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The Heritage Foundation loses its grip on reality, calls science ˜magic

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"The Heritage Foundation loses its grip on reality, calls science ˜magic"

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The Heritage Foundation, a once-influential conservative think tank, has long had extreme views (see “Heritage even opposes energy efficiency“).  Now it has completely lost its grip on reality, comparing the IPCC’s scientific work to what a magician at a children’s party does (!), as explained in this Wonk Room repost.

Mike Gonzalez, Vice President of Communications for Heritage, believes that the scientific consensus on global warming is a massive hoax, perpetrated because of “politicians putting pressure on scientists to come up with theories that would vastly add to their regulatory and taxing powers.” Gonzalez “” who abandoned print journalism to become a mid-level speechwriter for the Bush administration “” argues that the “whole edifice of global warming is now falling apart” because the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is like a birthday-party magician:

The whole edifice of global warming is now falling apart. It is collapsing with such rapidity that it is worth pausing from time to time to take stock. The foundations of such edifice rest on a single assumption. This hypothesis””one that drove many people, even some reasonable ones, to contemplate upending the world as we know it “” is that that traditional fuels will have cataclysmic consequences on the environment because they emit gases that make the world too hot.

The authority to turn this assumption into fact rested largely on a U.N. document – the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2007 report – which declared climate change “unequivocal” and its man-made origin “very likely.” The purpose of the IPCC report was to turn hypothesis into fact.

The reason Sens. Kerry, Graham and Lieberman had to turn away from cap-and-trade, and target industries individually, is that the idea of an iron-clad scientific consensus is now being revealed to be a bit, shall we say, exaggerated. The IPCC’s turning of hypothesis into fact now looks less like the scientific process and more like the magician you paid $50 an hour to pull flowers out of hats at your daughter’s birthday.

The IPCC report was a summary of existing scientific literature “” its conclusions are those of the world’s scientists. The threat of manmade global warming is, quite simply, a fact. As democracy derives much of its strength from the rational debate of ideas, it’s sad to see that the Heritage Foundation has fallen into the swamp of conspiracy theories.

The “edifice of global warming” is the edifice of modern civilization, the edifice of free enterprise, the edifice of Western thought. The great scientific endeavor to understand the world around us “” not through superstition and demagoguery but through tedious observation and critical examination “” has granted us the modern world, with the promise of previously unimaginable wealth and prosperity for billions. Much of the success of the scientific edifice is its ability to clarify inconvenient truths “” to allow society to face difficult decisions and recognize unintended consequences. Treating science like a buffet, picking only the facts that fit his reality and ascribing the rest to an inchoate conspiracy, is a threat to the edifice upon which modern man depends.

JR:  Let me end by quoting the Summary of the November statement by the Met Office (the UK’s National Weather Service [i.e. meteorological office], within the Ministry of Defence), the Natural Environment Research Council, and the UK’s Royal Society (the UK’s national academy of science, “the world’s oldest scientific academy in continuous existence,” founded in 1660):

The 2007 IPCC Assessment, the most comprehensive and respected analysis of climate change to date, states clearly that without substantial global reductions of greenhouse gas emissions we can likely expect a world of increasing droughts, floods and species loss, of rising seas and displaced human populations. However even since the 2007 IPCC Assessment the evidence for dangerous, long-term and potentially irreversible climate change has strengthened. The scientific evidence which underpins calls for action at Copenhagen is very strong. Without co-ordinated international action on greenhouse gas emissions, the impacts on climate and civilisation could be severe.

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57 Responses to The Heritage Foundation loses its grip on reality, calls science ˜magic

  1. mike roddy says:

    This reminds me of Richard Pauli’s suggestion: do a list of the right wing “think tanks”, including funding and quotations from their reports.

    The catchy and harmless sounding names- Heritage “Foundation”, Cato “Institute” etc.- just mask their mission: transfer wealth from the poor to the rich, and rob future generations in order to keep up the flow of luxuries to older Americans. If the air is poisoned and the land raped, that’s OK, since it’s just the market at work.

