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« Real sceptics | Main | Josh 77 »

Beddington on warpath

The sight of a government chief scientific officer on the warpath is not a pretty one. Sir John Beddington, for it is he, is all a-quiver, enraged with the antics of pseudoscientists of all complexions:

We are grossly intolerant, and properly so, of racism. We are grossly intolerant, and properly so, of people who [are] anti-homosexuality... We are not—and I genuinely think we should think about how we do this—grossly intolerant of pseudo-science, the building up of what purports to be science by the cherry-picking of the facts and the failure to use scientific evidence and the failure to use scientific method."

"One way is to be completely intolerant of this nonsense," he said. "That we don't kind of shrug it off. We don't say: ‘oh, it's the media’ or ‘oh they would say that wouldn’t they?’ I think we really need, as a scientific community—and this is a very important scientific community—to think about how we do it."

Now, we sceptics have been mightily concerned about cherrypicking. Indeed, we raised the issue with several of the Climategate inquiries. Of the investigations into Jones et al, it was the Oxburgh inquiry, that of course had the most reason to investigate the question of cherrypicking at the Climatic Research Unit: who can forget the selection of proxy series for Osborn and Briffa, for example? That was certainly one that raised a few eyebrows.

But as we know, Lord Oxburgh and his panel decided not to look at this paper and their report is silent on the question of cherrypicking.

And how did Sir John Beddington react? I'm sure readers here remember that he wrote to Lord Oxburgh telling him that he had "played a blinder". Perhaps being inside a university gives you some kind of immunity from Sir John's wrath.

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Reader Comments (127)

@ James P

Trouble is, isn't that an argument from authority? :-p

Feb 15, 2011 at 12:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

"Incidentally, is anyone else uncomfortable with the fact that the cheif scientist advising our government thinks there are too many of us?

Feb 15, 2011 at 9:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterKevin B "

Yes, very uncomfortable. The paradox for the "too many people" argument comes when they are also advocates of peak oil, it boils down to - where will all the farm workers we'll need come from?

Feb 15, 2011 at 12:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrosty

James P and others

Beddingtons beliefs are earning him a nice salary and a fat pension. Why should he jeopardise his own financial gain, at this stage in his career?

He is a civil servant, preaching to the like minded.

Do not derail the Pachauri gravy train.

Feb 15, 2011 at 12:22 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charley

Out of interest I have just checked citation indices for "Beddington J". This turns up 62 papers with 3000 odd citations and H=25. Given that he got his PhD in 1973 that's not wildly impressive: solid enough but a minor player rather than a research star. By contrast Bob May (his predecessor but one) has hundreds of papers, tens of thousands of citations, and H around 100. (It's a bit tricky to give exact numbers as there are several other authors with the same initials, but Bob May is clearly very strong).

So, even if was tempted by arguments from authority Beddington isn't much of one.

Feb 15, 2011 at 12:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

"I'm not affiliated to anyone"
Not even George Monbiot's CACC-handers?"
Feb 15, 2011 at 11:55 AM | James P

I assume this is some form of reference to the comment alert system? No - I belong to no groups or alerts, and my entire relationship with the Guardian is restricted to reading and enjoying it. I'm sure that any of you who share my passion for the language, will agree that the quality of writing is head and shoulders above the other nationals.

Feb 15, 2011 at 12:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

"This has been most obvious with CAGW, when you look at who's bought into it:
Osama bin-Laden."
Feb 15, 2011 at 12:15 PM | Justice4Rinka

Are you for real?

What's your source for that?

Feb 15, 2011 at 12:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

If a position seems worthy of sceptical disection then it can be investigated as such. That other positions may be no less shaky does not make it wrong to deal with the one that has most costly consequences given the flood of tax, regulation and prohibition would flow from its acceptance. To become well read in the arguments pro and con requires time and application that, to be effective, cannot and should not be directed in all directions.

That to do nothing (business as usual) is 'the more costly policy' is itself the very thing to be doubted if the health and happiness benefits of rapid industrialisation are entered in the accounts.

