Home > Environment > Beatup of the century

Beatup of the century

January 18th, 2010

If you thought the East Anglia email hack was overblown, how about today’s Oz. Frontpage lead[1] is a story that’s been rattling round the blogs for at least a couple of months, without attracting any real interest. The story is that the 2007 IPCC report quotes a poorly sourced estimate that most Himalayan glaciers could be gone by 2035. This is a bit worse than the evidence suggests. Himalayan glaciers have lost about 20 per cent of their area in about 40 years, and have also become more fragmented. That’s bad, but not quite as bad as the IPCC report, based on a speculative forecast suggests.

So, there is a mistake on one page of a 3000 page report. That’s unfortunate but scarcely surprising. But, if you want real silliness about glaciers, you have to go to the other side of the road and look at this (widely repeated) howler from David Bellamy, derived originally from Fred Singer. The Oz ran Bellamy’s (totally false) claim of persecution for his devotion to the delusionist cause (he was washed up long before he changed sides), but did not AFAIK cover this embarrassing episode,

Every new talking point that emerges from the delusionist camp gives further emphasis to the fact that these are people who have sacrificed both their own intellectual integrity and the future of the planet in the pursuit of a tribal vendetta.

Update Commenter James notes that, with much less apparent fanfare, the Oz published a report derived from Associated Press that concluded that there was nothing in the hacked East Anglia emails that undermined the mainstream consensus on global warming.

fn1. At least in the edition I saw. It’s almost invisible on the website now.

Categories: Environment Tags:
  1. Freelander
    January 18th, 2010 at 20:20 | #1

    The Australian’s front page nonsense suggesting that such a trivial error sinks the report (by labeling what was a not particularly important statement as a ‘central claim’) should result in a complaint to (is it) the press council. I then heard Minchin latch on to it as well. With the Mad Monk, Rabid Abbott, running the zoo, if there were a change of government we could end up with a bunch of fruit loops as silly as our Family First “I’m not dumb, I just look and talk that way” Fielding.

    The Australian is getting almost as bad as Fox News. Next, maybe they will get Sarah “I can see Russia” Palin to replace Albrechson.

  2. Michael
    January 18th, 2010 at 21:12 | #2

    This beatup is useful for seeing the network of loonies. Just try googling it and see all the august news organisations that also leapt on the story with the Australian.

  3. Freelander
    January 18th, 2010 at 21:29 | #3

    All owned by Rupert, no doubt.

  4. Ikonoclast
    January 19th, 2010 at 08:17 | #4

    I should think the Australian Newspaper should be very careful talking about “humiliating blows to credibility”. ;)

  5. Donald Oats
    January 19th, 2010 at 08:56 | #5

    The rejoinder should be a newspaper article on the frontpage, with headline “Plimer cites source!”, with later commentary on how actually it doesn’t happen until page 223 of a draft copy.

  6. Fran Barlow
    January 19th, 2010 at 09:23 | #6

    It should be bizarre, but this is just another day at the office for the filth merchant agnotologists. What’s troubling is the claim made yesterday on “our ABC” that the “climate scientists were altering data “to strengthen the case for action on climate change”. This would be a very serious charge if it could be made out, and would desrve an entire story on its own, but of course it’s no more than mindless repetition of a filth merchant legend by some reckless journalist doing the tabloid balance trick.

    This points to a broader problem in contemporary journalism. Balance is the process of adding to pertinent context and so as to allow a more informed appreciation of claims made about public policy. When practice subtracts from accuracy by dredging up baseless and irrelevant talking points to achieve the appearance of balance, it’s not really balance at all but agnotology.

    Nothing in the WG10 claim undermines the basic insights we have into the 20th-21st century climate anomaly or its etiology. Ian Allison from AAD affirmed this again. Yet paired with the journalists reckless remark in invites the casual to doubt observable reality, and this is antuthetic to good journalism.

  7. Pedro X
    January 19th, 2010 at 09:27 | #7

    Gd lck wth ths.

