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Posts Tagged ‘Freedom’

Against Preventive Justice

2010/10/08 12 comments

The best thing that has come out so far from Splattergate is that (embarrassing self-absorbed conspiracy-obsessed holier-than-thou Italian University professors aside) at least some AGW believers are waking up to the PR and dictatorial horrors lurking within the “environmental” movement. Look at Revkin’s onetwo thrashing of 10:10, for example:

Personally, I’ve got to agree with a critique offered by a YouTube account holder who was one of many who took up the 10:10 invitation to download and repost the video — in this case with the environmental group’s “apology” superimposed on the imagery: If the same kind of video had been made about blowing up atheists, agnostics, christians, jews, muslims, whites, blacks, asians, homosexuals, left-wingers or right-wingers, it would have been met with understandable disgust; this video is a shameful display of DOUBLE STANDARDS.

And now there is also Tom Yulsman of the Center for Environment Journalism’s CE Journal: at first, wondering about “with friends like this, who needs enemies?” and then struggling to deal with a Steve Bloom ready to compare mass murderers and terrorists to climate change skeptics (one suspects, this category includes anybody not fully and precisely agreeing with whatever strain of climate catastrophism Mr Bloom adheres to).

I can’t fault Mr Yulsman really (apparently, his pivotal moment has been the realization that a good friend of his, however skeptical of future climate catastrophes, can’t possibly be an Osama bin Laden in disguise). Actually, I do not believe that it could ever be possible to respond to the likes of Mr Bloom, given the fact that he assumes that people in the present should bear culpability about “future large-scale death of people“.

Those deaths haven’t happened, but I guess it doesn’t matter, does it. It is also a well-known pinnacle of hubris to consider any future as if it had already happened (“forecasting is difficult, especially about the future“), but surely that doesn’t matter either. Preventive justice is a horrible nightmare of untold numbers of perfectly-honest people made to suffer at the mere hint of a risk, but hey, if one thinks about climate policy failures all day long, that’s (alas!) the final solution.

And so…radio has greatly helped in the Rwandan genocide, so let’s find a way to go back in time and put Marconi and Hertz in jail. Likewise for Messrs Benz and Diesel, the Wright Brothers, James Watt, etc etc. Come to think, with the incredible number of wars fought in the name of Christianity, Jesus’ turn on the cross must have been exactly the sort of punishment favored by Mr Bloom’s “descendants’ justice“.

Climate Change Denial Perverts And The Unconscious Obstacles To Caring For The Planet

2010/09/10 4 comments

Anybody with £60 and a weekend to spare should attend the two-day event “Engaging with Climate Change: Psychoanalytic Perspectives“, organised by The Institute of Psychoanalysis, Byron House, 112a Shirland Road, London, W9 2EQ for Oct 16-17.

You will be told about psychic consequences of the discovery of personal ecological debt, different structures of feeling in relation to the natural world and about engaging with the natural world and with human nature. You will also be told about unconscious obstacles to caring for the planet, and climate change denial in a perverse culture.

Fear not, however, as it’s specialists in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy in attendance. At worst, you’ll risk to be put on a couch under a barrage of questions about your childhood. Think instead of the danger of electroconvulsive therapy, if fully-fledged psychiatrists start opining about your perversions and unconscious obstacles…

Next Stop, Pyongyang (The New York Times vs. FOI)

2010/07/14 1 comment

to Letters IHT
date Wed, Jul 14, 2010 at 2:21 PM

Dear Editors,

Is climate change a threat large enough to make you undermine the very foundations of your trade? That’s the most important question upon observing your cavalier attitude to Freedom of Information (FOI) in the editorial titled “A Climate Change Corrective” (printed on the IHT on 14 Jul 2010), regarding the alledgedly “manufactured controversy” also known as Climategate.

Forget science, and forget politics for a moment: Climategate, as established by every official British investigation about it, has shown a deliberate, concerted attempt at circumventing the letter and the spirit of the local FOI Act. In more than one circumstance, the Information Commissioner’s Office has found that FOI requests were not dealt “as they should have been under the legislation“. Lord Oxburgh’s and Sir Muir Russell’s reports say as much too, just like the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee’s.

A wide range of commentators of all scientific and political stances have remarked this, and the general consensus is that from now on science itself will have to change its practice, becoming more transparent and open especially to knowledgeable members of the public. We are talking FOI, after all, an extension to the freedom of speech, a right that people including journalists, and The New York Times, have successfully fought for during the past half-century.

It’s only because of the statute of limitations that there has been no prosecution in the UK regarding the attacks on FOI revealed by Climategate. And what do you have to say about that instead? Absolutely nothing, apart from an absurdly understated remark about “a timid reluctance to share data“.

And so you have sacrificed the right to FOI in an attempt to get “firm action to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases“. Good for you. And good for Governments the world over: they will surely rejoice upon hearing that the most influential and authoritative global and US newspaper does not care about FOI. Why, all they have to do is claim “a timid reluctance” to open up their files: and all you will be able to print, will be regurgitated propaganda and half-truths.

