RealClimate logo


Red team/Blue team Day 1

Filed under: — group @ 15 July 2017

From Russell Seitz:

83 Responses to “Red team/Blue team Day 1”

  1. 1
  2. 2
    Sixto Vega says:

    In case you thought that denialist blog “Watts Up With That” couldn’t sink any lower into the anti-scientific abyss, it proved me wrong!

    I must admit that this new low occurred in the absence of arch-denialist Anthony Watts himself, while on vacation generously funded by his readers.

    The moderator filling in for him however has squelched comments by evolutionary scientists so as to avoid hurting the feelings of the many creationists who infest that site.

    This comment in response to David Middleton’s post on extinctions, which reply was not the least bit out of the biological mainstream, elicited an objection from a creationist who felt offended or triggered, or something emotional, by it.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/07/14/the-carbon-fed-sixth-mass-genesis-an-anthropocene-success-story/#comment-2551674

    The moderator responded by banning subsequent comments by proponents of evolution (that is, scientists), while keeping comments by the creationist attacking the scientific comments on unscientific, ie religious grounds. He backed up the creationist while suppressing the scientists.

    Maybe this comes as no surprise to anyone who has always suspected the worst of those who deny the human effect on climate, but to me it looks like a lower low. But then, maybe I’ve been too charitable all along.

  3. 3
    Sixto Vega says:

    BTW, David Middleton is “a petroleum geologist/geophysicist with about 36 years of experience in oil & gas exploration mostly in the Gulf of Mexico”. So at least he has scientific credentials, even if in the service of Big Oil.

    Unlike the creationists who populate (pollute?) WUWT.

  4. 4
    Mike Roddy says:

    Nice cartoon, Russell, thanks.

    I can’t be the only one who would like to see a RC discussion about Wallace-Wells’ New York Magazine piece about worse case global warming predictions.
    Here is yesterday’s version, which includes a few corrections after some vociferous public “peer review”:

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/07/climate-change-earth-too-hot-for-humans-annotated.html

    I was surprised by the intensity of negative responses from scientists I respect. This could partly be due to interpretation: WW does not lay out the dark future’s probabilities, since they are unknown, and his scary scenarios assume business as usual in the coming decades.

    In any case, RC regulars can address the details of this controversy better than I can. That article has been widely read, and deserves a detailed analysis here.

  5. 5
    nigelj says:

    Great cartoon. It has an ominous ring of truth, for example I can certainly see that if the climate change doubters like Trump and Pruitt don’t like the way the red / blue process is going, they will change the rules, shift the goalposts.

    Or if they don’t like the result, they will try to discredit the result / people involved.They will just keep shopping around, until they find people prepared to tell them “its not happening”.

    The following article is a good summary of the process and criticism of the whole red blue idea, broadly that 1) it creates fake balance, given it’s clear the vast majority of climate scientists think we are warming the climate, 2) just duplicates the IPCC process but in a weak and distorted form and 3) it’s a delaying tactic.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/06/30/scott_pruitt_wants_to_use_a_red_team_to_sow_doubts_about_climate_change.html

    I would add my two cents that too much will come down to personalities, appearances, and rhetorical style. It will be an expensive disaster.

  6. 6
    victor says:

    Not funny. Dilbert is funny. This is not.

  7. 7
    Tokodave says:

    Tamino is on it:
    https://tamino.wordpress.com/2017/07/15/scott-pruitt-and-the-whiny-crybaby-losers/#more-9348
    I’m sure Sou over at Hotwhopper will have something soon!

  8. 8

    #6, Victor–Chacun a son gout. Personally, I thought the ‘blue team’ substitute for math was pretty hilarious.

  9. 9
    Mal Adapted says:

    victor:

    Not funny. Dilbert is funny. This is not.

    Dilbert was funny until the cartoonist jumped the AGW shark. Now parodies of Dilbert are funny.

    Russell, of course, has always been sporadically funny ;^).

  10. 10
    Victor says:

    #7 “Tamino is on it”

    Tamino is wrong. If this were an issue that concerned only scientists, such as the nature of black holes, quantum teleportation, dark matter, the Higgs field, etc., then yes, the opinions of non-experts would be largely irrelevant. But this is NOT some abstract theoretical issue, it’s something that has, or potentially could have, a direct impact on just about every human on earth, and their descendants as well. If people like Tamino are right, then major sacrifices are going to be required from literally billions of ordinary people. And if he’s wrong, EITHER on the issue of AGW per se, OR the question of whether or not anything can be done to meaningfully correct the problem, those sacrifices will be in vain. In a true democracy, after all, it’s the representatives of the people, NOT the scientists, who are entitled to make such decisions.

