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Discussion > The new heresy

Geronimo

It is easy to demonstrate that CO2 does NOT always cause warming so upon what do you base your "beyond discussion" statement?
I think that it might be accurate to say that all other things being equal CO2 should have a warming 'effect' on our atmosphere. However it is clear from geological records and from our experience in the last 17 years that it does not always happen. We may not know enough to explain that but the facts are clear.

May 8, 2014 at 1:30 PM | Registered CommenterDung

If I might take it upon myself to answer on behalf of geronimo, I imagine when he said "beyond discussion" he meant that the matter is widely taken as not being open to question, even by many AGW sceptics, despite it never having been established by observation or experiment. And that, if it is questioned, the questioner risks being labelled as a crackpot.

May 8, 2014 at 5:02 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Martin A. Precisely what I meant, it must be me, so many people misunderstand me, I've clearly got a communication problem.

May 8, 2014 at 7:41 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

geronimo: I understood what you meant both times and it looks as if Martin did too. Don't panic unduly!

Martin: a) some dissenters like Doug Cotton risk being labelled as crackpot because of both the content of what they say and the underhand means they use to try and say it and b) some dissenters risk being labelled as unhelpful because they introduce (or respond to) reasonable questions when it doesn't seem to others to be the appropriate place. b is clearly a superset of a. But with something as politically important as CAGW we can do without any false victimhood when we temporarily get put in category b by hard-working, unpaid moderators. That was what I wanted to discuss on this thread given its tendentious introduction and title. Let's not set up a false narrative of victimhood.

May 8, 2014 at 8:53 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Dung this whole thing is about politics, not science. Alarmists have won the scientific argument in the decision makers minds hands down. They had been in the field since 1988, the theory of CAGW is a useful tool to drive through other agenda so they set up the IPCC to give it an imprimatur of scientific respectability. They then went to work putting in the politicians mind that anyone who had a scintilla of disagreement with the "science" was beyond the pale, a flat earther or anti science. The GWPF realised this and quickly made it clear that they accepted the science of the IPCC but disagreed with the policies and the basis of adaptation (doing nothing) was preferable to putting up the price of energy in a futile attempt to curb CO2 emissions.

In politics, and indeed in life, it's the winning that matters. There is nothing to be gained from being right and losing. I happen to agree with your view of the effects of CO2 nigh on 100%, but you have to be careful how you phrase it (look who's talking!), saying CO2 doesn't cause some warming by retaining some of the the 4 micron and 15 micron energy in the atmosphere is going to get you/us put into the skydragon bracket. (the go to paper for this is Harries et al 2001). It clearly does. But, as you rightly say, there is no paleoclimate evidence that there a link between CO2 and atmospheric temperature, so it appears to warm the atmosphere, but not raise the temperature. That is clearly a concept we are not going to sell to anyone without presenting empirical evidence, and I doubt that even empirical evidence would help given the propaganda machine they have at their disposal.

Because it's a political battle first and foremost the most important thing is not blemishing your political position, or giving your would be detractors the opportunity to infer you're a crackpot on the science (h/t to Martin A). The science will sort itself out. Perhaps I'm being optimistic but AR5, WG1 at least looked pretty calmed down to me compared to AR4. But there is still a massive movement behind this with two objectives, to de-industrialise the world and to transfer vast amount of wealth from the developed to the developing world. Being right about the science won't stop them, they'll do what they always do and move the goalposts.

We are having small victories here and there, mainly because we live in a democracy and the troughers can see the downside of increasing energy costs and losing jobs in term of their own snouts. They are still convinced by the science, but hitting practical problems that are causing modifications of their policies. I can't see any quick win, look how McIntyre and McKitrick demolished Mann's work, then look how badly it affected his career. They were right but they lost, at least in the short term.

