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« Department for Exaggeration, Crookery and Conmen | Main | The BBC's latest green recruit »
Tuesday
Dec022014

Niceness at home and abroad

Shub Niggurath is bemoaning the lack of venues in which there can be conversations across the lines of the climate debate.

Good discussions used to take place, on occasion, at WUWT or BH. There were brief periods when the old Collide-a-scape blog and Bart Verheggen’s site provided such moments. They are hard to come by now. Maybe the consensus and conspiracy poison spread mindlessly and artlessly throughout the blogs by certain people is to blame.

He's right of course. I have struggled long and hard to make BH the venue where that can happen, but it seems that a visit from, say Richard or Tamsin is guaranteed to get some people riled, with the result that moderation becomes a full-time occupation. I can't afford to spend that amount of time on it.

Still, it's interesting to see that from some people's perspective, the limited exchanges here at BH are something to aspire to. As Judy Curry explains in her retrospective post on climategate, the state of the climate debate, and in particular the recent furore over Tim Ball's posting at WUWT and the riposte by Richard and Tamsin.

...the 1100 comments at WUWT were absolutely vitriolic against Betts and Edwards.  On twitter, the vitriolic comments were coming from the warm side, i.e. how stupid they were to post at WUWT...Well, it seems Betts and Edwards are trying to promote civility, something that the UK does pretty well.  Presumably they thought that posting at WUWT would be like posting at BishopHill.  NOT.  Climate change and social media is mostly blood sport over in the US (and Australia and Canada), where the situation remains very polarized and polarizing.

So I guess things could be worse. But please, everyone, do try to keep the temperature down when a comment thread features someone you disagree with. Even if they refuse to admit they are wrong or refuse to engage with your arguments or misquote you. If you start a shouting match, few people will hang around to see how right you are.

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Reader Comments (422)

There's no "they"...otherwise you Bish are contributing to the divide.

Just as I can't vouch for the most rabid slayers I don't expect Richard or Tamsin to respond for Dana.

Either we're individuals or there's no debate

Dec 2, 2014 at 9:44 AM | Registered Commenteromnologos

I am not wishing to be contentious but what has "conversations across the lines of the climate debate" actually achieved.

We still have a suicidal energy policy, we still have increasing energy poverty, we still have the MSM sending out alarmist calls, we still have huge amount of money going into climate "research" with dubious results, bad energy solutions being forced on the Thrid World, etc..

The only reason the climate dialogue has changed recently is due to the alarmist predictions (projections), modelling, etc have spectacularly failed. Reality is ousting climate fantasy. But of course that does not stop the climate "scientist" perpetuate the myths, the gravy train is too seductive.

For example, has any debate here stopped the extreme weather meme?

Dec 2, 2014 at 9:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

I think that the polarised positions are hardening rather than reducing. We are nearly two decades into the temperature hiatus yet the alarmist rhetoric seems to have ramped up in recent months. The alarmist movement is determined to push through their agenda at all costs and the sceptics are trying to resist.

The moderates seem to be caught in the crossfire. I think part of the build up in tension is that as time passes it is more and more obvious that the science is flawed, yet the scientists refuse to admit this. A scientific re-think is needed but there are too many vested interests at stake.

Dec 2, 2014 at 10:01 AM | Unregistered CommenterSchrodinger's Cat

Unless somewhere litigation actually gets to court whereby facts can then be seen under the light of judicial inquiry nothing will change.

Dec 2, 2014 at 10:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterPeter Whale

Some of us manage to have a civilised conversation at the Conversation. I even got a correction made to a doubtful temperature claim in an article by one Michael Mann. They're uber-warmists, and you're not allowed to raise the subject of temperature unless the author raises it first, but they do reply politely, if through gritted teeth.

Dec 2, 2014 at 10:10 AM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

On the topics of reasonable communication and vitriol, Tamino has his first new blog post in nearly half a year. Not only is it pretty terrible, but Tamino is still up to his usual tricks. He let one of my comments go through so he could respond to it, then he deleted anything I submitted after.

And in a moment of self-promotion, here is a response to his post.

http://www.hi-izuru.org/wp_blog/2014/12/what-is-winter/

I mostly want to share it because it's the first post I've written at my new-ish site. It's not really new, but I switched over to self-hosting my WordPress blog so I have greater control over it. I've only made minor changes so far, but I think it's already an improvement.

