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Climate Hustle

SkS: testimony to the potential of social media and the passion of volunteers

Posted on 21 September 2012 by John Cook

Skeptical Science appears in a surprisingly diverse range of media. SkS is being adopted into university curriculum, is found in textbooks, books, mainstream media, quoted in blogs and reposted in other websites. The wide adoption of our content is a testimony to the potential of social media and the passionate commitment of the SkS community.

In the early years of the website, I knew it was impossible for a single person to keep up with the torrent of climate misinformation. I was constantly on the look-out for fellow communicators to help write content for Skeptical Science. Whenever someone emailed me a positive comment about the website, I'd reply with "thanks, want to help?". Cue sound of hurried footsteps, car door slamming followed by screeching tyres. For several years, the effort to build a team of authors met with no success.

The turning point came when Sydney physicist Michael Ashley suggested I write the myth rebuttals at three levels - basic, intermediate and advanced. I replied "great idea, Mike, want to help?" Cue screeching tyres. Nevertheless, the idea nagged at me until I could ignore it no more and posted a call to action for help in converting my collection of intermediate rebuttals into basic versions. The result was instantaneous and overwhelming with a rush of volunteers eager to help convert my technobabble into plain English (maybe they all just thought they could do a better job than me).

Overnight, an author community formed, an indication of the non-linear, unpredictable (and exciting) nature of social media. I had to quickly cobble together a forum enabling the group of volunteers from all over the world to collaborate and review each others' work. To organise the flow of information, we implemented a review system for critiquing each other's rebuttals before going live. I described the history of the forum in December 21 when giving a presentation at the University of Victoria, Canada, hosted by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions. Incidentally everything I say about Google ranking is now obselete with the Google Panda update.

Throughout its history, SkS has received no funding from any institutions or organisations. Due to the passionate support of the team of volunteers, the only expense incurred is hosting and domain renewal, which is covered by Paypal donations. Our volunteers come from all over the world, with scientists, students, laypeople, engineers, illustrators making up our numbers.

"SkS-review" has become an immensely effective method of quality control, allowing SkS to maintain a high standard of scientific accuracy. It's a system we're very proud of, because we have many well-informed individuals and scientists ensuring our content is accurate and minimize the number of mistakes. A testament to this quality is adoption of SkS content into university curriculum and textbooks but also telling is that attacks on SkS have not been about our scientific content, but come in the form of conspiracy theories and the illegal hacking of our forum.

SkS Forum Hacked

In March this year, the SkS database was illegally hacked and private user details and correspondence was uploaded onto the web. At the time, I didn't give too many details about how the hacker was able to obtain the entire database for security reasons, but I will share more details now. The hacker hijacked an SkS user account, uploaded files onto the server enabling them to gain access to the entire database, deleted log files to cover their tracks and stole a dump of the entire database. This was achieved using more than two dozen different IP addresses from all over the world over a 5 hour period. At the time, I posted that the hacker uploaded the personal details of every SkS user account, but I've since discovered that he omitted the personal details of any known climate contrarians in our user database. While posting the private details on the web, the hacker also lied about his illegal actions, a falsehood all too eagerly accepted by those needing an excuse to partake in the unethical process of publishing stolen private correspondence.

Conspiracy Theories about SkS

Over the years, a number of conspiracy theories have sprung up about SkS. It's hard to say which is the most amusing (so many to choose from!) but high up the list is this excitable conspiracy theory endorsed by a Watts Up With That moderator:

"...a well known billionaire is funding the pseudo science blog sceptical science. That billionaire is a multiple convicted felon who worked willingly for the Nazis in WWII. How is that not headline news?"

Billy from Facebook has another theory on the SkS gravy train:

"John Cook is the creator and he is an advisor to rothschild australia who controls australias carbon market. Its hard for me to except considering my research has uncovered a huge rothschild connection and he is an advisor for their board which handles the cap+trade and carbon tax market in australia."