I have heard the hamburgers are good, in Pyongyang.

saluti/regards
maurizio morabito
journalist and blogger, “The Unbearable Nakedness of Climate Change”

Live Microblogging Of McIntyre and Holland At Climategate GWPF London Event

2010/07/13 29 comments

I just came out of tonight’s GWPF event in London, chaired by Benny Peiser and with Lord Lawson in the audience.  Guest speakers about Climategate were David Holland and Steve McIntyre.

(links added – most of them… I will put all the links tonight)

As usual, here my notes as published live on @mmorabito67 (my “main” Twitter account remains @omnologos):

(for clarity, my own remarks are in italic)

  1. Around 35 in the audience so far. Holland already seated
  2. Lord Lawson and McIntyre in the room
  3. There we go. Attendance around 50
  4. Peiser quotes damning article by Harrabin in December (and here’s the quote unless the UEA inquiry is demonstrably impartial it will fail, and a new fully independent enquiry will almost certainly have to be formed“)
  5. Holland first, about his data requests
  6. Holland details how nobody could have checked the data before Kyoto’s
  7. Holland “no poor soldiers, only poor generals”
  8. Holland’s tells a tale of obfuscation by MetOffice reminding me of opening chapter of HHGTTG
  9. Holland: Russell report full of factual errors, no investigation of effort to delete emails
  10. Room almost full now
  11. McIntyre’s title slide “The ‘Inquiries'”
  12. McIntyre: 98% emails about Hockey Stick
  13. McIntyre: independent temp reconstructions not so – same names keep appearing
  14. McIntyre: Jones, Mann, Briffa prodigious writers of HS-related articles also reviewing each other
  15. McIntyre: CRU secretive to protect funding without investing on quality control
  16. FOI at stake on this but many don’t get how important it is
  17. McIntyre: first upload of emails was to RealClimate, as if a prank
  18. McIntyre makes fun of counterterrorism involvement
  19. McIntyre: UEA not investigating in the open – parliamentary reporters too clever compared to environmental ones?
  20. McIntyre: parliamentary committee left science to Oxburgh
  21. McIntyre: “trick” needed to “preserve the message” by IPCC
  22. It all sounds like propaganda reports before the Vietnam war opened eyes of journalists to the now-obvious lies
  23. McIntyre: independent science Oxburgh commission sent email from UEA
  24. McIntyre: Oxburgh left no notes or any documentation – no science examined – articles chosen by UEA
  25. Why would Lord Oxburgh want to associate his name to such a disaster?
  26. McIntyre: mention “sleight of hand” quote by UK MP
  27. McIntyre: Russell’s findings not based on anybody else but UEA, (slightly nutty) reference to “natural justice”
  28. McIntyre: mentions Harrabin referring to him as the most knowledgeable about CRU science outside UEA
  29. McIntyre: Muir Russell did not go to Jones’ interviews – no rigour, no due diligence
  30. McIntyre: odd that interviews conducted by climate activist with years of UEA work
  31. McIntyre: Jones’ request to delete emails a day later FOI request
  32. McIntyre is steadily destroying Sir Muir Russell’s credibility
  33. McIntyre: no accountability in the system
  34. McIntyre: climate science is being depreciated among public by hiding of adverse data
  35. McIntyre: climate sensitivity an issue. We can’t wait for absolute certainty
  36. First q: did MWP happen?
  37. I asked about consequences on democracy and why bother at all. Upbeat answers by Peiser and Holland
  38. Peiser speculates scientists’ jobs at stake, grandees took credibility hits as no gross misconduct apparent
  39. IPCC is not following most/any of the recommendations
  40. McIntyre: grudging consensus against preventing the release of data – would be idiotic strategy in civil lawsuit
  41. McIntyre: EPA has hockey stick among evidence – very unwise (I can’t find where and when that happened)
  42. Climategate has put the EPA in “uncomfortable position”
  43. Peiser: GWPF’s push for effective policies is gaining ground
  44. Peiser: GWPF report by Andrew Montford out end of Aug 2010
  45. Sunday Times enviro journalist: have scientists tried to present a clean narrative where knowledge still fuzzy?
  46. Holland hopeful science community understands things have to change
  47. McIntyre sees no change, grand statements, critics being blamed
  48. McIntyre: if hockey stick won’t matter, get rid of it. Plenty of PhD’s in readership, IPCC should focus more
  49. Peiser concludes hoping Climategate has changed Science and made it more open and transparent

Climategate: Stones That Should Be Left Unturned?

2010/07/07 3 comments

Anybody in need of yet more investigations? Over at DotEarth, there’s a Greenpa Minnesota (comment #20) clamoring for the hackers’ blood (figuratively speaking):

This time, kiddies- it is time for us scientists to DEMAND an EQUAL investigation be made into the identities of the hackers. I am dead serious. We need to demand it- loudly and publicly, and KEEP demanding until the FBI and similar world organizations are directed to do it.