    Their so called intellectual justifications no longer even pass the giggle test. I’m surprised that anyone at all pays attention to them.

  2. Roger says:

    It’s funny, but what some people write about others often seems to be an apt description of their own situation.

    So, I’d say the whole edifice of denial is in danger of falling apart, at least as seen from thier own weird perspective.

    This does not mean that we can let down our guard, nor our work to help inform the misinformed public.

    Rather, we should redouble our efforts and try to accelerate the move toward a hoped for coup de grace for denialism.

    Finally, we should redouble our efforts to get President Obama to help inform misinformed Americans, and LEAD on climate change!

  3. MarkB says:

    When did the Heritage Foundation ever have a grip on reality?

  4. Sou says:

    I couldn’t resist visiting (and posting) and found this on the site. I’m almost positive it’s a joke post and suspect some other are as well. This one was a goodie:

    You talk about Globle warming could this heating in the world be in part by the rockets america and russia sending into Orbit. They have to put holes into the OZONE to get to the MOON. Also could it be the reason we have the EARTH QUAKE AND ALL THIS BAD WEATHER. i’VE BEEN WATCHING AND IT SEAMS LIKE TWO TO THREE WEEKSAFTER THE LAST ONE WENT UP WE HAD ALL THIS SNOW DUMPED ON US HAIT HAD THE QUAKE THE IT RETURNED TO EARTH AND CHILE HAD A QUAKE. OR DO YOU CALL IT JUST A FLUKE OF FATE

    I loved the bit about holes in the ozone to get to the moon :D

  5. Bill W says:

    Re the quoted post in #4: I am often amazed at how little education (I won’t go so far as to say intelligence) is apparently required in order to use a computer.

  6. Dana says:

    Is anyone surprised? Most deniers think climate change is caused by magical “natural cycles” which they can’t identify. When you have no comprehension of basic science, it seems magical.

  7. Wit's End says:

    Sou, I started a thread at the coffee party website (http://www.coffeepartyusa.com/content/climate-change#comment-3091) and got this comment, weird!

    I HAVE NOTICED A LOT GOING ON
    1VeryOldBob – 2010-03-05 08:52
    The biggest thing people are not looking at is the 11 year cycle of the sun. The poles flip and as this happens you get fewer sun spots, and sun spots are what makes the sun hotter and makes us warmer. The sun just flipped this last year so less sun spot and cooler weather and in 3 to 4 years on average the sun will heat up and it will become warmer. But the few spots on the sun and the pattern of how many often repeat and the last time of a cycle like this was in the late 1920′s and everyone knows what happened after that. So people that think man can not change the climate have something to point at with America being cooler the last 2 years. But what I have seen is the upper wind patters change the past several years where the summer wind pattern blows in the winter and the winter wind pattern blow in the summer over North America, I dont know about the rest of the world because I live here. Also as the people that think nothing is going on do not know that the Atlantic current stopped in 2006 for about 10 days due to ice melt and that is not a good thing. Also our magnetic field turned off for a short period in 2007 and the Earths magnetic field is flipping and know one talks about that at all and this could be a much bigger problem. And the last people in the White House did not want to talk about anything when it comes to climate change.

  8. ewh says:

    It really doesn’t take much to use a computer, but this reminds me of a letter to the editor a couple of years ago, blaming global warming on the epansion of daylight savings time since that made the days longer. It turned out the author had written a lot of joke letters previously. She enjoyed the sport of writing something ridiculous and outrageous and having it taken seriously. This sounds like that sort of thing. Good clean fun really.

  9. Chris Winter says:

    Sou, Yes, that’s a goodie. It may well be an intentional joke (what we often call a “Poe” — a post by someone pretending to be absurdly uninformed), but it’s hard to tell.

    I’m still wondering about a post I saw on the Heritage Foundation blog a year ago. It consisted of several sentences, one of which asked, “If carbon dioxide traps heat, then how is cold beer possible?”

