Dilbert on climate –The Auditor comments

scott-adams

Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, and one of a small number of people to correctly predict Trump’s victory, has an interesting blog post on The Non-Expert Problem and Climate Change Science.

Adams notes that the consensus figure on climate change is in the same ballpark as the consensus that Clinton would win the election — the “expert” Nate Silver thought that Trump had a 2% chance of winning the Republican nomination, and just before the November vote, Huffpo put Clinton’s chance of winning at 98% and another “‘expert”‘, Princeton academic Sam Wang, went for 99%, using a statistical Bayesian model (though many other commentators were more cautious).

Adams also mentions some red flags for science, such as making predictions with complicated models, involving human judgement, and social pressure to get the “correct” result, all of which apply to climate science. He ends up with the point that climate change is “near the bottom of my worries”; if it is a problem, we will find a way to fix it, and if it turns out that it isn’t, “I will say I knew it all along because climate science matches all of the criteria for a mass hallucination by experts.” His blog post is also discussed by Judith Curry.

mcintyreSteve McIntyre of Climate Audit (sometimes referred to as “The Auditor” by those who dare not speak his name) has posted a comment on the Dilbert blog. Unfortunately his comment is buried among the 2000+ less worthwhile comments. The Climate Audit blog has been fairly quiet recently, so the thoughts of Chairman Steve are quite rare these days. So I thought I would post his comment here, for the purposes of general erudition or veneration. The most interesting part I think is the second half of his comment, the section about whether climate change has caused significant damage, and the final remark about scepticism often arising as a response to poor science rather then the influence of other sceptics (certainly true in my case).


I write the Climate Audit blog. I first began serious study of paleoclimate when I asked Michael Mann for the FTP location data of his data (for the Hockey Stick) and he said that he had “forgotten” the location, but that one of his associates would find it for me. The associate said that the data was not in any one location, but volunteered to find it for me. I was astonished that a result could have been so widely disseminated without any sort of formal audit – not realizing at the time that “peer review” for a journal was a limited form of due diligence.

Scot writes: “You probably are not a scientist, and that means you can’t independently evaluate any of the climate science claims.” I had mathematical knowledge and skill and decided that it would be an interesting task to actually try to verify Mann’s results. It turned out that he had made a grotesque error in his attempt to calculate principal components, had withheld adverse verification statistics and had weighted his reconstruction on stripbark tree rings that were inappropriate.

When I examined other attempts to estimate temperature in the past 1000 years, I encountered problems with every one of them, incurring, in the process, severe antagonism on the part of university academics.

However, after being involved in the controversy for many years, I think that far too little attention (none) is paid to a very fundamental difference between “skeptics” and warmists on their respective perceptions on whether human emissions of CO2 thus far have caused “serious negative damage” to the world or not. Skeptics universally think not. Many do not dispute the idea that we are carrying on an “uncontrolled experiment”, but have nonetheless concluded that, through good luck rather than good management, the consequences have been inconsequential or even beneficial. On the other hand, warmists are thoroughly convinced we have already incurred “serious negative damage” though what they view as “serious negative damage” may well be viewed by a skeptic as relatively trivial, or, at worst, an ordinary cost and outweighed by other benefits. When I challenge warmists to enumerate the most serious of the damages experienced so far, I do not get answers.

Of the potential damages, sea level rise seems one of the most serious to me, but even there, some, if not much, of the potential problem arises from very long-term (Holocene scale) events that are not materially impacted by CO2 emissions.

While I have made numerous technical criticisms of work by climate scientists, I have mostly avoided commenting on policy, other than urging far better data archiving practices – a policy which many of my adversaries opposed. Needless to say, this has not prevented demonization from climate activists – a practice that obviously does not enable them to “persuade” their opponents and critics. Quite the opposite. In my experience, more “skeptics” are born from poor conduct by climate scientists than from the eloquence of earlier skeptics.

