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The populist notion that all climate sceptics are either in the pay of oil barons or are right-wing ideologues, as is suggested for example by studies such as Oreskes and Conway (2011), cannot be sustained.
The populist notion that all climate sceptics are either in the pay of oil barons or are right-wing ideologues, as is suggested for example by studies such as Oreskes and Conway (2011), cannot be sustained.
Mike Hulme, in his new book. An extract of the chapter is at his website.
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You have quoted him correctly but does he know what "populist" means?
From the extract:
In the days immediately after the emails’ release I remember a professorial colleague in the School of Environmental Sciences at UEA came to see me in my office. Knowing that I used to work in the Climatic Research Unit he wanted my candid opinion about whether our colleagues working over the bridge in CRU could indeed be trusted. Had they been manipulating data? Was the empirical evidence for global warming sound?
"The populist notion that all climate sceptics ....."
I think it is the story that Climate Alarmists, MSM, BBC and even alarmist politicians like Ed Davey, continually tell the publice rather than populist!
"This superficially looks really bad, but have I perhaps misunderstood it because of some missing context?" is not an unreasonable question. I note, however, that Hulme doesn't actually say what his answer was!
Man, reading all Hulme's psychobabble must count as a cruel and unusual punishment.
He has not listed my own skeptical viewpoint which is that the whole enterprise of climate science is a crock. It's a bunch or cargo culters prattling on and pretending they know something. The truth is that they know nothing. There is nothing to build on.
Even the basics are suspect - such as the idea that there is a single climate. After some 20 years they have only one Law of Climate Science:
It's worse than we thought
But Hulme seems to be stuck with the idea that climate science has some merit and so he is never going to understand why some people reject it.
@ Jonathan Jones Aug 8, 2013 at 4:58 PM
Generally speaking it's not an unreasonable question, but in the particular case of those e-mails, I'm not sure what more should be needed. If a UEA professor can read those e-mails and not see those people - especially Mann - for what they are, I have to question his intelligence and character.
Mike Hulme is very kind in recognising that you don't have to be in the pay of big oil to lose confidence in "climate science" after reading those emails. That's very generous of him /sarc off
I think it's possible to read those emails and believe that CRU was the victim of pressure from Mann: weak rather than wicked. (I don't see any way of reading them in which Mann comes off well.) It's not unreasonable to have one's confidence in the CRU people shaken but not destroyed. Remember that we understand the context in which they make sense; most readers don't.
At the wrisk of showing my ignorance, I would say that Mike Hulme is refering to the elitist view of climate sceptics.
"scientists have to work as hard outside the laboratory as they do inside, through repeated demonstrations of their integrity, accessibility and trustworthiness."
So show me the data..willingly and with good grace. Here is Hulme's honest (and surprising) answer to that (my emphasis):
"The proximate circumstances were the refusal (later deemed illegal) by CRU scientists to release climate data"
Overall, not a bad short essay. Now it just needs the climate science fraternity to actually read it, digest and take positive action.
He's right in general terms, of course, but I'm not so sold on his definition of 'populist'.
IMO Mike Hulme has had years to say this. The only reason he is coming out with it now is because he sees the gig is up.
I am with "notbannedyet" on this one.There is a lot of "repositioning" to be done by those who still want to have a future in climate science.
No one wants to be out there with Michael Mann, being called a charlatan.
Given past writings I’ve seen from Hulme, I was thinking I might have to wait for the plain English translation to come out, or perhaps a Ladybird version folks like me might follow. Then I thought I’d have a shot at the quote provided up above.
Here it is again:
First, I went to check on definitions of ‘populist’. This is from an online ‘Oxford Dictionary’ and it seems about right:
noun• a member or adherent of a political party seeking to represent the interests of ordinary people.• a person who supports or seeks to appeal to the concerns of ordinary people:she is something of a populist—her views on immigration resemble those of the right-wing tabloid pressadjective• relating to or characteristic of a populist or populists:populist tabloid newspapers
Now, I am not sure there are any parties trying to represent the interests of ‘ordinary people’ any more. They all seem intent on telling us all what it good for us, for example. The Labour Party once claimed to be ‘for the people’, but I think they became disenchanted with them, and have found ‘the environment’ to be a far more congenial focus and vehicle for their ambitions.
