Mapping the sceptical blogosphere

A tweet from Warren Pearce lead me to a new paper by Amelia Sharman called Mapping the Climate Sceptical Blogosphere. The abstract includes the following

A network of 171 individual blogs is identified, with three blogs in particular found to be the most central: Climate Audit, JoNova and Watts Up With That. These blogs predominantly focus on the scientific element of the climate debate, providing either a direct scientifically-based challenge to mainstream climate science, or a critique of the conduct of the climate science system. This overt scientific framing, as opposed to explicitly highlighting differences in values, politics, or ideological worldview, appears to be an important contributory factor in the positioning of the most central blogs. It is suggested that these central blogs are key protagonists in a process of attempted expert knowledge de-legitimisation and contestation, acting not only as translators between scientific research and lay audiences, but, in their reinterpretation of existing climate science knowledge claims, are acting themselves as alternative public sites of expertise for a climate sceptical audience.

I’ll acknowledge my bias right-away. Given that I started this blog because I was frustrated by the largely scientifically incorrect information being presented on many “climate sceptical” blogs, I am somewhat surprised that a serious study is implying that these blogs play some kind of scientific role. Having said that, it may well be that this is how they present themselves, so I guess one cannot argue that they don’t, it’s simply that the science is mostly demonstrably incorrect, or – in my opinion – cherry-picked to suit some particular bias. Just because Anthony Watts regularly promotes studies that show low climate sensitivity, or Andrew Montford continually mentions uncertainty, doesn’t mean that they’re being scientifically credible.

Having said the above, the conclusions of the paper do hint at these factors. For example, it says,

First, it suggests that the blogosphere is still preoccupied with framing climate change as an active scientific controversy. Whilst multitude scientific uncertainties regarding climate systems still exist, fundamental
components of climate science such as the relationship between anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and temperature increases are no longer considered contentious within the academic literature.

I’ll also add that the paper does illustrate something that I think is quite interesting. An aspect of this topic that – I think – needs debate are the various policy options, not the science. The science can certainly be discussed, and there is still uncertainty about certain aspects, but it is broadly accepted. So, why do these sites focus on the science (which isn’t really up for debate) and not on policy (which – in my view – is up for debate)? Is it because if one broadly accepts the science, it means that we should be taking some of the more unpalatable policy options more seriously?

So, this paper may well have some interesting results and may well discuss the credibility of the science on these sites, but I still find this kind of work a little confusing. I started writing this post a while ago and when I started I wasn’t all that positively inclined towards this paper. However, having thought about it for a while, it’s quite possibly/likely that I just don’t really understand it. I also seem to butt-heads on Twitter with some people (Warren Pearce for example ;-) ) when this topic comes up. So, I thought I might change the tone of this post a little, and explain my issues in the hope that it might clarify my position slightly, and might also give others a chance to explain where I might be going wrong.

Essentially we’re talking about sites that present themselves as science sites. Now there are certain things in science that can be shown to be incorrect and, in my opinion, much of what is presented on some of these sites satisfies this condition. They may use scientific language and may make all sorts of statements about science being about evidence and not opinion, but just try and have a serious discussion there about the science they’re presenting and you’ll almost certainly get short shrift (unless you choose to agree with what’s being presented). Of course, these sites may play some kind of role in keeping actual scientists honest and may ensure that scientists are more careful in what they present. This, however, is normally to combat the kind of nit-picking arguments that are often presented on these sites, and any positive benefit we get is heavily out-weighed – in my opinion – by the damage that these sites do by mis-representing the scientific evidence. So, seeing research that seems to give scientific credibility to these sites is a little frustrating.

So, that explains my issues with some of what I see of this type of work. However, as I said above, maybe (quite possibly) I just don’t understand it well enough. There’s also almost certainly much more that I haven’t seen. However, maybe someone who understands this better than I do can explain, for example, what motivates this type of work. What are people trying to understand? Why are they studying the “sceptical blogosphere”? Also, why have they so easily bought into the sceptical narrative? Many of these sites regard themselves as the true sceptics, but – in my opinion – they really aren’t. Why have serious researchers allowed these sites to dictate the narrative? Also, what assumptions do people who work in this area make? Do they assume that they need to remain objective? Are they not allowed to have a view as to whether or not the science presented on these sites is credible? Would that be seen as biased if they did? Do they actually not realise that much of the science being presented on these sites is flawed? Do they think there is no such thing as an objective truth? Is it something else altogether? Any insights would be gratefully accepted.

So, this post may seem a little confused. That’s probably because it is. I would certainly really like to understand better what’s motivating some of the social science research in this area and what it is that this research is trying to understand. I could add that maybe it would help if people in this area also understood better why some – like myself – seem frustrated by some of what’s being done in this area, but maybe they do and it’s just me that’s confused :-)

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324 Responses to Mapping the sceptical blogosphere

  1. So, why do these sites focus on the science (which isn’t really up for debate) and not on policy (which – in my view – is up for debate)? Is it because if one broadly accepts the science, it means that we should be taking some of the more unpalatable policy options more seriously?

    Even if that would be politically the optimal strategy to frustrate the real political debate, the question remains why people go there, why do they spend their precious life time on disingenuous shadow puppetry?

  2. Rachel says:

    Perhaps I’ll have a look at the paper in full but from the abstract you’ve posted, I get the feeling that Skeptic blogs have been painted in a negative way. This bit: “…are key protagonists in a process of attempted expert knowledge de-legitimisation and contestation, acting not only as translators between scientific research and lay audiences, but, in their reinterpretation of existing climate science knowledge claims…”. She’s accused them of reinterperting and delegitimsing the science which doesn’t sound good to me.

    Your third last paragraph which raises issues with “science” blogs is exactly the reason these blogs are worth studying. They appear to have great influence and this is worth understanding I think and perhaps provide some insight for how science communication from credible sources can be improved.

  3. Victor,

    Even if that would be politically the optimal strategy to frustrate the real political debate, the question remains why people go there, why do they spend their precious life time on disingenuous shadow puppetry?

    Indeed, and maybe this is the kind of question that I had been expecting social scientists to be asking.

  4. Rachel,
    I think that’s why I got slightly confused by the paper. Initially I thought it was giving these sites some scientific credibility but, as you suggest, there are hints that it’s painting them in a more negative light than I at first thought.

  5. Rachel says:

    AndThen, I don’t get that from the paper and given that it’s written by someone from the Grantham Institute I really doubt she’s trying to give credibility those blogs. In light of the Lewandowsky retraction saga, she has to be cautious with language too.

  6. Rachel, yes, maybe I haven’t taken from it what was intended. That’s why I have all you great commenters to sort me out when I get things wrong :-)

    Maybe, I also took too much from Warren’s tweet

    I would argue that saying they “focus on the science” is being a bit too generous.

  7. Rachel says:

    Hmm, ok. That would probably make me think differently about it too. Perhaps I’ll read the full paper. I’ll get the kids ready and off to school first. :-)

  8. Turns out that Grantham Research Institute has been quite active recently. Having just argued against Tol they are now looking at skeptical blogosphere.

    The general tone towards those blog sites is certainly negative. Classifying some as more scientific does not mean that they would be seen as presenting correct science, it means only that those sites write about science issues rather than other aspects of climate change.

    One problem that I have on many of these papers that do not discuss climate change but people participating in argumentation on climate change is that the papers are often published in journals that are closer to science than to sociology or psychology. Are such papers presently published where their scientific value can be properly appreciated (or found deficient)? Global Environmental Change has a rather wide scope, but even so I wonder whether this paper really fits in that profile.

  9. Pekka,

    The general tone towards those blog sites is certainly negative. Classifying some as more scientific does not mean that they would be seen as presenting correct science, it means only that those sites write about science issues rather than other aspects of climate change.

    Yes, that’s certainly a valid point. I’m kind of hoping that someone will clarify the motivation behind the paper because although I read quite a lot of it, I didn’t quite get what it was trying to suggest or what the fundamental results was.

  10. jsam says:

    Poor Jim has attracted the UK’s “climate sceptic” troll population. I’ve helpfully suggested that, if he yields to their inanity, we also debate the failed geocentric model, http://www.philvaz.com/apologetics/GeocentrismDisproved.htm. Snark intended.

  11. ATTP,
    Perhaps this explains about the purpose

    http://www.lse.ac.uk/GranthamInstitute/whosWho/Students/AmeliaSharman.aspx

    Amelia’s PhD topic explores decision-making by public policymakers in relation to climate change. She is especially interested in the role that climate scepticism plays in shaping public policy debates and decisions over climate change.

    I believe that her purpose is to do science on what skeptics are, not to make a point on the climate issue. Some people have that attitude :-)

  12. I had the same impression when reading the abstract as AndThen.

    Abstract: These blogs predominantly focus on the scientific element of the climate debate, providing either a direct scientifically-based challenge to mainstream climate science, or a critique of the conduct of the climate science system.

    My idea of a scientifically-based challenge and of a critique may be a bit biased from actually doing science. There are also hints that the author does understand the difference between science and pseudoscience, but it is not consistent.

    P.S. Was a similar article published recently? I have the feeling I already read a similar article quite some time ago. Or was that the manuscript?

  13. Pekka,

    I believe that her purpose is to do science on what skeptics are, not to make a point on the climate issue.

    I did read some of that. Yes, this may indeed explain the motivation but I guess I still don’t understand why that precludes understanding the scientific credibility of the “sceptic” blogosphere.

  14. She was applying a specific methodology to learn something. It would be a total distraction in such a paper to start presenting evaluation on the level of correctness or the severity of errors of the blog posts and comments.

    All too many climate science papers add something totally disconnected to what they have done scientifically. That has no influence on the accumulation of scientific knowledge or on the public perception about climate change, that has just developed to be a bad habit.

  15. Victor,
    It’s fairly recent, but there was a Making Science Public blogpost about a talk on this subject a short while ago.

    Pekka,
    Yes, one of the reasons that I changed the tone of the post was because there was much in the paper that I didn’t understand. As you say, clearly there was some kind of methodology applied. I just don’t quite understand this methodology or what the analysis is actually telling us.

  16. chris says:

    You can hear a talk by Amelia Sharman on her research here:

    http://uilapech01.nottingham.ac.uk:8080/ess/echo/presentation/21699801-6a3f-4d85-aa90-b1b2fac29007/media.mp3

    My take is that Amelia doesn’t consider that these sites are “scientific” in the sense of making objective, logical and scientifically justifiable assessment/descriptions of science, but that they focus on science as opposed to being policy/politics-focused (as Rachel and Pekka has indicated).

    If the link above doesn’t work you might be able to access it from here:

    http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/makingsciencepublic/2014/02/13/amelia-sharman-audio-prezi-mapping-the-climate-sceptical-blogosphere/#comments

  17. I prefer to avoid judging research in a field so unfamiliar to me. Only point that I have dared to wonder is the venue of publication.

    That paper is probably part of her thesis work, and should satisfy the quality criteria of the field whose methods the work is applying. It’s obviously not climate science or physics.

  18. Chris,

    My take is that Amelia doesn’t consider that these sites are “scientific” in the sense of making objective, logical and scientifically justifiable assessment/descriptions of science, but that they focus on science as opposed to being policy/politics-focused (as Rachel and Pekka has indicated).

    Thanks, that may well be the case. I did add a section in the post about this possibility, so maybe I didn’t completely misunderstand the paper :-)

  19. Pekka,

    That paper is probably part of her thesis work, and should satisfy the quality criteria of the field whose methods the work is applying. It’s obviously not climate science or physics.

    Sure, I hadn’t actually realised it was the work of a PhD student until after I’d started writing the post. I don’t have any issues with the methodology – I don’t really understand it :-)

  20. andrew adams says:

    Yes, Chris is right – Amelia is talking about how these blogs are “framing” their arguments and how they provide a particular narrative, both in terms of the supposedly “scientific” arguments themselves but also in de-legitimising expert knowledge, which particularly appeals to their audience.

    Certainly from the excerpts you quoted above I didn’t read it as implying that the arguments made by these blogs had any scientific legitimacy, if anything I thought it implied otherwise. Whether this is the stuff of academic papers I don’t know – they seem like pretty obvious observations to me.

  21. On her homepage there is a working paper from August last year. I might have seen that one.

  22. entropicman says:

    The sceptic sites frame their presentation as scientific, but their message is actually political.

    Their output shows the same methodology as past lobbying campaigns against smoking restrictions and unleaded petrol; techniques originally developed by political lobbyists such as the Heartland Institute.

  23. BBD says:

    On mapping

    Here be Dragons :-)

  24. AnOilMan says:

    BBD: Actually they only added monsters to maps for decoration; (About 1:25 in this video explains that quite clearly.)

  25. Rachel says:

    I’ve had a bit more of a look at her paper and my understanding is that she wants to better understand the Skeptical blogging community to see what, if any, influence they have on policy. This is probably useful information to know. If they have no influence whatsoever, then they can be largely ignored, but I don’t think that’s the case and I don’t think she does either.

    She tries not to evaluate the correctness of the information they provide but does say, for instance, that there are sub-themes of conspiracy theories in JoNova’s stuff.

    A couple of things she said I felt were interesting. The first is probably obvious but it’s that blogs are much more accessible to the general public than science journals which often need subscriptions, are filled with technical jargon and often difficult to read. I know many scientists now have their own blogs (AndThen being one of them!) but often the language is still quite technical and verbose. I think a blog needs a more relaxed tone and I think AndThen has managed to do this well on his blog.

    The other interesting thing is how much English-speaking countries have monopolised climate science “skepticism”. Of the 155 blogs identified as openly skeptical, we have:

    US 75
    Australia 32
    UK 26
    Canada 9
    New Zealand 5
    Czech Republic 1
    Denmark 1
    Germany 1
    India 1
    Ireland 1
    Israel 1
    Italy 1
    Sweden 1

    I find this curious. Why is this so?

  26. John Mashey says:

    See Cresendo to Climategate Caphony (2010), specifically:
    pp.1-2 on Science bypass and the graph on flwos of $ and memes, and roles of different entities
    O9 – Blogosphere, and its role is partially to confuse the uncommitted public, but even more to stir the more intense dismssives into various actions in the real world, like contacting politicians and maybe harassing editors and scientists. It only takes a tiny perdentage.

  27. Mark Ryan says:

    Hopefully I can help put Amelia Sharman’s article into its proper context.

    In fairness to Sharman, she is, first and foremost, making a contribution to her own research domain -what is new, and particularly interesting, is her use of social network analysis to help explain how the so-called sceptical arguments are generated and distributed. Like the majority of social science researchers (this is also my domain), she appears to assume the validity of the scientific consensus. Those of us who follow the detailed arguments of the anti-climate science movement may disagree with the broad brush-strokes Sharman uses, but I don’t think they are crucial to the specific purpose of her article (classifying Judith Curry’s blog as a type 2 blog would be an example -particularly when one considers her blog roll, and that she, like Roger Pielke Jnr, directs her criticism of ‘bad science’ almost exclusively to those in accord with the IPCC).

    Sharman is following a fairly standard methodology in sociology here, in that she puts aside the question of science vs pseudoscience, to treat the two sides as contesting cultural positions. This method is often useful in the social sciences, but must be frustrating to people who write and read blogs like this one -and I think it has led to real limits in what contribution the social disciplines, on the whole, have made to the AGW problem.

    In particular, there is hesitation on the part of social researchers to address the question of what is or is not real science (there is a long, tortured history of science/humanities tensions). In my own PhD, I argue that the social disciplines need to start helping distinguish between progressive science that converges towards reliable knowledge, and counter-science -which aims just to undermine or damage existing scientific knowledge.

    I found lots of really useful stuff in this article. The social disciplines, accustomed as they are to see the world in terms of culture and values, have been really slow to see that there is actually a new form of pseudoscience in circulation today -one that, ironically, invokes Popperian falsification at every turn, that is fixated on inserting wedges into every crack of uncertainty, and that elevates common-sense mechanical ideas over the statistical worldview that is necessary to understand complex systems.

    I call it ‘maybe-trap’ science; it’s goal is to convince people that if established science is not 100% certain, then every perspective becomes a ‘maybe’ -equally plausible. Maybe-traps are nowadays the bread and butter of the ‘anything-but-AGW’ blogs, and they are at the core of opposition to evolution, vaccinations, GMO, and many other forms of science.

    .

  28. Mark Ryan says:

    Just some thoughts on why the most popular pseudo-skeptic blogs focus on science, rather than values -when it seems obvious to everyone that value conflicts are driving them.

    If we go back a ways to look at some earlier counter-science -particularly regarding tobacco- I think it becomes clearer why the AGW opponents go the way they do.

    Certain facts of the world entail values that hardly anyone would fail to acknowledge. If it is shown to be a fact that cigarettes are a) designed to cause addiction, b) fatal to most long-term consumers, then you pretty much only need a pulse to think that’s bad. Tobacco companies had no hope of making a defense in terms of values -they couldn’t be seen to accept the facts, then dispute the moral seriousness of the consequences. The only really viable approach was to challenge that the emerging medical consensus was really a fact at all. One of the things they set in motion was the meme of re-framing scientific facts as though they were confected by liberals with a big-government agenda.

    Fast forward to the present, and that meme has a small, but fervent following -complete with a range of ‘maybe-trap’ strategies invented for the tobacco firms, then refined for numerous companies facing damages over pollution, employed against action over the ozone hole, and now quite mature, in the service of smearing climate science.

    I suspect the Jo Novas and Anthony Watts of this world really believe that the IPCC is corrupt; they articulate this with many seemingly intuitive misunderstandings about the science of complex systems, and tell themselves they are modern-day Galileos.

    They use facts and ideas the way revolutionaries use furniture to build barricades. Anything that appears to fit gets thrown in -and of course, this is just what they figure climate scientists do anyway. Since their agenda is most deeply political, they have long ago decided the end justifies the means, so they aren’t too hung up on methodology -which in any case, they suspect as an anti-democratic form of gate-keeping by institutional scientists.

    The other dominant theme I see on the climate counter-science sites is a kind of libertarian attitude to knowledge, an appeal to democratic ideals, on the premise that having a ‘free market’ in knowledge will create a better result than a centralised, planned, bureaucratic approach (this is a question of epistemology, but I am pointedly framing it in terms of left vs right politics, because that is how these people see the issue.).

  29. John Mashey says:

    Mark: have you seen the paper by Bob Brulle summarized here or Riley Dunlap;s work over many years? Some sociologists have been at this for a while :-)

  30. Mark Ryan says:

    Thanks John -I enjoy your own blog, by the way, and check in on it several times a week.
    Yes, I’m familiar with Brulle and Dunlap, and of course several other historians and sociologists who don’t take simulations of scientific debates at face-value. By no means am I suggesting there is an absence of such literature -rather, that the general focus of, and particularly the philosophical influences on, the social disciplines makes it a research community that is very ambivalent about statements of scientific truth or falsehood.

    Many of the arguments leveled against climate science actually draw heavily on a strain of sociological scepticism of scientific knowledge, that was prevalent in the 1990s, but has shaped the contemporary discipline.

    This recent paper by sociologist Constance Lever-Tracy is interesting in this regard: http://www.res.ku.edu/~crgc/NSFWorkshop/Readings/Lever-Tracy%20Current%20Sociology%202008.pdf

  31. Brigitte says:

    Rachel, Mark and John – thank you for your insightful comments on the sociology of the climate debate, which capture the background to Amelia’s paper really well! I tried to alert Amelia to this interesting discussion but got an out of office reply. So she’ll probably only see this when she is back in a couple of weeks or so. Ah and BBD, I also agree – mapping – there be dragons (and lovely video AnOilMan ;))

  32. John Mashey says:

    Mark: thanks, I’ll take a look. Needless to say, I’ve run into postmodernism before, as in Sokal affair, and it actually came up in this weird attack piece, which invoked Bruno Latour in a strange way, followed by our reply.
    For years, I’ve urged climate scientists to synch up with social scientists, since some are really useful.
    Amelia and I traded emails months ago, I’ve referenced her useful paper in a forthcoming report.

  33. Thanks for all the comments. It’s much clearer now. It seems all I really need to do to generate some interesting discussion is write a blog post saying “I don’t really understand this ….” :-)

  34. John,

    For years, I’ve urged climate scientists to synch up with social scientists, since some are really useful.

    Yes, I agree. In fact, I was thinking a bit about this when writing this post. As I mentioned, I seem to butt-heads with some on Twitter about this topic, and I would rather not do that. If I understand their motivations and they understand my reservations, maybe we can actually have some interesting exchanges.

  35. Mark Ryan says:

    John, “weird” is certainly the word for the Peter Wood piece! The linked essay by Bruno Latour is really interesting, too -my understanding is that it made very little splash at the time, despite Latour’s profile.

    In the spirit of sharing, might I suggest two more items?

    Apologies if I have already mentioned the following paper on this site, but this contribution from the late John Zyman is terrific for helping to draw out the deep differences between the scientific and public cultures of debate. It helps explain why many natural scientists are dumbfounded by the nature of public debate and argument, and why ‘performers’ like Christopher Monckton seem to be so persuasive of lay audiences:

    http://www.pitt.edu/~gordonm/Pubdeb/Ziman.pdf

    And further to the benefits of good social science, this, by the Australian philosopher Clive Hamilton, is one of the sharpest, most incisive analyses of public denial of climate science that I have read:

  36. Mark Ryan says:

    woops -here’s the correct link to the Clive Hamilton article:
    http://clivehamilton.com/why-we-resist-the-truth-about-climate-change/

  37. verytallguy says:

    Rachel

    The other interesting thing is how much English-speaking countries have monopolised climate science “skepticism”… …I find this curious. Why is this so?

    Here’s a suggestion. Lewandowsky found that “Free-market worldviews are an important predictor of the rejection of scientific findings that have potential regulatory implications, such as climate science, but not necessarily of other scientific issues”

    I’d suggest that these strongly held free-market worldviews are far more prevalent in English-speaking countries.

    *Why* that is is a very interesting question.

  38. Concerning the actual economic markets the views might differ less between English-speaking and many other countries, but extending that to a more general free-market world view might be somehow typical to a couple of English-speaking countries.

    The same countries differ also with respect to legal system, and by having single-member electoral districts. All these differences may have common origins and their synergistic influence may have helped the survival of the differences.

    Expansion of the geographic domain of power has also had a particularly important role in the history of many English-speaking countries.

  39. The article linked above by Mark Rayn is great, recommended reading. I am working on a blog post about it.

    Are debatable scientific questions debatable? by John Ziman.

    A very short summary would be the only similarity to a scientific dispute and the political debates the climate dissenters want scientists to hold with anti-scientists is that they are public.

    I’d suggest that these strongly held free-market worldviews are far more prevalent in English-speaking countries.

    I heard the suggestion that in the past conservatives had no problem with some social transfers, but that as soon as they were forced to accepts that blacks are humans and black would also benefit from transfers, the libertarian movement started in the USA. That would fit to the idea of relative suffering; helping your own group is fine, but not others. Having the same language, the other English speaking countries could be influenced easier by such thoughts.