52 thoughts on “Dilbert on climate –The Auditor comments

  1. On the subject of serious negative damage thus far, this is why, I believe, Roger Pielke, Jr. was targeted so ruthlessly by the establishment in the US; because, despite generally accepting that man-made climate change is real and could present a problem, he consistently and scientifically demonstrated that it was not a current problem in terms of severe weather impacts. The global warming article of faith that CO2 driven severe weather is on the increase and is at this very moment causing billions of US$ worth of damage worldwide, creating conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere, decimating crops, causing uncontrolled wildfires, devastating floods, etc. just does not stack up. So all of climate science’s disastrous consequences are still in the eye of the climate models, projected outwards to some hypothetical future date: 2130, 2050, 2100, and so on.

    Aside from melting Arctic ice and starving polar bears, and disappearing Pacific islands which aren’t quite disappearing, and ‘missing’ Antarctic ice which traps ships of fools, nothing much really bad can be pinned on CO2 at the moment (though the media and scientactivists do try very, very hard to dream up new and ever more bizarre consequences of the 1 or 2ppm annual increment, it must be said). On the other hand, rather more in the way of beneficial effects can be more firmly attributed to the modest warming we have seen thus far, in combination with the increase in atmospheric CO2. The warmists are thus deprived not only of the presence of a living, breathing villain of the peace; it turns out that the villain is a stranger bearing gifts. So they’re left gnashing their teeth waiting for the angel to turn into a demon ‘any time soon’.

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  2. I agree. Thanks for extracting this.

    I’m a longtime skeptic, following and reading a number of related blogs, and have been reading Scott Adams blog for a couple years. I commented on the post and had a hard time later finding my own comment so that I could respond to a warmist’s response to my comment.

    Anyhow, it’s quite interesting to see Scott Adams intersecting with other blogs I follow.

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  3. It is a wonder to me that McIntyre would wade through all those comments to make one comment like that. Maybe he has an alert set up that tells him when CA is mentioned. Otherwise it is strange.

    As for Adams’ Gish Gallop, I don’t know enough of him to know where it comes from. He is clearly disingenuous in his proclamation that he agrees with the scientific consensus on climate change. And he gives the impression of not really knowing anything much climate science but of having picked up various skeptical memes along the way. I don’t see why he bothered, but again, I don’t know his background with the subject.

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  4. Willard, yes, that’s a good statement of my long-time position re policy. Many years later, it seems very fair, even bending over backwards However, such moderate and even-tempered disclaimers and caveats did not deter climate academics from vitriol.

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  5. Unfortunately for Willard and chums it’s not Steve McIntyre in the capacity of office holder. So he’s not constrained by the position and the position is not constrained by Steve’s reasonableness.

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  6. Yes Paul, consensus enforcement creates lots of skeptics because its a fundamentally politically activity as practiced in the climate sphere for example. In medicine, its far more bipartisan in its practice and thus more effective. It amazes me that the enforcers themselves can’t seem to evaluate the evidence that they are creating some unintended consequence.

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  7. Willard’s intervention and Steve McIntyre’s reply illustrate perfectly the nature of the non-debate. As DPY6629 (07 Dec 16 at 2:59 am) points out, it’s odd that the climate enforcers can’t seem to see the unintended consequences of their position, which seems to be a result of extreme binary thinking.

    Why can’t they see that the warmist position that “temperatures are going up and we must do something” has many possible responses? Steve’s 2008 statement seems an excellent example of an attempt to start a civilised debate by doing what debaters should always do: put oneself in the shoes of the other person, in this case in the shoes of the decision-maker who can’t evaluate all the evidence for himself.

    As Willard’s comment illustrates, debate is not possible. Anything you say may be taken down and used in evidence against you – out of context, eight years later.

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  8. “In my experience, more “skeptics” are born from poor conduct by climate scientists than from the eloquence of earlier skeptics.”

    A similar effect applies in politics of course.

    The latest you-couldn’t-make-it-up from the Moonbat is No country with a McDonald’s can remain a democracy (prompting one tweet asking whether Monbiot and Godfrey Elfwick had ever been seen together in the same room).

