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A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Clive Hamilton’s War on Science

Clive Hamilton writes again on The ABC Drum

It’s a strange, inside-out world. Poor Hamilton seems to suffer from a kind of public form of projection, where he  inadvertently lumps skeptics with all his own failures. Everything he claims to be standing for, he unwittingly attacks. Everything he protests about is something he does himself, and in spades. Virtually every point is easily refuted, yet promoted with public money.

It’s quite an achievement. Hamilton is anti-science, intolerant, and hypocritical all at once, and his arguments collapse when measured against his own benchmarks. He resorts to name-calling, and rank speculation without basis or substantiation. The ABC betrays its wafer thin intellectual standards and bias by not noticing that Clive barely makes a point that does not dispute itself.

Clive protests about the War on Science, but doesn’t realize he is waging it.

The thing that makes the scientific method vastly different to all the other philosophies and methods of acquiring knowledge out there is that evidence always stands above opinion. Yet the very core of Hamilton’s arguments depends on the “Consensus”, and Clive apparently hasn’t noticed that the famous begotten “Consensus” is just a collection of … wait for it… opinions.

Clive apparently hasn’t noticed that the famous begotten “Consensus” is just a collection of … wait for it… opinions.

Why do I need to explain this to a Professor of Public Ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics? It’s a joint center of the Australian National University, Charles Sturt University and the University of Melbourne, all three of which ought to hang their heads in abject shame. What does it mean to have a Centre of Applied Philosophy that hires professors ignorant of the most baby-basic detail about the core philosophy that lifted Western Civilization out of the Dark Age?

The thing that makes science not another religion is that there are no Gods, there are no opinions of science that stand above the measurements of nature. In science, empirical evidence trumps opinions, even the opinions of scientific and (gosh) political authorities. Yet here is Hamilton acting all religious about the two-thousand-apostles-of-the-IPCC. Send him back to school and let the rest of us get on with a decent community discussion where we don’t have to explain the basis of science to a so-called professor. (While we are at it, can we have our tax money back so we can donate it to universities that know what science is?)

Hamilton looks in a mirror and unwittingly attacks himself

He thinks those who forecast catastrophes-due-to-carbon have all the legitimate science on their side, yet it’s the skeptics who quote peer reviewed papers that even Doctors of the disaster can’t answer. The skeptics ask for evidence, while the “believers” like Hamilton delude themselves that opinions are evidence, talk of consensus instead, and don’t notice they can’t provide any of the real deal. Clive marks himself as an expert on skeptics (he wrote a whole book about “Deniers”) yet doesn’t seem to actually read anything skeptics write.

One group of skeptics wrote an 800 page report packed with too many peer reviewed references to count (See NIPCC – a great site). Another group have collected 800 peer reviewed supportive references. Did Clive not think to google?

Of course, the number of references is irrelevant to the climate, but Clive is the one claiming  “one ‘side’ is backed by a large body of peer-reviewed research and the other is not.”


Is he in denial about “deniers”?

Skeptics are asking for empirical evidence that doubling carbon will create more than 1.2 degrees of warming. Everything above that relies on unproven speculation about feedbacks amplifying that minor warming. The assumptions about positive warming in climate models are based on opinions.

Watch Hamilton explain why the ABC ought to reject his own writing because he presents opinions as facts:

…the ABC’s editorial policy mandates the opposite. It rightly declares that the organisation should not confuse its audiences by allowing opinion to be presented as fact. If claims about climate science have no empirical backing, cannot meet the criteria for publication set by professional journals and are repeatedly rejected by the world’s scientific academies, then they must be regarded as opinions.

Hamilton doesn’t appear to realize it, but he trusts the climate scientists who prophesy a disaster. He has faith in them, like some people have faith in God, or Allah, or Greenpeace. If Hamilton had scientific evidence, he presumably would reference it, instead of the endless repetition of his “consensus”.

Hamilton calls scientists who quote evidence “Deniers!”, while he denies the evidence they quote.

Clive claims there’s not even a significant minority view who are skeptical. But again, if he’d searched for 5 minutes he’d know the skeptics can name more scientists who disagree, than he can name in support, that our scientists are usually independent and unfunded where his are almost all members of the Global Warming Gravy Train;  skeptics can also name Nobel Prize winners, eminent physicists, and professors from Ivy League universities.

This is not just a fallacious argument from authority, it’s totally wrong too:

The ‘other side’ would deserve some reporting if there were a significant minority view that had some legitimate science to sustain its claims, even if that science proves unsustainable. In the case of climate science, there isn’t.

Hamilton effectively calls the Nobel Prize winners of science names. They are Deniers?  His arrogance knows no bounds. (Those were real science Nobels too, not a Peace-Prize-for-creating-no-peace like the IPCC and Al Gore.)

Being utterly wrong himself doesn’t stop Clive from implying the skeptics are liars:

Climate deniers, by contrast, conceal their political purposes and pretend to base their arguments on the authority of science – which is the same authority that the accepted view of global warming relies upon. The deniers’ lack of honesty…

Imagine someone concealing their political purpose? You mean, like being a failed Greens Candidate who aims to shut down coal mining and tax everything that moves? Is that not political? The only political purpose of most skeptics is to stop the political purposes of people who don’t know what science is, yet wield it for their own o-so-political purposes –people like Clive. So here he is again, doing everything he accuses skeptics of, only ten times more. And since when did “deniers” pretend to base their arguments on authority? Skeptics have no respect for authority. You try to unravel his point.

What about “Balanced Reporting”?

For an expert in public ethics, he sure seems to miss the obvious conflict of interest

The underlying theme of Clive’s article is supposedly to talk “balance”, which for Clive apparently means censoring the  people who disagree with his apostles even if some are professors, because er, they’re just experts in the fractional quantum Hall effect or something  passe like that. Presumably he wants only registered “climate scientists” to speak about climate science, except that means, once again, Clive advocates silencing himself. For an expert in public ethics, he sure seems to miss the obvious conflict of interest and moral hazard of restricting the speakers to people whose careers depend on forecasting disaster. Let’s ask 100 climate scientists if they think the importance of their own branch of science is exaggerated, and we ought to fund other areas instead?

Projections of disaster become self-perpetuating. Those who are paid to find a disaster, will only increase their status if they “find” one.

It’s a shallow confounded discussion from the outset. No respectable news association ought to base it’s editorial decisions on how “mainstream” or “accepted” a view is — that would ensure that corruption or flaws in the mainstream would be kept hidden from society. The climate establishment are paid by governments who are using global warming as an excuse to extend their powers. The skeptic whistleblowers who expose this are almost all, by definition, from other branches of science, or from outside the Establishment. That’s exactly why if there were such a thing as ratios of  “Establishment” versus unfunded “whistleblowers” the ABC ought to bias the coverage against those with a vested interest and their own PR departments, and for the independents who speak out at considerable cost. Isn’t that why we pay for a public broadcaster?

Hows this for the editorial policy the ABC ought to have:

why not just print any well reasoned original view which is logical and substantiated?

They could add that editors will remove baseless ad hominems, name calling, and articles so poorly contrived that they are destroyed by their own arguments. own reasoning.

Tony Cox and David Stockwell take Hamilton to task themselves on the ABC Drum comparing Hamiltons views and Lysenko.

This has happened before. Lysenko was a Russian agronomist who suborned agricultural science in the 1930′s to support the social policy of collectivism. Lysenko had a consensus too. Hamilton’s fondness for censorship and suspension of democratic process is a reminder of the methods used in the past to create truth by edict.

They rightfully reject the fake consensus too:

Schneider’s paper is contradicted by a peer-reviewed paper by Mike Hulme, professor of Climate Change at the University of East Anglia. Hulme specifically rejects the well-known consensus declaration of 2,500 scientists agreeing that human activities are having a significant influence on the climate, and notes “That particular consensus judgement, as are many others in the IPCC reports, is reached by only a few dozen experts in the specific field of detection and attribution studies”.

You really have to read Hamiltons piece to appreciate just what a classic work of projection it is.

