Notes From Skull Island – why climate skeptics aren't 'well funded and well organized'

If our side were well funded and well organized, as warmists charge, it would have the following 22 characteristics–which it doesn’t.

Guest post by Roger Knights

Along with falsely claiming to be a Nobel Prize Recipient, climate “hockey stick’ promoter Dr. Michael Mann is often fond of saying:

“There has been, for years now, a very well-organized and frankly well-funded effort to confuse the public about climate change.”

Brian Martin, in his wonderful online booklet Strip the Experts, wrote that if your opponents:

“have a financial interest in what they are promoting, exposing it can be very damaging.”

This line of attack on skeptics has been very successful for the warmists in the past, which is why they constantly recur to it. But the recent skeptical attack has been mostly an indignant, blogger-led populist revolt against increased and unnecessary taxation and regulation (fewer barbecues, etc.) and against elitist presumption.

If our side were well funded and well organized, it would have the following characteristics: 

1. There’d be a slick umbrella site like HuffPo under which all dissident bloggers could shelter, cutting their costs, increasing ad revenue, and simplifying and standardizing the process of surfing the deviationist blogosphere, especially for visiting journalists. The effect would be to considerably “amplify” the dissenters’ voices.

2. Failing that, there’d be enough $ for individual sites to ensure that, for instance, Climate Audit would have been able to handle to traffic-surge in the wake of Climategate, instead of being overwhelmed. (How’s that unpreparedness agree with “well organized”?)

3. Commenters would be compensated for accessing paywalled articles. Instead, virtually every thread on WUWT that critiques a warmist paper laments its paywalled status and critiques only what is outside the paywall.

4. There’d be a copy editing & peer review service to vet our side’s books prior to publication, since any flubs will be seized on by warmists to discredit the entire work, as happened to Plimer’s book. Instead, dissenting books continue to be produced in an amateurish fashion. For instance, in Steve Goreham’s just-out (and excellent) Climatism!, I found two obvious spelling errors in just an hour’s skimming. (“Forego” for “forgo” and “principle” used where “principal” was needed.)

5. There’d be a PR agency to “package” stories emerging from the blogosphere and articles in scientific journals or contrarian columnists and feed them to media sources in easy-to-read, pre-edited form. (Or at least an unincorporated online network of funded individuals performing a PR function.) This is a topic that is so complex and filled with jargon that it desperately needs such pre-chewing to get the MSM to swallow it. But what do we have? Only Climate Depot, which provides leads, but no packaging.

As Mike Haseler wrote, “it’s blatantly obvious to me that the press need to be fed stories almost ready for publication, you can’t expect them to take highly technical writing and try and make sense of it!”

BTW, another contra-factual is Climategate. There was no pre-planned media-coordination involved in the matter. There was no campaign to alert them to its importance, nor any professional packaging of the story for them. No one gave Fox a heads-up. As a result, MSM coverage of the event was nil.

(As for the idea that the leak was “timed” to disrupt Copenhagen, that’s equally absurd. The story gained no MSM coverage at all for the first two weeks, because that’s how long it took to ascertain that the e-mails were legit and to untangle the rat’s nest of e-mails and shed some light on them and the Read_Me file. It took about four weeks for the scandal to really heat up, with outraged commentary finally appearing in some middle-of-the-road venues. Any professional media consultant would have advised leaking the documents six to eight weeks earlier than Nov. 20. By that time, attendees’ reservations and trip-plans were cast in concrete.)

6. There’d be a centralized, regularly updated, annotated, topically divided, web-wide index of useful “ammo” skeptical or skeptic-supporting articles. If I, or anyone, were cat-herder in chief, this would be one of the top items on the agenda.

7. There’d be a REPOSITORY for “quotes of the day” from blog commenters. (These get lost in the noise after a week or so otherwise.) Here’s an example, from Willis:

“First, my thanks to all the prospective henchdudes and henchbabes out there, a map to my hollow volcano lair will be emailed to you as soon as I get one. Well-funded mercilessness roolz! I demand a volcano lair!”

8. There’d be extensive book tours for every skeptical book published, to gain exposure in multiple markets via interviews in the local press, etc. Such tours could be extended for many months, well beyond any rational “payback” in book sales, if the real aim were to get media exposure – for instance by challenging local warmists to debates on the premises of the newspaper or broadcaster, etc. The funding for such a tour could easily be concealed.

9. There’d be an astro-turfed tag-team of high-stamina commenters assigned to Win the War for Wikipedia by out-shouting and out-censoring Connolley and Co. They’d also go en masse to Amazon and give warmist books a thumbs-down and engage in comment-combats there and on other high-profile sites as well. But the dissenters in such venues have been an outnumbered, disorganized rabble.

10. Not only would there be more stylistic similarity, but the content would be less idiosyncratic as well. There’d be evidence of a “script” or list of talking points that skeptic commenters were following, instead of the typical home-brew assemblage of arguments.

