Ravetz on Lisbon and leading the way

Jerome Ravetz, of Oxford University in the UK.

Guest post by Dr. Jerome Ravetz

While the micro-bureaucracy of the Lisbon workshop bureaucracy grinds its way towards the release of a statement, I realise that the time is long overdue for me to touch base at WUWT.

After all, it was at WUWT (with the help of Rog Tallbloke) that I made my debut on the blogosphere, and enjoyed the reaction of hundreds of readers, be they enthusiastic or vitriolic. Also, it was on WUWT that I had the first experience of seeing non-violent communication in the Climategate debate. The circumstances were surprising, for it involved our very own fire-eating champion Willis.

He was responding to Judith Curry’s posting, where she explained how she had got to where she was then. Of course he loathed her for complicity in the great Warmista fraud, and he despised her for attempting to apologise for her actions rather than crawling to WUWT in full contrition. But he had to admit that he respected and admired her for guts in doing a Daniel act, and facing the lions like himself. At that point, non-violence in the climate debate was born. For Willis had realised that bad people are not necessarily all bad. There might even be some purpose in talking to them! From that point on, WUWT could take the lead in enforcing civility in the debate, and I am very pleased to see how the principle has spread all across the lines.

Reflecting on that incident, I began to shape up ideas for the workshop that eventually took place last month. Of course it was highly imperfect, with many things done and not done in error. But what was remarkable was the universal spirit of accomplishment, even delight, that people were getting on so well and so productively. Of course, this depended to some extent on our choice of invitations; we did get close to the edge of the zone on the spectrum within in which people would be sure to be reasonably civil to each other. On that first meeting, with so much other learning to do, it would not have been productive to have explosions of mutual insults. Another time, we could try to take on that one as well.

I suppose people know that I went to a Quaker college, Swarthmore, and I have spent all the years afterwards making sense of its message of nonviolence. In a course on political science I read ‘The Power of Non-Violence’ by Richard Gregg. It struck me as very sweet but quite unrealistic. Between then and now was Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi, and now Tunisia, Egypt and beyond. It seems that a group of non-violent activists in Serbia had used a book by one of Gregg’s followers, Gene Sharp. They had passed the message to a study group in Qatar, and it was picked up by the activists in Tunisia and Egypt to become the basis of their strategy. The rest is history in the making. There is at last some chance that revolutions now will not simply produce new tyrannies. All this gives support to my conviction that we were correct in making the main purpose of the Lisbon workshop to further the development of non-violence in scientific debate.

My principle has always been that you don’t know what the other person is going through, and to return their violence doesn’t help them resolve their conflict of conscience. It’s so easy to condemn the evil ones and try to destroy them; that way we would still have the sectarian killings in Northern Ireland and probably a bloodbath in South Africa. On the personal level, who would have known that the slave-trader John Newton was being prepared for the experience that would eventually lead him to compose ‘Amazing Grace’?

With those words of explanation, I offer my Lisbon public lecture to Anthony Watts for debate on WUWT. This, I believe is the essence of the Lisbon story, rather than who said what about whom. Willis – over to you!

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Non-Violence in Science?

Jerome Ravetz,

Reconciliation in the Climate Change Debate’

Public Meeting at the Gulbenkian Foundation

Lisbon 28 January 2011

People attending this conference might find the whole idea of non-violence in science to be strange. We are familiar, by now, with the use of reconciliation and non-violence to resolve intractable disputes in the political sphere. Indeed, it is now generally accepted that this is the only way to achieve a lasting and just settlement in conflicts between peoples. It worked in South Africa and in Northern Ireland, and noone with standing in the international community argues for a different approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict. But science? What possible relevance could this approach have to science?

Debate, sometimes fierce and impassioned, is the lifeblood of science. The advances of science do not occur smoothly and by consensus. There are always at least two sides to the interpretation of new theories and results. Social researchers have found that each scientific side explains its own attitudes in methodological terms, and explains the attitudes of the opposition in sociological terms. Roughly speaking, “I” am being a scientist, and “They” are being – something else. All this is quite natural and inevitable, and it has been that way from the beginning.

The process does not work perfectly. There is no ‘hidden hand’ that guides scientists quickly and correctly to the right answer. There can be injustices and losses; great innovators can languish in obscurity for a lifetime, because their theories were too discordant with the prevailing paradigm or ‘tacit knowledge’. However, to the best of our knowledge, the correct understanding does eventually emerge, thanks to the normal processes of debate and to the plurality of locations and voices in any field of science.

Why, then, have we organised a scientific conference about reconciliation, where we have actually had instruction in the theory and practice of ‘Non-Violent Communication’? Do we really need to import the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi into the conduct of science? We believe that on this occasion we do. This conference has not been about science in general, or any old field of science. The focus has been on Climate Change, and in particular the rancour that has been released by the ‘Climategate’ emails from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England.

This debate has not just been about the science of climate change It also concerns policy, for reducing the emissions of Carbon Dioxide worldwide. This requires a very large, complex and expensive project. It extends into lifestyles and values, as the transition out of a carbon-based economy will require a change in our ideas of comfort, convenience and the good life. There are urgent issues of equity, both between rich and poor peoples now, and also between ourselves and our descendants. All these profound issues depend for their resolution on an adequate basis in science. Some say, if we are not really sure that bad things are happening, why bother imposing these drastic and costly changes on the world’s people? But others reply, by what right can we use scientific uncertainty as an excuse for failing to protect ourselves and our descendants from irreversible catastrophe?

Both of those positions accept that there is a real debate about the strength of the science, and effectively argue about the proper burden of proof, or degree of precaution that is justified. But there are plenty of voices on the extremes. For quite some time, the official scientific establishments, particularly in the Anglophone world, claimed that ‘the science is settled’, and ‘the debate is over’. At the opposite extreme are those, including some quite reputable scientists, who argue that nothing whatever has been proved about the long-term changes in climate that might be resulting from the current increase in the concentration of Carbon Dioxide. Between these extremes, the explanations of opposing views are not merely sociological. They become political and moral. Each side accuses the other of being corrupt. The ‘skeptics’ or ‘deniers’ are dismissed as either working for outside interests, industrial or ideological, or being grossly incompetent as scientists. In short, as being either prostitutes or cranks. In their turn, the ‘alarmists’ or ‘warmistas’ are accused of feathering their own nests as grant-gaining entrepreneurial scientists, playing along with their own dishonest ideological politicians. In their protestations of scientific objectivity, they are accused of the corruptions of hypocrisy.

