Suffer the Grandchildren?

After Congress shelved the climate bill late last week, the conventional wisdom of green-minded opinionators was that future generations were doomed. A glum, dejected note sounded everywhere from Grist to the New York Times. This despairing attitude took on a ghoulish form when one environmentalist and prolific (but anonymous) blog commenter hoped in this thread that opponents of climate legislation had grandchildren, so these innocent progeny could suffer when “humanity rots.”

There is, however, an alternative perspective offered by one very prominent climate scientist who is a hero among climate activists. I had a feeling that James Hansen, author of Storms of my Grandchildren, might have a different take on the latest political development, so I emailed him last night. Here is his response:

The climate bill collapse is a great opportunity.  Environmentalists who thought they could somehow outmuscle the fossil fuel industry in backroom deals with politicians should reassess their position.  It is as sure as the law of gravity: as long as fossil fuels are the cheapest energy they will reign supreme.  The only solution is a rising price on carbon (a “cap” is not a price), collected from the fossil fuel companies, with the proceeds distributed to the public (not given by Congress to their favorite charity: fossil fuels, solar panels, etc.).  This is needed for stimulating the economy, reinvigorating American innovation, creating jobs, and solving our fossil fuel addiction.  It (fee-and-dividend or fee-and-green-check) is the only suggestion that solves the fossil fuel/climate problems.  Proposed legislation, including CLEAR, lock in fossil fuel dependence for as far as we can see into the future.

Hansen’s view that the climate bill was already fatally compromised is echoed by other environmental activists in this article in The Hill. True, Hansen is a vocal opponent of cap & trade, so perhaps it’s not much of a surprise that he sees a huge silver lining in the congressional “climate bill collapse.”And those voices quoted in The Hill article represent a minority within the climate activist community.

Still, it’ll be interesting to see if any mainstream advocates–many who seem to think that the U.S. Congress has now put the planet on an unalterable path to climate catastrophe– will chuck their defeatist mentality and embrace Hansen’s view.

186 Responses to “Suffer the Grandchildren?”

  1. kdk33 says:

    Egads, what silly things Hansen says.

    “as long as fossil fuels are the cheapest energy they will reign supreme”  Indeed.  And switching to less cheap energy will be very, very expensive.

    ” collected from the fossil fuel companies, with the proceeds distributed to the public ”  Ahh yes, tax evil corporations, not people – a tired old saw.  Corporations don’t pay tax, they collect taxes from consumers, then hand the proceeds to government.   Government then redistributes as best serves their political agenda.  Socialism anyone?

    “This is needed for stimulating the economy, reinvigorating American innovation, creating jobs, and solving our fossil fuel addiction. ”  Raising the cost of energy as a jobs program, stimulus, and good-for-us-anyway.  Good Grief!  
     
    Hansen foresees a climate catastrophe awful enough to justify the enourmous cost and risk of decarbonization.  Fine.  Argue the case on the merits.   But pedalling this as social justice, jobs, stimulus, or other nonsense, losses him a lot of credibility, it seems to me.

  2. Marlowe Johnson says:

    Hansen correctly points out that the real issue is not how to design a technically optimal policy.  It’s how to design a politically optimal policy.
     
    Now whether you want to tax and dividend or go somewhere between 0-100% auction with C&T and then similarly dividend a portion of the proceeds to the public amounts to pretty much the same thing.  100% auction is best, but can you get it past industry? Probably not.  Which is why most proposals end up backloading the auction % and instead provide free allocations in the early years.
     
    Politically, I think that a public dividend approach has a lot to recommend for it, even if it’s the least economically efficient use of the tax/allocation proceeds (i.e. better to use the funds to reduce payroll taxes).
     
    Ideally, any price on carbon approach should start slow with a transparent committment to rising prices in the future.  See what BC has done for example.
     
    I think that the real problem in the U.S. is that the political discourse is so dysfunctional and juvenile that its hard to see how any meaningful bipartisan policy could make it through congress.  And in case you’re wondering, I’m not at all convinced that the aspirational public R&D approach advocated by the breakthrough folks has any greater chance of success….

  3. Tom Fuller says:

    kdk33, I am in a dilemma. I agree with everything you say. I also agree with everything Keith reports James Hansen as saying.
     
    Hmmm.

  4. Keith Kloor says:

    Marlowe,

    This is going to be an interesting time, because I think a window will be open temporarily for some new looks at which direction to go.

    Though you may think one way is no more politically realistic than another, I’m still hoping we can have a reasonable public discourse over potential new policy paths.

  5. laursaurus says:

    The prolific(but anonymous) environmentalist blog commenter appears to spend many hours of his day, prowling for something upon which he can act out his inner rage. It’s like he’s putting out  bait for trolls. His typical over-the-top posts are every troll’s dream.

    Underlying the facade of cynicism punctuated by angry outbursts, is excessive anxiety. But anxiety is really just a euphenism for fear. The public has been inendated with dire warnings that we are frivilously and unconsciously comitting slow suicide. It’s like the spouse of a practicing alcoholic, obsessing about how to convince him/her to quit. Desperately and self-rightgeously, they eventually become downright abusive,  without understanding how this is only making the situation worse. Threatening to leave them to “rot” or telling to just get it over with and kill themselves are excuseable behavior when the ends justify the means. Deep down, they are terrified of losing the relationship, therefore resorting to frequent abuse if that’s what it takes.

    I think this may explain the abusive behavior of environmental activists. It’s ok to equate lack of climate change alarm with Holocaust denial. This anti-social behavior is unacceptable in most forums. Inevitably, they wind up in the reinforcing echo chamber on ideological blogs where it’s not merely tolerated. It is actively encouraged and rewarded.

    It takes exactly this pathological disposition to generate such absurdly ghoulish expressions. This level of depravity is essential to make such heartless statements.

    Eventually today or tomorrow, he’ll read this post talking about him. This might get interesting if he can hold it together enough to offer a response capable of making it thru moderation.

  6. lucia says:

    laursaurus
    I’m  not going to try to diagnose pathology. But I do think outbursts by the environmentalists on the other thread reduces the likelihood that people will see him as any  more reasonable than a rabid dog.  The result is people will not listen to him and he is unlikely to persuade anyone to undertake steps he things are wise.

    Hansen takes a much wiser course.  Not everyone will agree with Hansen, but at least many will listen or read.   Will people listen to rabid dogs barking? Not so much.

  7. dhogaza says:

    “Eventually today or tomorrow, he’ll read this post talking about him. This might get interesting if he can hold it together enough to offer a response capable of making it thru moderation.”

    Sorry, I’m too busy laughing at your ludicrous post to bother with a serious response.

  8. dhogaza says:

    “I’m  not going to try to diagnose pathology. But I do think outbursts by the environmentalists on the other thread reduces the likelihood that people will see him as any  more reasonable than a rabid dog.”

    Woof, woof!

    For the record, Keith Kloor: I consider myself a conservationist, not environmentalist, and there is a real difference (and, among other things, climate change threatens to toss decades of hard work in conservation into the toilet, as well as the well-being of the next couple of generations of humans).

  9. dhogaza says:

    “The result is people will not listen to him and he is unlikely to persuade anyone to undertake steps he things are wise.”

    And how many times do I have to repeat that I’m not trying to persuade anyone to take any steps whatsoever?

    Once there’s agreement on the science (which should’ve happened 20 years ago), then the fight over what to do about it can begin.  I don’t have any dog in that fight, anything that effectively leads to reductions in CO2 (and that would include mining it from the atmosphere, if such a magic bullet would present itself) is fine by me.

    And if society were to acknowledge the science, and decides to shrug its shoulders and pass the problem on to future generations, well, it’s not what I’d do, but I’d acknowledge the fact that the decision was made honestly and with full knowledge, and live with it.

    It’s the fact that dishonesty, lies and deceipt are being used as tools to fool the public into believing that climate science is a fraud, or at minimum, greatly exaggerates the potential rise in temperatures, that gets my goat.  That’s plain wrong, and those who do so deserve our scorn.

    So, science and reason have lost the battle for at least several more years, here in the US.   Yeah, Obama’s doing bandaid stuff and that’s good (i.e. increasing fuel economy standards for cars and trucks, pushing alternative energy sources, etc etc), but it’s not sufficient.

    Pass the popcorn and watch events unfold, that’s the thing.

  10. Keith Kloor says:

    Okay, I stand corrected (#8): you’re a ghoulish, spiteful conservationist.

    Seriously, do you not see how depraved your attitude is, when you hope that your opponents have grandchildren so they can, in your mind, suffer the sins of their grandfathers? Honestly, I just don’t get this. Can you elaborate how you square your concern for wildlife and your callousness towards future generations of human beings that are not responsible for the actions (or inactions) of people today?

     

  11. dhog
    Let me tell you, I am young enough to be the next generation behind  you…you had your ‘good times’ in the 60s, 70s and even the 80s, when the corporatist feeding frenzy that has put a dollar sign on everything in sight did not exist, and did not ‘monetize’, commoditize and choke the joy and life out of life itself, as it does today.

    Your legacy – that you want to create and leave behind, for people like me, is to put a dollar sign on the air we breathe , on carbon, and the Amazon forests, via clap-and-trap and REDD?

    I would say decommoditize, and take us to what you guys had in your youth – we were children growing up then, and you are wailing and chest-beating that ‘carbon’ – the very stuff of life, is not being taxed, or capped?

    The whole world is being turned into a MMORPG

  12. TimG says:

    The problem with scientists like Hansen is they are completely ignorant of basic economics yet they think they are qualified to tell politicians and the public what they should do.

    The quote above has a real gem of economic ignorance:

    “The only solution is a rising price on carbon (a “cap” is not a price), collected from the fossil fuel companies, with the proceeds distributed to the public”

    Any tax levied on fossil fuel companies will cause prices for energy to increase which means any tax on fossil fuel companies is simply a tax on consumers.

  13. Hank Roberts says:

    > you’re a ghoulish, spiteful conservationist….
    Oh, nonsense. Read any of the seriously angry writing about ecology from a few decades ago to put what’s being said nowadays in perspective.
    We’ve lost much since these stories were written, but we’ve gotten used to the losses–as we always do.  No matter how impoverished the world is, it’s still rich and new to each new generation.  No one but a few ecologists can even imagine what it used to be like.
    Were you even born when the first of these stories was written, the year before the first Earth Day?
    http://mtsu32.mtsu.edu:11072/3050/Stories/Two_by_Tiptree.pdf

  14. Barry Woods says:

    How will our descendants look back at the mass CAGW hysteria in 50-100years.  No doubt thinking they are superior to us.  Whilst, no doubt having their own future mass panic/delusion.

    Philipp Stott has some thought how it might end. In a rush, or slowly fade away..

    http://thegwpf.org/opinion-pros-a-cons/1305-global-warming-the-death-of-a-grand-narrative.html

    “The death of a grand narrative is often protracted and largely unnoticed, until, one day, its metalanguage, its corpus of words of magic, its “˜points de capiton’, to use the phrase proposed by the Freudian psychoanalyst, Jacques Lacan (1901 ““ 1981), which for so long have kept people sub-consciously in its thrall, eventually lose all of their power and meaning, and prove no longer relevant to the lives of the majority. Such is the fate of mainstream Christianity in Britain today. For other grand narratives, by contrast, the collapse may be unexpectedly swift and dramatic, as with the tearing down of the Berlin Wall in 1989. The work of the “˜mauerspechte’ can thus take centuries, but it may also be accomplished within days or months.”

    Maybe it will be one Polar Bear, video too many that draws a laugh, from someone important enough to stop it.

    Or just a gradual, fading away, over a few cold winters and average summers.

  15. Keith Kloor says:

    Hank (13). I’m old enough to remember the Earth First/Deep Ecology rhetoric, which was full of similar damnations against humanity.

    On a separate, but related note, here’s an interesting post from David Leonhardt at the NYT, of which I excerpt:

    The ultimate goal of climate legislation “” be it the bill that the House passed last year or the bill that died in the Senate last week “” is to align the incentives better, so human ingenuity can be harnessed to fight global warming. The bills would increase the cost of emitting carbon, thereby giving companies reason to emit less. Absent that, the best bet seems to be that emissions will keep rising and the planet will keep getting hotter.

  16. PDA says:

    you hope that your opponents have grandchildren so they can, in your mind, suffer the sins of their grandfathers
    How on earth do you get that from what dhogaza wrote?

  17. Barry Woods says:

    Missed out the most interesting bit: ( A bit like the Berlin Wall moment, or gradually people stop talking about it)

    On: The Death Of A Grand Narrative – Philip Stott
    “Such is the current fate of global warming, the grand narrative that human greed and profligacy are changing the world’s climate apocalyptically, a sin that can only be appeased through public confession and self-sacrifice to the Goddess, Gaia. Since the farcical conclusion of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference last December, it has been fascinating, as an independent academic, to witness the classical collapse of this grand narrative, as if social and philosophical theories are being played out before our gaze. From Australia to the US, both the public and politicians are rowing back from the dangerous weir of trying to constrain economic growth in the name of achieving a utopian, low-carbon economy. The pursuit of carbon footprints is proving a “˜yomp’ too far.
    Of course, the metalanguage of global warming continues to be employed by certain politicians, including the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, by some of the media, including parts of the BBC, and by green activists, but one can already sense the power of its “˜points de capiton’ draining away daily. “˜Sustainability’ is becoming an increasingly unsustainable concept. Indeed, newspapers like The Times, which rather belatedly jumped onto the global warming bandwagon, have had to resort to reheating old stories of fossil-fuel funding and other wearied tropes, even putting these bizarrely on the front page in a pathetic bid to revive flagging interest. More characteristically, however, there are now an increasing number of days when none of global warming’s words of power even feature in the press or over the airwaves, and, when they do, they are often employed mechanically, without thought, conviction, or meaning.”

    The public do notice daft stuff: 
    A £1 million pounds funded sceptics, Front Page headline in the Times.  Public thinks vs HOW MANY Billions the governments have pushed at CAGW.

    Public agian:  Is THAT the best Propaganda they can come up with, they ey must be really desperate……

    Surely, it is the last gasp, double or quits on all the scares. Always raise the stakes until  hysteria sets in.

  18. Keith Kloor says:

    PDA (16), it’s pretty straightforward, if you read comment 40 on the previous thread. In case you’re still not convinced, read some of his ensuing comments in our exchange, including #45.

  19. lucia says:

    dhogaza
    … and those who do so deserve our scorn.

    I’ll just  observe that no one gives a hoot about scorn from a rabid dog nor do the care who he things ought to be scorned.
     

  20. dhogaza says:

    I’m honored to be Keith Kloor’s personal whipping boy.
     
    “How on earth do you get that from what dhogaza wrote?”

    An alternative interpretation of my comment that keith links to is that I hope they all have grandkids, so they can live with the scorn that will come their way when it becomes clear that our generation has sold them down the river.

    But I didn’t disambiguate the sentence when I wrote it, and I’m rather enjoying being called a “ghoul”, “spiteful”, “rabid dog”, etc, so feel free to adopt Keith’s interpretation if it will help feed the hatred.

    I’ll remember these the next time someone claims that “denialists/skeptics are always polite while you science believers are such big meanies”.

    OK, this ghoul is off to eat my next rotten corpse.  Yum!
     

  21. dhogaza says:

    “I’ll just  observe that no one gives a hoot about scorn from a rabid dog nor do the care who he things ought to be scorned.”

    Well, I got a nice e-mail yesterday from a professor of astrophysics who kindly said the opposite, and asked me to keep hammering away.

    Thanks for adding to the evidence that the denialist/skeptic camp doesn’t engage in personal insults, Lucia!

  22. PDA says:

    Sorry, I missed the reference in the original post. I skimmed the first para to read what Hansen had to say, my bad.
    Yeah, the grandkids comment was unnecessary and heartless. I don’t want anyone to suffer as a result of catastrophic change. If dhogaza had stopped short of the grandkids bit, though, the point is one I could make, in different language but fundamentally the same.
    Like dhogaza, I’m childless. I’m 44 and have a vasectomy, so  I’ve got no “skin in the game,” as it were, if there is a catastrophe. But I’m doing what I can to support and advocate policies that will somewhat lessen the likelihood of that crisis happening. Many childless people like me are similarly motivated. Meanwhile, many if not most conservative politicians have large families, and talk a lot about the unborn, but the fact – the inescapable fact – is that they are quite literally gambling with the welfare of future generations.
    I sincerely hope that they win, I truly do. But I think they are heartless, cynical b*stards to play dice with somebody else’s stakes.
    So yeah, I share some of dhogaza‘s anger. Does that make me ghoulish and spiteful? Are you able to comprehend what would inspire that kind of anger?

  23. GaryM says:

    “The only solution is a rising price on carbon (a “cap” is not a price), collected from the fossil fuel companies, with the proceeds distributed to the public (not given by Congress to their favorite charity: fossil fuels, solar panels, etc.).  This is needed for stimulating the economy, reinvigorating American innovation, creating jobs, and solving our fossil fuel addiction.”
     
    This is supposed to be something new?  That would be news to the White House, Businessweek, the UAW, Scientific American,  and on and on.  The argument in this form has made made repeatedly, it just hasn’t worked.
     
    Here is what Hansen said in April on the specifics.  “The fee-and-green-check approach is transparent, fair and effective. Congressman John Larson defined an appropriate rising fee. $15 per ton of carbon dioxide the first year and $10 more per ton each year. Economic modeling shows that carbon emissions would decline 30 percent by 2020. The annual dividend then would be $2000-3000 per legal adult resident, $6000-9000 per family with two or more children.”
     
    Look at how he structures his argument.  The government will tax those evil oil and coal companies, and give the money to poor Joe Sixpack as dividends.  And this “dividend will provide the public the means to move to a clean energy future, stimulating the economy.”
     
    See, he isn’t suggesting raising the price of fossil fuels to the point where people won’t be able to afford them. He is trying to raise money from corporations to give to those (apparently very stupid) voters.   Notice how there is no mention at all of the effect on the economy?  What he doesn’t say is, we have to leave all the carbon in the ground, and endure massive taxes, unemployment and other economic disruptions.  He doesn’t say we just have to bring the economy to a crashing halt, and the consequences be damned, thought that is what his “solution” would likely entail.
     
    But don’t worry, other people are saying it for him.  Which explains the assault on alternative media, including the internet.  You can’t win votes for massive socialization of the economy if people know that is what you are doing.  And you can’t hide what you are doing any more, not from most people, while you have independent news outlets.
     
    If you can’t sell these “climate” policies as jobs creators and dividend generators, how can you sell them if you tell the truth about what you really want?  Contrary to the fears voiced on this blog and others, there is a “robust” debate going on.  It’s just that the climate socialists are losing it.

