Dilemmas in science communication

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Slightly different version has been posted and discussed at Planet3

A few weeks ago I attended a meeting on science communication and the increasing public distrust of science. Climate was not the major theme, though it did come up as an example (not least because I was an invited speaker, as a blogging scientist / scientific blogger).

Cees van Woerkum: Modern vs traditional communication

The first speaker was professor in communication science, Cees van Woerkum. I attended his lectures 19 years ago. He explained how the old model, of a sender and a receiver of communication, was no longer valid (if it ever was). Modern communication is characterized by a much more active role of the audience in selecting what information to take in. Also, the message is not inert, but rather gets meaning in an active and social process.

Drawing on examples from biotechnology, carbon capture and storage, and vaccination he argued that scientists should take the concerns of citizens seriously. Laughing at somebody for calling biotechnology “unnatural” is not going to take their worries away or change their mind. Calling fears of side effects from vaccinations “dangerous nonsense” doesn’t quite work either, especially not if those concerns have already been anchored to a certain extent through social construction. If a scientist calls the chance of CO2 leakage from a storage facility vanishingly small, the response is “so it’s not impossible?!” A potential way out according to van Woerkum is to ask what’s behind their concerns: What do you mean by unnatural?” Then you can at least start to have a conversation.

Jona Lendering: A different field of scientific inquiry facing large scale disinformation

This was followed by a presentation by author and historian Jona Lendering. Although the topic of his talk was something entirely different (about ancientPersia) the similarities with the climate debate were striking. He explained how this field of academic enquiry (about the origin of Western civilization) was being “attacked by anti-scientific tendencies” (aiming to glorify one culture’s role). The scientific establishment hardly participated in the public debate on the internet. As a consequence, the anti-scientific views got more traction and mainstream science failed in (what should be) one its core missions: Informing the public. He repeatedly stated the mechanism: “Bad information drives out good information”. He also mentioned the “intense hate” with which the “attack-machines” approach science. It was as if I was listening to Kevin Trenberth; the dynamic between a skeptical-cynical part of the audience and mainstream science was just too similar.

Me: Dilemmas in science communication

I talked about the dynamics of blog discussions and about the dilemmas that one encounters in trying to communicate scientific insights to a broad audience, mainly in the sphere of understandability vs completeness:

I mentioned that imho mainstream media suffers from too much emphasis on news (as opposed to robust knowledge) and on mere facts (to the detriment of explaining the scientific process of getting to understand those facts). In the blogosphere I see too much emphasis on details (to the detriment of the big picture) and on uncertainties (to the detriment of robust knowledge).

The last one on the list I actually added based on the dilemma that van Woerkum alerted the audience to: As a scientist (or science journalist), you can no longer easily claim “listen to me, I’ll tell you how it is”. You have to take the concerns of citizens seriously.

But what to do if those concerns are not openly expressed, but rather disguised in scientific sounding (but incorrect or sometimes even plain silly) arguments? “Climate change is due to the sun” or “Iranis the origin of Western civilization” or “vaccination causes autism”? The underlying reason for skepticism often remains hidden. As a scientist, you’re sucked into a quasi-scientific argument. How else can you react, than by saying: “no, that’s not the way it is. It’s this and this way, for such and such reasons”? But such a reaction is being characterized by skeptics ((mis-)using van Woerkum’s words) as “unjustified superiority of science”. Is explaining how science sees it a hopeless strategy?

In line with van Woerkum I think it’s important to focus on the underlying reasons for distrusting science. We should really discuss why we disagree so strongly about climate change (e.g. due to differences in worldviews and in risk perception). Keith Kloor cites Scott Denning (who spent a lot of time talking with contrarians, e.g. at two consecutive Heartland meetings):

Almost everyone that dismisses climate change as a problem does it for ideological or political reasons, not for scientific reasons.

Of course, there are also other potential reasons, but this one is surely a biggie.

Discussions about hockeysticks and feedbacks are all very interesting, but they are not the crux of why there is a such a heated and politicized debate about climate change. We don’t have a similar public debate about the mating behavior of fruitflies after all.

 

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446 Responses to “Dilemmas in science communication”

  1. Geoff Foulds Says:

    Very interesting – thank you for raising these questions.

    It put me in mind of this article: “Let the nanotargeting begin.” According to the writer political parties are now able to target their messages down to almost the individual voter. And that stimulating extreme views among these micro-segments of voters can influence voter turnout enough to swing close electoral races. If so climate change may become even more polarized despite the best efforts to steer onto more reasoned and less emotional ground.

    http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/15/let-the-nanotargeting-begin/?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120416

  2. Tony Duncan Says:

    It is interesting living in a very “progressive” place, VT. There is a nuclear plant here and a tremendous amount of anti nuclear feeling and activism. Also people concerned and hesitant about vaccination, as well as a good deal of support in alternative medicine and even crystal healing, reiki, and homeopathy.
    I actually have quite a bit of sympathy for all of these issues. I am opposed to nuclear energy use, but my view is rather nuanced and not at all absolute. I believe very strongly in good nutrition and that western medicine has significant faults. But I also want to have some real scientific backing for supporting a belief that has scientific elements.To me acupuncture is an invasive procedure that i see no significant evidence of it being effective. I see homeopathy as having no viable agency, not vaccinating children as down right dangerous, and reiki and crystal healing as outright charletanism.
    yet I live around many people who are convinced of the effectiveness of some or even most of these practices. I do not actively attack people who practice or believe them, as it would lead to excessive confrontation and probably some sort of ostracism. Yet, there is no strong cultural pressure to accept any of these, except maybe for the anti nuclear issue which has strong partisans on both sides (since it employs many people at wages much higher than most of their jobs)
    Part of the cultural paradigm is tolerance. and most people largely do follow that, and it is expected that people will express their real opinions.
    I see the difference as being largely that climate change is such an irreversible and potentially devastating global issue, whereas these others, while potentially dangerous in some cases, can be expected to self correct at some time in the future. In spite of belief is these unscientific practices most peoples lives are not negatively impacted. So I am more vocal and intransigent about my beliefs on this issue. And I am also intransigent about dealing with the reality, even if it does not fit my perspective. I make it clear that I would rather change my perspective than my ideology. And that is not an easy thing to be sure one is hewing to.

  3. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    So glad to see you back in action! It’s been quite a while.

    Sadly, Bart, this is the latest in a long line of pieces from the consensus point of view about science communication that, once again, fails to include the word ‘listen.’ (Technically not true–you parody one line of thought as ‘listen to me’ and use it in an unrelated context as well.)

    As long as ‘communication’ means nothing more to you than finding the most persuasive argument or choosing the right channel for your messages, you and the rest of those repeating these arguments will sound exactly like the marketing and advertising moguls I have advised since 1996.

    But something happened since then and some of these moguls noticed. They found Web 2.0 tools gave them a chance to listen to what their customers (and more importantly the people they wanted to become their customers) were talking about. What was important to them, their opinions on things that weren’t related to the marketers’ products, etc. And some of these people ventured to actually engage in a dialogue with them. And a funny thing happened. Many of them began to win in the marketplace.

    I’m being a little unfair to you, Bart. You’ve been far more engaged (and more engaging as a consequence) than many of your ‘tribe.’ But the fact remains that in April of 2012 none of you show any signs of having listened to either your opponents or the vast majority of people who are steadfastly staying out of this argument.

  4. Bart Says:

    Hi Tom,

    Your reaction surprises me. Perhaps I wasn’t being clear enough, or perhaps you think I wasn’t being serious, but I made the case here that it’s important for scientists and communicators to listen to the general public and take their concerns seriously.

    Besides that, I also think it remains important to think about how to communicate scientific insights in a way that is intelligable to the general public.

    It would be a strange world where we have to chose one of these considerations and can’t consider them both simultaneously. Or where the second consideration should be abandoned alltogether.

  5. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    I’m glad to hear that I mis-read your piece. Let’s see how it works in practice. I won’t use Monckton–that’d be too much–but how would you take on board the concerns of someone like Steve McIntyre? What has he said that you have actually taken in? If he’s too controversial, let’s find someone else. Maybe Paul Kelly, who has said a lot of really good things right here. How have you modified any of your communications to reflect the good points he has made?

  6. Paul Kelly Says:

    Hooray, Bart is back.

  7. Bart Says:

    Paul,

    Don’t hold your breath. I’ll try to blog once in a while, but have other things keeping me occupied. He’s three weeks old today.

    Tom,

    In general, I think I’ve changed my communication efforts in that I’m trying to be less adversarial. To name an example, since Judith Curry has tried to “build bridges”, I thought she was on to something important (though have since been disappointed in the execution). I’m trying, in small steps and in insignificant ways, to do so without falling in the same traps that she has.

    Paul has indeed said many good things. I’ve noticed discussions can very easily degrade into antagonizing and distrusting each other. E.g. Paul seems very much convinced of the need to reduce emissions, yet routinely -but unintentionally- gets mainstream scientists riled up. I’m trying not to judge people too quickly, especially not negatively. Trying to see and focus on the positive.

    You have also been an example for me of someone who I believe to be well-intentioned, but distrustful of mainstream science. That has intrigued me and has been a motivation to try different ways to reach out to you and understand where you’re coming from. Perhaps I’ve failed.

    Perhaps I could ask you a question in return: How have you modified your ideas about climate science based on discussions with me, or with other mainstream scientists/communicators?

  8. thomaswfuller Says:

    You’ve had quite an impact on me and my thinking, Bart. I’ve learned quite a bit at this site and from what you’ve written and linked to. Thank you for that.

    It was also very helpful for me to get acquainted with someone who was firmly in the consensus camp but did not act like Romm or Rabett, lambert or Tobis. If nothing else you’ve shown it’s possible to be a gentleman throughout this debate.

    Perhaps most importantly for me, (embarrassing admission follows) when I was thoroughly disgusted with the behavior of some on your side, your influence helped prevent me from just chucking it all in and becoming a silent skeptic for purely political reasons. I’ve stayed a cantankerous lukewarm. Thanks for that, too.

  9. Paul Kelly Says:

    Congratulations on your new addition. There’s nothing finer. If ever you do find the time to post, I hope you’ll do it here. The way your posts were treated at planet3.0, it is a poor outlet for your writing. No one here will say that expert advice on communication is worthless because the experts don’t understand the evil conspiracy that is hiding under every rock. No one here will say we do not want to communicate about communication. We do.

    Much of what the other speakers at the meeting said has been discussed here. JanPaul van Soest in his cassandra post sumarized:
    Overstating is not really effective in getting the message across.
    Co-operation and collective action builds on trust.
    Present the science in a more open way, in terms of a variety of options and their consequences, and including the scientific uncertainties.

    However, that may be putting the cart before the horse. The proposition here is that there is a highly politicized debate about climate change, highly influenced and possibly predetermined by cultural and ideological values. Understanding the role of these values is fundamental to creating an effective message. It’s a good topic

  10. deech56 Says:

    Bart, congratulations on the new arrival! Glad to see your latest post. Sometimes I wonder why the burden and the criticism is all on the shoulders of the scientists. One would think that the public has some interest in self-preservation. Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise.

    But then the granddaughters stop by for a visit.

  11. deech56 Says:

    In a way, it’s as if scientists who communicate with the public must walk a tightrope – there are those who provide helpful suggestions because they want the scientists to succeed, but there are also those who are busy throwing stuff at the acrobat.

  12. Eli Rabett Says:

    WELL! Best, and of course, since you are not sleeping you have a lot of time to post.

    Eli”s POV on science communication is fairly simple

    A whole lot of other people appear to think that scientists are lousy communicators, and indeed, a whole lot of scientists agree and there are workshops, meetings and even, shudder, blogs, devoted to self improvement, or not. This goes into the file under missing the point.

    It’s not that scientists are or are not lousy communicators (say that and Eli will lock you in a room with Richard Alley for example), but that journalists are lousy communicators. It’s their (mild expression goes here this is now a family blog) job and they are screwing it up to a fare-thee-well. It ain’t just climate either. What journalists produce often makes the average cut and paste student paper blush with modesty

    But still, gentle reader now that we have all decided that journalism is completely innocent and full of virtue (well a slight exaggeration), perhaps we will get off the kick that all scientists need to be sent to communications re-education camp?

    Thought so.

    Eli’s entire point is that if journalists are the master communicators, they should communicate, and the fact that 1/3 to 1/2 the population believes in utter fables is a pretty good indication that something is not working. Moreover, the fact that fantasy rules in just about every area of human endeavor (read just about any newspaper these days or watch TV) is a pretty good indication that the fault is not with the science part. What we have here folks is a failure to communicate.

  13. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Scientists are not necessarily bad communicators. But they have abdicated their chance and disastrously have let people like Eli pretend they can communicate on scientists’ behalf. For every Hansen and Bart, there are covens full of Elis, Tobises, Lamberts and Romms. Not to mention their groupies. The result is what you see around you.

    Scientists have to grab the microphone out of the clutching hands of the wannabees and politically motivated.

  14. Eli Rabett Says:

    Eli, besides being a bunny, is a scientist. Tom is a journalist and covetous. Witch, of course, is the point. Enough punishment, but note the manipulation of symbols, the journalists stock in trade. Witches, except for the Wiccan, are in the western world, evil, so scientists are witches, but of course there are some good witches.

    If Eli has done anything of value it is to point to the shell game that the journalists are playing. It is important to remember that schools of journalism train students in the arts of public relations, manipulation of images and words for profit, as well as journalism. In this, the unrelenting vilification of those scientists who have seen the dangers ahead and raised an outcry, Hansen, Mann as exemplars, plays a vital role and is right out of the public relations operative’s handbook.

    You are being played folk.

  15. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Eli’s feeble attempt to blame journalists for the mess he and his fellow fools have created is his attempt at playing the public.

    It was no journalist who made the No Pressure video. It was no journalist who told skeptics that Green Peace knew where they lived. It was no journalist who wrote Anderegg, Prall et al. It was no journalist who ignored an IPCC scientist and continued to insist that Himalayan glaciers would disappear before 2035–while bidding on a project to study melting Himalayan glaciers. It was no journalist who said that the streets of Manhattan would be underwater in either 20 or 40 years. It was no journalist who told fellow scientists to delete all emails regarding AR4. The list could go on for days.

    You’ve run out of feet to shoot yourselves in, so you frantically cast about looking for scapegoats. And after 25 years of journalist from the BBC, the Guardian, the NY Times and every other major media outlet printing your screeds and screeches on demand, why it must be their fault!

    Journalists do deserve some blame. For not checking you bozos out.

  16. Bart Says:

    We’ve gone over the blame game before. I summarized some often heard positions here and provided my own: All of the above. Media, scientists, public: They all bear part of the responsibility for a lack of public understanding of science. Since, as Eli also says, the public is confused about a whole array of scientific issues, I’d be most inclined to say that the public itself, by their choice of what to read and what to believe, is responsible for their misconceptions. Even more so because someone’s beliefs determine to a large extent what facts they are inclined to believe.

    So scientists and journalists could communicate the stars from heaven and there will still be a large disconnect between the public’s perceptions and reality. Because the former are in many cases much more beautiful and pleasant than the latter.

  17. Paul S Says:

    ‘It was no journalist who made the No Pressure video.’

    Actually, one of the writers was Franny Armstrong, a documentary filmmaker, which basically makes her a journalist.

  18. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    As for Rabett being a scientist, I see no citations under that name. Taking him at his word (which I won’t do, as I have seen so many of his words and understand they are worth zero) would still put him in the company of Trofim Lysenko, using the label of science to cover damaging action for political causes, rather than normal scientists.

  19. Paul S Says:

    A few weeks ago I attended a meeting on science communication and the increasing public distrust of science.

    I think this idea that there is a general increasing public distrust of science should be treated with some skepticism. I’ve seen a number of reports addressing this possibility (e.g. this one) and all have concluded that there isn’t any evidence for it.

    Another report from 2000 (version appears to be draft) also rejects the idea that public trust in science is decreasing, and offers some reasons why the perception might exist. One suggested reason is that certain groups have a vested interest in planting the idea of distrust in order to influence behaviour – “if you want to be trusted you need to do what I say.” Specifically the report was referring to Greenpeace and it’s actions against GM crops, though of course there might be other examples.

    This table gives a pretty nice indication of evolving levels of trust in different professions in the UK. If anything it suggests increasing trust in scientists over the past 15 years.

  20. OPatrick Says:

    Tom, that was a barrel-scraper of a comment at 08:37. Most significantly it was ‘no journalist’ who put each of those in their full context and exposed just how thin the ‘sceptic’ arguments are that they rely on these few overblown examples. Yes the list could go on for days, but each item would be more desperate than the last.

    Of course mistakes have been made but how much credibility should we give to critics who refuse to moderate their criticisms?

    As Paul S says “certain groups have a vested interest in planting the idea of distrust in order to influence behaviour”.

  21. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    OPatrick, opinions on that differ widely. Feel free to put Phil Jones’ instructions to delete emails in advance of a FOIA request into context. Most of the people on your side of the fence didn’t even put it into quotes, let alone context.

    Few? Overblown? Want a list? As far as desperate, it’s pretty obvious who is feeling desperate these days. I don’t see hundreds of skeptic posts and articles wondering how they can connect with the public.

    Now, OPatrick, please pay attention. I am not a skeptic. I sympathize with their plight, as the various Goon Squads have subjected me to the same treatment as skeptics. As a non-practicing journalist, I am capable of evaluating crap put out by folks like Trofim. What’s going on is no fault of the journalists (there are a handful of exceptions out of thousands writing on the subject). Overall, there is no public issue that ever received more of a free pass than climate science did from the overwhelming majority of journalists and media outlets. To say otherwise is basically an attempt to perpetuate a big lie, which I won’t capitalize in deference to Mr. Godwin.

    Most people believe in the basic science of global warming. Most people are not certain about the effects of global warming predicted by people like Phil Jones, Michael Mann, Peter Gleick and Trofim the Rabett. And that’s due to what these people write and say.

  22. OPatrick Says:

    “Few? Overblown? Want a list? ”

    You’ve given a list and anyone who has engaged in this debate knows well that the criticisms are vastly overblown. This isn’t to say that they aren’t valid ciriticsms, some at least clearly are, but the attention paid to them and the absurd ‘lessons’ drawn from them are so out of proportion as to utterly discredit most of those doing the criticism.

    The reason you don’t see ‘sceptic’ posts and articles wondering how to connect with the public is quite obvious – they are peddling something which is very easy to sell, the comfort of doubt. It’s not difficult to know how to communicate enough doubt to someone to allow them to justify inaction to themselves. The goals of the two ‘sides’ are not equivalent.

    This also applies to the media, where many articles reporting honestly on the science behind climate change can be outweighed in their effect by a handful of opinion pieces which cast false doubt. This is where responsible journalism should be focused.

    I haven’t called you a ‘sceptic’.

    I also say ‘otherwise’, whether you think me a big liar for it or not.

  23. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    The ‘comfort’ of ‘doubt’? I’m tempted to ask which alternate universe you inhabit. I don’t know a human soul who considers doubt comforting.

    The recent example of extreme weather attribution is just as good an example as any. The IPCC came out last month reaffirming the academic, peer-reviewed literature saying that none of the recent weather ‘events’ is attributable to climate change.How did your consensus preachers react?

    What is the context to provide? I have written for over two years that it is legitimate to call extreme weather events a potential preview of coming attractions but that it borders on scientific fraud to say that what we see around the planet is caused in any way, shape or form by climate change. And that’s because of what the peer-reviewed academic literature says.

    But your side cannot do that. You have to grab onto the scare story and make stuff up. And then you want to blame journalists? Spare me.

  24. OPatrick Says:

    It is not the doubt itself which is comforting but the excuse it offers to avoid facing the consequences that strong confidence in the evidence would entail. I don’t think this is a difficult idea to understand.

    You one-dimensionalise the IPCC attribution report and most commentators who I respect seemed to welcome it.

    Why do you feel it necessary to use the phrase “consensus preachers”?

  25. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Oh, gee, OPatrick, I don’t know. Why would we call them preachers?

    “I do sometimes wonder, though, if nature films that deal with climate change – basically, every nature film that has been made in the past several years – should be angrier and more alarmed than they are.”

    “Research shows that stupid people — people who truly are ignorant — tend to think they know far more than they do. They are also more likely to think informed people know less than they do. It’s the D-K effect and it’s rampant at both CA and WUWT and Climate Etc. If you’ve ever haunted those sites, you know what I’m talking about.”

    ” Iowa Interfaith Power & Light released “A Statement by Religious Leaders in Iowa on Global Climate Change,” which was signed by 56 clergy and other faith leaders representing 13 different religious traditions and 42 congregations or organizations in Iowa. The statement reads, in part, “Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges facing our world today, and as religious leaders representing diverse faith traditions we are called to reaffirm our commitment to be responsible stewards of Earth’s resources and to act in love toward our neighbors both locally and globally.”

    “Let’s take a page from those Tennessee firemen we heard about a few times last year – the ones who stood idly by as houses burned to the ground because their owners had refused to pay a measly $75 fee. We can apply this same logic to climate change. We know who the active denialists are – not the people who buy the lies, mind you, but the people who create the lies. Let’s start keeping track of them now, and when the famines come, let’s make them pay. Let’s let their houses burn. Let’s swap their safe land for submerged islands. Let’s force them to bear the cost of rising food prices.”

    That’s just today’s news.

  26. OPatrick Says:

    ?

  27. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Fire, brimstone and zero science. That’s what real people read every day.

  28. OPatrick Says:

    !

  29. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Hence my plea for more Bart and less Eli.

  30. Paul S Says:

    Fire, brimstone and zero science. That’s what real people read every day.

    I think this feeds back into what Bart was saying about people taking some personal responsibility for what they read. Why are you expecting science from a movie reviewer, a blogger whose *about* section begins ‘This is not a science blog’, an article about religious leaders making a statement and an environmental economics blogger?

    There are abundant sources of good scientific information on climate change available on the Internet. If you want science, go there.

  31. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Paul S, I do. I’m trying to point out what’s on top of the general news media. It’s equally true in the general climate blogs, and I am speaking about both sides. Sadly, the pernicious effect is greater for science–skeptics don’t have to be right all the time. (And they certainly are not.)

    But for every sky dragon or iron sun aficionado puttering around in their fantasy gardens, there are 10 rabetts, lamberts, ad nauseum, alienating the public and making new converts for the skeptic position every day. And they get egged on or inspired by commenters just thrilled to get a punch or a kick in.

    As a Lukewarmer, Bart is not my enemy and neither is McIntyre. Rabett is. Monckton is. I’m sure you’d agree with me about Monckton. I suppose it’s too much to try and convince you that Rabett is your enemy, too.

  32. sharper00 Says:

    @thomaswfuller2

    “I suppose it’s too much to try and convince you that Rabett is your enemy, too.”

    You would need to demonstrate that you differentiate between those you dislike and “the enemy”.

    How many people, either in the public generally or even in climate blog circles have any idea who Rabett is? How many are likely to know Monckton?

    How much time have you devoted to warfare against Rabett versus how much against Monckton?

    Yes Monckton, Rabett and the guy on the bus that looked at me funny must be my enemy.

    @Bart

    “We don’t have a similar public debate about the mating behavior of fruitflies after all.”

    In another time and place perhaps the mating behaviour of fruitflies could yield results which others found to be controversial or bothersome. Suddenly fruit fly researchers could find their work being misrepresented, their email archives prised open to quote mining and saintly standards of conduct in all things and all times demanded.

    In that situation I don’t think the solution would be better communication of fruit fly research. That can’t happen when people are being primed to reflexively dismiss fruit fly research.

  33. Paul Kelly Says:

    Eli confuses journalists with historians, official spokesmen, and fair witnesses. The way he goes on about them, odds are Flossie Rabett was terribly scared by a journalist, lo those many years ago. How heartwarming that the link to his views on science communication leads to a non existent web page.

    Tom’s use of the word enemy is a direct result of politicizing.

    OPatrick demonstrates hyper partisan disinformation and spin in the following. “Most significantly it was ‘no journalist’ who put each of those in their full context and exposed just how thin the ‘sceptic’ arguments are that they rely on these few overblown examples.”

    I liked Bart’s the public’s perceptions are in many cases much more beautiful and pleasant than reality.

  34. OPatrick Says:

    Paul, how am I demonstrating “hyper partisan disinformation and spin” by pointing out that journalists have failed to communicate the full context of the common ‘sceptic’ talking points? Your accusation appears a little … well, overblown.

  35. OPatrick Says:

    Tom do you really think this:
    “Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges facing our world today, and as religious leaders representing diverse faith traditions we are called to reaffirm our commitment to be responsible stewards of Earth’s resources and to act in love toward our neighbors both locally and globally.”
    is ‘fire and brimstone’?

  36. J Bowers Says:

    A Lukewarmer Loki likes to make mischief. There are many Lokis in the debate.

  37. NevenA Says:

    So in the end, what it all boils down to, is that Tom wants to be listened to. Just like my 85-year old neighbour.

  38. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    If I were your 85-year old neighbour I would either move or kill myself. But I wouldn’t care at all if you yourself listened to me.

  39. Ian Forrester Says:

    In case anyone is wondering why Fuller does not like the Rabett Run (Eli’s place) or the people commenting there it is because they continually expose the dishonesty shown by Fuller:

    http://rabett.blogspot.ca/2010/11/infra-digging-michael-tobis.html

    As I said on that post Fuller may be a good writer of fiction but he is completely dishonest in just about everything he writes.

    It is dishonest journalists that scientists dislike not the ones who discuss things in an honest manner, even though they may prefer the denier side of the argument.

  40. Paul S Says:

    Tom,

    I’m not sure I take Monckton seriously enough to consider him an enemy. The Rabbett hasn’t done anything to make an enemy of me… yet, but if I catch him burrowing in the cabbage patch again…

    You seem to have created a distinction between ‘real people’ and ‘consensus preachers’, which I think is problematic. From reading what you’ve written I get the impression that you perceive some kind of hive mind deploying drone ‘consensus preachers’ in order to convert the ‘real people’.

    What you miss is that the people who wrote the articles you’ve mentioned are also real people and they are simply writing what they believe is correct*. This post on Curry’s blog may be relevant for you.

    I would also suggest you’ve spent too long in the climate change blogosphere and are vastly overestimating its importance outside our little virtual world. For example, you say ‘Most people believe in the basic science of global warming’ which I think is correct, but go on to say ‘Most people are not certain about the effects of global warming predicted by people like Phil Jones, Michael Mann, Peter Gleick’. Really, most people wouldn’t have a clue who any of these are outside being an Oscar-nominated film director, a Manchester United footballer and “Is that the one in Columbo?”

    * Having said that, if I were cynical I might suggest that news sites know they can increase page clicks ten-fold by tweaking climate change skeptics.

  41. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Ian Forrester, that link gives one example of many why I don’t like Rabett, or his fellow artistes. They are, shall we put it delicately, indifferent to the truth. One then speculates, if they are willing to lie about someone as insignificant as Tom Fuller, what lengths are they willing to go to when it comes to something they consider important? Remember, you can say whatever you want to the outside world–but as I am the subject of these lies, at least I know they are lies. Knowing that Rabett and his groupies lie about me, do you really think I am going to take anything else they say about me seriously?

    However, Rabett was my enemy long before he began lying about me.

    Paul S, Monckton and Rabett share two characteristics: The first is treatment of climate change as a purely political issue.The second is indifference to what is revealed by science. To both it is a game with winners and losers. The reason they are my enemy however, is simpler. They are obstacles to a better understanding of this universe and our place within it–and this is the result of conscious choices on their part.

  42. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Oh, yeah–Ian Forrester is one of those who lied about me in his link to the Rabett droppings. Now I remember. Bugger off.

  43. Ian Forrester Says:

    Fuller, why do you continue to lie? It was you who continually lied in that post. When shown once that you lied, rather than admitting it you told another lie. Do you not think that is being dishonest?

    And as for your fictitious account of observing US sailors using buckets to measure sea water temperature that is purely in your imagination since US ships used the cooling water intake to measure sea water temperatures.

    Such dishonesty all in one post.

  44. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Ian, let me tell you a little story (and suggest you check on your facts about U.S. naval practices and when they started and stopped–you might find a surprise or two–I didn’t observe sailors using buckets to measure sea water temperature. I supervised them doing so).

    Last year I was working for a solar power company. It hired a former member of the Obama administration to help with corporate partnerships and legislative relationships. She told me that the book I co-authored with Steve Mosher about Climategate had been read by several in the administration–and she was peeved that a liberal Democrat such as I professed to be (and actually am) would participate in such a venture.

    At a company dinner she introduced me to influential members of the political elite and the conversation turned to the book and my feelings about climate change. I said that our book had probably had greater success than we expected in part because we didn’t dispute the science behind global warming and focused on process and procedures that contributed to the mess that climate policy is currently in. And of course we talked about communicating–the differences between how we can and should communicate about climate science, climate policy, etc.

    One of the points I made during the discussion was how dispiriting it was to discover that those committed to a specific reductionist agenda on climate change were perfectly willing to lie about, libel and attack those who didn’t agree with them 100%. And although I happened to use the example of Judith Curry in the conversation, Trofim Lysenko Rabett and his minions were certainly on my mind.

    So Ian–you maybe have had a chance to influence government policy! You win! Don’t you?

  45. Eli Rabett Says:

    @tom
    As for Rabett being a scientist, I see no citations under that name.

    Eli uses a pen name.

  46. Ian Forrester Says:

    Yes, Fuller, I win since honesty always trumps dishonest lies such as you like to tell.

  47. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Trofim, you just use the wrong pen name.

  48. dhogaza Says:

    All who believe that Tom Fuller is wired into the “political elite”, dines with former members of the Obama administration, and that his book has had any influence whatsoever with leading members of that adminstration, raise your hands.

    Huh, none are raised. I thought so…

    The only buckets you supervised onboard while in the Navy, Tom, weren’t full of seawater.