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91 comments to Clive Hamilton’s War on Science

  • #
    DougS

    Another forensic take-down by Joanne, she has no equal when it comes to destroying hypocrisy and faulty logic.

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    Jo asks a question.

    Why do I need to explain this to a Professor of Public Ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics?

    A good answer is Postmodernism.

    Introduction / Summary of Postmodernism

    The current Postmodern belief is that a correct description of Reality is impossible. This extreme skepticism, of which Friedrich Nietzsche, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn are particularly famous, assumes that;

    a) All truth is limited, approximate, and is constantly evolving (Nietzsche, Kuhn, Popper).
    b) No theory can ever be proved true – we can only show that a theory is false (Popper).
    c) No theory can ever explain all things consistently (Godel’s incompleteness theorem).
    d) There is always a separation between our mind & ideas of things and the thing in itself (Kant).
    e) Physical reality is not deterministic (Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics, Bohr).
    f) Science concepts are mental constructs (logical positivism, Mach, Carnap).
    g) Metaphysics is empty of content.
    h) Thus absolute and certain truth that explains all things is unobtainable.

    Here we have a line of philosophical thought from the dawn of thought through Plato and Kant to the current intellectual thugs who jointly hold that anything goes if you can pretend enough people believe in it. Their justification? We can’t know a thing in itself (ie. without a process of sensing, identification, measurement, reasoning, and testing for reliability of concept.)

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    Siliggy

    He may have been counter productive to his own cause by going over the top with this one. Surely people who are half asleep would be inspired to check the facts from the other side after reading things like this:
    “The ‘other side’ would deserve some reporting if there were a significant minority view that had some legitimate science to sustain its claims, even if that science proves unsustainable. In the case of climate science, there isn’t.”
    There isn’t?

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  • #
    janama

    as I posted on his article this morning:

    so it goes like this:

    Clive Hamilton – 5 or is that 6 unleashed articles.

    Bob Carter, Ian Castles, William Kininmonth, Ian Plimer – 0 unleashed articles.

    says it all really.

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  • #
    Amr

    A surgical strike of the first order on a fraud .
    Amr

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  • #
    Siliggy

    Would he like to see more science like this in the media while the flooding continues?

    “IT MAY be time to stop describing south-eastern Australia as gripped by drought and instead accept the extreme dry as permanent, one of the nation’s most senior weather experts warned yesterday.
    “Perhaps we should call it our new climate,” said the Bureau of Meteorology’s head of climate analysis, David Jones.”
    http://www.smh.com.au/news/environment/this-drought-may-never-break/2008/01/03/1198949986473.html

    Perhaps more science like this while the sea ice extent keeps growing:

    Exclusive: Scientists warn that there may be no ice at North Pole this summer
    Polar scientists reveal dramatic new evidence of climate change
    Friday, 27 June 2008
    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/exclusive-scientists-warn-that-there-may-be-no-ice-at-north-pole-this-summer-855406.html

    Oh Hmmm ooops:
    http://www.ijis.iarc.uaf.edu/en/home/seaice_extent.htm

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  • #

    Great take down of another nonsensical piece by Clive. Looking at the evidence it’s clear ABC have a problem reporting on climate science at present!
    http://abcnewswatch.blogspot.com/2010/09/aunty-is-mistaken-not-malicious.html

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  • #

    I’ve said it before, but there are far more worthy uses of your time than responding to Hamilton. Over at ACM, we don’t even bother anymore.

    As Marc says, it’s the ABC that are at fault here, as they have clearly given Hamilton a blank canvas: he can write at the Drum whatever and whenever he likes. Hardly the balance that Maurice Newman claimed was so important to the ABC.

    Simon
    ACM

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    A C of Adelaide

    How do these guys get their jobs? I would have thought that an ethics professor would be required to stay a bit independant of a debate, so he could examine both sides impartially from an ethical point of view. I mean if someone doesnt believe in climate change, is it ethical to keep quiet? I would expect independence rather like I would expect independence from, say, an ABC journalist for example. AH! Now I see the flaw in my argument.

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    Siliggy

    MarcH:
    September 14th, 2010 at 7:06 am
    From there, found this:
    Missing news: Link between Vic Bushfires and dangerous anthropogenic global warming busted
    When Victoria experienced its horrific bushfires last year Clive Hamilton was quick to attribute the disaster to man made global warming. He recently repeated the claims in an article in The Australian. However a peer reviewed study[1] accepted for publication in the journal Weather, Climate and Society has found: “There are relationships between normalised building damage and the El Niño-Southern Oscillation and Indian Ocean Dipole phenomena, but there is no discernable evidence that the normalised data is being influenced by climate change due to the emission of greenhouse gases.”
    Read the rest here:
    http://abcnewswatch.blogspot.com/2010/09/cherry-picking-science-climate-coverage.html

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  • #
    Dave N

    I’m with Simon, again. Hamilton repeats “consensus”, we repeat “Galileo”. Boring.

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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Lionell Griffith: #2

    In summary, “There is no truth, there is no reality, there is only opinion and perception”

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    elsie

    Talking about evidence. Last night on SBS there was a documentary “Nuclear Nightmares.” I saw a bit over the last 30 minutes. it checked out the great Chernobyl disaster. Instead of thousands dying it turns out that around 50 died directly attributable to the meltdown and clean up. All fauna at the spot are flourishing. Background radiation is a little high but no more than at many places on the planet.

    In fact, people in higher radiation zones have a lower cancer rate than those who live in low radiation zones. (e. sea level, away from granite,) This is a very new discovery. It appears people against fission power are ‘radiophobes’ yet no one can escape radiation anywhere you live. Too many people think of Chernobyl as a bomb exploding when it was a melt down that can not be worse even if repeated. The death toll was less than the weekly road deaths in the UK. It is preposterous that sheep in Scotland are still not eaten because of fear from Chernobyl. I know for a fact that frozen peas from the Kiev area were picked and sold to Australia just after the melt down. No one complained.

    Ignorance is bliss, perhaps. But too many Australians just do not know basic physics when it comes to understanding atoms let alone the fission process. The choice of ‘soft’ subjects especially in the arts have dumbed down our population for hard sciences even in basic matters. I once had a teacher ask me what a magnet was and what did the N and S poles mean. This is why AGW believers can get away with statements like, “Scientists say…” without being questioned. The statements are reinforced by the media and people then say, “Well, I read it in the papers so it (AGW) must be true.” Critical thinking is no longer taught along with basic facts as they once were. NAPLAN is helping to change this against the wishes of the post modern teachers and academics.

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    Louis Hissink

    Just in case Jo’s readers don’t get too smug but all scientific theories are ephemeral – they are, in effect, the explanation of some or other physical phenomenon in terms of the knowledge at the time. It is implicitly understood by scientists that new data might falsify a theory.

    But when the religious mind involves itself with the scientific method, scientific absolutes appear, when in reality there are none.

    This might suggest that there is some common ground between science sensu-strictu and post modernism. Not at all – post modernism is an intellectual construct that gains acceptance from consensus, while scientific theories gain acceptance because experimental fact failed to falsify them.

    Clive Hamilton and his fellow travellers believe that their intellectual world view represents physical reality. It doesn’t and as a consequence they experience serious cognitive dissonance when their imaginal world is challenged by physical reality and evidence.

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    Science Not Consensus

    Louis @ 14

    Louis, that was very eloquently put! Excellent! – although I will say that I still view Einstein as a science God (maybe a demi God), but that’s just me I don’t expect the world to bow down to my point of view lol.

