Notes From Skull Island – why climate skeptics aren’t ‘well funded and well organized’

If our side were well funded and well organized, as warmists charge, it would have the following 22 characteristics–which it doesn’t.

Guest post by Roger Knights

Along with falsely claiming to be a Nobel Prize Recipient, climate “hockey stick’ promoter Dr. Michael Mann is often fond of saying:

“There has been, for years now, a very well-organized and frankly well-funded effort to confuse the public about climate change.”

Brian Martin, in his wonderful online booklet Strip the Experts, wrote that if your opponents:

“have a financial interest in what they are promoting, exposing it can be very damaging.”

This line of attack on skeptics has been very successful for the warmists in the past, which is why they constantly recur to it. But the recent skeptical attack has been mostly an indignant, blogger-led populist revolt against increased and unnecessary taxation and regulation (fewer barbecues, etc.) and against elitist presumption.

If our side were well funded and well organized, it would have the following characteristics: 

1. There’d be a slick umbrella site like HuffPo under which all dissident bloggers could shelter, cutting their costs, increasing ad revenue, and simplifying and standardizing the process of surfing the deviationist blogosphere, especially for visiting journalists. The effect would be to considerably “amplify” the dissenters’ voices.

2. Failing that, there’d be enough $ for individual sites to ensure that, for instance, Climate Audit would have been able to handle to traffic-surge in the wake of Climategate, instead of being overwhelmed. (How’s that unpreparedness agree with “well organized”?)

3. Commenters would be compensated for accessing paywalled articles. Instead, virtually every thread on WUWT that critiques a warmist paper laments its paywalled status and critiques only what is outside the paywall.

4. There’d be a copy editing & peer review service to vet our side’s books prior to publication, since any flubs will be seized on by warmists to discredit the entire work, as happened to Plimer’s book. Instead, dissenting books continue to be produced in an amateurish fashion. For instance, in Steve Goreham’s just-out (and excellent) Climatism!, I found two obvious spelling errors in just an hour’s skimming. (“Forego” for “forgo” and “principle” used where “principal” was needed.)

5. There’d be a PR agency to “package” stories emerging from the blogosphere and articles in scientific journals or contrarian columnists and feed them to media sources in easy-to-read, pre-edited form. (Or at least an unincorporated online network of funded individuals performing a PR function.) This is a topic that is so complex and filled with jargon that it desperately needs such pre-chewing to get the MSM to swallow it. But what do we have? Only Climate Depot, which provides leads, but no packaging.

As Mike Haseler wrote, “it’s blatantly obvious to me that the press need to be fed stories almost ready for publication, you can’t expect them to take highly technical writing and try and make sense of it!”

BTW, another contra-factual is Climategate. There was no pre-planned media-coordination involved in the matter. There was no campaign to alert them to its importance, nor any professional packaging of the story for them. No one gave Fox a heads-up. As a result, MSM coverage of the event was nil.

(As for the idea that the leak was “timed” to disrupt Copenhagen, that’s equally absurd. The story gained no MSM coverage at all for the first two weeks, because that’s how long it took to ascertain that the e-mails were legit and to untangle the rat’s nest of e-mails and shed some light on them and the Read_Me file. It took about four weeks for the scandal to really heat up, with outraged commentary finally appearing in some middle-of-the-road venues. Any professional media consultant would have advised leaking the documents six to eight weeks earlier than Nov. 20. By that time, attendees’ reservations and trip-plans were cast in concrete.)

6. There’d be a centralized, regularly updated, annotated, topically divided, web-wide index of useful “ammo” skeptical or skeptic-supporting articles. If I, or anyone, were cat-herder in chief, this would be one of the top items on the agenda.

7. There’d be a REPOSITORY for “quotes of the day” from blog commenters. (These get lost in the noise after a week or so otherwise.) Here’s an example, from Willis:
“First, my thanks to all the prospective henchdudes and henchbabes out there, a map to my hollow volcano lair will be emailed to you as soon as I get one. Well-funded mercilessness roolz! I demand a volcano lair!”

8. There’d be extensive book tours for every skeptical book published, to gain exposure in multiple markets via interviews in the local press, etc. Such tours could be extended for many months, well beyond any rational “payback” in book sales, if the real aim were to get media exposure – for instance by challenging local warmists to debates on the premises of the newspaper or broadcaster, etc. The funding for such a tour could easily be concealed.

9. There’d be an astro-turfed tag-team of high-stamina commenters assigned to Win the War for Wikipedia by out-shouting and out-censoring Connolley and Co. They’d also go en masse to Amazon and give warmist books a thumbs-down and engage in comment-combats there and on other high-profile sites as well. But the dissenters in such venues have been an outnumbered, disorganized rabble.

10. Not only would there be more stylistic similarity, but the content would be less idiosyncratic as well. There’d be evidence of a “script” or list of talking points that skeptic commenters were following, instead of the typical home-brew assemblage of arguments.

11. There’d be an extensive online collection of opposition research, such as warmist predictions waiting to be shot down by contrary events. Such opposition research is so valuable a tactic (as is now being shown) that no political or PR consultant would have failed to insist on it.
E.g., a score of warmist predictions of less snowfall would have been at hand to counter Gore’s claim that the models predicted more snowfall. Similarly, the IPCC’s Assessment Reports would have been scoured for flaws and nits long ago. Instead, it wasn’t until Glaciergate that we got on its case in any semi-organized fashion.

12. There’d be an online point-by-point rebuttal of all the “How to Talk to A Skeptic” talking points, not just scattered counterpoints to a few of them. And there’d be a Wikipedia discussing those points and more in fuller detail. Lucy Skywalker is trying to assemble these, but it’s obviously an unfunded effort.

13. The Oregon Petition Project would have been handled professionally. I.e., there’d have been no short-sighted tactics such as use of NAS-lookalike typography, no claim that the signers constituted “a meaningful representation” (let alone that the consensus was on the skeptics’ side), no claim that all the signers were scientists (when some were technologists and dentists, etc.), and no implication that the signers had all been vetted. A skilled propagandist, such as one hired by King Coal, would have avoided such a transparent over-reaching, which threw away the petition’s effectiveness by handing the opposition a chance to counterpunch effectively.

14. There’d be a place for the reposting of the “highlights” of WUWT and other skeptic sites, and also such sites would have editors who would retroactively (after a month or so) work on a “sister site” consisting of “Highlights of WUWT,” in which outstanding paragraphs would be flagged and/or highlighted. This would make it easier for newcomers and journalists to effectively skim it and notice our better arguments and facts.
Such editorial work could be done by people who have good judgment and lots of knowledge of the issues, like Pamela Gray, Lucy Skywalker, etc.

15. There’d be a reposting of “negative highlights” from warmists’ sites in which the unsavory qualities of their leading lights and hatchetmen were on display. Call it, maybe, “Quoted Without Comment” or “Get a Load of This.” It would make an impact on fence-sitters.

16. We’d be conducting polls of various groups of scientists designed to offset the effect of such polls by the other side.

17. There’d be mass distribution of my broken hockey stick button. (Here’s a link to a comment where I describe the button: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/20/dueling-statements-in-the-american-chemical-socity-science-by-press-release/#comment-1062323 )

18. There’d be a spiffy ad campaign consisting of short spots (20 to 40 seconds) that would focus on making one quick jab at the warmists. There should be a standard format for these ads, such as a common tag-line, music, lead-in, graphics style, etc. It could be built on Anthony’s TV-show items headed, “Did You Know?” The touch should be light, with the aim of making the spots entertaining, such as by including little bits of silly rhymes, etc. The ads should also be “different,” to get around viewers’ defenses, and to make the message “sticky.” Care should be taken to avoid overstatement, and to make qualifications where necessary, to forestall counterpunches.

One easy target, because of its good “visuals” and absence of technical obscurity, would be to show non-performing wind turbines and weed-overgrown solar-panel farms. The failure of these ventures (relative to the promises that were made about them), and the fraud associated with them abroad, would be a benchmark against which other swarmist claims could be judged.

Here’s an example (one that would not have had the negative consequences of the Unabomber billboard): A close up of of short bursts extracted from Chavez at Copenhagen ranting at length ala Castro (a superimposed stopwatch behind him would indicate the passage of time). At the end, the camera would pull back and show the standing ovation he received.

Then a text message would appear on-screen saying: “Chavez was allowed to exceed his ten-minute speaking time.
Where?
Three guesses. …
Why?
Three guesses. …
Is your congressman applauding too?”

(PS: I suspect, from the leftist venues Mann’s spoken at, and from his victim-of-a-conspiracy mindset, that he’s on their side.)

19. Certain fringe or off-topic comments would be “moderated” out, because they step on people’s toes and don’t play well in Peoria. E.g., New World Order theorizing, bolshy bashing, boot-the-UN and tar-and-feather-‘em remarks, and most attribution-of-motives comments. Populist “venting” of all sorts would be toned down; instead the stress would be on sweet reasonableness and out-reaching to the average citizen and opinion-leader. Any media pro would advise that course, especially one with a big funder behind him (who wouldn’t want to be tarred by association with tin-foil-hat opinions (if news of a link ever came out)). Such a “mainstream” tone and mindset would be the fingerprint of any top-down campaign on a scientific topic.

20. There’d be much more stress on arguments that would move the masses and that don’t take a degree to understand. I.e., arguments about the costliness, technical impracticality, and political unenforceability of mitigation strategies, and about the ineffectiveness of massive CO2 emission-reduction in the atmosphere even if all those obstacles were of no account.

