning before you can dare berate others for being wrong.

    “The CAGW position is based on 3 fallacies.”

    This should be a hoot.

    “Argument from ignorance – It must be CO2 because I have yet to learn of anything else it could be.”

    AFTER trying everything else. If, after all the possible answers have been found inadequate, whatever is left, no matter how improbably, must be the answer.

    I’m afraid YOU are the one who is ignorant.

    Try reading some history:

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/co2.htm

    and stop arguing from an ignorant position.

    “Argument from authority – You must believe me because I am smarter than you.”

    So the dumber the person, the more you should believe them.

    So I guess you ask the credenza to operate on your dicky ticker, aye?

    There is no fallacy of argument from authority, only a fallacy when it’s a FALSE authority.

    A medical doctor would be a FALSE AUTHORITY for climate science, for example.

    “Argument from the crowd – The consensus must be true”

    So therefore, since the consensus is that the earth is round, it MUST BE FLAT!

    And since medical consensus has it that you cannot fly by jumping off tall buildings, YOU CAN FLY!!!

    Of course, the reason why there is a consensus is because all the evidence points toward it.

    But I guess you don’t like that view.

  16. #16 TTT
    May 18, 2012

    Despite the actions of the involved scientists being cleared by multiple investigations of the emails

    I’ve had some of the tinfoil-hatted denialist crowd actually use these investigations to back up their own conspiracy theories: since there were SO MANY investigations that all uniformly cleared the scientists, the initial claims must have “touched a nerve” and been more right than could have been allowed, thus the coordinated smokescreen of fake exonerations. It’s brilliant, Holmes!

    Likewise, they’ll claim that the underlying scientific concepts (i.e. that the greenhouse effect exists) can’t be “settled”, because people are still debating it. This is VERBATIM a Holocaust-denier fortune cookie.

    As for Inhofe, I wonder if in his blinkered creationism he has ever even heard of terrible things happen that didn’t destroy the entire world? Like, say, the 2004 South Asian tsunami that killed about 300,000 people? They all died but we’re still here, so…. what, nothing happened? Does he actually think that the pro-science side believes that Earth will be completely rendered lifeless or physically destroyed?

    It’s hard to get cretins like Inhofe – reminds me of the Douglas Adams line describing the rhinoceros: “You tend to try to imagine the mental life of other animals, but when confronted by one with a brain smaller than its nostrils, you tend to fail.”

  17. #17 TTT
    May 18, 2012

    The CAGW position is based on 3 fallacies

    No, the scientific position is based on 3 incontrovertible facts.

    1. There are such things as greenhouse gases, which trap heat in the atmosphere. CO2 is one of them.

    2. Humans are creating more greenhouse gases than would otherwise have existed.

    3. This is – TO WHATEVER EXTENT – raising the global average temperature and – TO WHATEVER EXTENT – going to have an impact on our civilization.

    Reasonable people can reasonably disagree on how big the warming will be and how much we should exert ourselves to reduce it or adapt to it.

    Tinfoil-hatted gutter ignorant denialist conspiracy kooks who are the moral and intellectual equivalent of Holocaust deniers can continue to disgrace themselves by claiming that 150 years of laboratory observations of atmospheric chemistry are actually all a lie, or that oil digs itself up and spontaneously combusts, or that scientific careerism is best advanced by saying the exact same thing that everybody else is saying.

    I’m glad I could help you distinguish that difference. You’re welcome.

  18. #18 KR
    May 18, 2012

    “The reason these arguments are denialist isn’t because they disagree with theory, and it isn’t because they disagree with scientific consensus. It’s because they’re challenging scientific theories and consensus with conspiracy theories, quote-mining, crank experts, and rhetorical tricks. It’s perfectly acceptable to disagree, it’s when you use these tactics to disagree that you’re engaging in denialism, and these tactics are indefensible.”

    Absolutely 100% correct. Denialism is defined by the techniques used, whether in denial of evolution, climate change, or the effects of fast food on your waistline.

    And angrily invoking the Holocaust is simply a logical fallacy – one of the rhetorical tricks.

  19. #19 Stan Lippmann
    May 18, 2012

    Mark,
    We the American people are going to establish a Reality TV Grand Jury Star Chamber live from Nuremberg, Pennsylvania. The truth is this scam was debunked by Prof. R.W.Wood at Johns Hopkins University in 1908. I remember seeing the bronze plaque in his honor on the wall at Rowland Hall when I was a physics grad student in the 80s. I got my Ph.D. in physics there in 1989. My first publication was in Astrophysicist Journal on using atomic theory to measure the electron temperature of solar flares a 5 million degrees, 1000 times coronal temperature. Baliunas and Soon tried to do further work in this area, but were forced by ecofascist Holdren at the Kennedy School to withdraw their paper or be fired from Harvard. When the Clintons got into power I was removed from my office at General Atomics at gunpoint. I was blacklisted and when I went back to law school to fight back, I was forcibly injected with an MMR overdose part of Healthcare pilot program and nearly died from the resulting pituitary daemons. I am lucky to still be alive as Obama has also come after me branding me a domestic terrorist. Academic Physics started to rot at the 1923 Solvay Conference bankrolled by Bohr’s father in law the head of the Danish central bank. Since then physicists have been claiming God is dead. By the 70s academic physics died. Since then new physics like quantum cryptography developers in the coffee shops. As brain dead as academic physics is, climatologist compare to us physicists as a butcher would compare to your carving skills. MDs like you are so arrogant and foolish because your guild the AMA arrogated life and death over us herd animals alright. In fact the MDs were the most avid backers of Hitler in the 30’s and the truth is this AGW hoax is meant to kill 1000 times as many people Hitler. You and your gang of arrogant and iv
    ignorant Sophists are the ones to be sent to FEMA camp for re-education in the near future as soon as I can convince the public of the truth of my assertions. If you really think there are too many people in the world then stop being a hypocrite and kill yourself today. It will spare the public the expense of re-educating you.

  20. #20 Composer99
    May 18, 2012

    Mushroom George:

    There is a pejorative term for individuals who, as you do, make unequivocally false claims.

  21. #21 Composer99
    May 18, 2012

    I call Poe on Stan Lippmann. No one can spew crap that ridiculous and mean it, right? Right?

  22. #22 T. Currie
    May 18, 2012

    Hoofnagel, you are a pretentious twit. (Ad hominem at the level of your blog so your fans will understand) Please re-read the definition of a crank, re-stated below:
    Cranks overestimate their own knowledge and ability, and underestimate that of acknowledged experts.
    Cranks insist that their alleged discoveries are urgently important.
    Cranks rarely if ever acknowledge any error, no matter how trivial.
    Cranks love to talk about their own beliefs, often in inappropriate social situations, but they tend to be bad listeners, and often appear to be uninterested in anyone else’s experience or opinions.

    This behavior accurately describes You and the alarmist commenters of this blog (echo-chamber)… It’s comical that alarmists tend to argue a perpetual straw-man fallacy (it feeds their confirmation biases) and then they fail to recognize the counter-productive behavior in themselves. Example: (Your comment) “Climate change denialism does not meet the standards for legitimate debate, it relies on conspiracy theories, bogus experts, cherry-picked data, crank journals, and appeals to the almighty.”
    This ‘crank’ behavior tends to become chronic in people afflicted with OCD. Please seek help, so others aren’t exposed to or influenced by your deluded mania(s). After all, you and your friends are saving the Earth, help is a small price to pay. You’re like a superhero! Hahahahahah….

  23. #23 MarkH
    May 18, 2012

    I am still waiting for one of these critics to really defend the tactics of denialism. Sure they’re angry to have it pointed out, but I’d like to see them defend the conspiracy theory that climate scientists are fabricating data as is routinely suggested by the cranks, that their use of experts like Monckton is appropriate to cite as an expert, as denialists like Watts at WUWT still does. I want an explanation for why they reject the findings of a dozen scientific agencies that cleared the CRU researchers and still refer to those emails as proof of anything other than their own dishonest cherry picking of scientists words. I want to know why they still complain about the hockey stick graph despite its validation by the NAS and confirmation using other methods and by other researchers. Even when the Koch brothers tried to hire someone to disprove the findings of the researchers they’re so critical of, the hired gun confirmed the findings they wanted to challenge! Why are these tactics ok? You don’t seem to deny that my examples are false. How is this ok?

    There is not a significant challenge to the dominant facts of climate change in the literature. It’s happening on blogs and in right wing media, not in journals like Science and Nature.

  24. #24 KR
    May 18, 2012

    Stan Lippmann – What a wonderful parody you have presented. Your post clearly shows the extremism, fallacies, and contradictions evident in many denialist arguments.

    You were trying to be sarcastic, I hope. Because your post is a parody…

  25. #25 John Mason
    May 18, 2012

    Stan, you seem to think all science stopped in 1908 unless that’s a typo. If it had you wouldn’t be using your computer to post on here: you would need to send forth a carrier-pigeon (AKA a fly-by-wire!!). You then go on to attempt to argue-from-authority by posting a bit of your CV before things descend into chaos. Do they really make folks who finish working at General Atomics clear their desks at gunpoint and if so why? Perhaps someone from that organisation (never heard of ‘em personally but then I’m not a PhD in solar whatever) might pop in to explain? After all, as I am sure you would say WRT climatology, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

  26. #26 Ozonator
    May 18, 2012

    Another test problem from the deniers, corporate horrors, and other ilk, it would have taken less time to google my name and AGW earthquake prediction than to get inspired from a jerking-knee and a free lunch.

    Posted by: Mark Edward Gillar | May 18, 2012 6:13 AM
    Posted by: Matt | May 18, 2012 10:12 AM

    “Jul 17, 2010 … My Global Warming Skepticism, for Dummies … By Dr. Roy Spencer … it only takes one of us to be right for the IPCC’s anthropogenic global warming (AGW) house of cards to collapse” (reality abuse by icecap.us). “Earthquake prediction is impossible. … it is just too complicated. … defined by three variables: you have to say when an earthquake will occur, where it will hit, and what strength it will have” (“Why Earthquakes Are Still Impossible to Predict”, Lars Ceranna, German Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources; editor: Thilo Kunzemann; knowledge.allianz.com, 4/7/09).

  27. #27 Composer99
    May 18, 2012

    One of the things that pseudoskeptics & denialists never seem to get is that those of us who accept the science as it is would, generally, prefer (as they do) for it not to be true.

    This is why ‘denialist’ is an apt description, since it applies to anyone who engages in denialism as defined here, whereas the usual counter-label ‘warmist’ is not.

    The majority of people who accept the science of AGW most certainly do not want the world to get warmer at the rate it is now getting warmer. In fact, it’s usually denialists who argue warmer is necessarily better, making them ‘warmists’ at the same time.

    Speaking personally I have a very selfish motive for wanting to mitigate AGW, which is to secure the interests and future prosperity of my 8-month-old and of the children of my relatives & friends.

  28. #28 John Mason
    May 18, 2012

    I’m not a “warmist”, for sure. I’m a “stabilist”. I want the relatively stable climate of the past 3000 years in which human civilisation managed to get going and flourish to continue, and any change to be at geological time-rates i.e. over tens of thousands of years, which is a rate at which ecosystems can adapt to. Here’s to a stable climate, I say!!

  29. #29 Jon
    May 18, 2012

    Since when does Monkton or anyone who does not subscribe to AGW deny that the climate is changing? They are not “climate change deniers” so, if you want to smear people with nasty labels – get your facts right.

    You can always tell people who are losing the argument they revert to ad hominum attacks.

  30. #30 John Cook
    May 18, 2012

    Mark, while I broadly agree with your article, there is one point I disagree with. You say the tactics of deniers are deceptive and intellectually bankrupt. However, the 5 tactics of denial are not merely a cynical strategy – they can occur at a psychological level. When science threatens a person’s worldview, confirmation bias causes them to cherry pick. People attribute greater expertise to those who confirm their beliefs, which is why the fake experts strategy is so successful. People instinctively distrust science that threatens their values, and distrust of science leads to conspiracy theories. The flip side of confirmation bias is disconfirmation bias, the vigorous resistance to threatening evidence, which can manifest as impossible expectations.

    So I’d be careful in labelling climate denial as deceptive, except in the sense that people are often deceiving themselves. But deliberately deceiving other people? I think in the majority of cases, it’s more likely that ideology is influencing people to process evidence in a biased manner. And it’s almost always impossible to tell what’s really going on in a person’s skull – whether they’re a biased ideologue or intentionally misleading people.

    So understanding the how of denial, your 5 tactics, is crucial to knowing how to respond to climate myths. But understanding the psychological processes behind denial is also important as it provides insights into how we might reduce the influence of climate denial.

  31. #31 kermit
    May 18, 2012

    Stan Lippman sounds not like a Poe, but like someone whose brain chemistry isn’t working right. He mentions being forced out of his office at gunpoint. He also doesn’t trust doctors and their injections…

    Dr. Lippman, I hope you feel better someday and your thoughts calm down again.

  32. #32 kermit
    May 18, 2012

    John Cook, yes. The arguments, certainty, cluelessness, dismissals of internal inconsistencies and utter lack of understanding of scientific methodology are exactly like what I saw in the religious fundamentalists I lived with growing up. The impression I got was that they spent most of their time lying, but were simultaneously unaware of it.

    I thought at the time that they were primarily motivated by fear of death (“Please god be real and I’ll believe.”) but I don’t think so now. Looking at GW denialists, most of whom do not seem to be motivated by religion, and I have to rethink the other fundy-like mindsets.

    They are clearly not motivated by reason or evidence, which is why they are immune to them. I think the explanation involves:
    1. Tribalism. They have a fierce need to have the right beliefs, and seem to think their identification of belonging to the right tribe depends on having the right beliefs.

    2. Simpleness and certainty. They appear to have a need to have the world explained, but not have a particularly strong need to have that explanation fit reality. Now that they have explanations for everything they don’t want to have to rethink it all, settle for a lot of uncertainty, and expect the world to be very different when they’re old, especially on the say-so of some Hated Other.

    3. They have a hard time following consequences. If X, then Y, is an annoying and disorienting task for them. This is why they tend not to be scientists, nor very interested in science fiction. And they have no trouble making two assertions in a row which contradict each other. They will repeat a pseudoargument shortly after it’s been refuted – they treat arguments like jabs in a street fight. Just because one punch gets blocked doesn’t mean you can’t try it again when you see an opening (which of course drives us crazy).

  33. #33 John Mason
    May 18, 2012

    kermit, 4.42pm – an interesting and thoughtful post!

  34. #34 Composer99
    May 18, 2012

    Jon @30:

    Your post smells rather strongly of straw. What is being denied is any one of (or multiples of):
    – the Earth is warming significantly now
    – the warming is caused by humans via emission of fossil-fuel IR-trapping gases
    – the warming (and other effects of the emissions) has significant, even severe ecological and economic consequences

    If you suggest any of these are not true, I should like to direct you to the attention of the Heartland Institute’s recent proposed billboard campaign.

    This has, as far as I have seen, always been made clear by those criticizing climate science denialists. Everyone (except perhaps young-earth creationists) accepts the reality of past climate changes. As an aside, climate science denialists tend to deny the significance of past climate shifts with regards to understanding present climate (particularly vis-à-vis climate sensitivity to radiative forcings).

    Further, denialism is something people do, and people who do denialism get called denialists, in the same manner that people who do dentistry get called dentists, people who do economics get called economists, and so on. It is no argumentum ad hominem, but rather a description inferred from observed behaviour.

    Your post also displays a common cognitive flaw displayed by pseudoskeptics & denialists: the notion that AGW is something one ‘subscribes to’ or ‘believes in’. This is utterly and unequivocally false. The conclusion that AGW is a real and serious phenomenon follows from the interlocking support of a very large mass of theory, experiment, and empirical observation.

    =====
    Further to the comments by John Cook & kermit on the psychology of denialism as revealed in observed behaviour, I’m sure I don’t need to share (but will share anyway) Altemeyer’s online text The Authoritarians and the research it refers to probably sheds light on those who engage in denialism for sincere if self-misleading reasons.

