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« Science Media Centre and the BBC guidelines | Main | Richard Black and the BBC guidelines »
Friday
Feb172012

Whodunnit?

Megan McArdle at the Atlantic has done an excellent analysis of the Heartland documents and comes to the conclusion that the strategy document was indeed a fake.

Overall, like the fake documents and quotes of earlier posts, [the strategy document] just feels too convenient.  It's a super-handy roadmap to all the most incendiary portions of the other documents, and it contains absolutely nothing that does not serve that purpose--no formulaic self-puffery, no mentions of problems that you would think a legitimate memo would have covered, like the precipitous cuts in their global warming programs that they were forced to undertake when their anonymous donor delivered less cash than expected in 2011.  It reads like it was written for climate activists.  And I don't get the feeling that the folks at Heartland are much interested in helping out their friends at ClimateProgress and Grist.

There's also some very interesting speculation about the identify of the culprit going on in the comments at Lucia's at the moment. Steven Mosher has noted the west-coast time stamp in the strategy document metadata and also some of the stylistic quirks of the author - poor punctuation, excessive use of parenthesis, and also the use of the strange term "anti-climate". Comparisons are being made with the literary style and twitterings of none other than Peter Gleick, the very green head of the Pacific Institute in Oakland, California.

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Reader Comments (63)

(I had just finished posting this in the Watts thread, but most of my comment seems appropos here):

My initial thought was that the creative writing exercise was the work of Mashey (who's known for his mashups); but the textual analysis - along with a number of other lines of evidence - presents a very compelling case. Certainly far more compelling than any "analysis" one has ever seen from Gleick - or Mashey for that matter!

And Gleick certainly fits Latimer's profile, particularly:

The faker must have assumed that he would get away with it – that his fake would be accepted. He has a high regard for his own abilities, and probably little regard for those of others

Then again, it might have been a "team effort" :-) One of the unique "fingerprints" in the memo is the use of the word "anti-climate" - and, as there has been here, there's also been discussion about techno expertise.

As I have just posted at Lucia's, here's something I found at the smoggy site:

Dr. Mashey is an easy-to-Google semi-retired Bell Labs (1973-1983) / Silicon Valley (1983-) computer scientist/executive. He has worked with a wide variety of scientists, many of whom have used software or hardware he helped create. For the last few years he has been studying climate science & anti-science and energy issues, and for several years has written occasional investigative reports mostly hosted here at DeSmogBlog.

In Spring 2011, he lectured several times in British Columbia on climate anti-science. He is a member of AAAS, AGU, APS, ACM, IEEE CS.

Source

Feb 17, 2012 at 11:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterHilary Ostrov

Megan's analysis is first rate, I had a read through when you first posted the link. The general discussion following it is also pretty good. The real question is why no one in the MSM seemed to do this sort of checking when the story broke.

Feb 17, 2012 at 11:35 AM | Unregistered CommenterEddy

Just when I was thinking 'gosh there are a lot of sharp people on the side of the angels in this climate debate and they seem to be getting quicker and harder at jumping on the nonsense produced by what I suppose to be consistent I must call the side of the devils', I read the above-linked essay by Megan McCardle.

My crude binary model of devils and angels disintegrates at a stroke. She sure is sharp, she writes like a very analytic angel, and she is indeed doing 'battle on the plains of Mordor' against the bad guys. Yet she has been won over by their cause: 'I should also probably note that I disagree pretty strenuously with Heartland's position on global warming. I not only believe that anthropogenic global warming is happening, but also support stiff carbon or source fuels taxes in order to combat it.'

But then, I got to thinking a little more. This is good news. Not only are those on one side of the fence getting more and more effective at exposing the nonsense, some, at least one, on the other side are doing it as well. And very well. So, well done to Megan McCardle.

I hope she'll find her gateway through that fence one day soon, not only to help attack 'the cause', but also so that I can revert to my simpler model of good guys and bad. Maybe she might begin by noting that believing in 'anthropogenic global warming' is actually not enough to exclude her from 'our' camp. The fence divides us from those who exploit artifice, alarm, obfuscation, scaremongering, deceit, deception, doom, gloom, phony authority and the targeting of children to be activists for their political ambitions disguised in a now threadbare cloak of 'science'.