So, right at the start of the quote, I am having trouble working out to whom he is referring as the source of this supposed populism. As far as I can recall, the notion to which he refers seems to be owned by eco-activists and their dupes in such places as the BBC and the Royal Society. I cannot by any stretch of the imagination see them as people who ‘support or wish to appeal to the concerns of ordinary people’. Quite the reverse.
Let’s go a little further, and stop at the word ‘all’. Given the fuzzy category ‘climate sceptics’, it seems inevitable that anything attributed to ‘all’ of them is almost inevitably wrong, and would still be wrong under tight definition apart from one along the lines of ‘if you are not in the pay of oil barons or a rightwing ideologue, you cannot be a climate sceptic’, which I think might be a variant of the ‘true Scotsman’ fallacy. So the sentence is all but self-evidently true. It cannot be ‘sustained’ that ‘all’ deemed ‘climate sceptics’ are ‘as suggested’ by such as Oreskes and Conway. I presume this refers to ‘Merchants of Doubt’ and I do not expect to read it because others whom I am willing to trust have shown it to be, let me save space here, junk.
So now I am bemused. The sentence is essentially a platitude about a shonky claim, ‘suggested’ in a book I have been led to believe is unsuitable reading for admirers of plain truth and honest dealing. The key qualifier ‘populist’ makes no sense to me whatsoever, and the rest of the sentence tells me that something obviously, inevitably, and trivially wrong ‘cannot be sustained’.
As for ‘sustained’, I tremble at the possibilities for misinterpretation. The world ‘sustainable’ is an important one for eco-activists everywhere, and for them it means ‘good’, or ‘irrefutable’ or ‘not subject to doubt’. For everyone else it means ‘suppressed’. ‘inhibited’, ‘unexamined’, or even ‘bad’. I think I’ll skip over that and settle for the court-room drama meaning of ‘allowed to stand’, or something like it when the judge accepts some objection or other. That tells me that the author will not tolerate self-evidently wrong claims ‘suggested’ by authors of questionable books. Well, good -as the chap on Instapundit sometimes says.
I must not judge a book from one sentence, but I am not encouraged by it to think I would manage to get through the rest of them without difficulty, or without a nagging doubt about the value of it all.
I think Hulme is trying to say
"The notion that all climate sceptics are either in the pay of oil barons or are right-wing ideologues, as is suggested for example by studies such as Oreskes and Conway (2011), is not true."
son of mulder:
Which begs the question, if that's what he intended to say, why not just say it? Or is it beneath academics to use plain English?
No. Hulme is totally wrong.
I don't want climate scientists to be decent chaps, good eggs, the kind of people you would want as a son or daughter in law.
I don't care about that. In fact I wouldn't care if they were creepy, shifty, rogues, backstabbing and cheating each other.. That would not matter if they actually did some freakin' science. As in testing a hypothesis and rejecting it if it failed the test.
Maybe they could start by watching every single vid of Feynman on YouTube.
John Shade at 6.32pm
What a wonderful piece of deconstruction John.
JackFred Singer used their "it's worse than we thought" to show the climateers they were not on the right track by pointing out "that means you do not know what's going on", way back in 1988 (or could be earlier).
Weird that, rather than reading the emails, absorbing the arguments and making a decision as to guilt, the professor in question chose to ask one of those implicated instead.
I'm sure by 'populist' he just means 'popular' or 'widely-held'. Like people who write 'simplistic' when they mean 'simple' - they think it sounds a bit fancier.
So he could have done with a better copy-editor (says a copy-editor).
I saw someone pile in on this recently on a blog comment...
[paraphrased] Your theory is rubbish. Imagine a theory predicted that gravity on the moon was X and when you got there you found it was really 10 times X - would you trust your theory? - it just shows you don't know what you're talking about
Hulme has always seemed a slippery customer to me. Happy to be a part of creating the atmosphere in which CAGW prospered, sliming out from under when it's all going wrong.
Considering that there is a large body of sceptical opinion among properly trained scientists, I fing Hulme's remarks rather patronising.
If the UEA crowd were prepared to debate the scientific issues with a wider scientific community, then:
a) They might absorb a little humilityb) Learn to do better science
artwest - agreed.
Baby steps, people.
If Hulme wants to separate climatology from the 'paranoid sociology of Oreskes'... or even the; well-researched investigative journalism of Oreskes'... then good.
