The return of KK!

swing KK tweets My latest @ISSUESinST feature just went online. It covers some sensitive issues in ecology & climate spheres. It’s kinda standard fodder, headlined “The Science Police” in order to wind you up, like The Fail, bylined On highly charged issues, such as climate change and endangered species, peer review literature and public discourse are aggressively patrolled by self-appointed sheriffs in the scientific community. Provocative or wot? I’ll skip the ecology, because I have no expertise there, and come on to the climate. Which is… RP Jr. And if you don’t know who he is, KK helpfully provides a potted description: An interdisciplinary scholar, his research for over two decades was at the intersection of public policy, politics, and science—largely in the treacherous climate arena… Pielke is among the most cited and published academics on climate change and severe weather. Well no, not really. I haven’t looked at his actual citations, but this is deeply misleading. As KK continues, The controversy centers on his research finding that although the climate is warming, this does not necessarily result in the increased frequency or severity of extreme weather disasters. Which is correct, but shows you how narrow RP’s contribution to the science is.

KK essentially destroys his own case by posting mt’s

Michael Tobis, another climate scientist who has locked horns with Pielke, posted a more judicious response on a widely read climate science blog. “Roger is a problematic figure, who is quick to criticize while being quick to take offense,” Tobis wrote. “He’s often right and often wrong, which can be a useful role in itself, but he ought to be able to take as well as he gives if he wants the net of his contribution to be constructive.”

And I think I’ll stick that, and my That’s a touch misleading, because James wrote “recently” in 2008. Otherwise: RP is a big boy and shouldn’t be whining that everyone is being cwuel to him. And I say that as someone who defended him over the Nate Silver stuff.

Possibly somewhat dubious, but didn’t KK use to be RP’s student? Or at U Colorado with him?1


* Chez ATTP


1. There’s an early connection but its not that; see APS or SB here.


  1. #1 Steve Bloom

    KK was there on a year’s mid-career journalism fellowship under Tom Yulsman, so nothing direct to RP Jr. IIRC. But Yulsman was also a big fan/defender of RP Jr. As you will recall one of the latter’s tactics was to assiduously cultivate the press.

    [Maybe that was it. My memories are form the early days, Prometheus and so on. I’m sure I remember somewhere sometime – possibly on Klimazweibel – twitting KK that it was OK for him to disagree with RP -W]

  2. #2 Steve Bloom
    SF Bay Arrhea (no weather worth mentioning for months to come, so Bloomsday being passed there's only International Talk Like a Pirate Day to look forward to)

    You implied, I’ll say outright: Can’t Kloor come up with something new after all these years? I don’t think the ecology stuff is any better. All just variations on hippie-punching IMO.

  3. #3 Russell
    40 North by 70 West

    Arrrh. Mister Bloom, there be more than International Talk Like a Pirate Day to look forward to:

    [Now I geddit :-) -W]

  4. #4 Sou

    Strange to see KK back to his climate games after all this time. He’s as insubstantial as ever, isn’t he.

    I just wrote a very profound response meant to go here, but I think I sent it to the Washington Post by mistake – ha ha. I’ve no idea what article it ended up under. It will confuse the heck out of anyone if they come across it, and probably embarrass me if I stumble upon it.

    Time I did some real work :(

  5. #5 Tom Fuller
    United States

    Somehow the fact that Pielke was (broadly, with some notable exceptions) correct in most of what he has written on weather related losses, the frequency and intensity of climate events, etc., seems to escape the attention of his critics.

    People will forgive most anything, except when the other guy is right. Pielke’s right. The climate brigade hates him for it.

    [RP said some unwelcome true things, which I’ve defended him for. But he has also deliberately courted controversy, and so… well, read the quote from mt. Read the quote from me -W]

  6. #6 Steve Bloom
    SF Bay Arrhea

    Did Fuller forget to mention that he sees himself as just the same sort of martyr? What a coincidence.

    No, he wasn’t right (in a broad sense), although he was very good with cherry-picking things to be right about.

    Among other things, time doesn’t stop at 2100.

