New term from the Chronicle: "Climate Thuggery"

Below is an excerpt of the piece:

Climate Thuggery

July 29, 2011, 10:04 am

By Peter Wood

Is anthropogenic global warming (AGW) a valid scientific theory?  Is it well supported by the empirical data or is it mostly an artifact of computer modeling?  I don’t have answers to these questions.  I stand, rather, on the side of those who favor rigorous scientific inquiry, transparency, and openness.  I am not a climate scientist, but neither do I cede the whole matter of answering such questions to the designated experts.  Good science doesn’t limit itself to the views of narrow-cast specialists.  Valid observations, corrective criticism, competing hypotheses, and rigorous testing can and often do arise from other sources.

It surprises me, however, that proponents of AGW, or what might be called the climate orthodoxy section of AGW theory, often respond to criticism and dissent with a kind of fury.  Far from welcoming discussion, they seek to suppress it. In doing so they jeopardize both their own authority and the prestige of the scientific community.

A month ago I posted on Innovations a brief item, “Bottling Up Global Warming Skepticism,” about the machinations of one of Professor Michael Mann’s ardent defenders, Dr. John Mashey, who has taken a no-holds-barred approach to silencing Mann’s critics. Mann himself has deployed nuisance lawsuits in a similar fashion. He has sued Tim Ball—a Canadian global-warming skeptic, an environmentalist, and former professor of geography—for libel for writing that Mann “should be in the State Pen, not Penn State,” for his role in Climategate. Mann also threatened a lawsuit against Minnesotans for Global Warming for a satiric YouTube video titled “Hide the Decline.” (YouTube suppressed the original video. There is now a “Hide the Decline II.”)

The tactic of suing critics of AGW theory to silence them isn’t Mann’s alone, and it isn’t the only extracurricular means the global warmists use in attempts to shut up dissenters. The BBC recently announced that in an effort to be more attuned to the scientific “consensus,” it would no longer strive to provide balanced coverage of climate issues. Its decision followed a report by the BBC Trust, “Review of impartiality and accuracy of the BBC’s coverage of science.”

The techniques vary. The results, however, are similar: What cannot be established by transparent science can be imposed by coercion and intimidation.

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

Read the entire article in-depth here:

http://chronicle.com/blogs/innovations/climate-thuggery/29919?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

h/t to Dr. Roger Pielke Jr.

Advertisements

58 thoughts on “New term from the Chronicle: "Climate Thuggery"

  1. The link goes to the Chronicle of Higher Education, not The Houston Chronicle. Good piece though.

  2. Worse, while all of this is well-known throughout the climate blogosphere, it isn’t known by the common populace. But, corruption can only be bottled up for so long. All of this will become known to the populace, like a veil slowly being lifted. When total realization occurs, the reaction won’t be pretty. But, they were told.

  3. “It surprises me, however, that proponents of AGW, or what might be called the climate orthodoxy section of AGW theory, often respond to criticism and dissent with a kind of fury. Far from welcoming discussion, they seek to suppress it. In doing so they jeopardize both their own authority and the prestige of the scientific community.”
    Exactly right. These pseudo-scientists are more interested in maintaining their own prestige and pursuing their own political agenda than the truth. A real scientist is open and welcoming of intelligent dissent so they can correct their mistakes and refine their theories for the sake of truth and the future betterment of mankind.

  4. The end result is what matters. The AGW ‘heavies’ and especially those who act in such an underhand and ‘scared’ way – (as per the old mantras, e.g. he who shouts loudest usually has nothing to say, and offence is the best form of defence, etc,etc) – WILL get ther comeuppence when the theory and the BS is shown to be false or falsified.
    Most normal people HAVE to believe that justice will prevail – it’s the basis of real society, and those who mock the system will hopefully come unstuck. OK, maybe the major Team players will get away with retiring early and taking gloden handshakes or whatever – but even war criminals got found out eventually… We must not dwell on the subject, but believe that the decent majority of our society will prevail. The scientific aspect is really no different in principle – we have to believe that the scientific method will eventually come through. With so many questions, and obvious ‘dissenters’ , the science is clearly not settled and we must believe that the truth will eventually prevail. I am not religious – but we must have faith in the better part of human nature rather than take the path of the ‘dark side’.

