An Open Letter to Dr. Marcia McNutt, new Editor-In-Chief, Science Magazine

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Dear Dr. McNutt:

As a somewhat unwilling subscriber to Science, let me start by welcoming you as the latest editor of Science magazine. You’ve stated “Thirty-five years ago, when I was a graduate student and my very first research paper was published in Science, I do not think I could ever have dreamed that one day I would have the honor of becoming Editor-in-Chief of this most distinguished journal.”

And in addition to your most impressive resume, you do get huge props from me for this part of your Wikipedia biography, which I certainly hope is true, viz:

marcia mcnutt

McNutt is a NAUI-certified scuba diver and she trained in underwater demolition and explosives handling with the U.S. Navy UDT and SEAL Team.

Indeed you do have an unparalleled opportunity, which is to turn what has become just another glossy advocacy magazine back into a distinguished scientific journal.

Unfortunately, during the intervening 35 years of your remarkable scientific career since you were a graduate student, a once-stellar magazine has fallen on hard times. Starting with Donald Kennedy, and continuing under Bruce Alberts, it has become a shabby vehicle for strident climate activism … and that experiment has proven once again that Science can’t be both an activist journal and a scientific journal. Science magazine has thrown its considerable (but rapidly decreasing) weight behind a number of causes. And yes, some of those causes are indeed important.

The problem is that you are convinced the causes are hugely important, and you want to convince us of the same. But once you convince people that your causes are more important to you than your science, that’s it for your authority regarding the science. You either get to have activism, or you get scientific authority. You don’t get both. And the past actions of your magazine have clearly demonstrated that these days your activist causes are much more important to you than the science.

The problems have involved two main issues in the field I’m involved in, climate science. The first issue is that despite repeated requests, past Science Magazine editors have flouted your own guidelines for normal scientific transparency. You continue to publish articles about climate science without requiring that the authors archive their data and code as required by your own rules. It appears that the rules about archiving data and code are enforced for the little people like myself, but when the Editors of Science want to promote a point of view, the rules don’t apply … funny how that works.

The second issue is that in climate science, far too often Science magazine editors have substituted pal review for peer review. As a result, people laugh at the bumf that passes for climate science in your pages. They don’t disagree with your articles. They laugh at your articles. I’m told that in some scientific circles, it’s only the glossy unabsorbent nature of the magazine’s paper that keeps the climate science articles from being used, perhaps more appropriately, for hygienic purposes … seriously, you have published some really risible, really shabby, grade-school level studies in climate science. It’s embarrassing.

With a new Editor-In-Chief, I’ve been hoping that might all be in the past. Unfortunately, after taking over at the helm, you’ve chosen to reveal your … umm … well, let me describe it as your newness to the concept of “scientific journal editor” by following in the foolishly activist footsteps of your immediate predecessors. I’d hoped you might be smarter than they were, and indeed you might still show yourself to be. But to jump into the middle of the climate debate and stake out a position for Science magazine? Why? That’s suicide for the magazine. Science magazine should never have an editorial stance on the science it is discussing and overseeing. Leave that to Mother Jones magazine, or to National Geographic, or Popular Science. Your magazine taking a strong activist position on climate science is just evidence that you have abandoned all pretense of being concerned with climate science itself. When the science is strong it doesn’t need defenders … and if the Editor-In-Chief of Science feels it’s necessary to defend some part of science, that simply proves that the “science” involved must be of the weakest.

And regarding you personally taking a position? Well, that’s interesting. The problem is that you are extremely well educated, strong, strikingly good looking, and a wickedly-smart woman by all accounts … and while those are all good things, that’s a scary combination. One downside of that particular melange is that as a result, it’s very possible that people, particularly men, haven’t told you the unvarnished truth in years. So some of what I have to say may be a surprise to you.

Here are your climate claims from your recent Editorial, based presumably on your  research into the flexural modes of the earth’s crust:

Researchers have turned to the geologic record to obtain ground truth about patterns of change for use in climate models. Information from prior epochs reveals evidence for conditions on Earth that might be analogs to a future world with more CO2. Projections based on such previous evidence are still uncertain, because there is no perfect analog to current events in previous geologic epochs; however, even the most optimistic predictions are dire. For example, environmental changes brought on by climate changes will be too rapid for many species to adapt to, leading to widespread extinctions. Unfortunately, I view these predicted outcomes as overly optimistic.

Now, the uninitiated might not notice the subtle change of tense there, from the subjunctive to the declarative. But those of us who are used to the pea-and-shell game will have seen that you’ve done something curious. You’ve started by saying that “Projections based on such previous evidence are still uncertain”. That is true, and not only true, it’s a huge understatement.

Here is the current state of climate science, the understanding of past climate changes, and the prediction of future climates.

Not one climate scientist on either side of the aisle predicted the current ~ 15-year hiatus in warming. This lack of warming was highlighted as early as 2009 in a widely-circulated article called “What Happened to Global Warming? Scientists Say Just Wait a Bit”. In that article, various scientists were quoted as saying the warming would resume in a few years.

Well, we’ve waited a few years, Dr. McNutt. Their predictions, once again, haven’t come true … and despite that, here you are to lecture us. And where did this most seditious article entitled “What Happened To Global Warming” appear?

Why, it appeared in Science magazine  … you want to be taken seriously in the field of climate science, yet you don’t mention this lack of recent warming at all?

• Not one climate scientist on either side of the aisle can explain the century or two of cooling leading up to the Little Ice Age in the 1600s. Why did the world slowly get colder back then? Oh, some folks claim it’s the sun, maybe so, maybe not … but really, no one knows.

Not one climate scientist on either side of the aisle can explain the three centuries of slow general warming that have followed the Little Ice Age. What changed to gradually warm the planet, after it had been cooling for centuries?

None of these things are explicable as the results of CO2, which supposedly is the secret control knob that regulates the global temperature.

So no one can explain the past climate changes, the CO2 explanation fails miserably at the hindcast, and you tell us that predictions based on the past are “still uncertain”, which is a big understatement and is certainly true.

But despite that uncertainty, despite that lack of knowledge, in the very next sentence you assure us breathlessly that predictions that “ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGES WILL BE TOO RAPID FOR MANY SPECIES TO ADAPT TO, LEADING TO WIDESPREAD EXTINCTIONS” are not alarmist enough for you …

Changes “will be” too rapid? “Will be”? And that’s not alarmist enough for you?

I truly hope you don’t realize what you are saying. I truly hope that you do not understand that that sentence of yours is nothing but strident alarmism that you are presenting under the guise of science.

Because you don’t know what the unknown environmental changes WILL do the species of the planet, that’s incredible hubris. More to the point, you have absolutely no evidence for your claim of “widespread extinctions”. Not one modern species has ever been shown to have gone extinct from climate change. Even Nature magazine has given up on the goofy idea of the “sixth wave of extinctions” that you are trying to sell. There is no evidence for your “extinction by climate change” claim at all.

Let me take a bit of a detour, and discuss the idea of a “natural experiment”. People always say we can’t study climate in a laboratory, and that’s true. We can’t use the lab to see how a big ecosystem full of real-world species might react to changing temperatures, for example. But we have natural experiments. And we’ve just conducted a very interesting experiment. Here’s the record of the experiment.

berkeley earth temperature dataset 1800 2013

According to the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature dataset shown above, the global land is two and a half degrees warmer than it was around 1810. Two and a half degrees of warming in two centuries. That’s well beyond what is supposed to be the huge danger change of two degrees of warming … where are the corpses?

You seem to be concerned about the speed of the changes. Two and a half degrees in two centuries is fast, it’s well over half the speed of the changes you are concerned about. As a result, we should have seen at least some evidence for your claim that warming causes extinctions … perhaps you could name the species that have gone extinct from warming during that natural experiment? I ask, because I’ve looked very hard, and I haven’t found even one.

You continue with your litany of unsubstantiated worries:

Even species that might tolerate the new environment could nevertheless decline as the ecosystems on which they depend collapse. The oceans will become more stratified and less productive.

The oceans WILL become more stratified? They WILL become less productive? And you say species “could” decline, but the ecosystem collapse is presented without qualifiers? My dear lady, you just told us that all of these “projections” are very uncertain. Let me suggest that you lose the “will become” and the “will happen”. You don’t know if warmer oceans will be more or less productive, and that kind of puffery just makes people point and laugh. I implore you, stop with the pronouncements from on high. You just got appointed, it’s true, but only to the editorship of Science, not to a more celestial and all-seeing post.

In addition, perhaps you could point to an example of a thermally-caused “ecosystem collapse” from the two and a half degrees C warming of the last two centuries? You know … evidence?

You go on …

If such ecosystem problems come to pass, the changes will affect humans in profound ways. The loss in ocean productivity will be detrimental for the 20% of the population that depends on the seas for nutrition. Crops will fail more regularly, especially on land at lower latitudes where food is in shortest supply.

The first part is good, you preface your statements with “IF the ecosystem problems come to pass”. The rest of it, however, is just more unsupported, uncited, unverified, and untrue fears. You have no evidence that a couple of degrees of warming will make the crops “fail more regularly”. Again, we’ve just run a natural experiment. We’ve just seen what happened when the land temperatures went up two and a half degrees from 1810 to the present. So please tell us, Dr. McNutt …

Where is the evidence of any loss in ocean productivity from that two and a half degrees C of warming? I say that you don’t have even a scrap of evidence that warming per se causes a decline in oceanic productivity. I certainly have never seen any.

Where is the evidence of any tropical crop loss from the last two centuries of warming?

Where is the evidence of any cities submerged by sea level rise?

Where is the evidence of the claimed spread of diseases?

Where are the climate refugees? You are aware, I hope, that the UN Environmental Programme climate specialists, part of the “97% consensus”, confidently predicted 50 million climate refugees by 2010 … perhaps you could point those refugees out for those of us who can’t find them?

Or perhaps you’re not aware of the dozens of such failed predictions by members of the fabled “97% consensus”. There’s no problem if you’re not aware of those unsuccessful “scientific” forecasts, I mean after all you’re a geologist, not a climate scientist … but if you lack that kind of basic knowledge of the climate field, then why are you attempting to lecture us on the subject?

Sadly, it seems that like many other good honest folk, you are simply parroting claims of danger that you have swallowed without ever thinking critically about them. Reconsider the natural experiment. We’ve had two and a half degrees of warming, and from everything I can find, it wasn’t harmful to the planetary denizens. There were no climate refugees. The coral atolls didn’t go underwater, we still have them. According to the IPCC, there’s been no increase in extreme weather events. No cities had to be evacuated because of sea level rise.

Two and a half degrees C, and not only were there no catastrophes from that warming, quite the opposite. Overall, it was beneficial to plants, animals, and humans alike. Expanded growing seasons and milder winters provided larger and more stable crops. Longer ice-free periods on the northern harbors and rivers allowed increased commerce. Milder winters killed fewer people … what’s not to like?

Now, you claim to be a scientist, Dr.  McNutt. And I’m happy to be proven wrong when I say that your climate fears are not based in reality. To prove me wrong, you need to provide evidence. Not claims. Not solemn warnings of future disasters unencumbered by any historical parallel. You need to provide evidence.

So if you’d be so kind as to point out the past catastrophes that came from the last two and a half degrees C of rapid warming, your alarmism about the possibility of another two and a half degrees might at least contain a hint of realism, even if it’s only a Hollywood “based on a true story” kind of realism.

If you can’t find any thermal catastrophes from that 2.5 degrees of warming, on the other hand, an honest scientist would change her views accordingly … your call.

Heck, you’re so new to the field that you don’t even have your alarmist talking points straight. Al Gore gives classes in this stuff so his minions will all be singing from the same hymnbook, you might borrow a copy. Because according to the alarmists, the effect of the CO2 warming will be greatest in the extra-tropics and the polar regions. In those areas it’s supposed to affect mostly nighttime temperatures, and particularly in the winter.

So your claim that crops will fail “at lower latitudes where food is in shortest supply” is in direct disagreement with the alarmist predictions of danger at the Poles.

Not only that, but your uncited claim of tropical losses is also in direct disagreement with the historical data, which shows that the tropics has warmed the least of all of the latitudinal zones. The tropical warming since 1900 is lost in the noise, your claim of tropical crop loss is a sad joke. You should at least switch latitudes and join up with your co-religionists and Al Gore’s minions in trying to scare people about a warming Arctic … at least that was happening, although unfortunately for alarmists like yourself, Alaska cooled substantially over the first decade of the 21st century, so now the evidence is mixed.

And in any case, where are my minions? I want the government to use their Solyndra funds to provide me with minions, like the ones Al Gore trains using petrodollars he pocketed from the oil companies for his TV station. How come Al has minions and I don’t? I guess the moral is, first get the oil million$, then you’ll get the minions. I’m obviously a slow learner regarding the first part of that … and how come Al gets the petrobucks and nobody says a word, but skeptics get tarred as being on the oil companies payroll but don’t get a dime? … however, I digress. You go on to say:

This unfavorable environmental state could last for many thousands of years as geologic processes slowly respond to the imbalances created by the release of the fossil carbon reservoir. The time scale for biodiversity to be restored, with all the benefits that it brings, will be even longer.

Tertullian says that the Roman Emperors had a slave whose job was to whisper in the Emperor’s ear “Respice post teHominem te memento!” In that respect, Dr. McNutt, let me be the slave who reminds you that you are merely the latest future ex-Editor-In-Chief of Science, a once-great magazine.

And while that post still swings a certain (although sadly diminished) amount of weight, it does not confer upon you ex oficio the ability to see “many thousands of years” into the future. You are attempting to channel Cassandra, and you are failing at it spectacularly. I cannot say this strongly enough. Activism is not your friend. The stronger the Editor-In-Chief of Science is as an activist, the less authority the Editor-In-Chief has as a scientist, and the less authority Science has as a scientific journal. What part of “conflict of interest” do you and Bruce Alberts and Donald Kennedy not understand? You cannot be both the peer-reviewer, the gate-keeper who arbitrates which science is worth publishing, and at the same time be a strong scientific alarmist pushing a particular belief as well.

So please, don’t bother us with any more of your unsupported fears about what a bit of warming might do. You’re actually in good shape yet. Yes, you struck out badly in the first inning, but there’s lots of the game left before you’re an ex-, and that just means don’t repeat your mistakes when you come up to bat again.

What you need to be concerned with is what your magazine does, not what the climate does. Lecturing people when your own house is in such bad order does not make you look wise, it makes you look hypocritical. You need to attend to the very poor quality of the studies you are publishing before you start lecturing people about climate science. How about giving us an editorial about how your predecessors didn’t enforce the “archive your data and code” policy, and whether you plan to continue the now time-honored tradition of ignoring the policy? That’s something you can speak about with authority.

After that, perhaps you might give us an editorial about how you are renouncing the anti-scientific practice of using co-authors to review each others’ work? That would be interesting. Or how about an editorial review of the ethical implications of Peter Gleick’s actions, and what their general acceptance by mainstream climate scientists reveal about the nature and extent of Noble Cause Corruption? That would be more than welcome.

But please … no more schoolmarmish lectures, and no more channeling the Ehrlichs and Holdrens. We’ve had enough failed serial doom-casters to last us for decades. You do not want to add your name to that list of unsuccessful catastrophe-mongers.

I say all of this to you for several reasons. First, I can’t stand to see someone driving the bus off the cliff without warning them. You’re doing both your reputation and that of Science magazine great damage through your alarmism, and in my world I am obliged to say something.

Second, there’s an old adage that says “It is better to light one little cylinder of fossil-fuel-derived wax with a wick in it, than to curse the darkness,” or something like that. I’m not the man to sit idly by when something I care about is imperiled.

Next, I say it because as an amateur scientist, I’m a huge fan of the process we call science, and I hate to see the journals flouting scientific transparency and blatantly shilling for one side or the other in a scientific debate.

And curiously, I say it because I truly wish you well. You do have an amazing opportunity, one I’d love to have. You have the chance to turn Science back into a serious, reputable scientific journal.

Plus scuba divers get my support, and women divers who’ve done underwater explosives training with the SEALS get my unalloyed, albeit somewhat jealous, awe and respect.

The main issue is, I’d like to see Science magazine become what it once was—a science magazine without an axe to grind, and without an agenda other than to be the best scientific journal on the planet.

Because as soon as you start grinding that axe and pursuing that agenda, you’ve become an axe-woman on a mission, not a scientist … and although the world needs good axe-women on missions, and I’m sure you’re a very good one when the situation arises, both Science the journal and science itself suffers when the Editor-In-Chief of Science magazine takes up axe-grinding. It destroys your credibility as a major arbiter of what science should be published.

My very best regards to you, and my best wishes for your tenure as Editor-In-Chief, and for the magazine in your hands,

w.

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321 Responses to An Open Letter to Dr. Marcia McNutt, new Editor-In-Chief, Science Magazine

  1. Doug Arthur says:

    Editing needed.

  2. Lol…careful Willis, you may come home find some C4 with a remote timer strapped under your favourite chair…

  3. Eliza says:

    Why Bother?The magazine is Trash anyway?

  4. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    Edit here please (area bolded):

    (…) When the science is strong it doesn’t need defenders … and if the Editor-In-Chief of Science feels it’s necessary to defend some part of science, that simply proves that the “science” involved must be of the weakest. You don’t go out

    And regarding you personally taking a position? (…)

    [Thanks, fixed. -w.]

  5. Eric Simpson says:

    In the battle to win public opinion, and the opinion of scientists that aren’t motivated by leftist politics, one of the things that we want to do is fight the misinformation by the mainstream science press. I’m not really talking about periodicals like Science, but publications that don’t censor comments from skeptics (like Scientific American does!).

    One publication that comes to mind is phys.org. Sign up!

    Those that are inclined to get in tussles and battle it out with warmist commenters should join. Your comments in battling the bs at physorg would be critically helpful. Most of the articles at physorg I think are actually good, but there’s just a lot of warmist propaganda articles that has to be countered. We really can be a difference at physorg, a very popular science sight.

  6. jbird says:

    Yes. I agree with Doug Arthur. These are important ideas. Please re-read and edit for greater clarity before you send this. Science magazine has become a joke. If the magazine cleans up its act, I will re-subscribe.

  7. dfbaskwill says:

    I’d say that this should have left a heck of a mark, but I’ll bet it all went right over her pretty little head. Good riddance to bad science.

  8. Otter says:

    She likely will File 13 that one before getting past the third paragraph.

  9. Mike Jowsey says:

    Overall Willis, this is an excellent bitter-sweet fruit salad. I hope she reads it and has the guts to respond with humility.
    Quite a few typos, which I will leave to the more pedantic readers. One glaring typo is this unfinished sentence at the end of about the sixth paragraph:
    …, that simply proves that the “science” involved must be of the weakest. You don’t go out

  10. Bill Illis says:

    What we all want to say.

    And good point about where are all the bodies from what has already happened.

  11. a jones says:

    Sir, You are I fear wasting your breath on the sweet morning air. The magazine is dying because it has abandoned science in favour of political advocacy: it stands by it and will perish by it.

    Not that I do not applaud your attempt to speak truth to power, worthy indeed but likely futile.

    People who have opted from the hard road into a soft self supporting claque are too comfortable in their corrupt but oh so egotistical delusion that they are important to see that their world is slowly falling apart.

    It was always so.

    And the incoming tide will wash them all away and cleanse all leaving a people to wonder what it was all about.

    A lost generation indeed: of self congratulatory narcissists which did nothing and achieved nothing.

    It is our misfortune that we live in such times.

    Kindest Regards .

  12. Fred from Canuckistan says:

    Science Magazine.

    Alfred E. Neumann, Editor.

  13. tz2026 says:

    The problem is that you are extremely well educated, strong, strikingly good looking, and a wicked smart woman by all accounts … and while those are all good things, that’s a scary combination.

    As I’ve been saying, it’s witches. We had the Medieval warm period, then we started burning witches, and it was cool.

  14. I noticed a typo:

    “You don’t get both. And the past actions of your magazine have clearly demonstrated that these days your activist causes are [more] important to you than the science.”

    [Thanks, fixed. My motto is, "Perfect is good enough ..." -w.]

  15. BBould says:

    Great read, thanks!

  16. Editing needed.

    Wow, I just finished it.

    A little on the condescending and sneering side. Surely this could have been put better.

    That said, the bit about authors not archiving their code and data in violation of the stated rules of the magasine was damning.

  17. Steve Keohane says:

    Thanks Willis. If they stop the climate nonsense, I would probably resubscribe. Doesn’t Feynman have a book ‘The Joy of Finding Things Out’? That describes science, following a path of discovery, not being preached to.

    You need “more” in here, 4th paragraph.
    And the past actions of your magazine have clearly demonstrated that these days your activist causes are ^ important to you than the science.

  18. jorgekafkazar says:

    After following the unending progression of pal-reviewed pseudoscience climate papers over the past five years, I have not the tiniest shred of respect left for “Science” Magazine, nor for anyone associated with it.

  19. Quite a few typos, which I will leave to the more pedantic readers. One glaring typo is this unfinished sentence at the end of about the sixth paragraph:
    …, that simply proves that the “science” involved must be of the weakest. You don’t go out

    One wonders if this was written from too much haste and emotion and too little patience and probity.

  20. Jarryd Beck says:

    Nicely done, although as others have said, some editing is needed. Wouldn’t it be great if Science returned to what it once was.

  21. pesadia says:

    In a word, Erudite
    I hope the effort proves to be worthwhile.
    Your thought provoking well constructed yet gentle observations deserve a response.

  22. RoyFOMR says:

    Another great post from Willis but I was saddened to see this in it.
    “Are you suicidal or something?”
    How long before the Team claim it as yet another ‘Death Threat’?

  23. Another great post from Willis but I was saddened to see this in it.
    “Are you suicidal or something?”

    Yes, that was terrible. Ill-advised, for sure — condescending doesn’t begin to cover it.

  24. John S. says:

    I’d suggest that Science change the name of their magazine, but the title Mad has already been taken.

  25. wws says:

    In a somewhat related news item, the remains of Newsweek Magazine were just sold again, to a digital only upstart. As recently as 2007, Newsweek had several hundred employees and was turning a profit of around $30 million per year. Currently, once the split with the “Daily Beast” is finished, reports indicate that there may be 6 dedicated employees left, affiliated with that name.

    Science mag ought to think about whether they really want to be on this same glide path.

  26. Max Hugoson says:

    Willis:

    Actually, I did edit the version I sent to some friends. Took about 15 minutes, and it reads like the Gettysburgh address! (I dare say, I got rid of almost all the “emotional” stuff…simple outtakes and re-adjustments of some lines.)

    I’ve written before about Dr. George Miley (http://fti.neep.wisc.edu/iecworkshop/PDF/TECHNICAL_TALKS/miley.pdf) and his experience with “Science” in 2000. He’d just graduated a student (Dr. Brian Dejurick) in Nuclear Engineering, based on his (Dejurick’s) work on the U of IL IEC device. It was rejected by the SINGLE “Science” reviewer, based on a 1972 paper by some fellows at “Oak Ridge” who had PROVEN by theory that Farnsworth’s “Fusor’s” results were all “instrument noise, and not REAL NEUTRONS…as Farnsworth (the originator of the IEC, as the Farnsworth Fusor) contended. Problem is, Miley is somewhat of a better researcher than Farnsworth, and he and his grad students BACKED the instruments (BF6 detectors) with “activiation analysis” of Cd and Hf, etc. 10,000,000 5meV neutrons per second when turned on. Kind of hard to ignore!

    SO I’m going on 13 years (aside from the SILLY, STUPID, IDIOTIC radiation dose/response articles published in the ’80’s in “Science”, which were used by the anti-nuclear power groups to bolster specious claims about the hazards of nuclear power…) knowing that “Science” is really “adjenda science” and much of the time, as you say, most useful as BUMF…rather than for reading.

  27. Gary Hladik says:

    Typos aside, pretty good essay. Two possible outcomes:

    1) The unfortunately named Dr. McNutt won’t change her policies. Science will continue as an unscientific bastion of activism. (Most likely result)

    2) Dr. McNutt will see the light and try to guide Science back to its roots, at which point she will promptly be fired. Science will continue as an unscientific bastion of activism.

    Willis’s effort to educate is not in vain, however. At least I learned a new word: bumf.

  28. Dr K.A. Rodgers says:

    Far too too heavy with focus creep. Get rid of all irrelavancies – such as Al Gore and all patronizing mentions of the Editor’s gender. While you are at it get rid of at least 50% of the words.

    I recall the A5 memo pads once used in the Australain Museum carried a footnote to the effect, “If you have to use a second page your memo is too long.” I would suggest if readers are required to scroll down more than twice the letter is too damn long.

  29. Sad but I suppose inevitable that Science should perpetuate its alarmist prejudices. ‘Prejudice’ meaning to decide without bothering to makeany examination of the evidence.

  30. techgm says:

    Scathing. Deserved.
    (Dr. McNutt’s text also had grammatical errors.)

  31. Stephen Pruett says:

    Excellent letter. The only constructive criticism I can provide is that your claim that Science has published bad climate science recently would be more credible with a few references and brief description of what makes them so bad.

  32. SEALs not Seals.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Navy_SEALs
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pinniped

    It matters.

    [Fixed, and you're right, it does matter. Thanks. -w.]

  33. Dr. Deanster says:

    You need to de-personalize this.[and edit it as others have suggested]

    If you think that this woman is going to read a letter that trashes her personally, and focuses on what you perceive to be her “Motives”, you are sadly mistaken. Some of your points are relevant. Your main point of encouraging her to abide by established policy on data and methods, and to bring the reputation of Science Magazine back to the forefront of her responsibility is worthy of her read. Further, you need to frame it such that reestablishing the reputation of Science would also have benefit for her as well.

    Frankly, .. and I’m not trying to be mean, but, you have a lot of good points, but the letter reads like something from an amature editorial piece itself. Just think of it this way .. you no more like to read editorials that you disagree with than she will enjoy reading yours.

  34. Brian H says:

    Edit:

    it’s considerable (but rapidly decreasing) — its

    You don’t go out [missing paragraph]

    Excellent challenge. Unfortunately, it won’t be taken up. You can be sure she was ‘vetted’ for unshakable loyalty to the Cause before being appointed.

  35. M. Schneider says:

    Writing that letter was a jolly waste of time — I hope you realize that.

    McNutt is a revolving-door political appointee. She’s knows exactly where her bread is buttered, and isn’t about to jeopardize that to listen to the likes of you.

  36. DR says:

    Most excellent letter Willis. Brutally honest like it should be.

  37. DR says:

    Dr. Deanster says:
    August 4, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    You need to de-personalize this.[and edit it as others have suggested]

    I disagree. The aggressor sets the rules, and the Alinskyites have been winning by forcing their enemies to be the “nice guys” while they mercilessly attack anyone that disagrees with the “Consensus”.

    The time for playing nice is over.

  38. Tom Trevor says:

    If people spent less time pointing out grammatical and spelling errors, they might find this letter interesting, or they might not, but at least their opinion would be based on the content of the letter and not on superficial style aspects of the letter.

  39. David Larsen says:

    I knew a Mrcia McNutt over at BLM. Same one?

  40. “Now, the uninitiated might not notice the subtle change of tense there, from the subjunctive to the declarative.”

    Subjunctive is a mood, not a tense. It is used for ideas that are not necessarily factual (either hypothetical or downright counter-factual, such as “If I were you, I’d do …”)

    Its counterparts are “indicative mood”, which is used to express ideas that are (strongly believed to be) factual; “imperative mood”, which urges action (“Take the trash out.”), or otherwise indicates a desired state; and “interrogative mood”, which seeks information rather than providing it.

    “Declarative” in English is roughly synonymous with “indicative”, but other languages have additional declarative moods besides indicative. Therefore, grammarians use “indicative mood” for consistency and clarity, while a logician might speak of a “declarative statement”.

    While imperative mood by definition has only future tense (as it is logically impossible to urge someone to have already taken or be in the process of taking a particular course of action), the other moods, including both subjunctive and indicative can generally apply to all moods.

    ~Grammar Nazi

  41. patrick says:

    Yep. As others have mentioned, editing is needed. It started strong and respectful but unfortunately spiraled into a diatribe. I stopped reading about 2/3rds in and skipped to the end. Right idea Willis but not executed to your normal high standard. Recommend for rewrite. WUWT peer review is gangsta!

  42. Steve B says:

    Willis, Willis, Willis, your letter is too long and complicated for activists. I don’t think she will get past paragraph 3.
    /sarc of f

  43. Rud Istvan says:

    Climate Change is not the only subject where Science has failed science. See ScienceExpress lead article 17 August 2006. Anyone with a high school education should know that correlation does not prove causation, but lack thereof does disprove causation. And there are two ways to disprove correlation. One is ‘shorgun’ r^2 close to zero. The other is r^2 close to one, slope 0 or 1. The latter got published as proof of an anomaly. It is only proof of the sad depths to which Science has sunk, and delayed a major advance in energy storage by half a decade.
    Only good news is, Science incompetence allowed issuance of two basic patents covering the advance they did not see.

  44. Eugene WR Gallun says:

    So many telling points made. But I have the strong suspicion this woman will take the easy path — the downward path. That, in the short term, is what benefits her.

    Also I am very suspicious of civilians who claim to have received training from the military. She needs to provide specifics about such an unusual claim. Stuff like that just doesn’t pass the smell test. And where there is one lie (wait, let us be kind and call it a gross exaggeration) there are almost always many more. Let her give us all the details about this demolitions training she, a civilian, says she received from such highly trained and actually very introverted groups. The Navy air arm does have its Blue Angels that it sends around to air shows but I doubt that the Seal have something so purposed. Maybe the Navy made a movie or two about underwater demolition and she watched them? That seems about right.

    The left looks for people without shame — and I strongly suspect that she fitted their bill perfectly.

    Eugene WR Gallun

  45. Gcapologist says:

    Probably a little long to get the attention it deserves. The EPA could easily wave their wand and gloss over the important implications.

    My big question is this: What does it mean to post an open letter? Have you attempted to get it directly to Dr McNutt by email or USPS?

    In the old days, a gentle person would at least send a short handwritten note acknowledging receipt.

  46. BarryW says:

    Bravo! Too bad it’s a wasted effort. Either a.)she is an ideologue and ignores it, or b) she agrees with you and gets railroaded out of a job. Lose, lose, but that was a great speech.

  47. Steve in Seattle says:

    bumf

    n. Chiefly British Slang
    1. Printed matter, such as pamphlets, forms, or memorandums, especially of an official nature and deemed of little interest or importance.
    2. Toilet paper.

    well, that aside, once again I remind all that you don’t bring a knife to a gunfight. the left of liberals pushing this carbon free new frontier will take their agenda to their graves. if you really care about current climate science and solar physics, stop playing “nice” with these AGW types.

  48. Dr. Deanster says:

    DR says:

    Deanster: You need to de-personalize this.[and edit it as others have suggested]

    DR: I disagree. The aggressor sets the rules, and the Alinskyites have been winning by forcing their enemies to be the “nice guys” while they mercilessly attack anyone that disagrees with the “Consensus”.

    The time for playing nice is over.
    ———————————————————————————————
    Depends on what your purpose is.
    If you just want to insult the woman, so be it, insult her. But if you want her to take your letter seriously, the sophmoric editorial style of it needs to be revised. I like a lot of the content, but it reads like it is written by an ideologue … and will be dismissed.

