JoNova

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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Oreskes, Readfearn: Got no evidence? Throw different names. Skeptics are paranoid ideologues afraid of reds under the bed.

Ad Hominem Unleashed (aka ABC): On the origin of the sceptics

Commentators on a sinking ship search for reasons to “keep the faith afloat”.

The debate has moved a peg. Instead of “oil shills” now we’re just paranoid ideologues afraid of reds under the bed.

Naomi Oreskes

Naomi Oreskes

The battle cry: the “skeptics” are shills of big oil, has become an own goal. The PR team for the catastrophic theory have no new evidence of Big Oil funding and thousands of people now point out that the UNskeptics were paid 3500 times as much (at least). So they are moving on… the religiously devout believers can’t admit they were wrong, and nor can they look at the evidence, so what’s left? Post hoc random over-analysis of the irrelevant. Before, skeptics were paid hacks… and now they’re wrong because they … are ideologically against big government and regulation. From one ad hom to another.

And again, the ABC uses our taxes to promote the smear campaign,  support neolithic reasoning, and does everything it can to stop people talking about scientific evidence (by spreading misinformation or slurs about all the characters on one side). Oreskes and freelance writer Graham Readfearn can’t discuss the evidence (or lack of) for their favourite faith, but they spend a lot of time digging up irrelevant details instead.

Are man-made emissions a problem? How would we find the answer? Look not at sedimentary rocks but at stationery and submissions.

Are man-made emissions a problem? How would we find the answer? Look not at sedimentary rocks but at stationery and submissions. As if the answer to tropical convective processes might be hidden on IPA letterhead, or in subliminal messages coded in the number of peer reviewed reports. It’s tea-leaves and rune-stones stuff, and people kid themselves that Blackberries or Androids make us modern, but the writing of people like Oreskes and Readfearn reminds us that human brains still carry software from the paleolithic.  They simply can’t string a reasoned scientific argument together, but instead reflexively resort to discussing motivations, character, ideology or just gossip about “who their friends are”.

Here’s Oreskes. She “knows” she’s right, she just has to figure why other people haven’t seen the light too:

“It’s part of this whole ideological program of challenging any science that could lead to government regulation, because it’s part of an ideological conviction that all regulation is bad, that any time the government steps in to ‘protect’ us from harm, that we’re on the slippery slope to socialism, and this is the ideology that you see underlying a kind of almost paranoid anti-communism. So even after the Cold War is over, these people are seeing reds under the bed.”

Ponder the inanity of “paranoid anti-communism?”

The Death Toll from far-left governments has been tagged at more than 100 million which is about three times higher than the current known death toll from AIDS. You can see how meaningless the Oreskes line-of-wordsmithing becomes. What’s the difference: paranoid anti-communism, or paranoid anti-AIDSism?

The difference is, Oreskes won’t be trying to inanely badge or label the AIDS workers.

What is a rational fear if being afraid of mass murder is “paranoid”?

The double fallacy: When the ad hom isn’t even correct

Evidence matters so little to the smear campaigners that Readfearn doesn’t even bother to research his ad hominem targets:

You can’t help but think that Roskam must have been chuckling to himself as he wrote that statement, given the paucity of actual peer-reviewed scientific research on climate change amongst the book’s contributors, which included Ian Plimer, Richard Lindzen, Nigel Lawson, William Kininmonth, Willie Soon, Christopher Monckton, Garth Paltridge plus the IPA’s own Alan Moran and Roskam himself.

Thus, hundreds of peer reviewed papers are described as a paucity. Richard Lindzen: 235 peer reviewed papers. Garth Paltridge: scores (in journals like Nature, J. Geophys. Res., J. Atmos. Sci., Q. J. Roy.Meteor. Soc),  Willie Soon: dozens (Like Climate Research, Energy & Environment, and The Astrophysical Journal).

Ten minutes to google and Readfearn couldn’t be bothered. He apparently wants everyone to think that only people with peer reviewed climate papers should be listened too, but while he thinks climate scientists with hundreds of papers are worth mocking, he’s proud of his own climate science record. His opinions on the climate are worth televising… (According to him, and, of course, the ABC):

Earlier this year, Lord Monckton was featured heavily in newspaper coverage when he conducted a speaking tour in towns and cities across the country, including a debate in Brisbane which was televised by the ABC (featuring yours truly). Monckton, like the majority of sceptics, has no science training and while he is undoubtedly one of the highest-profile sceptics, he has never had a peer-reviewed climate science paper published.

And Readfearn of course has not published a peer reviewed paper either. But he’s a journalist. Again, one of the anointed for whom the laws of logic part like the Red Sea.

On the plus side though, Readfearn is flexible – it’s not just ad hominem attacks and argument from authority — he can do other logical fallacies too. When he needs to, he can confuse cause and effect:

At one point or another, pretty much every one of these climate sceptics (or sceptics of the need for action) have also been hosted by one or more of the US-based free-market think-tanks.

He think the “links” are meaningful as if correlation was causation.

The free market think tanks — shock me — approach people who have also come to similar conclusions. And passionate scientists not-so-surprisingly seek out groups and conferences of like-minded people.

Though as it happens the dastardly think tanks also approached Al Gore. The only difference is that Al was too scared to speak at one of the free market think tank events, even if they paid him. He knows he can’t answer their questions.

Oreskes and Readfearn’s ability to reason is so confused they can’t think their way out of a paragraph. You know you’ve found another taxpayer funded cesspit of reason when the writers can’t even pass their own flawed “tests”.

As I wrote before, Oreskes IS the Merchant of Doubt, and she speaks today (Monday in Perth at 6pm at UWA).

Thanks to PaddikJ for editing advice, and Phillip B for picking up the typo  :-)

For tweets — http://tiny.cc/irqs9

UPDATE

Robert Fergusson has also written about the Oreskes and Readfearn article on American Thinker and with quite different things to say.

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Tiny Url for this post: http://tinyurl.com/2b5punv

75 comments to Oreskes, Readfearn: Got no evidence? Throw different names. Skeptics are paranoid ideologues afraid of reds under the bed.

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    Rereke Whaakaro

    “It’s part of this whole ideological program of challenging any science that could lead to government regulation, because it’s part of an ideological conviction that all regulation is bad, that any time the government steps in to ‘protect’ us from harm, that we’re on the slippery slope to socialism, and this is the ideology that you see underlying a kind of almost paranoid anti-communism.

    You betcha.

    This is no more than a spewing of bile on the basis of: socialism = good, libertarianism = bad.

    So even after the Cold War is over, these people are seeing reds under the bed.”

    Ah, so the collapse of communism in eastern Europe meant that all of the millions of people who previously grew up and lived under that regime, and intimately knew how to game the system, just gave it all up and became rabid believers in the benefits of democracy instead? Yeah, right.

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    The “Weight of the Evidence”:

    Take several superficially scientific papers filled with numbers, graphs, pictures, and technical sounding words followed by a long list of citations referring recursively to other similar papers. Then copy them hundreds of thousands times. Bind the total and weigh them. You will then have the “Weight of the Evidence”. However, you will not have any evaluation of the validity of the evidence nor any verification of the asserted conclusions.

    All it takes is a clearly stated hypothesis, one critical experiment that tests the hypotheses on its critical points, and full disclosure of the hypothesis, experiment, protocol, measured data, and analysis. If the predictive capability of the hypothesis is found to be wanting, the hypothesis falls. It makes no difference how many people believe in it nor how many papers or news articles say it is so. A million tons of smoke and mirrors and a tornado of spin won’t change that reality.

    This has specifically been evaded by the climate alarmists. They keep chanting their mantras and waving their magical talismans hoping no one will notice there is no there there. Interestingly, we have noticed and are putting them ON NOTICE.

