This post was prompted by a comment I made here:
Ben, the opening statement of Lew’s paper is like Tchaikovsky’s 1812 cannons going off, followed by the symphony itself, a particularly dreary affair composed by Lew & Mann (with a little help from the other two authors). But those ‘cannons’ are really the sound of Lew shooting himself in the foot (twice) with a double-barreled shotgun. In establishment climate change science, the “scientific method” has yet to make an appearance and therefore it certainly cannot claim to have yielded any “discoveries”. The things which imperil our lifestyles and impinge upon (fossil fuel) corporate vested interests are political/economic decisions driven by green ideological imperatives in combination with . . . . . green corporate vested interests.
So rather than watching paint dry, I thought I had better at least listen to Lew’s Symphony of Sorrowful Songs from beginning to end, just in case there was something in it that sounded vaguely musical or tuneful. I think I’ve got the basic drift now. I did have to read the paper unfortunately, which was very triggering for me – in addition to inducing nauseous ennui, with not the slightest hint of musical appreciation, let alone the rapt entertainment of Tchaik’s 1812. Let me get a few niggly points out of the way first:
We outline the distinction between true scepticism and denial with several case studies. We propose some guidelines to enable researchers to differentiate legitimate critical engagement from bad-faith harassment . . . . .
What is “bad-faith harassment”? Is it the opposite of good-faith harassment? Is Lew’s continued dishonest, defamatory campaign against climate change sceptics an example of the latter? Whereas nasty, horrible sceptics may be presumed to be guilty of the former?
Keywords: rejection of science, public involvement in science, critical debate, transparency, harassment of scientists”
Not ‘words’ Lew, ‘phrases’. When you put words together in certain ways, they form phrases, which tend to convey more meaning than simply the sum of the individual words.
The ‘contrarians’, or the ‘pseudosceptics’ in LMBF 2016 are identified as follows:
People who deny scientific facts that they find challenging or unacceptable, by contrast, are by and large not skeptics. On the contrary, they demonstrably shy away from scientific debate by avoiding the submission of their ideas to peer review. Instead, the discursive activity of those individuals is largely limited to blogs and the media, accompanied by complaints to institutions and journals which can have no purpose other than to stifle, rather than promote, scientific debate.
So basically, if, as a member of the public, you run a blog which questions “scientific facts” but you don’t submit your questioning to peer review, then you are not ‘worthy’ to engage in scientific debate. The arbiter of what are “scientific facts” appears to be consensus opinion rather than evidence, especially in climate change science.
What is new with LMBF 2016, besides all the usual defamatory ‘observations’ [aka rubbish] about climate sceptics in particular and public scepticism of scientific research in general, is the identification of just one supposed glowing example of how a scientifically uninitiated and naïve member of the public engaged fruitfully with scientists to address a claim about which he (Brown) was sceptical. One very specific ‘exemplary’ illustration of ‘good practice’ in a field far removed from the contentious, politically charged, highly complex, emotionally fraught, high stakes arena of climate change science. Yet this one example is seemingly judged not only to be exemplary, but sufficient in its ‘exemplariness’ to form the basis of a new Lew Mann code of conduct for every member of the public everywhere who wishes to question “scientific discoveries” in any field, but particularly in climate science and medicine. This is the essence of LMBF 2016, the cojones of the paper, if you like. So I submit to you, my learned friends, the following question:
Is LMBF 2016 the “dog’s b***ocks” of depth climate psychology and/or does it provide a major new insight into managing the science/society interface or is it just simply complete b***ocks?
Please submit all responses via open peer-review.