Over-cooked or well done?

Bishop Hill has yet another amusing entry on the post facto revisionism going on over at the oxymorinically named Skeptical Science blog run by John Cook. Add to that, Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. also has an entry where he says he’s given up trying to have a dialog on science with that very website.

While this may be humorous, maybe even satisfying to some, it really illustrates the sad polarization that we have today over climate science. The polarization is so intense, that it almost precludes any rational communications.

Of course we skeptics can argue that we’ve been treated badly, and we’d be right. AGW proponents tend to argue that we are simply too stupid to communicate with, and that they have the moral high ground, and thus the means justify the ends. Here for example is a response to a commenter by Grant Foster, aka Tamino:

Espen | November 4, 2010 at 4:45 pm

I’m not sure why you need to be so rude, and I should probably leave and never come back … [edit]

[Response: I’m not sure why you need to be so stupid. Please leave and never come back.]

In some cases, like above, we can’t even get a word in. Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. seems to have the same problem over at Skeptical Science, he writes:

I have been commenting for the last several days on Skeptical Science in their post

SkS Responses to Pielke Sr. Questions

While there have a few constructive interactions, many of the comments are not only not constructive, but demeaning.  I also spend considerable time repeating myself in answering their questions. I am disappointed as I was hoping that Skeptical Science was a weblog where a diversity of views can be discussed constructively. However, the moderators on that weblog failed to adequately police the comments.

After reading myself at SkS how grubbily Dr. Pielke  has been treated in the dialog there, is it any wonder he’s chosen not to try anymore?

At Bishop Hill, he’s pointing out a timeline regarding Cook’s revisionism of posts and moderator response to posts. Again we see the same sort of problems.

But, hasn’t it always been that way since the very beginning of the issue? The combination of perceived moral high ground mixed with the educated liberal mindset, combined with a dash of anonymity, in my opinion, leads AGW proponents to revert to tribal mannerisms in dealing with others whom they perceive as inferior in intellect and creed.

On the plus side, this very behavior, which seems to be omnipresent in AGW proponent circles, (though skeptics have a few bad examples too) is part of the reason why skeptics are winning the war of public opinion.

Reading both of these posts is instructive:




Note to commenters, on some other blogs the Skeptical Science website is referred to as SS.com with the obvious violations of Godwins Law immediately applied. Such responses will be snipped here in this thread should they occur. We don’t need to demonize our opponents, as they are doing a fine job all by themselves through their own words an actions.


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In other words:
[Hands over ears] La-la-la-la-la-la… I can’t hear you! Go away!


The most egregious recent example of course is Ross McKitrick’s description of Wolfgang Wagner as a “groveling, terrified coward”. Setting quite the example for your students there, Ross. Did he ever apologize?

Robert M

Look at it from their viewpoint. The “Team” has to know that they are supporting a lie. They are “scientists” on the wrong side of science. What do you have left when you live a lie. We are dealing with sad little men that are unable to break out of the corner they have painted themselves into. That has got to be a strange place to live in, and I imagine that even though the money keeps rolling in, the knowledge that their little trillion dollar scam will end one day has got to be weighing heavily on their thoughts.
When you think about it, their reaction to a real scientist when he drops by to point out some of their more obvious failings is exactly what I would expect from people who know deep down that they are nothing better then morally bankrupt pitchmen who are hawking a product that is making life harder for people all over the world.

Gary Swift

Mis-quotation is a common theme from those types of posters. I commonly see them try to subtlely change what I said, so that it seems like I said something dumb. Then they have a straw man to easily defeat, in stead of responding to anything I really said. I’ve seen it done so regularly by the same people that I am sure they do it intentionally. Some of them are very skilled at derailing a conversation that isn’t going the way “they” want it to go.
I usually then quote myself and then quote thier misquote, and then point out that they are using a straw man argument.
That is usually followed by some name-calling such as “tard-boy” or something similarly offensive. I think the desire at that point is to completely shut down the conversation, as they know most other readers will stop reading the comments at that point. I’m almost convinced that some of them are organized volunteers, but that’s a bit too tin-foil-hat-ish. Am I the only one who feels that way sometimes?


