Researchers set up fake global warming websites to study response

Ah yes, the tired old you are irrelevant because are funded by big (coal, gas, oil, wood, propane, butane, electric, peat, Exxon-Mobil take your pick) gets turned into a peer reviewed paper. What will they think of next?

Ironically, this is published in the Journal of Business Ethics and is titled:

http://www.springerlink.com/content/100281/cover-medium.jpg

Astroturfing Global Warming: It Isn’t Always Greener on the Other Side of the Fence

Charles H. Cho, Martin L. Martens, Hakkyun Kim and Michelle Rodrigue

Abstract

Astroturf organizations are fake grassroots organizations usually sponsored by large corporations to support any arguments or claims in their favor, or to challenge and deny those against them. They constitute the corporate version of grassroots social movements. Serious ethical and societal concerns underline this astroturfing practice, especially if corporations are successful in influencing public opinion by undertaking a social movement approach. This study is motivated by this particular issue and examines the effectiveness of astroturf organizations in the global warming context, wherein large corporate polluters have an incentive to set up astroturf organizations to undermine the importance of human activities in climate change. We conduct an experiment to determine whether astroturf organizations have an impact on the level of user certainty about the causes of global warming. Results show that people who used astroturf websites became more uncertain about the causes of global warming and humans’ role in the phenomenon than people who used grassroots websites. Astroturf organizations are hence successful in promoting business interests over environmental protection. In addition to the multiple business ethics issues it raises, astroturfing poses a significant threat to the legitimacy of the grassroots movement.

Kid blogger Chris Mooney over at the Intersection Blog of Discover Magazine writes about it and says:

The website for each condition, respectively, consisted of a ‘‘Home page’’ with links to five other pages pertaining to global warming and the organization’s activities. In the grassroots condition, these were labeled as ‘‘About us,’’ ‘‘Key issues and solutions,’’ ‘‘Why act now?’’ ‘‘Get involved!’’ and ‘‘Contact us.’’ Similarly, in the astroturf condition, the pages links were labeled as ‘‘About us,’’ ‘‘Myths/facts,’’ ‘‘Climate science,’’ ‘‘Scientific references,’’ and ‘‘Contact us.’’ All of the content was based on information found on real-world grassroots and astroturf web-sites ….

A further manipulation consisted of disclosing information regarding the funding source that supported the organization. The organization’s name in all websites, regardless of the condition, was ‘‘Climate Clarity.’’ In each of the funding source conditions, all web pages within the condition specified who funds the organization (donations, Exxon Mobil or the Conservation Heritage Fund). The ‘‘no disclosure’’ condition did not have any information on funding sources anywhere within the web pages.

So, they setup fake websites to gather fake data. Nice. Not only that, they “borrowed” content from other websites to use on these “fake” websites, apparently without citation or attribution, lest that taint the results. Sounds like a job for John Mashey and “Deep Climate” aka Dave Clarke. I’m sure they’ll get right on the case like they did with Wegman.

So, this study seems perfect for a business ethics journal. Glad to see that the study of opposite views fits in to this trend recently published by Security Week.

Cybercriminals Creating 57,000 Fake Web Sites Every Week

I was going to do an analysis of the paper, but commenter Nullius in Verba did such a good job already I’ll just repost his comment from the Discover blog.

Nullius in Verba Says:
July 11th, 2011 at 2:39 pm

Mmm. So we have one website with “fluffy” headings like “why act now” and “get involved”, and another site with evidence-related headings like “climate science” and “scientific references”, and people were more persuaded by the one with the science. Why might that be, do you think?

I’m not quite sure what characteristic of astroturf sites this is supposed to be testing. If the only difference is whether funding sources were disclosed, it would indeed test the extent to which people were influenced by ad hominem considerations. But there also appear to be material differences in the content? Is the claim supposed to be that astroturf sites are more likely to use headings like “climate science”? This study does not, on the face of it, make any sense.

I’ve got an uneasy feeling that the difference was that “grassroots” was simply used to label pro-AGW and “astroturf” to label anti-AGW, and what this study is really showing is that giving them information on scepticism made people more doubtful of AGW. The “astroturf”/”grassroots” labelling would then be entirely misleading – propaganda dressed up as science in other words. There are of course many genuinely grassroots sceptical sources, and several prominent pro-AGW astroturf sites.

It would therefore be helpful to make it clearer what the distinction between “grassroots” and “astroturf” being tested actually was, and how it follows from the different types of authors. Because if they really did just label all sceptics as “astroturf”, this is even worse than the usual fare. I’m hoping it’s not true, and I’ve just misread the description. Did they in fact have both pro- and anti-AGW in both categories?

About these ads

138 thoughts on “Researchers set up fake global warming websites to study response

  1. I’ve been banned from commenting on some forums for espousing scepticism. Someone would ‘out you’ as an astroturfer and get the ear of the moderators. There really is a phony was against sceptics out there as they know they are losing the science battle.

  2. These guys wouldn’t be involved in the surveys that if you don’t give the predetermined “correct” answer you are considered uninformed, are they?

  3. Nullius in Verba does not go far enough. The “study” is to prove a preconcieved notion. Not to find out any meaningful data. It is like the “97%” study that is so bandied about by the drive-by greenies as proof of their own ignorance. They can quote an impressive number (or fact or study) without knowing anything about it, because it fits their agenda. Astroturf is being done by the warmists – who must accuse skeptics of it in order to divert attention from their antics. The study is just another attempt at the diversion.

  4. Sounds to me like a – if not colossal – at least huge waste of money, time, and effort. And what will it ever “prove”?

  5. This thing actually got published somewhere other than someplace like DKos or HuffPo? What a child like worldview. “Grass roots social movements” are always good and “Corporations” are always bad. just wow…

  6. Seems to me I’ve seen a few “astroturf” books out there on the subject of climate as well…

  7. We got back in the land of needed conspiracy, unable to understand why the world does no think as they do and unable to accept that people can fairly and accurately hold views on AGW that don’t support the dogma . They fall back on to the idea , it must be down to a conspiracy and behind any conspiracy must be some ‘evil power’, so a real surprise as all religions need a ‘evil opposite’ to justify themselves .

    The odd thing is ask them to tell you why anyone would bother to organize any astroturfing of web sites like the Guardian, and they fall flat , becasue lets be honest setting aside the ego’s of some on those on these web sites, they in reality have has much influence within the general population as slightly surprised mouse .
    But surely if you can’t think of why anyone would bother to organize any astroturfing its not great leap of logic to suggest that no one really is.

  8. It is obvious that reversing the experiment – just swap all the players and positions, would be considered a ‘skeptical act’. Interesting to think about.

    I agree that preconceived notions were found, and that they did not explore the obvious best course of action which is ‘independent investigation of truth’. They used canned skepticism and canned warmist pulp. That is a couple of steaks short of a satisfying meal.

    The object is really the idea that becoming fully informed is better than listening to one side of an argument. But that still does not go far enough. It is not a contest a-la-Americana of two hostile, opposing political viewpoints (though one could get that impression sometimes from these erudite pages!) but much more a seeking after truth. As people tend to see only part of the elephantine topic that climate change is at a time, one needs necessarily to read the opinions of many parties to the discussion to see who who talks turkey and who talks ‘litter’.

    So, the fully informed become equivocal – how proper!

  9. R. Gates says:
    July 11, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Seems to me I’ve seen a few “astroturf” books out there on the subject of climate as well…
    ________________________________________________________________________
    Pity you never actually read them.

  10. Hold on…Bear with me a second.

    Who decided which was an Astroturf website, or a Grassroots website?

    We conduct an experiment to determine whether astroturf organizations have an impact on the level of user certainty about the causes of global warming. Results show that people who used astroturf websites became more uncertain about the causes of global warming and humans’ role in the phenomenon than people who used grassroots websites.

    Surely if the person who proposed the question above was skeptical of global warming they would have had the grassroots websites showing a skeptical view?

    Talk about pre-conceived results.

    {PS I am a non scientist, if my line of thinking is incorrect please point out where I went wrong. Thank you}

  11. From the actual study abstract;

    “Astroturf organizations are fake grassroots organizations usually sponsored by large corporations to support any arguments or claims in their favor, or to challenge and deny those against them. They constitute the corporate version of grassroots social movements. Serious ethical and societal concerns underline this astroturfing practice, especially if corporations are successful in influencing public opinion by undertaking a social movement approach. This study is motivated by this particular issue and examines the effectiveness of astroturf organizations in the global warming context, wherein large corporate polluters have an incentive to set up astroturf organizations to undermine the importance of human activities in climate change. We conduct an experiment to determine whether astroturf organizations have an impact on the level of user certainty about the causes of global warming. Results show that people who used astroturf websites became more uncertain about the causes of global warming and humans’ role in the phenomenon than people who used grassroots websites. Astroturf organizations are hence successful in promoting business interests over environmental protection. In addition to the multiple business ethics issues it raises, astroturfing poses a significant threat to the legitimacy of the grassroots movement”

  12. How do you know this isn’t the work of big oil? Maybe they want to find out how well their efforts to fool people into believing Climate Change isn’t a problem are working? Just like they tried to pretend tobacco doesn’t cause cancer.