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    Phillip Bratby

    Jo, You have her name wrong in the title: Oreskes.

    [Thanks Phillip. That'll teach me for writing at 2am with no proof reader... -- JN]

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    Mark

    Let me apologize on behalf of my fellow Progressives. This kind of thinking is bull puckey. God forgive the skeptics (and the alarmists) for having political opinions on a matter of government policy!

    I can’t believe that carbon taxes and ETS come with the movement of Progressivism sometimes. Progressivism’s historical core is addressing poverty, opportunity, plutocracy, and the gaps between the classes.

    And what do carbon taxes do? They are more regressive than almost any other. Energy prices affect the poor more inordinately than most any expense, especially here in the U.S. where most people literally need a car to get to work of the grocer’s. I believe it was Jo Nova who on her blog shared the story of the old couple who died of cold and the young folks who had to burn books to keep warm. I’m not sure? Still, that is what Progressives call for these days?

    Almost as a rule, tax schemes aimed at reducing carbon emissions are regressive. I don’t understand how widening class differences by bogging down the poor more than the rich can be okay by modern progressives. And ETS- in the name of Reason, what is Progressive about transferring wealth from places like West Virginia (dirt-poor coal-producing sate) to those localities relative-ly rich enough to afford to pursue lower-emissions standards? And to limit the commerce in coal by limiting its burning (emissions) is a blow at a unionized industry (coal mining) without benefiting workers at all.

    I swear, liberalism and especially Progressivism is crazy to adopt carbon reduction policies. The free-market folks, whom I am normally quite politically at odds with, really have got the right idea with this one! CAGW-skepticism is just logically compelling, though- I wish to insist that it does not necessitate partisan views on just one sort or another.

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    wendy

    ABC’s Spooks crime show, last week, had the eight richest men in the world being kidnapped and “put on trial” over the Internet. The first one (who owned coal mines) was accused of causing the deaths of millions of people because of his inactivity on Climate Change. He was “found guilty” and summarily executed. I was horrified by the ludicrous AGW propaganda provided by this fiction within fiction. This mock Oxfam trial shows that the fiction may not be so fictional in the future.

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    PaddikJ

    They simply can’t string a reasoned scientific argument together without resorting to discussing motivations, character, ideology or gossip about who their friends are.

    Hate to be a pedantic wet blanket, but the above statement is oxymoronic – the two clauses would be better joined as “. . . together, but instead resort to . . .”

    Sorry! But since you’re always (rightly) calling out warmists and soft-academics on their logical fallacies, your own writing has to be air-tight.

    [Fair point :-) -- JN]

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    Another Ian

    “Swiss Academy Of Sciences: Skepticism Is Scientific – Unless It Comes From Climate Skeptics
    By P Gosselin on 21. November 2010

    Pro-Clim, a forum of the Swiss Academy of Sciences, has recently put out a news release titled: The Arguments of the Climate Skeptics. Below you’ll find the news release translated in English by yours truly. Hat tip to NoTricksZone reader John Patagon.

    The Swiss Academy is apparently unswayed by the change in direction recently adopted by the Royal Society in Britain. Pro-Clim is sticking to activism and dogma, at least until further notice. Comically it claims that skepticism is scientific, but only if it does not come from climate skeptics. More on this below.”

    http://notrickszone.com/2010/11/21/swiss-academy-of-sciences-swiss-academy-of-sciences-skepticism-is-scientific-unless-it-comes-from-climate-skeptics/

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    val majkus

    Lies will always get you in the end. It is especially foolish to lie about science. Political lies may have a long lifetime, but science lies rarely do. It is shameful that this science lie had as long a life as it did though. It is painful that it has also had so much harmful impact on society and government. Scientists will be paying a price in lost respect for a long time due to the lie that man’s emissions of CO2 have created what is likely to be or might be a catastrophic climate future. I know I am using strong language here, but any scientist worthy of the name should long ago have backed away from the embarrassing claims made by the anthropogenic global warming alarmists. This episode has borne a strong resemblance to Stalinist science.

    Not my words, someone much more worthy
    The Fatal Missing Atmospheric Hotspot of CO2 Alarmist Theory
    http://objectivistindividualist.blogspot.com/search/label/climate%20models
    the personal thoughts of Charles Anderson (He mentions David Evans in the article)
    and it’s a blog worth adding to your favourites

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    davidc

    All you need to know about Oreskes, and Wikipedia. This used to be right upfront on the climate change page but it’s been downgraded but not revised. It can be found at:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change#Oreskes.2C_2004

    ‘The author [Oreskes] analyzed 928 abstracts of papers from refereed scientific journals between 1993 and 2003 …
    …none of the abstracts disagreed with the consensus position, which the author found to be “remarkable”.’

    So not a single extra paper has been published since 2003 (still 928) either for or against the consensus. Note the category “Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change” not “a small note on the history of climate science with special attention to the year 2003″

    We are told that Wikipedia can be updated evey 15 seconds. You don’t need to know anything at all about climate science to see this as pure propaganda. For this kind of nonsense to be current
    a) they don’t have anything better to offer; and
    b) they think that their audience is spectacularly stupid

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    Lawrie

    As reported in the Australian http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/julia-gillards-carbon-sweetener-for-farms/story-fn59niix-1225958049724 Julia is trying to win over farmers to her CO2 fraud. Does she think farmers are too stupid to have read about the collapse of the Chicago Carbon Exchange? She figured they would be too stupid to realise the Murray Darling plan would send them broke more quickly than even the importation of substandard fruit and vegetables.

    It seems similar to Abbotts direct action plan which concentrated on putting more carbon into the soil; a positive for production.

    It seems so strange that had we not had and continue to have the fraudulent claims by Jones, Mann and Hansen we might have moved down the path of fuel economy, carbonising the soil and alternative fuels anyway but with better research and far less acrimony. The fraud has in fact put the green cause back immeasurably. It also casts into doubt just about every scientific statement from now on.

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    PaddikJ

    davidc:
    November 22nd, 2010 at 7:39 am

    For those who may not already be aware, Benny Peiser wrote a thorough debunk of the Oreskes piece shortly after it appeared in Science (12/2004). In one of the most shameful episodes of an already shameful period in science (and Science!), Science eventually declined to publish his letter, thus leaving Oreskes’ pseudo-analysis officially unchallenged. Their excuse? Have no food or drink in your mouth – I will not accept responsibilty for ruined keyboards & monitors: The points he raised were widely available on the Internet.

    If anyone is interested, I believe I got it from Dr. Peiser’s blog – shouldnt’ take too long to locate.

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    Bruce of Newcastle

    Ed Caryl summarised Roy Spencer’s 2XCO2 paper at P Gosselin’s this week. He finds 2XCO2 from real satellite data to be about 0.4-0.6 C, which means CO2′s contribution to the temperature record has been roughly 0.2 C in the last 130 years. Lets see, that means the IPCC has only 1300 years to go before they hit their 2 C limit, which would be about when they release their much anticipated AR217 report.

    That makes 4 or 5 such empirical real world studies that I’ve seen that measure 2XCO2 at around 0.6 C give or take, and I haven’t been searching.

    If Oreskes and Readfearn want to stick their fingers in their ears and cry ‘I can’t hear you’ that is their prerogative. Just don’t spend my taxes on their ideological fantasies, Mr Combet.

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    Joe Lalonde

    In science, anyone should be able to research the science for any flaws or errors. This should be a simple procedure of having evidence that is sound and hold up to experimentation.
    In some cases experimentation is impossible. So, common sense should prevail. But it doesn’t.
    We set up a system of LAWS that cannot be broken even if the science stinks.
    Many times observed science is not what the planet is EXACTLY doing.The planet has created an extremely complex system that is constantly changing due to the factors it has encompassed to use.

