Clutching at straws GWPF style

Since I have a few minutes spare I thought I would highlight another laugh aloud post from the Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF). It’s about Arctic sea ice growing back to 2006 levels. Wow, amazing, what a turnaround after spending a reasonable fraction of the past year at record lows.

Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center

Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center

I thought I would go and look at the data. The figure on the right shows the sea ice extent for 2012 (dashed line), 2016 (red), 2017 (light blue) and 2006 (purple), together with the 1981-2010 average and the 2\sigma standard deviation. It does indeed show that the sea ice extent is the same as 2006, on 23 January, and only on 23 January. In other words, the GWPF claim is based on sea ice extent on a single day in 2017 being the same as it was on the same day in 2006. Do they not understand the concept of variability? You can treat that as rhetorical.

I do find it hard to believe that those involved do not get just how ridiculous such a claim actually is, so have to assume that this is partly to deceive those who might not, and partly just clickbait. I fully expect to see claims elsewhere that Arctic sea ice has grown back to 2006 levels, with links back to this GWPF post. As I’ve said before, sometimes all you can do is laugh.

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61 Responses to Clutching at straws GWPF style

  1. All they want is to deceive their friends and “friends”. When they make this claim their neighbour does not have the graph to see how ridiculous it is, nor their drinking buddies in the pub. Even on the internet you can count on being able to make the claim and that most will not click on the link (if provided).

  2. L Hamilton says:

    The one-day comparison to 2006 is a drastic cherry pick. Sea ice extent *on this day* in 2006 just happened to be (tied with this year) the lowest on record.

  3. Larry,
    Thanks, I missed that subtlety. So, until 2017, the lowest sea ice extent on 23/1 (or 1/23 if you’re from the US) was 2006.

  4. David says:

    “Do they not understand the concept of variability?”

    They do understand that concept; they also know that their target audience base doesn’t.

  5. David,
    Indeed, that is my impression too.

  6. Keith McClary says:

  7. Joshua says:

    ==> I do find it hard to believe that those involved do not get just how ridiculous such a claim actually is, so have to assume that this is partly to deceive those who might not, and partly just clickbait. ==>

    Arguing from incredulity might be sub-optimal. I don’t know what they are thinking, but my guess is that there is at least a good possibility that they believe that they are making a valid scientific argument.

    What is interesting, IMO, is what would explain why smart and knowledgeable people consider comparing 1/23/06 to 1/23/17 as useful evidence for analyzing ice extent trends.

    What is interesting to me is why people who presumably must understand the concept of variability reason selectively enough to not apply the concept of variability to the available evidence in this context?

    ==> They do understand that concept; they also know that their target audience base doesn’t. ==>

    I’m not particularly persuaded by that view, either. It reminds me of the form of argument that “skeptics” frequently use. Consider that the GWPF is not out to deliberately make fallacious arguments because they think that they can get away with it, but that they are making fallacious arguments because when people are “motivated” they tend to be unable to control for fallacies.

  8. Joshua,

    Arguing from incredulity might be sub-optimal.

    Indeed, and I would almost always agree with you about this. However, there are some things that you would expect anyone with even a basic amount of scientific training to understand and to not do. Doing so is therefore hard to interpret as anything other than intentional and, hence, that doing so is not to inform, but to deceive.

    Consider that the GWPF is not out to deliberately make fallacious arguments because they think that they can get away with it, but that they are making fallacious arguments because when people are “motivated” they tend to be unable to control for fallacies.

    This would make sense if it wasn’t so obvious that the argument is fallacious.

  9. Joshua says:

    Following the links…this was also interesting:

    ==> Considering only Canada (where 2/3 of the world’s polar bears live), Canadian Ice Service comparative graphs going back to 1971 show average amounts of ice existed the week of 15 January 2017, but considerably more than the estimates for the 1970s (odd that we never hear about that): ==>

    The first clause of that statement is indicative that their examination of one date only is not the complete extent of their selectivity… as they also saw fit to isolate data of Canada from date from all other regions.