  13. The acknowledgement portion of their paper:

    Acknowledgments We would like to express our thanks to Editor Adam Lindgreen, two anonymous reviewers, Sylvie Berthelot, Yves Gendron, Den Patten, and participants of the 12th Annual Alternative Accounts Conference and Workshop in Toronto, the Colloque ‘‘Comptabilite ´, Multivocalite ´ et Diversite ´’’ in Rouen, the 2010 Greening of Industry Network (http://www.greeningofindustry.org/) Conference in Seoul, the 2010 Inter-national Federation of Scholarly Associations of Management Conference in Paris, the 22nd International Congress on Social and Environmental Accounting Research in Saint Andrews, and the 2010 Society for Marketing Advances Conference in Atlanta for their helpful comments and feedback on previous versions of this paper. Charles Cho notes that this project was started while he was at Concordia University and acknowledges financial support received from the Fonds Que ´be ´cois de la Recherche sur la Socie ´te ´ et la Culture (FQRSC) and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada

    More than one environmental tie there.

  14. From SpringerLink’s full text “preview” (the first page, barely legible), I think it says in part

    United States President’s call for action on the issue of global warming may have turned out in vain if public opinion heads in the direction found by a study published by the Pew Research Center in 2009.

    So much for neutral observers. Send it over to RealClimate, a fine grassroots site the “researchers” likely approve of.

    I wonder who did the peer review work.

  15. So who are the authors?

    The Journal of Business Ethics describes the authors as being:
    * Charles H. Cho, ESSEC Business School, Avenue Bernard Hirsch, BP 50105, 95021 Cergy Pontoise Cedex, France
    * Martin L. Martens, Faculty of Management, Vancouver Island University, 900 5th St, Nanaimo, BC V9R 5S5, Canada
    * Hakkyun Kim, Department of Marketing, John Molson School of Business, Concordia University, 1455, de Maisonneuve Blvd., West Montreal, QC H3G 1M8, Canada
    * Michelle Rodrigue, École de Comptabilité, Faculté des Sciences de l’Administration, Université Laval, 2325, rue de la Terrasse, Quebec, QC G1V 0A6, Canada

    With one exception, we can blame this one on French influence. VC Island U. was established in 1969 as Malaspina College and was upgraded to a university in 2008.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vancouver_Island_University

  16. Can someone please tell me why any energy company actually needs to promote “denial” of climate change ?

    As far as I can see even “greens” are still driving their cars – OK they use hybrids if they can afford it but it’s all energy from hydrocarbons mostly.

    The people of the less developed world can’t wait to get a car if their economic circumstances allow it – remember China a few years ago – the nation on bicycles – well that is changing as fast as it can.

    The fact is everyone wants the freedoms that cheap available energy provides.

    If you want an argument over whether population control is needed, whether centralized government is needed etc then have that argument – don’t try to obfuscate that argument behind a panic over what we are doing to our environment behind some dubious “science”.

    Besides – we’re all going to die some time so no-one can really profit from evil as the alarmists continually accuse “big oil” of doing.

    From where I sit the vast majority can’t get enough of energy – cars, motorbikes, jet skis, travel, thrills, warmth, air conditioning, computers, internet, etc etc etc

    Who wants to give all that up unless it is PROVEN to be necessary.

    Personally I think as an intelligent being we need to work out how to limit uncontrolled population growth but I cannot condone any form of genocide or dictatorial world government and that is what I see the green agenda as.

  17. Why does Mooney continue to promote this type of junk? Isn’t there a limit on how many times you can embarrass yourself in one month?

  18. Yet another way to bad-mouth anyone who expouses a view that you don’t favour yourself. Just say they are astroturfing and avoid any substantive argument.

  19. Would Greenpeace and WWF be considered “astroturf” sites for Wall Street traders interested in a cap a trade system?

  20. There is one global warming web site that is not only fake on what it post on Global Warming but even post fake facts on most other things too. It is in the U.S. and it is called littlegreenfootballs.

    Very strange web site.

  21. So, . . . let’s see. You make fake sites and populate each type, warmist and skeptic, with appropriate relevant information and then find that the skeptic fake sites actually make visitors uncertain of global warming.

    Methinks it is irrelevant where the real science sources from; if it’s real science, it will make more sense and ring truer than the junk science of the warmist site.

    The concept of “astroturfing,” or a site being backed by anybody, is totally irrelevant to the study.

  22. At least they seem willing to accept that gullible people have been swayed by something other than good science………., so there’s still hope for them.

  23. Bravo. They have proved that people are influenced by slanted presentations. Who would have guessed this? … This effect will of course be evident in either direction. Even for funding – just give the impression that all climate research is done by funding-chasers, and watch the effect reverse.

  24. I’m pretty sure, (once one gets past the content) that this is a psychological/ statistical blind study to discover: What people will respond to these websites? What web content will be more likely to persuade the audience of the website (emotional vs. factual) and how can these sites help to promote the agenda? This is very little more than what graduate psychologists used to do on campuses all over the U.S. with clipboards, although it also has a very Madison avenue aspect to it as well.

  25. The Journal of Business Ethics article framed the discussion in context that grassroots are altruistic and astroturfs are egoistic. Implying egoism is killing the planet and altruism is fighting an underdog-like battle to save it.

    It is a childish intellectual false dichotomy and trivial perjoritive fairy story.

    If the IPCC AGW agenga suppprters have devolved to this level there must be a skeptical fat lady singing somewhere? Anybody heard here?

    John

  26. As people are probably realizing climate is not changing due to Co2 but probably due to natural causes this site and pro global warming sites will slowly but surely disappear as people move onto more interesting topics. My apologies AW but this will happen so be prepared.

  27. Here are two “Home Page” menus. Which is the genuine grassroots and which is the manipulative astroturf?

    1. Menu from website: Climate Clarity (CC)
    – Start Here
    – Home
    – About
    – Data Sources
    – CC Wiki
    – Contributors
    – Archive

    2. Menu from website: Climate Clarity (CC)
    – Home
    – About Us
    – Experts
    – About Climate Change
    – FAQs and Myths
    – Climate Library
    – CC in the News
    – The Blogosphere
    – Support CC
    – Contact Us
    – Join our email list

    Clue: They are RealClimate and Icecap, but not necessarily in that order.

    Now, do you think the “Astroturfing” paper was unbiased?

  28. Odd I’ve always thought of most AGW sites as politically rather than scientifically based (and funded), doesn’t that mean they reside in the astroturf area if we are looking at climate science?
    Especially as the majority of skeptical sites are promoting proven, specific empirical based grassroot science rather than the untested, unproven modelling so favoured by the warmista brigade, well you can’t blame the poor souls from following the easy money (in this case the green and politico money).
    Well come on, other than in computing, where else can a bunch of nerds have so much power over government policies? Now they’ve tasted power they will never let go!

  29. Wikipedia has it defined as: “Astroturfing is a form of advocacy often in support of a political or corporate agenda designed to give the appearance of a “grassroots” movement. The goal of such campaigns is to disguise the efforts of a political and/or commercial entity as an independent public reaction to some political entity—a politician, political group, product, service or event.”

    Sounds like the whole climate communist hippie parade is naught but astroturfing then since all their “grassroots” crap these days are just make belief of their own creation and what not to advocate their “own” Big Energy policies.

  30. So let me get this straight. Sceptic messages are more convincing than AGW hype, even when delivered on a fake site, by committed warmists, who pretend to be sponsored by an oil company. They didn’t find out anything useful about astroturfing they just discovered how unconvincing AGW is. Thanks guys!

  31. I think I’m going to start publishing papers making extraordinary claims, get some people to mention my conclusions in the press, then put the paper behind a paywall so anyone who isn’t on ‘my side’ must pay to download. Those on ‘my side’ will get free copies in advance.

    Springer does not normally require a fee to download papers. Much of the content is free. In this case the fee, $34.95USD, is set and placed by the authors of the paper. Easy to see what sort of business ethics the authors have.

  32. Dear Astroturf Organizations:

    Please feel free to sponsor my AGW skeptical website. That is, please send oodles of money!!!!!

    Sincerely,

    Bob Tisdale.

  33. I have yet to understand the obsession the greens have with “big oil” funding. It’s not like oil companies suffer from a diminished demand in their products – if the industrialized world is using less for whatever reason, the developing world is more than happy to take it off their hands and overall demand is so high, they can pass on any extra costs governments slap onto it. In fact, any incremental cost provides a perfect smoke screen for some extra price gouging as anyone who ever filled a tank with gas during “driving season” can attest to.

    All competing sources of energy are either more expensive or more inconvenient or niche products. So big oil has no incentive to discredit climate research and donations seem to indicate that they are in fact giving to the “greens” instead of skeptics.

  34. O/T I’m sorry to post this here, but today is the light bulb anti-ban effort and I’m all riled up about it, trying spread the word:

    “STEAL THIS BULB!” I must in classic Yippie fashion politely note the loophole futility of Edison bulb prohibition for your due consideration. There are already available a luxurious excluded-from-the-ban version of real bulbs which cost only about double of already dirt cheap standard ones, namely “100W rough service” bulbs that have beefier filaments and are thus *less* efficient than standard bulbs. Ooh la la, back to business, rough service Bachelor! This loophole will be outed soon if the ban bans, and being a prohibition will cause blissful rebellion, making Edison subversively cool, resulting in more energy use akin to how people love big beefy SUVs as status symbols in rebellion against green nanny statism. From the bill which kicks in at the end of this year:

    (ii) EXCLUSIONS.—The term ‘general service incandescent lamp’ does not include the following incandescent lamps:
    (XII) A rough service lamp.

    Search Amazon.com for: 100W rough service.

  35. If the intent is to gain “Intelligence”, it’s a whole lot cleaner, easier, and productive, to be a fly on the wall at regular websites and blogs. “Fake” sites face the same startup problem everyone else does; well.. except for the $$$ problem. But truth IS stranger than fiction, so I have no doubt that some idiot VP (probably the same one that is in charge of TV and Web Advertizing) is out buying these pathetic, money wasting ideas from some Hav’erd MBA with a Woody Allen sense of humor and ethics.