  49. sidd Says:

    Describing climate science to a person with limited mathematical ability or training is difficult. Resorting to analogy is dangerous, since those are easily attacked by deniers.

    Most will never understand the math well enough to come to independent conclusions. They are unqualified to distinguish valid from invalid scientific reasoning. So they will decide on other basis, divorced from calculation and scientific argument. Addressing these non-scientific reasons is not a task for climate science. It is more a job for science journalists.

    Another problem arises because many science journalists cannot follow the detailed climate science either, for they are not climate scientists. This leads to ambiguity and error in climate science articles in the lay press, which are immediately attacked by denialists. Not having full understanding of the arguments limits journalists’ ability to defend against these attacks. Suggest that working climate scientists create and offer courses designed for working journalists. I have in mind something like the skeptical science web site which is an immensely useful resource.

    Addressing the underlying reason’s for a person’s disbelief in fossil carbon effects on climate is certainly desirable. An important one stems from the fallacy ad consequentiam; that acknowledging the reality and impact of fossil carbon release will require action that imperils fossil fuelled lifestyle. Of course, counterargument is that denial of the science even more greatly imperils all lifestyles; nevertheless a position that is not achieved through science cannot be attacked by science alone. But I suggest that uncovering the reasons is a task better suited to psychologists.

    sidd

  50. Hank Roberts Says:

    > let me tell you a little story … sailors using buckets
    > to measure sea water temperature. I supervised them doing so).
    > …
    > we didn’t dispute the science behind global warming

    Has anyone been able to cite any other source for this story?
    I recall it’s gone around a lot but never found a second cite for it.

    Surely someone else still alive can remember those days?

  51. Hank Roberts Says:

    P.S. — even if the only memory extant is Mr. Fuller’s, this should be documented while he’s available to fill in the missing information:

    “In 1986, climatologists Phil Jones, Tom Wigley, and Peter Wright published one of the first attempts to assess changes in global mean surface air temperature from 1861 to 1984 (Jones, Wigley, & Wright, 1986). The majority of their paper – three out of five pages – describes the processing techniques they used to correct for the problems and inconsistencies in the historical data that would not be related to climate. For example, the authors note that “early SSTs [sea surface temperatures] were measured using water collected in uninsulated, canvas buckets, while more recent data come either from insulated bucket or cooling water intake measurements, with the latter considered to be 0.3-0.7° C warmer that uninsulated bucket measurements.” Correcting for this bias may seem simple, just adding ~0.5° C to early canvas bucket measurements, but it becomes more complicated than that because, the authors continue, the majority of SST data does not include a description of what kind of bucket or system was used.”
    http://www.visionlearning.com/library/module_viewer.php?mid=167

    So — who recalls
    – what kind of bucket was used?
    – When?
    – Where?
    Personal recollections are invaluable, if actually put on record. Given a clear report, that can be checked and used later.

  52. Hank Roberts Says:

    P.P.S.: here’s where they need any additional information:
    http://gcmd.gsfc.nasa.gov/records/GCMD_gov.noaa.ncdc.C00586.html

    specifically ships:
    http://gcmd.gsfc.nasa.gov/KeywordSearch/Titles.do?Portal=GCMD&KeywordPath=Platforms|In+Situ+Ocean-based+Platforms|SHIPS&MetadataType=0&lbnode=mdlb2

  53. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Hank Roberts, I seem to recall you’ve participated in a discussion on this issue over at Real Climate. I seem to recall you commenting directly after someone else said they were using buckets to measure temps in the 80s. Perhaps you can enlighten us on that conversation?

  54. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    And peace be upon all ye who think the U.S. Navy abandoned buckets in the 70s. As I noted the last time you all obsessed about this, they were still using buckets as recently as 2007 and may still be using them today: http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=rcjbUaNi4HIC&oi=fnd&pg=PA91&dq=related:SWA27QffsNYJ:scholar.google.com/&ots=iH2FfYaGfy&sig=yxW-8gTH0q7shmFoHYjvA9I2C3A#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Cue the idiots: “Don’t mean a thing–where are the pictures of you with a bucket in your hand?”

  55. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Mr. Roberts, I did find that conversation on Real Climate–it may jog your memory.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2008/06/of-buckets-and-blogs/comment-page-1/#comments

    30
    Martin J says:
    2 Jun 2008 at 2:18 PM
    I’m sorry but I don’t think the contributors to this website fully appreciate how bad this “bucket” saga really is. As someone who was using a bucket to obtain water samples on a UK registered survey vessel during the years 1981/2, I can testify that the quality of data obtained was not high – be it a wooden, canvas or plastic bucket that was employed. Even if there was a standardised proceedure for measurement- and it’s my understanding there was no universal proceedure- I suspect those proceedures would not have been adhered to on shipboard conditions. It was bad enough slinging a bucket over the side in the North Sea; I would hate to have been the deckhand assigned the job in the South Atlantic. Working at sea, especially in “weather”, has to be experienced to be appreciated.

    Further, conscientiously done work could be undermined by slight positional changes by the ship; a vessel could move from a warm current area to a cold current within a few hundred yards and the temperature changes could be of the order of degrees. Off the Outer Banks where the Gulf Stream veers off into the Atlantic is an example. Frankly, when sea temperature measurements were being taken using buckets, few envisaged those measurements would be read as precision readings. I would suggest that much of data collected had errors margins of +/- 2C.

    This being the case, I believe the whole area of oceanic temperature measurements should be comprehensively re-examined.

    31
    Martin Vermeer says:
    2 Jun 2008 at 2:32 PM
    Tenney #25, what Ray said.

    What you should clearly understand here is that the water vapour doesn’t know what warms the air it is in. Your correspondent effectively claims that the water vapour produces a strong negative feedback (in whatever way; who cares) reducing total sensitivity. But this feedback is mediated through tropospheric temperature. If it happens for CO2 radiative forcing, it will also happen for Solar activity -related (or any other) forcing, which thus would be equally ineffective to explain late 20th century warming. This is Gavin’s argument in layman’s terms (I hope).

    …and there is a second impossibility compounding the first one: during the last few decades of accelerating global warming, the Sun has been very precisely monitored from space, and its brightness hasn’t shown any discernable trend. Same for solar activity (sunspots), interplanetary magnetic field, cosmic rays… so you would have to first explain away a known and understood forcing mechanism (CO2) and then replace it by one that cannot even work because it has the wrong time signature.

    32
    John Lederer says:
    2 Jun 2008 at 2:48 PM
    I confess to a little confusion from your post.

    Let’s put the details aside fro the moment.

    At some time in the past measurements were predominantly by bucket.

    At some time in the recent past (arbitraily, say 2000) readings were predominately by water intake.

    Buckets apparently read colder than inlets by some amount, possibly .3 degrees.

    So the change in the measurement, regardless of the intervening use of different mixes of buckets and other means, overall would be about .3 degrees between the “past” and the “recent past”..

    Is this currently factored out of the trends or not?

    33
    Hank Roberts says:
    2 Jun 2008 at 3:32 PM
    For Richard Ordway, re #28, Google is your friend, albeit not a wise advisor. Tell your friends they did use an icebreaker – and had trouble doing the job:

    http://www.cargolaw.com/presentations_casualties_a.html

  56. Eli Rabett Says:

    One of the interesting things about bad climate data series is that if you get enough of them it all averages out, a point Eli made several years ago when someone gave Tony Watts a Brownie (nonono, the old film camera).

  57. dhogaza Says:

    Fuller:

    And peace be upon all ye who think the U.S. Navy abandoned buckets in the 70s. As I noted the last time you all obsessed about this, they were still using buckets as recently as 2007 and may still be using them today

    I do see where the book discusses this in the context of the Voluntary Ship Observation program.

    But my quick search didn’t show where the book states that the US Navy have been using buckets rather than sea water intake inlets as late as 2007 for their official SST measurements.

    (unless it’s not crystal clear, the VOS program is for commercial, not US Navy, ships).

    Surely you can provide me the exact page and paragraph that states this?

  58. dhogaza Says:

    Fuller, the thread you quote above includes Hank’s comment saying:

    Tell your friends they did use an icebreaker – and had trouble doing the job

    Says nothing about bucket measurements, it’s a comment about the Russians sending two drydocks through the NW Passage years ago, “proving” that the NW Passaga more recent ice-free episodes aren’t unusual.

    Hank was pointing out that they used an icebreaker and had difficulty with the passage because of the ice.

    Now I have no idea if the icebreaker took measurements or not, but it’s irrelevant regarding the US Navy:

    With the aid of a Russian icebreaker and an ocean-going tug, the dry dock was successfully towed through the
    Passage…

    Russian. Not US. Why did you drag this into the conversation?

  59. Ian Forrester Says:

    Fuller, did you even read anything in that book you cited? I very much doubt it. The chapter you quoted is about the results of an experiment called the Global Ocean Data Assimilation Experiment (GODAE). It has nothing to do with how the US navy carried out sea surface measurements but is a large scale experiment to compare different methods of determining sea surface methods.

    The scientists leading the scientific development of the major systems for generating real-time operational ocean forecasts, hindcasts and reanalysis constitute the core of the GODAE OceanView Science Team (GOVST).

    https://www.godae-oceanview.org/files/download.php?m=documents&f=110516114011-GOVWorkPlandraftFINALupdatev36May11.pdf

    Note the word “hindcast”, they were comparing the old fashioned way (buckets) with more modern techniques as part of a world wide experiment!

    Here is a very good account of the use of buckets in the determination of sea surface temperature:

    ftp://podaac.jpl.nasa.gov/allData/gosta_plus/retired/L2/hdf/docs/papers/1-crrt/1-CRRT.HTM

    Since Fuller claims to have Navel experience he should be able to tell us why the US Navy changed from buckets to engine room intake water for temperature measurements in 1941.

    Hint: it has nothing to do with the accuracy of the various methods.

    NB: in case anyone thinks I have a problem with spelling I use the correct spelling for Fuller’s fictional accounts of his life at sea, he is nothing but a navel gazer.

  60. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Sorry, Ian. Can’t read it for you and you’re too rude to help.

  61. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Thermistor
    A thermistor is a semiconductor having resistance that varies rapidly and predictably with temperature. It has been widely used on moored instruments and on instruments deployed from ships since about 1970. It has high resolution and an accuracy of about ± 0.001°C when carefully calibrated.

    Bucket temperatures The temperature of surface waters has been routinely measured at sea by putting a mercury thermometer into a bucket which is lowered into the water, letting it sit at a depth of about a meter for a few minutes until the thermometer comes to equilibrium, then bringing it aboard and reading the temperature before water in the bucket has time to change temperature. The accuracy is around 0.1°C. This is a very common source of direct surface temperature measurements.

    Ship Injection Temperature The temperature of the water drawn into the ship to cool the engines has been recorded routinely for decades. These recorded values of temperature are called injection temperatures. Errors are due to ship’s structure warming water before it is recorded. This happens when the temperature recorder is not placed close to the point on the hull where water is brought in. Accuracy is 0.5°-1°C.

    http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/ocng_textbook/chapter06/chapter06_06.htm

    b. Bucket measurements of SST
    To make the measurement the SST bucket is thrown
    over the side of the ship into the water and a sample of
    seawater is hauled onto the deck. The temperature of
    the water sample is then measured, usually with a mercury-in-glass thermometer. The type of bucket used to
    make SST observations is likely to have changed over
    the period of 1970–97. In the early 1970s some buckets
    would have been made of canvas; in the James and Fox
    (1972) study nearly 10% of the observations came from
    canvas buckets. Later, most of the buckets are likely to
    be insulated buckets such as those shown in Fig. 1,
    which are currently in use by VOSs of Germany, the
    Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, and are largely
    made of rubber.

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/JTECH1843.1#h2

    and in case you want to buy one,

    Technical Specification Variations
    Measuring range:
    -10…+40 °C
    Dimensions:
    Navy Bucket: max. Ø 135 mm, height 385 mm
    Carrying case: 335 x 235 x 435 mm
    Weight:
    Navy Bucket: approx. 4,6 kg
    Carrying case: approx. 6,2 kg
    Scaling:
    0,5 °C
    Accuracy:
    Accuracy class 2 (±0,5 °C)

  62. Nathan Says:

    Thomaswfuller2

    It would save a lot of time and effort if you would present your scientific description of what “a Lukewarmer” is.

    Why should we listen to you, when you won’t actually define your theory?

  63. Nathan Says:

    Thomaswfuller2

    Have you done an analysis of what it actually means re: bucket analysis? Have you actually looked at what data was used in the various studie ocean water temps? Have you done anything?

  64. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Hi Nathan

    Don’t you remember my answer last time you asked?

    As for the various studies, only a little. This little exercise is a response to a bucket load of lies spewed about me, one if which is that I couldn’t have seen bucket measurements of temperatures in action as they had all been replaced by engine intake measurements.

    As I actually did, I find all this pretty amazing.

    Seriously Nathan. You have asked me before what a Lukewarmer was (unless there are multiple Nathans). Do you really not know? I will answer if you are serious.

    As for SST temperatures before 1975, I’d take ‘em with a grain of salt–large uncertainty bars… But that’s just a note from personal experience.

  65. sidd Says:

    lukewarmer: stage 3 of

    1)its not happening
    2)its not us
    3)its not bad
    4)its too late

    sidd

  66. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Okay, Nathan. As we don’t have a manifesto to sign or any charter, this is my opinion only. I know Steve Mosher and Lucia Liljegren have come out with slightly different definitions. Take your choice.

    If I were to try and put it in one sentence, it would be ‘We agree with the science–but not with a lot of the scientists.’

    More in depth, Lukewarmers accept the obvious physics of the greenhouse effect and about a one degree temperature rise due to a doubling of concentrations of CO2.

    We accept the possibility of feedback effects but note that the science and observations about atmospheric sensitivity are not of the same caliber or quality as those about the basics of climate science.

    Observed temperatures to date do not flag up signs of high sensitivity. In fact, models are running hotter than observed temperatures.

    I think there is some variability in what we think temperature rises will amount to over this century. I personally think it’s a bit under 2C, maybe 1.9C. I’m pretty sure Steve thinks it’ll be closer to 2.7C. Maybe you can use that as a range. On this weblog I once proposed a League of 2.5C hoping to get support for a figure we could use for planning purposes. It did not get traction from either extreme.

    Both Steve and I think that this range poses a serious problem for parts of the planet. Lukewarmers recognize that global average temperature is a convenient accounting fiction, and that climate change will be expressed regionally and is likely to have serious impacts at a regional level. We fear that the regions impacted are likely to be lesser developed.

    I personally advocate a carbon tax of $12/ton to be re-evaluated decenially. I support the EPA’s regulation of CO2 from large emitters. I think we should engage in active technology transfer to the developing world on the rough order of $100 billion.

    However, I am labeled a denialist (and worse, by some commenters to this thread) because I believe that the consensus side needs to adhere to much higher standards of ethics, behavior and, yes, manners than those who oppose them, and I certainly don’t believe the consensus side has succeeded in that. The consensus side holds the positions of authority, holds the data, holds the levers of power. The consensus side decides what research is funded and performed and which is publicized in a largely complaisant media. But instead of acting like grownups, they pretty much fit Donna LaFramboise’s skeptical description as spoiled teenagers.

    Finally, I personally think the real avoidable tragedy that has led us to this impasse has been the willingness of climate scientists to allow others to speak for them. I fully understand that they are busy and that they didn’t become scientists because they wanted to stand in front of a microphone or under klieg lights. But the fact is that the people who jumped on stage in their absence did an absolutely horrible job–and are still doing so.

    I think the best thing that could happen would be for scientists–and only scientists–to organize a media team that wasn’t searching for climate heresies but was actively promoting real research results. And their first order of business would be to clear out the stables of the so-called champions who in fact have just about wrecked any chance of moving forward.

  67. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Ian, I did not lie. I did what I said I did. You are in fact lying here. You have acted as a megaphone for other creeps and repeated these lies. I made one mistake on that long ago thread–the name of the campaign I referred to was Operation Frequent Wind, not Operation Rolling Thunder, which I brought out the same day. You are once again accusing me of lying about my military service. I will not be responding to anything else you write. Go moan in your cave with dhogaza.

  68. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Well–last response to Ian Forrester. You do not know the details of my military record. You apparently think you do, but you do not.

  69. Nathan Says:

    ThomasWFuller2

    I don’t recall you specifically answering that question, but no matter.

    “I think there is some variability in what we think temperature rises will amount to over this century. I personally think it’s a bit under 2C, maybe 1.9C. I’m pretty sure Steve thinks it’ll be closer to 2.7C. Maybe you can use that as a range. On this weblog I once proposed a League of 2.5C hoping to get support for a figure we could use for planning purposes. It did not get traction from either extreme.”

    So you are in agreement with the IPCC basically. You fit into a subset of their range.

    So as we all already knew ‘Lukewarmer’ Is merely a marketting term, because fundamentally you have no difference of opinion.

    I also suspect that the ‘lukewarmer’ ideology is a bit mobile. Originally when I asked Lucia she said it was less than the IPCC, hence all her ‘falsifying the IPCC’ posts. Over the last 4 or 5 years it has drifted from about 1.5C, to now up over 2… to 2.5C.
    Mosher has also run with less than 2 as well in the past.

    “The consensus side decides what research is funded and performed and which is publicized in a largely complaisant media.”

    Wow! Really? How do they decide what gets funded? this is most ridiculous thing I have heard today. This is the sort of nonsense that makes me wonder how you actually think. How can you believe this, when it is so obviously garbage.

    “I personally advocate a carbon tax of $12/ton to be re-evaluated decenially.”

    Decenially? Every ten years? Wouldn’t it be better to just set a limit on emissions and let people buy permits? Then the price will fluctuate appropriately. This has worked for other pollutants.

    Personally I think you are playing a political game… You believe that somehow scientists are to blame for things that you have actually promoted. So your promotion of climategate, for example, is an example of how scientists have failed to get their message across… Actually, that somehow your misleading representation, which you profited from, is their fault. I mean you didn’t even bother to speak to the people who wrote the emails to find out the truth. It’s a truly bizarre postmodern world you inhabit, where the way the message is presented is more important than the truth of the message. And you feel so strongly about it that you will actually attempt to undermine the truth to try and take hold of how the message is presented.

    “I think the best thing that could happen would be for scientists–and only scientists–to organize a media team that wasn’t searching for climate heresies but was actively promoting real research results. And their first order of business would be to clear out the stables of the so-called champions who in fact have just about wrecked any chance of moving forward.”

    This is incredible hypocritical as your Lukewarmer group have worked tirelessly to ‘wreck’ their reputations. Yourself, Lucia, Mosher, Steve McIntyre… Or is Steve Mc not a Luke warmer?

    “Finally, I personally think the real avoidable tragedy that has led us to this impasse has been the willingness of climate scientists to allow others to speak for them.”

    Hanson did exactly this, yet the denialist brigade have sought to wreck his reputation. In fact each scientist who has stood up to ‘champion’ the cause has been attacked politcially.

    None of the attacks are scientific because the science is largely correct, as you agree.

    You know what would ACTUALLY help Tom? If you would stop trying to present Lukewarmers as some sort of alternative, because you may have started as one, but you have now come into the fold. Time now, for you to help sell OUR message. Because it is now OUR message.

  70. J Bowers Says:

    Idiot Tracker has some excellent posts on the ‘lukewarmer’ phenonomenon.

    * Between the science and a hard place: The intellectual incoherence of lukewarmism. Part One: jimming the Overton window.
    * Between the science and a hard place, Part Two: Confidence and Risk

  71. J Bowers Says:

    “Phenonomenon”? Duh.

  72. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Nathan, you’re welcome to think what you want, obviously. You asked, I answered. I disagree with your interpretation. One thing you may have missed in your haste to reply is that the figures I gave were for temperature rise, not sensitivity–but maybe that doesn’t make a difference to you. Whatever.

    J Bowers, I hope you’ll forgive me for not investigating a site called Idiot Tracker at this hour. Perhaps another time. But aside from your own exuberant overspelling, shouldn’t Idiot’s post be titled Jimmying the Overton Window?

  73. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Oh. That guy again. Well, when I run into ‘Steve Fuller’ I’ll tell him his plot to take over the world has been foiled by the Idiot.

  74. Bart Says:

    All:
    Let’s try and keep the discussion here on the topic of this post.

    Ian Forrester:
    Accusations about someone’s military service are off topic and off limits. It amounts to mere slander and I don’t want my blog to be a vehicle for that.

  75. Nathan Says:

    ThomasWFuller2

    Sure, fine you said it was temp rise over the century.

    However, your claim is, at present baseless. It amounts to waving your hand in the air and plucking a figure. Can you back that number up with anything? What climate senstivity are you using, and what emissions?

    “but maybe that doesn’t make a difference to you. Whatever.”

    No, actually that’s EXACTLY what I am interested in.
    Why do you think your number is better than the IPCC?

    It’s interesting that in a thread about science communication you can only shout “You’re doing it wrong”. And claim that scientists shouldn’t let people like Eli Rabbett and Deltoid do it for them. strangely enough you don’t show any evidence that the ‘scientists’ are outsourcing it.

    And when scientists do stand up and say what they think you are part of the crowd that sets about to destroy their reputation. Did Phil Jones stay quiet? Did he outsource it to anyone?

    Did Michael Mann stay quiet and outsource it? You premis that scientists out source it is false.

    Basically, like your temp approximation, it’s just something you have made up. Like the claim that the consensus side is controlling funding… It’s all just made up.

  76. Nathan Says:

    ThomasWFuller2

    “Observed temperatures to date do not flag up signs of high sensitivity. In fact, models are running hotter than observed temperatures.”

    I want to call you on this, because this is such an over simplification as to be useless.

    To say that ‘models’ are running hotter than observed trends is a pointless thing to say. What models are you talking about? All of them? Some of them? The ones that are running hotter?

    Some are running hotter and some are running cooler.

    It’s also an empty statement. to say that “Observed temperatures to date do not flag up signs of high sensitivity.”. It doesn’t particularly matter that observed temps don’t ‘flag up signs of high sensitivity’. It’s too soon to claim that observed temps up to date disprove high sensitivity.

    Strange that in a post about science communication you make claims that confuse the scientific understanding.

    Check out James Annan’s work. He communicates very well.. Oh and he doesn’t outsource it to anyone else.

  77. Louise Says:

    I think the message here, particularly the last paragraph, is a pretty good example of cumminication.

    http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/columnist/vergano/story/2012-04-20/global-warming-climate-wars/54454322/1

  78. Paul Kelly Says:

    Nathan,

    Compare JA’s reaction to the Gleick affair to that of Tobis, Romm, Rabett et al and you’ll see why he communicates very well and they don’t.

  79. Nathan Says:

    Paul Kelly

    That wasn’t about communicating science. That was commentary on an event.

    I agree JA is better as a science communicator.

    Remember Tom’s initial point is that scientists have outsourced their communication to Lambert, Rabbett etc… Hmmm He failed to provide any evidence and here we are discussinghow good a scientist is at communication… On his own.

    I am not sure why Rabbett and Lambert etc are bad science communicators though… Perhaps because they also post about politics? The science posts they write are generally good.

    Not sure the Tom is particularly good at science communication either. I asked Tom to give me the scientific description of what the Lukewarmer theory was. Initially he resisted, saying he’d done so before; I didn’t remember, but perhaps he had. Then he decides to give his scientific description… Hmmm it was sort of ‘sciency’ and certainly confusing… Not a very good example of ‘Science Communication’…

  80. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Good morning Nathan (and everyone else),

    I will try and address your points in turn. Breakfast may turn this into two comments.

    “So you are in agreement with the IPCC basically. You fit into a subset of their range.”

    Nathan, I agree with a lot of what the IPCC writes, especially in WG1. My basic problems with them come from the sections of their reports on WG2 and WG3 issues, and their lack of corporate governance, particularly at the top and their lack of action on IAC recommendations.

    If my estimation of century rise this century falls within their range, then I guess yes, I’m in agreement with that one statistic. Which brings up an interesting question. From this thread and previous conversations it is evident that you don’t approve of Lukewarmers in general or me in specific. Does that mean that you don’t agree with the IPCC?

    “So as we all already knew ‘Lukewarmer’ Is merely a marketting term, because fundamentally you have no difference of opinion.”

    Nathan, I’m not marketing anything because I’m not trying to sell anything. I’m not trying to become famous or get elected or even rich from my opinions on climate change. As far as no difference of opinion, the IPCC issues 3,000 page reports. Projections of temperature rise are not quite that long. There are other things in AR4 that I don’t agree with.

    But here’s another question, Nathan. You seem very determined to defend your concept of climate change against all offenders, big or small. That’s admirable–we all should stick to our principles. However, some opponents are more dangerous than others. Why in your opinion are people who agree with the IPCC more dangerous to your position than people who do not?

    “I also suspect that the ‘lukewarmer’ ideology is a bit mobile.” That’s probably accurate, Nathan, except I don’t think what is written about Lukewarm-ism(?) rises to the level of an ideology. The concept is new enough to have some plasticity at this stage and the fact that there is no organization or, as I wrote above, charter or manifesto probably contributes to what you call mobility but which I would call flexibility.

    “Decenially? Every ten years? Wouldn’t it be better to just set a limit on emissions and let people buy permits? Then the price will fluctuate appropriately. This has worked for other pollutants.”

    I initially supported the American Cap and Trade proposal (although I think a revenue neutral carbon tax to be a superior policy tool for the purpose). When Waxman Markey got distorted far beyond its original purpose by extraneous amendments and pork barrel politics, I switched to carbon tax. If a good, clean cap and trade proposal were revived, I would cheerfully support it.

    “Personally I think you are playing a political game… You believe that somehow scientists are to blame for things that you have actually promoted.”

    Umm, no, Nathan, I don’t. Most of the people I ‘blame’ for failures in climate policy and communication are not scientists. People like Al Gore, Rajendra Pachauri, Bill McKibben and Joe Romm. There are exceptions, such as Peter Gleick and Michael Mann. I’ve written frequently in praise of James Hansen (although I believe he should stay out of specific fights such as coal mountain-top removal, but that’s just for strategic ‘marketing’ reasons). I wrote an open letter to Cuccinelli begging him not to go after Michael Mann because it would be for political reasons. It was available for signature. Nobody from the consensus position signed it.

    Lukewarmers have no political goals that I’m aware of at this point in time. I’m a liberal Democrat. Steve Mosher is a fierce independent. I don’t even know what Lucia Liljegren’s political affiliation is.

    “This is incredible hypocritical as your Lukewarmer group have worked tirelessly to ‘wreck’ their reputations. Yourself, Lucia, Mosher, Steve McIntyre… Or is Steve Mc not a Luke warmer?”

    I don’t know what Steve McIntyre’s position is. I do know that some people are Lukewarmers without making announcements and their identities might surprise you.

    Tirelessly? No. I’m tired. I have written against Michael Mann and Phil Jones, and more recently against Peter Gleick. I have also defended James Hansen and been a firm supporter of Bart Verheggen. I awarded Steve McIntyre my first Blogger of the Year Award (no prizes attached). I gave the second award to Gavin Schmidt. There are a lot of climate scientists. I only ‘attack’ those I believe are behaving badly in the public arena.

    In your later comment you made a related point: “Remember Tom’s initial point is that scientists have outsourced their communication to Lambert, Rabbett etc…”

    I do not make that claim. My claim is that Lambert, Rabett, etc. rushed in to claim the public facing role after scientists failed to step forward and do it themselves. I don’t believe they were up to the task.

    Back after breakfast.

  81. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Back again. Nathan, you write above that, “Wow! Really? How do they decide what gets funded? this is most ridiculous thing I have heard today.”

    It’s good to start your day with new things. I believe that holders of the consensus idea are those who get appointed to senior positions in bodies such as the NIH and their belief system does influence both broad directions of research funding and specific projects.

    “You know what would ACTUALLY help Tom? If you would stop trying to present Lukewarmers as some sort of alternative, because you may have started as one, but you have now come into the fold.”

    I don’t believe I (or other Lukewarmers) have much in common with what I term the consensus. I see written everywhere that sensitivity is most likely 3C. I don’t think that is so (and as another of your points addresses that directly, I’ll get to it in a minute). What the IPCC writes is that sensitivity is a range between 1.5C and 4.5C and the most likely point is near 3C. Chalk this up as one point where I disagree with the IPCC. I don’t think we know very much at all about atmospheric sensitivity, which is why the range is so broad (amounting to 20% of the total). The alternative I think we provide (and which I think needs to be explicitly available) is to people who say a) they are the spokespeople for the consensus and b) that the IPCC is far too conservative. It is this group of people that have come forth with ridiculous nonsense ranging from No Pressure videos to inane chatter about extreme weather events, from scare stories about polar bears to scare stories about Himalayan glacier melt. Either this group is, as they claim, the consensus and as such I oppose them or the actual consensus has not repudiated their science fiction and I oppose this group on behalf of the consensus and will criticize the consensus for not standing up to them.

    You write, “However, your claim is, at present baseless. It amounts to waving your hand in the air and plucking a figure. Can you back that number up with anything? What climate senstivity are you using, and what emissions?”

    As I am not a scientist I did not develop my own calculations for either temperature rise or atmospheric sensitivity ranges. My opinion (for that’s all that it is) was informed by several factors. In an interview I did with Stephen Schneider he told me that 2C is the bottom of the range of feasible temperature rises this century. In a conversation with a skeptical scientist he told me he thought 2C was the top of the range of feasible temperature rises this century. Later on in the debate, Zeke Hausfather was kind enough to run a data series of each 30-year period since WWII (I believe that 30 years is the smallest data set you can talk about with any significance to longer periods). The highest temperature rise in any 30-year period was for that ending in 2003, and the rise was 1.9C per century. As we are over 10% through the century and temperatures have not approached that 1.9C per century rate, I feel comfortable with my opinion, even recognizing that there will be other periods this century with higher rates.

    More later.

  82. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    “Check out James Annan’s work. He communicates very well.. Oh and he doesn’t outsource it to anyone else.”