  10. Chris Winter says:

    The Heritage Foundation’s Mike Gonzales wrote:

    “The authority to turn this assumption into fact rested largely on a U.N. document – the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2007 report – which declared climate change “unequivocal” and its man-made origin “very likely.” The purpose of the IPCC report was to turn hypothesis into fact.”

    This paragraph clearly reveals that Gonzales subscribes to the post-modernist twaddle that all ideas are equally valid. The key phrase is “turn this assumption into fact.” Underlying that is complete rejection of any concept of a scientific method: a procedure by which ideas (hypotheses) may be tested against the real world and either rejected or found to be valid. Thus, the idea that humans burning fossil fuels are causing the world to warm is merely an opinion, which is given weight only by the authority (another key word) of the United Nations.

    Joe Romm refutes Gonzales’s misconception (and without any ad hominem attacks). But how sad that the idea keeps cropping up from sources that ought to know better. It’s the zombie meme — just when you think you might have eradicated every trace of it, here’s another infectee coming at you from another direction.

  11. Zan says:

    It’s the old “Confuse and separate” or is it “Separate and confuse”?

  12. Stuart says:

    Oh yeah, that’s gotta be a Poe. But it’s a good one!

  13. Sam says:

    The Heritage Foundation has neither heritage nor foundation.

  14. Mark Shapiro says:

    Naomi Oreskes just gave a talk about the history of climate deniers, based on her new book:
    “Merchants of Doubt”. Tim Lambert has the video at Deltoid:

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/naomi_oreskes_on_merchants_of.php

    Our friend John Mashey has analyzed the network of professional doubters.

  15. Lou Grinzo says:

    From the quote widget on my iGoogle desktop, comes a goodie that should be a cautionary tale for deneier and those who deny they’re deniers (e.g. Lomborg):

    It’s so much easier to suggest solutions when you don’t know too much about the problem.

    - Malcolm Forbes

    ———————————

    As for the issue of why anyone listens to the Heritage Foundation, etc. any more, it’s simple: There are people who will benefit from more people believing what these groups are selling. Whether those beneficiaries actually believe it or not is irrelevant; they will still promote it as Absolute Truth because it serves their interests.

    Study economics long enough, and you learn to see the evil myopia in anyone…

  16. Dennis says:

    “The IPCC report was a summary of existing scientific literature — its conclusions are those of the world’s scientists. The threat of manmade global warming is, quite simply, a fact.”

    The sad fact is, we cannot get people to read any of the scientific literature, even the “user friendly” versions written for the general public, because the anti-science machines out there are so effective with lying talking points and accusations. How many times do you suspect that we will read articles citing “more like the magician you paid $50 an hour to pull flowers out of hats” instead of actual science? This is the problem, folks.

  17. Lou Grinzo says:

    Dennis(16):

    Bingo!

    And the reason we’ll see such idiocy repeated endlessly is as simple as it is depressing: The deniers are telling people what they want to hear, not what they need to hear.

    We can all make up our own metaphor–they’re the ones telling people to ignore their doctors and keep on smoking (and that’s literally what some of them did); they tell people to ignore their dentists and skip brushing and flossing; they’re the ones telling people with heart disease to spend their money on Twinkies and Big Macs instead of statin prescriptions. Of course, since they’re the ones selling the candy, cigarettes, Twinkies, and Big Macs, it’s hard to see why they have any credibility at all.

    Oh wait, I forgot how I started this comment–they’re telling people what they want to hear. That really does explain it all…

  18. BBHY says:

    The reason the sun goes so high in the summertime is that it’s much hotter then, and everybody knows that heat makes things rise.

    Ok, can I get my $10,000 from Exxon now?

  19. Michael T says:

    Mark Shapiro @ 14

    Thanks for the great video.

  20. Anne says:

    The only magic going around is the black magic of the deniers’ ability to con the press into printing and airing their, uh, elephant-poop. (and, those be some big turds, ‘turds’ being purely scientific jargon of course).

    We all knew the war of the words was coming, we just couldn’t predict where and when it would play out. Kinda like climate disruption. Inevitable, but hard to crystal-ball the specifics. Cancer, by the way, is like that too.