11. There’d be an extensive online collection of opposition research, such as warmist predictions waiting to be shot down by contrary events. Such opposition research is so valuable a tactic (as is now being shown) that no political or PR consultant would have failed to insist on it.

E.g., a score of warmist predictions of less snowfall would have been at hand to counter Gore’s claim that the models predicted more snowfall. Similarly, the IPCC’s Assessment Reports would have been scoured for flaws and nits long ago. Instead, it wasn’t until Glaciergate that we got on its case in any semi-organized fashion.

12. There’d be an online point-by-point rebuttal of all the “How to Talk to A Skeptic” talking points, not just scattered counterpoints to a few of them. And there’d be a Wikipedia discussing those points and more in fuller detail. Lucy Skywalker is trying to assemble these, but it’s obviously an unfunded effort.

13. The Oregon Petition Project would have been handled professionally. I.e., there’d have been no short-sighted tactics such as use of NAS-lookalike typography, no claim that the signers constituted “a meaningful representation” (let alone that the consensus was on the skeptics’ side), no claim that all the signers were scientists (when some were technologists and dentists, etc.), and no implication that the signers had all been vetted. A skilled propagandist, such as one hired by King Coal, would have avoided such a transparent over-reaching, which threw away the petition’s effectiveness by handing the opposition a chance to counterpunch effectively.

14. There’d be a place for the reposting of the “highlights” of WUWT and other skeptic sites, and also such sites would have editors who would retroactively (after a month or so) work on a “sister site” consisting of “Highlights of WUWT,” in which outstanding paragraphs would be flagged and/or highlighted. This would make it easier for newcomers and journalists to effectively skim it and notice our better arguments and facts.

Such editorial work could be done by people who have good judgment and lots of knowledge of the issues, like Pamela Gray, Lucy Skywalker, etc.

15. There’d be a reposting of “negative highlights” from warmists’ sites in which the unsavory qualities of their leading lights and hatchetmen were on display. Call it, maybe, “Quoted Without Comment” or “Get a Load of This.” It would make an impact on fence-sitters.

16. We’d be conducting polls of various groups of scientists designed to offset the effect of such polls by the other side.

17. There’d be mass distribution of my broken hockey stick button. (Here’s a link to a comment where I describe the button: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/20/dueling-statements-in-the-american-chemical-socity-science-by-press-release/#comment-1062323 )

18. There’d be a spiffy ad campaign consisting of short spots (20 to 40 seconds) that would focus on making one quick jab at the warmists. There should be a standard format for these ads, such as a common tag-line, music, lead-in, graphics style, etc. It could be built on Anthony’s TV-show items headed, “Did You Know?” The touch should be light, with the aim of making the spots entertaining, such as by including little bits of silly rhymes, etc. The ads should also be “different,” to get around viewers’ defenses, and to make the message “sticky.” Care should be taken to avoid overstatement, and to make qualifications where necessary, to forestall counterpunches.

One easy target, because of its good “visuals” and absence of technical obscurity, would be to show non-performing wind turbines and weed-overgrown solar-panel farms. The failure of these ventures (relative to the promises that were made about them), and the fraud associated with them abroad, would be a benchmark against which other swarmist claims could be judged.

Here’s an example (one that would not have had the negative consequences of the Unabomber billboard): A close up of of short bursts extracted from Chavez at Copenhagen ranting at length ala Castro (a superimposed stopwatch behind him would indicate the passage of time). At the end, the camera would pull back and show the standing ovation he received.

Then a text message would appear on-screen saying: “Chavez was allowed to exceed his ten-minute speaking time.

Where?

Three guesses. …

Why?

Three guesses. …

Is your congressman applauding too?”

(PS: I suspect, from the leftist venues Mann’s spoken at, and from his victim-of-a-conspiracy mindset, that he’s on their side.)

19. Certain fringe or off-topic comments would be “moderated” out, because they step on people’s toes and don’t play well in Peoria. E.g., New World Order theorizing, bolshy bashing, boot-the-UN and tar-and-feather-‘em remarks, and most attribution-of-motives comments. Populist “venting” of all sorts would be toned down; instead the stress would be on sweet reasonableness and out-reaching to the average citizen and opinion-leader. Any media pro would advise that course, especially one with a big funder behind him (who wouldn’t want to be tarred by association with tin-foil-hat opinions (if news of a link ever came out)). Such a “mainstream” tone and mindset would be the fingerprint of any top-down campaign on a scientific topic.

20. There’d be much more stress on arguments that would move the masses and that don’t take a degree to understand. I.e., arguments about the costliness, technical impracticality, and political unenforceability of mitigation strategies, and about the ineffectiveness of massive CO2 emission-reduction in the atmosphere even if all those obstacles were of no account.