    PS .. How Do you guys make words Italic and bold, etc.

    [Go to the "test" thread, and write a few words there. Use the angle brackets for formatting in html as usual. Mod]

  49. John Andrews says:

    Bumf and all that … unnecessary. Otherwise an interesting read. I hope she reads it.

  50. Frank Kotler says:

    Possibly futile, but since we need to exhale anyway, might as well try to blow our breath where it “might” not be wasted. Thanks Willis!

  51. Pat Michaels says:

    Hiya,

    Wiith regard to “no one on either side of the aisle predicted the pause”, I made a very public bet with Jim Hansen that the HadCru monthly data would show a statistically significant decline in the 10 years following 1/1/98. It was not significant then. It was–three months later.

  52. markstoval says:

    The fact that the magazine does not follow its own rules on transparency (in science for god’s sake!) and that it has co-authors do some reviews is astounding. Absolutely astounding. American science has become a disaster. How do we teach the young about real science now that money, politics, and ideology has demeaned it?

    Way to go “Team”.

  53. Ulric Lyons says:

    “Sadly, it seems that like many other good honest folk, you are simply parroting claims of danger that you have swallowed without ever thinking critically about them.”

    Bull’s-eye with the parroting, but maybe more peer pressure than honesty. Hair color can be deceiving.

  54. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From Dr. Deanster on August 4, 2013 at 5:55 pm:

    PS .. How Do you guys make words Italic and bold, etc.

    Head to top of page, click on “Test” in toolbar, you’ll find a page with a formatting guide and a commenting area for testing out your newly-acquired formatting skills.

  55. A.D. Everard says:

    Willis, that was absolutely outstanding. I so look forward to her reply.

    I’m sure she has the mettle to do it, she even has the brain, let’s hope it hasn’t been too badly scrubbed. I would love to see that journal restored to even half of its former glory.

    We needed ten stars for this one.

  56. Streetcred says:

    C’mon, Willis ! Tell us what you really think !!

    Underwater dems with Navy Seals ? Sharks with frikken laser beams on their heads … I did dems in the military, it was many months of study and dangerous work to get a ‘demolitions certificate’ 38 years ago … and this woman gets it done in a weekend ? All that I can say is that she must have been bloody hot in a wetsuit !

  57. jdgalt says:

    Frankly, .. and I’m not trying to be mean, but, you have a lot of good points, but the letter reads like something from an [amateur] editorial piece itself. Just think of it this way .. you no more like to read editorials that you disagree with than she will enjoy reading yours.

    The addressee of an “open letter” is never really its intended primary audience. S/he is merely the target of its criticism. The writer and his fans always hope s/he will read it and reform, or be replaced by somebody better, but neither is likely in the short run.

    I would think the obvious “cure”, if there is one, is to start a competing scholarly journal with staff who will follow the advice in the letter. If scientists are free to publish in it, that would do the trick; but the EPA, at least, has a known history of yanking dissidents’ grants, and I’d expect them to use that power to prevent the experiment’s success.

    Which may mean that it’s more productive to start funding real climate science through charities. Independent.org is a 501(c)3 and publishes skeptic material already; other similar groups exist or can be created. They’d certainly be a more honest use of “tax exempt educational” status than a lot of the groups who already have it.

  58. Michael says:

    Need to focus on her background in SCUBA and underwater explosives.

  59. OssQss says:

    Willis, I had issues with this post initially.

    Then,I sat back and thought things trough.

    I wondered how many messages of the same amplitute have been sent from vocal activists due to the person you describe above and her conveyance of such.

    I also wondered how many, much less researched, comments Anthony has on his radar everyday?

    OK, and now the video! Think about it>

  60. Canman says:

    Does that “scary combination” of being an “extremely well educated, strong, strikingly good looking, and a wicked smart woman by all accounts” have anything to do with all the typos?

  61. EW3 says:

    “McNutt is a NAUI-certified scuba diver and she trained in underwater demolition and explosives handling with the U.S. Navy UDT and Seal Team.”

    As someone who was around UDT and SEALs in the early 70’s in [Coronado] and SE Asia have to say I doubt these credentials. Back then the UDT/SEAL community was the most testosterone driven crowds you could imagine. Only way she would have had any chance to be around these folks were because she was a hotty. Handling techniques of explosives is actually a confidential issue. Fact is back then the term SEAL was considered confidential. Nobody wore the Trident in public.

  62. Steve Fitzpatrick says:

    Willis,

    She got the job because she is a dyed-in-the-wool CAGW advocate…. as is her boss (a psychologist by training, who focuses on public policy, not a scientist). Nothing you say will change her mind in any way. Science magazine is a lost cause.

  63. KevinM says:

    Science is to science as MTV is to music.
    Marketing and promotion of product to a demographic, content omitted.

  64. EW3 says:

    Corodano == Coronado Island

    it’s getting late….

  65. Ulric Lyons says:

    McNutt calls El Nino a climate change (global warming) signal, I call it a response to a weaker short term solar signal:

  66. KevinM says:

    Age 61. Minds usually stop changing by then, except temporarily for election years.

  67. Lil Fella from OZ says:

    When the word ‘sustainable’ is used I hear the Left.

  68. Eric Barnes says:

    Too much federal money is powering Science straight into the iceberg. It seems all the Science “scientists” are going down with the ship. I won’t weep.

  69. Willis Eschenbach says:

    a jones says:
    August 4, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    Sir, You are I fear wasting your breath on the sweet morning air. The magazine is dying because it has abandoned science in favour of political advocacy: it stands by it and will perish by it.

    Not that I do not applaud your attempt to speak truth to power, worthy indeed but likely futile.

    Ah, not so, my friend, never futile. I write to the good Doctor, but I write for everyone else … and there’s no telling what effect my words will have there.

    And in any case, as I said, I’m not the kind of man to sit by without protest while the driver steers the bus over the edge …

    w.

  70. Ulric Lyons says:

    Watch the video above from 27 minutes in, her voice goes croaky just before delivering the wopper about 100 times faster warming by human activity.

  71. Gunga Din says:

    Dr. Deanster says:
    August 4, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    PS .. How Do you guys make words Italic and bold, etc.

    ====================================================================
    Check out this http://home.comcast.net/~ewerme/wuwt/index.html
    It’s on the right under calendar of every WUWT page.
    It took me awhile to realize that all the “extra” stuff I was typing to do the formatting wouldn’t show up in the comment. When you type the “extra” stuff, you are actually writing a bit of computer code.

  72. Eric Barnes says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    August 4, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    And in any case, as I said, I’m not the kind of man to sit by without protest while the driver steers the bus over the edge …

    It is to your credit. Thank you! :)

  73. markx says:

    “…..strikingly good looking……”

    C’mon Willis, you KNOW you’re not allowed to say that in this politically correct world!

  74. Jeremy Das says:

    Willis, I don’t think you can have realised how your letter comes across. I see it as intrusively personal, emotional/emotive in tone rather than professional, patronising in a creepily sexist way – and therefore insincere-seeming where it is presumably intended to be genuinely complimentary, and far too long.

    I would have thought that a short, polite, impersonal letter that focussed on “pal review” and the failure to archive would be quite enough to start with. Each of these criticisms alone is damning, and must prick the conscience of any editor with a trace of honour. The only way you can be ignored by such a person is if you give them an opportunity to dismiss you as a crank, which your existing letter seems to do. Sorry to be so blunt.

  75. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Christoph Dollis says:
    August 4, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    Quite a few typos, which I will leave to the more pedantic readers. One glaring typo is this unfinished sentence at the end of about the sixth paragraph:
    …, that simply proves that the “science” involved must be of the weakest. You don’t go out

    One wonders if this was written from too much haste and emotion and too little patience and probity.

    You want haste and emotion? I’ll give you plenty for falsely attacking my honesty. Regarding my emotion, I have written this as clearly and as honestly as I know how. Yes, it was passionate, I’m a passionate man. So sue me.

    From my perspective, the problem isn’t that I’m too emotional about the Editor-In-Chief repeating these inchoate climate fears as if they were scientific facts.

    The problem is that people like you aren’t emotional enough about it.

    But you go far beyond accusing me of excess passion, a crime to which I freely plead guilty. You go on to question my probity, without the slightest attempt to provide actual evidence that I have been dishonest in anything I’ve said.

    And that, sir, is the act of a worm, not a man. If you have evidence that I’ve been dishonest, bring it out. If you don’t, a decent man would apologize for such underhanded baseless mudslinging. I don’t take well to being called a liar, Christoph.

    Enough emotion for you now?

    w.

  76. Willis Eschenbach says:

    RoyFOMR says:
    August 4, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    Another great post from Willis but I was saddened to see this in it.

    “Are you suicidal or something?”

    How long before the Team claim it as yet another ‘Death Threat’?

    Christoph Dollis says:
    August 4, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Another great post from Willis but I was saddened to see this in it.

    “Are you suicidal or something?”

    Yes, that was terrible. Ill-advised, for sure — condescending doesn’t begin to cover it.

    Ah, my bad. I was referring metaphorically to the suicide of the magazine, not of the Editor. I’ll change that immediately … OK, now it says “That’s suicide for the magazine”.

    w.

  77. Steve Oregon says:

    Despite the typos etc. this is another very thorough piece of work by Willis.

    Ms McNutt may not be capable of consuming such a large dose of constructive criticism.

    I hope she reads it two or three times. Then writes it all herself.
    That would burn it into her head for pondering.

  78. Latitude says:

    Does anyone still read this mag?….
    …When I first realized what they were advocating…I never trusted them on anything again

  79. Latitude says:

    Willis, is this an “open letter” just posted here??..
    …or did you actually send this to her?

    …I’m not clear on that…but I hope you sent it to her

  80. Ian says:

    I wonder if, after all this effort, Dr McNutt will ever read this piece? That’s the problem of course. The journaL Science is read by many including the MSM whereas, comparatively speaking of course, WUWT is not. And therein lies the rub

  81. CRS, DrPH says:

    Nicely done, Willis! Sadly, “Science” appeals to rent-seeking academics vs. practicing scientists…I had a subscription & barely have time to read my emails every day, so I let the thing lapse. Their business model is to push paper into university mailboxes, and in this world (within I presently live), honesty regarding climate change will get you in trouble.

    I cannot think of any truly honest scientific publications anymore, the rot is that bad….WUWT is about the best substitute I’ve found, where we can yell at one another endlessly about very high-level theories (and get down in the gutter with some rough humor). Cheers, Charles the DrPH

  82. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Dr K.A. Rodgers says:
    August 4, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Far too too heavy with focus creep. Get rid of all irrelavancies – such as Al Gore and all patronizing mentions of the Editor’s gender. While you are at it get rid of at least 50% of the words.

    I get about a million page views of my posts per year, so I must be doing something right … and you?

    The thing I learned early on, Dr. K. A. Rodgers, is that if I follow your instructions and write it short, some other guy named Dr. A. K. Rodgers, your evil twin, will jump up and say

    Far too too light and statically focused. Add some points of interest. While you are at it add about 50% more words.

    So I don’t pay the slightest attention to such personal preferences. You want something shorter, with no digressions?

    The internet is a big place, I’m sure you can find something.

    w.

    PS—Fortunately, it rarely happens, but when women object to the way that I talk about or refer to women, I pay very close attention.

    On the other hand, it often happens, but when men object to how I refer to women, I ignore them completely. It’s not their business, and it makes the hugely insulting assumption that the women are incapable of objecting themselves …

  83. pokerguy says:

    As usual, heavy on the sarcasm and sneer, not nearly enough reasoned persuasion. I’m in sympathy with your basic message, but I give you a fail because the chances of this woman reading it all the way through are almost nil in my opinion. So you’ve once again proved how smart and clever you are, but likely accomplished little else.

    Naturally, just my opinion.

  84. TomRude says:

    Willis, may I suggest an exception to your claim: “Not one climate scientist on either side of the aisle predicted the current ~ 15-year hiatus in warming. ” Marcel Leroux had demonstrated that since the climatic shift of the 1970s, we entered a rapid mode of atmospheric circulation always associated with cooling periods. He also demonstrated the dynamical reasons for the occurence of regional warmings (Antarctica Peninsula, Eastern Greenland etc…). So what seems an unexpected situation for many is a in fact a logical consequence for those who 1) do not believe in the climatic significance of the HadCRUt statistical treatment of surface temperature data 2) have read and understood Leroux and see the benefits of his work daily while looking at satellite animations, pressure evolution, weather events. Hence a dire need for the warm side to get Connolley’s hack job at Wikipedia last fall…

  85. TonyU says:

    slow clap :)

  86. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    If only the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) were taken over by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), then Science magazine would… have to make no changes whatsoever to continue their mission of advocacy.

    But we would get to have revered UCS member Kenji Watts give a regular review of his complimentary copy. Is a reliable indicator of likely biodegradability the absorbency of the paper?

  87. James Allison says:

    Heck of an informed rant.
    Dr. McNutt writes like an over qualified uninformed journalist for a trashy tabloid.

  88. MikeN says:

    Forget about 2.5C of warming in 2 centuries according to BEST. They are showing 1.7C in 15 years!

  89. Bill H says:

    Politically Correct speak is a tool used by the left to stop the positive communication between people. Far to long have we been worried if someone would be offended. Its time to grow up and listen rather than be offended.. If she is incapable of adult conversation then she has bigger problems.

    Lately I have decided that those around me should grow up. And lots of the stupid stuff happening vanished. Its amazing how being blunt and to the point has helped.. respectful, but blunt.. I am in agreement with Willis on this point.

  90. faboutlaws says:

    Anybody who has doubts about her military service or training may want to contact John Lilyea at the military blog “This ain’t hell. but you can see it from here”. They are experts at tracking down phonies. John and his guys are relentless. And they’re somewhat conservative. That’s what the blog is basically about. If it turns out that her claims are phony, and a lot of these claims are, what does that say about her credibility? If it turns out to be a big lie, it can cost her a job with the right pressure. Alarmists do not have their bases covered like the think they do. And forget the pretty face. What’s wrong with you guys? Are you weak? A pretty face can destroy a nation.

  91. Skiphil says:

    I think any claim by a civilian to have trained with the US Navy UDT and SEAL folks is most dubious, absent detailed substantiation. Perhaps she did some extra-curricular diving activity with one or more such guys who told her some interesting stuff, but did she “train” with those military organizations as a civilian? It would be interesting to find out whether or not this is a case of resume inflation…..

  92. Theo Goodwin says:

    Brilliant essay, Willis. Good science. Thanks.

  93. Bob says:

    Willis, I don’t think you have any expectation that McNutt will even look at this article. You probably feel better, but she will just keep on snorting CAGW climate puff. Otherwise, nice exposition and rant.

  94. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Dr. Deanster says:
    August 4, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    … If you think that this woman is going to read a letter that trashes her personally, and focuses on what you perceive to be her “Motives”, you are sadly mistaken.

    She will most likely read every word. It’s extremely hard not to, if only because she can be sure that her enemies will read every word, so she needs to know what I’m saying to combat it. The reach of Watts Up With That is amazing, everyone reads it.

    Some of your points are relevant. Your main point of encouraging her to abide by established policy on data and methods, and to bring the reputation of Science Magazine back to the forefront of her responsibility is worthy of her read. Further, you need to frame it such that reestablishing the reputation of Science would also have benefit for her as well.

    Doc, if she can’t figure out that helping the reputation of Science will benefit her reputation, I’ve wildly over-estimated the woman.

    Frankly, .. and I’m not trying to be mean, but, you have a lot of good points, but the letter reads like something from an amature editorial piece itself.

    That sentence would probably be more believable if you’d spelled “amateur” correctly … although it does make for a curiously recursive accusation.

    Could I have written it better? Sure, if I wanted to take a week. But I don’t. I’m in my middle youth, sixty-six, and I don’t have time to waste. I have interesting research and computer programming projects everywhere I look. I work a day job. And on top of that, I write. A lot.

    I’d much rather do science. I only write pieces like this when I’m driven to by the puerile claims of the person in question. And yes, I’m passionate and upset when I write things like this. I don’t write them for fun. I write them that way because that’s honestly how I feel about it.

    Finally, you totally mistake my intention. As I said above, I’m writing to Dr. McNutt, but I’m writing for the folks in the cheap seats, by which I mean the interested lay person. I want them to understand that the claims that the Editor-In-Chief of Science magazine is making have nothing to do with science. It would be wonderful if Dr. McNutt understood that as well, but that’s secondary. The odds of finding open minds are better with the lurkers … which is why I write for them.

    w.

  95. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Pat Michaels says:
    August 4, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    Hiya,

    Wiith regard to “no one on either side of the aisle predicted the pause”, I made a very public bet with Jim Hansen that the HadCru monthly data would show a statistically significant decline in the 10 years following 1/1/98. It was not significant then. It was–three months later.

    Dang, very well done, Pat. What were you basing your prediction on? How much was the bet for? Have you written it up?

    All the best,

    w.

  96. Willis,
    It’s too long. Not focused.

    Write to your reader(s).
    Write. Sleep. Read. Edit. Send.

    When addressing activists, you need to use words that they can understand in phrases that sound frightening such as:

    It’s clear from your choice to continue business-as-usual, that your tenure as editor, Dr McNutt, is unsustainable. Urgent, precautionary measures are required to arrest the magazine’s accelerating decline towards irreversible extinction.

  97. Retired Engineer John says:

    Willis, I like the way you write.

  98. otsar says:

    Sadly, you are wasting your breath. This will just be water off a ducks back.
    You must have enjoyed to read the former incarnation of Science, otherwise you would not have cared about of what it has become.
    I have dumped my memberships in ACS and AGU as they have followed similar trajectories to the ” Science” and “Scientific American” magazines.

  99. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Streetcred says:
    August 4, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Underwater dems with Navy Seals ? Sharks with frikken laser beams on their heads … I did dems in the military, it was many months of study and dangerous work to get a ‘demolitions certificate’ 38 years ago … and this woman gets it done in a weekend ? All that I can say is that she must have been bloody hot in a wetsuit !

    Thank, Streetcred. Even if it was for a weekend, I give her high marks for it.

    w.

  100. Dianne S. says:

    Very good post.
    I think the problem is that Dr. McNutt’s peers expect that she will carry on the Science tradition of climate alarmism. I really doubt that she has the b..s to resist this.

  101. faboutlaws says:

    Get off Willis’ back. Knock off this pride of authorship crap. He went into a fight and gave it a darned good shot. As a biker, I know a bit about fights and I can tell you, you rarely get to edit any of them. It’s like a debate, you rarely get the chance to polish what has been said. He did an extremely credible job and we should all be thankful he is on the side of truth, our side.

  102. charles the moderator says:

    Willis, your “not one climate scientist predicted…” is not quite accurate.

    Back in 2008: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7376301.stm

    As I said during our last AGU dinner, climate scientists on the warmey side have made so many predictions, that whatever happens, they can dig out a study and say “we predicted that”. When just about every possible outcome has been predicted by endless researchers who have risen up to suck on the almost limitless funding teat, you create a shell of unfalsibility. The shell is easily pierced with any modicum of critical analyses, but is considered inpenetrable by those suffering from advocacy overcoming rationality-otherwise known as Noble Cause Corruption.

  103. darrylb says:

    From a retired HS Physics/ Chem teacher who now acts as a mentor to many.
    !) If Climate Science is the only subject she talked about (I do not know) then she is obviously on a singular mission, substituting propaganda for science.
    2) I hope she reads all this. A few decades ago I ordered Science Mag.- for the school but dropped for reasons other than Climate Science. We really emphasized uncertainty and the scientific process in our department, the magazine gradually became less of a good example.
    3) When I talked to those in the ivory halls and elsewhere, I just ask scientists to be scientists.
    4) Our local newspaper, circulation of about 70 – 75,000 did a survey within the last week and the editors were shocked that less than half believe there is significant ACC. The main reason for doubt was they have seen to many cry wolf too often. Outlandish predictions, unsubstantiated, do just the opposite of the intended purpose.
    5) I am still am impressed with the diving career. (I dive)

  104. D Johnson says:

    I’ve had the advantage of reading this after a round of editing has taken place, but I find most of the criticisms of Willis’ piece to be off-putting. An open letter is open for a reason. The intended audience is not just Dr. McNutt but all readers who are likely to share the concern about the non-science exhibited by a formerly respected organ called Science. If others wish to pursue the subject differently they are free to do so.

    Keep up the good work Willis.

  105. Alvin says:

    A woman that likes to blow sh*t up has possibilities in my book. Let’s see if she can clean things up.

  106. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Jeremy Das says:
    August 4, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    Willis, I don’t think you can have realised how your letter comes across. I see it as intrusively personal, emotional/emotive in tone rather than professional, patronising in a creepily sexist way – and therefore insincere-seeming where it is presumably intended to be genuinely complimentary, and far too long.

    Jeremy, thanks for your opinion. You share what seems to be a common misconception, that my intention was to convince her of the error of her ways. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    I was perfectly sincere in my compliments, just as I was perfectly sincere in everything else I said. But I didn’t write it to try to be her friend, or to be nice to her, or to get her to see it my way.

    I wrote it because I want her to know that people out here are angry about the unending bullshit. I wrote it because she needs to know that people are watching her actions. I wrote it to show her that mindlessly parroting the party line is not seen as science out here in the real world. I wrote it as a deliberate affront to her beliefs.

    I wrote it to remind her that science is about evidence, not endless repetition of warnings of future disasters. I wrote it to try to get her to pull up short.

    But I’m under no illusions as to the odds of her doing that, so it’s not my real goal. As I said, your misunderstanding is the idea that I wrote it to convince her. Nothing of the sort.

    I wrote it to expose her.

    I didn’t want to convince her of the error of her ways.

    I wanted to expose her to the consequences of her ways, which is that the magazine will continue to sink, and people will point and laugh.

    w.

  107. David L. Hagen says:

    Dr. Marcia McNutt
    As a research engineer, I second Will’s observations.
    Please restore Science from activism to the scientific method.

    David L. Hagen, PhD

  108. Ah, not so, my friend, never futile. I write to the good Doctor, but I write for everyone else … and there’s no telling what effect my words will have there.

    Amen…

    Good job W.

  109. Ron House says:

    HI Willis, excellent job! Yes, there is a short bit where it is drifting off topic and imho too emotive, but if I wanted a better job I should have taken the effort and done it myself. I think that is what a lot of your critics forget when they toss off a hasty dismissal. To all of them: Do it yourself, then criticise. Thank you Wilis for spending the time to expose the problem, regardless of whether your missive is heeded.

  110. noaaprogrammer says:

    Has any group seriously considered starting a new scientific rag with digital as well as hardcopy options? It takes money, but give it some catchy title that involves the words “Climate Change” and apply for a government grant.

  111. For those doubting the SEAL training in the bio, since she was at Scripps Institute of Oceanography getting her PhD in the late 70’s, this is very very likely to be true. Scripps ran the Glomar Challenger, and (I think) fronted for the CIA earlier with the Glomar Explorer. In the 70’s, UCSD which overseas Scripps, was in the top 3 schools for Federal funding despite its small size and relative obscurity. The big funding was all poured into Scripps and these exploration vessels.

    Scuba training at Scripps was grueling, frigid maskless dives, simulated equipment failures and more. Considering the exploratory work being done with those research vessels it would make perfect sense for some of the training to have been performed by specialists from the SEALs and the US Navy UDT for a seminar or two.

    I went to UCSD during that period and worked with some of those trained at Scripps. The stories of the training were quite fierce..

  112. Gunga Din says:

    Christoph Dollis says:
    August 4, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    One wonders if this was written from too much haste and emotion and too little patience and probity.

    ============================================================================
    I had to look the word up. I haven’t been on WUWT all that long. Only about 1 1/2 years. I haven’t read every post, let alone every comment. I’ve seen people say Willis was mistaken. I’ve seen people say Willis was flat-out wrong. I’ve seen him admit he was wrong about something.
    But implying he was being dishonest? I’ve only heard something like that from those who envy his checks from “Big Oil”.

  113. otsar says:

    I consulted for instrumentation for USGS NCER (National Center For Earthquake Research) when she was the. I was not impressed. At least she had the intelligence to leave that impossible and unrewarding project. She probably figured out early on that most science was difficult and decided to go into science management. In other words it became clear that the career path for an apparatchnik is more rewarding than that of a lab hunchback (researcher.)
    She now finds herself in another impossible project, like at the beginning of her career. The outcome will be interesting.

  114. TimTheToolMan says:

    Willis writes “I wanted to expose her to the consequences of her ways, which is that the magazine will continue to sink, and people will point and laugh.”

    I suspect her primary focus is on increasing sales, not maintaining scientific integrity. If heading back towards scientific integrity increases her sales, then I’m sure thats what she’ll be doing. Meanwhile I also suspect the decrease in readership is affected by many factors in an information rich world, and perceived changes in scientific integrity isn’t necessarily the main one.

  115. Steven Mosher says:

    Well, this started strong, but quickly went off the rails, stylistically off the rails and rhetorically off the rails..

    by the time I reached this point I was wincing for the author, rather than his target:

    “And regarding you personally taking a position? Well, that’s interesting. The problem is that you are extremely well educated, strong, strikingly good looking, and a wicked smart woman by all accounts … and while those are all good things, that’s a scary combination. ”

    Reading through the whole thing it struck me that the author liked the sound of his own voice.
    never a good sign when you can sense that.

    And in the end we find

    “I wrote it to expose her.

    I didn’t want to convince her of the error of her ways.

    I wanted to expose her to the consequences of her ways, which is that the magazine will continue to sink, and people will point and laugh.”

    That is all well and good, as long as you don’t expose yourself.

    Lets put it another way. You went a good ways toward exposing her flaws, but in the end the over personalizing, the holier than thou tone, the pulpit thumping, the indignation, exposed more about you than your target. It wasnt enough to expose her flaws, you also seem to want to send a message about who willis is. We get that. By the end, I had more sympathy for her than I did at the beginning. I went from being on your side to wanting to get the hook and pull you off the stage.

    Now of course that doesnt mean you want to remove all the personality you display here, but in the end, she’s not the only one who is exposed.

    Actually I find this is a rather common flaw with all the “open letters” I read at WUWT. They end reminding me of peacocks displaying their tail feathers.

    And yes I’m entitled to my own opinion . others may have different views. They will get no argument from me.

  116. Jeef says:

    Putting my PC hat on this would read better without the references to the fairer sex.

  117. Matt Schilling says:

    I believe Willis and others misunderstood Christoph Dollis’ use of the word ‘probity’. Here is a quote from Tertullian that gives a hint as to how I think Dollis meant it: “So, too, the sea has an ill repute for honesty; while at one time, the breezes equably swaying it, tranquillity gives it the semblance of probity, calm gives it the semblance of even temper; and then all of a sudden it heaves restlessly with mountain-waves”.

    I know the quote mentions ‘honesty’, but I think Dollis is equating ‘probity’ with ‘even temper’ . I believe he was advising patience and an even temper vs. too much haste and emotion.

  118. Ben D. says:

    To all who are critical of the letter by Willis, but still think Science Magazine can do with a shakeup, then please do the right thing and write your own personal letter to Dr. Marcia McNutt.

    Thank you in advance…

  119. RockyRoad says:

    It’s time the world realized how un-scientific Science has become. Sad to see they’ve become a propaganda rag with impunity.

    So whatever McNutt’s response might be, the ball is in her court and her response, should it ever come, will be interesting indeed.

    (I’m predicting it will just be some legalese rejoinder.)

  120. jdseanjd says:

    Passionate, personal & factual.
    Nice work Willis,
    please keep it coming.
    Cheers,
    JD.
    PS: For those calling for Willis to be more dispassionate, I would say you need to get some perspective. The Lefty “Environmentalists” of the CAGW crowd are actually Eugenicists bent on culling this planet’s population. & they’re succeeding.
    The disgraceful banning of DDT as (falsely) carcinogenic has let malaria run riot & has cost 50,000,000 lives, by some reports. That’s more people than were killed by Hitler. When we get back to sanity this will be seen by history as a major tragedy of the 20th century.
    This climate change/global warming thing is not just a gentlemanly? scientific debate, vast numbers of human lives are being lost.
    Wildavsky, Aaron. ‘But is it True? A Citizen’s Guide to Environmental Health & Safety Issues’
    Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1995.
    Actually, DDT was never formally banned. Countries were just told that they would receive no foreign aid if they continued it’s use.
    Way to go America.

    http://www.thrivemovement.com

    First: The Problem, a fairly lengthy essay.
    Next: The Movie, 2 hrs 13 mins.
    Then: John Anthony on UN Agenda 21

  121. Noah Zark says:

    ANY reference to a woman’s physical appearance in a “public letter” such as this is entirely inappropriate and counter-productive.

    It drives feminists nuts, and rightly so. There’s no correlation with physical beauty and intelligence, honesty, creativity, talent, wisdom, or any other positive attribute.

    If anything, physical beauty can lead people to overlook cupidity, greed, dishonesty, and all the other usual human failings.

    So leave all references to her looks out! Focus on the issues, not the person or the personality.

    Please.

  122. I apologise for using the word “probity”, Willis. I simply used the wrong word. I did not intend to question your honesty in the slightest, but I see that I did that inadvertently in my misunderstanding the meaning of the word.

    One wonders if this was written from too much haste and emotion and too little patience and probity.

    I meant to use a word similar to decorum or composure. Basically, I meant to use something meaning the opposite of excess “emotion” in the same way that “patience” was the opposite of “haste”.

  123. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Ian says:
    August 4, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    I wonder if, after all this effort, Dr McNutt will ever read this piece? That’s the problem of course. The journaL Science is read by many including the MSM whereas, comparatively speaking of course, WUWT is not. And therein lies the rub

    You misapprehend the changes that have happened in the last decade. WUWT has not replaced Science magazine. But WUWT is like the newspaper of the climate world, read daily by everyone on both sides of the climate question. The skeptics read it to find out what’s new, and the global warming supporters read it to find out what kind of new arguments are being put forth, and what kind of lunacy I’m propounding today.

    And one thing I can say for my own writing is, it rarely leaves people unmoved. I have to laugh when I publish something, and the next day it’s being roundly excoriated all over the blogosphere. And the Climategate emails showed that Phil Jones and Michael Mann and the rest avidly (albeit secretly) reading the postings from Steve McIntyre and myself.

    So yes, this piece will make it to Dr. McNutt’s desk, either because she finds it, or because a friend of hers reads it and sends it to her. That’s the way the 21st century is, only a couple degrees of separation.

    w.

  124. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Christoph Dollis says:
    August 4, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    I apologise for using the word “probity”, Willis. I simply used the wrong word. I did not intend to question your honesty in the slightest, but I see that I did that inadvertently in my misunderstanding the meaning of the word.

    One wonders if this was written from too much haste and emotion and too little patience and probity.

    I meant to use a word similar to decorum or composure. Basically, I meant to use something meaning the opposite of excess “emotion” in the same way that “patience” was the opposite of “haste”.

    Sir, you are a gentleman, and your explanation is gratefully accepted.

    Best regards,

    w.

