Free Speech for the Unlovely 225


I always seem to get back from Africa physically exhausted. I now have to tackle all the organisation of a family Christmas at the last minute. It is both the charm and disadvantage of this blog that the blogging is just me – it has no staff, and no revenue. That is not to devalue the contibution of the volunteer comment moderators – who help out with other things too – and the technical help from Tim, Clive and Richard and the the hosting team. But if I am not writing, nothing happens.

When I am lacking time or energy for deeper thinking, I tend to throw out some provocative thoughts from the top of my mind to see what people make of them. I am worrying today about the attacks on people of whom I disapprove.

I blogged recently about excessive police action against a blogger who argues against the existence of man-made climate change. I think he is wrong, but I don’t see why he should be the victim of police raids. I am going to surprise you by saying that I think that the hounding of Aidan Burley is going too far. Bad taste humour around the Nazis has existed throughout my lifetime – and was brought gloriously to the screen in the brilliant Mel Brooks’ The Producers (the first one, with the fantastic Zero Mostel).

Burley’s stag party seems rather a throwback to the Federation of Conservative Students of the late 70s, important elements of which delighted in singing Nazi songs to emphasise how right wing and taboo-free they were, with an element of self-parody (I speak as an eye-witness). You always worried there were genuine Third Reich sympathies in there – as of course there were so strongly in the British elite in the 1930s. That is the underlying worry in the Burley case – but if there were any evidence of real sympathy for Nazi views from Burley, it would have been dug up by now. I think we should just take this as bad taste humour a la Producers – a play which presumably cannot be produced under French law? Burley has been punished, revealed as a twit, and we should move on.

John Terry is a man whose TV persona and reported behaviour I have always found repulsive. I don’t know what he (or Suarez in a related case) actually said. I find racial abuse absolutely unacceptable. But again, I do not think that where it occurs between two individuals, and unless it is persistent and repeated over a period, it is a matter for the state and police. Not all bad behaviour should be a matter of higher intervention, and shaming can be a good sanction in itself. Both individuals and society have ways to sort things out without always involving the state or constituted organisations within it. I doubt Terry will do it again and it has been made plain that this is unacceptable behaviour in football. It is enough.

The same goes for Jeremy Clarkson. Again, total wanker. But nobody could have seen his TV appearance on the One Show and felt that he actually believed or advocated that strikers should be shot. His body language and tone of voice made it plain he was indulging in hyperbole with the object of being humorous. Exaggerated polemic should not be banned, or even censured. The real problem here is balance. Very right wing polemicists are very often allowed free rein to mouth off on broadcast media. On TV, opposing polemicists (like, err, me) are strictly banned. On radio, George Galloway on Talk Sport is pretty well a lone example. Personally I welcome the vigour of Clarkson’s expression – if only someone equally firm were allowed on to argue with him.

Finally, I am going to defend Herman Cain. No longer a candidate, and his tax and other policies were completely barking mad, therefore pretty mainstream Republican. But I saw very little wrong in anything he was alleged to have done in his love life. One woman alleged that he made a physical advance – put his hand on her leg – towards her in his car, after a dinner where she had asked him for help. It seems to me his behaviour was perfectly normal, and the important thing is she asked him to stop, and he did stop. If men were not allowed to make such advances, the human race would die out. Desisting once it is plain your advances are unwelcome is the important thing. The long term affair alleged was entirely mutual and consenting. Chatting up employees is tasteless, but ought not be a crime.

Burley, Terry, Clarkson and Cain are all people of whom, in different ways, I do not approve and with whose views on life I am heartily at odds. But I don’t hold the view that only people who hold certain approved views should be able to wander round and function, or that we should all be limited to certain highly constrained social behaviours. They are all, in various ways, victims of galloping political correctness. I thought I would express some sympathy for them. Human beings have a right to be wrong, and sometimes foolish. It is part of the human condition.