Feb 15, 2011 at 12:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterBob Layson

Zed please show some knowledge of your bedfellows ;)

Feb 15, 2011 at 12:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterBreath of fresh air

"Zed please show some knowledge of your bedfellows ;)"
Feb 15, 2011 at 12:38 PM | Breath of fresh air

Oh sorry, I didn't think that tape had been confirmed as genuine by agencies - can you give me the link to where it is please? Thanks.

Feb 15, 2011 at 12:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

Zebedee has finally and absolutely scored a bullseye on his own credibility and utterly destroyed it.
"My entire relationship with the Guardian is restricted to reading and enjoying it."
He then goes on to assert that the writing is ' head and shoulders above other nationals'!
State education in the UK has a lot to answer for! One would have to be a paid-up and unqestioning AGW believer to not be incredibly irritated by the Guardian and, indeed, most of the mainstream media; I am sure Zebedee must absolutely adore Louise Gray's writing in the Telegraph too.

Feb 15, 2011 at 1:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander K

Kevin B

Great points!

Feb 15, 2011 at 1:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin

@ BoFA

One imagines Osama bin Laden regards the success of the CAGW sociopathy with a fair amount of grudging admiration.

A tiny, lunatic group reliant on omens anmd portents in the sky and on demonising those who disagree with them have elevated themselves into a priesthood, are doing quite well at enslaving everyone else, and have a lot of suckers convinced that the past was better than the present. The same suckers think there is a heaven to be attained sometime in the future after your own death, have a Bible / Koran that they quote as supreme authority even though it was written by nutters, and think that the prophets can predict the future even though to date they have comprehensively failed to do so. The followers of the faith agree that their own existence is the problem and that the world would be a better place if there were no people at all, starting with the heretics.

The loonies in question have the ear of every government and their grubby fingers over every policy.

In short, ecosociopaths have achieved for their faith everything bin Laden seeks for his own - remarkably similar - creed. Fear; dictatorship; control; freedom from criticism; to be above accountability. And they don't have to live in a hole in the ground in western Pakistan.

Why would a fascist like bin Laden not be bitterly envious of what the ecosociopaths have achieved?

Feb 15, 2011 at 1:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

"the quality of writing is head and shoulders above the other nationals"

Even when it's tosh? :-)

Feb 15, 2011 at 1:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

Don't be silly, ZDB. "Agencies" my bottom. You had absolutely no idea that OBL was a warmist. How you chuckled as you moved in for what you thought was the kill!

And when you found he was, that his views on CAGW are completely aligned with yours and the Guardian's, you were left scrabbling around trying to find a pretext to kid yourself it might not be true.


Grow up, dear. And face up to it: you are of the same mind as some of the most disgusting people on the planet.

Feb 15, 2011 at 1:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

Not sure where to begin on this Beddington piece. So much to say and don't want to rant or write a dissertation.

I go back to labels: psuedo-science, cherry-picking, scientific method, Government Chief Scientific Adviser, grossly intolerant, racism, homophobia, nonsense, pernicious influence, ridiculous, increasingly pernicious influence, non-scientist commentators, "properly trained, properly assessed" scientists, very important scientific community.

Notice how the negative labels are applied to the "pseudo-scientists" and the plea for sympathy, understanding, etc is applied to the serious scientists who respect the scientific method. So forget the actual content of his point, the labels and adjectives themselves sway the opinion. This doesn't seem very scientific. In fact it seems a bit "post-modern". This guy gets to define and label humans based on his view. I wonder if scientists talking about science who represent governments and peer-reviewed societies should only be allowed to speak in logical, rational, cool, calm terms?

And didn't Paul Feyerabend (and others) tell us that not all science can be verified with a scientific method? So are these guys opposed to that science?

And c'mon. This guy obviously doesn't get post-modernism. The reason we have many truths is because humans are allowed into the scientific equation. Science couldn't be done without humans which is it's greatest strength and downfall. The point is to weed out the bad human influence and keep the good so science can progress. Post-modernism can help with that endeavor.

Can you imagine if we never cherry-picked? We would never get anything done. The human mind processes millions of transactions a second. We aren't even aware of all of them. Weird how our human biology cherry-picks ideas to bring to the fore-front of our minds. What would happen if we were aware of every transaction or were distracted by every sound we heard? Or had to epistemically verify every basic belief we used to get through the day? Not much blogging and commenting would get done.

