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Global warming and careerism

February 14th, 2006

ABC Four Corners ran an interesting show last night on the anti-science interest groups who dominate the formulation and official discussion of policy on global warming in Australia. Transcript here, along with discussion from Tim Lambert and Larvatus Prodeo.

What particularly interested me was the number of scientists who had been pushed out of CSIRO, or had left of their own volition, after being tightly censored in what they could say about global warming, and the emissions reductions that would be needed to stabilise the climate (the latter point is particularly sensitive since any actual number implies a target and government policy is opposed to targets).

In particular, I was struck by the fact that global warming contrarians commonly explain the overwhelming support of climate scientists for the consensus view on anthropogenic global warming in terms of careerism. The contrarians say that if the scientists deviated from the dominant consensus, they would lose their jobs or their grant funding.

THe Four Corners report made it clear that, in Australia (as also in the US) the exact opposite is the truth. Speaking out in support of science on global warming is a very bad career move, at least for anyone employed by the government. In climate science, where the big organisations have been CSIRO and the Met Bureau, that constraint applies to most people working in the field.

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  1. conrad
    February 14th, 2006 at 20:04 | #1

    There was another report somewhere else that I currently can’t remember which showed that at least they got good jobs in other countries. In this respect you might be able to to look at it positively, in the sense that if science in the US is getting underfunded and lots of really smart people are getting censored, one can imagine that more really smart people who moved to the US might start moving to other countries. In this case it could be a bit like the fall of Carthage as people with the potential to work in high tech areas move away from the US and take that potential with them.

    Perhaps the real solution to global warming is to ask the opinion of 18 year olds rather than old corrupt people who are going to die before too many problems from it emerge.

  2. February 14th, 2006 at 21:32 | #2

    Yeah, those contrarians are horrible, glad I’m not one of them!

  3. Mark White
    February 14th, 2006 at 21:40 | #3

    Claims that the fossil fuel industry had unprecedented access to confidential Commonwealth government processes and the silencing of senior climate change scientists require an independent investigation, the Australian Greens said today.

    The allegations point to a corruption of the process for developing government policy on the most critical environmental issue facing the nation, Greens climate change spokesperson Senator Christine Milne said.

    http://greens.org.au/mediacentre/mediareleases/senatormilne/130206a

  4. February 14th, 2006 at 23:23 | #4

    Mark – I was not really convinced that they do. There is the chance that the people taped were just braggers and had no such access. I think the normal level of access they have combined with an agreeable coal mining government is sufficient to have warped the policy direction toward fossil fuels.

  5. brian
    February 15th, 2006 at 00:45 | #5

    Nothing suprises me about the Howard Government and the suppression or denial of the truth. We see the same forces at work in the US . There is a recent book on the Republicans war of science…on the matter of global warming,on stem-cell research,on evolution…a host of other matters too.
    So in Canberra the same culture dominates.Even if the fact were even more obvious,they would still lie and distort. They are congenitial liars and like their US buddies,they will deny the facts until they no longer can…and then someone else will have inherent a vast crisis. One should read the writing of the emminent UK authority ,Sir James Lovelock,who sees the long term effect of global warming as threatening the basis ofg human civilizatioin itself…but don’t expert John Howard’s mates to listen…only profit and “the economy” matters to them. Liars all !!(Iraq, WMD’s,children overboard,wheat-deals,whatever !!)

  6. Terje Petersen
    February 15th, 2006 at 05:17 | #6

    In terms of Johns argument about careerism I agree with him. People might keep silent about their beliefs in order to preserve a well paid job, however very few people will fabricate their entire belief system purely for material gain. Some belief systems are things that people will often die for rather than change. Whether a particular belief system correlates with the truth is open to debate.

    The suggestion that pro AGW scientists are just making stuff up for grants and promotions does not wash in my view. Hopefully we can also see an end to the claims made on this website that those in favour of privatisation, tax cuts and smaller government are on the take.

    On global warming John Quiggin has previously explained how the Kyoto protocol is a low cost solution. In this I think he is also largely correct. However I am still keen to see John Quiggin explain why he thinks that the Kyoto Protocol is NOT a low benefit solution.

    To paraphrase the details:-

    1. John Quiggin has argued that over a decade the Kyoto Protocol would defer economic growth by merely a few weeks.

    2. Others have shown that over a century the Kyoto Protocol would defer global warming by merely a few years.

    So to me the Kyoto Protocol looks like a low cost solution with very minor benefits.

    Clearly the advocates of the Kyoto Protocol envisage that it will evolve into something of high benefit. And the opponents envisage that it will evolve into something of high cost.

    I am keen to see John Quiggin explain why he thinks that the Kyoto Protocol is NOT a low benefit solution. Or perhaps he agrees that it is a low benefit solution.

  7. February 15th, 2006 at 08:43 | #7

    Terje,

    In regarding to the ‘cost-benefit’ analysis of Kyoto as it is, versus, a beefed up Kyoto, versus inaction, which you demand of Professor Quiggin, you are truly nit-picking.

    If you would only take off your neo-liberal economic ‘rationalist’ blinkers, you would understand that most of the manufactured items for which so much greenhouse pollution has been generated, which is either now in landfill, or destined, in a matter of months to end up in landfill, is of virtually no long term benefit to humankind, anyway.

    We don’t need expensive time-consuming research to understand that.

    The unfettered ‘free market’ has clearly failed to make rational use of this planet’s scarce non-renewable resources so far, and is bringing our environment, and our civilisation, to the brink of catastrophe.

    The ‘free market’ is highly unlikely to change its behaviour in the near future, that is, until unless our elected parliamentary representatives finally decide to use the powers vested in them to rein in the selfish behaviour of our corporations in the interests of the broader community.

    When they do, there is no question that they should act to dramatically act to vastly curtail the current levels of consumption of fossil fuels and implement plans to allow our society to cope with less energy, as it has, before.

    That is a very small price to pay for our future and for the sake of future generations.

  8. still working it out
    February 15th, 2006 at 08:47 | #8

    I am continually struck by the similarities between the operation of the Howard government and the operation of Republicans in the US. It almost seems that the current crop of political operatives in Canberra, both those in and outside the government, learnt their craft in Washington.

    Things like industry lobbyists writing ministerial briefings make me feel like I am reading about US politics. In the US it has gotten to the point where industry lobbyist actually write some of the legislation affecting them, which is then passed without an opportunity for anybody to actually read it beforehand. I wonder if the Coalition having control of the Senate will result in the same thing happening here one day.

  9. O6
    February 15th, 2006 at 09:47 | #9

    Does anyone remember Mr Howard’s first energy minister, Senator Warwick Parer, a rich Queensland coal-miner? Does anyone remember that he got sick of being a minister because questions kept being asked about his continued involvement in the management of his coal companies, but not before he had brought about the abolition the Energy R&D Corporation, which mainly funded R&D into renewables?
    Why should anyone be surprised at the continuing coal-first policies of this government? But remember, it’s not ‘picking winners’ in subsidising coal research because it always lets the market decide. Doesn’t it?

  10. snuh
    February 15th, 2006 at 09:49 | #10

    I am keen to see John Quiggin explain why he thinks that the Kyoto Protocol is NOT a low benefit solution. Or perhaps he agrees that it is a low benefit solution.

    yeah, well i am keen to see some substantiation of this, and, should such be forthcoming, an explanation of the errors therein:

    Hopefully we can also see an end to the claims made on this website that those in favour of privatisation, tax cuts and smaller government are on the take.

    oh well, i guess we can’t always get what we want.

  11. wilful
    February 15th, 2006 at 10:39 | #11

    Terje, firstly I do think you have fairly characterised the question.

    But the answer to the question is obvious, and it lies in international politics and diplomacy rather than economics. Kyoto is both low cost and low benefit (although IMHO the benefits outweigh the costs), however given the recalcitrance, shrtsightedness and sheer wilful bloodymindedness of many of the negotiating parties, all seeking to maximise their short term advantage and not giving a crap about future generations or the biosphere, it was about as good as was going to be gotten at the time. It was only ever considered a prelude for real action.

    If we stay in the current fettered view of what an economy and a society should look like, then Kyoto II will be high cost, I agree. It will unfortunately be totally inevitable (to pay those costs) unless we all want to live in a dystopian wasteland. I still think that an economic/industrial revolution towards a low carbon economy is quite achievable and will be much less painful than many people who cannot get out of their mental straightjackets will admit. I beleive that the much vaunted (particularly by the free-marketeers) human inguenity and novel technology will be able to rapidly transform the world.

    But I also believe that we’re on a trajectory towards ecological armageddon, so I like to think happy thoughts that we’ll all pull through to keep me sane.

  12. StephenL
    February 15th, 2006 at 11:03 | #12

    Terje,

    The point of Kyoto was that while it’s direct benefits would be small, it was believed that it would smooth the way for bigger and better things. There were several ways in which it was hoped it would do this. So far I think the jury is still out on its success, but as long as there is a reasonable prospect that it might work it should be supported, even if it itself won’d do very much.

  13. wilful
    February 15th, 2006 at 11:24 | #13

    It almost seems that the current crop of political operatives in Canberra, both those in and outside the government, learnt their craft in Washington.
    Well one of Howard’s sons did work on Bush’s 2004 campaign.

  14. Hermit
    February 15th, 2006 at 12:47 | #14

    Adoption of liability for greenhouse induced loss would set a cat among the pigeons. If Australian coal produces 10% of the world’s GHG, then maybe we should pay up prorata. For example $US30bn towards the reconstruction of New Orleans.

