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« Green costs you more | Main | Buerk wants climate debate »
Tuesday
Dec272011

Somehow 

An amusing paper in which the great and good of the climate narrative sit around and mull over what they have achieved and what they would like to achieve. This appears to have been recorded at a series of panels in front of an invited audience a few months back. There are several panels, but the interesting one involves Mike Hulme, Roger Harrabin and Oliver Morton:

I was amused by some of Harrabin's contributions, in particular this one:

What we appear to have constructed in climate change is a bunch of people who say, ‘I’m really worried about the future. I’m really worried about climate change’; a small group of people who say, ‘I don’t give a damn. It’s not going to happen. Humans can’t change the planet’; and quite a lot of people in the middle who say, ‘Well actually, I don’t know. I hear these competing voices and I don’t know’. Now, there is another potential narrative which runs like this: ‘There is massive consensus that humans have changed the planet already and will almost certainly change it some more. There is not a great deal of consensus about  quite how future climate change will impact and what emission scenarios are tied to temperature outcomes and at the extreme end those scenarios are extremely scary and at the narrow end they are probably quite simple to cope with. We don’t know which we are going to end up with’. That becomes more of a narrative of risk and risk avoidance and takes you into politics. Somehow we have failed to tell that [narrative]. It’s not taken very long for me to tell it but over the years those of us in the media have failed properly to inform people about this issue because we’re constantly pulled into ‘Oh, we’ve got to have somebody saying something completely different’. Climategate was a real problem for the public consciousness. It seemed like something dodgy had gone on. Now I’ve looked very deeply into Climategate and I can’t find any smoking gun at all. But I’ve also followed the enquiries into Climategate, and in my view they were all inadequate. So if you were looking on from the outside, from a suspicious viewpoint, you would be continuing to say, ‘There is a scam. They are cheating us. The enquiries haven’t looked into the issue properly’ — because they haven’t. It allows this continual erosion of a middle ground position.

I love the way he says that "somehow" he and his colleagues in the mainstream media have failed to give a balanced view of the climate debate. One can't help wondering whether his own long-term campaign to remove sceptical voices from the airwaves might not have something to do with this failure, at least as far as the BBC is concerned. After all, the idea that man is changing the climate but that the effects will be limited and well within the scope of human adaptability is mainstream among sceptics. But these are the very people Harrabin believes should not be allowed a voice. When he was inviting people to his 2006 seminar on climate change coverage, how many of those sceptics espousing such middle ground positions did he invite? It seems clear that he invited almost nobody but green campaigners and moreover he put Lord May in charge of the sessions. This is not the action of someone who is trying to expand the middle ground or, if truth is told, even someone who is trying to "erode" it. It is the action of someone who is trying to utterly destroy it to advance a political agenda.

We don't know whether the BBC seminar covered climate change economics, but we could wonder how many mainstream economists would be invited to such an event at the BBC. Since the Stern report appeared, the extreme assumptions on which Stern based his findings have gone almost unmentioned on the BBC. Time after time after time we are presented with Stern's conclusions as if this was a piece of mainstream academic work. "Somehow" the truth has never been told here either.

And what about the Climate Wars programme or anything passing the lips of Richard Black? Expansion of the middle ground or a voice for extremists on one side of the argument? Or the treatment of McIntyre, the man who has had the temerity to point to problems with the paleoclimate reconstructions but accepts the manmade global warming hypothesis; the man who has been nominated as one of the most important people on the face of the planet but whose contributions to the climate debate have "somehow" been virtually ignored by the BBC. Expansion of the middle ground? Truth-seeking behaviour?

You decide.

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Reader Comments (80)

A number of these alarmist climate 'experts' seem to be making their way quietly to the exits....

Dec 27, 2011 at 10:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

Bish - the link seems to open the Google Docs homepage only.

In any case, IMHO Hulme is a devious serpent who is now slithering around so desperately - he's in danger of disappearing up his own, post-modern orifice.

Dec 27, 2011 at 10:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgooose

"Beep-beep-beep, this vehicle is reversing"
I can hear the sighs of relief, that (so far) we're having a mild winter here in the UK.