  125. dp says:

    These same issues came up in the open letter to Linda Gunderson. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/21/an-open-letter-to-dr-linda-gundersen/ In that post a most amazing but pointless claim was made and which is at the heart of many serial open letter writers – basking in one’s own glow.

    Y’know, Hexe, I’m one of the more widely read climate bloggers on the planet, with about a million page views last year, writing for the best and most widely read science blog on the web, and you are a commenter.

    Then this:

    In other words, I’m not trying to convince her, or anyone else. I’m not trying to get her to like me. I’m not running for office, it’s not a popularity contest.

    And this:

    You say that ” Anger sells but doesn’t convince – that is why RealClimate is wallowing.” … if so, explain to me why I’m easily the most popular guest poster on this web site, and yet when I’m angry, I’m angry, and people know it.

    When he becomes ridiculous like this it is hard to remember this is WUWT and not RC or Joe Romm responding. It reminds of the Uncle Bob story: http://www.ebaumsworld.com/jokes/read/82387165/

    The same flaws in the Gunderson letter are present in the McNutt letter hence the blatant parallelism in the thread.

    Shields up!

  126. Streetcred says:

    charles the moderator says: August 4, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    Pffft ! Doesn’t sound anything different to a PADI Open Water dive course. You don’t need to be a Navy Seal to instruct that, LOL. Claptrap.

  127. Theo Goodwin says:

    I cannot find any problems with criticisms of climate science or McNutt that Willis makes. The comments mention none but contain many complaints about Willis’ tone. Willis’ letter is a very good educational piece. Would anyone care to make substantive criticisms of Willis’ claims?

  128. John F. Hultquist says:

    I wrote it as a deliberate affront to her beliefs.”
    “I wrote it to try to get her to pull up short.

    I’ll drink to both. And a few more.
    Great job.
    Consider that friends, colleagues, relatives, and simple “I know of her” -types will read this and wonder.
    Great job, Willis.

  129. Jimbo says:

    When the science is strong it doesn’t need defenders …

    Without defenders and lots of funding CAGW science would have been buried by now – extinguished by observations.

    It doesn’t matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn’t matter how smart you are. If it doesn’t agree with experiment, it’s wrong.
    [Richard Feynman]

    Willis, the lack of warming was observed as far back as 5th July 2005 by Dr. Phil Jones. Here are about 15 ‘lack of warming’ quotes from July 2005 to July 2013.

    The editorial talks of “climate changes will be too rapid for many species”. It’s unprecedented!
    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/286/5441/930.short

  130. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Steven Mosher says:
    August 4, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    … Lets put it another way. You went a good ways toward exposing her flaws, but in the end the over personalizing, the holier than thou tone, the pulpit thumping, the indignation, exposed more about you than your target. It wasnt enough to expose her flaws, you also seem to want to send a message about who willis is. We get that. By the end, I had more sympathy for her than I did at the beginning. I went from being on your side to wanting to get the hook and pull you off the stage.

    Now of course that doesnt mean you want to remove all the personality you display here, but in the end, she’s not the only one who is exposed.

    Actually I find this is a rather common flaw with all the “open letters” I read at WUWT. They end reminding me of peacocks displaying their tail feathers.

    And yes I’m entitled to my own opinion . others may have different views. They will get no argument from me.

    Thanks as always for your thoughts, Steven, they are always welcome.

    In common with many people. you seem to have have misunderstood my intention, and underestimated my understanding of my own actions. I’ve been in the climate wars for some years now. I’m playing a long game, and a subtle one. And as you know, I’m a damn good wordsmith. I am well aware of the tone and style of what I wrote. I pick my words with care. I wrote this piece, and edited it. Then I set it aside, worked on some other stuff. Then I slept on it. Then I edited it some more. Not enough, there were still some typos, but until it had the style and tone I wanted. People have said I wandered and lost focus. I didn’t want it to be clean and straight. I wanted it to be discursive and with detours and diversions. People say it is too long. I wanted it to be long, even boring. I wanted people to get to the point where they’re saying yeah, we know that …

    You see, I wrote it to be over the top. I wanted it to be over the top. And then you and a bunch of people come along to solemnly break the news to me that it’s over the top … yep. Sure is. Looks like I succeeded.

    I have no problem with people wincing for me, and wanting to grab the hook. Because you see, Steven, while you’re grabbing for the hook, I’ve already set the hook.

    What it seems you and others don’t realize is that when you get angry with me for pointing out all of her mistaken claims in such an unpleasant manner, you have unknowingly accepted my premise that her claims are mistaken.

    See, if I were all nice and collegiate and cordial about what she’s done, the debate would be about whether she has done wrong or not.

    But this way, everyone accepts that she’s done wrong, and they are angry at me for the MANNER in which I’ve pointed that she’s done wrong. By allowing the debate to be about my manners and whether I’m treating her mean, I have established my actual scientific points without debate or opposition.

    Now, that’s a pretty nice piece of escritorial aikido, wouldn’t you say? By allowing myself to be the target, I’ve laid out my view of her actions without people contesting the points I’ve made. They’ve tacitly accepted that I’m right, and they’re concentrating on the fact that they’re upset that I haven’t been all PC in pointing that out. To put it another way, as I had intended, you’re so busy looking at what you call my “peacock feathers” that my underlying scientific statements have gone unquestioned.

    See, you think I set out to convince people of something. Which I did want to do, but in the process what I really wanted to do was to raise a really big ruckus about Science magazine’s blind parroting of climate alarmism. The way I’ve done it guarantees that it will get wide coverage, folks do love to hate on me, and likely for good reason … but there are over a hundred comments already, and meanwhile, my questions about the natural experiment get linked to and copied around the web and the world

    And long after the outrage towards me has gone, those important scientific questions that I’ve inserted like indigestible stones in the middle of my post will remain, copied and linked to on dozens of sites—why has the planet warmed since the 1600s? Where is the evidence for the extinctions?

    And that, my friend, was my real intention—to spread my idea of the natural experiment and those questions about the lack of catastrophes from more than 2°C of warming as widely as I could around the web … like I said, I play a long game, and I’m a subtle man.

    So I’m overjoyed that you wanted to get out your hook and pull me off of the stage, Steven. It means that I’ve succeeded beyond my expectations.

    My best to you,

    w.

  131. Kevin Lohse says:

    Wonderful example of writing from the heart. And when writing from the heart, write what you want to say, then leave it for 48 hours. Come back and re-write it in a manner that the recipient will be prepared to read and accept it. I’m sure you know that Willis, but enthusiasm has triumphed over pragmatism as it so often does. Errata hominum est. I loved it, but then I’m a sucker for the truth.

  132. Kevin Lohse says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    August 4, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    Hadn’t seen that before I posted. If you have intentionally written a peace that the supposed recipient will reject half-way through, that’s a VERY long game you’re playing.

  133. Jimbo says:

    Even species that might tolerate the new environment could nevertheless decline as the ecosystems on which they depend collapse. The oceans will become more stratified and less productive.

    As I have said before, when I see a claim I look to the past and present. Let’s look at the Arctic – a place where ‘climate changes’ are most obvious. The first point is that polar bear numbers are up from about 5,000 in the 1950s to over 25,000 today. It seems that the rapid warming of the Arctic in the 1920 and 1930s led to their northward shift of cod and herring and an increase in north Atlantic ocean productivity. More polar bear food?
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/17/global-warming-climate-change/
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/17/global-warming-climate-change/#comment-1366283

  134. Streetcred,
    Believe as you wish.
    I’ve been certified myself and done NAUI open water certification and some PADI training. The training decribed to me, although it was described over 30 years ago to me (I was already certiified) was much more like military training, not unlike the demolition training SAS divers do in Antarctic waters which I and a boatload (literally) of other eco tourists witnessed at Deception Island.

  135. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Noah Zark says:
    August 4, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    ANY reference to a woman’s physical appearance in a “public letter” such as this is entirely inappropriate and counter-productive.

    It drives feminists nuts, and rightly so. There’s no correlation with physical beauty and intelligence, honesty, creativity, talent, wisdom, or any other positive attribute.

    If anything, physical beauty can lead people to overlook cupidity, greed, dishonesty, and all the other usual human failings.

    So leave all references to her looks out! Focus on the issues, not the person or the personality.

    Please.

    First, perhaps you missed what I said in the comments above, which was:

    Fortunately, it rarely happens, but when women object to the way that I talk about or refer to women, I pay very close attention.

    On the other hand, it often happens, but when men object to how I refer to women, I ignore them completely. It’s not their business, and it makes the hugely insulting assumption that the women are incapable of objecting themselves …

    Second, in my sole comment on her looks, I raised the point that because Dr. McNutt is a smart, well educated, strong, and strikingly good-looking woman, people might not tell her the truth. That may not fit your politically correct world view, but it’s one of those ugly facts about the world. Men lie to good-looking women, whether you approve or not.

    Third, honest comments don’t “drive feminists nuts”. That’s a highly insulting claim, implying that feminists are on the edge of losing it and any little comment will drive them over the edge. My experience has generally been the opposite.

    Finally, if any women have been insulted by something I said, I trust completely that they have the strength and forthrightness to call me on my error, and will certainly continue to do so whenever I’m out of line, as they have done in the past, fortunately infrequently … I’ve spent a lifetime around amazing women, and I’m damn sure that they don’t need a big strong man like you to defend their honor …

    w.

  136. ATheoK says:

    Willis:
    A wonderful heartfelt intelligent letter. However, I’m in agreement with Dr. Deanster that you need to de-personalize the letter substantially.

    This is not a critique, but consider it as advice. (and yes, free advice is worth it’s cost)

    First, do not suggest that you would ‘kill’ for her position. Use almost any other word, but not that one; as the simplest way of making the position vacant for you is not your real style and you shouldn’t suggest that.

    “…You do have an amazing opportunity, one that any scientist, including myself, would gladly make substantial tradeoffs for…”

    Personal pronouns quickly turn discussions into divisive standoffs as the discussion seems to be ‘them’ against ‘us’. A standoff position places the recipient into a very unwilling mood.

    “…and that experiment has proven once again that you can’t be both an activist journal and a scientific journal. Your magazine has thrown its considerable (but rapidly decreasing) weight behind a number of causes. And yes, some of those causes are indeed important…”

    The pronoun ‘you’ is a challenge statement direct to Dr. McNutt; technically correct, just direct.
    The pronoun ‘your’ places ownership and full responsibility onto Dr. McNutt along with placing her in defensive opposition to you.

    Perhaps that is your intention; but it come across as aggressively challenging in discussion.

    “…and that experiment has proven once again that Science cannot be both an activist journal and a scientific journal. Science magazine has thrown its considerable (but rapidly decreasing) weight behind a number of causes. And yes, some of those causes are indeed important…”

    To me the latter approach puts the journal Science into what is it’s proper position as the flagship scientific journal rapidly deteriorating into an grocery line activist shock rag.

    There are many places where Dr. McNutt deserves to be fingered as the one responsible, but even there, the words could be less personal but just as direct.

    “…The problem is that you are convinced the causes are hugely important, and you want to convince us of the same. But once you convince people that your causes are more important to you than your science, that’s it for your authority regarding the science. You either get to have activism, or you get scientific authority. You don’t get both. And the past actions of your magazine have clearly demonstrated that these days your activist causes are much more important to you than the science…”
    versus
    “…The problem is that causes are hugely important and that convincing us about a cause is also important to you. But once causes are more important to Science Magazine than actual science is, that’s it for any authority regarding the science. Science Magazine is either activist and endorses activism, or Science Magazine establishes and maintains scientific authority. You don’t get both. And the past actions of Science Magazine have clearly demonstrated that these days activist causes are much more important than the science…”

    Please do not be offended by my clumsy attempts at employing your verbal force without turning the letter into an ‘us versus them’ blindness on either side. I’m thinking their side is the blind side, but what I’m asking you to strive for is Dr. McNutt reading your entire letter. Yes she is responsible, but that is her job to realize responsibility. Whether your open letter is written aggressively or sweetly, she is still responsible for Science Magazine’s advocacy or return to science.

    A cagey customer once related to me how he got the Postmaster General interested in his mail delivery problem.
    The Post Office has a product call ‘registered mail’ with ‘restricted delivery’. What this means is that only the person to whom the letter is addressed to, can sign for and accept the letter. No exceptions! Registered mail means that the carrier is personally responsible for that mail piece and any handoffs must be signed for. Restricted delivery is as I’ve stated above.

  137. ATheoK says:

    Whoops, screwed up a closing blockquote; looks like I missed the /. My apologies.

    [Already fixed before I saw your note. -w.]

  138. Jimbo says:

    The editor talks a lot about warming tropics. Let’s look at the past………..again.

    Effects of Rapid Global Warming at the Paleocene-Eocene Boundary on Neotropical Vegetation

    Abstract – Science – 12 November 2010
    Temperatures in tropical regions are estimated to have increased by 3° to 5°C, compared with Late Paleocene values, during the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM, 56.3 million years ago) event. We investigated the tropical forest response to this rapid warming by evaluating the palynological record of three stratigraphic sections in eastern Colombia and western Venezuela. We observed a rapid and distinct increase in plant diversity and origination rates, with a set of new taxa, mostly angiosperms, added to the existing stock of low-diversity Paleocene flora. There is no evidence for enhanced aridity in the northern Neotropics. The tropical rainforest was able to persist under elevated temperatures and high levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, in contrast to speculations that tropical ecosystems were severely compromised by heat stress.
    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/330/6006/957.short

    ——————–

    Global Warming and Neotropical Rainforests, A Historical Perspective
    Abstract – Annual Review – May 2013

    Our compilation of 3820 empirical estimates of temperature over the past 120 Ma indicates that tropics have warmed as much as 7°C during both the mid-Cretaceous and Paleogene……Tropical rainforest did not collapse during past warmings; on the contrary, its diversity increased. The increase in temperature seems to be a major driver in promoting diversity.
    http://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev-earth-042711-105403

    Maybe it’s the rapidity that does them in. But CAGW says that warming increases as you head away from the equator and towards the poles.

  139. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Kevin Lohse says:
    August 4, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    August 4, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    Hadn’t seen that before I posted. If you have intentionally written a piece that the supposed recipient will reject half-way through, that’s a VERY long game you’re playing.

    Oh, if she starts it, she’ll read it all the way through. As I said above, she needs to do that if only just to counter the questions of her friends and the insinuations of her enemies, because both of those groups will read through to the end, people love that kind of stuff …

    And as I said above, it’s written to her, but not simply for her …

    w.

  140. I had to look the word [probity] up. I haven’t been on WUWT all that long. Only about 1 1/2 years. I haven’t read every post, let alone every comment. I’ve seen people say Willis was mistaken. I’ve seen people say Willis was flat-out wrong. I’ve seen him admit he was wrong about something.
    But implying he was being dishonest? I’ve only heard something like that from those who envy his checks from “Big Oil”.

    Gunga Din, I should have looked it up also!

    I believe Willis and others misunderstood Christoph Dollis’ use of the word ‘probity’. Here is a quote from Tertullian that gives a hint as to how I think Dollis meant it: “So, too, the sea has an ill repute for honesty; while at one time, the breezes equably swaying it, tranquillity gives it the semblance of probity, calm gives it the semblance of even temper; and then all of a sudden it heaves restlessly with mountain-waves”.

    I know the quote mentions ‘honesty’, but I think Dollis is equating ‘probity’ with ‘even temper’ . I believe he was advising patience and an even temper vs. too much haste and emotion.

    Matt Schilling, good catch. That’s exactly how I meant it — very perceptive of you.

    Thanks for sharing that passage. That is probably how I got the incorrect meaning stuck in my head. In any case, it’s an interesting and beautiful use of language.

  141. Willis Eschenbach says:

    ATheoK says:
    August 4, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    Willis:
    A wonderful heartfelt intelligent letter. However, I’m in agreement with Dr. Deanster that you need to de-personalize the letter substantially.

    This is not a critique, but consider it as advice. (and yes, free advice is worth it’s cost)

    First, do not suggest that you would ‘kill’ for her position. Use almost any other word, but not that one; as the simplest way of making the position vacant for you is not your real style and you shouldn’t suggest that.

    … more good stuff snipped …

    I have made that change and a couple of the other changes that you suggest. Yours is the best kind of advice, not “you’re doing it wrong”, but “this might be preferable”, complete with reasons why. What’s not to like?

    My great thanks, both for your suggestions and your style,

    w.

  142. johanna says:

    Sorry Willis, but this woman finds the personal references creepy and inappropriate.

    And, having spent some of the best years of my life reading letters to senior politicians and deciding what to do with them, this would have gone into the category “R:TLA” – which means “rant: three line acknowledgement”. No busy senior executive wastes their time reading this kind of lengthy and unfocused missive. That was left to minions like me.

    However, as you say that your primary audience is not the person it is addressed to, but your loyal readers here, I guess it serves your purpose.

  143. amoorhouse says:

    Willis

    Strong letter. The only thing I would say is the phrase “future ex-Editor-in-Chief” could be misused by people who will want to misuse it to dismiss the rest of the letter’s contents. I would suggest not to provide excuses to those with media support who are looking for excuses. But well done overall.

  144. mickcgorman says:

    You lost the argument the moment you mentioned Dr Mcnutt being good looking! [snip . . site rules]

    [you obviously missed the context of her not being told the truth by men who were distracted by her good looks . . that you find it necessary to be abusive in your response loses you any authority . . mod]

  145. LamontT says:

    Bravo! Science was once an excellent magazine focused on science. But along with its embrace of CAGW came a loss of focus on actual science and a slow drift away from real solid science into fuzzy nonscience things. I expect in part it was an embracing of post modern science which isn’t science but pretty much an antiscience point of view.

    As noted by others I sadly doubt she will listen and tack the magazine back towards actual solid science but one can always hope. Additionally it doesn’t hurt to call out the magazine again at the changing of the editor on it’s lack of science.

  146. NikFromNYC says:

    “Thou goest beyond them: but the higher thou dost mount, the smaller thou seemest to the eye of envy. But he that hath wings is most hated.” – Friedrich Nietzsche (Thus Spake Zarathrusta, 1891)

    “To hell with anyone who wants to hinder me. You see, Theo, I’ve had enough of it all; think it over and you will understand. Is my path less straight because somebody says, You have gone astray?” – Vincent van Gogh (letter to Theo van Gogh, 1882)

    “There are two unpardonable sins in this world success and failure. Those who succeed can’t forgive a fellow for being a failure, and those who fail can’t forgive him for being a success. If you do succeed, though, you will be too busy to bother very much about what the failures think.” – George Horace Lorimer (Letters From a Self-Made Merchant to His Son, 1902)

  147. Kev-in-Uk says:

    Am late to the party on this one – long weekend and all that
    I read it through, and then read through many of the comments. I actually agree with Moshers take on it, because, as I read it, I felt the same kind of ‘winces’. Too long, too direct, too ‘self important’ and imposing perhaps.

    That said – I fully agree with what Willis is trying to say – just that it doesn’t necessarily come across like that to the reader.

    as for any chance of effectual change at Science Magazine – sorry, but I can’t see it myself, at least not until hell freezes over (pun intended).

    Science is a complete misnomer! I think the last copy I properly read was in the early to mid 80’s and I recall glancing at a couple a friend had in the 90’s and thinking how bad it had become. Have never looked at one since, so unless this provokes a major change, I doubt I’ll be looking at one in the future (let alone subscribing or actual purchasing a load of alarmist twaddle)
    regards

  148. steverichards1984 says:

    Either way, this lady will be embarrassed.

    I hope she takes the opportunity to refocus her magazine.

  149. Michael Schaefer says:

    Wow, Willis.

    This is one serious wrist-slap for Dr. McNutt, if there ever was one…

    I hope your message will get through to her but, you know, I have serious doubts it will…

  150. Slacko says:

    “a wicked smart woman” should be
    “a wickedly smart woman”

    [Fixed, thanks. -w.]

  151. Steve B says:

    Willis’ explanation of the long game and the hook line and sinker reminds me of something out of the Bible.
    Mat 23:1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples,
    Mat 23:2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat,
    Mat 23:3 so practice and observe whatever they tell you–but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice.
    etc etc etc
    Mat 23:13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.
    etc etc

    Jesus was not actually talking to the pharisees and scribes either. He was talking to the common people and of course they kinda overheard. I am sure the PC crowd would have told Jesus to tone it down just as here. Now that I know the game I say go for it.

  152. Steve Case says:

    Some one above said it devolved into a diatribe. I’d have to agree, but I’d use the term rant, and a damn good one at that.

  153. André van Delft says:

    Great letter Willis. My two cents:
    First a typo; a missing ‘r’ after “you” in

    Here are you climate claims from your recent Editorial

    Second, on August 4, 2013 at 7:21 pm you quoted “Dr. K. A. Rodgers”:

    While you are at it get rid of at least 50% of the words.

    Then you quoted his imaginary evil twin who wants to undo this:

    While you are at it add about 50% more words.

    100% more words would be required for a complete undo.
    BTW, OT: comparisons between two values A and B in scientific publications are often given by A/B – 1, but they would better be indicated by ln(A/B): the result is about the same for small differences between A and B; and the absolute value of ln(A/B) is symmetric in A and B.
    E.g., for A = 2*B the logarithmic comparison yields 0.69 or -0.69 as opposed to 1 or -0.5.

  154. Stocky says:

    I feel the same way about the Royal Society and the UK Met Office. Both look like shameful, morally bankrupt lobbying organisations, not the respectable scientific establishments they once were.

    And for what reason? Lose your credibility for a few short term years and a handful of gold. Disgraceful, the members of the RS should hang their collective heads in shame.

  155. Simon says:

    This is a bizarre, patronizing and vaguely offensive Gish Gallop.
    It is also the first time I’ve seen someone here cherry-pick a start-point to increase the variation. 2.5C in under 200 years is a huge increase that coincides with the Industrial Age. Why not start at 1800? It might pay to note that the uncertainty in those early measures is large too.
    Most species are adaptable enough to move or adjust their life-cycles to climate change. There is currently a huge wave of extinctions going on; but the causes are multiple and usually anthropogenic.

  156. Don K says:

    Slacko says:
    August 5, 2013 at 2:19 am

    “a wicked smart woman” should be
    “a wickedly smart woman”

    ===========================
    In English class probably. But in the New England vernacular where the phrase surely originates it’d be “wicked smart” 98.6725 percent of the time.

  157. JB Goode says:

    Just watched the video above.She’s not a Mcnutt she’s a 22 carat nut.

  158. Txomin says:

    Noble but pointless effort. Yes, editors are the precise reason why most journals are packed with useless trash (unless my field is a brutal exception). However, that this particular editor is biased on CAGW is of little consequence when taking into consideration the extremely low academic and scientific standards we are forced to put up with in general.

  159. Slacko says:

    Tom Trevor says:
    August 4, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    “If people spent less time pointing out grammatical and spelling errors, they might find this letter interesting, or they might not, but at least their opinion would be based on the content of the letter and not on superficial style aspects of the letter.”

    Grammar and spelling have to do with correctness, not style. And grammatical accuracy can often be essential to a proper understanding of the content. Incorrect spelling just makes a document slow and difficult to read. Willis was clearly focussing on the content and leaving the corrections to us. What’s up with that?

  160. Peter Taylor says:

    Willis – your admiration of Navy seals and underwater explosives needs a reality check. To succeed in that training, you need an abiding FAITH in the organisation supplying the training, the explosives and, eventually, a target. I say this with some historical perspective – French navy ‘seals’ blew a massive hole in the Rainbow Warrior, in 1985, and the Greenpeace photographer Fernando Perreira perished in the sinking. I knew him as a wonderful man and father – and some of the crew who narrowly escaped with their lives, were friends.

    And by the way…there was ONE scientist on ‘our’ side of the divide, who did predict the standstill – I wrote to the MetOffice in February 2009, and published a book later that year : ‘Chill’ which reviewed over 200 scientific articles, concluding that ‘ Unless there is another major ENSO event, then global temperatures will likely begin to fall’. There was a major El Nino in 2010, of course, without which the trend would be very clearly downward – even with it, the trend since 2002 is slightly downward. I also warned the MetOffice that summers would get wetter (they said drier) and winters colder (they said warmer); that the Sun’s magnetic field would likely stay low, farUV would become a main object of research, and food security a major issue.

    The reason you don’t get to hear about these predictions might just be because I am a ‘greenie’ leftish former Greenpeace chief advocate – all stated clearly in my book – which ‘our’ side gave very little publicity to. The barriers to scientific discussion and ‘truth’ exist within the sceptic camp as much as in the corridors of UEA.

    Curiously, the closest thing to ‘truth’ is emerging from models (darn it!) at NCAR, led by Gerry Meehl….who has incorporated a projected Maunder Minimum via stratospheric/atmospheric dynamics/UV and the Sun’s variability…..check out the final 2100 global T: its only 1.5 degrees above present! Would be good if you guys could review it (if not done already): Geophysical Res Letters 40: 1789-1793 – Could a future grand solar minimum like the Maunder Minimum stop global warming. And it projects no warming through to 2065.

    I visited NCAR in February 2010, with my colleague Jackson Davis, and had a brief discussion with Dr Meehl (whom we nicknamed ‘the denim dude’) – there were things they did not know – still operating with old models and assumptions about man-made aerosols causing the 1945-1975 hiatus – but they were OPEN to discussion, and they seem to have listened to criticism of the models. Sadly, us Brits are more closed – the MetOffice doors slammed shut on publication of criticisms.

    I always enjoy your posts – having preferred a life of adventure over the laboratory, but don’t let the lust for action cloud your take on political reality. And if you want a discussion on science versus activism – I would be up for it, having walked that tight-rope all my professional life.

  161. Stephen Richards says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:

    August 4, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Willis what a jones is trying to say, I think, is that you need to be brief and concise otherwise the bus will be in the quarry before you have said the essential word ” STOP”

  162. Sigmundb says:

    Excellent read as usual, but then I agree with you 100%. McNutt probably agree with you <25% and is about as willing as most to take unsollicited advice. I would suggest you take out all the personal stuff and try to state your concern for good science and the perils of misplaced acivism as short as possible in the hope of beeing read to the end.
    Since that is the obvious advice from any budding coomunication advisor I guess you knew this and chose to write straight from the heart in the hope she will recognise your honesty and read it to the end even if it hurts.
    Anyway, I thank you for your effort, more of us should do the same. There are plenty of Magazines and editors that need this advice.

  163. Coldish says:

    Willis, your lecture makes some good points but is boringly long. I know you are a busy person, but you could with advantage spend some time and effort shortening and editing it. You could start with cutting out the stuff about Dr McNutt’s personal appearance and military training.

  164. Mr Lynn says:

    Writes Willis to one of the critics above (I forget which):

    . . . Finally, you totally mistake my intention. As I said above, I’m writing to Dr. McNutt, but I’m writing for the folks in the cheap seats, by which I mean the interested lay person.

    I’m one of the folks way up in the bleachers, and I greatly enjoy a slam-bang run-fest, which this was. Like many here, I am also an editorial critic, but in Willis’s case you have to forget nit-picking and realize that in the Internet age the heat of composition doesn’t get much time to cool down, and there are no editors.

    For all those carpers above who are busily advising Willis how to fine-tune his missive for its ostensible recipient: Forget it; it’s an Open Letter. It’s been published, so it’s been sent. The horse has gone; close the barn door.

    Finally, Willis says that the real point of the Open Letter was to set the hook of real science: his “natural experiment,” the evidence of the recent past, which shows conclusively that Miz McNutt’s rampant, invidious speculations about future disasters are completely unfounded. If just one schoolteacher reads (and understands) this argument, we will have rescued a host of students from the blarney that passes as science education these days.

    /Mr Lynn

  165. Coldish says:

    Willis, I’ve now read some of your responses to earlier comments. I see what you’re aiming at. Good on yer!

  166. Tim Clark says:

    I must admit after reading about a third of this piece I considered jumping to the comments…..but I didn’t. I read it completely. Most entertaining. I, like Willis, “calls em like I sees em.” Whether she reads it, is offended, or just blows it off is irrelevant. Is what he wrote true?

  167. Rob Ricket says:

    With regard to the claim of SEAL/UDT training; it is not completely out of the realm possibilities. This is especially true if McNutt is a Marine Biologist or animal behaviorist. In the 80’s I met a fellow from Sea World (Robin…last name escapes me, perhaps it was Fry) who had a number of “attack dolphins” penned in Little Creek VA.

    Wouldn’t it be interesting to know if climate crusader McNutt helped train dolphins to kill opposing frogmen and plant explosives?

  168. Warren in Minnesota says:

    A most interesting letter, Willis. I enjoyed it. But there is one sentence, “You’ve actually in good shape yet.” that is most likely wrong. I think that the contraction, you’ve or you have, should be you are or you’re.
    Best wishes, Warren

    [Thanks, Warren, fixed. -w.]

  169. Stacey says:

    Dear Willis
    This is a great post.
    Whilst the boy keeps crying wolf you can either ignore them or chastise him and explain the harm and nuisance he’s creating. Which of course is much better then ignoring him, as we know the consequences for the little boy?

  170. Tom Murphy says:

    “…[T]hat’s incredible hubris.” Indeed, this is the primary quality of the majority of scientists espousing the warming alarm.

    I like to pretend (sometimes) that many are just chasing research dollars, but I believe it’s gone past that now and entered into the realm of the “fanatic” for the majority of warming alarmists. And as fanatics, they demonstrate great conviction and enthusiasm in the pursuit of supporting the notion (it’s not even a theory, truthfully) of catastrophic, anthropogenic global warming; yet as Mr. Eschenbach has highlighted correctly, these are subjective qualities at best, which have no place in the realm of science. Objectivity remains paramount in science, and any scientist that compromises this principle for the sake of a cause is unworthy of consideration by others actually employing the scientific method.

  171. Duke C. says:

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    August 4, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    Steven Mosher says:
    August 4, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    escritorial aikido? Google translate identifies this descriptive as Galician, with no English equivalent.

  172. beng says:

    Dr McNutt?. Oh, that’s just wonderful.

  173. Rob says:

    I can still remember when I used to read Science.

  174. Gary Pearse says:

    “I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”
    Mark Twain
    Good points and advice, but better condensed so that she will read it all.

  175. bwanajohn says:

    Cathartic wasn’t is Willis? You never disappoint me. Hope she really does read it.

  176. Corey S. says:

    “She trained in underwater demolition and explosives handling with the U.S. Navy UDT and SEAL Team.”

    Being a former SEAL, I find this hard to believe. I never, even once brought a woman on one of our dives. Not once. I would like to know: what team, what year, and in what capacity did she ‘train’ with the Teams. We did work with some scientists on some new dive equipment, but they never dove with us, they were in the boats. My BS meter is pegged on this.

  177. Matthew R Marler says:

    I thought the letter was ok in parts but 3 times too long and boring. As to the journal Science, it was from reading Science that I began to suspect that the general consensus was at best incomplete, and another good skeptical short review was published there just a couple months ago. Claims about the decline in quality or prestige don’t stand up.

  178. RobRoy says:

    That editorial probably outshined her impressive resume’ at her interview. She met the criterion required before they even read her resume’. I’m guessin’

  179. RobRoy says:

    That editorial probably outshined her impressive resume’ at her interview. She met the criterion required before they even read her resume’. I’m guessin’

  180. RobRoy says:

    Corey,
    If she washed out of SEAL training on the first day, the sentence still holds true.
    “”She trained in underwater demolition and explosives handling with the U.S. Navy UDT and SEAL Team.”””