The most flattering conspiracy theory has to be this comment which I often quote in public talks as evidence of the powerful potential of social media:

"I worked out recently it's impossible for one man to turn out a constantly updating and slick as grease website 'in his spare time'. I even went as far as to surmise he may just be a front for the IPCC or Globe International as it would need a team of professionals to create such a site and probably a few PR experts at the head."

That people argue they're not conspiracy theorists by appealing to conspiracy theories demonstrates the results of Lewandowsky's paper more eloquently than any statistical analysis ever could

In the last few weeks, there's been a surge of SkS conspiracy theories. The irony is these are in response to an in-press paper by Stephan Lewandowsky, Klaus Oberauer and Gilles Gignac that finds a statistically significant link between the rejection of the scientific consensus on climate change and conspiratorial thinking. That people argue they're not conspiracy theorists by appealing to conspiracy theories demonstrates the results of Lewandowsky's paper more eloquently than any statistical analysis ever could. The long, illuminating history of these conspiracy theories will be examined at a later date (be patient, there is sooo much material to sort through!) but for now, let's shine some sunlight on the most over-the-top conspiracy theory of them all. This originated from Anthony Watts who claims:

"That’s quite a little activist organization they have running out of the University of [W]estern Australia. I wonder if UWA officials realize the extent that UWA has become a base for this global climate activism operation and if they condone it?"

Up to that point, the conspiracy theories regarding Lewandowsky's paper involved relatively small-scale conspiracies to falsify data (Steve McIntyre uses the word "scam" 21 times in one article). Watts takes it to a whole new level with his imagined "global climate activism operation". The subsequent comments thread is a journey into the surreal - look for the out-of-left-field assertion that Maths Professor Kevin Judd is the puppetmaster pulling the strings behind this global conspiracy (affirmed by two other WUWT commenters).

This conspiracy theory was also recently uncritically republished by Judith Curry in an unintentionally ironically titled article BS Detectors:

"SkepticalScience seems to becoming the ringleader for conspiratorial activities by the green climate bloggers.  All this is high entertainment for those of us who follow the climate blog wars.  But take a step back, and consider how bad this makes you look, and how poorly it reflects on the science and ’cause’ that you are trying to defend."

The fact that the attacks towards Skeptical Science consist of conspiracy theories and quote mining from stolen private correspondence testifies to the high quality content created by the SkS team and the success of the SkS forum internal review quality control system. Scientists explicitly endorse the level of quality of the content and the unwillingness of deniers to engage with the scientific content is an implicit endorsement. While combing through somebody else's private discussions may be a convenient distraction from the alarmingly rapid climate change that scientists are documenting, it is not helping us solve the problem. We intend to remain focused on what really matters, such as the alarmingly rapid decline in Arctic sea ice and increase in extreme weather events.

UPDATE 24 Sep 2012: in another unintentionally ironically titled post, Anthony Watts espouses more conspiracy theories about SkS:

  • Anthony is in no doubt that Skeptical Science's ongoing analysis of peer-reviewed climate research is part of the UWA/SkS global activist operation. In actuality, UWA have had nothing to do with this research although according to Anthony, it has Stephan Lewandowsky's fingerprints all over it (that kind of over-imaginative extrapolation is a hallmark of conspiracy ideation).
  • Anthony hints that SkS is behind the DDoS attacks on Joanne Codling's blog (more over-imaginative extrapolation - well, not so much extrapolation as that requires data - this is just pure imagination).

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Comments 1 to 50 out of 60:

  1. I think the denialists are in damage control mode with this year's Arctic sea ice extent shattering the previous record by over three quarters of a million square km. And they didn't appreciate Lewandowsky shining a light on their conspiratorial thinking. So they went into über conspiracy thinking and super attack mode, casting all ethical standards aside to troll through stolen private correspondence.