    The irony is of course that it is precisely this sort of idiocy from the left that is driving normal people away. The increasingly bonkers rants from the Guardianist class actually creates support for the very people Monbiot is railing against – Farage and Trump for example.
    Is George Monbiot really too stupid to realise this? If so, the fortune his parents spent getting him privately educated was wasted.

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  9. Paul
    Actually Monbiot’s article isn’t all bad. His reference to MacDonald’s is a counterargument to the equally bonkers argument by arch-defender of capitalism Thomas Friedman that a McDonald’s in every country will put an end to war. And in his last sentence he agrees with Trump that we must defend community and democracy against the power of corporations. The Moonbat seems to be edging back to what he used to do best – develop a radical non-Marxist rational alternative to Big Capital.

    Of course it would be nice not to have the choice of arguments narrowed down to an elected property billionaire and an unelected privately educated green activist. Isn’t there anyone else out there we could have a sensible discussion with?

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  10. Yes, of course, the Friedmann quote is equally silly, ‘clickbait’ before the term existed.

    Unfortunately “sensible discussion” doesn’t sell newspapers. So it’s either unprecedented ice collapse in the Guardian or stunning plummetting temperatures in the Mail.

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  11. Re Monbiot’s argument, isn’t it just yet another attempt to avoid accepting that the pact between the ruled and the rulers is fraying, that the demos is getting increasingly pissed off at the metropolitan elites who speak loftily on their behalf while openly despising them, when they are not just ignoring them.?

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  12. I disagree completely with Steve McIntyre’s position on climate policy, but I deeply respect his efforts to improve the science. In my scheme of things, we’re allies.

    The believalist leadership agrees with Steve’s position on climate policy, but resents his efforts to improve the science. In their scheme of things, he’s their enemy.

    In short, we all agree that Steve belongs on Team “Skeptic/Contrarian/Denier,” regardless of his impeccably establishment climate views (as quoted by Willard above).

    What cleaner or more perfect proof could there be that what matters is not the Climate War, but the War for the Soul of Science?

    It is a war between the living and the dead, and it will make the War of Five Kings look like a family-friendly night of exhibition foxy boxing. Winter Is Coming: the winter of our civilization and its discontents.

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  13. MANINABARREL

    “Re Monbiot’s argument, isn’t it just yet another attempt to avoid accepting that the pact between the ruled and the rulers is fraying…”

    Like every other member of the metropolitain élite, he’s going through the stages of grief brought on by Brexit, Trump, and Renzi. He’s brighter than most, and was one of the first to stand out against the denigration of Brexiteers, so I thought he might come out of it first and rejoin the human race.

    But when I came to his defence I hadn’t read to the end, and seen the link to climate. Poor George, he can’t look at a Big Mac without the image of a farting cow clouding his mind. And the link at “beef production is among the most powerful causes of climate change” goes to the very same article he wrote last Christmas. While the rest of us are wrapping presents and hanging up fairy lights he’s having visions of bovine anuses. It must be hell being him.

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  14. The trouble is that, if you compare a Monbiot article with a speech by Mark Carney, they could have been written by the same person. Maybe the next £874,000 Governor of the Bank of England is going to be Monbiot.

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  15. It is an odd article and I profess that I am not sure I understand his argument. The strain in his mind caused by the gap between the world as he perceives it and the world as he would like it to be seems to be provoking a neurotic condition. So he moans about Trump et al. He moans about the corporate capture of government, without joining the dots and saying that this was facilitated or speeded up by the people he admires – such as the Clintons, Obama, Blair, Juncker and Prodi. Then he says that this linkage needs to be broken but cannot bring himself to admit that this sounds rather like the platform that got Trump elected. So we have this dystopia caused by the guys he admires and a vision of a future that he wants provided that it is not given by someone he thoroughly dislikes. No wonder he talks about cows’ anuses.

    If you are armed with renewable energy, everything looks like climate change.

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  16. > such moderate and even-tempered disclaimers and caveats did not deter climate academics from vitriol.