Dec 2, 2014 at 10:12 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrandon Shollenberger

I don't think that Tamsin and Richard were seen as reaching across the divide at WUWT. They launched an unnecessary attack on Dr Ball and the fact that he had drawn a comparison with the green blob and the writings of one A. Hitler. He did not accuse anyone of being a Nazi and oddly enough, nor did he accuse anyone of being a holocaust denier. Dr Ball has been under relentless assault from the Green Blob and from the backers of one gentleman in particular for many years to the point where he hardly dares open the door or the mail. If Tamsin and Richard were genuinely interested in the cuddly warm, all nice bunnies together scenario then this was not the way to engage. I don't believe their faux outrage for one minute. They were not able to refer to any specific point where Dr Ball had called anyone any nasty names let alone referred to scientists as Nazis. Should anyone like T and R want to join in they would find any number of postings within their field of expertise to join in with. The spectacular failure of climate models and the 53 excuses for that failure would be a good starting point, though they can add a few words about those nice benign and cuddly polar bears if that is more to their taste.

Dec 2, 2014 at 10:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterIvor Ward

Progressives are infected with soft Leninism whether they admit it or not, whether they understand that or not. Defeating perceived enemies is what matters. To concede that a non-believer has a point is to admit that the faith may be imperfect, which plainly cannot be the case.

Dec 2, 2014 at 10:18 AM | Unregistered Commenterbill

I think you will find that impoliteness from contributors is tolerated, but impoliteness from blog owners is not. I for instance, no longer go to EU Referendum for this reason...

Dec 2, 2014 at 10:23 AM | Unregistered Commenterdodgy geezer

This issue is no longer in the hands of the scientists, it has moved on and is now the remit of those with even greater vested interests, politicians, officers, ngos and the money men.

Debating the niceties with Richard and Tamsin isn't going to change anything. They have raised the "uncertainties" expressed concern about models being central to determining policy. They have voiced a "not me gov" with regard to the +2C target. They have sold their product to the ones that really wanted it and it is doubtful if many of their customers really care about CO2 emissions. If you doubt that just look at what our politicians and officers are prepared to do to keep the lights on. They will fire up every possible diesel STOR unit, bring on line every possible fossil fuel unit irrespective of emissions, why? Because of the 7 May 2015.

No use questioning the scientists any more, it is well out of their hands and has been for many moons.

Dec 2, 2014 at 10:33 AM | Registered CommenterGreen Sand

The bottom line is that the CAGW meme is causing untold distress to the poor, especially in the Third World. Sadly, Betts and Edwards, whether they like it or not, are party to this. And party to total silence over the vile antics of the likes of Lewandowsky (a colleague of Ms. Edwards at Bristol Uni.) and Mann. They want to have their cake and eat it, as many many people pointed out to them at Watts, as a result of what seems to have been a deliberate misinterpretation of what Tim Ball wrote.

Dec 2, 2014 at 10:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Poynton

I think you will find that impoliteness from contributors is tolerated, but impoliteness from blog owners is not. I for instance, no longer go to EU Referendum for this reason...

Dec 2, 2014 at 10:23 AM | dodgy geezer
===============================================

You are not alone in this. North is always right, and everybody else is always wrong. Shame, as he is doing good work, but his ego is impossible to be around.

Dec 2, 2014 at 10:39 AM | Registered Commenterjeremypoynton

There’s two parts to this. The first is a matter of being polite to each other and visitors. That’s a very reasonable standard though it’s hard to say exactly what will upset another person or group. A lot of us didn’t read Tim Ball’s original piece because it was clear what the topic was about from the start. It was the sceptic equivalent of Naomi Oreskes works. It didn’t fit our view of things so we moved on. We were then berated for not knocking him down and within that dressing down were actually personal slights against Tim Ball. Frankly that opened the gate for personal insults back and… BOOM.

There have been calls on both sides for more genial discussion but I’m not sure it’s possible or even productive. The war of words is all we have and a softening is effectively an ending of the dispute. Are we where we want to be? Can the likes of Betts and Edwards offer us what we want? Do we even know what we want? Were the successes we’ve had so far been borne out of polite exchange or verbal sparring? Would Climategate have happened if things were cordial between prominent sceptics and the Met Office? Let’s face it, most of the progress we’ve made has been through sheer antagonism and the temperature pause.

If we are now to build bridges, what will we get for that other than media headlines like ‘climate change debate really over’? Seriously, I'm nt averse to ending hostilities but what would it achieve?

Dec 2, 2014 at 10:40 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

"Well, it seems Betts and Edwards are trying to promote civility, something that the UK does pretty well." Judy Curry

I don't know what to make of that. Promote civility, like trying to promote transparency or debate? Is JC counting on one hand with fingers left over, sites including this one that she frequents?

Dec 2, 2014 at 10:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul in Sweden

One thing I have always noticed since I began frequenting Judith's blog, is the INCESSANT snarling of climate alarmists. I don't think there was ever a time when those people have Not been demeaning, denigrating and demonizing.

