A few thoughts

I’m finishing teaching on one course, and starting on another, so it’s been a pretty hectic week, and I haven’t really had a chance to write anything. Before I do the (hopefully) final part of my drawing down atmospheric CO2 post, I thought I might comment briefly on MT’s extreme weather posts.

I think that MT’s attempts to find an acceptable/reasonable way to discuss these extreme events is very interesting, and it is a pity that the discussion in the most recent post got somewhat disrupted – partly my own fault. I think finding a sensible way to describe these events is interesting, and finding ways to discuss them is also worthwhile. I, however, find it hard to not be somewhat cynical. I wish I wasn’t, but it’s difficult not to be. Essentially, it seems that these discussions always degenerate into debates about who has misused an extreme event to promote some kind of policy/position, rather than a discussion about the events themselves.

There also seems to be a continual conflation of what are probably genuine mistakes, with explicit attempts to misuse these events. We can’t expect journalists, politicians, and even scientists, to never make mistakes. We also can’t expect the same from journalists and politicians, as we would from professional scientists, and we can’t expect scientists to be responsible for what others might say about these events. If we really want to discuss these events, then we should actually do so, rather than simply focusing on those occasions when we think others have got it wrong. That’s not to say that we shouldn’t aim to correct errors, simply that there will always be those who get it wrong, and if we continually focus on this, then we’ll never move forwards.

My rather cynical view, though, is that some of this is intentional. The criticism of some of the coverage of extreme events is not to try and improve dialogue, but to try and delegitimise it altogether. To essentially discourage discussing it at all, rather than simply trying to find an acceptable way to do so. If people really were interested in discussing these events, they could simply do so, irrespective of what kind of mistakes have been made by others. I also think it’s worth trying to distinguish between discussing the physical characteristics of such events, and their societal relevance. Of course they’re related, but they’re not equivalent, and recognising this would seem to be pretty crucial.

Anyway, this short, quick post has got longer than I had intended. Despite my cynicism, I hope MT keeps trying to improve the dialogue about extreme events. It’s a worthwhile endeavour, even if I’m unconvinced of its ultimate success. No harm trying, though, and it almost reminds me of what I was intending when I started this blog. I haven’t succeeded, but that’s no reason for others not to try themselves.

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57 Responses to A few thoughts

  1. Richard says:

    Extreme weather events are what ‘the person in the street’ experiences, whereas a trend, which may be a 10-year or 30-year average of one or other warming-of-the-planetary-system measure is lacking in that visceral engagement that we humans can generally relate to (as well as being subject to all the issues that Kahn et al discuss … distant impacts blah blah). So it is inevitable that extreme weather events hit the news, but equally essential that we (by ‘we’ I mean the Met Office and other credible bodies) do attribution studies AND we monitor the frequencies of events (the actuals). “The is the 2 very hot summer in the last 7 years, in line with predictions …” is fair reporting EVEN IF any one event is, rather like the toss of the dice, not clearly due to its loading. The problem of course with responsible reporting is that to reveal the truth in the underlying trend, may take a decade or few to convince the unconvinced, and that may be too late to achieve a non-dangerous level of greenhouse gases concentrations. The pressure is on the septics to talk down extreme events, and the informed to talk them up. I guess we the informed (I like to think I am getting there), will play with a straight bat. We might even make a great score.

  2. Richard says:

    Btw – the septic typo was deliberate.

  3. Extreme weather events are what ‘the person in the street’ experiences

    Indeed, and we can’t forget that such events can lead to fairly emotive writing by journalists who want to sell newspapers, and fairly emotive statements by polticial leaders who want to show sympathy for those who’ve suffered. We shouldn’t – in my view – use some overblown claims at the time as an excuse to avoid discussing this topic more deeply.

  4. Magma says:

    Unless they occur in remote areas, extreme weather events often have impacts greatly disproportionate to their numbers. But they are definable events, and once defined they can be quantified, at least in areas with long and dense meteorological data series such as Europe and the contiguous US.

    It seems to me that these are bottom-up research projects that can be tackled at many different scales, from an M.Sc. student researching the tornado or heavy rainfall history of a single state to a more general subcontinental to continental-scale study of drought, storms, heat waves and flooding.

