More from Jerome Ravetz: Response to Willis

Guest Post by Jerome Ravetz

First, let me respond to Willis. I owe him a huge apology. Yes, I was reading his mind, when I had a vivid memory of some strong statements he made about Judith. Checking those, I could see that these were not directed at Judith personally, and that they were made in the context of his respect and admiration for her. That was on the 25th of February, and his comment on the previous day was a model of civility. This is not the first time that I have been misled by a vivid memory, but I do hope that it will be nearly the last. Again, my apologies. Willis is too important a critic of mine to allow these errors to get in the way of a discussion. Of him and of scientistfortruth, I can paraphrase the old Jewish motto and say, with enemies like that, who needs friends?

Second, on the issue of what the alarmists should now do, I would like to introduce another consideration as a justification for non-violence.

The climate issue is not a simple normal-scientific one of verification or refutation of an hypothesis. It has become a ‘total’ issue, involving policy, politics, investments and lifestyle; and it has a history. In that it is something of an ideology, or ‘ism’. In that respect it resembles the belief in centrally-planned economy on the one hand, or an unregulated-markets economy on the other. People become committed to a position, or defect from it, for a great variety of reasons. In one of my essays I distinguished between ‘climate scientists’ who are grappling with the manifold uncertainties of this very young science (of course I agree with Willis here), and the ‘global-warming scientists’, those identified by Mike Hulme as the key insiders for the IPCC. That was useful at the time, but I would say that it is overly simple. Corresponding to the complexity of the issue, there is a complexity of personal positions, each one involved in a personal, private dialogue.

Of course there will be people at the extremes, and they make the most noise. But what is so precious about the blogosphere is that they are brought out into debate (as Gavin now on Judith’s blog), and so those with all sorts of concerns and reservations can witness and assess the arguments. Three things are then in play. First, the ‘demeanour of the witness’ is used as evidence for the quality of their case. Those who bluster and accuse are interpreted as doing so to make up for the lack of good arguments. Then, equally important, those who are perplexed can watch it all, and use the debates as materials for their own reflections. And finally, even those who are deeply committed have a space where they can confront their doubts and reservations, and work their way towards a resolution.

It’s like the old fable about the contest between the wind and the sun, as to who could get the man’s coat off. In more modern terms, when the wagons are circled, all those inside have to conform, but when there is a ceremony of peacemaking, understandings can be created.

There is a question of what to do about those people who are judged to have been really bad in the past. On that I can only offer an example. In Northern Ireland, we have had the astonishing spectacle of a former Protestant bigot and a former Republican terrorist becoming close personal friends. The players were the Rev. Ian Paisley on the one side, and Martin McGuiness on the other. I have no idea what went on inside their minds; but somehow, without any fanfare, they achieved reconciliation.

Now, let’s see where Willis and I still disagree on this issue. (He clearly disapproves strongly of ‘Post-Normal Science’, an issue I do hope to address soon. And there is unfinished business on Truth.) Maybe it’s this. When AGW scientists (as distinct from climate scientists) are perceived by a broader public and by their less-committed colleagues as engaging in grossly inappropriate practices, their credibility will surely go. On this issue there is now a very effective ‘extended peer community’, with strong roots in the blogosphere but now including some mainstream media.

Of course, given that the climate issue is so total, it gets tangled up in other issues and recruited by people with other agendas; I personally am not comfortable at being on the same side as Sarah Palin, though others in the debate might be OK with this. So the issue will be decided, or is being decided, in the messy and highly imperfect way of all politicised issues. For me, the job of those of us who are involved, in one way or another, is to keep our debate as clean as we can, and that is why I consider my task to be promoting non-violence.

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Might want to make it clearer that the entire post is from Jerome. At least I think it is. The author is Anthony, so maybe a note at the top saying “Jerome Ravets writes:” Fixed, thanks. – w.

Hats off to you Jerome Ravetz for making this statement in this forum.