    Ths jst cntns t lk wrs nd wrs. Th prtn f th ppltn tht s nsr bt whthr ctn shld b tkn wll s ths nd th clmtgt mls nd mk thr mnds p.

    Rgr Plk hs gd tk n t.

    http://rgrplkjr.blgspt.cm/2010/01/srry-bt-ths-stnks.html

    Bt kp gng syng t’s n bg dl. Y r gttng fl fr wht t mst hv bn lk t b Rpblcn whn th Wtrgt tps wr fnd bt t kp blvng tht Nxn ws gd prsdnt.

    Spammer disemvowelled – JQ

  8. Keith
    January 19th, 2010 at 09:40 | #8

    One mistake in 3000 pages ?
    ” …The reports are subject to an intense peer-review process involving hundreds of scientific experts and government reviewers. This unprecedented level of peer and government review makes this compendium of climate change science one of the most scrutinized documents in the history of science. ”

    Perhaps a better metric would be mistakes per facts presented. Seeing a problem yet ?

  9. Ben Haslem
    January 19th, 2010 at 09:48 | #9

    John,
    With respect I think you’ve missed the point.
    I am a passionate defender of the IPCC but this glacier story is a shocker. The IPCC repeatedly points to the scope of peer-review prior to the publication of its 2007 report to defend its conclusions.
    The lack of peer review by denialists (Monckton et al) is quite correctly used to knock them down.
    But here we have a section of the IPCC 2007 report that was either not peer reviewed or peer reviewed very poorly.
    This begs the obvious question: what else has the IPCC got wrong and how does that affect its conclusions?
    An argument I use on people who question AGW is that the science is backed by 800+ peer reviewed papers versus zero for the denialists. The IPCC paper was peer-reviewed by 2,500 scientists.
    That argument just took an almighty hit.
    We can argue about the Oz’s treatment but this story is far more damaging that the UEA email for mine and deserved prominence.

  10. jquiggin
    January 19th, 2010 at 09:50 | #10

    “Perhaps a better metric would be mistakes per facts presented. Seeing a problem yet ?”

    Good point. There are probably about 10 factual claims per page, so I should have said “one poorly sourced claim, in a document that contains tens of thousands of such claims.

    @Keith

  11. Michael
    January 19th, 2010 at 09:54 | #11

    Pedro X :
    But keep going saying it’s no big deal. You are getting a feel for what it must have been like to be a Republican when the Watergate tapes were found but to keep believing that Nixon was a good president.

    That is the wrong analogy. A more accurate one is what Hans Blix must have felt like in the lead up to the Iraq invasion. The right wing blogasphere and the media can successfully confuse the issue for the public long enough to get what they want – in this case inaction on climate change – but ultimately reality will prevail after it’s too late.

  12. James
    January 19th, 2010 at 10:11 | #12

    On the East Anglia hack being overblown, note that the Oztraylyun over the weekend quietly published a story saying that an exhaustive review [found that] the messages don’t support claims that the science of global warming was faked. However, in their story about glaciers they still claim that the East Anglia leak “raised questions about the legitimacy of data”. Go figure.

  13. Keith
    January 19th, 2010 at 10:12 | #13

    Tens of thousands ? That’s sounds like a very big number, and much too large to fact check, I suppose. I wonder what you might count as a fact ? Is the action that someone produces an estimate a fact for example ? Let’s start the verified observations shall we ?

  14. wilful
    January 19th, 2010 at 10:19 | #14

    But hang on, according to the Australian, this is “another humiliating blow”, to a “central claim”.

    Sounds pretty serious!!

    Really, it’s good news though – while the glaciers are definitely melting, and will be gone soon enough, spelling even more misery for the sub-continent, they will probably last more than 25 years. Hooray!

  15. Fran Barlow
    January 19th, 2010 at 10:49 | #15

    @wilful

    There’s also the question of when the point arrives that we definitely will lose the glacial mass in time.