    As long as it doesn’t degenerate to the “all science is either physics or stamp collecting” sentiment attributed to Rutherford, Kelvin’s comment about measurement and quantification is highly relevant to this subject.
    In physical science the first essential step in the direction of learning any subject is to find principles of numerical reckoning and practicable methods for measuring some quality connected with it. I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely in your thoughts advanced to the state of Science, whatever the matter may be.”

  5. Magma,
    Just found this which seems to have done what you were suggesting.

  6. mt says:

    It might not seem that way at first but this is extremely relevant to the question of futility:

    View story at Medium.com

  7. mt says:

    PS, WordPress shoved the image in there, I didn’t ask for it. Sorry. It works as a link, though.

  8. MT,
    That’s a powerful piece of writing.

  9. BBD says:

    So it is. I’ve avoided Twitter for a reason.

  10. I keep trying, and failing dismally.

  11. Magma says:

    @ ATTP, yes, part of that paper would be an example. As another, I recently came across a master’s thesis in which the student examined annual wildfire burn extents for the past century in one of the western states (Montana, as I recall) using the original state records and maps. If science is a building, studies like that are the individual bricks that it’s constructed from.

    @ mt, I don’t use really Twitter although I follow a dozen or so people on it. I partly agree on the abusive behavior described by Umair Haque in your link, but not entirely. I think Twitter is an ephemeral medium to get news and short punchy comments out, and because of that and its 140-character limit* it has developed an exaggerated, stylized language and tone of its own. Is a thick skin necessary for participation in public debate? Sadly, maybe, yes, but I don’t see how that can really be avoided… Internet forums have always had the potential to quickly turn into rough and tumble places.

    (* which people quickly learned to evade by posting images of text)

  12. My Twitter feed is far from being dead. My lists are so lively that I made them lists.

    Haque’s confusing Twitter with Facebook.

  13. verytallguy says:

    Mt, good article.

    Hence the central role of moderation.

    Thanks to AT et al for that here.

    It’s not just online mind. Try being on a bike and talking to a motorist. There’s a challenge.

  14. mt says:

    I think “Twitter” is beside the point.

    I agree vtg, I think active moderation is indeed the key. As with so many other things that sound easy, I also think it is much easier to moderate clumsily than to do it well, having done both on occasion.

  15. As with so many other things that sound easy, I also think it is much easier to moderate clumsily than to do it well, having done both on occasion.

    I’m not sure if I’ve ever done it well, but I’ve certainly done it clumsily. What helped here – I think – is having Rachel do it early on when it was much busier. Partly, Rachel was pretty good at it, but also generally not as directly involved in the discussions, which is a help. Some of my clumsier moderations have been when I’m trying to engage in the discussion and then feel that something needs moderating. That normally doesn’t work very well, especially if the discussion is becoming frustrating.

    Having said that, even clumsy moderation would be okay if people were at least understanding. I never thought it would be easy, but running and moderating a blog is harder than I ever expected (in truth, I didn’t expect it to be an issue at all, given that I initially expected to simply be ignored). If those who objected to moderation could at least recognise this, it would certainly make things easier.

  16. BBD says:

    ATTP

    I keep trying, and failing dismally.

    Conrad had it:

    The fascination of the abomination—you know, imagine the growing regrets, the longing to escape, the powerless disgust, the surrender, the hate.

  17. > I think “Twitter” is beside the point.

    Add that to the load of Climateball micro-aggressions I receive every day.

    It’s just the title of that post, after all.

  18. BBD says:

    Oh, and the moderation here is fine. I’ve had my wings clipped on occasion and fair enough.

  19. Magma says:

    I never thought it would be easy, but running and moderating a blog is harder than I ever expected (in truth, I didn’t expect it to be an issue at all, given that I initially expected to simply be ignored).

    Not sure how well this reference will travel across the Atlantic, but…

    God: Don’t feel bad Homer. Nine out of ten religions fail in their first year.

  20. Willard says:

    Since I have a bit more time, and nobody intends to get the ball rolling, I will try to say why AT and MT are both wrong. No, I won’t say about what for now. I got you hooked to read what’s coming.

