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One-Sided 'Skepticism'

Posted on 16 September 2011 by dana1981

As the banner at the top of the Skeptical Science (SkS) webpage notes, the primary purpose of our site is to "get skeptical about global warming skepticism" by examining what the peer-reviewed scientific literature has to say about the climate myths promoted by self-declared "skeptics."  We strive to examine the full body of scientific evidence, and see how the "skeptic" claims stack up.

In a recent post on his blog, Roger Pielke Sr. criticized our performance in meeting those goals.  We at SkS are always open to constructive criticism.  Unfortunately, Dr. Pielke has not actually offered any.  In fact, it appears that Pielke has not even bothered to make the effort to read the series he is criticizing.  He seems to think Christy Crocks and Spencer Slip Ups pertain to satellite temperature data analysis:

"As a result of the persistent, but incorrect (often derogatory) blog posts and media reports on the robustness of the University of Alabama MSU temperature data....The ad hominem presentations on this subject include those from the weblog Skeptical Science who have sections titled Christy Crocks and Spencer Slip Ups"

Unfortunately for this piercing critique, these two series of articles do not touch upon the topic of the satellite temperature data. Indeed, the only time SkS has mentioned this work was when we used it as an example of the self-correcting nature of the scientific process.  What the series have bored in on are the wide range of topics relevant to global warming concerning which Spencer and Christy have propogated numerous myths and copious misinformation.  This frequent myth propagation by Spencer and Christy is an unfortunate reality which it seems Pielke would like to sweep under the rug.

Pielke's One-Sided Criticisms

What we find strange is that, although Pielke often rushes to the defense of Spencer and Christy, he never criticizes them for blatant errors of logic and fact that they have made; even though he is happy to criticize more mainstream climate scientists.  His critiques seem a tad one-sided.

For example, Christy's testimony before US Congress earlier this year was riddled with myths and misinformation.  Pielke said not a word about it.  Christy later went on Australian and Canadian radio talk shows and propagated many of the same myths.  In fact, these interviews and testimony were the basis of the Christy Crocks. 

Not only does Pielke refuse to criticize his fellow "skeptics" for misinforming the public and policymakers, but he then denounces SkS for doing just that.  In the process, Pielke is effectively endorsing the myths and misinformation propagated by Spencer and Christy, documented in the very series that he criticizes.

The Scientific Basis of the Series

Let's put more effort into this question than Dr. Pielke and actually examine the content of the two series.  Spencer Slip Ups currently consists of seven posts.  Three of these are an analysis of one of Spencer's books by Dr. Barry Bickmore, in which Bickmore tested Spencer's results by replicating his simple climate model, and found that Spencer's conclusions were invalidated when physically realistic parameters were input into the model. 

In another post, we responded to Spencer's challenge to produce peer-reviewed scientific research ruling out internal variability as the cause of the current global warming by doing exactly that.  We also examined what the peer-reviewed literature has to say about Spencer's hypothesis that the PDO is causing global warming.  And finally, in two recent posts we examined Andrew Dessler's peer-reviewed response to Spencer & Braswell (2011). 

Christy Crocks are much of the same.  For example, we examined what the peer-reviewed literature has to say about Christy's claims with regards to climate sensitivity, climate model accuracy, internal variability, global warming causation, and satellite temperature data vs. models.

In keeping with the purpose and standards established for SkS by John Cook, in every Spencer Slip-Up and Christy Crock we have either evaluated how their statements stack up to the body of scientific literature, or attempted to replicate their results.  And we have found that Spencer and Christy consistently make statements which are inconsistent with the body of scientific literature, and often which are well outside their range of expertise.

Misinforming Policymakers

One of the most egregious examples of a Christy Crock was in his testimony before US Congress, when policymakers twice presented Christy with assertions that scientists were predicting impending global cooling in the 1970s, and twice Christy refused to dispel the myth, instead claiming:

"In this sense yes [1970s cooling predictions were similar to current warming predictions], our ignorance about the climate system is just enormous"

This statement, made to those who are determining what if any policies the United States will implement in response to climate change, is a crock.  We examined the peer-reviewed scientific literature in the 1970s, and found that contrary to Christy's depiction, most climate scientists at the time were predicting global warming.

We wonder if Dr. Pielke approves of Christy's testimony here.  When presented with a climate myth by a policymaker, is it appropriate to mislead the Congress with such statements, instead of reporting the situation as it was?  We would very much like to know Dr. Pielke's answer to this question, and why he continues to turn a blind eye to the repeated transgressions of Spencer and Christy.

Reality Check

In reality, Pieilke was off-base in trying to implicate SkS in criticism of the UAH satellite record; we didn't do that. Even more to the point, Spencer and Christy have both made a number of statements to the public that contradict the body of scientific literature.  These statements were the starting point of our critical series. By defending them but ignoring their errors, Pielke is providing cover for the misinformation propagated by Spencer and Christy.  That's not being skeptical, that's excusing the blatant misinformation of the American public and policymakers.  Pielke Sr. needs to decide what is more important, covering up misinformation or standing up for science and truth.

Note: this post represents the SkS contributors' consensus response to Roger Pielke Sr.'s recent criticism of our site

Update: Pielke has responded, if you can call it a response, since he didn't actually address anything we said here.  A total shifting of the goalposts, once again trying to deny Spencer and Christy's constant propagation of misinformation.  In fact, Pielke's response simply confirmed what we said in this post - he seems unwilling to read the content of our posts, and is totally unwilling to crtiicize his fellow "skeptics." 

Dr. Pielke, we once again ask that you answer the question - do you or do you not approve of John Christy's misleading testimony to US Congress, including his assertion that predictions of global cooling in the 1970s were the same as predictions of global warming today? 

As another example, do you agree with Roy Spencer when he said that as a result of addressing climate change, "Jogging will be outlawed. It is a little known fact that the extra carbon dioxide (and methane, an especially potent greenhouse gas) emitted by joggers accounts for close to 10% of the current Global Warming problem"? 

And do you agree with Spencer's assertion that "warming in recent decades is mostly due to a natural cycle in the climate system — not to an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning"?

Please stop changing the subject, stop pretending Spencer and Christy are faultless Saints, drop the charade, and answer our questions, Dr. Pielke.

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Comments 101 to 145 out of 145:

  1. Jpat - obviously this is riding straight over the top of your head. Roy Spencer is one of only a handful of skeptical climate scientists, and silly statements such as the 'jogging will be outlawed' are misconstrued to be fact by the general population - who don't understand the short-term carbon cycle.

    And who can blame them? They're getting the idea from a climate scientist no less.

    Considering the likely consequences of global warming, it's about as funny as making jokes about the atrocities of the 2nd World War.
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  2. @Rob102 - Then say that, don't pass it off as if he seriously thought those things. Plus the excerpt purposefully misquotes him in order to fit the crackpot meme. He did not predict that jogging would be outlawed, he (jokingly) advocated it!
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  3. I will wait to see what the responses are to the science questions I have asked. As I have written, this is where the discussion should be focused.

