Mark Steyn’s Latest Trick

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UPSATE. The motion has been denied. Rather hilariously, bt the way.

Professor Michael Mann vs. Shock Jock Mark Steyn

You all know about the libel suit filed by Professor Michael Mann against Canadian right wing radio shock jock Mark Steyn. Steyn made apparently libelous comments linking Mann, who is widely regarded as the worlds top non-retired climate scientist, to the Jerry Sandusky scandal. (I don’t know what Steyn was implying but the only link is that both work(ed) at Penn State University!) There are other aspects of the libel suit as well, beyond the scope of this post.

The suit was filed in October 2012. I’m told this sort of law suit can drag on for years, and in this case, Steyn and the other defendants have taken action to delay what seems likely to be a decision against them, so this one might take a bit longer.

ADDED: It has come to my attention that some are arguing that Steyn has been trying to push this suit along while the other defendants are those responsible for the delay. You need to be aware of the fact that early on in the process, Steyn separated himself from the other defendants, and some observers have noted that he has been conducting his side of the process in such a way that has left legal scholars wondering if he has a competent lawyer. I have no personal comment on this. But it remains true that there is no way to separate the discovery part of this process among the parties. In other words, as the different parties in the defense take separate action, they are capable of playing something of a “good cop – bad cop” scenario, and that looks like what they are doing. In any event, Steyn has taken specific delaying action by filing a counter-suit.

Then, on June 1st, yesterday, Steyn’s lawyer requested that the DC Court of Appeals expedite the case.

Why is Steyn suddenly in a hurry to see this court case finished, when until now he has been more interested in delay?

I’m pretty sure the reason is a microcosm of how things are developing in the larger world of fossil fuel industry supported science denial, as well as the larger world of right wing vs. progressive politics.

Mann’s suit is not about arguing about science. He is perfectly capable of going head to head with anybody, even bought and paid for deniers, as he recounts in his book The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines.

The suit serves, rather, as a part of a larger effort to combat the ongoing systematic attacks on well meaning and hard working scientists who are just doing their jobs. These attacks, in large part funded by energy industry front groups or “think” tanks such as the Heartland Institute, threaten to cast a chilling pall over over the scientific endeavor itself. Young people going into science careers, especially in certain areas, potentially face future denigrating attacks on their personal lives and character, and potentially career ending frivolous investigations by science deniers in Congress or in other positions of power.

A few months ago we saw shock jock Steyn called by anti-science Senator, failed presidential candidate, and widely detested Ted Cruz, in what can only be described as a three-ring circus of climate science denial. Steyn used his time before congress to argue his case in the Mann law suit, and to blow a racist dog whistle or two denigrating two of the DC Appeals court judges, Judges Natalia Combs Greene and Vanessa Ruiz. I only mention this because it gives background on Steyn and the overall anti-science movement. See Mark Steyn, The DC Appeals Court, and Congress for a detailed discussion of that).

Ask not for whom the bell tolls, science denier.

A couple of years ago, in Minnesota, a Republican House and Senate passed a bill to create a constitutional amendment making same sex marriage illegal. Why an amendment and not a law? It was generally thought at the time that the Republicans assumed that if Democrats took power (which they did right after that), that the law would be toast. A constitutional change is harder to undo. But there was another strategic reason to go for the change to the State’s Constitution, a reason that is directly parallel to Mark Steyn’s current strategy vis-a-vis the Mann law suit.

The Republicans legislators voted close to 100% in favor of banning same sex marriage in Minnesota, the Democrats voted close to 100% against it. The amendment then became a ballot issue, which was fought over for months in the public forum, and then, resoundingly defeated by the people of Minnesota. That was one of the first and key moments in the Great Domino Knockover ending legislation and constitutional restriction against same sex marriage.

So what?

Here’s what. During the public fight over the ballot amendment, I went to a fund raiser hosted by a colleague. At that fund raiser, a member of the Minnesota House told a story.

Every year, pages are brought to the legislature to work the legislative session. These are high school seniors representing every single district in the state, so they are geographically evenly distributed across liberal and conservative enclaves and regions. Urban Minneapolis is very liberal. One of the Urban members of the US Congress, Keith Ellison, is an African American Muslim Bernie Sanders Supporter. One of the non-urban members of the US Congress, for several years, was Tea Party co-Founder Michele Bachmann. So, you get the picture.

When the pages are first brought in, there are orientation activities of various sorts. One of the orientation activities is to poll the pages on various political questions. The pages, from Michele Bachmann’s district, Keith Ellison’s district, and everywhere else, were polled that year on their position on the Same Sex Marriage Banning Amendment. How did that shake out?

Every single page was opposed to the amendment. Every. Single. One. They were all about 18 years old.

The Republican strategy to make same sex marriage unconstitutional, instead of merely illegal, was motivated by a correct reading of the state’s demography. The next generation of Minnesotans was not going to have this sort of discrimination. Every year the state’s population would be increasingly in favor of marriage freedom and opposed to repression of LGBT people. The conservatives in the State Legislature had to act quickly to codify their systematic hatred before everyone else grew up.

Grumpy Old Men

Grumpy Old Men isn’t just a movie set in Minnesota. It is a key part of the demographic base for science denial.

At about the same time that the marriage amendment was being proposed and eventually put down in Minnesota, John Cook, Dana Nuccitelli, Jim Powell and their colleagues were turning out the Climate Consensus Project. This project paralleled and replicated earlier research, but using a different approach. The upshot of that collective research was to show that nearly, but not exactly, 100% of climate scientists and the peer reviewed papers that address climate change, all agree: Climate change is real, and human caused.

The actual studies are more complex and nuanced than that, but for now there is one conclusion that I want you to focus on. Something less than three percent of the people who’s opinion matter in the scientific world, those who are verified experts in this area, continued to question the legitimacy of human caused climate change in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence.

Who are these people?

We know from work by John Mashey, that science deniers with actual scientific credentials are like conservative Minnesota legislators.

Mashey examined the characteristics of individuals who opposed, from within, the American Physical Society’s position on the reality of human caused climate change. The opposition took the form of a petition signed by less than a half percent of the 47,000 member of the society. That subset of APS members tended to be in subfields that did not focus on climate science. But most interesting here is the demography of that group.

Mashey showed that the signers of the anti-science petition were, as a group, older and more likely to be retired than the APS members in general.

Of the 119 signers, 102 (86%) were born before 1950, compared to about 40% for overall APS. This is a strong effect, and cannot be due to “retired scientists are finally free to tell the real truth”, given that only one plausible climate scientist is a signer, and he is not retired.

In addition, there is evidence that as this non-representative sample of APS members was recruited to sign on, efforts were made by the petition organizers to find older or retired individuals, dust them off, and get them on board.

Like the situation with same sex marriage in Minnesota, the demographics are changing. That few percent that the Consensus Project and similar research identifies as not being on board with climate science probably represents the grumpy old men who are disappearing at the usual rate, like they do. The scientists who understand climate science and make up the bulk of the consensus are not only more involved in actual climate science, but also, are of the current generation of active scientists.

They are old. And, therefore, becoming less numerous with every passing day, with every tolling of the bell.

Who is Steyn’s dead guy?

A key reason given by Steyn and his lawyer for expediting the Mann lawsuit is that key witnesses that would support Steyn’s case may die off before the case comes to court.

According to the “request for expedited hearing” filed by Steyn’s lawyer,

Steyn’s expert witnesses are older than Mann’s; time affects them more. Many of Steyn’s expert witnesses are emeritus professors and comparatively advanced in years, being of an age and eminence that enables them to stand against the bullying and intimidation that prevails in climate science. Therefore, the passage of time is not an unimportant thing. Indeed, one of Steyn’s proposed witnesses has, in fact, died while this interlocutory appeal has been with the appellate court.

The brief does not mention which witness died. Any guesses?

Apparently, Steyn and his lawyer had a “holy crap” moment, realizing that if this law suit does not come to court sooner than later, there would be precious few individuals prepared to serve as witnesses in favor of an idea that about to get pulled off life support.

Time is running out for Steyn. Over time, those who question the validity of well established science are likely to change their minds once they get the proper information, realize that their position is laughable and walk away from denialism simply because it is embarrassing, or, apparently, die.

But it is more important that time is running out for the planet, and for the up and coming generation that is being handed a ruined environment.

Even as I write these words a news alert comes across my desk: “Europe floods: 10 dead amid fears of fresh heavy rainfall,” referring to flooding in France and Germany. Flooding in Texas over the last few days, and continuing, has taken at least a half dozen lives. To someone like Steyn, and his out of touch geriatric witnesses, this is small change. A half a dozen people here, a half a dozen people there. And that is exactly the problem and exactly why Mann’s lawsuit is important and valid. Climate denialism is, as a movement, effectively sociopathic. And, as individuals in that movement realize that, they tend to wander off.

The Atlantic Hurricane Season started yesterday and there are already two named storms. Major fires in the Canadian Rockies, the decline of iconic species such as the North American Moose, coral bleaching, the spread of very nasty diseases out of the tropics, record high temperatures, the Syrian refugee crisis, are all linked to climate change to some degree, often very directly, sometimes more tenuously. (See this for a current accounting of climate disasters ongoing.)

Extreme variability in precipitation patterns, including both short and long term droughts and major rain or snow fall events, has been linked pretty directly to anthropogenic global warming. Heat waves and sea level rise due to melting glaciers, and changes in ocean chemistry, are direct measures of increasing surface heat. Weather and climate are two faces of the same coin, different in scale with weather being in one spot and on one day, and climate being weather long term and everywhere. If we change climate, which we have, we change weather, and thus we affect day to day live, the food supply, the global economy, and global health.


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462 thoughts on “Mark Steyn’s Latest Trick

  1. Greg says “Steyn and the other defendants have taken action to delay what seems likely to be a decision against them, so this one might take a bit longer.”

    What did Steyn do to delay the case?

  2. You are correct that Steyn did file a motion to dismiss and appealed its denial.

    So I can see how you could characterize this as delay.

    Mark Mann also filed a motion to dismiss Steyn’s counterclaims, but I don’t think the Court has ruled on it yet. Perhaps it was stayed by the appeal.

    Should Mann’s motion to dismiss be denied and should he appeal, will you agree (then) that Mann will also be engaged in delay?

    The real delay is the court of appeals, taking over 2 years to rule on the anti-SLAPP denial – truly appalling.

  3. Greg says “Steyn and the other defendants have taken action to delay what seems likely to be a decision against them, so this one might take a bit longer.”
    So the fact that Mark Steyn Files For Expedited Hearing in Mann v. Steyn is a delaying tactic?
    I get it now.

  4. will you agree (then) that Mann will also be engaged in delay?

    Delaying WHAT? Delaying dismissal and the consequent no-action?

    Tell us, RickA, how one goes about delaying doing nothing. And while you’re at it, please indicate how you determine if/when the delaying of doing nothing ceases, and the lack of doing anything can continue unimpeded.

    Thanks.

  5. I don’t understand the rush. Surely Steyn can still ask Fred Singer, Ivar Giaever and Freeman Dyson to testify on his behalf.

  6. Should all the old fart deniers die off and you achieve the action you so desire, and should CO2 levels eventually drop to 280 ppm – will that guarantee that no flooding will occur from that point forward in Texas, Germany and France?

    No would be the honest answer.

    Because flooding occurred in Texas, Germany and France when CO2 was <= 280 ppm and no doubt flooding will continue no matter the level of CO2.

    Do you see any danger to your cause in attributing every weather event to climate change?

    Every flood, every fire, every drought, etc.

    Because I do.

    This tactic is overreaching and will backfire and make obtaining changes to the law (here and abroad) more difficult, not easier.

  7. RickA #10: Your entire comment is completely irrelevant to the Steyn-Mann issue.

    Stop trolling your denial shit.

  8. Brainstorms and Greg:

    I am not sure you understood my hypo.

    Steyn asked the court to dismiss Mann’s action and it was denied and Steyn appealed the denial.

    During the appeal the case was stayed.

    We all agree that filing the appeal caused delay and Greg blames Steyn for this.

    Michael Mann filed a motion to dismiss Steyn’s counterclaims, it is pending and if the court were to deny it and were Mann to appeal it (same as Steyn), the case would be stayed again.

    Why would that (should it occur) not also be delay?

    I don’t understand this phrase “Asking for a delaying action to not delay is not delaying.”

    What is the “to not delay” referring to?

  9. Greg,
    I have to admire your patience–or, perhaps, your strategy of “doing nothing” but allowing the least intellectually capable and most obvious trolls, EricHa, for example, to post and demonstrate with such perfection exactly who supports the deniers case.
    Thanks for all your good work. It’s tragic that it’s even necessary!

    Respectfully

  10. Magma and Brainstorms #11-12:

    Read the post again, and you will see the section where Greg blames flooding in Texas and Europe (specifically France and Germany) on climate change.

    My comment is responding to this portion of the post – because the entire post is not about Mann v. Steyn.

    I am on point.

  11. Greg says “If we change climate, which we have, we change weather . . .”

    Now I happen to think this is backwards, because climate is the 30 year average of weather – but lets ignore that for now.

    This statement implies that in order to stop climate change we need to stop weather change (or really stop weather).

    Of course Greg doesn’t really mean that – that would be impossible.

    We cannot stop the weather from changing, we cannot stop weather.

    But the meme of blaming all weather on climate change, in order to blame every flood on climate change is not wise (in my opinion).

  12. If the defendants had not worked so hard to delay the inevitable, the case would take about 4 years.

    Steyn appears to still believe he can deceive a judge in to believing that what Steyn wrote is true, therefore it isn’t libel— by robbing grave yards looking for The Undead Yet Scientists Who Agree With Me. Since the issue is malicious harassment, not science, rushing to find Undead old farts to serve as opinion speakers is pointless.

    Doesn’t Steyn have a lawyer to explain these things to him?

  13. Doesn’t Steyn have a lawyer to explain these things to him?

    No and/or he hasn’t been listening to them. His ideology gets in the way of him listening to facts, reason, evidence, truth — things like that.

  14. Now I happen to think this is backwards

    RickA has an opinion at odds with Science.

    “Dog bites man.” What else is new?

  15. We cannot stop the weather from changing, we cannot stop weather.

    RickA makes a brilliantly (stupid) strawman argument to mislead the jury.

    “Dog bites man.” What else is new?

  16. Climateweather v. Weatherclimate!
    Welcome to the Perpetual Sophistry International!
    Let the word games begin!

  17. “I don’t understand the difference between climate and weather…”

    “Therefore, you’re wrong. (In my opinion.)”

  18. Greg, another thing that Mann and Sandusky have in common is that they were both found to have done nothing wrong by mostly the same group of Penn State “investigators”.

  19. Quite aside from the climate debate, Greg, do you think it should be unlawful for Steyn, or anybody for that matter, to share his opinion? As I’m sure you’re aware, in this lawsuit, a number of credible organizations, including NBC, NPR, the ACLU, and a host of others have lined up to support Steyn… not related to his opinion on climate, per se, but on his right to express it. Surely you don’t lump all of those folks as ‘grumpy’ or ‘shock jock-ish’?

    Might you be able to admit that even if you agree with Mann on climate, his attempt to muzzle his critics is misguided and likely a mistake? It’s very weak idea or theory that can’t withstand a robust conversation.

    1. ArnoldS, first, there is no “climate debate.” There is a scientific consensus.

      People who wish to spout crazy ideas about how climate change is a hoax, etc., are of course welcome to do so.

      However, libel is a thing, and apparently you can’t do that. Mann’s suit is a valid libel suit. This has nothing to do with opinions.

      The press who came to Steyn’s support on this are misguided and misdirected in two ways. First, they always oppose cases like this, regardless of the merits, because they want their own overton window shifted way over to a free for all, for obvious reasons. Second, at the time, they probably interpreted this as a “debate” and misinterpreted libel as addressing the debate. I have a feeling that if this suit started today in stead of years ago, they would have acted differently.

      In the end, this is not about Steyn’s right to express unscientific and incorrect views. If that was the case, there would be a lot more than a couple of law suits of this type. This is not about a theory or a theory’s ability to withstand “robust conversation” though I find the fact that you claim that climate science is a “weak theory” and your weak defense of Steyn to be … well, likely associated.

    2. ArnoldS: “Greg, do you think it should be unlawful for Steyn, or anybody for that matter, to share his opinion?”

      Idiot.

  20. Surely in the same way that if you add another ace of spades into a pack of cards – you alter the odds of any game whether the extra card gets picked or not – in the short term (and obviously in the long term)

    if you dramatically increase a GHG and alter the (recent) chemistry of the atmosphere

    The long term odds (climate) are altered, but also the short term variability (weather) is also altered

    So all weather is a consequence of our ongoing climate experiment

  21. Why, in your view, have so many amici curiae briefs been filed on Steyn’s behalf?

    Political agendas and ideologies are viewed as being much more important than things like Justice, Truth, Science.

    Libel is just a means to a self-justified, if futilely sought-after, end…

  22. ArnoldS, why aren’t you making an issue of Steyn’s attempts to muzzle Mann’s publishing his findings regarding AGW? Is that not misguided and likely a mistake? Seems that Steyn has a very weak idea or theory that he thinks can’t withstand a robust conversation. Why else has Steyn made a career of trying to stifle Mann’s right of expression and to discredit him to discredit his findings? Why the two-faced stance on this issue? How do you justify libel?

  23. Tadaaa #25:

    That is a nice trick!

    So no more natural weather?

    All future weather has been altered as a consequence of climate change.

