I must be psychic

Earlier, I predicted:

You can bet that Glenn Reynolds, Andrew Bolt etc will be falsely claiming that Ofcom ruled that Swindle was not misleading.

And, sure enough, here's Andrew Bolt with a thoroughgoing misrepresentation of the findings:

Great Global Warming Swindle cleared ...

Yes, there was one error, fixed before the documentary showed in Australia: ...

And how shoddy is the case for global warming theory than 37 professors between them cannot convince Ofcom of a single uncorrected error in The Great Global Warming Swindle? ...

In all, this witchhunt against The Great Global Warming Swindle has failed utterly to discredit it, discrediting instead the accusers.

What's more, Bolt didn't base this on the decision itself, but on Steve McIntyre's spin.

Like me, Michael Tobis felt that McIntyre was blatantly spinning the decision:

McIntyre is portraying this as complete vindication of the propagandists. I can understand a nonscientific body being shy about judging what is or isn't a reasonable representation of science, but nobody with any grasp of the issues should condone this level of spin, in any direction.

This sort of provocation cannot serve to improve communication between scientists and serious skeptics.

Under my challenge Steve McIntyre recast what read to me as a celebratory bleat as helpful advice to scientists undertaking a legal challenge that I oddly misread. See if you are convinced (comments 69 and 71). McIntyre:

mostly it's an exposition of the judgement. There's not a lot of editorializing.

Obviously it's a mystery how Bolt could possible have read McIntyre's post as saying that Ofcam had cleared swindle and ruled that there had only been one error which had been corrected....

Update: McIntyre says that Bolt's confusion is my fault. Look:

[Michael Tobis] also added an excerpt from my #92 and linked to an article by Andrew Bolt, stating:

unabashed admirers of McIntyre also read McIntyre's description as vindication of the propagandists

Given that Bolt undoubtedly reads Lambert, Tobis may ironically have contributed to Bolt's incorrect understanding by his untrue statements and by his failure to properly correct the untrue statements in a timely fashion. If so, then all the more reason why Tobis should have corrected his untrue statements when he first became aware of the error, rather than doing nothing and letting the problem get worse.

So McIntyre's thesis is that rather than being mislead by the post he linked to and quoted extensively from, Bolt jumped into a time machine, travelled 24 hours into the future, read this post and the quote from Tobis saying that McIntyre had wrongly portrayed it as a "vindication", followed the link to where McIntyre said that it the decision wasn't a vindication and concluded based on this that the decision was a vindication. Then he hopped back into the time machine, travelled back into the past, and wrote his post. Which then prompted me to write this post.

More like this

(Via William Connolley). Ofcom, the UK media regulator has ruled that The Great Global Warming Swindle was unfair to the IPCC, David King, and Carl Wunsch and breached a requirement of impartiality about global warming policy. The full report is here. The complaint is a thorough demolition of all…
David Rado emails: although the accuracy sections of our complaint were considered under section 2.2 of the broadcasting code, that was not the section that we had complained under. We complained primarily under section 5.7, but Ofcom decided section 5.7 only related to news programmes. We don't…
The Australian government's conclusion that the climate change debate is over has prompted a column from Andrew Bolt, who insists that there is to a big debate still going on. Bolt writes: Just look at the big Greenhouse 2005 conference [environment minister Ian Campbell] department is sponsoring…
Bob Ward reviews Ian Plimer's Heaven and Earth in The Times: It is easy to see why this book has attracted attention, particularly from right-wing commentators who have long believed that man-made climate change is a conspiracy theory. But this book is so full of errors that readers who believe its…

The most telling thing about McIntyre's commentary is that he would defend this "vindication", even Ofcam had done so.

Says a lot about the man's honesty in regard to the so-called "debate" in climate science ...

The narrator of "The Great Smoking Swindle" could also start out with something equally truthful like, "Cancer existed before cigarettes. People who don't smoke die from cancer. People are always dying of cancer."

"Warmers act like most of the planet has been at a comfortable room temperature, with no variation, for most of the history of mankind."

