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CliScepGate 2.0

As the entire world is by now aware, the cosy echo-cham­ber of CliScep’s inter­nal mail­ing list was recent­ly the locus of a Conversation that got pretty real at times.

Not to blow my own whistle, but today I’m proud to hack up—for your edumusement—a fresh new tranche of intimate confidences.

This time it’s a twête-à-twête of private DMs, which gives the arguments a more spontaneous and [even] less polished feel.

But there’s another twist: I’m not debating a fellow “denier.”

I hope this story en­courages someone, somewhere, to take the advice all Climate­Ballers should follow (to borrow a metaphor from that neverending irritant ‘Willard’). Namely:

Should you ever encounter, on the field, a vicious opponent who nonetheless comes across—somehow—as tractable to reason, then invite him or her to fight you offline.

It’s a long shot, but if they say yes, you may just make a new frenemy.

I speak from experience.

FRENEMY:

so

AGW

is physics

chemistry

spectral analysis

statistics

geology

etc.

it’s everything

climate is bigly

BRAD:

no

AGW is a process, physics is a science

well

AGW is an attribution statement, in a way

the very acronym is obtuse

it could mean “GW is A”

it could also refer to the overall package deal

not just GW, but all the science behind GW

if it was cooling, it would still be GW

the problem with acronyms is that we think it refers to a thing

like UN

but GW ain’t an entity!

earlier, you solved the Big Question of climate psychology (“why haven’t we convinced people?”)

perhaps when i said that we were seeking machines

we seek to solve problems

our way

and according to our values

this can only work

because we keep one another in check

no, when you said Naomi was using her sex appeal to sell it

lol

that’s why there’s millions of skeptics

nah i think it’s just a contrarian thing

but contrarians may find Naomi even more sexy

and blame her for everything

contrarianism is remarkably selective!

less than being mainstream

well

depends

your own contrarianism is more selective

why do science deniers accept 99.9% of science[s]?

it’s more expedient

i think the beginning of the end of the climate movement was the decision to make the nude Women Of Climate Science calendars

“let’s admit 99% for argument’s sake”

this calendar may be why teh Donald now has an open mind about Paris

but it’s not just for argument’s sake. we really do accept medicine, avionics, etc.

yes, but there are contrarians about medicine

avionics is ok, because it’s tech

we trust airplanes. we trust antibiotics. we don’t trust the hockey stick.

we trust the science underlying avionics, a fortiori

we trust the quantum physics that makes transistors work

we trust the germ theory and microbiology that makes antibiotics work

David P Young from the Boeing Company distrusts the science behind airplanes

it’s the same as climate’s

the number of guys who distrusts quantum physics is non nil

we don’t trust the climate science that makes the IPCC… work… if that’s the right word

bingo

maybe if there was some technology that worked because alarmist climate science was true, we’d believe alarmist climate science

yes

that’s something important

AGW is future-oriented

being conservative means we distrust future-oriented claims

more so when they impact on our values

right.

has any other “future oriented” science ever succeeded, worked, been true, or convinced anyone?

yes

of course

e.g.?

any scientist that claims something that has not been established

that’s the unknown, not the future

you know about the OCEAN theory?

nope

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Five_personality_traits

the key is Openness

liberals are more Open

thus more open to future-oriented claims that would change their lifestyles

my point is, science requires testing of predictions in order to improve, iteratively

yes

that’s a trait too

conscientiousness

if the only prediction you make is one you can’t test for a century, your science will go nowhere.

we already know what happens

what we don’t know is what to expect at the climate’s scale

clisci is trying to pass off predictions as the end product of the scientific process

we know about Venus, about Mars, about the GHGs, etc

the problem here

is that predictions are statements

and statements can be parsed

take your own quiz

whereas in proper science, predictions are an intermediate step

i need to interpret your questions

your statements

we can pussyfoot to no end about what each means

thus we can resist testing

that’s why consensus matters

when everyone agrees

then we stop wondering if what we know needs to be revised

but

it’s always possible to doubt

to remain unconvinced

in fact

it could be possible to do science without entertaining strong beliefs about any of this

you just do your job

“here’s what i think”

“i have no idea what this means”

“i could be wrong”

“if i’m right, then this or that follows”

“if i’m right and you bet against me, here’s what it’ll cost”

enough with the political BS. i’ve never tipped my political hand to you, because it never comes into it!

this is about science

when have i ever indicated conservativeness or liberalness in any of our climate debates?

I am telling you that this is how science works

because

this is how language works

language is a social art

we use language to communicate science

even to DO science

thus

science is also a social art

but what is my politics? do you know?

you know my ‘climate,’ so you should be able to deduce my politics, right?

so go ahead. deduce.

you’re a bleeding heart libertarian

that’d be my bet

libertarians score high on openness

but you score higher than I’d expect from an über-libertarian on relatedness and conscientiousness

your insistence on Sound Science suggests conscientiousness, not a libertarian strong point

“bleeding heart”?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bleeding-heart_libertarianism

the rightmost leftist libertarian

or the leftmost right libertarian

ok, let’s make it one-dimensional: where on the left-right axis do i fall?

one of the two i just told you

you’re an individualist

but you care about otters

you care about justice

no, say it without using the word ‘libertarian’.

(it’s not just a hypothetical BTW—i’ve taken many such quizzes, so i know the answer.)

anyway, you’re simply saying nice things about me.

which are also true of you. and all nice people.

I’d say L–(Brad)C–R

bullseye!

so shouldn’t i have different climate, given my politics?

let me save you some epicycles: forget the economics axis. I have no economics. i’m a glaze-over guy on economic issues. I don’t have enough money to know or care

i may not be “alone”, but doesn’t the deeper-values-and-beliefs Theory of Climate Movement Stasis predict that I’m a believer, from my politics?

i understand that it’s easy to be against Mike, or Lew, or Naomi

or to be against styleless jerkitude in general, or just Dana’s

ah so it’s my aesthetics that determine my climate?

i understand that auditing is more important than University careerism presumes

i just don’t understand libertarianism

i think it’s incoherent

so

i am an anti-libertarian

i can understand paleo-conservatism

i can’t understand libertarianism

right. but i throw the baby out with the bathwater, whereas you take care to separate the contents of the bathtub before disposal?

my comprehension of libertarianism stops with J S Mill

i doubt you object to Mill

ok, i’m playing

bye

ok, i’m gonna crap on without you for a minute:

the whole art of divining people’s climate from their politics is, IMHO, worse than frivolous.

it’s a way of avoiding (or denying) an inconvenient truth:

that people have legitimate, strong objections to “the science” that do not depend on their own political, psychological, fiscal, economic, social or other baggage.

i’m not attacking you here, i’m talking about the Lews and even the Kahans who think that if only we agreed on everything other than The Science, we’d then agree on The Science.

bollocks.

i have climate “allies” (and to various extents, friends) who share my objections, almost verbatim, to The Science, but come from every background, voting pattern, stance on abortion, religion, economic caste, country, etc.

but our differences never matter to us because (unless there’s a US election going on) we simply don’t have any cause to discuss politics, religion, or the other irrelevantia when we’re on climate fora—we discuss climate, climate change, climate science, and our disdain for it.

we don’t even discuss gender. i have climate “allies” whose sex I still don’t know after all these years. because we don’t talk about our lives.

it is simply delusional to imagine that differences in our personalities and backgrounds will ever be enough to explain away our polarization over climate

IT’S THE SCIENCE, STUPID 🙂

there’s something wrong with the science. after 25 years of denying this, the alarmists wonder why their movement isn’t moving.

if they really think there is a climate crisis, why don’t they stop pretending the science is hunky-dory and do something to fix it? that’s the only way to convince people like me that the crisis is real. if it is. (which i highly doubt, and will continue to doubt until they fix the science.)

do they really think we’re lying when we claim to think the science is broken? that we’ve just been feigning dissatisfaction with the science for the last 25 years?

because that’s Bizarre Specific Delusionville. it’s Haloperidol time.

One more point:

Let’s suppose my friends and I are wrong, and the science is hunky-dory.

the only possible way to break the deadlock, in this scenario, is to explain to us why we’re mistaken about the quality of the science.

but to do that, your guys have to acknowledge our low opinion of it.

not agree with it—just acknowledge it.

stop pretending that skepticism/denialism is “really” about the politics, policy, cost, theology, “implications” for our “world view,” or any other patronizing bullshit.

you have to confront the fact that we think the science is a crock of shit.

that means dropping the psychobabble.

that means extending the presumptions of good faith, adulthood, sanity, average-or-higher IQ, amenability to reason (etc. etc.) upon which any attempt to change anyone’s mind is predicated.

you’ll never change a single mind as long as you insist that there has to be something disingenuous, childish, low-IQ, irrational or insane about everyone who disagrees.

why does nobody on your side understand this and say it out loud?

do you want the worst impacts of climate change to come true as predicted? do you want to spend another 25 years wondering why Action On Climate hasn’t materialised yet?

because that’s what your side’s approach to skeptical and denialistic persons guarantees.

do climate-concerners want the oceans to boil? That looks like a rhetorical question… but I’m beginning to worry the answer might not be “no.”

Is this news to anyone, that you’re doing it all wrong?

Rant over. 🙂

no need to tell me it was hyperbolic at times. I know.

thanks for the rant

  1. I don’t think the correlation between ideology and stance vs AGW needs to erase the genuine concerns regarding THE SCIENCE
  2. I think it does imply higher expectations regarding THE SCIENCE
  3. In other words, the higher the burden of proof imposed on THE SCIENCE, the less sound it sounds
  4. This is most obvious if we consider that many, many Denizens are engineer-minded.

go on…

  1. My main problem with that stance is that the earth is not a bridge

Most of THE SCIENCE is exploratory

It’s mostly junk

Or crap

But it’s crap that works

(Pace XKCD)

6, We should embrace crappiness.

Crap results can lead to Sound Science if we produce many, many, many crappy results.

A bit like IKEA – it’s crap, but it’s light, it’s fast, it’s cheap, and it killed an industry of non-crappy furniture

A bit like Napoléon Bonaparte – it doesn’t matter if your soldier have two bullets, what matters is that they walk faster than your foe’s.

The point behind this provocative thesis is to show that the principles behind capitalism can apply to science.

Let scientists go bankrupt on their own pet projects.

Doesn’t matter.

  1. As long as we can take their results and improve on them faster than before, all is well. The overall effect will be faster, cheaper, and Sounder Science.

There still is a need for some Quality Assurance

There too crappiness could be applied.

Under that light, the Auditor’s work was not crappy enough.

He invested WAYYYYY too much time on a series of papers that are, in the end, of little relevance.

The same applies to C13, to Lew’s crap, etc.

We need auditors, but we need even more editors.

  1. To make sure there is a Return of Investment, the auditors portray these papers as game-changing or iconic.

If we accept that there is no such thing as an iconic paper (except perhaps Einstein’s golden year production and Gödel’s theorems and so on and so forth), then most of ClimateBall is of little relevance in the grand scheme of things.

  1. If we look at what is done around AGW, my reading tends to be confirmed.

Lots of stuff is done.

The caravan moves on, however stuck you and me and our friends are.

Faire et laisser braire.

  1. If we accept that what matters, in the end, is THE SCIENCE, then commenting on THE SCIENCE is of little import.
  2. My own position is consistent with that conclusion, insofar that I have little concern for THE SCIENCE.

I am here for the argument.

I don’t mind wasting my time doing something I study, even if my participation makes my project unscientific, because I intervene in what I observe.

  1. The only way out, I duly submit, is to (a) learn ClimateBall and (b) find a way to produce constructive criticisms and (c) let go of identity politics

Had the Auditor produced a blog in which he wrote constructive criticisms, I would still be on the contrarian side.

I can understand that there are valid reasons to entertain a contrarian viewpoint, and even accept (à la Mill) that there is something to gain from good ol’ dialectics.

But the shaming has to stop.

Or at least the mean-spirited one.

That said, I don’t exclude myself from the shaming business.

It is mostly a defensive mechanism.

[…]

ClimateBall is a bit like ClimateClub.

Respect is earned.

Still following?

  1. I think everybody can agree that THE SCIENCE is crap. Ask MT, Eli, Nick Stokes, everybody on my fantasy draft – they’ll all tell you that.

Moreover, we bicker with one another all the time.

That’s just normal – nobody shares most of my beliefs. Not even I, for I need to type to see what I believe.

But we don’t hold THE SCIENCE to an impossible standard. Better standards cost money. It also costs time. Considering that we already know everything to safely surmise that dumping CO2 like there’s no tomorrow may not be the best idea, we should get on to it. And we do.

but is there a tomorrow?

not if you ask me. not yet anyway. (I’ll have to sleep on it—I might feel differently in the morning,)

  1. But you’re right – the same should also apply to contrarians. That is, Willard Tony, the Auditor, CliScep, Junior, Senior, Groundskeeper Willie, Judy’s Denizens also need to be accepted for who they are. We can’t expect them to improve that much, and that’s that.
  2. Hence Love and Light wins.
  3. But we can’t expect people to abide by Love and Light. We can only hope that they learn to fight properly. Which means the first objective is to teach ClimateBall so that nobody gets hurt. Because it’ll end in tears, that’s for sure.

I think this expresses most of my rationale.

It also responds to your rant, I think.

There’s some self-fulfilling prophecy that obtains in the ClimateBall exchanges. Take how AT and PaulM respond to one another. Both University teachers. Childish and defensive and sooo meta.

OTOH, there is something that should explain why we got there, not only we’re all childish and defensive, but there’s something in it for both sides. There is something positive that we seek in the in-group out-group dynamics.

Thus I’d generalize your point – we all need to accept that there’s something we all get from ClimateBall. That thing won’t go away if we stop fighting.

What I get from playing CB, I get it here, now.

It’s a creative outlet where I can express myself.

But instead of passively waiting for generations I’ll never know to read my writing, I have immediate feedback.

Look at me. I’m a chess player who happens to study philosophy. ClimateBall joins both worlds – I fight using words!

Both are more a martial art than a sport – there are no clear rules, the quest is mostly aesthetic, the reward is elusive.

To show that my fantasy draft is critical of the establishment: “I’ll say it. Peer review is bogus.”

Eli doubles down just below.

James Annan reminds the common and appropriate reaction:

Ignore uninteresting crap

Then follows an exchange where MT and Eli clearly chooses two different approaches

Now, consider having to deal with the hypocrisy of Senior and Junior year after year – it’s easy to imagine why this gets this way. It’s also trivial for both Senior and Junior to play victim.

how much of this fascinating and (for me) educational twête-à-twête would you be comfortable with putting into an article? […]

good idea

i like Vladimir and Estragon dialogues

i haven’t seen the play, but were Vlad and Estragon on opposite “side” of the “greatest moral and economic issue of [their] times,” like we supposedly are?

Was one of them a devout theist, while the other didn’t believe in Godot?

if so, why weren’t they called Testosterone and Estragon? or Insulin and Glucagon, at least?

We’re not on opposite sides

the two characters oppose a melancholic guy and a more choleric one

we’re not on opposite sides of the fight that matters—the Science Wars—or we’d never be friends.

But are you suggesting we’re not even on opposite sides of the trivial side bout—the so-called Climate Wars?

Because I don’t think global warming is a net threat to the globe; and it was my understanding you didn’t share my climate insouciance. You don’t, do you?

i don’t

i am agnostic

what i believe is irrelevant

i see no reason to believe any of this crap

beliefs are overrated

i don’t need them to know where i stand

well I’m agnostic too, but only in the ‘agnostic-about-vampires,’ ‘teacups-orbiting-the-moon’ sense

all i need to know is that dumping CO2 in the atmosphere like there’s no tomorrow may not be a good idea

i can add to this that it’s a resource

and thus subject to fair share

of course.

or it may lead to A Better Tomorrow.

or maybe Tomorrow Doesn’t Care.

the thing is that it opposes two establishments

science vs economics

just as “my” side defends the scientific establishment, yours defend the economic elites

thus we see a clash of narratives

where both sides portray themselves as the underdog

or the established viewpoing

t

i think there is cause for concerns

we should distinguish alarm and alarmism

alarmism begs a question that is not easily answered

my one-sentence position:

the lack of an AGW crisis is the most expensively-, tediously-, repeatedly- (if provisionally-) confirmed null hypothesis in the history of science.

and yes, both sides are all too human, in the pejorative sense

but that doesn’t change the fact (or strong impression) that you’ve chosen to police the crimes against reason and compassion of one side—”skeptics”—more than the other

you routinely intervene to castigate me for the same faults you let slide in my climate-concernist interlocutor

if you’re relatively even-handed (and you are) it’s only by the bitterly-partisan standards of the climate controversy

what’s wrong with the word “viewpoing”?

Edward de Bono would surely approve, know what I mean? Yes/no/po?

po

and that’s the memo

it’s impossible to be even-handed

i don’t spot everything

also

i don’t need to

no, but it should be possible to be even-handed enough that you don’t falsify (with p < 0.5) the hypothesis that you're even-handed

just like the Auditor does not need to audit Willard Tony’s crap

yes and indeed the epistemology of science is not remotely symmetrical

i’ve criticized friends more than enough times to disprove that

i’m filling in a niche

nobody does what i do

but the thing is, it’s far more important to be critical of the “side” that’s proposing the hypothesis, not the side that’s pushing the void peanut-shell of the null

i don’t think so

i’m interested by the contrarian matrix

and by the comedy of menace you guys play

but our matrix is scientifically irrelevant (and will remain so unless and until there’s a theory to oppose)

it actually is relevant

for the most part

come on, menace takes three. it’s a menace-à-trois.

ideally, all the criticism should be valid

in the treesome of rats, i’m the pariah

(if you know the experiments with rats)

all the criticism is unnecessary. there’s no evidence, in the sense of net support for alarm, to criticize.

as i’ve said, you’re relatively even-handed.

i’m not, because random-handedness would be inappropriate.

i systematically hand out the pain in the direction contra your usual tendency.

and i realize i just contradicted myself, which is my cue to make myself some coffee.

you wouldn’t like me when i’m hypocaffeinemic.


† Or at least a cut’n’pasted imago, xerox or brass-rubbing thereof. Ceci n’est pas une twête-à-twête!

Systems of meaning have always fascinated me, and my greatest regret is that I switched to a Science degree half-way through my B. Sem. (I still remember making that decision in a side-spliting, knee-slapping convulsion of rage at the author of the sentence, “Langdon was a dashing Professor of Symbology from Harvard.”) The best I can call myself now, in good conscience, is a quarter of an otician.

I don’t really like talking about this stuff in meatspace; there’s a lot of antisemioticism in my neighborhood.


Acknowledgement:

Without my frenemy Willard‘s collaboration this Conversation would have been a Colliloquy. My sincere thanks to him.

—B.K.

318 thoughts on “CliScepGate 2.0

  1. A very interesting interchange and echoes several of my own. Several things spring to mind.

    It is curious why the other side refuses to allow us our opinion. They scrabble around trying to come up with reasons why we’re against them and usually settle for something insulting. Of course that’s part of the game Willard refers to. Smear the opposition. Ummm, tell me again how that’s working in 2016? I’m sure that a number of votes cast in both Brexit and the US election were done so because of sustained sneering by the other side. If you try hard enough to make other people the enemy, eventually they’re going to believe you.

    Not only does this technique make determined enemies out of a peaceful opposition, it stops their side understanding sceptics and improving their own side accordingly. It would make sense for them to view their side as the best of the best of the best if they were winning the climate debate but if anything, they’re losing ground. The best companies listen to the complaints and do their best to solve them. They don’t treat people with a problem like dirt.

    But that’s business, not science. Sure it is, and every moan I’ve heard from the other side about how we have unreasonable expectations, how they’re doing their best, how the next product will be much better if only we’d trust them… business has already made those excuses. It didn’t mean they couldn’t, shouldn’t and wouldn’t improve. Out of recognition of those flaws, we have quality control systems; health and safety systems; archiving policy; consumer rights; standard operating procedures and much, much more. Business fought tooth and nail all the way but by and large those systems are essential, if for no other reason than they allow the public to have confidence in an area where they need to trust much of what goes on behind closed doors. That’s how we get the public to trust in the complex, not some glib ‘97% of scientists believe’ argument.

    That’s the key. People don’t trust in science, they trust in evidence. They want to see what the scientists see and if the scientists can’t demonstrate it, they need to show that they are trust worthy. Irrespective of any truth behind climate alarm, climate alarmists have ticked off every box on the shysters handbook. Limited time offer, ever changing claims, the next product version will have eradicated all the flaws you know about the current one, smearing the detractors or rivals, refusing to debate the pros and cons, saying that all your neighbours have signed up but it will all fall through without you, having glossy brochures that only put the salesman’s case, dodgy statistics, misleading statistics, don’t worry about the small print, think of your children, etc.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. To add, people don’t trust the science of flight, they don’t even trust engineering. They trust the evidence that planes do fly, again and again and again. They trust that there are massive systems in place to test new plain designs and an ongoing drive to improve safety. They trust that if the worst happens that there are systems in place to find out why and punish where appropriate. If they stopped trusting in those things, many of them would stop flying.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks for taking up the baton, Tiny.

    Could you elaborate on:

    “people don’t trust the science of flight, they don’t even trust engineering. They trust the evidence that planes do fly, again and again and again.”

    Do people distrust or disbelieve in the Bernoulli effect, the equal-and-opposite forces at play in jet thrust, et cetera…

    Or do they just never give it a second thought?

    In the latter case, what happens when you draw their attention to the underlying “science”? Will you find that they hold it in the same contempt and incredulity half of America feels towards clisci?

    Like

  4. People don’t need to understand science if the reality speaks for itself. If man made climate change was obviously a problem, the scientists would be able to demonstrate it. Since it’s complicated an uncertain it needs trust. Even the question ‘do you believe in climate change’ is essentially a lie. Instead of an innocuous question about science it means ‘do you blindly accept any and all science we deem to be covered by ‘climate science’ and hand over all decision making for what we do about it, no matter how arduous or ineffective or costly, and do so in perpetuity for yourself and any descendants, regardless of any changes in the science since by agreeing you also agree to any and all social engineering we may decide to throw in.’ In other words, write us a blank cheque and shut up. To which the only logical answer is NO!!!!!!

    Warmists tend to see themselves as the little guy, the brave hero in the movie and their opposition as big, evil industry. What they don’t seem to realise is that they’re the big faceless organisation in this story.

    When a lone fisherman in a boat hits rocks and sinks, people don’t bother very much. If a cruise ship makes the same mistake, there is rightly a hue and cry. Why? The two people have made the same mistake. Because the responsibility on the liner pilot and the company was much greater. There should have been many more things in place than for the lone sailor to prevent the accident. In neither case was there any intention to drive onto the rocks (barring suicide). The pressure difference is due to the size of the event, not the evil/good nature of those who caused it to happen.

    While climate science was the preserve of backwater meteorology departments, it was the equivalent of the lone fisherman. When it went global and started making demands on everybody, it became the cruise company. Procedures, responsibilities, safeguards etc, all have to reflect the change in circumstances. And they don’t. More science doesn’t equate to better science. Too much money is going into an ever expanding subject and not enough into honing the basics. Above the water, the ship is massive, with gleaming cabins, nightclubs and pools but below the water it’s still a small fishing boat. Is it any wonder it’s sinking?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Tiny,

    Here’s a fun tip. When you encounter one of these warmists:

    Warmists tend to see themselves as the little guy, the brave hero in the movie and their opposition as big, evil industry. What they don’t seem to realise is that they’re the big faceless organisation in this story.

    …quote all the CRU scientists who “openly” (well, behind closed doors, but unashamedly) discuss their plans to get Big Oil to be their sugardaddy.

    Like

  6. A certain kind of “warmist” will drop his/her bundle when you do that. Their world will fall apart. It’s surprisingly effective—since the same tactic used against us is just boring, so we tend to assume everyone finds it as inane as we do. Apparently not. Apparently it is central to some people’s worldview that Their Scientists get every single research dollar from free-range, organic, cruelty-free sources.

    Like

  7. Let me copy and paste a fixed spiel I use on any “warmist” who is still peddling the oil-funded narrative.

    Warning: This is a few years old, imperfect, took me 10 minutes to research, and any suggestions/criticisms would be welcome….


    Big Oil is Big Energy. Its interest in climate science is self-explanatory: public fear of global warming has created new markets for the energy corporations out of thin air while doing little or no damage to their traditional revenue streams. Demand for fossil fuels is essentially inelastic, whereas the new demand for Medieval, bird-decimating technology that barely works is an artificial construct. Wind farms; carbon credits; carbon capture; carbon sequestration—New Energy has no raison d’être but the CAGW hypothesis, its best (and only?) selling-point. Shell International has a huge Clean Development Mechanism [CDM] division. It also has $billions riding on the carbon credit exchange, formerly worth $130 billion/year. You only need to imagine how much value it’s haemorrhaged from that portfolio since the CCX started tanking to know why Shell has never supported CAGW skepticism (except in Michael Mann’s mental cinema).

    Thanks to FOIA—who’s like Julian Assange to Big Science—we know “Your Guys” are up to here in oil dollars. We know the University of East Anglia CRU (formerly the Tyndall Centre) came to be seen by British fossil-fuel giants as a business partner. Big Energy was worth a lot of funding to these alarmist ‘scientists,’ their alarmist ‘science’ was worth a lot of revenue to Big Energy, and both parties knew it. 

    The following emails come from a single year, 2000, which marks the start of a bidding war between Shell, Esso and BP for the ‘science’ of the CRU. 

    The scientist Mick Kelly writes to his colleagues Mike Hulme and Tim O’Riordan (Climategate file 0962818260.txt):

    I’m talking to Shell International’s climate change team, but this approach will do equally for the new [Foundation], as it’s only one step or so off Shell’s equivalent of a board level. I do know a little about the Foundation and what kind of projects they are looking for. It could be relevant for the new building, incidentally, though opinions are mixed as to whether it’s within the remit.

    Mike Hulme then discusses with O’Riordan the potential benefits for the Tyndall Centre:

    Tim,

    I am meeting with Mick at 09:15 next Tuesday to talk about his links with Shell—and Tyndall dimension re. studentships, etc.

    Are you here and can you join us?

    The courtship goes well. Later in the year Kelly sends out a progress report:

    Mike and Tim 

    Notes from the meeting with Shell International attached….

    What ensued was necessarily a rather speculative discussion with the following points emerging.

    1. Shell International would give serious consideration to what I referred to in the meeting as a ‘strategic partnership’ with the T[yndall] C[entre], broadly equivalent to a ‘flagship alliance’ in the TC proposal. A strategic partnership would involve not only the provision of funding but some (limited but genuine) role in setting the research agenda etc.

    2. Shell’s interest is not in basic science. Any work they support must have a clear and immediate relevance to ‘real-world’ activities. They are particularly interested in emissions trading and CDM.

    Now “Esso”—which is UK English for “Exxon-Mobil”—also sees the investment opportunity. Mike Hulme writes (Climategate file 959187643.txt):  

    I would think Tyndall should have an open mind about this and try to find the slants that would appeal to Esso.

    The CRU climatologists grow so accustomed to the attention of the fossil-fuel giants that by year’s end they’re taking it for granted that Beyond Petroleum will be another suitor. The scientist Simon Shackley writes:

    Subject: BP funding

    …dear TC colleagues, it looks like BP have their cheque books out! How can TC benefit from this largesse? I wonder who has received this money within Cambridge University? Cheers, Simon

    BP, FORD GIVE $20 MILLION FOR PRINCETON UNIVERSITY EMISSIONS STUDY

    This kind of collaboration isn’t just a British phenomenon. Here we can read (thanks to Freedom of Information laws) an interesting email from the University of Arizona climate scientist Dr Jonathan Overpeck. ”Peck” writes to an Exxon-Mobil executive:

    In addition to seeing and catching up w/ you, I’m also quite intrigued by what Exxon-Mobil and the University of Arizona could do together on the climate change front. As you’ve probably figured out, we have one of the top universities in this area, and lots of capability, both in understanding climate change at the global scale down to the regional scale, but also in terms of understanding how climate variability and change impacts society, and also how interdisciplinary climate knowledge can be used to support improved decision-making in society.

    Anthony Watts makes an ‘ironic juxtaposition’ between that email and another one written by “Peck” only a few months earlier, in which he wishes the CAGW-skeptical Senator James Inhofe lived in the path of hurricanes. Overpeck states:

    Wish Oklahoma was on the Gulf Coast – then these guys might have a more realistic view. Until then, they’ll just do what the oil industry wants them to do, I guess.

    best, peck

    Are scientists in the pocket of Big Oil ‘credible’ on climate change?

    Like

  8. Tiny,

    It is curious why the other side refuses to allow us our opinion.

    Are you thinking of the kind of fanatical incuriosity and censoriousness embodied in DeSmogBlog’s right-hand sidebar?

    They scrabble around trying to come up with reasons why we’re against them and usually settle for something insulting.

    I don’t think they (and we’re talking only about the assholes here, not our more thoughtful “opponents”) ever did much scrabbling to begin with. They certainly never scrabble deeper than the first inch, but of course it might just be that they’re endowed with short beaks.

    I don’t think they ever did much trying.

    Why would they? People like Oreskes and Lew have no interest whatsoever in making sense of climate skepticism. I doubt they’ve given a second thought in their mediocre lives to why we ACTUALLY don’t believe the narrative.

    Their interest begins and ends with coming up with a FALSE, NEFARIOUS explanation which delegitimizes and demonizes us.

    You don’t really think Oreskes racked her brains to unlock the riddle of climate skepticism and at length, drenched in sweat, had no choice but to “settle” for the cockamamie Tobacco Strategy / Merchants of Doubt slur, do you?

    I rather suspect that’s exactly the kind of defamatory pseudoexplanation she set out, from the very beginning, to confect. And I rather suspect she didn’t have to go wander very far from the impoverished reservation of her own barren mindscape to get there. I’d be surprised if she wasn’t able to hack out the Abstract for her entire career as a heretic-smeller pursuivant in advance, in the early 2000s, in 5 minutes flat.

    I’m pretty sure the idiotic cli-psy-fi premise of M.O.D. was among the first 2 or 3 ideations she brainstormed.

    And why probe further? It satisfied her needs perfectly.

    She never wanted to make SENSE of climate skepticism, remember. (Why the heck would she want to do that? If she made SENSE of our position, her readers might get the idea that maybe there was something to it after all.)

    All she ever set out to do was make NONsense of climate skepticism so that her readers, and her gullible Harvard freshers, would—as they say—wonder no more. To stop them thinking, in other words. Give that woman a National Educator of the Year Christmas bonus!

    Ditto Lew, Corner, Maslin, and almost every practicioner of the cosmic joke that is the word “Climate” followed by the word “Psychology,” treated as a non-April-Fool’s phrase by someone dumb enough to say it with a straight face.

    Smear the opposition. Ummm, tell me again how that’s working in 2016?

    Compared to what?

    Suppose climate catastrophists of the lineage that stretches from Gore downwards *hadn’t” smeared skeptics. Ever. Suppose they *hadn’t* poisoned the entire bien-pensant class against us, conditioning a billion people to involuntarily associate us with moon-landing denial, mesothelioma, Holocaust denial, mental illness, lung cancer, Bhopal and the Exxon Valdez.

    Suppose they *hadn’t* repeatedly refused to dignify us by being in the same room as us and thus risking getting whatever form of sexually-transmitted leprosy we’ve got?

    Suppose, in other words, they’d let the 8bn people on this planet listen to our ideas and compare them to their ideas without prejudice.

    Would there even BE a climate debate by now? I suspect it would have died where it deserved to die: in the womb or, failing that, the crib or, failing that, by falling from the bough of a tall tree.

    We probably would have “won” (i.e. satisfied ourselves and everyone else to move on because this whole climate panic was a false, purely moral alarm) sometime last century.

    So I don’t think it’s analogous to Brexit or Clexit.

    In those debates, there were at least one or two legitimate points to be made on both sides. And the Bremoaners and Clinsplorers might even have convinced the public to side with them, had they used a less obnoxious tone of voice and cut out the shysterism and hate speech.

    But what makes you think there is any argument, any argument at all, for Acting on Climate?

    Let me put it to you that pomposity, hate speech and shysterism is all they have.

    Such tactics may not be working out quite as well as they’d ideally hoped, but they’re infinitely more useful than the honorable alternative, because being honest would have meant being KOed in the first five seconds of Round 1.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. “it stops their side understanding sceptics and improving their own side accordingly.”

    Of course. Quite sensibly. What would they stand to gain from doing either of those things?

    “That’s the key. People don’t trust in science, they trust in evidence.”

    Interesting: This is exactly the claim I made in an old CN article, only when I wrote it, I wrote it ironically. How did we get to this point? It’s not that you’re being silly at all; but check out how silly it sounded 2 years ago, when couched in a slightly different style:

    The hardest thing about communicating the deadliness of the climate problem is that it isn’t killing anyone. And just between us, let’s be honest: the average member of the public is a bit….how can I put it politely?…. of a moron.

    It’s all well and good for the science to tell us global warming is a bigger threat than Fascism was, but Joe Q. Flyover doesn’t understand science. He wants evidence.

    I’m not as clear as you are on how phrases beginning in ‘trusting/seeing/based on/being willing to fly because of’ mean one thing when the next word is ‘science’, and another thing when the next word is ‘evidence.’

    This is a brilliantly compiled [check]list:

    Limited time offer, ever changing claims, the next product version will have eradicated all the flaws you know about the current one, smearing the detractors or rivals, refusing to debate the pros and cons, saying that all your neighbours have signed up but it will all fall through without you, having glossy brochures that only put the salesman’s case, dodgy statistics, misleading statistics, don’t worry about the small print, think of your children, etc.

    But let me ask: WHY does the “shyster’s toolbox” contain these tools?

    Is it because shysters, like climate catastrophists, are too dumb to realize how repellent their techniques are?

    If you gave a shyster a better toolbox for Christmas, would it solve his sales difficulties? Would he become Salesman of the Month if he started being honest, non-sleazy, divulgatory, collegiate, up-front, respectful of his customers’ intelligence, etc.?

    Well, it depends.

    Is his product complete shit? Because if your product is complete shit, then being an honest, ethical salesman guarantees you make ZERO sales in your entire career. People might think you’re a nice person, but since you’re obviously selling complete shit, the most they’ll ever do (best case scenario) is kick some tires, chit some chat, maybe invite you fishing one weekend, wish you and your family well, and (when you die of pneumonia at 36 because you can’t afford a paper box to live in) they might even turn up at your funeral, grow solemn all of a sudden and spend a couple of minutes wondering: why are the good guys always such losers, God?

    What they’ll never do, what no one will ever do, is knowingly hand over money in exchange for complete shit.

    So if your product is complete shit, that’s when you need to be a sleazy shyster to survive.

    Have you stopped to wonder if maybe the reason climate-fear salesmen are such lying sleazebags is NOT that

    ◼︎ they’re dumb enough to seriously think what they’re doing is an attractive, well-liked, trust-inspiring approach that ensures repeat custom,

    but rather that

    ◼︎ they’re smart enough to recognize that honesty is literally the worst policy when your product is shit.. and their product is complete shit? They know 90% of people will walk out of the store as soon as they figure this out, so the best they can hope for is to somehow flog some units off to the other 10%. But they can’t do this by being honest, nice guys. That’d sell precisely 0% of their inventory. They toolbox of the angels won’t work. The Dale Carnegie toolbox won’t work. Only the shyster toolbox has any hope of sort-of working, at least until they get ridden out of town on a rail. That process is beginning, but it would be crazy of them to help it along. They need to sell maximum units, so they need to operate their business as usual until the last possible minute, then book a cab to the airport.

    Like

  10. Frenemy: “liberals are more Open”

    Snort. From that wiki page:

    “Openness reflects the degree of intellectual curiosity, creativity and a preference for novelty and variety a person has. It is also described as the extent to which a person is imaginative or independent…”

    That’s another thing – like Tiny’s example of thinking of themselves as the little guy against the big corporation – that is completely inverted. The so-called liberals are the sheep, with no curiosity, imagination or independence, clinging to whatever the currently trendy SJW cause is – global warming, or whatever comes next in the LGBTQWXYZ sequence. It’s the sceptics who have curiosity and independence, as illustrated in your debate with Ben.


    I agree with (one of) your main points:

    Brad: “the whole art of divining people’s climate from their politics is, IMHO, worse than frivolous.”

    But whenever I’ve brought this up in regard to me and some other people I know, eg you, with, say Kahan, he just says, well that’s you, OK, fair enough, but you are exceptional. And plots one of his graphs from one of his surveys showing that right-wing people tend to be more sceptical than left-wing ones. And that’s the end of the conversation.

    To be fair to Kahan, he doesn’t claim to be able to deduce climate views from political views, he just points out that there is a correlation in the general population. You would accept that, right?


    But I disagree with you about Willard. I’ve never found him to say anything useful, helpful, constructive. Or even clear and coherent, which is the starting block for having a conversation, or debate, or argument with someone. I have no idea what he is trying to say here. If somebody else speaks Willardish and can translate it into plain English for me, that might help.

    Like

  11. Paul,

    this…

    >> “OK, fair enough, but you are exceptional.”

    means this….

    OK, my theory was wrong then…
    I got bupkes, it was a dead end, back to the drawing board
    no ands, no ifs, and no “but you are exceptional”s!

    >> To be fair to Kahan, he doesn’t claim to be able to deduce climate views from political views, he just points out that there is a correlation in the general population. You would accept that, right?

    I “accept” that he can draw, and has drawn, a graph.

    I “accept” that the dots on the graph are not doctored, and that they come from dots in the real world that were arranged in roughly the same-type arterial spray as the misty fuzz in Kahan’s drawing

    what I don’t “accept” is that any of this is interesting, useful or worth the pixels.

    IF kahan purports to explain some part of the world, but his explanation gives rise to an anti-true prediction, then he must either “explain away” this fuckup or admit he hasn’t explained anything

    but

    If he does NOT purport to explain anything, but merely to arrange some correlated data along some chosen axes, and print out the resulting rohrschach scatter-blot on his laser jet printer, and say “hey, it’s just a correlation, who the hell knows what the causal mechanism is?”, then why is anyone paying him? he’s not adding anything, let alone anything “interesting”, to human knowledge here.

    >> If somebody else speaks Willardish and can translate it into plain English for me, that might help.

    that’s one thing I like about Willard. that I have to work at understanding him. which makes it impossible to have a knock-down drag-out fight with him. which made it necessary to move our duel elsewhere, not on the Climateball field.

    i have learned conversational Willardish by now, though by no means would Willard mistake me for a Willard.

    so i could definitely find some time this week to try to translate, which would require checking with him for accuracy

    but do you care what he thinks enough for me to do all that?

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Given that almost every pundit has made some massive mistakes regarding what people are thinking this year, I’m not sure it’s safe to try and define anyone’s politics by what they think or their thinking by their politics. It’s also very confusing trying to equate an American voter with a British one, let alone any other nationality. There is a lot of muttering about the ‘popular vote’ as opposed to what? The unpopular vote? Should the winner automatically be set aside for the option fewer people wanted?

    I try very hard not to judge important issues based on personalities but when it comes to climate, it’s very hard not to. Apart from scientists themselves, it’s a dream team of people I avoid. Greens, anti capitalists, government funded office types, luvvies… Rather than say it’s their politics I’d sum them up as people who have no idea when stuff comes from and don’t care until it doesn’t turn up. Because of western wealth, their jobs/skills are unrealistically valued against those who supply the important things in life, like food and steel. Globalisation allows them to turn a blind eye to the muck from where their brass has come from. Ironically that book Emily St John Mandel’s Station Eleven, that Missy Higgins was moved by is a good example of the stupidity of that type of person. “A book about a travelling theatre group who journey from scattered camp to camp, performing Shakespeare to anyone who survived the flu pandemic. I fell in love with this disease-ravaged, post-electricity world where artists were the saviours” Sure, because in a post electricity world, we’d want to spend our time listening to a bit of Shakespeare. Not. As an erudite (spelling deficient), moderately well off adult, with time on my hands, I love a bit of Shakespeare but if those actors wanted to eat they’d better do a lot more than wander about doing a bit of the bard. During the height of the Bird Flu alarm, a survey was done asking people what they’d do post massive pandemic. Almost all said they’d try to recreate what we have now – power stations, business, the lot.

