Buying scientists at the AFR

Rafe caused a bit of a kerfuffle when he posted a link to Jo Nova who had a guest post by Garth Paltridge. This what Rafe selected from the Paltridge post.

We hear that Julia Gillard is happy to have the CSIRO, the Bureau of Meteorology and the Australian Academy of Science on her side while making her arguments for a carbon tax. Well of course she is. She and her predecessor bought them. And bought them but good. Over the last couple of years her Department of Climate Change (the DCC) gave them 27 million dollars in the form of research grants. That pays a fair swag of the salaries of the CSIRO and Bureau climate scientists who make up the majority of all employed climate scientists in Australia.

Several regulars were very unhappy. Here is hc

What an outrageous libel and what nonsense. A despicable new low for Catallaxy. They hold the views they do because they are paid bribes.

Then Peter Whiteford went for the smear.

Sinclair

What proportion of your income comes from public sources

Answer – very little actually; but it was Rafe’s post and he was quoting somebody else. Then FDB jumped in

Just what are you insinuating with this libellous rot Rafe? Why not come out and say it – tell us WHICH scientists falsified WHICH of their results and are allowing their paymasters to determine their conclusions?

and again

On behalf of all scientists, publicly OR privately funded, I demand a retraction from Rafe of his suggestion that they are all corrupt, their findings all suspect, because they’re not magically paying themselves from a secret stash o’ leprechaun gold.

So all up a quiet thread at the Cat with the usual sorts of shenanigans. This morning, however, that Paltridge post has been largely reproduced in the Financial Review (subscription required). As far as I can work out the final sentence has been dropped, otherwise it is the same piece (with very minor edits).

In the first instance this is great for blogging – stuff that gets lifted or identified in blogs and translated into the MSM shows that blogging has become a serious medium of expression. Second, I’m very surprised this was run in the Financial Review – the AFR does has a corporatist mindset at the moment. It has been largely pro-AGW and pro-carbon tax and pro-ETS so this is a very radical piece for them to be running given their recent history. Whatever their reasons there is a certain cache and credibility to being published on the op-ed page of the Fin Review that blogs cannot really hope for. I have no doubt the letters page will fill up with indignant denial – but nonetheless the argument of ‘scientists-on-the-take’ has been main streamed.

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120 Responses to Buying scientists at the AFR

  1. daddy dave

    It’s not about being “on the take.” It’s about whether funding sources influence research outcomes.
    The left are happy to make this link when it comes to global warming skeptics. Any funding a skeptic recieves from corporations is used as evidence of bias (although those corporations also donate to green programs and green research).

    You don’t have to be “on the take” to skew results. Funding can ensure what research gets done and what doesn’t.

  2. Louis Hissink

    Chuckle, chuckle, chuckle 🙂 Good one Sinclair. This episode will remove some of the wind from their carbon sails.

  3. Sinclair Davidson

    DD – I agree, I don’t think scientists are on the take in a brown paper sense. But the argument that funding corrupts outcomes, however, has been made in the instance of private funding and now it has been extended to public funding. Perhaps ‘on-the-take’ would be better expressed as ‘on-the-make’.

  4. JC

    Are they on the take…? The evidence builds up.

    The CSIRO tried to run interference for the government recently by suggesting it the Lurch/Rudd insulation fiasco wasn’t a problem.

    Possum, over at far left Crikey latched on to this bit of horseshit and attempted to use it to defend his own nonsense that the insulation fiasco actually saved more homes. Really, that’s what the innumerate idiot is trying to peddle.

    The CSIRO is suggesting that the problem was faulty wiring deliberately ignoring the fact that if you stick insulation on top of faulty wiring the result is combustion.

    So yea, Government money is certainly screwing up science and as Hayek says the worse are rising to the top, as evidenced by Michael Mann, Gavin Schmidt and those clowns at East Anglia.

  5. Sinclair Davidson

    jc – a bit of rant there.

    Hayek’s the worst get to the top argument isn’t about being on the take.

  6. JC

    Hayek’s the worst get to the top argument isn’t about being on the take.

    In a way it is.

  7. If people are ‘bought’ by those who pay their salary, as is often said of News Ltd journos and Rupert Murdoch, then the ABC must reflect the views of Juliar or whoever is in the Lodge.
    Obviously that’s not true, as the ABC mostly reflects the views of Saint Bob and it did Howard no favours when he was there.
    But on AGW, there is a clear difference between the expressed views of scientists who are on the public teat and those who are not. If you rely on public funding, it’s not a good career move to swim against the tide.

  8. BruceJ

    I am not, and never have been, employed in the public service or academia. I do, however, have some contact with friends employed in those areas and partly dependent on government funding (grants) for support of their research efforts.

    Please correct me if I am wrong, but I have the distinct impression, from many discussions, that grant applications must define the result expected from the subject research, i.e. if your research is not going to achieve the preferred outcome, you won’t get funding. While this process does not amount to bribery (or”graft and corruption”), it must support research outcomes skewed to reinforce the views of those controlling grant allocations and discourage anything which may challenge those views.

    Am I being excessively cynical? Correct me if I am wrong.

  9. Sinclair Davidson

    BruceJ – I think you’re being too cynical. In grant applications the person must articulate a testable hypothesis with supporting literature and establsih a credible method for investigating the hypothesis. Outcomes are articulated as: ‘results will be published in refereed journals and/or presented at conferences. etc. It is difficult to get open-ended research funded, or speculative research funded (quite rightly so).

  10. boy on a bike

    The Greens are so concerned that political donations are buying politicians that they’ve setup a website called “Democracy for sale“.

    Donations to an MP, or a party, don’t go in the pocket of an MP – they are spent on campaigns. They do not provide a direct financial benefit to the MP, yet the Greens think that this is sufficient to buy their votes, and to influence outcomes.

    If we use that same logic on research grants, which go directly towards paying the salaries and expenses of researchers, then we’d have to conclude that the result is “Research for sale”.

    I doubt the Greens will ever startup a website called http://www.research4sale.org

  11. Another recent example of a mainstream publication lifting something from a blog was a speech I made to a anti-carbon-tax rally that was posted on jonova’s blog http://joannenova.com.au/2011/03/david-evans-carbon-modeler-says-its-a-scam/ to Canada’s FinancialPost http://www.nationalpost.com/Climate+models+cold/4579652/story.html.

    The FP did not even ask permission — but that’s ok because it was not copyrighted. They also made a few alterations, which I would have approved.

  12. bytheway

    Money sure feeds groupthink, because it feeds those who wilfully or otherwise ignore, distort and deny evidence that contradicts the orthodoxy.

    Two lovely examples in just the last week. Both from Bush Telegraph on our ABC, a programme that allows the left in the person of Michael Cathcart to instruct the ignorant bushies in the orthodoxies: Carlton condescending to Condobolin.

    On Tuesday last week (April 26) Cathcart interviewed an earth scientist from Melbourne Uni, an ARC Fellow, Joelle Gergis, who is funded to help pull together local research in support of the IPCC. According to Joelle the earth’s climate history in the last millenium can be represented by … Michael Mann’s Hockey stick! Until 1850 there had been only “slight variations”; since then “rapid warming”. So, she is looking for what makes post-industrial warming unique, on the orthodox assumption that it is. No quibbling on this from Cathcart.

    However, it seems from today’s programme that some listeners – you know who you are – complained. Cathcart sought reassurance from another scientist, Dr Mike Hulme, visiting from the famous University of East Anglia.