There's enough straw in that to stuff a pretty comfortable tick mattress.

CCE - Thank you for that wonderful Smoking Swindle false analogy. How else can you make this discussion more interesting?

Daprez,

Do you not agree with my bullet proof logic that cigarettes do not cause cancer? You know, to support the assertion that "we are being told lies" and that it is all "propaganda" masterminded by a worldwide conspiracy of greedy scientists?

Daprez:

I what way is that a false analogy? CCE has provided you with a list of true, indisputable facts. To paraphrase Tilo, you are not able to contradict anything that that he has said, but can read his mind and find that the error is in his evil intention...

If it wasn't given in context, I'd say this whole the 4 statements were part of a question in the arguments section of the LSAT exam. The logic is so blatantly missing that I feel like I'm attacking a straw man just responding to it.

By LogicallySpeaking (not verified) on 23 Jul 2008 #permalink

You doth protest too much Tilo. It's ok pal, we'll continue to suffer and ignore you by turns.

By the bye, CCE is making an epistemological point: in point of fact, it doesn't matter whether 'the truth' of the matter is that smoking causes cancer, or carbon dioxide heats the planet. The point regards the appropriate method with which to come to conclusions that are never beyond any possible doubt, are never known with 100% certitude. In the physical world, there is no such thing as true. Fatuous arguments are cheap, and what do economists say about the effect of such attributes? Makes for plenty of them. It's for this reason that we have a scientific method in the first place: it's a way of codifying the consensus on how society should develop knowledge, challenge 'knowledge', change 'knowledge to new 'knowledge', and, yes, act on knowledge. Something you jackals are apparently entirely oblivious of.

It is the dearth of any remotely plausible alternative to the mainstream view of climate that is so damning of the likes of you denialist types. Despite their various strenous and ostensibly earnest criticisms, Lindzen, M&M, Singer, etc. etc. haven't bothered to formulate a competing accounting of the functioning of the climate. Why is that? Why can't they come up with an evidence based theory that remotely contends with the mainstream view as articulated by the IPCC? Why instead do they, and you, (the royal you, i.e. the great intellectually stunted masses), spend your days throwing scientifically illiterate mud up against this mountain of inconvenient-to-moneyed-interests evidence (note the word choice) that is neither remotely cogent nor internally consistent except that it is mud and it is directed at the state of the science? I'll give you two guesses and the first doesn't count.

It goes without saying, and has done in the examples cited, this same tactic can be pulled equally successfully for anything. Detail every problem or what can be perceived as a problem with the theory of evolution, and there are plenty, and then throw a bait and switch and claim we have to reject it entirely. If it has such massive flaws, how can we trust it? Nowhere is it even confronted with the nuts that try this stuff, the denialists, the existence of a massive preponderance of evidence pointing to the theory's validity in a broader sense. Smoking and cancer, HIV and AIDS, whatever you want to conjure can just as easily be attacked. It's the epistemology stupid.

Anyway, I don't expect you to view my comment in any way as trying to educate you, or in any way other than a rhetorical challenge. Certainly not to deepen your potential as a human being. You are a troll and that's how trolls see the world. All I'm doing is... wait a minute, what am I doing?? [kill file]

By Majorajam (not verified) on 23 Jul 2008 #permalink

Sorry, Tilo just quoted Swindle and then later complained about someone else's sophistry. My irony meter is completely busted.

McIntyre says that Bolt's confusion is my fault. [Look](http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3335#comment-280030):

>[Michael Tobis] also added an excerpt from my #92 and linked to an article by Andrew Bolt, stating:

>>unabashed admirers of McIntyre also read McIntyre's description as vindication of the propagandists

>Given that Bolt undoubtedly reads Lambert, Tobis may ironically have contributed to Bolt's incorrect understanding by his untrue statements and by his failure to properly correct the untrue statements in a timely fashion. If so, then all the more reason why Tobis should have corrected his untrue statements when he first became aware of the error, rather than doing nothing and letting the problem get worse.

