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« Singer on Mann | Main | More on fraternisation »
Friday
Apr062012

Ideological? Memo to Keith - Josh 160

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Keith Kloor has probably got the message by now but I thought a helpful cartoon would underscore the fact that sceptical views on Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming are not based on ideology or political views but on the woeful state of climate science. Not all of climate science is in a dire state, of course, and many like Judith Curry, including Richard Betts and Tamsin Edwards, are making great efforts to create understanding and dialogue.

But until other scientists and commentators understand that the sceptical objection is primarily scientific they will be seen to be saying "There is nothing wrong with the science we do" which, ahem, will be something akin to a state of denial. How ironic.

Cartoons by Josh

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Reader Comments (33)

Now, that's just mean!

Apr 6, 2012 at 5:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Silver

Nobody in the first 49 comments on the previous thread seems to have read Kloor’s article, since they simply repeat the one phrase from Denning which Kloor quotes.
If you look at Kloor’s article, you’ll see that he more or less puts the words in Denning’s mouth:


Reminded that much opposition to climate science (and dismissal of climate change) seems ideological in nature, [...] Denning agreed that the culture war dynamic presents a high hurdle to overcome.
“Almost everyone that dismisses climate change as a problem does it for ideological or political reasons, not for scientific reasons,” he said.

Kloor’s article is largely based on two articles from the Guardian, by Hickman and Corner. For more on Corner, see my comment at the bottom of the first page of comments on the previous article.

Apr 6, 2012 at 5:33 PM | Registered Commentergeoffchambers

Very well done, Bish and Josh.

Apr 6, 2012 at 5:44 PM | Unregistered CommenterTheo Goodwin

I should have been more explicit in my post above.
Kloor is a campaigning journalist. Denning is a climate scientist who responded positively to an offer of dialogue with sceptics.
Kloor’s article looks to me like an attempt to sully Denning’s name in the minds of sceptics by attributing to him an insulting remark. The remark was apparently a response to Kloor putting the words into his mouth.
The rest of the article is an attempt to back up Kloor’s proposition that our scepticism is not based on science with reference to recent research by the psychologist Adam Corner.

Apr 6, 2012 at 5:52 PM | Unregistered Commentergeoffchambers

A generous cartoon, wonderfully drawn. I hope this Kloor chap will want to buy a copy for his office wall, along with, of course, a copy of the HSI.

Apr 6, 2012 at 6:13 PM | Registered CommenterJohn Shade

A few posts back you note that you know next to nothing about climate models, last post you claim that your objection to climate science is because of them being used as policy tools, and of course this is years after you published a book claiming that some other part of the science was corrupt. That you appear to take yourself seriously in claiming that your motivation is purely driven by scientific critique is hilarious, and underlines very clearly why it is probably pointless for the Met Office et al to spend time talking with you.

Be honest, for criss sakes, it won't kill you.

Apr 6, 2012 at 6:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterFrank

Look huh litlle Frank is in a mood with the blog owner, and talking rubbish at the same time. Guess the Met office don't talk to him other than to ask him to clean the toilets.

Apr 6, 2012 at 6:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterAndy

If you look at Kloor’s article, you’ll see that he more or less puts the words in Denning’s mouth:...

Actually, Geoff, if you read Kloor's article it is presented as a direct quote from Denning. The lead-in that ideology presents a high hurdle is Kloor, but the attribution of ideological or political motivation in skepticism is Denning's, unless you are arguing that Kloor fabricated the quotation. If the quotation is accurate, the lead-in is entirely appropriate.

Apr 6, 2012 at 6:25 PM | Unregistered Commenterdcardno

Geoff

Reminded that much opposition to climate science (and dismissal of climate change) seems ideological in nature, perhaps limiting the amount of headway that can be made on the science if people are already predisposed against it, Denning agreed that the culture war dynamic presents a high hurdle to overcome.