    Meanwhile back here in the real world, the SkS team will continue reporting on the goings on of the global climate, including that inconvenient and alarming Arctic sea ice record.
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  2. The stolen dump has been seen on the web by now then? It's been a while since I've been to SkS and now I wish I had been a little more regular lately.
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    Response: [JC] The stolen SkS database has been online since March 2012 but there has been renewed interest since the release of Lewandowsky's paper finding a link between climate denial and conspiracy theorising - ironically in search for conspiracies in our private correspondance. Some bloggers have held off on republishing stolen correspondance for ethical reasons but have managed to overcome those pesky ethics more recently.
  3. @John Cook:

    Nice article but you forgot to mention that all will be revealed on Dec 21 of this year.
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  4. If anyone sees any quotes mined from the stolen private forum, I would urge them to pay attention to the ellipses. In one quoted passage that I saw recently, there were eight ellipses. You can bet that the editing was done to remove context and qualifiers in the original and to try to frame the comment in the worst possible light.
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  5. I'm reminded to put in a plug for PICS. Those are good folks, they arranged a fine tour, got radio shows, etc. IF you ever get a chance to go, try to do, not just Vancouver and Victoria, but go to Prince George, at U of Northern British Columbia, about an hour's flight from Vancouver. They've done a great job on sustainability and they love to see outside speakers.
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  6. Andy@4,

    That's a standard practice of most "skeptic"-criminals, including those who stole the East Anglia emails and later distorted Phil Jones' correspondence. All of that described with details in Mike Mann's book "Hockey Stick and Climate Wars": arguably one of the best documentary books on this subject.
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  7. Brilliant writing John. Am I the only one thinking there must be a book/movie deal in this?
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  8. OK, I've been working on what I hope will turn out to be a useful instructional software package. I didn't know what to call it until skepticalscience provoked the latest Watts "melt-down".

    That inspired me to call it the "WattsBuster" package. ;)

    Basically, I built on the crude global-average temperature project that I had posted about here many moons ago -- I "duct-taped" an updated version of my global-temperature code together with gnuplot and the QGIS (Quantum Geographical Information System) app to produce a "pointy-clicky roll-your-own" global-temperature computation package.

    The package consists of a QGIS "client" plus a global temperature anomaly computation/display "server".

    To create the "client", I hacked at one of the QGIS plugins a bit to get it to extract the ID# of the station that was just clicked on and send it to the "server" side via a TCP socket connection. I then created a QGIS project file that when loaded into QGIS, creates a global map display overlain with clickable GHCN station locations.

    The server side (my simple global-anomaly code inside a TCP server-socket "wrapper" function) then launches a gnuplot session (via popen) that displays the raw and homogenized data of the station that was just clicked on.

    If you just click on a station on the QGIS map, the server app displays just the data for that station. If you hold down the control key while clicking on stations, the server app updates/displays global-average temperature anomalies based on the stations that were "ctrl-clicked" (i.e. each station that gets "clicked" on gets added to the average).

    The gnuplot display window shows results computed from raw and homogenized data, along with the offical NASA/GISS "meteorological stations" index for comparison.

    Below the global-average temperature plot in the gnuplot window is a plot of the number of the selected stations that actually reported data for any given year. So when the temperature estimates for the stations that you've selected deviate significantly from the NASA/GISS results for any given time-period, you can look to see how many (or how few) of your selected stations actually reported data for that time period.

    In my experimentation with this setup, I have found that by the time you've selected 30-40 stations (globally scattered) that report data for any given time period, the global-average results line up quite nicely with the NASA/GISS results. This holds true for both raw and homogenized data.

    It's really quite remarkable how few stations you need to produce global-average temperature results that line up nicely with NASA's.

    By the time you've selected a few dozen well-scattered stations, you will see that raw data, adjusted/homogenized data, rural data, urban data, etc. all produce similar results that line up amazingly well with the NASA results. I have found that the raw data results actually tend to match the NASA results a tad better than the adjusted data results do - go figure!

    I've tested the setup on Linux 32 bit, OSX 32/64 bit, and Windows-XP/Cygwin 32 bit systems (systems I had access to for testing).