    If 25 years from now, the glacial mass is still 60% of what it is now, but has been undermined enough to be certain of vanishing within 150 years despite our best efforts, then that is simply a deferred loss — not as bad as losing it now for us but every bit as bad for people lving in times when only a fraction of the ecosystem service we get at 60% in 25 years.

    If the things we do can’t be fixed or only fixed/workled around at huge human cost, then that is a dreadful thing for whoever wears the cost. Do we care about subsequent generations’ interests? I believe we should. How happy would we be to be seen by people this time next century as reckless, cognitively dissonant self-indulgent parasites?

    That’s not a legacy I’d like to leave and I doubt many others would either. Virtually all of us would like to be recalled as people who left the world and those who knew them better for the acquaintance.

  16. wilful
    January 19th, 2010 at 10:59 | #16

    It’s a bit like arguing over sea level rises. Phew, it’s only going to be 80cm by 2100.

    That’s great, so what’ll be the end level? Oh, six or seven metres…

    Fran, don’t worry, our place in history books is secure, as the most wanton profligate bunch of arseholes the planet’s had the displeasure to host.

  17. Keith
    January 19th, 2010 at 11:07 | #17

    Fran,
    What if it’s not your legacy ? What if natural variation accounts for this ? Yes, it’s a terrible outcome, but the question remains open on whether we can survive this, much less have any influence on this. Talking of greed and parasitism gives me an image of Al Gore.

    Ben,
    AR4 was signed off by about 60 people, not 2900. Many of the remaining 2840 objected to the final form of AR4. Also, there are about 450 peer reviewed papers that openly question and refute current climate theories. http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/10/peer-reviewed-papers-supporting.html

  18. Matt Canavan
    January 19th, 2010 at 11:31 | #18

    I back up Ben’s claims John. Over the past few years I became convinced of AGW and the need to do something about it, but I find myself increasingly questioning this view.

    It was not the nature of the mistake itself (which as you point out is minor) but the vehemence with which the IPCC originally rejected criticism of the glacier claims. See here http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/nov/09/india-pachauri-climate-glaciers

    Fair enough they might have missed this when compiling a 3000 pg document. But when it was specifically questioned surely they would have gone back and checked the original sources? They don’t seem to have done that, but instead reflexively lashed out at anything that questions their view.

    This kind of attitude, which is also evident here in the ad hominen attacks on the Oz, is not conducive to good science, nor good thinking of any kind.

  19. wilful
    January 19th, 2010 at 11:32 | #19

    Keith, “energy and environment” really does not cut it as a journal – it’s a trade journal, not science. And I suspect most of those ‘submitted to’ and ‘letters’ weren’t reviewed or didn’t pass the review test.

    I don’t get the Al Gore reference. Unless you’re saying OMG Al Gore’s fat!! In which case, piss off, grown-ups are talking.

  20. nanks
    January 19th, 2010 at 11:38 | #20

    quickly JQ, delete the concern trolls

  21. Paul Norton
    January 19th, 2010 at 11:42 | #21

    The mistake was detected by glaciologist Georg Kaser who supports the general scientific consensus on climate change, and has been corrected within the processes of the IPCC. Neither the denialists nor the legitimate sceptics picked it up, which kind of lends itself to conclusions about the respective levels of scientific competence of the protagonists.

    “Dr Kaser said the core evidence of the Fourth Assessment Report remained incontrovertible.

    “‘I am careful in saying this, because immediately people will again engage in IPCC bashing, which would be wrong,’ he said”.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/01/19/2795485.htm?site=news

  22. Fran Barlow
    January 19th, 2010 at 12:02 | #22

    @Keith said

    What if it’s not your legacy? What if natural variation accounts for this ?

    What if my aunt were a man? He’d be my uncle. Solid well-attested scientific inquiry affirms that the climate anomaly is real, driven by CO2 accretion in the atmosphere, and that this accretion is anthopogenic in origin. I should add that the phrase “natural variation” is not a scientific concept, except to the extent it refers to observable and measurable non-anthropogenic processes. Those rejecting good science like the phrase because it is an empty vessel into which any content at all in any quantity can be poured and can allow people with utterly madcap and mutually exclusive ideas and data to coexist under a common “skeptic” rubric. Adducing it relieves the agnotologists of the burden of accounting causallly for measurable processes, but the usefulness of the concept to public policy is negative. “Buggered if we know why this is happening …” is not an acceptable public policy parameter, especially when we do know why this is happening because our explanation has been experimentally confirmed.