“Almost everyone that dismisses climate change as a problem does it for ideological or political reasons, not for scientific reasons,” he said. “We scientists need to recognize that.”

I don't think that quite qualifies as Kloor "putting words into his mouth".

Denning is a mature scientist of some influence, a prof & a journal editor - if Kloor reported him honestly, he said it and presumably meant it.

I think everyone here picked up on it because it was a revealing insight into what he really thinks about those who disagree with him - and we all know he's completely wrong about it.

Apr 6, 2012 at 7:31 PM | Registered CommenterFoxgoose

Well we are as bad as slave owners now.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/apr/06/nasa-scientist-climate-change


Hansen will argue in his lecture that current generations have an over-riding moral duty to their children and grandchildren to take immediate action. Describing this as an issue of inter-generational justice on a par with ending slavery, Hansen said: "Our parents didn't know that they were causing a problem for future generations but we can only pretend we don't know because the science is now crystal clear.

Apr 6, 2012 at 7:33 PM | Registered CommenterBreath of Fresh Air

Frank - Do you work for the Met Office?

Apr 6, 2012 at 7:42 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Lovely quote from the Guardian article: "Prof Jim Hansen: 'We’re handing future generations a climate system which is potentially out of their control'."

Whereas, of course, our generation inherited a climate system which was in our control.

Discuss

Apr 6, 2012 at 7:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterMike Post

I remember, shortly after the HSI came out, reading on a blog (Judith Curry's perhaps) posting after posting by contributors explaining in great detail why it was unnecessary for them to read HSI, that it contained nothing that would be worth reading, that it was written by a denier so should not be read, etc etc.

I had never seen the phenomenon of denial so clearly illustrated.

Apr 6, 2012 at 7:48 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Bish

You have trully fallen in love with Richard, haven't you. I could be wrong but it seems to me that you have never worked inside the UK government organisations.

Apr 6, 2012 at 8:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterstephen richards

"...the fact that sceptical views on Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming are not based on ideology or political views but on the woeful state of climate science."

Having read, as a layman, all the available literature that I can about the supposed "problem" of CAGW my conclusion was that we simply do not know very much about climate and the factors that drive it. I have decided to postpone my death for a hundred years or so until we have collected some more reliable data. I may then venture an opinion.

What a shame the so-called climate scientists cannot do the same thing.

Apr 6, 2012 at 8:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterDisko Troop

Kloor's never been able to perceive the climate debate as anything other than a purely US-centric political dispute. I've long-since given up trying to encourage him to see the reality and have concluded that he suffers from a crippling science myopic condition.

Twenty four hours after you think you've finally got it through to him, with enough evidence to fill a church hall, that sceptical disputes with climatologists are overwhelmingly over their multitudinous failures to adhere to the Scientific Method, and when you think he finally has a grasp on the slightly bigger picture, he's snapped right back into posting blog headposts which leave you wondering if he was even in attendance at the previous discussion.

Kloor is utterly wedded and completely devoted to the idea that climate scepticism is ideological and only ideological. Nothing at all which demonstrates in any way that his perception of the debate is flawed gets through. At all. Ever. After a long time commenting at his blog, it is specifically his incapacity for better perceiving the scientific climate debate landscape which ultimately drove me away. I said that I anticipated that his blog would become a single-ideology echo chamber. Last time I bothered to look, that's precisely what had happened.

Apr 6, 2012 at 8:46 PM | Unregistered CommenterSimon Hopkinson

The trouble is, Keith Kloor just loves to stir. His modus operandi is to throw a provocative bomb in, then sit back and savour the brawl.

Apr 6, 2012 at 8:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterPharos

When push comes to shove, Keith is just a sick ideologue. For someone so aware of the disparity of opinion, and presumably the disparity of sources of those opinions, his 'objective' pose is disingenuous. It's a sad waste of talent.
==================

Apr 6, 2012 at 9:37 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

Sorry Bish, Climate Science is "worse than we thought".