    Would someone please step forward and acknowledge that if one looks at the problem holistically, despite the transparently acknowledged uncertainties painfully quantified and characterized by the most well-intended of us — the biggest wildcard of all is the response of homo sapiens. (And, for those of you who are still illiterate, this doesn’t refer to the gay community.) The collective human response is the only dependent variable that matters right now. Obviously, the deniers, delayers, and disinformers are hip to this reality, else they’d be turning their attention elsewhere. Thanks Dr. Romm, for all you do at the front lines of this battle. I, for one, have your back.

  21. Carter says:

    Arthur C. Clarke said, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” That’s how far advanced science is over the Heritage Foundation.

  22. prokaryote says:

    Identifying a liar:

    Liars, most of the times, indulge in misguiding and misleading people around them. They could be identified by their situational dramatization behavior with baseless reason thereof. It is solely due to misunderstanding or unawareness of the world around them. Such an attitude may be self oriented or externally motivated by environmental factors to commit for lying. In some cases, it leads to mental disorder requiring right and timely pathological treatment which when neglected culminates with bad ends.
    http://ezinearticles.com/?To-Identify-a-Liar-Know-Psychology-of-Lying&id=1379341

    misguiding and misleading people – check
    dramatization behavior with baseless reason – check
    externally motivated – check

  23. joe1347 says:

    Yep, that ‘very likely’ phrase being used against the science community.

  24. doubting Thomas says:

    My fear is it really IS falling apart! I am seeing many of my scientific colleagues, a wide variety of fields, including some in the Climate Science community, becoming deniers, where before they were warmists, at least. I set up monthly programs for a wide range of scientific subjects, but cannot get anyone in CS area (and I have abundant local access) to make a presentation. What gives? So far, I haven’t asked for a presentation from a denier, but I know several hands that will go up if I do so. Even the scientists are becoming sceptics. How do I combat this?

  25. prokaryote says:

    24, Thomas – watch
    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/03/naomi_oreskes_on_merchants_of.php

    How long will it take till “denial of science” and denial arguments are considered a crime?

  26. Phila says:

    I am seeing many of my scientific colleagues, a wide variety of fields, including some in the Climate Science community, becoming deniers, where before they were warmists, at least.

    A friendly tip: Concern trolling works better when you don’t slip up and use right-wing tropes.

    Signed,

    A lifelong member of the Democrat Party, who is very worried about Barry Obama’s socialism.

  27. David B. Benson says:

    Spreading CUD.

    Confusion
    Uncertainty
    Doubt

  28. Chuck says:

    I feel better knowing that there were no politics (or politicians) involved in the IPCC process. That one could keep political types from being involved in a UN sponsored organization is just amazing. Congratulations on that unique accomplishment.

  29. John Hollenberg says:

    Motto of Doubting Thomas (#24):

    “If you believe it, it’s not a lie.” (George Costanza, Seinfeld)

  30. John Hollenberg says:

    Re: #28

    I feel better knowing that no deniers are involved in posting comments on this Climate Science blog.

    [JR: Uhh, there are few "deniers" in general as I use the term -- professional disinformers -- and they rarely post here. There are lots of anti-science disinformers who post here, though. Nice try, though.]

  31. John Hollenberg says:

    > There are lots of anti-science disinformers who post here, though. Nice try, though.

    Point taken. The general message is still the same, and makes about as much sense as “Chuck” (#28).

  32. Doug Bostrom says:

    doubting Thomas says: March 5, 2010 at 8:06 pm

    I hope you’re a volunteer, or somebody’s wasting their money.

    Talk about “phoning it in.”

  33. Sou says:

    You know, doubting Thomas, that over-used concern troll tripe ‘I am a scientist who used to believe’ or ‘I know scientists who now deny, please help’ is getting really old. Can’t you come up with something more original?

  34. mike roddy says:

    John Hollenberg:

    We don’t have much patience here for deniers or anti science disinformers, since they are invariably ignorant of the evidence and illogical in their arguments. When they appear, they are usually brushed aside (see Sou #33).