    Listen and be amazed! Now that the alarmist orthodoxy has control of the political agenda (for the present) Hulme advises us to look the other way. He insouciantly concedes that CO2’s contribution to warming is “deeply uncertain”, that we are “just as uncertain” about climate sensitivity as we were 25 years ago (take that IPCC) and then plays the post-modern card. We must give up our search for enlightenment “detachment”, subject science to “anthropological study” to better appreciate its uncertainties, and listen to the “personal” and “intimate” stories of people’s experiences of climate change. It seems Greenpeace provides some useful stories of this kind. All voices are “legitimate” (except industry’s, which is “narrow”). In the end its just down to politics.

    With our anthropological perspective on science we will be able to understand that Climategate showed no “conspiratorial malpractice” but a kind of white-coated tribalism, now much improved by its exposure.

    So research money buys you a lot more that results. You get closed minds, post-modern obscurantism, political agendas that can never by disproved, highly-regarded experts who obfuscate and distract, public broadcasters who lead their publics further and further from the facts.

    Things are much, much worse than you think.

    (No transcripts. Listen here and here.}

  13. FDB

    So Rafe… now you’ve got a second chance and a reminder, how about that retraction?

  14. Andrew Reynolds

    FDB,
    Plenty of the research I have seen on (inter alia) tobacco and nuclear power has been rubbished on JQ’s and LP over the years based at least in part on the source of funding. Do you see those comments as fair?

  15. m0nty

    It is sad that the right has seen fit to attack science in so many ways. The Australian right doesn’t even have the excuse of pressure from ignorant religion. Whatever happened to the right being embodied by Hank Rearden, who embraces science and uses it to make the world a better place through capitalism? Or Ronald Reagan, who believed in science and funded it to the hilt?

    It seems that the right will only support science as long as science supports their own selfish desires. Since the facts have turned against them, the right has sought to discredit and undermine every scientist who doesn’t sing the corporate tune.

    It’s particularly disturbing that Sinclair and other scientists are prepared to help out in the lynching of their own.

  16. FDB

    AR – I think it’s reasonable to look askance at the funding for bad science. Which is to say, funding-related bias is one possible explanation for individual situations where bad science has been identified.

    This is why I initially gave Rafe the opportunity (see above) to identify which particular scientists or studies he believes are wrong, and thus may have been subject to funding bias.

    When he failed to do so, I thought a retraction was in order.

    I still do.

  17. Sinclair Davidson

    Monty – the AFR is hardly ‘the right’.

  18. Boy on a bike

    Monty

    Reagan funded Star Wars, which was hugely controversial at the time. How many anti-nuclear scientists took his money, did the research and kept their traps shut about their real feelings regarding “Ronnie raygun” and his “madcap, unworkable fantasies”?

  19. m0nty

    The AFR is hardly the right, that’s true Sinclair, but I reckon they’re publishing that garbage for the same reason that the ABC has Bolt or Akerman on, for (nominal) balance. In fact, the more ridiculous and easily gainsaid the rightwinger, the more likely that a Fairfax or ABC would be likely to give them oxygen, as it reflects badly on the right and fits the publishers’ leftist agenda.

    Which is why I’m not sure of the reasons you’re republishing it here. Surely you don’t believe that claptrap? This trend of moral equivalence is disturbing, since it tends to lead to the running down of social institutions which don’t agree with your narrow line of thinking. If everyone thinks like that, then the big losers are the institutions themselves because they can’t really fight back.

    In this case, the right has been attacking science for a decade or more, ever since the evidence started mounting about global warming. It’s an easy target because science’s most prominent local defender is Tim Flannery, who is a poor performer. Why do you think the furore happened when the Chief Scientist poked her head above the parapet last year… it’s because science doesn’t really have a champion in Australia, and people like Garth Paltridge can snipe away without ever being called for their bulltish.

  20. Sinclair Davidson

    What do you mean they can’t fight back? The various research groups are organisations with budgets in the millions – not counting that they also have government backing. I also don’t buy that the AFR has to provide balance.

  21. JC

    Python says:

    It is sad that the right has seen fit to attack science in so many ways.

    Oh which ones, Pythe.

    1. GM foods.
    2. Anti-vaccination
    3. Alternative medicine crap
    4. GM foods
    5. Anti-economics
    6. Anti-nuclear
    7 Firing the president of Harvard because he suggested differences between the sexes.

  22. FDB

    “How many anti-nuclear scientists took his money, did the research and kept their traps shut about their real feelings regarding “Ronnie raygun” and his “madcap, unworkable fantasies”?”

    I have no idea. Also it’s completely irrelevant what they thought about the purpose to which their scientific work was to be put. What we’re talking about is whether scientists do honest scientific work, or provide the results their paymasters want.

    Which particular leftists nuclear scientists are you suggesting produced biased scientific work as part of Reagan’s ‘Star Wars’ project BOAB?

    See? Smearing an entire profession gets a little risky, when you’ve got nothing but slander in your arsenal.

    I repeat:

    It’s best to start with scientific work which can be shown, scientifically, to be in error, and THEN to ask questions about why it came to be so.

    Otherwise you are guilty of an utterly baseless smear of the ENTIRE profession. Rafe’s already made it perfectly clear he’s comfortable smearing the entire scientific profession by refusing to retract his slur. Are you sure you want to join him?

  23. JC

    FDB

    So incentives stop at the door of the Lab. It never goes past that because… you know scientists are dedicated good like creatures.

    Give us a fucking break.

  24. FDB

    Your comprehension skills are, as ever, terrible JC.

    It would surprise the hell out of me if biased science (to please the paymaster) never happens. I think it’s probably quite common, and probably quite unconscious a lot of the time. It’s probably just another form of confirmation bias most of the time, but I’m sure frequently it’s quite deliberate.

    This is quite consistent with what I’ve been saying all along though: FIRST, identify bad science, using good science. SECOND, look for reasons for the bad science.

    And it need hardly be said, but NEVER smear an entire field with such gross nonsense as Rafe is peddling.

  25. JC

    Here, bongo man.

    It was the first footage of bin Laden to appear in more than a year and came just days before voters head to the polls Tuesday after an extremely tight president race.

    In the 18-minute tape, bin Laden, who appeared to be sitting or standing at a table against a neutral background, said: “Despite entering the fourth year after Sept. 11, Bush is still deceiving you and hiding the truth from you and therefore the reasons are still there to repeat what happened.”
    ARTICLE TOOLS
    Print
    Email

    Bin Laden said he thought of the method of attacking U.S. skyscrapers when he saw Israeli aircraft bombing tower blocks in Lebanon in 1982.

    “We decided to destroy towers in America,” he said. “God knows that it had not occurred to our mind to attack the towers, but after our patience ran out and we saw the injustice and inflexibility of the American-Israeli alliance toward our people in Palestine and Lebanon, this came to my mind.”

    Although there was no way to authenticate the tape or say when it was made, it referenced the upcoming presidential election.

    “Your security is not in the hands of (Democratic candidate John) Kerry or Bush or al-Qaida. Your security is in your own hands,” bin Laden said, according to the Associated Press.

    “To the U.S. people, my talk is to you about the best way to avoid another disaster. I tell you: Security is an important element of human life and free people do not give up their security.

    “If Bush says we hate freedom, let him tell us why we didn’t attack Sweden, for example. It is known that those who hate freedom do not have dignified souls, like those of the 19 blessed ones,” he said, referring to the 19 hijackers.

    “We fought you because we are free … and want to regain freedom for our nation. As you undermine our security, we undermine yours.”

    An editor at Al-Jazeera said the network received the tape Friday but did not say how, Reuters reported.

    In September 2003, Al-Jazeera aired a tape of bin Laden with his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri in which he mentions five Sept. 11 hijackers by name.

    An audiotape, which CIA analysts said was likely bin Laden, surfaced in April and called for a truce with European nations if they pulled troops out of Muslim countries.

    You think Binny is lying, bongos?

    Elaborate here, bud. Hit us with it.