  40. jules says:

    Rachel wrote:
    The other interesting thing is how much English-speaking countries have monopolised climate science “skepticism”. Of the 155 blogs identified as openly skeptical, we have:(…)”

    Probably her result comes from not searching properly or from language barriers. She doesn’t mention a single blog from the Netherlands, while I can name ten Dutch skeptical blogs without taking a pause to breathe….
    And just like in the English blogosphere they are closely associated with free-market thinking or 9/11, chemtrail, … conspiracies.

  41. Rachel says:

    Actually, now that I think about it Jules, I think she mentioned in her paper (although I can’t check right now) that she restricted her analysis to English-speaking blogs. I must have forgot that bit when I pondered the predominance of English-speaking blogs :-). Ok, so I’m feeling a bit dumb now and sorry all for the confusion. It does feel like there’s more skepticism in the English-speaking world though.

  42. Mark Ryan says:

    Looking forward to your blog post, Victor!

    In one of the articles I linked to, Clive Hamilton makes the point that, by successfully associating environmental themes with left wing politics over the last few decades, several interested parties have been able to trigger a kind of reflex in politically conservative people, causing them to feel as though any implication that fossil fuels will cause harm is an indictment of their own personal values. As Jules and Victor remind us, this is not a phenomenon unique to English speaking countries -but it is important to remember that the US generates and disseminates more conservative ideas than probably the next 3 or 4 countries combined.

    This hyper-sensitivity of conservatives is obvious enough. The cultural engine room of conservative ideology, the USA, has been in relative decline economically, politically and socially for a good generation. People who enjoyed booming economies during long periods of their lives naturally look back, rather than forward. They see -if not a generation, certainly a social layer- who they feel does not value the industriousness of the previous generation, who reject moral certainty, etc. This is of course not new, and it is a pattern repeated many times in history -Hamilton, for example, compares attacks on Einstein’s theory of relativity in Weimar Germany, with attacks on climate science today.

    The political right is disaffected and wants the old certainties back. As it happens, their targets are also the targets of some powerful financial interests, so it is of course no accident that Fox News was recently found to be factually correct only 28% of the time it reported anything to do with climate change. http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/images/gw/Cable_news_piecharts_horiz.jpg

  43. jules says:

    Rachel i’d rather say skepticism is more prevalent in countries with Protestantism, though i cannot explain why.

  44. Mark Ryan says:

    Rachel, here are some interesting figures:

    Internet usage tracks closely to population; 44.8% of internet users are Asian, for example.

    https://www.sysomos.com/reports/bloggers/

    …but the US produces far more blogs than any other country:

    http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm

  45. Mark Ryan says:

    Jules, your idea about Protestantism reminds me of Max Weber’s argument that the ethos of modern capitalism resonates with the Protestant work ethic -in fact, he wrote a book about it. Seems to me, it follows that the two would remain closely related even in contemporary conservative politics…

  46. Why Has Critique Run out of Steam? From Matters of Fact to Matters of Concern – Bruno Latour

    “Do you see why I am worried? I myself have spent some time in the past trying to show “‘the lack of scientific certainty’” inherent in the construction of facts. I too made it a “‘primary issue.’” But I did not exactly aim at fooling the public by obscuring the certainty of a closed argument—or did I? After all, I have been accused of just that sin. Still, I’d like to believe that, on the contrary, I intended to emancipate the public from prematurely naturalized objectified facts.Was I foolishly mistaken? Have things changed so fast?

    In which case the danger would no longer be coming from an excessive confidence in ideological arguments posturing as matters of fact—as we have learned to combat so efficiently in the past—but from an excessive distrust of good matters of fact disguised as bad ideological biases! While we spent years trying to detect the real prejudices hidden behind the appearance of objective statements, do we now have to reveal the real objective and incontrovertible facts hidden behind the illusion of prejudices? And yet entire Ph.D. programs are still running to make sure that good American kids are learning the hard way that facts are made up, that there is no such thing as natural, unmediated, unbiased access to truth, that we are always prisoners of language, that we always speak from a particular standpoint, and so on, while dangerous extremists are using the very same argument of social construction to destroy hard-won evidence that could save our lives. Was I wrong to participate in the invention of this field known as science studies? Is it enough to say that we did not really mean what we said? Why does it burn my tongue to say that global warming is a fact whether you like it or not? Why can’t I simply say that the argument is closed for good?”

    http://www.bruno-latour.fr/sites/default/files/89-CRITICAL-INQUIRY-GB.pdf

  47. The nice pirate movie above has an “interesting” description in WIkipedia: “The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! (released in North America, Australia and New Zealand as The Pirates! Band of Misfits) is a 2012 British-American 3D stop-motion animated adventure comedy film”

    Thus in the climate dissenter countries, they thought it would be too negative to use the term “scientists” and the distribute preferred “misfits”. I have the feeling that that the USA will not be the dominant power for much longer with such an attitude to science.

    Mark Ryan says: “Looking forward to your blog post, Victor!”

    I am looking forward to your blog. Almost every comment you write is a short blog post.

    jules says: “Rachel i’d rather say skepticism is more prevalent in countries with Protestantism, though i cannot explain why.”

    The North of The Netherlands is protestant. I never had the feeling they are worse that the catholic South with respect to climate change.

  48. Dan L. says:

    @Mark Ryan:
    “They use facts and ideas the way revolutionaries use furniture to build barricades. Anything that appears to fit gets thrown in…”

    Heh. Perfect.

  49. jules says:

    The North of The Netherlands is protestant. I never had the feeling they are worse that the catholic South with respect to climate change.
    Victor: compare the protestant Netherlands to the dutch speaking part of Catholic Belgium: how many Belgian skeptics/skeptical blogs can you name ? How many Durtch ? Compare Germany to France: much more skepticism in protestant Germany.
    As Mark Ryan correctly states, social scientist like Weber have suspected for a long time there’s a clear connection between the rise of protestantism and the rise of capitalism.

  50. toby52 says:

    Compare Protestant England to Presbyterian Scotland or Protestant Scandanavia.
    Political climate denial is much stronger in England (which is what counts, not a scatter of websites, which are individual-dependent). Suggests that it is “free-market fetishism” and the extent of corporate influence that really counts.

  51. AnOilMan says:

    I feel that the language barrier is a dominant factor in Climate Change Denial. Its pretty hard to host a misinformation echo chamber if no one speaks the same language. (Of course, it could be that these studies are being conducted by English speakers who don’t understand denial in other languages…)

    Equally, non-English speaking nations, receive less actual climate change science. An issue noted by Skeptical Science which produced its brochures in a variety of languages.

    But I think there is another factor afoot. Money. Surely if the population of ‘skeptics’ was evenly distributed then denial blogs would be as well, specifically. Look at where many of these blogs are, and who (at least initially) funded this misinformation.

    I don’t know of a lot of foreign competition for drilling technology. It wouldn’t make sense to fund denial somewhere that doesn’t have a vested interest in protecting its assets, technology, and carbon in the ground.

    Another factor here is the types of governments involved, and our understanding of democracy. Chris Moncton talks about this exact issue when promoting Fox Australia. Many places don’t need to fund denialism because the population isn’t that free to argue about it or do anything about it. Or worse… many people just don’t care.

    For everyone’s enjoyment here’s the videos of Chris Moncton pitching Fox Australia. Note Jo Nova talking about getting click throughs to her site from TV articles thus enhancing the misinformation machine.
    http://www.desmogblog.com/monckton-pitches-fox-news-australia-idea-mining-magnate-seeks-super-rich-backers

    Compare Moncton’s claim of keep the news fair and balanced like Fox News to todaysguestis graphic;
    http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/images/gw/Cable_news_piecharts_horiz.jpg

    Gina Rinehard went on to taking control of Fairfax Media which is now serially misrepresenting Climate Change;
    http://www.crikey.com.au/2014/01/15/climate-sceptics-crow-as-fairfax-starts-questioning-the-science/

  52. Steve Bloom says:

    FWIW, noting that I’ve never heard of a single instance of Catholic-based climate denialism in the U.S., Protestant clerics have far greater latitude when it comes to promoting it than do Catholic ones. That’s especially true in the south. That first Showtime segment provides a sufficient flavor of how the evangelical churches maintain a hold on society there. (And notice how, at least in the brief snapshots provided, the service run by Kathy Hayhoe’s relatively liberal husband comes across as so much more milquetoast.)

    But I’ve also never heard of any organized denialism coming out of black southern evangelical churches, whose clergy have as much latitude as their white counterparts. This really is the Civil War continued. While the white cultural south (as it were) by no means runs the country, they are a strong blocking minority that can make progress on any issue difficult. Add to that the confluence of perceived interests with the fossil fuel industry and its allies, making things that much harder.

  53. Eli Rabett says:

    African Americans tend to have other concerns.

    Also note that Pielke and Kloor types often try to drive wedges between African Americans and the IPCC consensus.

  54. Brigitte says:

    Just to say that colleagues in Germany who study the issue of ‘Klimaskeptiker’ found that they only have a rather marginal presence in the German media http://www.zu-daily.de/daily/schulterblick/2013/klimaskepsis.php and http://www.zu.de/deutsch/lehrstuehle/Polit_Komm/CV_Kaiser.php

  55. John Mashey says:

    1) The English-speaking thinktanks that help all this out across {US, UK, CA, AU, NZ} are are well-interconnected, as hinted by email in FOIA Facts 5 – Finds Friends of the GWPF.

    2) Fred Singer has long connected with European pseudoskeptics, and as Jules notes, there are certainly folks in France, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Norway and Sweden. Murry Salby gave talks arranged by EIKE in Hamburg and Klimarealistene in Norway. Of course, some use English, although theclimatescam.se is in Swedish, even if the blog title isn’t.

    But Amelia was clear in the paper that it was English blogs, and from firsthand experience, it takes a lot of time to rummage blogs in languages you don’t read well, even with Google Translate.

  56. Steve Bloom says:

    Thanks for linking the Latour article, todaysguestis. I had read it years ago but failed to keep a bookmark. It’s useful to have on hand when we see social scientists stepping away from science and into a social mediation role, as seems to be a frequent tendency over at Making Science Public (noting especially L’affaire Pile).

  57. In can imagine that in the USA there is a clear distinction between protestant and catholic churches. The catholic church (as well as protestant churches outside the US) is a climate activist force.

    Being an international hierarchical organization, the US catholic churches have little wiggle space and have to spread the message of the Vatican. The US protestant churches are independent and can make up themselves whether God would like them to destroy His creation.

  58. This is probably where I first heard of the working paper. Hotwhopper on the WUWT on the study, explains:

    Anthony Watts has posted a new article at WUWT (archived here) about an article that he’s written about already, last September (archived here). His memory is playing up again.

    So am I! …writing a new article about an article I (and he) have written about already.

    The WUWT post has the modest title: “Study: WUWT near the center of the climate blogosphere”. Poor guy.

  59. John Mashey says:

    I would be very of over-simplifying the various faultlines around religion, economics or even politics.
    1) Religion: see Katharine Hayhoe in Years of Living Dangerously or the folks like Interfaith Power & Light, run by Sally Bingham. I’ve met Katharine & Sally, and the church whose solar panels was being blessed is about 2 miles from here.
    There is a big splti between “stewardship” and “dominion”, and the the latter is sometimes fed by external forces (like Cornwall Alliance, whichclaims stewardship, but is something else, whose leader Calivin Beisner has found an interesting niche, well-integrated into the machinery.

    2) Economics: regardless of where it came from, capitalism takes on a variety of forms, some rather productive, some likely quite detrimental. Silicon Valley is home both to intense capitalism and overpowering acceptance of climate science, and hardheaded CEOs putting solar panels on their roofs.

    3) Politcs: when the IPCC got going, in the US, there was relatively little political polarization on climate … and that was during Reagan, then George H.W. Bush. The political polarization over climate was *manufactured,” not grass-roots, and the very label “conservative” doesn’t mean what it used to. For instance, the Hoover Institution would never be mistaken for a leftist thinktank, but is a center of legitimate conservative thought, and has some very serious people working on climate and energy issues. But they’ve existed for many decades, and are mostly different from the thinktanks created from the 1980s onward, many of which are just tax-free PR agencies and lobbyists to create an alternate pseudo-academic structure. Of course, that brings us to the real history of the creation of the Tea Party, whose sparkplugs are trying hard to export around the world. Thank the Kochs and the tobacco companies.

    Anyway, again, one must be very careful with over-generalizations about the faultlines, as quite often, they are manifestations of other machinery behind the scenes.

  60. Steve Bloom says:

    I should note the irony re Making Science Public that Brigitte and Warren seem less than eager to engage with non-social scientists on the social science of what they’re doing. Speaking for myself, that attitude fails to engender feelings of tolerance and generosity toward them.

  61. Bobby says:

    Wow, just caught up on this super interesting thread. Thanks Mark for the links!

  62. Steve, you mean that scientists should start the project Making Humanities Public? :-)

  63. Steve Bloom says:

    Exactly, Victor. Do you think the Leverhulme Trust would fund it? :)

  64. AnOilMan says:

    Steve: Rachel sent you my email address..

  65. Steve Bloom says:

    Indeed, and thanks! I am composing my inquiries. It may be a day or two.

  66. Victor Venema says:
    April 8, 2014 at 7:28 pm
    “, the question remains why people go there, why do they spend their precious life time on disingenuous shadow puppetry?”

    Perhaps for the same reason that scientists secretly watch Road Runner cartoons .

  67. Rachel says:

    OilMan,

    I’ve been following that Lewandowsky affair with great interest. I started reading their paper this week (but got distracted and never finished) and am yet to find anything which I think might be defamatory.

    My husband sits on a University ethics committee which has to approve or reject research proposals. I asked him about his thoughts on using blog comments for research without asking permission from the commenters themselves. The committee has discussed things like this numerous times and it’s usually a case of “it depends”. There’s no clear set of rules. But he felt that it was probably fine to use comments on blogs that are in the public domain as a part of research. It would probably be wise to keep people’s handles separate from their comments just to give them some anonymity and I think they did this in Recursive Fury though I can’t be sure.

    I felt the statement issued by the journal this week was contradictory to their last statement. Previously they said there were no ethical issues with the study and now they’re saying they can’t protect the rights of the subjects being studied. Amazing!

  68. bratisla says:

    Indeed, as Pr Mashey and Jules noted, climate pseudoskepticism is embryonary. There is one site federating french pseudoskeptics, obviously amateur when you see the layout (no css, “old” presentation not unlike what was done in the early 2000), with only a few “scientific” researchers (Robitaille and one another I forgot the name). They often regurgitate WUWT content.
    No link with a “mainstream” media : liberal and conservative mostly agree on climate change existence and origins, only a few (one to my knowledge, an economically liberal but society conservative one) persist in “hippy bashing” and therefore avoid to talk about that. No obvious link also between the climatepseudoskeptics and conservative think tanks/parties. And, if we go into conspiracy land, although several pseudoskeptics also buy in conspiracy theories, “major” conspiracy sites are not interested in climate change. Maybe a few “chemtrails to control climate change” – which is quite the opposite of what is expected, since this conspiracy theory needs AGW as a basis to justifiy its claims …
    Oh, and *one* famous scientist, Claude Allegre, having more or less the lukewarmer position and enough power to get media attention, but he is old, not very well considered since he was an active politician (member of the biggest liberal party, head of state education and research department for two years), rebutted by its own academy, and unfortunately he had an heart attack forcing him to take at last a long vacation. To be honest, his scientific credentials in geochemistry are quite impressive.

    This is a short and rather crude brush of the french situation concerning pseudoskepticism. I can’t dig further, some people may, but climate pseudoskepticism in France is pretty weak. I am not sure this is a religious thing : France has a quite polarized relationship with religion, with catholic traditionalists on one side against homosexual marriage (and having a strong distrust in the proud areligious state) and strong defenders of a non-religious state ready to fight any catholic on sight – but both sides agree quite strongly on climate change reality.

  69. Jim Hunt says:

    As luck would have it I currently find myself enmeshed in constructing my very own map of the sceptical blogosphere. No doubt a blog post or three will emerge in due course, but here’s a precis of the current state of play.

    Watts has called me a coward in public whilst simultaneously posting a link to my sea ice videos in order to prove that I’m not really “Snow White” and admitting in front of Monckton that he really ought to be showing some sea ice volume plots to his loyal readership.

    Meanwhile my helpful link to some nice sea ice volume plots has been sitting in his moderation queue for a few hours now:

  70. Jaime Jessop says:

    “bratisla”,

    Would you care to enlighten me as to the definition of pseudoskepticism/climate pseudoskepticism? Can you also explain your use of the term ‘embryonary’ to describe such a presumed state of mental being? Otherwise, your comment above remains tantalisingly opaque to all but a minority I feel. Thanks.

  71. Jaime,
    Pseuodoskepticism is fairly obvious. People who claim to be skeptical but really aren’t. Numerous such examples abound. I’m not quite sure what Bratisla meant by the term “embryonary”, but the rest of the comment seems pretty straighforward.

  72. “What are people trying to understand? Why are they studying the “sceptical blogosphere”? ”

    People study all sorts of things. I have studied the lattice of isotropy subgroups of the 13-dimensional irreducible representation of the orthogonal group O(3). It might not be immediately apparent to everyone why I did this.

    Other people study, for example, 14th century Portuguese poetry.

    Not for the first time, this blog post gives the impression of being written by someone who is not an academic.

  73. Paul,
    You see, the reason I asked that question was in the hope that someone might actually answer it specifically, not generally. I wasn’t asking the question “why do people study things”. I was specifically asking “what’s motivating this particular area of studying?”. It’s not that difficult to understand if you wanted to do so which – of course – you don’t.

    Not for the first time, this blog post gives the impression of being written by someone who is not an academic.

    Of course, unless you’re only pretending to be Paul Matthews, I know you’re an academic. However, even if I didn’t, I’ve worked in academia long enough to know that some academics really are just complete [Mod : redacted], so your general attitude is quite consistent with the arrogance and intolerance of some academics with whom I’ve worked. In most cases the arrogance is completely unjustified, and such people should typically be glad that their colleagues have much more tolerance than they have themselves. So, I would have no reason to doubt that you were an academic, even if I didn’t know who you were. Admittedly, I’ve only ever worked in academia so it may well be that one can find complete [Mod : redacted] in all sorts of different careers.

  74. bratisla says:

    by embryonary, I didn’t describe the mind of the people on such site, but the organisation level of the “skeptic” group in France, compared to what exists in the anglosaxon world (USA, GB, Australia, etc.). Only one main site attracting more than a dozen people, no echo chamber in any mainstream media, no backup by think tanks, no backup from french oil company Total which is on the contrary openly advocating for CCS (for obvious market reasons), no high level scientific lobbying. Not even a substantive link with “famous” french conspiracy theorists, who seem to be more interested in NWO-like political conspirations than a scientific one.

    I forgot to add : French nuclear industry is openly gambling on the “nuclear solution” for global CO2 reduction – once again for obvious market reasons. And french nuclear industries have A LOT of weight. That explains also a lot, imho far more than a catholic/protestant/atheist mindset approach.

  75. verytallguy says:

    ATTP,

    I think one of the reasons climategate had the appearance of a scandal is how unfamiliar the general population are with academics.

    In my, fairly limited experience, academics carry on unreasonable feuds, bitch endlessly about each other and generally behave like total [mod:redacted] more than most professions. Newton and Hooke are a great example.

    So it came as no surprise at all that they were slagging each other off in email correspondance.

    Equally, it’s no surprise that Paul has, once again come here with the sole purpose of making snide remarks. It’s a way of bolstering his status through belittling you.

    Why do academics behave like this? I guess it’s because in academia it’s all about reputation, though often via the proxy of publications/citations. In the world of business it’s more straightforward – prove your status through the demonstration of personal power, often in the symbolic form of business class flights, large phallic office buildings and expensive cars.

    Equally futile and empty of meaning.

  76. jsam says:

    ATTP – Paul Matthews is subjecting you to the full intellectual rigour the “no true Scotsman” fallacy brings to bear. His deployment of the argument says more about him than about you. No true academic would consider using it, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman.

  77. VTG,
    That’s a great comment. The exchanges between myself and Paul are an illustration of why the Climategate emails have no real significance with respect to the behaviour of climate scientists when compared to academics/researchers in general. Paul’s doing us all a great service then ;-) .

    I have often felt that since many of those who are critical of climate scientists because of the climategate emails have statistical backgrounds, they should really steal emails from a large sample of other fields in order to do a statistically significant comparison with those from climategate.

  78. verytallguy says:

    Yes, I’d thought of the statistical point of needing a control for climategate, although I took a rather different lesson from the episode.

    That being that the moral froth showed a total misunderstanding of science. Science doesn’t work *because* its practitioners are perfect moral beings, worthy aspiration though that might be.

    Science works *despite* scientists being no more or less moral than anyone else. Indeed, some of the greatest scientists were total scumbags – the scientific system nevertheless slowly but surely weeds out the bad ideas and keeps the better ones.

    In the same way that whilst some bankers are total [mod redacted], the banking system continues to work well because of the excellent regulatory system in place. Oh, hang on…

  79. Jaime Jessop says:

    Bratisla and Anders, thanks for reply. Anders, you say:

    “Jaime,
    Pseuodoskepticism is fairly obvious. People who claim to be skeptical but really aren’t. Numerous such examples abound. I’m not quite sure what Bratisla meant by the term “embryonary”, but the rest of the comment seems pretty straighforward.”

    The literal interpretation is fairly obvious, granted, but the use of the term to describe a section of people who question the ‘settled consensus science’ of man-made climate change is a little harder to fathom. For instance, this post talks about Amelia Sharman’s investigation of the climate sceptic blogosphere. Am I correct in thinking that yourself, bratisla, and other advocates of the scientific consensus on ‘climate change’ (TM) largely perceive the ‘climate sceptic blogosphere’ to consist, in large measure, of a motley collection of online ‘pseudosceptics’? This obviously would imply that you are reserving ‘scepticism’ mainly for those few ‘worthy’ scientists (climate scientists?) who follow the correct scientific method and not that group of people (many scientifically trained) who question the prevailing narrative on climate change; even, according to Lewandowsky, those actively engaged in pier review.

    Obviously, as a sceptic myself, I would be uncomfortable, even slightly narked, by such an attempted tar brush labelling, and I am certain many others would be too, including those more deserving of being taken seriously than myself in their dissenting and scientifically informed views. Or perhaps it is just a very few ideational conspiracists harbouring doubts about ‘climate change’ (TM) who are deserving of the appellation ‘ pseudosceptic’?

  80. VTG,
    I agree. Science works because of the scientific method, not because scientists themselves are perfect. Of course, scientists are meant to be honest and careful, but the scientific method doesn’t fail just because some aren’t.

    As far as I can tell, those who think that the Climategate emails say something about climate science (when compared to other disciplines) are essentially suggesting some kind of conspiracy. Consequently, you would hope that those who’ve been critical of the Recursive Fury paper are not also those who’ve made a big deal of the Climategate emails, as that would seem particularly hyporitical.

  81. Jaime,

    Obviously, as a sceptic myself, I would be uncomfortable, even slightly narked, by such an attempted tar brush labelling, and I am certain many others would be too,

    You, and others, are free to feel narked :-)

  82. bratisla says:

    Jaime, in the case of France (which I was speaking about), one can talk indeed about pseudoskepticism. “greenhouse gas theory violates the second law of thermodynamics” “Sun core is made of iron therefore it’s the Sun” are two prominent theories on this site. One can also find the usual cherrypicking data methods for sea ice. And, of course, the heavy moderation of anyone daring to politely point out the huge flaws in their articles. We can hardly consider this behaviour as “genuine skepticism”.