    The stuff I've put together is useable, but it's definitely still in the rough "proof of concept" stage.

    It's definitely a bit of a project to get set up and running. Folks who have Linux boxen with all the trimmings will probably have the easiest time of it. It will be a bit more work for OSX and Windows systems.

    For OSX, you will need the gcc/g++ compiler package, a working X-server, and gnuplot (which I was able to compile from source-code very easily on a 6-year-old macbook).

    For Windows, you will need Cygwin/X (with the X-server, gcc/g++, and gnuplot packages). Cygwin/X includes gcc/g++ and gnuplot, but you have to make sure that those packages are selected by the Cygwin installer.

    QGIS is available at:
    Gnuplot is available at:
    Cygwin/X is available at:

    I've uploaded the whole ball of wax (including all the temperature data you need) to this easy-to-remember link:

    There's a README file in the package that explains (hopefully clearly) how to get everything up and running.
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  9. I'm very annoyed with SkS. You've been running a conspiracy and yet I have not been invited to partake. Harrumph. (Insert sarccy smiley about here.)
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  10. caerbannog and any other interested coders:

    One of my side projects has been re-implementing a computationally efficient version of the temperature record calculation in Javascript so you can run it in your browser (assuming it's a recent one) with no other software. I've currently got a rough working version which has options to switch between CRU-like or GISTEMP-like calculations from the CRU data (GHCN planned). You can also pull in the HadSST2/3 data to produce a land-ocean index. Results are graphed in the browser using an HTML5 canvas. In CRU-mode the calculation takes a few seconds, in GISTEMP mode a minute or two.

    The project is stalled because I'm working on a more important project. If anyone wants to get involved and make this come to fruition I'd be very happy.
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  11. I have donated vast sums to SKS and you still tell me off when I am scientifically wrong! Your integrity is something to be feared. This situation is just wrong as you should advocate what your backers want not what is real that is based on evidence. I do not know how you know that I do not know. All I know is you are not a nice person and worthy of much fruitless investigation. I will remain not yours seething in ignorance and hope! Bert
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  12. I've always enjoyed SkS for the factual content, so a big thank you.

    The Lewandowsky response though, is just hilarious. My favourite from one of the Watts threads (remember, Anthony is furious about skeptics being portrayed as conspiracists):

    POSTER: I also want to know why Jo Nova’s site shows a notice saying it has been ‘Suspended’. What is behind this?

    REPLY: DDoS attacks. She’s had a couple of threads outlining them. I wonder what sort of group might want to take down her website? Oh, wait. – Anthony

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  13. It's worth pointing out that the SkS author community is made up of a larger pool of volunteers than is apparant from the team page.

    Also, as author of a handful of articles published at SkS over the past year or so, I can honestly testify that no World Government Eco-Nazi Billionaire funding has found it's way to me yet!
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  14. #13 - me neither!!!
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  15. One of my other regular science-based blogs routinely discusses the rhetoric and conspiracy-mongering of the anti-vaccine movement, both as an isolated instance of anti-science denialism and as a component of the wider phenomenonof "alternative medicine".

    That the behaviour of self-styled "skeptics" is indistinguishable from the behaviour of anti-vaccine activists (who may be found at such august fora as Age of Autism or Thinking Mom's Revolution) or alt-med charlatans such as Mike Adams or Joe Mercola speaks volumes.
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  16. Just a quick note -- I forgot to include an important file in the "WattsBuster" package that I uploaded to the WattsBuster link. So to anyone downloaded the zip file at that link, you will need to download it again. Apologies to those with slow net connections.

    Note to Kevin C: As much as I'd like to help, I don't have any experience developing browser-based apps -- by the time I got up far enough on the learning curve to be of much help, someone else with real experience in that area could probably have that all pretty well wrapped up. But here's hoping that an experienced developer out there will take up that ball and run with it. It looks like a very worthwhile project.
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  17. JohnHartz@3: I *think* you meant, "repealed."