  5. Non-technical people rely on figures with moral authority to determine the “rightness” of the technical. Gore, a self-appointed moral leader of the environmental movement, does not claim to be a climate scientist, but to know enough and to have experts trusted enough to tell him the “truth” untarnished by energy company machinations, corruption, or ambition. So the non-technicals – the majority of the population – listen to what is said. In the depths of our souls we all believe that being good, you see, is better than being right, and the preferred road to be followed is the “good” one.
    The climate thugs who suppress dissent operate, or originally operated, from this sense of moral, rather than technical, imperative. What is the Precautionary Principle but a moral statement about how to act when you are uncertain? Go for the lesser evil when reports come in of a greater one.
    A sense of who we are as moral animals is key to our emotional survival. Fictions are created by all sorts of agencies to allow us to live with polluting, incarcerating and (in war) killing to keep our lives trundling along with minimal friction. When faced with the lies we have accepted, a threat to how we think of ourselves rises. Soldiers have breakdowns, or soldiers become hardened. There is no middle ground unless you accept that you were manipulated or acted wrongly under unknowable circumstances. Climate alarmists face a similar personal challenge from the skeptics. How are they to respond to the idea that they are dupes of a socio-political-monetary clique? Most, like soldiers, will become hardened or, as time passes, drift away and not think about what they did before, blaming less themselves than the times (whoever, not whatever, that means).
    We need those, like here, to point out the anger, not rebuttal, that disagreement with the warmists creates. We need those writers, this this writer, who point out when the Other Side plays fast with facts and dirty with disagreement. The right to speak for the masses lies with the representatives having moral, not technical, authority. Should Gore’s ex-wife speak out that she left him not for general life-style conflicts, but because he routinely cheated on her and was more interested in the money he was making as a environmental icon than he was in finding reasonable substitutes for fossil fuel oil, Al would lose his position of influence.
    So far the environmentalists have held the moral high ground despite their antics, because their antics are of the youthful foolish nature forgiven by us conservatives. Passion reigns within children; kids will be kids, we say. We need more Michael Manns, more Jim Hansens and Jim Salingers, not less. We need more soapboxes and shouting of outrageous things, not less. Then the facades will truly be revealed. Up close all actors show the paint that covers their true features.

  6. Of course they respond with thuggery – because they are knowingly committing mass fraud and deception. Like all criminals – they lie, cheat, abuse etc., to avoid get caught. If they knew their science was valid, they would not need to use these tactics.
    The AGW hoax will never be exposed until these people face criminal charges

  7. They do say that when you are in the right, you can afford to keep your temper and when you are in the wrong, you cannot afford to lose it.

  8. Desparate to keep all those funding tax/green dollars I guess. I bet the screams will get even louder as the cuts hit home.

  9. I never noticed the BBC attempted to “provide balanced coverage of climate issues” in the first place!

  10. The comments section there reveals quite a bit of mirror-less ivory-tower championing.
    Apparently you can’t make disparaging comments at all about anybody on the CAGW side without being completely biased. Even if your only point is to suggest that the rhetoric die down some, you cannot suggest that Mann did anything wrong. I think there’s still some intellectual waking up to do yet.

  11. It surprises me, however, that proponents of AGW, or what might be called the climate orthodoxy section of AGW theory, often respond to criticism and dissent with a kind of fury.

    Well, if you look at it as a movement with religious undertones rather than a true scientific philosophy, it makes sense. All religions go after heretics with fury it seems. Prof. Lindzen spoke very eloquently on this during his colloquium presentation at Fermilab on Feb 10, 2010. See:
    http://www-ppd.fnal.gov/EPPOffice-w/colloq/Past_09_10.html
    Prof. Lindzen was quite taken to task by the physicists in the audience and held his ground very well!

  12. Now the thugs are trying a new spin: “Recorrrrrrrd percennnnnnnnnt of US lannnnnnnnd areeeeeeea experrrrrrriencing exceptionnnnnnnnnalllllllll drouuuuuuuuuuuught!”

  13. It doesn’t take a climate scientist to appreciate that CAGW (i.e,. CO2 AGW, alias the greenhouse effect) is not a valid scientific theory:
    Venus: No Greenhouse Effect
    and
    Runaway Global Warming is Scientific Hysteria
    The climate “consensus” is incompetent. So are all the scientists who authoritatively push the greenhouse effect, in the name of their supposed “expertise”. It is time now to stop the worldwide political tyranny being imposed in the name of such blanket incompetence in science.