    Since you “mostly avoided commenting on policy,” such disclaimers and caveats may not be that well known, Steve. Your comment at teh Dilbert not hinting at it, I thought it worth repeating it to PaulM’s readers. Your longstanding position on policy never prevented your social network from promoting your stuff to advocate for a more reactionary set of policies.

    Avoiding policy comments does not prevent anyone from making other kinds of editorial comments which may or may not contain vitriol. My personal policies against vitriol and for contrarianism seldom detered contrarians from vitriol. It did not deter Man in the Barrel from lulzing, oblivious to the fact that me and you share the same policy position.

    It would interesting to know if PaulM would follow the IPCC’s position if he had a policy job.

    In my experience, expecting to find ways to solve problems without making any effort indicates wishful thinking. This experience may be caused by my incapacity to be hypnotized.

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  17. Mr Martinez seems to be following the usual practice of climate alarmists in arguing from inadequately supported premises. Why does he think that the Auditor waded through all the comments on the Adams site? To make a comment on a post, it is useful to read the post, but quite unnecessary (and often imprudent) to read the comments. As to not knowing about where Scott Adams comes from, that is Mr Martinez’s loss. Scott Adams is a sardonic pessimist, often very funny, and many people (possibly including the Auditor) follow him for that reason. As to being disingenuous in claiming to agree with the scientific consensus on climate change – this simply proclaims Mr Martinez’s total inability to comprehend any side of the argument but his own. I’m confident that many Cliscep followers accept the scientific consensus – namely that CO2 has caused some of the global warming since 1950. But believing this is insufficient reason to spend trillions in damaging and futile attempts to slow down emissions. It is the political consensus that we reject.

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  18. I’m guessing that being an ‘everyday climate change denier’ is a bit like being an everyday racist. Every day, you wake up, go to work or University, or whatever, and you end up unwittingly committing micro aggressions against the 97% Climate Consensus.

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  19. OSSEO, McIntyre’s comment was in reply to another comment many pages down the comment thread. That is what made me think he had waded through the comments.

    As to being disingenuous, saying he ‘accepts’ the consensus on the basis that not to do so would be damaging is quite plainly acceptance in word only. And saying he ‘agrees’ with the consensus is even worse, as he quite plainly is not able to agree with something he doesn’t understand (by his own admission). His article goes on to show various ways in which he doesn’t accept the consensus, many of which are untrue or just illustrate his lack of understanding.

    Victor Venema, a climate scientist who is well known for being critical of aspects of the subject yet is neither ostracized nor cast out, has a post about the article: https://variable-variability.blogspot.com/2016/12/scott-adams-non-expert-problem-climate-change.html

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  20. > If you are armed with renewable energy, everything looks like climate change.

    That’s funny, MiB. Prior to hearing anything about Gorebull Warming, or even believing it was real, renewable energy looked to me like difficult but profitable and worthwhile reduction of pollution and foreign entanglements.

    So also did nuclear fission.

    Past tense above is not indicative of my present perceptions.

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  21. WILLARD

    such disclaimers and caveats may not be that well known, Steve. Your comment at teh Dilbert not hinting at it, I thought it worth repeating it to PaulM’s readers.

    By Gaia’s sweet paps Willard, is Steve McIntyre supposed to repeat every opinion he ever expressed in the past ten years every time he ever comments?

    I do not agree with Ben’s politely expressed opinion that you should f*** off and leave the discussion to normal human beings. I’ve never forgiven Ben ever since he censored a long conversation between you and me about whether, according to Lewandowsky’s Theory of Unfriendly Uncertainty, women in floppy sweaters must, logically, and independently of any empirical evidence, have larger breasts, a discussion in which I had the welcome support of Lucia Liljegren.

    In my experience, expecting to find ways to solve problems without making any effort indicates wishful thinking.

    As I said above, the climate enforcers’ position seems to be a result of extreme binary thinking. Why can’t you see that the warmist position that “temperatures are going up and we must do something” has many possible responses? Why should we make an effort when it’s not been demonstrated that there’s a problem to be solved?

    Prove that you are a normal human being and enter the discussion.

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  22. > By Gaia’s sweet paps Willard, is Steve McIntyre supposed to repeat every opinion he ever expressed in the past ten years every time he ever comments?

