Morano madness

Morano can’t jump the shark, because in his case it comes pre-jumped. But he does his best here. Nice to see Eli getting so much publicity, he deserves it. But why Morano is reduced to commenting on blogs, surely his golden rat award winning website is platform enough?

Oh, and there is KDPs version on wiki. For “prominent scientists”, there are an awful lot of redlinks.


  1. #1 Eli Rabett

    Thanks, I was looking for that last night and could not find it on the Wikipedia.

  2. #2 Nosmo

    What does the red mean? Wasn’t obvious (or I’m blind or stupid).

    [Follow the wikilink. "redlink" will make its way into normal english soon enough :-) -W]

  3. #3 Joe

    The red link means there isn’t a wikipedia entry for the person. So much for “prominent”.

    Morano comes off as a totally disingenuous scoundrel. Keep posting Marc, so the world is exposed to your deceitful slime!

  4. #4 guthrie

    Thats one hell of a toxic thread. Morano needs to be fed pills to calm him down, and if you could get rid of the trolls you’d be left with 2 or 3 deluded but possibly well meaning people who might be open to sensible argument, but its too late for that.

  5. #5 guthrie

    In fact once again the connection between denialists and Creationists is clear. It is more of a common way of thinking, but the fact is that only Creationists and similarly stupid people think that you win in science by saying “We’ve got all these scientists who think your wrong”. Is Morano a Creationist? Who knows. But looking at that list of “prominent” scientists, I think we could easily get together a list of 10,000 “prominent” scientists who support the IPCC. I’d sign it. I’m just as well qualified as all these engineers and random scientists, and better qualified than Monckton and others.

  6. #6 JM

    Well I can help you out with one:


    2. David Whitehouse”

    David Whitehouse is a journalist.

    Although he has a PhD earned at Manchester for work on pulsars, he worked only briefly after getting his doctorate, several months at Nasa and then a shorter period back in the UK. He then joined the BBC as a science journalist in 1988 until he was terminated in 1998. Since then he appears to have worked semi-freelance for the BBC online service.

    As far as I can tell he has never done any post-doctoral research or published anything apart from his popular science pieces (and a couple of low selling books)

  7. #7 Brian D

    (Longtime reader, first comment. Not a true scientist yet, but getting there.)

    Guthrie, it’s interesting that you’d characterise the argument as people saying “We’ve got all these scientists who think you’re wrong” — particularly because these are the same people who say “consensus isn’t science” and usually rattle off one of these lists as proof of that.

    Then, in the same breath, they rattle off the same list in another thread where they aren’t disputing consensus, this time emphasizing their number of signatories as evidence against AGW, in effect using their own gathering to emulate the “we’ve got a consensus” argument, but in reverse.

    (This is usually without actually looking at the entries in the list, since several of the people who sign these lists have different stories: some say solar, others say hoax, others say oceans, others say fraud. All that’s ‘proof’ of is that they’re contrarian — and that the people citing this list often have opinions as flexible as some of the denialists.)

    If it weren’t, effectively, feeding the mass trolls of the denial machine and wasting legitimate scientists’ time, I’d love to see a similar counter-petition, like the one you propose. It seems that without individual names and commesurate big numbers attached to it, skeptics tend to ignore what are, in many ways, the same things (i.e. the IPCC, the Joint Academies Statement, and so on) — even as they cheer about the ’19000 on that one petition’ or some other tripe.

  8. #8 guthrie

    Brian- there is a reason I compared them to Creationists. Such doublethink about lists as you describe is very common amongst creationists as well.

    Personally, I think the best thing to do with lists like the above is to say “Ok, you’ve got all these people agreeing on something- wheres their evidence?”

    If you look up the list, it seems most of the deniers are doing so for non-scientific reasons.
    The last option should be to attack them because they are not qualified, since this plays right into the hands of the anti-intellectual bent of many people (even although they are claiming all these intellectuals are on their side) and is easily misused by their masters. See how Morano has behaved for more examples.

  9. #9 Dano

    Guthrie is exactly correct: not for how one comports oneself on comment threads, but for how the public dialogue can be pushed forward.

    That is: to oppose something is to maintain it. Look at the spittle-spewing mischaracterization rhetoric that the denialists use every time credentials are questioned. The S:N becomes intolerable and any chance at dialogue goes away.

    If one is in a public forum and wishes to drive the dialogue forward, far better to ignore denialists – act as if their arguments aren’t worth the time of day. Their arguments have long since been refuted, why waste time on their fishwrap? We refuted these very same arguments years ago, why waste everyones time on things that aren’t true or at best half-true? and move on.

    BTW, the dotearth thread IMHO is a treasure trove – nay – a reference trove of denialist FUD and rhetorical tactics. Precious.



  10. #10 guthrie

    Actually Dano, I havn’t tracked it down further, but I think the opposing things to maintain/ grow them was spread about by Frank Herbert before Le Guin.

    Dano- my experience in the past 2 or 3 years is that the war at the top level is pretty much won, as when you talk about policy makers etc. However there is still a rearguard action from the usual entrenched interests. Meanwhile, the only way you’re going to get the necessary changes is also by involving people and keeping them informed. Not everyone, but just enough to keep things going. However, at the individual level, this is a fight that is still necessary. We have to oppose the denialists at every turn, because the fence sitters, ill informed and ignorant will otherwise think the denialists have a point.