Dec 2, 2014 at 10:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterOtter (ClimateOtter on Twitter)

The frustrations of the disenfranchised. People excluded will need to vent.

Dec 2, 2014 at 10:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

The attitude at WUWT will change towards Tasmin & Richard over time as Anthony Watts allows Edwards & Betts to post their archives of Guest posts they have placed at high traffic warmist sites castigating the various prominent warmist attack dogs.

Dec 2, 2014 at 11:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterPaul in Sweden

the bish forgets we are all coming from somewhere and had our experiences

i have been called a fascist a few times too many at Komment macht Frei by characters who just, you know, Knew, it all.

all warmists are selfinterested scumbags, other people have a dim view on weather and climate.
they are scum and should be treated for what they are

Dec 2, 2014 at 11:07 AM | Unregistered Commenterptw

All I want to see from climate scientists is for them to get out of the media business.

Betts and Edwards, along with others like Hayhoe etc. are for all apparent wanna be media luvvies.

My advice? Stick to the academics. After all, that's what WE pay them for isn't it? I am sick to death of this "science communications" nonsense. Just do your science, or forsake the grants and become a journalist.

Dec 2, 2014 at 11:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

To be clear, open discussion was and is possible at WUWT and BH. Lately however, I hear 'I'm banned at WUWT' a touch too often from people. I don't know, it is a subjective thing.

My unstated points are however:
(a) that the blogger AndPhysics' frustration stems from his own inability to understand his perceived opponents and hold meaningful dialogue than any rudeness from commenters, and,
(b) keeping communication open is more important compared to keeping threads clean and free from supposed rude comments.

(b) of course is a lot of hard work, much of it unappreciated. But, it is the biggest asset the climate sceptics have. Almost none of the climate consensus blogs can bring themselves to do it. They find deleting comments and banning people easier.

W.r.t to the Ball thread, B and T fell for a simple trick the Alinksy-ite outrage machine is expert in employing. They did not pause to mediate on what Ball wrote and whether it contained any truth. They did not even read him correctly.

Dec 2, 2014 at 11:14 AM | Registered Commentershub

science is almost irrelevant now (and has been for years, it is but a prop for policies -

Science was settled enough to give us the UK Climate Change Act- the dialogue needed is with policymakers, politicians, etc even NGO's. Robin Guernier has made some good progress with respect to politicians

This was a positive - climate or coal for India's poor (Lynas concluded, coal)
http://www.marklynas.org/2014/11/indias-coal-conundrum-which-comes-first-the-climate-or-the-poor/

focusing on scientists and science, has little impact. the issue all along for most people (I think) is policies, and climate science will sort itself out - eventually

Tm Ball's post as worse than offensive, it was an embarrassing sweeping generalization (Oreskes style, Klein style) rant, preeching to a small [USA predominantly, yes I see the stats) tribe, and utterly alienating for anybody merely curious about the climate debate.

Dec 2, 2014 at 11:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

I have repeatedly noted that we can actually agree on many things even if coming from different perspectives. However I have mainly been shouted down, called names or ignored due to people jumping on just one contentious sentence or even word in an entire conciliatory paragraph. I long ago realised that most folk involved from the warmist side just want to berate capitalism in general and oil companies in particular so their every argument fits that agenda, while many skeptics are just downright nasty to anyone who believes in a welfare state. If the debate was between grown-ups who rejected pre-set left/right dogmata and dealt only in real facts then we'd get somewhere but then if that was the case we wouldn't have such continually stupid governance in the first place. Politics - and this climate change debacle is mostly politics - just breeds black versus white argumentation I'm afraid.

I suspect only one of three things will bring about sanity to the debate; a) blackouts, b) a sudden drop in satellite-measured temperatures, c) a big cost breakthrough in renewable energy tech (eg batteries, solar panels). Meantime everyone needs to be looking at backup generation.

Dec 2, 2014 at 11:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterJamesG

Green Sand has spotted the nub. I just wish more people would. Ball did as well which might well be the reason for the outburst from Betts and Edwards.
I repeat — yet again — none of this has anything to do with science if it ever did. The origins of the campaign to "unpick the industrial revolution" (my phrase) go back to The Club of Rome and Limits to Growth in the 1970s. "Global Warming" aka "Anthropogenic Global Warming" aka "Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming" (note the need to ramp up the language as the sheeple refuse to fall in line) is merely the means to that end. If the pause/decline of 1940-1970 had continued it would have been Global Cooling instead.
You don't believe me?"