    This also accomplishes the first step in creating an Internet communication: say that someone or something somewhere is wrong. That’s what MT did by pulling in Morano and RPJ in his post. That’s what AT did too, if we interpret I, however, find it hard to not be somewhat cynical in a non-English manner. That’s what Haque did too by question-beggingly wondering about why Twitter imploded.

    AT, MT and Haque’s position rests on how degenerate the modes of communication have become. That’s my way to generalize the usual smarm regarding civility, tone, and whatnot. I used the word “smarm” to accomplish the second step in an Internet communication: say something with some kind of edge. I could have used “concern” (and be thankful for that concern), but I’d rather reminisce over the eternal fight between snark and swarm:

    There is more at work here than mere good feelings. “No haters” is a sentiment older and more wide-reaching than BuzzFeed. There is a consensus, or something that has assumed the tone of a consensus, that we are living, to our disadvantage, in an age of snark—that the problem of our times is a thing called “snark.”

    http://gawker.com/on-smarm-1476594977

    OK. My coffee’s ready and I need to go. This is the first part. For now, read this article if you haven’t yet, or read it again. There are enough arguments to show that in the end, snark wins.

    My opinion might be biased.

    ***

    Since it is an Internet communication, I won’t say that I share AT’s cynicism or that I feel for MT’s despair. What we have in common is uninteresting for readers and unimportant for the first part. I will only focus on the wrong I identified on the Internet.

  21. human1ty1st says:

    I think both sides of the debate probably recognize that extreme weather ( and to some extent arctic changes) represent the most impactful ways of demonstrating climate issues to the publics. Its also true that to make most impact reporting the ‘science’ has to happen in the days that follow while images of the devastation and recovery are all over the news. I dont see that sceptics are the ones to rush to conclusions rather they tend to be responding to the concensus for whom its more essential to get the message out quickly.

    A nice alternative is this USGS report linked to by Judith Curry.
    http://water.usgs.gov/floods/events/2015/Joaquin/HolmesQA.html
    Its not so much that the report “puts the kibosh on ‘1000 year flood’ ” as JC says but rather they express the need to have all the relevant data in before making announcements. That requires time and is less impactful. So there you have it. If you want to spin the situation, comment within hours/ days of the event, if you want the science wait until all the data is in and all possible causes have been investigated. There is a tension there that I think that both sides have to deal and something that forces both to make extreme comments when the impact is greatest and which tend to be moderated by time and investigation.

  22. Willard says:

    For the second part, I need to show why MT & AT are wrong. It matters that I repeat that they are wrong. We’re on the Internet, and I would not have any reason to talk about their view on the state of the ClimateBall union were they not wrong. The audience only needs to remember that they’re wrong.

    MT & AT are wrong. I hope I am making myself clear.

    That they are wrong is so obvious I could simply scratch my head and say something like: harumph. Why would I waste any time explaining why or specifying how? To do otherwise would go against the third rule of Internet communication: don’t argue the obvious; hell, don’t even spell it out.

    To complete this Internet communication, I would have to fish out a link I just found somewhere. Here could be one, which I just found by googling “John Oliver snark”:

    Infrastructures are somehow related to extreme events, or at least related to ordinary events. Also, John Oliver is relevant to my point, which is to show that indeed it is possible to communicate something to an audience using snark. One might even say that the most powerful progressive voices in the media charm their audience because of their snark. When facing absurdities like the GOP race or Morano’s peddling, humor might be the best weapon.

    The fourth rule for Internet communication is thus put a random link.

    ***

    These steps would conclude an Internet communication. Wait, how did I show exactly that they were wrong? Hmmm.

    Here’s why I think they’re wrong. I’ll use a dance analogy to make sure all my arguments fit into one paragraph without having to rely on technical concepts like commitments:

    It takes two to tango. Tango’s what you dance with your partner, not the Borgesian ideal you imagine you ought to do. Dancing takes time and space: two bodies co-create something unique. If your partner doesn’t feel the tango, you can try to lead or follow where the moves get you. Excusing oneself while one dances dispells the magic. Blaming the partner while dancing is utterly anti-erotic. One learns to dance while dancing. It’s more rewarding to dance than to epilogue about dancing.