    In a green future, most of the people demanding action would be redundant. I wouldn’t even fund 90% of the scientists if my energy allotment shrinks. Question – do I fund a scientist studying penguins or do I have the heat on for another hour – no brainer. Do I have that juicy beef steak or keep Dr Lew in his psych job – put the grill on. And all those city types pushing bits of paper from A to B and back again – would we value them more highly than the concrete in our homes?

    At the moment, the plan to reduce CO2 seems to be put all the fundamental business out of work and buy exactly the same things with even higher CO2 footprints from another country. That allows our city dwellers to have their cake and eat it, while everyone else does without. ‘Let them live off batteries’ isn’t exactly the Bard of Avon but I’m sure he could imagine how society would react.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. > “zero ability to keep to the point”

    Deviare humanum est. I’m lucky if I manage to stick to the point (i.e. guess what the other person tacitly assumes the point is, and stick to it) within one standard aberration. The nerve on those Castro Bros., hey? Tell ya what.

    Like

  14. Brad Keyes says: (28 Nov 16 at 9:52 am) “Do people distrust or disbelieve in the Bernoulli effect, the equal-and-opposite forces at play in jet thrust, et cetera…Or do they just never give it a second thought?”

    Some do, most don’t. When I was a child I discovered the joy of flying my hand while my parents or grandparents drove an automobile down the road. By tilting my hand it would catch the wind on my palm and create lift. Some of that lift is Bernoulli effect, most of it is just viscosity and acceleration, the force of the wind going from horizontal to downward by the slant of my hand, or a wing.

    The Bernoulli effect makes a wing efficient but is not the sole source of lift.

    A curious person will ponder wings, incurious do not while at the same time observing that planes fly. Since I am a curious person I don’t really have a lot to say about incurious persons.

    About Willard: I seem to have more respect for this person than is commonly seen here, in part because he early on extended some respect to me and I “grok” his kind, at times he plays with his victims like a cat with a mouse, making jokes and non-sequiturs that you try to answer. Deep inside he probably does not care which way the wind blows; just that it blows and you can make something out of it; ClimateBall in this case. The only way to lose is not to play!

    To understand Willard you must understand ISTP’s

    “According to Keirsey, Crafter Artisans are masters at using tools of every type – artistic, technological, martial. Although they are introverts, they are authoritarian in their interactions with others and can be forceful at influencing people. They focus on accomplishing tasks efficiently and skillfully. To master the tool of their interest, ISTPs require a certain degree of seclusion in which to practice. The result is often a virtuosity that other types find difficult to match”

    [http]://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISTP_(personality_type)

    What that means is that Williard is likely to respect excellence or virtuosity in a person as evidenced by the adeptness with which you use your own tools, language in this case. A curious side effect of being respected is that you won’t often be permitted to play in Willard’s playground (ATTP for instance).

    I suspect he is careful with his words except when he is playing around with someone.

    “just as my side defends the scientific establishment, yours defend the economic elites”

    Notice that he does not say his side defends science, but rather the scientific establishment. Science does not take sides, and no side can legitimately claim to have a monopoloy on science. A careless reading of his words will activate in your mind “memes” that are already there, and you will hear words, or read words, that aren’t actually there.

    Consider the bible for a moment. What does it say about the creation of life? If you live in most western nations, you’ve heard all your life of a magical 7 days of creation, poof, there’s life. But reading the plain words reveals a very different story: The Earth brought forth life, and God saw that it was good. It is not ex-nihilo magical poof creation and the sun was created (formed, described) on the third “day” so we most certainly are not talking solar days.

    Willard is a master at helping you find your box and crawl into it. But if you do, it was your choice. You can also choose NOT to crawl into a box of your own making.

    He is more libertarian than I; real libertarian: I choose for me, you choose for you, and I will respect your choices as much as is reasonably possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Frenz, Frenzal Rhombans, Contrarymen, Gentlewymyn,

    1) Paul et all, I’ve changed the title from the misleading “Hacking Our Own Emails—Part Deux” to “CliScepGate 2.0,” which I hope is more leading.

    2) I’m yet to see, from any of you, the kind of loathing I used to pour on Willard… publicly, indelibly and googleably. If you want us to believe you really hate the guy, you’re going to have to sell it. Enough of this praising by faint damnation, fellas.

    3) The point being, if we can do it, there’s hope for one or two other dyads out there.

    Not every one, of course. In most cases our enemies are our enemies for good reason, and it would be a crime against the Republic of Science to show them clemency. Far be it from me to recommend, incite or give comfort to treason.

    And equally obviously, it doesn’t have to be Willard. It could be another nemesis in your circle of enemeses. Someone you notice yourself respecting, in spite of yourself, in the heat of HateBall.

    The point of this post was to challenge you to reach out to, say, one opponent per decade. Make an overture, not necessarily of amnesty, but of amenability to forgiving and forgetting and forging the bonds of non-enmity if they’ll agree to take it off-field and settle matters of honor on the field of honor, rather than perseverating in the vain hope that something edifying is going to come out of the slave-on-slave spectator sport that is ClimateHockey.

    4) Does anyone have their own heartwarming, ice-rink-melting tale of forbidden friendship to share with us? He was a capnophobic Capulet, she was a Monckton-loving Montague?

    I can’t be the only one.

    Let the turning of faux foes to Best Frenemeses Forever begin!

    Like

  16. Michael 2,

    “Notice that he does not say his side defends science, but rather the scientific establishment. Science does not take sides, and no side can legitimately claim to have a monopoloy on science.”

    Depends on the assumed axis of cleavage.

    If you’re talking about Climate horrorism v Climate apathism, you could possibly argue that “science” is found on both sides, whatever that means.

    But in the case of Oreskes et Al v the scientific method, the partition is perfect. We, the defendants, are the sole inheritors of anything recognizable as “science.” We’re simply trying to defend it from the predations of a white, tertiary-educated wing of Boko Haram.

    I’m pretty much the last person in the world to trust a simple, Manichaean, good-versus-evil narrative, but when the shoe fits (as in the classic Supreme Court showdown Goode v E. Ville), then… you know.

    Like

  17. Michael 2,

    “The Bernoulli effect makes a wing efficient but is not the sole source of lift.”

    The wing of a bird obviously exploits a whole variety of forces. But let’s assume a fixed wing, and a fixed shape overall, as of an anthropogenous aircraft.

    I’ve probably misremembered the definition of the Bernoulli effect, but I thought that at a given airspeed (courtesy of the jets or propellers), Bernoulli accounted for 100% of the pressure differential between the upper and lower surfaces of the aircraft—most dramatically at the wings, but not only at the wings—and that the net upwards force due to that difference was 100% of Why Planes Don’t Fall Out Of The Sky…?

    I know I’m missing something, but can you remind me what it is?

    “Since I am a curious person I don’t really have a lot to say about incurious persons.”

    I find your closed-mindedness sad. Sad and deplorable. Incurious people are people too, but I guess you’ll never know, will you, because you can’t be bothered trying to understand them. 🙂

    Like

  18. “I know I’m missing something, but can you remind me what it is?”

    The angle of attack modifies the airflow over the wing, for example in the case of a symmetrical aerofoil as used on aerobatic planes such as the Extra300 and transsonic/supersonic planes such as the Lockheed F104 Starfighter.

    The airflow ends having to travel further over the “upper” surface of the wing, causing a low pressure area.

    Of course, Newton comes into it too, even an asymmetric aerofoil generally runs at a positive angle of attack.

    Very complicated subject, aerodynamics!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Thanks, Catweazle!

    Just to be clear: am I wrong in thinking this…

    The airflow ends having to travel further over the “upper” surface of the wing, causing a low pressure area.

    …describes an example of the Bernoulli effect?

    Could you spelll out exactly which parts of that Aerodynamics 101 micro-teaser refer to principles covered versus *not* covered by the Bernoulli effect?

    Liked by 1 person

  20. or are you saying something more like:

    “yes Brad, it’s all Bernoulli, but (at the same time) Bernoulli isn’t everything, in the sense that if you want to build an object that actually flies, you also need to understand a whole heap of *other* physics just to exploit Bernoulligenic forces efficiently enough to get it off the ground”

    ?

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Paul — Frenemy: “liberals are more Open”

    Says liberals.

    What is odd is that seemingly ‘right wing’ (here standing as not-liberal, whereas the word ‘liberal’ might equally apply to conservatives) cognitive scientists don’t seem to need go to such lengths to approve of themselves and give themselves a pat on the back. Or perhaps they do, but there’s just fewer of them*.

    (* Having said that, I can now think of one or two. But they at least manage to say something interesting between attempts to pathologise and mind-probe to establish differences in political beliefs. Which is like trying to push a duvet into its cover.)

    I’ve never read anything of any value from Willard, either. And I haven’t noticed him make any progress within whatever it is ClimateBall is. Most people who emphasise climate change in the expression of their perspective allow us to piece together the picture from that view, such as it is. The coordinates of George Monbiot’s outpourings were given far too much attention in the early (and many of the middle) days of my old blog, for instance. I thought he was important, because the Graun and the Graun’s adherents seemed to celebrate him. It turned out the climate movement doesn’t have thinkers; it has lost souls.

    The point was to try to understand what kind of perspective environmentalism was either indulging or forming, what sense of the future it was creating, and how this manifests as understanding and relationships between people, institutions, and so on. Environmentalism is ideological. No matter how cack-handed that effort, I only ever saw Willard sniff and sneer at it. So much for openness.

    I have never found liberals, as a category, to be particularly open. I think I’ve given it a try. I was a member of the Woodcraft Folk from the age of 7 into my twenties. I stayed on Pioneer camps in the Soviet Bloc as a young teen. I was even a green troll for a bit. I was a fan of George Monbiot. Yes, him. But not for all that long. It is perhaps an accident of history, but it isn’t contemporary campus conservatives that will no platform those who will do not show sufficient deference to its hierarchy of identities. In my own experience of campus politics, it would be the right-of-centre societies that would invite perspectives from without their fold, whereas their leftish counterparts were largely identikit, unaccustomed to debate across differences of perspective, and would fail to engage with the substance of debates intellectually, abstractly, as a battle of ideas. They became emotional instead. This I would explain as the left’s (“left”) retreat from politics to ‘ethics’, amongst other changes.

    Climate is political, though, to the extent that it reflects broader political transformations. Here’s a bigger lie:

    [Liberals are] thus more open to future-oriented claims that would change their lifestyles

    Liberals are preoccupied with lifestyle. It is the contemporary form of class conscience — differentiation. You can’t say ‘dirty plebs’ any more. But you can express the same chauvinism with Gaia’s blessing.

    The green liberal’s (such as they are) political (such as it is) project (such as it is) has been about avoiding the future for at least the last quarter century. The future is risky, on the liberal perspective. Hence:

    “AGW is future-oriented”

    …is simply wrong. “AGW” is future averse. The past is optimal in all green narratives, which are retellings of The Fall. The Fall requires lifestyles to be policed, and ‘ethics’ to be obeyed, lest the chaos afflict all of creation, its balance and its stasis. In this sense, contemporary ‘liberals’ — especially greens — do not share much with their historical antecedents that did conceive of futures that had thrown off tradition, natural orders, gods and monsters, to put man at the centre of his understanding Against Nature. Indeed ‘Liberals’ are the new reactionaries. “Liberals” have departed from humanism, in reverse gear. At full speed. The “Liberalism” espoused by “liberals” (if I have read the conversation’s understanding of the term correctly) is inverted. Liberals aren’t liberal any more. And Liberal Democrats are neither, either.

    A similar confusion persists in

    “just as my side defends the scientific establishment, yours defend the economic elites”.

    Which is funny to anyone who keeps an eye on Breton Woods institutions’ forays into climate. Or who watches to see which Peer has his fingers in which pies. And how many financial institutions have gambled on the green, hoping to score some market share from the financialisation of the energy sector. It has been interesting, throwing off that Stalinist youth camp programming, to see how erstwhile comrades and critics came to stop worrying and love the IMF and World Bank. Most of those I am aware of who dabble in climate from ‘our side’ and comment on matters political, economic, were in fact steadfastly against the bailing out of economic elites during the recent crash. (I worked for one for a while – he thought the scale of the officials’, politicians’ and bankers’ theft so great, they deserved long stretches in prison, if not the gallows). They warned, before and after, about the dangers of the proximity of financial institutions and government. Witness, on the other hand — and the other side — the rise and rise of José Manuel Durão Barroso… From green socialist to… non-executive chairman at Goldman Sachs International via the EC!(!!!!1111ONE!!!1)

    Lest the point be lost on you. In his decade-long stint as non-elected president of half a billion people until 2014, Barroso oversaw the drafting and implementation of no small amount of climate policy, including the EU’s packages to the UNFCCC, as well as the most farreaching EU-wide and domestic interventions. Goldman Sachs
    is no less confident about the opportunities that climate change creates. For them.

    Quite simply, Willard doesn’t know what he is talking about. The binary division of the debate he offers, can only have been formed by not having understood anything that has been uttered in or around the debate, in spite of bearing witness to so many, many, many rounds of Climate Ball. It would be generous to say he has his head up his arse.

    Which brings us to…

    “the whole art of divining people’s climate from their politics is, IMHO, worse than frivolous.”

    But that only depends on what we understand about politics and what we understand about climate to aid our divination. It may look like the Dark Arts. Or just bollocks. And it often is. It would be right to claim, for instance,

    “the whole art of divining people’s estimate of climate sensitivity from their adherence to Marx’s Capital, Vol. III, is, IMHO, worse than frivolous”.

    But there’s more to ‘climate’ than climate sensitivity. And Capital is a long read, too. But that point was made during the last great Cliscep leak.

    Language is a social art. Beautiful. But sometimes it’s just the vehicle for someone else’s interminable wank. Which would be fine — everybody needs to let off steam once in a while. But it is not once in a while; Willard’s Climate Balls have been emptied over every other website about climate change in the entire English speaking world on each occasion they came dangerously close to permitting a decent exchange… were it not for the cast of characters known as Consensus Enforcers. Different to their majority in style perhaps — obtuse to effect a superficially ‘erudite’ impression — but ultimately no more about substance than the performances of the One Who Brings Us Physics.

    Stuff him. The Neverending Dullard has added nothing to any of the countless debates elsewhere, and he adds nothing here.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. TL;DR version:

    What you and Willard get up to in the privacy of your own DMs is your own business.

    Like

  23. “Just to be clear: am I wrong in thinking this…

    The airflow ends having to travel further over the “upper” surface of the wing, causing a low pressure area.

    …describes an example of the Bernoulli effect?”

    Indeed it does.

    But the point is, it is created in a different manner to a “normal” asymmetric aerofoil where the upper surface has a larger curvature – hence a greater physical length – than the lower surface which on a symmetric aerofoil has the same curvature and length on both faces.

    In practice, most aerofoils create lift with a combination of Bernoulli effect and Newton’s laws.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. As to Willard, I think the whole of his blogging output can be summed up and simplified down to “LOOK! A SQUIRREL!”.

    And that – as they say – is that.

    Like

  25. Ben,

    My intention has never been to seek to impose my lifestyle on the cis-lateral (homosocial) climate community.

    I’m just trying to raise awareness about trans- relationships, and put a human face to them.

    Hey, public: I’m a form of people too, just like the next people!

    Like

  26. Brad Keyes asks: “I thought that at a given airspeed (courtesy of the jets or propellers), Bernoulli accounted for 100% of the pressure differential between the upper and lower surfaces of the aircraft”

    At higher speeds the Bernoulli effect is more pronounced up to the moment the airflow completely detaches from the wing (Mach 1, supersonic).

    Below that speed lift is a mix of the Bernoulli effect and the force of air hitting the bottom of the wing.

    Lift is created by increasing the path length of air molecules, this has the consequence of an increase in velocity of that air which in turn has a consequence of reduced air pressure (the venturi effect is the same thing). Obtaining lift by this method is (probably) more stable than obtaining lift by simply tilting the wing. High performance aircraft are inherently unstable and don’t rely on the Bernoulli effect; but they can also fly upside down with equal performance which of course is impossible for a wing that uses the Bernoulli effect (it’s lift would be toward the ground).

    Re my comment: “Since I am a curious person I don’t really have a lot to say about incurious persons.”

    You write “I find your closed-mindedness sad. Sad and deplorable. Incurious people are people too, but I guess you’ll never know, will you, because you can’t be bothered trying to understand them.”

    I cannot tell if you are being sarcastic. I will never know whether I do or do not know, and neither will you or anyone else ever know if you have, or have not, succeeded to understand someone else. Therefore it is better not to try to judge a person that is so unlike you that your models fail even worse than climate models.

    That’s not to say I do not try, for if I did not try I would not have these observations and I would not have commented on the topic. ISTP is a shorthand for a type of model that reasonably describes a pattern of behavior that is somewhat predictable for persons whose personality is similar. That is to say, it is possible to observe extraverts, identify the property or properties that make them so, and identify a few characteristics that make it possible with modest accuracy to identify a person as an extravert. Likewise for introverts. Likewise for the S/N axis; if a person loves Japanese animations from Studio Ghibli (or even knows what it is) then it is observed that this person has imagination and is motivated by it (the “N” characteristic). Combine that with introversion and thoughtfulness and you have “geek”. But suppose instead of “N” you have “S”; the person doesn’t care for comic books, Japanese animations or any animation — they are fake, made up, fiction, pointless defiers of gravity and physics! Bah, humbug!

    So I can create a “model” of Willard that can be modestly predictive of things not asked; I can ask the model (figuratively speaking) what Willard would do, say or even thing about things. Is it accurate? No, but it might be adequate for the purpose of dialog and answering political necessity.

    It is much more complex than the 16 types of MBTI suggest. Each of the 16 will have different requirements to communicate to the other 15 and some of them are “null” — complete opposites generally cannot communicate, it is impossible. Oh, they can use words, but they use them for different purposes. An early work in this direction is conveyed in the book “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus”.

    So, try all you like to explore the uncurious. You will fail. The very act of exploring it means you are curious, not uncurious, you cannot know what it is to be uncurious. Conversely, the uncurious person makes no effort to discover why he is uncurious and someone else is curious; the word has no meaning to him. What is curiosity? He doesn’t have it. He can observe that people turn rocks over to see what is underneath and he will likely express contempt at this wasted effort. Who cares what is underneath? The curious person cares, that’s who.

    The uncurious are indeed people; eat, poop, live, die and along the way perhaps produce more of the same. They are not here on this blog learning about other people, other ways of seeing the world, disputing things with intelligent, curious people that are not like self.

    I recommend to your viewing the movie “The Accountant”. He’s on the autistic spectrum somewhere, is very different from other people, recognizes that he is different but has no tools to understand the magnitude and direction of those differences. Does he ever understand other people? No, such a thing is impossible — but he learns to use the brute force of his intelligence to figure it out, to model other people so he can predict their behaviors in response to his own behavior, a thing most people do automatically.

    What does he fear? Someone like himself; for it becomes recursive.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Oops, I chased a squirrel: Bernoulli Effect!

    The grand key to Willard he reveals:

    “language is a social art”

    And so it is. What a person talks about is almost irrelevant. Agreement is poison! With agreement conversation stops; there’s nothing to talk about, socialization ceases. Disagreement is better, but it must be delicately handled so as not to get banned. So, you seem to agree but not quite 100 percent, provoking the True Believers into a frenzy of proselyting and converting you to their religion.

    But deep inside, the ISTP’s opinions are set in stone. It is what it is; talking is just a “social art”.

    NT’s are imaginative thinkers; ST’s are “knowers” and your words cannot change a knowing. You can approach a knower as a student, and by your questions possibly steer the knower into knowing something else so he can teach you.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. “I cannot tell if you are being sarcastic.”

    I can tell what country you’re from 😉

    To clear things up: I always make sure to comment /blog/write Amazon reviews under the name ‘Brad Keyes’ when I’m being facetious.

    Sometimes I’ll throw in the odd non-sarcastic paragraph, just to liven my writing up, like: thanks for your edutaining digressions on aerodynamics, and the rest of your thoughtful engagement with this post. It was a bit of an experiment, I’ll admit, but so far the quality of comments suggests it was a success. Take care!

    Like

  29. M2,
    to repeat, I’m indebted to you for your detailed comments. They’re thinkers.

    I know curiosity killed the Curies, but I can’t resist asking a follow-up…

    “Lift is created by increasing the path length of air molecules, this has the consequence of an increase in velocity of that air”

    But increasing path length *doesn’t* entail increasing velocity unless the travel time is somehow kept invariant, does it?

    How does an air molecule on the top surface of the wing of a commercial 747 ex Sydney bound for Auckland know it has to traverse that curved surface in exactly the time it takes another bit of air to traverse the flat (lower) surface?

    Are the molecules QANTAS entangled?

    Do they say to each other, OK, let’s split up—you take the high road and I’ll take the low road, and let’s both get to Scotland in exactly 0.00525s?

    “(the venturi effect is the same thing). ”

    I’m familiar with that only through ventilation masks, but that’s an easier context to understand because the airflow is constrained inside a lumen. Which seems to allow some simplifying assumptions.

    Like

  30. M2,

    “Disagreement is better, but it must be delicately handled so as not to get banned.”

    Don’t worry, this is a safe space.

    Not safe from being indelicately disagreed with. Safe from getting banned by me for the crime of disagreeing without delicacy.

    Disagree with abandon!

    “So, you seem to agree but not quite 100 percent, provoking the True Believers into a frenzy of proselyting and converting you to their religion.”

    Who’s the ‘you’ that the singer sings to?

    I’d love to be paid a compliment like that, but I don’t think that’s how you were using the 2nd person. Could you clarify and, if possible, exemplify? I’d enjoy seeing such a strategy at work!

    Like

  31. I’d love to find out one day who it was who first set weazles and squirrels against each other! Was it Abe Simpson? Must the mustelids ride each others’ nuts so?

    Like

  32. I was under no illusions that Willard’s linguistic idiosyncrasies would be unfamiliar to denizens here. But I *was* hoping to make the mystery last a couple seconds longer by the trick of ostensibly criticizing Willard in my intro. Did I succeed in throwing you off the scent at all, just a little… or did I just make the puzzle even easier by priming you with his name?

    Like

  33. I think Catweazle best sums up Willard’s technique of determined distraction. Willard is part of a small gang of… body guards. Rabett is another and a guy called Joshua on Dan Kahan’s site. They hover round the site hosts and if ever that person or anyone else wavers from the warmist path into a reasonable interaction, up pops the body guard to hustle the important person away or generally block the interloper. They remind me of the Scientology guards.

    Like

  34. With regard to Brad’s remark in his dms to Willard that we’ve been picking up on in the comments here,

    “the whole art of divining people’s climate from their politics is, IMHO, worse than frivolous”

    there is a new article at the Conv on exactly this, Our political beliefs predict how we feel about climate change (I say new, but there is absolutely nothing new in it at all).
    It’s by our old friend Neil Levy, who people may remember from his previous article that was the source of much entertainment.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Ben:

    “Distracturbation.”

    Far be it from me to say anything in defense of the neverending irritant called Willard, but if I might don my advocatus diaboli hat for a moment:

    Distracturbation is an act between two consenting adults. There’s no law that you have to be distracturble. It’s your body, and it’s your right to tell your partner NO if you don’t feel anything for them (distracturbatorily).

    Like

  36. TL;DR version:

    Don’t rise to the distractor bait. That’d be rising to their level. Rise above. Be the bigger fish. What are you, a man or a fish? Walk, don’t swim, in the opposite direction when you see a juicy, wriggling worm. No matter how #DistractinglySexy it seems right now, remember: worms turn. And when the worm has turned, that’s when you’ll really miss your school. But you can never go back. We none of us can. The one thing the gradualists taught us when they weren’t too busy fighting the punctuated equilibriumists is the Ratchet Model of the bolt of time. Once you’ve cranked the crossbow, you can’t *ungraduate.* Don’t like it? Quivering with indignation? All I can say is your quarrel isn’t with me, it’s with those saltationist mothers that hang around that bodega on 105th and 49th.

    Like

  37. Yas, Dan Kahan has been at it again. Apparently it’s not our fault we’re sceptics, we’ve just been led astray by our political, intellectual superiors. The merchants of doubt got to us early on and we’ve never recovered. Sadly it never occurs to the guy that he’s guilty of something he sees in others – outsourcing his thinking. WARNING – seriously long and dull paper.

    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2459057

    The short version.

    http://uk.businessinsider.com/political-beliefs-climate-change-2016-11

    What I’d like measured is ‘if someone you like and respect says something you disagree with, do you a) think better of that viewpoint or b) think worse about the person.’ I’d fall strongly into the b) category. I assumed that most people would do the same but Dan thinks the opposite. He thinks people are unduly swayed by their peer group/political side. PR people obviously live by that meme but shouldn’t recent events be eroding that idea? How many influential people from all walks of life and all political sides supported Remain? And how did we vote? And yet most of us didn’t vote UKIP, so we didn’t need our politicians to make our decision for us.

    Do people buy a product because they’re swayed by the advertising or do they like the sound of the product? A bit of both, but while good advertising can attract people to a product they want, it can’t sell them something they don’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. There’s no law that you have to be distracturble.

    I believe the point has been addressed. But it was a long and dense comment, and so it could have been missed. I’ll rephrase it, so it is especially clear…

    Nobody is criticising anybody for masturbation. And likely, nobody is in a position to. There are, however, times and places for it — I think we agree. It’s not merely that the park on Sunday afternoon is not the right place and time; the problem is that it is every park and at every time.

    Like

  39. I’m sick of the nanny-statism that tells us when and where we, as Americans, can’t rub one off. First you couldn’t wank in a children’s hospital. Then the whole hospital. First you had to stand 20m away. Then 30m. They targeted cemeteries next. And once we ceded that sacred space, it was only a matter of time before we weren’t allowed to do it while operating a car. Their ambitions, however, were not so easily satiated; they wouldn’t rest until they literally controlled the skies above us, making it a crime to pleasure oneself while flying a commercial airliner.

    Heads up, Sons and Daughters of Liberty: our transAtlantic enefriends have disturbing intelligence about the location of the next front in the Culture War On Law-Abiding Onanists:

    Like

  40. Ben:

    You posted it, inviting comment.

    Did I post distractor bait? I’m surprised to hear that. When we twote-à-twote the twête-à-twête, Willard didn’t distract me (except from, you know, my job, education, social life, girlfriend and spending time with family).

    And now that we’ve twitten-a-kitten and it’s all over and the thread, like Zed, is dead, I would have assumed the ossified fascimile thereof (the fossil proffered in my post) would have even *less* distracting power than it did live.

    Also, what is it actually [capable of] distracting one *from*?

    Willard’s past words, as rendered in all their rigid read-onlyness, can’t possibly leap across into all-new contexts to shield whoever it is you’re trying to attack, can they? They’re dead. Inanimate.

    Even if Willard’s ecological role in ClimateBall is to run interference for the Indefensibles—which is the conclusion I came to during my online tussles with him—surely my post, above, couldn’t follow suit even if it wanted to, because it’s not part of any ClimateBall match.

    Like

  41. Online tussles are fruitless. We knew that in the 1990s. And we knew that in the 2000s. And we know it in the 2010s. The difference between now and then is that Consensus Enforcement is more formally constituted.

    The point — I am now only assuming — of ‘joint ideas under construction’ is to construct some ideas, jointly. That doesn’t need to be a po-faced, formal process. But it does have to discriminate: first against external wank; and its own participants’. If it wants to share, that is. This is the ‘social art’, or rather, the consensus between individuals. Even in an essay, a solo author has to define ones terms if one wants to be understood.

    What do you think your exchange reveals, which we didn’t already know, or needed confirmation of, such that we can say ‘well, that’s progress’?

    I’m *all* for discussions with people I/we/you disagree with — ‘frenemies’. I’ve taken part in them myself, and found them productive. But it has to be more than the climate debate’s equivalent of Chatroulette, the basis of such an encounter being mutual appreciation of each others’ I know not what. What? I can’t see it. No harm done, you say — it’s a no score draw. But be that as it may, it is nonetheless an artefact, now, of the project, which invites comment, per ‘joint ideas under construction’. I think it’s a bad idea, for reasons stated.

    Here’s a transcript of the futile conversation I had with a bloke at the pub.

    Oh, and here’s a picture of some belly button fluff.

    It’s all so very, very… Tumblr.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. “What do you think your exchange reveals, which we didn’t already know, or needed confirmation of, such that we can say ‘well, that’s progress’? ”

    It probably reveals nothing to *you,* because…

    “I’ve taken part in them myself, and found them productive.”

    It was my impression that most of us *haven’t.*

    And I want to inspire more of us to do it.

    Finally, I’ve never eavesdropped on a *private* disagreement between an Affirmative and a Negative speaker that was also *amicable.*

    By *private* I mean we had no intention of publicising what we wrote until later. So we thought we were safely behind closed doors. Hence the (admittedly grandiose) title CliScepGate.

    I thought others might enjoy the experience I’ve never had the chance to sample myself.

    Like

  43. Ben,

    “Online tussles are fruitless.”

    Almost entirely, yes.

    But if you’re lucky, it is sometimes possible to lure one of our enemies* into a fair fight—a situation they never get into if they can help it, and for very good reasons—and when they inevitably lose, if you’re lucky, third parties will be watching, and will find themselves moved by the pathetic spectacle.

    *This means unethical and antiscientific warmists; the remaining 90+% are (at worst) our “opponents.”

    Like

  44. It was my impression that most of us *haven’t.*

    I was pretty sure almost all of us *have* managed to have relatively civil discussions with even people who have internalised the climate debate. What is odd is the Consensus Enforcer’s inability to communicate. Congratulations to Willard for learning the basics of human interaction, and sustaining them for ten minutes…

    I’m giving up now.

    Like

  45. “It was my impression that most of us *haven’t.*” Brad

    I think most of us have. There’s just not that much to say at the moment that we haven’t already said.

    Like

  46. Tiny,

    > I think most of us have.

    Maybe. Have a lot of skeptics said so?

    Anyway, I still claim specialness as the only member of our group who’s done so with Willard, AFAIK!

    > There’s just not that much to say at the moment that we haven’t already said.

    Except all the things we haven’t tried saying, which, if we tried, might be more successful than the things we always say.

    Like

  47. > “and when they inevitably lose, ”

    But did anybody lose here Brad? It’s not clear to me that anyone did. If anything, he pulled the rug from under your feet by saying that he’s an agnostic. He doesn’t really take one side or the other.
    He’s not a Climateball player – he’s in the commentary box. He just sneers and goads from the sidelines. To get back to your earlier tone, he is a master baiter.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. Brad Keyes writes “if you’re lucky, third parties will be watching, and will find themselves moved by the pathetic spectacle.”

    Precisely so. It is that potentially huge, and future, audience that you play to. In the case of ClimateBall the winner won’t be known for another 80 years so what matters is how you play the game while not simultaneously violating your sense of ethics.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. Brad Keyes “I thought others might enjoy the experience I’ve never had the chance to sample myself.”

    I appreciate and sometimes enjoy pretty much everything here. One of the Great Questions is whether any, or how many, CAGW advocates actually believe in imminent danger versus jumping on that wagon for some other more mundane purpose like obtaining government or big oil grants (or both in various blendings).

    Liked by 1 person

  50. benpile wrote “Online tussles are fruitless. We knew that in the 1990s. And we knew that in the 2000s.”

    There is no we. I engage in online tussles because I believe such things bear fruit. Not a lot, but all it takes is a bite of the apple by a legislator. As Willard says, the only way to lose is not to play. Ultimately my reason is selfish; I want to know what you know, and how you came to know it. Your mileage probably varies.

    “I’m all for discussions with people I/we/you disagree with — ‘frenemies’. I’ve taken part in them myself, and found them productive.”

    Potentially far more productive than endlessly repeating things everyone present already knows and agrees is so. Getting past the “scripts” is the hard part. It took about 1,300 comments on a single thread to get past BBD’s scripts.

    [http]://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2015/12/22/mark-steyn-the-dc-appeals-court-and-congress/

    Along the way I examined the nature of the debate itself, whether it could be quantitatively determined that “skeptics” were of a different character than AGW advocates. With 1900 comments on one thread it was a pretty good sample size.

    Nearly without exception the skeptics debated the topic, warmists debated the person:

    Skeptics:

    M2: 21 comments, of them 1 is somewhat “ad hominem” .
    Dan: 10 comments, zero I find “ad hominem”.
    RickA: 3 and zero.

    CAGW Believers:

    O’Neill: 19 comments, 12 of them ad hominem.
    BBD: 12 comments, 4 of them I consider “ad hominem”.
    Marco: 6 comments, two I consider ad hominem.
    Bernard J: 5 comments, 4 are ad hominem.
    Obstreperous Applesauce, 5 comments, all five I consider ad hominem.
    Dean, 2 for 1.
    Brainstorms, 2 for 2.
    Steve P: 2 for 1.
    Desertphile: 4 comments of which 3 I consider ad hominem.

    Liked by 1 person

  51. TinyCO2 asks “What I’d like measured is ‘if someone you like and respect says something you disagree with, do you a) think better of that viewpoint or b) think worse about the person.’ I’d fall strongly into the b) category. I assumed that most people would do the same but Dan thinks the opposite.”

    I’d be on “a”. Liking someone isn’t influential but *respect* is relevant and influential. If someone I respect declares on a topic I disagree with, I will examine my views. Most views are composed of many mini-views, some of which may be amenable to adjustment. However, after examining my views and finding them not in need of adjustment, I suppose my level of respect for someone could decline depending on his willingness to examine his beliefs and adjust as needed.

    But I recognize that people are different, very different, and a person can be respected without ever achieving agreement simply because his mind works differently. Dan Kahan will never “grok” a libertarian; his mind does not work that way. He can explore libertarians but he cannot understand them (nor, for that matter, is a libertarian a single kind of thing anyway).

    Bob Altemeyer studies Christians, why they believe in God, but so sure is he that there’s no such thing that his surveys do not include the obvious choice of believing in God because you’ve met him.

    Stephen Lewandowsky is so certain that to deny catastrophic global warming puts you in the conspiracy theory looney bin that this surveys lead to that conclusion. It apparently wasn’t possible to express “no opinion” on the JFK assassination but that would have been my choice: I suspect many conspiracies exist all the time but whether any of them actually succeeded to pull the trigger I have no idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  52. Michael, thanks, lots of interesting things in those comments. Regarding the gentleman mentioned in your final paragraph, the notorious so-called Conversation has a podcast by him. So if you have 51 minutes of your life to throw away, you can listen to his words of wisdom on conspiracies there.
    Or, you could just post a quick sarcastic comment instead.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. Paul,

    > But did anybody lose here Brad?

    I should hope not; win-win is always my druther. Let us live as brothers in a drutherhood of brethren.

    Let me quickly tell you about my Equality, Sorority and Liberty platforms.

    As King, I would make all men equal—rich or poor, villein, serf, freeholder, Baron, Viscount, Marquess, Count, Duke, Earl, Queen—none would look down upon the other, leaving them more time to look up to me.

    As King, I would guarantee freedom for all, and that means freedom for the Ninety Five Percent, those who were born without the Will to Mastery and yearn for the chain, the lash and the yoke. If you want to be a slave, I won’t stop you. The servile majority need no longer be ashamed of their orientation. Gimps, bondsmen and subs of the world, come out of the closet! Out of the closet and into the reassuring predictability of being told what to think, what to opine and what to believe.

    As King, I would put a security camera in every room of every sorority house in my realm. We all know there are pervs and devos out there, but you no longer need to fear for your daughter’s honor when you tearfully send her off to college. If a pillowfight breaks out, I will see it. If an uptight cheerleader is seduced by lesbians, I will see it. If the hot water runs out mid-shower, I will see it. .

    When I twote the DMs above, I wasn’t fighting Willard. I only fight my enemies.

    And the issue (here) is what Ben called the fruitlessness of online tussles.

    My response was not an allusion to the post.

    I wasn’t tussling with Willard the other day (though I used to), and it wasn’t online (though it is now).

    > He doesn’t really take one side or the other.

    I know; if there’s one thing he’s against it’s people who take sides.

    And almost everyone in life does take a side, one way or the other; centrists are outliers.

    > If anything, he pulled the rug from under your feet by saying that he’s an agnostic.

    Damn, you’re right! Well spotted. (Unlike that spotless rug and the immaculate deception Willard pulled off by pulling it from under me, which totally went over my head.)

    Oh, now I’m mad. It’s on.

    What makes a man turn neutral? It sickens me.

    Liked by 1 person

  54. Brad Keyes “Could you clarify and, if possible, exemplify? I’d enjoy seeing such a strategy at work!”

    It’s complicated. I’ll try to develop a succinct response. Basically, I learn things by exploring opposition, but opposition does not wish to be explored (usually), it does not see itself as opposition, it sees itself as Truth and I am Error to be stamped out.

    So I wiggle into a blog not directly opposing the prevailing theme, and instead challenge little bits here and there and in that manner develop an awareness of the boundaries of this “thing” that I would explore more directly were it possible to do so, and if it were possible to trust the words people say and write, which it isn’t and I don’t.

    But truth is there stuck like lint here and there waiting to be discovered because it wants to be discovered.

    People of the Left will judge you by the company you keep; if not like us, that’s bad. Libertarians do likewise, but with a twist — it is GOOD to explore “not like us”.

    WUWT has a wide and varied blogroll; Izen’s blogroll is an echo chamber. What is the point of everyone agreeing? I don’t know and I find that behavior fascinating.

    https://cliscep.com/2016/04/19/dog-bites-man-climate-careerist-in-bald-faced-lie-shocka/#comment-3026

    ATTP asks “So, is everyone who associates with this site happy to be associated with this post?”

    Groupthink; echo chamber, herd maintenance and boundary maintenance activities. Do not associate with the enemy; do not read his blogs. It would be like being caught with a copy of Das Kapital on a coffee table in Idaho somewhere. Oops.

    Liked by 2 people

  55. There are scads of places where Willard “outs” himself in the above exchange of twits with Brad, I particularly appreciate this one:

    Look at me. I’m a chess player who happens to study philosophy. ClimateBall joins both worlds – I fight using words!

    Both are more a martial art than a sport – there are no clear rules, the quest is mostly aesthetic, the reward is elusive.

    Most of the time I see complaints that he adds little to “The Debate” (lulz, whatever), they’re associated with him having just kicked someone’s non-argument to the curb and set it on fire.

    ***

    I have not made any permanent peace with any of my online AGW arch-nemeses that I can think of. There are a few instances when peace temporarily broke out … usually over some non-AGW topic on which we both mostly agreed. It has, unfortunately, gotten to be a very tribal issue, which tends to lead to Bad Things. I often toy with the notion that if AGW itself doesn’t kill us, the fight over it might.

    But then ‘Murica lost its collective mind (again) and presumably has gone and positioned Trump to win the cursed archaic Electoral College, so all bets are off in my most humble estimation.

    This was a nice diversion from any of the usual fare on any climate blog anywhere, Brad. Thanks for posting it.

    Liked by 1 person

  56. Brandon,

    AGW won’t kill us.

    And I will fight to the death anyone who says the fight over whether the fight over whether AGW will kill us will kill us.