  181. Corey S. says:

    As for the dolphins, there is a mammal program, but they use military personnel to train them. A couple of buddies worked with them when I was in.

  182. Willis Eschenbach says:

    johanna says:
    August 4, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    Sorry Willis, but this woman finds the personal references creepy and inappropriate.

    Johanna, which “personal references” are you talking about, and what didn’t you like about them?

    Thanks, always more to learn.

    w.

  183. OldWeirdHarold says:

    TLDR.

    And too much sexual electricity.

    Focus.

  184. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Simon says:
    August 5, 2013 at 3:39 am

    This is a bizarre, patronizing and vaguely offensive Gish Gallop.

    And you’ve given me a patronizing and vaguely offensive reply. Good, I’ve succeeded. Read my reply to Steven Mosher above.

    It is also the first time I’ve seen someone here cherry-pick a start-point to increase the variation. 2.5C in under 200 years is a huge increase that coincides with the Industrial Age. Why not start at 1800? It might pay to note that the uncertainty in those early measures is large too.

    Hey, I’m just reporting what the data says, sorry if you don’t like it. But you are 100% correct that the uncertainty in the 2.5°C change in two centuries is large indeed.

    However, in your haste to remind me that the uncertainty means it could have been only one degree of warming, you seem to have forgotten that it could also mean that we’ve seen four degrees warming in two centuries.

    Also, your claim that it “coincides with the Industrial Age” is a weak attempt to insinuate a connection. Since the increase in CO2 didn’t reach significant levels for a century, the connection cannot be CO2 … so what are you trying to imply without stating it?

    w.

  185. OldWeirdHarold says:

    Willis, watch a few Pat Condell videos. He’s a virtuoso of the rant. Notice how he can maintain his focus on the point while delivering a sustained burst of rant energy. It’s an art, and I think you have that level of talent. You just need to study the master. Pat’s the master.

  186. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Peter Taylor says:
    August 5, 2013 at 4:48 am

    Willis – your admiration of Navy seals and underwater explosives needs a reality check.

    Oh, please. People that do dangerous things underwater get my admiration, because I’ve worked underwater myself. Not just gone down there to look at the beautiful purple starfish, but gone down there with a difficult job to accomplish, and gotten it done.

    As a result, I admire people who do that, including Dr. McNutt. That is a part of the brotherhood of the sea, if it is still politically correct to call it that, the camaraderie of those who do difficult work either on or below the ocean, which for me includes both the SEALS and Dr. McNutt.

    And yes, there’s a whole host of political and military things surrounding the SEALS as well … so what?

    w.

  187. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Duke C. says:
    August 5, 2013 at 6:28 am

    … escritorial aikido? Google translate identifies this descriptive as Galician, with no English equivalent.

    Sorry, Duke, I fear that I twist and forge the English language to my own specifications. It’s a bit of a play on an “escritoire”, a writing table or desk, and “escritorial” is actually is an English word. While I’ve used it to mean “having to do with writing”, its actual meaning is “having to do with an escritoire”.

    w.

  188. Willis Eschenbach says:

    OldWeirdHarold says:
    August 5, 2013 at 10:02 am

    TLDR.

    And too much sexual electricity.

    Focus.

    Harold, if you didn’t read it, why on earth are you commenting on it?

    Seriously. If you don’t have the patience to read it, go somewhere else and do something else, but don’t bother me with your meaningless judgements on something you didn’t read.

    And “sexual electricity”? Jeez, I can see why they call you “Old Weird Harold” …

    w.

  189. Willis Eschenbach says:

    OldWeirdHarold says:
    August 5, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Willis, watch a few Pat Condell videos. He’s a virtuoso of the rant. Notice how he can maintain his focus on the point while delivering a sustained burst of rant energy. It’s an art, and I think you have that level of talent. You just need to study the master. Pat’s the master.

    Harold, talk to the hand. You already told me you didn’t read what I wrote, now you want to criticize it? Re-read what I wrote to Steven Mosher above. You don’t have a clue what I’m trying to do here.

    w.

  190. Willis…You write from the heart and with integrity and 99% of us appreciate you. Don`t allow the 1% to get under your skin or keep you from doing what you do best. You do write for us because we are not as blessed. Don`t ever stop.

  191. T Control says:

    I agree, quite over-personalized. Your criticisms of the journal should stand on their own, just like you point out that climate science should stand aside from activism.

    I am firmly in your camp re the journal, but this did make me cringe for you. You sound ranting, and not in a good way. I realize you have more interesting things to do, as you put it, but the effort it took to write this screed could surely have used a couple nights sleep on it. Do it right or don’t bother.

    fwiw, I am a non-PC, non-feminist woman, I don’t usually get bent out of shape by references to gender, but the tone did come off as patronizing, condescending, and a bit creepy. Any references to her looks are really inappropriate and make you sound, well, creepy.

    It’s too bad this is already out there without the editing it drastically needed.

  192. Chad Wozniak says:

    When intelligence is compromised by bias, is it still intelligent? I’d frankly question McNutt’s reasoning ability. I had too much experience in academia with highly credentialed people who neither could think straight nor grasp the simplest real-world concepts about anything. Their education made them less fit and less able to deal realistically with the world around them, not more.

  193. Theo Goodwin says:

    Willis responds:

    “And long after the outrage towards me has gone, those important scientific questions that I’ve inserted like indigestible stones in the middle of my post will remain, copied and linked to on dozens of sites—why has the planet warmed since the 1600s? Where is the evidence for the extinctions?

    And that, my friend, was my real intention—to spread my idea of the natural experiment and those questions about the lack of catastrophes from more than 2°C of warming as widely as I could around the web … like I said, I play a long game, and I’m a subtle man.”

    I agree with Willis. He has done a nice job of drawing attention to what he calls the “natural experiment.” My take is that he is emphasizing the importance of a science of natural variability in climate.

    Given that Dr. McNutt has said that El Nino is a climate change signal, she is in great need of learning that ENSO is a natural process, consisting of many smaller natural processes, and that climate change would have an effect on it at the margins only.

    I agree with Willis that he had to do something special in this essay to get the attention that it deserves.

  194. Rob Ricket says:

    Corey S.

    I may be getting older, but there no doubt that the navy has used civilian animal trainers in the past. I used to operate SEPTAR’s in Little Creek and the critters were penned next to the piers where we kept our boats. It was only natural to interact with our neighbors involved with the project.

  195. Way to go Willis! Love your post and especially your response to:
    Steven Mosher says:
    August 4, 2013 at 9:06 pm.
    Good going, keep up the good work. I wish my rants were as erudite as yours.
    That’s why I don’t post them on WUWT…

  196. Rob Ricket says:

    After reading Dr. McNutt’s bio, the SEAL training blurb seems plausible. Most of her work involved quantification of lithosphere resillancy. I believe explosives are commonly used in such studies to measure seismic response. Knowing how the navy operates, it’s not a stretch to imagine the brass agreeing to a request for underwater explosives training.

  197. Corey S. says:

    “RobRoy says:
    August 5, 2013 at 8:38 am

    Corey,
    If she washed out of SEAL training on the first day, the sentence still holds true.”

    There has never been a female go to BUD/s. What they are dong at the moment it finding out if it is even feasible for women to go through BUD/s without having to lower standards. Personally, I don’t think it is possible without modifying the current curriculum and lowering to have some women pass.

    There has been a female Green Beret, though.
    http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1979&dat=19810220&id=-IAiAAAAIBAJ&sjid=yqoFAAAAIBAJ&pg=2572,6643018

    Also, the demolition portion of training is in Third Phase, out at San Clemente Island (month 5-6). We don’t do any explosive training at the Strand. And the dive portion is Second Phase (month 3-4)So even if she did fail/ring out on the first day she classed up, she would have never done any diving, or explosive work.

    Is it *possible* that she did some sort training with the Teams, yes. I just have never heard of the Naval Special Warfare Center training civilians in demolition or diving. Why wouldn’t she get professionals to blow something if she needed it. There is no way she could become an ‘expert’ in explosives or setting them in such a short period of time. We go through demolition training every year, multiple times. For her to say, have said about her, that she is an ‘expert in demolitions’ simply, IMHO, not correct.

  198. @Rob Ricket
    I believe explosives are commonly used in such studies to measure seismic response.
    No. Explosives as an offshore seismic source are not at all common. Air gun arrays are the state of the art. They are repeatable, much less harmfull to sea life, directable and far less dangerous than tons of TNT and pounds of primer.

  199. GogogoStopSTOP says:

    Doug Arthur says:
    August 4, 2013 at 4:01 pm
    Editing needed.

    How small of you Doug Arthur, to rush to the rampart & urge others to fight better. Get a life!

  200. Rob Ricket says:

    Thanks for the correction Stephen. You know what they say about assumptions. Of coursethe good Dr. M. is all of 60 years old. Perhaps explosives were used before air guns?

  201. Willis: My motto is, “Perfect is good enough …”

    I prefer the line: “The Perfect is the enemy of the good” – variant translation of Voltaire, 1772.

    Or from the 20th century:
    “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.” – George S. Patton

    In that spirit, banging out your Open Letter, somewhat longer than my taste, but getting on the floor for discussion within 48 hrs of her editorial is to give it the urgency of discussion it needed.

    Only a few hours later, WUWT publishes the Global Warming: speed round notice and critique of Blois et al 2013, Science Mag. 2 Aug 2013.

    The first sentence of Blois et al 2013, Science 2 Aug 2013:

    Climate change has occurred repeatedly throughout Earth’s history, but the recent rate of warming far exceeds that of any previous warming episode in the past 10,000 years (1, 2) and perhaps far longer.

    Ref. 1 is Marcott-2013 (also Science, March 2013). Marcott retreated from the 20th century findings in his FAQ.
    Ref 2 is S. Solomon et al., in Climate Change 2007, contribution to FAR IPCC.

    You correctly highlighted an alarmist paragraph of hers in her editorial starting:
    Researchers have turned to the geologic record to obtain ground truth about patterns of change for use in climate models. This is introduction into Blois-2013. That is the crux of the paper. Her next sentence:
    Information from prior epochs reveals evidence for conditions on Earth that might be analogs to a future world with more CO2.
    ….. even the most optimistic predictions are dire.

    Alarmist advocacy poppycock. Some predictions no doubt are dire. But use of “the most optimistic” superlative equals a total loss of credibility by McNutt.

    Let us compare the first sentence of the paper

    Climate change has occurred repeatedly throughout Earth’s history, but the recent rate of warming far exceeds that of any previous warming episode in the past 10,000 years (1, 2) and perhaps far longer.

    with the last part of the Abstract

    These patterns emerge repeatedly across disparate temporal and spatial scales, suggesting the possibility of similar underlying processes.

    My closing question is, “Who wrote the first sentence?”
    Was it Blois, et al? A reviewer?
    Or was it the Editor-in-Chief?

    Thanks to your Open Letter I have a good idea.

  202. Graham Green says:

    If only there were a way of harnessing the magnetic comment energy of an Eschenbach blog. Here’s my 2 cents worth.
    McNutt is just another snide so-called scientist who lacks the integrity and diligence to be an engineer.
    On the other hand it’s not that wise to p**s off someone who knows their way around explosives.

  203. Jason says:

    an honest scientist would change her views accordingly

    I realize the essay is directed towards a female scientist, but given that this particular sentence is framed towards a generic, gender-not-specified, scientist, the pronoun really should be “his”.

  204. boumbette says:

    Since you apparently listen to women only when it comes to sexism, I thought I’d second the criticism a few male commenters brought up. First, as a fairly conventionally good-looking woman in STEM, I can tell you that your premise contradicts my experience and that of my female colleagues. Attractive women in science are constantly patronized and ‘explained things’ by less educated men who assume that good-looking = dumb. Really, constantly. I believe there’s a tumblr dedicated to this phenomenon, called ‘academic men explain me things.’

    So rest, assured, she’s had plenty other condescending explanations from men assuming that her ladybrains could not manage so much logic on its own. She’s also had her credentials questioned without evidence regularly, so not much is new here.

    But yes, irrelevant mentions of her gender is displaying more about the writer’s bias about women in science than about the target. You seem like you mean well, hopefully you will consider that reinforcing false assumptions about women in science hurts all women in science. And dismissing a good portion of scientists hurts science in general.

  205. Cam says:

    woohoo! Great rant and a fun read Willis…One might hope she takes it to heart.

  206. Mark B says:

    [i]According to the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature dataset shown above, the global land is two and a half degrees warmer than it was around 1810. Two and a half degrees of warming in two centuries. That’s well beyond what is supposed to be the huge danger change of two degrees of warming … where are the corpses?[/i]
    For what it’s worth the dip you’ve cherry-picked in the BEST global temperature data is attributed to the 1815 Mount Tambora volcanic event and is associated with very large scale crop failure, famine, and a great many corpses. Not really your point, but an ironic choice of starting point for your argument.

  207. Lars P. says:

    Thanks for the letter Willis.
    I disagree to the idea that it is a wasted effort, no matter how the reaction is, if any, the letter stands on its arguments.
    It makes also a difference telling the things by their name.
    These are tough times for magazines where things change really fast. A good science magazine is needed. Another activist paper? Who needs that? Only time will tell.

  208. richardM says:

    “US Navy UDT and Seal Team training course in underwater demolition and explosives handling”
    Directly from her CV. I served 28 years as a Navy EOD tech and I’m going to call foul on this. It may have been a familiarization “course”, but find it unlikely she handled anything live underwater, much less above it. More jarring, I spent 42 weeks in just basic EOD training. I won’t even go into the very marked differences in training for Navy diving and NAUI certifications – there is no comparison. Even though I went through Navy Dive School, I still had to go to class to earn my PADI certs too. I think there is a bit of resume inflation going on here, and if she is willing to pad it on such a “little” thing, what else might be a bit over the top?

  209. sezit says:

    “it’s very possible that people, particularly men, haven’t told you the unvarnished truth in years.”

    Wow, aren’t you brave to speak up where others fear to speak? Reality check… Men in power who are reluctant to speak up about their opinions around and at women…. is the experience of NO woman, ever. Men are more than happy to criticize, critique, and comment on women all day, every day. Your statement had me in an actual double-take, it is that clueless. Maybe a few people did not speak up, but I guarantee that she has had countless earfuls from countless blowhards all along the way, so give her the respect that she knows what she is doing. Disagree with her without being so freaking condescending.

  210. ferd berple says:

    the 2.5C of warming that happened after the little ice age was natural, thus it is good and does no harm. the 2.5C of projected future warming is man made, thus it is bad and will do great harm.

    the problem Willis is that you think that the harm results from temperature. it does not. it results from things that are man made. natural things like storm, flood, cold waves, heat waves, these were largely beneficial before humans started burning fossil fuels. natural events helped improve the species, by getting rid of the weak. human have now altered this balance so that nature is destroying the species by getting rid of the weak.

  211. dbstealey says:

    boumbette says:

    “…irrelevant mentions of her gender is displaying more about the writer’s bias about women in science than about the target.”

    Dear boumbette,

    The “target”? Don’t you understand? Womens’ groups have provided for a lot of progress. However, they have morphed from pushing against real problems like pay disparity [which by now has been pretty much eliminated], to constantly telling women how bad they have it. Their complaints have become less and less important with all the legislation that has been passed to address the concerns. And if you believe you are going to eliminate attraction between the sexes at work through legislation, well, you are just dreaming. That will not happen, even if you dress every employee in identical Mao suits.

    Here is the tactic: You can tell someone he or she has been screwed over twenty times, without any results. But then you catch them when they’ve had a bad day, and suddenly they’re nodding along with you, agreeing that they’ve been screwed over. And from then on, they feel persecuted. The glass is forever half empty, instead of half full. That tactic gets some results. But the payoff includes an unhappier society.

    It is an effective tactic. But it also results in people who go looking for reasons that they think they were screwed over. That’s what you did. Willis has written a much-needed letter. But there is nothing concrete in what you wrote. You just made some vague assertions. Did they really do any good at all?

    The problem is not in what Willis wrote, or in the way he wrote it. The problem is specifically with the journal Science [to which I subscribed for more than twenty years]. It has gone straight downhill, becoming an advocacy journal. Everything Willis wrote about it is true. I see no difference between the new Nature Climate Change and Science. They both have a crystal clear agenda: runaway global warming is a huge problem, it will get worse, and we have to do something about it!!

    There is nothing positive ever written about a warmer world. It all must be entirely negative. But the real world is nothing like that. For every fish eaten there is a fish fed. Global warming looks to be beneficial on balance, with millions of acres of arable land possible. In a world where a third of the population subsists on $2 a day, that is a very good thing, no? But Science will never admit it. Why not? Because they have an agenda. A new editor could change things for the better.

    The people responsible for running those magazines are disgusting. The truth is not in them. Their minds are made up. They promote propaganda instead of the Scientific Method.

    It doesn’t have to be like this. But since it is, your efforts would be better spent calling the new Editor to account, rather than worrying about whether she is being treated differently because she is a woman. Ask yourself: how many men were bypassed so she could get that job? But you don’t hear those men sniveling, do you? No. Truth be told, there were probably several as-well qualified males, and likely a few better qualified men who wanted that job. But they will have to do without it, and they won’t complain about it. See the difference?

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

    ferd:

    You forgot to add “/sarc”.☺

    Or did you really mean it?

  212. Pamela Gray says:

    Amen! I’m elfish and little. Been judged by that and that alone, regardless of having multiple degrees with published research. My most recent experience, a man felt compelled to explain to me the finer points of heating up a plate of vitals in the microwave. Assume intelligence and debate the merits of her points using evidence. Period. Leave the hissy fits to children.

  213. Tom Reeves says:

    Why didn’t you apply for the position of editor?

  214. CRS, DrPH (Charles) wrote “Nicely done, Willis!”
    (Yes sports fans, Charles actually thought that was a well-written, articulate essay)

    “I had a subscription & barely have time to read my emails every day, so I let the thing lapse”
    (Why am I not surprised that Charles finds more value in emails from his fellow goofballs than from Science magazine?)

    “and in this world (within I presently live)”
    Here’s $5 Charles. Buy yourself an overdose of your favorite drug … and get off.

    “I cannot think of any truly honest scientific publications anymore”
    (Charles could have ended that after the first 3 words)

    “WUWT is about the best substitute I’ve found”
    (Holy Christ. I think I’ll keep the $5 and get off myself – there are too many of them)

    “where we can yell at one another endlessly about very high-level theories”
    (One thing in common with all goofballs … they all think they are friggin Einsteins)

    Cheers, Charles the DrPH
    (Houston … I think we’ve located the problem … “cheers.”
    Advice Charles – try waiting until you are sober before embarrassing yourself in public)

  215. Occam37 says:

    You are seriously in error in a fundamental aspect of your letter.

    I am a decades long willing member of AAAS. It has been for a very long time indeed, and remains, one of the premier journals of science. Your statement that tine new editor should “turn what has become just another glossy advocacy magazine back into a distinguished scientific journal” is simply BS. It is EMPHATICALLY a distinguished scientific journal.

    Now, I happen to agree with you that Science’s policy re global warming and climate change are in error. But you need to understand that the science community as a whole, and not just the AAAS, has been mislead into their current position, and Science is simply reflecting what most of its members, and a vast majority of those in STEM fields, believe to be true.

    Every once in a while the STEM community as a whole gets it wrong. Over time, hopefully, this will self-correct, as the contrary evidence builds up. But aside from these occasional lapses, Science as a journal is outstanding. You will get nowhere labeling it a “glossy advocacy magazine”, because that is not what it is or what it does. Being wrong is not at all the same as being an advocate.

    Suggesting actions in a particular case, CAGW, does not mean that in general Science is an advocacy publication. And the policy statements re CAGW follow naturally from the widespread view of the situation, not from any political bias. Only when the commonly held view changes will we see policy changes at Science. Further, this is how it ought to be.

    Remember, “To err is human”.

  216. Sean says:

    Dr. McNutter will no doubt continue her magazine’s ravings in support of the UN’s climate cult movement.

  217. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Mark B says: (emphasis mine)
    August 5, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    [Willis says]

    According to the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature dataset shown above, the global land is two and a half degrees warmer than it was around 1810. Two and a half degrees of warming in two centuries. That’s well beyond what is supposed to be the huge danger change of two degrees of warming … where are the corpses?

    For what it’s worth the dip you’ve cherry-picked in the BEST global temperature data is attributed to the 1815 Mount Tambora volcanic event and is associated with very large scale crop failure, famine, and a great many corpses. Not really your point, but an ironic choice of starting point for your argument.

    So … your claim is that the temperature dip in 1810 is due to a volcano eruption in 1815?

    As an acquaintance of mine commented, that’s an ironic choice of starting point for your argument.

    w.

  218. Willis Eschenbach says:

    sezit says:
    August 5, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    “it’s very possible that people, particularly men, haven’t told you the unvarnished truth in years.”

    Wow, aren’t you brave to speak up where others fear to speak? Reality check… Men in power who are reluctant to speak up about their opinions around and at women…. is the experience of NO woman, ever. Men are more than happy to criticize, critique, and comment on women all day, every day. Your statement had me in an actual double-take, it is that clueless. Maybe a few people did not speak up, but I guarantee that she has had countless earfuls from countless blowhards all along the way, so give her the respect that she knows what she is doing. Disagree with her without being so freaking condescending.

    So it’s your claim that men DON’T lie to good-looking women?

    Because that’s what I said. I pointed out that at least on my planet, men lie to good-looking women all the time. I guess YMMV, but if so, please tell me where you live. I want to meet all these honest guys in the place where being lied to is the experience of NO woman, ever.

    w.

  219. Eli Rabett says:

    Men lie to not so good looking women all the time Willis. Face it, men lie a lot.

    You are not helping yourself very much here. Stop digging.

  220. kadaka (KD Knoebel) says:

    From Eli Rabett on August 5, 2013 at 6:40 pm:

    Men lie to not so good looking women all the time Willis. Face it, men lie a lot.

    Personally I don’t much respect fellow “men” who lie to women to get what they want, and have been known to not tolerate lying to “get along”. How will they know you are honest about one thing, when you are not honest about other things? But perhaps you are a different sort of man, who finds lying to satisfy your goals to be acceptable.

    You are not helping yourself very much here. Stop digging.

    The bunny rabbit tells the human to stop digging. When has that ever worked?

  221. Willis Eschenbach says:

    boumbette says:
    August 5, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    Since you apparently listen to women only when it comes to sexism, I thought I’d second the criticism a few male commenters brought up.

    Thanks, boumbette. I appreciate your contribution.

    First, as a fairly conventionally good-looking woman in STEM, I can tell you that your premise contradicts my experience and that of my female colleagues. Attractive women in science are constantly patronized and ‘explained things’ by less educated men who assume that good-looking = dumb. Really, constantly. I believe there’s a tumblr dedicated to this phenomenon, called ‘academic men explain me things.’

    So rest, assured, she’s had plenty other condescending explanations from men assuming that her ladybrains could not manage so much logic on its own. She’s also had her credentials questioned without evidence regularly, so not much is new here.

    You have made my point exactly. You and your colleagues have not been told the truth. According to you, instead of the truth you’ve been given dumbed-down, “condescending explanations”, not the real facts but simpler things that those men think your “ladybrains” can handle.

    Surely you would agree with me that if what you are getting from men is the grade-school watered-down version, you are not getting the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Which is what I said. Men lie to women, particularly good-looking women, all the time.

    And unfortunately, that dumbed-down stuff is exactly the kind of nonsense that Dr. McNutt is parroting, the simplistic “you can’t handle the logic” kinds of explanations that you highlight above.

    Perhaps what I said didn’t come out right. But what I was trying to say to Dr. McNutt was no, I’m not going to give you the dumbed-down version like you’ve gotten in the past and expect you won’t understand even that. Instead, I’m going to tell you the actual truth, and expect you to step up to the plate.

    But yes, irrelevant mentions of her gender is displaying more about the writer’s bias about women in science than about the target. You seem like you mean well, hopefully you will consider that reinforcing false assumptions about women in science hurts all women in science. And dismissing a good portion of scientists hurts science in general.

    FIrst, I only mentioned her gender exactly where I thought it was relevant. It’s relevant regarding of her underwater explosives experience. Very few women have ever done that. Is that not worth an honorable mention? I think it is.

    Her gender is also relevant regarding the fact that men lie to good-looking women, as you have just emphasized.

    So … which mentions of her gender do you think are irrelevant and why?

    Next, please read what I said again. What “false assumptions” about women am I reinforcing? The assumption that women, both in and out of science, are given condescending, dumbed-down explanations by men? You’ve strongly agreed with that assumption of mine … so what assumptions did I make that are false?

    As to “dismissing a good portion of scientists”, you’ll have to point out where I did that. When I was a kid, one of my big-time heroes was Madame Curie … what did I say that makes you think I don’t respect and acknowledge the endless contributions of women to science?

    Boumbette, let me close by asking again what I’ve asked people many times. If you disagree with something I said, please quote it. I can’t defend myself against some vague handwaving accusation that I “dismiss a good portion of scientists”. As far as I know, I’ve never done that in my life, so what can I possibly say in response? That’s the worst kind of accusation possible, a vague but very ugly accusation that cannot be answered …

    And I also can’t respond to a claim that “irrelevant” mentions of her gender are wrong, without a clue as to which of my infrequent mentions of her gender you think were “irrelevant” and why.

    You also say,

    “She’s also had her credentials questioned without evidence regularly, so not much is new here.”

    I did not question her climate science credentials, because she has no credentials in climate science. None.

    So exactly where did I question her other credentials? Without quotations to let me know what on earth you are referring to, that’s just another one of your vague unpleasant accusations. Without a quotation or a single bit of evidence of what I said that you object to, you’re just throwing mud at the wall and hoping it sticks.

    I pointed out, specifically and exactly and in what people said was too much detail, precisely where it is that I think Dr. McNutt went off the rails. I quoted her words, and raised my objections to them.

    You, on the other hand, make nasty underhanded accusations that I’m treating women improperly in some unspecified manner, accusations which are so vague that there is no possible way for me to respond to them … and you think I’m the bad person in the dialogue?

    So please, quote exactly what I said that you disagree with, and explain clearly just exactly where you think I went wrong, so I can understand what it is you are objecting to.

    I always look to learn something in my interactions, and I would be more than happy to learn from you … but I can’t learn a single thing unless and until you are much more specific than you were in your comment.

    My thanks again,

    w.

  222. Ric Werme says:

    Slacko says:
    August 5, 2013 at 2:19 am

    “a wicked smart woman” should be
    “a wickedly smart woman”

    Only if you can’t speak Bahston.

  223. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Occam37 says:
    August 5, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    You are seriously in error in a fundamental aspect of your letter.

    I am a decades long willing member of AAAS. It has been for a very long time indeed, and remains, one of the premier journals of science. Your statement that tine new editor should “turn what has become just another glossy advocacy magazine back into a distinguished scientific journal” is simply BS. It is EMPHATICALLY a distinguished scientific journal.

    If you read the comments, Occam37, you’ll find that you are in a small minority, one of the very few people making this claim.

    Currently, Science regularly publishes grade-school garbage as if it were real climate science. It has not required its pet authors to archive their data and code. It has taken strong adversarial positions on unanswered scientific questions regarding the climate. The Editor-In-Chief repeats Al Gore level climate nonsense as if it were true.

    If you mistake that for a “distinguished scientific journal”, I’m afraid you need more help than I can give, you’re beyond my poor powers …

    w.

  224. TomRude says:

    Well she’ll have some work… Read this amazing post on Polar Bear Science:
    http://polarbearscience.com/2013/08/03/biologists-spreading-misinformation-hybridization-with-grizzlies-not-due-to-polar-bears-moving-inland/#more-2483

    “Biologists spreading misinformation: hybridization with grizzlies not due to polar bears moving inland
    Posted on August 3, 2013 |A paper published last week in the journal Science, written by a team of biologists and atmospheric scientists, expounds on a possible dire future for a range of Arctic animals. It’s called, “Ecological consequences of sea-ice decline” and surprisingly, polar bears are discussed only briefly. (…)
    Lead author of the paper, Professor of Biology Eric Post, is quoted extensively in the press release issued by his employer (Penn State University, pdf here). In it, Post re-states the above sentence in simpler terms, removing any doubt of its intended interpretation:

    “… polar and grizzly bears already have been observed to have hybridized because polar bears now are spending more time on land, where they have contact with grizzlies.”

    Both statements are patently false. All recent hybridization events documented (2006-2013) occurred because a few male grizzlies traveled over the sea ice into polar bear territory and found themselves a polar bear female to impregnate (see news items here and here, Fig. 1 below). These events did not occur on land during the ice-free season (which is late summer/early fall), but on the sea ice in spring (March-May). “

  225. Stan of a stan says:

    The magazine should be renamed “Lysenko”

  226. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Eli Rabett says:
    August 5, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Men lie to not so good looking women all the time Willis. Face it, men lie a lot.

    You are not helping yourself very much here. Stop digging.

    Men do lie to not so good looking women as well, Eli, although in my experience not as often … so I’m not sure what your point is here. Your terse, flippant style is not your friend if you are actually trying to say something in your comment. It just makes me scratch my head and wonder if you’re imbibing something.

    w.

  227. Streetcred says:

    Corey S. says: August 5, 2013 at 11:14 am
    richardM says: August 5, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    With you, gents … I call BS on her claims to have proficiency with explosives … more than 38 years since I did dems certification and it took training every day for a few months to complete. Maybe a SEAL swam past her one day ;)

  228. Tony Mach says:

    Your call upon the tabloids to be less tabloidish is laudable (a similar request to Nature and PNAS is warranted, I’d reckon).

    Unfortunately I have grown quite sarcastic (maybe even hopelessly cynical) and have lost hope that publications like Science can actually have a net positive contribution to the scientific process. I have seen the shabby work of dear Dr. Alberts in an non-climate context, and quite probably one *needs* to produce sensationalist articles which ignore reality to sell a tabloid like Science – publish dreck or sink.

    As I said, cynicism may have gotten the better of me.

  229. dp says:

    Willis spontificated:

    You have made my point exactly. You and your colleagues have not been told the truth. According to you, instead of the truth you’ve been given dumbed-down, “condescending explanations”, not the real facts but simpler things that those men think your “ladybrains” can handle.

    It is perfectly possible to be patronizing and engage in tedious condescending explanations of complex systems without lying. It is often accompanied by the speaker making big eyes and speaking slowly while making air quotes with their fingers. See more at Al Gore.

    Boumbette did not say she was being lied to – she said she was not being treated as an equal, or even the superior in conversations with men. It is a continuation of that offense to put words in the lady’s mouth. Step away from the shovel.

    Spontificate: To suddenly and arrogantly make stuff up.

  230. johanna says:

    Willis, you asked:

    “Johanna, which “personal references” are you talking about, and what didn’t you like about them?

    Thanks, always more to learn.”