    We can see more of that selectivity pattern in the last, parenthetical, part of the statement also. What does it mean that they “never hear about [trends in sea ice extent in [Canada]”?

    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=trends+in+Canadian+sea+ice+extent

    What would explain why they “never” hear about trends in Canadian sea ice extent?

    I have no particular objection to advocate-scientists, such as those at the GWPF, with engaging in the public discussion about climate change, but when advocates advance fallacious arguments to advance their agenda, I think they likely do more harm than good. It would be nice to see a few “skeptics” like Judith Curry, RPjr., Richard Tol, who frequently express concern about the negative impact of “advocate-scientists,” weigh in on these arguments presented by the GWPF.

    But I consider such a possibility to be rather unlikely – as they seem quite comfortable in their own skins of selectivity.

    I’m curious if there are any “skeptics” reading this post who would like to comment on GWPF’s advocacy?

  10. Joshua says:

    ==> This would make sense if it wasn’t so obvious that the argument is fallacious. ==>

    I think that the fallacy we see in their argument is entirely consistent with what we know, generally, about how people reason. Selecting short-term data and ignoring longer-term data – or what I would consider to be using unrepresentative sampling to analyze cause and effect – is about as commonplace as it gets. The human mind is conditioned to try to find patterns and generalize from sampling. That scientists would engage in such fallacious rhetoric – despite it being so obviously fallacious – is testimony to the pervasiveness and power of “motivated” reasoning – in particular when people are engaged in identity-associated contexts.

    Consider the logic of your argument. You are saying that in trying to convince people of their view, they are using an argument that is incredibly bad. That doesn’t seem very likely to me. Yes, it is possible that they have so little respect for their intended audience, that they will use an argument that is so obviously bad and so obviously susceptible to counter-argument. But in general, I don’t think that’s how people operate.

    My guess is that they think they are making a good argument – not just in a persuasive or rhetorical sense, but because they are “motivated” to look past the obvious fallacy. As I said, this is a common characteristic in how people reason, and while the scientific method is a hedge against such tendencies, very few people, even scientists, are immune to fallacious reasoning in defense of their identity and their affinity with their identity-group. While often the fallacious reasoning is buried more deeply and not so glaring, the climate war, like other public discussions on issues that are highly polarized, is replete with glaringly obvious cherry-picking.

  11. Joshua,

    My guess is that they think they are making a good argument

    Possibly, but some arguments are so obviously bad that it’s hard to imagine that they don’t realise. Bear in mind that these are people who must have had this point explained to them over and over again.

  12. Fergus Brown says:

    This is called handy meme creation; it’s to provide smug amateurs with faux-evidence to argue that black is white. It serves no other purpose. Note that such items never explain the meaning of the content, or provide context. To imagine that reality, truth or sense has anything to do with it is foolish.
    It’s nice that a biologist can get her ideas published like this. It’s hard to understand how a self-respecting scientist can do so without experiencing a deep sense of shame.

  13. Fergus,

    It’s hard to understand how a self-respecting scientist can do so without experiencing a deep sense of shame.

    Yes, I find that hard to understand myself. It does make me wonder if Joshua’s point about motivated reasoning might not be correct; maybe they really do convince themselves that they’re correct and highlighting important things that others are ignoring.

  14. Joshua says:

    Anders –

    I get what you’re saying…and wouldn’t rule it out 100%…just (obviously) disagree as to the likelihood of the different possibilities. But I won’t belabor the point further.

    What’s also interesting to me that that the post was written by Susan Crockford. I’ve read some of her contributions over at WUWT, and always been interested in that she has seemed to be a serious scientist who presents plausible arguments. I don’t have the interest or skills necessary to interrogate her science in-depth, but I’ve always been reluctant to simply reject her claims because she’s associated with the “skeptic” community.

