The war on (climate) science

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The war on (climate) science

Looks like the science vs anti-science war is erupting into a "hot" war as scientists begin to shoot back.

First, it turns out that the Freedom of Information request deluge that prompted UK climate scientist Phil Jones to openly muse about deleting information in the hacked & stolen CRU emails was deliberately orchestrated by Canada's own chief climate change denier Steve MacIintyre.
Read about it [url=http://rabett.blogspot.com/2010/02/amoeba-gets-underfoot.html]here[/url], with more at [url=http://rabett.blogspot.com/]Rabett Run[/url].

Next, it also turns out that the supposedly "independent" Wegman Panel commissioned by the House Energy and Commerce Committee under Republican Representative Joe Barton to examine Michael Mann's "Hockey Stick" temperature reconstruction was conceived, created and conducted with behind-the-scenes involvement of Canada's own chief climate change denier Steve MacIintyre.
Read about it [url=http://deepclimate.org/2010/02/08/steve-mcintyre-and-ross-mckitrick-part..., with more at [url=http://deepclimate.org/]Deep Climate[/url].

And finally, weather-announcer-turned-climate-change-denial-blogger Anthony Watts (Watts Up With That, Surface Stations) has had the tables turned on him by a new paper by scientists from the OAA/National Climatic Data Center. The Menne et al paper [url=http://www1.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ushcn/v2/monthly/menne-etal2010.pdf]On the reliability of the U.S. Surface Temperature Record[/url] (pdf), preempts Watt's own yet-to-be-published research by showing that the the urban heat island effect essentially makes no significant difference in the instrument temperature record.

barbpearce

I've been wondering if the citizens of the world could not bring a class action lawsuit against these science stoppers? What if everyone who could, donated a penny to legal fees?   I'm not sure what the wording on the action would be, but they are murdering people with their lies right now and my children's planet.

                                                                        The People of the World

                                                                                      vs

                     The Lying Greedy Shallow Non-Climate Scientists and Their Media Stooges.       

It would be so much fun to watch Lorrie Goldstein of the Toronto Sunless sit on the stand and try to explain his motives.          

George Victor

It would all come out as love of self, I'm afraid, barb.  There wouldn't be a scintilla of science forthcoming.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
I've been wondering if the citizens of the world could not bring a class action lawsuit against these science stoppers?

 

I lump climate-change deniers in with the anti-immunization crowd and the Flat Earth Society.

 

But on what grounds would we bring a lawsuit against them? Having the wrong beliefs? Intentionally not thinking the way we do? I'm not sure they owe us something in this regard, so how shall we sue for their failure to provide it?

G. Muffin

Snert wrote:
But on what grounds would we bring a lawsuit against them? Having the wrong beliefs? Intentionally not thinking the way we do? I'm not sure they owe us something in this regard, so how shall we sue for their failure to provide it?

Fuck the civil suit; this is a criminal matter.

George Victor

G. Muffin wrote:

Snert wrote:
But on what grounds would we bring a lawsuit against them? Having the wrong beliefs? Intentionally not thinking the way we do? I'm not sure they owe us something in this regard, so how shall we sue for their failure to provide it?

Fuck the civil suit; this is a criminal matter.

Exactly, GM.  They are species killers at the moment, with potential for the destruction of Homo sapiens.  (Although many fish and other fauna and flora might not mind that in the long run).

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

It is not the deniers but their corporate masters in the oil and military industries that are willfully blind to the real harm they are causing to the planet and its inhabitants.  They are polluting my air and water that is a tort and should be considered under the Rylands v. Fletcher liability rules.

 

Quote:

 

Justice Blackburn stated a theory justifying recovery by the mine owner based on the ancient Roman maxim sic utere tuo ut alienum non laedas – use your property so that you do not damage property of another. Blackburn wrote that: 

...the true Rule of Law is, that the person who for his own purposes brings on his lands and collects and keeps there anything likely to do mischief if it escapes, must keep it in at his peril, and, if he does not do so is prima facie answerable for all the damage which is the natural consequence of its escape.

 

 

http://www.floods.org/PDF/NAI_Liability_Failure_Facilities_0906.pdf

G. Muffin

It's us, 1951. We Killed The Kennedys. Ask Mick.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:

Fuck the civil suit; this is a criminal matter.

 

Really? What's the crime?

