A Few Things Ill Considered

As ridiculous as that headline is, it is the theme du jour in the denialosphere….

The chair of the UN’s panel on climate change Dr Rajendra Pachauri was written a “racy” romance novel and therefore the IPCC AR4 is unreliable propaganda. Um…okay.

If I wanted the denialists to win the PR battle, I would quietly but urgently try to warn them about going a bit too far in the mud slinging ad hominems.

(see ClimateAudit and WUWT piling on this Telegraph “news” item.)


I mean, really, isn’t that a truly laughable thing to get worked up about? Can’t just about anyone with the minimal intelligence required to post a comment on a blog see how utterly irrelevant this “revelation” is to the real issues at hand?

(That would be a “yes” to the former question but sadly a “no” to the latter).

So I guess now the question is, is that as low as they can go? The answer will be worth waiting for I am sure…

Comments

  1. #1 Blake Stacey
    February 2, 2010

    Heck, I wrote a novel (pretty trashy in parts). I wonder which claims of mine that little indiscretion invalidated? :-)

  2. #2 Ben Lawson
    February 2, 2010

    And in nearly the same breath WUWT sings the praises of Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog who does a better job than Anthony Watts did as a TV weather reporter! Keep it comin’ Anthony, keep it comin’.

  3. #3 crakar24
    February 2, 2010

    I am glad the romance novelist wrote a book because i was sick of calling him the rail road engineer. You are right Coby any moron with half a brain can write a trashy romance novel and this fact should not effect his work for the IPCC.

    Mind you if he wins a Nobel prize for literature i will be crying foul.

  4. #4 Brian D
    February 2, 2010

    I’m wondering how many of these Pachauri-bashers who call him out for “not being a climate scientist” were also yelling at Ben Santer during that whole Wall Street Journal Doesn’t Understand Peer Review thing fifteen years ago, and how many of them haven’t even heard of Santer, the White House’s actions, and the memos sent to the White House just before Santer was replaced.

  5. #5 pough
    February 2, 2010

    What? You mean they’ve thrown Michael Crichton under the bus? Dude’s barely cold!

  6. #6 Luboš Motl
    February 3, 2010

    Michael Crichton wasn’t writing porn novels like the the alarmist trash starting from Pachauri and continuing to Stacey. All you, folks, are communist pornographic crooks.

  7. #7 Richard Eis
    February 3, 2010

    The climate deniers are really getting desperate now. This is just the last poo-flings of defiance before they become sidelined crackpots along with the 9/11 truthers and antivaxxers.

  8. #8 Dunc
    February 3, 2010

    “So I guess now the question is, is that as low as they can go?”

    Signs point to “no”.

  9. #9 David Marjanović
    February 3, 2010

    All you, folks, are communist pornographic crooks.

    Self-parody!

  10. #10 IanW
    February 3, 2010

    Global warming, steamy novel? If you can’t see the connection, there’s something wrong with your perception!

  11. #11 david
    February 3, 2010

    Thank goodness there are sites like this one for me to come to. You are the only people who understand me. I just got my copy of Pachauri’s book. It will keep me company here in my fall out shelter. I can only read in day light hours as it takes too much energy to pedal my bike-generator cuz my breathing creates too much CO2. I’ve been trying to put up a wind turbine up but I don’t want to damage a tree and metal and plastic take energy to create. I’m out on that! Any ideas? It’s a little cramped here but it’s worth it cuz I have my vaccines and anti virals for SARS, Bird flu and new version of Swine flu. Without the DDT I’m a little worried about the killer bees though. Keep up the info. Nothing has got me yet and it never will with your help!

  12. #12 Jason A.
    February 3, 2010

    ^ When their responses consistently are nothing more than hyperbolic ranting, I know they’ve lost on substance.

    It always makes me think of creationists…

  13. #13 skip
    February 3, 2010

    Yeah it has no logical bearing on the science of AGW but PR is part of this; face it. Pachauri is now easily portrayed as a bungling prima donna. He should step down.

    But come on, Crakar, don’t knock it till you try it. Remember: Salinger and Miller were considered “porn” in their day but now radical Christians have to fight to have their books purged from/burned in public schools. Progress and evolving standards, baby.

  14. #14 Neu Tral
    February 3, 2010

    For what it’s worth (admittedly, not much), this post and others like it have made me decide to remove scienceblogs from my RSS subscriptions. I subscribed because I was interested in seeing scientific posts… but I see too many posts where the author is complaining about and belittling people with whom they disagree.