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  • #

    The commonest hysteria these days is surely “Rednecks Under the Beds”. In fact, there may be a point to this fear, because some kind of reckoning could be on the way. Yet those who will be calling for the blood of AGW-believers are most likely to be not skeptics but their own co-religionists.

    AGW is an intellectual fashion now enjoying a glittering moment akin to socialism’s cocktail-party and lecture-hall popularity in the thirties. In that era, you couldn’t complain about the Italian, German and Russian strains of socialism without looking like some proto-Palin who didn’t even read the New York Times. Hitler and Stalin were stern necessities, but Il Duce was a downright heart-throb.

    By the fifties, that mood had certainly passed!

    The proponents of AGW and fashionable anti-development should be aware that when a fashion passes, the quick adjusters among them will be merciless toward the slower adjusters. The successful mock-heroic retreat of the impossibly verbose Judith Curry should be a lesson to others. Some people are great at surviving.

    Don’t trust your fellow fashionistas. Remember what happened to bell-bottom jeans and Benito Mussolini.

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    val majkus

    a bit o/t but an interesting analysis
    http://kestencgreen.com/green&armstrong-agw-analogies.pdf

    We forecast effects and outcomes of the global warming alarm movement using a structured analysis of analogous situations. To do this, we searched the literature and we asked experts to identify phenomena that were similar to the alarm currently being raised over dangerous manmade global warming. We obtained 71 proposed analogies. Of these, 26 met our criteria of being based on forecasts of material human catastrophe arising from effects of human activity on the physical environment, that were endorsed by experts, politicians and the media, and that were accompanied by calls for strong action. None of the 26 alarms were based on scientific
    forecasting procedures. None of the alarming forecasts were accurate. Governments took action in 23 of the analogous situations and those actions proved to be harmful in 20. The government programs remained in place after the predicted disasters failed to materialize. The global warming
    alarm movement appears to be the latest manifestation of a common social phenomenon of false alarms based on unscientific forecasts of human-cased environmental disasters. We predict that the alarm over forecasts of dangerous manmade global warming will, like previous similar alarms, result in harm.

    Key words: DDT, decision making, evidence-based forecasts; global cooling; lobby groups; popular movements; precautionary principle; public policy; scenarios.

    conclusion? Alarms based on unscientific forecasts are a common social phenomenon. The alarms are used to support political movements. Dissent is punished. Expensive government interventions are frequently recommended and often implemented. Once in place they continue even when the alarming forecasts prove to be groundless, perhaps because a large sector of the economy depends on jobs created to “protect” against the predicted catastrophe. The dangerous manmade global warming alarmist movement will ultimately fail, but as in the past, there will be similar alarms in the future. Many people will be ready to expound on and believe in forecasts of new disasters. Proper science, which requires fair testing of reasonable alternative hypotheses and reproducible evidence, is the best defense against such false forecasts.

    AND there’s a fair bit on the precautionary principle too

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    macha

    I read in one of the recent “new Scientist” editions ( sorry I do not havae it handy to provide the link), where an article was run about the ‘sceptics and deniers’ that flowed from Einsteins publication on the Theory of Relativity”. It included references to the class-elites and fears of loss-of-power in certain circles of the era.

    Now call me a sceptic, but is this a thinly veiled attempt to correlate passed scepticism as being ‘wrong’ with hre current AGW theories?
    eg If deniers and sceptics are wrong in the past, they are wrong again now?

    So as a sceptic, shoudl I simply give as because of this? or like most stock broker will claim when promoting an investment fund – past performance is no guarantee of future performance.

    The proof of the pudding will be in the eating.
    Roll on 2014 – it could be a cold year.

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    Follow the money? Who’s got the money?

    An article about the Green Movement is in the National Post (CANADA) this weekend. It describes the flow of money into Canada to fund the ENGOS — the agitators that bring us the “Green Pogroms” — er Programs.

    http://www.nationalpost.com/charity+with+plenty+very+long+tentacles/3859570/story.html

    “In late October, a group of environmental and social justice activists met at a remote lodge on Cortes Island, 150 kilometres north of Vancouver, up the Georgia Strait. The four-day gathering was billed as the Social Change Institute — an event that says it “gathers seasoned and emerging leaders with thinkers and trainers from the change-making world” — and it’s been happening for years. The lodge is called the Hollyhock Centre, a New Age retreat known for its holistic healing circles, Shaman drum making workshops and Tantric “sacred sexuality” seminars.

    Mr. Solomon is the vice chair of Tides Canada, and a director and former chairman of Tides’ American board. And he is a major reason Tides has been pumping money into environmental and social activist groups that have been fighting fish farms in British Columbia, the oilsands in Alberta, logging in the Boreal forest, and dozens of other anti-industrial campaigns. Most any prominent green group you might think of has probably been on Tides’ list of recipients. Tides also provides charitable assistance to The Tyee, its website shows, an NDP-friendly online magazine. Tides has hired government lobbyists. Former officials and affiliates of Tides, meanwhile, have influence at the highest level of Vancouver’s city government, including its eco-chic mayor Gregor Robertson, who has made it his explicit goal to turn Vancouver into the “greenest city in the world.” Some of the biggest donors to his campaign, and that of his Vision Vancouver party, are also connected to Tides. “

    Enjoy reading… So much for heavily funded skeptics. Instead, try thinking about heavily funded green organizations.

    Cheers!

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    mosomoso:
    November 22nd, 2010

    I think Judith Curry is like a cockroach. Will survive even being nuked. Only difference is that cockroaches have an ecological niche to fill.

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    wendy

    You can’t eat trees!!!!

    Now these GREEN COMMUNISTS want to take farming land and grow trees on it!

    So much for Australia’s Food Security and Food Supply………

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/you_cant_eat_trees/

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    Llew Jones

    Mark:
    @4.

    The reality Mark is that CAGW is owned and promoted by the Left aka “Progressives”.

    Read The Nation or any other Left wing publication and CAGW is used against the “greedy” energy companies and “Wall Street”. About the only prominent exception is Alexander Cockburn of Counterpunch. For his efforts he has been smeared and pilloried by the overwhelming majority of “Progressives”. He’s not right on much else but he knows when he’s being conned about climate change.

    Having had some fun stirring up the Left wing scientific illiterates that inhabit that blog I’m convinced that most Progressives there and probably generally, lack a fundamental grasp of mathematics which is necessary to think through AGW when it is presented as proven beyond contention.

    My guess is the brighter ones are mostly graduates of the social sciences who are hopelessly out of their depth in understanding which evidence lines are likely to, if they have not already done so, falsify CAGW. Much like some of the ill informed, scientifically clueless clowns, in this country, who pontificate on the certainty of CAGW.

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    J.Hansford

    Well said Jo…. It must be embarrassing to you to see your Journalistic colleagues are so lacking in the skills of their chosen professions.

    …. Still, it makes your job easier for you. Kinda like shooting fish in a barrel really;-)

    [Please don't call me a journalist... I aim higher. JN]

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    Mark D.

    Mark @ 4

    Almost as a rule, tax schemes aimed at reducing carbon emissions are regressive. I don’t understand how widening class differences by bogging down the poor more than the rich can be okay by modern progressives. And ETS- in the name of Reason, what is Progressive about transferring wealth from places like West Virginia (dirt-poor coal-producing sate) to those localities relative-ly rich enough to afford to pursue lower-emissions standards? And to limit the commerce in coal by limiting its burning (emissions) is a blow at a unionized industry (coal mining) without benefiting workers at all.

    My friend and namesake, consider that what Progressives stood for has been usurped by people claiming to be progressive but really wolves in sheep’s garb. Labor and parallel Progressives have been used by a body of elitists that have no interest in the “title” ideology but instead have their own ideology and agenda.