So McIntyre's thesis is that rather than being mislead by the post he linked to and quoted extensively from, Bolt jumped into a time machine, travelled 24 hours into the future, read this post and the quote from Tobis saying that McIntyre had wrongly portrayed it as a "vindication", followed the link to where McIntyre said that it the decision wasn't a vindication and concluded based on this that the decision was a vindication. Then he hopped back into the time machine, travelled back into the past, and wrote his post. Which then prompted me to write this post.

Tim,

If you think McIntyre has misrepresented or "spun" the Ofcom verdict, why don't you set out how?

Please don't argue on the basis of what you think McIntyre is saying, please quote him. I've read both the report and McIntyre's comments, and they seem reasonable to me.

By James Lane (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

How can I get a time machine of my own? It could come in handy.

By Joseph O'Sullivan (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

OK, I've re-read both posts, and I repeat my question:

"If you think McIntyre has misrepresented or "spun" the Ofcom verdict, why don't you set out how?

Please don't argue on the basis of what you think McIntyre is saying, please quote him. I've read both the report and McIntyre's comments, and they seem reasonable to me."

I'm not talking about what Bolt or Tobis or anyone else thinks he said. It's all there on CA. Why don't you quote and refute?

By James Lane (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Lots of spin, and I note the outright falsehoods:

"Humiliating Defeat ... Ofcom did not uphold any of the misrepresentation complaints against Swindle. Not one. ... Unlike (say) Inconvenient Truth, where errors have remained uncorrected even when one of their Scientific Advisers supposedly brought the error to the attention of the Inconvenient Truth producers, in this case, the producers promptly replaced the graphic, with changes being made even before the second showing. [the "correction" was almost as misleading] ... this sort of piffle ... None of the complaints alleging lack of due impartiality in the science portion (sections 1-4) was upheld. Not one ... only bone thrown to the complainants ... a mercy bone ... In each case, Ofcom rejected important items of complaint [false], with about the only bone thrown the complainants' way being findings that GGWS did not give the complainants' enough notice. ... A complete stuffing of the 37 professors."

And again, if there was no spinning, how come people on both sides found it misleading?

In case James is having difficulty parsing Tim's quotes, 'not upheld' is a misleading distortion of 'not ruled on'. True in the abstract, but materially false.

StevieMc is a master of insinuation. He endlessly defends his implications of scientific fraud by saying he never explicitly uses the word fraud. Bullshit 101.

It is a form of linguistic legerdemain that merely feeds the irrational biases of his sycophant audience. Bullshit 102.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

OK, how is it "materially false"?

And Tim, what in what you quoted is an "outright falsehood"? Please be specific.

By James Lane (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

James,

'Not upheld' supports the implication that they were refuted, when nothing of sort actually happened.

It is a half-truth, which when called upon McIntyre refuses to clarify, but insists that those who point this out are themselves making the implication, absolving himself from any responsibility for his linguistic slop.

The error in AIT which he uses as a counter-example isn't a scientific error, but an editorial mistake. The comparison is an equivocal fallacy.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

LB: I would have thought the opposite of "upheld" was "not upheld". I agree that "not upheld" doesn't mean "refuted", but McIntyre didn't say that.

Tim: Sorry, I thought your question was rhetorical. However, I can't answer, because I don't really understand it. I don't feel I was misled by McIntyre's comments. Were you?

By James Lane (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

James,

So the claims were neither upheld nor not upheld. They actually weren't decided on. The term is chosen not for its accuracy, but for its ambiguity. That McIntyre doesn't admit the ambiguity when it is pointed out to him is evidence of intent to deceive.

The question is not whether you or Tim or any objective person was fooled by McIntyre's weasel words, but whether his statement reinforces partisan biases. His explicit argument that Dado presented his case poorly is wrong as well.

Regardless, the claims of scientific misrepresentation are not refuted and stand as substantially true.

Unless you can demonstrate otherwise, of course.

You're welcome to try.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Pardon,

Rado, not Dado.

Sorry, Dave.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

LB: Once again, no-one says the claims have been refuted. As you've said yourself they were not "ruled on", being outside Ofcom's remit. As such, they were not upheld. Seems pretty clear to me.