 

I'm asking for a crime from the Criminal Code, by the way, not something you wishfully make up.

remind remind's picture

Snert wrote:
Quote:
I've been wondering if the citizens of the world could not bring a class action lawsuit against these science stoppers?

 

I lump climate-change deniers in with the anti-immunization crowd and the Flat Earth Society.

 

You are failing to realize that anti-immunizers and flat earthers are not killing anyone by their actions......there is a distinct difference...eh!

Snert Snert's picture

Flat earthers are essentially harmless, as I really can't imagine them convincing others that the earth is flat, and even if they did, so long as they're not sailors or geographers, no harm done.

But the anti-immunization crowd is eager to spread their gospel of nuttery and encourage others not to get immunized, or to not immunize their children, and that's a little different.  Note that I couldn't care less about people's personal beliefs or their personal choice of action; that's entirely their business.  But convincing others to follow the same illogic isn't the same as a personal belief.

Would you agree that if "action" (civil, criminal or "other") is to be taken against those who want to convince the world that climate change is a hoax, the same should be applied to those who want to convince the world that immunization causes autism? 

My Cat Knows Better My Cat Knows Better's picture

G. Muffin wrote:

Fuck the civil suit; this is a criminal matter.

Unfortunately, stupidity is not a crime, nor is the promotion of stupidity. The dinosaurs didn't believe in climate change either.

Unionist

My Cat Knows Better wrote:

The dinosaurs didn't believe in climate change either.

But in their case, the trial was bypassed and they proceeded straight to the sentence. What are you suggesting? Surprised

My Cat Knows Better My Cat Knows Better's picture

Unionist wrote:

But in their case, the trial was bypassed and they proceeded straight to the sentence. What are you suggesting? Surprised

I'm not suggesting anything, its like have a battle of wits with an unarmed man. Just let nature take its course. I'm too old to worry about them.

G. Muffin

Snert wrote:

Quote:

Fuck the civil suit; this is a criminal matter.

 

Really? What's the crime?

 

I'm asking for a crime from the Criminal Code, by the way, not something you wishfully make up.

Oh.

It's a Crime Against Nature.

Section Mark 19:66.

G. Muffin

My Cat Knows Better wrote:

G. Muffin wrote:

Fuck the civil suit; this is a criminal matter.

Unfortunately, stupidity is not a crime

Maybe in your world; in mine, it's a capital offence.

G. Muffin

Suicide is the ultimate death sentence.

G. Muffin

Snert wrote:

Would you agree that if "action" (civil, criminal or "other") is to be taken against those who want to convince the world that climate change is a hoax, the same should be applied to those who want to convince the world that immunization causes autism? 

Yes.

G. Muffin

But what about those who preach that psychiatry is a bunch of bullshit originally spouted ultimately by Big Pharma?

Sineed

The anti-vaccine people don't harm themselves.  But they kill children.

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2009/10/ff_waronscience/all/1

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:

Oh.

It's a Crime Against Nature.

Section Mark 19:66.

 

Even your made up crime is made up. The Book of Mark has only 16 chapters.

jas

Snert wrote:
 

I lump climate-change deniers in with the anti-immunization crowd and the Flat Earth Society.

 

I notice that several Babblers do, despite not being scientists themselves. It's shocking how much this kind of stance mimics religious fundamentalism and intolerance. And anti-choice intolerance. I suppose I should simply take these Babblers as anti-choice on these matters. You don't want to give anyone the ability to say 'no' to immunization, or to other hegemonic medical treatments. You don't want to give anyone the ability to doubt climate change science, despite the fact that climate scientists are not fully agreed.

I recognize there is a rhetorical power in manufacturing doubt on a topic like climate change. It's similar to the "doubt" of industry-funded "experts" on cigarettes and incidence of cancer. But for someone here to even suggest doubt (not denial - doubt), or a different angle on climate change, immediately induces this hateful. kneejerk, bullying reaction from Babblers which I'm noticing more and more, and on many other topics where the predominating science may be deniable or in question. And I expect that the bullying tendency comes from an increasing sense of powerlessness to counter the doubt scientifically or rhetorically, because in fact, you're not scientists.

It's like, you're the ones who would have God dead. YOU killed God. Now you want some other kind of absolutism in life, in the absence of a dependence on religion, and you simply, and simple-mindedly, replace it with yet another human construct. Can you see how maybe a little silly that is? What makes you so sure your new human construct is something you can absolutely rely on in the way that you insist others do?