    Concerning Pr. Allegre, which was the “most credible” skeptic in France, he was caught distorting other studies by “creative interpolation” of figures (I could link to articles, but they are written in French, and Claude Allègre did not have much audience outside France – except a signature for a petition I forgot). This is *not* genuine skepticism in my book, and it is especially disappointing from a scientist who made serious breakthroughs.

    So, I think the term “pseudoskepticism” is well suited for the situations I describe. And, sorry, I did not read every article they wrote. It is not my role to dig into the piles of drivel to find out something that can be considered as a good critic point, it is the role of the skeptics to present their evidence correctly. In France, this is not the case.

  83. Jaime,
    More seriously, I don’t know if you’re a pseudo-sceptic or not. However, being sceptical is not the same as not believing or not trusting the scientific evidence. As much as I’m not a particular fan of people being labelled (individually at least) if people don’t like what others possibly think of them, maybe they should behave differently.

  84. AnOilMan says:

    verytallguy: “In my, fairly limited experience, academics carry on unreasonable feuds, bitch endlessly about each other and generally behave like total [mod:redacted] more than most professions. Newton and Hooke are a great example.”

    Which makes the position of the conspiracy theorists all the more laughable. You have massive consensus with 10′s of thousands of scientists, globally, who get along like cats and dogs, and frankly don’t even speak the same language or have the same cultural values. They are composed of the academics to the biggest and brightest organizations (NASA), and like it or not, the military. We are utilizing every single branch of science and engineering to identify and understand what is happening. (Yes.. they found the hockey stick in temperature reconstructions using oil wells.)

    With all that confusion the denial community is still scraping the barrel for McExperts, inflata-geniuses, and use secret pal-reviews to vet their work.

  85. The term pseudoskeptic should refer to a person who claims to be skeptic, but is very selective in that accepting weak arguments from one side, while rejecting strong ones from the other side. In climate discussion a large majority of those who fit that definition are on one side of the issue while there might be a few who describe themselves as skeptic and have the opposite selective bias.

    People who do their best to be real skeptics have had their organizations for long, including this one

    http://www.worldskeptics.org./

  86. jsam says:

    You know you’re dealing with a “climate sceptic” when they treat scepticism as a position instead of an attitude. They hi-jack words and impart Orwellian meanings.

  87. Jaime Jessop says:

    bratisla, thanks for clarifying the point re. the French situation.

    Anders, from your replies I definitely infer that you consider most genuine sceptics in the UK, Oz and US as ‘pseudosceptics’, though I note that you do not commit yourself in so many words to such a viewpoint. I do not think that such people – myself included – will be abandoning our rational, balanced perspective on the causes of climate change in order to avoid being maliciously labelled by a misguided bunch of intellectual pygmies, faux consensus worshippers, pseudoscientific followers of the Green Cause and ideational Big Oil conspiracists. Such people, of course, are also free to feel narked and adjust their irrational behaviour accordingly in order to avoid such offensive labeling. :o)

  88. Jaime,

    Anders, from your replies I definitely infer that you consider most genuine sceptics in the UK, Oz and US as ‘pseudosceptics’,

    No, I regard the genuine sceptics as genuine sceptics and the pseudosceptics as pseudosceptics.

    though I note that you do not commit yourself in so many words to such a viewpoint.

    I choose not to actually label people.

    I do not think that such people – myself included – will be abandoning our rational, balanced perspective on the causes of climate change in order to avoid being maliciously labelled by a misguided bunch of intellectual pygmies, faux consensus worshippers, pseudoscientific followers of the Green Cause and ideational Big Oil conspiracists.

    And you complain about the use of the term pseudosceptic ;-)

  89. AnOilMan says:

    They are pseudo-skeptics because their minds are already made up. They appear to question, but in fact, they simple squirrel about finding bits of facts to suit their preconceived notions.

    This is best exemplified with this great email exchange from Jim Hunt. (Good site by the way.) Jim Hunt points out that the so called expert at the mail was using different graphs and from one year to the next to support his position. Obviously… they will need to change their methodology as soon as the current one doesn’t suit their view any more.
    http://greatwhitecon.info/2014/03/new-mail-for-the-mail/

    This is explained by Michael Shermer who is editor of ‘Skeptic’ magazine;
    http://www.ted.com/talks/michael_shermer_on_believing_strange_things
    http://www.michaelshermer.com/2013/10/when-science-doesnt-support-beliefs/

  90. Jaime Jessop says:

    Anders, you make the mistake of interpreting my comment that I would be ‘uncomfortable, even slightly narked’ by being labelled a pseudosceptic as a complaint. It is not; merely an observation on my part. I too choose not to label people, but the reality is, when the state sponsors the shoe-horning of a large section of moderate and rational-minded people into a pigeon-hole labelled ‘nutters, don’t even go there’, those ‘nutters’ tend to search around for labels that fit their oppressors.

    “No, I regard the genuine sceptics as genuine sceptics and the pseudosceptics as pseudosceptics.”

    That’s no kind of answer. You need to clarify roughly what proportion of the climate sceptic blogosphere you regard as ‘pseudosceptic’ and what proportion you deem to be ‘genuinely’ sceptical. It stretches belief that you would not have some definite notion about this. That’s not a process of labelling as you have already professed a belief that there exist two such categories; you merely need to indulge in a little statistical guess-work based upon your own experience/intuition.

  91. jsam says:

    “when the state sponsors”?

    “When the shoe fits.”

  92. Jaime,
    I don’t really want to get into a discussion about labelling. Remember that you started this with an apparent complaint about the use of the term pseudosceptic when applied to French “sceptic” sites.

    I too choose not to label people, but the reality is, when the state sponsors the shoe-horning of a large section of moderate and rational-minded people into a pigeon-hole labelled ‘nutters, don’t even go there’, those ‘nutters’ tend to search around for labels that fit their oppressors.

    I really hope you weren’t one of those who complained about the Recursive Fury paper. That would seem hypocritical if you did.

    “No, I regard the genuine sceptics as genuine sceptics and the pseudosceptics as pseudosceptics.”

    That’s no kind of answer.

    It’s exactly the answer it was intended to be. Some people are genuinely sceptical and others are not.

    You need to clarify roughly what proportion of the climate sceptic blogosphere you regard as ‘pseudosceptic’ and what proportion you deem to be ‘genuinely’ sceptical.

    No, I really don’t need to do anything.

  93. AnOilMan says:

    Jaime Jessop: The hall mark of the pseudo skeptics is that their minds are already made up, and munge what they can find to suit their beliefs. Arguably, everyone does this. But what we’re talking about is quite different.

    As an example… I am a skeptic. I don’t generally follow the mainstream I look up and try to understand things myself. I was introduced to Climate Science through work with the Canadian and US navies. I didn’t follow it, for a while, but had assumed that better knowledge and acceptance had occurred in the mean time.

    An argument showed up in one of my other haunts, so I decided to follow up on it. (I’m skeptical enough to look into things.)

    I looked up claims made by folks quoting WattsUpWithThat, and some drivel from Fred Singer. I then researched what was being said. One was Urban Heat Island Effect. I also looked through Watts so called ‘science’ in examining weather stations. (FYI, among other things I design temperatures sensors for oil and gas.)

    There isn’t and never was anything to Watts claims. Watts has since published a paper stating there is no UHI even though he continues to push the notion.

    Once I determined that the source of these claims (WattsUpWithThat) is bad, I do not go there. That would be truly delusional for me to do so.

  94. Jaime Jessop says:

    No, of course you don’t need to do anything; but by refusing to make your position clear in this respect, I believe you don’t do yourself any favours. Your choice. I try to be as clear as possible about my own position as a sceptic and, bar maybe a few grumblings, will put up with the faux ridicule heaped upon myself and like-minded fellows as a result.

    And no, for the record, I did not make a single complaint about Recursive Fury, which is neither good nor bad; I just didn’t, plus of course the fact that I was not one of those personally identified by the paper.

  95. The theory of the evil government and scientists hired to serve its oppressive interests is one of the most ridiculous parts of the discourse, far more ridiculous than the other mistake of thinking that big oil is behind most of skepticism.

    We all have our biases, but that’s a very different thing even when the biases are strong.

  96. OPatrick says:

    It would be interesting to see who Jamie regards as being a genuine sceptic. Perhaps he would be willing to list, say, three prominent sceptics, people who he would view as having a similar level of scepticism as he does.

  97. AnOilMan says:

    Pekka Pirilä: Its a matter of public record that Exxon budgeted millions to attack climate science;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_change_denial

    Whether they are the biggest, I don’t know. Mashey may have a better idea on this. He tracked a lot of Denier activities and money movement.

    Its noteworthy that most of this money has ‘gone dark’ since Heartland’s funding was leaked, and because companies don’t want their names associated with their deeds.

  98. OPatrick, Jaime’s link makes it clear that you should’ve used the pronoun “she”. However, answering your question would be a good way for Jaime to be as clear as possible about her own position.

    If she doesn’t, we can read Jaime’s writing to guess who Jaime considers a “skeptic” with similar levels of “skepticism” as her. Jaime says: “Stephen Wilde seems to be on the right track with his New Climate Model and those scurrilous ‘climate sceptics’ over at the now infamously censored Pattern Recognition In Physics also contributed some very interesting theories linking Planetary and Lunar tidal forces and orientations to solar variability and hence climate change.”

    As Sou notes, Anthony Watts just ridiculed Stephen Wilde, and called Pattern Recognition in Physics “junk” while telling author Scafetta that “you are doing everything but questioning your own work.” It seems like there isn’t a consensus among “skeptics” as to who qualifies as a “skeptic”.

  99. OPatrick says:

    Apologies for the misspelling (misreading) of Jaime and the consequent assumption about gender.

  100. OilMan,

    Companies may have budgeted millions, but how many percent of skeptics are paid from that?

    The paid skepticism has certainly had some effect, but again I don’t believe that the situation would be very different without that contribution.

    My main point was, however the other side. Only a handful of people are paid by government to support its policies. Holdren is presently in such a position as was Stern at the time of the Stern review, but a really small part of the work scientists do is paid in that way by the government. The self-interest of a democratic (not the party) government is also much less unidirectional than the interest of typical companies.

  101. Jaime Jessop says:

    I think it would be unfair of me to single out just three sceptic bloggers who I would deem to be genuine sceptics, thereby leaving out the rest and certainly a bit off the mark to attempt to ‘measure’ their degree of scepticism in relation to my own. In all honesty, I randomly visit many of the main sceptic websites and have yet to find one which I consider to be way offline as regards the presentation of rational rebuttal of the prevailing narrative. Naturally, there are those I consider less likely to be a real threat to that prevailing narrative, others far more likely. IMO, the vast majority of sceptics are undeserving of the title pseudosceptic and certainly not ideational conspiracist.

  102. OPatrick says:

    The self-interest of a democratic (not the party) government is also much less unidirectional than the interest of typical companies.

    Yes, I think this is key. There’s also a strong pull towards populism inherent in any democratic system.

  103. OPatrick says:

    IMO, the vast majority of sceptics are undeserving of the title pseudosceptic

    Well, maybe just one then? I’m sure the others wouldn’t be offended by being left out. Unless, perhaps, you have that niggling feeling that any one you do name is going to be easily exposed as not being notably sceptical.

  104. BBD says:

    Jaime Jessop

    IMO, the vast majority of sceptics are undeserving of the title pseudosceptic and certainly not ideational conspiracist.

    This is nonsense, I’m afraid. And self-serving nonsense at that. Making statements that are entirely at odds with the personal experience of everyone who has interacted substantially with pseudosceptics will only earn you derision.

  105. Jim Hunt says:

    AnOilMan – Thank you for your kind words.

    As regards Watts, I am afraid that for the moment at least I am still going there. The claims are still bad, but I find there’s much innocent fun still to be had. He does of course assure me that “you have a fixed mindset about sea-ice”, whilst displaying that mindset himself (IMHO!)

    He has at least finally released my helpful comment from purgatory, but now complains that “Given that you only show thickness (volume), and ignore everything else, I’d say you are pretty thick on one variable”. It seems there is no pleasing the poor chap.

    Meanwhile some of the things the other WUWTers have called my alter ego and I couldn’t possibly be repeated in polite company such as this.

  106. AnOilMan says:

    Pekka Pirilä: I prefer to think that oil and gas got the ball rolling. In the US, the Koch’s founded, and funded Heartland, Cato, and various other stink tanks. They then started putting together like minded individuals those institutions running.

  107. BBD says:

    Pekka

    It’s really flying in the face of the evidence to argue that the fossil fuel industry has not played a major role in developing the denial industry. This gets twisted by individual pseudosceptics who claim (truthfully, no doubt) that they are not in the pay of the FF industry. But the songs they karaoke very frequently prove to have emerged from fake “think tanks” and fake “educational charities” which are funded by the FF industry for exactly this purpose. To create the pseudosceptic narrative.

  108. I cannot prove that similar skeptical ideas would have spread even without the funding of oil industry, and you cannot prove the opposite. We have only one history, and cannot test counterfactual histories.

    You’ll keep your beliefs on this point, and I’ll keep mine.

  109. jsam says:

    Whilst we cannot have multiple histories we are allowed to look at the evidence before us. The pseudosceptics have been well-funded – and haven’t wasted much of that money on actually doing science. Our society is convinced advertising and PR works – or you wouldn’t see so much of it. It is possible pseudo-scepticism would have arisen out of thin air, but is it probable?

  110. jsam,

    The reason that I think as I think is that I do believe that it’s highly probable that similar skepticism would have arisen without any contribution from oil companies. To me that’s exactly what one should have expected taking into account the time-scale of change, nature of changes, and policy implications.

  111. AnOilMan says:

    No problem… I ain’t arguing. I did preface my last comment with ‘I prefer to think’. I think it would be interesting to see what historians make of all this in the future. You never know what information might be available then. (Leaked financials about Heartland sent corporate funding scurrying like cockroaches.)

    I recently traveled to France I have to admit that with so much history there, that it must shape a very different (mutable) world view. I also picked up a leaf from an incunable called the “Nuremburg Chronicle” printed in 1493, so I’ve been reading up on a little ancient history;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henotikon

  112. Ian Forrester says:

    The beginning of the AGW denial fraternity can be found in the infamous API memo:

    Upon this tableau, the Global Climate Science Communications Team (GCSCT) developed an action plan to inform the American public that science does not support the precipitous actions Kyoto would dictate, thereby providing a climate for the right policy decisions to be made. The team considered results from a new public opinion survey in developing the plan.

    Charlton Research’s survey of 1,100 “informed Americans” suggests that while Americans currently perceive climate change to be a great threat, public opinion is open enough to change on climate science. When informed that “some scientists believe there is not enough evidence to suggest that [what is called global climate change] is a long-term change due to human behavior and activities,” 58 percent of those surveyed said they were more likely to oppose the Kyoto treaty. Moreover, half the respondents harbored doubts about climate science.

    GCSCT members who contributed to the development of the plan are A. John Adams, John Adams Associates; Candace Crandall, Science and Environmental Policy Project; David Rothbard, Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow; Jeffrey Salmon, The Marshall Institute; Lee Garrigan, environmental issues Council; Lynn Bouchey and Myron Ebell, Frontiers of Freedom; Peter Cleary, Americans for Tax Reform; Randy Randol, Exxon Corp.; Robert Gehri, The Southern Company; Sharon Kneiss, Chevron Corp; Steve Milloy, The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition; and Joseph Walker, American Petroleum Institute.

    http://www.euronet.nl/users/e_wesker/ew@shell/API-prop.html

    This paragraph is very telling:

    Victory Will Be Achieved When

    Average citizens “understand” (recognize) uncertainties in climate science; recognition of uncertainties becomes part of the “conventional wisdom”
    Media “understands” (recognizes) uncertainties in climate science
    Media coverage reflects balance on climate science and recognition of the validity of viewpoints that challenge the current “conventional wisdom”
    Industry senior leadership understands uncertainties in climate science, making them stronger ambassadors to those who shape climate policy
    Those promoting the Kyoto treaty on the basis of extent science appears to be out of touch with reality.

    Is this where Curry got her idea for the “uncertainty monster”?

  113. Jaime Jessop says:

    OPatrick,
    No problem with the gender mix up. Happens all the time.
    As you are insistent, two sites which I use a lot are Notalotofpeopleknowthat and The Hockeyschtick.

    BBD,
    “This is nonsense, I’m afraid. And self-serving nonsense at that. Making statements that are entirely at odds with the personal experience of everyone who has interacted substantially with pseudosceptics will only earn you derision.”
    You’re right there; that is nonsense. And there you go again, making unsubstantiated assertions; something you continually accuse sceptics of doing. How can you possibly speak for EVERYONE who has interacted substantially with ‘pseudosceptics’, unless of course you can all those rabid CAGW proponents who have substantially tried to discredit genuine sceptics, in which case your stateent is probably true, but utterly irrelevant.

  114. BBD says:

    I am relying on individuals here who have had extensive interactions with pseudosceptics to exercise their right of reply and tell me that I am wrong in what I say.

  115. BBD says:

    Pekka

    You’ll keep your beliefs on this point, and I’ll keep mine.

    The original point of contention was my reading of your statement:

    far more ridiculous than the other mistake of thinking that big oil is behind most of skepticism.

    I agree that it is possible to argue that the FF industry has fostered the denial industry *and* that it is conceivable – though perhaps unlikely – that it would have evolved its present reach and influence without such funding.

  116. John Mashey says:

    Carl Sagan, Martin Gardner and Steve Schneider were skeptics, as are most scientists most of the time, and folks (like me) who write for Skeptical Inquirer, a few of whose long-time readers turned out to be pseudoskeptics on climate and cancelled their subscriptions on reading a straightforward article by a retired NASA scientist on global warming.
    Labeling: nitpicking: to write “people who show consistent pseudoskeptical behavior” really gets old.
    What skeptics do when looking outside their own is:
    1) Look at credible sources and assess the extent of uncertainty about different ideas/hypotheses/theories, which will range from “we don’t know” to “we can bound the uncertainty” to “conservation of energy”. Here’s a good example by a neurobiologist … who recently resigned as Frontiers editor.

    2) Talk to real experts, as Nobel particle physicist Burt Richter did when he retired from running SLAC and got interested in energy and climate. Of course, as he notes in his book Beyond Smoke and Mirrors, “Having a Nobel prize is a great advantage when moving into a new area. … is a great door opener. Not everyone has a Nobel, but if one lives near a relevant university, there are quite often public seminars in which one can hear experts and talk to them. Communities and other organizations sponsor talks (Burt gave a shorter version of this talk in our little town for about 25 people. OK, this is easy for me to say: I live just uphill from Stanford, often see Nobelists and know quite a few Members of the National Academy of Sciences and there are so many talks I could spend 100% of my time down there.

    Not everyone is so lucky … but in the UK, I’d guess that the short distances mean that most people are within 1-2 hours’ travel of a university where they could hear serious people. Just offhand, between Imperial College (London), Cambridge, Oxford, Leeds U and UEA (Norwich), a huge population is fairly close, just picking places I’ve lectured or know people and do substantial climate research. The UK density makes this a bit easier than in US, CA, AU.
    Talking to people is rather more useful than just reading blogs or fantasizing that a lawyer like Stephen Wilde has anything relevant to contribute to climate science. That would be as strong evidence of pseudoskepticism as someone doubting smoking: disease link because of something Steve Milloy wrote for TASSC. Oddly, pseudoskeptics seem to avoid meeting experts.

    3) Most real skeptics see what experts say, see a strong consensus, and that may be enough … but some go further because they get interested. They might:
    a) Order the full set of IPCC books (3000 pages) and study them (although not read everything).
    b) Find good books by experts.
    c) Find books by dismissives like Fred Singer and assess them, enumerate any worrying arguments and check them out. In the case of “Hot Topic, Cold Science”, the only argument that lasted very long was the disparity between ground stations and satellites on which Fred relied … and that got blown away in 2005 when RSS proved the UAH algorithm to be significantly wrong.
    d) Look at both science and anti-science websites and compare.
    e) Start going to lectures and meeting experts.
    f) Join AGU (or in Europe, EGU) and attend their big yearly meetings.
    Back in 2001, when I got interested, a) -e) were *the first month*, f) was later.
    In my experience, many climate scientists are usually pretty happy to respond to honest questions from real skeptics without Nobel’s :-)

    Finally, while the numbers aren’t all 100% scrubbed yet, my data from analysis of the comments on last year’s SalbyStorm show:

    Of the 6% of commenters who accepted mainstream science, rejected Salby’s bogus CO2/ice-core claims, almost all were (properly) dubious of Salby’s MQ-dismissal story, Some actually searched for eternal data that might shed light on Salby’s credibility. This was *so* hard … took me half an hour to find the first issues. Of course, when the skeptics mentioned these on the blogs, the data was either ignored or the skeptics personally insulted, told to leave or commit suicide, etc.

    Of the ~90% who were clearly dismissives (in Yale/GMU Sense, i.e., strong rejection of the consensus) about 90% (of the 90%) expressed opinions about Salby’s story (10% didn’t or I could not figure out what they meant):
    ~5% were as consistently cautious/dubious of Salby’s MQ story as the real skeptics, i.e., although pseudoskeptic on the consensus (or unskeptical of blog-science), they were commendably cautious about leaping on Salby’s story. Some were more familiar with universities (which like any organization of humans can sometimes behave badly) in knowing that it is far harder to dismiss professors from universities for unpopular views. Of course, some seemed mostly worried that “their side” would look foolish if it turned out wrong.

    ~6% either were mixed from the start between supporting Salby and being cautious, or as data arrived, moved from support to caution. I think exactly one clearly said they were convinced by the NSF debarment, with no caveats, attempts to downplay.

    ~79% went all-out for Salby and never changed their minds, often fought disconfirming evidence, attacked the people who brought it … When the crusher of NSF debarment + past court cases appeared, a few fought that … but the key bloggers … simply ignored it, as did many commenters, and of course, many just seemed to lose interest in a topic that had been a 4-day wonder.

    Now, these blogs are not a random sample of the population. The dismissive bloggers/commenters are likely to fit the extreme edge of the dismissive population, but in that subset, it looks like about 11% were capable of critical thought about an independent stimulus, i.e., behaved with some degree of skepticism. Nearly 80%:clear pseudoskeptical behavior. Morton’s Demons were strong. As for conspiracy ideation … that’s another story for later, but some real doozies were cooked up.

    I’m sorry that some people are offended by the pseudoskeptic label, although it’s a term with a long history, but I wonder if those people have any problem with categorizations of mainstream climate science/scientists and anyone who accepts the mainstream.
    A tiny sample from the Salby Storm corpus:

    AGW crackpottery, alarmist, calamatologists, charlatans, scum, dogmatic, dud science, dumbasses, fraud, fools who claim to be climate scientists, goose=step impersonators masquerading as ‘scientists’, groupthink, hoax, hooligans, ideologues, morally and ethically bankrupt, scam, swine, vindictive people, warmist, warmista, warmista attack dogs. Such were popular, although I also liked: squealing warmist weasel, which I first thought was a reference to The Stoat but was not.

