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SkS Weekly Digest #20

Posted on 17 October 2011 by John Hartz

SkS Highlights

SkS authors and readers continued the dialogue with Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. on the comment threads to Pielke Sr. and SkS Warming Estimates by Dana and Albatross posted on Oct 11 and Continued Lower Atmosphere Warming  by Dana posted on Oct 14.

Toon of the Week

The Week in Review

Here's a list of aticles posted on SkS during the past week.

Coming Soon

Here's a list of articles that are in the SkS pipeline. Most, but not necessarily all, will be posted during the week.

  • Comparing Global Temperature Predictions (Dana)
  • How increasing CO2 heats the oceans (Rob Painting)
  • Arctic volume diminishing more rapidly than extent (Peter Hogarth)
  • Not So Permanent Permafrost (Agnostic)
  • 9 Months After McLean (Dana)

SkS in the News

True Cost of Coal Power - Muller, Mendelsohn, and Nordhaus was re-posted in Climate Progress.  Joe Romm identified a mistake in the SkS analysis, which resulted in a Correction to the True Cost of Coal Power - MMN11.

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Comments 1 to 12:

  1. Lest there be any confusion, the above Toon of the Week satirizes how Fox News and other like media outlets perpetuate the myth of scientific debate by giving equal weight to the findings of legitimate scientists and the opinions of non-scientists. The fact that the couch potato in the toon is named "Roger" has absolutely nothing to do with Dr. Roger Pielke Sr., a distinguished scientist.
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  2. Gotta disagree with you there John. The 'false equivalence' bit is what most of the media does. Fox, on the other hand, gives you your choice of multiple clueless blowhards.
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  3. Dr. Pielke , Please remove the following error from your recent blog post: "which, the disclaimer to the contrary in one of the comments, clearly is intended to relate to me " How on earth can you state that unequivocally? You claiming that "clearly is intended to relate to me" is simply false and you have been told so repeatedly, yet you insist on making this fallacious assertion and repeating it in public. I'm sorry, but we have many other issues to address besides you, and the cartoon was not about you. Four things Dr. Pielke, 1) There are many, many people who share your name on this planet, 2) Unlike the person in the cartoon, you are not a couch potato, you are a respected scientist 3) Unlike the person in the cartoon you are not opining about an issue which you are not qualified to speak to, in the case medical research 4) The message of the cartoon, to me and most reasonable readers for that matter, is very clear-- people speculating and speaking to things that they are not qualified to speak to (like climate science) is very annoying, and it also speaks to the media giving false balance to non-experts and contrarians. In my opinion, that someone has to spell this out to you (again) is ridiculous. Or are you calling us (and John Hartz) liars? Speaking of which, you should not be lecturing others (based on faulty interpretations) on etiquette when you post things like this on your blog when specifically referring to Dr. Tom Karl and the EPA. Do you consider that respectful and constructive treatment of your peers? This is how you recently described Dr. Jay Fein and Dr. Margaret Cavanaugh when you claimed that they ignored your requests (is the little girl meant to represent Dr. Margaret Cavanaugh?). Do you consider that respectful and constructive treatment of your peers? your friend Anthony Watts recently posted this delightfully defamatory cartoon of Dr. Muller and the BEST team (which then also refers to his co-authors, which includes a Nobel laureate). Do you consider that respectful and constructive treatment of your peers? Will condemn that action by Mr. Watts or will you tacitly endorse it? And this is how anthony Watts depicted the much respected Dr. Andy Dessler recently. Do you consider that respectful and constructive treatment of your peers? Should I continue?
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  4. Hear, hear, Albatross! Skeptical Science goes to great lengths to actually regulate the tone of posts & comments, so it is very disappointing to see Dr Pielke tone-trolling SkS on his own blog, all the more so in light of his own characterizations of his peers and the characterizations undertaken by Watts and company.
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  5. albatross#3: Considering the cartoon containing the reference to 'Roger' comes from the UC Berkeley teaching resource website Understanding Science, dated 3 Jan 2011, we just got a pretty good lesson in how misconceptions form and propagate.
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  6. Hi muoncounter @5, Actually, I think that we have just been given a very good demonstration of how some people will choose to perceive something in a particular way if they think that doing so will benefit them, or if they think they can get some mileage out of it or if they think it will detract from their failings. Here is the link to the page the cartoon was sourced from, it is titled "Beware of false balance: Are the views of the scientific community accurately portrayed?" The case being made in John's Weekly Digest is very clear, and the problem being highlighted is obvious to anyone following this sad "debate" about AGW in the media.
