Laden's retinue
Famously, and uniquely in the climatosphere, Laden’s retinue is at least as erudite as him. To find better analysis anywhere you’d have to read the comments under a YouTube video—that’s how mature and well-educated the average scienceblogonaut is.

Greg Laden has written a long essay exhorting Americans to demolish more monuments with less hesitation. It climaxes with a stirring, Lutherian cri de coeur:

Nobody loves historic preservation more than I do.


Here you stand, Greg Laden, on a rubble-pile of equestrian marble, trying to get it through our thick skulls: These Things You Believe!

(“I Can Do No More. Are you people deaf?!”)

Dr Laden—for those of you who have a social life, career or family—is a prolific anthroblogger and gynecopinionist whose attempts at science outreach I heartily recommend subjecting yourself to next time you get fired.

But I should also issue an addiction warning: you’ll want to set aside three or four days, minimum, to binge-drink at the teat of such a Modern Master of the inadvertently interesting.

Everyone I cared about died in a plane crash the other day, so I’ve been tooling around at scienceblogs dot com (the Mos Eisley of the climate toolosphere).

That’s when I noticed Laden’s new post was called ‘My Review of Hillary Clinton’s Book: Part 1,’ only without the punctuation.

It was all about a new hardback by Hillary Clinton, the American woman who served as First Lady to the Clinton administration in the last years of the second millennium—a position that afforded her not only a glimpse into the reactor core of world power, but occasional access to the Presidential bed itself.

Now an old, dying woman, she looks back on those heady days and unburdens herself to the book-buying public while the memories last. (The title of her narrative, What Happened? Who Are You?, is a poignant reminder of the ticking cerebrovascular time-bomb she’s been living with for at least five years, according to her physicians.)

Laden des
Like his fellow feminist Rajendra Pachauri, one look at Greg Laden is enough to dispel suspicions that he only joined the women’s movement to get laid. The question skeptics have never managed to answer is: why would he need to?

For Americans—especially Americans of female—Ms Clinton’s time in the White House was a pivotal pair of Olympiads, so it’s hardly surprising that Laden, as an evolutionary gynecologist, is almost as interested in her recollections as I am.

What’s interesting is that he devotes the bulk of his post to the autobiographical context that led up to the reviewing act itself. After two or so pages of what charity might call deep background (‘First, About Me’), even the Bush sympathizer within you will be itching acathetically to hear Hillary Clinton’s side of the story—such is Laden’s idiot cunning as a self-investigative journalist.

Having set us up, Laden at last delivers the punchline: ‘Finally, my review of the book.’

I don’t have one.

The book is not published yet. I don’t intend to say anything about the book until I’ve read it (I pre-ordered it).

As you might imagine, this cop-out didn’t exactly go down well with me.

Below the line, I registered my protest as politely—even sycophantically—as human dignity permitted.


it’s disappointing to see such an abdication of the great responsibility that comes with your great clout in the “debate” on science:

I don’t intend to say anything about the book until I’ve read it

By that logic, Dr Peter Gleick would never have published his one-star prefutation of The Delinquent Teenager on Amazon, and humanity would have no way of guessing—to this day—what a “stunning compilation of lies, misrepresentations, and falsehoods about the fundamental science of climate change” LaFramboise was trying to foist on the world.

By that logic, Dr Dana Nuccitelli would never have published his point-by-point prebuttal of The Hockey Stick Illusion in time to stop customers buying “a crazy tale of data manipulation and vast conspiracies which have [sic] very little semblance to what actually happened with regards to the infamous ‘hockey stick’.”

Heck, I’ll go further.

By that logic, IPCC authors would have to wait until after the Assessment Reports were written in order to “Summarize” their contents “for Policy Makers”!

Needless to say, this would make a mockery of the very raison d’etre of the Panel, which is to provide a unique space for Policy to tell Science what to tell Policy to do (in a strictly policy-non-prescriptive way).

It’s the easiest thing in the world to come up with insightful commentary on a text by reading it first. Any fool can cheat.

But you’re a scientist, Greg—and We, The People, expect a bit better from scientists.

Let me close with the words of Dr Nuccitelli, a scholar whose expertise, influence and credibility—while considerable—don’t begin to approach your own:

July 24, 2010 8:10 AM PDT Dana A. Nuccitelli says:

I never said I read the book, I merely criticized the factually inaccurate claims it makes. I suggest you get over yourself.