    I’m not alone. We are a silent army, ready and itching to drown the cities of the world in blood if that’s what it takes to silence the violence-mongering panic-merchants filling our children’s minds with anxiety about purely theoretical, scientifically-unproven predictions of urban conflict.

    ______________________________
    Edit: Hello, WUWT hoverers! As a way of welcoming you to CliScep, allow me to honor your local traditions by appending the following tag to this comment:

    /facetious

    Like

  57. > People of the Left will judge you by the company you keep […]

    The comment thread seems to show that it’s a bit more general than that.

    The creativity behind M2’s thinkers was more about associating the S to knowledge and the N to creativity.

    While the MTBI provides a nice touch, it is not exactly in the same tradition as Haidt’s work, which has been cited above. It’s a good read. Auditors are asking for data and code as we speak.

    ***

    Everyone, do continue to talk about me while snorting over squirrels.

    Fascinating.

    Like

  58. “How does an air molecule on the top surface of the wing of a commercial 747 ex Sydney bound for Auckland know it has to traverse that curved surface in exactly the time it takes another bit of air to traverse the flat (lower) surface?”

    It is entrained, constrained by neighbor air molecules. As the wing pushes forward, at the leading edge air molecules are forced up and down; more up than down initially and this by itself produces a down force. The air is compressed just above the leading edge of the wing. It squirts out exerting equal pressure in all directions — forward, up, back. Down is the wing so it cannot go down. Forward doesn’t work very well since the wing is traveling in the same direction; this is the shockwave if the wing is traveling at the speed of sound it will build very high pressure. But before it is a shockwave it is still a pressure wave that relieves pressure by moving forward, up and back. The air doesn’t actually know the wing is traveling under it, it only knows it is free to move in only three directions, so it moves.

    Meanwhile the thinner portion of the wing has arrived but now the air pressure is much reduced because of the inertia of the air having moved forward, up and back but not down. The air moving backward encounters this reduced pressure and increases its velocity. The increase in velocity is actually a side effect of the actual cause which is the pressurization of the leading edge. The trailing edge of the wing simply prevents air under the wing from equalizing that low pressure by rising. It still tries to rise and gives lift. At the wing-tips you get a vortex caused by the higher pressure air under the wing wrapping around to the top.

    The stability of the wing shape is caused by the relationship of velocity to lift. Velocity cannot change suddenly so neither does lift. But angle of attack CAN change suddenly. So the more lift you get from Bernoulli the more stable the wing, but also the less maneuverable the aircraft. All bets are off once you pass the speed of sound and the wing starts to cut through its own shockwave.

    Liked by 1 person

  59. Willard comments: “The creativity behind M2’s thinkers was more about associating the S to knowledge and the N to creativity.”

    Yes, exactly. I don’t recall precisely why I felt it important but as an indication for general information that people are more different than even some social scientists acknowledge.

    From time to time I mention it (MBTI) as a smoke signal to engage possibly interesting conversation with other people who have similar, or better yet different, ideas on such topics. You are therefore the “seed” of this raindrop or hailstone around which we can discuss various topics.

    With regard to this axis, is knowledge or creativity better? Neither, or both. A computer has perfect knowledge but (so far as I know) zero creativity. A typical fantasy novel has plenty of creativity but at times very little knowledge. Imperfect knowledge is at times actually dangerous; attempts to fly airplanes without adequate knowledge of aeronautical principles for instance. Faulty creativity is relatively harmless but one could easily starve to death eating dreams.

    Liked by 1 person

  60. brandonrgates writes (quoting Willard) “Look at me. I’m a chess player who happens to study philosophy. ClimateBall joins both worlds – I fight using words!”

    Alas, there is no prize for winning. It is not clear what constitutes a win. But yes, I also observe similarities not only to chess but to religion. Religion is what it is, chess is how to play. You might sacrifice a pawn (an expressed belief of lesser importance) to gain strategic position. Winning is the moment of being banned; an acknowledgment of worth as an opponent that cannot therefore even be admitted to the ring or to the chess table.

    “they’re associated with him having just kicked someone’s non-argument to the curb and set it on fire.”

    Well, not really. It’s just a banhammer, doesn’t count for much. Winning is losing.

    Story time! Older brother liked to win and staged games to ensure that outcome. So one day he set up a bicycle race. Naturally he beat his younger sister who was still on training wheels. When she finally crossed the finish line, she announced, “I win!” and older brother was furious, declaring “I won!” but it did not move little sister in the slightest. In her mind, she was the winner, and that was that.

    So it is that I have never lost an argument. I don’t insist on winning, but I could easily do so by declaring that the rules of my game are that I win.

    “I have not made any permanent peace with any of my online AGW arch-nemeses that I can think of.”

    Naturally not. Can you imagine a football game where the teams suddenly make peace and there is neither winner nor loser? It is barely possible with the finest international diplomacy backed up by terrible weapons of war.

    If your foundation requires winning, which is always the case for a narcissist and frequently the case for “ESFJ” types, you cannot do otherwise. It is not in your DNA. What you might do is choose which battles to fight; choosing not to engage someone superior in intellect lest you “lose” (even though on the internet there is neither winning nor losing).

    “I often toy with the notion that if AGW itself doesn’t kill us, the fight over it might.”

    Or something else. For every winner there are many losers. Odds are you are one of the losers (one of my favorite “Demotivator” posters).

    “But then ‘Murica lost its collective mind (again) and presumably has gone and positioned Trump to win the cursed archaic Electoral College, so all bets are off in my most humble estimation.”

    So why were you betting in the first place? That is the weakness of substituting emotion for thought, sensation for knowledge, but if you are that kind, you cannot be something else. I have studied the People of the Left for decades; sometimes served them in the military.

    The United States of America was settled by refugees from Europe, for the most part, and despite several generations of ease and luxury there’s still a cultural difference. We did not “lose” what we have not ever had, a dependence upon government, monarchies and most of all, the “herd”.

    But in another generation I suspect the US of A will lose its libertarian spark; but I still wouldn’t bet on it.

    “This was a nice diversion from any of the usual fare on any climate blog anywhere, Brad. Thanks for posting it.”

    Yes, it is that. An opportunity to have a conversation with a warmist that is not permitted at your usual haunts. As you review my comment history you will perhaps notice I do not argue with correctly executed scientific results. I cannot drill my own ice cores nor do I have instruments to analyze oxygen isotopes. Where we differ is that I have formed no conclusions that New York will be under water in 80 years (or 10 or whatever is the current prediction) where you probably believe in a variety of scary futures. My scary futures are political in source and consequence.

    Liked by 2 people

  61. Brad Keyes writes: “What makes a man turn neutral?”

    Experience and caution. While rare, enemies and opponents have at times become my friend, usually through a mechanism of respect rather than affection. Therefore it is better to NOT too loudly proclaim your enmity and ridicule your enemy lest he become President of the United States. 😉

    If I am certain that someone is not going to change, and is an opponent, I might develop a respect for that person but also will use that person to play Climateball or its religious equivalent. It is better to do battle of any kind with a worthy opponent. Where’s the benefit or sport in arguing with someone squishy whose beliefs and opinions change with the wind? One of my best and most enjoyable arguments was with BBD and actually produced a conclusion that ended my participation without rancor. It took over a thousand comments to achieve it; I rely on him to NOT change his opinions and beliefs while I work out exactly what they are and why he has them.

    Anyway, the MBTI plays into that need for certainty. The left wing attracts a type, and the type creates a critical mass that attracts more of that type to itself and repels everything else. You can see this on the leftwing, AGW blogrolls — they cite each other but no opponent blog.

    But over on WUWT the opponent blogs are listed; not only is there no fear of opponents, life would be boring without them, there would be nothing to discuss.

    Liked by 1 person

  62. “life would be boring without them, there would be nothing to discuss.”

    The same is true for the other side.

    Liked by 2 people

  63. Most of the time I see complaints that he adds little to “The Debate” (lulz, whatever), they’re associated with him having just kicked someone’s non-argument to the curb and set it on fire..

    So much for ‘language as a social art’; in this case an anti-social art, maybe, but only on the scantest justification. It all vanishes into smoke when trying to explain it to the cops by the same curb, that the spectacle of exposure and defecating in public was both performance and protest. “Social” only in the sense that it takes place in public; “art” only in the sense that the expression satisfied and cemented the sense of alienation. And that’s just it — environmentalism as an infantile expression of alienation. I can’t think of anything which better epitomises the disjuncture between those who think climate is the most important thing ever, and those who don’t care, don’t know, or don’t think the same way.

    Kicked to the curb? Flicked over the wrist, more like.

    ‘”The Debate” (lulz, whatever)’…

    The question that remains is whether those who take a particular position WRT the ‘climate’ are pathologically disinclined to debate or merely intend to prevent it. Is the holy mission encoded in their DNA, or do they understand the language of their instructions? Either way, cynicism of “The Debate (lulz)” is the characteristic of contempt for people — the architects and advocates of environmentalism’s institutions only ever being concerned with democracy as an afterthought at best. The fruit of that tendency in the wider political sphere should come to any remaining guffaws as a brickbat square to the nose. It won’t end with Brexit and Trump if that tendency fails to develop some modesty where it had hubris.

    Not to draw too literal a parallel between Brexit/Trump and climate politics, but the latter much more epitomises what gave rise to the phenomena of the former victories then even they. I don’t say it to say, “Haw haw, we won, get over it”. I say it to say, “oh wow, look at what you did!” And I would add that you did it without our help. “Language as a social art”, and by implication “science as a social art” hasn’t helped the communication. The only thing that has been communicated has been overt cynicism and contempt. Language being a two-way street, what response have you been expecting to such a call? Are you still going to be surprised when the final memo says “You’re Fired”?

    So for all the ‘luls’ about the ‘debate’, and for all the belly laughs when Willard’s obtuse verbiage sent some interlocutor’s ‘non-argument’ ‘to the curb’ in so many ways that the poor victim didn’t even understand, such is the power of his “social art”, it is ultimately Willard who is likely to come of worse for the kicking. Is it possible that you don’t even know what your cynicism looks like? In the end it will be you chucking yourself under the bus. This is what is meant by saying Willard’s words are mere masturbation. You’re all alone with your ‘social art’.

    Like

  64. Michael 2 – I rely on him to NOT change his opinions and beliefs while I work out exactly what they are and why he has them.

    + 1,000

    But there really is no need to waste any more time on it. There is already a vast volume of text, none of which has developed since the 1990s. There is nothing more to learn from Consensus Enforcers. All that remains is to thank them for the “debate (lulz)”.

    Liked by 1 person

  65. Michael2,

    Well, not really. It’s just a banhammer, doesn’t count for much. Winning is losing.

    He doesn’t have the banhammer over at Judy’s which is one place where I think Willard shines. I guess part of my opinion is biased by me feeling that I’m at my best when I’m not playing on my home pitch.

    It’s too late here for me to do justice to the balance of your post.

    Like

  66. M2,

    ” One of my best and most enjoyable arguments was with BBD and actually produced a conclusion that ended my participation without rancor.”

    Without rancor? About a hot-button topic like the weather? With a dogmatic domini canis like Big Boring Dominic? I don’t believe you.

    Are we talking about the same BBD?

    Not only do I wonder how you could have such saintlike patience, I also wonder why you’d bother. Except maybe as an exercise whose sole virtue is its difficulty. Unlike Willard, BBD has never said anything (to me) suggestive of original mentation. Even if I were on the same “side” as him on every question, I can’t imagine a reason to bother talking to him. His sole entertainment value, for me, is that we’re *not* on the same side and that, instead of being a grownup about this banal factum he is compelled by some pre-historic inner hurt to shrillly, adrenergically, and humorlessly take to the streets and protest my existence. Oh, what LOLz I’ve had.

    “AGW blogrolls”

    Strictly speaking, aren’t many if not most “denier” blogs run by people who accept AGW, in both senses of the verb “accept” (not only granting its plausibility as a physical hypothesis, but also welcoming the possibility, yawning, or at worst resigning themselves to it)?

    That’s certainly my impression, but I hasten to admit this might be due to my lens. (I’m far more interested in the line between fearing and tolerating AGW than that between believing in and doubting AGW.)

    Like

  67. The person who says,

    I think Willard shines.

    Also says,

    Lulz

    and

    Yaawwwwwwnnnnnnnn …..

    High praise for the shining wit.

    Like

  68. I’m at my best when I’m not playing on my home pitch.

    You flatter yourself. Which is what Consensus Enforcement is all about though, isn’t it. It’s tough being modest and a Planet-Saving Super Hero.

    Liked by 2 people

  69. M 2,

    “The left wing attracts a type, and the type creates a critical mass that attracts more of that type to itself and repels everything else. You can see this on the leftwing, AGW blogrolls — they cite each other but no opponent blog.”

    Does this apply to the left-wing, AGW-believing Stephen McIntyre’s blog? If not, you need to rethink this.

    I think you can do better, Michael. Let’s have another stab at it… Fill the blanks:

    “______ attracts a type, and the type creates a critical mass that attracts more of that type to itself and repels everything else. You can see this on the __________ blogrolls — they cite each other but no opponent blog.”

    Hint: it’s not a political orientation.

    Like

  70. Brad for me, there just isn’t enough evidence to dismiss CAGW but there isn’t enough to say it’s true either. There is reason to believe that some AGW is likely. There’s little evidence that a bit of AGW is harmful and some that it’s actually good. Like Willard, I would claim to be an agnostic. I have stopped expecting the science to improve and am happy to wait and see.

    When it comes to renewables I’m very sceptical. I’m not averse to nuclear and I’d never reject a renewable simply because it’s not fossil fuelled but the human race (me included) love energy. It’s a romance with far more passion than any green dalliances we might be tempted by. Warmists seem to me to be hopeless idealists whose sole plan is wishing very hard. Well meaning but not about to do anything but spend a lot of money and whine about merchants of doubt. They’re as reluctant to cut their own CO2 as any oil working, SUV driving Texan (not meant as an insult because there’s nothing wrong with any of those things). It’s a particular type of idiocy I despise. Problems (real or imaginary) are not solved by hand wringing and nagging.

    Liked by 2 people

  71. “Warmists seem to me to be hopeless idealists whose sole plan is wishing very hard.”

    But “idealists” traditionally wish for a better world, not a heat-raped wasteland with only a few breeding pairs of humans, don’t they?

    Liked by 1 person

  72. “I have stopped expecting the science to improve and am happy to wait and see.”

    I don’t expect it to improve, either. When I call for improvement, I know full well the call won’t be answered. They *can’t* improve The Science without destroying climate alarmism. Fear only persists because The Science is not science at all, but speculative fiction. The function of science is to kill off delusional panics like the CAGW idea. Were there a science of climate change, it would have performed this duty decades ago and CAGWism would be a brief-lived historical curiosity, like the laughing-gas-asteroid panic.

    Like

  73. Tiny — there just isn’t enough evidence to dismiss CAGW but there isn’t enough to say it’s true either

    It’s not the ultimate claim — ‘climate change is happening’, etc — which permits any true/false judgement. Those are distractions. It’s in the case made consequent to the warming where we can find the BS. They need no retelling. And this is why I don’t find environmentalists to be driven by well-meaning but hopeless idealism, but straightforward bad faith — self deception at best. These aren’t street-level activists, hoping to bring about the revolution by selling their own newspaper outside the local supermarket. They are peers, aristocrats, lobbyists, and the beneficiaries of billionaire philanthropists. It is position that is at stake, not the atmosphere and its dependents. The scare stories emerge in lieu of ‘ideals’.

    Liked by 2 people

  74. TinyCO2,

    if you doubt me about the utter vacuity of the Potemkin “Science,” then I wonder—which would you say is more believable:

    1. that climate science is a field of science and yet, utterly uniquely in the history of modern science, is the only one capable of combusting several times as much money as the Manhattan Project researching a topic without revealing a single useful or interesting thing about that topic that we didn’t know 25 years ago

    or

    2. that the word sequence “climate science” is a bit like “the sweet science,” “Christian Science,” “proletarian science,” “koala bear,” “flying fox,” “long pig” and “guinea pig”

    ?

    Liked by 1 person

  75. “But “idealists” traditionally wish for a better world, not a heat-raped wasteland with only a few breeding pairs of humans, don’t they?”

    The problem with idealism is you can throw away ‘not bad’ in the fruitless chase for the perfect.

    Brad, lots of sciences and scientists are not behaving in a scientific manner. Calling climate science ‘climate science’ is just a label that allows other people to know who I’m talking about. I believe that the science is in such a mess it could fail to demonstrate CAGW, by the same poor qualities we observe.

    Like

  76. “These aren’t street-level activists, hoping to bring about the revolution by selling their own newspaper outside the local supermarket. They are peers, aristocrats, lobbyists, and the beneficiaries of billionaire philanthropists. It is position that is at stake, not the atmosphere and its dependents. The scare stories emerge in lieu of ‘ideals’.”

    I get no impression from most of those people that they don’t think that they’re doing good. There could be some debate whether they care about CO2 or anticapitalism or wealth redistribution but they truly feel that highlighting the problem is doing their bit. They’re so used to their bit of PR having results, that they are perplexed when those who normally sort the highlighted problem, don’t. I’m tempted to believe that self delusion is their defining feature, as built into them as gender.

    Look at many of those who campaigned for Remain. People who were convinced the public loved them so much they’d let some actor or pop star do their thinking for them. And Tony Blair FFS! He’s even tempted to return to politics to save Labour! That’s some super strength self delusion.

    Liked by 1 person

  77. Tiny,

    This makes me think you may have misread me…

    Calling climate science ‘climate science’ is just a label that allows other people to know who I’m talking about.

    Yeah, I knew who you meant. I wasn’t suggesting you not use that label. That’s what I call it too.

    You didn’t use the wrong term! Likewise, people who talk about “guinea pigs” or “flying foxes” are not saying anything wrong. (“Koala bear” is another story though—the right term is “koala.”)

    My question was whether the thing you and I both refer to as ‘climate science’—which is just a label!—is scientific.

    Brad, lots of sciences … are not behaving in a scientific manner.

    Really? Whole fields of science are behaving as fields of non-science?

    So what then (in your view) is the SECOND worst field of science?

    Brad, lots of … scientists are not behaving in a scientific manner.

    That’s hard to deny.

    But who (in your view) are the SECOND worst-behaving scientists?

    I believe that the science is in such a mess it could fail to demonstrate CAGW, by the same poor qualities we observe.

    Yes. That’s an ironic twist I’ve often been struck by too.

    If CAGW were really coming round the corner, climate scientists would be the LAST people you’d trust to

    1. realize what was about to happen
    2. explain it to the world, and
    3. not sound like lying/mentally-ill drama queens.

    So for all I know, CAGW is really coming round the corner.

    But for all I know, an extraterrestrial armada is coming even sooner to enslave us all.

    And for all I know, the robots will beat them to it.

    The fact that nobody can really prove otherwise doesn’t mean you should lose a minute’s sleep taking any of these scenarios seriously, though, does it?

    Remember, nobody even gave the idea of CAGW a second thought 30 years ago, did they?

    So why should they now? Why should you now?

    What’s changed?

    Like

  78. Psychology is often described as a science but it’s even more distorted than climate science. I’m sure that there are others. The drive towards ever increasing journals is in part to blame for the dumbing down of research. If even medicine can be accused of pushing upwards of 50% poor papers – that’s non science right there.

    I don’t lose any sleep over climate. This is a hobby/annoyance over the wasted effort and money. I’m moderately concerned about my future energy bills.

    Like

  79. Tiny.

    “If even medicine can be accused of pushing upwards of 50% poor papers – that’s non science right there.”

    Poor papers are a fact of life, but it’s not the end of the world unless the world uncritically and incuriously treats them as brilliant papers. *cough* MBH98 *cough*

    In medical science, the poor papers don’t undo the good the good ones do.

    In the last 25 years, to quote myself,

    “medical science has given us the completed Human Genome Project, the first cancer-preventative vaccine (for HPV), HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors [‘statins’], an awareness of the therapeutic and prognostic significance of omega-3 fatty acid levels, stem-cell therapies for adrenoleukodystrophy and other conditions, functional MRI, self-expanding stents made of nitinol and next-generation materials, minimally-invasive robotic surgery, the bio-informatics revolution, lifesaving genetically-engineered drugs like tissue plasminogen activator, gene-targeted therapies like Herceptin and Gleevec (for breast cancer, chronic myeloid leukemia and GIST), the multi-lumen tubing which is now a mainstay on high-dependency wards, highly active anti-retroviral therapy [HAART] and the once-a-day HIV pill that can slow down and even arrest progression to AIDS, entire families of antidepressants and noötropics…”

    In the last 25 years,

    climate science has given us climate scientists.

    “I don’t lose any sleep over climate.”

    Good to hear! I think I interpreted this…

    “for me, there just isn’t enough evidence to dismiss CAGW but there isn’t enough to say it’s true either…. I would claim to be an agnostic.”

    …as suggesting you view it as in a more serious category of possibility than ET invasions or Terminator-style robogenous anthropocide.

    NB: you can ‘dismiss’ CAGW the same way you can ‘dismiss’ (i.e. relegate to the land of speculative fiction) any of other scenarios, like an asteroid will extinguish life on earth 8 years from now.

    That for which there is no evidence can be ‘dismissed’ without evidence.

    So forget about “losing sleep.” My question is just:

    From 1986 to 2016, has your perception changed w.r.t. the likelihood of CAGW “coming true”?

    If so, on what basis?

    Like

  80. Medical science papers do damage – remember MMR and Ex Dr Wakefield? And all those people who got bacteria related ulcers? And the increasing theory that it’s sugar that does the most damage, not fat? Medicine may be brilliant by comparison, but it’s not perfect.

    1986 never heard of AGW
    2000 vaguely noticed it and believed because I trusted science
    2004 began to hear more but the claims were too sure to be credible (like psychometric testing where they throw out a trick question like – do you always tell the truth) and some were blately untrue.
    2005 after a series of hot UK years I wondered if I’d have to flee northward but decided a decade of summers lasting longer than the traditional week of sunshine hardly justified any rash decisions
    2006 started reading about the issues and quickly became aware of the poor state of the science and aware that all the ‘signs’ were inconclusive
    2009 realised that nothing would jolt UK politicians out of their love fest with green hysteria and stopped caring one way or the other
    2016 waiting for the temperatures to give more clues about any CO2 effect. Every year that temperatures don’t return to the 80s, 90s rise is evidence that AGW is unlikely to be large.

    However, I’ve always considered it more than possible to reduce temperatures if we wanted to. Either through engineering or rapid reduction in CO2. The global disinterest in the issue is evidence that most people don’t worry about CO2 either.

    Liked by 3 people

  81. My timeline is much the same as Tiny’s.
    As it ramped up post-2000, became gradually more concerned.
    2007: Thought this is important, better read up about it. Started reading wiki (ie Connolley) and Realclimate. WTF?

    PCM climate concern

    Liked by 1 person

  82. Tiny,

    Thanks for that history of your climate thinking (ditto Paul). I’ll get back to that.

    “Medical science papers do damage – remember MMR and Ex Dr Wakefield?”

    And wasn’t it good of them to revoke his medical honorific?

    I can’t help think of Michael Mann, who used to be Dr Mann until he published his famously fraudulent schtick…. whereupon he became Professor Mann.

    To their credit, someone eventually did something about this perversion of intellectual justice, and ex-Prof, ex-Dr Mann is now accorded the status he deserves: Dist. Prof. Mann.

    But the delay, I’m sure you’ll agree, was tantamount to criminal.

    Smart-alecry aside: if Doctor Wakefield were a quack climate scientist instead of a quack medical doctor, his most fraudulent paper would still be in circulation to this day and we’d probably be calling him Distinguished Professor Wakefield.

    There are bad apples in all fields of science, but the structures in place in medical research are basically healthy and doing their job, whereas climate research is systematically purulent.

    Tragically, many parents chose to waive vaccination/immunization for their kids on the basis of Wakefield’s “very shoddy” (h/t Tom Wigley on Mann) med sci.

    But the rest of the immunized world continued to say yes to vaccines. And where did vaccines come from? Med sci.

    My point being that one of the most notorious examples of the “harm” done by pathological med sci (Wakefield) merely caused some members of the public to forgo one of the countless benefits of good med sci (Pasteur).

    Even at the peak of the MMR->autism meme, then, med sci was still a force of almost incalculable good for the world’s children.

    Your answer to my other question (what changed between 1986 and 2016) seems to be: I heard more and more and more about the global warming issue.

    Which, if I’ve summarized it fairly, is a perfectly reasonable explanation for changing your mind on global warming.

    But it raises a question of its own:

    If AGW really were a non-negligible threat to humanity, why didn’t The Scientists tell us about it five million years ago, when Svante Arrhenius discovered All You Need to Know About Carbon Dioxide but were afraid to ask?

    Why did they wait a hundred years for the hottest day in 1988, and the sabotage of a Senate hearing room’s air conditioner by activist scientist James Hansen, to all of a sudden tell us: “Hey by they way, people of Earth, I meant to say this in 1888 but I forgot: the radiative properties of carbon dioxide are going to turn your cities to Atlantides in your lifetime—just thought you might want to know.”

    Or to put it another way: forget being a lay person. Imagine you’re an earth scientist of some kind, and therefore Should Know Better, because you’ve heard all about Arrhenius et al.

    From 1986 to 2016, did you change your story about the seriousness of the possibility of CAGW? Did you go from not even thinking it was worth mentioning to telling the lay public it was worse than Hitler?

    And if so, on what basis? What exponential ramp-up of evidence for alarm justified this exponential ramp-up of alarmism?

    Like

  83. But they didn’t deal with the quack for 10 years. They didn’t give him the boot for the bad science but for bad ethics. The 20ish other doctors who added their names to research they clearly knew nothing about were doing science the way climate is done. The Lancet did the peer review thing and published a paper without the data that would have demonstrated it was rubbish. The Lancet didn’t do it’s own investigation into a bad and dangerous paper even when it was exposed as flawed. It finally withdrew the paper after the Dr was given the boot. The only voice demanding something be done about Wakefield from the start was a journalist.

    I read about this before I looked into climate and it opened my eyes to how bad science could be. I was already primed to ask questions when climate hysteria came along. The problem with Wakefield wasn’t a glitch, it was a systemic flaw. While I’m sure that individually many climate scientists are excellent, their whole system is unsuitable for purpose. If medicine can get it wrong with loads of checks and balances, what hope has climate science got with practically nothing?

    Liked by 1 person

  84. Brad Keyes writes, in response to Michael 2: “Without rancor? With a dogmatic domini canis like Big Boring Dominic? I don’t believe you.”

    It is a bit of a challenge.

    BBD writes “GFY.”

    But my response:

    I love you, too. My world would be less without a BBD in it.

    And I mean that sincerely. I *like* a certain amount of opposition; it compels me to think through my response, look up citations, sharpen my mind and increase my knowledge. He has opinions on many things and imagines himself expert at many. His opposition is the most reliable I have seen; I doubt he has agreed with any point I have ever made on any topic. It helps me explore the Great Attractor, the hidden thing that orients his (and his herd’s) moral compass.

    “Not only do I wonder how you could have such saintlike patience, I also wonder why you’d bother.”

    I will repost a thing I wrote to BBD in October:

    I am fascinated by the hive mind, a thing I see exists and wonder sometimes what it would be like to be enveloped by it. … The hive mind is not designed for creativity; it is designed for conformity.

    BBD’s usefulness in this exploration is his rigidity. It is easier to measure a thing that does not change shape while you are measuring it.

    “Except maybe as an exercise whose sole virtue is its difficulty.”

    That is part of its attraction. The worthy mountain climb is difficult.

    “Unlike Willard, BBD has never said anything (to me) suggestive of original mentation.”

    I have noticed that as well. He is a chameleon, instinctively adopting the behavior, beliefs and mannerisms of someone else but in an amplified way that makes it easier to explore.

    “Strictly speaking, aren’t many if not most denier blogs run by people who accept AGW, in both senses of the verb accept?”

    Yes. I have not encountered any blog that outright denies climate change or global warming. In my writing about the echo chamber I refer more specifically to the Anthony Watts Obsession Cluster, a subset of the I-hate-deniers cluster. Science blogs are few and necessarily do not introduce emotion or politics.

    Last, I have a bit of fun with absurdities:

    Rowena writes “Or, maybe with global warming, the seas will rise enough to cover the west coast and spill over the dam of the Sierras into Nevada. Anything is possible without the intervention of a god.”

    Agreed. Using Jim Hansen’s parameters of 3.2 millimeters per year sea level rise, exponentially rising, and a ten year doubling I calculated it will take about 170 years to overtop Mount Everest.

    https://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2016/03/16/readers-beefs-6/#comment-1314792

    Liked by 1 person

  85. brandonrgates writes “He doesn’t have the banhammer over at Judy’s which is one place where I think Willard shines.”

    Well then I’ll go have a look. I’d like to see something more complex than mystifying one-liners invoking ClimateBall; but I have to admit some of Willard’s memes are pretty clever: “The only way to lose is not to play” being my favorite (hoping I remembered it right).

    Liked by 1 person

  86. benpile wrote “There is nothing more to learn from Consensus Enforcers.”

    A subtle nuance but there may be nothing more to teach but I have one big thing to learn, and that is WHY they do what they do. Plenty of novelizations of the idea; the best (IMO) being George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” and “1984”. He succeeds because he was himself a socialist upset with the failure of the Soviet Union in particular to implement “good” socialism, and his story “Animal Farm” explains why it is probably impossible to have “good” socialism anywhere on Earth except maybe Iceland.

    So it boils down basically to which animal does each regular participant at a left wing blog represent? Who is the idealistic socialist that wants the best for all; who are the pigs that simply use socialism to their own advantage? Who are the sheep, who are the horses?

    It is probably significant that the best, and the worst, in that story are pigs. To me it says the worst results emanate from the best intentions.

    Liked by 1 person

  87. M2,

    > Well then I’ll go have a look. I’d like to see something more complex than mystifying one-liners invoking ClimateBall […]

    So would, I, and I do. I can’t point to any one particular post to tell you why I think so. It’s also subjective; so we’re bound to not see the same things, or even agree on things we mutually recognize as being.

    The “enforcer” meme is apt in this case, as Willard is a hockey fan in addition to being a chess player and well-versed in philosophy and logics. When he’s skating on home ice at AT’s, I would say he’s playing much more as an enforcer — if only by virtue of the fact that he has a moderator’s role and privileges there.

    On away ice (like at Judy’s, but also at the various other contrarian blogs he frequents) his style is more that of a finesse player. He’s still on offence, but as I imagine it he has to think harder about how he handles the puck to get the shot on the goal he wants. Not being able to blow the moderator’s whistle, he has to prevail solely on the basis of his arguments.

    Which I think makes him a better player on away ice than at home.

    ***

    This applies to wherever he’s playing: One way in which I think Willard gets unwarranted static is simply by virtue of him playing his own game; one in which other ostensible players often don’t natively understand, don’t want to understand — or perhaps do understand but simply don’t wish to acknowledge. But who really knows … mind-reading is *hard*.

    My view is that he routinely shoots at goals which otters (very often including me) didn’t realize were even there … and it’s much easier to put the puck into a wide-open goal. I can’t help but laugh when Denizens then loudly complain to him that, no, he’s chasing squirrels, the goal is over *here* [because we’ve already set up our defense around it].

    ***

    One of my favourite activities is to go out of my way to find something upon which he and I disagree, and argue it with him. I almost always “lose” … which to me is winning.

    Like

  88. > You flatter yourself. Which is what Consensus Enforcement is all about though, isn’t it.

    I see it as an inherent human attribute, Mr Pile. It varies by individual, of course, but something about Innerwebz conversations — if not also the personality types of people who argue on the Innern00bs — tends to enhance narcissistic behaviour.

    Partisan mud-slogs for the moral high ground where both sides refuse to openly recognize the stench of their own crap are a perfect example.

    Like

  89. In reply to brandonrgates: With regard to Willard’s performance at Judy’s (by which I presume you mean judithcurry.com) I am searching for the argument that “they’re associated with him having just kicked someone’s non-argument to the curb and set it on fire.”

    So far I see rather a lot of brief, sometimes witty, comments that invoke various themes and memes in a clever way so maybe that’s what you mean by his victims not realizing what game he is playing but what’s the point in it? I can recite pi to 13 places but what has that ever gotten me? A wee bit of admiration from a few people that were already my friends, that’s what.

    Willard | August 26, 2016 at 7:27 pm: “nothing is predictable. Yesterday, I woke up as a chaos fan. Then I realized I needed coffee. I stopped being a chaos fan. THE END.”

    Now *there* is a non-argument!

    His instinct is “referee”. In this, he challenges an argument but does not propose one of his own. I suppose I do the same thing now and then if the logic is faulty. I don’t much care who is “right” but it ought to be presented logically.

    Willard | October 14, 2016 at 10:08 am: “No quotes contradict the abstract’s claim that photosynthetic responses to OA are relatively small for most investigated species, Jim. Your ‘CO2 makes photosynthesis less costly’ fails to be materially supported by the paper. More importantly, you omit other energy costs.”

    And so he does. Will Jim chase that squirrel or whack that mole? Tune in tomorrow for the continuation of this exciting saga!

    More refereeing:

    Willard | October 15, 2016 at 1:48 am: “Mackey’s conclusions undermine Jim’s – he claims more CO2 benefits photosynthesis while Mackey found that the positive effect of high CO2 on photosynthesis were negligible.”

    What I see is they aren’t exactly arguing the same thing. More CO2 (above 280ppm) obviously benefits photosynthesis since below about 280 (or was it 230?) ppm it stops. Stop is bad, Go is good. Willard then argues that HIGH CO2 does not produce significant benefit and is doubtless correct; but also imprecise. What is “high”? What is it compared to; slightly less “high”? I don’t know, I suppose I could dig into it and form my own opinion.

    Fallacy of the False Alternatives; but Willard gets no “pass”, he knows what he’s doing:

    Willard | August 31, 2016 at 2:46 pm: “You’re only way out is to argue that Murica’s so exceptional that every country should follow ‘shall,’ but not Murica.”

    In truth it isn’t a chess game and Willard does not specify the rules of the game; maybe I have another way out that he hasn’t considered. Murica isn’t bound to follow other nations; its citizens for the most part having fled those nations to create Murica in the first place. Exceptional is a very good word for Murica and for me.

    Willard | July 7, 2016 at 10:51 pm “I see you haven’t got the memo yet, Glenn. Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough last time. If you mention me, you’ll get a response.”

    It’s nice to know that responses are assured. It’s a strange way of putting it; makes it slightly sinister.

    Liked by 2 people

  90. Tiny,

    good point—I’d forgotten how bad the Wakefield episode was and I especially like your pointed reminder that it was a journalist, not an insider, who demanded something be done about it.

    “If medicine can get it wrong with loads of checks and balances, what hope has climate science got with practically nothing?”

    No hope. And that’s one reason why medical research continues to improve human lives immeasurably, while climate science is a literally useless hecatomb of blood, sweat and treasure.

    Another reason is that climate change is irrelevant, while health matters.

    Like

  91. Anyway Tiny,

    back to my question: what changed from 1986 to 2016 to justify scientists’ change of behavior, from barely deeming AGW worth mentioning to threatening us with a catastrophe that would make Castro look like Ceaușescu, or make a Hitler with triorchidy look like a castrated Castro?

    Like

  92. Tiny, one last point:

    the medical fraternity gets rid of frauds like Wakefield so that its reputation doesn’t suffer.

    the climate fraternity protects frauds like Mann, Gleick and Lewandowsky so that its reputation doesn’t suffer.

    Some line has been crossed. A tipping point, if you will. A critical viral mass. A decompensation threshold. Climate science has regime-shifted, and is in a fundamentally worse, more pathological condition than its closest, sickest rival.

    Like

  93. M2,

    > So far I see rather a lot of brief, sometimes witty, comments that invoke various themes and memes in a clever way so maybe that’s what you mean by his victims not realizing what game he is playing but what’s the point in it?

    Have you ever tried asking him directly?

    > Will Jim chase that squirrel or whack that mole?

    When Steele gets caught misrepresenting one of his own references, he’s fond of replying with an ad hominem. “Internet sniper” is a favourite label. That’s a thread where Willard handles it like a boss as he usually does — sidesteps the personal attack and continues to bomb the position into rubble.

    > It’s nice to know that responses are assured. It’s a strange way of putting it; makes it slightly sinister.

    You’re not the only person I’ve known to express discomfort that Willard is Watching. I think it’s funny that people who post comments on public Internet fora find it uncomfortable when their words attract attention because … for me at least … that’s supposed to be the point.

    As well, one of my own rules of thumb is that when someone is feeling uncomfortable being watched … perhaps they have cause to be both watched and uncomfortable about it.

    Like

  94. M2,

    > Willard | August 26, 2016 at 7:27 pm: “nothing is predictable. Yesterday, I woke up as a chaos fan. Then I realized I needed coffee. I stopped being a chaos fan. THE END.”

    > Now *there* is a non-argument!

    Funny you would bring that up because that was an argument that went “whoosh” when he first wrote it. It makes a lot more sense once you realize just how nonsensical Turbulent Eddie’s “but … chaos” weather fallacies so often are.

    Like

  95. BRG — … something about Innerwebz conversations — if not also the personality types of people who argue on the Innern00bs — tends to enhance narcissistic behaviour.

    And what is that — a licence, a mea culpa, or an excuse? All three?

    Partisan mud-slogs for the moral high ground where both sides refuse to openly recognize the stench of their own crap are a perfect example.

    More licence? Oh, well, if everyone’s doing it, I might as well join in…”?

    The point of debate, (Lulz, giggles, gufaaw, tee-hee, etc), BRG, is to put emphasis on the crap, and to persuade a wider audience of the other merits of your own stenchless perspective. Your understanding of exchanges as only so much mud-slinging between people who fail to recognise the weaknesses of their own argument reveals only limits of your own ability to participate. But we knew this already. As is pointed out above, discussion with Consensus Enforcers is pointless for precisely that tendency. And as pointed out on this site and elsewhere, this tendency cannot be explained merely as the continuation of the tendency of internet discussions to flame wars: the quality of pro-climate argument in the wider public sphere does not improve as it moves away from the Internet, towards, for instance, the Royal Society, or IPCC chairmen. Indeed, the hostility towards criticism shown by academics championing climate change, and the inability of politicians of the same persuasion to test the democratic legitimacy of their ambitions WRT climate policy demonstrates the point that debate, democracy, and widespread participation in politics are anathema to environmentalism.

    You think far too much of yourself. It’s not merely a statement about your MO in seeking to achieve some moral high ground in petty battles; nor even the immediate consequences of partisanship, lowering the quality of exchanges in a broader war. It’s about the entire ideology of climate-centricism: ithe contempt for other people, for debate, democracy, that climate seems to foster in its adherents. It’s hard to know which came first: the personality or the climate change. Does environmentalism create narcissists, or does it just appeal to them?

    Though I’ve no doubt seen some shit arguments from climate sceptics, some of whom are clearly narcissistic, the narcissism isn’t in the political “ideology”. That is to say that the self-regard doesn’t manifest in sceptics designs for a political order; their emphasis in broadly on democratic control of public life and its institutions. And it doesn’t preclude debate.

    Liked by 1 person

  96. Ben Pile,

    > And what is that — a licence, a mea culpa, or an excuse? All three?

    A statement of my understanding based on personal observation and reading literature.

    > More licence? Oh, well, if everyone’s doing it, I might as well join in…”?

    No, an example … just as I said. Own it or not … but I’d suggest owning it.

    > You think far too much of yourself.

    Wait for it ….. lulz.

    Like

  97. Brandon, this paragraph is solid work:

    As well, one of my own rules of thumb is that when someone is feeling uncomfortable being watched … perhaps they have cause to be both watched and uncomfortable about it.