The pioneers at least had an excuse. The subject was new and trendy like Golf Psychology and Gender Studies. Occupational therapy for 2nd rate academics. They really thought that wearing white lab coats and drawing graphs would eventually lead to some scientific insights. They were following the cargo cult method described by Feynman in 1974.

There is no excuse now but they carry on anyway. Sitting in the bamboo control tower trying on different shaped headphones and still the planes don't land.

After 20 years they have not found any laws or any real insight into the physical world.

It's hard to see a way forward. I cannot see "Climate Science" ever changing into a genuine and open-minded effort to understand the bahaviour of the world's climates.

Apr 6, 2012 at 9:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

@ Martin A

It was at Keith Kloor´s blog.
Judith Curry admitted, having read the HSI book, was the topic.
It was a very lengthy thread. Just some later, Judith started her own blog.

Apr 6, 2012 at 10:03 PM | Unregistered Commenteropastun

just pointing out that Frank - supposedly "sceptical" observer - shares a name with Frank O'Dwyer, fanatical Warmista...maybe even more stupid than Hengist. just a troll alert for those who need it.

Apr 6, 2012 at 10:04 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

Well we are as bad as slave owners now.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/apr/06/nasa-scientist-climate-change

What a terrible analogy. The anti-slavery camp won, against all historical traditions, entirely as a moral crusade. There was no non-moral reason to oppose slavery.

That is, of course, what Hansen wants against carbon – a moral crusade.

Would it be impolite to point out that the scientific community tended to support slavery? They were quite capable of trotting out little "proofs" that darker coloured people were less human.

Hansen has this funny idea that scientists call tell the moral from the immoral via scientific reasoning. This even as the extreme greens suggest genetic engineering to make us less carbon intensive, or treating "denial" as a mental illness.

History suggests that scientists make lousy moralists.

Apr 6, 2012 at 10:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterMooloo

@Breath of Fresh Air
"For the Children" is the first cry of every fascist.

Apr 6, 2012 at 10:35 PM | Unregistered Commenterac1

I'll be forever indebted to Keith Kloor, who moderates my modest comments, for hosting the thread in which Gavin Schmidt gave up Michael Mann's Crook't Hockey Stick for anything before 1500 AD. It was either the thread referred to by opastun and Martin A above, or one of the contemporary ones devoted to Judith Curry or Gavin Schmidt, the latter, I believe.
==============================

Apr 6, 2012 at 11:40 PM | Unregistered Commenterkim

“…sceptical views on Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming are not based on ideology or political views but on the woeful state of climate science.”

As a blanket comment I don’t find this very convincing. There are surely at least some global warming sceptics who are driven primarily by ideological motives, with little interest in the science as a discipline, just as there must be some on the warming side also primarily driven by ideology.

That said, I’m going to risk a generalisation of my own and claim that most people have some sort of world view, and that they bring that view to bear on the various issues they encounter.

And further that very few people will openly admit that their ideology or world view at least colours their attitude towards various issues. This is especially the case during a debate, where such an admission can fatally weakens one’s argument.

For these reasons, expecting one’s opponent’s to ‘fess up to ideological bias is probably futile.

Apr 7, 2012 at 1:45 AM | Unregistered CommenterBrendan H

“…sceptical views on Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming are not based on ideology or political views but on the woeful state of climate science.”

Anyone does, I think, begin with an inclination or bias toward news (scientific or otherwise) that agrees with expectations.