3 of 6 Amazon customers think this post adds to the discussion. Do you?

I urge you, please, Greg, to ask your conscience: if such a junior scientist isn’t afraid to take such a stance, what excuse can I (meaning you) possibly have for twiddling my (Greg’s) thumbs on the sidelines of Delay, Reticence and Agnosticism?

Here’s the sum total of what Laden had to say for himself and his [in]actions:

Brad Keys [sic], read the original post. I’m not going to comment on a book I’ve not read.

I’m not sure if Dana should have done that either. It would have been fairly easy for him to have taken a different approach.

Such a cavalier dismissal of my concerns, washed down with a tu quoque at the expense of his own colleague, was the last thing I expected from a leading scienceblogagogue like Dr Laden.

I was not, as they say, happy.

Dr Laden,

a priori book reviews belong to a well-attested and respectable tradition in the environmental sciences, going all the way back to Jessey’s one-star anticipation of The CRUTape Letters, that Urwerk of ClimateGloating. Far from being invented by Dr Nuccitelli, the genre was already several months old, and went by the same name we use to this day: Psychic Lit Crit.

You must have known all this when you saw fit to take this sideswipe:

I’m not sure if Dana should have done that either. It would have been fairly easy for him to have taken a different approach.

The wrong path to take is always “fairly easy,” but that doesn’t necessarily make it the right one.

Whatever issues you might have with Dana’s Amazon trick, your peers don’t  seem to share them.

Dr Gleick didn’t see the need for “a different approach,” did he? And Gleick was no ordinary doctor. He was the Chairman of the American Geophysical Union Task Team on Scientific Ethics. He was the go-to guy for Threats to Scientific Integrity at the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation’s Hearing on Climate Change Research and Scientific Integrity.

Ethics. Integrity. Integrity. All his career, those nouns have had a way of following Peter Gleick around. Ask anyone, on any “side” of the imaginary “debate” on “the” science, what they think of Gleick, and regular expressions like /.+ethical/, /.+defensible/ and /.+moral.?/ are guaranteed to match on whole-word boundaries in their answer.

And yet Dr Gleick not only failed to dislike Dana’s Amazon trick, he liked it so much that he used it in his own work as a pro-science communicator. Having reviewed Dana’s book review independently, Dr Gleick independently wrote a separate review of a separate, independent book using—you guessed it—said trick.

And 16 Amazon customers felt it added to the discussion. (Sixteen, Greg.)

Let’s be honest for a change: it doesn’t really matter how many independent reviews there are, or how many national and international bodies of scientific standing come to exactly the same conclusion—that Dana’s “trick” is nothing more nefarious than a “particular or clever technique,” an “ingenious method used in performing a task,”  or a “john; man who patronizes a sex worker”—does it? 

Because no amount of evidence will ever stop deniers yipping “AmazonGate!”

But you’re a scientist, Greg—and We, The People, expect scientists to adapt to the latest information. When the facts change, you’re supposed to change your ethics.

And the facts are now overwhelming: AmazonGate has been found, by independent findings, to have been a nontroversy. A storm in a teacup.

I’ve now got a rule about people yapping—or just generally using—the word “AmazonGate!”

It goes onto my Denier Bingo phrase-list, along with such hits as:

  • feynman
  • C(A|MM)(GW|CC)
  • “yes but” AND (“climategate” OR (“al gore” AND “fat”))
  • WaterScienceGate
  • “popper” NOT “ian falsificationism isn’t taken seriously by anyone serious”
  • [T|t]he ([M|m]odern)? [S|s]cientific [M|m]ethod
  • Oreskes is (a|an|the most) (pseudo|de|anti|pre|miso)scien*

What’s clear to me, from losing literally hundreds of arguments with los denialistas over the years, is that any commenter who yelps—or even types, hypothetically—one of the shibboleths above can safely be dismissed as a troll who has nothing constructive to yap, and is motivated only to prove me wrong.

You’re entitled to reject the views of the people paid to know what they’re talking about, Greg. There’s no law—yet—that says you have to respect the verdict of an integrity guru, ethics authority and document authenticity expert like Peter Gleick. (We’re calling for such legislation, but its passage is still a few years off.)

But don’t take it personally if I’m skeptical. After all, Peter Gleick has forgotten more about integrity than you or I will ever know.