    Talking of greed and parasitism gives me an image of Al Gore

    And now we get to the substance of your “forcing” — politico-cultural angst. For your kind, the objection has nothing at all to do with science and everything to do with your vision of how the world should be. Wouldn’t it be nice to believe this was all some sort of scam, and that you could go on with your lives projecting your angst about disruption to your life onto some suitable hate figure? (in this case, Mr Gore, but I feel sure Clinton or Pelosi or pretty much anyone identified with “liberal” politics would have served as well).

    It’s an old political tactic to personalise things, because people are much easier to hate or be jealous of than institutions. Lots of people who wouldn’t normally be your allies hate wealthy people and are jealous of them and so it makes sense to try wedging by picking out celebrities associated with mitigation to hate. I won’t hold my breath though for your kind to propose subversion of the system that produces inequality however. We all recall the kerfuffle over “Joe the (fake and dodgy) Plumber” in 2008, don’t we?

    I find it amusing that you can come to a blog where most of us can see your special pleading for the cant that it is and expect to get away with it.

  23. Fran Barlow
    January 19th, 2010 at 13:02 | #23

    @Ben Haslem

    This kind of attitude, which is also evident here in the ad hominen attacks on the Oz, is not conducive to good science, nor good thinking of any kind.

    It’s The Australian which is not conducive to good science.

    I agree with Tim Lambert at Deltoid on this matter.

    The Australian’s War on Science

  24. Ben Haslem
    January 19th, 2010 at 13:07 | #24

    Ben Haslem :

    The IPCC paper was peer-reviewed by 2,500 scientists.

    Keith, I should say peer reviewed by 2,500 people, as some weren’t scientists but rather industry reps and NGOs. But the point stands. If the glacier mistake was missed by so many, what else?
    And the 2,500 doesn’t include the subsequent government-review process, which also included scientists.

  25. Ben Haslem
    January 19th, 2010 at 13:10 | #25

    @Fran Barlow
    Fran, why is that quote (#23) relevant to me. It’s from a post by Matt Canavan ?

  26. Fran Barlow
    January 19th, 2010 at 13:30 | #26

    @Ben Haslem

    Fran, why is that quote (#23) relevant to me. It’s from a post by Matt Canavan ?

    My unconditional apologies are offered … I was careless scrolling through …

  27. jquiggin
    January 19th, 2010 at 13:40 | #27

    Ben, I think your expectations of peer review are excessive. Mistakes get through pretty often, and mistakes on minor points can stay uncorrected for a long time.

    The present case illustrates one way this happens. Someone says something as a rough estimate, and it’s cited by someone else as if it were a firm estimate. Then a third person cites the second, and you have what looks like a well-established conclusion. I’ve seen this happen regularly, in lots of different contexts.

    The problem is unlikely to be picked up unless someone looks at the claim, thinks it is wrong,and checks back through the chain of citations. This isn’t part of the typical peer review process – if you check the intiial citation, and it seems to check out, you rarely follow much further.

    So, it’s unlikely that this is the only error in the IPCC report. But equally, it’s unlikely that there are a lot of similar errors or more would have been discovered now, given that this document gets pretty closes scrutiny from lots of people.

  28. Fran Barlow
    January 19th, 2010 at 13:51 | #28

    @Ben Haslem

    Slight change of pace …

    I am inter alia a cricket nut. Cricket folk love obscure stats such as “when was the last time two players from the same district club bowled for Australia? As all bona fide cricket nuts know, Hauritz and Katich both play for Randwick and the last time something siumilar occurred was during the 1932-33 Bodyline series when Blackie and Ironmonger (St Kilda) bowled. Wow!

