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The death of reason at UWA

Stephan Lewandowsky reasons by bad-analogy

How do we know man-made climate change is a mortal threat?  Some people discuss radiosondes, but for Lewandowsky, the answers lie in laser surgery, gravity waves, airplanes, bridges, AIDS, nanotechnology, falling apples, and driving cars into brick walls.

On Ad Hominem Unleashed (otherwise known as the ABC), Lewandowsky is working his way through the fallacies season by season — he’s tried argument from authority, he’s hailed expert opinion, and even pretended that expert opinion is evidence.

So now, moving right along into Spring, he’s come to a variation of the “insurance” argument. Having told us how absolutely certain everything is, with a straight face, he’s now telling us it’s uncertain, but basically, since we absolutely definitely know it might be bad,  we ought to reject the best source of energy known to humankind, and try all the alternatives, no matter how uncertain they are, even if it kills people. (I’m sure he doesn’t think of it that way, but he might change his mind if he spent a day with a mother in Tanzania who can’t afford to boil drinking water and is nursing a child with typhoid.)

Follow his “thinking”

Lewandowsky is so ahead-of-the-pack with fallacies, that possibly he has even invented some new ones.

  • Because eye doctors recommend surgery for detached retinas, your family should pay $1,000 a year to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Because we know gravity “happens”, we therefore should reinvent and rebuild our civilization’s energy infrastructure.
  • Because tobacco companies tried to influence a public debate on a different topic twenty years ago, citizens should accept everything anyone from a university says, regardless of the vested interests of the proponent. (Of course there are “no university professors” who disagree with Lewandowsky, because skeptical university professors, in his head anyway, are not university professors — seen through the veil of the ad hominem reflex, they’re “industry sponsored players” .)

Patronisation unleashed

Lewandowsky thinks the audience of the ABC is so mindless they won’t see through his transparent attempt to equate the uncertainties of climate science with the uncertainties of… gravity. It works like this: because there is even some uncertainty associated with our understanding of gravity, it follows (if you are insane) that uncertainty should not stop us acting to prevent any dangerous things. With this “logic”, we should therefore act to prevent all other variously uncertain risks, and presumably Lewandowsky is right now rushing to build an anti-asteroid missile defense shield (because we know the big one will come). But since there’s a risk in using a missile as a shield, I presume he’s also building another missile defense in the event of a misuse of that missile defense shield, and on and on the banal chain goes.

Lewandowsky is shamelessly using his titled position at UWA to push propaganda, attack volunteer scientists, destroy the tenets of science, and confuse the public. I wonder if he gives lectures to students?

It rather boggles the mind to imagine just how fast great Western institutions have degenerated. Ponder that Lewandowsky writes as a representative of the University of Western Australia,  yet is essentially innumerate. He appears to equate any evidence of carbon acting as a greenhouse gas with everything the models project: 1.2 degrees, 5 degrees — what’s the difference?

So this is what universities are reduced too? Professorial fellows of science who can’t use Aristotelian reasoning are parasites on the public purse. Fellow psychologists ought be cringing quietly that while they fight for credibility, Lewandowsky singlehandedly advertises that psychology (at UWA anyhow) doesn’t belong in any faculty called “science”.

Lewandowsky specializes in the K-3 ad hom

“K-3″ meaning Kinder to Grade Three. Slander, smear, and innuendo are the weapons of choice for the man with no evidence. Once upon a time, a particular homo sapien might have been involved on the periphery of a statistical debate about tobacco and that same man might be unconvinced about the IPCC, therefore the world’s climate sensitivity is 3.5 degrees C. ERGO Dipso Facto. Geddit?

Precisely the same pseudo-scientific “institutes,” using the same pseudo-scientific jargon and the same pseudo-scientific “conferences” are now seeking to create the appearance of a “debate” about the fundamentals of climate science. Indeed, the very same people – yes, the same individuals – who were involved in manufacturing doubt about the link between smoking and cancer are now also involved in manufacturing doubt about climate science.

Don’t miss the merchant of doubt herself: Oreskes

Anyone who wonders why smoking and climate science should attract the attention of the same clique of manufacturers of doubt can attend one of Professor Oreskes’ lectures later this month: She will be touring Australia in November, with lecture stops at universities in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth.

Lewandowsky is pushing the Oreskes tour. (Is UWA contributing funds?)

Not surprisingly he misses the double irony of a speaker spruiking her book — Merchants of Doubt – which seeds doubts about the credibility of mostly unpaid people who are allegedly… seeding doubt. Naomi Oreskes IS the merchant of doubt, and in a grand projection she pours her own dubious intentions onto other honorable speakers.

Rather than the more traditional scientific method where hypotheses are compared to results, Naiomi reasons by popularity survey: “20 percent of abstracts explicitly endorsed the consensus”. It saves so much time, and there’s no need to get into the whole “cause and effect” chain after all. Who needs a mechanism when you can just do a survey? Perhaps we can find the cure to cancer with Microsoft word searches on research abstracts?

Marc Hendrickx also replied to Lewandowsky on ABC Unleashed, and discusses the real meaning of “uncertainty”.

IPCC science: are you willing to take the risk?

If IPCC Climate scientists were Physicists: The IPCC has found that the total net anthropogenic forcing is 1.6 W.m-2 with an error range of 0.6 to 2.4 W.m-2. If the IPCC’s same errors for Radiative Forcing Components were applied to the universal gravitational constant, IPCC climate scientists would tell us that the UGC is 6.67 × 10-11 N·m2/kg2 with a range of 2.5-10 N·m2/kg2. They would then assure us there is 90% certainty that acceleration due to gravity on Earth at sea level is in the range 3.7 to 14.7 m.s-2. IPCC climate scientists would tell us apples may be as light as a feather or as heavy as a brick. They would tell us apples fall down, but they’d be unable to tell us how fast, and occasionally they may actually fall upwards.