    To the best of my recollection I don’t think I’ve ever criticized him. Sometimes I even quote him: “Therefore, I don’t really think the comparison with the IPCC “likely” range is meaningful, since the latter is surely intended as a Bayesian credible interval. Whatever this method does, it certainly does not generate an interval that anyone can credibly believe in!

    Secondly, on a more practical point, it seems a bit fishy to use the range of results achieved by 2050, relative to 1961-90, without accounting for the fact that almost all of their models have already over-estimated the warming by 2010, many by quite a large margin (albeit an acceptable level according to their statistical test of model perfomance).” http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/2012/04/broad-range-of-warming-by-2050.html

    Nathan, you’ve clearly decided that I’m a bad guy and/or that Lukewarmes are an obstructive element. That’s fine. I think in the interests of clarity it’s time for you to come forward and write of your own beliefs and opinions and how they were formed. What do you think sensitivity is and why? What do you think temperature rises will be this century and why? What do you think are the policy tools best adapted for dealing with climate change and why? Without understanding what you believe and how you arrived at your belief system I doubt if there is too much more to say to each other.

  83. Brian Dodge Says:

    “Finally, I personally think the real avoidable tragedy that has led us to this impasse has been the willingness of climate scientists to allow others to speak for them…”

    Do you think that proportionately this willingness has had a larger impact than the lukewarmers, skeptics, outright denialists, and vested fossil fuel interests “willingness” to allow(encourage, pay for) the likes of Monckton, Plimer, Lindzen, Morano, CEI, Heartland, Frank “emphasize uncertainty” Luntz & etc to speak (advise, spin, manipulate) in the public debate?

  84. Steven Sullivan Says:

    Let’s see: TF manages right out of the gate to get Bart’s point *exactly backwards*…then inundates the rest of the thread with the backwash of the endless petty battles and bloviating that follow in his wake everywhere.

    Less Tom Fuller, more Bart. PLEASE.

    (And btw, Bart, congratulations on the new addition to your family.)

  85. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Brian Dodge, quite simply yes. Public opinion on the science hasn’t really been swayed by the skeptics. Large majorities agree that human emissions of CO2 raises temperatures. It is policy that is most hotly disputed and this is where public opinion has in fact changed.

    The mis-statements and wild claims by the Romms, Lamberts and Tobises of the world have given the skeptics plenty of ammunition. It is this that has led to a reduced perception of the need for immediate action.

    It’s really simple. You can (and most do) believe that A can cause GW. But when you read about a scientists telling other scientists to delete all emails relating to AR4, that changes what you’re willing to do about it.

  86. sidd Says:

    Mr. Tom Fuller writes on the 22nd of April, 2012 at 21:07

    “Public opinion on the science hasn’t really been swayed by the skeptics.Large majorities agree that human emissions of CO2 raises temperatures.”

    I disagree. In the USA the majority is not large. It would be far larger but for denialist propaganda.

    Mr frankswifthack put it quite bluntly and correctly over at Planet 3.0:

    “Why are we still looking for an alternative “explanation” that pretends that the misinformation mill doesn’t exist?

    Seriously, I don’t get it. There’s rich people. There’s money from rich people. There’s shills who willingly take money from rich people. There’s goons who blindly believe shills who willingly take money from rich people. None of this is particularly hard to understand.”

    sidd

  87. Brian Dodge Says:

    Do you really believe that it’s the Romms, Lamberts, Tobises, Rabbets making the ammunition, rather than the Moncktons, Moranos, Limbaughs et al pulling the trigger who are the guilty parties?

  88. Brian Dodge Says:

    Sidd – only 38% in the USA believe that global warming is happening because of human activity.

    That’s a pretty slim “majority” &;>)
    46% believe “not happening”(28%) or “not us”(18%)
    see – http://www.people-press.org/2011/12/01/modest-rise-in-number-saying-there-is-solid-evidence-of-global-warming/

  89. J Bowers Says:

    “It’s really simple. You can (and most do) believe that A can cause GW. But when you read about a scientists telling other scientists to delete all emails relating to AR4, that changes what you’re willing to do about it.”

    Tom, that has nothing to do with the Romms, Lamberts or Tobises. Make your mind up.

  90. NevenA Says:

    The mis-statements and wild claims by the Romms, Lamberts and Tobises of the world have given the skeptics plenty of ammunition. It is this that has led to a reduced perception of the need for immediate action.

    This is insane. In fact, it’s a smear campaign avant la lettre to divert anger when the shit starts hitting the fan for real. Blame the victim, all over again, and again, and again. Delay, smear, delay, smear, delay, smear.

    The biggest reason that there is hardly any meaningful action on AGW and a host of other global crises, is human nature. Second on the list comes the way western populations have been brainwashed for several generations now to only value status and material possessions. Only then the denial machine comes in, and it’s having a ball because of 1) and 2).

    And at the end of the list is where the environmental extremists would come in, and I wouldn’t count Tobis and Lambert among them. And not even Joe Romm either.

    But even if they were part of the problem, they would be small change compared to the role human nature, materialistic (both in the literal as the philosophical sense) brainwashing and the denial machine play.

    You think the world might warm by two degrees in the coming decades? You need to go to WUWT and start convincing your friends, instead of carving out a niche for yourself here amongst the people you say you agree with.

    Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes…

  91. J Bowers Says:

    “only 38% in the USA believe that global warming is happening because of human activity.”

    How old’s that figure?

    In Poll, Many Link Weather Extremes to Climate Change (poll PDF linked to there)

    A large majority of Americans believe that global warming made several high profile extreme weather events worse, including the unusually warm winter of December 2011 and January 2012 (72%), record high summer temperatures in the U.S. in 2011 (70%), the drought in Texas and Oklahoma in 2011 (69%), record snowfall in the U.S. in 2010 and 2011 (61%), the Mississippi River floods in the spring of 2011 (63%), and Hurricane Irene (59%).

    Interestingly, that survey issued computers to those who can’t afford them.

  92. sidd Says:

    Mr J. Bowers writes on the 22nd of April at 23:48

    “only 38% in the USA believe that global warming is happening because of human activity.”

    ” A large majority of Americans believe that global warming made several high profile extreme weather events worse…”

    these two statements are not the same…

    sidd

  93. J Bowers Says:

    Sidd, when people say ‘global warming’ (for instance, at WUWT), what do you think they’re talking about? What’s the general perception of what it means, these days?

  94. mk Says:

    “The mis-statements and wild claims by the Romms, Lamberts and Tobises of the world have given the skeptics plenty of ammunition. It is this that has led to a reduced perception of the need for immediate action.”

    This is insane. In fact, it’s a smear campaign avant la lettre to divert anger when the shit starts hitting the fan for real. Blame the victim, all over again, and again, and again. Delay, smear, delay, smear, delay, smear.

    Indeed. And for Bart to not fall into the same traps as Judith, he would have to challenge the false charges and other lies of the Tom Fullers. What mis-statement or wild claim has Tim Lambert ever made? Yet here we have, right before us, a misstatement and wild claim of Tom Fuller.

    Instead, we get absurd strawmen about scientists not taking the concerns of citizens seriously or failing one of their core missions.

    Why were the scientific facts about tobacco not accepted for a long time? There were two major drivers: vested interests that opposed having those facts accepted, and intellectual dishonesty, that people to accept or reject claims based on their ideology and other prior beliefs rather than facts and logic. You will never get a handle on these widespread false beliefs without understanding the role of ethics. You will certainly never get there by blaming scientists.

  95. mk Says:

    You can (and most do) believe that A can cause GW. But when you read about a scientists telling other scientists to delete all emails relating to AR4, that changes what you’re willing to do about it.”

    Not if you’re even marginally rational.

  96. Nathan Says:

    ThomasWFuller2

    “As I am not a scientist I did not develop my own calculations for either temperature rise or atmospheric sensitivity ranges. My opinion (for that’s all that it is) was informed by several factors. In an interview I did with Stephen Schneider he told me that 2C is the bottom of the range of feasible temperature rises this century. In a conversation with a skeptical scientist he told me he thought 2C was the top of the range of feasible temperature rises this century. Later on in the debate, Zeke Hausfather was kind enough to run a data series of each 30-year period since WWII (I believe that 30 years is the smallest data set you can talk about with any significance to longer periods). The highest temperature rise in any 30-year period was for that ending in 2003, and the rise was 1.9C per century. As we are over 10% through the century and temperatures have not approached that 1.9C per century rate, I feel comfortable with my opinion, even recognizing that there will be other periods this century with higher rates.”

    How you can possibly stand by your 1,9C with this as justification is incredible. How you can claim the IPCC is wrong with this as your justification is amazing… This is not science… it’s opinion.

    “It’s good to start your day with new things. I believe that holders of the consensus idea are those who get appointed to senior positions in bodies such as the NIH and their belief system does influence both broad directions of research funding and specific projects.”

    again, no evidence, simply opinion.

    “The mis-statements and wild claims by the Romms, Lamberts and Tobises of the world have given the skeptics plenty of ammunition. It is this that has led to a reduced perception of the need for immediate action.”

    No evidence, just opinion….

    All of you claims to me have been devoid of evidence.

    You still haven’t shown how climate scientists are outsourcing to Romm Lambert and Rabbet….

    Tom, you are an empty vessel. And I stand by my earlier determination that you are a postmodernist who believes his own perception outweighs reality. You believe that you don’t even need to investigate reality. This was borne out by your climategate novellete. The one where you determined the meaning behind the emails without even communicating to those writers of the emails.

    How can you be critical of a scientific theory, when you don’t understand it and cannot do science?

    I know you’ll carry on doing what you do, because you are a postmodenist and think that is what you need to do. But seriously there is no point in engaging with you because there’s no substance to your claims, It’s just wild conspiracy theories and ‘sciency’ stuff.

  97. mk Says:

    Public opinion on the science hasn’t really been swayed by the skeptics.

    Another misstatement and wild claim by Mr. Fuller. Again, ethics — e.g., rank dishonesty — cannot be ignored.

  98. mk Says:

    How can you be critical of a scientific theory, when you don’t understand it and cannot do science?

    Immense arrogance.

  99. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Seems like a crowd has gathered. At the risk of annoying Steven Sullivan (well, that’s actually a feature, not a bug), I will respond.

    From the top down:

    Sidd: Your disagreement is noted. Thank you. As for your reference to frankswifthack, I don’t put much credence in what he writes. Blanket accusations of shills taking money from rich people and goons who believe them really sounds like a description that could be applied to venues such as Climate Progress (George Soros to Joe Romm to frankswifthack) as much as any other combination of funder, writer, audience. As far as I know, most of the think tanks that oppose global warming are in fact conservative policy organ grinders that do get funding from rich people. However, global warming is only one of the many issues they harp on about. I think many of the writers who appear in their publications are sincere–I just think they are wrong. As for the blogosphere, who besides Morano the Aggregater/Aggravator is funded? Not Watts, Not McIntyre, not Bishop Hill–who’s getting the money? As for the lukewarmers, not Lucia, not Steve and sadly, not even me.

    Brian Dodge: Yes. I do believe that it’s the Romms et al rather than the Moncktons pulling the trigger who are the guilty parties.Without wild and inaccurate statements they are the straight men without a foil and would quickly move on to more fruitful pastures. As indeed has already happened to a large extent with Limbaugh.

    As for the polls, look at the annual trackers, not the one-offs. Properly phrased, the question still produces a majority of people believing that human emissions of CO2 contribute to rising temperatures.

    JBowers: I did not say that scientists cannot mess up. I will say now that they do a much better job on the whole than their blogospheric commentators do on their behalf. Do you know how many times Tobis has had to apologize (however grudgingly) for being wrong in disagreements with me in the past two years? Nine. Do you know how many disputes we had on scientific issues? Nine.

    NevenA: First of all, you don’t identify a victim, so I don’t know how I am blaming them. Are you saying Lambert or Romm are victims? I am unaware of any suffering on their part. I will admit they can be insufferable, but that’s another story. I can point you to thread after thread on weblogs covering this issue where commenters say that the attitude and words of those bloggers were hostile and arrogant enough to convince people that they would get better quality of information from skeptics and lukewarmers.

    More later

  100. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    MK: “Not if you’re even marginally rational.” I’m not so sure. I think many who have been strong supporters of environmental action on any number of issues since the 1970s have held back from full-scale commitment on climate change, in part because of unease with some of the communications from top level people such as Al Gore, Rajendra Pachauri, etc. I think a whiff of scandal (true or not) keeps waverers on the fence. And whether or not Phil Jones is a cause, there is no doubt that there are many waverers on the fence.

    Nathan: “How you can possibly stand by your 1,9C with this as justification is incredible.” I did ask you how you formed your opinions, but you haven’t found time to answer. Do you think I was wrong to trust Stephen Schneider? Do you think I was wrong to trust a skeptical scientist with plenty of academic credentials and pubiclations to his credit? Do you think I was wrong to ask for a run of historical data and use that to help inform my opinion? If so, tell me how you think a non-scientist should form their opinion?

    Nathan: “This is not science… it’s opinion.” Umm, Nathan, that’s pretty much why I said “I am not a scientist. This is my opinion.”

    Nathan: “You still haven’t shown how climate scientists are outsourcing to Romm Lambert and Rabbet….” Umm, Nathan, that’s because I specifically said twice that scientists are not outsourcing to Romm, Lambert and Rabett. I specifically said twice that those three and others jumped on stage and grabbed the microphone without an invitation when scientists didn’t speak for themselves.

    Nathan: “You believe that you don’t even need to investigate reality. This was borne out by your climategate novellete. The one where you determined the meaning behind the emails without even communicating to those writers of the emails.” I’m sure you’ll be able to quote from page 8 on the meaning behind the emails and our attempts to communicate with the writers. You certainly wouldn’t accuse me of being reality free and then criticize a book you haven’t read. Would you?

    More later

  101. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    MK: “How can you be critical of a scientific theory, when you don’t understand it and cannot do science? Immense arrogance.”

    Thank you for your confession. You are forgiven.

  102. NevenA Says:

    First of all, you don’t identify a victim, so I don’t know how I am blaming them.

    To anyone not playing games, it’s entirely clear that I’m talking about your efforts to blame scientists for the consequences of AGW, because their behaviour is the main reason practically nothing is being done to mitigate AGW or prepare adapting for it. Which, of course, is BS of the highest order. If anything happens to any climate scientist, you will be one of the people to blame for it.

    It is a dirty game you’re playing.

    I can point you to thread after thread on weblogs covering this issue where commenters say that the attitude and words of those bloggers were hostile and arrogant enough to convince people that they would get better quality of information from skeptics and lukewarmers.

    1) So these bloggers play a bigger role in nothing being done about AGW than human nature, intergenerational brainwashing and the denial machine?
    2) And those commenters on thread after thread (of course on denialist weblogs) didn’t have any pre-conceived conceptions on AGW, eh? No libertarian leanings, etc? Sure.

  103. NevenA Says:

    Seems like a crowd has gathered.

    Yes, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it, Tom? Old man getting attention. Thanks for another confession.

    This is not getting anywhere. Tom will not change anymore. He has carved out his little niche and found a great way to spend his retirement: bothering young people, getting in the way, and letting others pay for his moral and environmental loans. Tom’s generation is the best to be in.

    I think I’m done. Good luck with the hijacking through contradictio in terminis, Tom. Delay, smear, delay, smear, delay, smear.

  104. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    I believe so far the lamentable casualty toll actually works the other way, Neven. From an Argentinian couple who killed their child and themselves out of despair over global warming to the wacko who committed suicide by cop at the Discovery headquarters to the 7,500 poor in England dying of fuel poverty, I find that more distressing than a dead mouse found on Ben Santer’s doorstep. Sorry.

    As for nothing being done, that’s crap. A lot is being done. Just not enough. Not from your point of view. Not even from mine. But to say nothing is being done is an insult to hundreds of thousands who are installing solar power on their rooftops, buying hybrid or electric cars, planting trees, building hydroelectric facilities on dams, performing valuable research and educating the public on the results. Don’t be a fool.

    Some high profile members of the consensus team inflicted major media damage on the cause. Gore’s personal issues and investment strategy. Phil Jones and deleting emails. Peter Gleick and phony Heartland strategies. Rajendra Pachauri silencing an IPCC scientist while bidding to do work on Himalayan glaciers. These have had an effect.

    But it doesn’t minimize the hard work that is happening despite that.

    1). Yes. They are cutting off communications with people who care about the issue, people with whom the consensus team will eventually have to reconcile with at some level. Trashing them (us) is just stupid. And the bloggers and their groupies show no sign of reaching the bottom of the stupidity well.

    2). Of course many of them have pre-conceived ideas. So bloody what? If creating a consensus that changed the way we live life on this planet were easy the Moonies would already be in charge.

  105. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Bye, Neven. Somehow I suspect you’ll find your way back here.

    Wish I was retired.

  106. NevenA Says:

    Somehow I suspect you’ll find your way back here.

    Yes, I know you feed on my anger. You can use that and say: Neven is so rude, it is turning people off, he is the cause of not enough being done to solve AGW.

    But my anger is real and honest. Unlike your playing games, like the wise, old man that you are.

    Good luck with your PR tactics. Here’s to hoping Heartland notices you.

  107. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    I’m not writing for the public here, Neven. I’m writing for those who have spent time and effort getting educated about a difficult issue. That apparently doesn’t include you. You’ve played the race card. You’ve played the ageism card. You’re running out of cards, Neven. Or maybe you never were playing with a full deck.

  108. Brian Dodge Says:

    “About the Survey

    The analysis in this report is based on telephone interviews conducted November 9-14, 2011 among a national sample of 2,001 adults, 18 years of age or older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia (1200 respondents were interviewed on a landline telephone, and 801 were interviewed on a cell phone, including 397 who had no landline telephone). The survey was conducted by interviewers at Princeton Data Source under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International. A combination of landline and cell phone random digit dial samples were used; both samples were provided by Survey Sampling International. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish…..”

    The webpage indicates that interviewees were asked “Is there solid evidence of global warming?” with Yes, No, or Mixed Evidence/Don’t Know as answer choices. Those answering “Yes” were then given the choices “Because of human activity”, “Because of natural patterns”, or “Don’t know”. How is this not “Properly phrased”?

    Annual tracking shows that the respondents who answered both “Yes” there is solid evidence the earth is warming and “Because of human activity” were –
    2006 – 47%
    2007 – 47%
    2008 – 47%
    2009 – 36%
    2010 – 38% (a small rebound. Yay!)

    This Pew Research Center for the People & the Press report also says “Just 19% of Republicans say rising temperatures are mostly attributable to human activity.” (Those would be the portion of the population who have followed Limbaugh to “more fruitful pastures”, e.g. the Alaska Continental shelf to “drill, baby, drill”)

    Speaking of drilling for oil, I’ve seen recent attacks on Hansen for earning $1.6 million for spreading “global warming alarmism”; Exxon/Mobil earns that much money approximately every 20 minutes, 24/7/365.

  109. sidd Says:

    Mr. J Bowers writes on the 23rd of April, at 00:36

    “Sidd, when people say ‘global warming’ (for instance, at WUWT), what do you think they’re talking about? What’s the general perception of what it means, these days?”

    I have no idea. The site run by Mr. Anthony Watts is a sewer, and the opinions expressed there are not of the remotest interest to me. And I have no notion either of a general perception. If I were to hazard a guess, I might say that the lay person would mean an increase in the global average surface temperature.

    I do know what I mean by it, if that is what you were asking. To me it is not so much a temperature rise, rather a quantity of heat (specifically the integral of the radiative imbalance caused by fossil CO2 released into the atmosphere during the industrial age) the total excess heat retained, if you will, due to fossil carbon loading of the atmosphere. I seem to recall calculating that the excess heat retained from the CO2 released by burning coal is two orders of magnitude larger than the heat immediately obtained. The impact of fossil fuelled society is quite accurately reflected in ocean heat content increase, as Levitus again shows in the latest GRL.

    Mr Thomas Fuller writes on the 23rd of April at 2:01

    “As far as I know, most of the think tanks that oppose global warming are in fact conservative policy organ grinders that do get funding from rich people.”

    Agreed.

    “I think many of the writers who appear in their publications are sincere–I just think they are wrong.”

    I too think they are wrong. But I think you are wrong too, in that you underestimate the risks. And I fear that once disaster is apparent we shall lack both time and resource.

    sidd

  110. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    I think the attacks on Hansen’s outside earnings were about on a par with Cuccinelli going after Michael Mann. Scummy.

    Thank you for providing information about the survey. I would point out some potentially confounding factors in the results.

    It is possible that some respondents who accept the science regarding greenhouse gases etc., would honestly answer that they have not seen honest evidence or that the balance is mixed. They would not be given an opportunity to proceed. Others who believe the planet has warmed and that human contributions could effect climate in future may honestly believe that there is little or no evidence of it happening to date.

    In another survey (reported on here: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/06/09/americans-still-split-on-global-warming-poll-shows/) 64 percent of American adults now believe that the planet is warming, up slightly from 61 percent last year. When asked to assume that global warming is happening and to ascribe a cause, only 47 percent said that it was caused mostly by human activity, however, down from 50 percent last year. Roughly mirroring last year’s results, 52 percent of Americans said they were either “very worried” or “somewhat worried” about the warming trend, while 48 percent said they were “not very worried” or “not at all worried” about it.

    Again, some reasonably well-informed people could believe that humans are responsible for 49% of warming experienced and still not count in the 47% who said it was caused mostly be human activity.

    For this type of activity, tracking surveys, where the same questions are repeated regularly (with different respondents, of course) tend in my opinion to be the most reliable, such as Gallup’s: http://www.gallup.com/poll/116590/increased-number-think-global-warming-exaggerated.aspx

  111. Brian Dodge Says:

    “Yes. I do believe that it’s the Romms et al rather than the Moncktons pulling the trigger who are the guilty parties.”

    Ammunition control? How can we force the Romms et al to shut up – a tax on free speech?

    “Do you think I was wrong to trust Stephen Schneider? Do you think I was wrong to trust a skeptical scientist with plenty of academic credentials and pubiclations to his credit? ”
    I think you are inaccurately assuming an unweighted average will give you a better answer. What do you get if you weight their temperature estimates by the numbers of peer reviewed climatology papers they have published?

  112. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    It wouldn’t be that far off, Brian Dodge.

    As for ammunition control, one would think self-restraint and a realization of the stakes would have helped them control themselves. Absent that, a word from respected scientists might serve.

  113. Paul Kelly Says:

    MK,

    The absurd straw man about scientists not taking the concerns of citizens seriously comes from professor in communication science, Cees van Woerkum, one of the speakers at the meeting that led to this post. Some other absurd statements from the meeting were: Overstating is not really effective in getting the message across.
    Co-operation and collective action builds on trust.
    Present the science in a more open way, in terms of a variety of options and their consequences, and including the scientific uncertainties.

    For all the other Fuller bashers here. You have amply demonstrated the greatest impediment to effective climate communication.

  114. Paul Kelly Says:

    So, let’s get back to the topic. Which, if either, came first, the politicizing of climate science or the ideological reaction to it?

  115. NevenA Says:

    Which, if either, came first, the politicizing of climate science or the ideological reaction to it?

    The threat to profit and shareholder value.

  116. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Paul, if you remember, it was just a year or so ago that we were all talking about if/how/when this issue was becoming a partisan political issue in the U.S. and asking why only in the U.S.? This happened recently and very, very quickly. (Apologies to non-Yanks for this.) Does it really seem possible that the Republican nominee for President in 2008 supported Cap and Trade?

    I think the ideological reaction far preceded the politicization of it. And while I think the politicization of the issue came from Republicans, I also think that the ideological reaction came from the other side, by mistaken application of Naomi Oreskes’ strategy for refighting the tobacco wars–the invention of the term ‘denier’, the incredible attacks on the personal integrity of non-signatory scientists, the refusal to debate, the insistence (of non-scientists) that the debate was settled, the focus on iconography not backed up by data, all of this created an opposition. A perfect storm of serious mistakes created an issue that the Republicans were able to hijack with so little effort it must have seemed like Christmas come early.

  117. mk Says:

    The absurd straw man about scientists not taking the concerns of citizens seriously comes from professor in communication science

    Fallacy of irrelevance.

    For all the other Fuller bashers here

    You reveal yourself as a person with no intellectual honesty.

  118. mk Says:

    Which, if either, came first, the politicizing of climate science or the ideological reaction to it?

    They came from the same source and are one and the same.

  119. mk Says:

    MK: “How can you be critical of a scientific theory, when you don’t understand it and cannot do science? Immense arrogance.”

    Thank you for your confession.

    I’m not the one who is critical of a scientific theory without understanding it and not being able to do science, so you statement makes no sense … but is understandable given your general bad behavior and lack of scruples.

  120. mk Says:

    I’m not so sure. I think many who have been strong supporters of environmental action on any number of issues since the 1970s have held back from full-scale commitment on climate change, in part because of unease with some of the communications from top level people such as Al Gore, Rajendra Pachauri, etc. I think a whiff of scandal (true or not) keeps waverers on the fence. And whether or not Phil Jones

    Ah, of course, but skeptics, even those who have trumpeted those scandals and communications have not swayed public opinion.

    I have immense contempt for your lack of intellectual honesty, Mr. Fuller.

  121. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    So, MK, essentially everyone who disagrees with you is intellectually dishonest, I take it. Must be lonely on that mountain top.

  122. Marco Says:

    First, Bart, congratulations with the addition.

    Second, Tom, I remember that that Republican nominee for president in 2008 was the odd one out, most of the others already were denying climate change had anything to do with human activity. I also remember that that same nominee was already backing away from cap and trade during his campaign. Add one Sarah Palin, and the issue was dead in the water. Also, the Tea Party was already peddling climate change denial before any supposed controversies.

    Third, I think people sometimes forget that communication is a two-way street. A scientist can only be a good communicator, if the listener is willing to listen. And let’s be honest: many don’t want to listen, especially when the message is not to their liking. It’s a growing problem that I even find in my students. Fortunately, there I have the ‘power’ to point out to my students that if they want to pass the course, they’d better listen, or they will fail the exam.

    Fourth, and partly related to the above, the desire for controversy and extremes is still growing. Many media completely thrive on creating controversy and showing extremes. I know of plenty of examples where people were not invited to talk shows on a certain topic, because their opinions and points of view were too mainstream. Note, they were explicitely told as much. This goes against much of what scientists are taught and is a problem when scientists are dealing with obfuscators. If they do not add all caveats, they are accused of not being scientists. If they do add the caveats, the obfuscator runs away and claims “see, they are in doubt, too!” Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Much of the general public does not have the time or willingness to check, and their ability to detect BS depends more and more on the ideology they happen to follow.

  123. mk Says:

    So, MK, essentially everyone who disagrees with you is intellectually dishonest, I take it.

    Yet more intellectual dishonesty.

  124. mk Says:

    It was also very helpful for me to get acquainted with someone who was firmly in the consensus camp but did not act like Romm or Rabett, lambert or Tobis. If nothing else you’ve shown it’s possible to be a gentleman throughout this debate.

    Clearly not a lesson Mr. Fuller has learned, with his false accusations against those people he named and his numerous other rude and crude comments. Here’s a clue Bart: if you want to build communication bridges, you’re wasting your time dealing with Bill O’Reilly types (lying arrogant blustery hyper-aggressive hotheads) like Fuller.

  125. J Bowers Says:

    “Do you know how many times Tobis has had to apologize (however grudgingly) for being wrong in disagreements with me in the past two years?”

    Here’s the rub, Tom: Tobis apologises. Tobis admits to mistakes. Anyone with an overarching “need to win” may find it difficult to grasp why that’s an important point. Many commentators in the debate (the “winners”) would simply see Tobis apologising as a sign of weakness, while others would see it as a willingness to adjust his view based on evidence or reflection.

    By the way, were his apologies specifically on specific scientific points, or simply because things got heated and words were used that he later regretted?

  126. J Bowers Says:

    “Naomi Oreskes’ strategy for refighting the tobacco wars–the invention of the term ‘denier’, “

    Tom, that’s completely mistaken. Oreskes did no such thing. ‘Denier’ has been used in a scientific context since the 1980s with reference to HIV/AIDS denial. It’s even in the peer reviewed literature, in the titles of papers.

  127. J Bowers Says:

    As for the blogosphere, who besides Morano the Aggregater/Aggravator is funded? Not Watts, Not McIntyre, not Bishop Hill–who’s getting the money?”

    The likes of the Idsos and Bob Fergusson (what is SPPI?), to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, in salary, for bog standard working weeks. They blog. They divvy out the money to fund things like Jo Nova’s handbook and Watts’s new project. Heartland blogs. ALEC blogs, along with their parent State Policy Network which, collectively, must be receiving something like half a billion in donations every year given the number of “think tanks” it has in its member list. Joe Bast is even president of ALEC, with Jim Lakely involved, too. SPN’s even been called a franchise by one of its people, and they all share and promote each others’ material.

  128. Bart Says:

    MK,

    I don’t think it’s a strawman what van Woerkum said about taking the concerns of citizens seriously. He did say it though with reference to technologies or treatments (such as CCS; vaccinations; GM), not (climate) science. To what extent the same applies to climate science is debatable, but to push it off the table as irrelevant seems unwise to me.

    It’s because beliefs drive which facts we chose to accept that it’s important to take people’s beliefs, and concerns stemming from them, seriously.

  129. NevenA Says:

    The only bounds your arrogance knows, are the walls of your condo in your ivory tower. It is no wonder that people are suspicious of climate science and mistrust climate scientists.

    This is a dreadful situation. For many, many, many years I have agreed that yes, global warming is happening, yes, mankind has something to with that, yes, it will continue to warm (most probably in the 1-2 degrees range), and this could have adverse effects, catatstrophic on a regional scale. But we don’t know enough yet to know exactly what, why, how, and how much. Alarmists who grabbed the microphones, cameras and dictaphones out of everyone’s hand say they know 100% sure waht will happen exactly, but they don’t.