    The rise and fall of temperature during the day is no longer caused by the sun – but is a consequence of climate change.

    The seasons are no longer caused by our orbit around the sun – but are a consequence of climate change.

    No more el nino – all weather is a consequence of climate change.

    I suppose tides are no longer caused by the moon and sun, but are a consequence of climate change.

    See – if all weather is caused by climate change, you rule out all natural weather variation.

    Which is of course ridiculous on its face.

    If humans are to blame for every weather event, I imagine that the lawsuits will go through the roof.

    Every drought, every flood, every high wind, tornado or hurricane, every storm surge, every snowstorm etc. – if it causes any damage to any property whatsoever, someone will sue local, state or federal government and cite you (and Greg) as support for their lawsuit.

    If natural weather events which are caused by nature are actually the fault of humans – I wonder if there will be an argument that insurance companies will not have to pay out on their policies.

    Maybe I should sue the airline if my flight gets cancelled.

    No more blaming it on the weather – now it is humans fault (collectively) – which means someone has to pay!

    I don’t agree with this line of thinking – but I think the lawyers are going to love it.

  24. The press who came to Steyn’s support on this are misguided and misdirected in two ways. First, they always oppose cases like this, regardless of the merits, because they want their own overton window shifted way over to a free for all, for obvious reasons. Second, at the time, they probably interpreted this as a “debate” and misinterpreted libel as addressing the debate. I have a feeling that if this suit started today in stead of years ago, they would have acted differently. — Greg Laden

    I agree completely. To be less polite, they acted from self-interest and intellectual laziness.

  25. RickA, master of the strawman, and ridiculous on his face. Which you could tell if he’d ever pull his head out of his ass.

    RickA, did you ever meet an honest argument that you didn’t torture to death with fallacious retorts?

  26. @ RickA

    Lol, sound like an argument from incredulity

    You add an ace in the pack, you change the odds

    That you can’t detect it in a single game of poker says more about you than the facts (or the change in odds)

  27. Brainstorms #34:

    I just don’t think Greg, Tadaaa and others who think alike have really thought this line of argument through.

    We changed the climate – I agree with that.

    But to then say that we have therefore changed all future weather seems overbroad.

    I am just following through the implications of this thought.

    Followed to its logical conclusion – every breath I exhale changes all future weather.

    Or perhaps – Lucy (3 million years ago) – changed all future weather when she exhaled?

    Well – that would be silly.

    Perhaps the first human fire changed all future weather?

    I guess we will no longer be able to blame humans for all weather events, just as soon as we get CO2 to 280 ppm.

    Even though it will still rain (I think) – we can just decide that the rainfall at 281 ppm was our fault (a consequence of climate change) – but the rainfall at 280 is just natural.

  28. ArnoldS: “Quite aside from the climate debate, Greg, do you think it should be unlawful for Steyn, or anybody for that matter, to share his opinion?”
    Of course he thinks so.

  29. I just don’t think Greg, Tadaaa and others who think alike have really thought this line of argument through.

    Ever cross your mind that you are the one not thinking it through?

    We changed the climate – I agree with that.

    Please try to remain consistent with that agreement going forward.

    we have therefore changed all future weather

    RickA, ::sigh:: Weather is the local manifestation of climate (with all its variabilities mixed into the climate “signal”).

    Followed to its logical conclusion – every breath I exhale changes all future weather.

    We all notice that you have failed to quantify that assertion. If you were to change it by 1 part in a quintillion, you might be correct. And your “change” would be as irrelevant as your opinions about Science.

    You’re not stupid (just corrupting), so you know the difference. Anyone who would be fooled by your rhetoric now knows better.

  30. Tadaa #35:

    How does that calculation look?

    What were the odds before 1950?

    Can we calculate that for a local area?

    Its drier in my area than it was 100 years ago – perform calculation and ascertain my fractional fault.

    Its wetter in my area that it was 100 years ago – perform calculation and ascertain my fractional fault.

    What – you say it would have been drier (or wetter) anyway – nope – you can no longer say that. Its all our fault no matter what.

    It snowed 55 inches last year in Minnesota – what fault to I bear for that? It was within the historical range – but surely I (humanity collectively I mean) altered it in some fashion.

    If the average rainfall is the same next year as 100 years ago – what does that mean? I wonder what the calculation would like for that. Surely with 400 ppm CO2 that would be impossible.

    Do I get credit in your calculation for the beautiful days? Or just the “weather” days.

    Perhaps none here see the problem.

  31. Perhaps none here see the problem.

    Only you seem blind to the problem, RickA.

    More energy in the climate system affects all weather events, though not equally. But it’s in there. How could it not be?

  32. Look Brainstorms.

    I am not the one blaming every flood on climate change.

    I figured it flooded before 1880 (or whenever) and so some future flooding is natural (to be expected). Ditto for any weather event.

    But with this new way of thinking – there is no such thing as a 100% natural flood (or weather event). Ever. Some fractional portion of each future flood is humans fault.
    I have the same problem with over 100% of the warming since 1950 is caused by humans.

    That future tornado is not natural, but will always be some percentage caused by humans. Humans fault will never be 0 for any weather event ever again.

    What does that mean?

  33. BBD #41:

    By more energy you mean warmer atmosphere?

    So if the average global atmosphere temperature dropped back to 1880 average (just a hypo) – but CO2 was at 450 ppm, than “we” are no longer affecting all weather events (because the “energy” is not higher anymore?).

    How are you measuring energy in the system?

    How do you distinguish from the MWP or between glacial and interglacial?

    I wonder if we have another glacial period – what fractional blame will humans compute for that.

    Because now that we have altered the climate, any future glacial period will surely be the consequence of climate change and some fractional fault will be assigned to humans.

  34. What does that mean?

    In a word, “Responsibility”. As in, “We bear responsibility for being effective and thoughtful stewards of the Earth” (not in the colloquial “blame” sense).

    You are correct, RickA, in your perception that human beings are having an effect on the world’s climates (and consequently its local weather phenomenon). And you’re correct that we can not say, “It’s just nature taking its course”. Because it’s not. Hasn’t been — for decades. Longer than you’ve been alive.

    So yes, when we statistically see more floods, more hurricanes, more droughts, more people succumbing from bad weather events and they can be attributed to climate change, and we’ve been changing the climate, then yes, we (collectively) bear some of that responsibility.

    We know that “bearing responsibility” is an unpopular thing. Deeply unpopular. We know you find it horrifying. So do others. Doesn’t change it, though. Sorry.

    We need — We desperately need — to step up and start being better stewards of the Earth. Or we’ll all have a hell of a lot more to be disturbed about than just a sense that we’re involved in causing other peoples’ disasters. They’ll be visiting us, too — personally.

    Don’t get in the way of solving that problem, and stop encouraging others to get in the way as well.

  35. But with this new way of thinking – there is no such thing as a 100% natural flood (or weather event). Ever. Some fractional portion of each future flood is humans fault.

    Humans increased the amount of energy in the climate system since 1880. So this new way of thinking is an accurate reflection of a new reality.

    I have the same problem with over 100% of the warming since 1950 is caused by humans.

    We’ve been through that. You have had the explanations.

    Why not stick to energy policy? Or the substance of the OP?

  36. BBD #45:

    The amount of energy in the climate system varies naturally.

    Hello ice ages.

    But not since 1950.

    Now 100% of the amount of energy change in the climate system is humans “fault”.

    There is no more room in your world for natural variation of energy in the climate system (internal or external).

    That makes no sense to me.

  37. There is no more room in your world for natural variation of energy in the climate system (internal or external).

    Yes, there is. But the magnitude of that, in comparison to the magnitude of effects of human-added CO2, is smaller. Doesn’t mean it’s not there. It means we really are having a big effect. And so we have measured that we are. That’s what you have a hard time swallowing.

    You can’t ask the atmosphere to swallow gigatons and gigatons of CO2 and not also have “a hard time swallowing it”, now can you? It’s by no means a small amount…

  38. By more energy you mean warmer atmosphere?

    Warmer ocean, land surface and atmosphere. I said ‘climate system’ because I meant ‘climate system’.

    So if the average global atmosphere temperature dropped back to 1880 average (just a hypo) – but CO2 was at 450 ppm, than “we” are no longer affecting all weather events (because the “energy” is not higher anymore?).

    Let’s say there was some massive volcanism. The aerosol cooling depresses GAT to 1880 average for a few years. The effect would be transient. As the aerosol haze rains out and anthropogenic warming resumes (driven by the huge thermal reservoir of the oceans, much boosted by the GHE since 1950), we go back to square one. Which was that there is more energy in the climate system because of human activity and all weather events are affected. How could the not be? You did not answer this question.

  39. Steyn can’t be sued for his comment about Mann……it isn’t libel to state his hockey stick is “fraudulent” as the hockey stick hasn’t happened. You can state evolution is fraudulent if you want and many many people do…..don’t be in a rush to chill free speech regardless of your end goal………it’s the first amendment for a reason and anything that comes close to abridging it is very very dangerous

  40. Hello ice ages.

    Orbital dynamics should be driving *cooling* now. Not an abrupt and substantial warming.

    From the point of view of physical climatology, you might as well have written ‘Hello Kitty’.

    This shtick is so old, RickA.

    Energy policy.

  41. BBD #48:

    Under your hypo – say instead of GAT going back to 1880 – instead however you measure energy – the energy is lowered back to 1880 levels. In other words, the air, land and ocean drop back to 1880 temperature levels (I guess).

    So this temporary natural cooling spike washes out all humans increased energy efforts.

    We are back to square one – but with CO2 levels at 450 (or whatever).

    If CO2 stays at 450 ppm – is all future weather natural?

    What if we actually manage to lower CO2 after that – is all future weather natural? Or did we also alter it by lowering the energy level?

  42. @Greg #29

    You may not think it’s a debate. And you may believe that there’s a consensus. That’s all well and good, but clearly there are some who think the matter is still open to discussion. You would indicate that’s a minority opinion. And you may be right. The question I pose isn’t about the scientific community’s embrace of a consensus. The question is whether Steyn or others should be free to express their beliefs.

    Steyn believes Mann is wrong. He accused him of ‘molesting and torturing data.’ Steyn believes that to be true. He didn’t call Mann a child molester, insteading taking pains to not extend the metaphor into that realm. He simply disagrees with Mann’s graph.

    That doesn’t seem like a particularly incendiary opinion. Whatever your opinion on climate change or the correct approach to address it, it seems fairly innocuous for a commentator to make a comment. Regardless, Steyn has done his part by responding to the lawsuit. And multiple press organizations have joined the fray. It appears that Steyn wants to move forward with the lawsuit. It appears that you question his motives in ‘suddenly’ wanting to do this, though he’s been pushing to move it along since 2014.

    Do you agree, at least, that the lawsuit should progress relatively quickly? It is, after all, Mann’s lawsuit… it seems that on the timing issue, all sides would want a trial sooner rather than later?

  43. BBD #49:

    I guess I missed the memo which said we had reached the peak of the interglacial.

    The last one was 3 to 6 C warmer at its peak than current temperatures (based on ice core data).

    How do you know we are not still warming naturally? (With humans efforts on top of course).

  44. Brainstorms #47:

    The way I see it – if over 100% of the warming since 1950 is humans fault, than 100% of the increase in energy in the climate system is humans fault also.

    The “pause” was merely the additional warming we caused “hiding” in the ocean temporarily.

    The el nino is our fault because the heat moving from the oceans to the atmosphere was put into the oceans by us anyway. Or at least some portion of the el nino heat moving from the ocean to the atmosphere is our fault.

    So I don’t see any room left over for any natural energy variation. It is zero – because 100% is human caused.

    I think the problem is the 100% human fault (for everything) meme.

    If we said it was 50% humans fault – there would be room for nature (still).

    But 100% human means 0% nature – and you can see I struggle with that.

  45. Under your hypo – say instead of GAT going back to 1880 – instead however you measure energy – the energy is lowered back to 1880 levels. In other words, the air, land and ocean drop back to 1880 temperature levels (I guess).

    No, ocean thermal inertia is massive. A transient atmospheric cooling could only briefly overprint it. I do really urge you to read a textbook on physical climatology.

    I guess I missed the memo which said we had reached the peak of the interglacial.

    The last one was 3 to 6 C warmer at its peak than current temperatures (based on ice core data).

    How do you know we are not still warming naturally? (With humans efforts on top of course).

    Orbital forcing peaked at the beginning of the Holocene and has been falling steadily ever since. It’s in all the textbooks.

  46. @ArnoldS #52
    Going by Greg’s full support of Shukla and the RICO20 it is quite clear he thinks contrarians should be prosecuted. Greg’s name pops up in the FOI emails on page #129 onwards. He is clearly against free speech when it goes contrary to the consensus.

  47. The way I see it – if over 100% of the warming since 1950 is humans fault, than 100% of the increase in energy in the climate system is humans fault also.

    Viewed as a multidecadal trend then yes. Viewed at an interannual level, then no. But the latter is riding up the former.

  48. BTW, not that anybody is changing their mind on this…….I don’t think we can release gigatons of C02 into the atmosphere without it having an effect on climate………we’ve poisoned every large natural environment we’ve encountered with waste runoff the atmosphere is simply the biggest one left……..and every time we poison one in the beginning we claim it’s too big to poison……..the mississippi, lake erie, the ocean, carrier pigeons, the buffalo (i know, i’m extending the analogy) the point is we encournter these massive systems that we seemingly couldn’t dent…….then later we’re all “huh, raw sewage into the river actually does make people sick downstream, who knew?” and every time there’s a resistance to spending more money to treat the waste or by product to not affect the natural system…….the factories wanted to just dump into lake erie…..too big, we can’t possible affect…..then lake erie died…….so we’re likely doing it again……………but i’d rather live in a world where we can debate this stuff vs. we can’t talk about it ………..cuz unexamined things tend to become things where who’s ever in charge of the unexamined thing starts dictating things and i know everyone think that the people dictating to prevent climate change will be benevelont but they won’t, they’ll dictate to benefit themselves and their cronies just like every other person who ever liver ever…………..the Unites States constitution to some extent is as valuable or more than any other ecosystem you can name………..you have to protect it ……….and that constitution says steyn can call mann anything he wants regarding his work with some very specific exceptions around libel and nobody can do anything to him becuase that’s the first amendment and what it’s meant for……criticism, unpopular statements, and calling people out

  49. steyn can call mann anything he wants regarding his work with some very specific exceptions around libel

    And that’s what it’s all about. It’s not about the climate change. Even though the climate change issue is why Steyn wants to stifle Mann’s free speech on the subject by discrediting him using libel.

    That one thing, which is the exception to Steyn’s free speech rights.

    Mann has the right to be heard, too. Heard as the expert he is. Including influencing public policy as a result. That thing that Steyn wants to stifle. Using libel.

  50. @Greg

    A couple of other comments regarding your post #29…

    I didn’t say that the man-made climate change theory was weak or strong… I just said that any theory that can’t withstand a robust conversation must be weak. In this case, if as the theory is, as you’ve said, I consensus, then why must its adherents be so thin-skinned about it? Mark Steyn, like many other opinion writers, takes issue with the ‘consensus’ and the approach to dealing with climate change. Commentators comment.

    Imagine, for a moment, that Mann had simply ignored comments he felt were unflattering or in poor taste. Wouldn’t that be a more appropriate response from a public figure?

    As for the press joining every lawsuit of this type… that’s simply untrue. They don’t. And as for the point that today, they may have been less likely to jump on board…. Doesn’t that point to the reasonableness of Steyn’s doubts, if as you say the science was less settled back then, a very natural defense against a libel suit? And doesn’t it also suggest that, in a quickly changing environment, a relatively quick trial would be good for everybody?

  51. @brainstorms #59

    Can you point to any example of Steyn trying to stifle Mann’s right to free speech? Because I don’t see that.

    Mann sued Steyn for libel. Not the other way around.

  52. RickA: “will that guarantee that no flooding will occur from that point forward in Texas, Germany and France?”

    Yes, of course, because everybody believes that only with global warming would there ever be a flood.

    But seriously, how do you expect anyone to take you seriously when you say stupid shit like this, RickA? Do you even care that you come off as a joke?

  53. #58 benny4540

    the people dictating to prevent climate change will be benevelont but they won’t

    Reality suggests that benevolence gets shelved when the problem is serious. If we want benign government down the line, we mustn’t set it up to fail.

    We should kick it up the arse now.

  54. Your neighbor catches you poisoning the neighborhood well — the source of everyone’s water.

    He manages to capture an image of you doing it.

    He says he’s going to go to the police to report you.

    You go to the police first and report that your neighbor has been molesting the neighbor children, so that your well poisoning problem will be lost in the ensuing upset and discrediting of your neighbor.

    A scandal ensues, and your neighbor sues you for making that report.

    You claim that you were exercising your “Right of Free Speech”.

    You come under attack. You counter with claims that your neighbor is trying to stifle your free speech.

    It’s pointed out that you’ve committed libel, not exercised your free speech rights.

    You respond with, “I believe it true that my neighbor was molesting children in the neighborhood, so it’s not libel!”

    Tell us, ArnoldS, who we should we be defending here? And why?

    And why do you falsely equate a libel suit with suppressing free speech rights? Sounds like fallacious reasoning designed to enable people who poison wells to get away with crimes though the use of misleading appeals to populist emotion.

    If Steyn has anything approaching a valid argument to support his point of view, why can’t he rely on that? Why does he instead have to criminally discredit Mann to keep Mann from being heard (without such “poisoning the well”) by politicians who set policies — policies that affect mitigation of AGW and control the emissions of GHGs?