Feb 15, 2011 at 1:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin

Aynsley: Ouch on Bob May and the gays of New York. Great link.

David Whitehouse: Great list of science & tech that was barely tolerated by a powerful status quo but fought its way to mainstream acceptance for the blessing of mankind. It's hard to know if every age had its John Beddington. I think not. We have the additional burden of a much bigger public sector, from which such edicts flow. That's where I think Delingpole is deeply on the right track - and Bishop Hill - in linking this sphere of modern corruption with the need for a genuine libertarian revolution. But that might take a while. And such a 'world turned upside down' will require a profound spiritual renewal and debate, as it did in 17th century.

Feb 15, 2011 at 1:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterRichard Drake

Feb 15, 2011 at 1:08 PM | Justice4Rinka

Yet more hysterical abuse from Justice4Rinka.

As for agencies - there's this country called 'The USA' and in that country, they have several things called 'intelligence agencies'. These 'intelligence agencies', or just 'agencies' as some call them, do things like assessing intelligence for credibility, this includes how recent and/or genuine recording purpoted to be from OBL are. If a recording seems recent and genuine, then they say so. This has not happened for some time.

Feb 15, 2011 at 1:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed


Do you have a view on who IS reponsible for the purported Osama bin Laden video?

Feb 15, 2011 at 1:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterDreadnought

Sit down everyone, I am going to defend Zebedee. He/she is very likely correct about the Osama tape being fake. Afaik independent linguists and video experts have questioned the authenticity of all of the tapes after 2002. The OBL in the later video tapes also show very little likeness to the original. Indeed, there's evidence that suggests OBL was on dialysis in 2001, and probably died in 2002 at the latest. What's really interesting about OBL is that he is not wanted in connection with 9/11 - - iirc, when an FBI agent was asked about this this, he said they had absolutely no evidence linking him to the WTC attacks. It does make you wonder why FEMA set up camp in downtown Manhattan on 10.11.2001 and how 47 storey WTC7 could have fallen that quickly. Especially when one considers that the BBC announced live on New24 and Radio 5 that it had fallen 20 minutes before it actually did. Not to mention the countdown first responders heard. Hmmm, lets not go there, I've got work to do.

Feb 15, 2011 at 2:12 PM | Unregistered Commenterlapogus

Have you read any Orwell, Zed? You should, because you're in it. The essays in particular are about you.

Here you are in "The Prevention of Literature":

The Catholic and the Communist are alike in assuming that an opponent cannot be both honest and intelligent. Each of them tacitly claims that "the truth" has already been revealed, and that the heretic, if he is not simply a fool, is secretly aware of "the truth" and merely resists it out of selfish motives.

Have you ever shrilled that at anyone online, Zed? Ring any bells?

Here you are again, Zed. Same essay.

What is new in totalitarianism is that its doctrines are not only unchallengeable but also unstable. They have to be accepted on pain of damnation, but on the other hand, they are always liable to be altered on a moment's notice.

Insert the word "climate" before "totalitarianism" in that sentence and that's you, that is, Zed. To a tee. When it came to invading Iraq, US intelligence agencies were no doubt a vicious, incompetent and untrustworthy shower of liars. When it comes to attributing views on CAGW to OBL, the CIA is suddenly the fount of all respectable wisdom and unless they say he said it, he didn't say it! Fancy that! Here's the whole thing:

It's a good read, Zed. To normal people it's a critique, to you it's a textbook.

Feb 15, 2011 at 2:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka


You need to raise FLAGS when you need to get things done in science. That way when you or others come to retrace your steps in order to see where the problems are in the science.

That is not being done in climate science - be it the hockey stick, Himalayan glaciers, etc. You simply cannot gloss over these problems as has been done in the IPCC reports.

It says a lot about the state of climate science that professional statisticians and citizen scientists are doing a far better job at scrutinising and criticising the AGW hypothesis than any tenured climate scientist.