I went to a De la Salle school and they taught us that it "isn't the playing that matters, it's the winning". Everywhere I look the alarmists hold the heights. They have a political entity, the IPCC, set up specifically to give a scientific imprimatur to their political plans, so the public, who by and large have great faith in scientists, believe that the science is in. They have effectively closed off debate on policy in the MSM, they have green lobbyists acting in senior positions in democratic governments throughout the world, they have effectively labelled us as "deniers" deliberately implying that we're refusing to see the scientific facts, they have branded us right-wing extremists. In short we are similar to the UK in 1940, our particular island is the WEB and our spitfires the moderate blogs like BH and the reasoned voices in it. They are the Luftwaffe outnumbering us in every way with a myriad different aeroplanes and blitzing us and the public with faux reports of upcoming disasters. But they can't cross the channel, victory is eluding them and they think it's because of our spitfires and want to bring them down. Don't help them by giving them the chance to make out we're wierdos (which you most certainly aren't Dung) is all I'm saying.

May 9, 2014 at 10:43 AM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

McKitrick demolished Mann's work, then look how badly it affected his career. They were right but they lost, at least in the short term.
May 9, 2014 at 10:43 AM geronimo

McKitrick, I assume you are talking about. What evidence is there that his career was adversely affected? (not saying there is none - just asking)

May 9, 2014 at 12:44 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

Geronimo

That was some post mate hehe, I almost feel guilty arguing with it. Thank you Martin A for trying to extricate me painlessly from a hole you think I dug for myself (again!) and Richard, as always you do not understand me so perhaps it is MY communication skills that are not fit for purpose :)
I did indeed misunderstand the meaning of Geronimo's post but the subsequent explanation showed me that my thoughts about the blog were more or less correct. I am advised not to say what I believe is true because it will make the blog look bad.
(need to coninue in a further post because I accidentally hit publish.

May 9, 2014 at 12:51 PM | Registered CommenterDung

I have seriously tried to live the last 30 years of my life by speaking the truth and then taking the consequences. I find that in the long term it is the best policy. I am not alone in my belief and I join others better known than this nym ^.^

"I've always thought that the most powerful weapon in the world was the bomb and that's why I gave it to my people, but I've come to the conclusion that the most powerful weapon in the world is not the bomb but it's the truth" -Andrei Sakharov

I think that the moment you step away from the truth you are stepping closer to lies and that 'the end justifies the means' is in play as a strategy. I think we tread where our opponents have already blazed a trail and I do not want to go there.

Richard this topic is "The New Heresy" and it says nothing about me personally, I am/was just the messenger. When I complained about 'my' post being removed I was referring to the words that had been removed rather than the fact that I/ME had had his nose put out of joint. I did feel bad about it as I am sure most people would but my main point was that stating that CO2 was not warming the planet had become heresy and I have to say that Geronimo's post tends to support that idea.

May 9, 2014 at 1:10 PM | Registered CommenterDung

I was going to ask geronimo a question about how he saw the Great Delusion coming to an end, if that process could be hastened by people confining their internet blog comments to those which could be categorised as 'crackpot' by nobody.

Perhaps that would be better as the topic of a separate thread.

Having started to pen a note along the lines of "Why I think climate sensitivity calculations are rubbish", I looked what I had drafted and was obliged to admit to myself "ten years ago, if asked what I thought of this note, I'd have instantly said it had obviously been written by a crackpot".

Let's face it. Climate science is simply not science yet has been almost universally accepted as being a valid branch of physical science. In this situation it's inevitable that people pointing out the reality will sometimes be labelled as crackpots.

May 9, 2014 at 1:11 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

I was going to ask geronimo a question about how he saw the Great Delusion coming to an end, if that process could be hastened by people confining their internet blog comments to those which could be categorised as 'crackpot' by nobody.

Perhaps that would be better as the topic of a separate thread.

That's one I would read! Because I thought geronimo's overview was terrific - though I also knew at once where I'd differ. In fact I'd downplay the need to 'confine blog comments' to the non-crackpot-to-everyone, as Martin's recast it. My major beef here has been our attitude to blog owners and moderators. Their job isn't just to try and create a good overall balance - how easy is that - but to stop "all threads becoming the same" in Steve McIntyre's old phrase and to prevent individual threads from being hijacked. The BH thread Dung has been complaining about was on the proposed greenification of geoscience. Our host also asked that personal comments about Iain Stewart were avoided. What on earth were general questions about CO2 and warming doing on that thread? I didn't read anyone's comments before they were snipped but all my sympathies were with the host once I'd taken in the detritus afterwards. For goodness sake, let's not dignify this tiny incident as anything but Dung getting it wrong in one particular context, along with a fair few others - others who very strangely have chosen not to complain about it ever since. That's the only anomaly of note here. There are a hundred of places already on Bishop Hill to discuss the issues Martin A and others are exercised about. Mountain, please revert to molehill.

