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« This is science? This is progress? | Main | Campaigning academics »
Tuesday
Oct112011

More on record-keeping

Shub Niggurath has raised some more concerns about the standard of record-keeping at Skeptical Science.

 

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Reader Comments (83)

Truly Orwellian. Such fanaticism is worryingly dangerous; One wonders how it is possible to live a life full of deceit.

Oct 11, 2011 at 7:19 AM | Unregistered CommenterPhillip Bratby

Rewriting history? never a clever idea...

Oct 11, 2011 at 7:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

Absolutely cracking paper by Shub Niggurath.

It is hard to imagine a better demonstration of Cook's partiality and dishonesty.

"Skeptical Science"? My arse.

Oct 11, 2011 at 7:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin Brumby

Shub, I've had the day off work and waded through your post and all the links. Depressing and disgraceful stuff but sadly not unexpected. How do you ever find the time?

Meanwhile in three days time, the Oz parliament will legislate a "carbon pollooshun" tax of $23 per tonne. John Crook, sorry Cook, will no doubt be delighted by his role.

Whatever it takes.

Oct 11, 2011 at 8:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterGrantB

Excellent post Shub

Oct 11, 2011 at 9:06 AM | Unregistered Commenterandyscrase

One is reminded of Briffa's comment in a slightly different context: "I know there is pressure to present a nice tidy story..."

Oct 11, 2011 at 9:41 AM | Unregistered CommenterHaroldW

Great work, Shub!

I suspect we've all witnessed and recognised Cook's disingenuity in the purposeful selective reasoning that the main posts on his site comprise. Your work to expose the other side - the comment manipulation side, over time, of Cook's distortions - is immensely helpful in completing the picture which accurately reflects the truth of SkS - an unscientific advocacy site with absolutely no discernible integrity whatsoever.

Oct 11, 2011 at 9:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterSimon Hopkinson

John Cook is indulging in both scientific revisionism and denial in editing and deleting comments on SkS.

George Orwell, "At any given moment there is an orthodoxy, a body of ideas which it is assumed that all right-thinking people will accept without question. It is not exactly forbidden to state this or that or the other, but it is "not done."... Anyone who challenges the prevailing orthodoxy finds himself silenced with surprising effectiveness. A genuinely unfashionable opinion is almost never given a fair hearing, either in the popular press or in the highbrow periodicals."

SkS truly reflects the current orthodoxy of man-made global warming - it is more than simply being a propaganda site. This is how climate science gets done!

Oct 11, 2011 at 9:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

I like Maurizo's comment - StalinScience!
Like those doctored photos that remove the Non-people from pictures of Stalin.
Hey, Zed, any comment from you?
Do you agree with SS's policy of re-writing history?

Oct 11, 2011 at 9:54 AM | Unregistered CommenterAdam Gallon

Its the nature of the site to promote AGW and its prophets for all its worth , so its actual the behavior you expect .

Oct 11, 2011 at 9:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

The clock is ticking on this, you can smell the panic in the advocacy camp. Even mainstream science is backing away from the excesses they have been pushing for over a decade, and they are panicking.

Don't expect any admissions of wrongness from that side of the argument. Real science will silently reposition itself, as will politicians. Eventually SkS and its ilk will become like all other fringe sites out there, pushing 'conspiracy' and 'aramgeddon' theories as they get left behind in the psyche of society.

It's a shame really that they have become the deniers in the end.

Oct 11, 2011 at 10:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterTheBigYinJames

I like Maurizo's comment - StalinScience!
Like those doctored photos that remove the Non-people from pictures of Stalin.
Hey, Zed, any comment from you?
Do you agree with SS's policy of re-writing history?

Another view of SKS - have a read of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SKS

Oct 11, 2011 at 10:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterAnother Ian

These are the learned people who endorse SkS..

Naomi Oreskes, Professor of History and Science Studies, University of California

John Bruno, Associate Professor, The University of North Carolina

Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Professor and Director, Global Change Institute, University of Queensland

Mauri Pelto, Professor of Environmental Science, Science Program Chair Director, North Cascade Glacier Climate Project, Nichols College

Chip Fletcher, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor, University of Hawaii at Manoa

John Abraham, Associate Professor, University of St. Thomas

Scott Mandia, Professor of Global Climate Change, Suffolk Community College

All good people, sound and true;

and interestingly

Bud Ward, Editor, The Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media

TYFoCC recently published this article.