If skeptics were truly Machiavellian, or guided by political “pros” behind the scenes, they’d be hitting these popular hot buttons. Those are where the warmists’ case is shakiest — and it’s always a good strategy to focus on the opponents’ weakest points and pound on them endlessly. Instead, these topics make up only 10% or so of the skeptical thrust. Most dissenters devote most of their energy to talking about weather events, dissing believers, and arguing about technical and scientific matters.

21. We’d be pushing geoengineering as the preferred “adaptive” alternative to mitigation. It’s something that the average man can understand as a general concept. E.g., if it rains, open your umbrella. Instead, contrarian bloggers we’d virtually never mention geoengineering except to sneer at it.

22. We’d make a point of proposing reasonable-sounding, politically popular “no regrets” mitigation measures, such as diesel cars (like Europe’s), inducements for homes to convert from oil to gas for heating, incentives for insulation (including large awnings), incentives for battery assisted bicycles (like China’s), increased use of hydro-power, and research into safe, low-waste nuclear power. Any PR “pro” would recommend this strategy of sweet reasonableness.

But many outspoken contrarian bloggers & commenters have a strong aversion to governmentally mandated incentives and penalties—a distinctly minority position that it would be politically wise to conceal. In addition, contrarians aren’t interested in playing up to an audience—they are focused almost entirely on mocking and scoring points against the enemy.

Big Oil? Baby Oil is more like it. Ologeneous overlords? My companions and I on Skull Island laugh until we vomit.

86 thoughts on “Notes From Skull Island – why climate skeptics aren’t ‘well funded and well organized’

  1. Item 21.
    I don’t think “geoengineering” as the term is employed by the catastrophists is intended to be reactive, but more likely includes various “mitigating” techniques to affect “susceptible” parts of the climatic environment.

    This approach would be the most physically risky of the families of mitigation schemes – due to “unforeseen consequences.”

  2. Mann’s knee jerk response to McIntyre’s smashing of Hockey Stick statistical analysis, or lack thereof, was to ask where his “funding” came from, as if real science must be funded by someone other than the scientists themselves.

  3. “As for the idea that the leak was “timed” to disrupt Copenhagen, that’s equally absurd. The story gained no MSM coverage at all for the first two weeks,”

    NOTHING gains ANY MSM coverage when it’s against the orthodoxy. Well, maybe a short notice on page 15, but only so the newspaper or broadcaster can later doe-eyed state that they dutifully reported.

    Witness the documented DECISION by the BBC NOT to report the skeptic position in about 2006. And the BBC is supposed to be especially impartial as they do not depend on commercials for their operation… well, calling them impartial is of course a sick joke.

    The name or existence of climategate is here in Germany to this day entirely unknown to the general public – which at the same time swallowed the alarmist position unthinkingly, as they all don’t even look into WHY their electricity bills are exploding – this in spite of the fact that the various taxes and fees are listed in detail on the bills they get as required by law. Absolutely breathtaking ignorance around here.

  4. I was once accused of having a “fossil fuel agenda”. I suspect my only payback will be the lump of coal my wife my be putting in my stocking this year.

  5. Nothing makes a group like “climate skeptics” more organized than stubborn adherence to the truth.

    And the corollary regarding the Warmist movement is that nothing is more disruptive than irrational logic.

    Any wonder which side is winning?

  6. My 4-inch thick “Webster’s Third New International Dictionary” lists both “forgo” and “forego” as acceptable spellings. I prefer “forego” (and “foregone” and “foregoing”), always have and always will, obviously because that was the way it was commonly written in the very many books I read growing up, and has for all of my adult life been part of my “writer’s ear”, as well as my writer’s art. “Forgo”, if you look up “for-“, clearly comes from the meaning of “for-“: “so as to involve prohibition, exclusion, omission, failure or refusal”; “forego”, on the other hand, equally clearly comes from “fore-“, basically “before” or “in front of”. I prefer to see the meaning of “I will forego” (ex.: I will forego the use of “forgo”) as, “I will go another way before I do that” — and if I never get around to doing what I am foregoing, too bad. On spelling and pronunciation grounds, too, “forego” is preferable in my view. Both forms have equally long and authoritative geneologies, or etymologies, and both look equally stupid if you look at them long enough (“forgo” evokes an image of “Forgo, the forger”, while “forego” takes on the look and sense of “For-e-go, the new game from Milton-Bradley”). Here’s a tip I just made up: One has to look upon English as one’s beloved child or pet, and love it wholeheartedly, not be always bringing its use up short as if it were an ugly thing that needs to be punished. And this is important, although of course off-topic to many here, because this is as far as I read of your article here — I do not suffer the insufferable pedant (I forego imbibing his/her information).

  7. Well wheres my funding then?
    Rats there is none as I am not prepared to lie to further my cause.
    The term I have been hearing of late is, a self assembling mechanism, a collection of people who respect science and truth.
    So if we were well funded, as the “righteous guardians of the Cause” keep claiming, we would lie, abuse and smear just like they do?
    And the criticisms of the gospel,of which we are not worthy to see the details, would be challenged by similar work, with the data and process concealed to preserve the message?
    I have hope for mankind, after all the political correctness, the dumbing down of public education and open propaganda these central planning schemes are still not working.
    An aspect of our nature is contrariness.
    And the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
    I am pleased to see how fast this manufactured public hysteria is collapsing, mostly of its own weight.
    Most people do not know the specifics of climatology. But we all know the stench of dishonesty and treachery.

  8. Come on Anthony, we all know you fly around in a private jet and live in one of your several huge mansions near the coastline and have made almost a billion dollars from your investments related to climate change. Oh, sorry, wrong guy! That’s not you is it. Can’t remember the name of the chap who lives like that. Can anyone remember his name?

  9. Stonyground says:

    I wonder why hugely wealthy fossil fuel companies are not tipping huge quantities of funding in the direction of those who are sceptical of CAGW alarmism? Surely this rush toward renewable energy is a huge threat to the fossil fuel industry’s profits, they need to take urgent action. Otherwise they will go out of business as the world turns to solar and wind for their energy needs.

    Of course, the reality is that windmills and solar panels are actually increasing consumption of coal, oil and gas due to their intermittent power output. Why would the fossil fuel industry want to fund people who want to derail their gravy train?

  10. Shortly after the Blessed East Anglia Event Horizon on Nov 19, 2009 the WaPo interviewed Warmist and renowned ETHICS expert, Dr Gerry North of TAMU, on the “damage” of the UEA hack. North stated these were STOLEN emails and it was UNETHICAL for anybody to read them. After that, our “ethical news media” did not need any further review.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I have co-authored a book on the Warmist Fraud, with royalties that paid for a full year of my website hosting. I have been the invited guest speaker at a number of civic club meetings, where i received FREE LUNCH….in direct conflict with the saying there is no free lunch. I once mentioned my luncheon speaking engagements to a politician who phrased those events as the “rubber chicken circuit”….which seemed odd….until i was served my plate of “rather chewy” chicken. Meanwhile we continue to fund the free lunch for the IPCC Foie Gras circuit.

  11. 2. Failing that, there’d be enough $ for individual sites to ensure that, for instance, Climate Audit would have been able to handle to traffic-surge in the wake of Climategate, instead of being overwhelmed. (How’s that unpreparedness agree with “well organized”?)

    That’s right. Rub it in.

  12. “An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less.” – Nicholas Murray Butler
    From “Strip the Experts” is a paragraph regarding fluoridation of public water. An example of the “experts” dictating what is “good” for you. Forced medication on the unsuspecting general public’s ignorance about fluorides. Similar is chlorination of water, when there are other methods such as ultraviolet and hydrogen peroxide that are biologically safer and more effective. Bastardizing science seems to be the norm when it comes to public policy along with selective “experts” to back them up.

  13. Roger – magnificent.

    [SARC on]

    In my – individual, but no longer individualistic – posts, I shall note your directions, and adhere undeviatingly and unceasingly to the Team Line.

    Goodness [SARC off] – just in case!

    Funny – in my original draft sentence there were three caveats and two rephrasings (and several orthographic infidelities)!

    Your work on here over the years is greatly appreciated, and I am sure you will get a hollowed-out volcano for Christmas. Probably with infinity pools facing North, South, East and West!
    Anthony’s might be a bit bigger still, though . . . . . . .

  14. And our own movie! We’d have a movie!

    It would of course be a horror movie. People pay good money to have the bejezuz scared out of them. The plot line could be a combination of 1984 and Fahrenheit451.

  15. All these demonstrations are true and sceptical funding is near zero. However knowing this does not advance the repeal of Warmism. Only a stubborn adherence to the truth will finally strip away their armour. The tide in Climate Science seems to be on the turn and even nudging the IPCC cruise boat in the correct direction of rational logic.

  16. Well done for this comprehensive rebuttal. I once invited a believer in anthropogenic climate change to come to the housing estate where I live and come into my rented house, and tell me how he thought Big Oil was funding me. The invitation wasn’t accepted.

  17. Roger, some of your points are excellent. Numbers 11 and 12 in particular.

    But are you really suggesting that we skeptics should be trying to play our enemies at their own game?

  18. “As Mike Haseler wrote, “it’s blatantly obvious to me that the press need to be fed stories almost ready for publication, you can’t expect them to take highly technical writing and try and make sense of it!””