225 thoughts on “Free Speech for the Unlovely

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  • Leonard

    Hi Jon,

    Apologies. You are correct that the URL is climateaudit.org – not .com
    .
    There are multiple definitions of what “peer review” actually means. I take it to mean a review of one or more researcher’s/scientist’s work by another. That might include “subscribers” to an institution or paper, but surely it also includes anyone who is sufficiently expert or experienced in like subjects, otherwise the peer review system (just as it often is in climate change matters)can be subject to a closed loop of consensus among those who are invited to subscribe to such an institution, while those with dissenting views are shut out from expressing them.
    .
    The whole point surely of peer review is an OPENNESS to examination by others to see if data and conclusions drawn stands up to scrutiny. In the case of the IPCC and related institutions, an assumption has been made right from the start that the broad principle of carbon dioxide being a major influence on climate is a given, while other much more relevant reasons are sidelined. I say again, the science on climate is by no means settled, and indeed much of it is based on not only manipulation of data and selective editing of contrary data, but there has been no proper peer review process at all. If there was, why have these institutions palpably sought to prevent others from accessing the full data.
    .
    As Phil Jones of the Climate Unit at East Anglia said to Steve Macintyre of climate audit: “Why should I show you the data when you are bound to disagree with it”, or words to that effect. In doing this, Jones and his colleagues have had the arrogance to assume a position of owning conclusions which they feel cannot be challenged. Climategate revealed a systemic and pre-determined decision to close off salient information pertaining to most of their conclusions and the data it was based on from proper examination. Steve Macintyre has tirelessly and methodically worked through the available statistics and exposed major flaws in information gathering and presentation of data to a supine media which now presumes he and other sceptics are either nutters or vexatious.
    .
    Meanwhile, Phil Jones and his colleagues have consistently implied that FOI requests are time wasting and an unreasonable burden, and have also refused FOI requests on the basis that somehow much of the data they have access to is subject to “copyright”. Truth is not copyrightable! The Climatic Research Unit should have published the core data in the first place. They did not do so and indeed spent a lot of energy hiding the core data.
    .
    Moreover, many sceptics are not making assumptions at all and the majority of them have no pre-conceived views. They are merely asking questions very few of which have been satisfactorily answered. Such lack of co-operation opens the pro-climate-change lobby up to quite justified accusations of rigging, deception and politicisation of a subject the presentation of which requires scrupulous honesty and integrity if it is to accepted as believable.

  • Mary

    O Little Town of Bethlehem
    https://www.ifamericansknew.org/images/beth06-front.jpg
    .
    Israel, Palestine and American Christian Hypocrites
    .
    It was December of 1991 and I was serving as Legal Advisor to the
    Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East Peace Negotiations in Washington DC. The Israelis were stalling, not even negotiating in bad faith, and the Americans under Baker and Ross were doing nothing to get the negotiations started.
    .
    This had been going on for 3 weeks and Christmas was fast approaching. Those of us on the Palestinian Team who were Christian were wondering if we were going to be able to get home for Christmas–many Palestinians are Christian, the original Christians, going back to Jesus Christ and the Apostles themselves. I would periodically check in with my wife and 2 sons at the time–little boys. My poor, sweet wife had to do all the Christmas preparations by herself without me.
    .
    So the weekend before Christmas I called her up to say I still did not know if or when I would be coming home. My oldest son who had just turned 5 talked to me on the phone:
    .
    “Daddy why aren’t you home for Christmas?”
    .
    “Well son, I’m trying to help the Palestinians.”
    .
    “Daddy, why are you doing that?”
    .
    Hard to explain the entire Middle East conflict to a 5 year old, so I put it into terms he could understand:
    .
    “Son, you know that Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem don’t you?”
    .
    “Yes Daddy.”
    .
    “Well I am here with the Mayor of Bethlehem and some other Palestinian leaders. They are my friends and I am their lawyer. I am working with the Mayor of Bethlehem to help all the Palestinian Children have a merry Christmas.”
    .
    “Ok Daddy.”
    .
    We got the word we could go home for Christmas on December 23 and I got on the first flight out of DC. getting home just on time for Christmas Eve with my family.
    .
    Periodically I had attended UCC Christmas Season Church Services in town with my family. When it came time for prayers from the congregation, I always got up and asked everyone to help the Palestinians along the following lines: “…Bethlehem is cut-off and surrounded by the Israeli army–the Church of the Nativity too. The Israelis are inflicting ethnic cleansing upon all the Palestinian, both Muslims and Christians. They are also pursuing a policy of deliberately forcing Palestinian Christians out of Palestine as part of a perverse strategy to turn a war of national liberation into a religious crusade, figuring it would play better in the United States. And these are the original Christians, going back to Jesus Christ and the Apostles. Meanwhile, the United States government is financing it all to the tune of $5 billion per year. Everyone in this Congregation has gifts given to them by God. So go out and do something to help the Palestinians!”
    .
    Despite my best efforts over many years, that UCC Congregation refused to lift one finger to help the Palestinians. So several years ago, I quit their Congregation and severed all ties with them. They are just a gang of moral cowards and hypocrites. They have nothing to teach me or anyone else about Christianity, let alone about peace, justice and human rights. They constitute the paradigmatic example of what the anti-Nazi martyr and pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer called Cheap Grace.
    .