    Which makes it a political issue. And as such, it very much calls for a political debate, held in a political setting.

    While in Tamino’s view, “the science” is settled, that is clearly NOT the view of all scientists, and certainly not the view of the millions who voted for Trump, as his opinion on this issue was widely known. Millions more will be voting soon all over the world, and the tide, in case you haven’t heard, is in favor of the conservative, rather than the liberal view. As a long time liberal, I find this disconcerting, but a right wing backlash does seem on the way, whether any of us likes it or not.

    If Tamino and his associates truly want to change the course of history, they will need to do more than sound off about “the science” and “the physics.” They will need to address this issue in ALL it’s complexity, taking into the account the full extent of what will be expected, and make their case to ordinary people, not just climate scientists. A congressional debate would give them that opportunity — if they think they can handle it.

  11. 11
    Victor says:

    “Victor–Chacun a son gout.”

    No, Kevin, humor is NOT a matter of taste. It is a science. And the science is settled. Pay attention, learn something:

    https://vimeo.com/28688111

  12. 12
    calyptorhynchus says:

    #10 “And if he’s wrong, EITHER on the issue of AGW per se, OR the question of whether or not anything can be done to meaningfully correct the problem, those sacrifices will be in vain.”

    What makes you describe such actions as going over to renewables as ‘sacrifices’, and what makes you say that if AGW is not happening, these will be in vain. It seems to be that abandoning fossil fuels and going over renewables would be a good in itself for lots of reasons even if AGW wasn’t happening.

  13. 13

    V 9: While in Tamino’s view, “the science” is settled, that is clearly NOT the view of all scientists,

    BPL: You’re right. It’s just the view of the competent scientists.

  14. 14
    James C. Wilson says:

    I remember a debate between Sherwood Rowland and S. Fred Singer concerning ozone depletion. (Google says NPR, Talk of the Nation, 28 July 1995.) Having been in Punta Arenas, Chile in 1987 with the NASA Airborne Antarctic Ozone Experiment (AAOE), I was steeped in the findings concerning CFC’s, depletion of stratospheric ozone and the Antarctic Ozone Hole. I became aware of Singer and his constant flow of BS on the topic and looked forward to this radio program. Singer was quick but had no respect for logic or facts. In my view, Rowland crushed Singer. However, some non-scientists felt differently and one told me that Singer held his own. Lacking context, naifs looked for social cues to determine who “won.” Rowland’s command of details left the ill informed unimpressed as he exposed non sequitur after non sequitur. The details lost the uninformed but Singer’s bravado left the impression of knowledge. Marc Morano shows himself to be charming and utterly without regard for truth in “Merchants of Doubt.” James Hansen shows himself to be uncomfortable going in front of the camera. Can an introverted expert win a ‘debate’ against a confident fraudster like Morano?
    Science Courts were once floated as a means of finding truth in these kinds of debates. But if Perry Mason is on the other side, maybe your facts will not carry the day. The Red Team vs Blue Team is just a scam to allow the climate dismissives to rally their base against facts. Scientific propositions are tested in peer review. If they pass they enter the scientific discussion which is a boiling cauldron of contention. Those that float to the top are replicated in new studies to see if the result is real. Those results that are incorporated in the ongoing work of others are successful. They get evaluated in review articles and scientific assessments. This science court is BS – The scientific process on going – the review articles and assessments have been written and more are being written. Red/Blue is a purposeful distraction by cons and propagandists to prevent viewing of these findings. It can not replace the slow and steady, ongoing evaluation of scientific propositions by the scientific community.
    Goebbels convinced the most cultivated nation in Western Civilization to march over the cliff and tens of millions died. Maybe a hundred million. Climate is bigger. Prodigious talents are being marshaled to create lies and sell them to uninformed customers. Bad outcomes are certainly possible (see smoking). Victor has instructions for us- tells us what to do to succeed as if his posterity (and posterior) were somehow immune from the consequences of climate change. Maybe Victor should lead by example so we can all do the right thing. How do we pull it all together? Why aren’t the efforts of the IPCC seen as informative concerning the whole enchilada? Yes it has been done and hundreds of countries have signed on. But the Trumpacalypse threatens to upset the apple cart. The reality is that Paris 2015 did not leave us a yellow brick road but a needle to thread. Now it is harder. Back to work – So the science, talk to the politicians and your neighbors (and that brother-in-law). But do not think that Red Team vs Blue Team is the correct forum for any of that.