Feb 15, 2011 at 2:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Oh god, Iapogus, what is Zed to do? The CIA say it might not be OBL, but the CIA also blew up the twin towers? Is that what the consensus says?

I sense a HAL9000 moment coming on for the poor sap.

Feb 15, 2011 at 2:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka


I agree with you completely.

Feb 15, 2011 at 2:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin

The CIA is also behind the Egyptian protests....and probably Iran and Yemen. As well, I just spoke to Elvis and Michael Jackson this morning. They are planning a new album together.

What are we to do with "conspiracy theories"? I even hate to use the term because by using it in such a way we could stigmatize any and all legitimate conspiracy theories. Damn! This is Pandora's box.

Feb 15, 2011 at 2:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterKevin

Re Barry

They're not "sceptics" - they're cranks, and it's time to unmask those who are holding our nation's climate policy hostage.

Oh goody. They're going to expose the WWF, Greenpeace, Sierra Club etc etc lobbying for their own special blend of climate, energy and social policy? Anyway, cranks are good, they convert rotational motion into linear motion and allow progress. If we didn't have cranks, things would just sit there spinning aimlessly. I for one look forward to Beddington et al declaring war on cranks.

Meanwhile, proper scientists can hopefully get on with doing some proper science, using the correct tools for the job. Hopefully our weather historians will also request and get more assistance from statisticians to help them understand what they're looking at and how they're interpreting their data. Some weather historians may even become more sceptical, as scientists are meant to be.

Feb 15, 2011 at 2:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterAtomic Hairdryer

I liked the teacher-student school thing. Killer. :) :)

Feb 15, 2011 at 2:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

It's one of those 'Gone Fishing' days.

Feb 15, 2011 at 2:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

OT cm docker.
Received exact same BBC e-mail today. Why am I so surprised.

Beddington,King, Rees, Nurse, Cox, Singh etc can't all be wrong ,surely. Yes they can.
Surely, someone in power will call for a truly independent examination of facts before we ruin our economy.

Feb 15, 2011 at 3:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterG.Watkins

ZBD says:

"My entire relationship with the Guardian is restricted to reading and enjoying it."
He then goes on to assert that the writing is ' head and shoulders above other nationals'!

But the Guardian has a circulation of only 279,308 whereas the Daily Telegraph has a circulation of 651,184 (Jan 2011 figures). Surely ZBD you would prefer to read a broadsheet newspaper that represents the popular consensus of those that read serious newspapers?

Feb 15, 2011 at 3:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterThinkingScientist

It’s all over for God as Professor John Beddington declares intolerance to scientific consensus is worse than paedophilia.

Feb 15, 2011 at 4:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterCarl LaFong

Ah, TS, but the Narugdina is read by the public sector, and by the time you've finessed everyone else out of the sample, that's the only consensus that matters. Even if it's a consensus of a few hundred thousand dole-sucking nobodies.

Arthur Scargill understood this perfectly. Those for - himself, eight million votes. Those against, everyone else in the room, two million votes. So that's a consensus of ten million in agreement with Arthur.

ZDB probably can't see where Scargill ever got anything wrong either.

Feb 15, 2011 at 4:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

"Even if it's a consensus of a few hundred thousand dole-sucking nobodies."
Feb 15, 2011 at 4:04 PM | Justice4Rinka

Wow - you really embrace your hatred and prejudice don't you.

Put my hands up and say it's a few years since I last checked this, so can't easily link to the source, but the last time I looked over a demographic breakdown of newspaper readers, Grauniad readers were amongst the highest paid, best educated and working in the best jobs of the lot.

Feb 15, 2011 at 4:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

ZBD says: "Grauniad readers were amongst the highest paid, best educated and working in the best jobs of the lot."

Once the public sector job cuts take effect they won't be...

Feb 15, 2011 at 4:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterThinkingScientist

Is Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi a climate change denier now that he has been indicted to stand trial on charges of paying for sex with an under-age prostitute?

It would appear not.

In a speech on climate-change action directed at other EU leaders Berlusconi said, "Drop these ridiculous excuses that it’s impossible! That it’s not in your narrow national interests! It IS possible! Our survival is at stake! What more compelling interest is there than that?"