    Francis A. Boyle, Champlaign, IL.
    Professor of International Law
    Legal Advisor to the Palestinian Delegation to the
    Middle East Peace Negotiations (1991-93)

  • Komodo

    I should have said how much I agreed with Craig’s thoughts on free speech. But I have turned the radio off for the festive season, and I am now in a much better mood. Enhanced by a Joe Walsh CD, and by a friend’s present of a bottle of “Comrade Bill Bartram’s Egalitarian Anti Imperialist Soviet Stout” (alc 6.9% vol).
    To be enhanced further by a good Rioja…

    Peace on earth, goodwill to men. Even Jeremy Clarkson.

  • Komodo

    Leonard,
    You are overestimating CRU’s efficiency – and that of most academics. If the anti movement (prop: the Koch Bros) achieved anything, it was to highlight the difficulty experienced by people not working in the field in obtaining data and information on (eg) modelling protocols. This has now been addressed as far as CRU is concerned…the parallel work by NASA and NOAA doesn’t seem to have attracted the same venom, but there, too. The data is labyrinthine, goes back decades, and is of variable quality. Some of it belonged to other people and could not be released. Much of it is on paper, in a variety of formats. CRU rightly complained that the incessant nagging from nonspecialist shitstirrers was taking time away from its own objectives. CRU is not as big as, say, Exxon.

    Based on this data (and more), the Berkeley review comes to the same broad conclusions as CRU and NOAA:
    http://blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/2011/10/31/uc-berkeley-lawrence-berkeley-lab-climate-change-skeptic-now-says-global-warming-is-real/
    It will be recalled that the Berkeley project was initiated by sceptics and partly funded by Koch.
    .
    So you presumably have other datasets, and/or methodologies. Let’s see them please. Fair’s fair.

  • Vronsky

    Merry Christmas everyone. Let’s hope we see some lightening of the sky in 2012.
    .
    But och! I backward cast my e’e,
    On prospects drear!
    An’ forward, tho’ I canna see,
    I guess an’ fear!

  • Abe Rene

    Merry Xmas, everyone, and enjoy the pud or cake. But let your system get a grip on the lunch first. 🙂

  • Fedup

    Thus said Gus O’Donnell
    ,
    As the Madame in the whorehouse would cover up and speak for the pimps;
    the departing Cabinet Secretary, warns of the threat to the future of the United Kingdom (Comment, December 21). People seem to think that Scottish independence will be a benign phenomenon. They assume that common interests and the ties of history and kinship would serve to ensure that relations between an independent Scotland and the remainder of the United Kingdom would be close and amicable, drawing on the acknowledgement of a shared Britishness. That view is almost certainly wrong.
    ,
    Does this mean Scottish National Transitional Council is already set up and in waiting to ask NATO to oust Alec Salmond?

  • CheebaCow

    Christmas Day On The Somme
    .
    ’Twas Christmas Day on the Somme
    The men stood on parade,
    The snow laid six feet on the ground
    Twas twenty in the shade.
    .
    Up spoke the Captain ‘gallant man’,
    “Just hear what I’ve to say,
    You may not have remembered that
    Today is Christmas Day.”
    .
    “The General has expressed a wish
    This day may be observed,
    Today you will only work eight hours,
    A rest that’s well deserved.
    .
    I hope you’ll keep yourselves quite clean
    And smart and spruce and nice,
    The stream is frozen hard
    But a pick will break the ice.”
    .
    “All men will get two biscuits each,
    I’m sure you’re tired of bread,
    I’m sorry there’s no turkey
    but there’s Bully Beef instead.
    .
    The puddings plum have not arrived
    But they are on their way,
    I’ll guarantee they’ll be in time
    To eat next Christmas Day.”
    .
    “You’re parcels would have been in time
    But I regret to say
    The vessel which conveyed them was
    Torpedoed on the way.
    .
    The Quartermaster’s got your rum
    But you may get some yet,
    Each man will be presented with
    A Woodbine Cigarette.”
    .
    “The Huns have caught us in the rear
    And painted France all red,
    Pray do not let that trouble you,
    Tomorrow you’ll be dead.
    .
    Now ere you go I wish you all
    This season of good cheer,
    A very happy Christmas and
    A prosperous New Year.”
    .
    Australian soldier Leslie George Rub – France, 1916