    ***

    Just like whatever can be meant can be said, whatever we wish to do in written communication can be done on the Internet.

  23. Willard,
    Yes, we’ve discussed this before. Still not sure I get it.

    human1ty1st,

    Its also true that to make most impact reporting the ‘science’ has to happen in the days that follow while images of the devastation and recovery are all over the news.

    This is kind of the point though, isn’t it? Politicians will want to say “meaningful” things while it’s relevant. The media will want to report it while it’s still relevant. They will get things wrong as a result. If we focus on this – which is probably unavoidable – we’ll never really get around to discussing this topic in any depth.

  24. AT are wrong. I hope I am making myself clear.

    Are we wrong, or do you mean that we’re going to lose?

  25. Kevin O'Neill says:

    MT links us to an article on Twitter dying by Umair Haque. The irony here, coming just a couple of comments after Magma quoted Kelvin on quantification, is that Umair’s article is completely lacking *any* quantification. In fact, if one checks the various statistics sites around the web, rather than dying Twitter is still growing; whether we measure number of users or revenue. For 2014 annual growth in users was reported as 21%. Revenues grew 111%.

    Umair’s thesis is clearly stated: “Here’s my tiny theory, in a word. Abuse. And further, I’m going to suggest in this short essay that abuse — not making money — is the great problem tech and media have.” While it is true, that Twitter, for instance, still lost money in 2014, it is expected to make a profit in 2015 with revenue growth year-over-year in the 65% range.

  26. Willard says:

    > Still not sure I get it.

    ***

    > Are we wrong, or do you mean that we’re going to lose?

    [Da] only losing move is not to play, AT:

    neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/5986919630

  27. Do only losing move is not to play, AT:

    I keep forgetting 🙂

  28. mt says:

    humanity1st, otherwise not unreasonable, points to the article that started the thread in the first place. I’d consider moderating this contribution down for redundancy.

    The only thing we learn is that Judith Curry also missed the distinction between floods and rainfall, even though the USGS article is explicit about it. Now, it would be perhaps a bit polarizing to characterize this blunder on Curry’s part as part of a pattern on her part, so that’s left as an exercise for the reader.

  29. mt says:

    K O’N, you need quantification that most people find internet conversation a cesspool of pointless bickering? By all means, take a poll.

    The thing is, the side working for inaction WINS if the internet is a cesspool of pointless bickering that chases most sane people off. That’s their game. What they don’t want is informed conversation. Replacing it with a stupid game is their goal.

    http://www.treelobsters.com/2010/01/118-skeptics-charlatans.html

    Playing is a losing move too, Willard. Our only hope is to invent a better game.

  30. > Our only hope is to invent a better game.

    I whoheartedly agree, if the new game is called ClimateBall ™, which is, as far as I am concerned, like alcool:

    Even if that’s not the case, I submit we’d need a strategy to protect ourselves from pointless bickering. There’s one I call Love and Light, intended to tame cave trolls:

    http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/tagged/loveandlight

    ***

    You want to have an informed conversation? Fine. Lead by example. Beware, however, that it’ll take place on a ClimateBall ™ field, and that the only control you have is how you play.

  31. JCH says:

    My memory is she did a similar thing on Wivenhoe.

  32. Kevin O'Neill says:

    mt – yes, actually I do need quantification. Most of what I see on the internet (Twitter or elsewhere) isn’t bickering. It’s generally much more banal that that: Cat videos, family photos, “inspirational” quotes or stories, etc, etc. The universe is large. That bickering occupies some percentage of it is not in doubt. That bickering occupies a significant percentage of any given universe and that it is *killing* Twitter is neither obvious nor quantified.

  33. mt says:

    Kevin, Willard, regarding Twitter itself, I am still active and still enjoy it; indeed it remains my favorite of the social media. But everyone has their own view of Twitter. If the majority of the accounts I find interesting go silent, I would need no statistics to tell me so. If someone of some renown says this has happened to him, I will take him at his word. Whether Twitter will continue to stay interesting and viable is anybody’s guess, but if someone who is interesting and prominent announces that it has failed for them, I see no reason to doubt or dismiss it.