In the classic philosophy of science, it was imagined that debates would be settled by a ‘crucial experiment’. The observations made by Eddington in 1919 confirmed Einstein’s general theory of relativity, tout court. Before that, Rutherford showed that the atom is nearly all empty space, with a massive nucleus and planetary electrons circling it. Such crisp, clean experiments are taken as characteristic of natural science, establishing its status as solid knowledge, superior to the mere opinions of the social sciences and humanities. Where such crucial experiments happen not to occur, as in the case of Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection, it is assumed that they would occur if we could devise them. For that is the essence of science.

When we come to the climate, there are indeed two classic, simple experiences that for some are as conclusive as Eddington’s observation of the planet Mercury and of the light from the star in the Hyades cluster. The first of these is the original model of a ‘greenhouse’ earth made by the Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius in 1896. And the second is a remarkable set of readings of atmospheric Carbon Dioxide, taken on top of the Hawaiian volcano Mauna Loa, showing a steady rise from their inception in the 1950’s. Nothing could be more convincing than that combination, except to those who do not wish to be convinced. Suffice to say that the application of the Arrhenius model to the actual conditions on earth, including all the effects that could modify the entry and exit of radiant energy, plus the storage of heat in the oceans, leaves plenty of room for debate for those that want it. And the Mauna Loa data extend only over a half-century; extrapolating that backwards or forward is again not entirely straightforward.

Hence the climate science debate is one where all the features that make natural science different from sociology, or indeed from politics, are weakened or absent. And in the course of that debate we have discovered a serious flaw in the prevailing philosophy of science: there is no explanation of honest error. Students of science never see a failed experiment or a mistaken theory; for them it is success and truth all the way. Only those who have done truly innovative research discover how intimately are success and failure, truth and error, connected. And so when a scientist finds him- or herself convinced of the truth of a particular theory, they have no framework for treating their erring opponent with respect. “I” am right, “you” are wrong, and by persisting in your error you demonstrate that your failings are moral as well as intellectual. In the ordinary course of scientific debate such attitudes are kept under control, but in the total, complex climate science debate they come to dominate.

The debate has passed its peak of intensity, as the failure of Copenhagen has taken the impetus out of the policy drive. But the rancour and bitterness are unresolved. There has been some softening of attitudes about the issue of global warming, but (so far as I can see) little softening of emotions about past adversaries. It is for that reason that my colleagues and I have made this unusual experiment, if you wish bringing Gandhi to science or even science to Gandhi. As we planned it, our hopes were modest indeed. We could not imagine attracting people with very hardened views on the other side. We know that political negotiations begin with intermediaries, then perhaps progress to members in adjacent rooms, eventually have principals all ensconced in a secret location, and only when it is all over do they meet in public. Of course people don’t trust and respect each other at the start; and they themselves are distrusted by their own side even for dealing with the enemy. Only gradually, with many fits and false starts, is trust built up.

So for our first little experiment, we brought together people who would at least talk to those we brought with opposing views. And of course, what is essential in such activities, all who are there agree that this is an important venture. When we saw how some very busy people have enthusiastically agreed to come from very long distances, we felt that this venture is indeed worthwhile. Of course we hope that by its success it will lead to others. We do not at all intend to ‘solve’ the climate science debate, or to reach a consensus on whether we must now mount a global campaign against Carbon Dioxide. That is to be left to other forums, organised from within the appropriate scientific institutions. If we can only get people talking, and eventually framing particular scientific questions on which agreement could in principle be reached, that will have been as great a success as we could hope for.

We would also like such a venture as this to be an example of the power of non-violence, even in science. The great culture heroes of the last half-century have been defined by non-violence: Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, and now Aung San Suu Kyi. They all paid a price for their convictions, sometimes a heavy one. We note that none were white men, and none were scientists. This is not to say that non-violence has been totally absent from science. We all know of Einstein and his ambivalent relation to warfare; and there is the late Sir Joseph Rotblat, who gave up a career in science to found the Pugwash movement for East-West dialogue during the cold war. But if we search for scientists who have really lived out their non-violent convictions, we find two nonwhite women: Wangerai Maathai and Vandana Shiva.

That reflection brings me to the state of science itself. Those of an older generation remember a time when the prestige of science was unquestioned. Science would save the world, and scientists would do the saving. It is all different now, and the mutual denunciations of the scientists in the Climategate debate have not helped. One of the most important influences that drove me to a personal involvement in this debate was a report by our distinguished colleague Judith Curry, of a conversation with a student. This student was dismayed by the Climategate story that had just broken, and wondered whether this was the sort of career that she wanted to take up. We all know what happens to institutions when they fail to attract the brightest and the best young people. Slowly, perhaps, but surely, they atrophy and wither.

You see the connection. If ‘science’ comes to be seen by young people as the sort of institution where Climategate happens, and where scientists insult and condemn each other, its future is not bright. Of course, this negative reaction would happen only at the margins; but it is at the margins where we will find the really wonderful young people that we need. I cannot prescribe, indeed I can scarcely imagine, how the spirit of non-violence that has inspired the political world can be imported effectively into science. But I would argue that it is an attempt that is well worth making, even for the future of science itself.

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Al Gored

Post-modern science = Lysenkoism.

mkelly

“It’s so easy to condemn the evil ones and try to destroy them; that way we would still have the sectarian killings in Northern Ireland and probably a bloodbath in South Africa.”
“No try, only do or do not.” Yoda.
Evil should be destroyed. Not coddled, not tolerated, not allowed for, nothing, only destroyed. To bad Mao or Stalin were not destroyed early on as we might have saved 50 or more million people.

DirkH

The other side offers peace. It shows they are losing. The planet is cooling. Watch the sun. Ignore the verbal trickery of the opponent.
http://notrickszone.com/2011/02/21/moscow-shivering-in-coldest-winter-in-100-years/

Non-violent protest is very effective against an honorable adversary.
Non-violent protest against an evil adversary doesn’t work so well. The people protesting the Libyan fighter jets today probably already understand this concept.

Neville

Somebody somewhere (hopefully not me, even indirectly) is presumably paying for the production of this pious drivel. What we are watching is primarily scientists today experimenting to find the degree of cooperation with political corruption that yields their profession the most funding. For a while it seemed as if there was no practical limit, but now at least some of them realize that there is a point beyond which you lose the public’s willingness to pay up. An optimum level will eventually, by trial and error, be found, espoused, rationalized and financed. Pious exhortations are not either necessary or in the end relevant to this process.