  117. BBD says:

    Jaime

    all those rabid CAGW proponents who have substantially tried to discredit genuine sceptics

    This sort of thing does you no good either. And who are these “genuine sceptics”?

  118. John Mashey says:

    For the history:
    1) Read Merchants of Doubt for the non-fossil early origins of climate anti-science with the George Marshall Institute + Fred Singer’s SEPP.
    2) Coal got in early, in early 1990s, with Western Fuels Association & Greening Earth Society.
    3) The 1998 API project mentioned earlier was about the time Oil really started to get much involved,

    MoD has the early history, but read ,2010′s Crescendo to Climategate Cacophony, starting with the overall chronology chart on p.15.
    That reprot also has a lot on funding flows, although we know more now.

  119. guthrie says:

    Jaime, it’s quite simple – you need to define what a sceptic actually is, and decide what level of comment and behaviour with regards to climate change disqualified you from actually being a sceptic. Macintyre is blatantly not a sceptic, but a pseudo-sceptic, as is Watts and others. By their behaviour you can spot them, but you aren’t going to convince any of us here by labelling people as ‘sceptics’ and not being able to tell when people aren’t being sceptical.

  120. BBD says:

    From Jacques et al. (2008) The organisation of denial:Conservative think tanks and environmental scepticism

    In summary, environmental scepticism consists of four key themes. First,
    environmental scepticism is defined by its denial of the seriousness of
    environmental problems and dismissal of scientific evidence documenting
    these problems. This primary theme sets environmental scepticism apart from
    earlier environmental opposition movements like the US ‘wise use movement’
    and ‘sage brush rebellion’ (Switzer 1997). Second, environmental scepticism
    draws upon the first theme to question the importance of environmentally
    protective policies. Third, environmental scepticism endorses an anti-regulatory/
    anti-corporate liability position that flows from the first two claims.
    Lastly, environmental sceptics often cast environmental protection as
    threatening Western progress.

    The term “environmental scepticism” is synonymous with pseudoscepticism.

    Environmental scepticism denies the seriousness of environmental problems,
    and self-professed ‘sceptics’ claim to be unbiased analysts combating
    ‘junk science’. This study quantitatively analyses 141 English-language
    environmentally sceptical books published between 1972 and 2005. We find
    that over 92 per cent of these books, most published in the US since 1992,
    are linked to conservative think tanks (CTTs). Further, we analyse CTTs
    involved with environmental issues and find that 90 per cent of them
    espouse environmental scepticism. We conclude that scepticism is a tactic
    of an elite-driven counter-movement designed to combat environmentalism,
    and that the successful use of this tactic has contributed to the
    weakening of US commitment to environmental protection.

    Pekka will note the pattern of funding involved.

  121. Jaime seems to hold The Hockeyschtick up as a genuine “skeptic”. How fascinating. Note that mainstream science uses the term “greenhouse effect” (GHE) to refer to the fact that adding radiatively active gases to the atmosphere warms the surface. Scientists don’t attribute the GHE to atmospheric mass, pressure or gravity in the absence of radiatively active gases because surface temperature is determined by conservation of energy, not the ideal gas law. (If scientists were wrong, basketball players would have to dribble with gloves because the pressurized ball would have to be very hot.)

    Amusingly, some people who deny the GHE manage to deny the GHE and deny that they’re denying the GHE. They do this by redefining the GHE so it reflects their mistaken views about the ideal gas law (anyone got basketball player gloves?) rather than the actual definition scientists use.

    The Hockeyschtick is a perfect example of this behavior, but Stephen Wilde and the Sky Dragon Slayers keep him company.

    Notalotofpeopleknowthat claims that in the Arctic “there can be no greenhouse or albedo effect in winter”. Either Notalotofpeopleknowthat is wrong, or all those measurements radiatively active gases in Arctic air during winter are wrong.

    As John Mashey notes, this isn’t the behavior of real skeptics like Carl Sagan. It’s something else. Maybe someone should come up with a word for this kind of fake “skepticism”.

  122. OPatrick says:

    Jaime, I’ve looked so far at the first article in your first link – the Notalotofpeopleknowthat one. I note that Paul Homewood gives the following quote from Lonnie Thompson, on whose work on the Peruvian ice cores he is commenting:

    “that the climate was warmest from 8400 to 5200 years before present, and that it cooled gradually, culminating with the Little Ice Age (200 to 500 years before present). “

    He has omitted the next sentence from Lonnie Thompson’s abstract, which is:

    A strong warming has dominated the last two centuries.

    Homewood then concludes:

    Clearly, from a historical point of view, there is nothing remotely unusual about temperatures in this part of Peru.

    It also appears from the graph given that the temperature data, which stops before the year 2000 (I think in 1993, looking at the data set itself), shows recent temperatures to be higher than at any time in the past 1000 years, apart from one decade in the 11th century.

    Are you happy that this demonstrates healthy scepticism?

  123. BBD says:

    “that the climate was warmest from 8400 to 5200 years before present, and that it cooled gradually, culminating with the Little Ice Age (200 to 500 years before present). “

    A healthy sceptic would wonder why this was the case, and enquire. They would discover the wonderful world of paleoclimate and within it, our understanding of the effect of orbital forcing on climate. They would learn what the “HCO” stood for, and what precessional forcing was.

  124. @DumbSci,

    (If scientists were wrong, basketball players would have to dribble with gloves because the pressurized ball would have to be very hot.)

    That’s brilliant. I must remember that.

  125. AnOilMan says:

    John Mashey: Thank you for all of that. This article best sums me up;
    http://blogarchive.brembs.net/comment-n592.html

    Pseudoskeptics argue that 15000 of our best and brightest people in our civilization somehow missed the blatantly obvious which some how uneducated amateurs can spot. That’s preposterous. I like to point out that much of this climate science predates active climate change work, and is in the field of engineering. (Such as the study of ocean thermal profiles which are used for antisubmarine warfare.)

    It just needs a new title for me, “Dammit, Jim, I’m an electrical engineer, not a climatologist!”

    One of the earlier papers I hit on was carbon dating the atmosphere, its harder than it sounds, when you consider that they have to take into account above ground neutron bursts. And interestingly carbon dating is also climate change dependent.

  126. Just to be clear, I should have said “long-term equilibrium surface temperature is determined by conservation of energy, not the ideal gas law.”

    Recognizing and correcting mistakes is another sign of true skepticism, which is woefully absent at most websites where people call themselves “skeptics”.

  127. OPatrick says:

    Jaime, I am now looking at the second article at Notalotofpeopleknowthat. Here Paul Homewood is discussing the GWPF report on ‘brainwashing’ of children about climate change. I note that he has made no apparent attempt to investigate for himself whether the claims in the GWPF report are actually a fair representation of the source material used in schools. Having looked at several Geography textbooks myself, indeed having actually taught from them on occasion, I am certainly sceptical that the examples given are a fair representation. He does make passing reference to the balance evident in the textbooks here:

    Some geography textbooks make passing mention of the existence of dissenting points of view, but these are often then dismissed. An example comes in GCSE Geography A AQA :

    “The climate is changing – global warming is happening. It’s just that a handful of people think some of the evidence isn’t great. There are other things that cause climate change, but let’s face it, we humans better take the rap this time.”

    But I think it is highly likely that the quoted section is an example off someone’s opinion, which was probably given along with a range of different opinions about climate change. Do you not think a sceptic would have looked into this for themselves rather than relying on a partisan source like the GWPF?

    I see also that Paul Homewood has an opinion about the 10:10 campaign:

    The book also includes a section about how individual children can help reduce greenhouse gases, suggesting that they join 10:10, an organisation best known for a controversial video campaign that vividly portrayed the violent death of two children at the hands of their teacher, when their parents refused to accept the teacher’s demands for action in response to her concerns about energy usage and global warming.

    Do you feel that this is a reflective and sceptical view of the 10:10 campaign?

  128. BBD,

    The main difference in my views is that I see a much larger role on preexisting structures and on developments and general attitudes in society that are not specifically connected with the climate issue. From that I conclude that certain rather large groups were receptive for the skepticism. It was also unavoidable that more specific skeptical ideas were developed. To me the combination of these factors would have led to essentially the same outcome without the organized push. The organized push surely contributed to the speed of the development, but I don’t consider it essential.

    People have behaved in similar way on many other issues, some related to environment, some to health, and some to something else. Silent spring, Club of Rome, and Nuclear winter come to my mind as a couple of issues or actors that got quite a lot of attention, were met with skepticism of many and more or less disappeared from visibility. Many people expected the same of Global warming.

    Much of industry was lobbying in the standard way of lobbying against the Kyoto agreement, no special plots were needed for that. I had several discussions with a former high level insider from U.S. climate policy administration on the expectations concerning the Kyoto agreement. He was pretty sure that it would not pass Senate ratification, later the election stopped it without an attempt to get it ratified.

    Some climate scientists who were otherwise fully behind the main stream thinking had their doubts on some parts of the science including at least the value of paleoclimatic reconstructions of the type of Mann et al.

    A lot of developments like that were going on all the time without any industry led program of feeding doubt. My view of the societal developments tells that the outcome was likely without any organized push that exceeds behavior normal with any major issue.

  129. OPatrick says:

    Jaime, I am looking at the third article from Notalotofpeopleknowthat. It is also about the GWPF report on climate change in education. Here sample answers to questions (unspecified) in GCSE Chemistry and Physics exams are quoted. The answers both portray fairly standard ‘consensus’ views on appropriate actions in response to climate change. However, Paul Homewood does not appear to have investigated whether answers that would be deemed sceptical of the seriousness of climate change would be acceptable. I can guarantee that an answer that gave a reasonable scientific argument for not taking action would also score full marks. The examiners are looking for a very basic understanding of the scientific process in a question like this.

    Do you feel that Paul Homewood has been fully sceptical in this instance?

  130. OPatrick says:

    I lean towards Pekka’s view on this one – but I don’t think there is any doubt that fossil fuel interests were going to leave it down to chance. Whether the levels of ‘scepticism’ were going to be as prevalent as they are without their influence is an interesting question, but they have certainly been doing some work towards influencing it. Possibly worryingly, but also with some hope, the major oil companies like Shell are perhaps the only global bodies that work on a time scale of multi-decades. I suspect there are considerable tensions within these organisation between organs which are focused on short- and medium-term goals and those that work on longer-term strategies.

  131. OPatrick says:

    Jaime, looking at the next article on Notalotofpeopleknowthat I see Paul Homewood is disparaging an article in the Guardian, which discusses the link between changes in climate and violence (but doesn’t actually make any direct claim about the changes in climate already being observed). He gives a ‘history lesson’ about the occurrence of droughts over the last century and before, but oddly doesn’t mention the obvious source: the IPCC SREX, which states:

    There is medium confidence that some regions of the world have experienced more intense and longer droughts, in particular in southern Europe and West Africa, but in some regions droughts have become less frequent, less intense, or shorter, for example, in central North America and northwestern Australia.

    It seems odd that a sceptic would consider only sources that supported his own point of view and not a broad range of sources to provide full balance. Or are you understanding something different in the word ‘sceptic’ than I am?

  132. BBD says:

    As you say, Pekka, it is impossible to say, and we only have one history. Perhaps a more fruitful avenue would be the debate over whether the situation should be glossed over or freely acknowledged?

    And another would be whether the increasingly anonymised funding of the denial industry (Brulle 2013) should be curtailed by legislation requiring greater transparency.

    John Mashey’s article on Brulle (2013) at DeSmog.

  133. OPatrick says:

    Jaime, I’ve looked at the Hockeyschtick site – can I just check that this is the one you meant, your example of someone displaying genuine scepticism?

    I did enjoy this headline: New paper finds climate skeptical blogosphere is important source of expertise, reinterpretation, & scientific knowledge production, although I wonder if there was some subliminal awareness evident in this sentence:

    The abstract appears to be complementary to the climate skeptic blogosphere

  134. Steve Bloom says:

    The older history aside, there is a direct connection between the rise of the Koch-funded/controlled American for Prosperity (the main “tea party” organization) and an ~ 15% shift to denialism among Republicans in 2009/10. That was enough to move the entire party into a denial stance, and that in turn has been enough to block major action. Note that climate change denial was not one of the original motivators of the “tea party.” The Republican Party prior to that had room for climate change action (e.g. past support for cap-and-trade by McCain and Romney), and the push orchestrated by the Kochs had everything to do with changing that.

    Note also that it’s much easier to bring about such an outcome in the U.S. since the system is structured (by slaveholders, to be precise) to enable blocking by a unified political minority.

  135. Rachel says:

    OPatrick,

    I did enjoy this headline….

    That’s so funny, Patrick. This is the point I was trying to make about the social sciences in a different thread. No-one understand what the hell they’re saying! And yet they take it upon themselves to tell everyone else how they should communicate, what they’re doing wrong and how they could do it better. Hello? Pot, kettle….

  136. AnOilMan says:

    They are the Sultans of Spin…

  137. John Mashey says:

    One more time: Psuedoskepticism is a term with a long history. Richard Cameron Wilson expressed it well in 2008

    “In a sceptical age, even those disseminating wholly bogus ideas – from corporate pseudo-science to 9/11 conspiracy theories – will often seek to appropriate the language of rational inquiry. But there is a meaningful difference between being a “sceptic” and being in denial. The genuine sceptic forms his beliefs through a balanced evaluation of the evidence. The sceptic of the bogus variety cherry-picks evidence on the basis of a pre-existing belief, seizing on data, however tenuous, that supports his position, and yet declaring himself “sceptical” of any evidence, however compelling, that undermines it.”

  138. idunno says:

    “Doubt” can mean around the same thing as “scepticism”, and may help to make some finer distinctions.

    Some of them are absolutely, almost religiously convinced by their doubts. That is certainly not a sceptical position.

    There are doubt-mongers, for one group. Doubt buyers.And a whole pile of the gullible.

    They are all, of course, “dubious” – a word which seems to me, given its several meanings, to cover both those with doubts, and the plain flat-out deniers.

    So while I would dispute that Watts, Nova, Homewood, etc, and their associates are at all “sceptical”, I am quite happy to agree that they are all “dubious”. It’s a better word.

  139. Jaime Jessop says:

    Oh deary me, I give two examples of websites which I frequently visit and you guys immediately look upon this as a springboard to try and discredit my own sceptic viewpoints by minutiae reference to points made in articles on those websites – all of them, I might add, which I have not read. This is classic attempted discreditation by association and I’m afraid it won’t wash. If you want to dissect MY scepticism, you need to look at MY blog and I will be more than happy to discuss any ‘issues’ you have. As I’ve already said, I consider most of the climate sceptic blogosphere to consist of people who have genuine problems with accepting the party line on consensus global warming ‘science’. Like I said, I consider some of the information on those websites to be a more credible threat to the ‘consensus’ than other information. At no time, did I indicate WHICH information, so you are second-guessing my preferences outrageously.

    I did not hold up these two particular websites as being examples of what you so condescendingly term ‘genuine scepticism’ – I merely pointed out that I make reference to them quite a lot and I can provide many examples from them of why I refer to them, none of which come from your examples above. So please calm down guys and try very hard not to get too carried away.

  140. Jaime,

    Oh deary me, I give two examples of websites which I frequently visit and you guys immediately look upon this as a springboard to try and discredit my own sceptic viewpoints by minutiae reference to points made in articles on those websites – all of them, I might add, which I have not read.

    The two examples you gave were websites run by people who claim that the greenhouse effect is not a consequence of radiatively active gases (commonly called greenhouse gases). There is absolutely no merit to this suggestion. People who claim that the warming of the surface of the planet is because of the mass the atmosphere (or some other related reason) are simply wrong. If you think that such sites are examples of sites that are genuinely sceptical, then you don’t understand the term scepticism (as it is commonly used in science, at least).

  141. Jaime Jessop says:

    OPatrick

    Have you seen the activist video by 10:10? Do you think that graphically illustrating the extremely violent and very bloody murders of pupils who don’t show insufficient concern about reducing their carbon footprint is in any way an appropriate method of bringing to people’s attention the issues around supposed catastrophic man-made climate change? Do you think that by choosing to make such an extreme video, this does not reflect significantly negatively upon the organisation as a whole, acting in large measure to discredit their supposedly ‘balanced’ campaign? I don’t, Paul Homewood apparently doesn’t. I suggest anyone who does is tainted with more than a little psychopathy and extremist intent.

  142. Jaime Jessop says:

    ‘who show insufficient concern’ that should be.

  143. Jaime,

    I don’t, Paul Homewood apparently doesn’t. I suggest anyone who does is tainted with more than a little psychopathy and extremist intent.

    Have you ever wondered why dialogue about climate change is so difficult? If not, maybe try reading what you’ve written or get someone you trust to read it and give you some feedback. Suggesting that anyone who disagrees with your interpretation has psychopathic and extremist intent isn’t – in my view at least – a particularly good way to ensure sensible and constructive dialogue. You, of course, may disagree and if your intent isn’t to engage in sensible and constructive dialogue, then you’re going about it the right way.

  144. andrew adams says:

    I think Pekka makes a fair point here

    I see a much larger role on preexisting structures and on developments and general attitudes in society that are not specifically connected with the climate issue. From that I conclude that certain rather large groups were receptive for the skepticism.

    certainly if I think of most of the “committed” skeptics (ie those who argue on blogs and whose views don’t appear open to change) I have come across it is hard to imagine that they would have had different opinions if it were not for the efforts of the oil companies and others, especially given the large overlap between climate change skepticism and particular political viewpoints.

    Which is not to say that Exxon Mobil, the Kochs etc have not had any effect, I don’t doubt that they have played a role in making climate change skepticism more prominent than it would otherwise have been, (the GWPF is certainly playing its part in the UK) but I think it’s a mistake to put the blame wholly on them (if only because it leads to all those hilarious “where’s my cheque from Exxon Mobil” comments) and to downplay the wider social and political context.

  145. Marco says:

    Good, Jaime, let’s take up this article on your website:
    http://climatecontrarian.blogspot.dk/2013/12/et-on-climate-wars.html
    In which you, based on a post by Steven Goddard, proclaim that “NASA are engaged in fraudulent manipulation of global temperature data and are wilfully ignoring their own satellite instrumentation data, in a bid to ‘prove’ that the world is getting hotter, year on year”.

    This is not even close to pseudoskepticism, it is outright conspiracy ideation, and you do not even realize the enormity of the conspiracy you propose, and ignore the contradictory information.

    You can start looking up what data GISTEMP (NASA’s product) actually uses. You’ll find you will have to increase the magnitude of the conspiracy and include NCDC/NOAA, which provides the raw data. You may even have to step it up even further, since NCDC collects loads of data from third parties – those third parties would have to hide any supposed manipulations NCDC performs. And then you have to include Roy Spencer and John Christy in your conspiracy, since the UAH data gives a trend that is a mere 10% lower than that of GISTEMP.

    And while you are working on your conspiracy, any reason why you would proclaim any mechanistic insight from the HADCRUT product? That uses largely the same input as GISTEMP (95% overlap, or so)…

  146. andrew adams says:

    The subject of the 10:10 video has come up here before and as far as I remember people generally agreed that it was horribly misjudged and inappropriate, even if we “got” what they were trying to do.

    But unless you think they were literally advocating the murder of children who don’t toe the line on climate change I don’t think once can accuse them of “psychopathic and extremist intent”.

  147. foxgoose says:

    Have I got this right Anders?

    Suggesting people who support videos of exploding school kids “are tainted with more than a little psychopathy and extremist intent” is beyond the pale of “sensible & constructive dialogue” here.

    Truly revealing.

  148. OPatrick says:

    Jaime, to be fair you named those two sites in response to a challenge about this claim you made:

    IMO, the vast majority of sceptics are undeserving of the title pseudosceptic

    Do you view scepticism as a part-time activity? Can someone show occasional scepticism?

    However, I was going to suggest a different approach with the Hockeyschtick site, where you gave examples of genuine scepticism. Would you prefer to do this? Which articles have you read there recently that struck you as demonstrating genuine, as opposed to pseudo, scepticism?

    Have you seen the activist video by 10:10?

    Yes, and I believe anyone who reflects on it with genuine scepticism will recognise it for what it is – a misjudged attempt to try a different approach by using clearly absurdist imagery in the vein of Monty Python and other British comedy, as might be expected from Richard Curtis. To save time can I point you to this, where I went through this debate with someone who was convinced of themselves at the start but has the honesty to actually read what I (triangleOPQ) said? He began (4th post down) by saying:

    Well, how about the funniest of the year ; the promotional video which appeared to promote blowing up people who dared to disagree?

    but we soon reached the point where he was willing to agree that:

    I think ill judged is generous, but fair enough. Perhaps they were lured by the ‘fame’ of Richard Curtis (who I’ve always thought was an overrated writer). I don’t know.

  149. Foxgoose,
    No, as usual, you haven’t got it right.

  150. OPatrick says:

    Jaime, I’ve been looking a little at your website too. I am not convinced of your own scepticism. For example, I am sceptical of your claim here:

    Not at all comparable to increased storminess, especially in winter, but the effect was immediate and very favourable – the warmist press and politicians leapt on the bandwagon to claim that this winter was due to global warming.

    Can you give examples of ‘warmist press and politicians’ claiming that this winter was due to global warming (as opposed to making the perfectly reasonable claim that climate change likely had a role to play in the weather we experienced)?

  151. > The subject of the 10:10 video has come up here before [...]

    Guess by whom, and when.

    More importantly, notice how.

  152. Jaime Jessop says:

    OPatrick:

    “Yes, and I believe anyone who reflects on it with genuine scepticism will recognise it for what it is – a misjudged attempt to try a different approach by using clearly absurdist imagery in the vein of Monty Python.”

    Let’s be clear about this. I’m not ‘sceptical’, genuinely or even ‘pseudoically’ (if that’s a word) about this video. I’m HORRIFIED, and I’ve never been remotely horrified by ANY of Python’s output, because that was well judged absurdist humour.

    Anders & OPatrick

    This is not even ill-judged; it is evidence of a disturbing mindset – very disturbing, and far more compelling evidence than Lewandowsky’s laughable analysis of widespread conspiracist ideation amongst sceptics. Trying to pass this off as anything less merely for the purpose of desperately clinging on to the moral and ethical high ground is contemptible to say the very least and extremely suggestive of mental abnormality on the part of those who would choose to do so.

    Let’s turn it on its head. A high profile sceptic blogger makes a video where school kids, unhappy with being taught that the human race is in imminent danger of being decimated by global warming, decide that they are going to do something about it, so they sneak a sawn-off shot gun into class and blow the head off the geography teacher, smile calmly and walk out to their next lesson. Would that be flipping misjudged Pythonesque humour? Lew would be peeing his pants in anticipation of the academic plaudits he was about to receive for exposing murderous psychopaths in the climate sceptic community. And lastly, would anyone NOT aghast at such a video be deemed to be ‘reflecting upon it with genuine scepticism’? No, they would probably be regarded as not right in the head.