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  7. Albatross#6: Not to mention a clear case of missing-the-point entirely. The cartoon contrasts a three year science-based study vs. sitting on the couch and speculating. That's clearly not about Dr. Pielke, but it does hit close to home for some of the usual suspects. But I like the irony in the fact that the source is a website about understanding science!
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  8. Prof. Pielke also makes a big play on the argumentative nature of the discussion. Well if you refuse to give direct answers to direct questions in a scientific discussion, then IMHO that is both rude and unscientific (science aims to seek the truth, and giving a direct answer to a direct question is a more direct route to the truth than evasion). Had Prof. Pielke been willing to properly address or even engage with the points being made to him, the discussion would have been both more constructive and less argumentative.
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  9. And the disingenuousness, defamatory comments and misinformation at WUWT continue, and this time Dr. Roger Pielke Senior is implicated, only days after lecturing and berating others on their snarky "tone". This is absolutely disgraceful and unacceptable behaviour. "Friday Funny – bonus Posted on October 28, 2011 by Anthony Watts Josh caricatures “team aerosols” thanks to Dr. Roger Pielke’s compilation of responses to this question: ‘Why, despite steadily accumulating greenhouse gases, did the rise of the planet’s temperature stall for the past decade?” Excuses, excuses." The timing of this is curious, as it appears the day after Pielke posted this quote mining exercise on his blog, and his post at WUWT (together with his cherry picked graph) appeared the very same day. Pielke is evidently very close to Watts, in fact it seems that they are conspiring together to defame climate scientists and trying to undermine their credibility. And Pielke has the audacity and gall to tone troll and lecture others on "tone" and attitude. This is not sticking to the science Dr. Pielke, this is rhetoric and hyperbole, and very personal stuff at that. The above cartoon is reprehensible and constitutes a defamatory and juvenile attack on some of the world's leading climate scientists. Really, is this all WUWT have in their arsenal now, juvenile and mocking cartoons? In other words, they have nothing but innuendo and snark. Now here is something interesting. On his blog Pielke Senior has the title "Candid comments from climate scientist"s, when he posts at WUWT this morphs to "Climate scientists and their excuses". This is a demonstrably false statement and gross mischaracterization of their positions. Also, on the one hand Pielke is suggesting they are being candid, while on the other hand he is saying that they are making excuses, the insinuation being that they are being dishonest and/or hiding something. That is defamatory, and in some countries is considered libel. I do not, however, expect Dr. Pielke him to cede that or correct the misleading title at WUWT. Instead he seems to be egging on the peanut gallery. What Pielke and Anthony characterize as "excuses" are actually diligent and curious climate scientists trying to improve our understanding of the climate system and advance the science. Nit picking, distorting, mocking, defaming and misrepresenting does not achieve those goals in the least. I wonder if Dr. Pielke will have the honor and integrity to demand that his friend and colleague Anthony Watts to pull the cartoon? We watch with interest, but without holding our breath.
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  10. I have several thoughts on this caricature and Dr. Pielke's role in its creation. 1) It proves that contrary to Dr. Pielke's claims, Anthony Watts is not "devoted to the highest level of scientific robustness." 2) It proves that contrary to Dr. Pielke's claims, the tone at WUWT is both caustic and defamatory (unlike at SkS). 3) It proves that Dr. Pielke's behavior has far more negative ramifications than he realizes. 4) If you actually read the entire article in question, rather than just the quotes Dr. Pielke has mined, it says the exact opposite of the suggestion in the caricature (that the climate scientists are just blaming the short-term slowed warming on natural variability). In fact, the article has a quote from Trenberth saying that blaming it on "natural variability" is not good enough. It's also worth noting that, as SkS did in our critique of Dr. Pielke's comments, the climate scientists in the article pointed out that starting the analysis in 1998 is a clear-cut case of cherrypicking. Dr. Pielke conveniently omitted that part of the article from his blog post. In short, the behavior of Dr. Pielke and WUWT prove exactly what SkS has been saying. Do Not Feed the Delayers.
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  11. Another defamatory depiction of Dr. Muller curtesy of Dr. Pielke Senior's friend and colleague Anthony Watts at WUWT. Yet, Dr. Pielke continues to assure us that Anthony Watts is "devoted to the highest level of scientific robustness".
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  12. The content of the post contradicts the "scientific robustness" claim too, trying once again to blame global warming on the all-but-dead galactic cosmic ray hypothesis. Basically calling Dr. Muller stupid while themselves making a really dumb argument.
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