Polar Bears – a rebuttal

I wrote a post a little while ago about Harvey et als paper on [i]nternet Blogs, Polar Bears, and Climate-Change Denial by Proxy. Their basic conclusion was that if you divide blogs into those that accept anthropogenic global warming (AGW) and those that don’t, those that don’t tend to dispute the disappearance of Arctic sea ice and also dispute that polar bears are under threat. In particular, the source for the latter tends to be someone who appears to have little actual expertise and who has undertaken very little – if any – relevant peer-reviewed research.

If you want to read more about the paper, Bart has a couple of posts. I’m not all that interested in the details. It’s pretty clear that Arctic sea ice is declining and will continue to do so. It seems pretty clear that sea ice plays a key role in how polar bears hunt and that its disappearance will adversely impact them. It also seems clear that blogs that predominantly dismiss the risks associated with AGW tend to use contrarian sources who often appear to have little in the way of actual expertise. The results of Harvey et al. do not seem particularly surprising.

What’s maybe also not particularly surprising is that Richard Tol has published a response to Harvey et al. Any who have followed the climate debate will probably guess that this response does not dispute the result in Harvey et al., but disputes the method/analysis. It appears that Richard may be making a habit of writing responses to papers, the results of which he appears not to dispute. I might take Richard’s desire for methodological purity more seriously if his own work didn’t have a bit of a gremlin filled history.

However, for those who follow the online climate debate, the most interesting thing about Richard’s response might be the identity of his co-author. I think I’ve worked it out. I’ll leave it as an exercise for others.

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163 Responses to Polar Bears – a rebuttal

  1. Michael 2 says:

    “Any who have followed the climate debate will probably guess that this response does not dispute the result in Harvey et al., but disputes the method/analysis.”

    Well yes. State the obvious while trying to make it a publishable paper. The font of new ideas might be drying up a bit.

    Remove the “jitter” and the data points sit on top of each other.

    It’s basically binary; that’s Richard Tol’s point if I understand it. You start with the conclusion (two teams exist; good guys and bad guys) and then pad it with some data to make it look like a discovery (Behold: Two teams exist and they are rival!)

    Throw in some virtue signals and publish, not perish.

  2. Willard says:

    > You start with the conclusion

    You don’t:

    > Circular logic. The paper assumes that C implies D, and concludes that D implies C.

    Let’s see:

    We found a clear separation between the 45 science-based blogs and the 45 science-denier blogs. The two groups took diametrically opposite positions on the “scientific uncertainty” frame—specifically regarding the threats posed by AGW to polar bears and their Arctic-ice habitat. Scientific blogs provided convincing evidence that AGW poses a threat to both, whereas most denier blogs did not (figure 1). Science-based blogs overwhelmingly used the frame of established scientific certainties and supported arguments with the published literature affirming that warming is rapidly reducing seasonal Arctic sea-ice extent and threatening the mid- to longer-term survival of polar bears, whereas those written by deniers did not (figure 2). Science-denier blogs instead focused on the remaining uncertainties regarding the effects of AGW on Arctic ice extent, suggesting that those uncertainties cast doubt on the present and future demographic trends of polar bears.

    Approximately 80% of the denier blogs cited here referred to one particular denier blog, Polar Bear Science, by Susan Crockford, as their primary source of discussion and debate on the status of polar bears.

    https://academic.oup.com/bioscience/advance-article/doi/10.1093/biosci/bix133/4644513

    By your illogic, shouldn’t that be 80% circular?

    In reality, there’s nothing circular in analyzing frames and then looking for the authorities which support these frames.

    I’d retract that comment, Richie.

    https://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2017/11/29/there-once-was-a-polar-bear-science-vs-the-blogosphere/#comment-38984

    That’s soooo 2017.

  3. Willard says:

    > I think I’ve worked it out. I’ll leave it as an exercise for others.

    Not here, it goes without saying.

  4. Magma says:

    After looking through Tol’s possible co-author’s pseudonymous Twitter feed, something that drew my attention was the low-level but persistent strain of misogyny running through his tweets and retweets.

    This didn’t come as a surprise; in my experience the correlation between a large and consistent set of illiberal (to be polite) ideological beliefs and climate contrarianism is very strong. Though I realize that is not a new observation, I find it more interesting than the fact that the only people who consider Crockford an authority on polar bears are climate change deniers.

  5. Joshua says:

    I’m confused. What is the basis on which to determine that the author isn’t some dude named Anand Rajan?

  6. Joshua,
    As far as I’m aware, Richard’s co-author is indeed some dude named Anand Rajan.

  7. Joshua says:

    Oh…from reading Magma’s comment…so the point is that Anand likely has another certain pseudonym that he uses in the climate wars.

  8. Joshua,
    Yes, that is the conclusion that I have drawn.

  9. Joshua says:

    Interesting fella, that Anand, with some interesting political views.

  10. Everett F Sargent says:

    “However, for those who follow the online climate debate … ”

    I try very hard not to follow the ‘so called’ online climate debate. It is almost always about the people (climate scientists and those who advocate for changing our present course (e. g. ad hominem attacks)) and not the climate science itself.

  11. BBD says:

    Interesting exercise.

  12. EFS,

    I try very hard not to follow the ‘so called’ online climate debate.

    Probably wise.

  13. Joshua says:

    OT, but perhaps of some interest to some folks here (obviously, feel free to move to the Peterson thread)..

  14. angech says:

    ATTP “I wrote a post a little while ago about Harvey et als paper on [i]nternet Blogs, Polar Bears, and Climate-Change Denial by Proxy. Their basic conclusion was that”
    ….
    Susan Crockford, “someone who appears to have little actual expertise and who has undertaken very little – if any – relevant peer-reviewed research.”
    A description that if true would surely raise the question of why bother to write a paper about her or anyone else fitting the description.
    The fact that they chose to specifically include her, and no one else, in a published paper means that lots of people actually consider that such a description is not on the money.
    Furthermore she has done a lot of extensive review of the published research in the field

  15. Chris says:

    “Probably wise.”
    No it’s not. The online debate is important and can’t be left to the used meme purveyors, cat rescuers and syndicated blog bodies to dominate. There are many people like me who greatly appreciate the conversations you [good] guys have. You probably have much more support than you realize…
    Not that what I have said needs more discussion. It is just meant as encouragement.
    Loads of people have no social media privileges for various reasons….

  16. Magma says:

    @ Joshua

    I hope you’re sitting down. You’ll be shocked to learn Jordan Peterson is a climate contrarian.

  17. Whoa! Shiver me timbers!

  18. angech says:

    One can be a contrarian yet be very good in every other way.
    Hard to imagine, does not often happen, but true.
    The interview is priceless.
    I did not say that is my new catchphrase.

  19. Richard S J Tol says:

    @michael 2
    A cursory look at Figure 2 suggests that there are many nuanced positions in the learned literature on climate change, sea ice, and polar bears. There undoubtedly are. However, while collecting the data, Jeff and Daphne remove all subtleties. Peter introduced pseudo-nuance with a random number generator. The jitter conceals a key feature of the methodology.

    A bubble graph is a representation that is faithful to the data.

  20. Steven Mosher says:

    Tol,

    Good catch on the single coder

    Here is what I find hilarious. And I found the same thing hilarious in one of the Cook papers

    These guys have zero clue how to do proper content analysis.

    Even Lewandowski sucks ( brandon has done a pretty good job on his methodological blunders)

    Knitting,
    Stick to it.

    or take some fricking lessons.

    PS.. some of us like methodological take downs, regardless of the ox gored

  21. Steven,

    These guys have zero clue how to do proper content analysis.

    Okay, but why does this seem obvious to some people on blogs, and yet these papers seem quite positively received? I don’t buy the idea that somehow this is something obvious to blog commenters, but not to professional researchers. Are you sure it isn’t the case that you misunderstand what’s actually being done?

  22. Steven,

    PS.. some of us like methodological take downs, regardless of the ox gored

    Sure, but one might develop a bit of a reputation if these supposed take-downs have a pattern. For example, only takedown papers that somehow indicate AGW might be real, or might actually present risks.

  23. “In their eagerness to discredit a colleague,1 Harvey et al. (2017) got ahead of themselves.”

    And the prize for the most ironic first line of a paper goes to…

    I’m surprised Rajan’s contract with the Deccan Chargers allows this sort of thing! ;o)

  24. angech “A description that if true would surely raise the question of why bother to write a paper about her or anyone else fitting the description.”

    because climate skeptic blogs promulgate the arguments contained in the paper to support their position, apparently without really caring whether they stand up to scrutiny or not. If the work was not being promoted in the public discussion of climate change, it would likely go ignored, which is generally the fate of papers that are not very good/useful.

    “Furthermore she has done a lot of extensive review of the published research in the field”

    What is the value of a review conducted by someone who is not an expert in the subject? There is no value in being a Dellingpolian “interpreter of interpretations”, without understanding the interpretation is just adding to the noise.

  25. SM: “These guys have zero clue how to do proper content analysis. “

    for the Cook paper, the data are freely available; please show how it should be done properly.

  26. Richard S J Tol says:

    @mosher
    Thanks.

    @wotts
    Recall that this is a paper using content analysis published in a journal that does not usually publish content analyses. Chances are that none of the referees had ever come across content analysis before.

  27. Rcihard, I think I may have asked this before, but the paper says “The data released by
    Harvey et al. (2017) contains only zeroes and ones, suggesting that either agreement was recorded by a single coder or, less plausibly, that all coders agreed on all 6 statements by all 182 subjects.”
    did you ask Havey (or the et al.) specifically whether there was a single coder?