  15. Merredin
    February 15th, 2006 at 13:13 | #15

    Ender,

    It maybe that the braggers may just be pumping up their own egos, but their comments was used in a peer reviewed work (the PHD). Because of this I would expect that it would be a bad idea for the author of that PHD to use these interviews (if they were dubious) and I expect he and his supervisors knew this.

    Secondly, it is important to keep in mind that this government has had a “put all our eggs in one (coal) basket” mentallity on this problem and has not tried to hard to hide it. This is reflected in its heavy backing of geosequestratoin and poor backing (when compared to other countries) of other energy technologies. Now, this could be in part due to our former head scientific advisor working half time for Rio Tinto which may have skewed his view slightly…. I do not wish to suggest that he was corrupt or anything like that, but I have always wondered what the bosses and shareholders of rio tinto would have said (to him) if he had suggested a broader multi energy source direction (wind/solar/hotrocks/tidal & wave power etc) and encouraged the government to adequately subsidise the needed research in this direction.

  16. derrida derider
    February 15th, 2006 at 13:39 | #16

    It certainly looked bad on 4 Corners, but unfortunately I’m not surprised. Howard himself is pernickety about things like Cabinet docs (its part of his control freakery), and is in any case far too smart to be so blatant, but some of his ministers – especially early in his government – were different.

    Merredin though misses the point. Even if the best chance *globally* of averting catastrophe is a focus on renewables research, though, it doesn’t follow that Australia should focus its efforts there. We clearly should use our extremely limited resources to chase solutions – even less likely solutions – that favour us. We can safely rely on others, with much bigger resources, to explore the solutions that don’t favour us.

  17. Ian Gould
    February 15th, 2006 at 13:52 | #17

    Terje,

    Partially the answer depends on what you mean by “Kyoto”.

    The impact of the cuts agreed to for the five five years on climate will be modest and the costs of those cuts will be relaitvely high because much of the cost of settign up the institutions such as national carbon accoutnign systems and trading exchanges are front-loaded.

    Without knowing what targets are adopted for the period past 2012 it is impossible to quantify either the costs or benefits.

  18. Andrew Reynolds
    February 15th, 2006 at 14:22 | #18

    Terje,
    I asked this question of our good host some months ago. His response was that Kyoto was low benefit of itself, but was a good way to set up for further, future cuts. In essence, it established the principle.

  19. Merredin
    February 15th, 2006 at 15:19 | #19

    Derrida,

    I don’t agree that putting more time and money into renewables research doesn’t favour us. After all, Australia gets plenty of sun, we are surrounded by oceans near our big cities and the hot rocks (geothermal) potential is looking good. These are all resources to be tapped and many can be easily exported. A good example is the new method of extracting power from waves featured on Catalyst last year. From what I’ve read there is already interest in this from around the world.

  20. James Lane
    February 15th, 2006 at 16:08 | #20

    I guess my question is “what’s so special about climate scientists”?

    When I worked as a scientist in the public service, if I’d made unauthorised public pronouncements about policy, I would have been fired. I’d be sure the same would have been true of my Dad, who was a “top” scientist in a Federal department.

    If these “top” scientists want to quit and run around with the WWF crying that the sky is falling, fine, but why should they feel that they should be able to do that on the public dime?

  21. Steve Munn
    February 15th, 2006 at 16:29 | #21

    James Lane says: “If these “topâ€? scientists want to quit and run around with the WWF crying that the sky is falling, fine, but why should they feel that they should be able to do that on the public dime?”

    In my view scientists on the public payroll have a right and a duty to address the public on the issues that concern them. The public’s right to hear what scientists actually think is far more important than the right of a Government to avoid embarrassment.

    Those who are on the public dime should be true “public servants”, not robots under the thumb of pollies. Does that make sense James?

  22. rog
    February 15th, 2006 at 16:42 | #22

    I think it is more complex than that Steve, employees are paid by corporations (public and private) to do work for that corporation and that work remains the property of that organisation and anyone who releases information of that work without approval of the owner could be seen as a thief.

    Imagine if you paid me to come to your house to build a shed with your tools and materials and I took home some of the materials, how would you feel?

    Its all property.

  23. Steve Munn
    February 15th, 2006 at 16:52 | #23

    Rog, don’t be such a fool. Climate change research is not “property” and subject to patents. It is information that belongs in the public domain without any restrictions.

  24. jquiggin
    February 15th, 2006 at 17:33 | #24

    If we lacked confirmation that GW “contrarians” are anti-science authoritarians, we’re getting plenty in this thread.

  25. James Lane
    February 15th, 2006 at 17:58 | #25

    Steve,

    I don’t know what you do for a living, but you seem to have a poor understanding about how government (or business for that matter) works. What if a bunch of “top” scientists have different (but heartfelt) views. Should they all issue divergent press releases? How’s that going to help the public?

    The only way the process is for the experts to argue it out, and the senior bureaucrat make a balanced recommendation to the Minister. It’s an imperfect system, but the only one that will work in the long term. It’s also frustrating for people with contrary views – fair enough, you can quit and do what you want.

    I mentioned earlier that my father was a “top” scientist in a government department (in fact, he was a department head). He was once strongly opposed to a policy decision (actually a famous one), but (publically) kept his counsel. As it turned out, my father was quite wrong, and the policy was spectacularly successful. If my father had “come out” publically at the time, it would have likely hindered public acceptance of the policy, which in fact saved thousands of lives.

    In this instance, the “system” worked. No doubt there might be contrary examples. But if you work for the government, you should play by the rules, unless there are issues of corruption or malpractice.

  26. Mike Hart
    February 15th, 2006 at 18:05 | #26

    JQ, the 4Corners program while interesting was a bit of a mixed bag. I was unconvinced of the conspiratorial view proposition but did find it strongly supportive of the ‘group-think’ problem associated with all organisations. The evidence since Senator Parer’s non-demise early in the Howard years, the strong support of the extractive industries for the HR Nicholls society merely demonstrates, to me anyway, that the Liberal government is not a captive of these interests but rather has always been a strong supportive spokesparty for such Australian interests. I do not know why we are constantly suprised by what is obvious. The ‘Mafia’ tag is but a sign of that policy and political arrogance.

    The counterpoint was that good science and credible scientists buck the ‘group think’ trend, thus those who speak out suffer the consequences, good science -v- bad policy. The CSIRO has been gradualy gutted for years as they have been forced to either commercialise or fund from commercial outcomes to the detriment of good science which sometimes has no real commercial outcome, there have been a lot of good people shoved out beside the climate scientists. The contrarians will find any explanation to suit their ideology, ala the AWB and Vaile’s assertion today that it was basicaly unAustalian for people to criticise the AWB and hence threaten the wheat trade.

    Still better to keep speaking the truth and patiently arguing for what is right, pity is at the moment, every one has cloth ears.

  27. James Lane
    February 15th, 2006 at 18:10 | #27

    JQ,

    Why do you think I’m anti-science? I’ve always loved science. My father was an internationally recognised scientist, and impressed on me the importance of critical thinking.

    Maybe it’s because I’m standing up and expressing a contrary view… hang on, what was the theme of this thread?

  28. Razor
    February 15th, 2006 at 18:17 | #28

    Ignoring whether it is Climate Science, or health or defence or whatever department you work for in a Government – it is the elected government that sets policies. It is not the employees’ right to go pontificating in public on policy unless policy is their job.

    Steve Munn, your theory on a public policy free for all is a recipe for disaster. You actually undermine the ability of public servants to provide sound advice without fear or favour to Governments. Despite the real problems and the media beat ups and the carping from all sides of politics, public servants generally do a good job and this is because they have the discipline required to implement policies, even if they didn’t vote for the government they work for or disagree.

    As for the view that “How terrible is the Howard Government” for controlling public policy – well, it applies to all Governments at all levels. They all do it. A recent example in WA was when a Doctor from the Childrens’ Hospital spoke about alleged problems risking the lives of children. Within 24 hours the Doctor was saying it was “misquoted” and having met with the Minister the issues were being clarified and dealt with.

    Slightly off topic but when it comes to public pontificating about policy and issues – what is it with Academics who write to Newspapers and give their address as the University so that it implies that their personal opinion is the view of that University?? I don’t mind them using Dr or Prof in their title by why not use their own suburb address rather than their University.

    JQ – perhaps you could throw some light on the practice.

  29. rog
    February 15th, 2006 at 18:26 | #29

    Interesting Steve how you say climate research is not “property”, how do you think it should be funded?

  30. Steve Munn
    February 15th, 2006 at 18:36 | #30

    Razor says: “Steve Munn, your theory on a public policy free for all is a recipe for disaster. ”

    Your point is extremely weak. How is it that CSIRO scientists publicly expressing their views on climate science will lead to disaster? How will this cause the sky to fall in? Are you being honest?

    We live in a democracy and it is generally accepted by supporters of democracy that open public debate is a good thing. It may be old fashioned, but I support that view.

    The public gains nothing from being kept in the dark like mushrooms. We need to know what eminent scientists think in order to make informed judgements on scientific issues.

    By the way, I was a federal public servant for 15 years and I never hesitated to comment on government policy.

  31. Ian Gould
    February 15th, 2006 at 19:10 | #31

    John Lane: The only way the process is for the experts to argue it out, and the senior bureaucrat make a balanced recommendation to the Minister. It’s an imperfect system, but the only one that will work in the long term.

    Ever worked in the policy section of a government department, John?