    To respond one more (and last time)to the comments on this weblog post on the ad hominem issue, I object to personal attacks by anyone on any side of this issue. If you want to see an example, look at my defense of Andy Revkin in 2005 where I wrote [http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2005/08/26/response-to-andy-revkin/]


    "It is clear now that the misrepresentation of my views on climate change in the NY times article were entirely inadvertent. There was no political or other motive, which needs to be recognized by everyone. The politicizing of the disagreement on other blogs and in the media that has occurred is completely inappropriate and any derogatory personal characterizations by others from this event are abhorrent and have no place in this issue or associated with my blog in any way."
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    Moderator Response:

    [Daniel Bailey] I must perforce remind you of KR's previous summary comment:

    "I'll remind you of the sequence of events. You initiated this particular discussion by accusing the SkS site of ad hominem attacks on Dr.s Spencer and Christy. (which I am not alone in considering an unjustified accusation). This particular thread was written in response, noting that (a) the posts you criticized actually address the science (and shortcomings) of various works, and are not ad hominem, and (b) your criticisms don't appear to apply to those you agree with, such as Watts and in fact Spencer himself.

    In my view you have neither addressed that apparent double standard, nor supported your original accusations re: SkS, and are now refusing to discuss those issues any further. I consider that unfortunate."

    This summary you are now further cementing with your reticence to rectify.

  4. Dr Pielke

    Thank you for taking the to discuss issues with us here at SkS. Let me assure you that we at SkS are motivated by a deep concern for the wellbeing of our societies and future generations. Although we try to keep the discourse polite this is an extremely serious subject so the critical views we sometimes express of some individuals is motivated by that seriousness.

    To the questions you have posed and comments you have made, let me give a composite answer.
    In principle Total Heat Content of the climate system, predominantly the oceans IS the metric we would use to assess whether climate warming is occuring. However our capacity to measure the various sinks that make up this is varied, with measurement of the oceans being, historically the weakest link. With the deployment of the Argo array this situation is improving, extending area and depth coverage. We still have very limited data on the abyssal depths and thus are still poorly equipped to assess heat fluxes to the ocean bottoms, particularly in regions of significant downwelling are not adequate. Certainly the common use of the surface & satellite temperature records as a metric for climate change as a whole is inadequate. That said, the surface temperature record is what constitutes 'climate' for 7 billion of us here on Earth so for the purposes of broad communication with the general public the surface record is still a reasonable metric for Communications Purposes! However the common phenomena of many people trying to slice and dice the surface record to prove some point - 'It hasn't warmed since 1998', 'It was the Great Climate Shift of 1976' etc based solely on the surface record is invalid. The appropriate metric for Analysis of climate (as distinct from illustrative communication about it) is THC.

    So to time scales for significance. The IPCC has adopted 25 years as the appropriate timescale for measuring climate change, the WMO standard is 30 years. This reflects the fact that the metric's we have had available to measure climate have only very recently included ocean heat content. Certainly I would disagree that any timescale less than 25 years or so is particularly meaningful for assessing climate change based just on the surface record. If we are using Total Heat Content then in principle we may be able to use a shorter timeframe for assessing it since by looking at the total we are factoring out so called 'internal variability' that really constitutes varying fluxes between the separate sinks that make up the whole. If you want to figure out the dog by just looking at its tail you need to look at the tail for longer.

    However, how much shorter the appropriate timescale is when assessing THC depends very much on the quality of the data available. THC may in principle substantially remove 'internal variability' from our analysis. But in its place there is now much higher measurement uncertainty - we are measuring the right thing but the quailty of our data isn't as good. So the appropriate timescale for use with THC needs to be studied very seriously using the best statistical techniques, having regard to the character of the measurement uncertainties. Until such time as we can get a sound answer to this, my view is that we should continue with the use of 25-30 years timescales, even when assessing THC until such time as we have a robust statistical basis to guide us on how far we can dial those numbers down.

    To Hulme's 2 Hypotheses, firstly I can only assume that his use of the word 'climate' in this context refers to surface measurements. He appears to be differentiating between a focus on GH gases alone, or considering all the climate forcing, including GH gases. Of course in the sense in which he has framed the options, his 2b is the MORE correct. However it is still not an adequate hypothesis. Say rather that there are a range of human induced forcings and then there are a range of feedbacks that follow as a consequence. However the various human forcings need to be given some relative ranking. Both of their current climate impact and also of there future impact. These main forcings are CO2, Other major GH Gases (Methane. Nitrous Oxide), truly minor GH gases (CFC's etc), Aerosols, Various land use changes. CO2 is a major component currently with the other GH gases less so. Aerosols are also quite significant although it has been harder to quantify this (we NEED that satellite aerosol data). And land use changes have been signifiant as well. When we look to the future (assuming no action by society) CO2's impaact just keeps growing. We can perhaps manage Nitrous Oxide to some extent but this is difficult without devastating world foor production. We may be able to manage human methane emissions but increases in natural emissions such as from permafrost and clathrates are a wild card here. Unless we intend to repeal all the worlds Clean Air ACts, aerosols are unlikely to increase too much. And if we take action on CO2, CO2 levels may stabilise but that does not mean fall. But the actions we would take will hugely lower aerosols. Land use could continue to contribute but eventually will drop as we simply run out of land to 'change'. In the long run, CO2 levels unaddressed will become the dominant driver where as currently it is just first among many.

    To Hulme's two perspectives, I would say neither is completely correct and would reword the proposition thus:

    “The overwhelming scientific evidence tells us that human greenhouse gas emissions, land use changes and aerosol pollution are resulting in climate change (defined as a change to the THC of the Earth) that cannot be explained by natural causes. Climate change is real, we are causing it, it is happening right now, and will certainly get worse in the future if current human practices continue.”
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    Response:

    [Daniel Bailey] Glenn, Dr. Pielke is exercising a ploy to divert this thread from its central focus:  Dr. Pielke's selective and one-sided skepticism and misplaced accusations of ad hominems towards SkS.  Which he still fails to own and address.

  5. Insisting on something that we don't have a long enough record for being useful is simple sophistry. It reminds Eli of two things, one is Roger's very long insistence that the UAH MSU record was THE preferred diagnostic, at least until it was corrected and showed an increase, rather than a decrease, and the other was from Thomas Knutson
    -------------------------
    Michaels et al. (2005, hereafter MKL) recall the question of Ellsaesser: “Should we trust models or observations?” In reply we note that if we had observations of the future, we obviously would trust them more than models, but unfortunately observations of the future are not available at this time.
    ----------------------------

    In this case we don't have reliable ocean heat content measurements from the past, and it is unlikely we will get them from the Argo floats
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  6. Dr. Pielke I must say, I'm very disappointed in your attitude towards this "discussion". You seem to think it should be on your terms and only your terms. That's not how a discussion works.

    You started this discussion with an inaccurate, unsubstantiated criticism of our site. Now that we've proven it was unwarranted, you suddenly want to change the subject to what you deem is "where the discussion should be focused".