  35. #35 mememine69
    May 18, 2012

    The Fear Machine’s Pitbull is climate change and liberals are the leash.
    Climate change is costing progressivism votes and could keep Liberals out of power for a decade because condemning the voter’s children to a CO2 death has spurred a backlash. A wave of former believer rage has arrived:
    -“Socialist” Canadian voters voted in a prime minister accused of being a climate change denier to a majority government no less!
    -The Occupywallstreet movement is the leading edge of progressivism and does not support “anything” about CO2 (bank funded carbon trading stock markets)
    -“Socialist” Canada killed Y2Kyoto.
    -Obama has not mentioned a climate crisis in two state of the unions.
    Meanwhile, the entire world of SCIENCE and Liberalism and journalism had allowed bank-funded and corporate-run “CARBON TRADING STOCK MARKETS” to trump 3rd world fresh water relief, starvation rescue and 3rd world education for just over 26 years of insane attempts at climate CONTROL.

  36. #36 Ozonator
    May 18, 2012

    Dearest mememine69;

    give a man a fish and he eats for a day. teach a man to fish and he eats for life. see something by mememine69 and the rubber stamp industry may give you a free lunch.

  37. #37 Chris
    May 19, 2012

    Two words:

    Henrik Svensmark.

    Why are we talking about denialists. Can;t we just talk science.

    http://thegwpf.org/the-observatory/3779-henrik-svensmark-the-cosmic-raycloud-seeding-hypothesis-is-converging-with-reality.html

  38. #38 janvones
    May 19, 2012

    I don’t deny the holocaust, that Oswald was Kennedy’s killer, that jetliners brought down the WTC buildings, that Jesus was a historical figure, that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, that Obama has released a facsimile of a Hawaiian birth certificate, or that humans release CO2 into the atmosphere.

    But the anti-concept “denialism” is fallacious idea based on definition by non-essentials. I do deny there is evidence of UFO’s, the coherence of creationism, that there is evidence for ESP, and many other things. Whether you call me a denialist or not, I am aware of the warm spells during the Roman and Middle Ages and the cold snaps between and after those periods.

    I am aware the last warming period ended in 2000. And I am aware there is no evidence man’s effect on the climate exceeds statistical fluctuation. And I am hugely aware that redistribution schemes presented in pseudoscientific terms are not scientific, but leftist programs dressed up in pseudoscientific arguments. And I know that if you are reduced to calling me a denialist you are admitting you have lost the argument.

  39. #39 MarkH
    May 19, 2012

    I don’t deny the holocaust, that Oswald was Kennedy’s killer, that jetliners brought down the WTC buildings, that Jesus was a historical figure, that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, that Obama has released a facsimile of a Hawaiian birth certificate, or that humans release CO2 into the atmosphere.

    But the anti-concept “denialism” is fallacious idea based on definition by non-essentials. I do deny there is evidence of UFO’s, the coherence of creationism, that there is evidence for ESP, and many other things. Whether you call me a denialist or not, I am aware of the warm spells during the Roman and Middle Ages and the cold snaps between and after those periods.

    I am aware the last warming period ended in 2000. And I am aware there is no evidence man’s effect on the climate exceeds statistical fluctuation.

    Janvones, your 99% the way there then. Explain to me why when evolution deniers and holocaust deniers, and 9/11 cranks use these tactics of conspiracy mongering, cherrypicking, crank experts, moving goalposts and logical fallacies it’s unconvincing, but when global warming denialists do it it’s ok?

    You even use one of the classic denialist cherry picks of global warming ending in 2000, a well known cherry picking canard. That it’s statistical fluctuation does not fit with observation and expected cyclical trends.

    You don’t like the label clearly, but how can you defend the routine use of these tactics by the leading global warming denialists like Inhofe, Heartland, Watts, Morano, etc.? You just repeated a cherry pick. Rather than joining in with these bozos you should consider looking into why you feel this theory is in conflict with your ideology, and whether it really is the evidence that you object to.

  40. #40 Shit.Head
    May 19, 2012

    Fuck off

  41. #41 Stan Lippmann
    May 19, 2012

    This is all a simple matter of radiative transfer in ionized gas, the subject of my Ph.D. Thesis. The simple reason the Government wants me dead is because I know the simple truth. Of course the truth will come out in the end. You think I’m not serious, Mark, but won’t you be surprised when I convince the Grand Jury to indict you for treason and mass murder.

  42. #42 prudence
    May 19, 2012

    I do not fear the World Warming. I do fear the solutions that are needed to stop World Warming.

  43. #43 SLC
    May 19, 2012

    From the appellation “warmist”, to crowing that Al Gore is fat and has a big energy wasting house, fallacies are not rare with this movement.

    The charge that Al Gore is fat is rather fatuous coming from the denialists as Marc Morano is a lot fatter then Al Gore.

  44. #44 contrarian
    May 19, 2012

    Nonsense. Al gore has the wider girth but he spends more money on better suits to disguise it.

  45. #45 MarkH
    May 19, 2012

    Stan, I think you should consider Olanzapine, or maybe Risperidone for that problem. Or a Pullitzer for best Poe.

  46. #46 GregS
    May 19, 2012

    In general people who engage in denialism are ideologues who use similar rhetorical tactics, and that’s where my comparison ends.

    Climate skepticism is not so much rooted in denialist ideology as it is in the alarmist tactic of hyping the science. The failure to realize this has cost your side the debate.

    The skeptics have always been on firmer ground. It is easier to acknowledge the earth has warmed than it is to predict catastrophic warming in the future.

    It is easier to acknowledge that carbon-dioxide has contributed to modern warming than it is to bet heavily on water-vapor feedbacks amplifying its effect by two or three times.

    It is easier to admit that the CRU, Michael Mann and the IPCC have pushed climate science beyond the bounds of credibility than it is to defend them.

    It is also easier to acknowledge the Holocaust existed on the weight of readily available evidence than it is to base predictions of future Holocausts on computer models without fully understanding the controlling variables.

  47. #47 NJ
    May 19, 2012

    GregS@47:

    It is easier for me personally to admit that the CRU, Michael Mann and the IPCC have pushed climate science beyond the bounds of credibility than it is to defend them.

    Emphasized extra text added to clarify point that the objections are derived more from personal incredulity than scientific understanding.

  48. #48 GregS
    May 19, 2012

    Defending The CRU, Mann and the IPCC is a folly which cost the alarmists desperately needed credibility. Their reasons for continuing down this path are a mystery that can only be found in the deep psychology of tribalism.

    Any credible movement would have tossed then all under the bus years ago.

    In this essay, Mark Hoofnagle unwisely repeats the claim that the CRU scientists were “cleared by multiple investigations” without revealing that all panels but one declared illegal activities to be out of scope. In other words, to be cleared, one actually has to be investigated.

    The only investigation to look into illegal activities, the one done by the British Information Commission’s Office, found that The CRU scientists had violated the law on numerous occasions but since the statute of limitations had passed, they were not prosecuted.

    Felons as world leading climate scientists?

    As for Michael Mann, NAS’s National Research Council concluded only that “Northern Hemisphere temperatures in the late 20th Century were PROBABLY warmer than at any time in the previous 400 years” which never was in dispute and is about as controversial as saying day is probably warmer than night. Their other conclusion “and PERHAPS at any time during the previous 1,000 years.” is hardly a ringing endorsement given the word “perhaps”.

    Mann still hasn’t explained the unexplainable “divergence”.

    As for the IPCC, well, AR5 will be the last hurrah. Their entirely political process is entirely broken. Hopefully, but probably not, a new scientific (and ethical) process will emerge to replace what is currently nothing but eco-advocacy.

  49. #49 NJ
    May 19, 2012

    GregS@49:

    {multiple unsourced claims about the CRU and Michael Mann}

    Cite? To the originals, not pureéd versions from denialist Websites.

  50. #50 GregH
    May 19, 2012

    ROAD MAPSregS, while you’re at it, would you care to comment on NASA’s observations that support not only Mann & co., but the IPCC as well?

    What about the US Navy’s Climate Change Roadmap?

    I’d be interested in your thoughts on these, as you’ve obviously spent a fair bit of time thinking about this subject, and are not easily swayed by arguments from authority.

  51. #51 Jack Foster
    May 19, 2012

    What a piece of drivel. Holocaust denial is denial of historical truth. Climate denial (does that term even make any sense?) is the recognition of the vanity of those few who think they can tell the future. Mankind has proven over and over again that nobody does that very well. Your turn to deny that.

  52. #52 asmith
    May 19, 2012

    I read your post an agree completely – except that you have the sides inverted.

    The side that seems immune to science, evidence, and is insistent on a meme that defies logic is not the skeptics but the AGW priesthood.

    In the 80’s an 90’s some of this was tolerable. It seemed ludicrous to claim to read a human signal in a trend that started 200 years earlier, but atleast that trend was continuing. But with each passing year even that becomes weaker Claim whatever you will, the planet has fallen out the bottom of even the mildest alarmist predictions, and appears intent on remaining out for some time to come.
    As more and more is emerging, we find the quality of the science of alarmists to be spectacularly bad. It is becomes harder to accept that this is incompetence rather than malice.

    I would ask for a single alarmist prediction that has proven true. Sea Level is not rising, Glaciers and Ice are not disappearing, land temperatures are rising negligibly if at all, and ocean temperatures are even more stable than land.
    Even the new meme’s of more volatile weather have been shredded – on a planet of 1/2 billion square kilometers, there will be numerous instances of record breaking weather every day – but that frequency is not changing. Even if we had another Katrina or Andrew this coming hurricane season it has been almost 6 years since a hurricane made landfall in north america. The sun has in arguably become less active, and is likely to remain so for some time – corresponding to demonstrable astronomical cycles, and earth’s climate has followed. Sol, is laughing at the cult of AGW. The “missing heat” is neither high nor low. Under real scrutiny the results of older work is proving either the result of cherry picking or not reproducible. Our remote sensing capabilities are approaching the level necessary to put this idiocy permanently to rest. Increasingly the high priesthood of AGW is in the position of explaining why the overwhelming majority of new data is inconsistent with the warming thesis.

    The natural position of a real scientist is skepticism regardless of the claim.

    Skeptics may run the gamut from lunacy to intelligent and ration – but so do warmistas. Ultimately the lunatics of one group are going to be able to claim victory and even the rational thinkers of the other are coming away with egg on their faces.

    AGW propenents have taken a single weak fact that CO2 making up less that 4/100 of a percent of the atmosphere is a green house gas and is increasing and constructed a Malthusian disaster upon that, when real science – even their own science demonstrated that CO2 alone in the most favorable scenarios would not produce sufficient warming to pose any problem, they had to construct runaway positive feedback thesis without foundation. It is increasingly likely that atmospheric water is a net negative feedback, rather than a strong positive one. The effects of cosmic rays once derided as lunacy are now scientifically certain – the only argument remaining regards their strength.
    And on and on.

    But most warmists are deaf and blind to real science. It is inconceivable to them that nature might reward rather than punish humanity that their irrational political values are not enshrined in the behavior of the universe – and might even be antithetical to it.

  53. #53 plaasjaapie
    May 19, 2012

    This kind of crap rates publication in a “science” blog?

  54. #54 History Sleuth
    May 19, 2012

    The Germans, like the Soviets, employed slave labor in order to supply their military machines. In Germany, massive numbers of non-Jews were conscripted into service to fight the War, leaving the German civilian labor force rather thin.

    The question for many is why would the Germans kill sorely needed, able-bodied, Jewish laborers? I can see them doing in old & infirm Jews, but why would they kill able bodied persons?

    Food for the Germans was in short supply. So, when it came time to eat, I suppose the slave laborers were always at the end of the line. Perhaps that would explain why many of them in the camps were so thin.

    Non-Jewish Germans starved as well, as British & American bombing raids disrupted & in many cases destroyed the German means of food production & distribution.

    Plus, as the Allies advanced on Germany from all directions, its outside food sources were cut off.

    I’m not denying the Holocaust. I believe many Jews died during the War. But some of the things written & said about how they died don’t make sense & need to be looked into further.

  55. #55 FreedomFan
    May 19, 2012

    It’s easy to tell who the bad guys are in this little debate:

    The evil ones are those like this author who demonize their opponents by comparing them to “Holocaust Deniers”.

    Holocaust deniers are among the most contemptible villains on earth; they are anti-Jewish bigots who celebrate the most vicious, racist mass murderer of the 20th century.

    What sort of sick individual smears his opponents in such a twisted, sadistic manner?

    Does that really sound like the characteristic of a “scientist” who is confident in persuading others with the strength of his “science”?

    How is such a comparison even remotely logical? The Holocaust actually happened, as the mass graves attest and hundreds of witnesses are on tape. Whereas CAGW is a just a theory which is unverifiable and unfalsifiable — just like a goofy religious cult.

    Another characteristic of Warmists is that they routinely censor their opponents, just like this comment will probably be suppressed by the author.

  56. #56 GregS
    May 19, 2012

    {multiple unsourced claims about the CRU and Michael Mann}

    Cite? To the originals, not pureéd versions from denialist Websites.

    Usually I don’t do research for people who could easily find the information themselves but in your case I will make half an exception… I will cite the readily available data on the CRU that is (a mere Google click away) and let you educate yourself on Michael Mann.

    BBC: Climate e-mails row university ‘breached data laws’

    The Telegraph: University scientists in climategate row hid data

  57. #57 GregS
    May 19, 2012

    Would you care to comment on NASA’s observations that support not only Mann & co., but the IPCC as well?

    I see nothing on that page to support Mann or the IPCC, or for that matter anything that a climate skeptic would disagree with.

    We all know that CO2 levels have been rising and that the climate has warmed since the depths of the Little Ice Age. None of these things are at issue.

    At issue in the past is what climate science can say about past temperatures, specifically whether Michael Mann’s proxies can accurately measure climate for the last 1,000 years when they cannot accurately measure the climate for the last 50 years. (study up on the “divergence problem” to come up to speed on Mann.)

    Predictions by the IPCC on future climate depends heavily on speculation that ignores 100 years of climate science and the work of tens of thousands of scientists. We have known since Svante August Arrhenius first speculated on the role of CO2 in the atmosphere that a doubling of CO2 would cause an approximate rise of 1C.

    The IPCC denies this and instead has created a lurid, unproven, highly speculative theory of positive (water vapor) feedbacks to amplify Dr. Arrhenius’s predictions and generate alarm.

    As of today, no one has actually observed positive (water vapor) feedbacks yet much has been written (speculated) about them and all of the IPCC’s projections are based on them.

    The term for critical issue is called climate sensitivity. In other words, how strongly will the earth respond to increases in CO2.

    Without strong positive feedbacks, the earth will warm only as much as Dr. Arrhenius and tens of thousands of other scientists said it will.

    To give you an idea what a warming of 1C would look like and what the world will be like in 100 years, drive 80 miles south and observe the climate there (at least in the Midwest, the climate warms approx. 1C for every 80).

    Speaking personally, I have driven 80 miles south and see little there that is different from home. Farmers still use the same variety of corn, the trees are of the same species, the weather is unmistakably the same. Even local building code require frost footings to the same depth.

    One wonders what all the fuss is about.

    As a side note, I have found that skeptics are far better educated on the basics of climate science. Why is that?

    By the way, even though there is no observable evidence of strong positive water vapor feedbacks, the very definition of a “denier” is whether one believes in them without reservation – or not.

  58. #58 FreedomFan
    May 19, 2012

    There is no debate about global temperatures because there are thermometers.

    There is no debate about CO2 emissions because there are detailed records.

    There is no debate about the correlation of global temperatures and CO2 emissions because

    1) Global temperature rose sharply from 1910 to 1942 over which time CO2 emissions increased from 3.5gt/year to 4gt/year,

    2) Global temperatures decreased from 1942 to 1975 over which time CO2 emissions increased from 4gt/year to 20gt/year because of the rapid post war industrialization,

    3) Global temperatures increased from 1975 to 1998 over which time CO2 emissions increased from 20gt/year to 25gt/year,

    4) Since 1998, as even Phil Jones admits, there has been no statistically significant global warming yet global CO2 emissions continue to rise at unprecidented rates and now stand at well over 31gt/year.

    Note that the rate of warming for the last 14 years, is BELOW the level predicted by AGW godfather, James Hansen in 1988, for the best case scenario in which MAN STOPS PRODUCING ANY CO2 WHATSOEVER for 24 years.

    So there is only 23 years of the last 102 during which both global temperature and CO2 emissions increased rapidly (from 1975 to 1998).

    So the debate is over for educated people:

    Mann-made global warming alarmism is like Creationism for Leftists — a pseudo-religious scam to enrich politicians like Barack Obama, Al Gore and their government-funded lackeys like Michael Mann and Phil Jones.

  59. #59 NJ
    May 19, 2012

    GregS @ 57:

    Usually I don’t do research for people who could easily find the information themselves

    You made the particular claims of demonstrated dishonesty. You, therefore, have the obligation to support those claims. That is how this business works. It is not “Here are my claims; it is up to you to disprove them”. You have to make the positive case for them.

