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.
climate is bigly
AGW is a process, physics is a science
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
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
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
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
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
maybe if there was some technology that worked because alarmist climate science was true, we’d believe alarmist climate science
that’s something important
AGW is future-oriented
being conservative means we distrust future-oriented claims
more so when they impact on our values
has any other “future oriented” science ever succeeded, worked, been true, or convinced anyone?
any scientist that claims something that has not been established
that’s the unknown, not the future
you know about the OCEAN theory?
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
that’s a trait too
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
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
it’s always possible to doubt
to remain unconvinced
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
this is how language works
language is a social art
we use language to communicate science
even to DO science
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
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
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
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
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.
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
- I don’t think the correlation between ideology and stance vs AGW needs to erase the genuine concerns regarding THE SCIENCE
- I think it does imply higher expectations regarding THE SCIENCE
- In other words, the higher the burden of proof imposed on THE SCIENCE, the less sound it sounds
- This is most obvious if we consider that many, many Denizens are engineer-minded.
- My main problem with that stance is that the earth is not a bridge
Most of THE SCIENCE is exploratory
It’s mostly junk
But it’s crap that works
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- If we accept that what matters, in the end, is THE SCIENCE, then commenting on THE SCIENCE is of little import.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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,)
- 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.
- Hence Love and Light wins.
- 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? […]
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 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
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
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?
and that’s the memo
it’s impossible to be even-handed
i don’t spot everything
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.