The best thing to do is to remain aloof – as far as is practical. We can and must remain vigilant against nastiness and snark – but it has to be said that some folk do deserve it!
In the couple of years I’ve been following here, I have noticed that most of the commenters here are at least relatively civil – perhaps those pro-AGW guys can educate the ‘queen’ bees when they return to their natural ‘hives’ ?

It used to bother me that we weren’t really permitted to have a dialogue with those people at their sites. But, as time proceeded, I learned that it wasn’t that important, in fact, their aberrant behavior has been a boon to the skeptical perspective.
A while back, I had stated the time for serious dialogue has passed. It is time to move to ridicule, mockery and scorn. I believe the actions and words of the likes of skep sci and even better, Dessler and Trenberth, Mann and the whole cast of idiots that would be earth engineers have made a very good case that I was correct. We should just point and laugh at them. As far as the science goes, all we have to do is to continue as we have for the past few years.
It doesn’t do any good to debate whether or not the missing heat is in the deep. He’ll just “find” it somewhere else without actually observing it. Dessler? Just keep pointing to his idiotic response to SB11. Mann? Just point to what Trenberth said about openness in his response to SB11. Hansen? Well just point to whatever he last stated or did……. and the beat goes on.
Don’t forget to ridicule! It is a powerful tool in a debate.


And speaking of the grovelling terrified cowards Ted, they won’t even allow the science to be tabled-

Anything is possible

No need whatsoever to go down the Godwins Law route…..
The concept of an entire population suffering economic hardship and political oppression in pursuit of some half-assed ideology is far more reminiscent of the Soviet Union…

S Basinger

I think that Ross McKitrick’s description was an accurate one, to be honest. To try to take out the feet of someone’s paper by insinuation that there was something wrong (but no retraction), a dramatic resignation, then to write an apology letter to someone who could do damage to your career because you dared let a dissenting opinion be published – is certainly the act of a “grovelling, terrified coward”.
This poor example was magnified further by the fact that real scientists Dessler and Spencer, even though they disagreed with each other, started to work collegially on Dessler’s rebuttal of Spencer. (To be honest, this example these two men made have caused a lot of people in the fields on both sides of the debate look childish in comparison).
Anyways, Ted, if you took a while you’ll probably find that your note here will tend to stand vs on the other side of the debate, where you’d be edited out and ridiculed until you left. That is why people who have been AGW agnostic, such as myself, tend to like to hang out places like here rather than on the other side of the debate. The only shining exception being Scienceofdoom, which is pretty well run, fun and educational.


[snip – this doesn’t help, if you disagree with the commenter, don’t fall into the same trap of words, please rewrite/resubmit- Anthony]

Anything is possible

How does Climate Change Community Protection sound?
REPLY: Like demonizing your opponent – Anthony


Aside from having a more civil and educated bunch of posters, I have to tip my Chuck to CTM for keeping things civil.


As it becomes more obvious that a confluence of natural cycles caused an incredibly minor global gross temperature increase and that AGW is insignificant, if at all, those who have invested all of their credibility in AGW are reacting poorly.
It would be far smarter to get out early as some former Warmists are in fact doing, rather than be proven the fool.


I am not a scientist but I have been impressed by the level of debate on this site in contrast to some others, I have learned a lot here and what is written is learned, academic and civil. Furthermore it has persuaded me to the more sceptical stance by virtue of the reason and logic exhibited by bloggers and scientists and, thank you has introduced me to Bishop Hill. Well done Mr Watts, this site is brilliant.

Ted says:
September 22, 2011 at 10:01 am
…………….. Did he ever apologize?
Who? Ross or the groveling, terrified coward? Ross doesn’t need to apologize for being accurately descriptive. Wagner has apologized (allegedly), but not to the proper people.