    In that light this is the only time that Matt Canavan (from Merge Right) and Ben Haslem have appeared on the same blog since err … the last time they did on this same blog on September 24, 2005.

    Spooky huh?

  29. Keith
    January 19th, 2010 at 14:24 | #29

    I can see this is a fact free site.
    wilful, thanks for the confirmation.

    And a special thanks to Fran for telling me all about myself. Most enlightening, but unfortunately again – fact free.

    Funny how asking questions can cause abuse to flow. Quiggin sets the tone and you all dutifully follow. Cheerio.

    One parting thought :

    No one saw the GFC coming – except for 11 economists in the entire world (they were called alarmists)

    Everyone (apparently) can foresee the end of the world provided by a model with a 90% level of confidence. And the probability of a Type I error would be ? How about Type II ?

  30. Ben Haslem
    January 19th, 2010 at 14:34 | #30

    @Keith
    No abuse from me Keith : )

  31. Fran Barlow
    January 19th, 2010 at 14:52 | #31

    @Keith

    I can see this is a fact free site.

    Just the opposite. You can see that here we discuss observable reality and that troubles you because it means that your own fantasy becomes harder to maintain.

    And a special thanks to Fran for telling me all about myself. Most enlightening, but unfortunately again – fact free.

    Youre doing unintentional irony now. You find the “fact free” enlightening. That’s as closed to honesty as you’re getting. I note that you dare not contradict the description because it’s accurate. You’re some ignorant patsy playing his own micro roll in the grand war to preserve your tribe’s privileges.

    Funny how asking questions can cause abuse to flow

    Classic concern trolling. You’re not “asking questions”. You’re repeating your tribe’s ignorant talking points.

  32. Fran Barlow
    January 19th, 2010 at 14:59 | #32

    Ooops errata… should read

    You’re doing [...] That’s as close to honesty as you’re getting. [...] You’re some ignorant patsy playing his own micro role in the grand war to preserve your tribe’s privileges

  33. chrisl
    January 19th, 2010 at 16:22 | #33

    Apparently not everybody sees it as the beat-up of the century( there are still 90 years to go!)
    “Reporting from India. All major Indian media houses have picked up the glacier story. The Himalayan report was taken very seriously as it would have impacted lives of millions of Indians, News reporters had even gone on Himalayan treks to raise public awareness.

    Now that they know they have been fooled, everybody is grinding their teeth to get even with Pachuri.

    24/7 news channels are directly blaming Pachuri and are asking uncomfortable questions. Once they get their hands on Richard North’s expose on Pachuri’s financial dealings, Pachuri will be history “

  34. Grim
    January 19th, 2010 at 16:58 | #34

    John,

    How many respectable, highly ‘peer-reviewed’ papers propose ‘the efficient markets’ theory as an observable fact ?

    Also I note in the Oz’s article that one Julian Dowdeswell has stated, inter alia, inpect of the Himalayan glaciers that “The average is 300m thick so to melt one at 5m a year would take 60 years.”

    Hmmm. How long do you think it will take for ‘climatologists’ to get the message that climate effects are neither linear nor monotonic. Once the water melt gets to the bottom of the glacier and starts to flow, the melt can be considerably accelerated. Perhaps Mr Hasnain’s “speculative” estmate may not be so far out after all.

  35. Freelander
    January 19th, 2010 at 17:07 | #35

    @chrisl

    And we all know how “fair and balanced” the Indian media is….

  36. Freelander
    January 19th, 2010 at 17:12 | #36

    Peer review is a good idea as a process but it is not an infallible guarantee of the final product.

    Peer review can also be quite variable, from at one end where the reviewer or reviewers really ought to be credited with joint authorship due to their contributions during the process, to someone as a reviewer who really doesn’t know much in the area hardly bother to read the submission.

  37. Freelander
    January 19th, 2010 at 17:17 | #37

    When academic or others hold similar views and form cosy little clubs, critical evaluation that ought to occur during peer review can go out the window.