    What we do know however is that GISS made a mistake that concealed the fact that the US was warmest in 1934. We know that Keith Briffa didn’t tell the great and honest Sherlock McIntyre that he had the date for over 5 ye ars already. We know Steig set O’Donnell up. We know Al Gore is fat. And we know Joe Romm is very, very rude.

    Your arrogance will cause great grief. It knows no bounds. And I should know, because I know everything, and have known it for a very long time. Read my book.

  130. Bart Says:

    A relevant cite from Keith Kloor at YCMF:

    here is one piece of advice from a smart commenter at the Economist:

    If the Left, from the very beginning, had approached the topic from the point of, “We understand fully the Right’s concerns over economic freedom and the size and scope of government with this issue, but we believe that the threat of climate change is real, so we believe humanity needs to do something about it…” well then the Right would likely have been more open. But this has never been the case. To this day, the Left continue to spout the nonsense that the Right want to take away people’s clean air, clean water, wreck the environment, and so forth.

    It’s sad because it undermines their own arguments. Climate change, while skepticism can be warranted, isn’t junk science either. Humanity is releasing massive amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, and this could create a sudden shift in the climate at some point. The concern is that, historically, when this has happened, it has had drastic effects on the biosphere when it happened, because the lifeforms couldn’t adapt to that kind of quick change. Think of it like this: imagine a MASSIVE fire is burning on Earth, one that is releasing billions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year. It would not be illogical to speculate that eventually, this fire could start to have an effect on the planet’s climate after a certain point. But the Left need to understand the Right’s concerns and arguments as well.

    In other words, your actions can fuel or neutralize the opposition.

    Perhaps many climate concerned (and environmental concerned, and health concerned, and other things concerned) have, through their actions, fueled rather than neutralized the opposition.

  131. mk Says:

    I don’t think it’s a strawman what van Woerkum said about taking the concerns of citizens seriously.

    Oh please. Since scientists do take the concerns of citizens seriously and no one denies that they should or need to, it is a blatant strawman.

    to push it off the table as irrelevant seems unwise to me

    Another blatant strawman … no one said it’s irrelevant.

    [edit. keep it civil. BV]

  132. mk Says:

    To this day, the Left continue to spout the nonsense that the Right want to take away people’s clean air, clean water, wreck the environment, and so forth.

    Have you checked the Republican voting record in the U.S. Congress, Bart? By citing this nonsense from Kloor, you are very much falling into the same trap as Curry.

  133. mk Says:

    In other words, your actions can fuel or neutralize the opposition.

    In other words, let’s blame everyone except the guilty parties.

    What fuels the opposition is Koch funds funneled through the Heartland Institute, etc.

  134. NevenA Says:

    Perhaps many climate concerned (and environmental concerned, and health concerned, and other things concerned) have through their actions fueled, rather than neutralized the opposition.

    Let’s say you have 1000 climate concerned and 1 out of those 1000 acts in a way that could fuel the opposition. The opposition will mostly look at that 1 out of 1000 and be fueled, because it wants to be fueled.

    So:
    1) The climate concerned are not one homogenous group. There will always be people who are blunt or too zealous.
    2) A large part of the opposition already has its opinion in the embryo state, and just needs a little Heartland/WUWT/Fuller prod to go berserk over that subgroup, and f**k the facts.

    You can never do it right with these people, because in their own minds they are judge, jury and executioner. You can never please the perfect Fuller.

  135. Marco Says:

    Bart, is one of my comments in moderation?

  136. Bart Says:

    mk,

    You talk about strawmen and then set one up yourself: I do not advicate to “blame everyone except the guilty parties.” Have a look around my blog and see for yourself.

    Also: you may voice your disagreements with people, you may even voice it in strong words, but don’t go accusing or slandering people here. Thanks.

  137. Bart Says:

    Even if people don’t intentionally fuel the opposition, they may unintentionally do so. I may have done so too. I may still do (though hopefully less so).

    Take a look at richard betts (MetOffice). One of his tweets, relevant to this discussion:
    Richard Betts ‏ @richardabetts
    @MichaelEMann Someone suggested over-use of ‘well-funded denier’ meme actually inflames climate wars as others react against it – thoughts?

    A whole discussion followed, as -predictably- he was being raked over as being too nice to those “well-fudned deniers”. https://twitter.com/#!/richardabetts

    The polarization is hurting the credibility of science. It is helping those who try to undermine the science (because in popular perception, where two fight, two are at fault). Being all right and righteous, but hurting the credibility of science, is not wise imho. As in many cases, it is easier to point out what doesn’t work than to point out what does though.

    Decreasing the polarization, while remaining true to scientific standards and to (our best interpretation of the) facts, should be one of our primary concerns.

  138. Bart Says:

    Marco, just released your comment from the spam folder.

  139. Nathan Says:

    Tom

    I notice you didn’t bother to answer my criticisms. Strange that in a thread about science communication you prove completely incapable.
    So rather than pointing to others as failing in science communication, you should point at yourself.

    Bart I find it strange that you don’t question Tom’s claims. He is claiming that scientists outsource their communication to others. Clearly this is not the case, yet you stay quiet. You also remain quiet on the funding claims. Why is that?

    The biggest problem with science communication is that it is complicated and that people like Tom make crazy claims that go unanswered. (the funding claim etc). Do you feel no responsibility to correct them?

  140. J Bowers Says:

    NevenA, you seem to be justifying passive censorship of the ‘pro-consensus’ science, though not intentionally. But your entire premise is mistaken, anyway:

    Go to Youtube and search on ‘pro-consensus’ climate scientists. Then search on ‘anti-consensus’ scientists like Pat Michaels, Willie Soon, Fred Singer, etc. What you’ll probably find is a marked difference in the search results.

    The ‘pro-consensus’ scientists will probably show a mixture of venues they’ve been filmed at, many of which will be educational and scientific. The ‘anti-consensus’ scientists will invariably link to news interviews and non-scientific, non-educational, venues.

    This is a very important difference between both sides IMHO, where the ‘anti-consensus’ seems far more interested in influencing politics and policy, especially via MSM news, than their opposite numbers in the debate.

    Specifically, search for interviews with Phil Jones. Let’s face it, he’s public enemy number one if you were to believe anything the likes of Heartland and the GWPF have to say about him. I think you’ll find his most common words will be along the lines of, “I just wish people would read the peer-reviewed science.”

  141. Bart Says:

    Nathan,

    I long stopped responding to each and every claim that I disagree with, esp when the comments number in the dozens a day, at a time when I’m busy with other stuff, and when there are plenty of other people capable of (and indeed doing so) pointing out what’s wrong with various claims.

    I try to discuss the theme of this post, so I try respond to issues pertaining to that (I may have missed a few due to the sheer volume and lack of time). Besides that, policing that people don’t overstep the boundaries of civilc disagreement keeps me busy.

    I know Tom’s opinion and most of these matters and he knows mine. What’s wrong with agreeing to disagree at some point?

  142. NevenA Says:

    Even if people don’t intentionally fuel the opposition, they may unintentionally do so. I may have done so too. I may still do (though hopefully less so).

    Bart, you cannot control how people (want to) interpret what you say, no matter how much you try to bend backwards.

    Someone suggested over-use of ‘well-funded denier’ meme actually inflames climate wars as others react against it – thoughts?

    I don’t know about the over-use. All I know is that you need some categorization. Some deniers are well-funded (Idso, Watts, Bast, Singer, Michaels), some deniers aren’t well-funded (Fuller). Some deniers know they are lying (Idso, Singer, Michaels), some don’t. At a certain point you get a list of people you should ignore. By not ignoring them you let them be the intermediates for the people on the fence. And then they get to play their lucrative delaying games.

    So who are the real skeptics? At what point does one start to ignore the fake skeptics?

  143. Nathan Says:

    Tom

    “Do you think I was wrong to trust Stephen Schneider? Do you think I was wrong to trust a skeptical scientist with plenty of academic credentials and pubiclations to his credit? Do you think I was wrong to ask for a run of historical data and use that to help inform my opinion? If so, tell me how you think a non-scientist should form their opinion?”

    How can you weigh his opinion against al the other evidence? How can you possibly form an opinion in opposition to the IPCC when you don’t know what you’re talking about. If you’re going to form an opinion in opposition to the IPCC you need to know what you’re talking about. How can you say that your ‘non-science’ and the ‘non-science’ of Lukewarmerism trumps science?

    Your basic issue is with climate sensititivity. Why not actually educate yourself on that rather than just pickinga side.

    Why is forming an opinion necessary?
    And if you feel the need to formone, why not actually eductae yourself. Don’t shop around and find someone who will feed your personal agenda.

    As to your comment about page 8, I haven’t read your book. Mosher admitted to me that in writing the book you hadn’t bothered to talk to the authors of the emails.

  144. J Bowers Says:

    Here’s a dilemma in science communication:

    Critics pan instructions to Environment Canada scientists at Montreal conference

    Have a read. It’s astounding. What do the scientists do when they’re not even allowed to communicate at all except through Harper’s spindoctors?

  145. Nathan Says:

    Bart,

    I wasn’t asking you to adress everything. But Tom’s claims are completely baseless. Why give a voice to claims with no substance.
    He has profited from this in the past (with his CruTape letters book).

    Anyway, it’s pointless talking to Tom as he is not listening. He has already established his POV and has invested a lot in that. His ego will keep finding rationalisations for maintaining that POV regardless of the evidence.

    That is essentially the problem with science communication, people don’t actually listen. And they won’t listen if they don’t like the message.

  146. OPatrick Says:

    Bart, you talk of decreasing polarisation but I don’t understand your reposting of Keith’s reposting of what is a deeply polarising comment: “The Left continue to spout the nonsense that the Right wants to take away people’s clean air, clean water, wreck the environment, and so forth.”

    How is this a smart comment? It suggests that one ‘side’ needs to bend over backwards to accomodate the other but no reciprocity is expected.

    Also, a danger in prioritising communication is that the ‘sceptics’ can choose who to be civilised towards, and of course these tend to be those who express views that might reduce the urgency of action, not necessarily those who argue most effectively. Any shift towrds complaceny, indeed any reduction in the urgency of the push towards action, is a ‘win’ for someone who wants to delay. It’s interesting watching people like Richard Betts and Tamsin Edwards engaging, but is their success in creating a civilised discussion going to be dependent on their holding positions towards one end of the spectrum of scientific opinion?

  147. Marco Says:

    I am boldly adding a link to my “released” comment:
    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/dilemmas-in-science-communication/#comment-16214
    as I believe it covers some aspects discussed before and after, and probably is not read by many (since it just popped up in the middle of the thread).

    Regarding confrontation and polarization: One of the most problematic aspects of human society is that confrontation and polarization has sometimes been necessary to achieve progress. One reason is captured in the Dutch saying “geef hem een vinger, en hij neemt je hele hand” (“give him an inch and he will take an ell” – not a literal translation).
    That is, compromises require BOTH partners to compromise; depolarization requires BOTH partners to not polarize.

    And then we get to the problem I alluded to in my first comment: many media thrive on (creating/feeding/overemphasizing) controversy. Measured responses by scientists (or anyone, for that matter)? Not interesting, or at best somewhere hidden in a short paragraph or even one sentence: “professor X denies all allegations”. Many readers will interpret the apparent lack of “fight” as silent admission, and thus this results in another victory for the obfuscators.

  148. andrew adams Says:

    I think the problem with these discussions about how scientists communicate with the public is that it ends up being more about how climate is discussed in the blogosphere, whcih is a very different thing. If one follows discussions on the web on any contentious subject where people hold strong opinions it is obvious that the climate “debate” is neither better or worse in terms of the general tone of the discussions and the tendency of the views expressed by both sides to get extremely heated. And to view the debate as if the “skeptics” are merely reacting to a supposed politicisation of the subject by the “consensus” side and denying the fact that many of them actually have their own entrenched position and agenda is to misread the situation to such an extent as to render any meaningful analysis impossible.
    As for the likes of Romm and Lamber, they are not self-appointed spokesmen for the “consensus”, they are just guys with strong opinions who are having their say, as they are entitled to do. They may not be to everyone’s taste, I think that Romm can overdo the personal attacks on occasions, but their targets are often deserving ones and they are right far more than they are wrong. In any case their impact on the general public’s perception of climate science is, I would argue, approaching zero. The public generally gets its information on climate science from the mainstream media, not from climate blogs.

    See, I’ve just done it myself.

  149. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Good morning from San Francisco.
    Marco, I think you’re right about the Republican attitudes on climate change already starting to shift in 2008–but I’m pretty sure there were still rational people making public statements back then. I miss them.

    On your third point, you might… be right… but it seems to me that in the case of the really good science communicators, I think they showed up, an audience formed around them and the good communicators actually taught their audience how to listen and evaluate information.

    On your final point, I’d agree but mention it’s true on both sides.

    MK… oh, never mind.

    JBowers, Yes, Tobis will sometimes apologize. I do too. I actually published an apology to Joe Romm in Examiner.com. Lesson in humility… I am wrong. I may have even been wrong in discussing things with you. Maybe even on more than one occasion. (I’m not thinking of anything specific, mind you.) If so, I apologize now and will apologize on specifics as they come to mind. But look at this thread–I mean, really. From Ian Forrester and dhogaza to Neven and MK, from Nathan demanding that I answer his questions (while refusing to answer mine), what I honestly think happens is that someone makes four points in a comment and the other party only has time/space/energy to respond to one or two. Things slip through the cracks.

    Tobis’ apologies have never been about attitude or hasty words. It’s very much along the lines of ‘I’m forced to concede that Fuller has found a paper that supports his position, one I didn’t know existed and one I still don’t agree with.’

    And I did not intentionally conflate Oreskes’ formulating a strategy for fighting skeptics with an invention of the term denier. Bad grammar. As for the use of the term, denier is a very old word. It has taken on a very new and specific connotation, That was not accidental.

    As for Idsos/Ferguson getting money from think tanks, umm, I don’t even know Ferguson, so he might be overpaid. As for Isos, so what? Either his work is right or it isn’t. Funding is a losing argument for you guys, because your team gets so much more money and some of it surely ends up in strange places.

    More later

  150. Bart Says:

    OPatrick,

    Good point about that cite. It ends on a polarising tone indeed. It’s not the best example of what I wanted to say, but one that I’d seen and remembered. Plus I may have fallen into the trap myself of, when feeling questioned or pushed in a corner, to make my point more forcefully than needed or even warranted. Thanks for pointing it out.

  151. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Bart at 10:33, exactly. Some people here have not yet realized that you probably have the same opinions about my attitudes (to the extent that you have any opinion on it at all–I’m not really that important, just prolific in this venue) as others who criticize me. You don’t agree with me on the science. You don’t agree with me on policy–I don’t think you do, at any rate. And yet we manage to have cordial exchanges. Imagine that.

    Neven, how can I miss you if you won’t go away?

    Bart at 10:45, this is key. To the extent that skeptics are wrong, no matter how well they are funded, ignoring them, hiding their disagreement, pretending they don’t exist, is absolutely the worst strategy in the world. To be fair, it is a legitimate strategy for the conservative think tanks that sometimes cover climate issues. But for everyone else (and the non-consensus universe is about 99% the everyone else, not the think tanks) sunshine is the best disinfectant for their errors and the best evidence of your good will. In strictly commercial terms, good marketing is the quickest way to kill a bad product. And you see it on the other side of the fence. When bizarre arguments about the iron sun or sky dragons surface, they are not buried. They are talked about, evaluated, and then the conversation moves on, except for those obsessed.

    There’s a reason why the Tea Party in the U.S. is just a marginal player with no chance of influencing policy. It’s because their ideas received a lot of exposure in a short period of time. And most Americans said, ‘that’s kind of crazy and I don’t want a piece of that.’

    More later

  152. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Nathan, strange that you cannot read my response to your criticisms. In three separate comments now, I have corrected your mis-impression about scientists outsourcing their communications to others. I did not say that. I do not believe that. Why are you repeating it?

    And on another topic, I’m still waiting for you to find time to answer the questions I put to you.

    As for admitting to not reading a book you have roundly condemned, Mosher did not contact the scientists involved. I did.

    Andrew Adams, it seems to me that you are making a distinction without a difference regarding Romm and Lambert…

  153. Brian Dodge Says:

    Al Gore, at the Academy award for An Inconvenient Truth

    “My fellow Americans, people all over the world, we need to solve the climate crisis. It’s not a political issue; it’s a moral issue. We have everything we need to get started, with the possible exception of the will to act. That’s a renewable resource. Let’s renew it.”

    Oklahoma Republican Senator Jim Inhofe compared AIT to Adolf Hitler’s book “Mein Kampf” – “If you say the same lie over and over again, and particularly if you have the media’s support, people will believe it…”

    Even Lindzen couldn’t find fault with AIT’s science. In his infamous WSJ editorial he criticized it politically as “…Mr. Gore’s preferred global-warming template — namely, shrill alarmism.” He also falsely claimed that the arctic was warmer in the 40′s, that Greenland ice is growing, and that only 13 of “Nancy Oreskes” 928 papers “…endorsed the so-called consensus view.” Lindzen’s so blinded by his ideology that he can’t be bothered to get her name right, let alone the science.

    And now we come to this bullshit.
    “To this day, the Left continue to spout the nonsense that the Right want to take away people’s clean air, clean water, wreck the environment, and so forth.”

    What we ACTUALLY say is that the right wants more money most of all, and will continue to take away clean air(scrubbers will wreck the economy! sulfur cap and trade will wreck the economy and raise electricity prices and hurt the poor!), clean water(lets make more money by leaving out half the centering rings and not checking the batteries on the blowout preventers on Deepwater Horizon), wreck the environment(tars sands mining’s visible on Google earth, but the crap in the water downstream isn’t) and so forth, AS LONG AS THEY’RE PROFITING FROM IT, and until it is made illegal. If you can’t find an example in your own community where someone has cut corners to increase profit and consequently damaged the environment, you are willfully ignoring reality. The “invisible hand” leaves painfully evident scars.

    [edit. Keep it civil. BV]

    Reasonable discourse is a two way street. When Al Gore said “It’s not a political issue”, the right wing response was to claim that it IS a political issue because Al Gore is a fat alarmist politician living in a big house who has produced an environtalist mein kampf. To now claim that poisoning the dialog is the left’s fault is sheer hypocrisy. I’ll tone it down when Limbaugh, Lindzen, Monckton, Morano, Palin, Peiser, Inhofe, Heartland, Watts acolytes, CEI, Marshall, SPPI and their ilk do. I expect Republicans will vote to raise taxes before that happens.

  154. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Look on the bright side, Brian. Republicans raised taxes repeatedly when Reagan was president. Also under the first President Bush.

    I haven’t met anyone in this discussion yet who is further to the Left than I am, so if you are one of Delingpole’s watermelons, welcome to the club. Keith Kloor isn’t a moron… but you knew that.

    One quick question: Do you really consider the people and organizations on your list to be as alike as two peas in a pod?

  155. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Another point of view from James Lovelock, back in 2010: “‘The skeptics have kept us sane…They have kept us from regarding the climate science as a religion. It had gone too far that way’ UK Times – March 14, 2010″

  156. Paul Kelly Says:

    Brian,

    Sulfur cap and trade was put into the 1990 Clean Air Act by the first President Bush. Even though it was supported by the Environmental Defense Fund, it was called a Republican trick by environmentalists and progressives.

  157. mk Says:

    You talk about strawmen and then set one up yourself

    Tu quoque fallacy.

    I do not advicate to “blame everyone except the guilty parties.”

    THAT is a strawman. I never said you advocate it, I said that the words your wrote HAVE THAT EFFECT. You talk about people’s words having effects intentionally or unintentionally, but aren’t willing to apply that to yourself.

    [edit. Keep it civil. BV]

    Why do you never say that to Fuller, who calls people bozos and worse?

    You’re well on the way to the land of Curryville.

  158. mk Says:

    There’s a reason why the Tea Party in the U.S. is just a marginal player with no chance of influencing policy. I

    Yeah, if you ignore the fact that the House of Representatives was taken over by the Tea Party in 2010, among other things … like how Mitt Romney and the other Republican candidates catered to Tea party positions. What has changed is not that the Tea Party became marginal, but that the media shifted their focus off of them and their name but started treating their positions as legitimate mainstream views.

    But shallow, uninformed analysis of the formation of political opinion, its causes and consequences, is something that is shared by a lot more people than just Fuller, Kloor, and Verheggen.

  159. J Bowers Says:

    “I haven’t met anyone in this discussion yet who is further to the Left than I am”

    You don’t seem to meet enough Europeans. There’s ‘Left’, then there’s ‘actually Left’ ;)

  160. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Hey, J, I lived in Europe for 13 years–7 in Italy and 6 in the UK. I know the difference… and I am so far to the left that I consider Barack Obama to be too far to the right… which my skeptic buddies like Jeff Id never tire of laughing at…

  161. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    We seem to have lost the idea of a spectrum or a range of opinions. It used to be there were several flavors of conservative opinions and just as many liberal. Now (esp. in the U.S.) if you’re not a Tea Party Republican you are automatically a watermelon commie… we are happily and busily outlawing shades of grey.

    It’s the same with specific issues–healthcare, pensions, foreign aid.

    Of course the same thing is happening with regards to climate change. Why should it be any different? If you’re not with Hansen you’re with Monckton! Nothing is allowed in between.

    Sadly the most interesting space is the space between–the No Man’s Land.

  162. NevenA Says:

    Fuller, Kloor, and Verheggen

    Don’t put Bart in that category, mk. That’s an enormous insult.

  163. mk Says:

    It ends on a polarising tone

    Good grief. It starts that way, by blathering about “the Left”. It’s completely and utterly polarizing, just as is this entire ridiculous post that blames scientists for the doubts about science. Yes, yes, no doubt you spread the blame around … a pox on all their houses, is what I read on political blogs from fools who want to “throw the bums out”, unable to make distinctions between the views and platforms of various politicians and parties. As I tell them, a hallmark of intelligence is the ability to discriminate. When you have written 100 times as many articles on how the Koch brothers and Rupert Murdoch and ExxonMobil are to blame for the failure to communicate science, then you can legitimately complain about a strawman when I peg you as blaming all but those who are guilty.

  164. mk Says:

    Don’t put Bart in that category, mk. That’s an enormous insult.

    I put him in the category “with many other people” of those who indulge in “shallow, uninformed analysis of the formation of political opinion, its causes and consequences”. Merely noting that he has something in common with Kloor and Fuller should not be insulting — they’re all featherless bipeds, for instance.

  165. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Does that serve to distinguish us from you, MK? Chirp, chirp…

  166. mk Says:

    if you’re not a Tea Party Republican you are automatically a watermelon commie

    Once again Fuller complete contradicts himself. It’s not that he’s necessarily wrong about political polarization or any other particular subject, it’s that (like Kloor, O’Reilly, and many others from that profession) he has no scruples about making his polemics adhere to fact and logic.

  167. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Ooh, good–now O’Reilly is part of the club, too? We’re gonna need a bigger treehouse.

  168. mk Says:

    If you’re not with Hansen you’re with Monckton! Nothing is allowed in between.

    Opinions about scientific fact differ from opinions about political preference in ways you seem unable to understand.

  169. mk Says:

    Does that serve to distinguish us from you, MK? Chirp, chirp…

    Ooh, good–now O’Reilly is part of the club, too? We’re gonna need a bigger treehouse.

    I wonder if Bart will eventually realize where the bridge he has built leads, and how it defeats his attempt to be “less adversarial”.

  170. Paul Kelly Says:

    Bart’s bridge is like the one in Three Billy Goats Gruff.

  171. mk Says:

    now O’Reilly is part of the club, too?

    I previously made clear what club I was referring to:

    “Bill O’Reilly types (lying arrogant blustery hyper-aggressive hotheads) like Fuller”

    It’s not a claim that you agree on anything, but introspection, self-criticism, intellectual honesty, humility, and similar truth-directed traits are clearly not your strong suits.

  172. mk Says:

    @Paul

    Yes, in that it’s a fairy tale.

  173. mk Says:

    I am so far to the left that I consider Barack Obama to be too far to the right…

    That’s not very far left, and actually reinforces J Bowers’ point, which wasn’t really about Europeans, but about a very limited view (in the U.S.) of the political spectrum.

  174. mk Says:

    In other words, your actions can fuel or neutralize the opposition.

    This same ludricrous, foolish, grossly wrongheaded argument has been made in another context … doubts about evolution are Richard Dawkins’ fault!

    http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2012/04/12/ruse-creationism-the-fault-of-gnu-atheists-who-dont-study-enough/

  175. mk Says:

    More on the “sinister nonsense” propagated here, in the context of evolution and its denial:

    http://www.butterfliesandwheels.org/2006/ruse-and-bunting-talk-sinister-nonsense/

    “Evolution is losing the battle, says Ruse, and it’s the fault of Dawkins and Dennett with their aggressive atheism: they are the creationists’ best recruiting sergeants.”

    Sounds so familiar.

  176. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Wow! 5 comments in a row–hope Steve Sullivan isn’t watching…

    But the Right Hand of God and Meter of Justice is entitled, I guess. Are you ever going to actually say anything, MK?

  177. Eli Rabett Says:

    Well, Eli has pretty much stayed out of this, but it is amusing how he keeps getting totemized by some. If nothing else it testifies to a certain effectiveness on the Rabetts part. Purely inadvertent you know, as he wrote in a comment unpublished on WUWT, agitating a blog of wind is a blast.

    Bart and James and Eli and whoever else is the flavor of the day (Stoat appears to be having a run) have different POV about how to deal with the day to day denialist pettifoggery, probably rooted in that the first two do climate science as a profession and Eli and others are merely talented amateurs. Of the climate scientists, only Mann, and to a lesser extent Ben Santer have fully engaged, but that is because they have suffered the most under direct, deceitful and continuing attack.

    While Eli is not a climate scientist, he has worked with many and in fields that are closely related. If Rabett Run has a mission it is to point out that keeping your head down is no longer an option for climate scientists. They are coming for you in the Niemoeller sense: e.g. First they came for Ben Santer, etc.

  178. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Gee, Rabid Eli, wasn’t it just recently that you said you had foresworn the word denier in favor of the term rejectionist? Oh, that’s right–you claim to be a scientist. Maybe you’ve performed recent word analysis that justifies your return to your previous low level.

    Perhaps you’ll enlighten us on what Mann and Santer have suffered. Mann’s recent award of prizes for best costume at the school party and offers of legal aid for his civil travails makes it look like he’ll emerge a net winner. Maybe a Nobel awaits! And a dead mouse on the doorstep may not qualify as suffering, although Santer might emerge from behind closed doors with a rewritten definition at any time, if past form is any indication.

    Now that you have specified the mission of Rabid Ruined, we can certainly nominate it for best performance in a soap opera. Maybe you could use a clip from A Fish Called Wanda: “Kkkkk-Ken… They’re CCCCCCComing…. to KKKKKKKill…. you.” If the support of the Obama administration, the Department of Defense, 158 learned societies and organizations and even MK is not enough to bolster your courage, maybe you can find some kid to leave a dead carrot on your doorstep that you can blather on about.

    Don’t drink the water in the South Bay, folks.

  179. mk Says:

    Decreasing the polarization, while remaining true to scientific standards and to (our best interpretation of the) facts, should be one of our primary concerns.

    Ah, I see … so since we only have control over what we say, our primary concern should be to stop saying polarizing things.

    This is fundamentally wrongheaded. The only way you can decrease the polarization is to find ways to neutralize the liars.

  180. mk Says:

    Wow! 5 comments in a row–hope Steve Sullivan isn’t watching…

    But the Right Hand of God and Meter of Justice is entitled, I guess. Are you ever going to actually say anything, MK?

    Note how Tom Fuller offers immature snark but says nothing of substance, addresses no substantive point. Note the hypocrisy. Note the lies. Burt wants to know what’s wrong with agreeing to disagree with such trolling … well, it validates it, just as Judity Curry validates the nonsense on her blog by never challenging any of it.

  181. mk Says:

    P.S. And again, this makes my point above … Bart (sorry for the “Burt” typo) can only ask the reasonable people to dial it down; the unreasonable ones are beyond his reach. This does not help, any more than asking Richard Dawkins and Dan Dennett or “the Left” to shut up as if somehow that will magically make Creationists the right wing more reasonable.

  182. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    That’s great, MK. You’re not the first to condemn Judith Curry for her commenters (although maybe you are the least coherent). Should Bart then be judged by his allowing you to ramble on?

    You might consider in Bart’s defense that he’s probably asleep when 90% of his comments are posted. You might consider in Curry’s defense that she gets more comments in an hour than most blogs get in a day. You might consider that her stated aim is to build a bridge from science to the skeptic world and that confronting those she’s trying to reach is actually a process, not a matter of jumping in the face of every commenter for every comment.

    By condemning Bart, Keith and Judith as being on the same level as Rush Limbaugh, you have just published your evaluation of the Rorschach ink blot. Sadly, what you have written in this thread could best be described using clinical language.

  183. mk Says:

    Note again the false charges.

  184. mk Says:

    I see that this conversation has been had before …

    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2011/03/14/yes-we-can-communicate/

    There, Bart quoted some truth in his article:

    an aggressive campaign by the fossil fuel industry and conservative think tanks to cast doubt about the scientific evidence that human activity is warming the planet changed that.

    … but then, as now, seemed not to appreciate its significance; his comment about being “an amateur psychologist” provides some insight.

  185. OPatrick Says:

    mk I actually agree with most of your underlying points but I don’t agree with your tone, particularly towards Bart who I think is fundamentally different from the other commentators you pick out. On the other hand I am interested in this quote:

    “Decreasing the polarization, while remaining true to scientific standards and to (our best interpretation of the) facts, should be one of our primary concerns.”

    Is it really possible to decrease polarisation if your honest view of the science would entail belief in an urgent response to address the issue of anthropogenic climate change? All the seemingly successful attempts at depolarisation that I have seen have been from people who take a more conservative view of the science.