    I ask this because when I write a comment paper, I do try and have a constructive discussion with the authors of the original study to try and resolve issues like this before publishing the paper. Firstly this seems to be what the “golden rule” suggests (I would have preferred people criticizing my papers to have contacted me first). Secondly it is a guard against making a fool of yourself (e.g. jumping to the wrong conclusions from a gap in unique database IDs, that are not required to be sequential, just unique).

  28. Marco says:

    “Chances are that none of the referees had ever come across content analysis before.”

    Chances are that Richard Tol and his co-author do not know how to do a literature search. For example, in the “representativeness” analysis they included papers that were published after Harvey et al was submitted.

    To add injury to insult, they make the false claim that Harvey et al does not contain criteria to reduce the WoS selection to the 92 papers actually listed (it does).

    Both issues have been pointed out by me well before this comment was submitted.

  29. Marco,

    Both issues have been pointed out by me well before this comment was submitted.

    Maybe you could ask Richard to change the acknowledgement from Marco NN had useful comments to Marco NN had useful comments that we ignored?

  30. Dikran,

    I do try and have a constructive discussion with the authors of the original study to try and resolve issues like this before publishing the paper.

    This would be the ideal, but my impression is that Richard doesn’t regard it as required. Each to their own, of course.

  31. One would hope that a history of error strewn comments papers would give him pause for thought on that. I know from experience that publishing a comment paper with an error (even if it doesn’t substantially affect the conclusions) is not a pleasant experience, so taking some simple steps to avoid that is a good idea (even if it were not the “right thing” ethically anyway).

  32. Marco says:

    “Maybe you could ask Richard to change the acknowledgement from Marco NN had useful comments to Marco NN had useful comments that we ignored?”

    He’d have to change it to “Marco NN had useful comments, but when he kept pointing out more and more obvious issues with our analysis, we stopped listening to him”.

  33. Pointing it out to the editor of the journal (with evidence) would be a reasonable step. If I were a journal editor, I would take a dim view if authors knowingly submitted a paper containing factual errors, especially if it were comment paper.

  34. Richard S J Tol says:

    @dikran
    The paper was sent to Harvey four weeks before submission.

  35. Steven Mosher says:

    dk.
    the coding problems in cook are clear.
    especially the protocals.
    that you dont see them on your own
    means you will never see them.

  36. Richard, why is it you cannot seem to bring yourself to give a straight answer to a direct question. Your evasion implies that no, you did not specifically ask whether there was a single coder. IMHO that reflects badly on you, but not as badly as the fact that you couldn’t bring yourself to admit it directly.

    Sure, so you sent them an advance copy of the paper. Did you specifically ask them to point out any errors that they might find in it?

  37. Steven Mosher says:

    yes richard.
    i suspect none of editors understood proper content analysis.

  38. Steven Mosher says:

    dk.

    your methods should indicate the number of coders. in should including the process used to norm the coders and renormalize them after they have coded a portion of the corpus.

    as a reviewer i would ask for that.

  39. Steven,

    that you dont see them on your own
    means you will never see them.

    Now, that’s convincing. It’s clear that you’ve made up your mind, so let’s take that as read.

    Richard,

    The paper was sent to Harvey four weeks before submission.

    A good first step, but it’s not as if you have a reputation as someone worth having a serious discussion with. Sending them a draft doesn’t mean that you’re really interested in a response.

  40. I should probably add that we’ve had numerous comment threads about Cook et al. and I can’t see much point in doing it all again. It’s perfectly fine, in my view, to simply disagree.

  41. SM Did I say there were not coding problems? Explanations of errors are interesting, demonstrations of how to do it well are better still, but ClimateCraic is boring (IMHO, perhaps I have just been reading climate blogs for too long).

  42. ATTP “Sending them a draft doesn’t mean that you’re really interested in a response.”

    The first line of the paper rather suggests not. I am surprised the reviewers/editor did not object to the tone. Academic papers ought to stick to methodology and steer clear of assigning malign motivations to others.

  43. Dikran,
    Indeed, there was an element of irony to the first line.

  44. Richard S J Tol says:

    @dikran
    Generally, none of the issues raised in the submitted comment should have surprised the authors.

    Specifically, the issue of the number of coders was implicit in my repeated request for the underlying data.

  45. Steven Mosher says:

    ATTP

    Question:

    What was the intercoder reliability in the Harvey paper?
    What corpus were the coders trained on?

    Do you even know what intercorder reliability is and why it matters?

  46. izen says:

    @-SM

    The fact that Cook and Harvey derive correct conclusions even if methodological formalists like you and the economeretrician can find fault with their analysis is an indication of the deeply asymmetrical nature of the data.
    The differences are so wide in width and depth of reference for the ‘published science’ sources cited by each faction, that I suspect any method, however badly applied would be constrained to reproduce the right answer.

    Or are there any correct methods, without the coding problems that you can envisage making the distinctive differences in framing more ambiguous ?

  47. Steven,
    I’m not quite how to make it clearer that I don’t really care. I have no great interest in defending Harvey et al. – the result seems pretty obvious, whether or not their analysis is sound. I have no great interest in criticising Richard’s response – people are free to make them.

  48. I asked “Did you specifically ask them to point out any errors that they might find in it?”

    Richard responds “Generally, none of the issues raised in the submitted comment should have surprised the authors. Specifically, the issue of the number of coders was implicit in my repeated request for the underlying data.”

    The usual evasion; translation “no, I didn’t”. In which case it shouldn’t be much of a surprise if they didn’t respond, especially given the needlessly confrontational tone of the paper, which suggests that it is a rhetorical exercise, rather than an attempt at constructive criticism.

    If you actually want to know the answers to questions, then ask them directly. If you don’t get a straight answer it means that your interlocutor is not engaging in good faith, but it is still the most direct way of getting to the truth of the matter. Note that getting the underlying data does not prevent mistakes, for example your previous error about non-consecutive unique database IDs. That was YOUR mistake arising from analysis of the underlying data that YOU could have resolved without making yourself look silly by simply asking the authors a direct question, but you didn’t. Of course if you behave badly (for instance responding rudely to a technical question about your work) it is hardly surprising if constructive discussion fails (although that is perhaps a feature rather than a bug).

  49. Steven Mosher says:

    https://books.google.com/books/about/Content_Analysis.html?id=q657o3M3C8cC

    Can you tell me why you dont have coders talking to each other
    discussing the coding during the coding process?

    Explain to me how you think coding should be done and why?

  50. Steven Mosher says:

    Richard in their data did they report Coder IDs and the inter reliability metrics?

    haha with one coder they could not calculate them

  51. Steven Mosher says:

    Maybe Bart will come around and we can ask him directly

    1. How many coders?
    2. were the coders authors of the paper
    3. How ere the coders trained
    4. What were the inter reliability metrics you used

    basic stuff like reporting you fricking confidence levels.
    like putting dates on your time series

    But oh no… you have to ask them to do their abcs

  52. Steven Mosher says:

    Bottom line. If you want to take down the clown Susan C, because she lacks any deep knowledge of Polar bears, its best to not be a content analysis clown.
    because THEN even Tol can do a take down.

    Jeez
    Knitting.
    stick to it.

  53. Steven Mosher says:

    “A team” next time.

  54. SM what part of “Did I say there were not [sic] coding problems?” wasn’t clear?

    “Explain to me how you think coding should be done and why?

    Did I say *I* was an expert? No.

    This is why I find ClimateCraic boring. Content free rhetoric not based on anything I have actually said, just tenuous extrapolation. Yawn.

    “Can you tell me why you dont have coders talking to each other discussing the coding during the coding process?”

    Because it means that the ratings of that paper would not be fully independent.

    In a citizen science project, there is no real way of ensuring that this won’t happen (in science you often have to settle for a practical experiment that you can actually perform, rather than a theoretically superior experiment that would be impractical*). I don’t think there was a great deal of discussion (relative to the sample size), although I can see the sense in having a training phhase for the coders. Is there any evidence that it significantly biased the result?

    * I wanted to commission an Earth science simulator from the Magratheans to demonstrate the greenhouse effect, but the EPSRC said the proposal wasn’t cost effective. I can see their point, apparently the MRC funded a previous long-term project on psychology, but the experimental apparatus was destroyed before the end of the experiment (and there were some experimental contamination problems). So I guess I’ll have to make do with HadCM3.

  55. Richard S J Tol says:

    @Steve
    Most of the final data is available as a .csv file. No hint how it got there. Some of the final data is hard-coded into the R file. Again, no clue as to the provenance.

  56. Richard wrote “Most of the final data is available as a .csv file. No hint how it got there. Some of the final data is hard-coded into the R file.”

    a bit like the unannotated spreadsheets for your papers then. Of course the solution is to ask the authors of the paper direct questions and see what they say (which is what I tried).

  57. Magma says:

    Chances are that Richard Tol and his co-author do not know how to do a literature search. For example, in the “representativeness” analysis they included papers that were published after Harvey et al was submitted. — Marco

    You’re travelling down a well-worn path, Marco.
    https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/09/15/more-nonsense-sorry-nonsensus-from-richard-tol/#comment-63030

  58. Marco says:

    “Pointing it out to the editor of the journal (with evidence) would be a reasonable step. If I were a journal editor, I would take a dim view if authors knowingly submitted a paper containing factual errors, especially if it were comment paper.”

    Nah, in this case it offers such a great opening to Harvey et al. I’ll leave it to them.

  59. > Bottom line.

    You might need to do some work to get there, Mosh. Armwaving to “best practices” (where have I seen that already?) and handwaving to Krippendorff ain’t enough. If you want a methodological takedown, start with N14, on which H17 rests:

    http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.333.4027&rep=rep1&type=pdf

    Since Nisbet’s a fan of Junior, what’s not to like?

    Another route would be to show that the ratings are unreliable. Since it’s a binary choice that you (erroneously) consider tautological, good luck with that.