    This paragraph refers:

    “And regarding you personally taking a position? Well, that’s interesting. The problem is that you are extremely well educated, strong, strikingly good looking, and a wickedly-smart woman by all accounts … and while those are all good things, that’s a scary combination. One downside of that particular melange is that as a result, it’s very possible that people, particularly men, haven’t told you the unvarnished truth in years. So some of what I have to say may be a surprise to you.”
    ————————————————————
    Firstly, would you have written about a man who got a key job in those terms? I suggest that you would not have, not least because it is irrelevant and patronising.

    While I am on the decrepit side of the hill now, as a young gel and well into my forties I looked pretty good – at least as good as Dr McNutt. I held some very senior and responsible jobs. And, people (not just men) lied to me all the time.

    Men lied for a range of reasons, including because they thought I would be too dumb to notice, and that they hoped to win my favours. But, I didn’t get those jobs (and keep them) because I was stupid enough to fall for their usually painfully transparent lies.

    I hold no brief for Dr McNutt – on the contrary. But if I, as the holder of a senior position, got a letter with that paragraph in it, the writer would be dismissed as creepy and insulting.

    If blokes want to compliment women on their appearance, fine by me. Always happy to receive a compliment. But saying that their appearance means that they are less able to sift the wheat from the chaff is another matter. My advice – don’t go there. It just undermines the credibility of whatever else you are saying. And, eviscerating Boumbette didn’t help. At all.

  231. Willis Eschenbach says:

    johanna says:
    August 6, 2013 at 1:23 am

    Willis, you asked:

    “Johanna, which “personal references” are you talking about, and what didn’t you like about them?

    Thanks, always more to learn.”

    This paragraph refers:

    “And regarding you personally taking a position? Well, that’s interesting. The problem is that you are extremely well educated, strong, strikingly good looking, and a wickedly-smart woman by all accounts … and while those are all good things, that’s a scary combination. One downside of that particular melange is that as a result, it’s very possible that people, particularly men, haven’t told you the unvarnished truth in years. So some of what I have to say may be a surprise to you.”

    ————————————————————
    Firstly, would you have written about a man who got a key job in those terms? I suggest that you would not have, not least because it is irrelevant and patronising.

    Thanks for your reply, Johanna. In answer to your question, if the puerile, unexamined content of a man’s claims made me think he was being fed simplistic answers by the people around him, certainly I would have written that. If he were a powerful, handsome bachelor babbling such inanities, and being advised by young women, sure, I’d tell him that women lie to good-looking strong men, and they might not have told him the truth in years. I try to tell the truth, regardless of whether it’s about a man or a woman. What do you do?

    While I am on the decrepit side of the hill now, as a young gel and well into my forties I looked pretty good – at least as good as Dr McNutt. I held some very senior and responsible jobs. And, people (not just men) lied to me all the time.

    Men lied for a range of reasons, including because they thought I would be too dumb to notice, and that they hoped to win my favours. But, I didn’t get those jobs (and keep them) because I was stupid enough to fall for their usually painfully transparent lies.

    I hold no brief for Dr McNutt – on the contrary. But if I, as the holder of a senior position, got a letter with that paragraph in it, the writer would be dismissed as creepy and insulting.

    Johanna, why would you ever receive such a letter? Do you make ludicrous statements about the climate because that’s what some guy said, and you believed it? I greatly doubt it.

    But suppose you did believe and parrot absolute nonsense, and you got such a letter … would it be wise for you to dismiss it?

    If blokes want to compliment women on their appearance, fine by me. Always happy to receive a compliment. But saying that their appearance means that they are less able to sift the wheat from the chaff is another matter. My advice – don’t go there. It just undermines the credibility of whatever else you are saying.

    I didn’t say her appearance made her less able to sift wheat from the chaff. Man, I swear, do people read what I say and then just start making stuff up?

    That she can’t separate wheat from chaff was obvious from her claims. I said that her appearance made it more likely that men would lie to her … and from what you said above, you agree with that, viz:

    Men lied for a range of reasons, including because they thought I would be too dumb to notice, and that they hoped to win my favours.

    I said that, because I didn’t want to be like all those men, the ones Boumbette spoke of, the men that give Dr. McNutt the simple stories. I wanted her not to be shocked when someone spoke straight to her, and to be aware that I’m not just another lying guy giving her the dumbed down version.

    Since she was parroting nonsense, Johanna, I said that some of what I would tell her would be a surprise to her. I said that to her because it’s clear that people around her are feeding her nonsense … and unlike you, who clearly weren’t too dumb to notice, she obviously wasn’t seeing through the predigested pap that she’s been fed.

    But that’s not because she’s a woman. That’s because she is just accepting what she’s told, and that’s a disease shared equally by both men and women.

    And, eviscerating Boumbette didn’t help. At all.

    Are you saying I was supposed to go easy on Boumbette because she’s a woman? And if not … what are you saying? That I should have been nicer to Boumbette because it would have been good tactics, in order to win the argument? What, I should conceal my feelings and misrepresent my opinion to win an argument? Not gonna happen.

    Serious question, Johanna … if you weren’t being sexist in that remark, and if you weren’t advising me to misrepresent my feelings merely to win an argument, then just what are you advising?

    She accused me of a number of unpleasant things without a single example, quote, or scrap of evidence. I don’t take that from anyone. So I insist that when Boumbette steps up to the plate that she be ready to bat, and that she play honorably and fairly … and I’m the bad guy?

    Perhaps you sit still for that kind of attack. I don’t, and I am an equal opportunity abuser who couldn’t care less about political correctness. I’m more interested in honesty and fair dealing—I don’t care in the slightest if it is a woman or a man who is trying to run Boumbette’s line of bullshit, of just throwing mud about me at the wall and seeing what sticks. I will tell them exactly what I think of that, man, woman, or cyborg.

    I do that because I believe that women are strong enough to take anything, that they hold up half the sky. I also believe that when women screw up, they should be treated just like men. But of course, when I tell a woman she’s making nasty, baseless accusations in exactly the way I’d tell a man, some people go “Oh, Willis, you shouldn’t be mean to her, she’s a woman!” … umm … didn’t we just go through that?

    Since there is obviously no way to win in that game, I simply don’t play it. I’ve given up caring, Johanna. I know myself and my heart. I know what the women who have known me over my lifetime have thought of me. I have nothing to apologize to women for at all. I have been their faithful friend and servant. My job regarding my gorgeous ex-fiancee is that I am her Personal Assistant.

    So that leaves me free to just say what I think, because I know that I haven’t done women wrong. Might be dumb of me to just say what I think, but you know what? Nobody’s in mystery about where I stand. I put it out there warts and all. Y’all know more about me than you know about many people in your life. I’ve told you who I am, and a host of the good, bad, stupid, inspired, and ugly things that I’ve done, as honestly as I can.

    Next, people think I just throw this stuff out there. I don’t. I debated for quite a while regarding whether I should mention her looks, because that’s an obvious minefield. I finally decided to do so, after much consideration, in part for the reasons I explained to Steven Mosher above. You might re-read my answer to Steven with that in mind. Having (after much thought) decided to mention her looks, I then picked and chose each word with great care. As I said, it’s a minefield, and I treat it like one.

    That’s how I knew immediately that I never said anything remotely like your claim that I’d said “their appearance means that they are less able to sift the wheat from the chaff”. That was a million miles from both what I said and what I meant. I said specifically what I wanted to say. The rest, you and Boumbette are reading into it. Some of that misunderstanding is my fault, my writing could always be clearer. But I never said that good-looking women couldn’t tell truth from fiction or anything remotely resembling that, that’s all 100% you.

    That misunderstanding could happen despite my best efforts, it’s a minefield after all. But it’s a misunderstanding, because any such sexist attitudes about women were ruthlessly drummed right on out of me by my girlfriend back in the late sixties. She was Irish, which probably isn’t politically correct to say either, and a ball of fire, and she wouldn’t stand for any of that nonsense. And of course at the time I was full of such idiocy, I’m a damn cowboy after all.

    But I’m also a cowboy whose mother ran a 280-acre cattle ranch by herself and taught her four sons how to ride and shoot a gun and butcher a deer and how to shake hands and build a fire and fix an engine, and that meant that my girlfriend was right, and I knew it. She set me on the straight and narrow path, that fiery lady love of mine, and I thanked her for it then and now, and my life has worked a whole lot better since then …

    My best regards to you, and thanks again for your response,

    w.

  232. bdussan says:

    I agree with the message from Willis. However, please note as follows:

    Although Willis implies that what the non-deniers say pretty much amounts to giving opinions as facts and when in fact they are not facts, My point is that the lack of facts is the crux of the matter of the global warming / climate change issues. Additionally, Willis does not address the apparent fact that here is the abundant lack of knowledge and understanding of the science behind the thermal balance / imbalance of the biosphere, the lack of factual, not inferred, thermal data, and . the lack of scientific reasoning being used. And, of course, we the deniers must make sure to try not to forget to keep this in mind.

    I am not sure if it is scientifically wise to rely on data which may lack a scientific basis. I feel that such is the case if we rely on the 2.5 C temperature rise in the last 200 years or so. Please note that Dr. R. Muller is a Founder and Scientific Director of Berkeley Earth, and as I understand he used to be a “denier”.
    To me, the concept of an “average” recent global temperature in general, and particularly in the past, is vague at best and Quixotic at worst: is it an average based on a continuum, minute by minute, day by day….? And, what is it an average of: readings from just a handful of weather stations, or from some ice cores or tree rings, or blanket satellite imagery? And being an average, what accuracy would be expected?

  233. Bob says:

    Willis, is your letter available as a PDF?

  234. Mr Lynn says:

    bdussan says:
    August 6, 2013 at 9:49 am

    I don’t think the actual amount of temperature rise in the last two hundred years is important. Willis’s point is that the dire consequences predicted for another such increment (whatever it is) are extremely unlikely, since they didn’t occur before; it’s a “natural experiment.”

    This is not to say that your argument about the quixotic, even illusory, notion of an ‘average’ global temperature is invalid. There’s some agreement that ‘the world’ warmed up a tad since the Little Ice Age, but exactly where, and by how much, and according to what standard are as far as I can tell, imponderable.

    BTW, the term ‘denier’ should be eschewed, even tongue-in-cheek.

    /Mr Lynn

  235. Rujholla says:

    One more editing note: double the in this sentence.

    Not one climate scientist on either side of the aisle can explain the three centuries of slow general warming that have followed the the Little Ice Age. What changed to gradually warm the planet, after it had been cooling for centuries?

  236. Lauren R says:

    If your aim is to be persuasive, especially to those who could be persuaded, you unfortunately missed the mark. This essay works as a screed to reinforce what we skeptics already know and believe, but the tone at times is smug and harsh and it verges on the very personal. For example, the following is completely unnecessary and, frankly, “creepy” and “sexist” is not inaccurate:

    “The problem is that you are extremely well educated, strong, strikingly good looking, and a wickedly-smart woman by all accounts … and while those are all good things, that’s a scary combination. One downside of that particular melange is that as a result, it’s very possible that people, particularly men, haven’t told you the unvarnished truth in years. So some of what I have to say may be a surprise to you.”

    None of us care if McNutt is “strikingly good looking” or whether or not she has been told the “unvarnished truth” by men. That’s an extremely personal judgment based on your assumptions. It reveals more about you, Mr. Eschenbach, that it does about McNutt and I don’t see the point of including it. If it was meant to soften the rather harsh and personal tone you adopt at times, it fails badly. Just leave it out. If you’re looking for suggestions to improve this, read the comments above. I suggest drastically editing this, cutting out all the fluff and personal judgments, soften the harsh tone or rid the essay of the personal lecturing of McNutt entirely, and stick to the facts. Make it about a quarter as long. That’s much more persuasive.

  237. Mr Lynn says:

    Lauren R says:
    August 6, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    To repeat myself:

    “For all those carpers above who are busily advising Willis how to fine-tune his missive for its ostensible recipient: Forget it; it’s an Open Letter. It’s been published, so it’s been sent. The horse has gone; close the barn door.”

    /Mr Lynn

  238. Mr Lynn says:

    Oops! Linked wrong comment. See here. /Mr L

  239. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Lauren R says:
    August 6, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    If your aim is to be persuasive, especially to those who could be persuaded, you unfortunately missed the mark.

    Thanks, Lauren. If my aim had been to be persuasive, you’d be right. But that was not my aim at all. See my reply to Steven Mosher above.

    w.

  240. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Lauren R says:
    August 6, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    … None of us care if McNutt is “strikingly good looking” or whether or not she has been told the “unvarnished truth” by men.

    No, YOU don’t care. But as is far too common among people who want to sell their outrage, you make the ludicrous claim that your personal opinion is shared by every single individual who reads my post.

    Ego much?

    I would take another shot at explaining my meaning, but given your conviction that you speak for everyone, that your opinions are the opinions of every other individual … I think I’ll pass.

    w.

  241. Geoff says:

    It’s a strange world we live in where observing differences is attacked, but I noticed that Dr McNutt has been honoured as a role model for girls by the “Chicks in Science” program at MSU Billings (see http://www.montanabio.org/professional-women-honored-in-chicks-in-science-for-being-role-models-for-girls/ ).

    [Reply: Ouch! ☺ ~mod.]

  242. Willis, in August 4, 2013 at 7:21 pm you wrote:

    [...]

    I get about a million page views of my posts per year, so I must be doing something right … and you?
    [...]
    PS—Fortunately, it rarely happens, but when women object to the way that I talk about or refer to women, I pay very close attention.

    On the other hand, it often happens, but when men object to how I refer to women, I ignore them completely. It’s not their business, and it makes the hugely insulting assumption that the women are incapable of objecting themselves

    and in August 4, 2013 at 7:54 pm you wrote:

    She will most likely read every word. It’s extremely hard not to, if only because she can be sure that her enemies will read every word, so she needs to know what I’m saying to combat it. The reach of Watts Up With That is amazing, everyone reads it.

    [...]

    I’m writing to Dr. McNutt, but I’m writing for the folks in the cheap seats, by which I mean the interested lay person. I want them to understand that the claims that the Editor-In-Chief of Science magazine is making have nothing to do with science. It would be wonderful if Dr. McNutt understood that as well, but that’s secondary. The odds of finding open minds are better with the lurkers … which is why I write for them.

    Willis, perhaps you were having a somewhat cranky day when you were responding to these particular posts – or at least those excerpts you had chosen to cite – as well as others in a similar (and some considerably stronger!) vein :-)

    FWIW, here are some views from here, so to speak!

    When I saw this “open letter”, I first tried to read it through the eyes of a new editor in chief of Science – known to be a “listener” who might be looking for new ideas and/or material for her journal. So my first skim did not result in my “reading every word” – far from it! Eleven page-downs? Hmmm … let me get out my virtual red pencil and take a closer look to see what could be dropped. Back to the top, I scroll, for a second and somewhat closer read.

    After first page down … hmmm … wonder why this chap is focusing on unrelated expertise that he’s picked up from Wikipedia. I wonder if he’s aware that I served on the senior editorial board of Science for nine years – and that I just might have other skills and experience that are more relevant to this position than those he chose to highlight. Certainly his:

    let me describe it as your newness to the concept of “scientific journal editor”

    is far from astute – or indicative of his having done his homework.

    Oh, well … moving right along … Yes, I can see that he has some strong opinions about Science although sometimes he’s talking about me, sometimes he’s talking about the journal and a lot of the time, he’s talking about him! A little clarity would help, I think. What’s this I see before me?!

    The problem is that you are extremely well educated, strong, strikingly good looking, and a wickedly-smart woman by all accounts … and while those are all good things, that’s a scary combination. One downside of that particular melange is that as a result, it’s very possible that people, particularly men, haven’t told you the unvarnished truth in years. So some of what I have to say may be a surprise to you.

    What on earth do anyone’s good looks have to do with the price of tea in China, these days – or with anything else, for that matter?! Maybe this chap’s never heard of the maxim, “flattery will get you nowhere”. Based on what I’ve read so far, I’m finding it difficult to imagine that there will be many (if any) “surprises” in what he has to say.

    How many more page-downs from here? Hmmm … eight more pages of unbridled emotion to wade through? Nah, I don’t think so. [Looks at watch] Time for lunch, then I have a plane to catch.

    So Hilary puts away her imaginary virtual red pencil and heads out from this imaginary plush executive office … waits a little while, then puts on her what’s-this-global-warming-stuff-all-about lurker hat …

    This looks interesting … he’s sending a letter to someone. It’s quite long, isn’t it, and he seems to be quite upset about something or at someone. [scrolling down through comments ... hmmm ... seems upset at quite a few people, but I'm not sure why]

    But it looks as though he doesn’t really intend to send a letter to anyone even though he calls it an “open letter” and he’s really writing it for the “lurkers”. Hey, that’s me! Cool!

    Oh, it’s all about some journal called Science, and he’s not very fond of it (nor from the comments are a number of others). And he seems really p*ssed off at the new editor. Good thing he’s not sending the letter, then, because I don’t think I’d be thrilled to receive a long letter like this … and I wonder why he needed to mention that she is “strikingly good looking”. That’s weird and soooooo mid 20th century.

    No, I guess he’s not just upset, he’s “outraged” – and we’re all supposed to get this. And we’d best not question his expressions of outrage – or even suggest that perhaps his message might get lost in the medium of his outrage.

    Furthermore, if we don’t get it, then it’s our problem, not his, because he chooses his words very carefully and he gets a million page views a year. Right.

    Wow! Better keep my thoughts to myself, then; I’m a heck of a long way from getting a million page views a year. Oh, well … I’m just a newbie lurker; but I’m a little confused: I’ve read through this epistle; I certainly get the outrage. And I get that he doesn’t think too highly of this journal and that he thinks that because this is a “science” journal, then when editors write editorials (which to the best of my limited knowledge are “opinion” pieces, not necessarily statements of “fact”) they’d better not write anything that he disagrees with because that’s “advocacy” and “science” journals should not do advocacy because he gets outraged – and outrage rules if you get a million page views a year.

    I’m still not sure what all this global warming stuff is all about. But it must be my fault, because he chooses his words very carefully. Oh, well … maybe I’ll come back another day.

    Hilary now removes her newbie lurker hat … and wonders if she needs to bring out the kid gloves!

    Sorry, Willis, I can’t find my kid gloves, at the moment. So all I’ll say for now is that I have always found that a little distance goes a looooooooong way – particularly when I’m “outraged”.

    P.S. From your responses to those women who have objected to your “… strikingly good looking … etc” paragraph, I was not left with the impression that you were “pay[ing] very close attention”. Sorry to say, the impression I was left with is that you were choosing to use their objections (and/or snippets thereof) as “hooks” for telling us more about you.

  243. Janice Moore says:

    Dear Ms. Ostrov,

    I almost went to bed, but when I saw that YOU commented on this particular thread (I have avoided it like the plague), I had to read what you wrote. I only read Mr. E.’s “letter” after it was linked in the Cook “Creepy” thread.

    I thought the SAME THING (as you)! That’s the ONLY reason I’m writing here.

    With Mr. E. (it only took about 3 threads of his to discover this — I’ve been reading nearly every thread of WUWT since the end of March this year), the following quote always comes to mind:

    “The louder he spoke of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.” Emerson

    BY ANALOGY, while Mr. E. says, “it’s not about me,” it is. The letter was embarrassing.

    I have come to realize that reading down Mr. E. thread’s comments far more disturbing or annoying than it is worth, even though he often puts out some excellent research. The personality gets in the way. And I HAVE noticed a definite, though subtle, sexist attitude. That is not something I would normally even mention — I ignore that kind of nonsense — but, I wanted to affirm your comment above. I’m sorry if he has been hurt by a woman (or two?) in the past. That kind of pain goes so deep. I hope he can get some resolution of that pain for his own peace and happiness. In the meantime, I’ll be avoiding his threads.

    Well said, Ms. Ostrov (as usual!).

    Your fan,

    Janice

  244. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Hilary Ostrov (aka hro001) says:
    August 6, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    Hilary, thank you for your comments. I’m saddened that you have so completely missed my meaning and my intention.

    Let me reprise my comment to Steven Mosher above: I wrote this to be over the top. I wanted it to be over the top. I wanted it to be long. I wanted it to be convoluted and go in circles. I wanted to talk about things that people say we shouldn’t talk about. You coming along and saying it is over the top shows that I have succeeded.

    Why would I want to do that? Because I wanted my post to be cited and quoted all over the blogosphere, and I wanted the focus to be on what a jerk I was, and not on the scientific claims I was making and the scientific questions I was posing.

    Janice, who posts as “your fan” just below you, says she wouldn’t have read the post, but she read that John Cook said I was a sexist … and here she is. And she wouldn’t have commented, but you did. And you wrote the longest comment I’ve ever seen you write. John Cook is so outraged that he links to my post in his tweet, driving traffic to the blog.

    You don’t seem to understand that THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT I SET OUT TO DO! I wanted you and everyone else to be discussing Science magazine, and whether and why it’s wrong to say that men lie to good looking women. I wanted to bring the velvet censorship we call political correctness out into the open. Look, I even got Janice to read my post, and she hates my posts from the sound of it, and that’s precisely what I set out to do. I wanted to reach people that I normally couldn’t reach.

    Because when Janice reads my post and gets all huffy about what a mean bad man I am, she has accepted my scientific questions and statements as part of the package. I don’t care that she mistakenly thinks I’m a jerk and a sexist in the bargain. I know I’m neither, so I can live with it. I’m interested in advancing the science, it’s not a popularity contest to me. I wanted to get my scientific ideas and questions circulated around the web. I’ve succeeded beyond my expectations.

    Next, you say:

    P.S. From your responses to those women who have objected to your “… strikingly good looking … etc” paragraph, I was not left with the impression that you were “pay[ing] very close attention”.

    Hilary, I said I pay close attention when women object to what I say about women, and I do. I did not say that their responses and comments would all be correct and right and true and valid.

    And I certainly didn’t say that I will take advice from every anonymous one-named female (who for all I know is a guy) who pops up on the internet to make unsupported untrue accusations.

    I pay very close attention to what women say. Some of them, like Boumbette, just want to make vague mudslinging attacks … others, like you, write clearly and accurately and from the heart.

    Look, I understand that you don’t like it when I said that men lie to good-looking women, including Dr. McNutt. That statement seems to disturb some women greatly. I get that. I’m sorry it’s that way, because it’s a simple fact of life, not a reason for upset.

    But despite your upset, it’s still true. The fact that you don’t like it, and the fact that the wrath of the politically correct lightning strikes me for even mentioning it, doesn’t touch the facts. It’s still true.

    Now, I advanced that as my theory about why Dr. McNutt is just mindlessly parroting nonsense about the climate. I think in part it’s because men are lying to her. They’re not telling her about their uncertainties about the science. They’re not telling her the things that were revealed in the emails of that ultimate “good old boys club”, the Climategate correspondents who were all men. In those emails, man to man, they talk about e.g. how they don’t believe Michael Mann. I doubt very much that they would tell Dr. McNutt that, or anything at all negative about the parlous state of climate science.

    And I’m telling you as a man, in part that’s because she’s good looking.

    You are giving me the woman’s point of view, which I appreciate. I’m trying to give you the man’s point of view. As a man I can assure you that strong good-looking well educated women intimidate men. And one of the ways we respond to that is to not tell such women the truth, to tell them simple stories, to not reveal our uncertainty about the things we’re claiming are true. In front of an impressive woman like that, we want to appear as strong and well educated and good-looking as they are, we don’t want to admit that we have doubts about our scientific claims and that we didn’t change our socks and that we think we might be in error about the climate.

    It’s bad and wrong of us to do that, I know, but what can I say? First rule of life is, men are jerks, myself included …

    Now, that’s my explanation for part of her blind acceptance and parroting of the claims she is making. I advanced that theory because as I said, it’s obviously not for lack of brains or education or strength, she has those in spades.

    Is my claim true? Perhaps not.

    Is my claim worthy of the abuse heaped on it?

    Absolutely not. You and other women keep insisting that her looks have nothing to do with it, and that I’m a creepy sexist for mentioning her looks at all.

    I assure you as a man that her looks may well have a lot to do with it, and that I’m a realist for mentioning her looks at all.

    What, are we now all supposed to walk around pretending that in a world where both a man’s looks and even more so a woman’s looks are the subject of movies and novels and operas and countless tabloids, a world where a face can launch a thousand ships, a world where doors open for the aptly named “beautiful people”, a world where a woman can make millions of dollars a year with absolutely nothing more than physical beauty, a world where women and increasingly men spend billions of dollars on face creams and face lifts to preserve their good looks … we’re all supposed to pretend that somehow Dr. McNutt’s looks played absolutely no part in any of this?

    Hilary, Dr. McNutt was kind enough to accompany the Editorial with a slightly out-of-focus, artfully posed picture, not of the subject of the Editorial as other Editors-In-Chief have done in the past, but of herself … and we’re supposed to think that’s by chance?

    She’s put a lovely picture of her face up above the fold in the text about climate change … and I’m sexist for even mentioning the good looking face that she has made damn certain is the focal point of climate science discussion? Really?

    Look, if you and others insist that her looks are not the issue and shouldn’t be even mentioned, you should write and tell her that, because obviously she thinks that a “model’s head-shot” type image of her face that makes her look ten years younger is the perfectly appropriate graphic to accompany a discussion of climate change …

    I’m sorry, but I’m not that politically correct yet. And let me say that I’m not dissing her for putting her picture above the fold on the page about climate science. I have no problem with that at all. If I had her looks, I’d play them for all they were worth too, I’d be a fool not to, and she’s anything but a fool. Good looks open doors, and although once they are open you have to do the job, they help even there.

    All I’m saying is that striking good looks are not just an advantage in the world. They also carry a variety of costs, ask any strikingly good-looking man or woman. It’s not all roses being beautiful and desirable, certainly didn’t do much for Marilyn … among other costs, people always assume that really good-looking people are dumb, which must be a constant struggle.

    And one of the costs, as I said, is that men lie to good looking women, including Marilyn and Dr. McNutt, for a host of overlapping, inter-related personal and practical and social and sexual reasons, and that there is a cost in that for the person being lied to. In her case, I think the cost includes men not telling her the truth about climate science.

    Don’t like my theory? Fine. But that doesn’t make it sexist.

    And can we drop this bullshit that good looks don’t matter and should never be mentioned? Physical beauty matters immensely in almost every field of human activity, we have entire industries built around nothing but good looks, and pretending otherwise is childish nonsense. It is a valid topic for discussion.

    w.

  245. jdseanjd says:

    PC, political correctness is cultural marxism, designed to enslave your mind into thinking along certain ridiculous paths. It is & has been promoted by the Frankfurt School, & is part of the Marxist Saul Alinski’s plan as laid out in his book “Rules for Radicals”. Obarmy is a huge fan of Alinski.

  246. Adigat says:

    Personally did not care much for the letter and at the end of the day my opinion is of little value but I will say ‘kudos’ for not playing the ‘PC’ game – I’m truly tired of that crap!

  247. Gary Pearse says:

    Willis, I don’t know whether anyone else has commented on this aspect. To me, Dr. McNutt is a pleasant cheery-looking women to be sure (with the brains and knowledge you state I’m sure) but I don’t see her in the league of good looks that you have placed her, and I doubt in a land where good looks are so highly prized that it is one of the major manufacturing industry segments that is still strong, that Dr. McNutt sees herself other than as I have described her. Heck she looks like many an outdoorsy field geologist that I have met and worked with and had a bottle of beer with in a field party in the middle of nowhere. To her credit, she hasn’t barbied herself up either. I think you have come to a discovery that men of age such as you and I have made, and that is that as compensation for growing old, good looking women seem to fill up the world around you (there aren’t many 30 year-olds that give a second look to that gorgeous fifty or sixty year old that just walked by).

    Now, yes, men are jerks (you haven’t had any protests on this score from men or women so far) and can be surprisingly shallow on the subject of women. I raised three girls of my own, two nieces for a few years and three boys of my own and I can believe from this experience that men likely spent longer in the Neanderthal stage while women moved on to Cro-magnon a hundred thousand years before they did – perhaps many of we men are still trying to straighten our backs a bit more. Definitely the egg was in advance of the chicken.

    And yes, political correctness is a blight that deserves to be harpooned regularly and deserves major articles on its own. But, from the cheap seats, I think you have presumed too much about Dr. McNutt. You in fact seem to have cast her as a dumb bimbo that needs protection.

    Willis, you write beautifully on autobiographic topics, and compellingly on scientific ideas, but on rants like this, not so much. Hey, man, let it go and accept you missed the mark.

  248. Pamela Gray says:

    Willis, where is my BS button. By your own admission in your last responsive comment, I am assuming you are blowing smoke up our a**. I don’t for a minute think you thought a-priori you would get a backlash to the extent you have and so wrote on purpose to get one. Not for one minute. Me thinks you choke on humble pie and will avoid it at all costs. Ergo your response above to Hilary.

    Men are not jerks. Only some are, and then not all the time. Women are not jerks. Only some are, and then not all the time. That makes being a jerk pretty easy to spot since most of the time it rises out of a fairly decent baseline nature. Come on. Have a slice of humble pie and admit that from time to time you are a jerk and this be one of them.

    It should be easy for you to do so in my presence, since you are not I assume, intimidated by a short, stocky, freckle-faced, decidedly not photogenic, red-headed Irish woman pushing 60.

  249. Gary Pearse says:

    Pamela Gray says:
    August 7, 2013 at 11:29 am

    “It should be easy for you to do so in my presence, since you are not I assume, intimidated by a short, stocky, freckle-faced, decidedly not photogenic, red-headed Irish woman pushing 60.”

    Gary Pearse says:
    August 7, 2013 at 4:57 am

    “I think you have come to a discovery that men of age such as you and I have made, and that is that as compensation for growing old, good looking women seem to fill up the world around you (there aren’t many 30 year-olds that give a second look to that gorgeous fifty or sixty year old that just walked by).”

    Now this is what I was talkin’ about!

  250. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Pamela Gray says:
    August 7, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Willis, where is my BS button. By your own admission in your last responsive comment, I am assuming you are blowing smoke up our a**. I don’t for a minute think you thought a-priori you would get a backlash to the extent you have and so wrote on purpose to get one. Not for one minute. Me thinks you choke on humble pie and will avoid it at all costs. Ergo your response above to Hilary.

    While in general I respect your opinion, Pamela, and I thank you for posting it, as you point out, you have no evidence for your claim.

    You say yourself that it is only is your ASSUMPTION … but unfortunately, your assumption is not true in the slightest. I wrote exactly what I wanted to write, and I wrote it in order to provoke controversy. At this point, I’ve been at the game long enough to judge to the ha’penny which of my statements will provoke controversy, and about how much.

    I knew very well I was stepping into a minefield, Pamela, I’d have to be an idiot not to expect explosions. And yet I stepped into it … and now you blithely claim that I did that accidentally, that I didn’t know it was a minefield? Do I really seem that unaware to you?

    I put various statements into that controversial paragraph as I was writing it, and then took them out, or re-worded them, or changed them entirely. Why? Because I knew it would be controversial. I finally boiled what I was going to say to two things that I knew that I could defend. One was that men lie to good-looking women, and the other was that Dr. McNutt is a good-looking woman. Both undeniably true, both politically incorrect, both very carefully chosen and worded.