  153. Jaime,
    You’re mis-interpreting me. I’m not arguing – in any way – that the video wasn’t ill-judged and in very poor taste. My point was that you started with this

    Do you think that by choosing to make such an extreme video, this does not reflect significantly negatively upon the organisation as a whole, acting in large measure to discredit their supposedly ‘balanced’ campaign?

    and ended with

    I suggest anyone who does is tainted with more than a little psychopathy and extremist intent.

    Hence, you were suggesting that anyone who didn’t see the video as largely discrediting their “balanced” campaign was tainted with a little psychopathy and extremist intent. Your initial comment wasn’t about the video (which I agree was in very poor taste and a very bad idea) but about how the video reflected on the organisation that made it. It certainly doesn’t reflect well on them, but I’m less certain that it implies that everything they’re trying to do is now discredited.

    So, let’s remember that you brought this up in the first place. I don’t think the video was a good idea but I don’t have any particular desire to discuss what it implies with respect to the organisation that made it. It has no real relevance with respect to the credibility of climate science as a whole.

  154. OPatrick says:

    Jaime, you are incorrect in your judgement about this video. That you refuse to consider this suggests you lack the willingness to be reflective.

    The intended humour in the video comes from the absurdist contrast between the utterly benign 10:10 campaign, which for several years had been focusing on the positive message that the cumulative impact of many small changes in our lifestyle could make a significant difference to our impact on the environment, and the cartoon violence of the response to inaction shown in the video. The people who produced the film did not consider that anyone would (pretend to) take the threat literally. This was clearly naïve on their part.

    What motivation do you think was behind the production of the film? What do you think Richard Curtis was thinking when he scripted and directed it?

    Also, have you found any examples of ‘warmist press and politicians’ claiming that this winter was due to global warming yet?

  155. Jaime,

    How ever misdirected one video produced by one organization is, it does not tell much of the others.

    Similarly observing correctly that the particular video is so misdirected is not enough to make a blogger a true skeptic.

  156. OPatrick says:

    Let’s turn it on its head.

    Or maybe let’s take a real example. What do you think the thinking was behind the Heartland’s Unabomber poster campaign? I’ve described above how, in my view, the 10:10 video came about. Clearly it was misjudged but I think any reasonable person will agree that the motivation behind it was not malicious in intent. Can you explain how the same could be said for the Heartland’s campaign?

    In my view the Heartland campaign was also primarily an example of bad judgment. I don’t believe the people who thought up the campaign genuinely think that anyone who believes in the seriousness of climate change has psychopathic tendencies. But I do think they were cynically hoping to exploit that equivalence in the minds of their audience.

  157. Jaime Jessop says:

    OPatrick, I’m not convinced of your scepticism of my scepticism.

    Independent: “CLIMATE CHANGE TO BLAME FOR STORMS HITTING BRITAIN”
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/uk-weather-climate-change-to-blame-for-storms-hitting-britain-met-office-chief-scientist-warns-9118186.html

    “Davey said politicians should listen to the experts. He told the IPPR: “The chief scientist of the Met Office recently said that all the evidence pointed to a link to climate change. And the climate change scientists have been warning for some time that their models suggest there will be an increase in extreme weather events,” he said.
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/feb/13/uk-storms-climate-change-ed-davey

    There’s a very fine line between using the UK winter storms to argue for a climate change treaty by pointing out that Slingo says ‘all the evidence’ points to a link to climate change and saying outright that global warming ’caused’ the flooding – so fine in fact, it’s hardly relevant. Davey, Clegg, Hammond and others, all jumped on the bandwagon created by the storms to claim that global warming was exerting a powerful influence on our weather. You don’t argue for political action on climate change by claiming it “likely had a role [of unspecified importance] to play in the weather we experienced”, you must necessarily infer that that role was significant enough to have made ‘normal’ stormy weather very much worse. Granted, perhaps I should have chosen my phraseology a little more carefully, but clearly, the press and politicians DID jump on the bandwagon to claim that climate change had a very significant role to play in our extraordinarily stormy winter of 2013/14. Your nitpicking is not reason enough to doubt the ‘quality’ of my scepticism.

  158. John Mashey says:

    Let us unite the topics of skepticism and opinions about the climate anti-science (especially in the US, where it has the most pernicious influence).
    There are two approaches:

    1) One can have opinions and write them on blogs.

    2) Alternatively, a serious skeptic interested in the topic might:do the same thing they’d do to learn climate science, except with a different group:
    a) Seek out the top academic researchers and investigators in relevant fields: sociology, history, political science, advertising, psychology, law, media studies, economics, energy policy, climate communication, at least).
    b) Read their papers/books, attend their talks when possible, meet them in person, sometimes get asked to review forthcoming work.
    c) And maybe even do research in the area, after consulting the experts and finding they think there are things missing, and do invited talks at universities on this.

    1) There was fertile ground for rejection for pseudoskeptic rejection of climate science, in a very similar way that there was fertile ground for people to smoke. The strong existing Democratic/Republican split was carefully manufactured by the pros. The Republican party used to accept science, even 20-25 years ago.

    2) But in both tobacco and climate, the best marketeers in the world used the same tactics of doubt production, the climate side having learned much from the tobacco side, and often partnered with them. In the early 1990s, the Western Fuels Association used standard marketing/PR tactics: Focus groups, test marketing of different messages in different areas, measurement of responses, etc, to see which demographics could be reached and convinced. Koch Industries recently hired a long-time tobacco operative to run PR/communications. Why not? He had experience with youth campaigns, i.e., getting kids to smoke while they were still addictable. That takes work and cleverness.

    3) In the US (and to some extent in CA and AU, and a little bit in UK), the fossil fuel folks (and the ultra-conservative/libertarian family foundations, sometimes built on FF, sometimes not) created an alternate academic structure of thinktanks / front groups, etc to affect policy, both of decision-makers but via fake grassroots, i.e., astroturf. The Koch brothers started doing this in the 1980s, and it eventually led to the creation of the Tea Party, which took a while ,even if the the theme was suggested in early 1990s by Burston-Marsteller.

    4) Of course, even with fertile ground, $$ is needed. One might political donations to Sen James Inhofe (R-OK) and Rep Joseph Barton(R-TX) to see where big contributions come from.

  159. Jaime Jessop says:

    OPatrick

    Had to google Heartland Unabomber poster campaign. Whilst it is not as viscerally disturbing as the 10:10 video, I would condemn outright and unreservedly the comparison of global warming advocates to mass murderers and madmen. Such opportunist and distasteful propaganda is not a sane or rational response to global warming propaganda.

  160. Jaime,
    Ahh, but to be consistent, don’t you have to both condemn the Heartland Institute and the poster campaign? The campaign, by your reasoning, reflects on the entire organisation – or did I misunderstand what you were suggesting earlier?

  161. OPatrick says:

    Jaime, if you are basing your arguments only on headlines then I’m not going to dispute that – headlines appear to be universally and inexplicably appalling. However, other than that nothing in the two links you give support your assertion that “the warmist press and politicians leapt on the bandwagon to claim that this winter was due to global warming”. The worst you seem to be able to find is Ed Davey saying that according to the Met Office ‘all the evidence pointed to a link to climate change’, which is a marginally stronger claim than Julia Slingo’s.

  162. OPatrick says:

    Whilst it is not as viscerally disturbing as the 10:10 video

    Maybe not, but when you try to understand the motivation behind them the Unabomber campaign seems far more sinister – or rather, cynical. Or can you persuade me otherwise? As I’ve asked already, what do you think the motivation was for Richard Curtis when he wrote the script for the 10:10 video? What possible sense can be made of it other than the explanation I’ve given?

  163. AnOilMan says:

    Jaime Jessop: I looked at your blog, and all I saw was recycled PR from Watts and Nova.

    You fit exactly and precisely the definition of pseudo skeptic as put forward by John Mashey.

    I’m rehashing a previous Post about JoNova extolling the benefits of ocean acidification. This is the skeptical way of looking at an article. Any article really. Examine the source, examine the and the credentials objectively, look at the material, and related material if any.
    ===========================
    I was presenting with this link on this blog and told there was no concern about ocean acidification;
    http://joannenova.com.au/2011/11/the-chemistry-of-ocean-ph-and-acidification/

    Step 1: Look at the qualifications of the supposed expert; Brice Bosnich. He doesn’t do ocean work, so this is all new to him, like a babe in the woods. Its easy to make mistakes, but hey its a blog, its not like this will tarnish his actual reputation especially since its in such a different field.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brice_Bosnich

    Step 2: Look at the papers cited. Google ‘caldeira wickett 2003′: Wow… 1400+ citations. That means that 1400 more papers were written using the information presented in that one paper (and many others of course).

    Step 3: In google, select ‘Cited XXXX’. Notice all the papers, and notice all their citations. Did you notice that Caldeira and Wickett have a newer paper? So why did Jo go to the older one? An expert should know right? Older stuff is often rougher, and often needs more clarification. More to the point it may have mistakes that would have been cleared up later on as more work went into it.

    Step 4: Here’s a great paper on that subject;
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/gcb.12179/full
    “Here, we perform the most comprehensive meta-analysis to date by synthesizing the results of 228 studies examining biological responses to ocean acidification. The results reveal decreased survival, calcification, growth, development and abundance in response to acidification when the broad range of marine organisms is pooled together. However, the magnitude of these responses varies among taxonomic groups, suggesting there is some predictable trait-based variation in sensitivity, despite the investigation of approximately 100 new species in recent research.”

    ” Last, the results highlight a trend towards enhanced sensitivity to acidification when taxa are concurrently exposed to elevated seawater temperature.”

    Step 5: I won’t be going back to JoNova ever. I now understand it to be a bad source riddled with errors. I don’t have the time to redo all her work and figure out what she did wrong.

    Step 6: Bonus : Ask yourself why her article presents such a limited and narrow view of ocean heat content? Is there intent in avoiding deep ocean heat? Does she know that XBTs provide accurate data and projections used for Anti-Submarine Warfare? (Levitus is a hero of the cold war. He wrote the book on ocean thermal profiles. His data is used to track submarines so you can sleep at night. Yet that won’t slow Watts having a go at him: http://wattsupwiththat.com/tag/levitus/ )
    ===========================

    My mom always said that if I have nothing nice to say, not to say anything at all. Regarding Jo Nova I’m speechless.

  164. I’m HORRIFIED by this Monty Python video graphically illustrating an extremely violent and very bloody murder. It’s clearly a literal threat, and we can discern the intended target because the Black Knight is incompetent and unaware of it. Monty Python is clearly threatening people who suffer from the Dunning-Kruger effect.

    Giant crocodile tears are necessary, stat!

    “Let’s turn it on its head. A high profile sceptic blogger makes a video where school kids, unhappy with being taught that the human race is in imminent danger of being decimated by global warming, decide that they are going to do something about it, so they sneak a sawn-off shot gun into class and blow the head off the geography teacher, smile calmly and walk out to their next lesson. Would that be flipping misjudged Pythonesque humour? Lew would be peeing his pants in anticipation of the academic plaudits he was about to receive for exposing murderous psychopaths in the climate sceptic community.”

    I met Stefan Lewandowsky after Anders Behring Breivik cited “Climategate” and Bishop Hill’s and Lord Monckton’s “skepticism” before he made a “video” similar to your description.

    Lewandowsky didn’t seem to be incontinent, despite Jaime’s diagnosis.

  165. Jim Hunt says:

    @Jaime on April 11, 2014 at 2:40 pm

    Now you’re stepping in my home mire (on my home turf as was)!

    Please cast your skeptical eye over the work of this local academic researcher:

    http://econnexus.org/tag/james-screen/

    What’s your conclusion?

  166. Jaime Jessop says:

    AnOilMan:

    “Jaime Jessop: I looked at your blog, and all I saw was recycled PR from Watts and Nova.”

    Really? You clearly have issues with JoNova and Watts. I visit their blogs very rarely so I guess all that recycled PR you saw on my blog must have been subconsciously recycled from other blogs who themselves must have recycled JoNova and Watts! I believe in essence you are labelling me a plagiarist and a fake sceptic to boot. Fine, that’s your opinion.

    All I can say about you is that you are possibly a fake oil man hiding behind a pseudonym who hasn’t got a clue.

  167. Jaime Jessop says:

    Anders, I have no real knowledge or opinion of the Heartland Institute other than a vague awareness that they campaign against global warming propaganda in the States. Obviously, an organisation which resorts to such crass comparisons is to be regarded with suspicion. However, comparing CAGW advocates with mass murderers is still not on a par with suggesting that innocent children who happen not to be too bothered about engaging in ‘sustainable’ activity should be blown to pieces by environmental activists. So I would be even more suspect of an organisation which ran a campaign centred around this.

  168. idunno says:

    Andy,

    I would like to draw your attention to an error in the headline of this post,,,

    Mapping the sceptical blogosphere

    I don’t think that the word “sceptical” is at all an apt descriptor of the blogs discussed. I would suggest that word “sceptical’, should be changed to “dubious”.

    If you would like an example of a blog written by genuine sceptics, in the accurate usage of that term, you could check this one…

    http://www.realclimate.org/

    I am quite unfamiliar with Nova or Climate Audit, but in long acquaintance with WUWT, I have seen very, very little genuine scepticism. It is quite innaccurate to describe it as a sceptical blog. I suggest that “dubious” or “climate-dubious” even, or “science-dubious” are much more accurate descriptions.

    Perhaps you could provide me some examples of articles from these blogs that display scepticism, in the accurate sense of the word?

  169. AnOilMan says:

    Thanks for the name calling Jaime Jessop. I suppose I am labeling you. Its also possible I’m shooting off at the mouth again. I guess that doesn’t help achieve mutual understanding. As for me, most people on this blog know exactly who I am and what I do for a living. You don’t.

    Any thoughts on Jo Nova’s piece about Ocean Acidification? Does it look like good critical work to you? Does it look factual to you? I’m genuinely curious as to what you think about it. Would you use Jo Nova as a source after examining her work on Ocean Acidification?

  170. Jaime Jessop says:

    Jim Hunt,

    Had a very brief look at this paper. The claim is basically that the reduction in NH sea ice is a cause of Britain’s run of very wet summers from 2007 to 2012, though it is noted that 1912 was wetter than any of them. The claim is that the sequence of wet summers 2007-2012 is ‘extraordinary’ but of course it is only extraordinary in the context of the precipitation record which is shown in the article which only goes back as far as 1900. If you look at the Met Office EWP Summer going back to 1766 here: http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/hadobs/hadukp/charts/ts_plots/ts_EWP_Summer.gif
    then the run of wet summers 2007-2012 doesn’t look quite so extraordinary, in fact 1820-1850 looks significantly worse.

    Notwithstanding that, Arctic sea ice cover may indeed affect weather patterns further south. Of course this does not necessarily imply that wetter summers in the UK are as a result of man-made global warming. For that to be the case, you have to also say that the majority of Arctic sea ice loss is due to anthropogenic global warming.

  171. Jaime Jessop says:

    AnOilMan
    You’ll have to bear with me on this. Ocean acidification theory isn’t really my strong point but I’ll have a look at the paper. May take a while to come back.

  172. OPatrick says:

    comparing CAGW advocates with mass murderers is still not on a par with suggesting that innocent children who happen not to be too bothered about engaging in ‘sustainable’ activity should be blown to pieces by environmental activists

    You haven’t answered my question about what you think the motivations are behind these campaigns. You are continuing as though the 10:10 campaign was intending to send the message you are claiming they were. This is nonsensical. I do not believe that anyone who reflects honestly on the video could conclude that this was the intended message.

  173. BBD says:

    Miserable showing Jaime. You did not respond to Marco’s comment about your conspiracist ideation re GISTEMP.

    Consipiracist ideation is very commonly an indicator of pseudoscepticism. Someone as keen as you to present as a real sceptic should have been rather more responsive. It looks bad.

  174. Guys,

    Piling on is unsexy.

  175. guthrie says:

    Surely it should be “Mapping the sceptical bogosphere”?

  176. guthrie says:

    Willard – it’s not all about sex you know.

  177. AnOilMan says:

    Willard it always appears that way when they don’t respond to questions. It just drags along like some sort of trawling line sucking up time and effort, and never concluding anything. (Never mind that I think its is one of the Climate Ball techniques that is truly loathsome.)

    Its also been my very consistent experience that those who do this come back a little later and say something like, “I looked at it, and I think has merit.”

    At this point Jaime Jessop has been a good sport, so I will give her the benefit of the doubt. But doubts I have.

  178. idunno,
    Well, the title was taken from the title of the paper being discussed. You do make a valid point though which was why I included this in the post

    Also, why have they so easily bought into the sceptical narrative? Many of these sites regard themselves as the true sceptics, but – in my opinion – they really aren’t. Why have serious researchers allowed these sites to dictate the narrative?

    Jaime,
    You say,

    Of course this does not necessarily imply that wetter summers in the UK are as a result of man-made global warming. For that to be the case, you have to also say that the majority of Arctic sea ice loss is due to anthropogenic global warming.

    Given that we can attribute most of the warming to anthropogenic influences, and given that there is polar amplification (the poles warm at a faster rate than other areas) it would seem somewhat implausible that most of the Arctic sea ice loss isn’t anthropogenic.

    However, let me put it a different way. Let’s consider the possibility that the Arctic sea ice loss is – coincidentally – primarily a consequence some natural influence. Let’s also consider that the paper being discussed has illustrated a link between weather patterns in the UK and this loss of Arctic sea ice. Even if we can’t attribute this to anthropogenic influences today, it’s fairly clear (basic physics) that continued warming will lead to a loss of Arctic sea ice. Therefore, even if we can’t attribute the changes today to anthropogenic influences, this is still potentially an indicator of how AGW will influence our (the UK’s) weather in the future. Do you agree with that or not?

  179. BBD says:

    Willard

    Piling on is unsexy.

    Contrarian [Mod: snip] doesn’t float my boat either. Nor does having my comments ignored tactically. Jaime is the author of her own misfortunes at present. As ye sow, and all that.

  180. Jaime Jessop says:

    I know you guys think I should answer all of your questions almost instantaneously otherwise I am showing signs of weakness in my arguments, but really, I can’t sit on this blog all day addressing every point in depth. I will respond in the order which strikes me as reasonable. And BBD, I don’t tactically ignore comments, I just sometimes ignore them, for good, bad, or indifferent reasons.

    “Contrarian [Mod: snip] doesn’t float my boat either.” Says the person who gazes from the shipwreck of his own failed online attempted character assassinations of sceptics.

  181. idunno says:

    Andy,

    A misleading headline in a journal is their problem, whereas…

    Anyway, agreed with your original point which you quote, which indeed I’d credit with provoking my current bee-bonnet bother about reclaiming the ‘s’ word. Thank you. I think this is an important issue.

    WRT the Arctic Sea Ice, there seem to me to be 3 very significant factors;

    1. Anthropogenic CO2

    2. Arctic Amplification; a consequence of 1.

    3. the Atlantic MultiDecadal Oscillation, (AMO) which is a poorly understood natural cycle, which is currently notsomuch under discussion here…

    http://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,805.0.html

    For reasons that escape me, the science-dubious sites such as Nova, Watts, etc, don’t seem very keen to push this latest research on the role of the AMO, which is certainly a natural cycle;)

  182. BBD says:

    Jaime

    Says the person who gazes from the shipwreck of his own failed online attempted character assassinations of sceptics.

    What failure? Which sceptics? You’ve lost me there. Assertions need to be tied to facts.

  183. John Mashey says:

    Imperial College in London has Jo Haigh, a top-notch atmospheric physicist who also gives great talks for general audiences, and radio interviews. If she ever gives a talk nearby, go hear here (and say hello for me.)

    Atmospheric Physics has regulat seminars with speakers from inside and outside UK.. That doesn’t say explicitly open to public, but at most schools they are, if need be, by calling up and asking. Some of those talks are for specialists, some accessible to people with good technical backgrounds, and some ought to be OK for more general audiences, fi only to see what scientists actually think are current problems.

    Real skeptics, if favorably located, attend such seminars and meet real scientists, not just scan blogs by non-scientists. South Kensington is not that hard to get to by tube, and the nearby Science Museum is great, too.

  184. idunno,
    I don’t know very much about the AMO, but I think there are some who are a little unconvinced by Mann et al. analysis. I’ll try to think of where I saw that and see if I can work out what the issue might be.

  185. > As ye sow, and all that.

    Jamie makes you do it. How chivalrous.

    ***

    Look, BBD. You’re mad. It’s OK. People don’t think clearly when they’re mad. See for instance:

    > I’d point out that Zeke has his interpretation but nowhere did I say “fraud”. He’s mad, and people don’t often think clearly when they are mad. That’s OK.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/23/a-question-for-zeke-hausfather/

    ***

    As I said at Keith’s, you need to learn to dance, BBD. Take the current exchange. Jaime ignores everything. What to do?

    Reminding readers that Jaime ignores everything is a good first move. But that isn’t enough: how does it advance your own communication objective? You need to push your Climate Ball forward, BBD. Tackling is not enough.

    Let’s say your objective is to focus on Jaime. Reading her stuff, you could find that she claims the Greens are the new Fascists. Now, that’s something, ain’t it?

    Let’s say your objective is to return to the topic of the thread. You can ask how anything Jaime says is related to the topic. You could even add something to that topic, to show how it’s done and to let readers understand that you’re not only here to pile on Jaime.

    ***

    So try this, BBD. First, you block. Second, you push the Climate Ball forward.

    Now, return to the field and play fair!

  186. John,
    Yes, I heard Jo Haigh on Radio 4 a few months ago (in fact, I thought I’d written a post about it, but can’t find it). Agreed that she seemed a really excellent science communicator.

  187. Jaime Jessop says:

    Marco. So, I’m a conspiracy theorist for believing that GISS temp data is being tampered with? Is that it? This man is too I guess:

    “The problem is that GISS has adjusted down the 1930′s to 1940′s warming period of the Icelandic temperature ranges. By doing so, it looks like the temperature has risen unnaturally over much of the past century.”
    http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/more-nasa-giss-temperature-tampering.html

    Steve Goddard obviously is:
    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/nasa-massively-tampering-with-the-us-temperature-record/
    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/02/20/a-consistent-pattern-of-data-tampering-across-the-planet/
    “EPA data clearly shows that the 1930s was the hottest decade, just as NASA and NOAA did – before they tampered with the data.”
    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2013/01/11/noaa-temperature-fraud-expands-part-2/

    So yes (gasp!), NOAA seem to be involved in this manipulation of data also. But you dismiss all this evidence out of hand, presumably claiming that the graphs showing temperature trends before and after manipulation are all faked. Right?

    You may claim that this is regional data tampering, not global, as all datasets show a similar trend. But the reference in my blog was to NASA’s claim that, globally, Nov 2013 was the hottest year ever. Joe Bastardi says that claim is fraudulent. So he’s a conspiracy theorist too. Shall I tell him or will you?
    http://beforeitsnews.com/opinion-conservative/2013/12/nasa-claim-that-november-hottest-month-ever-is-a-fraud-2777386.html

  188. Jaime Jessop says:

    Willard
    You said it better than I ever could!

  189. > You said it better than I ever could!

    I’m sure you could have said better than me that you’re not here to interact with commenters but to imitate a broken record, dear Jaime.

    Please tell me more about Greens being fascists:

    Slightly right-wing apolitical; concerned for our environment but concerned not to be associated with ideology and the so-called Green Movement, who it seems to me are Fascists operating under a false banner.

    https://plus.google.com/105568608569826422424/about

    PS: Note the function of the two paragraphs, BBD.