If skeptics were truly Machiavellian, or guided by political “pros” behind the scenes, they’d be hitting these popular hot buttons. Those are where the warmists’ case is shakiest — and it’s always a good strategy to focus on the opponents’ weakest points and pound on them endlessly. Instead, these topics make up only 10% or so of the skeptical thrust. Most dissenters devote most of their energy to talking about weather events, dissing believers, and arguing about technical and scientific matters.

21. We’d be pushing geoengineering as the preferred “adaptive” alternative to mitigation. It’s something that the average man can understand as a general concept. E.g., if it rains, open your umbrella. Instead, contrarian bloggers we’d virtually never mention geoengineering except to sneer at it.

22. We’d make a point of proposing reasonable-sounding, politically popular “no regrets” mitigation measures, such as diesel cars (like Europe’s), inducements for homes to convert from oil to gas for heating, incentives for insulation (including large awnings), incentives for battery assisted bicycles (like China’s), increased use of hydro-power, and research into safe, low-waste nuclear power. Any PR “pro” would recommend this strategy of sweet reasonableness.

But many outspoken contrarian bloggers & commenters have a strong aversion to governmentally mandated incentives and penalties—a distinctly minority position that it would be politically wise to conceal. In addition, contrarians aren’t interested in playing up to an audience—they are focused almost entirely on mocking and scoring points against the enemy.

Big Oil? Baby Oil is more like it. Ologeneous overlords? My companions and I on Skull Island laugh until we vomit.

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j ferguson

Item 21.
I don’t think “geoengineering” as the term is employed by the catastrophists is intended to be reactive, but more likely includes various “mitigating” techniques to affect “susceptible” parts of the climatic environment.
This approach would be the most physically risky of the families of mitigation schemes – due to “unforeseen consequences.”

Mann’s knee jerk response to McIntyre’s smashing of Hockey Stick statistical analysis, or lack thereof, was to ask where his “funding” came from, as if real science must be funded by someone other than the scientists themselves.

DirkH

“As for the idea that the leak was “timed” to disrupt Copenhagen, that’s equally absurd. The story gained no MSM coverage at all for the first two weeks,”
NOTHING gains ANY MSM coverage when it’s against the orthodoxy. Well, maybe a short notice on page 15, but only so the newspaper or broadcaster can later doe-eyed state that they dutifully reported.
Witness the documented DECISION by the BBC NOT to report the skeptic position in about 2006. And the BBC is supposed to be especially impartial as they do not depend on commercials for their operation… well, calling them impartial is of course a sick joke.
The name or existence of climategate is here in Germany to this day entirely unknown to the general public – which at the same time swallowed the alarmist position unthinkingly, as they all don’t even look into WHY their electricity bills are exploding – this in spite of the fact that the various taxes and fees are listed in detail on the bills they get as required by law. Absolutely breathtaking ignorance around here.

Gunga Din

I was once accused of having a “fossil fuel agenda”. I suspect my only payback will be the lump of coal my wife my be putting in my stocking this year.

Perhaps if the IPCC wasn’t so well funded the global temperature wouldn’t be rising so fast
http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/IPCC-GT1995-2011.htm

You’ve missed one, Anthony.
I would be sunning myself on some warm beach today.

RockyRoad

Nothing makes a group like “climate skeptics” more organized than stubborn adherence to the truth.
And the corollary regarding the Warmist movement is that nothing is more disruptive than irrational logic.
Any wonder which side is winning?

Good list! – though ‘ologeneous overlords’ – perhaps ‘oleaginous’ or is the neologism better?

My 4-inch thick “Webster’s Third New International Dictionary” lists both “forgo” and “forego” as acceptable spellings. I prefer “forego” (and “foregone” and “foregoing”), always have and always will, obviously because that was the way it was commonly written in the very many books I read growing up, and has for all of my adult life been part of my “writer’s ear”, as well as my writer’s art. “Forgo”, if you look up “for-“, clearly comes from the meaning of “for-“: “so as to involve prohibition, exclusion, omission, failure or refusal”; “forego”, on the other hand, equally clearly comes from “fore-“, basically “before” or “in front of”. I prefer to see the meaning of “I will forego” (ex.: I will forego the use of “forgo”) as, “I will go another way before I do that” — and if I never get around to doing what I am foregoing, too bad. On spelling and pronunciation grounds, too, “forego” is preferable in my view. Both forms have equally long and authoritative geneologies, or etymologies, and both look equally stupid if you look at them long enough (“forgo” evokes an image of “Forgo, the forger”, while “forego” takes on the look and sense of “For-e-go, the new game from Milton-Bradley”). Here’s a tip I just made up: One has to look upon English as one’s beloved child or pet, and love it wholeheartedly, not be always bringing its use up short as if it were an ugly thing that needs to be punished. And this is important, although of course off-topic to many here, because this is as far as I read of your article here — I do not suffer the insufferable pedant (I forego imbibing his/her information).