    I am still reluctant to do so, and I won’t dismiss all of her science out of hand simply because she made such a bad argument in this case, but the post that she wrote is evidence that she can certainly be blind to her own biases or is willing to present fallacious arguments for rhetorical effect. That’s information, information that I can use in the future when she presents material I’m not able to evaluate technically.

  15. Joshua says:

    One thing to add. I should correct what I wrote above in that Susan doesn’t actually present an argument, per se. While I think that the implied argument is obvious (particularly given the GWPF context and her identification with the “skeptic” community), it would seem that the lack of an explicit argument might help to explain why she doesn’t explore the fuller context surrounding her presentation of evidence. At any rate, I would expect that “plausible deniability” would be offered as an explanation.

  16. Joshua,

    I’ve read some of her contributions over at WUWT, and always been interested in that she has seemed to be a serious scientist who presents plausible arguments.

    Susan Crockford’s argument were used as an example in an article about what to trust in the age of fake news.

  17. climatehawk1 says:

    Deniers are in ascendancy in U.S. and U.K. This provides a fig leaf for the stuff they will be doing, that’s all. The actual scientific merit is of no consequence. That is why Trump met with Happer. Fig leaves.

  18. John Hartz says:

    If it looks like pseudo-science poppycok, smells like pseudo-science poppycock, and tastes like pseudo-science poppycock, it must be pseudo-science poppycock.

  19. Climatehawk1…

    Not sure that the ‘deniers’ are doing so well in UK. Last year 25% of electricity generation came from renewables, beating coal and nuclear. Theresa May is not going to have an open full frontal argument with her party on this; but she might see decarbonization as a vision for new ‘growth’ in a way that is diametrically opposed to Trump. So equating the Uk with US may prove false. And the Government is at least claiming it will continue to show leadership …

    In the US, the wolves are in the White House, for sure, but the economics and States are moving against coal. Fracked gas is cheap today, so will still hold sway, but renewables cannot be held back, and are growing fast. I have relatives in the US who are effectively able to be off-grid using solar.

    When the big one (storm) comes – sooner or later – and Florida’s trillion dollar real estate bubble becomes uninsurable, Trump will find himself having to answer difficult questions, and some angry conservative investors. His luck will run out.

    The “scientific merit” will hold sway, eventually, but there is of course a question as to timing; whether the denier delaying tactics will mean we cross thresholds that are essentially irreversible (some would argue we have crossed some already).

  20. OhWellWhatCanItype says:

    “In the US, the wolves are in the White House, ”

    Please don’t demonize wolves like this. I don’t mean that as a joke. They are set to lose even more protections under Trump (Obama wasn’t so great either)

    https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=gray+wolf+trump

  21. John Hartz says:

    Here’s a more refined/scholarly description of what the GWPF is engaged in:

    However, there is a disconcerting trend that has gained strength: agnotology. It’s a term worth knowing, since it is going global. The word was coined by Stanford University professor Robert N. Proctor, who described it as “culturally constructed ignorance, created by special interest groups to create confusion and suppress the truth in a societally important issue.” It is especially useful to sow seeds of doubt in complex scientific issues by publicizing inaccurate or misleading data.

    Culturally Constructed Ignorance Wins the Day by Barry Ritholtz, Bloomberg View, June 27, 2016

  22. anoilman says:

    Can you imagine the chaos if everyone on the planet made all important decisions on single data point analysis on the spur of the moment?

    And the GWPF is worse than total chaos! Think about it. They wait for a single data point to meet the least minimum level of acceptability to hinge all of their logic on. Crazy!

  23. > maybe they really do convince themselves that they’re correct and highlighting important things that others are ignoring.

    A more radical interpretation:

    By requiring subordinates to speak untruths, a leader can undercut their independent standing, including their standing with the public, with the media and with other members of the administration. That makes those individuals grow more dependent on the leader and less likely to mount independent rebellions against the structure of command. Promoting such chains of lies is a classic tactic when a leader distrusts his subordinates and expects to continue to distrust them in the future.

