First, get a list of over a dozen things you want to say. They don’t have to be true, and many, even most, of them can be versions of each other. Then, when you are in the debate, do this:

Scientist: “If there’s one thing you should take away from this discussion, it’s…

Denialist [interrupting]: Thing one, thing two, thing three, thing four, thing five.

Scientist: “Actually, that thing four you said, that’s not really true ..

Denialist [interrupting]: Thing six, thing seven, thing eight, thing nine, thing ten.

Scientist: We can’t be sure of everything but one thing we are pretty sure of is…

Denialist [interrupting]: I’m sure of thing eleven, thing twelve, thing thirteen thing fourteen.

Moderator [scowling at denialist]: Let’s give the scientist a chance to explain thing two.

Scientist [flustered]: Thing two.. Well, what is really important is that, well, that’s not important; to know why thing two is incorrect you need to understand ….

Denialist [interrupting]: thing fifteen, thing sixteen, thing seventeen, thing eighteen, thing nineteen

Moderator: Well, that’s all the time we have, please join us next week..

Denialist [interrupting]: thing twenty, thing twenty-one, thing twenty two ….

Denialist wins debate.

Comments

  1. #1 American Idiot
    October 2, 2013

    It’s called the Gish Gallop, after creationist Duane Gish who was an enthusiastic user of this technique. See http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Gish_Gallop

    Interesting how denialists of all stripes use remarkably similar methods.

  2. #2 G
    California USA
    October 2, 2013

    In summary, “attack wins, explaining loses.” This runs counter to our rationalist beliefs, as does “emotions determine behavior,” but this is how the vast majority of humans’ minds work.

    The game can also be played in the opposite direction, with devastating results.

    Get your troll to start “explaining” one of their points. Pepper them with questions. Use emotional indicators such as sighs and yawns to belittle their explanations. Use logical double-binds, and reductio-ad-absurdums carefully applied. There comes a point where your questions can become overtly rhetorical but the troll will react to them anyway. Ideal case, get the troll to over-react and crash his/her/its own credibility.

    The real battle is not fought and won on the level of facts and reason, it’s fought and won (or lost) on the level of emotions. Internalize that point ,or at least use it as a working hypothesis, and you start winning.

    Modest proposal: Graduate-level science education needs to include training in practical social psychology and in rhetorical techniques & tactics. Otherwise most working scientists who venture into the realm of public debate will be eaten like Bambi stumbling into a den of hyenas.

  3. #3 Greg Laden
    October 2, 2013

    But, see, you’ve fallen into the trap. You can’t get the troll to explain something, or do anything else. The troll is the everready bunny. The winning tactic is to have your list of things to say and just say them.

  4. #4 pinroot
    October 3, 2013

    I’d be happy if you could point out an occurrence of this actually happening since I haven’t seen any scientists who will actually debate skeptics.

    Sounds more like projection to me…

  5. #5 Mike de Fleuriot
    October 3, 2013

    The only way to feel good about encountering such a person is to use a running throat punch.

  6. #6 elspi
    October 3, 2013

    “I’d be happy if you could point out an occurrence of this actually happening”

    You mean every time Monckton opens his mouth.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbW-aHvjOgM#t=13

    Don’t project your projection onto us.

  7. #7 Artor
    October 4, 2013

    Pinroot, the very first comment in the thread links to Duane Gish, for whom this was standard operating procedure. Your accusation of projection reveals you to be willfully ignorant. Seriously, read up or take that crap back to church where it will be appreciated.

  8. #8 David Kirtley
    October 4, 2013

    Look, a squirrel!!!

    Climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe wrote a piece trying to convince Christians: http://www.christianpost.com/news/climate-change-evangelical-scientists-say-limbaugh-wrong-faith-and-science-compliment-one-another-103470/

    And then Roy Spencer challenged her to a “debate”: http://www.christianpost.com/news/climate-change-rebuttal-evangelical-scientists-correct-one-error-make-others-of-their-own-104158/

    I hope she doesn’t fall for it.

  9. #9 Ryan
    October 5, 2013

    Spencer is a climate creationist. He think the earth system is self-correcting because God made it that way. The sooner everyone starts using that term the sooner people will stop taking him seriously.

  10. #10 Chris Winter
    October 6, 2013

    Here’s a perfect example, although it’s mostly plain old politics from Art Robinson with (IIRC) only a little about climate change in the eleven minutes of his interview with Rachel Maddow. True, she’s not a scientist; but who can doubt that Robinson would treat a mainstream scientist any differently?

    Robinson is the man behind the OISM Petition. Here he was running in 2010 for the House seat held by Pete DeFazio. He lost.

  11. #11 Chris Winter
    October 6, 2013

    Whoops. Make that “who can doubt that Robinson would treat a mainstream scientist the same way?”

  12. #12 Peanut butter
    Britain
    October 7, 2013

    Troll Games.

    Scientist needs to learn a nice long list of names of logical fallacies and then apply then randomly but not outrageously to the Things. To the list can be added labels such as “falsehood”, “lie”, “badly stated”, “wishful thinging” (sic ;-), “incorrect”, “well debunked”, “so last century”, etc.

    The labeling response to a list of Things can be about as quick as Denier takes to reel them off and the battle can go on as long as Denier has cards to play.

    If Scientist is ever given the time to explain why a given label applies to a particular Thing then she just ignores that and goes straight into explaining why Thing is wrong.

  13. #13 GregH
    January 3, 2014

    It probably wouldn’t work here, but in MSM websites I’ve had some luck gently poking fun at the denialist choice of simplistic statements, grandiose claims and repetition of mantras (“ALGORE!”). If nothing else, they find this puzzling, and the more sympathetic and pleasant the encounter, the more likely they are to ask fair questions and express their real concerns as opposed to talking points. I’m not sure if any of them have changed their minds though…

  14. #14 Bill
    January 3, 2014

    Hey Greg, you know another underhanded tactic for swaying public opinion? Constantly give your opposition the label of “Science Deniers”. Make sure your audience knows that your opponent is a “Science Denier” before they get a chance to hear both sides. You guys seem to be very good at that.

  15. #15 Aachen
    Aberdeen, SD
    January 3, 2014

    Bill @ 14

    One who denies the results of scientific inquiry is, in fact, a denier of science. Care to get a bit more specific? What “two sides” of which science are you referencing?

  16. #16 Brad Keyes
    Sydney
    January 4, 2014

    Still waiting for an example of alarmist climate scientists having enough courage in their convictions to debate non-alarmist scientists.

    The abiding image is of Gavin Schmidt on John Stossel’s show, refusing to speak unless Roy Spencer left the room.

    Craven little schoolgirls.

  17. #17 Brad Keyes
    January 4, 2014

    Aachen:

    “One who denies the results of scientific inquiry is, in fact, a denier of science.”

    The only result of any scientific inquiry is evidence. Anyone who denies evidence is rightly mocked. However, the vast majority of alleged science deniers are guilty of nothing more than disputing a *consensus.* In other words, guilty of nothing.

  18. #18 Walt Jones
    January 4, 2014

    Disputing a consensus without providing evidence is denial.

  19. #19 Aachen
    Aberdeen, SD
    January 4, 2014

    Brad@17: Are you speaking for the vast majority? If we’re basing it on personal experience, quite a few people who I’ve met that deny scientific evidence or a theory (in fact, from memory the overwhelming majority) misunderstand what they’re objecting to. Maybe my impression is a result of my location (or that wretched thing, memory).

  20. #20 Greg Laden
    January 4, 2014

    “The only result of any scientific inquiry is evidence.” Not really, no.

    “However, the vast majority of alleged science deniers are guilty of nothing more than disputing a *consensus.*”

    No, actually, that is not the case at all. I’ve seen individual deniers disputing evidence, then accepting the same evidence moments later and then disputing a different set of evidence, then accepting that and focusing for a while on a policy implication, and so on and so forth. Science deniers are not disputing evidence. They are disputing either rational though in general, or they are working towards a political agenda that happens to be interfered with by an inconvenient truth or two.

  21. #21 Brad Keyes
    January 4, 2014

    Walt:

    “Disputing a consensus without providing evidence is denial.”

    No it isn’t. That which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence—and consensus is a form of opinion, not* evidence.

    *As a non-scientist you’re probably not aware of the too-obvious-for-words scientific axiom that opinion and evidence are radically distinct things and must never be conflated.

  22. #22 Brad Keyes
    January 4, 2014

    Greg:

    “Science deniers are not disputing evidence. They are disputing either rational though in general,”

    I don’t know what your second sentence means.

    Did you mean “rational thought”? Who disputes that? I’ll have to take your word that you’ve encountered such people. Or you could link me to such a comment—you’ve genuinely piqued my anthropological curiosity now.

    “or they are working towards a political agenda that happens to be interfered with by an inconvenient truth or two.”

    Hang on—is science denial a question of *motive* now? Well I’m afraid I can’t add anything on that point, as I’m not a mind reader.

  23. #23 Brad Keyes
    January 4, 2014

    Aachen:

    “Maybe my impression is a result of my location (or that wretched thing, memory).”

    Wow—what a skeptical thing to say!

    Let me add exactly the same qualification to my own remarks. It’s virtually inevitable that my mental sample of “denier” behavior falls short of being truly representative.

  24. #24 Aachen
    January 4, 2014

    Brad@23:

    Consider it a rhetorical device, if you’d prefer. I think it’s worth noting, though, that distilling the reasonings, knowledges, experiences and motives of such a diverse group down to “disputing a concensus” doesn’t go anywhere too useful.

    I will aver that in a recent discussion I agreed to explain my reasons for accepting evolutionary theory. I had little enough opportunity to introduce evidence; within minutes, my partner had denied the existence of a fossil record, jumped off the subject of evolution to rail against abiogenesis, eyerolled about the impossibility of speciation (“dog can’t give birth to a cat” though I can’t remember the specific animals) and afterwards insistently demanded “proof” of evolution (xe literally chanted “Prove evolution!” to the point where I could not even speak for several minutes). I thought it would be best to start with considering “What is a species?” but when I asked the question …. I got a blank stare.

    Is that disputing a consensus?

    Greg @20:

    It’s hard enough to overcome a Gallop when you’re just trying to have an honest discussion with a person (tactic’s an impressive mental armor); cannot imagine how frustrated I’d be if I were faced with one in a more formal setting.

  25. #25 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 4, 2014

    “Is that disputing a consensus?”

    Probably—but to call it such would be trivial and point-missing.

    The problem with evolution deniers is that they deny a theory so well-confirmed as to approach the status of natural law.

    That they dispute a *majority opinion* is irrelevant and uninteresting, if true.

    I blame the climate movement for your confusion, by the way.

  26. #26 Jay
    January 5, 2014

    As Mark Twain said, when you debate with stupid people they will first drag you down to their level and then beat you by experience.

  27. #27 dean
    January 5, 2014

    However, the vast majority of alleged science deniers are guilty of nothing more than disputing a *consensus.*

    That is an astoundingly stupid statement, one that can only be made by someone who is ignoring (that is, denying) evidence.

  28. #28 Marco
    January 6, 2014

    “Still waiting for an example of alarmist climate scientists having enough courage in their convictions to debate non-alarmist scientists.
    The abiding image is of Gavin Schmidt on John Stossel’s show, refusing to speak unless Roy Spencer left the room.”

    Brad, what do you mean with “alarmist” and “convictions”?

    Important question, since Schmidt is decidedly low-key on policy and implications of AGW, but maybe in your opinion his scientific view of 2+ degrees climate sensitivity with CO2 the main driver of current warming is enough to be called “alarmist”? If so, you should be applauding Schmidt’s request not to make it into a debate, because everyone knows it would never have become a debate on the science. Not with Roy Spencer, not on Fox.

    Oh, and what about Lindzen vs Dessler?
    Monckton vs Lambert?
    Plimer vs Monbiot?
    Monckton vs Hadfield? Oh wait, that never happened, Monckton ran away from that challenge.

  29. #29 Brad Keyes
    January 6, 2014

    dean, when I said:

    “However, the vast majority of alleged science deniers are guilty of nothing more than disputing a *consensus.*”

    I need to admit that I was *only* thinking, and *only* talking, about alleged *climate* science deniers.

    I have no recent experience with people who denialise evolution. In fact, I forgot they exist. In fact, I forgot there was any extra-climatic interpretation of the epithet “science denialist[s].”

    In case that helps.

  30. #30 Brad Keyes
    January 6, 2014

    Marco:

    “everyone knows it would never have become a debate on the science. Not with Roy Spencer, not on Fox.”

    How does everyone know that? I don’t know that. I was under the impression Roy Spencer was a climate scientist. Is he not?

    “Oh, and what about Lindzen vs Dessler?”

    I forgot about it, that’s what about it. Was it a public debate? I’ll Google it in a minute to refresh my memory.

    ” Monckton vs Lambert?”

    What about it? I don’t see the name of a climate scientist there. Lambert is a nice guy—he gave me a 97—but he’s a computer graphics lecturer.

    ” Plimer vs Monbiot?”

    Again: Monbiot is a nice guy—OK, that’s not true—but he’s not a climate scientist.

    ” Monckton vs Hadfield? … Monckton ran away from that challenge.”

    That’s an interesting summary of events.

  31. #31 Marco
    January 6, 2014

    Brad, you may want to answer the very first question first. What do you mean with “alarmist” and what with “convictions”?

    As I noted, it is an important question.

    The answer to your “How does everyone know that?” is easily answered by actually watching that John Stossel show. It starts with Stossel showing a small rubber boat, and when rapidly thereafter the screen shows two telling words: “green tyranny”. Or just look up John Stossel’s history in the field.