  7. #7 Tom Fuller
    United States

    Not that I really want to revisit the past, but I’ve read what MT and you have written about me (sometimes but not always in response to wicked things I’ve written about you). Hence I’m not inclined to put much credence in what you’ve written about Pielke.

  8. #8 DCR

    Tom Fuller: “… I’ve read what MT and you have written about me (sometimes but not always in response to wicked things I’ve written about you). Hence I’m not inclined to put much credence in what you’ve written about Pielke.”

    Considering some of the boners you have written (ex: lied about participating in Operation Rolling Thunder, claiming Tim Lambert called Pielke a denier and not being able to provide a single example), I’m not inclined to put much credence in much of anything you’ve written.

  9. #9 Tom C

    Pielke Jr’s unforgivable sin is assiduously quoting the actual conclusions from the IPCC regarding severe weather, losses etc. Makes it harder for the alarmists to twist the data.

  10. #10 MMM

    Pielke asked an interesting question: can we detect climate change in terms of extreme weather damages? He pointed out an important confounder: GDP growth. He wrote some papers showing that when controlling for GDP, there is no observed trend in extreme weather damage. In the papers, he notes a key caveat, which is that he didn’t account for the possibility of trends in other key factors, for example better building codes. But in public pronouncements, he always left that caveat out. That is one of the reasons people were annoyed with his work. (while I haven’t seen a definitive synthesis on the subject that I really trust yet, I have seen a few studies suggesting that when normalized against earthquake damages, weather damages have increased. This, of course, is a separate question from whether we expect some kind of weather-related damages to increase in the future).

    And Pielke has shown both his innumeracy _and_ his combativeness in two public episodes where he dug his heels in to defend wrong-headed statistical approaches, e.g.:

    Finally, when Pielke goes to testify on the Hill on climate change, the impression his testimony gives is that of a non-problem: he might claim that’s not what he personally believes, but it is a role that he happily plays.

  11. #11 Russell

    Roger is unlikely to be mistaken for the Dalai Lama, but in the blogosphere, you never know:

  12. #12 Phil Clarke

    “I actually don’t believe men of honour publish correspondence without permission”

    So writes Tom Fuller, co-author of The CRUTape letters which published the Climategate correspondence without permission.


    [Ah, tantalisingly, you’ve cut that off… -W]

  13. #14 Phil Clarke
  14. #15 MMM

    “I actually don’t believe men of honour publish correspondence without permission”

    Yes, but you see, in the first case Tim was publishing part of an email which had been sent to him personally, but in the latter case, Tom Fuller was relying on emails hacked by the Russians, and as we all know, when the Russians hack emails, that cleanses sharing of those emails of all sin.

  15. #16 Russell

    “as we all know, when the Russians hack emails, that cleanses sharing of those emails of all sin.”

    What about commissioning them ?

  16. #17 Thomas Fuller
    United States

    The alt right has nothing on this crew. Woo-hoo!

  17. #18 Hank Roberts
    ah, here's the problem

    Another bleeding facelift.

  18. #19 MMM

    “ex: lied about participating in Operation Rolling Thunder”

    Because apparently I like wasting time with Google, I looked up the genesis of this… and I’d argue that Fuller is not at fault for this one. Misremembering “Operation Frequent Wind” for “Rolling Thunder” three decades after the fact is completely understandable.

  19. #20 Steve Bloom
    SF Bay ARrhea

    Yes, Rolling Thunder was years prior, and not a Navy operation anyway. But Fuller did otherwise exaggerate his military exploits. Nothing big, just things that burnished his image as a Very Clever Boy and wouldn’t have been caught by someone who hadn’t been in the Navy around the same time.

    But actually the worst instance of his puffery was when, prior to starting his blog, he took a tour de climate science/debate lasting all of (IIRC) 3 weeks and decided that was enough to come to a firm judgement in favor of the likes of McIntyre.

    Also, he’s a liberal Democrat. Just ask him.