    I don’t think you have posted anything before that I disagreed with. So please don’t take this in a bad way: When your eyes have opened to what I said above, lets talk again about politics OK?

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    Bulldust

    In recent news Donna Faragher is stepping down from the Minister for the Environment post in WA:

    http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/wa/8368257/faragher-steps-down-from-cabinet/

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    cohenite

    I’ve spent a considerable amount of time ‘discussing’ AGW at sites like Deltoid and Unleashed; without fail the ‘discussion’ invariably degenerates to the stock standbys of AGW supporters; personal and general insult, comparison of scepticism to concepts which have been rightfully subject to approbrium and condemnation like smoking, big oil and Nazism and appeals to authority and weight of consensus all of which is wrapped in an unrelenting outrage and moral/intellectual superiority. The pro-AGW comments at Readfearn’s latest piece are no exception.

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    manalive

    macha (16),

    From what little I know of the history of science, it is the sceptics who have challenged “class elites” who feared their “loss-of-power”.

    Here are a few who come to mind: Nicolaus Copernicus, Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei and Antoine Lavoisier all of whom challenged established scientific hypotheses and were proved right, some taking considerable risks in the process.

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    Bulldust

    I see Sinclair Davidson is firing a few shots back at Redfearn:

    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/41326.html

    Needless to say the CAGW types are all over him like a bad rash.

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    bananabender

    Readfearn had a less than successful run as the Courier Mail green blogger. [In fact he has been less than successful in all his previous careers]. He suddenly left the CM (presumably he was sacked) almost immediately after his humiliation by Christopher Monckton.

    Readfearn always came across as an opinionated and ignorant prat.

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    cohenite

    I just had a look at the Sinclair response to the Readfern gibberish; I submitted this response:

    “Great article Professor. Please ignore the usual reflexive and ad hominem responses; Pavlov is one of the icons of AGW alarmism. You are quite right in highlighting the Climate-gate Scandal; the lack of ongoing reporting of this is a scandal in itself, especially in respect of the subsequent enquiries into the behaviour of the various people at CRU.

    These enquiries, which nominally exonerated the e-mailers, will remain as a seeping wound in the AGW juggernaut. There have been four inquiries into the Climategate affair. In the UK, the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee undertook a short inquiry shortly before the British election. There were also two inquiries set up by the University of East Anglia itself: the Science Appraisal Panel headed by Lord Oxburgh and the Climate Change Emails Review under Sir Muir Russell. In addition Penn State University in the USA looked at aspects of the affair that directly affected them, in particular in respect of the involvement of Michael Mann. Mann is also being investigated by the State of Virginia for the possible misuse of State funding.

    All of the enquiries into Climate-gate were deeply flawed with manifest deficiencies of what was investigated, the manner of investigation and the dearth of alternative evidence accepted by the various committees; as well, there were a number of examples of conflicts of interest on the various committees. And possible prosecution by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for contravention of Freedom of Information obligations was thwarted only because the ICO decided that time limitations had expired.

    Despite this disgrace and the return of a compliant media’s acceptance of the ‘science’ of AGW the public has not been fooled with 2 major polls about the scandal showing deep mistrust of the scientists’ behaviour:

    http://msnbc.newsvine.com/_question/2010/07/07/4630892-are-you-satisfied-with-the-british-panels-conclusion-that-while-climategate-scientists-were-not-always-forthcoming-their-science-was-sound

    http://www.surveymonkey.com/sr.aspx?sm=ONSUsVTBSpkC_2f2cTnptR6w_2fehN0orSbxLH1gIA03DqU_3d

    So, Professor, ignore the true believers and maintain a rational approach to AGW.”

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    wendy

    This little green communist hitler “READFERN” is DEMOLISHED by Lord Monckton in the Brisbane debate.

    Shortly after “READFERN” was sacked from his job of running the courier mail’s green blog!

    Michael Smith (radio 4BC) interviews this little PR.CK readfearn

    http://www.4bc.com.au/climate

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    wendy

    Monckton takes Brisbane | Herald Sun Andrew Bolt Blog (graham readfern)………….

    http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/index.php/heraldsun/comments/monckton_takes_brisbane/

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    Llew Jones

    This where the rubber touches the road in the real world and makes a mockery of any hope of an abatement in the growth of atmospheric CO2 emissions. I think the increase in atmospheric CO2 is running at about 2ppm/year. Thus by 2100 we could expect an atmospheric CO2 concentration of about 600ppm plus. One could well expect the CAGW hypothesis to be dead and buried by then and other energy sources gradually replacing coal as reserves diminish.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/22/world/asia/22fossil.html?hp

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    Rereke Whaakaro

    val majkus: #15

    Thank you, Val.

    A very useful reference.

    I was aware that these scares have a sort of cyclic basis, in much the same way that financial markets go through boom and bust cycles, but I hadn’t considered that the cyclic nature might be due to social phenomena.

    It has long been assumed that we “inherit” fears as part of our survival programming. Fear of the dark, fear of heights, fear of spiders, snakes, et al are all good survival stuff.

    But if this hypothesis is correct, it implies that Humans have an inbuilt (or hereditary) need to feel afraid about something.

    If you remove all of the normal sources of fear, then humans might well have the capacity or need to invent a new one.

    Fascinating thought.

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    Bulldust

    Well just back from the Oreskes lecture at UWA and still not sure how to take it. I shall jot down some bullet points of my impressions:

    * Packed house (same lecture theatre Jo and Anthony Watts spoke at previously).
    * Not a single skeptical question of the 10+ questions after the presentation.
    * Oreskes (Naomi) basically focused on evil big tobacco as funding all anti-scientific debates since the fight against SHS (Second Hand Smoke). And if it wasn’t tobacco it was big oil, or big mining etc. Ironic really, seeing as she is a geologist by original training and worked on Olympic Dam (so presumably for WNC back in the day).
    * Other than the Keeling Curve there was not a single scientific graph or data set presented.
    * She mentioned the infamous 2004 paper in which she found “zero” skeptical papers in the climate science field.
    * When asked about credible skeptics she eventually mentioned one name, Lindzen, but then hastened to add that he was “dogmatic” and “fixated.”
    * She constantly made appeals to consensus, because, after all, she has seen it and it was 100% (Oreskes, 2004).
    * The lecture was heavily sprinkled with ad hominem attacks and appeals to authority.
    * A major thrust of the presentation stressed that the only real skeptical voices were a small number of people with a strong libertarian streak who saw “reds under the beds” every time government regulation was mentioned. Odd really because she sees big tobacco and big oil behind every skeptic… who’s really seeing conspiracies then?

    Anyways… I think you get the gist. I am simply appalled that UWA is no longer an institution that embraces critical thinking if this lecture was anything to go by. Not a single person questioned her ridiculous generalisations.

    Quite sad really. They should rename it the University of Group Think.

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    Tim

    This is looking now like a desperate rearguard action by a loosing, PR-based quasi-scientific movement. The public are rapidly becoming more sophisticated, thanks to sites like this, and I don’t see them swallowing the simplistic argument of climate realists = the tobacco lobby. That’s got to be for morons.

    There’s an undisputed, exponential groundswell appearing against this global PR subterfuge , and the more the scientific blowtorch is applied to their butts, the more screaming we will hear.

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    Speedy

    This from the ABC Drum – and yes, it WAS printed!

    If the “Science” of global warming (aka “climate change” aka “climate disruption”) is so clear, then why is it necessary for its practitioners to hide from FOI requests, to stack peer review committees, to cherry-pick data etc. Above all, why do they resort to computer models “projections” as evidence? The simplest, and most likely, answer is that the science of global warming is not founded on empirical evidence, or logic, but politics.

    To the alarmists. Sorry guys, you can only fool all of the people for some of the time. Time’s up!