  24. Hank Roberts says:

    > I’m old enough to remember the Earth First/Deep Ecology
    > rhetoric, which was full of similar damnations
    Funny, I was thinking of people like the Audubon Society.
    When was the last time you heard a dawn chorus?  Do you remember what dawn sounded like, oh, say, 50 years ago?
    https://www.gcrio.org/CONSEQUENCES/vol3no1/songbirds.html
    Those were the good old days, weren’t they?  Tuna and cod and gasoline were all cheaper than dirt.   But even _then_ we were impoverished by comparison to a couple of centuries before.
    http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=R81s4f6yXU4C&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=1970s+tuna+codfish
    What do you suppose happened to all that goodness?
    Reminding people what we’ve lost — and have yet to lose:
    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/dayart/20000423/cartoon20000423.gif
    — ghoulish?

  25. laursaurus says:

    Sorry, I’m too busy laughing at your ludicrous post to bother with a serious response.

    I made you crack up laughing? Cool!!!
    I was ducking under my keyboard. Big relief.

    I met a guy who worked on the project to conserve the California condors. He volunteered to haul the animal carcasses up the mountain. According to him, it was one of the easier jobs. But since most people were grossed-out, they volunteered for more back-breaking work. Is this the kind of conservation work you were involved in? Pretty impressive!
    Conservation is certainly a noble endeavor to benefit the future.
    Dhog surprised me once. Unfortunately, the blogger chose to delete that particular post along with the comments because the hosting service (or whatever it’s called)received a formal complaint threatening legal action. Therefore explaining the context in detail is probably unwise.
    Basically, Dhog admonished one of his own for her actions. He even took it a step further advised her to apologize and admit she was out-of-line.  Meanwhile, comments that justified what took place were starting to accrue. Dhog didn’t buy it.I didn’t participate in that discussion for obvious reasons. But I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge him for taking the high road.
    Sorry about the OT and discussing someone else’s blog I’m unable to even link.
    I agree with Lucia that Hansen’s approach facilitates open and productive discussion.

  26. kdk33 says:

    An aggressive global decarbonization program will be terribly expensive.  The poor will suffer most – particularly the poor in developing countries whose life expectancies, desease and illness rates, infant  and child mortality rates are already bad.

    How many lives are you willing to sacrifice?  What if you are wrong?

    Pushing decarbonization can also be described as “playing with other peoples stakes”.

  27. dhogaza says:

    “Basically, Dhog admonished one of his own for her actions. He even took it a step further advised her to apologize and admit she was out-of-line.  Meanwhile, comments that justified what took place were starting to accrue.”

    For your personal enlightenment, the so-called “victim” in that case had blown things totally out of proportion in order to score what he thought were political points at her expense.

    I still felt she should’ve admitted she (the “perp” in the eyes of the “victim”) was out of line.

    Perhaps because I work out of my home, myself.  If Keith Kloor shows up at my door, I’ll kick him off my porch just as the “victim” did with the “perp” in this case.

    But I won’t start screaming that Keith’s a stalker, blah blah blah like the “victim” in this case did.

    Call it case of two wrongs not making a right, or one wrong justifying another, or something like that, IMO.

    Anyway, thanks.

  28. dhogaza says:

    one wrong NOT justifying another, of course.

    My mouth’s foaming … I’m feeling the need to bite someone.

    Any volunteers?

  29. dhogaza says:

    “An aggressive global decarbonization program will be terribly expensive.  The poor will suffer most – particularly the poor in developing countries whose life expectancies, desease and illness rates, infant  and child mortality rates are already bad.

    How many lives are you willing to sacrifice?  What if you are wrong?”
     
    Pass the popcorn!  Don’t worry, you’ve won.  Nothing significant will be done at the national level for years, if ever.
     
    BTW, what will you do if scientists are right, and accountants like Bishop Hill are wrong?
     
    If I knew your address I’d mail you a carton of cigarettes …
     
    Camels.
     

  30. PDA says:

    An aggressive global decarbonization program will be terribly expensive.

    The fallacy of the excluded middle – insisting that the only two options are doing nothing and “aggressive global decarbonization” –  has been allowed to dominate the faux debate for too damn long. This retort is mere assertion masquerading as argument. Define “aggressive.” How expensive is “terribly expensive?” What plan are you referring to and where does the cost analysis come from? Be specific.

    When fossil fuels run out, the world will “decarbonize” rather quickly, won’t it? If “I” am wrong, the transition to non-carbon-based energy will be done by choice rather than by crisis.

    If you are wrong, that crisis that will inevitably lead to the suffering you refer to.

    Am I missing something here? Why is the bet-the-farm approach considered “conservative’ while a cautious long term energy strategy is supposed to be some wild utopian fantasy?

  31. dhogaza says:

    “Why is the bet-the-farm approach considered “conservative’ while a cautious long term energy strategy is supposed to be some wild utopian fantasy?”

    Because those who profit the most from the status quo will be dead before the consequences become so serious that it will no longer be possible to deny them.

  32. GaryM says:

    Ross Douthat has an op-ed that shows why the climate advocates have such a hard sell among conservatives.   I think his analysis is fairly weak, but I like his outline of the various perspectives.
     
    On his analysis, Douthat is one of the Times’ token liberal conservatives, like David Brooks.  So like a typical liberal conservative, he wants to have it both ways.  Liberals are apparently right about the climate, but conservatives are right to not want to do much.
     
    But he does give a decent Reader’s Digest version of why conservatives are skeptical by nature (while missing that what he writes could be said about many “moderates” and “independents” too).  He writes that “[t]he Seventies were a great decade for apocalyptic enthusiasms….”
     
    That he has right.  Chicken Little science in the past explains a lot of the initial skepticism by conservatives regarding the current doomsday scenarios.  Add Steve McIntyre, the hockey stick, climategate, the Himalayan glacier and Amazon debacles and you essentially validate the conservatives’ fears and add a lot more people to the skeptical pool.  (Which is why McIntyre, Lucia, Judith Curry, and perhaps our fair moderator will always be persona non grata among their fellow liberals; their pursuit of the truth is hurting the agenda.)
     
    I think Douthat is wrong in implying that the (supposed) demise of cap and trade means the debate is essentially over.  But I think he does a fair, albeit abbreviated, job of setting out both sides (at least the moderate positions of both sides).
     
    I do agree with his close.  “Cap-and-trade is more of a leap in the dark. Liberalism specializes in such leaps.”  I doubt he means that the same way I would though.  He probably wasn’t was thinking of lemmings.

  33. lucia says:

    Dhogoza
    What do you think you sound like? On the other thread, you addressed Keith and wrote things like:
    “…not a half-assed writer-for-pay like you”,  ” You’re the promoter of anti-science such as Curry’s crap, and her huggy-buddies at CA and the like.”  and “.. you’re too damned stupid to understand on your own”, “shove it up your a**”.
    If some professor of astrophysics is encouraging you in this sort of behavior, he is a fool.

  34. JamesG says:

    Um…..the vast majority of the oil produced in the world is controlled by state run companies, all of whom make tidy profits for their respective governments. As for coal, well a great deal of it is in China in the first place. Switching from coal to natural gas meanwhile could offer the US a nice 50 percent or more CO2 reduction and no need to tax anyone.

  35. Marlowe Johnson says:

    Keith,
    I’m wondering if you’d care to respond to the substance of Dhog’s ire, namely:
     
    “It’s the fact that dishonesty, lies and deceipt are being used as tools to fool the public into believing that climate science is a fraud, or at minimum, greatly exaggerates the potential rise in temperatures, that gets my goat.  That’s plain wrong, and those who do so deserve our scorn.”
     
    I ask because I’m very sympathetic to this POV as are a number of others I suspect.  And if you accept that this is a legitimate and reasonable POV, then it helps to explain why people in the ‘denialist’ camp are treated the way they typically are in the blogosphere by climate realists…

  36. dhogaza says:

    ” it helps to explain why people in the “˜denialist’ camp are treated the way they typically are in the blogosphere by climate realists”¦”

    Well, and let’s not forget the efforts to get folks like Jones and Mann disciplined or fired (a finding of scientific misconduct would lead to and end of funding for either, essentially it’s a career-ending thing).

    And the fact that Mann’s the subject of a criminal investigation (witch hunt) by the VA AG.

    And that earlier Inhofe suggested there should be a criminal investigation of a dozen or more climate scientists.

    I may hurl words, but I do not suggest that people like Fuller, McIntyre, or Watts be subjected to legal persecution, etc etc.

  37. Climate Realist says:

    We need energy to live and we have an endless supply.   If everyone was subject to the rule of law we’d have far fewer silly distractions like this to deal with.   While there will always be a few suckers, including those with credentials, it’s time we put an end to this madness.  Scientific facts lend zero credibility to theories of manmade climate change.  Proponents of such theories seek a decrease in population… usually out of indoctrination (“the useful idiots”) — it’s their godless religion — but too frequently out of a desire to control others and what they do.

  38. Jean Demesure says:

    I don’t have access to Dr Hansen but as Keith does, there is something I would like to know : if fossil fuel is made expensive and the money redistributed, there would be more money to buy fossil fuel so there would be some inevitable neutralization. What will be the final outcome, when wealth loss due to expensive energy is accounted for ? Is Dr Hansen’s view backed by some quantitative economics assessements and which one  ?
    My questionning is based on what we see here in Europe, we already have for ages Dr Hansen’ scheme, even much “better” : fossil fuels are heavily taxed (gas at more than 6$/gallon), money is not redistributed but spent in debt payment. So energy price that skyrockets we have, but I’m still waiting for the promised jobs creation, fossil fuel independance, technological leap forward…

  39. Chris S. says:

    As Marlowe shows in #34 it is often easy to avoid addressing the substance of a point by concentrating on the manner it is put forward. How many words have been spent here attacking the messenger and his delivery compared to how many spent responding to his central theme?
     

  40. Marco says:

    Jean, if fossil fuels get more expensive, alternatives become more interesting. If I can buy 50 MW of windpower for the same price as 50 MW of coal power, I might well go for the windpower…

    And your European example doesn’t work well: compare the average mpg for cars in the US (exclude California for good measures) with those in Europe, and you will find European cars easily outperform their American counterparts. By a factor two almost. This is at least in part due to taxing. Moreover, debt relief isn’t exactly a bad thing if you want to create jobs…

  41. Shub says:

    M Johnson
    Why dont you respond to, say, any reasonable skeptic ire that “dishonesty, lies, and deception” are what have been used, consciously, to make us believe in climate change alarmism, as evidenced in the Climategate emails?
     
    ‘Dhog’s ire’, for example, is not mirrored by people of left of center as well, who feel that “dishonesty, lies and deception” are used by corporations to advance the lie of global warming. Alexander Cockburn…
     
    I don’t know what political orientation I am, but I read counterpunch.org with interest, because their stuff is well-researched, whatever else blame you might place at their feet.
     
    In fact, it is the present administration that played hide and seek with its “green jobs”, ‘CLEAR”, “utilities bill”, “clap-and-trap”, carbon tax, nitrogen tax etc etc – never once making clear what it wants to do. People are consoling themselves that cap legislation can be passed in the ‘lame duck’ session post-November. Great way to go with greenie legislation – smuggling it in by stealth.
     

  42. kdk33 says:

    PDA (29),

    You raise a good point about costs.  A quick google search provides plenty of numbers to play with…  But I am not pushing decarbonization; that would be you.  I assume you’ve carefully considered the cost and attendant risks of a global program.  What did you find?  Would you be so kind as to share?  Perhaps it won’t be “terribly expensive”.

    Also, you seem to want to change the subject from global warming to end-of-oil.  Why is that?

    I wasn’t trying to make you mad.  Just pointing out that you have to balance the certain costs of decarbonization against the uncertain risks of global warming.  You can pick a side, but you can’t argue away the conundrum.

    I oppose all the decarbonization baby step proposals because they are just plain silly – they won’t do a thing about global warming.  They end up being left-leaning social policies that I oppose for political reasons disguised as jobs, stimulus, social justice, or whatever.

    As I said at the start of this:  If you want to tackle global warming, then argue the case on the merits.  What will a real global decarbonization program cost, how will it work, what are the risks.  Compare that the uncertain risk of global warming.  See if the world will play along.

  43. charles says:

    #34 #38
    This is because there is no substance behind the ranting.  It is not a reasonable POV. It is as unreasonable as the view of those on the other extreme (that lies dishonesty and deceipt are being used to fool the public into believing in AGW).
    Hansen’s solution makes no sense (see #12). If you charge the energy companies and give the money to the public, the companies will just have to charge customers more for their gas and electricity to get the money back again.
     
     

  44. dhogaza says:

    “This is because there is no substance behind the ranting.  It is not a reasonable POV. It is as unreasonable as the view of those on the other extreme”

    Really?
    This, for instance, is a lie:

    “Scientific facts lend zero credibility to theories of manmade climate change.”

    It is an objectively, provable lie.  My pointing out that such lies are tiresome is a perfectly reasonable POV.

  45. lucia says:

    Chris S. Says:
    July 27th, 2010 at 2:58 am

    and his delivery compared to how many spent responding to his central theme?

    Your question contains a false premise.  In fact, people are responding to D’s central theme. You’ve just misidentified it.

    The structure of many of Dhoghoza’s message seems to be  “make bald claim, rant, decree self angry people don’t agree with me, wish ill befalls the grandchildren of people I dislike”, followed by “explain that I am angry and that people are idiots.”   There main theme of his message is not the substitute you suggest; it’s, “I am angry at  disagree with me who I decree to be idiots!”

  46. Marlowe Johnson says:

    #42,
    A carbon tax raises the price of fossil fuels and by extension lowers the cost of less carbon intensive fuels (e.g. nat gas vs coal).  By giving the money back to the public you’re helping to address the (currently) inelastic nature of the demand side of the equation.  Smart politics, but not necessarily smart economics.
     
    #37
    As Marco suggested already, the important thing to consider is not the price of fuel but rather the total cost of ownership.  Becasue fuel prices are higher in Europe people tend to drive much smaller, more efficient vehicles.  Thus, their TCO isn’t much different from North America.  As an aside, the reason that fuel costs are so high in Europe is fairly simple.  Europe has very little domestic supply of oil (especially post-WWII), so it makes strategic and economic  sense to minimize dependence on foreign sources.  In the U.S. oil was plentiful (relative to demand) until the late 60s so there was no imperative to implement higher taxes.  Now of course the discussion politically is moving towards the benefits of energy ‘independence’…
     
     
     

  47. Marlowe Johnson says:

    Try again Lucia.

  48. Keith Kloor says:

    Marlowe,

    I’m wondering if you care to respond to dhogoza’s spiteful attitude, which is all I’ve been criticizing–namely, that he hoped his opponents had grandchildren so they could suffer for the actions of their elders. Or that humanity deserved to rot if voices that played down climate change won the day.

    You tell me what you think of that.

  49. Marlowe Johnson says:

    sure keith, but you first 🙂

  50. Keith Kloor says:

    If you insist. That’s a very general statement that doesn’t mean much to me. First of all, I agree with Roger Pielke. Jr here, when he writes: .

    “As I have said for many years, and documented in The Climate Fix, the battle for public opinion on climate change has been won by those who argue that there is a profound human influence on climate and action is warranted. This has been the message of opinion polls for as long as 20 years.

    The effort to cleanse the world of climate skeptics that occupies the attention of so many climate bloggers is simply a waste of effort, if the goal is to advance climate policies. The public support is there — and has been for many years.”

    The problem with climate change, as I (and many others) have said before,  is that it’s a slow-moving event. We are a reactive species, and so we respond to immediate disaster, not one that unfolds over a long time frame. That’s the problem with mobilizing public action, in a nutshell.

    So I don’t buy dhogoza’s ire. It’s misplaced. Your turn, now.

  51. lucia says:

    Marlowe Johnson Says:
    Try again Lucia.
    Easy enough: Dhoghoza’s central theme is he’s angry, people who disagree with him are idiots and he wishes their progeny ill.

  52. PDA says:

    I wasn’t trying to make you mad.  Just pointing out that you have to balance the certain costs of decarbonization against the uncertain risks of global warming.  You can pick a side, but you can’t argue away the conundrum.

    Please, let’s have an end to the tone trollery. You didn’t “make me mad,” and dhogaza is being a douche, even s/he acknowledges s/he is “rather enjoying being called a “ghoul”, “spiteful”, “rabid dog”, etc.” This is the internet for gods’ sake, people; getting hung up on tone is like complaining about the drinking at a soccer match.
     
    To the point, then: decarbonization is something that will happen sooner or later when fossil fuels run out. My contention – which seems perfectly self-evident – is that an intelligently designed transition away from carbon-based energy is a good thing whether or not global climate change turns out to be as bad as some think it may be.
     
    So the options, from least to most risky, are: decarbonizing intelligently, decarbonizing “aggressively,” and decarbonizing in a panic. There is no “let fossil fuels last forever” option.

  53. PDA says:

    The problem with climate change, as I (and many others) have said before,  is that it’s a slow-moving event. We are a reactive species, and so we respond to immediate disaster, not one that unfolds over a long time frame. That’s the problem with mobilizing public action, in a nutshell.
    That is a problem. I do not feel that it is the problem, in the sense that there are not others. In Newtonian terms, if human reactivity is inertia, then disseminating wrongheaded  depictions of the present state of scientific understanding – either innocentl or cynically – is a force.
     
    A strategy that doesn’t take both into consideration is incomplete, in my opinion.

  54. Marlowe Johnson says:

    #50
    No.  It’s what he (and many others) are angry about that’s important, not the ensuing frothing (which while understandable is nonetheless over the top).

    #49
    Thanks for the response Keith.  If by general statement you mean that of course people get angry when confronted with mendacity and that their anger is proportional to the consequences of such behaviour then I guess we agree. However, your highlight of RPJRs view on the influence of climate septics on the political process in the face of ongoing public support seems incongruous with your next paragraph:

    “The problem with climate change, as I (and many others) have said before,  is that it’s a slow-moving event. We are a reactive species, and so we respond to immediate disaster, not one that unfolds over a long time frame. That’s the problem with mobilizing public action, in a nutshell.”

    Which is it? On the one hand you’re saying that there is public support for action, but then in the next breath you suggest that there isn’t because we’re a reactive species”¦

    My own view is that you are both partially right and wrong.  Mobilizing public support for effective climate policies is very difficult because we’re essentially asking people to make sacrifices for the sake of future generations.  To be clear there are cost-saving opportunities (low hanging fruit), but on balance achieving meaningful reductions will cost money.  I think you rightfully highlight the psychological considerations that make this a more difficult proposition from the get go. 

    RPJr is also right to the extent that climate skeptics in the blogosphere probably haven’t converted a large portion of the populace to their POV.  However, I think that framing the discussion in such simple terms profoundly distorts the real (if difficult to quantify) effect that septics have had on the pace of progress in advancing effective climate policies.

