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Climate Hustle

Climate Denial Video #2: Failed at Science? Attack the Scientists

Posted on 6 August 2011 by dana1981, John Cook

John Cook is back showing off his excellent narration skills, giving James Earl Jones and Morgan Freeman a run for their money.  In the second video in collaboration with the good folks at TreeHugger, John explains that when climate "skeptics" can't win the scientific argument, they change tactics, smearing climate scientists and inventing conspiracy theories.

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Comments 1 to 30:

  1. I didn't think it worthy to mention on the first thread, but I personally find it a bit annoying that the embedded video begins play immediately upon loading the page. Especially after one has watched it 2-3 times already.
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  2. Yeah, this problem apparently is with the TreeHugger video system, there's no way to shut off autoplay. Removing the video itself from the home page preview was one attempt to mitigate the problem (imagine several going at once), but unfortunately it still plays automatically once you click forward.
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  3. The soundtrack is sometimes a bit too loud for John's voice. I would tone it down a bit.
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  4. @#3 +1
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  5. I cannot hear portions of the voiceover - the music is entirely too loud.
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  6. I highly recommend that everyone read Dr. Mashey's essay (here it is) which just appeared in "The Chronicle for Higher Education", it is relevant to this post.

    Some pertinent quotes from Mashey's piece:

    "People should be free to express their opinions, but not all opinions are equal, especially about science. Is it acceptable in CHE to state as fact that cigarettes cause no disease? Can one claim that the chemistry behind ozone depletion is a fraud? Can one state that the moon is made of green cheese? Can one say that astronauts lied about landing there and should be put in prison? Might Rush Limbaugh comment here, repeating his opinion that scientists should be “named and fired, drawn and quartered”? “Public flogging” was enough for Marc Morano of CFACT..."

    "Is there a dividing line between legitimate academic controversy and libel? If so, where is that line and who draws it? Academic controversy is not characterized by use of Nazi labels or exhortations that scientists be physically harmed. It is not characterized by baseless, wacky conspiracy theories about worldwide plots by mainstream science. Academic discussions involve data, facts, and justifiable, soundly crafted theories."

    "Some climate scientists have faced this politically based assault for years. Anti-science echo-chamber blogs amplify anger, yielding nothing like legitimate scientific discussion, and as a likely result scientists get death threats and dead rats left on doorsteps."


    We'll be very fortunate to get through this "debate" without losing a legitimate climate scientist to an untimely and unnecessary death at the hands of someone "inspired" by the rhetoric of Limbaugh, Monckton, Morano etc.
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  7. John has a great voice for this so let the background music be a bit more background. It is a bit overpowering. Otherwise, looking forward to many more of these.

    --dan
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  8. Just say TH#2 and it was much better than the 1st. Keep at it and it will get even better. Each segment is about the right length for those with ASD.

    Tom
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  9. Yes, nice work John.
    (although I think the comparison to two of the greatest actors ever, is a slight s..trr..e..t..c..h, light-hearted as it may be) :)

    I visited SKS today with the hope of reading y'all's opinion on the forthcoming paper by Murry Salby.
    I know the paper hasn't been released yet, but it has passed peer review apparently.
    Please visit Jo Nova's site for more info.

    I'd like to know what the readers of SKS think.
    (maybe you'll start a series of "Salby's Slip-ups", or "Murry's Mayhem", "Murry's Mirth", or "Salby's Subterfuge"?)
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    Moderator Response: [mc] Yes, the Salby talk came up, starting here. Subterfuge indeed.
  10. I agree with Daniel J. Andrews that the background music is too loud - you might also reconsider the choice of music itself, which is a bad fit, IMO, no matter at what volume; what does this MOR uplifting tune have to do with the message that you're conveying? Nothing, I'd say.
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  11. @Eternal Sunshine #10:

    Is there such a thing as "downlifting" music?
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  12. Michael of Brisbane @9

    Tamino has a new post on this: Bag of Hammers II

    Gavin Schmidt had a comment, as well: ludicrous.

    We'll have to wait to see his figures and his text to properly take it apart.
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  13. Dear John Cook - see my other post or just read http://earth-climate.com

    I'm waiting for your proof, against what experimemts indicate, what Wikipedia says about "Heat Transfer" and what quantum physics elegantly shows, namely that heat transfer from solids to gases in equilibrium is (as IPCC claimed) mostly by radiation rather than (as science says) by diffusion (like conduction) because, unless you an prove something contrary to accepted peer-reviewed physics and empirical evidence, my site explains why greenhouse warming theory falls apart.