    This post even uses the phrase “ad hominem” with no apparent recognition of the irony.

  15. #15 Neu Tral
    February 3, 2010

    Some words or phrases that (in my opinion) have no place in a “science blog”:
    trashy, ridiculous, denialosphere, racy, denialists, laughable, minimal intelligence, utterly irrelevant

  16. #16 communist pornographic crook
    February 3, 2010

    Neu Tral:

    This comment even uses the phrase “ad hominem” with no apparent recognition of its meaning.

  17. #17 Middlek
    February 3, 2010

    @15…

    “Concern troll expresses concern”…film at 11.

  18. #18 llewelly
    February 3, 2010

    Heck, I wrote a novel (pretty trashy in parts). I wonder which claims of mine that little indiscretion invalidated? :-)

    This is a good point. The BLATANT, RABID PORNOGRAPHY in your novel clearly renders the degree you got from that overrated institution in Massachusetts TOTALLY INVALID.

  19. #19 mandas
    February 3, 2010

    david (post #11)
    You wanted some ideas? Here’s one for you:

    If your fallout shelter is letting daylight in, you might want to rebuild.

  20. #20 Neu Tral
    February 3, 2010

    @communist pornographic crook: An ad hominem attack is one (such as the post to which we are replying) that attacks the person rather than the idea. Accusing someone of an ad hominem attack while insulting their character and the quality of their fictional writing is ironic, in the colloquial sense of the word.

    @Middlek: Yes, I recognize that I made a small comment to a trivial blog post (that was your point in saying “film at 11, I assume). I was not trolling, though. I was honestly hoping that I could have some positive influence on the quality of the blog. That comment was a continuation of my previous comment, intended to support my reference to the irony that this post complains of “ad hominem” attacks, while itself being one.

    And the ad hominem continues. Anyone else care to insult me for explaining that I am unsubscribing from this blog because it is too insulting?

  21. #21 communist pornographic crook
    February 3, 2010

    Neu Tral:

    Ad hominem:

    You are retarded, therefore you are wrong.

    Not ad hominem:

    You are retarded.

    See the communist wikipedia for details :):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem#Common_misconceptions_about_ad_hominem

  22. #22 Ian Forrester
    February 3, 2010

    Neu Tral, it is never considered to be an “ad hominem” when the description is a true reflection of the person. Therefore calling some one a “liar” who continually distorts the truth is not an ad hominem attack.

    Why does your list of “phrases that (in your opinion) have no place in a “science blog”” only include terms which are used, correctly I must add, to describe deniers? Why do the phrases, “fraudster”, “scientific hoax”, “scientific fraud” not appear? It doesn’t look like you are being “neutral” in this discussion at all.

    I am as confused on your stance on global warming as Chaucer was of the Pardoner in the Canterbury Tales: “I Trowe He were a Gelding or a Mare”.

  23. #23 skip
    February 3, 2010

    And the ad hominem continues. Anyone else care to insult me for explaining that I am unsubscribing from this blog because it is too insulting?

    No insult, but a well-intended question: Since your declaration was to “unsubscribe”, how was it you were about to note the reactions to it and respond?

    Come on. You like us; admit it.

  24. #24 Neu Tral
    February 3, 2010

    My original comment wasn’t very clear, and seems to have generated some noise. I’ll try to make my original point again, this time providing more information.

    I saw an interesting scienceblogs post at some point, and decided I would like to see more such posts, so I subscribed to this feed:
    ScienceBlogs Select – A constant stream of the best of ScienceBlogs: http://feeds.feedburner.com/scienceblogs/ScienceblogsSelect?format=xml

    As part of that feed, attack posts like this would show up from time to time, and this is not the sort of thing I want to read. I unsubscribed from the feed and commented here with the hope that someone someone in control would see my comment and think “hey, maybe these attack posts aren’t really part of the best ScienceBlogs has to offer.”

    When I commented, I did not realize that this particular blog (although not the feed to which I subscribed) was all about attacking people who were perceived to be ignorant.

    I am happy to explain all of this, because I still hope that someone will reconsider the inclusion of such posts in that feed.

    Now I’m going to unwisely allow myself to get drawn into the noise I’ve generated.

    @communist pornagraphic crook and @Ian Forrester: I think Blake Stacey summed up the ad hominem nature of this post in the first comment. I’m sorry my definition omitted one characteristic of ad hominem, but the post is still ad hominem and the irony is still present.