    That you do not grasp this is fairly good evidence you don’t know what you are talking about.

    Now to your ‘support’, which are news items, not the originals as required. The BBC article you linked says:

    Officials said messages hacked in November showed that requests under the Freedom of Information Act were “not dealt with as they should have been”.

    But too much time has passed for action against the University of East Anglia.

    So, not that the research was wrong or false but that they mishandled FOIA requests. BFD. If memory serves, the FOIA slow-walks were due in part to claims that at least some of the data was proprietary and in part to claims of abuse of the FOIA system (many multiple requests for the same info from the same people, done so as to halt research).

    The Telegraph article is on the same subject. Once again, BFD. And no evidence in support of your claims against Mann, which as I noted above, you are obligated to provide since you are the one making the claims..

    So….you are basing your entire claim:

    that the CRU, Michael Mann and the IPCC have pushed climate science beyond the bounds of credibility

    on the fact they didn’t respond to procedural data requests with sufficient alacrity.

    And you wonder why you get called a denialist?

    GregS @ 58:

    At issue in the past is what climate science can say about past temperatures, specifically whether Michael Mann’s proxies can accurately measure climate for the last 1,000 years when they cannot accurately measure the climate for the last 50 years. (study up on the “divergence problem” to come up to speed on Mann.)

    Except of course, we actually have CO2 concentrations and O isotope temperature proxies for the period in question (unless you plan on claiming those data are incorrect), allowing us to see the correlation between temperatures and other proxies quite well. The divergence “problem” has been demonstrated to be a function of the rate of CO2 concentration increase, if my memory serves.

    Which means your statement is word salad to someone with some actual background.

    lurid, unproven, highly speculative theory of positive (water vapor) feedbacks

    Seriously, dude? Higher global temperatures = more oceanic evaporation = higher average amounts of water vapor in the atmosphere = increased infrared absorption. It’s about as speculative as tonight’s sunset.

    Speaking personally, I have driven 80 miles south and see little there that is different from home.

    And once again, we can all see its about your personal incredulity, seasoned with a few lightly understood talking points from RW denialists.

    I have found that skeptics are far better educated on the basics of climate science.

    Yeah, you’ve really demonstrated that here…

  60. #60 NJ
    May 19, 2012

    FF@56:

    Another characteristic of Warmists is that they routinely censor their opponents, just like this comment will probably be suppressed by the author.

    And ironically this may be the least inaccurate statement you’ve made!

  61. #61 Dave Thomas
    May 19, 2012

    Mark Hoofnagle, a charlatan with delusions of grandeur.

  62. #62 Jack Foster
    May 19, 2012

    Author writes: “I am still waiting for one of these critics to really defend the tactics of denialism.”

    This author doesn’t know what he’s talking about. The word “denialism” implies the denial of truth. Whats the truth? I attended a lecture given by Ben Santer recently. He began the talk by saying that the Science isn’t settled. If Santer says the science isn’t settled, why should we believe this know-nothing who is writing outside of his field?

    Here’s an on-line debate.

    http://jonova.s3.amazonaws.com/guest/glikson/glikson-versus-nova.pdf

    Read the whole thing. Read both sides. Who do you think wins?

  63. #63 SLC
    May 19, 2012

    Re Jack Foster @ #62

    The link given by Mr. Foster is to a discussion between a climate scientist, Andrew Gillikson and a Science writer, Joanne Nova. Ben Santer is not one of the participants in the discussion. Apparently, Ms. Nova cited a publication by Dr. Santer in which she claims that he made such a statement. Given the record of global warming deniers in quote mining and misrepresenting the statements of climate scientists, I have no confidence in her accuracy.

    According to Wiki, Ms. Nova has BS degree in microbiology. I see no publications in the peer reviewed literature on the subject of climate change written by her.

    I would no more trust Ms. Nova to pontificate on climate science then I would trust her to pontificate on quantum mechanics. Attached is a link to an article debunking some of her claims.

    http://www.desmogblog.com/debunking-joanne-nova-climate-skeptics-handbook-global-warming-real-and-happening

  64. #64 SLC
    May 19, 2012

    Re contrarian @ #45

    Obviously, Mr. contrarian has never seen Mr. Morano, who makes Rush Limbaugh look positively svelte.

  65. #65 SLC
    May 19, 2012

    Re Jack Foster @ #45

    My apologies to Ms. Nova who is not quoting Dr. Santer as making the statement attributed to him. I misread Mr. Foster’s comment as he is claiming that Dr. Santer made the statement in a lecture at which he was present. However, given the track record of climate change denialists, like their evolution denying pals, of quote mining and misrepresenting statements made by climate scientists, I have no confidence in the accuracy of Mr. Foster’s representation. Provide a written transcript or the online presentation of this alleged lecture.

  66. #66 SLC
    May 19, 2012

    Re Dave Thomas @ #62

    Dave Thomas, a congenital nonentity.

  67. #67 GregS
    May 19, 2012

    You made the particular claims of demonstrated dishonesty. You, therefore, have the obligation to support those claims. That is how this business works. It is not “Here are my claims; it is up to you to disprove them”. You have to make the positive case for them.” – NJ

    I do not know your background, perhaps you are not familiar with how things work in the English world.

    When someone references NAS’s National Research Council then provides a quote (text surrounded by quotes), they are quoting from NAS’s National Research Council. You can find the referenced text by Googling “National Research Council” and enclosing the text in quotes or you can follow the link provided in Mark Hoofnagle essay above.

    It is also customary in the west to have some understanding of the issue before accusing someone else of “demonstrated dishonesty”.

    Except of course, we actually have CO2 concentrations and O isotope temperature proxies for the period in question (unless you plan on claiming those data are incorrect), allowing us to see the correlation between temperatures and other proxies quite well. The divergence “problem” has been demonstrated to be a function of the rate of CO2 concentration increase, if my memory serves. – NJ

    Uh…. Michael Mann expertise is in dendrology, (look up what a dendrologist does). He reconstructs temperature history by (primarily) using tree ring proxies. His work does not focus on CO2 at all.

    The divergence refers to the manner in which proxies “diverge” from the modern temperature record. The proxies show dramatic cooling while the temperature record continues to climb. Hence, “hide the decline”.

    Obviously you know nothing about NAS, Mann, The IPCC, climate science or any other subject at hand. Why are you here? Please step back and allow someone with knowledge to argue for “your side”

  68. #68 GregS
    May 19, 2012

    Except of course, we actually have CO2 concentrations and O isotope temperature proxies for the period in question (unless you plan on claiming those data are incorrect), allowing us to see the correlation between temperatures and other proxies quite well. The divergence “problem” has been demonstrated to be a function of the rate of CO2 concentration increase, if my memory serves. – NJ

    Just to clarify, “O isotope temperature proxies” do not provide sufficient resolution to reconstruct temperatures of the last 1,000 years, which is why Michael Mann and company used tree rings and sediments to fashion their famous “hockey stick”.

  69. #69 NJ
    May 19, 2012

    GregS @ 68:

    perhaps you are not familiar with how things work

    Classic example of projection. De rigueur for creationists (evolution deniers).

    In science and law, if you want to make a case, you have to do so, not simply assert what you wish and then demand that others disprove your assertions.

    Recall: You commented about the British Information Commission’s Office investigation without quoting them or linking to the specific report. When pressed, you offered news items that discussed not the accuracy of the science performed but issues with the administrative procedures associated with FOIA.

    This all in response to a challenge to your comment @49:

    In this essay, Mark Hoofnagle unwisely repeats the claim that the CRU scientists were “cleared by multiple investigations”

    which was an accurate description of the investigations into the science published.

    In the 2nd case, you offered quotes you claimed were from a NAS NRC report, but provided no link to the original so that anyone could verify the accuracy and context they were being used in. In fact, it seems you attempted to double-down on this by claiming:

    you can follow the link provided in Mark Hoofnagle essay above.

    when insofar as I can tell, none of the 15 hypertext links in the original piece lead to anything by the NAS. Furthermore, attempts to search Google and the NAS site for the phrase you put in quotes provided no matches. This, of course, returns to the original point about your failure to provide accurate attributions in support of your assertions.

    Quote-mining and deceptive attributions are also de rigueur for creationists (evolution deniers).

    Michael Mann expertise is in dendrology

    You figured that one out, huh, Sherlock? I shall have to inform him of this when we meet in Charlotte this November.

    Reading my comments for comprehension shows nowhere did I claim Mann worked with CO2 or O isotopes, merely that those geochemical data illustrate the hockey-stick phenomenon very nicely. Mann’s work on the tree rings matches up quite well with this until the modern era when they diverge, which, as I noted is believed to be a function of the sharp increase in atmospheric CO2.

    Hence the “Nature trick” and “hiding the decline” are simply shorthand terms between colleagues for correcting a data set for a confounding variable.This was what all of the investigations found as noted in the original post.

    Misrepresenting the actual research is de rigueur for creationists (evolution deniers).

    Obviously you know nothing about NAS, Mann, The IPCC, climate science or any other subject at hand.

    Projection again. You just can’t give it up!

    As you can see, I have spent a few decades defending science against creationists; it hasn’t been difficult to show that those arguing against the science found in climate change research are using the same tactics. Hence the term deniers is very much apropos. Thank you for helping me to demonstrate the point.

  70. #70 Jack Foster
    May 19, 2012

    Hi SLC. I’m willing to have a conversation, if we just keep it to the issue and stay away from ad homs and insults. Can we be old-fashioned Southern Gentlemen? (I’m from the South of San Francisco!) We could talk about the debate link I posted. Did you read it yet?

  71. #71 Jack Foster
    May 20, 2012

    Seriously, I don’t know what a “denialist” is. Does anybody deny . . . the climate? Does anybody deny climate change? (I would even add that very few believe that mankind has no impact on the climate.)

    So I guess a “denialist” must be anybody who disagrees with any aspect of the opinion of . . . who? The guy using the term “denialist”? What. A non-believer? Science isn’t about belief vs. non-belief.

    Here’s a list of over 1,000 peer-reviewed papers supporting the skeptic position:

    http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/10/peer-reviewed-papers-supporting.html

  72. #72 GregS
    May 20, 2012

    Recall: You commented about the British Information Commission’s Office investigation without quoting them or linking to the specific report. When pressed, you offered news items that discussed not the accuracy of the science performed but issues with the administrative procedures associated with FOIA.

    My issue was with Mark Hoofnagle assertion that the CRU scientists were “cleared”. They were not. They were found in violation of the law but only escaped prosecuted because the statute of limitations had expired. Maybe breaking the law is no big deal in your world but in this post WaterGate world, it is a big deal.

    Reading my comments for comprehension shows nowhere did I claim Mann worked with CO2 or O isotopes, merely that those geochemical data illustrate the hockey-stick phenomenon very nicely. Mann’s work on the tree rings matches up quite well with this until the modern era when they diverge, which, as I noted is believed to be a function of the sharp increase in atmospheric CO2.

    When you meet with Micheal Mann in Charlotte this November, ask him to explain the divergence to you. Hint, the divergence problem ONLY concerns tree-ring data and only in the Northern Hemisphere. For a basic primer, try reading something more aligned with your knowledge level, like wikipedia: divergence problem

  73. #73 john werneken
    May 20, 2012

    Why people find it necessary to hook up things like Evolution and God, or Climate and Economic System, is beyond me. Proving Evolution does nothing to prove or to disprove God. One’s opinions and assessment of what the facts are in the two areas are NOT connected, except in the simplistic sorts of tautologies that fill the media.

    I can see that weather varies and where I am climate does too, but not much. It appears to have been getting warmer in the US Pacific Northwest for at least 120 years. Even so it is often cool and cloudy and it still rains frequently. But we don’t get icebergs in the harbor anymore nor do we drive fully loaded freight trains across mile-wide frozen rivers, not around here, not any more.

    Does that mean we must immediately dismantle the American Gated Community, with housing status procuring educational certifications procuring higher employment status procuring more expensive housing….the whole caste system depending on socialized infrastructure, cheap energy, and considerable pollution? Well that depends more on what sorts of political interventions one favors, than it does on what one thinks about the climate.

    Whoever is poorer is likely to suffer, period. I suppose in theory something else could be done (only in theory: folks can increase their living standards, most securely in liberal market democracies, but there are no known examples of any society empowering and uplifting its poor out of poverty from the outside. Only of changes in which groups or qualities got to be tickets into or out of poverty). So in theory if Bangladesh could be kept out of the sea, perhaps its drowning would be genocide. Yet I dispute using that word in such cases. It has nothing to do with their “gens” you see, only location and poverty…

    I do not agree to curtailing leading edge progress or even the spread of middle group comforts in order to save Bangladesh. So there now you have it. First I think rich getting a good life and the middle an acceptable life is worth mass death for some poor who are in the way. Particularly as the poor’s plight is NOT part of what makes the good things happen, it’s more like the other way around, if ENOUGH of those good things can happen, the poor may find means to become less poor, as hundreds of millions are doing…

    I also don’t think much of collective stewardship – it’s an oxymoron, as is public policy. There are some kinds of government intervention I am all for: recently the political establishment in New York City took an axe to their building and zoning codes to greatly reduce regulatory barriers to property owners wishing to make economically attractive investments in the energy efficiency of their buildings. That sort of thing is a win for all except the lions of the old somewhat more fossilized order…and a win for freedom.

    A lot can happen that would tend to address climate concerns through those kinds of pro-freedom means. One need not even care about the climate to see other good reasons why some changes do make great sense…

    The Denialism dispute is I think a shibboleth: there are two values almost every American challenges but professes to uphold: (1) if we have both a Problem and at least one Solution, why then Something Must Be Done! and (2) Horrid consequences to real people should in principle be prevented. Yet we have private automobiles and more harm done in a typical year to us by them than by our worst enemies in a year of warfare.

    So in reality, some problems are preferable to their solutions, and some horrid things are just going to be allowed to happen, usually to whomever is hindmost.

  74. #74 Ron Henzel
    May 20, 2012

    If RealClearScience had not linked to this blog I never would have found it. It is subtitled, “don’t mistake denialism for debate…” After reading this article, I say: don’t mistake this blog for an intelligent contribution to the issue.

  75. #75 MarkH
    May 20, 2012

    The evil ones are those like this author who demonize their opponents by comparing them to “Holocaust Deniers”.

    Holocaust deniers are among the most contemptible villains on earth; they are anti-Jewish bigots who celebrate the most vicious, racist mass murderer of the 20th century.

    What sort of sick individual smears his opponents in such a twisted, sadistic manner?

    Does that really sound like the characteristic of a “scientist” who is confident in persuading others with the strength of his “science”?

    How is such a comparison even remotely logical? The Holocaust actually happened, as the mass graves attest and hundreds of witnesses are on tape. Whereas CAGW is a just a theory which is unverifiable and unfalsifiable — just like a goofy religious cult.

    Another characteristic of Warmists is that they routinely censor their opponents, just like this comment will probably be suppressed by the author.

    It’s interesting how common comments are like this that suggest that I’m engaging in censorship, and say I’m creating a moral comparison between holocaust denial and climate denial.

    I think it shows the inability or unwillingness of the climate change denialists to actually read and process my argument. I explicitly rejected the moral comparison between holocaust denial and climate change denial. The only comparison between the two is the similarity in argumentation. In fact this is an example of it, because this is a straw man argument. I argued no such thing. Similarly:

    So I guess a “denialist” must be anybody who disagrees with any aspect of the opinion of . . . who? The guy using the term “denialist”? What. A non-believer? Science isn’t about belief vs. non-belief.

    or

    What a piece of drivel. Holocaust denial is denial of historical truth. Climate denial (does that term even make any sense?) is the recognition of the vanity of those few who think they can tell the future. Mankind has proven over and over again that nobody does that very well. Your turn to deny that.

    I actually define denialism quite explicitly, multiple times, and link to our original definition but no one seems to read it or address the issues I brought up.

    Is the climate hoax not a ludicrous conspiracy theory?

    Aren’t the CRU emails, which some commenters have actually brought up to support their cause, an excellent example of denialist cherry picking.

    How can anyone regard their experts like Monckton as legitimate? Who is the keynote at this year’s Heartland denialfest? Marc Morano. These guys are cranks, with no legitimate scientific expertise.

    How many times has the hockey stick been validated, and how do they respond? Just by again attacking Mann despite his results being validated by other researchers.