  15. 15
    Thomas says:

    10 Victor says: “Which makes it a political issue. And as such, it very much calls for a political debate, held in a political setting.”

    Yep. True. Science and knowledge really has very little to do with it. Political ideologies, personal beliefs/world views, cultural and societal values is what it’s all about. The science is a side-show of little relevance to anything. A pity. But it is what it is – it’s 100% Mythological Ideological Political Arguments all the way down. Sad.

  16. 16
    Thomas says:

    4 Mike Roddy – Thanks!

    fav comment:

    But I also believe very firmly in the set of propositions that animated the project from the start: that the public does not appreciate the scale of climate risk; that this is in part because we have not spent enough time contemplating the scarier half of the distribution curve of possibilities, especially its brutal long tail, or the risks beyond sea-level rise; that there is journalistic and public-interest value in spreading the news from the scientific community, no matter how unnerving it may be; and that, when it comes to the challenge of climate change, public complacency is a far, far bigger problem than widespread fatalism — that many, many more people are not scared enough than are already “too scared.” In fact, I don’t even understand what “too scared” would mean. The science says climate change threatens nearly every aspect of human life on this planet, and that inaction will hasten the problems. In that context, I don’t think it’s a slur to call an article, or its writer, alarmist. I’ll accept that characterization. We should be alarmed.
    http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/07/climate-change-earth-too-hot-for-humans-annotated.html

  17. 17
    Alastair B. McDonald says:

    Victor wrote “Which makes it a political issue. And as such, it very much calls for a political debate, held in a political setting.” That fine, so long is the debate is about the politics and not the science.

    For instance, should the US pay compensation to the rest of the world for burning more than its share of the fossil fuel resources, and impoverishing future generations? How should we share out the remaining fossil fuels, or should we keep them in the ground?

    It is quite obvious to me that Pruitt is only interested in allowing politicians to have their say on the science, on which they have already made up their minds. Red Republicans don’t believe in global warming and blue Democrats do!

  18. 18
    jgnfld says:

    @10

    There are 2 issues here that to my mind you are conflating and that political/economic forces are intentionally mixing as well. The science is one, public policies are the other.

    Certain aspects of the science really are settled–settled enough anyway. Yes, much public policy has to be worked out. But where the conflation comes is is like the same conflation in the the tobacco, asbestos, lead, acid rain, etc. wars: The affected economic interests view attacking the science as a better strategy to guide the public policy debate than arguing out public policy points over at least a modicum of established facts. Only when forced against the wall of bankruptcy/criminal or civil legal proceedings/overwhelming public furor do these interests ever deal in scientifically established facts. Facts which in each case they are usually fully aware of in their internal memos.

  19. 19
    tamino says:

    Victor wants us to believe that what Scott Pruitt wants is a debate about “… a political issue. And as such, it very much calls for a political debate, held in a political setting.”

    Here’s how Pruitt’s idea was described by E&E News, which broke the story (emphasis mine):

    The program will use “red team, blue team” exercises to conduct an “at-length evaluation of U.S. climate science,” the [senior administration] official said.

    Two possibilities suggest themselves. First, maybe Victor just hasn’t been paying attention. Second, perhaps Victor knows exactly what Pruitt is up to, but now that it’s becoming an embarrassment he wants us to believe it’s something different. Which is worse?

  20. 20
    Obstreperous Applesauce says:

    Russell!

    You’ve made a funny that wasn’t filled with arcane references that only five people on the planet could understand!

    Seriously, I love it!

  21. 21
    Tokodave says:

    Know more than Tamino?

    Get busy: https://fallmeeting.agu.org/2017/important-datessingle/abstract-submission-deadline/
    I’m sure they’re looking forward to your work.

  22. 22
    Jim Eager says:

    Victor, need I remind you that at 324 million the USA comprises just 4.32 percent of global population, that 231 million of those were eligible to vote in 2016, that only 130 million of them did, and that a clear majority of them did not vote for Donald Trump? So much for the naive notion of “true democracy” deciding the fate of the planet and all of humanity.