  32. Razor
    February 15th, 2006 at 19:24 | #32

    Steve,

    You must have been in a pretty timid department or one where the policy issues weren’t terribly earth shattering. I spent 10 years working for the Federal Government in a Department where commenting to the public about anything outside your field of expertise, let alone policy, drew anything from a ‘meeting without tea or coffee’ through to formal action.

    I’ve got nothing against spirited open public debate. Public servants do not have the right to go into public debate on Government policy in their persona as public servants. One of the big criticisms of Governments at State and Federal Level is the politicisation of the Public Service. Part of the cause of Governments wanting to install their own people in place of Public Servants is due to Public Servants politicising themselves. Public Servants need to be able to give frank and fearless advice and they undermine their ability to do that if they are active in open public debate that clearly exposes their personal biases.

    The same logic applies to why Cabinet Papers are kept from public release for so long – it allows members of cabinet to have free and frank exchanges on matters of policy without it being in the public arena. It is a strength of the Westminster system.

  33. February 15th, 2006 at 19:31 | #33

    The fallacy in James Lane’s argument is to equate the position of bodies like CSIRO and the Met Bureau with that of government departments with a function of advising the executive government on policy, and of administering government policy.

    Clearly there must be (and always have been) significant constraints on the freedom of public servants employed in such departments to express publicly their own personal views on government policy. But neither CSIRO nor the Met Bureau performs such functions. The role of CSIRO especially is better equated with that of a university, where traditionally academic freedom of speech (at least in the academic’s area of expertise) has always been jealously guarded and broadly accepted, as an essential part of the open discourse without which human knowledge cannot flourish and increase.

    There is no sensible basis for suppressing that sort of freedom of speech on the part of scientists employed by a body whose primary function, as its name indicates, is to undertake and disseminate scientific research rather than advise on and administer policy. Similarly with a meteorological bureau whose function is to research, understand and publicly disseminate knowledge and prediction about weather and its long-term cousin climate.

  34. February 15th, 2006 at 19:39 | #34

    To pre-empt an obvious response, it is certainly true that CSIRO conducts industry-based/applied research. There are therefore obvious and perfectly reasonable “commercial-in-confidence” reasons why governments might (and do) place some constraints on the freedom of speech of its scientists to discuss such research publicly. But it would be difficult to argue, for instance, that Graham Pearman’s views and conclusions about climate science ought to be suppressed for commerical-in-confidence reasons. A fortiori for the Met Bureau, which conducts little or no commercial research.

  35. Terje Petersen
    February 15th, 2006 at 19:42 | #35

    If you would only take off your neo-liberal economic ‘rationalist’ blinkers

    Actually they are vision enhancing super goggles. You should get yourself a pair.

  36. Razor
    February 15th, 2006 at 21:01 | #36

    Ken – the first letter in CSIRO stands for Commonwealth – it is a Federally funded Department. If the employees of the CSIRO want to be treated like University Academics then go and work for a University. Otherwise, the people who pay the bills get to make the rules. The same applies for the BOM. They are Public Servants.

  37. SJ
    February 15th, 2006 at 21:18 | #37

    Yeah, that’s an intelligent comment, Razor. It’s not like the Feds fund universities or anything…

    Of course under Brendan Nelson the universities were headed on exactly the same path as the CSIRO. That doesn’t excuse what happened at CSIRO, it’s just further evidence of malfeasance on the Feds part.

  38. jquiggin
    February 15th, 2006 at 21:23 | #38

    Again, I think it’s clear from all this that the contrarians, despite their pose as heroic independents, are eager to enlist the support of the government to suppress the truth whenever possible. I haven’t seen a single comment yet from the contrarian side of the debate to suggest that the government ought to encourage, rather than suppress, open debate on scientific issue.

    Yet if an EU government were sacking totally unqualified public servants who were attacking climate science and Kyoto, I bet we’d never hear the end of it.

  39. James Farrell
    February 15th, 2006 at 21:29 | #39

    Who do you think pays the salaries of university academics in Australia, Razor?

    Whatever the merits of James Lane’s argument as it applies to government departments, there are plenty of government funded institutions that serve the public better by allowing all opinions to be voiced, even when these are contradictory. As Ken says, this applies to the CSIRO in the same way it applies to universities. There are numerous institutions, in which research is conducted, that have an official doctrine, but whose employees employees can still freely state their own views. They only have to include a rider like: ‘Opinions expressed in this paper should not be taken to represent the policy of [say] the Reserve Bank of Australia.’

  40. James Farrell
    February 15th, 2006 at 21:33 | #40

    Sorry, SJ. Your comment hadn’t appeared yet when I started replying.

  41. Terje Petersen
    February 15th, 2006 at 22:03 | #41

    I haven’t seen a single comment yet from the contrarian side of the debate to suggest that the government ought to encourage, rather than suppress, open debate on scientific issue.

    I am not sure if I fit the tag of “contrarian” but let me just say that I think governments should defend the principle of free speech.

    Yet if an EU government were sacking totally unqualified public servants who were attacking climate science and Kyoto, I bet we’d never hear the end of it.

    English botanist David Bellamy recently expressed a view along the lines that critics of AGW were being silenced. Not that his opinion proves anything. See the following article:-

    http://driving.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,22750-2012854,00.html

    EXTRACT:-

    “But we simply cannot get our stuff published. They don’t tolerate dissent because they are not telling the truth. There is no consensus whatsoever on global warming; there are just as many people dissenting but they will not publish those papers in journals.�

  42. Terje Petersen
    February 15th, 2006 at 22:11 | #42

    I am still hoping that John Quiggin might address the questions I raise in my post earlier up on “February 15th, 2006 at 5:17 am”.

  43. James Farrell
    February 15th, 2006 at 22:51 | #43

    Terje

    Bellamy is a cuddly TV personality who does PR for companies that want to improve their green image. That piece is from the Murdoch Times motoring section, which is forever hyping ‘eco-friendly’ new car models. I wouldn’t be at all susprised to find that the article was part of an advertorial package paid for by one of Bellamy’s employers.

  44. February 15th, 2006 at 22:59 | #44

    Terje,

    David Bellamy has no credibility whatsoever in the debate on global warming. See article by George Monbiot.

    I suggest you google using the search terms :

    David Bellamy glaciers

  45. Razor
    February 15th, 2006 at 23:17 | #45

    JQ – I’m all for active debate on policy issues. Much of the issue here is perhaps that there isn’t a clear enough understanding of the role of the CSIRO. Is it a goverment Department or an independent statutory body like the RBA. Maybe the staff aren’t clear on the role of CSIRO and their obligations within the organisation.

    In a way I see this much like the peer reviewing of other Academic work, except in this cse the peer review process results in policy positions rather than academic publications.

    I’m still interested in your opinion on the Uni employees writing to newspapers issues I raised above.

  46. Dano
    February 16th, 2006 at 02:35 | #46

    The public gains nothing from being kept in the dark like mushrooms. We need to know what eminent scientists think in order to make informed judgements on scientific issues.

    This type of statement, IMHO, is part of the FUD. This argumentation arose around the hockey stick argument that an amateur couldn’t ‘audit’ someone’s data. It has blown up into a mantra-like talking point.

    Some boy sitting in his parents’ basement isn’t going to ‘audit’ these data and make some world-breaking discovery.

    Yet, the system continues to work. I’m quite sure a postdoc in a climate discipline can contact a paleo scientist and get their data.

    Trouble is, some scientists aren’t releasing data to parties that have shown a tendency in the past (and now) toward character assassination. That is: some scientists are saying “Too bad. You can’t have the data, you’ve used it against me before.”. That response is then blown up into a green conspiracy and a cabal against truth.

    It’s like some folks are making a career out of character assassination, by using clever little phrases.

    Best,

    D

  47. rog
    February 16th, 2006 at 05:18 | #47

    Good point John, I have not heard of any EU govt encouraging open debate on scientific issue by unqualified public servants – therefore they must be very authoritarian!

  48. garhane
    February 16th, 2006 at 08:49 | #48

    Well, this is all very interesting but there is a growing and sometimes urgent need for knowledge that does exist to be dumped on the public, come what may. Here in Canada the pulp mill owners knew a long time ago what damage they were doing to the land, the air, and most importantly the water. They hired experts to study environmental issues, and the experts reported pretty thoroughly, often adding notes on trends they had observed as well. But these experts had signed contracts promising not to tell anyone but those who hired them what they had seen or reported, and such obligations are considered sacrosanct by the various professions. Huge mats of rotting dead fish, yards deep rusting metal garbage, gigantic fish kills after a mill maintenance shut, intense bursts of murderous chemicals sluiced into the salt chuck (while pen graphs are falsified by putting a bit of tissue under the pen), nearby waters guaranteed to kill fish. These millls would take up to 80 million gallons of the purest mountain water, run it through mills that only William Blake could reasonably describe , and pour torrents of the residual crap into fish bearing waters. That’s in pulp industry and lots of other stories can be told of other industries where that which belongs to all, the environment, is used as a garbage can by private parties.
    It is just plain stupid, and gutless , to let such bastards keep a zipper on the mouths of experts whether they are privately employed or have government positions. Whose bloody servants are they, in the latter case, anyway? I want all experts who believe they have encountered something that cuts into the public interest to be required by law to send a copy of their report to an independent body, on pain of legal punishment if they do not, with that body to decide if the information does affect the public interest. If it does a public report is to be produced forthwith.
    I don’t know if 19th Century rules on confidentiatity were ever justified in an industrial society with large populations concentrated in tight zones, but they are not now. The posturing of the private interests on this point is truly disgusting. Look at the performance on biological hazards. Private claims must be stopped where public interest is affected.