    How many times, even in this comment section have we seen the same straw man? That denialism is just disagreement with consensus. No! It was explicitly described as not this. It is the use of these tactics which are similar between the two groups. No one can argue that conspiracy theories vs science, that the ludicrous conspiracy theories should win. It just goes around in circles of people redefining the issue in terms that they can attack, rather than addressing the noted similarities between holocaust and climate denialism. How boring.

  76. #76 SLC
    May 20, 2012

    Re Jack Foster @ #71

    Without the context of the alleged statement of Prof. Santer, there is no way to judge as to whether it represents his views on the subject of climate change. Given the propensity of denialists to quote mine and misrepresent the views of climate scientists, just as the creationists quote mine and misrepresent the views of evolutionary biologists, without the full text of what the scientist said, I have no confidence that Mr. Foster has accurately presented Prof. Sauter’s position.

    Re Jack Foster @ #72

    The problem with the list provided in Mr. Foster’s link is that we have only the word of the author of the post that he/she has correctly characterized the content of the papers cited. All too often, the compilers of such lists depend on the fact that few of their readers have either the time or resources to investigate this issue. Given the propensity of deniers of all stripes to misrepresent the content of articles published in scientific journals, little confidence can be placed in their characterizations.

    By the way, I note that the web site linked to by Mr. Foster is the product of 4 individuals whose areas of expertise are described as follows:

    Andrew – Computer Analyst
    Doug – Computer Engineer
    Karl – Computer Scientist
    Mike – Electrical Engineer

    Not an atmospheric physicist or climatologist among them. This greatly lessens any confidence one might have in their ability to understand and accurately interpret the publications they list.

    However, I note that a number of articles authored or co-authored by well known global warming denialists. These include:

    Richard Lindzen, Richard Pielke, Fred Singer, Pat Michaels, and Willie Soon.

    I would also note the presence of far right wing “think tanks” such as the Dishonesty Institute, the George Marshall Institute, and the Heartland Institute among the denialists industry. All supported by cretins like the Koch brothers.

  77. #77 GordonFreeman
    May 20, 2012

    Godwin’s Law should apply to MarkH

  78. #78 SLC
    May 20, 2012

    Re Jack Foster @ #76

    Attached are links to articles analyzing the list posted on Popular Technology.

    http://www.desmogblog.com/fossil-fools-fund-latest-petition?page=4

    http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2011/04/900-papers-supporting-climate-scepticism-exxon-links

    By the way, here is an example of an instance of misrepresentation by the denialists.

    Professor Peter deMenocal, of the Earth Institute, Columbia University, told the Carbon Brief when asked about the inclusion of his paper on the list:

    “I’ve responded to similar queries over the years. No, this is not an accurate representation of my work and I’ve said so many times to them and in print.

    The second link posts several instances of misrepresentation in addition to the one that is posted above.

  79. #79 Jack Foster
    May 20, 2012

    First of all, kudos to Mark H for actually reading the comments and responding to them in a civil and thoughtful way. This is what I think. We have an issue of science that is an extremely important issue, because it doesn’t just involve some academic empirical question; it ultimately involves policy decisions which impact all of us. Therefore, the issue has been politicized. Therefore we have a broad spectrum of relatively ignorant people on both sides becoming advocates (pro and con) for scientific hypotheses. You call the relatively-ignorant advocates on the right “denialists”. OK. So what do you call the relatively-ignorant advocates on the left?

    I don’t know what the truth is. I know that there’s a debate going on, and I’ve followed it closely. Will I argue strongly for one side or the other? Only as counter-balance, but I confess that I don’t know the truth; nobody does. The issue seems to boil down to climate sensitivity to CO2, which there’s no real consensus about. The IPCC suspects it’s between 2 and 4, but acknowledges there’s broad uncertainty. As I look at it, historically CO2 levels trail temperatures. In the past we’ve seen strong correlation between CO2 and temps with large swings in temperatures (10 degrees) leading to small swings in CO2 (90 ppm). To me, that seems like a small response of CO2 to large temperature swings caused by . . . something else. (Sure, there’s probably some small feedback factor.) There have been several papers recently arguing for lower sensitivities, even below 2. The lower sensitivity turns out to be, the less cause there is for alarm.

    So in this environment of uncertainty, at what point does somebody become a denialist? If I think climate sensitivity is 1.5, am I a denialist? Certainly I’m a denialist if I lean to numbers below 1 . . . as some Scientists do . . . right? Where exactly is the dividing line?

    The issue should be about the science, not about the ignorant advocates. If you label everyone who argues that climate sensitivity is low (as many scientists do) a “denialist” then you make it about belief, not about science. Science is not about belief. If you label everyone who argues for alternate primary causes (as many scientists do) a “denialist” then you make it about belief, not about science. Again, science is not about belief.

    Ben Santer believes the consensus is correct. But he recognizes that the science is not settled. In the lecture that I heard, he made a strong case for anthropogenic global warming, but he acknowledged that the climate is a complex thing and that there’s much uncertainty. Good scientists understand the difference between science and belief. The science is not settled.

    Thanks.

  80. #80 Jack Foster
    May 20, 2012

    P.S. — “The noted similarities between holocaust and climate denialism” are superficial at best. There’s a world of difference between the politicization of science and the denial of historical fact.

  81. #81 Shadeburst
    May 20, 2012

    @Ozonator with people like you on our side the denialists don’t need to argue at all, they can just shut up and they’ve already won.

  82. #82 FreedomFan
    May 20, 2012

    If the Warmists want to persuade average citizens that catastrophic anthropogenic global warming is imminent, perhaps they could:

    * Make bloody movies in which childrens’ heads explode, unless they agree with AGW.

    * Create a hockey stick graph to show how current warming is unique in all of human history. When disproved, create a different graph and pretend it’s really the same, and besides it doesn’t matter anyway.

    * Allow their AGW movement to be defined by a famous political hack who demands that everyone sacrifice like paupers to prevent armageddon, while jetting between his lavish mansions and begging for carnal favors like a “crazed sex poodle”.

    * Allow their AGW movement to be founded by “scientists” who make highly exaggerated temperature forecasts starting in 1988. Then when these dire forecasts are not remotedly realized, allow the same forecasters to keep making more goofy exaggerations based upon the same flawed models.

    * Gloss over the fact that, contrary to every computer model, there has been no “statistically significant” rise in global temperatures in the past 15 years.

    * Refuse to publically debate the “science”. Instead, claim the “science is settled”, the “debate is over”, the “scientific consensus” is universal, then create fake internal memos to show that the evil “deniers” are in the pockets of the oil industry.

    * Allow the powerful IPCC to be run by a railroad engineer who laces the “science” with unsupported stories from popular magazines, casual anecdotes, and who removes every trace of terms of scientific caution from histrionic claims of the certainty of a rapidly melting planet.

    * Make certain the “science” is pushed by true believers in “the cause”, who undermine the peer review process, “lose” original temperature measurements, stonewall every freedom of information request, apply “very artificial” corrections to computer code, “hide the decline” to mask the fact that temperature “proxies” have the exact opposite trend from actual temperature measurements. Then when these “scientists” are exposed, instead of firing them, whitewash their obvious corruption with mumbo-jumbo from “independent” investigators.

    * Compare anyone who doubts this flaky “science” to a Holocaust denier — apologists for the most grisly mass murderers in human history. Make sure even top “scientists” in the AGW scam, smear their scientific opponents with the term “denier”.

  83. #83 SLC
    May 20, 2012

    Re FreedomFan @ #82

    Gee, Mr. FreedomFan, shill for the Koch brothers.

  84. #84 SLC
    May 20, 2012

    Re Jack Foster @ #80

    I would agree with Mr. Foster that equating global warming deniers with Holocaust deniers is somewhat of a stretch. IMHO, better comparisons are with evolution deniers, HIV/AIDS deniers, ozone depletion/CFC deniers, cigarette smoking/lung cancer deniers, etc.

    Re Jack Foster @ #79

    Of course, climate change is not settled science, anymore then evolution or astrophysics is. Biologists still disagree about the relative contribution of natural selection and genetic drift to evolution. Astrophysicists were surprised to discover that the rate of expansion of the universe is increasing, leading to the dark energy proposal. Even more astonishing was the finding that only 5% of the total gravitating mass in the universe consists of conventional matter (e.g. electrons, protons, neutrons, neutrinos, and photons).

    It is always possible that new information will come to light that will modify the current consensus on climate change. However, the point is that it would be foolhardy pin our hopes on the arrival of such information, given the potential gravity of the situation that will ensue should it not happen.

  85. #85 Jack Foster
    May 20, 2012

    “Holocaust deniers have conspiracy theories to explain away the documentary evidence and personal experiences of holocaust survivors.”

    How do holocaust conspiracy theories compare to warming conspiracy theories? Here from Climate Audit. (Mark, can you imagine treating reviewers this way in your field?)

    “In response to the identical inquiry from CRU, Mann immediately sent the residual series to Osborn, warning him that the residual series were his “dirty laundry”, provided to Osborn only because he was a “trusted colleague”. Mann asked Osborn to ensure that the “dirty laundry” didn’t fall into the wrong hands, an assurance that Osborn readily gave.”

    http://climateaudit.org/2012/05/16/schmidts-conspiracy-theory/

    Now admittedly, this issue probably doesn’t affect the science very much. Still, it’s evidence that the political advocacy that we see in debate threads also exists within the science. Nobel Cause Corruption (look it up) is alive and well within this field.

    To SLC: Thanks, I don’t totally disagree with you. So we should continue to closely monitor the science, and to move cautiously regarding policy.

  86. #86 SLC
    May 20, 2012

    Re Jack Foster @ #85

    Oh come on Mr. Foster, Climateaudit is the web site of Marc Morano, former aide to whackjob Senator James Imhofe and current shill for the Koch brothers. He has no more credibility in the scientific community then does Lord Monckton. You will have to do better then that.

  87. #87 Jack Foster
    May 20, 2012

    Umm. No it’s not. Climate _Depot_ is the web site of Marc Morano.

  88. #88 SLC
    May 20, 2012

    Re Jack Foster @ #87

    I stand corrected. However, Steve McIntyre ain’t much better then Marc Morano. An example of McIntyre’s quote mining below.

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/steve_mcintyre_quote_mining_ex.php#more

  89. #89 Boris
    May 20, 2012

    @GregS

    “When someone references NAS’s National Research Council then provides a quote (text surrounded by quotes), they are quoting from NAS’s National Research Council. You can find the referenced text by Googling “National Research Council” and enclosing the text in quotes or you can follow the link provided in Mark Hoofnagle essay above.”

    Ah, yes, you said:

    “As for Michael Mann, NAS’s National Research Council concluded only that “Northern Hemisphere temperatures in the late 20th Century were PROBABLY warmer than at any time in the previous 400 years” which never was in dispute and is about as controversial as saying day is probably warmer than night. Their other conclusion “and PERHAPS at any time during the previous 1,000 years.” is hardly a ringing endorsement given the word “perhaps”.”

    Of course, the word “perhaps” does not appear anywhere in the NAS report on temperature reconstructions of the past 2000 years. In fact, you did not quote from the source, but invented your own quote and then used your own words to “prove” your point.

    Here is what you are so terribly misquoting:

    http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=11676&page=R2

    “It can be said with a high level of confidence that global mean surface temperature was higher during the last few decades of the 20th century than during any comparable period during the preceding four centuries. This statement is justified by the consistency of the evidence from a wide variety of geographically diverse proxies.

    Less confidence can be placed in large-scale surface temperature reconstructions for the period from A.D. 900 to 1600. Presently available proxy evidence indicates that temperatures at many, but not all, individual locations were higher during the past 25 years than during any period of comparable length since A.D. 900. The uncertainties associated with reconstructing hemispheric mean or global mean temperatures from these data increase substantially backward in time through this period and are not yet fully quantified.”

    Thank you for illustrating so ably one aspect of the denialist tactics that MarkH points to. In a moment of clarity I hope you might consider what other things you may be wrong about (hint: water vapor feedback).

  90. #90 Larry
    May 20, 2012

    It is interesting that those who label others “denialists” actually engage in the same kind of conduct and have a similar belief system as those who actually did persecute the Jews.

    1. A single, unquestioning belief in the superiority of themselves over others (“Your not a Climate Scientist!”)

    2. Suppression of dissidence. Exhibit A, ClimateGate emails speaking of having editors fired. Preventing the publication of opposing views.

    3. Dehumanizing your opponents. “Big Oil Shill”

    4. And this is more in line with a cult…belief in a single, supreme philosophy (Nazism, Communism, etc.) I.e, the earth is warming, man is causing it, and we need more government control to stop it.

    And if I may ask, if AGW is sooo certain, so settled, an established scientific fact, then why should anyone be funded to study it anymore? The federal budget for 2011 proposes $2.6 billion. Why? It’s as solid as the fact that water boils at 212 degrees F at 1 atmosphere. Where are the studies about boiling water?

    Maybe we should accept it and then defund it. Somehow, I don’t think all these climate scientists” are going to so easily give up the government gravy train.

  91. When opponents use Godwin’s Law, they have already lost the argument. In this case, warmists have nothing else to say.

  92. #92 SLC
    May 21, 2012

    Re Larry @ #90

    A little like folks like Mr. Larry giving up riding the Koch brothers gravy train.

  93. #93 Brent
    May 21, 2012

    Could we go back to the original question? Is it ‘apt’?

    I’d break it down into 2 segments: (i)Are the two events comparable in infamy? (ii)Are they as certain as each other?

    Answers IMO: no and no. (i) The notion that millions will die if temperatures rise by a few degrees is absurd. Warm centuries have been advantageous to agriculture (ii) The holocaust is historical fact; some future thermageddon – even if such a prediction had merit – lies in an uncertain future. It’d be daft to be as certain about the existence of your great grandchildren as you are about your great grandparents.

    So I say it isn’t apt.

  94. #94 Wow
    May 21, 2012

    “(i) The notion that millions will die if temperatures rise by a few degrees is absurd.”

    Really? How many people live within 20ft of sea level? Now, how many people die in floods (and include the consequential increase in disease and ill health).

    “Warm centuries have been advantageous to agriculture”

    Proof, please.

  95. #95 Wow
    May 21, 2012

    “1. A single, unquestioning belief in the superiority of themselves over others (“Your not a Climate Scientist!”)”

    So? If you were to get legal representation and find out a local plumber was doing your defence, you’d be whining “You’re not a solicitor!”.

    “2. Suppression of dissidence. Exhibit A, ClimateGate emails speaking of having editors fired.”

    Except that didn’t happen. Exhibit A for how you’re a loon.

    “3. Dehumanizing your opponents. “Big Oil Shill””

    Nope, you’re still human if you’re shilling. You’re just shilling.

    “4. And this is more in line with a cult…belief in a single, supreme philosophy (Nazism, Communism, etc.) I.e, the earth is warming, man is causing it, and we need more government control to stop it.”

    Single philosophy???

    1) the earth is warming
    1) man is causing it
    1) we need more government control to stop it

    Only if you can’t count to two is that a single philosophy.

    1) Earth warming: fact of measurement.

    2) Man isn’t causing the warming. They’re causing an increase in the GHG concentrations.

    3) The Market has been able to pursue a course without government intervention to solve the problem. Therefore the only way they’ll stop making #2 worse is if they#re forced to. This is no different from a police force to stop me stealing your stuff or a standing army to protect your country from my invasion.

  96. #96 Boris
    May 21, 2012

    “1. A single, unquestioning belief in the superiority of themselves over others (“Your not a Climate Scientist!”)”

    Wrong. Non climate scientists can certainly contribute to knowledge. But most skeptics of global warming don’t even know the basics and cannot be expected to have anything to contribute. This is how we treat expertise in our society, and why you would never allow even a brilliant auto mechanic to operate on you.

    “2. Suppression of dissidence. Exhibit A, ClimateGate emails speaking of having editors fired. Preventing the publication of opposing views.”

    Noting was suppressed. A skeptical editor had bypassed the peer review process and some scientists decided not to publish in that journal anymore.

    “3. Dehumanizing your opponents. “Big Oil Shill””

    Compare with: “Somehow, I don’t think all these climate scientists” are going to so easily give up the government gravy train.” So it’s okay for you to call someone a fraud for personal gain, but not others?

    “4. And this is more in line with a cult…belief in a single, supreme philosophy (Nazism, Communism, etc.) I.e, the earth is warming, man is causing it, and we need more government control to stop it.”