    Another reason for promoting lying is what economists sometimes call loyalty filters. If you want to ascertain if someone is truly loyal to you, ask them to do something outrageous or stupid. If they balk, then you know right away they aren’t fully with you. That too is a sign of incipient mistrust within the ruling clique, and it is part of the same worldview that leads [Dependent Donald] to rely so heavily on family members.

    https://donaldsomething.wordpress.com/2017/01/23/dependent-donald/

    DonaldSomething is a new gig.

  24. anoilman says:

    Willard… actually the problems of ordering employees to do something they don’t agree with is well understood in the business world. If I order an employee to do something, then the employee no longer feels concerned about the result. i.e. the employee isn’t responsible and doesn’t care.

    The new American Moto; “Don’t ask me. I just work here.”

  25. The variation on the Nuremberg defense you underline is closer to the GWPF crap, Oily One: it is justified disingenuousness all the way down.

    It is cheap, has little downside, it is rewarded by lazy journalism, and #FreedomFighters can find think tanks to finance it.

    #AlternativeFacts is not a new #ClimateBall fact of life.

  26. izen says:

    I would agree with Joshua on this.
    I think it is unlikely that Crockford or those in the GWPF and its fellow travellers are deliberately and knowingly constructing false or bad arguments.

    If your working assumption or strong belief is that there is no significant trend and all we are seeing is cyclic ‘Natural’ variation, then a single data point (or two) shows that the low ice extent all the ‘warmists’ are crowing about is just a repeat of conditions 11 years ago.
    That is more than sufficient to achieve epistemic closure. From that POV the fact that ice is the same now as in 2006 refutes the (strawman) of a monotonic trend.

    Attempting to then explain the context does nothing but look like scientific quibbling and in the process reinforces the meme of climate data just showing cyclic variations, NOT a significant warming trend.

  27. Magma says:

    Crockford is a ‘polar bear biologist’ who didn’t do her PhD on polar bears, doesn’t do field or lab work on polar bears, and doesn’t publish peer-reviewed work on polar bears.

    But she writes a contrarian blog on polar bears (and climate change) and regularly attacks polar bear experts, so I guess she’s good.

  28. angech says:

    Joshua says: January 24, 2017 at 9:28 pm
    I’m curious if there are any “skeptics” reading this post who would like to comment on GWPF’s advocacy?
    What else would you expect them to do?
    Would I agree with this particular cherry pick?
    No.
    Will the situation change.
    If it drops back then you can call it a cherrypick in perpetuity.
    If it keeps going up then it will not stay a cherry pick.
    Lets have a look in 1 week, 1 month and 1 year and re comment.
    But by all means feel free to call it a cherry pick at this stage.

  29. If it drops back then you can call it a cherrypick in perpetuity.
    If it keeps going up then it will not stay a cherry pick.

    It’s a cherry-pick whatever happens.

  30. matt says:

    If they were uneducated, or very new to the topic, I might agree with Joshua. They arent so I think Joshua is being overly-charitable. Could be wrong.

    Noticed the graph of temperature on their website still misses the last two years (not to mention being badly scaled and starting in 2001).

  31. matt says:

    Hmm… Just realised how silly it is to say “not to mention”. Change that to “and I will also mention these less important points…”. That is, less important in conveying the point that they know what they are doing. Sure they could not realise it is badly scaled in a way makes trends less clear, and they might think 2001 is a valid starting point, but there is no justifiable reason to not show the last 2 years.

  32. RickA says:

    Joshua said “I’m curious if there are any “skeptics” reading this post who would like to comment on GWPF’s advocacy?”

    I would recommend taking anything ANY advocate scientist says with a grain of salt.

    Advocate scientists are more biased than your average scientist and have an axe to grind.

    It makes them look at the data with a point of view, which is usually less balanced than your average non-advocate scientist.

  33. JCH says:

    There could be are advocate scientists who are wrong and there could be advocate scientists who are right. Ignore them and you could be left with only scientists who are wrong. How is that an improvement? In this case mommy nature is screaming at you who was right, and it’s James E. Hansen and the Ozone Man.

