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Discussion > A question of PR

MartinA’s formulation of “the opinion-forming classes” is a good one, and Jiminy Cricket’s point about CAGW allowing Guardian and Times readers to mix at dinner parties without having a brawl in the street corresponds to my experience. The brawl happens when a Times or Guardian reader announces that they don’t believe in CAGW. It’s the appeal to evidence which annoys, which suggests one’s disrupting an unknown unconscious force, like the one that keeps the protons stuck together against all logic.
As J Cricket says, being a middle class lefty is against nature. When it was a position adopted by a tiny percentage of society (teachers and other oddballs) it was tolerable. But now extreme Trotskyists adopt green dogma and get confused and angry when they find that Miliband and Sir Richard Branson agree with them. Lefties run ad agencies and bank in the Cayman Islands. To do that you need an ideology stronger than mere love of your fellow man.


there will be a slow realisation that man-made catastrophic climate change is nonsense, just as human–caused eclipses are nonsense.
But it wasn’t a slow realisation, it was a Greek proto-scientist (Thales?) making a prediction that came true. It was a mystery to me how he did it until quite recently, and my understanding didn’t come from google or my expensive education but from looking up at the sky one night and thinking about it. Looking at the weather and thinking about it might do more than PR, or even reading blogs, but I don't know how you get people to do that. Freezing a number of them to death might do the trick, but it seems a bit extreme.

Apr 5, 2013 at 3:38 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

BB, come on you can do better than that...

Vested interests? Why pay for something when you get it for free?

Geronimo's reference above to Wainwright street? A condemned street that no longer stands, near to the Toxteth district of Liverpool. My birthplace. Myself and Geronimo are of similar stock. In reality Maggie made everyone middle class, but using the traditional epithet "working class", I do not represent them. However, I can authentically exist in both worlds without embarrassing myself.

The definition of middle class? Being afraid. Afraid of losing your status and what you have, or that what you have is not what you should have. How can you even differentiate yourself from the those "below" you? Whilst not actually sacrificing anything (other than a few placky bags), but still giving you some "moral" or status differentiation, CAGW is perfect.

Moral superiority without it having any material detriment to your status. In fact it enhances your status with your peers. Perfect. The reinforcement of this superiority oozing from the TV, web and papers? Perfect.

So not exclusive to middle class, but fits nicely with that layer of society that seems to have the greatest political and social leverage. That layer will grasp anything that keeps or enhances their status.

Tis' ever was...

Apr 5, 2013 at 3:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

BB is not here to add to the debate. He is clearly enjoying (as a wordsmith) disrupting any thread he can. Bish, time to get rid, he has out served his purpose. No more positives, just negatives.

Apr 5, 2013 at 4:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Porter

BB is not here to add to the debate. He is clearly enjoying (as a wordsmith) disrupting any thread he can. Bish, time to get rid, he has out served his purpose. No more positives, just negatives.

Apr 5, 2013 at 4:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Porter

He annoys me so much I did it duplicate.

Apr 5, 2013 at 4:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Porter

A sophisticated troll. If no one takes the bait, he urges people to bite.

Don't you think, any organization if it were to step up into the global warming debate, would not get smeared, as has been tried with the GWPF?

Apr 5, 2013 at 4:24 PM | Registered Commentershub

hello all, some v interesting stuff. I wrote a long reply earlier which I managed to lose – aaaarrrrgh! will try again later

Apr 5, 2013 at 4:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterE17

Let me get this right.
If I don't declare my non-existent "vested interests" then I'm not being honest.
If I don't accept your premise that any company (but especially — of course — Big Oil, always Big Oil!) that donates to political parties of the right or helps fund right-of-centre think tanks is ipso facto "backing climate change deniers" then I am not being honest.
The fact that Big Oil has been quite happy to fund climate research (BP support for UEA for one example) is irrelevant, according to that theory.
I presume you also subscribe to the hypothesis that anyone who challenges the received climate change wisdom is either dishonest or deluded or mad or evil or a shill for the fossil-fuel industry, all of which accusations have been levelled against sceptics in the past.
Where does that leave people who have had reservations about the CAGW meme for the last 20 years, have done their best to understand the science and have come to the conclusion that there is not one single shred of empirical evidence to support the extreme position adopted by the "true believers", and that increasingly the observations show the opposite?
What stance are we supposed to take that will satisfy you? The contributors to this blog have almost certainly spent more time and effort on coming to their conclusions than you have to yours and I would be prepared to wager are more open to changing their mind on the subject of climate change than you are given enough reliable data.
On which subject,

look at Tamino's recent analysis of the possibility that the last 11000 years have been peppered with similar up-ticks
thankyou for supporting the argument that Marcott is crap. Apart from having admitted as much himself (as good as), has it not occurred to you — or Tamino for that matter — that the presence of "similar up-ticks" simply reinforces the point — there is nothing startling about 20th century warming.