    Nature doesn’t give a damn about democracy or ordinary people – or scientists, for that matter. It just does what it does when pushed into a new climate state. Deal with it or not, that’s the only choice we get to make.

  23. 23
    Richard Simons says:

    It seems to me that the big problem with having a public debate on global warming and climate change is that it’s 20 or 30 years too late. The main effect of such a debate would be to display people’s ignorance on the subject while serving no useful purpose.

    On the other hand, a debate on what should be done about it could be beneficial.

  24. 24

    “No, Kevin, humor is NOT a matter of taste. It is a science.”

    Hey, that’s pretty good. Unscientifically speaking, of course.

  25. 25
    MartinJB says:

    Victor, I am perplexed to read that humor is not a matter of taste. I met someone who actually has a different sense of humor than I have. Is one of us wrong? Wow. I hope it’s not me. That would be mortifying!

    Of course, given your track record with matters on this blog, I should treat your comments with a grain of salt. It could be that you understand humor even less well than you understand even simple concepts like “trend” or “parsimony”.

    Your thoughts on the matter of debating the veracity and robustness of climate science in a congressional hearing are similarly misguided. Deniers simply want to re-adjudicate the conclusions of the world’s climate scientists in a venue where it is easier to obfuscate and misdirect.

    That said, the debate about what we should do ABOUT global warming is another matter entirely (though obviously guided by what the science says about the problem) and certainly belongs in congress. About that we agree.

  26. 26
    Thomas says:

    #10 “But this is NOT some abstract theoretical issue, it’s something that has, or potentially could have, a direct impact on just about every human on earth, and their descendants as well.

    Yep.

    “In a true democracy, after all, it’s the representatives of the people, NOT the scientists, who are entitled to make such decisions.”

    True. Though not every nation is a democracy. So it’s not a universal ‘truth’.

    “Which makes it a political issue.”

    Yep. And a world geopolitical issue as well. Everyone outside your nation also has an opinion that counts. :-)

    “the tide, in case you haven’t heard, is in favor of the conservative, rather than the liberal view.”

    Debatable opinion. Not a given. And hardly relevant to the specific issue of agw/cc action given the known evidence.

    “If Tamino and his associates truly want to change the course of history, …”

    The course of history has already changed mate! :-)

    “….. if they think they can handle it.”

    Tamino, Mann, Pauli, Hansen et al for President 2020 and as Senators in 2018/2020 on the wake of AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL Trailer TRUTH TO POWER (2017) Al Gore Documentary Movie
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVevjJMCSsg
    (smile)

  27. 27
  28. 28
    Hank Roberts says:

    Victor used to try to argue against the physics and against the probabilities.
    Good to see he’s quit pretending to any understanding of physics and statistics
    and moved to making his argument from personal selfishness.
    Peace in our time, whatever it costs.

  29. 29
    Obstreperous Applesauce says:

    Mike Roddy,

    “I was surprised by the intensity of negative responses from scientists I respect.”

    I wasn’t. The sensitivity to potential breaches in the science/policy firewall has been discussed here often; and not without reason. But WW’s short-form, bulleted format is concise and effective for laying out issues in easily transmitted form. I wish that if scientists are going to criticize pieces like this, that they would offer up an alternative narrative in the same format — something in the spirit of parts of The Madhouse Effect perhaps.

    Also, instead of just pitting hope against fear in messaging, maybe we should consider putting both together.
    https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/07/17/planet-warming-and-its-okay-be-afraid

    Just my two cents.

  30. 30
    Thomas says:

    Maybe it’s more a matter of who swallows the red pill vs the blue pill? :-)

    Look at the garbage being spewed on Heller’s blog of late which is right up there with the intelligence level of a Scott Pruit. eg the Plummeting July 18 Temperatures In The US being highlighted https://realclimatescience.com/

    Do take a moment to gauge how truly dumb and gullible the resident posters are there.

    Compare the sophistry vs the actual science evidence as shown here https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/201706 and here
    https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/monitoring-content/sotc/national/grid-temp/tave-anom-201701-201706.gif

    and here Contiguous U.S. Maximum Temperature Rankings, June 2017
    Jun 2017 1-month period 83.34°F 20thC avg 81.34°F Departure +2.00°F
    https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/climatological-rankings/index.php?periods%5B%5D=1&parameter=tmax&state=110&div=0&month=6&year=2017#ranks-form

    In a Heller’s Pruit’s Incompetents Dishonest Manipulative world the US is getting Colder.