    Because we both know that “poisoning the well” to discredit science authorities is nothing more than an obvious attempt to silence their voice in the call to action over global warming.

  55. @Brainstorms

    Respectfully, I think you’re reaching with the ‘molestation’ analogy. Steyn specifically wrote, in the salient piece of commentary, that he wouldn’t make any comparison between Sandusky and Mann, as another commentator did, but did believe that Mann had ‘tortured and molested data’ in the generation of the hockey stick graph.

    At no point was he making an effort to silence Mann or prevent him from expressing himself. He was simply stating his opinion about Mann’s work. Period.

    Mann sued him for libel, and Steyn is now defending himself. Mann has not, in the four years since he launched the lawsuit, provided any of the disclosure he’ll ultimately rely upon to pursue his claim.

    This thing is before the courts, because Mann put it there. That was his choice, and his right. So at this point, I don’t understand why Steyn’s request to move this thing along is being met with criticism from Mann’s supporters. Mann asked for his day in court. Steyn agreed. Steyn actually wants the court date to happen. Mann’s supporters think that Steyn is going to have his ass handed to him, and that Mann will clean his clock. So why criticize Steyn for asking for the fight to begin? Isn’t that what Mann should want? A chance to prove his case and punish Steyn?

    I, for one, would like to see the trial proceed, asap. Wouldn’t you? Wouldn’t Mann?

  56. Greg, I agree. It’s not about climate science, except insofar as Steyn’s belief in the inaccuracy of Mann’s graph does impact the case for libel.

    So… do you hope that on this one small point, Steyn gets his way? Ie, a trial relatively soon?

  57. Mann had ‘tortured and molested data’ in the generation of the hockey stick graph can easily be read as “Mann committed academic fraud”. In his career area, that’s a very serious accusation.

    It amounts to character assassination. (Let’s use that rather than molestation analogies.)

    You can try to fall back to “at no point was he making an effort to silence Mann or prevent him from expressing himself”, but his actions do not support that claim. Character assassination to “poison the well” furthers Steyn’s goal of keeping climate scientists from being heard by policy makers.

    That amounts to stifling their expression.

    And claiming academic fraud on the part of an academician when you lack any proof to defend yourself against the inevitable libel charge is only setting yourself up.

    Crying foul about murky claims of stifling free speech doesn’t work — unless you’re the type who’s easily swayed by emotion. Which happens to be Steyn’s target audience, so there’s at least a reason he’s being stupid in that way. I doubt the court officials are as credulous…

    Let Mann pursue his libel case. We know it’s not an attempt to stifle Steyn’s free speech. He needs to protect his academic/scientific reputation.

    Lastly, I don’t see Mann’s supporters criticizing this effort to move things along. I have been reading a LOT of criticism of Steyn’s tactics to delay it in the past, however. And I would like to see this go all the way to trial. What Mann has to say will get broad publication as a result… Just the opposite of what Steyn wants.

  58. “I didn’t say that the man-made climate change theory was weak or strong… I just said that any theory that can’t withstand a robust conversation must be weak.”

    As I understand it, man-made climate change is not a theory–it is a prediction that arises from theory in basic radiative physics (and chemistry, and even atomic theory).

    We know those theories are essentially correct because we’ve built a whole civilization upon them.

    That they would be incorrect when it comes to the effects of CO2 and correct for everything else is inconceivable, especially since CO2 lasers and heat-seeking missiles work (they wouldn’t work if we were wrong about the properties of CO2, the very properties that dictate CO2 is a “greenhouse” gas).

    1. EricHa: “Climate spin doctor took charge after professors’ ‘mistake’ called for prosecuting skeptics”

      No. That did not happen; that is not happening; that will not happen. No such thing happened.

  59. @Brainstorms #68

    Well, Greg’s post seemed critical, or at least suspicious, of Steyn’s attempt to speed up the process.

    His co-defendants were appealing the SLAPP defeat, if I understand correctly, and Steyn did not join in that appeal, choosing instead to ask for a trial. It sounds like on this issue, Mann and his supporters and Steyn and his supporters must surely be on the same page… let’s get this thing to court.

    I, for one, would love to see how it plays out. Mann is a serious litigant, and Steyn seems a willing opponent. Let’s see what the bright lights of a courtroom will illuminate for us all.

    And @Desertphile? So glad I never encountered you on an opposing highschool debating team. Your command of the art would have been truly intimidating. Keep up the good work.

  60. Climate Nexus, an environmental PR firm funded by the Rockefeller foundations, was called in to help manage the enormous volume of criticism these professors received from their colleagues in the wake of their letter. One of the emails from September 29, 2015 comes from Shukla to Michael Mann, a climate activist who once filed a lawsuit to muzzle individuals he called “climate deniers.” Mann also sits on the advisory board of the Rockefeller-funded Climate Accountability Institute (CAI).

  61. Greg #62:

    Of course I answered my own question with a big NO.

    My question was as ridiculous as blaming the recent flooding in Texas, France and Germany on climate change – which is my point.

    Or the Fort McMurray fire on climate change.

    Or every future weather event at least partially on climate change.

  62. @ArnoldS #71

    It’s certainly a highly-charged subject. For easily understood reasons.

    The irony is those who want to prevent changes to the status quo in order to save themselves money when their actions will only cost them even more. (Along with other losses of priceless things in the world.)

  63. EricHa, none of that changes the reality of human-caused climate change.

    Climate science is NOT a political subject. You cannot “win” a scientific position by being the best debater or ponying up the best incriminating evidence of some scientist’s wrongdoing (even if it were substantiated and not just hyped-up excuses to attack credibility).

    The ONLY way to be “right” about a position on a scientific subject (including AGW) is to “do the science” and demonstrate, in a repeatable manner, that your data and corresponding analyses are correct. Which entails examination and corroboration by your peers.

    Which you, uh, lack. Badly.

  64. As a lawyer, I feel sympathy for both sides.

    It is not uncommon to try to win the case by motion, before trial, and end up causing delay.

    In an effort to win now, delay is caused.

    Steyn did it (along with his fellow defendants).

    Mann also filed a motion to win against Steyn’s counterclaims – which is currently stayed and which may cause future delay.

    Even after the anti-SLAPP motions are done (and the appeals) – there is still summary judgement.

    One or both sides may try this in order to “win” fast – and that may cause even more delay.

    Even if the appeals court actually reverses the district court decision and actually dismisses Mann’s suit, the trial would have been over a year ago with no interlocutory appeal, had the motion to dismiss not been filed.

    Probably, even the inevitable appeal taken by the loser at trial (Mann I will wager) would have been over with, because it would be a standard appeal and not a case of first impression.

    This case is currently in a very boring phase and I wish the appeals court would do their job more quickly. Truly shocking.

  65. I thought your comment #82 was in response to my #81.

    But now that I see your #83 is in response to my #46, I am guessing you are pretty far up the thread still.

    I am going to bed and I will read your fascinating and pithy retorts in the morning. Hopefully by then you have managed to catch up.

  66. “Because flooding occurred in Texas, Germany and France when CO2 was <= 280 ppm and no doubt flooding will continue no matter the level of CO2."

    I don't know about Texas, but the current flooding in France and Germany is very anomalous for this time of year and has to do with historical rainfalls across Europe.

    I know, inconvenient stuff for RickA to deal with, but somebody has to tell him the inconvenient truth.

  67. It seems to me that there is lots of disingenuous thought going on here. Steyn like other people Mann has sued gets caught in a lengthy system that is designed to bleed the defendant dry of savings. Mann does this as a way of silencing people who disagree with him, punishing them. What’s at stake here is the right to freedom of speech and when the case goes to trial Mann’s hockey stick will be put under a microscope. How many amicus briefs have been signed supporting Mann? People who disagree with Steyn on climate back him in this case because Science is not done by consensus or Trial. This is freedom of speech. Mann seems to be able to wiggle out of all these little issues and turn them around to appear as Steyn in the man in the wrong. Mann, just go to trial, answer discovery and get in the court room for the justice you so deserve.

    1. Michael Harris, there is only one law suit by Michael Mann, so I’m going to take your phrase “like other people Mann has sued” as something between ignorance and nefarious intent.

      Freedom of speech is not at issue here, as has been pointed out again and again.

      Consensus does not equal trial, and science actually is done by consensus, when the people involved in the work are having an honest conversation and when consensus is helpful. Which you know at the time because there is an honest conversation going on, something you know little about.

  68. # 76 RickA

    My question was as ridiculous as blaming the recent flooding in Texas, France and Germany on climate change – which is my point.

    Or the Fort McMurray fire on climate change.

    Or every future weather event at least partially on climate change.

    Your ongoing struggle with basic physics and the concept of fractional attribution is completely off-topic here. I would be happy to continue but on a relevant thread. This one would be ideal:

    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2016/05/27/an-evangelical-christian-republican-view-of-climate-change/

    It would be an easy demonstration that you are here in good faith if you switch threads. Persisting here would be off-topic and disruptive – aka blatant trolling.

    Let’s move this where it belongs.

  69. Marco #85:

    Last I heard the SREX report said no single weather event could be pinned to climate change.

    I am sure France and Germany have had very anomalous rainfall in spring before 1950. The inconvenient truth is that not every weather event is caused by global warming.

  70. Imagine, for a moment, that Mann had simply ignored comments he felt were unflattering or in poor taste.

    No need to imagine. Mann did ignore comments he felt were unflattering or in poor taste. He didn’t ignore comments he felt were libellous of course.

  71. It’s infuriating that people are acting as if Mann is suing because Steyn disagrees with him. This is either severe ignorance or pure stupidity. It’s not as if Steyn said he disagreed with Mann’s work or his results and that he has a different opinion on the temperature evolution of the past several thousand years. He specifically alleged that Mann manipulated the data to reach a pre-determined outcome. How can any intelligent person think that that is simply a matter of disagreement and not an allegation of scientific fraud? Seriously, how?

    1. Curiousaboutclimate: He specifically alleged that Mann manipulated the data to reach a pre-determined outcome. How can any intelligent person think that that is simply a matter of disagreement and not an allegation of scientific fraud? Seriously, how?

      Well gosh: they don’t believe it— they just say they believe it.

  72. How can any intelligent person think that that is simply a matter of disagreement and not an allegation of scientific fraud? Seriously, how?

    Pretty simple really. They can’t. It’s a straw man argument. A particularly dishonest one.

  73. RickA

    “…not every weather event is caused by global warming…”

    You’ve been around this topic long enough to know the context and nuance of what’s being discussed. You claim an educational background that should enable you to understand this. So you are either being deliberately unconstructive–dragging the conversation back to a primitive state for the purpose of obfuscation, or you have some sort of functional deficit.

    Either way cut the crap. You think that so long as you don’t use certain proscribed words and tones, that somehow you shouldn’t therefore be counted as a rude little troll? Wow, if you aren’t just plain stupid, you’re certainly one condescending s.o.b.

  74. “Last I heard the SREX report said no single weather event could be pinned to climate change.”

    That’s one way of putting your head in the sand…

    “I am sure France and Germany have had very anomalous rainfall in spring before 1950.”

    And based on your feelings you declare the current event not to be related to climate change…

  75. OA #96:

    Do you think calling someone stupid is both rude and condescending? Perhaps you should look in the mirror.

    Because I don’t call people stupid.

    I don’t even call people names.

    I do disagree with attributing particular weather events to climate change – but the science agrees with me, so I am on firm footing.

    I am not trolling because I am on point with the post, and merely disagreeing with Greg.

    Nothing wrong with that – is there?

  76. Marco #98:

    I am not saying that the flooding is not related to climate change.

    I am saying you cannot say it is related to climate change.

    There is no proof either way.

    Best not to even try to blame a particular weather event on climate change (in my opinion).

    Ditto for any particular lightning strike.

    Now if you really feel you need to go there – I would accept that climate change MAY be related to any particular weather event (but it may not be also). How about agreeing with that?

  77. RickA, I’m afraid I’m going to have to agree with the science, not with some science denier dude on the internet. Sorry.

  78. RickA:

    Greg #89:

    Dr. Mann sued Tim Ball for defamation in Canada in 2011:

    http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/03/28/35274.htm

    So that is two suits by Dr. Mann.

    Perhaps that is what Michael was referring to?

    Ah, right, I forgot about that. Great example.

    Ball was sued successfully by Andrew Weaver. Not sure what the status of MM’s suit was.

    But on both cases, as is the case with Steyn, this is not about people disagreeing with, no matter how wrong that disagreement is, with the climate science. It was about libel.

    In all three cases the libel part could be extracted from the overall conversation and shown to have nothing to do with climate change per se. It has to do with making accusations that someone had committed a crime that they did not commit, or things along those lines.

    Insisting, again and again, that these suits are about climate change is incorrect and, after one has been corrected numerous time, starts to look stupid.

    Eventually, making such statements will result in the ultimate punishment. Which is, of course, being thrown off this blog.

  79. Greg #102:

    Right. I agree that these suits are not about climate change.

    I have maintained that this suit is about libel, defamation and the natural defenses to those allegations.

    Namely opinion, truth and lack of malice.

    So we agree this trial will not be about climate science.

    The discovery (when it starts up again) will of course touch on Dr. Mann’s hockey stick graph (it is all about Dr. Mann’s various hockey stick graphs).

    It will touch on whether Steyn’s writing was an opinion or a statement of fact.

    It will touch on whether Steyn’s writing was true (if found not to be opinion).

    It will touch on whether Steyn believed what he wrote or knew it was false when he wrote it (goes to malice).

    And in this limited sense, it will be about whether Dr. Mann’s hockey stick graph is fraudulent.

    On the other hand, the court might find Steyn’s writing to be opinion and therefore not defamation by definition, and the entire case could be thrown out on summary judgment and we won’t even get into the issues of truth or malice.

    Not very satisfying for the observers on either side of the dispute.

    We will see.

  80. RickA

    “Do you think calling someone stupid is both rude and condescending?”

    Rude? Yes. Condescending? Not in this case. And as per usual, you make a point of missing the point. Reread what I said. And while you’re at it, note my handle. Every comment I post comes with a warning label. Deal with it, or don’t read them. The points I attempt to make are mostly not for you, since I see no evidence after all this time here (and at RealClimate) that you are anything but an especially circumspect troll.

    It has been repeatedly pointed out to you that you are *not* on point. Yet you robotically
    Rinse,
    Lather,
    Repeat,
    your tired talking points.

  81. OA #104:

    I have no idea what your handle is intended to mean.

    I am clearly on point.

    I am commenting about the Mann/Steyn lawsuit, which is discussed in the post.

    I am commenting on the argument that the flooding in texas, france and germany is a consequence of climate change, which is discussed in the post.

    How am I *not* on point.

    Or perhaps you mean I refuse to agree with you and others?

  82. RickA

    I am commenting on the argument that the flooding in texas, france and germany is a consequence of climate change, which is discussed in the post.

    Okay, enough.

    Despite explanations on the other thread, you are still making the false claim that various extreme weather events are ‘a consequence’ of climate change. But from our recent exchange, you know that this is *not* what scientists are saying. They are saying that AGW is now a component of extreme weather events, not the sole cause.

    I am sick to fucking death of your nonstop misrepresentations. You have no excuse. This is calculated dishonesty.

  83. RickA,

    Let’s not get into get into a tedious parsing of the possible meanings of my handle and how and when they apply. If you can’t handle it, I’m sorry for you but move on.

    Also: What Brainstorms said.

    As for not being on point: this whole business of weather and attributing single events and therefore there is no statistical likelihood of climate affecting weather, because dumbass librulz are being apocalyptic as if he world is going to explode and there will be sharknados everywhere or something.

    You know better, or you should, which is why i’m saying a trolling riff off the article is not the same as being on point.

  84. Best not to even try to blame a particular weather event on climate change

    Although engineering students do a little bit of statistics, it is clear that RickA couldn’t even understand that. Climate is the statistics of weather but that concept is beyond RickA.

  85. “Although engineering students do a little bit of statistics”

    Formulaic and plug/chug statistics. Nothing useful.

  86. “And in this limited sense, it will be about whether Dr. Mann’s hockey stick graph is fraudulent.”

    A limited sense, such as, it won’t be an issue.

  87. BBD #107:

    Greg said “Extreme variability in precipitation patterns, including both short and long term droughts and major rain or snow fall events, has been linked pretty directly to anthropogenic global warming. ”

    And “If we change climate, which we have, we change weather, . . .”

    Now you say “They are saying that AGW is now a component of extreme weather events, not the sole cause.”

    But you admit we cannot assign a specific percentage to the component (I think you admit this).

    I read Greg to be saying it is a component of every weather event – because the weather changed, because the climate changed.

    I don’t agree that a normal spring shower, during a normal spring, has a component of AGW built in, just because all weather is changed because the climate has changed.

  88. Greg #115:

    The case is not about climate change – but the case is all about Steyn’s statement about Mann’s fraudulent hockey stick graph.

    It is an issue whether Steyn’s words are an opinion, or true or made with malice.

    Because in order for Steyn’s words to be defaming, Mann has to prove they are not an opinion, they are not true and they were made with malice (all three items).

    So, while not about climate science per se, the case is about the words about the fraudulent hockey stock graph.

  89. I don’t agree that a normal spring shower, during a normal spring, has a component of AGW built in, just because all weather is changed because the climate has changed.

    If all weather has changed because climate has changed, then all spring showers are affected, however slightly.