  32. #32 Brad Keyes
    January 6, 2014

    Marco:

    “What do you mean with “alarmist””

    Someone who argues we should be afraid (e.g. of global warming).

    “and what with “convictions”?”

    But I didn’t say “convictions”, I said “the courage of their convictions.” The phrase is an atom, and a term of art, so I won’t define the individual words for you. As a whole it implies both sincerity and confidence.

    The John Stossel excuse doesn’t make sense to me. If his show is such an unscientific joke, why did Schmidt agree to appear on it? And since he did agree, then why did he insist on being the only scientist allowed to speak? Wouldn’t two scientists be better than one? That is, unless Gavin was afraid of being contradicted.

  33. #33 Brad Keyes
    January 6, 2014

    Marco:

    “What do you mean with “alarmist””

    To elaborate on the definition I gave above, an “alarmist” is also (in the climate-change context) an advocate of Doing Something. He or she is, therefore, the opposite of a calmist, inactivist or apathist like me.

    Note that the concept of disingenuous and/or unjustified alarm doesn’t enter the definition at any point, at least not for me. Alarmism is both rational and moral… if there’s something worth being alarmed about.

    NB: I’m aware that the word can also be used pejoratively, but I don’t use it that way and I see no reason why those who consider themselves rational, moral “alarmists” couldn’t appropriate the word’s connotations for themselves.

  34. #34 Marco
    January 6, 2014

    Good, then tell me where Gavin Schmidt tells us we should be afraid. If you cannot find that, you owe Gavin Schmidt a major apology (and a more minor one to us here).

    Your attempt to redirect my question on “conviction” is also duly noted. Funnily enough, you have actually answered it already: the convictions you refer to are that we should be afraid.

    Furthermore, anyone who knows a little bit about how the media works will understand what I said: if you have a moderator who has a clear bias, you know that any debate will not be moderated even remotely fairly. By making it a Q&A session you can actually make your point much easier. You can say what *you* think, rather than having to react to the nonsense of the other.
    Moreover, I also think Gavin Schmidt made it quite clear why he did not want a debate: no interest in feeding the desire of Stossel for a heated discussion.

  35. #35 Marco
    January 6, 2014

    You just changed your description of “alarmist”. One does not need to be afraid to advocate doing something. Plenty of examples of that, and I am sure you can easily find them.

  36. #36 Greg Laden
    January 6, 2014

    Brad Keyes: “Still waiting for an example of alarmist climate scientists having enough courage in their convictions to debate non-alarmist scientists.”

    Sorry, I did not notice this earlier. First, you need to change your rhetoric. We don’t like the word “Alarmist” here because it denigrates hard working legitimate valid scientists.

    Anyway, it sounds like you are asking for examples of climate science denialists and/or self styled skeptics debating with climate scientists, or at least, of climate scientists offering to or willing to debate.

    Personally I think scientists should not debate science denialists simply because of the very different frameworks in which the two operate, as demonstrated by the somewhat tongue-in-cheek dialog in the original post above. But I’m pretty sure there have been examples of this.

    More importantly, though, than pro and anti science people debating on what would eventually become so many youtube videos, there are those of us who want to see our elected officials debate the science. Shawn Otto and others have created the Science Debate movement, starting in 08, to try to arrange debates over science policy (climate change being a key but not the only issue) among the presidential candidates.

    I hope you and all the people on this comment thread will join in with promoting the idea of a debate among those running for office in the United States on science issues, given that science policy is so important.

  37. #37 Sylvester B
    January 6, 2014

    I support debate of all public issues. And insofar as climate activists are pressing for government action, climate projections are a legitimate subject for debate. I would like to see a debate…or discussion, rather…of the IPCC projections. Preferably by someone from the IPCC scientific branch…not the summary for politicians branch… and someone who has the knowledge of the science but disputes some of the predicted catastrophes. Maybe the guy from Huntsville (forgot his name). Fear of debate seems to be a hint that the proponent would not do well. Note: I do not want a shouting match that would not advance the science or my scientific understanding.

  38. #38 Greg Laden
    January 6, 2014

    Sylvester, the reality of climate change is not a subject for debate at all. Might as well debate the reality of bigfoot.

    I would like to agree with you that policy and to some extent projection are a thing that could be “debated” publicly but the science denialists have excluded themselves from serious consideration for any such debate.

    There is no fear of debate here. There is simply disdain for chicanery and foolishness, distrust of liars, a sense of urgency that requires that we leave the fools and children behind and move foreword.

  39. #39 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 6, 2014

    “Sylvester, the reality of climate change is not a subject for debate at all. Might as well debate the reality of bigfoot.”

    Where in Sylvester’s comment does he suggest we debate “the reality of climate change”? When have I ever suggested this? When has anybody ever disputed “the reality of climate change”?

    The “disdain for chicanery and foolishness” is more multilateral than you seem to realize.

  40. #40 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 6, 2014

    “Good, then tell me where Gavin Schmidt tells us we should be afraid.”

    By running RealClimate.

    “If you cannot find that, you owe Gavin Schmidt a major apology (and a more minor one to us here).”

    What a bizarre abreaction. If I thought anthropogenic climate change was going to traumatize the biosphere I’d be afraid of it. What’s so embarrassing about that? No, hang on, rhetorical question: the answer is nothing. There’s nothing embarrassing about it.

    Your protest is therefore, as I may have mentioned earlier, bizarre.

    In a telling kind of way.

  41. #41 Brad Keyes
    January 6, 2014

    Marco:

    “Your attempt to redirect my question on “conviction” is also duly noted.”

    Attempt? I *DID* redirect your question. Because your question made no sense. Because I hadn’t said anything about anyone’s “convictions.”

    “Funnily enough, you have actually answered it already”

    Yet you’re still complaining—as they say, “funnily enough.”

    “You just changed your description of “alarmist”. One does not need to be afraid to advocate doing something.”

    Well, one of us is attempting to change my definition, but it ain’t me. Anyone who reads my comment can see I didn’t even begin to suggest anyone needed to be afraid in order to advocate action. What does “also” mean in Marcoese? Actually, no—I don’t care.

  42. #42 Brad Keyes
    January 6, 2014

    “Personally I think scientists should not debate science denialists”

    First, you need to change your rhetoric. We don’t like the word “denialist” here because it denigrates hard working legitimate valid scientists and other citizens who have never denialized science in their lives.

    Unless, of course, you’ve clandestinely switched the topic to the evolution debate, in which case go ahead, denigrate away.

  43. #43 Greg Laden
    January 6, 2014

    “First, you need to change your rhetoric. We don’t like the word “denialist” here because it denigrates hard working legitimate valid scientists and other citizens who have never denialized science in their lives.”

    No it does not.

  44. #44 Brad Keyes
    January 6, 2014

    Greg:

    “No it does not.”

    This blanket denialization is less than cogent. Denialize what I said all you want; it remains the case.

  45. #45 Brad Keyes
    January 6, 2014

    Greg, sorry for not noticing this earlier:

    “I hope you and all the people on this comment thread will join in with promoting the idea of a debate among those running for office in the United States on science issues, given that science policy is so important.”

    Sounds great, in principle. I’d have 2 personal reservations against signing such a petition:

    1. I don’t live in the United States (so if you’re wondering how anyone could be so naive about John Stossel’s show / the FOX agenda / whatever, there you go)

    2. “Those running for office” are not, as I understand it, scientists. Therefore, no matter how well-meaning or science-engaged they are, I have to wonder how they can be expected to understand and hold themselves to the rules of scientific debate—which are, after all, both foreign and unintuitive to non-scientific debaters.

    You’ll notice that I was careful, above, to ask for climate scientists to debate climate scientists, not muggles or vice versa. For one thing, science is not rhetorical (rhetoric being a form of motivated reasoning, which is profoundly unscientific).

  46. #46 Marco
    January 7, 2014

    Brad Keyes #41:
    “Anyone who reads my comment can see I didn’t even begin to suggest anyone needed to be afraid in order to advocate action”

    Brad Keyes #32: [answer to question what an alarmist is]
    “Someone who argues we should be afraid (e.g. of global warming).”

    Brad Keyes #33: [answer to question what an alarmist is, part deux]
    “an “alarmist” is also (in the climate-change context) an advocate of Doing Something”

    “also” can in plain English mean A and B (afraid AND advocating something). Apparently you meant it in the “either, or” format, but that’s not clear by opposing it to the words “apathist” or “calmist” (“inactivist”, maybe), and does not make much sense. Then again, little you say makes actual sense, considering that you think Gavin Schmidt running realclimate is somehow evidence that Gavin Schmidt is telling people to be afraid.

  47. #47 Brad Keyes
    January 7, 2014

    Marco:

    ““also” can in plain English mean A and B (afraid AND advocating something).”

    Not only can it mean that, it DOES mean that. Not only does it mean that, it HAS to mean that. It only has one meaning. How said meaning continues to elude you I’ll refrain from speculating.

  48. #48 Brad Keyes
    January 7, 2014

    Marco, one last thing:

    “Then again, little you say makes actual sense, considering that you think Gavin Schmidt running realclimate is somehow evidence that Gavin Schmidt is telling people to be afraid.”

    If you believe AGW is going to be as traumatic as RealClimate argues, and you’re not:

    1. alarmed

    and

    2. trying to raise the alarm (i.e. being “alarmist”)

    then there’s something wrong with you

    1. rationally

    and

    2. morally.

    That is all.

  49. #49 Marco
    January 7, 2014

    Brad, you are assigning motive based on your own fear, as evident from your use of the term “traumatic” and claiming this is what Realclimate argues.

    Looks more and more like you deny the science because it makes you afraid. Perhaps you might want to do some introspection on your cognitive dissonance there.

  50. #50 Brad Keyes
    January 7, 2014

    “Brad, you are assigning motive based on your own fear, as evident from your use of the term “traumatic” and claiming this is what Realclimate argues.”

    It isn’t? I’ve misread them, have I? Is their position actually more like mine: that it *won’t* be “traumatic”? More like “harmless”, then? Great. I’ll have to take another look at the site. Haven’t been back since I was censored there a few years ago.

  51. #51 Marco
    January 7, 2014

    Brad, with your level of cognitive dissonance, better not go to Realclimate. You’ll just interpret it in the most negative way anyway. I’m sure you will be able to find an article that talks about possible impacts and say “See! They claim AGW will be traumatic!”, ignoring all caveats and proclaiming words like “significant impact” or “more hurricanes” are evidence that AGW will be “traumatic”.

    You must be very upset with just about every site that discusses science and points out potential negative impacts. You should try a website discussing economics! You’ll really enjoy telling them their only aim is to spread fear.

  52. #52 dean
    January 7, 2014

    I need to admit that I was *only* thinking, and *only* talking, about alleged *climate* science deniers.

    You know, that bit of explanation doesn’t dig you out of the stupid realm the way you think it does.

    First, you need to change your rhetoric. We don’t like the word “denialist” here because it denigrates hard working legitimate valid scientists and other citizens who have never denialized science in their lives.

    Actually it is the perfect descriptor for the people to whom it is applied – like you.

    Haven’t been back since I was censored there a few years ago.

    Gee (assuming you are telling the truth, which is far from obvious) I can’t imagine why they wouldn’t take you seriously.

  53. #53 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 7, 2014

    Marco, these adjective games were boring at the outset and are only getting more so.

    If you believe AGW is going to be as bad as RealClimate argues, and you’re not:

    1. alarmed

    and

    2. trying to raise the alarm (i.e. being “alarmist”)

    then there’s something wrong with you

    1. rationally

    and

    2. morally.

    That is all.

  54. #54 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 8, 2014

    dean:

    “You know, that bit of explanation doesn’t dig you out of the stupid realm the way you think it does.”

    Ah, but it does. You see, my comment, when understood properly—as applying specificly to the climate-change debate—goes from “unbelievably stupid” to believably astute.

    I’d be amused to know precisely what “science” you imagine I “deny” and why, but my hopes of your ability to tell us aren’t exactly high.

  55. #55 Marco
    January 8, 2014

    Brad, clearly you deny mainstream climate science. This is easily shown: Realclimate is by and large the voice of mainstream climate science (IPCC WG1, WG2 and 3 hardly get a mention). You yourself state that if you are not alarmed and not become alarmist when reading Realclimate, there is something wrong with you rationally and morally. Since you also proclaim you are NOT an “alarmist”, you must be denying mainstream climate science.

    QED.

  56. #56 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 8, 2014

    “Realclimate is by and large the voice of mainstream climate science (IPCC WG1, WG2 and 3 hardly get a mention).”

    Sorry, but is that an argument or two unrelated assertions?

    By the way is Dr Mann an exemplar of “mainstream climate science,” in your mind?

    “You yourself state that if you are not alarmed and not become [sic] alarmist when reading Realclimate, there is something wrong with you rationally and morally.”

    I don’t state that. Nor do I agree with that. But if I had stated that, would you agree with it?

  57. #57 phillydoug
    January 8, 2014

    Greg,

    I may have said this in a comment long, long ago, but you really have much more patience than I do. Clearly it’s better that you, and not me, go about the work of explaining reality to people who would rather not live in it.

    Mr. Keyes, I would suggest, tells us more than enough about his worldview with the link under his name: “www.climatenuremburg.com”.

    Undoubtedly, the allusion to the post-WWII war crimes trials of the Nazis is meant to evoke the heroic struggle of the Allies (Mr. Keyes presumably places himself in this group) against the absolute evil of fascism (er, that would be scientists alerting us to the catastrophic effects of overloading the atmosphere with carbon, I guess).