Apr 5, 2013 at 4:51 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

I like Geoff's "opiniocracy" (up there with Bish's numptocracy) as a description of the talentless tossers, often from wealthy parents, who have no skill, expert knowledge or natural talent beyond an ability to express their own opinions. Not mentioning any names but I'm sure there are one or to who immediately come to mind.

Apr 5, 2013 at 6:14 PM | Registered CommenterPaul Matthews

Mike Jackson, on Marcott you didn't read or you misunderstood the article. Tamino artificially inserted up-ticks of similar magnitude to today's into some of the Marcott proxies and then performed the same analysis. The ticks are still visible in the resulting curves - in other words the averaging does not remove them. That is not conclusive proof that such up-ticks, if they had occurred before, would be visible (as some sceptics have argued), but it is a strong indication.

On funding, you also misunderstood. I made no claim (or at least I did not intend to) that the nobodies who comment on blogs such as the Hill or even the blogs themselves are funded by vested interests. I claim that it is obvious that vested interests act to protect their patch, that claims that they don't are not credible, and that by making such false claims you loose any chance of being whiter-than-white.

Shrub, smeared by what? By association with oil companies? How can that be a smear when you all proclaim undying love (sadly unrequited, you claim) for fossil fuels and logically for the companies that dig them? Either you love them and can justify that love, in which case association with them cannot harm you. Or you don't, in which case why defend them so devotedly?

Apr 5, 2013 at 6:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

No, twitbucket, smeared by people like you, for having the gumption to offer their opinion in the public sphere.

I am asking E17 to consider that perhaps such smearing does not detract much from what an organization has to offer. Its own intrinsic appeal and reach may be a different matter.

Apr 5, 2013 at 8:47 PM | Registered Commentershub

Unless Tamino was writing with tongue in cheek, neither he nor Bitbucket (nor EM, for that matter) seem to understand the concept of a bandwidth limiting lowpass filter and the effect it has in smearing short duration spikes into smooth, long duration, low amplitude pulses of greatly reduced energy and imperceptible visually in noise.

Apr 5, 2013 at 10:26 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

So Tamino inserted a spike into some of the data and applied the Marcott filter. The spike came through, attenuated for sure. Are you saying he did the maths wrong or what?

Apr 6, 2013 at 1:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

Ah, but he didn’t use Marcott’s method. He used his own. Clive Best at his own blog has a good post on it. Tom Curtis at both SkS and CA sez no cigar. Gavin Schmidt picked a hole or two at RC apparently too. Even some of those on his own blog are giving him some grief about it. As someone pointed out at CA, all in all, not a good week for Tammy. Interesting though, that you should take Tamino’s word on something without properly checking it out first, just because it suits your own prejudices. Something I’ve seen you criticise people here for on more than one occasion.

Apr 6, 2013 at 2:50 AM | Registered CommenterLaurie Childs

Martin A. Tamino, at least, should understand limiting low pass filters, but doesn't appear to. The other two are clueless else they would be with the sceptics. I believe Marcott used 300 year smoothing, so it's extremely unlikely he could have put a spike into the data that would be noticeable, and I, for one, can't believe he did so. But we're not alone, even RC are saying it's bunkum, which may be a sign that of what E17 is talking about. 5 years ago they'd have closed ranks in RC and defended the "science" with everything they've got, recently I've noticed a certain emollience emerging. A quiet withdrawal from forward defence positions if you like. Unfortunately they won't just have egg on their faces when all this dies away, the next generation of politicos, here in the UK at least, will have to face the wrath of the people, and they're not going to take it on the chin without visiting revenge on those who put them in this position. Unfortunately, I believe all of science with be tainted by this episode of madness.

Apr 6, 2013 at 12:31 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

"However, I can authentically exist in both worlds without embarrassing myself."

Me too Jiminy, I'll warrant I can give you 15 to 20 years in age. But I know where we've been and I know chumps on this thread believe the world would be wonderful if they could take us back there.

Apr 6, 2013 at 12:43 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Unfortunately, I believe all of science with be tainted by this episode of madness.
Apr 6, 2013 at 12:31 PM geronimo

Yes, and in various ways.

Trust. After the climate science revelations, I am now inclined to disbelieve any report by "scientists" in no matter what field without further investigation on my own part. And this after a career of interaction with researchers in fields ranging from brain signal analysis to telecommunications systems performance to underwater acoustics and never having reason to doubt the competence and integrity of a single researcher.

Loss of critical enquiry. When the Great Delusion has come to an end, there will be a huge number of redundant "climate scientists" to be redeployed. Many will no doubt become schoolteachers, teaching their version of physics and so on. So far as I can see, "climate science" (= "physics for geography students") is taught more by rote learning ("greenhouse gases trap heat") that by critical inquiry into what actually happens. This approach will continue.