    And despite your claim that I’m too dumb to predict what the outcome would be, I fully expected the resulting poolpah. I’d be a fool not to, and more to the point, that poolpah was the intended outcome of my writing. That’s why I spent so much time on the exact wording of that paragraph. Look, I understand that others might just toss off their posts, and so you think I do too.

    I don’t, particularly not with posts of this type and nature. I think through the consequences to the best of my abilities. I write them and re-write them, and sleep on them and tear them out and write them again. After all, it’s my name on them, I’m the one who will take the heat, so after some interesting learning experiences I’m very cautious and deliberate about what I write. As a result, your claim that I was surprised by the fact that some mines exploded when I deliberately stepped into the minefield is … well, I’ll just call it at odds with the facts.

    The unpleasant part is that based only on your assumptions, you are accusing me of lying about it. I don’t do that, Pamela. You say I should eat humble pie, implying that I’m unwilling to eat it. I’ve eaten lots of humble pie right out in public here on WUWT for being wrong, but this is not one of those times. I knew damn well what I was stepping into, and I stepped into it deliberately and with full consideration of the consequences.

    Not only that, but I’ve done this exact same thing before, written to stir up controversy and provoke passionate discussion. And I’ve explained before that that was exactly what I was doing.

    And there were folks then, just like you, that didn’t believe it then either, that couldn’t accept the fact that I plan out the effects and outcomes of my controversial posts and comments and consider their reception down to the finest detail I can think of … but I do.

    Sometimes I write to clarify my own thoughts. Sometimes I write to encourage people to get involved in some field of interest. Sometimes I write because there’s something I have to write and I won’t sit easy until I do. Sometimes I write to entertain, sometimes I write to educate, and sometimes I write to agitate, to stir up controversy.

    And yes, I know the difference between all of them, and I know which one I’m doing at any time. I am very aware of and a keen student of the effects my words have on my readers, and I fit my words to my purpose accordingly. You’ll have to admit that I’m a pretty good wordsmith … and I didn’t get that way by ignoring the outcomes of my words, or by just throwing things out there and being constantly surprised by the results. Plus I’ve been busted for not being politically correct so many times now that I know exactly where the red line is for that pseudo-crime in a host of spheres.

    Now, if you don’t want believe that I’m that thoughtful about my writing, or that dedicated to my craft, or that machiavellian, or that good a writer, or that perceptive about the effect of my words, or that I’m too blind to see the bright neon-red danger lines of political correctness, that’s your business. Believe what you wish about me, I can only tell you what it looks like from here.

    But you accusing me of lying, based only on your assumptions, when I pull back the curtain and show how the magic is done? Sorry, that’s not on.

    My best to you,

    w.

  251. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Gary Pearse says:
    August 7, 2013 at 4:57 am

    Willis, I don’t know whether anyone else has commented on this aspect. To me, Dr. McNutt is a pleasant cheery-looking women to be sure (with the brains and knowledge you state I’m sure) but I don’t see her in the league of good looks that you have placed her, and I doubt in a land where good looks are so highly prized that it is one of the major manufacturing industry segments that is still strong, that Dr. McNutt sees herself other than as I have described her. Heck she looks like many an outdoorsy field geologist that I have met and worked with and had a bottle of beer with in a field party in the middle of nowhere.

    Thanks, Gary, but if you think you can induce me to say a single word about your measurement system for just how good looking Dr. McNutt might or might not be, I fear I’ll have to disappoint you. I mentioned the neon-red danger lines just above … that’s well over them.

    w.

  252. OK, Willis … Now I’m putting on my Bridgeplayer hat,.And I’m calling a spade a spade :-)

    I tried to be tactful in my comments in the (in hindsight, obviously futile) hope that you might recognize for yourself the folly and unwarranted disrespect for readers (particularly those, who like me took your post at face value – and tried to offer some constructive criticism) that your little game of “Guess the real [and apparently ever-changing] purpose of Willis’ post” demonstrates.

    This was obviously not a very good “bid” on my part.

    Particularly since you somehow succeeded in reading into my post that which I very carefully chose not to write (regardless of what I might have been thinking!) Here’s what you wrote:

    You coming along and saying it is over the top shows that I have succeeded

    Unless you would care to substantiate this with specific text from my comments (not Mosher’s), I’d appreciate it if you would retract this inaccurate “assessment” on the strength of which you appear to have declared your “success”.

    But I take it from the rest of your “reply” that your “outrage” was fake, and you weren’t really “playing to the lurkers” after all (or if you were, you certainly don’t seem to give a damn about their perceptions and opinions, either).

    In my books, this verges on intellectual dishonesty. Although I appreciate that YMMV, since you seem quite proud of the fact that you have accomplished the magnificent feat of drawing the attention and fire of John Cook and the SkS crowd.

    And speaking of my books … Your choosing to resort to justifying your earlier comments with the utterly feeble excuse of the presence of McNutt’s photo accompanying her editorial – an innovation which no editor of any print or virtual media has ever done before, of course – is perilously close to blaming the victim.

    As an “argument”, I would put this on a par with Lewandowsky’s ludicrous claim that Steve McIntyre and others should somehow have divined in 2012 that a 2010 E-mail from Charles Hanich (which made absolutely no mention of Lewandowsky) was from the great one himself!

    I couldn’t help but notice that in the only snippet of my comments that you – no doubt, very carefully – decided were worthy of your attention (well, to the rather limited extent that you are actually paying attention to anything anyone says these days!) you ripped the following from its context:

    P.S. From your responses to those women who have objected to your “… strikingly good looking … etc” paragraph, I was not left with the impression that you were “pay[ing] very close attention”.

    Your choice, of course. But it’s a choice you made that leaves me no alternative but to conclude that my immediately subsequent:

    Sorry to say, the impression I was left with is that you were choosing to use their objections (and/or snippets thereof) as “hooks” for telling us more about you.

    was pretty damn close – if not right on – the mark.

    But what do I know, eh? I’m just a Bridgeplayer who calls a spade a spade – and, most importantly, I don’t get a “million page views a year”, do I?!

    However, I’ve certainly learned my lesson. Willis!

    Next time you bestow on us one of your heartfelt (or not) “Open (or closed!) Letters” filled with attention-seeking fake emotion and/or outrage, I will quickly recognize that this is Willis making yet another bid in “bully pulpit” mode; the key word being “bully”, considering your performances in this thread.

    And I’ll pass (although I shall reserve my right to label it as such, when I see you repeating the pattern!)

  253. @Janice and @Pamela Gray,

    It seems that the only person whose views are worthy of acknowledgement and/or <gasp> commendation in this thread are those of Willis. His thread, his [ever-changing] game, his rules!

    Sorry if my comments might have led you both astray, thereby provoking his self-exculpatory wrath and scorn:-)

    P.S. Janice, please call me Hilary! “Ms. Ostrov” makes me feel, well, as old as I am :-)

  254. johanna says:

    Well, by my calculation, every woman who has commented on this section of your post (and you said that you take women’s views on these matters seriously) thinks it was inappropriate – and you have slapped every one of them down, usually at greater length than each of the posts you were responding to. Now you are telling us that you did it deliberately and knowingly.

    Thank heavens women are not in the category of people whose views you don’t take seriously on these matters. The mind boggles at what your responses would have been like if that was the case.

  255. Willis Eschenbach says:

    johanna says:
    August 7, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Well, by my calculation, every woman who has commented on this section of your post (and you said that you take women’s views on these matters seriously) thinks it was inappropriate – and you have slapped every one of them down, usually at greater length than each of the posts you were responding to.

    I did not say that I take womens views on these matters seriously, please quote my words. I will not allow you to put words into my mouth. I said:

    … when women object to the way that I talk about or refer to women, I pay very close attention.

    I have paid very close attention to what the women have said here on this subject. As far as I know I have answered their objections carefully and in detail. I understand that you are upset, I said that above.

    I just don’t think that upset is reasonable. I’ve told you my reasons why I don’t think so. You have not answered, or discussed a single one of my reasons or objections, preferring to attack me personally.

    OK.

    Now you are telling us that you did it deliberately and knowingly.

    Johanna, I told everyone three days ago, way, way up in the comments, exactly what I had done and why. I have referred and linked to it a number of times since. I did it at nine o’clock on the morning that the post was published.

    Now, three days later, you want to blame me because you just found out? Yes, I raised the issue deliberately, because I think that the politically correct refusal to discuss the effects of good looks on a person’s opportunities and advantages, the refusal to discuss what their appearance gains them and what it costs them, I think that refusal is childish nonsense in a world where physical beauty is a billion dollar industry and a face can launch a thousand ships. I wanted to raise the issue, specifically because it is controversial.

    How about you talk about that, instead of just telling me I’m a bad man doing wrong things?

    Thank heavens women are not in the category of people whose views you don’t take seriously on these matters. The mind boggles at what your responses would have been like if that was the case.

    See my objection above, I never said a word about “seriously”. I didn’t take Boumbette seriously in the slightest, for example, specifically because I did what I said I would do, and paid very close attention to what she was saying. That turned out to be unpleasant, unsubstantiated mudslinging …

    I have made a number of arguments, responding to each of your objections in a detailed manner. This is being held against me as writing “at greater length” than what the person wrote … this is now wrong, to respond at greater length than the woman’s comment?

    OK.

    And rather than responding to any of my detailed responses to what you said, you want to focus on the way I’ve treated the other women.

    OK

    Your complaint is that I “slapped them down” in some fashion. I did no such thing. I have answered them all with very specific and very detailed reasons and explanations … and somehow that is “slapping them down”?

    OK.

    Johanna, I have not treated the women in this thread any differently from the men. If you want to be taken seriously, stop complaining about the treatment, and deal with the issues. If you disagree with what I said to you, about the issues that you claimed were important but are now forgotten by you, then bring it on. But whining about how I’m treating other people? It’s a rough-and-tumble game, and at the wise insistence of you and others, I pull no punches for women.

    Of course, when I treat the women like the men, now I’m “slapping them down”.

    Well, Johanna, tell them to stand up and slap back, duh, that’s what the men do. But tell them to QUOTE MY WORDS when they do so. I would not want them to pitch a commotion like you’ve done, throwing mud at the wall to see what sticks, as a convenient way not to answer a single one of the objections I raised to your claims.

    Get back to me when you want to discuss my responses to the issues you raised.

    w.

  256. johanna says:

    OK, my bad, I did not quote your exact words. But in what way is a commitment to “pay very close attention” to a particular category of comments substantively different from taking them seriously?

    I notice that you have not responded to either Hilary’s second post or to my central point – that 100% of female commenters think you were out of line.

    Like her, I am disinclined to waste any further time on this, since apparently there is no possibility whatever that you might reconsider your views, despite the fact that the class of people whose comments you specifically promised to pay close attention to all disagree with you.

  257. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Hilary Ostrov (aka hro001) says:
    August 7, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    OK, Willis … Now I’m putting on my Bridgeplayer hat,.And I’m calling a spade a spade :-)

    I tried to be tactful in my comments in the (in hindsight, obviously futile) hope that you might recognize for yourself the folly and unwarranted disrespect for readers (particularly those, who like me took your post at face value – and tried to offer some constructive criticism) that your little game of “Guess the real [and apparently ever-changing] purpose of Willis’ post” demonstrates.

    This was obviously not a very good “bid” on my part.

    Particularly since you somehow succeeded in reading into my post that which I very carefully chose not to write (regardless of what I might have been thinking!) Here’s what you wrote:

    You coming along and saying it is over the top shows that I have succeeded

    Unless you would care to substantiate this with specific text from my comments (not Mosher’s), I’d appreciate it if you would retract this inaccurate “assessment” on the strength of which you appear to have declared your “success”.

    First, my thanks for your response.

    Next, my apologies, Hilary. I inferred from the tone and the content of your post that you thought my actions were over the top. As you say that is not the case, I retract it entirely and without reservation.

    But I take it from the rest of your “reply” that your “outrage” was fake, and you weren’t really “playing to the lurkers” after all (or if you were, you certainly don’t seem to give a damn about their perceptions and opinions, either).

    My “outrage” was fake? I fear I don’t know what “outrage” in scare-quotes you are referring to, or why you’ve concluded it is “fake”. I don’t ever do fake outrage. Again, I ask, and again, and again—quote what it is you object to. Without a quote, I have no clue which part of either my long post or my many comments you think is “fake outrage”, and I am certainly not going to try to guess.

    In my books, this verges on intellectual dishonesty. Although I appreciate that YMMV, since you seem quite proud of the fact that you have accomplished the magnificent feat of drawing the attention and fire of John Cook and the SkS crowd.

    Exactly WHAT verges on intellectual dishonesty, Hilary. Now you’re sounding like Boumbette, all outrage and no details. And I’m happy to have Cook and the SkS crowd reading and thinking about my work, where is the loss in that? My intention in part is to get my message out to those who DON’T read WUWT. So while it’s by no means a “magnificent feat”, it is clear evidence that I am drawing readers who normally pay no attention to me.

    I wanted to bring big publicity to the issues that I raised, the natural experiment and what it means. I wanted people to know about the size of the recent temperature rise according to the BEST data, and to think about what that says about the results of large warming.

    This post has been up for three days. Here’s the statistics of page views over the entire last quarter, top five of my posts:

    An Open Letter to Dr. Marcia McNutt, new Editor-In-Chief, Science Magazine 15,912
    The Icy Nenana River 11,435
    Climate Sensitivity Deconstructed 10,957
    How Environmental Organizations Are Destroying The Environment 9,918
    The Sixth First Climate Refugees 9,149

    I’d say what I did was quite successful, Hilary. In three days, my latest post has fifty percent more page views than posts from a month ago. Not a “magnificent feat”, no. But my goal was to give my ideas the widest possible dissemination … and it looks like I did.

    And speaking of my books … Your choosing to resort to justifying your earlier comments with the utterly feeble excuse of the presence of McNutt’s photo accompanying her editorial – an innovation which no editor of any print or virtual media has ever done before, of course – is perilously close to blaming the victim.

    I’m a man, Hilary. When I opened that page, the very first thing that I saw was an artfully placed, professionally posed, slightly out of focus and carefully chosen head-shot of a good-looking woman. I looked back at other Editorials in Science, their usual head graphic is something related to the topic at hand, like the lower graphic on the same page.

    Now, you may not have noticed her photo at all when you read the Editorial, or you glanced at it and moved on. But for me and for most men that I know, that is the first thing we would look at, and I’m sorry to report, the particulars of Dr. McNutts appearance would shape our hopes and expectations about the contents of the article.

    As I said, I have no problem with Dr. McNutt using her good looks that way, to the benefit of both the magazine and her own ideas. I’d do the same thing myself. She, like me, wants the widest possible distribution for her ideas.

    What I have a problem with is that although she’s using her good looks to sell the magazine, and more power to her to do so, this whole issue is totally taboo, forbidden by political correctness, can’t be discussed. And that means that we can’t discuss what her good looks cost her. I think that’s nuts. What do you think?

    As an “argument”, I would put this on a par with Lewandowsky’s ludicrous claim that Steve McIntyre and others should somehow have divined in 2012 that a 2010 E-mail from Charles Hanich (which made absolutely no mention of Lewandowsky) was from the great one himself!

    Pass. No context, little knowledge of the incident. Sorry.

    I couldn’t help but notice that in the only snippet of my comments that you – no doubt, very carefully – decided were worthy of your attention (well, to the rather limited extent that you are actually paying attention to anything anyone says these days!) you ripped the following from its context:

    P.S. From your responses to those women who have objected to your “… strikingly good looking … etc” paragraph, I was not left with the impression that you were “pay[ing] very close attention”.

    Your choice, of course. But it’s a choice you made that leaves me no alternative but to conclude that my immediately subsequent:

    Sorry to say, the impression I was left with is that you were choosing to use their objections (and/or snippets thereof) as “hooks” for telling us more about you.

    was pretty damn close – if not right on – the mark.

    Hilary, I had actually written a rather long response to your points, with what I ended up sending as the last part. Obviously, the part I sent touched on some of your earlier points as well, but it was a separate section at the end.

    But I was not at all happy with the first part of my response. It was too passionate, and it didn’t hit either the right points or the right tone. I re-edited it a couple times, but I couldn’t make it work. So I cut it out entirely rather than risk misunderstanding.

    As to whether these are “hooks” so I can tell you more about me, believe what you want. I don’t need any “hooks” to do that, I’m publishing my autobiography piece by piece. Above, I try to explain what my point of view is by explaining how I came to that point of view in my life. Looks that that doesn’t work for you.

    But what do I know, eh? I’m just a Bridgeplayer who calls a spade a spade – and, most importantly, I don’t get a “million page views a year”, do I?!

    It seems like my comment about a million pages views a year disturbs you. Let me go back and see what I said … ah, here it is.

    Dr K.A. Rodgers says:
    August 4, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Far too too heavy with focus creep. Get rid of all irrelavancies – such as Al Gore and all patronizing mentions of the Editor’s gender. While you are at it get rid of at least 50% of the words.

    I get about a million page views of my posts per year, so I must be doing something right … and you?

    Whatever I write, there are always people telling me that it’s either too long or too short. Most of those people have no experience writing posts for the web. I do, and as I pointed out to Dr. K.A. Rodgers, I must be doing something right …

    I said it because I am very tired of random people claiming that my writing style is terrible. I wrote the piece just exactly the way I wanted it, long and curvilinear. My point to the good Dr. was, if my writing style is so bad, why do I get a million page views per year? Now, what you’ve turned that into in your mind, I have no idea, but I doubt it has anything to do with writing style …

    However, I’ve certainly learned my lesson. Willis!

    Next time you bestow on us one of your heartfelt (or not) “Open (or closed!) Letters” filled with attention-seeking fake emotion and/or outrage, I will quickly recognize that this is Willis making yet another bid in “bully pulpit” mode; the key word being “bully”, considering your performances in this thread.

    So your complaint is that I’m bullying all these poor weak women in the thread? You made the same complaint regarding my treatment of Boumbette, to which I responded:

    Are you saying I was supposed to go easy on Boumbette because she’s a woman? And if not … what are you saying? That I should have been nicer to Boumbette because it would have been good tactics, in order to win the argument?

    Rather than respond to my objection, you’ve simply repeated the allegation, this time I’m specifically a bully. So I guess that was your meaning, I’m bullying the women.

    There’s a saying among men, a saying which might never have crossed your path. It goes, “If you want to run with the big dogs, you’ve got to piss with the big dogs”. Most men are not much on philosophy, but there’s plenty of levels of meaning in that one.

    Women have demanded full equality, and I have supported that demand for years. But you can’t do that, demand full equality, and then complain that you are being bullied. See the previous paragraph for why.

    And again, I say that my outrage is never fake, that’s total BS. As with all of my emotions that I write about, I always try to put my outrage to the best and highest use, but not one of my statements are false or fake. I wanted to provoke discussion of the issues, and I used my real outrage to do it. I don’t see that as a bad or wrong thing in any sense.

    And I’ll pass (although I shall reserve my right to label it as such, when I see you repeating the pattern!)

    Hilary, here’s the ugly truth. All of us repeat that pattern. I often have more than one objective for my posts, and many times, not all of my hopes for the outcome are alluded to specifically. Is that deceptive? Every writer does it, including yourself. You have your inner hopes and your intentions of what might come to pass from writing any given piece. Many of those will never be mentioned explicitly in what you write. So what?

    So yes, no need for vigilance on your part. You can always safely assume that I’m doing more than one thing with any of my posts, and further, you can assume that the actual outcome I’m shooting for may not be what you think it is. Feel free to warn people about that as you wish.

    As I said, and have said before, I’m playing in a long struggle here, and my response is as deep and strong and subtle as I can make it. The fate of the poor of the world hangs on our collective decisions about pushing energy prices through the ceiling, and I always take that most seriously. I often have more than one objective for my posts, and sometimes a couple more. And no, I don’t generally reveal any of them, no more than you reveal your own inner hopes and fears and intentions for your writing, because its not part of the subject and just doesn’t come out in the writing.

    But you should never assume that anything in my posts is fake or false. I don’t deal in fake emotions or feigned outrage. If I say I’m outraged, I am. What I do with that outrage is to try to harness it. And how I am harnessing outrage or any other emotion, or to what ends, may not always be obvious.

    But to the best of my abilities, none of what I say is fake, feigned, or false in any sense. That’s always been my deal with my readers, and I have kept it faithfully.

    My regards to you,

    w.

  258. Willis Eschenbach says:

    johanna says:
    August 7, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    OK, my bad, I did not quote your exact words. But in what way is a commitment to “pay very close attention” to a particular category of comments substantively different from taking them seriously?

    Thanks, johanna. Here’s an example. You might pay very close attention to what your blustering, irate, blowhard neighbor might say, for a variety of reasons.

    But that doesn’t mean you take him seriously.

    Best regards,

    w.

  259. Willis Eschenbach says:

    johanna says:
    August 7, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    I notice that you have not responded to either Hilary’s second post or to my central point – that 100% of female commenters think you were out of line.

    Regarding Hilary’s post, I happened to see yours first. See above for my response to Hilary. So sue me.

    Regarding your central point, I’ve acknowledged several times that 100% of the women who commented thought I was out of line, they were offended.

    I’ve also worked to explain in detail to each of you individually why I think that your shared upset is misplaced. Not that it is not real, but it is misplaced. And in response, Johanna, you have chosen not to discuss or mention a single substantive point I’ve made, or answer a single question that I’ve asked you.

    OK.

    Like her, I am disinclined to waste any further time on this, since apparently there is no possibility whatever that you might reconsider your views, despite the fact that the class of people whose comments you specifically promised to pay close attention to all disagree with you.

    Waste time? You haven’t even entered the discussion. Reply to the issues I raised, and I certainly might change my views as a result, that’s what I do … but you haven’t touched the issues even in passing. Instead, you’ve just repeated accusation after accusation against me.

    Or you could leave, I’m OK with that, although I’ve certainly valued your comments. But you are laboring under a misconception that I said I’d agree with the women, or that I’d put it to a vote of the women. I said nothing of the sort. I pick my words carefully, I meant exactly what I said.

    I said that I would listen very closely to the women. I have done so, and I have responded to your issues in detail, all of you. If there is an issue I didn’t respond to, bring it out, let’s discuss it. Here’s the puzzle for me:

    Y’all seem to think that discussing a woman’s appearance should be totally taboo, in a world where beauty is incredibly valuable, and at the same time that it’s OK for Dr. McNutt to use her appearance to help sell the magazine.

    I don’t think so, and I’ve explained why, but I’ve gotten no response to the issues and questions I raised. I’ve listened very carefully to you, and while you are all unanimous in your upset, none of you can tell me anything more than that it’s taboo, we don’t say such things … sorry, not good enough. Why not discuss what someone’s looks might cost them in a scientific context? I agreed to listen very carefully, not to agree with your position.

    And so far, my careful listening has revealed that the position consists of what we say to children, no, dear, you mustn’t say such things, I get offended, we don’t say that … but that explains nothing. Why not say such things? Because someone somewhere might get offended? That seems to be the main logic behind all such bans.

    So yes, I know you are all offended. I get that. But my experience of the world is that there’s always someone offended by something someone else says. At times a whole chunk of society gets offended. Muslims are offended by cartoons, and Hindus are offended by slaugherhouses. Should we stop cartooning or eating beef in response, so we don’t offend anyone? In fact, getting offended is a cottage industry in some circles. And sadly, it’s made its way into some European law, where it’s a crime to say certain things that people might take offense at.

    So I fear that listening closely to your unanimous response, which boils down to “we’re offended that you should discuss the taboo subject of what a woman’s good looks might cost her”, doesn’t convince me that indeed that topic should be banned.

    I said the facts are that she’s a well-educated, strong, good-looking, and wicked-smart woman, and that men lie to such women. I said that might be a factor in her willingness to jump into the middle of a debate in which she has little expertise. Am I wrong? Sure, I might be.

    Now, there may be good reasons why those topics should be taboo, banned from discussion in a world where we all agree that 1 face = 1,000 ships, and where she’s legitimately using her face to help disseminate her ideas by the shipload. If so, I encourage you to let me know what those good reasons are. Because I’m afraid that “I’m offended by what you said” is not a reason at all, it’s a response.

    My best to you,

    w.

  260. TimTheToolMan says:

    Willis, I’m going to have to put a few beers in the fridge. Metaphorically at least, my homeland Australia is “on the other side of the world” and at the rate you’re digging, I expect to see you quite soon. You’ll need a beer by then I expect. I’m thinking you’d be drinking Dos Equis?

  261. Mr Lynn says:

    Well, this back and forth is getting a tedious. But it is interesting that none of the women complaining about Willis’s attitude have addressed the real charge that I think Willis has made, namely that the lovely Dr. McNutt has been led down the garden path by the patronizing male mavens of the Climatist cult, and it is high time she used her evident (and probably superior) smarts and started thinking for herself. Or do Willis’s female critics have another explanation for the blinders Dr. McNutt is wearing?

    I wonder what would happen if she did start thinking really hard about Willis’s “natural experiment,” and what it implies for the dogma that she has obediently spouted in her editorial. I’d like to see that happen, but I don’t reckon we will.

    /Mr Lynn

  262. Mr Lynn says:

    That was “a bit tedious.” /Mr L.

  263. Toto says:

    I must have missed the part where you say you will send this letter directly to her, give her this URL, and tell her she has the opportunity to respond here in comments or even in a new post. She may also find the comments here interesting.

  264. Eugene WR Gallun says:

    Amazing! What important points Willis made! — yet suddenly the argument is over the form and not the substance of what Willis said.

    You are yelling at Willis when you should be screaming about McNutt! Sad, really sad. Talk about hijacking a thread!

    McNutt was chosen for her position because she is a trusted person — trusted to continue the abuse that has brought a once great journal to its knees. Do any of you really believe there will be any change in policy there? And yet you nitpick Willis.

    Have none of you any sense of what is important in what Willis wrote? You attack the honest man and let the deceitful bitch escape. Look at her and not at Willis. Keep you eyes on the ball. You people are losing it. Next thing you know there will be talk of Willis’ war on women.

    God, people use your brains!

    Eugene WR Gallun

  265. jdseanjd says:

    I love this site, & I love reading Willis’ work. I learn so much & enjoy doing so.

    I am also a bit of an enemy of PC, as my comments above show.
    Google Frankfurt School for the mind control agenda of political correctness.
    It is creeping Marxism.

    I am hugely enjoying the to & fro on this post. My deepest respect to Willis for the huge efforts he has made in his replies, particularly to the ladies.

    Here’s my take on the subject of looks: I’ve been dodging predatory Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Schoolmates, Teachers, Priests, Friends, Acquaintances & neighbours since I was about 13 years old, & it can get a bit wearing.

    I haven’t always dodged mind, & I’ve done my fair share of pursuing. :)
    & the end result can be great fun.
    & I’ve found that an attractive appearance certainly opens doors.
    But it can also dig pits in front of your feet.
    When heftier blokes see their women going google-eyed & weak kneed this raises problems.
    As an adult, I’ve perfected,as far as I’m able, the art of the gentle turn down.
    As a kid, such diplomacy didn’t work, & I’ve developed very swift feet, & a degree of viciousness
    to compensate for my lack of heft.

    Looks are indeed a mixed blessing, but as Willis so astutely points out, looks are how this world works, & to pretend otherwise is simply foolishness.

    To finish, I’ll say that when I stop admiring pretty women, you can screw the lid down on my box & plant me, because I’ll be gone.

    Work on please Willis.
    Valuable work & in superb style.

    Best regards,
    JD.

  266. “To finish, I’ll say that when I stop admiring pretty women, you can screw the lid down on my box & plant me, because I’ll be gone.”

    JD, one of my absolutely favourite poems:

    The Time I’ve Lost in Wooing
    By Thomas Moore

    The time I’ve lost in wooing,
    In watching and pursuing
    The light, that lies
    In woman’s eyes,
    Has been my heart’s undoing.
    Though Wisdom oft has sought me,
    I scorn’d the lore she brought me,
    My only books
    Were woman’s looks,
    And folly’s all they’ve taught me.

    Her smile when Beauty granted,
    I hung with gaze enchanted,
    Like him the Sprite,
    Whom maids by night
    Oft meet in glen that’s haunted.
    Like him, too, Beauty won me,
    But while her eyes were on me,
    If once their ray
    Was turn’d away,
    Oh! winds could not outrun me.

    And are those follies going?
    And is my proud heart growing
    Too cold or wise
    For brilliant eyes
    Again to set it glowing?
    No, vain, alas! th’ endeavour
    From bonds so sweet to sever;
    Poor Wisdom’s chance
    Against a glance
    Is now as weak as ever.

    And if I’m living that way in an aged-care home one day, works for me. That said, I still don’t think writing highly-critical letters about someone’s alleged scientific biases and attractiveness works.

  267. Lars Silen: Reflex och spegling says:

    Dear Willis. I translated the open letter into Swedish with a short comment. I hope this is ok. The letter can be found at: http://larsil2009.wordpress.com/2013/08/08/om-vetenskapliga-tidskrifters-trovardighet/
    /Lars Silen

  268. alexboon86 says:

    I can’t see the sexism that you’ve been accused of. You have some fair points in my opinion. I really can’t stand the change from “if”, “possible” and “high uncertainty” to “will be…” either in one sentence or from one sentence to the next. It might be honourably intentioned and if I dare say that no matter the uncertainty, people should care about human impact on the planet and should be taking action. ‘Science’ magazine isn’t the place for this activism, especially activism that isn’t fully evidence supported.

  269. Mr Lynn says: August 7, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    Well, this back and forth is getting a bit tedious. But it is interesting that none of the women complaining about Willis’s attitude have addressed the real charge that I think Willis has made, namely that the lovely Dr. McNutt has been led down the garden path by the patronizing male mavens of the Climatist cult, and it is high time she used her evident (and probably superior) smarts and started thinking for herself. Or do Willis’s female critics have another explanation for the blinders Dr. McNutt is wearing?

    Well, apart from the fact that it’s not only the women here who have noted Willis’ patronizing and condescending tone, I have yet to see any evidence – from Willis or anyone else – as to who specifically might have “led her down the garden path”.

    It could just as easily have been Susan Solomon, Joelle Gergis, Naomi Oreskes could it not? Or perhaps – equally, if not more, likely – Caroline Ash, Lisa D. Chong, Maria J. Cruz, Julia Fahrenkamp-Uppenbrink, Pamela J. Hines, Stella M. Hurtley, Barbara R. Jasny, Paula A. Kiberstis, Melissa R. McCartney, Kristen L. Mueller, Beverly A. Purnell and/or Laura M. Zahn. All of whom, amongst others, just happen to be … wait for it … on the editorial staff of Science (along with a few men, of course)

    Do you think that there’s even the slightest possibility that – while McNutt’s name (and picture) were attached to the piece – these <gasp> women might have contributed to the content of this travesty of an editorial?!

    Or are they all by definition “extremely well educated, strong, strikingly good looking, and [wickedly-smart women]” to whom men have been telling lies because they’re intimidated by this devastating combination (or whatever the theory is supposed to be)?!

    McNutt might even have commissioned Susan J. Hassol (a “science communicator” who did most of the writing of the recent travesty known as the AGU’s updated “Statement” on climate change) to ghost-write it (or at least draft it) for her.