    I presume this is what is meant by ‘climate Nuremburg’, since he can’t possibly mean that climate change denialists are the Nazis in this analogy; so no, it’s the fascist scientists who are ‘on trial’ for their– wait for it– ‘crimes against humanity’. Because, you know, if you’ve progressed past fourth grade history, you’d be aware that’s what the Nuremburg trials were about.

    And if you knew anything about history, you’d also know the Nazis went to great lengths to suppress science and scholarly studies that failed to support the myth of Aryan superiority, or the Nazi program in general. In short, for Nazis, ideology trumped scientific evidence, and science was tool to accomplish political goals, nothing more (emphasis on the opening line *If you knew anything about history*).

    My reaction to anyone who might casually toss around a word like Nuremburg when purporting to rationally discuss scientific evidence of man-made climate change? Ask for a full a refund for whatever your parents paid for that discount education you got, since you clearly failed to learn history, science, or critical thinking.

    Since Mr. Keyes considers himself so, so clever (climate Nuremburg, get it? get it?), and also heroic in this struggle against them evil scientists, he’s already convinced himself he’s the one fighting for truth, justice and the American way– hell, I’m surprised he doesn’t refer to himself as Clark Kent– so actually having a reasoned conversation gets you nowhere.

    Again, Greg, you’re much more patient than me.

  58. #58 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 8, 2014

    phillydoug,

    you give me altogether too much credit. The phrase “climate Nuremberg” was (obviously, I would’ve thought) coined by your “side”, not mine. It was David Roberts of Grist who wrote,

    “When we’ve finally gotten serious about global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we’re in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these bastards—some sort of climate Nuremberg.”

    Also, my blog has nothing to do with that. As you could have verified by simply glancing at it (thus saving yourself the indignation).

    Other than that though, sterling analysis of my psyche!

    I almost feel I owe you money for your services.

    “(er, that would be scientists alerting us to the catastrophic effects of overloading the atmosphere with carbon, I guess)”

    Catastrophic effects? Interesting. If I didn’t know it was just a “denialist strawman,” I might almost think you were suggesting the reality of catastrophic AGW, or “CAGW” as we denialists derisively call it.

    Perhaps you and Marco (who denies that anything traumatic is supposed to happen with climate change) should pencil in some time to hash out your differences on the subject. (I’d pay to watch that.)

    “climate Nuremburg, get it? get it?”

    Yes, I’m pretty sure everyone got it long ago, possibly around the time David Roberts first said it.

    “Again, Greg, you’re much more patient than me.”

    It would appear so. Fools rush in, and all that.

  59. #59 Marco
    January 8, 2014

    Brd Keyes, you are kindly asked not to spread lies about me. I have not stated that nothing traumatic is supposed to happen with climate change. Nowhere.

    Regarding your question about Mike Mann: a person cannot be mainstream science, at best his views on the science can be in accordance with mainstream. And they are by-and-large in the case of Mike Mann.

    Regarding what you said about Realclimate I apologise for stating that by reading their site you should become alarmist. What I meant is that if you agree with their summary of the status of climate science and what it says, *you* claim that this spells trouble (“If you believe AGW is going to be as bad as RealClimate argues”). As I note, Realclimate ‘s summaries of what the literature says is mainstream climate science. You thus must deny what mainstream climate science says, or otherwise you would (as per your own claims) have to become alarmist…or be rationally and morally wrong. Considering your various posts all over the Internet, I rejected that last option, but perhaps you’d like to convince me you are actually not denying mainstream climate science, you are just irrational and immoral?

  60. #60 dean
    January 8, 2014

    I’d be amused to know precisely what “science” you imagine I “deny”

    You are clearly denying climate science. I have a feeling that, if pressed, you’d be equally as stupid and dishonest about many other areas.

  61. #61 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 8, 2014

    Marco:

    “Regarding what you said about Realclimate I apologise for stating that by reading their site you should become alarmist.”

    No problem—misunderstandings happen.

    “Brd Keyes, you are kindly asked not to spread lies about me. I have not stated that nothing traumatic is supposed to happen with climate change. Nowhere.”

    You haven’t? I thought that was a fairly unavoidable interpretation of passages such as:

    “I’m sure you will be able to find an article that talks about possible impacts and say “See! They claim AGW will be traumatic!”, ignoring all caveats and proclaiming words like “significant impact” or “more hurricanes” are evidence that AGW will be “traumatic”.”

    and:

    “Brad, you are assigning motive based on your own fear, as evident from your use of the term “traumatic” and claiming this is what Realclimate argues.”

    So then, once and for all: if what you call “mainstream” climate science is “right,” then is unchecked BAU AGW likely to be traumatic, or not?

    Yes or no?

  62. #62 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 8, 2014

    And Marco, while we’re on the topic, can you tell me who these “scientists alerting us to the catastrophic effects of overloading the atmosphere with carbon, I guess” are to whom phillydoug refers? (Are they not, by definition, proponents of catastrophic AGW or “CAGW”?) Do they even exist, or are they denialist-strawman figments of phillydoug’s imagination?

  63. #63 Brad Keyes
    January 8, 2014

    Dean:

    “You are clearly denying climate science.”

    Bzzzt. Wrong. Let me stipulate up front: I accept the existence of climate science.

    You’re going to have to do better. Hint: try to put into words what *evidence,* *results* or *data* you believe I deny. Simply naming an entire, obviously-existent field of science isn’t likely to go well for you.

  64. #64 Marco
    January 9, 2014

    Brad, there is do doubt amongst the vast majority of climate scientists that BAU will over time have more and more negative impacts on the biosphere that in turn negatively affect us humans. Whether such negative impacts qualify for the words “traumatic” or “catastrophic” is in the eye of the beholder. Some may recognise the financial and human costs of increasing sea level rise and thus wish to prevent or reduce those, without seeing those costs as “traumatic” or “catastrophic”.

    It has been quite illuminating you essentially admitting that the projections of mainstream climate science on the impact of BAU AGW are so negative that the words “traumatic” and “catastrophic” apply. Which brings me back to the conclusion that you most likely reject the outcome of mainstream climate science, as I doubt that you consider yourself irrational and immoral (but, again, feel free to argue otherwise). You thus deny those outcomes, and thus deny that science.

  65. #65 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 9, 2014

    Marco,

    Projections are not “outcomes” unless they come true, as opposed to far exceeding empirical reality like all alarming projections to date. So not only am I rational and moral, I’m also not in denial of any “outcomes.”

    Whether such negative impacts qualify for the words “traumatic” or “catastrophic” is in the eye of the beholder.

    The eye of the beholder, eh? That’s interesting. Because when I called the alleged future “traumatic” you launched into this cod-psychological pseudoanalysis:

    Brad, you are assigning motive based on your own fear, as evident from your use of the term “traumatic” and claiming this is what Realclimate argues.

    I can only imagine what kind of sub-Freudian gobbledegook you subjected phillydoug to, the first time he dared to go much further than me by actually endorsing the descriptor “catastrophic.” Please link me to the comment in which you read various pathologies into phillydoug’s choice of adjective. I look forward not only to the laughs, but to seeing the evidence that proves you’re not a selectively-motivated hypocrite. Thanks in advance,

    Brad

  66. #66 Marco
    January 9, 2014

    Brad, phillydoug is free to use the descriptors he wishes, and I think we can safely assume he has no problem admitting he is afraid. That is, HIS interpretation of what climate scientists predict amount to, in his mind, catastrophic impacts. You clearly have the same interpretation (apart from you calling them “traumatic”), but then have clearly decided you don’t want to admit to that fear, and thus deny the science. Which you then deny doing…

    I would personally not use the words “catastrophic” or “traumatic” for the projected outcomes. I do, however, recognize those outcomes are mostly negative, albeit not necessarily and maybe unlikely for me personally, and thus have no trouble in recommending action to reduce those impacts. There is thus no need to have fear or expect traumatic/catastrophic outcomes to recommend action.

  67. #67 GregH
    January 9, 2014

    Brad Keyes, for someone who is “apathetic” you sure have a lot to say about your concerns.

  68. #68 Brad Keyes
    January 9, 2014

    GregH,

    fair observation. But I didn’t mean to suggest I was holistically apathetic. I’m just a climate apathist.

    What concerns me is the state of science. You might even say that the dumbing-down of the public conversation on science alarms me. In fact, if we allow the Oreskeites to debauch science into a form of glorified consensualism, science itself will ipso facto stop working. The epistemic stagnation and internecine bitchiness we now associate uniquely with climate science will become the norm in all fields! (Can you imagine if medical science were still resting on its 25-year-old laurels today, as the greenhouse theorists are? Can you imagine finding it impossible to answer a simple question like: “What do we know about genes that we didn’t know 10 years ago?”) And that would be—to borrow a word from phillydoug, but not Marco—catastrophic, don’t you think?

    And that’s why I care.

    And that’s why we fight.

  69. #69 Kevin MacDonald
    United Kingdom
    January 9, 2014

    Can you imagine if medical science were still resting on its 25-year-old laurels today, as the greenhouse theorists

    And what about the gravitationists, those indolent buggers have given us nothing new in nearly a century…

  70. #70 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 9, 2014

    LOL…

    And what about the gravitationists, those indolent buggers have given us nothing new in nearly a century…

    Well, they (“gravitationists”, whoever they were) presumably moved on to other jobs in physics.

    But yes, I kinda walked into that one—so, fair call.

    Let me try to rephrase better:

    Climate scientists in general haven’t told us anything useful about how the climate works since they first told us that we’re all going to die due to greenhouse gas emissions, have they? Climate science doesn’t perform the societal function of a science any more, does it?

    Correct me if I’m wrong. (I’ve asked climate scientists about this and they only seem to be able to “correct” me by naming a handful of meteorological discoveries that came as incidental benefits of increased general-circulation-modelling power—which isn’t, of course, the question I was asking.)

  71. #71 phillydoug
    January 9, 2014

    Brad,

    My sincere apologies. No excuses on my part, not even intoxication– I was simply lazy, and sloppy, beyond my typical susceptibility for laziness and sloppiness when distracted and emotionally charged, and so of no benefit to furthering the conversation.

  72. #72 Greg Laden
    January 9, 2014

    I think we understand evolution at a basic level better than we understand this gravity thing.

  73. #73 GregH
    January 9, 2014

    Brad Keyes: climate scientists … only seem to be able to “correct” me by naming… meteorological discoveries

    So you’ve never heard of atmospheric physics? No wonder you have such hard time understanding climate change.

  74. #74 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 9, 2014

    phillydoug,

    Accepted with thanks. Don’t worry—I doubt anybody who’s taken part in this “emotionally charged” debate (as you put it) can say they haven’t made exactly the same mistake.

    And just to be redundantly explicit, and notwithstanding the title of my blog!, I do not consider it legally or even morally wrong for anyone who genuinely believes in “the catastrophic effects of overloading the atmosphere with carbon” to “alert us” to this. Au contraire—there would be something wrong with them if they didn’t wish to raise the alarm.

    Take it easy,

    B.

  75. #75 phillydoug
    January 9, 2014

    Brad,

    Thanks for the gracious reply.

    I would like to share a link with you ( and the group). It is to the American Institute of Physics website, and an essay (with citations) about the history of the study of how the release of carbon through human activity impacts climate, starting in 1861 with John Tyndall. If nothing else, it more coherently outlines the basis for my views than I could hope to. I would be interested in hearing your take:

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

    Cheers,

    Doug

  76. #76 Brad Keyes
    January 9, 2014

    GregH:

    So you’ve never heard of atmospheric physics?

    Yes, actually, I have.

    No wonder you have such hard time understanding climate change.

    That explanation doesn’t make sense, given that I have heard the phrase “atmospheric physics” before.

    phillydoug:

    I’m in the sort of mood I suspect you were in the other day, so I’d probably better wait a while before reading and responding to that essay. Thanks for sharing the link with us though.

  77. #77 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 9, 2014

    Just quickly, at the risk of further redundancy, I have no quibbles with the evidence showing that “the release of carbon [dioxide] through human activity impacts climate”—as to “how” it impacts climate, and how climate impacts us, we presumably have different views but I do look forward to seeing what the AIP has to say.

    Stay cool Doug—if it’s not politically incorrect to say that to an American right now ;-)

    Brad

  78. #78 Marco
    January 10, 2014

    Brad Keyes tells us:
    “Climate scientists in general haven’t told us anything useful about how the climate works since they first told us that we’re all going to die due to greenhouse gas emissions, have they? Climate science doesn’t perform the societal function of a science any more, does it?”

    Let’s see, when did climate scientists tell us “we’re all going to die due to greenhouse gas emissions”?
    The answer to that is easy: never. And Brad Keyes knows that, but he’s oh-so-worried about the state of climate science that he’s willing to tell lies to express his worries.

    Brad also claims that climate scientists haven’t told us anything useful about climate. Let’s for a moment forget the qualifier following that, although that makes it difficult to find out what timeframe we’re talking about. What exactly does Brad Keyes consider “useful”? I disagree wholeheartedly that climate science hasn’t told us anything useful even if I were to talk last year as the starting point (Brad Keyes’ comment suggests he puts it much earlier). But I likely define “useful” significantly different from Brad Keyes’ definition. For example, getting a better idea about uncertainties and climate changes of the past is highly useful to many. Just, apparently, not people like Brad Keyes.

    I dare claim that this is because Brad Keyes does not like the outcomes of climate science, and therefore anything it comes up with is not useful to him, because it mostly confirms what he wishes to deny: that BAU AGW will have significant negative impacts, impacts he himself calls traumatic.