The problem is the relevance of the work of Oreskes.
We can urge empiricism later. For now, we can welcome the move away from mixing political activism with research into the physical world.
I always think a good start is when someone can see the obvious and then admit it. Much of the angst between sceptics and scientists started when one scientist told another not to trust genuine requests from sceptics… no actually the mistake came earlier when nobody thought the public would want to see science done and have a right to do so. They thought, not without cause, that the public would only ever be interested in the conclusions. Well sure, that’s normal when the science isn’t important. Bizarrely they have consistently underestimated the significance of their own work.
Climategate was important in that it demonstrated that climate scientists were human. What took everyone so long to notice? I’m still not sure they all get that it’s no longer an issue of regaining trust. They need systems in place that do a better job of watching for mistakes. If climate scientists are the guardians of their science - qui custodiet ipsos custodies?
" Much of the angst between sceptics andscientists"
What is with the distinction still. I think generally the sceptics are way more scientific than the 'scientists'. I assume I'm both in some way.
One of the emerging talking points regarding climate hysteria is the point for point concordance the entire warming hysteria activity has with earlier leftist/socialist activities. Including but not limited to: Find a weak point, pick at it, open it up, fabricate hysteria around it, create public fear, establish a cause requiring draconian changes else face certain death, identify the anti-cause population and dehumanize them with well thought out labels (denier!). The result is an imperative for reversal at any cost of the claimed source of the fabricated fear. And here we all have to agree, mission accomplished, they've done this well.
All the while the activists ensure the only people who can manage such a project are the central leftist elitists in government who have embraced the noble cause, have the money or the needed punitive power of taxation, the vision, and a "well regarded concern" for the welfare of the common man. All carefully crafted characteristics of a well-polished leftist machine. And who funds the activists? The leftist elitists in government, of course. A soundly self-serving use of tax dollars. We have followed the money and found old comrades at the center. No surprise.
Something odd happened on the way to implementation - the internet happened and the common man had access to the complete truth and virtual watering holes where they could communicate with other freemen in the matters of science, scientific method, counter-evidence, and evidence of dishonesty and agenda influence.
These open discussions slaked the thirst for knowledge and the complete story continues to unfold. Old secrets are now held up to ridicule for being the fabrications they are, uncertainty has been given value beyond the word of a few insider gate keeping scientists. The peer review system at least in climate science has been shown to be pal review with no value added. Pillars of science claimed by charlatans of climate science hysteria have fallen and turned to dust. The little lies pass harmlessly through the official discourse are being aggregated into the complete and more insidious lie by methodical processes and accumulation of knowledge thanks to an increasingly outraged populace. When the one true science is shown the light of day it is not easily done to hide it away again. What goes on the internet stays on the internet - the truth and the lies.
The complete eradication of this infestation of climate hysteria is now in the domain of the common man whose only tool his his vote in public elections. It isn't much but as it is the tool that got us where we are it has to be the tool that will get us were we need to be. Don't waste it - it has the power of Mjölnir to reshape the future one relentless blow after another.
dp:- Well stated.
Sadly, there is a very long way to go. With the exception of Booker and Rose, most journalists make a living by cutting and pasting the alarmism. Relatively few of the public follow climate blogs such as this.
Global warming is no longer a serious concern for most people, but the manipulators have been hyperactive with climate change, extreme weather, now extreme warming after the pause, etc.
It is true that in time, the green activists who use scare mongering will be exposed as liars, but it could take a long time.
I am more interested in the spineless so-called scientists who look at the model predictions and the observational data. When will they start admitting that the models are wrong? After 20 years? After 30 years? Never?
"I think it's possible to read those emails and believe that CRU was the victim of pressure from Mann: weak rather than wicked."
They are professional scientists and as such the KNOW what their professional duty is; I have gone toe to toe with people far more powerful than myself on matters of integrity.
Plain English Translation.- A lot of Skeptics put in a lot of work exposing the Climategate emails , name any of them connected to the oil industry. and there is no evidence that any of them has received any BigOil funding.
- and I might add myself I bet if you searched you'd find SOME people on the CRU side including media have benefitted from BigOil funds
On matters of integrity, I believe that the sceptical community is now in a position to log the antics of the pseudo scientists and activists with great accuracy and in considerable detail. In the longer term, when the true cost and harm of this whole episode is known, those responsible for deliberate misinformation should be punished under whatever laws are appropriate. I suggest that fraud would be a good place to start.