john robertson

Well wheres my funding then?
Rats there is none as I am not prepared to lie to further my cause.
The term I have been hearing of late is, a self assembling mechanism, a collection of people who respect science and truth.
So if we were well funded, as the “righteous guardians of the Cause” keep claiming, we would lie, abuse and smear just like they do?
And the criticisms of the gospel,of which we are not worthy to see the details, would be challenged by similar work, with the data and process concealed to preserve the message?
I have hope for mankind, after all the political correctness, the dumbing down of public education and open propaganda these central planning schemes are still not working.
An aspect of our nature is contrariness.
And the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
I am pleased to see how fast this manufactured public hysteria is collapsing, mostly of its own weight.
Most people do not know the specifics of climatology. But we all know the stench of dishonesty and treachery.

Adam

Come on Anthony, we all know you fly around in a private jet and live in one of your several huge mansions near the coastline and have made almost a billion dollars from your investments related to climate change. Oh, sorry, wrong guy! That’s not you is it. Can’t remember the name of the chap who lives like that. Can anyone remember his name?

Stonyground says:
I wonder why hugely wealthy fossil fuel companies are not tipping huge quantities of funding in the direction of those who are sceptical of CAGW alarmism? Surely this rush toward renewable energy is a huge threat to the fossil fuel industry’s profits, they need to take urgent action. Otherwise they will go out of business as the world turns to solar and wind for their energy needs.
Of course, the reality is that windmills and solar panels are actually increasing consumption of coal, oil and gas due to their intermittent power output. Why would the fossil fuel industry want to fund people who want to derail their gravy train?

Shortly after the Blessed East Anglia Event Horizon on Nov 19, 2009 the WaPo interviewed Warmist and renowned ETHICS expert, Dr Gerry North of TAMU, on the “damage” of the UEA hack. North stated these were STOLEN emails and it was UNETHICAL for anybody to read them. After that, our “ethical news media” did not need any further review.
In the interest of full disclosure, I have co-authored a book on the Warmist Fraud, with royalties that paid for a full year of my website hosting. I have been the invited guest speaker at a number of civic club meetings, where i received FREE LUNCH….in direct conflict with the saying there is no free lunch. I once mentioned my luncheon speaking engagements to a politician who phrased those events as the “rubber chicken circuit”….which seemed odd….until i was served my plate of “rather chewy” chicken. Meanwhile we continue to fund the free lunch for the IPCC Foie Gras circuit.

John A

2. Failing that, there’d be enough $ for individual sites to ensure that, for instance, Climate Audit would have been able to handle to traffic-surge in the wake of Climategate, instead of being overwhelmed. (How’s that unpreparedness agree with “well organized”?)

That’s right. Rub it in.

Björn

That was quite an ingenious post, why hadn’t i thought of making it?
Thanks, very good.

highflight56433

“An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less.” – Nicholas Murray Butler
From “Strip the Experts” is a paragraph regarding fluoridation of public water. An example of the “experts” dictating what is “good” for you. Forced medication on the unsuspecting general public’s ignorance about fluorides. Similar is chlorination of water, when there are other methods such as ultraviolet and hydrogen peroxide that are biologically safer and more effective. Bastardizing science seems to be the norm when it comes to public policy along with selective “experts” to back them up.

auto

Roger – magnificent.
[SARC on]
In my – individual, but no longer individualistic – posts, I shall note your directions, and adhere undeviatingly and unceasingly to the Team Line.
Goodness [SARC off] – just in case!
Funny – in my original draft sentence there were three caveats and two rephrasings (and several orthographic infidelities)!
Your work on here over the years is greatly appreciated, and I am sure you will get a hollowed-out volcano for Christmas. Probably with infinity pools facing North, South, East and West!
Anthony’s might be a bit bigger still, though . . . . . . .

davidmhoffer

And our own movie! We’d have a movie!
It would of course be a horror movie. People pay good money to have the bejezuz scared out of them. The plot line could be a combination of 1984 and Fahrenheit451.

All these demonstrations are true and sceptical funding is near zero. However knowing this does not advance the repeal of Warmism. Only a stubborn adherence to the truth will finally strip away their armour. The tide in Climate Science seems to be on the turn and even nudging the IPCC cruise boat in the correct direction of rational logic.

Who is Richard Windsor?

Saw that at Curry’s. Excellent.

Well done for this comprehensive rebuttal. I once invited a believer in anthropogenic climate change to come to the housing estate where I live and come into my rented house, and tell me how he thought Big Oil was funding me. The invitation wasn’t accepted.

Neil

Roger, some of your points are excellent. Numbers 11 and 12 in particular.
But are you really suggesting that we skeptics should be trying to play our enemies at their own game?