    Sadly that is part of the problem with some of the postings here, such as Bob Tisdale’s “Blog Memo to John Hockenberry Regarding PBS Report “Climate of Doubt””

    Science and logic are fine. But if the intended audience does indeed inlcude John Hockenberry it is too long, too wordy and too techy. Few in the media would take the time to digest it. And my experience of the press is that few in it able to interpret graphical presentations other than the bleeding obvious. Their standard diet is sound bites and bullet points.

  19. highflight56433 says:
    December 16, 2012 at 12:28 pm
    “An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less.” – Nicholas Murray Butler
    From “Strip the Experts” is a paragraph regarding fluoridation of public water. An example of the “experts” dictating what is “good” for you. Forced medication on the unsuspecting general public’s ignorance about fluorides. Similar is chlorination of water, when there are other methods such as ultraviolet and hydrogen peroxide that are biologically safer and more effective. Bastardizing science seems to be the norm when it comes to public policy along with selective “experts” to back them up.
    ====================================================================
    Fluoride in water. True, it is the only thing in some cities in the US we add to the the water that are not for health or economical reasons. I met a guy in a gas station that wanted to tell me that fluoride was a component of psychosomatic drugs. But so is hydrogen, oxygen, carbon etc. It’s not the element but the molecule that matters.
    Chlorination. The one thing that chlorination does that the other methods mentioned do not do is leave a residual in the distribution system. (Don’t forget ozone.) Disinfection is not sterilizatiion. Water bourn pathogens are killed or rendered sterile. (Other harmless “critters” may still survive.) But pathogens can be reintroduced into the system after the point of disinfection. That’s why a residual is important.
    PS If you have a point-of-use carbon filter, be sure to change it on a regular basis. Acivated carbon filters remove chlorine. Bacteria loves to grow on activated carbon. Remember that disinfection is not sterilization. Some of the critters that may grow on your carbon filter may not agree with you.

  20. Ah, but “Deniers” are so well funded & oprganised, that they make it look like they’re an ill-funded, disparate rabble!
    PS, The Sky’s Falling!

  21. One simple answer, the rational among us are less interested in dogma then in the distribution of power and wealth. We would like to think we are seekers of truth but just like the other side we are as a group most interested in our economic/social/political agenda then the other side.

  22. Ah, it was so nice to see my name mentioned, thanks Roger. And this I find on the first careful reading of an article here for quite a while!

    Stuff has been happening to me. Or rather, I have gotten clobbered with stuff. Weird but highly important energy stuff… and stories… and some… and some… I really would like to write about the essential implications for reclaiming good Science, and for what is called “exotic energy”, for WUWT in the New Year, so that we can get things in perspective, and get the wiki I started back on the road though preferably managed by others now. However, my first writeup attempt had not returned sufficiently to WUWT-compatible language, to sound credible here, after my extraordinary recent experiences. Tallbloke kindly prevented me from making myself look a fool, no doubt.

  23. 7. There’d be a REPOSITORY for “quotes of the day” from blog commenters. (These get lost in the noise after a week or so otherwise.) Here’s an example, from Willis:
    “First, my thanks to all the prospective henchdudes and henchbabes out there, a map to my hollow volcano lair will be emailed to you as soon as I get one. Well-funded mercilessness roolz! I demand a volcano lair!”
    =====================================================================
    I’ve no objection to Willis having a volcano lair as long as he doen’t start making rings …………

  24. There’s something of a “double think” logic that they like to use to combat the climate skeptics:

    (1) All research that does not conform to CO2 = massive global warming must be called invalid and declared paid for by evil oil companies.

    (2) The large number of critical comments against AGW are made by paid people.

    (3) A reporter, who has no degree in science, declares that AGW is worse than what we thought must be seen as the fountain of truth.

    (4) ANYONE who does not agree with their narrow view is declared as “brainwashed”.

    Bob Diaz

  25. j ferguson says:
    December 16, 2012 at 11:18 am
    Item 21.
    I don’t think “geoengineering” as the term is employed by the catastrophists is intended to be reactive, but more likely includes various “mitigating” techniques to affect “susceptible” parts of the climatic environment.

    It appears that you’re right, per Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoengineering . My understanding had been that it was an adaptive measure only, and included such large-scale things as fertilizing the ocean with iron oxide and adding sulphur compounds to the stratosphere. (Wikipedia includes painting roofs white among geoengineering techniques.) That is the way the word is commonly used in the press. I guess some new word is needed.

  26. Isn’t it just great to see how the free spirits at the sceptics camp, unfunded and unorganized, are winning the argument? It must be very disappointing to be a paid warmist nowadays. How do they keep their heads up? Money, I guess, makes up for a lot for the humiliation.

  27. “There has been, for years now, a very well-organized and frankly well-funded effort to confuse the public about climate change.” yes its the AGW crowd of scam artists!

  28. I often hear about the Big Oil funding sceptics because they are scared of what CAGW awareness might to do their sales.
    I ask the person I am talking to whether any oil company anywhere is having trouble selling its product.
    No. They are not. They sell all they can produce.
    OK so how about wind mill makers and solar panel fabricators – would they be affected if the CAGW was shown to be false? Err well yes. They would be approximately 100% out of business.
    OK so who has the real motive to get involved in this debate?….

  29. Neil says:
    December 16, 2012 at 1:26 pm
    Roger, some of your points are excellent. Numbers 11 and 12 in particular.

    But are you really suggesting that we skeptics should be trying to play our enemies at their own game?

    I’m not sure. Most of what I suggested were things I “really” wish we could do, if we could get funding from some presumptively neutral source like the Annenberg Foundation, or an old-line conservation group, or the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.

    Some of my suggestions were a bit Machiavellian (as would be expected in “Notes from Skull Island”), such as a funded team to wage comment war on Wikipedia (or RC, come to think of it). But that suggestion’s secret purpose was to insinuate that such funding wouldn’t be wrong in the current context of debate, where persons employed by alarmist organizations are in effect paid to do the same thing. (E.g., Connolley & Schmidt.)

    Another borderline suggestion was #8: that authors be sent on “funded” (non-profitable) book tours to raise awareness. But the other side uses book tours too–e.g., Mann, Hansen, and Mooney. (I guess I was pushing the envelope a little to suggest that the tour be primarily a pretext for challenging warmists to debate, getting radio interviews, etc. But I can justify the suggestion on a different ground: that, since such lengthy tours for run-of-the-mill books are NOT happening, a well-funded, well-organized denialist machine is not in operation, because this is one of the first things that would occur to such a dastardly organization.)

    Other suggestions that deliberately “play politics” are 19-22. But I don’t suggest that the end justifies the means, because the means of those suggestions aren’t bad. They’re just a little “calculating”–which is required for political effectiveness.

  30. Verity Jones says:
    December 16, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Good list! – though ‘ologeneous overlords’ – perhaps ‘oleaginous’ or is the neologism better?

    Oops! Fixed (in my offline copy). Thanx.

  31. Another way of looking at it is:

    If our side were well funded and well organized, it would not have the following characteristics:”

    [WUWT right sidebar]

    1) Google Ads
    2) Shameless Plug Donations accepted: fling funds
    3) WeatherBell?
    4) The Hockey Stick Illusion book – Amazon associate?
    5) Monitor Your Own Climate – Weathershop?
    6) The Great Global Warming Blunder – Amazon associate?
    7) WUWT Stuff

    My guess is that just $1 million a year could easily be mustered jointly by the oil, coal and gas companies to keep WUWT from having to try and raise funds by itself.

    2002
    Four big international companies, including the oil giant Exxon Mobil, said yesterday that they would give Stanford University $225 million over 10 years for research on ways to meet growing energy needs without worsening global warming.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/21/us/exxon-led-group-is-giving-a-climate-grant-to-stanford.html

    —————–

    2012
    Exclusive: How the Sierra Club Took Millions From the Natural Gas Industry—and Why They Stopped

    Now the biggest and oldest environmental group in the U.S. finds itself caught on the horns of that dilemma. TIME has learned that between 2007 and 2010 the Sierra Club accepted over $25 million in donations from the gas industry, mostly from Aubrey McClendon, CEO of Chesapeake Energy—one of the biggest gas drilling companies in the U.S. and a firm heavily involved in fracking—to help fund the Club’s Beyond Coal campaign.

    http://science.time.com/2012/02/02/exclusive-how-the-sierra-club-took-millions-from-the-natural-gas-industry-and-why-they-stopped/

    I could go on and on but I think most people understand where I am coming from – Sceptics are David and the Goliath claims otherwise despite the ‘mountain of evidence.’ ;-)

  32. By the way where the heck is my oil check?

    (I would gladly take it, cash it and CONTINUE being secptical of CAGW – win, win).

    I thank the Earth for providing me with fossil fuels without which life would still be harsh, brutish and short. That’s a fact. Any Warmist who wants to rebut my claim should firstly make sure their computer is not using electricity supplied by fossil fuels. ;-)

  33. The unshakable quest for truth appears as Big Oil funding and organization to the other side. That’s funny and sad at the same time.

    It’s like where the AGW idea came from. It’s the Sherlock Holmes principle. That once you’ve excluded all other causes, whatever remains, no matter how improblable, must be the truth. The problem is that with AGW, they discount natural variability. So the only thing left is human effects. I kid you not. That’s the AGW idea right there. That’s what it’s based on. And when they look at skeptics, they absolutely cannot believe that we’re interested in the truth, so the only possibility that remains is Big Oil.

    The Sherlock Holmes principle has two very big caveats.
    1. You have to be honest with yourself and not reject things just because you don’t like it.
    2. You have to know absolutely every single possible cause. There can’t be any unknowns.