May 9, 2014 at 1:49 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Richard

I really do not like arguing with you because it is futile, however you just keep making comments at other people's expense, you set yourself up as a moderator and tell people what they should and should not post, you also seem to single me out for some reason?
If you look again at the "greenification of geoscience." thread you should see that the great majority of comments before mine were off topic. In fact it is hard to understand exactly what basis the moderator used when deciding what to 'snip'.
Why would you pick me out of all the others Richard?
Totally demolishing your attitude would be great fun but as we both know; other bloggers plus the Bish are totally sick of us arguing ^.^

May 9, 2014 at 2:32 PM | Registered CommenterDung

I'm not telling you what you should post and you know perfectly well that's acting out the tired old drama-queen persona. You've posted loads of things on Bishop Hill in the last year about which I've had nothing to say and you can take it I had no beef about your right and freedom to say any of it. None of my business, as everyone would say. But I have said the complaint here is a mountain of false significance assigned to two molehill-sized snips, sad events that have befallen all of us. The reaction here is tendentious, it's pompous, it's all the things you've said of your enemies, mentioning no names! If you dislike the sound of me kicking the ball into an open goal smarten up. This is a nothing thread about something you should have got over in five seconds. But some of the stuff on the original Roy Spencer page is happily extremely interesting, as is the context geronimo spelled out earlier, largely as a result, I would say, of my drawing attention to this context. Meanwhile you need to retract your original moan to recover credibility. Snips like stuff happen. You can't read anything into these ones at all, let alone set yourself up as leader of a new and better order of climate heretic - a Judith Curry plus. As a way forward I'd vote for Martin A doing a separate thread in response to geronimo and letting this one pass into oblivion. But I'm pragmatic enough to go with whatever flow emerges.

May 9, 2014 at 3:40 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

"Richard this topic is "The New Heresy" and it says nothing about me personally, I am/was just the messenger. When I complained about 'my' post being removed I was referring to the words that had been removed rather than the fact that I/ME had had his nose put out of joint." May 9, 2014 at 1:10 PM | Registered Commenter Dung

May 9, 2014 at 3:47 PM | Registered CommenterDung

I agree you've tried to objectify it and that's exactly what's wrong - assigning a mountain of significance to two nothing events. It would have been much better to do a post saying you were feeling raw about two snips you'd experienced. That might have gone somewhere both honest and productive. Instead we have echoes of Cotton, AlecM and every other greenhouse dissident persuading themselves of persecution is the majestic cause of truth. It's simply the wrong frame for this stuff, in a week Robert Brown slaughtered the GCM sacred cows on WUWT and Nic Lewis dispatched another 'appalling' critique of his work over here. You have a way of diverting attention from the central stuff doing real damage to a consensus bent on destroying so much. But accepting these two snips didn't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world would be a positive step and, I still think, possible.

May 9, 2014 at 4:09 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

"What evidence is there that his career was adversely affected? (not saying there is none - just asking)"

Sorry it was a bit opaque. There is no evidence his career was adversely affected, on the contrary he's gone from strength to strength and is a hero to a lot of the scientivists, although I suspect a lot of the others feel a bit queasy about him. That's the point I was making. Admittedly opaquely.

McIntyre and McKitrick 2003 comprehensively showed that he'd made many schoolboy errors and used an algorithm to centre the PCs that gave a hockey stick from red noise. Moreover, their statistics were endorsed by Wegman, (who immediately became a target for these sorry scientists). But nothing happened to Mann. The truth was ignored first by his co-conspirators replicating his work with the same data, and then by quietly dropping it from the IPCC reports.