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    Ross

    I wonder what Hamilton would have to say about this article

    http://www.greenbang.com/renewable-energy-not-all-its-cracked-up-to-be_14776.html

    Note this comment from Lovelock

    Used sensibly, in locations where the fickle nature of wind is no drawback, it is a valuable local resource, but Europe’s massive use of wind as a supplement to baseload electricity will probably be remembered as one of the great follies of the twenty-first century … ,”

    Lovelock does say that hydroelectric power production is threatened by climate change — no worries in NZ with all the rain we’ve had this year ( same as in the east and south of Aussie ! )

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    Dr.TG Watkins

    Well said as usual Jo. ‘Elsie’ made a very pertinent point regarding basic science education. In the UK, USA and Aus. we have lost the plot. As an Aussie/Brit father of five,18- 34, I have some experience of both Australian and UK schooling. Teacher training and methods were hijacked by trendy 60′s thinking most of which came from a couple of Canadian ‘educational’ papers. Sadly, the vast majority have no science, including maths (sums) which leaves them unable to understand even simple scientific arguments. Add to that the fact that the majority of our politicians are ‘Arts’ graduates (i.e. no good at science and sums at school) and we find ourselves in this “Alice in Wonderland” world when words take on a new meaning, as the Red Queen so eloquently said.
    None of this would matter from a science point of view as time will clearly show the ‘truth’ and empirical evidence will convince us or otherwise about the contribution of CO2 to climate.
    Unfortunately, time is limited in Aus., UK and USA because our scientifically ignorant (to sort of quote Richard Lindzen) politicians are trying very hard to destroy our economies.
    Probably it’s all a cunning French plan as they are the only ones with 80% nuclear electricity.
    This is a bit like praying. Only the faithful hear and nothing actually happens:-)

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    cynic

    Does anyone else see the comparison to a Town Crier who proclaims that the crops have failed because of witches, that Bill Smith is ill because of witches, that the rains have failed because of witches…?

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    Rereke Whaakaro:

    Lionell Griffith: #2

    In summary, “There is no truth, there is no reality, there is only opinion and perception.”

    The summary statement destroys itself by denying what it presumes. If there is no reality, how can there be “opinion and perception”? The opinion exists because someone (something) has an opinion. A perception exists because someone (something) perceives and because there is something to be perceived. The somethings are part of an existent reality. What they are is quite a different matter.

    The scam they are attempting to pull off is the denial of identity. If there is no identity, anything can be anything else without cause. Any cause can have any effect without changing the causative agent or object. Its Three-card Monte played with three blank card who’s value can be asserted to suit the whim of the dealer. It’s even worse than that. The game is played without putting the cards on the table.

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    Louis Hissink:

    Just in case Jo’s readers don’t get too smug but all scientific theories are ephemeral – they are, in effect, the explanation of some or other physical phenomenon in terms of the knowledge at the time. It is implicitly understood by scientists that new data might falsify a theory.

    Knowledge is contextual. If the “theory” was correctly based upon the evidence available at the time, it was valid within that context. If additional evidence is acquired, it may lead to a more generalized “theory” in a wider context, but the original “theory” is still valid within its original context.

    See for example Newton’s laws of motion vs. Einstein’s laws of motion. Einstein simply extended the laws to include a wider context of higher speeds, larger masses, and longer distances. Within their original context, human scale speeds, masses, and distances, Newton’s laws are as valid as ever. A truly valid in context theory cannot be invalidated by new knowledge. The only thing that can happen is the context of the original theory is expanded along with its verbal description.

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    Rick Bradford

    I must say I find Hamilton very convincing.

    Every time I read something he has written, I become more convinced that the hard-line supporters of man-made global warming must be suffering from some insidious mental disease, which has obliterated their critical rational faculties.

    And I’m sure he convinces many fence-sitters that if he is typical of a CAGW supporter, then the truth must lie somewhere completely different.

    Leave him alone – he’s one of our greatest assets.

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    John Brookes

    Jo:

    The thing that makes the scientific method vastly different to all the other philosophies and methods of acquiring knowledge out there is that evidence always stands above opinion. Yet the very core of Hamilton’s arguments depends on the “Consensus”, and Clive apparently hasn’t noticed that the famous begotten “Consensus” is just a collection of … wait for it… opinions.

    In this particular case, the opinions have been formed based on the evidence. The consensus we are looking at is that of most competent interpreters of the evidence.

    [John, there is no way in a month of Sunday's that you can show that their opinions were based "only" on the evidence. Surely you are not calling them Gods? You must be able to recognize that all of us have other interests and motivations which may conflict: grants, reputations, junkets, and (possible) mental delusions. Our opinions may be formed for unconscious reasons we cannot elucidate ourselves. $79 billion dollars buys a lot of opinionating. Second, you say they are the most competent interpreters of evidence, but we know they hide data, lose it, detest other scientists, are passionate endorsers of one conclusion, use the wrong statistics, the list goes on. WHO gets to pick which scientists are on your list of "opinions" that matter? We can name more scientists who won higher awards. Collecting opinions is fraught with unknowable and other unmeasurable variables. Why do you want to add in this layer of unnecessary complexity? It's hard enough to figure out the world without adding in the unknowable measures of personality and ambition. If they made the choice based purely on evidence, why the heck don't they just tell us what that evidence is??? It's not in AR4. We've looked. -- JN]

    Yes, not all interpreters of the evidence agree. There would be no science if you had to drag everyone with you – there are always people who will call white black and black white. You move on and leave these people to wallow in a fantasy world of their own creation.

    Most AGW “skeptics” can be dismissed with ease – because they simply challenge every aspect of AGW, not accepting that any part of it is sound. Their arguments are demolished, but they repeat them anyway. They have no interest in finding out what is happening – they simply object to AGW and try and knock it down, discarding honesty and integrity along the way. There are, of course, rabid greenies at the other end of the spectrum, willing to believe 2+2=5 if it suits them.

    Some skeptics have credibility – Roy Spencer comes to mind. He understands the science, and has recently been brave enough to put up his own argument as to why climate sensitivity is very low.

    There are varying degrees of confidence in science. AGW is by no means top of the tree in terms of being completely understood. By its nature, there will be limits on how well we can understand and predict it. So anyone hanging out for something as certain as “1+1=2″ will never accept AGW. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do anything about it.

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    val majkus

    I’m so over Clive Hamilton; by the way what’s happened to Tim Flannery I wonder
    Has anyone yet created a list of all current politicians together with their e mails; if anyone has I’d be grateful for a copy as it’s just about time to start agitating about renewable energy targets and stuff again

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  • #

    More bed wetting on Climate Spectator this morning. Apparently there is a new Potsdam Institute paper out warning about our total fossil fuel budget as the CO2 stays in the air for hundreds of years.
    Written by a refugee from the financial advice/funds management industry. If all these people were stood against a wall and shot who would miss them?

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  • #
    Neville

    Let’s face it the vast majority of people have neither the will or inclination to check out any sceptical peer reviewed science studies on climate change.

    The other day I gave a few graphs on the holocene from Greenland and Antarctic ice cores to a friend who after looking at them said ” Geezz the climate really does change over thousands of years doesn’t it?”

    This bloke isn’t a dummy but just wasn’t interested enough to find things out for himself.

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    wes george

    Gosh, Jo, You so thoroughly deconstructed Clive’s incoherence there’s slim pickins for the rest of us to have a go at.

    Hamilton’s thesis that popular prejudice which is demonstrably wrong and a threat to the future shouldn’t be privileged over science in media coverage is right on the money. Although he should be careful what he wishes for.

    Let’s hope someone at the ABC is listening!

    Rick Bradford, I think the same thing every time I read Hamilton. Clive is a gift! But then if you think about it…. are there any defenders of the CAGW orthodoxy left who can rhetorically fight their way out of a wet paper bag??? I can’t think of a single one.

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    John Brookes: We’re actually struggling to measure any alleged temperature rise and don’t have enough global coverage for long enough of things like polar ice. When we look for evidence of things like the mid troposphere tropical hot spot we don’t find it but the AGW types distort the stas and say but it “might” actually be there.

    The actions you are proposing are going to be very expensive in money and human freedom and WILL HAVE NO MEASUREABLE OR SIGNIFICANT EFFECT. Why in hell would we do it?

    elsie: If you’ve read much SF the current education situation will bring to mind Pohl and Kornbluth
    “The Marching Morons”, “Space Merchants” and “Search the Sky”. In the latter on a future Earth the moronic inhabitants drive cars with speedos that go to over 100mph while driving in suburban traffic and make high performance noises. All fake of course but they are too stupid to realize this.