Or at least, think I wrote this. But I guess we’ll never know.

He deleted my comment without a trace.

Because nobody loves historic preservation more than Greg Laden.


  1. That looks more like Gregg (2 g’s) Wallace than a non-scientific climate blogger whose best friends are BBD and that guy who claims to study ecology or is it snails? That guy who thinks that trees can walk and works in the Netherlands, where trees are rarely seen because they could not walk fast enough to evade rising sea – levels at a time when they were falling, because that was all anthropogenic, possibly

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So, you wrote a very long comment to Greg Laden about not doing a review about a book he hadn’t read but did a preamble about the author who doesn’t understand why she lost the election and Laden deleted it? Your comment that is. He probably needed a diagram 😉 Much like Hillary who can’t get to grips with why the American public, including the ones who voted for her, don’t like her, even though it’s obvious that she’s a cold woman who let her randy husband get away with abusing an innocent in his office (and Monika). I mean, what did that poor cigar do? But Hillary should have left the White House immediately wearing big hairy wrinkled earings but instead she let the philandering jerk get away with it in return for political power. So instead of a sour bitch who clearly despises the average American, they voted for a bonkers egomaniac who at least seems to care and is maybe just what the US needs.

    Is that about it? Not sure what you mean about the broken horse statues.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Think of it as my bid to reinstate AmazonGate 2.0 to its rightful place in the cultural memory. The water scientist Peter Gleick’s phishing-phorgery-phraming triphecta, which he committed in 2012, has been called WaterGate, but I think it was really just version 2.0 thereof. The orginal WaterGate was his libelous clairvoyant “review” of LaFramboise’s book.


  4. Only those of us saddoes who have lurked about for 10 years or more know all… most of the scandals. Can we know them all? There are so many now.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As a saddo masochist with generalized insomnia, I once counted up to EthicsGate 27.0, possibly further (my memory was admittedly hazy the next morning).


  6. I’ve cured my generalised insomnia and only get specific insomnia, and the machinations of warmist scientists never feature. Although since the last thing to trigger it was successfully animating my port cullis, I suspect that makes me a very saddo masochist.


  7. [This post lacks footnotes.]
    [And a glossary.]
    But I clicked “like” anyway, because, though I agree with Jaime and Paul that what we need is more serious sciency stuff, Brad gets to the putrid petri-dishy heart of the Schlience, gives a swish of disinfectant, and moves on, who knows where. I’m not sure it will work, because when someone writes the history of the resistance in ten or a hundred or a thousand years, I’m not sure they’ll understand what Brad is on about, any more than I do.

    I read Greg Laden’s post, and the three surviving comments below it, two of which disagree profoundly with the article.

    The thing about people like Greg Laden and Nuccitelli is they’re liars, and total arseholes, and they all quote each other, and they’re happy about it, secure in the knowledge that their possession of the Kryptonite of climate rectitude will protect them from all criticism.

    It used to be thought that you needed a Nazi régime, or an Orwellian state, to get away with it. But you don’t. The Guardian will do, supported by the BBC and the others. Why is that?

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Humans have a curious weakness for doing evil in the name of good. Or maybe it’s vanity and self delusion. They want to do bad things but are too prissy to own up to them and wrap the behaviour up in a fake morality.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. MIAB, I do sometimes wonder what the movie about all this will be like. It would have to be a comedy.

    Geoff, Brad is one of the few people who can drive me to look up new words.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Geoff,

    “I read Greg Laden’s post, and the three surviving comments below it, two of which disagree profoundly with the article.”

    Laden’s own comments frequently disagree with his own posts, and his own comments. (Needless to say, a propensity for double- (and higher) think is not quite the same thing as tolerating dissent.)


  11. Critics are already tipping Jon Lovitz as an overdue Best Actor laureate for his dual performances as Michael E Mann and Gavin Schmidt.


  12. My comments at Greg Laden tend to vanish immediately, probably without having been read but a presumption likely exists of what it would say. It has been quite a long time since I bothered with that blog.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. MiaB

    “Brad, you fooled me. Your comment is there after Greg(1 g)’s post and 2 people comment upon it”

    Linkies pls?

    Which post and which comment do you mean?


  14. OK, cool—now I gotcha. Hopefully I’ve disambiguated the post by inserting links to all the comments (mine and Greg’s) that *did* get published.