"The Conversation’s ‘An Orwellian Climate’, Andrew Glikson, October 4, 2011"

http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/2011/10/reprint-an-orwellian-climate/

Quote from article;

Ideologically dominated or totalitarian societies — such as George Orwell’s famous “1984″ Ingsoc — are marked by:

Attempts to alter reality (“2 + 2 = 5 if the party says so”)

Elimination of history (“He who controls the past, controls the future”)

Rewriting collective memory (“Oceania is at war with Eurasia; therefore Oceania had always been at war with Eurasia”)

The corruption of logic through aleration and elimination of language “Newspeak” mind control (“thought crime”).

That would seem to describe the behaviour of John Cook to a tee.

This is what Bud Ward had to say on John Cook

"Skeptical Science Founder John Cook; Climate Science from ‘Basic … to Advanced’, Bud Ward December 2, 2010"

http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/2010/12/skeptical-science-founder-john-cook/

Quote from article, John Cook, "“When you start learning about climate, you have sort of this simple way of looking at it,” he said. “And when you learn more, you get a more nuanced understanding of it. A lot of my earlier stuff was, I guess, a bit simplistic, and a lot of my rebuttals lacked that richer understanding. Going back and looking at them now, I will think, ah yes, that needs something of a tweak. So now I’m going back to tweak some of the earlier answers and refine them.”"

It now transpires that John Cook did a lot more than 'tweaking' and 'refining'.

It would be interesting to hear the responses from the learned profs.

Now Naomi Oreskes is no stranger to revisionism and misrepresenting science and scientists.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article4690900.ece

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article5062894.ece

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article5063274.ece

So perhaps we can take it that all these good people, sound and true, not only support fully the carefully constructed distortions by John Cook at SkS but actually indulge themselves.

Oct 11, 2011 at 10:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

It's odd, phsychotic behaviour to go back to threads, years old and edit them to make it look as you're winning the argument. After all it takes just none mistake for people (in this case Shub) to go back and investigate what you've been up yo. Still an activist who names his activist site "Skeptical" isn't to be trusted.

Oct 11, 2011 at 10:49 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

geronimo - SkS is symptomatic of how climate science gets done, i.e. carefully constructed distortions of evidence and reality.

Everyone should thank Shub for exposing the rank behaviour of John Cook, but Cook's behaviour is no different from that of Mann, Jones, Trenberth, et al.

Climate scientists really do belong to the same fraternity as politicians and tabloid journalists.

Oct 11, 2011 at 11:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

"SkS is symptomatic of how climate science gets done, i.e. carefully constructed distortions of evidence and reality."
Oct 11, 2011 at 11:05 AM | Mac

Yeah - that's right Mac. Thousands of scientists all over the World are acting in a huge conspiracy, with no whistleblowers, to distort evidence and reality, for very little money.

The only people who have integrity and have got it right, are a tiny number of people on a fringe view blogsite, almost all of whom aren't actually climate scientists.

Would you listen to yourself.....

Oct 11, 2011 at 11:16 AM | Unregistered CommenterZedsDeadBed

........ am I allowed to say that all climate scientists are liars?

Just thought I ask beforehand!

Oct 11, 2011 at 11:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

I can now see how it would be only a small step from what is happening here to beiong able to justify massaging e.g. the temperature record ... I mean, if the record is obviously wrong, surely it must be preferable to present a corrected version?

Oct 11, 2011 at 11:43 AM | Unregistered Commentermatthu

'am I allowed to say that all climate scientists are liars?'

That might be going a bit too far, but if you see their lips move, you should take it as an indication that you should be very very cautious about accepting anything they say. And keep your wallet tight shut.

Same precautions as needed when buying a used car. Or buying insurance door -to-door...read the small print very very carefully. Do not think that they have your best interests at heart...they don't. Career prospects, citations and tribal approval are their motivators.

Oct 11, 2011 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

LA

........ okay I won't then, but I'll heed your words!

Oct 11, 2011 at 11:48 AM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Just for something completely different, I was going to swoop in and say something about something that had absolutely nothing to do with Shub's post.

Thankfully it's already been done. So at least we can get back to the topic.

Oct 11, 2011 at 11:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterGrantB

@matthu

'I can now see how it would be only a small step from what is happening here to beiong able to justify massaging e.g. the temperature record ... I mean, if the record is obviously wrong, surely it must be preferable to present a corrected version?'

Please do not reveal UEA/CRU's trade secrets in public. You will upset Dr. Jones by seemingly being able to read his mind.

Luckily we will never konw, snce when he makes 'adjustments', he never bothers to record exactly
what he did nor even less to provide any justification for it.

Perhaps he and John Cooking the Books are twins or Doppelgangers or something. Or all of climatology is so cotturupted that they can no longer distinguish between observed fact and fiction.