    That’s why, the more scientists protest against auditing, the more important it is for auditors to audit their work.

    One can’t help but be reminded of the climate scientist and rat abiologist Ben Santer, who anxiously wrote to his peers-in-fear:

    “I believe that our community should no longer tolerate the behaviour of Mr. McIntyre and his cronies. … He has no interest in rational scientific discourse. He deals in the currency of threats and intimidation. …

    We should be able to conduct our scientific research without constant fear of an “audit” by Steven McIntyre; without having to weigh every word we write in every email we send to our scientific colleagues. …

    “In my opinion, Steven McIntyre is the self-appointed Joe McCarthy of climate science…. We should not be coerced by the scientific equivalent of a playground bully.”

    Gosh, this McIntyre bloke sounds like an utter bastard, doesn’t he? Trying to make scientists show their working! How anti-science can you get?

    If I ever see him, I’ll be very tempted to beat the crap out of him. That’s the only language bullies understand: a conversation in a dark alley. They’re not interested in rational scientific discourse.

    Fortunately Santer’s bosses at LLNL took a rather dim view of data secretion—as we know from a subsequent Santer whinge-binge:

    “…After reading Steven McIntyre’s discussion of our paper on climateaudit.com (and reading about my failure to provide McIntyre with the data he requested), an official at Department Of Energy headquarters has written to Cherry Murray at LLNL, claiming that my behaviour is bringing LLNL’s good name into disrepute. …

    “I am sick of taking this on the chin…”

    Apparently Chet Murray and others then called Santer in for more than one session of counselling about his obscurantist behavior.

    Finally, after months of this…

    “I have decided to “publish” all of the climate model data that we used in our [International Journal of Climatology] paper.”

    Moral of the story: if you’ve got no WMDs to hide, don’t give UN weapons inspectors the runaround, or you might get Desert Stormed back to the Stone Age—and nobody wants that.

    Like

  98. Brandon,

    good question:

    > Is it just me, or are some of your mates here really not understanding the spirit of your head post?

    I’m pretty sure they understand the spirit in which I posted it, since I was pretty explicit in the intro. But as with any text, the receiver is free to take it in whatever spirit he or she likes, often teasing out meanings that even the original publisher may not have been aware of. What we’re seeing, I think, is critical (disapproving) engagement with the content of our Twitter DMs. And Willard and I have no right to be surprised by, or resent, that kind of analysis.

    Even those who take exception to the arguments within the dialogue, however, seem to be aware that the post itself is not making those arguments, but rather a “meta” point about the possibility of making frenemies out of enefriends.

    But critics like Ben don’t seem to particularly care about that, especially if they were already aware of it. Yawn.

    And I haven’t got any right to tell Ben (etc.) that they’re missing The Point of the post, because the point (within reason) is in the eye of the beholder.

    I’ve come to accept, as I think anyone should accept if they want to write a blog, that “the spirit” of what I write is only one of the many, equally valid, ways to read it. Audiences have the right to interrogate my work on levels I never intended, and they never fail to exercise that right. C’est la guerre climatique.

    Liked by 1 person

  99. I should add a caveat [lector]:

    A reader’s right to “read” something new “into” a text stops at accusing the author of having meant it. The distinction between what the author meant, and what the text means, if there is one, must be respected.

    In other words, as a reader, you’re allowed (and encouraged) to tease out new and unexpected ideas from a text, you just have to avoid attributing them to the author once the author tells you that he meant something different.

    Like

  100. > From time to time I mention it (MBTI) as a smoke signal to engage possibly interesting conversation with other people who have similar, or better yet different, ideas on such topics.

    You rather went on a tengent about creativity and knowledge, an interpretation far remote from the N and the S of the MTBI classification, M2. Both letters refer to two cognitive styles: abstract or concrete. You could replace “concrete” with “observation-based” and you’d look less like a sophist than when Nic Lewis oversells his own stoopid modulz.

    Which means that, like a good ISTP, I can cut the crap out of your abstractions of me.

    ***

    > You are therefore the “seed” of this raindrop or hailstone around which we can discuss various topics.

    Sounds like a self-serving way to say that you threw ad hominems my way to chase squirrels.

    Wait. Wasn’t I the guy who was supposed to be good at that, and wasn’t it something that was kinda bad? Let’s see:

    I discuss various topics.
    You chase squirrels.
    He’s a distracturbator.

    I bet you could convince Mr. Pile that I’m a concrete guy. No hailstones, please. He needs all his faculties to bash at windmills for UKIP.

    Liked by 1 person

  101. BRG: A statement of my understanding based on personal observation and reading literature.

    But also a licence, a mea culpa, or an excuse. I mean, based on my own understanding, observation and reading, ‘Only calling it as you see it’, forgets that your “understanding” (Lulz) and “observation”(Lulz) and “reading”(Lulz) are limited by the same filter that switches out other perspectives in the “debate” (Lulz).

    > Is it just me, or are some of your mates here really not understanding the spirit of your head post?

    Never mind the spirit; I asked what the point was, what light it shone, and why any of us Clisceps should take an interest in the exchange. The analogy was with masturbation. The fact of it being a DM session makes it no less masturbation than it is when the ‘exchange’ occurs in public fora. If the DM exchange is more candid, it only confirms what we already knew: that Consensus Enforcers — albeit cleverly obtuse consensus enforcers — have not developed an understanding of the climate debate, its context, its antecedents; they have only succeeded in covering it in their own muck.

    Like

  102. I bet you could convince Mr. Pile that I’m a concrete guy. No hailstones, please. He needs all his faculties to bash at windmills for UKIP.

    You don’t know what you’re talking about. Which is nothing new.

    Like

  103. the possibility of making frenemies out of enefriends.

    Why?

    The would-be ‘frenemy’ seems bent on preventing actually productive conversations between people of a green bent and sceptics. Write something above or below the line anywhere where there is a danger that, by virtue of the forum’s authority, the ideas might be taken seriously, you can expect a torrent of posts pointing out that the author once did something about windfarms for UKIP! Shock Horror! How dare he?. QED.

    If the ‘frenemy’ wants to ‘engage’ on friendlier terms, he should up his own “game” — what’s it called… Climate Ball. Why should anyone waste any time on him?

    Like

  104. Ben,

    it’s a lifestyle choice. It works for me. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, I always say; but if you’ve tried it and it doesn’t feel like “you,” then all you can do is be true to yourself.

    As mentioned before, I’m not one of them militant-type ones. I’d never dream of imposing my orientation on the cis-lateral (homosocial) climate community; I’m merely trying to fight ignorance and prejudice about trans- relationships.

    I think that’s how we can honor Fidel. I think that’s how he’d want us to keep him alive. Not with respirators and modern medicine, but by embracing the words Live and Let Live. Not for nothing is this the unofficial motto of Castro St, S.F., where people have more reason than anyone to appreciate el Comandante’s greatest greatness: his tolerance.

    Like

  105. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it,

    I’ve tried it, as is explained above. The conclusion of the nearly 20 year long experiment is that, notwithstanding the point Michael makes (one can learn something about such intransigent weirdos’ perspectives) and that street fighting can help hone one’s own arguments, such sports are limited as means, and utterly futile as ends. Fortunately, I only lost a week or two to CiF (plenty more elsewhere), but there I discovered I was ‘debating’ with founder members of Earth First!, whose minds I had about as much chance of changing as I had of knitting the Taj Mahal. It wasn’t even that it is possible to lay a perspective out, and explain how this produces an opposite understanding to theirs.

    That *is* possible with other contingents within the climate debate, where it is not dominated by the aforementioned tendency. And more broadly, it is not the climate evangelist we need to convince. Consensus Enforcers only need to exist as heat and noise to preclude ‘joint ideas under construction’, be those between climate sceptics, or Clisceps and Lukewarmers, or Clisceps and consensus cli-scis.

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  106. Brad, the differences you observe between medicine and climate are not science, they’re business. There is a saying “everyone makes mistakes, doctors bury theirs”. Medicine has had a long time, a lot of deaths and quite a few malpractice suits to do things the right way. Climate scientists will tell you that they learn almost as much from mistakes as they do by getting it right. Do you think Glaxosmithkline or Pfizer think that way?

    Medicine would progress faster without the safeguards, it would just kill more people on the way. Science doesn’t care about the costs, it is purely about moving forward.

    Liked by 1 person

  107. the part after the semicolon was for you.

    It would be a mistake for me not to explain to you that I think you could be doing much better things with your time.

    I said the same to Geoff about his exchanges with CiFers, Almost a decade ago.

    Like

  108. Tiny,

    we might be getting somewhere BUT your latest comment doesn’t work as is; you need to be careful to draw some (fine, very commonly misunderstood, yet crucial) distinctions here.

    There is a saying “everyone makes mistakes, doctors bury theirs”. Medicine has had a long time, a lot of deaths and quite a few malpractice suits to do things the right way.

    Doctors aren’t scientists; medical scientists, a.k.a. medical researchers, are scientists.

    Medicine isn’t a science; medical science, a.k.a. medical research, is a science.

    Medicine is a practice, techne, skill or art—not fundamentally different from piano-tuning, auto mechanics or safe-cracking.

    Doctors are practicioners, not scientists.

    We can’t compare or contrast climate science to medicine, because one is a necrotic, maggot-ridden ex-apple and the other is a delicious, nutritious, scurvy-preventing (but not cancer-curing) orange.

    Didn’t your momma teach you not to compare apples with oranges? : – )

    We can (and should!) compare and contrast climate science to medical science, a.k.a. cli sci to med sci.

    Medicine would progress faster without the safeguards, it would just kill more people on the way. Science doesn’t care about the costs, it is purely about moving forward.

    Medical science, if that’s what you mean, cares deeply—almost obsessively—about “the costs,” because the costs (highest among which are human deaths) are key DATA.

    When GlaxoSmithKline’s drug kills someone, that’s a very, very interesting data point for drug researchers. A little-known fact is that once a drug goes onto shelves, the research on that drug is just beginning. Pharmacologists take a very keen interest indeed in how the drug performs “in the wild,” on the market—so much so that they have a name (Phase 4) for what happens next, and the process of monitoring it.

    The horror stories in pharmacology arise when the harm done by a drug is not detected during Phases 1-3, it’s approved for human use prematurely or without the necessary caveats to prescribers, and ordinary people start dying, sleep-walking off bridges, giving birth to children without arms and legs, etc. What those unlucky people may or may not have realized is that the minute they filled their prescription and took their FDA-approved drug they became subjects in a massive epidemiological study, a so-called Phase 4.

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  109. > It would be a mistake for me not to explain to you that I think you could be doing much better things with your time.

    And I appreciate your advice. I never disregard it, even when I ultimately choose to go another way.

    Like

  110. Oh, and it’s nor merely that *I* don’t think it’s productive; I’ve never seen it produce anything.

    Again, if it’s mere sport — like some kind of Fight Club or pissing contest — so be it. Knock yourself out. Get dragged in, and away from family/friends/GF/fantastic career — few of which seem to be things that Consensus Enforcers seem to have.

    But why reproduce it here of all places? Show me where it has been productive! I’m still waiting for an answer that isn’t ‘well, it’s a matter of taste’. i want to see the Braddard-Widdley joint idea.

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  111. TinyCO2,

    Climate scientists will tell you that they learn almost as much from mistakes as they do by getting it right.

    Will they? I look forward to one of them trying that line on me.

    To a good approximation, climate science has gotten everything wrong but learned nothing.

    Remember how, in the pre-LOLcatz, pre-demotivational poster era, there used to be those posters with a chimpanzee or orangutan saying:

    “If we learned from our mistakes, I’d be a genius!”

    Scientists learn from their mistakes.

    Climate scientists, chimpanzees and orangutans apparently do not.

    Like

  112. Brad medicine is a very old science and didn’t start the way you portray it. It was just as flakey as climate science is now… no more. What you see with climate is something that has had to be built into medical science.

    Like

  113. Tiny,

    medicine is a very old science

    Well, sure, medical science is a very old science. Tragically, most of its long history predated the scientific method, and thus wasn’t properly scientific in any way we’d recognize now, and thus produced very little progress for thousands of years. And then exploded.

    and didn’t start the way you portray it.

    Do you mean I’ve mis-portrayed its start, or do you mean that the way I’ve portrayed it now is different from what it was like when it first started?

    It was just as flakey as climate science is now… no more.

    OK, so how many centuries do we have to wait for climate science to grow out of its Trepanning and Leeches For All! phase and start working? : – )

    I’m reminded of the Islam Problem, viz.: if “Islam is six hundred years behind Christianity,” as the cliché goes, does that mean we tell the victims of clitoridectomy and stoning to be patient and put up with it for another few centuries?

    What you see with climate is something that has had to be built into medical science.

    Only in the sense that it had to be built into the mechanisms of science itself. When climate science came into the world, it was supposed to inherit all the safeguards and checks and balances and feedback loops that were built into science—not start from Neolithic scratch! Every other novel branch of science manages to do the right thing… why is it too much to ask cli sci to do the same?

    Liked by 1 person

  114. Tiny,

    I’ve left the trickiest, most esoteric point til last, so here goes.

    Medicine would progress faster without the safeguards, it would just kill more people on the way. Science doesn’t care about the costs, it is purely about moving forward.

    Most people would agree; even I’ve said similar things in careless moments; but that’s not right.

    Science is NOT only concerned with maximizing human knowledge. It is ALSO concerned with minimizing human delusion.

    In other words, its purpose is to produce great discoveries while AVOIDING great mis-discoveries (cold fusion, MMR->autism, the Hockey Stick, etc).

    This is not a minor point; it is the difference between science and self-deception.

    Remember what Feynman says is the first rule of doing science?

    You must try not to fool yourself.

    There’s a good reason why—in Feynman’s rulebook—Not Fooling Yourself wasn’t an afterthought, a note bene, a caveat, an asterisk or a Pro Tip; it was the very first thing.

    Science is NOT concerned solely with taking as many steps forward as possible; it’s also concerned with taking as few steps in the wrong direction as possible.

    It’s easy to forget this, because (from the outside) we never see the unceasing work scientists do to stop themselves getting false answers.

    After all, nobody won a Nobel Prize for not getting the wrong answer; otherwise there wouldn’t be enough gold in the Earth to mint all the medals. They’re only awarded for getting the right answer.

    (‘Right’ being provisional and subject to reconsideration or debunking at any moment in the light of new evidence, of course.)

    So Not Fooling Yourself is a thankless, unsung, uncelebrated and unpaid labor. But when you do science nothing takes precedence over Not Fooling Yourself.

    B.

    Like

  115. Finally, a fun game.

    Consider Feynman’s injunction again:

    The first rule is that you must try not to fool yourself.

    What is a four-syllable word for this rule?

    Like

  116. … and you are the easiest person to fool.

    Hmm. I’m skeptical about that. I know it’s true of most people, but you have to wake up pretty early in the morning to fool me. I’m more of a night person, so that ain’t going to happen. Plus I’m a terrible liar—even I’d see right through me, and I’m not exactly known for having a suspicious mind. That’s why I could never go into the family profession: the law. My parents were angry, until I told them a man who fools himself has a fool for a client… and I think they actually bought it! People in my family are so gullible.

    Like

  117. Brad Keyes: “The first rule is that you must try not to fool yourself. Can you think of a four-syllable word for that rule?”

    What comes to my mind is “humility”.

    Liked by 1 person

  118. benpile wrote “such sports are limited as means, and utterly futile as ends.”

    Reportedly 7 billion people exist on Earth; many have internet. Those that do, Google (verb). Google (noun) favorably indexes good writing, topical, rich; having key words related to each other.

    No one can fool me better than me, I’ve known that long before Feynman’s quote. I rely on ruthlessly stubborn intractable arguers to discover what they think are my errors and occasionally it is so. I refine my beliefs and at the same time populate the Great Cybernetic Encyclopedia. I see it as the equivalent of college-level critique and review of my beliefs and all that is required of me is a few minutes of time to write them.

    None of that is possible with sycophants. Articulate different-believers are rare so I take advantage of that situation when it arises.

    Liked by 1 person

  119. None of that is possible with sycophants. Articulate different-believers are rare so I take advantage of that situation when it arises.

    Look, nobody has said “don’t talk to these guys”. I’m saying it’s of such limited value it means nothing. And it means less merely written up verbatim. It may sharpen your skills. Fine. But that doesn’t pass as interesting copy, in dispatches from the climate front line. It’s not even the front line. It’s sub-sub-sub disposable comment under the line of sub-sub-sub above-the-line comment. Nobody cares! It’s a total waste of life. And bandwidth.

    Aim higher! Move up the food chain. The arguments of Lord Climate Warrior and the SoS for the Department of Making Energy Too Expensive are no better, yet responses to them are *far* more important than swinging dicks at your sparring partners. Which is all you seem to be aiming for.

    Liked by 1 person

  120. Ben Pile,

    > But also a licence, a mea culpa, or an excuse. I mean, based on my own understanding, observation and reading, ‘Only calling it as you see it’, forgets that your “understanding” (Lulz) and “observation”(Lulz) and “reading”(Lulz) are limited by the same filter that switches out other perspectives in the “debate” (Lulz).

    Exactly. You may impose any subjective opinion or POV on my words that you wish, to the exclusion of other *possibilities* inconvenient to one’s opening position. I can do it too:

    Most of the time I see complaints that [Willard] adds little to “The Debate” (lulz, whatever), they’re associated with him having just kicked someone’s non-argument to the curb and set it on fire.

    Or:

    Partisan mud-slogs for the moral high ground where both sides refuse to openly recognize the stench of their own crap are a perfect example [of online narcissism exhibitions].

    In my (most humble) *opinion*, Teh Pythons understood what does NOT constitute a debate (note the lack of “scare quotes”). YMMV:

    [lulz]

    Like

  121. Brad Keyes,

    > I’m pretty sure they understand the spirit in which I posted it, since I was pretty explicit in the intro. But as with any text, the receiver is free to take it in whatever spirit he or she likes, often teasing out meanings that even the original publisher may not have been aware of. What we’re seeing, I think, is critical (disapproving) engagement with the content of our Twitter DMs. And Willard and I have no right to be surprised by, or resent, that kind of analysis.

    I cannot refute that argument. Therefore, you must be a c*nt …

    … either that, or in the running for my public frenemy number one.

    Liked by 1 person

  122. BG,

    You say:

    The “enforcer” meme is apt in this case […]

    For those who do not have the grace of knowing ice hockey, here’s what an enforcer looks like:

    Source: http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/97418900869

    I think this suits Don Don, BDD (British Bull Dog, BTW, Brad), Dhogaza, or the Cat Weazle.

    Mr. Pile’s own well poisoning could look like enforcement, but his underhanded ways are more akin to a Ken Linseman. In contrast, I try to mould my play style in the spirit of a Bob Gainey.

    Enforcers in the National Hockey League are on the way out. Players need to skate fast nowadays, otherwise they become a liability for their teams.

    Liked by 1 person

  123. Brad Keyes,

    > That’s why, the more scientists protest against auditing, the more important it is for auditors to audit their work.

    I set ’em up …

    > Gosh, this McIntyre bloke sounds like an utter bastard, doesn’t he?

    To my eyes, yes. Frequently.

    > Moral of the story: if you’ve got no WMDs to hide, don’t give UN weapons inspectors the runaround, or you might get Desert Stormed back to the Stone Age—and nobody wants that.

    Imagine if I judged all climate contrarian *arguments* by my *opinion* of McI’s *tone*. Or more on-pointedly, the randomly-sorted list of synthetic Hokey Schticks he contributed to the Wegman Report.

    Ooh, and here’s a good one: Since McI has nothing to hide, I look forward to him publishing all his un-deleted e-mails in the spirit of integrity, honesty and transparency.

    A meta-audit for a meta-discussion about a not-debate, if you will.

    Liked by 1 person

  124. Brandon:

    I set ’em up …

    Yeah, that was nine-tenths your petard your argument got hoisted up. But ’tis all in fun. Everyone steps on rakes occasionally, and I’m not one to rub it in unless they’re a jerk.

    > Gosh, this McIntyre bloke sounds like an utter bastard, doesn’t he?

    To my eyes, yes. Frequently.

    That’s some serious synaesthesia you’ve got going there, Brandon! Does your ophthaudiologist know about this?

    Imagine if I judged all climate contrarian *arguments* by my *opinion* of McI’s *tone*.

    Imagine you were irrational? OK…

    give me a sec.

    Got it. Imagining it. What now?

    Or more on-pointedly, the randomly-sorted list of synthetic Hokey Schticks he contributed to the Wegman Report.

    So I should change what I’m picturing, and imagine this more “on-point” thing instead? OK, hang on.

    OK, a fairly good image is before my mind’s eye.

    Awaiting next instruction.

    Ooh, and here’s a good one: Since McI has nothing to hide, I look forward to him publishing all his un-deleted e-mails in the spirit of integrity, honesty and transparency.

    Well, hope springs eternal. Having said that, McIntyre doesn’t write from a government-employee, publicly-funded university account (at least not when he writes to me), so I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you.

    Remember, it’s perfectly ethical (if technologically naïve, perhaps) to expect confidentiality in personal emails among non-public-employees.

    Like

  125. BRG — You may impose any subjective opinion or POV …

    Yes, you said all this before. But that’s just self-justification, not how dialogue, even across differences, usually develops. The point being that Enforcement is opposed to dialogue, at any scale. It’s more sure that it’s against dialogue than it is for Doing Something about climate change. I think this has always been the point of climate change. The fierce urgency of it seemingly compelling us to transcend ‘subjective opinion’ by merely suspending it, rather than letting it play out through contest, test, experiment, and weight of numbers. Blackmail in other words.

    I wish I knew enough about hockey to understand what Willard means about poisoning the well. But I wouldn’t want to hit the dice with one of those bats, as it looks like it makes some people very angry.

    Like

  126. Oh I get it now!

    otherwise they become a liability for their teams.

    Willard thinks my having done research for a political party makes me a liability?

    Why didn’t he say so?

    He doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    Neither did Leo Hickman.

    Like

  127. benpile wrote “I’m saying it’s of such limited value it means nothing.”

    Things do not have value of themselves; people assign value to things but the value you assign will probably not be the value I assign. Implicit in these declarations is “to me”: I’m saying it’s of such limited value to me it means nothing to me.

    But over time people forget “to me” and start to think of things as having values that are there for everyone to see and ought to be seen the same, as if the number “7” was stamped on a potato as its value rather than you assigning a value of “7” to a potato and me assigning a “5” to a potato, or a zero if I really don’t like potatoes and think you shouldn’t be talking about potatoes even though it’s not my blog or place to say you cannot talk about potatoes.

    Its relevance to discussions of climate, or almost anything else, is that it implies you are blind or an idiot if you don’t see its value the same as I see it. This leads to poor outcomes as you judge others to be idiots and they do likewise with you.

    More fruitful outcomes (IMO) exist when you acknowledge the validity of other people’s value systems. It takes longer and there’s no assurance they will reciprocate; usually they do but not immediately.

    “It’s sub-sub-sub disposable comment under the line of sub-sub-sub above-the-line comment. Nobody cares! It’s a total waste of life. And bandwidth.”

    The proper response for not caring is also not responding; however, being mindful of Willard’s “the only losing move is not to play.” It is very easy to portray your “will not” to “can not”.

    “Aim higher! Move up the food chain.”

    This entire page is about Willard’s style of argumentation. I comprehend your intentions and if I were an activist I would aim where it makes a difference: Legislatures. But look at the power of one slightly arrogant and rude man; the inventor of the 97 percent meme, and his blog and blogbuddies. SkS is the fuel that keeps that fire going, and like a wood or oil fire you cannot always remove the fuel, but you might reduce the heat (less vitriole in argumentation) and oxygen (deprive some readers by having more attractive and informative online destinations than SkS).

    For human beings, the fire happens at the base of Maslow’s Hierarchy. The most permanent solution is to reduce fear. In my religion is a saying, if you are prepared you shall not fear. So I work with the Boy Scouts to help them be prepared whether it be global warming, global cooling, or a flat tire in the mountains in the winter. Instead of trying to stop sea level rise, you make plans to move to higher ground in the unlikely event that SLR is significant in your lifetime.

    BBD fears “delegitimization” perhaps most of all. It may be fun to battle his legitimacy but what do you get? More BBD.

    By acknowledge his legitimacy you starve the fear and you *might* peel back an onion layer to reveal the next obstacle to meaningful dialog. Of course there’s always the possibility that not much is there, but that’s your opportunity to provide something.

    Chameleons change color to match what they are with or on; be that person that the chameleon becomes.

    Now about Willard. I have a doubt I am up to the task of figuring him out. He’s smart, he’s clever, he’s a chess player and intellectual. That means he will have been laying the foundation for his avatar personality for *years*, it might even be instinctive. He seldom if ever writes about himself; instead he pits author against reader, reader against reader; then sits back to enjoy the show.

    So in his case I acknowledge his cleverness but I gain little by arguing with an avatar.

    Like

  128. Michael: This entire page is about Willard’s style of argumentation. I comprehend your intentions and if I were an activist I would aim where it makes a difference: Legislatures. But look at the power of one slightly arrogant and rude man; the inventor of the 97 percent meme, and his blog and blogbuddies.

    Indeed. Their main achievement was to drag a global debate completely down to the level of an internet flame war. Not even with original research. It’s hard to say whether or not it reached new otherwise uninterested audiences, but it certainly drew a lot of attention from those already engaged and desperate enough to need it. My analysis of it is here.

    Liked by 1 person

  129. He’s smart, he’s clever, he’s a chess player and intellectual.

    He might play chess.

    His understanding is exactly as cartoonish as his avatar.

    Like

  130. “He’s smart, he’s clever, he’s a chess player and intellectual.”

    No, not really.

    He is what we at this side of the Pond refer to as a “pseud”.

    Like

  131. Let’s lighten the tone a bit, fellas.


    Abbot: What do you get when you call Distinguished Professor Michael Mann a pseud?

    Costello: “Pseud”…?

    Abbot: Correct. I see you’ve played Steyn-Paper-Scissors before.

    Like

  132. Willard writes “You rather went on a tengent about creativity and knowledge, an interpretation far remote from the N and the S of the MTBI classification, M2. Both letters refer to two cognitive styles: abstract or concrete. You could replace “concrete” with “observation-based” and you’d look less like a sophist than when Nic Lewis oversells his own stoopid modulz.”

    How I look to others is not in my control, consequently I give it little weight. I probably ought to give it more weight but there you go.

    I agree with your choice of descriptive words for the MBTI “s” and “n” axis. The actual meaning, at least how I learned it, was “S” was for “Sensor”, meaning you learn about the world through your senses, rather than “N” for iNtuition.

    “I bet you could convince Mr. Pile that I’m a concrete guy.”

    Let’s find out.

    For Ben Pile: What that means is Willard prefers to think (T) about the world, and obtains his information about the world through his senses, a trait that can reasonably be called “concrete”.

    That means his argumentation will lean heavily on that which can be measured (sensed), and he will use and respect logic (the T axis). It also means his distracting techniques will oppose these strengths; assume you also are sensory and logical, so when he is in playful mode his distractors will be imaginative and illogical to see if you will chase that squirrel.

    “Which means that, like a good ISTP, I can cut the crap out of your abstractions of me.”

    Indeed you can 😉

    “Sounds like a self-serving way to say that you threw ad hominems my way to chase squirrels.”

    I toss nuts your way. The squirrels will chase the nuts and behind them come the squirrel chasers.

    Like

  133. Brad Keyes,

    > Yeah, that was nine-tenths your petard your argument got hoisted up. Bet ’tis all in fun.

    Hokey Schticks and Climategate being favoured climate contrarian trump cards, I almost always expect them to be played … quite unlike the Spanish Inquisition in that respect.

    You wager correctly, I do occasionally enjoy hoisting my own petard for spot of fun. This may also explain why I prefer solitaire to minesweeper when I’m pretending to work.

    > That’s some serious synaesthesia!

    I have a friend who listens to sunsets, which can be a more awe-inspiring sight than the thing itself. And she knows better than I do when I say that a particular word is “tasty”.

    > Imagine you were irrational?

    Exactly.

    > What now?

    Fallacy of hasty generalizations ring a bell?

    Oh look, the dog just started drooling on my leg.

    > Hope springs eternal. But McIntyre doesn’t write from a government-employee, publicly-funded university account (at least not when he writes to me), so don’t hold your breath.

    I just love it when morality and ethics run across laws and legally-defined categories. It creates a tremendous number of opportunities for special bleatings.

    For the record, just because The Auditor *once* used a glaringly non-random “random” sampling technique once doesn’t mean that the balance of his analyses are equally shonky. Nor even that he’s always wrong.

    Like

  134. Ben Pile,

    > I wish I knew enough about hockey to understand what Willard means about poisoning the well.

    It’s akin to the question-begging you do when you talk about self-justifying enforcement behaviour — just more direct and therefore a lot easier to whistle. Neither technique plays the puck.

    Like

  135. catweazle666 writes: “LOOK! A SQUIRREL!”

    Indeed. Can you chase it? Not much else going on this page, might as well; no?

    Like

  136. > I have a friend who listens to sunsets, which can be a more awe-inspiring sight than the thing itself.

    Well, BBD once accused me of being blinded by the sound of my own brilliance so I’ve learned not to expect the sense modalities to remain in their defined boxes. Photophonic conflation is epidemic.

    > > Imagine you were irrational?
    > Exactly.

    Yes but why? We’ve established, as if it wasn’t already clear, that rational persons judge skeptical arguments, gullible arguments and all other manner of arguments on the basis of the arguments being judged, and no other basis.

    Or at least I’ve established that.

    > > What now?
    > Fallacy of hasty generalizations ring a bell?

    Yes. Now what?

    > I just love it when morality and ethics run across laws and legally-defined categories. It creates a tremendous number of opportunities for special bleatings.

    What you howling about, Willis? Faire et laisser braire, kid.

    I’m still no closer to understanding why anyone would expect, or demand, that McIntyre do something he’s not required to do, simply because McIntyre expects publicly-funded scientists to do something they ARE required to do.

    I can also say from my limited insight into the things “skeptics” write to each other behind closed doors that I’ve read nothing that even comes close to the CRU emails or the Treehouse Files for sheer incriminating, embarrassing or discrediting power.

    You can choose not to believe me, and I can choose to occasionally publish “private” correspondence if other parties give their consent, and in the end I suppose you’ll never know for sure.

    But it doesn’t matter.

    Even if “skeptics” inhabit a moral hive of scum and villainy in which private communications are full of coded drug chatter, furtive admissions of scientific and statistical incompetence, terrorist bomb plots, the ranking of females by their looks, or even exchanges of our favorite kiddie porn—none of which I’ve ever come across, but let’s just “imagine” for the sake of argument—so what, exactly?

    Would that make The Science one iota more valid?

    > For the record, just because The Auditor *once* used a glaringly non-random “random” sampling technique once

    And did the Auditor claim his glaringly non-random sampling technique was “random,” or are you just putting adjectives in his mouth when you air-quote him (“random”)?

    Like

  137. Oh, thanks for the translation, Brandon, but I was just stating my understanding based on personal observation and reading literature.

    As for playing the puck.. I’m fairly sure UKIP wasn’t the topic above, yet that’s what featured in Willard’s understanding based on his personal observation and literature. And Willard’s level of understanding and his (in)ability to participate in productive exchange — ‘social art’ — is the topic.

    All of which reminds me of my last attempt to take Willard at face value.

    He occasionally managed to keep on topic — to mount a defence of Cook et al, underneath Dana N’s attempt and failure to do the same. But mostly he was still upset that he had been removed from my blog for trolling, and lost his cool, citing again my (non-) membership of UKIP, my (non-) membership of the Revolutionary Communist Party, my being a Frank Furedi worshipper(!), a Foucaldian(!), a Living Marxism (non-)subscriber(!), a “Serbia genocide denier”, either a Sense About Science ‘talking head’, or one seemingly obliged to one or more, and a ‘Spiked editorialist’. So many pucks!

    Which is all the more remarkable because these pucks were only objects of Willard’s understanding, not because of ‘personal observation’, but ‘reading literature’ in the form of a then decade-old George Monbiot conspiracy theory (and quite fantastic) article in the Guardian, and a more recent hatchet job in the same paper by Leo Hickman, where he presented what I had told him more than a year earlier in email as though it were his own investigation, that his failure to force my diary from me represented a lack of transparency on the EU’s behalf, and that it was worthy of a story in a national newspaper.

    No doubt Hickman will be pleased that the question of EU transparency has been answered definitively by the British public after the people I did some work for forced the government to ask them the question. But it would seem that it leaves the question about his own entanglements with strange organisations and sinister funding arrangements from shady billionaires and corporate lobbyists via the European Climate Foundation unanswered. Ditto for Monbiot, of course, whose own source of information was a conspiracy theory website run by actual and active antisemites and racist neomalthusians with their own links to white supremacist organisations.

    All of which should be a surprise to Willard, who uncriticially takes his ‘observations’ second hand when they appear expedient to his ‘playing the puck’. All that obtuse verbiage only makes him different in style to other Consensus Enforcers, whose defence of the 97% paper under the conversation in question and since is owed to the necessity of deference rather than understanding in their ‘understanding’. Like Willard, Dana’s ire was that an academic body had given a denier a modicum of airtime, and thus credibility in the eyes of anyone who might read it. Only authorised opinion may be voiced! And in that case, the unauthorised opinion was one that encouraged people to depart from the Battle of Received Wisdoms that they encouraged, and pointed out the bizarre consequences of all that policing of debate, including the fact that it puts the authors of the paper on the other side of the consensus on the consensus to the climate scientists they demand we should defer to.

    This emphasis on consensus is the result of the 97% survey’s authors’ belief that the consensus is a ‘gateway belief’, which, established, elicits obedience (rather than understanding). Hence, the ‘puck’ in the Enforcers view is any obstacle to the hollow consensus: any emphasis on the substance rather than the authority of the consensus.

    So I rather think that yours and Willard’s concern about ‘poisoning the well’ is so much disingenuous bullshit. But we thank you for your concern, nonetheless.

    Like

  138. Brad – I’m still no closer to understanding why anyone would expect, or demand, that McIntyre do something he’s not required to do, simply because McIntyre expects publicly-funded scientists to do something they ARE required to do.

    I think the logic is that if you own the consensus, you get to state the rules. Lew’s rules on who may speak on climate matters, for e.g., and which channels are the authorised routes.

    Like

  139. > That means his argumentation will lean heavily on that which can be measured (sensed), and he will use and respect logic (the T axis). It also means his distracting techniques will oppose these strengths […]

    Sensing does not imply measuring anything, M2, and one can “respect” logic whether we use our senses and our intuitions. Intuitions are still powerful things. Some argue that mathematics are founded on intuitive constructions.

    There’s no need to beg any question about my “techniques” to explain its craftmanship. This echoes Brad’s point about the distinction between Episteme and Techne. That distinction reverses your previous dichotomy between creativity and knowledge.

    If you want to see that opposition in action:

    [Estragon] Like all good science, it matches with what we know.

    [Vladimir] Indeed, we always knew that to cure cholera, you have to shoot yourself with it.

    As you can see, a lifetime developing intuitions about science can save us a minute searching historical counter-examples.

    ***

    My craft is useful to see in a New York minute how your This entire page is about [my] style of argumentation is inexact. Brad’s point was rather mundane: should you ever encounter, on the field, a vicious opponent who nonetheless comes across—somehow—as tractable to reason, then invite him or her to fight you offline.. This normative claim is hard to dispute. Yet Brad’s peanut gallery succeeded in redirecting a whole comment thread about me.

    Therefore, I duly submit that you, your squirrel chasers, and the peanut gallery are in no position to pontificate on distraction techniques. Poisoning the well seldom distracts me from playing the puck, the ball if we mix metaphors, or topicality if you want the technical concept. Worse, it opens up to reciprocation, though, e.g.:

    The Ben Pile insult fest.

    This deserves a fuller explanation. Please.

    It probably isn’t possible to give an unbiased explanation, but basically, the story goes something like this: Once upon a time there was a strange, philosophy infested person. I’ve no idea how he got suckered onto the board, but basically he managed to hack off just about everyone with his long winded philosophyism and tendency to define things to suit himself and never take any notice of others definitions.* Plus he discovered that the internet allowed people to find his home blog and look things up about him, which really seemed to piss him off. Oh, and he wrote stuff for Spiked and other places whose modus operandi is trolling.

    I think though it boiled down to the usual him versus Deano insult fest or something like that.

    *when you managed to work out what he meant, there was sometimes something sensible in there, but even then it was often either irrelevent or of the classification of ‘meh’, so we were like ‘big deal’.

    http://www.badscience.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=632612#p632612

    So here’s a pro tip: if you throw squirrels in the thread, don’t whine if otters do the same in response. Opening up the game always suits the one with some flair for dynamic play.

    ***

    I trust the soundness of my and Brad’s position in the OP. What about yours?

    Liked by 1 person

  140. Brad’s point was rather mundane: should you ever encounter, on the field, a vicious opponent who nonetheless comes across—somehow—as tractable to reason, then invite him or her to fight you offline..

    Actually, I would point out — which I did, here, and offline — that Brad was naive. That he is in fact rather generous in his estimation of your capacity for reason & your willingness to engage in good faith, at face value.

    I think Ken Rice made a similar proposal to meet up once, though I wasn’t sure it was as much for an informal chat as a punch up. Either way, I asked him, ‘why would I want to do that’? I don’t want to argue with you online, or off line. Moreover, I don’t want to get into protracted, interminable debates. So, generally, I don’t. The fact is though, that a small number of Consensus Enforcers seem to dominate every last comment thread in the world, rendering impossible any discussion across any degree of difference with anyone but that tendency. You’re now even here, which I think is what makes Brad’s move especially daft. You insert yourselves into debate in order to prevent it.

    This normative claim is hard to dispute. Yet Brad’s peanut gallery succeeded in redirecting a whole comment thread about me.

    It is very easy to dispute. Why would anyone invite someone they judge to be hostile and a pointless waste of time into a further discussion? I don’t invite people I don’t like to my house. I don’t invite people who can’t handle their drink without embarrassing (or worse) themselves and their friends to parties or for a pint. I’ve had plenty of off the record exchanges with others I disagree with. But your bad faith seems to many of us so evident, who would believe it worthwhile to give you the benefit of the doubt, as though you might be the only remaining person in the world that their time would be best spent with? My contribution to the joint ideas being constructed here is that the tendency from which you have emerged is not worth ‘engaging’ with; that the debate should be taken elsewhere. It is, however, worth discussing, since it has grown legs and climbed away from the confines of the web.

    I duly submit that you, your squirrel chasers, and the peanut gallery are in any position to pontificate on distraction techniques.

    I assume there’s a missing ‘not’ in there. I would agree, Willard, that my contribution to the discussion about whether you are worth engaging with could count as ‘poisoning the well’, if that was not what you and your tendency were not already engaged in, full time, in every other discussion on the Internet. It would be easier, I think, to give you the benefit of the doubt, were your own well-poisoning not so easily detected in the conversation, three years ago, over at the MSP blog — http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/makingsciencepublic/2013/07/29/an-accurately-informed-public-is-necessary-for-climate-policy/ — yet you point to conversations from that era, seemingly to demonstrate my bad faith.

    Moreover, that debate was characterised by the tendency with which you travel: it was underneath an angry rant, the substance of which was that a broadcaster had dared to broadcast unauthorised opinion, and a research organisation had dared to publish a denier, which had been met by approval by climate scientists. You tried very hard to reject the point that the research that was challenged had any merit beyond some kind of PR strategy. (even though the record shows that the authors though of their research as a strategic intervention, not a contribution to understanding — the Gateway Belief Model). But you failed to make your point, and so resorted to the arsenal of logical fallacy URLs, and then to whatever muck you could scrape from muck-raking sites, indiscriminately.