    Those are a few possibilities that come to my mind. But I’m sure that Willis’ theory must deserve far greater consideration as an “explanation”.

  270. richardscourtney says:

    Friends:

    I write in hope of ‘cutting the Gordion knot’ of the dispute concerning Willis’ mention of the good looks of Dr McNutt.

    There are two pertinent issues and they are being confused.

    Firstly, there is the question as to whether or not the good looks of Dr McNutt have affected the information which has been given to her and how that information was given.

    Willis argues

    I said the facts are that she’s a well-educated, strong, good-looking, and wicked-smart woman, and that men lie to such women. I said that might be a factor in her willingness to jump into the middle of a debate in which she has little expertise. Am I wrong? Sure, I might be.

    Clearly, Willis states that his answer to the question is an opinion and – in common with all opinions – it may be wrong. But he has made several points in support of his opinion,and those points concur with the experience of many people both men and women.

    Debate of his opinion would consist of points which contradict his opinion. No such points have been made except that some people have said the opinion makes them feel uncomfortable whether or not it is true.

    Secondly, there is the question as to whether or not mentioning the good looks of Dr McNutt improves or reduces the effectiveness of what Willis wrote.

    The answer to that depends on the effect which Willis intended.

    It may be that mention of her appearance may have inhibited the willingness of Dr McNutt to change her view on the Editorial stance of Science magazine; perhaps or perhaps not. However, Willis says he did not have the ambitious aim of changing her view. He says

    In three days, my latest post has fifty percent more page views than posts from a month ago. Not a “magnificent feat”, no. But my goal was to give my ideas the widest possible dissemination … and it looks like I did.

    Willis says the effect he desired was to obtain maximum publicity for his views concerning Editorial bias of Science magazine, and he provides data which suggests he achieved that effect.

    Anybody who desires a different effect is at liberty to write an open letter of their own.

    I hope my observations are helpful to the discussion.

    Richard

  271. Pamela Gray says:

    Oh good heavens. Must I get all “grandma” over you? Apologize to the woman. Most of the time my grandma never told me why I should. But she was a wise old woman. So I apologized without further justification. What did I learn? Often, it is better to shut the hell up and be wise than go on and on about being smart.

  272. Matt says:

    Quote—Why Bother?The magazine is Trash anyway?–Quote

    Quote—–It could just as easily have been Susan Solomon, Joelle Gergis, Naomi Oreskes could it not? Or perhaps – equally, if not more, likely – Caroline Ash, Lisa D. Chong, Maria J. Cruz, Julia Fahrenkamp-Uppenbrink, Pamela J. Hines, Stella M. Hurtley, Barbara R. Jasny, Paula A. Kiberstis, Melissa R. McCartney, Kristen L. Mueller, Beverly A. Purnell and/or Laura M. Zahn. All of whom, amongst others, just happen to be … wait for it … on the editorial staff of Science (along with a few men, of course)—Quote

    No connection whatsoever based on the contributions of most women on this thread demonstrating such lack of logic, consistency, comprehension and rigor that Willis has bashed them all over the field.
    Really great blood sport.

  273. @Willis 8/7 6:56 pm

    I said the facts are that she’s a well-educated, strong, good-looking, and wicked-smart woman, and that men lie to such women.

    The hypothesis I have yet to see discussed is do “such women lie to men”?
    Why is there an assumption that “men lie to .. women” at play here? Perhaps she, as Editor in Chief commits lies of commission and omission on every page without the help of men.

    Eugene WR Gallun at 5:37 pm is from what I can see the only other to have explored this vector.

    For me, the question at issue is how do you reconcile the abstract and content of Blois, et al, with the very first line of the paper?

    Recall, the first line:

    Climate change has occurred repeatedly throughout Earth’s history, but the recent rate of warming far exceeds that of any previous warming episode in the past 10,000 years (1, 2) and perhaps far longer.

    Ref. 1 is Marcott-2013 (also Science, March 2013).

    This first line is out of character with the abstract with it’s emphasis on repeating events. The first line references Marcott-2013 and Marcott backed away from 20th century conclusions because the 20th century data was “not robust”. McNutt should have known of Marcott’s semi-retraction — it was about a paper in her journal! The first sentence is a lie. Who put it there? McNutt either wrote it herself as editor (lie by commission) or let it pass into print (lie by omission).

    In McNutt’s editorial, she states:
    even the most optimistic predictions are dire.
    Because of the use of superlative, this is a bald faced lie. All I need do is find one prediction that is not dire to refute it. Any prediction by Monckton will do. There are plenty of others.

    So lies are involved here. They are not being committed solely by men.

  274. Pamela Gray says:

    No. Willis has not bashed them all over the field. One can have a justification temper tantrum in front of most women without causing any blood-letting at all. I’ve known women to leave their child screaming in the grocery isle whilst they finish their shopping. More often than not, the child, so wanting attention, would move to the next isle to continue the fit in order to stay within ear shot of mom. Usually it is best to let the child be as upset as he or she wishes when being corrected. An apology is still required, now or later, to make amends.

  275. M Courtney says:

    I’ve said the article was “creepy” because it addressed a professional (who got their job from their intellectual skill, not hooking) in terms of their appearance.

    My father has made the suggestion that this was a tactic to get as wide a distribution as possible – Willis had no intention of influencing the AGU and so it didn’t matter that he acted inappropriately.

    That makes sense.
    But it is a short-term, tactic.
    No-one can trust such pedagoguery. Willis can no longer comment on anything!

    He should apologise about the tone and stick by the facts.

    It was creepy and creepy is bad.

  276. Anthony Watts says:

    Regarding the Political Correctness debate of Willis’ article.

    Some people saw nothing wrong with it, and some people are doing voluminous hand wringing over the PC correctness aspect of it. Point is, there are people who agree with/disagree with every single opinion piece ever written here. If Willis wants to change it/clarify it, he’s certainly welcome to. I would have worded it differently and probably would have suggested some edits had I seen it before publication. That said, I think the hand-wringing about it is excessive. It was written in the language of his age and experience. Some people might not like it, but he was being honest with his praise as well as his scorn. Many people younger than Willis most certainly have a different view.

    I’ve let him know of the concerns, and I’ll leave it to him to respond. (Beyond his response above should he choose to.)

    Making mistakes and making a fool of yourself is all part of learning. I’ve done both, as have some of our guest authors. I’m happy to concede there was a mistake in the wording of Willis essay, because I think he didn’t correctly predict how it might be interpreted or misinterpreted, or maybe he was counting on it. I simply don’t know. Again I think there is too much hand wringing over it in a world where “beauty is valued” as he put it.

    Regarding how it has been viewed in the context of John Cook’s “creepy” Tweet about it, the difference between SkS and WUWT is that we at WUWT allow the criticism and consider it, where SkS just disappears things like entire folders and then goes silent about it.

  277. dbstealey says:

    M Courtney says:

    “He should apologise about the tone and stick by the facts. It was creepy and creepy is bad.”

    So now we’ve heard from the Creepy Police spokesman person. And the decree is: it’s bad.

    Sorry, but having an opinion is a good thing. Marching in lockstep with the P.C. regiment is what’s bad.

    I agree with what Willis wrote, I agree with his tone, and I think the world is in it’s current sucky shape because of the thought-police attitude that now infects everything.

  278. Toto says:

    ew, I read her editorial; there goes her credibility.
    What will always be timeless, however, is strong adherence to the highest principles of scientific integrity. It takes a lifetime to build an excellent scientific reputation, and only an imprudent moment to destroy it. — Marcia McNutt, “Tips on How to Make it as a Scientist”, http://icaps05.uni-ulm.de/mcnutt.html

    And so much for skepticism.

    She accepts an offer from the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, California, to work on the problem of earthquake prediction, applying her thesis research on the earth’s surface strength to their prediction program. At the time, the government agency was questioning the program’s effectiveness and the possibility of predicting earthquakes at all. Scientists had succeeded at predicting some earthquakes but failed with others, like China’s cataclysmic Tangshan earthquake in 1976.

    McNutt wonders if seismic processes might be chaotic – so sensitive to all the complex details of their initial conditions as to be impossible to predict. She grows disillusioned with her work at the USGS and accepts a professorship at MIT.

    McNutt’s tenure in MIT allows her to freely follow her research interests, and they lead her to the work for which she was elected to the NAS. She studies the “exceptions” to plate tectonics: places like the Hawaiian Islands and the Colorado Rockies that the theory has a hard time explaining. Her field work takes her to the volcanoes of French Polynesia, which erupt and rise “smack-dab” in the middle of plates, far from the active edges, says McNutt. She challenges the accepted view that plumes of hot material rise from the boundary between the earth’s core and its mantle to create these unusual sites.

    http://www.nasonline.org/news-and-multimedia/podcasts/interviews/marcia-mcnutt.html

    The same article also touches on a point Willis made:

    she says she encountered her share of “remaining Neanderthals.” These men knowingly or unknowingly tried to keep women out of high-profile positions under the guise of helping them, she says, advising them to take time off to be with their families or to go out to sea in groups for “protection.”

  279. dbstealey says:

    For those criticizing Willis, I have a feeling that if Dr. McNutt looked like this, or like this, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

    Like it or not, physical attraction plays a part in the selection process.

    The bigger problem, however, is the fact that McNutt was chosen based primarily on her “carbon” bona fides, not on her adherence to the Scientific Method, or on her scientific probity. And that, in a nutshell [I resisted the pun!], is the problem with the journal Science.

    Science has been further corrupted by the selection of McNutt. It remains a propaganda organ of the runaway global warming crowd. I think that is one of Willis’ main messages. It is unfortunate that McNutt has chosen to be a team player over a seeker of the truth. Because she could have really made a difference.

    Dr. McNutt could have told the truth: that there is no convincing scientific evidence that CO2, and in particular, anthropogenic CO2, has any measurable effect on global temperature.

    But if she told the truth, her future prospects would be in great jeopardy. So there is no doubt that the selection committee chose wisely…

  280. For those criticizing Willis, I have a feeling that if Dr. McNutt looked like this, or like this, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

    You’re wrong, but it reveals something about how you think, dbstealey. You obviously agree with Willis’s thesis that we just can’t help ourselves jumping to the defence of a good-looking woman (well, one he finds especially good looking: no offence intended to her, but I didn’t have the same reaction as Willis) — or not telling her she’s wrong as in Willis’s take on it. In fact, I would have spoken up if Willis had written a hasty, typo-ridden, highly-emotional, unprofessional, initially sacharine-sweet, and later condescending and sneering, open letter ostensibly welcoming a physically-unattractive person to his or her post, also commenting on their appearance.

    But tell yourself whatever you want to believe.

  281. Anthony Watts says: August 8, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Regarding the Political Correctness debate of Willis’ article.

    Some people saw nothing wrong with it, and some people are doing voluminous hand wringing over the PC correctness aspect of it. Point is, there are people who agree with/disagree with every single opinion piece ever written here.

    With all due respect, I’m not sure whom you believe to have been doing “voluminous hand-wringing” on this particular matter. I have seen “voluminous” disrespectful and dismissive comments (of the blue-background kind) that far out-weigh the word-counts of those on both sides of the gender divide whose own observations have ostensibly been the subject of the blue-background responses [examples available on request!]

    But, IMHO, there is a “broader” issue, so to speak!

    Many commenters (of whom I was one) took Willis’ post – in its entirety – at face value, i.e. a letter to McNutt, and tried to offer some constructive suggestions for improvement. Some did so with kid gloves, others more frankly. But this was far from being the only (or even the most important) criticism from the perspective of one who might have made (what in hindsight appears to be the critical and possibly unforgivable error) of taking this post at face value.

    In these blue-background responses, I have seen justifications that include (but are certainly not limited to):

    Finally, you totally mistake my intention. As I said above, I’m writing to Dr. McNutt, but I’m writing for the folks in the cheap seats, by which I mean the interested lay person. I want them to understand that the claims that the Editor-In-Chief of Science magazine is making have nothing to do with science. It would be wonderful if Dr. McNutt understood that as well, but that’s secondary. The odds of finding open minds are better with the lurkers … which is why I write for them.

    and:

    “You share what seems to be a common misconception, that my intention was to convince her of the error of her ways. Nothing could be further from the truth.
    [...]
    “I wrote it because I want her to know that people out here are angry
    [...]
    “I wrote it to expose her.

    I didn’t want to convince her of the error of her ways”

    and:

    “In common with many people. you seem to have have misunderstood my intention [...] I’m playing a long game [...] People have said I wandered and lost focus. I didn’t want it to be clean and straight. I wanted it to be discursive and with detours and diversions. People say it is too long. I wanted it to be long, even boring.[...]

    “You see, I wrote it to be over the top. I wanted it to be over the top [...]
    [...]
    ” … what I really wanted to do was to raise a really big ruckus about Science magazine’s blind parroting of climate alarmism. The way I’ve done it guarantees that it will get wide coverage [...]
    [...]
    “… my real intention—to spread my idea of the natural experiment [...] I play a long game and I’m a subtle man.

    “So I’m overjoyed that you wanted to get out your hook and pull me off of the stage, Steven. It means that I’ve succeeded beyond my expectations.”

    and:

    “Oh, if she starts it, she’ll read it all the way through. As I said above, she needs to do that [...] it’s written to her, but not simply for her”

    and IMHO, this one really takes the cake, particularly considering the comment to which he was purportedly responding, but here are a few excerpts]

    “I wanted to talk about things that people say we shouldn’t talk about.

    “I wanted my post to be cited and quoted all over the blogosphere, and I wanted the focus to be on what a jerk I was, and not on the scientific claims I was making and the scientific questions [...] I wanted you and everyone else to be discussing Science magazine, and whether and why it’s wrong to say that men lie to good looking women. I wanted to bring the velvet censorship we call political correctness out into the open.[...]”
    [...]
    “She’s put a lovely picture of her face up above the fold in the text about climate change … and I’m sexist for even mentioning the good looking face that she has made damn certain is the focal point of climate science discussion?

    and:

    “I wanted to bring big publicity to the issues that I raised, the natural experiment and what it means. I wanted people to know about the size of the recent temperature rise according to the BEST data, and to think about what that says about the results of large warming.
    [...]
    “In three days, my latest post has fifty percent more page views than posts from a month ago”

    So, will the real reason for this post please stand up?! Or, to paraphrase an old song, “What’s it all about, Willis?”

    Perhaps it was intended to be a “multi-tasking/multi-purpose” post, a means to an end, so to speak. YMMV, but I’m not sure if the end justifies the means. Particularly if part of the “means” includes being disrespectfully dismissive of some to whose comments he chooses to reply.

    As I had suggested in my initial response to Willis, perhaps his message(s) is/are getting lost in his medium of choice.

  282. dbstealey says:

    Christoph Dollis says:

    “But tell yourself whatever you want to believe.”

    Don’t we all? Or are you above that?

    My premise was expressed in my first sentence. Do you disagree?

    Interesting question, no?

    Anyway, Cristoph, you avoided the central point: Dr. Marcia was chosen for her “carbon” bona fides. Do you disagree with that? [hro001 might want to weigh in on that question, too.]

  283. Is writing a post intended to provoke a wide-ranging discussion about what a jerk (Willis’s words) the most prolific co-blogger on this site is, drawing attention away from the underlying scientific issues (quite on purpose), really helpful to the mission of WattsUpWithThat?

    I have my doubts. YMMV.

    “I wanted my post to be cited and quoted all over the blogosphere, and I wanted the focus to be on what a jerk I was, and not on the scientific claims I was making and the scientific questions [...] I wanted you and everyone else to be discussing Science magazine, and whether and why it’s wrong to say that men lie to good looking women. I wanted to bring the velvet censorship we call political correctness out into the open.[...]”
    [...]
    “She’s put a lovely picture of her face up above the fold in the text about climate change … and I’m sexist for even mentioning the good looking face that she has made damn certain is the focal point of climate science discussion?

    Why exactly is it helpful to this site’s purpose to have a large audience focused on the the part in bold above? Or the remainder above, for that matter?

  284. Anyway, Cristoph, you avoided the central point: Dr. Marcia was chosen for her “carbon” bona fides. Do you disagree with that?

    Apparently this isn’t the point we’re meant to focus on at all. As part of the long game, at this stage we’re all supposed to be focused on Willis. And Dr. McNutt’s looks. And whether men lie to hot chicks.

    Because.

  285. John Whitman says:

    Hilary Ostrov (aka hro001) on August 8, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    – – – – – – – –

    Hilary Ostrov,

    I cannot find a simple main thrust in your comment, only what appears to be projection of a tone of much anger about statements of Anthony and Willis.

    I’ve been a fan of your comments for years so am now somewhat concerned.

    John

  286. dbstealey says:

    Cristoph says:

    “Apparently this isn’t the point we’re meant to focus on at all. As part of the long game, at this stage we’re all supposed to be focused on Willis. And Dr. McNutt’s looks. And whether men lie to hot chicks. Because.”

    OK. OK,OK. OK.

    But still: Was Dr. Marcia selected because she can be trusted to promote the “carbon” narrative?

    Or not?

    Because science is not about knowing… It is about not knowing.

  287. Hilary Ostrov,

    I cannot find a simple main thrust in your comment

    Perhaps because the main thrust of her comment was to point out the lack of a main thrust in Willis’s letter and comments? This could have been your clue:

    I have seen justifications that include (but are certainly not limited to):

    So, will the real reason for this post please stand up?!

  288. Was Dr. Marcia selected because she can be trusted to promote the “carbon” narrative?

    I suspect she wouldn’t have had a snowball’s chance in hell of getting the post if she wasn’t on board with the consensus.

  289. John Whitman says:

    Willis,

    It’s almost time for that important period of the day . . . cocktail hour. So this may be brief.

    I like your technique of expression and your courage to take on some PC stereotypes in modern America (and perhaps elsewhere).

    You have created real education here in critical analysis. Probably some of your antagonists on this thread learned analysis from you over the years.

    I like the substance of your letter and comments.

    Some reasonable people have disagreed with you and likewise some have supported you on the feminine / masculine interaction subject.That is a measure of your value here at WUWT . . . value as a reasonable discourse stimulator. It’s what is rare at Cook’s Skeptical[-less] Science site.

    John

  290. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Well, I thought I’d take a day off from this topic. I realized I should just ruminate on it for a bit and see if I couldn’t find a different way to get my message across. I felt like I was getting lost in the minutia, and that the discussion was devolving. After a day without reading a single word of the thread, here are the two things that stood out for me, and that I would like to present for discussion in an attempt to re-start the communication on a more productive path.

    On Being Offended

    I understand that the women who have responded have been offended by what I said. And your being offended is real, I do not make light of it, and I regret being the focus of it.

    I also know that the Muslims who looked at the Danish cartoons were offended. And their sense of offense was also real, I do not make light of that either.

    But so what?

    What counts for me is not whether people are offended. Because no matter what anyone might say or do, somewhere in the world there is a person, or perhaps a whole segment of society, who will be offended by that person’s actions. Even the blandest of actions offends someone for some reason.

    Nor do numbers count. I don’t care if a billion Muslims found the Danish cartoons offensive. It’s not up to a vote.

    Nor does the strength of the passion about being offended count. Muslims were so offended they went out and murdered people over the cartoons … does that make the cartoons offensive, or does it make the Muslims offensive?

    The thing I want you all to understand is that in my world, the fact that billions of Muslims were

    offended

    does not make the Danish cartoons

    offensive

    .

    I leave you to draw the parallel with my situation.

    On Sexism

    What that got me to thinking about was the truth, and the part that the truth plays in this question. In US Law (although not British Law, I’m told), truth is an absolute defense against a charge of libel. If what you have said about a person is true, you cannot be found guilty of libel for saying it no matter what the circumstances.

    Now, what I said that provoked this firestorm was that:

    1) Dr. Marcia McNutt is well-educated, strong, strikingly good-looking, and wicked-smart, and that

    2) Men tend to lie to such women, often in the form of not revealing their significant uncertainties, concerns, or fears.

    Both of my statements are obviously true, and have not been seriously disputed.

    Let me perhaps provoke a new firestorm, but at least a different and less personal one, by saying that in my world,

    Truth is an absolute defense against a charge of sexism.

    For example, saying that in general women are shorter than men is not sexist. It is true, and therefore it can’t be sexist.

    And therefore, while I’m sure people can find a variety of grounds to object to what I said about Dr. McNutt, it is not sexist.

    It is true.

    Your turn.

    w.

  291. johanna says:

    Hopefully Willis has got his arm out of the nest of fire-ants that he stuck it into.

    I enjoy many of his posts, and look forward to his future contributions. Let’s hope that negating and bullying his detractors is a thing of the past.

  292. johanna says:

    Whoops, my comment was in the ether at the same time as the bully pulpit in blue above.

    I take it all back. He is unteachable on this topic. Or maybe just too proud to admit that that he is wrong. Willis is like the guy who opens with three clubs when I have a small slam in my hand.

  293. chuckr says:

    When it comes to issues that I think I’m knowledgeable about I often try to understand how others can come to a conclusions opposite or extensively contradictory to my own. There really is only three explanations…. 1) Our premises are different. 2) Someones logic is flawed 3) Someone is lying.

    Since I believe my logic is correct, my premises true and I am honest I have to assume that the explanation involves the other persons failings in one of those areas. So in essence our differences can only be explained by ignorance, stupidity or dishonesty. I am not going to assume dishonesty without evidence and I’m certainly not going to assume higher intelligence so the answer must be ignorance until proven differently.

    Now there are countless reasons for ignorance and I can’t think of one that doesn’t offend if one is predisposed to be offended. I think most participants on this site would agree that Dr. McNutt’s reasoning is faulty. Willis contemplated one possible contributing factor. Actually one that is probably one of the least insulting explanations.

  294. dbstealey says:

    johanna says:

    “…my comment was in the ether at the same time as the bully…”

    No, it wasn’t. I am usually in agreement with your comments, johanna. Not here, though, because it seems you are looking to be offended. [For example, your: "I take it all back."]

    Your comment above blamed cross-posting ‘in the ether’, however, there was more than half an hour’s delay between the time stamps. So I’m skeptical about that. Your comment was very short, too, so the time wouldn’t have been used up composing. Admit it, you were hoping for some reason to be offended. And you found it. Deliberately taking offense is a terrible affliction in our modern society. And it does not happen by accident. I think you are being used.

    And Willis doesn’t “bully” his detractors, he responds to them in an unemotional way — and then only after they have taken the first shot. We have seen that pattern many times. His comments sting because they are usually right on point. He was not being sexist here, either. But if you think he was, then please explain your reasoning. He explained his.

    What bothers me mightily is the turn for the worse that society has taken regarding every assorted group feeling “offended”, for whatever reason. That is pure tribalism, and it is fostered and promoted by people who are trying to rip apart society for their own self-serving reasons. They want to pick up the pieces. I am just sorry that you have bought into their ‘victim’ psychology. Women are no longer victims — if they ever really were. It may surprise you, but many women actually like the prospect of staying at home, and of having kids, and an SUV, going to PTA meetings, etc.

    As Dr McNutt clearly demonstrates, women are now at the point where they have a better than even chance of getting a promotion that would have automatically gone to a man in the old days. Instead of looking to be offended, from my perspective you should be rejoicing. How much is ever enough for you? McNutt’s top job at Science seems to contradict what you’re ‘feeling’. So I would add reason #4 to ‘chuckr’s’ comment above: #4: hurt feelings. Feelings are real, for sure. But feelings are hardly legitimate in this discussion. You cannot legitimately impute your feelings onto your designated group. Debating quantifiable facts is the only legitimate argument, and feelings are not quantifiable. They are yours alone, as my feelings are mine alone.

    As Christoph Dollis frankly admits: “I suspect [McNutt] wouldn’t have had a snowball’s chance in hell of getting the post if she wasn’t on board with the consensus.” And right there you have the reason, expressed in one simple sentence: McNutt got the job primarily because she was willing to sell out her scientific principles — the Scientific Method itself! — in return for her coveted promotion. It happens with men too, of course, all the time. But selling out is never something to be admired. Cristoph may not have said it the same way, especially after reading this, but Dr McNutt sold out to get what she wanted. In science, truth is everything. But McNutt has traded probity for promotion. [For Joe Biden: probity means honesty.]

    Finally, Willis tried, apparently sincerely, to provide an escape from Dr. McNutt’s ethical quandary. She won’t take him up on it, of course. Everyone at Science got exactly what they wanted [except maybe the men who were passed over]. But now Science has descended to an even lower step, propagandizing the very subject its journal is named after. They sold out, too.

    I will retract everything written here with a sincere mea culpa if McNutt proves me wrong, and insists on the Scientific Method with its requirements for publicly archiving all data, and the rest of the suggestions made by Willis. But I’m not holding my breath.

  295. johanna says:

    db stealey, timestamps notwithstanding, I posted based on what was visible on my screen at the time. Are you accusing me of lying about this? Why would I do that? What possible advantage is there in it for me? That is assuming that you think that I am a liar, something which Willis, for one, takes great exception to. It is a point on which we agree.

    Nothing in my posts, or those of the other women who have commented, suggested anything in favour of affirmative action or whatever it is called this week. None of those posts defended her views or actions, let alone on the grounds that she is female.

    The slipping and sliding that has characterised this discussion is worthy of the sleaziest segments of the True Believers.

  296. dbstealey says:

    johanna,

    Sorry if my comment was over the top. I’m not accusing you of lying. But you should understand that the person constantly under attack here has been Willis. One of the great faluts in my life has been excessive loyalty, and as usual I was defending someone who I think was done wrong.

    I know Willis. We’ve met a few times, we correspond occasionally, and I always have found him to be a straight shooter in a world populated mostly with other types. Anthony is the same way. But it seems they are both under attack for having a different view than what they are expected to have.

    Society has taken a turn for the worse. I really do believe that many folks are being used by people with an agenda — people who could not care less about you. You are their tool, and when they are done you will be discarded. You have been made to believe that men are your problem. But really, we are all in this together. ‘Us vs them’ only benefits a few, while making a lot of people needlessy miserable.

    From my perspective, women do not have it bad. But they are constantly told how they are being discriminated against, and eventually lots of them start nodding in agreement. This same tactic applies to just about every other group, whether it’s Mexicans, or blacks, or even preposterously, people who have it very good, like union workers, the ultimate grievance whiners.

    But if you’re Asian, well, you have to give up your opportunity to get into the best schools, even if your GPA is 4.25. All because certain races are favored. That is official government racism, isn’t it? And women now outnumber men as students in higher education. Again, because of official government sexist policies. Truth be told, it is now men who are discriminated against. But men, like Asians, are not on the government’s ‘favored’ list. So the McNutts get a leg up, and too bad if there was a better qualified male candidate.

    The grievance industry is the basis for racism, for sexism, and for tribalism in general, and it absolutely harms the country. I am very lucky to be married to a fine woman who doesn’t buy into that crap. She is a happy person, and plenty of others would be far happier if they understood that the glass is half full, not half empty. Women have it good, not bad! Sure, you can always find exceptions. But then there are the McNutt’s, who again preposterously, are cited as an example of womens’ problems. It is as if Willis caused their problems by asking questions that should have been asked by the selection committee. [And don't even get me started on racial groups. The government deliberately discriminate against one group in order to bestow advantages on another group.] How about acheiving what you can on your own, without blaming others? Success comes to people with that attitude. Examples are everywhere.

    Sorry about the way I came across, it’s probably just my way of hitting back at what I see happening in the world. As I said, I usually enjoy your comments and agree with them. So please take this as my apology. And if you could try to see things from Willis’ point of view, that would be great, too.

  297. @Willis,

    First of all, thank you for withdrawing your incorrect assessment of my Aug. 6 comment. I appreciate this. And in return, I find I owe you an apology!

    You see, in response to my:

    But I take it from the rest of your “reply” that your “outrage” was fake, and you weren’t really “playing to the lurkers” after all (or if you were, you certainly don’t seem to give a damn about their perceptions and opinions, either).

    you had written:

    My “outrage” was fake? I fear I don’t know what “outrage” in scare-quotes you are referring to, or why you’ve concluded it is “fake”. I don’t ever do fake outrage. Again, I ask, and again, and again—quote what it is you object to. Without a quote, I have no clue which part of either my long post or my many comments you think is “fake outrage”, and I am certainly not going to try to guess.

    I must have inadvertently donned my “what’s-this-global-warming-stuff-all-about” newbie lurker hat, again. Because I see now that when I was wearing that hat I had used the word “outrage” six times (and once more when I couldn’t find my kid gloves!) And while I distinctly recall that it was something I had definitely picked up from the tone and style of your letter, I concede that you did not in fact use the word. So, I apologize, unreservedly.

    OTOH, as you had told Steve Mosher (and as you subsequently reiterated to me during the course of your incorrect assessment):

    I wrote it to be over the top. I wanted it to be over the top

    and as you did say in one of your comments:

    I wrote it because I want her to know that people out here are angry

    I don’t dispute for a moment that you succeeded in your goal of conveying over the top anger. That being the case, when I was wearing my newbie lurker hat, what word should I have chosen for ‘over the top anger’ – other than “outrage” – Willis?

    Funny, though, it didn’t seem to bother you in the slightest when you were replying to the comment in which I had actually used it seven times (twice in “quotes” and five times without). You didn’t even mention it in that reply! Ooops, no I see that you did use the word once in this reply, but you were talking about John Cook’s outrage, not about anything in my comment to which you were ostensibly replying – while expounding at length on your “theory”.

    Oh, well … I quite agree that my use of “fake” was ‘over the top’ and uncalled-for. So, knowing that you write and re-write and choose your words very carefully – to make sure that you have the right tone and style – perhaps we could agree on a compromise: Would “carefully groomed outrage” work for you? Or would you prefer “carefully groomed anger”?

    And while you’re thinking about that, perhaps we could go back to your “theory” for a moment … You had written:

    Now, that’s my explanation for part of her blind acceptance and parroting of the claims she is making. I advanced that theory because as I said, it’s obviously not for lack of brains or education or strength, she has those in spades.

    Is my claim true? Perhaps not.

    Is my claim worthy of the abuse heaped on it?

    Mr. Lyn had challenged your “female critics” to provide an alternate “explanation”. Did you happen see a few possibilities that came to my mind? I’d be interested in knowing what you think.

    But about this alleged abuse, Willis. I’m certainly not going to try and guess what your definition of “abuse” might be. So, would it be too much to ask you to practice what you so often preach – and provide some specific quotes as examples? Thanks!

    In the meantime, I noticed your latest comment yesterday which you began by writing:

    [...] After a day without reading a single word of the thread, here are the two things that stood out for me, and that I would like to present for discussion in an attempt to re-start the communication on a more productive path.

    On Being Offended

    I understand that the women who have responded have been offended by what I said. And your being offended is real, I do not make light of it, and I regret being the focus of it.