If IPCC Climate Scientists were engineers: If IPCC climate scientists were engineers they wouldn’t use rulers to measure distance, they’d use the wind. IPCC climate models predict a hot-spot over the tropics but thermometers attached to weather balloons show no sign of it, the hotspot is missing. So with no warming in the thermometers IPCC climate modelers looked elsewhere and claimed to have found it in wind shear. Throw away your calculators, they would tell the engineers the answer is blowing in the wind. So how would IPCC climate scientists go at engineering? Early attempts at engineering by IPCC climate scientists are documented in the image to accompany this piece above; the effect of wind shear not accounted for in this case: Would you trust an IPCC climate scientist to build your building?

LINKS

Lewandowsky: Climate change: are you willing to take the risk?

Marc Hendrickx:  IPCC science: are you willing to take the risk?

Oreskes’ book on Amazon: Merchants of Doubt

Other posts on Stephan Lewandowsky

Picasso Brain Syndrome

Name-calling fairy dust: “Conspiracy Theorist”

The hypocrisy of the annointed

Learn how not to reason at the University of Western Australia

Lewandowsky: the ABC parades a witchdoctor again

http://tiny.cc/ogptk

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74 comments to The death of reason at UWA

  • #
    PJB

    Of course, that’s it! Wind shear. All of the extra energy form greenhouse warming is going into increased wind velocity (undoubtedly easy to prove in terms of an energy balance that equates deltaV to deltaT).

    We know that wind shear is the mortal enemy of hurricanes and that the global ACE index is way down compared to the last 50 years. All that shear is stopping hurricanes from forming, creating even more energy in the ocean-atmosphere system.

    Now, we have to avoid the fact that this appears to coincide with the various multi-year oscillatory cycles in the oceans as well as El nino and La nina phenomena, but that it surely just a detail….

    After all, it is only the years 1975 through 1998 that should count for determining the global temperature trend. Everything else is surely a result of countervailing effects from aerosols etc.?


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  • #
    DougS

    Another great piece Joanne.

    I have to say though, Lewandowsky has to be one of your easier targets. His complete lack of logic surely makes him the No 1 ‘sitting duck’ in OZ.

    Keep up the good work and may all your challenges be ‘Lewandowsky-type’ challenges.


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  • #

    It is interesting that some from the discipline of pyschology seems to have gone into full-collaborator mode with regard to the politicisation of science around airborne CO2. The Australian Psychology Society gives tips on helping the climate medicine go down here: http://joannenova.com.au/2010/11/the-death-of-reason-at-uwa/

    and one of their number, a Susie Burke, gives a virtuoso display of Pollyanna Psychology in this radio interview: http://www.rnw.nl/english/radioshow/kids-and-climate-change-enlightened-or-frightened

    The Global Climate Science website maintains a page on psychology, and it contains many useful links relevant to British and American psychologists and climate: http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/AGW_Psychology.htm

    I am hoping that there are some psychologists, somewhere, who have been so dismayed by the negative impact of CO2-scaremongering on the mental wellbeing of children, that they have decided to concentrate their diagnostic skills on the alarmists themselves, and their healing skills on their victims. But, so far, I do not know of any.


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  • #
    pattoh

    Kinda like an oyster with “chiken little syndrome” ….can’t see the sky, might know there is a difference between the tide being in or out but is absolutely sure the sky is falling!


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  • #
    Athelstan

    They’ve tried everything else, now the classic cognitive dissonance tack.

    Everything is a non sequitur, this is boondoggling nonsense………………….And Next!! howling at the Moon………….*!1?!1**?………oh sh£t they’ve done that one!


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  • #
    Pointman

    A good piece Jo. Why most other bloggers can’t write cleanly and interestingly on scientific subjects is beyond me. What springs to mind on this topic is Rousseau’s (?) comment about Hell being “the impossibility of reason”.

    Pointman


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  • #
    FijiDave

    The problem may lie in the idea that the more highly educated are more easily suckered.


    Intelligence and education are not a protection here. Indeed, there is some evidence that highly educated people are easier to fool, because they don’t expect to be fooled.”

    http://fraudwatchers.org/forums/showthread.php?p=17569

    I expect this could even be true for the wealthy, especially those who have not had to fight tooth and nail for their wealth, and these are the real financiers of the AGW meme. The ordinary guy will be more sceptical purely because he can’t afford to be otherwise.


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  • #
    Colin

    It seems to me that the AGW propaganda machine has ramped up an order of magnitude over the last month or so. The ABC runs a continuous assault on reason, pushing the CAGW line at every opportunity, and more ‘public science’ events are featuring scare campaigns such as the Orsekes national lecture tour mentioned in this article.

    The ordinary man-in-the-street, with little science training and even less time to think deeply, cannot help but be influenced by this counter-intelligence operation. Are we skeptics losing the battle? We are fighting a multi-billion dollar industry with the morals of an alley-cat (apologies to my furry friends) and the resources of the MSM and government bureaucracy.

    I admire your courage Jo et al. in going up against this “Shock and Awe” operation, and wish you well. If they win we all lose.


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  • #
    Rereke Whaakaro

    I have been to Perth. It is a nice little city. And when you think about it, a city is only really a large town, and a town is only really a village that has grown big enough to need some traffic control.

    So, I have been to Perth, and it is a nice little village — it even has its own village idiot.