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    Bulldust

    Going O/T once again, I see the Rainbow Coalition is struggling on a different front this morning. Yesterday we had Combet in favour of coal mining despite Labor’s stance on CO2 emissions, and today we have the other end of the rainbow spruiking an end to the uranium industry in Australia:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/greens-fight-labor-on-uranium/story-fn59niix-1225921514002

    The funniest part is that despite “mandate” being a dirty word since neither major party received a clear mandate to govern from the election, and the warning from Oakeshott that Labor should not utter the M word… now we have the Green’s Mark Ludlum carrying on like a pork chop threatening the uranium industry with his party’s measily mandate of 1.7 million votes:

    Senator Ludlam said the Greens’ strong election result – and its Senate balance-of-power role from next July – had strengthened its push to ban uranium mining and stop a nuclear power industry emerging in Australia. “If the uranium industry is feeling nervous about the fact that 1.7 million Australians voted for that explicit position, then they should feel nervous,” he said.

    Personally I think the Rainbow Coalition is going to be a great thing for Aussie politics. It will shine a light on the stubborn and ideological nature pf the Greens and make people think twice before voting for them again. You can’t run a country based on stubborn ideology*.

    * Unless your name is Kim Jong-il perhaps…

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    wes george

    John Brookes @ 23

    In this particular case, the opinions have been formed based on the evidence. The consensus we are looking at is that of most competent interpreters of the evidence.

    BZZZT~! False. You just failed Introduction to the Philosophy of Science 101, please re-apply next term.

    I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science.

    I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.

    Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world.

    In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.

    -Aliens Cause Global Warming: A Caltech Lecture by Michael Crichton

    Required reading:

    http://www.s8int.com/crichton.html

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  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland came to mind as I read Clive Hamilton. So now balance is bias? Bias then must be balance! Fox News should be glad to hear that so they’ll no longer need to present both sides of an issue.

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    G/Machine

    Clive Hamilton, Professor of Ethics.
    Even a car driving licence has penalties/suspension for infractions but
    Clive can trade on his sanctimonious title for life, to all who don’t
    know him.
    Without the public purse, would anybody out there employ him? For
    ANYTHING??

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    wes george

    John @23

    Most AGW “skeptics” can be dismissed with ease – because they simply challenge every aspect of AGW, not accepting that any part of it is sound. Their arguments are demolished, but they repeat them anyway.

    I challenge John to present a list of sceptical “arguments” that have been “demolished” repeatedly. That should be easy enough. Please number the list 1 through whatever. Thanks in advance.

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    Mike F

    I think of GW as like an economic bubble. It peaked around 2006/2007 or so and now we are on the other side where the people who benefit from it are desperately trying to “re-inflate” it in the minds of the population.

    It’s like all bubbles really. When they start and there is no contrary voices getting into the public consciousness they can go great guns. Once the other side starts to permeate the public sphere, it’s the beginning of the end. That’s not to say we should become complacent, it’s saying that they aren’t going to be able to put Humpty back together again.

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    Alex Heyworth

    G/Machine:
    September 14th, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Clive Hamilton, Professor of Ethics….

    Without the public purse, would anybody out there employ him? For
    ANYTHING??

    With enough retraining, he could possibly make it as a taxi driver.

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    John Brookes

    Wes@33:

    Skeptics arguments that have been demolished. Lets just go to skepticalscience.com. You can read the full story there:

    “It’s the sun”
    “Climate’s changed before”
    “There is no consensus”
    “It’s cooling”
    “Models are unreliable”
    “Temp record is unreliable”
    “It hasn’t warmed since 1998″
    “Ice age predicted in the 70s”
    “We’re heading into an ice age”
    “Antarctica is gaining ice”
    “CO2 lags temperature”
    “It’s not bad
    “Al Gore got it wrong”
    “It’s cosmic rays”
    “It’s freaking cold!”
    “1934 – hottest year on record”
    “Hurricanes aren’t linked to global warming”
    “Hockey stick is broken”
    “Mars is warming”
    “It’s Urban Heat Island effect”
    “It’s just a natural cycle”
    “Arctic icemelt is a natural cycle”
    “Sea level rise is exaggerated”
    “Water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas”
    “Other planets are warming”
    “Greenland was green”
    “Human CO2 is a tiny % of CO2 emissions”
    “Climategate CRU emails suggest conspiracy”
    “Oceans are cooling”
    “Climate sensitivity is low”
    “CO2 effect is weak”
    “It cooled mid-century”
    “We’re coming out of the Little Ice Age”
    “Glaciers are growing”
    “There’s no empirical evidence”
    “IPCC is alarmist”
    “It warmed before 1940 when CO2 was low”
    “Polar bear numbers are increasing”
    “Satellites show no warming in the troposphere”
    “Mt. Kilimanjaro’s ice loss is due to land use”
    “Extreme weather isn’t caused by global warming”
    “CO2 is not a pollutant”
    “There’s no correlation between CO2 and temperature”
    “Greenland is gaining ice”
    “CO2 was higher in the past”
    “Scientists can’t even predict weather”
    “There’s no tropospheric hot spot”
    “Neptune is warming”
    “Jupiter is warming”
    “Ocean acidification isn’t serious”
    “It’s Pacific Decadal Oscillation”
    “Animals and plants can adapt to global warming”
    “Volcanoes emit more CO2 than humans”
    “CO2 effect is saturated”
    .
    .
    .
    .
    “Greenland has only lost a tiny fraction of its ice mass”
    “Positive feedback means runaway warming” Positive feedback won’t lead to runaway warming; diminishing returns on feedback cycles limit the amplification.

    Will that do?

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    Jamie

    I reccon this “John Brookes” character IS an alien!

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    Bernd Felsche

    Over at Klimazwiebel (Climate Onion) Richard Tol demonstrates how specific conclusions from white publications, known to the IPCC lead authors, have been filtered out in support of a (false) claim of consensus in the Summary for Policymakers.

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    Jamie

    Just for the DENIER of REAL SCIENCE, “John Brookes”……

    I Love CO2: Here comes the “ocean acidification” scam, watch out!

    http://www.iloveco2.org/2009/04/here-comes-ocean-acidification-scam.html

    Temperature, CO2, Ocean Levels & the Myths Surrounding Them

    http://www.truthmovementaustralia.com.au/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2833

    CO2 Negated As Cause of Global Warming

    http://wallstreetpit.com/32342-co2-negated-as-cause-of-global-warming

    No cigar for you today “John Brookes”!!

    FAIL!

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    crakar24

    Wes @ 33,

    John can start with this,

    http://ocean.dmi.dk/arctic/meant80n.uk.php

    Maybe he can explain why with AGW at the height of its powers the Arctic air temps are probably the lowest we have seen in 50 years?

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    pat

    abc is not alone! read all.

    13 Sept: Vancouver Sun: Margaret Munro: Tightened muzzle on scientists is ‘Orwellian’
    Documents reveal federal researchers, whose work is financed by taxpayers, need approval from Ottawa before speaking with media
    The Harper government has tightened the muzzle on federal scientists, going so far as to control when and what they can say about floods at the end of the last ice age.
    Natural Resources Canada (NRC) scientists were told this spring they need “pre-approval” from Minister Christian Paradis’ office to speak with journalists. Their “media lines” also need ministerial approval, say documents obtained by Postmedia News through access-to-information legislation…
    The policy applies to “high-profile” issues such as “climate change, oilsands” and when “the reporter is with an international or national media organization (such as the CBC or the Canwest paper chain),” she ( Judy Samoil, NRC’s western regional communications manager) wrote…
    Environment Canada has even produced “media lines” for federal scientists to stick to when discussing climate studies they have coauthored with Weaver and are based on research paid for through his university grants.
    “There is no question that there is an orchestrated campaign at the federal level to make sure that their scientists can’t communicate to the public about what they do,” says Weaver, adding that the crackdown is seriously undermining morale in federal labs. “Science is about generating new knowledge and communicating it to others.”
    http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Tightened+muzzle+scientists+Orwellian/3515345/story.html

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    Baa Humbug

    John Brookes: #36
    September 14th, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Will that do?

