Tauntology in the Hinterlands

MalleusLatin2[1]After a 239 post exchange on Facebook, an alarmist gets the last say.

Mark Ruscoe, of Asheville NC writes.


Reading your latest post regarding the lengths to which “tauntology” is used by the alarmist crowd, I wanted to forward something from a long FB thread I’ve been involved in for the last 8 months or so.

I’ll also preface that besides having biological science degrees and enjoying a long career in health care, I’m a climate nobody. So it surprised me how exercised global warming disciples could be out here in the hinterlands when their faith was questioned.

This was occasioned by the Typhoon Haiyan last year, when one of my (many) liberal friends linked it as a sign of our warming planet. It piqued my decidedly non-climatically oriented interest, so I decided to delve in a bit. Lo and behold, thanks to your site and others, I found that events such as that have actually declined in the past several years. I made note of this, and expected not much more.

Little was I prepared for the onslaught to follow. One thing led to another, and I spent much of my winter brushing up on the climate war. I engaged my local FB friends in what I took to be honest skeptical debate.

In particular, one of my antagonists proved unappreciative of my arguments or my sources. Especially, so it seems, yours.

After 239 posts to this particular thread, I felt as if I had made a sufficient skeptical scientific case, and decided that enough was enough. I announced that I was through.

To which my antagonist got the final word:

“…I’ll also give you this: You and your fellow deniers are wrong, and you will be on the wrong side of history. In 50 years you will be scattered with the witch-burners, the white supremacists, the birthers and the creationists who illustrate the limits of the human mind and the danger that come (sic) with them. You’ll be crammed into historical footnotes that students around the world will chuckle at for those five minutes you are mentioned. I wish you could be around to see it, if for no other reason than to hear you bray frantically that Anthony Watts is still right.”


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James in Perth

Climate alarmism is a mental illness. Your correspondent is but one more sad example. I’m glad you signed off that thread and let me be the first to welcome you back to the real world!

Time to start unfriending and/or blocking people, in my opinion – I don’t spend time on FaceBook to be insulted by people who resort to name-calling rather than reason – one of my LONG time friends is still blocked for just such a reason – several of my friends were discussing an article about climate change, and my ‘friend’ decided we were racists for questioning the Holy Writ of Al Gore (which doesn’t make any sense to me), at which point I blocked him, and blocked he shall remain.


“…I’ll also give you this: You and your fellow deniers are wrong, and you will be on the wrong side of history.
Time will tell.


Projection, it’s something we often see from that quarter.


Alarmism is based on a theory that has yet to be validated and violates the laws of thermodynamics and Plancks Laws. a theory that folows from a poor understanding of the planet’s energy flows and confuses heat with EM radiation.


What are “birthers”?

Desperation is never pretty.

John F. Hultquist

Thanks for posting this. I hope after 8 months and 239 exchanges something useful happened. Maybe this: You now know, and perhaps others have learned, that for many people the climate cause has become a religion. Science and religion are fundamentally different. I think it is important to note that science issues are argued with essays, religious issues are settled with guns.

Steve Case

RE: johnmarshall…at 8:09 am
Mostly it just doesn’t add up.

Rud Istvan

Increasing flak meant you were over the target.
I tried to carry on a conversation with two English acquaintances, one an electronics engineering professor, the other a PHD student in solid state physics. Gave up when they could not admit to the pause, wrote long beside the point critiques to essays citing structural weaknesss/logical fallacies/selection bias in both AR4 and AR5 (doubting exact citations!), and finally dismissing Lindzen and Curry as second rate or worse scientists. never could get then to engage with any factual substance.
Waste of time arguing with religious fanatics. The ‘you will burn in Hell’ response show that the responder is indeed merely one.

Dear Johnmarshall, you are wrong there: (climate) alarmism is not based on theory it is based on fear/alarm.