  49. Willis Eschenbach
    February 16th, 2006 at 10:06 | #49

    Steve, please don’t let on to Michael Mann or Phil Jones that, as you say,

    Climate change research is not “property� and subject to patents. It is information that belongs in the public domain without any restrictions.

    Mann famously said that asking him for his information is “intimidation”, and Phil Jones refuses to release his information at all. I’d hate to see you burst their bubble by pointing out that it “belongs in the public domain” …

    w.

  50. Waratah
    February 16th, 2006 at 10:48 | #50

    Thanks John, you made a great point about careerism and consensus.

  51. Willis Eschenbach
    February 16th, 2006 at 11:04 | #51

    As someone who has commented on these issues in the past, I fear my comments may have been misunderstood.

    My point has never been that scientists will get fired for speaking their minds, on either side of the divide. That is a separate discussion from my point.

    My point is that if a man’s job and salary depends on the hypothesized existence of AGW, he is not likely to spend too much of his day trying to prove that AGW doesn’t exist, because if he can prove that, he’ll be out of a job — but not because he’s been fired, because the game will be over.

    Much is made of the fact that some AGW opponents have received occasional grant money from institutions that don’t believe in AGW.

    However, the opposite is even more true. Many AGW proponents receive money, in some cases grants and in some cases their entire salary, from institutions that do believe in AGW.

    It is worth noting, however, that both of these are “ad hominem” arguments, which tell us nothing about any statement or any scientific study. It doesn’t matter who is paying JQs salary, or my salary, or James Hansen’s salary. What matters is, are our statements and studies correct or not?

    w.

  52. Willis Eschenbach
    February 16th, 2006 at 11:18 | #52

    I know the following is a strong statement, but I feel strongly about this, and I’m interested in people’s comments:

    -

    Science and politics don’t mix. I believe that active researchers should offer objective assessment of the science problem and leave it to others to extract policy implications.

    -

    w.

  53. Steve Munn
    February 16th, 2006 at 11:38 | #53

    Willis says: “It doesn’t matter who is paying JQs salary, or my salary, or James Hansen’s salary. What matters is, are our statements and studies correct or not?”

    This is only true in some type of fantasy world that has never existed and which never could exist. The fact of the matter is that none of us mere mortals are capable of expertise in any more than one or two pinpricks in the vast ocean of human knowledge. We have no option other than to employ various heuristics in our endeavours to understand the world.

    Hence, as an example, we may value the opinion of Government scientist more than the opinion of a tobacco lobby scientist on an issue such as whether smoking cigarettes causes lung cancer. We do this because, as laypeople, we are incapable of grasping all the complexities of the science involved.

    Willis understands my point perfectly well and is yet again being disingenuous. For example, he has previously dismissed science on the basis that it is the product of “Michael Mann and his mates” [Willis's own words]. On the other hand Willis obviously gives tremendous weight to anything that Steve McIntyre says.

  54. Willis Eschenbach
    February 16th, 2006 at 12:03 | #54

    My statement did not concern whether we “value the opinion” of someone over someone else. In fact, Steve is right that we value one man’s opinion over another based on a whole host of reasons.

    But I was not talking about opinions at all, I was talking about science … and science, at least on my planet, doesn’t have much to do with someone’s opinion. It’s either right or wrong, no matter what anyone’s opinion might be. Which was my point.

    Nor was I responding to a post of Steve’s. Hard as this might be for him to believe, not everything people write is in response to his points. In fact I don’t have a clue which “point” of his he thinks I was being “disingenuous” about.

    Anyhow, Steve, care to comment on my most recent statement (in bold, in the post just above your most recent)? At least then you will be right, when I reply I’ll be responding to your post and your point.

    w.

    PS – Steve also misrepresents my position. I have not dismissed the science of “Michael Mann and his mates” based on who they are. I have said that the “independent confirmations” of Mann’s MBH98 study were not “independent”, because they were done by Mann’s co-authors and co-workers, who I described as his “mates”, and more to the point, because they used the same flawed data and methods that Mann had used in the MBH98 study.

    I dismiss the science of Michael Mann for scientific, rather than for “ad hominem” reasons — bad data, bad methods, and bad statistics.

  55. Steve Munn
    February 16th, 2006 at 12:56 | #55

    In reply to Willis:-

    Willis says: “But I was not talking about opinions at all, I was talking about science … and science, at least on my planet, doesn’t have much to do with someone’s opinion.”

    This is an absurdly naive proposition. Science is a human endeavour and consequently it cannot be divorced from human prejudice, frailties, limitations and agendas.

    For a more sophisticated understanding of what science is I suggest you acquaint yourself with philsophers of science like Kuhn, Lakatos and Feyerabend.

    Earlier in this thread I answered your question on the proper role of scientists. I think the public is the loser when scientists are gagged.

    In a democracy the public is supposed to be sovereign. Scientists have a duty to inform the public of their research, subject to any legitimate commercial-in-confidence requirements. Also, their is no valid reason why scientists should refrain from offering their opinions on “policy matters”.

    I again reiterate the “4 Corners” program that prompted this debate showed CSIRO managers and Departmental boffins adopted the broadest possible definition of policy so that scientists were effectively neutered. For example, CSIRO scientists were categorically told that public discussion of emission abatement targets and the proportions by which emissions should be cut were forbidden.

    For those like Willis and Razor, who support scientific censorship, I would to point out what the appropriate Government minister, Senator Campbell, had to say on the “4 Corners” program:-

    “If a bureaucrat is giving directions to a scientist not to say something, then it’s not something that is being sanctioned by me.”

    Unless Senator Campbell was being dishonest, even he is not in favour of Willis/Razor style censorship.

    I hope you censorious autocrats never get elected to Government!

  56. Merredin
    February 16th, 2006 at 13:21 | #56

    I can understand why a scientist researching for a company may not be able to release research data and results, but in organisations like CSIRO this is not so clear. Indeed, CSIRO encourages publication and you’re position there (increase in salary etc) is heavily reliant upon it. Furthermore, you are encouraged to give talks at conferences etc so their work is hardly secret (I should point out that the same goes for Uni’s as Uni’s make their reputations through research).

    From a scientific point of view there is nothing wrong with openess in publications and presentations as it is the way that scientists interact, exchange and discuss results. It is also the way that a result can be scutinised by peers, who can sometimes ask some tricky questions. At this some will say that these scientists are all in the same club (so to speak) and hence will not be critical of each other, but the reality is that that is not true for the most part. At the end of the day being a scientist means that you both interact and compete with your peers.

    Now, comming back to the thread of this discussion i.e., should scientists make comments about their and others results that do not follow what the government want, I would say yes if the information is already in the public domain. This will help the general public understand the breadth of the issue.

  57. Terje Petersen
    February 16th, 2006 at 14:26 | #57

    I am still hoping that John Quiggin might address the questions I raise in my post earlier up on “February 15th, 2006 at 5:17 am�.

  58. Brainiac
    February 16th, 2006 at 14:40 | #58

    Richard Lindzen has had interesting things to say on this question in the past. Eg, this presentation to the British House of Lords early last year:

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200506/ldselect/ldeconaf/12/5012507.htm

    Well worth a read, eg:

    Q135 Lord Lawson of Blaby: You have been very eloquent and it is fascinating, but are you a lone voice or is there substantial support for your views among the scientific community?

    Professor Lindzen: I think there is no core of the scientific community.

    Q136 Lord Lawson of Blaby: You must speak to your fellow scientists from time to time?

    Professor Lindzen: Yes, of course, all the time, because some of the work is really just quite independent of one’s position on this. I think, at MIT, Chicago and other places I deal with, even at the Laboratory for Dynamic Meteorology in Paris, where I spend a lot of time, most people realise the issue is a bit dodgy, but there is a problem, and you say it and it is kind of like being a skunk at the party. In Europe, the Laboratory for Dynamic Meteorology’s climate modelling effort exists because of global warming. At the Max-Planck Gesellschaft, their climate modelling effort exists because of global warming. The Hadley Centre exists because of global warming. The only place in the world where there were efforts before global warming was the US, but even in the US the first President Bush responded to the alarmism with two billion dollars a year for research. I do not think you are going to see much objection to the alarmism, but the points of agreement, when they say that scientists all agree, it is basically what I have written in this deposition. Scientists have learned of what I call the iron triangle of alarmism, that they can utter innocent statements, such as the one the Prime Minister said, that are completely consistent with nothing much happening, so they have not compromised their scientific integrity and yet these will be interpreted with alarm, and the body politic, at least in my country, will respond by feeding money to the science. Why would anyone get in the way of that?

  59. Brainiac
    February 16th, 2006 at 14:48 | #59

    Richard Lindzen has had interesting things to say on this question in the past. Eg, this presentation to the British House of Lords early last year:

    http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200506/ldselect/ldeconaf/12/5012507.htm

    Well worth a read, eg:

    Q135 Lord Lawson of Blaby: You have been very eloquent and it is fascinating, but are you a lone voice or is there substantial support for your views among the scientific community?

    Professor Lindzen: I think there is no core of the scientific community.

    Q136 Lord Lawson of Blaby: You must speak to your fellow scientists from time to time?