  • Clark

    The arguments about the CRU “Climategate” e-mails etc. often overlook a point that seems important to me; environmental (and other) campaigning was already a battlefield before the global warming arguments started. Every move to decrease the environmental effects of commercial activity has met with strong resistance from both producers and consumers, the range of responses including willful ignorance, perception management, lies, fraud and mass murder.
    .
    If “the science is not settled”, there are presumably at least some scientists who are convinced that current human activity risks catastrophic climate change. Consider such a scientist against the battlefield background and motivated by a strong sense of urgency. It is completely understandable that he might want to restrict his opponents’ access to data, to prevent them from cooking up umpteen red-herring arguments that he will then have to waste his time arguing against.
    .
    No, that’s not scientifically ethical behaviour, but our scientist wasn’t facing a purely academic adversary. He knew that some of his opponents were prepared to use scientific-sounding arguments unscientifically (ie perception management). Meanwhile, the CO2 belches forth and he’s very concerned that his kids are going to roast.

    Conversely, no such constraints apply to the other side; if everything is left just how it is, the producers will continue to make lots of money and the consumers will get lots of nice shiny things, so everyone that matters will stay happy. Likewise, if our AGW-Convinced scientist gets caught cheating, huge howls of rage ensue, but if a commercial vested interest gets caught doing the same, well, isn’t that what we expected anyway?
    .
    Who’d want to be a climate scientist delivering the message that yes, normal human activity, things that you and I like doing, are going to severely damage our descendants’ future environment? It’s not likely to be a popular message; it basically accuses us all of wrecking our children’s lives. It’s the sort of message that can get the messenger shot.
    .
    I briefly worried about Climategate, but then decided that it didn’t matter that much. Applying disincentives and eventually limits to how much energy is produced is an essential thing to start right now – not at any previous point in history, specifically right now – and regulating C02 emissions seems like a sensible way to do it. If the IPCC really is promoting a fraud (which I don’t believe it is), well, it would be acting in a helpful direction anyway.
    .
    Have a look at this; human energy use across time, sixteen thousand years. The black spike is energy from hydrocarbons, the red star is where we are now; can we make that green rectangle?
    .
    https://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/peak-ff-1x.png
    .
    http://physics.ucsd.edu/do-the-math/2011/10/sustainable-means-bunkty-to-me/

  • anno

    Going back to Craig’s original discussion, I think that people who adopt a kind of asberger personality of not being able to engage with normal social etiquettes are dangerous bullies. When challenged, they respond with a nonchalant question as to whether you really think they hold that particular offensive opinion, like, adultery doesn’t matter, sexual harrassment is normal, spying on people is just checking on what they’re like, strikers should be shot, etc. When the technique is politely ignored they go on to repeat it, knowing that politeness will eventually be replaced by corrosive anger.
    I have a friend who as a child would harrass shopkeepers, asking them repeatedly on different days about the price of things. he was is and is a particularly manipulative person, and you begin to ask yourself what this type of person wishes to achieve by their dominant bullying.
    When they have succeeded in convincing their family members not ot believe in God, not to believe in being faithful, etc, they establish themselves as better people, and convince themselves
    of this. and convince others too. Often it is not what people do that is wrong, but where it would lead to if they took it to its logical conclusion. Apartheid, sectarian violence, fascism.
    I am convinced that this type of personality is only able to succeed within a social group which gives them permission and eggs them on to break the barriers of decency.
    This is a scenario occurs more and more frequently in broadcasting, until it finally reaches an unacceptable point.
    Why do I bother to bring all this up? Because I see great danger in the fostering of so called alQaida Islam by USUKIS NATO by empowering the likes of Abdul Hakim Belhadj with weapons and weapons of mass destruction in Libya and imminently in Syria.
    It is a symbiotic relationship between the totally unscrupulous Zio=Fascists we all have learned to hate, and the group which Craig has been talking about, the unlovely, pseudo-asbergers-type. On their own they are fine, but when they get an audience they are extremely dangerous. And it is dangerous for me to say so, when the government of the world, Russia, China. USUKIS are all deciding to get these people to do their fighting for them in the Middle East. They are both forms of freemasonry, the global leader club and the Islamic militant club. You would not expect them to unite against us, because of their public statements against eachother. But we should at least discuss the threats presented to us by this strange meeting of minds.
    Craig floating in from Africa on a high and excusing these unlovely people, is what we all do. We admire the outrageous. But the outrageous can turn very quickly into the socio-path.
    Legislating might not be the answer, but be careful of your right hand when it starts to rise to salute Hitler and of your mouth when it starts to open to shout Sieg Heil!