Dr K.A. Rodgers

“As Mike Haseler wrote, “it’s blatantly obvious to me that the press need to be fed stories almost ready for publication, you can’t expect them to take highly technical writing and try and make sense of it!””
Sadly that is part of the problem with some of the postings here, such as Bob Tisdale’s “Blog Memo to John Hockenberry Regarding PBS Report “Climate of Doubt””
Science and logic are fine. But if the intended audience does indeed inlcude John Hockenberry it is too long, too wordy and too techy. Few in the media would take the time to digest it. And my experience of the press is that few in it able to interpret graphical presentations other than the bleeding obvious. Their standard diet is sound bites and bullet points.

Lil Fella from OZ

My father used to define expert as, ‘drip under pressure.’ Nuff said!

Gunga Din

highflight56433 says:
December 16, 2012 at 12:28 pm
“An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less.” – Nicholas Murray Butler
From “Strip the Experts” is a paragraph regarding fluoridation of public water. An example of the “experts” dictating what is “good” for you. Forced medication on the unsuspecting general public’s ignorance about fluorides. Similar is chlorination of water, when there are other methods such as ultraviolet and hydrogen peroxide that are biologically safer and more effective. Bastardizing science seems to be the norm when it comes to public policy along with selective “experts” to back them up.
====================================================================
Fluoride in water. True, it is the only thing in some cities in the US we add to the the water that are not for health or economical reasons. I met a guy in a gas station that wanted to tell me that fluoride was a component of psychosomatic drugs. But so is hydrogen, oxygen, carbon etc. It’s not the element but the molecule that matters.
Chlorination. The one thing that chlorination does that the other methods mentioned do not do is leave a residual in the distribution system. (Don’t forget ozone.) Disinfection is not sterilizatiion. Water bourn pathogens are killed or rendered sterile. (Other harmless “critters” may still survive.) But pathogens can be reintroduced into the system after the point of disinfection. That’s why a residual is important.
PS If you have a point-of-use carbon filter, be sure to change it on a regular basis. Acivated carbon filters remove chlorine. Bacteria loves to grow on activated carbon. Remember that disinfection is not sterilization. Some of the critters that may grow on your carbon filter may not agree with you.

Adam Gallon

Ah, but “Deniers” are so well funded & oprganised, that they make it look like they’re an ill-funded, disparate rabble!
PS, The Sky’s Falling!

One simple answer, the rational among us are less interested in dogma then in the distribution of power and wealth. We would like to think we are seekers of truth but just like the other side we are as a group most interested in our economic/social/political agenda then the other side.

Ah, it was so nice to see my name mentioned, thanks Roger. And this I find on the first careful reading of an article here for quite a while!
Stuff has been happening to me. Or rather, I have gotten clobbered with stuff. Weird but highly important energy stuff… and stories… and some… and some… I really would like to write about the essential implications for reclaiming good Science, and for what is called “exotic energy”, for WUWT in the New Year, so that we can get things in perspective, and get the wiki I started back on the road though preferably managed by others now. However, my first writeup attempt had not returned sufficiently to WUWT-compatible language, to sound credible here, after my extraordinary recent experiences. Tallbloke kindly prevented me from making myself look a fool, no doubt.

Gunga Din

7. There’d be a REPOSITORY for “quotes of the day” from blog commenters. (These get lost in the noise after a week or so otherwise.) Here’s an example, from Willis:
“First, my thanks to all the prospective henchdudes and henchbabes out there, a map to my hollow volcano lair will be emailed to you as soon as I get one. Well-funded mercilessness roolz! I demand a volcano lair!”
=====================================================================
I’ve no objection to Willis having a volcano lair as long as he doen’t start making rings …………

Bob Diaz

There’s something of a “double think” logic that they like to use to combat the climate skeptics:
(1) All research that does not conform to CO2 = massive global warming must be called invalid and declared paid for by evil oil companies.
(2) The large number of critical comments against AGW are made by paid people.
(3) A reporter, who has no degree in science, declares that AGW is worse than what we thought must be seen as the fountain of truth.
(4) ANYONE who does not agree with their narrow view is declared as “brainwashed”.
Bob Diaz

j ferguson says:
December 16, 2012 at 11:18 am
Item 21.
I don’t think “geoengineering” as the term is employed by the catastrophists is intended to be reactive, but more likely includes various “mitigating” techniques to affect “susceptible” parts of the climatic environment.

It appears that you’re right, per Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geoengineering . My understanding had been that it was an adaptive measure only, and included such large-scale things as fertilizing the ocean with iron oxide and adding sulphur compounds to the stratosphere. (Wikipedia includes painting roofs white among geoengineering techniques.) That is the way the word is commonly used in the press. I guess some new word is needed.

John West

If we were well funded and organized we’d have the clout to have Peter Gleick charged criminally.

Scarface

Isn’t it just great to see how the free spirits at the sceptics camp, unfunded and unorganized, are winning the argument? It must be very disappointing to be a paid warmist nowadays. How do they keep their heads up? Money, I guess, makes up for a lot for the humiliation.