  20. #21 Tom Fuller
    United States

    Actually, no. I didn’t exaggerate anything and you’ve been lying about it for close on to a decade, Bloom.

    You’ve been lying about it because we’re on different sides of the climate issue. You don’t know me. You don’t know my history. It’s just enough that we’re on different sides.

    The fact that you were in submarines on the other side of the planet apparently gave you license to pronounce on what surface vessels could and should do with regard to bucket tossing for temperature measurements. Your head exploded when I told you the practice had not disappeared and showed you how to buy one from the federal catalogue. So you began to lie about my history. I helped by confusing the two campaigns. Other than that, what I wrote was true.

    It’s the fact that you (and others like you) were so freely willing to lie about me that has shaped everything I felt, wrote and published about the climate conversation ever since.

    But that’s okay, Bloom. I tell the story to people who belonged to the Sierra Club. I work hard to persuade them to leave. Some do.

  21. #23 Hank Roberts
    essential reference material

    Would someone with more patience than I have post the links that back up TF’s claims that he’s being mistreated here?
    I’d especially like to see a cite for
    > Your head exploded
    Mere assertions on blogs don’t carry much weight, as memory starts to fade and get distorted.

    Rolling thunder, frequent wind, all sounds like bad gas.

  22. #24 Thomas Fuller
    United States

    Mr. Roberts, the fart connection probably contributed to my (forgive me) conflating the two.

    I did not claim that I’m being mistreated here. It was elsewhere.

  23. #26 Thomas Fuller
    United States

    Where’d you find a picture of my grandmother?

  24. #27 crandles

    The details there look slim by comparison with
    Perhaps someone with more knowledge could improve that.

    Some updating done at
    Is that the sort of ‘worth mentioning’ sort of notes you think appropriate?

  25. #28 Eli Rabett

    A certain indicator of the nothingness associated with this is that Eli is too bored by it to comment.

  26. #29 Tom Fuller
    United States

    And yet… you commented.

  27. #30 Eli Rabett

    To reply to Tom would be to care
    To reply to Tom would be to comment
    It is a far far better thing to do to not.

  28. #31 Steve Bloom

    So *I’m* responsible for Evil Fuller. Well, that’s sort of… empowering.

    As for your campaign to strip the Sierra Club of its members (who then will pay Carl Pope’s pension?), keep it up. Maybe they’ll join a more aggressive enviro organization.

  29. #32 Russell

    Be careful what you aggress for.

    Pruitt might sign off on UNEP paying Appalachian coal miners to lop off the Sierras at the snow line , and export the spoil to shore up Kiribati & the Maldives.

  30. #33 Hank Roberts
  31. #34 Steve Bloom
    SF Bay ARrhea

    Synchronicity! Thanks, Hank, and also for the reminder I need to read those.

  32. #35 David B. Benson

    Having established that pigs can fly can we now go back to why the sea is boiling hot?

  33. #36 Hank Roberts
    ah, here's the problem

    For Tom Fuller, who asked
    > “Where’d you find a picture of my grandmother?”

    Here’s the source page:

  34. #37 Hank Roberts
    ah, here's the problem
  35. #38 Russell

    There is no fuller truth than that Tom is no Bucky.

  36. #39 Tom Fuller
    United States

    Mr. Roberts, you may not know, but I am somewhat to the left of Marx–either Groucho or Karl, not quite sure. I campaigned for Hiillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Kerry, Al Gore, Bill Clinton, Michael Dukakis, Walter Mondale, Jimmy Carter, George McGovern and Hubert Humphrey.

    And donated to most of their campaigns. And supported most of their policies. Including climate change.

  37. #40 Russell


    And supported most of their policies. Including climate change.

    My condolences. How is Presdent Carter’s Strategic Oil Shale Initiative coming along ?

  38. #41 Hank Roberts
    except when he's wrong, of course

    But did you read and blog about their email?

  39. #42 Thomas Fuller
    United States

    Especially Hubert Humphrey’s and George McGovern’s! They were fascinating!

  40. #43 Hank Roberts

    And your opinion of Malcolm X?