    Those are not very good fits for the warmists.

  34. Oh, I forgot, Wordpres is a free and open source blogging tool and a content management system. Who needs ‘free’ when you have Big Oil?

  35. Jimbo says:
    December 16, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    By the way where the heck is my oil check?

    (I would gladly take it, cash it and CONTINUE being secptical of CAGW – win, win).

    I thank the Earth for providing me with fossil fuels without which life would still be harsh, brutish and short. That’s a fact. Any Warmist who wants to rebut my claim should firstly make sure their computer is not using electricity supplied by fossil fuels. ;-)

    They should give up ALL modern conveniences, since they’re all brought to us, in one way or another, by fossil fuels. They won’t, because they’re all of them hypocrites.

  36. While all their side has is the full faith, purse, and credit of the USA and a major government agency assigned the roll of coordination and indoctrination:

    http://library.globalchange.gov/u-s-global-change-research-program-strategic-plan-2012-2021

    http://downloads.globalchange.gov/strategic-plan/2012/usgcrp-strategic-plan-2012.pdf

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Change_Research_Act_of_1990

    The Global Change Research Act 1990 is a United States law requiring research into global warming and related issues. It requires a report to Congress every four years on the environmental, economic, health and safety consequences of climate change; however, the first of these, the National Assessment on Climate Change, was not published until 2000.

    The law codified the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), set up by presidential authority in 1989, and mandated the creation of the Global Change Research Information Office (GCRIO), which began work in 1993. The act requires extensive reports to be updated and distributed every four years.

    And my “lament” about it here:

    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/12/16/no-place-for-skeptics-at-the-govt-table/

    Created by President Daddy Bush’s government, BTW. So much for Republicans as being on the Skeptics side…

  37. harrydhuffman (@harrydhuffman) says:
    December 16, 2012 at 11:58 am

    My 4-inch thick “Webster’s Third New International Dictionary” lists both “forgo” and “forego” as acceptable spellings.

    But the second is probably listed in second place; IOW, “forgo” is the preferred spelling for “abstaining from.” That’s how it’s categorized in my 3.5-inch Random House Dictionary and my 6-inch Oxford English Dictionary. Harry Shaw’s Dictionary of Problem Words and Expressions also allows “forego” only as an alternative spelling for “forgo.” The NY Times Manual of Style and Usage gives only one alternative, “Forgo.” I’m sure this is true of the in-house style guides used by major and medium publishers too.

    I prefer “forego” (and “foregone” and “foregoing”), always have and always will, obviously because that was the way it was commonly written in the very many books I read growing up, . . .

    Probably many American books misused “England” in place of “Britain” back then too. Or “loath” (reluctant) for “loathe.” Does habit consecrate such flubs?

    . . . and has for all of my adult life been part of my “writer’s ear”, as well as my writer’s art.

    Ear? The only difference is visual.

    “Forgo”, if you look up “for-”, clearly comes from the meaning of “for-”: “so as to involve prohibition, exclusion, omission, failure or refusal”; “forego”, on the other hand, equally clearly comes from “fore-”, basically “before” or “in front of”.

    Correct. That’s how Fowler explains it (in Modern English Usage):

    for- and fore-. The prefix of the words forbear, forbid, forby, forfend, forgather (assemble), forget, forgive, forgo (relinquish), forlorn, forsake, and forswear, is unconnected with the English words for and fore , and means away, out, completely, or implies prohibition or abstention. All these should be spelt with for-, not fore- . On the other hand the noun for for(e)bears, and foregoing and foregone in the foregoing list, a foregone conclusion, contain the ordinary fore, and should be spelt with the e.

    ================

    I prefer to see the meaning of “I will forego” (ex.: I will forego the use of “forgo”) as, “I will go another way before I do that” . . .

    Bully for you.

    . . . — and if I never get around to doing what I am foregoing, too bad.

    I wasn’t correcting YOU, but Steve Gorham, who is fighting a battle in an arena full of enemies. I recommended:

    . . . a copy editing & peer review service to vet our side’s books prior to publication, since any flubs will be seized on by warmists to discredit the entire work, as happened to Plimer’s book. Instead, dissenting books continue to be produced in an amateurish fashion. For instance, in Steve Goreham’s just-out (and excellent) Climatism!, I found two obvious spelling errors in just an hour’s skimming. (“Forego” for “forgo” and “principle” used where “principal” was needed.)

    IOW, using “forego” for “forgo” will strike many readers with a critical eye—which will include warmist reviewers—as a nice juicy nit they can pick. It’s prudent to avoid painting such a target on one’s chest.

    On spelling and pronunciation grounds, too, “forego” is preferable in my view.

    Spelling—why? Using the fore prefix is inconsistent with the inner logic of English, as Fowler’s remark above implies.

    Pronunciation? There’s no difference.

    Both forms have equally long and authoritative geneologies, or etymologies, . . .

    That contradict your preference.

    . . . and both look equally stupid if you look at them long enough (“forgo” evokes an image of “Forgo, the forger”, while “forego” takes on the look and sense of “For-e-go, the new game from Milton-Bradley”).

    That’s true of any word, though I concede that some words or phrases become senseless quicker than others. Here’s what Lawrence Durrell (in the persona of “Antrobus”) wrote, in “La Valise,” a story in his Esprit de Corps: Sketches from Diplomatic Life, about a poetry recital in Dutch:

    Then she would take a deep breath and begin afresh.

    Oom kroop der poop
    Zoon kroon der soup.

    In after years the very memory of this recitation used to make the sweat start out on my forehead. You must try it for yourself sometime. Just try repeating “Oom kroop der poop” five hundred times in a low voice. After a time it’s like Yoga. Everything goes dark. You feel you are falling back into illimitable space.
    ===============

    Here’s a tip I just made up: One has to look upon English as one’s beloved child or pet, and love it wholeheartedly, not be always bringing its use up short as if it were an ugly thing that needs to be punished.

    By that logic, people should be free to spell as the spirit moves them too—which is undesirable, and which would make such a speller look foolish. Here’s what Bill Walsh, copy editor at the Washington Post, wrote on the topic of such Latitudinarianism vs. “Sticklerhood” (as I dub it), wrt usage in the Introduction to The Elephants of Style:

    I am a prescriptivist, . . . but I consider myself a sensible prescriptivist. Call me other names if you like, but if you, too, are in the business of writing, even if you think it’s arrogant to condemn a perfectly understandable bit of prose as “wrong,” you have to answer one big question: Do you want to look stupid?

    Lanuage evolves, but at each instant in that evolution there will be ways of writing that will strike educated readers as ignorant. All but the most namby-pamby of descriptivists will agree that some things in writing (I is an writer) are understandable but pretty much incorrect . . . . The best we can hope for, and my goal in this book, is to find a consensus on what doesn’t look stupid—at least for now.

    The consensus is that “forego” is the “wrong,” or anyway the barely acceptable, spelling for the synonym of abstain, as indicated by the two style guides I quoted above. Here’s another authority:

    forego . . . to go before, to precede in time, order or place. . . .
    Usage note: The spellings of the verbs forego (to precede) and forgo (to go without) should not be confused.
    The Cassell Concise Dictionary, Last revised edition 1994

    =================

    And this is important, although of course off-topic to many here, because this is as far as I read of your article here — I do not suffer the insufferable pedant (I forego imbibing his/her information).

    I’ll see you and raise you:

    Forego means to precede; to go before. Forgo means to do without; abstain from; renounce. Some dictionaries offer the spelling forego as a variant of forgo, but this is only because so many people have confused the words for so long—and dictionaries merely compile people’s language usage, however incorrect or cretinous.

  38. I think the title of this post is a mis-direction. Most of the characteristics listed do not answer ‘Why?’ – they explain (‘What?’) differences.

    ‘Why?’ is about three things, namely freedom, money, and guilt. Someone doesn’t like free societies. Someone wants control. Someone wants your money. You did not earn that money and should not decide how to use it. You should feel guilty and voluntarily give your wealth to someone else for proper disposal. Corporations (big oil, coal) are simply tapping into these processes, an amplifier if you like, but they are not the force.

    I don’t feel guilty. I don’t want your money. I don’t want to tell you how to live. “Warmists” wouldn’t let me in their club.

  39. The absurdity of the CAGW meme has been more or less demonstrated thanks to sites like WUWT and Jo Nova. That has been done without rivers of grant funding, which is good, you guys are fit. I don’t really follow the science, but I do have a grasp of history, economics and politics, and I sense a boondoggle when I see one. But the Alamists are not beaten, they are regrouping. They cant win the scientific debate, but they will use political compulsion to force compliance and secure their revenues. And so the struggle moves on a bit. But all honour to people like Mr Watts and Ms Nova, who have got us this far.

  40. Adam says:
    December 16, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    ….Can anyone remember his name?
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    ManBearPig? “Crazed S. Poodle”?

  41. When Mikey says:

    There has been, for years now, a very well-organized and frankly well-funded effort to confuse the public about climate change.”

    How do you know he doesn’t mean one in which he is personally involved and thus is speaking from first-hand knowledge?

  42. Roger Knights, you make some very good points in your list.

    6, 7, 11, and 14 are excellent ideas and would be a very useful niche to fill. I had thought about that in the past but have no inclination to act on it, but would certainly utilize the resource if available.

    I hope you could follow thru with setting up a site to create a (“Drudge Report”) “Roger Knights Report” for CAGW. The niche is there. Just lead us to the most interesting topics of the day then keep a log/index for reference. The idea is a winner!