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  • #
    Mark D.

    John Shade @ 3

    I am hoping that there are some psychologists, somewhere, who have been so dismayed by the negative impact of CO2-scaremongering on the mental wellbeing of children, that they have decided to concentrate their diagnostic skills on the alarmists themselves, and their healing skills on their victims. But, so far, I do not know of any.

    You may have a point there! How about the stress on young minds (fearing AGW effects) as manifest in their mental health? Apparently another hockey stick exists in the numbers of ADHD diagnosed young people: http://www.futuremind.ox.ac.uk/research/drugs-on-learning-and-memory.html

    Also http://www.naturepedic.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/autism-graph1.png

    On the other hand, maybe it’s just warmer temps……


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  • #
    Rereke Whaakaro

    Colin: # 8

    Are we skeptics losing the battle?

    No.

    It seems to me that the AGW propaganda machine has ramped up an order of magnitude over the last month or so.

    It has, but not for the reasons you presume.

    The big investment in carbon is on the wane – the CCX (which was established as “the global carbon market”) is no longer going to trade carbon – curious, that.

    The evidence, as far as we can tell, is that the big money has gone elsewhere. This happens in every “financial bubble”: the ’87 share market crash, the “dot.com” crash, the “rental property” crash (with all of the sub-prime implications), and this latest scam.

    These bubbles are formed by a few very smart people who see the opportunity, and seed it with a lot of cash. They then make a lot of noise about it being “the next big thing”, or “the end of the world as we know it”, or some other catchy meme … and wait for all of the punters to get on board.

    The originators take their profit from the money invested by the punters, and wait until it starts to peak. As soon as it starts to look that way, they get out, and go find something else.

    The punters though, are still left in the game, and they don’t want to loose their investment (and “investment” here can be financial, or emotional, or reputational, or all three).

    So they do more of what worked before, only they try to do it harder, and when it doesn’t seem to work anymore, they try harder still, … and so on.

    That is what we are currently witnessing.

    Lewandowsky has considerable skin in this game – his sanity may well be on the line.

    And he is not the only one. There are tens of thousands of “professional” people within politics, the public services, broadcasting and the news media, who have written tens of millions of words about the sins of AGW.

    Can we now expect them all to say, “Oh, sorry. Ah, it looks like we have been a little wrong there … well not a little wrong, quite a lot of wrong, actually … in fact we might have been, sort of, well you know, total idiots”?

    That would be just too Pythonesque.


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  • #
    Bruce of Newcastle

    “and driving cars into brick walls.”

    Joe D’Aleo on his site offers some good old fashioned reliability testing.

    Here is a smart car. And here is another smart car, one caught between public opinion and economics. I do like environmental metaphors.


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  • #
    Binny

    Some of these university professors would do well to keep their heads down and their mouths shut. Otherwise the general public might start to ask what they are actually being paid for.

    Of course at the moment their biggest problem is that they have put their egos on the line.
    And for them, to back down and admitted mistake is unthinkable.


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  • #
    Louis Hissink

    Just remember that the Greens and the CAGW issue is the current ideological weapon of the Eco-marxists – might be fun listing any of the G20 leaders who isn’t a Marxist (Keynesians are Marxists by the way).

    It might be worthwhile looking at what Marxists do when their systems suffer economic collapse, and where and in which areas they re-invent themselves to progress their goal.


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  • #
    Another Ian

    O’T somewhat

    I haven’t seen this side of the green dream expressed before – go to

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/15/inconvenient-eco-bags-now-with-lead/

    and marvel.

    Then check out the comment by Anton and follow that line through


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  • #
    wes george

    Louis, I don’t think we should throw the word Marxism around lightly, you know, the way the warmists disrespect the Holocaust victims by applying the label of denier to rational scientific scepticism. It confuses the meaning of words, and language is what we use to think with. If you dumb down the language then people will lose their ability to think precisely.

    Jesse Jackson, an American black leader, said the other day that the Tea Party was “committing genocide” by opposing Obama’s universal health care scheme. If democratic opposition to controversial legislation is genocide, then what do we call the real thing in Sudan or Ruwanda?

    The term Marxism should be reserved (like Nazism) for its true historical meaning. That said, no doubt there are plenty of neo-Marxist influences and memes loose in our culture that need to be exposed, but blanket accusations of Marxism serve only to confuse issues.

    The Orwellian abuse of language and logic by the CAGW propagandists is where the warmists show their true colours. We should argue the skeptical position as a model of evidentiary clarity, precision and composure in comparison to the fear-mongering and sometimes hate-filled rants of the warmists.


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  • #
    pat

    lewandowsky has a job to do, for whom or what i do not know.

    as for naomi oreskes, what is her relationship to AP’s michael oreskes? pictures in the following would indicate a close relationship and both attended Stuyvesant High School, City College of New York around the same time:

    March 2009: MediaBistro: So What Do You Do, Michael Oreskes, AP Senior Managing Editor?
    Oreskes joined the 162-year-old Associated Press last summer as managing editor for U.S. news, ending a 27-year stint with the New York Times Company, where he held a wide variety of jobs as he worked his way up the editorial ladder, culminating with a stint at the helm of the International Herald Tribune. Now, after realigning the national bureaus, he has been promoted within the organization, effective April 1, to senior managing editor. He still oversees national news, but now also supervises the daily all-format and global report at the news collective…
    Education: Stuyvesant High School, City College of New York
    http://www.mediabistro.com/articles/cache/a10436.asp

    Wikipedia: Naomi Oreskes
    Oreskes graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1976…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naomi_Oreskes

    michael oreskes moderated the following Davos Economic Forum with two Republicans, Graham and Collins, known for supporting the CAGW agenda, even tho Graham pulled out of the bipartisan effort with joe lieberman and john kerry, after the Tea Party (Parties) warned capntax wasn’t on:

    Davos Annual Meeting 2010 – The US Legislative Agenda: A Global Perspective
    http://www.weforum.org 30.01.2010 The Obama Administration is relying on the US Congress to deliver an ambitious agenda focusing on financial regulation, healthcare, energy and employment. What are the global implications of implementing the 2010 legislative agenda? Discussion Leaders Brian Baird, Congressman from Washington (Democrat), 3rd District, USA Susan M. Collins, Senator from Maine (Republican), USA Barney Frank, Congressman from Massachusetts (Democrat), 4th District; Chairman, Financial Services Committee, USA Lindsey O. Graham, Senator from South Carolina (Republican), USA Edward J. Markey, Congressman from Massachusetts (Democrat), 7th District, Chairman, Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, USA Moderated by Michael Oreskes, Senior Managing Editor, Associated Press (AP), USA.
    http://www.ipipei.com/watch_I7LYiHfESHo

    Grist: How will key senators vote on a climate bill?
    Susan Collins (R-Maine) [UPDATED]
    Collins: Global climate change is the most significant environmental challenge facing our nation today, and we must develop reasonable solutions to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. I was an original cosponsor of bipartisan legislation last Congress that set a goal of reducing America’s greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent over 2005 levels by 2050. Unfortunately, the bill failed to achieve the required votes needed to proceed to further debate.
    We must take meaningful action to respond to climate change. As the Senate continues to consider energy and environmental legislation, I remain committed to advancing effective climate change legislation during this Congress…
    Here’s more on Collins and climate, as written by Kate Sheppard on 29 July 2009:
    Sen. Susan Collins and her Maine colleague Olympia Snowe are the two Republicans considered most likely to vote in favor of a climate bill this year.
    Collins was one of just seven Republicans to vote in favor of moving forward with the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act in 2008. A strong supporter of environmental legislation over the years, she was the only Republican senator to get an endorsement from the League of Conservation Voters in 2008, and she got perfect marks on LCV’s scorecard in 2007 and 2008…
    http://www.grist.org/article/2009-susan-collins-on-climate-legislation/

    the more u dig, the more incestuous it all becomes.


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  • #
    Another Ian

    Re Binny

    Set in UK but applicable IMHO

    “The list of Ogippes in the upper reaches of the British political and media establishment is of a length that is startling to anyone unfamiliar with the phenomenon. People like the Millibands segue gently from the political classroom to the political class, from the cloisters of Oxford to those of the Palace of Westminster , scarcely creating a ripple. They make this transition from cocoon to cocoon uncontaminated by contact with the defilements of work, survival, industry, science, technology and all the other distractions that plague the toilers in the field of a modern society and economy. Their heads are packed with theories that are untested and untestable. Evidently their syllabus did not include the British tradition of sceptical philosophy stretching from the Bacons to Popper, for they retain a capacity for belief, even in the presence of overwhelming contrary evidence, that transcends all reason”

    See http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/2010%20October.htm for more


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  • #
    Binny

    Another Ian

    Ogippes – from Oligarchy:A form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small privileged group.

    and PPE: Philosophy, Politics and Economics; and academic degree that has traditionally been read by those seeking a career in politics, public life (including senior positions in Her Majesty’s Civil Service) and journalism.

    Possible correct spelling Oligpees

    Am I right?


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  • #
    Curt

    One thing you must watch very carefully when taking in these “smoking danger denialists = climate change denialists” is what the “denied” smoking danger was. A lot of the wrangling on tobacco was with regard to the extent of the dangers of “second-hand smoke”, where the epidemiological data is a lot less clear than for “primary smoke”. One can accept that habitual tobacco smoking poses a great risk to the health of the smoker, but still have great reservations about its effect on others nearby.

    Recently I saw a paper on the alleged dangers of “tertiary smoke”. Am I a knuckle-dragging denialist to be very skeptical of this? After all, everyone knows that tobacco is deadly — right?


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  • #
    Binny

    Possible correct spelling Oligppes (spelling never was my strong point, that’s why I use voice recognition)


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  • #
    Another Ian

    Binny

    It is quoted as John Brignell has it, so he’d need to be in any discussion of origins etc.

    Check the list at
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_with_PPE_degrees_from_Oxford

    One could say that Lord Lawson has a hell of a lot of balancing to do, the list including Malcolm Fraser.


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  • #
    Another Ian

    Binny

    O/T somewhat but also worth reflection -

    “The requirements of television now dictate that candidates for high office must be young and pretty. They come into office at an age at which they have not yet made their great mistakes in life (and learned from them). Insulated from the real world of industry and commerce, they make authoritative statements and take draconian actions that wreck those activities. The capacity to win an election is uncorrelated with the ability to run a country; yet we elect people to run our countries that have never run anything, even a church bazaar, and then wonder why it all goes wrong. The political class and its party machines just roll along regardless”

    http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/2010%20October.htm


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  • #
    Pointman

    Given that the Chinese acted as the spokesman for the developing nations at Copenhagen and will no doubt do the same at Cancun, this site offers a translation of a very popular Chinese book which outlines their views on the whole CAGW issue and more importantly, how they see it as being essentially a ploy to keep them poor.

    http://ourmaninsichuan.wordpress.com/

    Pointman


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  • #
    Binny

    Life experience is not always guaranteed by age.

    But a lack of life experience amongst our politicians is one of the biggest challenges modern society faces.


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  • #
    Bulldust

    I see there is a write up on Phil jones at The Australian… just linking it in case it hasn’t been posted before (yet to read it):

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/climategate-scientist-phil-jones-regrets-emails-but-stands-by-global-warming-conclusions/story-e6frg8y6-1225954228600


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  • #
    Joe Lalonde

    They are afraid people will find out that if the planet did not rotate, all the science would still be the same.
    Current science does not include planetary rotation. Any energy this planet has was generated by the sun

    Idiots!


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  • #
    Mark Allinson

    What an intellectual cesspit the postmodern “university” has become.

    I know it sounds a bit extreme – and as an ex-academic I amaze myself to hear myself say it – but I would have no objection to the closing of all Western universities today, so irrelevant have they become to the issue of education.

    If the governments of Western nations want to finance centres of propaganda, then let them call them by such a name, and stop pretending that they are centres of enquiry and education.


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  • #
    Bulldust

    You should really read the article I posted in 25… poor Phil Jones contemplated suicide after ClimateGate, and regrets some of the things he said “in haste” in some of the emails. But the science is certain!

    I am almost at a loss for words… the chap is trying to set himself up as a martyr for the cause now. Mind boggling…


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  • #
    Speedy

    So we sceptics are being labelled as “merchants of doubt”!!? Has anyone read the IPCC reports? They seem singularly designed to confuse the reader, not inform them!

    Perhaps the alarmists could remove all that doubt altogether by providing empirical evidence that global warming is manmade, significant and harmful. Or at least rebut (successfully) the simple questions in the Skeptic’s Handbook!

    The irony is exquisite.

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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  • #
    Bulldust

    Incidently are others motivated to go to the Orsekes lecture at UWA? If there are going to be audience questions afterwards I think I could come up with a couple of good ones.


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  • #
    Binny

    Oxford graduates in PPE. Let’s call them Ogippes for short: John Brignell

    When in doubt go to the source.


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  • #
    Bulldust

    Here’s an absolute gem of a letter written by Malcolm Roberts laying the smack down on the ABC (Australian) for allowing climate disinformation on the Stateline program:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/15/formal-complaints-against-professor-ove-hoegh-guldberg/


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  • #
    Peter

    ‘Periphery’ not ‘perifery.’
    Pete

    [Fixed. Thanks Pete! --JN]


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  • #
    wendy

    Beware the Precautionary Principle……..

    http://www.sirc.org/articles/beware.html


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  • #
    Anne-Kit Littler

    Off topic completely (well, maybe not completely if the topic is essentially about lefties and intelligence … ):

    Louis H’s #14 comment about Keynesians brought to mind this hilarious reportage from the recent Restoring Sanity Rally in Washington DC:

    Dumb Democrats!

    Enjoy, cringe and laugh your heads off!


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  • #
    wendy

    Subject: SOME INSIGHTS INTO THE “MINDS” OF THESE LEFTIST WARMISTS

    Baby shot over global warming fears……….

    http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,20797,26793969-952,00.html?from=public_rss

    Ministry of Justice lists eco-activists alongside terrorists……..

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jan/26/ministry-justice-environmental-campaigners-terrorism

    Gunman holding people hostage in Discovery Channel building; Update: Gunman in custody, hostages safe……..

    http://hotair.com/archives/2010/09/01/gunman-holding-people-hostage-in-discovery-channel-building/

    PSYCHOLOGY OF LEFTISM…..

    http://jonjayray.tripod.com/psychlef.html


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  • #
    Another Ian

    Happenings!

    “With the AGW hypothesis collapsing all around, radical green factions and central-planning-type socialists in Germany now see that their only chance is to shut down dissent and to shield the country behind a sort of Climate-Berlin-Wall.

    These zealots are really stupid enough to think they can pull this off. They ought to look back at history. Little do they know, they are about to be steamrolled by a climate realist D Day.”

    http://notrickszone.com/2010/11/13/d-day-invasion-by-climate-realists-coming/

    “French give the boot to the “Super Ministry of Environment”
    Posted on November 15, 2010 by Anthony Watts
    From Pierre Gosselins “No Tricks Zone”, some encouraging news; the French have surrendered to common sense.

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy has pulled the plug on the French prestige project, a super ministry of environment, dubbed “Medad” (Ministère du Développement durable). This piece of good news is brought to us by German warmist website klimaretter.de here in a piece written by Susanne Götze in Paris.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/11/15/french-give-the-boot-to-the-super-ministry-of-environment/#more-27875


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    Bulldust

    Another Ian:

    As if the Eurozone didn’t have enough trouble right now, the PIIGS are coming home to roost… (yes I butchered at that idiom…):

    http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-business/ireland-portugal-greece-tip-eurozone-20101116-17upk.html

    I have been talking up the double dip recession for the best part of a year now, and John Mauldin had forecast it for Q1 2011, but it may be coming in a tad early. The only question that remains is what piece of information (“Black Swan” as they are called in the finance trade) sparks the next round of panic, and sends us into GFC part II.


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    manalive

    It doesn’t surprise me to find a professor in one pseudoscience defending practitioners in another pseudoscience.

    Noam Chomsky is credited with launching ‘cognitive science’ in 1959.

    In a paper written shortly before his death, B.F. Skinner stated that “cognitive science is the creation science of psychology”.


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    LevelGaze

    Jo,

    Some time ago I mildly admonished you for having a go at specific persons. I take it all back now.


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    Joanne seems to express so well, what many of us feel but can’t verbalise.
    We have grown up believing that if people lie of say idiotic things in public, there are consequences which tend to correct it. Someone has a word to them, they feel humiliated, demoted. Well, no more. What matters is the social context and form, not the content. Is it PC? Is it my partyline? – then it’s OK. Simply Orwellian.


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    bulldust: I read the article in The Australian. Phil Jones really has more hide than rhinoceros. What a scumbag.
    Tim Blair once coined the term “green collar crime” to describe the activities of Ove Hoegh-Guldberg and his ilk as they paddle around the reef on the taxpayer’s dollar. Apt I think.


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    manalive

    Professor Lewandowsky’s specialty, ‘Cognitive Science’ and what I think can be called ‘IPCC Science’ have one most important common characteristic — not the collection and analysis of empirical evidence — but the almost total dependence on computer modeling.

    When you search for the particular interest or field of expertise and study of many of the vocal CAGW enthusiasts, you find computer modeling.


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    Louis Hissink

    Anne-Kit Littler #36

    Just watched it – made my day!

    Thank you so much :-)


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    manalive: #40

    It doesn’t surprise me to find a professor in one pseudoscience defending practitioners in another pseudoscience.

    Noam Chomsky is credited with launching ‘cognitive science’ in 1959.

    There is a lot of rubbish talked in the name of Cognitive Science, which is not really about Cognitive Science at all.

    Where Cognitive Science finds a practical application, is in the area of using narrative and anecdote in complex situational analysis. It is about the effect that language has on the creation of knowledge from information.

    We imagine in pictures, and in most cases we remember in pictures, but we think logically in words, and we express ourselves in narrative and anecdotes.

    There are some pictures (“imaginings”) that are too complex to be described in simple linear phrases – we have to create stories around the picture to transfer knowledge of what the picture represents.*

    This is a principle that is at the heart of the public relations and advertising industries – and in the production of propaganda – and nobody can say that the techniques are ineffective when they are used properly.

    On the other hand, there are a whole bunch of Cognitive Science techniques that are devoted to decomposing PR and propaganda to expose the core items of truth that must be there to give the “story” substance – to make it appear real.

    * Mathematics provides another way of describing an “imagining”, but maths is really just another language in which to tell a story.


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    bananabender

    What frustrates me is the sheer irrationality of of pro-AGW Unleashed commentators:

    1) They will accuse sceptics of being in the pay of Big Tobacco. However they ignore the fact that Al Gore once owned a tobacco farm.

    2) They refute the fact the oil companies finance Warmist scientists. However CRU readily admits they are funded by Shell, BP and OmanLNG on their own website.

    3) Rajendra Pacahauri has been a director of several fossil fuel companies. He is also a director of several businesses that directly benefit from carbon credits. Yet Warmists either deny this or state that Pachauri has “reformed”.

    4) They claim that big business is funding sceptics. However there is overwhelming published evidence that major corporations such as GE, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs etc actively support AGW.


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    wes george

    Thank you, Rereke, for that eloquent defense of the cognitive sciences.

    The various disciplines of science in and of themselves are not the problem, but how they are misused. Skepticism must never be anti-intellectual, but against the abuse of science in the service of demagoguery. As you point out, the cognitive sciences are quite potent instruments in exposing the propaganda techniques used by, well, both sides. That is why I beseech the skeptics to eschew emotional appeals or personal attacks and stick to the evidence, which is our strongest hand. In the coming months the Alarmists will attempt to drag the debate into the mud, because mud is all they have left. The skeptics must resist the urge to join them, sticking to the evidence. Always the evidence.

    I once heard a very famous playwright tell his students to never, never ever underestimate the intelligence of their audience. People are not stupid. Those who assume they can fool most of the people most of the time will end up with their heads on the ends of pikes, or worse, they might bore them to death! We should be honest. We don’t need to exaggerate our case. This alone will separate us from the histrionics of the Alarmists. The facts stand on their own.


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    BobC

    Binny: (@25)
    November 16th, 2010 at 11:06 am

    Life experience is not always guaranteed by age.

    But a lack of life experience amongst our politicians is one of the biggest challenges modern society faces.

    George McGovern was a far-left Progressive who ran (and lost big) for president of the US in 1972 as a Democrat. After retiring from politics, he bought a hotel in Connecticut, which went into bankruptcy after a few years, in part due to the burden of government regulations. Here is what he had to say about it:

    “I … wish that during the years I was in public office I had had this firsthand experience about the difficulties business people face every day. That knowledge would have made me a better U.S. senator and a more understanding presidential contender.”

    (He was severely criticized by many in his party for standing up for the “greedy” bussinesmen.”)

    Only the voters can insist on real-world experience. The ill effects of electing those innocent of it are obvious.


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    Tim

    I think the ABC is increasingly showing its true colours as a political tool. Endlessly, I listen to their radio interviews by many different presenters, in the hope of catching one interview that is not with an AGW proponent, but, just once perhaps, with a sceptic.

    It’s a travesty that there aren’t any.


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    Mervyn Sullivan

    Stephan Lewandowsky and other warmists still just don’t get it. They can “ummh and arrrh’ all they like about man-made global warming, but they are just kidding themselves.

    The likes of Lewandowsky are not very intelligent. If they were intelligent, they would simply produce the empirical evidence that CO2 emissions from human activity (burning fossil fuels) is causing catastrophic global warming and driving climate change … end of story.

    Lewandowsky can earn $10,000 by submitting the empirical evidence to Peter Laux, Locomotive Engineman from Australia, who will pay $10,000 (AUS) for a conclusive argument based on empirical facts that increasing atmospheric CO2 from fossil fuel burning drives global climate warming:

    http://climateguy.blogspot.com/2010/11/10k-climate-challenge.html

    On a slightly different note, I can confidently inform everyone that in France, President Nicolas Sarkozy has pulled the plug on the French prestige project, a super ministry of environment, dubbed “Medad”. Gone with Medad are its former director Jean-Louis Borloo, and with him, the last hope for a real breakthrough in environmental and climate policy in France. As a result, no one believes the CO2 tax, once promised by Sarkozy two years ago, has any chance today. Good riddance.

    For three years, the super ministry “Medad” was in charge of sustainable development, environmental protection, energy and raw materials, as well as industry safety, transport, agriculture, urban planning and even the oceans. Sarkozy and his Premier Fillon have removed the Ministry’s hard functions and have even ushered in a paradigm shift: the Ministry for Environmental Protection, Oceans and Sustainable Development and Energy will be transformed to only a Department of Environment, Sustainable Development, Traffic and Housing.”

    The all important sector of energy has been brought back under the control of the Economics Ministry. In summary, Medad was a bureaucratic monstrosity that would have regulated everything. Sarkozy killed it. The omnipotent ministry that treehuggers had been salivating over for the last 3 years has been reduced to a boring second-tier government department.

    Free enterprise and liberty-loving citizens can all breath a sigh of relief.


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    bananabender

    Hi Mervyn. Junkscience.com was offering US$500,000 to prove AGW. After 18 months they had only 3-4 pathetic submissions.


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    Alan

    Why would people be surprised about Lewandowsky’s lack of reasoning – after all UWA offers a Climate Studies course, a four year BSc and it is not necessary to take mathematics or chemistry and I don’t see a mention about physics.

    The course description states:

    “In Level 1 you will study Plant and Animal Biology; Earth and Environment: Dynamic Planet; Environmental Economics; and Environmental Systems Engineering or Earth and Environment: Geographical Perspectives. You may also need to study Chemistry and Mathematics” (My bold)

    Alan


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    Mervyn Sullivan

    bananabender@52

    Thanks … I’ve traced the link

    http://junkscience.com/videos.html

    So now we know … warmists can win $10,000 from Peter Laux and $500,000 from junkscience .com by simply providing the empirical evidence that CO2 emissions from human activity (burning fossil fuels) is causing catastrophic global warming and driving climate change.

    Surely there must be at least one eminent warmist scientist in need of the money!


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    Pointman

    The latest article for Cancun Week covers the new scare in town – Ocean Acidification.

    http://ourmaninsichuan.wordpress.com/

    Pointman


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    Pointman

    Climate scientist Phil Jones ‘regrets’ emails.

    “He said it would take years for the damage from publication of the emails to be repaired.”

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/climate-scientist-phil-jones-regrets-emails/story-e6frg6so-1225954632089

    I’m probably missing some subtlety here but if the emails were harmless, how could it “take years” for the damage to be repaired? Supine journalism at its finest.

    Pointman


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    Rereke Whaakaro

    wes george: #48

    Thank you for your supportive comment, Wes, and I agree with you – we must stick to the facts.

    Apart from my attempts at humour, I am trying here, and in other places, to help people develop the instinct to always look “through” the language that is used, in order to identify the possible underlying meanings.

    Too many people just accept the words as being what they are, and do not see that they are often a smokescreen to hide something else.

    I am reminded about the classic employment reference: “You will be lucky to have this person work for you”. What that statement says, is purely dependent on where you place the spoken emphasis. :-)


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    CallmeDingle

    Wes, Rereke et al

    Every generation has them and Warmists are simply the latest crop, the “modo fascists” if you like — brought to you in the interests of lightly throwing some substance into the debate to expose a core truth.


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    Another Ian

    BobC and Binny

    Otherwise stated that “30 years of experience is not the same as 1 year of experience 30 times”


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    Another Ian

    Wes George

    There is a fourth line to that “You can fool – - ”

    which is “If caught on any of the first three then anything you ever said is suspect”


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    Mark D.

    Rereke @ 57, my thinking is that the comment should be: You would be lucky if this person worked for you”

    Just a thought…..


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    Speedy

    I would suggest that the problem is not the “Merchants of Doubt” but the fact that the AGW hypothesis itself is so dubious.

    Cheers,

    Speedy


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    Roy Hogue

    After all, the science is settled and no more debate is possible! That’s what got me into researching global warming.

    Imagine my surprise at what I began to find. Reason has been abandoned in a whole lot of places, even the community college where I was teaching until 2008. I may be just a poor old dumb computer programmer but I can sure tell where the weight of the evidence points.


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    Peter Salinger

    This is just so outrageous, the amount of bad in the world just shocks me. The warmists should be imprisoned and the keys thrown down a well.


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    Peter Salinger

    The corruption of reason is perhaps unsurprising. We live in a time when the frailties of people’s minds and the sophistication of PR have enabled the nefarious and corrupt to sway public opinion.

    The warmists are lying and they know we know they are lying. Yet they continue, probably hoping that if they repeat their lies often enough people will believe them.


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    Ian Hill

    I attended the Adelaide talk by Naomi Oreskes this evening with about 100 other people. Even though it was “booked out” there was still plenty of room and they let me in. Frankly I was disappointed that she concentrated more on the tobacco and Reagan Star Wars issues of the 1980s than on global warming as she seemed to still prefer calling it. She worships the IPCC, Al Gore and James Hansen and despises the Marshall Institute and Fred Singer.