    I disagree with your opinion. I think that when your colleague John Christy grossly misinforms the American public and Congress about climate science, that is one area where the discussion should be focused. Especially since you seem to have nothing but glowing comments about your colleagues despite their long history of misinforming the public and policymakers on climate issues.

    You claim that your goal is to accurately inform our policymakers about climate issues, and yet you tacitly endorse their disinformation by your colleagues. I think that's one place you need to focus some discussion.
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  7. Dr. Pielke, as soon as you entered the arena of climate science communication to the public at large, you became an explicitly political entity in addition to a scientist, whatever the integrity of your expressed desire for everyone to stick with the science.

    Most people tend to assume that an ad hominem attack is simply an attack on the person rather than the ideas expressed by that person. This is not strictly true. Ad hominem is an attack that uses as evidence personal characteristics and beliefs that are unrelated to the theses being presented (and the fallacy lies in the relational disconnect). However, if the thesis claims a connection between personal characteristics/beliefs and an idea, then there is no ad hominem--as long as the case is well-evidenced.

    What you see as an ad hominem attack on Spencer, Christy, et al. is explicitly an attack on their scientific production. The buttons may be the only evidence for the charge of ad hominem, but if so it is implicit. The buttons are the result of the recognition of repeated errors and unsound theory combined with the influence of the individuals in the arena climate science communication. Each of the individuals has either made non-scientific statements about the integrity of climate scientists that have currency within the arena of climate science communication or has stood by without comment while such comments have been made.

    You've attacked SkS using a weak ad hominem claim. At the same time, you, Anthony Watts, Judith Curry, Roy Spencer, and others highly critical of established climate science have stood by without comment and allowed the most ridiculous claims to be trumpeted in every comment stream. The internet is no longer the realm of geeks, Roger. The opinions of hundreds of millions of people are shaped every day through its content, and the rapidly changing climate--yes, I currently support the IPCC outlook--is arguably the greatest challenge for the whole of humanity in the last 30-40k years or more. Surely you understand that keeping a clean lab allows science to progress much more quickly and confidently. You probably do understand that, but why not point it out to Watts? I can only assume that Watts, based on the way his blog is moderated, is not interested in progress.

    As for the tone of the buttons, that may be regrettable, but as I recall it started with Monckton, and if there's any adult who deserves to be publicly treated like a child, it's "Lord" Monckton. I would be satisfied with "Spencer's Arguments" or "Christy's Claims."

    Dikran, I disagree re Spencer and his beliefs affecting his science. I argue that it could happen. If the man believes that the Earth is less than 6000 years old, then he is forced to view the paleo record and the very idea of natural cycles with some doubt. If the man says that his job is to defend the free market, then I have doubts about his scientific integrity. If the man is shown his errors repeatedly and in great detail and he gets petulant and bitter about it, then I have doubts about his ability to produce relatively bias-free science. Bickmore has done more than enough to call into question the man in addition to his science.
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    Moderator Response: [Dikran Marsupial] In science in order to reject an hypothesis you need to show that the assumptions on which it is based are unreasonable or demonstrate that the chain of logic used to obtain the conclusion is flawed. The religious beliefs of the originator of the theory, or his past history of scientific errors is entirely irrelevant. Now you may feel that (for instance) a history of making mistakes is reason to be skeptical of their current and future work; I'd say that is common sense. However whether their current and future work is valid depends on the assumptions and internal consistancy of that work, and the personal chracteristics of the originator are irrelevant, and so at best are a distraction from the substantive issue. That is why scientists (rather than rhetoricians) try to keep the discussion impersonal and avoid ad-hominems, whether they think they are justifiable or not.

    Ad-hominems are also a slippery slope. Like Christy and Spencer, I too am a Christian (although I am comfortable with the mainstream scientific position on evolution and the age of the Earth). There are those who would reject my scientific arguments because I have an "invisible friend" (I have seen it happen before). The difference between their position and yours is only a matter of degree, rather than substance, where should the line be drawn? I'd say that drawing the line such that there were no such ad-hominems is the best policy, and indeed it is the policy that science has adopted, becuase it has proved effective.

    I won't moderate the final paragraph as it would be a conflict of interest, seeing that I am a participant in the discussion. However I would strongly reccomend that there be no further discussion of the religious beliefs of the scientists, or any other such ad-hominems.
  8. Glen Tamblyn #106

    A very good summary. In other words the debate over CO2 induced global warming will be decided in the oceans.

    Dr Pielke is saying much the same thing. The real issue is whether or not planet Earth is gaining heat energy (Joules) over time. This is where the current disagreement between Drs Trenberth and Hansen about the last 5-10 years OHC changes is most relevant.

    Dr Hansen suggests that Asian aerosols and other effects have reduced the heat gain by accepting the current OHC measurement as accurate. Dr Trenberth does not believe that 'for a minute' and thinks that the 'missing ocean heat' will be found by more accurate measurement over time.

    Given the complex nature of the time lags in surface temperature measurement and heat exchanges with the oceans, it is hard to say who is right here.

    That temperature 'stasis' and reduced increase or flattening in OHC over the last 5-10 years has occurred together, points to Dr Hansen being right in accepting the reduced OHC numbers. In that case the underlying CO2 and other GHG warming signals might be simply offset by underestimated cooling forcings (Aerosols etc) or poorly understood feedbacks.

    If Dr Trenberth does not find the missing heat in the oceans and does not accept the Dr Hansen's enhanced aerosol cooling effects, then the only explanation is that the CO2 and other positive forcings have been overestimated (or Solar cyclical effects underestimated).

    If the planet configures itself to gain little or no heat for a 5-10 period whether by ENSO-La Nina, aerosol or other effects, when CO2 forcing and related water vapour feedbacks are at post industrial peaks; - the challenge is to explain how the expected heat gain is being lost to space.
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    Response:

    [Daniel Bailey] This thread is about Dr. Pielke's selective and one-sided skepticism and misplaced accusations of ad hominems towards SkS. FYI.

    Trenberth's and Hansen's points and positions are still being discussed in the literature (and Trenberth has a paper in press detailing his case).

  9. Perhaps "Spencer Speculations" and "Christy Curios"?
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  10. Dr. Pielke @104,

    "I will wait to see what the responses are to the science questions I have asked. As I have written, this is where the discussion should be focused."

    Actually, you initially chose to focus on making false accusations against SkS that were not scientific in nature. I concur that the discussion should be focussed on science, but regrettably Dr. Christy and Dr. Spencer often times make a point of not focusing on science. Regardless, SkS has addressed the claims made by Christy and Spencer by discussing the science, so please do not try and suggest that we are not interested in discussing the science here at SkS.

    We are really trying to accommodate you here, and do appreciate you posting here, but we need your cooperation to make this work, and frankly your reluctance to speak to the subject of this thread and the subject initially raised by you, is not being constructive or helpful.

    The fact remains that you made some accusations and claims that need to be dealt with before we can move this forward, and you have been informed a couple of times now that we do intend to deal with your questions and are working on that. But please remember that we did ask you questions first, and that that issue has still not been resolved because of you continually evading questions.