  26. daddy dave

    The AFR is hardly the right, that’s true Sinclair, but I reckon they’re publishing that garbage for the same reason that the ABC has Bolt or Akerman on, for (nominal) balance.

    And thus, the evil influence of Murdoch is seen everywhere, even in organisations over which he has no control. This is a vast, unfalsifiable, unverifiable, conspiracy theory.

    Any time that a news outlet expresses a point of view that is not left-wing, it is therefore being manipulated by the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy (VRWC). Bolt’s on Insiders? Must be the ABC caving in to right wing pressure, not because he’s a prominent journalist.

    Fine then. purge all right wingers, m0nty, from the ABC and Fairfax. They obviously have nothing to say and are in the pay of The VRWC.

  27. .

    “We decided to destroy towers in America,” he said. “God knows that it had not occurred to our mind to attack the towers, but after our patience ran out and we saw the injustice and inflexibility of the American-Israeli alliance toward our people in Palestine and Lebanon, this came to my mind.”

    Fuck me. It was just a proxy war waged by useful idiots for the non existent Soviet Union.

    Marxists have a lot to answer for.

  28. JC

    And it need hardly be said, but NEVER smear an entire field with such gross nonsense as Rafe is peddling.

    Oh like eugenics. I would have thought that as a confirmed leftie and Green Slime voter you would add some sorta qualification to that, Bongos.

    Dude, the party you support, the Australian Greens Slime Party, are worst science denialists this side of the Milky Way and you have a fucking hide preaching to people here about science. WTF.

    Who are you kidding bongos. You are a Greens Slime supporter and therefore anti-science by definition. It defines you.

  29. JC

    And thus, the evil influence of Murdoch is seen everywhere, even in organisations over which he has no control. This is a vast, unfalsifiable, unverifiable, conspiracy theory.

    But Pythe is pro-science. She loves it. The other side are anti science.

    Conspiracy theories and generalized lunacy doesn’t count.

  30. daddy dave

    FDB, sounds like you are in furious agreement!
    However,

    FIRST, identify bad science, using good science. SECOND, look for reasons for the bad science.

    This is much, much, easier said than done. Bad science can be hard to defeat, but it’s typically countered with reasoning, persuasion, and data. I guess that’s what you mean by “Good science”.

    Also, some of us believe that bad science is being done in climate science, but it is very hard to make headway, because of the widespread presumption of impartial, almost transcendent purity of scientists. It’s essentially a positive prejudice, that publicly funded scientists are Good and Right. So you even try to have the discussion, and people start rolling their eyes.

    Therefore, part of the debate is about deflating this misperception. It’s rhetoric, sure, but it’s about countering some irrational blocks to even considering the arguments.

  31. JC

    Actually this in interesting. The Eugenics movements as similar characteristics as the Global warming movement in lots of ways.

    As a social movement, eugenics reached its greatest popularity in the early decades of the 20th century. By the end of World War II eugenics had been largely abandoned. Although current trends in genetics have raised questions amongst critical academics concerning parallels between pre-war attitudes about eugenics and current “utilitarian” and social theories allegedly related to Darwinism, they are, in fact, only superficially related and somewhat contradictory to one another. At its pre-war height, the movement often pursued pseudoscientific notions of racial supremacy and purity.

    Eugenics was practiced around the world and was promoted by governments, and influential individuals and institutions. Its advocates regarded it as a social philosophy for the improvement of human hereditary traits through the promotion of higher reproduction of certain people and traits, and the reduction of reproduction of other people and traits.

    Today it is widely regarded as a brutal movement which inflicted massive human rights violations on millions of people.[9] The “interventions” advocated and practiced by eugenicists involved prominently the identification and classification of individuals and their families, including the poor, mentally ill, blind, deaf, developmentally disabled, promiscuous women, homosexuals and entire racial groups — such as the Roma and Jews — as “degenerate” or “unfit”; the segregation or institutionalisation of such individuals and groups, their sterilization, euthanasia, and in the extreme case of Nazi Germany, their mass extermination.

    Funny how history sorta repeats itself with slight variations by the same sorta schleps and miscreants..

    Promoted by government? ummm what does that remind me of….

    Oh Yea , it’s “the biggest moral question of our time”. Lol

  32. JC

    Negative eugenics is aimed at lowering fertility among the genetically disadvantaged. This includes abortions, sterilization, and other methods of family planning.[33] Both positive and negative eugenics can be coercive. Abortion by fit women was illegal in Nazi Germany[34] and in the Soviet Union during Joseph Stalin’s reign.[citation needed]

    During the 20th century, many countries enacted various eugenics policies and programs, including: genetic screening, birth control, promoting differential birth rates, marriage restrictions, segregation (both racial segregation and segregation of the mentally ill from the rest of the population), compulsory sterilization, forced abortions or forced pregnancies and genocide. Most of these policies were later regarded as coercive and/or restrictive, and now few jurisdictions implement policies that are explicitly labeled as eugenic or unequivocally eugenic in substance

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugenics

    It’s really quite an interesting movement. Having obvious roots to Darwin it became a totally bastardized form of science to the point where people were using it to kill with culminating in the Nazi final solution and Stalin murdering the peasants.

    Sorta reminds me of some of the pricks involved in climate science, in itself a perfectly decent leg of science but now heisted by the extremist left.

  33. JC

    Another scientist considered the “father of the American eugenics movement” was Charles Benedict Davenport.[64] In 1904 he secured funding for the The Station for Experimental Evolution, later renamed the Carnegie Department of Genetics.

    G. K. Chesterton was an early critic of the philosophy of eugenics, expressing this opinion in his book, Eugenics and Other Evils. Eugenics became an academic discipline at many colleges and universities, and received funding from many sources.[23] Three International Eugenics Conferences presented a global venue for eugenicists with meetings in 1912 in London, and in 1921 and 1932 in New York. Eugenic policies were first implemented in the early 1900s in the United States.[24] Later, in the 1920s and 30s, the eugenic policy of sterilizing certain mental patients was implemented in a variety of other countries, including Belgium,[25] Brazil,[26] Canada,[27] and Sweden,[28] among others. The scientific reputation of eugenics started to decline in the 1930s, a time when Ernst Rüdin used eugenics as a justification for the racial policies of Nazi Germany, and when proponents of eugenics among scientists and thinkers prompted a backlash in the public. Nevertheless, in Sweden the eugenics program continued until 1975.

    Not Keynes again. I wonder how he felt about eliminating homosexuals? This was like a barn full of left-wingers agitating for sterilization. How cute.

    In the United Kingdom, eugenics never received significant state funding, but it was supported by many prominent figures of different political persuasions before World War I, including: Liberal economists William Beveridge and John Maynard Keynes; Fabian socialists such as Irish author George Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells and Sidney Webb

    This is like the genesis of the green slime movement.

  34. PSC

    Also, some of us believe that bad science is being done in climate science, but it is very hard to make headway, because of the widespread presumption of impartial, almost transcendent purity of scientists

    … my view is quite the opposite. The problem is it very rarely happens that the skeptics present their work from first principles, define precisely the point where they disagree with the mainstream and then account thoroughly for why the mainstream evidence on that particular point is wrong, and then go on to show how this flaw demolishes the AGW edifice.

    Plimer’s book is a case in point. It’s incoherent. I have no idea what he does think at the end of it, other than AGW is wrong and perhaps some kind of pernicious plot. And I know he has a few details wrong, so I don’t think the book tells us very much.

    I think Garth Paltridge’s book in contrast is ok. And if his case were the ‘skeptic’ case (which I’m not sure it is) then we could have an interesting discussion.