    “Offended”?! Who has claimed she was “offended”?! Certainly not I! And just for the record, I wasn’t even “upset” or “disturbed” as you had previously mis-characterized my initial comments. Perhaps because you hadn’t ‘read a single word’?! I cannot imagine how else you could possibly have construed my:

    [reading your letter through the eyes of an Editor]

    What on earth do anyone’s good looks have to do with the price of tea in China, these days – or with anything else, for that matter?! Maybe this chap’s never heard of the maxim, “flattery will get you nowhere”

    to which I seem to recall you had alluded at the end of your treatise and gallantly dismissed as “bullshit”; or

    [wearing my newbie lurker hat]

    I wonder why he needed to mention that she is “strikingly good looking”. That’s weird and soooooo mid 20th century.

    as being “upset” and/or “disturbed” – which now evidently has morphed into my being “offended” (at least according to my reading of your “understanding”)

    People on both sides of the gender divide, who took your letter at face value and who tried to offer suggestions for improvement, have used words such as “patronizing” and/or “condescending” when describing their impressions of your tone; and “inappropriate” and/or “out of line” when describing their opinions of your text.

    In my books, ‘over the top anger’ is pretty close to “outrage”; but, IMHO, it requires a giant leap to get from any of the above to “offended”. So I figured I must have missed some comments in which the authors had claimed they were “offended” and/or found your tone/words to be “offensive”. And I went off in search of such comments. Here’s a summary of my findings:

    No. of comments containing offen*: 9
    Total instances of offen*: 37

    Comments containing 1 instance: 5
    Comments containing 2 instances: 2
    Comments containing 13 instances: 1
    Comments containing 15 instances: 1

    Unless “dp” is a woman (and the context of this instance is not relevant to the text at issue, anyway), as far as I was able to determine, all of the above authors are male. Since the lion’s share of instances clearly belongs to you, it seems to me that the source of your August 9 “understanding” – “After a day without reading a single word of the thread” – is more likely than not to have been your very own 13 instances written on August 7. Beginning with:

    Regarding your central point, I’ve acknowledged several times that 100% of the women who commented thought I was out of line, they were offended

    Which you then followed with 12 further iterations of “offended” – none of which appeared to have any relevance to anything Johanna had said.

    As far as I can tell, there’s no evidence that any of these women declared that they were “offended”. Least of all Johanna, to whom you were ostensibly replying. Or do the rules of your game mean that everyone has to quote your words exactly, but your depiction of anyone else’s words will trump their actual meaning in their original context every single time?

    Personally, I much prefer Bridge. Everyone plays by the same rules.

    Notwithstanding any and/or all of the above, you seem to want to have a “discussion” on two issues: “being offended” and “sexism”. Frankly, I’m not sure what either one of these has to do with science or Science – or with your Open Letter to McNutt regardless of whether you want her to read it or not.

    But if Anthony agrees that these issues are suitable topics for WUWT, as the saying goes, Willis … knock yourself out!

    Don’t expect to hear from me, though. I’m not sure what your idea of a “productive path” might be; but I’ve never played the “my claim, prove me wrong” game – and I’m not about to start.

  298. ferdberple says:

    Willis is of course correct that men lie to good looking women. However, when I read his quote I had no difficulty predicting people would crawl out of the woodwork to criticize.

    In general, “good looking” men and women get preferential treatment in our society. The dictates of political correctness require that we not mention this in polite conversation, because it indicates discrimination, and discrimination is “wrong”. Similarly, in the Victorian era, one could not mention sex in polite conversation, because sex was “wrong”. However, there was still plenty of it going on.

    Each and every one of us tells plenty of “lies” every day. It is how we manage to survive as a society. Honey, does this dress make me look fat? Honey, do you think she is pretty? If you don’t know the answer to these questions, you haven’t been paying attention.

  299. dbstealey says:

    ferd berple says:

    “If you don’t know the answer to these questions, you haven’t been paying attention.”

    If you don’t know the correct answers to those questions, you are divorced. Maybe more than once. Or you were never married.

    Correctomundo answers:

    “Dear, nothing makes you look fat. You are perfect in my eyes! Thin is overrated anyway.”

    And:

    “Pretty? I suppose in a conventional, Barbie-doll sort of way. But a cougar like that will never be as beautiful as you are to me.”

    Correct answers = everyone knows you’re lyin’. But you’re still gonna get some tonight. ☺

  300. johanna says:

    dbs, of course I accept your apology without reservation. Whatever our respective positions in the “gender wars” might be, your moderation skills are missed at WUWT.

  301. dp says:

    Unless “dp” is a woman (and the context of this instance is not relevant to the text at issue, anyway), as far as I was able to determine, all of the above authors are male.

    dp is a 67 yo male with 2 daughters, 3 granddaughters and a wife that is at the center of his universe. Back to first person mode – I’m very proud and defensive of these beautiful ladies (and not referring to any physical characteristic) and the boundless talents each of them has. I’ve watched all of them reduced to tears by thoughtless comments and actions and more than once have taken the offender to task for the slight. I really can’t imagine witnessing this kind of thing quietly. I’m not wired that way. There is no glory in being right, badly, wrong without honor, nor, for the well skilled, a reason to be. And there can be consequences for the inglorious such as strong and strident disagreement.

    I’ve not been personally offended or disturbed by any of this any more than I would have been with a misbehaving child. In parenting it is part of the job to take corrective action – even a responsibility though the PC crowd thinks it takes a village. A parent does not react out of feeling offended or disturbed – any corrective reaction is demanded by the responsibilities intrinsic to the parental role. In the case of an open letter in a public forum where comments are the norm it would be a dereliction to share a response to the letter that is not honest. I agree with the point of it, in fact, but without suffering any offense and being completely undisturbed by it, I find it denigrating in ways it needn’t have been. I think too it lost it’s credibility as a result and is doomed to failure to motivate. If it is unacceptable to express such a reaction here then it is a flaw of the site policy. I don’t think that is the policy though.

    I enjoy most of what Willis writes. I think he is a better story teller than he is a writer, but so is J. K. Rowling. Shakespeare was a brilliant writer and story teller as was Samuel Clemens, so it is probably a rare trait to be both. When Willis is spinning tales of his personal life it is a page burner to read. A good tale well told is a treasure and given the venue, he does an excellent job of earning his gold. He is also someone I think I can trust to do the best he can to write the truth and so I also respect what he writes.

    Willis is often flamboyant and colorful but without hyperbole, and does not plaster his missives with attention-grabbing drama as is often seen in MSM and from hysterical alarmists like Joe Romm. His contribution to the success of this site is settled science in my book. Janice Moore – don’t give up on him! Willis is not always right nor is he particularly patient with his critics but that does not discourage me from reading his work nor intimidate me from commenting from my heart. I have been a writer all my life and have worked with editors who will bleed you out with redlines to your copy. It is not a good endeavor to follow if you suffer overly from pride of authorship or think your motivation will win readership to poor writing.

    For drive-by readers from AGW hysteria blogs expecting to see a blood bout, sorry to disappoint. What you are seeing is loyal opposition at work, not a cage fighting.

  302. Thanks, dp. You have eloquently and elegantly summed up the situation. I, too, am a fond fan of Willis’ storytelling – and I have learned much from his many strictly science posts here. And I know that I shall continue to do so :-)

  303. ferdberple says:

    dbstealey says:
    August 10, 2013 at 5:06 pm
    Correct answers = everyone knows you’re lyin’. But you’re still gonna get some tonight. ☺
    ================
    Global warming, no different. Go along to get along. You are at a diner party, the good looking gal you would like to meet is talking about the plight of the poor polar bears.

    Do you:
    1. Point out why she is wrong and impress her with your grasp of the facts.
    2. Agree with her and ask for her phone number, so you can get together and discuss over coffee?

  304. OldWeirdHarold says:

    johanna says:
    August 9, 2013 at 12:35 pm
    Whoops, my comment was in the ether at the same time as the bully pulpit in blue above.

    I take it all back. He is unteachable on this topic. Or maybe just too proud to admit that that he is wrong. Willis is like the guy who opens with three clubs when I have a small slam in my hand.
    ==============

    I vote for too proud to admit that that he is wrong. Shame that he lets that rather pernicious fault ruin an otherwise remarkable talent. I hate to say this, but he reminds me of one Dr. Michael Mann in that regard.

  305. chuckr says:

    There may be someone that is unteachable but I doubt it’s Willis The forest would be obvious if it weren’t for those damed trees. Those trees are our conditioned prejudices, fears and passions. Most often we don’t recognize them even if they are pointed out. Ignorance is not just a lack of knowledge it is knowledge that isn’t accurate. How is that explained. Willis took a shot. Do you have one? Why does that one comment cause such irritation. It’s the trees.

  306. Simon says:

    [Mark B says]
    According to the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature dataset shown above, the global land is two and a half degrees warmer than it was around 1810. Two and a half degrees of warming in two centuries. That’s well beyond what is supposed to be the huge danger change of two degrees of warming … where are the corpses?
    For what it’s worth the dip you’ve cherry-picked in the BEST global temperature data is attributed to the 1815 Mount Tambora volcanic event and is associated with very large scale crop failure, famine, and a great many corpses. Not really your point, but an ironic choice of starting point for your argument.

    [Willis says]
    So … your claim is that the temperature dip in 1810 is due to a volcano eruption in 1815?

    You said around 1810 as you incorrectly eyeballed the low point. The Mt Tambora eruption caused a lot of temperature related deaths and that was only 1.5C for a few years. Shot yourself in the foot old man. Apologies for being sexist and patronising, but I’m sure you can take what you dish out.

  307. gary turner says:

    Willis, apparently your letter fell on deaf ears even before you wrote it. :-) See McNutt’s lead editorial in Science 2 August 2013. I don’t see much hope for the rag when the editor says the gloom and doom prophecies are, in her opinion, optimistic.

    cheers,

    gary

  308. dp says:

    Just a quick re-wording (See Gary Turner’s link above) of one sentence of Ms McNutt’s BS preserves the science but changes the message and the politics completely. Can you spot the difference?

    … So terrestrial species that survive a climate impact alone may not face extinction if reduced to a fraction of their natural range through deforestation and habitat fragmentation. Marine species that are mildly susceptible to ocean acidification may be able to tolerate this condition plus low oxygen levels.

    Written this way it is never going to usher heaps of tax dollars into the climate hysteria industry’s coffers – hence it is never done to report climate in non-negative terms. To do so would raise howls of abuse from Science Mag’s readership and Ms McNutt’s peer group. The other unspoken thing she has said with this self-serving phraseology and which has fallen on few ears is that she and everyone else cannot say with any kind of confidence what is going to happen and that is a political truth that demands burying. She is completely certain though what the consequences are for using absolute terms and not weasel words and this is well understood in the climate hysteria industry. That is why the word charlatan is not more commonly used when describing climate scientists.

    There is not enough persuasion resulting from the honest analysis of climate science to guide economies away from energy abundance to energy austerity, and to force global policies that impoverish the weakest among us, thus they lie. Theirs, you see, is the greatest of noble causes and so the means is justified.

  309. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Well, I had a wonderful weekend. On Saturday, the gorgeous ex-fiancee and I loaded up the two kayaks and went with my daughter (college senior this year) and her boyfriend down to the mouth of the Russian River and went paddling. The kids paddled first, and then went off hiking in Armstrong Woods State Park. Then the good lady and I went out for a paddle. I find going out on the water to be one of the most invigorating things possible. We had a great time, paddled and laughed, laughed and paddled. It was overcast, lovely and cool, with a strong tide running.

    Then on Sunday, for the first time since I was about 11 years old, I went to a baseball game. San Francisco Giants versus the Baltimore Orioles. The ferry boat goes from Larkspur directly to AT&T Park, so once again I got to cross San Francisco Bay by boat. I grew up spending my summers on the Bay, sailing small sailboats. I fished it commercially as well, both for roe herring and for anchovies, so going out on the Bay for me is like coming home. There was fog as we went across, but then the sun came out when we got to the stadium. We were up in the cheap nosebleed seats, the day was clear and blue, from up there I could see across the Bay to the Port of Oakland, all the boats, the light, the banter, people yelling … the Giants got crushed, I’m a Giants fan, but it made not the slightest difference to my perfect happiness. And then after the game, we got seats on the front deck for the ferry trip back to Larkspur … heaven.

    Anyhow, now it’s late Monday night, got a good day’s work in. My thanks to everyone who has commented. I have read all of the comments with interest.

    I note that no one has disputed that what I said about Dr. McNutt was true … well, except one guy who tried to convince us that no, men don’t lie to well-educated, strong, good-looking, wicked-smart women. I can only say, my experience is that faced with such women, men mostly lie by omission—we do not want to reveal our doubts, our uncertainties, or that we forgot to change socks that morning. We want to appear as strong and competent and self-assured as those women appear to us. So the truth doesn’t get told.

    I note also that no one has disputed that the truth is an absolute defense against sexism. Since I told the truth, it was not sexist.

    Hilary, thank you for your latest comment. In it you have made much of the point that you think none of the women reading what I wrote were offended, or found what I said offensive.

    I can only say that as the recipient of their (and your) decidedly negative responses, that seems doubtful. If you were not offended in the slightest, and you didn’t think that what I said was offensive in any way … then what are we discussing?

    Next, I’d commented that I was abused for what I’d said. You replied:

    But about this alleged abuse, Willis. I’m certainly not going to try and guess what your definition of “abuse” might be. So, would it be too much to ask you to practice what you so often preach – and provide some specific quotes as examples? Thanks!

    Well, your tone in the question “would it be too much to ask you” is unpleasant, but it’s not abuse. As always, I’m glad to provide citations and quotes and references on request, and your implication that I would view that as an onerous burden is not abuse, but not fun either. In any case, what I meant by “abuse” was …

    John Cook calling me “creepy” and “sexist”. Other people repeating the untrue allegation. Johanna saying my actions “reminds me of one Dr. Michael Mann”. Boumbette falsely accusing me of “dismissing a good portion of scientists”, meaning women, when I said nothing remotely resembling that. You saying “It seems that the only person whose views are worthy of acknowledgement and/or commendation in this thread are those of Willis.” I could find more if you wish.

    If you say that’s not abuse, not to mention undeserved abuse, then we’ll have to agree to disagree.

    Johanna, you say
    August 9, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Hopefully Willis has got his arm out of the nest of fire-ants that he stuck it into.

    I enjoy many of his posts, and look forward to his future contributions. Let’s hope that negating and bullying his detractors is a thing of the past.

    johanna says:
    August 9, 2013 at 12:35 pm

    Whoops, my comment was in the ether at the same time as the bully pulpit in blue above.

    I take it all back. He is unteachable on this topic. Or maybe just too proud to admit that that he is wrong. Willis is like the guy who opens with three clubs when I have a small slam in my hand.

    Johanna, both you and Hilary have accused me of “bullying” my detractors before. In my last comment, I talked about being offended and being offensive, and about sexism, and those were the whole content of the comment. And somehow, that comment too was “bullying” somebody somewhere.

    I’m sorry, Johanna and Hilary, but the idea of a “cyberbully” is a joke. Am I being mean and krool to the poor adults here? How on earth can I “bully” a grown man or woman a thousand miles from me, who is under no obligation to write to me, answer me, or pay the slightest attention to me at all? That’s nonsense. I can do nothing at all to you or to them, Johanna. You can personally cheer me or jeer me, be nasty or nice to me, abuse me or try to confuse me, the choice is yours alone, and clearly you take it—I cannot stop you or alter your course in the slightest.

    As evidence of that, if you and Hilary think my “cyberbullying” people is real, in your cases you’d have to admit it’s obviously completely unsuccessful … so who is the poor soul that you claim I’m bullying? Because it’s obviously not you two …

    Nor is your false accusation merely a harmless affectation. Here’s what your type of “cyberbullying” crap leads to. Nova Scotia just passed a cyber bullies law, went into effect on the 7th of this month. Here’s how it works:

    Someone feels that you’re cyberbullying them. They visit or phone the court and request a protection order against you (minors , or some reason, cannot do so, only adults). A judge decides if their claim meets the law’s definition. The definition of cyberbullying, in this particular bill, includes “any electronic communication” that ”ought reasonably be expected” to “humiliate” another person, or harm their “emotional well-being, self-esteem or reputation.”

    Now, that’s a pile of cybercrap in my world. It’s a law so that meanies like me can’t be mean to you and your friends over the internet. And if it were in place, you two could likely find a dozen ways to apply it to me, you’ve both already publicly accused me of being a cyberbully.

    And here are the penalties in Nova Scotia:

    The issuing of a protection order is an ex parte process between your accuser and the court. You won’t have an opportunity to defend yourself. If a judge issues one against you, here’s what might happen:

    The police can seize your computers and phone.
    Your Internet connection can be shut off.
    You can be ordered to stop using electronic devices entirely.
    Your Internet Service Provider or Internet companies, such as Facebook, can be compelled to fork over all your data to the police.
    You can be gagged by the court and prohibited from mentioning your accuser online.
    If you violate any of these orders, you’ll face stiff fines and up to two years of jail time. At this point, your accuser can sue you in civil court.

    Hilary and Johanna, that is the logical result of your delusional view that adults need protection from people saying mean things to them on the internet and damaging their precious self-confidence.

    Your laughable accusation, that I “bully” people, is only true in Nova Scotia … and in Nova Scotia, Johanna, since you called me “unteachable”, and thus you’ve obviously tried to harm my fragile emotional well-being … well, in Nova Scotia, you’re the cyberbully, Johanna, and I could go to the court and go waaaah, she tried to topple my shaky self-esteem, she bullied me, take her computer away …

    Like I said above, Johanna … if you want to run with the big dogs, you’ve got to piss with the big dogs. For years I have strongly supported the full equality of the sexes, and if you want to be an equal with the men, that’s one of the things it entails. You can’t complain that the big dogs are being big meanies and saying bad things to you. That worked when you were a “lady” up on a pedestal, in the 1950s world I grew up in and renounced, but it doesn’t work now.

    To address another of your points, Johanna, you think that I owe Dr. McNutt an apology. This brings up my over-riding difficulty with your objections.

    This is that you are very clear about how you feel and about what I should do, and what a jerkwagon I am. What I haven’t had from you, however, is any acknowledgement that everything that I said was the truth, and what the implications of that might be.

    Now, there are times when I should apologize for telling the truth. There have not been many in my life, but perhaps this is one of them.

    However, you haven’t even begun to make that case, that I should apologize for telling the truth about Dr. McNutt. My offense, as you recall, was saying that she is well-educated, strong, strikingly good-looking, and wicked-smart, and that as a result men would lie to her.

    Somehow, saying that was beyond the pale, I should not have mentioned that … but why not?

    Instead of making the case that I should apologize for telling the truth, you’ve wasted your time accusing me of being a bully, and claiming I’m unteachable … let me say in all frankness that the overwhelming majority of the really important things I learned in my life I’ve learned from women, starting with my grandmother and my mother and my step-mother and my aunt who raised me, and continuing with all of the amazing women I’ve known throughout my life to this day.

    Unteachable? Hardly …

    So I do wish all the women the best, just as I wish for the men, I wish that all of you have boats and baseball or whatever brings you joy in life. I met a man today who retired, sold his house, and moved into an apartment with his wife … but she wasn’t around much, always babysitting for their daughter’s kids. So they said hey, why the apartment? And they moved in with the daughter, and they’re all as happy as can be.

    It’s a good day …

    w.

  310. dp says:

    That was awful.

  311. Keith Minto says:

    We are going through a pre election testing of both candidates here in Australia, with the conservative Tony Abbott being tested by feminists and those of the left with fake delicate sensibilities. Double standards are well in force with the left Kevin Rudd free to express himself minus the media scrutiny of his opposition.
    I agree with Willis, if you want equality then you must withstand equal scrutiny, or, redefine the term.

  312. gary turner says:

    dp says:
    August 14, 2013 at 12:22 am

    That is semantically null. It is a waste of wear and tear on the keyboard unless you provide:

    1) Specific points of disagreement

    2) Your arguments.

    cheers,

    gary

  313. dp says:

    Gary plays Net Nazi above with “That is semantically null”.

    Ibid. It is summary opinion.

  314. John Whitman says:

    Willis,

    In Dante’s Inferno one of the lines inscribed above the gates of H€LL is the famous “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here” (“Lasciate ogne, voi ch’intrate”).

    Based on the emotionally charged dialog about your open letter, I paraphrase Dante and metaphorically inscribe it above the gates of your post:

    “Abandon all hope of non-emotive discussion of feminine and masculine interaction, ye who enter here.”

    John

  315. dbstealey says:

    dp,

    I have to agree with gary. Exactly why was that “awful”? Your reasons would be appreciated.

  316. dp says:

    Ok – by way of example, Willis writes:

    As evidence of that, if you and Hilary think my “cyberbullying” people is real, in your cases you’d have to admit it’s obviously completely unsuccessful … so who is the poor soul that you claim I’m bullying? Because it’s obviously not you two

    Do you see the logical fallacy here? He is claiming cyberbullying is real only if successful. Fail.

    In a paragraph leading up to that he makes it clear he has no understanding of the concept of cyberbullying thus:

    I’m sorry, Johanna and Hilary, but the idea of a “cyberbully” is a joke. Am I being mean and krool to the poor adults here? How on earth can I “bully” a grown man or woman a thousand miles from me, who is under no obligation to write to me, answer me, or pay the slightest attention to me at all?

    Cyberbullying is exactly reaching out across the internet. It is the act, not the outcome of it, that is of interest. To plunk a strawman down: You go to jail for armed robbery even if you leave the scene empty handed.

    Willis badly rebuts with this:

    Hilary and Johanna, that is the logical result of your delusional view that adults need protection from people saying mean things to them on the internet and damaging their precious self-confidence.

    The clear indication is it is not possible to be rude except in the presence of deluded readers. And an ad hom, to boot. The word “unteachable” came up – there is some indication that it is an appropriate suggestion. This has not been Willis’ finest hour.

    Last one:

    However, you haven’t even begun to make that case, that I should apologize for telling the truth about Dr. McNutt. My offense, as you recall, was saying that she is well-educated, strong, strikingly good-looking, and wicked-smart, and that as a result men would lie to her.

    Again he’s misplaced his responsibility. It has nothing to do with telling the truth – it is building an argument around stereotypes, characterizing inappropriately, and building a conclusion that cannot be argued with certainty for any particular individual. If he were describing a population perhaps a case can be made. He has not provided information that supports his assertion in this specific case yet drones on as if he had. Too broad a brush, too narrow a target.

  317. gary turner says:

    dp says:
    August 14, 2013 at 1:02 pm
    This comment adds to the conversation, as apposed to that previous post, that had the value of a Limbaugh ditto-head.

    As to “Gary plays Net Nazi above with ‘That is semantically null’”, is it forbidden to say a comment is devoid of meaning? I even suggested what was lacking, which you provided in your latest, and I did so without name-calling.

    g

  318. Willis Eschenbach says:

    dp says:
    August 14, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    Ok – by way of example, Willis writes:

    As evidence of that, if you and Hilary think my “cyberbullying” people is real, in your cases you’d have to admit it’s obviously completely unsuccessful … so who is the poor soul that you claim I’m bullying? Because it’s obviously not you two.

    Do you see the logical fallacy here? He is claiming cyberbullying is real only if successful. Fail.

    dp, thanks for your comments. And thanks for quoting my words, it lets me see where the misunderstanding lies. My fault, my words always seem crystal clear to me, but somehow …

    I wasn’t saying that to establish that is cyberbullying “is real only if successful”.

    Actually, what I was claiming was something quite different. I said that IF cyberbullying is real, it’s obviously not working on Hilary or Johanna. So, I clearly asked, just who are they claiming it’s working on? Who here is getting cyberbullied?

    In other words, it was not advanced for the reasons you claim. I was merely pointing that they were not being cyberbullied, so who was? And I ask you the same question.

    One thing I’ve learned in my life is to be very careful of people who are claiming outrage on behalf of others, without clearly identifying both the “others” and the nature of the outrage. In your case, as with Johanna, you both are convinced that somewhere I must be cyberbullying someone … but who? And why are they silent about it, while you’re the one doing the complaining?

    In a paragraph leading up to that he makes it clear he has no understanding of the concept of cyberbullying thus:

    I’m sorry, Johanna and Hilary, but the idea of a “cyberbully” is a joke. Am I being mean and krool to the poor adults here? How on earth can I “bully” a grown man or woman a thousand miles from me, who is under no obligation to write to me, answer me, or pay the slightest attention to me at all?

    Cyberbullying is exactly reaching out across the internet. It is the act, not the outcome of it, that is of interest. To plunk a strawman down: You go to jail for armed robbery even if you leave the scene empty handed.

    Willis badly rebuts with this:

    Hilary and Johanna, that is the logical result of your delusional view that adults need protection from people saying mean things to them on the internet and damaging their precious self-confidence.

    The clear indication is it is not possible to be rude except in the presence of deluded readers.

    Rude? Who has said a single word about rude? And if you think rudeness is cyberbullying, you’re in for a rude awakening … let’s get down to what the word means. I think we can agree that a “bully” is someone who imposes his/her will on you through intimidation and fear. Bullies harm, or credibly threaten to harm, people in order to make the person either do or not do what the bullies want.

    So please point out how my words might harm someone posting under an anonymous screen name, with no known location. Explain to us how my words might make them do or not do something I want. Show me how my words might threaten or inspire fear in them, so that they would do my bidding …

    … dang, dp, if that worked, I’d be Willis the Merciless whose angry gaze could still the crowd … instead, they just point at me and laugh. Cyberbullying by mere words is a myth, my friend. It doesn’t and can’t work. I can’t stop someone from abusing me, I can’t force them to agree with me, I have no leverage over them in the slightest. My words can’t hurt them or break their bones … so how on earth could anyone bully someone in the comments to a post?

    And an ad hom, to boot.

    Ad hominem? Back up there, and provide a quotation of my words and an example to back up this accusation.

    The word “unteachable” came up – there is some indication that it is an appropriate suggestion. This has not been Willis’ finest hour.

    How rude of you, you nasty cyberbully, calling me “unteachable”. Here’s the Nova Scotia definition again:

    The definition of cyberbullying, in this particular bill, includes “any electronic communication” that ”ought reasonably be expected” to “humiliate” another person, or harm their “emotional well-being, self-esteem or reputation.”

    Calling a man unteachable? Clearly over the line. You’re attacking my tenuous self-esteem and trying to harm my well-earned reputation as an eminently teachable man … and since your words can be read in Nova Scotia, I should just go to a judge up there, and bring in my computer, and display my humiliation, and accuse you of cyberbullying me, you cruel heartless man, you …

    dp, your risible claim that adults need some kind of protection from WORDS, even if they are MEAN BAD WORDS, is enervating, pusillanimous, and despite that, a very dangerous misrepresentation of reality. Wake up and smell the First Amendment, my friend. People are free to say any damn thing they want about me, and looking around, they are doing it all the time … do you seriously think I’m entitled to whine and complain that I’m being bullied by all of the cybers? Is that what adults do on your planet, run to daddy and start complaining that someone said spiteful, hurtful things about them?

    Pathetic. As I told Johanna above, if you want to run with the big dogs, you need to piss with the big dogs, not whine that the big dogs are trying to hurt your feelings. That’s a metaphor for what all adults have to do, man or woman.

    Last one:

    However, you haven’t even begun to make that case, that I should apologize for telling the truth about Dr. McNutt. My offense, as you recall, was saying that she is well-educated, strong, strikingly good-looking, and wicked-smart, and that as a result men would lie to her.

    Again he’s misplaced his responsibility. It has nothing to do with telling the truth – it is building an argument around stereotypes, characterizing inappropriately, and building a conclusion that cannot be argued with certainty for any particular individual.

    Sorry, but that’s just unsubstantiated mudslinging. What are you claiming is in what I said that involves a stereotype? Who is being stereotyped? Is there more than one stereotype at play? Which stereotype of whom are we discussing?

    And what have I “characterized inappropriately”? I am totally unwilling to guess at your meaning or what you are referring to. That’s a mug’s game.

    What I did was advance a theory, that men lying to Dr. McNutt in a field outside her area of expertise might be a factor in her unjustified certainty about the climate, and a reason that we find her propounding inanities about the climate. Since it was a theory, I made no attempt to argue it with certainty. As I’ve said several times, that’s my theory … what’s yours?

    You need to give details here, dp. Throwing unsubstantiated vague accusations at the wall and hoping something sticks just loses you credibility.

    If he were describing a population perhaps a case can be made. He has not provided information that supports his assertion in this specific case yet drones on as if he had. Too broad a brush, too narrow a target.

    Supports which assertion? Details, dp, you have to provide them for communication to work. I only made two assertions:

    1) Dr. McNutt is well-educated, strong, strikingly good-looking, and wicked-smart, and
    2) Men lie to women like that, often by not admitting to any doubts or uncertainty about their claims and ideas.

    If you think one or the other of those assertions is wrong, argue away …

    Please note that everyone else has basically nodded their heads and said yep, true ’nuff regarding those two assertions. So remember that you are arguing a distinctly minority position.

    Finally, let me say that your previous one-line comment was unproductive, as folks pointed out. I couldn’t be bothered replying, my thanks to them for pushing for details.

    Your more recent comment is a decided improvement, much appreciated. Further details would further communication, particularly quoting my exact words that you are objecting to. As an example, exactly which of my words do you say are stereotyping someone, and how, and who?

    All the best,

    w.

  319. dp says:

    Gary – it is a turn of phrase to describe (harmlessly) people who can’t resist making spelling, punctuation, and grammar corrections to posts. I’ve simply added content value to that. The previous comments apply, and in any event we can see that Willis doesn’t like (or even understand) criticism as applied to his posts. Each of his retorts is intended to end the conversation and I’m happy to accommodate him.

    Willis –

    Please note that everyone else has basically nodded their heads and said yep, true ’nuff regarding those two assertions. So remember that you are arguing a distinctly minority position.

    Never use an appeal to consensus. It makes you look bad and the pig doesn’t like it either, to pull from another joke. And put down the shovel.

  320. johanna says:

    Looks like recursive fury to me.

    Slapping down every woman who disagrees with you, at great length, and in inaccurate detail, is not a good look. You have used more words in attempting to dig yourself out of this hole than in either your head post, or in the comments that have seemingly got under your skin.

    And thanks to db for pointing out your unique definition of bullying. Apparently, standover tactics are only such if they succeed. So, if someone puts my hand on the hotplate to try to get money out of me, and I still refuse, it’s not a standover tactic.

    I just don’t understand why Anthony Watts, a civilised and polite human being, allows his guest posters to behave like this. Every woman who posted on this subject disagreed with Willis. Instead of conceding that, at a minimum, opinions differ, he has launched aggressive attacks on dissenters, using the light blue bully pulpit.

    The other women, for reasons of their own, declined to continue the discussion. But I would be surprised if it was because the compelling nature of Willis’ browbeating changed their minds.

    Two of those women, Hilary Ostrov and me, refused to be silenced. The result was more attacks. Despite many posts supporting him, the only thing that mattered in his paranoid universe was a couple of women who disagreed with him. So, he went on, and on, and on, with unpleasant invective, which was at least as inconsistent as it was malicious. Oh, and it kept being about “me”, you know, what a Hemingwayesque figure I am and so on. Sheesh!

    Not a highlight in the history of WUWT.

    REPLY: If I start deleting things after the fact because it offends some people, then it becomes a slippery slope, and we’ll be no better that Skeptical Science and their post-facto revisionism. I don’t agree with your assessment, and I also don’t agree with some of Willis’ choice of words, but I’m not going to delete it nor am I going to delete Willis.

    When you are offended at any man’s fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger. – Epictetus

    – Anthony

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