    Tom, you are welcome to address my comment from the open thread over here. And, in relation to a point above, Curry is responsible for her commenters. She provides the environment for them, she sets the tone with her own postings and comments and she fails to apply her own comments policy. As an example of a venue to reduce polarisation it is deeply flawed.

  186. Brian Dodge Says:

    Re sulfur cap & trade – the discussions actually started under Reagan (who despite being an environmental nitwit – “trees are the major source of pollution” – at least recognized that there were scientists he should listen to), but many polluters opposed it. Acid rain was having such a visible impact that they had to accept some form of control; even republicans (then) accepted the science, and doing nothing wasn’t politically feasible.
    With many republicans today, not so much. But then, the changes are less noticeable, stealthy, insidious – the sort of thing where most people will slowly realize “man, the weather is really starting to suck – too hot, sometimes too cold, weird late snowfall, really dry most summers, except when we get a foot of rain and flooding, and it’s been like this, sorta, for, geez, how many years now?” At that point, the electorate will demand a bipartisan compromise like cap & trade, but it will be too late for nuanced policies – it will require draconian measures – and the denialists will be saying “we never denied global warming, we never claimed there weren’t positive feedbacks, we never said Greenland wasn’t melting and sea level rise wouldn’t be a problem; its the scientists fault for not being certain in their warnings – they never told us this would happen THIS year.”

    “Do you really consider the people and organizations on your list to be as alike as two peas in a pod?”
    Of course not – they span the full range from abysmal to pathetic.

  187. Marco Says:

    mk, drink some cool-aid please.

    Tom, the issue is not so much Judith Curry’s commenters, but the fact that whenever she goes into the discussion herself, she frequently responds positive to people making disparaging remarks about climate science.

    Take this comment:
    http://judithcurry.com/2012/04/06/aerosols-and-atlantic-aberrations/#comment-190588
    and see Judith’s comment.

    You’ll find more of those examples. This peddling to ‘skeptics’ even went Richard Tol too far, when she put that article of EIKE on her website.

    Also, she has this interesting approach to go into the discussion and go after comments from the ‘consensus’ commenters, while never correcting any false claims from the ‘skeptic’ side. At least, that’s what she did in the beginning, when I followed her blog for a while, but my short search on her website today did not show any changes there. Those two observations made me run away from her side, as I’ve seen this kind of behavior before in scientist-becomes-administrator. Henk Tennekes comes to mind.

    Compare to Bart, who has gone after mk for his remarks, as well as Ian Forrester’s comments about you. He also corrects false claims (if not already done by others). Bart is clearly a scientist, Judith Curry not anymore.

  188. Bart Says:

    mk,

    You fail to see what point I’m trying to make: How to get the disinterested public and the fence sitters to trust science over non-science/anti-science/nonsense. That goal is not being reached by being overly aggressive. Heck, we probably agree on most of the science, we probably also agree on the above being a laudable goal, and yet you go on and on trying to discredit and attack me. Why? Because I have a slightly different strategy? See Eli’s last comment. He’s got a different strategy than I do, yet he doesn’t feel the need to push me to “Curryville”. Pretty much the opposite: He gives me too much credit calling me a climate scientist (I work on closely related fields, as he is).

  189. Eli Rabett Says:

    Brian, that is pretty much how Eli remembers it. The alternative was best possible technology, which probably would have been a mistake, because of how emissions control is a moving target. The other was to stop using eastern coals and only use the much less S containing western ones, but that was a political loser, thus cap and trade, which can be gamed, but in general has worked.

    Eli has a friend who was involved in the scientific end of this. As a regional air pollution guy he is not much involved in global issues, and in fact is oblivious to much of what goes on here, but, to the point, ah, yes, there it is, turns out that DOE sent up a more research is needed smokescreen that delayed action for a couple of years and Steve Schwartz lead the charge. Eli was not very surprised when he heard the story. Leopard spots, etc.

    This has been the history of the thing, the people who try and claim the middle are really arguing for delay. Something may turn up. Indeed, and if you delay long enough it can be very unpleasant.

    Best

  190. Eli Rabett Says:

    How to get the disinterested public and the fence sitters to trust science over non-science/anti-science/nonsense is a base question, but in looking at this, you have to realize that the ones denigrating science and scientists have been playing the refs for years.

    The refs realize a cost to being honest (listening to you dippsy uncle at dinner dumping on his flavor of the week) and therefore avoid any confrontation, and uncle goes on an on and on (any examples here?).

    Know what, after a number of years that nonsense gets absorbed at a deep level. The only way of fighting it is to be confrontational, politely or not. Yes folks, there is a fight going on in front of you and its outcome will determine much of the world’s future and the future of the people in it.

    If you wish a more political example, consider Obama’s three years of trying to work with an opposition party that as a matter of principle refuses to cooperate. It does not work.

    Eli, MT, Tim Lambert and others started out looking for common ground. After a while you realize that there also has to be opposition. After a while Dr. Spencer becomes Woy and he is very sad.

  191. NevenA Says:

    Professor Rabett nails it.

  192. NevenA Says:

    The refs realize a cost to being honest (listening to you dippsy uncle at dinner dumping on his flavor of the week) and therefore avoid any confrontation, and uncle goes on an on and on (any examples here?).

    Maybe we should refer to Tom Fuller as Uncle Tom? Now he can claim I’ve played the race card again.

  193. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Hi OPatrick,

    Thank you for holding open the possibility, however slight, that I might actually be correct about some of the things I write. I understand perfectly your reluctance to trust me. I’m ‘on the other side’, people you know have criticized me, and I’m just another dog on the internet.

    I’d like to disambiguate something I wrote that you included in your comment. I do think of the No Pressure video and the recent spate of stories linking weather events to climate change as ridiculous nonsense (and would be happy to go into detail if you want). But although I think that, as I said, stories about global warming being a threat to polar bears and Himalayan glaciers were in fact scare stories, I don’t want to create the impression that I think all is well and everything is hunky dory in either case. (And again, would be happy to go further in discussing either situation.)

    In fact, one of the things that concerns me most about full-on climate contact stories is that a narrow focus on climate change has overshadowed other threats to the environment, a point I have made repeatedly here at Bart’s place. I don’t think polar bears are free from danger, for example. I do think that our concern should be focused more on not shooting them–and then start to discuss other dangers they face. And that includes climate change.

    I’m not asking you to trust me. I hang out on the internet in all the wrong places, and I’m friendly with a lot of skeptics. And I oppose a lot of the people you obviously trust and respect–I don’t have much use for people like Peter Gleick, for example (although I respect James Hansen quite highly).

    But a lot of valuable information can be exchanged under the terms of an armed truce. Distrust–but verify.

  194. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Hi Bart,

    You write to MK about an important point: “How to get the disinterested public and the fence sitters to trust science over non-science/anti-science/nonsense.” I have some pointers you might wish to evaluate:

    1. Engage them where they feel comfortable. This increases the chances they will focus on what you say. As one small example, I think your comments at Collide-a-Scape have more of a beneficial effect than comments on P3–or even here.

    2. You may have to spend as much time teaching your counterparts to the discussion things that you consider non-core as you do discussing what’s important to you. Accept it and deal with it. You may have to coach people on how to read information presented in accepted format. How to assign weights when evaluating competing claims. The normal give and take that is the scientific process. (Why Dessler going after Lindzen’s IRIS effect is close to normal, while attacking John Christy because he is religious is completely different.)

    3. Provide background on other scientific issues as context for the way debate is handled. Be willing to study yourself so you can talk with authority about how controversy about ozone or acid rain was actually resolved.

    4. Be patient, write in clear language–but don’t be afraid to use technical terms. (People using English as a second language are often better at this than mother tongue writers–think of Conrad and take hope…). Be wiling to spend a lot of time on it.

    The other advice I have is probably too controversial, so I’ll stop here.

  195. OPatrick Says:

    “I understand perfectly your reluctance to trust me.”

    Tom, I suspect you do – and know well that it’s not because of your characterisation of ‘being on the other side’. That people I respect also don’t trust you affirms my impressions but they are not necessary to my conclusions.

    I don’t understand what point you are making about the No Pressure video – you call it “ridiculous nonsense” as though it were somehow intended to convey ‘sense’. The charges of “ridiculous nonsense” in relation to it should be levelled overwhelmingly at those commentators who pretended to think it was a threat of violence towards ‘unbelievers’. The reason I don’t trust you is because you don’t make, and don’t acknowledge, this point.

    No doubt there were stories that misstated the significance of extreme weather events in relation to climate change, but also no doubt there were many stories that made no mention of climate change. Climate change will lead to more extremes and extremes are how the impacts of climate change will be most obviously felt. Do you really think we shouldn’t be talking about climate change when we experience exceptional weather events? What that discussion is matters of course, but I don’t remember seeing anything significantly more misleading than this:
    “The IPCC came out last month reaffirming the academic, peer-reviewed literature saying that none of the recent weather ‘events’ is attributable to climate change.” I don’t trust you to give a balanced assessment of what you see or read.

  196. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    I don’t know, OPatrick. In the same comment where you pulled your quote, I wrote, ” I have written for over two years that it is legitimate to call extreme weather events a potential preview of coming attractions but that it borders on scientific fraud to say that what we see around the planet is caused in any way, shape or form by climate change. And that’s because of what the peer-reviewed academic literature says.” And I honestly believe that. Why didn’t you include that in your comment? What part of the IPCC saying there is no connection between the two is unclear? What part of me saying it is legitimate to point to extreme weather as a possible preview of coming attractions is hard to understand?

    As for the No Pressure video,I wrote at the time that having lived in the UK, this UK video looked very much like an invitation for children to bully other children. I still think that in all honesty. I also honestly think it was ridiculous nonsense.

    You don’t reference my comment about Himalayan glaciers. Is that because you agree with what I wrote or because you ran out of energy in listing things you don’t agree with?

    For what it’s worth, I don’t know who your friends are. If they include the people who have infested this thread and they inform your opinion, I’m not surprised you don’t trust me. You can rest safely in the knowledge that my opinion of them is at least as low, if not lower, than their opinion of me. That way we don’t have to even try and communicate. Is that your goal?

  197. NevenA Says:

    I’m friendly with a lot of skeptics

    What would it take for you stop being buddies with some folks who systematically distort and even lie to protect their free market ideology? And what would it take for you to do that publicly? I mean, you are an alarmist after all. You keep repeating that, right before or after you insert a couple of denialist scoring points.

    Will you keep going to nice dinners and get all cosy with folks who for instance faithfully provide a platform for Christopher Monckton, a fellow you described as being on the extreme? Or people who get paid 88K from extremist lobbytank Heartland, but never thought about being transparent about it? Or people who distort science and smear scientists on a structural basis?

    Isn’t there a contradiction there? Is it possible to be genuinely worried about the potential dire consequences of AGW (like you say you do), but at the same time be buddies with people who will do everything in their power to make sure society will not try to minimize the chance of those consequences coming about?

    I mean, it’s a bit like saying you are against racism, but at the same time gladly attending KKK cocktail parties.

  198. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    NevenA, if I just list the misstatements in your post will that serve as a response?

    1. My friends do not systematically distort and even lie to protect their free market ideology. (I’m not saying nobody does this, just not my friends. People like Jeff Id, Steve Mosher, Anthony Watts…)

    2. I am not an alarmist. I am a Lukewarmer.

    3. Yes. I will go to dinner with my friends. Out in the real world, Neven, people don’t expect their friends to have carbon copy identical opinions about anything, let alone everything. I don’t think Monckton is a force for good in this debate. I think he’s exploiting the situation for publicity. Anthony Watts either likes him or considers him useful. I don’t agree with Anthony. Anthony is still my friend. See how that works?

    4. Anthony Watts didn’t even have time to announce that he was receive partial funding of the $88K needed to provide a public service that even people such as yourself can use. It was grabbed by Peter Gleick right on the heels of the decision to give him the money and used as cover for Gleick’s invented Heartland Strategy Document.

    5. I do not consider the consequences of AGW particularly dire, a word which actually has a meaning of its own, regardless of how you use it. I think it is serious and worth addressing. I think it will be particularly serious for those in the developing world who have not had the opportunity to develop adequate resilient structures to deal with it. I think it may prove to be the straw that broke the camel’s back for a few unfortunate species. Otherwise, I think humankind will continue to thrive, the planet will continue to recover from the harsh treatment to which it has been subjected for three centuries and that AGW will fade early in the next century, as population and emissions stabilize due to completed infrastructure and increased wealth.

    6. I am against racism. I am also against ageism, classism and most of all I am against people like you. You are a narrow minded, bigoted fool.

  199. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Just to explain my #6 in the previous comment, you have insulted me repeatedly and tried to disqualify me from participating in this debate because I was white, because I was old, because I was retired, because you think I am rich. You are racist, classist and ageist. Which by definition makes you a narrow-minded, bigoted fool.

  200. andrew adams Says:

    Hi Tom,

    Can you please post a link to where the IPCC says there is no link between recent extreme weather events and climate change.

  201. OPatrick Says:

    Yes, Tom, I could have included that quote too – it highlights a very similar point. You throw in a semi-accusation of scientific fraud for what are perfectly legitimate areas of discussion. You give a cardboard cut-out version of the SREX report. But because you also say sensible things you expect to be given credit?

    Your opinion about the No Pressure video being “an invitation for children to bully other children” remains as tenuous now as it was then. No, I can assure you a video like this will have no impact on children bullying each other. But I repeat my point, the “ridiculous nonsense” assosciated with this video comes overwhelmingly from those who pretend that it was something genuinely sinister – you don’t acknowledge this.

    It was the latter on the Himalayan glacier front. Could you clarify which specific issues about the Himalayan glaciers have you so riled?

  202. NevenA Says:

    Thank you, Mr. Fuller. Your honor, I rest my case. Tom Fuller isn’t a ‘lukewarmer’ (a PR title to superficially distance himself from his fellow deniers), but a denier convinced that AGW will be no big deal, except for the poor in isolated third world countries, and far off enough in the future for the glorious free markets to solve any problem by a glorious energy transition, as it has always been, from the day Tom Fuller was born until the day he dies, glorious growth for all eternity.

    The big goal that will make his life meaningful until he dies is delaying any meaningful policy that threatens this scenario. And thus the commie greenies need to be stopped, and if they can’t be stopped, they must be delayed, thwarted, hindered, by any means. If that means posing as a ‘lukewarmer’, trying to come across all rational and empathic (but at the same time shouting down AGW-believers, and having back-patting parties with the other free-market retirees), then so be it. Tom Fuller will be inserting denier memes wherever he can, blame scientists in advance just in case AGW is a tad more serious, a tad earlier than expected, and just love his superior intelligence, wisdom and love for all humans. He’s having a ball in the winter of his life.

    Well done on derailing another thread, Tom. Hope you live long enough to see the effects of your handiwork, and that of your honest buddy Anthony Watts. Too bad lot of those delaying deniers, who will shout their way into wherever they think they’re needed to protect the free market, are all so effing old. In the good old days, old people were just a PITA. Now they make sure that your life stays miserable after they’ve gone. What an inheritance.

  203. NevenA Says:

    You are a narrow minded, bigoted fool.

    Oh Tom, how you insult me! Boohoohoo! Now every reader on the fence will see that you are not nice at all, and think that I am a wonderful and smart young man. You are doing such a disservice to the lukewarmer/denier-in-disguise cause! You will now be to blame if the commies get their way and our glorious free market doesn’t transition us to an energy utopia!

  204. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Hi Andrew,

    Here you go. This is from the SPM of SREX. The whole report is available as well:

    Increasing exposure of people and economic assets has been the major cause of long-term increases in economic losses from weather- and climate-related disasters (high confidence). Long-term trends in economic disaster losses adjusted for wealth and population increases have not been attributed to climate change,
    but a role for climate change has not been excluded

    There is low confidence in any observed long-term (i.e., 40 years or more) increases in tropical cyclone activity (i.e., intensity, frequency, duration), after accounting for past changes in observing capabilities. It is likely that there has been a poleward shift in the main Northern and Southern Hemisphere extratropical storm tracks. There is low confidence in observed trends in small spatial-scale phenomena such as tornadoes and hail because of data inhomogeneities and inadequacies in monitoring systems. [3.3.2, 3.3.3, 3.4.4, 3.4.5]

    There is medium confidence that some regions of the world have experienced more intense and longer droughts, in particular in southern Europe and West Africa, but in some regions droughts have become less frequent, less intense, or shorter, for example, in central North America and northwestern Australia. [3.5.1]

    There is limited to medium evidence available to assess climate-driven observed changes in the magnitude and frequency of floods at regional scales because the available instrumental records of floods at gauge stations are limited in space and time, and because of confounding effects of changes in land use and engineering. Furthermore, there is low agreement in this evidence, and thus overall low confidence at the global scale regarding even the sign of
    these changes. [3.5.2]

    http://ipcc-wg2.gov/SREX/images/uploads/SREX-SPMbrochure_FINAL.pdf

  205. Paul S Says:

    How else can you react, than by saying: “no, that’s not the way it is. It’s this and this way, for such and such reasons”? But such a reaction is being characterized by skeptics ((mis-)using van Woerkum’s words) as “unjustified superiority of science”. Is explaining how science sees it a hopeless strategy?

    This question is usually presented as a choice between ‘Deficit’ and ‘Engagement’ models of science communication, with ‘Deficit’ very much playing the role as old and busted. The critiques of the former are pretty clear and reasonable: if someone’s concerns are not really about the science there’s no point giving them more information as if it’s going to finally win them around. The only possibility is to make some sort of human connection with them, building trust to a point where they can at least understand that those who are researching in this area are not monsters attempting to destroy their way of life. That is, utilise the ‘Engagement’ model.

    Trouble is, there doesn’t seem to be a clear consensus on what ‘engagement’ actually involves. As far as there is one, it is that discussions of the science should largely be pushed aside, with conversation instead focusing on the consequences of what the science is saying – in climate science this means talking through concerns about tabled political remedies. This was essentially what Gavin Schmidt was trying to do in his letter to those attending the Lisbon Workshop last year… and that didn’t go down well. As Bart says, there is strong resistance to an understanding that many concerns are political/ideological.

    Judith Curry has presented another engagement model in which she has attempted to incorporate discussion of the basic science. Admittedly any judgement is dependent on what her actual goals were, but it’s difficult to see how it hasn’t been a failure. There’s plenty of trust in her as a person (though a significant number still believe she’s a climate science insider who has yet to reveal the hoax, so still worthy of suspicion) but there hasn’t been any notable increase in trust in climate science. Even Curry’s own publications haven’t exactly been enthusiastically received. This may not be an indictment of the basic idea though. It’s difficult to see how Curry’s particular approach could build trust in climate science given her regular vilification of scientists and characterisation of climate science as broken (see her latest post).

    Tamsin Edwards is having another try at science-involved engagement in the blogosphere. We’ll have to see how that works out.

    Apart from the open question of how to do engagement, there is a question mark against how worthwhile it is as a pursuit. My brother, who, in common with the vast majority of the population, possesses very little understanding of the science behind climate change forecasts, recently brought up a pointed question: “How can melting ice raise sea levels if the ice is floating on the sea?”. Unthinkingly I simply countered that there is plenty of ice that isn’t floating on the sea. There was no ideological component to his point – it was simply something he’d heard and found persuasive – so he was able to immediately accept my explanation. As I understand it, If I had adopted an engagement approach to the conversation pointing out his simple error would have been a big “no no”, as that would be considered combative and something which could drive a wedge through the reconcilliation process. This may lead to trust but it wouldn’t provide an answer to his very real question about the possibility of rising sea levels.

    At this point there is a lot of disinformation around that some people are innocently picking up and accepting as truth. If people in this group, who are probably the majority, see climate scientists simply engaging with “skeptics” without any identification of faulty arguments or explanation of what the science says there’s a danger that general confusion would increase.

  206. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Paul S, thanks for that. I would offer the reminder that we have had people in the past who were able to communicate science effectively, ranging from scientists (Sagan et al) to science writers to science fiction writers.

    They were able to both engage and transfer knowledge on subjects as varied and controversial as eugenics, nuclear war and racial equality to topics as arcane and (at first glance) un-noteworthy as demographics.

    Some of the topics were very much in dispute at the time of discussion by these communicators–some just as vehement as the current discussion of climate change.

    I see no evidence that would-be communicators of the climate consensus have even referred to the available lessons from the past, let alone adopted them.

  207. Paul Kelly Says:

    In the US, opinions about climate generally fall along the liberal/conservative divide. To make best use of an engagement model, it should be equally important to explore why liberals are predisposed to accept climate science as why conservatives are predisposed to reject it.

  208. J Bowers Says:

    “I see no evidence that would-be communicators of the climate consensus have even referred to the available lessons from the past, let alone adopted them.”

    Carl Sagan never had the blogosphere to contend with. The George Marshall Institute would have probably seen to our Mutually Assured Destruction by now after setting up fifty blogs all saying the same damned thing ;)

  209. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    :0)

  210. grypo Says:

    Paul S really hits a homer at “April 25, 2012 at 01:42″ and pretty much summarizes my viewpoint. I’d just add that the engagement model works only as a very shallow tool in political communication, but because it is somewhat new-ish in science discussion and absolves the media from all wrongdoing, they have globbed onto it with a vicious death grip and are busy creating narrative after narrative navel gazing on strawmen environmentalists and scientists. Unfortunately it doesn’t deal with real issues in the real world on why action has not taken place. God forbid we question why we have no say in the outcome. This is directly attributable to the economic power center not wanting it to happen, both globally and in most neo-liberal countries. Communication to the powerless is admirable and important, but has yet to yield real results. You either change the center of power, or change who are trying to convince. Both are likely insurmountable obstacles in the near future. Being that I am likely the most radical leftist here, I say we change the center of power.

  211. grypo Says:

    In fact, taking this engagement model too seriously leads to this sad mess

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/21/business/media/discoverys-frozen-planet-is-silent-on-causes-of-climate-change.html?_r=1

  212. Paul Kelly Says:

    With regard to the issue of climate, the deficit model has been empirically shown to not work. Social scientists now say it does not apply to the issue of climate. The problem with the engagement model is it merely alters the direction of the deficit model rather than replace it. I’m pretty sure Bart is looking for something that goes beyond engagement.

  213. OPatrick Says:

    Tom, as you well know you could have taken 3 or 4 different quotes from the SREX and painted the opposite picture. I am sure you also know that most people reading this know that, so I think the most likely conclusion is that you are intending to incite anger.

  214. Eli Rabett Says:

    Sagan indeed had the George Mason Institute (yes, Eli knows) to contend with on the issue of nuclear winter. Turns out his model was not sophisticated enough, and it would be nuclear late fall, not to mention the problem of getting rid of all the dead meat.

  215. Bart Says:

    Paul S,

    Very good points. And thank you for discussing the topic of this post.

  216. Paul S Says:

    Paul Kelly,

    With regard to the issue of climate, the deficit model has been empirically shown to not work

    I think we need to be careful not to make overly sweeping statements about communication. Clearly, for those pre-disposed to distrusting climate science, feeding them with more information won’t help. However, there are many people who aren’t convinced about climate change without any such predisposition. For those people, who may even represent a majority of unconvinced, communications that some would label under ‘deficit model’ will be helpful for their understanding of the topic.

    As an example Brian Cox’s recent series ‘Wonders of the…’ could be regarded in some ways as pure deficit model, just with tarted up graphics for the 21st Century, yet it engaged millions of people with the idea of scientific discovery. Depending on audience, deficit-type communications can be a part of public engagement. Obviously creationists wouldn’t have felt particularly engaged by his statements about the age of the Universe, but they weren’t the target audience.

    Another case study has already been discussed in this thread: lukewarmers. Many people who currently self-describe as such used to self-describe as skeptics, often for overtly ideological reasons. Yet they say they’ve been convinced by the evidence. Some suggest that lukewarmers have simply responded to a growing credibility deficit for their former position, but if that’s not the case then isn’t this evidence that the deficit model can play a role?

    ——————————————————

    As an aside this story provided an interesting parallel in my mind. It’s about a Korean rapper who had his life and career taken apart by people who wanted to portray his life story as a hoax. His response was to produce documents to “prove” the veracity of his story (i.e. deficit model communication) but they were pounced upon and picked apart as more evidence of the conspiracy.

    This itself almost exactly parallels the Obama birth certificate situation. Curiously, in this case popular wisdom seems to be that the story went away after Obama released his longform certificate. Does this represent support for deficit model communication or is it simply the case that the media drove demand and lost interest after what they identified as a climax to the story?

  217. grypo Says:

    I am with Paul on the deficit model. It is a problem, but for what?, 10-15% of the people? Should we stop proliferation information to suit the needs to an angry minority? Go back and read what the Discovery Channel did with Frozen Planet.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/21/business/media/discoverys-frozen-planet-is-silent-on-causes-of-climate-change.html?_r=1

    I understand that this is an extreme example, but it is the consequence of this very shallow look on how the media has judged the sociological studies on people’s viewpoints and information. It appears to me that no matter much huffing and puffing the media does when told it has screwed this up, it really is still up to them to figure out a way to make sure people know all the necessary information and not have their story’s content driven by an angry minority.

    The real problem is that they are afraid to look like activists. Thanks to nimrods like Pielke Jr. this problem is likely never to be fixed, considering they treat Pielke like an ‘honest broker’. It shows you how easily people are fooled.

    The deficit model is not the whole answer (in fact, without a power change, it does nothing), but it is a necessary way of disseminating important information, and hopefully a way for popular support toward finding answers.

  218. andrew adams Says:

    Paul S

    You make some very good points. I think it is very true that whether the “deficit model” works depends very much on the audience you are trying to reach. It certainly won’t work with those who are strongly skeptical – they already think they have sufficient knowledge or will always find reasons to reject any new information they are given. But there is certainly an audience which is undecided or mildly skeptical, or is inclined to trust the mainstream science but is concerned by articles in the media saying how the whole thing is overblown or even a “scam”, and would like more information about the scientific basis for concern about AGW.
    You mention Brian Cox, well I think that the BBC’s output on the subject of AGW has been pretty cursory, if not lamentable, in recent years. OK, the Paul Nurse thing was fun, but as much I approve of the skeptics being exposed as charlatans that kind of thing really just plays to the converted. We could do with a series of serious programmes outlining the history of climate science (a kind of condensed Spencer Weart), the basics of how the greenhouse effect works, feedbacks, climate sensitivity etc., the physical evidence that climate is changing and the basis for how we think climate will change for the worse (or better) in future. Forget the political battles, concentrate of what we know, what we don’t and the uncertainties. And stick it on BBC1 not BBC4 (much as I am a massive admirer of the latter). It doesn’t have to be heavy stuff but neither does it have to be dumbed down in the way much of the BBC’s mainstream science coverage is nowadays. IOW, do noting more than treat climate science the same as any other scientific subject is treated.

  219. Marlowe Johnson Says:

    Very interesting thread. I second Paul S’s comments as well as mK’s (if not his tone as OPatrick also noted).

    Some initial thoughts. Bart, what I think is missing from your post is an explicit recognition that because climate change science is being deployed in a highly politicized environment, how climate scientists choose to communicate with the public and what they choose to focus on become inherently political choices. whether you like it or not, you are into the fray. The choice of topics covered by McIntyre, RPJr, Curry, Fuller, or Mosher reveal much, and in some cases more, than their actual comments on the topic. When you suggest the following:

    “Decreasing the polarization, while remaining true to scientific standards and to (our best interpretation of the) facts, should be one of our primary concerns.”

    you are making a value judgement that decreasing polarization is intrinsically a worthwhile objective. The problem with this view is it ignores the fact –which you acknowledge in your post — that this polarization stems not from objective misconceptions (the deficit model), but rather from identity politics. The logical consequence then is that you’re saying that we should all share the same values.

  220. Marlowe Johnson Says:

    hmm…someone needs to learn to cut and paste properly. here’s the rest…

    Now I realize that you probably don’t actually believe that. But in that case, I’d suggest that the solution isn’t to decrease polarization, but rather openly accept it for what it represents and confront it head on. I realize that you’re probably a non-confrontational person by temperament, but the inclination towards moderation (i.e. a pox on all their houses) is not always a virtue. As Mr. Wilde said a while ago:

    “Moderation is a fatal thing. Nothing succeeds like excess.”

    One more thing. As the resident Fullerologist around these parts and self appointed arbiter of the Tom Fuller drinking game , i’ll simply note that ‘coven’, ‘bozos’, ‘consensus preachers’, and ‘goon squads’ have been added to the list for eligible points. 1 pt each, except for the latter two which are worth 2 pts each.

  221. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Hi Andrew,

    You might consider it fun exposing ‘skeptics as charlatans.’ How do you feel about sliming people who just oppose consensus policy or positions?

    I’d like to call your attention to the Desmogblog Deniers Disinformation Database found here: http://www.desmogblog.com/global-warming-denier-database

    While I’m sure there are some unsavory types among the skeptics, I look at this list and just marvel at how much effort is spent creating what is little different from Richard Nixon’s Enemies List.

    This should be hugely embarrassing to anyone who actually cares about the science–almost as embarrassing as Anderegg, Prall et al in PNAS last year. Look at that list–it’s not a list of skeptics at all. It is a list of people who have criticized the consensus in any way, shape or form.

    What is your opinion on Desmogblog’s practice of charging a fee for ‘investigating’ people or organizations for signs of heresy?

    Do you know of any with opinions outside the consensus sphere who you think have honest motives, who are not funded by Big Something or Other, who just happen to be on the other side of the fence? People who disagree without being deniers?

    I mean, come on. Mike Kelly? Paul Reiter?

  222. OPatrick Says:

    Michael Kelly signed the Wall Street Journal letter
    That would certainly put him squarely in my database.

  223. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    OPatrick, you are serious? You’re calling Mike Kelly a denier?

    You guys have lost all touch with reality. They are on a list. Hence they are deniers. They signed a letter. Hence they are deniers.

    Insanity

  224. OPatrick Says:

    Yes, his signing that letter makes me highly suspicious of his motivations and/or judgment. Do you think the letter was excusable?