Feb 17, 2012 at 11:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Shade

You can hear Peter Gleick in Oxford in April (cost £8):

http://www.oxford-amnesty-lectures.org/index.php?p=Lectures

Tuesday 24 April
Peter H. Gleick, Co-founder and President of the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment, and Security, Oakland, California
The Human Right to Water

Feb 17, 2012 at 12:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterDR

As I noted yesterday, Ms McArdle's detailed and forensic analysis is all the more telling because, as John Shade points out above, she's plainly no sceptic. I believe it's an analysis that settles the matter beyond serious doubt.

Nonetheless, the Guardian is not giving up. Yesterday evening, well after the news broke that the "strategy" document was probably fake, Suzanne Goldenberg had another story (link) describing Heartland as a “free market thinktank behind efforts to discredit climate change and the teaching of science in schools”, supported by this extract from the fake document: “the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain – two key points that are effective at dissuading teachers from teaching science”.

Maybe the paper’s editors still think it’s genuine. Or perhaps they don’t care so long as they can continue to publicise the calumny.

Feb 17, 2012 at 12:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobin Guenier

Re: Hilary Ostrav

> there's also been discussion about techno expertise.

I don’t think to much weight should be put on the need for technological expertise in the perpetrator. I've seen several mainstream news stories in the past whereby somebody has been caught out by the meta data. As an example see this news item by the BBC from 2003. It is only a short step from knowing there might be compromising information to working out that by printing and scanning you get rid of it all.

Feb 17, 2012 at 12:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterTerryS

John
Megan is indeed a sharp angel, but then, I read that she thinks the world should put "stiff controls" on carbon. That makes her a very dangerous angel (who has just a little bit more thinking to do).

You are right about the fence as well: (Unlike many, many skeptics), she has to make a living supporting the consensus. So, this excellent article of hers could fetch her trouble.

Feb 17, 2012 at 12:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Megan describes herself as a "moderate libertarian" (although "pragmatic" fits better from my reading of her Atlantic work). Perhaps more telling is that she's married to Peter Suderman, an associate editor of the Los Angeles-based libertarian magazine Reason, occupying their Washington, DC office.

Feb 17, 2012 at 12:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterOrson

Folks, what's done is done now, but don't you think idle speculation about Gleick is a bit weird? I do find some of the analysis compelling, but he's just a private person.

Lets just throw away the moral high ground (which just went on a wild swingride in this whole incident) by public insinuation against an individual without proof? I don't know - it doesn't sound like a good idea.

Feb 17, 2012 at 12:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterShub

Small typo in the third paragraph..."identify" should be "identity."

Feb 17, 2012 at 12:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterDGH

I suspect that this was a team effort of sorts. It may be the case that when these documents became available by the thief it was decided by others they didn't stack up to anything much. Maybe the thief was dissappointed by the intitial reaction from cAGWists, maybe he didn't know there was that reaction; but somewhere down the line someone decided it all needed spiced up and that person needed to be sure that this document, as with the others, would see the light of day and be spread as far and as quickly as possible without too many questions being asked beforehand.

It is being touted that Brendan DeMelle of DeSmog knows the source. It is also being touted that Peter Gleick has a similar writing style to the person who created the fake document.

All we know for certain it only needs a few people to commit a conspiracy, but importantly it takes a lot more people to perpetuate a lie.

Feb 17, 2012 at 12:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

I think Le Hickman's Twitter conversation is worth an articile all by itself today..
it started with Leo unsure whether it was a fake, and Heartland had not prooved it to be a fake, and that onus on Heartland to show a fake..

Someone did say they had a Guradina memo that said they were owed a million by the Guardain, and for the Guardian to prove it wrong or pay up..

Proving a negative is hard..

I think Leo is desperatley clinging to the hope that the fakewas real..

Feb 17, 2012 at 1:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

The Independent and the Telegraph have given the whole thing a wide berth...

Feb 17, 2012 at 1:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

The important thing is that this fake document had a ready and waiting audience. This audience was not interested in its authenticity but that it confirmed their prejudices and their beliefs.