This sort of personal attack is become the standard way the ‘true believers’, whether it is climate change, global warming, religion or politics, attempt to run a ‘denial of service’ on anyone who dares question their ‘truth’. A study done by researchers in Canada (and published in a respectable journal) has identified this as a sign of psychopathic behaviour. I suspect that the real problem is these folk have grasped a part of the debate, and do not want to have to think, because the counter arguments may be sufficiently convincing to confuse them, or to cause them to change their position, which, in todays angst driven world, would mean leaving the comfortable and familiar environs of their likeminded ‘support’ groups and activism.

Data Soong

A great way to lose respect in a discussion is to start relying on one’s emotions rather than logic and reason. Once insults start flowing from one side or the other, the natural reaction for the person with the opposing viewpoint is to dig in their heels. This is why it’s so important for us to refuse the urge to snap back at insults, because others are often watching, and we need to continue to help them see what’s true. Great job, Mark, in representing the truth with reason and logic; there are likely a few people following year FB thread whose perspectives have changed as a result of your hard work in researching and sharing the truth.


It’s much easier to be part of a dumbed-down crowd than to stand on your own and really think about things.
To do so requires incredible self-reliance and the hide of a rhinoceros. I can do t but few others I know are happy with the isolation.

James in Perth said:
Climate alarmism is a mental illness.
Climate alarmism is not a mental illness, it’s simply human nature. The term for it is cognitive dissonance and it’s prevalent in nearly everything people hold opinions on. And generally the smarter the person is the worse it is.
When a person holds a firm opinion on a topic for a long time and they are intelligent, their minds won’t accept the idea they can be wrong. Evidence to the contrary is ignored with the excuse generally being about the reliability of the source of the evidence or the person presenting the contrary evidence is written off as a right winger, racist, birther, denier, or whatever label the person thinks is appropriate.
It’s so rare for a person to hold an opinion and be swayed by contrary evidence that I have the utmost respect for the people who can do it. Recognition of cognitive dissonance is what led Max Planck to say “Science advances one funeral at a time”. Cognitive dissonance is why we’re mired in a health epidemic where healthy foods like red meat, butter, bacon and eggs are vilified and absolute poisons like whole wheat, vegetable oils and fruit juice are recommended as cornerstones of our diet.
So climate alarmism can’t a mental illness if everyone does it, it’s simply one of the poorer attributes of human nature.

Did you happen to post a link to the ice core temp graphs? These are often illuminating to the ‘useful idiots’ that drink the koolaid.
there’s this one that shows our trend is still to the return of the next ice age and that our current temp bump is still lower temps than most of this interglacial
I think one of the problems with this crowd is that they have the hockey stick graph ingrained in their minds and truly believe we are helping bring the end of the world by being skeptical. I carry a bunch of ice core graphs on my phone from both poles so that as I get into discussions I start with those.
To say I’ve shocked some people with these simple graphs would be an understatement. For the first time in their lives they begin to consider that they have been deceived on the AGW issue.


As some regulars may know I have written a series of parody-songs on the subject of “CAGW” and some of its more vocal supporters. My personal experience was to be trolled and lambasted by a couple of Australians. I was attacked and vilified by these idiots, initially because the song they objected to was deemed to be an ad hominem attack against Mr Banana Nuttycelli, but then (more astonishingly) because the song did not support the “denialist non-science”.
My only thought at that point was “WTF?????”
Judge for yourselves if you feel like it (this is not compulsory for this post!)

Data Soong

It’s also important to keep one’s mind open to evidences that either support or invalidate one’s current perspective. We all here know that many alarmists have closed their mind to any skeptical ideas; but, there are also plenty of skeptics who are dogmatically standing by their position and are unwilling to budge at all. My own personal emotional reaction is to stand firm to what I thought was true, but the logic of the scientist in me won’t let me do that, and as a result, my perspective on the “climate change” issue has evolved over the years. I am certainly a skeptic of catastrophic global warming, but I also have to acknowledge that there are occasionally some valid points made by alarmist scientists.