  60. Ragnaar says:

    Peterson’s name came up above. This youtube video:
    “Jordan Peterson debate on the gender pay gap…”
    Over 4 milion views in less than 2 weeks, if we believe youtube.

  61. I did not understand parts of the Berkeley Earth methods paper. According to Steve Mosher’s logic people should thus dismiss this paper he authored even if the results are basically okay.

    You cannot make it up what tribal Americans claim.

  62. Joshua says:

    Magma –

    You’ll be shocked to learn Jordan Peterson is a climate contrarian.

    Linky?

  63. Richard S J Tol says:

    @marco
    That would require a query that includes the date of inclusion in the Web of Science. Our host has long maintained such queries are impossible.

  64. Marco says:

    “That would require a query that includes the date of inclusion in the Web of Science.”

    Sigh.

    No it wouldn’t.

    When a paper has a publication date of OCTOBER 2017 (as is the case with at least two papers, and notably two that will skew your “representativeness” analysis), it will *for certain* not be included in the WoS before that date, and will *for certain* not have been considered in a paper that was submitted before those papers were published. I will be so kind and allow you to include the paper published JUNE 2017, even though I consider it likely to not have been included either when H17 did their search. It is possible there are additional papers that should have been excluded solely based on the fact they were added to WoS at a later date than H17’s query despite having been published before that date, but with these two papers you simply have no excuse for including them, other than the excuse of incompetence.

    I recommend you contact your librarian the next time you do a literature search. This is the second time you show a profound inability to do a proper literature search. Not that the librarian can fully help you when you still manage to not read the paper and thus falsely claim there are no criteria provided to further reduce the number of papers found.

    I’ll leave it at this.

  65. izen says:

    @-” Our host has long maintained such queries are impossible.”

    Do you cite this position maintained by our host, (YMMV) because you agree with it…

    Or do you hold a different opinion on this which you are able to declare ?

    The odd 3rd-person, past tense, passive-aggressive grammatical form of this sentence leaves some ambiguity.

  66. Richard,

    That would require a query that includes the date of inclusion in the Web of Science. Our host has long maintained such queries are impossible.

    IF our host refers to me, then this is not true. Unless I’m mistaken, Marco’s point is simply that the number of papers is sufficiently small that you should have been able to check this without needing to do some kind of database query. I don’t think I was too lazy to bother checking is a particularly good excuse for making errors in a published paper.

  67. izen,
    IIRC, this wasn’t to do with the date on which papers are included in the database, but had to do with repeating a database search as if it were being done at an earlier time (i.e., reproducing, for example, the search done by someone else a few years earlier). I have no idea if the latter is possible or not, but what seems pretty straithforward is to compare the publication dates of papers with the date on which a paper that did a literature search was submitted.

  68. Richard S J Tol says:

    @marco
    Publications dates are only weakly related to the data of publication. The first 2019 pubs will appear in August, and 2017 pubs are still appearing.

    @others
    It is of course possible to reconstruct a past WoS query, as date of inclusion is a field in this database.

  69. Richard,

    It is of course possible to reconstruct a past WoS query, as date of inclusion is a field in this database.

    Then why didn’t you use it? As usual, feel free to treat this as rhetorical.

  70. ““Pointing it out to the editor of the journal (with evidence) would be a reasonable step. If I were a journal editor, I would take a dim view if authors knowingly submitted a paper containing factual errors, especially if it were comment paper.”

    In the time it takes to notice that some D-list journals are provincial fanzines about as heterdox as the vanity press productions of the denialati, the favorite authors and editors of either can spin out enough publications to keep their tenure or corporate funding campaigns on track.

    There are literally tens of thousands of journals to choose from, and far enough down market,, or into the outback of academic backscratching beyond The Philosophy Department of the University of Woolamaroo, and the University of Houston Institute of Space Architecture , the intellectual distinction between polemics and advertising blurs.

  71. Magma says:

    @ Joshua 1:14am

    I simply scrolled through Peterson’s tweets and retweets. I don’t know if he’s written anything on the topic as a blog post or anything like that.

  72. Magma says:

    It is of course possible to reconstruct a past WoS query, as date of inclusion is a field in this database. — Richard Tol

    Tol made this same claim here in September 2015 in a discussion of Cook et al. (2013): “WoS is a proper database. It tells you when things were added. So you can reproduce a past query.” That statement was false then, and is false now. I would like Professor Tol to explain why he is repeating a self-serving falsehood, or else to demonstrate exactly how he is able to access functionality unavailable to other WoS users and not listed in WoS documentation. (In anticipation of yet another evasion, the WoS Accession Number does not contain a date field.)

    The fields available for a Web of Science search are as follow:
    Field Tags:
    TS= Topic
    TI= Title
    AU= Author
    AI= Author Identifiers
    GP= Group Author
    ED= Editor
    SO= Publication Name
    DO= DOI
    PY= Year Published
    AD= Address
    OG= Organization-Enhanced
    OO= Organization
    SG= Suborganization
    SA= Street Address
    CI= City
    PS= Province/State
    CU= Country/Region
    ZP= Zip/Postal Code
    FO= Funding Agency
    FG= Grant Number
    FT= Funding Text
    SU= Research Area
    WC= Web of Science Category
    IS= ISSN/ISBN
    UT= Accession Number
    PMID= PubMed ID

    https://images.webofknowledge.com/images/help/WOS/index.html

  73. Magma says:

    omitted one other field
    CF= Conference

  74. IIRC, in one of the Peterson interviews, he made some comment about not really trusting climate models. I’m not sure he’s said much more than that, though.

  75. Joshua says:

    Ragnaar –

    This is really spectacularly ironic.

    In which Peterson engages with his interviewer about the insight he is promoting on how to be less ideologically possessed. I kid you not. (that explicit focus begins at about 30 minutes in).

    And here he goes on Tucker Carlsonto further promote his efforts to minimize ideological possession (no, really, I’m not kidding).

    Followed by appearing on Fox and Friends to carry the fight against ideological possession further forward (nope, still not kidding!)

  76. Joshua says:

    Magma –

    Links to tweets would be nice. I ask because it seems to me a bit in congruent with Peterson’s more typical form of gambit.

  77. numerobis says:

    The Harvey paper had no impact on Susan Crockford’s reputation — it’s the other way around. People citing her are citing an obvious crank.

  78. Magma says:

    @ Joshua

    Fair enough… I’ll see what I can find later today. Scrolling through his tweets in reverse chronological order is very tedious… the professor thinks highly of himself and the repetitive self-promotion soon grates.

  79. izen says:

    @-numerobis
    “People citing her are citing an obvious crank.”

    I don’t think it is obvious.
    The published work looks okay on a shallow dive. It is not an obvious outlier in the Arctic ecology field and the genetics of wolves dogs seems reasonable on a first skim.

    It is only when the blog essays, that are feeding red meat to the denialist wolves, are considered that things start to look dubious.

    But it is the pattern of people and blogs which cite her as a source and justification for rejecting all the rest of the large body of research that is the crucial aspect, not the specific content her work, or preaching to the ‘choir’.

  80. I do agree, though, with numerobis that Harvey et al. has propably not had an adverse impact on Susan Crockford’s reputation and may well have enhanced it.

  81. izen says:

    Ugh.

    Which links to this –

    http://notrickszone.com/2017/10/16/recent-co2-climate-sensitivity-estimates-continue-trending-towards-zero/#sthash.qyhCHmbR.KdCIL8MR.dpbs

  82. Joshua says:

    Magma –

    Yeah. Doing Peterson requires a certain mindset. Don’t bother with taking time to find the tweet. It isn’t important, just a curiosity.

  83. Joshua says:

    izen –

    Interesting, thanks (I didn’t refresh before posting) . Deniable plausibility still possible, I suppose, but still pretty inductive that Magma was correct.

    Perhaps to get a full window on Peterson I would have to follow his tweets.

  84. izen says:

    Again it is not the specifics of the research that the issue here, but the way it is framed.

    I have doubts about the utility of climate sensitivity estimates as an input to risk analysis and policy choices.

    But conceding it is a useful metric and that recent research has narrowed the range there is something odd about the spin that this means things are better.

    A small reduction in the probablity of the worst case senario must increase the probability of the most likely outcome in a bounded PDF.

    Unless there is a line of argument that can show the risk assessment and policy choices are improved by this shift/narrowing of TCR/ECS it is unclear why it is presented as a gain.

  85. Magma says:

    izen beat me to it, but here’s another, referencing Patrick Moore’s silly claim that anthropogenic CO2 emissions prevented a global mass extinction:

    And a recent retweet of a columnist at a Canadian newspaper known for its climate change denial over the years (not sure how to link to a retweet):

    Jordan B Peterson retweeted
    Barbara Kay @BarbaraRKay Jan 21
    “Apocalyptic predictions that the world could warm by up to 6C by 2100 with devastating consequences for humanity and nature are effectively ruled out by the findings.” Yet that belief has guided alarmist leadership. Apology owed to “skeptics”.

    But really we’re getting into fringe 2nd and 3rd hand repeaters of AGW denial here. Still, it’s interesting to again see the consistent link between right-wing ‘traditionalist’ ideology and climate change denial.

  86. On the other Bart Channel, Richie is inventing dynamic analysis:

    A dynamic analysis of blog posts would include time stamps and links, to see who noted what when, and who reinforced cq rebutted whom.

    This, and the claim that H17 is tautological, creates a ClimateBall double bind:

    [Bind 1 – Tautology!] Your conclusion follows from your results and your assumptions!

    [Bind 2 – Non sequitur!] Your conclusion doesn’t follow from your results and your assumptions!

    The two binds are mutually exclusive. Inconsistency is no big problem for contrarians. They could share roles in setting up the double bind. Or they could do as Mosh and Richie – argue one side in one comment, and the other side in the next.

