Thursday, June 15, 2006

Suddenly, they're big fans of science?


It's moderately amusing how, having categorically rejected any and all science that supports the notion of climate change, some Blogging Tories are now enthusiastically supporting any alleged "science", no matter how shoddy, that contradicts it.

What a great gig. Can I choose my preferred snippets of reality, too?

BOB CARTER, MORON
. Since all of the above scientifically-illiterate dipsticks reference exactly the same article from Canada Free Press, and since that article makes such a big deal of one Professor Bob Carter, it naturally behooves us to take a closer look at the dumbfuckery of Prof. Carter.

This has been a public service announcement aimed at those who truly want to understand what is happening with respect to climate change. This does not, of course, include any Blogging Tories, who are simply beyond help these days.

BAD CRITIC. NO BISCUIT. Commenter "ruairidh" weighs in on the controversy, with unfortunate results.

All research in this area should be welcome but there is an unfortunate trend amongst some people to declare that the issue has been settled and any sceptic/denier /heretic who deviates from the dogma should be abused and ridiculed. This post on your blog is a particularly fine example of this hysteria.

Really? In what way? I can't wait to hear this.

By getting into a personal attack against one contributor to an article ...

I'm sorry ... "personal" attack? Where? There's absolutely nothing "personal" about accusing someone of being a partisan hack and ignorant dumbfuck if you go on to back it up with unimpeachable evidence. Nice try, though. Onward.

... (which if you were being fair quotes many more scientists than the one you single out) you do your arguments a disservice.

Ah, so one of my sins was that I didn't discredit each and every contributor to that article. Of course, if I had tried such a thing, every contributor I eviscerated would have been just as quickly replaced with another dishonest hack, and I would never have been able to keep up.

I should point out that, while the Blogging Tories I linked to above simply gleefully swallowed every bit of nonsense that was presented in that article, I was the only one who took the time to dig a little deeper. And for that, I am chastised for, apparently, not digging deeply enough. You just can't please some people, can you?

Just for the record in case you want to call me scientifically illiterate ...

Not scientifically illiterate. Just logically incoherent. And, just for the record, don't take it personally.

ADDITIONAL SMACKDOWN AT NO EXTRA CHARGE
: Since just one disemboweling is apparently not enough for some folks, I'll toss in a second one for free. From that hideously dishonest CFP article:

Even among that fraction, many focus their studies on the impacts of climate change; biologists, for example, who study everything from insects to polar bears to poison ivy. "While many are highly skilled researchers, they generally do not have special knowledge about the causes of global climate change," explains former University of Winnipeg climatology professor Dr. Tim Ball. "They usually can tell us only about the effects of changes in the local environment where they conduct their studies."

And since Ball makes several appearances in that article, it seems only fair that one be allowed to heap discredit on the article by doing the same to Ball, no?

There. That's two. Is two enough?

8 comments:

Ruairidh said...

Over the last few weeks I’ve navigated the web to look at more detail at some of the claims and counter claims surrounding climate change. I’ve been trying to move beyond the media maelstrom to read the original research. It’s clear that proving a trend over the last fifty or a hundred years is one thing, putting that trend into a wider context (1000 years or more) is much more speculative as is identifying the causes of these changes. All research in this area should be welcome but there is an unfortunate trend amongst some people to declare that the issue has been settled and any sceptic/denier /heretic who deviates from the dogma should be abused and ridiculed. This post on your blog is a particularly fine example of this hysteria.

By getting into a personal attack against one contributor to an article (which if you were being fair quotes many more scientists than the one you single out) you do your arguments a disservice.

Just for the record in case you want to call me scientifically illiterate I have a PhD in Organic Chemistry. Personally I believe that there is a warming trend over the last fifty years but I have some doubts that it is anthropogenic or unprecedented. I’m sure that Carbon Dioxide and Methane are greenhouse gases but I’m less sure that that they are entirely responsible for recent or historic trends. The planet and all the influences on it is a highly complex thing and I’m sure the truth will turn out to much more subtle than the current CO2 /+ CH4 = All climate change dogma.

Ruairidh said...