🙂 thanks. i had an inflamed credulity gland but it’s no longer tumescent. it was from that rhetorical fallacio of the lusty trolls, you understand…

Pull My Finger

Sometimes demonizing your opponent is appropriate, especially when their side wants to make life short and miserable for millions of people. It is not an exaggeration to state that the Progressive Left have hitched their social engineering wagon to climate change and would certainly institute Politboro of the Enlightened if given an opening. In many ways they already have as so many of them man government agencies that operate outside of congressional oversight.

I have been using the AGW arguments for a while as prime examples of the modern use of Rhetoric (in the Classical sense, as opposed to Logic) as a tool for dabate.
All of the classical Fallacies of Informal Logic are manifested eventually. They are useful not because they lead to correct conclusions (as does Logic) but because they are especially persuasive when used on uneducated audiences. The Straw Man, for example, is almost inevitably preceded by a misquotation.
This is because the fallacies invoke immediate emotional responses that short-circuit logical responses (which take a bit longer to self-assemble).
As in classical debate, ad hominem attacks are the indicator of desperation driven by a deficit of topical substance (intellectual bankruptcy). They are usually followed by emotionally-generated insults (profanities from the less erudite). When the insults are formally exchanged by both parties, the argument collapses into either a ‘draw’ or a brawl.


James Sexton says:
September 22, 2011 at 10:16 am
Along that same line…..
I can’t understand why we’re still having a conversation about it at all.
If there was ever an epic fail, it’s computer climate games………..
Not even accounting for temps falling, sea levels falling, etc etc
How in this world can anyone still believe in computer climate games, when the heat is missing?
If you can’t find the heat that the computer games says has to be there………..

Mike Bentley

Gary Swift,
Your comment on wearing a tin hat may have some merit. Think of it this way, one has to wear a tin hat (hardhat) in a construction zone. Seems to me that’s what we have in Climate Science – a construction zone, or at least it should be with all the variables that exist.
Of course, many of the people who model climate conditions point to the model and say “there’s your proof!” Which is like an architect pointing to the concept model of a proposed building and saying he’s actually built it.

PeterB in Indianapolis

“When in danger, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout!”
Basically, if I leave any comments whatever at a pro-AGW site, the more sense my comment makes, the more they resort to running in circles, screaming and shouting. All this does is convince rational people that the Pro-AGW crowd is well aware that they are in danger and their proposition is highly in doubt.
As stated in this article, their childish and socially unacceptable behavior merely makes people who don’t know much about the issue or who are on the fence gravitate towards the side of the fence where the people at least behave (mostly) with civility and act like reasonable human beings.
You have 2 choices: you can hang out with a guy at the pub who berates you and calls you an idiot (or worse) every time you disagree with him, or you can hang out with a guy at the pub who rationally and logically tries to refute your argument if you disagree, and even occasionally admits that he is wrong if your argument ends up making more sense than his.
Who is more likely to become your drinking buddy at the pub?


Here is a typical example of the output from one of The Team, none other than Peter Cox Professor and Met Office Chair in Climate System Dynamics at the University of Exeter, UK, and a Lead Author of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.

Mr Steamshovel channels Mr Squiggle!
Steve McIntyre it seems to me is somewhat misguided in his critique about the failure of The Team to keep on giving and giving and giving…
Keep your stupid data chaps, just keep up the Pythonesque output with it because we all need a damn good belly laugh nowadays.

PeterB in Indianapolis

Calling someone a coward is ok with me, if it is your genuine opinion that they have indeed acted in a cowardly manner.
Calling someone an idiot simply because that person disagrees with you is NOT ok with me, especially if the person who disagrees with you has made a well-presented, logical, and cogent argument which argues against your case and deserves a serious response.
You may or may not see the difference between those two statements.