This is very much like how IPCC AR4 was written in parts and summarised, science coupled with political comment, ideology, faith, conjecture, misreprentations and untruths.

It highlights again how important a role a small group of sceptics have in exposing all of this.

Feb 17, 2012 at 1:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

I am struck by the contrast between Megan McArdle's detailed forensic examination and the sloppy acceptance of anything that fits with their prejudice from the likes of Richard Black and Leo Hickman.

(Bish note spelling of McArdle /pedant) [Thanks-fixed. BH]

Feb 17, 2012 at 1:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Matthews

Completely agree with the Shub. People should keep their speculation about "the faker" to themselves for the time being. You could be putting a completely innocent person in an impossible position.
I am convinced the Strategy Document is a fake...but it is not impossible that it is not.

Feb 17, 2012 at 1:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Savage

Richard Littlemore at demogblog writes, "...if the Heartland Institute can offer any specific criticism of the Climate Strategy or any evidence that it was faked and not, actually, written on Joe Bast’s laptop, printed out and scanned, we would be pleased to consider that evidence."

In addition to Heartland's denial that the document is authentic we have the Koch foundation's denial that they donated $200,000 in 2011. Accepting both parties at their word would normally be enough to deem this document a fake. But the poles in the climate wars have forsaken normal behavior and apparently neither Heartland nor Koch have sufficient credibility with the other side to be extended the decency that is due.

In that the Charles Koch Foundation is a 501(c)(3), it files IRS 990 which becomes publicly available. In years past it was the habit of the Foundation to detail the names of its grantees and the amounts they were given in their IRS filing. Assuming they continue that habit (following a recent restructuring of the Foundation), Mr. LIttlemore will have that additional evidence in due course. Either Heartland will be listed as the recipient of a $200K grant in 2011 or it won't be listed.

In the interim Mr. Littlemore ought remove the document and all references to it from his blog.
Mr. Littlemore ought to accept that evidence, remove the document from the site, and scrub all references to its contents.

Feb 17, 2012 at 1:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterDGH

Barry - that someone on Twitter was me. We should consider the possibility that Leo is completely clueless on what makes a document "real" or "fake" and simply follows whatever his assignment is (CAGW vs Evil Skeptics). He might as well be gullible by mandate.

Even if Gleick were to tape a confession, still Leo Hickman would defend the authenticity of the fake memo. It's the same attitude one finds among believers in crop circles. No proof is enough, and nobody can tell you what proof would be enough.

Feb 17, 2012 at 1:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito

[Jamspid- this is O/T , This post is about the possible author of the Heartland document now under discussio. BH]

Feb 17, 2012 at 1:39 PM | Unregistered Commenterjamspid

OT Sorry, but this has appeared in the Guardian. No comments allowed but HI might want to have something to say about it?

"But now comes the unauthorised release of documents showing how a libertarian thinktank, the Heartland Institute, which has in the past been supported by Exxon, spent millions on lavish conferences attacking scientists and concocting projects to counter science teaching for kindergarteners."

Susan Goldeberger in support of Mann's latest, and probably greatest, work of fiction.

Feb 17, 2012 at 1:45 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

JC
"The Independent and the Telegraph have given the whole thing a wide berth..."
Anyone know what the Times said about this?

Feb 17, 2012 at 1:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterEddy

There are programs out there that can tell you whether any two documents were written by the same person. Indeed they've been around for a long time now. One of my Profs at Uni used to use one to detect plagiarism in student essays (it was an Artificial Intelligence degree!).

Feb 17, 2012 at 1:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobinson

There are programs out there that can tell you whether any two documents were written by the same person. Indeed they've been around for a long time now. One of my Profs at Uni used to use one to detect plagiarism in student essays (it was an Artificial Intelligence degree!).

Feb 17, 2012 at 1:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobinson

Crumbs. I just googled "detect plagiarism" and there are lots of links and web gizmos for comparing documents. Someone should run a check against some of Gleik's previous work.