How do I think it will end? Slowly I believe, the next generation of climate scientists don't want it to end because of the endless funding (who wouldn't in their shoes) and seem to be having trouble telling themselves the observed data are wrong. They have painted themselves into a corner, unlike politicians in their naivete they have not left themselves an out, and aren't likely to recant. (Unless there's funding). Maybe the slow, but steady, desertions of the older scientists will trigger something, I don't know. Interest is waning for sure, they have bombarded the public with four blitzes in the form of IPPC WGI, WGII, WGII and the recant NCA and they've barely made a ripple. The politicians too are beginning to realise their mistakes in the energy policies (one has to wonder who it was that persuaded them that wind power and solar were viable alternatives for fossil fuel) and are busy backpedalling. It will be slow, too many important people with egg on their faces and, of course the malignant human hating greens lobbying continuously will slow it down.

Back to Dung's beef. I have explained why I believe he was deleted, I'm not sure I would do the same, but please let's don't stop having discussions about CO2, just don't make statements that out of context make us look mad as hatters.

Here's an example, on a recent thread I started a sentence by saying, "I'm not a conspiracy theorist..." and then went on to say that there were people with plans to de-industrialise the world, and re-distribute wealth from the developed world to the developing world. EM instantly pounced on it and described me as a "conspiracy theorist", even though I had pointed out it was in the articles of the Club of Rome and Agenda 21. Now Joe Q. Public won't take the time out to read the relevant documents (and I don't blame him), and his common sense would tell him that there could be no such agenda, so hey presto! if we had had that discussion in the presence of said Joe Q. Public I would have looked a "crackpot", and EM the voice of reason.

May 9, 2014 at 4:31 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

"You have a way of diverting attention from the central stuff doing real damage to a consensus bent on destroying so much."

I don't think so Richard, we're all here voluntarily exchanging ideas. I've read Robert Brown and Nic Lewis, but still believe we've had a discussion which made some reasonable progress in us understanding where we came from. I'm a little surprised that Dung's comments were erased by the moderator too, while Chandra, an absolute content free zone, is often allowed to rattle on for days and days. (Not that I want to censor Chandra, just that if we do have censorship let's keep it on and even keel).

May 9, 2014 at 4:38 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Geronimo

Your statement " "I'm not a conspiracy theorist..." and then went on to say that there were people with plans to de-industrialise the world, and re-distribute wealth from the developed world to the developing world."is right and a lot of what you say is in Agenda 21. Why decide not to speak the truth because you think nobody will believe you, the one certainty is that they will never discover that truth unless people speak about it.

May 9, 2014 at 5:16 PM | Registered CommenterDung

Geronimo: I have no problem with your view, except for two things. I agree with Dung that sometimes one needs to say the unsayable or "they will never discover that truth". More generally there are deep unknowns about "the Great Delusion coming to an end" and how we can help that along. There are no provably right answers. I do take a strong view on not adding hassle for moderators but here are a few thoughts there. I don't think every opponent like Chandra should be excised - I believe Steve McIntyre has modelled a very good approach, where opponents are given plenty of rope, in case we need to hear their critique, and supporters are much more likely to be snipped to prevent 'piling on'. But all of that is very context-dependent and the BH context is frequently very different to that on CA.

There are some important things raised on this thread. I feel I've said enough on how it began.

May 9, 2014 at 6:24 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Dung it's my fault, I am clearly confusing you. I am NOT saying don't tell the truth, I am saying be careful how you say it. My EM example was to try to explain how telling the truth could backfire on you because someone could take your words and say that you were a conspiracy theorist, even though you'd plenty of evidence that there was a plan, if not a conspiracy, to bring certain events about. But nobody is going to check why you passed this opinion and it gives the totally wrong impression of your views.

To take it to a more mundane, if realistic level, do you tell the truth when your wife asks if her bum looks too big in these new jeans? No, you respond truthfully, without giving the real truth.

Richard, I've had a bad time communicating on this thread, but I never suggested banning Chandra. I think he's an obnoxious idiot, but I actually said was "(Not that I want to censor Chandra, just that if we do have censorship let's keep it on and even keel)".

I'll leave it there, except for this. Don't tell lies, but be economical with the truth if it offends, insults or is going to be twisted to misrepresent what you actually think.