  36. R. Gates,
    It would seem you are indulging in something beneath your typical dignity when you imply there are a bunch of astroturf books out there.

  37. How do you know this isn’t the work of big oil? Maybe they want to find out how well their efforts to fool people into believing Climate Change isn’t a problem are working? Just like they tried to pretend tobacco doesn’t cause cancer.

    Big oil was in on the “tobacco doesn’t cause cancer” scheme? Wow.

  38. Kaboom says:
    July 11, 2011 at 3:37 pm
    “I have yet to understand the obsession the greens have with “big oil” funding. It’s not like oil companies suffer from a diminished demand in their products”

    sorry to cut it short, but the essence stops there. Take a look in EU. We have several taxes on oil, petrol and gas, one less on ethanol/E85, and we’ve had that “forever”. The last 30 years has seen ever more stringent restrictions, or economical incentives, to car manufacturer to manufacture ever more efficient engines. The car industry has been stellar in this great adventure to a “cleaner” world. The most common cars manufactured today, in EU, drives on fumes compared to 30 years ago, and in fact an EU mopped uses about as much petrol per mile as a new midsize shopping wagon. When they introduced all these taxes it was the acid rain, then the soot, now CO2, yet the more efficient the engine, did we get the lower taxes? Of course not, we got ever higher taxes. Why? Just like with the taxes on nicotine, when people starts to use less, tax income shrinks. If the industry released a combustion engine for mid sized shopping wagons next year that use 1/100 of the petrol per mile compared to today, governments in EU would raise taxes to at least equal the loss. It has nothing to do with environment but everything to do with supporting the ever fattening governments, and after all they too want their yearly salary raises. And that’s probably what’s it all about, how the rest of us can support all the “families” working in the governments financially, preferably without upsetting the real workers too much.

  39. Anthony, the jig is up. Now, hand over all those $billions of ill-got petrodollars that you’ve been stashing…..

  40. DandyTroll says:
    July 11, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    “Wikipedia has it defined as:…”
    ================

    Just to add to your post

    (wikilink)
    – snip –
    Astroturfing is a form of advocacy often in support of a political or corporate agenda designed to give the appearance of a “grassroots” movement. The goal of such campaigns is to disguise the efforts of a political and/or commercial entity as an independent public reaction to some political entity—a politician, political group, product, service or event. The term is a derivation of AstroTurf, a brand of synthetic carpeting designed to look like natural grass.

    Astroturfers attempt to orchestrate the actions of apparently diverse and geographically distributed individuals, by both overt (“outreach”, “awareness”, etc.) and covert (disinformation) means. Astroturfing may be undertaken by an individual promoting a personal agenda, or highly organized professional groups with money from large corporations, unions, non-profits, or activist organizations. Very often, the efforts are conducted by political consultants who also specialize in opposition research. Beneficiaries are not “grass root” campaigners but distant organizations that orchestrate such campaigns.
    – end snip –

    The authors of the paper apparently believe that only corporations do Astroturfing. I think that says it all about their point of view. Grassroots clearly applies to any CAGW, activist, green, left, etc. site while Astroturf applies to any site with opposing views. Interesting. Naturally it passed pal-review.

  41. I always try to have a personal conversation with an actual person about Warmism on a daily basis. We should all go out and ‘bear wittness’ that’s what really convinces people.

  42. Thanks for all of your efforts Anthony and Thanks to the full panoply of other grassroots scientists, mechanics, engineers, teachers, statisticians, farmers, builders, physicists, small business folks, geologists, etc., et.al. that make WUWT THE grassroots hub for all things science related! If this isn’t ‘grassroots’, I don’t know what is………

  43. The GetUp! website and organisation fits the Astroturf model, being funded (despite what they say on their website), unions, foundations linked to George Soros, and the climate institute amongst others ………..

  44. May I remind all interested party that “climate change” controversy is not a dispute, it’s a robbery.
    We are being told, at the point of a government’s gun, to empty our pockets in the name of … whatever … for the sake of … whatever … just because the recipients of the money say … whatever.
    This scheme is as old as humanity itself (probably older, some other animals cheat in the same way).
    Don’t treat robbers as gentlemen, please.

  45. So, the lying liars set up fake webpages to push their lies about humans destroying the environment and got busted at it. Good. Lying liars who lie about humans destroying the environment deserve to be dragged into court for stealing content from real people’s webpages for their lie pages.

  46. What really annoys me about this whole topic is that energy companies have been some of the biggest proponents of AGW theory, whether out of a desire to stay in politicians’ good graces, plans on selling “alternative” technology, or anticipation of making a fortune on the artificial carbon markets. Using them as an anti-AGW Goldstein is truly cynical. They have much to answer for, but being against AGW is not one of them.

  47. The problem with the AGW astroturfing (skepticalscience.com, realclimate.com) and most other forms of political disinformation connected with the climate change issue is that they assume they are addressing an audience of peasants with five or six years of primary school education, that people who do not have three university degrees do not have commonsense and powers of reasoning and analysis. They are not only the height of elitism and class hatred; they are futile and will never succeed in having people accept propaganda based on mistruths. It is only when your passion is the truth that you can convince people of your arguments. The first rule of the IPCC and all its hangers-on is: never admit you’re wrong. If you do that in any field of life, let alone science, you have zero credibility and integrity.

  48. charles nelson says: “I always try to have a personal conversation with an actual person about Warmism on a daily basis.

    Good luck.

    Recently, I bumped into a well-known local warmist in a cafe. After a tenth of a second, the conversation naturally drifted into climate science. In reply to a point that I made, the warmist said that no scientist had ever said such and such. I replied that David Evans had, at which point the warmist said “David Evans? We don’t like him.”. [Those exact words]. End of conversation.

  49. “Astroturf organizations are fake grassroots organizations usually sponsored by large corporations to support any arguments or claims in their favor, or to challenge and deny those against them.” Isn’t that pretty much the same as RealClimate.org running on NASA servers, and being Authored and Edited by salaried Government employees?

  50. Some people might think of the IPCC as an astroturf organization. Not me of course, other people might – and their position should be carefully considered.

    Seriously, facts are what count in this debate.

    Are the facts adding up to the proposition that global warming will be a significant problem. You know, other than the Arctic sea ice, there are only facts which say there will be minor amount of warming only.

    I got into this debate in the first place because science is a great personal interest to me and all I originally saw in this particular field was astroturf science. Even today, it is continues to be even more like astroturf science and that continues to bug me to no end even today.

  51. Dr. Dave says:
    July 11, 2011 at 1:50 pm
    R. Gates says:
    July 11, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Seems to me I’ve seen a few “astroturf” books out there on the subject of climate as well…
    ________________________________________________________________________
    Pity you never actually read them.

    ___
    And what gave you the idea that I hadn’t?

    ______

    hunter says:
    July 11, 2011 at 4:00 pm
    R. Gates,
    It would seem you are indulging in something beneath your typical dignity when you imply there are a bunch of astroturf books out there.
    _______

    I suppose one man’s astroturf is another man’s indoor-outdoor carpeting…but yes, on the shelves at the books stores can be found astroturf books covering many sides of many issues, not just climate, and they often find their ways quickly to the dicount bins as I think most smart people can sniff out the sh*& amongst the turf pretty well.

  52. In Canada, when it’s Tides Canada, BC Hydro paid, Quebec or Ontario or BC Government climate awareness social environmental etc…, it’s legit grassroot; when it’s not advertising global warming, then it’s astroturf.

  53. Erik Styles says:
    July 11, 2011 at 3:15 pm
    As people are probably realizing climate is not changing due to Co2 but probably due to natural causes
    ____
    “People are realizing…”???

    There are probably only a few thousand people in the world really qualified to look at the actual data with a trained and educated eye and draw any sort of conclusion at all. Finding the anthropogenic climate signal amongst all the other noise and forcings requires a highly educated individual. “People are realizing…” can only mean they are being pursuaded by others as the average person is in no position to realize whether or not there is a true anthropogenic signal amongst all the climate data.

  54. Most universities have panels that review the design of these kinds of studies to ensure that they are “ethical”. What bemuses me, though I have not paid to read the article, is the apparent absence of determining what led the subjects to the conclusions that they reached, i.e., incresed skepticism.
    On the surface, the experiment looks like a sophmoric pysch experiment. But, I am willing to be persuaded that the design was powerful and elegant – so if anybody gets access to a working paper copy I would appreciate it.

  55. Lot’s of good points and good questions here. I’m trying to decide if I really want to pay to obtain a copy of the study. Without knowing a great deal more about their methodology and how they operationalized their varaibles, it would be pointless to say more than has already been said here. Who knows? Maybe they did something clever. On the other hand, there is the issue of informed consent.

    Back in the late 60’s a sociology Ph.D. candidate by the name of Laud Humphreys (I’m not outing him, virtually every intro soc text book today discusses the case) conducted a study that ultimately got published under the title “Tearoom Trade” – a study of anonymous homosexual encounters in public rest rooms. The first part of his study was of the “participant observation” variety…. he acted as a “watch queen”, a lookout who alerted the other participants to possible interruptions like the police. It wasn’t enough to observe the interaction, however; Humphreys also need biographical information about the participants…. a commodity a little hard to obtain when the interaction in question is supposed to be anonymous. Humphreys solved his problem by collecting the license plate numbers of cars parked near the rest room and then having a friend in the police department run them through the DMV. A year later, he arranged interviews under the guise of another study. As far as I know none of Humphreys’ subjects were exposed and no harm to reputation, social standing or livelihood was done, but the duplicitous nature of his approach ignited a fire storm.