In fact, that's pretty much what McIntyre says as well.

If you now want to re-frame the "question" I'm not interested. I commented here to ask exactly how McIntyre misrepresented the Ofcom rulings, so far without satisfaction.

By James Lane (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Tim, who on the "other" side found it misleading?

Yet, yet again, describe exactly how McIntyre misrepresented the Ofcom rulings? His comments are on the web, surely this would be easy to fisk?

"Jam" would be me :)

By James Lane (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Where does Bolt say he found McIntyre misleading?

By James Lane (not verified) on 24 Jul 2008 #permalink

Joseph O'Sullivan posts:

How can I get a time machine of my own? It could come in handy.

A solid cylinder half the mass of the sun and rotating at nearly the speed of light will allow you to chart "closed time-like paths" around it (Tipler, 1974). The problem is, you can only go back as far as the time the cylinder was created. If you can find one built a long time ago by extraterrestrials, you're in business.

Jam,

"Where does Bolt say he found McIntyre misleading?"

Bolt was misled.

Are you a Biblical Literalist by any chance?

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 25 Jul 2008 #permalink

So to sum up, you can't quote McIntyre saying anything misleading, but because you think Bolt has the wrong end of the stick, McIntyre must have been misleading. Meanwhile, Tobis has been misled, even though he agrees with you,

As I said on my second post on this thread: "I'm not talking about what Bolt or Tobis or anyone else thinks he said. It's all there on CA. Why don't you quote and refute?"

I guess you can't.

By James Lane (not verified) on 25 Jul 2008 #permalink

Jam,

Tobis is the one who pointed out that McIntyre's screed could be and was being grossly misinterpreted.

To his credit McIntyre did post a clarification to the misleading statement. Tacit admission that it could and did cause misunderstanding.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 25 Jul 2008 #permalink

Tim, I don't know whether to admire or suffer your patience with perfunctory trolls like James and their ritual mincing of the wingnut jig. Had he wanted to make an argument, there was plenty of grist for that mill in what you and luminous pointed out, and not only the 'not upheld' as materially sound representation of 'did not rule on'. Joke. Seriously, do they have any humans to march into the breech or must we always contend with the orcs?

By Majorajam (not verified) on 25 Jul 2008 #permalink

It is amusing is it not that Ofcom felt it could not rule the program had contravened a requirement for impartiality over the presentation of the scientific evidence for anthropogenic climate change because:

'Therefore, in this case, Ofcom considers that the subject matter of Parts One to Four of the programme (i.e. the scientific theory of man-made global warming) was not a matter political or industrial controversy or a matter relating to current public policy. Having reached this view, it follows that the rules relating to the preservation of due impartiality did not apply to these parts.'

i.e. because the scientific basis is not controversial and therefore the rules do not apply.

Presumably then those touting the Ofcom decision as a vindication of the program would agree with the above statement?

By jodyaberdein (not verified) on 25 Jul 2008 #permalink

The Climate Audit memory hole has been activated yet again. This shows up in Google Reader, but the post has been deleted.

>[Was the IPCC Ruling "Just a Technicality"?](http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=3347)

>from Climate Audit by Steve McIntyre

>In a word, yes. Dave Rado tries to argue otherwise here, but merely shows his limited understand of how legal opinions are rendered. In addition, he also falls prey to the habit so prevalent in climate science of paraphrasing things and not quoting things. This is dangerous even for skilful people, but it's [...]

When he tried to blame me for Bolt's misunderstanding, McIntyre paraphrased and did not quote me or even link.

Majorajam nails it:

their ritual mincing of the wingnut jig

Brilliant. I hope you don't mind if I use it?

Best,

D

That posting "Was the IPCC Ruling "Just a Technicality"?" is not now available via Google Reader. Could you put it somewhere for posterity thanks.

By Bill O'Slatter (not verified) on 26 Jul 2008 #permalink

Channel 4 has now broadcast the summary of the Fairness ruling (their penalty for breaching the rules).

I've posted the full adjudication summary formatted in Ofcom's style, here.

Dave