    Since 2013, what has occurred to me that your tendency long before had spilled out from the Internet, and established a more formal presence in academe and beyond. Its work is cited by Presidents. It is not climate sceptics which have sought to polarise a complex debate, to make a false binary proposition — that very few in fact take the negative side of — the central point of the debate. And it’s not climate sceptics who have campaigned for censoring, censuring, and punishment — including depriving people of their work — of people for expressing a different perspective. Yet that is the consequence, merely of taking part in online conversations, or even for giving those opinions an opportunity.

    And yet…

    i understand that it’s easy to be against Mike, or Lew, or Naomi

    or to be against styleless jerkitude in general, or just Dana’s

    How other than to read your well-poisoning in Nottingham than as more than in defence of styleless jerkitude — and indeed complete indulgence in it?

    Worse, it opens up to reciprocation.

    … In which you present the results of trawling comment threads from six years ago for second hand opinion about my contribution to debates there. I’m not even damned by my own words. Not even the discussion itself. Which reduces your comment to “somebody else on the Internet who thinks very much like I do thinks you’re a jerk”.

    What are we to make of it? What is it that has been ‘reciprocated’? Some imagined transgression of the rules you set — “climate ball”. And yet, rather than transcend the petty game, you lower it further, saying, “now look what you made me do”.

    It’s self-justification. You pretend that some infraction of The Rules has occurred such that you are now free, only to teach by example, to participate in the debate in precisely the way you seemingly counsel against. In this way, you can say that because a bait-and-switch occurred upthread, what Monbiot said in 1998 about the journal I wrote a dozen or so articles for over a 10 year period pertains to the discussion about the de/merits of the 97% paper. Because it’s delicious, isn’t it, the possibility that somebody who challenges the 97% paper might also deny genocide… by association… So let’s skip past the detail of the infraction, which never actually occurred, and which nobody reading can be bothered to treat with the forensic apparatus necessary to detect evidence for your claim, such that it could be the object of the discussion for a while, and the matter resolved. That’s your ‘craft’. Some might call it ‘crafty’. I think it’s crass. More charitably, it’s self-deception.

    I trust the soundness of my and Brad’s position in the OP. What about yours?

    I think you’re both wrong. And I’m fairly sure about it. Brad has already and could try again to convince me that it was and is a good idea. So far he hasn’t succeeded. And I think he would have to try harder now to convince me that he shouldn’t have kept your conversation private, and wasn’t premature in trying to demonstrate that you could be engaged in a good-faith exchange. He’s your greatest advocate. My view remains that climate campaigners hate dialogue as such, because at the centre of their perspective — their ideology — is contempt for people. You say it yourself:

    i just don’t understand libertarianism

    i think it’s incoherent

    so

    i am an anti-libertarian

    i can understand paleo-conservatism

    i can’t understand libertarianism

    and

    i need to interpret your questions

    your statements

    we can pussyfoot to no end about what each means

    thus we can resist testing

    that’s why consensus matters

    when everyone agrees

    then we stop wondering if what we know needs to be revised

    Shutting people out and shouting them down is the MO of consensus enforcement, because the broader climate agenda has had such trouble eliciting broad support for the political project. i.e. green politics was the hope of remote, elite politics that people — as the obstacle to their post-democratic ambition — could be convinced to suspend their own judgement and suspend their own interests, and to defer instead to expert consensus. You have trouble understanding ‘libertarianism’ because you have trouble understanding other perspectives — in particular how that aggressive, authoritarian impulse might explain the extremely puzzling reaction of ‘foxtrot oscar’ from the ugly, unwashed masses. That is, after all, the symptom of the superficially green-social-democratic-left-centre-and-right across the world that now stands in the rubble of half a century of its institution-building (and the middle east/Gulf). Following which there has been very little reflection on not just how wrong, but how dangerous it is to proceed with politics on the basis of self-righteousness, even with the benefit of scientific-righteousness. You say it yourself: you want consensus, no matter how bad the science, because it allows you to proceed as though ‘everyone agrees’. You get the politics (and the science) upside down. Inverted on every conceivable axis, in fact.

    Liked by 1 person

  141. > Oh, thanks for the translation, Brandon, but I was just stating my understanding based on personal observation and reading literature.

    Sure, Ben. I’m glad we have finally established that it’s ok to do that.

    > So I rather think that yours and Willard’s concern about ‘poisoning the well’ is so much disingenuous bullshit.

    At this point, no post of mine would be incomplete without at least one ‘lulz’.

    Like

  142. The debate has been hostile for a long time. For far longer than I’ve been aware of the anonymous, cartoon avatar that visits us to drop his wisdom on us from such a great height.

    I was directed to this today, which is from 7 years ago. http://thebreakthrough.org/archive/climate_mccarthyism_part_i_joe

    This is the state of liberal debate about climate change. Those who question apocalyptic predictions are treated as global warming deniers or traitors or worse. Those who advocate solutions other than cap-and-trade have their characters assassinated. Those who stand up to Joe Romm find themselves turned into projection screens by an angry and vindictive bully.

    It’s the Breakthrough Institute’s 5 part essay on Climate McCarthyism.

    Part 2.
    Part 3.
    Part 4.
    Part 5.

    Notably, many of Willard’s and Romm’s co-warriors turn up to complain about the articles, way-back-when.

    And of course, as was revealed by Wikileaks, Romm’s efforts were indeed an orchestrated political campaign, mainly to target Roger Pielke Jr, who tells his story in the WSJ today,

    It’s curious… I have found cause to disagree with most of those involved with and in orbit of the BI, though with only one (Kloor) and a half (Lynas) exceptions, never found the disagreement an impediment to a discussion about the disagreement, or an impediment to agreement, much less the cause of an intractable, interminable exchange.

    So much for Climate Ball, then. The debate is not irreconcilable. It is not divided between two, mutually-opposing and hostile categories of perspective. My claim therefore is that the climate wars have been prolonged — indefinitely — by those keenest to claim that the ‘debate is over’. Were it not for the tendency epitomised by Willard and his coreligionists, there would be in place an agreement, which may well have delivered more than the Paris fudge.

    We thank Willard for his concerns.

    Like

  143. Sure, Ben. I’m glad we have finally established that it’s ok to do that.

    No, I’m saying you’ve no leg to stand on. And you’re pissing in the wind. In the dark.

    Like

  144. > I’m still no closer to understanding why anyone would expect, or demand, that McIntyre do something he’s not required to do, simply because McIntyre expects publicly-funded scientists to do something they ARE required to do.

    You insult your own intelligence, Brad. I can’t really begrudge you for it; asymmetric warfare often is the only option for Freedom Fighters.

    > And did the Auditor claim his glaringly non-random sampling technique was “random,” or are you just putting adjectives in his mouth when you air-quote him (“random”)?

    One does not simply prove that a given statistical technique adds bias by ORDERing synthetic data by Hokey Schtickness and dealing “samples” from the top of the deck:

    ############################################
    #SAVE A SELECTION OF HOCKEY STICK SERIES IN ASCII FORMAT
    order.stat<-order(stat2,decreasing=TRUE)[1:100]
    order.stat<-sort(order.stat)
    
    hockeysticks<-NULL
    for (nn in 1:NN) {
      load(file.path(temp.directory,paste("arfima.sim",nn,"tab",sep=".")))
       index<-order.stat[!is.na(match(order.stat,(1:1000)+(nn-1)*1000))]
       index<-index-(nn-1)*1000
       hockeysticks<-cbind(hockeysticks,Eigen0[[3]][,index])
    } #nn-iteration
    
    dimnames(hockeysticks)[[2]]<-paste("X",order.stat,sep="")
    write.table(hockeysticks,file=file.path(url.source,
       "hockeysticks.txt"),sep="\t",quote=FALSE,row.names=FALSE)

    A statistician of McI’s stature really ought to have known better because, well, a freshman stats student knows better.

    Like

  145. > No, I’m saying you’ve no leg to stand on. And you’re pissing in the wind. In the dark.

    What would Interwebz tough guys do without argument by assertion, Ben?

    Like

  146. What would Interwebz tough guys do without argument by assertion, Ben?

    The argument prior to the assertion is set out above. No doubt you’d like to go back to the beginning — it is the Consensus Enforcer’s wont, after all.

    Like

  147. > The argument prior to the assertion is set out above.

    And a veritable house of assertions and opinions masquerading as objective fact it looks to be by my eyes, my dear Mr Pile.

    > No doubt you’d like to go back to the beginning — it is the Consensus Enforcer’s wont, after all.

    Nah. Anyone literate and not blind can read the thing for themselves.

    I’m having far more fun casting aspersion on The Auditor’s curious method of obtaining samples from a stack of synthesized red noise and watching Brad tapdance around it — reading code IS the Sceptic’s wont, after all.

    Like

  148. Anybody else spotted this yet?

    “Contrary to the impression favored by governments, the corner has not been turned toward declining emissions and GHG amounts…. Negative CO2 emissions, i. e., extraction of CO2 from the air, is now required.”

    – James Hansen, “Young People’s Burden.” October 4, 2016.

    “The ponderous response of the climate system also means that we don’t need to instantaneously reduce GHG amounts.”

    – James Hansen, “We Hold Truths to be Self-Evident“ December 2, 2016.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/12/03/shock-the-father-of-global-warming-james-hansen-dials-back-alarm/

    Heh, and Trump hasn’t even moved into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue yet!

    Liked by 2 people

  149. > More prolix waffle…

    Don’t be too hard on Mr. Pile’s contributions, dear Cat Weazle. His insult fests never hurt anyone. Besides, he’s a brother in UKIP arms, marching with in your Fight for Freedom:

    First, Brexit; now Trump; next year, Le Pen: The year after, Orban…Wilders…

    Do you think that Mr. Pile believes as you do that Cameron was a socialist?

    So much political affinities among climate resistants deserves due diligence.

    Like

  150. Brandon,

    > I’m having far more fun casting aspersion on The Auditor’s curious method of obtaining samples from a stack of synthesized red noise and watching Brad tapdance around it — reading code IS the Sceptic’s wont, after all.

    Oh, I read the code you pasted. Believe me. And I assumed it was your way of tapdancing around the question:

    “And did the Auditor claim his glaringly non-random sampling technique was “random,” or are you just putting adjectives in his mouth when you air-quote him (“random”)?”

    Did the Auditor claim his glaringly non-random sampling technique was random?

    To put it another way:

    Did the Auditor claim his glaringly non-random sampling technique was random?

    In other words:

    Did the Auditor claim his glaringly non-random sampling technique was random?

    Like

  151. benpile wrote:

    one of the best essays on this topic I have seen anywhere.

    W: i just don’t understand libertarianism. i think it’s incoherent.

    Of course it is incoherent, but that is a consequence, not a property of libertarianism.

    W: “so i am an anti-libertarian. i can’t understand libertarianism”

    Yes, actually W can understand libertarianism. it is very simple. I choose for me, you choose for you. Perhaps we can talk about it and decide to choose the same thing in some places, such as “rules of the road”. These are agreements for mutual benefit, not consensus.

    W: “that’s why consensus matters. when everyone agrees. then we stop wondering if what we know needs to be revised”

    There is no WE.

    You should never stop wondering if what you know needs revision. That is why I am here. It is possible, perhaps unlikely, that what I know needs revising.

    At any rate, Ben’s commentary does illuminate why so few of my words see the light of anyone’s computer screen when I write at ATTP.

    I am not anti-science. I am a libertarian. I must be persuaded, not commanded.

    Liked by 1 person

  152. Seeing a link to some interesting criticism of Ben Pile [http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/makingsciencepublic/2013/07/29/an-accurately-informed-public-is-necessary-for-climate-policy/], I decided to put my “fresh eyes” on this topic.

    Good heavens. There are people that cannot be reasoned with! (right-brain dominant persons generally speaking).

    My favorite bits:

    Dana writes: “As noted above, the purpose of our study was to try and correct the widespread public misperception about human-caused global warming and the scientific consensus on the subject.”

    That is not the purpose of studies. Studies exist to discover things. Imposing widespread beliefs is called propaganda. To avoid unnecessary disputation I do not say propaganda is false; rather, it is intended to proselyte a belief or set of beliefs. It tends of necessity to be one-sided or selective in points of view. In this study turning 65 of 11000 papers into the “97 percent” and create a new class of human called “denier”.

    What has never been clear to me is why not aim for 100 percent?

    “That was our agenda – as it always is – to communicate what the peer-reviewed literature says to the public.”

    I do not believe that was the agenda of the axis of Dana, John, Lew. What exactly they intend is not entirely clear but thanks to Willard it appears to be that “everyone agrees” and no more testing is needed. Sheep in need of a shepherd. I wonder who that’s going to be?

    Dana Nuccitelli: @richardbetts Broadly speaking, one who encourage Morano, Watts and Poptech behave like a denier (not necessarily same as denying AGW)

    Ending with:

    Dana: “That approach of only considering selective pieces evidence and ignoring the inconvenient data simply cannot promote an active understanding of climate science.”

    Hide the decline!

    Liked by 2 people

  153. Michael 2:

    That is not the purpose of studies. Studies exist to discover things.

    THANK YOU.

    Someone understands.

    Actually I suspect most of us do—even the cereal liar Ken Rice, who knows better than to so much as acknowledge the question I put to him, repeatedly, during his brief, shining moment of participation here at CliScep.

    I finally tired of waiting for his gonads to descend, so I appealed to his readers for help at the very top of a post:

    perhaps you can help us with a mystery that’s got Anders himself stumped:

    what was the scientific, academic or scholarly purpose of the Consensus on Consensus paper—a paper you [Ken Rice] condoned by attaching your name as a coauthor?

    I know what its political/demagogic function was; Cook, Oreskes and others have been making no secret of it.

    What I’m asking is its *scholarly* purpose.

    On an unrelated topic, did you know there are crickets that live in tumbleweeds?

    Like

  154. Well, it’s about Willard not Dana so I revisit that page. I try to glean more understanding of Willard. There’s not a lot to go on.

    I’ll lay out part of my reason for my interest. Willard is nearly identical to my father who in his earlier years was a member of the CPUSA and while no longer so, still thinks that weird sort of way and Willard’s comments remind me of it, his “Borg-ish” desire for everyone to be clones, to agree, to eliminate a need for testing, and seems to believe such a thing is possible despite all evidence to the contrary.

    Everything he (my father) writes is dripping with sarcasm. He is cynical. He is opaque. When he wants to make a point, it is always someone else’s point so he doesn’t have to take personal responsibility for his own beliefs and expressions thereof. I see all of these traits in Willard.

    I respect my father despite all that. He had a few good virtues.

    My father decides first who is enemy (basically everyone) and then imagines he is destroying them with his wit and superior intelligence. But he exists in a little island of his own making. Such friends as he rarely had he abandoned; sooner or later everyone offends him and once offended, that’s it for all eternity. He has no feelings for family; none whatsoever, those instincts just aren’t there.

    The internet makes it possible for these little islands to coalesce into blogs but they are still islands.

    Liked by 2 people

  155. Having finished reading http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/makingsciencepublic/2013/07/29/an-accurately-informed-public-is-necessary-for-climate-policy/ I conclude that some discussions are not fruitful.

    I no longer discuss anything with my father or brother; it is impossible.

    For instance, my father assumed I was a creationist and denier of evolution. When I explained that I know quite a bit about it, the various flavors of it and that the US Navy was breeding dolphins to increase their intelligence (reported in National Geographic), suddenly HE went all creationist on me saying dolphins cannot change, they have always been just as they are now and will always be just as they are now. NatGeo also had an interesting article on chickens; breeding for smallness and largeness in 50 generations the largest was about the size of a turkey and the smallest about the size of a duckling. Evolution *is* selective breeding combined with natural variation.

    So if he didn’t have a clue what the word “evolution” meant, why was he using it? He was using it as a bludgeon against his enemies. He didn’t NEED to know what it meant. With suitable contemptuous tone of writing or voice, anything can be an insult.

    Having observed Willard’s writing in some detail, I see that he is nearly identical to my father and that meaningful dialog is impossible. I am still interested in how a person arrives at that state of mind.

    Liked by 2 people

  156. Willard wrote: “Intuitions are still powerful things.”

    Yes.

    “Some argue that mathematics are founded on intuitive constructions.”

    Presumably some do not.

    “There’s no need to beg any question about my techniques to explain its craftmanship.”

    That sentence is unclear to me.

    “My craft is useful to see in a New York minute how your This entire page is about [my] style of argumentation is inexact.”

    You are not here and English is inherently inexact. If you wish a more correct description of you then provide it.

    “Brad’s point was rather mundane: should you ever encounter, on the field, a vicious opponent who nonetheless comes across—somehow—as tractable to reason, then invite him or her to fight you offline. This normative claim is hard to dispute.”

    It assumes (I assume) that the goal is to modify the beliefs of the other person or at least develop some mutual respect. That is not possible with a narcissist but ought perhaps to give the other person a chance to show otherwise.

    “Yet Brad’s peanut gallery succeeded in redirecting a whole comment thread about me.”

    And your buddy K.R. routinely directs many comment threads about Watts or Tol… well you get the idea. It’s easy. You point and let loose the dogs of war. Be happy you are important enough to get the treatment.

    “Therefore, I duly submit that you, your squirrel chasers, and the peanut gallery are in any position to pontificate on distraction techniques.”

    Indeed. Your agreement is uncharacteristic; I wonder if you dropped a “not” somewhere?

    “Poisoning the well seldom distracts me from playing the puck”

    Agreed; you never lose focus. Of course, you have your own puck in play.

    “the story goes something like this: Once upon a time there was a strange, philosophy infested person. but basically he managed to hack off just about everyone with his long winded philosophyism and tendency to define things to suit himself and never take any notice of others definitions.”

    That is true of so many people the description isn’t helpful.

    “I trust the soundness of my and Brad’s position in the OP. What about yours?”

    Mine’s about a 0.5 but I am having some difficulty with the calibration. As I have no “offline” capability (with you anyway) it cannot be further refined and as you don’t allow me to converse on your home turf there’s even less I can do about it plus I obey your rules about not playing the ref. Here, you are not the ref so I can play. Anyway, I don’t have a climate ball; but all games have supporters and hecklers so I’m one of those.

    Like

  157. brandonrgates writes “One does not simply prove that a given statistical technique adds bias by ORDERing synthetic data by Hokey Schtickness and dealing samples from the top of the deck”

    My understanding of PCA is that it is order insensitive. However if you preselect data then it isn’t really useful. If you engage in short-centering it also isn’t all that useful. Your argument seems to be a red herring but I will agree that ordering data looks a bit suspicious and it would be better not to look suspicious although it could be a “gambit”; make you take the bait for some non-obvious purpose, trade a pawn for a knight or something.

    Like

  158. Notably, Willard has not lowered himself to responding to what I put to him. He regards it as an ‘insult fest’, which suggests to me that, if he can read, he can’t comprehend. Which is in turn a good reason to ask if his comprehension improves in private exchanges, further making my point that there is little to be gained from any discussion with him at all, other than an object to aid the explanation of the phenomenon of Consensus Enforcement.

    Instead, Willard runs with CW’s contribution.

    Besides, he’s a brother in UKIP arms, marching with in your Fight for Freedom:

    >> First, Brexit; now Trump; next year, Le Pen: The year after, Orban…Wilders…

    Do you think that Mr. Pile believes as you do that Cameron was a socialist?

    So much political affinities among climate resistants deserves due diligence.

    That is to say Willard believes he can respond to me by responding to CW. He is obtuse. The concatenation of nouns offered by CW, and that exist in Willard’s head damn me, by association.

    Freud: Ben Pile.

    Willard: Adolf Hitler.

    Freud: Were you forbidden from thinking as a child?

    A decade or so ago, I would have been shocked and shocked again by what CW and Willard have said, in turn.

    But it’s not my concatenation of nouns. And I think I understand them better — both as what the individual nouns represent, and the actual relationships between them — than Willard.

    In fact, both CW’s and Willard’s understanding will lead to their disappointment. UKIP refused to join with Le Pen’s party to form a group in the Parliament because of their political differences. The rules require that each group is formed from at least 25 MEPs from at least seven member states. Forming a group gives that coalition resources (e.g. cash) and privileges (on the floor, and in committees) that are otherwise unavailable to MEPs. UKIP formed the EFDD group with the (categorically green) Five Star Movement following the 2014 election, and Le Pen formed the ENL group. Had these two groups combined, it would be the third largest group in the parliament. As it happened, however, EFDD remained a small group, which came close to collapse when one of the members defected. Not even political expediency was a sufficient cause for UKIP to form a group with the FN. It is only one step from UKIP to FN… in Willard’s head.

    To further upset Willard’s understanding of UK & European politics WRT CW’s hopes, Victor Orban’s party, Fidesz, is in the EPP group — the largest in the Parliament — which has no UK members, but was the home to one Connie Hedegaard. (I’m sure Willard is acquainted with her name, and her good work saving the planet from climate change — she now works for VW on their ‘sustainability council’. Which is just funny.) Moreover, the (far) more nationalistic Hungarian party, Jobbik, sits with Golden Dawn and Marine Le Penn’s father in the Non Iscrits, not the EFDD and not the ENL. And ditto, Wilders’ Party for Freedom sits with the ENL, not EFDD/UKIP.

    The coordinates of Willard’s understanding of EU politics are a busted flush. As is his understanding of UKIP and my association with it. I am not now and never been a member of UKIP, and I was never asked to be. Unlike researchers from every other party, I was allowed to keep my independence. I was, for a short while, contracted to an MEP — Godfrey Bloom and then Roger Helmer — to produce research and separately, a couple of short films. I won’t distance myself from UKIP or the MEPs; I enjoyed the work — which was almost exclusively about climate and energy policy, with one project on small business regulation. And I enjoyed talking to MEPs and others in the party, none of whom I saw goose-stepping, or in white hoods, or heard saying how they disliked black, Asian, foreign, Jewish or gay people, and that these groups should be treated differently. Indeed, I found old socialists almost as often as I found old Thatcherites — though equally, I don’t think party ever settled on ‘libertarian’ ground with its membership — sadly, in my view. The only difference between the expressions of racism and homophobia detectable between UKIP and the UK’s older parties is owed to party discipline, it being less formalised in UKIP than was the case in others — the Labour Party now has its own issues with racism, antisemitism in particular, as its ability to maintain discipline is crumbling. I say all this to make the point that, in spite of UKIP having been accused of racism for its emphasis on immigration, there are very good reasons why an anti racist might support them…

    One of my main objections to the EU is that it is a racist organisation. First, although it allows access between countries for mainly white people, its borders cause death on an industrial scale. Even worse, the EU repatriates people to countries from where emigrants have fled, often to put them back in the hands of their oppressors — the EU has deals with tyrants to do precisely this. Second, EU protectionism causes economic hardship to its neighbouring continent that desperately needs the trade. But subsidies and tariffs close the economic borders as firmly as the borders for people, with even worse consequences. Third, the environmentalism espoused by the EU is rank, eurocentric neocolonialism, of which the world — Africa in particular — has had enough of. It is as if the EU says, “you can’t come here, and you can’t sell stuff here, but it’s okay, we’ll make sure the weather doesn’t get any worse for you”.

    I’ve argued on my blog that immigration might solve the problems attributed to climate change, and what some perceive as ‘inequality’. In short, my ‘libertarianism’ (“Lulz”, etc) extends to the problem of the state designating national identity, such that freedom to travel and to trade is curtailed (unless you’re rich & white). But — and it is a big but — that is an argument I, and anyone else who doesn’t believe the state should have the right to impose limits on basic freedoms, has to win. And that means persuading people who are likely to be more affected by such demographic shifts that are cause by immigration than I, that there should be a right to travel. I cannot take for granted that my being convinced of my argument is sufficient virtue to open borders in the way that the EU’s architects were. That debate — which I don’t anticipate winning in my lifetime — would involve compromises, the first of which is the issue of welfare. And it was no less than a ‘kipper who pointed it out to me: immigration is incompatible with welfare, for very sound economic reasons. The only solutions to which are, either asking people who depend on the state — variously — to take a haircut, or to unleash productivity equivalent to an economic miracle, such that nobody loses out. I’m in favour of the latter, though it is anathema to Green-and EU-centric perspectives, the reality being that the rats nest of ideologies that comprise the EU requires poverty, ‘inequality’ and very limited prospects for growth, such are the limitations of its collective imagination.

    This takes us to Willard’s question,

    Do you think that Mr. Pile believes as you do that Cameron was a socialist?

    I don’t. I have always said that Cameron is a cipher. I’ve also pointed out there is no difference between UK political parties. The EU has caused the hollowing out of politics in Britain. Indeed, British politics was categorically post-political prior to June 23 2016. (And we will see what happens after). What Willard was saying about consensus pertains here. Post-Thatcher, politics in Britain, concomitant with being ‘post-political’ was consensual — characterised by consensus between its parties, but not consent from its demos. In other words, and with the leverage supplied from Brussels, the demos was excluded from politics, leading to an antagonism between the ‘establishment’ and the voting public. Consensus politics is epitomised by the old parties’ attachment to the issue of climate change: by forming a cross-party consensus they denied the public a debate on the issue, and a test of the legitimacy of ‘environmentalism’, broadly speaking. Climate policy is only superficially about climate change; the political consequences of green politics is to further remove the regulation of productive life from democratic oversight and control. That form of politics is categorically not ‘socialist’, though to explain it would require an entire new lexicon of isms, thus I am not surprised that this is what it is frequently called, and I don’t think it reflects badly on anyone who calls it such.

    In other words, though Willard can say “OMG, look at Ben and CW! FACISTS!“, if he is concerned with the direction of UK and EU (and now US) politics, to understand the cause he only needs to look… not quite in a mirror… but at the form of politics he apparently espouses. The dynamic really is that superficially social-democratic green-liberal intransigence makes UKIPS, FNs, and Brexit. And sniffy, War-mongering liberal “Democrats” make Trumps.

    And so to the ‘future’… The UNFCCC process is now, likely without the EU and the Whitehouse, on its last legs…

    We thank Willard for his concerns, and for the opportunity to set out an alternative.

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  159. Willard writes: “So much political affinities among climate resistants deserves due diligence.”

    There is no “deserve”. If such things interest you then study it otherwise not as you please. No particular benefit accrues to noticing an affinity between warmists and socialism versus skepticism and liberty, unless of course you are involved in policy making and wish for success which will require converting at least a small number of the opposition to your point of view.

    My own due diligence shows that nearly all of the leading warmists suck from the public teat at universities and there’s an unusual preponderance of Australians in the mix. If you include the crown colonies all are represented well except of course for the one that “got away.”

    Find me some entrepreneurs and capitalists that worry about global warming 🙂

    Not even the mightly Leonardo actually worries about sea level rise unless he intends for his Belize resort to be an underwater adventure for SCUBA divers.

    On a pedantic note, I doubt anyone’s “climate resistance” is effective. I have occasionally expressed dissatisfaction with snow and cold weather but my resistance is futile. Climate happens!

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  160. Michael — Find me some entrepreneurs and capitalists that worry about global warming.

    I can think of a few. Tends to be billionaires and corporates, rather than entrepreneurs and capitalists as such. And then there’s the likes of Goldman Sachs, as mentioned above.

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  161. Ben Pile says (among other things) ” That form of politics is categorically not ‘socialist’, though to explain it would require an entire new lexicon of isms, thus I am not surprised that this is what it is frequently called, and I don’t think it reflects badly on anyone who calls it such.”

    By the way, I love your writing. It requires some concentration; it’s a bit intravenous to invoke a metaphor and takes some careful reading. But on to my thoughts:

    I call it “bad socialism”, the kind that rises more or less inevitably when the pigs gradually make themselves “more equal” and you end up with the pigs in control, and every bit as totalitarian, as the farmer (*). “Good socialism” is democracy by and for educated, honorable people. Fortunately a few examples exist to know that such a thing is possible and what it is. Iceland in the 1980’s when I was there was “good socialism” with a highly engaged (politically) population and nearly universal literacy.

    * from George Orwell’s book “Animal Farm”

    It worked because of cultural isolation and a population only 1/4 million people in the entire nation.

    All socialism is relatively totalitarian (ie, pretty much everything is decreed), the difference between good and bad is (1) who does the telling and (2) the amount of force needed to make it happen. Libertarians are perfectly free to choose socialism without force; it is for them a social contract. That can work, I think, only in the case of cultural homogeneity.

    Quite apart from the welfare problem you identified above, cultural homogeneity is challenged or destroyed by immigration.

    Without welfare hardly anyone cares about your nationality. My ancestor that came to America apparently never learned to speak English and for a generation or two Norwegian was spoken in the home. Norway might be considered a suburb of Minnesota (4 million Norwegians in Norway, 16 million Norwegians in North America, mostly in Minnesota).

    So, while obviously not “blended” with the rest of America, within Minnesota then and still exists a strong ethic of work and honor. They tend to vote Democrat but think libertarian. The Viking flavor of libertarian is “I choose for me, you choose for you and I will help you if I can.”

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  162. > That sentence is unclear to me [There’s no need to beg any question about my “techniques” to explain its craftmanship].

    It means three things, M2.

    First, that there’s a much simpler explanation to an artisan’s creativity than yours. Reading the page we both cited suffices to see that. Not the first time you play technical concepts by the ear. I suppose it’s no biggie when writing stealthily as you do, but I had to read you for a while.

    Second, that you’re begging an important question about my “techniques.” It’s hard to play on contrarian ice rinks without playing the puck. If I “never lose focus,” it’s because otherwise I’ll end up getting distracted by irrelevant concerns like all the ones you mustered in your last empty quote fests. For example, I don’t need to find you entrepreneurs and capitalists that worry about AGW. Scratch your own itch. If I were you, I’d start with the reinsurance industry.

    Third, that these readings neither address Brad’s point about conversations nor mine regarding the Big Five theory. You first referred to MTBI to profess your understanding of me – while playing the ref a bit, contrary to what you just claimed. The two topics seem somehow connected in a way that makes me doubt you’d wish this conversation to be private, unlike Brad suggested. It’s not as if you never had a chance. You simply never took it.

    I hope this clarifies that sentence and puts it into perspective. Your pedantic note about “climate resistance” should be addressed to Mr. Pile. I’m sure he’ll be able to provide the historical reference.

    ***

    Putting these three things together, we get the tale to the trickter’s trick:

    It features yet again Mr. Pile, who by sheer coincidence uses the same “linear” meme as one that got recycled at Judy’s. That we can find contrarians who score high on openness is far from being surprising considering the number of libertarians among contrarians.

    I was unconcerned by the apparent divide among Freedom Fighters on openness when I mentioning it to Brad. It simply referred to something upon which upon which I felt we could build our “frenemity.” the kind of thing that is sorely lacking from our exchange, an exchange which, as you can see, does not prevent me from moving my own puck forward while keeping within the topic of the OP.

    The first step was thus revealed by the pro tip that escaped your quote fest. In a second step, I am describing how to deal with distracting tricks such as yours. If you prefer the pro-tip version, here it is: dance however you please as long as you fall back on your feet.

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  163. Willard’s latest reminds me of Ken’s interventions here. He would enter along the lines of “you’re all stupid bastards”, right at the top, the first comment. And then downthread he would complain about the ‘ad homs’ coming his way. His getout was ‘oh, it wasn’t ad hom, I was merely stating what might be perceived’.

    Willard appears a little more sophisticated in his approach. Appear. He has a longer memory. And much greater capacity for bearing a grudge. And a larger vocabulary for self-justification, some of it he invented himself — an entire taxonomy, perhaps, of rules for thee, but nor for me…

    He deletes comments routinely, we are told. But he is distraught that 15 of his own precious comments at my blog (called Climate Resistance, Michael, which is Willard’s ‘historical reference’) had been deleted without due process. An unforgivable crime against his artisan craft-art. This seems to motivate him.

    We are supplied a link to Willard’s scrap book. It is not unlike, as far I can tell, a book like the ones kept by maladjusted schoolgirls — journals of bitterness about confrontations they cannot see themselves having instigated, the who-and-when-and-why of the infractions with fellow pupils given blow-by-blow account, but not to serve any reflection on how to negotiate with others. We had a girl like this at my middle school. She was called Josephine, and she’d tell you she’d written you up in her book, which was to be presented to the teacher at the end of the year. I don’t know how things ended up for her project, but last I heard, she’d had a sex change and moved to Canada to study philosophy.

    (OK, That last bit isn’t true).

    The point of Willard giving us the link to his revenge-journal appears to be that it gives an account of the putative infraction at the Nottingham blog three years and three months ago. The infraction? Apparently I wrongly — or ‘tactically’ — suggested that the argument from a commenter called Chris implied a deficit model of understanding of science communication, which Willard later, wrongly, and confusingly calls the ‘linear model’. (A deficit model assumes the layperson’s ignorance, whereas the linear model is a form of one-way ‘communication’ — similar, perhaps, but not the same). As I explain at the Nottingham blog:

    I think you’ve misunderstood at least Dana’s argument. For instance, he says “An accurately informed public is necessary for climate policy”.

    That argument is not about trusting an able public, but instead puts an emphasis on the broadcasters’ responsibility to a feckless public — a deficit model, in other words.

    And again later,

    Chris: “On smoking, and AIDS and MMR it sounds a little like you don’t consider that misinformation campaigns (however possibly well meant, which might apply to some of the ill-informed MMR writing).”

    I don’t discount the possibility at all. Though I would be reluctant to say that there exists any purposive, ‘let’s deliberately mislead the public’ campaign. What I was suggesting was that you seemed preoccupied with a deficit model, whereas –especially in the case of HIV/AIDS and MMR — there are complex issues involving issues of trust, rather than simply information.

    […]

    Returning to the deficit model; the problem this creates in the political sphere is now an expectation that the role of government is to mitigate societal and individual risks, and that this becomes the zero-level in the management of public (and increasingly, private) life. Essentially, this *creates* the deficit model as a reality. And that’s why I find the climate debate so fascinating. It is where the clearest perspective on the politics of risk can be achieved: it shows how risk is used to demand the suspension of normal, democratic politics, and to deprive the public of its agency as a whole and as individuals, for the promise of mere survival.

    The exchange was robust. And as much as I found Chris’s contribution disingenuous and frustrating, those were my problems to bear as much as that is the same for anyone who wants to make a statement in public: to lay out their perspective in a debate they wish to influence. On the perspective of the Consensus Enforcer, however, laying out your perspective is an underhand move in Climate Ball — a deceitful strategy,

    So the infraction… Was it wrong to speak about the deficit model operating in the thinking of the 97% survey and its defenders?

    In fact, the SKS project and its adherents are characterised by and stuck on certain models of public understanding of science. The consensus is a “gateway belief”, on their view, which once established in a mind, makes the believer more amenable to climate policies. Attachment to this model makes the difference between Lewandowsky/the SKS lot and the likes of researchers like Dan Kahan, who rejects it. These differences are explored at the Nottingham blog, and with the benefit of more than a thousand days passing, in more detail on these pages. That thousand days passing also reflects the difference in the two projects: we seem to have attempted to develop our understanding here, whereas Willard has spent the years nursing a grudge. And a Little List.

    Says Willard, about the discussion turning to the deficit model…

    When the trickster recognizes that he can’t distract you from your point, he should end up ignoring you. Exposing his tricks costs him resources and INTEGRITY ™. His schtick rests on making you wasting your time defending yourself, not him wasting time defending.

    But it may happen that the trickster will not back down if exposed more clearly, e.g.

    Hence, the transgression so grave it was justification for Willard to begin scraping dirt on Pile about UKIP, Serbian-genocide-denial, and membership of the Revolutionary Communist Party from equally well-adjusted Guardian journalists’ hatchet jobs.

    We were talking about science communication — the role of experts in the climate debate, and the problems of an approach favoured by an angry mob. But Willard decided it was more important to talk about UKIP. And yet in Willard’s recollection:

    Please bear in mind that Mr. Pile’s pet theme is about “framing debate”. We should expect that Mr. Pile has some know how. Reading his interventions at Warren’s go beyond these expectations.

    So I would add that Consensus Enforcers aren’t just incapable of good faith exchanges in public, or in private. They are also quite weird individuals, many of whom have internalised the climate debate as personal narratives that are quite simply not healthy, and are not amenable to reason. We can see this from Willard’s own narration of events and his attempts to justify his own moves in ‘Climate Ball’ to the ‘ref’ — whoever he is. And we can see it in the extraordinary volume of material these people produce. Lots of activity, but little sign of intelligence.

    This speaks to Michael’s question, I am still interested in how a person arrives at that state of mind.

    The bitterness and self-regard arrives before the debate, perhaps. They make it necessary to pore over every last detail of the debate at the expense of the substance of the debate and its progress. They turn matters of abstract, and scientific understanding into he-said-she-said. That’s the point — better to focus on the tiresome minutia to speculate about out what horror lies within that could motivate a person to produce such a foul thesis…

    With frenemies like that, who needs enemas?

    I have zero interest in Willard’s motivations, and public or private discussion with him. His obtuse, dissociative verbiage doesn’t fool me that he’s clever, that it’s not mere invective, or that he has any more inclination towards a good faith private exchange than any other climate bore-thug. If I want to understand the other perspective, to find some common ground, there are many people I would turn to first. Consensus Enforcers have nothing to say, and cannot even shed light on their own perspective wittingly, much less can they take stock of and give an account of their own inventory of ideas.

    Opennes is a libertarian character trait, says Willard. No. Openness is a consequence of confidence in ones ideas, having tested them.

    Consensus enforcers, by contrast, are preoccupied with tactics — strategy. Perhaps they forgot, on the way, what their Long March was from and about — that was what fallen comrades were supposed to remember. But having arrived at the institution, they are not willing to surrender it without a fight. A fight using words, in which us sceptics are the enemy at the gate…

    Meanwhile, the Italian PM has just resigned following a referendum on constitutional changes that was widely seen as a referendum on the EU. The Euro has plunged. Austria has narrowly avoided electing a far-right president. The Polish president of the EU is blaming Merkel for the refugee crisis and ISIS, and German finance minister has suggested that Greece should leave the EU. These things will be far more decisive to the climate debate than what was uttered on a blog 40 months ago. Yet, those words are what preoccupies Willard, who wants to be thought of as a nice guy… in private. Moreover, Gavin Schmidt and other climate scientists have be hoist by their own ‘El Nino had nothing to do with 2016’s record temperature’ petard, and have picked a fight over the revelations that the Democratic Party’s funders and campaigners were behind attempts to smear insufficiently alarmist climate commentators as a very big neon-lit question mark emerges over his department, if not his position at NASA.

    Pro-tips to Willard: pick your fights. Stand on your own feet. Don’t copy and paste second hand opinion. Defend your own argument.

    Liked by 2 people

  164. Michael — All socialism is relatively totalitarian (ie, pretty much everything is decreed), the difference between good and bad is (1) who does the telling and (2) the amount of force needed to make it happen. Libertarians are perfectly free to choose socialism without force; it is for them a social contract. That can work, I think, only in the case of cultural homogeneity.

    Not for nothing was it called the dictatorship of the proletariat. The sense of it was hard to dispute as a put-upon prole, though the nonsense of it always seems to have been borne by the same poor prole when the experiment happened, as it turns out some committee or other never put him in charge, much less asked him for his vote.

    I don’t know if either the relatively recent phenomenon of left and right libertarianism will turn out to be the missing component of left and right formulations, or if homogeneity is necessary for it. It seems to me though, that the auth-lib axis will be more decisive than the left-right axis of decades gone. On that hope… I live in one of the most culturally plural parts of the UK, which has its problems, but most of which seem to me to be exacerbated if not caused by official interventions that stop people doing what they want: make a bit of money, have a nice home, look after your kids, do some nice things. Everyone wants that, in spite of the cultural differences. Only a few people want to stop that. Many of their reasons seem to be green, even if only painted green.