My thanks to both of these Gentlemen Scientists, for their openness and honesty.
I would include, as a ‘s’cientist and a well-versed Christian, that Science began to fail us horribly when it succumbed to admitting Fabian Socialists and their ilk.
‘Know yourself’ before you get into ‘bed’ as it were – with others, is my point.
You Gentlemen will soon ‘see’ that your integritious foray for The Truth will uncover
the facts that Science itself is being (or, rather – has been) co-opted by the Fabians and the Gaea Crowd.
You’ve also ‘allowed’ that your ‘students’ be filled with their indoctrination – well before ‘my time’ with high school textbooks in the 70’s. Science has been co-opted,
Gentlemen. If you KNOW that Darwin’s grandfather was the originator of his ‘theory’ – then, without unmasking this gross error for what it IS – PURE INDOCTRINATION – will simply be futile. Men and women ‘pretending’ to be Scientists need to be brought to ‘full light’.
IF you are willing and able to do this – you will succeed. If not – then ‘wear’ the fact that you’ve been complicit in the making of ‘useful idiots’ within your community which exalts – truly ANY KIND of intellect now – over factual observation.
I applaud you and will pray that you receive every blessing and assistance in that, your effort – in the effort to re-claim true Science. For, the whole of ‘indoctrinated man-kind’ looks furtively toward you, as they always have – when they have no religion, no basis from which to mount a case. I believe most now ‘know’ you Scientist guys aren’t GOD – but, first – Scientists – true rational Scientists – must know that, as individuals – for themselves. My only ‘fear’ is that most of you now, do.
Cynthia Lauren Thorpe

It is my view that most CAGW sceptics seek to defend science, from the delusion of a FEW in a small area of climate science and policy makers and lobbyists that belief man made climate change is an issue (many long before the IPCC and any great deal of work in the area, at a time when the consensus was the MWP existed)
…. those few scientists might include the few dozen that Professor Michael Hulme recognised formed the consenus on attribution, not a mythical 2500.
Where is the null hypotheis…
That all observed climate may be down to natural variation, in what is admitted consists of poorly understood areas, clouds, oceanic cycles, solar, etc and no doubt some unknown, unknowns… and that an AGW signal may be insignificant by orders of magnitude, amongst many and varied stronger (positive and negative ) natural still poorly understood climate forcings.
…and that first we must understand these, before it is even possible to try to identify an AGW signal. Do the scientists in these areas suffer from a dearth in funding, because all monies have been directed to AGW?
Trenbeth wants to distort science, to make AGW theory the null hypothesis.
The continued use of ‘deniars’ by many that support this hypothesis, prevents scientific debate, as they believe that only they are doing science.
Whilst there are many thousands of scientists practising ‘climate science’ how many are at the core of it? If someone is investigating the effects of climate change on, hurricane formation, or the migratory patterns of birds, or many of the thousand of other subject areas like this.. Their science is valid, whatever the cause of climate change… they just have the assumption it is AGW. scracth out AGW and put climate change (natural due to….) and everything they do is still valid..
Where is the research actually trying to prove, demonstrate the feedback imagined in the computer models, etc.
So whilst thousands of scintists are working in ‘climate science related areas…
How many are actually working at actually demonstrating the theory, with observed evidence.. and most importantly the degree per doubling of CO2 (AGW is true, whether in the actual complex mutiple mechanisms in the climate, the answer is 0.1C, 0.5, 1.0C, etc, it is the actual values we are all arguing about, from oh why bother to imagined tipping points and everything in between…
Where is the work to show this, beyond every more complex computer model scenarios and ‘projections’ and requests for faster computers, because it is all very uncertain.
For the next IPCC report 600 pages please on attribution, 60 on the rest. WG2 and WK3 are just premature.
We are still at the stage, of we have a theory, it may have a consequence, yet 20 years of work, still hasn’t begun to find any AGW signature, as far as I can see.

EternalOptimist

Well there are two types of violence.
There is the intellectual violence, I have been labelled a holocaust denier, a child abuser (for flying across the Atlantic), a dupe, a fool, etc, etc. I have been told that my opinion does not count, because I am not a climate scientist (funny how my taxes DO count), etc etc.
To be honest, its all water off a ducks back. I can handle the intellectual attacks.
Then there is the actual violence. Now as far as I am aware, there hasn’t been too much of this so far in the climate debate, but I would like to recount a story.
This happened recently.
I post regularly on a professional forum in my country, and the cagw debate is a hot topic, leading to lots of cut and thrust and general interest. One of the warmists is particularly active and seems to have access to some sort of rebuttal resource(he doesnt do a lot of thinking for himself, its all 1 million links). He also seems to be a green zealot
So I asked him directly ‘would you consider using physical violence to prevent people like us from wrecking the planet, as you believe we are doing?’
no response.
I have asked him three times, in slightly different ways. No reponse.
It is a real worry
EO

Jimbo

Sorry, I tried posting the following to Tips & Notes but my browser kept crashing.
A new study finds that

“….warming oceans expand the range of tropical corals northward along the coast of Japan. At the same time, the corals are remaining stable at the southern end of their ranges.”
http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2011/02/18/coral-reefs-expand-as-the-oceans-warm/
http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2010GL046474.shtml

James Davidson

It takes two to make a quarrel, but so far it seems to me that the violence is all going one way. way.Which side has falsified the historical record? Which side has blocked the publication of scientific papers critical of AGW? Which side can wreck the careers of young scientists inimical to its position?
Do a Google search on Trofim Lysenko. Lysenkoism is defined as the manipulation or distortion of the scientific process as a way to reach a predetermined conclusion as dictated by by an ideological bias, often related to social or political objectives. Lysenko had his opponents either executed or sent to prison camps, and the AGW group has not done this, ( although in quotations attributed to members of the group, they would like to.) Lysenko’s research and experiments were later declared to be fraudulent. The behaviour of the AGW group appears to me to be fraudulent. Don’t we have a duty to oppose it?
Jim Davidson

vigilantfish

Easy, Willis, easy….

Thanks Dr. Ravetz,

Joe Lalonde

Dr. Ravetz,
The current problem in science is that technology changes and in doing so, new measurements and technological advances emerge.
This then has generated the problem of old theories still being used rather than reviewing the new technology to the old theories.
This then has generated the problem of home grown scientists are discovering mistakes and traditional scientists are defending old theories.
Since the science laws were created, gases were compressed and turned into liquids showing that energy can be stored. Centrifugal force was never figured out and deemed pseudo-science, yet it play a very important role in planetary rotation. It can be recreated and understood today but science has locked the laws to disallow any new advances.