    Professor Lindzen: Yes, of course, all the time, because some of the work is really just quite independent of one’s position on this. I think, at MIT, Chicago and other places I deal with, even at the Laboratory for Dynamic Meteorology in Paris, where I spend a lot of time, most people realise the issue is a bit dodgy, but there is a problem, and you say it and it is kind of like being a skunk at the party. In Europe, the Laboratory for Dynamic Meteorology’s climate modelling effort exists because of global warming. At the Max-Planck Gesellschaft, their climate modelling effort exists because of global warming. The Hadley Centre exists because of global warming. The only place in the world where there were efforts before global warming was the US, but even in the US the first President Bush responded to the alarmism with two billion dollars a year for research. I do not think you are going to see much objection to the alarmism, but the points of agreement, when they say that scientists all agree, it is basically what I have written in this deposition. Scientists have learned of what I call the iron triangle of alarmism, that they can utter innocent statements, such as the one the Prime Minister said,, that are completely consistent with nothing much happening, so they have not compromised their scientific integrity and yet these will be interpreted with alarm, and the body politic, at least in my country, will respond by feeding money to the science. Why would anyone get in the way of that?

  60. jquiggin
    February 16th, 2006 at 14:49 | #60

    Indeed, Brainiac, this is exactly the sort of claim I was pointing to as being totally refuted by the actual experience reported in the Four Corners program.

    Far from benefiting by stating the scientific evidence accurately, the CSIRO and NASA scientists have suffered. Meanwhile contrarians, including Lindzen, can cash in on their willingness to muddy the debate in a way that suits powerful interests.

    Thanks for pointing to this example, which illustrates the point perfectly.

  61. Brainiac
    February 16th, 2006 at 15:10 | #61

    I expected a higher standard of debate from someone in your position jquiggin.

    Lindzen’s point is that vast sums of money flow into the global warming industry, fuelled by alarmism. You did not address that point at all.

    Your link states only that “Lindzen was reported in 1995 to charges[sic] oil and coal interests $2,500 a day for his consulting services”.

    I imagine Lindzen probably charges everyone the same amount, but it sounds so much more sinister if you only mention his coal-interest consultancies. I pay my lawyer $500 an hour for his advice – does that make him a crook? Should Lindzen not consult?

    What’s your consulting rate Quiggin? Better be pretty high; your denigration of Lindzen is borderline libel, and that can get very expensive.

  62. Brainiac
    February 16th, 2006 at 15:45 | #62

    Willis, I thought your summary in this comment on the last GW thread was very interesting:

    http://johnquiggin.com/index.php/archives/2006/01/24/yet-more-nonsense-on-global-warming/#comment-44037

    Particularly this claim:

    The problem is this: we don’t know why the climate is stable. We know that it is stable, but we don’t know why. This is shown by the fact that, despite the sun’s heating up by about 30% in the last couple of billion years, the temperature of the earth has not gone up by 30%. Why not? Clearly, there is a limiting mechanism of some kind that has kept the earth’s temperature from rising.

    Do you have any references?

    TIA.

  63. Steve Munn
    February 16th, 2006 at 15:50 | #63

    Brainiac, you are being disingenuous. You have simply cut and pasted from Lindzen’s House of Lords statement in which he accuses his peers of alarmism based on self-interest. Professor Quiggin has in turn pointed out that there is money to be made if you are a denialist and that Lindzen is the recipient of such money.

    Exxon Mobil alone has forked out many hundreds of thousands of dollars to AGW denialists. In America there are dozens of cashed up think tanks like Froniers of Freedom, George C Marshall Institute, Scaife Foundation and John M Olin Foundation that do likewise.

    The money flows like milk and honey in some denialist cornucopia.

    I further note that Richard Lindzen’s denialism has not affected his university job. The same goes for many other denialists who feast at the public trough.

    Gavin Schmidt at RealClimate made a post on 14 February 2006 that draws attention to the clumsy errors that Lindzen made when addressing the House of Lords. I thought Lindzen was a useful contrarian. He now appears to be just another hack braying nonsense.

    see http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=222#more-222

  64. Simonjm
    February 16th, 2006 at 15:52 | #64

    Lindzen must be appalled that the Royal Society got conned, not to mentional all the other G8 premier science institutions.

    I wonder whether we such also question all the fuss about bird flu just think about the money and new research groups these dishonest scientists have appropriated through the alarmism there.

    If they hadn’t have got away with that Ozone hole con we probably wouldn’t be in this postion now.

  65. Willis Eschenbach
    February 16th, 2006 at 16:12 | #65

    Steve, you say:

    For those like Willis and Razor, who support scientific censorship, …

    where did I ever, ever say I support scientific censorship?

    You also say:

    Earlier in this thread I answered your question on the proper role of scientists. I think the public is the loser when scientists are gagged.

    Which question was that? What was your answer? I didn’t ask any question about the proper role of scientists.

    “Censorious autocrats”?!? Dude, I think you’re losing the plot here. Please provide some citations and quotations for whatever I actually said in these two cases you are referring to.

    w.

  66. Steve Munn
    February 16th, 2006 at 16:32 | #66

    Oh please Willis.

    You made a post at 11:18 am today which says in big bold letters that in your opinion scientists must quietly do their research and not become engaged in policy debate.

    I previously touched on points you later raised in a several earlier posts on this thread. You can easily find them using the “Find” function on your browser should you wish to do so.

    I also note with considerable amusement Brainiac’s quote of your post at 3:45pm. You have hammered away like buggery on the validity of climate model reconstructions and the proxies used in the models yet you confidently assert that the climate has been “stable” for the last “couple of billion years”.

    How do you know this? Did Gaia tell you?

  67. Willis Eschenbach
    February 16th, 2006 at 17:05 | #67

    Steve, you say:

    Oh please Willis.

    You made a post at 11:18 am today which says in big bold letters that in your opinion scientists must quietly do their research and not become engaged in policy debate.

    I see that you are referring to the post where I said:

    Science and politics don’t mix. I believe that active researchers should offer objective assessment of the science problem and leave it to others to extract policy implications.

    Unfortunately, you have done your usual boneheaded stunt of judging something by who said it, not what was said.

    JQ, or anyone else, perhaps you could help Steve out here. He won’t listen to me. Can anyone explain to Steve why he is wrong here?

    If not, I’ll be glad to once again go over the idiocy of judging the content of a statement by who said it … but like I said, I’d prefer if someone else did it. My opinion counts for nothing with Steve, but he might listen to one of you.

    w.

    PS – Life as we know it on earth can only exist within a fairly narrow temperature range. The sun has increased by something on the order of 30%. If the earth’s temperature had risen correspondingly, it would have started out at an average temperature of about -50°C. There is no evidence of this, either in the geological record or the record of life, so I called the temperature “stable”, meaning it had not increased by 30%.

  68. Willis Eschenbach
    February 16th, 2006 at 18:12 | #68

    Oh, Steve, one thing I forgot. I said:

    You [Steve] also say:

    Earlier in this thread I answered your question on the proper role of scientists. I think the public is the loser when scientists are gagged.

    Which question was that? What was your answer? I didn’t ask any question about the proper role of scientists.

    I guess you think you replied when you said:

    I previously touched on points you later raised in a several earlier posts on this thread. You can easily find them using the “Find� function on your browser should you wish to do so.

    This is typical of the handwaving you do when you make unsupported accusations. I did a search before posting my question. Nobody but you has said anything on this thread containing the words “proper role”.

    If you are claiming you “answered my question”, we have several possibilities for your unwillingness to say which question, or what the answer was. None of them look very good for you.

    Answer the question, or admit you made it up, Steve. Handwaving won’t do. Perhaps I did ask such a question, but I don’t remember doing so, nor can I find it with the search function.

    You, on the other hand, “remember” the question, and you “remember” the answer, but you haven’t said what either one is …

    Coincidence? … we can let the readers be the judge.

    w.

  69. Steve Munn
    February 16th, 2006 at 18:42 | #69

    Willis you are being a buffoon.

    Let me cut and paste into this post what I have previously said on this thread about the importance of free speech in science, ie the proper role of scientists.
    **************
    15/2/2006 5:29 pm

    In my view scientists on the public payroll have a right and a duty to address the public on the issues that concern them. The public’s right to hear what scientists actually think is far more important than the right of a Government to avoid embarrassment.

    Those who are on the public dime should be true “public servants�, not robots under the thumb of pollies.
    ****************
    15/2/2006 4:52 pm

    Climate change research is not “property� and subject to patents. It is information that belongs in the public domain without any restrictions.
    ****************
    15/2/2006 6:36pm

    Razor says: “Steve Munn, your theory on a public policy free for all is a recipe for disaster. �

    Your point is extremely weak. How is it that CSIRO scientists publicly expressing their views on climate science will lead to disaster? How will this cause the sky to fall in? Are you being honest?

    We live in a democracy and it is generally accepted by supporters of democracy that open public debate is a good thing. It may be old fashioned, but I support that view.

    The public gains nothing from being kept in the dark like mushrooms. We need to know what eminent scientists think in order to make informed judgements on scientific issues.
    ****************
    16/2/2006 12:56pm

    In a democracy the public is supposed to be sovereign. Scientists have a duty to inform the public of their research, subject to any legitimate commercial-in-confidence requirements. Also, their is no valid reason why scientists should refrain from offering their opinions on “policy matters�.
    ***************

    I therefore clearly think that scientists should be engaged in all facets of public debate concerning their area of expertise and that includes discussion of policy options. Bureaucrats should not be trusted to censor scientists on issues of “policy” or anything else for that matter. As the CSIRO and NASA scandals have demonstrated, bureaucrats will invariably abuse such power.

    Your advocacy of limitations on the rights of scientists to express their opinions in public is a proven recipe for repressive censorship. In other words, your position is to the detriment of the public interest.