    Today, every branch of the social sciences that I know of includes an “informed consent” clause in their code of professional ethics that requires social scientists to inform their research subjects that they are research subjects and to explain the purpose of the research to whatever extent is possible without compromising the validity of the research. Oh yeah, anonymity is to be guaranteed and no harm, of any sort, must come to the subjects. Most Universities and research institutes have a board or committee on human experimentation that must approve the research before it can be carried out. Given that the visitors and commenters on those blog sites were the subjects of an experiment and that experiment involved the manipulation and shaping of the subjects’ attitudes, beliefs and perceptions, I’d be very….. no make that extremely interested in learning how the subjects were informed and how their anonymity and well being were preserved by the experimenters. I Think we should also know which committee approved this research.

  56. R. Gates says: July 11, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    There are probably only a few thousand people in the world really qualified to look at the actual data with a trained and educated eye and draw any sort of conclusion at all. Finding the anthropogenic climate signal amongst all the other noise and forcings requires a highly educated individual.

    Do you consider yourself to be one of these people? What about Richard Lindzen, Roy Spencer, John Christy, Patrick Michaels and Fred Singer?

  57. R. Gates says:
    July 11, 2011 at 5:19 pm
    Finding the anthropogenic climate signal amongst all the other noise and forcings requires a highly educated individual.
    Actually, all it requires is the proper mixture of Belief, funding, and lack of ethics. But, yes, “education” of a certain type, wherin thinking for oneself is verboten is probably pretty essential.

  58. Just The Facts says:
    July 11, 2011 at 5:43 pm
    R. Gates says: July 11, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    There are probably only a few thousand people in the world really qualified to look at the actual data with a trained and educated eye and draw any sort of conclusion at all. Finding the anthropogenic climate signal amongst all the other noise and forcings requires a highly educated individual.

    Do you consider yourself to be one of these people? What about Richard Lindzen, Roy Spencer, John Christy, Patrick Michaels and Fred Singer?

    _____
    Certainly not myself and I can’t speak for anyone else’s credentials.

  59. Of course there conclusions about astroturf sites can work in both directions, but its of course targetted at “big oil” funded skeptic sites – plus the real conclusion of the study is if you show people some contrary science they become less certain – that doesnt really require a study!

  60. Behind a paywall…..

    I’d like to see a list of the so called “astroturf” sites.

  61. Bruce Cobb says:
    July 11, 2011 at 5:44 pm
    R. Gates says:
    July 11, 2011 at 5:19 pm
    Finding the anthropogenic climate signal amongst all the other noise and forcings requires a highly educated individual.
    Actually, all it requires is the proper mixture of Belief, funding, and lack of ethics. But, yes, “education” of a certain type, wherin thinking for oneself is verboten is probably pretty essential.

    _____
    This is the problem with the level of “discussion” surrounding this issue. The vast majority of climate scientists are quite ethical, are trained to be skeptical, and being able to think for oneself is absolutely essential. To characterize them as something else is the stuff found on astroturf sites, and merits the same sort of regard.

  62. Thanks for the open access Just the Facts.

    Have downloaded and will review. Quick scroll, and I still don’t see the listing of “astroturf” websites.

  63. ” Finding the anthropogenic climate signal amongst all the other noise and forcings requires a highly educated individual.” – R. Gates

    Let’s leave aside the issue of whether this has been shown or not. Can you explain to me how somebody would show it? In general terms?

  64. Now let’s do a study on fakers posting on web sites who are posing as citizens concerned about global warming but in fact are paid by environmental organisations to spread propaganda and disinformation.

  65. Thanks to Just the Facts, I made a quick skim of the paper. They cite Greenpeace as a credible source about Exxon/Mobil behavior, and they proudly assert that all astroturf sites about climate are by Deniers. They fail to list the sites they consider to be astroturf; there is no appendix listing sources for their text, or references to archived copies of their eight versions of the site. They used about 250 undergraduates in business and marketing as their subjects, so it suffers badly from a small numbers problem. All in all, not a very convincing effort.

  66. I’m not going to pay to read the authors’ own cynical attempt to profit according to an unethical and probably astroturfed subsidized business model which makes people interested in completely understanding their “study” pay in order to do so. Even thought maybe it’s better than Climate Science’s preferred “method” involving Zero transparency?

    But according to the authors’ own “study”, the handwriting is apparently on the wall, at least if the CO2 = CAGW matter is to be decided by a vote of the “people”. Because astroturfing, ‘evil’ by definition, actually won in a head to head contest, presumably involving the very best of the authors’ own selected communications on the grassroots “pro” side of CAGW; while the noble authors…surprise, surprise…somewhat paradoxically managed to remain ‘good’ despite the contest, which also included them as manifestly no more informed on matters of science than the “people” studied!

    So will the Warmist Believers of a proven similar “communicative” inability now surrender peacefully to the results of their own best case “grassroots vs astroturfed” poll, instead of only continuing to disparage by definition their opposition, since violence or “might makes right” evil, despite the beliefs of the “people”, seems to be their only other option?

  67. R. Gates says: July 11, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    Certainly not myself and I can’t speak for anyone else’s credentials.

    Then how do you know that these “few thousand people in the world really qualified to look at the actual data with a trained and educated eye and draw any sort of conclusion at all” actually exist?

  68. Ah yes, the tired old you are irrelevant because are funded by big (coal, gas, oil, wood, propane, butane, electric, peat, Exxon-Mobil take your pick)

    I knew this day would come. I must admit that in 1980 I helped the New Hampshire Audubon Society lay a board walk through the Ponemah Bog in southern NH. During much of that work I was supported by Big Peat. In my defense, I also covered areas where sphagnum moss merely floated on the pond water and hence I supported merely by moss.

    Other spinoffs from that period were my one person consulting business (Sundew Systems) and my car’s vanity license plate, Sundew.

  69. “Serious ethical and societal concerns underline this astroturfing practice, especially if corporations are successful in influencing public opinion by undertaking a social movement approach.”

    That is serious indeed. But wait, there has got to be a solution – something the legislature can do for us!

    Couldn’t they just tryyyyyy to protect us from subtle influences on our opinion which we simply don’t understand? How about some government agencies who would be able to determine who should “influence public opinion,” and who really should not? What is Congress doing, don’t they even care about us anymore?!

  70. R. Gates says:
    July 11, 2011 at 6:01 pm
    This is the problem with the level of “discussion” surrounding this issue. The vast majority of climate scientists are quite ethical, are trained to be skeptical, and being able to think for oneself is absolutely essential. To characterize them as something else is the stuff found on astroturf sites, and merits the same sort of regard.
    You are certainly entitled to your fantasy, Gates. We skeptics/climate realists prefer reality, though.
    And the reality is that climate science is corrupt through and through, by money and politics. If climate “scientists” ever were trained to be skeptical, then that training has gone out the window in order for them to accept the Warmist dogma without question. They “see” the anthropogenic “signal” because they must. That is why we have hockey sticks.

  71. Just The Facts July 11, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Thanks for the link. The authors seems to think they have something approaching a random sample… in fact, all they have is just a good old fashioned target-of-opportunity sample…. a bunch of poor students grubbing either for grades or some spending money. I was originally concerned, as apparently Bernie was, as well, that the researchers had located and manipulated naive web surfers…. but apparently they recruited students who were told they were taking part in an study. That’s the good news. The Bad news is that the students were told they were taking part in an evaluation of web site designs: in other words, they knew that all of the web sites they were looking at were in fact fakes or prototypes. The seemingly anomalous conclusion that students evaluated the “astro-turf” websites as non-credible but nonetheless accepted the information indicates to me that the students were evaluating the information separately from web site design, which they were supposed to be evaluating.

    Also interesting was “the degree of interest or involvement” variable. The text does not say how it was operationalized, but it looks like involvement or interest in the consensus perspective rather than in the skeptic perspective was the operational definition.

    The earlier discussion was full of nonsense…. I especially liked the section where the authors insisted the corporations were conservative entities and would fight to maintain the status quo. Good God! What world are these people living in? These fools have been coopted by the biggest of the corporations and are doing their bidding. Exxon, GE, Deutch Bank and hundreds of others…. the last thing they want is the status quo.

    Oh yeah, and they never did identify the astro-turf sites whose content they borrowed. This is a shabby paper from one end to the other and should be ignored. Unfortunately, we’re going to be hearing about it for a long time to come, in much they same way we’ve had to listen to the warmista cite the pathetic Oreskes and Anderegg papers. They were peer-reviewed, doncha know.

  72. I admit it’s a cheap shot because it fails to address the points of the paper, but the publisher (or more precisely the editor) is certainly fair game as part of the paper’s contextual setting. As such, Alex Michalos, the editor of “The Journal of Business Ethics,” wrote an interesting paper in 1997 entitled, “Non-academic Critics of Business Ethics in Canada” – http://www.jstor.org/pss/25072929 . The short Abstract reveals that:

    “This paper shows that there are contemporary moral appraisals of business ethics in Canada published in periodicals that would not ordinarily be regarded as scholarly substance or format. Because there is so much important material in these non-academic periodicals, scholars interested in business ethics in Canada ought to give them serious consideration in any overall review of the field here.”

    Where did I read something similar recently…? Oh yeah – here:

    “Astroturf organizations are fake grassroots organizations usually sponsored by large corporations to support any arguments or claims in their favor, or to challenge and deny those against them… Serious ethical and societal concerns underline this astroturfing practice… In addition to the multiple business ethics issues it raises, astroturfing poses a significant threat to the legitimacy of the grassroots movement.”