Chris Edwards

“There has been, for years now, a very well-organized and frankly well-funded effort to confuse the public about climate change.” yes its the AGW crowd of scam artists!

Lew Skannen

I often hear about the Big Oil funding sceptics because they are scared of what CAGW awareness might to do their sales.
I ask the person I am talking to whether any oil company anywhere is having trouble selling its product.
No. They are not. They sell all they can produce.
OK so how about wind mill makers and solar panel fabricators – would they be affected if the CAGW was shown to be false? Err well yes. They would be approximately 100% out of business.
OK so who has the real motive to get involved in this debate?….

Neil says:
December 16, 2012 at 1:26 pm
Roger, some of your points are excellent. Numbers 11 and 12 in particular.
But are you really suggesting that we skeptics should be trying to play our enemies at their own game?

I’m not sure. Most of what I suggested were things I “really” wish we could do, if we could get funding from some presumptively neutral source like the Annenberg Foundation, or an old-line conservation group, or the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.
Some of my suggestions were a bit Machiavellian (as would be expected in “Notes from Skull Island”), such as a funded team to wage comment war on Wikipedia (or RC, come to think of it). But that suggestion’s secret purpose was to insinuate that such funding wouldn’t be wrong in the current context of debate, where persons employed by alarmist organizations are in effect paid to do the same thing. (E.g., Connolley & Schmidt.)
Another borderline suggestion was #8: that authors be sent on “funded” (non-profitable) book tours to raise awareness. But the other side uses book tours too–e.g., Mann, Hansen, and Mooney. (I guess I was pushing the envelope a little to suggest that the tour be primarily a pretext for challenging warmists to debate, getting radio interviews, etc. But I can justify the suggestion on a different ground: that, since such lengthy tours for run-of-the-mill books are NOT happening, a well-funded, well-organized denialist machine is not in operation, because this is one of the first things that would occur to such a dastardly organization.)
Other suggestions that deliberately “play politics” are 19-22. But I don’t suggest that the end justifies the means, because the means of those suggestions aren’t bad. They’re just a little “calculating”–which is required for political effectiveness.

Verity Jones says:
December 16, 2012 at 11:55 am
Good list! – though ‘ologeneous overlords’ – perhaps ‘oleaginous’ or is the neologism better?

Oops! Fixed (in my offline copy). Thanx.

Jimbo

Another way of looking at it is:

If our side were well funded and well organized, it would not have the following characteristics:”

[WUWT right sidebar]
1) Google Ads
2) Shameless Plug Donations accepted: fling funds
3) WeatherBell?
4) The Hockey Stick Illusion book – Amazon associate?
5) Monitor Your Own Climate – Weathershop?
6) The Great Global Warming Blunder – Amazon associate?
7) WUWT Stuff
My guess is that just $1 million a year could easily be mustered jointly by the oil, coal and gas companies to keep WUWT from having to try and raise funds by itself.

2002
Four big international companies, including the oil giant Exxon Mobil, said yesterday that they would give Stanford University $225 million over 10 years for research on ways to meet growing energy needs without worsening global warming.
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/21/us/exxon-led-group-is-giving-a-climate-grant-to-stanford.html

—————–

2012
Exclusive: How the Sierra Club Took Millions From the Natural Gas Industry—and Why They Stopped
Now the biggest and oldest environmental group in the U.S. finds itself caught on the horns of that dilemma. TIME has learned that between 2007 and 2010 the Sierra Club accepted over $25 million in donations from the gas industry, mostly from Aubrey McClendon, CEO of Chesapeake Energy—one of the biggest gas drilling companies in the U.S. and a firm heavily involved in fracking—to help fund the Club’s Beyond Coal campaign.
http://science.time.com/2012/02/02/exclusive-how-the-sierra-club-took-millions-from-the-natural-gas-industry-and-why-they-stopped/

I could go on and on but I think most people understand where I am coming from – Sceptics are David and the Goliath claims otherwise despite the ‘mountain of evidence.’ 😉

Jimbo

By the way where the heck is my oil check?
(I would gladly take it, cash it and CONTINUE being secptical of CAGW – win, win).
I thank the Earth for providing me with fossil fuels without which life would still be harsh, brutish and short. That’s a fact. Any Warmist who wants to rebut my claim should firstly make sure their computer is not using electricity supplied by fossil fuels. 😉

MrX

The unshakable quest for truth appears as Big Oil funding and organization to the other side. That’s funny and sad at the same time.
It’s like where the AGW idea came from. It’s the Sherlock Holmes principle. That once you’ve excluded all other causes, whatever remains, no matter how improblable, must be the truth. The problem is that with AGW, they discount natural variability. So the only thing left is human effects. I kid you not. That’s the AGW idea right there. That’s what it’s based on. And when they look at skeptics, they absolutely cannot believe that we’re interested in the truth, so the only possibility that remains is Big Oil.
The Sherlock Holmes principle has two very big caveats.
1. You have to be honest with yourself and not reject things just because you don’t like it.
2. You have to know absolutely every single possible cause. There can’t be any unknowns.
Those are not very good fits for the warmists.