  70. Willis Eschenbach
    February 16th, 2006 at 19:10 | #70

    Once again, Steve, it’s all handwaving. You said:

    Earlier in this thread I answered your question on the proper role of scientists. I think the public is the loser when scientists are gagged.

    I asked, which question earlier in this thread? Which answer?

    You still have not answered. You have done a lot of posting of things you have said … so what?

    Steve, let me put this clear. Your repeated refusal to answer this simple question strongly indicates that either you were lying when you said I had asked a question and you had answered it, or you were simply mistaken. Your choice …

    There was no question on my part, nor was there any answer on your part. Which is why you can’t say what either of them were. It’s either a lie, or it’s an error, but in either case, you should just admit it, you wouldn’t look so foolish.

    There’s no point in posting your views in response to my question about your deliberate or erroneous misrepresentation. I know what your views are, but they are simply obfuscation which is not related to your evasions. You are trying to distract people by volume. You’d do better to attract them with the truth.

    Finally, you still haven’t understood what I meant when I wrote:

    Science and politics don’t mix. I believe that active researchers should offer objective assessment of the science problem and leave it to others to extract policy implications.

    I appeal again to anyone to JQ, or anyone, to explain to Steve why this doesn’t mean what he thinks it means, and how he is once again being blinded by looking at who wrote something, rather than thinking about what it means. If not, I’ll explain … but he won’t believe me.

    w.

  71. SJ
    February 16th, 2006 at 19:36 | #71

    Willis Eschenbach Says: “You are trying to distract people by volume. You’d do better to attract them with the truth.

    Snort.

  72. Terje Petersen
    February 16th, 2006 at 21:48 | #72

    I’m still hoping that John Quiggin might address the questions I raise in my post earlier up on “February 15th, 2006 at 5:17 amâ€?.

  73. James Farrell
    February 16th, 2006 at 22:53 | #73

    Willis

    I haven’t been following any of these global warming threads with any care. But the note of desperation in your last comment made me curious enough to read the preceding discussion, just to see what the problem might be.
    I found that Steve has made it very clear that (1) by ‘your question’ he meant your challenge to respond to the statement in bold; (2) by saying he had ‘already’ answered it he was referring to the comments he made before the challenge appeared, and (3) given the vagueness of the infamous statement in bold, he feels that his earlier answers are adequate.

    So you really have no grounds for complaint. If you make a habit of complaining, without any basis, that people are not communicating with you in good faith, then no one will take you seriously when it actually does happen.

  74. Andrew Reynolds
    February 16th, 2006 at 22:53 | #74

    I’m surprised that, after 1200 plus comments on this over the last few weeks, there is still anything meaningful to say.

  75. Terje Petersen
    February 16th, 2006 at 23:37 | #75

    Science and politics don’t mix. I believe that active researchers should offer objective assessment of the science problem and leave it to others to extract policy implications.

    Some seem to have taken the above quoted comment by Willis to mean that scientists should be gagged. Willis did not say that active researchers should be “compelled” to stay out of policy discussions. I believe he just expressed a view (or infered a view) that once a scientist takes sides in a public political debate they then become tainted and they would be better off not doing this.

    An analogy might help. Personally I don’t think people should eat spagetti with their fingers whilst in a public restaurant. However this does not mean that I think eating spagetti with your fingers whilst in a public restaurant should be prohibited.

    Also the above quoted comment by Willis was clearly marked by him as a “statement”. To think it was an answer to a question seems to me to be a mistake. He preceded it with the following:-

    I know the following is a strong statement, but I feel strongly about this, and I’m interested in people’s comments:

    Of course none of this means that I agree with the statement made by Willis.

  76. Willis Eschenbach
    February 17th, 2006 at 05:07 | #76

    James, thank you for posting. You say:

    I haven’t been following any of these global warming threads with any care. But the note of desperation in your last comment made me curious enough to read the preceding discussion, just to see what the problem might be.
    I found that Steve has made it very clear that (1) by ‘your question’ he meant your challenge to respond to the statement in bold; (2) by saying he had ‘already’ answered it he was referring to the comments he made before the challenge appeared, and (3) given the vagueness of the infamous statement in bold, he feels that his earlier answers are adequate.

    So you really have no grounds for complaint. If you make a habit of complaining, without any basis, that people are not communicating with you in good faith, then no one will take you seriously when it actually does happen.

    James, I fear your first statement says it all, so let me bring you up to date.

    Before I posted the statement in bold, Steve, who spends most of his time attacking me rather than the points I raise, said he had “answered my question on the proper role of scientists”.

    I said “huh?” Since I had not asked a single question on this thread, I naturally said “which question”.

    Steve then said I should use the “Find” button to find it, which was bullsh*t. He followed this with his usual handwaving, but still no answer, he just said he was answering a later advance on an earlier discussion or some such wonderful thing, hang on, let me find it, it was beautiful … OK, here it is:

    I previously touched on points you later raised in a several earlier posts on this thread. You can easily find them using the “Find� function on your browser should you wish to do so.

    He had previously touched on points I later raised in an earlier post? … say what?

    He was not “communicating in good faith” as you suggest. He was lying, James, or he was mistaken, and in either case he’s much too small a man to admit it. I never asked a question, he just made it up, and now he wants to weasel out from under.

    Terje, although you are waiting for an answer from JQ (and may wait that way forever), thank you for stepping up to the plate. Your discussion of the statement:

    Science and politics don’t mix. I believe that active researchers should offer objective assessment of the science problem and leave it to others to extract policy implications.

    is most excellent and insightful.

    I had hoped, however, that someone might recognize the source of the statement. Was I “desperate”, as James says? No way. You see, in a no doubt vain attempt to house break Steve of his nasty “ad hominem” habits, I though I’d give him a nice bone to chew on.

    The statement above is not from me. It is from that king of censorship, that doyen of putting scientists in their proper place, that well known advocate of keeping scientists under someone’s thumb, of preventing them from speaking out on politics, that popular provocateur …

    Dr. James Hansen of NASA.

    Now Dr. Hansen has been involved in his own discussions with his own government on this matter, so I’m sure he’s given the question a lot of thought.

    Personally, I agree with him. When I want medical advice, I go to a doctor, not a lawyer. When I want scientific advice, I go to a scientist, not a soccer player.

    And when I want advice on policy, I go to a politician … hey, call me stupid, but that’s her/his specialty.

    Finally, one of the most important reasons to take policy advice from politicians is that (generally) they are elected, and for just that purpose, whereas the scientists are not elected at all. I prefer to have my political decisions made by people that I have chosen. That way, I can get rid of them if I don’t like their advice.

    And obviously, Dr. Hansen agrees …

    Does that mean that scientists should be “gagged”? No. They are as free to speak on policy as I am, provided that they do so in their capacity as a private citizen.

    What they should not do, and in many organizations such as universities, businesses, or government departments are forbidden to do, is to speak ex cathedra on matters of politics. The head of CSIRO should be as free as I to say that the emperor’s new political plan has no clothes, if he does so as a private individual. What he should not do is say “I am king of the scientists, head of CSIRO, and in my official capacity I say this political decision is wrong.”

    He is trained as a scientist, we have hired him as a scientist, and he should not use that pulpit to intrude into politics. If he wants to be a politician, he should learn the political ropes and run for office like anyone else.

    Terje, thanks for the insights about Hansens statement.

    JQ, your silence on Terje’s question, like your silence on producing evidence for AGW, is of a length that it is becoming an answer in itself.

    Steve … thanks for the amusement. Stop judging statements based on who said them, and start actually thinking about what was said. And admit your mistakes, it’s easy, costs nothing, and prevents you from looking like such an idiot …

    w.

  77. Terje
    February 17th, 2006 at 07:42 | #77

    Well I am still hoping that John Quiggin might address the questions I raise in my post earlier up on “February 15th, 2006 at 5:17 am�.

  78. Terje
    February 17th, 2006 at 07:49 | #78

    Dear John Quiggin,

    If I have been rude or impatient in my line of inquiry then I apologise. I can never tell if perhaps you might have missed my inquiry. When you can spare a moment I would please like to know if in your opinion the Kyoto Protocol is both low cost and low benefit?

    I am not trying to be a jerk. I would just like to know where you stand.

    Regards,
    Terje.

  79. jquiggin
    February 17th, 2006 at 08:33 | #79

    Terje, the post is coming. I’m just very busy right now. But as several people have noted, I’ve written on this quite a few times before. Just search for “Kyoto”.

    Willis, your continued demands for the production of evidence in comments threads, when the relevant evidence runs to tens of thousands of journal pages, for which I’ve already pointed to summaries running to hundreds of pages, are getting tiresome, so I’ll turn it around.

    Can you point to ten articles in reputable natural science journals (not E&E) published since, say, 1995 by independent scientists (that is, not members of any anti-environment thinktank or lobby group) that conclude that the balance of evidence is against the AGW hypothesis? This shouldn’t be too hard. I’ve pointed you to a list of nearly a thousand going the other way.

  80. Willis Eschenbach
    February 17th, 2006 at 09:46 | #80

    John, I have said from the start that I am an agnostic on the question of AGW. You have said you are an AGW supporter. Not only that, you have made a quite nasty claim that I am not just misguided, but that I am actively denying the evidence for AGW. This is a serious, derogatory accusation of scientific misconduct.