    It’s freaky how the wonderful world of academia spins… and respins its ideas (mayhap, allegations in these instances) with the subtle ignorance of noblesse oblige – a hubris far too common to a life narrowed by the scholastic pursuit. Hey, if the paper can connect the disparate dots between Big Peat and the oh-so-obvious-it-need-not-be-proved climate denialists, then clearly the dots can be connected in this… collusion.

    The “Journal” is apparently wedded to certain notions:

    “Something old, something new
    Something borrowed, something blue
    And a silver sixpence [from your] shoe.”

  73. “Serious ethical and societal concerns underline this astroturfing practice, especially if corporations are successful in influencing public opinion by undertaking a social movement approach.”

    Ah, that would be skepticism, and it cuts at least two ways and maybe more..

  74. R. Gates says; “There are probably only a few thousand people in the world really qualified to look at the actual data with a trained and educated eye and draw any sort of conclusion at all. Finding the anthropogenic climate signal amongst all the other noise and forcings requires a highly educated individual.”

    Since you can’t win by using convincing scientific data and analyses you fall back to using the “appeal to authority” again eh? All of us scientists and educated people not involved in climate research are not intelligent enough to read and analyze climate data and interpret graphs? If you really want to use the appeal to authority approach, then the leaders of the “authority” better have empicable credentials.
    Who amongst the leaders are you willing to say have empicable credentials? Michael “HIde the Decline” Mann? Kevin “It’s a Travesty” Trenberth? Phil “Delete the Emails” Jones? Al ” the world’s largest hypocrite” Gore? The list is long…
    Also, the pillar of “unprecedented” global warming relies on the Hockey Stick temperature graph (which ALL leading AGW scientists swear by and hold as Gaia given truth) has been thoroughly discredited. So tell me again why it is we should ignore our own, and other independent analyses of the data and blindly follow what these great “leaders” and their infantile computer models are telling us?

  75. It’s odd…

    The influential warmist sites I’ve seen are financed. All of them. As others have pointed out, this would seem to fit the definition of “astroturfing”.

    A “study” like this is absolutely worthless, and in fact demonstrates the mindset of warmist-alarmists: they went looking for something, and didn’t stop until they found it… even if that meant fabricating it.

    Seriously, in not too many years all of these people will be doing everything to put distance between themselves and their “work” from this entire era. Thankfully, the internet makes for long, long memories. I look forward to putting this stuff back in their faces in 5, 10, 20 years. Heck, it’ll be more fun than digging up college-era porn…

  76. Also, as Gates says “Finding the anthropogenic climate signal amongst all the other noise and forcings requires a highly educated individual.”

    I guess you are admitting that the AGW (CO2 induced) signal is so miniscule above background (natural forcings) that only a high trained specialist using the world’s most powerful computers, running highly technical software written by the world’s brightest scientists, is able to dig the signal out of the background noise?

  77. Does “conducting a study” make one a scientist?
    I’d like to see a study that analyzes the ability of editors and publishers to distinguish between meaningful information and propaganda produced to promote a agenda.

  78. The Left, especially on AGW (and a lot of other issues) is suffused by denial of reality, projection of motives, and paranoia. This is the thesis of drsanity (just google), a retired clinical prof of psychiatry at the University of Michigan Medical School.

    This is an alternative meta-explanation of what is being “tested” here.

  79. John Whitman says:
    “The Journal of Business Ethics article framed the discussion in context that grassroots are altruistic and astroturfs are egoistic. Implying egoism is killing the planet and altruism is fighting an underdog-like battle to save it.

    “It is a childish intellectual false dichotomy and trivial perjoritive fairy story.”

    We can do better than simply asserting it. This false dichotomy has been tested and disproven. Prof. Todd Zywicki at the public choice economics oriented George Mason University Law School:
    “Baptists? The Political Economy of Environmental Interest Groups,”
    This paper is available online here.

    Thus, the very premise of any of its conclusions is false.
    [FULL CITE: 53 Case Western Reserve Law Review 315 (2002) (symposium on BJORN LOMBORG, THE SKEPTICAL ENVIRONMENTALIST: MEASURING THE REAL STATE OF THE WORLD (2001)]

    (SOMEBODY PLEASE POST AT mooney’s Discover blog – The Intersection – I cannot.)

  80. R. Gates says:
    July 11, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    There are probably only a few thousand people in the world really qualified to look at the actual data with a trained and educated eye and draw any sort of conclusion at all. …

    All it actually takes is time and stubborness to discover that the disagreements regarding how “the climate” works or even what “the climate” is are deep and far from any general agreement within the scientific community. If there is a differential of access to media “outlets” among various factions, those factions that are presented to the public as the dominant views by the main-stream media are the factions that are thought to hold the authoritative “consensus” views by the general public. Given the existence of immense differences within the educated “few thousand,” it seems unlikely that “reasonable conclusions” – i.e. based on both sufficient data of adequate quality, and informed and demonstrably valid scientific argument – are afloat anywhere in the argument. If there were, the level of discussion would be considerably less vituperative.

  81. Robert E. Phelan says:
    July 11, 2011 at 5:33 pm
    “Today, every branch of the social sciences that I know of includes an “informed consent” clause in their code of professional ethics that requires social scientists to inform their research subjects that they are research subjects and to explain the purpose of the research to whatever extent is possible without compromising the validity of the research “.
    “Given that the visitors and commenter on those BLOG sites were the subjects of an experiment and that experiment involved the manipulation and shaping of the subjects’ attitudes, beliefs and perceptions, I’d be very….. no make that extremely interested in learning how the subjects were informed and how their anonymity and well being were preserved by the experimenters. I Think we should also know which committee approved this research.”

    It is ironic that this work was published in Journal of Business Ethics. Furthermore who says that BLOGS sponsored by George Soros or NASA are not Astroturf sites since they are paid to spout the party line

  82. R. Gates says:
    July 11, 2011 at 5:19 pm
    ” “People are realizing…” can only mean they are being pursuaded by others as the average person is in no position to realize whether or not there is a true anthropogenic signal amongst all the climate data.”
    ————————
    Perhaps you are right, but there are somewhat more out there with experience in writing reports and making decisions as to what to include and what not to; as whether a computer program was written to arrive at a pre-determined conclusion, regardless of the data it is given. Climategate expanded the debate to a wider audience and exposed the kind of things more people have experience with.

  83. R. Gates says:
    July 11, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    There are probably only a few thousand people in the world really qualified to look at the actual data with a trained and educated eye and draw any sort of conclusion at all. Finding the anthropogenic climate signal amongst all the other noise and forcings requires a highly educated individual.

    ————————

    BREAKTHROUGH!!!

    You have just made the ultimate skeptic’s point. If it is so difficult to tease out the anthropogenic effect, it cannot be possibly be (practically) significant. (And as my statistics professors drummed into my head, there is a big difference between statistical significance and practical significance.)

    That is, even if there is a real physical anthropogenic effect (which few here would deny) and it is large enough to separate out from natural variations, if it takes such sophisticated techniques to tease out from natural variation, it is practically insignificant compared to the natural variation.

  84. And the Huffington Post [their investigative journalism arm] is getting lots of money from none other than currency buster George Soros….So?

  85. Very nicely done hatchet job. Let’s see if I can summarize:

    1) No examples of actual astroturf sites.
    2) Study presumes that “corporate polluters” are incented to undermine AGW theory, yet presents no evidence to support this assumption.
    3) Not one example of an actual “corporate polluter” who would be thus inclined, let alone any evidence of one actually involved in such activities.
    4) No evidence what so ever that any skeptic site, not even a single example, is funded or influenced in any way by “corporate polluters”.

    They’ve invented a crime, invented the evidence, invented the criminal, and found the criminal guilty. Sadly for them, even in a scenario of invented crime and evidence, the invented AGW proponents were not as pursuasive as the invented AGW skeptics. Perhaps the facts speak for themselves?

  86. the left claimed the Tea Party was astroturf (lol) and pelosi claimed the angry New Yorkers protesting at the proposed mosque were astroturf…its just silly…and this from the party that we know hired ACORN types and put them on a bus to demonstrate in front of bank administrators’ houses and bussed in thousands of out of town and out of state thugs to demonstrate in Wisconsin….what a joke…

  87. R. Gates is hilarious. Gore said more frequent and more violent hurricanes. The Met office said “barbeque summers. Suzuki said “in ten years we will have catastrophic warming ( he said that 25 years ago, LOL). It does not take a “highly educated person” to see this for what it is. I don’t need to astroturf anybody. I think the proponents of AGW do.

  88. Curt says:
    July 11, 2011 at 8:27 pm
    R. Gates says:
    July 11, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    There are probably only a few thousand people in the world really qualified to look at the actual data with a trained and educated eye and draw any sort of conclusion at all. Finding the anthropogenic climate signal amongst all the other noise and forcings requires a highly educated individual.

    ————————

    BREAKTHROUGH!!!

    You have just made the ultimate skeptic’s point. If it is so difficult to tease out the anthropogenic effect, it cannot be possibly be (practically) significant. (And as my statistics professors drummed into my head, there is a big difference between statistical significance and practical significance.)