Jimbo

Oh, I forgot, Wordpres is a free and open source blogging tool and a content management system. Who needs ‘free’ when you have Big Oil?

Jeff Alberts

Jimbo says:
December 16, 2012 at 3:38 pm
By the way where the heck is my oil check?
(I would gladly take it, cash it and CONTINUE being secptical of CAGW – win, win).
I thank the Earth for providing me with fossil fuels without which life would still be harsh, brutish and short. That’s a fact. Any Warmist who wants to rebut my claim should firstly make sure their computer is not using electricity supplied by fossil fuels. 😉

They should give up ALL modern conveniences, since they’re all brought to us, in one way or another, by fossil fuels. They won’t, because they’re all of them hypocrites.

While all their side has is the full faith, purse, and credit of the USA and a major government agency assigned the roll of coordination and indoctrination:
http://library.globalchange.gov/u-s-global-change-research-program-strategic-plan-2012-2021
http://downloads.globalchange.gov/strategic-plan/2012/usgcrp-strategic-plan-2012.pdf
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Change_Research_Act_of_1990

The Global Change Research Act 1990 is a United States law requiring research into global warming and related issues. It requires a report to Congress every four years on the environmental, economic, health and safety consequences of climate change; however, the first of these, the National Assessment on Climate Change, was not published until 2000.
The law codified the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), set up by presidential authority in 1989, and mandated the creation of the Global Change Research Information Office (GCRIO), which began work in 1993. The act requires extensive reports to be updated and distributed every four years.

And my “lament” about it here:
http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2012/12/16/no-place-for-skeptics-at-the-govt-table/
Created by President Daddy Bush’s government, BTW. So much for Republicans as being on the Skeptics side…

harrydhuffman (@harrydhuffman) says:
December 16, 2012 at 11:58 am
My 4-inch thick “Webster’s Third New International Dictionary” lists both “forgo” and “forego” as acceptable spellings.

But the second is probably listed in second place; IOW, “forgo” is the preferred spelling for “abstaining from.” That’s how it’s categorized in my 3.5-inch Random House Dictionary and my 6-inch Oxford English Dictionary. Harry Shaw’s Dictionary of Problem Words and Expressions also allows “forego” only as an alternative spelling for “forgo.” The NY Times Manual of Style and Usage gives only one alternative, “Forgo.” I’m sure this is true of the in-house style guides used by major and medium publishers too.

I prefer “forego” (and “foregone” and “foregoing”), always have and always will, obviously because that was the way it was commonly written in the very many books I read growing up, . . .

Probably many American books misused “England” in place of “Britain” back then too. Or “loath” (reluctant) for “loathe.” Does habit consecrate such flubs?

. . . and has for all of my adult life been part of my “writer’s ear”, as well as my writer’s art.

Ear? The only difference is visual.

“Forgo”, if you look up “for-”, clearly comes from the meaning of “for-”: “so as to involve prohibition, exclusion, omission, failure or refusal”; “forego”, on the other hand, equally clearly comes from “fore-”, basically “before” or “in front of”.

Correct. That’s how Fowler explains it (in Modern English Usage):

for- and fore-. The prefix of the words forbear, forbid, forby, forfend, forgather (assemble), forget, forgive, forgo (relinquish), forlorn, forsake, and forswear, is unconnected with the English words for and fore , and means away, out, completely, or implies prohibition or abstention. All these should be spelt with for-, not fore- . On the other hand the noun for for(e)bears, and foregoing and foregone in the foregoing list, a foregone conclusion, contain the ordinary fore, and should be spelt with the e.

================
I prefer to see the meaning of “I will forego” (ex.: I will forego the use of “forgo”) as, “I will go another way before I do that” . . .
Bully for you.

. . . — and if I never get around to doing what I am foregoing, too bad.

I wasn’t correcting YOU, but Steve Gorham, who is fighting a battle in an arena full of enemies. I recommended:

. . . a copy editing & peer review service to vet our side’s books prior to publication, since any flubs will be seized on by warmists to discredit the entire work, as happened to Plimer’s book. Instead, dissenting books continue to be produced in an amateurish fashion. For instance, in Steve Goreham’s just-out (and excellent) Climatism!, I found two obvious spelling errors in just an hour’s skimming. (“Forego” for “forgo” and “principle” used where “principal” was needed.)

IOW, using “forego” for “forgo” will strike many readers with a critical eye—which will include warmist reviewers—as a nice juicy nit they can pick. It’s prudent to avoid painting such a target on one’s chest.

On spelling and pronunciation grounds, too, “forego” is preferable in my view.