    “The earth is warming and man is causing it” is not a philosophy, it is a finding based on evidence. AS for solutions, you are welcome to propose solutions that do not rely on government intervention.

  97. #97 Wow
    May 21, 2012

    “And if I may ask, if AGW is sooo certain, so settled, an established scientific fact, then why should anyone be funded to study it anymore?”

    Because liars like your bestest pals evah continue to say “Oh, you have to prove that you’ve included EVERYTHING”.

    If you deniers were actually worried about a scam to get funding, you’d stop asking for yet more proof.

    The problem is you’re scared of the actions required because they are an anathema to your dogma.

  98. #98 eddie
    May 21, 2012

    I seen, just this morning, over on another climate sci-blog, one of the usual denialist suspects casting doubt on the murder of trayvon martin. Is there no barrel-bottom they will not scrape?

  99. #99 Brent
    May 21, 2012

    Chek retorts to: “(i) The notion that millions will die if temperatures rise by a few degrees is absurd.”

    With “Really? How many people live within 20ft of sea level?”

    Jeez, mate, if they can’t manage to outrun a 3mm-per-annum tsunami maybe the gene pool’s better off without ‘em. Even a duh-brain like you would have time for a nap – even plant some crops!

  100. #100 Wow
    May 21, 2012

    “Chek retorts to: “(i) The notion that millions will die if temperatures rise by a few degrees is absurd.”

    With “Really? How many people live within 20ft of sea level?””

    Except he doesn’t.

    Posted by: Wow | May 21, 2012 7:29 AM.

    And in New Orleans, a 0.08mm per year tsunami caused HOW much damage when it finally broke the levees?

  101. #101 Brent
    May 21, 2012

    Wow (if that’s your real name): My apologies for confusing you with another member of the Church of Global Warming – one ‘Chek’.

    Since you raise the subject of New Orleans, may I ask you: If the seas had not been rising in the past century, might the New Orleans disaster have happened anyway? Could it be that you are taking an ‘outlier’ event and attributing undue significance to sea level rises?

  102. #102 TTT
    May 21, 2012

    Brent: if they can’t manage to outrun a 3mm-per-annum tsunami maybe the gene pool’s better off without ‘em.

    You disgrace yourself with your glib misanthropic know-nothingism. Yourself, and everything you claim to believe in. The 2004 Boxing Day tsunami in Asia is believed to have killed nearly 300,000 people – of whom nearly one-third were children, who died precisely because they couldn’t run fast enough nor hold on tight enough to survive.

    Gene pool’s better off without ‘em, huh?

    And let me guess – it’s just part of a normal discussion to death-wish tens of thousands of people who live elsewhere and are poorer than you, but if an environmentalist tried something that would raise your taxes, why, they’d be like Nazis, amirite?

    Reminds me of the no-talent legacy brat Jonah Goldberg’s glib know-nothing response to the news that a F4 hurricane was bearing down on a city built below sea level: “ATTN Superdome residents – Grow gills!”

    Wingnut denialists don’t know anything about how the world works and their first response to any news of a problem is to death-wish people different from themselves. It comes so much more easily than learning. Goldberg later claimed to have been shocked when bad things actually happened and people actually died after Katrina, and I believe he really was sufficiently stupid to have not been able to foresee things that any reasonably well-read 7th grader would have anticipated. You, Brent, likewise may have been unaware of how quickly, easily, and brutally the lives of many thousands of people can be snuffed out by environmental disasters, quite likely due to the same deficiency as Goldberg.

  103. #103 ligne
    May 21, 2012

    “Jeez, mate, if they can’t manage to outrun a 3mm-per-annum tsunami maybe the gene pool’s better off without ‘em.”

    running away only works if you’ve got somewhere to run to.

  104. #104 GregH
    May 21, 2012

    Brent: If the seas had not been rising in the past century, might the New Orleans disaster have happened anyway? Could it be that you are taking an ‘outlier’ event and attributing undue significance to sea level rises?

    In a word, No. Not only are sea levels rising, but the number of extreme weather events is increasing, making the rise in sea level more destructive.

    One measure of this is insurance company losses. Munich Re, one of the world’s largest insurers, publishes their assessment of losses due to extreme weather events.

    Here’s an interesting discussion of the results.

    Or, here’s a link to a summary graph.

    How does your understanding of “outliers” fit into this picture?

  105. #105 Wow
    May 21, 2012

    “running away only works if you’ve got somewhere to run to”

    And if you have nothing to lose from leaving it behind.

  106. #106 GregH
    May 21, 2012

    Mark Hoofnagle: How boring.

    It’s less boring here than it is on most “sceptical” sites. On Mr. Watts’ site, for example, the constant parade of self-satisfied strawman pummelers and ad hominem pile-ons is the only kind of discussion allowed. At least here you’re allowed to ask the question. On Watts’ site, use of the word “denial” is reason to have your posts removed, because that would distract from the ongoing claims of censorship of contrarian ideas in the mainstream media.

    Maybe the problem is that denialism is fundamentally boring. After all, mindlessly repeating the same claims (see above) to support a foregone conclusion, while refusing to engage with the actual evidence, is a thankless task. Unfortunately, this is the problem; those who lack either the education or the imagination to understand the evidence, continually demonstrate their inability to change their views based on a critical re-evaluation of the facts.

  107. #107 FreedomFan
    May 21, 2012

    Global Warming Causes Everything!

    A complete list of things caused by global warming

    Don’t listen to the mass murdering deniers.

    It is urgent for us to tax air and stop Global Warming before it melts the planet and kills us all.

    Please, please everyone, stop exhaling and farting that dangerous “pollutant” carbon dioxide. Remember it is for the children.

  108. #108 GregS
    May 21, 2012

    “Of course, the word “perhaps” does not appear anywhere in the NAS report on temperature reconstructions of the past 2000 years. In fact, you did not quote from the source, but invented your own quote and then used your own words to “prove” your point.

    You can find the quote I used, word for word, at the link MarkH provided in the 12th paragraph above, which reads “Global warming denialists are excellent at moving goalposts, they’re still arguing about the damn hockey stick graph after all, despite its validation by multiple other methods.

    Click on the words “multiple other methods” The link will take you to an article on Climate Progress website. You will then find the words I quoted, word for word from the BBC, in the middle of the page.

    I do admit to an attribution error, like I said the words come from a BBC article, not NAS.

    What you provided from NAS confirms the BBC report that I quoted. Confidence in Mann’s reconstruction holds only for the last 400 years, which is about as controversial as asserting that day is usually warmer than night.

    Beyond that, the NAS Report (that you quoted) contains a bizarre sentence “Presently available proxy evidence indicates that temperatures at many, but not all, individual locations were higher during the past 25 years than during any period of comparable length since A.D. 900.”

    How could that be?

    We all know from “the divergence problem” that climate proxies are inaccurate for last 50 years (being way too cool), so how could NAS make such an odd claim?

  109. #109 MarkH
    May 21, 2012

    What fun. I really like this link to the 1,000 climate papers because it demonstrates the cherry-picking point very nicely, as well as the Dunning-Kruger effect.

    Even as a non-expert I noted some immediate problems with the list. The first based on their “highlights”, which I assume means their best evidence, and “general” which appear to most directly contradict GHG contribution to climate, is how poor of quality in general the journals they are citing are. I love for instance that Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences is right up there in the top. Also there are a lot of “reply to”, “supplementary data” and “addendum” contributions, which appear to be padding, typical to these kinds of lists, and should not be considered “peer reviewed” papers. I’m growing less impressed by the second.

    It’s a warning sign, but good science happens in small journals too, and I’ve published in quite a few, so we’re not done, and even with padding there are actual articles in there despite the intellectual dishonesty of such behavior. Next after looking at titles you see who the scientists are, Lindzen, Scafetta, Patrick Michaels (the famous subtractor of inconvenient lines before congress), Idso (uh oh, lots of contributions from carbon boy Idso), and I get even more bored with this list. It’s the usual players. But still, it’s not impossible that even some of these characters might have contributed something legitimate, they ostensibly passed peer review after all.

    So let’s start looking through a few of these on the basis that sampling will give an overall impression of the whole. I even wanted to bias it towards the list so I went for some of the more reputable journals. I started with Scafetta’s contributions (including Scafetta 2009 and S&W 2007), because I’m at least familiar with some of the basic physics and can still read an equation or two. They are interesting, and I read them all the way through, but once you look at the data they cease to be reliable models (oh no models!) of a real forcing of climate due to anticorrelations between temperature proxy and expected forcings during time-periods that were not emphasized in these papers. Turning to the experts I see that this modeling is unsophisticated and very problematic. Even if this model were true it would only increase the contribution of the sun to the observed increase in temperature, and not refute that GHG and man-made influences aren’t a significant driver of climate, just a smaller one. On to the next paper, let’s give Idso a chance since it looks like he’s got a paper in Science from 1982! Science! A real journal? It’s true, however the problem is this paper would appear to be a poor member of this list since the predictions Idso made in 1982 – that models are wrong and negative feedbacks would prevent increasing temperature, are notably wrong. If you don’t subtract the models you don’t like (as Patrick Michaels did) and look at Hansen’s 1981 climate projection it did quite well. So I’m three papers in (looking at the higher quality journals) and I’m finding two contributions that are problematic at best, and one which would seem to show they’ve been making bad predictions since 1982. That’s after you ignore the crappy journals, the padding with “replies” and “supplemental data” and people who have a history of pretty dramatic and public dishonesty.

    Should I waste any more time with this? This is the problem with these lists. They seem impressive to the uninitiated, 1000 is a big number! But with just minimal picking they unravel. It’s just padding, some refuted junk, some ineffectual and incomplete challenges, and a bunch a of cranks churning away on the fringes of academic publications. Is there proof there is no warming? Nope. Is there proof that CO2 is not a greenhouse gas? I’d be surprised, and most of the papers clearly acknowledge at least this basic fact. Is there a consistent and contradictory alternative explanation? No, it’s a bunch a half-assed nonsense that’s all over the place. It’s not like they have an alternative explanation, they have a (padded) thousand quasi-alternatives that shoot off in every direction.

    Dunning Kruger all over again. They think this is impressive but it’s not. I’m bored.

  110. #110 GregS
    May 21, 2012

    “Holocaust denial and climate change denial share many features, as does evolution denialism, HIV/AIDS denialism, vaccine crankery, 9/11 trutherism etc., that is they use rhetorical tricks to deny a body of evidence that contradicts an ideological position. – MarkH

    I cannot help but notice that the tricks you condemn like: rhetoric, conspiracy, cherry-picking and logical fallacies are the very stock and trade of any good prosecutor and defense attorney.

    I also cannot help but notice how the concepts of truth and denial differ between the fields of science and law. In law, the concept of truth is scrupulously avoided while the rules of evidence are much more strict.

    For instance, the Legal System depends upon the concept of discovery whereby everything is shared between all contesting parties, often even the press, and anyone who tries to pull a Phil Jones, “Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it.” might find themselves disbarred.

    But mostly, the law works on the assumption that BOTH SIDES of the debate engage in rhetoric, conspiracy, cherry-picking and logical fallacies and therefore the entire legal system rests on the wisdom of twelve ordinary civilians to make sense of what the experts and authorities say.

  111. #111 Boris
    May 21, 2012

    “Confidence in Mann’s reconstruction holds only for the last 400 years.”

    This is simply untrue. The NAS claims “less confidence” can be placed in reconstructions going back to 900 AD, not zero confidence. This is the same conclusion that Mann had, as in 1999 paper his error bars are wider before 1400. (This is why the BBC–and even people like Roger Pielke, Jr.–say that the NAS report vindicated Mann. It did.

    Also, you have no idea what you are talking about wrt the Divergence problem, which is not close to universal among proxies, or even tree rings.

  112. #112 TTT
    May 21, 2012

    I cannot help but notice that the tricks you condemn like: rhetoric, conspiracy, cherry-picking and logical fallacies are the very stock and trade of any good prosecutor and defense attorney.

    Yes, because that is how to build a rhetorical argument that can win over an audience more on emotion than accuracy. Denialists love it – hence their overwhelming preference for stage debates instead of written correspondence – and if you think the “lawyers do it too” card will make a gang of SCIENTISTS find it a smidgen less disreputable, I’m afraid you are mistaken.

  113. #113 ligne
    May 21, 2012

    “We all know from “the divergence problem” that climate proxies are inaccurate for last 50 years (being way too cool),”

    that’s really quite impressively wrong. well done.

    the divergence problem only affects tree-ring-based proxies. and only a fairly limited set of high-latitude proxies at that. see eg. the last couple of IPCC reports (§2.3.2.1 of TAR, for instance). or the NAS report. or indeed a fair proportion of the palaeoclimate-related literature from the last decade or two. or the bottom half of http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/ipcc2007/fig614.png if you’d rather look at pretty pictures.

    you may also wish to look up the supplemental material from Mann’s 2008 Science paper for a reconstruction that doesn’t rely on any tree-rings at all (and hence is not affected by the divergence problem). you’ll be amazed at how much it resembles a hockey-stick ;-)

    “so how could NAS make such an odd claim?”

    of course, if you’d actually bothered read the NAS report…

  114. #114 GregS
    May 21, 2012

    “Also, you have no idea what you are talking about wrt the Divergence problem, which is not close to universal among proxies, or even tree rings.

    Really?

    Go to IPCC AR4 Chapter Six. See IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007 – 6.6 The Last 2,000 Years

    Scroll down to graph labeled “NH Temperature Reconstruction” and look closely at the graph. For a better view, copy the graph into paint and zoom-in on the right-hand side.

    The Divergence is there in all its blazing glory.

    Notice how none of the proxies, including MH1999 follow the instrumental record? In fact, few of the proxies even make it into the last quarter of the 20th century because their declines were hid.

    Now tell me. How can proxies that cannot reach the 0.0 line in the 20th century prove that the 0.0 line was not exceeded in 10th century? Inquiring minds want to know.

    That is “the divergence problem” that plagues Palaeoclimatic Proxies.

    But proxies are not all that interesting. The really fascinating question is “what compels climate fundamentalists to act like their christian fundamentalist cousins?”

    Why must every word from the IPCC, Mann and the CRU be defended to the death? Why must it all be literally true?

    Climate science will survive the demise of Michael Mann, the IPCC and the CRU just as Christianity survived the demise of creationism.

    Why deny this?

  115. #115 Jack Foster
    May 21, 2012

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/05/21/recent-northern-hemisphere-tropical-expansion-primarily-driven-by-black-carbon-and-tropospheric-ozone-by-allen-et-al-2012/

    Another new paper that diverges from the CO2 drives climate hypothesis. Mark (this author) is unimpressed with a thousand papers showing the real climate scientists have a broad range of views. Oh, his faith is strong! Of course, he’s writing out of his field, and the fact that he knows better than all of these scientists writing within their field should be extremely embarrassing. But ideologues are rarely embarrassed.

    Science isn’t about belief.

  116. #116 Brent
    May 21, 2012

    TTT: Please don’t read into my tsunami-gene-pool thing any mockery of the poor people who died in the two recent disasters. If it appears callous, then I’m sorry. I meant no offence.

    My point was rather this: we should distinguish between genuine catastrophes and fake fantasy ones set in the future. At 3mm per annum, sea rise is no risk whatsoever.

    To the question “Is it apt to draw parallels between global warming and the Nazi holocaust?”, I say NO.

  117. #117 Jack Foster
    May 21, 2012

    The previous Pielke Sr. posting is interesting, too; though it’s a bit psychoanalytical for me. I prefer the papers that focus on the science.

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/guest-post-by-kiminori-itoh-what-is-the-psychological-origin-of-the-narrow-view-of-the-ipcc-socio-psychological-aspect-of-the-climate-change/

  118. #118 MarkH
    May 21, 2012

    Hmmm, you are alleging we’re acting like the fundamentalists. This is the classic denialist turnabout, “no you’re the denialist”.