Dec 27, 2011 at 10:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterAdam Gallon

CG1 scared the $hit out of scientists.

CG2 scared the $hit out of enviro-journalists.

CG3 will probably scare the $hit out of policy makers.

Climategate was never a smoking gun. It is a series of bomb craters.

Dec 27, 2011 at 10:36 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Harrabin's statement - "There is massive consensus that humans have changed the planet ..." is just anodyne. content-free waffle.

Who could ever disagree that agriculture, population growth & movement, mining or construction haven't "changed the planet".

They've changed the planet so that feeble, uncreative, physical effort-averse parasites like him and his ilk can survive a full life span, with a warm roof over their heads - without having to compete for their nutrition with something that might eat them first.

Why is it that these "back to the cave" characters at the Beeb, Grauniad and UEA are always the sort of individuals who look as if they'd struggle to boil an egg - let alone catch their own dinner.

Dec 27, 2011 at 10:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgooose

Foxgoose

Works fine for me. Try this: http://bit.ly/vDecdy

Dec 27, 2011 at 11:01 AM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Now I’ve looked very deeply into Climategate and I can’t find any smoking gun at all. But I’ve also followed the enquiries into Climategate, and in my view they were all inadequate.

This is certainly not the first time that Harrabin has claimed to have looked very deeply into Climategate (so at the very least we should presume he is limiting himself to CG1 here). So far he has not clarified whether he has looked more or less thoroughly than any of the inquiries he appears to be criticising and certainly, if he has looked less thoroughy then the original inquiries the statement is pretty meanignless and if he has looked more thoroughly into any of this he has never provided any evidence of having done so.

Dec 27, 2011 at 11:11 AM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

Foxgoose:

"They've changed the planet so that feeble, uncreative, physical effort-averse parasites like him and his ilk can survive a full life span, with a warm roof over their heads - without having to compete for their nutrition with something that might eat them first."


I know it's the season of goodwill, but I laughed out loud at foxgoose's comment. How true.

Also, what should appal anybody who believes science should observe the highest standards was the attitude of mind revealed by the Climategate e-mails. It is just so wrong for objective, independent minded seekers after truth (to put it at the most exalted level) to speak and think like that. Truth will out eventually.

Dec 27, 2011 at 11:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterMike Fowle

' those of us in the media have failed properly to inform people about this issue because we’re constantly pulled into ‘Oh, we’ve got to have somebody saying something completely different’. In the sense its been about how quickly or who much doom his right in that sense. Of course you are left with the feeling that really is their idea of 'alternative views ' is we all a agree its just a question of doom level .

'Now I’ve looked very deeply into Climategate and I can’t find any smoking gun at all. But I’ve also followed the enquiries into Climategate, and in my view they were all inadequate.' And yet he sat on the original leak in the hope it would go away, and has said nothing in public about the 'quality' of these reviews.

Dec 27, 2011 at 11:37 AM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

"Now I’ve looked very deeply into Climategate and I can’t find any smoking gun at all. But I’ve also followed the enquiries into Climategate, and in my view they were all inadequate"

Seems to me that Roger has looked into climategate in the same way that the enquiries did. I cannot believe that anyone can read all those e-mails and not find considerable cause for concern. If and when this corrupt science is ever properly exposed, it will quite rightly end up on the doorstep of Phil Jones and the UEA. Personally, I can hardly wait.

Dec 27, 2011 at 11:44 AM | Unregistered Commenterpesadia

What we appear to have constructed in climate change is a bunch of people who say, [...]

Hopeless opening statement but inadvertently, therein lies a kernel of truth; "constructed in climate change" - though a very poor re-construction methinks Rog'.

As for the rest of this rambling rubbish, the man's 'brain' is plainly twisted by the whole delusion of man made CO2 = global warming.

Dec 27, 2011 at 11:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

"But I’ve also followed the enquiries into Climategate, and in my view they were all inadequate."

I bet he never reported that! Presumably he means that they didn't give clear support for his biased views.

Dec 27, 2011 at 12:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Drake

As I have always said about BBC and it's reporters, they are merely of, UK school teacher and childish mentality liberals who cannot get over the guilt they feel about being alive and so pass it onto everyone else.