    It is thus quite logical for me to ask you to reveal the evidence that you have claimed that I am denying. Since you made the claim of scientific misconduct, since you are the one doing the insulting, you should at least have some idea of which evidence I am denying, beyond your vague handwaving and saying “it’s in these thousands of journal articles somewhere.”

    Why am I an agnostic on AGW (more commonly known as a “sceptic” because I don’t agree with the AGW theory)? My point all along has been that at this time in history, there is both insufficient theoretical understanding of how the climate works, and insufficient evidence about its workings, to decide either way. Now, after I’ve said many times that there’s not enough evidence to decide, you want me to point to papers saying the “balance of evidence” goes against the theory? If that wasn’t so sneaky, it’d be funny.

    Sorry, bro’, you are the one saying there is evidence that I’m denying. I’m the one saying we don’t have the evidence we need about the climate to decide yet. Asking me to provide evidence which I have said doesn’t exist is a cheap rhetorical attempt to avoid taking responsibility for your own scurrilous, unsupported statement.

    As a bozo simple example of how far this lack of evidence extends, we don’t even know what the average temperature of the earth is, or how much it is changing. Three groups of well-known scientists give us three significantly different answers (GHCN, GISS, and HadCRUT). That’s how bad the “evidence” is in this branch of science, we can’t even agree on the answers to the most basic questions of the science — what the temperature is, and how much it has changed in the last century.

    Since you claim the evidence exists, and since you are using this supposed “evidence” to make an ugly ad hominem attack, you should provide it, both as a matter of science and as a matter of common decency. Saying it’s in the IPCC report, or saying it’s out there somewhere in a thousand pieces of paper, Willis, you go look, is pathetic. I’m not asking for all the evidence, just whatever pieces of evidence you based your statement on. When you made the statement, you must have had some pieces, bits, tatters, even shreds of evidence in mind that I’m denying … what was that evidence?

    If you can’t provide the evidence, that’s OK, then simply say that you made the statement about denial of evidence without any … well … without any evidence, and we can move on.

    In other words, back up your nasty claim of scientific misconduct, or retract it, John. You have made a vicious, slanderous accusation that a whole host of people, myself included, are not merely wrong but are guilty of scientific misconduct. Now you refuse to reveal what evidence we are deliberately ignoring? Thats both unscientific and unethical. Have you been taking lessons from Phil Jones? He won’t reveal his evidence either … or perhaps you’re waiting for a letter from a congressional committee before revealing part of the evidence, like Michael Mann did.

    Whatever your reasons are, trying to put it back on me is a joke. I’m not the one who made the puerile claim, you are. Either back up your ugly words by revealing your evidence, or retract them.

    w.

    PS – I’d also be interested in your ideas about James Hansen’s quote, since it speaks to the subject of the thread … but don’t let that distract you from providing the evidence you claim I’m denying.

  81. jquiggin
    February 17th, 2006 at 09:59 | #81

    I’ll take that as a “No”, Willis.

    Just to remind anyone who’s coming in late, the evidence to which I’m pointing is summarised here.

  82. Willis Eschenbach
    February 17th, 2006 at 10:22 | #82

    John, I busted out laughing when I read your last post, at least we are maintaining a sense of humour about this … however, your refusal to substantiate your accusation of scientific misconduct remains quite disturbing …

    In addition, pointing to the IPCC report as “evidence” as you have done in your last post is simply handwaving and misdirection intended to fool the credulous or those who have come in late. What the IPCC calls “evidence” are the results of computer modelling. I believe everyone, even you, John, agrees that the results of computer models are not evidence … otherwise, they wouldn’t disagree so badly. Some computer runs, for example, show cooling over the next century … does this constitute evidence that the climate will cool? Of course not.

    John, pointing at the IPCC report and calling it “evidence” is a deliberate lie. The fact that you know it is a lie is shown clearly by your refusal to say where in the IPCC report is the evidence you are citing. Have you even read the section of the report that the IPCC calls “evidence”? Until you say where the “evidence” in the IPCC report is located, you’re just blowing smoke in people’s eyes and screaming “FIRE”, in the hope that no one will notice that nothing is burning …

    w.

  83. Majorajam
    February 17th, 2006 at 10:36 | #83

    Willis,

    Hate to break it to you, but you’re not allowed to lay claim to the null hypothesis. You want to operate under the assumption that human production of greenhouse gases has no influence on global climate, it does not suffice to apply a high burden of proof to the theory that it does. Evidence is required and if you are able to conjure it, God knows there are plenty of petrodollars in search of a person like you. Else you are simply trading on fallacy.

  84. Steve Munn
    February 17th, 2006 at 11:02 | #84

    Please correct me if I am wrong Willis but I believe Professor Quiggin’s use of the word “denialism” was directed at the scientists, think tanks and politicians who should no better. It wasn’t directed at an armchair dabbler such as you (or me). Let’s make this clear; you are NOT a scientist in spite of your pretentious carry-on. Your faux outrage only makes you look like an hysterical self-important kook.

    Moreover, to my knowledge Professor Quiggin has not accused all denialists of “scientific misconduct” (your words). People with integrity can be deluded. Most of us mere mortals are probably deluded about one thing or another.

    If you were a more respectful and mature individual you would accept that it is totally unrealistic to expect Professor Quiggin to provide a summary of the evidence for significant AGW for your exclusive benefit. This a task that would require no less than a 1,000 word essay. You may not have noticed but Professor Quiggin has a university position, writes newspaper articles, attends numerous conferences as well as running this website for our benefit. On top of that he has a family. Stop being such an unreasonable brat. The world doesn’t revolve around your every whim.

  85. Mike Hart
    February 17th, 2006 at 11:18 | #85

    RAZOR, earlier in this thread you raised two issues separately but have worked a theme of public officers bound by government policy. This is a modern invention essentially undemocratic and poor administrative practise. Every citizen has the right to comment publicly on matters of interest to them. A public servant may even comment in their own field of expertise providing they breach no confidentiality or commercial issues pertaining to source material. To dispute policy publicly where you are involved is still an appropriate no no, otherwise the gag has to be contractual. Do AWA’s or other contracts forbid democratic participation? Of course they do not, thus all public servants have the right to a view as much as any other citizen and a right to discourse. Thus there have been many public servants who have left to contest elected positions, without rancour or restriction. You can look back through decades of public administrative law as illustrative, re-examine the old Commonwealth and NSW Public Service Acts. However if you leak because you disagree then you rightly ended up being jumped on but you can comment because you have a right to, you might never be promoted but that is another issue. These days because few do, ministers believe it is an administrative right but it is simply a vacuum.

  86. Willis Eschenbach
    February 17th, 2006 at 15:07 | #86

    Steve, you say:

    Please correct me if I am wrong Willis but I believe Professor Quiggin’s use of the word “denialism� was directed at the scientists, think tanks and politicians who should no better.

    Glad to correct you, Steve, although it’s turning into a semi-permanent task. His remark was directed at all “sceptics”, not at people who should “no better” [sic], and he accused all of us of denying evidence. He made no distinctions as you are attempting to do, it was all sceptics.

    I asked him, not for a thousand word summary of the evidence as you pretend, but one or two pieces, shreds, scraps of the evidence that he claims we are denying.

    He, like you, has provided no evidence … zero. Zip. Nada. Nothing.

    You obviously think that’s reasonable, to make a scurrilous accusation and then refuse to back it up. Given your past behaviour, I can understand your position perfectly, because if he had to back up his irresponsible accusation, you might have to do the same regarding your own past irresponsible accusations.

    Me, I think it’s sleazy to accuse someone of denying evidence, and then refuse to produce the evidence, just as it was sleazy of you to accuse me of lying, and then refuse to say what you thought I lied about.

    w.

  87. Willis Eschenbach
    February 17th, 2006 at 15:36 | #87

    Majoraram, thanks for posting. You say:

    Hate to break it to you, but you’re not allowed to lay claim to the null hypothesis. You want to operate under the assumption that human production of greenhouse gases has no influence on global climate, it does not suffice to apply a high burden of proof to the theory that it does. Evidence is required and if you are able to conjure it, God knows there are plenty of petrodollars in search of a person like you. Else you are simply trading on fallacy.

    I think I see the source of your confusion. I am not operating “under the assumption that human production of greenhouse gases has no influence on global climate.”

    I am not saying it has no influence. I am saying that we don’t know if it has an influence, and if it does, we certainly don’t know the size of the influence. This is a very different thing.

    This is because our understanding of climate is only in its infancy.

    We don’t know the average temperature of the earth, the three main groups of scientists studying the question disagree significantly.

    We don’t know how much the earth is warming, again the groups disagree.

    Computer simulations of the future climate give us everything from incredible heat to impossible cold, and everything in between, thus proving once again that they are not evidence.

    We don’t understand the climate. In the last year, we’ve discovered two large forcings (plankton affecting clouds, and plants emitting methane) previously unknown to science.

    We don’t understand the internal energy exchanges between the 5 main systems (atmosphere, lithosphere, ocean, cryosphere, biosphere) well enough to model those interchanges at all.

    We don’t agree about the nature and strength of the external drivers of the climate (solar magnetism? cosmic rays?).

    We just found out that rising CO2 means that plant transpiration is changing, significantly affecting the amount of water in the rivers … what does that mean for climate? No one knows.

    We don’t know the size, and in many cases even the sign, of the internal feedbacks of the climate system.

    -

    Now you come along and say “a little bit more CO2 is going to make a big difference in temperature”.

    OK, you’re making the AGW claim, provide some evidence for it. I have repeatedly asked for evidence for that theory on this forum. I have been given only one piece of evidence, that CO2 absorbs IR.