    Joe sets the tone. There is no point in giving legitimacy to those who dispute basic physical processes, or in encouraging nonsensical “debates”.

  35. John Hollenberg says:

    Mike Roddy:

    You may have misunderstood my post–it was a parody of #28. I am in complete agreement with you, and glad that Joe doesn’t allow the blog to be a forum for the anti-science disinformers.

  36. A glorious contradiction in terms: ‘right-wing think tank’.

    Senator Graham has guts to stand up to this lot.

  37. Leif says:

    Gregory, #35: More like right-wing septic tank.

    Graham has guts? I would say a duty, a moral obligation if you will.

  38. Per #36, I would just add that having a moral obligation to stand up to groups like the Heritage Foundation does not preclude having courage when one actually does so.

  39. doubting Thomas says:

    Why am I attacked as a “troll” and “non-scientist” and “liar” when I have a BS in Chemistry and MS in Chemical Engineering? I believe in AGW and did not say I didn’t. I AM the VOLUNTARY program chair (wishing I could get out of it, or be paid for it) of a 600+ member organization with various (and often multiple) science degrees working in the biomedical, energy, metals, aerospace, climate, semi-conductor, environmental, and other fields plus academics (professors). Sadly, we don’t have any non-scientists/engineers in the group, though we do have some science-interested sons & daughters plus investors and/or their representatives who attend our presentations.

    Apologies to all here, as I didn’t realize my real concern would be dismissed without even some direction, and I certainly didn’t know I was using “right-wing tropes (tripes),” or would be judged for my “lack of originality.” I am (or was) new here, and have blogged (as in posted something) a cumulative total of perhaps 5 hours in my life, but have used the internet extensively over the past 15 years, mostly for research. But thanks for your collective “assistance”, and sorry I wasted your and my time. I’ll pursue the Naomi link though, so thanks ‘prokaryote’.

  40. John Hollenberg says:

    Re: #39

    > I believe in AGW and did not say I didn’t.

    Do you think posting as “doubting Thomas” may have had any effect on the sort of responses you got? I went back and re-read your original post, and it still looks like the post of an anti-science disinformer to me. Who else uses the term “warmist”?

  41. #39. doubting Thomas says:

    I have a BS in Chemistry and MS in Chemical Engineering

    Speaking only for myself, if you actually want to establish your cred here, then you ought to actually do that by linking to your CV, for example. So far, you’re just another annonymous poster. (For instance, clicking on my monicker goes directly to my professional academic portfolio. The monicker is there because I’ve a sense of humor that nobody understands …)

    Secondly, your degrees do not by themsleves demonstrate any relevant expertise in the areas under discussion. Indeed, a problem that has been discussed here in the past is that a background in engineering is often not as helpful as one might desire in understanding climate science.

    (My background, if you’re interested is
    AOS: philosophy of science & logic
    AOC: ethics & philosophy of technology.)

    Thirdly, the forms of your expression struck me as rather suspicious as well, and this site is something of a lightening rod for various types of trolls and disinformers. Obviously I can only apologize for myself, but IF I was mistaken in that impression, THEN I apologize.

  42. Phila says:

    Why am I attacked as a “troll” and “non-scientist” and “liar” when I have a BS in Chemistry and MS in Chemical Engineering?

    Because no one knew that these things were true when you made your comment…not least because you didn’t mention them. And of course, no one knows them to be true now that you have mentioned them.

    If you’ve really only blogged for about five hours, here’s another friendly tip: people online tend to be skeptical of the credentials that pseudonymous people claim to have. The reason for this, obviously, is that anyone can claim to be anything online (I myself have 7 PhDs and speak nine languages, so you know I’m right about this).

    Although I still don’t actually believe anything you’re claiming here, I’d suggest that if you really do need help — and really can’t get it from the professional network to which, as a highly educated person who holds a position of authority at a seemingly prestigious scientific organization, you undoubtedly have easy access — you probably ought to stop using the term “warmists.” It’s worth a shot, anyway.