Oct 11, 2011 at 11:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterLatimer Alder

I see that the parent group of the Yale Forum - "The Yale Project on Climate Change Communication" has this mission statement;

1) Advance public understanding and engagement with climate change science and solutions, and;

2) Catalyze action by the general public and leaders of government, business, academia, and the media through improved knowledge and understanding.

... can't really argue with that - improved public engagement, knowledge and understanding are admirable goals.

............. but.............the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication lists SkS as a Climate Science Resource.

http://environment.yale.edu/climate/links/

You know what they say about one rotten apple ................. or should we?

Again, is this not indicative of concerted attempts to misrepresent science and misinform the public?

Perhaps,

■Center for Research on Environmental Decisions at Columbia
■Dot Earth
■Global Climate Law
■KQED Climate Watch
■NOAA Climate Education Office
■Mark Lynas
■National Academy of Sciences: America's Climate Choices
■Real Climate
■Skeptical Science
■United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
■World Resources Institute

...... are all rotten apples, because any attempt to defend SkS means they have to defend themselves first.

Oct 11, 2011 at 12:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

Just occurred to me are Bud Ward (editor The Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media - sponsored by Grantham Foundation) and Bob Ward (policy and communications director of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment) co-related or correlated?

Oct 11, 2011 at 12:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

VERY Well Done Shub !!!!!

Oct 11, 2011 at 12:56 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

Adam Gallon

"Like those doctored photos that remove the Non-people from pictures of Stalin."

Spot on! Perhaps SkS should change its name to the Great Global Warming Encyclopedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Soviet_Encyclopedia

Oct 11, 2011 at 1:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterDreadnought

@Mac 11:32,

I think that the received wisdom on the subject advises adding the prefacing phrase 'In my opinion', or similar sentiments, when making such statements.

Oct 11, 2011 at 1:54 PM | Unregistered CommenterChuckles

Discipline needed
In well chambered orchestras.
Improvisation?
=============

Oct 11, 2011 at 2:43 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

"But there's another problem with SkS, another fundamental and in my view dangerous bias which it actively propagates.

What is it?"

I have no idea BBD. I don't read that blog.

Andrew

Oct 11, 2011 at 2:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterBad Andrew

An addition to the distinguishe list of warmers who support/get their information from, SKS is none other than Simon Singh.

BBD/BA, the troll is enjoying this, shake hands and let's get on please.

Oct 11, 2011 at 2:58 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

BBD: "But there's another problem with SkS, another fundamental and in my view dangerous bias which it actively propagates. What is it?"

What is the prize for getting the answer correct?

Oct 11, 2011 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

It would be a woman outraged at the wastefulness of Climatology's Hara Kiri. Quick, find surgeons, the wound festers fast and furious.
============

Oct 11, 2011 at 3:09 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Shub,


First, I find your post to be well constructed and to be a factual accounting of John Cook's revisionist manipulations at his blog.


Second, I find it entertaining that Skeptical Science (the name is oxymoronic for sure) changed behavior ~November 2009 at about the same time as the release of emails from UEA/CRU.


John

Oct 11, 2011 at 3:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Whitman

Jiminy Cricket

Rewriting history? never a clever idea...

Happens every day, Jiminy --- every day and to almost everything.

Oct 11, 2011 at 3:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterDon Pablo de la Sierra

Ja danke, Atomkraft. Now if we could just talk about your dependency on CO2.
==========================

Oct 11, 2011 at 3:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Heh, you show me an Oregon Petition and I'll light it up with the rising flame of skeptical bloggers.
====================

Oct 11, 2011 at 3:28 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Free 'Our Friend, the Atom'.
===============

Oct 11, 2011 at 3:31 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

@Don Pablo de la Sierra... noted...

Perhaps I should have written "Auditable rewriting of history" ... never good to have your name against the edits. Short term gain, but history may catch you in the future :-)

Oct 11, 2011 at 3:33 PM | Unregistered CommenterJiminy Cricket

but can I ask you to direct further complaints to BA? He is, after all, the problem here. It takes two to tango.

Oct 11, 2011 at 3:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

Let's try that again ....

but can I ask you to direct further complaints to BA? He is, after all, the problem here.
It takes two to tango.

Oct 11, 2011 at 3:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Jackson

Trapped by the sunshine
Connolley's Hall of Mirrors.
Which way look and why?
=============

Oct 11, 2011 at 3:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

BBD,
The easter bunny piece is a good one. it seems to be fundamental that politicians massage all who might comprise their base with soothing words on the topics of the day. They might be well aware that actually doing some of these things is not practical.