George Turner

One thing to point out to is that they are fanatical that you must believe, but don’t care a bit how much CO2 you actually produce – especially if you join them and become an evangelist. China can increase CO2 emissions more than the entire US output and they won’t care at all, but the idea that someone, somewhere, rejects their gospel just drives them batty.
In such debates (which I have almost daily), I sometimes cite AR5 to show that they don’t even know what their own Bible says. AR5 even admits that the temperature trend since the pause might be negative, and CRUTemp IV clearly indicates that newly minted drivers on our highways are doing so in temperatures that are cooler than when they were born.
I’ve also converted warming into distances of average north/south climate variation (about 90 miles per 1C outside the tropics), and converted it to average surface altitude change. Taking the transient climate response from AR5,minus the amount we’ve already had in shifting from 280 ppm to 400 ppm), means that many people in the hills where I grew up will, when they retire, have the same climate at their house that they used to have at the bottom of their driveway.


GlynnMhor says:
June 18, 2014 at 8:10 am
A birther is someone who tries to argue that Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii and that the released birth certificate is a fake.


You can rest assured thats not the first time that person has cut and pasted that paragraph into a discussion, email, or blog.
I would deduce via the context clues from the author of the paragraph that he/she is an long term unemployed Obama supporter living in their parents basement in a virtual online world. I don’t believe anyone has found a cure for that illness yet. /SARC


Well I don’t know, but let me just suggest that maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss climate-change’s threat to our planet’s delicate web of relationships between animate and in-animate actors on our beautiful but demon-carbon, threatened world-stage, like polar bears, and everything!
I mean, like, just check out the Deltoid climate-blog which is currently mired, as best I can figure things out, there, in the immediate aftermath of a major hive-bot extinction event.
I mean, like, honestly, the whole blog-site has lately morphed into a Gotterdammerung-ready, clinically brain-dead Gaia-dump in full meltdown mode. Really, an astonishing, textbook example of ”tipping-point” catastrophism that uncomfortably confronts us with the spectacle of a once proud, agit-prop center of scare-mongering, eco-scam activity, with global reach, transformed before our very eyes into an over-night, lefty-loser, eyesore blight on the blogosphere. There’s some sort of cautionary, climate-change lesson to be learned here, I’m convinced.
I mean, like, did the “crusher crew” lose its funding? Is that it? Is that why Deltoid’s former, motor-mouth, hive-roach regulars have all pretty much bugged-out of the place–busting out all the windows and ripping the copper-wiring from the walls as they left? Anyone know the deal here for sure?

Leo Morgan

Why wait for the future? He can point out right now that the North Pole did indeed melt four years ago, just as the Prophet Al Gore foretold. He can produce the fifty to two hundred million Climate refugees that were displaced by 2010 in accordance with the UNEP auguries. He can demonstrate that the measured temperatures have indeed risen in accordance with the Sibylline prophecies of the CMIP5 models.
Oh wait, he can’t do that.
Well at least right now he can look in the face of a wilful denier, still maintaining his faith despite the obvious reality arond him, just by gazing into a mirror.


Psychological Projection 101: know fanatics by their own distorted view of you as a debunker. Not a pretty sight. The Global Warming fiasco carries on as a such intense activism for it affords righteous halos to angry hateful people who are not well adjusted to everyday civil society. These were just sidelined Marxist throwbacks until Jim Hansen and Al Gore pumped the likes of Michael Mann and the rest of the hockey stick team bully boys into the limelight. Now their fanaticism is doubled as their entire ego and self-worth are experienced being attached to a collapsing paradigm.
In the end it’s fantastic news that governments became Enron for a generation in order to publicly expose who is who in our world, and from what stock future leaders should be selected from, hyperactive activists versus reasonable thinkers. The way the Millenial generation now embraces the fracking revolution is the real wave of the future, alas for your Facebook foes:
By the way, Facebook is now the skeptics best friend since it formed the basis of the biggest climate con of all time, providing undeniable proof once and for all that the core of climate “science” is nothing more than smoke and mirrors, as professional mathematician Michael Mann did a Facebook Snoopy dance promoting the latest hockey stick that clearly contained no blade in the actual input data in a way that no black box theory can excuse:
The accumulated anger of layperson dupes will naturally turn away from skeptics and directly back onto their gurus in due time, just like investers in any exposed fraud then hire lawyers. Now that the Wall Street Journal features strong climate (model) skepticism, savvy urban professionals who lean politically left in youth are now in the loop too, though most single urban women are still clueless and throwing their sex into the argument for climate alarm in spades. When that tide turns, it’s all over for climate alarm, and possibly liberalism in general that is so firmly attached to it.

