Unraveling the Citations

In reviewing a new book that fisks Lomborg, Sharon Begley at Newsweek goes the extra mile.

7 Responses to “Unraveling the Citations”

  1. oso loco says:

    Hmm – what you apparently missed was the response –


    This was a journey she shouldn’t have started. 

  2. Steve Bloom says:

    Dream on, sweet pea.  I predict that this is the start of some serious pushback against Lomborg.  His activities require cover from academic economists, and even the clearwater variety doesn’t want to be associated with poor scholarship.  With any luck his op-ed page access will become more cramped as well.     

  3. oso loco says:

    Don’t get your panties all bunched up, Steve – Lomborg and I don’t agree on many things.   But most of  Begley’s article was just the usual unsupported whining and character assassination. 

  4. Marlowe Johnson says:

    sort of like Levitt and his recent freakanomics business.  in both cases you have academics engaged in  sophistry and outright lying using their academic credentials as a shield even though it’s perfectly obvious to anyone who looks that those credentials are in areas completed unrelated to climate change…

  5. oso loco says:

    Marlowe –
    You apparently assume that in order to be taken seriously re: climate change, one must hold a PhD in climatology.  But if you examine the credentials of those who claim expertise in the field, you’ll find very, very few who would qualify under those criteria.  Some examples – Rajendra Pachauri is a railroad engineer, Al Gore is a failed divinity student, and Jim Hansen is an astrophysicist.  Many of the other “noted names” operating in the field are physicists, engineers, computer geeks or other non-climatology-related fields.  Hmm – tell me again – what IS Phil Jones background? 

    The point is this – the ONLY valid line of attack is to disprove the science.  Anything else is, as you put it, sophistry. 

    Note also that “disproving the science” is a requirement that is NOT fulfilled by “argument by assertion”. 

    IOW, your point is invalid. 

  6. Marlowe Johnson says:


    i assume that if an academic is going to venture into an area outside of their expertise then they better have done their homework…particularly if they’re adopting positions that run contrary to the prevailing consensus…why do you find this controversial?

    btw, climate science crosses a number of domains including physiscs so yes Hansen’s credentials are just fine :).

  7. oso loco says:

    I don’t find that controversial at all.  But I do find it objectionable when someone assumes that those who disagree with their position have not done their homework.  Especially when the subject is supposedly “science”.   I know sceptics who are engineers, geologists, physicists – even biologists.  “Most” of them have done their homework.  And while they may not agree with your viewpoint, that doesn’t mean they’re wrong.  It may just be that you haven’t done your homework. 

    If Hansen’s credentials are just fine, then why would Steve McIntyre’s, Roy Spencer’s or John Christy’s not be so?   And why, specifically, are Lomborg’s questionable ? Why do you think he didn’t “do his homework”.  Why did you fail to consider the possibility that he  just came to different conclusions?   Disagreement IS, after all, the process that has enabled science to progress for the last several thousand years.   I find the present atmosphere that labels sceptics as “deniers” to be corrosive – and based in an abysmal  ignorance of the philosophy and history of science. 

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