  43. doubting Thomas says:

    LOL. My mom (who named me Thomas) always referred to me as “doubting Thomas”, since he was the apostle who asked Jesus to (I paraphrase) “show me the holes”, and I tend to demonstrate the same tendencies. I also do not automatically defer to experts in any field, and tend to use my prowess (such as it is) in rigorous application of the scientific method to whatever the problem is, gathering data and analyzing it to confirm what I hear, and make conclusions/recommendations for further scientific research/investigation/tests. Anti-science I am not, it’s way too cool & fun.

    Engineering requires and applies science (indeed, it couldn’t exist without it), so when combined with my science degree, I do not think that DQ’s me from the topic of discussion. Indeed, the only reason I posted here is because all the sciences are potentially being damaged by the widespread controversy now occuring in climate science – which may explain why I find no CS presentations forthcoming.

    I have always been dogged about protecting my privacy, which in this era of identity-theft, it has proven to be a good policy. This policy has been even more reinforced given the ad-hominem attacks I’ve seen (and even personally witnessed, and was subjected to here) on both sides of this particular issue. So no, if you will be so kind, I prefer to remain somewhat anonymous. If my CV is a pre-condition to getting legitimate responses, I regret that I must bow out.

    I used the term “warmist” because I had seen it at other sites, heard it from peers & friends, not realizing it was exclusively used by one side of the issue. Also, I thought it to be an apt description for GW folks who are not necessarily AGW folks. I hope introduction of the latter two terms will not elicit yet a new set of acrimonious/inimical responses.

  44. David B. Benson says:

    doubting Thomas (43) — The so-called controversy is at about the same level as that between biologists, especially specialists in evolution, and YECers.

    We don’t call the former “evolutionists”, or worse, “Darwinists”.

  45. Phila says:

    I have always been dogged about protecting my privacy, which in this era of identity-theft, it has proven to be a good policy. This policy has been even more reinforced given the ad-hominem attacks I’ve seen (and even personally witnessed, and was subjected to here) on both sides of this particular issue. So no, if you will be so kind, I prefer to remain somewhat anonymous. If my CV is a pre-condition to getting legitimate responses, I regret that I must bow out.

    You weren’t subjected to any ad hominem attacks here. You were assumed to be insincere, rightly or wrongly. There’s actually a difference.

    Since you don’t have much experience on the Internet, let’s go over some of the important things you’ve learned today.

    1) Calling people “warmists” = an invitation to be seriously misunderstood, at best.
    2) Frivolous accusations of ad hominem = likely to irritate people who actually know what the term means. (And also, I’m sad to say, a time-honored tactic of concern trolls.)
    3) Acting as though people online have some sort of moral obligation to accept on faith that you are what you say you are, even if you use language that strongly suggests otherwise = somewhat irrational.

    If you’re sincere, you can reflect on the fact that a lot of people online aren’t, realize that people on sites like this one come by their wariness honestly, and adjust your approaches and responses accordingly.

    If you’re not….

  46. serik says:

    above all, make sure you don’t fall prey to those anti-warmist doubterist-skepticist, unscientific disinformicists – they are potentially worser than the anti-consensualists & other dyscreationist evolutionists

    srk

  47. mike roddy says:

    John Hollenberg:

    I got it, actually, and was not referring to you in reference to Joe’s policy of keeping the bad deniers outta here.

  48. sHx says:

    “The so-called controversy is at about the same level as that between biologists, especially specialists in evolution, and YECers.”

    Yeah, really? Can you please show us which passages of the Bible the so-called denialists usually invoke in their supposedly anti-scientific crusade? The fact is that climate scepticism cherishes the same scientific principles that gave birth to the catastrophic AGW theory. It argues that AGW theory and the policy responses it urges are wrong because the scientific method in this particular field is incorrectly/insufficiently applied. Climate scepticism does not take its cues from the Bible or the Koran like creationists do when they argue against evolution. Of course, no one expects the AGW faithful to care about this distinction. It gives them comfort to think and portray climate sceptics as Bible-bashing loonies similar to those in the 19th Century.