Jeff Wiita

Hi Anthony,
This was a very good article until the end. Could you please elaborate on your statement that you are not comfortable at being on the same side Sarah Palin? I think she get a lot of unfair press, and I think you should have kept her out of the article.
Jeff Wiita

jae

Very good comment, except for this absolutely weird (stoopid?) comment:
“I personally am not comfortable at being on the same side as Sarah Palin, though others in the debate might be OK with this.”
WTF??

jae

“Irrelevant” may have been a better adjective than “stooopid,” but maybe both fit.

Brian H

Agree with Jeff W.
As to the substantive comments by JR: the problem is more fundamental: the presumption of being wiser than the norms. In this case, the norms of scientific validation. The Wisdom of The Progressives is not a viable substitute. For anything.

Gene Zeien

the job of those of us who are involved, in one way or another, is to keep our debate as clean as we can
Kudos! Often I’ve been tempted to unleash a rant, but chose not to. Ranting is rarely the way to change minds, and tarnishes ones credibility with the more astute readers.

johnb

Jeff Wiita says:
February 24, 2011 at 7:14 pm
“Hi Anthony,

Could you please elaborate on your statement that you are not comfortable at being on the same side Sarah Palin?”
Anthony didn’t write this article, Jerome Ravetz did. See: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/21/ravetz-on-lisbon-and-leading-the-way/
He’s British and as such likely only receives international coverage of Sarah Palin. I am not defending her but based on his comment, the media Jerome is exposed to likely doesn’t paint her in a flattering light.

Sun Spot

I’m one of those who is uncomfortably being on the same side as Sarah Palin. That said I’m convinced Sarah Palin does not have any grasp of the subtleties of critical thought on CAGW, soooo I’m comfortable knowing sheees not on the same page as I’m on.

kim

Don’t worry, honey; she never said she could see Russia from her back porch. That was a TV actress.
==========

Willis Eschenbach

Jerome says:

First, let me respond to Willis. I owe him a huge apology. Yes, I was reading his mind, when I had a vivid memory of some strong statements he made about Judith. Checking those, I could see that these were not directed at Judith personally, and that they were made in the context of his respect and admiration for her. That was on the 25th of February, and his comment on the previous day was a model of civility. This is not the first time that I have been misled by a vivid memory, but I do hope that it will be nearly the last. Again, my apologies. Willis is too important a critic of mine to allow these errors to get in the way of a discussion. Of him and of scientistfortruth, I can paraphrase the old Jewish motto and say, with enemies like that, who needs friends?

I have read no further into your comments than this. I want to say that your most gracious apology, perhaps more gracious than I deserve, is unreservedly accepted. Your actions are those of an honest gentleman with the courage to admit when he is wrong.
I will read and respond to the rest as time permits, but I wanted to get this in early and strong.
Much appreciated,
w.

Roger Carr

Jeff Wiita says: (February 24, 2011 at 7:14 pm)
…not comfortable at being on the same side Sarah Palin? I think she get a lot of unfair press, and I think you should have kept her out of the article.
So do I, Jeff. That single observation destroyed what I was thinking was a nice, balanced, presentation (and apology).

Jeff Wiita

johnb says:
February 24, 2011 at 7:40 pm
Anthony didn’t write this article, Jerome Ravetz did.
Thank you for the clarification. I apologize to Anthony. I should have known better.
Jeff Wiita

Jay Dunnell

I am getting very tired of the cheesy attacks on conservative women. Only the great media could take a hard working woman and deride her and get away with it. If you wish to make a comment like that, at least investigate the issue as hard as you would AGW. I keep an open mind, but I believe in the saying. Believe little of what you hear, and half of what you read.
I’ll bet he didn’t like cheerleaders….

AJB

Post Normal Science
Rests On Compliance
Sceptical Ones Morn
Special Con Mentors
Ransom Science Plot
Enough with the violence straw man already. Dragging Northern Ireland into it is well beyond the pale. Nearly as bad as dragging politics into science where it has no place.

rbateman

In a political sense, whom one is comfortable with is a very normal response.
Some of the greatest heated debates are produced by those who get along perfectly outside of debate.
And that is also a dynamic, as a politician whom one is comfortable with today may raise your hackles tomorrow
… and vice versa.