    Compare this “reviewer 2” prestation with a real methodological takedown:

  87. Ragnaar says:

    Jordan Peterson is not the next Ayn Rand. He will not a write a book called, Big Oil Shrugged. He probably knows less about climate change than I do.

    He like President Trump looked PC in the eye and laughed. He’s been able to take dominant stories of our times and have some people reexamine those such as the job he did with the recent video on the Gender Pay Gap.

    He has preached the to choir. His job is to reach the middle. The United States has plenty of rednecks, enough to elect President Trump. If you call Trump’s election a system break, and it was a wallop to the Republican establishment, more potential breaks exist in my opinion with the continued polarization. Now that a number of people know who he is, he’ll have to contend with loyal, experienced opposition, but then again, so did Trump.

  88. Ragnaar says:

    Joshua:

    I don’t know. True we are all ideologically possessed. With his recent adversarial interview making the rounds, I suppose the story is, he said she was. That played with you know who. Is it possible for anyone to not be ideologically possessed? Then we are at gray.

    Thanks. At 30 minutes he talks about the dark side of revenge but it’s hard to describe what he said accurately. I see the difficulty of most people being able to do that because of the risks of talking about it. I found it interesting though.

    I keep harping on my college son, Are you taking just one ethics, philosophy or morality class like I did back in ancient history? Finally after more than 4 years, science ethics or some such thing, because he had to. I am hearing some of these classes from Peterson. Where the question is asked, What am I supposed to do?

  89. Joshua says:

    Ragnaar –


    True we are all ideologically possessed

    Sure! I agree with him about ideological possession. In fact I think that’s a reasonably concise and useful term, even if the insight is not nearly as profound as he seems to think.

    But my point is mostly about the irony of the contrast between his rhetoric and his actions, mixed with his discussion of the importance of accountability with his lack thereof. IMO, a HUGE piece of his shtick (and his most prominent gambit) is passive-aggressive avoidance of accountability. If you’re going to be a warrior, tell the truth. Listen to his rhetoric and tell me you don’t see the irony?

    Not coincidentally, I suppose, it reminds me of how some people approach “advocacy.”

    That said, I do have to say that the technique is very effective (assuming an adversarial goal, which he doesn’t accept, but without motive-impugning, at what point would we have to expect some self-reflection and ownership over the outcomes of his actions? If he wants to argue that he has no ownership, he has to at least make a case in good faith. Argument by assertion and facile ridicule indicate bad faith).

    Also, I note, he relies heavily on fear-mongering about meta-scale trends that he asserts with no application of a scientific method.

    Of course, there’s much of what he says that I can’t follow… so there is that caveat that maybe if I were smarter I’d see my criticisms are misconstrued.

  90. Ragnaar says:

    Joshua;

    His rhetoric, his actions. Or, his actions betray his rhetoric. I don’t see it. I may be near-sighted.

    Are you saying he should be accountable by toning things down? One of the things he says is stand up. It’s better than being afraid and going along with something you don’t believe. Which is part of his appeal now. Fox’s wheelhouse.

  91. Willard says:

    > His job is to reach the middle.

    So argues every libertarian to date.

    About everything.

    Including AGW.

    Cue to the luckwarm playbook.

  92. Ragnaar says:

    Willard:

    On the left lies ruin and glory. Peterson sees more ruin than glory. Musk is going to Mars. And I said a 1st stage that is reusable would never be more economical.

    On the right are the rednecks with their big screen TVs watching NASCAR and drinking beer.

  93. Joshua says:

    Ragnaar –

    I see his actions and his rhetoric as being in sync, and see easily predictable outcomes from both. I see his style as deliberately passive progressive. His is a provocateur, IMO, so he should own it.

    Please, don’t go on Tucker Carlson (who is a true master at employing the rhetorical style for which that channel 4 interviewer us being skewered, btw) to decry ideological possession. It seems,, to me, to be disingenuous. But I couldn’t really say for sure. That is his intention?

    What I know, is that the outcome of increased ideological possession is easily foreseeable. So just fucking own it. Don’t be weak and claim victimhood.

  94. Joshua says:

    Ragnaar –

    I am most definitely not saying that he should be accountable by toning things down. If he doesn’t want to tone things down, so be it . Entirely his choice. Just, IMO, don’t do what he’s doing and then march beneath a banner of reducing ideological possession.

  95. Ragnaar says:

    Willard:

    Most elected politicians have reached the middle. As well as many successful marketers. One of the oldest tricks in the book is to push a libertarian to an extreme. If you follow your logic through, we’d have private police forces. Why is Cruz bad? Religion from the South and civilians owning machine guns. The middle is where the money is. And if your rich and want more money, get it from there.

  96. Willard says:

    > One of the oldest tricks in the book is to push a libertarian to an extreme.

    Wut?

    ***

    > If you follow your logic through, we’d have private police forces.

    Please, do continue.

  97. Joshua:

    Peterson engages with his interviewer about the insight he is promoting on how to be less ideologically possessed. I kid you not. (that explicit focus begins at about 30 minutes in).

    And here he goes on Tucker Carlsonto further promote his efforts to minimize ideological possession (no, really, I’m not kidding).

    One object of Peterson’s Post-PoMo ire is the vibrantly intersectional discipline of Feminist Glaciology,

    The metastasis of literary theory into Philosophy of Whatever deserves more loud Sokalizations than we’re hearing .

    https://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/2016/03/save-lgbtglaciers-throw-virgin-in.html

  98. Joshua says:

    Russell –

    What is your point?

  99. Ragnaar says:

    To argue against the idea of libertarianism, one can say that they want to legalize all drugs, are in favor of open borders, want to end the FDA, disband the military and the police forces and privatize roads. Civilians should be able to own bazookas. Say that they are on the extreme.

    My previous reference to private police forces was supposed to be understood as some other person saying that. My intent was not followed by sufficient clarity.

  100. Willard says:

    > Say that they are on the extreme.

    Whatever the rationale, Freedom Fighters are everything except centrists, Ragnaar. Think of it this way: the center is social democracy, and from where I stand, Obama comes from the right field. If you think he’s a leftist, then you got a problem with your political compass.

    I suppose you could argue that some bleeding heart libertarians are left leaning, say because they care about Justice. However, most of their representatives are to the right of what is usually called left-libertarianism. This phenomenon indicates how populism has shifted the Overton Window to the right in the anglosphere at least since Nixon.

  101. izen says:

    If the only references you make about climate change are from the GWPF and the No Tricks zone it is obvious that ideological possesion has occurred.

    Interesting to see the mix of responses of eager support, and ‘more in sorrow than in anger’ push-back.

  102. seaice1 says:

    ATTP “Sure, but one might develop a bit of a reputation if these supposed take-downs have a pattern. For example, only takedown papers that somehow indicate AGW might be real, or might actually present risks.”

    There are virtually no papers expressing the opposite view, so such a pattern must emerge

  103. Joshua, my point is that peterson’s ignorance of climate sciece is at once a construct– his Canadian conservative fans have obviously promoted the predictable views of Tom Fuller and Mark Steyn, and a political reaction to the more bizarre views adduced by the Green left.

  104. Joshua says:

    Russell –

    I need more explanation.

    One thing I’m confused by is your use of “adduced to” there. I’m also confused by your use of “construct.” Are you saying h is views are both a construct of, and political reaction to, “the more bizarre views” of the “Green left?” Are you suggesting otherwise? I don’t get how his views are a “construct” – as opposed to just being his views. And I don’t understand how his views can really be explained as a “reaction to” anyone else.

    Seems to me that Peterson is entirely responsible for his own views.

  105. Ragnaar says:

    Willard:

    One needs the middle to win.
    Trump won.
    Freedom Fighters more than not supported Trump.

    I’ll grant that the Freedom fighters have adopted some of the approaches of SJW’s.
    I think Peterson would be in favor of said adoptions.
    He’s said, A is wrong, B is what you should do for you’re own benefit, such and not being half way to nuts or personal anguish. When team C adopts aggressive tactics, team D should also adopt them else team D’s outcome will be not favorable.

    Yes, this does fit the hero role of a Freedom Fighter. An evil cult has formed and they must be fought and if you win, you will get Epic Loots. My Activision Blizzard stock has gone up nicely in the last 5 years.

    When comparing Freedom Fighters to SJW’s, which came first? Republicans have tried getting along. See 95% of Republican Senators and Representatives. The slow retreat with flowery statements. I think we can agree the SJW knob over the past years has gone to 11. What was expected? The Trump backlash. As sane enough Democrat voters swapped sides with the background of Freedom Fighters and weeping SJW’s.

  106. angech says:

    “…and Then There’s Physics says:
    January 28, 2018 at 4:26 pm
    I do agree, though, with numerobis that Harvey et al. has propably not had an adverse impact on Susan Crockford’s reputation and may well have enhanced it”
    As have all the blogs discussing the paper.
    The interest generated and the efforts to prop up the paper are remarkable.
    The good things out of it are that both the polar bears and she are surviving well at the moment.

  107. Ragnaar says:

    The above should read:
    “…B is what you should do for you’re own benefit, such as not being half way to nuts or personal anguish.”

  108. Willard says:

    > I’ll grant that the Freedom fighters have adopted some of the approaches of SJW’s.

    How generous of you, Ragnaar. A tu quoque.

    Here’s the form of your argument, BTW:

    [1] No NFL team can win a Superbowl without a good quarterback.
    [2] The Pats won last year’s Superbowl.
    [3] Therefore Dont’a Hightower is Pats’ quarterback.