Latitude says:
September 22, 2011 at 10:55 am
James Sexton says:
September 22, 2011 at 10:16 am
Along that same line…..
I can’t understand why we’re still having a conversation about it at all.
If there was ever an epic fail, it’s computer climate games………..
Exactly, that ship has sailed. It isn’t like these people are going to have an epiphany and say, “Gee, we’ve been a little harsh on the skeptics, maybe we should listen to what they have to say!”
For those fantasizing, that’s not ever going to happen. These people are totalitarian misanthropists convinced that a proven failed economic system is the appropriate direction for the world. They are lost to society.
For those that believe Dessler’s concessions and cooperation with Spencer is genuine, just re-read the introduction to Dessler’s original response to SB11. It was an intentional mischaracterization. These people don’t suddenly change in the way they deal with their fellow man. Zebras/stripes, leopards/spots.


Sorry a bit off topic.
[REPLY: Yes it is off topic. There are a number of threads here dealing with CERN and Svensmark’s theory. CHeck those and post your questions there. -REP, mod]

Frank K.

I frankly don’t really care much what an insignificant website like Skeptical Science and an equally unimportant person such as John Cook has to say about anything, particularly climate science.
In fact, I wouldn’t really care about climate science at all were it not for the fact that a bunch of insane lunatics who purport to be “climate scientists” want to destroy our economy and way of life. My mission is to cut these people off from any source of public funding, thereby making them fend for themselves in the private sector (where they can publish, speak, and pontificate to their heart’s content).


I have posted [under this handle] on skeptical science but my experience was not good.
The posts are still there so you can see how I was treated.
I was hoping to learn from and interact with knowledgeable people who might refute some of my beliefs [and just possibly agree with others] but I was disappointed.
First let me explain my knowledge [belief] of climate.
I believe that the climate since records can be explained by 1/2 ° C warming per century plus a 60 year sine wave as many skeptics do
The overall warming is so slow that it is of interest to climatologists but politicians can’t exploit it.
At Skepticalscience I would post on a thread about the 60 year sine wave and someone would respond that this wouldn’t explain the fact that it got slightly warmer over time. When I responded about the causes of the 1/2 ° C warming per century I was declared off topic and chewed out.
If I posted on a thread about the long slow warming someone would claim that the supposed acceleration of warming from 1978 to 1998 couldn’t be explained without CO2 and if I responded with the 60 year positive El Nino [PDO] cycle I was declared Off Topic and chewed out.
If the intent was to make me go away and stop posting IT WORKED !!!
I don’t believe the intent was to have an intelligent conversation about climate the intent was to silence dissent.
I nominate Whatsup to fill this void. [I wish I could post graphs in my replies.]
I also wish more true believers would comment on these threads.


Really, then few here have participated in the Globe and Mail (Canada) newspaper on AGW. Same with the National Post newspaper (Canada). This stuff is extremely mild to what I’m used to on a daily basis. The hard cold facts are skeptics on similar sites as I mentioned above where I participate must have a very thick skin and be capable of responding from a range of outright hate to sarcasm to facts and the manipulation of each combined. There in the rough and tumble world of the free for all you can’t survive without activating a full range of responses and give better than you receive across the board. This is a world not for the faint of heart – yet this is the real world where AGW journalists push their drug. Here skeptics meet the AGW many headed hydra in all out war. Each side constantly unloading their best and then some. And in this little war facts matter because this is the one total failing on the AGW side – few, very few understand any science what so ever. Which gives us skeptics the hard edge. And we use our weapons ruthlessly. That’s just the facts.
WUWT is calm and well mannered as is Steve’s blog and others. But here IS the science needed for out there in that other world I mentioned. Here and on other sites is where us Skeptics rearm, retool, and go back into battle armed to the teeth. BTW, we NEVER lose a battle what ever the level merely because our range of knowledge is infinitely better to that of the level of the AGW side. In essence Global Warming then is a many sided confrontation and each has its place in the scheme of things.

Ben Blankenship

Skeptics, do not feel singled out for unfair treatment by warmist sites. Welcome to the club. For example, Huffington Post carries readers’ comments that are mostly left-liberal. There is a reason. I regularly contributed critiques there for nearly a year before they decided to blackball my contributions. Yes, I was banned by HP, a distinction I wear (conservatively) with pride.