  49. sHx says:

    “above all, make sure you don’t fall prey to those anti-warmist doubterist-skepticist, unscientific disinformicists – they are potentially worser than the anti-consensualists & other dyscreationist evolutionists”

    LOL. How ’bout the wait-and-seeist and delusionist Exxonist shills and the anti-science vorticist idiots who wouldn’t know how to count up to ten even if you hit them in the head with the 1700-page IPCC report that was approved by 20 zillion scientists in the last 150 years?

  50. #43. doubting Thomas says,

    Engineering requires and applies science

    Stuff and nonsense.

    The engineers who built the pyramids (Egyptian, Mayan or Aztec) (to name only a few major projects of antiquity) had nothing like modern “science” at their beck and call, although they had some glimmering notion of basic principles of inquiry that they could and would turn to under what were otherwise the most rigidly limited of circumstances. So your assertion either wildly extends the contemporary meaning of the word “science” to include anything that miraculously fails to collapse after a day, or it is simply false. On this account, I again observe that waving around your — merely CLAIMED — engineering background is wonderfully less informative &/or impressive than what you would seem to assume it to be.

    And that is again assuming — entirely in the absence of facts, which a REAL engineer or scientist would be utterly appalled by — that your merely asserted claims are true.

    Next, as anyone who has ever bothered to study the basic principles of critical thinking already knows, an argumentum ad hominem only occurs when the personal issue(s) raised is/are either false, irrelevant, or both. Your refusal to provide legitimate credentials is an irrefutable FACT, and the relevance of such credentials is equally irrefutable. Your cavilling about privacy issues while at the same time demanding that your grotesquely unsubstantiated claims of competence be accepted at face value can scarcely be interpreted as anything other than bald-faced hypocrisy.

    But perhaps I am mistaken on this point. Perhaps, instead, you would care to provide actual evidence — evidence that actually stands up to the basic principles of critical thinking — to substantiate your accusation? Or would that just be too hard?

    If your real priority is to cower, than do please feel free to do so silently and elsewhere. (Although, clearly this is only my opinions; ultimately Dr. Romm is the one to establish and maintain protocols on his own site. That being said, as long as I am permitted to post here, I will continue to express my impatience with people who cannot be troubled to exhibit even the barest degree of intellectual honesty.)

    If, in contrast, you actually expect to be treated with respect (and not just by me), then I submit you are morally obligated to behave in a manner that actually deserves respect. If that is just too hard for you, then precisely on what logically valid basis would you presume to require any better treatment than that which you’ve been given? (Cowardice and hypocrisy being less than logically sound reasons?)

    In conclusion, I submit that “anti-science” is most certainly what you are. Because, in my admittedly limited studies, REAL science does not cower behind annoymity. But perhaps I am mistaken; perhaps I just haven’t read deeply enough into the literature. So do please instruct me here by citing the important scientific works that have so changed the world that were produced by people who couldn’t be troubled to acknowledge their identities and qualifications in the process, and elected instead to hide behind masks and unverifiable claims of their (in point of fact) irrelevant supposed expertise.

    I was genuinely prepared to have my initial impressions disproven. You had the chance to own up and behave like an actual person. Instead, you’ve elected to manufacture excuses to continue to be nothing but a troll cowering behind his annonymity. At this point I am hoping that it is otiose for me to point out how thoroughly un impressed I am.

  51. Leif says:

    doubting Thomas: Within my personal sphere I know two professional people who insist that AGW is a hoax. I have had a number of conversations over the years with each and to this point have not been able to penetrate their defenses. Why this is so is very frustrating to me. One is very religious. While I know a number of religious fundamentalists that have become concerned advocates over the years it does appear that “Creation Care” has been slow to surface. Again much to my dismay. It is intellectually curious why the “church” doctrine and hierarchy, even this late in the game, is so slow in even investigating concern. If God in fact created the earth and gave man the intellectual capacity to prosper to the point of present development and scientific understanding, surely He/She would expect us those same gifts to not trash out our nest. Very strange in my view.