  79. #79 Brad Keyes
    January 10, 2014

    Marco (as pleasant as ever) writes:

    For example, getting a better idea about uncertainties and climate changes of the past is highly useful to many. Just, apparently, not people like Brad Keyes.

    I wonder, Marco—if you consider it so useful to get a better handle on the uncertainties—useful enough to justify the tens of billions of dollars we’ve paid climate scientists just to figure out how uncertain they are—then why on earth do you care about climate science? It isn’t going to tell you! Remember, climate scientists “make little mention of any uncertainties we might have” (S. Schneider).

    If you really care about the uncertainties, why don’t you pay more attention to the frank and unredacted discussion thereof which is found only in the Climategate emails? The Schneiderian auto-censor isn’t in place when they’re talking in private. Do a text search for phrases like “we know fuck-all” (Trenberth, I think?) and you’ll learn far more than you could ever pick up by listening to the official narrative.

    You’re welcome. :-)

  80. #80 Kevin MacDonald
    January 10, 2014

    Climate science doesn’t perform the societal function of a science any more, does it?

    Sorry, but that’s just nonsense. There is a whole load of work going into understanding effects on things like the Greenland and Antarctic ice shets, methane clathrates, regional climate change that have practical social implication.

  81. #81 Kevin MacDonald
    January 10, 2014

    Remember, climate scientists “make little mention of any uncertainties we might have” (S. Schneider)

    Nobody remembers this because, like your claim that climate scientises “told us that we’re all going to die due to greenhouse gas emissions”, it never happened.

  82. #82 Marco
    January 10, 2014

    Brad Keyes just continues his lies, claiming Schneider said that climate scientists “make little mention of any uncertainties we might have” and Trenberth (or any other climate scientist) said “we know fuck-all” in some e-mails.

    In both cases Brad Keyes completely misrepresents what they really said.

    Alos, the scientific articles and the IPCC are filled with careful statements on the uncertainties.

  83. #83 GregH
    January 10, 2014

    Brad Keyes: at the risk of further redundancy

    No irony there, surely.

  84. #84 carol cowan
    Denver CO
    January 10, 2014

    Lots of Brad babble here….do something constructive and
    explain how the Global Oceanic Conveyor warms and cools
    the earth irrespective of what goes on in the upper atmosphere.
    And why new volcanic islands are being formed, and why
    there is a new ‘discover’ of a new culdesac on the Conveyor.
    I’m listening….

    [REPLY: I wish the role of what you refer to as the global conveyor was as well understood as you imply. Conveyors and orbital geometry have a strong signal during periods of lower atmospheric carbon, probably, but with not higher amounts, like we have now. Thanks for listening. -GTL]

  85. #85 Brad Keyes
    January 10, 2014

    Marco (continuing the relentless march of his charm offensive) makes what, if I didn’t know better, I might assume was an accusation of dishonesty against me:

    In both cases Brad Keyes completely misrepresents what they really said.

    Well, mea maxima fucking culpa. You got me, Marco.

    What Schneider really said is:

    “So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.

    So there we have it: he said “doubts,” not “uncertainties.”

    Which makes all the difference in the world to the point I was trying to infiltrate across a certain person’s calvaria. OK, it makes a little difference. Well, OK, it makes no difference at all.

    And what did Trenberth say about “know[ing] fuck-all”? I guess we’ll never find out, since I don’t remember it verbatim—and I never pretended to—and Marco doesn’t seems particularly keen to tell us (for whatever Marco-specific reasons). I guess some things, like what climate scientists actually think, were meant to remain a mystery!

  86. #86 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 10, 2014

    Carol,

    thanks for your well-substantiated point-by-point critique. Just a minor quibble with:

    Lots of Brad babble here….do something constructive and explain how the Global Oceanic Conveyor warms and cools the earth irrespective of what goes on in the upper atmosphere.

    Constructive? Is “constructive” exactly le mot juste there, Ms Cowan? Wouldn’t an even better descriptor be “irrelevant to and diversionary from the squirrel we’re talking squirrel”?

  87. #87 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 10, 2014

    Oops—I completely destroyed my credibility there by forgetting to close the blockquote. Charles Koch will be pretty pissed with me. I might not even get my monthly check for 50 oil dollars, which are worth 50.72 normal dollars at current exchange rates.

  88. #88 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 10, 2014

    That’s OK though. I don’t hateblog for money. I hateblog for love.

    You people have an, uh, charming day OK? Just don’t be too upset if, next time I swing by, I’m more interested in talking to Doug.

  89. #89 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 11, 2014

    Final interruption to the charmingness of your respective days, I promise:

    To be clear, I did NOT premeditatedly change one of Stephen Schneider’s words in order to make my point.

    I misremembered the word he’d used.

    As I said before, MMFC.

    You take care now

  90. #90 Marco
    January 11, 2014

    Yes, Brad, I accused you of dishonesty, and you continue showing us you are dishonest. The Steve Schneider quote you have taken so much out of context, and still it does not say what you claimed it said. You have had this discussion several places already, and every time it is pointed out that you misrepresent what Schneider says. Considering those frequent discussions it is interesting to see you have now gone even further in your misquoting.

    Also dishonest is to claim that you did not pretend the Trenberth quote was accurate. Heck, you even asked me to do a search on the quote! You only pretended not to know who actually said it. Based on prior experiences with you, with the most recent your continued misrepresentation of what Schneider said in the same comment, I know you indeed meant Trenberth and I know exactly what comment from Trenberth you refer to. And as expected, your interpretation is a complete misrepresentation. Since that comment has been discussed so often in the blogosphere I have no intention to point you to the facts, since you should be able to find them within a few minutes. When you do, however, I am sure you will still continue to misrepresent it. That’s your modus operandi.

  91. #91 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 11, 2014

    Marco,

    The Steve Schneider quote you have taken so much out of context,

    Oh, FFS. Are you a child?

    That’s. What. A. Quote. Is.

    The act of quotation IS the taking of words from one context followed by their insertion into another context.

    Language isn’t exactly your forte, is it?

    Considering those frequent discussions it is interesting to see you have now gone even further in your misquoting.

    OK, OK. I’m the last person to stoop to conspiracy theorising, but I really have no choice here. I have to assume you’re a paid sockpuppet of the Koch brothers whose job it is to make climate believalists seem like unhinged, obnoxiously unpleasant and none-too-bright crybabies. I did not MISQUOTE Stephen Schneider. I misremembered a single word he said and replaced it in my mind with a SYNONYM that has EXACTLY the same significance for the present “conversation” (if that’s what this is) as the ACTUAL word would’ve had.

    You are doing a superb job. Really. I’m in the presence of a master.

    You only pretended not to know who actually said it.

    Oh fuck off. Don’t even be telling me what I did and didn’t know when I told you I didn’t know something.

    So I guessed right, did I? Great. What’s the punishment for guessing correctly according to climate ethics, hmm?

    Actually, no, I’d like to return to my previous position: fuck off, Marco.

  92. #92 Kevin MacDonald
    United Kingdom
    January 11, 2014

    I’m the last person to stoop to conspiracy theorising

    Even though you have spent a good part of this thread suggesting the climate science community are suppressing the uncertainty of their results…

  93. #93 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 11, 2014

    Greg (L.) and Doug,

    if you guys sincerely care about climate change—and I have zero reason to doubt it—then why the hell don’t you put a muzzle on rabid poodles like “Marco”? Neither of you seems stupid. So I have to think you probably know (you must know, right?) exactly how much “help” such nasty zealots are lending to the cause of climate action. And if you are as aware of the problem as I assume you are, why don’t you do anything about it?

    I’m hardly exaggerating when I say I’d prefer to be wrong about climate change—I’d rather ignore “the catastrophic effects of overloading the atmosphere with carbon [dioxide]” (h/t Doug), and live to regret it—than agree with the Marcos of the world on this, or pretty much any other, topic.

    But hey: that’s just me, right?

    Wrong.

    Look around.

    Do you see anyone, anywhere, lining up to join the forces of “good” on climate change any more? Can you (honestly—without deceiving yourselves or me) say you’ve noticed any promising signs recently of progress beyond the roughly 50% of the community you’ve managed to convince w.r.t. the need to act? You know, the same 50% of people who were already convinced 10 years ago?

    Why do you think the climate movement is making bugger-all inroads in the public mind anymore?

    OK, that was a rhetorical question.

    I assure you: I’m not alone in my visceral, hygienic aversion to the repellent proselytization style of the Marcos of your group.

    I just seem to be the only person masochistic and naive enough to make the occasional attempt at engaging such people.

    Lesson learned… until I make the same mistake all over again.

    Anyway, this was my 2 cents. Take it or leave it. I hope you do take it, or at least consider it in the spirit in which it’s offered, because something needs to change. It’s in nobody’s interest, neither yours nor mine, for this ugly excuse of a “debate” to continue the way it’s been going in the last few years.

    Take care,

    Brad

  94. #94 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 11, 2014

    Kevin:

    you have spent a good part of this thread suggesting the climate science community are suppressing the uncertainty of their results…

    What makes you think they’re ignoring Schneider’s advice?

  95. #95 Kevin MacDonald
    January 11, 2014

    What makes you think they’re ignoring Schneider’s advice?

    That the aim if science communication should be “being effective and being honest? Nothing. I’m more interested in why someone who claims they’d be the last to stoop to conspiracy theorising would twist his meaning to suggest that they are doing the opposite.

  96. #96 Marco
    January 11, 2014

    Wow, Brad Keyes just did it again. Removing so much of the context that the quote is a misrepresentation, this time a quote from me. And he defends that as normal practice! In reality it is a known logical fallacy (look up contextomy, Brad; there are even scientific papers on the topic).

    And then he blames me for his own ostrich behavior, because I am supposedly so mean, boo hoo…

  97. #97 phillydoug
    January 11, 2014

    Brad,

    I’ll try and be brief, but I sometimes stuggle with that.

    I don’t want to ‘muzzle’ anyone, whether I agree or disagree with what they say, or how they say it, if for no other reason than I don’t want to be muzzled when I stray from reasonable discourse ( as I do all too often). I think it is better to allow others to speak, even if I find it offensive, or irrelevant to the discussion. I’d rather (if I’m in the mood) advocate for more respectful communication, even though I have fallen short of that standard myself (as you are well aware). Whether I can get anyone else to agree with maintaining a more civil tone is not the point. I can always choose not to respond if I don’t like how they conduct themselves, if I grow tired of arguments over tone, rather than arguments over ideas and evidence. And I’m keenly aware that, given my track record for over-heated rhetoric– long before this conversation, long before I’d ever encountered Greg and his blogs– I shouldn’t be too quick to fault others in this regard.

    There is one statement you made which I would like to respond to, since it involves some implict claims, statements about what you have observed about the world and the people in it:

    “Do you see anyone, anywhere, lining up to join the forces of “good” on climate change any more? Can you (honestly—without deceiving yourselves or me) say you’ve noticed any promising signs recently of progress beyond the roughly 50% of the community you’ve managed to convince w.r.t. the need to act? You know, the same 50% of people who were already convinced 10 years ago?”

    I hope you’ll forgive me if I get a little fancy in my reply to this statement. I’ll start by making an appeal to authority, which is not the basis for accepting something as definitive, but on the other hand sometimes folks become authorities in scholarly matters for a reason. In this instance, I’m referring to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (a great reseource for everyone, by the way), and it’s definition of ‘epistemology':

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/epistemology/

    “Defined narrowly, epistemology is the study of knowledge and justified belief. As the study of knowledge, epistemology is concerned with the following questions: What are the necessary and sufficient conditions of knowledge? What are its sources? What is its structure, and what are its limits? As the study of justified belief, epistemology aims to answer questions such as: How we are to understand the concept of justification? What makes justified beliefs justified? Is justification internal or external to one’s own mind? Understood more broadly, epistemology is about issues having to do with the creation and dissemination of knowledge in particular areas of inquiry.”

    In some basic ways, any claim any of us make, any statement of our own observations, and our interpretations of those observations, is subject to epistemological scrutiny. One area of scrutiny might be whether a claim relies on implied knowledge, or assumptions like ‘everyone knows this to be self-evidently true’. I suggest your statement that I quoted includes appeals to such implicit knowledge, and unverified ‘generally, obviously known truths’. This weakens the strength of your position considerably.

    First, even if the number ‘50% of people’ could be substantiated as ‘the number of people concerned enough about AGW to alter their daily habits’ hasn’t changed in ’10 years’, that is not a basis for any claim that the evidence of AGW is faulty. For example, the health risks of smoking and unprotected sex are well-established; people still engage in them. It should also be pointed out that (as with smoking), a lot of money and political effort (including outright disinformation efforts) have gone into thwarting efforts to reduce carbon emissions, which more plausibly accounts for the failure of individuals and nations to act in accordance with the evidence of AGW and the harm from it. Again, the failure of ‘50% of people’ to act is not a measure of the validity of the evidence you might cite, or the quality of the arguments you make. Quite the opposite, making such a statement serves to undermine any claim that there is a substantive dispute about the data, the methods, or the conclusions of scientists (and advocates) about the effects of carbon on climate and the environment.

    Second, the ‘50% of people’ is so vague an estimate that it almost certainly represents simply a ‘gut feeling’ on your part. Gut feelings are fine, but not when trying to base an argument or claim on a descriptive statistic. As you might expect, knowledge about, and reactions to AGW vary greatly by country, economic status, and political affiliation. This is borne out in worldwide surveys done by the folks at Gallup:

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/117772/Awareness-Opinions-Global-Warming-Vary-Worldwide.aspx

    Some highlights:

    “public knowledge of the concept of global warming is not the same thing as public belief that global warming is a result of human activities is in the U.S. Despite the fact that the U.S. ranks third in overall awareness of global warming — at 97% — only 49% of this 97% say they think rising temperatures are a result of human activities.