You’ve missed the point I was making, perhaps intentionally. You are probably on the right side of this argument so there is just no need to decent into name calling. Your abuse, now levelled at me (please explain my logical incoherence) undermines your position because it makes you sound hysterical. It’s more reminiscent of playground bullying than reasoned scientific debate. Scientifc analysis should be dispastionate and it’s clear your writing is anything but.

I’ll carry on reading the research and commentary with an open mind but I don’t think I’ll come looking for it here again. I might come back for a bit of a laugh though.

Don’t worry no offense taken.

By the way isn’t it bloody early in the morning to be blogging?

Mike said...

I think there's one thing that's ominously absent from most 'debate' I see on this issue. Those on the side of believing that there is a direct human cause to global warming (myself included) are calling for some changes in human behavior, and maybe some sacrifices in order to ensure that our planet remains viable for life as we know it, whereas those on the other side are prescribing 'business as usual', in what appears to me a self-serving act to justify not having to scrutinize or change one's own actions or economic activity.

There is no shortage of examples of humans screwing things up royally with business as usual until it was overwhelmingly undenialble that things were very wrong and often past the point of no return. Humans are going to have to grow up here, and maybe just try and look beyond their own instantaneous greed, if we are to survive as a species, because in this case, it's not polluting the great lakes, or spraying DDT on our crops, it's the whole planet that's at stake.

Ruairidh said...

By the way I loved your line
"There's absolutely nothing "personal" about accusing someone of being a partisan hack and ignorant dumbfuck if you go on to back it up with unimpeachable evidence."

Of course it's a personal attack , whether or not you believe you have unimpeachable evidence is irrelevant. You are attacking the person not the validity of their beliefs. Come on think about this please.

Your title calls me a “bad critic”. Note that it is the critic not the critique that is bad. Again this is a personal attack.

OK one more try on this point.

mo•ron (môr n , m r -)
n.
1. A stupid person; a dolt.
2. Psychology A person of mild mental retardation having a mental age of from 7 to 12 years and generally having communication and social skills enabling some degree of academic or vocational education. The term belongs to a classification system no longer in use and is now considered offensive.

Could calling someone a moron ever not be a personal attack?

Moving on I thought your second “debunking” was a valiant effort but nowhere near the quality of the first. I’ve heard the debate around the Schneider comment before and I think it neatly encapsulates a problem with the environmentalist movement in general and its relationship with the media. There is often good robust science behind them but they make extrapolations several steps beyond what the data will allow. When found out they justify it by this Schneider type logic. I believe the media are usually more at fault than the environmentalists but the damage done to the environmental movement is sufficiently significant that the environmentalists should guard against over the top hyperbole. Alas they appear to be adopting it as standard policy.


Mike: I agree with what your saying and part of the answer is we need to get to the point where the science is undeniable as quickly as possible. The point I’ve been trying to make is that this consensus needs to be genuine and not just a case of silencing opponents through bullying personal abuse. I think that this has a polarising effect that hampers our progress.

Mike said...

Ruairidh:

I think it's important to have concensus on issues, everyone to be satisfied etc. There will always be those who refuse to believe no matter how much evidence, concensus there is. There are many who refuse to believe that the holocaust happened.
What I'm trying to get to is that I think it's important to look at the consequences of either choice, and maybe a bit more importance given to one option as a result. If those who believe that humans are causing global warming (by far the majority of climate scientists and there is evidence of political interference to 'create' the opinion of those who do not believe this is the case, but that's another point) are wrong, so we put a bunch of effort into reducing CO2 emissions, stop cutting down the rainforests, figure out alternatives, doesn't sound like a big negative on the grand scale, even if it doesn't have a big effect on the warming. However, if those who believe humans are causing global warming are right and nothing is done, goodbye planet that sustains life as we know it.
Or I guess if we do nothing, those who stand to make large short-term profits will do that, and I think this speaks volumes about how political influence and interference is operating.

Mark Francis said...

Tim Lambert has done wonderful debunking of these false skeptics in many posts (as in 'collecting pay to lie'), and did a post on this 'op-ed'. He's even linked back to here, Cynic:

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2006/06/an_embarrassment_to_australian.php

Anonymous said...

More Tim Ball info. It looks like he responds with lawsuits when someone questions his credentials. http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2006/06/dear_tim_ball_sue_me.php

Anonymous said...

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2006/09/tim_ball_sues_for_325000.php