JRR Canada

Blather on as if you have something to say. Is this the English way? Or is that what you mean by post normal science.Talking all arround the facts does not change them. And in the allusions to the IRA are you implying that the IPCC team are terrorists?
From where I sit in the north, Palin Derangement Sydrome is a clear sign of a weak mind.Or was there some other point for introducing your view of the lady to the above drivel?

mcates

“Don’t worry, honey; she never said she could see Russia from her back porch. That was a TV actress.”
I had a bet with my friend in California if he could accurately describe a single position of Sarah Palin’s. Needless, to say my very “educated” friend could not.
The actual quote:
““They’re our next-door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska — from an island in Alaska.”

Mark Twang

I’m still entirely confused about how a debate that occasionally descends into personal insult can in any sense be characterized as “violent”. What does that even mean?

Baa Humbug

When AGW scientists (as distinct from climate scientists) are perceived by a broader public and by their less-committed colleagues as engaging in grossly inappropriate practices, their credibility will surely go. On this issue there is now a very effective ‘extended peer community’, with strong roots in the blogosphere but now including some mainstream media.

Well actually no. I can tell you from here in Australia, irregardless of the level and volume of inappropriate practices, the likes of Tim Flannery, David Karoly, David Pittman, Ove Huge-Guldberg et al still dominate the media and the publics ears, especially those who are young. The blogosphere is still largely irrelevant.
Why is this happening after so many instances of inappropriate practices Dr Ravetz? IT’S BECAUSE PEOPLE LIKE YOU WHO SHOULD HAVE SHUT DOWN THE EXTREMISTS REFUSED TO DO SO, NOT A WORD, NOT A LETTER TO AN EDITOR NADA NIL ZILCH.
You are complicit in the shenanigins by your silence over the years. This PNS of yours is PNS because of the politics involved. The shenanigins IS the politics and you and others like you were SILENT.
I suspect the reason why Paisley and McGuiness ended up having an ale together is because they realised they had a COMMON GOAL. That goal was the well being of Ireland and the Irish.
I suggest people like you and Willis have a common goal, science, GOOD science, HONEST science, OPEN science.
So I ask you Dr Ravetz, are you willing to DENOUNCE the shenanigins of bad climate science practitioners? are you willing to denounce their past, present and future shenanigins widely and often? Not just in the blogs but everywhere you have a voice?
The Irismen got together because both sides denounced the violence, and put down their weapons. Willis has already, often and loudly denounced not just the language, but the weapons (bad shoddy science) of the perpetuators, the Team if you will.
Are you willing to do the same? Are you willing to, lets say co-author articles with Willis detailing and denouncing such wonders of science as the Hockey Stick, the Decline and the very many studies purporting the evidence of AGW (see Willises last post)?
If yes, we have a chance and I like this post of yours.
If no, we have no chance and this post of yours is just more hot air designed to bide time, keep the sceptics at bay until the politics can be rammed through.
Once bitten Dr Ravetz

Carl Chapman

What’s wrong with being on the same side of an issue as Sarah Palin? The truth is the truth. Picking sides rather than seeking the truth is what led to Climategate.

mcates quotes Palin:
“They’re our next-door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska — from an island in Alaska.”
There was a skit by actress Tina Fey that made fun of Palin. But IIRC, Russia is visible from Little Diomede island – an Alaskan island.
Sarah Palin may not be my choice as a candidate, but I am disgusted with the Alinsky-style demonization of anyone who is perceived as a political threat. The attacks against her are dispicable.

Al Gored

Sweet. But I’m not buying this for a second. If the winds were not shifting, this sugar-coated letter would never have been written.
Post-normal science = Lysenkoism. And Ravetz knows it.

Zeke

“There is a question of what to do about those people who are judged to have been really bad in the past.”… “achieved reconciliation” …
Reconciliation with those who have abused the scientific process, the funding, and the data is applying the wrong law to the situation. There needs to be a simple process of legal consequences for the misdeeds, to repay the debt to society. Instead, those who have shown dispassionate axiomatic rigor in science and respect for the law should be recognized for their contributions at this point. Begin with John Christy and Anthony Watts.

Jerome Ravitz:
I have to agree with Baa Humbug. Either denounce bad science [science which avoids the scientific method], or you’re nothing but a charlatan.