    No John, it won’t. You need to do better than cut n paste from Skepticals side bar.

    If you like, I’m happy to support you doing a post on this site detailing your knowledge and acceptance of the AGW alarmism scam and what should/could be done about it.
    Send me an e-mail via Jo

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    Richard C

    Joanne, from your post:

    The thing that makes science not another religion is that there are no Gods, there are no opinions of science that stand above the measurements of nature. In science, empirical evidence trumps opinions, even the opinions of scientific and (gosh) political authorities

    Galileo’s opposition to the consensus science imposed by Papal decree in his time proves your point but I note that Galileo did not agree with you “that there are no Gods”. Galileo attributed his ability to think to a God given endowment:

    I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect, has intended us to fore-go their use.”

    The “Global Dumbing” resulting from slavish adherence to consensus group-think is applicable not only to the separate dogma of climate science and religion but also to the polarized arguments of science vs religion.

    I find myself in the odd position of having a faith in God but finding no contradiction between the scientific explanation of the universe and the Genesis account. To those who dismiss the God/creator possibility I say that is unscientific but to those who profess to complete understanding of a literal 7 day creation but by virtue of faith must accept biblical authority, I defer to God. From the book of Job:

    “Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;………”

    i.e. We can think, observe, rationalize, pontificate but was any of us there at the time? No, and that includes Christian Fundamentalist/Creationist and Theoretical Physicist/Cosmologist.

    I also find a convergence between the scientific climate predictions of Easterbrook and Archibald with eschatological prophecy at the other end of the bible. Much of the Apocalypse is climatic and economic (extreme heat, famine etc) and consistent with food crisis as a result of near-term cooling (bottoming out around 2030) in Archibald’s scenario and I note that Easterbrook is predicting a considerably warmer climate than present (kicks in around 2050) after the cooling phase.

    Empirical observations are then, in my case, from the dual perspective of science and religion. My prime tools for this are the AMSU-A atmospheric and UNISYS oceanic temperatures (the latter BTW showing a whole lotta cool water in the Pacific) along with a Bible gateway with direct access to the original Greek in the case of the New Testament.

    I am also fascinated by the third seal prophecy that seems to be a time marker in which wheat prices will be 3x barley prices. In ancient times barley was staple and used as a currency, in Roman times (when the prophecy was written) wheat was fashionable among upper classes but barley still staple among lower, in our time we watch global commodity prices in real-time but never before has this been possible and in 1996 wheat reached 2.79x the cost of barley using proxies. More on that here but the point being that after NH heat-waves and possibly another cold NH winter, empirical observation and religious prophecy may have an apparent correlation.

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    Baa Humbug

    I would also challenge Hamilton to stick his head out from the comfort and safety of the ABC and submit an article to JO and discuss his position with the Nova commenters.

    But has he got the ba…s?

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    John Brookes:
    September 14th, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Skeptics arguments that have been demolished. Lets just go to skepticalscience.com. You can read the full story there:

    John, I would ask you to articulate a novel idea but that would be the plot for the next Mission Impossible movie. Are you hoping that if you throw enough crap against the wall that some of it will stick? Based on your posts over the last few weeks I must say you are consistent: you never miss an opportunity to commit the fallacy Argumentum ad verecundiam, An Appeal To Authority. Just because a web site has something posted on its does not mean that it is true!

    Tell you what you do, John. Take one of the skeptics arguments and, in your own words, tell us why it is false (no cut and paste, please)! Oh, and be careful to pick an argument that a skeptic, one that you can quote, actually made. Hint: avoid a straw man argument.

    Yes, I know I am being cruel! I fell as if I have put John in a round room and have told him to sit in a corner! :)

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    Baa Humbug:
    September 14th, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    But has he got the ba…s?

    Perhaps he can find them with a magnifying glass and a pair of tweezers?

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    Charles Bourbaki

    John Brookes #23 -

    Some skeptics have credibility – Roy Spencer comes to mind. He understands the science, and has recently been brave enough to put up his own argument as to why climate sensitivity is very low.

    A very interesting comment and I don’t think you realise exactly what you have said. And how it subtly encapsulates the oppressive intellectual dishonesty of the CAGW alarmists. Please explain why you consider that any person with credibility, when putting forward any scientific argument why climate sensitivity is low, has to be BRAVE. Yes BRAVE; not correct, or honest, or genuine, or brilliant or anything else. Just BRAVE. BRAVERY in the face of who, I wonder. You lot?

    Think about what you have said – it says a lot about yourself and your ilk. Appalling!

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    Baa Humbug

    Richard C: #43
    September 14th, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Richard my understanding of Jos comment that there are “no Gods” is there are no Gods of science, not religious Gods per se.

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    pat

    LOL. the final line may soon apply to the ABC. i have never voted for the Coalition, but it was bad form when ABC24 missed tony abbott’s press conference and blamed it on a technical hitch:

    13 Sept: Editorial: UK Daily Mail: BBC’s staff show their true colours
    The timing of the threatened strike by BBC employees is an affront to the corporation’s commitment to political impartiality.
    Leave aside that their case for action in defence of their lavish and debt-ridden pension scheme is entirely unjustified.
    Could there be any clearer indication of their Left-wing slant than the threat to black out coverage of David Cameron’s speech to the Conservative conference and George Osborne’s vital public spending review next month?…
    Let them be warned: if their strike goes ahead, it’s almost guaranteed to backfire. For it will encourage critics who demand that the BBC, which at its best is a great institution, should be broken up.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1311735/DAILY-MAIL-COMMENT-BBCs-staff-true-colours.html

    LOL again. if their pension plan is “debt-ridden”, it may be due to those “green” investments, no?

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    Richard C:
    September 14th, 2010 at 2:14 pm

    Galileo’s opposition to the consensus science imposed by Papal decree in his time proves your point but I note that Galileo did not agree with you “that there are no Gods”. Galileo attributed his ability to think to a God given endowment:
    “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason and intellect, has intended us to fore-go their use.”

    Actually, Galileo’s writings on science did not get him condemned by the church. The problems for Galileo started when he began to interpret scripture. Science is base on fact and religion is based on faith. Perhaps we should keep the two separated?

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    Richard: when I said The thing that makes science not another religion is that there are no Gods, I was referring only to Gods of science – Hansen, Jones, Mann et al who can do no wrong even with they lose the data, hide their work, are shown to be wrong, and endorse terrorism.

    I make no statement on the spiritual world. I have no evidence to go on.
    (Yes, Thanks Baa – you are right).

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    Richard C

    Baa Humbug @ 48

    Yes I understand, the “global dumbing” problem arises when science is made into a religion with attendant dogma. I was making the qualification that human science and faith in God are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Whether separately or inclusively both require appropriate brain engagement, something that seems to be lacking in both arenas and the results are seen in the polarization when they meet.

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    Alex Heyworth

    Hamilton reminds me of the Monty Python sketch of Colin “Bomber” Harris fighting himself.

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    G/Machine

    John Brookes
    We award you an honorary title of ‘Professor of Ethics’
    Send your $50 + SAE to wherever Clive got his from

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    John Brookes at #23. I do believe you are expressing one of the most common thoughts of people who are concerned about CO2. It’s a good point to raise.

    In this particular case, the opinions have been formed based on the evidence. The consensus we are looking at is that of most competent interpreters of the evidence.

    I replied inline:

    John, there is no way in a month of Sunday’s that you can show that their opinions were based “only” on the evidence. Surely you are not calling them Gods? You must be able to recognize that all of us have other interests and motivations which may conflict: grants, reputations, junkets, and (possible) mental delusions. Our opinions may be formed for unconscious reasons we cannot elucidate ourselves.

    $79 billion dollars buys a lot of opinionating. The AGW scientists don’t have to be dishonest to be influenced by factors that are unrelated to the climate.