    How could they not be? The planetary average temperature is ~1C higher than it was a century ago.

  90. As usual, RickA gets it. Steyn may have appealed a denial of a motion to dismiss, but he had no reason to believe the appellate court would take 18 months, and counting, to issue an opinion. As Steyn often says, that doesn’t happen in functioning legal systems.

    And Greg, whatever you know about science, you don’t know “nuttin” about the law, especially legal procedure. Steyn was named individually, so he was always a “seperate” defendant. The fact that he disagrees with the strategy of his co-defendants means nothing; he is entitled to his own Defense (you do believe in the Sixth Amendment, I hope).

    The real delay is Mann’s refusal to answer discovery. There is absolutely no reason discovery cannot go forward while the appeal is pending. Most plaintiff’s want as much, but then again most plaintiffs don’t file suits to harass/silence defendants. Sure, there are costs involved, but Mann will get those back with interest of us wins. Plus, he will have to incur those costs now or later.

    And no, most suits aren’t stuck in early written discovery nearly 4 years in. Most jurisdictions have a 5 year rule (see NRCP 41, modeled on the federal rules, IIRC), which states a suit is dismissed if not bought to trial in 5 years from filing of complaint. Plaintiffs have a duty to prosecute their case. Defendants do not.

    Not surprisingly, Mann is failing miserably.

    Yours,

    A practicing trial attorney….

  91. The hockey stick isn’t fraudulent, it’s actually been replicated by every large scale temperature reconstruction done to date. Mann has been cleared of any wrongdoing in regards to his work and anyone who is familiar with this subject knows that. They may refuse to believe it but that doesn’t change the fact. If Steyn can only rely on the blogs of amateur non-scientists as his source for making such claims, then that sounds like a reckless disregard for the truth.

  92. BBD #118:

    While a planetary average temperature may be a thing, there is no such thing as planetary average weather.

    Like politics, all weather is local, and the 30 year average of local weather is local climate.

    Some places will be the same as 100 years ago, some places warmer and some places cooler.

    Different locales, different AGW component, with some places have an AGW component of ZERO.

    I guess the cooler places would logically have a negative AGW component and the warmer ones would have a positive AGW component.

    Since some places have a zero component, than not all weather has an AGW component (i.e. not all weather is impacted by AGW).

    In other words, the places with normal weather have no AGW component.

    If you have a normal spring, with normal spring showers and a normal amount of precipitation and normal temperatures – how as AGW impacted your spring?

    If you have a normal winter, with normal snowfalls and a normal total amount of snowfall and normal temperatures – how has AGW impacted your winter?

    I don’t believe we all live in a post normal weather locale.

  93. curiousaboutclimate #120:

    Is your statement “The hockey stick isn’t fraudulent” – an opinion or a statement of fact?

    If you can see that it might be your personal opinion, than you may be able to see how Steyn could win on the argument that his statement is protected opinion.

    If you see your statement as a statement of fact – like Prince was 5 foot 3 inches and weighed 112 pounds at death – that no one should be able to disagree with – than Steyn should not win on the protected opinion argument.

    Interesting question isn’t it?

    Do you think your statement has to be accepted as true by everyone – or can reasonable minds disagree?

  94. It’s a statement of fact based on facts. Every large scale reconstruction done has confirmed Mann’s work. That’s a fact. Mann has been cleared of wrongdoing. That’s a fact. Steyn said that Mann manipulated his data to achieve a desired outcome. That is either a lie or a reckless disregard for the truth, based on what the known facts are. Do you understand?

  95. RickA

    I don’t believe we all live in a post normal weather locale.

    Global average is made up of regional averages. Let’s watch the movie:

    Click Me!

    What do you see?

  96. RickA @121…
    “While a planetary average temperature may be a thing, there is no such thing as planetary average weather.”

    This is what we call “making sh-t up.”

    Can we say the “average weather” of Mars or Venus is different that the Earth? I think so.

    Can we say the average planetary weather during the Saurian Sauna was different than during a Snowball Earth event? Yeah, I believe probably so.

    Rick, if you can’t get such simple stuff like this correct, why should anyone listen to you on anything else climate related?

    “I guess the cooler places would logically have a negative AGW component and the warmer ones would have a positive AGW component.”

    You would be guessing wrong here as well. Let’s play that “guess” out, if you don’t mind.

    If there is a region that has seen some cooling during a period of overall warming due to increased radiative forcing, if that region were responding with cooling due to increased forcing, that would be it should continue to do so as the radiative forcing increased. Right?

    Let’s theorize 3 more doublings of CO2 giving us an additional 9°C of global average warming. YOU are suggesting that region would turn into a new ice sheet while the other ice sheets on the planet melt away. And that’s utterly ridiculous.

  97. Dan @119…
    And Greg, whatever you know about science, you don’t know “nuttin” about the law, especially legal procedure. Steyn was named individually, so he was always a “seperate” defendant.

    Hey Dan. You might want to go talk to a lawyer about that. I’m fairly certain he’s going to tell you your head is firmly lodged in an obviously uncomfortable part of your anatomy.

    It’s one case. The judge ain’t going to start trying Steyn’s part of the case while the others continue to prepare.

  98. “Now if you really feel you need to go there – I would accept that climate change MAY be related to any particular weather event (but it may not be also). How about agreeing with that?”

    Not good enough. If you observe something that you expect to happen more often due to climate change, you cannot just start handwaving “maybe, maybe not”. It is, in fact, more likely than not that climate change is involved in the current extreme rainfall in Europe. Flooding in (Southern) Germany is usually due to melting of the snow of the surrounding mountains. Flooding in the area around Paris is usually due to sustained rainfall. Neither is the case at the moment. It is extreme rainfall. Like the normal amount of rain of 6 weeks falling in a few hours.

  99. Steyn could win on the argument that his statement is protected opinion

    Reckless disregard in libelling someone is not protected opinion.

  100. Now, if only we knew the age distribution of the blog commenters, we’d know how much longer we’d keep seeing the straw men rebunked in comments.

    Wanta bet who else is in that same pre-1950 cohort?

  101. Rob #128:

    There is no such thing as planetary summer.

    The Northern hemisphere summer is the Southern hemisphere winter.

    Try averaging that.

  102. The Northern hemisphere summer is the Southern hemisphere winter.

    Try averaging that.

    Like other failed engineers, Ricka is challenged by the concept of vectors (and other mathematical concepts). There is no reason why climate cannot be expressed as a vector whose components are dependent on location.

  103. RickA

    Stop spouting contrarian bollocks, click the link at #124 and read the text. Then answer the question: what do you see?

    All this you are coming out with about averages is complete bilge.

  104. RickA @ 131…
    There is no such thing as planetary summer.
    The Northern hemisphere summer is the Southern hemisphere winter.
    Try averaging that.

    Summer is not weather.
    Summer is not climate.
    Summer is a “season.”

  105. RickA….
    So, while not about climate science per se, the case is about the words about the fraudulent hockey stock graph.

    Okay, Rick. You’re making fantastically simple errors above about climate science. You clearly don’t even grasp some of the most simple, basic elements of this issue. Yet, you’re willing to make sweeping and definitive statements suggesting a highly respected researcher’s work (now almost 20 years old) is “fraudulent” even though EVERY single similar attempt to replicate his work has come up with nearly the exact same results.

    This is hubris on steroids.

    Look, if the subsequent research on millennial temperature reconstruction had shown different results than Mann, Bradley and Hughes, this would be an entirely different story. If that had been the case, then even Mike would be openly saying he got something grossly wrong. But that is NOT what happened, and this IS how scientific work progresses.

  106. RickA…
    If you can see that it might be your personal opinion, than you may be able to see how Steyn could win on the argument that his statement is protected opinion.

    I know you’re following this case fairly closely. Stating that Mann’s work is fraudulent is a statement of fact that can be proven right or wrong. Defining something as “opinion” does not give a person cart blanche to say absolutely anything they like.

    I am fairly certain that Steyn believes it does, but he would be grossly in error on that point.

  107. Rob Honeycutt

    Stating that Mann’s work is fraudulent is a statement of fact that can be proven right or wrong. Defining something as “opinion” does not give a person cart blanche to say absolutely anything they like.

    My current understanding of US libel law is that this is not so because the standard of proof requires actual malice. It appears that if Steyn can successfully argue that he genuinely believed his statements to be true, he may be off the hook.

    Things are a little different in the UK.

  108. Check out this story about Hillary calling Trump a fraud:

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/01/politics/hillary-clinton-trump-university/

    An accusation of fraud or fraudulent is done all the time, and is pretty well insulated from suit if involving public figures.

    Hillary Clinton, Trump and Dr. Mann are all public figures (as are all famous people).

    So, the accusation that Mann hockey stick graph is fraudulent is probably an opinion – because calling it fraudulent is really saying it is intended to deceive – which is like calling someone a liar or a cheat or other subjective things over which different people can disagree.

    But even if it found to be a statement of fact (because it can be proven or disproven), there are plenty of facts which can be marshalled to support the truth of the accusation.

    For example, the WMO cover hockey stick (Mann claimed authorship on his CV) didn’t even bother to show the proxy declining – but truncated the proxy data and replaced it with the actual temperature data.

    This was propaganda and was used as propaganda and therefore was intended to deceive people, and in fact did deceive many people. If done with the intent to deceive, you have a fraudulent graph.

    Not to mention the issues of the tweaking of the graph as evidenced by the CENSORED folder, or the R2 statistic or the number of principal components or any of the many other issues which arise in connection with the various Mann hockey stick graphs.

    The graph does not even need to be found fraudulent – if Steyn’s statement was not made with reckless disregard for the truth.

    Thee are complicated legal issues and we will have to wait to see exactly what happens.

    But as Greg says – this case is not about climate science (generally).

    It doesn’t matter if other reconstructions are hockey sticks also.

    All that matter are Mann’s hockey sticks, and whether any of them were intended to deceive (i.e. are fraudulent). the way each of them was made, the time periods, the proxies, the statistics, the tweaking and so on are all fair game in deciding whether they were intended to deceive (or even exaggerate in order to make the case for urgent action).

  109. BBD… As I understand it, there is an additional element of “reckless disregard for the truth or fact.” That is specifically what is in play in this case.

  110. RickA… The graph does not even need to be found fraudulent – if Steyn’s statement was not made with reckless disregard for the truth.

    1) The graph is NOT fraudulent.
    2) Steyn WAS making (and continues to make) statement with reckless disregard for the truth.

  111. Rob:

    The reckless disregard issue goes to malice – not truth.

    Mann has the burden of proof.

    He has to prove Steyn’s statement was not opinion and false.

    Then, because Mann is famous and a public figure – he has the added element of showing the statement was made with malice, and the reckless disregard comes into play for that element.

  112. Rob Honeycutt

    BBD… As I understand it, there is an additional element of “reckless disregard for the truth or fact.” That is specifically what is in play in this case.

    Very difficult to prove. Steyn has a defence of ignorance which may be difficult to overcome. I only wish this was funny irony.

  113. RickA…

    If I’m not mistaken, malice and disregard for the truth are two separate and distinct issues.

    It’s a little bit ironic, don’t you think, that the primary reason Mann is famous is because of the attacks on his work. Are Bradley and Hughes public figures in the same way? What about Briffa, Esper, Moberg, Hegerl? All have done research that shows the same conclusions as Mann and only Mann has been singled out for attack.

  114. BBD… That would be a truly ironical win for Steyn to succeed on the fact that he’s just too stupid to understand the truth.

  115. BBD #145:

    I watched it and am not sure what point you are trying to make.

    It sure didn’t look like weather to me.

  116. RickA

    The question was:

    How does regional warming compare with regional cooling during the animation?

    The previous question was: how can weather *not* be influenced (however slightly) by a generalised warming of the climate system?

    Remember that weather happens within the climate system.

  117. Rob Honeycutt

    BBD… That would be a truly ironical win for Steyn to succeed on the fact that he’s just too stupid to understand the truth.

    It’s what you get if you place free speech above all things. As one must. But the unintended consequences are bitter.

  118. Steyn might get away with his bag-of-hammers defense, but honestly, the most interesting aspect of this case doesn’t actually involve Steyn, as much as he wants it to. It’s more about discovery related to the CEI.

  119. It’s more about discovery related to the CEI.

    Which would be interesting if it eventually appears on record.

  120. RickA… You provide so much fun material here, it’s hard to keep up.
    This was propaganda and was used as propaganda and therefore was intended to deceive people, and in fact did deceive many people. If done with the intent to deceive, you have a fraudulent graph.

    I’m curious how this “propaganda,” which has been replicated some two dozen times, is deceiving anyone?

  121. Rob: Easy — it’s deceived the denier community into believing it’s some kind of propaganda from a global conspiracy.

    Silly deniers! You’ve all been played for fools!

    Now sober up and reject your denial and regain your dignity!

  122. is deceiving anyone?

    People have been deceived into believing the truth.

    It is an absolutely appalling outcome that that some people now believe the truth!

  123. Chris, but the Truth is bad news

    Ergo, it cannot possibly be true!

    Ergo, it’s a global conspiracy to spread a hoax and a bunch of lies to, um, to uh, to…

    Wait.. What was the motivation again for deceiving people? There, um, doesn’t seem to be one. Whoops…

    But whatever it was, it can’t be true, because then it might force people to change their lifestyles. Or cost something. Don’t think too far or too deeply on this. It starts to get really confusing…

  124. Rob #154:

    The proxy data (tree rings) declined, when it should have inclined.

    That was a problem for the “message” – so they obscured it by “adding in the real temps to each series”. In the WMO iconic cover, they completely eliminated the proxy data during the declining period and just replaced it with the actual temperature data.

    This was done to spin the data to present a better case for driving their desired action. That is called propaganda.

    See – they were no longer acting as scientists, but advocates and lobbyists. However, in order to maximize their message they decided to publish their spin in the scientific literature so it could be included in the IPCC reports and then used to aid in their lobbying effort. In turn they could use that to aid in their lobbying at the various conventions on climate change.

    They were trying to deceive people because they felt urgent action was needed and they wanted to create the most compelling message they could to help. And the ends justified the means.

    But the problem was and is that if the tree rings don’t correlate with temperature (as they failed to do from about 1961), than how do we know they correlated with temperature during the handle of the hockey stick?

  125. not truth.

    Mann has the burden of proof.

    Yep. Mann has to prove he wasn’t fraudulent in the way Steyn claimed.

    malice, and the reckless disregard comes into play for that element

    Yep. Mann has to demonstrate reckless disregard.

    Tedious I know. But dealing with clowns like Steyn was always going to be tedious.

  126. #153 Indeed, despite the Steyn noise, CEI discovery is the issue, not just for CEI but for its funders…
    I suggest:
    Crescendo to Climategate Cacophony (CCC) and Strange Scholarship in the Wegman Report. (SSWR)
    Now do PDF search for Ebell, who:
    1) Was a member of the crucial GCSCT1998 project at API (with chief Exxon lobbyist Randy Randol, Steve Milloy, Fred Singer’s wife, A George Marshall Inst guy,etc).
    Wonderful conspiracy document, dandy RICO stuff.
    2) Ebell was then with Exxon-funded Frontiers of Freedom, but then moved to CEI.
    3) GMI and CEI were the key managers of multi-year attack on Mann and the hockey stick, leading to the (fraudulent) Wegman Report, whose blueprint was the May 2005 PPT by M&M, given at joint GMI+CEI event. Ebell also had interesting interactions with Bush WH and Joe Barton’s staff… He certainly had copies of the Barton intimidation letters sent to MBH before all of them got them.
    3) There is plenty more that proves Ebell and co tried for years to damage Mann… and the already-public material just might help create the sorts of specific discovery questions judges like…. But in this case, all sorts of threads already connect to other groups who really, really would not want discovery at CEI.
    4) Of course, might be possible that Mann’s lawyers know nothing about this history… Except that Mann’s book cites SSWR rather frequently, and it cites CCC… And happily, key documents from that GMI/CEI have been quite well archived.

    Steyn is a noisy distraction, but IMHO, almost irrelevant.

  127. RickA:

    In the WMO iconic cover

    WTF has the WMO “iconic” cover have to do with MBH98/99 which showed BOTH proxy AND instrumental temperature anomalies in the 20th century to 1980?

    the tree rings

    What is this “the” tree rings? The vast majority of tree rings used in reconstructions correlate with temperature and the ones that don’t are automatically rejected by the mathematics simply because they don’t correlate!

    So what is this “the” tree rings for Christ’s sake?

  128. John, in looks like you’ve got a real conspiracy there of fossil fuel advocates to commit fraud, defamation, and perjury against innocent climate scientists…

    Perhaps we need some RICO indictments…

  129. looks like you’ve got a real conspiracy there of fossil fuel advocates

    Indeed. This is how projection works. The climate science denialists are aware of their own conspiracy so it doesn’t take them much to project that as also happening in climate science even on a vastly larger scale and timeframe.

  130. “In the WMO iconic cover”

    It was *so* “iconic”, that it wasn’t ‘discovered’ and called ‘iconic’ (by pseudoskeptics) until 2009, when people started trawling through thousands of stolen e-mails.

    Reckless disregard for the truth, RickA.

  131. Chris, regarding “WTF has the WMO “iconic” cover”, RickA has been informed of this several times before. He clearly doesn’t care for the facts.

  132. Discovery, some tidbits.
    1) Judges tend not to like obvious massive fishing exhibitions asking for tons of material of no obvious connection to a case.

    2) On the other hand, more specific requests are usually OK, especially with already-public connections and documents that support a complaint.