Unionist

jas wrote:
I suppose I should simply take these Babblers as anti-choice on these matters. You don't want to give anyone the ability to say 'no' to immunization, or to other hegemonic medical treatments. You don't want to give anyone the ability to doubt climate change science, despite the fact that climate scientists are not fully agreed.

 

Canadians are free to be Christians or Buddhists. Other Canadians are free to revile Christianity or Buddhism.

Everyone has freedom of speech and conscience when it comes to saying "no" to immunization or climate science. Likewise, everyone has the right to point out the danger represented by these anti-scientific fads.

Exceptions exist, of course, when we talk (for example) about what is taught in schools - for example, we don't allow "creationism" to be taught in science class.

But other than such exceptions, I don't see calling "nonsense" as being an "anti-choice" expression. It is, rather, the very expression of freedom.

 

jas

Some of you have expressed very anti-choice opinions when it comes to hegemonic medical treatments. I don't deny your right to have these opinions. I do deny your right to claim that they are right, or correct, or the only valid ones.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
I notice that several Babblers do, despite not being scientists themselves. It's shocking how much this kind of stance mimics religious fundamentalism and intolerance.

 

Except that when the day comes that actual, reliable science shows that we're not really affecting the climate, or being immunized against Hep gives you a new disease, or the Indian Ocean does just suddenly end in a dropoff, both Science, and the babblers you speak of, will take that into account.

 

The essence of fundamentalism is that its adherents are locked in for life. There can be no change. None. Ever. No matter what transpires.

 

Anyhoo, you seem to feel picked on. There really IS a [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_Earth_Society]Flat Earth Society[/url] you know... maybe they have a support group or something.

jas

I don't feel picked on at all, Snert.

I recognize a comment like this intends to invite response.

Snert wrote:

I lump climate-change deniers in with the anti-immunization crowd and the Flat Earth Society. 

If you felt so certain in your own position on an issue, you wouldn't need to make statements like this. You resent the erosion of certainty that deconstructive critiques have afforded plain ol' religion. So you deny both. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater. And losing your own edge in the process.

remind remind's picture

Sineed wrote:
The anti-vaccine people don't harm themselves.  But they kill children.

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2009/10/ff_waronscience/all/1

 

Sweet, a thought terminating cliche, accompanied by a link even.....

 

Shall I start linking to places that count the amount of people who have died from immunization shots, medication interactions, bad reaction to medications, benadictine or thalidamide links perhaps, or any other assorted death from pharmaceutical sources?

 

How about Linus Pauling's words on pharma and those that push it?

 

:rolleyes:

Snert Snert's picture

The links on the lethality of Benedictine would actually be helpful. I had no idea.

 

[img]http://liquorama.biz/images/Benedictine.jpg[/img]

Interesting that you mention thalidomide, though.  Now that it's clear that thalidomide is a potent teratogen, does the medical/scientific establishment stick to its guns, and maintain that thalidomide is safe?  Or does the medical/scientific establishment acknowledge its mistake and change its assessment?

When do you suppose Jenny McCarthy will say "I was wrong"?  I've got a nice shiny loonie on "never, ever".

 

 

G. Muffin

Thalidomide was never approved.

G. Muffin

Snert wrote:

Quote:

Oh.

It's a Crime Against Nature.

Section Mark 19:66.

 

Even your made up crime is made up. The Book of Mark has only 16 chapters.

Yeah. I had a woefully inadequate public school education. We hardly even touched The Lord's Prayer. I went to Sunday School once and my parents gave me a talking to. Oh, the humanity, Snert.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

I thought you were referencing your thesis paper and was wondering what Mark's study showed.

G. Muffin

It's not a lie if you believe it. (Costanza)

G. Muffin

kropotkin1951 wrote:

I thought you were referencing your thesis paper and was wondering what Mark's study showed.

Yeah, I'm majoring in chemistry & college football. With a minor in the Woo-Woo.

My thesis is titled "Why She Died: The Goodbye Muffin."

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Christians should be commies!! Acts 2:44; 4:32

 

G. Muffin

Hey, 1951! Will you be my religious advisor/literary executor?

George Victor

jas wrote:

Snert wrote:
 

I lump climate-change deniers in with the anti-immunization crowd and the Flat Earth Society.