    Oreskes lamented the “loss of momentum” in the mid 2000′s generated by the early IPCC reports and emphasised Santer’s rigged “discernible human influence” of the 1995 report. She used “consensus” repeatedly. She went to some lengths to dissociate environmentalism from socialism. Her “evidence” of global warming was the same as Gore’s and there was the obligatory photo of a polar bear “trapped” on an ice sheet. Her talk ended with a tasteless cartoon of a woman about to shoot her husband to reduce their household’s carbon footprint – shades of 10:10. Interestingly it only brought luke warm laughter from the audience.

    There was time for about eight questions and amongst them Oreskes found the opportunity to have a swipe at Plimer and comment on “how dreadful” Climategate was for “those poor, dedicated scientists” and the scientific process. Surprisingly, she felt much the same frustration about the mainstream media as skeptics do, but for the opposite reason that they were not giving “global warming” a fair coverage. I was quite stunned at that.

    She had the opportunity to ask whether some people in the audience were still of the opinion that the science was unsettled and about four of us put our hands up. One asked about why climate models should be regarded as being “different” from other types of scientific modelling and at that point she began to talk very rapidly, a sure sign that she was very relieved that the question was one she was comfortable with and her reply was remarkably honest – that the models are effectively no good for projecting far into the future. However, she then went on to say that even without models the “evidence” is overwhelming and got a big round of applause for that. My interpretation is that the audience have realised that using models as “evidence” is futile.

    There was no attempt to distinguish between natural and human caused global warming during this talk. It was interesting to learn more about the history of the concern for climate change but I got the feeling that this was to do with having to avoid mentioning certain scientists. Not one word about Schneider or Mann, although they are mentioned in her book, which I bought so I could understand her views more, and also out of simple respect for the speaker. Sorry, but I’m like that. :)


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    Ian @ 66 – I’d agree that the MSM hasn’t given ‘blogal warming’ fair coverage. Michael Mann and Co would have been out begging in the streets long ago if they had.


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    Er… I think I’ve just invented the Next Great Threat To Humanity.
    Blogal warming.
    ‘We should have seen it coming. People can’t blog ad infinitum! Time for a BLOG TAX!’


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    Mervyn Sullivan

    Do you think Stephan Lewandowsky is a crank? Well … you ‘ain’t seen nothing yet.

    Check out the following lecture at Louisiana State University by Professor Bradley Schaeffer, an astronomy professor. You won’t believe this is the standard of education in a university.

    Go to the following link and play the video:

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=6665


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    Jaymez

    Great piece Jo. I’ve attended a couple of ‘lectures’ by Lewandowsky and he speaks with the knowing zeal of an evangelistic preacher, but with less credibility.

    One of his acolytes appears to be our ex unelected State Premier Dr Carmen Lawrence who is also employed in UWA’s School of Psychology. She did her Doctorate in the maternal response to crying babies, so I can understand her affinity with Lewandowsky. Given her claimed memory problems, it’s mildly amusing that Lewandowsky claims to specialise in the way humans remember things.

    Despite his lack of credibility in climate science and his apparent lack of knowledge, I do not begrudge Lewandowsky’s right to participate in the debate. What I vehemently oppose is his use of the publicly funded institution which employs him to do it. Lewandowsky continues to breach the University’s published guidelines on staff making public statements, but it appears in his case UWA are unconcerned. His activities in this area are indeed assisted with funding from UWA Vice Chancellery.

    It is unfortunate UWA seem to be leading the demise in the quality of university educations. They have long since dropped the need for Doctorates to be based on a thesis which has a central, original idea or theory which is tested through research. Nowadays, many doctorates are simply a treatise in a certain subject area, or even zero based research where there is no original ideas about possible findings.

    I suspect however that there is nothing wrong with the marketing department at UWA. Perhaps they figure if young people see a psych prof banging on about a popular subject, they will be attracted to that university. More students, more funding. It doesn’t matter if those students end up with degrees which are virtually useless to them in the real world. When they find that out they may have to return to the Uni for post grad studies before they can get a job!


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    Ian Hill

    Gregory @ 67 and 68.

    That’s strange! I was @64 and overnight got pushed down to 66. How can that happen?

    So you’re saying that was a typo Greg. Pretty clever one!

    It occurred to me that Oreskes had also avoided any mention of Steve McIntyre in her talk, but he is mentioned in her book at the same place as Mann. She defends Mann on Page 264 in reference to an attack by Congressman Joe Barton:

    “… there is no evidence that Mann had done anything wrong, anything that is, except provide compelling evidence that the Earth was rapidly warming”

    and goes on to say that Steve McIntyre had no business using the FOI Act because he wasn’t a US resident.

    Hmmm, it’s OK for the Mann and the IPCC to cheat the whole world with the hockey stick but not for someone potentially affected to want to validate it. With that attitude we as skeptics have nothing to worry about.

    [Ian, the numbers get out of whack when a post gets caught in spam or otherwise "moderated" when we release the post it goes in the thread based on the time stamp, pushing your later post down and changing your number. It is a WordPress thing.] ED


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    william gray

    IMAGINE-:)
    Al Gore reading our kids bedtime STORIES.
    Absolute disgust.
    Ohhs its approved in the classrooms of AUSTRALIA.


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    I have dedicated this song to the likes of Prof Lewandowsky:
    http://climatelessons.blogspot.com/2010/11/do-climate-know-it-alls-make-good.html

    Facilities have been provided so that you can sing it along with the original. I like to think that the posters of comments 66, 69, and 70 in particular would enjoy that.


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    Bruce of Newcastle

    More odd behaviour at an Australian University, this time Monash last week:

    Angry Green Researcher Refuses to Explain Anomalies

    This may be another sleeper that blows up, particularly if the IPCC tries to include the paper in AR5. Credit to Joe D’Aleo at ICECAP.


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