    3) A year ago, Ed Wegman, Yasmin Said, Milt Johns Sue John Mashey For $2 Million..
    That was a defamation complaint masked as tortious interference. There were at least 4 independent lawyers (or sets) that i know of that knew about this, and i either git comments directly or had them relayed to me, to the effect:
    1) This ought to be an easy case to get dismissed, given how absurd it was.

    2) BUT (licking chops) it might not be so bad if this went forward, because we’d really love to do discovery and be able to ask Wegman lots of questions under oath, because some answers might lead to much more interesting places.

    3) In some sense it was too bad they ran away…
    But the CEI thing has far more scope for finding threads to follow.

  133. This is how projection works. The climate science denialists are aware of their own conspiracy so it doesn’t take them much to project that as also happening in climate science even on a vastly larger scale and timeframe.

    Conspiracy envy. Of course! They posit an imaginary bigger conspiracy to cover up the revelation of their own conspiratorial inadequacies. Which of course leads to a psycho-social complex of denial that the object of their frustrations is, in fact, an anti-conspiracy formed of scientific truths waged against the void of falseness surrounding their own corrupted intellect.

    Which perfectly explains the orchestrated stream of designed nonsense being carefully, yet in ways compulsively, spewed forth like a case of (computer) terminal diarrhea from the likes of RickA.

    Hence, RickA does not have a reckless disregard for the truth; rather, he has a malicious disregard for the truth. An aversion to Truth. An embrace of self-destructive, pernicious self-interest under which he has been enthralled, likely for most of his adult life, systematically sowing the seeds of discredit and doubt, slandering those whose exposition of facts and knowledge might somehow lead to his greatest fear:

    That RickA might, somehow, someday, be forced by the circumstances of Reality to compromise an inner calling of narcissistic indulgence and actually have no choice but to sacrifice some part of his cherished lifestyle, a cleaving of self-interest, such that he is compelled to summon all his rhetorical powers of obfuscation & lawyerly misdirection in an effort to frustrate the march of progress and the security of nations, an all-out effort to thwart sensibility and rational self-preservation and instead throw mankind (ultimately including himself) onto a (fossil-fueled) bonfire that glorifies his craven self-indulgence.

    It’s clear now. Gentlemen, we have been arguing with a non compos mentis.

  134. “Hillary Clinton, Trump and Dr. Mann are all public figures (as are all famous people).
    So, the accusation that Mann [sic] hockey stick graph is fraudulent is probably an opinion – because calling it fraudulent is really saying it is intended to deceive – which is like calling someone a liar or a cheat or other subjective things over which different people can disagree.” #140

    I’m surprised that no one has commented on this. Not only is this a totally incoherent non sequitur – there is absolutely no relationship between the premise and the conclusion – it in fact denies that there is such a thing as facts, as opposed to opinions, and provides an essential basis from which to understand RickA’s fundamentally pathological style of argumentation. One can prove that someone is lying or cheating. When proof has been offered, one can no longer contend that they are “subjective things over which different people can disagree.” But this is what RickA does, and this is how he defends himself against proofs of lying and ignoring or distorting evidence. There are no facts, no lies, only opinions about which we can disagree.

    For the record, RickA is a lawyer, and he was certified by Trump University.

  135. RickA

    But the problem was and is that if the tree rings don’t correlate with temperature (as they failed to do from about 1961), than how do we know they correlated with temperature during the handle of the hockey stick?

    Do non-dendro reconstructions. And guess what? They are hockey sticks too.

    Instead of parroting defamations from the deniosphere about Mann, read a textbook. MBH and derivative curves were not manipulated in order to deceive. This hoary old lie has been exploded a million times now. IMO anyone repeating it should be treated deserves open contempt at this point. So no tone trolling, RickA.

  136. RickA @158…
    That was a problem for the “message” – so they obscured it by “adding in the real temps to each series”. In the WMO iconic cover, they completely eliminated the proxy data during the declining period and just replaced it with the actual temperature data.

    Again here, you’re creating a conspiracy to deceive without fully understanding the science. (Not to mention changing the subject.)

    The “decline” in tree ring data post-1960 in high latitude NH series was openly discussed in the scientific literature. Researchers knew those data were wrong because they have actual temperature data that show they were wrong.

    With the WMO cover graphic, Jones made a decision to drop those data that were in error because he felt it would be misleading for the intended lay audience.

  137. Marco

    RickA has been informed of this several times before. He clearly doesn’t care for the facts.

    This is my problem with RickA. He repeats things he knows are wrong. In my book that’s lying and objecting to being called a liar is tone trolling (which of course RA indulges in when people are angered by his dishonesty).

    I have started keeping track of things that RickA has been corrected on. The range of false claims he can make without being dishonest will narrow over time.

  138. Stine & Huybers (2014) Arctic tree rings as recorders of variations in light availability:

    Annual growth ring variations in Arctic trees are often used to reconstruct surface temperature. In general, however, the growth of Arctic vegetation is limited both by temperature and light availability, suggesting that variations in atmospheric transmissivity may also influence tree-ring characteristics. Here we show that Arctic tree-ring density is sensitive to changes in light availability across two distinct phenomena: explosive volcanic eruptions (P<0.01) and the recent epoch of global dimming (P<0.01). In each case, the greatest response is found in the most light-limited regions of the Arctic. Essentially no late 20th century decline in tree-ring density relative to temperature is seen in the least light-limited regions of the Arctic. Consistent results follow from analysis of tree-ring width and from individually analysing each of seven tree species. Light availability thus appears an important control, opening the possibility for using tree rings to reconstruct historical changes in surface light intensity.

  139. This was done to spin the data to present a better case for driving their desired action. That is called propaganda.

    No, Rick. It wasn’t.

    It was done so that the people who looked at the graphic would not be mislead by erroneous data. How is that propaganda?

  140. RickA…
    But the problem was and is that if the tree rings don’t correlate with temperature (as they failed to do from about 1961), than how do we know they correlated with temperature during the handle of the hockey stick?

    And once again, you just don’t understand the underlying science. If there were NO other data to go on, yes, researchers would not know which parts of the data were right and which were wrong. But that’s not the case.

    There are hundreds of temperature proxies from all over the globe (though primarily NH). There are many different methods for creating temperature proxies. There are even ways to validate tree ring series within a region or between individual trees. We have millennial reconstructions that don’t use tree rings at all.

    It’s that TOTAL picture that informs researchers about what is happening. And, yes, that picture is giving researchers a tremendous amount of concern over what they see and the implications of the impacts on natural and human systems.

  141. Chris #161:

    Steyn didn’t say which hockey stick Mann was behind.

    So it could be any of them.

    The WMO hockey stick was the most deceptive and therefore the most fraudulent.

  142. Rob #177:

    Mann’s hockey stick graphs and the papers which contain them do not contain a TOTAL picture of climate science – just Mann’s slice of it.

    It doesn’t matter if Mann’s hockey stick graphs are consistent with others – because this case is not about climate science, but Mann’s science, as presented in his hockey stick graphs.

    Mann will not be able to call other climate scientists to testify on his behalf, to show that his graphs are consistent with theirs. That will not be relevant, because their graphs have nothing to do with how Mann prepared his, and whether they were intended to deceive (you know like to hide the decline).

  143. BBD #174:

    Yes – keep your list of things you have “corrected me on”.

    This is really just your list of things we disagree on, but which you think I should agree with you on because of your opinion about the science.

    I could link to Nic Lewis and say I have corrected you and add it to a list.

    But somehow I don’t think (or expect) you to agree with Nic’s observationally constrained climate sensitivity findings.

    The science is not settled.

    We don’t know what the answer is yet.

    Pointing me to your side of the debate doesn’t make the other side of the debate disappear.

    I don’t agree with you.

    Just accept it.

  144. RickA… Yes. I’ve not claimed that Mann’s work is the totality of all climate science. Though, Mike does a lot of work in other areas as well, not just temperature reconstructions.

    …this case is not about climate science, but Mann’s science, as presented in his hockey stick graphs.

    This one I always find to be a strange notion. So… You’re essentially saying you think Mann “deceptively” presented the correct results. That’s a bit like watching a $100 bill fall out of an old ladies purse and accusing someone of sneaking the money back into the purse.

    And, for the 9000th time, “hide the decline” was an act of removing data that was in error in order to AVOID misinterpretation of the graph. It’s like this goes in one ear and out the other with you.

  145. RickA… The WMO hockey stick was the most deceptive and therefore the most fraudulent.

    You do realize, don’t you, the WMO graph was Phil Jones, not Mike Mann. And the data that was removed was from Keith Briffa’s high latitude NH tree ring series.

  146. RickA… The science is not settled.

    The science is settled enough to more than justify taking aggressive action to curb carbon emissions.

  147. RickA… I don’t agree with you.
    Just accept it.

    Rick, you’ve more than amply demonstrated that you have a tenuous grasp (at best) of the science you’re discussing. Your entire approach is to assume researchers are acting in a deceptive manner regardless of any facts. That’s not skepticism. That’s ideologically motivated denial.

  148. RickA

    Yes – keep your list of things you have “corrected me on”.

    This is really just your list of things we disagree on, but which you think I should agree with you on because of your opinion about the science.

    No, Rick. Let’s get this straight for once and for all. I report the scientific position. You have opinions which are contradicted by the scientific position. Now most people would lack the comical arrogance to assume that their tinpot opinions were a valid counter-argument to the scientific evidence. But not you. That should give you pause for introspection.

    I could link to Nic Lewis and say I have corrected you and add it to a list.

    But somehow I don’t think (or expect) you to agree with Nic’s observationally constrained climate sensitivity findings.

    And I would tell you that NL’s results are a significant underestimate as a consequence of real limitations in the methodology employed to produce them. I would tell you that this is well understood by climate scientists (real ones – Lewis is a retired banker, not a climate scientist).

    I would remind you that your opinions are based on nothing much and that setting yourself up as knowing better than the global expert community makes you look like a prize clown.

    Persisting in the face of constant correction makes you look like a liar as well as a fool.

  149. The WMO hockey stick was the most deceptive and therefore the most fraudulent.

    It was neither and this has just been rehashed yet again.

    You are a liar.

  150. #172
    You’re a wise man on a fool’s errand. There are multiple lines of evidence, and the evidence is overwhelming. You know it. I know it. Almost every other commenter here knows it. But for RickA the science is completely irrelevant. What’s important is ideology and an identity tied to that ideology. You’re wasting your time.

  151. It doesn’t matter if Mann’s hockey stick graphs are consistent with others – because this case is not about climate science, but Mann’s science, as presented in his hockey stick graphs.

    Most desperate, floundering bullshit. Of course it matters that Mann’s hockey stick is consistent with others. That is evidence that Mann did not alter the data in a deliberate attempt to deceive. It is evidence that the Mannean hockey stick is neither fraudulent nor deceptive. “Mann’s science” is presented in his hocjkey stick graph. Obviously.

  152. #190
    You’re one of the most knowledgeable, well-informed people here. Don’t sell yourself short.

  153. “Steyn didn’t say which hockey stick Mann was behind.”

    Yes he did. There is only one that is colloquially referred to as the hockeystick, and as also pointed out, the one curve in which the divergence problem was ‘hidden’ wasn’t data from Mann AND the graph was not prepared by Mann.

    Stop digging yourself into the “facts don’t matter, I like my story, however fake it is” hole.

  154. “ideology and an identity”

    That’s what it boils down to, intractably, for a number of reasons, I think. One is the scales and magnitudes involved in earth science. It’s difficult for some (including some engineers apparently) to develop the kind of gestalt that leads to fluency in the topic.

    You can see something similar in the work of beginning artists. Pictures tend to end up being a compilation of visual elements niggled together without a synthesized sense of the whole; so that they look disjointed and lifeless.

    Those with an authoritarian bent are provided with an out when it comes to personal responsibility for understanding a situation and making decisions. There’s an apocryphal story that I can’t source but which is illustrative. It involves an observer at Nuremberg who noted hardened criminals who didn’t bat an eye at recitations of the most atrocious crimes, but who blushed and flustered about confusion over seating arrangements.

    Another is a stubborn lack of metaliteracy (and curiosity) about how unfamiliar parts of society actually work, providing a blank canvas for conspiratorial fantasies.

    It’s perfect storm of stupid, IMO.

  155. Ricka:

    the WMO cover hockey stick (Mann claimed authorship on his CV)

    That document doesn’t appear to be available on the internet. However, Steyn does whine about the earlier WMO document in which MBH98/99 was the stated source of Mann et al’s 50 year smoothed proxy data on that graph.

    didn’t even bother to show the proxy declining

    Of course the 50 year smoothed proxy data doesn’t show any significant decline. BECAUSE IT’S EXACTLY THE SAME AS THE 50 YEAR LOWPASS PROXY RECONSTRUCTION IN MBH98.

    but truncated the proxy data and replaced it with the actual temperature data

    Absolute crap. All of the MBH 50 year lowpass proxy reconstruction is there as I pointed out above.

    Steyn didn’t say which hockey stick Mann was behind.

    He said he was behind this one.

  156. By the way, the document that science denialists continually whine about misleading the whole of humanity, “World Meteorological Organization (WMO) 50th Year Anniversary Publication: Temperature changes over the last Millennium, 2000”, doesn’t appear to be easily available on the internet.

    Perhaps a science denialist, being helpful as always, could provide us with a link to a copy.

  157. #180 :

    The science is not settled. We don’t know what the answer is yet. Pointing me to your side of the debate doesn’t make the other side of the debate disappear. I don’t agree with you. Just accept it.

    Science is settled – by evidence over time – & in this case has been. Verdict is in :

    http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/

    &

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/argument.php

    Yet the disingenuous liar RickA, as all those who have followed this blog for very long know :

    http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2016/05/19/the-glaciers-will-melt-the-sea-will-rise-up/#comment-633754

    just ignores all evidence and reality and keeps repeating his stale old PRATTs.

    Like “Shit” Steyn, Lord Monckton, Inhofe and other Deniers and other willfully ignorant fecal vomiters.

    These contemptible vile examples of the worst of humanity are causing real people real harm and should be ashamed of themselves but seemingly lack the awareness, humanity and conscience to understand this or how badly they’ve hurt others.

  158. Rob #181 says “And, for the 9000th time, “hide the decline” was an act of removing data that was in error in order to AVOID misinterpretation of the graph. It’s like this goes in one ear and out the other with you.”

    Or it is a matter of opinion.

    Some might disagree with your interpretation.

  159. Rob #184:

    Yeah – I don’t trust scientist advocates.

    Once they stray from merely reporting their results, to advocating particular actions based on their results, they lose their credibility.

    As advocates, they are more biased than the inherent biases every person (and scientist) always has.

    Rob – I think you understand and agree with the advocates position that urgent action needs to be taken. This is about the children and grandchildren and we have to take action now. That is bias and can warp a person’s perspective, of the evidence, their modelling and how they see the results of their modelling and experiments.

  160. Marco #192 says “only one that is colloquially referred to as the hockeystick”.

    You wish. Also, this is merely your opinion.

    Others disagree (like me).

    We will see whether it is this simple when we see what happens at trial (or perhaps at summary judgment).

    I predict there will be evidence related to the graphs of MBH 1988, 1988 and the WMO cover (which Mann helped Jones with).

  161. rickA, without any evidence on his side, at all, dismisses all climate science, no matter how well documented, because it is “the opinion of someone with whom I disagree” and so states that accepted science is wrong because he doesn’t believe it.

    Voting should be opened on whether he is simply amazingly dishonest, dumb as a brick, or both.

  162. “I predict there will be evidence related to the graphs of MBH 1988, 1988 and the WMO cover (which Mann helped Jones with).”

    You already know that Mann provided the data for ONE of the curves on that WMO cover…which just happened to be one of those without a divergence problem. Yes, you already know that, because this has been explained to you before. Once again you ignore what has already been explained to you, clearly because those facts contradict your preferred narrative.

    I guess some people just don’t mind making up stuff. No surprise those same people are so opposed to this case: they would like to live in their bubble of lies, even when those lies are hurting others.

    Dean: I vote “amazingly dishonest”. No one who is “dumb as a brick” can be this disingenuous and manipulative with the evidence provided to him.

  163. opinionopinion darwin was an opinion fraud evolution is an opinion reality is always opinion perception is reality up for grabs in my mouth all opinions are equal we-create-our-own-reality-bush opinions are all that matters is my opinion hooray for glib opinions opinionopinion I can say this forever so I win neener neener quoth the opinionator

  164. RickA

    BBD #185:

    That is your opinion.

    I disagree.

    No, it is not my ‘opinion’. Either you are being very obviously dishonest, or you cannot read.

    Try again:

    Let’s get this straight for once and for all. I report the scientific position. You have opinions which are contradicted by the scientific position. Now most people would lack the comical arrogance to assume that their tinpot opinions were a valid counter-argument to the scientific evidence. But not you. That should give you pause for introspection.

    I’m not intruding an opinion into this – only you are. So stop lying.

  165. I don’t disagree with all of climate science.

    For example, I agree humans have warmed the planet with emissions of CO2.

    But where the science is unsettled, such as equilibrium climate sensitive or transient climate sensitivity or effective climate sensitively, I don’t adopt your view that it is 3C or higher

    I think ECS could be 1.6C or lower.

    Of course TCR would then be 1C or lower (using the rough rule of thumb of .6C difference between TCR and ECS).

    But I don’t say I know the answer – I say we don’t know the answer and have to wait to see.

