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Posts Tagged ‘Deniers’

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Guest post by Martha

Martha has been a frequent participant in discussions on Judith Curry‘s blog and shares with us some thoughts and observations.

It seems like only yesterday that American scientist Judith Curry announced her arrival on the blogosphere. She has created a blog based on the idea that climate change deniers are good for science and she insists deniers are skeptics, compelled to expose what they (and she) see as the ‘corruption’ of climate science and the peer review process.

While she brandishes a contrarian sword she strongly presents as disinterested in the usual denier conspiracy theories about a one-world government plot threatening the free market economy.

Judith Curry asserts she is independent of all that. She is the right scientist: the good scientist. She denies any ulterior motives that might be perceived negatively by others.

Sure, she has disclosed a small private commercial venture associated with the resources and students at her academic institute, but this is not generally viewed as problematic (although maybe it should be). While attempts to downplay or dismiss the scientific consensus on climate change are not new, especially for ideological or profit motives, she insists she is only interested in the scientific evidence.

‘I am right’.

Judith Curry sometimes posts bone-dry data, which I guess at least ensures the appearance of some examination of the science. However, it is apparent that she doesn’t let the most current research or huge holes in her basic knowledge hold her back. She litters her blog with posts that are a curious grab-bag of recycled denier arguments and irrelevancies that she calls ‘common sense’.

Apparently being right requires an abundance of false misleading comments, deliberate confusion and other mischief-making. Her juxtaposition of serious claims to science with what amounts to denier ad copy is bizarre. She disputes whatever she can think of and excoriates colleagues as often as possible.

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BPSDB Who?

The Full Monckton

Four new videos

A trip to the potty

Jest for fun

Who?

For those who don’t know him, in addition to delusions of being an authority on climate science the self-christened “Potty Peer” is (as Coby Beck put it) a certifiable crackpot and a very colourful loon.

As such documenting his seemingly endless stream of errors, misrepresentations, frauds, lies etc would appear to be a cruel and completely unwarrented exercise in mocking the feeble and afflicted were it not for one other fact – he is one of the most  widely known of the professional so-called “climate skeptics.”

Further, for those desperate to embrace any idiocy that purports to refute climate science (eg the American Republican Party), Lord Monckton would appear to be one of the most credible of those professionals (undoubtedly based on his claim to being a member of the House of Lords, which he isn’t).

In a field (ie climate change denial) where raving silliness and blatant fraud are the stock in trade it would be difficult to pick a King of the Dungheap, but I submit that if one looks at the difference between outrageous, egregious ridiculousness and perceived credibility by the Denialosphere and some popular media, then Monkton is a clear frontrunner if not outright winner. Few others come even close to being so obviously, blatantly wrong while being still held up as credible authorities by the Deniers.

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The Top Ten BPSDB

Ben of Wott’s Up With That? commented on “Guide for dealing with the “Denier” labelthatthe “skeptic” fig-leaf is what annoys me most about climate change deniers” which led me to respond that “And there is so much to choose from too. I wonder if I could pick which are the “Ten most infuriating climate change Denier scams.”

Which comes with the following caveats of course.

1) Is identifying the scams that most infuriate simply an invitation to even more of the same?

2) Is acknowledging (again) the obvious reality that:

      1. There are Deniers;
      2. They use scams & deceit etc rather than rational debate;
      3. It is infuriating.

simply polarizing?

3) Is this just an invitation to simply list (again) the:

Regardless, both feet into the fire … simply post your nomination as a comment. Should clear winners not emerge we will use the Poll function to hold a runoff to determine the top ten.

Nominations should include a tinyurl link to an example of scam in question (or a hand drawn facsimile thereof) [Offer void where prohibited by law].

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BPSDB If someone refers to you as a “Denier”:

To convince them that you are a “Skeptic”, NOT a “Denier”:

  • Ignore the label and keep the discussion focused on the issue(s) of substance;
  • Point to and discuss the relevant facts and evidence;
  • Use reliable sources, either peer reviewed science or sources that track back to real science;
  • Be sure that your position accepts and accounts for all of the generally known facts that you are not explicitly disputing;
  • Ensure that your position is based on a logical argument;
  • Be flexible, ready to modify your position if it is shown that you erred or misunderstood;
  • Be consistent and rational; stay focused on facts and insist that your opponent do so as well.
  • Follow ‘The Skeptical Manifesto” as best you can.