  • John Goss

    Disturbing but accurate Christmas Card, Mary. Everybody should be disturbed about the barriers between Israel and Palestine. One day the message will get home – the message of peace.

  • Mary

    Of interest and note John is that the Roman Catholic Archbishop. Vincent Nicholls, remembered the Palestinians in his message. It was tucked away in this report about .
    Rowan Williams who spoke of riots and bankers.
    .
    Archbishop laments the ‘abuse of trust’
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16328192
    .
    ‘The head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Vincent Nichols, has offered prayers for Palestinians.
    .
    During his Christmas Mass sermon at Westminster Cathedral, Archbishop Nichols focused on 50 Palestinian families in the West Bank who he said faced losing their land to Israel.
    .
    He said: “At this moment the people of the parish of Beit Jala in Bethlehem prepare for their legal battle to protect their homes and their land from further expropriation from Israel… we pray for them tonight.”‘
    .
    Merry Christmas

  • Fedup

    Clark,
    Para 2~3- Science doest not do “trade secrets” (dogma), without full peer review and challenge there can be scientific progress.
    ,
    Para 4- They already do that, everyday represents yet another opportunity; to scare the dickens out of the punters, and proclaim end of the world is nigh, again.
    ,
    Para 5- Disincentives applied mean; people cannot travel around, they cannot keep warm, are unable to bathe regularly, or have to resort to sink bathing, cannot eat warm food, cook regularly.
    ,
    Further realising without energy we cannot conduct our lives easily. Therefore, the disincentives application are in fact only attempts in making life more difficult for those who already have difficult lives, and ensuring the perpetuity of the status quo, ie if you are rich you are entitled to the energy, and if you are poor, then you are not. Moreover, oil Barons/governments know this too, just like the neighbourhood crack dealer, who knows every addict will be buying his wares sooner than later.
    ,
    We know that a compost heap produces heat, and setting up a fire is easy too, so energy production is not all that complicated, however what is complicated is finding a regular reliable source of energy, hence hydrocarbons, which are the current “best” sources of energy.
    ,
    So far in this thread someone who enjoys the company of an inflatable doll with three holes (mind boggles, I keep trying to work out why the numbers? a latex tube is a latex tube is a latex tube) lecturing me about the limited resources Earth, and like the inflatable doll, can be blown apart!
    ,
    Further everyone is busy with saving the Earth from man, and overpopulation, evidently they have fucking forgotten they are human too and not some fucking angel or ET of some sorts. In addition despite debating “fossil” fuel, ie pickled dinosaur juice, without any irony no one even hints that the total collapse of life on Earth hat has happened and will happen. Therefore given the dangers of total collapse of life that is far more real and present than; poxy Carbon scare, the Iranians intentions (shades of Kafka here we go) about Nukes, that is concurrently accompanied by the actual use of tactical Nukes in Iraq and elsewhere by US forces.
    ,
    You rightly have pointed out the paradox of lunatics getting to run the asylum ie sociopaths, and psychopaths rising to positions of leadership, that in turn promote psychotic and dysfunctional characters to occupy the control constructs, and so on, that in effect bring about a run away self breeding misanthropy. Thus the constant blame then human game that is played out by presentation of plausible stories, that in fact are designed to help perpetuate the status quo.
    ,
    No need for thorium reactors (too expensive, we need lots of reactors built and now), low pressure water reactors using 5~7 percent enrichment levels are ideal to begin with, in addition to a comprehensive reappraisal of the systems of governance (not the “democracy” and “hr” brands), resource allocation, resource management, and explorations of our surrounding oceans, and space.
    ,
    Finally with higher levels of awareness of the population at large, the psychopaths in time will raise their game too, to take into account the majority views.