    No of course not, Geoff. Conversely, should The Auditor expect everyone to hang on his every word, however infrequently uttered relative to his prolific catalogue of utterances?

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  23. Geoff — I’ve never forgiven Ben ever since he censored a long conversation between you and me about whether, according to Lewandowsky’s Theory of Unfriendly Uncertainty, women in floppy sweaters must, logically, and independently of any empirical evidence, have larger breasts, a discussion in which I had the welcome support of Lucia Liljegren.

    I don’t remember the details. Are you sure that’s the case? Here’s you and Lucia talking about bra sizes. I don’t recall you and Dullard talking about bras. http://www.climate-resistance.org/2012/06/reinventing-precaution.html

    BRG — should The Auditor expect everyone to hang on his every word, however infrequently uttered relative to his prolific catalogue of utterances?

    Oh YAAAAAAAAAAAWN! YAWWWWWWN! YAWN! YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWN!

    YAAAAAAAWN. YAAAAAAAWN. YAAAAAAAWN. YAAAAAAAWN. YAAAAAAAWN. YAAAAAAAWN. YAAAAAAAWN. YAAAAAAAWN. YAAAAAAAWN. YAAAAAAAWN. YAAAAAAAWN. YAAAAAAAWN. YAAAAAAAWN. YAAAAAAAWN. YAAAAAAAWN. YAAAAAAAWN. YAAAAAAAWN. YAAAAAAAWN.

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  24. Ben

    I’m pretty sure you mailed me apologising for having wiped a long debate between me and Willard on the subject. My original formulation of the bra-size demonstration that professor Lewandowsky is not only a liar and a charlatan but positively out with the fairies is to be found at

    http://julesandjames.blogspot.fr/2012/06/costs-of-uncertainty.html?showComment=1339453460380

    geoffchambers said…

    Ben has a complex argument about how Lewandowsky smuggles the precautionary principle back in under cover of what he claims to be a purely mathematical analysis of the effect of variations in uncertainty on our expectations with respect to climate change.


    My point is different. Lewandowsky is saying nothing at all about climate change for the very simple reason that his whole argument is about the characteristics of the graphs he analyses, nothing more. He is describing some very ordinary mathematical characteristics of frequency distribution curves, that’s all.

    
He takes a skewed probability graph of estimated climate sensitivity from Roe and Baker, and produces four simulated lognormal versions, each time increasing the spread (which he identifies with uncertainty) while maintaining the same mean sensitivity. Since he assumes that a negative sensitivity is an impossibility, the left tail of the graph is blocked at zero, and since he has decided to hold the mean at 3°C, the result of a increasing spread (increasing uncertainty) naturally results in a fatter tail to the right. He then assumes that a certain temperature is catastrophic (pointing out in a correction to his second article that the particular choice of temperature doesn’t affect the argument) and demonstrates that increasing uncertainty necessarily results in a greater probability of a result to the right of his danger point.

    
All this is a perfectly reasonable demonstration of the properties of a certain kind of skewed distribution curve, but it tells you nothing about climate sensitivity or our knowledge of it, or the correct reaction to it. At the same time he’s increased uncertainty (the spread) he’s held the mean steady. What situation, in the real world could lead to such a mix of knowledge and doubt?

    
Let’s take an example from the familiar world of vital statistics – women’s breast sizes for example. We plot them along the x axis, from A to triple F or whatever. We know that B is the mean, and that a size smaller than A is impossible, so we naturally expect a skewed distribution with a long tail trailing off into the realms of fantasy. We have a graph with a mean at B and a peak somewhere between A and B, which we believe represents the truth, and from that we derive three other graphs similar to Lewandowsky’s which represent increasing uncertainty as to the true distribution, while all the while holding to the principle that the B cup is the mean. (The uncertainty might represent our acquaintance with the female form, or the amount of clothing worn).

    
What do these graphs mean? If you’re Lewandowsky, they mean that the less you know about women, the more likely you are to think you’re going to meet a woman with really enormous ones. In your dreams. And the more you think that, the more necessary it is to be prepared to meet such a woman, because you never know, and the less you know, the more prepared you need to be.

