Sunday, October 19, 2014

Catmando Does Jim Steele

Unfortunately, my current work load has kept me from pending projects, but I haven't forgotten them.  This Sunday evening I found myself revisiting the Jim Steele Affair that I wrote about in March {and here}, April, May, trying to catch up on his latest shenanigans.  In the process I found this very good examination of the game Jim Steele is playing.  It's written by Catmando over at IngeniousPursuits.blogspot.com.

Much of the article is about Steele's twisted attack on the documentary "Years of Living Dangerously" though I've clipped most of that portion of his article in this reposting.  What I've left in place is Catmando's thoughtful exposure of how a phony misuses the quotes of a great, solid scientist such as Richard Feynman.


It is well written, insightful and worth the read, and I'm happy to share parts of it over here and encourage you to visit IngeniousPursuits.blogspot.com and read the entire article - then pass it along to others who care and want to better understand the game these disingenuous frauds such as climate science denier Jim Steele and his seeming mentor Anthony {the contrarian} Watts are playing on a gullible public. 


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Wednesday, 7 May 2014
Deniers crying in their beers
by Catmando

I'll give Jim Steele his due.  He is the first denier I have ever seen come up with perhaps the most important Richard Feynman quote of all:

[There is an] idea that we all hope you have learned in studying science in school—we never explicitly say what this is, but just hope that you catch on by all the examples of scientific investigation. It's a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty—a kind of leaning over backwards. 

For example, if you're doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid—not only what you think is right about it; other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you've eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked—to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated.

I've crossed the first bit out because Steele doesn't use that.  You can check here (archived).  You can also see that he didn't bother with the next paragraph:

Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them. You must do the best you can—if you know anything at all wrong, or possibly wrong—to explain it. 

If you make a theory, for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then you must also put down all the facts that disagree with it, as well as those that agree with it. 

In summary, the idea is to try to give all the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution, not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another.  {my highlights}
[Feynman quotes from here]

Perhaps there is a reason why he didn't bother with the second paragraph but it is an important one.  I can't remember ever seeing a post proposing something at WattsUpWithThat actually doing what Feynman says here.   
Give alternative explanations.  {my bold}

But, wait, deniers can't do that because the people reading their denialist thinking might actually see that the consensus view is the right one.

And that will never do.

Steele's article is a crocodile tears exercise in whinging.  Steele is moaning about the US TV series Years Of Living Dangerously which we in the UK have yet to see, although you can see episode one at the show's website.

Deniers won't like the series.  It is aiming to tell the science of climate change through human stories.  It may not entirely succeed (I can't know from just seeing one episode) but it is important that the science is heard loud and clear.  Alongside Cosmos, the updated remake of the classic Carl Sagan series, there is a two pronged attack on anti-science.  Not surprisingly, Steele doesn't enjoy his current viewing.  

{...}

You know that Jim Steele has jumped the shark when he adduces Pastor {evolution is impossible} Rick Joyner to his side.  Joyner, according to Steele,  "embodies Albert Einstein’s advice to “Never Stop Questioning.”"  That's hilarious.  (Pastor) Joyner is an adherent of dominion theology which aims to have government on Christian grounds according to Biblical law.  I suspect Joyner has stopped questioning that one.  For more Joyner fun, click here.

{...}

Remember that Feynman quote {here's more Feynman quotes}.  

In trying to make a case, Steele doesn't follow Feynman.   The "contrasting satellite data that shows the global average has not risen in 17 years" is this:



A couple of things - satellite data is not the only source of information about temperatures available.  What story do the others tell?  Secondly, any trend of exactly 0.00 should ring bells.  Especially as this graph keeps growing longer and longer, just like Pinocchio's nose but the trend keeps on at 0.00.  Natural phenomena don't do that.  What's going on?  Does anyone know? {bold added}

On one thing I can agree with Steele:

We are all blinded by our illusions and we can only free ourselves from those illusions by careful observations, experiments and respectful debate.