As used by Hulme, doesn't "populist" simply mean "ecofascist"?
He has not listed my own skeptical viewpoint which is that the whole enterprise of climate science is a crock. It's a bunch or cargo culters prattling on and pretending they know something. The truth is that they know nothing. There is nothing to build on.(...)Aug 8, 2013 at 5:04 PM Jack Hughes
This has taken maybe five or more years to dawn on me. At first, I just assumed that all this global warming stuff was firmly based in physics. Then one day, I decided to find out for myself what it was all about. My first insight - a shock - was to realise "This all amounts to a hypothesis - it's not at all firmly established physics".
My next major insight - common enough view now but, at the time, it was (to me) my own discovery - that for many beleivers it has more in common with religion than with science.
Climategate and the HSI taught me a lot.
And so on, finally arriving at the same view as you. Perhaps the final stage was reading some of the climate model references provided by the Met Office and posted recently on BH and fully appreciating the level of personal and corporate self-delusion involved.
At every stage, I found:
It was worse than I thought.
I heard a BBC R4 Today reporter refer to investment in the oil industry as though it was on a par with distributing drugs or porn. These left wing imbeciles are so intensely stupid. Do they not realise that the oil industry has given us life saving fuel, pharmaceuticals, plastics which are used in almost every aspect of life, including packaging, electronics, furniture, clothing, medical equipment, in fact, without the oil industry the useless BBC would not exist.
"SOME people on the CRU side including media have benefitted from BigOil funds"
I think if you look at the history of the CRU as a whole you will find many oil and energy companies contributing to it. I think you may well find that CRU came into existence largely with Shell and BP money.
I believe even arch warmer Gerald North of Texas A&M has been a consultant for Enron in the past.
I think the amount of money from fossil fuel companies to warmers is many orders of magnitude more than to skeptics.
I was looking for something unrelated the other day and came across a backup CD of my old saved Climate links from a previous computer. Strangly enough Oreskes figures in one of the earliest, in a Telegraph article about persecution of sceptics and suppression in journals of dissenting views. This one
What "study?"What "populists?"
I have an off topic question. I'm reading "The Hockey stick Illusion" and I would like to know where the term "short centering" comes from. Is it a previously known technique with actual applications or was it coined by McIntyre or McKitricK to refer to a technique invented in MBH98?
Hulme works with words for a living, and has done for a long time. Marion, it is not bad copy-editing - it is just Hulme sliming around the language as he always does. "Populist" has negative connotations of the ignorance of the masses in academia - hence he is distancing himself and other selected members of the climate scare elite from this absurd proposition (belatedly) by pretending that it was made up by the Daily Mail or something.
You always have to watch the pea with Hulme. And yes, it is interesting that he carefully failed to tell us how he responded to the professor who asked him about the Climategate emails. That was no accident either, rest assured. I can only assume that the professor in question is still alive to testify.
Canman -It was not a previously-known technique, because it was not a "technique": it was the cock-up of a technique. In the entire history of mathematics nobody thought of coining a term for what Mann did because it would never occur to anyone who understood the method to do such a thing. So we had to come up with a term to describe it, but we didn't intend to christen a method, only label a mistake.
It's like coining a technical-sounding term for stating that 8x7=17. Let's call that "re-centered multiplication" and then watch as 2nd-rate hangers-on and assorted nitwits send article after article to friendly editors of climate journals comparing results from "classical multiplication" and "re-centered multiplication", and arguing that since the former method implies the data yields formless noise while the latter method yields a hockey stick, it must be a valid method. Ha ha. Nobody would say such crazy things, right? Well, only if you have a reliable pal like Stephen Schneider to shepherd your paper into print. But nobody would cite such an obviously flawed paper, right? As in, nobody at a reputable place like the CRU would base the findings of a major international report on such gawdhelpus forehead-slapping madness, right? Right?
You mentioned you are reading the bish's wonderful Hockey Stick Illusion. Read on and find out.
If the British government has something particularly venal to promote, like global warming or mass immigration, it will find a bunch of batshit right wing crazies to oppose it and make its stance look like the most sensible and humane of all possible worlds. Cue Nigel Lawson and the GWPF.