  225. Eli Rabett Says:

    Marlowe, Eli wins:)

  226. sidd Says:

    1) There is compelling evidence for hi-temperature extremes increasing over the last 60 yr. See Hansen’s Climate Dice paper. That the shift in distribution is due to atmospheric fossil CO2 is not in doubt.

    2)The letter to the Wall Street Journal is an attempt to muzzle NASA scientists. Those who signed it are despicable, be they liars or fools.

    How’s that for an attempt to communicate ?

    sidd

  227. willard Says:

    Noteworthy:

    > A major challenge facing climate scientists is explaining to non-specialists the risks and uncertainties surrounding potential changes over the coming years, decades and centuries. Although there are many guidelines for climate communication, there is little empirical evidence of their efficacy, whether for dispassionately explaining the science or for persuading people to act in more sustainable ways. Moreover, climate communication faces new challenges as assessments of climate-related changes confront uncertainty more explicitly and adopt risk-based approaches to evaluating impacts. Given its critical importance, public understanding of climate science deserves the strongest possible communications science to convey the practical implications of large, complex, uncertain physical, biological and social processes. Here, we identify the communications science that is needed to meet this challenge and the ambitious, interdisciplinary initiative that its effective application to climate science requires.

    http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v1/n1/full/nclimate1080.html

  228. Paul S Says:

    From Mike Kelly’s 2011 letter to the editor:

    ‘She might like to look at the recent analysis by Pat Franks [link to WUWT] which tightens the conclusion that the anthropogenic contribution is at most 0.3°C per century. This concludes that it is rising temperatures that are increasing the atmospheric carbon dioxide, not the other way round.’

  229. Marco Says:

    Paul S, I like this comment from Mike Kelly even better:
    “Engineers take legal liability for their work, and can be sued if they are wrong. This should also apply more widely to those who pronounce in the public domain on matters of policy. This would then confine statements to a more measured and nuanced standard.”

    Especially when you look at the way the WSJ letter distorted a comment from Kevin Trenberth, Nordhaus’ work, and what happened at Climate Research. Expect Mike Kelly and his friends to scream “Lysenkoism!!” whenever someone follows up on his own advise on legal liability.

  230. Paul S Says:

    Marco,

    I wonder if he would count himself as subject to liability for his public pronouncements? My suspicion is that he wouldn’t because he is simply practising ‘principled climate science scepticism’.

  231. Marco Says:

    Exactly my idea, Paul S.

  232. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    OPatrick, excusable? Yes, of course. Why would anyone even need an excuse to write a letter to the editor? They need permission now?

    As for the content, I agree with some of what they wrote and disagreed with other parts. Just as I agreed and disagreed with parts of the letter it was in response to.

    So what? Kelly is no denier. Reiter is no denier. Half the people on Desmogblog’s hit list are not deniers. They just don’t agree with you.

    Now I understand more about the idiots who keep calling me a denier. When they can spell it.

  233. Marlowe Johnson Says:

    Thanks for clearing that up Tom. I was under the mistaken impression that the claim:

    “This concludes that it is rising temperatures that are increasing the atmospheric carbon dioxide, not the other way round.’”

    was false and that anyone who would believe such a thing was in denial of what climate science actually says.

    Much appreciated.

  234. NevenA Says:

    Half the people on Desmogblog’s hit list are not deniers.

    This sounds like a fun game. You give the names, and then we, the idiots, will go look for quotes.

    So, give the names. Who on that list isn’t a denier? Ie someone who rabidly opposes the idea that AGW could have potentially serious consequences, because he/she doesn’t like what that implies for his/her ideology. And of course some of them are paid well for being a denier. Practically all of them are old, which of course is a coincidence (not playing the age card).

    Give the names, Tom. Half the list, you say. Too bad you’re not on it, because you are an alarmist. That would have been one person who isn’t a denier.

  235. Marco Says:

    I think Neven’s idea is good, but at the same I think this would be the wrong thread. So, Tom, if you ever rise to the challenge, may I suggest we do this on the open thread?

  236. OPatrick Says:

    Tom, you have to really twist the meaning of language to get from ‘not excusable’ to ‘need permission’ – why would you do that?

    Neven, I think Tom is going to come out on top in that game, he has a winning strategy: decree that seemingly undeniable evidence is insane fantasy and voila, case closed.

    No matter that someone can sign a public letter in a high-profile media outlet, presumably after considered thought, which is so lacking in content that it needs to stoop to the depths of Lysenko-comparisons, their opinions still deserve to be listened to with respect?

  237. Paul Kelly Says:

    Back to the deficit model, The paper in Willard’s link concluded we need a new climate communications model. It is one of a growing number of papers explaining why the deficit model doesn’t work. Why would anyone want to deny communication science?

  238. Paul S Says:

    Marlowe,

    It is possible to be wrong without bring a denier.

    Tom,

    I’d be interested in hearing how you define ‘denier’ – what criteria you’re using to decide who is and isn’t.

    From what I’ve seen posted in this thread the most I could say about Mike Kelly is that he doesn’t have much of a clue about the science but very much wants to involve himself by attempting to influence public opinion, while flashing his science! credentials.

  239. Paul S Says:

    Paul Kelly,

    The ‘Deficit model’ isn’t so much a form of communication as an idea that people who distrust science do so simply because they don’t understand it. It followed that supplying those people with more information would cause them to trust the science more.

    That idea has been thoroughly discredited. However the form of communication involved is simply the supply of information, which is really a form of engagement from which many will benefit. The fact that those who distrust the information won’t be engaged is there, but that’s not a great reason to stop informing people.

    Clearly there could be improvements in how information is disseminated, not least because of the march of technology, and more interactive, participatory fora will also provide benefits.

  240. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Sounds like a nice game indeed, but I definitely don’t have the time for it.

    PaulS, in the modern usage of the term, to me a denier is someone who denies the Holocaust took place. See Ellen Goodman.

    To most of the people on this thread, a denier is anyone who disagrees with them.

    I think we need new labels.

    Bjorm Lomborg, denier: “Lomborg acknowleged that global warming is “a challenge that humanity must confront.” Lomborg goes as far as calling for a carbon tax and a $100 billion investment in clean technologies.”

    It’s a political smear and has absolutely nothing to do with science or the victim’s views of the science.

  241. Paul S Says:

    Tom,

    I don’t understand your latest post in light of your previous statement: ‘Half the people on Desmogblog’s hit list are not deniers’. It seems to suggest you think the other half are Holocaust deniers.

    It might interest you to know that Holocaust deniers tend not to like being referred to by that name, and also view it as a political smear. They prefer ‘revisionist’. David Irving sued (unsuccessfully) a historian after she called him a Holocaust denier in her book.

    Whether or not people are deniers has nothing to do with the science, but it does affect how science communication should be approached.

  242. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    I’m sorry, PaulS. People who throw around a term are not the judge of how it is perceived. In my mind it is hate speech, used intentionally to inflict injury on those who are so labeled.

    I should not have carried forward with the previous usage of the term and said that half the people on the enemies list are not even true skeptics.

    But it doesn’t matter, PaulS. People will continue to use the term and people will continue to try as hard as they can to push everyone who disagrees with the religion into one box.

  243. Paul S Says:

    Tom,

    Now I’m even more confused. To clarify, when you refer to ‘true skeptics’ I assume you mean those who genuinely have a problem with many of the conclusions of mainstream climate science, and you’re counting Mike Kelly as not being a true skeptic? (or are you using the tamino true/fake skeptic distinction)

    If so I’m not sure how your opinion can be squared with the letter I linked, in which Kelly talks favourably about an analysis suggesting the 20th century co2 rise is not anthropogenic. How is that not a skeptic position?

    On the wider point, are you suggesting that climate change denial doesn’t exist? What is your understanding of the meaning of ‘denial’ in this context?

  244. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Hi PaulS

    I think there is both rational and irrational skepticism about climate change. (Just as I see rational and irrational belief in the climate consensus.)

    I see very, very few who disagree with certain basic facts–that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, that the greenhouse effect tends to produce warming, that the earth has warmed since about 1880, that that warming amounts to about 0.8C from all sources. Almost all the people in Desmogblog’s denier deathwatch and Anderegg’s blacklist believe that. Those who do not are, as far as I have been able to ascertain, not doing so for rational reasons. But if you ask Lindzen, Lomborg, Christy, Spencer, McIntyre, Watts, (even myself), all would agree with what I’ve written above. I don’t honestly know about Morano or Monckton, but if they disagreed, I would suspect political motives rather than irrationality. (The two can look similar, I know.)

    But that’s not enough to avoid being labeled a denialist by the hate speechers who need to have all opposition conveniently labeled. I guess ‘nigger’ and ‘spic’ are already taken.

    The people listed above, including myself, have rational questions about atmospheric sensitivity. About policy preferences. About those who have been preaching the alarmist dogma for 20 years. But voicing those objections is enough to earn them the label denier by people who cannot or will not provide honest answers to their (our) questions.

    I believe in all the facts listed in the second paragraph of this comment. I have questions about all of the issues listed in the fourth paragraph. How many times have I been called a denier today?

  245. sidd Says:

    Mr. Thomas Fuller writes:

    “…certain basic facts–that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, that the greenhouse effect tends to produce warming, that the earth has warmed since about 1880…”

    and very carefully leaves out

    1)CO2 is increasing
    2)the increase is due to humans burning fossil carbon

    Perhaps because his allies deny those inconvenient facts ?

    Like Mr. Andrew Revkin, Mr. Fuller is learning from Mr. George Will to gingerly step around untruth, and yet mislead. I await news of their success on the Wall Street Journal editorial pages.

    sidd

  246. Marco Says:

    Tom, link for you:
    http://scienceblogs.com/denialism/about.php

    You are free to link the word “denier” to the holocaust and get all upset about that. However, do not expect us to just accept your personal interpretation of the word denier. The description in the link above fits quite nicely to essentially all on the Desmogblog-list.

    And while you pontificate about the label “denier”, you seeminlgy have no problem using the words “deathwatch” and “blacklist” for something they clearly are not. Nice hypocrisy again, Tom!

  247. Bart Says:

    Tom,

    I’m afraid that talking about “consensus preachers” who “preach the alarmist dogma”, “deathwatch” and “blacklist” says more about you than about the people you’re talking about and labelling (with labels they don’t like).

    And that, in turn, may contribute to you being labelled (with labels you don’t like).

    This observation also points to a way out of this vicious circle/ping-pong game if you know what I’m saying.

  248. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Sidd, I would happily add both of those to the list. There’s probably more I would add as well.

    Bart, if you think those phrases are the same as denier, sorry to have offended anyone (I hate to offend unintentionally). They certainly weren’t aimed at you, obviously.

    No. I don’t know what you are saying–please speak plainly.

  249. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Marco, to provide a definition and excuse for the term denier, you point us to… DesmogBlog? Never mind.

    Bart and Marco, I got labelled years ago, and I wasn’t using offensive terms. I was labelled a denier, someone who was getting money from big oil, etc. I got labelled a lying sack of shit, I got labelled a pimp, etc. etc.

    All when I was actually trying to define and explain my position honestly and in good faith–to show why denier was not only a cheap thug insult but factually wrong. It was used repeatedly and for conscious impact by many who have participated in this thread. So weep and wail about the horribleness and awfulocity of blacklist if you want. That’s what the paper was meant on building, that’s what Joe Romm said it should be used for the day it was published.

  250. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    I find this amusing. I have a post in the moderation queue for profanity. The profanity is quoting what people have said about me and to me on this site.

  251. Marlowe Johnson Says:

    Bart please don’t let Tom’s latest post through moderation. I had enough to drink last night.

    Thanks in advance.

  252. Marco Says:

    Marlowe, I personally would not mind. I’ve said some strong stuff about Tom, and I am unlikely to take it back, unless I am unable to back it up. For example, if I ever, in the heat of a discussion, would accuse him of kiddy-fiddling, I’d take that back, because I have absolutely zero evidence for that. If I call him hypocritical (as I did), I am fully willing to substantiate that label. In fact, I have done so. I am also willing, with the description on the link about denialism, to substantiate why most (if not all) of the people on the Desmogblog link can be called deniers. Some more so than others. Mike Kelly fits quite nicely into the description provided by the denialism blog, with his distortions and cherry-picking clearly from an ideological viewpoint.

    There may be a few that would better fit the label “contrarian”, in the sense that they like to be different and therefore oppose any ‘consensus’. There may also be a few that simply did not say that much, but were either poorly quoted, or were bamboozled into signing letters or other statements due to their trust in (what turns out to be) fake experts. Which is where Anderegg et al comes in…

  253. Bart Says:

    Tom,

    Your comment got caught in the spam filter for a word that you has (in this thread at least) been solely used by you in said comment. I sometimes add or remove words from the to-be-moderated list, dependent on the conversations and the degree to which they are derailing.

    What I see is people from both sides adding oil to the fire by using offending terms for the other side. That includes high priests of the alarmist dogma as well as denier. That is part of what I meant to say. The other part is the apparent inconsistency between you claiming to agree with (the core tenets of) the scientific consensus, but on the other hand also using terms such as “alarmist dogma” and “consensus preachers”. The latter is rightly construed as trying to undermine the scientific consensus. If that’s not what you mean to do, perhaps it’s better not use such descriptors. If it is what you mean to do, then don’t be surprised if it causes a backlash from consensus supporters.

    I do realize of course that there is a history of these ping-pong games out there, so the moment some people see your name, they are ready to attack. And vice versa, the moment you see their names, you lash out. I don’t know and don’t care who started. I just know it serves no useful purpose.

  254. Marco Says:

    Tom, last time I checked, my link does not go to desmogblog, but scienceblogs…

    And what Romm said was (I quote in full): “The issue is not whether someone is skeptical of the supposed ‘consensus’ — another ill-defined term that is it not terribly useful (see “Disputing the ‘consensus’ on global warming“). The issue is whether folks are actively spreading disinformation, especially disinformation that has been long debunked in the scientific literature. As I’ve said for many years now, it is time for the media to stop listening to, quoting, and enabling those who spread anti-science and anti-scientist disinformation.”

    This is a far cry from your claim that he wanted Anderegg et al to be used as a blacklist. In fact, Joe Romm reacted negatively to a comment that in essence suggested that:
    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2010/06/21/206277/pnas-study-climate-science-media-balance-deniers/#comment-281871

  255. J Bowers Says:

    grypo — “Should we stop proliferation information to suit the needs to an angry minority?”

    The secret to failure: trying to please everyone.
    The secret to success: there isn’t one.

  256. J Bowers Says:

    “…This concludes that it is rising temperatures that are increasing the atmospheric carbon dioxide, not the other way round.’”

    Higher temperatures cause mankind to burn more fossil fuels and CO2 molecules to change their isotopes. Priceless.

  257. willard Says:

    Marco,

    Calling someone an hypocrite, even talking about hypocrisy in a more general way, should stay into your epideictic moments:

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

    Think of Feynman’s famous ceremonial address as a good example of when it’s appropriate to do so.

    In any other mode, I contend that it amounts to name calling:

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

    Name calling is still name calling, however justified name calling might be.

    What’s the point of using propaganda techniques anyway?

    Showing is always better than saying.

    Most of the times, showing is enough.

  258. OPatrick Says:

    Tom:
    “I see very, very few who disagree with certain basic facts–that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, that the greenhouse effect tends to produce warming, that the earth has warmed since about 1880, that that warming amounts to about 0.8C from all sources. Almost all the people in Desmogblog’s denier deathwatch and Anderegg’s blacklist believe that. Those who do not are, as far as I have been able to ascertain, not doing so for rational reasons.”

    sidd:
    “[Tom Fuller] very carefully leaves out

    1)CO2 is increasing
    2)the increase is due to humans burning fossil carbon

    Tom:
    “Sidd, I would happily add both of those to the list. There’s probably more I would add as well.”

    Tom:
    “You’re calling Mike Kelly a denier?

    You guys have lost all touch with reality.”

    Michael Kelly:
    “She might like to look at the recent analysis by Pat Franks which tightens the conclusion that the anthropogenic contribution is at most 0.3°C per century. This concludes that it is rising temperatures that are increasing the atmospheric carbon dioxide, not the other way round.”

  259. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Tell me how Michael Kelly noting the conclusions of someone else’s analysis amounts to denying science. How is scientific debate supposed to proceed? I haven’t read Pat Franks. I don’t know if Pat Franks is a he or a she.

    But it really fits the definition of insane to say Mike Kelly is a ‘denier’ of science because he notes something another person writes.

    Please tell me when Mike Kelly denies the science. Please tell me where. Please tell me what he wrote or said.

    Now repeat the exercise for Tom Fuller. When have I ever denied science? Tell me when. Tell me where. Tell me what I wrote or said.

    Bart, when people quit calling me a denier, I will assume that they are no longer interested in false alarmism, no longer dogmatic, and may soon start to advocate instead of preach. And I own’t need to describe them with those terms. For now, I consider them both accurate and far milder than many of them deserve.

  260. willard Says:

    OPatrick,

    Thank you for your synopsis.

    You can see that your comment is immune to lines that start like this:

    > [W]hen people quit calling me a denier [...]

    Not that it will prevent people from using it.

    People are people, so what why should it be.

  261. sidd Says:

    The previous publications of Mr. Pat Franks clearly show that he is a denier. Why would Mr. Kelly quote a denier if he did not agree with him ? Mr. Michael Kelly is denying the science just as much as Mr. Pat Franks.

    sidd

  262. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    sidd, I quote people from the consensus all the time. I even acknowledge when they are correct. That obviously doesn’t make me part of your tribe. Why should Mike Kelly’s quoting a skeptic (and on what grounds do you say Pat Franks is a kike–oh, I’m sorry, a denier? What does he say, where does he say it, what are the quotes?) make him a skeptic?

  263. Susan Anderson Says:

    This is all very sad. If I were sick, I would prefer an unpleasant truthteller to someone who is resolved to be pleasant and indulge my prejudices.

    Climate science in its current state is in the position of being the unpleasant truthteller, and the massive nexus of ideological opposition disguised as skepticism is the indulger of prejudice.

    It is not about tribes, and every time those who observe and practice are accused of being a tribe the person making the accusation reveals themselves as either a dupe or a creator of prejudice.

    It is only because the issue is so important the people who find the truth compelling are willing to engage with distortion in order to find a way to shed light on the subject.

    If people would just abandon their filters and look at the facts, we could get on.

  264. willard Says:

    > The previous publications of Mr. Pat Franks clearly show that he is a denier.

    Show your readers some evidence, sidd.

    Let them judge by themselves.

    The victimization circle will get you nowhere, even if you have a winning position, sidd. Look:

    Denier.

    Insane.

    Denier.

    Insane.

    Denier.

    Insane.

    Ad lib, but whose’s?

    The topic shifts from a question where you claim an advantage to the INTEGRITY of persons irrelevant to that question.

    Don’t you see the rhetorical booby trap?

  265. willard Says:

    OPatrick recalls an exchange between thomaswfuller2 and sidd.

    OPatrick refrains from name calling.

    thomaswfuller2 does not answer that comment.

    sidd posts a comment with name calling.

    thomaswfuller2 answers that comment.

    Boom.

    sidd’s dead, baby, sidd’s dead.

  266. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    You know, kikes deserve to be called that. They denied the truth. No matter how many times it was patiently explained, they refused to admit they were wrong.

  267. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    C’mon, holy ones. I asked for direct quotes from both Kelly and Franks that prove they’re kikes–deniers–whatever. And from me, too. Surely your heavenly father will provide you with inspiration to replace your perspiration. Smite the heathen. You have the power. You have the glory. Come to think of it, you probably have the rack, too. Go for it, dudes–and dudette, now that Susan has entered the fray. Or just chant ‘Get thee behind me, DENIER!’

  268. Susan Anderson Says:

    Huh? Now we’re blasting Jews? Can I have read this correctly? How is this relevant? Not that I want to know but can’t help mentioning that it’s gross. I know so-called skeptics are fond of blaming the victim, but this goes too far.

  269. Susan Anderson Says:

    Insults do not advance the conversation. holy ones, kikes-deniers-whatever is just playground talk. I’m out of here. Apologies on your behalf to Bart Verheggen, who deserves better.

  270. sidd Says:

    I apologize to our host and the readers for my intemperance.

    sidd

  271. Marco Says:

    Tom, Mike Kelly approvingly citing an analysis by a complete unknown on a blog (“fake experts”), and ignores the vast body of the actual scientific literature (“selectivity/cherry picking”) already fits two of the characteristics mentioned on the link I gave you.

    Add the conspiracy angle present in the WSJ letter (the reference to Lysenkoism), and we’re already up to three of the five.

    Logical fallacies and impossible expectations may be a bit more difficult to show, but they are there, too.

    Another thing to think about: I am quite certain that Mike Kelly tells his students to check their calculations. One such method is to look whether the answer makes any sense in a real world. For example, if you calculate your particles to be 10 picometer, you know there is something really, really wrong. Yet, somehow all those who loudly proclaim that the increase in CO2 is mainly from ocean outgassing ignore that basic check. Tom, if you are ever in for a challenge, ask those that make this claim this simple question:
    Where’s the sink that has absorbed over 1000 Gigatons of CO2 over the last century? (make it 2000 or even 3000 if they believe almost the whole increase is due to ocean outgassing).

    Good luck with that one.

  272. Marco Says:

    BTW, it appears Tom Fuller does not know what “kike” means, as it looks like he uses it as a synonym for (holocaust) denier.

  273. Bart Says:

    Willard’s last observation is telling indeed (about the same dynamic that I was getting at).

    Fwiw, I agree with Susan. Tom, she hasn’t used the D-word on you here, so why is your reaction so volatile?

  274. OPatrick Says:

    Tom, I’m not sure how else to interpret Michael Kelly’s words “…tightens the conclusion…” and “This concludes that…” other than as agreement with those conclusions.

    willard, show not tell – good advice. Thanks.

  275. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Hi Susan, I agree that insults do not advance the conversation. As you arrived late, you might lack context to understand why I wrote what I wrote.

    As for the two bigots, I am still waiting for quotes that give any indication that Mike Kelly, Pat Franks or myself deny the science. Hell, I’ll settle for one.

    Do climate fundies
    In their undies
    Ever dream
    Of chocolate Sundaes?

    Or is Sunday reserved
    For ritual
    Slaughter
    Of the unbeliever?

  276. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    I’ve also heard that kikes actually enjoy the name. They use it among themselves regularly.

  277. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    sidd, I just noticed your apology. If it is indeed an apology for having used the term denier, and if (I am not sure) I am included among those to whom you are apologizing, I certainly accept it. And appreciate you proffering it.

  278. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Susan, in case it isn’t clear, the title of this post is ‘Dilemmas in Science Communications.’ I am trying to make the point that when you want to communicate, you might do better than beginning with a racist taunt. No matter what is in your mind when you utter the term, it is perceived by the recipient and many observers as an attempt to incorrectly classify the recipient alongside those who deny the Holocaust. It prevents communication, rather than aiding it.

    Most of the dilemmas for the consensus tribe are self-created. This is one.

  279. Marco Says:

    Tom, I just provided you an explanation as to why Mike Kelly can be called a denier. Or if you like that better (probably not), denialist. He fits the pattern quite well.

  280. Marco Says:

    And as an aside, has Tom not read Bart’s comment as to labeling people? Again the complaints about “denier”, a few posts after he offers us a ‘poem’ that uses the words “fundies” and “unbelievers”, thus linking those who are in agreement with the consensus to a religion.

    Tom, if you don’t want to be called names, it helps if you don’t call other names. You have just done so. Again. So stop the whining about being called names, it is clear you don’t mind doing so yourself.

  281. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Marco, I’m still waiting for a quote from Pat Franks, Mike Kelly or myself that denies science. Your characterization or opinion of what they/I think means nothing to me. I would not trust you to give me the time of day–why would I trust your opinion on Franks or Kelly. Quote, please. Are they kikes, spics, wops, wogs, macacas, deniers or are you just making stuff up to fit your prejudices? Do they eat their young?

  282. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Marco scribbles: “Tom, if you don’t want to be called names, it helps if you don’t call other names. You have just done so. Again.” For years I have been called denier and worse. I have explained rationally, asked people to stop, abandoned threads and protested vigorously but politely. It never stopped. So to hell with playing politely with religious fundamentalists. You call us deniers for the same reason priests called Jews deniers. Because we would not receive a Higher Truth as revealed to you from on high. If you could burn witches I have no doubt that you would.

  283. Marco Says:

    Tom, since you decided it is OK to use names, as you just did, don’t complain about called names! I don’t think I ever called you a denier, BTW. If you want explanation for any of the labels I attached to you, I’d be happy to explain.

    Regarding Kelly, I pointed out that he supported an analysis by a fake expert (Pat Franks – who’s analysis is outright mathturbation, something any engineer should be able to see), drew from that analysis a conclusion that contradicts very well established science (CO2 increase due to ocean outgassing), and signed a letter that pointed to a conspiracy (by referring to Lysenkoism). That’s three out of five on the denialism scale. I could dig into the last two and find some examples, too, but three out of five is already enough for me.

    I am really at a loss in explaining in any other way other than ideological blindness how a professor in physics, who has to deal with advanced mathematics the whole time and has shown to do that quite well, can support a blog post by Pat Franks in which basic mathematical errors are made (e.g. citing as evidence for a good fit the zero slope in residuals in an analysis which includes a linear term is something even I know is actually evidence of nothing other than that you included a linear term, not that it is a good fit), and which claims the presence of “oscillations” which have at most one phase of such “oscillations” included is bad, bad science. Add the “recovery from the LIA” as a completely non-descriptive mechanism, and any professor in physics would fail his students for making such large claims on such flimsy and questionable analysis. But the professor in physics Mike Kelly cites such an analysis approvingly!

  284. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Marco, I was called a denier on this thread 5 by five different pinhead morons before I decided to respond. You protest blushingly that you never did. I don’t remember if you have or haven’t. Regardless, you have offered staunch support for your fellow bigots, so as far as I’m concerned you’re just another fundie.

    No quotes from Kelly. No denying of the science. Just your interpretation of a discussion he had with someone. No quotes from Franks. Just your opinion. No quotes from Fuller.

    If you want to have a hatefest, just go over to Dulltoid. Why do you have to infest this place?

  285. willard Says:

    > I was called a denier on this thread 5 by five different pinhead morons before I decided to respond.

    Five quotes needed.

  286. willard Says:

    Still no answer to OPatrick.

  287. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Little acolyte, punishing the heathen can be hard work. Tell us all which is the difficult part. Figuring out how to get to the top of the thread or reading?

  288. willard Says:

    I believe this is the first occurence of “deni” on this page:

    > We can apply this same logic to climate change. We know who the active denialists are – not the people who buy the lies, mind you, but the people who create the lies.

    In that same comment, we read:

    > Oh, gee, OPatrick, I don’t know. Why would we call them preachers?

    Who wrote that comment?

    If “them” are not here, one has to wonder why “they” are being given names.

    In any case, They Made the Commenter Do It.

  289. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Oh, little apprentice tormentor of the wicked, how excellent of you. The world wonders if you can continue. The kikes–umm, deniers all atremble at your progress. As you find them, twist, twist the truth in your higher cause. Science may sympathize–or at least Al Gore…

  290. NevenA Says:

    Wow, Tom is really losing it this time.

    For years I have been called denier and worse.

    Boohoohoo! I was called names on the Internet! Boohoohoo!

    I was called a denier on this thread 5 by five different pinhead morons before I decided to respond.

    I said you were an alarmist, you pinhead moron! You are saying the atmosphere could warm up by 2.5 degrees. You moronic doomsayer, you!

  291. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Begone, wretch.

  292. willard Says:

    The second occurence refers to a “side”:

    > It is dishonest journalists that scientists dislike not the ones who discuss things in an honest manner, even though they may prefer the denier side of the argument.

    The third refers to “deniers”:

    > Describing climate science to a person with limited mathematical ability or training is difficult. Resorting to analogy is dangerous, since those are easily attacked by deniers.

    The author of the last comment apologized.

  293. willard Says:

    The second occurence refers to “side”.

    The author of the third occurence apologized.

  294. willard Says:

    The author of the fourth and fifth occurences apologized.

  295. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Twisssst! Twisst! You can do it! He’s nothing but a mick, a nip, a slant-eyed gook! No-one will care!

  296. willard Says:

    The author of the sixth:

    > However, I am labeled a denialist (and worse, by some commenters to this thread) because I believe that the consensus side needs to adhere to much higher standards of ethics, behavior and, yes, manners than those who oppose them, and I certainly don’t believe the consensus side has succeeded in that.

    Crucifixion leaves scars that never heals, or so it seems.

    It might be true that some can make their palms bleed at will.

  297. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Whole lotta communicatin’ going on. Ain’t what I want. Ain’t what Bart wants.Cui bono? The priesthood. They don’t really want to follow MK’s lead and excommunicate Bart, but they will if they have to…

    In 1184, the Roman Catholic Synod of Verona legislated that burning was to be the official punishment for heresy. It was also believed that the condemned would have no body to be resurrected in the Afterlife. This decree was later reaffirmed by the Fourth Council of the Lateran in 1215, the Synod of Toulouse in 1229, and numerous spiritual and secular leaders through the 17th century.

    Civil authorities burnt persons judged to be heretics under the medieval Inquisition, including Giordano Bruno. The historian Hernando del Pulgar, contemporary of Ferdinand and Isabella, estimated that the Spanish Inquisition had burned at the stake 2,000 people by 1490 (just one decade after the Inquisition began). In the terms of the Spanish Inquisition a burning was described as relaxado en persona.

    Who’s next?

  298. willard Says:

    > Whole lotta communicatin’ going on.

    Still no answer to OPatrick.

  299. willard Says:

    > I was called a denier on this thread 5 by five different pinhead morons before I decided to respond.

    Still five quotes needed.

  300. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    This is the man you pinheads called a science denier:

    Professor Michael Kelly is the Prince Philip Professor of Technology in the University of Cambridge since 2002, and a Professorial Fellow at Trinity Hall.