  • Fedup

    Anno,
    Glad that I cheered you up. with respect to Cain. That chap failed to answer questions about US policy in Libya, as Bu$h failed to answer questions about who the leader of Pakistan was? That did not matter to the US Media. Clearly it is OK to have dumb bastard as Mr. Perezident in US. However, Cain touched a woman and that is not OK, now go figure.
    ,
    Your anecdote about your friend, and his behaviour. Fact is your friend was gaming the system; knowing that the shop keepers had to answer his questions, he kept on pestering them. Strange as it may seem, the shop keepers played his game too, because they hoped he will buy something. The same principle applies to the other scoundrels who game the system.

  • Rog Tallbloke

    Clark:
    “I briefly worried about Climategate, but then decided that it didn’t matter that much. ”

    Scientific truth doesn’t care about agendas. Not even good or just ones.

    If these advocates want to continue lying to us while admitting the truth in the (no longer hidden) emails, then so be it. Just stop doing them the honour of calling them scientists or their product science. Let them swim in the political pool with the rest of the lobbyists.

  • Jon

    @Leonard:
    .
    > The whole point surely of peer review is an OPENNESS to examination by others to see if
    > data and conclusions drawn stands up to scrutiny.
    .
    I agree.
    .
    > I say again, the science on climate is by no means settled
    .
    I mainly disagree, though I concede that no scientific position is ever settled – it is often refined and occasionally overturned. But for the time being, the AGW consensus seems stronger to me every time I look for new references. I cited the Yale Project on Climate Communication, which says that 97% of publishing scientists agree that climate change is occurring and that it is caused primarily by human activities (ref: http://environment.yale.edu/climate/news/SixAmericasMay2011/). I also came across a metastudy by Dr Naomi Oreskes, which demonstrates overwhelmingly that, of 928 papers on climatology, all of them agreed with the AGW position (ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change#Oreskes.2C_2004).
    .
    > and indeed much of it is based on not only manipulation of data and selective editing
    > of contrary data
    .
    I disagree strongly. I am normally suspicious of Official Reports, but when an investigation was carried out after Climategate, it was found that publicly available data could be used to reproduce the graphs independently. How could I argue with that? Says Monbiot: “the review team carried out its own test: did publicly available data exist that would allow people to replicate CRU’s temperature results? It found that the raw data were freely available on three US academic sites, and that competent researchers could write the computer code required to analyse them in less than two days, without asking CRU. It carried out its own analysis and produced a graph (Figure 6.1) almost identical to CRU’s” (ref: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2010/jul/07/russell-inquiry-i-was-wrong).
    .
    > but there has been no proper peer review process at all. If there was, why have
    > these institutions palpably sought to prevent others from accessing the full data.
    .
    In terms of peer view across all the literature, of course there has been plenty, and the metastudies are convincing for the AGW position. In terms of the CRU case, I partly agree – they should have been more open. But, as to why they were blocking FOI requests, I think it may have been to avoid spending time on vexatious requests, of which there were sure to be many. Nevertheless it would have been a good use of their time to release their data onto the internet, and to point both honest and vexatious requesters to it!

  • Rog Tallbloke

    Jon:
    The Yale study only reported on a small part of the sample.
    The Oreskes study was skewered by Benny Peiser who forced her to admit she had incorrectly stated the search terms used,

    Most Peer Reviewers do not spend time examining datasets and statistical techniques.

    Climate Audit is a good place to read up on the quality of the post Climategate ‘Inquiries’, as well as the shortcomings of the peer review process, and the pressure applied to journal editors by the ‘Team’ as revealed by the emails.

    The CRU data released in the CG1 files shows that 30% of countries report a negative temperature trend for the C20th. This is not consistent with a ‘well mixed’ trace gas raising temperature worldwide.

  • Jon

    Hi Rog,
    .
    Have you any references for your Yale claim, and for the Oreskes/Peiser debate? My quoting him previously on this thread showed that his counterclaim may have been debunked.
    .
    I’ve bookmarked Climate Audit and will surely have a read. I am open to the possibility there is groupthink in AGW science but I am not yet persuaded of it. As a non-scientist, I respect the peer review process as it stands, though – one has to start from somewhere. My position is currently that the media have not done a sufficiently good job of reflecting the scientific consensus of AGW, and that the energy industry self-serving FUD has diluted the message.
    .
    I asked earlier as to whether there is more money in “green rackets” than existing energy sources. I think it is incontestable that there is more money to be lost in the latter than to be gained in the former. What is your view?