  15. After all the first rule of science, says Feynman, is not to fool other people—and they’re the easiest people to fool! : – )


  16. Greg Laden’s non-review review has got me to look up a real review of Hillary Clinton’s “What Happened”.
    The Guardian, that bastion of the liberal progressives, is quite scathing. Clinton felt it her right to be President, and appears to blame everybody but her own hubris. That includes Bernie Sanders, the press (who very firmly supported her), sexists (a majority of married women voted for Trump) and the Puppet-Master General Vladimir Putin. The last sentence is perhaps the most damning.

    Despite Clinton’s appeal for sympathy, it’s Trump that her book made me feel momentarily sorry for.

    To garner yet more funds relaunch her political career Hillary Clinton has gone on a book tour. Instead, she should perhaps become a climate scientist. After all her policies were shocking banalities. There was no substance behind the rhetoric. She cannot see she is ever wrong, or any good in those that oppose her. And Hillary would be highly imaginative when it comes to thinking up a plethora of excuses to blaming the real world data for not conforming to theory, then finding ways to adjust it back to the higher realities attained through communing with the climate models.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Geoff, “…I agree with Jaime and Paul that what we need is more serious sciency stuff, …”

    But who here can do that? I’ve never seen you or Paul do so. And Janie’s last effort was let down by being nonsense. Brad’s self-contradictory navel gazing is perhaps the best you’ve got. Although in the spirit of the post I didn’t read much of it.


  18. Len:

    That was supposed to say self-congratulatory.

    Oh, so now you’re autocontradicting?

    May I offer my heterocongratulations.

    By the way, Len, there’s no shortage of hard-science skillz here, and I’m sure we’d get more opportunities to show them off if only climate were less of a marshmallowy topic.


  19. Brad. So now you are resurrecting the now debunked marshmallow theory of clouds. How long before puffing cherubs reappear in your skies? Are your childish fantasies fit for this esteemed, sciency-lite, blogofest?


  20. Just because it’s computationally convenient to ignore the role of marshmallows in global heat circulation—what Elton John calls The Circle of Warmth—doesn’t make it moral.

    There’s more in heaven and earth
    Than in your climate models

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Speaking of computational matters, the latest all singing, all dancing, whizbang emitting climate model came up with the unassailably correct answer of 42. Mann and company claim vindication.


  22. There would be more sciency stuff if we weren’t in a holding pattern while we wait for new data. Warmists will be uneasily watching the growing signs of a La Nina and sceptics are stuck with the El Nino heat bump from 2016/17. I think we’re seeing the first indications of a wind back in alrmism. I’m waiting for ‘deniers aren’t right because there is still some waming from CO2, not no warming’ or ‘deniers are partly right but for the wrong reasons’ or even ‘the natural cooling of an ice age is preventing the runaway man made warming’.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. TinyCO2

    I’m waiting for ‘deniers aren’t right because there is still some waming from CO2, not no warming’ or ‘deniers are partly right but for the wrong reasons’ or even ‘the natural cooling of an ice age is preventing the runaway man made warming’.

    My money is on Deniers: Not Wrong, Just Evil.

    In other words, deniers may be correct, but that’s no excuse.


  24. Beth
    Roulette climate
    Spinning in control
    Sometimes red hot
    Sometimes white cold
    But the house always wins
    It’s been modelled.

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Lots of funny comments.

    “Not Wrong, Just Evil.” I’d settle for that. Particularly if someone would send me the filthy lucre. I’d happily wash off any crude stains… or diesel marks.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Climate Housy Housie Beth
    Renamed climatic Bingo –
    Numbers weren’t matching
    Successes shouted out
    Failures cast aside,


  27. “But who here can do that? I’ve never seen you or Paul do so”

    And you know that how, precisely”

    You wouldn’t recognise “serious sciencey stuff” if it scuttled under your noisome, slimy bridge, jumped up, and sank its teeth into you scabrous, warty snout.


  28. Bad outbreak of “poetry” affects Cliscep
    Multiple threads affected.
    Those afflicted barely relevant.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Good grief: people still read greg laden after all these years? and, what’s more, apparently give a flying *&%$ about anything he says? Oh please! This is like shooting fish in a barrel or bears in a cage. Did your mother never tell you to be kind to the genetically underprivileged? After all you know he can’t help it.

    Liked by 1 person

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