May 9, 2014 at 11:04 PM | Unregistered Commentergeronimo

Geronimo: Your communication about Chandra was quite fine. By the time I wrote about that I wasn't trying to represent your view but to express my own. The key takeaway might be that if you're a keen supporter, not an obnoxious critic, you may be more likely to be snipped in a Steve McInfluenced blog. (I like that new coinage!) In an ideal world one would even rejoice in that fact, because it is clearly for the greater good of all readers (who probably outnumber contributors at least ten to one). But ideal world it ain't. I'm grateful for your irenic contributions here.

May 10, 2014 at 8:48 AM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

Dung, private notes on post.

"It is easy to demonstrate that CO2 does NOT always cause warming..." - that'll be a good start. Next sentence is tricky...

Dung draft 1, "However it is clear from geological records and from our experience in the last 20 years that it does not always happen". Oh, dang! There has clearly been warming in the last 20 years.

Draft 2, "it is clear ... in the last 18 years that it does not always happen". Oh, dang! There's been warming in the last 18 years too! Try less...

Draft 3, "it is clear ... in the last 16 years that it does not always happen". Nuts! There's been warming in the last 16 years as well!!!!

Draft 4, "it is clear ... in the last 17 years that it does not always happen". Yippie! Found one!

May 12, 2014 at 12:32 AM | Registered Commenterchandra

just a comment on debate over on Nice Sentiments blogpost
- minus 5 points to Tamsin Edwards for using the "You are the bad guy, cos I am offended" rhetorical trick.
- plus 10 points to Tamsin Edwards for then going onto engage properly in later comments

Stephen Richards had referred to Bob Warb Ward's lot as animals
Tamsin then replied don't call "us" liars and animals
- Firstly playing the victim like that is a rhetorical trick, .. and powerful, I call it 'bullying by taking offence".
Secondly he wasn't talking about Tamsin (unless she counts herself in with the deceptive lot). also he never used the word liar.
- She could have just said "don't call them animals as we don't want to become partisan"
..Although Stephens comment was subsequently snipped I think his opinion is fine in the context of a blog comment, though you wouldn't use the language in a different context like on the BBC.
- Someone pointed out Tamsin never jumps in to say "don't call 'us' deniers"

May 17, 2014 at 6:06 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

"...also he never used the word liar."

It's gone now - perhaps for the better - so can't be confirmed. But I had the impression that Tamsin's retort matched what had been said. If he's a registered user, it's not impossible SR retrospectively toned down what he had said - you have up to 14 minutes to do that on BH.

I admire the way Richard Betts assertively responds to unpleasantness - not resorting to unpleasantness himself, but not letting it go unchallenged.

I understand the point about what might be termed 'aggression by taking offence'. My view is
- there is nothing to be gained by expressing unpleasant sentiments
- commenters do have the right to take offence (and say so) at offensive things.

May 17, 2014 at 6:36 PM | Registered CommenterMartin A

I wouldn't give Tamsin any minus points. An assertive woman called Stephen Richards out and rightly so - 'animals' was stupid and ruined whatever context there might otherwise have been. Typical own goal and a service to BH by Tamsin and Richard to point it out. Nothing more to say.

May 17, 2014 at 7:06 PM | Registered CommenterRichard Drake

- The reason why i posted here, is cos thias thread is about censoring here..and by snipping stuff when it was not necessary the record has been lost
- Martin A why go hypothetical about we actually saw... the mod said he snipped SR it wasn't a self edit

..but whereas both me and RD saw the discussion he sees it different to me
Tamsin's comment was certainly was a discussion stopper
I never commented , but those that did comment saw it the same as me.
They said hang on ..
1. SR never said anything about Tamsin ..so there was no "we"
2. He didn't call anyone a liar (animals yes)
They were snipped as that part of the discussion was snipped)

So Tamsin's powerful comment was false witness...
and it that that was called out as she asserted 2 false things .. although maybe accidentally..

In a discussion I think it is OK to be rhetorical
e.g. compare someone to the Taliban etc. but not begin a discussion on the BBC with loaded words like Taliban or 'denier'

May 19, 2014 at 5:03 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen