JoNova

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



The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper


Advertising

micropace


GoldNerds

The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



We reclaimed the word Skeptic — next we reclaim the word Scientist

It’s hard to believe, but not long ago, people used to write to me to tell me not to use the word “skeptic” telling me it had a bad name. “Use the word realist” they said. But I wasn’t going to let the forces of darkness get away with destroying the English language. I’m proud to be a skeptic. I wasn’t giving that word up. And besides, I had a feeling that if we stuck with the truth, the distortion the-newspeak-team had set up would come back to bite them, and I rather wanted to whip them with that.

After all, what’s not to like about the word skeptic (or sceptic):

1565–75;   From the Latin scepticus, meaning  thoughtful, inquiring

From the Greek : skeptikós,  means to consider or examine (akin to skopeîn, meaning: to look, “scope”)

“Skeptic” is a prize worth having.

In Nov 2009 I pointed out the bleeding obvious truth: What’s the opposite of skeptical — gullible. It caught on (if I do say so myself).

And if we are the skeptics, then it followed that they are the Unskeptics and who wants to be an  Unskeptical Scientist?

Bitten by their own propaganda campaign, the apologists-of-authority rushed to make out that they are skeptics (who just coincidentally always happen to agree with authority), and say pat-truisms like “all scientists need to be a bit skeptical” and “true skeptics are useful”. Which meant of course they had to call us odd things, like quote-unquote “skeptics”, contrarians, naysayers, or else resort to their favorite ritual insult: “deniers”. (Which is the richest of all, really when you think about which side of this debate is saying that red equals yellow. See the missing hot spot, and Spot the real denier).

The “debate” meme is falling

For twenty years they’ve said “there-is-no-debate”. Al Gore was doing it back in 1990. But things have changed since then and while this is a work in progress, some are backpedalling. Prof Stefan Lewandowsky said “there is no real scientific debate about climate change” in  2010, so we laughed at him for throwing tenets of science out the window. Now, without admitting he ever got it wrong,  in 2011 he’s seen the light and says: “Science is Debate“. (And, you cynic, you think they never listen?)

Next step: We ‘re taking the name scientist back

Nature is finally admitting that there is a debate, but haven’t got the nous to figure out what to call each side. In discussing a major international conference of scientists (run by Heartland), they misframed the debate as if it’s between “scientists and skeptics”. Which is too silly for words, the skeptics are the scientists.

The Unskeptical “scientists” are the pretenders.

Perhaps calling this a debate between “scientists and poseurs” is a bit much for Nature-GroupThink to bear, but they could get away saying that the debate is (more or less) between the government funded scientists and the independent scientists.

So how can you tell a scientist from a poseur?

Here are some handy hints:

  1. A true scientist doesn’t whinge when people ask for their data and methods. They don’t hide results, lose data, and whine that they’re being attacked if someone wants to check their answer.
  2. A real scientist knows that climate sensitivity is not determined by 20 year old tobacco funding and doesn’t stoop to a barking-mad baseless slur which implies that historic tobacco funding has something to do with this discussion.
  3. A normal scientist uses logic and reason: when faced with evidence, they can talk politely about it without compulsively issuing a character attack (he’s not a real Lord, you’re not a climate scientist,  don’t be racist… and insert other non-sequitur here!)
  4. A real scientist knows that 28 million weather balloons is empirical evidence that trumps the opinion of 28 million climate simulations.

I wrote about the dilemma of how to tell which scientists are the real ones, versus which ones are not in The Skeptics Handbook II. Help: How Do I know?

A real scientist

Fake, Poseur Scientist

So go forth, all your sticklers for accurate language and guardians of science, take no prisoners, let the world know, we are independent scientists, and they are fakes. The name-calling thugs who break tenets of science, hide data and throw logic out the window don’t deserve to use the term “scientist”.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 8.2/10 (5 votes cast)
We reclaimed the word Skeptic — next we reclaim the word Scientist, 8.2 out of 10 based on 5 ratings

Tiny Url for this post: http://tinyurl.com/3qu4bt6

118 comments to We reclaimed the word Skeptic — next we reclaim the word Scientist

  • #

    This, I think is relevant:

    John Swinton, Editor of the New York Times:

    He was the guest of honour at a banquet given him by the leaders of his craft.Someone who knew neither the press nor Swinton offered a toast to the independent press. Swinton outraged his colleagues by replying:

    “There is no such thing at this date of the worlds history,in America, as an independent press.You know it and I know it.

    There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions,and if you did,you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest oplnions out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things,and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job.If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper,before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone.

    The business of the journalist is to destroy the truth,to lie outright,to pervert,to vilify,to fawn at the feet of Mammon,and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it,and what folly is this toasting an independent press?

    We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents,our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.”


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Grumpy Old Man

    I agree Jo. What we need is more,”Skeptic Pride” events the world over, modelled on the extremely successful March on Canberra


    Report this

    10

  • #
    Rereke Whakaaro

    Bitten by their own propaganda campaign, the apologists-of-authority rushed to make out that they are skeptics (who just coincidentally always happen to agree with authority)

    I am probably going to attract some rebukes and ire over this, but from where I sit, both sides of this debate have resorted to propaganda techniques in their desperation to get their points across to the trudging masses, and thereby gain tacit approval for whatever it is that they want to do, in the name of “saving the climate/whales/trees/purple skink/… (delete as applicable)”.

    Warning: Big Picture alert.

    This was, and still is, a war. Not a war fought with explosives and blades, but a war fought with language and emotion. It was, and still is, a psychological war fought by governments against their own people, and by big corporations against their own customers. And above all, this was, and still is, an economic war being fought between countries in “the west”, with the major protagonists being North America and Europe.

    Those who have lived through the process, as “informed observers”, can see a direct path between the Cold War of the ’50′s, ’60′s, and early ’70′s and the current Carbon War (started in the ’70′s). It is all geopolitics. And, like everything to do with geopolitics. it is all about having access to physical and economic resources, and being in the box seat when it comes to decide what is to be done with those resources.

    But like any war, the fighting of it depletes the strength and resources of all sides. Thus the EU is in financial meltdown, and the United States has had a slap over the wrist with a wet bus ticket, which will do nothing to help the serious economic problems it faces.

    Europe and North America are numbers one and two on the GDP list. Who is at number three, and what are they doing? China is at number three, and they are building coal-fired power stations as fast as they can. Isn’t that interesting?

    What I don’t know, and can’t seem to figure out, is what benefit New Zealand thought to gain from introducing an ETS, and what benefit Australia hopes to achieve from introducing a Carbon Tax. Perhaps they hate being left out, so are jumping up and down on the sideline shouting “me too, me too”. Who knows.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Rereke Whakaaro

    Kevin Moore: #1

    And does John Swinton continue to remain as the Editor of the New York Times?

    A tough way to demonstrate cause and effect. Talk about putting sensitive parts of your anatomy on a block!


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Steve Schapel

    Kevin (#1)…

    That is remarkable. Do you have a reference for this event, or do you know the date?


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Steve Schapel

    Rereke (#3)…

    This is a very interesting way of looking at it, and I agree with most of what you have written. I hope I live long enough to see how current events are interpreted in hindsight.

    As for New Zealand, and what they “thought to gain”, do you have any evidence that there was any “thought” went into it?

    As for the propaganda techniques, I have no problem with this. This type of war is not won via rational argument. Fight using methods that are effective, or lose.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Mark

    Steve Schapel #5:

    You’ve probably googled it by now but it came from about 1880.

    http://www.constitution.org/pub/swinton_press.htm

    I first became aware of it from 2GB announcer Brian Wilshire many years ago.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Rereke Whakaaro

    Steve Schapel: #6

    As for New Zealand, and what they “thought to gain”, do you have any evidence that there was any “thought” went into it?

    C’mon Steve, we are talking about politicians here … :-)


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Rereke Whakaaro

    Mark: #7

    it [the quote] came from about 1880

    So to answer my own question at #4, we can safely assume that John Swinton no longer remains as the Editor of the New York Times.

    Well, I am certainly glad we managed to clear that up.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Mark

    Rereke,

    Yep, that’s a safer assumption than most AGW science!


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Mark

    Of particular relevance is the fact that he died in 1901.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    MaryFJohnston

    Scientists are people in search of the truth.

    Basically it’s common sense and hard work and continual questioning that makes science.

    All scientists are appalled at the misused of science in the Global Warming charade.

    Fight back.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Andrew McRae

    So… it’s okay for skeptics to come out of the closet?

    “..Blah blah blah and then I went to a protest about climate change.”

    (OH GOD TRY NOT TO SMIRK OR LET ON THAT I’M AN AGW SKEPTIC.) “Oh..really, how did that go?”

    After all the global warming scare stories of the last 15 years and the public’s limp acquiescence this new era will make a liberating change from the current social protocol of “don’t ask, don’t tell”.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    cementafriend

    Jo, agree but I prefer sceptic it goes better with scientist.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    gnome

    A bit hard on scientists who work for the government. There needs to be some way out for them to come over to the side of reality without giving up their jobs. However attractive it might seem to clean out academia, they aren’t all worthless.

    Hard too apparently, trying to think of a term for the “name-calling thugs” without resorting to name calling.

    Get the scientists onside without threats. Leave the real vitriol for the real parasites like Garnaut, Gore, the “clean” energy subsidy slurpers and the statistics manipulators who call themselves (climate) scientists.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Rafe Champion

    Some questions to ask the scientists who are promoting the idea that we have to take drastic action to prevent catastrophic warming.

    1. Do you distance yourself from the frauds by scientists who exaggerate the extent and the dangers of climate change?

    2. Are you prepared to support the efforts of people who expose frauds, and the push to make raw data available for checking?

    3. Are you prepared to publicly rebuke the non-scientists like Al Gore and Tim Flannery who exaggerate the dangers of climate change?

    4. Do you acknowledge the positive effects of mild warming?

    More.


    Report this

    00

  • #

    Global warming was never about the science. Science was merely to be used as an authorative battering ram to implement sweeping social engineering and make a few people a very large amount of money.

    The strength of the skeptic case lies on its reliance on classical scientific reasoning but this is also, in one sense, its weakness. People in general don’t know a lot about science and what little they know, is a leftover from the aversive therapy of its teaching in schools. This is why the alarmists don’t do science, they do sound bite science that Joe Public can understand and they’re not particularly worried if it’s accurate or not; just as long as it’s on message.

    With regard to John Swinton (RIP), every word he said still holds true for today’s MSM. The difference today is the blogosphere, unpaid therefore invulnerable and independent.

    Pointman


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Blimey

    Today you pretend to be truly skeptical. Last week you swallowed Salby’s “science” without question.

    Too funny!!


    Report this

    00

  • #

    gnome:#15
    August 13th, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    A bit hard on scientists who work for the government. There needs to be some way out for them to come over to the side of reality without giving up their jobs. However attractive it might seem to clean out academia, they aren’t all worthless.

    Any scientist who has gained from this scam, who was complicit or who kept quiet whilst billions are flushed down the toilet, with thousands losing their jobs, is a worthless piece of turd who should never ever again work in science, NO EXCEPTIONS.

    F#*K HIS JOB. Each and every scientist in the climate/environment area had the option to be honest, honourable and true to his profession and to his fellow countrymen. HE COULD HAVE SPOKEN UP. THEN IF NECESSARY GONE AND WORKED AT A 24hr SERVO. (like I do)

    Yes there is a way out for them….be honest, stop benefitting from a scam and tell the truth. It’s easier than you think.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    MaryFJohnston

    Gnome

    I agree; corruption always starts at the top.

    Change the top; ie politicians


    Report this

    00

  • #
    MaryFJohnston

    I would make an exception for “climate scientists” they have no future use in any future system. They need to retrain .


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Adam Smith

    Global warming was never about the science. Science was merely to be used as an authorative battering ram to implement sweeping social engineering and make a few people a very large amount of money.

    Yes I agree, because everyone knows the fossil fuel industry only has the public’s best interest at heart, and aren’t interested in making money.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    JMD

    Can I add?

    5. A real scientist applies the scientific method. Testing a hypothesis by experiment, using sufficient replicates.


    Report this

    00

  • #

    Our resident troll is finally seeing the light …

    Pointman


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Llew Jones

    “Yes I agree, because everyone knows the fossil fuel industry only has the public’s best interest at heart, and aren’t interested in making money.”

    The more intelligent members of society know that the fossil fuel industry, whatever its motivations, provides industrialised societies with a life style that no other energy sources possibly could.

    One doesn’t have to be very bright to know that every trader of goods, whatever they are, would not be able to keep the public’s best interests at heart if they were unable to make money out of their “generosity”.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Bruce D Scott

    Thank you Jo, it sounds very logical to me.


    Report this

    10

  • #
    UK Sceptic

    Sceptic ’til I die.


    Report this

    10

  • #
    Steve Schapel

    Mark (#7)…

    Thanks a lot. From Kevin’s description, I had somehow assumed it was a current event.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Winston

    Adam Smith @21
    Just remind me again which industry, green or otherwise, is not motivated by self interest. By all means give us some examples- dying to here it. So your point is? You must be deluded completely if you think solar companies, wind turbine producers or any other Eco-centric company is performing their civic duty irregardless of profit. And be honest, if there wasn’t a buck in it, you wouldn’t even be on this blog. You are obviously a paid political stooge, a typical Labor party machine functionary, who is running interference on here with little or no interest in honest debate. Just providing a mouthpiece for political spin without any regard for truth for your 20 pieces of silver.

    Remember, now repeat after me,” any government tax is good, large government debt is terrific- let it blow out as much as you can without fear or favor, carbon dioxide is pollution, government should be as big and cumbersome and as inefficient as possible, welfare is the path to self worth, the aspirational middle class are evil, the elite are our betters, the fairfax media only tell the truth, the ABC is totally unbiased and has no affiliation with Labour, Big brother is your friend, Freedom is slavery, War is Peace, Ignorance is Strength…………..”

    Am I getting the mantra right! Orwell had you fellows pegged completely. 1984 was the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Fabian socialists, a coincidence? Not. You should be so proud, the vanguard of the socialist oligarchs.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Joe V

    Skeptical is the new Black.

    Who will soon be claiming it as their own though ?

    Now here’s a man I’d like to see grilling the consensual scientists & cosy academics, but it’ll never happen while he works at the BBC.
    Paxman


    Report this

    10

  • #
    Steve Schapel

    Rereke (#8): “we are talking about politicians here”

    I hosted Dr Miklos Zagoni when he came to New Zealand to address the Parliamentary Select Committee on the ETS, and I attended the hearings with him. It was my privilege to discuss the proceedings with some of the other submitters such as Kesten Green and Vincent Gray. It was an experience that shifted my viewpoint. Why? Because these amazing scientists were apparently acting on an assumption that logic and empirical data and rational argument would influence the outcome, but it was equally apparent to me that the politicians were simply going through the motions with no intention of thinking. The simple-mindedness and shallowness of their responses to people who, in the case of Miklos and Kesten, had travelled from overseas specifically to share of their expertise, was stupefying.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Ted Middleton

    Blimey says “Today you pretend to be truly skeptical. Last week you swallowed Salby’s “science” without question.”

    Glad you recognised Salby’s “science” (empirical; observed and documented). Not models.


    Report this

    00

  • #
  • #
    John Brookes

    What’s the appropriate word for a person who insists on believing that there is no greenhouse effect?

    Jo knows there is a greenhouse effect. She is sure its not as big as most scientists think it is. But there are people who know that its all a scam, that the 2nd law of thermodynamics prohibits it, that “back-radiation” isn’t there. What do you call these people?

    I’m reminded of a story of Bertrand Russel and Wittgenstein:

    Is there a rhinoceros in the room? One of the earliest encounters between Bertrand Russell and the young Ludwig Wittgenstein involved a discussion about whether there was a rhinoceros in their room. Apparently, when Wittgenstein ‘refused to admit that it was certain that there was not a rhinoceros in the room,’ Russell half-jokingly looked underneath the desks to prove it. But to no avail. ‘My German engineer, I think, is a fool,’ concluded Russell. ‘He thinks nothing empirical is knowable-I asked him to admit that there was not a rhinoceros in the room, but he wouldn’t.’

    Should we praise Wittgenstein as a courageous skeptic, or is he just a fool?


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Andrew Marven

    You have to smile – after an article on David Archibald and global cool-ageddon (no scepticism required – just key alarmist for cold)

    Joanne has defined the hallmarks of scepticism which strangely I can’t help but think she must have accidentally inverted for case A and B.

    And our climate science unpublished but oh so opinionated Joanne then goes on to cite 28000 radiosondes as “sure fire” proof. Says who? You?

    Come on you have no ideas on data quality. Where’s your scepticism? Climate publications from our Jo – would that be none ?

    Hey do you notice sceptics never criticise their own?

    [Andrew, A/ it may shock you, but when I post things on my site written by other people, I don't necessarily agree lock, stock and barrell, and word-for-word, and don't let it shake your foundations, but a protest speech is different to a scientific paper. Archibald has quoted papers to back up his statements on other occasions.

    [B. Who says 28 million radiosondes found the wrong thing? You name it. Every major climate modeller has admitted it - albeit in code - they call it "inconsistencies". Karl et al 2006 (CCSP). But you know, if you followed my link you would have known that, and unless you have trouble with "red" and "yellow", you wouldn't need a peer reviewed paper to tell you the results blow away the models.

    [Skeptics never criticize their own? I've been cleaning up skeptical inconsistencies too. and here.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Steve Schapel

    John (#32)…

    First of all, John, how “big” do most scientists think the greenhouse effect is? I am pretty sure you are confused about this.

    Second, I think your reference to Russell and Wittgenstein is muddled. It was Russell, not Wittgenstein, who decided something did not exist based on a lack of evidence.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Mark

    Bertrand Russell also said:

    That a belief is widely held is no proof whatsoever that it isn’t utterly false.

    That temperatures are either steady or falling with rising CO2 is definitely empirical whilst the mumbo-jumbo of imminent incineration by back-radiation remains nothing more than endlessly debateable.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    John Brookes

    Steve Schapel:

    Most scientists think a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere will lead to a temperature increase of 2 – 4 degrees C.

    And I’m right about Russell and Wittgenstein. Why would you think I was wrong without doing something as simple as checking?


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Sceptical Sam

    Well said Jo.

    Poor old prof Lewandowsky.

    Hopefully next time he appears on The Drum he’ll be given yet another post-graduate course in scepticism by those “Drummers” who can think for themselves.

    BTW is that Grumpy Old Man @ 2 above the grump who gives we sceptics a hard time on The Drum?

    If so, it’s good to see him on your site Jo. Hopefully he’s getting up to speed on sceptical science?

    Here’s just one of his comments (re the membership of the Climate Commission) to remind:

    “GrumpyOldMan :

    01 Jun 2011 1:50:16pm

    What is the point of appointing anyone who will just want to argue that AGW is a fraud and conspiracy? They are incapable of accepting the integrity of the scientific process and the science. Therefore they would be nothing more than disruptive noise in any debate on policy responses to AGW, just as you are just annoying noise.

    Accept the science and become part of the debate, or disprove the science in a peer-reviewed scientific forum, or shut the hell up and let those who accept the science work out how to respond to its findings.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2728116.html#comments

    I’ll be looking out for his new found scepticism, if it is him.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Joe Lalonde

    Jo,

    Again another EXCELLENT written and well thought out article.

    Two more points. Scientists use the excuse that because it is published, then it is fact and use many “peer-reviewed” papers as evidence.
    The other is no matter how much evidence you have, the theory will be supreme due to the like minded profession.

    I’m in many areas of research that strictly uses evidence and is totally foreign to the current scientists as it deals with the mechanics of motion of planets, suns and solar systems.
    I followed a trail of salt remains from the oceans to understand what this planets past was like. Not the current must have been mud and chemicals garbage considering there are a great deal of frozen bodies billions of years old in space.

    Many scientists NEVER look deeper into researching. Current science is just a hollow shell propped up by mathematics that collapse when adding in speed changes of the planet.


    Report this

    10

  • #
    TrueNews

    Skeptic or Denier:

    I really don’t mind being called a ‘Skeptic’, It is like having a Badge of Honour for being a thinking, questioning, member of society.

    I do however raile at being called a ‘Denier’ (with all it’s connotations) just because I question the logic and legitimacy of another person’s arguament.
    .

    An example of what a ‘Denier’ might be: (Politically Correct version)

    One who does not believe in Marriage (of any kind)
    One who, consequently, does not believe in legitimate Children

    and

    One who (by default of their atheism) does not believe in Allah
    .

    I would love to see you go sell the last ‘Denial’ to your ‘Western Suburbs’ voters Gillard.

    You insulting, pious, apology for high office in our country.
    .


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Joe Lalonde

    Jo,

    The new “catch all” phrase for mistakes will be UNCERTAINTY.
    Scientists are lazy and rather than looking into new areas, the word uncertainty will be the saving grace in their research.

    “Oh, I thought the planet was a cylinder that is why I used only one formula considering it is not rotating or under pressure. No circumference differences from the poles to the equator. Planets tilt is just an inconvenience. Suns rotation has absolutely no bearing on this planet.”

    So many mistakes in such a short period of planetary time!


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Louis Hissink

    “Most scientists think a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere will lead to a temperature increase of 2 – 4 degrees C.”

    This is not a scientific fact, however, but a guess albeit couched in scientese.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    CoronaBunny

    Why are people persisting saying that the Greenies have a form of ‘faith’?

    They are hard-core Marxists: they would with great gladness of heart murder every single man, woman and child possessed of ‘faith’, in the entire universe, if they could.

    Greenies are two things: Ideologues. Liars.
    What is missing are the host of adjective to each of those words, which are perhaps even more important.

    So. Kindly cease this mindless, and frankly quite stupid, meme: individual people of ‘faith’ have been some of the strongest opponents of AGW, not because it is ‘written’, but because of a simple desire for the individual pursuit of truth.
    If you people keep this up, you WILL lose their support; and then these Marxists will murder us all.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Sean

    I loved this quote in the first post “We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents,our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.”

    Scientists I’ve known, who succeed or fail by the government contracts they garner, have been saying essentially the same thing for years with the exception that you change “rich men behind the scenes” with “government funding agencies”. This is nothing new in science research funding. Scientists have relatively narrow areas of study where they are expert. I recall spending a lot of time re-packaging that narrow area of work so that it matched the hot interest of the day to fund more work. It lead to getting funding on marginal projects that really went no where and at other times, having a real Eureka discovery that could have a real impact on resource utilization in building materials but the funding agency was not interested at the time. There were other projects where every target was reached and the testing worked exactly as planned and the sponsor said, “Great, we intend to implement the plan for the new design and your special materials in 12 years.” The small business I worked for didn’t survive to see if that actually might happen.

    The good life or success in science these days can be defined by the amount of grant money garnered. If every government funding agency is promoting a point of view such as climate consensus, the path to success is pretty clear. But the scientists goes from a visionary in a field trying to enlighten the world to being a lamp post simply trying to buttress a position. With something as complex and as noisy as the climate and weather, along with weak trends that are difficult to tease out of the data, you can probably fund half your career just by staying on the band wagon. (That’s a pretty good gig since the boom-bust cycles in science funding cycles I’ve seen seem to last only about 5 years.)

    I’d like to add one more thing, great science challenges the current dogma of those in authority, often aggressively, often impolitely. Great scientists play “king of the hill” and dares other to knock them off. Really great ones might even offer how to knock them off. It is terribly interesting and for those in the field of study, quite entertaining. Striving for consensus science is not only an anathema to true science, it’s incredibly boring!


    Report this

    00

  • #
    1DandyTroll

    OMG that’s a bummer. To have to be polite to be a scientist. Well, pfft, lucky me I ain’t a scientist then and besides it is virtually impossible to be polite to the extremist demagogues of socialism, no matter the color they try to hide behind.

    Why is it that socialists think any form of communism, the worst form of socialism by death count alone, is ok in today’s society of peace and prosperity?


    Report this

    00

  • #

    1DandyTroll @ 46 said: Why is it that socialists think any form of communism, the worst form of socialism by death count alone, is ok in today’s society of peace and prosperity?

    Because they hate anyone who is alive and thriving. They would be proud of socialism’s death count except for the fact they think it should be much much higher – approximately 98% of the current global population. Oh, they will deny it and exclaim they are only doing it for the children. That’s almost right except for one word. They are doing it TO the children as well as everyone else. They actually want the apocalypse they bring about.


    Report this

    00

  • #

    Always been a sceptic to a point of being sceptical of my scepticism.

    A few observations of the believers of AGW…many seem to bag religion but display faith in this belief of apocalyptic global warming.

    What also amazes me is that many believe the moon landings were staged and 911 was the work of the USA.

    As Harry Hoo would say on Get Smart…”Amazing”!

    Time to prepare for the convoy. I’m packing a six metre telescopic pole to fly the flag. Best wishes for the people protesting against this insidious tax in Canberra next week.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Wow! Skeptic is cool now!

    Hey, I’ve been a skeptic about all this for years and proud of it — never miss a good opportunity to push a little for the cause.

    I’ve a coffee mug that says, “Climate Skeptic,” right on it that I carry around the office with me. I commend it to you by the way: orderable from right here on JN through the Climate Skeptic Shop, proceeds of which go in part to help support sites like this. It’s just $15 AUD, so it won’t cost you the fortune I ended up paying to have it shipped all the way to the U.S. You wouldn’t believe air freight charges these days or how crazy my wife thinks I am for wanting it at that price.


    Report this

    10

  • #
    Steve Schapel

    John Brookes (#38):

    Most scientists think a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere will lead to a temperature increase of 2 – 4 degrees C.

    I have no idea where you get that information from, John. As far as I know, what “most scientists think” has not been ascertained. But I would be pretty sure that if it was measured, your statement would be proven false. Certainly most scientists I know do not thing this. But in any case, we were not discussing climate sensitivity to CO2 increase, we were discussing the Greenhouse Effect – different topic.

    And I’m right about Russell and Wittgenstein. Why would you think I was wrong without doing something as simple as checking?

    Sorry, John, you obviously misunderstood my comment. I was referring to the story as you told it, and the arse-up conclusion you drew from it. You were trying to make a parallel with people questioning the greenhouse effect, right? Russell says there is no rhino in the room because he can’t find one, i.e. the empirical evidence does not support the hypothesis. Wittgenstein says that not finding one doesn’t prove there isn’t one. Fair enough. But… which one is the sceptic?


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Rereke,

    Yes, it’s a war. We have too much at stake to consider it otherwise. I’ve said the same. I’ve also said that the only unforgivable thing in a war is to lose it. I wonder where we stand right now on the road to victory.

    The problem is so much larger than climate alarmism it’s frightening to contemplate.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    pattoh

    I guess the current “majority” of Climate scientists learned the history lesson from the Cultural Revolution & got their syncopation down pat.( it pays dividends in funding & longevity)


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Tom

    Roy @ 51: For me it’s a battle for the truth and against self-delusion. The fact that representatives of our most highly educated scientists tried to “sell” us an idea that was not based on evidence is unforgiveable. That our science elite has sided with radicals on the Left of politics to try to “sell” us an ideology, even if that was a ham-fisted “precaution”, was a betrayal of our trust in them. They will have to fight for many decades to get it back.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Another Ian

    FYI

    “Manifest Skeptology
    Posted by Jeff Id on August 11, 2011

    I hate the term ‘Manifesto’. Every time I read it I imagine some religious cult promoting a complex yet divinely unquestionalbe truth. A skeptic manifesto is an oxymoron by birth — almost. It fixes your position and in an improper fashion. Without much thought, a manifesto would seem to be bad news for any scientist. It represents an idealism which cannot be broken. So after reading a really crappy ‘skeptic manifesto’, I wondered if there is one which can define a proper skeptic that I could live with. See, there are many who would see skeptic as being one with no foundation (philosophically skeptical of everything until nothing is known), there are others which see it as a foundation against the establishment or even wilder, a foundation against a consensus. I see it as a foundation against your own beleif, an inner war which will never be won or else it is lost. If you can’t occasionally admit being wrong, something is wrong with your life outlook. Therefore a skeptic has an ability to question even “known” things combined with an ability to accept what is reasonable. Therefore, in my opinion, a ‘skeptical manifesto’ should read something like this:

    A skeptic is one who questions and decides through logic and reason their own opinion on a topic with a directed effort to ignore the distractions of non-evidentiary arguments or concern of the consequences of the logical conclusions.”

    More at

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2011/08/11/rtert/


    Report this

    00

  • #

    Roy Hogue @ 51

    The first casualty in war is truth.

    What did Joseph Goebbels, Hitlers Minister for Propaganda really say?

    “Good propaganda does not need to lie,indeed it may not lie.It has no reason to fear the truth.It is a mistake to believe that people cannot take the truth.They can. It is only a matter of presenting the truth to people in a way that they will be able to understand. A propaganda that lies proves it has a bad cause. It cannot be successful in the long run.”

    “The English follow the principle that when one lies,one should lie big,and stick to it.They keep up their lies even at the risk of looking ridiculous.”

    From: Institute of Historical Revue

    http://www.ihr.org/other/weber2011fakequotations.html


    Report this

    00

  • #

    Skeptics vs. believers of received dogma. That’s all. But of course they know better than to call themselves “believers”, even though it is the simple truth.


    Report this

    00

  • #

    Thanks, JoNova, for having the courage to be a skeptic!

    Thanks to the kindness of Fate in providing me with a great research advisor in 1960 – the late Professor Paul Kazuo Kuroda – I have been a skeptic ever since and enjoyed a half-century of continuous discovery.

    Skepticism is science – a path of continuous “truthing.”

    Here is a video summary of tentative conclusions on the journey:

    1. Science vs. Propaganda
    (1961)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOLld5PR4ts

    2. Origin of the Solar System (1975)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQZe_Qk-q7M

    3. The Iron Sun (1983)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLjQSSHIe6k

    4. Neutron Repulsion
    (2001)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXNyLYSiPO0

    5. Global Warming Scam (2011)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3VIFmZpFco

    Here is a pdf text with links to discoveries and publications along the way.

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10640850/20110722_Climategate_Roots.pdf

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Former NASA Principal
    Investigator for Apollo


    Report this

    00

  • #
    DirkH

    John Brookes:
    August 13th, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    What’s the appropriate word for a person who insists on believing that there is no greenhouse effect?

    Jo knows there is a greenhouse effect. She is sure its not as big as most scientists think it is. But there are people who know that its all a scam, that the 2nd law of thermodynamics prohibits it, that “back-radiation” isn’t there. What do you call these people?

    The fact that a greenhouse effect exists does not change the fact that the AGW climate scientists are big time scammers. Similarly, the fact that there are Homo Erectus bones does not validate the Piltdown Man.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Bulldust

    Without context the rhino story is meaningless. A real rhino? A miniature of a rhino? Perhaps hidden in a closet? As you can see context is everything when relaying a seemingly simple story such as this. My imagination can construe any number of variations.

    If the debate were about a full grown living rhino, then yes, it would be fairy clear from simple observation that in a normal-sized room no such rhino would be present.

    Unless there is a full transcript of the discussion or someone here was present in the room at the time, I imagine it will be difficult to ascertain the context of the discussion. As such the example is quite meaningless but quite typical of JB’s approach to arguments here. He struggles to stay on point.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Bulldust

    And no JB, I see no evidence anywhere of a survey of most scientists believeing what you state about a doubling of CO2 in the atmosphere. Cite references or stop spouting rubbish as fact. No one here is silly enough to take your statement of authority as fact. Or were you going to trot out that tragic reference of 97% of 57 “climate scientists”? Spare me.

    Once again I am reminded of something my Dad said decades ago… you can say anything you want as long as you start it with “many scientists believe…”* I guess you could say he instilled me with a healthy sense of scepticism.

    * And yes, you must read that in the context of someone saying it cynically.


    Report this

    00

  • #

    Notice how the trolls want us to debate hypothetical Rhinos in the room? How far removed was that from Jo’s original post? Mission accomplished. Come on lads n lassies, we’re better than that. Angels dancing on pinheads is their turf. We do science, because we can, any time we choose to do so, they’re only left with doing theology.

    But they’re still stuffed anyway. Enjoy oblivion trolls. 69% believe the climate scientists cheated. We’re dancin’ on global warming’s grave. Mission accomplished.

    Enjoy!

    Pointman


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Kevin Moore @55,

    If you have found a single case here on JN or anywhere else where I have advocated lying please identify it. I do not like liars or lying and have never said otherwise. Sorry, have to get that out of the way.

    Having said that I must now say this:

    Life is a game of competing interests. As long as the competition is honest and the playing field level the ideal world that both you and I would prefer can and should hold. And it’s one of government’s real responsibilities to keep the competition honest and the playing field level for everyone. But when your opponent is dishonest — well, as I said, the only unforgivable thing in a war is to lose it.

    Ideals don’t hold up in a foxhole. I was never a combat soldier but the night that word came to our operations center in Saigon that someone had tossed a bomb over the wall at the battalion commander’s garden party a number of us went back to the company area on the bus carrying loaded carbines. Thankfully nothing happened because I can tell you in all honesty that if anything looking threatening had approached the bus we would have opened fire first and asked questions later.

    When the possible loss is above a certain level of criticality, failure is not an option.

    Now if you will answer a question for me I would appreciate it. Do you think your government is honestly looking out for your interest? In other words, is the playing field level for everyone?

    I’m not trying to put you down or embarrass you but you’ve raised essentially this issue now for the second or third time after a comment I’ve made. Everyone knows where I stand and I’d like the privilege of knowing where you stand. :-)

    Roy


    Report this

    00

  • #

    Roy Hogue @ 62

    Struth! All I was trying to point is that all that we think to be true may not be true.

    Your suppositions are wrong and not in my character.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    MaryFJohnston

    Roy Hogue:

    Hi Roy.

    Totally OT.

    During the Christmas 0f 1974 and early Jan 75 I rode around Saigon (centre only) hoping nobody would mistake me for an American).


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    Your suppositions are wrong and not in my character.

    Kevin,

    I’m glad. And that’s why I brought it up. However, you didn’t answer my question. :-)

    Struth! All I was trying to point is that all that we think to be true may not be true.

    And I agree. And now I have a quandary of sorts. You are apparently referring to someone or some historical instance. I may be overly sensitive. Or I could be astute enough to realize that George Bush has been the object of such remarks so often that the Iraq war was the first thing that came to mind. And you haven’t said.

    Roy


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Joe Lalonde

    Jo,

    Scientists generated the problem of trusting others research without question. This has generated mistake upon mistake as no one can cover ALL the fields of science and become an expert in one field.
    Being that expert in one field means that trust that your peer system didn’t screw up with others calculation or research.

    Plagiarism runs rampant to the point even NASA did it to NOAA but still they were given grant money copying others research until they got caught with the same exact calculations.

    Many basic measurements have been missed by mathematical calculations to theories. Ignoring important factors that have an effect, even the smallest still should have been researched.

    But hey, I’m just a perfectionist trying to include ALL factors.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    bananabender

    There is a “green” company selling an “environment friendly alternative” not far from where I live. The owner drives a 6.3 litre V8 4×4.

    Nothing like a bit of hypocrisy.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    James

    “Climate rationalist” is quite handy, too.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Roy Hogue

    MaryFJohnston @64,

    I was there for a year in 1962 and ’63. We were told not to go off base in anything but civies (civilian cloths if you don’t know)…safety and all that. But even a blind man could smell an American soldier a mile away by the haircut. It seemed like a joke to me.

    The city was quite a contrast in the fortunes of war. One part of it was filled with the worst sort of refugee camps. I mean really bad conditions. The main drag was full of nice shops and right along with them, bars filled with off duty Americans (and worse). I was taken to one of those once and I couldn’t make my excuse to leave again fast enough. I much preferred to catch a beer on a hot day at the French style bar where Americans were almost never seen. There were some good restaurants too. And yet another part of town was full of wide tree lined streets and homes that would be the envy of anyone anywhere. They also had what would have been a very good zoo if it had been kept up.

    I’ve often wondered what Saigon looks like now. But I’ve no desire to go back.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    incoherent rambler

    Jo previously used the word sciolist. Coupled with zealotry you have a description of many involved in the AGW scam.
    Its time to produce a register of government funded sciolists.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Winston

    Banana @ 67
    Local green “enviro solutions” guy in my area drives around in a Hummer with a green tree frog on the back. If you didn’t know better you would think they were taking the piss. I left a polite but pointed note on his windshield, but I doubt he saw my displeasure as being constructive!


    Report this

    00

  • #

    Roy Hogue @ 65

    You mentioned war.

    The first casualty in this climate change war, or any war is truth.

    I thought that you may be interested in how propagandists who write history for our consumption twist the facts to manipulate public opinion.The matter referred to was a bit sensitive, but history as we have been led to believe it is in the main fiction.

    Neither George Bush or anyone else entered my mind.

    I’m sorry that you have misinterpreted my comments.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    John Brookes

    But Bulldust, you didn’t answer my question: What do we call people who insist that there is no greenhouse effect, because it is precluded by the 2nd law of thermodynamics? Are they skeptics, fools or what?

    I’d go for “fools” because they don’t understand the 2nd law, and yet they draw conclusions from it….


    Report this

    00

  • #

    One other comment. Then I promise to desist.

    My research advisor, Dr. P. K. Kuroda, taught us to report exactly what we observed – even when we did not like the results.

    The record of events in April of 1967 shows the validity of that sage advise – despite a forty-year effort (1971-2011) to manipulate science to support false government propaganda about the causes of Earth’s changing climate:

    On 8 April 1967**: The editor of Earth and Planetary Science Letters received a manuscript by my first PhD student and me reporting that the inclusion in a massive iron meteorite was as old as the most primitive meteorites and contained one of the largest excesses of (radiogenic) xenon-129 (from the decay of extinct iodine-129) ever observed [Earth Planet. Sci. Lett. 2, 220- 224 (1967)]. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0012821X6790132X

    17-21 April 1967*: Unknown to us, a group of influential scientists met at the Bilderberg Hotel near Arnhem, Netherlands and erroneously concluded that Earth’s heat source – the Sun is “homogeneous and in hydrostatic equilibrium” [Solar Physics 3, 5-25 (1968)]: http://adsabs.harvard.edu/full/1968SoPh….3….5G

    *That conclusion became the basis of false government propaganda that mankind caused global climate change [“The Bilderberg Sun, Climategate and Economic Crisis” (2011) http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10640850/20110722_Climategate_Roots.pdf

    **Twenty-four years later, Qi-Lu observed that isotopes of molybdenum in massive iron meteorites still retained nucleogenetic isotopic anomalies from the stellar nuclear reactions (r-, p- and s-processes) that made Mo isotopes in the star that gave birth to the solar system [Doctoral Dissertation, The University of Tokyo, 1991].

    http://www.omatumr.com/Data/1991Data.htm

    Qi Lu’s finding – later confirmed by others [Nature 415 (2002) 881] – shows that iron meteorites formed directly from the central, iron-rich region of supernova debris that formed the solar system, not by geochemical differentiation of an interstellar mix of elements. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v415/n6874/full/415881a.html

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel


    Report this

    00

  • #
    MaryFJohnston

    Hi Roy

    “”I’ve often wondered what Saigon looks like now. But I’ve no desire to go back.”"

    Even by 74 the traffic in Saigon would have increased dramatically over your 63 experience.

    It is now chocka blok with mainly small motorbikes , pushbikes and a few more cars.

    After a bad patch when Vietnam reopened to the world after a 15 years or so shut down.

    It has bounced back as a great back packer destination because it is cheap but mainly because it is Safe and Russians are still a big part of their tourist mix.

    In the very early 90s it was common to be hassled for “gratuities” from the moment you hit the airport customs hall. Petty theft and short changing etc somewhat like modern Barcelona (don’t go there).

    As a result of the unpleasantness tourism dried up and the government decided to govern.

    They made penalties for hassling ex Vietnamese and other tourists a very serious issue and for the last 15 years it has been very tourist friendly and lots of money has gone into the country from visitors.

    My main memory of the Zoo in 74 was a Kangaroo so affected by heat that his testicles had descended to a dangerous level and were almost touching the ground..

    Christmas in Saigon is amazing with literally millions of people on motorbikes circling the centre at night with 3 or 4 family members per bike looking at the Christmas decorations.


    Report this

    10

  • #

    John Brookes:#73
    August 14th, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    But Bulldust, you didn’t answer my question: What do we call people who insist that there is no greenhouse effect, because it is precluded by the 2nd law of thermodynamics? Are they skeptics, fools or what?

    They’re called “Slayers” I believe John


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Andrew McRae

    The USA National Academies Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy has recently published their guidelines on how to be a good scientist.

    The chapter on The Treatment of Data is particularly relevant to the climate doom bandwagon.

    If data are altered to present a case that is stronger than the data warrant, researchers fail to fulfill all three of the obligations described at the beginning of this guide. They mislead their colleagues and potentially impede progress in their field or research. They undermine their own authority and trustworthiness as researchers. And they introduce information into the scientific record that could cause harm to the broader society, as when the dangers of a medical treatment are understated.

    Would have been nice if PNAS and AGU had taken some of their own NAS medicine.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Charles Higley

    A debate requires that both sides have something to add to the discussion. In the global warming scam, any debate of the science fails as their side has nothing to offer. This part is as clear a day as they indeed refuse to debate as they know that they will lose.

    Two huge flags that indicate a loser in a discussion, is when they claim that the debate is over and when they claim authority from consensus as if there was any facts or data in such a claim.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Speedy

    Maybe we should just acknowledge that the term “Climate Scientist” is an oxymoron.

    Cheers,

    Speedy


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Louis Hissink

    Speedy, spot on – especially as it’s defined as a 30 year long means that testing hypotheses might be somewhat drawn out, if testing happens at all. And in any case climate isn’t a physical thing either – it’s a human abstraction. No wonder the intellectual dwarves witter on about it so here.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Jenness Warin

    Lew Jones #25
    “The more intelligent members of society know that the fossil fuel industry, whatever its motivations, provides industrialised societies with a life style that no other energy sources possibly could.

    One doesn’t have to be very bright to know that every trader of goods, whatever they are, would not be able to keep the public’s best interests at heart if they were unable to make money out of their “generosity”.”

    A comment which interested me Lew. And thanks again to Jo for her clear article, and hard work.

    I was reminded of the fossil fuel industry, as in the 80s my girlfriend and the driver of a fuel tanker (fuel for the diesel generator/leaders 4WDs +local petrol vehicles used for hunting) had to hide in her house in a central desert community. The reason they had to hide was that the community (a very small one at that) had rioted, the tanker had had its windscreen smashed and the driver had escaped to the nurse’s house for safety. Bullets were shot at the house (through the walls) where the nurse and driver were hiding. They managed to escape, with the help of some local people, to the community I was working in, some 70km down the track.

    In the 1970s the American Indian population (a point recently debated by Willis E on WUWT)
    reportedly had a vast problem with their youth sniffing petrol (later known as volatile substance abuse/misuse). Studies in the UK some years previous to these studies (if my memory serves me correctly) proposed various remedies to the kids who partook in glue sniffing.
    However, the studies of the A-Indian population, the better methodologically-sound studies, measured a variety of social variables in a reasonable population size (I recall) such as education & health status, history of abuse, and so on. When the new form of ‘drug and youth experts’ were developing their expertise here in Australia focusing on the gated, locked, permit-required, elder-controlled, media-absent communities of remote Australia, the A-Indian studies were transposed directly onto the idea of poor outcomes due ‘to disempowerment among Australian Aboriginal because of colonisation, dispersion, need for self-determination etc’. However in the ensuing 30 years the issue of education and abuse was never studied rigorously or applied to the problems in remote Australia.

    Fossil fuels AND the industry: petrol:leaded:unleaded; aviation fuel:AVGAS:COMGAS:OPAL; became unwittingly enmeshed in the academic’s long line of litany in proxy excuses. Or provision of funding under poor research output and policy. I presume this served some cause. Which today continue as read and experienced in suicides, homicides and child/youth neglect.

    The other substance neglected to be studied until recently was marijuna and the introduction of this. Alcohol was the flavour and of course ‘introduced’ as a result of European colonisation. Presumably marijuana represented ‘a natural substance’ and therefore fitted the notions of maintaining [indigenous] communal outposts. The purpose for mentioning marijuana is that, in spite of being consumed over decades (and in vast quantities and trade) it too resulted in atrocious outcomes in these gated communities. A young woman whom I provided nursing care to as a child and taught ‘health’ to her class was found out bush. She had been taken by her husband in a jealous rage, killed and burned. She was eight months pregant. He was known to be a heavy consumer of marijuana. Other female students (and girls) are also dead, murdered. Yet these young men (young boys when I worked there) came from families who were, at that time, well functioning, ex-mission educated in the main and cared for their children well in difficult circumstances. I know, I nursed them all. As do other bush workers I know who also know these families.

    Industry; mining and pastoral, associated private businesses and their workers have all suffered one way or another. They became proxies to blame, as did the police, for the researchers in their saga [of the instances of grossly performed 'research'] conducted on the lives [and land requirements] of Aboriginal Australians in the bush. And that suffering is in addition to, the lives of children and youth who have and continue to suffer out in the bush, one way or another.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Wayne, s. Job

    John Brookes.
    You seem some what misguided Ludwig was a mathematician and an engineer but his passion was philosophy. Thus his delight in mind games.

    The greenhouse effect you spout is an illusion as we have no glass ceiling, our atmosphere acts as a blanket slowing the release of heat, other wise we would freeze to death at night. The denser the atmosphere the slower the heat loss, like a thicker blanket. The gas composition is irrelevant the phase changes of water just about do it all to control our climate. The sun and what it gets up too controls the thermostat, your precious CO2 gives life to our world and more is good.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    MaryFJohnston

    Hi Jenness Warin: @ 81

    Your item is sadly a reminder to many of us of the poor , very poor performance we have come to accept from our leaders in ” guiding ” us all to a better place.

    Whether in the bush or the city we all get shafted.

    “”their workers have all suffered one way or another. They became proxies to blame, as did the police, for the researchers in their saga [of the instances of grossly performed 'research'] conducted on the lives [and land requirements] of Aboriginal Australians in the bush. And that suffering is in addition to, the lives of children and youth who have and continue to suffer out in the bush, one way or another.”"

    It has become fashionable for Politicians to farm out responsibility for their decisions to hired help and paid consultants who are quoted as the Authority for the thinking behind decisions.

    I am waiting eagerly for the time when voters say to politicians NO MOre.

    We want “You” to own this decision and say “I have decided that … “”.

    The intermediaries shouldn’t be paid to confer legitimacy on political decisions.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    bananabender

    John Brookes:
    August 14th, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    But Bulldust, you didn’t answer my question: What do we call people who insist that there is no greenhouse effect, because it is precluded by the 2nd law of thermodynamics? Are they skeptics, fools or what?

    I’d go for “fools” because they don’t understand the 2nd law, and yet they draw conclusions from it….

    You obviously aren’t aware that mainstream spectroscopy textbooks used in many university chemistry departments ridicule the idea of the “Greenhouse Effect”.

    The atmosphere of Earth is heated almost entirely by the evaporation and condensation of sea water with a very small additional heating from conduction and convection of air in contact with the surface.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    bananabender

    Winston:
    August 14th, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Banana @ 67
    Local green “enviro solutions” guy in my area drives around in a Hummer with a green tree frog on the back. If you didn’t know better you would think they were taking the piss. I left a polite but pointed note on his windshield, but I doubt he saw my displeasure as being constructive!

    I’m sure the vast majority of green businesses are simply cynical carpetbaggers.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Llew Jones

    Jenness Warin@81

    My understanding is that marijuana, particularly when injected from relatively young ages has a permanent effect on the mental health of users.

    I have a female friend who is 32 now and is addicted to heroin. She began using illicit drugs in her early teens. About six years ago she was addicted to marijuana. At that time she was exhibiting symptoms of possible bipolar disorder and I suggested she see a psychiatrist. Interestingly the psychiatrist would not attempt to diagnose her while she was shooting up marijuana. The reason it seems is that marijuana users can exhibit similar symptoms to bipolar disorder. So I know firsthand how damaging abuse of illicit drugs and also legal drugs like alcohol (which is her fall back when the other drugs are not available) can be.

    Addiction of any sort is personality damaging. I’ve often wondered whether mental disorders such as depressive illness precede some if not most drug addictions.

    As far as the use of relatively cheap fossil fuels in industrialised societies is concerned it is not hard to show that the tremendous life style, which includes beating mother nature when she is trying to freeze us or to fry us, comes from that rich energy source. It is interesting to note that the world’s population was about one billion in 1900. What has caused it to jump to the present almost seven billion? One factor is that the average life span has increased enormously in industrialized societies. There are parts of “pre-industrial” Africa where the average life span right now is in the low thirties. That could in part be solved as China and India are in the process of demonstrating, by industrialisation based on cheap fossil fuel energy. That is why the extensive “clean energy” illusion is a dangerous phantasy destructive of the life style we and others should be able to enjoy.

    It is that energy source which has produced enormous wealth in goods and services in the West and has fueled technological advances in so many areas including medicine.

    (The CO2 which we emit in the process by burning fossil fuels is small change when measured against the natural production of CO2. Ongoing research is probably indicating that the oceans and the biosphere respond to the growth of atmospheric concentrations of CO2 whether from natural or human sources by increasing their capacity to regulate it in the interrelated climate system).


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Bulldust

    What makes you think I am here to answer your obtuse questions JB? Delusions of grandeur? Given your behavior at sceptic gatherings, I am surprised I am as polite as I am with respect to your ramblings… your behaviour has hardly deserved such temperance. I sat through ridiculous presentations from Oreskes and BZE, to name but a couple, and I never interrupted them as you are wont to do at our presentations.

    Why is it that you feel compelled to be so rude?


    Report this

    00

  • #
    gnome

    Llew Jones @ 86- you know nothing about drugs- your post demonstrates your total ignorance- your suggestion that you have firsthand knowledge would be laughable even if you had the second hand knowledge you actually claim.

    Drop the drug references- they would be a joke if they weren’t so offensive!


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Speedy

    Mary @ 83

    Spot on. When are we going to get value for money from our governments? Ceratinly not from the UN – just look at what the types of “scientist” they employ!

    Cheers,

    Speedy.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Jenness Warin

    Interesting and thank you Lew Jones @ #86

    Yes, reading the mental health literature presents a chicken/egg argument in the drugs/alcohol and depressive diseases arena. A long standing debate among the professionals. Others in the social sciences point to childhood abuse as directly correlated with drug (and risk) taking, and others point to individuals with depressive disease self-regulating (prescribing) using drugs/alcohol. This seems particualrly mentioned by youth workers in the creative industries.

    More recently the debate of prescribing SSRIs to children and youth (and efforts to reduce suicide) has been debated by Jon Juredini, Adelaide, Australia. Juredini questioned the studies published that proposed that a reduction in suicide was correlated with prescribing SSRIs. His thesis is that SSRIs increase the risk of suicide in this age group. However I have not kept up with this, nor do I have the intellectual background to do so. My practical background observed the poor practice in maintaining regular dose of prescribed medicines; dose/response, therapeutic levels and side effects are all major problems. As is sharing of a prescribed medication(s).

    In regard to outback Australia, nutrition (TED talk, Josette Sheeran Ending Hunger Now) presents a coherent argument on brain development in regions where malnourishment is evident. Little has been published on the use of drugs (illicti/licit) to self regulate or regulate others in what are often strictly controlled, fearful cult ural environments. Missionaries did manage to feed children daily at school and respond to and arbitrate in fearsome local in-fighting/massacres. I am not sure what has happened in the past decades with these matters.
    HPA-axis studies, originally conducted on animals (feedlot cattle and fish) have recently turned to studying humans and such stress, neuro-endocrine and limbic systems. I am not clear that these studies on feedback cycles are appropriate or of moral efficacy in regions where suicide, homicide, stress and neglect are known and have been known for decades to be [grossly] prevalent.

    Regarding industrialised societies, and commented by the first few readers re NZ, I was interested to read of Sth Africa this weekend. We don’t hear much of what is going on there.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Siliggy

    It looks like the sun is being a politically incorrect skeptic again.
    “The Earthside of the sun is essentially blank, no sunspots.”
    http://www.spaceweather.com/


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Jenness Warin

    @ #90
    Apologies
    Should be Jon Jureidini

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5LxAsRtAnBc
    (Just found Jureidini on the web, and have not listened to this talk as yet)


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Joe Lalonde

    Jo,

    That age old asking yourself questions from many different angles to find if you have a valid claim has been lost.
    Crap in a cart science spawned area that are absolute fiction such a quantum physics and the collider.
    Both have huge mistakes, yet have sucked billion of dollars in research funding.
    The collider is suppose to study the collision of molecules to find out what our Universe was like at creation. The biggest mistake is molecules rotate differently than planets. The other is that planets come in many different molecular make ups and not just in one density.
    Quantum physics uses point to point calculation in the lab and are using lasers as proxy for a sister suns. Yet their is no know point in the universe that is stationary. We need an exact location which is impossible with every point moving at unknown speeds.
    This is why time travel is an impossibility. You need a time and an exact location of where the planet was to the time desired.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    memoryvault

    Llew Jones @ 86

    “The psychiatrist would not attempt to diagnose her while she was shooting up marijuana.”

    What next?

    “Sniffing carbon pollution?” Or maybe

    “Smoking a joint of climate change” perhaps?

    Good grief.


    Report this

    00

  • #

    REPLY to Andrew, #35

    A/ Don’t let it shake your foundations, but a protest speech is different to a scientific paper. Archibald has quoted papers to back up his statements on other occasions. No one uses a protest speech as a reference. Well, skeptics don’t anyway.

    B/ Who says 28 million radiosondes found the wrong thing? You name it. Every major climate modeller has admitted it – albeit in code – they call it “inconsistencies”. Karl et al 2006 (CCSP). But you know, if you followed my link in the article you would have known that, and unless you have trouble with “red” and “yellow”, you wouldn’t need a peer reviewed paper to tell you the results blow away the models.

    C/ As for “skeptics never criticize their own”? I’ve been expressing my opinion on skeptical inconsistencies too and here.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    BobC

    Adam Smith:
    August 13th, 2011 at 4:59 pm
    Yes I agree, because everyone knows the fossil fuel industry only has the public’s best interest at heart, and aren’t interested in making money.

    So, Adam — be pure at heart; get rid of everything you own that someone else made money selling to you — foreswear the benefit of any services that result in someone else’s profit . Learn what living in the stone age was like.

    Given your screen name, you should be embarrased not to understand simple facts like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6vjrzUplWU


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Mark

    BobC:

    Gee Bob, ya wanna be careful. Adam Smith will probably come back with some timeless “wisdom” from Karl Marx. Personally, I prefer the more familiar Adam Smith who left us with gems like these.

    “Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this – no dog exchanges bones with another.”

    “On the road from the City of Scepticism, I had to pass through the Valley of Ambiguity.”

    The second one is particularly relevant in these times.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Crakar24

    Jo you forgot a sign of an unskeptical scientist (signified by a red X), they have so little faith in what they write they need to produce an iron clad disclaimer to cover their arse re “A critical decade”


    Report this

    00

  • #
    MaryFJohnston

    90
    Jenness Warin:

    Hi.

    Mention of SSRIs gets going again..

    Another big pharmacy – tied government joke. Lots of money but neurologically it is a joke.

    Location, environment, having life purpose,living in a sane community and above all “thinking about good things” saves people from depression, SSRIs don’t help.

    Would take a lot of time to explain the stupidity of this but Antidepressants do nothing for adults (except for placebo benefit ) and are positively dangerous for young kids .

    There is a strong parallel between AGW and SSRIs.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    mullumhillbilly

    I’m happy to be called a skeptic. An unskeptical scientist is both a moron and an oxymoron.

    As a skeptic I have a “burning” question.

    I lit a small pile of log debris under last night’s moon, enjoying the fire’s warmth and watching sparks and smoke convecting towards the cosmos. Amongst the smoke was some of that awful carbon pollution, and I wondered about the heat that is purported to be added to the planet from CO2’s 1000 year reign in the heavens (cf Prof Flummery). How did it compare to the energy released by the simple exothermic oxidation of the photosynthetic ligno-cellulosics (aka fire). ?