    In the interest of brevity consider the following 2 points.
    Is the publics’ understanding of the problem consistent with expert consensus? IMO the answer to that one is absolutely not.  Sure most people might believe in climate change, but I don’t think that they are as worried about the consequences as the experts are.  There are many reasons for this.  The media plays a very important role and so do the septics. This is in a nutshell why I suspect Dhog and Tobis are angry most of the time :).
     
    Now to head off RPJr’s “˜linear model’ objection, let me say that I don’t think that effective climate policies would magically result if people properly understood the risks that AGW poses.  As I said before, your  mention of the reactive nature of people in general is an unfortunate but important consideration.

    Another important thing to consider when judging the impact of septics is the political rules of the game.  When looking at the federal scene in the U.S. it’s insufficient to simply talk about “majority of people” when the threshold for success is a 60 vote supermajority.  Septics may not convince every senator, but they sure provide useful cover for those politicians who’d rather not discuss the honest implications of their voting decisions on climate legislation.

  55. willard says:

    > Dhoghoza’s central theme is he’s angry […]
     
    That might be his modus operandi alright.  But I believe that this is the central theme not of D’s, but of Lucia’s and Keith’s recent comments.  Their position might either amounts to say that D’s angry persona is such and such, or that D’s angriness is annoying.
     
    Personally, I don’t understand this kind of public discussion.  If D is not welcome, he should be banned.  If there are conditions under which he should operate, God created email.

  56. SimonH says:

    Public support for mitigation of climate change rather depends on climate scientists being truthful and honest, that the recent warming is unequivocal and unprecedented and that the Arctic is melting and polar bears are dying.
     
    It turns out that the public face of climate science is a politically active policy advocate, that s/he is less than honest, open and transparent, that the unequivocal and unprecedented warming is neither certainly unequivocal nor determinably unprecedented, that polar bears are dying because they’re being culled because there are too many of them, rather than because the arctic ice has disappeared and they’re starving to death, and it turns out that the blame for the loss of public confidence is because the media went and reported what the scientists told them.. because the scientists wanted to scare the people into supporting their ideologies and because the media never let the truth get in the way of a bloody good story.
     
    So it’s the denialists’ fault, obviously.

  57. dhogaza says:

    “Personally, I don’t understand this kind of public discussion.  If D is not welcome, he should be banned.  If there are conditions under which he should operate, God created email.”

    Oh, I’m already under moderation.  To a certain extent, I’m pushing Keith Kloor, who has decided to make me his personal whipping boy for what he feels is wrong with “environmentalists”.  Everything you’ve seen me post has been explicitly approved by Keith, because he thinks it makes me (and, by extension, others who complain about the utterly brazen dishonesty and deceit practiced by so many science denialists) look bad.

    So I keep ratcheting it up …

    Meanwhile, Keith shows no horror at the fact that Mann, for instance, is under criminal investigation due to witch hunt tactics practiced by the anti-science right in this country…

  58. dhogaza says:

    “and he wishes their progeny ill”

    And, of course, I did not say that.   Keith’s pushed a malicious interpretation of an ambiguous statement as part of his campaign to demonize me.

    And, yes, I am enjoying his campaign.  I’ve never been demonized before.  It’s kinda cool.

    It makes me wonder what kind of horrible things Keith would say about me if I were to suggest that leading climate scientists should be killed, jailed, stripped of their jobs, etc?

    Oh, yeah … nothing.

  59. lucia says:

    Marlowe Johnson Says:
    No.  It’s what he (and many others) are angry about that’s important, not the ensuing frothing (which while understandable is nonetheless over the top).
    Well, your switching the subject from “what’s the central theme of D’s posts” to “what’s really important”.
    I’ll agree with you there are many more important things than the actual honest to goodness central point of D’s posts, and that D himself may be be more concerned with something other than the central theme of what he actually has been writing.
    But that doesn’t change the central theme of the posts D actually inflicts on the world.  The central point of his recent posts has been he’s discovered people disagree with him about things he cares about.  Or, more precisely he’s just mad.  Like it or not, D’s central theme is pretty much like the news reader in movie Network:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMBZDwf9dok
    I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore scene.
    I’m sure all sorts of people might have thought the subjects in his long list of the evils of the world were more important than his anger. But the central theme of that news broadcasters speech is he’s angry and he’s not going to take it anymore.  The central theme of D’s posts are that he’s angry that people disagree with him and he wishes evil will befall them.
    If he wants to take a deep breath, realize that he should be focusing on more important things, fine. But the fact that the central theme of his recent posts is not very important doesn’t mean it hasn’t been his central theme.  People have been responding to the actual, honest to goodness, existing central theme in the posts he enters into the little boxes here.
     
     

  60. Keith Kloor says:

    (#57,) poor anonymous dhgogoza is being demonized. Now you’re the victim, too, but I think you’re right that you are enjoying it.

    Now you want to weasel out of what you said that is the thrust of my criticism.  Well, it’s right there, in black and white.

    If I’ve misinterpreted it, here’s your chance to explain what you really meant.

  61. GaryM says:

    Polls will say whatever you want them to say, particularly when the question leave out any specifics.  Here is a poll you will never see conducted by any mainstream news organization.
     
    1.  Do you believe that climate scientists can say with real certainty what the total average global temperature of the Earth is on any given day/month/year now?
     
    2.  Do you believe that climate scientists can say with real certainty what the total average global temperature of the Earth was in any given year 100 years ago; 1000 years ago?
     
    3.    Do you believe that climate scientists can say with real certainty what the total average global temperature of the Earth will be in any given year 10 years from now; 100 years from now?
     
    4.  Did you know that according to Real Climate, climate scientists do not know what the mechanism is that caused “pronounced warming periods that mark the ends of the ice ages,” long before man could have had any influence on the climate?
     
    5.  Do you believe that climate scientists can say with real certainty that whatever warming there has been in the last 100 years was primarily due to man’s activity?
     
    6.  Do you believe that climate scientists, who themselves say they are part of a consensus believing man is causing global climate change that is likely to have catastrophic results, have removed their bias from their research, including in the  construction of climate models?
     
    7.  Do you believe that climate scientists, who only learned in the fairly recent past about the El Nino and Pacific Decadal Oscillation phenomena, know enough about all of the various systems and influences that contribute to and change climate, to be able to construct computer models that will accurately forecast the total average global temperature, extent of ice melt, ocean rise, etc., 10 years from now; 100 years from now?
     
    8. Do you believe that the danger warned of by climate scientists is significantly severe, and certain, to justify increasing taxes on the average American family $3-6,000 right now, with substantial increases each year until the country stops using fossil fuels all together?
     
    9.  Do you think that if the U.S. were to adopt such a tax increase, that China, Russia, India, South America and Africa will follow suit?
     
    10.  Should they, given the level of certainty you believe climate science has achieved?
     
    The climate debate is all about politics.  But it is driven by ego.  Hubris.  Man’s constant belief that he knows and can control more than he does.  A humble man would look at the vast leaps in knowledge over the last hundred years and think: if there was this much we didn’t know before, how much more do we still have to learn?  The typical climate advocate looks at the same phenomenon now and thinks: see how much I know, people should change the world because of my knowledge.
     
    You ask me academically, and I will say the Earth has probably warmed slowly over the last 100 years; man’s activity may well have played a part in that, though I have no idea how much; I do not know whether the temperature will rise of fall in the next 10 or 100 years, but I see no reason to think the current warming trend will stop, regardless of its cause; and I do  not see any certainty at all that any such warming will be of the degree, or have the negative consequences, of which so many  climate advocates are so certain, though I am still listening.
     
    But you ask me as a father (and voter),  whether my children and potential grandchildren should give the government power over their economy, and their very lifestyle, now because some arrogant socialist scientists think they know enough to change the whole world, and I will tell you to get lost.
     
    The debate is over? Hardly.

  62. PDA says:

    If I’ve misinterpreted it, here’s your chance to explain what you really meant.
     
    Well, dhogaza did at #20, Keith. You’re welcome to your own interpretation, of course, but you can’t act like dhogaza hasn’t already tried to explain.
     
    Why is the remark of a “poor anonymous” commenter, offensive as you may think it is, the subject of an entire post, though? I’ve been going OT by talking about decarbonization, I guess, but really, how long can you talk on the topic of “an anonymous (pseudonymous, to be fair) person said something on the internet that I found offensive?” Do you think dhogaza‘s remarks are representative of people who are arguing for a more forceful reaction to climate change? If so: who, and in what venues?
     
    It’s your blog, and if you want to write on the subject “dhogaza‘s a dick” then that is unquestionably your right. Somehow I don’t think that’s your whole point, though.

  63. William Newman says:

    ironies, ironies…

    First, no matter how anyone might try to be a reasonable moderator, there’s an enormous potential for friction and misunderstanding when trying to argue while being moderated by someone who disagrees with you. Thus it seems very reasonable for dhogaza to be alert to this problem in #56. However, it is ironic that dhogaza-on-RC recently mocked (“And note, as predicted, it was a drive-by.”) an RC commenter (who disagreed with the RC moderator) based on how no followup appeared after the comment was attacked: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/07/the-montford-delusion/comment-page-4/#comment-181962

    Second, one of the foremost reasons that dhogaza gave for extending his hatred of me unto the second generation is his zeal for truth. (#9 “It’s the fact that dishonesty, lies and deceipt are being used as tools […] that gets my goat.  That’s plain wrong, and those who do so deserve our scorn.”) Thus it is ironic that dhogaza has apparently neither backed up nor retracted his apparently-untrue claims about Lindzen:

    dhogaza wrote “I am, of course, thinking of Lindzen, but I have no doubt you could round up a degreed, intelligent group easily as large as those at The Air Vent who share his belief that cigarette smoking is essentially harmless.” http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/2010/07/01/the-good-the-bad-the-ugly/#comment-9892

    dhogaza also wrote “Lindzen is on record as saying he doesn’t believe in what might be labeled ‘catastrophic tobacco smoking’.  He suggests that the risks are greatly exaggerated to the point where they can be ignored.” http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/2010/07/01/the-good-the-bad-the-ugly/#comment-9911

    (Incidentally, of course I can see a theoretical tension between my two apparent ironies: it’s conceivable that dhogaza could be submitting comments which contain references which back up his claims about Lindzen, while Keith Kloor responds by stomping on those comments with his custom baby seal leather moderator boots. But my general impression is that Keith Kloor is not nearly wicked enough to want to do this, and beyond that I am quite sure that even if Keith Kloor wanted to do that, he wouldn’t have the power to do it in this specific case without being thwarted and embarrassed by information passing through channels he can’t control.)

    (Also incidentally re. #56, I had assumed Keith Kloor was opposed to the recent criminal investigation of Mann. Certainly many vocal IPCC critics are opposed. I am basically opposed myself. I would like to see low tolerance for fraud in research grants, and I don’t think it’d be unreasonable to set the general threshold for criminal investigation low enough that actions like Mann’s would be trigger a criminal investigation no matter what the subject matter or conclusions. But as far as I can tell, currently the usual threshold for such an investigation is far above that. Given that, singling out Mann looks like a terrible idea. I consider research-related fraud a serious problem, and I consider selective funding of researchers based on the palatability of their results a very serious problem, but selective criminal prosecution of political enemies invites even worse problems than that.)

  64. Keith Kloor says:

    PDA,

    Good point: I’ve allowed myself to become sidetracked. I should have explained why i think it was important to highlight his remarks.

    1) The climate debate is so poisonous and I think dhogoza’s style contributes to this. If we are to bridge honest differences of opinion and move forward, then I believe there has to be more civil dialogue. Ordinarily, I keep the nastiness in check by having him and others on the other side of the spectrum in moderation.

    In this case, I thought it was illustrative to let him spout off. But you’re right: time to move on.

  65. Keith Kloor says:

    Marlowe (53):

    Perhaps my wording was imprecise. The polling that RPJ refers to indicates that the public generally believes that global warming is real, caused by humans and that something has to be done about it.

    But I believe that support for action is soft.  Joe Q public doesn’t see climate change as an urgent problem because he doesn’t see how its impacting him. So I don’t think it’s incongrous for the public to believe that AGW is real AND not demand that action be taken.

  66. PDA says:

    Keith,
     
    It’s an emotional issue: for some people because of a genuine passion for principle (environmentalism, individualism, etc.) and for some maybe because it’s a proxy for cultural issues. I can’t presume to mind-read anyone, so who knows what’s operant and to what degree when someone posts something on the internet.
     
    It’s also personality. This is not intended as a dig or a way to ratchet up an argument you seem inclined to wind down, but for certain folks – especially some of us raised in the industrial cities on the East Coast – a genteel and polite argument like the one you presented in this thread is often interpreted as passive-aggressive, and can be as infuriating as dhogaza‘s smashmouth style. That’s why I call it tone trolling: trying to get people to argue the way you think they should argue – which is how I interpret your position, as well as Lucia’s, Judith Curry’s and others – isn’t necessarily going to lead to a healthy debate.
     
    Just my 2¢; I’m not saying you shouldn’t advocate for what you think is right, or manage your comments the way you see fit. I’m just suggesting you consider that other point of view.

  67. Keith Kloor says:

    PDA:

    I hear you. But to be clear: words and tone do matter. Which is why I’ve been quite critical of Romm in the past.

    Romm’s style (and commenters such as dhogoza) can be inflammatory, which, sorry, I don’t see as helpful to dialogue.

    Of course, if someone thinks they are on the moral high ground of an issue, I suppose that excuses name-calling and impugning of your opponent’s motives.

    Also, remember, what’s good for the goose….so Rush Limbaugh, who has probably done more than anyone to corrode political dialogue, sincerely believes he is right on the issues and so he is operating from the perspective of rightous anger, which, in his mind, allows him to utter the most outlandish things, often in a highly personalized manner.

    You see what I’m getting at?

  68. Barry Woods says:

    Am I Dhog in reverse at Deltoid, I hope not?
    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/07/report_from_the_guardian_debat.php
    As I was AT the debate, I thought I’d comment there, and got sucked in……

  69. Marlowe Johnson says:

    Keith,
     
    I agree with what you’re saying.  Support for climate change is indeed ‘broad and shallow’ as we say in the biz but it isn’t fully explained by lack of visible impacts or people’s selfish psychological tendencies.   Human beings aren’t completely amoral  are they :)? The public doesn’t understand the severity of the problem and this is in part due to the activities of septics and the media and the education system, etc.  Septics also play an important role in providing political cover for the Inhofes of the world.  Have I said anything so far that you disagree with?
     
    Given your previously stated antipathy to the anti-vaccine movement, I’m surprised that you don’t call out the AGW septics more forcefully….

  70. PDA says:

    Well, not really. I see Limbaugh as an instance of a general phenomenon rather than the cause. Put differently, I don’t think our national discourse would be significantly different if there had been no Limbaugh. The culture war is a reality, as is the fact that many people love a blowhard so long as he’s on their side: look at the reaction to Maher and Olbermann.
     
    So do I think tone matters? Kind of, but not much. The political paralysis we’re in on this issue has very, very little to do with interweb shouty-matches. I find these dialogues personally interesting, but I’m under no illusion that there’s much likelihood of anyone – denier, alarmist, or lukewarmer – changing their minds as a result. So it’s rather moot whether you use nice, polite words or call people names, in the end analysis.

  71. kdk33 says:

    PDA,

    The oil won’t run out in a panic.  There’s a broad array of petroleum – some easy to get, some much harder.  We’ll slowly transition from easy to get (lower cost) to harder to get (higher cost) petroleum.  Price will rise accordingly.  The incentive to invent will escalate as the price gap narrows.  The market will signal the transition to alternative energy.  No need for government inteference – it will happen slowly, gracefully, with equal competition for all.

  72. Marco says:

    Keith, even when many people agree something should be done, you can *still* stall any decisions by simple obfuscation or attacking any and all proposed solutions. It’s happened with tobacco, health care, and now with GHG policies. GaryM and his questions are a nice example, in particular number 8: throw in a number that is ridiculous, and quite a few people will get all upset and believe that’s too much money. AGW ‘skeptics’ play an important role in that obfuscation.

  73. Marco says:

    And since I’m on the topic of GaryM’s questions, perhaps GaryM can show me where RC claims climate scientists do not know what causes interglacials. Last time I checked the “start here” section, they pointed to this FAQ of the IPCC AR4:
    http://www.ipcc.unibe.ch/publications/wg1-ar4/faq/wg1_faq-6.1.html

  74. Keith Kloor says:

    Marlowe (68):

    Which skeptics should I call out? I don’t see a monolith of skeptics the way perhaps you do. (Even Brin acknowledged that in his Skeptic magazine article.) Some, like Monckton, are utter charlatans that are deserving of scorn (to use the phrase of a certain commenter here). Others, like Steve Mac are not so easy to categorize (is he even an skeptic?)

    Then there are the many readers who have found their way to this blog in recent months, who believe in AGW but question the projected catastrophic impacts that is taken as a given by you. I don’t find their skepticism unreasonable.

    Your comparison to the anti-vaccine movement is inexact. It is true I have no tolerance whatsoever for that crowd. (BTW, it astonishes me that otherwise intelligent people like Bill Maher buy into it.)

    The autism link is bogus. The public health ramifications of non-vaccinated children are very real.

    Let’s go to climate science, which I am in agreement with. As I understand things, there are some big unknowns laying out there, in terms of climate sensitivity and projected impacts. Is that cause for inaction? No. But nor is it a slam dunk to make the case for climate catastrophe later in the century.

    So where does that leave us? Well, I have argued that it’s going to be a hard sell on climate change, since you have to convince people to take action for future generations. Maybe I’ll be proven wrong and some heinous weather disasters a few years from now will do the trick (the irony being that you won’t be able to tie them to AGW).

    Which is why I have been in favor of decoupling climate change from the energy debate. I think there are strong arguments for decarbonization that don’t require the climate catastrophe card. But I recognize this is a minorty view.

  75. SimonH says:

    Marlowe #68: “The public doesn’t understand the severity of the problem and this is in part due to the activities of septics and the media and the education system, etc.”
     
    Apart from the infantile behaviour and language of so many activists like yourself, the biggest problem your ideological scientific pollutant faces is that far too much of it depends on the contributions of the “team”, whose behaviour has been and continues to be beneath contempt and is anti-scientific in the extreme.
     
    If you want to make world-changing policies, you have to show that the warming – such that it is – is unprecedented. Fail: It isn’t. You have to show that the climate is sensitive to increases in CO2 concentrations. Fail: You haven’t. You have to show that increases in CO2 will cause runaway global warming. Fail: You can’t. You have to show that costly mitigation will be effective. Fail: You can’t. You lose the battle because, despite laughable claims to the contrary, your catastrophic scenarios are not supported by science. Fail.
     