  34. BBD says:

    The GWPF cherry-pick is an alternative fact.

  35. russellseitz says:

    Keith, Hollywood needs better parking lot security-
    the dastardly GWPF has stolen Al’s cherry picker again !

    Meanwhile back at the White House, another climate fashion trend is developing

  36. JCH says:

    Just part of making America 1950s great again:

  37. BBD says:

    Or do it Donald’s way…

  38. Joshua says:

    RickA –

    ==> I would recommend taking anything ANY advocate scientist says with a grain of salt. ==>

    I sort of agree, as an obvious association with a given outcome warrants greater scrutiny of a scientist’s work. But the problem there is a possible false distinction between “advocate-scientists” and “non-advocate scientists.”

    First of all, pretty much all scientists are advocates, for the validity and value and quality of their work, if for nothing else.

    Secondly, the distinction of who and isn’t an “advocate-scientist” is, in my observations, often used as a fallacious rhetorical tool for the advancement of advocacy.

    Judith Curry’s situation would be instructive there. She selectively defines who is and isn’t an advocate based on arbitrarily assembled criteria. Further, she uses that definition to express concern in a notably selective fashion, about the negative impact of advocacy only with regard to scientists who interpret the evidence regarding climate change differently than she.

    It’s just one example, but I think that it is an example of a wider phenomenon. And IMO, the worst aspect of that pattern is that it potentially undermines: (1) the important role of advocacy in our society and (2) the important role of scientists’ contribution to pressing social matters. The 2nd aspect there is perhaps the most evident, IMO, as we saw with the Ebola “crisis,” where politicians such as when the presidential candidate who got fewer vote in the recent election aligned with Republicans who attacked the very concept of public health scientists contributing to public health policy in the face of a virulent contagious disease.

    ==> Advocate scientists are more biased than your average scientist and have an axe to grind. ==>

    This is the kind of generalization that I”m talking about. On average, “advocate-scientists” (if we can assume for the moment that such a term is in any way meaningful by being able to create a sustainable distinction) may be “more biased” than your “average scientist, but when you generalize like that run the risk of losing the value in accepting that premise and instead, exchanging the importance of “considering the source” with attacking the important role that scientists can play in designing and implementing policy.

  39. Joshua says:

    angech –

    ==> If it drops back then you can call it a cherrypick in perpetuity. ==>

    I agree with Anders there when he says that it’s a cherry pick regardless. The argument that future data might change it’s nature of cherrypickness seems fallacious to me.

    Assuming an argument (which wasn’t, in this case, actually made explicit) that comparing one date in 2017 to one date in 2006 (short-term data that lies in the “noise” domain of a noise/signal ratio) is meaningful w/r/t understanding the overall trend long-term trend (which necessarily requires considering the signal/noise ratio) is, by the very definition, cherry-picking.

    ==> Will the situation change. ==>

    When you ask that question, you are actually admitting the cherry-pick, because you are asking what will happen when the long term trend is considered. In other words, it’s effectively a non-sequitur.

    So, when you said:

    ==> Would I agree with this particular cherry pick?
    No. ==>

    Perhaps you should have just left it at that? Which, naturally, also raises the question for me of which particular cherry pick would you agree with?

  40. Willard says:

    > there is a possible false distinction between “advocate-scientists” and “non-advocate scientists

    The distinction is quite clear, as far as Judy’s labeling is concerned.

    Lukewarm playbook peddlers such as herself are non-advocate scientists.

    Otters are advocate scientists.

    Let’s Make Honest Brokering Great Again!

  41. Joshua says:

    willard –

    ==> The distinction is quite clear, as far as Judy’s labeling is concerned. ==>

    I wonder what might help explain the interdependence and interaction effect between Judith’s own ideological and scientific beliefs, and her views on the desirability of scientist-advocacy?