Feb 17, 2012 at 1:55 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobinson

@jiminy cricket

'The Independent and the Telegraph have given the whole thing a wide berth..'

Probably just indicates that Loopy Louise Gray is off on another freebie Greenpeace cruise......

Feb 17, 2012 at 1:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

I did tweet Peter Glieck about the discussion at the Blackboard.. as a courtesy


As I tried to explain to Leo, trying to prove a negative is very hard... especially if you are an innocent party.. ie Heartland to prove fake was fake, or Peter to prove he was NOT the faker..

Feb 17, 2012 at 2:28 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Eddy:


"Anyone know what the Times said about this?"

Well, I look at every single (ipad) page of the Times, every day. I've seen no mention of it whatsoever.

By the way, Richard Black isn't half getting a pasting in the comments section of his blog.
It's looking truly

Feb 17, 2012 at 2:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Boyce

... horrendous for him.

(oops)

Feb 17, 2012 at 2:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Boyce

'There are programs out there that can tell you whether any two documents were written by the same person.'........ There are indeed. I've got one running in the computer that sits between my ears. I would like to think that mine is far superior to those others but it does have a drawback. Absolute certainty is beyond it despite its ability to detect a very high degree of likelihood.

Feb 17, 2012 at 2:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterKen Harvey

Well the analysis of Megan McArdle that you link to is thorough and shows a very analytical and balanced approach to the truth.

I realise that she does not appear to have a scientific background (and why should she) and I don't know Megan or her work, beyond this piece, but what does worry me is how an obviously intelligent person doesn't seem to have applied the same analytical mind to AGW. She is fair minded enough to see malfeasance in the ClimateGate emails, but says she still supports the "cause" - or is that just something she has to do in her career and chosen field? Is Megan obliged to believe a theory that so far is not supported by any real data, and is actually undermined by huge amounts of real data? We have discussed this Emperor's Garments situation before.

I just find the mismatch of approach intriguing.

Note - I think I will use parenthesis less in future, or I might get mistaken for the drafter of the memo!!!!!

Feb 17, 2012 at 3:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterRetired Dave

Well the analysis of Megan McArdle that you link to is thorough and shows a very analytical and balanced approach to the truth.

I realise that she does not appear to have a scientific background (and why should she) and I don't know Megan or her work, beyond this piece, but what does worry me is how an obviously intelligent person doesn't seem to have applied the same analytical mind to AGW. She is fair minded enough to see malfeasance in the ClimateGate emails, but says she still supports the "cause" - or is that just something she has to do in her career and chosen field? Is Megan obliged to believe a theory that so far is not supported by any real data, and is actually undermined by huge amounts of real data? We have discussed this Emperor's Garments situation before.

I just find the mismatch of approach intriguing.

Note - I think I will use parenthesis less in future, or I might get mistaken for the drafter of the memo!!!!!

Feb 17, 2012 at 3:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterRetired Dave

Sorry for the double comment - website server problem.

Feb 17, 2012 at 3:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterRetired Dave

NOTHING, but NOTHING, would EVER surprise me about ANYTHING that Gleick did. A total charlatan of the first order.

Feb 17, 2012 at 3:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterHuhneToTheSlammer

There are indeed. I've got one running in the computer that sits between my ears. I would like to think that mine is far superior to those others but it does have a drawback.

In fact it isn't at a focused task like this. You see the problem with the Human brain is it has a definite predisposition to imagine things that aren't there. We know this from looking at the scientific output of the CRU.

Feb 17, 2012 at 3:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterRobinson

Well, I'm worried. When the idea that the memo was a fake first appeared, everyone was pointing to how badly written it was. And I just couldn't see it. I write like that. I'm never sure when I'm allowed to use a comma, so I just sprinkle them around the place. (I'm not sure about brackets, either.) Are the punctuation police going to be coming for me? I didn't write it, honest.

Feb 17, 2012 at 4:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

It is becoming clear that Fakegate is really a clever "sting" operation by some as yet unknown skeptic(s).

How else would so many prominent CAGWarmist journalists (sic) and bloggers be prompted to prove themselves to be such utter fools??

I have almost become accustomed to so much malicious dishonesty from CAGWarmistas, but are so many of them really such utter fools??