But few if anybody at UEA are pushing for the hackers to be identified. The reason for such distinctively peculiar behavior is anybody’s guess.

Perhaps some stones are better left unturned…

…just as in the case of Kevin Trenberth, quoted by Roger Pielke Jr (comment #21) with words as pleasant as nails scratching a blackboard, including a reference to “unjustified criticisms and the widespread abuse and misuse of the emails” (no wonder some think AGW activism is ultimately an attack on civil liberties), and a mention of “lazy skeptics who want only to disprove the results“, a surefire candidate for the most childish opinion of the decade.

Why “Denier!”-Obsessed AGW Believers Are At Risk Of Ruining Science

2010/06/16 6 comments

I have always been amazed at how easy it is to find AGW believers ready to casually toss the accusation of “denier!” to everbody and anybody not following their “party line” of impending human-cause planetary doom to be avoided via some unprecedented social and economic revolution (“denier” meaning of course all sorts of nasty insults).

The more the term is spread around, the less meaningful it becomes. Still, what are the effects of such a silly behavior?

The most obvious consequence is that they are killing any hope of a serious climate debate, and therefore any hope of seeing it seriously tackled. It makes one wonder what would push people worried about something to act in a way that makes inaction a certainty (one of many) , and the worry increase even more.

An even bigger risk we are running concerns the possibility that science itself will get damaged by professions of AGW belief. In fact, what exactly is a “denier”? According to many AGW activists, “denier” is somebody that “attacks” science, by refusing to acknowledge as Truth whatever the AGW consensus says at the moment. And of course, science must be defended from those “attacking” it…

In the real world instead, one could naively think a “denier” is somebody that “denies” something, but that’s definitely not the case in matters of climate. In my still-fresh Facebook quiz, I have reported the long, curious and illogical list of questions somebody has asked Roger Pielke, Jr. in order to establish the latter’s “denialism” or otherwise.

With the image firmly in mind of Cultural Revolution-style re-education labor camps for those providing the “wrong” answers, it is actually easy to spot the underlying misunderstanding: “denier!”-obsessed AGWers are completely missing the point of science.

Science is a process, not a collection of facts. There are innumerable web sites of different repute repeating that simple concept (many are .edu). One finds it in the US-National Science Education Standards of 1996. Even the US Supreme Court has accepted it:

‘Science is not an encyclopedic body of knowledge about the universe. Instead, it represents a process for proposing and refining theoretical explanations about the world that are subject to further testing and refinement’

(To be precise, science is also a collection of facts. But those “facts” can and will be easily changed with new “facts” as soon the process of science will show it as necessary. What remains truly unchanged, and what one should always refer to, is the process of science)

If the above were not enough, there are even more indications that what is important in science is the process, not the product. In his $1M Paranormal Challenge, James Randi goes at great lengths in order to focus the tests around a specific process, rather than simply dismissing everybody believing they can “provide objective proof of the paranormal“. And what about a video explanation by the Bad Astronomer, Phil Plait himself (especially from 2m36s onwards)?

And finally: imagine having two people, one reaching the “consensus” conclusions through luck or guessing, the other one reaching conclusions different from the  “consensus” but by using the process of science. Which of the two is the scientist, and which the naive, or denier?

====================

A “denier” of science has therefore to be somebody that goes against, or wrongly manipulates, or misuses the process of science: and not just anybody that considers as most plausible a different collection of facts than the current consensus.

Otherwise, if a “denier” were somebody that doesn’t agree with the “scientific consensus”, here’s a glaring “denier” then: Albert Einstein refusing the consensus on quantum physics (and more). Here’s two more: Dr. Barry Marshall and Dr. Robin Warren, refusing the consensus on the absence of bacteria in the human stomach on their way towards winning the Nobel Prize in Medicine. Another “denier”? Martin Glaessner of Ediacaran fauna fame, refusing the consensus about pre-Cambrian complex lifeforms (or lack thereof).

This is so incredibly absurd…Einstein, Marshall, Warren, Glaessner and countless others have simply tried to push science forward using the process of science. Sometimes, they have been shown right: in other occasions (notably, Einstein’s) they haven’t. Still, nobody becomes a “denier” simply by getting the “incorrect” or “anti-consensus” answer. <sarcasm>Why, does anybody want to read about the “Dark Matter deniers“??</sarcasm>

And yet, most if not all calling against “climate deniers!” I have ever read, they focus on the “facts” of climate rather than analyze how do people reach their sometimes conflicting conclusions. They go down onto incredible minutiae, such as accusing of “denial” when one finds the IPCC predictions a little exaggerated, or admits being “slightly less” worried about methane in the permafrost than them.

====================

Do “climate deniers” exist, in the definition of “denier” just provided? Of course they do (here’s an interesting even if a little over-the-top attempt at dealing with the details about climate skepticism and denialism, by what I would define a not-so-closet climate skeptic fed up with American global warming politics). The number of “deniers” is extremely small especially among the scientifically educated. They have as much a chance at damaging the process of science as a Kansas school board has to convince to Norwegian education minister to introduce the teaching creationism.