Tom Eyre

The IPCC reports were essentially political than scientific ones.As we know so little about most of the science; have such a short time-line of reliable knowledge, only the next 30 years will indicate the likely direction of climate change and man’s role in it. The current main problem is whether man can change impacts on climate or is willing to do it and at what cost.Reconciliation is probably not the correct word, perhaps Professional Moderation would be better. Remember it took the Catholic Church 400 years to acknowledge Galileo was right.

Bob Kutz

mkelly says:
February 21, 2011 at 1:07 pm
. . . .Evil should be destroyed. Not coddled, not tolerated, not allowed for, nothing, only destroyed. To bad Mao or Stalin were not destroyed early on as we might have saved 50 or more million people.
Mkelly,
Surely you don’t want to go there. Mann, Jones, Gore, etc. etc. are not Stalin, Hitler or Mao.
They’ve simply been subverted by their desire to see their pet theory prevail. Unfortunately, they have gotten to the point where they would rather destroy their detractors than see their own theory fail.
Fortunately, science does not work that way. Whatever their theory, it will not change the laws of nature governing our climate. When their models no longer work, when their ‘simple physics’ no longer holds, they will be held to account.
Not by us, but by nature itself.
In short; what you want to demand is science; they share their data and methodology and let everyone in the room take a shot at it. If it stands up, it’s science, if it doesn’t we throw it out and label that one as wrong and it’s still science. If they put their data in a black bag and hide behind a curtain; It’s not science, no matter how they wish is were so.
So far, the only thing standing between the pro-AGW set and victory is the fact that they cannot and will not share their data and methodology. Or at least every single time they do it gets shot full of holes.
But we don’t call them evil. They are (probably) wrong, they are certainly engaged in malfeasance, but I really don’t think their intent is to take over the world and start death camps. If it is, in the immortal words of Paul McCartney “They ain’t gonna make it with anyone, anyhow.”
Let’s keep our side on the straight and narrow, because at some point they are going to prove beyond any doubt that CO2 does contribute in some measure to global warming. When they do, we don’t want to be backed into a corner because we labeled them as ‘wrong’ and ‘evil’. The truth lies somewhere between CO2 producing no effect whatsoever and CO2 producing total global annihilation.
They might have their thumb on the scale, but we can hardly equate that with Mao and Stalin. And if we do, we can hardly blame them for throwing it back at us. And we cannot blame the independent thinkers from rejecting our side of the debate and accepting those from established science. All else being equal, in a mud fight it’s hard to determine who’s right or wrong, but the presumption of guilt will always be on the barbarians at the gate. We cannot win by losing our composure or accusing them of wickedness. ‘Kill’ them with kindness and simply, respectfully and repeatedly ask for the data and methodology.
Unless they produce it, what they have is not science.

PKthinks

I think most of this is very fine explanation of how we should discuss science.
Why on earth should would it provoke a hostile response in say the Guardian Enviroment blogs or Real Climate but I cant help feeling it would. An interesting experiment would be to post this article on a mixture of sites and view the responses. Was it offered to any other blogs?
Most importantly I think the way science is perceived and even valued by society is at stake. Somehow we need to engage in a mature debate about the quality of the science the evidence base for intervention(and yes the cost effectiveness in the presence of many other possible life saving interventions globally on that scale)
The warmist lobby refuse to allow debate when most sceptics quite obviously want to discuss science not deny it.
It is obvious scientists are driven by a passion for the subject but climate scientists dont seem to accept we have heard it all before in other fields and its always damaging
This risks damaging the reputation of the scientific method for decades to come

Scarface

As long as they say that we are looking at 1+1=2 (based on theory) and it’s absolutely obvious that we are looking at 1-1=0 (based on evidence), I don’t think that we can meet halfways.
And please don’t forget that the warmistas are responsible for the tone of the ‘debate’, since they have burned down other opinions and decided that the ‘debate’ is over.
So imho the only way to even get it started is to do flying tackles.
The science of AGW is wrong. There is no common ground. Evidence is everything.

Thank you Dr. Ravetz. You are absolutely correct in saying extremism on any side, of any question, is less then helpful, it is also almost always in error. I can say this as extremes seem to demand absolutes and absolutes in science are essentially non existent. (The only ones I can think of are by definition not measurement.) It is only helpful to the public debate and private ones too, to turn down the rhetoric and turn up respect. It is my experience that if you want respect you have better by offering some in return. You and I may and do disagree about much but we agree about much too. I for one agree with your call for civility and would willingly celebrate the areas of agreement, as the most logical starting point, in any discussion of difference.
In a number of the essays posted on my blog over the last year, I have examined many of theses same questions. I would like to think I have offered definitive answers. The truth is something less majestic.
I suspect one fundamental point of agreement that can easily be arrived at is the amorality of science. Since scientific thought has been show to be non priroi and deductive, no discussion of the science can ever have a moral foundation. It can and does have a well defined and articulated ethic. Morals and ethics are not the same.
Any moral position taken or created from or based on the conclusions of scientific thought are independent of the discipline and hence more political then philosophical.
We as supposedly rational beings make all kinds of decisions ever hour of every day. Many are anything but logical or rational but many are. As I see it the role of scientific reasoning is to identify exactly whey we are making the decisions or policies. That and offering some hints on how and why things can be done is the best science can contribute to any debate.

Paul Deacon

Dear Dr. Ravetz
Global Warming/Climate Change is a political movement, not a scientific one. The scientists and other participants in this field will follow political leads and developments, just as they have done to-date.
Best regards

APACHEWHOKNOWS

Some chance that read above was the longest effort to change the subject I have ever seen or read.
But you know we Apache, we are so into keeping it simple, “if you want our land and our gold, we will fight you, 350 years if we have to”.
Now dear sir that was violence.
What your confronted with is not violence, your only being faced down with facts.
Your loosing your cool, your not warming.

Claude Harvey

“Blessed are the peacemakers….”
At the risk of pouring fuel on the fire, I cannot but point out that what should have always been a legitimate scientific disagreement spiraled off into the emotional stratosphere when one side of that disagreement effectively disenfranchised the other side. By deliberately blocking media exposure, funding and professional publishing opportunities from the other side of the debate while holding that side’s legitimate arguments up to public ridicule, wounds were inflicted that will be slow to heal in a real world.
I must also note that the side of the argument that heretofore had held almost total sway over media access, research funding, world opinion and public policy influence is now losing its exclusive grip on those vital “points of power”. Only now does that side seek “conciliation”.
I can smile and even “be their pal” in the interest of “getting the civil ship through the night”, but it would be beyond human capacity (and foolish to boot) to forget what they did when they thought they had their opponent down.