    That is, even if there is a real physical anthropogenic effect (which few here would deny) and it is large enough to separate out from natural variations, if it takes such sophisticated techniques to tease out from natural variation, it is practically insignificant compared to the natural variation.
    _______

    Anthropogenic warming may have been insignificant compared to the forcings from Milankovitch cycles, solar effects, volcanoes, etc. 10,000 years ago or even in 1850, or 1900, or even 1950, but it is a moving a target in the sense that CO2 levels continue to increase at a record pace…far faster than anything seen on this planet in at least 1,000,000 years. At some point, the levels of CO2 will begin to dominate over all the other forcings. It is the determination as to whether this point has been reached or not, that takes the training and expertise that is beyond the capacity of the average person to make. But this in no way makes it insignificant, for once the effects truly are detected, if CO2 is the culprit, those effects will be with us for many centuries unless sequestration is undertaken. It could be likened to the expertise it might take listening for a train approaching by putting your ear to a railroad track. The real experts can tell you at some point that a signal has been found and a train is approaching, and even if that signal is small compared to the other noises around the track where you’re listening, eventually the train is roaring by and it is anything but insignificant. The warmist part of me is 75% convinced that the experts looking for the anthropogenic signal are right, and they’ve found that warming train is coming. The 25% skeptical part of me says, well, maybe they just don’t know all the other forcings that may be coming from the sun, or longer term THC, GCR’s etc, hence why I really am looking forward to seeing more results from the CLOUD experiment, as I sure many on this blog are as well. Still, if I had to vote today, I side with those who are saying there is a train approaching, and is drivin by anthropogenic greenhouse gases.

    In sum, my educated, but non-professional opinion is that the anthropogenic signal began to dominate the overall other forcings sometime later in the 20th century, and that prior to that, Milankovitch dominated on the longer term, with solar in the middle range, and things like volcanoes and ENSO dominating on the shorter end of the spectrum. Hence, even experts (though some my quibble with this term applied here) like Michael Mann have said that there seems to be a solar fingerprint on the “LIttle Ice Age”, but during that period, there was no anthropogenic forcing of any size. A lot has happened in the atmosphere since then, and it seems we may get a chance to see how a new Maunder Minimum will effect climate when CO2 levels are 40% higher than they were last time the sun took a nap.

  89. Just one final thougt about those experts trained to look for the anthropogenic signal in the climate. The experts have long said that we’d see the biggest and earliest effects of AGW in the Arctic. This has been clearly stated for many decades. Now the fact that we are indeed seeing these changes come about COULD be just coincidence, but the probability that it is, is far less than the probability the multiple global climate models have shown many decades ago that this would occur. This has always been one the biggest reasons that I remain a “warmist”, as the changes in the Arctic currently have no other explanation or natural forcing. It is far beyond natural variability, despite the submarines coming up in open water decades ago that are so popular with some uniformed skeptics (who I liken to the astroturf websites). The Arctic is changing rapidly, far beyond a random walk, and far beyond natural variability, and the currently only forcing that can be modeled to display what we are seeing is the effects of CO2. This makes some skeptics crazy, because I feel their skepticism has become a religion to them, and in this way, are no different than the rabid CAGW crowd in that they will accpet nothing that will create cognitive dissonence, and won’t even consider the possibility that the melting Arctic could be anthropogenic in origin.

  90. Curt.
    Absolutely…I think old Gatesey shot himself in the foot again.
    Up until quite recently the evidence was meant to have been so OVERWHELMING and so many SCIENTISTS were right behind it that only denialist flat earthers like us could question it!!!
    Now it turns out only a chosen few very special people can understand or even SEE it.
    So it’s gone from….
    Global Warming Aaaarrghh…it’s a CATASTROPHE and it’s happening NOW.
    to…
    Global Warming Oh…hard to tell if it’s happening at all!
    It’s so useful to have an RGATES on this site, he/she embodies in one person all the righteous superiority of the Warmist. The dizzying shifts of position, the constant reversals of the laws of cause and effect, the shameless ‘revision’ of previously held articles of faith (see above).
    Know thy opponent…thanks RGates, keep up the good work!

  91. GP asks “Does “conducting a study” make one a scientist?

    If the study is genuinely aimed at gaining knowledge, yes. If it is to push a political position, no. I suspect that R Gates would not include Erasto B Mpemba in any list of people “really qualified to look at” any kind of data. Although at the time (http://www.thecolourblue.co.uk/mpemba.shtml) Mpemba was only a 14-year-old Tanzanian schoolboy making ice-cream, he was indeed a scientist. I have heard rumours that Dr Osborne’s lab-assistant (“I’ll keep on repeating the experiment until we get the right result“) is now a climate scientist.

  92. R. Gates says:
    July 11, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    There are probably only a few thousand people in the world really qualified to look at the actual data with a trained and educated eye and draw any sort of conclusion at all.

    Please name 10. Personally I don’t think I’ve come across even one.

  93. R. Gates says:
    July 11, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    In sum, my educated, but non-professional opinion is that the anthropogenic signal began to dominate the overall other forcings sometime later in the 20th century, and that prior to that, Milankovitch dominated on the longer term, with solar in the middle range, and things like volcanoes and ENSO dominating on the shorter end of the spectrum.

    Since you do read posts in this blog, did you spend some thought on J.Storr-Hall’s simple data presentation a few posts ago? Particularly the plot that one could ask a highschool student to extract from the ice core data disproves your statement . Our curve, red dots, is right on the average rise of the last five, black dots, Holocene bumps and troughs. Nothing exceptional at all. Seventy years ago we diverged more from the average than we do now. If you also pay some attention to the plot you will see that it is also forecasting the future on average, from data which tells us that even if we are still on the rise, like the lowest blue or the second highest one of the curves in the five-average, the rise will be less then 1C per century, because the total rise in temperature in our region of the holocene is bounded by 1C.

    This is a simple and clarifying plot and it is worth spending some time looking at it, of course if one can read plots.

  94. Dave Wendt says:
    July 11, 2011 at 9:41 pm
    R. Gates says:
    July 11, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    There are probably only a few thousand people in the world really qualified to look at the actual data with a trained and educated eye and draw any sort of conclusion at all.

    Please name 10. Personally I don’t think I’ve come across even one.
    =====================

    ……. and while you’re at it R. Gates, could you also post up just a rudimentary mathematical treatment of the data that you got from those great heroes of yours that led you to your conclusion.

  95. R Gates;
    There are probably only a few thousand people in the world really qualified to look at the actual data with a trained and educated eye and draw any sort of conclusion at all.>>>

    You’re probably right. Well sorta. You see, finding any sort of a semblance of an AGW “signal” in the data is truly difficult, perhaps impossible, for the simple reason that it is teeny tiny almost zero in comparison to natural variation.

    Now, let’s ask a different question. How many people are there in the world who know what “logarithmic” means and can explain why the logarithmic nature of CO2 requires that any additional increases to CO2 become increasingly insignificant?

    I don’t know that number. How many people graduate from degree programs in physics, math, engineering, geology and so on per year? Millions?

    It is only when one sets the physics aside and peer instead into data on polar bear populations, fragmented temperature records, tidal gauges with no reference points, hurricane frequency and so on that there’s any evidence to speak of, and one can barely measure it. Just as the physics predicts….

  96. What did they consider to be grassroots websites? Sites agreeing with the CAGW fallacy?
    What was their null hypothesis?
    Or is this a post normal research paper where you collect only data that confirms your prejudices?
    We have one certain astroturf site in Australia. It is Getup. It is funded by George Soros and WWF and the unions. It only gives pro CAGW opinions. It says it has 400,000 members when in fact paid subscribers are around the 17,000 mark. I censors any opinion that does not support CAGW and other far left comments.
    You can tell anyone who comes from that site because they repeat the same opinions down to almost the same words. I would include comma’s but they do not know how to use them.

  97. davidmhoffer says:
    July 11, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    “How many people are there in the world who know what “logarithmic” means and can explain why the logarithmic nature of CO2 requires that any additional increases to CO2 become increasingly insignificant?”

    _____
    David, this is the kind of thinking about the climate that creates confusion, and I’m sort of amazed that someone of your intelligence would propagate it. It is true that the basic greenhouse properties of CO2 can be plotted on a logarithmic scale, but this is not so say that the effects of additional CO2 into the atmosphere will have a sum of effects that are logarithmic. Far from it. We know that the climate “jumps” to new states rather rapidly, as any system under deterministic chaos will do. So how many intelligent people really understand even the basics of deterministic chaos? The first confusion is to get beyond the notion that chaos means randomness, and the second notion is to understand that chaotic systems, while unpredictable in specifics, can be very predictable in terms of trends. We know that the climate will jump to a new state with the continually addition of forcing agents over time (think of the small year-to-year changes in Milankovitch cycles, or the small changes in solar output over a few solar cycles, or the small addition of a greenhouse gas each year). Many of these things have effects that can proceed logarithmically, and just like forces between grains of sand in sandpile that build up logarithmically, so to, the forcing agents on the climate do as well, and yet, at some point the climate shifts, the sandpile has a small landslide of sorts, and things change rapidly, as is the nature of system acting under deterministic chaos. The nature of these shifts, have to do with the sum of all the related parts that act through various inter-related feedback processes that eventually reach a tipping point where the system shifts.

    In short, it is wrong to simply speak about the logarithmic effects of CO2 as the total effect that CO2 will have on the climate. Just look at positive feedback processes going on in the Arctic to see how things can progress in a very non-linear, non-logarithmic way. So if you really believe this, then I suggest you pick up a few books about deterministic chaos and maybe even review some of the research being done into the nature of sandpiles. The climate has tipping points, and they are normally reached by small changes occurring over long periods of time. The only exceptions are rapid changes like volcanoes, but these are like someone bumping the table the sandpile is being built on. The build up of anthropogenic CO2 may be somewhere in between, as it is accumulating over centuries, but is actually building up rapidly in geological terms, but we don’t fully know yet how sensitive the climate is, nor of course, where the potential tipping points are.

  98. Dave Wendt says:
    July 11, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    R. Gates says:
    July 11, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    There are probably only a few thousand people in the world really qualified to look at the actual data with a trained and educated eye and draw any sort of conclusion at all.