KenB

Jerome
The only “side” that should be the object of debate is truth in science. Is the issue true to science or has it been corrupted by other agenda.
(1) I am happy to be part of a consensus that agrees that some Climate science and the scientific method have been corrupted for the convenience of those other agenda.
What to do now if “we” agree on that point.? Do we form a new professional standard within the existing scientific societies ? Or form a new multi disciplined Committee of Science to oversee reconciliation?
(2) Essential in my view to stand up for science and identify corruption where you see it. Be courageous and not be swayed to ignore or cover up transgressions.
(3) Give adequate time for the transgressor, to provide an answer or point out things in their favour or in mitigation of their error.. I don’t mean obvious simple readily admitted errors, but errors ignored in circumstances involving willful or serious incompetence .
(4) Do not accept bland or concocted excuses, examine points raised, discuss errors.
(5) Reach agreement and move on. Science is too important to be involved in wrangling over pedantic points and opinions.
(6) Issue a simple media statement
See how this system works and procedures are accepted – if need be refer to a tribunal that has powers to impose scientific sanctions including power to suspend (and I don’t mean hanging) !!
Probably too strong for some, but you need to know where you are heading to chose the right path!!

artwest

To those complaining about the Palin comment:
As someone who isn’t keen on many (any?) right wing American figures I’m used to having to live with the fact that I’m in a minority on CAGW skeptical sites. I generally live with it because I think that defeating the CAGW scare is more important than bickering amongst ourselves over other political issues. May I suggest that not seeing eye to eye with everyone on every politicians merits is not the end of the world. We’ll get rid of CAGW all the quicker if we all accept that not everyone is going to agree with us on everything and that doesn’t necessarily mean we can’t work towards a particular common goal.
It’s all to easy for our opponents to characterize CAGW skepticism as being exclusively a concern of the Right. (and unfortunately Jerome’s comment bears this out) If we aren’t able to show that this is really about Right and Wrong rather than Right and Left then it will take all the longer to overthrow CAGW.

JRR Canada

Re Smokey and Baa Hummbug, good call, is post normal science not the perfect language for a charlatan?

Ravetz: “The climate issue is not a simple normal-scientific one of verification or refutation of an hypothesis.”
Wrong. The hypothesis is: “The climate is warming right now.” You must handle this before you can start talking about any other aspects of warming. And this hypothesis has has never been verified. Satellite temperature measurements show that within the last thirty years there was only one short spurt of global warming which raised global temperature by a third of a degree in four years and then stopped in the year 2002. Its cause: oceanic, not anthropogenic. Arctic warming is real and has been going on for more than a century. But it, too, is not anthropogenic and is caused by warm Atlantic currents flowing into the Arctic. Someone will now say that Hansen announced the arrival of warming in his 1988 testimony to the Senate. So he did, and the warming he spoke of was non-existent, all faked. If you look at the satellite temperature curve of the eighties and nineties you will notice that the temperature oscillates in the eighties and nineties, up and down by half a degree, but does not rise until the super El Nino of 1998 arrives. The oscillations belong to the warm El Nino and cool La Nina periods in the Pacific. There are five El Nino peaks in this period, with cool La Nina valleys in between. But if you look at the temperature graphs from NASA, NOAA, and the Met Office you will notice that this period appears as period of rising temperatures known as the “late twentieth century warming.” How is this possible? You can find out by plotting their curves on a common graph with the satellite data using the same resolution for both. If you do this with HadCRUT3 from the Met Office you will find first that the temperature oscillation seen in the satellite curve is also present in the Met Office curve. They start out together and the first four El Nino peaks in both curves coincide. But what is different is the part of the curve between the peaks, the La Nina valleys. They have all been made shallow in the Met Office curve and this gives it an upward slope. This does not work with the right end of the curve so they simply lift it up and it floats merrily above the satellite curve. NASA curve starts out similarly with a faked warming. But they don’t have the nerve to raise the right end which fits in with that part of the satellite curve. But NOAA graph takes the cake. They stay with the peaks and jettison completely the La Nina valleys between the peaks on the left. And the right end simply gets lifted up and again floats in the air. This is a long-term, coordinared fraud which started in the late seventies. To make it happen the only thing needed was for someone to suggest that peaks are the real temperature and it is right to adjust the variations in between. And chance lineup of peak heights made this very effective until 1990. After that they were already so deeply into it that they had to resort to a much more gross type of fakery. All this and graphs showing how it was done is found in the second edition of “What Warming?” now out on Amazon. Since it started in the late seventies it behooves us to check what happened then. One big thing was that Hansen quit his job as an astronomer on the Pioneer Venus probe and joined GISS. His reason: “The atmosphere of our home planet was changing before our eyes.” His first task at GISS was to devise a new method of measuring global temperature rise. And lo and behold, when the new method was put into action temperatures did begin to rise!