Roger Longstaff

I am sorry, but I think that this post is multi-metaphorical mish-mash.
In my view the whole CAGW fiasco is about the scientific method. Either we follow it like Einstein (explaining the orbit of Mercury and predicting the “bending of starlight”) or we don’t. Everything else is just conversation.

johnb

I guess I haven’t witnessed the violence against climate scientists that this article attempts to correlate with historical non-violence protests. Climate Scientists did not face the daunting challenges of Gandhi, MLK, Nelson Mandela, Einstein, etc… in fighting a power that was willing to and had proven of using force up to and including death.
How many climate scientists have been physically beaten, lynched, or killed by the likes that opposed MLK, Mandela, Gandhi? Are climate scientists working against a group attempting genocide like Einstein? Are the climate scientists as far out of power as any of the notable names you list or are they running the science arm of the international community?
I am not sold that an attempt to compare various freedom marches against racist, oppressive regimes is similar to UN climate scientists that may have conspired against FOIA requests, hidden or destroyed data, or actively prevented magazine publications from printing contrarian points of view via the review process. Many of those freedom marches were against armed, well trained opponents whereas that’s not the case with the IPCC.
If it were me, I’d dump that entire paragraph, 3rd from the bottom, including the line that reads, “We note that none were white men, and none were scientists.” This issue should have less to do with identity politics and more with discovering how scientists can eliminate corruption and cronyism from within their field and return to an open, transparent scientific process. The industry’s worst enemy is not some armed government force, but in fact their inability to police or condemn their own when they cross the line from scientist to activist.

flicka47

Social “policy” and science should never be mixed.
Science should be about finding how things work. Social policy is supposed to be what the rest of us do with those facts. Mixing the two only leads to the mis-begotten polices of control of others, not the relevation of truths. The “controllers” are never willing to give up control, no matter how many times their “policies” are shown harmful. If they were then DDT would no longer be banned, nor would an ever growing list of useful products that have enriched the world.

Bernie McCune

It could be useful to have a scientific debate on the fundamentals of atmospheric thermodynamics and principles of CO2 radiation. Most of us who doubt that the world will soon fry look forward to it. But when the warm team refuses to honestly debate and at the same time hides and distorts their data in blind support of what seems to be a political movement that wishes to save the planet from human folly, we wonder how much scientific debate there could really be. And don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of human folly to go around. But, I think we are somewhat reluctant to attempt to engage with zealots. We probably don’t worry so much about the violence as we do the time poorly spent.
Bernie

JPeden

Well, at least Ravetz’s verbiage hasn’t degenerated further into word salads or talking in tongues, because it seems to be the only tool he’s got.

Onion

. There are always at least two sides to the interpretation of new theories and results.
No. There is a single theory – that of CAGW
Hence the climate science debate is one where all the features that make natural science different from sociology, or indeed from politics, are weakened or absent
Not at all.
Proponents of CAGW have made specific falsifiable predictions. Hansen predicted that by the year 2000, CO2 would have overwhelmed all other causes of climate variability, with increasing warming effect year on year after that.
The CAGW fraud will be judged in history the biggest scientific fraud in a century. There is no sense in meeting fraudsters halfway. Anthony’s surfacestations project, the BEST initiative and other scientific attempts to generate reliable transparent observational data – these initiatives are a million times more important than your post-normal attempts to Ghandify warring factions

memory vault

2,599 words to tell us what Dr Ravetz?
Quote: “This debate has not just been about the science of climate change. It also concerns policy, for reducing the emissions of Carbon Dioxide worldwide. This requires a very large, complex and expensive project. It extends into lifestyles and values, as the transition out of a carbon-based economy will require a change in our ideas of comfort, convenience and the good life.”
So you are still right and we are still wrong, and we will have a non-“carbon-based economy” with all that entails, based on what was exposed by Climategate as nothing more or less than wholesale fraud, cloaked in the invisibility mantle of “post-modern science” which you once again demonstrate so verbosely?
Only your side is going to be a bit nicer about how you tell us we are wrong in the future? A bit less name-calling, and a bit more polite discussion over tea and scones?
Tell it to Professor John Beddington, the UK’s Principal Science Adviser who, only last week equated us climate-change “deniers” with racists and pedophiles.

John from CA

Thanks for the post Dr. Ravetz. Its heart felt and fun related to the pranking with “fire-eating champion” Willis.
I’ve followed many of the articles on Climate Etc. related to Lisbon and I’m a bit confused.
I thought very few supporters of the IPCC consensus showed in Lisbon. This lead me to believe that either the supporters are shrinking or they simply don’t wish to engage in a civil scientific debate.
The purpose of the Lisbon meeting was potentially beneficial. I hope I’m not mis-informed but find it sad the attendance was so lopsided in favor of those who are skeptical of the IPCC consensus.

memory vault

Dr Ravetz,
I’m not sure why people like you and Dr Judith Curry are still bothering trying to “educate” us “ignorant masses”.
The nature of weather is cyclical; alternating periods of warming and cooling. Thus it was when I learned of it in high school in the 60’s and thus it remains today. The entire point of the last 20 years of the CAGW “global warming” scam has been to bring us to where are today.
We now enter a 25 – 30 year cooling period without adequate power generation capacity to stop people freezing; without surplus food capacity to stop people starving, and without surplus investment funds to address these matters in any meaningful way in time to make much difference.
So millions of people are going to die. Exactly as planned.
It’s over: your side won. You and Dr Curry and “the Team” should all be off celebrating, not tarrying around here still trying to “educate” us.