The real danger to science comes from the believer side instead, as it spreads around a completely incorrect idea of what science is about. The last thing we’d need at the moment, is an army of young researchers trained with the asinine idea that, in climate science and/or in any other science, the only way to be good scientists rather than “deniers” is to follow the consensus.

Nullius in verba, indeed. Let’s defend science from the Defenders of science

Twenty Steps Of Climate Denial

2010/06/14 9 comments

Twenty Steps Of Climate Denial” is the title of my first-ever Facebook quiz. Ever wondered if you are a climate change denialist? Wonder no more! You’ll know it all in less than 21 questions!

And now for a bit of background: 99.9% of the questions and answers are inspired by the curious adventures of Roger Pielke, Jr., replying to a barrage of question by a “gonzo journalist” that is either quite disturbed or very good at appearing so (I prefer the latter).

For those that can’t stand Facebook, here’s the list of “questions”:

  1. Your mountaintop removal coal operation is filthier than a Tiger Woods text message
  2. You have considered at least once the possibility that global warming might be “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on mankind”
  3. You are a “junk science expert”
  4. After publishing an article of yours, the editor and half of Climate Research’s editorial board resign
  5. Your mission is to use arcane statistical analyses to break the “hockey stick”
  6. You are George Will, Roy Spencer, Marc Morano and/or admired by Glenn Beck
  7. You think global warming is basically a “political” issue
  8. You reluctantly admit that the earth is getting hotter, but insist that we’ll like the warmer weather
  9. You have called a gathering of activists in Copenhagen “Hitler Youth”
  10. Joe Romm dubbed you as the Most Debunked Science Writer in the Blogosphere
  11. You agree with this statement: “Post-normal science refers to situations in which knowledge is uncertain, values are contested and stakes are high.”
  12. You accept the scientific consensus on AGW, yet are often critical of climate scientists, for what you call “scientism” or “stealth advocacy”
  13. You have an article in Cato Institute’s “Regulation” magazine, or in “Energy and Environment”. Alternatively, you have worked for the George C. Marshall Institute or are a member of the House of Lords
  14. You are paid by the fossil fuel industry to lie
  15. You refuse to cap, trade, regulate or sufficiently tax carbon emissions
  16. Do greenhouse gases cause global warming?
  17. Does a hotter atmosphere mean more extreme weather?
  18. If not kept in check, will AGW be a source of increased costs of damage associated with hurricanes, floods, and extreme weather phenomena in the future?
  19. By dwelling on uncertainty, and implying that the science of climate change in some way is not “settled”, you have provided in the past a perfect excuse to do nothing
  20. You don’t renounce people like Anthony Watts

Fear And Timidity No Friends Of Science

2010/05/05 1 comment

(comment posted to Jonathan Wolff’s “The journals are full of great studies, but can we believe the statistics?“, The Guardian, May 4 2010)

There are two big issues with Mr Wolff’s article.

(1) The “fear of looking foolish” seems a particularly childish approach to Science.

Insofar as one is able to argue the reasons for a particular choice in an “unsettled” scientific field, there is of course no foolishness to speak of.

In fact, looking at this the other way around, the fact that one was “very right” once, means nothing about being right in the future. Otherwise, all we would have to do would be to listen to former Nobel Prize winners.

Sadly, after the trip to Stockholm very few of them are capable of achieving anything remotely important as their acclaimed feat.

(2) There is little hope for Science really, if the goal is to hold on until an orthodoxy develops, and then sheepishly hang on to that.

We can’t simply evolve into separate tribes showing no critical thinking of what happens in other fields. And orthodoxies are meant to crumble, otherwise it is not “Science”. By the time they become widespread enough for the likes of Wolff to take them as “Truth”, they will likely be ripe for destruction by the next generation of scientists.

Come to think, a certain guy called Galileo would have failed on the Wolff strategy left, right and centre. Luckily he wasn’t afraid, and didn’t look the other way.

Epidemiology And The Rise Of AGW’s Ugly (Fascist) Head

2010/04/07 6 comments

Mike Kaulbars at News Junkie Post writes plenty of idiotic nonsense in the desperate attempt at finding a legal way to prevent people from ever questioning a thing about climate change.

In particular, a lot is made of the alleged analogy between global warming doubters and the tobacco companies engaged in fighting against the truth about the nasty effects of cigarette smoking. A truth discovered by British researcher Richard Doll.

But whoever mentions Doll in support of the uber-Warmists has obviously not bothered to try to understand what Doll has actually done. Epidemiology concerns the past, and can only be applied to stuff that has already happened. Doll’s results were overwhelming, with manifold increases in the risks of developing cancer and/or heart disease.

That has little to do with “climate change”. In the very words of Mike Kaulbars himself, “climate change promises to be much more deadly in the 21st century“, i.e. it is a concern for the future. And as such, its effects cannot be ascertained in advance with any degree of certainty remotely resembling Richard Doll’s.