    The public DOES understand the severity of the problem, most particularly with climate science. They’re learning that it’s an adolescent science that’s had little or no parenting and has had no moral standards instilled in it. And the public understands that it has lied about what it knows – and what it doesn’t know. The public understands that its emotions have been played – the poor polar bears – and it resents it. And it doesn’t trust the science any more, and the paddy-fitting, foot-stamping “flat-earther”-shouting, “septic”, “deniarrrr”, “denialist”, “big oil shill” screaming abusive and infantile scientists are giving them no reason to change their mind.
     
    The climate scientists have had the media in their pocket for a long time, enabling them to tell their wild and terrifying tales of impending doom, and they’ve abused that relationship. Heck, you even annoyed Monbiot – a hard-hearted environmental activist journalist – so much he called for Jones’ resignation after Climategate. And though he says he’s changed his opinion on Jones’ resignation since then, you’ve obviously not convinced him yet that climate scientists can be trusted. You’ll make an enemy out of Monbiot yet, if he ever figures out that his personal environmentalism does not “stand or fall” on the work of climate scientists, as he said the other week. If he ever returns to the traditional tenet of objective and balanced journalism – arguably a legal journalistic obligation in the UK – there could be a lot more trouble for climate sciences in the future.
     
    I may be wrong, but at a guess I’d say that the reason Keith doesn’t call out the “septics” more forcefully is because they’re logical, they’re reasonable, they’re not anti-scientific (in contrast to some climate scientists at the pointy end of the climate scaremongering), they’re defenders of the scientific method, they want accountability in science, they want the uncertainties made clear, they want the junk science out and real science in to replace it and… dammit.. they’ve got a point.
     

  76. Marlowe Johnson says:

    “As I understand things, there are some big unknowns laying out there, in terms of climate sensitivity and projected impacts.”
     
    Keith you’re right that there are big unknowns out there but I get the sense that you feel they’re in some sense symmetrical, and therefore cancel out.  My sense of the literature atm is that they’re not, and unfortunately point towards more severe impacts (e.g. impacts of ocean acidification) and mid-range sensitivity (i.e. no evidence thus far of a magical negative feedback).
     
    Moreover, from a policy perspective I’d suggest that the science has  been sufficiently well understood for at least the last 20 years to justify the kind of action that we’re talking about at present.
     
    What is different about vaccine skepticism from climate skepticism?  In particular, what is it that  leads you to have “no tolerance for that crowd” in one instance, but a more generous attitude in the other?
     
    btw I agree that from a tactical POV, decoupling energy policy from climate policy has a number of selling features for the U.S. electorate….
     
     

  77. Marlowe Johnson says:

    Keith,
     
    Any suggestions on a response to #74 😛

  78. SimonH says:

    Just go for it, Marlowe.

  79. Keith Kloor says:

    SimonH:

    This obsession with the “team” perplexes me as much as the other side’s obsession with skeptics.

    Also, I don’t think the general public cares a hoot about climate science, hockey sticks, climategate, or this debate.

    Additionally, please tone down your language.

  80. willard says:

    > [W]hat’s the central theme of D’s posts[?]
     
    I guess it depends on what D’s talking about, since a theme is exactly that what you’re talking about, unless we have another concept of theme in mind.   I believe D talks about lots of things, so answering that question might be forthcoming.  Anyway, the problem seems more about how he does talk about things, not the things he’s talking about.
     
    Everyone could see that if D has a problem, it’s that he does not really talk.  He shouts, and perhaps too much.   There is no space for the other to respond or for D to be wrong.
     
    An important problem with moderating that in the view of the public is that one can almost touch the aggressiveness that can’t be very well disguised by civility.  The cheerfurlness is not the main mood here, and we must appr
     
    What he deems trolling infuriates him, and he gets into a troll-slaying mode.  So usually D goes after people that has not much to say anyway and could very well be leaved together.  If someone is willing to flame a troll, and the moderator lets it go, both rolls will enjoy many happy and unhappy returns.
     
    In my most humble opinion, D’s strategy defeats itself.  Trolls regenerate, so it’s better to use love and light.  Perhaps an ethologist could tell us how to deal with that issue in a more precise manner.  Perhaps an ecologist could try to hindcast the best ratio between trolls and troll-slayers.
     
    PS:  I acknowledge the presence of the evergreen topic of RC moderation in #62, this time around wrapped up in a nice tu quoque.

  81. willard says:

    Two errors:
     
    > I believe D talks about lots of things, so answering that question might [not] be forthcoming [soon].
    > The cheerfurlness is not the main mood here, and we must appr[eciate the importance of staying cheerful come what may].
     
     

  82. GaryM says:

    Marco,
     
    To find where I got the idea that Real Climate discusses an “unknown process” that ends glacial periods, try here.  “From studying all the available data (not just ice cores), the probable sequence of events at a termination goes something like this. Some (currently unknown) process causes Antarctica and the surrounding ocean to warm.”
     
    My question was derived from an assertion on Real Climate that the process that ends glacial periods (ie.significant global warming) is unknown.  How is that contradicted by a cite to the IPCC WG1 discussion of how glacial periods start (with liberal use of the words probably and likely)?
     
    As to my question no. 8, it comes directly from this Hansen article cited above (comment 23).  But I did make a blunder, the question should read “$6000-9000 per family with two or more children,” not 3-6,000.  Is that better?

  83. GaryM says:

    The more I think about Marco’s criticism of my question 8 in comment 60 above as  “throw[ing] in a number that is ridiculous, and quite a few people will get all upset and believe that’s too much money…”
     
    Some of the most vociferous advocates of government action on climate change simply have no clue themselves of the real costs of the policies they are recommending.  James Hansen certainly does though, as sown in his article.
     
    I wonder if Marco will now criticize Hansen for actually suggesting such ridiculously high taxes?  I would be happy to join in….

  84. PDA says:

    I read the link GaryM posted, and discovered to my great surprise that GaryM himself clearly did not.
     
    “The fee must be collected from fossil fuel companies across-the-board at the mine, wellhead, or port of entry. Revenues should be divided equally among all legal adult residents, with half-shares for children up to two per family, distributed monthly as a “green check”… The annual dividend then would be $2000-3000 per legal adult resident, $6000-9000 per family with two or more children.

    About sixty percent of the public would receive more in the green check than they pay in added energy costs.”
     
    Ouch.
     
    Reading is fundamental, GaryM.

  85. Dave H says:

    Keith,
    You keep attaching this addendum (or variations thereof):
    “so they could suffer for the actions of their elders”
    … to dhogaza’s words. This was never explicitly stated by him, this is wide open to interpretation, and your own interpretation has formed the basis of a series of “shocked” or “offended” responses.
    I can well understand dhogaza’s frustration, and his desire to just give up in the face of what seems to be an impenetrable wall of blinkered self-interest. No matter what interpretation you wish to apply to his comments here, I, for one, hope he does not retire anytime soon.

  86. SimonH says:

    Keith #78: The graphical representation is iconic and is recognised by so many who, by virtue of its shape, have been driven to modify their lifestyles and “go green”, invariably at personal expense and/or sacrifice. The case for action has been made using the image as the core message – that the current warming is unprecedented and proves beyond doubt that mankind is causing global warming.
     
    I disagree vehemently with the assertion that the general public don’t give a hoot about the hockey stick or climate science. I’d agree that they certainly don’t care about PCA, RE or R2 but they do care that the case for action can be called into question. They know the hockey stick and broadly understand that this is, in essence, the case for action (because that’s how it was packaged and sold to them).
     
    But the public doesn’t have the patience to disseminate the information and relies instead on aggregation from people who are interested. As any PR or marketing firm with a finger on the pulse will tell you, nothing can compete with viral. You must remember that MSM was a long way behind on Climategate, which exploded despite the MSM hush, not because of it.
     
    And this is why the “team” and its “stick” is an easy and popular target for sceptics, because it’s a familiar icon, easy to tag, and because there are serious problems with the proxy reconstruction that can be explained in very simple, laymans’ terms. It’s like the proverbial fish in a barrel.
     
    I’m sorry about the language, Keith. I’m a liberal, living in a liberal country, but I do know that a tighter lexicon is demanded when interacting with those of a more republican nation. I apologise again. I do find the faux-typo “septic” rather adolescent and schoolyard, though, and I object because it’s purposefully objectionable. It reflects badly on the writer no less than my abrupt writing reflects on me.

  87. Tom Fuller says:

    Dhogaza too frequently acts like a jerk. Eventually it gets wearing. I’m happy he decided not to frequent my blog.
     
    I think Keith has been accommodating for a long time. At the end of the day, I doubt if it was any one particular post that caused this kerfuffle–his tone is always the same, as is his message, which gets lost in the shuffle. (Did I just make a rhyme?)
     
    It gets worse over at other blogs, like Bart’s, where dhogaza has a lot of company and they egg each other on to see who can be the nastiest.
     
    At the end of the day they just delight in distracting anybody from a conversation about the real issues. It has to be all about them.

  88. kdk33 says:

    “About sixty percent of the public would receive more in the green check than they pay in added energy costs.”

    So the path to decarbonization entails creating a system wherein the majority of people benefit from the burning of fossil fuels. 

    Really.

     

  89. Marlowe Johnson says:

    #85
    I use the term septic deliberately rather than skeptic because I think it accurately reflects the effect that people such as yourself  and kdk33 have on climate related discussions.  Skeptics on the other hand are people who work to advance our understanding of the world around us (i.e. by doing science).  Now I freely admit that not everyone fits neatly into one box or the other ( like Steve Mc or Lucia for example).
    Of course, you’re  free to disagree.

  90. GaryM says:

    PDA,
    How precisely do you think there can be a $6-9,000 “dividend” per family, if the total taxes raised are not equal to that amount?  Does someone really need to explain that when you tax “fossil fuel companies across-the-board at the mine, wellhead, or port of entry,” those companies don’t simply say, oh well, we will eat the tax?
     
    So the amount of the tax Hansen proposes is, by his own terms, at least equal to 6-9,000 per family, in the first year, based on a $15 per ton tax the first year.  (And that tax will be increased by $10 each year thereafter.  But no mention of increasing the “dividends.” )
     
    That tax will be paid by consumers not only when they buy their own energy, but when they buy anything else that requires energy to create, transport, market, whatever.  Forget Hansen’s economic illiteracy, I wasn’t arguing about whether the plan he was suggesting makes any sense (it doesn’t).  I was just pointing out that he and the other leading lights of climate science are proposing massive tax increases.
     
    As for the “dividends”if they ever get what they want, don’t hold your breath.  The real reason he wants the tax is to strangle the fossil fuel industry (as  Michael Tobis is much more blunt about around here).  That can’t happen if you give the taxes you take back to the people you taxed.  But that was not the point of my reference.
     
    Hansen and the more politically astute try to hide the ball.  But every once in a while, as here, they screw up and let the political truth slip into their advocacy.  Then you use their own words against them and wait for the cries of “out of context,” the words don’t mean what they say, you didn’t read it right….
     
    But the minimum amount of the tax Hansen proposes is exactly what I quoted him as saying.

  91. SimonH says:

    Marlowe #88: Thanks for the clarification. Could you indicate, to help me out, if it’s simply that I’m an aggregator of climate uncertainties as intimated by sceptics that makes me “septic”, or is it my expression of irritation at the disregard of the scientific method practised by some climate scientists that makes me “septic”, or is it that I don’t subscribe to climate action when neither the need for it is certain nor the effect of attempting mitigation is certain? Or perhaps I’m a “septic” because, like Jim Hansen, I perceive cap and trade, carbon emissions taxes and so forth as an abhorrent “Enron Mk. II”? Is it because I’m in agreement with Doug Keenan, that academic science is in places unacceptably lawless and that it needs a system of accountability with strict repercussions for malfeasance, that I’m a “septic”?
     
    Or is there another reason for the insult? I’d be eternally grateful for some guidance in this regard.
     
    Judith Curry recently, with I think admirable candour, acknowledged a discomfort (I think she described herself as “sensitive to”) with her own involvement as (what I would presume you’d also describe as) a “septic”, because in recognising and discussing publicly that there are indeed genuine paleo reconstruction questions requiring answers, that are not adequately being provided by Gavin, Tamino, Mann and so on, she may be adding fuel to the fire that burns under the pot in which not only climate science, but increasingly academic sciences more widely, have been cast. I think Judith’s position is that she holds the scientific method above personal ideologies, and I think this is the the gap that is widening before her, particularly recently having witnessed the 3-way comment discussion between RC, CA and BH.
     
    Personal ideologies don’t trump the scientific method. I fully appreciate that many climate scientists have personal ideologies that they believe with all their hearts. On many matters of environment and conservation, I’m an enthusiastic head-nodder and share their concerns for our world (which is why I’m at all interested in the subject in the first instance) but for me too, my personal beliefs are distinct from any scientific pursuit and if the truth is that the science cannot support my ideological assertion, then my ideology will have to go it alone. Scientific Method trumps all.

  92. William Newman says:

    re. Marlowe Johnson (#88): Choosing barnyard puns to describe one’s opponents doesn’t seem likely to convince people of anything except the complete triumph of your partisan passions over your good judgment. (Or, perhaps, your cynical assessment of the complete triumph of your target audience’s partisan passions over your target audience’s good judgment.)

    Long ago I used to follow some of the classic Usenet pseudoscience debates. I don’t remember the science folk choosing such terminology to label especially stubborn/dishonest/whatever pseudoscientists. Some of the science folk seemed pretty smart to me, too. Thus I doubt it was merely that they were all too stupid to come up with a rhetorical tactic which comes so naturally to progressives.

    re. Keith Kloor (#66): I have been largely cut off from TV and radio for a long time, so I don’t have a well-formed opinion of Limbaugh (or Fox), but to the extent I have an opinion, it’s fairly low. Still, my opinion would be distinctly lower if Limbaugh (or Fox) thought it was appropriate to refer to political opponents like “Greenpeace” with barnyard puns like “Greenpiss.” (As best I can tell from a bit of Googling of “greenpiss,” they don’t.) The right is guilty of stunningly awful naming stunts of its own — “crusade” for military operations in the mideast, anyone? — but as far as I know, gratuitous barnyard abuse is an aspect of corroding political dialogue where the left has taken the lion’s share of the glory.

  93. Marlowe Johnson says:

    #89
    There are many problems with tax and dividend, but what you describe isn’t one of them.  The biggest problem is how do you avoid windfalls and penalizing people who have a limited range of energy consumption options because of their economic circumstances?  Should a family living in Manhattan receive the same dividend as a family living in rural Ohio?

  94. PDA says:

    GaryM,
     
    Just admit you didn’t read the link. Then move the goalposts. It’s only decent.

  95. Shub says:

    Kloor,
    If Marlowe will not specify who his ‘septics’ are, defines them as those who are on the opposite side of the debate, and insists that the ‘septics’ listen to him because otherwise, the world would end…
    Why is it, we should ask, that no one is fundamentally convinced of global change? Because, if we were all fundamentally convinced, would we really be trying to take *legislative action* to solve this problem?
    Is is really because of Fred Singer?

  96. Marlowe Johnson says:

    #91
    Upon further reflection, I agree.  My bad.  To be clear though, for me this (blog conversation) is more about entertainment than it is about trying to convince people.  And I think that’s probably true for most people.  I don’t have any illusions that it’s beyond my powers of persuasion to convince the likes of SimonH, Shub, or others that hold similar views (i.e. global warming is a hoax).  Frankly, from my POV I’m more interested in discussing policy implications as that’s a more fertile ground for discussion precisely because it involves value judgments…
     
    #90
    It’s things like this that make my eyes glaze over Simon:
    “If you want to make world-changing policies, you have to show that the warming ““ such that it is ““ is unprecedented. Fail: It isn’t. You have to show that the climate is sensitive to increases in CO2 concentrations. Fail: You haven’t. You have to show that increases in CO2 will cause runaway global warming. Fail: You can’t. You have to show that costly mitigation will be effective. Fail: You can’t. You lose the battle because, despite laughable claims to the contrary, your catastrophic scenarios are not supported by science. Fail.”

  97. kdk33 says:

    Imagine tax and dividend a rousing success. We impose a BTU tax at the wellhead so steep that we all switch to wind/solar/whatever. Who then will pay the divident to offset the now higher cost of everything for the 60% that were supposed to benefit?

  98. GaryM says:

    PDA,
    It’s not enough just to read, you have to comprehend.  Since my attempt to help you do that was futile, let’s try it another way.
     
    How much was the tax Hansen was proposing?  Are there any clues in the article?

  99. GaryM says:

    PDA,
    For your further edification, that “gotcha” quote you posted?  Check my post (23) above.  But thanks for pointing it out to me anyway.

  100. SimonH says:

    Marlowe #95: I guess Shub and I are still stuck on the bit where the science doesn’t support the conclusion. Must admit that does kinda put a spanner in it. I ‘spect you’re right, there’s no convincing folk like us who, yanno, want the collective fiscal punishment to fit the ecological crime. And stuff.
     
    Call us old-fashioned.

  101. dhogaza says:

    arlowe #95: I guess Shub and I are still stuck on the bit where the science doesn’t support the conclusion. Must admit that does kinda put a spanner in it. I ‘spect you’re right, there’s no convincing folk like us who, yanno, want the collective fiscal punishment to fit the ecological crime. And stuff.

    Call us old-fashioned.”
     
    You can accept the science, and insist nothing be done.
     
    In other words, you can be honest.
     
    I would call that old-fashioned, and embrace it with hugs, raised mugs of beer, etc.
     

  102. dhogaza says:

    “Imagine tax and dividend a rousing success. We impose a BTU tax at the wellhead so steep that we all switch to wind/solar/whatever. Who then will pay the divident to offset the now higher cost of everything for the 60% that were supposed to benefit?”

    I have no idea, but it’s great that you put out your ideological objections to the science front and center.

    Why not go the full course and say, “I don’t care what science tells us, full steam ahead!  Damn the torpedoes”.

    It’s not too late to be honest.  In fact, you’ll be just like Kloor images me to be – “let humanity rot!”

  103. dhogaza says:

    “In my most humble opinion, D’s strategy defeats itself.  Trolls regenerate, so it’s better to use love and light.  Perhaps an ethologist could tell us how to deal with that issue in a more precise manner.  Perhaps an ecologist could try to hindcast the best ratio between trolls and troll-slayers.”

    Oh, blah-de-blah-blah.

    Our you not offended, Willard, by the fact that Fuller and Mosher have decided to cash in on a crime (stealing of e-mails) and have written a book from which they profit in which they try to destroy the career of leading climate scientists?

    Where’s your moral compass, dude?

  104. dhogaza says:

    This is, after all, what the press and anyone who pretends to be a journalist (as Kloor does) should be focused on.
     
    Crime, who profits from it, honesty vs. out-right deceit, etc.
     
    Yeah, it angers me.  It should anger everyone.
     
    Iraq WMDs, remember?   If Kloor had had a blog back then, he’d be tch-tching me just as he does now.
     