    Cheers,

    Speedy

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    Alice Thermopolis

    Hey Bulldust

    I was there too and asked (what I thought was) a sceptical question: “Do you think there are any questioning non-smoking folk out there who are NOT (i) on the payroll of some nasty group; (ii) “doubt-mongering” Machiavellian rogues; & (iii) mentally ill, delusional, deranged and dangerous to the public?”

    An eager group, yes, but no passion – even from front-rowers Lewanowsky and Carmen Lawrence. Perhaps she lost ‘em with all that tired old nonsense about tobacco? Or were they just exhausted after too much “cognitive” mumbo-jumbo in a preceding seminar?

    Disappointing such gullible acceptance of Oreskes’s preposterous thesis that scepticism is primarily driven by ideology drives scepticism, rather than a search for truth.

    Neat illustration of psychological phenomenon of projection. Orthodoxy’s defence is to disparage or demonise all questioning of its core beliefs by claiming that drawing attention to their weaknesses – eg: “exaggerating” the uncertainties of climate science – is merely an ideological tactic to “protect their free market fundamentalism”, the very free market that they want to use to deliver their carbon (dioxide) trading “solution” to this non-problem.

    Oh well, heretics – “merchants of doubt”, by definition, from another age –

    One guy agonised over how to increase public acceptance of the notion of “dangerous” AGWCC and “action” to stop it. With tobacco, it was easier. Folk who smoked were dying. Public rightly refuse to believe CC is dangerous without compelling evidence.

    Someone in the audience suggested “merchants” were actually star-struck narcissists, dazzled by all the public attention; while James Hansen, et al, were portrayed as honest seekers of truth, rather than (correctly) today’s equivalent of the prophets of doom from an earlier priestly class.

    So it goes in this/her crazy – “the-science-is-settled” world…..

    Would have been good to see and hear from more of Joanne’s fans. WHERE WERE YOU?

    Alice (in Warmerland)

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    Bernd Felsche

    Oreskes is on a book-spruiking tour. She knows what’s important.

    BTW: did anybody measure the CO2 levels in the lecture theatre during the sermon?

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    Mike S.

    Looks like the current script for the alarmists is to try pure Bulverism and see if it works.

    Bulverism was a term coined by C.S. Lewis back in the 40s:

    Suppose I think, after doing my accounts, that I have a large balance at the bank. And suppose you want to find out whether this belief of mine is “wishful thinking.” You can never come to any conclusion by examining my psychological condition. Your only chance of finding out is to sit down and work through the sum yourself. When you have checked my figures, then, and then only, will you know whether I have that balance or not. If you find my arithmetic correct, then no amount of vapouring about my psychological condition can be anything but a waste of time. If you find my arithmetic wrong, then it may be relevant to explain psychologically how I came to be so bad at my arithmetic, and the doctrine of the concealed wish will become relevant – but only after you have yourself done the sum and discovered me to be wrong on purely arithmetical grounds. It is the same with all thinking and all systems of thought. If you try to find out which are tainted by speculating about the wishes of the thinkers, you are merely making a fool of yourself. You must find out on purely logical grounds which of them do, in fact, break down as arguments. Afterwards, if you like, go on and discover the psychological causes of the error.

    In other words, you must show that a man is wrong before you start explaining why he is wrong. The modern method is to assume without discussion that he is wrong and then distract his attention from this (the only real issue) by busily explaining how he became to be so silly. In the course of the last fifteen years I have found this vice so common that I have had to invent a name for it. I call it “Bulverism.” Some day I am going the write the biography of its imaginary inventor, Ezekiel Bulver, whose destiny was determined at the age of five when he heard his mother say to his father – who had been maintaining that two sides of a triangle were together greater than the third – “Oh, you say that because you are a man.” “At that moment,” E. Bulver assures us, “there flashed across my opening mind the great truth that refutation is no necessary part of argument. Assume your opponent is wrong, and then explain his error, and the world will be at your feet. Attempt to prove that he is wrong or (worse still) try to find out whether he is wrong or right, and the national dynamism of our age will thrust you to the wall.” That is how Bulver became one of the makers of the Twentieth Century.

    … Until Bulverism is crushed, reason can play no effective part in human affairs.

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    Oreskes and Readfearn belong to that family of alarmists who don’t understand scientific method, aren’t capable of logical reasoning, and believe they are defending the need to eliminate “climate change” and “climate disruption”. They’re too stupid to realize that both terms are no more than political constructs.

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    Bulldust

    Sorry Alice… I do remember your question. I remember thinking it was very carefully worded so as to escape the lecture theatre alive :) But then I am a cynical bastard. I believe it was in answer to your question that she reluctantly mentioned Lindzen, along with the adjectives I mentioned above, yes?

    I was glad I did go… I now realise the extent of the problem out there. When you get twice as many sheeple listening to such rubbish as opposed to the skeptics who provide real data and a firm handle on the scientific uncertainties you start to understand the scope of the issue.

    As a fellow attendee mentioned to me in an email, she made a huge effort to give the overall impression that the science is settled and uncertain. She did however let slip (in answer to a question) that there are uncertainties around cloud feedbacks and sensitivities. I think the average audience member was blissfully unaware of the importance of those two key variables.

    She talked a lot of the “smoke and mirrors” used by contrarians, skeptics and deniers (yes she is very confortable using this word) … it is ironic, therefore, that she uses them far more profusely than the people she attacks.

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    pattoh

    Bernd

    I don’t know about the CO2 level but it is a fair guess the Methane level was extreme!

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    Richard C (NZ)

    IPCC Official: “Climate Policy Is Redistributing The World’s Wealth”

    It is clear now, that the climatologists using the sub-standard science of AGW are merely useful idiots to the totalitarian cause except for the likes of James Hansen et al that know full well the big pseudo-green world governance picture.

    When we look at that the most thorough AGW debunkings at the core of the issue (radiation) we find physicists i.e. people who know a great deal more about radiation than climatologists.

    The engineers from Lockheed’s Advanced Design and Skunk Works new a bit about physics and it was they that produced the F-117 Stealth Fighter working with these concepts:-

    * Diffraction
    * Radar absorption
    * traveling waves; surface propagation and re-radiation
    * multiple scattering and diffusion

    http://en.citizendium.org/wiki/Stealth

    http://www.f117reunion.org/f117_history.htm

    So how do climatologists deal with radiation “scattering” for example? They don’t. The T&F energy budget portrays energy in it’s various forms as nice clean vectors with arrowheads but radiation does not behave like that in the real world.

    A stealth fighter designed by climatologists using the science of AGW would look like a blimp.

    But now there’s no point debunking AGW science anymore because the truth has been exposed to plain view. It’s not about science or physics or environmental concerns; that charade was merely a vehicle for UN Agenda 21, globally centralized control, socialist wealth re-distribution and de-industrialization of advanced economies. Carbon, innocent of any wrong doing is the Trojan horse.

    Anyone now under any delusion that reducing carbon footprints is environmentally altruistic really needs to take a long hard look at the totalitarian aspirations of the CAGW promoters now that we finally get some truth from Professor Dr Ottmar Edenhofer, a German economist and senior IPCC official.

    It is no coincidence that this man is a German. History shows us the mindset of many of his countrymen and now “climate science deniers” are the new Jews that must be branded and exterminated (I have proof for anyone wishing to question this last statement).

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    val majkus

    this is also o/t but I picked up this very interesting paper from a commentator at Dr Marohasy’s site
    (thanks cohenite)
    http://landshape.org/images/StockwellCSP.ppt.pdf
    Negating climate change policy by
    Dr David RB Stockwell, former consultant to the
    Australian Government, biodiversity scientist at
    San Diego Supercomputer Center, University of
    California San Diego and the University of
    California Santa Barbara, publications in major
    journals with over 1000 citations

    Here’s his website http://landshape.org/about-the-author/
    There’s a comment there by Warwick Hughes referring to this page
    http://landshape.org/enm/inquiry-into-long-term-meteorological-forecasting-in-australia/

    The Committee recommends that CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology provide to the Australian Government a report with detailed explanatory information as to why a particular dynamic forecasting model or system was chosen for use in Australia. The report should be completed by the end of 2010.