I am also amazed that Mr Kaulbars has managed to write so much about the legal aspects of talking about climate change, without a single mention or link to the IPCC.

Poor Pachauri, so much work done and now just of figure of fun or neglect.

The 32-Step Lifecycle Of Climate Alarms

2010/04/06 9 comments

As further evidence of divine sense of humor, Arctic sea ice extent is back to average exactly as new research indicates much of the recent decline is “not a direct result of global warming“.

One may be forgiven to think that reports about the opening up of most of the Arctic to ice-free summer navigation might have been premature.

Hasn’t this script been read to us before? Yes it has: about the disappearing snows of Kilimanjaro, the terrifying future hurricane seasons in the North Atlantic, the upcoming extinction of (often, drowning) polar bears, the slowing down to a crawl of the Gulf Stream, the warming-sea death of coral reefs.

But there is no need to be fooled any longer. Just keep yourself aware of the 32-step lifecycle of a climate alarm, especially if linked about Anthropogenic Global Warming (as they all nowadays are):

  1. Researchers make a barely-tamed if not completely wild claim in a scientific journal: if human GHG emissions were to continue apace, there could be dire consequences to “whatever”
  2. The claim appears in a press release by the lead author’s institution, alongside even wilder claims that were not scientifically printable but are spread around anyway
  3. Most major (and minor) news media engage in churnalism, i.e. they repeat the press release as-is with little consideration for critical thinking, just in case it may ruin the story
  4. Other editors decide the alleged consequences are not dire enough and order a further spicing up of the story
  5. George Monbiot tells us in his blog how bad he feels about “whatever”, with the help of a relevant anecdote possibly involving flowers
  6. On the basis of the above, environmental movements issue more press releases, and e-mail campaigns materialize at once, raising the alarm about “whatever” on the basis of (of course!) the “latest scientific research”
  7. The environmentalists’ press releases are fed to the newsmedia to pummel the public with another salvo of alarmism
  8. The claims percolate through the web and reach alarmist blogs. Once again, the story is repeated with not a hint of reasoning and not a shadow of doubt
  9. People start speculating how could skeptics ever live in the knowledge that “whatever” is going to be destroyed by AGW
  10. More serious places like the Nature blogs, the BBC Science News pages and NationalGeographic.com can’t help publishing about the latest claims, substituting critical thinking for a barrage of links to external, strictly-alarmist sites
  11. Suddenly, the news get populated of fear-inducing “evidence” that confirm the original claim was way too tame, and “things are worse than we thought”. Articles are accompanied by pictures of polar bears
  12. Wikipedia’s entries about “whatever” and climate change are updated
  13. An article by Bill McKibben is printed in well-known generalist magazines describing exactly how bad things are going to be for “whatever”, in case we don’t all mend our ways. News-gathered “evidence” is included, explaining that in the future we will hear “more of the same” kind of reporting
  14. In due course, people including scientists interested in discovering what is real about climate change and what is not, they start to notice that the alarms and claims are not based on strong scientific evidence, at least not as strong as claimed
  15. Somebody posts a blog or comment highlighting how, tucked away in the original article’s and press release’s full texts and unbeknownst to most churnalists and alarmist bloggers, there were very clear caveats, indicating: (a) results as “preliminary”, (b) data as “insufficient” and (c) “more studies” as “needed”
  16. These doubts percolate through the web and reach skeptical blogs, where they are repeated in a storm of criticism against the alarmists and (alas!) the original researchers themselves
  17. James Delingpole posts a blog making fun of George Monbiot
  18. Many alarmist blogs reply to any kind of doubt by denouncing a giant conspiracy by evil fossil-fuel corporations paying tens of millions of dollars to fund skeptical blogs
  19. Unanswered, doubts remain
  20. Miraculously, a new post in “Skeptical Science” demonstrates how anything (anything!) a skeptic ever thinks is wrong, as shown in the published literature
  21. A blog appears on RealClimate rebutting the doubts with rather unwise statements that, taken literally, might be used to undermine AGW alarmism
  22. Where the best scientists are involved, a new scientific paper gets published, highlighting which issues are most important to figure out, and asking for more funding as results are preliminary, data is insufficient and more studies are needed
  23. For some reason, the now-established fact that the original claims have been shown incorrect and/or premature does not appear in the news media and alarmist blogs (“climategate” notwithstanding)
  24. On DotEarth, Andrew Revkin posts a blog stating that things are not as clear-cut as they seem, skeptics and believers are both wrong, but AGW is real nevertheless and remains so independently from the claims about “whatever”
  25. Joe Romm preaches again to the converted, wondering aloud why Revkin is not toeing the alarmist line
  26. A couple of years pass…the “evidence” reported by the news disappear as all data indicate a return to “average conditions”
  27. Vicky Pope tells the media that we should not be looking for climate evidence in a record covering just a few years
  28. Nobody has the courage to publish an article or blog saying how sorry they are about having raised a demonstrably baseless alarm
  29. The online alarmist debate ignores that all and oscillates between “how can skeptics face the risk of the destruction of ‘whatever’ being right, and they wrong?” and “when can we have our climate dictatorship please”
  30. Wikipedia’s entries about “whatever” and climate change are not updated
  31. In the meanwhile, due to the law of diminishing returns and the fact that nobody can see any clear AGW climatic effect anywhere, the general public grows a little more weary of alarmism
  32. It’s time for a new article where researchers make a barely-tamed if not completely wild claim in a scientific journal: if human GHG emissions were to continue apace, there could be dire consequences to “whatever else”

In all likelihood, the above is happening right now about ocean acidification. Somebody, please make a reality TV show out of this comedy.