In a decade, America's mighty rivers will have reached the boiling point.
(Edwin Newman, Earth Day 1970)
If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder by the year 2000...This is about twice what it would take to put us in an ice age."
(Kenneth E.F. Watt, Earth Day 1970)
Even then they were busy contradicting each other — at the same damn' conference, for heaven's sake — and nobody then or since seems to have spotted it.

Which explains why as "the science" crumbles round their ears, the activists (not by and large the climate scientists but their hangers-on like Lewandowsky and Cook and Monbiot and the politicos like Davey and the money men — remember that one of the prime movers for all this was Lay at Enron who saw carbon trading as the next big thing) shout ever louder that it will all end in tears if we don't -- insert painful personal sacrifice of choice here! Your painful personal sacrifice, not theirs.
And they will plod on whether for reasons of power or personal financial gain until we all stop arguing the science and realise that as Green Sand says it has gone way, way, way beyond anything to do with atmospheric physics.

Dec 2, 2014 at 11:24 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Hi Mike - Rupert Darwalls - The age of Global Warming - looks into the history and politics of it all. and does a much better job than Ball - ie me across as rational, not all of science/IPCC involved in 'deception' -

Ball lost me at the 'deception' in the title..

Dec 2, 2014 at 11:31 AM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Paul in Sweden:

The attitude at WUWT will change towards Tasmin & Richard over time

I remember Willis' treatment of Judith immediately post-Climategate, and the similar tones en masse from commenters at WUWT. I think it's feasible that attitudes might change over time towards Richard and Tamsin, but I think it depends on them more than on the WUWT commenters.

When Climategate broke I think Judith was as incensed as many other now-sceptics at the discoveries and revelations therein. I think, for Judith, the entire house of cards was in the air. What Judith did then was admirable; she let the cards fall where they may. She's remained frank and honest about what she's discovered, about what's right and wrong in the climate science field. She's done so with extraordinary integrity and with no regard to the cost to her, both professionally and personally. I've no idea where to begin expressing my admiration of Judith Curry.

Tamsin and Richard are, I think, a slightly different story. I don't think the cards were so much in the air for them. I sense in them a desire to perform damage limitation. Perhaps it's because, in the vernacular, I'm a "denier", that I am suspicious of anyone performing damage limitation - I perceive "limitation" and "concealment" to be synonymous in the context of the damage done to climate science by Climategate. In other words, Climategate didn't create dysfunction in climate science, it merely exposed it. This is what I think Judith recognises but I think Tamsin and Richard don't.

But I could be wrong. First time for everything ;)

Dec 2, 2014 at 11:42 AM | Registered CommenterSimon Hopkinson

There is a danger to taking sides here, and assuming that people belong to tribes - warmist or sceptic, denier or whatever the opposite of that is meant to be (blind accepter?) - if you use labels, you start to ascribe people to them, and then see those people's actions in terms of the tribes. Some commentators on here irritate me by their anger at 'warmists' without ever stopping to think how a 'warmist' might see their comments. I know people quite like me - reasonably intelligent (that's them at least), scientifically educated to a reasonable degree, interested in a wide range of issues - but who take the opposite view on the global warming thing (they believe the 'settled science' but are not fanatics). If they saw these comments, all they would see is blind tribal hatred of the sort that is around here generally ascribed to the global warming is bad fanatics (and there is plenty of this - they have the same problem, and the lack of debate makes it worse in their echo chambers).

I would suggest if you need to comment, learn to think it through and make it reasonable. If you really are that full of blind hatred that you must make unsubstantiated accusations, who do you think you are helping? You're not going to win over anybody who is undecided or currently on the other side of the debate (as I was once, before I met this blog); people are going to ignore you as a troll, an idiot or possibly a bitter drunkard depending on your tone; and you provide those who do not want to discuss issues but to stay in their 'settled science' illusionary castle with ammunition to claim all those who want to point out the flaws in their position are irrational angry fools. If you need to vent your anger, why do it in a way that polarises a debate?

Dec 2, 2014 at 11:43 AM | Unregistered CommenterWatchman

Opinion is polarised precisely because the underlying assumptions of both sides are incompatible, and form part of world views that reaches far beyond mere climate science so called.

In essence the warmists are simply people who have a little knowledge, and trust it implicitly even when its too simple to be of any real use.

They think they understand physics, and ecology, and science. Some are even practising scientists of a sort, but they really don't understand science well enough to judge their own work.

Examine the following propositions and see where you stand.

Climate is described perfectly well by linear differential equations with non linear effects parametrised into broad constants.

There is a steady state balance to nature, where species do not die and climate remains broadly the same for millennia, except when mankind intervenes.

Mankind itself is inherently unnatural in its activities and nature.