Yesterday it was The Traditional Britain Group's turn to make the growing population figures look like manna from Asia.
Hulme unconsciously reveals his eco fascist tendencies below.
"The idea of climate change should be seen as anintellectual resource around which our collective and personalidentities and projects can form and take shape. We need to asknot what we can do for climate change, but to ask what climatechange can do for us."
Hulme then goes on to suggest that all climate change argumentsshould include at least one of the following four"myths" (being a motivational story).
1. Lamenting Eden - To give the idea that the world was stableuntil man turned up. And we broke it.
2. Presaging apocalypses - Where you should use phrases like"impending disaster" and "tipping point".This is despite having the knowledge of such predictions (asHulme states) but should because it "capitalizes on thehuman inbuilt fear of the future."
3. Reconstructing babel - Appealing to our fear of advancementand technology. As though anything modern is inherently bad.
4. Celebrating Jubilee - Balancing the cosmic unfairness of theworld where well off inherently make this worse for the poor andthe balance should be readdressed every 25 years.
Dazzled by the brilliance of several of the posts above and wanting to make a comment, I went to Amazon UK and found the publisher's description of the book, which contains the following:
"The argument that he has made powerfully over the last few years is that climate change has to be understood as much as an idea situated in different cultural contexts as it is as a physical phenomenon to be studied through universal scientific practices. Climate change at its core embraces both science and society, both knowledge and culture."
Apparently, Hulme does not actually address climate change, the science of climate change, or the claims made by those who also claim to be scientists of climate change. It seems that he has become another Oreskes.
I agree with pesadia: I think he's confusing "populist" with "elitist." That was my first thought.
As regards the use of the word "populist" and having read the rest of Hulme's writing from the extract, the first idea that came to my mind was to George Orwell's famous essay on the corruption of the English language
Having read Mike Hulme's chapter linked above, I could not help but think of George Orwell's essay on the corruption of the English language. Populist---- what does this word really mean?
Read Orwell here. Brilliant stuff
Also posted at Climate Etc.
Is this the same Mike Hulme, the perversion for the the cause started a long time ago? The only editing I’ve done is to remove the email addresses.So I will take what Hulme says with a pinch of salt?
From: Joseph Alcamo <alcamTo: m.hulme Rob.SwartSubject: Timing, Distribution of the StatementDate: Thu, 9 Oct 1997 18:52:33 0100Reply-to: alcamo
Sounds like you guys have been busy doing good things for the cause.
I would like to weigh in on two important questions –
Distribution for Endorsements —I am very strongly in favor of as wide and rapid a distribution aspossible for endorsements. I think the only thing that counts isnumbers. The media is going to say "1000 scientists signed" or "1500signed". No one is going to check if it is 600 with PhDs versus 2000without. They will mention the prominent ones, but that is adifferent story.
Conclusion — Forget the screening, forget askingthem about their last publication (most will ignore you.) Get thosenames!
Timing — I feel strongly that the week of 24 November is too late.1. We wanted to announce the Statement in the period when there wasa sag in related news, but in the week before Kyoto we should expectthat we will have to crowd out many other articles about climate.2. If the Statement comes out just a few days before Kyoto I amafraid that the delegates who we want to influence will not have anytime to pay attention to it. We should give them a few weeks to hearabout it.3. If Greenpeace is having an event the week before, we should haveit a week before them so that they and other NGOs can further spreadthe word about the Statement. On the other hand, it wouldn't be sobad to release the Statement in the same week, but on adiffeent day. The media might enjoy hearing the message from twovery different directions.
Conclusion — I suggest the week of 10 November, or the week of 17November at the latest.
Mike — I have no organized email list that could begin to competewith the list you can get from the Dutch. But I am stillwilling to send you what I have, if you wish.
—————————————————-Prof. Dr. Joseph Alcamo, DirectorCenter for Environmental Systems ResearchUniversity of KasselKurt Wolters Strasse 3D-34109 KasselGermany
Wow now there is an analysis of why people don’t believe what is not in front of their very eyes. Simple I am a statistician; I do not see the data that support these wildly exaggerated claims. Why do people believe such things in the absence of supportable observations is a more relevant question?
Stacey, I think you'll find that Mike Hulme didn't actually get those names for Alcomo, although the email is powerful evidence of how the climate science community has immersed itself in the politics.
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