    Just to add to the fun, there are several categories of individual involved, and I’m talking simply about ordinary mops, who do not have any connections to the usual suspects. To start with, there are the “econazi commies are out to take us back to the stone age”. They are usually fairly incoherent, and you can have some fun with them. Much more dangerous are the apparently intelligent people (Oddly enough there seem to be quite a few engineers) who think there are flaws in the reasoning of the IPCC etc, due to their own crackpot theory.

    Thirdly, there are the clued up denialists, who I think have been becoming more sophisticated, even whilst their numbers drop slightly due to predation. These are the people who have actually read scientific papers, but due to ideological reasons (they hate Al Gore and love “free” markets) or just sheer stupidity think the IPCC are wrong. They get their points from newspaper stories and disinformation websites, and will discourse apparently knowledgeably on the topic of solar insolation, volcanic eruptions, and radiation.

    Then there are the anti-authoritarian sophists, who will oppose anything they think is authoritarian, i.e. if anyone tells anyone what to do (Wear a seatbelt, don’t smoke, cut down your carbon emissions, for your own good) they will reflexively respond in the negative. Their only weapon is disbelief, and they are really annoying to argue with because they don’t believe anything you say.

    Finally, we have the brain dead. “The weather is always changing” kind of people.

    On the other hand, we have great swathes of the population who do not know much about the issues, simply because they do not have the time or energy to learn, and many of them do not have sufficient scientific background to learn the necessary stuff. I can pick it up quickly because I have a chemistry degree, but if you’ve never done physics beyond when you were 16 and worked in an office ever since, it will be that much harder to get your head around things.
    These people will be open to persuasion, as long as it seems that everyone will be treated the same with regards to carbon emissions. However their opinion on the topic will be influenced by what they see and read. If they see unanswered denialist bilge everywhere, they will think that is correct. If they see it all answered, they will get a better idea.

  11. #11 Dano

    Dano- my experience in the past 2 or 3 years is that the war at the top level is pretty much won, as when you talk about policy makers etc…Meanwhile, the only way you’re going to get the necessary changes is also by involving people and keeping them informed. Not everyone, but just enough to keep things going.

    Yes, the top-down vs bottom-up change paradigm. Fully agreed.

    I have a presentation half-prepared for our local denialist, as I recnetly attended his latest…er…mendacicization & asked a lot of clarifying questions that made his argument look bad. Some folk in the audience listened as if they wanted…er…”balance”. Not sure I’ll waste my time, but if interesting enuf I’ll go.

    Anyway,my point with that is, the presentation asserts basically that even at our level (town under 50k population, verrrrry conservative area), denialists do not have access to decision-makers. They have access to power at virtually no level.

    Now, many folks may still think we’re in a natural cycle and all that, but IME simply pushing efficiency gains and resource scarcity and job creation is enough to push your fence-sitters toward action, for a different reason; and although the reasons are different, the ends are the same.



  12. #12 bigTom

    These guys just seem to be everywhere. Usually they seem to be motivated by strong libertarianism. Anything that might possibly lead to regulation is inherently evil. Any science that supports regulation must be wrong -and is probably being fraudulently advanced by someone with an evil agenda. Then I have met a few who are frightened of the response “I’m so afraid of Nuclear power -and AGW might be a reason for it”, they they will ignore all reason. We’ve got to keep fighting this stuff, but it is so pervasive, and they seem to be so energized it’s tough.

  13. #13 guthrie

    Exactly Dano, one of my points I suppose I shoudl develop further is that even if it all turns out to be hot air, if we spend the next 5 years improving efficiency on everything we can we shall have a massive net gain anyway.

  14. #14 Brian Schmidt

    Left off of Guthrie’s list are those who either don’t believe in their denialist assertions or who aren’t particularly interested in whether their denialist assertions are true. I think these people, along with those who’ve let their volubility trump their confidence levels, are the ones who most need to be challenged with climate change bets.

    On that subject, Marc Morano posted at 1:30 on the thread, I posted at 3:18 reminding folks that he and his boss have refused to bet, and he hasn’t returned. A temporary victory?

  15. #15 cce

    My favorite retired “father of climate science,” Reid Bryson, chimed in with his opinion of the AGU, NAS, AMS and AAAS, and declared that “little science is involved.”

    Spotted elsewhere, is this

    He thinks that water vapor is “at least 100 times more effective” than CO2.

    He thinks that climate is weather.

    He complains about “consensus” as if it is based on votes, and not on, oh, peer reviewed science.

    “To his knowledge,” the effect of aerosols aren’t considered.

    And he repeats his claim that people laughed at him for suggesting in 1968 that people could alter the climate, even though two other papers did the same thing at the same symposium (three, if you count a paper that talked about the effect of pollution on clouds). And he says global warming is just a media-free-for-all, even though in just about any of the popular “global cooling” articles from the ’70s, there’s old Reid Bryson and his human volcano.

    Oh well.