I contend he is blinded by his illusions.  He admits his Christian past but I am not sure he understands it:

Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son to be closer to God is religion’s equivalent of Feynman’s ideal scientist who leans over backwards to prove that he has not been fooled by clinging to a cherished belief. 

And the Golden Rule (of reciprocity) is common to every religion and older than both Christianity and Judaism.  

But back to Steele's article.  One can delight at the hypocrisy:

Accordingly climate alarmists have circled the wagons and refused to debate with climate skeptics, preferring hit pieces such as Years of Living Dangerously. 

And the deniers don't do hit pieces like, for example, Steele's one.  But there you go.  And the reason why climate scientists don't debate the deniers - you only have to see Lord Monckton's mendacious presentations to realise that all the denier has to do is sew doubt.  And science isn't settled by debates.  And debates are a game.  It isn't rocket science, Jim.

Remember that shark.  Steele's closing words sum up precisely why his analysis fails Feynman's test: {bold added}

I suggest they will be better scientists if they emulated Pastor Joyner, and listen to all sides, promote more debate, and then let the truth lead us wherever it may. 

As Pastor Joyner himself says on his Facebook page:

Today, there are basically four worldviews: The Christian worldview, Islamic worldview, secular worldview, and the Marxist worldview. 

Each of these in their pure form is in basic conflict with the others. If you understand these worldviews, you will have a basic understanding of virtually all of the conflicts in the world today.

Just letting Jim know that Joyner doesn't have a clue.  

15% of the world are Hindus.  That's 1.1 billion adherents.  Bhuddists make up more than 500 million people.  In Joyner's mind there might be four worldviews.  In mine there are dozens.  Question everything?  Yeah, right.   And Marxist worldview.  What century is he living in? ...


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PS. so we don't loss sight of what this is all about:

Climate change occurring 10 times faster than at any time in past 65 million years


WAKE UP, SOUNG THE ALARMS - WE HAVE A PROBLEM HOUSTON !

Friday, October 3, 2014

Is Cognitive Dissonance getting to Anthony Watts?


Sou's post this morning is another one worth sharing since I like the idea that Anthony Watts is getting rattled to the bone.  Maybe in the evolution of things he will next implode and his substantial contribution to guaranteeing a living hell on Earth for our children will finally shut down.  Sadly I appreciate there's too much money and right-wing political might behind his efforts at dumbing down the Manmade Global Warming education dialogue and the public, so I won't hold my breath.

But I will take advantage of Sou's Reposting policy to share her latest observations regarding the Wattzer's campaign of fabricating confusion and lies.


FYI 
Is Cognitive Dissonance Fueling Conservative Denial of Climate Change?
by Rania Khalek | June 15, 2011 | CommonDreams.org

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Media Exhibit Cognitive Dissonance Over Global Warming
By Noel Sheppard || August 19, 2008 | NewsBusters.org



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FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2014


Broken promise: And how Anthony Watts is rattled

Sou | 2:31 AM

Update - see below. Anthony doesn't have the support he probably hoped for.



The science and other stuff posted at HotWhopper and from Eli Rabett of Rabett Run are really getting to Anthony Watts. For the third time in as many days, he's expressed some concern (a bit of an understatement :D) at HotWhopper pointing out the ridiculous at WUWT.  This time he's decided to complain in an article about internet trolling (archived here).

What Anthony Watts has always believed


With no hint that he sees the irony, under a cartoon taunting ATTP by anonymous cartooner, "Josh", Anthony Watts shows his vast command of vocabulary:

I've always believed that people who taunt others while hiding behind fake names aren't really contributing anything except their own bile and hatred. 
Now if WUWT decided to switch to science Anthony might no longer regard it as trolling to keep a blog that points out the ridiculous in pseudo-science, to replace it with science. As far as Anthony Watts is concerned, his endless derision of science and scientists and those who accept the science, is not trolling. It's only when mocking the endless mocking of science and scientists that it is seen as trolling in deniersville. (Remember, you can't be called a troll if you don't even ask a question, let alone a troll-like question.)