    But Twitter is just a hook insofar as the article is concerned and insofar as my link to it is concerned.

    The article is about the Internet itself. At least it is so in my mind, and I think it’s explicit that it’s in the author’s as well. Also, it’s not about the Internet insofar as it handles heartwarming cat videos but insofar as it might provide useful tools for intelligent democratic discourse of a sort that our politicians, TV-era monstrosities that most of them are, seem unable to provide. I stipulate that there is much charming kitten and puppy antics that I would otherwise have missed. But I wouldn’t lay my life down on the line for the right to keep those coming.

    There are those of us who had very high hopes for this medium that are unwilling to give them up. Is it possible for us to do better in thinking about our problems, collectively? I see no reason to suspect that it isn’t possible, but on the other hand no reason to suspect that it should be easy.

  34. Willard is right

    sometimes however you dance alone…

  35. izen says:

    Wee Willie’s wonderfully elliptical meta-analysis of web communications is mostly correct I suspect, although it runs the serious risk of self-referential refutation.

    But if this thread is going to be about the process of communications rather than the content…
    The web is a new ecology for the interaction of human ideas. That it presents a vast, apparently limitless plain of the banal and trivial, from cats to quilting and motorbikes is a direct reflection of the interests of the users and the nature of the medium.
    The landscape is dotted with cesspools of bickering and regions of violent hate speach(sic) of course, that is the nature of human interaction in large numbers. When humans first formed large societies with the advent of cities they had to devlope as cooperative intistutions, sewage systems and rules of public conduct.

    That the internet allows cesspools of bickering and areas of abuse is a feature not a bug. It is a young ecology, like the Cambrian supercharged with the shot of oxygen to its metabolism, the social communalities that emerge from the energisation to communication from digital technology will feature a lot of conflict and predation. Sharper teeth and thicker scales are the first fossil evidence for the explosive growth the new ecology.

    Public eitiquette in the physical world has restrictions of speach/conduct because of the short distance between thought, speach and physical harm. Transfering that set of rules to the arena of the social media may not be appropiate. The attempts by the SJW movement to ‘moderate’ harrasement hagve already exposed the self contradictory nature of such demands.
    I should decalre a personal bias. In a past decade I have spent many a pleasent hour creating ever-more outrageous insults to trade with others in the ‘Flame Zone’. Or craft ways of evading moderation while still implying that my opponent was clearly the result of at least seven generations of geneticaly consanguinous participants in his ancestral line.
    (grin)

    Of course the vast banal plains of the internat contain oasis and uplands of utile rationality, and the occasional ivory tower. But not all social interaction will be a dance with a partener willing to tango. Sometimes the venue is intended to be a cage fight with minimal ‘rules’. Tribal skirmishes gave way to games and sporting competitions between city states. Most of the time. In the new social arena of digital interaction new forms of conflict, and its resolution will evolve.

    As for the final random link…
    this was prompted by recent reminiscing with family about the first LP records we owned in the light of the resurgence of vinyl. Those big 12″ discs of refined fossil hydrocarbon.
    But perhasp in the light of the half a degree C gap in the warmest year of the decade this music was made and the coldest year of the present decade, along with the implications of the cumlative emissions, it might have some relevance to temporal rates of recurrance!

  36. What I think I notice is that you can run a blog in maybe two basic ways. You write posts and let people go at it in the comments, but largely don’t take part, or you write posts and then engage in discussions in the comments. In the former style, you can simply let people get as snarky as they like and just ignore it. In the latter style, it’s harder because you’re trying to engage in a discussion and expect people to at least behave in a moderately reasonable way. The latter is how I think I run this blog. What can sometimes happen is that you end up moderating discussions in which you’re a participant, and some people don’t like that (and then go and complain about it elsewhere). On the other hand, some people accept this and simply adapt their style, without necessarily changing their views. It’s not – in my opinion – about reaching agreement, but about having a discussion that may include disagreements, without verbally abusing the person you’re having the discussion with. So, maybe my preferred style requires more smarm and less snark, but the alternative would be discussions that I would simply stay away from and I think I would simply lose interest in running the blog if that were to happen. Some may regard that as a fortuitous outcome, admittedly 🙂

  37. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse says:

    Any sufficiently advanced game is indistinguishable from science.

