A Few Things Ill Considered

A roomful of cynics: Gristmill

Heartland Institute is hosting a “scholarly” event in New York this weekend. Here is a description of what to expect.


  1. #1 eddie
    March 7, 2009

    I agree that it’s important to point out the falsity of authority in cases like this, but as HalSF said in the comments there, it can become an ‘our authorities are bigger than yours’ match.
    It’s more important to dismiss the fallacy of authority altogether. It’s about the evidence.

  2. #2 wildlifer
    March 8, 2009

    The photo accurately portrays what to expect … no need to read any further.

  3. #3 John Mashey
    March 8, 2009

    The only problem with the picture is that it misrepresents Heartland’s efforts and the speakers there. It might fit some of the other attendees.

    Head-in-sand indicates people not wanting to see, whereas a better image might be people trying to stir up a sandstorm in front of the hockey-stick so that no one *else* can see it.

  4. #4 Mike D
    March 8, 2009

    And here I thought that picture was Al Gore, James Hansen, and Michael Mann. I did not know that they were speaking at the conference.
    You are right with your heading. Grist is a roomful of Cynics/skeptics.

  5. #5 Adam
    March 8, 2009

    John Mashey:

    I don’t agree with you fully. I’m sure there are some people speaking there who truly believe what they’re saying. That’s more a case of the blind leading the blind than willful misrepresentation.

    Mike D:
    I see what you did there!! Clever!

  6. #6 Informed Person
    March 9, 2009

    The hockey stick is a nonsensical piece of propaganda. Let’s extend the ‘proxy’ record to today and see what happens! Oh… the spike ‘today’ completely vanishes. Tacking instrumental records on to ‘proxy’ records of dubious quality is bad science. And furthermore eliminating those proxy records from the graph after 1950, when it’d make much more sense to strengthen your case by letting the proxies agree with the instruments and show robust unprecedented warming, is just plain dishonest. If the tree rings showed the scary warming today, why not leave them in and shut us skeptics up? Oh. Right. Because tree rings aren’t good proxies in the first place, and the proxy record shows no discernible trend after 1950, with some even showing a DECREASE in temperature. But that’s all inconvenient and takes a while to explain. Better to scare people with graphs based on bad data and shoddy presentation. You are a joke, and the world is beginning to realize it.

  7. #7 Lowlander
    March 11, 2009

    Well, Informed Person, ironically you are tremendously uninformed about the qualities and atributes of temperature proxys. Google it.

  8. #8 Crakar14
    March 11, 2009

    And the church of AGW wonder why no one takes them seriously.

    To Mike D, if it were a photo of Hansen, Gore and mann you would see 3 people waving a really scary story in one hand whilst the other is in the cookie jar. Either that or 3 people with their heads up where the sun dont shine.

  9. #9 Seriously?
    March 14, 2009

    No, Lowlander, I’ve looked in to it extensively. The proxies are, in a word, crap. Especially when you mess with the data after the fact. Don’t be silly.

  10. #10 Adam
    March 15, 2009

    Seriously? –

    Can you provide a specific critique of why you think proxy measurements (all of them) are inadequate? Right now, you’re just dismissing them out of hand, calling them crap and leaving it at that. If you’ve actually looked into it extensively, you’ll be able to provide a detailed discussion of what you think is wrong.

    Hell, if you publish your results, you’ll probably become famous for single-handedly destroying the results and understanding of several branches of science.

    Of course, since your disagreement with the science is likely ideological, I don’t expect this to happen.

  11. #11 here you go
    March 15, 2009

    Not all are inadequate. Just the ones that define the Mann hockeystick and the rest of the hockey team. Even though they claim to be ‘independent,’ the hockey team studies simply recycle different combinations of the same datasets, leaving a few out here and there. It’s a farce. Tree rings aren’t good proxies. The proxy record doesn’t show the current warming. Which is a very good reason to doubt the reliability of the tree ring record. You can handwave about this all you like, but if the proxy record extended until today showed the warming, they’d leave that part in and shut people like me up. Instead, they omit it and hope nobody will notice or question their reasoning for doing so.

    No, my disagreement is with the bad science itself. Attempting to paint me as something else is immature and uncalled for. Keep it up though. Ad homs are awesome!

  12. #12 Adam
    March 15, 2009

    If tree-rings are egregiously unusable, they should be completely at odds with other proxies. However, all the proxy temperatures show the same general trend, though obviously with some variation (greatest in the tree-ring measurements, admittedly).

    So, you still have to demonstrate why all the proxy measurements are wrong if you want to so casually dismiss the hockey stick.