Feb 17, 2012 at 4:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterSkiphil

Among the latest developments, Bob Ward tweeting about a WaPo article on "scepticgate"...only thing, it's an AP article at the WaPo site, and that's a very different thing.

It even says "Associated Press" in big bold letters at the beginning of the article but reading skills aren't aplenty, I suppose.

Feb 17, 2012 at 4:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito

At Lucia's, someone points out that the bizarre word "anti-climate" from the faked document also appeared in Gleick's notorious review of Donna's book.
The comma abuse is also there: even his title ends with a comma.

McArdle says "And the stuff about Forbes is sheer lunacy, on multiple levels."
That's the bit that refers to Gleick.

Shub, you are right of course - but such speculation is amusing.

Feb 17, 2012 at 5:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul Matthews

Oh Lord, please let it be Gleick. It would just be the funniest thing ever. Lord, if you allow me this one thing, I'll start believing in you and got to church and everything. The idea that an incredibly obnoxious climo might cause the downfall of the Graun and the beeb's Black - really it's beyond delicious.

Feb 17, 2012 at 5:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames Evans

In line with my comment above, one must consider that this could be some kind of "false flag" operation designed to embarrass Gleick or other CAGWarmistas.

Because that fake HI "strategy" document was a pitiful pastiche of CAGWarmista cliches.

Surely no intelligent person would have expected it to withstand scrutiny??

Feb 17, 2012 at 5:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterSkiphil

Didn't Gleick review Donna L's book the day it came out, or before, or something?

Feb 17, 2012 at 5:38 PM | Unregistered CommenterJustice4Rinka

"Surely no intelligent person would have expected it to withstand scrutiny??"

Skiphil,

It is my suspicion that there are many in the AGW Tribe who are so ate up with Global Warming that they can't think very far ahead. That includes to the next moment.

Andrew

Feb 17, 2012 at 6:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

"Perhaps more telling is that she's married to Peter Suderman, an associate editor of the Los Angeles-based libertarian magazine Reason, occupying their Washington, DC office.
Feb 17, 2012 at 12:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterOrson"

Big deal. I'm married to a French Socialist. It is quite possible to love someone with quite dissimilar political views.

Feb 17, 2012 at 6:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterDocMartyn

@Shub Feb 17, 2012 at 12:49 PM

don't you think idle speculation about Gleick is a bit weird? I do find some of the analysis compelling, but he's just a private person.

I'm not so sure that he is "just a private person", Shub. Seems to me that by his own lights he's made himself a public figure:

“Gleick is co-founder and President of the Pacific Institute in Oakland, California. He is an internationally recognized climate and water expert and works at the intersection of science and policy, including issues related to the integrity of science.”

Source

And his pit-bull antipathy towards Heartland could rival that of Ward towards GWPF. Although to Ward's credit, as I had mentioned a few days ago, he seems to have... uh ..."retweated" from his initial euphoria - at least wrt HI.

Lets just throw away the moral high ground (which just went on a wild swingride in this whole incident) by public insinuation against an individual without proof? I don't know - it doesn't sound like a good idea.

It may or may not be a "good idea" ... But considering Mosher's indication (in one of his posts at Lucia's yesterday) that in his Portrait of the Artist as a Beleaguered Mann opus, Mann felt free to speculate that Steve Mc was somehow involved in CG, I'd be inclined to call any speculation here as more along the lines of goose and gander.

IMHO, it would not be the first time Gleick has sustained some self-inflicted wounds. [see Odes for Peter Gleick].

That Gleick has not responded either to the speculation at Lucia's or to PielkeJr's direct enquiry is not inconsistent with the "dressing" he chose for that series of self-inflicted wounds.This "self-medication" didn't help him then, and I don't think it's going to help him now.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on one's perspective!) his choice of "dressing" appears to have been adopted by some highly influential boosters - the ramifications of which may well turn out to be the unkindest cut of all!

Feb 17, 2012 at 9:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterHilary Ostrov

I have some doubts about whether programs for detecting plagiarism can show that two documents were written by the same person. The purpose of the plagiarism detection programs is to show that someone, typically a university student, has copied material and presented it as his/her own. The person who wrote the faked memo is not a plagiarist.