    Please name 10. Personally I don’t think I’ve come across even one.
    ____
    Please tell that to Dr. Julienne Stroeve the next time she comes here. She is someone who has dedicated her career to studying the Arctic, and probably knows more about sea ice and Arctic responses to climate than anyone else who frequents this site. If she says the changes going on in the Arctic are showing a non-linear response to anthropogenic greenhouse forcing…sorry, I’ve got to give her a great deal of credibility. She would be one of those “thousands” of experts that I feel are qualified, I mean really qualified, to give an assessment of what’s going on with the climate, and especially as an expert in region of the planet that has long been identified as being on the front lines of climate change.

  99. Deterministic Chaos…hmnn
    Sounds like the structure of the warmist argument.
    We’re determined to sound convincing but our thought processes are chaotic.
    Well I suppose they would be, what, with all that radiative Forcing, tipping points, and climate JUMPS?!!!!….it’s bound to be a bit confusing, especially when you factor in that “we don’t fully know yet how sensitive the climate is”…..(enter burly men in white coats who lead RGates sobbing from the room)

  100. R Gates;
    David, this is the kind of thinking about the climate that creates confusion, and I’m sort of amazed that someone of your intelligence would propagate it. It is true that the basic greenhouse properties of CO2 can be plotted on a logarithmic scale, but this is not so say that the effects of additional CO2 into the atmosphere will have a sum of effects that are logarithmic.>>>

    Nice diatribe of falsifiable circular logic presented in a semi logical progressive strategy fully engaged with spurious terminology directed at obvious conclusivity devoid of constructs requiring definitive measure by which….

    I can babble on for a few more paragraphs too. Throwing around terminology is easy. Do you even know what “deterministic chaos” means? There’s not one sentence in your ridiculous answer that has any meaning in the real world, save one.

    You are right, we don’t know what the sensitivity is. But here’s the truth:

    If the sensitivity is very high, then we’d have seen dramatic changes already. Instead we see arguments about which year was the hottest…by one one hundredth of a degree.

    And if sensitivity is low…then we don’t give a sh*t.

    And you can dress up your tipping point bullarky along with your feedback bullarky with as many multi syllable words as you want, the fact remains that CO2 is logarithmic. What ever effect the last +100 ppm has had, FEEDBACKS INCLUDED, the next +100 ppm will have half that effect. FEEDBACKS INCLUDED.

    Which you da*n well know yet you keep spouting off about sand piles and deterministic chaos and tipping points as if they mean anything, and as if you have any idea what they mean. You are a fraud and an excellent example of just what is wrong with this entire debate. When confronted with the facts, you spout meaningless drivel one paragraph after another, and each one pretty much a cut and paste from another thread where you were made to look equally foolish by spouting the same drivel.

    At least come up with something new.

  101. R. Gates says:
    July 11, 2011 at 11:56 pm
    Dave Wendt says:
    July 11, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    R. Gates says:
    July 11, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    There are probably only a few thousand people in the world really qualified to look at the actual data with a trained and educated eye and draw any sort of conclusion at all.

    Please name 10. Personally I don’t think I’ve come across even one.
    ____
    Please tell that to Dr. Julienne Stroeve the next time she comes here. She is someone who has dedicated her career to studying the Arctic, and probably knows more about sea ice and Arctic responses to climate than anyone else who frequents this site. If she says the changes going on in the Arctic are showing a non-linear response to anthropogenic greenhouse forcing…sorry, I’ve got to give her a great deal of credibility.

    Is this who you are referring to? You may be right, in that blouse she could probably convince me of a lot of things. I guess we’ll call that one.

  102. R. Gates says:
    July 11, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    “Seems to me I’ve seen a few “astroturf” books out there on the subject of climate as well…”
    ________________________________________________________________________

    R Gates, nice MEANINGLESS drive by hit. Just like the study, you have named exact;y none of them. So MAN UP Gates, tell us which books on climate are astroturf hit peices, and who funded them.

    As far as the “few thousand” that understand climate, again that is ignorance, and all few thousand who claim to “know” are arrogant indeed. Simply put, many are skeptics because they understand that we know so little about many aspects of climate, that we cannot say anything with certainty, but the observations are disproving yur CAGW theory.

  103. R. Gates says:
    July 11, 2011 at 11:56 pm
    Please tell that to Dr. Julienne Stroeve the next time she comes here. She is someone who has dedicated her career to studying the Arctic, and probably knows more about sea ice and Arctic responses to climate than anyone else who frequents this site. If she says the changes going on in the Arctic are showing a non-linear response to anthropogenic greenhouse forcing…sorry, I’ve got to give her a great deal of credibility.
    Here’s your hero, describing how she became a true Believer, from an interview in 2009:
    “Stroeve: I think when I first started out studying sea ice, or even just climate in general in the Arctic, I didn’t really think that we were in the midst of this global warming phenomena yet. But then, these last few years when we just continued to see these record ice losses, I started to change my way of thinking and realize that we are having a huge impact on our climate and we’re actually causing the ice cover to pretty much disappear now. And, yeah, it’s been alarming. Because we don’t really fully understand the implications of this, and I think that’s the biggest fear, is that we really don’t know what we are doing. It’s like we are playing with the dials on our climate and we don’t really know the outcome of it yet.”

    http://e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2125

    Sorry, no credibility there. She just made a huge leap from science to faith, just like you do. Peas in a pod.

  104. Funny thing is. The vast majority of astroturf operations have been run by leftists and environmentalists.

    These guys define themselves as genuine, and everyone else as astroturf by reflex.

  105. A few spots above this one, is an article about a group that is organizing to oppose the expansion of an existing pipeline. It is almost entirely funded by one or two left wing environmental groups.

    Now that is actual astroturfing.

  106. R. Gates says: July 11, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    Just one final thougt about those experts trained to look for the anthropogenic signal in the climate. The experts have long said that we’d see the biggest and earliest effects of AGW in the Arctic. This has been clearly stated for many decades. Now the fact that we are indeed seeing these changes come about COULD be just coincidence, but the probability that it is, is far less than the probability the multiple global climate models have shown many decades ago that this would occur. This has always been one the biggest reasons that I remain a “warmist”, as the changes in the Arctic currently have no other explanation or natural forcing. It is far beyond natural variability, despite the submarines coming up in open water decades ago that are so popular with some uniformed skeptics (who I liken to the astroturf websites). The Arctic is changing rapidly, far beyond a random walk, and far beyond natural variability, and the currently only forcing that can be modeled to display what we are seeing is the effects of CO2.

    What about the imnpact of wind on the Arctic, i.e.;

    “Much of the record breaking loss of ice in the Arctic ocean in recent years is down to the region’s swirling winds and is not a direct result of global warming, a new study reveals.” including in the Guardian:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/mar/22/wind-sea-ice-loss-arctic

    This 2011 paper submitted to The Cryosphere L. H. Smedsrud, et al.;

    http://www.the-cryosphere-discuss.net/5/1311/2011/tcd-5-1311-2011-print.pdf

    used “geostrophic winds derived from reanalysis data to calculate the Fram Strait ice area export back to 1957, finding that the sea ice area export recently is about 25 % larger than during the 1960’s.”

    Additionally this paper;

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/1520-0442%282001%29014%3C3508%3AFSIFAA%3E2.0.CO%3B2

    found that;

    “Observations reveal a strong correlation between the ice fluxes through the Fram Strait and the cross-strait air pressure difference.”

    “Although the 1950s and 1990s stand out as the two decades with maximum flux variability, significant variations seem more to be the rule than the exception over the whole period considered.”

    “A noticeable fall in the winter air pressure of 7 hPa is observed in the Fram Strait and the Barents Sea during the last five decades.”

    “The corresponding decadal maximum change in the Arctic Ocean ice thickness is of the order of 0.8 m. These temporal wind-induced variations may help explain observed changes in portions of the Arctic Ocean ice cover over the last decades. Due to an increasing rate in the ice drainage through the Fram Strait during the 1990s, this decade is characterized by a state of decreasing ice thickness in the Arctic Ocean.”

  107. David says:
    July 12, 2011 at 2:24 am

    R. Gates says:
    July 11, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    “Seems to me I’ve seen a few “astroturf” books out there on the subject of climate as well…”
    ________________________________________________________________________

    R Gates, nice MEANINGLESS drive by hit. Just like the study, you have named exact;y none of them. So MAN UP Gates, tell us which books on climate are astroturf hit peices, and who funded them.

    ___
    You should probably read this study, which shows that in excess 90% of “skeptical” books have linkages to Conservative Think Tanks (CTT’s):

    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09644010802055576

    As a fiscal conservative, I sort of resent the term used in this context, but those are the facts. But in this regard, it is not surprising the groups like the Heartland Institute were on the wrong side, IMO, in both the cigarette issue as well as the CFC/Ozone issue.

  108. as Gates says “Finding the anthropogenic climate signal amongst all the other noise and forcings requires a highly educated indoctrinated individual.”
    There, fixed it for you.

  109. R. Gates says:
    July 12, 2011 at 6:33 am
    “As a fiscal conservative, I sort of resent the term used in this context, but those are the facts. But in this regard, it is not surprising the groups like the Heartland Institute were on the wrong side, IMO, in both the cigarette issue as well as the CFC/Ozone issue.”

    Oh. The Ozone hole’s finally gone? That’s good.