Gary Swift says:
September 22, 2011 at 10:13 am
I have seen the same beaviour both SkS and RealClimate. Gavin Schmidt does not do that. his flunkies do the dirty job for him

Pull My Finger

Here’s an example of the righteousness executed in the name of global waming.

Pull My Finger says:
September 22, 2011 at 11:55 am
Here’s an example of the righteousness executed in the name of global waming.
Yes, it would be different if this was a unique instance, but it isn’t unique. In every aspect of the implementation of the ideas generated by the CAGW hypothesis only works to rob people of the land, wealth, and liberties. The ideas are the antithesis of freedom, prosperity and treatment of all with basic human dignity. If one wonders what the world would be like if the alarmism had become accepted by the world’s populace all one would have to do is look at SkS and the other blogs and periodicals. Dissent isn’t tolerated and history is revised.
Some people read Nineteen eighty-four and took it as a warning, other took it as a playbook.

Mac the Knife

Wil says:
September 22, 2011 at 11:32 am
“But here (WUWT) IS the science needed for out there in that other world I mentioned. Here and on other sites is where us Skeptics rearm, retool, and go back into battle armed to the teeth.”
Well said, Wil !
WUWT provides the resources to educate our selves and others on AGW . Like voting in Chicago, we should educate ourselves ‘early and often’. Likewise, we can’t be apathetic about using the knowledge gained here to educate our families, friends, legislators and educators. This is essential work to the slow but steady progress being made in the public arena, refuting the false assertions of impending doom from AGW proponents, their flawed science, and the draconian economic measures they advocate.
Two men were standing at a bus stop conversing. One man said to the other “There’s only 2 things wrong with humanity: Apathy and Ignorance!”
To which the second man replied “Well… I don’t know about that… but who really gives a damn, anyway?”
A curious mind can overcome ignorance, but an apathetic perspective is much more difficult to engage, educate, and stimulate to take real action. Yet, it must be done.


The folks at SkepticalScience are pussycats and pretty well informed compared to those who hang out with Joe Romm at Climate Progress.

I’m very open-minded about all theories and I’m very tolerant towards other people’s beliefs and views, I enjoy reading up on mysteries and watching documentaries, I’ve even watched and enjoyed the recent history channel documentary Ancient Aliens, I don’t have to agree with anything at all in the documentary but it’s food for thought, But lets suppose one day the ‘Ancient Aliens theory’ was accepted and promoted as being mainstream cutting edge science and political figures around the world said there was a consensus, that we had all better pay a tax to prepare the planets population for the return of our Alien masters, I would expect to see some sceptical critique and resistance against the scientific consensus of the ‘Ancient Aliens theory’ and a demand for Empirical evidence supporting the theory.
So why is there such hostility towards a respectable and healthy sceptical critique, calling for Empirical evidence supporting the theory of the once ‘Anthropogenic Global Warming’ and now ‘Anthropogenic Climate Change’ which has wild and outlandish claims in support of expensive taxes regulations and carbon dioxide markets?
I follow and comment on hundreds of blogs, and sometimes I even behave myself, the only sites I read but never comment on are Climate Sites that I consider extremist or hostile in their opinions
(Except for one time, when I actually got an alarmist to admit that a certain Climatic Zone hadn’t changed, despite the article he wrote suggesting it had..HA) But even when taking the time to try to understand opposing views or science by way of asking questions it can end up in a hissy fit or foot stomping tantrum and it always ends up with obvious violations of Godwins Law, of course that’s when the fun starts /src and the insults start to fly.
I also think the ‘Ancient Aliens theory’ is more fascinating and those scientists who research it and debate it are a lot friendlier to criticism, and they get a lot of criticism. Go Figure!!.

Robert Hall

“Skeptical Scientist” is not oxymorinically [sic] named. It is a tautology; a redundancy, if you prefer.