    I think taking rash action such as a carbon tax will actually hurt more people that just coasting along with the status quo.

    But that is just my opinion.

    Which I am entitled to.

  166. BBD #206:

    Because you out of hand reject Nic Lewis (and his co-authors) observationally constrained analysis of climate sensitivity, because you don’t like his background, you are not reporting the scientific position.

    The scientific position is still being worked on and shaped.

    We won’t know whether you are stating the correct position or are in error until we look back from the future.

    Don’t pretend you know what CS is – because you don’t.

  167. BBD:

    The day we hit 560 ppm of CO2, we should be able to determine effective climate sensitivity and transient climate sensitivity.

    Actual measurements.

    Than we will know whether the positions you have stated were correct or not and can even use the +.6 C rule of thumb to guess about ECS.

    Until then, we won’t know if ECS is below the 1.5C range, or within the 1.5C to 4.5C (or even higher).

  168. But where the science is unsettled, such as equilibrium climate sensitive or transient climate sensitivity or effective climate sensitively, I don’t adopt your view that it is 3C or higher

    I think ECS could be 1.6C or lower.

    Of course TCR would then be 1C or lower (using the rough rule of thumb of .6C difference between TCR and ECS).

    Easy to demonstrate that your opinion is incorrect (as I have already done and you appear to recall). We’ve had ~1C transient response already to a mere 120ppm CO2. Nothing like a doubling. Do the simple calculation again and you get ~3C ECS. You can *see* that this lukewarmer stuff is incorrect, really.

    But that is just my opinion.

    Which I am entitled to.

    What you are not entitled to do – but do constantly – is treat your opinion as if it carried the same weight as scientific evidence. Yet this is how you proceed. It is invalid.

    Because you out of hand reject Nic Lewis (and his co-authors) observationally constrained analysis of climate sensitivity, because you don’t like his background, you are not reporting the scientific position.

    Don’t verbal me, RickA. I did no such thing. I wrote that NL’s results are a significant underestimate as a consequence of real limitations in the methodology employed to produce them. I would tell you that this is well understood by climate scientists (real ones – Lewis is a retired banker, not a climate scientist).

    And this meme about Lewis’ estimates being ‘observationally constrained’ is bullshit, so you can stop parroting it around me. NL uses a model (an energy balance model to be specific – a kind of simple toy compared to an AOGCM) and feeds it a lot of very broad assumptions about OHU and aerosol negative forcing then proceeds to understate the uncertainty in the results he gets. I bet you don’t have the first clue what NL did or why his results are outliers at the low end of the range of estimates. Yet according to you this is gospel and everything else is wrong. You don’t know how idiotic that makes you seem or you wouldn’t do it.

    Don’t pretend you know what CS is – because you don’t.

    When multiple separate lines of evidence are considered, the most likely value is ~3C per doubling. Not 1.6C which is plausible only for TCR not ECS. 1.6C is incompatible with palaeoclimate behaviour so we know it is too low.

  169. RickA:

    The science is not settled.

    We don’t know what the answer is yet.

    Pointing me to your side of the debate doesn’t make the other side of the debate disappear.

    I don’t agree with you.

    Just accept it.

    Heh. I strongly suspect even you know what the answer is. That’s why all your objections to the consensus of working climate scientists are legalistic rather than scientific.

    It’s not that hard to understand why you don’t agree with us: in the specialized vocabulary of Psychology, “denial” is a defense mechanism, “in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence.” AGW is a cost of the material progress humanity (or at least some of us) has bought with “cheap” fossil fuels, hitherto deferred but now coming due. Like all AGW-deniers, you just want to go on externalizing the climate cost of your comfort and convenience, and you’re trying to put off paying full price as long as possible. Your arguments all come down to the argumentum ad consequentiam.

    True, our understanding of the psychological basis for AGW-denial won’t make it disappear, and your evident Dunning-Kruger affliction, together with the “stubborn lack of metaliteracy” pointed out by a previous commenter, makes that even less likely in your case.

    OTOH, any non-experts who are willing to acknowledge that genuine experts exist can easily discover that the science is settled. I personally don’t care whether you accept that or not, because your “side” is slowly but surely being marginalized. When collective mitigation efforts eventually get underway, you may decide they’re not so bad after all. Or not, but only you will care.

  170. Of course TCR would then be 1C or lower (using the rough rule of thumb of .6C difference between TCR and ECS).

    What is this rubbish? TCR is generally thought to be about 60% of ECS. Read a textbook for God’s sake.

  171. BBD #212:

    60% then. I should have looked it up rather than going off memory. I apologize for that mistake.

    So if not .6C, but 60% of ECS, we can calculate ECS from an actual measurement of TCR (when we hit 560 ppm).

    Than we will “know” because we will have an actual measurement (at least for TCR) – and not just models (which are all demonstrably wrong) and hypothesis.

    Until then – we don’t know who is correct.

  172. Mal adapated #211:

    No I really don’t know what the answer is yet.

    I don’t think anybody does.

    The observations are inconsistent with the models.

    I say wait and see.

    In the meantime, don’t make poor people pay (or even middle income people) to move Al Gore’s seaside house to higher ground. I think mitigation will be very expensive and taxpayers (about 51.4% of tax filers pay 100% of the Federal individual income tax – based on 2013 data – which is the last time I looked) are going to resist.

  173. Until then – we don’t know who is correct.

    Multiple independent lines of scientific evidence indicate that ECS / 2x CO2 is about 3C.

  174. The observations are inconsistent with the models.

    The observations of the single-instance real Earth climate system for a very short period are below the multi-model mean. As has been explained already, this comparison is uninformative.

    The multi-model mean does not show short-term natural variability in the actual climate system.

    Short-term natural variability gets cancelled out over time and so cannot tell us much about TCR let alone ECS.

    You are just repeating debunked contrarian talking points and ignoring the ongoing explanations as to why they are incorrect. That’s not even an argument, let alone a scientific one.

  175. RickA… I think ECS could be 1.6C or lower.

    Rick, you have gotten so much completely wrong in this thread so far, I don’t think you have the capacity to have a rational position on ECS.

    I would suggest the only reason you think this is a function of your political ideology. It certainly has nothing to do with science.

  176. Yes – and at least one other line of scientific evidence indicates that ECS / 2x CO2 is about 1.6C.

    So we have conflicting evidence and will not know until we get more data.

    One piece of real good data will be the global average temperature (GAT) when CO2 hits 560 ppm (that is the 2x number).

    So we will see.

  177. Rob #217:

    Well we will have to wait to see who’s position on ECS was the more rational – won’t we.

    Because there is no way to know what it will turn out to be.

  178. RickA… Of course TCR would then be 1C or lower (using the rough rule of thumb of .6C difference between TCR and ECS).

    Do you even understand what transient climate sensitivity is?

    We have ALREADY seen a rise of 1°C in GMT with a 40% increase in CO2 concentrations. If you think there is some other forcing operating on the climate system to make up for that other 60% then you need to identify it, because it certainly ain’t leprechauns doing it.

    1. RickA: “Of course TCR would then be 1C or lower (using the rough rule of thumb of .6C difference between TCR and ECS).”

      Oh, gosh: the batshit crazy hysterical paranoid conspiracy alarmist has been reading Richard Lindzen again. The bizarre assertion is that climate sensitivity is a small fraction of what it is already observed to be. LOL!

  179. Right now we have a hypothesis about what ECS will be.

    We are running the experiment right now.

    When we hit 560 ppm for CO2 (the 2X number) we will have a data point, which we can use to see how our hypothesis is doing.

    Until then we don’t know what the answer will be.

    The 3C is a hypothesis, as is the 1.5 – 4.5C range.

    The experiment is currently running.

    Because there is only one world and only one realization is possible (what actually happens) we have to wait to see.

    You guys see that – right?

    We don’t know what ECS is or will turn out to be.

  180. Rob #220:

    Yes – but how much of that rise was natural?

    How much from el nino?

    We may cool or even just stay flat like we did after the 1998 el nino.

    We have to wait for the experiment to finish.

    Check back when we are at 560 ppm to see what the answer is.

  181. RickA… Well we will have to wait to see who’s position on ECS was the more rational – won’t we.
    Because there is no way to know what it will turn out to be.

    Nope. We already have more than enough information to assess the potential risks. Waiting is not going to significantly advance our understanding of this issue within the time that we need to act.

    Look, CS could be anywhere from 1.6C to 4.5C. What you’re suggesting is, we should plan for the best and hope we don’t get the worst. That is a morally irresponsible approach. If you care anything about humanity, we absolutely have to plan for the worst and hope for the best.

  182. You guys see that – right?

    Do you comprehend the fact (yes, FACT) that if we wait that long and the overwhelming body of climate research is correct, we.. are.. fucked.

    Do you understand you’re suggesting we just hang out and wait another 40 years before even STARTING to do anything?

  183. RickA… Yes – but how much of that rise was natural?
    How much from el nino?

    Rick… The ENSO is a function of internal variability. It’s not a forcing and can’t add or remove anything to the temperature trend.

    As for what portion is natural? Try about negative 10%. Best guess coming from researchers is natural forcing is acting to cool the planet as we are warming it.

  184. Oh, and if we include recent temperature measurements, the observations are in the middle of the models, and I believe trending upward.

  185. RickA:

    …don’t make poor people pay (or even middle income people) to move Al Gore’s seaside house to higher ground. I think mitigation will be very expensive and taxpayers (about 51.4% of tax filers pay 100% of the Federal individual income tax – based on 2013 data – which is the last time I looked) are going to resist.

    LOL! The argument from consequences, right up front! Al Gore is fat, too 8^D!

    Do you really expect us to believe it’s all about the poors with you, when they’re already paying for your prosperity with their homes, livelihoods and lives? Maybe a jury will still believe you, but if I were your client I’d tell you to settle now.

  186. Yes – and at least one other line of scientific evidence indicates that ECS / 2x CO2 is about 1.6C.

    So we have conflicting evidence and will not know until we get more data.

    We have an estimate from a relatively simplistic methodology which is an outlier down at the bottom of the range. This doesn’t increase the probability that that the most likely value for ECS (derived from multiple independent lines of scientific evidence) is wrong. It is suggestive that the EBM approach yields underestimates.

    Yet for you, it trumps everything else we know. This is a logically indefensible position.

  187. Rob H

    I think I’ve raise all the points in your recent responses to RA before except the fact that – given the current level of scientific understanding of climate sensitivity – we cannot sit on our arses until 560ppm and only then act.

    But he blanked it all and just kept ploughing on in a circle.

  188. The actions which have been taken so far have backfired.

    Germany shutting down its nukes – dumb.

    Their renewables plan sucks and isn’t working.

    They are importing electricity from out of their country and creating more CO2 than if they had just left their nukes up and running.

    The UK plan isn’t working – it isn’t windy enough in the UK.

    So waiting another 20 years is probably a good idea.

    I would rather do it right than do it wrong twice or thrice.

    The right way to do it is to invent a non-carbon form of energy which is cheaper than the current electricity bill price we pay for coal, natural gas and oil electricity.

    In the meantime, ramp up nuclear as fast as possible.

    We can take those actions now.

    I would hold off on jacking up the coastal cities a meter for awhile and build nukes and invest in energy research instead.

    Well I am off to dinner – talk to you guys later.

  189. The theme of this blog is Culture as Science~Science as Culture . But time and time again our forum is invaded by one persistent intruder espousing his Bastardi Watt religion. Instead of talking about Science as Culture or Culture as Science, we are treated to a thousand and one soggy religio-economic arguments about why we are wrong and why he-who-must-never-more-be-named is right. Foolishly, we step up to do combat again and again, only to find at the end of our round we have been mud wrestling with a pig once again. And yet we come back. Let’s stop being effing idiots.

    Personally, I think we need to ostracize this individual and simply stop acknowledging their presence. I would like to propose a meme that we feed forward to deal with this pest that goes like this.

    1. Whenever a troll such as he who who-must-never-more-be-named named logs on and starts hogging bandwidth and wasting people’s time, I suggest that we start making a habit of not responding to his posts.
    2. I suggest that we never refer to this troll by name.
    3. We need to follow each of his self-aggrandizing pieces with something totally different when possible, something of our own choosing, not his.
    4. I also suggest that we use his appearance here as a cue to discuss ways in which a culture of science needs to be reinforced in our society instead of denigrated. One important start would be to discuss ways to make sure that the heads of powerful government committees relating to science and technology never again be headed by religious nut jobs with little or no training in basic science, you know, morons like our U.S. clowns Inhofe, Cruz, or Smith.
    5. When some unsuspecting new blogger engages he-who who-must-never-more-be-named, we need to warn them off and tell them he-who-must-never-more-be-named is not here for science or scientists, but rather to promote his culture of mid-pleistocene self-aggrandizement.

    In time, our pest problem will disappear for lack of pest food.

    Anybody with me on this? Thanks.

  190. And we switch to energy policy at last.

    Kick the science denial to the curb. Then at least you get to ask hard questions.

    But…

    The actions which have been taken so far have backfired.

    Sweeping claims are inaccurate by definition, RickA.

    Germany shutting down its nukes – dumb.

    However, that is probably true.

    Their renewables plan sucks and isn’t working.

    It’s having to take up the slack from the loss of nuclear, but that doesn’t mean that it ‘sucks and isn’t working’.

    The UK plan isn’t working – it isn’t windy enough in the UK.

    No, that’s not true. The wind resource is there, but the build-out of turbines is slow.

    So waiting another 20 years is probably a good idea.

    Non sequitur.

    I would rather do it right than do it wrong twice or thrice.

    Delaying decarbonisation is doing it wrong. So your ‘doing it right’ isn’t. Sometimes it helps to consider this a learning experience for the energy industry as a whole. And politicians. But it needs to be ongoing, good, bad and ugly.

    The right way to do it is to invent a non-carbon form of energy which is cheaper than the current electricity bill price we pay for coal, natural gas and oil electricity.

    You don’t bet the future on unicorn farts.

    In the meantime, ramp up nuclear as fast as possible.

    If we did, plausible estimates have nuclear meeting about 30% of global electricity demand by mid-century. This is a potentially significant component of decarbonisation but it’s not the silver bullet.

  191. Anybody with me on this? Thanks.

    We crossed – I wasn’t being intentionally contrarian. Plenty enough of that to go around already.

  192. The theme of this blog is Culture as Science~Science as Culture .

    The friction with RA is occurring because he is operating outside the ‘culture of science’ in the sense of objective deduction from the evidence. So these exchanges are, perhaps, within the ambit of the blog. Although I will defer to Greg on that.

  193. RickA… The right way to do it is to invent a non-carbon form of energy which is cheaper than the current electricity bill price we pay for coal, natural gas and oil electricity.

    Excellent! Here’s something we can agree on!

    According to the EIA the levelized cost of onshore wind beats all others. Then, if you look at levelized avoided costs of energy wind and solar are by far the best answer.

    https://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/pdf/electricity_generation.pdf

    In the meantime, ramp up nuclear as fast as possible.

    Nuclear is definitely still on the table in most markets. Problem is, investors aren’t buying the story. It’s too slow to build and invariably comes in far over projected costs. In the meantime, wind and solar are scaling very quickly right now. All the investor dollars than normally go into coal, oil and natural gas are all going into wind and solar.

  194. SteveP… I think the problem with that approach is, it actually cedes the airwaves to the disinformer when no one comes in to correct the misinformation. They become the final word everywhere there is a comments forum.

    My approach has always been to use the disinformer as a foil by which to help teach others about climate science (to the best of my abilities).

  195. RickA is one of the cartoon stereotypes of a pseudoskeptic.

    DDT – Bald Eagle Populations

    Acid Rain – Acid Rain’s Dirty Legacy

    Ozone – The ozone story: A model for addressing climate change?

    Given RickA’s philosphy it’s always too early to do anything — at least anything that would actually be effective in solving problems.

    CO2 is at levels we haven’t seen in millions of years. Temperature will follow. Arctic sea ice is disappearing before out eyes. Birds, flowers, plankton, corals, trees, lake ice, and all the other phenological evidence we have points in one direction — not to mention temperature datasets.

    But hey, let’s wait (until it’s too late). Dipshits on parade is what I see when I look at RickA and friends.

  196. My goal here is to stop letting the disinformer steer the blog. For example, discussions with this cuckoo take a predictable turn and have shown time and time again to be a waste of time. It ends up at the end of long post that , volumetrically, the main contributor has been the disinformer. The disinformer is getting reinforcement by controlling and making fools of science types. In the mean time we make no progress forward towards any sort of achievable goal, while the disinformer has made his point of view known many times over. That has to stop.

    So let me try out my new approach. This blog is about Mark Steyn trying to speed up his trial before his key witnesses expire. Instead of debating all the legalistic bullshit like the troll wants, why don’t we talk about the how we get science agnostics like Mark Steyn’s buddy Ted Cruz out of the Senate science and technology committees? I guess that we need to find out about things like how rules regarding committees are made in the Senate.

  197. http://www.rules.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=RuleXXIV

    1. In the appointment of the standing committees, or to fill vacancies thereon, the Senate, unless otherwise ordered, shall by resolution appoint the chairman of each such committee and the other members thereof. On demand of any Senator, a separate vote shall be had on the appointment of the chairman of any such committee and on the appointment of the other members thereof. Each such resolution shall be subject to amendment and to division of the question.

  198. Well, it looks like many of these committees are toothless wastes of time…..and Mark Steyn’s appearance before Ted Cruz’s committee was little more than political posturing. Steyn is Rush Limbaugh’s protege, and, at one time, when Limbaugh farted, the whole Republican Elephant levitated, so Steyn is probably heir to more power than is wielded by Teddy’s little dog and pony show committee. Interesting.