P.G. Sharrow

Dr Ravetz; You were doing quite well with bridging the gap and then you stuck your foot in your mouth with that throw away remark about your opinion of Mrs. Palin. I suggest that you personally study the subject before the next time you speak on it. You may be very surprised about the truth over the MSM fiction. pg

Brian H

Baa;
Roit awn.
But, pliz, spel “shenanigans” proper-like!

Steven Hoffer

“Of course, given that the climate issue is so total, it gets tangled up in other issues and recruited by people with other agendas; I personally am not comfortable at being on the same side as Sarah Palin, though others in the debate might be OK with this.”
So the opinion of Sarah Palin is a measurable factor in how you think? The opinion of a non-science, but political figure on the other side of the world from you, that you have never met, nor are likely to meet affects the way you think about the two sides of the climate debate???
“For me, the job of those of us who are involved, in one way or another, is to keep our debate as clean as we can, and that is why I consider my task to be promoting non-violence.”
You are saying that that your interest is in keeping the politics out of the scientific debate, but in the same paragraph you are politically flavouring your own words. I cannot understand why your saying one thing and doing another.
would you care to elaborate as to why you are trumpeting civilized rational debate in a politically charged way designed to upset someone? while your at it you could explain what value can be gleaned from answering math problems by mutual agreement. no matter how many people agree that 2*6 = 13, its still wrong.

Those who acted in illegal ways need to be brought to justice. Those who acted in brazen disregard for truth (yet technically within boundaries of the law) need to be marginalized, whether they have “come to see the light” or not. The reasons are that this kind of behavior cannot be tolerated in society, and allowing them to just move on as if they did no wrong will only encourage more the same uncivil behaviors in the future.

Mark T

You mean there really are idiots out there like mcates that don’t know the story behind the Palin “quote?” Lots of villages searching for lost…
Mark

Steven Hoffer

artwest says:
February 24, 2011 at 9:01 pm
artwest, I think keeping quiet about the kind of characterization that Ravetz is doing with his references to Sarag Palin is the wrong thing to do. The vast majority of complaints about his comment have been along the lines of “What does Sarah Palin have to do with the weight of the arguments?”
By not speaking out about this innaccuracy, we would be passively giving credence to the ridiculous things being said. If something said about you is not true, it is wrong to say nothing.

pat

As far as I am concerned, and as a dedicated environmentalist , as well as a humanist, all of this reminds me of a song by the red Hot Chili Peppers about deciding one shall not be an addict any more. Because that is what I believe the CO2 AGW hypothesis has become.
“The more I see, the less I know
The more I like to let it go
Hey oh, whoa
Deep beneath the cover of another perfect wonder
Where it’s so white as snow
Privately divided by a world so undecided
And there’s nowhere to go
In between the cover of another perfect wonder
And it’s so white as snow
Running to the field where all my tracks will be concealed
And there’s nowhere to go”

AGW has become an addiction for shallow thinkers who think this is the easy way to preserve the planet. While they profit. Sorry. That will not bring back the cod, the herring, antelope, the prairie dogs, the badgers, or the bats. That will require real science.

David Davidovics

I would be VERY interested to see him elaborate on what he considers to be “Post Normal Science” and what role it should play.