Economics Research Fellow Paul Roderick Gregory observes:

Soviet Politburo September 8, 1927
“Trotsky: Let us present our platform to the party congress. What are you afraid of?
Stalin: Comrade Trotsky demands equality between the Central Committee and his opposition group. In whose name do you speak so insolently?
Trotsky ally: Why are you trying to hide our platform? What does this say about your courage?
Stalin: We are not prepared to turn the party into a discussion club.”
George Orwell, Animal Farm, Chapter 7
“They had come to a time when no one dared speak his mind, when fierce, growling dogs roamed everywhere, and when you had to watch your comrades torn to pieces after confessing to shocking crimes.”
E-mails from Phil Jones (East Anglia University)
July 8, 2004
“I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep them out somehow — even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!”
March 11, 2003
“I will be emailing the journal to tell them I’m having nothing more to do with it until they rid themselves of this troublesome editor.” . . .

Highly recommend reading Gregory’s article: Can We Really Call Climate Science A Science? to see how other researchers/scientists see “climate science”.

Ian W

Skeptical Science is not an oxymoron – it is tautological.

fortunate cookie

The dynamics of this discussion are reminiscent of past dust-ups that I’ve had when attempting to question elements of a local school budget proposal. Some people are so emotionally invested in promoting increased education spending as a way of demonstrating their own sagacity and enlightment and beneficence, that whenever anybody or anything threatens it by even a trivial amount, a truly astounding volume of viciousness spills out.
The ad-hominems and furious name-calling (“anti-education”, “Neanderthal”), irrational defensiveness, and phony straw-man arguments that have been hurled against me are strikingly similar to the tactics employed by the “true believer” CAGW proponents. My only “crimes” involved pointing out that the local school board had published a misleading graph of expenditures (which exaggerated benefits while improperly diminishing expenses), or demonstrating that the school board had used cherry picking in choosing the “bookends” of a graph of student enrollment levels to falsely imply that current levels were unprecedented, or suggesting that planning of desk space square footage had not taken into account the shrinking in size of personal computers.
I strongly suspect that “noble cause corruption” may be implicated in both situations. I have had obviously highly-educated people make obviously nonsensical arguments (for example, the fact that they have worked with computers the size of a whole classroom is evidence that the size of school PCs is not expected to get smaller) in order to counter an undeniable proposition that I have made. I have had a former professor write highly erudite sounding paragraphs amounting to nothing of substance in order to muddy the water and give the impression that my criticism of a demonstrably flawed and incorrect graph used by the Board of Education was somehow wrong.
Surely in other endeavours and pursuits, these people are fully self-aware, capable, and rational, however when certain deeply-held beliefs are challenged, those qualities get pushed aside and something darker takes over.
It would be amusing if it were not so depressing…


I’ve been following WUWT for quite some time and I find that climate skeptics are guilty are the very same bad manners that they accuse their opponents of having. I’ll take you folks more seriously when you start treating AGW proponents with more respect.

Gareth Phillips

Skeptical Science moderators intervened and gave me a dressing down when I suggested that supporting the shooting of thousands of polar bears per year while shouting that they were endangered sounded like double standards. I was also condemned for using rhetoric and suggesting peoples views of climate science often said more about them than the science itself. It seems to me that the moderators on that site abuse their positions by not facilitating debate and promoting discussion, but using a Taliban like adherence to climate orthodoxy to stop any deviation from the holy flame of climate truth, and to condemn anyone straying from the path of accepted concepts. As a left wing old hippy, environmentalist and luke warmer that sort of approach sounds suspiciously like totalitarianism propaganda of the sort we saw in extreme right and left wing dictatorships. Fascist approach to climate science? maybe not, but definitely heading down that road.
This was a spot on post which I copy with due thanks to the author:
The degree of dishonesty at SkS can only be appreciated by closely following the postings in real time to understand the degree to which the moderators abuse their powers by removing posts by those making sensible arguments against the established “truth”, often without explanation leaving no trace, yet allow the SS team players infinite latitude in abusing or denigrating those who bring original thinking to a table dominated by contributors who merely present parrot fashion, the work of those who they consider to be the holders of the truth.
I wish I had written that!


mhklein says:
September 22, 2011 at 12:49 pm
I’ve been following WUWT for quite some time and I find that climate skeptics are guilty are the very same bad manners that they accuse their opponents of having. I’ll take you folks more seriously when you start treating AGW proponents with more respect.
Respect is earned NOT given.