…and as long as we’re talking about engaging in discussion with ‘the other side’, and of COURSE, being ‘non-violent’…
I pray you guys eventually get this part of the ‘debate’ out into the open.
But, before you do – we’re gonna need some facts, ’cause you’re Scientists, right?
We need some ‘statistics’ upon which to rely. So, I’ve gotta ask for some assistance from my ‘brothers of Science’…
Anybody ‘out there’ a true Scientist Mathematician (methinks Monckton MAY be too busy to indulge me with this one) who will truly DARE to tally the ‘carbon credits’ due America ALONE by the systematic abortion of over 50,000,000 or so, since the year
1972??? Oh yeah…I understand. To truly get the FACTS, we’d need the price of a unit of CARBON… the cost of the LIFE OF A SOUL. hmmm… methinks my fellow Aussies can get our atheist PM’s ‘team’ to give us the COST in either dollars or rupees, or gold(?) so that we may gather this truthful ‘statistic’ for our global audience..???
Once ‘the new leader’, Australia (~ or…..Australasia…cute. That’s SO cute! That’s what they’re now calling us) If Australia’s “Greenie”-Bob-‘Brownie’ ~ will give us the ‘cost’ of what a mere ounce of Carbon will cost… just THINK of what the U.S.A. will have ‘due her’…but, we’ll probably have’ta wait till July for that, right? …but, rest assured – they wanna put a ‘price’ on it.
~ and of course…’since it follows that we’ve been indoctrinated to believe that it ‘takes a village’ of Hillary’s making…let’s get THAT figure, fellow ‘Scientists’ so that all of us can ‘trade’ America’s TRUE ‘blood diamonds’ for once. Those we’ve ‘traded with’ – those that we’ve ‘culled’ sotospeak – so that we may become border-less in a more ‘expedient’ manner.
Now, don’t get me wrong on this. ESPECIALLY the ‘Moderator’! (warm smiles)
I truly believe honest discourse with those being manipulated IS needed. But, we’ve been ‘here’ before with them and ‘we’ Scientists LOST. You guys LOST BIG TIME.
So, when you go into the debate – make certain EVERYONE gets their ‘facts straight’.
When you deal with ‘Greenies’ – understand exactly what’s ‘behind them’ – behind their ‘Green Door’, if you will. For, you are truly ‘dancing with the devil, himself’ with that one. But, ‘No biggie’, right? I mean, you’re Scientists, right? But, does that mean that you don’t – or do – believe in him? Are you ‘too much a realist’, to? I hope not.
For, I have DONE my research, gentlemen. It is he – and he alone – against which we strive. So, I guess fellow scientists/Scientists just need to know on which that they stand and with whom they are asking to thus be engaged.
Understand that while you ‘engage on these multitudinous fronts’ ~ know that Scientists are the ones that face what’s ‘Behind the Green Door’ and they’ve been there before and LOST big time.
So, I ask that you do your ‘research’ and ‘google’ that cute little 50’s song (or…do you remember it?) ‘Green Door’. And, then – google over to that ‘oh so cute’ little movie they then made in 1970…JUST in time to get full distribution by the Supreme Court’s ‘landmark decision’ to ‘institute’ the ‘practice’ of ‘reducing Carbon’ within our world.
Anyone wanna tell me (after your research) what this ‘movement’ we’re up against is REALLY about…? Do you have the guts? I hope so. ‘Cause the Green Movement doesn’t rely on REAL statistics, guys. They do just what I did in 6th grade when I was 6 weeks late with my research paper in ‘Science’ class…
They MAKE IT ALL UP. They ‘con-coct’ if you will ~ their research. And, as ‘believing ETHICAL Scientists’ you’ve been altogether too naive and have, as a result – been duped – and ALL OF US have suffered.
Oh……by the way. I got an ‘A’ on my paper – and I was ‘just a kid’, but I learned real quick. All kids do. Manipulation is simple, child’s play – if you will. So… now. Just what ‘grade’ would you give the Greenies thus far…? DO YOUR RESEARCH AND THEN – TELL ‘THE TRUTH’ and we’ll be really getting to the root of all this muck and Science can first apologize and then, regain it’s former stature.
Sincerely –
Your (at one time) ‘truly diabolical’ sister in ‘S’cience and in research (of all sorts) of propaganda… Do you say you don’t BELIEVE me? Well, just look at THIS one, guys.
PRO-PAGAN-DA
…methinks ‘da’ means ‘yes’ in some languages…? But, me? Me, this ‘scientist’ with a decidedly little ‘s’ thinks of it as “DUH” “NO DUH, HUH?
PRO-PAGAN-DUH… ’cause I’m jus’ a silly American living on the outback coast…making my fires at night on the beach…’cause I’m still ‘allowed’ to… while methinks you guys need to watch Braveheart again…’cause you’re gonna need one. …nes pa…?
Cynthia Lauren

Hoi Polloi

Is Prof.Ravetz paid by the word?

Frank Kotler

Dr. Ravetz apparently has a strange definition of “violence”. Even Dr. “Gentle Ben” Santer never actually threatened to beat anybody up. He merely said that he was tempted. No law against being tempted – I do it myself all the time! The nearest we’ve seen to actual violence, as I recall, was the unfortunate, late James Lee – and he didn’t actually hurt anyone (before violence was done to him). Calling people names is not “violence”. Some perspective please, Dr. Ravetz!
Best,
Frank

flicka47

Bob Kutz says:
February 21, 2011 at 1:47 pm
in reply to mkelly…
“But we don’t call them evil. They are (probably) wrong, they are certainly engaged in malfeasance, but I really don’t think their intent is to take over the world and start death camps. If it is, in the immortal words of Paul McCartney “They ain’t gonna make it with anyone, anyhow.””
Are you so sure of that when it appears the application of their preferred policies would crash the economies of the first world, thereby obliverating the populations of the third? While a lot of the current losses of crops can be blamed on “weather”, these same folks see every raindrop and snowflake as “proving” them right.
And we just can not wait!! to implement their preferred policies despite the known damages those policies will, not could bring.
I’m not so sure they don’t qualify as evil.

vigilantfish

Jerome Ravetz says:
“Also, it was on WUWT that I had the first experience of seeing non-violent communication in the Climategate debate. The circumstances were surprising, for it involved our very own fire-eating champion Willis.
He was responding to Judith Curry’s posting, where she explained how she had got to where she was then. Of course he loathed her for complicity in the great Warmista fraud, and he despised her for attempting to apologise for her actions rather than crawling to WUWT in full contrition. But he had to admit that he respected and admired her for guts in doing a Daniel act, and facing the lions like himself. At that point, non-violence in the climate debate was born. For Willis had realised that bad people are not necessarily all bad. There might even be some purpose in talking to them! From that point on, WUWT could take the lead in enforcing civility in the debate, and I am very pleased to see how the principle has spread all across the lines.”
————–
Two problems with these paragraphs:
1) ‘Non-violent communication’ desperately needs to be defined. A few examples of ‘violent’ communication might help. Is vehemence in expression considered violent? Or are you talking about actual threats (or cases) of physical harm or worse?
2) Sorry, but I find the tone rather condescending – pretty sure that Mr. Eschenbach already knew that ‘bad people are not necessarily all bad’ as his intellectual strength is understanding and getting to the heart of nuance, and exposing the BS. I find the references to ‘our Willis’ also disturbing and condescending – perhaps a fair phrase for Anthony to use, but I would not use it on this website.
Once you get into the meat of the discussions at the Lisbon conference, the tone improves, but here by stating the entire argument in terms of Arrhenius’s ‘greenhouse gas’ theory and the evidence at Mauna Loa, you ignore decades of subsequent evidence. Skeptical scientists both professional and ‘amateur’ (I include Anthony in this description) have identified the chief problem facing the science as a question of the sensitivity of the earth’s climate to increased CO2 levels, and the many, many avenues of uncertainty. Both sides have used historical trends, but a major point of contention is distrust of how the data is manipulated, both in terms of the historical record and in terms of repeated evidence of statistical naivety on the part of climate scientists, as has been famously exposed by Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, and just today here at WUWT by Willis Eschenbach.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/20/nature-unleashes-a-flood-of-bad-science/
(I won’t even comment on the abundant evidence for outright fraud by some practitioners.) It still seems to me that climate scientists need to put their own house in order and actively seek to engage in science with a more neutral stance (asking ‘is there any evidence for this’ rather than stating ‘We know this is happening, and this latest studies supplies the needed evidence’) before any talk of a compromise. It the goal of Lisbon is to open minds on the ‘warmist’ side, then more power to it. Otherwise, the history of scientific ‘mistakes’ pretty much sides with the stance taken by the skeptics as being the right stance.