    Yes, it does, but what effect will a small change in IR absorption have on a hugely complex, driven, chaotic, coupled, multi-stable constructal system with unknown feedbacks?

    We simply don’t know.

    So, I hate to break it to you, but our lack of understanding of climate is monumental. I do not place a “high burden of proof” on the theory that a small increase in CO2 will lead to a large increase in temperature. I merely ask for some evidence that it is true, in the normal scientific fashion. Evidence is required, as you point out, and to date, the AGW adherents have not provided it.

    If you have it, bring it on, but nobody on this forum, including JQ for all his bluster, has provided anything more than the fact that CO2 absorbs IR.

    Now as you point out there is no evidence to disprove the AGW theory either, but that’s exactly my point — conclusions right now are premature, because there’s not enough evidence, in either direction, to come to any conclusion.

    People talk of a “consensus”? … it’s a joke, we don’t even have a scientific consensus on what the average temperature is …

    w.

  88. jquiggin
    February 17th, 2006 at 17:20 | #88

    Willis, it’s clear that you have no credible evidence to cite against AGW, and you’re not willing to accept links to surveys/summaries of thousands of articles as evidence for it. So while I thank you for helping to generate the longest comments threads in the history of this blog, I think it’s probably time to call a halt.

  89. Michael H.
    February 17th, 2006 at 18:25 | #89

    Willis’ approach to the issue seems somewhat like the blindfolded man being asked to feel an elephant and guess what it is. He can feel it’s large, has rough skin, tusks, trunk and large ears. His response – I’m not saying it’s not an elephant, I just don’t know if it is, but even if it is I don’t know if it’s an Indian or an Arican elephant.

  90. Steve Munn
    February 17th, 2006 at 19:00 | #90

    I noted a story on tonight’s SBS news about Greenland glaciers. Apparently they are melting twice as fast as previously thought. The story is based on research published in last Friday’s Science magazine. The abstract says:

    “How much meltwater the Greenland Ice Sheet may be contributing to global sea-level rise depends on the mass balance between the inte-rior of the ice sheet and its margins. The present understanding is that the interior is gaining mass but the margins are eroding even more rapidly. Rignot and Kanagaratnam present an ice velocity map of the entire Greenland Ice Sheet and estimate the rate of ice discharge around its entire margin. A comparison of their results to past data shows that there has been a widespread acceleration of ice flow since 1996, that mass loss has doubled in that time, and that ice dynamics, which are particularly dependent on warming, dominate the rapid retreat of Greenland’s glaciers.” (1)

    Of course this new finding does nothing to support the AGW theory. Afterall, as slick Willis tells us, it may well be all due to something else, like cosmic rays in the magnetosphere or magnetic fields or Gaia suffering some heartburn ….

    (1) http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/short/311/5763/913f

  91. terje
    February 17th, 2006 at 19:43 | #91

    well if we are going to halt, I would just like to say thanks to everybody for a grear chat. and an extra thanks to willis for trying to keep the bastards honest.

  92. Steve Munn
    February 17th, 2006 at 20:19 | #92

    I am also in favour of a halt to this AGW debate.

    My main concern is that if we allow it to go on the amount of hot air expelled by slick Willie will exacerbate the AGW problem.

  93. February 17th, 2006 at 22:56 | #93

    jquiggin Said:

    February 17th, 2006 at 8:33 am

    Can you point to ten articles in reputable natural science journals (not E&E) published since, say, 1995 by independent scientists (that is, not members of any anti-environment thinktank or lobby group) that conclude that the balance of evidence is against the AGW hypothesis? This shouldn’t be too hard. I’ve pointed you to a list of nearly a thousand going the other way.

    I say:

    When will you explain why Karlen’s article (published by Royal Swedish Academy) showing that Arctic temperatures do NOT match the usual ever upward portrayal of instrumental temperature readings since 1850 is not taken into account by Briffa et al? (Karlen shows it was warmer in the Arctic in 1930s than now) Anyway even if only one, and even if Karlen is a member of a pro-tobacoo lobby (just as you are a de facto member of the so-called Australia Institute, which is a front for the ALP), at least Karlen should be weighed against the 1,000 refs you keep citing.
    Whilst I support majority voting in politics, in science it takes us back to the medieval period. I note that 100 cities in America’s mid-west out-vote temperature readings from my home village in Somerset (England), which since November has been having its coldest winter in 30 years, yet “globally” 2005 was the hottest ever. Bullshit! Tell that to the Muscovites.

    Best

    Tim

  94. Willis Eschenbach
    February 17th, 2006 at 23:11 | #94

    JQ, while I can’t understand how you can point to evidence but not be able to cite one single piece, I’d like to thank you for hosting the discussion. It’s curious to me, however, that

    -The discussion is still alive

    – It doesn’t cost anything to keep it open

    – You’ve been called on to produce evidence, and have not produced a bit. I’ve looked long and hard at the IPCC report, JQ, and I can’t find anything in their “Evidence” section but computer models. You seem sure that it’s there, JQ, but WHERE IS IT? Give a page number, a reference, something. At your request, after you pointed at the IPCC as a source of evidence, I’ve looked long and hard and have found nothing but computer models. You say it’s there.

    – I say, where?

    – You say, let’s close the thread.

    Probably a coincidence.

    Steve, you called me a liar, and are likely happy to close the thread without having to back up your scummy accusation. You specialize in attacking me, but have not answered any of the scientific questions, and have responded to very few of the scientific issues, that I have raised.

    Terje, you’ve been solid. Although you have disagreed with me at times, your interest has always been on the scientific questions. With the thread closed, where will JQ answer your question?

    And to everyone else, my profound thanks. In closing, I’d like to remind everyone that only one piece of evidence has been produced — the fact that CO2 absorbs infrared. If you wish to believe in the AGW hypothesis based on that …

    … just be aware that you are standing on a very flimsy base.

    Again, my thanks to all.

    w.

  95. Majorajam
    February 18th, 2006 at 02:04 | #95

    Willis,

    Appreciate your misspelling of my moniker. Again. It’s nearly as clever as the remainder of your shenanigans. And speaking of, your ‘skepticism’, which seems to largely rest upon, “Computer simulations of the future climate give us everything from incredible heat to impossible cold, and everything in between, thus proving once again that they are not evidence.”- a fallacy- is threadbare. Computer models allow us to know the meaning of a set of postulated dynamics. In this case, they show that, if you take the proven physics of the greenhouse effect and combine that with the known massive quantities of annual carbon emissions, (a little bit more CO2????), and educated assumptions about the nature of the remaining forces that bear on annual average temperatures, the result is x. If you want to attack the validity of x, it is incumbent upon you to build your own hypotheses about the nature of the global climate system and to argue that its assumptions are more valid. Simply stating, “computer models are not evidence”, is a yellow argument, and what’s more, horse hockey. Now, we don’t expect you to do that on this blog, but surely with the legions of petrodollars waiting to reward the scientist that can build a credible model of climate that would yield stable or declining temperatures, there must be something you can point to. Something. Anything. This is what JQ has been patiently trying to get you to do (you can lead the sterile offspring of a horse and a donkey to water…).

    And by the way, the physics of the greenhouse effect and the known quantities of carbon emissions are not all that’s going for the AGW hypothesis. We also have dramatic and potentially dire warming. What’s your hypothesis to explain that? Oh yes *shrug*, it’s nature’s mystery- let her sort it out. I like it warm anyway. Fill er’ up!

  96. Terje Petersen
    February 18th, 2006 at 05:46 | #96

    Willis, it’s clear that you have no credible evidence to cite against AGW, and you’re not willing to accept links to surveys/summaries of thousands of articles as evidence for it. So while I thank you for helping to generate the longest comments threads in the history of this blog, I think it’s probably time to call a halt.

    Let me just say again that this to me looks like JQ saying:-

    there is a God and we must be bound by the laws of the Bible. If Willis wants to reject this he must produce the evidence that God does not exist.

    God = AGW.
    Bible = IPCC reports.

    If the Bible contains the proof of God, but the high priests can’t quote or paraphrase it to the lay people then I find that very concerning.

    Regards,
    Terje.

    P.S. JQ, thanks for reaffirming that you will be answering my question. It sounds like it is going to be a detailed response.

  97. rog
    February 18th, 2006 at 06:17 | #97

    Merredin mentions that organisations like CSIRO need not be secrtetive.

    Such organisations have always had problems with intellectual piracy and the commercialisation of products or techniques that they ‘invent’. How often have you heard of some novel invention being snatched by greedy corporations for huge profits whilst scientists go begging?

    Institutions such as CSIRO and Oxford now use companies that take new product and move it through to commercialisation ie patents, trials, licenses, funds.

    EvoGenix is one, Immunotec is another.

  98. Paul Williams
    February 18th, 2006 at 10:01 | #98

    Thanks, Willis for your contribution. I’m not sure what motivated you to keep going against all the crap that was thrown at you. (Steve Munn is a disgrace who should have been made to pull his head in or banned, but John Quiggin seems to follow the Labor tradition of confusing juvenile insults with robust argument).

    It seems the only way John can declare the debate over is by closing the thread. (First insult the opposition. If that doesn’t work, take your bat and ball and go home).

  99. Majorajam
    February 18th, 2006 at 10:48 | #99

    Yes, bravo valiant skeptics. Your facility with non sequiturs is only rivaled by the mastery with which you can spin specious analogies.

  100. avaroo
    February 18th, 2006 at 11:09 | #100

    I’m with Paul, good, interesting work on here Willis.

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