A Few Things Ill Considered

Yet more sports commentary

Roger Pielke Jr has another post promoting the whole Hockey Stick schtick. My “sceptic guide” entry on that is still here, and I don’t have much more to say about it still to this day.

But as for the meta discussion…


I think it is self-serving and a real disservice to humanity for Roger to still be fanning the flames on this issue, but it certainly seems he has found the audience and following he must have been seeking if one is to judge be the plethora of “me too” comments he has received. I don’t have much more to observe than that, but Michael Tobis has a more lengthy and well thought out essay on In It For the Gold and I highly recommend taking the time to read that.

This is his moving finish:

In the end, science is an imperfect instrument, and we must nevertheless make decisions based on what we know. By stressing the former and not the latter fact, by fertilizing the ground where others are happy to plant wild conspiracy theories, McIntyre and now Pielke do an enormous disservice.

As such, they are ironically part of the very problem they identify, placing more attention to the advancement of their own reputations and positions than on the advancement of knowledge and governance.

It’s literally tragic that they are recycling this endless quibbling about bristlecone pines rather than stepping back and looking at the balance of evidence. There is simply no way to formalize the process entirely. Human judgment is easily derailed, but we will have to collectively judge this issue and come to difficult and necessarily imperfect decisions of major consequence, soon.

If somebody wants to talk about “malefactors”, let’s talk about the people who are working so hard to skew this matter away from the big picture. It’s not about publication records and tenure cases. It’s about survival. It’s about whether or not to extract so much value from the world that the world itself becomes valueless.

Bristlecone pines or not, the carbon has to stay in the ground.

But please do read the whole thing.

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