    Well, not really. We are not alleging conspiracy theories, we don’t really need to. Agents like the Koch brothers are pretty explicit about their desire to fund political think tanks to challenge an existing body of data. It’s really all out in the open. We don’t really need to cherry pick, it’s all in the IPCC and in the lead journals. The theory represents the overwhelming majority of published papers in the literature, not relying on the Canadian Journal of Irreproducible Results, but rather Nature and Science (see Oreskes). Our experts are coming from the National Academies (of every single country in the world by the way supports global warming). I think that the false equivalence analogy fails as always. Finally, we routinely admit how happy we would be if we were proven wrong. I can’t tell you how happily I would be to have egg on my face for criticizing the cranks if it turned out we aren’t having an impact on climate, fossil fuels are infinite in capacity, and god’s creation is perfect and indestructible. That would be lovely, more than worth my own chagrin at having been wrong. And I still wouldn’t feel too bad about calling out the denialists because, after all, it isn’t so much the position they take that is wrong, but the methods of conspiracy, cherry-picking, relying on false experts, moving goalposts and logical fallacies that make their arguments unscientific. Even if, by some miracle, they’re right, and Al Gore is using mind control to make every climate scientist in the world fabricate data for Science and Nature, denialism still would not represent legitimate debate. We’ve seen their pathetic attempts to justify the literature supports their position, that is where the true debate lies, and they’re losing. Hence the debate enters the political arena and the blogosphere, the jury to use GregS’ analogy, and guess what? OJ did it.

  119. #119 GregS
    May 21, 2012

    “the divergence problem only affects tree-ring-based proxies. and only a fairly limited set of high-latitude proxies at that. see eg. the last couple of IPCC reports (§2.3.2.1 of TAR, for instance). or the NAS report. or indeed a fair proportion of the palaeoclimate-related literature from the last decade or two. or the bottom half of http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/pubs/ipcc2007/fig614.png if you’d rather look at pretty pictures.”

    If I was your boss and you were a prosecutor trying to send a 20yr old black kid to the electric chair based on this data, I’d demote you to charging public urination cases.

    Look at the graph you just presented. Half the proxies show the temperature dropping dramatically in the last quarter of the 20th century. We all know from the instrumental record that temperatures rose – hence is the divergence. You didn’t even provide the instrumental record as a reference. I wouldn’t let evidence like that anywhere near an intelligent juror.

    One simply has to ask the question, as any good defense attorney would, if the trees are not dependable thermometers, why make them the central icon of IPCC AR4? Why include them at all?

    The ClimateGate Emails answer the question – why. The Hockey-Team was interested only in controlling the message. It had nothing to do with science.

    If you want to go down with The Hockey-Team be my guest but I think coping with energy policy and long-term carbon-forcing issues are far more important than maintaining a climate fundamentalist lock on the public debate.

  120. #120 MarkH
    May 21, 2012

    To the question “Is it apt to draw parallels between global warming and the Nazi holocaust?”, I say NO.

    This is a response that is “not even wrong”. One would note that no one has made this comparison. At worse Tomkiewicz said that in the future global warming might represent a holocaust. It certainly hasn’t happened yet, and I don’t think there is enough certainty in what form climate change will take to suggest such a callousness on the part of the denialists. I certainly think their position is very high risk, and that’s why I don’t like it.

    You should also note that I said no to Tomkiewicz’ comparison as well, except I split the issue into two separate phenomena. Is it true that they use the same methods of argumentation, the emotional rhetoric that sways the jury as GregS put it? The answer is demonstrably yes. Is there a moral equivalence between the ideology and motivations behind the forms of denial? The answer is no. I explicitly disagreed with Tomkiewicz’ moral comparison. I don’t think they get to denial from hate and bigotry, or wish for harm to come to others. To simplify grossly, they are ideologically convinced that harm comes from regulation and government, therefore any science that would suggest a need for regulation or government is false.

    But that doesn’t change the fact that denial, no matter what its focus, takes the same form. Comparisons can be made between those that deny in general, in that denial has a predictable pattern. That is the only comparison that is apt.

  121. #121 Brent
    May 21, 2012

    Ligne @ 103. Mate, we’re talking about 3mm per annum. You say that “this only works if there’s somewhere to run to.”

    Ligne, your fingernails grow faster than that. The point is that, even if this (post Little Ice Age springback)rise in sea levels continues, its very slow indeed.

    Greg H @ 104: I’m sure that the graphs of escalating insurance losses you linked to are authentic. No disrespect, but the disasters per-se are only part of the story; a major contributor to those upward curves must be the values of the goods insured. This reminds me of a conversation between two people arguing about the rise in burglaries since the good old days. One guy says, “Yeah, and if they’d broken into your house in 1938 what would they have found to steal? A MANGLE?”

  122. #122 MarkH
    May 21, 2012

    The previous Pielke Sr. posting is interesting, too; though it’s a bit psychoanalytical for me. I prefer the papers that focus on the science.

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/guest-post-by-kiminori-itoh-what-is-the-psychological-origin-of-the-narrow-view-of-the-ipcc-socio-psychological-aspect-of-the-climate-change/

    Eh. It’s a strawman if you ask me. I don’t think anyone discounts the existence or effects of any of those other drivers, it’s just the magnitude of the effects. His river picture (b) would perfectly represent the view of the science as well, if he merely increased the volume of CO2’s stream.

  123. #123 Brent
    May 21, 2012

    MarkH@120: I get it. Your question relates to the closed minds of those opposed to all regulation and government. And not to the past catastrophe of Nazism compared to the predicted catastrophe of AGW. Point taken.

    What I genuinely don’t get (and would welcome your comment on) is this: How does ‘denial’ differ from ‘scepticism’. In my book, healthy scepticism sometimes results in the sceptic buying into the very thing he was contesting.

    Some British statesman of the 1930s was mocked for having changed his opinion. He said, “When the facts change, I change my opinion. What do YOU do sir?!” I’ll drink to him.

  124. #124 Boris
    May 21, 2012

    GregS:

    “Look at the graph you just presented. Half the proxies show the temperature dropping dramatically in the last quarter of the 20th century. We all know from the instrumental record that temperatures rose – hence is the divergence.”

    You are reading that graph wrong. The colored lines are the different forcings (CO2, solar, etc.) The reconstructed temperature is the greyed area.

  125. #125 FreedomFan
    May 21, 2012

    “It’s interesting how common comments are like this that … say I’m creating a moral comparison between holocaust denial and climate denial.”
    -MarkH

    Do you really think there is anyone foolish enough to buy this goofy, pseudo-sophisticated denial?

    Perhaps that’s why comments like this are so “common” … one might say there’s a universal “consensus” that this term represents a repulsive smear job. Why not just argue that folks who disagree with you are like pedophiliacs, but not “morally” of course … that’s makes about as much sense.

  126. #126 Jack Foster
    May 21, 2012

    “We don’t really need to cherry pick, it’s all in the IPCC and in the lead journals.” I agree that the IPCC represents the consensus, but the consensus isn’t as narrow as alarmists present it to be. The recent 4th assessment report even gives a 10% chance that recent warming is not anthropogenic. And of course, Science doesn’t work by consensus. Science is empirical. Ultimately, I believe that good science will indeed win the day.

    Thanks for the conversation.

  127. #127 mnemos
    May 21, 2012

    A sad commentary Mark. You wasted an entire article without ever noticing you had no subject. What is a “denialist” in this context? A denialist IS NOT someone who doesn’t believe climate is changing – that’s a straw man. Climate changes all the time, year to year, century to century, millenia to millenia – you don’t find any significant number of people who believe climate is static outside of environmentalist fantasies. Better questions could be “Is current climate change catastrophic?”; “Is current climate change anthropogenic?”. But the term denialist is applied to people who claim that “Science doesn’t support turning over a 5% of the world’s economy to some uncontrolled world organization to address climate change.” – and if you haven’t noticed that some of the climate conferences recommended trillions of dollars a year out of a 70 trillion dollar world economy, you haven’t been paying attention – no wonder you don’t know what people are upset about. That’s not science, it’s politics, and the term “denialist” is being used heavily in that situation.

    In general the post is naive and one-sided. You note that there are conspiracy theorists who are opposed to climate change politics, but don’t notice that some supporters of climate change politics claim every disagreement is due to the malevolent influence of “the Koch brothers” and “Big Oil” – which is its own conspiracy theory. You notice that some people won’t accept the exoneration of the UEA email scandal, but don’t address the documented breaches of the peer review process – backup data must be made available for published results and for a number of results this data is still not available. That doesn’t mean the results are wrong, but it does mean they are not documented properly and that the peer review process did not work correctly.

    Beyond that, your description of libertarians is silly – libertarians want limited government, not no government. And your understanding of Ayn Rand and modern politics is completely misguided – Ayn Rand never describes “supermen” – her characters are talented, but are throughly human private individuals. They can build a building or run a railroad, not stop the seas from rising. Technocracy is a strong current trend which relies on super human bureaucrats to solve the worlds problems – the obvious examples are economists in the current governments of Greece and Italy, but more relevant for this discussion would be a global organization controlling a static climate to maintain an optimum environment for humans defined as the holocene average. It would work as well as the economists are doing in Greece.

  128. #128 Boris
    May 21, 2012

    “A denialist IS NOT someone who doesn’t believe climate is changing – that’s a straw man. Climate changes all the time…”

    Stopped reading here. This is a common argument from fake skeptics. But you are just substituting your definition of “climate change” (climate changes all the time!!!) for what is obviously meant–climate change caused by human GHG emissions and land use changes that will continue during the next century.

    I find this very odd. Do you think anybody is accusing you of not believing in ice ages?

  129. #129 GregH
    May 21, 2012

    Brent @121 provides a grab-bag of cheesy rhetorical tactics to ignore the facts. KIDS! Don’t try these at home:

    I’m sure that the graphs of escalating insurance losses you linked to are authentic.

    Start by inferring that the source is only “probably” authentic. WTF? These people are f*cking accountants, working for one of the world’s largest insurers.

    No disrespect,

    When you disagree with someone, it’s ok to patronize them as well.

    but the disasters per-se are only part of the story; a major contributor to those upward curves must be the values of the goods insured.

    Yeah, well this argument, per se, must be a failure. If you’d actually looked at the linked chart, it’s counting the number of weather events, not monetary value. I know you understand the difference, but misreading sources to suit your own beliefs is a basic denialist habit, isn’t it?

    This reminds me of a conversation between two people arguing about the rise in burglaries since the good old days. One guy says, “Yeah, and if they’d broken into your house in 1938 what would they have found to steal? A MANGLE?”

    When you don’t have a point to make, distract with made-up drivel.

  130. What I genuinely don’t get

    Breant Hargreaves is a denier troll who is well known at Deltoid for pretending to sincerity … but he can never keep it up for more than a few posts.

  131. A denialist IS NOT someone who doesn’t believe climate is changing – that’s a straw man.

    Yes, indeed that’s a strawman — your strawman. A denialist is someone who denies the evidence.

    “Science doesn’t support turning over a 5% of the world’s economy to some uncontrolled world organization to address climate change.”

    And the reason they deny it is usually rooted in political ideology. That’s the starting point for denialists such as yourself and Brent, and starting from the ideological position you seek out any snippet from denialist blogs and oil industry shills that fits your selective perception and selection bias.

  132. but the consensus isn’t as narrow as alarmists present it to be. The recent 4th assessment report even gives a 10% chance that recent warming is not anthropogenic.

    The assessment is conservative and already out of date.

    And of course, Science doesn’t work by consensus.

    You have no idea how science works, and this blather about consensus from denialists is special pleading — what they want people to accept in place of the consensus is what they believe. The fact is that every single claim that is accepted as scientific fact, from the age of the universe to the laws of thermodynamics, is in line with scientific consensus. Scientific consensus is the only legitimate basis for claiming that something is a scientific fact. Scientific consensus is not “democracy”, which is a matter of preferences. Scientific consensus is agreement among those who are most familiar with and best able to understand the available empirical evidence. Scientific consensus is an empirical observable, and is the best possible evidence for whether something is true (but, like all empirical evidence, it is not proof, and the truth could still lie elsewhere).

    Ultimately, I believe that good science will indeed win the day.

    Good science says, overwhelmingly, that global warming is caused by human industry. Since denialists are primarily motivated by ideology, that good science will never “win the day” with them.

  133. one might say there’s a universal “consensus” that this term represents a repulsive smear job

    One might say a lot of things that aren’t true. It’s called “lying”.

    Posted by: FreedomFan

    Again, global warming denialism is primarily motivated by political ideology.

  134. #134 Brent
    May 21, 2012

    “Denialist”…. what does it mean? This thing needs parsing and dissecting.

    One who denies universally accepted historic fact?
    One who disagrees with the majority?
    One who challenges convention?
    One who denies the ‘universally’ accepted future?

    It has religious/political overtones rather than scientific. Would it be “denialism” to deny the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics or Ohm’s Law? And would there be a phalanx of activists trying to shout down an Ohm’s Denier? I think not.

    Was it Pascal or Montaigne who wrote “Nothing is so fiercely defended as that which cannot be proven”? That phrase neatly sums up the desperate need of AGW believers to shout down those who question their futurology. They need to: once the public catches wind of how badly they’ve been conned by the Green Meanies, the whole rotten Lysenkoist edifice will come tumbling down.

    If Global Warming is real science, what are the falsifiability criteria? (BTW, did you hear that an attempt to row from Canada to London was cancelled yesterday. Ice too dangerous! Git in th’ hole!)

  135. If I was your boss and you were a prosecutor trying to send a 20yr old black kid to the electric chair based on this data, I’d demote you to charging public urination cases.

    Denialists live in a world of counterfactuals where they come out right, so as to avoid how wrong they are in this world. For instance, Brent likes to ask questions about whether “Warmistas” (i.e., rational informed people) would change their minds if certain extremely unlikely events that disproved AGW were to occur.

    Look at the graph you just presented.

    What makes you think you’re competent to understand it?

    The Hockey-Team was interested only in controlling the message. It had nothing to do with science.

    That’s a lie.

  136. #136 GregS
    May 21, 2012

    You are reading that graph wrong. The colored lines are the different forcings (CO2, solar, etc.) The reconstructed temperature is the greyed area.

    When the conversation was about temperature proxies, why would I assume that a graph with no supporting text would be about temperature proxies rather than forcings? Silly me.

    Here is the text you should have linked though I question its relevance since it is mostly model simulations and said little about proxies.

    But let’s get back to the question at hand, if there are proxies that accurately track modern temperature (that also go back 1,000 years), let’s see them.

    The simple fact is – no such things exist. The Hockey-stick is a metaphor, not the literal word of science.

    Think like a Lutheran, you don’t have to believe in Noah to be a Christian, nor do you have to believe in the unerring word of Micheal Mann to believe in climate change.

  137. #137 Brent
    May 21, 2012

    GregH @ 129: No, you didn’t understand my point about mangle thefts. It’s this:

    A graphical representation of hospital records showing the number of i-Pods swallowed year-on-year since the 1920s will say little about throats, little about diet, much about…. [no, I’d be labouring the point and you STILL won’t grasp it!]

    Press reports of Carribean hurricanes from 1491 to 1991 will show an upward trend. This is because [labouring!]

  138. Would it be “denialism” to deny the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics or Ohm’s Law? And would there be a phalanx of activists trying to shout down an Ohm’s Denier? I think not.

    Again Brent with the counterfactuals. Of course that would be denialism, especially if the denial were widespread and politically motivated. A real life example is the assertion by Creationists — aka evolution deniers — that evolution is contradicted by the 2LOT. There is indeed a phalanx of activists who push back at that denialism.

    Was it Pascal or Montaigne who wrote “Nothing is so fiercely defended as that which cannot be proven”? That phrase neatly sums up …

    … Brent’s fallacy of affirmation of the consequent, in this case compounded with hyperbole. To infer from fierce defense of P that P cannot be proven is stupid, inept, and grossly intellectually dishonest.

    once the public catches wind of how badly they’ve been conned by the Green Meanies, the whole rotten Lysenkoist edifice will come tumbling down.

    As I said, Brent is incapable of maintaining a pretense of sincerity for long.

  139. why would I assume that a graph with no supporting text would be about temperature proxies rather than forcings?

    No assumptions are necessary; the colored lines are identified on the graph as “natural and anthropogenic forcings”.

    Silly me.

    A rare moment of honesty from a denialist.

    The simple fact is – no such things exist. The Hockey-stick is a metaphor, not the literal word of science.

    More lying.

  140. #140 ligne
    May 21, 2012

    “Some British statesman of the 1930s was mocked for having changed his opinion. He said, “When the facts change, I change my opinion. What do YOU do sir?!” I’ll drink to him.”

    i doubt you’d like Keynes, Brent: i think you’ll find he was a bit too much of a fan of government intervention…

  141. i doubt you’d like Keynes, Brent

    Brent lies. At Deltoid he has repeatedly been given facts that refute his position, and has even accepted some of them, but has stayed resolute with such ideologically drenched idiocy as “once the public catches wind of how badly they’ve been conned by the Green Meanies, the whole rotten Lysenkoist edifice will come tumbling down”.