    A lot of questions have been directed at you here, so I was wondering if it would be helpful if someone condensed them into a few key questions (many of them are quite similar)? Please let me know, and I will gladly do that if you wish. All the best.
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  11. Critical Mass @ 110 - ".....then the only explanation is that the CO2 and other positive forcings have been overestimated (or Solar cyclical effects underestimated)"

    I know Kevin Trenberth disagrees, but there are several papers awaiting publication which support global dimming, through Asian aerosols, as the cause of the warming slow-down in the 'noughties'. The dimming occurred in the Southern Hemisphere, which would explain the slow-down in ocean heat content over the last decade.
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  12. Prof. Pielke wrote: "I object to personal attacks by anyone on any side of this issue.". I am glad to hear it. However, as far as I can see the only evidence of an ad-hominem against Spencer or Christy at SkS is that groups of articles presenting scientific criticisms of the work of two climate scientists under the labels "Christy Crocks" and "Spencer Slip-ups".

    I have some sympathy over "Christy Crocks" (as it is a bit rude, rather than because it is an ad-hominem), however there is not an ad-hominem to point out that a scientist has made "slip-ups". We all do, and any scientist that thinks there are immune to slip-ups is setting themselves up for embarassment.

    Personally I think Prof. Pielke should withdraw the accusation of an ad-hominem (an appology to John is in order as well) as he has been unable to substantiate the existence of the ad-hominem. Wherever Spencer and Christy have been criticised it has been their scientiic work that has been criticised, not them personally. Unless Prof. Pielke can demonstrate a post where a genuine ad-hominem has been made.

    Perhaps as a gesture of good faith, Prof. Pielke could post an article on his blog condemning the ad-hominems at, say WUWT, where they are frequently made, demonstrating the truth of the above quote.
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  13. Glenn Tamblyn - Thank you for a response on the science.

    On the ocean data (particularly the upper 700m) it is considered spatially well sampled and robust since 2003. It will replace the surface temperatures as the diagnostic to monitor global warming. Surface air temperatures will always be important, of course, (e.g. growing season length etc) but it is not a measure of heat by itself.

    With respect to your comment "In the long run, CO2 levels unaddressed will become the dominant driver where as currently it is just first among many." I agree; added CO2 will remain a major concern. However, land still has many locations that can be altered, and other climate forcings, such as nitrogren deposition is accelerating and will be accumulating on land and in the oceans. The length of time to "purge" the system of this excess nitogren is unclear. The human role in climate system is more complicated than just the added CO2 and a few other gases as we summarize in
    Pielke Sr., R., K. Beven, G. Brasseur, J. Calvert, M. C

    hahine, R. Dickerson, D. Entekhabi, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, H. Gupta, V. Gupta, W. Krajewski, E. Philip Krider, W. K.M. Lau, J. McDonnell, W. Rossow, J. Schaake, J. Smith, S. Sorooshian, and E. Wood, 2009: Climate change: The need to consider human forcings besides greenhouse gases. Eos, Vol. 90, No. 45, 10 November 2009, 413. Copyright (2009) American Geophysical Union http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/files/2009/12/r-354.pdf

    Now on the moderator's admonition

    "[Daniel Bailey] Glenn, Dr. Pielke is exercising a ploy to divert this thread from its central focus: Dr. Pielke's selective and one-sided skepticism and misplaced accusations of ad hominems towards SkS. Which he still fails to own and address."

    I thought Skeptical Science was about science issues, as Glenn has done. I have discussed on my weblog "the ad hominems towards" Spencer and Christy on SkS, since SKS is not accurately reporting on the quality of their science which they have posted in peer reviewed papers.

    The comments keep bringing up Anthony Watt's website. First, I have worked with Anthony and he is devoted to the highest level of scientific robustness. Second, he does not have boxes with derogatory labels on them identifying individual scientists. SkS does. Anthony even has a link to SkS on his weblog.

    If you want to be taken more seriously by others outside of your view on the climate issue, you should be provide more balance.
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    Moderator Response: [Dikran Marsupial] We are very happy for you to discuss the science with us here at SkS, however please do so on the appropriate thread. SkS is organised this way in order to keep the discussion focussed. As we are unable to comment on the article on your blog it seems reasonable to have an article here devoted to the issue of your accusation of ad-hominems, so on this thread, please restrict your comments to that topic and that topic only. If our reporting of the science is incorrect then I strongly and sincerely encourage you to join the discussion on the relevant threads, your contribution will be greatly valued.
  14. Prof. Pielke wrote: "The comments keep bringing up Anthony Watt's website ... Second, he does not have boxes with derogatory labels on them identifying individual scientists."

    He does however have a category labelled "Al Gore is an idiot", which if selected takes you to the url http://wattsupwiththat.com/category/al-gore-is-an-idiot/.

    Are you going to criticise that?
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  15. Anthony Watts devoted to the highest levels of scienctific robustness? You owe me a new keyboard for that one... Have you actually read the postings on Watts' blog with a critical eye (let alone the comments)? You're happy with thatstandard of climate science reporting, yet claim SkS fails to be 'balanced'? Wow.

    Do you approve of John Christy misleading Congress?

    Do you approve of Watts revealing users details on his blog, of which there are many examples, including one in the comments here and here, let alone approving of the kind of pseudoscience crackpottery presented by Monckton? Watts' most recent post is a clasic example of this, with selective Arctic ice data presentation, not least a spurious correlation found by Soon between the Suan and Arctic temperature, the graph conveniently ends in 2000, when the correlation breaks down. Yet you accuse SkS of not being balanced with respect to the real science. SkepticalScience provides a clear assessment of the real science of climate, well organised by subject, and is in total contrast to the pseudoscience peddled by Watts (many debunkings by Tamino linked here. It's a real shame you can't or won't see this, as you can make the world a better place by clearing up misrepresentations of science.

    Watts' Al Gore comments in relation to the Climate Reality Project are lovely, just not personal at all ... do you defend them, Dr Pielke? As an aside, I cannoet recommend highly enough that you watch the Climate Reality Project videos Dr Pielke - you might find them extremely enlightening.
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  16. "Now you may feel that (for instance) a history of making mistakes is reason to be skeptical of their current and future work; I'd say that is common sense. However whether their current and future work is valid depends on the assumptions and internal consistancy of that work, and the personal chracteristics of the originator are irrelevant, and so at best are a distraction from the substantive issue. "

    True, but when a group is well known for being sloppy their work is validly treated with suspicion. Lest somebunny accuse Eli of being hard on Roy Spencer, Carl Sagan's work was treated similarly by those in the field. It was recognized that he was extremely creative, but it was also recognized that anything he published had to be carefully checked. On balance, Sagan's creativity strongly outweighed the negative sloppiness, but, as Reagan said with Sagan, you had to trust but verify.