    Her latest would make an excellent reference point for answering that question.

    https://judithcurry.com/2017/01/25/the-trump-shift/

    It is certainly been a work of art and a thing of beauty to see her shift in her perspective on the nexus among science, politics, and advocacy, when observing her trajectory in the climate wars. Watching her continue to exclude her policy advocacy from the act of policy advocacy, raises the question for me whether or not there might be any ultimate limit in her ability to reason selectively.

  42. Phil says:

    Perhaps a better question for RickA would be whether he considers Susan Crockford to be an “Advocate-scientist” ?

  43. Francis says:

    It would seem to me that the NSIDC graph would be more meaningful if it showed the 1950-70 average. 1981-2010 would seem to me to bias the graph in a way that hides the decline (in ice). Are there versions of this graph that use an earlier baseline?

  44. anoilman says:

    Phil: Susan Crockford studied canine evolution. So, I’m not sure what she could possibly be qualified to advocate.
    https://www.desmogblog.com/heartland-payments-university-victoria-professor-susan-crockford-probed

    On the other hand she had been getting regular pay checks (‘Denier Dole’) from Heartland. It makes me wonder if she’s managed to obtain a new source of cash.

  45. Francis,
    There is this, but I think the problem is that the satellite data starts in 1979, so a 1950-1970 average would require using a different dataset, which may be less reliable than the satellite data.

  46. anoilman says:

    Here’s Susan Crockford’s web site. You’ll see the usual language patterns we see from trolls and global warming deniers.
    https://polarbearscience.com/

  47. Joshua says:

    Anders –

    Looking at that chart, it seems that summer extent has dropped more, proportionally, than other seasons. Is that right? Is there a working theory as to why? Especially since, IIRC, it is theorized that winter temps should be affected more by AGW than summer temps?)

  48. Joshua,
    I’m not actually sure. The Arctic does warm differently to the globe and it might be more to do with the melting in the summer than the re-freezing in the winter.

  49. verytallguy says:

    Joshua,

    A good way to visualise changes by year and month in Arctic Ice (volume rather than extent):

    http://iwantsomeproof.com/3d/siv-annual-percentage-3d.php

    In winter, ice is a negative feedback – oceans lose heat much faster than ice (they’re warmer, and conduct heat much better).

    In summer ice is a positive feedback – because of the albedo, as ice reflects the heat of the sun, which is ever-present in summer.

    Finally, the arctic ocean is largely bounded by land, which provides an upper limit to winter extent.

    For all these reasons you’d expect a much bigger summer than winter effect on ice. And you can see that, dramatically, in the link.

  50. Francis says:

    Very cool. Thanks.

  51. Joshua says:

    VTG –

    Thanks,

    ==> In summer ice is a positive feedback – because of the albedo, as ice reflects the heat of the sun, which is ever-present in summer. ==>

    Does that feedback loop have an impact at a localized/regional level?

  52. angech says:

    Joshua ” Which, naturally, also raises the question for me of which particular cherry pick would you agree with?”
    A good question for all sites.
    I already said, agreed and noted that it is a cherry pick.
    Cherrypicks by definition are not reflective of the overall state of affairs.
    Many people on both sides use then to make their viewpoint or a statement.
    A cherrypick by it’s nature always refutes an absolute argument.
    I do not agree with any cherrypicks on either side other than to refute an absolute argument.
    I feel happy to occasionally point them out here if they occur and would also occassionally point them out when they occur at skeptic sites.
    Which, naturally, also raises the question for me. Do you follow this principle?
    Rhetorical, sorry, I know from past comments that you are prepared to call out mistaken comments on both sides.