    There are many reasons why teh Donald won. Gerrymandering is one of them. But here’s one that may not coincide with the usual libertarian line according to which the Dems ought to heed their concerns because they somehow hold the balance of power:

    t has often been claimed that conservatives tend to rely more on their intuitions and gut feelings than liberals. However, support for this claim is often indirect and inconsistent. Moreover, it is unclear how analytic thinking and political ideology interact to influence political behavior. Here we investigate the relationship between individual differences in analytic thinking (using the Cognitive Reflection Test) and political affiliation, ideology, and voting in the 2016 Presidential Election using a large online sample (N = 15,001). We find that individuals who voted for Donald Trump are less analytic than those who voted for Hillary Clinton or a 3rd party candidate. However, this difference was driven most by Democrats who chose Trump over Hillary Clinton (and, to a lesser degree, Independents). Among Republicans, in contrast, Clinton and Trump voters were similarly analytic, whereas those who voted for a third-party candidate showed more analytic thinking. Furthermore, although we find that Democrats/liberals are somewhat more analytic than Republicans/conservatives overall, political moderates and non-voters are the least analytic whereas Libertarians are the most analytic. Our results suggest that, in addition to the previously theorized positive relationship between analytic thinking and liberalism, there are three additional ways in which intuitive versus analytic thinking is relevant for political cognition: 1) Facilitating political apathy versus engagement, 2) Supporting the adoption of orthodox versus heterodox political positions and behavior, and 3) Drawing individuals toward political candidates who share an intuitive versus analytic cognitive style, and towards policy proposals which are intuitively versus analytically compelling.

    https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3110929

  109. Willard says:

    > The interest generated and the efforts to prop up the paper are remarkable.

    I don’t find that ClimateBall episode remarkable in any way, and I rather like DougM’s way of putting how:

  110. verytallguy says:

    The interest generated and the efforts to prop up the paper are remarkable.

    the efforts to discredit the paper might seem rather more remarkable, but the truth hurts, so maybe not *so* remarkable.

    Witness the cacophonous outrage at Lewandowsky’s documenting of the blindingly obvious.

    The condensed version: “sceptics” are snowflakes.

  111. angech says:

    “and I rather like DougM’s way of putting how:”
    You got me.
    Let’s analyse the (your) response.
    Classical Aesop.
    Plus an “ad skeptic”.
    “If nonsense works then one presumes non skeptics would be using it as well.”
    Oh!
    I see.

  112. Ragnaar says:

    Willard:

    I had not considered I’d been making libertarian arguments while I am a libertarian with faults. The heart of my argument as best I can figure is a marketing approach. It’s a simple thing, Where are the votes? In a bell curve distribution in the middle. Peterson to rise, must reach the middle. And that middle can leave 1/3 to the right of him. The current state is most Republican politicians get dragged much closer to the middle except for in a small number of red states. And for him to not waffle or fold like most Republican politicians. In other words to capitalize as Trump did.

    In my flyover state of Minnesota, there is the Jesse Ventura story. Disillusioned voters from both parties plus young voters. He ran against the system which could use some improvements. He would not have won as right Republican or left Democrat which we have enough off and they usually sit at the children’s table.

    In your article, the analytical win unless they are libertarians or they analyzed continual tweaks and wishes without results, but not a system break. Break meaning a break to something else different. Politics is about analytics. Carefully worded statements. Holding the middle. And calling your opponent some kind of nutcase on the fringe. Analyzing politics is about settling for lost dreams and ideals and about tearing opponents down.

    In your article, the analytical held for Clinton while the intuitive allies of the Democrats to some extent went hasta la vista baby for Trump leaving them being analytical but losing the Presidency*. Even the analytical would benefit from being able to count. Suggesting that Clinton was too left and/or not enough middle, but granting she had other problems. The Schwartzaneger wannabes saw too much baggage to their left and said, I am not that. The Democratic Party’s middle broke.

    *Welcome to the libertarian party.

  113. > Where are the votes? In a bell curve distribution in the middle.

    Why would you think it’s a Bell curve, Ragnaar? There’s evidence that the divide is sharper than ever:

    The data paint a richer and more nuanced picture of political polarization than the popular discussion would suggest.

    On one hand, it remains true that most Americans do not self-identify with extreme ideologies or hold extreme views on issues such as abortion or redistribution. The distributions of views on issues are mostly single-peaked, and have remained relatively stable over time. At the same time, the increasing correlation of views across issues, and between issues and party identification, mean that it is more accurate now than in the past to describe Americans as divided into two clear camps. We are less likely to find people holding liberal views on some issues
    and conservative views on others, or to meet a liberal Republican or conservative Democrat. More
    and more, who we support for president predicts how we feel about the full spectrum of issues,
    from taxes and redistribution, to social policy and gun control, to the environment.

    Perhaps the most disturbing fact is that politics has become increasingly personal. We don’t see those on the other side as well-meaning people who happen to hold different opinions or to weight conflicting goals differently. We see them as unintelligent and selfish, with views so perverse that they can be explained only by unimaginable cluelessness, or a dark ulterior motive. Either way, they pose a grave threat to our nation.

    https://web.stanford.edu/~gentzkow/research/PolarizationIn2016.pdf

    Furthermore, the Republican party has radicalized itself over the years, to a point it would be considered an extreme-right party in any other country of the industrialized world. The populism of yesteryear has taken apocalyptic proportions:

    It’s no accident that the evening was one long memento mori, a reminder of death. Citing psychological studies, John Judis persuasively argued in Vox that being reminded of death makes people more likely to support order-promising right-wing leaders:

    In October 2003, the researchers began testing whether George W. Bush’s appeal stemmed in part from mortality fears awakened by 9/11. They had two groups of Rutgers undergraduates read an essay expressing a “highly favorable opinion of the measures taken with regards to 9/11 and the Iraqi conflict.” Those who did the mortality exercises judged the statement favorably; those who didn’t did not. In late September 2004, the team gathered together undergraduates to see whether mortality reminders affected their decision to support Bush over Democratic challenger John Kerry in the upcoming election. Just as undergraduate opinion had opposed the war, it favored Kerry, and the group that did not do the mortality exercise chose Kerry by four to one. But the students who did the exercise favored Bush by more than two to one.

    This fear of death played into the other major theme of the evening, the need to punish Clinton. “Lock her up,” the crowd repeatedly cried, and some of the speakers, notably Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, echoed this chant on stage. For the violence of Benghazi or even the murders committed by undocumented immigrants weren’t portrayed as being done simply by evil foreigners; they were aided and abetted by internal betrayers, chief among them Clinton.

    https://newrepublic.com/article/135232/gop-party-death

    One might even argue that the main reason why teh Donald was elected is the opposite of what you offer: he was elected because he wasn’t seeking a middle ground at all.

  114. “The interest generated and the efforts to prop up the paper are remarkable.”

    Yes, unlike skeptics who, for example, instantly rejected the Salby’s work… no hang on a minute…

    Ironically, if climate skeptics just accepted that there was a strong consensus in the scientific community on the basics of climate change, the mainstream scientific community would stop taking about it. Yet the interest generated and the efforts put in to prop up arguments to the contrary are remarkable.

    The funning thing is that reading Richard’s comment paper, there is some valid criticism, but most of the paper seems to be silly rhetorical posturing with no real evidence to support them. THe efforts to try and take down the paper are at least equally remarkable. I suspect they would be more effective had they tried to stick to the evidence rather than question motives etc.

  115. angech wrote “If nonsense works then one presumes non skeptics would be using it as well.”

    Whether nonsense works depends on your goal. If you just want to attract a loyal following or get power, then telling people what they want to hear is always effective, even if it is nonsense (no shortage of conspicuous examples of that in 2017). On the other hand, if your goal is to discover the truth, then nonsense will not work. The distinction is not between skeptics and non-skeptics, but between bullshitters and seekers of truth, there are skeptics who are genuinely just that, but there are others that are just bullshitters (who don’t care whether their arguments are correct, they just want to “win” the argument). Very few scientists are bullshitters as in the long run it is a career limiting behaviour. The reasons scientists tend not to sell nonsense is because they don’t want a loyal following (in fact proving the consensus wrong is precisely what they want most, if you believe Kuhn), they want to discover the truth. With bloggers, commenters and politicians it is a bit less straightforward. Caveat lector.

  116. angech says:

    verytallguy says. “the efforts to discredit the paper might seem rather more remarkable, but the truth hurts, so maybe not *so* remarkable”
    And “outrage at Lewandowsky’s documenting of the blindingly obvious.”

    As said no one has to make any efforts to discredit this paper, it does fine all by itself.
    That is why I am very happy for ATTP to discusss it and keep it in the limelight.
    That some people feel it could be discredited (Richard?) further feels normal, not remarkable.

    The most satisfactory bit to me is that we see scientists attacking a scientist yet barely a voice raised here, a bit like Thomas in the bible.
    It rings a warning bell if only there was someone to listen

    As for Lewindowsky we all agree that the other side are a bunch of conspiracy theorists, fascists and anti science people who have no idea of science or what is going on but fortunately of short life span due to not being vaccinated. Blindingly obvious and a really good starting point for not having to have a discussion. Is that really your considered viewpoint as well?

  117. angech “As said no one has to make any efforts to discredit this paper, it does fine all by itself.”

    rhetoric aside, in that case, why has so much effort gone into discrediting it. Note that a lot of what is in Richard’s comment paper is rhetoric rather than scientific criticism, which for me rather detracts from the more reasonable parts.

    “That is why I am very happy for ATTP to discusss it and keep it in the limelight.”

    why does that make you happy? Genuine question. If you really are trying to understand the issues, rather than engage in partisan debate, why would that make you happy? Nothing would make me happier than for blogs to stop promulgating Salby’s arguments so they could be forgotten and no longer detract from discussion of the important issues.

  118. Joshua says:

    The most satisfactory bit to me is that we see scientists attacking a scientist yet barely a voice raised here.