    David Evans’ op-ed/blog article above is another example of the flaw. It is an op-ed/speech so we have to allow some latitude, but one central point is that there’s no evidence that rising temperatures increase moisture in the troposphere. I’ve read several articles which claims there is increasing moisture in the troposphere in cloudless conditions, and seem to have empirical evidence which backs it up. Maybe these articles are flawed – but Evans doesn’t address them, or seem to know about them. In my view he’d be much more convincing if he took that one point and examined/demolished the opposing pieces of work step-by-step in a comprehensive way, rather than go off into the stream of rodomontade.

    I suspect both ‘skeptic’ and mainstream scientists are acting out of pure motives. They’re both calling it as they see it.

    But the mainstream has done a lot more work over a great many years, and have thought a bit about the obvious problems already.

    This implies that the character of whatever destroys AGW – if it ever happens – will not be a five minute op-ed which is comprehensible by laymen in five minutes. It will not be an obvious problem because people have already thought about the obvious. It will not be a single paper in a lone journal. It will be a carefully argued body of theory about a climate phenomenon which takes a team several years to develop, and then has several years of empirical research to confirm and refine. I’m very happy that skeptics are having a go at starting this process, but I’m yet to see concrete results.

  35. dover_beach

    The problem is it very rarely happens that the skeptics present their work from first principles, define precisely the point where they disagree with the mainstream and then account thoroughly for why the mainstream evidence on that particular point is wrong,

    This is done often, PSC, by Steve Mc in his criticisms of dendroclimatology; by Pielke Sr in his criticisms of the use of surface temp, etc.; by Koutsoyannis and his criticisms of the performance of GCMs modelling rainfall, etc., by Spencer in respect of cloud feedback; and so on. In other words, it isn’t rare at all.

  36. PSC

    Dover, you missed:

    and then go on to show how this flaw demolishes the AGW edifice.

    which is very important.

    I got curious about the Steve Mc stuff a few years ago now, and downloaded the raw data, adjusted it so it had identical mean and variance, and did a simple unweighted average on the results of that, and smoothed it. A bog standard “sniff test”. I got a hockeystick out with a slightly wobblier shaft and a slightly higher historical temp estimate – but the “PSC hockeystick” was well within the original confidence intervals. But I couldn’t reproduce the original hockeystick error bands with simple bootstrap – another standard “sniff test”.

    I concluded:
    – maybe Steve Mc had found a technical error, but it wasn’t terribly material
    – maybe there was something funny in the original hockeystick error estimates, but this didn’t seem to be Steve McIntyre’s point – indeed I’ve never seen anyone make this point, so I probably screwed up my bootstrap somehow

    This is the thing – I’m happy that some “pro-AGW” papers/work has trivial technical flaws.

    But it gets back to materiality.

    For instance, if Evens is correct in his op-ed/speech/blog-post about declining water vapor, that might well be material – but he hasn’t addressed the countervailing evidence which points to moisture increasing in the upper troposphere i.e. he still needs to show the flaw. I think Steve McIntyre found a technical flaw in a paper – good on him – but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t material to very much.

  37. JC

    PSC

    Create a blog put up your own hockey stick with the data you used as I would like to have a looksee at what you actually did.

  38. .

    downloaded the raw data, adjusted it so it had identical mean and variance, and did a simple unweighted average on the results of that, and smoothed it

    Why did you do this for? What justification is there for this? You have done three manipulations of the data before you tested it all. You may as well make it up. The hockeystick is a graph, not a statistical test or model by the way. What justification is there to manipulate graph data?

    This is the thing – I’m happy that some “pro-AGW” papers/work has trivial technical flaws.

    Except they’re not trivial. It is outright lying.

  39. JC

    Good catch, dot. So PSC basically “smoothed” out the rough edges like the teamsters did and calls it a night.

  40. PSC

    Look at this guys results – pretty much the same. I recall getting the same hump this guy gets around 1900.

    http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~phuybers/Hockey/Huybers_Comment.pdf

    If you’re really interested JC, I’ll pull out my stuff, but I want to have another check of my error estimate to see if I was making some bozo errors.

    Why did you do this for?

    Frankly because it seemed like a good idea at the time.

    What justification is there for this? You have done three manipulations of the data before you tested it all.

    If I recall it was pretty clear by eyeballing the data that they had different means and variances, presumably because they’re from different tree species or places or something like that. Why that transformation and not some other – because it’s a straightforward bog-standard transformation and pretty easy to do.

    I smoothed it because that’s what everyone else did and I was asleep in class when teacher said “if you saw the other guy jump over the cliff would you do the same thing”. I think everyone else fiddles means and variances too btw.

    If you want to argue that my work does not meet some Platonic form of statistical technique, I agree.

    But that was not the purpose. I was trying to get a general idea of “is Steve McIntyre onto something” – i.e. use the general purpose tools and eyeball if the graph sits inside the confidence intervals.

  41. .

    I think everyone else fiddles means and variances too btw.

    No they bloody don’t!

  42. PSC

    No they bloody don’t!

    Was that not the whole point of the PCA critique? Something about MBH normalizing to the 1900-1980 and M&M normalizing over the entire series, and that somehow re-orders the principal components?

    Everyone’s normalizing.

    But tell you what, if I get some free time this weekend I’ll recheck it and also calculate a non-normalized version.

  43. JC

    PSC

    What sorta work do you do. are you a money manager?

  44. JC

    The reason I’m asking is that I think i have the awful impression I know you sorta, if you’re a money manger.

    Would never divulge though.

  45. PSC

    are you a money manager?

    No. I work in the industry doing numerical stuff though, and I spend a lot of time talking to money managers.

    But I’m very happy with anonymity. :^)

  46. JC

    Oh Okay… I just thought I you were someone else.

  47. m0nty

    What do you mean they can’t fight back? The various research groups are organisations with budgets in the millions – not counting that they also have government backing. I also don’t buy that the AFR has to provide balance.

    Scientists don’t generally stoop to politicking, Sinclair. Not in the hard sciences, anyway, which includes climatology. Thus when they get attacked by politicians and other experienced media attack dogs, they generally don’t fight back, because it’s not in their culture to squabble in public. To their detriment, in this case.

    Any time that a news outlet expresses a point of view that is not left-wing, it is therefore being manipulated by the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy (VRWC). Bolt’s on Insiders? Must be the ABC caving in to right wing pressure, not because he’s a prominent journalist.

    Dave, if you had read my comment more closely you would have realised I was actually criticising Fairfax for using Bolt et al to bolster their own Vast Left Wing Conspiracy.

    Actually this in interesting. The Eugenics movements as similar characteristics as the Global warming movement in lots of ways.

    Congratulations JC, you Godwinned the thread.

  48. JC

    Scientists don’t generally stoop to politicking, Sinclair.

    LOl

    Realclimate.org hucksters
    East Anglia Teamsters
    Jim Hansen suggested coalmine executives ought to be for crimes against humanity.

    And tons more.

    Not in the hard sciences, anyway, which includes climatology.

    Are you a heroin addict, Pythe?

    Thus when they get attacked by politicians and other experienced media attack dogs, they generally don’t fight back, because it’s not in their culture to squabble in public.

    Double doses?

    To their detriment, in this case.

    Lol

    Any time that a news outlet expresses a point of view that is not left-wing, it is therefore being manipulated by the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy (VRWC). Bolt’s on Insiders? Must be the ABC caving in to right wing pressure, not because he’s a prominent journalist.

    Treble doses?

    Dave, if you had read my comment more closely you would have realised I was actually criticising Fairfax for using Bolt et al to bolster their own Vast Left Wing Conspiracy.

    Quadruple doses? Close to overdose now. Totally delusional.

    Congratulations JC, you Godwinned the thread.

    The Godwin rule is just a leftwing ploy to stop debate when things heat up, Pythe. You’re kidding yourself if you think anyone here would fall for that crapola.