  190. jsam says:

    I’ve always wanted to know who teh (always teh) Steve Goddard is. Call me naive, but my first sceptical thought upon reading something is “who is this guy and what are his motives?

    Jaime, you must know the answer to that riddle. Please enlighten me.

  191. BBD says:

    Willard here.

    Look, BBD. You’re mad. It’s OK. People don’t think clearly when they’re mad.

    I’m assuming you mean irate, as opposed to deranged, although there may be a play on words here ;-)

    As I said at Keith’s, you need to learn to dance, BBD.

    Fair comment.

    I do try, but I’m not one of nature’s Travoltas. More of a bulldog. Or to plunge further into zoomorpism, the scorpion and frog problem assailing our contrarian friends wrt Lewandosky has a double-edged sting. But, and perhaps a climate blog first, I sincerely thank you for your concerns.

  192. Steve Bloom says:

    It’s interesting, Jaime, that you’re unable to discern that each of those three are indeed conspiracy theorists. Quoting them in that way makes you one too, fair to say.

  193. Steve Bloom says:

    “Tackling is not enough.” OK, sure, need to move on, but first a bit of grinding face into turf so as to leave stains that require removal of a layer of epidermis to get rid of.

  194. BBD says:

    Jaime

    You blog as Notes on a Scandal. What is the scandal?

  195. Search here for Goddard and Bastardi. “Steve Goddard” dropped below my credibility threshold after he spread misinformation about the GRACE satellites, relative humidity, sea level, etc. He even dropped below Anthony Watts’s credibility threshold (!) after confusing triple points so badly that it became obvious even to Watts that “Steve Goddard” isn’t a skeptic.

  196. John Mashey says:

    Well, at least it isn’t flat-earth, on the back of turtles, all the way down.

  197. Marco says:

    Jaime, the answer to most of your questions is yes: Goddard and Bastardi are conspiracy ideationists, and so is Cederlöf. I answer “no” to the question that the graphs “before” and “after” manipulation are faked. They are real. The one problem is that the people who based on that data imply a large conspiracy to alter the data to inflate warming do not consider the one question that *any true skeptic* would ask: “what are the reasons for the changes?” and then go in the literature to find the answer. You see, the answer is in the literature. Loads of literature. Isn’t that amazing? The conspiracy is so large that the conspiracy is even described in the scientific literature!

    And feel free to tell Bastardi he is a conspiracy ideationist, because he is. He already showed that when he, together with Anthony Watts, accused NOAA of deliberately(!) removing high-latitude and high-altitude stations to inflate the trend. That claim was then quietly removed from the SPPI document when people like Steve Mosher and Zeke Hausfather complained loudly, showing that the trend actually is slightly *smaller* when the high-latitude and high-altitude stations are removed. Another inconvenient fact was that there was scientific literature describing why there was a “drop-off” of stations around 1991. Nothing to do with removal: a 1992 publication described the efforts to obtain data from non-reporting stations, resulting in a lot more data prior to 1992…

    You really show a lack of critical skills, or pseudoskepticism, by putting your faith in a group of people who have no discernable skills (Steve Goddard), who make large claims of fraud (Bastardi), and all that against large agencies requiring tens if not hundreds of people actively working to commit fraud with none of them ever going to the media in years and years and years this supposed fraud has been committed, and those same people describing how they commit that “fraud” in the scientific literature.

    One final note: you may want to check the trend the satellites show (and do use UAH, as it covers more of the globe) vs GISTEMP or HADCRUT4. You’ll find at best a 10% difference. Amazing, all that fraud to inflate the trend by a mere 10%. You’d think they could do better! And if they commit fraud with the land-based records, why not with the satellites, huh?

  198. Jaime Jessop says:

    And you accuse me of a lack of critical skills. Check the reasons for the manipulations you say. There’s literature, loads of it. I’m sure. But it just so happens that the majority of this ‘justifiable’ data manipulation results in the 1930′s looking cooler and today looking warmer, which just so happens to fit the warming narrative. You swallow the large body of literature cooked up to justify these changes but you don’t for a single moment question that it might be a little too convenient because, obviously, engaging in such pseudoscepticism is tantamount to being a conspiarcy theorist. In fact, using such ‘logic’, you can conveniently dismiss all such awkward speculation on motive by those outside the global warming bubble, which of course is exactly what Lew et al do. There is a large body – much larger – of supposedly ‘scientific’ literature which justifies the current focus upon reducing our carbon emissions lest we fry at some unspecified temperature at some unspecified future date. Much of that has been communicated in an alarmist, distorted and self-serving manner to the general public in order to achieve a political aim. So why should I trust your large body of literature used to justify universally almost always manipulating temperature data in such manner that the past cools and the present warms?

    And what started this little debate? You claiming that I was a tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorist par excellence cum supra pseudosceptic because I made reference to allegations of NASA fraudulently claiming that Nov 2013 was the ‘hottest month ever’. You’ve ranted about this and that and accused me and others some more but you have not addressed this specific point. So, will you?

  199. Jaime Jessop says:

    Willard,

    Such mundane seriousness would not translate well into the allegorical and abstruse unfortunately. Alas, I cannot accede to your request.

  200. Jaime,

    But it just so happens that the majority of this ‘justifiable’ data manipulation results in the 1930′s looking cooler and today looking warmer, which just so happens to fit the warming narrative.

    Followed by

    And what started this little debate? You claiming that I was a tinfoil hat wearing conspiracy theorist par excellence cum supra pseudosceptic because I made reference to allegations of NASA fraudulently claiming that Nov 2013 was the ‘hottest month ever’.

    Please explain how else we’re meant to interpret what you say. I have no fundamental problem with people being conspiracy theorists. I have more of an issue with those who say things that appear to be suggesting a conspiracy but then deny that they are doing so.

  201. Rachel says:

    There is a moderation policy about conspiracy theories…

  202. Rachel says:

    Jaime,

    So why should I trust your large body of literature used to justify universally almost always manipulating temperature….

    Maybe you’ll trust Richard A. Muller, a self-described skeptic who doubted the temperature records and so with funding from the fossil fuel industry conducted his own extensive research and what did he find?

    ..I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.

  203. Jaime Jessop says:

    AnOilMan

    “As for me, most people on this blog know exactly who I am and what I do for a living. You don’t.”

    Fascinating. Here was me thinking that this was a publicly accessible blog where most people of a similar mental persuasion hid behind anonymity and made snide comments about deniers and conspiracy theorists and the like, but it appears most of you know each other. A cosy little club. Do you have to sign an Oath of Allegiance to SkS or the CAGW ethic or whatever to get in? Don’t get me wrong. I’m pretty sure that such cliques operate on the ‘other side’ too. It does rather load the dice however when trying to engage in conversation as an ‘outsider’. Bearing this in mind, I think I can live with your ‘doubts’ about me and the largely unsubstantiated accusations of your fellow club members on this page and get on with my life. It’s been a breeze.

  204. rational troll says:

    There appears to be a warped sense of optimism as to what can realistically be achieved through comments on a blog, especially commenting on one that does not conform with your perspective. What tends to happen is I end up calling you a denier or conspiracy theorist or whatever label feels appropriate and you call me an intellectual pygmy and green cultist. Then we go to bed pissed off and nothing has been achieved.

    There is also a misconception that simply because you put your name on your post, your cloak of anonymity is cast off. If I told you my name is Jon Ely, doesn’t mean you suddenly know me, or makes me accountable for what I say. Apart from perhaps some ex Girl/boy friend googling my name and a handful of people who are fanatical enough to take the time to read through the comments on an obscure blog, nobody is going to give a shit. The thought police aren’t going to kick in my door and drag me off to the gulag.

    If you really want a constructive conversation, and not some climateball point scoring exercise, go talk to a real person, people are less inclined to be antagonistic when face to face.

  205. Marco says:

    Jaime, you just continue your conspiracy ideation. Tell me, again, why people who conspire to make fraudulent claims put detailed descriptions in the scientific literature on how they perform those fraudulent manipulations?

    All you have as an argument is: “too convenient”, adding further conspiracy ideation. Really, you must by necessity assume a massive conspiracy of thousands of scientists (because, guess what, you would have to include all National Meteorological Services to the conspiracy, considering they look in detail at their own network on a daily basis and look at the ltierature and not one of them ever complained about the global analyses).

    And then you have the audacity to accuse *us* of “unsubstantiated accusations” – while all you have is “suspicions” because you find it “too convenient”. Must be wrong and nefarious intent. Well done, Jaime. No, really, there are no conspiracy ideationists amongst the pseudoskeptics. They only have “legitimate questions”.

  206. jsam says:

    A conspiracy so vast even the facts collude.

  207. Jaime Jessop says:

    Waffle, waffle. I’ll take that as a definite ‘no’ then to my final question to you Marco.

    Rational troll. Yes, seems to have descended into: ‘My unqualified assertion is better than your unqualified assertion’.

  208. BBD says:

    “Jaime Jessop” still wasting everyone’s time with conspiracist ideation while denying that it is conspiracist ideation.

    Ho-hum.

    Rachel

    There is a moderation policy about conspiracy theories…

    Perhaps there needs to be one about people who refuse to answer questions too.

  209. This was Jaime’s final question to Marco:

    “… I made reference to allegations of NASA fraudulently claiming that Nov 2013 was the ‘hottest month ever’. You’ve ranted about this and that and accused me and others some more but you have not addressed this specific point. So, will you?”

    You made reference to completely baseless allegations, by people who have spent years baselessly accusing scientists of not correcting temperature data. I’ve linked to papers showing that scientists had corrected for the “urban heat island” effect long before Watts and Goddard accused scientists of not correcting temperature data.

    Amusingly, Goddard has switched to accusing scientists of fraud because they have corrected temperature data. His evidence that these corrections are fraud, rather than the “proper” corrections Goddard and Watts baselessly demanded be done again? Nothing, except that he doesn’t like the answer.

    Also, have you considered the possibility that some commenters here work for NASA? Since you’ve just accused them of fraud, what could they possibly say to change your mind? Anything they say would just be seen as more lies. You’ve already done this by expanding your accusations: “NOAA seem to be involved in this manipulation of data also.”

    This is why accusations of fraud derail productive conversations. It’s also a slippery slope where, as we’ve seen, Jaime will have to keep expanding the scope of her accusations. Singling out NASA and NOAA won’t be enough, because many other scientific societies have also checked their data and come to similar conclusions:

    The National Academy of Sciences, the National Center for Atmospheric Research, the American Geophysical Union, the American Institute of Physics, the American Physical Society, the American Meteorological Society, the American Statistical Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Federation of American Scientists, the American Quaternary Association, the American Society of Agronomy, the Crop Science Society of America, the Soil Science Society of America, the American Astronomical Society, the American Chemical Society, the Geological Society of America, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the American Society for Microbiology, the Society of American Foresters, the Australian Institute of Physics, the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO, the Geological Society of Australia, the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies, the Australian Coral Reef Society, the Royal Society of the UK, the Royal Meteorological Society, the British Antarctic Survey, the Geological Society of London, the Society of Biology (UK), the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences, the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, the Royal Society of New Zealand, NIWA, MetService, the Polish Academy of Sciences, the European Science Foundation, the European Geosciences Union, the European Physical Society, the European Federation of Geologists, the Network of African Science Academies, the International Union for Quaternary Research, the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics, the Wildlife Society (International), and the World Meteorological Organization.

    Perhaps we should flip this around. Jaime, which of these societies hasn’t committed fraud?

  210. guthrie says:

    It is clear to me after visiting their blog:
    http://climatecontrarian.blogspot.co.uk/

    that Jaime Jessop is [Mod:snip]. Either that or they genuinely think that they have the science on their side and are honestly trying to engage with us. THey also think greenies are fascists.

  211. Apologies for misspelling Stephan Lewandowsky. (Also: Katharine Hayhoe.)

  212. Lack of civility aside, insults and dogpiling are also bad strategies. They’re squirrels which help climateballers avoid answering questions.

  213. Marco says:

    Jaime, you should feel lucky that I did not respond to your last question. But since you insist: you provide absolutely zero evidence for your statement that NASA fraudulently claims November 2013 was the warmest on record. Your hotlink suggests that the evidence can be found in the link, but no, Steven Goddard does not provide any evidence either. He merely reproduces a headline from Joe Romm (not NASA) and refers to the satellite records, but does *not* provide any evidence that NASA makes any fraudulent claims. In all fairness, he does not even claim fraudulent data manipulation.

    In other words, you made a claim that is unsupported by your evidence and which requires major conspiracy ideation.

  214. BBD says:

    Jaime

    Your blog is entitled Notes on a Scandal.

    I repeat: what is the “scandal”?

  215. Steve Bloom says:

    IMO people don’t just pick up that sort of ideation out of the blue. They have to be prone to it already. Some of that is culture and some genetic, I suspect. The essential quality of extreme conservatism seems to be a shared hatred/disgust for out-group enemies such as “Green Fascists” (which note requires not inquiring very deeply into the nature of either greens or fascism). “Facts” are selected to suit the underlying need. This quality makes them very easy to manipulate in certain ways.

  216. AnOilMan says:

    Jaime Jessop: I do fear reprisals from the oil and gas industry in which I am employed. I don’t generally hide who I am in any other venue.

    How serious the oil and gas old boys club would take me, I don’t know. But I’m often attacked when I talk about leaky oil wells which is something I know a bit about. People who do speak about oil pollution, or climate change publicly, are targeted in Alberta Canada.

    I also don’t generally like hanging out in forums which really don’t fit me. I find WUWT riddled with hate, mechanical flaws, and peppered with Orwellian double think. I actually feel physically ill when I look at the garbage over there.

    I have noticed that while I was often the first to oppose trolling in more pedestrian local forums (news papers). Many more have take up those reigns in my absence. I have also noticed that dealing with so many mono-eyebrow trolls has not actually helped me learn anything,

    So here I am.

  217. Jim Hunt says:

    @Jaime Jessop says: April 11, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    My apologies for my enforced absence. An ongoing power outage. Currently running off a WPD generator. Yet another blog post to write!

    I headed over to WUWT first, after my batteries started recharging. I have to tell you that it’s much less civilised over there than in here. They’re calling me all sorts of names, and then “snipping” all my responses to the unjustified accusations.

    Getting back to James Screen, my original intention was that you take a quick look at his entire oeuvre, which is linked to at the end of the second post at my link. That’s the one that mentions Julia Slingo and Stephen Belcher also. Did you read that post by any chance? Did you explore any further, to the bit where UK long term rainfall records are discussed for example? If so what did you make of that conversation?

    http://econnexus.org/floods-return-to-south-west-england/#comments

  218. John Mashey says:

    Others have asked elsewhere about the Dismissive category, which I use because it’s based on scholarly analysis by competent people of surveys they repeat at least once a year, latest 2013. The 2009 PDF here p.5 summarizes detailed analyses within the139-page report:

    ‘The Dismissive are sure that global warming is not happening (Figure 2). They say the issue is not at all important to them personally (Figure 3) and are not worried about it at all (Figure 4). The Dismissive, however, say that they have thought some about global warming and believe they are well informed about the causes, consequences, and potential solutions – i.e., that there are none, because it doesn’t exist (Figures 6 & 7). They are very certain about their views, saying they are very unlikely to change their minds about the issue (Figure 5). Many flatly reject the proposition that global warming is happening, while a majority believe that if global warming is happening, natural changes in the environment are the primary cause (Figure 8). Likewise, a majority believe there is a lot of disagreement among scientists over whether global warming is occurring, while over a fifth of the Dismissive believe there is a scientific consensus that global warming is not happening (Figure 9). They overwhelmingly say that global warming will not harm them personally or future generations at all (Figures 10 & 11). Finally, they believe global warming will never harm people in the United States.’

    Now, that’s US, but I suspect the model is generally useful, especially across English-speaking countries, although the statistics would vary. In the 2013 study, Dismissive was 5% of teh n=830 study.

  219. Jaime Jessop says:

    Marco,
    “you should feel lucky that I did not respond to your last question”.

    OMG, is that because you might deliver the coup de grace to my rampant conspiracist ideation? You hold yourself in high esteem, it would appear.

    It’s not a very informative link, granted, but the clue is in the November lower troposphere temp anomaly data shown on the page for UAH and RSS which record Nov 2013 as 9th and 16th warmest month respectively. You will note that they disagree markedly with NOAA/GISS. Turns out in retrospect that the reason GISS was so high is that it was with reference to a climate normal spanning the entire 20th Century rather than a 30 year period which is commonly accepted practice. RSS and UAH are with reference to the period 1981-2011, hence they are lower.

  220. Jaime Jessop says:

    AnOilMan,

    Just to make my own position clear, I am who I say I am. I’ve nothing to hide for whatever reason. I generally say what I think and feel without fear of retribution so I guess I am lucky in that respect. I have no agenda to pursue and no corporate or academic institute affiliations and no adherence to group-think of any kind.

    I am also very much opposed to fracking on environmental grounds, especially in the UK, and am disturbed by the prospect of the IPCC giving the green light to such practices supposedly because it will help to reduce ‘climate change’. I wonder what the majority of people on here think about that? Not too impressed I would imagine. I don’t hold the oil companies in esteem, then neither do I hold renewables companies in esteem. If you want reasonably cheap, viable carbon free energy with slimmed down environmental impact, you have to go for nuclear fission. My own personal view is that we are just decades from achieving viable nuclear fusion reactor technology and conventional fossil fuel sources are more than sufficient to see us through to that transition. But that’s far too simple a solution for politicos and vested interest industries – on both sides of the Great Green Divide.

  221. Jaime,

    Turns out in retrospect that the reason GISS was so high is that it was with reference to a climate normal spanning the entire 20th Century rather than a 30 year period which is commonly accepted practice. RSS and UAH are with reference to the period 1981-2011, hence they are lower.

    Do you understand what a temperature anomaly is? The baseline used is largely irrelevant. As long as a single dataset uses a consistent baseline, saying a particular month was the nth warmest of that month on record is entirely consistent.

  222. verytallguy says:

    Jaime,

    It’s not often I find it worthwhile to follow up a sceptic claim, but just occasionally I do. I often learn something. To ensure you can replicate my detailed statistical analysis I’ll include all the steps.

    To test your apparent claim that NASA fraudulently claimed November 2013 was the warmest in the record I did something radical – I downloaded the data from here to Excel.

    http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata_v3/GLB.Ts+dSST.txt

    It includes the helpful clarification

    basis “Index in 0.01 degrees Celsius base period: 1951-1980”

    I then used the “Max” function to find the highest monthly anomaly. That turns out to be +93, from January 2007

    I then did the same, but just for Novembers. That is +75, from 2013.

    So in the GISS record, November 2013 is the hottest November.

  223. verytallguy says:

    Jaime,

    Some further tidbits on the GISS record.

    I then counted hotter months.

    There are 10 hotter or equal months in the record to Nov 2013, none earlier than February 1995.

    Next, you misunderstand baselining. All of these are relative to the baseline 1951-190 (not, incidentally as you claim “entire 20th century”). However, *wherever* you draw that baseline, the rank order and relative size of the anomaly is entirely unaffected as they are *relative* to that baseline.

    So in the GISS record, November 2013 is the hottest November regardless of the baseline and the eleven hottest months in the record are post 1994

    Which suggests a hypothesis. Could it be warming?

  224. verytallguy says:

    Jaime,

    On the satellite record:
    - The satellite and surface records measure different things.
    - The satellite record is subject to more difficult and extensive adjustments

    The trends for RSS, GISS and UAH since 1979 are, however, comparable:

    #Time series (rss) from 1979 to 2014.25
    #Least squares trend line; slope = 0.0124035 per year

    #Time series (uah) from 1978.92 to 2014.25
    #Least squares trend line; slope = 0.0134978 per year

    #Time series (gistemp) from 1880 to 2014.25
    #Selected data from 1979
    #Least squares trend line; slope = 0.0156109 per year

    Source: woodfortrees

    That seems to confirm our hypothesis with two independent analyses of the satellite data and one of the surface data

    It is warming

  225. verytallguy says:

    Jaime,

    Of course, all this amateur analysis is all very well, but it’s advisable to be more circumspect. After all, knowledge is built through standing on the shoulders of intellectual giants who came before us, not by us mere pygmies scratching at the surface of data.

    So, it would be convenient if someone could do a summary of all prior knowledge to we could check if our hasty and amateur analysis has any chance of standing up.

    By lucky hap, they have!

    It’s called AR5 (snappy, no?) and here’s what it concludes (WG1 SPM B)

    Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased

    So, there you have it.

    November 2013 was the hottest in the NASA record.

    Satellites and thermometers agree that it’s warming

    Bears shit in the woods and the Pope is Catholic.

    Oh, and a prediction – you’ll still either disappear from the thread or else come back and claim that black is, in fact white.

  226. Marco says:

    Jaime, let’s see if we can get some [Mod: snip].

    1. Baselines don’t matter for ranking, as ATTP already points out
    2. No, GISTEMP does not use the entire 20th century for its baseline. Anyone with a little bit of actual skepticism would know this by checking the GISTEMP homepage.
    3. That UAH and RSS have a different ranking still does not constitute any evidence of the claim *fraudulent manipulation*, as you have claimed. I doubt you have any real idea about the differences between UAH, RSS, and GISTEMP

    Another point I did not mention yet:
    4. “NASA’s own satellites”? Shows you don’t even know where the UAH/RSS data comes from and that you just blindly parrot Goddard.

    Do you really want us to stop calling you a pseudoskeptic? Stop being one!

  227. Jaime Jessop says:

    On the surface temperature trend. Your conclusion: it is warming. NASA’s conclusion: it is getting warmer. I am sure you can blind me with statistics to ‘prove’ your point. I only dispute your tense, i.e. it IS warming. In essence, I do not dispute that there has been a gradual warming trend since the LIA ended and an accelerated warming trend circa 1950 to 2005, with cooling periods in between. I dispute the reasons for that warming. The headline claim by NASA that Nov 2013 was the warmest is disingenuous at best, fraudulent at worst, because it is made without reference to data which water down this grand claim. I am thinking other global temp datasets which use more accepted climate normals as their baseline, e.g. if GISS used 1981-2011, the Nov 13 anomaly would be just 0.4C, so obviously it does make a difference how temperature anomalies are calculated. Given the obvious 20th Century warming trend, it is no big surprise that, occasionally, GISS monthly temp anomalies might hit ‘highest ever’, but using this as a media tool to claim ‘it is getting hotter and hotter’ is falsifying reality.

    Look at the 5 and ten year trends for the five major global temp datasets:
    http://www.climate4you.com/images/BarChartsForSattelliteTempTrends.gif (satellite)
    http://www.climate4you.com/images/BarChartsForSurfaceTempTrends.gif (surface)

    All five show very significant 5 year cooling trends. Hence, it is getting cooler, globally speaking, which does not sit comfortably with your claim that it is getting warmer. It WAS warming, now it IS cooling. No significant global rise in temperatures for 17.5 years. Recent cooling. That is fact according to the datasets.