So those who believe Darwin was wrong, or tobacco is safe, are inclined to believe and quote and cite, uncritically, research or authorities that pick nits with Darwinian evolution (for example, Steven Jay Gould's counter-conjecture regarding "punctuated equilibrium") or suggest alternate origins for lung cancer. ("see, it's ASBESTOS, not smoking!") But equally those inclined to oppose private ownership of handguns will be critical of John Lott and approving of Michael Bellesiles. Those inclined to doubt the effectiveness of public education will approve Diane Ravitch's early work on choice, charter schools, and vouchers, and scoff at the same author's later work recanting the early claims. I've mentioned Murray's "Bell Curve" conjecture here. Rachel Carson's DDT scenarios are often discussed here. The Laffere Curve notion on tax rates and government revenues; Krugman's analysis on "key money" and rent control; Petr Beckman's calculations on the death rates attributable to the nuclear power industry versus other electrical generating technologies -- everybody BEGINS with opposition, or acceptance, of claims based on our own personal life experiences.

The issue is, do we maintain and adhere to a common set of standards for all claims, whether or not we initially agree?

Some do, and some don't. I admire Steve McIntyre for setting out, in detail, what he expects, based on his own life experiences in the mining industry. That expectation may or may not be applicable to rent control. gun ownership and crime statistics, etc etc. But were he to "audit" the claims and counter-claims made in those debates I have little doubt he'd use the same standards.

This week we learned, from _NATURE_ and researchers at Houston's MD Anderson, that only six of fifty-three significant cancer research papers could be replicated.

The climate change skeptics are fond of quoting Feynman about the scientific method and the care that must be taken not to fool oneself. Surely no other researcher is more likely to share biases, political blinders, and idelogical predispositions -- than oneself. Each of us is, for ourself, the easiest person in the world to lead astray.

Anyhow, the point is that views, skeptical or otherwise, on CAGW do seem to me to be "based" on ideology. But any disciplined and scientifically-inclined person should exert him (her) self to get beyond that basis. And I see the skeptics doing a much better job of exploring all the components of the CAGW conjecture than the consensus supporters.

Apr 7, 2012 at 3:06 AM | Unregistered Commenterpouncer

I'm just delighted that Josh is as eloquent verbally as he is pictorially

Apr 7, 2012 at 3:53 AM | Unregistered Commenterseedy

"I want to be a bus driver"

Ha ha! To take people for a ride, I guess. :D

Apr 7, 2012 at 6:21 AM | Registered CommentersHx

3:06 AM | pouncer

"Anyhow, the point is that views, skeptical or otherwise, on CAGW do seem to me to be "based" on ideology. But any disciplined and scientifically-inclined person should exert him (her) self to get beyond that basis. And I see the skeptics doing a much better job of exploring all the components of the CAGW conjecture than the consensus supporters."

This needs to be repeated and re-broadcast a minimum of one thousand times.

Apr 7, 2012 at 7:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterHuhneToTheSlammer

@HTDS
"This needs to be repeated and re-broadcast a minimum of one thousand times."

I dunno, there doesn't appear to be anything profound in the statement. We get a dozen statements like that each thread.

Maybe you like it a lot. In which case, you have 999 repeats to go. ;)

Apr 7, 2012 at 9:08 AM | Registered CommentersHx

The state of 'Climate Science' is lamentable.
I spent a large part of my career developing models to predict future performance of complex power generation systems based on scientific and engineering principles - some quite new - and thorough testing against independent experiment i.e. no backfitting/fudge constants allowed.
I see no benefit in running any number of back-fitted models and averaging their outputs except as an enabler of many different members of the 'Climate Scientific Community' to gain funding. It does however provide a recipe for self delusional, spurious accuracy.

Apr 7, 2012 at 9:49 AM | Unregistered CommenterRonaldo

Here is a follow-up piece, providing many examples of the ideological/political basis that underlies much of climate skepticism:
http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/2012/04/the-global-warming-culture-wars/

Apr 12, 2012 at 2:14 PM | Unregistered Commenterkeith kloor

"Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming" is of course an Important-Sounding Term you clowns *made up* so you can beat climate scientists up with it. I defy you to find it in an IPCC report. I defy you to even *define* it in a consistent way.

Apr 12, 2012 at 6:24 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteven Sullivan

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