Spelling—why? Using the fore prefix is inconsistent with the inner logic of English, as Fowler’s remark above implies.
Pronunciation? There’s no difference.

Both forms have equally long and authoritative geneologies, or etymologies, . . .

That contradict your preference.

. . . and both look equally stupid if you look at them long enough (“forgo” evokes an image of “Forgo, the forger”, while “forego” takes on the look and sense of “For-e-go, the new game from Milton-Bradley”).

That’s true of any word, though I concede that some words or phrases become senseless quicker than others. Here’s what Lawrence Durrell (in the persona of “Antrobus”) wrote, in “La Valise,” a story in his Esprit de Corps: Sketches from Diplomatic Life, about a poetry recital in Dutch:

Then she would take a deep breath and begin afresh.

Oom kroop der poop
Zoon kroon der soup.

In after years the very memory of this recitation used to make the sweat start out on my forehead. You must try it for yourself sometime. Just try repeating “Oom kroop der poop” five hundred times in a low voice. After a time it’s like Yoga. Everything goes dark. You feel you are falling back into illimitable space.
===============
Here’s a tip I just made up: One has to look upon English as one’s beloved child or pet, and love it wholeheartedly, not be always bringing its use up short as if it were an ugly thing that needs to be punished.

By that logic, people should be free to spell as the spirit moves them too—which is undesirable, and which would make such a speller look foolish. Here’s what Bill Walsh, copy editor at the Washington Post, wrote on the topic of such Latitudinarianism vs. “Sticklerhood” (as I dub it), wrt usage in the Introduction to The Elephants of Style:

I am a prescriptivist, . . . but I consider myself a sensible prescriptivist. Call me other names if you like, but if you, too, are in the business of writing, even if you think it’s arrogant to condemn a perfectly understandable bit of prose as “wrong,” you have to answer one big question: Do you want to look stupid?
Lanuage evolves, but at each instant in that evolution there will be ways of writing that will strike educated readers as ignorant. All but the most namby-pamby of descriptivists will agree that some things in writing (I is an writer) are understandable but pretty much incorrect . . . . The best we can hope for, and my goal in this book, is to find a consensus on what doesn’t look stupid—at least for now.

The consensus is that “forego” is the “wrong,” or anyway the barely acceptable, spelling for the synonym of abstain, as indicated by the two style guides I quoted above. Here’s another authority:

forego . . . to go before, to precede in time, order or place. . . .
Usage note: The spellings of the verbs forego (to precede) and forgo (to go without) should not be confused.
The Cassell Concise Dictionary, Last revised edition 1994

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

And this is important, although of course off-topic to many here, because this is as far as I read of your article here — I do not suffer the insufferable pedant (I forego imbibing his/her information).

I’ll see you and raise you:

Forego means to precede; to go before. Forgo means to do without; abstain from; renounce. Some dictionaries offer the spelling forego as a variant of forgo, but this is only because so many people have confused the words for so long—and dictionaries merely compile people’s language usage, however incorrect or cretinous.

John F. Hultquist

I think the title of this post is a mis-direction. Most of the characteristics listed do not answer ‘Why?’ – they explain (‘What?’) differences.
‘Why?’ is about three things, namely freedom, money, and guilt. Someone doesn’t like free societies. Someone wants control. Someone wants your money. You did not earn that money and should not decide how to use it. You should feel guilty and voluntarily give your wealth to someone else for proper disposal. Corporations (big oil, coal) are simply tapping into these processes, an amplifier if you like, but they are not the force.
I don’t feel guilty. I don’t want your money. I don’t want to tell you how to live. “Warmists” wouldn’t let me in their club.

Oops–I got my indentation scheme off-track above, but I trust it will be clear enough.

Oops #2–I forgot to credit my closing quotation. It’s from R.H. Fiske’s Dictionary of Disagreeable English.

Jeff Alberts

Forego means to precede; to go before. Forgo means to do without; abstain from; renounce. Some dictionaries offer the spelling forego as a variant of forgo, but this is only because so many people have confused the words for so long—and dictionaries merely compile people’s language usage, however incorrect or cretinous.

Indeed: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nuclear?show=0&t=1355709825

The absurdity of the CAGW meme has been more or less demonstrated thanks to sites like WUWT and Jo Nova. That has been done without rivers of grant funding, which is good, you guys are fit. I don’t really follow the science, but I do have a grasp of history, economics and politics, and I sense a boondoggle when I see one. But the Alamists are not beaten, they are regrouping. They cant win the scientific debate, but they will use political compulsion to force compliance and secure their revenues. And so the struggle moves on a bit. But all honour to people like Mr Watts and Ms Nova, who have got us this far.

Gail Combs

Adam says:
December 16, 2012 at 12:07 pm
….Can anyone remember his name?
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
ManBearPig? “Crazed S. Poodle”?