    Michael Kelly studied Mathematics and Physics to MSc level at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand, and completed his PhD in solid state physics at Cambridge in 1974.

    He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society of New Zealand. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and Senior Member of the Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineering in the USA. He has won prizes for his work from the Institute of Physics, the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Royal Society.

    He has published over 250 peer-reviewed papers.

    Burn him!

  301. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    And the other man you religious fanatics claims denies science is a PhD chemist with 50 peer-reviewed papers who works at the Stanford Linear Accelerator.

    Burn him!

  302. willard Says:

    If the victimization circle did not exist, some would be more than lukewarm to invent it.

  303. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Of course! It’s our fault! We forced you to call us deniers. How silly of me.

    When you asked us to believe we did not.
    We you called for us to repent we did not.
    When you said it was settled we disagreed.
    When you said the science around sensitivity was just as solid as the greenhouse gas theory we said it was not.

    Burn us all. It’s our fault! We forced your hand. It’s as though we lit the fiery brands ourselves. No-one will condemn you. They are praising you now in the dens of Deltoid! You have… permission…

  304. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Just one technical question, wee ittle willie: Did Professor Michael Kelly deny thrice before the cock crowed?

  305. J Bowers Says:

    Lessons from the past:

    Science News — Science denial in the 21st century

    Researchers and science writers tasked with reporting on these issues gathered April 23–24 at the University of Wisconsin at a meeting titled, “Science Writing in the Age of Denial.” Some noted that seemingly spontaneous denial of science in the populace is quite often a carefully choreographed attack.

    Sean B. Carroll, an evolutionary biologist at UW–Madison, has traced similarities between an anti-polio vaccine movement by chiropractors in the 1950s and later attempts by others to deny evolution.

    “There was a common playbook,” Carroll said. The deniers started by doubting the science, despite the evidence. They questioned the motives of researchers and cited gadfly “authorities” to give the impression of a disagreement among scientists. The doubters exaggerated potential harm, Carroll said, and appealed to personal freedom — such as the right to not get vaccinated.

    Finally, he said, science denial embraced a viewpoint that “to accept the science would repudiate some key philosophy” of an individual or group. In the case of the polio vaccine, this would require the acceptance of the fact that a virus causes the disease, which chiropractic rejected. Same with evolution, Carroll said, which was framed as undermining biblical teachings.
    [...]
    …“Science writers need to take an active role in challenging quackery,” [da Silva] said.

  306. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Wee ittle willie, go tell the Monsignor the heretic is back. OPatrick asked me one question in this thread. If I thought Kelly’s actions were excusable. I answered. My answer was yes.

    Are the fumes from the censer clouding your fanatically charged senses? (It isn’t incense–in fact it smells offal.)

  307. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    I prefer other strands of history JBowers:

    The Roman Catholic Church had always dealt harshly with strands of Christianity that it considered heretical, but before the 11th century these tended to centre around individual preachers or small localised sects, like Arianism, Pelagianism, Donatism, Marcionism, Montanism. The diffusion of the almost Manichean sect of Paulicians westwards gave birth to the famous XI-XII century heresies of Western Europe. The first one was that of Bogomils in modern day Bosnia, a sort of sanctuary between Eastern and Western Christianities.

    By the 11th century, more organised groups such as the Patarini, the Dulcinians, the Waldensians, the Cathars, the Tisserands, were beginning to appear in the towns and cities of Northern Italy, Southern France and Flanders, which were the most urbanized areas of Europe at the time. They mainly spread among the textile workers, whence come the name of some of these movements. In western Mediterranean France the Cathars grew to represent a popular mass movement and the belief was spreading to other areas.

    The Cathar Crusade was initiated by the Roman Catholic Church to eliminate the Cathar heresy in Languedoc.Heresy was a major justification for the Inquisition and for religious wars associated with the Reformation.

    First they came for the physicists and Neven and Willard cheered. Then they came for the chemists and Marco and Marlowe bellowed with glee.

    What is science? Asked JBowers. And turned away to wash his hands.

  308. willard Says:

    thomaswfuller2 might be interested to comment this synopsis:

    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/dilemmas-in-science-communication/#comment-16379

  309. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    I read it the first time. There is no question mark in it. You fundies are the ones who make stuff up–you tell me what I’m supposed to comment on. Oh, go ahead. Tell me what I’m supposed to comment. You’ll twist whatever I say and turn it into what you want anyhow.

    Because you serve a Higher Truth.

  310. willard Says:

    > We forced you to call us deniers.

    A majestic We.

    An abstract you.

  311. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Your turn, altar boy. Comment on this:

    It was no journalist who made the No Pressure video. It was no journalist who told skeptics that Green Peace knew where they lived. It was no journalist who wrote Anderegg, Prall et al. It was no journalist who ignored an IPCC scientist and continued to insist that Himalayan glaciers would disappear before 2035–while bidding on a project to study melting Himalayan glaciers. It was no journalist who said that the streets of Manhattan would be underwater in either 20 or 40 years. It was no journalist who told fellow scientists to delete all emails regarding AR4. The list could go on for days.

    You’ve run out of feet to shoot yourselves in, so you frantically cast about looking for scapegoats. And after 25 years of journalist from the BBC, the Guardian, the NY Times and every other major media outlet printing your screeds and screeches on demand, why it must be their fault!

  312. willard Says:

    Does science holds that the rising temperatures are increasing the atmospheric carbon dioxide, not the other way round, Tom?

  313. willard Says:

    > Your turn, altar boy. Comment on this:

    Look. Squirrel.

  314. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    If you mean the editorial we, you’re still mistaken. It’s simple usage of the first person plural. Quit drinking the sacramental wine–it’s for Marlowe.

  315. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Does science still hold that the glaciers in Karakorum will be gone by 2035? Oops, make that 2350. Oops make that 3250. Whatever.

  316. willard Says:

    > You’ve run out of feet to shoot yourselves in, so you frantically cast about looking for scapegoats.

    Again an abstract You.

    Speaking of scapegoats:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ren%C3%A9_Girard

    Did we ever built a Shrine for Pontius Pilate?

  317. willard Says:

    > Does science still hold that the glaciers in Karakorum will be gone by 2035?

    Look. Squirrel.

  318. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    You should be reading this guy, if your religion permits it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chomsky. You might focus, if focus you can, on what he says about politics: “Chomsky asserts that authority, unless justified, is inherently illegitimate, and that the burden of proof is on those in authority. If this burden can’t be met, the authority in question should be dismantled.”

  319. willard Says:

    Yes, but Professor Michael Kelly is the Prince Philip Professor of Technology in the University of Cambridge since 2002, and a Professorial Fellow at Trinity Hall.

  320. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    So obviously he denies science.

  321. willard Says:

    Does science holds that the rising temperatures are increasing the atmospheric carbon dioxide, not the other way round?

  322. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Wonderful the jesuitic twist. Kelly challenges authority and is accused of denying science. Then those who accuse him of denying science cite his credentials as being an example of authority. They got you for five years, didn’t they wee ittle willie? Don’t need no koolaide, don’t need no fi dollar…

  323. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Does science still hold that the glaciers in Karakorum will be gone by 2035? Oops, make that 2350. Oops make that 3250. Whatever.

    We can all play that game.

  324. willard Says:

    > Then those who accuse him of denying science cite his credentials [...]

    Yet another indefinite description.

  325. willard Says:

    > Kelly challenges authority [...]

    How so?

  326. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    You started the infinite loop, not me, thou faithful and trusted servant of the Gord.

  327. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Should have said twisted servant…

  328. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    …of the Borg.

  329. willard Says:

    The seventh occurence, in response to “[T]he real avoidable tragedy that has led us to this impasse has been the willingness of climate scientists to allow others to speak for them”:

    > Hanson did exactly this, yet the denialist brigade have sought to wreck his reputation. In fact each scientist who has stood up to ‘champion’ the cause has been attacked politcially [sic].

    But perhaps these were all legitimate authority challenges.

  330. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Look at this thread, true believer. You have driven science out of the building. So maybe you’re winning. What is certain is that science is losing.

  331. willard Says:

    The eigth occurence was in response to the same claim as the seventh:

    > Do you think that proportionately this willingness has had a larger impact than the lukewarmers, skeptics, outright denialists, and vested fossil fuel interests “willingness” to allow(encourage, pay for) the likes of Monckton, Plimer, Lindzen, Morano, CEI, Heartland, Frank “emphasize uncertainty” Luntz & etc to speak (advise, spin, manipulate) in the public debate?

  332. willard Says:

    The ninth occurence was in response to an answer to the eight, viz. “Public opinion on the science hasn’t really been swayed by the skeptics. Large majorities agree that human emissions of CO2 raises temperatures.”

    > I disagree. In the USA the majority is not large. It would be far larger but for denialist propaganda.

    Its author already apologized.

  333. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    I don’t know any lukewarmer who has encouraged or paid for any of those people to do any of those things. But now that science has left the field in the keeping of the fanatics, truth probably doesn’t matter, so prevaricate away!

    There is a dilemma in science communication. Its name is willard.

  334. willard Says:

    The tenth occurence:

    > The biggest reason that there is hardly any meaningful action on AGW and a host of other global crises, is human nature. Second on the list comes the way western populations have been brainwashed for several generations now to only value status and material possessions. Only then the denial machine comes in, and it’s having a ball because of 1) and 2).

  335. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    When are you going to apologize willard? You, Neven, Nathan, MK, Marco–you have spent close to 400 comments of time and space attacking me instead of discussing the topic. You allowed a two-bit dirtbag to falsely accuse me of lying about my military service (which made it unnecessary for you to link to the lies as you have done in the past–hey I guess you’re a two bit dirtbag, too! Isn’t that wonderful? A religious zealot with no regard for the truth standing in the way of a discussion of scientific issues.)

  336. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    There’s a bigger reason why little meaningful action has taken place on AGW. That reason is two-bit dirtbags accusing scientists of denying science, Freeman Dyson of being senile, etc., etc., etc.

    Two yeas ago Senator James Inhofe teamed up with Dianne Feinstein and Nancy Pelosi to pass legislation improving the energy efficiency of legislative buildings. You have pretty much guaranteed nothing like that will ever happen again.

  337. willard Says:

    The next three occurences repeat the tenth.

    The fourteeth occurence:

    > I think the ideological reaction far preceded the politicization of it. And while I think the politicization of the issue came from Republicans, I also think that the ideological reaction came from the other side, by mistaken application of Naomi Oreskes’ strategy for refighting the tobacco wars–the invention of the term ‘denier’, the incredible attacks on the personal integrity of non-signatory scientists, the refusal to debate, the insistence (of non-scientists) that the debate was settled, the focus on iconography not backed up by data, all of this created an opposition.

    Its author claims that he was being called a denier on this thread 5 by five different pinhead morons before he decided to respond.

    The expression “incredible attacks on the personal integrity” deserves due diligence, considering how the thread evolved.

  338. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    I’m going to bed. Sleep the sleep of the righteous, willard. You have the imprimatur, the scepter and the floor.

  339. willard Says:

    Good night, Tom.

  340. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Oh, well–one last comment. Incredible attacks on the personal integrity–kind of like calling Mike Kelly a denier?

    “Expect Mike Kelly and his friends to scream “Lysenkoism!!” whenever someone follows up on his own advise on legal liability.”

    “From what I’ve seen posted in this thread the most I could say about Mike Kelly is that he doesn’t have much of a clue about the science but very much wants to involve himself by attempting to influence public opinion, while flashing his science! credentials.”

    “Regarding Kelly, I pointed out that he supported an analysis by a fake expert…”

    “Tom, I just provided you an explanation as to why Mike Kelly can be called a denier. Or if you like that better (probably not), denialist. He fits the pattern quite well.”

    Burn him.

  341. willard Says:

    You already know where I stand on name calling, Tom.

    Now, read everything you wrote about me.

    Good night, Tom.

  342. Marco Says:

    Tom, we provided you with Mike Kelly’s comments. Here it is once again:
    http://www.climateconversation.wordshine.co.nz/2011/06/prof-kelly-shows-the-middle-way/
    “She might like to look at the recent analysis by Pat Franks which tightens the conclusion that the anthropogenic contribution is at most 0.3°C per century. This concludes that it is rising temperatures that are increasing the atmospheric carbon dioxide, not the other way round.”

    He cites a fake expert, who made laughable mistakes in his analysis, and draws a conclusion that does not only not follow from the analysis, but also requires discarding many scientific publications that are about as solid as basic evolution. If Kelly had any personal integrity, he would have critically evaluated Frank’s blogpost. If he actually claims he has, he must be incompetent as a scientist in this field for not seeing the errors.

    This also reminds me of people pointing to Kary Mullis and Peter Duesberg to support their denial that HIV causes AIDS. “Look! A Berkeley scientist and Nobelprize winner!” We can also add Lynn Margulis, Serge Lang (check HIS credentials and compare to Kelly), and Hiram Caton to the list of established scientists who are just plain deniers, albeit not of climate change but rather that HIV causes AIDS.

    Of course, now you are also attempting the Appeal to Authority, by pointing out the scientific credentials of Mike Kelly (which are not in climate science) and (I’m guessing here) Pat Frank. Also the latter has no publications relevant to climate science (E&E and blogposts do not count), and his normal field of science is even further away from climate science than Mike Kelly’s. And if he has 50 publications, bow to the master, Tom: I have more. So, I have better credentials than Frank!
    Lest somebody thinks I am serious here, my credentials in the field of climate science are the same as those of Kelly and Frank: non-existent. The only difference is that I do not reject hundreds of publications by experts in the field and replace them by a blogpost.

  343. Eli Rabett Says:

    As far as Michael Kelly goes, the answer is what it always has been

    ====================
    this is a problem with physicists: they think they know everything, because they’re smart. What they don’t understand is that yes, it is true, actually meteorology is a branch of physics. And so you take a physicist, like me, and you can sit him down, and in 2 or 3 years, they could learn meteorology. But physicists confuse being smart and having the ability to learn everything with actually knowing stuff!

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

    so if Eli were to be as careful with words as Willard, he would call Kelly ignorant**, if there were evidence that the ignorance were purposeful in furtherance of a particular end he would call the reasoning thereto denial logic and Kelly a denier.

    **IGNORANT
    1 a : destitute of knowledge or education ; also : lacking knowledge or comprehension of the thing specified b : resulting from or showing lack of knowledge or intelligence
    2 : unaware, uninformed

  344. Marco Says:

    Bart, I sincerely hope you do not remove any of Tom’s (or anyone else’s) comments. It’s an interesting learning experience to see how Willard called out Tom for a claim he made, and Tom stubbornly dodging the request for quotes of the five people on this thread that called him a denier, while at the same time demanding quotes that Mike Kelly is a denier, which we did.

    I think we have here another dilemma in science communication: what do we do if someone appeals to authority of someone who provingly does not possess it?
    And what do we do if that person who appeals to authority makes provingly false claims while demanding to be treated with respect and not be called names (which he wasn’t called on this thread)?

    For me, in such cases the gloves are off. But perhaps others have better ideas?

  345. J Bowers Says:

    “The list could go on for days.”

    Actually, Tom, that’s about all there is. Well, you might be able to double the list, granted, even triple it, hell, quadruple it, but in comparison to the behaviour and actions of the late 20th-Century’s and early 21st Century’s answer to the anti-relativity movement, it really isn’t a very impressive list. Really, do you honestly think that if you were to list all of your “transgressions”, folks here couldn’t come up with at least one hundred times the amount from the anti-AGW movement’s pundits if they took the time? Be serious.

    “I prefer other strands of history JBowers:
    The Roman Catholic Church ….”

    Sorry, Tom, but by countering with a supernatural outfit’s behaviour from almost 1000 years ago, you really are doing yourself no favours at all.

  346. OPatrick Says:

    Tom, this thread has tightened the conclusion that you should not be trusted. But do you think, then, that I have no opinion as to whether you should be trusted?

  347. NevenA Says:

    Now that you show your true face, Tom, I feel a bit sorry for being so harsh. Just like you I was in a foul mood yesterday. But at the same time I can still get angry when I see how you keep contradicting yourself and try to camouflage your efforts to delay the discussion by a veneer of rationality and plain alarmism (2.5 degrees is very alarmist, no two ways about it). I’m still convinced that your main goal is to stop the commie greenies from screwing things up before an unfettered free market can solve the problem, all the problems, without any outside intervention.

    This belief that is so rampant among white males of your age (in the US, at least), introduced by the sociopaths of the Chicago school of economic thought, has dominated our economies, societies and culture for many decades now. It’s becoming quite clear that it isn’t working (limits to growth), which explains the growing size and fierceness of the opposition to anything that might alter the dominance of this economic thought. First of all, many people have been so brainwashed by this ideology that they cannot let go of it. Second of all, the whole system it has engendered, is geared toward making a small group of ultra-rich people and their lackeys exponentially richer.

    And thus I find it highly ironic that you portray people that are worried by the prospect of unabated GHG emissions (to name just one of many worrying things) as the new Inquisition that must quell all opposition like the Roman Catholic church did in previous times. The Church had a very powerful position and didn’t want its monopoly threatened, which is very similar to the small group of people who profit greatly from the current system. They want the status quo to remain just as it is. Sure, a cosmetic change on the outside (renewable energy) if it really must be, but no systemic changes to the way we fit our economy into the ecology, no change to our culture of neverending material growth.

    The people who worry about AGW and actually want to discuss how to solve problems, and sustainably improve living conditions for everyone on the planet, are the minority here, Tom. Not you and your fellow delayers who believe that their way, the way of the unfettered free market (free for the few, a prison of debt and disease for the rest), is the best way. The material growth you experienced from birth onwards, from poverty to luxury, cannot be sustained and will not be experienced by my daughter and her generation.

    I wouldn’t have a problem if you would come out and say that you believe the free market will magically solve everything, if the commie greenies just stay out of the way. What I do have a problem with is the games you are playing, portraying yourself as some wise man (lukewarmer) in the middle of extremes, acknowledging the dangers, but at the same time spreading as much FUD as you can, all in order to delay, delay, delay. It’s very hypocritical.

    You will never become conscious of it – you’re too old now to change your ways and your thinking -, but you and your fellow freemarkeeters are leaving behind as your legacy a mess that could have been avoided in the 70′s, but wasn’t. And now, the last thing you do in your life, is try and make sure that things stay the way you were used to. What a tragedy…

    I’m sorry, Tom.

  348. willard Says:

    > For me, in such cases the gloves are off. But perhaps others have better ideas?

    There was this interesting article on science communication that I cited in my first comment in this thread:

    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/dilemmas-in-science-communication/#comment-16344

    Interestingly, nobody followed up up on that comment.

  349. willard Says:

    …except Paul Kelly, unsurprisingly in my opinion:

    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/dilemmas-in-science-communication/#comment-16354

  350. willard Says:

    How the conversation progressed after Paul’s comment would deserve due diligence.

    So much to do, so little time.

    Team WUWT should pick on from there.

  351. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Willard, I shouldn’t have called you a two bit dirt bag. You’re at least a six bit dirt bag because you let other people tell the lies and then you link to them. Saves you effort and makes you look like a human. Well, almost. Hey–I’ve got an idea. You could start referring to yourself in the third person.

    Marco, you’ve provided everything about Mike Kelly except any evidence at all that he denies science. Not one bit. Not a hint. As for yours and others appeals for the five quotes that willard demanded, it just shows you how desperate you pathetic fundamentalists are to maintain the illusion that you’re participating in a scientific conversation while you are actually doing everything you can to shut it down. Asking for quotes from the same thread?

    Rabid Rabett, you don’t even understand the question about Mike Kelly but you vomit forth your half digested carrot of an answer, of course. You’re willing to continue calling Kelly either ignorant or a denier based on zero evidence and paste in two quotes about physicists in general. I didn’t notice you cautioning anyone about the overconfidence of physicists when Stephen Hawking came out in support of the consensus. You’re just a pathetic fundie yourself and all you want out of this conversation is to stop any communication between people such as Bart and people such as Paul Kelly or myself. So you slime, interrupt, insult and lie.

    JBowers, you’ve let others handle the slime on this thread so you can write as if your hands are clean. Which shift do you have? As for listing the reasons why normal people have questions about the consensus paradigm, it could go on for days. After all, you folks have eliminated the scientists from the conversation, or at least stepped in front of them, and you, JBowers, joined by Ian Forrester, Nathan, Neven, Marco, Eli Rabett, Willard, and probably others–you are the voice of the consensus paradigm! You’re it! So this thread becomes the latest example of who you are, what you do and how you do it. Hope you’re proud of it. You’ve turned this into an avenging and spiteful religious crusade.

    OPatrick, I don’t care whether you trust me or not. I wrote above, ‘mistrust but verify.’

    Neven, how long have you hated white males?

    And lastly willard again, ‘interestingly nobody followed up on that comment.’ Evidence?

  352. willard Says:

    To return to the topic of communication, which we never really forfeited anyway, I will confide this:

    These exchanges are making me realize the usefulness of pursuing the philosophical path. Take Gadamer for instance, a guy I never really considered as very useful:

    > The prejudicial character of understanding means that, whenever we understand, we are involved in a dialogue that encompasses both our own self-understanding and our understanding of the matter at issue. In the dialogue of understanding our prejudices come to the fore, both inasmuch as they play a crucial role in opening up what is to be understood, and inasmuch as they themselves become evident in that process. As our prejudices thereby become apparent to us, so they can also become the focus of questioning in their own turn. While Gadamer has claimed that ‘temporal distance’ can play a useful role in enabling us better to identify those prejudices that exercise a problematic influence on understanding (Gadamer acknowledges that prejudices can sometimes distort—the point is that they do not always do so), it seems better to see the dialogical interplay that occurs in the process of understanding itself as the means by which such problematic elements are identified and worked through.

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/gadamer

    I sincerely believe that there is something in these dialogues.

    Bu what?

    I hope they’re worth more than the sugar it makes me consume.

  353. willard Says:

    > And lastly willard again, ‘interestingly nobody followed up on that comment.’ Evidence?

    You fall on every trap, Tom.

    Do you really believe I did not read that thread?

    Do you really believe I did not read the part after my comment?

    Do you really want me to reread that part of the thread to you?

    I don’t mind much not being exactly right on that comment, Tom, if that makes me read that part of the thread where your Saint Sebastian impersonation was at its peak.

  354. willard Says:

    > You’re at least a six bit dirt bag because you let other people tell the lies and then you link to them.

    I’ve seen that somewhere, but where?

  355. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Quote #1: As I said on that post Fuller may be a good writer of fiction but he is completely dishonest in just about everything he writes. It is dishonest journalists that scientists dislike not the ones who discuss things in an honest manner, even though they may prefer the denier side of the argument.

    Quote #2: Describing climate science to a person with limited mathematical ability or training is difficult. Resorting to analogy is dangerous, since those are easily attacked by deniers.

    Quote #3: All I know is that you need some categorization. Some deniers are well-funded (Idso, Watts, Bast, Singer, Michaels), some deniers aren’t well-funded (Fuller).

    Quote #4: Bart and James and Eli and whoever else is the flavor of the day (Stoat appears to be having a run) have different POV about how to deal with the day to day denialist pettifoggery…

    Quote #5: Your honor, I rest my case. Tom Fuller isn’t a ‘lukewarmer’ (a PR title to superficially distance himself from his fellow deniers), but a denier convinced that AGW will be no big dea

    Funny how willard didn’t manage to find those in his search.

    So, the Crusaders have the hill, their swords drenched in the blood of honesty. They have steadfastly ignored the please of people like Bart and Paul Kelly for negotiation and have driven all from the thread. They have created a desert and called it consensus.

    For you zealots have managed to get me out of this thread, too. Play quietly amongst yourselves, you fundamentalists. Another imaginary Saracen to slay will soon appear, I’m sure.

  356. OPatrick Says:

    willard, I thought it more interesting that no-one followed up on Paul S’s response to Paul Kelly. I felt Paul Kelly had implied an unrealistic view of where the debate stands, suggesting there is anyone who thinks the ‘deficit model’ is sufficient (though to be fair possibly the conclusion of the article in Nature you linked to also implies this). Paul S added the nuance, but nuance is not so excting I guess.

    Tom, I didn’t ask whether you cared about my trust or not. Could you answer the question?

  357. willard Says:

    > Funny how willard didn’t manage to find those in his search.

    I do not dispute you were being called a denier, Tom.

    I dispute that these prompted your San Sebastian impersonation, Tom.

    * * *

    The first reason to reread the thread in a chronological order was that it suffices to see that your San Sebastian impersonation precedes these five occurrences of name calling.

    The second reason was to exemplify what I told to OPatrick.

    The third reason was to show what the focus on name calling prevented people to discuss.

    The fourth reason was to show that most of these occurrences could have conveyed the same understanding without the use of name calling, to exemplify what I told to Marco.

    I did not have the time to fulfill this last objective.

    Name calling is more than useless: it’s self-defeating.

    Thank you for your search, Tom, and for your inspiring figures of speech.

  358. willard Says:

    OPatrick,

    Yes, Paul has his own editorial to push.

    But how to respond to this kind of editorial?

    By reading the cited article and seeing where it leads, perhaps?

  359. Marco Says:

    Quote 1: does not call Tom Fuller a denier, but dishonest.
    Quote 2: does not call Tom Fuller a denier, but warns of analogies because deniers will attack them. So, unless Tom Fuller is one of those that attacks analogies, he’s not being called a denier.
    Quote 3: finally, there we have one!
    Quote 5: and another one. But both from the same, NevenA
    Quote 4: once again, it does not call Tom Fuller a denier, unless Tom Fuller feels they are talking about him when someone mentions “pettifoggery”.

    And Tom, when someone denies the well-established anthropogenic nature of the CO2 increase, which you notably found to be fully acceptable to add to the list of basics, he’s denying the science. Mike Kelly did so, we provided you with the quote. You wanted an example: there it is.

  360. Marco Says:

    Willard, thanks for pointing out that article again, but I’m not a climate scientist ;-)

  361. NevenA Says:

    For me a denier is someone who denies something. For me it doesn’t have the Holocaust denial connotation at all, because I’m Dutch and in Holland we call that special brand of deniers ‘revisionists’.

    Willard is right that you shouldn’t use the term because it will be righteous indignantly preyed upon. However, it was seized so hungrily by Tom/Saint Sebastian who went overboard with his righteous indignation in such a spectacular way, that it wasn’t totally useless this time.

    To me it really isn’t name calling. For instance, the people on the Desmogblog Jesuit-fascist hit list deny that AGW could possibly have very grave consequences, don’t they? And they base themselves on fake science and misinformation most of the time.

    So what to do with these people? Of course, Tom feels we should be very nice to them and talk endlessly with them, because all opinions are equal and everyone is entitles to his or her own facts (and any meaningful AGW policy must be delayed as long as possible).

    But who on that list should be ignored, who shouldn’t, and why? Tom says half of the people on the list are deniers. Unfortunately and unsurprisingly without being specific.

  362. willard Says:

    > I’m sorry, Tom.

    I believe this counts as an apology from NevenA to Tom.

  363. Paul Kelly Says:

    Other than his overly narrow definition of the deficit model, I don’t much disagree with the Paul S comment (April 26, 2012 at 22:19). My brief against the deficit model is that it is based on the wrong question. The correct question is not do you agree with the climate science consensus. It is do you agree it is a good idea to replace fossil fuels. This shifts the dynamic from agreement through education or negotiation to a focus on the actual goal. Such a focus model will not, of course, eliminate disagreements. But, the disagreements will be about what to do rather than why.

  364. Eli Rabett Says:

    Why is Bart allowing this to continue? An interesting question. Some might gain insight therefrom.

  365. Paul Kelly Says:

    Assuming “this” refers to comments not on the dilemmas topic, a) Bart, in the spirit of engagement, wants to provide a wide forum and/or b) the comments are, in their way, on topic,

  366. Bart Says:

    a) has some truth to it indeed. But this conversation (if it’s worth that name) definitely makes me wonder whether it’s worth it.

    Other reasons:

    - It’s past the point of no return
    - No time
    - No interest

    It’s really a shame, because there have been some really good comments upthread (a.o. by Paul S and O’Patrick) and I think the theme of this post is important and interesting.

  367. Bart Says:

    Tom,

    During this thread, you have started to sound increasingly shrill. Your confounding of mainstream science and religion is deeply insulting. At the end of the day, the sweeping and offending statements you made say more about you than about mainstream science, scientists, or its on-line defenders. My advice: Don’t write things you will regret later.

    About Mike Kelly: It is well established that the current rise in CO2 is of human origin, and thus not a natural consequence of warming. I know that you know that this is a well established fact. I think you have even said as much in this thread.

    If a physics professor then claims the opposite, he is either ignorant or misleading (if he ought to know or does know better). Others use the verb “denying” rather than “misleading”. It is well known to everyone on this thread that you take offense to the related noun. That doesn’t need repeating ad nauseam, and it definitely does not need repeating accompanied by a sleuth of sweeping accusations and namecalling.

  368. Eli Rabett Says:

    FWIW and not to pour gasoline on anything (at current prices who can afford to) misleading and denying are not the same things. Someone who misleads is always culpable for actively promoting lies. Someone who denies can do so because they are ignorant whether that ignorance arises from a lack of knowledge, capacity or the desire to not admit to something. Thus, at least to Eli, a misleader is always worse morally than a denier.

  369. J Bowers Says:

    I’m fairly convinced one will never get past an individual’s ability to resist any evidence which repudiates their key philosophy. Wilful blindness is only cured by hindsight. Chilling out and writing off 30% of the world’s population as “never gonna change their mind until their home is washed away by demonstrable thermosteric sea level rise.” is an attractive proposition, IMHO. Even then, they’d rather attribute it to fire-breathing sea dragons that dwell beyond and below the visible horizon. Keep an eye out for the book.

  370. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Hiya Bart. Well, if your major takeaway from this thread is that I have gotten shrill, then it’s probably in both our interests if I quit commenting here.