    The countries where fewer people believe that global warming is the result of human activities are highly dispersed. Although 8 of the 20 countries at the bottom of the world rankings are in Africa, the remaining 12 include a mixture of Asian and Middle Eastern countries, a few countries from the Former Soviet Union, and individual countries as different as Haiti and Iceland.” (q.v. also the chart on the % of a given population that attributes climate change to human activity, e.g. South Korea 92%).

    Ok, so I haven’t been exactly brief. The upshot– defend your views as strongly as possible, I truly want you to, and I’m not going to hassle you about the tone of comments, nor will I argue for you or anyone else to be muzzled. How about, instead, we try and hold everyone involved to higher standards of argument and discourse, and sounder epistemological grounds for any claims.

    With that in mind, please read the AIP materials, thoroughly, and tell me your thoughts, and what effect, if any, it has on your views of the kind of science that goes into ‘climate science’.

    Best regards,

    Doug

  98. #98 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 11, 2014

    Kevin,

    Actually, Schneider called for a balance between “being effective and being honest,” didn’t he? And the “balance” part you forgot to include does change the implication rather a lot, I think you’ll agree. After all the very definition of a tradeoff between two things is that the more you do of one, the less you can do of the other.

    (Relax, I’m not “Marco”—your syntactic selectivity is not my cue to start defaming you as an unrepentant misrepresenter and disinformer. I would sooner simply assume that, much like me, you excerpted no more words, and no fewer, than would flow naturally into your own sentence.)

    Sure, Schneider partially redeemed his remarks by adding that “hopefully it is possible to be both”—but that’s only a hope, only a possibility, according to Schneider. And therein lies the problem.

    Schneiderian ethics is a deal-breaker for those of us who consider honesty in science total and non-negotiable. To sacrifice a little honesty in exchange for greater effectiveness, a wider audience, a window office, a large grant or anything else is a Faustian bargain—a bargain whose currency is your scientific soul. And those of us who learnt our ethics from Feynman cannot and will not have any truck with such a compromise. We must be 100% honest at least.

    In any case, that’s not the Schneiderian advice I was referring to. (Sorry if I wasn’t clear.)

    I meant these interview statements immediately preceding the infamous “balance” sentence:

    On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but – which means that we must include all doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climate change. To do that we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, means getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.

    Schneider is wrong from his second sentence onwards—there is no “other hand”—but what makes you think he’s alone? What makes you think even one single (“establishment”) climate scientist disagrees with the above? I’m buggered if I can name any who’ve ever said they do—can you? I’ll be very pleasantly amazed if you can bring yourself to disagree with it.

    In summary:

    I see zero reason to think Schneider was alone among climate scientists, or even in a minority, in subscribing to the pernicious “ethics” articulated above.

    Here’s what atmospheric physicist Dr Monica Kopacz apparently thinks on the subject:

    It is no secret that a lot of climate-change research is subject to opinion, that climate models sometimes disagree even on the signs of the future changes (e.g. drier vs. wetter future climate). The problem is, only sensational exaggeration makes the kind of story that will get politicians’ — and readers’ — attention. So, yes, climate scientists might exaggerate, but in today’s world, this is the only way to assure any political action and thus more federal financing to reduce the scientific uncertainty.

    What makes you think even one single (“establishment”) climate scientist disagrees with the above? I’m buggered if I can name any who’ve ever said so—can you?

    Here, in case you were curious, are the ethics of a proper scientist:

    I’m talking about a specific, extra type of integrity that is not lying, but bending over backwards to show how you’re maybe wrong, that you ought to have when acting as a scientist. And this is our responsibility as scientists, certainly to other scientists, and I think to laymen.
    For example, I was a little surprised when I was talking to a friend who was going to go on the radio. He does work on cosmology and astronomy, and he wondered how he would explain what the applications of his work were. “Well,” I said, “there aren’t any.” He said, “Yes, but then we won’t get support for more research of this kind.” I think that’s kind of dishonest. If you’re representing yourself as a scientist, then you should explain to the layman what you’re doing– and if they don’t support you under those circumstances, then that’s their decision.

    Any objections?

  99. #99 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 11, 2014

    Correction—I misremembered this (or tried to deceive you, whichever you prefer):

    Sure, Schneider partially redeemed his remarks by adding that “hopefully it is possible to be both”—but that’s only a hope, only a possibility, according to Schneider.

    He actually said:

    “I hope that means being both.”

    Sorry.

  100. #100 Kevin MacDonald
    January 11, 2014

    In any case, that’s not the Schneiderian advice I was referring to. (Sorry if I wasn’t clear.)

    I meant these interview statements immediately preceding the infamous “balance” sentence

    It’s called cherry picking Brad, by removing the qualifier you change the meaning, allowing you to argue a straw man (ironically, you, ostensibly, employ this dishonest technique as a call to honesty). You then go to, again, indulge the kind of conspiracy ideation you claim you would be the last to stoop to.

  101. #101 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 11, 2014

    It’s called cherry picking Brad[. B]y removing the qualifier you change the meaning

    ….says the guy who edited out the words “Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between…” and pretended that Schneider advocated nothing more dodgy than “being effective and being honest.” LOL!

    I went out of my way to assume that was an honest oversight on your part. Pretty naive of me.

    It’s called cherry picking, Kevin. By removing the main clause you change the meaning. Ironically, you, ostensibly, employ this dishonest technique as a call to honesty.

    If you think I changed Schneider’s meaning (which of course you don’t think, because you know you’re just making this bullshit up), then kindly tell us all what I implied him to mean, and then tell us all how you interpret his meaning, so that we can all see the abyss that separates the two readings. Again, this request is purely rhetorical—you know full well that you can’t substantiate your false accusation, so you won’t be (quite) stupid enough to try.

    You then go to, again, indulge [sic] the kind of conspiracy ideation you claim you would be the last to stoop to.

    Good point, except I didn’t once posit the existence of any conspiracy, you’re lying and you’re a fucking liar. Other than that though: good point.

    As we all know, a conspiracy is a clandestine plot. There is nothing secret about Schneider’s words. There is nothing secret about Kopacz’s words. There is no conspiracy here. Only an open acknowledgement by climate scientists that climate scientists believe that (for some strange reason) they have no choice but to stretch the truth by, for instance, “mak[ing] simplified, dramatic statements, and mak[ing] little mention of any doubts we might have” (Schneider) and “sensational exaggeration” (Kopacz).

    Finally I hasten to stipulate that I understand why you’re being a lying cunt and can, to some very minor extent, sympathize. Lying and cuntsmanship are, after all, the only means available to a person of your obviously-limited intelligence to divert attention from the lucid and damning quotes I’ve presented from climate scientists themselves.

    All the best,

    Brad

  102. #102 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 11, 2014

    Greg:

    thanks for fixing up my formatting mistake above.

    All:

    It’s interesting to note in passing that the negative prediction implicit in my words to Kevin MacDonald…

    I’ll be very pleasantly amazed if you can bring yourself to disagree with [Schneider’s remarks].

    …has been gloriously vindicated with the passage of time. Kevin MacDonald, a liar, could not bring himself (surprise, surprise!) to repudiate or even criticize Schneider’s ethical formula. I know, therefore, that whenever one of you speaks to Kevin MacDonald, you’ll keep in the back of your mind the awareness that Kevin MacDonald believes climate scientists have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts they might have. I don’t think they have to, but Kevin MacDonald evidently does. Something to think about anyway. Verbum sapienti, and all.

  103. #103 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 11, 2014

    Doug,

    thanks! Far from holding your lack of brevity against you, I thank you for the generosity of such a long answer.

    It’s hard to quibble with the logic of any part of your comment—the ‘worst’ I might say is that you appear to have misunderstood (and materially so) the discursive function of my own comment.

    Your reply was a fine example of rhetoric in the best of reasonable, logical (and not-very-polemical) traditions; only problem is, my comment was not an act of rhetoric at all.

    To be blunt: since I was trying to help you (and Greg), it’d be both maladroit and rude to demand that I prove the factual premises behind my advice. I believe I even tried to convey this by means of the imperative cliché “take it or leave it.”

    (NB while I didn’t need a lesson in epistemology—if you knew me better you’d know why—I did enjoy it! It was a pleasure to read. Besides, I’ve learned from exasperation that it’s far better to get “fiddly” than to simply assume the other guy is as philosophically-literate as oneself, because he virtually never is!)

    For example, my aim was not to satisfy you as to the numerical accuracy of my observations about the state of the climate debate. You’re right: this was offered simply a matter of self-evident anecdotal knowledge. Not a “gut feeling”—since there’s nothing a priori about my description—so much as ballpark, folk knowledge. Share it or don’t—though if you don’t, I’d be interested to know how you explain the easily replicated and, dare I say it, objective observation that the Earth’s population is not showing any more of an inclination to “act on climate” than it did 5 years ago. Ah—but again!, let me stipulate that I just pulled the number “5” out of my ass. Substitute any number less than 5 ad libitum—I don’t really care.

    As to the figure of “50%,” which has the same orificial origin as “5,” I was being polite. The true figure must (as a matter of logic, not “gut feeling”) be lower than that.

    Just to clarify: I’m not talking here about the fraction of the population that answers “yes” to various questions of attitudinal normalcy like “do you believe the scientists, or are you a flat-earthing, conspiracist science refusard and probable racist?” For the benefit of a certain pathologically-literal and humorless cultist whom I needn’t name again, let me concede that no survey has ACTUALLY contained that question, word for word. You know exactly what I mean though—or if you don’t, there’s something wrong with one of us. And you also know that human beings always have a thought for whether their survey responses will make them look like good or bad people (even if the psychological term for this phenomenon escapes me right now), and that this back-of-the-mind anxiety strongly influences which box they tick. So it would be pretty silly, wouldn’t it?, to take at face value the statistics that purport to specify various dimensions of public climate-change persuasion.

    But I’m not even talking about how many people “believe” in the various kinds of climate change.

    I’m talking about how many people, per capita, give a damn.

    And that ratio cannot even be as high as 50-50, can it? If it were as high as that, then the psephological noise of history would have ensured that scores of the world’s nations were doing something real about climate change at any given time. Meanwhile, in the real universe, you’d be lucky to find 5 countries that are “acting on” climate—unless my current-affairs knowledge is even more defective than I realize (in which case I know you’ll politely educate me)? My understanding, at any rate, is that the only nations that have ever reduced their greenhouse emissions did so without meaning to. Eastern Europe because of a certain imperial-industrial collapse, the US because of economic downturn, etc. Actually, to be fair, my own country did subscribe to the war on carbon; our leaders even inflicted on us at one point a Climate Commission; but they soon found out, to their electoral humiliation, that the general public was far less committed to the cause than was the Canberra political class.

    I’m still working on a thorough response which will, I hope, do justice to your very thought-provoking and insighful remarks. So you can consider this Part 1 :-)

    Cheers,

    Brad

  104. #104 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 11, 2014

    Doug,

    in the interim please excuse or better yet, disregard) any shitty overtones in Part 1 of my response to you. On reading it back, it looks as though the nervous toll of being so civil to Kevin MacDonald had a rebound effect during my response to you, which you obviously didn’t deserve. If so, I’m sorry. Take care Doug and thanks again for your message,

    Brad

  105. #105 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 12, 2014

    Doug,

    I don’t want to ‘muzzle’ anyone, whether I agree or disagree with what they say, or how they say it, if for no other reason than I don’t want to be muzzled when I stray from reasonable discourse ( as I do all too often).

    Nor do I want anyone “muzzled”, because that suggests—OK, it means—”censored.”

    I certainly shouldn’t have used that word. The muse took me.

    I think it is better to allow others to speak, even if I find it offensive, or irrelevant to the discussion.

    If you’re suggesting the answer to offensive speech is more speech, not less, I’m highly confident you’re right. Frustratingly, the speech which is most urgently needed—the speech wherein the more reasonable people on your side advise [without forcing] the vicious and delusional ones to yield the floor—never seems to be forthcoming. Perhaps I missed it though, and if so, I’d be delighted to know where it is and who spoke it.

    …even though I have fallen short of that standard myself (as you are well aware)…
    And I’m keenly aware that, given my track record for over-heated rhetoric– long before this conversation, long before I’d ever encountered Greg and his blogs– I shouldn’t be too quick to fault others in this regard.

    No, I’m not “well aware” of any such thing, Doug! I’m “well aware” that one time, when you were apparently in an unusually Manichaean vein, you jumped to the wrong conclusion about me—a mistake which you then had the insight, integrity and good humor to admit once you had a clearer picture of the facts. I barely remember it (and can only hope you’re similarly amnestic about my original, snarkastic comeback).

    Can you please explain how a one-off misunderstanding like ours can seriously be compared with the systematic boorishness of someone like Marco, whose entire schtick seems to consist in waiting for his interlocutor to make a trivial error of fact, then immediately declaring him or her a slanderous liar? Because I’m just not seeing the analogy, Doug. I honestly perceive no danger of your being called a hypocrite if you took a stand against the uglier element on your “side.” On the contrary: I’m pretty sure —and I’d do whatever I could to make sure—you’d be hailed as what we denialati like to call “an honest broker.” (This high compliment has been known to be invoked facetiously, but that’s not how I’m using it now.)

    I hope you’ll forgive me if I get a little fancy in my reply to this statement.

    I misread this as “fiddly” before—oops. In any case, I only wish more people would resort to the philosophical. Then we might get somewhere.