Doing nothing is always preferable to doing something whose results are not fully guaranteed. Unless that something involves getting public funding. Like massive conferences attendance, or planting windmills and solar panels.

....make up the rest. I think you can see where I am coming from.

Dec 2, 2014 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterLeo Smith

Given the way certain elements of MSM peddle lies (e.g. BBC, Guardian) is there any wonder we might be short tempered? Just last Thursday we had an article in the Guadian headed:

"Fracking risk compared to thalidomide and asbestos in Walport report "

The article can only really be described as a lie, but that didn't stop Natallie Bennett citing the report on Any Questions. And so, off the lie goes into the CAGW/Renewables - sphere - no doubt to appear on a placard somewhere soon.

But has there been questioning of this piece anywhere in the MSM? Or do we take their silence to be an endorsement of the piece?

Perhaps Shiggurath should focus his rage elesewhere - on the MSM - rather than on the blogosphere?

Clive Owen has made this point a great deal better than me in his closing chapter of his book 'A Point of View' (2011), from which:

"Throughout 2010, the year after my brief career as a radio preacher, the mainstream media in the English-speaking countries continued to leave the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming thesis unquestioned. . . . [Then] journalists who had built their careers on the theory had begun to intercalate their articles about the approaching disaster with other articles about how not enough people were listening to them, and this second category of articles had the merit of being demonstrably true. . . . [On climate change itself] . . they said nothing. But the silence was stentorian. For the media, indeed, the silence was the message . . . In the three years I was broadcasting, there was a similarly widespread belief that anyone who did not think the climate was in crisis must be in the pay of an oil company . . .

Whichever way science goes, however, it would clearly be fatal for journalism if it continued to allow itself the dubious liberties of treating the merely conjectural as beyond objection. It would clearly be fatal because it has nearly been fatal already. . . .Some of the most famous newspapers in the English-speaking world are convinced that their circulations are threatened by the Web. But their circulations are also threatened by their declining authority, the vestiges of which, in this period, further declined until you could barely see them. In journalism, authority depends on the power of analysis. To parrot a fashion won't do the trick. There was a day when the best journalists could puncture a fashion early in its career because they were sensitive to bogus language. But from the 1960s onwards, pseudo-science got such a grip that it infected every field. (The climate change craze is an example of pseudo-science finally invading science itself.)

The deep story of this period was that journalists had become the last people to question anything. One can only hope that they will return to their traditional role of critical enquiry - i.e. scepticism -while printed newspapers still exist to be written for. I did my time in Fleet Street and I loved my craft, but it could just be that its time is up. Time will tell, and probably sooner rather than later. Meanwhile, in whatever medium, the best way to sound human when writing is to cleave as closely as possible to the spoken voice."

Dec 2, 2014 at 12:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterCapell

Dec 2, 2014 at 9:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterCharmingQuark

And we still have Betts and Tamsin talking about the catastrphic 2°C warming. They have not changed a thing as a result of 100s of papers against their dramas and no global warming for 18 years. Debate is only a worthwhile activity if their are two side debating in good spirit and not hiding their fait behind their backs.

Dec 2, 2014 at 12:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

I find BH to be a vitally useful resource: it remains extraordinarily tolerant, whilst dissecting errors, discrepancies as well as outright lies/propaganda. I agree that this debate needs to be focused and moderate, even under great provocation -plenty of that. The quality of commentary is mostly thoughtful and as Capell points out it used to be the job of journos to research and probe, and be skeptical, this has degenerated into the MSM infotainment industry. Please keep up the great work.

Dec 2, 2014 at 12:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterJRM Wheel

Watchman, at the moment the vast majority of people are not listening to either side. In many ways we are in a hiatus. As bills go up, they won't be looking for the truth so much as ammunition. If climate is significantly changing at the same time then sceptics won't have a leg to stand on and if it's not then newbies won't be put off by antagonism towards warmists, they'll add to it exponentially. If the pain is going up and the CO2 is not going down they won't care if AGW is real or not, they’ll just be angry at everybody.

We are at a turning point, which is wholly in the hands of the warmist establishment. Do they have enough confidence in their public persona to move the public in the ‘right’ direction when the going gets tough? Has the science and the system answered the questions sceptics have posed over the years? Are they at a position where they can withstand the full force of critical media scrutiny? It’s very much in the warmists’ interest to use sceptics to shore up their defences now. But they won’t. Even Betts and Edwards see communicating with sceptics as a humane way to remove a slightly troublesome irritant. They’re batting at flies while a herd of buffalo charge towards them from behind.

Dec 2, 2014 at 12:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

For the nervous amongst us the 'ammunition' I refer to is evidence to reject, not bullets.