  43. S.eems like I am doing rather better than most, paid by Big Trees, I sold 120 this week, 80 last week, paid for by Big Government and Big Miner. Big Oil hate me for disliking their fossilized dinosaur trackways destroying bulldozers. I could definately use some of Big Als dosh though. Fifty bucks will go a fair way …

  44. Climate skeptics are much less stringently organized because they’re the passive or defensive side, defined by their “negative” attitude towards some fads. The anti-fascists were arguably also less tightly organized than the Nazis because they’re defined by “not sharing some beliefs” rather than by beliefs that make them “special”.

    Another side of the story is that the climate skeptics generally value individualism more than the alarmists do, and they walk the walk, too. So they are not eager to transfer themselves into little screws, wheels, and gears in a large engine.

  45. You can add to the list:
    23) Legal aid fund.
    (See Dr. Tim Ball fundraising effort against being sued by Dr. Michael Mann)

    21. We’d be pushing geoengineering as the preferred “adaptive” alternative to mitigation. It’s something that the average man can understand as a general concept. E.g., if it rains, open your umbrella. Instead, contrarian bloggers we’d virtually never mention geoengineering except to sneer at it.

    Sorry, but I disagree with this point because of unintended consequences. Yeah, I know we have been unintentionally doing this since we lit our first fire but why intentionally do this if we say there is no problem to solve? Even if there is a problem I wouldn’t push for it as it may make matters worse. Better to adapt IMHO. Just my 2 cents.

  46. If we was well funded there wouldn’t be any adverts on here for a start.
    You re either getting massive numbers or a lot of very influential opinion formers viewing this site for the advertizing Execs to take notice.

    Interesting survey for some Media Studies students just how big is Green Eco Ethical advertizing and sponsorship in world wide sales
    How much does say a half page Car ad cost in Guardian compared to the Sun.

    How many Billions is The Climate Change Brand actually Worth.

    (sexy business corporate speak)

  47. No issue better illustrates what the psychologists call ‘projection’.

    Because the alarmists are well-funded (but are still not winning), they must assume that skeptics are well-funded also.

    Because the communitarian nature of the Green/Left spends much of its time on agit-prop, struggle meetings and mobilization, they assume that skeptics have an equal like of mass organization.

    In truth, skeptics don’t “do” organisation, being a collection of iconoclasts and individual thinkers.

    This drives the alarmists crazy, and so they are unable to acknowledge it to themselves.

  48. Jimbo says: December 16, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Absolutely right.

    And that’s something which (in a BigOil funded world) should be added to the list. The extravagant lifestyle and obscene salaries paid to WWF executives, for example. When at present in the UK you can’t turn on the TV or look at a newspaper (or even some websites) without being assailed by agit-prop appeals to save polar bears and adopt a snow leopard. Screwing money out of ordinary folk to save something allegedly “cuddly”, so WWF executives and their high-rolling contributors can fly round in executive jets.

    And that’s only one example from a plethora.

    How about one of the biggest “Global Warming” promoting banks and their little side lines?

    http://notrickszone.com/2012/12/12/500-german-authorities-raid-deutsche-bank-amid-alleged-tax-evasion-scam-surrounding-co2-certificate-trading/

    Follow the money.

  49. I would be happy to edit pieces for publication; I have done it in the past. I am fairly strict, and I have taught English (grammar, vocabulary, literature).

  50. If I were in charge of the BIG oil/coal/gas disinformation campaign, I would set up dummy
    companies, trusts, and quangos that would over time:

    1. ) Buy out publishing companies like Elsevier, then make sure that “CO2 is bad” papers are published behind very expensive (higher quality you know) pay walls, while “CO2 is good” papers would be published online and made freely available.

    2.) Make an animated movie, called “Ben Who” about how the plants and trees were saved
    from Carbon Dioxide depletion by moles burrowing underground and releasing CO2 into
    the wasteland above them.

    3.) Hold extravagant, fully subsidized junkets, four times a year, in fabulous, exotic locations,
    like Bali, Cancun, Durban, and Rio. 1) for scientists who say “CO2 good”, 2) for politicans
    who “CO2 good”,3) for journalists and opinion makers who say “CO2 good” and 4)
    for celebrittles and their adoring fans who say “GaGa good, CO2 good”

  51. As rejoinder to davidmhoffer’s observation about a movie, there is a book from which a movie could be (or could have been) made: “State of Fear,” by Michael Crichton (2004). Many of Crichton’s books were made into widely distributed and popular films, but not this one. Hollywood ran from this book like it was radioactive. Instead, they produced the execrable “Day after Tomorrow,” which continues to show every couple of couples of months or so on History Channel or Discovery Channel.

    (There was a movie “State of Fear” that was released in 2005, but it was about over-reaching government battling terrorism in Peru.)

  52. There’s no need for any of the points on your list.

    If we were well-funded, we would have bribed enough people to ensure that the Global Warming meme was treated as a sick fantasy by deluded conspiracy theorists. After all, that’s what they’re doing to us…

  53. “The name or existence of climategate is here in Germany to this day entirely unknown to the general public – which at the same time swallowed the alarmist position unthinkingly, as they all don’t even look into WHY their electricity bills are exploding – this in spite of the fact that the various taxes and fees are listed in detail on the bills they get as required by law. Absolutely breathtaking ignorance around here.”

    The Germans are exceptionally good at carefully ignoring obvious but inconvenient facts, such as what all those big camps are or why the trains keep going into them full and coming out empty.

  54. 6. There’d be a centralized, regularly updated, annotated, topically divided, web-wide index of useful “ammo” skeptical or skeptic-supporting articles. If I, or anyone, were cat-herder in chief, this would be one of the top items on the agenda.

    Over at the Daily Kommunist, a recurring villain who hides his name has been developing a computer program to assist warmist morons strengthen their flagging superstitious belief about the weather. It’s called the “Wattsbuster”.

    The “Wattsbuster” is running into a snafu of it’s creator’s making. Seems that after a number of years of churning out lie after stinking lie, and heavy handed moderators managing the board, that even those who could be charitably termed “true believing regulars” at the trough of BIG GOVERNMENT propaganda, do not trust the source enough to download the sizable and unwealdy program to see if it works.

    They trust them with their vote, but not enough to use their app, because it might hose their computer system.

    Go figure.

  55. As a person who have been surfing the world-wide-web regularly for at least 5 years in order to gain in-depth information on climate-related issues, I was unable to find any counter-AGW site which has comparable funding levels to these:

    climaterealityproject.org – funded by Al Gore and his close allies

    realclimate.org – owned by a PR firm, Environmental Media Services

    desmogblog.com – page founder James Hoggan is deeply involved in the PR industry, he has direct affiliations with the radically environmentalist David Suzuki Foundation…

    “Skeptical” Science, aka SkS has a considerable number of new posts per week and their pages are completely ad-free. How John Cook and co. are able to cover their costs and write articles on working days?

    What about the censors of Wikipedia, especially climate modeller and former UK Green Party member Mr. Connolley, who created or edited thousands (sic!) of WP articles in a few years time and controlled their content strictly on a daily basis? His efforts required thousands of working hours, from the economical point of view such amount of time must have immense alternative costs for anyone who is in his working age.

  56. Maybe the sceptics’ success is because we are so disorganized. You see, sceptics are like snipers and soldiers of guerrilla warfare while Warmists can’t see their target. Oh, and as long as the ‘truth’ is on our side then we have to win.

  57. And some others:

    23. We’d find a way to rent-seek public money to fund our activities instead of hard and honestly-earned money.

    24. We’d schedule week-long “meetings” 10+ times a yr, at public expense, in tropical/subtropical resorts.

    25. We’d “work” on our goals (no matter how unrelated) straight from our workstations during working hrs at public expense.

    26. We’d expect our public-funded work-related activities to be exempt from public (our fund source) scrutiny.

  58. I like the idea of making on on-line record of “non performing wind turbines” and weed overgrown solar-solar panels,” although I do object to the term “farm.” Everyone could take part, for only about 60% of the windmills on any wind turbine site that I have seen have been working, even in ideal conditions. This could be a follow on to Anthony’s record of weather station sites..

  59. The beauty of the dichotomy , the CAGW (and all its multiple name changes) team have chosen their path and for all the money, advertising, blatant propaganda and group speak its not working as they imagined it should. Yet they know, their way is the only effective way to nudge people, so their failure must mean their methods are being applied in opposition.Other options are impossible.
    Projection blindness I guess.

  60. From Strip the Experts: “You can undermine their credibility. And you can discredit the value of expertise generally. Their weaknesses can be probed and relentlessly exploited. This booklet is designed for people who oppose a gang of scientific experts and want to strip them naked.”

    I don’t think very many people here wake up in the morning with a first waking thought “to strip” anyone “naked”, or to “probe and relentlessly exploit weaknesses.” This just sounds like an adaptation of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. Or a letter from Screwtape. I very much doubt this is the motive that animates WUWT or JoNova, or very many of the commenters.

    I think most of what is done is in defense of right, in search of truth, and in concern for process and accuracy. These are just basic human qualities and pursuits, and are much more fun and natural than this revolutionary “leveling spirit.” The skeptic blogs are not a new form of class warfare against experts; but experts in many fields have simply enjoyed too much trust and acceptance when they make pronouncements about what is possible and impossible, or what theory best explains the facts. It is just the gilding coming off, not a guillotining coming on.