    The situation in the public sphere is very different. There, because the only possibility for most people is trust the kind of issues discussed in this thread become dispositive, and the kind of attack that Prof. Pielke let lose have a very specific goal. Make no mistake, it will be picked up by others and therefore it is very important to show that the meteorologist has no cloths.
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    Moderator Response: [Dikran Marsupial] Yes. However one of the nice things about SkS is that it concentrates on the science (where the personalities are irrelevant). There are plenty of other excellent blogs that I could mention that do discuss the sorts of issues you raise, but IMHO at least it is better for SkS to retain its primarily scientiic character, so such things ought to be resisted here.

    Rather a coincidence but I happen to be watching "Cosmos" on DVD this afternoon, nostalgia just isn't what it used to be! ;o)
  17. "On the ocean data (particularly the upper 700m) it is considered spatially well sampled and robust since 2003. It will replace the surface temperatures as the diagnostic to monitor global warming. Surface air temperatures will always be important, of course, (e.g. growing season length etc) but it is not a measure of heat by itself."

    Just of course, as the satellite records have replaced the surface temperature records? Why is Eli strongly tempted to modify that to "It will ADD to the surface temperatures". Perhaps because of experience.

    It took what, 10-15 years before the satellite records approached the accuracy of the surface temperature records. As is natural the folk who were creating the records thought they were perfect and resisted those who thought there might be some problems. Sometime back, before Prof. Pielke had retreated into his commentless shell, but just about the time when the first Argo results were released and immediately picked up by Prof. Pielke as the bee's knees, Eli advised him to wait. And indeed there have been several revisions since.
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  18. The issue of land use has always been of interest to Eli, but there is one problem with thinking that it is the major issue today, better put two, Australian and North America. The nature of the land changed completely over those two very large areas in the 19th century. There were observable effects on climate, but the global change was not nearly as large as in the last century when land use changes were not as large.

    That being said there are two huge and threatening possible land use changes out there, destruction of the Amazon and central African tropical forests driven by conversion of land, but also by anthropic climate change. We lose, we lose.
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  19. Dikran, perhaps I should have more explicitly differentiated "science" and "scientific method." Science includes the politics required to decide where to apply the scientific method. It includes the interpretation of the results as they apply to the human world. It includes decisions of how to go about studying particular phenomena. It includes the social construction of knowledge, and that is a human affair, as much as scientists might like it to take place in some perfectly scientific language. All of that context is required for the scientific method to be of use. The scientific method in isolation is incredibly inefficient (slow) at achieving its objective, an objective that is prerequisite: to make a prediction of the future that is useful to a human(s) (i.e. to know things with reasonable confidence so that one can act).

    The social body compensates Roy Spencer for the performance of science, not simply the scientific method. His decisions to apply the scientific method in such and such a way, to interact with the scientific community in such and such a way, and to communicate his results to the public in such and such a way have been unavoidably shaped by his politics, and that includes those political areas that shouldn't be discussed among family and friends.

    SkS is about the science, not simply the scientific method. If it were just about the scientific method, it would be simply a journal (or perhaps even less than that) and then somewhat redundant. Since it attempts to communicate science to the public for reasons that are totally political (and intensely important), questioning the politics of other climate communicators (Spencer) is appropriate--at least where the politics of those communicators affect their science. And one more point on Spencer: implicit and occasionally explicit in the comments on Spencer, Christy, et al. are the questions "Why did they choose that method?" and "Why did they say that?" We keep asking these questions. To answer them, though, requires a less-than-scientific approach.
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    Moderator Response: [Dikran Marsupial] The comments policy explicitly forbids criticism of peoples motives (and discourages discussion of politics).
  20. #117 DM

    I think the issue here is one of over-reaction on both sides of the debate.

    The authors of this site have a lot invested in the AGW position - both as students and maybe practitioners of the science. There is a natural tendency to protect this edifice from skeptic hordes.

    This also applies to the more extreme skeptics, who give the Lukewarmers a bad name.

    When one's strongly held beliefs are attacked by those who one regards as unqualified, then over-reaction and ad hominem are a slippery slope away.

    However, evidence of error or incompetence is not evidence of bad faith.

    We should all expect that anyone who publishes as a 'scientist' must act in good faith and not knowingly or wilfully publish what they know to be incorrect.

    Labelling individual scientists work in mocking tones (rather juvenile and lacking in wit or subtlety to boot) is not quite a personal attack but more properly marked as bad manners which debases the currency of this site.

    Al Gore is not a scientist and I don't believe has ever published a 'peer reviewed' paper. When polemic is the topic of discussion then political positions become fair game and the bounds of free speech short of libel should apply.
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  21. critical mass:

    Yes, "we should all expect that anyone who publishes as a 'scientist' must act in good faith and not knowingly or willfully publish what they know to be incorrect."

    But these series of articles are focused on specific errors and misrepresentations so egregious that it is not credible that they were simply mistakes. The people involved are too knowledgeable and too skilled to make those kinds of errors by accident. Go to any one of these series and read the articles. These are not differences of opinion or honest mistakes; just as a safe-cracker doesn't end up with the cash by just fooling around.
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  22. critical mass wrote "The authors of this site have a lot invested in the AGW position". Sorry, but that is complete nonsense. Scientists tend to be rather odd people who actually don't mind being proved wrong, as it is usually a pretty interesting experience. Certainly we would generally prefer to be proved wrong rather than continue in ignorance. Anybody who can't handle critcism and takes it personally really ought not to be in science.

    Real scientists go where the science takes them, the climatologists I know are no different, and I'm sure they would like nothing more than to be wrong about the projections.

    Whether a scientific argument is correct or not doesn't depend on whether it comes from a formally qualified scientist or not. An ad-hominem against a politician is just as much a logical fallacy as an ad-hominem against a scientist. The number of peer-reviewed papers someone has published is irrelevant (otherwise what would someones first paper be worth?). For Prof. Pielke to be consistent, he needs to acknowledge that WUWT does go in for ad-hominems and labelling and he needs to be equally critical of WUWT.

    Note that "Christy crocks" and "Spencer slip-ups" refer to arguments made by Christy and Spencer, not to Spencer and Christy themselves. These arguments are shown to be incorrect based on their content not their source. "Al Gore is an idiot" on the other hand is a criticism of the person, and hence actually is an ad-hominem.
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  23. Anyone not able to see from a mile away how this dialogue be recast elsewhere? I can already see the statements:

    "I went to their own site attempting to discuss the science with them, but all I was met with was rhetoric and personal attacks!"

    Mods feel free to delete this comment, i just think you deserve fair warning in the event you didn't already know this is how this is almost certainly going to be misrepresented.