    But they didn’t exist.  Remember that.   I might be rude at times, but they didn’t exist.
     

  105. dhogaza says:

    “Others, like Steve Mac are not so easy to categorize (is he even an skeptic?)”

    Pretend he isn’t a skeptic.  Then how do you accept his personal vendetta against virtually every climate scientist who has gained any personal publicity?

    Perhaps McI fully accepts the science, now, in your view, does that exonerate his efforts to destroy careers by “proving” that well-known scientists are engaged in fraud?

    I actually believe he knows the science is sound, and that’s why he’s effective – it’s easier to lie about stuff you accept, after all.

  106. PDA says:

    GaryM: That tax will be paid by consumers not only when they buy their own energy, but when they buy anything else that requires energy to create, transport, market, whatever.

    Hansen: The rising carbon price will affect almost everything.

    GaryM: It’s not enough just to read, you have to comprehend.

    QED.

  107. dhogaza says:

    ” As I understand things, there are some big unknowns laying out there, in terms of climate sensitivity and projected impacts. Is that cause for inaction? No. But nor is it a slam dunk to make the case for climate catastrophe later in the century.”

    Nor is it a slam dunk to make the case that it won’t be serious, and given that science – despite rumors to the contrary, about the most conservative (in the non-political sense) profession out there – keeps getting overrun by observations, it is no surprise that scientists increase their warning of looming difficulty.

    So, Keith, in your mind, what impact has science decided it “lessened” since, say, the consensus in 2000?

    Oh, and as we speak, the arctic basin is largely filled with slush.

  108. dhogaza says:

    “In this case, I thought it was illustrative to let him spout off. But you’re right: time to move on.”

    See, I was right when I said that he was posting my increasingly obnoxious posts in order to make science supporters look bad.

    Ye of little faith.

    I’d apologize for gaming him if I thought he was really honest about climate science.

  109. dhogaza says:

    “Well, dhogaza did at #20, Keith. You’re welcome to your own interpretation, of course, but you can’t act like dhogaza hasn’t already tried to explain.”

    Well, yes he can … and did!  And probably will continue to do so.  All the better …

    <blockquote>Why is the remark of a “poor anonymous” commenter, offensive as you may think it is, the subject of an entire post, though?</blockquote>

    The need for demonization, of course.

    As far as “anonymous goes”

    Don Baccus
    5309 SE Lafayette, Portland, Oregon, 97206
    503-788-5222

    Because, apparently, for all his sophistication, Keith Kloor hasn’t learned to use Google.

  110. dhogaza says:

    Oh, and before y’all start snail-mailing me threats, rotten fish, etc, remember that though the postal service is dying, their law enforcement types are very active, and postal law quite severe and unforgiving.
     
    And if you show up on my porch, I’m calling 9/11.
     

  111. dhogaza says:

    William Newman:
     
    <blockquote>dhogaza also wrote “Lindzen is on record as saying he doesn’t believe in what might be labeled “˜catastrophic tobacco smoking’.  He suggests that the risks are greatly exaggerated to the point where they can be ignored.”</blockquote>

    Umm … though you believe that you’re discrediting me, the fact is that he *is* on record with this belief.

    Google left to the reader (or just e-mail him directly, AFAIK he hasn’t backed down from this belief, though if he has, I’d certainly applaud him!)

  112. dhogaza says:

    OK, this ghoulish rabid dog needs to get some sleep so I can infect some poor victims with rabies and, a few days from now, eat their corpses in good cheer.
     
    Wow, an entire thread devoted to demonizing me!  I’m still impressed, Kloor.
     
    I still see no evidence that you think those who are taking legal (including criminal) action against legitimate scientists are as heinous as me.
     

  113. dhogaza says:

    “(#57,) poor anonymous dhgogoza is being demonized. Now you’re the victim, too, but I think you’re right that you are enjoying it.”

    Oh, and for the record, I did not claim to be the victim.  I said it’s an *honor* to be demonized by you.  Not “poor me”, but rather the opposite.

    That’s a statement about you, not me.  And, yes, it’s meant to be insulting.

    You really do have a difficult time parsing the english language, don’t you?

  114. Chris S. says:

    Further to my point at #38 and demonstrated by later responses. Dhogaza’s ‘style’ of commentary (excessive vituperitiveness, holding of his own personal moral high ground or whatever other accusations have been thrown at him in this thread) lead to many finding it easy to dismiss any point he makes as, well “he’s angry” thus no need to respond other than to say ‘don’t be rude’.
    If dhogaza was to put his points in a polite manner the default option would be to address them if possible, or ignore them if not (and risk being called out if the latter option is taken – further avoidance will after a while make people angry and then the points can therefore dismissed as ‘people are being rude to me’).
    Personally I don’t think the dhogaza’s of the blogosphere are positive contributors, but I also think they are less negative than those who (very politely of course) sow mistruths and errors and flaunt their ignorance as if some kind of badge of honour.

  115. Chris S. says:

    William #91: “Choosing barnyard puns to describe one’s opponents doesn’t seem likely to convince people of anything except the complete triumph of your partisan passions over your good judgment.”
    Compare with such blogpost titles as “The team defends paleo-phrenology” perhaps?
    (I know hockey-team isn’t a barnyard pun but it has led to an easy casual dismissal of views of people who have shown they have studied the subject but whose contributions can be waved away with a nice airy ‘team-member’ appelation)
     

  116. Chris S. says:

    (Addendum to the above – anyone else amused that responses to the first comment in that thread had to be heavily moderated due to their descent into a debate on the merits of homeopathy?)

  117. Marco says:

    GaryM: sciencespeak too difficult for you? We don’t know exactly how species alter, and yet we do know how they alter. We use words like likely and probably, because there is no 100% certainty. Note also that the IPCC piece actually DOES explain interglacials. The issue is that we do not know really much about the sequence of events and the exact magnitudes.

    Regarding your question 8: when you leave out half the equation (the green check), you are being dishonest and come with a ridiculous number. If my taxes increase to pay for universal health care, but then I also have lower health care insurance costs, just mentioning the tax is outright dishonest.

  118. Marco says:

    SimonH @90:
    What is scientific malfeasance exactly? We need a rather good explanation there, since there are quite a few ‘skeptic’ scientists who are very likely to get caught into a fishnet for malfeasance that some would like to cast to catch the likes of Mike Mann.

    And Judith Curry is waaaaayyy over her head at RC. Her genuine questions about paleoclimate reconstructions turned out to be Montford’s questions/claims (or so she claims), and several of those were demonstrably false. It’s not very smart to package genuine questions (and which ones would that be, exactly?) in a narrative filled with errors, distortions and lies.

  119. GaryM says:

    Gee, some folks get really touchy when you use the words of their heroes against them.  I will let the words of James Hansen and Real Climate speak for themselves.

  120. Marco says:

    William Newman: you looked for one insult, didn’t find it, and then declare Limbaugh innocent? Perhaps this list of quotes makes it clear how Limbaugh insults:
    http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/rushlimbaugh/a/limbaughquotes.htm

    Oh, and I guess using econazi and ecoterrorist labels for greenpeace and the Sierra Club are just fine, too?

  121. SimonH says:

    Marco #105: Which of Montford/Curry’s questions/claims are demonstrably false, erroneous, distortions or lies? Since RC comment moderation is as it is – the reason the climateaudit website was born in the first place – you have to have an inquisitive mind and follow the trail, Marco. All the ducking and diving from Tamino and Gavin is healthily addressed at climateaudit, where Steve McIntyre performs a thorough Penn & Teller on the illusions being performed over at RC. You should go read the last 3 or so CA posts. They’re entertaining, and they’re witheringly poignant.

  122. SimonH says:

    Marco #107: Are you trying to lead us into the realm of ad hominem tu quoque? Is this somehow supposed to be the framing of a defence of ad hominem abusive? It’s insufferable from either side and should be roundly condemned, as William Newman roundly condemns it.

  123. Marco says:

    SimonH: I think Gavin quite aptly showed in his comments which mistakes Judith Curry made. But if you want me to repeat them:
    1. TAR more confidence than AR4 on the paleoclimate reconstructions? No it isn’t. Just read the two.
    2. Mann2008 hockeystick still relies on tree rings and PCA? Wrong, even without any of the problematic proxies (that includes Tiljander) AND treerings there’s a hockeystick shapen, and there’s no PCA involved.
    3. MBH oh so dependent on the particular type of PCA MBH used? Gee, tell von Storch and Huybers. Or Wahl & Amman. Or the North committee
    4. MBH counter to the prevailing views at the time? Not even wrong.
    5. Deepclimate has made several lengthy posts on how McIntyre’s claims about the IPCC graphs being misleading is…misleading in itself. It’s quite amazing you have to blow up a graph ten times to be able to see the difference that would be observed if McIntyre’s ‘required’ change is introduced.

    But the wost thing about it all is that Curry claimed Tamino made mistakes and distorted things, and at no point has ever been willing to show where SHE believes Tamino made mistakes or distorted things. Her defence? It’s no me who says this, it’s Steve and Andrew…

  124. Marco says:

    SimonH:
    I think you are trying to defend the indefensible wrt William Newman. He starts with condemnation, and then ends with the “but they do it more” claim, after falsely defending Limbaugh as someone who does not use insults.

  125. kdk33 says:

    Marco,

    Healthcare and Decarbonization are very very different.

    The healthcare question is: who pays and how.  The underlying service (healthcare) stays the same.

    Decarbonization is: replacing low cost fossil fuel energy with high cost green energy.  This isn’t about who pays, it’s about how much the underlying service (energy) costs.

    The move from cheap to expensive energy is, by definition, costly.  Put another way, if the program is not costly, there will be no incentive to switch. 

    You may think the cost is justified.  but, it can’t be done so that 60% benefit.  It isn’t a jobs program, economic stimulus, or social justice.

  126. Shub says:

    Our friends who insist on the peer-reviewed literature and its importance, feel rejuvenated from blog comments at RealClimate. Heh.
     
    Dear Marco
    If you are arguing that the TAR did not place all that much of ‘confidence’ in the hockey stick, and that all such high confidence in the hockey stick originated elsewhere, and in the media (?), you have lost the game period.
     
    The hockey stick and the spaghetti graphs are the only piece of real-world evidence to say that temperatures are highest in the past century, in the past 1000 years.
     
    If the most ardent warmists say that *skeptics* have exaggerated the importance of this statement, I would say on their behalf – “yes, we did that, in a bout of excitement – we thought you guys said the hockey stick was important. Since you have clarified, via the IPCC, that you actually meant it was not, we totally concede that we have lost the argument”.

  127. William Newman says:

    Marlowe Johnson (#95): Wow, you reflect fast! One of the folks most instrumental in ending the US peacetime draft is supposed to have said something like “your objective in an argument should be not to convince your opponent, but to provide him with arguments with which he can later convince himself.” I’m not sure how often I have ever succeeded at this, but even once is nice.

    Chris S. (#102): I was not trying to criticize mockery. Marlowe Johnson could have engaged in a bit of mockery by riffing on “summer soldiers and sunshine patriots” to coin a phrase “summer skeptics” for those alleged climate pseudoskeptics who he believes only apply their skepticism when it suits them. If he had, I might dispute the analogy, but I would not have argued against the terminology the same way I did against “septic”. (Conversely if Marlowe Johnson had coined the term “climate denier leprous pigdogs” for the same concept, then I *would* have argued against the terminology the same way as I did.) On Lucia’s blog when I criticized Carrot Eater’s arguments for “septic” namecalling, I remarked that IPCC critics could choose the label “pusbag” for people like Carrot Eater who justify using gratuitously disgusting imagery on the theory that they’re pushing back against misbehavior by IPCC critics. Such a “pusbag” label would be another hypothetical example of what I’m criticizing. McIntyre referring to paleophrenology is not an example of what I was referring to. McIntyre is being scornful, but he’s appealing to technical scorn, not appealing to visceral disgust. It’s comparable to calling IPCC critics “flat earthers.” It’s not comparable to calling IPCC critics “leechsnot plague zombie lickers”. We may disagree whether appeals to scorn can be convincing arguments. But perhaps we can at least agree that unlike appeals to visceral disgust, appeals to scorn are fairly normal behavior when people, even nonpartisan people, are arguing about science-vs.-pseudoscience questions.

    Marco (#107) and (#123): “declare Limbaugh innocent” and “falsely defending Limbaugh as someone who does not use insults”? Maybe you should reread what I wrote. I don’t know much about Limbaugh, and from what I know, I don’t think that much of him. I do see Limbaugh’s critics compaining about him on the web. Largely from its absence in those complaints, I have the impression that labelling rivals with stupid barnyard punning terms of abuse was not one of his many faults. I checked that impression by Googling an obvious barnyard pun and finding that it seems not to be used by Limbaugh, by talking heads on Fox, or by other people of such public prominence. It wouldn’t surprise me if Limbaugh badly overuses “econazi” and/or “ecoterrorist,” and I’d agree that’s bad. But referring to one’s opponents as “econazi” (or, for that matter, “denier” or “Uncle Tom” or “apartheid” or “the Inquisition”) is not the “barnyard abuse” that I was specifically referring to. What I had in mind is decorating one’s terminology with pointless crudity, as when “skeptic” is promoted to “septic,” “Tea Party” to “teabaggers,” or “male chauvinist” to “male chauvinist pig.”

    (I have also argued separately against the different “econazi”-style argumentative misbehavior several times before. I’ve even made such arguments here on C-A-S if I remember correctly. But the arguments that I make against “denier” are somewhat different than the arguments that I made against “septic.” And I’m pretty sure that I’ve never rested my argument on the claim that middlebrow openly hyperpartisan right-wing entertainers like Limbaugh use “econazi” less often than ostensibly highbrow ostensibly nonpartisan ostensibly scientific left-wingers use “denier.”)

  128. AMac says:

    Marco #122 on Judith Curry’s mistakes —
     
    2. Mann2008 hockeystick still relies on tree rings and PCA? Wrong, even without any of the problematic proxies (that includes Tiljander) AND treerings there’s a hockeystick shapen, and there’s no PCA involved.
     
    PCA, I suspect Curry is wrong and Gavin is right on that narrow point, but it’s unclear.  If Curry’s point is taken more broadly to refer to “dodgy statistics” (she said she was writing from an airport or something), she is on to something.  But then yeah, she should have said it that way.
     
    On Tiljander, Gavin’s answers vary between “evasive” and “incorrect.”  His riposte to Curry referred to the third corrected expanded version of Mann08’s Supplementary Figure 8a, quietly placed on Prof. Mann’s website in November 2009.  Gavin is not referring to the original erroneous version that was published with the paper in September 2008 (and that is still the only Fig. S8a on the PNAS.org website).  So as concerns Mann08 and the peer-reviewed literature, Curry was correct.  And even v3 of Fig. S8a is quite ambiguous on this issue.  For more background, check Gavin’s thread on Tiljander at Collide-a-scape last month and the links therein.

  129. Marco says:

    kdk33:
    The same was said when there was a shift from horses to automobiles: too expensive. Of course, we all have already forgotten that fossil fuels still get plenty of subsidies, and received loads of subsidies in the past.

  130. Marco says:

    Shub:
    I was noting that TAR and AR4 do not have a different confidence level for the ‘hockeystick’. Nor does the North report. Both contrary to Curry’s…errr…Montford’s (or McIntyre’s?) claims. You try to put words in my mouth that are not there.

  131. SimonH says:

    Marco, read: this | this, including the comments. There is thorough analysis and review of the illusions and tricks employed. Do yourself a favour (and everyone else) and cut to the end of the story. You cannot garner the extent of the discussion by limiting yourself simply to consuming the heavily moderated and [snipped] comments at RealClimate. There is more to know.
     
    If Curry erred at all, I think the extent of her mistake is in attempting to use recollection instead of direct reference while travelling and not having the book to hand. The slack has been thoroughly taken up by Steve McIntyre at ClimateAudit with reposts and comments.

  132. Marco says:

    William: I guess we can stop any discussion when you call “greenpiss” a barnyard insult, and econazi and ecoterrorist are not. Or rather, that one insult is worse than the other.

  133. Marco says:

    AMac: regardless of where the supplementary figure is located, it does take to task the *claim* that the shape of the reconstructions depends on tree rings. Which is the claim by Curry/Montford (still don’t know who exactly supports the claim). One would think someone would take the available data and do the actual analysis. But no, it’s better to make the claim (“There’s still tree rings in there! So it’s wrong!”) than to show the result.

  134. kdk33 says:

    Marco,

    Which act of legislation mandated a transition from horses to automobiles?  If one wasn’t needed, does that tell you anything.

  135. Marco says:

    SimonH: after the Yamal kerfuffle, I have absolutely no reason anymore to put any fidelity on McIntyre and his analyses and claims.

  136. Marco says:

    kdk33: the exchange of CFCs was also claimed to be too expensive. The cleaning of emitted gases was claimed to be too expensive. All examples where “boohoo, it’s gonna cost too much” were still followed by legislation. That better for you?

  137. Shub says:

    Marco
     
    The switch to more expensive CFC alternatives has not made one bit of  difference to the world we live in. We are speaking of hard facts, right.
     
    And about the IPCC’s confidence levels in the hockey stick – the issue is pretty simple. I am sorry for taking your gurus’ words and putting it in ‘your mouth’. If, as Gavin says, that irrespective of past temperatures, temperatures reached in the current climatic regime will be dependant on different variables, and as Michael Mann says, that the IPCC (under his authorship!!) overemphasized the hockey stick – the solution is simple. Do not put anything from paleoclimate in the SPM, just stick to the models and be done with it.

  138. William Newman says:

    Marco (#131), I don’t claim that “greenpiss” is worse than “econazi.” I have claimed that “greenpiss” is roughly analogous to “septic” and that “econazi” is roughly analogous to “denier.” And as I mentioned earlier, I’ve criticized IPCC elsewhere for “denier.” I expect that any comparison of my criticism of “denier” there to my criticism of “septic” here will reveal that I consider groundless literal accusations like “denier” to be far worse than obviously-figurative insults like “septic.”

    What I was trying to say about Keith Kloor’s point about corroding political dialogue was merely that “septic” exemplifies a distinct type of corrosion which seems to be actively spread by the left. Whether or not it’s a particularly important type doesn’t really matter for my point. My point is that if the left can be seen to be actively spreading a distinct type of corrosion, it is difficult to reconcile that fact with the narrative that the virtuous left loses the virtuous purity of its virtuous discourse only as a virtuously innocent passive victim of the vile contamination actively spread by the vileness of vile progressive hate objects like the vile Limbaugh.

  139. Barry Woods says:

    Excommunication. or heretics on the stake?
    http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2010/07/curry_jumps_the_shark.php

    One scientist stands up for the scientific process, and gets torn to pieces, to encourage the others not to?