    Doug Cotton B.Sc.(Physics) ... Manager, Climate Research Centre
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  14. typo: "unless you can prove ... "

    PS Try the simple lamp cover experiment near the top of my site. Or, if you're not sure about conduction, try holding an iron rod in a furnace all day. You're going to get your fingers burnt one way or another sooner or later.

    Also explain how (supposed) radiation just happens to get the temperature right - ie about the same on a calm night as the underground temperature. Is it just a fluke??? Too bad if the humidity trebles from 30% to 90%. If the radiation is busy warming the air molecules (somehow) where is all the energy to send all those photons back down again - almost as many as the IPCC said went up - many more than the sun itself sunk into the surface. http://earth-climate.com/IPCCdiag.com
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  15. 13, DougCotton,

    Your personal interpretation of physics is just so much hand waving. You provide no calculations or observations to prove your position (that more heat transfer must occur by conduction rather than radiation in the atmosphere), which is a flat-out laughable fabrication. You simply wave your hands amidst a gish gallop of physics terms and concepts, and then expect everyone to believe that you are right and the rest of science is wrong.

    You, Postma, and a host of others are really just out-doing yourselves with your ability to reinterpret science to arrive at a different conclusion from the rest of the world. That you can do it with such intense complexity is a demonstration of the incredible breadth of the human mind.

    [In the 1980s there was a homeless woman from Korea living in Newark, NJ. She was actually fairly far along in building an ark, on which she was going to return to her native land. Among other things, she had plans for laser cannons for defense at sea. It was really an impressive feat.]

    It's also comical when you make the IPCC out to be this single-minded nefarious entity against which to launch your assault. Hint: All the IPCC does is to collect and summarize studies and information accumulated by thousands of other scientists, and when you attack the IPCC you are attacking pretty much nothing.
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  16. 13, DougCotton,
    ...heat transfer from solids to gases in equilibrium is (as IPCC claimed) mostly by radiation rather than (as science says) by diffusion (like conduction)...
    Citation, please. Prove this point instead of just declaring it. Science says? Please. It does not. If you think it does, you should have no trouble providing a clear reference stating this position.
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  17. 13, DougCotton,

    You should also recognize that the earth/atmosphere interface is probably the most trivial component in the system. What about the other miles upon miles of atmosphere, where the real action takes place? Where does your personally defined and branded science fit in there?
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  18. 13, DougCotton,
    I'm waiting for your proof...
    No, Doug. Please lower your hubris dial just a few notches. All of science says that you are wrong. Therefore, it falls to you to prove your position, not vice versa. No one owes you squat, particularly when your statements are (a) totally incredible and (b) totally unsupported by evidence.
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  19. DougCotton: Scientists need to be self-skeptical; a good scientist would view it as their own task to find the weak points in their own arguments (it is part of research). When they think they have adequately addressed all of the shortcomings of their work, and what remains is still of interest, they then write a paper explaining their theory/findings and submit it to an appropriate journal. The journal will then send it out to several experts in climatology who would submit reports detailing the shortcomings of the paper and suggestions by which it could be improved.

    Now if you had some confidence in your theory, that is what you would do, rather than calling out a science blog to do your basic research for you. If you dropped the hubristic attitude you might do rather better in encouraging people to discuss your theory; as it is your tone does not suggest that you are at all open to inconvenient truths.
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  20. DougCotton, I am also waiting your proof as asked for by Sphaerica. Having read your site, it appears to me that you are basing your opinions on simple assertion. What is worse, you claim without reference that the IPCC "assumes" things which are actually based on large archives of measured data, such as the Global Energy Balance Archive:



    The IPCC's "assumptions" are such that they can demonstrate this sort of fit between model and experiment:



    In contrast your level of understanding is such that you make the false (and simplistic) assumption of a single layer atmosphere in order to criticize the results reported by the IPCC.