Dec 2, 2014 at 12:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

I'll make a comment, even though it may be a bad idea. This, I think, is a fairly crucial point, made above Simon Hopkinson, that I think is probably the case.
I think it's feasible that attitudes might change over time towards Richard and Tamsin, but I think it depends on them more than on the WUWT commenters.
So, from what I've seen, people would be welcome here - or at WUWT - as long as they accept what people here believe to be self-evidently true. The problem is that many experts do not believe that these self-evident truths are actually correct. So, what to make of that? As I see it, there are sites like this that bash Lefties and Greens, find ways to criticise any media article that is broadly consistent with the mainstream position, promote any paper that minimises AGW (even if it has very obvious flaws), and maligns and slanders climate scientists. Then there are other sites that see things very differently. I don't really see a way to reconcile this, or really see any real point in trying to promote dialogue between people who hold views that are so obviously at odds with each other. I do complain about the tone, but that shouldn't really be seen as necessarily having a desire for it to be better. I wouldn't complain if it were, but I don't really care either way.

You might argue that the same is true for the "other side" and that probably is broadly true. But why should people who's views (with respect to the science, at least) be expected to shift their position away from being consistent with the best evidence available? Until the evidence changes, I certainly don't intend to do so.

Dec 2, 2014 at 12:57 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

I suspect only one of three things will bring about sanity to the debate; a) blackouts, b) a sudden drop in satellite-measured temperatures, c) a big cost breakthrough in renewable energy tech (eg batteries, solar panels). Meantime everyone needs to be looking at backup generation.

JamesG


James, even these failures will not stop their incessant crys of alarm. I sat down quietly recently to try to sum the money circulating in CAGW. If you want to know why Betts and edwards and Schmidt et al are going to keep going, try what I did. They will adjust the temp record for all their worth. Even now, temp records in the USA bear absolutely no relation to reality and no-one is saying a word. No mets, no climatologists, no physicists NO-ONE.

So when they arrive on the blogs and show no remorse, no wish to test their thinking, no concern for the people they are seriously damaging and maybe killing with high taxes on energy, why would anyone expect us to be totally uncritical.

Look if your science is solid, without flaws, then writing in blogs should present you with a challenging, enjoyable debate which will enable the refining of THE hypotheses on both sides. That's how science is SUPPOSED to work. I worked on research in semi-conductor technology, failure mechanism substrate efficiency. I had some terrific debates with my colleagues and changed my thinking on several occasions. I loved it. It was great because both sides provided their evidence in full, no appeals to authority, no arm waving, no my model this or that. Genuinely enjoyable debate.

This has proved impossible from the get go with the alarmists. I had a digusting exchange with Real Climate many years ago which totally coloured my view on CAGW (I was a sceptic since 1975). Nothing being said by Betts et al has been able to change that perception, not because I don't want it to change but because I get the same arm waving appeals to authority now after many years of so called debate.

There are some seriously effective scientists on this blog and others (particularly at Steve Mc's Climate Audit) who are perfectly capable of challenging the likes of the UKMO, NOAA etc. If these so calle scientists really want to debate seriously why do they never appear at CA.

Dec 2, 2014 at 1:01 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

Until the evidence changes, I certainly don't intend to do so.

Commenter...and Then There's Physics

As we keep asking, produce your evidence. Nothing we have seen is evidence. It's conjecture, it's models, its crap. SHOW IT and we will discuss.

Stephen Richards BSc MSC physics

Dec 2, 2014 at 1:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephen Richards

As we keep asking, produce your evidence. Nothing we have seen is evidence. It's conjecture, it's models, its crap. SHOW IT and we will discuss.
The evidence is there. If you don't want to accept that, that's fine. It's entirely up to you. In a sense, the point I was trying to get at in my earlier comment is that if you want to hold the position you hold, that's your choice. I don't really care. I don't really need to discuss this with you. I have no real objection to doing so, but if you want to impose conditions that need to be met before any discussion can take place, then you may be waiting a long time before any discussion happens. I'm not really bothered either way.

Dec 2, 2014 at 1:10 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

Anders's comment amuses me. First he gives your typical, "The other side sucks" remark:

As I see it, there are sites like this that bash Lefties and Greens, find ways to criticise any media article that is broadly consistent with the mainstream position, promote any paper that minimises AGW (even if it has very obvious flaws), and maligns and slanders climate scientists. Then there are other sites that see things very differently.

Then he gives a, "My side is clearly right" remark:

You might argue that the same is true for the "other side" and that probably is broadly true. But why should people who's views (with respect to the science, at least) be expected to shift their position away from being consistent with the best evidence available? Until the evidence changes, I certainly don't intend to do so.