    @Ian Forrester: When I said “Some words or phrases that (in my opinion) have no place [...]” I meant “Some words or phrases that were used in this post that (in my opinion) have no place [...]“. It was not intended to be a comprehensive or representative list. I thought that would be clear from the context of my comment and the use of the word “some”. I did not spell that out because I thought that my comment would be more casual and less like a legal document if I did not fully qualify every aspect of what I was saying. I hope that clears up the misunderstanding regarding the list of words and phrases.

    @Ian Forrester: Regarding my stance on global warming, that is not what I am here to discuss, but since you (implicitly) asked: I am neutral. I have difficulty finding unbiased information, but there is a seemingly infinite supply of “information” like this post (and the noise to which this post is an echo) from both sides. I find that frustrating, so I am resigned to wait for truth to emerge. It would please me greatly if some of the people involved in the global warming mud slinging were to happen across this comment and change their approach.

  25. #25 Neu Tral
    February 3, 2010

    @skip: I am already unsubscribed from the RSS feed that included this post. Since commenting, I have reloaded this page periodically to see the replies. I hope that answers your question.

  26. #26 dhogaza
    February 3, 2010

    Neu Tral, you might try Skeptical Science.

    It’s run by a physicist.

    Of course, the gold standard is Real Climate, run by leading climate scientists.

    I have difficulty finding unbiased information, but there is a seemingly infinite supply of “information”

    Well, if you really believe that weather tv personalities with a high school education (Anthony Watts) and the like provide information, then you’re bound to be confused.

    Go to Real Climate, click “start here”, and read. That’s science, by scientists.

    Of course, that assumes you’re interested in climate science, not amateur photography projects, fixations on a few e-mails, etc.

  27. #27 Neu Tral
    February 3, 2010

    @communist pornographic crook and @Ian Forrester: I just re-read the post, and it seems that I misunderstood it–not undue to lack of interest. I retract my claim that it is ad hominem, and thereby disavow my claim that it is ironic in the colloquial sense–the subject is still ironic in the strict sense. I still find the attack post to be uninteresting (although I find the discussion of its value interesting). I hope I’ve cleared up that confusion.

  28. #28 Neu Tral
    February 3, 2010

    @dhogaza: I am not particularly interested in climate science, as you might know if you read my other comments.

    Regarding your stalking attempt, I hope you didn’t base it on the email address that I provided based on the statement, “(Email is required for authentication purposes only. On some blogs, comments are moderated for spam, so your comment may not appear immediately.)”. That would be a violation of the scienceblogs.com privacy policy (http://scienceblogs.com/main/privacy/), and that could get you and scienceblogs.com into trouble.

    [dhogaza can not see your email address, only I can and I would not provide it to anyone, it looks like a fake anyway
    - coby]

  29. #29 communist pornographic crook
    February 3, 2010

    Neu Tral:

    “I’m sorry my definition omitted one characteristic of ad hominem”

    “the irony is still present”

    We agree :)

    (protip: most climate blogs were set up to debunk denialist trash, not to teach people climate science. If that is what you want, try here, here or here)

  30. #30 mandas
    February 3, 2010

    Neu Tral

    I am completely confused by this statement:

    “…Regarding my stance on global warming, that is not what I am here to discuss, but since you (implicitly) asked: I am neutral. I have difficulty finding unbiased information, but there is a seemingly infinite supply of “information” like this post (and the noise to which this post is an echo) from both sides. I find that frustrating, so I am resigned to wait for truth to emerge…”

    If you want unbiased information, there is so much out there I don’t know where to start; but they are called ‘papers’. They are published in science journals. Try Google Scholar. But to seek for unbiased information on blog sites is, well, counter-intuitive.

    I will give you the same advice I have provided over and over again to some of our more interesting correspondents. You need to do your research. You cannot rely on blog sites – including this one by the way (no matter what my opinion may be) – you MUST follow up every story you read by reading the original source material, plus getting some background on the author (what his/her viewpoint may be). The stories on sites like this may be interesting, but you will ALWAYS get the spin of the site owner. This MUST be followed up with further investigation to find out what is underlying that spin. Be a skeptic – but be a REAL skeptic, not a denialist.

  31. #31 Neu Tral
    February 3, 2010

    Coby, it seems like a strange coincidence that dhogaza’s comment alludes content of the web site associated with the domain I used in the email address. I can’t imagine how else he would have thought that web site had anything to do with me. I think maybe someone else has access to my email address.