Greenpeace – If It Isn’t Peace, Will It Still Be Green?

2010/04/04 8 comments

(comments are closed at Greenpeace’s incredibly stupid “Will the real ClimateGate please stand up? (part 2)” blog. This is what I have tried to post over there)

Juliette

You write:

At no point in this entry did Gene threaten to do anything more than civil disobedience and non-violent direct action – neither of which involve any kind of violence

There are two problems with your stance on the topic. First of all, even if the text ends mentioning “mass civil disobedience“, it also includes “We need to hit them where it hurts most, by any means necessary: through the power of our votes, our taxes, our wallets, and more“.

I have taken the liberty to emphasize the bits that may suggest violence is in the works.

Secondly, since the writer has described a progression from lawful interventions to unlawful ones because “pressuring politicians on climate change is not working“, what is there to stop the same writer from advocating violent means in the future, if “mass civil disobedience” doesn’t come up with the hoped-for results?

Words have meaning. Please let’s all try not to be disingenuous.

Heaven To Hell

2010/03/30 1 comment

With apologies to Joel Pett…

What if it's a big hoax

What if it's a big hoax

A better world? You wish. As Karl  Popper once remarked, “Those who promise us paradise on earth never produced anything but a hell“‬‪.

Why I Will Not Turn The Lights Off For Earth Hour

2010/03/27 28 comments

I will not turn the lights off for “Earth Hour“.

Why?

Because I don’t want this to happen. And even if it will happen, still I will be the last one standing with a house full of lighting.

Earth Hour? No, thanks

"Earth Hour"? No, thanks

UPDATE: Meanwhile, in North Korea

A Dangerous Venue For AGW Skeptics?

2010/03/23 7 comments

Please do not show up wearing your Exxon badge!!

A rising tide of lies, ignorance and disinformation on climate change… where is it coming from?
Start: 14 Apr 2010, 6:30 pm
Where:
TBC

PUBLIC MEETING

Wednesday 14th April, 6:30pm, location to be confirmed

Speakers including…

David Adam, Environmental Correspondent from the Guardian
Ben Stewart, Greenpeace
George Marshall, COIN – Climate Outreach and Information Network (founder)

plus more to be announced

Who are the “sceptics” or “deniers” , how are they organised, who is paying them? Is it true that theirs is the message that people most want to hear and why? What can we do to fight back? These questions and more… hear some answers and bring your own…

On The Brutality Of “Nature” – A Response To “Climate Of Fear”

2010/03/15 5 comments

(this has been sent to Nature via e-mail earlier today)

Dear Nature Editors

Thank you very much for showing your true, climate-integralist colours in the cringe-inducing “Climate of fear” editorial (Nature 464, 141 (11 March 2010) | doi :10.1038/464141a; Published online 10 March 2010).

We can’t but take notice that at the time when some scientists have apparently managed for years to keep non-orthodox climate science papers away from printed and online peer-reviewed journals, one of those very journals has remarkably decided to join the “street fight”, as if that represented any change for the better from the previous routine.

Go ahead then, pick up your worthy opponents. Will there be any good coming out of Nature becoming the home of motivational speeches for climate hooligans? What an undignified spectacle that would be. Luckily, the planet will not take much notice, and hopefully neither will the general public, and those scientists and people interested like us all in learning the world as it is, rather than through the distorting lenses of misdirected, alarmist activisms.

“Scientists must not be so naive as to assume that the data speak for themselves”. Indeed. Neither should they fall for the hubris of drowning and disregarding those very same data in a sea of pre-packaged ideologies. In Canto XXVI of Inferno in Dante’s Divine Comedy, the character of Ulysses is made to describe what the quest for knowledge should be about:

Ye were not form’d to live the life of brutes,

But virtue to pursue and knowledge high.

Too bad you have opted to “live the life of brutes” instead.

Teodoro Georgiadis – senior scientist – biometeorology
Luigi Mariani – professor – agrometeorology
Guido Guidi – meteorologist
Alessandra Nucci – journalist
Tore Cocco
Maurizio Morabito – blogger – Omniclimate

New Scientist: “Why Scientists Must Be The New Climate Sceptics”

The Climate Article The New York Times Editors Did Not Want You To See

2010/03/04 16 comments

As reported here on March 2, there has been a very unique phenomenon at the International Herald Tribune (IHT) / The New York Times (NYT): for the first time ever, an IHT printed-paper article was not immediately available in the NYT website. And a front-page article it was: “Feeling the heat from critics, climate scientists battle back“, by John M Broder.