    To echo some here, I'm grateful for SkS and its wide and very deep database: I find I access it almost daily in combatting the denilati on other various blogs. I look forward to doing more to help address this critical issue and thank all the "regulars" for educating me way better, and faster, than going back to school.

    Anyway, by the time I *might* be able toa fford schooling again, 21 December will ahve come and gone.

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  18. Note to self: I *really* gotta get a new keyboard. This one makes ~way~ too many typos......;)
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  19. Just another quick note: I uploaded a "WattsBuster Light" zip file to It does not include the GHCN temperature data, so is a much smaller download.
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    The SkS "Skunk Works" is located in John Cook's vast wine cellar. The fumes affect SkS authors everytime we meet there.

    Most of the George Soros funding received by SkS is used to pay for the travel expenses of SkS authors flying to and from their home location to Queensland, Australia.

    Until this year, we held an annual summer meeting in an igloo in the Arctic circle.
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  21. caerbannog:
    No problem. I've just discovered Web Workers, which have solved a major headache I had in developing the app (i.e. avoiding constant callbacks or freezing the browser during the calc). So I might be able to get the project moving again.
    Hope yours goes well.
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  22. Note to self: I *really* gotta get a new keyboard. This one makes ~way~ too many typos......;)

    To keep that from happening, you might want to refrain from visiting WUWT while sipping hot coffee. ;)
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  23. I'll have to admit to be a new user happy to stumble across your site. I have to say congratulations after reading your first paragraph. Technical acceptance with media and educational institutions sure to eventually overcome the dollars of denial.
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  24. Clockwork: Not quite Friday Funny .

    "Apparently Mr. Cook doesn’t feel the Nature editorial putting science on notice saying: ‘Better models are needed before exceptional events can be reliably linked to global warming’ is worth heeding. It’s climate activist comedy gold."

    Look at said editorial at Nature .

    Apparently mr Watts can only read bold lettering so he got stuck in the first line and didn't manage to read what follows:

    "As climate change proceeds — which the record summer melt of Arctic sea-ice suggests it is doing at a worrying pace — nations, communities and individual citizens may begin to seek compensation for losses and damage arising from global warming."
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  25. Followed that link to Curry's site and read her post. Wow. She's really has gone off the deep end. How sad.
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  26. Interesting article John. Being a relatively late comer here, I was not aware of the early beginnings of SkS. Myself excluded, together with your team you have accomplished an amazing achievement.

    Your success and integrity when communicating the science are obviously rubbing certain personalities in the blogosphere the wrong way-- no longer will their distortions and cherry-picking go unchallenged. It is pretty sad that their only response thus far have been repeated personal attacks, vitriol, bluster and the hacking of the private forum. Surely it would require much less effort on their part to avoid twisting and contorting the data and science in the first place?

    They must have no idea how poorly such juvenile and mendacious behaviour reflects on them (for those of us who are in touch the world outside blogs), because they seem incapable of stopping themselves.

    In the meantime, I am confident that SkS will continue to do an excellent job refuting the stream of misinformation, spin and misrepresentations made by "skeptics" and those in denial about anthropogenic global warming. Not to mention also elucidating the complexities of climate science to a broader audience.
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  27. I am amazed that most of Ms Curry's comments have nothing to do with the science. the closest she gets is talking about uncertainty, but even then, she seems to believe it only goes one direction.
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  28. caerbannog@22, I try my darndest to not visit WUWT, anytime, irrespective of what may squirt from my nose..;( I really only visit it when I *have* to, and it's usually some dad-blamed thread on here that makes me--forces me--to go there.

    Something about the cessation of a hammer and its collision with a/my head, methinks.

    finally, I'm *pissed*, and not in the Aussie way: Where the hell are all *my* funds, from being a "money-grubbing" scientist?? The "gravy train" I see resembles more along the lines of a Lionel choo-choo, than anything like..yannow..keeping one foot ahead of bill collectors.