    (f)(1) Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, to which committee shall be referred all proposed legislation, messages, petitions, memorials, and other matters relating to the following subjects:

    1. Coast Guard.

    2. Coastal zone management.

    3. Communications.

    4. Highway safety.

    5. Inland waterways, except construction.

    6. Interstate commerce.

    7. Marine and ocean navigation, safety, and transportation, including navigational aspects of deepwater ports.

    8. Marine fisheries.

    9. Merchant marine and navigation.

    10. Nonmilitary aeronautical and space sciences.

    11. Oceans, weather, and atmospheric activities.

    12. Panama Canal and interoceanic canals generally, except as provided in subparagraph (c).

    13. Regulation of consumer products and services, including testing related to toxic substances, other than pesticides, and except for credit, financial services, and housing.

    14. Regulation of interstate common carriers, including railroads, buses, trucks, vessels, pipelines, and civil aviation.

    15. Science, engineering, and technology research and development and policy.

    16. Sports.

    17. Standards and measurement.

    18. Transportation.

    19. Transportation and commerce aspects of Outer Continental Shelf lands.

    (2) Such committee shall also study and review, on a comprehensive basis, all matters relating to science and technology, oceans policy, transportation, communications, and consumer affairs, and report thereon from time to time.

  199. I was about to give up and go elsewhere when SteveP showed up. Huzzah! Trolls thrive on responses, and they are not open to logic; they know they’re right. Terrible waste of time.

    I’m on the warpath about Judicial Watch. I could find very little about them outside of their attacks on Clintons and Obama. They are tied in with Cruz and Lamar Smith in the NOAA persecutions. They received funding from the Kochtopus in the beginning, and have specialized in attacking the Clintons since forever. Most of this is about them “spearheading” attacks on Clinton (they also attack Obama) but I first started looking when they popped up joined with Rep. Lamar Smith. Not a nice bunch.
    http://mediamatters.org/blog/2015/10/02/meet-judicial-watch-a-driving-force-behind-the/205941

    Many of the press reports follow their lead, headlining with “scandal” but this is reasonable:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/federal-eye/wp/2015/12/22/judicial-watch-sues-government-for-records-in-global-warming-dispute/

    This is the only report indicating dubious connections I found, about their funding coming from the Koch billionaire alliance:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/federal-eye/wp/2015/12/22/judicial-watch-sues-government-for-records-in-global-warming-dispute/

    “In all, between 1997 and 2002, Judicial Watch received $7,069,500 (unadjusted for inflation) in 19 grants from a handful of foundations including. The bulk of this funding came from just three foundations – the Sarah Scaife Foundation, The Carthage Foundation and the John M. Olin Foundation, Inc.”

    You’d have to be informed by something like Jane Mayer’s Dark Money work (also available in New Yorker articles which show up with a simple search). No doubt John Mashey has encountered them, but I’m not sure if he’s picked up their devious tactics and included them in his work.

  200. I think i looked a little at JW when doing C C C, but in 2010, didn’t see climate particularly, so i didn’t include them, given space limits.
    Sarah Scaife F and Carthage F were both controlled by Richard Mellon Scaife, who died about 2 years ago.

    People really, really should read Jeff Nesbit’s recent Poison Tea: How Big Oil and Big Tobacco Invented the Tea Party and Captured the GOP, which overlaps somewhat with Dark Money, but has much other material. i know about this turf, but still learned much.

    Dirty tricks? Tobacco operatives in particular went after Clintons.
    Remember: the cigarette business depends almost entirely on addicting adolescents (nicotine addiction is almost impossible after adolescent brain development ends) and condemning half if the regular customers to miserable deaths. (Talk to oncology nurses sometime.)

    Jeff covers Roger Ailes’ extensive efforts to help Big Tobacco further its plans. One wonders how many will die from the 1990s work by the boss of Fox News.

    Again, Steyn is a minor player who keeps trying to make the Mann suit all about him. CEI is important, and NR to some extent… And of course they have history with Big Tobacco too.

    I don’t know who Steyn thinks he can call to save him, especially since knowledgeable lawyers would drool over the chance to ask certain people questions under oath.

  201. Thanks to Steve P and Susan Anderson. With certain lapses – I regret the inconsistency of my last two comments – I’ve been making the same argument, and I’ve been doing that for quite some time. It pains me to see good, decent people like BBD being made suckers of. You cannot have a rational, ethical discussion with committed denialists. If your opponent refuses to abide by the rules of the game, you can’t play the game. I understand Rob Honeycutt’s reluctance to let misinformation stand unanswered, but once you get on that treadmill it never stops. Do not try to rationalize gullibility.

    Despite the efforts of many fine commenters – all of whom know more science than I do – this ‘discussion’ has gotten nowhere. And this ‘discussion’ is a repetition of other ‘discussions’ that likewise have gotten nowhere. This is not a failure of your knowledge of science. It is a failure of your ability to judge human character.

    Trying to understand denialism within the confines of science misses the point. If denialism is a major component of your personal and group identities, then arguments designed to refute denialist points will be seen as threats, and counterarguments will be replaced by a variety of defense mechanisms: not answering questions, lying, changing the subject, ignoring or distorting evidence, etc. And this is exactly what we’ve seen.

    “Interestingly, some environmental issues can give rise to emergent group identities that center around strongly held positions [i.e., opinion-based groups (McGarty et al., 2009)]. For example, Bliuc et al. (2015) found that U.S. respondents saw their position as a climate “believer” or “skeptic” as distinct social identities in their own right, and that they perceived each other through a hostile intergroup lens. When political affiliation overlaps with these opinion-based identities, identity faultlines can emerge that make objective appraisals of evidence psychologically implausible.”
    http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00121/full p.4

    Re. the Koch network:
    A New Yorker article by Jane Mayer http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/01/25/new-koch
    discusses this study:
    https://www.scholarsstrategynetwork.org/sites/default/files/the_koch_effect_for_spsa_w_apps_skocpol_and_hertel-fernandez-corrected_1-4-16_1.pdf

  202. ra:

    When we hit 560 ppm for CO2 (the 2X number) we will have a data point

    No wonder you’re a failed engineer. You can’t even think of using half a doubling ((square root of 2) X 280 ppm = 396 ppm), which we passed a couple of years ago, as a data point. You’re just pathetic. (Statement of fact, not a name call.)

  203. your “side” is slowly but surely being marginalized

    “Slow” is the operative word here. Just look at the US and Australian governments for example. So slow it’s hard to distinguish from zero.

  204. Um, just my 2 cents, but I don’t see commenters of BBD’s caliber as suckers, and respect their grace in the face of Lilliputian kooks.

    That said, according to conventional wisdom, you probably don’t want to address a true troll directly–unless maybe you intend to “troll the troll.”

  205. Something puzzles me.

    That Mann lawsuit has less to do –– nothing to do? –– with whether AGW is true or not or supported by science and the overwhelming preponderance of the evidence.

    The lawsuit is that Steyn, et.al. defamed Mann and his science. There seems to be zero doubt that they did, and their defense efforts are centered on anti-SLAPP.

    What do scientists as witnesses – young, old, active or retired, or pro or con on AGW – have to contribute one way or another to Steyn’s defense?

    1. Shelama: “What do scientists as witnesses – young, old, active or retired, or pro or con on AGW – have to contribute one way or another to Steyn’s defense?”

      Well gosh— the answer is “Nothing at all.” Steyn has tried every and all defenses he can think of, while the other defendants have tried fewer defensive claims. One of Steyn’s defenses is “What I wrote is true, therefore it isn’t libel.”

      The cults know they don’t dare make that claim (they would be required to demonstrate it true), but Steyn did not know or did not care that he had placed more burden upon himself with that defense. Steyn is now insisting that the people who will testify that what he wrote is true might die before they can testify that Dr. Mann et al really did “torture the data.” Steyn is defending his defense, poisoning the well.

      Steyn is also pretending that he still believes his libel is true, even though that issue has already been settled by the court.

      My offer to wager $500 on the proposition that Steyn will be found guilty has not been accepted.

  206. #249
    At this point I see anyone who replies to RickA as a sucker, including me. There have been too many signs that he’s not on the level, but either others haven’t noticed those signs, or they believe that despite them they can reason with him and discuss with him as they would with a ‘normal’ person. They don’t realize that they’re being manipulated. The result, as evidenced in #250, is exasperation, anger, and frustration. And because of the willingness to collaborate with RickA, this nonsense keeps going and going.

  207. rickA’s trolling moved front and center at 214 when he included

    In the meantime, don’t make poor people pay …,

    after numerous previous posts in which he stated he wasn’t concerned about the poor who would be affected by climate change.

  208. Shelama,

    I’m not qualified to specifically answer your question, but in general a lot of the noise you’re hearing is caused by an ongoing campaign of FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) intended to normalize unreasonable thinking on, in this instance, climate and to provide cover fire for Steyn.

  209. libel

    1) n. to publish in print (including pictures), writing or broadcast through radio, television or film, an untruth about another which will do harm to that person or his/her reputation, by tending to bring the target into ridicule, hatred, scorn or contempt of others. Libel is the written or broadcast form of defamation, distinguished from slander, which is oral defamation. It is a tort (civil wrong) making the person or entity (like a newspaper, magazine or political organization) open to a lawsuit for damages by the person who can prove the statement about him/her was a lie. Publication need only be to one person, but it must be a statement which claims to be fact and is not clearly identified as an opinion. While it is sometimes said that the person making the libelous statement must have been intentional and malicious, actually it need only be obvious that the statement would do harm and is untrue. Proof of malice, however, does allow a party defamed to sue for general damages for damage to reputation, while an inadvertent libel limits the damages to actual harm (such as loss of business) called special damages. Libel per se involves statements so vicious that malice is assumed and does not require a proof of intent to get an award of general damages. Libel against the reputation of a person who has died will allow surviving members of the family to bring an action for damages. Most states provide for a party defamed by a periodical to demand a published retraction. If the correction is made, then there is no right to file a lawsuit. Governmental bodies are supposedly immune to actions for libel on the basis that there could be no intent by a non-personal entity, and further, public records are exempt from claims of libel. However, there is at least one known case in which there was a financial settlement as well as a published correction when a state government newsletter incorrectly stated that a dentist had been disciplined for illegal conduct. The rules covering libel against a “public figure” (particularly a political or governmental person) are special, based on U.S. Supreme Court decisions. The key is that to uphold the right to express opinions or fair comment on public figures, the libel must be malicious to constitute grounds for a lawsuit for damages. Minor errors in reporting are not libel, such as saying Mrs. Jones was 55 when she was only 48, or getting an address or title incorrect.

    2) v. to broadcast or publish a written defamatory statement.

  210. Thanks all.

    John Mashey, my antennae went up when I saw them involved with Lamar Smith. I think they are flying under our radar about that. In general, Rep. Smith is getting away with his pogrom without a sufficient reaction. My particular bailiwick, the NYTimes, provided one OpEd to Smith (and then a second later), one to horrid Thacker (link below), one to Mike Mann, and a reasonable review (a little too centrist for my taste) after I badgered them (possibly not as a result of, though) several weeks late.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/10/opinion/sunday/scientists-give-up-your-emails.html
    (along with an LTE by Marcia McNutt, the commentariat including yours truly went to town on this, but it was a bad job, and I’m not convinced the commentariat carries much weight compared to mainstream OpEds.)

    So that makes the NYT slightly more responsive to Smith than to science for all their protestations.

    I think Judicial Watch would be an excellent investigative project for top news reporters. It could also be helpful to Clinton, but that’s by the way. Suggestions about topics can be sent to:
    national@nytimes.com
    news-tips@nytimes.com
    public@nytimes.com (this latter may be defunct since Margaret Sullivan left for WaPo, and in any case is about existing articles.

    1. Scientists, Give Up Your Emails By PAUL D. THACKER JAN. 9, 2016

      Oh, good bloody grief. The writer’s argument: because the tobacco industry conspired to hide their knowledge that tobacco killed and kills people, scientists must be required to hand over their private emails.

  211. The lawsuit is that Steyn, et.al. defamed Mann and his science. There seems to be zero doubt that they did, and their defense efforts are centered on anti-SLAPP.

    Keep in mind that Steyn is not a party to the interlocutory appeal. This is why people who babble about amicus briefs supporting Steyn immediately reveal that they have no idea what they’re talking about.

  212. Susan: worth looking into…
    but as usual, there is a pipeline of other things that so far look higher priority.
    Really, really read Poison Tea.

  213. You can lead a denier to water, but you just can’t make it sink.

    Tiresome psychopathic deniers need to lose all of their assets to the very thing they deny, and to compensate the rest of us for the mental anguish of suffering their inanity, intransigent obstruction of reality and then being blamed for not warning them when the SHTF!

    Words fail me.

  214. others haven’t noticed those signs

    I have known for a long time that RickA is not on the level.

    they can reason with him and discuss with him

    I am not reasoning with him. I am pointing out that he just talks total and utter crap.

    this nonsense keeps going and going

    This nonsense keeps going and going because people think they can just ignore global warming denialists and they will just go away and have no effect. Just look at the US and Australian governments for a demonstration of the fact that global warming denialists will not go away and will keep trashing our efforts if you ignore them.

  215. Thanks John Mashey. From Jane Mayer’s Dark Money and (long) before I know about Koch et al. teaparty origins, but okay. I’ve spent some time going through some of your lists too. She’s devastatingly thorough. Her latest was an report on the effort to entrap Dem donors (and Bill McKibben), caught in the act, very funny (New Yorker issue 30 May). In any case, I think a public expose of JW should be public on mainstream media. We can always hope.

  216. “What do scientists as witnesses – young, old, active or retired, or pro or con on AGW – have to contribute one way or another to Steyn’s defense?”

    Based on Steyn’s book, I guess the defense is “others have said the same about Mann”, upon which Steyn can claim that since certain ‘authorities’ have said the hockeystick was fraudulent, Steyn should not be faulted to claim the same.

    Problem is, many of Steyn’s quotes in his book are either cherry picked or irrelevant to the case (someone calling Mann, say, a ‘rectal opening’, does not support the claim that Mann’s work was fraudulent). Of the few who indeed claim Mann’s work is fraudulent, several will be exposed for their lack of expertise in the field (and thus unable to support their claim), and thus may be rather unwilling to act as witnesses for the defense. That leaves preciously few who would be willing to testify on his behalf on the technical issues, who don’t care about being exposed as insufficiently knowledgeable, *and* who would be willing to claim Mann’s work is fraudulent.

  217. #262

    Let me start with the beginning of SteveP’s first comment:
    “My goal here is to stop letting the disinformer steer the blog.
    #239 (My emphasis.)

    This is what’s been happening. Here “the disinformer” has used information that’s peripheral to the subject of the post, and used that to justify his intervention. What then followed is a pattern we’ve seen many times. My goal too is to stop this.

    “This nonsense keeps going and going because people think they can just ignore global warming denialists and they will just go away and have no effect. Just look at the US and Australian governments for a demonstration of the fact that global warming denialists will not go away and will keep trashing our efforts if you ignore them.”

    I basically agree with you, but I don’t think you can make this into a guideline for a universal response. We have to ask ourselves, what are we trying to accomplish. Are we trying to educate the denialist? In my view the denialists who come to legitimate climate/science blogs to propagate denial are evidence-resistant. While we should be open to new commenters who repeat denialist standards, and present them with the scientific case for ACC, we should also be observant enough to see if continued discussion makes any sense. When it’s clear that someone is allergic to accepted scientific evidence, and plays a destructive role, we should stop. Otherwise, by following the denialist’s twists and turns, we enable him to take over.

    Are we trying to educate each other and others who read this blog by replying to arguments put forth by denialists? This may be a generally valid approach, but in this case we’ve been confronted with someone who makes the same arguments again and again, so to a great extent we wind up repeating ourselves.

    Finally, I have the impression that the persons who read this particular blog are already reasonably familiar with denialist arguments. Even I, the most scientifically ignorant person here, can see that our denialist “talks total and utter crap.” How many times do the best of us have to demonstrate that? At what point does responding become counterproductive?

  218. “How many times do the best of us have to demonstrate that? At what point does responding become counterproductive?”

    Good questions. I’m sure many feel like the guy in the C. S. Lewis novel chasing down the masquerading devil. Only thing is, the devil leaves a long line of mutilated creatures in his wake for each of which the guy must stop and laboriously end its misery.

    Shit is shit. What’s to be done.

  219. I don’t think you can make this into a guideline for a universal response

    I’m not the one proposing a universal guideline here. You’ll have to look elsewhere to see that.

    You are entitled to your opinion of how to deal with the issue and so am I.

    Until we always have governments that genuinely deal with the issue, it will always be worth advocating for it. No one ever won in a court of law by simply ignoring their adversary.

  220. #267
    I’m not trying to put words in your mouth, and I’m not implying that you’re not entitled to your own opinion. I may disagree with your opinion, but that’s something else.

    “No one ever won in a court of law by simply ignoring their adversary.”

    I haven’t suggested this. I’ve argued that at a certain point continuing the discussion is an act of futility that allows the denialist to control the blog. In this particular case, one might consider that this has occurred multiple times.

    I would appreciate it if you would say whether you agree that the denialist on a number of occasions took over the blog and made it about his denial. If so, do you see that as a problem? If you do, what do you think should be done about it? Do you think that correcting his misrepresentations solves the problem?