He, Harabin, has squirmed and twisted all 2011 and still can't bring himself to report the whole truth and nothing but the truth. God I hate these people.

Dec 27, 2011 at 12:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

From his Wiki page;

"Whilst on sabbatical at Wolfson College, Cambridge Harrabin set up the Cambridge Media and Environment Programme (CMEP) with Dr Joe Smith, now of the Open University. They worked in partnership with other BBC staff organising seminars with a broad range of views to stimulate discussion of the BBC's coverage of global Risk issues covering the environment, economics, and society.
After one seminar, the BBC concluded that as all major governments had accepted the risk of climate change, arguments about the science of climate change should play a smaller part in the media than previously, whilst still being aired from time to time."

*somehow* indeed! The man is part of the problem, not of the solution.

Dec 27, 2011 at 1:41 PM | Unregistered Commentersimpleseekeraftertruth

Roger may have misseed the climategate email, that reveleaded hat he was on the Tyndall Centre advisory board... ;-)

Total conflict of interest
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/27/climategate-2-impartiality-at-the-bbc/

Dec 27, 2011 at 2:42 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Some contributors seem to be facing up to the fact that they may have failed to win the battle over the science. So we have Joe Smith arguing:

Climate change should not be responded to as a body of ‘facts’ to be acted upon (with the IPCC as prime arbiter), but might instead be considered as a substantial and urgent collective risk management problem. Projecting climate change as a risk problem rather than a communication-of-fact problem helpfully deflates ‘debates’ about whether climate change is or isn’t a scientific fact.

Harrabin also seems to be aligning himself for a switch from the science to the risk approach:

Now, there is another potential narrative which runs like this: ‘There is massive consensus that humans have changed the planet already and will almost certainly change it some more. There is not a great deal of consensus about quite how future climate change will impact and what emission scenarios are tied to temperature outcomes and at the extreme end those scenarios are extremely scary and at the narrow end they are probably quite simple to cope with. We don’t know which we are going to end up with’. That becomes more of a narrative of risk and risk avoidance and takes you into politics. Somehow we have failed to tell that [narrative]. It’s not taken very long for me to tell it but over the years those of us in the media have failed properly to inform people about this issue ...

and he helpfully points out

For the first time, at the 2010 CBI meeting, Chris Huhne talked about climate change in terms of risk and probability and insurance. Typically, until now, they’ve talked about climate change in terms of catastrophe. So, we may be starting to see a different narrative, but I’m not sure.

Note to Roger Harrabin: I just wish Chris Huhne would also clarify exactly what event we are actually supposed to be insuring ourselves against i.e. how do we know when we are eligible to make a claim, how one might set about calculating a fair premium without understanding the science, and how likely it is that any insurance company taking our premiums will ever be able to pay out in the event that the insured event actually occurs and everybody makes a claim.

Dec 27, 2011 at 2:43 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

Dude needs to get out of his echo chamber, take off the ear muffs, and listen to the reasoning of skeptics who proudly share their concerns and analysis.

As long as he sits wringing his hands with alarmists reality cannot come in.

Dec 27, 2011 at 3:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterAJStrata

Roger Harrabin does not understand science. Full stop. That is why he could find no "smoking gun" in the climategate emails. He does not realise that scientists are not to behave like this, that the quality of the science is piss poor and that the scientists in climategate were saying as much in private while stating 100% confidence in public. Roger Harrabin should never have been made a science reporter. Not only is he clueless, he picks sides and so he is dangerous.

Dec 27, 2011 at 3:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrederick Bloggsworth

matthu
Risk management is how the situation is now being sold. The precautionary principle is what was being pushed at Durban and there are enough clues around that point towards politics being the future of COP meetings and not science.
Climate change will continue to be the meme for public consumption but this is no longer important except as the excuse.

One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore.
(Ottmar Edenhoffer, IPCC)
A global climate treaty must be implemented even if there is no scientific evidence to back the greenhouse effect.
"Richard Benedik, former U.S./UN bureaucrat)
That latter quote is what was effectively being discussed in Durban. The definition of the precautionary principle is that even if there is no more than a smidgin of suspicion that CO2 (as the obvious example) might — just might — be causing global warming and that warming might — just might — be detrimental then that is all the justification needed to ban it. Scientific certainty or near-certainty is not necessary.
This bears little resemblance to the standard risk assessment matrix - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Risk_Matrix. Or put another way it has damn all to do with science and everything to do with global politics — as it always did have.