  142. #143 ligne
    May 21, 2012

    “Would it be “denialism” to deny the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics or Ohm’s Law? And would there be a phalanx of activists trying to shout down an Ohm’s Denier? I think not.”

    Ohm’s law? probably not. they’re well in the realms of batshit insane by that point, and green ink is terribly hard to read.

    as for Thermo2: have you really never heard of perpetual motion machines? that flavour of denialist are two a penny, and are shouted down all the time. see http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Perpetual_motion or http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/museum/unwork.htm

  143. … Brent’s fallacy of affirmation of the consequent, in this case compounded with hyperbole

    I should have also mentioned fallacy of appeal to authority, in this case confabulated authority, as neither Pascal nor Montaigne seem to have said any such thing.

  144. #145 GregS
    May 21, 2012

    You should also note that I said no to Tomkiewicz’ comparison as well, except I split the issue into two separate phenomena. Is it true that they use the same methods of argumentation, the emotional rhetoric that sways the jury as GregS put it? The answer is demonstrably yes – MarkH

    Mark, you missed the point.

    The law assumes BOTH SIDES engage in rhetoric, conspiracy theories, cherry-picking and logical fallacies. It also assumes that what one side insists is a fact, the other insists is a fallacy . That is why we have an adversarial system of law that rarely if ever utters the word “truth”.

    The use of the word denial implies that truth is knowable and absolute. While indeed some things are knowable, most are not – and in the realm of climate change, most things are knowable only to those who are very uncomfortable with uncertainty and doubt.

    As for climate change denial, we see very little of it.

    What we see instead is the hypothesis of catastrophic global warming, using climate science as a shield to deflect legitimate criticism.

  145. #146 ligne
    May 21, 2012

    hah, i knew i should have asked the google oracle before posting! http://aboutohmslaw.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/ohms-law-is-wrong-for-this-book-given.html

    i’m actually a bit surprised that there doesn’t seem to be more, considering what a bitch it is wrt power transmission. and that it may well stray into hi-fi woo territory too.

  146. http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2012/05/21/recent-northern-hemisphere-tropical-expansion-primarily-driven-by-black-carbon-and-tropospheric-ozone-by-allen-et-al-2012/

    Another new paper that diverges from the CO2 drives climate hypothesis.

    The paper does no such thing. That’s like saying that a study showing that many of the people who died in Hiroshima were smokers diverges from the “hypothesis” that smoking produces fatalities. The lead author asks,

    “The question to ask is how far must the tropics expand before we start to implement policies to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases, tropospheric ozone and black carbon that are driving the tropical expansion?”

    You could have found that quote yourself if you were intellectually honest, rather than someone who cherry picks and spins articles by Pielke and others who match your confirmation bias.

    But ideologues are rarely embarrassed.
    Science isn’t about belief.

    Pot/kettle/black, own goal.

  147. #148 GregS
    May 21, 2012

    “Hence the debate enters the political arena and the blogosphere, the jury to use GregS’ analogy, and guess what? OJ did it.

    I remember the end of OJ’s trail quite well. What I remember most was the news coverage of all those black folks clapping and leaping in joy.

    Were they wrong to do that?

    Were they denying the truth?

    Or was there something else going on there? Let me tell you, after 30 years in criminal justice – there WAS something going on all over the country with the law and black folks.

    Maybe what the world needs is a Johnny Cochran of Science.

    One who will insist the IPCC publish a minority report and seek minority opinion.

    One who will insist that all evidence be archived and freely available to everyone whose life is affected by it.

    One who will point out that climate scientists at the CRU broke the law, just like Richard Nixon, and their crimes should not be shoved under the rug.

    One who will tell the faithful that The Hockey Stick is a metaphor, not a truth.

  148. As for climate change denial, we see very little of it.

    What we see instead is the hypothesis of catastrophic global warming, using climate science as a shield to deflect legitimate criticism.

    More lies.

  149. One who will point out that climate scientists at the CRU broke the law, just like Richard Nixon, and their crimes should not be shoved under the rug.

    There have been numerous commissions. Your posts reek of intellectual dishonesty Greg, and it’s clear that you know nothing of climate science and little concern for the search for truth.

  150. #151 ligne
    May 21, 2012

    “This reminds me of a conversation between two people arguing about the rise in burglaries since the good old days. One guy says, “Yeah, and if they’d broken into your house in 1938 what would they have found to steal? A MANGLE?””

    stealing a mangle probably makes sense if you don’t have any morals, and you currently have to wring your washing out by hand…

  151. #152 MarkH
    May 21, 2012

    What I genuinely don’t get (and would welcome your comment on) is this: How does ‘denial’ differ from ‘scepticism’. In my book, healthy scepticism sometimes results in the sceptic buying into the very thing he was contesting.

    Healthy skepticism involves questioning the facts, true. But it also means eventually accepting facts when they’ve been adequately demonstrated by scientific methods. That acceptance is tenuous of course, but in general, the data remains true even if the interpretation changes periodically, or the theory is amplified, just as Newtonian physics is still true. The data obtained over those centuries isn’t wrong, it just didn’t fit with out experiences at higher relativistic speeds or on quantum scales.

    Denialism, on the other hand, is characterized not just by questioning but by the assertion of less likely alternatives, hypotheses that do not fit the data (often creating more questions than they answer), and they respond to criticism of their hypotheses by rejecting others’ arguments using the tactics I described. It’s a way of walling off one’s ideology from the reality of the outside world. Even skeptics can be susceptible to this way of thinking. Michael Shermer, after all, denied global warming for several years. It is very likely that this is due to the fact that he is a libertarian, the dominant ideology in conflict with the science in this instance. Eventually, his skepticism won out over his ideology, and he now accepts the science, although he often still falls in with the minimizers.

    Ideology is the enemy of rational thought, and reason is actually a very poor tool to use to change people’s minds. It’s the fascinating new result coming out of the study of ideological differences that is making this more clear (google Haidt and Mooney on this stuff). Human modes of thought haven’t changed too much in the last few millenia. We have heuristics, shortcuts to find patterns and adapt to new information. We usually come to the conclusion before we know the evidence based on our biases and experience, and only after we’ve formed the opinion, we use reason to justify our position. So what comes naturally to humans is to have your beliefs first, and the reasons for them later.

    Science is new and revolutionary because it has upended this process. It is highly unnatural and counterintuitive mode of thought for humans. It may propose explanations, but doesn’t adopt them fully until data is obtained that is consistent with that conclusion. It is actually very difficult for humans to think scientifically, and it takes training, as science often conflicts with what we would consider common sense. We all think we’re rational and have the best evidence for our beliefs, but we usually don’t, and our natural biases will ensure we think we’re perfect descendents of Aristotle even if we’re arguing like Stan up there. But in reality our dominant mode of thought is opinion followed by rationalization.

    So a skeptic is one who has trained themselves not to jump to the conclusion and then dig in and relentlessly defend with “reason” what is ultimately their first opinion. The skeptic, understands that most human conclusions (cough religion cough) are mostly just rationalized opinion, and naturally questions others’ conclusions because they’re rarely well-researched. They then acknowledge the way to find out answers lies in acquiring data through reliable methods, testing hypotheses, then ultimately holding or rejecting those hypotheses based on the data obtained. It’s not just asking questions, or rejecting conclusions outright, but an acceptance of the process, the only known process, that reliably finds the right answer. Even then those conclusions must be held with skepticism, but that shouldn’t be an excuse to allow intellectual paralysis and inaction. We must operate on the best information we have.

    So I would encourage people who think they’re skeptics or want to be skeptics to start with a very careful examination of their own ideology and how it contributes to how they are biased to see the world. If anything is going to sabotage you and suubject you to illogical biases it’s going to be your political ideology, whether left or right.

  152. #153 ligne
    May 21, 2012

    “Your posts reek of intellectual dishonesty Greg, and it’s clear that you know nothing of climate science and little concern for the search for truth.”

    we-ell, it’s all progress of a sort: they’ve progressed from “all the data was fudged — AGW is a lite!” to “aaah, but they didn’t do all the paperwork properly — AGW is a lie!”. soon enough it’ll be “Phil Jones was caught speeding last year, and Michael Mann has a goatee — AGW is a lie!”

  153. But mostly, the law works on the assumption that BOTH SIDES of the debate engage in rhetoric, conspiracy, cherry-picking and logical fallacies and therefore the entire legal system rests on the wisdom of twelve ordinary civilians to make sense of what the experts and authorities say.

    That “assumption” (I’m not sure you understand the meaning of the word) derives from the adversarial nature of the enterprise among parties with conflicting interests. A jury of twelve ordinary citizens would not be a good way to adjudicate scientific questions. TTT in #112 responds well to your nonsense. It is revealing, though, how you admit that you are not to be trusted as a party acting in good faith.

    And even in the law, the system you tout is severely lacking: http://obrag.org/?p=60789

  154. #155 MarkH
    May 21, 2012

    Maybe what the world needs is a Johnny Cochran of Science.

    Dear God. That might be the most horrible idea ever advanced on this blog. But I get where you’re coming from Greg, I briefly considered law before medicine. I even did an internship with the DC public defender’s office. I respect that you think an adversarial system is an effective method for determining truth. But science is different and one of the reasons I chose science is that it’s unlike the law. It’s not about what you can get away with rhetorically, but what you can demonstrate in a way that others, using your methods, can then demonstrate for themselves. It’s a better system, and any appeal to make science more like the judicial system is not going to fly with scientists. That’s pretty much the exact opposite of what we want. It’s not about what you can convince others of using tricks, emotional appeals, the glove doesn’t fit, etc. It’s frankly nobler than that. It’s unemotional, systematic, replicable, and most importantly, not a popularity contest. Although if you want to extend the metaphor, I think denialism in the courtroom would be more like jury nullification, than a legitimate legal argument.

    Anyway, enough of this legal nonsense. The systems aren’t comparable, and I’m starting to get the difficulty you’re having arguing with my other commentors.

    One who will point out that climate scientists at the CRU broke the law, just like Richard Nixon, and their crimes should not be shoved under the rug.

    One who will tell the faithful that The Hockey Stick is a metaphor, not a truth.

    The first point you have to give up on. They have been cleared by every investigation so far. The unwillingness to accept that there was no scientific misconduct is just evidence of ideological obstinance.

    The hockey stick is a proxy reconstruction that has been validated by other investigators using other methods, and Mann’s original paper has stood up to pretty amazing scrutiny. The more you complain about it, the more it appears it’s just ideological motivation. Which I have to ask, you wouldn’t happen to be a libertarian would you?

  155. It’s not about what you can get away with rhetorically

    Denialism, OTOH, is, as Greg admits and the denialists here so well have demonstrated.

    They have been cleared by every investigation so far.

    Greg either knows this or has no basis for making any statements about the emails. Either way, he’s a grossly dishonest person … and he has acknowledged that we should assume that about him; that he will “engage in rhetoric, conspiracy theories, cherry-picking and logical fallacies”, and that he will “insist” that those fallacies are facts. Missing from his argument is any sort of independent way of determining whether something is in fact a fallacy. Missing from his portrayal of the law is any mention of judges or canons of ethics. The fact is that a trial is not just a free-for-all “debate” where the jury decides the winner. Most of the assertions made by deniers here and elsewhere would never be allowed in a courtroom.

  156. #157 GregH
    May 21, 2012

    Brent @134: “Denialist” what does it mean… This thing needs parsing and dissecting.

    I have two suggestions for you:

    1. Go back and read the original post that started this “discussion”. READ ALL THE WORDS, not just the ones you think are there.

    2. No disrespect intended, but when people label you a “denialist troll” on the internet, do you ever wonder if it could be true? Have you ever considered the possibility that you’re not cut out for this kind of discussion?

    Brent @137: I think what you’re trying to say is “correlation doesn’t equal causation”, but you’re not sure you know what you’re talking about (you don’t). I do understand that you’re trying to evade the point though. (See suggestion 2, above.)

  157. #158 GregS
    May 21, 2012

    “That’s pretty much the exact opposite of what we want. It’s not about what you can convince others of using tricks, emotional appeals, the glove doesn’t fit, etc. It’s frankly nobler than that

    Mark, I understand where you are coming from but let’s flip the argument on its head. Why not make the law more noble like science? Instead of a messy adversarial system populated by fast-talking hucksters like Johnny Cochrane, why not rely on a consensus system where everyone works toward the truth?

    Why have prosecutors. Why have defense attorneys? Why not just a judicial system based on an authorative panels of experts?

    Why not? Well, I wouldn’t want to be a mean-looking 20 year old black kid in such a system. I am not saying our messy system is THAT much better – but it is better.

    One could extend the argument. Why not have a noble one-party consensus political system? Of course we know why not, that is what they have in China where there is no check on corruption.

    As for your point about The CRU, sorry but they did break the law. Here is a link to the ruling by the British Information Commissioner’s Office.

    Please keep in mind that both legislative panels as well as the Oxburgh and Meir Russel panels explicitly declared investigation into illegal activities to be out of scope.

    Where would we be if Congress did that with WaterGate?

    From only one of the ICO Findings. Note the word: prosecution.

    Section 77 of the Freedom of Information Act makes it an offence for public authorities to act so as to prevent intentionally the disclosure of requested information. Mr Holland’s FOI requests were submitted in 2007/8, but it has only recently come to light that they were not dealt with in accordance with the Act. The legislation requires action within six months of the offence taking place, so by the time the action taken came to light the opportunity to consider a prosecution was long gone.

  158. I remember the end of OJ’s trail quite well. What I remember most was the news coverage of all those black folks clapping and leaping in joy.

    Were they wrong to do that?

    It depends on why they did it.

    Were they denying the truth?

    Many of them were.

    Or was there something else going on there? Let me tell you, after 30 years in criminal justice – there WAS something going on all over the country with the law and black folks.

    False dichotomy. Of course there was and is a long history of discrimination and miscarriages of justice against blacks in the U. S. But OJ was not a good defendant to attach that to because a) he had divorced himself from the black community and b) he was guilty and that was clear from the evidence.

    Maybe what the world needs is a Johnny Cochran of Science.

    Someone who explicitly manipulated sentiment about past wrongs in order to get his guilty client off and score a big personal gain? Could you possibly score a bigger own goal? We already have a Johnny Cochran of climate science — the libertarians and free market dogmatists who make up most of the denialist community, the denialist bloggers, the Heartland Institute, etc. — and we know who their client is, a client as guilty as OJ. And we are all Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

    It is remarkable just how poorly reasoned are the comments from the ideologically driven denialists here, and Greg’s are far from the worst.

  159. #160 GregS
    May 21, 2012

    Which I have to ask, you wouldn’t happen to be a libertarian would you? – Mark H

    No, I am a civil servant. Libertarians are rather rare in civil service, though one was spotted several years ago. :)

  160. #161 FreedomFan
    May 21, 2012

    “The hockey stick is a proxy reconstruction that has been validated by other investigators using other methods, and Mann’s original paper has stood up to pretty amazing scrutiny. The more you complain about it, the more it appears it’s just ideological motivation.”
    -MarkH

    Here’s a good way to test the veracity of this tired Warmist meme:

    Go to Wikipedia “Global Warming Controversy”.

    See if you can find the original Mann / AlGore hockey stick (IPCC TAR WG1 2001). Hint: It’s buried halfway through the article. (Another hint: Never believe any controversial article featured on Wikipedia.)

    Then compare it to the temperature reconstruction featured prominently at the top of the article, which resembles a “bowl” more than a “hockey stick”.

    Compare; see if you believe that Mann’s original “hockey stick” looks anything like the “bowl-shaped” graph created by real scientists.

    It’s amazing how folks who claim to stand in awe of “science” are ready to keep bitterly defending the Mann / AlGore hoax.

  161. Instead of a messy adversarial system populated by fast-talking hucksters like Johnny Cochrane

    An admission about what AGW deniers are.

    Why not just a judicial system based on an authorative panels of experts?

    You know nothing about science, or pretend to know nothing.

    Well, I wouldn’t want to be a mean-looking 20 year old black kid in such a system. I am not saying our messy system is THAT much better – but it is better.

    Snort. Tell that to Emmett Till. Weren’t you the one who said “there WAS something going on all over the country with the law and black folks”?

    You reek of intellectual dishonesty. But then, you have told us that we should assume that about you.

  162. #163 GregS
    May 21, 2012

    I will confess to something other than being a civil servant. I am what you might call a climate Lukewarmer with a view somewhere between Judith Curry and the younger Roger Pielke. I say that with the full awareness that in some quarters it might qualify me as a heretic, if not an apostate.