    Re. GISS temp anomaly for November. I was incorrect in stating that GISS baseline was 20th century. It is in fact 1951-1980. NCDC/NOAA is 1901-2000:

    “For the three surface air temperature estimates shown below (HadCRUT3, NCDC and GISS) the reference period (the normal period) differs. HadCRUT3 refers to the official WMO period 1961-1990, while NCDC and GISS instead uses the periods 1901-2000 and 1951-1980, respectively, which results in higher positive temperature anomalies for these two estimates.”
    http://www.climate4you.com/

    GISS surface temp anomaly for Nov 2013 was 0.77C, NCDC surface temp anomaly was 0.78 – so very little difference. Hadcrut 4 surface temp data (1961-1990 baseline) gave Nov 2013 as 3rd warmest at 0.596C. You have to ask yourself why GISS/NOAA/NCDC choose the baselines they do when it is proven that, by doing so, they increase the value of the anomaly relative to other more accepted baselines. You also have to ask yourself why NASA trumpeted warmest November ever when their own satellite data was showing nothing particularly extraordinary.

    In essence, this was the basis of my assertion that NASA were behaving [Mod: snip]. You might see this as entirely innocent reporting of data, but I do not. It obviously gives the impression (required) that the world is getting warmer by record-breaking amounts, when, in fact, it is not. This is dishonesty IMO. For the achievement of a specified aim of ‘proving’ that the world is getting warmer and it is our fault, it is [Mod: snip].

  228. Jaime,
    I’m in the middle of a meeting so can’t respond in detail, but the noise of my head hitting the desk in front of me has rather woken everyone else up.

  229. Jaime Jessop says:

    Marco and Anders, please see my response to tallguy.

    Marco, please tell me then who is responsible for the satellites which provide UAH/RSS data?

  230. verytallguy says:

    Jaime,

    I predicted you would

    come back and claim that black is, in fact white.

    Thank you for proving me right.

    You do not understand anomalies.

    Yes, GISS reports against a different baseline, but regardless of that, November 2013 is still the hottest November in the dataset and remains so, by the same margin, regardless of the baseline.

    The trends which I reported are be identical, regardless of the baseline

    The 1979-present trends are comparable for all the datasets and show unequivocal warming.

  231. verytallguy says:

    Jaime,

    5 year trends aren’t significant for climate.

    However, the graphs you source appear to be incorrect.

    Here, taken from woodfortrees, are the trends from 2008 – present for UAH, HadCrut4, GISS, RSS.

    They are all positive, not that it’s relevant.

    However, I’d suggest that any trend, but particularly for such a short period, ought really to have confidence intervals on it. That helps demonstrate how meaningless they are.

    #Time series (uah) from 1978.92 to 2014.25
    #Selected data from 2008
    #Least squares trend line; slope = 0.0169936 per year

    #Time series (gistemp) from 1880 to 2014.25
    #Selected data from 2008
    #Least squares trend line; slope = 0.011942 per year

    #Time series (hadcrut4) from 1850 to 2014.17
    #Selected data from 2008
    #Least squares trend line; slope = 0.00603545 per year

    #Time series (rss) from 1979 to 2014.25
    #Selected data from 2008
    #Least squares trend line; slope = 0.0119607 per year

    Finally, to help you on who owns the satellites, this took me about 30 seconds to research:

    1) Google “RSS satellite”
    2) Click the top link
    3) Note reference to “NOAA-15” satellite
    4) Google “NOAA-15 satellite”
    5) Follow the top link to Wiki

    And hey presto

    NOAA-15 (designated NOAA-K before launch) is one of the NASA-provided TIROS series of weather forecasting satellite run by NOAA. It was launched on 13 May 1998, and is currently operational, in a sun-synchronous orbit, 807 km above the Earth, orbiting every 101 minutes. It hosts the AMSU-A and AMSU-B instruments, the AVHRR and High Resolution Infrared Radiation Sounder (HIRS/3) instruments, as well as a Space Environment Monitor (SEM/2)

    (my emphasis)

    Now, a suggestion.

    I’ve shown you in a series of posts how the data to answer your questions is readily available. And how you’ve made a number of errors in your posts. But also how by doing very simple analysis it’s really quite trivial to *understand* what scientists are reporting yourself, rather than parrot what you read on denial websites.

    Could I suggest that you take the time to do this. You’ll be surprised by what you learn.

  232. BBD says:

    Jaime

    A gentle word of caution wrt your “understanding” of baselines: you are in the process of making a fool of yourself.

    please tell me then who is responsible for the satellites which provide UAH/RSS data?

    Your overt conspiracy theorising aside, RSS and UAH are responsible for the data analysis and that is what we are discussing here.

    Although well-known sceptic Roy Spencer (of UAH; curator of the UAH satellite temperature reconstruction) has this to say about RSS:

    Anyway, my UAH cohort and boss John Christy, who does the detailed matching between satellites, is pretty convinced that the RSS data is undergoing spurious cooling because RSS is still using the old NOAA-15 satellite which has a decaying orbit, to which they are then applying a diurnal cycle drift correction based upon a climate model, which does not quite match reality. We have not used NOAA-15 for trend information in years…we use the NASA Aqua AMSU, since that satellite carries extra fuel to maintain a precise orbit.

    All Novembers on a common baseline:

    GISTEMP, HadCRUT4, UAH, RSS; common 1981 – 2010 baseline; all Novembers

    GISTEMP, HadCRUT4, UAH, RSS, November 1979 – present; common 1981 – 2010 baseline; all Novembers

  233. verytallguy says:

    But beware your Morton’s demon

    a demon who sat at the gate of my sensory input apparatus and if and when he saw supportive evidence coming in, he opened the gate. But if he saw contradictory data coming in, he closed the gate. In this way, the demon allowed me to believe that I was right and to avoid any nasty contradictory data.

    http://www.talkorigins.org/origins/postmonth/feb02.html0

  234. BBD says:

    Jaime

    Here’s a trend comparison for GISTEMP, HadCRUT4 and UAH 1979 – present using a common 1981 – 2010 baseline.

    Please study it carefully.

  235. Lars Karlsson says:

    Jamie Jessop wrote: ” I am thinking other global temp datasets which use more accepted climate normals as their baseline, e.g. if GISS used 1981-2011, the Nov 13 anomaly would be just 0.4C, so obviously it does make a difference how temperature anomalies are calculated.”

    Oh dear, this must be somebody who learned about anomalies and baselines from Anthony Watts.

    When you change the baseline, you change the anomalies of all years with the same amount. Warmest is still warmest.

  236. Jaime Jessop says:

    Oh and verytallguy, I disappeared from the thread precisely because of the proliferation of abrasive comments like yours above and my temptation to respond in kind. No use to anyone really. I was trying to keep it civil and down to earth this time and hoping for such in return.

    Indeed, us intellectual pygmies do stand on the shoulders of giants. We all have to admit that lack of time and available brain power require us to rely upon others for knowledge and expertise beyond our grasp. Sometimes we choose wisely, sometimes not. Take for instance your faith in AR5 SPM and my faith in celebrated physicist Pierre Darriulat (http://cds.cern.ch/record/1154957), who says:

    “The way the SPM deals with uncertainties (e.g. claiming something is 95% certain) is shocking and deeply unscientific. For a scientist, this simple fact is sufficient to throw discredit on the whole summary. The SPM gives the wrong idea that one can quantify precisely our confidence in the [climate] model predictions, which is far from being the case. [bold added]“

  237. BBD says:

    Jaime Jessop

    Please respond substantively to VTG and myself above. You are being grossly evasive which is extremely rude, not to mention exhibition-class bad faith.

  238. BBD says:

    Rachel

    I’ve had enough of this. Would you be kind enough to intervene if Jaime continues to troll this thread with gish gallops, goalpost-shifting and evasions?

  239. verytallguy says:

    Jaime,

    “civil”. OK – good that you won’t be making any accusations of fraud in the future.

    “down to earth”. Great. Could I suggest that you come back with the difference in trend in the GISS data caused by the different baseline? That would be a down to earth bit of data which should cut through the fog.

  240. Marco says:

    So, we have continued complaints about baselines which are at the basis of the complaints about “fraudulent manipulation”. Of course, Jaime shows further evidence of pseudoskepticism, not noting that it was *not* NASA that wrote the headline about November 2013 (I gave her chances enough to finally do some soul-searching).

    We also have demands *I* provide the information about the satellites. You’d think someone who is a true skeptic would have investigated that when informed they were wrong. But no, not Jaime, because Jaime is a pseudoskeptic and does not want to investigate when stuff contradicts her beliefs.

    Then there’s the idea that a baseline is chosen to make the temperature increase sound as scary as possible (because that’s what you mean, right, Jaime?). Quite amazing the people at GISS knew this would be the case when they developed GISTEMP in the 1980s, although at that time they used a baseline that would have made current temperature anomalies even bigger…

    Now, tell me which baseline is the “more accepted climate normal”, and why? Is it NOAA’s? HADCRUT’s? RSS/UAH?

    Do you also put BEST on your list of “fraudulent” manipulators, considering they use the same baseline as GISTEMP?

    And why *should* those lower anomaly values when using a different baseline be more appropriate and less “fraudulent”?

  241. Rachel says:

    BBD: I hear you.

    Jaime: I don’t want anymore accusations of fraud, thanks. I should not have allowed it in the first place as this is potentially defamatory. If you think someone or some organisation has made a mistake, then you can point out the mistake without accusing them of fraud. Anymore comments which do so will just be deleted in their entirety. Although it’s 2:30am here and I am about to go back to bed so I ask that you respect my request since I won’t be able to do much about it for at least the next few hours.

    Everyone else: It’s clear Jaime does not understand anomalies and baselines but instead of getting all fired up and ridiculing her, which to steal Willard’s word is unsexy, how about someone try to explain what they are in simple language and with pictures if possible. Or post a link to somewhere that does. She may of course ignore this explanation but at least it will look favourably on everyone here and might be useful to others who read the thread and who also don’t understand. Not everyone is as clever as you lot.

  242. Marco says:

    I think the problem is nicely shown by Jaime: whereas we trust experts in the field (actual climate scientists), she decides to trust a non-expert. Be honest, Jaime, the only reason you trust Darriulat is because he says what you like to hear. You ignore all those other “celebrated physicists” who say stuff you do *not* like.

  243. To make up for my slightly snarky response to Jaime’s comment, here’s a link to a site that explains temperature anomalies.

  244. Baselines are a constant which is subtracted from the entire dataset. Because each data point has the same constant subtracted, changing the baseline can’t affect which data point is highest in that dataset.

    “All five show very significant 5 year cooling trends. Hence, it is getting cooler, globally speaking, which does not sit comfortably with your claim that it is getting warmer. It WAS warming, now it IS cooling. No significant global rise in temperatures for 17.5 years. Recent cooling. That is fact according to the datasets.”

    Jaime incorrectly claims “very significant 5 year cooling trends” without calculating the error bars that disprove her claim:

    GISTEMP 2009-2014 trend: -0.024 ± 0.596 °C/decade

    Notice that the upper error bar is (quite a lot!) above zero, so Jaime is wrong to claim a significant 5 year cooling trend. Shorter trends have bigger error bars because shorter timespans are more dominated by weather noise than climate signal. I’ve shared open source code so real skeptics can see how these error bars are calculated and how they get bigger for shorter trends. Will Jaime show genuine skepticism by calculating these error bars and retracting her incorrect claim of significant cooling?

  245. Jaime Jessop says:

    As we are making reference to Woodfortrees, I have to ask, does this look like a continually warming world? No, it does not. It shows very little warming from 1979 to 1996, very pronounced warming in 1998 which coincided with the super El Nino of that year, a return to 96 levels in 2000/2001, modest warming in 2003 and then virtually no trend from 2003 to 2013. This is the bigger picture. What does it prove? Not that the world is continually getting warmer, not that the attribution of that warming is virtually all down to CO2 – unless you blame the 1998 El Nino on CO2 also.
    http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1979/offset:-.26/mean:12/plot/gistemp/from:1979/offset:-0.35/mean:12/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1979/offset:-0.26/mean:12/plot/rss/offset:-0.10/mean:12/plot/uah/mean:12

    You accuse me of not understanding temperature anomalies and of not substantially answering your amassed questioning yet nobody on here has really substantially answered mine; so it appears, one rule for yourselves, another for ‘pseudosceptics’. You are utterly dismissive of any view which challenges the man-made global warming narrative and have attempted on this thread to thoroughly discredit me personally rather than scepticism as a whole. It is plain that you deeply resent this intrusion into your world from an ‘amateur sceptic’ like myself who may not have every single fact and figure to hand and an imperfect grasp of statistical analysis, but I know bad science when I see it (and so does Pierre Darriualat and many other scientists who may not be ‘expert’ climate scientists – ha, what a joke that is) and CAGW is bad science. I find it amusing that you have all expended so much time and effort in executing an amateurish hatchet job on a relative nobody in the sceptic blogosphere who just happened to get under your skin a little too much it seems.

    So, I’ll get off your cosy little page, leave you all to make your closing snide comments and put-me-downs (which I won’t read) and never bother you again. You’ve got another few years at most in which to enjoy your ‘consensus of experts’ – make the very most of it.

  246. Jamie,

    I have a full career in science and applied research (physics, engineering and some economics). I can see that the problems of climate science are difficult, and that answers are asked for even when someone working in pure science would like to postpone giving any answers. But I see also that some scientists of other fields are willing to declare their verdict without any real understanding on what the real issues are. That’s totally unfitting to a real scientist, and a real scientist should realize that. Unfortunately some don’t.

  247. Marco says:

    Jaime, I am dismissive of people who invoke a large conspiracy and then show they have no idea what they are actually talking about. You call us “amateurish” and state that you “know bad science when I see it”. May I then ask why you were unable to see your own bad science of not understanding the effect of baselines, of not knowing who ‘owns’ the majority of satellites used by UAH and RSS to create a temperature record of the atmosphere, and of not knowing that the headline you screamed about…was not written by NASA and not based on anything NASA wrote!

    Granted, one may not necessarily call all those mistakes “bad science”. Maybe ignorance is a better term.

  248. AnOilMan says:

    Jaime Jessop: The IPCC did not endorse Fracking. I can find no reference to the IPCC endorsing fracking. What source of information are you using?

    Natural Gas is extracted in many ways… and the IPCC did endorse natural gas. Fracking just happens to be the most common method. Fracked natural gas emissions are on par with coal, specifically on completion a huge amount of natural gas is vented. To that end the EPA is working on ‘Green Completions’ which will essentially be flaring the vented gas.

    I’m pretty sure that the IPCC has no interested in ground water pollution, which is the bigger concern with fracking. Specifically the vertical component that gets cemented doesn’t always work right, and it tends to go through your ground water.

    Here’s the censored EPA report… it leaked out anyways;
    http://desmogblog.com/sites/beta.desmogblog.com/files/Dimock%20report.pdf

    Jaime: I realize that you think you are making arguments based on the above posts for temperature measurements. But you haven’t. Every single source you use, and every single statement you make needs to be done separately and with care in order to understand it. Tellfellow explained start points, its a significant issue, and you’re just glancing over it.

    Finding a scientist to disagree with another scientist is easy. Finding one that does no work in that field what so ever who disagrees is even easier. I showed you clearly that Jo Nova does that. And here you personally are offering up a McExpert in a most uncritical way, absent of forethought.

    If I wanted to know about high energy physics, I’d ask Pierre Darriulat, not a climate scientist.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W_and_Z_bosons

    If I wanted to know about rocket science, I’d ask Freeman Dyson, not a climate scientist;
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freeman_Dyson

    Your posts stink of Gish Gallop.

  249. BBD says:

    Jaime

    Speaking for myself, I would be very happy if you went. You are ill-informed and you are ill-mannered in that you do not acknowledge what others have said and just keep banging away with your own little drum. This invariably annoys people which leads to incivility which spoils the otherwise relatively calm and pleasant ambience.

    Your graph is odd. Why are you using the obsolete HadCRUT3 data set?

    This is more like it.

    Goodbye, Jaime.

  250. AnOilMan says:

    BBD: Quick question… What is the big improvement from Hadcrut 3 to Hadcrut 4? Is it surface coverage?

  251. This is what the authors tell on the land-surface part (CRUTEM4) of HadCRUT4:

    The land-surface air temperature database that forms the land component of the HadCRUT data sets has recently been updated to include additional measurements from a range of sources [Jones et al., 2012]. U.S. station data have been replaced with the newly homogenized U.S. Historical Climate Network (USHCN) records [Menne et al., 2009]. Many new data have been added from Russia and countries of the former USSR, greatly increasing the representation of that region in the database. Updated versions of the Canadian data described by Vincent and Gullett [1999] and Vincent et al. [2002] have been included. Additional data from Greenland, the Faroes and Denmark have been added, obtained from the Danish Meteorological Institute [Cappeln, 2010, 2011; Vinther et al., 2006]. An additional 107 stations have been included from a Greater Alpine Region (GAR) data set developed by the Austrian Meteorological Service [Auer et al. , 2001], with bias adjustments accounting for thermometer exposure applied [Böhm et al., 2010]. In the Arctic, 125 new stations have been added from records described by Bekryaev et al.
    [2010]. These stations are mainly situated in Alaska, Canada and Russia

    The chapter that lists changes in the sea-surface part (HadSST3) is significantly longer as it describes methodological improvements in the processing of the data.

  252. jsam says:

    Before wasting valuable bits, do take a few minutes to peruse Jaime’s blog. By my own reading you won’t be able to reason her out a position she didn’t reason herself into.

  253. AnOilMan says:

    Pekka, Thank you. That explains a lot.

  254. AnOilMan says:

    jsam, That’s because the thinking is all munged together. It becomes a Gish Gallop to unravel. Its key in understanding anything technical to know what the source is, why it was chosen, and to work with that source of data. When you start leaping about between different information sources you are adding needless confusion to your own understanding and thinking.

    When I was a newb engineer I had to break the habit of munging all the science together when I was solving problems. Otherwise my work built to a crescendo of confusion. In software, modularity is your friend.

  255. BBD says:

    AOM I see Pekka has answered while I’ve been elsewhere.

    - Thanks Pekka.

  256. Rachel says:

    Note to self: do not look at phone in the middle of the night.

  257. Pingback: Another Week of Global Warming News, April 13, 2014 [A Few Things Ill Considered] | Gaia Gazette

  258. Steve Bloom says:

    “Before wasting valuable bits, do take a few minutes to peruse Jaime’s blog. By my own reading you won’t be able to reason her out a position she didn’t reason herself into.”

    Just so. She’s not just a pseudoskeptic (so much more delicate a term than denier), she’s a *public* one who can’t now climb down without taking a disabling blow to her ego. That was entirely clear from reading that first entry in her blog. Even so, much wasted time ensued. People do like to argue.

  259. Steve Bloom says:

    In the process of locating Darriulat’s full statement to see if there might be anything of value (there wasn’t), I came across this amusing graphic, well worth bookmarking for future use. I’d credit the source, but it wasn’t apparent.

  260. BBD says:

    Rachel

    Note to self: do not look at phone in the middle of the night.

    I’m sorry. I feel rather bad about that now.

  261. Rachel says:

    BBD,

    No, don’t feel bad. I’d rather know if there are problems. I aspire to this: http://www.flamewarriorsguide.com/warriorshtm/nanny.htm

  262. BBD says:

    There seems to be a WFT-side problem with this graph I posted here.

    GISTEMP, HadCRUT4, UAH, RSS; common 1981 – 2010 baseline; all Novembers

    For some unfathomable reason, GISTEMP is January-only not November-only. If it’s me, I can’t see what I have done. Anyway, just a note for the record.

  263. BBD says:

    Rachel

    But you are an Atomic Squirrel. Sadly, there is – as yet – no Flamewarrior category for that…

    “Let them eat lead” as dear old Marie probably meant to say really.

  264. BBD,

    Your starting year of 1850 for GISTEMP seems to be the reason for your problem

  265. BBD says:

    Pekka

    I did try with 1851.83 as the start point and it still reverted to 1851. Perhaps it’s just borked and I need to start afresh rather than editing the original.

  266. WFT starts from 1880 for GISTEMP. If you use an earlier date it starts from the first available point, which is January 1880.

  267. BBD says:

    Pekka

    I’ve been silly and exchanged the start dates for HadCRUT4 and GISTEMP. Apologies and thanks.

    GISTEMP, HadCRUT4, UAH, RSS; common 1981 – 2010 baseline; all Novembers

    Double-apologies for suggesting that the fault was with WfT not my brain.

  268. BBD, that is a very interesting plot when only Novembers are selected. The data seems to align better than if a compress/12 option is applied.

  269. Jaime Jessop says:

    Just to let you all know, I have altered the wording on my blog re. Nov 2013 ‘hottest ever’ claim in response to some of your criticisms, which now more accurately reflects the situation.
    http://climatecontrarian.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/et-on-climate-wars.html

    I was indeed getting slightly confused re. temperature anomalies and rankings. It is fairly obvious to me now, upon reflection that, for a given temperature data series, altering the base period will only result in altering the magnitude of the anomaly, not the ranking. We might have got there sooner had it not been for the hysterical accusations of ‘pseudosceptic’ and ‘conspiracy theorist’ which were thrown at me.

    I’m not in this for scoring ego points. If I’m wrong or confused on a point, I will admit it and I have, simple as that, no problems on my part and i don’t feel down about it. It really doesn’t matter at all to me that I have been ‘exposed’ *publicly* for slipping up slightly, but it obviously means a great deal to people on here.

    This one small point does not significantly alter the main thrust of my argument that, by claiming November 2013 was the ‘hottest ever’ NASA were pushing an agenda to try and convince us all that the world is getting hotter when, in reality it isn’t. No doubt you will all hold up your crucifixes in faux horror and scream ‘pseudosceptic/conspiracy theorist’ at that, but I really don’t give two hoots about your unbalanced name-calling which reveals infinitely more about yourselves than it does about me.

    I still maintain that many valid points I have made on here have been tacitly ignored in your eagerness to pursue a perceived minor weakness on my part.

    It is a shame that you people could not engage more civilly and honestly, but then I guess I was being supremely naive to think that you might.

  270. Jaime,
    Kudos, for the first part of your comment. Maybe if you refrain from suggesting that there is some kind of agenda, we could have a constructive discussion about the second part of your comment.

  271. Rachel says:

    Jaime,
    You’re the very first Skeptic I’ve ever seen acknowledge a mistake and correct it. Well done!

  272. Marco says:

    Rachel, she only corrected some of her diatribe (and notably unacknowledged on the link itself, she just altered it so no one will ever know she did unless they have seen this thread).

    It doesn’t help that she decided to add further conspiracy ideation in her last response here. NASA and NOAA have an agenda when they announce global temperatures for a specific month!

    Well, NASA didn’t announce anything (it only does annual reports), and NOAA reports anomalies and rankings for *every* month, so one wonders why Jaime didn’t have a hissy fit when NASA announced 2013 to be the 7th warmest, when UAH has it the 4th warmest. That blimy alarmist agenda of UAH is surely showing, isn’t it!

    (just for completeness, NOAA also ranked 2013 as 4th warmest).