There are programs that analyse style and vocabulary to try and identify the author. I think they analyse the frequency of use of particular words and phrases and compare the results with those used in works by people suspected of writing the document in question. I don't know how available they are but even if they can be obtained relative easily I doubt if they would help all that much in identifying the author. If we were discussing a manuscript of an unpublished play or novel the text would be long enough for such analysis but a memo does not give you much to work on.

I am no statistician so I could be wrong but I suspect that because of the brevity of the memo any analysis by one of those computer programs would do no more than highlight the quirks that have already been spotted by people speculating about the identity of the author.

Feb 17, 2012 at 11:03 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

Well, it's an impressive piece of textual analysis, but why did she feel obliged to display her credentials as a true-believer before she started? And how can she simultaneously preserve her faith in "anthropogenic global warming" and expose the shabby tactics of the alarmists? If she seriously thinks that global warming exists, how does she explain the behaviour of its high priests? This, after all, is a far from isolated example. Jo Nova produces rock-solid evidence of similar behaviour on almost a daily basis.

On the plus-side, at least Ms McCardle knows how to spell "Megan" the proper way.

Feb 18, 2012 at 12:21 AM | Unregistered CommenterOwen Morgan

Feb 18, 2012 at 12:21 AM | Owen Morgan

If she seriously thinks that global warming exists, how does she explain the behaviour of its high priests?

Eh? That's a total logical non-sequitur!?

Whatever anybodies beliefs are it is what they say and do with respect to those beliefs that count, and she has done a great job of analysis - logically perfect.

McArdle has a new article up which builds upon her last one and she has harsh words about the twisty-ness of the desmog response. She is skewering this fake perfectly and pretty much shaming everyone else who are missing the "big picture" ;)

Feb 18, 2012 at 1:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterThe Leopard In The Basement

So in a nutshell.

The fake memo is just another document with tortured, and made up data that is passed off as official and if we call it as we see it we are anti-science. These warmers are so used to "adjusting" data and "smoothing" trends and using "forcings"....heck this 2012 Climate strategy is another official warmer computer model to create a report!!

Think about it. They take information ( HI donor data ) create smoothing ( outline for Climate Strategy ) use forcings ( predetermined motives of HI ) mix in some Dr Evil stuff ( not teaching science in schools ) and Bam! the 2012 Climate Strategy that is real in their minds. Who could argue? I mean all they did was embellish what they already knew was true.

And if we point out that it is fake they will say the data is there for everyone to see. When we shine the light of truth on the document we are obviously support big oil, the Koch Foundation, take candy from baby's, want the world to start of fire.....blah blah blah.

We should give the fake memo a name and use it as the Posterchild for the warmers.

Feb 18, 2012 at 1:25 AM | Unregistered CommenterDude

If Gleick is indeed the perpetrator, he's even greener than I thought.

Feb 18, 2012 at 2:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlex Heyworth

Anyone surprised that they could be so stupid as to do such an incompetent job of fabricating "evidence" against the HI, doesn't appreciate how caricatured sceptics have become in the minds of CAGW's most faithful zealots and commissars. Many spend inordinate amounts of time in warmist echo chambers, and the warmist blogs tend to be rigorously moderated/censored. Such blogs typically permit only the stupidest and most easily discredited sceptic comments to be posted, while keeping out all the unanswerable and utterly devastating criticisms by people like McIntyre. This allows them to build a conviction that sceptics are all dumb and have no valid arguments.

So long as they remain in their sandpits, every thing conspires to reinforce this view of reality, however the results when they venture out to engage in a battle of ideas in the real world can be hilarious. One of the funnier recent instances was the ritual humiliation suffered by the hapless Dr Gleick when he "reviewed" Donna L's book on Amazon, an open forum. I would encourage anyone who thinks that such people are too smart to make such a comic hash of things to revisit that earlier episode as a refresher on just how stupid many on the other side really are.

Feb 18, 2012 at 8:11 AM | Unregistered Commenterjim west

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