    The cosiest little clubs are often ‘think tanks’ where there seems to be little regard for the quality of an argument as long as the conclusion supports the party line.

  38. Grim
    January 19th, 2010 at 18:48 | #38

    @Freelander

    So what you appear to be saying is that peer reviews are very much like markets: when they’re good, they’re very very good, and when they’re bad, they’re rotten. And mostly they’re at some quite indeterminate point in between.

  39. Ken Miles
    January 19th, 2010 at 19:07 | #39

    The thing that really gets my goat is that there is a story here. The IPCC needs to ensure that it sticks far closer to its policies, and does its utmost to rely on peer reviewed literature. Luckily, the error was incrediably minor.

    However, the AGW “skeptics” will do their best to try to use in this to try to throw mud on the science, because they can’t mount an honest evidence based case.

  40. January 19th, 2010 at 19:44 | #40

    Wouldn’t it be great if Australia had a national newspaper?

  41. January 19th, 2010 at 22:29 | #41

    “The present case illustrates one way this [AGW Fraud] happens. Someone says something [like the globe is warming] as a rough estimate, and it’s cited by someone else as if it were a firm estimate. Then a third person cites the second, and you have what looks like a well-established conclusion. I’ve seen this happen regularly, in lots of different contexts.” And guess what we get paid for every step of the chain. (but please don’t tell the taxpayers)

    BTW DR Bellamy’s environmental qualifications (ex pres of the Conservation Foundation etc. etc…) are superior to the environmental qualifications of a dismal economist’s (whose environmental philosophy is washed up). Stating that a person is ‘washed up’ because they reach their sixties and slow down illustrates how low you AGW fraudsters are. The facts are Bellamy’s environmental qualifications are without question and he has been ostracised for taking you AGW fraudsters on.
    Shooting the messengers is just more proof AGW is a fraud

  42. Freelander
    January 20th, 2010 at 01:43 | #42

    @Megan

    I agree.

    I think The Age should re-badge itself “The Australian Age”. That might improve its national distribution where it competes against “The Australian”. The Australian has really gone down the tubes. Nowadays it is full of press release articles from think tanks, cranky regular columns by many who would otherwise be unknown, and cut and paste from other parts of Murdoch’s evil empire. It all saves Rupert money. but its a long time since it was a good read.

    This provides an opportunity if another paper wants to fill the national paper gap. I think The Age should go for it.

  43. Freelander
    January 20th, 2010 at 01:50 | #43

    @Tony G

    David Bellamy never was anything more than television presenter. He undoubtedly scored that job due to the ostentatious and enthusiastic way he manages to talk about topics that bore some to tears. As this was his only claim to his fifteen minutes of fame, and that time has elapsed, to describe him as washed up, is simply to describe his current state.

    Despite his recent attempt to gain some notoriety by jumping on the denialist bandwagon, washed up he remains.

    Finally, your willingness to dispatch messengers proves nothing.

  44. Alice
    January 20th, 2010 at 05:57 | #44

    @nanks
    LOL nanks – concern trolls….

  45. wilful
    January 20th, 2010 at 16:08 | #45

    George Monbiot has slaughtered David Bellamy on several occasions. It’s too cruel to the bearded old rambler.

    http://www.channel4.com/news/articles/world/are%20the%20glaciers%20melting/107930

  46. January 20th, 2010 at 17:19 | #46

    Wilful,
    Monbiot isn’t an environmentalist and he doesn’t have a PhD in an environmental science like Bellamy. Monbiot is just a journalist and a bad one at that, all of his stories are unbalanced. Probably because he is still suffering post traumatic stress syndrome from the daily toilet dunkings he would of got at high school as a result of his BS dobbing and crawling to the teachers. He is using the same BS tactic in your link, as some glaciers are shrinking and some are growing as they have always done. Probably Monbiot doesn’t need anymore toilet dunkings as he permanently smells like a turd.

  47. Fran Barlow
    January 20th, 2010 at 17:36 | #47

    @Tony G

    Tony G channels the pain of his past experiences and projects them onto Monbiot above.