  273. Steve Bloom says:

    For it is a matter of supreme irony is it not that NASA and NOAA hype the global warming dogma by claiming that November 2013 is the warmest ever in the instrumental surface temperature record, ignoring their own satellite instrumentation data, in a bid to convince us all that the world is getting hotter, year on year? UAH and RSS satellite data for November 2013 report only the 9th and 16th consecutive warmest. And so what, you may well ask, if November 2013 is the warmest in the 134 year record for two particular surface temperature data series? Is it meaningful? Other surface temperature data don’t concur and the satellite data certainly doesn’t. Furthermore, we are talking about just one month, not a yearly mean. Mean global temperatures have not risen significantly in 17 years.

    Certainly there won’t be a problem retracting any prior insinuations as to an agenda. :)

  274. Steve Bloom says:

    Almost missed this passage:

    Not to suggest in any way that sceptics are of the same breed as Moon-landing conspiracists, just illustrative I think of the corrupt politicisation of a once noble and prestigious scientific organisation whose original purpose was the exploration of worlds beyond our own, which now seems to gaze increasingly sclerotically earthward, obsessed with finding ‘scientific proof’ that we are wreckers of the planet, a species actively engaged, unwittingly at first, now knowingly and culpably, in unleashing climate catastrophe aka global warming, aka thermageddon upon the globe.

    Were this a formally fictional passage, it would have a serious shot at winning the prestigious Bulwer-Lytton prize.

  275. verytallguy says:

    Jaime,

    kudos for acknowledging the error.

    In your post above you note

    by claiming November 2013 was the ‘hottest ever’ NASA were pushing an agenda

    and in your blog post you go a little further:

    NASA and NOAA hype the global warming dogma by claiming that November 2013 is the warmest ever in the instrumental surface temperature record

    NASA did not, unless you can correct me, actually comment on the November temperature anomaly at the time. They do issue an annual commentary here http://www.giss.nasa.gov/research/news/20140121/
    A search for “November” reveals… zero hits.

    James Hansen also wrote an annual commentary for the agency, in much more detail here
    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/mailings/2014/20140121_Temperature2013.pdf

    A word search for “November” reveals… zero hits

    I may have miossed something, so could you either post or link to the “hype” from NASA or agree that NASA did not “hype” this figure, and indeed have not even mentioned it.

    Thanks

    VTG

    PS – looks like I wasn’t entirely right about the satellite ownership either…

  276. Jaime Jessop says:

    OK, for absolute clarity, NOAA issue monthly state of the climate reports and November 2013 just happened to state that it was the hottest November in the record. NASA GISS also at the time released figures for November which showed hottest in the record, without seemingly commenting at that time.

    Various blogs and media then picked up on this as ‘clear evidence’ that earth was warming. NOAA certainly issued a press release here: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/news/ncdc-releases-november-2013-global-climate-report. There would appear to be no press release at the time from NASA re. the November record. There is much media comment on both records though. I don’t find any cautions issued from NASA or NOAA re. this resultant media frenzy along the lines of ‘Ah, but yes, satellite data doesn’t reveal that November 2013 was anywhere near being a record’. They were aware of the media feeding frenzy but did nothing to stop it. NASA issued a press release in January 2014 claiming that 2013 continued a long term warming trend. “Long-term trends in surface temperatures are unusual and 2013 adds to the evidence for ongoing climate change,” GISS climatologist Gavin Schmidt said. Given NASA’s views on climate change, it is hardly surprising that they did nothing to counter the unbalanced reporting of the figures in November and merely continue to repeat the ‘warming continues’ mantra in subsequent press releases.

    So, in summary, I think my comment that “NASA and NOAA hype the global warming dogma by claiming that November 2013 is the warmest ever in the instrumental surface temperature record” is a fair comment from my sceptic viewpoint.

    I hope we can agree to disagree on these finer points here and leave this thread on at least partly amicable terms without resorting to further invective from certain quarters.

    Jaime

  277. OPatrick says:

    Jaime, could you give examples of this:

    Various blogs and media then picked up on this as ‘clear evidence’ that earth was warming.

    so we can make informed judgements about the balance in these pieces?

    Do you disagree with Gavin Schmidt’s statement:

    “Long-term trends in surface temperatures are unusual and 2013 adds to the evidence for ongoing climate change,”

    ?

  278. AnOilMan says:

    I don’t understand the concern over ‘hottest month’ in any way. I guess I don’t follow media those so called media frenzies. Where did you hear about that? It didn’t make the newspapers here, or any (green) blogs I follow.
    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2013/11#temp

    I think arguing over this is making a mountain out of a mole hill. It doesn’t elude to an issue, or highlight a problem. Its a who cares kind of a situation.

    I’m more concerned about the fact that Canada no longer has cold winters. Being a northern climate, Canada’s temperatures have soared 3C. (And no, NOAA doesn’t edit our data Jaime. Much of this data is gathered and curated by the Canadian military.)
    https://www.ec.gc.ca/adsc-cmda/default.asp?lang=En&n=8C03D32A-1

    Furthermore Climate Change is allowing Pine Beetles to destroy our rain forests. (The Forestry industry is predicting an end game for forestry.) At this rate, the North West Territories and the arctic won’t be cold enough to kill Pine Beetles. (Just an FYI, but it takes a cold snap of -35 for 7-14 days to kill the pests.)
    http://cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/publications?id=32214

    Whether its the hottest or coldest year, is a stupid pointless argument. Climate Change is killing jobs, and costing money.
    http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_24672322/current-cold-snap-not-enough-disrupt-colorado-pine
    http://news.ualberta.ca/newsarticles/2014/january/ualberta-leads-national-collaboration-to-fight-mountain-pine-beetle-epidemic

  279. verytallguy says:

    Jaime,

    we disagree.

    You say

    “NASA and NOAA hype the global warming dogma by claiming that November 2013 is the warmest ever in the instrumental surface temperature record” is a fair comment

    Despite your acknowledging the fact that NASA never even mentioned it !

    There’s no point in continuing this discussion.

  280. BBD says:

    Jaime

    This one small point does not significantly alter the main thrust of my argument that, by claiming November 2013 was the ‘hottest ever’ NASA were pushing an agenda to try and convince us all that the world is getting hotter when, in reality it isn’t.

    Um, you confused the troposphere with the climate system. You forgot OHC. Your conceptual model is wrong.

  281. BBD says:

    So the claim about NASA pushing an “agenda” is both false (it wasn’t NASA; there is no “agenda”) and an example of conspiracist ideation. I’m not insulting you here, simply pointing out the factual issues and calling things by their right names.

  282. Jaime Jessop says:

    You really are doing this to death people. NASA did ‘mention’ it – they published the data, which was immediately seized upon by the media and blog writers. You have to be naive to think that NASA published a record month in their data and didn’t communicate this in some way to the outside world other than furtively slipping it onto their database, just hoping that the press would pick it up and run with it. Also, I’m afraid NASA GISS do have an agenda; they clearly promote the idea that the earth is still warming due to man-made CO2 – this much is very evident on their website. For good or bad reasons, NASA want us to believe this and hence the publicity surrounding their published data for November 2013 tended to promote their interests in this respect

    NASA did not comment on it at the time but NOAA did. NASA made no effort to counter the hype in the media, nor did NOAA. I’m afraid that despite your protestations, you really are not going to convince me that NOAA and NASA played an entirely innocent hand in all this by impartially reporting/commenting/publishing data on a new monthly record anomaly. You really should stop trying and admit that you are unable or unwilling to see it from a sceptics’ perspective or else content yourself that you are witnessing additional conspiracist ideation at work again. I really do not care much either way, but we should stop wasting time on what, as AnOilMan points out anyway, is somewhat of a non-issue as regards the wider supposed evidence of climate change.

    OPatrick, google ‘November 2013 hottest month’ and it should come up with quite a few examples.

  283. Rachel says:

    Jaime,

    Also, I’m afraid NASA GISS do have an agenda; they clearly promote the idea that the earth is still warming due to man-made CO2…

    That’s because the earth *is* warming due to CO2. Did you read Richard Muller’s results that I posted above (and Jsam, I did rather forget about his acknowledgement of a mistake as well).

    I’m getting rather tired of this. If you think hundreds of scientists from all over the world are tampering with data to push some kind of agenda then this is conspiratorial thinking as BBD notes above and no-one here is going to take you seriously. So let’s drop it now, please?

  284. BBD says:

    Jaime

    Your conceptual model of the climate system is wrong. The troposphere ≠ the climate system.

    From this misapprehension, you are arguing that warming has stopped, when it clearly has not (OHC; see above).

    If you start in error, you cannot make a good argument. I too was pleased to see your modest admission of error above. It would be even more productive if you were to agree that you haven’t quite got the basics of physical climatology straight as yet and have confused transient variability in the rate of surface warming with the overall rate of energy accumulation within the climate system as a whole, which continues unabated. Exactly as predicted by mainstream climate science.

  285. AnOilMan says:

    Jaime… I think you spend to much time looking at conspiracies… That is obviously what is filling your google search. Hint… Google is looking for different web pages for you than it would for us. If you go to strange places, then after a while that’s all it will show you. Google even says Watts reported it as NOAA.

    NOAA, NASA are required to report the scientific truth to the best of their abilities. It is NASA’s job, to study and understand the Earth. It always was its job. If Earth is getting a fever.. then its going to report a fever.

    And NASA NOAA GISS has sweet f*ck all to do with Canada. Your American conspiracy doesn’t go here. At all.

    Here’ is the data produced by scientists censored by climate denial politicians in Canada. They don’t get out much because they need political minders to speak. In public.
    https://www.ec.gc.ca/adsc-cmda/default.asp?lang=En&n=8C03D32A-1

    Its lookin mighty hot.

  286. pbjamm says:

    “You have to be naive to think that NASA published a record month in their data and didn’t communicate this in some way to the outside world other than furtively slipping it onto their database, just hoping that the press would pick it up and run with it.”

    You are assuming a motive for which you have no evidence whatsoever. You have created a controversy where there is none. I am pretty sure that the most accurate thing you have said in this entire thread is “you really are not going to convince me”.

  287. jsam says:

    Honestly, folks. Jaime has convinced me. She really is a die-hard conspiracy theorist. Anything that doesn’t fit her model is part of the conspiracy. She didn’t reason herself into her belief system. You won’t reason her out of it.

    She probably thinks teh Goddard is more credible than NASA. You don’t argue with people like that. Nor, imho, should you offer them the oxygen of publicity.

  288. BBD says:

    From an SkS article by Cook and Lewandowsky:

    Conspiracy theorists are those who display the characteristics of conspiracy ideation

    Yep, just stating the obvious, right? Recursive Fury establishes, from the peer-reviewed literature, the traits of conspiracist ideation, which is the technical term for a cognitive style commonly known as “conspiratorial thinking”. Our paper featured 6 criteria for conspiratorial thinking:

    1. Nefarious Intent: Assuming that the presumed conspirators have nefarious intentions. For example, if person X assumes that blogger Y colluded with the New York Times to publish a paper damaging to X, then X presumes nefarious intent on the part of Y.

    2. Persecuted Victim: Self-identifying as the victim of an organised persecution.

    3. Nihilistic Skepticism: Refusing to believe anything that doesn’t fit into the conspiracy theory. Note that “conspiracy theory” here is a fairly broad term and need not involve a global conspiracy (e.g., that NASA faked the moon landing) but can refer to small-scale events and hypotheses.

    4. Nothing occurs by Accident: Weaving any small random event into the conspiracy narrative.

    5. Something Must be Wrong: Switching liberally between different, even contradictory conspiracy theories that have in common only the presumption that there is something wrong in the official account by the alleged conspirators. Thus, people may simultaneously believe that Princess Diana faked her own death and that she was assassinated by MI5.

    6. Self-Sealing reasoning: Interpreting any evidence against the conspiracy as evidence for the conspiracy. For example, when climate scientists are exonerated of any wrong-doing 9 times over by different investigations, this is reinterpreted to imply that the climate-change conspiracy involves not just the world’s climate scientists but also the investigating bodies and associated governments.

  289. Paul S says:

    AnOilMan,

    That is obviously what is filling your google search. Hint… Google is looking for different web pages for you than it would for us.

    To be fair, we already know Google are in on the conspiracy.

  290. OPatrick says:

    OPatrick, google ‘November 2013 hottest month’ and it should come up with quite a few examples.

    No, not many, and there’s a significant spattering of ‘sceptic’ blogs in the results that do come up. USA today was the only major media organisation I saw reporting on this in the first few pages at least. And none of the stories I looked at seemed particularly hysterical in their approach – I didn’t see any sign of anyone talking about this as anything other than one more small piece of evidence for global warming.

    Did you agree with Gavin Schmidt’s statement?

  291. AnOilMan says:

    Paul S… Beware the Gmail Man!

  292. verytallguy says:

    This exchange has been kind of funny, but also rather sad I think, and a reminder of the pointlessness of engagement with climate change “sceptics”.

    It’s salutary that even when having the guts to admit errors in her original analysis, Jaime still can’t get beyond an unshakeable conviction that NASA are somehow behaving unethically. Entry to Jaime’s world requires an acknowledgement that NASA are fraudulent; the facts are not relevant.

    Summary:

    Jaime:
    “NASA are committing fraud by deliberately using a different baseline to everyone else and falsely claiming November 2013 was the hottest November ever and ignoring their own satellites”

    Sanity
    “Errr, you do realise that the baseline makes no difference to which month is hottest? And the satellite’s aren’t NASA’s?“

    Jaime
    “Fair enough, it was the hottest November ever. But temperatures aren’t rising and NASA fraudulently chose to hype this bit of data for their own purposes”

    Sanity
    “You do realise that all the datasets show similar warming over the length of the satellite record?”

    Jaime
    “Yeah, but not for the last five years. And NASA still committed fraud by hyping the November month”

    Sanity
    “Seriously, over 5 years the figures are far too noisy to give a meaningful trend. And actually, far from hyping it, NASA never even mentioned the November data. Even their annual report doesn’t mention it. It only appears in a table of figures”

    Jaime
    “Yes, NASA didn’t *mention* the data, but other people did, so you really are not going to convince me that NOAA and NASA played an entirely innocent hand in all this*

    Sanity
    “Err…”

    * Actual quote

    I (and I guess most here) come away frustrated and with a conviction there’s nothing in the world that could ever change Jaime’s views

    Jaime, I guess goes away convinced that warmists are bullies who are incapable of listening.

    Why is ATTP taking a break, I wonder?

    Ho-hum.

  293. Jaime Jessop says:

    Rachel, by the exact same logic applied to my mention of Darriulat’s criticisms of the IPCC, i.e. that he is a physicist, not a trained climatologist/climate change science, I should dismiss out of hand Muller’s conversion from climate change sceptic to AGW proponent. Whether I actually do or not is beside the point. This is all you will get from me on this issue on account of my own earlier treatment re, Darriulat.

    Yes, I am getting very tired of this as well, I tried to close the thread on semi-amicable terms but, it would seem, some people just don’t know when to stop obsessing about conspiracy theorists and indulging in snide innuendos and insults, so much so that I feel they are probably firmly in the grip of an obsessive compulsive disorder which requires them to rigidly assign all doubts and dissent about climate change to Lewandowsky’s seminal papers on deniers and his scurrilous conclusions therein (you know, one of which has just been withdrawn by the publisher). It is also probably a truism that you have members on here linked to NASA GISS, hence the unwillingness to let go of the bit.

    I suggest we leave this thread right here and right now before it descends into further nastiness and I will leave no further comments.

  294. Ian Forrester says:

    Jamie, you were being honest with us when you claimed to have a degree in physics, weren’t you?

    I find it very hard to understand how someone with that background can be so incapable of understanding the science and being so nasty towards others in your supposed field of study.

  295. verytallguy says:

    Jaime,

    on the subject of further nastiness perhaps you could consider your own blog?

    Slightly right-wing apolitical; concerned for our environment but concerned not to be associated with ideology and the so-called Green Movement, who it seems to me are Fascists operating under a false banner

    Some might consider labelling those who disagree with you as “Fascists” to be well, fairly nasty.

  296. pbjamm says:

    Jamie you have complained repeatedly of the poor treatment, insults, innuendo, and general nastiness here. I would challenge your to back this with quotes as this is not how I read the thread at all. My recollection is very similar to verytallguy’s summary above.

  297. Jaime Jessop says:

    Right, this ends here. Stop the innuendos, accusations of falsehoods, questioning of my qualifications, attempted public character assassination right now. Enough is enough. You’ve done more than enough here for me to initiate slander proceedings:

    “A. In both libel and slander cases, you need to prove that:
    The allegations have been published to one or more persons (other than yourself)
    The allegations refer to you – either that you are named, pictured or are identifiable in some other way.
    That the words tend to lower you in the eyes of right thinking members of society.

  298. Jaime Jessop says:

    Libel I should say.

  299. AnOilMan says:

    The lawsuit ploy… That’s original!

  300. BBD says:

    Stop flouncing.

    And re-read this. You score a perfect six.

  301. BBD says:

    A degree in physics? With that level of understanding of baselines, physical climatology etc?

    Dear God.

  302. Jaime Jessop says:

    Keep digging BBD.

  303. OPatrick says:

    This is bit like having our own little recursive fury snow globe.

  304. pbjamm says:

    “You’ve done more than enough here for me to initiate slander proceedings”

    What utter nonsense. You should concentrate on supporting your claims (with facts please!) rather than making baseless threats. If you do not want to be ridiculed then you should refrain from making ridiculous statements.

  305. jsam says:

    “who are the mischief-makers, the cons, the liars, the cheats, the misanthropists hell bent on causing human misery?”, “I will not censor comments on here and I have no restrictions as such. I welcome debate, even if it does get heated at times.” http://climatecontrarian.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/who-are-contrarians-contrarians-or.html

    “The ball game is changing for sure and the tactics of the AGW theorists are becoming ever more blatantly outrageous and anti-scientific. Scientific credibility and observational confirmation deserted their camp some time ago and now they are having to scrape the bottom of the global warming barrel to come up with ever more tortuous and convoluted pseudo-scientific ‘evidence’ to support their claims that the human race is the destroyer of our benign climate.” http://climatecontrarian.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/dame-slingo-at-ukmo-crosses-line-on.html

    I can only suggest Jaime seek good rounded legal advice, including the contents of her own blog, before attempting the Aitken “sword of truth” gambit. She will save herself some time and money.

  306. BBD says:

    Keep digging BBD.

    That sounds like a threat, Jaime.

    That might be unwise unless you have deep pockets. Please set out your exact complaint. And it had better be more coherent than your rubbish on this thread or I will take you to the cleaners, make no mistake about that.

  307. Deeply ironic crocodile tears from yet another person who accuses scientists of falsehoods and uses innuendo to attempt public character assassination.

    By the way, here’s a surprising conversation about this thread.

    My days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle.

  308. I’m writing this on my phone on a train.

    Jaime, please don’t comment again.

    Everyone else, let’s drop this. No need to pile on, especially when the person involved is no longer welcome.

  309. OPatrick says:

    Dumb Scientist – Ha! – what’s fascinating to see is Brandon S and Shub N in dispute – like an irresistible force and an unmoveable object.

  310. Jim Hunt says:

    This ought to be of interest to Jaime as well as many others in here. A recent article on the topic of “weird weather” from Jeff Masters, entitled “California Drought/Polar Vortex Jet Stream Pattern Linked to Global Warming”:

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/comment.html?entrynum=2665

    It references “A new study published this week in Geophysical Research Letters, led by Utah State scientist S.-Y. Simon Wang,” which suggests that “there is a traceable anthropogenic warming footprint in the enormous intensity of the anomalous ridge during winter 2013-14, the associated drought and its intensity.”

  311. jsam says:

    Conspiracy [Mod: sorry John] more like it, http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2014/02/23/jaime-jessop-climate-wars-co2-vs-solar-in-the-battle-to-lay-claim-to-jet-stream-anomalies/.

    The comments are delightful, particularly the author’s.


    Jaime Jessop says:
    February 24, 2014 at 10:33 pm
    Wow, 500 – more than my actual blog!

    I totally agree Turbobloke. There’s been a lot of research on this but it’s been under-funded, under-publicised and undermined by the AGW consensus fanatics who have colluded, nay, possibly even conspired in many instances to keep competing research in a non-competitive position. Hence we are faced with having to dig around for rarely cited research papers which may indeed contain many of the answers we are looking for to explain the ‘new’ climate science. Dare to utter public disquiet about such goings-on and you will be labelled a denialist anti-science conspiracy theorist. But the cap isn’t fitting too well any more and the shine is wearing off the global warming jackboots, having kicked so many sceptics backsides, not to mention a fair few promising academic careers into the long grass over the years.

    Jaime Jessop says:
    February 25, 2014 at 10:28 am
    Hi Tallbloke. My comment just before got lost in moderation because I typo’d email address! Many thanks for your remarks. I came to this debate very late and many people have been beavering away tirelessly at this for years and there are literally hundreds of high quality interesting climate blogs. It will take a unique combination of circumstance, hard work, scientific revelation and tactical communication to shift the balance of power in the climate debate, away from the CO2 pundits and back onto neutral ground. We’ve reached a critical juncture when all the hard work is coming to fruition, aided by Mother nature herself, but the tactics of the opposing camp are becoming increasingly bizarre and unpredictable and, dare I say it, a little concerning. We all just need to keep at them and do what we do best – and try to avoid infighting in the process. It’s not over until the fat lady sings, as they say!

    Jaime Jessop says:
    February 25, 2014 at 10:58 am
    Hilary, they have politics and money mostly on their side – a powerful combination. What they don’t have is a surplus of brains, as Annan’s comments clearly demonstrate. To perpetuate the myth, they rely upon the assumption that the general public is thicker than they are, at least those that are able to discern the fact that they are pulling a fast one as opposed to the many who have been rendered completely rationally inert by ideology and/or the promise of fame and fortune.

    TB: Lazarus; definitely need that. Hope it works with Firefox. Can’t stand Chrome. Alas ‘certain quarters’ seem to have alienated themselves from yourself and others, and seem quite happy for that state of affairs to continue.

  312. Layzej says:

    Jsam: “She probably thinks teh Goddard is more credible than NASA. You don’t argue with people like that. Nor, imho, should you offer them the oxygen of publicity.”

    Totally disagree. She is very transparent. She is the perfect ambassador for the contrarian viewpoint and should be given as much publicity as possible.

    Layzej

  313. BBD says:

    That John Mashey again, posting links to more useful information…

    Shameless.
    ;-)

  314. John Mashey says:

    Jaime Jessop visited Roger Jones’ Understanding Climate Risk, and among other things, cited Florides, et al(2013) and SPPI., Monckton’s palce in US, run by Robert Ferguson , actually a PO Box in a UPS store.
    Facts about those were pointed out.
    Finally,
    “Obviously, trying to debate the very real scientific evidence which refutes the One True Science of Global Warming with ardent Believers who would prefer to resort to ad hominems and insults to make their case is a waste of time. Nothing more to add here.”

  315. AnOilMan says:

    Dr. Egon Spengler: Vinz, you said before you were waiting for a sign. What sign are you waiting for?

    Louis: Gozer the Traveler. He will come in one of the pre-chosen forms. During the rectification of the Vuldrini, the traveler came as a large and moving Torg! Then, during the third reconciliation of the last of the McKetrick supplicants, they chose a new form for him: that of a giant Slor! Many Shuvs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!

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