  53. angech says:

    verytallguy says:
    “In winter, ice is a negative feedback – oceans lose heat much faster than ice (they’re warmer, and conduct heat much better).
    In summer ice is a positive feedback – because of the albedo, as ice reflects the heat of the sun, which is ever-present in summer.
    Finally, the arctic ocean is largely bounded by land, which provides an upper limit to winter extent.
    For all these reasons you’d expect a much bigger summer than winter effect on ice.”
    Thanks for the graph.
    As ice always does those things, why is there a “bigger” seasonal effect?
    I understand the land locking effect, even in poor years of ice the land locked basins generally fill in so that the true extent is generally how far it can extend in the open areas which is down at the moment.
    As an aside if extent is high can/has the ice bridge/d to Greenland.
    The warm currents flowing in from the Atlantic are another factor as well.

  54. verytallguy says:

    “Does that feedback loop have an impact at a localized/regional level?”

    First of all, I should have said that I’m not an expert on this, it’s just my interpretation.

    But yes, all the effects I’ve described are local/regional

  55. Keith McClary says:

    Joshua –
    “Looking at that chart, it seems that summer extent has dropped more, proportionally, than other seasons. Is that right? Is there a working theory as to why?”

    Isn’t it just that it’s still cold enough that almost the whole Arctic Sea freezes up in the winter? It’s only since about 1975 that it hasn’t.

  56. Bernard J. says:

    I would recommend taking anything ANY advocate scientist says with a grain of salt.

    I would recommend taking anything a climate science-contradicting lawyer says with a grain of salt*.

    Advocate scientists are more biased than your average scientist and have an axe to grind.

    Climate science-contradicting lawyers are more biased than your average scientist and have an axe to grind. Especially when the lawyers have shares in fossil fuel companies.

    It makes them look at the data with a point of view, which is usually less balanced than your average non-advocate scientist.

    It makes them look at the data with a point of view, which is usually less balanced than your average climate scientist.

    [*Split infinitive left purely for the sake of comparison…]

  57. John Hartz says:

    Speaking of Judith Curry…

    Judith Curry Is In With The Koch Brothers, Greg Laden’s Blog, Jan 25, 2017

  58. Joshua says:

    Not on topic with this thread…but I wanted to vent and didn’t want to clutter up the current thread:

    Cross-posted from a comment that not yet up, and hel hostage to Judith’s policy of moderating all my comments.

    ——————

    Hmmm.

    Interesting how those so concerned about the politicization of science create euphemisms such as a “Trump shift” to describe combined phenomena like this:

    –snip–
    Scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency who want to publish or present their scientific findings likely will need to have their work reviewed on a “case by case basis” before it can be disseminated, according to a spokesman for the agency’s transition team.
    –snip–

    http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/01/25/511572169/epa-scientists-work-may-face-case-by-case-review-by-trump-team-official-says

    combined with phenomena such as this:

    –snip–
    On Monday, Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, who has previously praised Trump’s “stamina” and “conviction,” gave a floor speech in the House in which lauded the president, celebrating his many accomplishments. According to Smith, you may not be familiar with those accomplishments, because the media won’t tell you.

    “Better to get your news directly from the president,” Smith said. “In fact, it might be the only way to get the unvarnished truth.”
    –snip-

    Let’s see if any responses raise above the level of “they did it first.” Consider all the comments we’ve seen in the “skept-o-sphere” about “religious” beliefs related to scientific viewpoint….as you think about the Chairman of the Space, Science, and Technology committee saying that the “only” way to get the “unvarnished truth” is to hear it directly from Trump.

    For some related discussion:

    http://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2017/1/27/14395978/donald-trump-lamar-smith

  59. numerobis says:

    Victoria is fascinating.

    It’s a den of climate deniers (Tim Ball lives there as well); the tories had a strong anti-environmental cabinet minister from there.

    And it’s also the green party stronghold: Elizabeth May, federal Green Party leader, is MP for a district that abuts UVic; Andrew Weaver, provincial Green Party leader and climate scientist, is MLA for a neighbourhood of Victoria.

    More generally, Vancouver Island has the same dichotomy: greens and NDP versus the far-right. If anyone is chaining themselves to and old-growth tree in BC, they’re probably from Vancouver Island. If anyone is trying to cut one down, they’re probably also from the island.

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