Beth Cooper

Baa Humbug, you are a fellow Aussi whose critical thinking I am able to respect. With regard to the issue under discussion here, ‘Right on the money!’ Where were the voices for honesty in Climate Science concerning “Climategate,”( a term coined by another Aussi critical thinker,) when they should have spoken out? 🙂

Ron Cram

My biggest problem with post-normal science is that its continued existence requires policy to maintain its beachhead in science. In other words, a return to normal science makes post-normal science extinct. For this reason, post-normal science is motivated to retain policy in the science discussion.
It is far better for policy and politics to get out of science altogether. Can anyone make a reasonable argument that post-normal science will arrive at a higher understanding than normal science? I don’t think so. In climate science, post-normal science has to blunder through under the duress of a false urgency.
For post-normal science to really play a meaningful role, someone has to prove that urgent decisions are needed. No one really believes that anymore. Stephen Schwartz of Brookhaven National Lab wrote about his estimate of climate sensitivity (his estimate is at the low end of the IPCC range) and Schwartz said that he was still concerned about global warming but he was now convinced they had time to come up with a solution. This is exactly what post-normal science does not want to hear.
I value Ravetz’s contributions such as his call for civility and his effort to get the proponents and skeptics of global warming to talk to each other. But I am convinced that the best way forward is to show that urgent decisions are not required and that allows us all to go back to normal science.

michel

The climate issue is not a simple normal-scientific one of verification or refutation of an hypothesis.

Yes it is! It absolutely is!
All this talk about non-violence is completely insane. There is no violence going on in the climate debates. It is a very simple hypothesis, the question is whether CO2 emissions are or are not driving Global Warming. The sooner we stop talking all this philosphical and social utter nonsense and get down to the real science, the better. Pieces like this are part of the problem not part of the solution.
Yes, people are completely hysterical about it, as they have been about lots of eco issues for many years. Yes, they are advocating insane public policy measures. This does not mean we are dealing with a post normal something or other, it just means people are acting like people.
You might as well argue that we had to introduce non violence into the MMR or the Cholesterol-Heart Disease debates. Its total nonsense. What we need to do is precisely to treat this like any other scientific question and
GET THE ANSWER.
And keep all the rest of the irrelevant stupidities out of it.

Geoff Sherrington

It is gracious, Dr Ravetz, to write as you did “First, let me respond to Willis. I owe him a huge apology. ”
If I read the views of regulars on this blog correctly, it is irrelevant, Dr Ravetz, to raise your core issues here. Anthony has been most generous in providing space. Another forum might find theoretical musings and strawmen interesting, but here the focus is on observation, deduction, etc, the elements of the well-established scientific method.
Likewise, the following quotes, labelled post-normal or abnormal as you wish, are viewed as anomalous excursions from reality by many readers.
http://www.geoffstuff.com/They%20said.doc

Onion

Agree Michel! There is nothing ‘total’ about climate science. It is a plain vanilla emerging new science specialty. If climate science is ‘total’, so is astrophysics, the study of volcanoes and infectious diseases. All can conjure up end-of-the-World scenarios upon which politicians must act. None have been so corrupted as climate science
Ravetz’ central thesis that there’s something special about climate science – is balls

David

Dr Ravetz, A gracious public apology well recieved by Willis.
Cocerning this…
The climate issue is not a simple normal-scientific one of verification or refutation of an hypothesis. It has become a ‘total’ issue, involving policy, politics, investments and lifestyle; and it has a history. In that it is something of an ideology, or ‘ism’.””
I wish you to understand that CAGW became this because the policy was premature. It is only good science, done on potentialy important wide sweeping policy issues, done in the complete open according to the normal scientific method, which determisnes if something is truly urgent, and ay all times the science must be kept separte from the ppolicy, If it may be urgent, then more resources must be put into normal science, and it is more important to separate the policy from the science. Is is very possible that in the end we will realize that CO2 is, on balance, a great benefit.
Concerning your Sarah Palin comment, why are you uncomfortable having the same position as her, and what position is that? To paraphrase, “At that point, non-violence in the climate debate was born. For Mr Ravetz had realised that bad people are not necessarily all bad”.