Claude Harvey

Anthony and his disciples are witches and warlocks. After each engagement against the Forces for Good, they refresh themselves at secret rituals where they “eat the babies”. Everyone knows that! I personally prefer catfish, but the evil content of a fat baby just isn’t there.


I certainly won’t be around in 2050 and neither will possibly another 2 or 3 billion who will have died of starvation because of the lack of useful energy and the much reduced food production areas in the northern hemisphere due to decreasing temperatures.


Alarmists do what alarmists do. Always vitriol never facts and reality. How ironic that the borg drone says you will be on the wong side of history. The very thing he has to ignore to be an alarmist.

Scientific American Facebook climate related postings offer similar opportunities for “interesting” dialog.

Eustace Cranch

One thing I’ve learned over the years is not to try to persuade people by slinging “facts” at them. They aren’t required to accept your authority; nor are you theirs.
I try to use the Socratic method with alarmist adversaries. Question them. Ask them to explain. Often they come to realize how much they don’t know.
-Is the current climate “incorrect?” If so, has a “correct” climate been defined?
-What percentage of the atmosphere is carbon dioxide?
-What is the most dominant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere?
-What makes carbon dioxide a greenhouse gas?
-What is albedo?
-What is the Pacific Decadal Oscillation?

Henry Galt

Their minds are closed. Festering. For the sake of your health turn your back on them.
When it gets colder (soon) and more and more of their parents/grandparents/friends of same/the infirm/homeless/etc die from said cold these folk will still be sneering along the lines of ” …. just you wait, it’s going to get hot-damn-friable soon … scientivists told us, so it must be trooo …”.
I gave up pitying them a few years back. I gave up engaging in conversation a short while later. I am in process of giving up my anger toward them (not succeeding quickly enough on that front). True environmentalism may never recover from the steep cost of their delusions.
Near me the most active ‘environmentalists’ happen to be on long-term ‘sickness’ benefit. They are the only ones in our county with sufficient free time to write in to the local ‘news’papers EVERY damn week about how no-one should build houses near herethem because a particular (flower/insect/bird/small mammal) is endangered by our selfish desire to house our children/grandchildren, using the fruits of our own endeavors, within walking distance, on brownfields/ex-industrial estates. Oh, and climate change. Echo… echo… echo ….


@ Bob Johnson
You’ve got the definition of cognitive dissonance a little skewed. In psychology, cognitive dissonance is the excessive mental stress and discomfort experienced by holding two or more contradictory beliefs. It would be cognitive dissonance for someone to hold to CAGW and fully accept the evidence against it (the 17-year pause, etc.). To avoid CD, the alarmist crowd rejects the evidence in favor of the preferred belief. Why people like to scare themselves silly beyond ghost stories and horror movies is a psychological exploration for another time. That they like to be on a “winning side” is abundantly demonstrated. For now CAGW is winning in the minds of many so the less than skeptical pile on. The sort of attack described in this post reminds me of the mindless hooliganism at sometimes breaks out at soccer matches.

From the original post: “when one of my (many) liberal friends”….
I hope Mark Ruscoe, and others in the same boat, have figured out that this was the original mistake. People of that view are not “friends”, they can never be “friends”, because their only interest in you is either to control you, or to use your acquiescence to enable them to control other people.
You need to divorce yourself from them.

Alan Robertson

Richard111 says:
June 18, 2014 at 8:56 am
I certainly won’t be around in 2050 and neither will possibly another 2 or 3 billion…
Hey, speak for yourself. Just because a guy’s old and ugly doesn’t mean that he can’t eat all the barbecue and chase all the women and still keep Methuselah as role model.