    Prolly explains why angech hangs out at Lucia’s and Judith’s cribs.

  119. Joshua says:

    Willard –

    Gerrymandering is one of them.

    How do you see gerrymandering partially explain why Trump won the election. Clearly, it explains why Republicans won disproportionately more states level House seats than they won votes for House candidates, but not sure how gerrymandering would explain the national level presidential election. Wouldn’t that require gerrymandering across state lines (to affect the electoral college)?

  120. verytallguy says:

    Blindingly obvious and a really good starting point for not having to have a discussion. Is that really your considered viewpoint as well?

    My considered view is that there is a very strong correlation between climate “sceptics” and right wing economics.

    A cursory reading of any “sceptic” blog confirms this, which is why i regard it as blindingly obvious.
    Lewandowsky merely wound up “sceptics” by documenting it formally, and in a way which made his contempt obvious.

    It is also my considered view that the reason “sceptics” react so strikingly and indeed obsessively to these studies is because they are so obviously true, not because they are flawed (*all* studies are flawed).

    I have never accused anyone, “sceptic” or otherwise of being a fascist. I would appreciate you withdrawing that accusation; in my experience it is commonly made by “sceptics” but rarely to them.

  121. jacksmith4tx says:

    Hacking is the new gerrymandering.
    https://heavy.com/news/2016/11/2016-exit-polls-did-hillaty-clinton-win-presidential-election-voter-fraud-donald-trump-lose-rigged/
    NORTH CAROLINA — 15 Electoral Votes
    Exit Polls: Clinton 48.6, Trump 46.5 — Clinton wins by 2.1
    Actual: Clinton 46.1, Trump 49.9 — Trump wins by 3.8
    Trump gain: 5.9

    PENNSYLVANIA — 20 Electoral Votes
    Exit Polls: Clinton 50.5, Trump 46.1 — Clinton wins by 4.4
    Actual: Clinton 47.6, Trump 48.8 — Trump wins by 1.2
    Trump gain: 5.6

    WISCONSIN — 10 Electoral Votes
    Exit Polls: Clinton 48.2, Trump 44.3 — Clinton wins by 3.9
    Actual: Clinton 47.6, Trump 48.8 — Trump wins by 1.2
    Trump gain: 5.1

    What happened?
    “The hack appeared to include a breach of the EAC’s administrative-access credentials as well as access to nonpublic reports on flaws in voting machines, according to Andrei Barysevich, an analyst with cybersecurity firm Recorded Future.
    Access to the reports could have allowed someone to exploit flaws in voting machines, Mr. Barysevich said. The stolen credentials could have been used to install malicious code on the EAC site, thus potentially infecting any user of it. The users could include state election officials, who might then use a thumb memory stick to interact with other machines, such as ballot machines not connected to the internet.
    The security firm, which assessed the hack as having likely occurred in November, turned the information over to law enforcement in December, and Mr. Barysevich has been cooperating with the FBI on its probe.”
    http://electionlawblog.org/?p=93906

  122. Joshua says:

    Jack –

    What evidence do you use to assess the reliability of exit polls? My impression is that they are not very reliable.

  123. jacksmith4tx says:

    Joshua,
    They are not scientific proof of the accuracy of the actual voting but historically they have had very good correlation, but again 2016 seems like a really bad year for the pollsters. In the past they tended to be pretty close to the final pre-election polling but 2016 was just weird in a lot of ways. The main reason they do exit polling is to answer the obvious question; WHY did the voter pick one candidate over another. One thing seems obvious in hindsight, family value voters don’t put much value moral character. I always suspected their core values were pretty shallow and they were pretty easy to manipulate. As Willard noted above, they vote their emotions.

  124. jacksmith4tx says:

    If you don’t vote with a paper ballot you are probably wasting your time.
    https://www.csoonline.com/article/3250144/machine-learning/6-ways-hackers-will-use-machine-learning-to-launch-attacks.html
    Even when using a paper ballot the Achilles heel will always be *who* counts the votes and we currently do a sh*ty job of watching the vote counters.

  125. Willard says:

    Joshua,

    I thought this was common knowledge. Perhaps this may help:

    Michigan provides a good example of how the formula works.

    Last fall, voters statewide split their ballots essentially 50-50 between Republican and Democratic state House candidates. Yet Republicans won 57 percent of the House seats, claiming 63 seats to the Democrats’ 47. That amounted to an efficiency gap of 10.3 percent in favor of Michigan’s Republicans, one of the highest advantages among all states.

    That also marked the third straight Michigan House election since redistricting with double-digit efficiency gaps favoring Republicans. Stephanopoulos said such a trend is “virtually unprecedented” and indicative of a durable Republican advantage.

    Republicans controlled both chambers of the Michigan Legislature, as well as the governor’s office, when the maps were redrawn in 2011.

    As lawmakers prepared to vote on those maps, former Democratic state Rep. Lisa Brown recalls being summoned into a private room near the back of the House chamber. She says a top Republican lawmaker showed her two potential maps. One kept her home in the same district while the other shifted her neighborhood into a predominantly Republican district to the east.

    Brown said she was offered a deal: Vote with Republicans or get stuck with the less-favorable map. She declined.

    As a result, Brown said, “I was gerrymandered out of my district.”

    https://www.denverpost.com/2017/06/25/gerrymandering-2016-election/

    The role of Cambridge Analytica in electing teh Donald would also deserve a mention.

  126. Joshua says:

    Willard –

    I fail to see how that answers my question.

    I already referenced the disparity between votes cast for Republican Reps vs. Republican Reps elected in my question to you. I agree that is common knowledge.

    My question is how you’re linking that with the national election for president?

  127. Joshua says:

    BTW –

    My go to re: gerrymandering is Sam Wang. For example:

    http://gerrymander.princeton.edu/

  128. Michael 2 says:

    Dikran Marsupial asks: “What is the value of a review conducted by someone who is not an expert in the subject?”

    It reveals questions that a lay audience is likely to ask, but which the expert won’t even realize IS a question. It compels the use of non-scientific, ordinary language even if such language is slightly less “scientific”.

    John Cook is an example; he is not a climate expert but publishes a blog which, in its favor, offers explanations at sometimes two or more levels of scientific literacy by the reader. It is of course entirely one sided in viewpoint but as you increase the level of science you also decrease the level of personal opinion. Thus, a person should aim for the highest level of science writing that is still comprehensible.

    Another aspect is simple readability, the art of turning science into story: Carl Sagan being an example. It is of course possible to “overdo” it where the story (starving polar bear) overwhelms any science that might be present. There’s a simple truth for all apex predators that can no longer hunt: They starve to death. You can do a lot with that story but here again, what YOU get out of it might not be what someone else gets out of it. [“Well, there’s one less man-eating bear to worry about!”]

  129. jacksmith4tx says:

    Joshua,
    538 did a excellent 5 part series on the current state of gerrymandering.
    Start here: fivethirtyeight.com/tag/fivethirtyeight-podcasts/
    The first episode was on Nov. 30, 2017
    https:// play.podtrac.com/espn-fivethirtyeightpolitics/c.espnradio.com/s:5L8r1/audio/3432110/fivethirtyeightpolitics_2017-11-30-061310.128.mp3

  130. Willard says:

    Thanks for the link, J.

    I had three lines of argument in mind.

    First, as shown above, district gerrymandering affects quite directly the political spectrum of swing states. Systemic bias must have an effect on who’s gonna run where, with what political machine, etc.

    Second, there are clear gerrymandering effects on voting, either indirectly like voter dissuasion, or directly, like census undercount, prison gerrymandering or voter suppression:

    It’s difficult to count uncast votes, but there were clearly thousands of them as a result of the voter-suppression measures. In 2014, according to a Wisconsin federal court, three hundred thousand registered voters in that state lacked the forms of identification that Republican legislators deemed necessary to cast their ballots. (The G.O.P. likes some forms of I.D. better than others. In Texas, a gun permit works; student identification does not.) In Milwaukee County, which has a large African-American population, sixty thousand fewer votes were cast in 2016 than in 2012. To put it another way, Clinton received forty-three thousand fewer votes in that county than Barack Obama did—a number that is nearly double ’s margin of victory in all of Wisconsin. The North Carolina Republican Party actually sent out a press release boasting about how its efforts drove down African-American turnout in this election.

    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/12/12/the-real-voting-scandal-of-2016

    Third, states themselves can be seen as being gerrymandered. The whole electoral system is becoming a sham. More generally, the political talking points have been taylored made to optimize a candidate’s chances.

    “Pretty much every message that [teh Donald] put out was data-driven,” Alexander Nix remembers. On the day of the third presidential debate between [teh Donald] and Clinton, [teh Donald]’s team tested 175,000 different ad variations for his arguments, in order to find the right versions above all via Facebook. The messages differed for the most part only in microscopic details, in order to target the recipients in the optimal psychological way: different headings, colors, captions, with a photo or video. This fine-tuning reaches all the way down to the smallest groups, Nix explained in an interview with us. “We can address villages or apartment blocks in a targeted way. Even individuals.”

    This, to me, is the worse case of gerrymandering of all.

  131. Michael 2 says:

    verytallguy “My considered view is that there is a very strong correlation between climate sceptics and right wing economics.”

    Of course; its counterpart is an equally obvious alignment of climate consensus and left wing economics (*)

    Why this is so is not obvious (to me anyway) and remains a point of interest. At any rate, I have a doubt that the correlation is all that strong. It is easy to observe with one’s eyes that the climate has changed (takes a decade or two to notice it) while at the same time remaining interested in enjoying the fruit of one’s own labor.

    * “We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy,” said Edenhofer.