    
As a lifestyle choice it has its attractions. So does catastrophe-based environmentalism. As an example of rational thought, it stinks.

    12/6/12 8:58 pm

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  25. Brad Keyes says: 07 Dec 16 at 1:21 pm

    “What cleaner or more perfect proof could there be that what matters is not the Climate War, but the War for the Soul of Science?”

    Brad,
    Forget the ‘science’, yours or their p-science, please! This is not a war, yet! This is a carefully constructed non-ending distraction for the proletariat (serfs) so that they continue to fight each other, yet do not join and destroy without mercy the ‘self appointed elite’, banksters, academics, and members of the Council on Foreign Relations! Please use your ‘scientific method’ to decide fact from fantasy.

    “It is a war between the living and the dead, and it will make the War of Five Kings look like a family-friendly night of exhibition foxy boxing. Winter Is Coming: the winter of our civilization and its discontents.”

    This will become “WAR”, only if the ‘self appointed elite’ first decide which part of the distracted, are no longer needed as serfs!!

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  26. Much later on the blog
    http://julesandjames.blogspot.fr/2012/06/costs-of-uncertainty.
    Willard says:

    More than 15 posts were deleted from a discussion between me and Ben Pile and between Ben Pile and whom we could consider his sidekick [wot me?]
    and:
    Mr. Pile was wise enough to delete all his comments refering to me. His badhominems, however satisfying were they in the heath [?] of the moment, would not have impressed the historians and the philosophers looking to ponder on the legacy of the climate resisters.

    Comments are still open on the thread. Four years on, I no longer understand what I was on about, but it was fun while it lasted.

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  27. Len Martinez:

    As to being disingenuous, saying he ‘accepts’ the consensus on the basis that not to do so would be damaging is quite plainly acceptance in word only. And saying he ‘agrees’ with the consensus is even worse, as he quite plainly is not able to agree with something he doesn’t understand

    Sigh. Look, when someone says “I agree under duress,” they’re not trying to fool anyone. They’re making an ironic protest. It’s either disingenuous or dull-witted of you to conflate irony and disingenuity.

    Isn’t it moronic, don’t you think? A little too moronic, yeah I really do think.

    His article goes on to show various ways in which he doesn’t accept the consensus, many of which are untrue or just illustrate his lack of understanding.

    So (as we all knew right from the beginning) he doesn’t accept “the consensus.”

    But you add some novel information (if that’s the right word): that some of the ways in which Adams doesn’t accept “the consensus” are “untrue.”

    What… can… that… possibly… mean?

    Victor Venema, a climate scientist

    Just when you thought the term ‘climate scientist’ had reached the limits of its elasticity!

    Even calling Venema a “scientist” is a stretch that threatens to deform our great tongue beyond restoration.

    who is well known for being critical of aspects of the subject

    I trust you grasp that “the subject” of climate science is the planet’s climate. Pray tell: how is it possible for Victor to “be critical of” aspects of the climate? Metaphysically, I mean?

    Not that I’d put it past him, but still, I have to ask: are words your first language, Len?

    yet is neither ostracized nor cast out

    So he’s never been ostrichized—the ultimate indignity for a biped? Thank god for small mercies.

    The first time I ever heard of the venemous one was when a Twitter friend accused him of being an “activist” for referring to skeptics/deniers as “ostriches.” Remaining strictly agnostic as to who VV was, I objected to the charge of activism, pointing out that the correct epithet for someone who thus zoomorphized his non-believers was “fuckwit.” Now, instead of thanking me for defending him on false allegations of activism, what did Victor do? He woundedly blocked my tweets and whinged about how rude I’d been to him (without even knowing who he was).

    What a fragile little brain.

    has a post about the article

    Any post he has about anything is prima facie a waste of pixels until he expresses shame for blocking me at his blog. My banning offense was to perform a non-elective colostomy on this idiotic post, in which Venema had equated consensus with evidence, thus pissing against the wind (or barfing against the gravitional vector) of the rules of science. Uknowingly, I suspect—if not innocently.