Te remain effective, politicians cannot fight every battle, they have to choose. So we see them doing things which ARE practical while continuing to to talk the talk. They really don't need to worry about their most devout supporters because they would never consider voting for the other side. And a lot of their supporters will never recognize what is actually happening.

We have an expert at this sort of thing here in the states. Regrettably, not everyone can appreciate the real spread between words and action.

Oct 11, 2011 at 3:36 PM | Unregistered Commenterj ferguson

BBD it's not just SKS that's got it wrong on nuclear, it's the entire warmist crowd, with, as we now know the exception of yourself and Jim Hansen. I am wary of nuclear, but as we live next door to France which doesn't seem to give a FF about the inherent dangers, it's futile to worry about the dangers, such as they are. The problem is that the warmists have the ears of the ministers. Fine outstanding moral chaps like Mr. Huhne listen to them everyday, believing, against all logic that we are going to magic our way to a fossil free future based on sunshine and wind. (More like piss and wind if you ask me). I am of the opinion that we have already passed the point where we can prevaricate on the nuclear decision and are in the stage where our energy needs will be met only by delaying the decommissioning of coal and oil plants. In another decade we'll pass the point where the delayed decommissioning won't help because in the rise in demand for energy. Then what?

I don't believe Greens are eco-fascists, I believe they're eco-Taliban, determined to take us back to the middle ages when the richest in the country lived like we do on welfare and the poorest subsisted so we can save the planet, whatever that means. These are really evil, well-intentioned religious zealots.

Oct 11, 2011 at 4:07 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Oct 11, 2011 at 3:25 PM | ZedsDeadBed said,


@ John Whitman said, "Skeptical Science (the name is oxymoronic for sure.”

Are you kidding me? The oxymoronic ones are those who post on this blog and style themselves as [ . . . ]

-----------------

ZedsDeadBed,

That is a zesty comment. Thanks.

The oxymoronic name provides free entertainment brought to us by the namer/owner, John Cook. Thanks John Cook for the chuckle whenever I see the name.

Whatever the name of that blog, the nature of the blog is revisionist/manipulative/dogmatic. Independent thinkers generally would consider that nature to be contrary to what is essential for scientific discourse; contrary to what is essential for following the traditions of science.

If advancing the scientific discourse is the aim of Cook, the blog's nature is self-defeating for his aim.

John

Oct 11, 2011 at 4:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Whitman

Wrong answer BBD.

The correct one of course is that it is John Cook's strong christian faith that motivates his work.

John Cook is pre-disposed to accept orthodoxy, be it god, climate change or anti-nuclear.

It is a tad ironic that someone so possesed of faith can bear false witness against his neighbours, namely, Prof Roger Pielke Sr, poptech, etc.

Oct 11, 2011 at 4:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

As I wrote the other day to the Bish on Twitter, Simon Singh appeals to Authority on climate stuff. This means he doesn't believe he can understand it, hence the refuge in the gullible's preferred smoke and climate mirrors website, aka "Skeptical Science"

Oct 11, 2011 at 4:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterMaurizio Morabito

RB she wants you to lose it, just ignore, it's clear to anyone on the thread that there is only a wafer think knowledge of the topic outside the gossip, so winding up is the only contribution.

Oct 11, 2011 at 4:57 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

A biblical favourite much quoted by John Cook:

This is what the LORD says to Israel:

Seek me and live; do not seek Bethel, do not go to Gilgal, do not journey to Beersheba.
For Gilgal will surely go into exile, and Bethel will be reduced to nothing.
Seek the LORD and live, or he will sweep through the tribes of Joseph like a fire;
it will devour them, and Bethel will have no one to quench it.

There are those who turn justice into bitterness and cast righteousness to the ground.

He who made the Pleiades and Orion, who turns midnight into dawn and darkens day into night,
who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out over the face of the land— the LORD is his name.
With a blinding flash he destroys the stronghold and brings the fortified city to ruin.

Fire, flood, destruction, catastrophe and all due to scepticism - you have been warned.

Oct 11, 2011 at 4:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterMac

It seems very odd to me that anyone who thinks of himself as sceptical can be happy to appeal to the argument from authority. If you take scepticism seriously, authority and consensus count for little.

Oct 11, 2011 at 5:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterNicholas Hallam

its a bit like when you walk into the records office of a Brokerage Firm and find that everyone is shredding all the paper work. It may signify nothing.

Oct 11, 2011 at 6:06 PM | Unregistered CommenterDocMartyn

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