    Second, you say they are the most competent interpreters of evidence, but we know they hide data, lose it, detest other scientists, are passionate endorsers of one conclusion, use the wrong statistics, the list goes on. WHO gets to pick which scientists are on your list of “opinions” that matter? We can name more scientists who won higher awards who disagree with your scientists. It’s a pointless game.

    Collecting opinions is fraught with unknowable and other unmeasurable variables. Why do you want to add in this layer of unnecessary complexity? It’s hard enough to figure out the world without adding in the unknowable measures of personality and ambition. If they made the choice based purely on evidence, why the heck don’t they just tell us what that evidence is??? It’s not in AR4. We’ve looked. — JN

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    Richard C

    Joanne @ 51

    Arrh, those Gods, I see.

    I make no statement on the spiritual world. I have no evidence to go on.

    Personally I find evidence in the order of the universe and am fascinated in the notion that it was all for the purpose of brief human occupation of the Earth but I understand your view – its a big leap to believe in something you can’t see. However, the essence of science is “seeing” what was previously unseen; when I was a child, the smallest particle of matter was a proton – now they’re looking for the “God” particle!

    I am applying the same observational methods to eschatological prophesy that I apply to the AGW hypothesis e.g. there is an apparent correlation between the second seal prophesy and WWI, WWII events but will subsequent prophesies also be confirmed by coming events?

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    Richard C

    Eddie Aruda @ 50

    Science is base on fact and religion is based on faith. Perhaps we should keep the two separated?

    Eddie, please see my replies to Baa Humbug @ 52 and Jo @ 59

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    crakar24

    Ed,

    Problem is most people cannot seperate the two. Take John Brookes for example, he believes in AGW because a group of people who share the same opinion told him it is true and naturally he believes them.

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    wes george

    John @ 36

    Thanks for your honest reply. Nice to see a sense of humour in some of the demolished objections although it no where a comprehensive list. You left out four of my favorite demolished arguments against AGW.

    1. The MWP was warming than today

    2. The predicted troposphere hot spot doesn’t exist.

    3. The 0.7c increase in temperature over the last hundreds is much lower than the rates of past natural warming events.

    4. The Heuristic of Parsimony, ie modern climate behavior can be explained without a one-off AGW hypothesis which doesn’t make useful predictions about anything beyond recent modern warming, and even then fails to explain mid-20 th to 21st variation.

    I’m sure there are many other demolished arguments too, which reminds me of Monty Python’s Flying Sheep Theory. That would make John the most dangerous of animals – a clever sheep.

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    Paul79

    Prof. Robert Carter’s recent book: Climate: The Counter Consensus, sets out in detail the science behind how the ‘sceptics’ have formed their view of climate. Clive Hamilton and others, such as the ABC’s science staff, should be challenged to read this book, or risk being called ‘gullible, with closed minds.’ I am sure Bob Carter would be quite willing to provide a pdf file of the Chapter Notes to make looking up the on-line links and the peer reviewed publications very easy.

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    Baa Humbug

    Jamie: #64
    September 14th, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Jamie we would really appreciate a short synopsis of any links you provide.
    It can be irksome chasing links provided by people, only to find it as unnoteworthy, passe, irrelevant or old hat. It becomes a drain on download limits many of us ty to keep track of.

    Thnx in advance.

    p.s. my comment doesn’t relate to the link you provided at #64, I haven’t visited it.

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    PaddikJ

    I suppose it is neccessary to keep rebutting the Clive Hamiltons of the world in detail, but if we ascend to 35,000 feet or so & take a more broad-brush view and notice, say, that he’s a “Professor of Public Ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics”, then really, no further comment is required. That “Higher Ed” is lousy with BS artists is already known and resignedly accepted by everyone of normal intelligence. Up is down, black is white, ignorance is erudition – I really wonder if the poor putz even dimly grasps this. What is perhaps not as well known is that these Enlightened, Intelligent & Tolerant blokes are everything they profess to hate; again, I have to wonder if they even have a clue.

    But, he publishes books and articles, so I suppose we have to keep rebutting point by point. Sigh. It’s just that it’s so tedious.

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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Oh dear, after the tantrum at #36 John Brookes just went away … perhaps he wasn’t so brave after all … when asked to put up or shut up, he chose the latter – I hate it when people do that, it just ruins the fun.

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    Graeme Bird

    I cannot help being pessimisstic about our efforts here. We seem to have entered an era where these people can get the media and chattering classes to believe anything they like, no matter how wrong, disproven or implausible. I cannot see us winning until we find a way to get sackings in the public service over this. For example; if Greg Combet were to start shaking down CSIRO staff for their bad habit of passing on bogus United Nations information, as if it were their own carefully considered gear …. If Combet were really putting the fear into them over stuff like this, then maybe the others would shape up. Thats what these guys fear the most. Thats why science workers tend to play along with this fraud. All of them are scared of having to show up as aged workers trying to cut it at some factory job.

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    Poor Hamilton seems to suffer from a kind of public form of projection, where he inadvertently lumps skeptics with all his own failures. Everything he claims to be standing for, he unwittingly attacks.

    I’m not sure it was unwitting that Clive, having run for public office and failed, later called for a suspension of democracy. But it gave me a chuckle, as well as an interesting angle on how he and his friends in the Tomato Faction* might define the proper functions of government.

    *Tomato Faction – they start out green, but when they’re fully ripe they’re red all the way through.

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    Rereke Whaakaro

    Lionell Griffith: #20

    You misunderstand me, Lionell.

    I was quoting from a manual on advertising techniques (and therefore propaganda techniques), in which the statement I made sums up a strategy that can be employed to achieve a given psychological objective.

    The four points are juxtaposed: truth — opinion, reality — perception.

    What people believe (their opinions) defines their truth. Their truth may not be the same as mine, but who is to say which is right? So goes the argument.

    Reality is what we perceive with our senses. Is the reality of somebody who is colour-blind the same as the reality of somebody who is not, when the perceptions are so different? How can we know? Is the question posed.

    Propaganda seeks to change peoples opinions, and thereby modify the truth as far as that person is concerned, and by so doing, eventually change their perceptions about the reality in which they live.

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    janama

    “Another good response to Hamilton, in the MSM, of all places:”

    Cohenite – that’s our boy MarcH – Marc Hendrickx – our ABC watcher. :)

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    wes george

    Charles Bourbaki @ 47

    Really good observation. Why is it necessary for Roy Spencer to be brave in order to put up a scientific argument in the 21st century? And John Brookes is right Spencer is definitely fearless.

    John maybe you could explain that.

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    Donald (S.A.)

    Cynic’s reference to the Town Crier (10:30am) is apt. I like to think of Hamilton as more the
    untrained dog which races out to bark at any passing vehicle of weather or events – bushfire, hurricane, drought,… Fortunately with the passing of time, the decreased frequency of hurricanes and other extreme events has meant less opportunities for him to come out and yap his ignorance and misunderstanding. Now the barking has become frustrated, angry, repetitive attention-seeking – there must be a car out there somewhere..

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    Thanks for the kind praise, and for those who are “bored” or think this has been said before, I understand, but perhaps you didn’t notice the very pointed lines against the real targets here. It’s important to show how wrong Hamilton is, because some important institutions endorse him tacitly, and they are shamed too.

    The last time I wrote one like this I got an email the next day from Johnathon Green of the ABC.

    What would be helpful is for people here to send their favourite lines to the ABC, with a link to the article, and also to the three universities listed. I think it would be most appropriate if the Chancellors, Deans and Head of the schools were informed. Hopefully we might lift some standards.

    Those institutions:

    “The ABC betrays its wafer thin intellectual standards and bias by not noticing that Clive barely makes point that does not dispute itself.”

    “Why do I need to explain this to a Professor of Public Ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics? It’s a joint center of the Australian National University, Charles Sturt University and the University of Melbourne, all three of which ought to hang their heads in abject shame. What does it mean to have a Centre of Applied Philosophy that hires professors ignorant of the most baby-basic detail about the core philosophy that lifted Western Civilization out of the Dark Age?”