    In the meantime, Dr Pielke i would really like to see you prove me wrong by not doing exactly what i expect. It's unfortunate to me how few people are ever able to rise above such games. I would like to see the topic at hand addressed cordially and appropriately.
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    Moderator Response: [Albatross] Ken, this is not a "game", not for SkS at least. I am not aware of anyone attacking Dr. Pielke here...the word "attack" is unfortunately used commonplace on the internet nowadays and seems to often get confused with "challenged" or factual critique. Recall, that Dr. Pielke initiated this dialogue and has made some unsupported and false accusations in the process. He has also repeatedly evaded some very pertinent questions as they relate to the topic of this thread, "One-sided skepticism". As for your concerns of this exchange being misrepresented by some. I trust that Dr. Pielke and Mr. Watts being men of integrity are above misrepresenting or "spinning" what has transpired thus far. Moreover, please note that while Dr. Pielke is certainly entitled to his opinions, as a scientist of repute, he is not entitled to his own facts when it comes to speaking to the science and those conducting the science. The facts, history, do not support his claim that "and he [Anthony Watts] is devoted to the highest level of scientific robustness", for example. We have been very accommodating and given Dr. Pielke much more lee way and flexibility in terms of staying on topic. We have also urged people, as frustrated as they are, to be polite. And I have offered to condense the many questions directed at Dr. Pielke into a few pertinent questions so that he is not overwhelmed. He has not indicated (yet) that he is open to that offer.
  24. Actually, "Joe Bob is an idiot" is an insult, not an ad hominem argument. Insults do not add to the discussion, and in fact generally detract, but are not part of the process of logical argument.

    If you state "Joe Bob is an idiot, hence his statements about global warming are wrong", then you have committed an ad hominem logical fallacy. You have used an insult rather than evidence/logic related to the issue to attempt to dismiss an argument.

    If on the other hand, you state "Joe Bob has been wrong on A, B, C, and D due to W, X, Y, and Z", where those are logical statements, and then state "Hence I consider Joe Bob an idiot", that is not an ad hominem argument. Rather, it is a judgement based upon past behavior.

    That kind of judgement can be an influence in reviewing further work by Joe Bob, as in the Trust but verify statements made earlier. You do have to be wary of the Poisoning the Well fallacy - dismissing further arguments from a person you hold a negative opinion of without actually judging those arguments.

    But judgement statements such as "Christy Crocks", "Spencer Slip-ups", and "Lindzen Illusions" are supportable by the long list of repeated errors, focus on inadequate models, quickly refuted papers, and public presentation of flawed conclusions by these people.

    Just be careful not to use those labels to shortcut actual evaluation of their work!

    ---

    I will further note that Dr. Pielkes initial accusations were that SkS was dismissing the UAH satellite data based upon ad hominem arguments. That is demonstrably false, and he has presented exactly zero evidence to support that statement.

    Shall we move on now?
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  25. Further to Eli's comments above, a few months ago, Dr Pielke engaged in a debate here on OHC using Argo data.

    As I recall Dr Pielke posited that the data was so accurate that a month by month comparison was an appropriate way to analyse it ie we now understand the Earth's heat balance on a monthly timescale - and that there was no significant noise in the signal(!)

    Mods - I can't find the thread but perhaps you could have a dig through the archive and redirect the debate Dr Pielke is attempting to start here there.

    Dr Pielke - I'd be most interested in whether you have reconsidered your position on that. However, on the relevant thread rather than this one please!
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    Moderator Response: [Albatross] I think this is the thread that you are looking for.
  26. critical mass, you're absolutely correct to say that: "We should all expect that anyone who publishes as a 'scientist' must act in good faith and not knowingly or wilfully publish what they know to be incorrect." The entire process of scientific peer review, dissemination of scientific results and publishing of scientific papers is underpinned by the presumption of good faith.

    Sadly the presumption of good faith is occasionally abused. It's obviously not ad hominem to highlight examples, and we'd be remiss not to do so given the efforts to misrepresent particular fields of science in pursuit of dubious agendas.

    Dr. Roy Spencer, one of the scientists who has a section here ("Spencer's Slip Ups") that you disapprove of, has recently published a paper that seems not to conform with our expectation of "good faith". In fact the Editor of the journal resigned upon realization that the fundamental expection of good faith has been abused. That the presumption of good faith has taken a serious knocking is sadly supported by the fact that Dr. Spencer participated in a press release that constitutes an appalling misrepresentation of the science (see also post on this site describing these events.)

    As you say "..evidence of error or incompetence is not evidence of bad faith". Quite so. However sometimes (and happily quite rarely), we have to recognise that certain specific examples of flawed analyses and misrepresentations are more than simply errors or incompetence...
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  27. Dr. Pielke

    You conclude your most recent post with the following admonition:

    “If you want to be taken more seriously by others outside of your view on the climate issue, you should be provide more balance.”

    You obviously believe that SkS has an official “view on the climate issue.” What do you perceive the SkS view to be?

    Please define what you mean by “climate issue” in your response.
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  28. Let us not forget that Watts piled onto Keith Briffa along with many others (McIntyre, Morano, etc.) while Keith was laid up in a hospital unable to defend his reputation and Watts also accused NOAA scientists of using station dropouts to intentionally manipulate data to show warming.

    SkS holds to the highest standards of science but when the Spencers, Christys, Lindzens, Watts, and Moncktons try to fool themselves and others about AGW, they deserve to be called out. SkS provides good science and corrects bad science. I call that balance.

    I suggest that Dr. Pielke be very careful about who he puts hims arms around.
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  29. Dr. Pielke, I'm also curious about your comment that John Hartz has just highlighted, i.e.: “If you want to be taken more seriously by others outside of your view on the climate issue, you should be provide more balance.”

    The concept of "balance" in the context of climate science seems a curious one to me! In my field (molecular biology/medical biophysics) such a concept hardly exists - the fundamental imperatives are scientific rigour and good faith in one's interpretation and dissemination of scientific data; "balance" seems more appropriate to political arguments! My experience is that good faith efforts at scientific rigour are what make this site (and others like RealClimate that focus rather stringently on the science) great value as sources for education and communication.

    And one can hardly accuse this site of not giving due consideration to papers and presentations that apparently cast doubt on the prevailing evidence-based views of particular elements of the science, since that seems to be a particular "house" speciality! The fact that a robust but essentially polite and on-topic discussion is actively encouraged in comments, means that any errors of fact or logic, and alternative interpretations are highlighted or given an airing.

    So, in your opinion, what elements are lacking which would otherwise "provide more "balance"?
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  30. critical mass: "The authors of this site have a lot invested in the AGW position - both as students and maybe practitioners of the science. There is a natural tendency to protect this edifice from skeptic hordes."

    That, Dikran, is a comment on motivation and a violation of the comments policy, but I urge you to let it remain, because it's an excellent example of how many people might misunderstand the climate science communication situation. Critical mass, you're assuming that the theory can't defend itself. That's all anyone here does with the theory: point out and explain the specific studies that form the foundation of the theory. There is no protecting. There is no attempt to conserve an ur-version of the theory. When a study emerges that requires fundamental changes to the theory, that study is given a hard critical look and then either rejected with reason, modified with reason, or accepted--and so the theory changes. While the basics of AGW haven't changed in decades, many of the fine details have. It's open to change, and nothing is rejected without consideration.