Misapplication of Godwin’s Law Anthony. I’m afraid you are using this law to tell people how to say things, rather than trying to keep people on topic. Godwin’s law was birthed on usenet as a general rule to know when a thread had run it’s course. It was not a way to control the use of words, parallels, and analogies when having a dialogue. If the topic in question involves behavior on which the name fits that is a different story and making such an analogy is not only appropriate, it’s likely good for the discussion.
Godwin’s law is essentially being used now to stifle discussion, the irony is amazing.


mhklein …
If you can’t see the difference in behavior then nothing said here can help you change your mind …


“The polarization is so intense, that it almost precludes any rational communications.”
I actually think it has been quite a good thing for them to have brought this point out in the open. Men like Pielke are fundamentally honest and fair, and men like that have a difficult time really accepting that their opponents are not. We have long since passed the point where rational communications are possible with the AGW crowd; which is why it is now purely a political fight, and one side is going to win and one side is going to lose. Our goal now must no longer be trying to witn them over, but rather to find ways to support putting people in power who will defund and destroy the AGW’s base of support. This is no longer an academic debate, this is political war.
good news – our side is winning. Hence all the screaming from theirs.
MHKlein; do you not understand that what is going on is not just “bad manners” but a fundamental trashing of the entire basis of scientific analysis, being done by the AGW proponents? They are screaming “science” while *Every* *Action* they take violates every principle true Science is founded on! To imply that the two sides are equivalent because, in your opinion, not everyone’s manners are impeccable is ludicrous. That implies that there are no fundamental issues in play here; but in fact what is in play is the most fundamental issue of all – What is Truth, and how do we Come to it? You appear to think that the messaging is all that matters, regardless of the message.


Anthony, you say:
“…, it really illustrates the sad polarization that we have today over climate science. The polarization is so intense, that it almost precludes any rational communications.”
While you are absolutely correct, it is important to bear in mind that the idea of “polarization” is a psychological ploy by design.
The AGW promoters deliberately and aggressively place anyone who disagrees with their agenda in the position of being an enemy – more specifically a (non-credentialed)non-person, often namely: “Denier” or worse. They use word constructions that attempt to force any skeptic that disagrees with them into responding in a form that all too easily makes the skeptic appear as “raging extremist challenging the poor little AGW centrist”. More often than not it is the AGW promoter who takes an extreme position, even (or especially) when the difference in viewpoints is minimal. By maintaining an extreme position in opposition to skeptics the AGW promoters try to force consensus by peer pressure.
The best response to this pressure is simple – it’s all about “knowing your argument inside out.” and simply and politely ( and where possible “wittily” or at least good-humouredly ) holding steadfast in the face of aggressiveness. In WUWT you have created a great website which provides information for all of us to be able to do so, and I thank you (And the other knowledgeable contributors) for it.
But one small thing needs to be very closely guarded against and it is the idea often foisted on Skeptics that they should “compromise”, be less extreme – in other words: Adjust their argument to be just a little closer to that of the cuddly centralist idea of the AGW promoter.
While we must be careful not to fall into using silly nastiness like the AGW promoters, we also must be careful that we are not allowing them to determine the language under which we act. To me the idea of us being poles apart is part and parcel of the AGW strategy and I refuse to accept it as an agreed polarization as such. Rather the polarization is a product of their strategy and where possible we need to make unerringly clear that they are responsible for it.
Sorry for the rant, but I think it is a small but important point that gets overlooked.