 

I notice that several Babblers do, despite not being scientists themselves. It's shocking how much this kind of stance mimics religious fundamentalism and intolerance. And anti-choice intolerance. I suppose I should simply take these Babblers as anti-choice on these matters. You don't want to give anyone the ability to say 'no' to immunization, or to other hegemonic medical treatments. You don't want to give anyone the ability to doubt climate change science, despite the fact that climate scientists are not fully agreed.

I recognize there is a rhetorical power in manufacturing doubt on a topic like climate change. It's similar to the "doubt" of industry-funded "experts" on cigarettes and incidence of cancer. But for someone here to even suggest doubt (not denial - doubt), or a different angle on climate change, immediately induces this hateful. kneejerk, bullying reaction from Babblers which I'm noticing more and more, and on many other topics where the predominating science may be deniable or in question. And I expect that the bullying tendency comes from an increasing sense of powerlessness to counter the doubt scientifically or rhetorically, because in fact, you're not scientists.

It's like, you're the ones who would have God dead. YOU killed God. Now you want some other kind of absolutism in life, in the absence of a dependence on religion, and you simply, and simple-mindedly, replace it with yet another human construct. Can you see how maybe a little silly that is? What makes you so sure your new human construct is something you can absolutely rely on in the way that you insist others do?

Jas, I'm not a scientist, but i read some science, and James Lovelock's Ages of Gaia sold me on his nearly 30 years ago. And now he's mainstream.

God and deconstructivist activities aside, what science do you claim as support for your position here of dutiful doubting Thomas?

500_Apples

Comparing anti-immunization to anti-climate is very devious.

There are a lot of progressive arguments against immunization, and there are scientific ones. As an example, a couple friends of mine, when they have kids, they don't want their kid to have the MMR vaccine. Are they arguing that the very concept of vaccination is flawed, and that smallpox was in fact eradicated by solar variations or some nonsense like that? No, they'll just split the vaccine into three different pieces, as they're allowed. The kid will still be vaccinated. It's that particular vaccine they don't like, and others, not the concept of vaccination, never mind the concept of medicine itself.

Global warming deniers are backed by organizations like Exxon Mobile. They don't disagree with this particular scientific theory. They disagree with the entire underlying normative structure, that the natural environment has an intrinsic worth that should be preserved, and that we don't have a manifest god-given right to comprehensively pillage nature, to deplete it to zero.

G. Muffin

Well said, 500.

The thing about climate change is, Even if it's all a big hoax perpetrated by solar panel manufacturers and suchlike, the only downside to behaving responsibly is being responsible.

jas

I can't comment on the climate change science for or against, 'cause I know nothing about it. I am of the opinion that it hardly matters. I think it would be sad to lose the biosphere we know and love; it might be sad if we ourselves became extinct, but I think we're a really stupid species and if that's what happens, then that's what we've chosen - over and over. I think efforts to try and stop our activities in time to "save the earth" are futile and a little bit self-centred. I also believe and observe in life that people usually don't change until they're in so much pain that they have left themselves with little other choice, and I think if climate change is occurring, if it is human driven, and it's not just a normal climate anomaly in the course of geologic time, then it will take a crisis of this kind of pain before we are willing to change our behaviour.

As well, the solutions we see from the industrial and post-industrial nations I feel are laughably inadequate and do not fundamentally address our disconnect with the natural world, and nothing is going to change satisfactorily until we can accept a more modest place in the biological world. It's just bandage solutions, more human self-centricity, and a complete waste of time and breath arguing about it.

My entry into the thread and many like it is usually because someone has made some broad, blanket statement about "science" saving the planet and "science-deniers" who should be drawn and quartered or whatever. I actually think it's the other way around.

 

Sineed

Quote:
There are a lot of progressive arguments against immunization, and there are scientific ones. As an example, a couple friends of mine, when they have kids, they don't want their kid to have the MMR vaccine. Are they arguing that the very concept of vaccination is flawed, and that smallpox was in fact eradicated by solar variations or some nonsense like that? No, they'll just split the vaccine into three different pieces, as they're allowed. The kid will still be vaccinated. It's that particular vaccine they don't like, and others, not the concept of vaccination, never mind the concept of medicine itself.

Just to clarify, the arguments against vaccination are neither progressive, nor scientific, but trendy, like those Bugaboo strollers.  

