Then today Richard Black of the BBC finds out how ugly it can be when you make the mistake (the travesty!) of missing a chance to tell everyone that the Earth’s falling apart due to Man-made Global Warming.
It’s the first time Richard Black has been on the receiving end. He’s a bit put out.
It seems that something new, and not altogether welcome, may be happening in the politicking over climate change.
I have written before of the orchestrated villification that comes the way of climate scientists from some people and organisations who are unconvinced of the case for human-induced climate change – “sceptics”, “deniers”, as you wish.
This week, for the first time, I am seeing the same pattern from their opponents.
Joe Romm took him to task for doing a story on the hottest year without “mentioning the primary cause of global warming” (according to climate models which are known to be wrong). Romm set lots of emailers onto Black. The original “dreadful” story is just reporting how arctic ice melted fast, but didn’t shrink as much as 2007.
Then you can see the cogs turning in Black’s mind with the implications:
What about scientists? If researchers publish papers on climate change that do not include cataclysmic warnings of where the world is heading, will they receive the same treatment?
Hello, Richard, yes, exactly, and you are catching up fast on the world in 1990. Around then, an intolerant culture was established that scorned anyone who so much as asked difficult questions. Some eminent scientists were sacked. Al Gores staffers attacked Fred Singer so viperously, that he took them to court and won. But what message did that send to the world’s scientists? You can speak your doubts on the hypothesis of man-made-catastrophe, but be prepared to spend thousands on lawyers, risk your job, and lose your friends. Singer won the battle, but Al won that war.
If Richard Black would like the debate to be less polarized and more scientific he could start by getting over his own noxious use of the derogatory term “denier”.
This is good news for skeptics.
Why, because when bullies do what bullies do, they bite back at their own. For people like Judith Curry and Richard Black, suddenly the depth of the vicious campaign becomes clear, and unless they have a religious belief in man-made global warming, this is the point when they start to wonder just how strong the scientific case is. I’ve written before about how the bullying creates only brittle support, working only until the tactic is exposed for all to see, and how it helps convert passive borderline skeptics into active trumpeting dissenters.
There is a serious slogging going on in the comments, and it’s interesting to watch.
The once cohesive block of the believers in the Big Scare Campaign fragments a bit further. Piece by piece proponents will distance themselves from the unscientific advocacy until all that are left are the religious believers who won’t be swayed by any amount of reason.
Bishop Hill points out that there’s a BBC science review running at the moment, and wonders if that has had any effect on Richard Black’s reporting. The BBC review is starting from a point 10-steps-to-the-left of impartial: Both quacks and climate deniers rarely have anything to say that is real science. That’s right, even if you have a Nobel Physics Prize, a BBC editor can group you with “quacks” and ignore everything you say.
Mailmannz writes in the BBC comments:
It beggars belief that you, who works for an organisation with nearly a £4 BILLION budget, has only now just noticed the toxic levels of hatred and spite spat out by those who believe in Mann Made Global Warming ™?
Then again, when you are on the inside looking out, I guess it does get a little hard to see what really is going on around you.
You know, I’m wondering why you, Harribin et al HAVEN’T interviewed someone as important to the MMGW debate as Mr McIntyre? Could it be because that would be the wrong kind of thing to do for those who have so heavily invested their time, effort and…cough…money in MMGW?
Why is the BBC so incredibly incurious about McIntyre’s story? How for years Mann has refused to release the data he used to construct his now discredited hockey stick? Why is that Richard? Why so incurious?
What I did notice after McIntyres recent visit and speeches in the UK a couple months back was that a lot of the “warmistas” were surprised at just how articulate McIntyre is. When they saw and heard the man for the first time they suddenly realised he wasnt the cook and anti-christ the vindictive mann made global warming followers had smeared him as being.
Thanks to Barry W for the heads up.
Barry writes astutely in the comments on the BBC:
.Most recently Professor Judith Curry, who is a ‘consensus’ respected scientist, who has been roundly abused by the Pro Agw blogs, like Real Climate, Deltoid, DeSmogBlog and many others. On her new blog she talks about doubt, she also agrees that AGW is still at the Hypothesis stage.
Judith, then has been roundly ‘abused’, judgement questioned, merely for talking to ‘sceptics.’ For an example, from another RealClimate founder) William Connolley, who wrote, ‘Judith Curry Jumps the Shark’ on his blog Stoat, and then watched all the commentors pile in..
Judith Curry (from her CV, google it for all her scientific honours)
2002- Chair, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences,
Georgia Institute of Technology
1992-2002 Professor, University of Colorado-Boulder,
Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences
Program in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
Environmental Studies Program
1989-1992 Associate Professor,
Department of Meteorology, Penn State
1986-1989 Assistant Professor,
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Purdue University
1982-1986 Assistant Scientist,
Department of Meteorology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
And the BBC wonder why many ‘sceptical scientists’ have not spoken up, the BBC have been part of the media climate that has allowed this.
Why might you think that the ‘sceptics’ perceive the BBC to be anything but cheerleaders for the ‘consensus’.
BTW: It’s been a busy week in the blogs. If you want evidence that comments do matter, follow the Bishop Hill and Monbiot tango. (Monbiot asked for evidence of Pachauri’s bad bookkeeping (among other things), and readers on Bishop Hill provided documented examples for Monboit on his blog, but then those comments, and Monboits question were all deleted… (Monbiot points out it was Guardian staff doing the deleting due to libel laws and not himself). Lets all cheer for free speech.
… In the period shown, only 15% of their income had been put through the charity’s accounts and 85% of TERI-Europe’s income had simply not been included in their declared income.
Monboit did not mention in his reply whether it bothered him that Pachauri had massively under-reported his charity’s income.
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