Erik

“and that is why I consider my task to be promoting non-violence.”
What Violence? – the only hint of violence I can think of is this remark from Gene from Greenpeace India:
——————————————-
“If you’re one of those who have spent their lives undermining progressive climate legislation, bankrolling junk science, fueling spurious debates around false solutions, and cattle-prodding democratically-elected governments into submission, then hear this:
We know who you are. We know where you live. We know where you work.
And we be many, but you be few.”
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100032648/greenpeace-goes-postal/comment-page-10/#comment-100243863
——————————————-
..and of cause the 10:10 video

Bruckner8

I say it was all a setup: I don’t trust Ravetz one bit. I wouldn’t be surprised if he planned the entire thing beforehand, predicting the outcome all along, almost in a self-centered, sick, twisted charade of “I told you so” whilst talking to himself.
After all, even Mosher has intimated that he and Willis could get some action going on this website “if they wanted to.” (and then their little tiff in the Ravetz thread.)
Sorry, I call BS on all of it.

“So I ask you Dr Ravetz, are you willing to DENOUNCE the shenanigins of bad climate science practitioners? are you willing to denounce their past, present and future shenanigins widely and often? Not just in the blogs but everywhere you have a voice?”
Denouncing is something out of religious wars and political wars. What many of you want is a return to normal science. It’s odd then to predicate the return to normal science on an inherently political/religious act. Its as if you believe that the only way to de-politicize science is by taking a political act. And you use the oldest political/religious action to get back to normal science. You demand a recantation and demand that heretics of normal science be burned at the stake.

ron cram
“But I am convinced that the best way forward is to show that urgent decisions are not required and that allows us all to go back to normal science.”
how exactly do you propose to show that? Who will “show” this and how will you force them to “show” it. By forcing them to do the science you want? your way? That sounds like bending the science to your political will.
Here’s the problem. Once science has been politicized you cannot “simply” return to normal science. It takes the use of power to do that. Are you going to force hansen to think differently? defund him? defund all the scientists who believe action is required? Stop all science ( thats way abnormal). Sorry, the return to normal science is not a simple re virgination process. Its inherently political. post normal.

Oliver Ramsay

I would never vote for Sarah Palin…. or any other US politician, actually, and nobody’s invited me to do so, since I’m Canadian and should probably mind my business.
However, I’ve worked in Alaska and can attest to the fact that you can see Russia from there, even from Wasilla!
The thing is that you have to peer into the past to do it, not across the Alaska Range and the Bering Sea. Alaska used to belong to the Russians and I bet they’d love to have it back. You’d better hope they ask Sarah and not Barak, ‘cos he might just let them have it; just so’s we can all be friends! Sort of Jerome Ravetz style.
I seriously do not get this whole Chamberlain/Gandhi thing that’s going on.

“The climate issue is not a simple normal-scientific one of verification or refutation of an hypothesis. It has become a ‘total’ issue, involving policy, politics, investments and lifestyle; and it has a history.”
A “scientists” engaged in “policy, politics, investments and lifestyle” is not a scientist, because fundamentally a scientist is a dispassionate objective interrogator of the evidence, whilst all these other areas are subjective bias advocates for only one point of view.
That is why the climategate emails were so damaging. It showed that almost everyone involved in the climate was a partisan petty politician pushing their own point of view and moulding the evidence to fit their point of view rather than following the evidence where it naturally led.

Westcoasttiger

I have to say I agree with Dr. Ravetz and his take on Palin. I have always tried to steer away from having politicians speak for the skeptic side – I don’t want to have the perception of spin doctors swaying public opinion; I’d rather have good science win the day. But I can sense Ravetz’s sentiment against Palin and for what I think is her association with Tea Party supporters. I may be lighting my own bonfire at the stake here but I don’t care. If the mention of Palin brings about strong feelings outside the realm of science, then I feel his negative association with her is vital. Tea Party supporters tend to be against “elitist” science and that’s the wrong approach: anti-AGW shouldn’t be about condemning science and ignoring it but rather championing good science. Honestly? I don’t see how anyone who has the capability of understanding the failings of global warming science can hold Palin as a viable candidate/leader of the most advanced nation in the world. There’s a disconnect there. Even a grass-roots movement needs some capacity for deep thinking. Do you really believe someone who bailed on her duties of the governorship of Alaska is capable of multitasking the myriad of global problems we’re faced with today? I’m a life-long Republican but she and her devotees scare the crap out of me!