    Fact is that the Global warming movement among the left/ Greens Slime supporters actually does seem to track closely to the Eugenics movement of earlier times. Same sorta people, just a different time and another excuse to fuck others over.

  49. dover_beach

    and then go on to show how this flaw demolishes the AGW edifice

    I didn’t forget it; I ignored it. Scepticism doesn’t mean you reject X in toto.

    This is the thing – I’m happy that some “pro-AGW” papers/work has trivial technical flaws.

    The flaws were not trivial. Steve Mc found that whatever numbers you used the analysis produced a hockey stick. The effect of Steve Mc’s work has devastated the confidence anyone has of dendroclimatological data. Will his work undermine radiative physics of CO2? No, its not meant to but it has undermined the confidence in the claim that current temps are unprecedented to some extent.

  50. m0nty

    The Godwin rule is just a leftwing ploy to stop debate when things heat up, Pythe. You’re kidding yourself if you think anyone here would fall for that crapola.

    Riiiight, JC. You’re on the Internet, did you realise that? Godwin’s Law was specially formulated for your brand of brainless bravado. You were going so well, and then you had to throw snake eyes and lose it all. Such a shame.

  51. JC

    yea, right, pythe.

    It nicely and neatly showed that the two movements seem to share the same sort of characteristics and players.

    Instead of abusing me with leftwing drivel demonstrate where it’s wrong, as I can’t see it and neither can you it seems, otherwise you wouldn’t be tossing a pathetic curve-ball at me with this Godwin caper of yours.

  52. m0nty

    Perhaps you should reacquaint yourself with the reasoning behind Godwin’s Law and how it was created to lampoon foolish arguments like trying to equate climatology with the Holocaust. Your credibility is at stake, JC. Go, off with you now. I hope your perusal of the Godwin literature will cure you of the epic failure you are currently suffering.

  53. JC

    i didn’t equate climate science with the holocaust, you dummy. I specifically equated adherents of the global warming movement with the eugenics movement. It’s a totally different thing and a fairly decent comparison.

    I can see why you went to j school, pythe, as your comprehension abilities are next to zero.

  54. PSC

    Steve Mc found that whatever numbers you used the analysis produced a hockey stick.

    (a) I don’t believe he did, and (b), if you think he did and you’re unhappy with the original analysis then use a different analysis. There’s numbers of different ones.

  55. m0nty

    It’s really quite an interesting movement. Having obvious roots to Darwin it became a totally bastardized form of science to the point where people were using it to kill with culminating in the Nazi final solution and Stalin murdering the peasants.

    Sorta reminds me of some of the pricks involved in climate science, in itself a perfectly decent leg of science but now heisted by the extremist left.

    Yeah JC, I would call that equating climatology with the Holocaust. Classic Godwin fail. You are draping yourself in Godwin like Pauline Hanson draped herself in the flag. Put some pants on man.

  56. PSC

    and then go on to show how this flaw demolishes the AGW edifice

    I didn’t forget it; I ignored it. Scepticism doesn’t mean you reject X in toto.

    This is what bug me I guess. Every human endeavour has errors in it. But often those errors are non-material.

    If you think AGW is bunkum, you have to show it has *material* errors in it. Important errors. Errors which in some way change or modify your conclusions about things.

    Otherwise we’re engaging in masturbation, not debate.

  57. JC

    Pythe

    You really are silly. Read that excerpt again and explain exactly where I criticized science, you dope.

    It’s clear I didn’t to anyone who hasn’t been to j school.

    I refer to Darwin and how they bastardized it (the eugenics movement) and I then promote ” a perfectly decent leg of science” being climate science.

    Of course there are climate scientists who are totally beyond the norm and basically act as political activists, however that hasn’t been a sudden revelation by me, you twit. I have always criticized miscreants like the Teamsters at UEA and other rotten eggs like the clowns at Realbeta.org.

    Now go get some beauty sleep as I think you need it.

  58. JC

    Otherwise we’re engaging in masturbation, not debate.

    Speak for yourself.

  59. JC

    Yea PESC. I’d appreciate it if you put it on a blog along with the data.. that’s only if you have time and don’t mind doing so otherwise no great shakes.

    ——–

    MontY.

    You want to know why I have not only zero time for some of these people but also feel total disgust.

    Here read this:

    http://climateaudit.org/2011/04/25/cru-refuses-foi-request-for-yamal-climategate-chronology/

    One of the more important things to come out of the Climateaudit piece is that these people are so fucking dishonest, so in your face dishonest that it is just unpardonable. They ought to be thrown out of work an all their benefits zeroed.

    McIntyre reports that while his Freedom of Information request was refused, friends of the teamsters request for data was met immediately.

    McIntyre was told that the data couldn’t be given to him because it didn’t belong to East Anglia and therefore they were unable to meet the request.

    These people are so fucking shoddy and dishonest it is breathtaking. Anything they say or publish is essentially worthless.

    As for the eugenics movement = the global warming movement… Think of shysters like AlGore, Monbiot (suggesting that we cut air-travel by 90% and jail airlines executives), James Hansen suggesting we jail coal company executives, Dr. Pach who is an outright crook.

  60. dover_beach

    (a) I don’t believe he did, and (b), if you think he did and you’re unhappy with the original analysis then use a different analysis. There’s numbers of different ones.

    It doesn’t matter what you believe, he demonstrated that the algorithm used by MBH produced hockey stick whatever numbers were used. And this has since been demonstrated by independent analyses.

    If you think AGW is bunkum, you have to show it has *material* errors in it. Important errors. Errors which in some way change or modify your conclusions about things.

    I don’t think AGW is bunkum in toto. Material errors have been found, important uncertainties have been raised, and they all are important.

  61. PSC

    It doesn’t matter what you believe, he demonstrated that the algorithm used by MBH produced hockey stick whatever numbers were used. And this has since been demonstrated by independent analyses.

    As I said, you might want to read McIntyre’s claim more closely.

    But in any event if you’re not happy USE A DIFFERENT ALGORITHM TO PROCESS THE DATA.

    (Hint – the main point I’m trying to make is in capital letters.)

  62. m0nty

    As for the eugenics movement = the global warming movement… Think of shysters like AlGore, Monbiot (suggesting that we cut air-travel by 90% and jail airlines executives), James Hansen suggesting we jail coal company executives, Dr. Pach who is an outright crook.

    Right, so you’re saying Gore, Monbiot, Hansen and Pach are equivalent to Hitler, Goebbels, Eichmann and Mengele? When you throw faeces like that, JC, you end up smelling like Werribee.

  63. dover_beach

    As I said, you might want to read McIntyre’s claim more closely.

    Why? Have I misrepresented it or are you moving a thimble.

    But in any event if you’re not happy USE A DIFFERENT ALGORITHM TO PROCESS THE DATA.

    Yes, I accept that; the effect of that though has been to “break” the hockey stick. Good job Steve Mc.

  64. JC

    No I’m not saying they are equivalent to Adolph, Pythe, you dummy. I don’t think any of them would kill as many people in such a disagreeable way.

    However there were lots and lots of other people involved in the Eugenics movement and I see a lot of similarity between those pricks and the current crop that have arisen.

    In fact it’s eerily similar.

  65. Sinclair Davidson

    you end up smelling like Werribee.

    oi, my home this is.

  66. PSC

    Yes, I accept that; the effect of that though has
    been to “break” the hockey stick. Good job Steve Mc.

    Now you have to ask the question: if you use a different algorithm to process the data, do you still get a hockey-stick-like graph?

    If you use 10 different algorithms, do you still get a hockey stick?

    If you use a simple unweighted average, do you still get a hockey-stick-like graph?