All this manufactured anger at anonymity does seem strange coming from someone who started an anonymous "society", without a single name willing to be associated with it in an official capacity. The "no-name OAS". (Not even its probable founder, Anthony Watts himself AFAIK.)

Perhaps the double standards are not so strange when you realise just how much of a conspiracy theorist Anthony can be, with his anticipation of nefarious intent.

Back to Anthony's latest dummy spit. There's more:

The best way to combat people like this is to call them out by their name every time they practice their dark art. To that end, and not just for these two losers, I'm stepping up moderation on WUWT. If you want to rant/spew from the comfort of anonymity, find someplace else to do it,  

Let's see how long it takes him to post another article from people who hide behind fake names, like HockeySchtick and Steve Goddard and other various anonymice. And how long before Anthony exposes "Bob Tisdale", who says he likes his own privacy but has no qualms in not respecting the privacy of other people?

Oh, and the article that Anthony dug up? It was a psych study about internet trolls. You can read about it here, or the full paper here.


BTW I respect a person's right to adopt any name they choose on the internet. I will not reveal anyone's name if they don't wish it revealed. I don't care who they are.

I've been posting on climate topics for years as Sou. Since long before HotWhopper. I prefer to keep my work life separate from climate blogging. Some people I trust knew who I was, and a couple I don't trust did too. Anthony Watts huddled over his computer for months trying to figure it out. It wasn't public knowledge despite Anthony's claims of it being so.

Anthony Watts can bully away to his hearts content. (While he's focused on HotWhopper it probably means one scientist won't have to take a bashing from WUWT. Or not today, at any rate. That's a good thing.) HotWhopper will continue to demolish disinformation about climate science. And where better to find out what disinformation is the flavour of the day than the "world's most viewed" anti-science blog? WUWT copies and pastes stuff from denier blogs all over the internet. It is a regular clearing house for science denial articles and provides a sterling "recycle denier memes" service.

For the rest of his post link to HotWhopper.com
With much thanks to Sou over at HotWhopper

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Dana at SkepticalScience.com reports on the Cornwall Alliance


Ironically, today SkepticalScience.com posted a most interesting article written by Dana Nuccitelli regarding the Cornwall Alliance and thanks to their generous Reposting policy I'm proud to add it to this little collection I'm putting together for those curious about this public relations effort called the Cornwall Alliance.

Global warming: a battle for evangelical Christian hearts and minds

Posted on 2 October 2014 by dana1981

The Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation is a conservative evangelical Christian public policy group that promotes a free-market approach to protecting the environment. The organization recently published a list of ten reasons it opposes policies to reduce carbon pollution and slow global warming, purportedly to protect the poor. As the first point on the list illustrates, the group essentially believes that the Earth’s climatewill be able to correct any damage done by humans.
1. As the product of infinitely wise design, omnipotent creation, and faithful sustaining (Genesis 1:1–31; 8:21–22), Earth is robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting.
The group includes climate scientist Roy Spencer and professor of geography David Legates. Spencer’s research is among the 2–3% of peer-reviewed climate papersdisputing that humans are the main cause of global warming. He has often argued that climate policies will harm the poor, and has not been shy in making political and free market statements, having gone as far as to make comments about “global warming Nazis.” Legates is known for disputing the 97% expert consensus on human-caused global warming.
The Cornwall Alliance has tried to use scientific arguments to support its religious beliefs about the resiliency of the global climate, claiming,

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Beisner: Subduing and Ruling the Earth to the Glory of God - say what?

The Cornwall Alliance tells us they speak for the God Almighty of time, creation and life - then they use their God as justification for rejecting hundreds of years worth of Earth observations and increasing climate knowledge.   Curiously their God does happen to totally embrace the neo-Republican/libertarian "free" market ideal.

This Cornwall Alliance document reminded me of the beautiful babes and tough cowboys used to sell cigarettes, only Beisner is using God to sell his attack and denial of solid scientific knowledge.  Tragically such superficial media campaigns seem to be quite successful at wooing an all too apathetic public.