  140. laursaurus says:

    re. Marlowe Johnson (#88): Choosing barnyard puns to describe one’s opponents doesn’t seem likely to convince people of anything except the complete triumph of your partisan passions over your good judgment. (Or, perhaps, your cynical assessment of the complete triumph of your target audience’s partisan passions over your target audience’s good judgment.)
    I started a very similar post, William. But to me it’s worse than “barnyard”. It’s a typical hallmark of the Left to devolve into adolescent vulgarity. “Tea Baggers” is another perfect example of resorting to gutter-level language to mock political opponents. Marlowe admits that she is only interested in amusing herself. So explaining how counter-productive her behavior is just as pointless as trying get through to Don “Dhogaza”Baccus.
    How do you discourage anti-social behvior? Probably by ignoring it.  As Dennis Prager says, “I prefer clarity to agreement.” Now we discovered it’s a waste of time to read or respond to the non-sense they post.

  141. Marlowe Johnson says:

    #139
    I’m interested in intelligent discussion and recognize that my use of the term ‘septic’ was counter-productive in that regard.  Does that mean that I don’t think that there are many people who comment on these blogs that have no interest in such a discussion? Not at all, but it doesn’t serve any useful purpose to argue the point.
    So lets get back to the topic at hand shall we?  What do you think are the pro’s and con’s of Hansen’s  tax and dividend proposal?  How does it compare to alternative approaches?

  142. SimonH says:

    Marco #134: “the Yamal kerfuffle”
     
    Errr.. “kerfuffle”? I have it down as a “Yamal implosion” here. Makes for very interesting reading indeed, actually, and was one of the first blog posts I ever read after being banned from RealClimate for asking too many questions.

  143. William Newman says:

    Hmm, I hadn’t noticed dhogaza’s (#110) “Google left to the reader” which I assume means roughly “Googling for support for my claim is left as an exercise for the reader.”

    It is unclear to me how anyone can think that it’s my job to hunt until I find a suitable source for his claims. Good behavior would be giving the source at least in the second post (when claiming “on record” fercryinoutloud). It seems to me that absolute bare minimal behavior would be giving an explicit source now.

    dhogaza also suggests “or just e-mail him [i.e., Lindzen] directly.” I am taken aback by the marvellous workings of dhogaza’s mind here: what a trippy way to back up a claim of “on record!”

    I very much dislike indulging bizarre trollery at the level of not only throwing slime to see if it sticks, but when the slime doesn’t stick, then demanding as the troll’s prerogative that others must search for possible justification for the slime. But alas, it so happens that long ago I spontaneously took for myself the step of Googling dhogaza’s claims. As best I recall, I was motivated by my own disbelief that dhogaza would blithely expect that an MIT professor on record with dhogaza’s claimed views could maintain any respect from his colleagues. Now it seems in retrospect that in my incredulity I tricked myself into taking the same step that would later be bizarrely demanded by the troll as his right.

    As I commented at the time
    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/2010/07/01/the-good-the-bad-the-ugly/#comment-9922
    I did not find a suitable source for dhogaza’s claims. I did find (and link to) a vague paraphrase by a _Newsweek_ reporter which could be the original rumor that inspired dhogaza’s claims. I also gave a link to another IPCC advocate who had drawn inspiration similar to dhogaza’s from the same _Newsweek_ source. And I wrote about why dhogaza’s version, beautifully PC though it is, would not be justified if the underlying actual literally correct fact is just that _Newsweek_ chose to publish a deliciously suggestive vague paraphrase .

  144. kdk33 says:

    Marco,

    Actually, I dont’ know what CFC’s (or horses, or cigarettes) have to do with CO2.

    I’m not claiming anything is *too* expensive.  That depends on how you judge the risk from global warming – judge it high, you’re willing to pay a lot, and vice versa.

    I’m claiming that the people peddling decarbonization as jobs/stimulus/social justice are either disingeuous or just plain wrong.  If we legislate a shift low cost to high cost energy we will all pay a price.   60% of the people aren’t gonna benefit, it isn’t a jobs or a stimulus plan  – those claims are silly. 

    I’m also suspect the many people favor something like cap and trade or cap and dividend for reasons other than CO2 (wealth redestribution, addiction-to-foreign-oil, end-of-oil, whatever), but are using CO2 as convenient cover. 

    Unilateral decarbonization is not only ineffective, it is reckless policy (IMO).

    I would be very interested in seeing someone put forth a realistic global decarbonization plan (how will it work, how will it be enforced, what about the thirld world, which technologies will be used) with a sober estimate of the costs and risks (both monetary and political – do we go to war with cheaters).  Only then can we decide if it costs too much.

    BTW, I don’t doubt AGW.  I’m skeptical of CAGW and think certainty is way overstated.  I think AGW is important and we should pay attention.  I think that, for now, the cure (global decarbonization) is worse than the disease.  When faced with uncertainties, there is considerable value in delay because things resolved with time.  I think our best strategy, for the foreseeable future, is to do nothing. 

    Perhaps you can change my mind.

  145. GaryM says:

    One commenter claims he “gamed” the moderator with his vituperative behavior, diverting not just this thread, but a previous one as well.  Another uses sleazy language to describe opponents.  Well, Rush Limbaugh uses mean words too.
     
    Tom Fuller said above, “At the end of the day they just delight in distracting anybody from a conversation about the real issues. It has to be all about them.”  But I believe that Dhogaza’s claim that he was “gaming” Keith is rather more descriptive of the general tactics of the climate change advocates here, and on other blogs.  It’s not delight, it’s intention.
     
    This is the internet version of the filibuster.  The kind of debate Keith Kloor seeks to generate on this blog is not one the advocates of massive government intervention want to have.  How do you derail it where ever you find it?  Insult, evade, start arguments about the meanings of simple words…
     
    There are plenty of other blogs where the comments are filled with sophomoric insults and arguments worthy of a middle school debate team.   It will be too bad if this one degenerates to that level too.
     
    The public at large (you know, the voters they all have so much contempt for), are moving further away from the statist paradise that was supposed to get a boost from Copenhagen.  The climate change advocates blame the skeptics for its failure, particularly Steve McIntye, Judith Curry et al.  They are going to demonize them more than they ever have before (and any who are similarly skeptical) to try to quell dissent from the “consensus” as much as possible. I don’t think it is coincidence that Real Climate is finally engaging the arguments of The Hockey Stick Illusion, in however a backhanded manner.
     
    Why?  Because the next two elections in the US are the real issue, and in fact the only issue for the advocates who know what they are doing.  Copenhagen was a slap in the face, a wake up call.  If the advocates face a conservative Congress next year, then 2 years later a conservative administration, there is a good chance the debate will be over.

  146. JimR says:

    Well I’m not sure I agree with GaryM on the political motives (I just hate to go there) but I think it is obvious that there are certain people who don’t participate but attempt to distract these discussions. I’ve really enjoyed Keith’s blog over the past several months I’ve followed Collide-a-scape and I think it has more two sided, on topic discussions than any other blog I read. And other than a few rather blatant exceptions (from characters well known in the blogosphere) this blog has enjoyed little of the school yard behavior and personal attacks that are so prevalent on many climate related blogs. I’ve never understood why so many climate blogs including the infamous one run by “working climate scientists”  don’t moderate their supporters who get out of hand with name calling and childish behavior.
     
    I suppose the obvious answer is that these people don’t want such two sided discussions to actually take place, probably believing there is only one side – theirs. But the failure of Copenhagen and the shelving of this year’s climate bill in the US Congress lead us back to the question: Isn’t it time for AGW supporters to change their direction and tactics?

  147. SimonH says:

    I’m also far less interested in contemplating political motivation or apportioning political failings. I have my theories – which don’t amount to global conspiracies or any such thing – about how we have come to be where we are with a prominent and steam-rolling climate science, but climate sciences and their associated debates in my opinion are far too young to be forming policy at this time, and there are too many red flags and other markers indicating that there are problems with some of the mechanisms by which assertions in the field are made, and are made to stick (or were once).
     
    It’s true to say that I’m not unhappy about the cap & trade bill falling on its face, but the reason I’m not crying has nothing at all to do with my political or environmental ideologies and everything to do with the concerns I’ve indicated above with regard to the integrity of the science upon which the policy is founded.
     
    I’m faced with something of a dilemma. On the one hand I know that many AGW[+] contributors are eager to move on to discuss hypothetical policy, ignoring the core outstanding issues with reconstructions.. and I don’t really want to interfere with that, because I know it’s enjoyable*. But at the same time, I’m burdened with a responsibility to point out that AGW[-] contributors like myself have clear and significant reasons to dismiss policy which is itself founded on a fallacy of presumption that the uncertainties that DO exist DON’T exist.
     
    * I spend hours with friends in the pub discussing what we’ll spend our millions on, when we win the lottery, fully in the knowledge that none of us buy lottery tickets. We do it for the fantasy; because it’s fun to dream.

  148. laursaurus says:

    Jim 145,
    I second that! You summed the situation up nicely.
    And you’re right that the rest of the blogs, especially the pro-AGW “scientist” blogs are extremely hostile. Should an unsuspecting victim innocently initiate any reasonable, mature discussion with a comment that survives the censors, the zealots launch a blitz attack. The sadistic delight of burning the heretic at the stake is their form of entertainment.
    It’s not just RC. Deltoid will continue to torture the victim by dedicating an entire thread for the purpose.
    If you have the stomach it takes to witness the brutality, read through the archives. Barry was the most recent sacrafice. Read the archives if you have the stomach for it.
    Judith Curry doubled down recently by posting on RC and CP. It’s difficult to watch.

  149. Barry Woods says:

    It has toned down a ‘bit’ recently, just the arrival of one or two more moderate voice, and Jeff Harvey has toned it down as well..

    latest post there..
    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/07/report_from_the_guardian_debat.php
    This article in the Times Higer Education Supplement may be interesting to many.. They are not generally sceptical, far from it.
    http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=412726&c=2
    The Danish windfarm energy experience described may be a lesson, that I hope the UK learns.. Wind is expensive, and only half a solution, ie the other half is the need is for energy storage.
    Regardless of AGW or not a transition (if only for energy security) to non fossil fukes would be desireable..
    The problem withthe current rush/subsidy to green energy, is the technology is not yet mature enough to take up the demand. And a few will get rich (due to subsidy) at the expense of the poor.
    So the public face , higher energy costs and CO2 taxes without the means to fully replace the old.
    If the sensitivity of AGW proves to be low, then the rush, is just an uncessary damaging expense.

    ——————————–

    I thought a while ago, why keep posting on you own ‘tribes’ website and try to engage a bit.

    It took a while to find, pro websites, that would not cut me of, edit or delete me, or let me comment and then notlet me respond to other commentors, ‘taking me down’ and the natives can still be very ‘hostile’
    But as the politicians are going to do zero for a year or 2, the ‘rush’ pressure to ‘do something!’ amongst the bloggers must ease of a bit..

    ie why the need to  keep shouting people down, if the politicians are going to do nothing for a few years.

    It only takes a few people to ruin a blog, maybe a few more can raise the tone, as I said about the Guardian denate, it was non hostile, sceptics and pro did talk, afterwards, drink together.  Fairly obviouls, for example, that Steve Mcintyre, is not the be-horned, denying evil , fossil fuel shill sceptic, that some would paint him as.

    Time to talk?

  150. JimR says:

    Barry, time to talk? Absolutely. Can it happen? I’m not sure. I’ve been following the climate blogs since the founding of RC and this ugly feeding frenzy mentality has gone on so long I wonder if it can change. It is obvious that a lot of these types take great pleasure in their insults and I’m sure they don’t want to stop. Most blog participants probably can’t even grasp the issues McIntyre brings up so it is much easier to paint him with red horns and call him names.
     
    Keith started the Judith Curry discussion with the question if anyone on the skeptical side would reach out for bridge building in the manner she has done. In retrospect it’s painfully obvious that those on the skeptical/lukewarmer side have been looking for just such a discussion and welcomed it. The problem all along was the CAGW tribe was never willing to accept such a discussion.  Your recent foray into Deltoid territory is too typical. It would be amazing if first hand reports of such a debate were greeted with the attacks you received if it wasn’t on Lambert’s blog. But he’s such minor player what about supposedly serious blogs run by climate scientists such as RC? Surprisingly the discussions aren’t much more mature than a Deltoid type blog as exampled by Judith Curry’s recent posts.
     
    It’s now obvious climate policy isn’t going to happen tomorrow so there is time to discuss the science. I doubt the outcome of the science will radically change, but up to this point anyone questioning any aspect has been attacked and smeared, and this behavior continues across the blogosphere as evidenced by the treatment of Judith Curry. Ironically these people call others anti-science.   ;-0
     
    Laz – thanks for the kind words. I followed Barry’s link and made a rare visit to Deltoid. Except for the dates and Barry’s account of the debate I thought I was reading the same post the last time I visited there. Judith Curry showed a lot of courage visiting CP and her reception was not surprising. But even though I’ve followed RC on and off for many years I still have trouble understanding why RC maintains such low standards of behavior.

  151. laursaurus says:

    Barry,
    I caught up with the Guardian Debate thread on Deltoid. Notice Tim coldly ignored your pleas for mercy? He just stand back and enjoys the show, it seems. Sunspot came like a knight-in-shining armor and diverted the herd. She(he) is actually a better comparison to Dhogaza, than you are.  But there are some significant differences between C-a-S and Deltoid. Keith is an exceptionally talented moderator and actively engages in the comments.  I’m probably going to be scolded for discussing issues on other blogs. 
    So I just want to add this.As a mom of boys,  I’ve discovered the effect of acknowleding the positive. It’s easy to just complain and criticize the poorly run blogs.
    C-a-S is an example of  a uniquely great blog . My compliments to Keith.

  152. Keith Kloor says:

    Sorry for the radio silence, folks. Been down with a nasty summer flu since Monday. Just starting to feel human again.

    Look for a Judith Curry related post early next week.  The recent fracas will be addressed but not as a rehash. Meanwhile, new post up tomorrow AM.

  153. Barry Woods says:

    Tim hasn’t posted on his blog for a couple of weeks… Is he on holiday. Maybe he has not noticed what is going on?

    Or has he reached a CAGW  ‘tipping point’ 😉
    Ie. Oh, the sceptics/lukewarmers ‘might’ be right? 😉

    Look at Richard Black (BBC’s) – He is still on a mission.
    Think of the ‘sinking islands’ he says, excusing the activists bad  childish insulting behaviour..

    How to convince Saudia Arabia, flush their nameplate down the toilet. How would that EVER persuade them to do what they want…

    childish.
    .
    Yet the BBC still lets this activist journalist work for the BBC, where he is supposed to be impartial…

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/07/the_apologies_issued_by_two.html#comments

    “At the convention’s annual two-week session in June in Bonn, activists removed the nameplate of the Saudi Arabian delegation from the conference hall, broke it, put it inside a toilet bowl and took a bunch of souvenir photographs.

  154. Keith Kloor says:

    Oh, and laursaurus, your generous praise is appreciated, but you are way too kind.  I don’t think I’m doing anything exceptional here. If I can provide a forum for some constructive exchanges, then I’m happy to do so. I recognize this is not always (often?) the case, but in the times it is, we can get some decent threads going.  Thanks for your kind words.

  155. Barry Woods says:

    Exceptional compared to most blogs. no. ie decent normal moderation.

    Unusual compared to ‘most’ CAGW pro  climate related blogs yes… 😉

  156. laursaurus says:

    I’m looking forward to calmly discussing Judith Curry’s appearance on RC and CP this past week.
    She made quite a splash that rippled throughout the blogosphere! I am once again blown away by the venous attacks from many of her colleagues. A new Deltoid post appeared today in her honor, devoted to yet another personal take down. Stoat beat them to the punch announcing she had “jumped the shark.” Fortunately, a few blogs have lended her support.
    The following blog especially got under my skin. I find it a crying shame when women stab each other in the back. http://climatechangepsychology.blogspot.com/2010/07/judith-curry-is-embarrassment-to-all.html

    Since from it’s beginning a politician took up the case of CAGW alarm, I wonder if Judith Curry will suffer the same fate as Sarah Palin? I doubt they know each other, but hey! Somebody might start a rumor. Watch it go viral! 

  157. GaryM says:

    I write a post decrying the insults and diversions of climate change advocates, and the next couple posts agree that the tactics are intentional but qualify it with:  ” Well I’m not sure I agree with GaryM on the political motives” and “I’m also far less interested in contemplating political motivation or apportioning political failings.”
     
    Fine so far, but then we get another incident of liberal Tourettes:  “It’s true to say that I’m not unhappy about the cap & trade bill falling on its face, but the reason I’m not crying has nothing at all to do with my political or environmental ideologies and everything to do with the concerns I’ve indicated above with regard to the integrity of the science upon which the policy is founded.”
     
    So we shouldn’t question the politics or ideology of those who are attacking skeptics, but we must differentiate ourselves from those “other” skeptics whose opinions are governed by their ideology.  Seriously?
     
    Just who are these skeptics who don’t care about the science, and are governed by their ideology?  My skepticism, and that of every other conservative skeptic I know, is not a result of ideology, but of a firm belief that the science is nowhere near as certain as the advocates are claiming. And my understanding of their tactics and policy choices is also not a result of my ideology,  but of decades of experience with this type of advocacy.  Ad hominem attacks, the politicization of science, the demonizing of opponents, questioning their intelligence, did not start with climate science.
     
    And there is nothing inconsistent between this and my arguments regarding the motivations of the advocates.  I do not claim that the climate advocates believe the Earth is warming because of their politics.  I claim their politics explains their choice of tactics and remedies, and may bias the conduct of their science.
     
    The stakes of this debate couldn’t be higher, and it is a long way from over.  You liberal and moderate skeptics may want to stop talking about your conservative allies the same way your liberal climate opponents talk about you.  If you can, group think of any kind is difficult to overcome.

  158. SimonH says:

    Gary (#156), I was merely setting out my own stall. I wasn’t criticising your ideology or making either presumptions or assertions of political motivation. I was simply, in recognition of your perspective, setting out mine and demonstrating that differing political ideologies can and do frequently share a sceptical view of climate science.
     
    Although thankfully it is diminishing, the vitriolic accusation of “deniarrr!” has been reinforced by claims of ideological subtext. The ad hominem circumstantial attacks on sceptics from most of the dominant AGW[+] commentators have been that sceptics are all right-wingers, in the pay of Big Oil, and similar, relentless argumenta diminuere.
     
    You raise an important consideration with regard to the political motivations of the scientists most fervently pushing the “science is settled, let’s play policy!” (or perhaps the “stop looking up my sleeves and pick a card!”) meme. I try and fail to resist drawing conclusions on motive. I’m probably as guilty as any AGW[+] is, of making the leap from disputing that the science is “in” to accusing them of politicising and polluting the scientific process for ideological reasons.
     