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  28. Geoff,

    As you may have noticed, Stephan Lewandowsky from the University of Bristol’s School of Theoretical Conspiracism has a guest post in our queue on the topic of overcoming Islamophobia.

    One anxiety-reducing tip for the modern urban kafir, when confronted with a gaggle of black-draped Muslimahs in the street or shopping mall, comes from the world of public speaking: “imagine them naked,” recommends Dr Lewandowsky. (Because of the way the sympathetic nervous system is built, it’s hard to feel the symptoms of panic simultaneous with the mental image of a bevy of bathykolpian beauties bouncing their peaceful and law-abiding way towards you.)

    Did you know that the vast majority of large-breasted female Muslims reject the use of violence and terrorism in their name?

    Facts r fun!

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  29. Geoff,

    also, was this Turing CAPCHA addressed to Willard?

    Prove that you are a normal human being and enter the discussion.

    Willard’s species is not, I think, in question; normality, on the other hand, is not something always to be aspired to, nor do I think Willard has much of an ambition in that direction.

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  30. nor do I think Willard has much of an ambition in that direction.

    So much for language as a social art then, right?

    Because as ‘normal’ as it might be to not post obtuse verbiage to effect having run rings around those you fight with, to not attempt to make plain your argument, to not make the four-year-long grudge the centre of your perspective, and to not copy and paste from the nearest smear jobs, those are, however, not only normal aspirations, they are the aspirations of people who claim to do philosophy, and ‘fight with words’.

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  31. Geoff — Comments are still open on the thread. Four years on, I no longer understand what I was on about, but it was fun while it lasted.

    Indeed, I think it was one of the first times the phenomenon of Consensus Enforcers having been directed by whatever was being favourably linked to by Judith Curry landed at CR. I note that Willards ire seemed to have been something of a clanger. Coincidentally, I think it was one of the first Lew posts on CR, too.

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  32. On the subject of our four-year entanglement with Consensus Enforcers, and the Auditor’s policy policy, we learn this morning via the NYT.

    WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald J. Trump has selected Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general and a close ally of the fossil fuel industry, to run the Environmental Protection Agency, signaling Mr. Trump’s determination to dismantle President Obama’s efforts to counter climate change — and much of the E.P.A. itself.

    Let us remind ourselves of Consensus Enforcer’s contribution to POTUS’s statements on climate change and policy-making from the same era,

    (See also SOTU & COP statements, etc).

    We can ask then, how’s that Consensus Enforcement working out for you?

    For people as obsessed with ‘strategy’ as they are with ‘communication’, Consensus Enforcers don’t seem to spend as much time developing these skills as demonstrating their ineffectiveness.

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  33. On this side of the Atlantic, we learn from the Guardian

    The UK has cut the number of Foreign Office staff working on climate change, despite ministers arguing the issue should be a top foreign policy priority.

    […]

    In London, the number of staff working full time on climate change is down by more than two thirds, from 26 in July 2013 to eight now. Overseas, the figure is down from 177 in March 2013 to 149 today.,

    This is all the fault of the Auditor, and his obedient army of climate change deniers.

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  34. It is not before time that the infiltration of climate change nonsense in the UK government gets a good pruning. If you look at the mission statements of the Foreign Office and the Overseas Aid Office, for example, neither of which seems prima facie to need to cover climate change, everything they do is about helping and advising other countries to adapt to climate change. Why not revert to their traditional duties and relieve the burden on the tax payer of a few thousand deadbeats?

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  35. Brad,

    My banning offense was to perform a non-elective colostomy on this idiotic post, in which Venema had equated consensus with evidence,…

    I suspect your offense was thread bombing. And being a fuckwit. Victor’s post (sweet that you kept a link to your supposed ‘triumph’) states very clearly, “… the existence of a consensus is not scientific evidence of anthropogenic climate change (and nobody is claiming it is), the consensus is a result of the scientific evidence of anthropogenic climate change.”