  221. I’m not implying that you’re not entitled to your own opinion

    You’re certainly arguing with my opinion and although you’re entitled to do that, there doesn’t seem to be much point other than to imply I’m not entitled to my own opinion. Maybe you can come up with another point but I can’t see any.

    You have argued that we wind up repeating ourselves. That is usually not the case. I learn new things about the denialist disinformation campaign such as the citations I led up to above. I don’t see why I should be criticised for doing that. Leave me alone and try to do something more productive yourself.

    the denialist on a number of occasions took over the blog and made it about his denial

    That happens anyway if you just ignore him. So ignoring him doesn’t solve that problem. You might think that delving into his arguments is useless to you, but that doesn’t mean you should criticise those who think there is some use.

  222. 1) How important are anonymous trolls in the grabd scheme of things?

    2) A fundamental problem is the weakness of current blig software, which makes good moderation take too much effort, so it rarely happens.
    Moderators can accept, reject or edit comments…
    But I’d wish for a menu and click-select:
    A) The author and date remain, but the comment is hudden, unless reader clicks to see… like the way some blogging systems, Amazon do when comment gets enough downchecks.

    B) in addition, the moderator should get a menu if standard codes, like OffTopic, Defamatory, FalseCitation, MisRepresentation, HeardThisBefore, etc… Ideally standardized.

    C) On the reader side, it would be nice if we got back to the level if USENET KILLFILEs, or better:
    – Show me everything, even if moderator says no
    – Show as above, as per moderator – i trust their judgment
    – As above, but like KILLFILE, don’t ever waste time seeing anything by X

    Once upon a time, USENET comp.arch was a group frequented by serious computer architects, and generated discussions that got excerpted for technical newsletters and some still get referenced. Many commenters asked good questions and git answers. Eventually, more and more Dunning-Kruger afflictees arrived, the signal-noise ratios dropped… and most experts departed, forever.

    That’s the fate of blogs without strong moderation.

  223. On the reader side, it would be nice if we got back to the level if USENET KILLFILEs

    Here. (It needs some updating, but I forgot my password; lose the “*.” for the https filter.)

  224. #274
    Thanks, i used Greasemonkey/KILLFILE for a while, but it often didn’t cover blogs i cared about, or fell out of date… So i gave up a few years ago.
    I think really making it wirk well needs help from blog software or even features inside browsers.

  225. @ 272

    My own personal opinion mirrors yours, for the following reasons

    Studies have shown that most blogs have a 5% active participant rate 10% occasional and the rest “lurkers”
    So tedious as it is, combating trolling science deniers is always a worthwhile task

    Another reason is personal to me, I came to the “debate” on the science of climate change via discussions with all manner of pseudo science, pseudo sceptics and conspiritards in forums and blogs on the internet on a range of issues.

    So as I began to “lurk” on climate blogs it was the rhetoric of the deniers that stood out (before I even looked at the science), the false certainty, the cherry-picking, the multiple logical fallacies, the endless tyre kicking of scientific studies without suggesting any competing theories or hypotheses.
    And I could only do this by reading and evaluating ALL the comments – it soon became apparent that the deniers were endlessly repeating long debunked talking points and demonstrating a fundamental lack of understanding how science works.

    Learning (as far as I am able) about the actual science was the icing on the cake so to speak, and it has been both eye opening and uplifting

    And to me learning is all about understanding the wrong and the right – and boy the deniers give a master class in all manner of wrong

  226. @ 277 tadaaa

    That’s why I sometimes engage at great length with a specific commenter. I believe – perhaps incorrectly – but even so, that sustained, coherent debunking can be helpful to the silent majority who are undecided or at least not fully convinced that ‘the science’ has it right.

  227. This particular discussion had gone on too long (you see this in quite a few tolerant places) and for someone coming in from outside it was a relief to see someone saying DNFTT. But I agree it is useful to provide specific responses full of resources and logic. I made permanent enemies with Andy Revkin over this, and we commenters have had the argument back and forth since forever.

    I certainly have learned a lot from people like Chris O’Neill and others who have taken the trouble to provide resources debunking falsity.

  228. @ BDD

    precisely, and I speak as a previous lurker on climate blogs, who came to the debate without any preconceived views on the state of climate science (indeed I am NOT a scientist but an arts graduate)

    unpalatable as it is sometimes engaging with the “enemy” (I obviously hesitate to use this rather pejorative term) does work

    The wiley old Soviet general, Vasily Chuikov – the officer in charge of the defence of Stalingrad, developed the technique he called “hugging the enemy”

    it basically described the close engagement with the opposing forces, it worked then I think it works now

  229. As far as I can see there are two options outside of stronger moderation.
    One is don’t feed the trolls, which means that their information is uncontested, in the hope that ignoring them will cause them to stop. The other is to answer them, refuting their misinformation, but risking that the discussion goes completely off course and is dictated by them.

    I don’t see either of these in isolation as a valid solution, and have instead suggested a combination of the two. In short, argue against the denialist until it’s abundantly clear that he/she is at odds with the evidence and current scientific knowledge, and then, instead of following the denialist wherever he/she goes, clearly state that the denialist has no case and that there’s therefore no reason to continue the discussion. At that point I believe the denialist can be ignored, and one can return to the topic that was meant to be discussed. This strategy requires the ability to argue against denialists, the ability to say enough is enough, and the discipline to stop. Why not try it?

  230. state that the denialist has no case and that there’s therefore no reason to continue the discussion

    Rather like some people’s description of the Americans’ technique in Vietnam:

    Declare victory and get out.

  231. How about no longer presenting the refutations as a dialogue? That (in part) seems to be what engages them to continue arguing.

    I.e., they pop up and spew their misinformation and fallacious arguments, but rather than replying in the manner of a discussion with a seemingly honest person, we instead address only the points/arguments with the correct information and leave it at that. No engagement with the person.

    Being “talked about” like you’re not there will send a strong signal of being unwelcome, yet still allow lurkers to learn truth from fiction. And the lack of engagement and validation that they seek will “take all the fun out of” their exercise, and prevent their dominating the topics.

  232. #283

    “Declare victory and get out.”

    No. Win the victory, and refrain from flogging a dead horse. Show that they have nothing on, and then refuse to bother with them. If necessary, instead of continuing a discussion and letting them dictate the course of events, one could simply remind others that the denialist has already failed to make his/her case, e.g. with references to previous comments.

    (And now after having quoted me, I imagine you’ll complain because I replied, and ask me to leave you alone. But before I’m done:
    “I basically agree with you, but I don’t think you can make this into a guideline for a universal response,” does not mean you are making this into a guideline for a universal response. Furthermore:
    “You’re certainly arguing with my opinion and although you’re entitled to do that, there doesn’t seem to be much point other than to imply I’m not entitled to my own opinion,” is totally devoid of logic. I don’t wish to say more.)

  233. #284

    That’s what I’ve done, but it doesn’t help if others engage in a direct dialogue. But I agree, if we refuted their arguments, talking about them, rather than to them, it would be an improvement.

  234. #285

    I have a great deal of respect for you. You’re knowledgeable and appear to be a thoroughly good and decent human being. But when you write that your purpose is to correct misinformation, you’re not telling the whole truth. It seems to me that you can become so engaged with particular denialists, that you devise strategies that go beyond rebutting their misinformation, and aim more at convincing them. In this case I believe your strategy was to start with acknowledgement of an energy imbalance and proceed from there. You can use such strategies with persons who are open to information, but not with confirmed denialists. More than once I’ve seen you criticize denialists for “not arguing in good faith,” and occasionally, e.g. in your confrontation with John Swallow, I believe you’ve concluded that continuing a discussion with someone who doesn’t uphold the standards necessary for an honest conversation is untenable.

    Like tadaa, I’ve learned from comments such as yours, and I appreciate the work you do. However there comes a point where it can make more sense to say, “What you’re saying is so wrong, and you are so dishonest that I refuse to continue discussing with you,” especially if continuing means endowing the denialist with credibility as the other part in the discussion and allowing him/her to steer the blog. This is not the same as simply leaving the game.

    If you don’t think that my strategy is workable, would you consider what Brainstorms has described, i.e. responding to the denialist’s arguments without replying to the denialist? This might not live up to your ideals of civility, but what you/we’re doing now doesn’t seem to work.

  235. the denialist has already failed to make his/her case, e.g. with references to previous comments

    I already do that (refer to previous comments) and that usually shuts him up in that thread but then in a later thread he makes the same bullshit claim in a different context and I can usually shit him up there too. I think the best you can do is shut him up in each thread which is usually possible. Ending each thread with the bullshit claim is just silly.

    refrain from flogging a dead horse

    Those North Vietnamese were real dead weren’t they? Ha, ha.

    Since you will follow your own advice, you will state that I have no case and that there’s therefore no reason to continue the discussion. I will point out your shortcomings but you won’t continue.

  236. You started this discussion, and later you sought to deny me the right to reply to your nastiness by declaring, “leave me alone.” I said that I would gladly leave you alone, and here you are again. Please acknowledge that you’re a hypocrite.

    You have not been decent enough to state that you misinterpreted what I wrote. You have not been decent enough to confirm that your logic was faulty. In fact, by simply ignoring the questions I’ve asked and the points I’ve made, and then jumping on to something else, you’re acting like a denialist.

    Your attempt to haha bring the war in Vietnam into the discussion is asinine, and deserves no further comment.

    One of the new points you’ve made is that you singlehandedly have stopped denialists in their tracks, and caused them to disappear from threads. Can you supply evidence of this, or is this instead evidence of grandiosity? Please limit yourself to evidence from this particular blog, which both of us are familiar with. If you can’t substantiate your claim, you can be sure that I will draw attention to your inability to do so.

    It seems to me that you, for no good reason, have dug yourself into a hole, and you keep on digging. I generally appreciate your contributions, and I would prefer not to argue with you.

    Regarding your final remarks, you don’t decide when I’m done. I do.

  237. What did you do with the “extra bandwidth”?

    Off topic.

    Attack each other.

    Basically nothing.

    At least my posts were on the topic of Steyn and the flooding mentioned in the post.

    I do agree with cosmicomics about one thing.

    You don’t decide when I’m done. I do.

  238. At least my posts were on the topic of Steyn and the flooding

    You forgot to mention your total and utter bullshit about Mann’s hockey stick on the WMO cover truncating the proxy data and replacing it with the actual temperature data.

  239. the right to reply to your nastiness by declaring, “leave me alone.”

    And what, pray tell, was this “nastiness” at that point in time that you are now whining about?

    I said that I would gladly leave you alone, and here you are again.

    Comment 275:

    “Leave me alone…”

    I’d be happy to.

    Nothing from me and then:

    Comment 282:

    This strategy requires the ability to argue against denialists, the ability to say enough is enough, and the discipline to stop. Why not try it?

    What a shameless and appalling hypocrite you are.

  240. RickA

    If we confine ourselves to matters of *fact* rather than the paranoid imaginings of McI we can see that the WMO cover was neither fraudulent nor misleading (as you claimed above and as was rebutted above).

    Stop repeating your bullshit please.

  241. BBD #296:

    The fact is that the blue line (Mann 1999) in the WMO cover is a blend of the proxy and the actual temperature data, without explaining that fact to the reader. While the Mann 1999 graph showed the actual temperature data in red and the proxy data in black – the blue line doesn’t explain where the proxy data leaves off and is replaced with actual temperature data. Nor does it say that the blue line is actually representing different data for different periods.

    So nothing was rebutted above.

    Chris, in #161 said the cover showed both proxy and actual – but that is actually not correct. There is a single blue line and it doesn’t clarify what data it represents over what time periods.

    This is not bullshit.

    1. The fact is that the blue line (Mann 1999) in the WMO cover is a blend of the proxy and the actual temperature data, without explaining that fact to the reader.

      Yeah, except in the parts where it was explained before, during, and after publication, over and over and over again. LOL!

  242. Tell me, RickA, how can presenting the data in the most easy to understand format be – in your words – fraudulent, dishonest and deceptive?

    Please explain that to us.

  243. #250 talks about how the blue line is a 50 year smooth of proxy data – when it is actually partly the proxy data, and then switches over to a smooth of the actual temperature data.

    The blue line is Mann 1999 and not Mann 1998.

    This is not a rebuttal of what I was saying.

    The bold link (#175) is just a citation to a 2014 article about something completely different than Mann 1999 (the blue line) and doesn’t deal with the misleading nature of the blue line in the WMO cover at all.

    These are not rebutting anything.

    Better try harder.

  244. You are being evasive.

    Tell me how presenting the data in the most easy to understand format be – in your words – fraudulent, dishonest and deceptive?

    #175 is the key to this, in case you haven’t figured it out yet.

  245. #294

    “Comment 275:
    “Leave me alone…”
    I’d be happy to.
    Nothing from me and then:
    Comment 282:

    This strategy requires the ability to argue against denialists, the ability to say enough is enough, and the discipline to stop. Why not try it?

    When I reply to a specific comment I denote the comment I’m replying to, as above. Evidently your paucity of reading skills also prevents you from noticing that. Comment 282 was not addressed to you. Are you such a narcissist that you believe every comment is about you?

    I withdraw the charge that you’re a hypocrite. If you weren’t even capable of seeing that #282 wasn’t directed at you, then hypocrisy wouldn’t apply.

    “And what, pray tell, was this “nastiness” at that point in time that you are now whining about?”

    Your nastiness lies in a tendency to misinterpret my remarks in an accusatory manner. It’s deeply irrational, and the following passage from #272 is an indication that you’re not only irrational, but also somewhat paranoid:

    “You’re certainly arguing with my opinion and although you’re entitled to do that, there doesn’t seem to be much point other than to imply I’m not entitled to my own opinion. Maybe you can come up with another point but I can’t see any.

    In other words disagreeing with you is equivalent to stating that you’re not entitled to your own opinion. There can be no other explanation for disagreeing with you.

    The same paranoia is apparent here:

    “I’m not the one proposing a universal guideline here. You’ll have to look elsewhere to see that.

    You are entitled to your opinion of how to deal with the issue and so am I.”

    No one suggested that you were proposing a universal guideline. No one suggested that you weren’t entitled to your own opinion.

    You need psychiatric help.

  246. BBD #302:

    When they were putting the graph together they were not talking about the most easy to understand format. They were talking about the best way to hide the decline in the proxy data.

    #175, an article from 14 years after the WMO cover, has nothing to do with the misleading nature of the blue line on the WMO cover.

    Please explain how it is “the key” – because I don’t see its relevance.

  247. When they were putting the graph together they were not talking about the most easy to understand format. They were talking about the best way to hide the decline in the proxy data.

    No, they weren’t. They were talking about the *best* way to present the synthesis of proxy and observational records.

    Nobody (sane) disputes the modern instrumental record. Nobody has shown that the MBH99 proxy reconstruction is seriously flawed. The dendro divergence in the late C20th is understood *not* to invalidate the rest of the reconstruction.

    So how is presenting the dendro reconstruction merged with the observational record fraudulent, dishonest and deceptive?

    You still have not answered me. Please do so in your next comment. I sense that others here are getting impatient with your circular ploughing.

  248. BBD #305:

    Because they didn’t tell people they merged the dendro reconstruction with the observational record when they created the blue line in the WMO graphic used on the cover.

    When you look at the graph on the WMO cover there is no way to see that the blue line is proxy data or that it is temperature data or that it is actually a combination of both.

  249. #294

    “One of the new points you’ve made is that you singlehandedly have stopped denialists in their tracks, and caused them to disappear from threads. Can you supply evidence of this, or is this instead evidence of grandiosity? Please limit yourself to evidence from this particular blog, which both of us are familiar with. If you can’t substantiate your claim, you can be sure that I will draw attention to your inability to do so.”
    #290

    As you’ve provided no evidence,thus far your claim is only evidence of grandiosity.

  250. RickA

    Because they didn’t tell people they merged the dendro reconstruction with the observational record when they created the blue line in the WMO graphic used on the cover.

    When you look at the graph on the WMO cover there is no way to see that the blue line is proxy data or that it is temperature data or that it is actually a combination of both.

    This was – and still is – the best way to present the data. How is this fraudulent and deceptive?

    You need to answer the actual question I asked.

  251. BBD #309:

    Once again, we encounter the difference between opinion and fact.

    You believe the blue line on the WMO cover is teh best way to present the data.

    I do not.

    We have different opinions.

    I happen to believe that the way the proxy data and the temperature data was presented in MBH1999 was perfectly fine. The graph showed two different colors and the label said what color was what.

    If the best way to show the data was to merge it together, than why didn’t MBH1999 show it the same way it was shown on the WMO cover?

    To answer your question – I don’t agree that the best way to present the data is to merge two different lines of data together into a single line, without explaining that to the reader.

  252. To answer your question – I don’t agree that the best way to present the data is to merge two different lines of data together into a single line, without explaining that to the reader.

    If the synthesis is the best representation of the data, whether or not you tell the reader what was done is irrelevant.

    Fraud and deception are only possible if the synthesis was *not* the best representation of the data.

    I know you cannot show me that the curve was an invalid or misleading presentation of the data. So I wish you would tell me why you keep insisting that it was fraudulent and deceptive. Very strong words indeed, let us not forget.

  253. If the best way to show the data was to merge it together

    You are still lying about the MBH curve on the WMO cover. There was no “merging” of the data from MBH. The MBH line on the WMO cover was exactly the 50 year smoothed proxy data from start to finish. Exactly the same as in MBH98 actually. MBH99 had the 40 year smoothed proxy data.

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