Confusion of models with reality. One of the striking things about climate science is how its practitioners confuse computer models with reality. And its blindness to the need to validate a model before relying on its output. To the extent that the evaluation of a new climate model consists of seeing to what extent it agrees with other new models. In fields where validation is difficult, this belief in validity of unvalidated models will persist.

Corruption of learned societies. Is that going to disappear as soon as the Great Delusion ends? I doubt it.

Politicisation of the Scientific Civil Service The Met Office morphed into an organisation whose primary purpose was to generate propaganda. The Civil Service Tradition of providing unbiased scientific advice has gone and is not likely to come back soon.

(BTW I assumed Tamino well understands the concept of filtering but knew too well that he could not make his point if he filtered the data to give it the same temporal resolution as in Marcott and he was confident his uncritical readership would not call him out on it.)

Apr 6, 2013 at 3:09 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Laurie Childs, yes you are right. Best to check it out. I hadn't seen the critiques you mentioned. Now that I have, I'm no better able to judge: seems like it is one statistician against another. However, Tamino is not infallible so maybe his analysis is incorrect.

Martin, so your argument is that Tamino is trying to deceive; that is very 'MartinA', conspiracy theorist par-excellence.

Apr 6, 2013 at 5:39 PM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

Sorry I no longer feed trolls. Stray cats, yes.

Apr 6, 2013 at 6:13 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A


If you look around, you’ll find comments referencing Tammy’s analysis by others too, including SteveMc himself. It’s a bit more than one stastisticians word against another. Even Nick Stokes only defended him half-heartedly and then appeared to give up. That should tell you something. As for Martin’s hypothesis on Tammy’s intentions (how is a conspiracy of one a conspiracy?), I would venture that Martin is probably aware that Tammy has prior form. He’s done such things in the past, on more than one occasion. You will also note that Tammy never, ever ventures from his own blog anywhere further than somewhere like RC to make his case. His “work” constantly has to be defended with the snipping scissors in order to survive. That too should tell you something.

Apr 6, 2013 at 6:16 PM | Registered CommenterLaurie Childs

Laurie Childs, what do you mean by "prior form"? And when you say, "He’s done such things in the past", what are you referring to?

MartinA, you need not answer, but Tamino (why not allow him his preferred title?) has an interesting article on uneven sampling; I was surprised by it anyway.

Apr 7, 2013 at 3:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket

"Sorry I no longer feed trolls."

Good for you Martin A. If the troll can't figure out the difference between low resolution and high resolution and and how they'd appear on the same chart, then there's no point.

Apr 7, 2013 at 9:56 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

For sceptics, the hardest hurdle is the media driven messages of anti capitalism, anti management, corporate greed, fossil fuels are dirty, green is good, blah, blah, blah. It appeals to a wide range of grievances and affiliations. The Heartland, Exxon, Koch, GWPF, secret funding, cigarette ‘doubt is our product’, Astroturf, etc memes all play up to that.

In sceptics’ favour is the reality that all those grievances don’t really matter to ordinary people any more. We might not admit it, but we like capitalism. We don’t want oil companies out of business, we just want cheap oil. We might like the countryside and wildlife but top priority is the food on the table. Some may say they want windmills but they don’t mean visible ones on the horizon or on their electricity bill. Cutting back on CO2 is having a poorer life and who’s really going to vote for that? On every front that warmists need to win they’re using arguments that tug at ego and conscience instead of self preservation and satisfaction.

Most of the public are just quietly hoping it will all blow away. They’ll accept that their rising bills are due to market prices for only so long and will eventually have to rebel. Unfortunately they will come up against the chattering classes. Those with higher incomes that preserve them from the stresses of growing green measures and their level of education makes them feel superior. ‘We’re doing it for your own good’ might be their battle cry. They have other names ‘champagne socialists’, ‘Liberal Democrats’ and a few others I’d get snipped for. A large proportion of them are in the public sector. Bills go up? No problem, just get a pay rise. They can afford to sneer at industry and commerce because they’re not part of it. By the time their sector collapses, because the rest of us are too broke to pay for them, it will be too late.

How could we influence them?

Apr 7, 2013 at 2:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2


As you so often state yourself, you don’t come here to engage with, learn from or even to educate others. You come here for an argument. So forgive me if I don’t feel it worth wasting my time providing you with lists of references to back up my points. If you really want to know you’ll find it. There’s plenty enough out there. You might also want to ask yourself why you find it so easy to believe what Tamino says, a man that bans anyone who shows he’s wrong from his site (unless he can deal with them by means of a quick insult), won’t go to other sites to defend his work and even when shown to have misrepresented someone’s work by the very person he misrepresented, still won’t admit he’s wrong (the Jolliffe incident).

Apr 7, 2013 at 3:56 PM | Registered CommenterLaurie Childs

By going to other sites to defend his work, I guess you mean CA or WUWT? What is in it for him? He'll just get a mountain of abuse or worse and he won't convince anyone. Why bother?

Apr 8, 2013 at 3:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterBitBucket