Tuesday, August 03, 2010
The Burning Woman Festival of Global Warming: Step up to the stake, Ms. Curry
Judith Curry, who has been kind enough to give interviews here before, has now crossed the line in the minds of the climate hysterics who have polluted this discussion with invective and hatred for so long.
Her crime has been to read a book. Really. The book is The Hockey Stick Illusion by Andrew Montford, who blogs under the nom de guerre (it's a war now...) of Bishop Hill. The book, which reads like a detective thriller (it has been described as Stieg Larssen without the lesbian sex, which is just about the best one-line review in history), chronicles the exposure of Michael Mann's famous Hockey Stick chart as irretrievably flawed.
Curry will pay--she's already paying, in fact. She is now being described as a skeptic, a denialist, someone who has gone over to the Dark Side. Tim Lambert, who runs a blog that is arguably the worst of the climate hysteria genre, has a post up on his site devoted to criticism of Curry. The comments there are summed up by this: "Her comments at RC and CP do not read like those of a scientist, or even of a rational person. They read like those of the typical denialist."
Now get this straight. Curry is not pronouncing that Montford's book is the definitive source. She does not endorse the book. (I do, but I'm not a respected climate scientist...) Curry's crime--what makes here a `denialist' and `skeptic' and `irrational'--is to say that people should read the book to get an understanding of what happened, how it happened and why it's important.
Judith Curry actually had to say that people should read a book. That's because some of the hysterics published phony studies saying it was not necessary to read a book to understand why they were right and their opponents were wrong. I am not making that up. Everybody from Brian Angliss to Michael Tobis is inventing reasons why they don't need to read criticism of the position they support--that Michael Mann is a saint and the Hockey Stick chart is a holy relic.
There is no better vignette explaining the intellectual dishonesty of the hysterical position, championed by Joe Romm and Tim Lambert, supported by Real Climate, Tamino and Michael Tobis, and egged on from the sidelines by Eli Rabett and countless commenters.
Montford's book shows how Steve McIntrye identified the errors in sample selection and analysis that made the Hockey Stick chart untrustworthy, and the efforts Michael Mann and his colleages went to to hide the defects of their study (which led to Climategate, which Montford covers at the end of his book).
Montford's book is good. Curry's recommendation to the community that they read it is a very good recommendation. I have seen too many defenses of the consensus and attacks on its opponents that showed an appalling ignorance of what happened to think otherwise.
Judith Curry is a respected climate scientist (who does not dispute the theory or existence of climate change due to human emissions of CO2). She holds respectable positions and has published well-respected papers in the literature.
She's getting dragged through the mud by political hacks for the crime of telling these hacks that they should read what exactly their opponents are saying.
As I said above, there is no episode in all the climate wars that shows more clearly the cheap partisan political nature and moral bankruptcy of hacks like Joe Romm, Real Climate, Tim Lambert, Tamino and Eli Rabett. The question now is will Curry get burnt at the stake professionally and personally before people say `that's enough'?
New Study Undermines EPA Endangerment Finding
A new study by University of Guelph (Canada) Professor Ross McKitrick (see here) shows that the temperature data upon which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) relied in its Endangerment Finding has significant flaws and uncertainties that undermine that Finding.
Since the EPA Endangerment Finding is the basis for far-reaching EPA greenhouse gas (GHG) regulation, the McKitrick study also undermines EPA's decision to regulate. The study also undermines confidence as to whether any particular year or decade is the warmest "on record."
EPAs Endangerment Finding to a large extent was based on EPA's analysis of 20th century temperature records. According to EPA, these records show a warming trend in the latter three decades of the century of fractions of a degree Fahrenheit per decade. EPA believes this trend is of sufficient enough magnitude as to necessarily be caused by human emissions of GHGs. But Professor McKitrick reveals a number of significant problems in the underlying data sets. Any of these problems introduce a margin of error that is comparable to, if not greater than, the very trend that EPA perceives and therefore may eliminate or significantly lessen the trend on which EPA relies.
Professor McKitrick reviews how both land and sea surface temperature records were created for the 20th century. He finds that the methodology by which temperatures were determined and the geographic regions covered have changed substantially over the years, with the result that different records have essentially been spliced together to create a single, continuous global record.
The fact that different types of records have had to be combined in an attempt to create a single record is not surprising because, historically, land-based temperature monitors and the methods used to measure sea surface temperatures were not designed as part of a systematic and standardized program to produce comparable data that could be used to produce a long-term global climatic record. They were designed instead to produce reasonably accurate local data.
The combination of these different data sets requires data adjustments so that the data "it" with each other. These adjustments are based on uncertain assumptions that introduce a high margin of error in the overall record.
The temperature trend for the last three decades of the 20th century, which EPA says was of such magnitude as to be unequivocally caused by human-emitted GHGs, was just 0.30F per decade. This cmpares with warming rates of 0.25F per decade during a number of 30-year periods spanning the 1910s to the 1940s, which EPA says were not caused by human-emitted GHGs. Thus, temperature increases of a mere 0.05F per decade are given decisive weight by EPA in concluding that
anthropogenic GHGs caused warming during the 20th century. Professor McKitrick, however, shows that the uncertainties in the data undermine confidence in the accuracy of temperature differences this small and therefore the conclusions that EPA reaches.
Based on the McKitrick study, Peabody Energy Company has today filed a petition (see here) with EPA under the Information Quality Act (IQA) in which it asks EPA to correct the temperature records on which the Endangerment Finding is based and to reconsider its GHG regulations. The IQA requires agencies to correct information that it uses for regulation.
SOURCE (See the original for links)
The Tree Ring Circus
John Dawson presents below the story of the hockey stick fraud in a highly readable form that should be easily accessible to the average reader
The Hockey Stick Illusion is the shocking story of a graph called the Hockey Stick. It is also a textbook of tree ring analysis, a code-breaking adventure, an intriguing detective story, an expos‚ of a scientific and political travesty, and the tale of a herculean struggle between a self-funded sceptic and a publicly funded hydra, all presented in the measured style of an analytical treatise. The hero of the story is Steve McIntyre, honourably assisted by fellow sceptics, especially by Ross McKitrick. The villain is Michael Mann, dishonourably assisted by global warming alarmists, especially by his "Hockey Team". The bare bones of the Hockey Stick story are as follows.
In its First Assessment Report published in 1990, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) presented the conventional view of climate history: that around a thousand years ago there was a Medieval Warm Period, followed by a Little Ice Age, followed by the Current Warm Period that has not yet reached the temperatures experienced during the Medieval Warm Period. In 1995 the IPCC's Second Assessment Report presented that view again but introduced some doubt about the Medieval Warm Period, suggesting that further investigation was required. It had dawned on global warming crusaders that the Medieval Warm Period was a huge problem for the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) hypothesis and that fame and fortune awaited a scientist who could get rid of it.
The scientist who took the prize was a brash and ambitious American paleoclimatologist, Dr Michael Mann. With two of his more senior colleagues, Mann set about investigating the earth's temperature over the last millennium by scouring the world's research projects that had detected past temperatures by way of temperature "proxies" such as tree rings. The amount of data they collated and the sophistication of their statistical analysis, claimed Mann, ensured that their conclusions would be more "robust" than those of previous studies. Their first peer-reviewed paper (MBH98) was published in the prestigious journal Nature in 1998 and their second (MBH99) was published in Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) in 1999. The graphed summation of these papers wiped the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age out of the picture and replaced them with a flat-lined handle declining slightly from 1000 to 1900 then bending upwards into a twentieth-century blade of rapidly rising temperatures.
This "Hockey Stick" graph was immediately seized by AGW crusaders. Typical of the reaction was that of Gerry North of Texas A&M University who enthused: "The planet had been cooling slowly until 120 years ago, when, bam!, it jumps up . We've been breaking our backs on [greenhouse] detection, but I found the 1000-year records more convincing than any of our detection studies." Almost overnight the Hockey Stick became the new gold standard of paleoclimatology.
As we now know (or will know after reading The Hockey Stick Illusion) what glittered was not gold but fool's gold. The Hockey Stick was not "robust". It was the product of a pseudo-scientific mindset, faulty data selection, erroneous data identification, dubious statistical methodology, flawed mathematics, a perverted peer-review process, a frenzied propaganda campaign and unscrupulous defence mechanisms. But so insatiable was the demand for this product that it swept all before it and challengers into the sceptic sin-bin.
Michael Mann was an incorrigible scientist, but he was an indomitable politician. His hegemony over paleo-climatologists, peer reviewers, journal editors, and some key politicians and lobbyists was none too subtle but amazingly effective. He quickly became a referee for eleven scientific journals and three grant programs, he was appointed scientific adviser on climate change to the US government, and he appeared regularly in the media. His crowning achievement was his appointment by the IPCC as contributing author of a number of chapters of the Third Assessment Report, and lead author of its "Observed Climate" chapter.
As Hans von Storch understated it, to have a scientist who already dominated a debate also authorising the key review of that debate was a sure road to trouble; the situation demanded the involvement of scientists who really were independent. As McIntyre stated it, this situation would be entirely unacceptable in a commercial situation, and in fact illegal outside a banana republic.
Since it would have been too blatant, even for Mann, to have his own paleoclimatology papers as the only ones to be taken seriously in the IPCC report, he sought the collaboration of paleoclimatologists from the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit who had been doing tree ring analysis for many years. So Mann and his American colleagues joined forces with Phil Jones and his English colleagues to form an informal alliance that came to be known as the "Hockey Team". After some initial argy-bargy the pecking order was sorted out: Mann was captain, Phil Jones vice-captain and the team's all-for-one-and-one-for-all effort and prestige were harnessed to spearhead the cause of galvanising the world's attention on "the great moral and economic challenge of our time", as Kevin Rudd described AGW alarmism.
While expressing doubts and concerns amongst themselves from time to time, the team was driven inexorably on by Mann's bluster about their common commitment to "the science" and the need to fend off dark forces he imagined being aligned against them by big energy companies, and references to the support the team could count on from unidentified "friends in high places". But the team was driven past the point of no return-the scientists' reputations and careers became so attached to the Hockey Stick that its defence overwhelmed their professional integrity and scientific objectivity. Time and again the goal of enshrining the Hockey Stick as the robust "consensus" view took precedence over due scientific process and disclosure.
The English members of the team produced some tree ring graph lines that could be added to Mann et al's graph to bolster its intergovernmental credentials. When evidence of the Medieval Warm Period became apparent it was rationalised away as likely to be localised rather than worldwide. When proxy tree ring graph lines declined inexplicably in the late twentieth century they were cropped short and replaced with instrumental lines-sometimes the replacement was noted, sometimes it was hidden. Borehole studies that showed higher temperatures during the Medieval Warm Period than during the Current Warm Period were shunted out of the picture, except for a consolation prize of being used to demonstrate rising temperatures since the Little Ice Age.
When the Third Assessment Report was released to great fanfare in 2001 the Hockey Stick was its centrepiece, appearing seven times in the report. The version that appeared in the "Synthesis Report", as the finale to its "Summary for Policy Makers", was particularly awesome. A single line traced northern hemisphere temperatures along a nine-century handle, then bent upward through the twentieth century, then continued skyward through the twenty-first century to make a blade nearly as high as the handle was long. The graph's caption began:
Variations of the Earth's surface temperature: years 1000 to 2100. From year 1000 to year 1860 variations in average surface temperature of the Northern Hemisphere are shown (corresponding data from the Southern Hemisphere not available) reconstructed from proxy data (tree rings, corals, ice cores, and historical records). The line shows the 50-year average, the grey region the 95% confidence limit in the annual data .
The Hockey Stick was quickly adopted as the AGW crusaders' banner. It appeared on posters, PowerPoint presentations, in schools, on trucks, and in 2002 it was referred to in a pamphlet sent to every household in Canada to promote ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. In his documentary An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore showed it as dramatic "evidence" and claimed that all scientists agreed with its message. Others said: well, all legitimate scientists anyway. And woe betide any scientist or politician who disagreed.
A few scientists and statisticians and journalists and politicians refused to be cowed. Not many of them were financed by public institutions. None involved in the Hockey Stick war were financed by big energy companies, despite the mantra recited by the likes of Mann and Gore that they all were. (Personally I think sceptics should be financed by big business as a counterbalance to the almost limitless public funding for climate alarmism.) Steve McIntyre had worked for a mining company, but his work on the Hockey Stick was done from home and was self-funded.
During his career McIntyre had applied his Oxford education in mathematics to data analysis and the auditing of statistically analysed surveys of prospecting and mining projects. When he retired he educated himself in paleoclimatology, then decided to cast an auditor's eye over the Hockey Stick. This required that he examine the data on which the research papers were based and the methods that had been employed to analyse it, so he e-mailed Michael Mann to ask for them.
Mann responded politely and arranged for a colleague to send some data. It was not enough data to do a proper audit, but it was enough for McIntyre to start detecting significant problems with the Hockey Stick, which he started exposing on the web. From then on his requests for the information required to audit papers were ignored, fobbed off, delayed, obstructed, belittled, rejected or grudgingly complied with in part. He doggedly persisted with the frustrating time-consuming process of politely pursuing researchers, their employers, journals and freedom-of-information claims, in order to gain access to information that should have been made readily available according to the policies of the journals and institutions involved. With a few exceptions the non-disclosure reality confounded the full-disclosure policy that is essential to the pursuit of scientific truth.
With only part of the data and procedures available to him, McIntyre's first task was to fill in the gaps as best he could by working backwards from the graphs to try and figure out how they had been arrived at. This task made me think of a code breaker with a coded message and some idea of what it might mean who then has to decipher what the code is. Not until he had broken the code could McIntyre start examining what it had been used to do and analyse whether its results were valid. This required many hours of trial and error using sophisticated statistical analysis programs-at least they sound sophisticated to a layman like me.
McIntyre's discoveries were numerous, and startling, and damning. When he started posting them on the web, the Hockey Team scathingly dismissed them as ignorant nonsense that would never get past a peer review; but as soon as McIntyre and fellow Canadian Ross McKitrick had their first peer reviewed paper (MM03) published in Environment and Energy the debate escalated into a Hockey Stick war. Mann furiously orchestrated a campaign of denunciation and sabotage. His "friends over at Nature", as he called them, treated McIntyre and McKitrick particularly badly, accepting their paper, delaying it, then rejecting it and publishing Mann's exculpatory corrigendum instead.
While their paper was languishing at Nature the Canadians were constrained from responding to attacks by the team. Mann declared that a paper by Scott Rutherford "completely discredited" MM03. But in 2005 McIntyre and McKitrick had their second paper published in Energy and Environment (MM05EE) and another one in Geophysical Research Letters (MM05GRL) and another one in a Dutch magazine. Mann's response was to claim that Energy and Environment was not a legitimate scientific journal and that MM05GRL had "managed to slip through the imperfect peer review filter at [GRL]". He didn't explain how he knew this about the allegedly confidential peer review process, but thanks to Climategate we know the sort of influence he could wield over that process, and what sort of filter he had in mind.
The war that raged between McIntyre and the hydra, in the journals, on the net, and in the media, came to a head, to one of them at least, when Mann once again refused to disclose his computational codes. As long as McIntyre had to rely solely on the codes he had broken, Mann could claim that he hadn't got them right, so McIntyre asked Mann to provide the right ones-and was again refused. Hence Mann's stance amounted to: no one can understand my methods and reproduce my results without my codes, and I am not going to allow anyone else to examine or use them.
When Mann's ridiculous statements on this matter (for example, that big oil companies were behind the request and that he would not be intimidated) were reported in the Wall Street Journal the tussle became political. The key politicians involved were Joe Barton, a sceptic, and Sherwood Boehlert, an AGW alarmist. To cut a long story short, Barton set up the Wegman committee to investigate and Boehlert set up the North committee to investigate.
The Wegman panel was made up of three statisticians from three different universities, none of whom had any professional connection to paleoclimatology or the AGW debate. The North panel was made up of eleven paleoclimatologists and two statisticians, most of whom had been professionally connected to the IPCC or the Hockey Team, some of them closely connected. So this jury was well and truly stacked in Mann's favour. He acknowledged this to Keith Briffa in an e-mail urging him to appear before it as a witness:
"I think you really should do this if you possibly can. The panel is entirely legit[im]ate, and the report was requested by Sherwood Boehlert, who as you probably know has been very supportive of us in the whole Barton affair . The panel is solid. Gerry North should do a good job in chairing this, and the other members are all solid. Christy is the token skeptic, but there are many others to keep him in check".
But despite its AGW bias, when the North panel presented its report in June 2006 it acknowledged that the Hockey Stick's depiction of temperatures before 1600 was invalid. It reported that the Hockey Stick depended on bristlecone pine proxies that "should be avoided for temperature reconstructions". That its reliance on single validation statistics was unacceptable. That its short-centring methodology was biased, towards a hockey stick shape. That it used methodology that was "unconventional" and "problematical" such that it "introduced certain distortions"-that is, was wrong. And more. It concluded that: "Some of these criticisms are more relevant than others, but taken together, they are an important aspect of a more general finding of this committee, which is that uncertainties of the published reconstructions have been underestimated." This was a highly euphemistic summary of the report's specific findings. The panel made no criticism of McIntyre or McKitrick or of the papers they presented.
Since the Wegman panel had not been stacked with AGW crusaders with allegiances to the team or the IPCC, and since its brief was confined to Mann's Hockey Stick rather than to climate history as such, its report was not compromised like the North report. (A brief summary of its findings may be found here.)
The Wegman report identified a hard core of seven authors and a "social network" of forty-three authors with direct ties to Mann, and reported that this network had compromised independent research, perverted the peer review process, and so tied researchers to their public positions that they had become incapable of reassessing them. It criticised the team's isolation from mainstream statisticians in other disciplines, and its grudging and haphazard release of the data required for verification of its findings. Most importantly it found that "the decentered methodology" used to produce the Hockey Stick "is simply incorrect mathematics", that the Hockey Stick has "a validation skill not significantly different from zero", and that its obliteration of the Medieval Warm Period and contention that the 1990s was the hottest decade in a millennium were "essentially unverifiable".
The team attacked the Wegman report on the grounds that it was not peer reviewed, which was ridiculous since it was a peer review-a proper independent one by three of the most distinguished statisticians in the country. And they made maximum use of the wiggle room in the North report summary. Although it had validated McIntyre and McKitrick's criticisms of Mann's data selection and methodology in the body of the report, its brief was to form an opinion about the world's temperatures over the last 2000 years, and the panel was not about to explicitly contradict the IPCC in this regard. It got around the conflict of interests by deciding that there was evidence other than Mann's Hockey Stick that twentieth-century warming is "para-normal". What they didn't do, however, was to scrutinise that "other evidence" very carefully, because of the examples they presented, all bar one included bristlecone pines in their data sets, which they had agreed should not be used. It was in fact those bristlecones and other "Mannian parlor tricks", as McIntyre called them, that produced the hockey stick effect in all their "other evidence".
Oppenheimer's immigration scare was recycled from a 1970's global COOLING scare
Earlier this week a new paper was published for the National Academy of Sciences by Michael Oppenheimer, a Princeton professor and lead author of the forthcoming IPCC report. Oppenheimer made the following claim in his paper: "Between 1.4 million and 6.7 million Mexicans could migrate to the U.S. by 2080 as climate change reduces crop yields and agricultural production in Mexico...The number could amount to 10% of the current population of Mexicans ages 15 to 65."
Flashback to 1975, when a Newsweek article called "The Cooling World" published a similar claim from the National Academy of Sciences: "There are ominous signs that the Earth's weather patterns have begun to change dramatically and that these changes may portend a drastic decline in food production - with serious political implications for just about every nation on Earth. The drop in food output could begin quite soon, perhaps only 10 years from now.
35 years ago environmentalist were claiming that our agriculture was doomed due to upcoming freezing temperatures. Today, they've only changed their tune by saying increasing temperatures will destroy crops, and tacking on the threat of mass migration to cause more alarm.
Phelim was invited on to the Neil Cavuto show to rebut these ridiculous claims. The newest claims are worse than the Global Cooling scare because they ignore what history taught us from the medieval warm period-warmer temperatures brings prosperity to nations.
Additionally, Oppenhiemers' research methods have been referred to as "guesswork piled on top of 'what ifs.'" In short, the type of research we've come to expect from IPCC authors.
As Phelim said, "Immigration is the last great hope of these alarmists."
More HERE (See the original for links & video)
Honesty breaking out?
A Warmist says that his fellow Warmists will have to play down that science thang if they want to persuade people to act on Warmist scares
The battle to get Americans to accept the science behind climate change has been "lost," an expert at the Aspen Environment Forum declared Wednesday, but there's still a way to win the war to reduce carbon emissions.
Jonathan Foley, director of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, said leaders on climate change need to concentrate on changing behavior in ways that appeal to people - and also happen to reduce carbon emissions.
"Climate scientists - stop talking about climate science. We lost. It's over. Forget it," Foley told a surprised audience during a featured panel discussion on the last day of the three-day forum.
He said he likes nothing more than addressing conservatives and trying to win them over. "I like to walk into rooms like that and say, `Forget about climate change. Do you love America?'
"And they'll go, `Yeah.' I'll say, `Doesn't it kind of tick you off that we borrow money from China, send it to Saudi Arabia to prop up this energy industry ... You're pushing a lot of buttons. They agree on that," Foley said.
Environmentalists and climate deniers should stop fighting and take action they agree on, even if they approach the issue from different sides, he said.
"The skepticism around climate change has created a trap for us," Foley said. "Stop digging yourself into the hole. Get out of it. Talk about it a different way. Reframe the issue."
The Environment Forum was presented by The Aspen Institute and National Geographic Magazine. It attracted more than 300 attendees along with scores of speakers in its third year. The first two days featured dire assessments of various environmental maladies, from the oceans acidifying to the challenge of feeding a hungry planet when the population is supposed to surge from 7 billion to 9 billion by 2050.
Wednesday was designed to look more at solutions. Foley was part of a panel assessing how behavior can be changed to encourage stewardship of the planet in a time of "anthropocene," or the time when humans are the dominate evolutionary force on Earth.
The key to cultivating that change is stopping the battle over whether or not science backs the concept of climate change, Foley said. A handful of audience members challenged the wisdom of his strategy, insisting that people must be educated about the details of climate change science before they truly get behind efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
Foley stuck to his claims. Discussing changes in global mean temperature makes people's eyes glaze over and does little to help them understand the issue, he said. "Talk about things that matter - food, water, your way of life, the place you live, that kind of thing. "I'm not saying ignore the issue. Turn it around, reframe it," Foley persisted.
About 10 percent of Americans will align with you if you rally around climate change, he later added, but 70 percent will be on your side if you talk about energy security.
The stakes in the debate are too high for bickering. Foley said meaningful action must be taken to ease carbon emissions in less than a decade.
Another panel member, Rev. Richard Cizik, president of New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, agreed that the war on climate change must be waged in ways people can understand.
People will only change behavior when they are uncomfortable with something happening in their lives or the world - and if they're given a solution that works. "You have to be really careful because if you give them an answer that doesn't work and doesn't resonate, then you're in trouble," Cizik said.
"Brown Wash" is a new hate-speech term describing climate skepticism dreamed up by Warmists attached to Australia's Green/Left public broadcaster, the ABC. They say that "Brownwashers" should be prosecuted for fraud.
Such threats seem to have faded away in most of the rest of the world but the mental world of many ABC "intellectuals" still seems to be fixed somewhere in the old East Germany so their polemical primitivism is no great surprise.
My immediate response is "Bring it on". I am sure most skeptics would LOVE to present their case before a court -- where it is evidence, not abuse, that counts.
Meanwhile, however, Jo Nova has some derisive comments on the ABC effusions. The ABC Talking Head concerned was Kellie Tranter:
Kellie Tranter attacks imaginary deniers who she doesn't name, cite, or reference. All her inferences and innuendo are backed up by assertive confidence, a pile of convenient guesses, and nothing else. Everything she accuses the Deniers of is something that those on the Big Scare Campaign do-and if the Deniers do it at all, those who sell-the-scare do it 100 times more.
And countermanding her legal speculation: sanctions for those who provide inaccurate or misleading information are surely more appropriate for the workers who are paid by the citizens to give balanced and careful reporting - rather than those who offer a product for voluntary purchase in the private market.
The citizens are, after all, forced to pay for the services of the Department of Climate Change, the CRU, the CSIRO, BOM and ABC. No citizen is forced to buy Heaven and Earth. The official organisations are chartered to provide the whole truth, not just their favorite parts. Who in their right mind expects a single speech or book from a private individual to encompass the entirety of scientific knowledge?
Last time I looked, there were no laws saying non-fiction items must be impartial and unbiased.
The Brown-washing article was incorrect, inaccurate, based on fallacies of ad hominem, reasoned by mere authority, and was stocked with countless unsubstantiated claims about imaginary malfeasant authors. It's so vacant, and lacking in any reasonable argument that it doesn't just reflect not-too-well on the author, it begs us to ask why our tax dollars are being used to propagate this kind of abject literary and logical failure.
I'm not calling for anyone to be silenced, it's just a question of value for money.Why did the editors of ABC Unleashed think a generic unresearched smear was worth publishing?
It's the sheer lack of research that marks this as mindless. Tranter addresses her imaginary unnamed denier, imagining how rich they must be becoming: "Now suppose you're a "brown washer" and you put yourself up as an expert on the issue of climate change. You knock up a book on the subject. You're paid to deliver lectures, and you're using the lectures to promote your profession or trade as an author. Hundreds attend and many purchase your book because they are relatively unsophisticated in scientific matters and want to know more. You're in "trade or commerce"."
But as I noted in Climate Money, the money for those with lectures, books, junkets and committees vastly outdoes the rewards of skepticism by 3500 : 1. It's not just a vague ad hom by Tranter, its so wrong, it springs back to hit those she defends who write the manifestos of doom instead. Al Gore is making millions from things proven in court to be wrong, and Tranter seems to think that's ok.
This point had already been negated by well referenced material already published on. the Drum [an ABC site] itself.
Tranter doesn't just do inadequate research, she must have actively avoided reading anything written by the group she writes about. She might despise "deniers" but watch her become one while talking to her imaginary friend: "You don't mention, nor do you offer any evidence to refute or alternative hypotheses to explain, that carbon dioxide affects global temperature due to the well-known greenhouse effect, or that no known factor apart from greenhouse gases can account for the past century of warming - not solar cycles, nor cosmic rays, not magnetic fields, not urban heat effects."
Tranter sure can muster the bluster. Skeptics don't even mention evidence.? With 10 seconds of Googling, a ten year old could prove her wrong.
Try to imagine which skeptical book Tranter actually read: was it Heaven and Earth with 2000 references? Could it be Steve Goreham's Climatism with er. only 1079 end notes. I guess it wasn't Bob Carter's new book Climate: The Counter Consensus, because its references and notes run for 57 pages.
I'm not suggesting an argument is right because it has hundreds of references, but if Tranter wanted to research whether skeptical books are based on evidence, she might actually have to thumb through one. Her imaginary-theoretical-skeptic offers no evidence, but that's just it, anyone can write about their imaginary friends, let's not use taxpayers dollars and pretend their opinion is worthy of a national discussion.
Skeptics don't just discuss the evidence, we discuss what evidence itself is. (And also what it's not.) Has Tranter heard of the word empirical?
We could ask Kellie why she didn't bother reading a single skeptical argument before trying to smear the unpaid grassroots volunteers who are trying to save her freedom and money. She's pinned her status to defending one scientific theory without reading anything from the prosecution. Perhaps she answers this herself: "Why don't you deal with this evidence? Could it be incompetence or ignorance, that you're not aware of it? Could it be ineptitude or cowardice, that you can't answer it or won't try to? Could it be cowardly self-interest, that facing it would make the premises of your arguments untenable and your output unsaleable? Could it be calculated deception, that acknowledging scientific truth would invalidate your fallacious assertions and hence your entire position, so that self preservation requires that you deny its existence?"
Except I wouldn't suggest anything so dark and premeditated. It's more Pavlovian. Tranter has learned that in the right circles you can say baseless smears and you win applause. She's just being obedient.
More HERE (See the original for links)
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Posted by JR at 5:05 PM