    I’ll start by making an appeal to authority, which is not the basis for accepting something as definitive, but on the other hand sometimes folks become authorities in scholarly matters for a reason.

    You don’t have to apologize to me for appealing to the “authority” of Stanford on lexicographic or other conceptual questions! That’s often the only touchstone we have. It’s not as though we’re talking about the natural world here. In that case it would have been illegitimate to make such an appeal, because natural science has its own private epistemology—one which is unique in its contempt for authority, expert opinion, and what people think in general.

    I suggest your statement that I quoted includes appeals to such implicit knowledge, and unverified ‘generally, obviously known truths’.

    Yes, that was pretty obvious, I thought.

    First, even if the number ’50% of people’ could be substantiated as ‘the number of people concerned enough about AGW to alter their daily habits’ hasn’t changed in ’10 years’, that is not a basis for any claim that the evidence of AGW is faulty.

    I’ve never been under the illusion that it was, Doug!

    If you read my comment again, you’ll notice that it comes nowhere near such a vulgar fallacy.

    For starters, my post doesn’t even argue against AGW.

    Why would I want to dispute a hypothesis for which I myself accept the strength of the physical evidence? Or in demotic English: why would I argue against an idea I “believe in”?

    Secondly, I’m pretty sure I went out of my way to say that the public’s antipathy to, and cynicism about, the climate-concern movement is based in part on its dislike of Marco, independently of the quality or otherwise of the scientific case.

    In other words, my comment couldn’t have been further from an argumentum ad populum against AGW or any other scientific idea!

    a lot of money and political effort (including outright disinformation efforts) have gone into thwarting efforts to reduce carbon emissions,

    So I’ve heard. I’d love to see an example substantiating the “disinformation” rumor. (I’d be happy to furnish numerous examples of disinformation aimed at promoting anti-CO2 efforts, if that would help.)

    Again, the failure of ’50% of people’ to act is not a measure of the validity of the evidence you might cite, or the quality of the arguments you make. Quite the opposite, making such a statement…

    Which, again, I never made.

    serves to undermine any claim that there is a substantive dispute about the data, the methods, or the conclusions of scientists (and advocates) about the effects of carbon on climate and the environment.

    Scientifically, I couldn’t care less whether the the data, methods and conclusions are disputed. All that matters is whether they’re right. Please be careful not to lapse into the language of social proof (“disputed,” “accepted,” “consensus” etc.), which is strictly nonscientific.

    With that in mind, please read the AIP materials, thoroughly, and tell me your thoughts, and what effect, if any, it has on your views of the kind of science that goes into ‘climate science’.

    Doug, I’m sorry but I need to reuse my earlier excuse, which you may have missed as it was appended to a reply to someone else:

    I’m in the sort of mood I suspect you were in the other day, so I’d probably better wait a while before reading and responding to that essay. Thanks for sharing the link with us though.

    I regret to say that this excuse has become more true, not less, since yesterday. :-(

    (Could you tell?)

    defend your views as strongly as possible, I truly want you to

    Hint taken—and yeah, this is something I’ve often struggled with. People are always saying I’m polite to a fault, and that I need to speak my mind more. I was hoping to work on developing some frankness with my blog, but that’s languished a bit due to a number of vital distractions.

    Thanks again for the interesting exchanges, which I hope will continue, Doug!

  106. #106 Marco
    January 12, 2014

    I see that Brad Keyes considers removing the context of a quote and misquoting such that the meaning of the (mis)quote changes completely just a “trivial error of fact”.

    And regarding being polite, we have plenty of examples where you are far from polite. The deliberate misquoting is one example, you called Kevin a liar, your complaints about me are not even remotely polite, and then your tweets. Oh yes, your tweets are filled with vitriol. Not that you would notice. Maybe you should get new friends, people who actually tell you the truth about yourself.

  107. #107 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 12, 2014

    And regarding being polite, we have plenty of examples where you are far from polite.

    Name one.

    The deliberate misquoting is one example

    I meant a real one. Something I actually did.

    you called Kevin a liar

    Ah.

    And the selective, deceptive decontextualisations just keep coming. “Liar”? You can’t help yourself, can you Marco?

    You deliberately remove the copulative qualifier, totally changing the tone and meaning of my comments. Readers who aren’t aware of your habitual dishonesty will see your comment and have no idea I called Kevin a “fucking liar”—which makes a massive difference.

    your complaints about me are not even remotely polite

    What the ?!? I was impeccably courteous to both Doug and Greg in my complaint! Show me a single sentence in my comment (the one complaining about you) in which I display the slightest disrespect for either of them. You can’t, can you? Because you’re full of it, aren’t you?

    and then your tweets. Oh yes, your tweets are filled with vitriol.

    More lies. My twitticisms have been praised as bilious, splenetic and melancholic but I have never written anything vitriolic and would never do so.

    By the way: did you like my one about “libel tourist .@MichaelEMann” yesterday, Marco? Nobody with a sense of humor seemed to find it funny, so I assume you pissed yourself laughing. What’s your username, by the way? Next time one of my jokes falls in a heap I’ll forward you it.

    Maybe you should get new friends, people who actually tell you the truth about yourself.

    Aw. That’s kinda touching. After all we’ve been through, you’re still willing to make coded overtures of friendship? We all know what you’re saying, Marco—or should I call you “Someone Who Actually Tells Me The Truth.” I’m flattered, really—but I’ve got a lot of friends already, Marco.

    Don’t give up. I’m sure you’ll find someone, one day, who appreciates you for the real you.

  108. #108 Kevin MacDonald
    January 12, 2014

    Good point, except I didn’t once posit the existence of any conspiracy, you’re lying and you’re a fucking liar. Other than that though

    Poor Brad, getting increasingly tangy and insensible.

    good point.
    As we all know, a conspiracy is a clandestine plot. There is nothing secret about Schneider’s words

    Yes, but twisting those words to give them a sinister bent and then reframing them so, rather than being the opinion of one man, it is an edict followed by a whole proffesional community is conspiracy ideation of the first order you big, paranoid loon.

  109. #109 Kevin MacDonald
    January 12, 2014

    Apologies, not “tangy”, “ranty”. I’ve just moved home and until I get broadband sorted I’m reliant on my phone for internet access, making me a hostage of auto-correct.

  110. #110 Kevin MacDonald
    January 12, 2014

    Apologies, not “tangy”, “ranty”. I’ve just moved home and until I get broadband sorted I’m reliant on my phone for internet access, making me a hostage to auto-correct.

  111. #111 Marco
    January 12, 2014

    “polite”

    “fucking liar”

    Yep, the cognitive dissonance in Brad Keyes runs very, very deep. The adjective just makes it worse.

    And while you were ‘polite’ to Greg and Doug, you were not to me nor about me.

    And no, I don’t want to be your friend. Someone as dishonest as you will never be my friend. I wouldn’t trust you to tell me the truth, considering all the misrepresentations you’ve uttered over the years. It was a friendly advice you actually look for someone who is willing to accept your dishonesty and tells you the truth.

  112. #112 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 12, 2014

    “Yes, but twisting those words to give them a sinister bent”

    Guilty as charged. (If by “twisting” you mean “quoting.”)

    “and then reframing them so, rather than being the opinion of one man, it is an edict followed by a whole proffesional community”

    “Reframed”? What does this even mean? That verb is such an unfalsifiable mustelism it’s not even worth my time denying whatever it is.

    I’m still waiting for the name of the climate scientist who disagrees with Schneider, by the way.

    Tick tock.

    “is conspiracy ideation of the first order you big, paranoid loon.”

    Yep. It’s a conspiracy theory without the conspiracy. A Clayton’s conspiracy theory. Genius.

    Also, a hint on using mobile technology: if it turns your word into an descriptor of delicious citrus-based refreshments, your word probably wasn’t a word.

  113. #113 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 12, 2014

    Marco,

    your evasion of the key paragraph in my comment is noted.

    I reproduce it here so that the Lidless Eye of the Internet will forever bear witness to your craven slipperiness:

    By the way: did you like my one about “libel tourist .@MichaelEMann” yesterday, Marco? Nobody with a sense of humor seemed to find it funny, so I assume you pissed yourself laughing. What’s your username, by the way? Next time one of my jokes falls in a heap I’ll forward you it.

    Keep dodging this, the real issue, for all I care. Continued cowardice will only bring shame to your ancestors.

  114. #114 Kevin MacDonald
    January 12, 2014

    Guilty as charged. (If by “twisting” you mean “quoting.”)

    Cherry picking Brad, we’ve already discussed this, but it seems you’ve moved passed trying to deceive others and are now deceiving yourself.

    I’m still waiting for the name of the climate scientist who disagrees with Schneider, by the way.

    Again, we’ve already discussed this (do pay attention), to the best of my knowledge there are no climate scientists who disagree that the threat of climate change needs to be communicated both honestly and effectively.

    It’s a conspiracy theory without the conspiracy. A Clayton’s conspiracy theory

    Hmmm! The implication that the whole climate science community is involved in concerted scaremongering isn’t conspiratorial… You are delusional.

  115. #115 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 12, 2014

    Kevin:

    The implication that the whole climate science community is involved in concerted scaremongering isn’t conspiratorial [sic]…

    Bingo. If they admit it openly, it’s not a conspiracy.

    It took me how many comments to infiltrate this basic fucking concept through your thick calvaria? And you wonder where the stereotype of the believalist beefwit comes from!

    You also admit, at long fucking last, that “to the best of my knowledge there are no climate scientists who disagree [with Stephen Schneider’s ethics]”, and I have a nagging fear that that may just be true (with the obvious exception of the ‘denier’ scientists who’ve had the integrity to publicly reject Schneider’s Faustian bargain).

    And that is why people don’t, and can’t ever, trust them.

    Two bingos in one comment—you’re on a roll!

  116. #116 Brad Keyes
    January 12, 2014

    PS the word you were looking for was “conspiracist”, not “conspiratorial,” but I let your semi-literacy slide because I was so proud of your mental development on other fronts.

  117. #117 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 12, 2014

    Marco,

    given your perfectly-understandable hatred of anyone who disagrees with your opinions about the atmosphere, you might like the angry open letter I wrote to the ostrich community on my blog:

    A Question for Deniers

  118. #118 Kevin MacDonald
    January 12, 2014

    t “to the best of my knowledge there are no climate scientists who disagree [with Stephen Schneider’s ethics]

    Ooh, look at you cherry picking again. Just because you’re routinely dishonest, it doesn’t follow that everyone else is. Schneider’s ethics explicitly included “being honest, your persistent refusal to acknowledge this only serves to expose you for the paranoid loon that you are.

  119. #119 Marco
    January 12, 2014

    Brad, why was that paragraph “key”? It was just a fishing expedition, trying to find out who was following you on Twitter. Too bad for you that one does not need to follow someoneon Twitter and still see just about everything.

    I also don’t think you are funny, so you’re wrong. Which then should not make people surprised that you’re wrong about me in #117 either.

    Your letter I cannot use for anything, since you do not answer the questions yourself. As I noted earlier, the realclimate people are mostly “IPCC” in their descriptions. You told me that if you believe the realclimate people one should be alarmist or else admit to being irrational and immoral. You call yourself apathist. Are you now actually telling me you ARE irrational and immoral?

  120. #120 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 12, 2014

    Kevin,

    Ooh, look at you cherry picking again.

    Schneider’s ethics explicitly included “being honest, your persistent refusal to acknowledge this only serves to expose you for the paranoid loon that you are.

    No, his “ethics” included:

    Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.

    Your persistent refusal to acknowledge this unscientific ideology only serves to expose you as the True Believer that you are.

    In science, there is no “balance,” no tradeoff and no bargain. You’re 100% honest or you’re not a scientist.

    I hereby predict Kevin MacDonald will never admit this.

  121. #121 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 12, 2014

    Marco:

    Your letter I cannot use for anything, since you do not answer the questions yourself.

    Thanks for offering your feedback on my open letter to deniers. I’m grateful that you volunteered, especially in light of your perfectly-understandable hatred of everyone who disagrees with your opinions about the atmosphere.

    Unfortunately, because of a number of cognitive disabilities you suffer from, I’m not allowed to use you as a data point in my scientific quest to adumbrate the limits of Poe’s Law.

    However, I’d like to pursue a point raised in your attempted critique: “you do not answer the questions yourself.” How should I have answered? What would your answer be? How bad does the science of dangerous climate change have to get before we do something to stop it? At what point is the science considered catastrophic enough, or (if you don’t like the c-word) appalling enough, to justify drastic cuts?

  122. #122 phillydoug
    January 12, 2014

    Brad,

    Thanks for the clarifications. Never underestimate my capacity to misunderstand.

    I also don’t want to fall into the trap that I’ve fallen into many times in the past, which is to start talking past each other, rather than finding areas of actual agreement or disagreement, in part because I enjoy debating a little too much.

    Correct me if I misstate any aspect of what your views are. If I read you accurately: You are and I are fully in agreement about AGW– the temperature of the oceans and atmosphere are rising, due to carbon emissions from the use of petroleum, coal, natural gas (some other materials including methane play a role, but let’s just go with carbon as the main culprit). These effects are compounded by deforestation, the effects of ‘heat islands’ in major metropolitan areas, and are accelerated by the loss of ice in the polar regions, the melting of permafrost (which causes more methane to be released), and changes in ocean water chemistry. These intertwined processes are responsible for a ‘feedback’ loop that is not only increasing temperatures worldwide, they are increasing the *rate* of change; that is, temperatures are going to increase more quickly in the the next five decades than they have in the previous five, even if carbon emissions were immediately decreased to zero (again, please refer to the AIP materials when you get a chance, and are in a frame of mind to study them with a critical eye). The effects of these rising temperatures include sea level rise, which threatens the large percentage of the world’s population that lives in coastal areas:
    http://www.wunderground.com/climate/SeaLevelRise.asp

    “More than half of the world’s population currently lives in a coastal region. The United Nations Environment Program predicts that by 2010 about 80% of the world population will be living within 62 miles of the coast, and of those, 40 percent will live within 37 miles of the coast.”