  • Clark

    Rog Tallbloke, you wrote: “Scientific truth doesn’t care about agendas” – true, but individual scientists are certainly influenced by all sorts of circumstances, and the CRU members are engaging with a lobby that certainly does have an agenda; I think that expecting a straight academic argument is unrealistic, and the academics are being expected to display a higher standard of behaviour than the pro-burning lobby.
    .
    Fedup, I’m sorry to say this but I find your thinking confused and unclear. The most important limits come from nature, not from the ruling classes. If our hydrocarbon fuels are becoming depleted, or the atmosphere’s capacity to disperse pollutants is being exceeded, those limits come from nature, not from the scientists or whoever is paying them.
    .
    Before AGW, the elite had no trouble channeling most of the wealth towards themselves by a huge variety of means. Now, the elite have added AGW to their wealth-appropriating toolkit. Sex has been used this way long since; that does not mean that sex is an elite conspiracy.

  • Clark

    Jon, money can be made from the most arbitrary things. I remember a few years ago several people were killed or injured in a stampede of shoppers eager to obtain the latest “Hello Kitty” products.
    .
    So is there more money to be made from burning, or restricting, carbon-based fuels? Or glorious elite suffer from no such false dichotomy – there is money to be made from both!

  • Leonard

    Komodo: You refer to shitstirrers with no expertise. I was referring specifically to Climate Audit and Steve Macyntire as one of many examples where highly intelligent work exposed the flaws in data sets, particularly those based on urban based temperature sensors which are fundamentally compromised due to inherent bias to higher temps owing to proximity to concrete and other unreliable factors. You ask me to provide my own data. That’s a pretty absurd request isn’t it. That’s like asking me to prove the world is round from scratch.
    .
    From my first post I have consistently NOT said that global warming doesn’t exist, nor have I said carbon dioxide has no influence. The fact is that nobody really knows the true extent of either, nor the real consequences of ignoring the panic-stricken hysteria promoted by the warming lobby. What Steve Macyntire and others are doing is to highlight the unreliabilty not of just the data, but the interpretation of it.
    .
    Furthermore, the warming lobby, even if broadly correct, has ruined its case by grossly exaggerating the negative consequences and ignoring some of the real benefits of a small amount of warming. Some examples are its constant references to sea level rises, droughts and extreme weather and its doom laden messages about ice levels. It never tires of referring to Arctic Ice reductions while ignoring Antarctic ice increases. It refers to glacial retreats in some areas while ignoring glacial growth in others. It frightens us with warnings of deaths due to heat exhaustion while ignoring the fact that many thousands more die each year through exposure to cold – particularly the aged.
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    Almost every extreme weather event is put down to global warming where in fact other factors are involved.
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    When such a powerful lobby promotes such exaggerated scenarios and tries to scare the electorate into panic reactions based on such obviously skewed conclusions in order to curry support, it utterly destroys its credibility. No measures that are born of panic will work. Add to that the incredible hypocracy of those whose own lifestyles (see Gore et al)are a million miles from the regime they wish to impose on others and you are witnessing a morally bankrupt movement whose theories should rightly be challenged by anyone with a sense of intelligent discernment.

  • Clark

    I have a theoretical question about climate change.
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    I believe that CO2 levels are rising. I accept the theory that increased CO2 concentration will retain heat thus increasing temperature. I accept that various processes, such as the release of methane from formerly frozen marshes, can be triggered by temperature rise and affect the temperature themselves, thus invoking positive or negative feedback – amplification or stabilization, respectively.
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    Is there any deep theoretical reason (probably thermodynamic), to expect that triggered, knock-on effects would predominantly contribute to or subtract from a temperature rise? Or is it a predominantly an empirical project, to find and quantify effects?

  • Clark

    “…a morally bankrupt movement whose theories should rightly be challenged by anyone with a sense of intelligent discernment”:
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    But challenged with what? “CO2 doesn’t matter, but we’re going to reduce our energy use for social reasons anyway”? So why mention the CO2 argument at all?
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    Any morally responsible course from the industrialised world reduces our/their CO2 emissions anyway, so why are we arguing about this?

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