  14. Peter Wood has experienced that good old Warmista rage. It is quite astonishing that in the comments sections of Wood’s two articles the Warmista express the very rage that Wood has identified among the Warmista and criticized. This rage is not unique to Warmista. It is shared by the entire Left Wing of the Democratic Party. Apparently, when one has a mission from God (Marx) to identify the Capitalist Oppressors and terminate them, and the Left surely believes it has such a mission, then the fact that the context is one of rational debate has no bearing on their behavior at all. I have to say that the vitriol directed at Wood is of historic proportions. It is uncharacteristic of Sceptic blogs. Maybe the reason is that it takes place in the Journal of Higher Education. That journal is considered home turf by a whole host of academic pit bulls.

  15. SteveSadlov says:
    August 1, 2011 at 11:17 am
    Now the thugs are trying a new spin: “Recorrrrrrrd percennnnnnnnnt of US lannnnnnnnd areeeeeeea experrrrrrriencing exceptionnnnnnnnnalllllllll drouuuuuuuuuuuught!”
    They evidently haven’t been exposed to data from the Dust Bowl years of the 30s, when 75-80% of the country was in drought.

  16. I note that the most discredited political thugs of South-East Asia – the elites of Malaysia and Singapore – have, for decades, continued to use a version of the Mann tactic to sue and bankrupt opposition members of parliament in order to maintain their totalitarian rule. This guy is not a reputable scientist by my reckoning: he’s a politician.

  17. In Re my previous comment, you might find this site interesting.
    http://tinyurl.com/yrdkl6
    It’s the site for the Global Drought Monitor. Their maps are available on timescales from 1 month to 36 months. Scanning through them can be quite illuminating. While checking NA and the US you might also want to keep an eye on Greenland. You might gain a different perspective on all the hyperbole about the ice sheet there disappearing.

  18. To your question
    “Is it well supported by the empirical data or is it mostly an artifact of computer modeling?”
    the answer might be both. There is the possibility global warming of 0.7 degrees last century might be accurate and mostly anthropogenic, but the models are massively over-estimating the future warming from rising CO2 and massively. The reason is that the models deal with scenarios well beyond the known measurements. Furthermore, the projection of 3 to 7 times the warming this century is based not on linear extrapolation, but an upward curve. The shape of the curve is very hard to determine from huge natural variability, measurement uncertainties and the limited number of data points. Thus even thoroughly objective science can come up with widely different answers on the known data, whilst small biases, and alternative modeling procedures and create significant interpretative differences. Compare GISSTEMP with HADCRUT3 temperature anomalies for the last decade for instance. But the climate models rely on a number of different hypotheses, all of which much be modeled accurately in equations to the second or third derivative, or else the projections for a century or more ahead will have huge variability. Thus without a number of core assumptions and commonality of modeling procedures there will be such huge variations in results as to render the who message meaningless.
    The problem for the climate models is that the initial assumptions in the 1980s lead to the output variables being highly sensitive to any given input. The only way they can maintain the cover story of impending catastrophe is by becoming ever more dogmatic, and intolerant of the slightest dissent. It is not those non-scientists saying the whole thing is a hoax that they most fear, but the scientists who take a slightly different approach, or analyze a different data set and come up with a much more moderate, less alarming answers.

  19. Harry, why dont you send your paper to “Remote Sensing” ? Dr. Spencer got his paper accepted there….”Your Venus ; No Greenhouse effect”, I mean. Looks very clean and correct.

  20. HoraHypo,
    Rabett” is one of the worst rated professors at Howard U, the second worst school in the entire country according to Newsweek.

  21. Wow! I just read thru the majority of the comments (after having read the full article). I sure hope that Mandia et al are not being paid by my tax dollars… The continuous bleating about how they conduct real science and that those that question their orthodoxy are in the pay of the nefarious….. it beggars belief.
    Polarization continues and thankfully, they are on the defensive, rightfully so. The cooling of the planet will likely precede the cooling of heads but these guys make fanatical zealots look like stoners.

  22. “Climate thuggery.” Makes me want to write a limerick. Something about adjusting data…

  23. Theo Goodwin says:
    August 1, 2011 at 11:26 am
    PJB says:
    August 1, 2011 at 12:39 pm
    The comments to Mr. Wood’s are indeed revelatory. These folks seem entirely incapable of stopping themselves, even when it is abundantly clear that what they are doing is self destructive. Any rational person, who stopped to read what they had written before posting it. would have to realize that they were just reinforcing the point that they were supposedly arguing against. But these folks, even after having this repeatedly pointed out to them, just continue to come back with more of the same. I used to think that leftists suffered from a collective neurotic disorder, but lately that seems to be way to tame of a diagnosis. The very existence of anyone who doesn’t completely share their worldview appears to be pushing them into a full psychotic breakdown.