    So, to Sphaerica's question, I add my own. Which text book on atmospheric physics did you read before you set out to demolish an entire branch of physics by waving your hand near a pot? Because from your web site, the answer appears to be none.
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  21. 19, 20, Dikran, Tom,

    Looks to me like "Doug" was a drive by troll, just trying to draw visitors to his amazingly informative site.
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  22. Sphaerica @21, probably, but perhaps those visitors will now know to ask him why he is ignoring (and in fact contradicting) 250,000 data records gathered at a global network of 1600 stations as of 2006. And why they should place such store in the authority of his BSc (Physics) which he places such store in, while ignoring the hundreds of PhD (Physics) scientists who let data, not their credentials do the talking, and whom he contradicts without evidence.
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  23. 22, Tom Curtis,

    Agreed. Let him be hoist by his own petard.

    He has Poe'd his way into a shining example of expert denial at work.
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  24. A commenter at tamino's offered the phrase 'multiple simultaneous misconceptions;' I propose that we adopt this as the new definition of MSM. The result of too much MSM is 'a strong defense against understanding reality.'

    That's pure poetry.
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  25. We should go a step further... there should be an MSM Hall of Shame cataloging the utterly ridiculous attempts of some to fabricate and promote their own personal Galilean redefinition of the science (co2isnotevil, Postma, etc.).

    It's really become a rather entertaining recurring theme. That it happens over and over is what is most amusing.
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  26. I think we need a post on Postma. Chris?

    Doug, any new theory needs to perform at least as well as what it replaces. To start with, it needs to be able make testable predictions. I would like to see how your new theory goes in predicting the lapse rate for Earth, Mars and Venus for a start...
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  27. Firstly, let's just start with a quote from Wikipedia where yuo will learn what diffusion is between solid surfaces and gases - like the Earth surface and the first 1mm of the atmosphere. Or like my light shade experiment at http://earth-climate.com which no one here bothers to read. The following is linked a couple of times in my site:

    ( -Snip- )
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    Response:

    [DB] Long, Off-topic perambulation snipped.

    Please note that posting comments here at SkS is a privilege, not a right.  This privilege can be rescinded if the posting individual treats adherence to the Comments Policy as optional, rather than the mandatory condition of participating in this online forum.

    Please take the time to review the policy and ensure future comments are in full compliance with it and also adhere to the topic of the thread that they are posted on.  Thanks for your understanding and compliance in this matter.

  28. Scaddenp. Regarding predictions, the 900 to 1000 year cycles (correlating with eccentricity of Jupiter) and the superimposed 59.6 year cycles (correlating with the Jupiter/Saturn resonance cycle) and the further superimposed 11 to 13 year sunspot cycles all had maxima around 1998-2002 and thus predicted very well the warming period at the end of last century. They now predict the current trend since 2003, with a slight increase by the next sunspot maximum (June 2013) which will be the lowest since 1907 according to NASA. Then, as archived on my site, there are predictions of cooling from 2014 to 2027 then 30 years of warming and, eventually, significant cooling for another 450 years. etc. - read it there if you wish.
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    Response:

    [DB] Off-topic portion struck-out.  This thread is about when climate "skeptics" can't win the scientific argument, they change tactics, smearing climate scientists and inventing conspiracy theories.  Please make a note that comments need to be focused on the topic of the thread on which they are placed.

    If the thread topic you are reading is not that of your comment, thousands of more relevant posts (some of which are likely to be about the topic of your prospective comment) can be located via the Search function in the Upper Left corner of every SkS page.

  29. In regard to the above doubts some seem to have about diffusion, consider what is the probability that, if radiation is the only source of heat for the atmosphere, that (in calm conditions at night) it just happens to raise that part of the atmosphere which is very close to the ground all the way from 0 deg.K (-273.15 deg.C) up to almost exactly the same temperature that it happens to be under the ground. (I hope this comment is short enough not to be snipped like the last few - I'm keeping screen captures as evidence.)
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    Moderator Response: [muoncounter] Please note that threads are organized by topic. A more appropriate thread for your unique views on this subject is Tracking earth's energy. You might find Dr. Trenberth's article on radiation an interesting read.

    Make all the screen captures you like. Comments are not snipped for length, although few really long posts are worth wading through. Comments are snipped for violations of the Comment Policy, which you have already been advised to read and abide by.
  30. "if radiation is the only source of heat for the atmosphere"

    Why would anyone think that? Note the other sources shown on the trenberth diagram, important especially very close to the surface. (good reasons for not trying to treat the atmosphere as a single slab).
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