    As a teacher, Tony, let me say that whatever our differences, I feel sorrow at your distress and would encourage you to seek the help that you so plainly need.

  48. Roger Jones
    January 20th, 2010 at 17:51 | #48

    The date for 2035 was clearly a mistake, and the cite as grey literature was not the primary source. The authors of the chapter did not go back to the primary source because they would have found the mistake. It was in a regional chapter, which may be reviewed by 20-40 people. It was uncited in the 2nd draft and a review comment did ask for a reference. The WWF (2005) review document was used as the reference. Lal (the lead author of the chapter) has defended this, but I do think it an error (Sorry Lal).
    The regional chapters are of varying quality due to the experience of the authors on it. There is more opportunity for mistakes to be made at this level. By the time the reports get to the Technical Summaries and Summaries for Policymakers they are very heavily scrutinised and all information is traced back to source. Confidence hs to be high for any finding in this part of the report using multiple lines of evidence. This Volume was 1,000 pages long. I would expect there are several more factual errors in it, but they will be minor.
    This storm in the proverbial will lead to a clearer instruction to use the primary scientific source for all statements of results. The grey literature should still be permitted because it is needed to document adaptation actions etc that can only be found in reports. However it should not be used for the reporting of scientific results that exist in the refereed literature.

    Compare this to the Not the IPCC report. Full of errors that have never been corrected or retracted. The IPCC will learn from its mistakes. Others never will.

    Tony G – Monbiot has a masters. In zoology, I think.

  49. Fran Barlow
    January 20th, 2010 at 18:07 | #49

    @Roger Jones

    And apparently the 2035 date was a typo anyway … the original source from which the surrounding text was taken apparently specified 2350 …

  50. John Coochey
    January 27th, 2010 at 09:44 | #50

    So why are you so scared to debate Christopher Mongton, should be a sitting duck. By the way how much of your standard of living are you prepared to give up to slow, but of course not prevent global warming?

  51. nanks
    January 27th, 2010 at 10:31 | #51

    @John Coochey
    John, I understand you aren’t beating your wife at the moment

  52. Freelander
    January 27th, 2010 at 13:01 | #52

    @John Coochey

    Another wingnut crawls out of the woodwork….

  53. Ben
    January 29th, 2010 at 11:01 | #53

    This is highly hilarious hypocrisy.

    If AGW is a threat to mankind then it can be proven with appropriate scientific rigor and with no need for obfuscation or intrigue. If this is the case and you are concerned about it then why are you not FURIOUS with these guys for dropping the ball so hard. You are doing their freakin PR for them when you should be baying for their blood for endangering the planet with their hamfisted approach. How much do these guys need to stuff up before you start to realize that their closed culture and hostility to any criticism is ruining any chance of global action taking place?

    Do you know why Copenhagen was a bust? Because none of these world leaders seriously believe that there is a problem. They think that in a decade the data will start to show how out of whack the modelling is with reality. Frankly this is because climate modelling is not a smoking gun. There is no hypothesis that is reproducible in the lab and that means it cannot be treated as hard science. No smoking gun equals a ton of skepticism. If there is a problem then the fact that these guys are fudging figures and snarling at any criticism is making it more of an uphill battle than it needs to be.

    Honestly if you are calling people names who don’t agree with you: denialists, contrarians, etc. then you need to GROW UP.

  54. nanks
    January 29th, 2010 at 11:24 | #54

    @Ben
    i am deeply touched by your concern

  55. January 29th, 2010 at 11:41 | #55

    @Ben
    “How much do these guys need to stuff up before you start to realize that their closed culture and hostility to any criticism is ruining any chance of global action taking place?”

    Oh, please. As if global action was imminent before the CRU email debacle!

    I’m disgusted at these scientists’ petty and meanspirited behaviour, and they’ve damaged their own cause, but let’s not pretend the non-agreers* would be any closer to agreeing if it hadn’t happened.

    * – Since you don’t like the usual terms.

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