  24. “It surprises me, however, that proponents of AGW, or what might be called the climate orthodoxy section of AGW theory, often respond to criticism and dissent with a kind of fury,”
    ============
    “Fury” may not accurately describe the response.
    It seems to be visceral.
    An overturning of ones beliefs.

  25. jorgekafkazar:
    There’s a problem with the most obvious rhyme, which has likely been used in a lot of limericks.

  26. “It surprises me, however, that proponents of AGW, or what might be called the climate orthodoxy section of AGW theory, often respond to criticism and dissent with a kind of fury. ”
    Surprised by that crap? Don’t get out much, does he?

  27. As most would know, most scientists that have opposed or question the CAGW mantra are retired, elderly and now some are deceased.
    The last few upcoming generations of candidates for a scientific careers have been tainted by the last thirty years of Global Warming propaganda from kindergarten through primary and secondary schooling to university level. You see it reported from the US, Australia and the UK.
    Just the example of the Gore influence, with The Climate Project presenters, which number in the thousands across the world. Then there is youth climate groups mentored by Gore.
    I keep coming back to the Australian Fabian Society (a Left leaning think tank) motto – “Slowly we shall achieve our goal”.

  28. Dave Wendt says:
    August 1, 2011 at 1:31 pm
    “I used to think that leftists suffered from a collective neurotic disorder, but lately that seems to be way to tame of a diagnosis. The very existence of anyone who doesn’t completely share their worldview appears to be pushing them into a full psychotic breakdown.”
    Spot on! Leftists were once merely neurotic. The university life once was quite pleasant and endlessly amusing. That has changed. Goodness, how that has changed. Leftists are in a full psychotic breakdown. It just might be that today’s Leftists have come to maturity without the benefit of any parental authority, leadership, or attention.

  29. jeez says:
    August 1, 2011 at 4:30 pm
    jorgekafkazar:
    “There’s a problem with the most obvious rhyme, which has likely been used in a lot of limericks.”
    Invent a new word. Let’s see, ‘M’ is taken. Go the full monty. Use ‘F’.

  30. “It surprises me, however, that proponents of AGW, or what might be called the climate orthodoxy section of AGW theory, often respond to criticism and dissent with a kind of fury. ”
    Hmmm, you must be new to this game. These guys have set a new standard for “criticism” in scientific circles.* And it has been going on for probably 5 years now. It includes not only fury, but also an unfathomable amount of dishonesty, DENIAL, and defamation! Way beyond the pale of normal science, that’s for sure! But thank God, they are now looking very, very pathetic to real scientists and even the public. LOL.
    *Of course, they are not acting like scientists at all, but as socialists and selfish idealogues.

  31. Whew, that commentary is volcanic. I’m so glad these people are mere effete effects of modern liberalism, or else we would have to be afraid for our lives. I think a couple of those vicious shrews (Tenney) posts here at times.

  32. There is much clucking among the lefty chatterati in the UK about the misdeeds of a nasty feral elite (in which “deniers” figure natch) that have brought “all these woes” down on us – they’ve all had irony-ectomies it would seem.

  33. Eco-leftist agitprop is always dismissing the rest of us as ignorant rednecks, when they’re the ones denying facts — maybe we should come up with a counter-pejorative. I suggest “green-bean-heads” since everybody knows green beans are hollow.

  34. jeez says: (August 1, 2011 at 4:30 pm): “There’s a problem with the most obvious rhyme, which has likely been used in a lot of limericks.”
    “Skullduggery?”

  35. When all this CAGW issue first hit the blogosphere and I started reading disagreements about the science. I was expecting to read arguments of interpretation, and competing theories.
    What I was really surprised to find, was that individuals, who do not have a vested interest or good understanding of the subjects, defending and fighting vigorously for somebody else’s work. Surreal, I thought. Why would someone put their own name and reputation on the line for somebody else’s theory, correct or otherwise. It’s their problem if it’s wrong and their congratulations if it’s right. I just can not understand why a third party with no connection to the study or the outcome, would fight so hard on behalf of somebody they’ve never met and probably never will.
    Personally, I think there is a lot more psychology going on within the climate debate than most of the participants are willing to admit.

  36. CRS, Dr.P.H. says on August 1, 2011 at 11:06 am
    … Prof. Lindzen spoke very eloquently on this during his colloquium presentation at Fermilab on Feb 10, 2010. See:

    For those not wishing to install the RealMedia (Video) Player (like myself) – there is the YouTube series of vids of that same presentation:
    “The Peculiar Issue of Global Warming” by Richard Lindzen 10 Feb 2010

    .