  110. R Gates;
    You should probably read this study, which shows that in excess 90% of “skeptical” books have linkages to Conservative Think Tanks (CTT’s)>>>

    In the abstract, the very first sentence defines skeptics as people who deny the seriousness of the problem. Then it goes on to tall about environmentalism, and the “study”, which pre-supposes that the skeptics are wrong at best and just outright liwers lining their own pockets at worst, isn’t even about climate change, it is about environmentalism in general. I didn’t bother reading further. This is a typical “since we’re right and they’re wrong, we should study them to figure out what is the matter with them. Are they stupid? On the take? What?”

    The notion that the skeptics might be right just never crossed their mind, and as for the notion that 92% of the books have links to conservative think tanks, I wonder how it is that I’ve read so many books, papers, articles and so on and never stumbled across even one.

    Further, you totaly side stepped the logarithmic argument…yet again…you always do…because you don’t have an answeer, and so you change the subject.

  111. @ David – you wrote “In the abstract, the very first sentence defines skeptics as people who deny the seriousness of the problem.”

    No it doesn’t, it says

    “Astroturf organizations are fake grassroots organizations usually sponsored by large corporations to support any arguments or claims in their favor, or to challenge and deny those against them.”

  112. R Gates said:

    “There are probably only a few thousand people in the world really qualified to look at the actual data with a trained and educated eye and draw any sort of conclusion at all.”

    There is NO ONE qualified to look at the 30 years of reasonably good data, 150 years of incomplete data, and a few 1000 years or so of crappy data and draw ANY conclusions. Further, until we let go of this fantasy that climate sensitivity is a constant/linear/continuous function that can be modeled we have no hope of ever drawing any conclusion at all.

  113. Amazing what you can get up to when you have AGW billions$ burning a hole in your treasuries.

    You could, for example, astroturf the planet!

  114. Doug Badgero:

    At July 12, 2011 at 2:47 pm your excellent refutation of some of the nonsense from R Gates says;

    “There is NO ONE qualified to look at the 30 years of reasonably good data, 150 years of incomplete data, and a few 1000 years or so of crappy data and draw ANY conclusions. Further, until we let go of this fantasy that climate sensitivity is a constant/linear/continuous function that can be modeled we have no hope of ever drawing any conclusion at all.”

    Yes! Yes! Yes!

    The best that anybody can do is to extrapolate the apparent cycles in the data and then to assume they will recur. There is some justification for this because there is cyclicity in the system (e.g. cyclicity induced by the Earth’s orbit around the Sun with resulting seasons in the NH and SH). But even that extrapolation may be completely false because the apparent cycles could be random variations with no real physical cause. Indeed, as you say, the data is so poor that the apparent cycles could merely be errors in the data sets.

    Furthermore, the assumption that climate is governed by radiative forcing has no empirical support and there is good reason to doubt it. The Sun has increased its thermal output ~30% since the Earth gained an oxygen-rich atmosphere and there has been liquid water on the Earth’s surface throughout that time: but the increase in Solar radiative forcing would have boiled the oceans to steam if climate sensitivity were a constant/linear/continuous function.

    So, it is the worst form of mysticism to assert there are magicians who can interpret the climate data in a manner which provides valid conclusions that they can tell to.us mere mortals.

    Richard

  115. davidmhoffer says:
    July 12, 2011 at 1:11 pm
    R Gates;

    Further, you totaly side stepped the logarithmic argument…yet again…you always do…because you don’t have an answeer, and so you change the subject.

    ___
    My post from 11:39 pm on July 11 on this tread was perhaps too detailed of a response for you.
    Sorry, I assumed you were at least somewhat familiar with the basic notions of Chaos theory, and could readily see the analogy between the logarithmic growth of the greenhouse effects of CO2 and the logarithmic growth of the total stress forces in a sandpile. The net result is that logarithmic growth is found everywhere in nature, and gives no general rule about tipping points being reached. At some point the sandpile collapses, regardless as to whether or not the total sandpile’s stress between grains has been growing logarithmically or not. The logarithmic growth of the greenhouse effect of CO2 tells us nothing about the points at which that greenhouse growth migh tip the system into a whole new mode of operation.

  116. Bystander;
    @ David – you wrote “In the abstract, the very first sentence defines skeptics as people who deny the seriousness of the problem.”
    No it doesn’t, it says>>>>

    If you will follow the link in R Gates comment to which I was responding, you will find the quote to which I refer. I was responsing to the article presented by R Gates as “evidence”, not the article at the top of this thread.

  117. R. Gates;
    Sorry, I assumed you were at least somewhat familiar with the basic notions of Chaos theory, and could readily see the analogy between the logarithmic growth of the greenhouse effects of CO2 and the logarithmic growth of the total stress forces in a sandpile>>>

    I’m sorry R Gates, but I cannot see something which is not there. Your “analogy” amounts to a pile of nonsense.

    1. There is no commonality between the structural integrity of a sand pile and the radiative properties of CO2.
    2. Neither are chaotic. Climate system as a whole is chaotic, but the radiative properties of CO2 are extremely well known and not chaotic at all. If they were, then the term “logarithmic” could not apply by definition. Just because the climate system as a whole is chaotic, it doesn’t follow that any given element of the climate system is also chaotic.
    3. Your analogy is not only false because it attempts to compare two physical processes which have nothing in common, but also because one is a linear increase and the other logarithmic decline. Add one grain of sand to a sand pile and its weight will increase by EXACTLY one grain of sand. It doesn’t matter how big or small the sandpile is. Add one PPM of CO2 to the atmosphere, and the radiative properties that result are ENTIRELY based on how much CO2 was there before. The more there was before, the LESS effect one more PPM has.
    4. The notion that a pile of sand will eventually slump at some “tipping point” when more sand is added, or the wind blows on it, or anything else, somehow proves that the climate must also have a tipping point is irrational.

    If there is a tipping point to be had in this debate, it is in regard to the pile of nonsense spewed in great volumes of piled drivel, of which your claims are a fine example, which will at some point collapse in the face of actual facts and acutal science. Chaos theory. Only Maxwell Smart would buy that.

  118. regarding R. Gates says:
    July 11, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    “Seems to me I’ve seen a few “astroturf” books out there on the subject of climate as well…”
    ________________________________________________________________________

    R Gates, nice MEANINGLESS drive by hit. Just like the study, you have named exact;y none of them. So MAN UP Gates, tell us which books on climate are astroturf hit peices, and who funded them.

    ___
    You should probably read this study, which shows that in excess 90% of “skeptical” books have linkages to Conservative Think Tanks (CTT’s):

    Wow Gates. My question was Which books have you read? You did not ansewer my question. Now you have changed the definition of astroturfing. “Astroturf organizations are fake grassroots organizations usually sponsored by large corporations to support any arguments or claims in their favor, or to challenge and deny those against them.” The hearland institute does not meet this criteria. The Heartland Institute receives money from approximately 1,600 individuals and organizations, and no single corporate entity donates more than 5% of the operating budget. Exxon mobile has contributed more to groups that promote CAGW, then to the Heartland institute.

    Now as to your study, here is what they did…
    “If any of the organisation’s publications or web material was found to support environmental scepticism, it was coded as sceptical. If no evidence of scepticism was found on the website, the organisation was coded as not sceptical. Appendix 1 and Table 1 show that, of the 141 books which promote environmental scepticism, 130 (92.2 per cent) have a clear link to one or more CTTs – either via author affiliation (62 books) or because the book was published by a CTT (five books) or both (63 books). Furthermore, most of the remaining 11 books clearly reflect a conservative ideology, but are not connected to a CTT and are not coded as such here.

    So any Think Tank which objects to CAGW and the destrction of the scientific method by the IPCC and the proxy studies, is now defined as astroturfing by large corporations. Gates, that is stupid.

  119. Gates, also you may wish to explain, “have a clear link to one or more CTTs – either via author affiliation (62 books)” exactly what the “clear link” of author affiliation is.

    Really Gates, you should read “Blue Planet in Green Shackels” to understand how progressive politics has corrupted envirmental science from its inception, and this is what CTTs object to.

  120. If you have an anti-warming website and it was paid for by the oil companies, you shouldn’t pay it any mind. If you have a pro-warming website funded by the inventor of solar panels, you shouldn’t pay it any mind. The study, though flawed, shows that people are easily swayed, and don’t pay attention to who is talking, or what they are saying, but mostly only notice how they are saying it. Not very new information, but if your company is threatened by some social movement, a good strategy seems to be to start a counter movement of your own!

    While the study was very biased on the issue they chose, the issue in this case DOES NOT MATTER. You should not be able to convert a die hard warming believer with a website funded by EXXON. If you want to run a fact-based, truly grassroots operation in opposition to warming (though it seems energy and moving away from dependance on oil ought to be a concern anyway?) don’t be funded by the freaking oil company!

    Or do be funded by them. If this study is true, it really doesn’t matter.

  121. Most of America is wrong on the tobacco issue. We are severely punishing schizophrenics with our anti-tobacco efforts. Esp. taxes. The party of the downtrodden has no trouble robbing schizophrenics blind with high tobacco taxes. I suppose we should do that with people who want to stay warm in the winter. Raise their taxes and rob them blind.

  122. It is a telling observation that the warmistas have, especially in their own minds, so demonized even the faintest taint of corporate funding (“is linked to” = gave a pro bono talk 15 yrs ago, etc.), that the large majority of scientists and researchers doing work for revenue-earning vs. rentier outfits are barred from contributing — even though they must meet far more rigorous standards day in and day out than the academics and government grant-seekers.

    “Big oil” the favorite demon, contributes about 100X+ as much to Believer researchers as to Skeptics. So by their own logic, all such Believer research should be discounted and the associated scientists lifetime-ostracized and excoriated. We wait in vain for the first instance of such.

Comments are closed.