  38. ATTP… if you come into the mosh pit, don’t expect us to dance nicely.

  39. BBD says:

    Steven

    Yes, but this corner of the pit belongs to ATTP and he can make the rules.

  40. I like your style, thanks. While engaging with persistent arguers who refuse to open up is irritating, I think you find quite a good balance there, though personally I would be less tolerant.

    However, fact is, we need everyone paying attention, and this is a good way to do it. Thanks!

  41. Steven,
    Well, yes, that’s kind of the point. When in Rome, etc. What I getting at was more an observation than anything else. From what I’ve seen, blogs where the host comments below the line a lot, tend to have less snark, than those where the host mostly leaves the commenters to do as they wish. There may well be exceptions, but that does seem to be the norm. I also wasn’t judging either styles; just making an observation.

  42. Willard says:

    > blogs where the host comments below the line a lot, tend to have less snark

    Like Judy’s, Lucia’s, the Auditor’s, Jeff’s, Bart’s, Shub’s, Gavin’s, Marcel’s.

    Harumph.

    ***

    > than those where the host mostly leaves the commenters to do as they wish.

    Like the Stoatness’, Tony’s, Eli’s, John’s, Bishop’s.

    Harumph.

    ***

    My own conjecture is that snark diminishes in places where there’s less comments and where topics are more delineated: Richard’s, Dan’s, Ed’s, Doug’s, Neven’s.

    If I can point to the MSMs’ blog, this conjecture wins no contest by reductio.

    All your snark belongs to us.

  43. Like Judy’s, Lucia’s, the Auditor’s, our Beloved Bishop’s, Jeff’s, Bart’s, Shub’s, Gavin’s, Marcel’s.

    I don’t think this is true for all of these. Andrew Montford doesn’t really get involved in discussions in the comments on BH. Judith does, but somewhat selectively. I don’t know Jeff’s, Shub’s has few comments, Gavin’s seems to be one with strong moderation (isn’t the where “but RC moderation” comes from), Marcel’s I haven’t looked at very often.

    My own conjecture is that snark inhabits places where there’s more comments and where topics are more delineated: Richard’s, Dan’s, Ed’s, Doug’s, Neven’s.

    Maybe we’re talking about something different. I was using “snark” to mean actual verbal abuse, not simply responses that could have been politer.

    Okay, maybe I’m confused. I can’t think of a blog that has pretty abusive comments and in which the host gets involved in such comments. I might be wrong.

  44. Willard says:

    > [Our Beloved Bishop] doesn’t really get involved in discussions in the comments on BH.

    He still snips and often asks his choir to play nice. It never really works.

    ***

    > Gavin’s seems to be one with strong moderation

    There’s still lots of snark.

    ***

    > I was using “snark” to mean actual verbal abuse[…]

    Let’s test this by way of an example:

    [I]t would be perhaps a bit polarizing to characterize this blunder on [X] part as part of a pattern […] so that’s left as an exercise for the reader.

    I think this qualifies as snark. Uttering something along those lines defeats the maxim “thou shall seek informed conversation in a snark-free manner.” Does it qualify as verbal abuse too?

    ***

    A random link:

    Wit

    One can’t openly “win” a conversation without breaking it. But there is still plenty of room for competitive self-display, in the manner one expresses one’s points. Getting the right word (we still stay it in French–le mot juste); constructing prose that is clear, flexible and maybe even a bit fancy; managing interpersonal relations in a subtle way: the conversationalist can win on style points where outright victory is denied.

    Achieving this on the spur of the moment in the course of conversation was a high art; it had to look mannered, but not labored.

    https://scientistscitizens.wordpress.com/2011/08/05/some-communication-principles-for-an-e-salon/

    If laughter is America’s most important export, France’s is daily sadism.