    Then there is the global temps of course that Heller cannot help but assume they do not exist!
    JUNE 2017 GLOBAL Land+Ocean +1.48°F 3rd Warmest
    https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/climate-monitoring/

    Victor, Mr KIA, Tony Heller, Christopher Monckton, Pruit, Lamar Smith, Trump or Australia’s climate science denier politicians in Federal parliament et al makes no difference – all cut from the same cloth. These people cannot be reasoned with.

    So, yes, it is a “political issue” much more than a scientific one – especially given the science repeatedly gets ignored and the biased media/blogs continue to distort what the science and facts consistently says.

    Today’s bleeding hearts for coal miner jobs in the Appalachians and fracking everywhere else are equivalent to the slave owners of the south. You know how that political issue was settled and what happened when it raised it’s ugly head again in the 1960s Civil Rights upheaval.

    The Scott Pruits and Lamar Smiths of this day and age are not going to go quietly, nor will their gullible dunning-krugar supporters living in a fantasy land. Wordy debates in Congress isn’t going to change a damned thing while fools keep voting in even bigger fools. (shrug)

  31. 31

    4
    Glad you like it, Mike.

    The New York Magazine stemwinder too much recalls, in both graphic exageration and scientific hyperbole, the attempt to scare the world into disarmament four decades ago , when ‘nuclear winter ‘ was oversold at the expense of the credibility of climate science modeling on the eve of the greenhouse debate.

    Don’t take my word for it- read Nuclear Winter Reappraised Steve Schneider & Starley Thompson’s 1986 response to Carl Sagan’s original “Apocalyptic predictions” in Foreign Affairs .

  32. 32

    RS 31: ‘nuclear winter ‘ was oversold

    BPL: Not really.

    RS: read Nuclear Winter Reappraised Steve Schneider & Starley Thompson’s 1986 response to Carl Sagan’s original “Apocalyptic predictions” in Foreign Affairs .

    BPL: Then read the TTAPS II paper from 1991, which among things shows a big, fatal mistake in Schneider and Thompson. Their plume heights were off by a factor of three, so naturally they concluded that less soot would make it into the stratosphere. They were wrong. Not having a different, clever new idea. Simply flat-out, dumbass wrong.

  33. 33
    Victor says:

    #25 “Victor, I am perplexed to read that humor is not a matter of taste. I met someone who actually has a different sense of humor than I have. Is one of us wrong?”

    No doubt you are, Martin. Judging from your response to my playful post, you have no sense of humor at all.

  34. 34
    Victor says:

    #28 Hank Roberts: “Victor used to try to argue against the physics and against the probabilities. Good to see he’s quit pretending to any understanding of physics and statistics and moved to making his argument from personal selfishness.”

    I never claimed to have a better understanding of physics and statistics than anyone else posting here. But I do claim superior critical thinking skills, yes — judging, at least, from the sort of responses I’ve been getting over the years on this blog. The notion that technical expertise in one field or another (in this case physics and math) entitles one to claim infallible insight into the nature of the universe (or, in this case, the climate), is just another form of hubris.

    Every experiment might work out exactly as expected and every set of equations might be mathematically unassailable. And yet, the conclusions drawn could be totally wrong. If you doubt me, consult any history of science. In some cases, the errors can be corrected only by additional research, but in others the errors are obvious, once critical thinking is applied. I’m reminded of a well known critique of string theory titled “Not Even Wrong.” And yet, as we know, the math behind this theory is regarded as an extraordinary achievement.

    As for the rest, the notion that crucial decisions affecting an entire populace can only be made by elites who know what is best for everyone is an old idea, now known under the rubric: fascism.

  35. 35
    Victor says:

    Tamino: “Here’s how Pruitt’s idea was described by E&E News, which broke the story (emphasis mine):

    “The program will use “red team, blue team” exercises to conduct an “at-length evaluation of U.S. climate science,” the [senior administration] official said.””