  61. As if we needed more proof…

    Found this classic piece while cleaning out the old bookmarks, which obviously I don’t too often:

    Oct 2009: Losing Their Religion: 2009 officially declared year the media lost their faith in man-made global warming fears
    Tuesday, October 13, 2009By Marc Morano – Climate Depot

    http://www.climatedepot.com/a/3310/Losing-Their-Religion-2009-officially-declared-year-the-media-lost-their-faith-in-manmade-global-warming-fears


    Not a sign of a well-organized opposition.

    Although with about over 100 links, it is an interesting snapshot. Just before Climategate One, all these media outlets were rethinking their positions, softening their stances. Some were even willing to (*gasp!*) let the real science speak for itself.

    Now without further global warming, public support dropping fast, and the Climategate releases and other info, etc… The media outlets are unified in declaring the certainty of the science, the scientific consensus, the indisputable proof of ongoing and ever-more destructive consequences of climate change…

    Which side looks well-funded and well-organized to you?

  62. It is often said that everyone has a price. It’s the point where money outstrips ethics, and where truth takes a backseat. Perhaps those who say it are speaking only of themselves. Once you sacrifice ethics on the altar of money, you give up your soul. That, I believe, is the Warmists’ dilemma and curse. They are soul-less.

  63. I wanna be a paid skeptic troll! What-a-life. Lay around all day and write redundant nonsense. Where do I sign?

  64. Why climate skeptics aren’t ‘well funded and well organized?

    Because, there’s no fame or fortune in it.

    What the alarmists that preach this nonsense don’t understand is that Exxon (et al) could care less whether or not there are carbon taxes or whatever. Exxon’s profit margin stays the same no matter how many “extra” charges are piled on. It’s us consumers who pay for the stupidity and that’s why it’s been left up to a few brave honorable people to stand against this enormous absurdity.

  65. As far as well organized skeptics, it ain’t gonna happen. It’s an army of independents marching for the truth. There will be no “Pickett’s charge”. There are surgical strikes aimed for the truth.

  66. Probably the worst thing is when we get things like the BBC knowingly brainwashing the public in favour of AGW but when exposed there has not been a single mainstream UK article highlighting this violation of their charter let alone headline exposure of it.
    Since they are funded by a legally extorted licence fee on the basis of it being not a private company but a public service broadcaster the betrayal of the concept of impartiality makes this far from a trivial matter.
    As well as this, because their charter demands openness the use of the licence money to pay for a team of legal staff to hide the identities of the offenders against one of the charter ‘s basic obligations is very questionably legal.
    One has to wonder whether the BBC is the only organisation that has been the subject of hidden lobbying in view of this total silence when as a headline it could seriously dent the press needs gagging legislation in progress.

  67. Zeke says:
    December 17, 2012 at 10:26 am
    From Strip the Experts: “You can undermine their credibility. And you can discredit the value of expertise generally. Their weaknesses can be probed and relentlessly exploited. This booklet is designed for people who oppose a gang of scientific experts and want to strip them naked.”

    I don’t think very many people here wake up in the morning with a first waking thought “to strip” anyone “naked”, or to “probe and relentlessly exploit weaknesses.” This just sounds like an adaptation of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. Or a letter from Screwtape. I very much doubt this is the motive that animates WUWT or JoNova, or very many of the commenters.

    I think most of what is done is in defense of right, in search of truth, and in concern for process and accuracy. These are just basic human qualities and pursuits, and are much more fun and natural than this revolutionary “leveling spirit.” The skeptic blogs are not a new form of class warfare against experts; but experts in many fields have simply enjoyed too much trust and acceptance when they make pronouncements about what is possible and impossible, or what theory best explains the facts. It is just the gilding coming off, not a guillotining coming on.

    That’s one way of looking at it. Here’s the view from Skull Island:

    Iggy Slanter says:
    October 10, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Revenge is a dish best shoved down your opponents’ face with a cold shovel.

    Sorry. I’m in one of those moods.
    ———————-

    Doug Jones says:
    July 19, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    Chuck says:

    “argumentation is not argumentative” & “I have no desire to dominate others”

    Speak for yourself, Chuck, I argue to crush my enemies, see them driven before me, and to hear the lamentation of their women. Just sayin’

  68. Zeke says: @ December 17, 2012 at 10:26 am
    …..I don’t think very many people here wake up in the morning with a first waking thought “to strip” anyone “naked”, or to “probe and relentlessly exploit weaknesses.” …..
    ___________________________________________
    Roger Knights says: @ December 18, 2012 at 8:10 am
    …….Speak for yourself, Chuck, I argue to crush my enemies, see them driven before me, and to hear the lamentation of their women. Just sayin’
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    From hanging around those trod upon by the ‘Experts’ both here and in other fights (eg. Farm Wars ) I do not think we are a blood thirst crowd just ordinary people sick of being pushed around and sucked dry of our wealth.

    If we were blood thirst the “Occupy Wall Street” crowd and the TEA (Taxed Enough Already) Party would have joined together and demanded the Federal Reserve Act of 1913 be rescinded and Bankers be put on trial and their unearned wealth stripped. (This goes for all other countries with fractional reserve method of wealth transfer.)

    Instead we get whining and wingeing and nothing much else except for the activities of the other side.

    We are actually a rather polite group with perhaps a bit of name calling but no violence.

  69. #23 – Demand warmist ‘solutions’ be vetted using the ‘precautionary principle’. If its good for the goose its good for the gander.

  70. I don’t think your arguments effectively disprove the claim of an organized
    and well-funded denialist astroturfing campaign. For the remainder of this
    comment, I’ll call them the Skull Group (stock ticker symbol: a Unicode skull
    dingbat) because that amuses me and fits with the theme.

    1) A slick umbrella site gives the impression of a link between everyone
    using that umbrella. It runs the risk of muffling rather than amplifying the
    voices grouped together under it. How many Internet commenters have you seen
    who mock the Daily Mail, Fox, MSNBC, or the MSM as unreliable sources? A
    slick umbrella site also *looks* well-funded, which reduces credibility.

    2) Unpreparedness – that’s a more reasonable argument against competent
    organization. Still, other organizations have managed to flop impressively
    under pressure despite massive levels of funding. For example, the Romney
    campaign’s ORCA project.

    3) assumes that the Skull Group believe they can win a purely scientific
    argument. If the Skull Group *actually believe* that they are wrong, then
    it’s a waste of effort that runs the risk of convincing Skull Group employees
    to switch sides.

    4) Technical peer review assumes, again, that the Skull Group believes they
    are right. Aggressive proofreading isn’t that relevant – the occasional
    typo is not, in my opinion, sufficient reason to discredit a work. Either
    claims in Climatism! are true or they are false; writing them in txtspk
    larded with ‘u r’ and ‘alot’ won’t change their truth value.

    5) How would we know whether or not there’s a PR agency packaging the Skull
    Group’s position for easy media consumption or not? I’m a liberal ranter;
    you’re a columnist for Watts Up With That. The Skull Group won’t convince me
    easily and doesn’t need to convince you.

    The argument that Climategate was poorly timed to disrupt Copenhagen doesn’t
    make sense. If the Skull Group wanted to disrupt the Copenhagen meetings,
    they would want to catch the participants flat-footed and, ideally, have their
    political masters uncertain of the truth. Six weeks would provide ample time
    for East Anglia to prepare a rebuttal or to come up with a less-damaging spin,
    and ample time for other groups to perform their own analyses.

    6) Requires that the Skull Group believes that they are right. And that they
    are actually right, as otherwise the centralized repository becomes a huge
    index of ammo for warmists.

    7) I think that’s your own personal wishlist, really. You can put one up if
    you like; it doesn’t take much money.

    8) Hm, yes, I do think a heavily funded Skull Group would push that.

    9) Mass organized commenting is doable, but hard work. I don’t think that
    the Skull Group would be able to win Wikipedia against overwhelming scientific
    support. If Amazon’s review policy is halfway sensible, they make you buy
    the product to review it – would the Skull Group actually want to raise the
    sales of ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ by 2,000 copies just to make sure the average
    review was one star?

    10) The content of many anti-AGW comments looks to me like it’s full of talking
    points. Certain phrases are frequently repeated verbatim (‘Globull Warming’
    comes to mind and certain memes are repeated at a level that seems more
    logical if I assume the posters are politically motivated rather than
    scientifically motivated.

    11) assumes that the Skull Group believe they can win a purely scientific
    argument.

    12) shouldn’t require a great deal of money. If it’s not there, that strongly
    suggests that the Skull Group cannot win a purely scientific argument.

    13) suggests a badly organized (but not necessarily badly funded) Skull
    Group, or the existance of multiple organizations with similar goals to
    the Skull Group, some of which are simply incompetent. (It should be noted
    that at least one astroturfing campaign got caught when one of the
    participants mailed the memo telling her what to put in the letter to the
    editor to the newspaper instead of the actual letter.).

    If that petition is the one I’m thinking of, it’s my understanding that
    several of the signers believed that their names were actively forged, while
    your representation gives the impression of relatively innocent exaggeration.

    14, 15) Your wishlist again, though that does seem a legitimate subject for
    Skull Group funding.

    16) I think scientists are probably more resistant than average to push
    polling and misleading questions.

    17) As treasurer of the Skull Group, I conclude that this is an item of
    critical importance and not at all a wishlist item. (SECRETARY: Send this
    version to internal council, just call it ‘a wishlist item’ in the public
    post.)

    18) Television ads are expensive and suffer from low effectiveness among
    skeptical viewers.