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  165. > Did the Auditor claim his glaringly non-random sampling technique was random?

    Not that I’m aware of.

    So the problem is….? Your purpose in making a big deal out of the glaring non-randomness, which McIntyre never claimed was random, was…? The reason you thought I had some motive to “dance around” this yawn-inducing nontroversy, rather than simply having better things to do with my time, was….?

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  166. > So the problem is….?

    I explained it prior to chasing the “did he actually say ‘random'” squirrel with you, Brad: One does not simply test a statistical method for bias by feeding it a selectively biased “sample”, as that rather defeats the purpose of the exercise.

    What people did vs. what they should have done is something even The Auditor Himself should be able to understand … especially given that the main substance of what he writes is about what he considers poor statistical practise in climate science.

    A key irony of this episode for me is how often McI alleges that various paleo reconstructions wrongfully visit the cherry orchard. I mean it when I say that he and McKitrick both really should have known better than to use 100 (out of 10,000) most Hockey Schtick-shaped synthetic datasets, only to then claim:

    [7] The simulations nearly always yielded PC1s with a hockey stick shape, some of which bore a quite remarkable similarity to the actual MBH98 temperature reconstruction – as shown by the example in Figure 1.

    I mean …. duh. Hokey Schtick in, Hokey Schtick out, amirite?

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  167. Willard wrote rather a lot, thank you, a welcome change from cryptic one-liners.

    I have little doubt you are trying to explain something in a manner that probably works for some but alas not for me. With regard to the topic of this page: Having an offline conversation where you can let down your guard and be Adult talking to Adult (*) would be difficult (1) because we don’t have a channel suited to the purpose and (2) no particular goal in mind. It’s just chat.

    * Refers to Transactional Analsys, “I’m Okay, You’re OK” It is a bit simpleminded but adequate for its purpose. “With its focus on transactions, TA shifted the attention from internal psychological dynamics to the dynamics contained in people’s interactions.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transactional_analysis (Or in other words, I cannot know your mind but I can see your words).

    “I suppose it’s no biggie when writing stealthily as you do, but I had to for a while.”

    And so have I particularly on “And Then There’s Physics” which as its name implies is not very often about physics and also on “Evolution is True” which as its name implies is not often about evolution. It was fun (at Evolution) while it lasted; unabashedly poking the ant hill because atheists are SO easily provoked.

    The similarity is conspicuous: An assumption of an inviolate divide in beliefs; if you are a creationist this is your set of beliefs, if you are an atheist this is your other set of beliefs. Nobody straddles the line; that is the worst possible thing, it is impure. So it is with AGW. You must believe “Four legs good, two legs bad” or the reverse in order to be “pure” for either side.

    Roger Pielke, straddling the line, is “impure” and a denier even though he does not deny AGW.

    In my religion I am probably also “impure”, not subscribing to everything offered or demanded, even though rather a lot is cultural baggage anyway and never was part of my religion. It is about power and prestige, same as a blog, quilting club or professional association.

    “It’s hard to play on contrarian ice rinks without playing the puck.”

    I don’t quite follow that. Perhaps it means you must at least pretend to discuss climate (the puck) on “And Then There’s Physics” in between bashing Anthony Watts or Richard Tol, or discuss evolution on “Evolution is True” despite most of it being bashing this religious person or that one. Perhaps it is the other way round; you must pretend to bash Richard Tol (the real puck) in order to be permitted to say anything about climate or physics!

    “For example, I don’t need to find you entrepreneurs and capitalists that worry about AGW.”

    A fruitless search anyway, a fool’s errand and would make no difference. I suspect everyone present knows where that was going: Leonardo DiCaprio’s Belize resort at sea level. His words of worry do not conform to his actions. Therefore he does not worry other than perhaps his scheme will bust.

    “Third, that these readings neither address Brad’s point about conversations nor mine regarding the Big Five theory.”

    I do not find the Big Five theory useful; in part because it lacks predictive skill. The 5 factors are all scalars. It might be interesting but as used here it is just another bludgeon: “I am OPEN and that makes me superior!”

    But I am grue and that makes me best! Nobody can match the power of grue.

    “You first referred to MTBI to profess your understanding of me – while playing the ref a bit”

    Yes. Invoking MBTI can greatly speed up getting to know someone especially when obstacles exist. It is also a good way to uncloak a pretender or provocateur.

    “The two topics seem somehow connected in a way that makes me doubt you’d wish this conversation to be private”

    You are not here and neither am I. No worries therefore about privacy.

    “unlike Brad suggested. It’s not as if you never had a chance. You simply never took it.”

    To have a private conversation with you would be exceedingly difficult exceeded only by also requiring it to be honest or forthright. That’s a lot of work for no particular goal. These requirements would require you to abandon your anonymity, likewise for me. There was a time back on Usenet days when I used my full name, given and surname but eventuallly realized that some dangerously weird people exist and it was perhaps unwise to be THAT disclosing of identity.

    “Putting these three things together, we get the tale to the trickter’s trick:
    http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/57390494743

    Pretty good but suffers from the logical fallacy of the True Trickster! “A wise trickster will not waste any time…”

    Tricksters are unpredictable. Wasting time might be part of the strategy.

    “who by sheer coincidence uses the same linear meme as one that got recycled at Judy’s.”

    That’s a bit like accusing someone of eating gummi bears.

    “That we can find contrarians who score high on openness is far from being surprising considering the number of libertarians among contrarians.”

    Especially when you define these words any way you wish.

    “I was unconcerned by the apparent divide among Freedom Fighters on openness…”

    I can understand that.

    “when I mentioning it to Brad. It simply referred to something upon which upon which I felt we could build our “frenemity.” the kind of thing that is sorely lacking from our exchange”

    Such exchanges were more common, IMO, back in the days of alt.anything.goes.

    It was in those days I had some excellent, contentious but ultimately rewarding conversations with an atheist in Germany. Atheists tend to be a lot like True Believing Global Warmists; they are certain of a thing for which certainty cannot exist and they also tend to be rude and cluster into herds with strong emphasis on like-mindedness or ideological purity.

    “The first step was thus revealed by the pro tip that escaped your quote fest.”

    I refer you to Transactional Analysis. You are not my parent. You choose for you, I choose for me.

    As Pogo says, we have met the enemy and he is us.

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  168. > So it is with AGW. You must believe “Four legs good, two legs bad” or the reverse in order to be “pure” for either side.

    I know of no such constraint, and would not heed it if it were there, M2.

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  169. I know of no such constraint, and would not heed it if it were there, M2.

    As pointed out up-thread: you haven’t got a leg to stand on, anyway.

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  170. > The similarity is conspicuous: An assumption of an inviolate divide in beliefs; if you are a creationist this is your set of beliefs, if you are an atheist this is your other set of beliefs.

    I’d argue that the similarity is superficial at best, M2. The central tenet of “hard” atheism is that God(s) cannot and do not exist, which is more similar to the position of Sky Dragon Slayers who “falsify” not only AGW but the “greenhouse effect” itself on the basis that it violates the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.

    So-called “soft” atheism is more a declaration of personal disbelief, not necessarily an non-existential or impossibility claim. I see that as more akin to the lukewarmer position — AGW is real and is happening, but *likely* won’t be Catastrophic because … reasons.

    For me, the most conspicuous *difference* is that the central tenet of AGW is falsifiable and empirically testable in a way that matters of religious faith, esp. the (non-)existence of God(s) is not.

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  171. “the central tenet of AGW is falsifiable and empirically testable”

    Empirically testable?

    Really? Are you sure of that?

    In order to do that, you will need to arrange an experiment with a exact duplicate Earth + Solar System (I’ll be kind to you and overlook the effects of cosmic rays) and hold absolutely every parameter down to the position, temperature and velocity of every last atom and molecule constant to an infinite level of precision (remember, we are dealing with a non-linear system, hence subject to inter alia extreme sensitivity to initial conditions) while conducting multiple runs with different levels of anthropogenic CO2 and measuring the temperature change over – say – two centuries.

    How are you going to go about that then?

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  172. Brandon, your point (such as I can make it out) is that Steve McI made a statistical howler.

    Is that right?

    On that basis, do you think he should stop drawing attention to statistical howlers in the scientific literature?

    Better to allow human knowledge about nature to go astray than to be rude to scientists, or worse (!), hypocritical—is this your position? If You See Something, Say Something Unless You Once Did Something Just As Bad, is that your child safety / community policing / scientific ethics platform, Brandon?

    Help me understand you.

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  173. We’ve heard a lot about OCEAN recently.

    The gorilla in the elephant enclosure is, of course, the N: Neuroticism/-ness.

    Does anyone know whether, and how, Neuroticism correlates with the propensity for irrational risk analysis as epitomized by the Precautionary pseudo-Principle?

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  174. brandonrgates “I’d argue that the similarity is superficial at best, M2.”

    You would if you could. Inasmuch as much of the things being compared are already superficial it is not possible to have more than a superficial comparison.

    “The central tenet of hard atheism is that God(s) cannot and do not exist”

    Indeed; and that is what makes it so amusing. Sooner or later you must define this thing that does not exist, an activity as serious and purposeful as discussing how many toes are on a dragon.

    So it is with the Green God of Global Governing. Its an invention, an abstraction, a metaphor of nature and reality. There is a nature, and there is a god. You can discover either or make your own.

    “which is more similar to the position of Sky Dragon Slayers who falsify not only AGW but the greenhouse effect itself on the basis that it violates the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.”

    Welcome to the world of More Than Two Kinds of People.

    “So-called soft atheism is more a declaration of personal disbelief, not necessarily an non-existential or impossibility claim. I see that as more akin to the lukewarmer position — AGW is real and is happening, but *likely* won’t be Catastrophic because … reasons.”

    This is certainly a more defensible point of view. Only you know what you believe and why you believe it.

    “For me, the most conspicuous *difference* is that the central tenet of AGW is falsifiable and empirically testable in a way that matters of religious faith, esp. the (non-)existence of God(s) is not.”

    Deep, deep inside AGW is a single testable theory. Surrounding it is a vast realm of faith. Deep inside religion is a single non-testable theory, the theory of light itself. Surrounding it is a vast realm of faith.

    But let us consider this testable theory of AGW: carbon dioxide captures infrared. Always? Well, no. It is a quantum process, non-deterministic within the power of humans to predict. One must therefore believe that carbon dioxide will always behave in the manner that it has so far been observed to behave, and that this behavior dominates all other natural behaviors. That’s a lot of faith extrapolated from a little knowledge.

    Now about God. I have some knowledge, apparently more than most people possess, and it calibrates a lot of faith.

    Render unto Caesar and all that; science isn’t even trying to discover all that can be known about the universe, only that which is amenable to electromagnetic instrumentation, documentation, repeating, and ultimately beneficial to humans or at least the human doing something with a gadget.

    I do not therefore speak of that which is known, such as benthic oxygen isotopes from a Vostok ice core, but instead I speak of the faith proposition that this isotope ratio as a function of depth means “four legs good, two legs bad”.

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  175. brandonrgates wrote “I know of no such constraint, and would not heed it if it were there, M2.”

    Thank you; but your ideological impurity is noticed 😉

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  176. brandonrgates “I mean it when I say that he and McKitrick both really should have known better than to use 100 (out of 10,000) most Hockey Schtick-shaped synthetic datasets”

    Kinda like using only a few trees for your dendrochronology, the ones from the Yamal Peninsula with nice hockey shaped data when plotted.

    Short-centered principal components analysis is designed to choose among data sets most similar to how it was trained. The process seeks patterns out of noise. More than that I don’t say because I have not fully grasped its function. It seems to seek patterns with the most significance, those series that correlate for any reason or no reason. When I use an oscilloscope to look at noise, if I raise the trigger threshold it produces a hockey stick. I suspect that PCA is in the digital realm doing pretty much the same thing. It has a trigger of significance. the ordering of the data sets (the series) is irrelevant so far as I know.

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  177. Brandon:

    > The central tenet of “hard” atheism is that God(s) cannot and do not exist

    Where are these people who say Gods cannot exist? Can they be found in my local university’s chapter of the Hard Atheists’ Society?

    > So-called “soft” atheism is more a declaration of personal disbelief, not necessarily an non-existential or impossibility claim

    Where are these people who declare that they personally disbelieve in God but don’t always claim God doesn’t exist? Can they be recognized by the mating call “Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that God doesn’t exist—it’s just that I don’t personally believe he does”…?

    And where on this Mohs Scale of Atheism does one find the Goldilocks atheists, formerly known as atheists, who claim there is no God (and that therefore they don’t believe there is one)?

    Changing topics: why is it considered so difficult to falsify the hypothesis that God exists? Surely the claims about God are among the strongest (i.e. most falsifiable) ones human beings are in the habit of making. For example in many traditions, God (if he exists) is omnipresent, omnibenevolent and omnipotent. Now, a claim of such universality is obviously hard to prove true, but—if it’s false—it ought to be the easiest thing in the world to disprove.

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  178. > Kinda like using only a few trees for your dendrochronology, the ones from the Yamal Peninsula with nice hockey shaped data when plotted.

    That was the pro forma response I was looking for of course, M2, thanks for being so obliging. The Yamal Situation was a *different* lesson The Auditor was attempting to learn us, however. The lecture I’m talking about concerned whether a stack of essentially *trendless* data run through the MBH sausage mill would generate a Hockey Schtick, and that *was* the result pictured in M & M (2005), no?

    Tu quoque is always a dubious defence. Try to appreciate the supreme ironies of cherry-picking synthetic Hockey Schtick red noise by the very same Auditor who took Mann et al. to the woodshed for “cherry picking” Yamal tree trunks.

    May the Farce be with me … I literally could not make this stuff up.

    ***

    In other news, treemometers aren’t the only proxy in the game, nor are Mann & Co. the only shop in town doing paleo reconstructions. Curiously, other teams using other methods … get a Hockey Stick. (Note the proper spellings this time.)

    Clearly more Auditors are required.

    Like

  179. > Where are these people who say Gods *cannot* exist? Can they be found in my local university’s chapter of the Hard Atheism Society?

    They’re a rare species apparently; in my experience, most often seen not lurking about on the Usenet in that festering pustule of a newsgroup called alt.atheism.

    > Where are these people who declare that they personally disbelieve in God without necessarily claiming God is non-existent?

    Well shit, Brad, I don’t have them bio-scanned and RFID-tagged … yet. Try Google if you really must have a concrete answer.

    > Now, a claim of such universality is obviously hard to prove true, but—if it’s false—it ought to be the easiest thing in the world to disprove.

    Perhaps I’m not following correctly, but negative claims are notoriously difficult to prove as they require the means to be able to run an exhaustive search of the relevant domain. Metaphysics sods that right up because according to some skools of religious thought, God exists where we cannot see … by design.

    If’n you ask me, that sounds like the *perfect* setup for a scam, so I don’t want nuffin’ to do wit’ it.

    The *positive* claim of God(s) is falsifiable in theory … one just has to appear and allow itself to be independently observed doing something that only Gods can do. Like creating whole universes maybe. How we’d know the difference between Real God(s)(tm) and advanced space aliens does get somewhat tricksy however. Mostly, I don’t worry about it much … if I happen to wake up after this finite mortal existence ends, I’m hoping to be able to figure it all out then.

    Like

  180. M2,

    > It has a trigger of significance. the ordering of the data sets (the series) is irrelevant so far as I know.

    This is the second time you’ve said that. What did I write the first time? Let me try again:

    Because of persistence in a red noise model, one often obtains localized pseudo-trends. Sometimes in the middle, sometimes at or near the ends. McI wrote himself an R function to calculate a Hockey Stick Index, which quantified how much or little a given time series contained a “blade” on the rightmost part of the stick. He then ordered, or *sorted*, his synthetic time series by that index from most to least HS-like, selected the 100 of 10,000 total sets to run through the MBH algorithm, and published that.

    If one puts Hockey Sticks into pretty much any PCA code, it stands to reason the thing will spit out a Hockey Stick on the other end. If not, something probably IS wrong with the code.

    Are you with me now? The ordering McI did *matters* because it *selected* for the shape he was looking to come out the back end. Which isn’t a fair test by any reasonable standard I can think of when the argument is that essentially *trendless* data turn into a Hokey Schtick when piped through the MBH PCA code.

    Like

  181. > On that basis, do you think he should stop drawing attention to statistical howlers in the scientific literature?

    No, Brad, and I thought I made that perfectly clear waaaaaaaaay above when I wrote that just because McI stuffed it on this one doesn’t mean that he always stuffs it … because that would be the fallacy of hasty generalization, which I believe that you and I have already agreed is *irrational*.

    But maybe I’m just not paying close enough attention to what I’m writing. It’s happened.

    Like

  182. > How are you going to go about that then?

    It’s already been done, catweazle. Just not to your absurdly impossible standards of proof. How convenient for you.

    Like

  183. M2,

    > But let us consider this testable theory of AGW: carbon dioxide captures infrared. Always? Well, no. It is a quantum process, non-deterministic within the power of humans to predict. One must therefore believe that carbon dioxide will always behave in the manner that it has so far been observed to behave, and that this behavior dominates all other natural behaviors. That’s a lot of faith extrapolated from a little knowledge.

    It’s worse than you thought:

    We have no right to assume that any physical laws exist, or if they have existed up to now, that they will continue to exist in a similar manner in the future. ~Max Planck

    Yet he sussed them out and wrote them down anyway. Odd behaviour for such an extreme sceptic, no?

    I say, perhaps not.

    Like

  184. Brandon,

    I thought I made that perfectly clear waaaaaaaaay above when I wrote that just because McI stuffed it on this one doesn’t mean that he always stuffs it

    Well, you were wrong.

    You didn’t even make it imperfectly clear. What you wrote waaaaaaay above was totally irrelevant.

    I didn’t ask you whether or not you think McI always stuffs up.

    (Why do you keep disavowing the fallacy of hasty generalization when I didn’t accuse you of it, I haven’t been accused of it, you didn’t commit it, and I didn’t commit it? You’re boring me.)

    I wanted to know whether his supposed stuffup makes him a hypocrite, in your view, when he calls attention to the stuffups of others.

    Because if not, then the mind boggles as to why you keep accusing McIntyre of having stuffed up once. Even if he did, how would that information be interesting, ironic, amusing or useful? To anyone? On the planet?

    But maybe I’m just not paying close enough attention to what I’m writing.

    Please try harder. Miscommunications will happen, but one should strive to minimize them because they waste everybody’s time.

    Like

  185. Brandon,

    Perhaps I’m not following correctly, but negative claims are notoriously difficult to prove as they require the means to be able to run an exhaustive search of the relevant domain.

    No, you’re not following correctly.

    You’re making things harder for your brain than they need to be by inventing new rules of logic.

    Traditionally we’d say that universal claims can only be proven true by an exhaustive search, but can be proven false by a single counterexample.

    A case in point:

    If God is claimed to be ubiquitous (omnipresent), you can disprove this claim simply by showing one address where God is absent.

    according to some skools of religious thought, God exists where we cannot see … by design.

    That’s a whole nother problem.

    However, it’s more of a problem for the religious minority in question (I’ve never met these people, thank God!) than for you, because it means you could make God leave the room just by turning on the light. God would be like that children’s fiction character Chilly Billy, who lives in the fridge but is forced to drop everything and hide whenever someone opens the door.

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  186. It’s amazing that anyone here is still trying to defend the MBH hockeystick factory and imply that McIntyre’s criticism of it is misguided.
    Here’s a reminder of what some of Mann’s own colleagues said:

    Bradley: Mike only likes these because they seem to match his idea of what went on in the last millennium, whereas he would savage them if they did not. Also–& I’m sure you agree–the Mann/Jones GRL paper was truly pathetic and should never have been published. I don’t want to be associated with that 2000 year “reconstruction”.

    Wilson: There has been criticism by Macintyre of Mann’s sole reliance on RE, and I am now starting to believe the accusations.

    Wilson: The whole Macintyre issue got me thinking…I first generated 1000 random time-series in Excel … The reconstructions clearly show a ‘hockey-stick’ trend. I guess this is precisely the phenomenon that Macintyre has been going on about.

    Wigley: I have just read the M&M stuff critcizing MBH. A lot of it seems valid to me. At the very least MBH is a very sloppy piece of work — an opinion I have held for some time.

    Cook: I am afraid that Mike is defending something that increasingly can not be defended. He is investing too much personal stuff in this and not letting the science move ahead.

    Mitchell: Is the PCA approach robust? Are the results statistically significant? It seems to me that in the case of MBH the answer in each is no.

    Maraun: I think, that “our” reaction on the errors found in Mike Mann’s work were not especially honest.

    Liked by 1 person

  187. In a way it is astonishing that this tree-ring nonsense still survives. A few seconds’ thought is enough to know that it is totally nonsensical, without going into the mechanics of the
    crapematics devised by Mann to pull out the signal he wanted.. It is just nonsense. And even worse, even if trees were thermometers (I cannot believe that I might type this, it is so ridiculous) why does it make sense to graft a supposed signal that relates to 3-4 months of any particular year to a thermometer record that is at worse a daily signal? All the other so-called reconstructions that use stalactites, coral.pollen etc are just as bad – look at the way the authors of PAGES2k keep having to reorient them. It is just plain bad science and until such time as someone calls out these astrologers, I will continue to maintain that climate “science” hasn’t reached the 19thc in terms of scientific method.

    Ridicule is the only thing these reconstructions deserve. And I see that the “other researchers have made reconstructions that look the same” meme has surfaced again. people who assert this probably think that a “w” looks the same as a “k”.

    Liked by 1 person

  188. brandonrgates writes: “He then ordered, or *sorted*, his synthetic time series by that index from most to least HS-like, selected the 100 of 10,000 total sets to run through the MBH algorithm, and published that.”

    Now I see (somehow I missed your earlier explanation). While I am not convinced this was the procedure, I can certainly see that it assures the outcome.

    At any rate, my understanding is that the flaw in the algorithm (fly in the ointment) was “short centering” which increases significance in one area of the data while ignoring other portions of data. Red noise, short centered, will frequently produce hockey sticks but sometimes they point down at the end, sometimes up (IIRR, not going to try to convince you or others).

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  189. brandonrgates writes “The *positive* claim of God(s) is falsifiable in theory … one just has to appear and allow itself to be independently observed doing something that only Gods can do.”

    Such as?

    “Like creating whole universes maybe.”

    Oh, you mean another whole universe. Suppose he did; how would you know? You can’t even observe this universe!

    Now suppose you DO observe this god creating a new universe and you run over to your astronomer buddy in Scotland and tell him about it. Does he believe you? Probably not. So this god has to do something special for every human on Earth to observe. That invites (not “begs”) the question of why would he do that? Since he hasn’t done that, either there’s no god or he has reasons not to impose his identity on everyone. Since I know there is one, the answer, for me, is the latter. He chooses not to be tested, discovered and isn’t actually omnipresent (and might not be any of the omni’s, with a caution on omniscient — knowing what is knowable I accept, knowing “everything” invites dilemmas).

    “How we’d know the difference between Real God(s)(tm) and advanced space aliens does get somewhat tricksy however.”

    Yes. Obviously it is a matter of definition. You define the god that does not exist, I observe some behaviors of the one that DOES. I let my observations guide me rather than propose a difficult test that could actually be accomplished by an advanced space alien.

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  190. > Why do you keep disavowing the fallacy of hasty generalization when I didn’t accuse you of it, I haven’t been accused of it, you didn’t commit it, and I didn’t commit it? You’re boring me.

    Because “but Climategate” is a setup for the fallacy of hasty generalization, Brad.

    You’re bored?

    [lulz]

    Ask me how much I really like talking about tree rings, especially in the context of a paper published in *1998*.

    > Traditionally we’d say that universal claims can only be proven true by an exhaustive search, but can be proven false by a single counterexample.

    Sure. God doesn’t exist. Universal claim. All I need is one example to prove it false.

    That’s what I was saying. To review:

    AGW doesn’t exist. Universal claim. All I need is one example to prove it false.

    M2 had it backward, but I get the lecture. Interesting.

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  191. brandonrgates wrote “That was the pro forma response I was looking for of course, M2, thanks for being so obliging.”

    It is my pleasure to do so. The scripts must be followed, the ClimateBall set in motion!

    “Tu quoque is always a dubious defence. Try to appreciate the supreme ironies of cherry-picking synthetic Hockey Schtick red noise by the very same Auditor who took Mann et al. to the woodshed for “cherry picking” Yamal tree trunks.”

    You could almost imagine this to be deliberate and carefully chosen.

    “May the Farce be with me … I literally could not make this stuff up.”

    That’s why it is “MBH” rather than “BRG” 😉

    My understanding of the red noise hockey stick experiment is to show that it is possible to obtain a hockey stick from (selected) noise sets. This shifts the burden back to MBH to show that their sets are not noise.

    Inductive logic requires to consider such possibilities.

    If I say “let there be light”, and there is light, did I cause the light? You cannot very well prove that I did not cause the light until and unless you find a way to show that light exists without me declaring it to exist. But even then you have the problem of the possibility that light has several causes, and sometimes I am its cause and sometimes not.

    I had fun with children and a mini-maglight. I would snap my fingers and less obviously rotate the head, causing the light to turn on. Naturally the children assumed it was the snap of my fingers that turned it on. So they would try it without success, eventually concluding that I was magical or at least had a special snap.

    I emphasize therefore my own natural caution to consider or find the true cause of that which is observed which may well not be the apparent cause.

    Liked by 1 person

  192. > Oh, you mean another whole universe. Suppose he did; how would you know? You can’t even observe this universe!

    ‘Tis a quandary, M2. AGW is probably more detectable. Just sayin’.

    > Obviously it is a matter of definition. You define the god that does not exist, I observe some behaviors of the one that DOES. I let my observations guide me rather than propose a difficult test that could actually be accomplished by an advanced space alien.

    Now you know how I feel when some yahoo says, “It’s snowing today. Where’s that Gorebull Warming I’ve been hearing so much about?”

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  193. > It’s amazing that anyone here is still trying to defend the MBH hockeystick factory and imply that McIntyre’s criticism of it is misguided.

    It’s amazing how many of their own words otters can shove in my own mouth, MiB. Let’s review.

    1) Brad (not me) broached the subject. (Granted, I served him up what I imagine was an irresistibly tempting opening to do so. I’m a nice guy that way.)

    2) I criticized McI’s red noise experiment.

    3) I’ve *explicitly* stated that my criticism does NOT *necessarily* apply to *all* of The Auditor’s critiques of climate statisticians numerical wizardry … because to do otherwise would make me guilty of the fallacy of hasty generalization.

    4) I pointed out that subsequent reconstructions by other teams, using other proxies and methods are broadly consistent with MBH98/99.

    5) I snarkastically noted that Moar Auditors are clearly required to keep up with the deluge of confirmation.

    But do please continue building straw men and otherwise dodging the point … it gives me a Grrrrreat rhetorical opportunity to highlight contrarian Integrity.

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  194. > My understanding of the red noise hockey stick experiment is to show that it is possible to obtain a hockey stick from (selected) noise sets. This shifts the burden back to MBH to show that their sets are not noise.

    I don’t have a problem with the experimental intent, M2. I have a problem with its specific execution, particularly the selection by sorting step.

    I may also have overstated the case, and be in need of eating some crow.

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  195. > I emphasize therefore my own natural caution to consider or find the true cause of that which is observed which may well not be the apparent cause.

    Sure, M2. The batteries in the torch could all be for show. Maybe the Sun doesn’t actually heat the planet because God has a wicked sense of humour.

    Force X is out there. I want to believe.

    ***

    On a more serious note, begging the question that climate scientists don’t consider other causes for the wiggles in a given temperature time series doesn’t much impress me. Literature is chock full of “what other than CO2 was going on here?” type questions.

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  196. “It’s already been done, catweazle. Just not to your absurdly impossible standards of proof. How convenient for you.”

    No, it most certainly has not, you are making stuff up, as usual.

    There is absolutely zero empirical evidence for significant anthropogenic climate changen or will there be until .

    The – now totally discredited – computer games climate models DO NOT constitute evidence, nor do controlled laboratory experiments that demonstrate that CO2 is under certain tightly constrained parameters capable of absorbing photons of a very specific energy level, and even THAT is subject to a logarithmic function (as a matter of interest, do you actually know what a logarithmic function looks like? I somehow doubt it). CO2 concentration is only one of an effectively infinite number of influences on global climate, something you quasi-religious AGW enthusiasts flatly refuse to accept.

    As to my “absurdly impossible standards of proof”, clearly you missed my reference to the vitally important property of non-linear systems, extreme sensitivity to initial conditions.

    As you are entirely unaware of the implications of this vitally important property, I suggest you study this.

    40 EARTHS: NCAR’S LARGE ENSEMBLE REVEALS STAGGERING CLIMATE VARIABILITY

    http://www2.ucar.edu/atmosnews/perspective/123108/40-earths-ncars-large-ensemble-reveals-staggering-climate-variability

    Paying particular notice to this section:

    To explore the possible impact of miniscule perturbations to the climate — and gain a fuller understanding of the range of climate variability that could occur — Deser and her colleague Jennifer Kay, an assistant professor at the University of Colorado Boulder and an NCAR visiting scientist, led a project to run the NCAR-based Community Earth System Model (CESM) 40 times from 1920 forward to 2100. With each simulation, the scientists modified the model’s starting conditions ever so slightly by adjusting the global atmospheric temperature by less than one-trillionth of one degree, touching off a unique and chaotic chain of climate events.

    The result, called the CESM Large Ensemble, is a staggering display of Earth climates that could have been along with a rich look at future climates that could potentially be.

    “We gave the temperature in the atmosphere the tiniest tickle in the model — you could never measure it — and the resulting diversity of climate projections is astounding,” Deser said. “It’s been really eye-opening for people.”

    The “tickles” in question being less than one trillionth of one degree centigrade.

    As it happens, I have some expertise in this field, having been paid good money to work on computer simulations of non-linear systems, have you?

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  197. brandonrgates “I may also have overstated the case, and be in need of eating some crow.”

    Likewise with me. As you and others point out, many reconstructions have been made since then so continued interest on these early efforts is still worthwhile in my opinion as a way for a layperson to enter this realm and advance his personal knowledge.

    I reference religion in this context because almost everyone has some sort of opinion, belief or disbelief on the topic; no one comes here (or any climate blog) without already having an interest and some sort of belief or disbelief.

    It is common to bludgeon each other with absurdities, the FSM (Flying Spaghetti Monster) being an example assuming that anyone has a duty to defend the existence of the FSM. Despite being somewhat religious, I do not have a duty to defend what you suppose is my belief; I will defend my actual beliefs, but not always even that.

    The climate equivalents is that what is likely true is neither extreme of “no climate change” as it is not that difficult to observe change; to “100 percent USDA human evilness” is responsible so let’s all send money to the piece of green, or PETA, or other NGO that wants your money.

    Earlier you mentioned that it takes only a single example of “god” to prove his existence. I have more than one such example in my life, so to me, it is proved. Where I stop is making many assumptions from that evidence. I do not assume any of the omni’s and I do not defend such ideas.

    The relevance to the climate change debate is that while observing climate change is easy and relatively certain, proving any particular cause is neither easy nor certain and properly open to challenge.

    The problem of an omnipotent, omniscient, benevolent god is obvious, depending on how these words are defined. If benevolent means “no pain or suffering”, and omniscient means god would know your pain, and “omnipotent” means he has the power to remove your pain and suffering, then a single instance of pain and suffering is *proof*, 100 percent USDA prime, that there is no such thing as a omniscient, omnipotent, benevolent god.

    Where we differ perhaps is that an atheist closes the door on all other possibilities and I do not close that door.

    The climate equivalent is to assert a claim, and have that claim fail (the highway by the Hudson River underwater by the year 2000 or whatever exactly was that claim), and based on that single failure decide that there’s nothing to climate science anywhere of any kind.

    In other words, that type of rigid, binary thinking makes the “denier” really an “atheist” to climate science; there can be no climate science if a single wrong theory was advanced by anyone.

    But a skeptic is not an atheist. The skeptic is waiting to be convinced that there’s something out there worth some study. The skeptic prepares his house for winter before winter arrives and does not need snow to prove winter is coming; and yet, the skeptic waits for a credible forecast because in the meantime he could be doing something more productive than waiting for winter.

    So just as I know there’s a god of some kind out there, I also know that climate change exists. Whether it is dangerous depends on its particulars; whether it is man-made is almost irrelevant to me. Still, the possibility principle suggests I should prepare for winter, prepare for climate change, and prepare for a god that’s demonstrably not omni-everything and whose purpose and intentions are not well documented.

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  198. Pingback: Dilbert on climate –The Auditor comments | Climate Scepticism

  199. > No, it most certainly has not, you are making stuff up, as usual.

    Let’s go back to “The Beginning”, catweazle. I didn’t write Arrhenius (1896).

    Now let’s fast-forward to the present. CO2 is up. So is surface temperature. Since the mid-1950s, ocean heat content down to 2 km has risen.

    I didn’t make up those data either. They suggest to me anything but falsification of the so-called enhanced greenhouse effect.

    > As it happens, I have some expertise in this field, having been paid good money to work on computer simulations of non-linear systems, have you?

    As it happens, I do not. It also happens that my belief that the planet is warming, and that we are doing it, does not rest on the output of AOGCMs.

    One of us has theory backed by *empirical* evidence. The other one of us has conveniently impossible standards of “proof”, belief-beggaring assertions that no evidence exists, “but teh Modulz are wrong” diversions from *empirical* evidence and “but chaos” escape hatches.

    Know the difference.

    ***

    Speaking of chaos, a fun exercise is to go looking for where the CESM-LE authors dispute the long-held notion by most in the modelling community that centennial-scale projections are a boundary value problem. It’s important to do so, because the whole rationale for a large ensemble using the *same* model with initial conditions varying at the level of floating point rounding error is to have better statistics on the shape of attractors for any number of climate parameters in the model.

    Even someone who has allegedly been highly paid to model complex non-linear systems such as yourself should be able to grok why Jennifer Kay didn’t necessarily argue herself out of a job.

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  200. > The relevance to the climate change debate is that while observing climate change is easy and relatively certain, proving any particular cause is neither easy nor certain and properly open to challenge.

    Well stated, M2. I don’t disagree.

    > Where we differ perhaps is that an atheist closes the door on all other possibilities and I do not close that door.

    I think you make sweeping assumptions about atheists you perhaps should not. That is an *excellent* way to troll them, however.

    Where I think we most differ is where we map atheists to their analogical equivalents in the climate “debate”. To me, the atheists are the ones (like catweazel just above) who confidently and stridently claim that AGW does not exist, and that there is zero evidence to support such a contention.

    For me, the theists in the climate “debate” would be the stereotypical alarmists saying things like “ZOMG, if we don’t stop emitting now, we’re all going to die horribly!!!1111”.

    That’s an extreme synthetic example for illustrating the point. Real Climate Scientists ™ are typically more reserved. Still, that many of them are scared witless by what they’re observing is quite evident.

    ***

    In sum, I get what you’re saying, have gotten it all along, I just think you’ve got the mapping reversed.

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  201. “Let’s go back to “The Beginning”, catweazle. I didn’t write Arrhenius (1896).”

    Waffle…waffle…waffle…wibble…blether…

    Actually, Arrhenius was wrong on a number of issues. Ångström was far better informed, as he (actually his assistant Koch) determined that the CO2 absorption reached saturation at relatively low concentrations.

    But that’s beside the point.

    Attempting to assert that a tiny change in one relatively insignificant parameter out of an effectively infinite number is capable of the kind of effect that you religious freaks is capable of having on the climate is ridiculous in the extreme.

    Mankind is no more capable of significantly affecting the temperature of the Earth than ps significantly affecting the time the sum rises and sets, and there is absolutely zero EMPIRICAL evidence of that, and further, for the reasons I’ve already explained, nor will there ever be.

    And all the puffing blowing and handwaving by you zealots with your crackpot alarmism from (un)skepticalscience will not alter that by one iota.

    “Know the difference.”

    The difference Gates is that one of us has a lifetime’s grounding in the kind of physics, thermodynamics and mathematics that describes the climate – and has done rather well out of it, and the other has nothing but a faith-based belief in a load of catastrophic quasi-religious alarmist claptrap and a fine line in prolixity, verbosity and disingenuous, patronising condescension.

    I suspect – no, I’m damn certain – you wouldn’t recognise a Navier-Stokes equation if it scuttled under your bridge and bit you on the snout, and you are entirely ignorant of the implications of such in climate science.

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  202. > Because “but Climategate” […]

    A search on this page shows exactly one occurrence of the phrase “but Climategate.” Guess who typed it? (Hint: you.)

    > […] is a setup for the fallacy of hasty generalization

    But I’m SURE you’d NEVER dream of actually ACCUSING me of having MADE that fallacy, would you? I mean, I’m sure YOU’D never DREAM of accusing ME of having made THAT fallacy, WOULD you?

    > You’re bored?

    Yes. Either accuse me—without plausible weaselability—of COMMITTING the fallacy of hasty generalization, or stop going on about it.

    > [lulz]

    Good point. I may have to reexamine my entire Weltanschauung in light of this new information.

    > Ask me how much I really like talking about tree rings, especially in the context of a paper published in *1998*.

    Right, because climate science has made so much progress since 1998.

    And because science has a statute of limitations on bogus papers.

    And because Michael Mann didn’t write a book called ‘The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars’ *12 years later* which devotes several chapters to the irrelevance of the Hockey Stick and the urgent need for the non-existent debate to move on from Hockey Stick this, Hockey Stick that.

    > Sure. God doesn’t exist.

    Except that as I explained, ‘God exists’ is itself a universal claim, because it means an entity capable of everything and guilty of nothing knows everything and is everywhere.

    > AGW doesn’t exist. Universal claim.

    It’s only universal if you think it means ‘AGW doesn’t exist on any planet,’ or if you think this debate would keep dragging on if it were proven that AGW doesn’t exist on Earth.

    > M2 had it backward,

    Did he? I pay very little attention to arguments advanced by ‘my side,’ so I’ll take your word for it. I’m sure you’ll enjoy letting him know the news that he got it backwards. I gladly leave it up to you to deliver it. You’ve had so few victories that I expect every little bit counts.

    [UPDATE: Now that I see you making this admirable and gutsy concession on another matter…

    I may also have overstated the case, and be in need of eating some crow.

    …I think I may have oversnarked the present remark, and hereby resolve to reduce my crowing footprint.]

    > but I get the lecture.

    You didn’t get a lecture until you made up a novel rule of logic.

    > Interesting.

    No, banal.

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  203. “To me, the atheists are the ones (like catweazel just above) who confidently and stridently claim that AGW does not exist”

    You’re lying again, Gates. But hey, that’s what you lot do when you’re cornered, isn’t it?

    I did not “confidently and stridently claim that AGW does not exist”, my claim – which I have posted many times – is that the quantity of CO2 that mankind is adding to the atmosphere is incapable of significantly (you ARE aware of what insignificantly means, aren’t you?) affecting the temperature of the planet, and that it certainly poses zero risk to humanity, in fact it is becoming increasingly evident that its effects are entirely benevolent, and that – should I be incorrect about CO2 – even a degree or two of warming will be equally benevolent, whereas the same amount of cooling will certainly be catastrophic and lead to the death of billions.

    That is not the same thing at all as “confidently and stridently claim that AGW does not exist”.

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  204. brandonrgates “Sure, M2. The batteries in the torch could all be for show.”