    I’m no fan of Pruitt and certainly can’t read his mind (thank God). All I said was that the issue at hand goes beyond climate science per se and, in a democracy, can and should be debated in a public forum, with all aspects of the issue under consideration, not just those strictly pertaining to “the science.” And by the way, this does not mean that I uncritically accept the standard dogma associated with that unfortunate phrase, because I don’t. But regardless of where you stand on “the science” I do think the issues we face with respect to climate change and how to deal with it are essentially political, not only scientific. Thus a debate on the science AND the economics AND the sociology AND the politics is in order.

  36. 36
    Thomas says:

    32 Victor says “But I do claim superior critical thinking skills….”

    Me thinks you may have superior humour skills. :-)

    and “….the notion that crucial decisions affecting an entire populace can only be made by elites who know what is best for everyone is an old idea.”

    Yes it is. You’ve heard of congress, right! The 2003 Iraq War maybe? The elites used that very same approach when writing up the US Constitution and getting it approved by each of the state bodies filled to the brim with another bunch of wealthy elites.

    Now that document is presented as sacrosanct despite it’s numerous faults/failings and never once has it been been voted on and approved by the Hoi Polloi of the nation …. commonly known today as ‘the People.’

    The incongruities of people’s arguments knows no bounds. Especially regarding climate science. :-)

    Nevertheless, please allow me to point out one of the many limitations of your critical thinking skills Victor ……..

    “The notion that technical expertise in one field or another (in this case building Trump Tower, Reality TV star, Fox News owners, Koch brothers business acumen, Soros investments, Sec of State’s Oil extraction expertise and marketing, or Heller’s and Watt’s ability to operate a template blog site on the internet and talk absolute shit that stupid gullible people then believe and swallow whole) entitles one to claim infallible insight into the nature of the universe (or, in this case, the climate), is just another form of hubris.

    Have a good day. Try not to trip over your oversized ego and Dunning-Krugar based self-beliefs Victor. :-)

  37. 37
    Thomas says:

    32 Victor, damn I forgot to include the elitists Lamar Smith and Scott Pruit in the example list above. ;-)

    Then there all those Christian young earthers and creationists all over Congress and in State Legislatures and in Corporate Board Rooms and local church pulpits who assert their entitlement to claim infallible insight into the nature of the universe (or, in this case, the climate), is just another form of hubris….. aka crap!

  38. 38
    Thomas says:

    and Victor: “Thus a debate on the science AND the economics AND the sociology AND the politics is in order.”

    Very true. And that is precisely what has been going on for a quarter of a century across the globe already. It’s called the United Nations and the UNFCCC process with the involvement of every nation’s input, except for maybe Syria, Nicaragua and the United States who have now bailed out of the Treaty and future progress Victor.

    Americans can be so damned ‘exceptional’ and ‘elitist’ and ‘recalcitrant’! :-)

  39. 39

    Talk about denial- if BPL didn’t notice ,TTAPS had no stratospheric soot transport mechanism other than , in Tom Ackerman’s own words “It’s there because we told the systems programmer to put it there. ”

    You will find Klein’s 1988-90 DIA reports rather more candid than TTAPS 1991 review of itself– or have you forgotten the last of Sagan’s “apocalyptic predictions,?

    Ted Koppel asked him on prime time in 1991 what to expect from the Kuwait oil fires which were then burning at the very sooty rate of million tonnes a day .

    Sagan asserted the soot would rise to the stratosphere and adumbrate enough of the hemisphere to turn the Asian monsoon to drought, dooming millions to death by famine.

    It did not happen.

  40. 40
    patrick says:

    @11 Victor: K’s are funny, indeed. Thanks for the video. Like genius is funny. Which is to say: like genius-for-funny is funny.

  41. 41
    Mal Adapted says:

    Russell Seitz:

    Sagan asserted the soot would rise to the stratosphere and adumbrate enough of the hemisphere to turn the Asian monsoon to drought, dooming millions to death by famine.

    It did not happen

    One presumes we’re all glad of that, Russell, but what’s your point? That Sagan winged it on TV and got it wrong? Well, that’ll teach him! Or are you saying that Saddam didn’t fire enough of Kuwait’s oil wells, or that Kuwait didn’t have enough oil wells to fulfill Sagan’s projection? Well, that’ll teach Saddam, huh? No?

    Or, you’re saying Sagan was enlisted in a centuries-old secret cabal of wholly self-interested yet superhumanly foresighted illuminati plotting to impose world soshulizm and pollute our precious bodily fluids. That would be an extraordinary claim, but if you’ve got extraordinary evidence, lay it out!