Would Michael Buerk like to recant his statement that, "not long ago, to question multiculturalism - the precepts or the policies of successive governments - risked being branded racist and pushed into the loathesome corner with paedophiles and climate change deniers"

Feb 15, 2011 at 5:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

“ was such a short step from socialism to fascism for people like Oswald Mosley and Mussolini.”
It was a short step from socialism to the SDLP too, though I don’t see much resemblance between Mussolini and Dame Shirley Williams. Mussolini and Mosley devoted themselves to violently attacking socialists. That’s not the way of Old Labour types like Beddington and Rees.
We lefty sceptics are resigned to the fact that our natural political allies have all gone down with an apparently incurable bout of mass hysteria. It’s a bit hard having our political beliefs slurred by our fellow sceptics.

Feb 15, 2011 at 5:22 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

O/T -- but related to what the Bishop should do to fund this blog.

It appears to me that the best solution would be to charge people for posting -- say at the rate of a quid for a block of ten postings. That way we can at least get the trolls to help fund this blog.

ZDB would certainly be a major contributor.

Feb 15, 2011 at 5:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

@ geoff

There are many directions one can proceed in starting from socialism. Fascism is just one, and continues to be so today, but it's not the only one.

The belief that experts know best and nobody else should be allowed to speak is evry, very familiar to anyone who's read their H G Wells. He had an excuse, however.

Feb 15, 2011 at 5:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

Scientific fraud at GISS, presumably an attempt to get rid of the evidence of corruption prior to the Congressional hearings:

It's getting very serious now, Is this a concerted campaign in the UK and the US?

Feb 15, 2011 at 5:40 PM | Unregistered CommenterAlexander

@Alexander - your link didn't work for me. Bing took me to a failed search page.

This one worked:

Irrespective of what's happened to the Hansen page, the USA temperature blink comparator speaks a thousand words.

Feb 15, 2011 at 6:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterwoodentop

“There are many directions one can proceed in starting from socialism. Fascism is just one..”

Well, yes. On any political map I’ve seen, you can get from anywhere to anywhere else, and many do. HG Wells is a fascinating example of a left-wing progressive with certain highly distasteful views, just as his friend GK Chesterton is a fascinating example of a Catholic reactionary with certain profound insights into the modern world. What this has to do with jibes at Scargill, civil servants (“dole-sucking nobodies”), CND “buffoons” and comparing “ecosociopaths” to Bin Laden is beyond me. Your insults are a mirror image of the standard fare of certain extreme Greens who accuse us all of being far right creationists.
Why most sceptics come from the libertarian right, and most of the left has swallowed the global warming myth, is an interesting question which we sceptic lefties would be happy to discuss with people of opposing political views. Not like that though.

Feb 15, 2011 at 6:27 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

Hello Zed

You sound cross. I keep missing all the good stuff. Too busy by half at the moment...

Did you catch that mini-review of Anderegg 2010 by Eric Steig ;-)

It's in Unthreaded.

Feb 15, 2011 at 6:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

It's been one of those days with many interruptions from the topic in hand, perhaps that can be turned around now?

Feb 15, 2011 at 7:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterLord Beaverbrook

Lord Beaverbrook

You are mistaken, I think.

The headpost concerns Beddington fulminating against what a well-known apparatchik once called 'voodoo science'. His assumption is that there is a correct version, and dissenters are to be, well, crushed.

Zed likes to argue from authority, and she likes the implication that clever people 'get' CAGW and stupid ones do not. Look at this from above, for eg:

Wow - you really embrace your hatred and prejudice don't you.

Put my hands up and say it's a few years since I last checked this, so can't easily link to the source, but the last time I looked over a demographic breakdown of newspaper readers, Grauniad readers were amongst the highest paid, best educated and working in the best jobs of the lot.

One of the most frequent references she makes is to papers by Doran (can't remember - 2006?) and Anderegg (2010) which purport to show that '97% of scientists support the IPCC consensus' and that, in the Anderegg 'analysis' dissenters are less published and less academically prominent than the good guys.

These kinds of paper annoy me because they are crap methodologically and only add to the already unpleasant polarisation of the debate. Name-calling in the literature is still name-calling.