Tim Walker

docstephens says:
June 18, 2014 at 8:58 am
Scientific American Facebook climate related postings offer similar opportunities for “interesting” dialog.
I had to comment about your use of ‘interesting’. I use the word in the same way. There are times when the subject is matter is too revolting and I just can’t use the word ‘interesting’.There are many warmists who are very willing to destroy anyone’s reputation to strike at skeptics. They are just borrowing their tactics from politics, which is what this really is all about. The science long ago was hijacked. I am very thankful for scientists on both sides who strive to be honest in their work.

“So it surprised me how exercised global warming disciples could be out here in the hinterlands when their faith was questioned.”
Welcome to the club, but what took you so long to get here? ; – )
I too live in Asheville and have been addressing climate issues locally for quite a few years, but first became interested over 2 decades ago while getting my engineering degree. My college professor was a colleague of Hanson’s and worked with temperature data for over half a century.
Just take a look at the Asheville Citizen Times website to get a feel for the “climate” in Asheville. Make sure to take a look at the comments!
I travel a good bit and when people ask me where Asheville is located I describe it like this… go to Berkeley, CA and take a hard Left… keep going and you eventually come to Asheville.

MarkW says:
June 18, 2014 at 8:39 am
GlynnMhor says:
June 18, 2014 at 8:10 am
A birther is someone who tries to argue that Obama wasn’t born in Hawaii and that the released birth certificate is a fake.
Or anyone that dares to question “The ONE”

Ron Clutz

@Bob Johnston
There also an aspect of “Buyers’ Stockholm Syndrome”, also known as Post-Purchase Rationalization. If people have bought into a notion without doing their homework, there’s enormous self-imposed pressure not to question, but to dig in, defend and attack.

Gary – Perhaps I should have said “avoidance of cognitive dissonance”. But I think you got my point. 🙂


Speed says:
June 18, 2014 at 8:02 am
“…I’ll also give you this: You and your fellow deniers are wrong, and you will be on the wrong side of history.
Time will tell.
I’ve often wondered how things will play out in the next 20 – 40 years, especially if the data still doesn’t show the increased warming and correlation to increased CO2. How will the warmists likely respond?
I seriously doubt there will ever be any acknowledgement that they are/were truly wrong. There will be some honest scientists who will come out iteratively over time – much like Judy Curry did several years ago. But I think for those who are currently the most visible advocates, the talking points will be mostly about the lack of data that was available at the time and the need to rely on proxy variables. They will stand by their “science” as being the best they could do at the time, but they will also resort to the nobleness of their motivation – saving the earth. How will anyone be able to hold their feet to the fire when they had such pure intentions? It will be very reminiscent of those who were so damn sure about how Y2K was going to play out and be such a catastrophic event. They never admitted they were wrong, they just spun things to say how preparation was never a bad thing to do.

lemiere jacques

in 50 yearsyou ll see that i am right now….
do you think it helps proving me that you are right now?
no…but i said first…

In engagements like these, I’ve found it’s useful to remember several things:
1) You’re not trying to convince the true believer.
It’s not possible, don’t waste your time.
2) You’re trying to get other readers to learn, think, and reconsider their beliefs.
Those you have a chance to win over, or at least to stop spouting the warmist mantras.
3) Make your points.
Don’t make them multiple times.
4) Let the true believer have the last word.
If you both insist on having the last word, the bickering will never stop. There’s no point in continuing the discussion when everyone else has moved on to something else.

The quickest way to make someone angry is to be right.
Think about: If Mark Ruscoe was using evidence that was blatantly wrong, there would not have such anger. People would have pointed out the errors or just ignored the message. But since the evidence cannot be debated, the only option is to make the messenger look evil — The messenger is evil so don’t listen to him.

I’ve been telling people “Patience, wait 10 years and see how things have changed.
Late last year I reduced that to 5 years. By then the AMO may be flipped with related impact to reduced hurricane risk and increased Arctic Sea Ice, SC24 will be winding down and people will be looking at SC25, solar effects on climate may be more clear, the pause in global warming may longer than the climb from 1979-1998, and the pause may be looking like the start of a decline.
All these are arguably visible today, in 5 years, (a geological instant), they may be strikingly clear. Since last year, there are now predictions that Arctic Sea Ice may be above the long term average during the end of this year’s melt season. I’ll stick with the 5 years for now.