    Please, Russell, tell us what ‘freaking’ inference you want us to draw from your oblique insinuations! The Socratic method is tried and true, but you’re not Socrates! Speaking only for myself, I’m not Plato either.

  42. 42
    MartinJB says:

    Hi Victor, can you point out the “playful” part of your post: “No, Kevin, humor is NOT a matter of taste. It is a science. And the science is settled. Pay attention, learn something”? Thanks!

  43. 43
    Mal Adapted says:

    Victor:

    The notion that technical expertise in one field or another (in this case physics and math) entitles one to claim infallible insight into the nature of the universe (or, in this case, the climate), is just another form of hubris.

    The insinuation that any RC commenter has claimed infallible insight into the Universe, or any lesser-scale phenomenon, is just another form of the straw man fallacy.

  44. 44
    Mal Adapted says:

    Victor:

    But I do claim superior critical thinking skills, yes — judging, at least, from the sort of responses I’ve been getting over the years on this blog.

    The notion that your critical thinking skills are superior to the average RC regular is an indication of your affliction by the Dunning-Kruger effect. We need know nothing more about you than your comments here to support that observation.

    Beyond that, IANAP, but denouncing the mote in thy brother’s eye while the beam in thine own eye is painfully evident to all but thyself may be a indication of psychological denial. Of exactly what, perhaps not even you can say.

    Screw courtesy. Just how much transparently self-serving, stubbornly incorrigible logic and counterfactoid rebunking on infinite loop do you expect a reality-based individual to overlook? Sorry, I never got the knack of ‘unflagging courtesy’, and ‘patience of Job’ is way beyond my capacities. You are not the aggrieved party here. Indulge in as much righteous indignation and victimization rhetoric as you like. RC’s moderators have the final say as always, but I stand by my comment.

  45. 45

    Glad to hear it, Mal – Plato’s retreat from trying to speak truth to power in Syracuse is a caution to us all.

    As to Sagan’s fibbing on Nightline about his “a sophisticated one dimensional model” I wrote then that it might be a Bad Idea to suggest to Saddam Hussein that was in command of a doomsday machine.

    Now as in 1991 , the point remaining is that science politicized is science betrayed-

    in 1984, Harvard Center for Climate and Security founder Mike McElroy said of the original 1982-3 TTAPs “bluebook” “its a political document rather than a scientific document; they seem to be working both sides of the street.”

  46. 46
    patrick says:

    @11 Victor: Now, if only you’d work on making your own comments as spare and intelligent as the humor you’ve linked.

  47. 47
    patrick says:

    @43 Mal Adapted > The insinuation that any RC commenter [or contributor] has claimed infallible insight [Victor, 34]…is just another form of the straw man fallacy.

    Exactly. I wanted to say: it’s not even a straw man. Because it is one, but it’s so bad.

  48. 48
    patrick says:

    @31 Russell Seitz: > the attempt to scare the world into disarmament

    I’ll take an attempt to scare the world into disarmament over an attempt to lure it into overkill. Or any kill.

  49. 49
    BojanD says:

    For anybody interested, Sam Harris’ podcast with Scott Adams just came out. Not sure what to make out of it. Seems like Adams is giving Trump far too much credit.

  50. 50
    patrick says:

    @3 Sixto Vega: Your distinction between Middleton and others–Middleton compared to some others on the blog you cite–is a false distinction. Your implication that petroleum geology makes this man saner somehow–or makes his attacks on climate science and scientists less egregious–is not so. Witness his “Tales of the Adjustocene” post July 17. Note graphics. His comments and the games they play reveal a mentality that doesn’t even know what it’s looking at when it’s looking at it. These comments are just a kind of gaming. Petroleum geology adds no particular sanity or understanding at all to his disinformation about climate science–and to his game of mocking it just for fun.

    Speaking of a mentality that doesn’t even know what it’s looking at when it’s looking at it, much less care or want to know, I’ve seen no better example–or worse-case scenario–than the flagrantly deluded treatment given to the chart of Biodiversity in the Phanerozoic by Middleton-and-peers in the article from the troll shop you link @2 Sixto Vega.

    The article, the shop, and your comment #3 are a single stack of distractions that only hijack the science and detach it from the truth, I think.