So - a continuum of argument. I suggest (mildly) that I am on-topic.

Feb 15, 2011 at 7:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Sorry - incomplete above: even Eric Steig was quick to condemn the Anderegg paper for poor methodology and for being divisive. I just wanted to point out to Zed that even some of the Inner Circle recoil holding their noses in the presence of this paper. Perhaps she will finally stop referencing it in support of her (various) arguments with commenters here.

Feb 15, 2011 at 8:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Getting even dirtier.

Feb 15, 2011 at 8:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterChris S

Feb 15, 2011 at 7:55 PM | BBD

I was going to drop it for the rest of the evening, as I've rowed with almost every poster on here today. However, a nice Sauternes has worked wonders, and I haven't yet come back to you on the Anderegg paper.

Neither it, nor the Doran one, are perfect. I've never seen a perfect paper. However, neither are as bad as they (unurpisingly) are made out to be on this place. Are they so staggeringly, methodologically, totally flawed as to be completely dismissably worthless? Of course they're not. You can pick a few holes in them, but not enough to write off both papers entirely.

Which leaves us in a position of saying they should perhaps be handled gingerly, but should still be taken into account. What do we have to weigh up against them when it comes to examining consensus amongst climate scientists? Nothing.

On balance then, any rational person will conclude that consensus amongst climate scientists is more likely to be 97% than any other figure.

I'm sure the hysterics will be frothing at the mouths, and, as they normally do, ignore the logic of that argument and come up with the same old C and P'd criticisms and rant about the number 75. Nonetheless, the logic of my point is flawless.

Until someone can come up with a paper rebutting, or putting a seriously different slant on this, then I shall continue to be convinced that this is the case. Something overwhelming reinforced by actual published papers on the subject, which seem to me to be quite far north of 97%.

Feb 15, 2011 at 8:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

@Cumbrian Lad

Sir John has well and truly skewered himself there, there is no more blatent piece of cherrypicking than to accept those investigations at face value. There really does seem to be a panic on in the Green Halls of warmism, they are thrashing about on all fronts. Even ... been sent out to troll again.

It's quite fascinating to watch these amazing exercises in projection as their desperation increases, almost daily!

As for the troll patrollers ... It's really unfortunate that the gods of BlogCreation have not yet found a way to implement that which we used to call "killfiles" in the good old days of text only newsgroupreaders.

It made it so much easier to resist the temptation to feed the poor souls. They worked much the same way as spam/junk filters work in E-mail programs.

Once plonked into the "killfiles" of the wise, the hapless trolls were left to pretty much talk only amongst themselves (and/or sometimes to their own sockpuppets). And those who were interested in discussion (or merely lurking to learn) could do so in peace and quiet :-)

And on a slow newsgroup day, one could (if one so chose) temporarily release the more amusing ones and silently watch 'em flounder.

Oh, well ... those were the good old days!

Feb 15, 2011 at 8:17 PM | Unregistered Commenterhro001


Did you look at the Pielke Jnr blog post? Did you note Steig's reaction in comments? Or Spencer Weart's at SkepticalScience?

What you say above is simply unsupported. You are using this 97% figure without any solid work backing it up. Exactly what you accuse many commenters here of doing.

I suggest - gently - that you back away from your position and leave Anderegg and his consciously political and divisive work (based on a blog survey, FFS) to fade into the obscurity it richly deserves.

There are better arguments, and you are more than smart enough to switch to them rather than backing a very dodgy horse indeed.

But thanks for your response ;-)

Feb 15, 2011 at 8:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

Nonetheless, the logic of my point is flawless.

Ease up on the Sauternes.

Feb 15, 2011 at 8:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterBBD

I agree with guys for once. Calling for "intolerance" and comparing science critics to racists is inappropriate.

I do think scientists to need to swiftly refute ill-informed or deliberate distortions of science. I also think it is fair to compare climate change deniers to creationists. I also think we need to take a very strong stand against those who vilify or harass scientists (this includes a small subset of the deniers like Marc Morano, but also groups like the ELF).

Feb 15, 2011 at 9:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike

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