    Starve with dignity, I say!
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  29. The amount of funding avaialable for science pales in comparison to the Trillions of dollars in income that the fossil fuel industry has generated over the past couple of centuries and will generate under a "Business as Usual" scenario in the future.

    The Wattsonians have spent way too much time rattling around in the Climate Denial Spin Machine. It has negatively affected their ability to think in a rational manner.
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  30. Hartz:

    According to Grist magazine ( the oil lobby spends "millions" to defeat AGW legislation.

    According to UC Research( US government alone has spend $79 BILLION in the last 20+ years.

    I have seen these kinds of numbers from numerous sources.
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  31. SirNubwub, money spent on climate research is to measure and understand what's happening to our climate. A key question is how many millions have the oil lobby spent conducting climate research versus funding of PR misinformation.
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  32. @SirNubwub #30:

    The fossil fuel industry is composed of multinational corporations doing business in countries throughout the world. Go back to your drawing board and calculate how much money these corporations annually spend on lobbying and bribing the governments of the countries they do business in.

    While you’rer at it, compute how much money the fossil fuel industry spends annually in the US on greenwashing advertisements (i.e., “clean coal”) and on infomercials designed to motivate voters to support Republican candidates for office.

    While your at it, compute compute how much money the fossil fuel industry spends annually in Canada on greenwashing advertisements (i.e., “clean coal”) and on infomercials designed to motivate voters to support Conservative candidates for office.

    Repeat the above calculations for every other major industrialized country in the world.

    Given the big picture of what happens on a global basis, the fossil fuel industry has spent and continues to spend enornmous sums of money throughout the world to perpetuate the Business As Usual conditions that allow it to generate trillions of dollars annually in revenues.
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  33. SirNubWub, what sort of critical thinker are you who accepts the word of a blogger at face value. I say UCResearch is wrong. According to your apparent methodology, my opinion is as valid as that of UCResearch. Upon what basis do you choose one opinion over the other?

    Further, you would have to establish that the research supported by the government was fraudulent. I know you believe that, but you have no evidence. If the research is not fraudulent, then it has social value within the general human project of science. Even if that value is only worth a whole dollar, it is greater than the value of industry-created doubt. The doubt machine created by industry through entities such as the Heartland Institute constitutes a social cost. Through the products we buy, we pay for a future of diminished food and water security, and we pay to be more ignorant. Our quality of life declines because such organizations cast doubt on the project of science, and the impact of scientifically derived knowledge on democratic choice diminishes. The authenticity of the democracy is thus diminished. You are advocating for the un-hitching of the democracy from the more neutral and controllable mechanism of democratic government, and the re-hitching of the democracy to the interests of private property. You are simply a shill, a bot, within that process, and you probably think you're exercising your freedom and doing everyone a favor.
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  34. SirNubwub:
    According to UC Research( US government alone has spend $79 BILLION in the last 20+ years.
    Wow, that's some weapons-grade denial at that site. The "$79 BILLION" figure is given without attribution, but may be from Jo Nova. John Timmer takes the claim apart at ArsTechnica. The point is made:
    None of that money goes to the researchers who are actually generating the results that point to anthropogenic warming, so it can't possibly provide an incentive to them.
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  35. I meant to point out also that UCResearch does not provide any kind of sourcing for the figures it claims.
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  36. $79 billion, which includes many things that happen to produce data useful to climate research, such as weather satellites, the synoptic weather network, etc. but are mostly intended for other purposes.

    You occasionally drive your car to town to see a movie. You mostly use it to drive to work. Does the line item for operating your vehicle go entirely to "entertainment?"

    What a lousy and porous line of argument UCResearch is offering.
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  37. DSL:

    Hartz claims that trillions of dollars could be spent by the oil industry. Why aren't you yelling at him for saying this without any sources? (trillions????)

    Even his response to me is without sources.
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  38. Mal Adapted

    Thank you for the link. I will read it with interest.
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  39. What John Hartz actually said:

    Given the big picture of what happens on a global basis, the fossil fuel industry has spent and continues to spend enornmous sums of money throughout the world to perpetuate the Business As Usual conditions that allow it to generate trillions of dollars annually in revenues.