Even though rational communication with such people seems next to impossible it's important to take the time to point out their base misconceptions, misrepresentations and out'n out lies, even if only to let other's know that the truth is out there.  

{Still working on getting this introduction right, edited Thursday evening, 10/2/14}

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The Biblical Perspective of Environmental Stewardship: Subduing and Ruling the Earth to the Glory of God and the Benefit of Our Neighbors



1. We affirm that the Earth is the LORD’s, and the fullness thereof (Psalm 24:1).  We deny that the Earth or anything else is the result of impersonal, blind chance over time.
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This is a misrepresentation.  Evolution isn't about "blind chance" it's about dynamic processes of selection that can be observed, studied and increasingly understood.  Trying to portray it as "pure chance" is pure dishonest!

Of course, as we experience in our own lives, seeming "blind chance" does indeed play a part that can profoundly alter the flow of events, but it still occurred within a framework that is no chance.

I imagine Dominionist would probably claim that there is no chance and instead God directs everything, but that makes no sense thinking of God spending eternity watching his clock work ticking away.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Oily operators behind The Cornwall Alliance


One thing leads to another and after reading this article and looking at some of it's links, it seems to me I'd be remiss if I didn't share it as background to an upcoming series of posts that will be dedicated to a skeptical examination of The Cornwall Alliance's various claims.

With many thanks to ThinkProgress.org for all their efforts to keep us informed.
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The oily operators behind the religious climate change disinformation front group, Cornwall Alliance

BY CLIMATE GUEST CONTRIBUTOR POSTED ON JUNE 19, 2010 AT 7:27 AM



The Cornwall Alliance appears to be a creation of a group called the James Partnership, a nonprofit run by Chris Rogers and Peter Stein, according to documents filed with the Virginia State Corporation Commission. Rogers, who heads a media and public relations firm called CDR Communications, collaborates with longtime oil front group operative David Rothbard, the founder and President of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) and Jacques Villarreal, a lower level staffer at CFACT, for his James Partnership group. In the past, Rogers’ firm has worked for the Bush administration and for the secretive conservative planning group, the Council for National Policy.

According to public records, the following entities are all registered to the same address, 9302-C Old Keene Mill Road Burke, VA 22015, an office park in suburban Virginia:
- Rogers’ consulting firm, CDR Communications
- Rogers’ nonprofit hub, the James Partnership
- The new “Resisting the Green Dragon” website

In late 2005,

Hotwhopper's peek at the Cornwall Alliance

{Sou,  I've been working, on and off, on a detailed review of the way too long Cornwall Alliance's A Call to Truth, Prudence, and Protection of the Poor: An Evangelical Response to Global Warming.  You've given me renewed incentive to get back to it and finish it.  Thanks for posting this look at the Cornwall Alliance and their assault on rational learning. CC  }

Until I finish my next project I want to share this article that was posted at Sou's Hotwhopper.com, the blog that does the best job of tracking Anthony's Watts' nonstop flood of increasingly disconnected claims and insinuations.
(I've shared three more links to other interesting articles about the Cornwall Alliance at the end of this.) 
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Sou - September 27, 2014 @wattsupwiththat 
Evangelical Deniers:
 The poorest and most vulnerable and the lowest of the low
http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2014/09/evangelical-deniers-poorest-and-most.html

You know how Anthony Watts on occasion has criticised other people for using photoshopped images or "fake" photos to illustrate a point, while at the same time faking images of his own. Well, he's done it again. This time pinching a photo from a company bringing cleaner energy to Africa (and South America), to argue that his readers should instead pollute "poor people" out of existence.
{on a related note also see:  June 27, 2013 Dr. Nils-Axel Morner's Maldives Tree - what's up with that?}
Compare and contrast - WUWT touting dirty energy (and religion), while using a photo about how a company helped a family in Rwanda move to cleaner cooking! (Scroll to the bottom.) 
Today WUWT and CFACT (archived here) are touting support for the pseudo-religious cult, the Cornwall Alliance. (I've written about that organisation before.) The WUWT article has the headline: 
Protect the poor – from climate change policies