    If you use a novel technique no-ones’ thought of before, do you still get a hockey stick-like graph?

    If you do, well it says the hockey stick is in the data, not the algorithm.

    On McIntyre’s claim – I’m happy that the original technique had a small bias towards producing hockey sticks – which is what they claim – and I can see why people are not happy with that particular algorithm for that reason. They didn’t show that whatever data goes in a hockey stick comes out.

  67. dover_beach

    Now you have to ask the question: if you use a different algorithm to process the data, do you still get a hockey-stick-like graph?

    ‘Hockey-stick-like’? I never seen a hockey stick with a hump almost as large as the blade in the first third.

    I’m happy that the original technique had a small bias towards producing hockey sticks….They didn’t show that whatever data goes in a hockey stick comes out.

    Actually, they did:

    We found that meaningless red noise could yield hockey stick-like proxy PCs. This allowed us to generate a “Monte Carlo” benchmark for statistical significance. The idea is that if you fit a model using random numbers you can see how well they do at “explaining” the data. Then the “real world” data, if they are actually informative about the climate, have to outperform the random numbers. We calculated significance benchmarks for the hockey stick algorithm and showed that the hockey stick did not achieve statistical significance, at least in the pre-1450 segment where all the controversy is. In other words, MBH98 and MBH99 present results that are no more informative about the millennial climate history than random numbers.

  68. m0nty

    No I’m not saying they are equivalent to Adolph, Pythe, you dummy. I don’t think any of them would kill as many people in such a disagreeable way.

    However there were lots and lots of other people involved in the Eugenics movement and I see a lot of similarity between those pricks and the current crop that have arisen.

    In fact it’s eerily similar.

    You’re engaging in a smear, plain and simple. You are likening climatologists to Nazis, it’s a clear invocation of Godwin. You lose, end of meaningful discussion.

  69. JC

    Pythe.

    You seem really excited over invoking that stupid leftist Godwin swill. Doesn’t work with me so don’t even try.

    However, if for some loon reason you wish to persist then go right ahead and keep referring to godwin crap as I really don’t give a shit.

    I do however wish to correct some of your nonsense again.
    You are likening climatologists to Nazis

    I didn’t. I was quite clear about who exactly I was referring to as dishonest and political advocates pretending they’re scientists. They the clowns at Realbeta.org, the liars at U of EA and other assorted ratbags.

    As I keep asking steve , do you really think the world is going to be saved by these superheroes? I don’t.

  70. JC

    This is more you went to J school, Pythe.

    You really wouldn’t be that good at IQ type test.

    Most likely all Nazis were supporters of Eugenics. However not all supporters of Eugenics were Nazis or even born around in the era.

    So it’s wrong to associate all supporters with the Nazi cause.

    So please stop being a dummy.

  71. JC

    oops… this is more evidence you went…

  72. dover_beach

    it’s a clear invocation of Godwin.

    It wasn’t but even if he did that would not mean he lost an argument. It means:

    The rule does not make any statement about whether any particular reference or comparison to Adolf Hitler or the Nazis might be appropriate, but only asserts that the likelihood of such a reference or comparison arising increases as the discussion progresses.

    Maybe you ought to actually school yourself, m0nty.

  73. JC

    Alarmists go apeshit over comparisons drawn like the one with the Eugenics movement, DB.

    This one seems to fit beautifully.

  74. m0nty

    db: from the Jargon Dictionary…

    “There is a tradition in many groups that, once this occurs, that thread is over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress.”

    If it’s not the tradition at Catallaxy, it should be. Mentioning Nazis is the laziest debating tactic in Christendom. If nothing else, Godwin’s Law improves the quality of discussions on the Internet.

    JC: if you had gone through your argument without specifically mentioning Nazis, your defence might be worth something. But you did namecheck both Nazis and the Final Solution, thus invalidating your entire screed.

  75. dover_beach

    There is a tradition in many groups that, once this occurs, that thread is over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress.

    Yes, I understand that, but that is not Godwin’s Law.

    If it’s not the tradition at Catallaxy, it should be. Mentioning Nazis is the laziest debating tactic in Christendom. If nothing else, Godwin’s Law improves the quality of discussions on the Internet.

    Why is mentioning the Nazis ‘lazy’ if the analogy is apt? I can see why arguing that vegetarianism is bad because Hitler was one himself is silly but in a discussion of the problems of rule by decree, for instance, is it really inappropriate to raise the experience under Nazism? No, it isn’t.

  76. JC

    If it’s not the tradition at Catallaxy, it should be.

    You’re such a drama queen Pythe.

    Mentioning Nazis is the laziest debating tactic in Christendom.

    No it’s not. If it applies it applies.

    If nothing else, Godwin’s Law improves the quality of discussions on the Internet.

    Bullshit. This crap excuse was made up by a leftwinger to stop people from reaching obvious conclusions. It’s so old now you ought to feel all crinkled up referring to it.

    JC: if you had gone through your argument without specifically mentioning Nazis, your defence might be worth something. But you did namecheck both Nazis and the Final Solution, thus invalidating your entire screed.

    I didn’t specifically mention Nazis. The wiki cite did because the Nazis were eugenic supporters. Strongly so.

    The point I was making, which you seem to have missed, is that I found the eugenics and global warming movements quite similar in their devotion to fucking over their fellow man. The Greens slime party for instance has a eugenics streak because it wants to ban nuclear medicine, which would mean a death sentence for most cancer suffers. The slimers of course removed that policy from the website when they began to receive criticism but although they removed it, there is no evidence it still isn’t Slimer policy. It seems to me They just hid it from the public view.

    If the gas chamber fits, Pythe you need to get in there and see what it’s like … 🙂

  77. PSC

    dover, nothing in your quotation contradicts my assertion.

  78. daddy dave

    Mentioning Nazis is the laziest debating tactic in Christendom.

    The opposite is now true. It’s impossible to bring Nazis or WWII up at all, even in reasonable contexts, without people shrieking “Godwin’s Law! Godwin’s Law!”

    This is a problem because the rise of the Nazis and consequently World War II was the most significant event in modern history. To ban ourselves from talking about it is ridiculous – it leaves a gaping hole in any discourse, especially at a blog where politics and history are discussed on a regular basis.

    There’s an additional problem, is that Western conservatives hold the view that the anti-Semitic crusade that the Nazis waged is now being waged by Iran and its proxy states. But you’d rather us self-censor from talking about rampant anti-Semitism in modern day societies, and from discussing ideologies that pursue genocide of Jews. or if we do, we must not make any historical allusions.

    Because that would be a violation of Godwin’s Law.

    Finally – Godwin’s Law is a pretend scientific law, not a “legal” law. You can’t ‘violate’ Godwin’s Law any more than you can violate the law of gravity.

  79. daddy dave

    it’s a clear invocation of Godwin. You lose, end of meaningful discussion.

    Explain why mentioning the Nazis loses credibility, without using the words “Godwin’s Law.” As far as I am concerned, the first person to utter that phrase loses all credibility.

  80. JC

    The whole thing started when the idiot, FDB led with his chin with this stupid comment, Dad.

    Otherwise you are guilty of an utterly baseless smear of the ENTIRE profession. Rafe’s already made it perfectly clear he’s comfortable smearing the entire scientific profession by refusing to retract his slur. Are you sure you want to join him?

    How dare you criticize, Rafe!

    It reminded me of the Eugenics Movement and how this truly distasteful quackery took root from a perfectly acceptable realm of science: evolutionary theory.

    Reading the wiki page showed how eugenics in all its evil made it way from universities across Europe to becoming established policy of governments culminating with the death of 6 million plus, not counting the mentally disabled and others thought to be “inferior” and deserving to be liquidated.