    Here’s where I got to.

    Assumptions
    1. A tonne of burnt coal releases 2.86 tonnes of CO2; the energy content of coal is about 24MJ/kg
    2. About half of CO2 from current annual hydrocarbon burning ends up back into the biosphere and the oceans, the other half stays in the atmosphere.
    3. According to Warmist theory, atmospheric CO2 has a residence time in the order of centuries
    4. Doubling CO2 is like adding the equivalent of 3.7W/m2 warming energy, around the clock (solum ad argumentum as CM might say)
    5. If atmospheric CO2 is doubled, eg from 290 to 580ppmv (x 1.5 ~= ppm by mass) , then atmospheric mass of CO2 goes from 2350 to 4700 Gt ( 10^9 tonnes).
    6. Annual hydrocarbon-derived CO2 emissions are presently about 30Gt/yr, historically we have released about 1200 Gt hydrocarbon-derived CO2 since 1850 (of which 400Gt since 1990) , and atmospheric mass of CO2 has increased by about 800Gt since 1850 (current mass 3150 Gt).

    I thought it would be easier to deal with human-scale measures here, so converted as follows:

    If we allocate CO2 mass evenly across the surface of the Earth (5.1×10^8 km2), that means that the atmospheric column above each square metre contained about 4.6 kg CO2 in yr 1850 (290ppm). Doubling CO2 thus means adding another 4.6kg/m2, so at the ratio of gas:solid of 2.86:1 and with only about half of the CO2 staying in the atmosphere, doubling CO2 would require burning about 3.2 kg of coal-equivalent for every square metre on the planet.

    From point 4 above, the additional 4.6kg of CO2 produced by burning 3.2kg of coal leads to 3.7W x 24 hours x 365 days x 1000 years = 32.4kWh.
    (Recall that a Watt is a unit of power which measures how fast energy (measured in Joules) is converted, 1.0W = 1.0 J/sec, so 3.6MJ = 1.0 kWh).

    So; from 1. above, Burning 3.2kg of coal liberates 77 MJ of energy, and
    Warmist theory says the energy “forced” into the climate system by adding 4.4kg CO2 which stays there for 1000 years , is 32.4 x 3.6 =117 MJ.

    Sorry about all the numbers, but my conclusion is that the effect of greenhouse gas heating from burning a lump of coal, is equivalent to the energy stored in that coal, if the greenhouse gas stays in the atmosphere for 658 years. (77/117 x 1000).

    Greenhouse warming in the short-term is therefore only a miniscule fraction of the actual combustion energy released.

    There are others here better versed than I am in such things… are these figures in the ballpark.?

    To me this conclusion begs the question, if it takes 658 years for the greenhouse heating energy to be the same as the energy released by burning, how come we aren’t already more than toasted by the simple act of combustion itself? And where is all that heat from the fires going? If it’s not staying in the atmosphere (or oceans), how come the Warmists don’t think the (early-evening near-ground) greenhouse warmth will quickly disappear too?


    Report this

    00

  • #
    MaryFJohnston

    100
    mullumhillbilly:

    Your question? “”And where is all that heat from the fires going? If it’s not staying in the atmosphere (or oceans),”"

    We on planet Earth are floating in space and are surrounded by something so dangerous it is unimaginable and something we would not want the UN or Greenwar to find out about.

    If they did they would enslave us until we found a solution to this new threat.

    We are immersed in a gigantic heat sink where as much heat as we can produce here on Earth can be absorbed without any change in temperature of the receiving sink.

    The sink is deep space, where ambient temperature of any organic item like human flesh would be about minus 273.16 degrees Celsius.

    The heat energy from your campfire has managed to lift a small parcel of air and combustion products

    a couple of metres towards the upper atmosphere and closer to deep space where it will be lost forever.

    We need to trap as much of this precious heat as we can because we are in peril of Global Freezing.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    MattB

    Jo: “C/ As for “skeptics never criticize their own”? I’ve been expressing my opinion on skeptical inconsistencies too and here.”

    They were indeed good posts… but since the topic is skepticism does it not interest you that if you read those posts there is no-one from the regulars here who changed their position because of it. THere are hard and fast opinions that ain’t going nowhere. Ok they mostly agree on AGW but there seems a whole lot of unskeptical thinking holding court. That is not to say that is not the case elsewhere, but it shows there is a lot of grey area between being a skeptic and being someone who thinks that they are correct and happed to disagree with most scientists.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    mullumhillbilly

    Thanks MaryFJ @101. I agree ghat your suggestion as to where it has gone is most likely correct. It is of course a “travesty” that Warmists don’t get that the “missing heat” is somewhere between here and Pluto.

    To clarify by re-wording, my question was this “if the combustion heat can disappear without apparent trace (and no runaway planetary doom), why do Warmists think that early evening, near-ground greenhouse heat, which is miniscule by comparison, will not do the same?”

    MattB, in the spirit of sketical enquiry, there are no adamant opinions here, just a question. Got anything to offer?


    Report this

    00

  • #
    MaryFJohnston

    mullumhillbilly:

    “Warmists don’t get that the “missing heat” is somewhere between here and Pluto.”

    A brilliant word picture.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Beth Cooper

    ‘Liberal Greenie’ is another oxymoron. While we’re reclaiming ‘science’ and ‘sceptic’ let’s reclaim ‘liberal’ as well. Liberal meaning friend of liberty and not lover of big government.


    Report this

    00

  • #

    I think the alarmists pretty much shot themselves in the foot on the use of the term skeptic. That is why many tried (and are trying) to denigrate those non-believers as “den1ers” instead. Skepticism is critical to science, so they were merely denying their own scientific knowledge.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Molon Labe

    And then we reclaim the word “indictment”.


    Report this

    00

  • #

    “33 Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out To Be True,What Every Person Should Know…”

    Pakalert Press

    “….In fact a conspiracy theory can be argued as an alternative to the official or “mainstream” story of events.

    Therefore when skeptics attempt to ridicule a conspiracy theory by using the official story as a means of proving the conspiracy wrong,in effect they are just reinforcing the original mainstream view of history,and are not actually being skeptical.

    This is not skepticism,it’s just a convenient way for the establishment view of things to be seen as the correct version,all the time,every time……”


    Report this

    00

  • #
    The Trucks Are Coming

    Why is there no Green Convoy ?
    The Convoys of No Confidence,, 11 of them.

    Has that word been Hi-Jacked too.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    The Trucks are Coming

    Why is there no Green Convoy ?

    The Convoys of No Confidence,, 11 of them.

    Has that word been Hi-Jacked too.


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Bush bunny

    The Trucks are Coming at 110. There was a small rally in Tamworth yesterday or today ‘Yes to the carbon tax and supporting Tony Windsor’. I think only 30 or 40 people attended, and there is a picture on the web.

    The local media may have followed it?


    Report this

    00

  • #
    Colin Allen

    I’m just glad that there are real scientists, like Joe Bastardi, that can show the poseurs that they don’t know anything about basic science. The alarmists don’t half wail in despair when a real scientist shows them how ignorant they are!

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2011/08/15/big-picture-science-climate-change-denial-on-fox-news/


    Report this

    00

  • #

    [...] Nova celebrates the reclamation of ‘skeptic’, now she’s going for [...]


    Report this

    00

  • #

    [...] Nova celebrates the reclamation of ‘skeptic’, now she’s going for [...]


    Report this

    00

  • #
    ginckgo

    Replace “reclaimed” with “redefined” in the title, and you’re spot on.


    Report this

    00

  • #

    [...] using the United Nations and the IPCC as intermediaries in the redistribution of these funds. Sceptical Scientist JoNova Skepticism is generally viewed as a reluctance to believe in something. Skepticists demand [...]


    Report this

    00

  • #

    [...] asked the most rudimentary questions. As Australian writer Joanne Nova is fond of saying, the opposite of skeptical is gullible and the world now has no shortage of that kind of [...]


    Report this

    00

  • #

    [...] asked the most rudimentary questions. As Australian writer Joanne Nova is fond of saying, the opposite of skeptical is gullible and the world now has no shortage of that kind of journalist. Share [...]


    Report this

    00