    I'll use religion in a different way, just to irritate DM, in order to suggest that AGW as a theory is not accepted in a universal form. Like the major religions, there are core features that are accepted, but there is great variety in the details. Thus, your perceived edifice lacks solidity, and where it is solid it doesn't really need defending (except to keep people from repeatedly running full speed into it and hurting themselves, ala the 2nd Law thread).
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  31. Regarding the moderator comment -

    "Moderator Response: [Dikran Marsupial] We are very happy for you to discuss the science with us here at SkS, however please do so on the appropriate thread. SkS is organised this way in order to keep the discussion focussed. As we are unable to comment on the article on your blog it seems reasonable to have an article here devoted to the issue of your accusation of ad-hominems, so on this thread, please restrict your comments to that topic and that topic only. If our reporting of the science is incorrect then I strongly and sincerely encourage you to join the discussion on the relevant threads, your contribution will be greatly valued."

    You post a "rogues' gallery" on your website ["Christy Croks"; "Lindzen Illusions!"; "Monckton Myths"; and "Spencer Slipups" and are then surprised a number of my colleagues, as well as myself, consider this as degrogatory. I do not necessarily agree with all of their statements, but you are not going to broaden the appeal of your weblog unless you move away from this approach and just focus on the science. Such labeling of individuals is not constructive.

    I raised the issue on my weblog that I view the SkS labeling as ad hominems because I have published with John Christy and have directly interacted with Roy Spencer. They do not deserve such labeling. If similar rouges' gallerys were made of any other colleague who I have recently published with and/or closely worked with, I would also post on my website alerting the community who reads my blog of such a derogatory presentation.

    This is the last statement I will be making on this thread, since, in response to the SkS request from Dikran Marsupial, the discussion of science issues on this thread, that some of your commenters have made in response to my questions, is discouraged.

    I will defer from further involvement at SkS until (if SkS chooses) there is a separate post on the specific science issues I asked about earlier in this thread and on my weblog.

    Please alert me when you do if you are interested in a scientific discourse with me. I do appreciate, that you did not exclude any of my comments in this thread.
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    Moderator Response: [Dikran Marsupial] The discussion of the science is only discouraged on this particular thread. I (and I suspect many others here) would be very happy to discuss the scientific issues with you on the relvant threads). Your further participation here is very much encouraged.
  32. Roger,

    It is quite possible that there will be a follow-up post regarding the specific issues you raised.
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  33. Prof Pielke You may well feel that Spencer and Christy do not deserve the titles associated with their series of articles, however I don't think that Al Gore deserves to be called an idiot either, which as I pointed out is the categorisation of threads relating to him at WUWT. Do you think that is wrong as well.

    If it is O.K. to level ad-hominems at anyone you think deserves it, then indeed you are being one-sided. If on the other hand you are against ad-hominems, then how about directly criticising WUWT for the labelling of Al Gore as an idiot?
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  34. Dr. Pielke, I would suggest that if you have an issue with your colleagues being categorized as "rogues", as you put it, that you request that they stop behaving as such, for example by frequently misinforming the public and policymakers on climate issues. And as others have noted, these categorizations certainly do not stoop to the level of another of your colleagues, Anthony Watts, with his "Al Gore is an Idiot" category.
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  35. Dr. Pielke wrote: "I raised the issue on my weblog that I view the SkS labeling as ad hominems because I have published with John Christy and have directly interacted with Roy Spencer. They do not deserve such labeling."

    And yet, when invited to defend their work by showing how the analysis in those threads is wrong you have declined to do so.

    So... you say they do not deserve to be accused of having engaged in false statements / bad science (e.g. "slips ups"), but you decline to dispute any of the evidence presented in those threads?

    I don't think many people will apologize for holding the extensively cited evidence that Spencer, Christy, and others DO deserve to be called out for false and misleading claims over your unsubstantiated opinion to the contrary.
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  36. If Dr Pielke wants everyone to focus on the science then he should have started there instead of throwing accusations against SkS that he has so far been unable to substantiate. It's cheap to yell "ad-hom" on a site without comments allowed and then, when called out on it, come here and say "let's talk about something else."

    The lack of focus on the science is exactly the reason why Spencer and Christy's statements were named the way they were on SkS. And that, once again, does not consitute an ad-hom, as we were reminded by numerous posts. We are all still waiting on a quote from SkS using ad-hom to attempt an attack on the UAH data, another unsubstantiated accusation.

    As for Anthony Watts, he keeps being mentioned because of Dr Pielke's association with him and the problem of double standards in scientific skepticism, which is the subject of this thread.

    The opinion of many contributors to SkS is that the scientific skepticism as WUWT is so one sided as to be hardly deserving of the word. Accusations of fraud and questioning of the motives of very reputable scientists are also so common there that it is truly surprising that they have escaped lawsuits for so long.

    I asked Dr Pielke earlier if he could point us to an instance of him defending scientists subjected to such accusations on WUWT (or elsewhere) but I haven't found a link yet.

    Anthony Watts committed to highest level of scientific robustness? Like when he allows a post where percent of snow cover are averaged without area weighing, leading to outrageously stupid numbers? Like the carbonic snow episode? It was rather amusing to see Watts himself encourage a little high school type experiment because neither him nor Goddard nor the posting crowd could understand and "trust" the phase diagram of CO2. Should we consider that this is what Dr Pielke consider as dedication to scientific robustness or did he mean someting else?

    There is also the occurrence in which Watts published the working address of a scientist and encouraged his readers to physically go there to challenge him. Is that also a manifestation of dedication to scientific robustness? I wonder.
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  37. Dr Pielke,

    I agree with you that the labelling of scientists here is unfortunate.

    In the same spirit I hope you can acknowledge that the disinformation put out to Congress that by Dr Christy was also very undesirable?

    I look forward to you engaging in the science of OHC on the link provided by Albatross above.

    Specifically you never replied to my point then that "the variability in the monthly data is not just a small amount, but at least an order of magnitude too large to justify your claim that a monthly snapshot can provide a planetary heat balance on that timescale."

    I'd love a response

    thanks
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  38. Would I be right in saying that Dr Pielke failed to answer any of the questions and requests pertinent to this thread made of him by the SkS team?

    This is despite a whole sequence of verbose posts by him attempting to divert the conversation from the topic of this thread. Clearly he's not willing to call Christy and Spencer out for their bad science and worse science communication, nor is he willing to support his allegation of ad hominem aimed at SkS. He can discuss the science at any one of hundreds of threads on this site, and it would indeed be interesting to understand where he thinks there is error in these posts, or to see if he has moved on from his history of cherry-picking as noted by RealClimate and on an earlier thread here at SkS.

    If he is afraid of criticising his colleagues, that doesn't make him a very good scientist.
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    Response:

    [DB] "Would I be right in saying that Dr Pielke failed to answer any of the questions and requests pertinent to this thread made of him by the SkS team?"

    10-Roger on that.  The inescapable conclusion one is forced to draw is that Dr. Pielke under no circumstances will admit to having been wrong.  Thus, he cedes the Field of Truth to Skeptical Science.