    Eugencs seems to have had even the same undergirding: a strong bent towards government funding or rich pricks like Jeremy Grantham pushing money towards this area of science. East Anglia showed just how fucking corrupting Government funding can be.

    To my mind the early eugenics movement is a perfect example of “science” going fucking haywire and ending up causing death and destruction to uncountable millions. So anyone that says science and scientists are beyond reproach and ought to be treated special is either a complete turkey or out of their minds. People do Science and people can often get out of balance and do stupid or evil things. The last thing you want to be doing is putting people in a position they can’t be criticized.

    In my mind global warming alarmists are following the same trail as those evil pricks that pushed eugenics. They even speak in the same tone and both are totalitarian movements, which invariably are always saving humanity from itself.

    They need to be challenged and beaten to the point where they’re embarrassed at what they’ve supported.

    Meanwhile drama queen MontY here is doing interference.

  81. .

    Mentioning Nazis is the laziest debating tactic in Christendom.

    No you’re lying.

  82. FDB

    The whole thing started when the idiot, FDB led with his chin with this stupid comment, Dad.

    Otherwise you are guilty of an utterly baseless smear of the ENTIRE profession. Rafe’s already made it perfectly clear he’s comfortable smearing the entire scientific profession by refusing to retract his slur. Are you sure you want to join him?

    How dare you criticize, Rafe!

    It reminded me of the Eugenics Movement and how this truly distasteful quackery took root from a perfectly acceptable realm of science: evolutionary theory.

    Did it? How odd.

  83. m0nty

    No you’re lying.

    Well played, sir.

  84. m0nty

    Why is mentioning the Nazis ‘lazy’ if the analogy is apt?

    Because the analogy is never apt. You can’t mention a systematic program to exterminate ten million people in the same breath as a comparison to anything other than another genocide and still expect to be taken seriously. You’re trying to bring an asteroid to a knife fight, it makes you look ridiculous.

    This is a problem because the rise of the Nazis and consequently World War II was the most significant event in modern history. To ban ourselves from talking about it is ridiculous – it leaves a gaping hole in any discourse, especially at a blog where politics and history are discussed on a regular basis.

    There’s an additional problem, is that Western conservatives hold the view that the anti-Semitic crusade that the Nazis waged is now being waged by Iran and its proxy states. But you’d rather us self-censor from talking about rampant anti-Semitism in modern day societies, and from discussing ideologies that pursue genocide of Jews. or if we do, we must not make any historical allusions.

    Discussion of new cases of organised governmental genocide is not actually verboten. Did that stop the West invading Iraq to (nominally) save the Kurds? Did that stop the West from intervening in the Serbian/Croatian conflict? We may call it “ethnic cleansing” rather than “a new Holocaust”, for obvious reasons, but it’s the same thing in practice (though not scale). There is no such thing as Godwinite censorship.

    On anti-Semitism, equating Iran to the Nazis is rather silly. Does Iran have death camps for Jews? How many million Jews have they killed? How close is Iran to annexing Israel and gassing all of its inhabitants? Using a word like “crusade” is also redolent with unnecessarily emotive baggage. Such language gets us nowhere, and pollutes any otherwise sane debate beyond usefulness.

  85. m0nty

    In my mind global warming alarmists are following the same trail as those evil pricks that pushed eugenics. They even speak in the same tone and both are totalitarian movements, which invariably are always saving humanity from itself.

    You think you’re Luke Skywalker, but you’re actually Salacious B. Crumb.

  86. Sinclair Davidson

    Scientists don’t generally stoop to politicking, Sinclair.

    Actually they do – very nice coverage here.

  87. daddy dave

    You can’t mention a systematic program to exterminate ten million people in the same breath as a comparison to anything other than another genocide and still expect to be taken seriously

    That wasn’t the only, or even central, policy of the Nazis.

    You’re trying to bring an asteroid to a knife fight, it makes you look ridiculous.

    an asteroid? What use would that be in a knife fight?

  88. JC

    That wasn’t the only, or even central, policy of the Nazis.

    Dumb MontY thinks the Nazis invented eugenics.

    They didn’t MontY , they simply applied ‘da science” to state based policy.

  89. Sinclair Davidson

    Re: Godwin’s Law

    I’m generally inclined to agree with JC’s analysis

    The Godwin rule is just a leftwing ploy to stop debate when things heat up

    that isn’t to say that internet debates don’t quickly descend into arguments about the holocaust and comparisons to Nazi’s. But as far as I can see no such comparison had been made before Monty invoked Godwin’s law and tried to change the subject. While the Nazi’s practised eugenics it isn’t clear to me that all eugenicists are also Nazi’s (although I’m happy to accept a working assumption in that regard; I should point out that the Nazi’s were also anti-smoking and environmentalists yet somehow those positions never raise Godwin’s law objections).

    We also had a long running debate about the economics of Nazi Germany that we managed to maintain without participants invoking Godwin’s law.

    To remind everyone – Godwin’s law applies but should be interpreted narrowly and is not the basis to ‘win’ an argument.

  90. JC

    Scientists don’t generally stoop to politicking, Sinclair.

    This lie ought to result in a lifetime ban for exaggerated, over the top trolling. Lol

  91. JC

    Sinclair says:

    While the Nazi’s practised eugenics it isn’t clear to me that all eugenicists are also Nazi’s (although I’m happy to accept a working assumption in that regard

    I mentioned several times that exact thing in that all Nazis were likely to be eugenic supporters but not all Eugenic supporters were Nazis. For heavens sake Keynes believed in Eugenics and was a strong supporter.

    I think she’s a little upset I compared the Eugenics movement to the Global Warming Alarmism as she obviously identifies with the bedwetting, totalitarians movement and got all emotional.

    I forgive though, as I’m very big hearted and foreignness is in my nature.

  92. dover_beach

    PSC:
    dover, nothing in your quotation contradicts my assertion.

    Are you auditioning for the role of the ‘Black Knight’? If so, you’re a shoe-in.

    m0nty:
    Because the analogy is never apt. You can’t mention a systematic program to exterminate ten million people in the same breath as a comparison to anything other than another genocide and still expect to be taken seriously.

    Nazism wasn’t only a program of genocide, monty. I suppose you think that the Hart-Fuller debate, for instance, shouldn’t be taken ‘seriously’ and that they look ridiculous, at least by and to know-nothings who mistakenly invoke a rule that they think wins them an argument, because they discuss issues relating to the law and morality, the rule of law, obligation to obey, with the example of the law under Nazism, among others, in the background.

  93. You’re such an idiot JC. (As you fond of saying to me.)

    Just admit it: it drives you crazy that you believe global warming is a real and serious issue, but this means you agree with the science of a bunch of “beta males”, so to provide cover, you have to run interference for skeptics by talking up irrelevant sideshows like McIntyre’s never ending claims of victimhood (while never admitting that he has slurred those with whom he demands co-operation for years.)

    As for Paltridge, I think it well worth reading the Sourcewatch entry on him, as despite his being well credentialled in the field, it appears he has, for whatever reason, always maintained a “lukewarmenist” position, doubting at every chance that AGW could ever really be a big problem.

    Some of the specific examples they give of his earlier skepticism (eg regarding sea level rise) now appear to have been well and truly proved wrong by more recent science.

    Moreover, in commenting on his book, it notes that he (as is typical) apparently shares skeptics “hidden agenda” conspiracy theories.

    In other words, it once again appears to me to be a case of ideologically driven skepticism.

  94. JC

    Steve:

    Let me repeat for the 100th time. I think global Warming is a really big fucking long term problem for the world if 40% of the population (China and India) are going to join the rest of us (the rich world) and blow up a veritable storm of crap into the atmosphere.

    Let me repeat also for the 100th time that Global Warming is a technological problem and therefore must be dealt with technologically.