    Revenue is not expenditure, a simple accounting principle.

    John can speak for himself better but for me the implication is that if an industry is defending trillions in revenue and many billions per year in profits it has ample motive and means to pursue fiduciary duties on behalf of shareholders, including helping foster a favorable legal climate for business.

    Is anybody claiming that fossil fuel firms are not faithfully executing their duty to their shareholders? I've not seen such an assertion but perhaps I missed it.
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  40. Mal Adapted
    So the link you showed me has a graph that shows that science reseach only received an average of about a billion dollars a year for the last 20 years. And it states that "a lot" of the 20 billion dollars goes to equipment instead of people. I maintain that the balance of 20 billion dollars is still significantly more than the "millions" that is credited to the oil lobby.
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  41. @SirNubwub:

    Doug_bostrom beat me to the punch. He has accurately articulated what I said and why I said it.

    If you want to engage in serious discussion on this website, you have to do better than merely regurtitate some worn-out and debunked talking point generated by the Climate Denial Spin Machine.
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  42. SKS gets around alright, It is even copied into regional QLD newspapers.

    Positive feedback?

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  43. DSL:


    You say: "Further, you would have to establish that the research supported by the government was fraudulent. I know you believe that, but you have no evidence."

    So you know what my beliefs are on the credibility of research and you know the quality of research I have in my possession just by my posting two links.

    And you call ME a bad critical thinker. I know that I make mistakes, but lets try to tone it down a bit.

    I am a skeptic but I am open to being swayed if people take the tone of Mal Adapted and (-snip-) show me good information.

    I have many graphs from skeptic's websites that I would like to post on SkS. Hopefully, you folks here at SkS can (-snip-) explain to me why I shouldn't believe what that data says. I will post those on the appropriate sections of SkS at later times.
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    Moderator Response: [DB] Inflammatory tone snipped.
  44. SirNubwub:

    It has already been explained to you that monies pouring into science research from governments are for research, which is rather different from legal & political advocacy or marketing/propaganda.

    Is there some reason why you persist with conflating research with advocacy/lobbying/propaganda?
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  45. doug_bostrom @39 (and John Hartz #41)

    Doug: Yep, I probably over-reacted/misread his actual words. I will concede that.

    But John: aren't you really saying what I addressed? that the oil lobby spends more than the science gets? (by the way, I only included government spending and not all the NGOs and their money)

    If I am wrong in thinking that, then I will admit my error and retreat.
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  46. Composer99 @44

    Hartz didn't make the differentiation, (he compares them as similar in saying that one pales to the other) so I didn't differentiate them either.

    If I misinterpreted Hartz, then I will retreat. I am awaiting his reply to my statement #45
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  47. Sort of a "one apple and a lot of oranges" thing going on here.

    All expenditures by the fossil fuel industry on legislative relations as well as PR w/an eye to influencing the electorate are an apple.

    Expenditures on a myriad of scientific research endeavors some small fraction of which may be indirectly or directly relate to climate change are a lot of oranges.

    The two don't compare easily.
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  48. In #46 I should have said "he compares them as being similar in type by saying that one pales in comparison to the other"
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  49. @SirNubwub

    Before staking out a position on a particular issue, it is always advisable to view the issue from a variety of perspective. That is why I recommend that you read the article,

    Myth of the climate science gravy train: scientists studying Greenland forced to pay their own airfares
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  50. Doug bostrom @47

    probably. I don't have the line-by line expenditures for the oil lobby, nor the government, nor the NGOs. Shall we just drop the debate and just say that lots of money is being spent by both sides?

    Actually, the most important thing to me is understanding the real science foundation of AGW, that being whether or not human-produced CO2 is the main cause of the last degree of warming. I will address those questions in other areas of this site.

    I guess I don't want to "go to the mat" on this funding issue. I will say that I may be wrong to some degree and stop here.
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