Like climate change deniers, anti-vaxxers have lost touch with the natural world.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Like 500_A said, a number of comments were devious, especially considering the topic at hand.  I'll leave it at that.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Sineed wrote:

Just to clarify, the arguments against vaccination are neither progressive, nor scientific, but trendy, like those Bugaboo strollers.  

Like climate change deniers, anti-vaxxers have lost touch with the natural world.

 

Really?  I don't have GBS nor any of the other myriad side effects nor long term health concerns to worry about.  Look, I appreciate you debunking "vaccines cause autism" but you can't keep lumping every issue together, please.

 

And what would you know about the natural world?  I'm talking literally, natural?  You're far too removed to make that statement.

Policywonk

jas wrote:

My entry into the thread and many like it is usually because someone has made some broad, blanket statement about "science" saving the planet and "science-deniers" who should be drawn and quartered or whatever. I actually think it's the other way around.

Ignoring or questioning scientific facts and probabilities could condemn ourselves and many other species to extinction, and it's not their denial of science so much as their motivations and ethics.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

So could adherence to those codes, Policywonk, How do you feel about those motivations and ethiics?

George Victor

How do you "feel" about the scientific method, RP?

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

I'm good with it when done ethically GV.

remind remind's picture

Quote:
anti-vaxxers have lost touch with the natural world.

... just full of thought terminating cliches that  are pointless.

 

 

 

 

 

Sven Sven's picture

Most people are illiterate about science and basic statistics.  Scientific "truths" and "facts" are probabilistic statements - not absolute certainties.

Some statements are highly probable (and are practically certain): The sun will "rise in the east" tomorrow.

Other statements are highly improbable (but are, again, for practical purposes, almost certainly not true): A delicate china teapot orbits the sun.

While anthropomorphic global warming is closer to the former example, it is not as probable as "The sun will 'rise in the east' tomorrow."

Many opponents of anthropomorphic global warming have taken advantage of (A) the probabilistic uncertainty regarding the causes of global warming (however small that uncertainty may be) and (B) the scientific and statistical illiteracy of most people.  It is accurate to say: "It is not certain that global warming is caused by humans."  But, that statement is then used by those opponents to try and shut down any discussion about anthropomorphic global warming.  But, the relative degree of uncertainty about the causes of global warming is not a reason to simply disregard anthropomorphic global warming!

At the same time, many proponents of anthropomorphic global warming have made a grave political mistake by characterizing (A) anthropomorphic global warming as a certainty and (B) that such warming will mean the extinction of life on Earth.  Why?  Because when legitimate questions are raised about anthropomorphic global warming, the credibility of those arguing that it is a "certainty" is undercut and many people will then just tune out those arguments entirely.

So, many of the loudest opponents, and many of the loudest proponents, of anthropomorphic global warming are taking positions which either claim certainty or attack certainty.  And, that's really not even the relevant question.

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

Meh, my definition of social justice wouldn't need this discussion.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

All this time I thought the earth revolved around the sun.  I am certain though that I would love to see your cites for the studies on the positions of the loudest proponents and loudest opponents.  Was it a telephone survey or a internet poll? How is "loudest" defined?

I do agree with you that the debate needs to shift to real issues like now that the ice cap will be off the Arctic in the coming summers should one back a Russian oil play or a Can/US one. If I can make some good money in the market on the right oil play I will be able to buy a solar panel.

Edited to include   Money mouth

mmphosis

Sven wrote:

Most people are illiterate about science and basic statistics.  Scientific "truths" and "facts" are probabilistic statements - not absolute certainties.

but how true is your statement?  Be aware of statements that start with "Most people..." unless you can back this up with some science and statistics.

Sven wrote:

Some statements are highly probable (and are practically certain): The sun will "rise in the east" tomorrow.

 

Only as far the labels go that we put on the poles of the earth.  Some perspective:  Everything is changing, everything is connected.

 

Sven wrote:

Other statements are highly improbable (but are, again, for practical purposes, almost certainly not true): A delicate china teapot orbits the sun.

Most surely I can see a delicate china teapot in front of me now, and as far as I know I am on Earth, and Earth orbits the sun.  Thus I conclude that a delicate china teapot does orbit the sun, from what I can see. 

Sven wrote:

While anthropomorphic global warming is closer to the former example, it is not as probable as "The sun will 'rise in the east' tomorrow."

I think that predicting the weather and the state of earth's magnetic polarity are both bad bets.

 

Instead of warring, I'd rather make peace.  I wish that more was invested in scientific research and education.

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