Dec 27, 2011 at 3:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

See page 45 where Marcus Brigstocke states the following (the emphasis was in the original)

I could have written a two-hour stand-up show about climate change quite easily by now but there is absolutely no point because the only people who would come and see it already agree with me. So the approach I’ve taken is to drip feed it into EVERYTHING THAT I DO, whenever I’m on the radio or doing a stand-up show on any subject, to try and keep it in there just a little bit. People are on to me, it’s no sleight of hand — they know what to expect when I appear. In terms of creating comedy one of the easiest routes has been to mock the people who think that it’s not happening, because I find them easily mock-able. They will say a great deal but when questioned they haven’t read anything. For me, what’s been more challenging has been to take the idea of sustainability and ‘green living’ — for want of a better expression — and express the positive in it, and how much I’ve enjoyed it.

Dec 27, 2011 at 3:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrederick Bloggsworth

Harrabin - looking very deeply indeedy, blinkers firmly and tightly fixed into place.

Dec 27, 2011 at 3:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterViv Evans

"Roger: I’m not optimistic. I have noted that when I ask environmentalists. Are you optimistic? they always reply ‘I have to be optimistic’. In other words. they have to be optimistic otherwise they couldn’t continue. I'm a journalist and I don’t feel the need to be optimistic. I’m very pessimistic about global society’s ability to deal with a challenge with this amount of uncertainty and complexity. There also a scenario in which the world gets one and a half- or two-degree warming and actually a lot of places are greatly improved, because the warming will come in the northern latitudes mainly. But I don’t want to take either an optimistic or pessimistic position. I don’t feel its helpful to throw your own human emotion into something of this nature."

So for 2°C warming "a lot of places are greatly improved" which means his glass is half full & half empty but he isn't sure which is better. Best keep emotions out cos you won't know whether to laugh or cry.

Dec 27, 2011 at 3:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Drake

I think a real survey of climate scientists, defined with rigour and corrected for omerta might be very interesting, particularly a series of polls detailing changing attitudes over the next few years.
==============

Dec 27, 2011 at 4:27 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Kim

What I would find interesting is a survey to find the ratio of grants to those proposing that things aren't that bad versus grants to those proposing otherwise. I think that's a largish segment of the omerta.

Dec 27, 2011 at 4:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Crane

Looking at the link provided, these were the questions asked:

1. When compared with pre-1800s levels, do you think that mean global temperatures have generally risen, fallen, or remained relatively constant?
2. Do you think human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures?

Note that question 1 is uncontroversial.
Question 2 uses the word "significant" when "material" or "dominant" may have been more appropriate (significance has a specialised statistical meaning which says nothing about materiality) and also mentions nothing at all about CO2

I think the reason the response rate was so low is exactly because the questions asked were so meaningless. I would not answer a question like Q2 above because i would know that the intention behind asking such a question would be to mislead the public.

Hence: "Globale warming is real. The science is settled."

Dec 27, 2011 at 6:20 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

Female sophomore (2nd year) in secondary school.

Dec 27, 2011 at 6:23 PM | Unregistered Commenterj ferguson

neill
You've been at the facts again, you naughty boy.
Facts are too important for little people like us to be allowed to play with. Until we're all properly grown up we're only allowed models.

Dec 27, 2011 at 7:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

Why do I wonder at the number of PhD theses, and electrons, that will be used to explicate Harrabin's infamous 'somehow'? There is great soul searching ahead, and I've hopes that the lessons learned may immunize us from the next great madness of the herd.

We are a herd, though, and I wonder what evolutionary advantage lies in being so susceptible to stampedes.
==============

Dec 27, 2011 at 7:14 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

As usual, I have deleted ZDB and all responses.

Dec 27, 2011 at 7:19 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul:
He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His name' sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: For thou art with me;
Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;
Thou annointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.