Well, I can’t forbear to weigh in here, and many readers will know my views from previous comments and my post about Dr Ravetz and his unhelpful influences on science just before Climategate broke:
http://buythetruth.wordpress.com/2009/10/31/climate-change-and-the-death-of-science/
There have always been disagreements in science, often quite healthy. The problem with Climategate and the rancour that there is in climate science is to a degree the responsibility of Jerome Ravetz who infused the concept of values into science, and blurred the lines between science and policy.
Instead of scientists being able to get on with science without taking on social and political stances, we now have advocacy groups lobbying governments which direct massive funding in certain directions, and scientists like the late Stephen Schneider and James Hansen getting involved in social activism. Scientists become celebrities (and very wealthy) for espousing certain social causes, or heretics because the evidence leads them to a different view. The rancour and bitterness, the corruption and tribalism, the lies and distortions and the politics is to a large degree the product of post-normal science, thanks to Dr Ravetz.
Don’t forget that, to a large extent, Dr Ravetz life work has been the study of the social consequences of scientific knowledge and the influence of social and political factors on the production of scientific knowledge. With his 1971 work ‘Scientific Knowledge and its Social Problems’ Ravetz entangled science with social action, making it a social practice, so that what happens in science depends on political, financial and value-laden activities. Had this been remained a ‘fly-on-the-wall’ anthropological and sociological study I would not have had any beef with it. But, perhaps because of his Communist and neo-Marxist roots, he just couldn’t help himself and got himself knee-deep in the very thing behaviour he was supposed to be studying and became a proponent of post-normal science, which has been swallowed hook line and sinker by the climate science community and the IPCC.
To give an example from a completely different field: theologians have always had disputes, but when theologians or church ministers start getting involved in social activism and politics, and when money flows to theologians to hatch new brands of theology, such as pro-Marxist Liberation Theology, then theology and the church suffer terribly. It can destroy religion, churches, countries, civilizations and lead to the most bitter family, civil and international wars.
Jerome Ravetz reminds me of that college prankster, that undergraduate who sees the road being dug up by some young strapping labourers and he tells them that there will be some policemen arriving shortly who are actually students in costume; then he goes to the police station and informs them that there are some students posing as workmen digging up the road in the city centre. He then sits in the cafe with an excellent view watching first the war of words, and then the very bloody punch up.
Now in his dotage, Jerome Ravetz doesn’t like watching the ugly spectacle any more, but is not prepared to take responsibility for setting up the situation. I hold him heavily responsible, and the kind of drivel in this post by no means gets him off the hook.

RiHo08

A core group of climate scientists control the foundational data upon which other climate scientists rely. If that foundational data, temperature data, reconstruction of ancient times, is faulty, or worse, it has been actively skewed, then the thinking based on the assumptions of that foundational data are also in question. This is a matter of infidelity in the climate community. Trust is just one part. Incredulity, hurt, self-recriminations (“how could I be so stupid as not to see?”), self-indentity can and probably should be in question. These aftermaths require a “rethink”; where do I go from here. Reconciliation is not that easy, nor maybe even desirable. Disassociation from the group, divorce, may be what is called for. Divorce leaves a bitterness that is long lasting and “moving on” is dependent upon how intense was the initial relationship and how dependent one is after everything is all said and done. I don’t see the affairs of climate science, amongst its practitioners at least, as any different than a failed relationship. I don’t see any resolution, rather, a redefinition of that relationship is needed. The BEST study out of UC Berkeley and Lawrence Livermore Labs as an attempt to establish an alternative foundational data base, which I my estimation, is a good thing. A Quaker viewpoint, spends too much time trying to figure the opponent out in the “non-confrontational motif” to be universally applied. Leaving the perpetrator of bad faith/science by the wayside means initially more work for ones-self, but opens more degrees of freedom in which to operate. Casting a jaundice eye at any attempts at reconciliation is healthy and necessary for self-preservation.

Rainer S

Vandana Shiva?
The lady with the “interesting” beliefs about GM crops?
One can be “non-violent” and still cause harm.

Bruce King

I must disagree that their intent is not to take over the world. The entire CO2
“demonization” was to cause the “industrial society to collapse”This is not an indictment of all AGW believers. Every religion has its fringe extreme cults and
AGW is no exception. Following the “money trail”is a broad well defined path. We
have had systematic destruction of our most plentiful energy sources. Seems we have an untrustworthy administration. To weaken this country? Such objectives are unlikely to be easily dropped. As one activist said, “The agenda is not the agenda”

xyzlatin

As a result of the AGW hypothesis and its misuse, I and many others are finding it hard to make ends meet with increasing power costs. Increasing numbers of people in the UK are actually switching off and going back to candles and burning lumps of coal for heating. In Australia, prices are predicted to double in the next few years.
In view of the hands reaching into my pocket for my money, I retain the right to protest and examine the hypothesis. I do, and I pronounce it wanting and unproven.
The policies have to be defeated completely. Consensus or agreement means each side gives up half. Sorry, but the battle has begun by the AGW political crowd, and now there is only a winner and a loser.

Prof Michael Hulme, though a nice guy in some ways, is not a scientist but a geographer. He admitted publically in a lecture at Cambridge I attended late last year that he didn’t know if there was any AGW, but then spoiled it all using the precautionary ‘principle’. He spent most of his lecture classifying the audience into types using psychobabble – a technique I gather he used in his book, “Why we disagree about Climate”. So when objectors raised questions later the audience could then put them in the psychological box he had constructed for them. A neat trick.