    The other, a civil engineer, is not restrained by religious beliefs but for some reason has been convinced that man is just incapable of the task of changing the global climate and refuses to even entertain the concept. Any facts presented just get dismissed as tree hugger hysteria. Again, very strange.

    If you are in fact a recent convert to “doubting” I would be very interested in understand your motivations or “enlightenment.”

  52. Phila says:

    It argues that AGW theory and the policy responses it urges are wrong because the scientific method in this particular field is incorrectly/insufficiently applied.

    And generally speaking, it’ll use any “fact” at hand to make that argument, regardless of whether it actually is a fact (“it’s the sun, stupid!”), or contradicts a fact asserted earlier (“it’s not happening, and besides, it’s beneficial!”), or whether the fact has been debunked multiple times (“hide the decline!”), or whether the fact has any actual bearing on climate science (“Al Gore is a bad person!”).

    Also, it tends to provide no good evidentiary basis for its attacks on the scientific consensus (e.g., for the claim that there’s actually no consensus, or that consensus is a product of collusion, or that tens of thousands of tiny errors of fact and interpretation have somehow added up, over decades, to what only seems to be a coherent picture of the world). We’re simply supposed to take it on faith that everyone but the skeptics is doing science wrong.

    And it demands a level of skepticism that it usually won’t apply to its own side of the debate, let alone to all the other scientific claims that are widely accepted for the same reasons AGW is (i.e., a mountain of evidence supports them).

    And last, most “skeptics” offer no good, testable hypothesis for the claim that human activity can’t affect climate or that any effects will be negligible or that attempts to reduce emissions will destroy Western civilization. By and large, it’s simply a kneejerk negation of what the best current science says.

    All of which seems decidedly anti-scientific to me.

  53. David B. Benson says:

    sHx (48) — On the contrary, the scientific method is indeed correctly applied by climatologists and completely absent on WUWT etcetera ad nauseum. For example, find one error in “The Discovery of Global Warming” by Spencer Weart:
    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/index.html

    The YECers I was referring to are those of the 20th and 21st centuries, still as wrong as ever, despite somewhat more sophisticated arguments than you attribute to them. I stand by my analogy.

  54. Chris Winter says:

    sHx wrote (#48): “Yeah, really? Can you please show us which passages of the Bible the so-called denialists usually invoke in their supposedly anti-scientific crusade?”

    That meant “at about the same level of intellectual rigor.” No Bible verses implied or required. Young-Earth Creationists reject the scientific evidence, just as the most ardent AGW denialists do.

    “The fact is that climate scepticism cherishes the same scientific principles that gave birth to the catastrophic AGW theory. It argues that AGW theory and the policy responses it urges are wrong because the scientific method in this particular field is incorrectly/insufficiently applied. Climate scepticism does not take its cues from the Bible or the Koran like creationists do when they argue against evolution. Of course, no one expects the AGW faithful to care about this distinction. It gives them comfort to think and portray climate sceptics as Bible-bashing loonies similar to those in the 19th Century.”

    So why don’t you show forth your understanding of those scientific principles by using them to explain to us why we are wrong in holding to “AGW theory”? Is it the effects of atmospheric CO2 on visible and infrared light that we’ve misunderstood? Please, enlighten us.

    Oh, by the way: It’s “Bible-thumping”, not “Bible-bashing.” The latter implies lack of belief in holy writ.

  55. sHx's doppelganger says:

    “So why don’t you show forth your understanding of…”

    I can’t show my understanding of anything on this blog anymore because whatever I post began to disappear into the ether. Can you help solve that mystery for us?

    “Oh, by the way: It’s “Bible-thumping”, not “Bible-bashing.” The latter implies lack of belief in holy writ.”

    Yeah, American English rools, dude!

  56. doubting Thomas says:

    Well, I clearly see I’ve come to the wrong place for assistance on this subject. After checking credentials as advised, I see everyone here is a philosopher and not even a scientist.

    [snip]

    [JR: You didn't do much checking. I am a physicist by training.]

  57. doubting Thomas says:

    Good. Then we’re ALL DQ’d! Thanks for the help.
    BS Chem 75; MS ChE 81; MBA 89