    Also, AGW will cause more frequent and intense storms, floods, droughts, large wildfires, crop failures, and so major population movements. Accordingly, there will be increasing costs, in economic and purely human terms– more widespread famine, conflict over resources, etc.

    Ecosystems will falter, and food sources like fish stocks and staple crops (e.g., rice), upon which the majority of the world’s population depend, will be depleted. Famine will affect a growing proportion of the world’s population, perhaps as high as 20% within the next 20 years. (q.v. the findings of the UN Food and Agricultural Organization: ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/012/i1323e/i1323e00.pdf)

    If you and I are are in complete agreement about these things, then the issue is not one of climate science at all, but rather one of social psychology– Why do so few people accept the reality of AGW? Why do so few accept what the consequences of AGW will be? Even if more did accept these things, why would so few act in their own (and of our) best interests (i.e., act to reduce the causes of AGW, and remediate the effects)?

    I’ll quote the great Upton Sinclair: “It’s hard to make a man understand when his livelihood depends upon him not understanding.”

    In addition, it’s hard for people to understand when confronted with conflicting information, especially when some of that information is false, and designed to undermine the ‘truth’, in the sense that I believe you mean it.

    You state: ” I’d love to see an example substantiating the “disinformation” rumor.”

    I trust you consider Scientific American a reputable source:

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=climate-change-disinformation-campaign

    “A concerted, focused, and well-funded campaign of disinformation has been waged against climate change.

    This attempt to discredit the science, to instill a sense of doubt about the conclusiveness and the extent of the agreement within the scientific community, is a story well told by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway in Merchants of Doubt. Oreskes looked at 928 — 10 percent — of all the papers published on climate change in peer-reviewed science journals over a ten-year period. She chose the 928 papers at random. Not one disputed the view that man-made greenhouse gases (GHGs) were causing a catastrophic environmental crisis.

    Greenpeace, for one, has published well-documented reports on the funding for climate change denial by ExxonMobil and Koch Industries, among others. Journalists James Hoggan and Ross Gelbspan have also done considerable spadework in uncovering the campaigns mounted by fossil fuel special interests to discredit climate science. Hoggan writes, for instance, that “it’s a story of deceit, of poisoning public judgment — of an anti-democratic attack on our political structures and a strategic undermining of the journalistic watchdogs who keep our social institutions honest.”

    Gelbspan says, “The reason most Americans don’t know what is happening to the climate is that the oil and coal industries have spent millions of dollars to persuade them global warming isn’t happening.”

    Brad, you suggested there is a similar sort of disinformation campaign by those working to address AGW: “I’d be happy to furnish numerous examples of disinformation aimed at promoting anti-CO2 efforts, if that would help.”

    However, if you are in agreement with the basic description of AGW and its effects that I provided above, it’s not clear to me what would constitute ‘disinformation aimed at promoting anti-CO2 efforts’. If it is a campaign based on the truth, a truth you say you stipulate to, then what precisely would the disinformation be? Let me apologize in advance for my sarcasm (another failing of mine), but wouldn’t that be an ‘information campaign’? Let me again use a quotation, this from Issac Asimov:

    “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’”

    So again, Brad, if you and I agree on all the basic aspects of what AGW is, what its causes and effects are, then what are the main positions you hold on the subject AGW, and what precisely are you arguing? What policies are you advocating for, or against?

    Clearly I’m in favor of moving, as quickly as possible, away from a carbon based economy (fossil fuels need to be replaced with other energy sources). Do you disagree this is an urgent matter? Are you simply discouraged that there is not the political will to accomplish what is required over the next 25 to 50 years? Let me give one more quotation from Issac Asimov:

    ““Isn’t it sad that you can tell people that the ozone layer is being depleted, the forests are being cut down, the deserts are advancing steadily, that the greenhouse effect will raise the sea level 200 feet, that overpopulation is choking us, that pollution is killing us, that nuclear war may destroy us – and they yawn and settle back for a comfortable nap. But tell them that the Martians are landing, and they scream and run.”

    Please explicate, clearly enough to get it through my skull (a tough task on most days) your views about AGW; if you contest anything I said about your views, state how I mischaracterized them. Say what, if anything, we (as individuals, groups, communities and nations) should be doing to address AGW.

    Thanks again for your patience with me.

    Best regards,

    Doug

  123. #123 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 12, 2014

    Sorry all, I was a bit too polite here:

    only serves to expose you as the True Believer that you are

    …but you know what I mean.

    Still, at least I did stand up to Kevin MacDonald’s long litany of libel and lies. Baby steps, right?

  124. #124 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 12, 2014

    Doug,

    thanks for (yet again) more-than repaying my supposed “patience.” :-D

    Before I go on to a (hopefully) succinct articulation of my own position—executive summary: I oppose bad science—could you tell me one thing about yourself, viz.: do you have a science background/training?

    I promise you I’m not being a credentialist asshole here—my question is not the prelude to taking your views any less seriously if the answer happens to be “No”—I’m simply trying to locate the best shared dialect for us to use (much like you did by giving us that epistemology crash-course).

    Looking forward to hearing from you,

    Brad

  125. #125 phillydoug
    January 12, 2014

    Brad,

    Happy to give you an abbreviated cv, if it helps:

    BA- Philosophy

    MS- Psychology

    Psy.D- Clinical Psychology

    I’m in private practice.

    My practice focus includes assessment and treatment of traumatic brain injury. My research at the Masters level involved the role of male gender role identification in alcohol abuse; my Doctoral research was about client experiences of cognitive dissonance in psychotherapy. My thesis and dissertation utilized qualitative methods, as well as descriptive and inferential statistics. (not my favorite pastime, but I can still calculate a Pearson coefficient and populate a chi square, if left no other option).

    I’ve developed screening instruments to determine the severity of depression, the risk of suicide, and the risk of violence.

    Is this what you were looking for?

    Best regards,

    Doug

  126. #126 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 12, 2014

    Doug,

    yes. Thanks! That’ll make it easier. But I won’t reply for a while—which you should take as a compliment—because your questions deserve pondering, unlike the offal being disgorged from certain resident belief-holes.

    Take care,

    B

  127. #127 Marco
    January 13, 2014

    Brad, I think I made it clear I support taking action, which should answer your question (note that I have no special threshold where I’d use words like “catastrophic”, “appalling” or “drastic”). Now answer mine: when is it bad enough for you?

    Apparently not yet, but then to claim your letter is an *angry* letter does not make sense.

  128. #128 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 13, 2014

    Marco:

    Now answer mine: when is it bad enough for you?

    Oh, believe me: I think the science crossed the “bad enough” threshold at least a decade ago. That’s why I was elated when our present government, having had enough of what climate scientists were telling us, made significant cuts its first order of business.

    And how did I miss this whine:

    And while you were ‘polite’ to Greg and Doug, you were not to me nor about me.

    That’s because I don’t like you. Any other mysteries you’d like me to unravel?

  129. #129 Marco
    January 13, 2014

    Interesting, you were actually promoting an approach to make your ostrich behaviour easier. After all, when scientists are no longer allowed or able to tell you how bad things are, you don’t need to put your head in the ground anymore.

    You should also learn how to distinguish a “whine” from evidence that your friends are not telling you the truth. You claimed you were polite to a fault (or so your friends tell you), I merely provided evidence of you not being polite, notably on your own request.

  130. #130 Kevin MacDonald
    January 13, 2014

    In science, there is no “balance,” no tradeoff and no bargain. You’re 100% honest or you’re not a scientist.

    It’s only in your own mind that effective communication necessitates dishonesty and you project this failing onto others, but it’s not actually a truism. It is possible to be honest and effective in communicating the threat posed by climate change whilst also being honest and effective in communicating the uncertainties associated with that threat.

    Unfortunately because you are a fully paid up member of the tinfoil hat brigade you can only parse Shnider’s comments as; ” Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest [by which I mean honesty should be forefeit at every opportunity, I don’t just mean this as a personal stance, it is an edict I think all climate scientists should follow (fortunately your cognative bias is so strong you also manage to infer that the climate science communitiy interpreted his words as you did and acceded)]. I hope that means being both (Schnider hopes no such thing and is just covering his ass)”. It’s nothing more than hysterical inference from a paranoid fantasist.

  131. #131 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 13, 2014

    Marco:

    You claimed you were polite to a fault (or so your friends tell you),

    If I’m NOT too polite for my own good, then how do you explain the fact that people I meet for the very first time—who can’t possibly have been influenced by my friends’ opinions—consistently and predictably react (to the point of cliché) the same way whenever I state my views as forcefully as I can bring myself to: i.e. by laughing and saying something like,

    “LOL! Tell us how you REALLY feel, Brad!”

    or:

    “Whoa! Don’t hold back!”

    I think the fairly obvious inference is that people find me reticent and euphemistic; that my sheer inoffensiveness is a bit too much for normal tastes.

    If you want to deny the consensus that I’m anodyne, understated and saccharine, then YOU explain the feedback I get, douche-canoe.

  132. #132 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 13, 2014

    Marco:

    Interesting, you were actually promoting an approach to make your ostrich behaviour easier. After all, when scientists are no longer allowed or able to tell you how bad things are, you don’t need to put your head in the ground anymore.

    Huh? How do you get this from what I said? Where is this coming from?

    To repeat:

    Our government had seen and heard enough; our Prime Minister elect, having read the science, was alarmed and appalled; so unlike previous administrations, he did something about it. Without procrastination.

  133. #133 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 13, 2014

    Kevin [my emphasis]:

    It’s only in your own mind that effective communication necessitates dishonesty […] It is possible to be honest and effective in communicating the threat posed by climate change whilst also being honest and effective in communicating the uncertainties associated with that threat.

    Your comment is a good reflection of the truth of the situation.

    About the y-axis.

    I have explicitly stated that I do not think dishonesty is necessary in climate science. How much clearer could I have been? Look; read; parse; comprehend:

    … offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts they might have. I don’t think they have to, but Kevin MacDonald evidently does.

    Notice the words in bold? What do they say (or read)? That’s right—they say (or read): “I don’t think they have to [be dishonest].”

    I’m so glad I was wrong to accuse you of thinking dishonesty was necessary. In my defence, though, I didn’t have much choice, did I, since you persistently refused to disavow Stephen Schneider’s views… which are, in case you’ve forgotten [emphasis added to assist your comprehension]:

    And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climate change. To do that we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, means getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.

    Can you read English? Do you know what the highlighted verbs mean? That’s right: they’re the auxiliary verbs of necessity or obligation.

    In any case, I’m thrilled that you disagree with Schneider, as I do—as all proper scientists do, come to think of it.

    About fucking time.

  134. #134 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 13, 2014

    Marco:

    Apparently not yet, but then to claim your letter is an *angry* letter does not make sense.

    I angried it up a bit. (Because I value your opinion so highly.) Angry enough for you yet?

    To all:

    I can’t remember precisely what the etiquette of blogging dictates w.r.t. changing a post on which people have already commented. I know it’s permissible, provided one indicates at the end [??] of the post that it’s been updated—so if someone would be kind enough to tell me what the formula is for such an acknowledgement, I’ll immediately append one to the post. Thanks in advance for any advice, guys.

  135. #135 Kevin MacDonald
    January 13, 2014

    I have explicitly stated that I do not think dishonesty is necessary in climate science

    For example:

    There is no conspiracy here. Only an open acknowledgement by climate scientists that climate scientists believe that (for some strange reason) they have no choice but to stretch the truth

  136. #136 Marco
    January 13, 2014

    Brad, what your PM did was to make sure the government would no longer have to listen to one of its advisory bodies: “lalalalala, I can’t heeeaaaar you!”.

    Regarding being polite, perhaps you need to listen better. Sounds to me like those people were being sarcastic…

  137. #137 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 13, 2014

    Marco:

    Sounds to me like those people were being sarcastic…

    What?

    You mean, like… saying one thing while meaning the opposite?

    What, as some sort of… joke? To be ironic, facetious, jocular smartasses or something?

    Those lying sons of bitches.

    How can I have been so blind? You’re right, Marco—you’ve been right all along!

    I need new friends. The attractions of the mind—wit, interestingness, playfulness—are overrated and will only break my heart. I need friends who don’t “do” irony. Pious, humorless, literal-minded, po-faced, Poe-abiding folk. What’s your twitter name again?

  138. #138 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 13, 2014

    Kevin,

    yes.

    Not does that quote show a prime example of my bemusement at the idea that it’s necessary “for some strange reason” to be dishonest in climate science, it’s the very example I was going to use in my antepenultimate post to rub your face in how anti-true your bizarre interpretation of my stated views had been. (At the last minute, though, I found an even pithier quote with which to mock your illiteracy.)

    By god, if I didn’t know you were as incapable of learning as a dead tapeworm, I’d almost call your recent behavior “learning-like.”

    Congratulations, I suppose.

  139. #139 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 13, 2014

    Marco:

    Brad, what your PM did was to make sure the government would no longer have to listen to one of its advisory bodies: “lalalalala, I can’t heeeaaaar you!”.

    O thank you, Marco. Thank you so fucking much for your valiant stab at telling me what happened in my own bloody country.

    (How was that? How do you like the new impolite, sarcastic Brad?)