    As Warwick says something to watch for

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    elsie

    The debate in Brisbane last year where Readfearn and Lord Monckton were included ended up in embarrassment for Readfearn. The video on line was cut at the point where he spoke. He was the last speaker on the panel. I don’t what he said but it appears it was a very poor defence of AGW. In fact, very soon after the debate he disappeared from ‘The Courier Mail’ in which he had a regular Green ecology column. He also had a blog site related to the column. In that he too received a lot of flak and not much support. I do have to say he was not obnoxious as many AGW believers are. He was always polite and allowed divergent opinions to be aired. That’s more than one can say about many eco environmentalists.

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    Bunyip

    I don’t think Redfearn ever really recovered from the trauma of being sent as a small boy to live with Liberace.

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    Alice Thermopolis:
    November 23rd, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Carmen Lawrence was there? I’m surprised that she recalled that the meeting was on.

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    John Elliot

    For further ad hominem comments, but with praise for Oreskes, read Mike Steketee’s column in the Weekend Australian 20 Nov:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/some-sceptics-make-it-a-habit-to-be-wrong/story-fn59niix-1225956414538

    According to Steketee “The science is settled” and anyone not in agreement is simply guilty of spreading doubt. Not a mention of Jones, Briffa or Hansen nor any of the other AGW “facts” and forecasts shown to be wrong. Interestingly Terry McCrann in the same paper and David Burchell in “The Australian”, Nov 22, are refreshingly sceptical of the AGW/Carbon Price scam.

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    John Brookes

    Hey Bulldust & Alice, I was there too. I have to say that I think she totally nailed the motivation of skeptics. Particularly the bit about old, formerly influential physicists not handling their decent into irrelevancy very well. I liked her answer to your question Alice – basically said they should do their fighting in the peer reviewed science.

    Anyhow, it was an entertaining talk.

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    Ian Hill

    I went to the Adelaide version of Oreskes’ talk, described elsewhere. I think the main motivation of skeptics is to respond to the continuous insult to the intelligence. Effectively John you are saying that she has exposed a person’s natural desire for establishing the truth. What you meant of course was that skeptics have ulterior motives, hidden agendas etc and she has “outed” those.

    As far as my own motivation goes, I wanted to see for myself what scientists had to say about the effect of CO2 on temperature, not what some Greenie was telling me it was. I suspect Steve McIntyre’s motivation was simply that he wanted to “see for himself” that the hockey stick was correct. My only ulterior motive is that I won’t be able to stand paying for a carbon tax or ETS. I recently saw the slogan “the last word in carbon footprint solutions” (or some such). Oh, Pu-LEEAASSEE!!

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    Bruce of Newcastle

    John Brookes: #47

    John, you obviously weren’t sciency at school, or you’d know all about peer groups by not being in them. Peer review is the most unfair publishing system invented, and favours formation of cliques and power hungry oligarchs. Which is just what is wrong with climate science right now, but also affects any science where prestige or money are significant (eg stem cell research). If you want to publish contrary the received wisdom of whoever has control at that point in time you’ve buckleys.

    Overturning the peer review system and going to editorial review with open non-anonymous commenting is the only way to throw open the doors. It would be worth a lot to the advance of science, but would undercut the gang leaders of today – so they are fighting against it.

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    Bulldust

    I was wondering where the AGW cheer squad was… and there pops up John Brookes. Interesting how Oreskes single-handedly ascertained the motivation of every skeptical commentator, don’t you think? Also odd, as previously stated, that on the one hand she said science is full of uncertainties, but when it comes to climate science, on the other hand, the consensus is clear and unequivocal… I believe that is called having one’s cake and eating it too.

    I am glad you thought the talk entertaining… I did too, but for entirely different reasons perhaps. I view her as an entertainer, not a scientist when she panders to non-science as she did last night. The only, repeat only, science she presented was the Keeling Curve. Everything else was not science at all … hence the comment about it being entertainment.

    I toyed with asking her if the skeptical contingent was as small as she continually stated, why is it that the NIPCC managed to accumulate 30,000+ signatures from scientists on their petition from the American continent alone?* But I was not quite as brave as Alice, given the very gullible crowd on the day.

    It was also a tad worrying that every exit from the theatre bar the bottom left one had been locked by security. The University might wish to review that practice in case of fire… but I digress.

    Keep up the entertainment John… it will be interesting to see you defend the indefensible.

    * The petition which was signed read “there is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate.” The 30,000 signaturies are certainly a tad more than the handful of skeptics Oreskes would have us believe exist in the scietific field.

    PS> This blog comment was not brought to you by big tobacco, big oil, big mining nor libertarian think tanks or advocacy groups. The reader is invited to engage their mind before jumping to conclusions.

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    Llew Jones

    Posted a bit on “Green” China from that haven for all sorts of Leftist true believers, the New York Times. Forgot to note its relevance in this context.

    NYT has over the last few months been promoting China as an example, in the application of renewable energy for America, with a particular negative reference to the GOP. I was surprised that that piece on China and its great long term love affair with coal got past the gate keepers. Perhaps NYT has woken up to the reality that China, India and other developing nations take their CAGW with a grain of salt despite making the right sort of true believer noises, at the right times.

    Thus ultimately Oreskes and all the other throwbacks to the inquisition, that’s their little hang up, are irrelevant for there is little doubt that with all that lovely extra CO2 being pumped into the atmosphere, CAGW will, in a few decades, be permanently relegated to the dustbin of failed hypotheses. That simply by observing how the actual Earth climate system, as distinct from the prophecies of models based on mostly flawed or contentious assumptions, falsifies CO2 caused CAGW.

    The great negative for countries, like ours, run by deceitful politicians who will sell as much coal as there are willing buyers and at the same time knowingly impose fruitless (wrt to CAGW) and unfair carbon taxes that will hurt the poor most. Their “crime” is they operate on the premise that Aussie voters are fools and will excuse the government having its cake as well as eating it. That is the sort of “criminal” activity CAGW skeptics need to keep exposing.

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    Richard C (NZ)

    Bruce @ 51, John Brookes.

    The Climategate anniversary brought front-of-mind how the peer review process was manipulated in a blatant attempt to thwart this paper:

    “Influence of the Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature”

    J. D. McLean,1 C. R. de Freitas,2 and R. M. Carter3

    Received 16 December 2008; revised 23 March 2009; accepted 14 May 2009; published 23 July 2009.

    ——————————————————————————————————————–

    CENSORSHIP AT AGU: SCIENTISTS DENIED THE RIGHT OF REPLY

    Has the Journal of Geophysical Research been coerced into defending the climate alarmist faith?

    by J. McLean, C.R. de Freitas, and R.M. Carter | March 29, 2010

    “Having now read the paper [McLean et al., 2009] in a moment of peace and quiet, there are a few things to bear in mind. The authors of the original will have a right of reply, so need to ensure that they don’t have anything to come back on.”

    – Phil Jones to Jim Salinger, July 28, 2009

    “But as it is written, the current paper [Foster et al. draft critique] almost stoops to the level of “blog diatribe”. The current paper does not read like a peer-reviewed journal article. The tone is sometimes dramatic and sometimes accusatory. It is inconsistent with the language one normally encounters in the objectively-based, peer-reviewed literature.”

    Anonymous referee of the Foster et al. critique, September 28, 2009

    “Incidentally I gave a copy [of the Foster et al. critique] to Mike McPhaden and discussed it with him last week when we were together at the OceanObs’09 conference. Mike is President of AGU. Basically this is an acceptance with a couple of suggestions for extras, and some suggestions for toning down the rhetoric. I had already tried that a bit. My reaction is that the main thing is to expedite this.”

    – Kevin Trenberth to Grant Foster, September 28, 2009

    PREAMBLE
    Science is best progressed by open and free discussion in which all participants have equal rights of contribution. This is especially the case when a scientific issue is related to a matter of high public controversy – such as the hypothesis of dangerous human-caused global warming.

    In July 2009 we published a paper in the peer-reviewed Journal of Geophysical Research (JGR) in which we described the results of comparing global atmospheric temperature since 1958 with variations in the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) climatic framework. Our analysis supported earlier research that demonstrates a close link between these factors, and indicated that a large portion of the variability in global temperature is explained by ENSO variation, thus leaving little room for a substantial human influence on temperature.

    On November 20, a newly appointed, replacement JGR editor informed us that a group of scientists led by Grant Foster had submitted a critique of our paper for publication in JGR. We were invited to write a response, which we did, submitting it to JGR on January 14, 2010.

    On March 16, the replacement editor contacted us again. He included three referees’ reports, and indicated that on the advice of these referees he was rejecting our response to the Foster et al. critique, and that the response would therefore not be published in JGR. The practice of editorial rejection of the authors’ response to criticism is unprecedented in our experience. It is surprising because it amounts to the editorial usurping of the right of authors to defend their paper and deprives readers from hearing all sides of a scientific discussion before they make up their own minds on an issue. It is declaring that the journal editor – or the reviewers to whom he defers – will decide if authors can defend papers that have already been positively reviewed and been published by that same journal. Such an attitude is the antithesis of productive scientific discussion.

    Something smells, and a hint of what is on the wind is contained in the quotations at the head of this preamble.

    To set the historical record straight, we relate below in date order the events – as they are known to us – that led to the editorial censorship of our reply to the critique by Foster et al.

    Continues………

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    bananabender

    re Elsie @

    He was always polite and allowed divergent opinions to be aired. That’s more than one can say about many eco environmentalists.

    Readfearn was utterly disrepectful towards sceptical scientists. He once claimed that Richard Lindzen wasn’t ranked in the world’s top 100 climate scientists. This comment was both utterly absurd and totally offensive.

    A friend who attended the debate described Readfearn as a totally obnoxious a***hole. I have no doubt that he was sacked by the CM as a result.

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    John Brookes @ 49

    It is absolutely mind-blowing that any AGW proponent could dare to even mention “peer review”, given the manner in which the IPCC perverted that (hardly perfect in the first place) process to advance their dogma.

    Since you apparently stand behind peer-review, how do you reconcile your position (for starters) with the fact that peer reviewed investigations of the Medieval Warming Period come as close as humanly possible to proving that at that time it was as warm, and likely warmer than now, and that there were several earlier, and even warmer periods during this intergalactic? (Also, keep in mind that scientists from 40+ countries participated in these studies.)

    Visit co2science.org to see the ongoing confirmations of that fact. (Over 900 investigations world-wide the last time I looked, and it was clearly a global phenomena and not just regional.)

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    Speedy

    John Brookes @ 49.

    Just in case the innocent public believe you are a credible observer, I should refer them to your most recent appearance, at which you promised to improve the standards of this post – by leaving it! Refer http://joannenova.com.au/2010/11/who-are-the-deniers-now/

    As am example, to quote:

    I think Al Gore is a well intentioned person trying to save the world from dangerous climate change. One or two assertions in “An Inconvenient Truth” are wrong.

    “The author of this priceless prose? None other than our very own John Brookes. http://joannenova.com.au/2010/10/is-the-western-climate-establishment-corrupt-part-10-gore-orwell/ Comment 96.” end Quote.

    George, Louis, Bulldust, Eddy, Cohenite etc are all waiting for your next logical epic…

    BTW John, are you still a member of the Al Gore fan club?

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    Baa Humbug

    Glad to see John Brookes back commenting.

    John at #49 you said…

    I liked her answer to your question Alice – basically said they should do their fighting in the peer reviewed science.

    I would strongly suggest John that you should consider “peer review” with a dollop of scepticism. Blind faith can lead one to be fooled.

    Here is a good guide to peer review from the late great John L Daly. And if you click on the link I provide at the end, you’ll read a very interesting case study testing the peer review system as it applies in climate science these days. Ofcourse, one case study doesn’t mean all reviews by peers are no good. It’s just the “dollop” :)

    Highlights are mine.

    “The system of `peer review’ was established during the nineteenth century as a means to uphold quality control in science and to exclude patently flawed science from the publications of the scientific community, known as `journals’. This of course involves something of a trade-off between the wider social values of free speech and the narrower values of preserving the integrity of science itself.

    The ideas and papers excluded from the journals in this way could always be published in non-scientific publications so that the censorship only really applies within the journal community. Since the emergence of the internet, it is now possible for anyone to publish material without editorial interference – something seen as a dangerous curse by some, and an opportunity for genuine free flow of ideas by others. In this new environment, science has taken a backward step in defence of its privileges vis-a-vis publication of papers and ideas. Scientists are increasingly refusing point blank to entertain any new knowledge or ideas as being in any way valid *unless* they are published in one of their own journals. Since scientists and their institutions have privileged access to policy makers in government and industry, it amounts to an arrogant assertion of a monopoly over knowledge itself.

    Once any monopoly is established, abuse and corruption soon follows, and it is the climate sciences which have led the way down that dangerous path.”

    “Here is how the system of censorship works -
    A scientist or group of scientists (or lay persons) may author a paper intended for scientific publication and submit it to one or more of the recognised journals for publication. This is done in the sure knowledge that unless it appears in a journal, it will be summarily dismissed without further thought by the scientific establishment. In other words, it is journal publication or oblivion for whatever ideas or knowledge the author is intending to impart.

    The journal editor (or sub-editor in the case of the larger journals) consider the paper and make a quick and ready judgement about whether the paper might be suitable for publication at first glance. This is the first censorship hurdle as the prejudices of the editor can influence the decision. If the editor is satisfied the paper might be acceptable, he or she sends it out to `referees’, usually two or three reviewers known to be expert in the same field as the subject matter of the submitted paper, these reviewers being selected by the editor. The choice of reviewers itself may also be open to editorial bias.

    The reviewers have enormous power. They act in complete anonymity and can recommend for or against the paper, and few editors will go against their judgement. They will provide comments and reasons for their decisions, but there is no appeal. In other words, the paper’s prospects for publication rest entirely with two or three possibly prejudiced individuals acting in complete anonymity and safe from any criticism of their decision. The author has no idea who these referees are – they could be rivals, or they could be ideologically hostile to the subject matter of the submitted paper. The referrees by contrast know full well who the author(s) is and are easily swayed if the authorship originates with a prestigous institution.

    In a politically charged environment like climate science, the scope for abuse of this system is obvious. Both the editors and reviewers are quite liable to act as upholders of a partisan orthodoxy and reject any paper which questions the basis for that orthodoxy. It is a profoundly subjective process, vulnerable to abuse and all done with no transparency behind the veil of anonymity. The system is an impregnable coward’s castle.

    It is little wonder that `climate skeptics’ have little confidence they would receive fair treatment under such a system when there is a vast global self-interested industry ranged against them.”

    Here is the link to that case study.

    I’d be interested in your further comments about peer review John, and welcome back.

    A footnote: It was John Dalys passing that pleased some of the hockey team. Ever wonder why?