Dec 27, 2011 at 7:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

DPDLS,

"I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever."

Excellent. I'll be in Chuck E Cheese's, it's just down the road.

Dec 27, 2011 at 7:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

Tomorrow I am traveling into town to mail something to America.

"Now I’ve looked very deeply into Climategate and I can’t find any smoking gun at all."

It seems I might as well put a spare pair of my reading glasses in the post for Harrabin as well.

Dec 27, 2011 at 7:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul in Sweden

"Harrabin - looking very deeply indeedy, blinkers firmly and tightly fixed into place." --Viv Evans

Blinkin' right!

Off Topic: BMJ announces new treatment for proctocraniosis:

http://www.johnernst.com/sight_windows_p50.html

Dec 27, 2011 at 8:04 PM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

OT but rather interesting. Previously posted in response to ZDB but deleted.

IPCC: 0 Easterbrook: 1

Using the pattern established for the past several hundred years, in 1998 I projected the temperature curve for the past century into the next century and came up with curve ‘A’ in Figure 5 as an approximation of what might be in store for the world if the pattern of past climate changes continued. Ironically, that prediction was made in the warmest year of the past three decades and at the acme of the 1977-1998 warm period. At that time, the projected curved indicated global cooling beginning about 2005 ± 3-5 years until about 2030, then renewed warming from about 2030 to about 2060 (unrelated to CO2—just continuation of the natural cycle), then another cool period from about 2060 to about 2090. This was admittedly an approximation, but it was radically different from the 1° F per decade warming called for by the IPCC. Because the prediction was so different from the IPCC prediction, time would obviously show which projection was ultimately correct.

Now a decade later, the global climate has not warmed 1° F as forecast by the IPCC but has cooled slightly until 2007-08 when global temperatures turned sharply downward. In 2008, NASA satellite imagery (Figure 6) confirmed that the Pacific Ocean had switched from the warm mode it had been in since 1977 to its cool mode, similar to that of the 1945-1977 global cooling period. The shift strongly suggests that the next several decades will be cooler, not warmer as predicted by the IPCC.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=10783

Dec 27, 2011 at 8:16 PM | Unregistered Commenterneill

Very, very well said. If Harrabin were a man concerned with his character, he would take to heart what you written and change his behavior.

Dec 27, 2011 at 8:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

Dec 27, 2011 at 2:43 PM | matthu

Yes, but you have to watch for the Postmodern Scientists, so-called. Their scientific methodology sets aside traditional scientific method and brings in items such as the "Uncertainty Principle." Their goal is to change the topic from the utter worthlessness of the scientific case for CAGW to a debate on how much we should spend on insurance. They fail to mention that the only reason there is to be concerned about CAGW is the utterly worthless science that is offered as support for it. They also fail to mention that the insurance is not voluntary in whole or part and requires huge new government bureaucracies to control the behavior of insurance consumers.

Dec 27, 2011 at 8:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

Narrative - well he's from the Humanities, I guess. That, I suppose, has been one of the major problems in this controversy. Not a single person from Humanities is able to understand science, it's too foreign, starting with the abstruse idea of empirical evidence and the methods to get at it. I can spend half an hour explaining to some bright friends of mine from the H something I can explain usually in two lines to someone trained in the sciences. "But HOW do you DO that???" is their usual bewildered question.

So they "build narratives", and in the H, truth can perfectly be determined by voting by raising your arm to make a consensus, because empirical reality as we know it simply has no weight -- reality is the prevalent narrative. Which is why stories about trendy computer model extrapolations are cool (real). Narratives impose themselves by mindless repetition and by shutting down the opponent narratives.

Which is why, in their own eyes, they are justified. Much like the politician, for whom truth is what allows him to reach a given aim.

I think I'm enjoying my little online Philosophy course :-) That certainly is a change from biochemistry and computers.

Dec 27, 2011 at 8:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterJosualdo

The insurance argument is a variant on the precautionary principle aka Pascal's Wager and suffers from the same two fallacies.

One is, if there is no risk, why insure?

Two is, if you are going to start insuring, then make sure you insure against all equivalently likely risks with the same cost of they come up.