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  36. Len,

    I suspect your offense was thread bombing.

    And I suspect that if I put 5 people like you in a room and asked what “thread bombing” meant I’d get 6 different answers. It’s not an act, it’s an emotion (on the host’s part). Banning commenters for your own emotions is a castrato move.

    And being a fuckwit.

    Before or after pwning Victor’s ‘logic’?

    sweet that you kept a link to your supposed ‘triumph’

    Sweet that you’ve never heard of google.

    Victor’s post [….] states very clearly, “… the existence of a consensus is not scientific evidence of anthropogenic climate change (and nobody is claiming it is), the consensus is a result of the scientific evidence of anthropogenic climate change.”

    Yawn. Like smoke is a result of fire. I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for you to tell us how smoke is just a result, and not a sign, of fire.

    Do we really have to dance this dance again or could you save us all some time by reading the actual thread for yourself? (Simply imagine that, instead of Victor getting pwned, it’s you who’s getting pwned.)

    Cheers!

    Like

  37. Brad, your intellectual limitations mean that you take things like “no smoke without fire” literally. That is probably the root of why people ‘ban’ you.

    Like

  38. As Michael Moore of all people said before the election “when Trump wins its going to feel so good.” He was talking about seeing the panic and emotional meltdown of the elites in academia, government, and the press (who also mostly are very well off monetarily) who predicted thousands of times on national TV that Trump couldn’t win especially against the most “experienced” candidate in history and who discounted the “deplorables” whom Trump appealed to as racists and bigots.

    I note that Trump is already having more of an impact on the American economy than the real President. Of course, the bar is low. Obama has been emasculated since 2010 and is ideologically incapable of real leadership anyway.

    Like Teddy Roosevelt, Trump seems to have a bond with common people that scares those who think they are more qualified to run things and in the case of climate to dictate policy. For our political consensus enforcers, its a disaster, just as Roosevelt was for the malefactors of great wealth and the Social Darwinism consensus enforcers of his day.

    Those who saw this coming, including Scott Adams, deserve a little respect for their defiance of the experts.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Monbiot talks about ‘we’. He is referring to his readers but also to a wider ‘we’, that of the common man and the down trodden. Except the down trod, want McDs. McDonalds and many of the other massive corporations got big because people buy what they offer. While it’s true that they aggressively pursue their business, they fundamentally satisfy their customers. Even if another high street restaurant offered organic fair trade vegan eco burgers at the same price as a Big Mac, the capitalist cow burger would win.

    I think Will Self, another appointed people’s guardian, must have channelled Monbiot the other night on Question Time. He sneered at workers at McDonalds. The irony is, the very people Self would supposedly cast into unemployment are those he thinks he stands for.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4016542/Mine-s-Big-Mac-Left-wing-author-Self-slammed-mocking-McDonald-s-workers-bitter-Question-Time-clashes.html

    The mass grass roots movement that Monbiot and Self dream about doesn’t exist. What there is, is a bunch of Guardian reading elites who never get their hands dirty and the anti-capitalists. They want to tear down what people have, but with no idea what to build afterwards.

    Brexit wasn’t primarily about money. People could have been in no doubt that staying in the EU was the safer and more lucrative option (short term at least) but instead they chose to step out into the dark. They stood up for something they wanted more than money. That’s courage and commitment that Self and Monbiot can only wish for. Why did the elite left get so far from the people it wants to support them?

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Pingback: Doug McNeall on climate scicomm | Climate Scepticism

  41. Len M – thank you for your reply, in response to which I must withdraw my previous criticisms. Clearly if the Auditor’s comment was in response to a specific point made by another commenter, it is quite likely that he’d read all the previous ones. And my second criticism was made (imprudently) without reading Scott Adams’s post first. I now understand him to be saying that he is not a sceptic, but not meaning it – which is certainly disingenuous. No doubt he is being ironic, but still. I stick to the point that the scientific consensus does not justify the political consensus. I read your reference, but did not find it helpful – it speaks of ‘sceptic nonsense’, but does not condescend to explain what this is and why.

    Like

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