  132. angech says:

    VTG thanks for your considered response.
    The sarcasm was directed at the views of Professor Lewindowsky of skeptics was meant to be funny, in response to the comment of Lewindowsky stating the blindingly obvious. That, to be clear was not just a simple shrug saying Oh, My (and Lewindowsky’s) considered view is (only) that there is a very strong correlation between climate “sceptics” and right wing economics.
    You said,
    “I have never accused anyone, “sceptic” or otherwise of being a fascist. I would appreciate you withdrawing that accusation;”
    I never said that you have ever accused anyone, anywhere of being a fascist.
    I am sorry you have come to that misinterpretation.
    I cannot withdraw an accusation I never made.
    I trust I can say you now confirm that you believe there is a very strong correlation between skeptics and some right wing views without offending you however.?
    Please note that saying someone may hold a view and saying that they have actually expressed a view are two totally different things.

    In fact on reviewing your comment I feel extremely hurt by your accusation of something reprehensible that I did not do.

  133. Michael2 “It reveals questions that a lay audience is likely to ask, but which the expert won’t even realize IS a question.”

    Raising questions that a lay audience is likely to ask is not the function of a scientific journal. Review articles should be written by experts.

    “It [Skeptical Science] is of course entirely one sided in viewpoint but as you increase the level of science you also decrease the level of personal opinion.”

    there are no sides in science. It isn’t a matter of viewpoint, it is a matter of which arguments are right. Since the purpose of the site was to refute misinformation about climate change,it isn’t greatly surprising that most of it is explaining the errors in climate skeptic arguments, rather than in mainstream science.

  134. angech wrote “In fact on reviewing your comment I feel extremely hurt by your accusation of something reprehensible that I did not do.”

    angech, in this comment you are portraying one “side” of the debate as characterising their opponents as fascists

    As for Lewindowsky we all agree that the other side are a bunch of conspiracy theorists, fascists and anti science people who have no idea of science or what is going on but fortunately of short life span due to not being vaccinated.

    it may be intended as humour, but you did write it, and there is no point trying to deny it. I don’t think this sort of humour helps things much. If you don’t like what Lewandowsky has to say, then criticise what he says and don’t try and make it a partisan position that we all hold.

  135. I don’t particularly fancy a lengthy discussion about Lewandowsky and conspiracy ideation, but my understanding of his work is that it implies that those who show signs of conspiracy ideation tend to also be climate “skeptics”. It is not suggesting that all climate “skeptics” are conspiracy theorists (and I have checked this with Stephan directly). On the other hand, it is hard to see how one can justify a view that a vast majority of scientists and scientific bodies are probably wrong without implying some kind of conspiracy.

  136. verytallguy says:

    Angech,

    In fact on reviewing your comment I feel extremely hurt by your accusation of something reprehensible that I did not do

    I obviously misinterpreted your comment, apologies.

    Throwing around words like “fascist” is probably inadvisable. As we’ve just demonstrated, it’s easy to take the wrong way.

  137. Marco says:

    “Of course; its counterpart is an equally obvious alignment of climate consensus and left wing economics (*)
    * “We redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy,” said Edenhofer.”

    Sorry, but the two (“left wing economics” and Edenhofer’s comment) actually are not linked at all
    http://variable-variability.blogspot.com/2017/08/ottmar-edenhofer-climate-politics-redistribution-wealth.html
    …the link is often made, however, by people whose ideological bias is such that they *will* interpret anything as an obvious attack on their ideology, and hence declare it to be evidence of nefarious intent by people they have decided are their ideological opponents.

    There is actually nothing that involves an obvious alignment of climate consensus and “left wing economics”.

  138. angech says:

    verytallguy says: January 31, 2018 at 9:02 am
    “Throwing around words like “fascist” is probably inadvisable”.
    Thanks.
    My fault in the first place for not thinking enough as usual.
    Sorry and will try harder in future not to give room to create such problems.
    Did not mean to cause any unpleasantness.

  139. angech says:

    DM and ATTP .
    Read your comments after posting.
    Duly noted.
    On a lighter note,
    “On the other hand, it is hard to see how one can justify a view that a vast majority of scientists and scientific bodies are probably wrong without implying some kind of conspiracy.”

    Wrong at what level?
    CO2 is increasing and should lead to a rise in Global Temp pari passu.
    CO2 is increasing and has led to a rise in Global Temp.
    CO2 is rising and will lead to a catastrophic rise in Global Temp.
    CO2 is rising and has led to a rise in global temp with easily detectable and proven fingerprints right now.
    CO2 is rising and is a cause of every abnormal weather event right now.

    I tend to stop after the second premise though others here will go all the way.
    Some die hard skeptics would not even allow the first.
    a vast majority of scientists and scientific bodies probably go to 3.

    Reasons for possibly being wrong would simply be failure to consider negative feedbacks, a high level of ECS, misinterpretation and adjustment of data or simply noble cause bias.

    Conspiracy?
    No, I cannot see one.
    It is, as always, a double edged sword that can, like Stormbringer [Melnibone’s sword], work both ways.

  140. cRR Kampen says:

    agnech, we’d only pass for the fifth. The others are completely settled. The catastroph has in fact already begun.
    CO2 is rising and has become a major and increasing cause for today’s and future abnormalities and extremes.

  141. cRR Kampen says:

    “Conspiracy?
    No, I cannot see one.” – for a primer, read ‘Toxic Sludge is Good For You’.

  142. Joshua says:

    CO2 is rising and is a cause of every abnormal weather event right now.

    Sad.

  143. angech wrote “CO2 is rising and will lead to a catastrophic rise in Global Temp.”

    This is rhetoric. Define catastrophic. Climate change doesn’t need to be catastrophic before it is worth doing something about, it just needs to have impacts that are more costly than the cost of doing something to prevent it.

    “CO2 is rising and has led to a rise in global temp with easily detectable and proven fingerprints right now.”

    It is impossible to prove anything beyond all doubt. Science aims for the most plausible explanation. This is an example of an unreasonable expectation.

    “CO2 is rising and is a cause of every abnormal weather event right now.”

    Nobody is arguing that it is, so that is a straw man.

    Next time you want to make an argument about what ” a vast majority of scientists and scientific bodies” have got wrong, don’t put words into their mouths, quote them (e.g. give a statement made in the IPCC reports).

  144. Angech, regarding fingerprints, specifically which of these do you not accept (“I tend to stop after the second premise”)?

  145. Joshua says:

    Willard –

    Thanks for the response.

    Second, there are clear gerrymandering effects on voting, either indirectly like voter dissuasion, or directly, like census undercount, prison gerrymandering or voter suppression:

    Ok, so I see your argument as going something like …

    Gerrymandering ===>> Pubs getting elected in disproportion to the party affiliation of voters ===> policies enacted that explicitly suppress voting/discourages voters that wind up feeling disenfranchised/that voting is futile ===>> affects turnout (disproportionately across party lines) in the presidential election ===> has an impact on the electoral college ===>> Trump wins.

    Makes sense, at least in the abstract. It’s something that I haven’t really thought about in concrete terms before – although I am certainly quite familiar with the effects of gerrymandering on skewing proportionality in House makeup (I’ve been following Wang’s posts on the topic since 2012, when the disproportion in the House really stood out) – I remember our friend Mattstat having a rather hard to explain trouble in understanding the concept after the 2012 election).

    It does seem to me, however, that there would be questions as to how much gerrymandering actually contributes to voter suppression/discouragement of voters who would vote anyway. I have seen some rather mixed analyses on the impact of voter suppression, say in North Carolina, on electoral outcomes. As per your citation, it seems rather obvious that there’s a ton o’ factors that might influence the # of votes that Clinton got vs. Obama, respectively, from black men. Seems to me the effects are likely to be real, but I would question the marginal impact relative to other factors that help explain voter turnout, particularly in demos that would not likely vote for Trump.

    That, of course, isn’t meant to question the intent of voter suppression.

    This, to me, is the worse case of gerrymandering of all.

    Sure, but that isn’t exactly gerrymandering in the “classic” sense.

  146. > that isn’t exactly gerrymandering in the “classic” sense.

    It may be too much of a stretch, in retrospect. My problem is that the technical concept of gerrymandering makes it too specific to USA politics. I’d use it to refer to any form of political gamesmanship, be it legal or not. Winning an election should be done fairly and squarely, otherwise a political becomes no different than a banana republic.

    Still, it’s quite clear that teh Donald’s populist playbook has little to do with any deep beliefs he helds. It’s just a playbook he used to win the election. So we’d need a concept to talk about conceptual gerrymandering.

  147. Gator says:

    Re Gerrymandering and voter suppression. These tie together neatly. If you have already gerrymandered your districts, you then add polling places to the districts you know favor your party, and take away polling places in districts that favor the other party. You require voter ID, then close DMV offices in the “other” districts. You limit polling hours in the “other” districts. Etc. Once you control the state and the map you rewrite the rules to favor your districts.
    See for example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voter_suppression_in_the_United_States

  148. angech says:

    dikranmarsupial says:
    Angech, regarding fingerprints, specifically which of these do you not accept ?
    From Skeptical science, author noted.
    Back to blasted definitions again, sorry. Re fingerprints.
    -“CO2 is rising and has led to a rise in global temp with easily detectable and proven fingerprints right now.”
    As I thought I saw it I thought fingerprints were discernible changes in the climate that linked to human activity other than the straight forward CO2 emissions [by man] have gone up and temperature has gone up.
    I thought that that was the crime [or the gun] and the fingerprints were other climate changes that confirmed the crime.
    So I may need you to clarify what fingerprints are.

    A fingerprint to me needs to be that the rise in CO2 levels is only due to man’s activities and that the observable temperature change effects expected of such a CO2 rise have been observed to fully happen.