The article finally appeared online in the early AM GMT hour of 3 March, titled “Scientists Taking Steps to Defend Work on Climate“. Tellingly, the structure has been heavily changed, and the interviewees as well. I have had a series of e-mail exchanges with Mr Broder today and won’t report any of them. The impression remains that some Editor at the NYT panicked (**) after reading the IHT version, and got Mr Broder or some sub-editor to rewrite it almost from scratch to eliminate some inconvenient names and acquire warmist respectability by giving the concluding remarks to Gavin Schmidt (*).

All in all, it has been an episode wholly consistent with an atmosphere of climate bullying at the NYT.

I have scanned the IHT article and here it is in 2 parts:

JMBroder - Feeling the Heat, IHT 2010/3/2 part 1

JMBroder - Feeling the Heat, IHT 2010/3/2 page 1

JMBroder2

JMBroder - Feeling the Heat, IHT 2010/3/2 page 8

For an example of what has been changed, note the mysterious disappearance of Judith Curry from the NYT version (Prof Curry is out there to conclude the IHT article), whilst a Peter C. Frumhoff of the Union of Concerned Scientists, plus Gavin Schmidt, are parachuted in literally out of thin air.

ps Gavin being Gavin, he’s now quotable with a “Good science is the best revenge“, some sort of instinctive plagiarism of Willis’ exhortation a few days earlier: “Do good science, and publicly insist that other climate scientists do good science as well

(*) see also WUWT “Willis makes the NYT, Gavin to stop “persuading the public”” and Willis Eschenbach’s generally positive comment to Broder’s NYT piece

(**) In fact, see what kind of mess they made of the NYT website around the same time… 😎

UPDATE March 7: To be 100% clear, this is how I see things have happened:

1. After weeks of deafening silence on Climategate and derivatives, Mr Broder got commissioned to write finally an article about it, once enough “scientists fighting back” quotes could be summoned

2. Mr Broder wrote his piece (version “A”) on Monday AM EST but felt it necessary to include things at they stand, including Judith Curry’s “fiasco” remarks

3. Version “A” passed all editorial checks and by Monday noon was singled out for importance and relevance as one of the front-page stories for the IHT

4. Somebody above the Editors did not like it, likely because there was no quote from GISS. Monday evening word came down to change the article.

5. It was too late for the IHT and therefore I saw version “A” printed there.

6. But it was early enough for the web so version “A” did not show up there at all

7. Mr Broder was asked on Tuesday AM to talk to Schmidt and the other guy

8. A sub-editor changed version “A” to version “B” eliminating the inconvenient pieces, moving things around and adding what was wanted, including the “good science is the best revenge” dramatic quote at the end

9. Alas, it took a while to do all that, so version “B” appeared on the NYT website only very, very late on Tuesday evening.

Watch Out For Self-Censorship At The New York Times

2010/03/02 1 comment

There is an article by John M Broder in the first page of the International Herald Tribune today, that is mysteriously nowhere to be found on their website (the New York Times’). This is very unusual as the IHT normally prints stuff that has already appeared on the NYT a day or two before, and has already been on the website for several hours.

The article’s printed-version title is “Feeling the heat from critics, climate scientists battle back“.

The situation is consistent with the existence of an internal NYT web “climate censorship” office, that has simply not cleared as yet an article that is highly sincere and open about the IPCC/climategate travails and contains remarks (by non-skeptics) that are highly critical of climate science and climate scientists.

I’ll keep an eye on the developments.

UPDATE March 3 00:18 GMT: Article still MIA, have sent an e-mail to Broder and the IHT.

UPDATE March 3 07:50 GMT:There is now an article by Mr Broder available. I cannot believe what they have done. Here’s my comment to it:

This is a shameful day for the New York Times. Mr Broder’s article is fundamentally different from…Mr Broder’s article on the same topic as it appeared in the printed edition of the International Herald Tribune on March 2, 2010. Gavin Schmidt for example has replaced Judith Curry, and the overall tone has changed to become definitely more ‘friendly’ for the warmists. Now I understand why for the first time ever, an article has been printed long before it appeared on this website.

Support Judith Curry As Head Of (Reformed) IPCC

2010/02/25 5 comments

A veritable goldmine of quotes, and surely the best hope for the progress of science this side of Murray Gell-Mann. Let’s celebrate this essay by Georgia Tech’s Judith Curry: “On the Credibility of Climate Research, Part II: Towards Rebuilding Trust“.

I have a strong feeling that anybody else selected to carry forward the (reformed) IPCC will look far lesser capable than Prof Curry.

(Pachauri who?)