Tom Eyre says:
February 21, 2011 at 1:45 pm
Reconciliation is probably not the correct word, perhaps Professional Moderation would be better.

That’s pretty much right. And is more or less what we got at Lisbon. As one of the organisers put it:
“We are not here to force a compromise. We are here to provide a space where the fight can take place in civility.”

Kev-in-Uk

I’m with the various commenters who advise caution and distrust. Whilst I accept that those in Lisbon were perhaps the lesser of the ‘evil’ protagonists of the pro-AGW debate, as has been said, the fact THEY want to be civil is somewhat disconcerting!
Personally, I think it is the start of a gradual backtracking exercise and diversion of attention by those who actually KNOW the things that have gone on in the climate debate and wish to be more detached.
However, no amount of kissing and cuddling will make up for the lost time, effort and wasted public money over the last years – and nor will it make up for the genuine and widely felt damage to science in general.
As has been said, respect to an honourable adversary is fair enough – but the upper echelon of the climate group are not worthy of any respect for the promulgation of the various falsities. They were not just wrong – they were deliberately wrong and intentionally evasive of proper review. Even today – is/are all their methods, data and code available? No? – I didn’t think so.
The whole thing needs to be turned on its head – with the upper echelon reduced to the ordinary rank and file, preferably demoted to mere Tea-boys/girls until the mess THEY created is sorted out. Maybe when they can write a method statement out for a cup of tea, they could re-learn how to keep proper scientific records! LOL
Having said all that – I am keen for the dialogue to commence, but only with reasonable people and only on the basis that it isn’t ‘censored’ by the current high priests (be they the Team or the IPCC or whatever)!
Like the various ‘rebellions’ happening today – with people demanding a fair hearing – this is exactly what is needed in the climate science field.

BenfromMO

I will just say this about reconciliation…
I have no problems forgiving the “wrecking of science” but that does not mean I think they should still hold onto their jobs. Its one of those, “first time shame on you, second time, shame on me” type of things where yes, you can forgive, move on and be civil, but never again should you be trusted with science of any type.
Now I do think that it was a valid theory until we got the data from oceans and atmospheric studies which showed the tenants of the theory to be wrong, in which case instead of stone-walling and otherwise being belligerant they should have admitted their theory does not hold water. The debate is indeed over, and has been for roughly 7 years (or more depending on how sure you wanted to be on the data.)
The number one problem I have is that instead of invalidating the null hypothesis from the start, they instead used models to predict what they thought was the true model of the climate, and have been shown to be wrong.
So in other words, the issue is really two-fold in that regard..
Some of the scientists may have just been doing their job, and assumed that other scientists were correct in their science. In that case, I could possibly be happy with them keeping their jobs, but the over-riding concern is that with these scientists still mucking around with bad science, nothing is safe scientifically speaking until they realize the error of their ways and actually change their beliefs as far as science goes.
Its a two-pronged sword, it might be a little severe, but not once did I mention jail time or anything of that sort. I just think its wrong to assume that the same people could not be victims of this observer bias to such an extent again…so the big pushers so to speak should be sacked and never again hold a position in science.

oakgeo

I don’t think that blogosphere rhetoric and anonymous internet vitriol are what Ghandi, King and Mandela had in mind. I’m pretty sure that they were worried about bombings, murder and genocide, i.e. forms of real violence.
Non-violence in climate science debate is already normal, so what would post-normal non-violence be? I get the feeling that this is just another attempt to reframe the question, to make CAGW scepticism into more of a sociological phenomenon rather than a scientific perspective. Being given equal billing in a “non-violence in climate science workshop” is not the same as being given equal respect in journals, blogs, the MSM and in political circles.
So CAGW proponents and sceptics come together in a show of non-violent accord… well, then what? Will there be an embrace of sceptical scientists? Will the peer-review system be fixed? Will the poor predictive capabilities of climate models be addressed, or even acknowledged? Will the suspect surface station data be reviewed? I suspect that the diversion of “non-violence workshops” and their ilk will be touted by CAGW proponents as proof that sceptics are being included, but in reality we will continue to be marginalized or ignored.
Although I believe that Dr. Ravetz is a sincere man and genuinely engaged in the pursuit of understanding and reconciliation, I also believe that this non-violence in science issue will end up being another post-normal diversion in the guise or progressiveness.

Sam Hall

Bob Kutz
If the Warmists get their way, millions in the third world are going to die. I call that just as evil as Stalin causing a famine.

johanna

We are familiar, by now, with the use of reconciliation and non-violence to resolve intractable disputes in the political sphere. Indeed, it is now generally accepted that this is the only way to achieve a lasting and just settlement in conflicts between peoples. It worked in South Africa and in Northern Ireland, and noone with standing in the international community argues for a different approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict. But science? What possible relevance could this approach have to science?
—————————————————————–
That, Dr Ravetz, is the $64,000 question. And the answer is – none.
It is the conflation of science and politics/ideology that got us into this mess in the first place.
WUWT is a living tribute to the notion of polite and respectful debate about science, and of course that is the appropriate way to go about things. But whereas politics is about compromise (in democracies anyway), science is the opposite. Science is not advanced by splitting the difference between competing theories, or having a group hug. It is not about having splendid personal attributes either.
I am sure that no sensible person objects to depersonalising discussions about science. But, I am very sure that those who have been vilified, misrepresented and had their careers sabotaged for the heinous crime of disagreeing with those who are currently in charge of what is erroneously called ‘the science’ have good reason to be feeling less than conciliatory. Jewish scientists who are called ‘deniers’ have every right to be furious, for example.
Still, personal feelings do not overshadow the real issue, which is perversion of the scientific method.

wsbriggs

I dislike the term violence used do describe vehement disagreement. This is NewSpeak at it’s best. After all, most of us are totally opposed to the initiation of violence. The very term causes a certain unease. Note that I said initiation of violence, I am not a pacifist, and I will respond to violent acts with appropriate force.
Continued piecewise destruction of the vocabulary benefits those who can not tolerate clear, non-ambiguous definitions, and identification. The decline in the quality of the social interaction in the world, has followed closely the decline in the quality and clarity of speech.
I shall continue to believe that Prof. Ravetz is playing a verbal shell game.

Brian H

Barry W;
I larn yez and and I larn yiz, but yiz never larns: there ain’t no sich werd as “deniars”. It be “deniers”. Honest Injun!
Hi, Joe! Thread-bombing again, I see.
Jerome’s path: The UN Board Of Science Quality Adjudication? Thanks, but no thanks.

jack morrow

Ii tried to reply to this post and finally realized my reply to it would be as stupid as the post so this.