    I’m well aware I was insulting. I have nothing but contempt for the people I was referring to as zealots and in this case I think the truth is actually insulting. From a blog administration point of view, you seem to overlook the provocations–and you’ve done that consistently. They’re on your side, so I suppose it’s only natural, but selective blindness becomes wearing on me.

    And the fact is that you seem to have bought into the overarching concept that people who disagree with you are denying science, which is a bit arrogant, except when it’s hysterically funny. Denier is obviously a political label as used in this thread. Mike Kelly disagrees with the consensus and people who agree with the consensus are angry. But the guy is a respected physicist chosen by Rod Oxburgh to help investigate the CRU leaks and has 250 published papers. Funny as it sounds, I disagree with what I know of his position on global warming to date. But denier? That has become a religious term and it is used in this thread in a religious context–even, almost, by you.

    So we’ll see how this plays out. The Nevens and Nathans, goaded on by the Eli Rabett of this world, would love to see this turn into another Deltoid. And they’ll keep swarming to the attack at any sign of dissension. In your discussions with Ian Forrester over at Deltoid, did you see signs that that was the kind of place you want this blog to become? So Neven, Nathan, Ian–pop the champagne corks. You chased another one out of here. Have fun with the crew, Bart.

  371. Eli Rabett Says:

    The Bunny has been holding his keypad on this one making general comments, with only a couple of indirect observations on what Mr. Fuller has been writing about him but frankly Mr. Fuller’s comments about the Rabett and others have exceeded the bounds of acceptable discourse. It appears to arise from Mr. Fuller’s need to negatively portray those who have figured out his game is to try and split the opposition to his position on climate change. This tactic has become the topic of the open thread and guess what, there, Mr. Fuller is busy denying that he is trying to do the very thing.

    Eli would encourage anyone who doubts to simply search through this thread for “Rabett”. You will find a progressively shriller set of characterizations of others by Mr. Fuller. Observing Mr. Fuller’s concerning loss of control Eli has resisted directly confronting Mr. Fuller’s nonsense. Of course, under pressure, Mr. Fuller rolled downhill to using some of the nastiest ethnic slurs in the language to try and elicit a response against which he could claim that he was being victimized. Eli can only congratulate everyone for resisting replying in kind.

    Eli could only conclude that Mr. Fuller was allowed to continue as long as he did as a textblog example of how one can discredit oneself.

  372. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Okay, last comment here. Rabett once again shows how low he can sink. By showing the equivalence of the term denier with the use of racist slurs I showed how wrong it is to use the term. So of course Rabett looks at half the discussion. Good bye all, and happy dissection of the corpse of civilized discussion.

    As I wrote at the beginning of this thread, the dilemma in science communications is difficult but not complicated. The fact is that scientists (eg Bart Verheggen) allow ideologues (eg Rabett, Ian, Nathan, Neven, etc.) to jump in front and pretend to speak for science. This thread is the result in microcosm.

  373. NevenA Says:

    I’m not an ideologue (unless believing that infinite growth is impossible is an ideology) and I’m definitely not speaking for science (not even through the Arctic Sea Ice blog).

    If I’d play the kind of games you do, I’d feign feeling insulted. But this is the Internet, and I’m know I’m not perfect, so I don’t really care what you say about me. But don’t use me as a propaganda tool. Thank you.

  374. Marlowe Johnson Says:

    Man I leave for a few days and all hell breaks loose. Tom, for the record, you’re not allowed to play the drinking game since you’d have a clear advantage over the rest of the field. For the rest of you, “fundie”, “bigot”, “altar boy”, ‘”pinhead morons’ and ‘two bit dirt bag’ have been added to the list, each worth a half point. Given the rapidly expanding list, I thought it would be in all our livers’ interest if I start scaling back the scoring provisions.

    FWIW, whenever I see Tom descend into apoplectic frothing at the merest suggestion of deny/denial/denier/denialist/denialism, I’m reminded of these guys .

  375. Paul S Says:

    Paul Kelly,

    The correct question is not do you agree with the climate science consensus. It is do you agree it is a good idea to replace fossil fuels.

    Who do you think should be discussing this question? I think it would be difficult to engage those who don’t see a problem by asking them for opinions on solutions – how could any response be meaningful?

    There are numerous venues hosting climate policy discussion (e.g. http://bravenewclimate.com/) so if people want that they can find it. But this is somewhat getting away from the question of climate science communication, and even climate change science communication, into the field of policy. I’m not sure climate scientists could or should be communicating on that topic, other than to advise on climatic implications of policy choices.

  376. willard Says:

    Here are some excerpts of comments on this thread before the comment with the first occurrence of the D word.

    On April 17, 2012 at 21:26 -

    > Very interesting – thank you for raising these questions [Geoff Foulds]

    April 18, 2012 at 10:05 -

    > Part of the cultural paradigm is tolerance. and most people largely do follow that, and it is expected that people will express their real opinions [Tony Duncan].

    April 18, 2012 at 19:39 -

    > Sadly, Bart, this is the latest in a long line of pieces from the consensus point of view about science communication that, once again, fails to include the word ‘listen’. [thomaswfuller2]

    April 18, 2012 at 20:14 -

    > Your reaction surprises me [Bart].

    April 18, 2012 at 20:18

    > I’m glad to hear that I mis-read your piece. Let’s see how it works in practice[:] how would you take on board the concerns of someone like Steve McIntyre? [thomaswfuller2]

    April 18, 2012 at 20:48 -

    > Hooray, Bart is back [Paul Kelly].

    April 18, 2012 at 21:11 -

    > I’ll try to blog once in a while, but have other things keeping me occupied. He’s three weeks old today. [...] In general, I think I’ve changed my communication efforts in that I’m trying to be less adversarial. [...] I’ve noticed discussions can very easily degrade into antagonizing and distrusting each other [Bart].

    April 18, 2012 at 21:27 -

    > You’ve had quite an impact on me and my thinking, Bart. It was also very helpful for me to get acquainted with someone who was firmly in the consensus camp but did not act like Romm or Rabett, lambert or Tobis. I’ve stayed a cantankerous lukewarm. [thomaswfuller]

    April 19, 2012 at 07:00 -

    > No one here will say we do not want to communicate about communication. We do. [Paul Kelly]

    April 19, 2012 at 11:24 -

    > Bart, congratulations on the new arrival! [deech56]

    April 20, 2012 at 01:26 -

    > What we have here folks is a failure to communicate [Eli Rabett].

    April 20, 2012 at 05:39

    > Scientists [...] have abdicated their chance and disastrously have let people like Eli pretend they can communicate on scientists’ behalf. For every Hansen and Bart, there are covens full of Elis, Tobises, Lamberts and Romms. Not to mention their groupies. The result is what you see around you.[thomaswfuller2]

    April 20, 2012 at 07:14

    > You are being played folk. [Eli Rabett]

    April 20, 2012 at 08:37 -

    > It was no journalist who made the No Pressure video. [...]
    Journalists do deserve some blame. For not checking you bozos out. [thomaswfuller2]

    April 20, 2012 at 11:06

    > We’ve gone over the blame game before. [Bart]

    April 20, 2012 at 16:25

    > Actually, one of the writers [of the No Pressure video] was Franny Armstrong, a documentary filmmaker, which basically makes her a journalist. [Paul S]

    April 20, 2012 at 18:12

    > As for Rabett being a scientist, I see no citations under that name. Taking him at his word (which I won’t do, as I have seen so many of his words and understand they are worth zero) would still put him in the company of Trofim Lysenko, using the label of science to cover damaging action for political causes, rather than normal scientists. [thomaswfuller2]

    April 20, 2012 at 18:16

    > I think this idea that there is a general increasing public distrust of science should be treated with some skepticism. [Paul S]

    April 20, 2012 at 19:17 -

    > Tom, that was a barrel-scraper of a comment at 08:37. [OPatrick]

    April 20, 2012 at 19:52 -

    > Now, OPatrick, please pay attention. I am not a skeptic. I sympathize with their plight, as the various Goon Squads have subjected me to the same treatment as skeptics. As a non-practicing journalist, I am capable of evaluating crap put out by folks like Trofim. [...] To say otherwise is basically an attempt to perpetuate a big lie, which I won’t capitalize in deference to Mr. Godwin. [thomaswfuller2]

    April 20, 2012 at 20:30 -

    > I haven’t called you a ‘sceptic’.[OPatrick]

    April 20, 2012 at 20:55 -

    > The IPCC came out last month reaffirming the academic, peer-reviewed literature saying that none of the recent weather ‘events’ is attributable to climate change. How did your consensus preachers react? [thomaswfuller2]

    April 20, 2012 at 21:15 -

    > Why do you feel it necessary to use the phrase “consensus preachers”? [OPatrick]

    April 20, 2012 at 21:25

    > Oh, gee, OPatrick, I don’t know. Why would we call them preachers? [thomaswfuller2]

    That last comment contained the first occurence of the D word.

    ***

    Active listening. I believe the Nature article talks about that.

  377. NevenA Says:

    One question if I may as a non-native: is denialist just as terrible as denier? Or is there a difference (in nuance)?

  378. Bart Says:

    Tom,

    The only serious provocation on this thread was the reference to your military history, to which I objected. I am not aware of other provocations on this thread that would have warranted the kind of responses you have given towards the end. Acting on provocations from the past would be a weak excuse for your behavior. Quoting Richard Tol (discussing one of Judith Curry’s debacles):

    I argue for self-censorship. It is what separates adults from children.

    On this thread, I have corrected more people from the mainstream (i.e. my) side than from the skeptical or lukewarm (i.e. your) side. Accusing me of selective blindness when I bend over backwards to avoid that, and perhaps having gone to the other extreme in this case, by having let you continue your offensive postings, is ironic.

    But more importantly, my interest in blogging is to investigate, highlight and discuss issues that interest me; not to police over adults who should really exert some self-control.

    It is not arrogant to point out that 2 plus 2 does not equal 5, nor is it arrogant to point out that Mike Kelly is wrong about the CO2 – temperature causal relationship. I have not called anyone a denier. The only one bringing up religious connotations in this thread are you. You seem to be fighting ghosts.

    You are welcome to comment on my blog, but not using the tone and accusations of the latter half of your comments on this thread.

  379. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Hi Bart, guess we’ll leave it there. Just a little thought experiment–how would you feel if someone accused you of falsifying your academic record and you were at a favorite blog place and 8 or 9 people started accusing you of being part of the far right, insulting immigrants, etc.?

    As for objecting to the lies about me, well, thanks. Some of the warmth I felt about that was negated when I saw over at Deltoid that your objection to it was just that it wasn’t related to the topic.

    You’ve corrected more people on your side in this blog for two reasons. First, the Rabetts, Nathans, Nevens and Willards have driven away many. That includes the good as well as those you might have to police. Second, the people on your side badly need correcting.

    Like I said, Bart, no matter what your interests are and no matter what you want for this blog, their interests are different from yours. Have fun with those remaining.

  380. Bart Says:

    Tom,

    Exactly because I don’t like those kinds of games (trying to shoot someone’s credibility down by bringing up entirely unrelated and unproven accusations) I objected to the bringing up of your military history. As I wrote at Deltoid in response to Ian Forrester:

    My objection is mainly that Fuller’s military history is entirely unrelated to the topic of discussion and only serves to try to shoot his credibility down. I don’t like those kind of games, whether it concerns Tom Fuller or Bill Clinton or whoever. If someone smoked a joint when they were sixteen shouldn’t matter for their role in public office at age 50. Whether slander was the correct word in this context could be up for discussion, but it’s not a discussion I’m interested in hosting.

    I guess you stopped reading after the first “and”.

  381. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    No ill will, Bart. Maybe this will be more of a vacation than a farewell. I stand by my description of this crew as more religions than scientific, but their jihad has worn me out.

  382. Bart Says:

    Just ask yourself who, on this thread, to an innocent by-stander with no set opinion on climate change, sounded most jihad-like. I don’t think you’re gonna like the answer.

  383. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    I know the answer. I was playing their twisted game by their rules. I wasn’t writing with an audience in mind. But I stand by what I wrote–they don’t care about science at all. To them it is a religion and I am worse than an atheist–I’m a heretic. Ian, MK, Nathan, Neven, OPatrick, JBowers, Marlowe, Marco, Willard and Eli Rabett–if you don’t believe in their religion you’re a denier. I look at that list and I would not want their company. I hope you fare well with them, Bart. I truly do.

  384. J Bowers Says:

    “To them it is a religion and I am worse than an atheist–I’m a heretic. Ian, MK, Nathan, Neven, OPatrick, JBowers…”

    Errmmm, excuse me, Tom, but I’d like you to point exactly to where I attacked you with jihadi zeal.

  385. NevenA Says:

    I am worse than an atheist–I’m a heretic.

    No, you are hypocrite only interested in delaying, but not being forthright about it (“yes, AGW could be serious, but look: Himalayas 2035″). That’s my personal problem with you, which I have explained many times now, and even apologized for.

  386. NevenA Says:

    And Tom, is it really not obvious to you that you are doing exactly the same thing that you are accusing ‘us’ of? How do you rationalize that? The green commies must be stopped, right?

  387. Bart Says:

    Neven,

    No more provocations, please. The ping-pong game is over.

  388. NevenA Says:

    OK, sorry.

  389. Paul Kelly Says:

    Now that all the lukewarmers are gone,

    Paul S,

    In the new model, we don’t engage those who don’t see a problem. As you say, they are unreachable and are not the cause of delay. The problem is assumed to have a energy transformational solution. The new model engages those who see a problem that requires that type of solution including those for whom the solution solves a different problem.

    “I’m not sure climate scientists could or should be communicating on policy, other than to advise on climatic implications of policy choices.”

    Some scientists do promote policies. Should they stop? It’s arguable that, as soon as a scientists says we have to do something because of climate, he has dipped a toe into policy. And rightly so. After all, without the policy implications, climatology would be a dry academic pursuit. Much of the science itself is done with an eye toward the IPCC, which publishes a Summary for Policymakers.

  390. Eli Rabett Says:

    Paul, the problem is that there will not be an energy transformational solution. There are many things that can be done right now that will have a positive effect and these may add up to a solution in some time, but, wishing for a pony doesn’t work.

  391. Paul Kelly Says:

    Eli

    Your comment borders on the absurd. All roads leading to mitigation are paved with energy transformation.

  392. Eli Rabett Says:

    And your guarantee that that there will be a new shiny pony to get us there is?

  393. Paul Kelly Says:

    You seem to be defining energy transformational solution as a single event, action or policy. Of course, you know it is a many stepped process that will take decades. The only guarantees in life are death, taxes, and the inability of any radio station to play more than two songs in a row that I like. In life, as in climate science, we are pushed to act by probabilities, not certainty.

  394. Steven Sullivan Says:

    116 thomaswfuller2 Says:
    42 willard Says:
    30 mk Says:
    24 NevenA Says:
    22 Bart Says:
    19 J Bowers Says:
    19 Marco Says:
    19 OPatrick Says:
    16 Paul Kelly Says:
    15 Eli Rabett Says:
    13 Paul S Says:
    10 Nathan Says:
    9 sidd Says:
    7 Brian Dodge Says:
    5 Marlowe Johnson Says:
    4 Ian Forrester Says:
    3 andrew adams Says:
    3 dhogaza Says:
    3 grypo Says:
    3 Hank Roberts Says:
    3 Susan Anderson Says:
    2 deech56 Says:
    1 Geoff Foulds Says:
    1 Louise Says:
    1 sharper00 Says:
    1 Steven Sullivan Says:
    1 thomaswfuller Says:
    1 Tony Duncan Says:

  395. Paul Kelly Says:

    My preliminary analysis of the data compiled by Steven Sullivan indicates, subject to wide error bars, that Tom Fuller is the fastest typist on this thread. :-)

  396. Eli Rabett Says:

    In the words of Flanders and Swann

    Oh, it’s hard to say…
    “Oly-ma-kitty-luca-chi-chi-chi”
    But in Tonga, that means… “No”!

    If I ever have the money,
    ‘Tis to Tonga I shall go.
    For each lovely Tongan maiden there,
    Will gladly make a date.

    And by the time she’s said:
    “Oly-ma-kitty-luca-chi-chi-chi”,
    It is usually too late!

  397. Paul Kelly Says:

    Then there’s the Laws of Thermodynamics

  398. Eli Rabett Says:

    One of the best! and a great teaching tool

  399. willard Says:

    > 1 Steven Sullivan Says:

    Liar!

  400. Paul Kelly Says:

    Politically, progressives are most resistant to depoliticizing climate science. They are also the most entwined with the existential threat, happening now line. They think in terms of dark conspiracies and war.

  401. willard Says:

    Let’s generalize Paul’s generality:

    > In mode M, the members of set S all have properties P, where P is not very good, that is to say bad, since we’d like to have Q and Q excludes P. They also share property R, which is even worse, because that provide them mental states S.

  402. Paul Kelly Says:

    Willard,

    Except for having it wrong, You almost have it right. Correct is P is not bad, but ineffective and counterproductve, it is P that excludes Q, sharing R is a benefit, not a deficiency, and mental states precede rather than follow(see Denning).

  403. Eli Rabett Says:

    There is no depoliticizing the policy response to climate change and should not be. There should be no politics in the investigation of the physical basis of climate change.

  404. Paul Kelly Says:

    Dependence on political majorities for action is a big factor in the delaying of action.

  405. willard Says:

    > it is P that excludes Q

    Same same:

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

  406. willard Says:

    > mental states precede rather than follow

    Yup, but in your story, you can’t suspect that until you see R:

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

  407. willard Says:

    “That” refers to the specific mental states we are abducing, not the fact that mental states precede rather than follow.

    Oh, and why not:

    > P is not bad, but ineffective and counterproductve.

    So something’s counterproductive is not bad.

    Check.

    But I suppose we can surmise that something counterproductive is ineffective.

    Or perhaps not.

  408. Paul Kelly Says:

    Willard,

    Where R = a shared goal, the abducted mental state is cooperation and trust.

  409. willard Says:

    Paul,

    I believe cooperation and trust are the basis of communication, even among conflicted nations.

    So these concepts refer to more than mental states.

    Mental states would not exist that we’d still need cooperation and trust to communicate.

    Leaving mental states and labels like “Progressives” aside could help build more cooperation and more trust.

    Interestingly, this leads us to the same predicament as the NOR operator: if P excludes Q, Q will exclude P.

    If you have Q and you have P, you can’t have “P excludes Q”, nor can you have “Q excludes P”.

    A nice logical metaphor.

    It tends to show that should focus on what we share, be it a goal or else.

  410. J Bowers Says:

    Willard, the ancients had the white flag so that parties in conflict could negotiate in safety. Attacking the bearer of the white flag was an act of blasphemy. There are no rules about the bearers of white flags in the climate debate, or it is often mistaken for having a target painted on it. But I’m not sure what the penalties were for a flag bearer to use it to deceive the enemy. Probably something quite deservedly grim.

  411. willard Says:

    J Bowers,

    What you say reminds me of a scence from *300*:

    What the author of this comic book says in more journalistic could make us abduce many things about that scene, but this should be reserved to the open thread.

  412. Paul Kelly Says:

    “It tends to show that should focus on what we share, be it a goal or else.”

    By Jove, he’s got it!

  413. willard Says:

    Make that by Hermes and we have a deal.

  414. Brian Dodge Says:

    “I’m not sure climate scientists could or should be communicating on policy…”

    Trouble is, even at its most basic practice, when scientists try to measure/quantify/mathematically describe reality, they tread into the policy arena, because

    reality has a liberal bias.

    That’s why Karl Rove wants to make a new reality that will result from the “right” policy choices.

    Hansen, although standing on the shoulders of others who challenged orthodox conservative views – Galileo, Hutton, Lyell, Darwin, Arrhenius – seems to have ironically again trod on politician/policy toes.

  415. Marco Says:

    Sad that Tom ran away. I’d love to read his rants about Heartland’s advertisements…

  416. Paul Kelly Says:

    Marco,

    I’m sure you could engage Tom over at Kloor’s. Sad is that Fuller, on communications issues, is closer to Bart than most of his detractors. Many of them see attempts at improved communication as a sign of weakness and a poor fit in the war mentality. Some come only to have the same old arguments. Tom doesn’t help himself by rising so quickly to the bait.

  417. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Marco, as Paul Kelly noted,my comments about Heartland are indeed in evidence at Keith’s. (This doesn’t mean I’ve returned–just checking in on Paul.)

  418. Marco Says:

    Ah yes, Tom’s comments are noteworthy over at Kloor’s. Telling, actually. I recommend people who have read this thread make a prediction of what he makes of the 10:10 video versus the Heartland billboards.

  419. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Don’t be shy. They’re here: http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2012/05/04/climate-wars-reach-new-low/

  420. Marco Says:

    I’d already read them when I wrote my response, Tom. That’s why I recommend people here to make a prediction. Mine was almost on the spot; I hadn’t predicted the “look, there, a UFO!”

  421. OPatrick Says:

    Marco, I certainly didn’t expect anyone to be quite so obvious in their ‘look, squirrel’ tactics – Tom, did you think no-one would notice what you were doing? I am reluctant to pay heed to advice on communication from someone who’s communication tactics are so transparently misdirectional.

  422. Susan Anderson Says:

    re fast typing, false premise. The person with the biggest agenda, addictive tendencies, and a habit of posting here more than elsewhere is the “winner” (or “loser” depending on your POV). Typing skill may vary. Writing practice also affects pace. Nobody is required to make comments and it is not clear doing so does any good. We just like to write and think we have things to say.

    This stricture does *not* apply to the blog owner.

  423. Paul Kelly Says:

    Susan,

    Research into the correlation of typing speed with rapidity, frequency and length of blog comments continues. Currently, size of agenda shows no correlation, but level of obsession and blog preference do. The number of comments by a single commenter vs the number of commenters posting in opposition is also being investigated. Thank you for you interest in this seriously serious area of study.

  424. Eli Rabett Says:

    No

  425. Eli Rabett Says:

    No?

  426. Eli Rabett Says:

    No:)

  427. willard Says:

    A promised acknowledged:

    I will not be responding to any more of your comments.

    A promise made in return:

    http://www.collide-a-scape.com/2012/05/04/climate-wars-reach-new-low/comment-page-8/#comment-108429

    Oh, and remember Yamal.

    And science communication.

    And woodpeckers.

  428. Paul Kelly Says:

    With the addition of Willard a half dozen or more here agree with me about something. Willard wrote we should focus on what we share, van Soest’s co-operation and collective action. Action is a key word.

    Effective action requires a communications model, a process and an approach. Currently, the model is information deficit, the process political, and the approach top down. Does anybody disagree with that?

  429. willard Says:

    I agree that we take any kind of model, any kind of process, and any kind of approach.

    We see what sticks and what does not.

    And then we repeat.

    Just like we do here.

  430. willard Says:

    So I think this is an empirical question.

    Speaking of which, here’s one way to communicate:

    http://www.ted.com/talks/willie_smits_restores_a_rainforest.html%5Bted id=475]

    Hermes was the messenger of the Gods, but also the God of commerce.

    Communication is first and foremost material.

    All we have here are words.

    We need videos.

    Kids don’t learn by reading books by themselves.

  431. willard Says:

    [ted id=475]

  432. willard Says:

    http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf

  433. willard Says:

    Sorry for the failed tests.

    The link:

    http://www.ted.com/talks/willie_smits_restores_a_rainforest.html

  434. Eli Rabett Says:

    Hermes also sell scarfs. The messengers have moved to Madison Avenue

  435. willard Says:

    Thou shalt respect Hermes when talking about talking:

    > Hermes was the herald, or messenger, of the gods to humans, sharing this role with Iris. A patron of boundaries and the travelers who cross them, he was the protector of shepherds and cowherds, thieves, orators and wit, literature and poets, athletics and sports, weights and measures, invention, and of commerce in general.

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

    OK, perhaps Iris would be enough:

    > By command of Zeus, the king of the gods, [Iris] carries an ewer of water from the River Styx, with which she puts to sleep all who perjure themselves.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iris_(mythology)

  436. Eli Rabett Says:

    On the contrary, Eli is casting about for who will play the various roles you mention. Suggestions are welcome but Eli hosies shepards.

  437. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Speaking of orators and wit, some archiving made me find back this:

    > If the same tactics were employed against control of seconhand smoke and acid rain, how did science end up prevailing in those cases? I doubt it was by attending training sessions on how to communicate.

    Who wrote that?

    Answer there:

    http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/13902272239

  438. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    Another gem:

    > A speaker argued that climate scientists needed to be articulated. Presumably this characteristic is most useful when climbing up to the podium and when ducking tomatoes thrown by skeptical audience members.

    This one should be easy to guess:

    http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/13991751991

  439. Brian Dodge Says:

    “Effective action requires a communications model, a process and an approach. ” Put all those together, and when we act, “we create our own reality. And while [scientists are] studying that reality—judiciously, as [they] will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which [they] can study too, and that’s how things will sort out.”

    On the other hand, some of us think that facts, discernable and quantifiable through science, are the foundation for effective action.

  440. Paul Kelly Says:

    “some of us think that facts, discernible and quantifiable through science, are the foundation for effective action.”

    Yes, and I believe I’m one of them. I believe the information deficit model is inapplicable, the political process is a path of endless delay and contention, and the top down approach is doomed to failure.

    The use of the deficit model for climate issues has been scientifically studied. It’s an incorrect communications model. It doesn’t work. Even those who defend it realize there is something very wrong about it. So if science be the foundation for action, it behooves us to employ a different model.

  441. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Posted on Watts Up With That:

    “Badgersouth and I were just discussing the potential of setting up a coordinated “Crusher Crew” where we could pull our collective time and knowledge together in order to pounce on overly vocal deniers on various comments sections of blogs and news articles.” – Rob Honeycutt [Skeptical Science], February 11, 2011

    “May I suggest first on our list as being the *#1 Science Blog* “Watts up with that”? They get a few people come there to engage from time to time but rarely a coordinated effort.” – Robert W. [Skeptical Science], February 11, 2011

    “I think it might be better to start out with smaller fish. Build a community and a team. Find some methods and strategies that work. Then start moving up the denier food chain with our targets set on WUWT. I could see this expanding into a broad team of 100 or more people (outside the scope of this SkS forum of course). [...] We just need to raise our collective voices to drown them out. I would venture to guess that most people here know of 4 or 5 regulars on comments sections that would be interested in coordinating their efforts. I know probably 10 or 20 people who would like to help with this.” – Rob Honeycutt [Skeptical Science], February 11, 2011

    This eco-strike squad was highly endorsed by John Cook,

    “The Rapid Response Network would be a good way to coordinate this kind of activity, identifying new articles, logging responses, supporting each other. Can i suggest if a group engage in this, that they use the RRN as beta testers to he’ll me develop and refine the system?” – John Cook [Skeptical Science], February 11, 2011

  442. Quiet Waters Says:

    Gee, Tom that’s terrible! Targetting people and putting them right in the comments section of blogs – ouch!

    If only they’d pursue them through the courts instead, or smear them in print & online, or bombard them with FOI requests or even write books on selective quotes from their private correspondence. Or perhaps this is evidence for a great conspiracy – one world government through the backdoor of blog comment boxes.

  443. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Citation, please.

  444. thomaswfuller2 Says:

    Sorry, Quiet Waters. Specifically, please cite an instance of selective quoting from Climategate: The CRUTape Letters, Jan. 2010.

  445. Marco Says:

    Tom, why do you think Quiet Waters specifically referred to your book?

    And after you answered that question, care to tell us what is so horrible about a group of people who have the FACTS on their side trying to counteract the delusions that certain people (like most Wattsians) feel the need to throw in comment sections?

    And after that, care to tell us what you think of Anthony Watts calling on his readers to come to the defence of the Heartland Institute on a thread on Forbes where Heartland was being criticized? Or Anthony Watts calling on his readers to post reviews of Mike Mann’s book?

    You sure are asymmetrically upset, Tom.

  446. willard (@nevaudit) Says:

    > Specifically, please cite an instance of selective quoting from Climategate: The CRUTape Letters, Jan. 2010.

    Here’s a quote on page 9:

    But that explanation certainly can’t rectify why Keith’s series, which has similar seasonality *and* latitudinal emphasis to Phil’s series, differs in large part in exactly the opposite direction that Phil’s does from ours. [...] So, if we show Keith’s series in this plot, we have to comment that “something else” is responsible for the discrepancies in this case.

    Here’s the complete excerpt:

    But that explanation certainly can’t rectify why Keith’s series, which has similar seasonality *and* latitudinal emphasis to Phil’s series, differs in large part in exactly the opposite direction that Phil’s does from ours. This is the problem we all picked up on (everyone in the room at IPCC was in agreement that this was a problem and a potential distraction/detraction from the reasonably concensus viewpoint we’d like to show w/ the Jones et al and Mann et al series.

    So, if we show Keith’s series in this plot, we have to comment that “something else” is responsible for the discrepancies in this case. Perhaps Keith can help us out a bit by explaining the processing that went into the series and the potential factors that might lead to it being “warmer” than the Jones et al and Mann et al series?? We would need to put in a few words in this regard. Otherwise, the skeptics have an field day casting doubt on our ability to understand the factors that influence these estimates and, thus, can undermine faith in the paleoestimates. I don’t think that doubt is scientifically justified, and I’d hate to be the one to have to give it fodder!

    Let’s also note how that email begins:

    Walked into this hornet’s nest this morning! Keith and Phil have both raised some very good points. And I should point out that Chris, through no fault of his own, but probably through ME not conveying my thoughts very clearly to the others, definitely overstates any singular confidence I have in my own (Mann et al) series. I believe strongly that the strength in our discussion will be the fact that certain key features of past climate estimates are robust among a number of quasi-independent and truly independent estimates, each of which is not without its own limitations and potential biases. And I certainly don’t want to abuse my lead authorship by advocating my own work.

    http://www.assassinationscience.com/climategate/1/FOIA/mail/0938018124.txt

    Our own emphasis.

    ***

    If “it’s worse in context”, why not print it?

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