    19) Impractical. The Skull Group can order its own employees to stop calling
    Obama a KenyanCommunistWhoWantsToFlouridateOurPreciousBodilyFluids, but it
    can’t control independant fellow travelers. Any *successful* public opinion
    manipulation project is going to wind up manipulating some people who you
    really wish didn’t decide to join your team.

    20) Assumes an argument targeting reason, and that mitigation is in fact
    more expensive than the consequences of failing to mitigate emissions. It
    also requires acknowledging the possibility that the scientists are telling
    the truth.

    21) Geoengineering has its own pile of major costs and risks associated.
    And, like other mitigation strategies, discussing it meaningfully can be
    taken as an acknowledgement of the possibility that the scientists are telling
    the truth.

    22) You mean proposing programs like those that have already been proposed
    in many regions of the globe? I’m not sure how people proposing programs
    that the Skull Group would propose disproves the existance of the Skull
    Group.

    Now – do I, personally, think the Skull Group exists? Yes and no. I’m
    certain that there are organized groups campaigning to discredit AGW in the
    public eye. I think there are several of them, that an awful lot of
    denialist posters are simply freelance fanatics, and that an awful lot of
    skeptics *are* sincere in their beliefs and not doing it for a paycheck.
    I also am sure that many of the little Jaw Groups have other core motivations
    and are just tacking ‘discredit AGW’ onto their agenda as a means to their
    ends rather than as a true goal.

  71. Deekoo says:
    December 22, 2012 at 4:07 am

    I don’t think your arguments effectively disprove the claim of an organized and well-funded denialist astroturfing campaign.

    That’s a bit of a strawman. I said, “If our side were well funded and well organized, it would have the following characteristics.” I was implying, by an absence of evidence to the contrary, that the case that contrarians are well-organized and well-funded is weak (lacks supporting evidence). I went so far as to imply the case is laughable, at the end. But I didn’t make the stronger claim that it’s disproved.

    1) [A slick umbrella site.] runs the risk of muffling rather than amplifying the voices grouped together under it.

    I suppose that’s possible. But haven’t some sites that amalgamate commenters been successful? Don’t many independent bloggers wish they had more visibility, and think they’d get it on an umbrella site? For instance, Gleick was pleased that he was a commenter on Forbes, which has a stable of commenters on the warming topic, because of the visibility it gave him. (Hmm . . . maybe Forbes could expand its stable to function as an umbrella.)

    It . . . gives the impression of a link between everyone using that umbrella. How many Internet commenters have you seen who mock the Daily Mail, Fox, MSNBC, or the MSM as unreliable sources?

    Those sites are top-down organizations, where policy is set from above. And they are employers, whose employees are paid to toe the line. Even their semi-independent commenters can’t stray too far from the norm or they’ll be dropped, as happened to Glenn Beck. An umbrella website, which pays nothing, can’t be disparaged on the basis that its denizens are shills or claques (hired guns).

    Of course any news-and-views organization that steps on some viewers’ toes is going to be mocked by persons who don’t like its line or tone. That’s unavoidable. I believe that that downside is less bad than the alternative downside of contrarian bloggers being mocked as cranky, marginalized, Internet fringies.

    A slick umbrella site also *looks* well-funded, which reduces credibility.

    Not if it can support itself from ads, as Huffpo & Daily Kos (?) do. An umbrella site would draw more ad revenue, as HuffPo does, because it’s more convenient to visit and browse—it’s like one-stop shopping. Middle-of-the-road visitors would be more likely to stick around once they found the one or two bloggers they liked. Such bloggers would be easier to find than googling for contrarian sites, which few would do.

    Anyway, warmists’ slick sites, like Climate Progress and Real Climate, haven’t suffered much of a PR black eye from actually being funded, not just looking that way. So the risk to credibility seems to me outweighed by the benefit of greater exposure and professionalism. (FWIW, although the “genetic fallacy” of guilt-by-association can be rhetorically effective, it’s still a fallacy.)

    2) [ $ for individual sites to ensure that, for instance, Climate Audit would have been able to handle the traffic-surge in the wake of Climategate, instead of being overwhelmed.] Unpreparedness – that’s a more reasonable argument against competent organization. Still, other organizations have managed to flop impressively under pressure despite massive levels of funding. For example, the Romney campaign’s ORCA project.

    True—but warmists argue that contrarians are well-organized (“competent,” IOW) and well funded, so your riposte doesn’t dent my claim very much.

    3) [Commenters would be compensated for accessing paywalled articles.] assumes that the Skull Group believe they can win a purely scientific argument. If the Skull Group *actually believe* that they are wrong, then it’s a waste of effort that runs the risk of convincing Skull Group employees to switch sides.

    First, WUWTers currently have access to articles’ abstracts and press releases, which don’t daunt them from engaging in a (mostly or partly) scientific critique. Second, about 20% (?) of the time commenters on WUWT and/or other bloggers are able to locate a site where the full article can be viewed, such as on the author’s website. In such cases, those who are up to speed on the terminology of scientific papers take a look at it and offer critiques. Recent strong evidence in support of my view is the delight with which the leak of the Second Order Draft of the IPCC’s AR5 has been greeted by contrarian bloggers, and the detailed critiques they are beginning to post about it. So bloggers and their commenters do ”actually believe” they’re right.

    As for the Skull Group, they too may believe they’re right; or they may merely hope they’re right and not want to look too closely at the evidence; or they may secretly think they’re probably wrong but feel they have no alternative but to pretend otherwise, like the tobacco lobby. Likely there is a spectrum of such beliefs among different potential funders. That means there should be at least a few Skull Group members who’d fund contrarians to access papers in climatology. But there aren’t such funders. (Except for employers of contrarian think tanks, whose impact on the debate is lower than that of independent contrarian scientists and bloggers.)

    4) [a copy editing & peer review service to vet our side’s books prior to publication,.] Technical peer review assumes, again, that the Skull Group believes they are right.

    Not at all. It just assumes that the Group wants to avoid making any obvious errors.

    Aggressive proofreading isn’t that relevant – the occasional typo is not, in my opinion, sufficient reason to discredit a work.

    Strawman. My claim wasn’t that typos would discredit a work, but rather that substantive technical mistakes would be fatal. I wrote, “any flubs will be seized on by warmists to discredit the entire work, as happened to Plimer’s book.” It wasn’t typos that hurt him, but a few technical “boners,” as I assumed is well known. (It was implicit in what I wrote that what would be caught by “a peer review service” would be substantive errors; “copy editors” would be responsible for finding the typos.)

    Either claims in Climatism! are true or they are false; writing them in txtspk larded with ‘u r’ and ‘alot’ won’t change their truth value.

    But it will change their perceived truth value, because that sort of style will be used as a pretext by hostile commenters to marginalize such books. So any purported Skull Group would make an effort to minimize them.

    5) [PR agency to “package” stories.] How would we know whether or not there’s a PR agency packaging the Skull Group’s position for easy media consumption or not?

    Well, there is some “position” packaging going on, by Heartland, SEPP, and the GWPC. But these are post hoc activities. What isn’t being done is “packaging stories”—i.e., new scientific articles—which is what warmists like Climate Progress and many environmental organizations are doing. Here’s a recent comment by Tom Fuller on this topic:

    The climate change consensus controls much more than the data, and influences much more than academic publishing. They schedule events, seminars, press releases in advance of events–they make life easier for understaffed news organisations that face real problems due to lack of profitability, staff turnover, libel concerns and incredible competition from new news sources–e.g., this weblog. Climate Progress and Joe Romm (hiss, boo) make life easier for news organisations. This weblog (and my much more humble column) make life more difficult for them. Where do you think instinctive predispositions will fall?

    Potential ways to change this:

    1. Calendar or post forward publishing schedules
    2. Organise semi-formal events (online conferences, Web debates between bloggers, etc.)
    3. Press friendly archive and structured links to previously published material relevant to fresh stories.
    4. Outgoing communications directed at editors and reporters

    Consensus weblogs do some of this. If we want to be more than just marginal critics, we would have to do it as well.

    ==================

    I’m a liberal ranter; you’re a columnist for Watts Up With That.

    I wish. This is the first submission I’ve made that’s been accepted. And having done so has given me no status as a columnist. My current submission hasn’t been accepted yet—and may never be.

    The Skull Group won’t convince me easily and doesn’t need to convince you.

    Effective political campaigns nudge the mass of swing voters in the middle rather than trying to convert the margin: members of the opposition.

    The argument that Climategate was poorly timed to disrupt Copenhagen doesn’t make sense. If the Skull Group wanted to disrupt the Copenhagen meetings, they would want to catch the participants flat-footed and, ideally, have their political masters uncertain of the truth. Six weeks would provide ample time for East Anglia to prepare a rebuttal or to come up with a less-damaging spin, and ample time for other groups to perform their own analyses.

    A battleship has a lot of momentum. It won’t turn around on a dime. Copenhagen was a battleship, having over 10,000 attendees, including numerous bigshot heads of state. It would have taken (as it did in fact) months for the impact of the megabytes of Climategate e-mails to be summarized, debated, chewed over, consulted about, etc. A canny strategist would not have waited until so late in the game.

    6) [index of useful “ammo”.] Requires that the Skull Group believes that they are right.

    No, just that they believe they can “score points” with it, right or wrong.

    And that they are actually right, as otherwise the centralized repository becomes a huge index of ammo for warmists.

    Why then has Heartland commissioned the creation of its massive NIPCC report? Surely cutting it down to soundbite-size wouldn’t give warmists more ammo, but less.