This is amusing because with a change of but maybe five words, the exact same thing could be said by a person on the other "side." You'll note, for instance, when Tamino wrote his recent post, Anders was happy about it. That the post was terrible and deceptive, and that Tamino uses moderation to silence people whose points he dislikes, has no significance to him. So when he says:

I don't really see a way to reconcile this, or really see any real point in trying to promote dialogue between people who hold views that are so obviously at odds with each other.

The reality is the situation he describes happens because people like him (on all sides) refuse to try to have a real dialogue. They refuse to treat their "opponents" fairly. They refuse to truly consider points they dislike. They refuse to look at evidence or admit mistakes. Then, after adamantly refusing to try to have a dialogue, they storm off and say there's no clearly point in even trying to have a dialogue. And if that doesn't work, they'll lash out, censor and ban people to make it work.

People who say dialogue is impossible are just creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. They decide it is impossible to have a dialogue so they make it impossible to have a dialogue.

The reality is people who disagree, no matter how vehemently, can have a dialogue if they want to.

Dec 2, 2014 at 1:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterBrandon Shollenberger

Anders
Thanks for your post and for the generally civil tone. I wouldn't expect any scientist worthy of the name to form his or her opinions on anything but evidence; however the persistence of the utterly discredited 97% consensus and the incomprehensible conclusion of AR5 that confidence in the threat of AGW has increased are two good reasons to think that people you would describe as experts are following their hearts rather than their heads.
The best evidence available is in the satellite records, and as each year goes by this evidence chips away at our expectation of climate sensitivity, on whichever measure one chooses to use. Whether you choose Bayes or Keynes as your guide, the conclusion is inescapable. I don't see enough so-called experts accepting this simple logic.

Dec 2, 2014 at 1:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid S

ATTP " as long as they accept what people here believe to be self-evidently true" Nope, that's backwards. We don't give a darn what you believe. You can spend every penny you own cutting YOUR CO2 and you won't see a single objection from us. It's soending OUR money and lives cutting CO2 we object to. You have to meet our criteria to persuade us to change. Why is that so hard for you to grasp? I think it's because you regularly forget that this is a debate about real life and think it's just a scientific conundrum.

Dec 2, 2014 at 1:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Brandon,
Ahh, you miss the point of my comment (I'm not that surprised, to be honest). Of course, you're more than welcome to be amused if that's what you want to do. My point wasn't about being right or wrong. My point was simply that there seems to be such a large divide and "both sides" are unlikely to suddenly change. You should be careful of interpreting "consistent with the best evidence available" as meaning "right". It would be nice if the tone were to improve and I have no objection to that happening. I just don't see it happening if both sides require the other to substantially change their views. Again, I don't really like using the word "sides" but am not sure what other term to use.

The reality is the situation he describes happens because people like him (on all sides) refuse to try to have a real dialogue. They refuse to treat their "opponents" fairly. They refuse to truly consider points they dislike. They refuse to look at evidence or admit mistakes. Then, after adamantly refusing to try to have a dialogue, they storm off and say there's no clearly point in even trying to have a dialogue. And if that doesn't work, they'll lash out, censor and ban people to make it work.
This may even be partly true. I've certainly never claimed that my own behaviour has been exemplary. Of course, you've painted a rather extreme picture which, I would argue, is not an entirely fair assessment of the situation. Some of what you say is quite ironic given that you appear to see the world in black and white and, from what I've seen, have never been wrong.

David S.,
The best evidence available is in the satellite records
In your view, maybe. Many others disagree.

Dec 2, 2014 at 1:21 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

Tiny,
We don't give a darn what you believe.
Excellent, you've hit the nail on the head. FWIW, I'm really not trying to spend your money. Of course, if you can find somewhere where I have actually said "we need to spend TinyCO2's money" I'll apologise.

Dec 2, 2014 at 1:23 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

Richard and Tamsin over-reacted. Tim Ball's article was fingering Maurice Strong & Club of Rome as the instigators to ensure IPCC was set up to only look at human emissions as the cause of warming. He didn't mention anything about climate scientists in his post - they were just carried along ...

Dec 2, 2014 at 1:32 PM | Unregistered Commenteranng

@Then there's physics.

I've seen your blog. The following sums up your attitude:

"We don't give a darn what you believe."


We live in a world where the theory on which these same academics are still demanding action, has been almost certainly falsified by the evolution of measured temperatures over the last 2 deecades.

But neither Betts nor Edwards, nor you will accept that. And your rejection is complete coganative disonance, because the projections are a matter of record. The data can be measured via 4 different universally accepted series. And still you say "show us your proof".

I think you know the theory is a busted flush. Hence you don't actually engage in a discussion about the science, as per here.