  32. #32 Nue Tral
    February 3, 2010

    @mandas: I will try to clarify the statement that you find confusing. Global warming is not a passion of mine. I once read an interesting scienceblogs.com article on a completely different topic (psychology, as I recall). I subscribed to an RSS feed that claimed to contain only the best posts from scienceblog. Unfortunately, inflammatory posts like this one kept showing up, so I unsubscribed. I thought I would try to do scienceblogs.com a favor and mention that here. Now I am being flamed, talked down to, insulted, and stalked.

    My opinion of scienceblogs.com goes beyond “unimpressed” at this point. I am approaching “shocked.”

    Regarding your advice, I will politely decline. I think you offered that advice in response to the statement that you said you did not understand.

    I regret clarifying that I am neutral on the topic, because that seems to be consistently interpreted according to the false dichotomy, “if you are not with us, you are against us.” Please disregard my position on global warming. I have absolutely no interest in discussing it here.

    I am here to express my opinion of the value of this post as a feature of the RSS feed I mentioned previously.

    Thank you for your time and interest.

  33. #33 mandas
    February 3, 2010

    [snip]Neu Tral (I assume you are one and the same)

    I do not care whether you are for or against climate change, and I do not care what your position is on any subject. I am confused when you say you have difficulty finding ubiased information, and that you are ‘waiting for the truth to emerge’. I am confused, because blogging is not the way to achieve either objective. It can be a good first step – to highlight information that you may otherwise be unaware of – but that is all it is.

    The truth is already ‘out there’, and there is plenty of unbiased information available, but you have to do the hard yards and actually read the science. NOTHING else will suffice.

    If you are hoping for blog sites where no-one ever says anything bad, or offers personal abuse, or speaks completely unbiased, non-spin, opinions, then good luck. But I believe you are being naive. No such place exists this side of the rainbow.

  34. #34 Nue Tral
    February 3, 2010

    @mandas: OK. I think I understand your confusion. I have not been searching blogs for unbiased information. I subscribed to a scienceblogs.com RSS feed because I read an interesting article about a recent study (psychology-related, I think). I thought the scienceblogs.com “best of” might be a good source of similar articles, but I kept seeing posts like this one. Rather than just unsubscribing quietly, I decided to share my reason in case it would help.

    I am not looking for a mythical blog where all of the commenters are kind and have good intentions, but I am interested in finding an RSS feed where someone has selected just a few particularly interesting scientific posts to share, and NOT posts like this one.

    Does that make more sense to you?

  35. #35 coby
    February 3, 2010

    Neu Tral

    1. I accept your criticism that this post should not have been in the select feed, I actually don’t recall intentionally sending it there.

    2. dhogaza mentioned Anthony Watts of wattsupwiththat.com He is a very big player in climate change obfuscation and denial and a likely first name to come to mind when chosing a random denialist site at random. Photographs of weather stations and discussion of private email between climate scientists are a good portion of the content there. I fail to see any connection whatsoever with that site and the domain or handle of your email address, and I visited the www site of that domain.

    Stalking is a pretty serious accusation and you have made it three times now. Firstly, you should be assured nothing like that has occurred, secondly you should not make an accusation like that without very solid reason.

    Thanks for the visit!

  36. #36 Neu Tral
    February 3, 2010

    @coby: Thank you for accepting that criticism. If this had been the first time, I would have overlooked it, but there have been others as well. In particular, a couple posts insulting anti-vaccination people, and a post gloating about driving a couple people away come to mind. It is this recurring pattern that made me decide to unsubscribe. If they were all unintentional, that seems like a problem worth correcting.

    Regarding multiple handles, I typed the wrong thing in the “Name” field. I did not see a way to change it after posting, but I did quickly send you an email asking you to change it for me. When enough time passed without you doing that, I decided to continue posting with the new name (for what I believed was better continuity).

    I would prefer that they all be “Neu Tral”, so please feel free to make that change. I have switched back to that handle in this post.

    Regarding the stalking accusation, I agree that it is serious. I will take that up with you via email (the coby101 gmail address). I don’t want to explain the details in public. I apologize in advance if I am incorrect, and if that turns out to be the case, I will freely admit it here.

  37. #37 Neu Tral
    February 3, 2010

    It seems that I was indeed mistaken about my stalking accusation. It was a case of the horoscope effect. I am sorry about that, Coby and dhogaza.