    7) [a REPOSITORY for “quotes of the day”.] I think that’s your own personal wishlist, really. You can put one up if you like; it doesn’t take much money.

    But, if we were “well-organized,” someone would have been assigned the task long ago.

    8) [There’d be extensive book tours.] Hm, yes, I do think a heavily funded Skull Group would push that.

    9) [There’d be an astro-turfed tag-team of high-stamina commenters assigned to Win the War for Wikipedia.] Mass organized commenting is doable, but hard work. I don’t think that the Skull Group would be able to win Wikipedia against overwhelming scientific support.

    I was tempted by alliteration to make an overstatement. I should have said, “to more effectively counter, and maybe sometimes correct, the bias at Wikipedia.”

    There is “overwhelming scientific support” for most aspects of AGW, and for the impacts of AGW & CAGW if they occur. Support is much iffier for CAGW—and that’s what the real argument is about.

    If Amazon’s review policy is halfway sensible, they make you buy the product to review it – . . .

    They don’t. Instead, they indicate whether the reviewer has bought the book from Amazon or not. Amazon also allows visitors to comment on reviews without indicating whether such commenters have bought the book.

    . . . would the Skull Group actually want to raise the sales of ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ by 2,000 copies just to make sure the average review was one star?

    That’s close to being a strawman. I didn’t advocate visiting Wikipedia in order to downrate books to a one-star level, but merely to downrate them. (And not necessarily to give them only one-star.) My main focus was on arguing with other reviewers. Here’s what I wrote: “They’d also go en masse to Amazon and give warmist books a thumbs-down and engage in comment-combats there and on other high-profile sites as well. But the dissenters in such venues have been an outnumbered, disorganized rabble.” An example that occurs to me is Amory Lovins’ influential latest book on renewable energy. Out of about 20 reviews, none were by contrarians; the only poor (one-star) reviews were complaints about the poor formatting of the Kindle version.

    10) [There’d be evidence of a “script” or list of talking points.] The content of many anti-AGW comments looks to me like it’s full of talking points. Certain phrases are frequently repeated verbatim (‘Globull Warming’ comes to mind and certain memes are repeated at a level that seems more logical if I assume the posters are politically motivated rather than scientifically motivated.

    Phrases and memes don’t constitute a script. Contrarian commenters on mainstream non-climate sites are, in general, very amateurish. They haven’t even been given the minimal training in proper presentation that graduates of Al Gore’s seminars receive.

    11) [There’d be an extensive online collection of opposition research, .] assumes that the Skull Group believe they can win a purely scientific argument.

    No, just that they believe they can “score points” with it, right or wrong.

    12) [There’d be an online point-by-point rebuttal of all the “How to Talk to A Skeptic” talking points.] shouldn’t require a great deal of money. If it’s not there, that strongly suggests that the Skull Group cannot win a purely scientific argument.

    I agree it wouldn’t take much money, but it would take organization to assemble and professionally polish the numerous partial rebuttals that individual bloggers have made to SkS, and then to post them on a prominent site and keep them up to date. For an example of a first draft of such a rebuttal, see Lucy Skywalker’s threads:

    http://www.greenworldtrust.org.uk//Science/Curious.htm

    http://www.greenworldtrust.org.uk//Science/Problem.htm

    13) [The Oregon Petition Project would have been handled professionally.] suggests a badly organized (but not necessarily badly funded) Skull Group, or the existence of multiple organizations with similar goals to the Skull Group, some of which are simply incompetent. . . .

    True—but warmists tend to argue that contrarians are well-organized and well funded.

    If that petition is the one I’m thinking of, it’s my understanding that several of the signers believed that their names were actively forged, while your representation gives the impression of relatively innocent exaggeration.

    I think you’re thinking of the list of papers Marc Morano created for Senator Inhofe, whose heading was something like, “600 [or whatever] Papers by Skeptical Scientists.” Actually, it was 600 papers whose findings or claims could be interpreted as supporting the skeptics’ case. Naturally, many of the authors denied being “skeptical.”

    I’m pretty sure the Oregon Petition didn’t pad its list of names. (Such padding would have been a useful tactic for warmists, though, akin to the padding they performed on Lewandowsky’s survey on warmist sites, where they presumably purported to be skeptics. When that survey was posted on WUWT, the answers diverged severely from those Dr. Loo was sent.)

    14, 15) [reposting of the “highlights” of WUWT & reposting of “negative highlights” from warmists’ sites.] Your wishlist again, though that does seem a legitimate subject for Skull Group funding.

    ✓ (But, since I’ve been pleading for such highlights for years, and since they’d be so cheap and effective (IMO), it’s makes me lose faith that there’s some potential offstage Sugar Daddy who’ll foil the villain in the last act.)

    16) [polls of various groups of scientists. ] I think scientists are probably more resistant than average to push polling and misleading questions.

    It would be unprofessional for skeptics to conduct such a poll. It should be handled by an independent group. I suggested recently that George Mason Univ. rerun the poll of the AMU & AGU it published back in April 2008, to counter the effects of the recent, flawed 97% polls that have gotten so much attention. Here’s a link to that poll of theirs: http://stats.org/stories/2008/global_warming_survey_apr23_08.html

    17) [distribution of my broken hockey stick button.] As treasurer of the Skull Group, I conclude that this is an item of critical importance and not at all a wishlist item. (SECRETARY: Send this version to internal council, just call it ‘a wishlist item’ in the public post.)

    18) [a spiffy ad campaign consisting of short spots.] Television ads are expensive and suffer from low effectiveness among skeptical viewers.

    OK, then our side should do these instead:

    • Post such spots on YouTube.
    • Sponsor more films like “The Great Global Warming Swindle”
    • Restart Mobil’s anti-greenie sidebar ads in major media.

    19) [Certain fringe or off-topic comments would be “moderated” out. ] Impractical. The Skull Group can order its own employees to stop calling Obama a KenyanCommunistWhoWantsToFlouridateOurPreciousBodilyFluids, but it can’t control independent fellow travelers.

    But it could hire the moderators who’d police all sites under its umbrella. And/or it could evict bloggers who allowed comments that were too rowdy. And it could post a site policy statement prohibiting or discouraging such comments.

    Any *successful* public opinion manipulation project is going to wind up manipulating some people who you really wish didn’t decide to join your team.

    Sure, but one has to look at the “bottom line.” Do the “pros” outweigh the “cons”?

    20) [There’d be much more stress on arguments that would move the masses and that don’t take a degree to understand.] Assumes an argument targeting reason, . . .

    Not necessarily.☻

    . . . and that mitigation is in fact more expensive than the consequences of failing to mitigate emissions.

    I didn’t have to assume that our arguments are right, only that this area of the debate is where contrarians have the strongest argument, so it makes sense to focus our energies on it. Incidentally, or not so incidentally, in addition to “costliness,” I also mentioned the “technical impracticality and political unenforceability of mitigation strategies,” which is where contrarians’ case is even stronger.

    It also requires acknowledging the possibility that the scientists are telling the truth.

    The IPCC’s reports predicted temperature rises in excess of what’s been seen since. Climategate, Glaciergate, and the hockey stick have taken the shine off climate scientists’ halos. It no longer cuts much ice to sarcastically say that there’s a “possibility that the scientists are telling the truth,” as though they still have such overwhelming presumptive credibility that it would be absurd to doubt them.

    Regarding costliness, Scientists aren’t experts on economics. The Stern Report did not tell the truth. Greenies’ promises about the cost-effectiveness of wind and solar are turning out to have been massively over-hyped, which should give policymakers pause about their other claims. If your side wants to argue those points, in a public venue—say on a TV special devoted to them—it would be unwise. I’m sure your side’s Skull Group would agree.

    21) [We’d be pushing geoengineering as the preferred “adaptive” alternative to mitigation.] Geoengineering has its own pile of major costs and risks associated.

    Sure, but so do all our choices. Geoengineering, which Prof. Muller advocates—and he has the ear of politicians—would be vastly cheaper than the amount of mitigation that would be needed to be effective, assuming the warmist claims about the effects of CO2 are correct. And small-scale tests of geoengineering could be performed to get a handle on the costs and risks. Even if geoengineering turned out to be harmful once fully rolled out, it could be quickly shut down and some other form of geoengineering adopted—there are several of them.

    And, like other mitigation strategies, discussing it meaningfully can be taken as an acknowledgement of the possibility that the scientists are telling the truth.

    Non sequitur. We’d only be acknowledging that it’s the least costly choice politically available, since political pressures are forcing us to “do something,” and that mitigation strategies shouldn’t be considered because they require massive cuts by China and India, which are out of the question.

    22) [We’d make a point of proposing reasonable-sounding, politically popular “no regrets” mitigation measures.] You mean proposing programs like those that have already been proposed in many regions of the globe? I’m not sure how people proposing programs that the Skull Group would propose disproves the existence of the Skull Group.

    You’re not following the bouncing ball. A Skull Group, if it existed, would advocate no-regrets policies; and, if they were really “behind” contrarianism, then such advocacy would be a major part of contrarian discourse. But it isn’t. OTC, “many outspoken contrarian bloggers & commenters have a strong aversion to governmentally mandated incentives and penalties [for no-regrets measures]—a distinctly minority position that it would be politically wise to conceal.”

  72. Oops–I indented before the 4th paragraph of #4 instead of outdenting.

    #10: “training is proper” should be “training in proper”

    [Reply:Fixed. I think. But don’t make a habit of it. ;-) -ModE]

Comments are closed.