    Yes, I run into a lot of “deniers” in those blogs but I find them, more often than not, quite delightfully well-informed.

    Contrast this to the constant din of “it’s worse than we thought!!” climate related stories in the popular press.

    The ones that climate scientists rarely criticize in public.

    Like I said on my first comment on this blog, “The skeptics have always been on firmer ground. It is easier to acknowledge the earth has warmed than it is to predict catastrophic warming in the future.

    It is easier to acknowledge that carbon-dioxide has contributed to modern warming than it is to bet heavily on water-vapor feedbacks amplifying its effect by two or three times.

    It is easier to admit that the CRU, Michael Mann and the IPCC have pushed climate science beyond the bounds of credibility than it is to defend them.”

  163. #164 GregH
    May 21, 2012

    I’m starting to understand! In your world,”delightfully well-informed” means “agrees with me”, or “is able to retain their belief that AGW is untrue, no matter what evidence is presented”. Not much of a life for a thinking person, is it?

  164. Contrast this to the constant din of “it’s worse than we thought!!” climate related stories in the popular press.

    You offer no rebuttal to any of these claims. Rather, you repeatedly demonstrate that you know nothing about climate science. For you, it’s all about what’s “easy to acknowledge” based on your ignorant, unscientific impressions.

  165. It is easier to acknowledge that carbon-dioxide has contributed to modern warming than it is to bet heavily on water-vapor feedbacks amplifying its effect by two or three times.

    Actually, ignorant “lukewarmers” are betting heavily against the empirical evidence … heavily indeed, considering the stakes if they are wrong. Of course it’s easier to acknowledge that you have a stomach ache than it is that you have stomach cancer that needs to be operated on, even if over 90% of the doctors you have consulted say so. But such ease has nothing to do with rational assessment.

    Again, it’s remarkable just how poor the reasoning of deniers is. And “lukewarmers” are deniers — as I said, it’s about denial of the evidence.

  166. It is easier to admit that the CRU, Michael Mann and the IPCC have pushed climate science beyond the bounds of credibility

    Incredulity is not an argument.

  167. #168 Freedom Fan
    United States
    May 23, 2012

    What happened to all of the comments? The comment numbering is gone and a bunch of the most embarrassing for Warmists have been deleted.

  168. #169 Mark
    May 23, 2012

    Good question. I’ll see what I can do about attaching numbers.

    I knew something would go wrong from the port. It could be that there is a window when they copied everything over that is now lost.

  169. #170 Charles
    Ohio
    May 23, 2012

    The Holocaust was the most widespread and egregious genocide agsinst one religious group in human history. One third of Europe’s Jews (six million innocent men, women and children) were murdered by Nazi Germany only because they were Jews. Those who deny this possess no logical postulation, since captured German war records (see US National Archive) prove the extermination of six million Jews. That is added to the testimony of Nazi leaders and German armed forces leaders at Nuremberg, which corroborate the admission of the murder of six million Jews. Thus, Nazi records alone prove the murder of millions of Jews.

    Climate change denial is just as illogical as Holocaust denial. However, climate change is not the same as the extermination of millions of people deemed inferior. The comparison is illogical and incongruous. Denying the fact that the Earth has warmed significantly as a result of carbon emissions related to human activity is illogical. But it pales in comparison to the Holocaust.

    Victims of climate change will include all manner of humans, regardless of religion, race, ethnic origin or nationality. Victims of climate change live all over the world. Victims of the Holocaust were primarily, but not exclusively, Jews – i.e. members of one particular religion. They lived primarily in Europe.

    One has nothing to do with the other. The Holocaust was aimed at Jews. Climate change affects everyone, regardless of nationality, race, religion or ethnic origin. They are mutually exclusive arguments. As such, they are non-sequitur.

  170. #171 GregS
    May 24, 2012

    A better comparison between The Holocaust and Climate Change would be to weigh the cost of over-estimation to under-estimation.

    If The Holocaust consensus were found to have grossly over-estimated the tragedy, it would threaten our historical understanding of the event by making legitimate claims harder for the public to accept.

    On the other hand, if those who under-estimated the tragedy were proved wrong, it would only undermine their credibility and strengthen the public’s willingness to accept the true number.

    There are only a handful of people who “deny” that our climate is changing, just as there are only a handful of people who deny The Holocaust. But the reason we are here is because of those who have unwisely painted the people with whom they disagree with the brush of denialism.

    Every time a member of the public finds themselves on Climate ETC, Lucia’s site or even WattUpWithThat, they come away with the knowledge that these people are not denying climate change, they are quibbling about numbers and symbols. They can occasional be proved dead-wrong but to call them denialists only destroys the credibility of those who use the term.

    These people may be guilty of under-estimatation but they do not pay as high a price as those who make wild claims about extreme weather, polar bears and Himalayan Glaciers.

    Worse is when the IPCC is found to have gotten itself out on a limb.

    What happens when a regional cooling trend is amplified in the Arctic and sea ice comes roaring back for a few decades? (Which is VERY possible)

    What happens when the acceleration of sea level in the 20th Century is proven to be mostly aquifer depletion? (and that is very possible too)

    What happens when GRACE shows that glacial melt is not anywhere near what we have been reading in the papers?

    What happens when we learn that the proponents of AGW are outspending the skeptics by a thousand to one?

    But more important – what happens when alternative energy schemes are proven not only to be too expensive, unreliable and uneconomical but dollar for dollar less effective at cutting CO2 emission than gas-fired power-plants? (As is the case)

    What I fear is a strong fatal public backlash against environmentalism itself.

  171. #172 Mark
    May 24, 2012

    There are only a handful of people who “deny” that our climate is changing, just as there are only a handful of people who deny The Holocaust. But the reason we are here is because of those who have unwisely painted the people with whom they disagree with the brush of denialism.

    Greg, now you’re engaging in what is usually referred to as concern trolling and I don’t buy it. You also don’t realize that a huge component of holocaust denial is minimalization, such as performed by David Irving, and has a direct corollary to this “no one denies climate is changing” argument. It’s not that they deny the holocaust, they just don’t think it was as big as those dirty zionists claim. Similarly, it’s not that we’re denying climate changes, we just think it’s getting cooler and everything is going to be ok.
    Minimization is just another strategy, and is more common form of holocaust denial because it is not as radical, but it’s still holocaust denial.

    I have made it explicitly clear, in the article and in comments below, that climate change denialists are denialist for the form of their arguments, and not for disagreement with consensus. You doubt that people deny climate change, but are you following the Heartland denialpalooza? Have you not seen your buddy Watts defend Monckton, a ludicrous fraud and crank? How about the advocacy of absurd conspiracy theories by people at the top of our government like Inhofe and his mouthpiece Morano? Denialism is a real thing, it really does happen, and it needs to be challenged and exposed for what it is.

    No need for concern for our scientific chops. We’re going to be alright. And it’s not disagreement we dislike. It’s absurd conspiracy theories, denial of data, frank incompetence in evaluating data (seen throughout the thread, just follow Boris’ rebuttals), crank experts etc.

    It’s not debate we don’t like, it’s denialism we find distasteful.

  172. #173 GregS
    May 24, 2012

    I hear you when you say it not debate you don’t like, it’s denialism you find distasteful. As for me, it is much the same, but I find exaggeration far more distasteful than denial.

    No, I am not a concern troll because our concerns are very different. I believe that Progressives and Environmentalists have damaged the nation’s ability to transform the energy sector by chasing symbols rather than solutions. Like I said, dollar for dollar we can cut more CO2 emission by moving to gas fired generating plants than building windmills or solar collectors.

    I addressed the issue of David Irving quite clearly. He only undercut himself, not history, by understatement. But what he is doing is not as serious as overstating history because that undercuts public confidence. Naturally, his aim IS to undercut this confidence by weaseling the facts – but that only goes so far.

    The climate debate is quite different, one side is pushing a “message” to prod the public into action by exaggerating fears. The other side is pushing against those fears.

    The problem is the penalty for pushing fear and being wrong is always greater than the cost of pushing against fear and being wrong. In that sense, Watts, Morano and Inhofe will always have the advantage.

    What I am seeing on this page is a failure of partisans to see their opponents in themselves. Both sides engage in the exact same conspiracy theories and minimalization tactics. You yourself raised the specter of Koch (Big Oil) and minimalized ClimateGate.

    Sorry but the effective skeptics like Steve McIntyre, Anthony Watts and lukewarmers like Judith Curry have no connection to Koch or Big Oil and you entirely missed the point of ClimateGate which is the IPCC would be better off without lawbreakers like Rajendra Pachauri, Phil Jones, Micheal Mann, just as the nation was better off without Nixon after WaterGate.

    Climate change will under intense fire in the coming decade as the lesson from the failures of alternate/green energy schemes in Europe and the US wind their way into the public consciousness.

    This is a time to reconsider the message and the messages rather than focus on the opposition.

  173. #174 GregS
    May 24, 2012

    Judith Curry posted a great piece on The Heartburn at Heartland

    I hope it serves as a cautionary tale for all sides.

  174. #175 GregS
    May 24, 2012

    Mark, since you seem willing to engage in these conversations, would you care to address denialism as its own topic?

    At least in my mind, denialism is almost always a proxy fight over symbols rather than substance. I see the creationism debate more as a struggle against outsiders than as a religious issue. The same can be said of the dust up over vaccines which is over a fear of over-reaching authority.

    Similarly, I view the urge to fight against “denialism” more as a manifestation of progressive politics attacking the core beliefs of those it believes to be political rivals. In this battle, partisan positions get elevated to truths.

    For illustration, let’s take creationism. To be clear, I am not a creationist, quite the opposite. I look for biological and evolutionary answers to societal problems, being far more interested in a criminal’s medications, peer culture and impulse control than the horrible thing they might have done.

    So I look at creationism more as a social phenomena than a scientific question.

    Looking at it that way, it is clear why facts will never sway a creationist – their interest is social cohesion, not science. Even though they poorly articulate it, they are driven by perceived threats against their community – therefore attacks against their arguments only reinforce their fears and resolve.

    Quite tellingly, progressives almost never launch bitter denialist attacks against the Amish, who perhaps are the most denialistic of all groups.

    But it was not always that way.

    Down here in Southern Minnesota and Northern Iowa we have an enduring memory of National Guardsmen chasing Amish children through corn fields to enforce compulsory school attendance laws.

    Wisconsin v. Yoder (1972) pretty much put an end to that which ultimately opened the door to home-schooling, voucher laws and on-line education.

    Ironically, it may have been the progressive urge to enforce compulsory schooling that ultimately shot a hole in the center of the progressive political world – public education.

    The take away is to quietly assert the facts – and leave politics out of it – no matter what the other side does.

  175. #176 Brent
    Telford UK
    May 24, 2012

    Hey, remember how they ‘outed’ that Gleick fellow by text analysis?

    We’re running software to identify if “User Illusion” (wha???) has previous. My money is on a christian name beginning with J.

  176. #177 Composer99
    http://composer99.blogspot.com
    May 25, 2012

    GregS (May 24 7:46 pm):

    If you want to say ridiculous things such as:

    Similarly, I view the urge to fight against “denialism” more as a manifestation of progressive politics attacking the core beliefs of those it believes to be political rivals. In this battle, partisan positions get elevated to truths.

    then go right ahead.

    But don’t think you won’t get called out for it. Because it’s ridiculous. And given the statement you made about the anti-vaccine movement in the same comment as the above cite (go review Respectful Insolence elsewhere on ScienceBlogs to get an idea of what they’re all about) one gets the feeling you’ve got ridiculous views on a number of science-policy intersections.

    The mainstream climate science position is espoused by nearly every practicing climate scientist and nearly every national, international, or otherwise major association of scientists.

    The reason it has reached that state of acceptance is because mainstream climate science is currently supported by a massive, interlocking web of physics theory (from Fourier through to the Cold War atmospheric & ocean research), experiment (in the lab & in computer models) and empirical observation.

    Against this interlocking web of theory, experiment & empiricism, we have the kinds of BS you continue to spout about the UEA-CRU hack, baloney about progressive tribalism, physics crankery (by the likes of, say, Christopher Monckton), defending charlatans like Watts & Curry (the latter is now allowing threats of violence against climate scientists free reign on her blog, by the way).

    It’s BS, and like any BS it needs to be called out.

  177. #178 Poptech
    US
    May 27, 2012

    SLC, May 20, 10:01 am

    The criticisms are out dated and completely refuted,

    Are Skeptical Scientists funded by ExxonMobil?

    http://www.populartechnology.net/2011/05/are-skeptical-scientists-funded-by.html

    Rebuttal to “Don’t Be Fooled: Fossil Fools Fund Latest Climate Skeptic Petition”

    http://z4.invisionfree.com/Popular_Technology/index.php?showtopic=4033

    Rebuttal to “Using our paper to support skepticism of anthropogenic global warming is misleading.” Part II of our analysis of the 900+ climate skeptic papers

    http://z4.invisionfree.com/Popular_Technology/index.php?showtopic=4034

  178. #179 Poptech
    US
    May 27, 2012

    MarkH May 21, 1:03 pm

    Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences is a peer-reviewed science journal (ISSN: 1976-7633)

    http://ip-science.thomsonreuters.com/cgi-bin/jrnlst/jlresults.cgi?PC=MASTER&ISSN=1976-7633

    You have demonstrate your intellectual dishonesty by lying about the counting method of the list,

    http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/10/peer-reviewed-papers-supporting.html#Counting

    Counting Method: Only Peer-Reviewed papers are counted. Supplemental papers; Addendums, Comments, Corrections, Erratum, Rebuttals, Replies, Responses, and Submitted papers are not counted but listed as references in defense of various papers. There are many more listings than just the over 1000 counted papers,

    Peer-Reviewed Paper Count: 1000+

    Supplemental Paper Count: 50+ (Addendums, Comments, Corrections, Erratum, Rebuttals, Replies, Responses and Submitted papers)

    Your subjective cherry picking of “good” journals and non-peer-reviewed criticisms of any of the papers is meaningless. When you publish a peer-reviewed criticism of any of the papers on the list let me know.

    What has been shown is you don’t even do the very basics of reading explicit notes on the list before lying about it being “padded” with supplemental papers.

    Your strawman argument about the list not being a unified theory is refuted by the purpose of the list which again is explicitly stated,

    http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/10/peer-reviewed-papers-supporting.html#Purpose

    Purpose: To provide a resource for peer-reviewed papers that support skeptic arguments against ACC/AGW or ACC/AGW Alarm and to prove that these papers exist contrary to widely held beliefs,

  179. #180 Mark
    May 28, 2012

    Ah, I saw that they were listed but didn’t realize they were not counted. You could see how that could appear to be padding. As far as the quality of the journals? The Asia-pacific journal of atmospheric sciences is not Nature. The peer-reviewed literature consists of a variety of journals of different quality, your list is assembled of what one would call lower-tier journals. Expecting someone to publish a “peer-reviewed criticism” of these papers is an unrealistic expectation and largely irrelevant. For one, no journal is going to take comments to the editor on papers from 2-20 years ago. Second, they’re not going to publish them because the problem isn’t the papers but your interpretation of them. For instance the science reference I cited does not support your belief that AGW is somehow untrue, if anything it’s evidence of the failure of Idso to make a valid prediction.

    Finally, lists like these are pretty typical denialist drivel. This strategy is classic, and boring, and based on a brief sampling of what you offered there’s no there there. When you look closely you see the articles are being misinterpreted, were wrong, or come from low rent journals.

  180. #181 Poptech
    May 28, 2012

    No I cannot see how someone failing to read the explicit notes would be considered relevant, I actually consider it intellectually dishonest.

    I am well aware you only believe two journals exist on the planet but this is not the case as the list references 291 peer-reviewed journals.

    The “quality” argument is purely subjective and irrelevant to the scientific validity of a paper. The Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences is a scholarly peer-reviewed journal.

    Failure to publish a peer-reviewed criticism makes your arguments against them meaningless. Journals will publish criticisms later on if they are shown to be valid.

    Can you please quote where my list makes the claim that AGW is “untrue”? You seem to not be able to read anything properly and knee-jerk jump to conclusions.

    Your arguments are typical alarmist propaganda; cherry picking papers, strawman arguments, unsubstantiated claims and ad hominem. All are invalid arguments.

  181. #182 Wow
    June 11, 2012

    Your list is entirely predicated on AGW being “wrong”, poptart.

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