Dec 2, 2014 at 1:37 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

ATTP, what you believe and what you can prove are two different things. If you don't think cutting CO2 equals spending everyone's money it explains a lot.

Dec 2, 2014 at 1:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Gekko,
I've seen your blog. The following sums up your attitude:

"We don't give a darn what you believe."

Yes, that may - in some sense - be true. Not sure what else I'm meant to say.

Dec 2, 2014 at 1:41 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

I can tell you what is needed for Betts and co. to be met with more tempered responses.

They need to publicly and repeatedly declare that by a number of different measures, the IPCC Assessment Reports (all of them) are now clearly unfit for purpose).

- That the Assessments and Summary contain excessive levels of confidence in their model
- That the most reasonable means of testing by falsification the Alarmist theory now almost certainly rejects the threat of dangerous warming due to human CO2 emissions.
- That there is no basis for formulating or enacting "climate policy" for the forseeable future until the process is suffiicently well understood.


Those are extremely reasonable conclusion to be drawn from the spread of information before us today.

But Edwards and Betts and co. will not do so. How can they expect a calm welcome from people who, rightly, see them as propping up his politically rampent travesty.

Dec 2, 2014 at 1:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

TinyCO2,
ATTP, what you believe and what you can prove are two different things. If you don't think cutting CO2 equals spending everyone's money it explains a lot.
What the evidence suggests is that if we continue to increase our emissions and, hence, continue to increase atmospheric CO2 concentrations, the world will continue to warm. The evidence also suggests that this warming could be substantial, potentially 2 degrees (relative to pre-industrial times by the mid-2040s) and as much as 4 degrees (or possibly even more) by 2100. Of course, it is possible that it could be lower than this, but that's not the same as saying "it will probably be lower than this". I think we should consider this when making decisions about the future. If we decide to do something, and what that is, is up to us. That's about all. I guess there is a chance that some of your money could be spent as a result of the decisions that are made but - I think - that's a normal part of living in a social democracy.

Dec 2, 2014 at 1:47 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

@Physics

"Yes, that may - in some sense - be true. Not sure what else I'm meant to say."

On the basis of that admission, I suggest prominent disclosure a the top of everythnig you post:

*Warning: I post hypocritical criticism of those with whom I see myself ideologicaly opposed"

Dec 2, 2014 at 1:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterGeckko

ATTP
Come on!
Where, to pick up on an earlier comment, is the justification for comparing global warming to thalidomide or asbestos?
That is pure unadulterated outright scaremongering and that is what most of us on here object to.
You say the evidence is there. Where? At the moment no-one is showing me any evidence only assertions or model outputs.
Capell makes a good argument and as an ex-journo myself (more than slightly down the pecking order from where he was) I agree totally with him. I was taught, even at the level of the the local press, that if a press release lands on your desk the first question that comes into your mind should be "what's in this for him?" and the second should be "what is it he's not saying?"
It would have helped climate science immensely if the quality press in the UK (and presumably elsewhere; I don't know much about US or Oz) had taken a more robust line and asked the questions that we are asking and had insisted on digging instead of simply regurgitating. Eventually, of course, some people started using FoI legislation to try to get at some evidence and got roundly vilified for their pains.
Did "why should I give you my data when all you want to do is find fault with it" not set any alarms ringing in your mind? It certainly did in mine and I'm not a scientist.
Any individual or organisation that spends as much time as the climate science community has done trying to hide its data — data, let me remind you, that was being used as the basis for spending trillions of dollars of taxpayers' money — is not to be trusted. Certainly not without some very robust questioning.
I said to you a couple of weeks ago that I would have hoped that dialogue might be possible (sorry that people on here immediately proved me wrong) and I would still hope that is so because we ought all to be on the side of truth (trite thought that might sound) but with that has to come honesty and fair dealing and that has to come from the people who are making claims which they refuse to substantiate.
Sceptics are not making claims other than the claim that they see no evidence that climate is doing or in danger of doing what the IPCC and the apologists for CAGW say it is doing. It is not a blind refusal to accept the evidence. It's a plea to actually be allowed to see some evidence as opposed to guesswork and computer games.

Dec 2, 2014 at 1:49 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Gekko,
Warning: I post hypocritical criticism of those with whom I see myself ideologicaly opposedA
Ahh, no, that isn't what I was acknowledging. I don't care what you believe. You can believe whatever you like. I do care, however, about what you can support with evidence.

Mike,
I would still hope that is so because we ought all to be on the side of truth
I would hope so too and that is certainly my intent. It does seem, however, that our views of what is self-evidently true are not quite the same.

Dec 2, 2014 at 1:57 PM | Unregistered Commenter...and Then There's Physics

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