    Of course in the case of Jim Hansen, he will himself admit willingly that he’s an advocate scientist. Given some of Schneider’s more popular quotes, to paraphrase a certain ICO, it would be difficult to imagine more cogent prima facie evidence of purposeful perversion of the scientific method specifically for the purpose of pushing an ideological agenda. But, contrary to the Big Oil accusations made of the “deniarrrs”, there actually is substantive evidence that what is being pursued by *some* scientists – particularly in the paleo department (which happens, unfortunately, to be key to justification of policy action) – is far less science and far more… something else.
     
    So I apologise, Gary, if I gave the impression that I felt that where it matters we may differ (and/or that you were/are incorrect). Clearly we don’t differ where the science is concerned, and we both believe that it is the poor state of the integrity of important elements of the science that is important right now.

  159. JimR says:

    Gary, my person feeling is that focusing on motive is following the same unsuccessful and unproductive tactics seen in CAGW advocates who attack the motive and the person and at all cost avoid the real issues. I’m sure politics plays a role in some/many peoples thinking and tactics yet I know liberal skeptics and conservative CAGW believers.
     
    A few months ago one of the more outspoken CAGW advocates claimed that skeptics were being polite to gain the high moral ground. I found this idea odd, but what if everyone tried to take the high ground without focusing on motive or personal attacks? I think it would increase the chances of productive and on topic discussions occurring which I feel is a good thing.  I find this is generally true of most topics.
     
    Keith – get well soon. Looking forward to your next thought provoking post.

  160. Dave H says:

    @laursaurus
    If you’re going to bring up Curry, I just posted the following over at deltoid that may be relevant (and fwiw, personally, I dislike anything that takes too personal/insulting a tone as it provides an easy excuse to avoid points of substance, but I understand it and believe it stems from *frustration* rather than any kind of dogma).

    When Dr Curry first stated her intention to try and “bridge the gap” between, essentially, realclimate and climateaudit, I have to say I was impressed at the attempt.
    I thought that she caught a lot of unwarranted flack for seeming to legitimise opinions that she did not necessarily share, simply because she honestly sought to engage on points of substance.
    As time went on, her support of the “skeptical” points rose in inverse proportion to her willingness to discuss them in detail in a “consensus” forum, and I became more frustrated with her willingness to give time to – what seemed to me after evaluating the evidence – completely worthless commentary, while not engaging in similar fashion with commentators that did not share that opinion. The so-called “bridge” seemed a little lopsided to me.
    Now where are we?
    The divide between realclimate/climateaudit has never been wider. The split is now tinged with a level of personal recrimination and venom between Curry and those with a “consensus” viewpoint, who now see her as applying double standards and unwilling to engage with a “consensus” viewpoint. To the delight of naysayers, this increased split has provided further ammunition to the catcalls that expressing a non-consensus viewpoint gets one excommunicated. Curry has provided the very legitimacy to “skeptical” interpretations of the CRU emails and Montford’s hockey stick book that was feared at the outset, while also strengthening the “church of AGW” narrative and seemingly burning any possible bridges between realclimate and climateaudit.
    I would say her original purported aim is an abject failure. I continue to try and keep an open mind that she is honestly trying to achieve something, but if that is the case I think her methods are completely misguided. I cannot see how she can be persuaded by the arguments she champions, as they seem vapid to me in the main. I cannot understand her harsh interpretation of the CRU email hack. I cannot understand her easy pass of the Wegman report. If true, I cannot understand her endorsement of the CEI.
    In my opinion, if she is really serious about wanting to heal this divide that she has helped to create, she should get a blog of her own and post there. Sticking to safe havens (bishophill, climateaudit) and only emerging for the occasional potshot in the comments at realclimate is not helpful. The pro/anti pile-on in the comments at these places just serves to reinforce previously held positions and persuades no-one.

  161. Keith Kloor says:

    laursaurus (155):

    Surely you are not comparing Judith Curry to Sarah Palin, who would not be a household name today were not it for the incredibly bad judgment of a certain Arizona senator and former presidential candidate.

    Also, with respect to the female blogger, I don’t understand what the problem is with one woman criticizing another woman.

  162. JimR says:

    DaveH, perhaps Judith Curry would have spent more time discussing things at the “consensus” blogs if moderators and commenters exhibited civil behavior.  They don’t as has been the topic the past several posts and that doesn’t foster an environment for productive discussions. Personally I thought Judith Curry was quite brave to post on some of the blogs she did and with the ugly backlash it’s no surprise actual discussions didn’t take place. I get the impression Curry never intended to discuss these points in detail at “consensus” blogs as you would like, but more endorsed that these points needed further attention. We all know McIntyre and the folks at RC could have quite a discussion if it were possible for that to happen. You may not understand her views, but have you really looked from both sides? Did some minor blog’s accusations against Wegman diminish the points the Wegman report made?  You know, actual relevant points pertaining to the subject under discussion? There are a large number of people who see problems in the CRU E-mail leak including staunch environmental writer for two decades Fred Pearce who is also receiving similar harsh treatment on those same “consensus” blogs. Non agreement brings a harsh response so is it really reasonable to expect actual on topic discussions to take place in such environments?
     
    Perhaps there should be a blog that is neutral ground and if certain participants were willing they could post and respond to each others posts for real discussion but everyone else would be moderated so we all wouldn’t have to put up with the yahoos shouting “it’s all a hoax” and “you’re all deniers!”

  163. Barry Woods says:

    Latest few comments from Deltoid, regarding Judith. 
    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/07/judith_curry_and_the_hockey_st.php#comments

    Indicates that ‘climate science’ is beyond redemption…. Most of these guys and the behaviour, is typical of RealClimate and the language also used in the mainstream media as well, most not just randon bloggers but those ‘involved’. It shows, with Manns latest they are all ‘denairs rant’ that the team and the core, are just children playing games, they are only capable of adolescent abuse.

    17 I agree with what you say Mark but I think the reward that Curry is aiming at is more earthly. As we now know Exxon has been funding Climategate and these carpetbaggers ,like McIntyre , are shooting for the gravy train.
    Posted by: Bill O’Slatter | July 29, 2010 8:33 PM

    “I think one of her fellow climate scientists should talk with her, ideally in person, and get to the bottom of this. We can’t know why she’s doing this just from her public writings.
    (I’d put my money – an anonymous & small amount of money – on her being coerced.)
    Posted by: Anon | July 30, 2010 6:22 AM

    39 :I have to say I have completely missed this argument. Can’t really be bothered to read trash books, I know if I did I would probably kick it around the room.
    Posted by: Paul UK | July 30, 2010 7:16 AM

    —————————-
    The amount of actual ‘hate’ inuendo and pure ‘stupidity’ in the pay of exxon, etc.

    means they believe their own propaganda, ie even in the climategate emails, big oil deniars are refered to.. It is impossible to reason with a ‘belief’.

    All I can see, is CAGW getting even more ‘bitter’ abusive and more vicious attacks on the person, and this would appear to be from the ‘alarmist’ side – the team and others… And to the vast majority of regular scientists, journalists and politicains shame, their silence, allows and endorses this behaviour.

    The BBC, still allows this activist to preach, at the ‘impartial’ BBC, for example.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/richardblack/2010/07/the_apologies_issued_by_two.html#comments

    As long as politicians still think it is ok to use the languag of deniars, sceptics and worse to denigrate people, there really is no hope of trying to ‘engage’ with these people, they will not.

    I have had enough of being nice…

    I’m going to have to wheel out the ‘big guns’,
    mildly sarcastic from now on, and maybe a bit of irony.  That’ll show em 😉

  164. Dave H says:

    @JimR

    > DaveH, perhaps Judith Curry would have spent more time discussing things at the “consensus” blogs if moderators and commenters exhibited civil behavior.  They don’t as has been the topic the past several posts and that doesn’t foster an environment for productive discussions.

    I strongly disagree with this line of argument. I find the absolute worst behaviour at “skeptic” blogs, and that bad behaviour at some “consensus” places blown completely out of proportion. Of course, I would say that because when I go to a “skeptic” blog, I am on the receiving end – and obviously your perception would be similarly skewed.

    I actually find the recycled arguments and rhetorical dancing at “skeptic” watering holes far more offensive than the odd insult, and I have very little time for individuals that ignore a point-by-point rebuttal simply because they feel that they were personally attacked.

    That aside, I am frustrated when the level of discourse drops to insults because it hands an easy moral victory to “the opposition”, so to speak.

    But something sweeping like saying “consensus blogs are at fault because they behave worse” is nonsense to me.

    > Personally I thought Judith Curry was quite brave to post on some of the blogs she did and with the ugly backlash it’s no surprise actual discussions didn’t take place.

    I think the main problem is the format, and the tendency to disappear when challenged. Carrying on a discussion in *comments* is damn near impossible pretty much anywhere popular, and not fully answering questions gives the impression of being “chased away” by overly harsh commenters – which leads to frustration all round.

    > I get the impression Curry never intended to discuss these points in detail at “consensus” blogs as you would like, but more endorsed that these points needed further attention.

    Then why the claims of “bridging the divide”? You can’t do that by talking only to one side – and you have to have the factual grounding to be able to point out when people are wrong. Aside from her critique of Lindzen some time ago, I have seen little evidence of this of late – just a seemingly glib acceptance of the “skeptical” talking points and appeals for scientists to take these supposedly valid concerns on board, without really engaging in a substantial debate as to the validity of the claims in the first place.

    > You may not understand her views,

    I understand some of her views, I just don’t understand how she’s arrived at them by evaluating the evidence.

    > but have you really looked from both sides?

    Yes.

    > Did some minor blog’s accusations against Wegman diminish the points the Wegman report made? You know, actual relevant points pertaining to the subject under discussion?

    If the allegations hold water, then absolutely yes, despite your loaded attempt to dismiss them as the allegations of a “minor blog”. And it is this massive double standard that is in evidence once again – material that supports the “skeptical” viewpoint is given a quick pass. Why is *nobody* on the “skeptical” side even slightly interested in the Wegman allegations? When did “skeptic” start to have such a narrow meaning?

    > Perhaps there should be a blog that is neutral ground
    Curry is well known enough now that if she really wanted a meeting of minds on this, then she could make a genuine attempt to be that neutral territory – however, I fear she may have become too deeply associated with one “tribe” for this to succeed.
     

  165. Dave H says:

    @Barry Woods
    So what, you pull out a few comments from a few random commenters – not even particularly frequent ones – and all of climate science is done for? Garbage. Pure guilt-by-association smear tactics, and biased as well. Want me to head over to JoNova’s or WUWT and tar you with their comments?
    And for the record, what’s wrong with saying you’d kick a book around the room? Just curious.

  166. Barry Woods says:

    Dave H

    just the metality of not reading a book:

    Judith suggested that climate scientists read the book, not to agree with it, but to address issues that needed answering in her opinion, Also suggesting, that it would HELP them to understand where the sceptics are coming from. 

    Gavin and others (realclimate) spent rather a lot of time coming up with all sorts of reason NOT to read it here at collide a scape, why not? he might LEARN something, especially as a respected scientist, recommends it to him to get an understanding of the sceptics viewpoint.  Gavin (and RealClimate) just wants to preach, apparently, not engage or try to understand

    Fred Pearce (The Climate Files – Guardian – PART of Realclimates- Guardian Ebvironment  website network) gets this, that the idea that sceptics are still big oil, fossil fuel funded organised deniars , is just a myth now, the alarmist side has almost a romantic belief, that they are fighting the estblishment,  little realising that they are now are the establishment.
    http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=412726&c=2

    Take a look at RealClimate, especialy the Montford Delusion thread.. this is typical, Stoat (William Connelly), with his Judith Jumped the shark post, eggs the commentors on

    Take a look at the contributors behind RealClimate, this adolescent childish behaviour is theirs..

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/contributors/

    I have had personal abuse or deletions from Bradley, Steig and these guys that run this site..  How are they FUNDED, whose time are they working on!?

    These are supposedly the professionals, the climate scientists, the IPCC lead authors and contributors.. If any body should be trying to raise the tone, it is these guys…

    They created the poisionous debate.. Listen to Michael Mann beeing interviewed ‘ about deniars’

    Judith Curry, tried to put herself in the middle..
    They now have labelled her as a deniar…

    Maybe humour or parody, is all that will finish of the CAGW delusion….

    😉 RealClimateGate website anyone  😉

  167. Keith Kloor says:

    Barry (162), even a whole thread of nastiness, much less a few comments does not indicate “that “˜climate science’ is beyond redemption,” as you suggested. That is simply absurd. DaveH (164) is right to take you to task for this.

    The comment threads involving Curry at the popular climate blogs are highly inflamed right now, perhaps more so than usual. This tends to reinforce people’s pre-existing attitudes and makes some on both sides susceptible to overstatement.

  168. Keith Kloor says:

    DaveH (163), you wrote: “I think the main problem is the format… Carrying on a discussion in *comments* is damn near impossible pretty much anywhere popular…”

    There is truth to this and I’m struggling with it. My blog is not “popular” by any stretch, but it is steadily gaining readers and some reputation as a “neutral” sort of place for varying camps to gather and throw rocks at one another.

    Yet I sense it is difficult to maintain a discussion even here, where I have attempted to reign in more extreme and unruly voices (from all sides). Since I consciously decided this year to use my blog more as forum for public engagement than a platform for me pontificate, this is problematic.

  169. Barry Woods says:

    Sorry Keith, I was perhaps not explicit enough

     ‘ climate science’

    ie when someone stops being an atmospheric physicist, or geologist or oceanographer, or computer modeller, or astrophysicist, or, etc,etc. and becomes a ‘climate scientist’  refering to the small subset of scientists, that have labelled themselves ‘climate scientists’ in a way to give weight and to exclude other scientists (the majority?) that are not ‘climate scientists’

    There are of course idiots on all sides of the debate..

    Please do not forget, that we have had almost a decade of ‘sceptics’, ‘denairs’ and much worse from the alarmist side..
    With the weight of the media and governments behind this.

    I will not forget my Prime Minister words pre Copenhagen: ‘Flat Earthers’ ‘anti-science’
    or the  UK – Minister of State for Energy and Climates words ‘Climate Sabatouers’ for anybody that diasgreed with the ‘consensus’ terrifyingly close to ‘terrorists’ for a government minister to use.

    Calls from some politicians for  laws against ‘climate denial’
    George Monbiots (guardian) continued use of deniar, he was one of the pope that started this years ago in the UK. and somehow, it is ok, and the lobby groups, the media,  the politicians have followed this example, of how to ‘shut down debate’

    I understand that some sceptical people seem to be fighting back ‘fire with fire’ now. I do not condone it, but after years of such abuse, by those in authority and in media and those who should know better, if some of the general public react, finding out that they have been lied to.

    I guess those people, including RealClimate,  have reaped what they have sowed. And, of couyurse it wil help no-one.

    I was criticak O f Judith Curry, with her original essay, I thought she was being an apologits for the CAGW crowd. How wrong was I on that one, the only thing she appears guilty of is being ‘naive’ about the viciousness of the consensus.

    I have tried to resist resorting to responding in kind.
    Look at the deltoid thread, I try to hold back and retain a sense of humour. But. push me enough and I will respond, in kind.

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/07/report_from_the_guardian_debat.php#comments

    I have also had personal abuse to my face in my local community, for dare questioning, politely, some groups activities, including at infants school, with respect to WWF, Earth Hour Literature..

    Including my childrfen coming home from school crying, ‘Polar Bears are dying – because of humans’ meaning CO2, not becasue they are being culled because there are so MANY of them. I do not wish my childre to grow up with this sort of ‘humanity is evil’ concept that so many of the environmental groups have.

    Unfortuanetly, I can only agree with an earliercomment from someone, where they predict things wil get nastier, the pro-side will raise the scares, the alarm and the abuse ever higher..   And, unfortuanetly, ‘some’ people will push back…

    Laughter would be better.

    http://www.cartoonsbyjosh.com/

  170. William Newman says:

    Keith Kloor writes (#167) “Yet I sense it is difficult to maintain a discussion even here, where I have attempted to reign in more extreme and unruly voices (from all sides).”

    No matter how well you might do at structuring policies to encourage people to maintain a discussion (and, implicitly, a constructive discussion or at least a coherent discussion), I doubt we can hope for all that much to get resolved. Imagine maintaining a discussion about any other controversy which has a “who are the scientists and who are the pseudoscientists” character. It’s difficult to make that much progress even for less-politicized controversies of that nature, e.g., the controversy over the essential virtue of natural chemical substances vs. artificial chemical substances, or the controversy over the effectiveness of various kinds of alternative medicine. By structuring the format appropriately, you can encourage some progress by making various wildly fallacious patterns of argument naturally untenable, and that’s good. But humans being what they are, it seems to me that few people change their general conclusions based on such discussions. It even seems that many of them don’t even learn, from debunking of a specific fallacious argument in such a discussion, that they should be unimpressed by essentially the same fallacious argument when they encounter it again later in an echo chamber elsewhere. And factional partisanship is very human, so for  controversies which are tightly coupled to important factional controversies, “humans being what they are” seems to get amplified to “humans being even more what they are than they ordinarily are.”:-|

    That said, I think online discussions like this are still likely to be worth doing. If even two or five percent of your readers go away wiser, that could be quite a good thing. And five percent doesn’t seem to be too much to hope for; on an optimistic day, I might even hope for more.

  171. laursaurus says:

    Good question, Barry.
    http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupprofile.asp?grpid=6918

    Environmental news media outlet that ceased operations December 31, 2006
    Served as the “scientific” branch of Fenton Communications

    Environmental Media Services (EMS) was established in 1994 as a project of the Tides Center. The organization describes itself as a “nonprofit communications clearinghouse dedicated to expanding media coverage of critical environmental and public health issues.”
    EMS officially served as the “scientific” branch of the leftist public-relations firm Fenton Communications;  For more than a decade, David Fenton (CEO of Fenton Communications) used EMS to run negative media campaigns against a wide variety of targets, including biogenetic foods, America’s dairy industry, and President George W. Bush.Founded in 1982 by activist and public relations veteran David Fenton, Fenton Communications (FC) is the leading advertising and public relations firm for advocacy groups on the political left, with locations in Washington DC, New York, and San Francisco.FC serves as an “umbrella” for “three independent nonprofit organizations” which it co-founded. These include:Environmental Media Services, which manages publicity efforts for environmental groups; New Economy Communications, a social justice group; and the Death Penalty Information Center, an anti-death penalty lobby.
    Over a decade ago, EMS launched the anti-biogenetics message, which claimed that genetically engineered foods are dangerous to eat, generated millions of dollars for Fenton clients like Whole Foods Markets, Honest Tea, Kashi Cereal, Green Mountain Coffee, and Rodale Press (a magazine publisher of periodicals concerning organic gardening and foods); each of these companies publicly eschewed genetically engineered foods and offered alternatives that were allegedly healthier.
    Starting with a series of press conferences in the late 1990s, Fenton and EMS promoted the idea that a hormone given to dairy cows to produce milk was carcinogenic, despite the fact that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had determined that the hormone was safe. The Fenton/EMS scare campaign frightened many consumers, but one of its clients, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, capitalized on this fear of the allegedly ill effects caused by its competitors’ products.
    These are examples of “black marketing.” And Environmental Media Services has become the principal reason Fenton Communications is so good at it. EMS lends an air of legitimacy to what might otherwise be dismissed (and rightly so) as fear-mongering from the lunatic fringe. In addition to pre-packaged “story ideas” for the mass media, EMS provides commentaries, briefing papers, and even a stable of experts, all carefully calculated to win points for paying clients. These “experts,” though, are also part of the ruse. Over 70% of them earn their paychecks from current or past Fenton clients, all of which have a financial stake in seeing to it that the scare tactics prevail. It’s a clever deception perpetrated on journalists who generally don’t consider do-gooder environmentalists to be capable of such blatant and duplicitous “spin.”