Mac at Bishop Hill (“Cooking the Books”, Sept 20) sent this in

Debunking Climate Lies No Longer Hit and Myth
Climate-change deniers have nowhere to hide thanks to an ingenious piece of software that detects inaccurate statements on global warming that appear on the internet and delivers an automated response on Twitter citing peer- reviewed scientific evidence.
The so-called ‘Twitter-bot’ is the brainchild of Australian webmaster John Cook and software developer Nigel Leck, and is part of an armoury of tools Cook has developed to rebut common myths and inaccuracies about climate change.
A physics graduate from the University of Queensland who majored in solar physics in his postgraduate honours year, Cook launched the Skeptical Science website in 2007 after becoming frustrated at lies and half-truths surrounding global warming. The site provides a scientifically accurate database of climate information…
…Cook has won the 2011 Eureka Prize for Advancement of Climate Change Knowledge… [part of] the most prestigious awards in Australian science…
Skeptical Science has published rebuttals to more than 150 climate myths featuring explanations in both plain language for the public and more technical versions for science aficionados. The rebuttals have been translated into 19 languages…
Cook has published the highly popular 12-page booklet The Scientific Guide to Global Warming Skepticism, which has been downloaded more than 550,000 times…

The public are on our side. But the above shows just how entrenched is the official science establishment.
When I did a U-turn from warmist to skeptic, Cook had a mere 54 “debunks”, each of which I had studied and found plausible, and therefore needed to deconstruct. It took a long time but I did it – if even one had remained, I would have stayed doubtful of climate skeptics. The full range of my deconstructions is what became my Climate Skeptics Primer (click my name).
Had I still been doing Climate Science near-full-time, I would be well into building a wiki to deconstruct each and every one of Cook’s “debunks”, to the level at which Cook (and official Science) could no longer ignore them. I actually set up a page. If anyone wants to take on this task please email me or just lift the whole page. Only problem of course is that Cook’s items are listed by popularity which constantly shifts, the list is forever growing, and MediaWiki finds the page a bit long, now.


There are two sites where skeptics and warmists can both post without being harassed and censored by the moderators. They are Whatsup and Climate etc.
I don’t see what the others hope to accomplish by harassing and driving skeptics from posting on their sites.
Realclimate is the worst. I posted about positive feedback being unstable and was directed to a humma humma answer and when I pointed out the moderators deleted my posts. I seem to have been permanently banned.
Skeptical Science is almost as bad, my posts are roundly panned by the moderators any good points I make are snipped. I am never disrespectful but the moderators don’t return the favor.
Their favorite trick is that if you have a 2 part argument 1 part or the other is always off topic so having a reasonable discussion is impossible. Why do they do that ? Are they afraid the committed will learn the flaws in their belief system?

I failed to emphasise, my last post was in response to the problem Anthony states here, of polarization and no dialogue. Quoting myself

When I did a U-turn from warmist to skeptic, Cook had a mere 54 “debunks”, each of which I had studied and found plausible, and therefore needed to deconstruct…
Had I still been doing Climate Science near-full-time, I would be well into building a wiki to deconstruct each and every one of Cook’s “debunks”, to the level at which Cook (and official Science) could no longer ignore them.
I actually set up a page.

I still think this is the way forward.

mhklein says:
September 22, 2011 at 12:49 pm
I’ve been following WUWT for quite some time and I find that climate skeptics are guilty are the very same bad manners that they accuse their opponents of having. I’ll take you folks more seriously when you start treating AGW proponents with more respect.

CAGW supporters making news often get quite a drubbing on WUWT (and deservedly so, in my view), but those who comment here and offer rational, civil arguments are treated with respect.
Unfortunately, while luminaries of the Climate Realist persuasion post and comment here, none of the self-styled ‘Climate Scientist’ elite have deigned to do so, despite invitations from Anthony. When they do, we will know that they have decided that science is more important than dogma, but I am not holding my breath.
/Mr Lynn