  37. jorgekafkazar said:
    August 1, 2011 at 1:17 pm
    > “Climate thuggery.” Makes me want to write a limerick. Something
    > about adjusting data…
    The warmers must use climate thuggery
    to hide all their huggery-muggery
    It’s data they’re adjusting
    whilst for power they’re lusting
    I wish [snip ~ ctm]
    jeez said:
    August 1, 2011 at 4:30 pm
    > jorgekafkazar:
    > There’s a problem with the most obvious rhyme, which has likely
    > been used in a lot of limericks.
    Yeah Jeez, I used it 🙂
    May not make it past the moderator though…
    Reply: It made it past one, but retroactively, not through me. ~ ctm

  38. “The tactic of suing critics of AGW theory to silence them”
    Mann didn’t sue Tim Ball for criticising AGW theory. He sued him for accusing Mann of criminal activity. Which accusation could be described as somewhat bullying, at least, and is cause for libel lawsuits in any field.

  39. I note that the UK Establishment heavy hitters used to ‘add weight’ to the silencing of critics are all biologists. Paul Nurse, Mark Walport and Steve Jones. The first two are head of the Royal Society and Wellcome Trust respectively, Jones is the latest scientist to become a TV front-man.
    They have taken a position which puts their careers on the line if they are wrong.
    That is their right.
    I just hope that, if they are shown to be wrong, they will consider their positions.

  40. @Greg Cavanagh
    I think that’s far too a narrow a take on it. Sure, there’s ignorant people, arguing out of ignorance – ‘coz they like arguing… There are some areas of AGW prosthletizing that require no specialist knowledge of science to instantly deconstruct and display as irrational, bonkers and untrue quasi religious dogma.
    It is dispiriting seeing people who by virtue of their prominence in their technical specialty should be able to spot the bald lies, simple logical howlers and tortuous distortions manning the barricades of CO2 – AGW cultists, defending the indefensible.
    The truly strange thing about it is that for many (who truly should know better) it’s not about “the science” or truth – the BBC here in the UK has been propagandizing ruthlessly for AGW and paying pop-sci bit players to run along it’s battlements hurling insults at the peasants stood around / outside the walls. And now they issue a fatwah on speaking contrary to dogma.
    This is about orthodoxy and heretical thought – and many in the AGW camp are keen on burning heretics… Many politicos keen to join in since they sense that if they don’t they might end up en masse on the bonfire themselves….
    I’m beginning to feel for Galileo and wonder if the eco-zealot warmists are going to persist like the Church of Rome

  41. Greg Cavanagh says:
    August 1, 2011 at 8:09 pm
    When all this CAGW issue first hit the blogosphere and I started reading disagreements about the science. I was expecting to read arguments of interpretation, and competing theories.
    What I was really surprised to find, was that individuals, who do not have a vested interest or good understanding of the subjects, defending and fighting vigorously for somebody else’s work. Surreal, I thought.

    We object to the other side’s logic flaws, misrepresentations, rhetorical excesses, smears, and proposals for extra taxation and submission to a UN-based governing authority. Hope I made it realer.

  42. The main issue when talking about ‘Global Warming’ is that they are correct that CO2 does trap more heat, they are also correct in suggesting that this will cause an increase in temperature. Where they are wrong is the postulation ( which it is at this point ) that large feedback effects will take place and cause massive warming, and that this warming will be detrimental. I find it ironic that few warmists have suggested that the temperature, by becoming warmer, may be a good thing. Or that an increase in the water cycle ( which is the main driver of ‘runaway’ Global warming ) would be ought but beneficial in the long run to society.

  43. Part of the fury may be because theirs is a belief system in decline – and in consequence they’re getting increasingly desperate. At some level they seem to know that AGW may be their last hurrah.
    Indeed it probably will be, because the Left is a luxury society can no longer afford.

  44. Interesting that environmentalists are using the same tactic they accuse others of in contexts like land development, at least in SW B.C.
    They rail about something like “Strategic Lawsuits Against P…..”, when someone like a land developer sues them for defamation.
    People will play whatever game occurs to them that they think will work.

  45. In one case a developer won the lawsuit against opponents who plain invented things, neglecting to walk even a modest distance to look at reality.
    (The term environmentalists use is Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, which leads to a catchy acronym SLAPP.)
    People try to abuse the courts for many things, though what environmentalists are usually trying to do abuse is the court of voter opinon – which a great many climate alarmists are guilty of.

Comments are closed.