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    Louis Hissink

    John Brookes # 49

    It might help if you started to learn how to spell but Oreske’s training isn’t in science but history – and the problem is that it’s her group who have invaded science and imposed on it the lunacies of post modernism. I noticed the start of this invasion of the hard sciences during the 1970′s and 1980′s when I was studying at university.

    But Oreske has focussed a spotlight on her socialist flag up the mast confirming climate change’s purely political nature – and calling for opposition to be conducted within the peer reviewed science journals is simply a straw man argument. Good grief, it’s like proposing a thesis that God doesn’t exist and then submitting it to a peer review committee comprised of a Rabbi, Bishop and Cardinal to comment – do you think this committee would recommend its publication?

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    Louis Hissink

    Baa @ #58

    Additionally peer review is basically to ensure no plagiarism occurs – the real problem is as the late John Daly points out – it’s become the means of maintaining a particular paradigm.

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    Bunyip

    The wonder is that Redfearn has not been hired by Fairfax. He would be a perfect fit with Ben Cubby, Adam Morton, Melissa Fyfe and all the other frothing warmists who infest that company ‘s editorial floors.

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    Bob Malloy

    While on Peer Review, back in April I linked to the following article both here and at no frakking consensus.
    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/9th_April_2010.pdf

    It opens with the following:

    The perils of peer review
    Scientific publication has mushroomed in recent years: according to Bjork and co-authors in Information Research, about 1,350,000 papers appeared in journals in 2006. For academic scientists, such publication is vital, as they are judged on the basis of the number of papers they write. Many may regret the passing of an era when brilliant individuals could spend their time in creative thought and publish only rarely. Others may point out that that such an attitude could encourage indolence in the less gifted. Whatever the arguments, scientific publishing is nowadays a vast business

    and includes the following summery of peer review.

    “The mistake, of course, is to have thought that peer review was any more than a crude means of discovering the acceptability – not the validity – of a new finding. Editors and scientists alike insist on the pivotal importance of peer review. We portray peer review to the public as a quasi-sacred process that helps to make science our most objective truth teller. But we know that the system of peer review is biased, unjust, unaccountable, incomplete, easily fixed, often insulting, usually ignorant, occasionally foolish, and frequently wrong.”

    IMHO, its one to remember.

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    Louis Hissink

    Just remember that John Maddox, former editor of Nature, never subjected papers by Fred Hoyle or Tommy Gold to peer review – since he knew they would never pass; he just published them.

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    Roy Hogue

    Hey Bulldust & Alice, I was there too. I have to say that I think she totally nailed the motivation of skeptics. Particularly the bit about old, formerly influential physicists not handling their decent into irrelevancy very well. I liked her answer to your question Alice – basically said they should do their fighting in the peer reviewed science.

    Anyhow, it was an entertaining talk.

    John Brookes,

    Welcome back! I’ve missed your fantastic critical thinking ability.

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    wendy

    “Speedy” (57), I’m absolutely certain that John Brookes is also a member of the Richard Cranium Club also…….

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    Bob Malloy

    wendy:
    November 25th, 2010 at 5:23 am

    Now wendy, that’s a little off colour, John may be pushing the wrong barrow, however I don’t ever remember him being offensive and as Jo has stated in the past John’s input is welcome at the site.

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    DirkH

    I’m not afraid of communists under the bed. My landlord is a communist. Really. And he can’t be under my bed because there’s not enough room for him. He’s a big communist.

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    Mark

    Mr. Jones:
    @20

    I have read of bit of Mr. Cockburn’s, and appreciate him myself. I agree that the defenders of CAGW seldom know the basic outline of how their theory works in the science, and I would venture that no insignificant number wouldn’t know what feedback is in the scheme of things- though those are not the vocal proponents, but merely ordinary people I speak of. To most people on the street who defend CAGW, it is a (foolish) idea of defending science itself that spurs them on. Indeed, the screed about greed is misguided, which is not to say that corporate greed itself isn’t a fitting target.

    Best,
    Mark

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    Mark

    Mark D.:
    @22

    This is my first posting on Jo Nova’s blog, so indeed you haven’t read anything of mine you disagreed with!

    I quite agree that Progressivism as it now stands is not what it was long time ago, and that is a shame. In modernity, economic concerns are not of remotely the importance they once were, and opposing theocracy or defending this or that civil liberty is all fine and well, but the loss of the economic emphasis as once it was is truly a shame. I meant to lament the fact; I do know that Progressivism has moved on. Too often working people who haven’t got two nickels to rub together are put in second place to financially stable yuppies concerned about the future of the race in the CAGW faction of Progressivism and in the modern movement as a whole-observe the support for ETS.

    Best to ya,
    Mark

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    Llew Jones

    Mark @ 68

    I spent about 3 years on The Nation blog and met almost as many American Conservatives/Libertarians as Progressives there. It was pretty democratic and “free speech” was readily granted. Maybe that was because the Progressives thought they possessed the intellectual high ground and could handle the “wingnuts”. I was never censored though on just about every discussion topic I, along with the other Conservatives, were offering a contrary view to the Nation’s journos whose articles, much like here, were the “launch pad” for comment.

    I must confess that I was and am a bit of a GW fan (wrt to giving Saddie the boot) and my early days there were spent on pointing out that “Bush lied” was itself a lie. I sort of took it as a duty to educate the Progressive Americans about ILA 1998 and their own recent political history. I’m pretty sure not many fellow travelers on the Left had ever read that document so I was able to get their adrenalin flowing by questioning what sort of education system they had over there (unfortunately their adrenalin rush did not seem to improve their clear thinking skills).

    More seriously what that little exercise did point up is that the Left is very selective in what it reads. They certainly do not read “eclectically” and that was no more obvious than when it came to CAGW. Invariably their approach to any climate change argument was along the lines of consensus science is the only possible truth so they have never bothered to look for possible areas of weakness or the assumptions in the hypothesis that, if proved wrong, invalidate it.

    My name is Llew (Welsh extraction) but I did answer to “you Aussie smart ass” on The Nation. I did point out an ass is a donkey and if they were referring to a part of the human anatomy then we spell it differently. I noticed some saw the sense in that and they added an expressive sounding, Aussie word to their vocabulary.

    With you on the working class. These days they are mostly socially Conservative and as in Australia sit in the centre politically and are just as likely to vote for Conservative parties as not. They have little time for Progressive economic or social ideas. As you say sections of American Progressivism were concerned with government intervention to improve the lot of the working class. Today that is not the case and it is essentially an intellectual’s movement as was Marx’s with his Hegelian connection. I guess that is why Progressives are often tarred with the far left brush.

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    Speedy

    Wendy @ 65

    I’m inclined to agree with you, unfortunately. JB can sometime couch his arguments in the smoothest of weasel words but they generally come out as B/S. His apparent loyalty to Al Gore and whatever he says is a case in point. You might be rude to accuse JB of being an RC (not Roman Catholic, by the way, refer #65), but, as Albert Gore has so recently confessed, his passionate advocacy for (say) biofuels may not have been a terribly good idea. (Although it did get him some political advantage.) Perhaps JB and AG could get a second opinion from the lower decile of the earth’s population who suddenly had to compete with “bio-friendly” SUV’s for their basic food?

    I’m sorry – they can’t discuss this – a lot of them are dead.

    But on the positive side, Al Gore did acquire some lovely seaside property, so it’s not all bad…

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    Tel

    My landlord is a communist.

    I’ll bet he stays a communist right up to the moment when the rent is due.

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    Mark D.

    Mark @ 69
    There is another Mark here. Worse, I think that you and he have very similar gravatars.

    Sorry for the mistake.

    Does this mean I am free to disagree? :)

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    [...] more reaction to the post, you can go and read Jo Nova’s denialist blog and the comments there. I especially like the one calling me a “little green communist [...]

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    Ali Babba

    Jo Nova is hot

    Naomi Oreskes is not

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