  45. I think this qualifies as snark.

    Okay, then I agree. I was thinking more extreme that that kind of thing.

  46. Willard says:

    > Okay, then I agree.

    Then there’s no interest in pursuing this. Kumbaya’s not made for the Internet.

    Here, a random link about Love and Light:

    Folta loves his listeners; that sounds sappy, but it isn’t. Listen to the talk he gave at my university, paying attention his interactions with those skeptical of GMOs. Be aware, it’s over two hours long–because he was willing to stay there and respond, respectfully, to every single question and challenge. Or take a look at one story of what talking with Folta feels like from the audience point of view.

    Folta loves his listeners, with one exception: he clearly loathes those who he perceives to be a core group of science-distorting anti-GMO fanatics. This also is a mistake that he is paying for: he should love them, too; or at least, speak as if they did not exist.

    https://scientistscitizens.wordpress.com/2015/09/10/new-york-times-your-reporting-fed-mccarthyite-attacks-on-kevin-folta/

  47. Then there’s no interest in pursuing this. Kumbaya’s not made for the Internet.

    Sorry, am I spoiling this 🙂

    he clearly loathes those who he perceives to be a core group of science-distorting anti-GMO fanatics. This also is a mistake that he is paying for: he should love them, too; or at least, speak as if they did not exist.

    I can’t tell if you agree with this or not. Maybe as a science communicator you would achieve more if you ignored those who you regarded as distorting science and simply focused on communicatiing as clearly and effectively as possible. Easier said than done and maybe not that effective if your goal is to reduce the impact of those who distort the evidence.

  48. Willard says:

    > I can’t tell if you agree with this or not.

    That’s part of the fun, AT.

    One way to implement the “speak as if they did not exist” is to address the points without naming or mentioning their authors. You quote the words. You respond to the statements or the propositions expressed. Nothing personal. Pure light.

  49. “Steven,
    Well, yes, that’s kind of the point. When in Rome, etc. What I getting at was more an observation than anything else. ”

    There are various style’s of coming into the pit

    VOG —- voice of god [ edit their comment and insert]
    Cage match… you slam dance with the other moshers
    Nanny

    long ago I was a regular at the BOTF on slate.

    Man we loved it when the author would come and fight.

    Good theatre— I think it was the 18th century when some in the audience actually had seats
    on the stage.

    Is this a myth…. Wagner was the first to impose silence on an audience by dimming the lights.

    In any case willard is right. It pains me to admit this,

  50. In any case willard is right.

    He normally is.

  51. > He normally is.

    My wife might disagree.

    ***

    Two examples of “speak as if they did not exist.”

    The first lets only light get through:

    Thus far the carbon sequestration by sinks seems to track atmospheric concentration. This implies CO2 concentration will peak at around 630 ppm.

    According the SPM, this would require that we emit no more than about 600GtC. It also means that atmospheric CO2 would remain above 450ppm for thousands of years, and suggests that we’d be committed to around 2.5C of warming above pre-industrial.

    The second gets more physical:

    Thus far the carbon sequestration by sinks seems to track atmospheric concentration. This implies CO2 concentration will peak at around 630 ppm.

    You have got it all screwed up. Purposely, no doubt.. According the SPM, this would require that we emit no more than about 600GtC. It also means that atmospheric CO2 would remain above 450ppm for thousands of years, and suggests that we’d be committed to around 2.5C of warming above pre-industrial. Sorry to embarrass you little fella. You are pathetic and a time waster. Enough of the nonsense, Discussion over.

    The first comment comes from this page:

    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2015/10/rubba-dub-dub-co2-in-three-tubs.html?showComment=1445158171969#c8067133904624746427

    The second comment comes from various comments from Don Don on this page:

    http://judithcurry.com/2015/10/16/week-in-review-science-edition-25

  52. mt says:

    It takes two to tango. It takes a mob to mosh. But what does it take to invent a new dance?

  53. “It takes two to tango. It takes a mob to mosh. But what does it take to invent a new dance?”

    pain.

  54. I recently wrote a comment and then scratched out all the stuff willard would object to.
    there was nothing left.

    It is hard to speak as if he doesnt exist

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