    Precisely. When I was a teenager an assistant coach asked me if I could fix his portable tape recorder. Maybe; let’s have a look. I cleaned out the corrosion from the leaky batteries, put new batteries in, tested it. Works fine. I reported that it works fine and has new batteries. He said, “Batteries?” and I asked, “What did you think powered it?” and he said, “Transistors! It said so right on the box: Transistor powered!”

    Assume nothing. Not even one’s own existence. Fortunately Descartes had a pretty good answer for that; build on that foundation.

    “Maybe the Sun doesn’t actually heat the planet”

    Mostly true. Except for the surface, the planet heats itself.

    “I want to believe.”

    Whereas I would like to NOT believe. There are some vices I would like to explore. But there are no vices. One of the great lessons of sociology is that sin does not exist. Neither does crime, good or evil.

    “begging the question that climate scientists don’t consider other causes…”

    Thanks to Willard (I think) for pointing out that “begging the question” refers to circularity of argument: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begging_the_question

    Those that consider other causes of global warming tend to find themselves quickly unemployed; Sallie Bailunas comes to mind. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sallie_Baliunas

    “An editorial revolt within Climate Research followed, with half of the journal’s 10 editors eventually resigning.”

    Editors took their toys and went home in high dudgeon over a single published article.

    Liked by 1 person

  205. brandonrgates wrote: “CO2 is up. So is surface temperature.”

    http://www.tylervigen.com/spurious-correlations (very funny stuff and topically relevant)

    Correlation is not causation, but you knew this was coming. Most of what I have written today exists to illustrate that point without declaring it since it has been declared many times evidently to little effect.

    Correlation implies causation in some cases, but consider the flat-line of global temperature trend for the past 20 years or so while CO2 continues to rise. Does that disprove the correlation? Not exactly; for many forces are at work and the power of CO2 to warm the Earth may well be counterbalanced by something cooling the Earth at approximately the same rate and amount.

    Since that is nearly certainly the case “basic physics”, then whatever is this cooling force has the same power to modify climate as CO2, a “co-driver” of climate, and ought to be identified and evaluated. Will billions of dollars be offered to scientists to find it? Not in the past; maybe in the future.

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  206. brandonrgates “the whole rationale for a large ensemble using the *same* model with initial conditions varying at the level of floating point rounding error is to have better statistics on the shape of attractors for any number of climate parameters in the model.”

    I comprehend the point you are making; evaluate the model itself. It is less clear the utiility of doing so but it helps establish the uncertainty bounds with increasing model time.

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  207. brandonrgates “To me, the atheists are the ones (like catweazel just above) who confidently and stridently claim that AGW does not exist”

    I think that was the point I was making; evidently not clearly enough. The word “atheist” assumes the existence of a thing, typically a monolithic thing widely proselyted, about which one can be a disbeliever. That “thing” is AGW, or among these readers, more often labeled CAGW and the atheists necessarily those that disbelieve CAGW (common), or AGW (less common), or GW (rare).

    Catweazel clearly disputes the “A” of AGW; less so “GW” itself. A few people dispute GW but then you can find a few people to dispute anything, even their own existence — I had a roommate in the Navy that disbelieved his own existence. His question to me was, “How do I know that I am not just a figment of god’s dream?”(*). That he had a security clearance was a bit spooky.

    * My answer was that we cannot know that particular detail and it doesn’t matter. What matters is what we do with what we seem to have, a sentiment echoed later in the Lord of the Rings movies: What matters is what you do with the time you have been given. http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/12357-i-wish-it-need-not-have-happened-in-my-time

    I see the “precautionary” principle not universally applied; it gets cited when convenient. The precautionary principle suggests we should decarbonize ourselves back to the stone age immediately to avoid disaster, perhaps thinking that a self-imposed disaster is preferable to one that rains down upon us, and if so, I can see some sense to it; but to whip this old horse one more time, where is that same concern about sin and god? It’s not there; and generally speaking it seems the believers in the precautionary principle for AGW tend also to be the disbelievers of the same principle with regard to religion.

    Maybe it is possible for a person to only cling to ONE precautionary principle at a time and that is why a huge distinction exists between the liberal left whose precautionary principle is CAGW and the religious right whose precautionary principle is religion.

    An advocate who really wants to make a change in the world ought therefore to be conscious of these precautionary principles and work in a way that doesn’t challenge the other person’s precautionary principle because that’s a “show stopper”.

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  208. > A search on this page shows exactly one occurrence of the phrase “but Climategate.”

    Try the previous page, Brad. You won’t find the text “but Climategate” there either; that’s a funny thing about labels.

    > But I’m SURE you’d NEVER dream of actually ACCUSING me of having MADE that fallacy, would you? I mean, I’m sure YOU’D never DREAM of accusing ME of having made THAT fallacy, WOULD you?

    You tell me. Nine-tenths is a pretty big percentage.

    > Right, because climate science has made so much progress since 1998.

    lol.

    1) Create an ad hoc non-criterion for “progress”.
    2) Declare by fiat that the vaguely-defined standard hasn’t been met.
    3) …
    4) PROFIT!!!

    You’re killing me here.

    > And because science has a statute of limitations on bogus papers.

    Typically what happens is that old papers of any quality eventually fade into irrelevance, often because subsequent research ferrets out the inevitable shortcomings and improves upon them. Science is iterative, yes? We wouldn’t need to do it if we already *knew* the “correct” answers, no?

    There are cases where some bit of research is egregiously wrong, ranging from fraud to incompetence, and the thing is retracted if it happens to slide past pal review.

    An easy example is the Cold Fusion debacle a la Pons and Fleischmann, which only made it to the press release stage before independent teams’ failure to replicate and identification of dubious data returns from the original experiment made it DOA prior to any journals giving it serious consideration.

    More germane to this discussion is the near-universal pillorying of Wadhams’ predictions of an ice-free Arctic Ocean, deemed by seemingly all and sundry from Sky Dragon Slayers to Sycophantic Doom Sayers to be exaggerated and unsupported by anything much resembling rigorous science.

    Most germane to this discussion is, again, various proxy reconstructions of the past several centuries to millennia which show … a blade on the Hockey Stick.

    But you’re fixated on one of the first papers to do it, from 1998. Because … why?

    > Did he?

    I think he did, and I explained why to him. For me, it comes down to which party is making the claim of not-exist vs. does-exist. Thus, in *my* view, mapping atheists –> AGWarmists is backward because God-not-exist –> AGW-does-exist maps a negative claim to a positive one.

    > You didn’t get a lecture until you made up a novel rule of logic.

    OOOH, Logics Enforcement. I dig it.

    But not really. Like statistical techniques, all extant rules of logic were once novel. Pardon me for doing my own thinking …

    … though I suppose my worst sin here may be supplying my own axioms.

    > No, banal.

    I’m wounded.

    Liked by 1 person

  209. > I think I may have oversnarked the present remark, and hereby resolve to reduce my crowing footprint

    Thanks. No permanent harm done, Brad. I like our banter … it doesn’t get gratuitously rough from my perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

  210. > You’re lying again, Gates.

    catweazle wrote:

    There is absolutely zero empirical evidence for significant anthropogenic climate changen or will there be until .

    Then I wrote:

    To me, the atheists are the ones (like catweazel just above) who confidently and stridently claim that AGW does not exist

    > […] my claim – which I have posted many times – is that the quantity of CO2 that mankind is adding to the atmosphere is incapable of significantly (you ARE aware of what insignificantly means, aren’t you?) affecting the temperature of the planet […]

    Which is much clearer. And which also for purposes of M2’s atheism *analogy* I still interpret as: AGW doesn’t exist.

    This can be a big problem with using convenient buckets by which to classify people by their expressed opinions, complex points of view and beliefs. I wasn’t the first guy on this thread to point that out.

    ***

    In other news, “significance” can be a slippery term when not quantified or put into some kind of context.

    Frex: I would agree with you that a 2 K global temperature rise is insignificant when thinking of GMST in terms of absolute zero.

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  211. I’ve changed my mind.

    The above blog post is about private chats with ‘frenemies’. I said this was pointless: anyone you’d need to consider a frenemy simply doesn’t have the inclination and isn’t worth the time. But what it has become is what was rehearsed by more or less the same people on any other fucking climate blog, ever, via Enforcer talking points — McIntryre’s sins. And sceptic talking points, for that matter — MBH.

    The climate debate descends to science.

    What did we learn that we didn’t already know?

    Nothing we couldn’t have learned by not reading it.

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  212. > Precisely.

    In the case of a battery-powered torch, it’s a bit of a stretch, M2. In the case of AGW, not so much — a planet-sized object is less easy to inspect and comprehend than a hand-sized object which fits on a lab bench.

    The point I’d make here [oh hello, good, you mention Descartes] is that if one chases this squirrel too far down the rabbit hole, it may lead to epistemological nihilism of the sort which has one question whether “reality” is just a figment of one’s own imagination. Some philosophers find this an interesting avocation, perhaps even a profession.

    I’m more pragmatic, which may be code for “lazy”. I assume “reality”, and look to “science” to give me the best “known” explanation about how it works. That doesn’t mean I believe any old thing I read, far from it. But there is some point where I settle the epistemological question of “Is phenomenon X real and did Y cause most of it?”.

    My default is to answer “Yes” when it’s clear to me that *most* of the scientific community thinks so.

    Budging me from that position for me requires a paradigm shift and a new consensus which says, “Phenomenon X is NOT real,” or “Phenomenon X is real, but Z caused most of it, not Y.”

    > Transistor powered!

    Thanks for that story, I’m genuinely lolling.

    > Whereas I would like to NOT believe.

    I don’t want to believe in AGW. Desperately do not. I like burning petrol. Being able to do so without twinges of what it might mean for my nephews’ grandkids would be *wonderful*.

    > One of the great lessons of sociology is that sin does not exist.

    Immortal Omni-Gods need to create sin. Frex: See Isaiah 45:7. 😉

    > Those that consider other causes of global warming tend to find themselves quickly unemployed; Sallie Bailunas comes to mind.

    Speaking of question-begging, I hear it’s tough for astrophysicists to hold down a job when they’re loudly on record about the Moon being made of Bleu Cheese.

    > Editors took their toys and went home in high dudgeon over a single published article.

    Some might call thusly falling on one’s own sword, “Integrity” … if not a praiseworthy high honor. I mean, look at how Judith Curry wears her ostracization as the Red Badge of Courage for speaking out against IPCC consensus manufacturing. She’s not alone in her own company either.

    ***

    I’m (im)patiently waiting for contrarian scientists to throw Force X into an AOGCM, sans-CO2, and beat CMIP5 at its own game with it. Galileo and Copernicus did more than endlessly audit Ptolemy, you know.

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  213. > Correlation is not causation, but you knew this was coming.

    I considered the possiblity and prepared for it. By which I mean I loaded up my standard responses and tweaked them to the present conversation. Here goes:

    One of the reasons I so often cite Arrhenius (1896) is because it was published well before any putatively anthropogenic trend was detectable by instrumentation, which I mark as 1988, the year Dr. Hansen went to Washington and showed Congress his plot of GMST poking out of the bounds of chaotic variability.

    Another reason that paper impresses is because it came before Einstein and Planck had fathered modern quantum theory, and better elucidated radiative heat transfers between emitting bodies.

    When theory predicts well ahead of time, and reality complies with prediction … I’m inclined to believe that the correlation isn’t spurious. And for the record, I love that website … perhaps even more than I love this plot:

    > Will billions of dollars be offered to scientists to find it?

    I don’t know if it’s in the billions yet, but Teh Cause of Teh Paws is widely studied AND *debated* in primary literature.

    Filed under “the warmunist is always wrong”, Anthony Watts and otters have made somewhat of a cottage industry out of enumerating the ever-mounting and often contradictory “excuses”. In the meantime …

    … ocean heat content keeps happily accumulating unabated, almost as if the planet is trying to tell us something. Or something.

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  214. > > To me, the atheists are the ones (like catweazel just above) who confidently and stridently claim that AGW does not exist

    > I think that was the point I was making; evidently not clearly enough.

    Let’s review your first statement, M2:

    The similarity is conspicuous: An assumption of an inviolate divide in beliefs; if you are a creationist this is your set of beliefs, if you are an atheist this is your other set of beliefs. Nobody straddles the line; that is the worst possible thing, it is impure. So it is with AGW. You must believe “Four legs good, two legs bad” or the reverse in order to be “pure” for either side.

    I missed “or the reverse in order to be ‘pure’ for either side”, and thought you were arguing that the “atheists” here are those who endorse the AGW consensus.

    > The word “atheist” assumes the existence of a thing, typically a monolithic thing widely proselyted, about which one can be a disbeliever.

    An atheist might respond that the word itself wouldn’t exist if belief in God(s) weren’t so ubiquitous and widely proselyted. The way you wrote that appears loaded to me — it implies that there can be no such thing as “atheism” without there actually being a God. See again question-begging.

    > The precautionary principle suggests we should decarbonize ourselves back to the stone age immediately to avoid disaster, perhaps thinking that a self-imposed disaster is preferable to one that rains down upon us, and if so, I can see some sense to it; but to whip this old horse one more time, where is that same concern about sin and god?

    That’s strawmanning.

    > An advocate who really wants to make a change in the world ought therefore to be conscious of these precautionary principles and work in a way that doesn’t challenge the other person’s precautionary principle because that’s a “show stopper”.

    I think the highest duty of an advocate is to be honest, which includes a willingness to be shown to be wrong and to change their position accordingly.

    ***

    In that spirit, I’ve said many times — here and other places — that I do NOT know whether AGW will or will not be “catastrophic” according to whatever varying definitions of “catastrophe”. I’m not a fortune-teller, Teh Modulz stink on ice, etc. etc. ad infinitum, ad nauseum …. BUT, the people who study this stuff *professionally* are quite worried about our unknown future.

    I do know what things look like in the rear view mirror with CO2 in the 350 ppmv range: not-catastrophic.

    Hang precaution. *Prudence* suggests not effing with a system we don’t understand by twiddling one of its main control knobs out of bounds it hasn’t seen in millions of years, at a rate which exceeds 10 times that which it has experienced over about the same interval.

    To me, that is a perfectly *conservative* position, and the irony is not lost on me that I as a liberal hold it.

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  215. “Hang precaution. *Prudence* suggests not effing with a system we don’t understand by twiddling one of its main control knobs out of bounds it hasn’t seen in millions of years, at a rate which exceeds 10 times that which it has experienced over about the same interval.”

    You are Ken Rice, Michael Tobis, Josh Halpern and I claim £15.

    Control knobs… Did you write that without laughing? If you did, you are a credulous fool.

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  216. Maybe we should leave Brandon alone to heal his wounds. After all, he thinks that Guernica looks the same as the Mona Lisa, that canonical scientific articles are junk to be ignored as necessary, that scientific proof is not necessary to prove a political necessity. Above all, he needs to bloviate. Give him a flame thrower and let him rip.

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  217. > I refer you to Transactional Analysis.

    On the one hand, you find the MTBI speeds up your getting to know persons. Even more expeditive when you can allow yourself to misinterpret N or S, as you did twice above. And when called for it, why not throw in some trivial TA stuff right after dressing me up as your father. “It’s just chat” alright.

    On the other, you do not find the Big Five theory useful. Of course it’s less useful to you: it’s more evidence-based than the MTBI which rests on Jungian crap or even TA which rests on Freudian crap. Why should we ever need PCA except for climate résistance anyway?

    ***

    > unabashedly poking the ant hill because atheists are SO easily provoked.

    There are less self-serving ways to describe that kind of activity, M2. “Just chat” is not one of them.

    One end result might very well be to waste the ants’ time. Could be “part of the strategy,” as you say. I doubt you could say that it’s a good strategy if you waste more of your time than the ants’, even if you could enjoy waiting for Godot more than them. Now, that’d be chat.

    One way that contrarians unabashedly poke ant hills is to go for good ol’ shirt rippin’, like you do with your “impure” victim playing or with your greenline test featuring Junior. The rhetorical object is opposite to a classic ad hominem, but the argumentative effect is similar: it plays the man. It wastes time to anyone who’d rather move the puck forward.

    This is one reason why it’s hard to play on contrarian ice rinks without playing the puck. Another reason is that there are rinks where you get shut down completely when you don’t. When that happens, you see something like [Snip. -OT]. I started on such rink.

    A more important reason is that failing to play the puck drags you down in food fights. That’s when things can get personal. Take how this thread started, or see how easy it is to drop MikeM’s, AT’s or even Leonardo’s names. Not that I blame you for trying: you got not much left.

    Sure, you got some editorial concerns too. Like when BG goes a bridge too far about the Auditor’s HSI. To his defense, even teh Wegman has been mesmerized by the Auditor’s beautification.

    I don’t mind more Wegman chat. Even falsification chat would suit me. Adult to adult, it goes without saying.

    I’m already starting to feel at home.

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  218. benpile wrote “What did we learn that we didn’t already know? Nothing we couldn’t have learned by not reading it.”

    There is no “we”. You’ve been at this longer than I; consequently I take your words at face value except for the we part. I have learned quite a bit about Willard, a little about brandonrgates and have had a more pleasant exchanges than in the past, and reading your words for the first time has been a delight (*). Thus, with the topic at hand, it seems possible to have a reasonably pleasant debate of the nuances with Brandon, not so much with Willard. I may take a deeper look at random generation of hockey sticks.

    * While it is possible I have seen your name there is no mention of it in my database.

    Nothing new on climate but that’s been true for several years. Today’s page is about whether it is possible to have a dialog with frenemies and the answer seems to be “it depends”.

    I suppose it is inevitable that all climate conversations eventually turn to what started the great public awareness, the hockey stick and Al Gore, and the great pushback, started by Steve McIntyre, more or less sounding a caution on that very hockey stick. That is the “tree” and it has borne quite a lot of fruit whose quality depends on that of the tree itself.

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  219. There is no “we”.

    There is. The emphasis of the blog being joint ideas under construction, and our counterparts being entirely and ideologically hostile to the possibility of joint anything which doesn’t involve anything outside their jurisdiction. But I meant more that, there is nothing new here. As you indicate above, you’ve been around since at least Usenet, which is a long time. I don’t know if that included reading or taking part in discussion about climate change — which would make you as new to this as I am, in fact (i.e. not very). But not much has developed since then. Arguably, the level of the debate has actually diminished substantially from the late ’90s. And the climate debate descends to science, always. it’s a more observable fact even than Godwin’s law.

    You can find thousands, perhaps tens of millions of exchanges like what the above descended into. Granted, BRG got more forthcoming, eventually. But even then, it was littered with anti sceptic/denier snark, and even his nonlinear development via atheism from Arrhenius through to the precautionary principle doesn’t reveal anything either that we didn’t already know — a very familiar concatenation of truisms — or make itself amenable to discussion. We don’t need yet another and more forceful assertion-regurgitation of the orthodoxy. As MIAB puts it: You are Ken Rice, Michael Tobis, Josh Halpern. We could have had that discussion more efficiently by ourselves. If you weren’t aware of it, anyone here could have told you what BRG eventually coughed up. Meanwhile, the stakes were lowered by the routine hostility expressed by Enforcers, removing any audience that might have got past the first dozen or so of their interventions.

    Ultimately, what haunts BRG’s claims is the presupposition that everyone he’s arguing with denies climate change. Not even by degrees. E.g.

    the people who study this stuff *professionally* are quite worried about our unknown future.

    Bedwetting professional prognosticators, however, are a historical constant. And no better, their optimistic counterparts develop Five Year Plans and Great Leaps Forward — while millions perish. Understanding why, and how this pertains to discussions about climate change requires a historical perspective and a political understanding. Debates with this kind of Enforcer, however, only reveal their understanding of a history that starts with Arrhenius and ends with Mann. And their understanding of politics only extends to the understanding that Republicans and Democrats have different brains, and that Breitbart is very, very bad indeed. There is no understanding that, even if we accepted the premises of the science, and even the worst conclusions of the black boxes constructed by ‘professionals’, we might not see the imperatives in such big, bold, red, flashing letters and klaxons. But Science… and But Scientists…

    … no mention of it in my database.

    That sounds ominous!

    ‘It depends’ and it is ‘inevitable’ only to the extent that we welcome people whose outlook and mode of engagement has not developed since the Rio conference. And perhaps even the first UNEP meeting. Honestly, the script has not changed in my entire lifetime — in spite of its many abject failures.

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  220. brandonrgates writes “I considered the possiblity and prepared for it.”

    I do that too. Sometimes I try to avoid the inevitable but usually it is more fruitful to go ahead and plow through the “book openings” to get to the meat of the game which is when you, or I, obtain some nuance of understanding that all previous similar plays failed to reveal.

    “When theory predicts well ahead of time, and reality complies with prediction … I’m inclined to believe that the correlation isn’t spurious.”

    It would seem foolish not to consider the obvious as a starting point. Religious doomsayers frequently pronounced the “end of the world” and eventually one of them will be correct; but was it correct because of correct process, or correct because eventually you roll snake eyes (luck)?

    “I don’t know if it’s in the billions yet, but Teh Cause of Teh Paws is widely studied AND *debated* in primary literature.”

    Yes. As you mention, there’s an interesting website dedicated to the many excuses. I am reminded of the warmist meme that you go to a doctor for medical advice; but having 60 or so different excuses for the departure of temperature trend from co2 trend suggests that maybe these doctors don’t really know. That would be okay but each seems to think he knows.

    “ocean heat content keeps happily accumulating unabated, almost as if the planet is trying to tell us something.”

    Almost. But then, I do not anthropomorphise the planet, it’s not Gaia. Then again, maybe it is, and wants humans not to suffer through the next and imminent glacial period, forestalling it with a blast of protective carbon dioxide. How clever she is!

    I engage these conversations largely for my own education and illumination; partly out of curiosity: Do people really believe what they claim to believe and why do they believe it, and finally I also consider it somewhat pointless because when I finish up here I’ll mosey on over to work and it will be just another day waiting for something to break so I can fix it. Anyway, the point I am slowly working toward is that decarbonization is a unicorn dream. It is extremely unlikely any nation would commit suicide. It is also unlikely that any nation is going to adequately prepare for simply running out of liquid carbon so doom is coming as surely as a street preacher predicted.

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  221. M2 doom is where you see it. The US and EU are decreasing their GHG emissions. Sometime soon, China will start decreasing. The question is how long it will take and whether that leads to problems. These questions cannot be answered by The Science. However I will state that I believe the developed nations are already doing their part of the non-existent bargain.and I believe that the problem, if any, will sort itself out provided we do not get in the way of the developing world developing their way out of poverty. Cue howls of outrage from the Brandons of this world who want to force everyone in the developed world to live in yurts and mash yeast for dinner.

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  222. brandonrgates “An atheist might respond that the word itself wouldn’t exist if belief in God(s) weren’t so ubiquitous and widely proselyted.”

    Exactly so. “Dark” has no meaning without “Light”. (Tom Cruise became famous in the movie “Legend” which deals with this topic).

    “it implies that there can be no such thing as “atheism” without there actually being a God.

    Approximately. It’s a bit subtle. How many atheists exist with regard to Santa Claus or the tooth fairy? A few maybe that make it a point to loudly proclaim the non-existence of either; but most people simply don’t concern themselves with who or what is either and how they came to be.

    The energy of atheism therefore depends at least in part on a belief that there is actually something to push against. I do not refer to the agnostics and those that simply don’t care; rather I speak of those as energetic in their anti-evangelism (Dawkins, Hitchins) as a baptist is for his.

    Whether and what that thing might be is of course extremely variable and routinely trivialized or made absurd so as to be easier to knock down but like a weeble doesn’t stay knocked down.

    In a sense they create their own enemy by this activity; give shape and meaning to the thing they believe does not exist.

    To argue against Santa Claus you must define Santa Claus so that you can then argue against it. As it is thus your own creation it is a very odd behavior, sort of a tilting-at-windmills kind of thing: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tilting_at_windmills

    “That’s strawmanning.”

    Of course. My straw men are very good straw men; nearly indistinguishable from the real thing, and exist as proxies of the real thing so we can have a conversation.

    “I think the highest duty of an advocate is to be honest, which includes a willingness to be shown to be wrong and to change their position accordingly.”

    You would make a lousy trial lawyer; but a pretty good neighbor with an attitude like that.

    “*Prudence* suggests not effing with a system we don’t understand by twiddling one of its main control knobs”

    So don’t eff with it. Turn off the lights and heat, walk to work at a job that does not require anything more than wind or solar power to function. What is the carrying capacity of a non-industrial Earth? Estimates vary widely but all such estimates are under 2 billion; some as low as 1/2 billion persons. So that means between now and whatever is your target date, some 5 to 7 billion people need to die. You probably weren’t intending to be one of them.

    Then there’s the Kaibab Plateau ecological disaster scenario. The world won’t gracefully settle on its new carrying capacity; there will be a crash and near extinction of humans except of course for Amish and Icelanders, and I suppose Romanians.

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  223. > Sometimes I try to avoid the inevitable but usually it is more fruitful to go ahead and plow through the “book openings” to get to the meat of the game which is when you, or I, obtain some nuance of understanding that all previous similar plays failed to reveal.

    I like that, M2, and can fully support my end of it with you without complaint.

    > It would seem foolish not to consider the obvious as a starting point.

    Agreed, with the caveat that the “obvious” has often been wrong.

    To look at it through otters’ eyes: it’s *obvious* to many on the contrarian side of things that rising CO2 is NOT hazardous … or even quite beneficial on balance. I must be a clueless *idiot* to not both see and accept that. 😉

    > Religious doomsayers frequently pronounced the “end of the world” and eventually one of them will be correct; but was it correct because of correct process, or correct because eventually you roll snake eyes (luck)?

    I myself am dubious that unmitigated CO2 emissions would extinct humanity. More my thinking is that such a course of action would *plausibly* exacerbate other already extant frictions between groups and nations to the point that we do ourselves in. But how would we test for that? Revisionist historians exist for a reason, and attribution problems are hard even when they’re strictly limited to physics.

    The astute reader will notice that we’ve jumped from the question of AGW being real to CAGW being possible, if not inevitable. I point that out because it is impossible for me to make an evidence-based argument for unknown events in the future. If my general faith in science is to be considered religious, I will happily plead guilty as charged — I think science is a far better religion than ones based on alleged Deities.

    That said, there are reasons why I can and do say without flinching: Teh Modulz Are Stoopid and Wrong.

    > As you mention, there’s an interesting website dedicated to the many excuses.

    I believe there are several, but for the present discussion I don’t think that really matters to anything other than my own pedantry.

    > I am reminded of the warmist meme that you go to a doctor for medical advice; but having 60 or so different excuses for the departure of temperature trend from co2 trend suggests that maybe these doctors don’t really know. That would be okay but each seems to think he knows.

    Clearly the IPCC needs to crack some skulls and get everyone on the same page under threat of losing their jobs. It’s what Consensus Enforcers do, after all.

    That’s the second double-bind I’ve pointed to now on this topic. Did you catch the first one?

    My understanding — based on my experiences inside my own head, and some readings of psychology — is that our brains like consistency, i.e., contradictory information bothers us because of dissonance (and thus discomfort) it causes. We have a tendency to settle on the first explanation (or story!) which satisfies both our pre-conceived notions AND which is internally consistent as THE best explanation for reality.

    However, just because a given argument is both internally consistent with itself (and/or some *selected* set of “factual” information) does not *necessarily* guarantee its veracity.

    I could answer ABC (anything but CO2) arguments by pointing out that there is no one candidate for Force X, yet various Force X advocates *seem* to think that theirs is the correct mechanism.

    Given the massive complexity of the ocean/atmosphere system, I find it interesting that our Paws Excuses websites are so *seemingly* confident that they’re *all* excuses. One wonders which, if any, Force X candidate(s) such websites’ proprietors think better explain the near flatline in satellite-retrieved bulk upper air temperature estimates.

    > But then, I do not anthropomorphise the planet, it’s not Gaia.

    Whose pedantry is showing now, M2? 🙂

    > Anyway, the point I am slowly working toward is that decarbonization is a unicorn dream. It is extremely unlikely any nation would commit suicide.

    Agreed. That’s one reason you’re strawmanning the decarbonization argument as given by advocates I consider sane. Again.

    It’s easy to pick on the wingnuts and lunatics fringe on any “side” of the mitigation policy debate. I know this from having done it many many many times myself.

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  224. Willard wrote “I’m already starting to feel at home.”

    As am I. I left home at 18 and never went back. I regret not being able to have a meaningful conversation with my father but I believe it isn’t possible. You, and he, oppose everything and that makes you predictable, my own dark reflection. You are me.

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  225. benpile writes: “And their understanding of politics only extends to the understanding that Republicans and Democrats have different brains, and that Breitbart is very, very bad indeed.”

    That was a chuckle-out-loud moment. Witty and observant. That’s one reason my wife and I watch British comedy many nights on PBS; no one does it better. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/As_Time_Goes_By_%28TV_series%29 with our favorite being the older episodes of Last of the Summer Wine while Compo was alive.

    “That sounds ominous!”

    I copy what I write to my database under the heading “global warming” usually. If I am going to be critical of other people’s abrupt and chaotic changes I try to avoid the same sort of thing by allowing my computer to remember what I write.

    I started it after Climategate when I discovered that getting Real Science was amazingly difficult and I wanted to be able to locate (or cite) in the future where I had found useful information.

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  226. > Cue howls of outrage from the Brandons of this world who want to force everyone in the developed world to live in yurts and mash yeast for dinner.

    It’s easy for me to point out that I don’t advocate for the developing world to live in yurts, MiB. Or the developed world for that matter.

    I can even do it without howling.

    Liked by 1 person

  227. > The energy of atheism therefore depends at least in part on a belief that there is actually something to push against.

    Yes, M2 — otters’ *beliefs*. Tell me *explicitly* you’re not trying to parlay that into some sort of implicit argument for the existence of God(s) and I’ll stop looking there for the subtlety you say your argument contains.

    > I do not refer to the agnostics and those that simply don’t care; rather I speak of those as energetic in their anti-evangelism (Dawkins, Hitchins) as a baptist is for his.

    I self-identify as agnostic. I care. I very much care. Perhaps because of my self-identification (it extends to how I think about many many things other than the question of God(s)), I hold that Dawkins et al. *are* evangelists, not anti-evangelists. As well, my pedantry knows very few bounds. 😉

    That said, I have little use for the New Atheists’ often stridently polemical rhetoric save for my own petty amusements, which are *legion*. Overall though, I wish Dawkins would stuff a sock in it and direct the bulk of his eloquence and intellect to further enlightening humanity with the fruits of his professional training and research. That is where I think he’s at his most laudable and brilliant.

    > In a sense they create their own enemy by this activity; give shape and meaning to the thing they believe does not exist.

    I don’t entirely disagree with you, but were I to choose the non-nuanced binary answer, it would be a resounding NO, WRONG, FALSE, GO EFF YOURSELF.

    A common atheist argument is that we are not born believing in God(s), we’re taught to believe in them just like many parents also indulge their children with beliefs in Santa and the Easter Bunny. Would that more of the same parents at some point also said, “Ha, we were just kidding about the God that Santa and Easter Bunny were created to celebrate”, but that’s an aside because I don’t think the Judeo-Christian God was kidding in Isa 45:7 when He said that he creates evil and darkness.

    In my own experience, it’s been sufficient for me to say that I don’t believe in God(s) and have that *polite* publication of my *personal* non-belief cause concern, consternation, and on (very) rare occasions hostility.

    I also once had a guy motion toward the shotgun leaning against the wall behind him when I asked if he’d like a free copy of the Book of Mormon. He actually ended up accepting it because I’m not that easily intimidated … or maybe it was just the reckless stupidity of youth. As you said previously, it’s often hard to tell the difference between luck and skill, no?

    These “who fired the first shot” arguments between groups with a high degree of *mutual* animosity can become tedious. When they’re as long-running as the theist/atheist schism has been, the fog of history makes things quite fuzzy indeed. Israel/Palestine is another example. I *mostly* “blame” the British, but the fact of the matter is that that patch of arid and scrubby collection of rocks and dirt has been contested by various tribes since the before time they were keeping their histories on clay tablets and papyrus.

    Anyway. In *my* mind, the argument is that theists created their God(s) first. That’s the *only* requirement to give their God(s) meaning. The downside I see to the New Atheist style of religion-bashing is that it *perpetuates* and *amplifies* mutual animosities which were already there, and in *theory* existed nearly as soon as, say, Moses had his consultation on top of the mountain with a burning bush.

    That many on the turn-the-other-cheek side of the coin so often don’t when that’s an available option certainly cannot help. But I don’t let them get away with fobbing off the general rancor on atheists whilst pretending to be spotless any more than I would let atheists off the hook for their equivalent, but opposing, behaviors.

    > My straw men are very good straw men; nearly indistinguishable from the real thing, and exist as proxies of the real thing so we can have a conversation.

    I can, and have distinguished them. As you may be learning, I have a low tolerance for feeling … maneuvered … into accepting as truth that which I *perceive*, *think*, or *believe* is not.

    > You would make a lousy trial lawyer; but a pretty good neighbor with an attitude like that.

    Thank you for that compliment, M2. I don’t think I’d mind sharing a fence with you either.

    > Turn off the lights and heat, walk to work at a job that does not require anything more than wind or solar power to function.

    Lifestyle changes are one of the biggest impediments in terms of political pushback. It may have something to do with the “living in yurts” meme, just sayin’.

    > Then there’s the Kaibab Plateau ecological disaster scenario.

    Which looks like Malthusian Catastrophism in deer’s clothing. I think more in terms of Tragedy of the Commons.

    Were it not for diminishing biodiversity, economic shocks and resource conflicts being Things, logistic growth approaching some theoretical carrying capacity would *seem* to suggest a soft-landing.

    Time will tell.

    Liked by 1 person

  228. > Ultimately, what haunts BRG’s claims is the presupposition that everyone he’s arguing with denies climate change.

    lulz!

    No, Ben I don’t. Everybody knows climate is always changing. Sheesh.

    > Bedwetting professional prognosticators, however, are a historical constant.

    Ok, how much better have non-bedwetting amateur prognosticators done historically?

    > And no better, their optimistic counterparts develop Five Year Plans and Great Leaps Forward — while millions perish.

    Oh dear. Gorebull Warming Enforcers were responsible for Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot … and if you stretch the argument to its limits … the War for Iraqi Freedom.

    You read it here first, by Godwin.

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  229. “Gorebull Warming Enforcers were responsible for Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot…”

    Not exactly.

    Very similar mindset though.

    Liked by 1 person

  230. That’s one reason my wife and I watch British comedy many nights on PBS;

    I know you’re being nice about my writing… But honestly, I can hardly bear to watch any British drama or comedy. When I was six, the theme tune to LotSW would make me cry. Nothing was as bleak as Sunday night TV in the 1980s. Except probably Sunday night TV in the 1970s — if the there was any electricity.

    I copy what I write to my database under the heading “global warming” usually.

    You should write a blog. Comment-world is just frustrating.

    Liked by 1 person

  231. BRG — Ok, how much better have non-bedwetting amateur prognosticators done historically?

    You miss the point spectacularly. Is it deliberate?

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  232. brandonrgates writes, referencing my comment (The energy of atheism therefore depends at least in part on a belief that there is actually something to push against.) “Tell me explicitly you’re not trying to parlay that into some sort of implicit argument for the existence of God(s) and I’ll stop looking there for the subtlety you say your argument contains.”

    It is both. It’s a bit like Schroedinger’s Cat — simultaneously dead AND alive. God exists and does not exist simultaneously. This is possible because the domains of the definitions overlap imperfectly or not at all. But my comment is a bit more complex than that; the man that knows god (me) spends very little time trying to convince others of his existence where as the person that does not know god (Dawkins) seems to spend a great deal of energy on this thing he says does not exist. That strikes me as odd, but maybe it is the normal way of things.

    “I self-identify as agnostic.”

    I hesitated to use that word because really it means a person that believes it is not even knowable never mind knowing existence or non-existence. However, to decide that a thing is not knowable requires to make assumptions about the thing! That also is odd and interesting.

    But the word has come to mean “no particular preference” as in being agnostic toward Microsoft or Apple or IBM or whatever. That seems lazy. As it happens I do have preferences but it depends on the task at hand. Each is good, maybe best, at particular tasks.

    “A common atheist argument is that we are not born believing in God(s), we’re taught to believe in them just like many parents also indulge their children with beliefs in Santa and the Easter Bunny.”

    Whereas I was raised by atheists and chose a religion; but choosing the religion came after some rather remarkable events for which the atheist choice simply didn’t provide answer. Curiously, I was never fooled by easter bunnies and Santa Claus but I remember being convinced of the tooth fairy. With my own children we performed the rituals but I made it no secret that I am Santa Clause and I am the tooth fairy, I even wear a toile tutu. Disbelieve me at peril of not finding money under your pillow.

    “I don’t think the Judeo-Christian God was kidding in Isa 45:7 when He said that he creates evil and darkness.”

    Well, attributed to God anyway. As religious as I am, I am also pedantic, maybe more than you. I take the meaning quite differently as you take it. Dark cannot be “created”; light can be created. Light exists, dark does not. Dark is just a word to describe a place where light is not found. So the meaning of dark came into existence at the same instant as “let there be light”.

    It is so also with evil. Evil is not a thing by itself; it is the absence of goodness. The word has no meaning until goodness exists by which it can be compared. Evil is not a created thing, darkness is not a created thing.

    “if he’d like a free copy of the Book of Mormon…”

    Seems we have more in common than previously met the eye. Somehow I’ll drag this back on either the topic of climate or Willard.

    “These who fired the first shot arguments between groups with a high degree of mutual animosity can become tedious.”

    Indeed, and I think it stems from a desire to make certain that which is almost certain. It is easy to choose between light and dark; it is not easy to choose between light pink and beige. Both are light; why you might choose one and not the other might have implications but probably not.

    “Anyway. In my mind, the argument is that theists created their God(s) first.”

    Precisely. Dark has no meaning until there is light.

    Gotta run to an Eagle BOR.

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  233. > God exists and does not exist simultaneously. This is possible because the domains of the definitions overlap imperfectly or not at all.

    If not-God:

    “All gods are bespoke. They’re all made to exactly fit the prejudices of their believers.” ~Smiler, The godless one. a.a.# 2279

    If God … let God tell me Its properties.

    > I hesitated to use that word because really it means a person that believes it is not even knowable never mind knowing existence or non-existence. However, to decide that a thing is not knowable requires to make assumptions about the thing!

    Some who call themselves agnostic claim it is not an answerable question. I’m not one of those agnostics for the very reason you point out.

    My agnosticism is pretty simple: I don’t know the answer, and don’t rule out anything. Since that kind of willful suspension of belief is exceedingly difficult to do, I have various leanings and opinions, but I recognize them as simply my own musings and nothing more.

    > But the word has come to mean “no particular preference” as in being agnostic toward Microsoft or Apple or IBM or whatever. That seems lazy.

    I think it depends on circumstance, and that it can be pragmatic. Of course, as I mentioned before, my pragmatism could be considered code for lazy. 😉

    My *preference* is that there is a God, and Its not-evil.

    > Whereas I was raised by atheists and chose a religion; but choosing the religion came after some rather remarkable events for which the atheist choice simply didn’t provide answer.

    These are the sorts of things that I simply note that I have read, and choose to not comment upon further. That’s a departure from my past when I would engage on such things … it rarely ends well.

    > With my own children we performed the rituals but I made it no secret that I am Santa Clause and I am the tooth fairy, I even wear a toile tutu.

    lol! Pics please!

    If I may say so, I approve of your method there. The kids get to have the fun thing still, but are spared the disruption of finding out that their parents have been telling them porkie pies their whole life to date. I speak from experience when I say that can be a nasty and disruptive surprise indeed when it comes to more consequential issues such as God(s) and religion.

    > Dark is just a word to describe a place where light is not found. So the meaning of dark came into existence at the same instant as “let there be light”.