Either way, you cannot avoid quantifying what the risk is, and comparing it with other uses of your money, and that is what the argument always seeks to avoid. It always has the underlying form: do this, for reasons I cannot prove, but do it anyway.

Dec 27, 2011 at 9:25 PM | Unregistered Commentermichel

Bish, what's the story on the banning of ZDB - Zed's Dead Bed, a vociferous warmist once a regular poster here?

In the name of free speech shouldn't she be allowed to spout her nonsense on your site?

Dec 27, 2011 at 9:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrent Hargreaves

Brent

Repeated flaming and hijacking of threads.

Dec 27, 2011 at 10:15 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Brent - If I may give my own interpretation:

ZDB has an unfortunate habit of managing to divert every other thread onto topics of his own choosing which have often already been thrashed to death on previous threads.

In this case, ZDB was invited (by me) to carry on his OT argument in a separate discussion thread (where there would probably have been several followers) but he chose instead to continue disrupting this thread.

Bish creates the thread, Bish chooses the topic.

Dec 27, 2011 at 10:24 PM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

the "narrative" is on life support, provided by the MSM, on behalf of the pollies and others, but the public see the scam and know they don't like it, whether AGW is real or not.

27 Dec: £10m cost of turning off wind farms
Wind farm operators are on course to earn up to £10 million this year for turning off their turbines.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/greenpolitics/8978458/10m-cost-of-turning-off-wind-farms.html

27 Dec: National Trust switches off solar power plans as ministers cut returns
The National Trust has scrapped many of its plans to install green energy at stately homes across Britain because of the Government’s decision to reduce funding
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/greenpolitics/8978421/National-Trust-switches-off-solar-power-plans-as-ministers-cut-returns.html

Dec 27, 2011 at 11:30 PM | Unregistered Commenterpat

An excellent post, as usual. The middle ground is indeed those who say that there could be some sort of problem, but no evidence that the consequences are serious enough to justify the drastic policy response being undertaken. This is why the likes of Roger Harrabin and Bob Ward are trying to close off dissent. Once one starts a cross-examination of the evidence to support the theories, it turns the real world does not support the multiple hypotheses needed to support the alarmist case. For example, the hockey stick does not fail on just one or two points. Instead, the shape relies on a number of false or inappropriate methods and biases in the data analysis to derive the famous shape.

Dec 28, 2011 at 2:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterManicBeancounter

In fairness to Harrabin and the BBC, he interviewed me on a couple of occasions and the interviews were always very fair. Whatever his prior positions were, he was fair minded about the Climategate "inquiries" - the context in which we met.

Dec 28, 2011 at 3:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterSteve McIntyre

Somehow Madoff failed to explain his business model.

Dec 28, 2011 at 4:21 AM | Unregistered Commenteredward getty

Dec 27, 2011 at 8:44 PM | Josualdo

Well said. An accomplished professor of Humanities once asked me "Isn't the phrase 'empirical evidence' redundant; isn't all evidence empirical?" I asked him if he sometimes sought books in the library as a source of evidence. He replied that he did. I told him that such evidence is the evidence of testimony but not the evidence of personal experience. He was stunned.

Dec 28, 2011 at 5:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

Free speech rights on private blogs? Does the Bishop have a duty to serve as a media outlet for anyone who wants to say whatever on his blog? Do I have a duty to permit any guest to my house to say whatever he pleases? What duty would that be?

Dec 28, 2011 at 5:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

You know Theo, I was thinking along the same lines. Nothing to stop anyone starting their own blog rather than ruining this one time and time again.

Dec 28, 2011 at 5:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterPete H

Brent

I was at first concerned when the Baroness of Truro was 'disappeared' but the Bishop is not an unfair or intolerant man. She really was engaging in classic trolling. There's an easy way back: engage in intelligent and civil debate.

Dec 28, 2011 at 6:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterGixxerboy

gixxerboy


Aye, I have also, however, tried on numerous occasions to engage in genuine debate but this individual seems truly incapable of doing any such thing. When the warmest of hands is put out the offer is ignored.

It's just the way of things.

Ah well.

I do wish her well mind. Honest.

Dec 28, 2011 at 7:23 AM | Unregistered Commenterjones

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