    “No respectable news association ought to base its editorial decisions on how “mainstream” or “accepted” a view is — that would ensure that corruption or flaws in the mainstream would be kept hidden from society. The climate establishment are paid by governments who are using global warming as an excuse to extend their powers. The skeptic whistleblowers who expose this are almost all, by definition, from other branches of science, or from outside the Establishment. That’s exactly why if there were such a thing as ratios of “Establishment” versus unfunded “whistleblowers” the ABC ought to bias the coverage against those with a vested interest and their own PR departments, and for the independents who speak out at considerable cost. Isn’t that why we pay for a public broadcaster?

    How’s this for the editorial policy the ABC ought to have:
    why not just print any well reasoned original view which is logical and substantiated?

    They could add that editors will remove baseless ad hominems, name calling, and articles so poorly contrived that they are destroyed by their own arguments.”

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    Rereke Whaakaro:

    Lionell Griffith: #20

    You misunderstand me, Lionell.

    It would have helped to give more context to your comment than a reference to my post at #2. However, my response to the summary statement I made at #20 still stands. It defeats itself BECAUSE it presumes what it purports to deny. This is true no matter if it is a common ploy of marketing types. The number of people acting as if something is true does not make it true no matter how large the number nor how well credentialed the people.

    With few exception, my over 50 years of experience as a product R&D engineer/technical-sales-support with marketing types suggests the use of subtle logical fallacies for psychological manipulation is a professional requirement for them. It is generally so much so that they are self manipulated and confuse their marketing blather with descriptions of reality. They are confused when their blatant contradictions cannot be delivered and they blame engineering for being uncooperative by not delivering the impossible. The use of clear, simple, and demonstrable truth is beyond their capability. Hence, I am totally unimpressed that the statement came from an advertising manual.

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    John Brookes

    Why did I call Roy Spencer brave? Because he is willing to put forward a thesis that can be knocked down. By the same measure, Mann, Hansen etc are brave – they are prepared to state what they believe and why – and wait for the inevitable criticisms, which will come from both their own side of the fence and the other side. This is the rough and tumble of science. I have a friend who had to fight for two years to get a paper published. It wasn’t on climate science or anything controversial, but in the end he won over the journal referees and got published.

    As for being accused of “argument by authority” or whatever the greek phrase is, I plead guilty. I assume that scientists are honest – that is, they are genuinely interested in seeking the truth, and will accept that their favourite idea is not 100% correct, or indeed not at all correct. In the history of science this assumption is only partly true. Someone (I can’t remember who) has a famous quote where they say that you don’t end up convincing your opponents, but they gradually die out. I value the opinions of the honest scientist – not the Monckton’s of the world. We do not live in world where everyone is equal. Monckton’s opinion is not the equal of Hansen’s. If it is not obvious to you that this is true, then you are deluding yourself.

    So what will impress me in a scientist? A commitment to their field. An ongoing search for better ways of looking at their field. A thorough knowledge of the intricacies and dead ends in their field. A desire to improve our overall knowledge of how things work. An honesty which means reporting what they find, even if it is at odds with what they might prefer to believe.

    I will not be impressed by someone who choses their position and henceforth only argues that position, and whose attachment to that position colours everything they say. You may be thinking that people like Mann and Hansen fit that description, but for this to be so all the other climate scientists are guilty of not criticising them. It is possible for a whole branch of science to be hijacked and go down a wrong path for a while, but I don’t think its true in this case. Anyway, its bed time.

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    Roy Hogue

    I will not be impressed by someone who choses their position and henceforth only argues that position, and whose attachment to that position colours everything they say.

    John Brookes @76,

    And still we wait for one little bit of empirical evidence linking CO2 with anything.

    I have not taken up a position John, a position has been put on me. I was unwilling to have anything to do with it and it was just dumped on me. ‘See here Roy Hogue, you’ve got to start changing the very foundation of your whole lifestyle, the very way that you live. The world has a cancer and you are part of the cause of it.’

    If my doctor were to tell me I have cancer I would immediately ask to see the tests, X-rays, MRIs or whatever it was that supports that diagnosis. Then, only when the diagnosis stands up would I ask what the road forward is from that diagnosis. This is just taking reasonable responsibility for my own life. It’s plain old common sense.

    The AGW diagnosis has never been able to pass that same simple test. Show me the evidence, not that I’m in pain but that the pain comes from cancer. Show me the evidence, not that something has warmed or melted but that CO2 caused it.

    We wait for that…seemingly in vain.

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    John Brookes: “I assume that scientists are honest…”

    I have no problem with you assuming your selected collection of scientists are honest if all the life style changes you make as a consequence apply ONLY to yourself. You are quite welcome to return to the status of a hunting and gathering tribal member, wear a loin cloth, live in a leaky dirt-floor mud hut, and eat uncooked parasite infested raw flesh and roots if you so chose. Just don’t go hunting and gathering on MY property and, especially, don’t try enlisting the power of government to force me to do the same.

    You see, THAT is the issue. The claims your so called “honest” scientists are making are specifically used as a justification for controlling ANY and ALL uses of energy, a massive redistribution of wealth, and a heavy handed top down control of all economic activity. This alone is sufficient to be highly suspicious that the goals are not in our best interests no matter what words are used to justify them. Look to the history of the 20th Century for instructive detail.

    For myself and quite likely others, to accept a global dictatorship as a necessity requires far more in the way of proof than your assumption that your select collection of AGW alarmist scientists are honest. Especially when it is so easily shown they are anything but honest BY THEIR OWN WORDS AND ACTIONS!

    We don’t even need the “Climategate” files to show that they are not honest scientists. All we need is the fact they repeatedly refused to deliver the raw data. They did not retain the original meta data to justify their adjustments and thus cannot reproduce what they did. The have long refused to disclose the details of their sacred simulations that produced what they claim to be the smoking gun for man caused catastrophic climate change.

    Any one of these things is sufficient to demonstrate dishonesty. Taken together, it shows they are nothing but con artists committing a monumental fraud. There is a point that ignorance and incompetence is not honest because its willfully chosen. We haven’t gotten as far as examining the content of their so called science and we know something over the top foul is going on.

    You are quite welcome to believe anything you wish to believe and even act upon that belief. Just don’t expect us to submit to your belief and meekly accept your actions just because you happen to believe it.

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    Roy Hogue

    Jo @57,

    If they made the choice based purely on evidence, why the heck don’t they just tell us what that evidence is??? It’s not in AR4. We’ve looked.

    The gang that can’t shoot straight should have evidence??? No, no, no, Jo! We must not put that burden on these poor hapless souls. It’s cruel and unusual punishment. Have mercy! It’s not their fault that their lexicon omitted the word. They but play the hand that the fickle finger of fate handed them.

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    Science Not Consensus

    John, honest scientists will attach an antithesis to their thesis. What will disprove the AGW theory? I think we all have the right to know the answer to this basic, dare I say scientific, question. If the Earth fails to warm in the next 10 years, will that disprove it? If we fail to find a hot spot? Or have honest scientists led us, like Alice, into a weird wonderland of ‘I say it is so, and it is!’ Will I find the answer at skepticalscience.com? Do they have the answer on their sidebar?

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    Lionell, you are correct, the AGW crowd aren’t even scientists as measured by their own behaviour.
    As for assuming scientists are honest, John obviously hasn’t spent any time with them. Most are, some aren’t. History is full of examples of scientific scams done for fame and money.

    If they want us to change our lifestyles, the AGW believers can lead by example. Stop paying electricity bills and you’ll be off the grid. Go for it! Walk everywhere(no bicycles as steel, rubber and plastics are used in their manufacture) or ride horses. If enough of these jerks do this maybe won’t need any more power stations.
    Let us know how you go. You may want to get rid of your PC though so it will be a little more difficult.