Chuck L

I unfriended two childhood friends on Facebook, both highly intelligent because despite sticking to facts and hard data in my posts, and never making it personal, my friends would eventually make it personal. Fortunately, away from Facebook, they were cordial and friendly but I sensed a difference in their attitude towards me. It really is a religion to true believers and skeptics are regarded as climate apostates. I can only hope that logic and science will eventually prevail but I am not optimistic,

Tim Walker Said:
I had to comment about your use of ‘interesting’. I use the word in the same way. There are times when the subject is matter is too revolting and I just can’t use the word ‘interesting’.There are many warmists who are very willing to destroy anyone’s reputation to strike at skeptics. They are just borrowing their tactics from politics, which is what this really is all about. The science long ago was hijacked. I am very thankful for scientists on both sides who strive to be honest in their work.
I dared to offer two completely civil but skeptical comments to an article posted on Facebook by Scientific American that described the “Unstoppable” glaciers in Antarctica. First, I was viciously attacked by several other commenters, then my commenting and sharing rights were revoked by SA. I contacted SA and had my rights reinstated with an apology from the Webmaster who said it was a mistake that I had been banned. I noted that I was the only commenter who was a climate realist. Either other realists like me have learned not to submit themselves to such viciousness, or SA was filtering comments deemed contrary to their agenda or politically motivated perspective. By the way, the articles shared by SA were authored by journalists not scientists.

Frank K.

Dyrewulf says:
June 18, 2014 at 8:00 am
“Time to start unfriending and/or blocking people…”
Not only that…start disconnecting yourself from ***ALL*** of the manic, misinformed, CAGW-supporting media, including the Weather Channel, Weather Underground, ABC/NBC/CBS/CNN/MSNBC news, NY Times, etc. etc. Don’t give them ***ANY*** of your precious time or money. And tell their advertisers and supporters that you no longer are viewing their shows or accessing their websites. For example, CNN is already feeling the heat of low ratings. Other CAGW media will, in the end, suffer a similar fate…if we all do our part.
And also – remember the fascism that is CAGW warmism in November when the elections are held here in the U.S.A. It is VERY, VERY SCARY what is happening to us in the name of “global warming”…and this election is really our last hope in attempting to reverse the considerable damage in my lifetime.

John M

Bob Johnston and others:
Nick from NYC hit on the key point, which is that when people attach their EGO and self worth to an ideology, religion, belief, etc., that their reaction to being told they’re wrong essentially becomes a “survival” defense. Nick from NYC describes a collapsing paradigm, but the problem is not just a collapsing one, but the very fact that people attach themselves to things in this manner in the first place. It is the essence of faith and religion, yet obviously in this case, the issues being discussed have nothing to do with either. The nature of their belief in climate change/global warming etc, mirrors a good vs evil narrative. With them, of course, being good.
It is not just unscientific, it is the complete opposite of the scientific method and is void of any truth in analysis and facts of the given paridigm (the world’s climate and our influence).
It is no coincidence that the all of the isms of the world that have caused such destruction to mankind in the last 100+ years (socialism/communism/etc.) all have religious desriptors in their overtones.


“…I’ll also give you this: You and your fellow deniers are wrong, and you will be on the wrong side of history. In 50 years you will be scattered with the witch-burners, the white supremacists, the birthers and the creationists who illustrate the limits of the human mind and the danger that come (sic) with them.”
That Alarmist’s response only underscored the fact that this issue has nothing to do with science and everything to do with politics. For myself, I wouldn’t have kept up the “dialogue” 8 minutes let alone 8 months. If the answer to 4+4 was political, you can be assured that 40% of the public would say the answer was 9, and Lord help the “denier” who said it was 8.

Ron McCarley

In the words of Barney Fife, the man is definitely not “all choked up with humbility.”

John M

And it is also no coincidence that the above isms all restrain freedom, freedom of speech, and open debate and discussion, for fear of upsetting the dogma, which their “survival” often depends on, metaphorically and often literally.