    Let me also repeat for the 100th time that global warming in NOT a moral issue of our time. It’s like dealing with the garbage in way. If you find it smells a lot you either go out and buy a better bin or figure out the way of sealing it so it doesn’t stink. You don’t go and move house or sell you car (nothing to do with the issue). No great shakes and hardly a moral issue.

    Now believing we’re are warming up a little that could end up being serious, as the rest of the world catches up economically doesn’t mean I think much of the bozos at realbeta.org or deadend imbeciles like that.

    Gavin Scmdit recently had the temerity to suggest that shale gas is problem and not an answer to our problems, when in fact it’s the cleaner short term option by a country mile for the US. He’s a first rate douchebag and has absolutely nothing to add to the discussion.

    He and the others in fact are absolute fucking poison to this debate.

    No that’s what I think.

  95. Let me also repeat for the 100th time that global warming in NOT a moral issue of our time. It’s like dealing with the garbage in way. If you find it smells a lot you either go out and buy a better bin or figure out the way of sealing it so it doesn’t stink. You don’t go and move house or sell you car (nothing to do with the issue). No great shakes and hardly a moral issue.

    Well why isn’t it a moral question when the key issue (according to vast majority of science) is: what we do now now has the potential to dramatically change the world for the worse for our grandkids and further descendants?

    And why isn’t it a moral issue when climate scientists keep noting that crap skeptic arguments as reason to do nothing are continually being thrown up by ideologically motivated twits who see global government and fiat currency conspiracies behind climate science?

    They are always promoting a gamble, and its one with high stakes for future generations in particular.

    High stakes, risky gambling against what the scientists tell us are the odds is a moral issue. Particularly when it is not the middle aged gambler who will bear most of the cost of losing.

  96. Sinclair Davidson

    SourceWatch is hardly definitive. My entry is six years out of date.

  97. dover_beach

    The earnestness of climate evangelism.

  98. .

    Saw this idiocy at source watch.

    http://www.foodrightsnetwork.org/

    Do they understand the water cycle at all? Nature has an amazing ability to break down pollutants.

    [Rejoinder to tea cosy wearing idiots: I don’t want endocrine disruptors for lunch.]

  99. daddy dave

    risky gambling against what the scientists tell us are the odds is a moral issue

    Scientists can describe the problem, but from that point on, their job is done. They are not in possession of secret information, so their solutions are on the table with everyone else’s and have no special privilege. Mitigate, adapt, ignore… these are decisions for us, not the scientists.

    Besides that, I challenge you to find a single scientist who says that Australia’s proposed carbon tax will have any effect on global warmingg.

  100. I am aware of Sourcewatch not always being up to date, but the entry on Paltridge appears to mainly be quotes of his past statements, and on that basis, appears less contentious then some of their other entries.

  101. Mitigate, adapt, ignore… these are decisions for us, not the scientists.

    Err, yes, but the particular debate is “are there moral aspects to the decision as to what to do.”

  102. daddy dave

    the particular debate is “are there moral aspects to the decision as to what to do.”

    It is. I was responding to your claim that “High stakes, risky gambling against what the scientists tell us are the odds is a moral issue”.

  103. Well I can’t follow you now, d-d.

    Are you saying that it is up to the public to decide whether the scientists advice on the odds is right or not?

    And that that decision does not have moral aspects to it?

  104. .

    “are there moral aspects to the decision as to what to do.”

    The greatest moral challenge of our time…give me a break.

  105. The earnestness of climate evangelism.

    The lack of moral seriousness in the climate “do nothing” sceptic camp.

  106. .

    The lack of moral seriousness in the climate “do nothing” sceptic camp.

    You’re an ignoramus. “Doing nothing” would benefit the environment immensely. Iron seeding and hydro & nuclear would appear, and subsidies to fossil fuel and energy subsidies to industry as well as unsustainable agriculture would disappear if the Government truly “did nothing”.

  107. daddy dave

    Are you saying that it is up to the public to decide whether the scientists advice on the odds is right or not?

    No, it’s up to the public to decide what to do, once the scientists have outlined “the odds.”
    * Scientists inform.
    * The public then make informed decisions.
    That’s how we do things.

    And that that decision does not have moral aspects to it

    Nope, it’s a straight up utility call.

  108. dover_beach

    The lack of moral seriousness in the climate “do nothing” sceptic camp.

    Sceptics do not promote ‘doing nothing’; what we promote are sensible improvements are sensible or that ameliorate existing problems, like improving fuel efficiency or the quality of air in cities, respectively, rather than purported problems that may or may not emerge in some distant future that provide an opportunity for moral grandstanding.

  109. dover_beach

    Correction: what we promote are improvements that are sensible or that ameliorate…..

  110. Nope, it’s a straight up utility call.

    It’s a “utility call” in the sense that there is no point in taking steps that have no outcome. (And I do not accept that this includes Australia having a carbon price.)

    But a call which has results which affect to the greatest extent not you but the next few generations surely has a moral aspect.

    Why are people so resistant to that position?

    Is it the remnants of a toxic Randian ideology of selfishness as something to be worshipped?

  111. You’re saying “do nothing” vis a vis CO2, by the sounds of it, d-b. Because you want to take the gamble that the minority of scientists with any sort of expertise and experience in the field are right.

  112. .

    Steve your sleight of hand is pathetic. You slur economic rationalism as “Randianism” (not so bad, she was a crazy old bitch but had a point) when it no longer works for you and talk about morality with no philosophical basis – which is in fact countermanded by economic rationalism anyway – collectively and individually.

  113. dover_beach

    Is it the remnants of a toxic Randian ideology of selfishness as something to be worshipped?

    Last count, there were no “Randians” on this site.

    Look, it’s true, there is a moral aspect to it, but there is a moral aspect to whatever we do. And the sceptic can argue that it is better, morally and practically, to focus our efforts to improve on the near as opposed to the far.

  114. daddy dave

    And I do not accept that this includes Australia having a carbon price

    Okay then Steve, spell it out. What will the effect of the carbon price be on global warming?

    But a call which has results which affect to the greatest extent not you but the next few generations surely has a moral aspect.
    Why are people so resistant to that position?

    That’s a decent point, I’ll admit. But it’s no different from other long term planning that society makes. Why do people leave any money to their children? Why don’t they spend it all? Is that a moral decision that they’re making?

  115. dover_beach

    You’re saying “do nothing” vis a vis CO2, by the sounds of it, d-b.

    Is improving fuel efficiency “doing nothing”? Is improving the quality of air in our cities “doing nothing” re AGW? Are other changes of this sort “doing nothing”? Only a fool would imagine that we have only two choices: global mitigation, or “doing nothing”.

  116. .

    Look, it’s true, there is a moral aspect to it, but there is a moral aspect to whatever we do.

    Like I said – economic rationalism gives us the moral choice, individually and collectively. Steve thus must conclude that he is actually immoral.

  117. Oh well, I got a couple of people to agree that it is not entirely inappropriate to use the “m” word with respect to the AGW issue.

    That’s as much as I can expect, I suppose…

  118. dot, I don’t really have time to unravel the Escher diagram that you’ve painted there.

    You may be encouraged to know (ha) that I think you and your technological optimist mates probably means you shouldn’t be condemned as amongst the most immoral. Badly mistaken, but not the most immoral.

  119. .

    dot, I don’t really have time to unravel the Escher diagram that you’ve painted there.

    You dummy.

    Badly mistaken, but not the most immoral.

    Steve thinks he’s got a whiff of the Urim and Thummim.

  120. Of great relevance to the point I have been making is this post by climate scientist Bart Verheggen. (He’s seen as one of the most moderately voiced on the AGW side, I think.)

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