    I hate to correct you—no, actually, I live for correcting the incorrect of the earth, among whom you’re apparently some sort of lieutenant—but that’s not what “my” PM did. All “my” PM did was resect from the public body a gangrenous and costly syncytium of fabulists and know-nothings fronted by a comically-unqualified proto-kangaroo guru. Now that the “Climate Commission,” which had become the butt of jokes on every TV station in the country from left to right, no longer exists, it’s neither necessary nor possible for anyone in government to say to the aforementioned historical curiosity: “lalalalala, I can’t heeeaaaar you!” …is it, Marco? So your attempted précis of last year’s events, while conveying a suspiciously-good impression of a 9-year-old who’s not very mature for his age, is strictly total nonsense, isn’t it?

  140. #140 Kevin MacDonald
    January 13, 2014

    Not does that quote show

    Eh?

    I found an even pithier quote with which to mock your illiteracy

    Um, touche?

  141. #141 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 13, 2014

    Kevin,

    I gather that was a gauche attempt at writing touché.

    Now that we’re even, I meant:

    Not only does that quote show a prime example of my bemusement at the idea that it’s necessary “for some strange reason” to be dishonest in climate science, it’s the very example I was going to use in my antepenultimate post to rub your face in how anti-true your bizarre interpretation of my stated views had been.

    —Brad

  142. #142 Kevin MacDonald
    January 13, 2014

    it’s the very example I was going to use in my antepenultimate post to rub your face in how anti-true your bizarre interpretation of my stated views had been

    So, to clarify, is this antepenultimate take two, or penultimate?

    Regardless, it would be a strange thing to try and rub my nose in given I never argued that you held it was necessary to be dishonest in climate science. You’ve got form with logical fallacies and misinterpretation, so I can’t tell if this was a straw man or just poor comprehension on your part.

  143. #143 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 13, 2014

    My fundamental chivalry and good breeding compel me to congratulate you on spelling two of the three words in your message correctly, Kevin. Give yourself a pat on the back and try not to think about the fact that they were onomatopoeic, monosyllabic quasi-words nobody could fuck up, not even a fuckup like you.

    There’s no point fighting nature: I’m the nice guy.

  144. #144 Kevin MacDonald
    January 13, 2014

    That must be penultimate now, if your ultimate knock out blow is a transparent lie followed by a feeble insult I’ll be sorely disappointed.

  145. #145 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 13, 2014

    Kevin:

    I never argued that you held it was necessary to be dishonest in climate science.

    When someone tells me they didn’t say something, I usually go out of my way to take their word for it, no matter how incredible their denial is.

    Thus:

    Kevin, even though I’m highly confident your denial is bullshit, I believe you.

    Because I wasn’t raised by wolves.

    Therefore, unlike certain quadrupedal changelings around here, I know when the flow of the conversation demands a certain suspension of disbelief, and am willing to make such concessions for the sake of moving the fuck on.

    Now, was there anything substantive, non-stupid, relevant, worthwhile (&c. &c.) you wanted to argue about? I believe we were debating climate change last time we were debating (i.e. about two days ago).

  146. #146 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 13, 2014

    PS If I wanted to keep throwing sticks for you to fetch, Kevin, I’d take the piss out of your #144 for being neither a sentence nor anything close to one. But I don’t (because such activities no longer hold my interest the way they did before puberty) so I won’t. Moving the fuck on. Unless, of course, you’re not biped enough.

  147. #147 Marco
    January 14, 2014

    Brad, the only “new” thing is that you actually admit to being impolite. I guess that’s already progress.

    Of course your government still is a member of the IPCC and climate scientists (including Australian scientists) won’t stop publishing results that the government doesn’t want to hear. Nor will the media stop publishing information about climate change. The one difference is that the government can now say it wasn’t advised *directly* and so cannot be blamed for not paying attention (enough). This is just a small variation of “lalalalala, I can’t hear you” ostrich behaviour. It’s wilful ignorance.

  148. #148 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 14, 2014

    Brad, the only “new” thing is that you actually admit to being impolite.

    Nuh, not anymore. I experimented briefly with that persona but it just wasn’t me. Like I was saying to the K-Dog, good manners are in my blood. Can’t change who you is yo.

    Of course your government still is a member of the IPCC and climate scientists

    True—but on the plus side we now have Tony “absolute crap” Abbot at the tiller of the ship of state.

  149. #149 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 14, 2014

    Oops…

    and climate scientists

    Yo what did you think of my new angrier, more urgent letter?

  150. #150 Kevin MacDonald
    January 14, 2014

    Weak Brad, just weak. You get called on a straw man and try to squirm out of it by recourse to vainglorious phetoric. I expect more from the well bred and chivarous.

    I believe we were debating climate change last time we were debating

    Not for the first time, you are wrong.

    You were raving about your paranoid misinterpretation of Schneider’s comments and extrapolating that into a conspiracy of exemplary boggle-eyed crankery.

    I, lacking your breeding and chivalry, was laughing at your mental illness.

  151. #151 Marco
    January 14, 2014

    Not interested in your letters, Brad.

  152. #152 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 14, 2014

    Ah! The phetoric just gets tangier and tangier.

    So be it. The bitch that plays hardball breaks its fangs.

    Your (relatively) good orthography this time round points to a tutor’s hand, Kevin. Who coached you on your spelling—Marco’s 9-year-old friend?

    You get called on a straw man

    Except I don’t, do I?

    and try to squirm out of it by recourse to vainglorious [illegible]

    Oh dear. More invention. Squirm out of what? Out of your fantasy of having called me on a strawman? LOL! Au contraire, mon chien, that’s a magical dreamworld of childlike whimsy in which I would be only too delighted to tarry indefinitely.

    So let us circle back around, shall we, to the question you’ll never have the manhood to answer, or even to admit your shameful impotence to answer:

    If you believe I’ve altered Schneider’s meaning, then kindly tell us what I implied him to mean, then tell us how you interpret his meaning, so that we all might see the abyss that separates the two readings. Let the reader judge which of us is in florid, psychotic flight from the meaning of Schneider’s words.

    Yet again, this request is purely rhetorical—you can’t substantiate your delusion, and you aren’t (quite) stupid enough to try.

    Masochists who’ve followed our little game of man-and-cur this far will be painfully aware how meticulously I’ve avoided attributing any idea or ideas to Schneider which he himself didn’t articulate simply and explicitly.

    My interpretation, for the information of anyone just joining us, is that Schneider believes the following:

    Scientists are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people they’d like to see the world a better place, which in the climate context translates into their working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climate change. To do that they need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, means getting loads of media coverage. So they have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts they might have. Each of them has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.

    Needless to say, I, Brad Keyes, disagree, as do all scientists. Schneider’s views are wrong, and anyone trained to carry out scientific work knows this. Even Kevin MacDonald is dully aware of it (though he’s one of a minority of folks on the planet who’ll never have the generative organs to say it out loud). There is no balance to be struck, no bargain to be made, no tradeoff to ponder: a scientist must be 100% honest, no less, or she ceases to be a scientist. If she makes the Faustian pact, she is no better than Michael Mann. OK, that’s a bit hyperbolic—but she’s not all that much better than him. There’s a special soundproof honeymoon suite in Science Hell for less-than-100%-honest scientists. I don’t want to put you off your kibble, Kevin, but one of the pieces of furniture therein is Michael Mann. Enough said, I think.

  153. #153 Kevin MacDonald
    January 14, 2014

    If you believe I’ve altered Schneider’s meaning, then kindly tell us what I implied

    You didn’t imply anything, you stated your paranoid fantasy outright: The Schneiderian auto-censor, To sacrifice a little honesty in exchange for greater effectiveness which leads to climate scientists subscribing to pernicious “ethics”.

    All based on your false belief that honesty and effectiveness are somehow mutually exclusive.

  154. #154 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 14, 2014

    Kevin MacDonald,

    All based on your false belief that honesty and effectiveness are somehow mutually exclusive.

    LOL. Hardly. Assuming you mean “in science,” I think no such thing.

    The question, in case you still haven’t figured it out—and apparently you haven’t—is what Stephen Schneider and all the people who agree with Stephen Schneider, of whom I’m not one, believe.

    Do you understand the words “each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being A and being B… I hope this means being both?”

    I’ll give you one last chance to prove you’ve ever met a scientist in your life / know anything about science.

    Question:

    In science—not in Stephen Schneider’s confused conception thereof—what is the relationship between A and B, expressed as an equation?

    (I have the answer written down. But this is going to be a lot more fun than just telling you outright.)

  155. #155 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 14, 2014

    Kevin:

    [you said:] “The Schneiderian auto-censor, “To sacrifice a little honesty in exchange for greater effectiveness” which leads to climate scientists “subscribing to pernicious “ethics””.

    *Sigh.* No I didn’t say that. You don’t even verbal people competently, you dullard. I would’ve thought twisting people’s words plausibly was a skill any of you half-witted cultists would’ve picked up by now.

    Following Schneider’s advice doesn’t LEAD ONE to adopt pernicious ethics. What he advocated IS pernicious ethics.

  156. #156 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 14, 2014

    PS:

    You can, of course, use other constant or variable terms like i, j, k, or x, y, z in your equation where necessary.

  157. #157 Kevin MacDonald
    January 15, 2014

    Following Schneider’s advice doesn’t LEAD ONE to adopt pernicious ethics. What he advocated IS pernicious ethics.

    Just because honesty and efficiency are an anathema to you it doesn’t follow that they are pernicious.

    I’m interested in your logic here; if a person advocates something and you follow that advocacy, you are not yourself subscribing to the something advocated. How does that work?

  158. #158 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 15, 2014

    Kevin,

    It looks as though I read this “sentence” wrong…

    To sacrifice a little honesty in exchange for greater effectiveness” which leads to climate scientists “subscribing to pernicious “ethics””.

    …because, let’s face it, you wrote it wrong.

    But I’ve (belatedly) decrypted it, so let’s move on.

    No more dilatory, tangential bullcrap!

    Answer the test question (or else there’s zero use/hope/point in trying to discuss science with you):

    In proper science—not in Stephen Schneider’s version thereof!—what is the relationship between A and B, as an equation, where A represents being effective and B represents being honest? Define as many additional variables/constants as necessary (but no more).

    Tick tock.

    Tick tock.

  159. #159 Kevin MacDonald
    January 16, 2014

    In proper science—not in Stephen Schneider’s version thereof!—what is the relationship between A and B, as an equation, where A represents being effective and B represents being honest? Define as many additional variables/constants as necessary (but no more)

    Another straw man Brad. You have a real hard on for those guys. Scheider was not discussing the scientific method in your quote mined excerpt, he was talking about the difficulties of science communication in the abbreviated media formats.

  160. #160 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 16, 2014

    Surprise surprise.

    Your response is … yet more dilatory, evasive squirrelism.

    I’ll ask again, without mentioning that person:

    In science, what is the relationship between A and B, as an equation, where A represents being effective and B represents being honest? Define as many additional variables/constants as necessary (but no more).

    Go.

    Tick tock.

  161. #161 Kevin MacDonald
    January 16, 2014

    Your response is … yet more dilatory, evasive squirrelism

    Yawn!

  162. #162 Greg Laden
    January 16, 2014

    Brad, what do you mean by “being honest” (in the context of communicating complex scientific information to a non-specialist public)?

  163. #163 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 16, 2014

    Greg,

    Bumper-sticker edition?

    Saying what you think and why.

  164. #164 Greg Laden
    January 16, 2014

    That sort of misses what I thought was the point. As an expert on some area of science, or in some cases, as someone who has learned a lot of detail about a particular issue, saying “what I think and why” is an inadequate guide for writing up the science for the general public.

  165. #165 Greg Laden
    January 16, 2014

    (same applies in the classroom.)

  166. #166 Brad Keyes
    www.climatenuremberg.com
    January 16, 2014

    Greg,

    “That sort of misses what I thought was the point”

    Point? I thought it was a question.

    Yes, I sensed you trying to prompt me to say something in the parenthesised part of the question, but couldn’t read your mind so I chose an all-purpose context-agnostic formula.

    Perhaps this shows I don’t know much about you but:

    What is the exact scenario: writing school textbooks (“solidified” science), explaining evolution (“solidified” science) to Med Sci students, debating a creationist (“solidified but contested anyway” science), explaining climate change in a radio studio (“fluid and contested”)….what?

    and if my answer was inadequate, it’s only good manners that you should show us an adequate one

  167. #167 Sylvester B
    Houston,TX
    February 3, 2014

    My problem is much simpler, since I am not trying to win an argument but just to understand the science. So my question would be in two parts: 1) How much is human activity actually driving global warming? and 2) What would be a falsifying event wrt catastrophic warming predictions?

    A scientific theory that has no falsifying event isn’t scientific.

    And I readily admit that the earth is warming, and has been since the end of the ice ages. I just do not think the climate scientists have nailed down a reliable computer simulation of the entire chaotic system.

    The fall-off after the hockey stick was not predicted, nor the reduction in the rate of warming. Back to the drawing board! Although the more recent tweaks have been an improvement.
    JimB

  168. #168 Sylvester B
    Houston,TX
    February 3, 2014

    Brad: I do not understand your point about an equation to express the relationship between communication efficacy and honesty. Bayseian? (sp?) I don’t think these concepts can be expressed mathematically unless you consider them to be contradictory (A=1/B or X=A-B) in which case one could not honestly state any position at all.

    Kinda dumb point, imo.

    JimB

  169. […] community have a longstanding policy not to debate with creationists, in part because doing so gives an unwarranted credibility to their disingenuous arguments. So when Bill Nye chose to debate Ken Ham in the Creation Museum on […]

Current ye@r *