To convince them that you probably ARE a Denier:

Do:

  • Quibble about the term, complain that it is offensive and an attempt link you with the Holocaust or some other such irrelevant nonsense;
  • Keep insisting that the perfectly correct English word ‘Denier’ not be permitted, do not allow any discussion of whether it was used correctly or not;
  • Insist that you are a “Skeptic” even though you don’t really know what that means;
  • Call them names and accuse them of ad hominem attacks. Don’t worry if you don’t really know what ‘ad hominem’ actually means.;
  • Go off on tangents, talk about anything except the actual issue;

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Dear Michael Lemonick BPSDB

In general I have appreciated your work, that of Climate Central, and of Scientific American.

As such I have been hugely disappointed, indeed flabbergasted by the piece you did on Judith Curry. Not by the subject, but by the fact that it promotes a narrative that is largely fiction.

Of the article Climate Heretic: Judith Curry Turns on Her Colleagues“in Scientific American Stoat saidthat article has completely missed the point of the criticism of her.” Actually I’d say it’s far worse than that. It is not simply misguided, it is flat out nonsense.

In your article the scientific community is falsely portrayed as a bunch of small minded bigots who gossip about trivialities and the irrelevant. Their real and legitimate concerns, not to mention substantive critiques of Curry, are ignored. Bad enough to ignore the real story, but to create a fiction as a substitute?

Richard Littlemore comes closer than Stoat with his critique, and FAIR makes a couple of good points, but I think there is value to be being more specific about exactly what are the failings.

In the Scientific American  article and the subsequent “Why I Wrote About Judith Curry” at Climate Central you said:

… something that annoys, even infuriates, many of her scientific colleagues. Curry has been engaging actively with the climate change skeptic community, largely by participating on outsider blogs …

Scientific American

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BPSDB

MENU

Linguiça Hodge Podge

Curry’ed Menudo (Tripe)

Jumped Shark Fin Soup

Carbonnade à la Flamande Hash

Banh Tieu Chiffonade

Dog(ma) Imbottito con Ideologia

Trockenbeerenauslese Trifle

Lemon Curry Fool

A recipe for Ms Curry

Curry şiş Kebabs


I have finally gotten around to reading Judith Curry‘s contributions to the climate change debate and I have to say Stewart Shaw’s paraphrasing of the old axiom sums it up best:

It’s like making sausage. The more you know about what goes into it and how it’s done, the less you like it.

Stewart Shaw

Insomuch as Ms Curry’s stated objective is to build bridges and “have a civil conversation about climate” I thought it would be interesting to have a look at the Curry phenomenon from a conflict resolution perspective. Specifically to look at and assess Ms Curry’s contribution to facilitating civil discourse.

Curry and her take on climate science has been much discussed and vivisected (Curry şiş Kebabs below) and although I present some samplings to illustrate how she deals with contentious issues, I will not be repeating or reviewing the scientific or political perspective. There are far too many threads and Curry’s dissembling has made most of them more convoluted and Byzantine than they needed to be.

What I found is that while Curry claims to want to build bridges, she is going about it with a flame thrower. Her approach, whether intentional or not, is a recipe to make matters far worse, and it’s working!

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BPSDB

Scientific malpractice isn’t

Scientific malpractice is

Principles of scientific work

The controversial part

It’s not a bloody shovel

One of the most scrutinized and stringently regulated common professions is medicine. Just becoming a medical practitioner is a long and arduous process with strict standards, reviews and licensing.

Despite this system of oversights and checks medical malpractice still occurs, and far more frequently than we are really comfortable contemplating. Given that, is it really so shocking that there is such a thing as scientific malpractice and incompetence as well?

Of course science has standards and checks such as peer review to ensure that published scientific work itself is, by and large, competent. However there is no check on the competence of the scientists themselves beyond what their employer may choose to impose.

If only 1/10,000 scientists is incompetent it would still give us 6,000 to 7,000 of them skulking about. If the rate even approaches that of medical malpractice than we are talking at least 31,000, undoubtedly many more.

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