    That’s the St. Thomas argument if I understood and recall it correctly, you’re not Catholic perchance? It doesn’t matter really, I’m just curious.

    Supposing an omni-God, like the Judeo-Christian (and Islamic one, really), the concept of good and evil are moot. Think about it. This is the most powerful entity in existence, who allegedly created existence itself. What can be given to it that it does not already have, or can make for itself? What can be taken from it that it could not replace on a whim, or even allow to be taken against its will?

    I can’t think of a single thing, and am often told I lack imagination.

    So be it. Until God lets me know otherwise, good and evil are an artifice intentionally created for whatever purpose as yet unknown to my finite and mortal soul. When I die, God should already know what questions I’ll have of it.

    > Seems we have more in common than previously met the eye.

    Hmm. Well you don’t talk like a Mormon, but not all Mormons do. Plus, if you are, you’re a convert … sooo.

    Anyway, fellow Oxymormons tend to be my favorite sort.

    > Somehow I’ll drag this back on either the topic of climate or Willard.

    As you desire. I’m fine with this subject, but I enjoy discussing a wide range of topics.

    > Indeed, and I think it stems from a desire to make certain that which is almost certain.

    That, and tribalism is a survival mechanism. Cohesive groups do better against external competition than loose collections of only marginally cooperative individuals.

    > Gotta run to an Eagle BOR.

    The probability that you’re LDS increases in my mind. Cheers.

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  234. brandonrgates writes “If God … let God tell me Its properties.”

    My thinking almost exactly. If he wanted you to know, you would know, unless he cannot (not “omni”) or will not (bigger plans for you/me or not) intrude on your choices.

    “choose to not comment upon further. That’s a departure from my past when I would engage on such things … it rarely ends well.”

    My desire is to learn about other people and that works best when you are free to say what you mean and mean what you say which is enhanced when I have not colored your responses and caused either self-censorship or triggered your inner SJW snowflake. But I also intend not to be as cryptic and contrary as Willard.

    I like science fiction. It is possible to explore ideas and ethics without baggage; after all, what does a centipede-shaped Mesklinite think about socialism and a one world government? I have no idea; but I know that it will do humans a favor on a nearly disk-shaped planet with 3G at the edge and nearly 1000 G at the poles it is spinning so fast. (by Dr. Robert L. Forward if I remember right; a lot of science with some fiction). https://www.amazon.com/Rocheworld-Robert-L-Forward/dp/0671698699

    Religion and science fiction seldom meet head-on but they do with Clifford D. Simak and he handles both realms expertly and honorably.

    Me: “Dark is just a word to describe a place where light is not found. So the meaning of dark came into existence at the same instant as let there be light”.

    You: “That’s the St. Thomas argument if I understood and recall it correctly, you’re not Catholic perchance?”

    Not Catholic but not that removed, either. Most of my kinfolk are Minnesota Lutheran and while it is the dark and dreary world it also inspires considerable charity and honor. But their lack of certitude on some important concepts suggests to me they aren’t in the direct line of knowledge or authority (assuming for the sake of argument that there is such a thing or that it is useful).

    I have been trying to makes sense of St. Thomas’ beliefs and explained on William Briggs’ blog. It sounds almost rational but every word drips with hidden meaning.

    Anyway, the existence of light and dark does not mean they are semantically equal; one is created and takes energy, the other is simply the absence of both. Now in religion it is possible to have negative light capable of absorbing or cancelling light; the physical equivalent would be a “flashdark” instead of flashlight. Antimatter to matter. If you ever encounter such a thing you will get some kind of religion really fast. I have encountered such things; three all the way from Nepal attracted to and attached to some artifacts; children’s skulls silver inlaid and used as bowls in Nepal. The icy cold ambience filled the room even before I knew its source. As to the three things; I call them “elementals” from mythology — no intention, no purpose, no will; just existing, like magnets, attracted to where evil had been done. My wife felt the same thing at the same time and we politely left quickly and only later turned to each other to comment on the experience.

    But then, we could also feel her ex-husband about 5 minutes before he showed up to take her kids for visitation, and she routinely knows when I am coming home from work and calls me when I am about 1/2 mile away, regardless of the erratic times that I come home. None of this is “god” but all of it is metaphysics of various kinds. Atheists are wrong, more or less, but so are nearly all theists.

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  235. Brandon:

    Ask me how much I really like talking about tree rings, especially in the context of a paper published in *1998*.

    Ah yes, the irrelevant historical footnote sane people have long since lost all interest in.An irrelevant graph

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  236. > If he wanted you to know, you would know, unless he cannot (not “omni”) or will not (bigger plans for you/me or not) intrude on your choices.

    Not omni enough to tell me doesn’t sound very Godlike, more Space Alienish … i.e., not-Creatorish or Prime Moverish. Omni but bigger plans … why this interlude then instead of “bigger” right out of the vat as it were?

    In “theory” there’s some Happy Medium, but what?

    You bring up sci-fi, which I also like, and I’ll look into the names you list as I’ve not read them. My own sci-fi readings lead me to consider that we *are* God(s), and invulnerability and omniscience got boring so … this. A diverting game to stave off Eternal Boredom.

    It’s a dangerous belief to entertain (maybe Mao has the current high score?), so I don’t … other than to mention it’s the only thing which makes any sense to me if God(s).

    > My desire is to learn about other people and that works best when you are free to say what you mean and mean what you say which is enhanced when I have not colored your responses and caused either self-censorship or triggered your inner SJW snowflake.

    Shades of me. At one point it felt important for me to argue with theists about their spiritual experiences. It’s just silly. God may just not want to talk to me, and so hasn’t. Maybe I asked God to not talk to me this go ’round so I could find out what I’d do all on my own. Maybe there is no God and spiritual experiences are just “normal” human feelings, dreams, hallucinations … whatever. Who knows.

    > But I also intend not to be as cryptic and contrary as Willard.

    Different strokes …

    Re: not-Catholic, Minnesota Lutheran … I’ve hardly ever met a Lutheran I didn’t like. Alllmost the same for Catholics, but some exceptions. I also know far more Catholics. Speaking of …

    > I have been trying to makes sense of St. Thomas’ beliefs and explained on William Briggs’ blog. It sounds almost rational but every word drips with hidden meaning.

    I don’t really much care for Briggs. He writes very well, has a wonderful wit, but he’s just … bleh … dogmatic, rigid, insular, judgemental, condescending … a walking SJW trigger non-warning and seemingly quite proud of it. It takes a lot to get me riled, and a couple of times I’ve allowed him to get me quite riled.

    But anyway, if you go back to near the beginning of his Summary Against Modern Thought series, you’ll find me in the comments section. Most of what I think I know about Aquinas comes from Briggs’ excerpts from and commentary on Summa Contra Gentiles.

    I was pretty much done with it when it became clear that Aquinas’ arguments lead toward there being no free will while at the same time insisting that there is. Aristotelian metaphysics simply didn’t consider the implications of quantum physics so far as I can tell. Whenever you see Briggs railing against randomness, it’s clear that he thinks we live in a fully deterministic universe. He’d be a much happier Calvinist methinks, but even they don’t seem to have figured out that predestination and free will are pretty much mutually incompatible with each other.

    If you can get past Willard being — as you say — cryptic and contrary, I’d think this discussion is in his wheelhouse.

    > Atheists are wrong, more or less, but so are nearly all theists.

    I skipped over a bunch there that I don’t necessarily agree with, but don’t feel like debating because your conclusion is pretty close to my own:

    Either the atheists are right, or *everyone* is wrong … including me.

    What sucks for atheists is that they’ll never be able to say, “See? Told you so”. That could at least partially explain why so many of them are so cranky.

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  237. > Ah yes, the irrelevant historical footnote sane people have long since lost all interest in.

    You’re the one who explicitly brought THE Hokey Schtick into this, Brad. Which is it?

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  238. Which is it?

    It is as follows: despite the convenient and selective appeals to its supposed irrelevance, the Hockey Stick continues to haunt The Science like an unresolved infection. Persisting in denial of its high blood titres of bacillohoccus anthropogenes is not healthy for The Body Scientific; it may cause critical delays in seeking treatment.

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  239. > It is as follows: despite the convenient and selective appeals to its supposed irrelevance, the Hockey Stick continues to haunt The Science like an unresolved infection.

    Not really sure you want to go there, Brad, after having earlier established the inherent irrationality which accompanies the hasty generalization fallacy.

    That said, the Hokey Schtick isn’t a thing which can haunt The Science or any other Thing for that matter, any more than your vague and nebulous reference to “convenient and selective appeals” wrote themselves on my computer screen by some dark magic not even Mannian statistical necromancy could ever hope to obtain.

    I’m content to say that it doesn’t much interest *me*, because — I repeat for any who might be slow on the uptake — subsequent works using different proxies and done by independent teams …

    … waaaaaiiit forrrrr iiiiiiittttt …

    … still produce Hockey Sticks. Note again the proper spellings.

    Do please continue to clutch at straws, milk it for all its worth, play that trump card like there’s no tomorrow, etc. — that can be somewhat amusing when I’m in the proper frame of mind.

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  240. Brandon:

    subsequent works using different proxies and done by independent teams …

    … waaaaaiiit forrrrr iiiiiiittttt …

    … still produce Hockey Sticks. Note again the proper spellings.

    Which, if true, makes the original paper methodologically sound, rendering McIntyre’s attacks on it a transparently disingenuous cunctatory stratagem.

    Oh, wait, no it doesn’t.

    Hey, don’t you find it amazing that later, proper science discovered exactly the same answer to the question of two-millennial temperature history as Mann’s initial, completely spurious method? It’s one of those coincidences you couldn’t make up if you tried.

    (By the way, Brandon, to your knowledge, has anyone ever found the “right” answer [a hockey-stick-shaped curve] who didn’t set out in hopes of finding that specific answer?)

    Anyway, the real reason the HS means nothing is that the dendrosphere is a negligible heat mass, and an unrepresentative sample, when one considers the climate system as a whole (which extends all the way down to where the undiscovered horrors of the deep dwell), isn’t it—a fact that has been well known ever since the surface failed to warm as climate scientists promised it would.

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  241. > Oh, wait, no it doesn’t.

    Agreed.

    > Hey, don’t you find it amazing that later, proper science discovered exactly […]

    Exactly? You’re being ridiculous.

    > Anyway, the real reason the HS means nothing is that the dendrosphere is a negligible heat mass, and an unrepresentative sample, when one considers the climate system as a whole […]

    Ah, Ye Olde “you can’t give me the data I want, so the data you have are meaningless” ploy.

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  242. Brandon:

    Exactly? You’re being ridiculous.

    Hey, you’re the one who claimed they were all Hockey Sticks. Did you actually mean they were kinda sorta vaguely hoccobacilliform… ish?

    Ah, Ye Olde “you can’t give me the data I want, so the data you have are meaningless” ploy.

    Nope. A totally different ploy. I’ll give you two more guesses.

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  243. By the way, Brandon, to your knowledge, has anyone in paleoclimate science ever found the “right” answer for bimillennial temperature history [a vaguely hockey-stick-reminiscent curve] who didn’t set out in hopes of finding that specific answer?

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  244. brandonrgates “Maybe there is no God and spiritual experiences are just “normal” human feelings, dreams, hallucinations … whatever. Who knows.”

    I know. While I cannot say very much about properties and intentions and so on, it is clear to me that something exists. I’ve told some of my stories before. It triggers my own snowflake to have a prideful atheist insist there is nothing out there; billions of stars and planets and… really, nothing?

    Anyway, I was driving along Kam highway near Pearl Harbor; three lanes each direction, and a voice plain as could be said, “change lanes now.” I had been on the “fast” lane so I moved right (America driving, by the way). No sooner done than coming over the slight hill at very high speed was an automobile in the lane I had just vacated; wrong side. It would have been a spectacular head-on collision. This was before cellphones but I’m an amateur radio operator so I called the police and they caught up with the driver a few miles west at Pearlridge shopping center. That call and chase will presumably be a matter of record; why I was alive to make the call won’t be a matter of public record.

    You are thus perfectly free to believe or not believe my story, and it is that uncertainty that creates free will. You have to choose. The “Matrix” series of movies is heavily invested in that concept of choosing and free will; it’s almost tedious in places.

    From a religious perspective, this is why god doesn’t show up until after you have chosen. Uncontaminated free will.

    Why is that important? You already know and you alluded to it. Every form of life on Earth has one thing in common: Each makes more of its own kind. But you don’t make more of your own kind, they are grown, and some turn out well and some not so well. A common theme in science fiction, Star Trek in particular (not much science I’ll admit) is what happens if you give god-like powers to a mortal. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. So you don’t give power to someone; he earns and learns gradually; or not. Obtaining life lessons along the way. So, yeah, in a sense we are “godlets” flying around in aluminum birds, talking to each other nearly instantly across thousands of miles. Able to remember every detail that happened since 1995. Our computers anyway can do that.

    So one of my favorite questions to atheists is: “How would you know?” that god is not sitting next to you right now; over yonder, black hair, about 6 foot 2, looks Mexican. Tomorrow he’ll be someone else, somewhere else. We already know from the bibble that he can disguise himself and does so for non-obvious purpose; doesn’t put his thumb on the scale.

    Atheists (and Jews) are looking for someone that’s probably not coming; completely missing those that do come, have come, and will continue to come, offering a bit of guidance here and there.

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  245. Brad Keyes writes: “Hockey Stick continues to haunt The Science like an unresolved infection”

    Repeated Catholic denouncing of the Spanish Inquisition has not removed discussion of it, or justifying the sale of indulgences made it shiny and polished. Saying, “that was then and this is now” doesn’t quite answer “why was it even then?”

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  246. brandonrgates wrote “Exactly? You’re being ridiculous.”

    Not at all. I get it. Right answers by wrong methods cannot be known with certainty to be right if the method itself isn’t right.

    A weak example is 2 times 2. A child might use the wrong operator and add them. By an amazing coincidence, the sum of 2 plus 2 is exactly the same as 2 times 2. But using the wrong operator will produce error on other problems; just not this one.

    In the case of MBH98 or whatever it is the error seems not huge; it is an error in method that still comes up with approximately the right answer; but in this example, no one can know for sure what is the right answer. Where trillions of dollars are being demanded that kind of mistake of method isn’t exactly excusable, not to me anyway. If it was just a homework problem then I would salute its inventor since it is quite a complicated process.

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  247. > Hey, you’re the one who claimed they were all Hockey Sticks. Did you actually mean they were kinda sorta vaguely hoccobacilliform… ish?

    Somewhere upthread I’m pretty sure I mentioned something about subsequent studies being “broadly consistent with” MBH98/99. If not, I’ve said it now. “Broadly consistent” is an arguably slippery term — for me it generally means the central estimates are within two standard deviations of their estimated error envelopes.

    > Nope. A totally different ploy. I’ll give you two more guesses.

    Argument by assertion?

    One hopes you’re not satellite-retrieved bulk upper air temperature estimate fan. That would really clash with your ad hoc “negligible heat mass” argument against the “dendrosphere”.

    > By the way, Brandon, to your knowledge, has anyone in paleoclimate science ever found the “right” answer for bimillennial temperature history [a vaguely hockey-stick-reminiscent curve] who didn’t set out in hopes of finding that specific answer?

    No particular “knowledge” of “facts” required for that one, Brad. In *theory*, just like all models are always wrong, so are all observational estimates of *everything*.

    We do science because we’re not omniscient, and therefore don’t know the “right” answers to *anything*. On behalf of reality, I most sincerely apologize for the constraints its complexity places on our ability to obtain certain, *exact* knowledge.

    For example, in *theory* I know that a brick will fall if I drop it from height. I won’t know ahead of time its *exact* velocity when it meets terra firma, nor where it will finally come to rest, nor in how many pieces it might or might not shatter when it does …

    … but I do *expect* the “right” answer will be that the effin’ thing will accelerate toward the ground at roughly 9.8 m/s^2, decreasing as atmospheric drag mounts with increasing velocity.

    Sometimes “ballpark” estimates are the best one can get. And sometimes those are good enough to get the friggin’ point of having done the exercise. This is, of course, a matter of personal *choice*, so obviously YMMV.

    ***

    I’m curious about something, and this is kind of a favourite question: what do you think would happen to Earth’s GMST if Solar output increased 10% tomorrow and stayed there for a few decades?

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  248. > Not at all. I get it.

    I get it too, M2. Me saying something is ridiculous does not necessarily preclude my understanding of it.

    > Right answers by wrong methods cannot be known with certainty to be right if the method itself isn’t right.

    Mmmhmmm. This can create a bit of a conundrum, however … how does one know if the method is “right”? Just because one finds no error in the method does not mean that the method is error-free.

    > In the case of MBH98 or whatever it is the error seems not huge; it is an error in method that still comes up with approximately the right answer; but in this example, no one can know for sure what is the right answer.

    Which is why replication is so important in science, as I’ve already alluded above.

    I also keep bringing up the fallacy of hasty generalization for a reason, you know. Hope springs eternal that someone here will finally unstick themselves from banging away at an 18 year old first-of-its-kind study and catch up to what’s been happening outside the Mann-Bradley-Hughes (and Briffa?) axis of paleoclimatology.

    My own biases and prejudices prohibit me from holding out too much hope. I am a fan of being proven wrong about such things, however.

    > Where trillions of dollars are being demanded that kind of mistake of method isn’t exactly excusable, not to me anyway.

    I don’t think the paleo labs command trillions of dollars in grant money. The entire annual US budget for *all* climate-related research is in the low tens of billions …

    … with most of that being in technology R&D. The science budget itself is about $2 bn/yr.

    Regardless of the actual figures, no science ever advanced without making mistakes, often costly ones. And no scientific or statistical technique ever invented itself either. Were our yurt-dwelling ancestors so risk averse to the cost of getting their thumbs bashed by rocks or beards singed by fire they never endeavoured to use those things, we might still be catching small animals with our bare hands and eating them raw.

    On the plus side, AGW wouldn’t likely be an issue, now would it.

    OTOH, I can see how what paleo research in the books is sufficient to thump the “climate is always changing” slogan, and can appreciate how fans of it might think public funds could be better used to … I don’t know … feed starving Africans a la the Lomborgian skool of climate change adaptation.

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  249. brandonrgates writes “We do science because we’re not omniscient”

    There is no “we”. If I achieve one thing in this lifetime it will be to reduce by a barely perceptible degree inappropriate use of “we”.

    I don’t know anyone that chose science as a profession because he is not omniscient. In fact, those who seem to think themselves omniscient (me, sometimes) choose science specifically to show off their skill and knowledge.

    There’s my buddy the chemist. He’s pretty good at it. We made small explosives in high school trying out different things that potassium nitrate might succeed at oxidizing rapidly. As it happens my favorite, and also rather useful, is “flash powder” used in antique photography. So why did he choose that? I have no idea and its a good bet he also doesn’t know. It just worked out that way.

    Another friend is a hard-rock geologist. When we were both in the Navy he did not demonstrate much interest in geology; he was a “Navigator”, Catholic youth group and he could think several impossible things before breakfast. Arguing religion with him was fun but exasperating. To whom was Jesus praying? God. But Jesus *is* God; was he praying to himself? No. He was praying to God. Round and round and round…

    He had lived in Malaysia and his parents were involved in the oil exploration industry so his exposure to geology came as a child.

    I think there’s a genetic factor. Scots are famous for engineering. I didn’t know it growing up, but my Scotch grandfather (mother’s father) was a radio pioneer and photographer, and so am I; not so much pioneering but there are new technologies, digital modes of signal transmission, things like that. I gravitated to these things when I could have gravitated to something else. It’s in my DNA at least in small part. I have also learned that my father and his father were also photographers so I get it from both sides.

    Norwegians are famous navigators because the non-famous navigators died trying. So, I have what seems to be an unusual ability to return to a place I’ve been before, but more to the point, an interest and desire to do so.

    So while reasons will vary considerably, I believe many do science do so because they feel inspired to it, maybe even compelled to it by some inner force.

    For others it is just a job.

    The remainder don’t even know what it is.

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  250. > I don’t know anyone that chose science as a profession because he is not omniscient.

    Excellent, M2. We should then be able to dispense with commentary along the lines of scientists should automagically know the “right” way to do things … because very clearly they do not. I more see their job as to iteratively figure out less wrong ways of doing things.

    The goal being: to become less wrong about how reality works.

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  251. brandonrgates wrote “how does one know if the method is right? Just because one finds no error in the method does not mean that the method is error-free.”

    You wait and see. At some risk of seeming off topic, I will use a religious reference since I am fairly sure you will understand the point I am trying to make. What magic key word or phrase can be used to distinguish between a true prophet or prophecy and a false one?

    Answer: There is no magic word or phrase. A good tree brings forth good fruit. You wait and see.

    A good climate model matches observations over a long period of time. That is how one knows it is a good climate model. It cannot be known in advance.

    “Which is why replication is so important in science, as I’ve already alluded above.”

    The climate cannot be replicated. Models can be replicated but what exactly does that prove? Not a lot, I think, but at least replicating the factors can reduce error and/or increase faith in the accuracy of the factors. By that I mean I could manufacture out of nothing a report on ice core isotopes; and that would not be discovered until someone else drills an ice core and gets different results. Replication of the proxies reduces incentive to be dishonest. But when someone refuses to share data it sends a signal that replication is probably not possible.

    “I also keep bringing up the fallacy of hasty generalization for a reason”

    No doubt.

    I have no problem with fallacies; I occasionally use them carefully chosen. A fallacy does not mean “false”, it simply means not useful as proof but great distractors when you need one and they do actually work on many people, maybe even most (which is why they exist and are widely used).

    Circular reasoning is an example — the fact that you use the conclusion to prove the conclusion simply says nothing about the correctness of the conclusion. It might be correct, might be not correct; logic cannot determine it.

    The entire field of climate research is big hasty generalizations when things cannot be known at all in less than 30 year intervals anyway. Making any kind of decision is presumably and unabashedly “hasty” following the precautionary principle which presumably excuses hasty generalizations.

    “Hope springs eternal that someone here will finally unstick themselves from banging away at an 18 year old first-of-its-kind study and catch up to what’s been happening outside the Mann-Bradley-Hughes (and Briffa?) axis of paleoclimatology.”

    Yeah, well, how hard would it be for me to find something ancient that sticks in your craw? Maybe a Mountain Meadows Massacre? Perhaps something from the American Civil War. Several times in the Navy I was challenged on what “side” my ancestors were on. How about Norway? Nice dodge. But yes, he came and at the tail end of the civil war he served in the Wisconsin Regulars.

    “I don’t think the paleo labs command trillions of dollars in grant money. The entire annual US budget for *all* climate-related research is in the low tens of billions”

    Astonishing success at expectation management. Tens of billions. Nothing to worry about.

    Anyway, by “trillions” I mean the TCO, Total Cost of Ownership. Decarbonization. Alternative energy. Carbon taxes. (and so on).

    If I demanded a trillion dollars because God said so, you’d demand some pretty solid proof of God, platinum core, gold plated; a trillion dollar coin.

    “Regardless of the actual figures, no science ever advanced without making mistakes, often costly ones.”

    I appreciate your awareness of the scientific method; that is why we are able to have this conversation. For others, “the science is settled”.

    “And no scientific or statistical technique ever invented itself either. Were our yurt-dwelling ancestors so risk averse to the cost of getting their thumbs bashed by rocks or beards singed by fire they never endeavoured to use those things, we might still be catching small animals with our bare hands and eating them raw.”

    There is no “our”. Some people do still dwell in yurts and eat small animals, maybe even raw when there’s no fire to cook with. I picked up a cheap movie at Walgreens in a bin, “The Story of the Weeping Camel” and I *loved* it. Not quite raw small animal eating but a marvelous bit of “reality” entertainment. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0373861/ I spent days on Google Earth studying Mongolia as a result of it.

    If by “our” ancestors you mean yours specifically and perhaps mine too, well yes. My Norwegian ancestors went out of their way to seek adventure and risk. As it happened not many of them lived so I am more of a bread-making Viking (reference to “How to Train Your Dragon”), my ancestors having been more risk-averse than other Norwegians.

    Religions, their people specifically, that preach personal choice and responsibility can be persuaded to responsibility not by fear but by prudence, a word you have used recently. Provident living. Prudent living. Thrifty. The Scout Law.

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  252. “The goal being: to become less wrong about how reality works”

    An interesting thing to write in the context of a pseudo science that never dares to admit its mistakes and which continues to attempt to justify them 18 years later. It’s really not hard to say that there is no science behind dendrothermometers.

    Liked by 1 person

  253. brandonrgates wrote “I more see their job as to iteratively figure out less wrong ways of doing things.”

    Science sometimes has a specific purpose and sometimes not. A fellow I see from time to time is a geologist, a soft-rock geologist, sandstone in other words. The practical application of his skill is to decide where to drill for municipal water supplies so he studies strata in particular.

    In that kind of science what is unsettled is knowing what’s under your feet but the methods are fairly well settled; deterministic I suppose. “It is what it is”.

    In the case of the Post-It Notes, nobody was looking for a less wrong way to do it. It was apparently an accident, serendipity. So there’s something to be said about going to a lab and just “doing science” to see what pops out. But someone pays for that sort of thing and expects some sort of marketable result.

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  254. Brandon,

    I think you might want to be more careful to differentiate methodological innovation from learning about nature. When we talk about scientific progress we generally mean the latter, not the former.

    I more see their job as to iteratively figure out less wrong ways of doing things.

    I disagree. To see why this can’t be the main job of scientists, ask yourself: how would you determine the rightness or wrongness of a “way of doing” science?

    By the “rightness or wrongness” of the answers it gives?

    But that presupposes that you know what the answer “should” be—that you have some kind of Teachers’ Supplement with all the solutions listed in advance, which you can use as a benchmark or fixed reference point against which to judge the “answers” scientists get. Needless to say, no such book exists. If it did, scientists would be redundant.

    The goal being: to become less wrong about how reality works.

    I agree. This is much closer to a good description of the job of science.

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  255. man in a barrel wrote “It’s really not hard to say that there is no science behind dendrothermometers.”

    At some risk of seeming to play both sides I say there’s quite a lot of science behind dendrothermometers; a bit too much if you take my meaning. They are also measuring water, wind, carbon dioxide and nutrients which tend to be scarce on the taiga.

    A sensitive instrument I’d like to get some day is a thermobarogravimeter that can measure three physical properties at the same time. It is made by attaching a tiny mirror to the pivot point of an aneroid barometer and thus reveal temperature, barometric pressure and gravitational strength all at the same time and give it a TBG Index. If the index ever rises above 7.3 you can expect an alien invasion but that last happened in 3500 BC when the Nephilim created Uruk in ancient Sumeria (http://www.ancient.eu/sumer/) (*)

    The whole point of PCA (principle components analysis) is an expectation, maybe that’s too strong of a word, a hope that mixing 150 different proxies together, stir, pour it out onto a cookie sheet and bake it, would reveal Something Important. That’s what PCA does. Similar but different to using FFT to find submarines. Signals in noise. But for that to work you have to have an *expectation* of what you expect to find, and behold, find it you will. In the case of submarines its pretty reliable since you are looking for frequency invariant SSTG’s (ships service turbine generators). In the case of climate, well, everything is variant so pattern matchers tend to have a high false positive detection rate.

    With a large number of proxy data series PCA will indeed find something but it won’t tell you what it is, just that something is there and these 10 proxies share it. Climate changes; that’s not really in dispute. It is what climate does.

    * This story belongs in the Journal of Irreproducible Results so don’t be dissapointed if your mileage varies.

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  256. Michael 2,

    great discussion, but (like Brandon) it may pay you to make some harder distinctions—e.g. between invention/engineering/technology on the one hand and discovery/science/knowledge on the other. I know these categories are far from simple to differentiate and that I’m being a bit reductionistic, but still, the invention of PostIt notes was an act that followed a quite different template from that followed by scientific discoveries. Not that there isn’t a lot of overlap; but they’re not the same discipline.

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  257. Brad Keyes writes: “It may pay you to make some harder distinctions—e.g. between invention/engineering/technology on the one hand and discovery/science/knowledge on the other.”

    Then let us (*) do exactly that.

    * “Us” and “we” is proper (**) when its scope is implicit or explicitly known or knowable, and the participants know they are part of a “we” and at least implicitly acceded to this grouping.

    ** According to me of course. YMMV

    Thomas Edison was finding wrong ways to make the electric light bulb, but he intended to make a light bulb. That is engineering: it answers the HOW question of life, the universe and everything.

    Engineering: a goal is known but the method is at least partly unknown.

    Science is discovery. Methods are known. Discoveries are at least partly unknown.

    So, in a sense, science and engineering are more or less perfectly complementary but the word “science” has taken on a quasi-religious quality that tends to now include engineering, whiskey brewing and cosmetics and expressly disclaims gods of any kind including the little wooden Tikis on my grandmother’s mantlepiece.

    Because of the complementary nature of science and engineering, they support each other. Engineering builds the instruments that are then used by science to discover facts about the world and universe, facts which can then be used by engineering to build new instruments (or planes, trains and automobiles).

    Liked by 3 people

  258. I couldn’t have said it better:

    Engineering: a goal is known but the method is at least partly unknown.
    Science is discovery. Methods are known. Discoveries are at least partly unknown.

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  259. Brad,

    > To see why this can’t be the main job of scientists, ask yourself: how would you determine the rightness or wrongness of a “way of doing” science?

    Ah, perhaps this the sticking point … my statement:

    We should then be able to dispense with commentary along the lines of scientists should automagically know the “right” way to do things … because very clearly they do not. I more see their job as to iteratively figure out less wrong ways of doing things.

    That was poorly composed, and should not be taken to mean that the “main job of scientists” should be to develop better methods … the main job should be using methods to better describe reality.

    That said, I’m fine with a “scientist” … or any kind of researcher … who chooses to focus mainly on methodology. Specialization can be a Good Thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  260. It is important, I feel, not to concede the high ground. Dendro thermometry is bullshit. Total bullshit. Those hockey sticks, whether they looked like hockey sticks or not are statistical artefacts. Remember that trees are not thermometers and all those palaeo temperature reconstructions have the validity of someone wanking in the gutter. My girlfriend has just bought a tree. I will take it into the garden tomorrow for a temperature reading.

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  261. > > how does one know if the method is right? Just because one finds no error in the method does not mean that the method is error-free.

    > You wait and see. […] A good climate model matches observations over a long period of time. That is how one knows it is a good climate model. It cannot be known in advance.

    The astute reader will note that my comment was in the context of talking about methods for doing proxy reconstructions of GMST (or hemispheric MST as the case may be), not climate models. I as the writer surely noticed the context switch. Did you think I would not, M2?

    > The climate cannot be replicated.

    No, but studies of *past* climate conditions which *are* fixed by virtue of being *in the past* can be.

    > Models can be replicated but what exactly does that prove?

    That code can be copied and run on different hardware. According to the strict interpretation of climate model data NOT being “evidence” in the empirical sense, that’s about it.

    > The entire field of climate research is big hasty generalizations when things cannot be known at all in less than 30 year intervals anyway.

    30 years is an arbitrary interval. Santer’s 17 year itch was his assessment of the shortest interval by which an anthropogenic signal could be reliably teased out of the background noise of inter-annual variability. I wouldn’t take that number as Gospel Truth, two decades is still a fair amount of time.

    Of course, I should hardly need remind you of Arrhenius (1896), nor what has happened since his predictions.

    > Making any kind of decision is presumably and unabashedly “hasty” following the precautionary principle which presumably excuses hasty generalizations.

    There you go adding presumptions which I do not hold, after I’ve told you that I do not.

    > Yeah, well, how hard would it be for me to find something ancient that sticks in your craw? Maybe a Mountain Meadows Massacre?

    Not in the slightest. Brigham Young should *probably* have faced the firing squad in addition to John D. Lee — who did — for that caper.

    > Nice dodge.

    Yes you are, because you’re again glossing over my very deliberately stated point that *other independent* teams of researchers have subsequently used different methods to obtain “broadly similar” results to MBH98.

    > Astonishing success at expectation management. Tens of billions. Nothing to worry about.

    Time to rewind. Here’s what you wrote above:

    In the case of MBH98 or whatever it is the error seems not huge; it is an error in method that still comes up with approximately the right answer; but in this example, no one can know for sure what is the right answer. Where trillions of dollars are being demanded that kind of mistake of method isn’t exactly excusable, not to me anyway. If it was just a homework problem then I would salute its inventor since it is quite a complicated process.

    Holy hasty generalization, Batman.

    > Anyway, by “trillions” I mean the TCO, Total Cost of Ownership. Decarbonization. Alternative energy. Carbon taxes. (and so on).

    You do realize that there are returns on invested capital … don’t you?

    > If I demanded a trillion dollars because God said so, you’d demand some pretty solid proof of God, platinum core, gold plated; a trillion dollar coin.

    I’d ask for an audience with your God.

    Climate scientists certainly are not God. Nor can they provide “solid proof” of events *which have not happened*.

    I guess we’ll just have to “wait and see”. Let’s hope your *implied* belief that there is nothing to worry about turns out to be correct … God only knows by what methods you’ve managed to peer into a murky and uncertain future. Or what you see when you look ahead.

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  262. > Remember that trees are not thermometers and all those palaeo temperature reconstructions have the validity of someone wanking in the gutter.

    Tree rings are not the only proxies used in paleo recons, MiB.

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  263. This isn’t a defense:

    Tree rings are not the only proxies used in paleo recons, MiB.

    Diluted wanking is still wanking.

    You don’t get a valid whole by tossing a bunch of invalid parts into a cauldron and hoping they all average out.

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  264. > This isn’t a defense:

    It’s a fact.

    > You don’t get a valid whole by tossing a bunch of invalid parts into a cauldron and hoping they all average out.

    I agree, Brad. See again why replication is so important in science, and get a new schtick. This one is getting played out already.

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  265. This isn’t a defense either:

    See again why replication is so important in science, and get a new schtick.

    “Wanking in the gutter” (h/t MiB) is invalid the first time; it’s invalid the second time; and even if you take the results of 1000 wanks in the gutter, their ensemble will be invalid.

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  266. I thought you knew how deep and abiding was my respect for the father of Indian independence!

    Anyway, onanism analogies aside, let’s just say the definition of insanity is using an invalid proxy over and over again hoping to get a meaningful ensemble. I’m not saying any particular proxy is invalid—I’ll leave it to MiB to make that case; all I’m saying is that you don’t get to wave aside objections to a proxy’s validity on the grounds that the study that used it has been carried out repeatedly.

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  267. > […] you don’t get to wave aside objections to a proxy’s validity on the grounds that the study that used it has been carried out repeatedly.

    Crucify treemometers all you want, Brad. I’m interested in what comes out the back end. When the results are broadly similar over multiple studies done by several independent teams of researchers, those of you fixated on last century’s first go at this are the ones who sound like they’re full of meaningless noise.

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  268. One hopes you’re not satellite-retrieved bulk upper air temperature estimate fan. That would really clash with your ad hoc “negligible heat mass” argument against the “dendrosphere”.

    I’m a fan of fixed goalposts. I’m not a fan of continually changing the scope of the word “global” to ensure continued “warming” by (say) elevating supposed reconstructions and predictions of past and future tomatospheric temperatures to existential importance on the world stage, and later—when the tomatosphere fails to warm as fast as hoped—conveniently “discovering” that the ichthysphere is what really matters.

    We do science because we’re not omniscient, and therefore don’t know the “right” answers to *anything*.

    Bingo. From which it follows that when we name ourselves the Hockey Team before publishing evidence that past temperatures described a hoccobacilliform shape, what we’re doing is not science.

    Prescience, perhaps. Pre-science, more likely.

    But not science.

    … but I do *expect* the “right” answer will be that the effin’ thing will accelerate toward the ground at roughly 9.8 m/s^2, decreasing as atmospheric drag mounts with increasing velocity.

    No you don’t. You may expect that your observations will be *consistent* with Newtonian gravity, but you’d never expect that to be the *answer* because that hasn’t been the *question* for several hundred years now. If it *was* still an open question, you obviously *wouldn’t* be able to wager on how the brick was going to fall in advance.

    Liked by 1 person

  269. Brandon,

    I’m interested in what comes out the back end.

    Let’s stick to scientific terminology please. The word is ‘wazoo.’

    When the results are broadly similar over multiple studies done by several independent teams of researchers…

    …all it proves is that there’s half-decent inter-treemometer reliability. It does *nothing* to show treemometers are valid. Same goes for Tiljander varves, mutatis mutandis.

    Crucify treemometers all you want, Brad.

    Very well.

    Contemplate that on the Bristlecone Pine of Woe!

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  270. > Try to mute M&Ms instead:

    I don’t believe in silencing people if I can help it, Willard. I guess I’m a libertarian that way, if only in the J. S. Mill sense of the word.

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  271. > It does *nothing* to show treemometers are valid.

    I’m not sure which part of “I’m interested in what comes out the back end” you didn’t understand, Brad.

    Those who expect or demand perfection in non-trivial empirical sciences will likely never find it. This is why the concept of consilience is an important concept in such fields of research.

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  272. Willard,

    Hope you appreciate artefacts as much as I do.

    I appreciate art. And facts.

    Did Nick’s findings include that the Gaspe cedars are valid temp proxies?

    an ounce of contrarianism is good for the inquisitive soul.

    Is it? I prefer an ounce of viewing consensus with contempt, indifference and apathy—that is, an ounce of ignoring it. To oppose it because it’s the mainstream view is to make oneself a hostage to it, every bit as much as the man who subscribes to it on the same basis.

    Liked by 2 people

  273. Brandon,

    This is why the concept of consilience is an important concept in such fields of research.

    Consilience is an excellent source of new hypotheses when brainstorming.

    Then you have to test your new hypothesis.

    A.k.a. “do science.”

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  274. > I’m a fan of fixed goalposts.

    That can be a real problem when one lacks omniscience and needs to do iterative science to figure out reality, Brad.

    > I’m not a fan of continually changing the scope of the word “global” to ensure continued “warming” by (say) elevating supposed reconstructions and predictions of past and future tomatospheric temperatures to existential importance on the world stage, and later—when the tomatosphere fails to warm as fast as hoped—conveniently “discovering” that the ichthysphere is what really matters.

    I take it then that your comment about the low thermal mass of the dendrosphere was just a quip, and you don’t realize that it’s actually a sound argument.

    The oceans being the single largest heat sink in the climate system, we’d ideally have better-than-present coverage of them right down to the bottom going back to the beginning of the oceans themselves, but we don’t. I again apologize on behalf of reality’s constraints upon your well-ordered sense of fixed goalposts and any other convenient simplicities. I asked it for a refund on your behalf, but it made a rude hand gesture indicating such would not be forthcoming.

    I guess we’ll both just have to muddle through.

    Like

  275. https://cliscep.com/2016/05/18/the-real-history-of-the-climate-conversation/#DoubleHelix 2008:

    “Filmmaker and skeptic-hater James Cameron brings to the screen the story of a band of noble savages and their fight to save a world-wide web of teleconnected trees from the rapacity of an evil mining executive. Not only does it make mad money, Avatar also dethrones An Inconvenient Truth as the most scientifically-accurate movie about the Hockey Stick to date.”

    An interesting idea found in writing but not in the movie was that “unobtainium” was a room-temperature superconductor; without a doubt the key element in distribution of large-scale solar power. Finding it is “good”. Mining it is “better”. Using it to “save a planet” is best of all.

    It is probably no accident that James Cameron, a Canadian, used in the film the same types of mining and refining equipment as presently exists at the tar sands oil extraction site where the Canadians are washing all that oily sand leaving it clean. But what to do with all that oil? Well, some of it comes to the United States thank you very much.

    Liked by 1 person

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