Some extracts:

Losing the Public’s Trust

  • In responding to climategate, the climate research establishment has appealed to its own authority and failed to understand that climategate is primarily a crisis of trust.
  • expertise itself is not a sufficient basis for public trust.
  • host of concerns about the IPCC […]: involvement of IPCC scientists in explicit climate policy advocacy; tribalism that excluded skeptics; hubris of scientists with regards to a noble (Nobel) cause; alarmism; and inadequate attention to the statistics of uncertainty and the complexity of alternative interpretations.
  • The jury is still out on the specific fallout from climategate in terms of the historical and paleo temperature records.
  • concerns […] with Working Group II:  has a combination of groupthink, political advocacy and a noble cause syndrome stifled scientific debate, slowed down scientific progress and corrupted the assessment process?
  • when your science receives this kind of attention, it means that the science is really important to the public.  Therefore scientists need to do everything possible to make sure that they effectively communicate uncertainty, risk, probability and complexity, and provide a context that includes alternative and competing scientific viewpoints.

The Changing Nature of Skepticism about Global Warming

  • I have come to understand that global warming skepticism is very different now than it was five years ago.
  • [After the IPCC 4th Assessment Report] big oil funding for contrary views mostly dried up and the mainstream media supported the IPCC consensus. But there was a new movement in the blogosphere, which I refer to as the “climate auditors”, started by Steve McIntyre.  The climate change establishment failed to understand this changing dynamic, and continued to blame skepticism on the denial machine funded by big oil.

Climate Auditors and the Blogosphere

  • So who are the climate auditors?  They are technically educated people, mostly outside of academia.  Several individuals have developed substantial expertise in aspects of climate science, although they mainly audit rather than produce original scientific research. They tend to be watchdogs rather than deniers; many of them classify themselves as “lukewarmers”. They are independent of oil industry influence.  They have found a collective voice in the blogosphere and their posts are often picked up by the mainstream media. They are demanding greater accountability and transparency of climate research and assessment reports.
  • So how did this group of bloggers succeed in bringing the climate establishment to its knees (whether or not the climate establishment realizes yet that this has happened)?  Again, trust plays a big role […] the climate auditors have no apparent political agenda, are doing this work for free, and have been playing a watchdog role, which has engendered the trust of a large segment of the population.

Towards Rebuilding Trust

  • People have heard the alarm, but they remain unconvinced because of a perceived political agenda and lack of trust of the message and the messengers. At the same time, there is a large group of educated and evidence driven people (e.g. the libertarians, people that read the technical skeptic blogs, not to mention policy makers) who want to understand the risk and uncertainties associated with climate change, without being told what kinds of policies they should be supporting.
  • building trust through public communication on this topic requires that uncertainty be acknowledged.
  • discussing the uncertainties increases the public trust in what scientists are trying to convey and doesn’t detract from the receptivity to understanding climate change risks
  • Trust can also be rebuilt by discussing broad choices rather than focusing on specific policies.
  • And finally, the blogosphere can be a very powerful tool for increasing the credibility of climate research.  “Dueling blogs”  (e.g. climateprogress.org versus wattsupwiththat.com and realclimate.org versus climateaudit.org) can actually enhance public trust in the science as they see both sides of the arguments being discussed.  Debating science with skeptics should be the spice of academic life
  • I have certainly learned a lot by participating in the blogospheric debate including how to sharpen my thinking and improve the rhetoric of my arguments.
  • we need to acknowledge the emerging auditing and open source movements in the in the internet-enabled world, and put them to productive use.  The openness and democratization of knowledge enabled by the internet can be a tremendous tool for building public understanding of climate science and also trust in climate research.
  • No one really believes that the “science is settled” or that “the debate is over.”  Scientists and others that say this seem to want to advance a particular agenda.  There is nothing more detrimental to public trust than such statements.

‘Let Us Breathe’: French Book Against Censorship By The Self-Righteous

2010/02/22 3 comments

Jacques Rougeot, Professor of French Language at the University of Paris IV-Sorbonne, has just published a book (in French) denouncing how environmentalism has been hijacked by people mainly bent on “stifling freedom of thought and expression“. And that’s something that would go a long way explaining why so many have been convinced to use idiotic words such as “denialism”…

Ah ! Laissez-nous respirer ! Contre la censure des bien-pensants.

Ah! Let us breathe! Against censorship by the self-righteous
by Jacques Rougeot

If you eat steak and get around by car, you must know that reading this little book is not without risk. You will risk seeing your moral sense affected. You will learn that in fact, by your irresponsible behavior, you are endangering the planet. You will know that, as a consumer of steak (or beef stew), you are encouraging the breeding of cattle, which in turn, by virtue of their burps and farts, emit an abundance of methane, a gas even more harmful than CO2 . You are guilty of crimes against ecology.

In this way, pleasant and just a caricature, and through many other more serious examples, Jacques Rougeot questions the tight network of taboos spun by a new caste of self-righteous people who claim the right to censor [the rest of humanity]. Thanks to their influence on the media, they have managed to ostracize many words and opinions traditionally regarded as innocent.

This business of stifling freedom of thought and expression […] pivots mainly around fear and bad conscience. The need is for the French to constantly feel guilty and threatened, so that the people, weakened and neutralized, no longer have the moral strength to defend what the essence of a country’s identity, its civilization.

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