    The article points out correctly that humans are emitting fossil fuels and and shows correlations that one would expect from this. The supposition that this alone is the cause of the CO2 rise is not proven in any way. *John himself said “it could be coincidence that CO2 levels are rising so sharply at the same time” in point 1.
    Or.
    The usual skeptic arguments here would be a warming world, more CO2 outgassing from the ocean, more biomass created, a larger circulation of CO2 in the atmosphere including that produced from humans.
    Thus the fingerprint in saying we burn fossil fuels is I fear smudged.

    The next 6 points reiterate that CO2 as a greenhouse gas causes warming [self evident] . The fingerprint would be warming adequately consistent with the CO2 rise. Does not exist yet

    A fingerprint not mentioned is “the “hot spot” is a signature of anything that causes warming of the surface of the Earth.” M Mann. ie proof that the globe is warming up as expected, The other has the the missing ocean heat mystery.

    Prove both satisfactorily,have the temperature rise part of the theory right and the actual only human caused CO2 responsible and you have a winner. I am sure you are well ahead down the straight but the finishing post is still 200 meters off. A long way.

  149. Michael 2 says:

    Susan Crockford doesn’t quite meet ideological purity requirements; she admits to sea level rising but doubts it is a catastrophe for polar bears. That makes her half denier, half warmist. Is that permitted? Apparently not. Choose one or the other, don’t straddle the fence. Skeptics can straddle the fence any way they like because there is no ideology in “skeptic”.

    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/bill-nye-does-not-speak-for-us-and-he-does-not-speak-for-science/

    I’d almost subscribe to Scientific American for this level of entertainment.

    “Bill Nye does not speak for us or for the members of the scientific community” Strictly speaking, nobody speaks for the entire “scientific community”, including those 500 women (well, four, but they call themselves 500 women).

  150. angech wrote “The article points out correctly that humans are emitting fossil fuels and and shows correlations that one would expect from this. The supposition that this alone is the cause of the CO2 rise is not proven in any way. *John himself said “it could be coincidence that CO2 levels are rising so sharply at the same time” in point 1.”

    angech, how many times do we have to explain that you can’t prove causation in science, so requiring proof of causation is an unreasonable expectation. We have also already gone through the reasons why we know the rise in atmospheric CO2 is anthropogenic beyond reasonable doubt.

    Angech is being dishonest here by selective quoting, at least the third time he has done so in discussions here, what John actually wrote was:

    Of course, it could be coincidence that CO2 levels are rising so sharply at the same time so let’s look at more evidence that we’re responsible for the rise in CO2 levels.

    [emphasis mine]

    so clearly John is not saying that the cause of the rise in CO2 is not “proven”, just that the correlation does not establish that, and he goes on to provide evidence that does in the very next bullet point!.

    Angech likes to pretend that he is trying to understand the science, but this kind of repeated intellectual dishonesty shows quite clearly that he is not.

    ” The fingerprint would be warming adequately consistent with the CO2 rise. Does not exist yet”

    Rubbish

  151. On the subject of polar bears, new study here (H/T JH):

    High-energy, high-fat lifestyle challenges an Arctic apex predator, the polar bear

    A. M. Pagano, G. M. Durner, K. D. Rode, T. C. Atwood, S. N. Atkinson, E. Peacock, D. P. Costa, M. A. Owen, T. M. Williams

    Science 02 Feb 2018:
    Vol. 359, Issue 6375, pp. 568-572
    DOI: 10.1126/science.aan8677

    A demanding lifestyle

    Polar bears appear to be well adapted to the extreme conditions of their Arctic habitat. Pagano et al., however, show that the energy balance in this harsh environment is narrower than we might expect (see the Perspective by Whiteman). They monitored the behavior and metabolic rates of nine free-ranging polar bears over 2 years. They found that high energy demands required consumption of high-fat prey, such as seals, which are easy to come by on sea ice but nearly unavailable in ice-free conditions. Thus, as sea ice becomes increasingly short-lived annually, polar bears are likely to experience increasingly stressful conditions and higher mortality rates.

    Not read the paper yet, just the news articles in National Geographic and Nature.

  152. Joshua says:

    angech –

    As for Lewindowsky we all agree that the other side are a bunch of conspiracy theorists…

    I, for one, highly doubt that conspiracy idation is an attribute that is distributed in association with views on climate change. I doubt it because I think that the underlying cognitive and psychological attributes that underlie conspiracy ideation, IMO, are basic human attributes and not determined by ideology or political orientation. Finding some kind of causal link, no matter the direction of the mechanism of causality, seems rather dubious to me.

    That said, I know that you like participating over at Lucia’s crib, and so no doubt you have seen a number of relatively active online “skept-o-sphere” “skeptics” buying whole hog into some rather remarkable conspiracy ideation.

    The theory goes something like this:

    A bunch of life-long Republicans who have had careers in law-enforcement from a number of different agencies have banded together to affect a witch hunt against Trump because of anti-Republican and anti-Trump bias. Now in order to come to this absolutely certain conclusion, they believe that they know the motivations of folks like Mueller, and know that none of the evidence leading to indictment of four of Trump’s associates (two of whom have made plea deals) is sufficient as any indication of any legitimate problems with the Trump campaign and presidency, despite that Trump has along time history of associations with Russian money-launderers, Russian and American mob figures, contracted a Russia-connected political operative to run his campaign for free (https://www.npr.org/2018/01/29/581478324/paul-manafort-joined-the-trump-campaign-in-a-state-of-despair-and-desperation), etc.

    And despite many of them self-identifying as “skeptics,” they fail to address any likelihood that the political actors in play that are resisting Mueller and the intelligence’s community are doing so, primarily, out of political expediency. I guess it’s just a coincidence that the whole “memo” kerfuffle has been been carried out in such a manner that guarantees political benefits to the Trump administration and Republicans, in contrast to a manner in which oversight might be carried out to result in thorough scrutiny of the IC, and that the “memo” initiative has been led by a member of Trump’s transition team.

    But that actually turns out to be quite interesting, as people who were just naturally predisposed towards conspiracy ideation, I would think, would be equally rambling on about conspiracies among and between the Trump administration, Republicans, and Russians (which no doubt, there’s no shortage of on the left).

    Which kind of goes back to my point – there is no shortage of conspiracy ideation among “skeptics,” but it would probably be a mistake to presume a causal link. You know, the whole correlation ≠ causation thingy.

  153. > [SusanC] admits to sea level rising but doubts it is a catastrophe for polar bears. That makes her half denier, half warmist.

    Only if SusanC entertains or promotes two and only two beliefs, which is obviously false. And since H17 studies the connection between sea ice loss and polar bear vulnerability, it’d be a bit silly to deny sea ice loss. It’s not impossible: she could say “there’s no sea ice loss, but if there was, polar bears would still adapt and thrive, because resilience.” Arguing alternatives is as old as teh Gorgias:

    1. Nothing exists;
    2. Even if something exists, nothing can be known about it; and
    3. Even if something can be known about it, knowledge about it can’t be communicated to others.
    4. Even if it can be communicated, it cannot be understood.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gorgias#On_the_Non-Existent

    In fairness to teh Gorgias, it’s usually held that he was being ironic. That may not be the case for the Contrarian Matrix. Sometimes, SusanC emphasizes her commonalities with mainstream science. Sometimes, she emphasizes her disputations. Depends upon her audience. That she’s not being quite consistent in doing so is more a feature than a bug. That feature makes her (and other contrarians) win time and time again.

    Conceptual gerrymandering beyond consistency is a big political problem.

  154. Ragnaar says:

    Willard:

    Sure, a barbell distribution with movement between the two humps. As in some supposed blue states. And the wavering from the establishment Republicans fighting back against Trump during the primary and until the election. As these waverers went to the middle, others from the left headed to from which the establishment was running. With all the anarchy of deciding whose hump is bigger, Trump stood and attracted votes like Charlton Heston parting the Red Sea.

  155. Eli Rabett says:

    Michael 2

    Susan Crockford doesn’t quite meet ideological purity requirements; she admits to sea level rising but doubts it is a catastrophe for polar bears.

    Sea level rise is not the issue for polar bears, the loss of sea ice at crucial times in the year is the issue. The loss of an apex predator in an ecosystem is a disaster

  156. angech says:

    Joshua
    Belief is a funny conundrum.
    The word Trump makes unicorns happen.
    For instance Russia influencing the American election.
    48 million people voting for a sexist, racist, wall building deplorable Christian view supporting anti abortionist.
    I want to know how they got this man over the line.
    Did they hold people’s toes to the fire to make them vote Trump?
    Did they put up hypnotizing pictures of Russian brides on Facebook?
    Did they drop leaflets over America promising rubles?
    Give me your view, please.

  157. Joshua says:

    angech –

    Why respond to me over at Lucia’s when I’m not commenting there? Why not respond here?

  158. Joshua says:

    Not sure if this has been linked previously:

    http://science.sciencemag.org/content/359/6375/568

  159. Joshua says:

    Polar bears appear to be well adapted to the extreme conditions of their Arctic habitat. Pagano et al., however, show that the energy balance in this harsh environment is narrower than we might expect (see the Perspective by Whiteman). They monitored the behavior and metabolic rates of nine free-ranging polar bears over 2 years. They found that high energy demands required consumption of high-fat prey, such as seals, which are easy to come by on sea ice but nearly unavailable in ice-free conditions. Thus, as sea ice becomes increasingly short-lived annually, polar bears are likely to experience increasingly stressful conditions and higher mortality rates.

  160. angech says:

    Joshua says: ” angech –Why respond to me over at Lucia’s when I’m not commenting there? Why not respond here?”
    I did respond to you here.
    I noted your reference to Lucia’s site.
    There is a discussion there on issues as you say. I thought my comments, unlinked, were possibly relevant to that discussion.
    No disrespect intended.

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