    EMS also produced many stories condemning the Bush administration’s environmental policies. Among these titles were: “Bush Administration Obscures Truth About Toxic Cleanups”; “President Bush Signs Fatally Flawed Wildfire Bill”; “Earth Day Event To Highlight Bush Administration Assault On Environment, Public Health”; “Bush Administration Report Card: ‘F’ on Protecting Children”; and “National Environmental Groups Launch Campaign to Defeat President Bush.” EMS claimed that the data contained in its press releases constituted “the latest and most credible information” provided by “top scientists, physicians, and other experts.” These “experts” included officials of Greenpeace, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the World Wildlife Fund, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.
    EMS was heavily funded by the Bauman Family Foundation, the Beldon Fund, the Energy Foundation, the Bullitt Foundation, the Tides Foundation, theColumbia Foundation, the Surdna Foundation, the Rockefeller Family Fund, theNathan Cummings Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Turner Foundation, the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Energy Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

     
    Climate Science: Is it currently designed to answer questions? (PDF) (Richard S. Lindzen, Ph.D. Professor of Atmospheric Science, MIT)

    “Environmental Media Services (a project of Fenton Communications, a large public relations firm serving left wing and environmental causes; they are responsible for the alar scare as well as Cindy Sheehan’s anti-war campaign.) created a website, realclimate.org, as an “˜authoritative’ source for the “˜truth’ about climate. This time, real scientists who were also environmental activists, were recruited to organize this web site and “˜discredit’ any science or scientist that questioned catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. The web site serves primarily as a support group for believers in catastrophe, constantly reassuring them that there is no reason to reduce their worrying.” – Richard S. Lindzen, Ph.D. Professor of Atmospheric Science, MIT
    http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/07/truth-about-realclimateorg.html

  172. GaryM says:

    Want to know when the nature of the debate will change?  When (and if) the climate change advocates decide that they have to persuade the skeptics in the general public, and not before.  Until very recently, climate change legislation seemed a foregone conclusion.  The only people who had to be convinced, the politicians in charge, were already in favor of more regulation, higher taxes, and central planning of the energy economy.  Al Gore’s agit prop movie and the pronouncements of Democratic politicians were thought sufficient to sway the untutored masses.
     
    Then Copenhagen failed, as well as cap and trade (so far), because those voters were beginning to reject the drastic remedies being pronounced without the science being certain enough (in their view) to justify it.  In short, they were becoming skeptics.  This scared the politicians enough to slow the steam roller to where we are now.
     
    So the next two elections are the current real battleground.  Don’t expect any Oxford Union type debates until the climate activists decide they need to persuade the skeptics in the general public, and they haven’t yet.  They still think they have victory within reach if they can just discredit the prominent skeptics in the eyes of the political class.
     
    For now, they are probably right.  It is still possible they can get much of what they want, in the U.S., by executive fiat.  The EPA is already steaming down this path.  Even if conservatives were to win a majority in Congress in the next election (by no means certain), they will not be able to pass any legislation to override executive decisions and regulations while Obama is president.  So for now, the politicians are still the only people the activists think they need to keep on board.
     
    It’s easy to understand the tone of a blog like Real Climate if you just understand who their target audience is.  The original posts are generally rather even tempered and  at least give voice to issues of uncertainty and the like.  These are for general consumption and are usually merely dismissive of skeptical arguments rather than outright attacking them.  The more feral attacks are saved for the comments sections, where the red meat is served up for their base.

    That is where they rally the troops and try to demoralize and marginalize the more prominent, and better informed, skeptics (as is currently being done to Ms. Curry at RC).  Once again, the activists hatred of McIntyre, and growing dislike of Curry, are a recognition that their criticisms of the consensus provide fodder for the politicians who are inimical to their agenda.
     
    Until the activists decide they need to appeal to a broader audience, the tenor of the debate will likely remain the same. Why should they change until then?

  173. laursaurus says:

    Keith,
    I’m comparing how Sarah Palin was demonized by her political opponents. Everybody knew all about her pregnant daughter, what she spent on her wardrobe, and attributed a purely satirical quote from Saturday Night Live in place of what she actually said.
    Just like men can recognize the difference between arguing about facts and opinions vs. what Roger Pielke Jr describes as academic penis waging. A woman picks up on the Jr High school jealously and malicious gossip. This blogger obsessively posts how Curry is an embarrassment to women scientists and intelligent life on the planet. She is promoting a smear campaign. She perceives the actions and differing opinion as intentionally harming her. Launching an online cat fight against Curry is reinforcing the back-stabbing petty, jealous stereotype.
    This sentiment was behind the smear campaign against Palin. Who cares where she purchased the appropriate attire for a national campaign or how much it cost? I can guarantee it wasn’t a straight male journalist. BTW, how much did any of the male candidates spend on clothing? This only matters to a spiteful woman green with envy.
    It bothers me when my fellow females behave so immaturely. If we truly want to earn respect, than act like a professional.
    If the male scientists who adamantly disagree with her manage to avoid chauvinistic attacks, so can females who want to also be taken seriously.

  174. Keith Kloor says:

    Well, I’m not familiar with this other blogger’s criticism of Curry, so I should check it out.

    But I have to be honest and tell you that I have little sympathy for Palin. The attire/appearance of pols is regularly mocked, male and female alike. It happened to Edwards with the price of his haircut because he portrayed himself as being in touch with the working class. Same deal with Palin.

    Also, her demagoguery during the campaign was incendiary and over the top. So you won’t find much sympathy from me for her. Also, she’s a quitter. McCain rues the day he chose her, I bet you that much. It’s a stain on his legacy.

  175. GaryM says:

    Judith Curry has earned a PhD, written scholarly articles, heads her department at her university, and has served on various scientific committees.  An accomplished professional.
     
    Sarah Palin only has a B.A., served just two terms on her city council, two paltry terms as the mayor of her home town, served as a commissioner on the meaningless Alaska Oil and Gas Commission for two years, and oh yeah just two years as governor of Alaska.  A mere hack.
     
    Besides, Sarah Palin gave birth to five children and does not speak with Harvard erudition.  So we can discount anything she has accomplished.   (Although, if you want to be honest, have you seen “um…errr…ahhh…” Obama without a teleprompter?)
     
    Forget the presidential campaign, I’m just curious how many of the dismissive posters on this blog have ever had any job, for any length of time, that even approaches the civic responsibilities she undertook.  Let alone did that while raising a family.  Anyone?  Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

  176. kdk33 says:

    ..and Sarah is hot!

    just sayin’

  177. Keith Kloor says:

    GaryM,

    I don’t get your point. Not that I want to get off on a Sarah Palin track. But I’m curious: do you think McCain chose her for the accomplishments you listed?

  178. JimR says:

    Dave H,
    I find the absolute worst behaviour at “skeptic” blogs, and that bad behaviour at some “consensus” places blown completely out of proportion.

    I won’t argue that there isn’t bad behavior on some “skeptic” blogs, personally I avoid such places. I would recommend Lucia’s Blackboard as a very nice place with good discussions. I also like Climate Audit, which is too technical for most people with only the occasional snarkiness. This may be difficult for you to believe from your current point of view, but Steve moderates out most name calling, piling on and off topic science discussions. I believe it was Judith Curry who said that the (don’t remember how she phrased it) most polite environments were the technical skeptic blogs and the Blackboard and CA are in this category.  I am generally a lurker these days so I don’t feel the personal brunt of anything, but it comes down to what I choose to read. And there are unruly places across the blogosphere, but can you point me to an AGW blog that rises above the insults? I would have expected RC to be it, but they heavily moderate polite rebuttals (personally had it happen as have many others) yet allow the faithful freedom to make crude insults in their comments section. I’ve followed RC since it’s founding so this isn’t just a couple of examples where things got out of hand.
     
    I have very little time for individuals that ignore a point-by-point rebuttal simply because they feel that they were personally attacked.

    Well that’s the way life is. People who are insulted (or are allowed to be insulted by out of control blog commenters) generally aren’t going to bother giving up more time for point by point rebuttals. And I don’t think point by point rebuttals was Dr. Curry’s intention in the first place.
     
    That aside, I am frustrated when the level of discourse drops to insults because it hands an easy moral victory to “the opposition”, so to speak.

    Agreed! What do you say we all go for the moral high ground and see if the quality of the discussion doesn’t rise proportionately? And I honestly think some of the more abrasive characters have no problem giving up the moral high ground if they can score insult points and divert discussions they don’t want to happen anyway.
     
    And again, I didn’t get the impression Judith Curry ever intended to point by point rebut everything thrown her way. From my vantage point everything but the kitchen sink was thrown her way including some just plain silly challenges that obviously seemed to divert and waste time.
    I think the main problem is the format, and the tendency to disappear when challenged.

    Curry said that her postings were more a type of “drive by” as she didn’t intend on taking on every challenge. If you haven’t already read some of the early Collide-a-scape posts on Curry and you will see her intentions are more in the area of acknowledging there are more uncertainties and issues that should be addressed and are currently ignored as opposed to championing every skeptic talking point as some expect her to do.
    RE – the Wegman report-
    If the allegations hold water, then absolutely yes, despite your loaded attempt to dismiss them as the allegations of a “minor blog”. And it is this massive double standard that is in evidence once again ““ material that supports the “skeptical” viewpoint is given a quick pass. Why is *nobody* on the “skeptical” side even slightly interested in the Wegman allegations? When did “skeptic” start to have such a narrow meaning?
    Since this area is statistics the math stands or falls on it’s on regardless of attacks on the lead author’s character. The primary allegation I’ve seen is of plagiarism in some very basic text in the report on dendrochronology basics.  Thinking people just aren’t going to dismiss valid points on such a trivial basis.
     
    And for anyone to expect Curry to defend Wegman was pretty silly. She made a point and despite attacks on Wegman nothing diminished her point. Should she have allowed herself to be sidetracked defending Wegman? Of course not.
     
    Curry is well known enough now that if she really wanted a meeting of minds on this, then she could make a genuine attempt to be that neutral territory ““ however, I fear she may have become too deeply associated with one “tribe” for this to succeed.
     
    Yes, reinforcing my point to Keith that instead of looking for someone on the skeptic side to attempt the same bridge building first we need to see how the AGW tribe treats the bridge builder.  Curry is well known as a long time scientist and  hair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology…. yet I saw her challenged on the most trivial scientific points as if she were Bubba the skeptic. All the while I think most missed her message too upset she gave any credibility to those outside the AGW tribe that she was so quickly banished from.
     
     
     
     

  179. laursaurus says:

    Clarification:
    I didn’t intend to draw a direct comparison between Curry and Palin.  My point is that Curry presents a politically incorrect threat to left wing political ideology. Feminist ideology is part and parcel of the leftist narrative. Historically, Feminists embrace successful women as role models, as long as she supports the prescribed political ideology. Now that JC is perceived as a  threat to the consensus, will the feminist activists go after her the way they did to SP?
    She may be able to fly under the radar.  Or like Palin, it could backfire in some way. Does JC have a Facebook page yet? LOL
    Perhaps the not quite convinced crowd could perceive her as a sympathetic figure or read the HSI? On that brutal RC thread, the conversation became focused on her take-down, rather than about the book. Considering how most of the crowd vowed to never read it, they had to find something else to talk about.

  180. GaryM says:

    Keith,
    No, Palin’s experience had nothing to do with McCain picking her for VP.  Although less experience and she would not have been picked I believe.  I will leave for later what executive experience our current president had (hint- none at all, and we are paying for it now).  I don’t know that I would have wanted to vote for her for president as it was too soon.  Just as I think it was too soon for Obama (his politics aside).  But I had no problem with her being the VP candidate.
     
    McCain picked her because the real conservatives in the Republican Party cannot stand him politically.  Campaign finance reform, illegal immigration amnesty.  McCain is the type of liberal Republican who loves going on the Sunday news shows and dissing conservative policies and politicians.   His poll numbers shot up when she was named, and gave her acceptance speech.   The only reason for this was that the conservative base on the Republican Party  finally had something to vote for.
     
    The meme that she is some dim bulb is just not true.  She performed well in the VP debate, but even better in the gubernatorial debates that were available online at the time.
     
    Her deer in the headlights response to the blast furnace of a national election, with the demonizing of her noted above by Laurasaurus, was only exacerbated by the McCain staff.  Is she a genius, no.  Does one need to be one to be a successful vice president or ultimately president? Hell no.
     
    I think those who try to see her as the next Dan Quayle seriously underestimate her.  But time will tell.  I know she scares the hell out of the White House.  They don’t underestimate her at all.  Look how fast they respond to her on issues like “death panels.”   She wrote a post on Facebook and they jumped.

  181. GaryM says:

    Keith,
    My point, by the way, wasn’t about Palin at all.  It was about the reflexive slams against conservatives that pop up in here all the time.  Liberal Tourettes.  Palin is a politician; criticize her all you want, or any other conservative for that matter.  Lord knows I criticize more than a few liberals.
     
    But there is a difference between arguing against policy and philosophy, and the gratuitous ad hominems routinely directed at conservatives here.  At least put some substance into the remarks and don’t just repeat what has been written in the NY Times and Washington Post ad nauseum.
     
    I’ll keep saying it in hopes it will eventually sink in.  The impact liberal/moderate skeptics are having that so enrages the Real Climate type activists is in the political arena.  And virtually your only allies in that regard are  going to be conservatives.  Not Democrats, not Republicans, conservatives.
     
    So you might want to rethink the whole “conservatives are idiots,” or “anti-science,” or “in the pay of big oil” memes.  Hasn’t your being submitted to those exact same tactics given you even the slightest hesitation in repeating the same insults reflexively whenever you mention a conservative?
     
    Do you really think this debate is about the science at its core?  I mean, do you really think that Gavin Smith and James Hansen don’t know the real extent of the uncertainty of the science?  Do they really need Judith Curry or Steve McIntyre at this point to teach them about all the various issues they and others have raised about climate science (with some of which you seem to agree)?
     
    I may question their politics, or their bias, but I have no doubts about their intelligence.  If you all keep trying to leave political motivation out of your analysis, you will never understand them.  And if you keep slamming your allies in this debate, you will minimize your impact in the real world.
     
    By the way, no one answered my question at the end of my post (174).  May I take that as a no? No former governors or mayors  or the equivalent here?

  182. Keith Kloor says:

    GaryM,

    I’m not aware that I’ve been slagging off on conservatives in general. Last thing I’ll say about her: if she were a liberal, she’d have been mocked viciously by conservatives, you do know that?

    Also, philosophy (in terms of ideology) informs policy, which then gets tossed in the sausage grinder (politics) so I can see how this all gets bundled together during discussions like this.

     

  183. Tom Fuller says:

    GaryM, I cannot answer your question in #74 because I honestly do not know the details of Palin’s life.
     
    However, I can tell you that my beef with her is not the fact that she is conservative.  Although I am a progressive liberal democrat, there are many conservatives I deeply respect.
     
    My dislike of Sarah Palin stems from what I perceive to be insincerity and shameless opportunism. I actually think she would cheerfully be a Democrat if it served her purposes, and be pretty Green about it, too.

  184. laursaurus says:

    That’s a big no for me, Gary.
    Wasn’t Palin’s youngest still an infant when she was selected for VP candidate? Heck I only have 3 kids and am just starting the process of going back to work. I imagine she has hired help for all the non-paycheck duties a wife and mother are responsible for. But still, to accomplish all she has takes extraordinary ability. One child with special needs qualifies you for public assistance. The overwhelming pressure put on her from the baseless allegations and personal attacks (to use the sympathy-evoking language of the UEA climate scientists) were too much for anyone in that position to handle. I agree with Gary that she was qualified to be a vice president. Under the circumstances, though, maybe not at this stage of her life. Months ago, I could picture her doing a very effective job as head of the Republican Party. I’m quite pleased she is being considered for that position.
    I’m a huge fan of the Skeptoid podcast. Last summer, there was an episode pointing a skeptical eye on the “Sarah Palin is stupid” meme. In an apolitical, common-sense manner they reviewed facts.
    Ok, well I’ve pretty much revealed my political persuasion. I’ve also experienced feeling discredited by statements such as, “although I don’t care for Laura’s political bias, I have to agree on X, Y, Z” in a different forum, the Skeptalk email discussion list.  If political bias is your issue, go ahead and describe them as they pertain to you without needing to draw a person you’re agreeing with down into the mud. The CAGW  propaganda

  185. GaryM says:

    After all the dissing of Sarah Palin, I think it is only fair that I be allowed to post this AP article about Obama:
     
    AP DETROIT – Don’t say President Barack Obama isn’t dutiful and law-abiding.
    When Obama toured a General Motors assembly plant Friday, he was invited to test drive a battery-powered Chevrolet Volt inside the cavernous facility.
    He looked beseechingly to his top aides, including press secretary Robert Gibbs, all of whom shook their heads. Obama appealed to the chief of his Secret Service detail, who threw up his hands in resignation.
    The smiling president got in, buckled his seat belt and proceeded to drive – drum roll, please “” 10 feet, and probably not above 2 mph, as news cameras clicked away.
    “I hope it has an air bag,” Gibbs said.
    Obama, who almost never gets to drive, pronounced the ride “pretty smooth.”
     
    Do we have the first Rainman president.  “I’m a very good driver.”

  186. Deech56 says:

    So while everyone is busy on their fainting couches (and GaryM posts a typical winger anto-Obama screed),  I would ask, what has been more harmful to our chances for a low-carbon economy: angry posts by a semi-anonymous commenter, or the FOI spamming of UEA followed by the hacking of their e-mail server?
    I say the latter, yet the coordinator of the FOI requests has legions of ready defenders.
    It’s like placing the blame on the Iraq war on the dirty f___ hippie bloggers who responded to the lies with outrage. Would politeness have worked?

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