  39. Dr. Pielke is making another false statement when he says "Please alert me when you do if you are interested in a scientific discourse with me". This thread is very much about The Science, it is about Dr. Pielke's (and his colleagues'/associates') one-sided skepticism of The Science.

    Dr. Pielke also seems to be under the incorrect impression that the sole purpose of SkS right now is to answer his selected questions-- well, we have other projects and responsibilities that require attention.

    Dr. Pielke is free to also discuss the science on the dozens of other threads that deal with scientific issues such as OHC etc.

    Dr. Pielke has elected to use the term "rouges' gallery", nowhere on SkS do we refer to the buttons in that manner. Those buttons appear with other buttons such as "OA not OK" and "Interactive history of climate science".
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  40. Although we have not used the term "rogues gallery" on SkS, personally I don't have a problem with it, depending on how the term is defined. The so-called "rogues" are those who very frequently misinform the public and policymakers on climate related issues, and thus are deserving of their own series of myth rebuttals. If Dr. Pielke wants to classify his colleagues "rogues" for this behavior, I'm fine with that. What I have a problem with is complaining about their "rogue" classification while denying and tacitly endorsing their reprehensible behavior.
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  41. Dr. Pielke's parting shot reminds me of the chorus of "Charlie and the MTA" made famous by the Kingston Trio.

    Did he ever return?
    No he never returned
    And his fate is still unlearn'd
    He may ride forever
    'neath the streets of Boston
    He's the man who never returned.
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  42. Am I reading this correct, that Dr Pielke is only concerned about what he considers derogatory representations (regardless of the content of the actual posts) of specifically colleagues whom he has directly worked or interacted with?

    So, Monckton's Myths and Lindzen's Illusions are okay? (Assuming he's not worked with Lindzen.) And therefore, also, all the derogatory representations made toward Trenberth, Mann, Phil Jones, and a long list of others, is also fine and dandy?

    I'm trying to determine if he is only offended by what he considers derogatory representations of people whom he chooses to agree with or if it's truly limited to those whom he has worked with.
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  43. Rob Honeycutt:

    It would be prudent for SkS to ask Dr. Pielke for a complete list of the other scientists that he has worked with during his career.
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  44. I propose SkSc add another button, "Skepticism a’la Pielke sr".

    As far as I can tell, he has here been reminded by moderator 7 times (8?) what the thread is about. Despite the post, the update, the moderator reminders and some 70+(?) relevant comments he has just refused to answer simple questions. He has refused to either support or withdraw his unsupported and false accusations and he is
    still unwilling to be skeptical about his fellow "skeptics". Instead he has kept on diverting attention and defending one "side". Doesn’t this behavior look oh so familiar?

    Look into his blog and his history and the readers can then judge for themselves. He himself probably thinks he is "constructive" and "balanced", but just take a closer look and it becomes clear that his embarrassing performance in this thread has a simple explanation. Pielke sr. is utterly one-sided, and not much better than the colleagues he prefer to defend.

    You can even start very simple, with his "I have worked with Anthony and he is devoted to the highest level of scientific robustness", contrasted with his view of SkSc ("If you want to be taken more seriously by others outside of your view on the climate issue, you should be provide more balance"). What a denial.

    Then look at his "I object to personal attacks by anyone on any side of this issue". And contrast that with what he actually does; defending the misinformants (sorry) "he has worked with", and ... who else? Revkin once in 2005? What a denial.

    One more idea is that Albatross could "condense the many questions directed at Dr. Pielke into a few pertinent questions so that he is not overwhelmed". Those questions Pielke can post on his own blog, and answer them there. I don’t think Pielke will ever actually answer, but hey Dr. Pielke: I will be able to admit I was wrong.
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  45. Stig Mikalsen:

    Well said! Thank you.
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  46. I wonder what Dr. Pielke would do if presented with a list of several hundred actual ad hominems issued by himself and the many scientists with which he's worked over the years (I could harvest several hundred from WUWT alone, never mind Spencer), as opposed to the few that he accuses SkS of committing (which aren't even ad hominems). Would he then admit his error?

    I feel that this thread has given Dr. Pielke every opportunity to illustrate that he is not a hypocrite, and yet he has failed to avail himself of those opportunities. So be it.
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  47. Rob Honeycutt wrote: "Am I reading this correct, that Dr Pielke is only concerned about what he considers derogatory representations (regardless of the content of the actual posts) of specifically colleagues whom he has directly worked or interacted with?"

    In fairness to Dr. Pielke, I don't think his point in citing his connection with Spencer and Christy is to say 'only scientists I know deserve respect'. Rather, I think his point is that he has direct experience and thus 'knows' that they 'produce good work' or some such.

    However, he also 'knows' that Anthony Watts is dedicated to the highest scientific standards, so...

    Essentially, it comes down to Dr. Pielke citing his 'opinion' and then refusing to say anything about the (frankly overwhelming) evidence to the contrary. At which point it really boils down to the old saw about people being entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts. Believing that Anthony Watts is dedicated to high scientific standards is certainly NOT a reality based 'opinion'. If it were, Dr. Pielke could defend his position against the many cited examples to the contrary rather than just evading them. This is also not 'skepticism', not even "one-sided" skepticism. It is denial.
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  48. Ditto what CBD said in #147. It's understandable that Dr. Pielke would want to defend those he has worked with and believes are good and honest scientists. However, Dr. Pielke has refused to acknowledge the behavior of his colleagues outside of their collaborations (i.e. misinforming Congress, the American public, engaging in real ad hominems, etc.

    Apparently only the behavior Dr. Pielke witnesses firsthand counts. And that's a problem, because then not only does he fail to hold his colleagues accountable for their unacceptable behavior, but he criticizes those of us who do try to hold them accountable.
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  49. This is now getting plain silly Dr. Pielke. I'm referring to his latest post here.

    The comments policy here says:

    "No off topic comments. Stick to the subject at hand. If you have something to say about an unrelated topic, use the Search form in the left margin to find the appropriate page."

    Others' posts were deleted, his off-topic posts were not deleted. Dr. Pielke received preferential treatment by moderators, and we went out of our way to accommodate him.

    Unfortunately, Dr. Pielke is apparently, unlike many others here, is unwilling to follow some simple rules and speak to the science in question on the relevant thread that deals with that particular scientific topic.

    I am very sad to say that Dr. Pielke's latest post on his blog (which does not allow comments) also means that I was wrong when I said earlier that:

    "I trust that Dr. Pielke and Mr. Watts being men of integrity are above misrepresenting or "spinning" what has transpired thus far."
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  50. Basically, Dr Pielke was unwilling to address the real issue at hand, which was whether his colleague's had made scientific blunders and mistatements, and whether characterizing them as such etc was therefore justified (colorful language aside).

    Now he seems to be complaining about being held to that standard. Given that he largely seemed interested in directing attention away from the central topic, I can see why he would complain about SkSs organization and moderation, which is explcicitly designed to avoid exactly that.

    Maybe he prevaricated out of a sense of loyalty because he knew Christy's and Spencer's statements could not be directly supported. Such loyalty may be admirable, but it doesn't change the facts.
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