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    Mann, Hansen etc are brave – they are prepared to state what they believe and why – and wait for the inevitable criticisms, which will come from both their own side of the fence and the other side. This is the rough and tumble of science.
    Surely one of the major criticisms of AGW proponents is that they WEREN’T prepared to offer their evidence.
    FOI requests refused.
    “The science is settled”.
    Only since the emails became public knowledge last year have GW supporters felt any need to debate the issue.

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    Lionell Griffith

    Mike Borgelt:

    …the AGW believers can lead by example. Stop paying electricity bills and you’ll be off the grid. Go for it! Walk everywhere(no bicycles as steel, rubber and plastics are used in their manufacture) or ride horses.

    Yes!

    It would be interesting to watch them try to ride a horse. One thing about a horse. A horse is totally honest and won’t deal well with anyone who tries to fake it. If you try, you won’t be riding for very long. You will soon end up on the ground in a painful crumpled heap.

    I have raised, trained, and ridden horses for the better part of 30 years. I find them more honest and honorable than a lot of people I know.

    They are tolerant to a fault with honest ignorance. In fact I have owned and ridden some very hot horses who were quite willing to babysit children on their backs. They had no tolerance for malicious behavior against them. They would either stop responding to commands or dump their rider so fast the rider wouldn’t know what happened until he hit the ground – HARD. They could spin on a dime and leave you eight cents change.

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    Brian H

    #74;
    Great summary/letter.

    But my grammarnazism twitches at your misapostrophization.

    6 word infallible guide to pronoun apostrophes:

    His, hers, its;
    He’s, she’s, it’s.

    The possessive { ‘s } is used ONLY for singular nouns.

    [Ta, Brian. I think I found 4 and fixed them. Long time readers know I have almost a pathological blindness to apostrophes, and am trying to fix that... Appreciate the help :-) JN]

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    Brian H

    #81;
    Yes, the Precautionary Principle demands that we utterly defeat and frustrate this global-scale power grab, since the costs of failing to do so would be horrendous beyond the nightmares of Apocalypse.

    That’s why tools of both science and politics must be wielded against the CAGW promoters. They have honest enquiry and democratic sovereignty squarely in their sights, necessary targets for destruction so the Big Clampdown can be achieved and perpetuated.

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    cohenite

    I’ve been trying to understand the psychology of the AGW supporter; of course there are a myriad of support types and there are a variety of psychologies but this was posted at the ABC:

    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/stories/s3008509.htm

    “Hamilton is right. The deniers aren’t interested in the truth: their only plan is to deny the truth and mislead people by any means at their disposal. And they have a lot of money from people like Exxon Mobil at their disposal to do so. Would it be rational to allow ‘balance’ so that people who say the earth is flat could go around wasting everyone’s time with debates on the conspiracy of ’roundness’? The United Nations is a human organization how can it not be unsatisfactory is some respects? But as far as I’m concerned the UN is a good deed in a naughty world and those who call for it’s destruction are the enemies of enlightened progress, as are climate change deniers.”

    There are obviously a lot of cliches here, the funding by big oil, the UN is good etc but the tone and language are intriguing; it is almost infantile, certainly it is naive and trusting, but I’m put in mind of the scene from Animal Farm where the animals discover the pigs changing the rules and are still unwilling/incapable of accepting the truth that they have been misled.

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    Quoting from John Brookes post # 76,

    Why did I call Roy Spencer brave? Because he is willing to put forward a thesis that can be knocked down.

    Actually that is a sign of a practicing science researcher employing the “scientific method”.It requires no bravery at all,since IT IS EXPECTED from anyone who posits a hypothesis.

    By the same measure, Mann, Hansen etc are brave – they are prepared to state what they believe and why – and wait for the inevitable criticisms, which will come from both their own side of the fence and the other side.

    No bravery required for publishing credible science papers.Not even to provide the data behind it.

    DR. Mann got little criticism from his camp publicly.It was from the skeptic side since the jerk for several years refused to provide the data to support his conclusions.He was asked several times for the data and he refused.Yet the jerk is the “good guy” and Steve McIntire is the “bad guy”.Courtesy of people like you continue to support such poor science research long after they have been exposed as being good for lining bird cages.

    I call that cowardice.

    Eventually enough of his paper was figured out and it was shown to be statistical garbage.Just a month ago a pair of actual statistical experts backs up McIntire’s claim that the HS paper is statistical garbage.

    Personally I knew it was garbage when I saw that he had eliminated the MWP and the LIA climatic epochs from his impossible chart.Contradicting decades of sober and open science research conclusions,that such periods existed overwhelmingly.

    So what will impress me in a scientist? A commitment to their field. An ongoing search for better ways of looking at their field. A thorough knowledge of the intricacies and dead ends in their field. A desire to improve our overall knowledge of how things work. An honesty which means reporting what they find, even if it is at odds with what they might prefer to believe.

    That describes Steve McIntire far better than Dr. Mann.

    Briffa,Santer,Mann,Hansen,Gore,and many more have been exposed by skeptics,to lack the commitment to good science research.They have been caught red handed and discredited.

    ROFLMAO!

    I will not be impressed by someone who choses their position and henceforth only argues that position, and whose attachment to that position colours everything they say. You may be thinking that people like Mann and Hansen fit that description, but for this to be so all the other climate scientists are guilty of not criticising them. It is possible for a whole branch of science to be hijacked and go down a wrong path for a while, but I don’t think its true in this case. Anyway, its bed time.

    Gargle……,thud!

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    Patrick

    I may be repeating a past comment, but what gives a “Professor of Public Ethics at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics” any credibility in discussing hard science?

    Douglas Adams got it right in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Clive Hamilton and his like would be included in the “useless third of the population” sent into exile into space.

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    [...] Joanne Nova spanks yet another climate hysteric male… Clive Hamilton’s War on Science « JoNova . __________________ . …just some thoughts from a nomadic plebeian Bio – [...]

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    PhilJourdan

    Philosophy and real science go hand in hand. One is not science, and hardly a discipline. It is all about “feelings” and “fairness”, which as science has shown, have no place in real science. So it is understandable that he would use such terms to describe his “feelings” (Opinions) and be totally clueless of his hypocracy.

    He is the epitomy of what is wrong with Philosophy. They are not scientists and really have no clue. They can opine on the evils or benefits of scientific innovation, but are incompetent to opine on where or what science should be doing.

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    Raven

    One would only hope that the climate clowns may yet be brought to heal ,waiting in the shadows are the big companies who have alot at stake , they may as unlikely as it seems bring these crooks out in the open .
    Tony Abbott can see which way the wind is blowing , it would take a brave man to not investigate this further and come up with a sustainable cost effective alternative before going to the polls !
    The Fifth column currently holding onto the reigns will be annihilated the first opportunity the people of Australia can get ! Each day that passes the total incompetence and arrogance of this Government is becoming more obvious . We must keep informing those who do not know or understand , every day , every opportunity .WE HAVE THE BEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD AND WE SHOULD DECIDE IF THIS IS THE PATH WE WISH TO FOLLOW !! .The U.N , IPPC,Crackpot Scientists , Socialists Etc , are NOT our masters.
    WE ARE AUSTRALIANS WE WILL CHOOSE OUR OWN PATH !
    COMMON SENCE AND LOGIC WILL PREVAIL !
    We have the right to choose the path our children and their children should follow ,
    All politicians better note they are only there because of US for US ,and believe me if you manage to piss enough of us off the time of social revolution is upon you !!
    Look around the world ,Egypt , Syria , Libya, etc THINK IT CAN’T HAPPEN HERE ?
    Australians have far more to lose . I believe in the Australian people !
    Not the Australian politician ! WE HAVE A LOT TO LOSE if the right decisions are not made ,at what point is enough enough ? I love this country too much , worked too hard , to see it going down this path of ignorance , greed and self destruction . If ever there was a time to unite as a nation this is the time , Talk to your friends , neighbors and family ask them is this right ? Most will see the truth ! Most will understand !
    WHO IS WITH ME ! AUSTRALIA HOME OF THE FREE HOME OF THE BRAVE , FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS OUR FUTURE WE WILL SAVE .

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